Ursa wished that she had some true company on these transport cells. The isolation in her transport cell was even worse than the sheriff's cell had ever been.
She had been alone in her old sheriff cell and while the incarceration was not welcomed, the silence wasn't as maddening as having to listen to her half mad companion muttering some half remembered song to himself and utterly ignoring her presence.
After he had told her his name, the boy William had remained silent, regardless of her many failed attempts of speaking to him. It was like talking to a statue... a statue that kept mumbling something.
" I might as well be alone " she thought puffing her cheeks in annoyance " It is better to be alone than to be with someone and ignored the same ".
"... Durandel flashed in the night as sir Roland stood alone. Dragons to the left and dragons to the right, but the gallant would not retreat. They breathed out their flames, burning rock, water and flesh, but the gallant still cut them down in a flash... " and he continued with his song much to her annoyance.
"Nice song" she said to him, once attempting to start some kind of duologue.
But again he didn't answer her and simply continued to mumble his song without even shipping a beat.
"I know that the guy from that song" she said again, but he remained blocked off from her words.
"So tell me William, why are you here?" She asked him and it seemed like she had reached her goal of cracking that shell as he went silent, ending the ballad of Roland the Gallant.
He whispered something, but she couldn't here what he said and so she informed him "I don't understand what you are saying".
" Cowardice... " he spoke much louder than before but it was still a subdued ton of voice "...They died... i ran, a.... a coward with a tail between my legs like a defeated dog".
" Who died?".
"Better men and women than i will ever be... they died and i ran... " his words started strong but soon broke down into weeping.
Ursa had wept before and she had seen more people than she needed to cry like infants, but this weeping was non of that. It wasn't a loud wailing with large streams of tears gashing from his eyes, but rather a soft small crying, as if he didn't have enough will to cry harder.
"Coward... Coward... Coward..." He whispered to himself in between his broken sobs.
His tears rolled from his eyes and down to his chin until they dropped off. His eyes were bloodshot and puffy from the tears as she got a closer look of him.
" It's his teammates, isn't it " She could only think of the other possibility being ones family, but your teammates were family as well, right?.
One wouldn't need to a great thinker to piece together what woe had turned this knight to this. It was common, far too common in this cold world that they lived in.
For all the strength that the royal blessing bestowed upon knights making them more powerful than the normal civilian or soldier, the duty of a knight was still one fraught with extremely danger. Far too often a knight either young or old would come upon a night terror or any other foe who wouldn't be able to overwhelm.
She had heard and even seen entire teams of knights wiped out. On the the case a saviour remained, they were never the same.
To be a knight is both a privilege and a curse, Morigan had once said to them after one of her hellish training or torture sessions.
The older elf had been more serious than they had seen her before or since then. Her words were dark words and Ursa could now reflect upon them. For as exciting as the life of a knight could be, too many candles were snuffed out by the dark shadows of the world, both in beasts and in men. Ursa had come face to face with death many times before, she knew that any of those moments would have been her end or her friends ends.
She looked at the broken being before her, still sobbing with a perched voice. Some part within her conjured up an image of the fields of the Nexus. She did not see victory as had been, but she fields of crimson with body's replacing the grass.
Chris had his spear wound from Nimue and he played there with milky dead eyes looking at her. Mulengu had been riddled with many arrows not too far away, though laying face down upon the earth meant that she couldn't see his face. Thor lacked one as it had been beat into into a mixture blood, flesh and earth. Pyrrha lay besides Chris with her arm outstretched as if to pull herself to him but the spear pinning her skull to the earth would not let that happen.
Ursa's breath quickened as if she would lose it in a passing second as she looked at the hell before her, wondering how she had fallen into this nightmare and begging for release from it.
Then she heard the sound of ripping and chewing. She turned slowly to see what it was and it was her, bent over a corpse and digging into the flesh like a starved animal finally tasting food.
This creature was too muscled in one place and not in the other making misshapen, bent and twisted. It's teeth were long sharp daggers that tore easily into flesh and took massive chunks with each bite.
It's eyes were dark purple and many veins seemed to surround and pulsate, making them look old and the closer Ursa looked the more sunken they seemed.
It's hands and legs were dark purple and as hard as wood not flesh. It's talons were organic blades that looked like they would easily cut into her and she trembled from fear as she took in the creature that bore a face that sickened her, her face.
The abomination seemed to noticed and it arose from it's meal. It smiled, letting a waterfall of blood and meat fall out of its mouth and colour it's chin.
Revulsion and fear froze her in place as a scream was kept at her throat. A throat that felt very exposed the more that she looked upon those blade like rows of teeth.
It reached down and tore some up and with it's blood caked talons it offered it's foul meal to her with smile that almost made her wrench out her own stomach contents.
Instead what come of the gagging was screaming for the thing to stay away from her as she tumbled backwards and tripped over a coupes.
"Stay back!" She screamed as she frantically tried to reach for her bow, but it wasn't there and all she could do was scream as and the blood soaked talon and it's gift neared her.
She closed her eyes so not to see it but she could smell the copper like smell of blood mixed with the stenched of rot. It took no more for a few minutes to pass and Ursa was once more back in her sell and at the opposite end of her sell.
She was breathing out for every drop of oxygen as if she was a fish drawn from the sea. Her clothes and hair were wet from the sweat that drenched her as if she had taken a swim.
She didn't know what had happened, but trying to recall it raised the bail within her and it made her shiver as she prayed to Deus to see that again.
"... What was that ...what was that" she asked herself.
She knew that a simple daylight imagination brought forth by a random thought could not create an experience as vivid as what she had witnessed here. She had felt it, she had smelt it in all of it's skin crawling horror.
"Breath, it help's with the blight's touche" the voice of her silent companion was like a anchor for her not to be swept aside by the waves of insanity.
"B...blight's touche" she had not meant to stutter, but her voice was only now returning to her.
And that term, Blight touche, she had heard before somewhere but where from, she could not say, perhaps it was from Morigan or from Chris. She could not remember.
"The wounds caused by darkness" he raised his left arm which was an armoured and across it ran a bandage that had red crimson streak running down it " I don't even know how i got mine, but the doctor said that the first three hours are bad on the mind, but remember that it isn't real and that it gets better ".
" Does it really..." She asked him as she rubbed her eyes that felt a strange heaviness.
"I'll get back to you in an hour or two about that. Though, you shouldn't aggravate your palm that much" his words unsettled something within.
" What do you mean, they got me in the eye? " she touched her left eye and it was fine but when her fingers traced her palm and she felt it.
Instead of the touch of warm soft flesh, she was bitten by a cold hard marble. She didn't know what madness took her but she quickly faced her palm and she saw where there had once been a glamoured light tattoo, was a dark purple scar in it's place bearing a similar shape to it.
Around the scar were dark purple blood vessels, visible under her skin and almost making it seem bruised.
"What happened " she thought as she traced the scar, though her fingers burned from the cold surface of her flesh, even if she couldn't feel it.
"Will... " she wanted to ask him about how his blight touch felt, but the words never left her mouth fully as the transport was violently knocked aside.
Ursa was sent slamming into into the walls of her prison like a ball as the transport flip over and settled head first upon the roof.
Her head was spinning and a noise assaulted her ears from her disorientation.
"What is happening?" She asked as she asked as she pulled herself off of the floor with her head still ringing and patches of blank white space appearing in her vision.
"I... i don't know" there was fear in Williams voice as he answered her from the corner of his cell that he had huddled into like a child frightened by a thunderstorm.
From the outside they could hear great explosions as the transport shook left, right, up and down as if an earthquake had been awoken and sought to swallow the city up.
The lights went out and they found themselves trapped in darkness. As soon the dark blanket had covered them, Ursa felt like temperature drop.
She felt it watching her, stalking her from the cold charnel pits from where of desired to devour all she was. She wanted to open her mouth and scream for the heavens but her limbs were cold and heavy.
She could feel it coming closer and closer as she tried to move her petrified body... and then a bright beam of light cut through the darkness as the back door to the transport was ripped open.
A knight came down running to them with fear dread written upon his face. He placed his hands upon the glass cells and a green light flashed in the room as the doors popped open.
"What are doing?!" She demanded as the knight drew a spear from one of the hidden compartments of the transport.
"The city is under attack by foreign ships. An order went out by the Imparetor, we need all hands on deck!" He answered frantically.
Ursa didn't know why she walked out of the transport, maybe she wanted to see the carnage herself, and she saw it. Far upon the waters she could see three massive silver pale ships that were the size of mountains and bearing down towards them.
Projectiles too fast for even her fast eyes to follow flew from the ships and collided with a multi coloured shield that originating from the fortress. For the hundred projectiles that collided into the shield, ten managed to punch through it and collide with the city.
Rocks, fire and metal went flying into the air from these collisions and rained down upon the screaming civilians who were being directed into large military transport ships that hovered over the city.
"Mass evacuation" the spear knight said as he handed her a green firearm " I heard that you an archer. It's not the same but it will do".
The gun felt foreign in her hands but she held it firmly " Where is my bow?".
"It went ahead of us to the fort. The higher ups marked it as a taint class 4" The knight then handed her a familiar small book, her Grimoire " But this remained. It wasn't with you when you were infected, so we were transporting it with us".
"Oh Deus, no, it's here, it's here" William shouted in pure terror as he backed away from their backs and directly to the city which was being pulverized.
"William, what the hell do you think that you are... Oh Deus!" From behind her a dark purple cloud towered over the iron mountain, where the Anjin city stood.
The sick, inky way that the purple cloud descended upon the mountain. It's smell, the way it felt upon her tongue, the electric touch upon her spine and more importantly it's ice touch.
" Darkness... " William whimpered.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos