The Hunt
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blood between my fingers
the eyes of the prey, closing in death
the sisters moons taking the colors

CHAPTER 1: THE HUNT

The animal was very close, he sensed it with every fiber of his body. Its scent was vague and indefinite but nothing could really escape him – the slight trail of the animal path was almost glistening before his eyes, as he took a jump and with an agility that other skeksis could never muster, crawled fast on the tree, for a better view.

The tracking already warmed him up, making his heart pound in his chest in a frantic manner, a sign of elation, that he never mastered to control fully. He could even loathe the way his blood was hitting his head in a frenzy if it wasn’t making him more alert most of all, felt good.

The hunt, the almost sacred rite of blood, catching him slowly but insistently in its claws, marking his mind and soul, making him feel alive.

He stopped, sniffing silently in the air.

Yes, it was there. Not the biggest. Not the most armed. But he knew one should never underestimate a greidon. He hunted on them before, now was the third time.

Silently running through the canopy of leaves, supporting himself on all fours and aiding with minor arms, which held on the smaller branches, the Hunter minimalized the distance between him and the animal.

Good as a challenge.

Good to kill.

Good to satiate the hunger for a thrill.

The animal had acute senses because it started to look around, inhaling the air and baring the fangs, which were sharp and deadly for an untrained hunter. Even skekMal had no certainty that he will go from this hunt unharmed. And these moments he was living for.

His green eyes shone in the darkness as he observed his prey, narrowing them, to make them less detectable. His tail already was moving in impatience as he looked the greidon returning to the water spot, slowly lowering its head and slurping the cold liquid.

There was some kind of serenity in this scene, and he was part of it. Part of Thra. Killing this beast will give him more life, more power, and more strength. And he will again prove himself, ready to fall asleep in the embrace of the thought that he is unbeatable.

He jumped on the ground when the animal stopped to drink. His tail hit loudly into the soil, his leg talons burying in the damp earth, his major arms supporting him.

“Nowhere to run” he hissed, knowing that the animal has plenty of maneuvers but he probably uses only a few of the possible ways. And indeed, greidon, seeing the small yet innately dangerous predator in front of himself, roared in fury and threw itself in the Hunter.

skekMal made a sharp and short laugh at that. When the animal’s long tail waved to cut him off his feet, he lunged back, making it hit just in the place where he stood. That made greidon even more furious and it entered the attack mode. The beast was so fast that skekMal barely was dodging its moves and clawed paws, but he insistently was keeping the distance, wanting to tire it and make it even more furious from the futile attempts to remove him off its way.

Greidon was terribly fast, though. One of the clawed paws hit him in the arm, making a deep jagged cut in it. skekMal roared in anger but didn’t allow it to distract him. He was in the center of the action and he couldn’t pay it more attention. Pulling the two blades, he attacked the beast directly, and soon, the tired and shocked greidon was faced by the wounded yet terribly fast and agile creature, armed in cutting weapons, teeth, and claws.

The water stop gained red color as the blood started to flow from wounds, both of skekMal and the animal. The Hunter received a mark on his back, his skin pulled apart by the deadly and long talons of the beast. But skekMal was restless in his pursuit and attacking the greidon with all six limbs, he managed to cut the flow of the air from the beast’s throat. Choking and spitting bloody saliva, greidon fell just on the Hunter, who was so clung to it that it looked like they were one creature rather than two.

skekMal was buried into the ground by the heavy animal but didn’t loosen his grasp. Suffocating the beast, pressing his legs to its stomach and digging holes in it with his claws, he choked the greidon, his muscles tensed and his breath ragged.

Feeling as the beast weakens, he lunged with his beak on the neck of the animal and biting it hard, he tore the flesh with his teeth, the animal howled wildly and Hunter’s voice meets it’s as they still remained pinned as one by skekMal’s grasp.

The animal started to slowly fall into trance out of blood loss and the lack of air. skekMal’s taloned hand grasped harder into the wound he made with his teeth and squeezed so tightly, that the beast tossed manically and fell next to him, almost dead.

It was then when he heard a summon horn.

His left forearm bleeding, his back torn to a flesh, skin coming from the wound, like peeled. His eyes unfocused, his mind trailing off the path. He looked at the hunted animal, that was still breathing, though its almost white eyes looked as much unfocused, as Hunter’s. Grunting in pain, he took the blade.

“Summon… horn…” he growled, then, leaning over the beast, the beast he slew, not without costs, he moved closer to its muzzle and grinning and breathing in the scent of his prey, he slid the animal’s throat with one swift move. The beast tossed delicately, almost like in sleep, and then, turning the white of eyes at skekMal, it gave the last breath.

The Hunter fell into a sitting position, trying to gather thoughts and cope with the pain of the wounds he got. That was a good hunt. Now… now… he needs— he needs to bandage them… he must bandage them and use kisen moss and faptanth…

“The summon horn” a hiss escaped his beak, as he tried to drag himself into standing position. Better for him— he has a good reason….“

But he couldn’t refuse THIS summoning. He knew who called him. And, after all, he was as loyal, as any other skeksis couldn’t ever be.

Yet now… he must put himself back together. skekSo will need to wait. He probably even suspects the Hunter won’t appear at once. He never appeared at once.

There was one more thing that he needed to do, though. He grasped the knife harder, causing the muscles of the tired hand to protest. His blade sank into the flesh of the fallen prey, tearing a long, sharp fang from the gum. Looking at the trophy, the Hunter grinned. He was a victor, once again. Wounds will hurt but the scars will remind him about it, every time he touch them or sees them. The howl of pride bubbled in his throat, yet didn’t resound; still grinning, skekMal dragged himself into the forest, to search for the only creature that was able to help him after an intense hunt.

CHAPTER 2: OLD FRIEND

The trail of blood followed the steps of the Hunter when he entered the territory, where he really shouldn’t be. Not because it was dangerous, but because he promised to himself to never return here. The Greater Sun was already creeping on the sky, which shimmered with gold haze and radiant blue. skekMal lifted his head for a moment, to allow it to be washed by its warmth. The previous struggle with the hunt clashed with the current serenity and he felt himself relax. It was maybe the foolish thing to break his promise, his oath. But who doesn’t bend, cracks, like an old tree after the storm.

The slight touch of the sunbeams on his wounds almost didn’t put him into a trance, shutting his eyes slowly, making him slower, less observant, more eager to just stop and enjoy the soft caress.

But… Blood. Blood is everywhere and he must watch his consciousness. He was above that. He was stronger than that.

He felt as the warm fluid marks his skin, when the wound pushed another portion of it, probably from the effort, and he couldn’t but scoff angrily at that. He hated being so weak. But the animal, the cursed greidon, got it far worse. Lifting the trophy he gained, he looked at the fang he tore by himself from the mouth of the beast. He will make it into a necklace soon. Which joins other difficult kills on his neck or belt.

Narrowing his green eyes, he stepped into the shade, to allow the cooler air to embrace him. He hoped he won’t meet his other half in the valley he was aiming to. The half, who would wish his death, if he wasn’t bound with him with vines harder than friendship, harder than love. Even harder than mutual soul. Yes, everything urVa was, was harder, at least for him.

His talons kicked the earth under his feet when he felt as searing pain goes through his spine and tears his flesh between his shoulders. Inhaling the air with a loud and sharp hiss, he gazed at his own fluffed hair, which, stained with additional blood, stood from his back in a jutting way.

“Curse it” he growled and pressed the wound on his hand tighter with his palm. This was a good hunt but costed him too much. Tearing the next portion of his robes, knowing they are not clean enough to be put directly on the cutting, he pressed his fangs harder and exposed the most afflicted places, to inspect them better. This looked ugly. Ugly enough to find this damn jester healer fast.

The sun still caressed his face and scarce hair on his head, while his mask hanged against his belt and bounced with every effortful step he took.

*

The valley beamed with odd silence, which distressed the Hunter as soon as he appeared there. Peace was always keeping him alert, life is thriving and struggling, tearing the life from the throat of the world with all claws at once, not laying in the sun with exposed belly, drinking fermented berry juice and chanting.

But skekLi didn’t do anything of the above. He was standing there, hands stained with clay, and formed something that seemed leftover after Ornamentalist’s work.

“Hunter,” skekLi didn’t even look at him, still working. His long hair was beaded and held upright with a small pin, his robes, in contrast to his previous, castle garment, which was colorful, were grey and stained with the same clay, the skeksis had on hands.

skekMal didn’t respond. Between the two, there were almost no words, no sympathy even. It was raw, like songs the Satirist was singing in the castle, and which caused his banishment.

“You always come when you are wounded.”

skekMal scoffed.

“You ONLY come when you are wounded.”

“I don’t have time for the words plays with you.”

“Yes. Yet you always come when you are in need. My company is useful, then” grinned skekLi. “One could think that the years spent in the castle would make me immune to your indifference, yet I waited for you.”

The Hunter lifted his brow higher, his expression inquisitive and almost curious.

“You don’t care, that’s of course fine. But we both are children of the Thra, me because I was sent into oblivion, but you chose it. You don’t care about life in the castle. I, on the contrary, WOULD WISH I could not care.”

“Gnnn. Keep your poetry for someone who wants to listen to it.” skekMal spoke with feigned anger but he saw that skekLi smiles at it, so apparently, the jester was not as foolish, as he sometimes pretended to be.

skekLi fastly inspected Hunter’s wounds, slowly moving behind his back and when seeing the raw cut on it, he hissed in worry, pressing his fingers to the jagged edges.

“It doesn’t look good, skekMal. When you learn that not every hunt shall be continued?”

“There is ONLY the hunt.” barked the wounded skeksis. “Nothing keeps me away from that. It’s my life.”

“Yes, I know your credo. But you know something? For me, it’s stupid and misleading and done more harm than any good. Don’t look at me like that. I am not taking away your toys.

skekMal shed his hand from his back at these words but Satirst has already seen that he is weakened and only stands because of his natural stamina and strength.

“I don’t even dare to think what would happen to it, if you managed it by yourself, as you often do.”

“I am not a fool. Don’t test me, skekLi” skekMal gritted his fangs together, his eyes shone with the promise of something almost as anger.

“Of course. Come. We will clean the blood and bandage it. You probably thought already about kisen moss?”

The glint in Hunter’s eyes told him that yes. Of course.

CHAPTER 3: THE MEANING OF LIFE

Flying high, the kadral yoiks
Rakkida howls and san tangles shine
Nature rumbles and never sleeps
At darkness blooms, on the day it sings

Before his eyes, shapes appeared, woodlike, bonelike, the world in the palm of his hand. The trees were bending their ashen branches over him and the air screamed, howled, the gale was coming. He felt weightless. Like he wasn’t himself but rather a creature of another being, of another world. His mind flew through the dimensions the destination of the lost star called him.

It felt… it felt… it felt WRONG.

Effortfully, he opened his eyes, which were like glued to his eyelids. His mind fluttered for a few more seconds until the Hunter managed to settle himself in reality.

“YOU” he groaned in pure unadulterated anger, his body protesting against his violent movements. He sat fastly on fresh bedsheets, then gazed at his flank, were a thick bandage pressed his wounds – the same on his arm and back. He felt like a fizzgig, coated in soft material.

urVa looked at his counterpart slowly, in his eyes something not unlike amusement, as much as it could happen with an urRu. But it was HIS urRu. urVa would go after him through rain and fire, to stop him, if the situation made him think it’s right way. That’s why his other half was the only urRu he respected… and loathed, at the same time.

“You can’t blame me for trying,” said slowly urVa.

skekMal made a low murmur with his throat and managed to stand on his feet, his tail thumping loudly on the ground.

“You are still weak, skekMal. You went too far. If that meant you took the right path, but no.”

skekMal felt as unwanted snort leaves his nostrils.

“You and skekLi are worth of each other. Contemplating life and the planet. Searching meaning where only the law of nature is valid. I told that to the jester already, but I have no time for this.”

urVa sighed deeply, like in worry, but for skekMal, who knew him like no one, it was obvious he laughs from him. The hair on his back stood straight, fluffing almost into the rageful canopy.

“I didn’t ask for your help” the Hunter stood straight, towering over always bent urRu. The skeksis knew, though, that his other half has many others means to oppose him, much more deadly and dangerous than his own claws and fangs.

“You wanted to die then?”

It was a question, yes, but skekMal felt an ominous realization in this. Has he pursued death? The skeksis feared to die, trying to be eternal for all cost, and believing it will happen like the single belief could assure their immortality. skekSo literally threw him this concept straight into face, making the Hunter laugh and mock him. What is life without death? Only stagnant existence.

The thrill, the danger, it was what defined life for him. If he would be running away, all life, how could he call it life, even?

“You know the answer perfectly” hissed skekMal, again tensing his muscles, and testing his flank, to see if he can venture to the castle of the Crystal with honor, not as barely healed creature, that needs pity.

“You won’t like what he tells you, skekMal,” said eventually urVa. “But you need to know to choose.”

“As always, talking with riddles. He is the only one that understood me, for trines.”

urVa didn’t reply. There was no need. skekMal knew perfectly that skekSo grew even more power-hungry, even more, frail on the mind, even madder. His ways were blurred, that’s why the Hunter told him, he won’t reply any call from him, not now, not in the future. He was breaking his own promise, another one this day, once again. Out of stupid sentiments, and yes, stupid loyalty.

“Where is the jester” he barked, annoyed.

“You two have so many things to talk about. I prepared the herbs.”

At these words, skekMal smiled, the first time in a long time, his scarred features forming into the terrible equivalent for a grin. What was he always could count on was soothing herbs in the hand of his counterpart and strange calm before the storm, in the eye of the hurricane.

Whatever he will acknowledge today, he won’t be unprepared. The last events, in the caves of Grot, in the Sog, all showed a big change is coming. If skekSo won’t see it, if he wants to stop him, he will defy him.

He wouldn’t be himself, if he didn’t want to be in the center of it, fighting for what he wanted to stay in this world.

The hunt must continue and these words never held so much meaning.

*

A few hours later, a single figure ran through the valley, the last rays of the Dying Sun were caressing his hair, the wind blew and his cloak was fluttering as he jumped through the clearing, the last free spirit of the skeksis kind, the wounds not bothering him, his head cleared and his target set. Until he disappeared in the thick green and aimed at the Castle of the Crystal.

urVa was following his departure, a sad but calm smile on his face, yet deep worry deepening his already marked face.

“Do you think he will choose the right path?” asked skekLi, joining him. urVa smiled at him with the same grave expression, his eyes’ shine dwindling as he replied.

“I am afraid that the hunt will have to stop. But it’s skekMal. He can be better than that. He knows what he should do, but he will have to choose. And that’s what he was always bad at.”

CHAPTER 4: LONG LOST

“Chamberlain gratulates Gourmand. Hmmm, good feast, filling and satiating.”

skekVar gazed angrily at skekSil, in the same moment, he uttered his praise. The Scroll-Keeper peered above the arm of the Ornamentalist, to catch first if these two do quarrel again. It was a well-known fact that the General loathed the slyness of the Emperor’s right hand and it was more than amusing to watch their tussles. One day someone loses a limb and it will be as painful as stupid.

skekEkt hit the small pickle with his fork and lifted to his beak, examinating it.

“What’s this?”

The Gourmand was first to explain, not only because he was the creator of those but also it was another well-know fact that he liked Ornamentalist on a very professional level.

“A new form of a pickle!” rumbled the fat skeksis, patting the table with content. “Made of rasbos leaves and the curoa fruit. Try it! You will like it, hehe.”

“Ah, Curoa fruit!” skekEkt daintily put the pickle into his beak, closing his eyes with delight.

“This feast makes the example of the skill of our Gourmand, hmm, he should do more lavish creations as these one” Chamberlain served another compliment, which this time made skekVar snort in a very obvious way.

skekSil smiled oily at the him, his handkerchief dabbing at his beak, to clean it from invisible crumbs.

“General angry, hmm?”

“Shut up” skekVar snorted again.

“General not happy from the essence, hmm? Not happy from good feelings in his strong limbs?”

skekVar blinked and then, hit the table with an open hand.

“Shut up!”

skekSil narrowed his eyes with amusement but added nothing.

“With the essence, a good amount of it, we could basically be immortal” skekOk played with his glasses, which he didn’t need know. The gelfling juice made him not only younger but also stronger and a bit more clever – that’s how he calculated. His sight also improved, to perfection.

Observing the gathering of his own kind, he was already writing a possible chronicle, in which he described in all glory the Scientist’s genius and the strength he felt now in his arms and legs. Funnily, he never was that strong in his youth. The essence was strikingly effective.

“I heard the Beast Master comes back soon” cooed skekEkt, cleaning his hands in the bowl of water. “I never am tired of his stride and grace!”

“Hmm”

“Now you lost your words!” skekVar grabbed the leg of a granniak and tore a pile of well-cooked meat from it. “If there is someone who can knock you of, it’s skekUng!”

“Chamberlain is a mere servant of the great Beast Master” bowed skekSil, his eyes undeciphered.

skekOk giggled silently. He was shocked that the Emperor didn’t interfere already. Usually, he hated the fights between those two and was silencing every quarrel before it escalated. He gazed upon skekSo. He was sitting silently, with a lifted fork with a slice of a sea slime on it and wasn’t eating, just staring on the table with a blank expression.

There was a rumor that the Emperor didn’t feel well lately but he looked as young and rejuvenated as all of them. Scroll-Keeper didn’t dare to ask him, of course. That could mean a punishment, and he was wise enough to not share the fate of the Scientist or Slave-Master.

The Ritual Master ate slowly, chewing precisely. He was probably the only one not affected by the latest joy, of course aside from the Emperor.

skekOk never deciphered the true nature of his fellow yet he gladly joined his allegiance, when given a chance. skekZok was a powerful ally and a dangerous opponent.

“Sire!” exclaimed skekVar, turning to him. skekOk stopped observing their tussle yet it slammed him into reality, as skekSil obviously outnumbered the General in brain cells and now was insulting him directly. That never happened, when skekSo was present.

The Emperor lifted the blank eyes on his advisor and the General, his hand, sweated and trembling, was holding a scepter like it was the last thing that divided him from the oblivion. The Chamberlain stopped immediately, bowing as deep as he could. It sank even into skekVar, who put his hands on his chest and lowered head silently.

But skekSo didn’t say anything and it was, in the current state of euphoria, like a cold shower in the already freezing weather. All the skeksis stopped chattering.

The Emperor stood slowly, for a moment his hand wandered around General’s shoulder but in the end, redrew and skekSo slowly, stiffly, left the feasting chamber.

“Hmm, the General displeasing his imperial highness…”

“Shut up” exclaimed skekVar effusively.

All of the skeksis lost their good moods. If their Emperor so evidently shows his weakness and is troubled to such an extent to just leave the feast without any word… skekOk exchanged looks with the Ritual Master, who slowly, shook his head in denial.

The essence gained a bitter flavor, after all.

*

skekSo slowly, carefully removed his metal beak protection. Even essence couldn’t stop the decay. His expression remained dark. The fools in the feasting chamber already plot behind his back. But it wasn’t the disease that rendered him so vulnerable. Not pain or the Darkening that he still tried to use, even if he felt it ruins him.

He called the Hunter and he will come.

He always was coming, even if it took him days, even if he was wounded.
He once told him that he makes a solemn oath that he never return again. But in the end, he was always returning, which skekSo was considering his own private triumph.

Maybe they were different and the times of passion and close understanding were long gone. But he could talk to skekMal, still, reach his mind. Still reach his emotions.

If that was not a victory, then what was?

He still felt that skekMal is the only one who he can be totally honest with, his raw wording, and raw demeanor was in some way soothing and comforting, homely even. The times of peak of their bond were long lost, yet the feeling stayed – a good feeling of being in one room with someone, who knows you better than yourself, who knows you from inside and outside and it will never change, no matter how many things divided you.

But now, he had things to tell, that even skekMal could not accept. The beast more dangerous than him, more deadly and more toxic – his hands worked the black seam, and as much as the Hunter still… LIKED him, it may be too much for him to accept.

He always admired skekMal for his free mind. He was more simple in their youth, later, he grew wise and that was the trait that skekSo particularly was very fond of. Glimpses of a sharp mind and witty thought between rawness and quickness to anger, between the way of the Hunter and the way of his companion. Duality, that always worked on him better than anything in whole Thra.

He approached the northern window and standing there, he waited.
Waiting was the only option when skekMal was involved.

CHAPTER 5: CHOICES

He came when the midnight crept over the Crystal Castle. skekSo didn’t know if he brought the scent of his prey or he was wounded, the heavy scent of blood. It mingled with the leaves, soil and leather, the smells, he knew all well.

skekMal stood there, in the entrance to his chambers, in half prowling, how tired pose; the skeksis Emperor saw that his side and arm are bandaged. He didn’t have to ask who helped him, there were many healers from the Dark Forest to the Valley of the Mystics. He was almost sure that the Hunter would not tell him, if he asked, either way.

“You are wounded” it was not the best way to start a conversation, but skekSo, after skekMal eventually appeared, though, it’s better than nothing. At least that was not a false statement.

“Ghmp…” the Hunter left his spot between the frames and fastly approached, seemingly the injuries weren’t as hard as to stop his agile moves. skekMal got closer, his beak almost touching Emperor’s neck, which made skekSo back up a bit, until he allowed to be inspected. It could be a much worse thing, after all.

skekMal’s eyes looked like black crevices when he retorted.

“You smell of rot, skekSo.”

The Emperor didn’t even know if that was an insult or stating a fact, probably the second. skekMal could sense a decay – or anything, basically – much more precisely that any of his kin.

“I didn’t call you to hear mockery from you, Hunter” he stated, half relieved that his own frail state was found sooner than later.

“It’s not mockery. It’s a fact. I never mocked you and I won’t start doing it now.”

the Hunter started to circle skekSo, eyeing him like a new prey. skekSo remembered, how many of their “plays” were starting from skekMal hunting on him.

“I called you, Hunter. Not for idle talks. You were never fond of them, as I remember.”

skekMal’s throat bubbled with low laughter.

“You call me, when the rain falls, when the sun scorches the ground and when trees change leaves… why it would hold more sense, now, when you are d y i n g?”

skekSo’s eyes turned alit with deadly light.

“You say you don’t mock me. I hear pure mockery.”

skekMal halted just behind skekSo’s back and his beak leaned on Emperor’s shoulder. skekSo tensed, and for that, that was what the Hunter wanted, probably.

“Trailing off the well-know path is always dangerous…” he purred.

“You know it best from us all.”

“Heh. I am the danger that awaits on the unattended paths. I never regretted that I left this castle, to live as I want.”

“Far from my reign, yes?”

“Far from your bitchy moods, rules imposed by your sacred moron and rituals and feasts which I value even less than skekSil’s whimpers.”

skekSo’s couldn’t not snort with amusement at this comparison. Stil feeling skekMal’s head on his arm, he allowed himself to drift into the past, when they were young, vigorous, healthier and held much more esteem for each other, than nowadays. All of them were more… well, more. All of them were m o r e.

He was caught in between the memory of skekMal, who was pinning him to moss ground in the forest, whispering into his ear and the reminiscence of his own rich plumage, colorful hair, like a gossamer.

“It’s painful. I know” skekMal barked, waking him from this daydream. “But you didn’t call me for that. Not now at least.”

His head detached from Emperor’s shoulder and skekMal leaned over the open northern window. His tail thumped steadily over the stone floor as he sat on the windowsill.

skekSo inhaled the air. It entered his lungs forcefully, and he already knew, it will be much worse.

“Yes, I am dying. You were right, I am r o t t i ng. The decay came from the pits, from the depths of the Thra. Have you hea—“

“Oh yes. The whole land is sick. I saw many things during my travels. But I guess, you were the first, yes?”

“I feed on its energy. But it feeds on mine.”

skekMal’s tail moved now in a faster rhythm. It didn’t run skekSo’s attention.

“You want my help? Better go to skekUng. Or even urIm, if you don’t trust your own subjects, though I would not suspect the treason from the thick head.”

“I need…” skekSo’s voice became raspy. “I need your help… to catch something… to hunt…”

The Hunter’s eyes were sliding over Emperor’s frame, it was clear for him, that his ruler will break this night. In his presence, either because he trusted him, in some own wicked way, or because of old sentiment. He didn’t want to witness it.

He gazed into the sky, dark and highlighted by violet tint.

“A hunt. Maybe. If a hunt can bring you health, which I doubt.”

“LOOK!”

skekSo, with one swift move of a hand, removed his metal beak protection, revealing the messy flesh, decayed and dripping of liquid. His hand caught skekMal’s.

“I need gelfling” he rasped. “A lot of gelfling. Only you can catch that many. The others don’t have your strength, don’t have your mind. HUNT for me, skekMal. Hunt them A L L.”

The Hunter only for a moment seemed disconcerted by this outburst. He again came closer, his hand, almost in a delicate way touching his rotting beak. The Emperor didn’t move, even if it had to hurt.

“I would lick your wounds if it was about to bring you to life. But. NO.”

“Gelfling are a little comparing to the gain!” wheezed skekSo. “All skeksis rejuvenate and we can live forever…”

“I came as close to Thra, as our kind could. There is no place for this sickness” growled skekMal, his arms tensed, whole body alert. “I F you all want to bring it on ourselves, do it on your o w n.”

His head made the last contact with skekSo, fast, fleeting but strong forehead press, but then, again, the Hunter left. Fast, like a ghost.

skekSo balled his fists, not even looking back at him, knowing he can’t track him, he can’t force him and he can’t m a k e him to help him.
His breath hissed in his throat as he put both hands on the pane of the window. And howled in impotent rage and frustration, and anger, and fear.

*

The skeksis. Powerful in the past, beautiful, feathers blooming with colors.

Now, a dying race.

If the gelfling could stop that, he would help him, he would do that for his own kind.

But he knew, it’s not even a small part of a solution.

He would need to stop feed on the energy he brought to his own veins.

But that wasn’t an option, not now, when he went that far.

There will be a battle, there will be grief and pain, and he will help him, t h e m, but NOT in this way, not by the feeding the wild beast that already was out of leash…

//   Article written by skekMal  //