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Saii

The Destruction of the Centaurs

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Siero waved at a guard, who ran over hastily, eager to please. "Find me a map, and a couple of pints of the green stuff." Narus looked pleased, much to Stalium's surprise. What was the green stuff? Siero answered for him.

 

"If you really are Narus, you must be gagging for some of this. Just in case you're not though, I'll tell you what it is and see how keen you are to drink it. The green stuff is a highly addictive potion designed by Selain himself. It gives us better reflexes, higher concentration levels and greater stamina. It is also highly addictive, so it makes sure you can't run away from us, as we are the only source of it for miles around. Even if you aren't Narus, you will have to follow us once you've drunk, or you'll get no more. The withdrawal symptoms are very, very nasty and eventually fatal. Understand?"

 

Narus sneered. "The question is irrelevant."

 

Siero smiled. "For your sake I hope so, because if you turn out to be a hoaxer giving us wrong information you shall die a horribly long and painful death."

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Saii, are you planning to finish this story? Haven't seen you around for a while...

 

-Lyn-

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Yeah I am, though I may take a fair bit longer to do so (got a job and other commitments which are taking up alot of my spare time atm). Bewar with me I'll try and write some more next week.

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Narus wasn't a hoaxer. Stalium was forced to listen while he waited for a clean shot. The traitor kneeled comfortably at the fire, regailing Siero with stories of his work. Names would crop up that Stalium could recognise, those of friends, of family. The old chief raged silently at Narus' half-blocked body.

 

Stalium crept to the left a little, trying to work his way around the broad back of one guard to get a clear shot at Siero. At this point killing Narus would serve only as revenge. The spy had no secrets left to give. Siero on the other hand... The Orchans seemed to rely heavily on his judgement. The fat warlord's head would be a fine recompense for this night's work. Siero was concealed by the shadow of a large tent, but drew heavily on a pipe, which periodically lit his face red.

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Stalium drew a breath, and centred himself. Every puff of the pipe, he aimed a little closer, until he was sure of his shot. He let his breath and his arrow go at the same time, seeming to rend the air with a loud fssshhht. He didn't wait to see if he had hit his target, and turned and ran, careless now of the twigs that cracked and spat around him. He ran by sight and smell alone, closing his ears to the distracting noises coming from behind him.

 

Only one Orchan managed to block his path as he reached the treeline at the bottom of the hill, rising from behind a tree with a pike in its hand. Stalium drew his bow as he galloped, nocked and fired an arrow at the figure just as it prepared to swing. He was rewarded with a scream of pain, but as he charged through in the pitch dark, his haunch was torn open by the Orchan's half-hearted thrust.

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He stumbled, rolling clear of the bushes into full view of every nearby sentry. A rush of shouting and anger rushed to his ears as he tried to get up, and already arrows were falling just short of him. Stailum pushed to his feet with a grunt of pain, and ran on as fast as he could. Even wounded, he was more than a match for the speed of the pursuing Orchans, and pushed on until he had reached some cover in a rocky outcrop several miles away.

 

He rested for perhaps an hour, wrapping his wound and eating his small pack of provisinos, before he caught the faint clop of a hoof on stone, mere yards away. His nose told him nothing more than his opponent must be upwind.

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"So you are versed in the hunter's art Narus." he declared loudly "Are you skilled with a bow, too?" A low snarl told him he wasn't mistaken in his guess. He smiled slightly and turned to where Narus was hiding, behind a craggy rock which cast long shadows in the slowly rising dawn. The shine of a sharpened arrowhead jutted out slightly from behind it, and a pair of golden eyes glared down on him.

 

"You seem calm for one who is about to meet Centau Stalium." Narus' eyes narowed, and the arrowhead steadied. Stalium could just pick out through the darkness the mark of arrow wounds, and a slickness one the stone floor beneath. Narus breathed hoarsely. "They decided I was a spy when you loosed that arrow at Siero. I need to bring back your head or I will be dead before the week is out."

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