|Bounty x Hunter
Author: Jax Creation PM
The Crossroads Bounty Hunter is famous for taking down the most dangerous of marks, so when Roland is captured he expects to end up in a cell. But Eliah has no intention of cashing in on his bounty; the immortal Aeonari are being slaughtered and Roland's going to help find the man responsible, even if she has to tie him up and drag him along. [Comedy / Action / Romance]Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 7 - Words: 17,022 - Reviews: 66 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 20 - Updated: 06-05-13 - Published: 10-16-12 - id: 3065981
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Royal Bomber
Myra swallowed and gripped the skirt of her robes with pale, trembling fingers. Her chest tightened. Her heart raced. "You're an assassin," she said quietly, struggling to keep her voice from crackling as she backed up against the wall.
Morinth followed her, her right hand steady as she kept her knife pressed against the girl's neck. Her red eyes gleamed as she locked the compartment door behind her with a click. "Well aren't you clever, kitten," she sneered. "Did the knife give me away, or was it the speech?"
Myra just shook her head as pressure in her chest grew. She couldn't breathe. Her entire body was shaking now. It felt like her heart was going to explode out of her ribcage.
She was losing it.
"Just give in…" whispered a cold, callous voice in the back of her subconscious. She shook her head and tightened her grip on her skirts until she could feel her fingernails digging into her palms through the material. Slowly she forced a question out from between her lips. "Who sent you?"
Morinth smirked. "I'm afraid that's a secret, dearie… but she gave me a message for you." Myra flinched as the woman leaned in close. Breathing heavily against Myra's ear, the assassin licked her lips and hissed, "You should have never been born."
Myra froze. Her blue eyes went wide. Her heartbeat throbbed in her ears. The pressure in her chest felt as if it were going to crush her at any moment. The tiny bones in her fingers felt like they were going to break as her tremors became violent shakes. She could feel the air crackling. Any moment now and she'd lose control.
I must not give in… She closed her eyes and chanted the words like a mantra. I must not give in… I must not give in—
Pain flared as the dagger dug deeper into her skin. A trickle of blood seeped down her throat. Her concentration vanished; the container keeping the pressure in her chest under control burst.
Cold, malicious laughter echoed inside her head. "You lose."
"Any last words for my employer, princess?"
The blade's edge cut deeper still.
"Just three…" Very slowly, she released her skirts and wrapped her fingers around the assassin's arms.
Morinth jerked back in surprise.
Myrathina chuckled. Her ice blue eyes flickered and seemed to darken. A small, malicious smile spread across her lips as she hissed, "Go die, bitch."
The carriage was quiet, eerily so. Col frowned; he distinctly recalled it being irritatingly loud and crowded in the corridor earlier, what with children running underfoot while their parents canoodled in their compartments. Now the place was deserted and he could swear he could hear sobs coming from behind some doors.
What in Chrios's name is going on here?
"Come on, Jim, 'urry it up would ya!" The door to a nearby compartment rattled and slid open. Col's frown deepened as a scruffy-looking lad armed with a sabre stepped out and walked right into him. The youth blinked rapidly at him. "Eh? Wha'cha doin' out 'ere?"
Col ignored the question and without a word reached out to snatch the small sack in the lad's other hand. There was a loud jingle as coins, jewellery and the like tumbled from the burlap and onto the floor. His expression darkened.
Metal glimmered in the sunlight as the bandit lifted his sabre and pointed it at Col. "Now look 'ere, you. Get back in your compartment or else I'll—"
He was cut off by a loud, ringing clang and a jarring sensation that vibrated all the way up his sword and made his arm go numb. His sword dropped from his hand and he took several steps back as Col adjusted his grip on his own blade and glared down at the bandit.
The youth swallowed. "O-oi, Jimbo!" he yelled. "Get yer ass out here! We've got trouble!"
Roland grunted and parried as a bandit came at him with an overhand swing. He could see the edge of his sword chipping and cracking—too much more of this and the blade would probably break. He still had Siris's pistol but he didn't want to waste bullets on a small fry like this guy. Morinth was a dangerous woman, and he knew very well that this crudely forged sword would be practically useless if he ran into her. He cursed quietly; if only Eliah hadn't confiscated his knives and short sword when she'd captured him.
Distracted, he almost lost his balance as the bandit pulled away and stepped in for a sideways sweep. Shit. He moved to block it, but before he was even able to get his sword in position, a black shape loomed up behind the brigand and smashed him into a ground.
Roland scowled at Eliah as she dragged the bandit away and chained him to a compartment door. "I don't need your help, you know," he grumbled, kneeling to examine the fallen man's blade. It looked finer than the one he was carrying now. He gave it an experimental twirl and tossed his old one aside.
Eliah just scoffed. "Oh, please. In the time it would've taken for you to bring down that one man, I could have cleared the next carriage."
It was true. Even though she was fighting barehanded against swordsmen, Eliah had managed to knock down two or three opponents while Roland struggled with one—and then she'd swoop in and knock that one out too.
Swooping is bad… thought Roland grumpily. Unable to come up with a come back, he just shook his head and headed for the door to the next carriage—only to have it swing open and smack him in the face as he reached for the handle.
"Trickster's dice!" he cursed, almost dropping his sword as he clutched at his face. "Who the fu—?! Oh, it's you."
Col look down his nose at Roland and frowned. "Aren't you that black-cloaked shrimp's prisoner? What are you doing loose?"
"That's rude. I'll have you know that I take offence to that descript—" Roland stopped short as Col levelled the point of his sword at his face.
"Are you with the bandits?" demanded the mercenary.
"Seriously? I may be a criminal but I wouldn't be caught dead in the company of these halfwits. Besides, I'm just a common thief—highway work isn't my kind of thing."
"Really?" asked Col, brown eyes flashing dangerously.
Roland raised a hand in surrender. "Hey, no need to look all threatening-like. We're on the same team, a'right. The bounty hunter's right there." He turned around to point and flinched when he found Eliah standing right behind him. When did she—?
Eliah ignored him and narrowed her eyes at the mercenary instead. "What are you doing here?" she growled.
"Cleaning up the bandits—isn't that what you're doing?"
"Fool! What kind of bodyguard leaves his charge alone while there are bandits about?!"
Col shrugged. "They're just bandits. I already cleared out the carriage anyway."
"These men aren't just any bandits, they serve the Red Widow," hissed Eliah.
The mercenary blinked stupidly at her. "The… Red Widow?"
Roland rolled his eyes. This guy either lives under a rock or is exceptionally slow. "Morinth, the Red Widow. You know, rumoured to be the best and most expensive contract assassin in all the Mortal Realms. Any bells ringing yet?" The blank expression on Col's face said no. I'm beginning to think that maybe it's a little bit of both…
Col stared from Roland to Eliah. "You're not saying that there's an assassin on this train?"
The bounty hunter smacked him over the head. "Yes, idiot. That's exactly what we're saying, and I have a feeling that your little miss is the target."
The colour drained from Col's face as he turned heel and headed back the way he came. "I have to get back to the compartment."
"Ya think?" muttered Roland as he and Eliah followed after him.
Col gritted his teeth. "You don't understand. If that assassin really is after the princess then everyone on this train is in danger."
Roland froze. "P-princess?!" he repeated, flabbergasted. "As in of Valles?!"
"Don't ask useless questions," snapped Eliah, kicking the thief in the back to get him moving again. She glanced sidelong at Col. "What do you mean 'everyone else on this train in danger?'"
The mercenary clenched his jaw. "Actually, Myra is—" He stopped short as a dull, thunderous roar met his ears. "Oh, shit."
Roland frowned. "What—?"
He felt someone seize him by the shoulder and slam him onto the ground as an explosion ripped through the train with a shockwave of searing heat and flaming debris. When he looked up again, the end of carriage, and most of the passenger car attached to it, nothing more than a flaming wreck.
"THE FUCK WAS THAT?!" he yelled over the ringing in his ears. He tried to get up, but there was something heavy on top of him. He craned his neck to find Col pinning him down and promptly elbowed the mercenary in the stomach. "Get off me!"
"You little—! Is that how you thank someone for saving your life?"
"Gee, thanks for saving me. Now get off!"
"Ugh—you ungrateful bastard, stop that!"
The two men froze as a shadow fell over them. "I was going to ask if you're okay, but judging from the way you imbeciles are acting, I'm going to assume it's not necessary." They looked up to find Eliah scowling down at them with her arms folded across her chest.
Without a word, Col got to his feet and searched around for his sword.
Roland, however, stayed on the ground and propped one hand under his chin so that he could stare up at the bounty hunter.
"Why are you staring at me like that?"
"I want to know how you do it."
"Stay standing—or sitting even, when everyone else gets knocked on their asses. Heck, your hood doesn't even move."
She loured at him. "Does this really seem like the time?"
"Not really, but I thought I might as well ask anyw—ack!" His face collided with the floor as she put her boot on his head and pressed down. "I waff jufft afting…"
She ignored him and turned to Col. "I think you have some explaining to do."
She stood there in the centre of the wreckage, shaking uncontrollably. Her robes were scorched and stained with blood. The scent of burning rubble and roasted flesh pervaded the air.
Again… I did it again.
Myra dropped to her knees and threw up.
She'd blanked out for just a moment. She remembered the assassin pressing a knife to her throat, and then she'd whispered something and everything went red. The assassin was gone, but how many other people had she taken down with her? How many innocents had been caught in the blast?
A velvet voice whispered in the back of her mind as she sobbed, "There, there, my sweet. It's not your fault…"
No, I did it… We did it.
"Myra, Myra, Myra. Are you scared? You shouldn't be scared. I am you, and you are me; Myra and Myrathina. Myrathina and Myra. You and me. Me and you."
No, we are not the same.
"Tee hee. We are and we aren't. We aren't and we are. But I don't think you should be focusing on that right now…"
Fingers raked across her scalp and yanked her out from her subconscious. She looked up and found herself staring into a pair of frightening, blood red eyes. Morinth stood above her, a skeleton of charred flesh and bone. Most of her face was gone, as was her right arm, and there was a giant, gaping whole in the centre of her torso. Black slime seeped from her wounds, bubbling and twisting as it formed tender, fresh tissue.
Myra's eyes widened. How—? It was impossible—she should have been blown to bits. But here the assassin was, healing before her very eyes.
She watched, terror and disgust mingling with awe as the Red Widow's face slowly reformed, layer by layer. Those glossy red lips twisted into a mockery of a smile. "That's a nice little trick, you've got there, princess. But unfortunately for you, mine's better."
Myra gasped and went rigid as she felt the pressure return to her chest. No. Stop. You can't. No… n—
Morinth frowned as the girl's eyes suddenly glazed over and her body went slack. She shook her roughly by the hair. "Hey, don't die before I kill you. There's no fun in that."
A giggle escaped from the girl's lips. Her blue eyes snapped back into focus and locked onto Morinth's red ones. "I agree," said Myrathina with a cheeky little grin. "There's no fun in that at all~"
Roland: Is it just me or did this chapter seem to go in a circle? That, and is it just me, or did the little miss turn out to actually be really creepy? (O.o)
Myra: (;A;) U-um, are you referring to me?
(Myrathina: Of course he is. Let me out. I'll blow him up. Blow him into little bits. (*w*))
Roland: *sweatdrops* Uh, never mind, forget I said anything... (So creepy... TTnTT)
Col: (=_=) Princess, please control yourself...
Eliah: *facepalm* I'm surrounded by idiots... whatever, tune in next time to see the Red Widow get her ass kicked.
Myrathina: You mean blown off.
Roland: *points* (O.O)... THE CREEPY ONE IS HERE!
Myrathina: I'm gonna kill you!
Myra: Eeeep, nooooo!
(Myrathina: Dammit, Myra! Let me back out!)