Freshly fallen raindrops slid down the glass window of Danaush's hideout. His cloaked figure gazed out of windowpane, his watchful eyes hidden by the shadow cast by his hood. The feeling that they would arrive soon caused his stomach to flutter; but it was less a feeling of instinct and more one of common sense. No matter where he went on the continent, they were never far behind. He was, in every respect, a fugitive; however he was not too sure on exactly what crime he had committed, other than refusing to yield to her. But she was ruthless, and he knew that it would be a long time before she gave up.
Often, he would contemplate suicide as a means of escape; but every time he brought his sword- which name was Gladius- to his chest for that one finishing blow, he would remember that in killing himself he would only be giving himself over to her faster.
He could not let Snana win. No matter what, he was determined to be the victor.
She had been hunting him for almost a year by this point; and by the law of the world, he belonged to her. She wanted him badly, he knew it, and she had become relentless in her efforts to capture him. Nonetheless, every time she came close, he would manage to slip away. But the Goddess of Darkness was a hard one to avoid, and everyday Danaush had to face the certainty that one day Snana would catch up with him. However, that did not keep him from running.
He had never been able to figure out exactly why it was that she wanted him so badly. Other than the fact that he was an excellent sorcerer, Danaush did not think that there was anything all too special about him. But musings about Snana's intentions had a tendency to remind him of the fact that he had brought down his predicament upon himself; which was something that he did not want to be reminded of. He had allowed her to seduce him. He had allowed her to touch him. He had allowed her to taint him. The whole thing was his bloody fault. Why she wanted him did not matter; and the only thing that was relevant was the fact that she did want him.
To carry the taint was, by definition; to have been literally touched by Snana. It was said that once you were tainted, your soul became corrupted by Snana's evil. Not that Danaush could recall ever having felt evil; but for all he knew he could have been and not have realized it. But not all of the characteristics of the taint had been lost on him: the fact that he could see her demons, when others could not was a sign that it was still there. Only those touched by Snana's evil had the capability to see her creatures – for when a person without the taint looked upon them, there was nothing to be seen but air.
It was these same demons that followed him from place to place. No matter where he went, he was never able to shake them off. They were always around. They were his tormentors; and he knew that they would follow him to the ends of the earth for their queen. But knowing this did not make him want to give in; not just yet. He would not go over to Snana without a fight.
Sighing, Danaush got up from his chair, and walked over to the small bed that had been provided by the inn keeper. Danaush silently cursed the inn keeper for not providing him with a bigger one; due to his height, he knew that his ankles and feet would dangle off the end of the bed, and he would very likely have trouble going to sleep that night because of it. With the coming of the next day, he was going to be on the move again; and being tired wasn't going to help at all.
Over the past months, Danaush had grown accustomed to a life constantly on the move. With the demons on his trail, he had begun to consider himself lucky if he was able to stay in a town for more than seven days. Because of Bau Moins relatively small size, Danaush knew that it would only be about another two days before the demons picked up his scent and tracked him down; and after eight months on the run, he had learned that it was best to stay ahead of the demons instead of allowing them to catch up. Confrontations between him and the demons were always risky affairs, which often left him injured. Being injured made it harder for him to flee; and also made it easier for Snana's minions to catch up to him.
And thus, it was Danaush's intention to leave the next day at first light; but with a plan that was balanced on guesses and estimates, Danaush knew that he still needed to be on the look out for demons- just incase they had decided to arrive before schedule.
After glancing at the window one more time, Danaush proceeded to disrobe; slowly peeling off all of his black clothing piece by piece until his slightly muscular figure was in the nude. At that point- so that no one would walk in on him while he was naked- Danaush slipped into his bed and pulled white linen sheets over his nude body. And then, resting his head on the pillow, Danaush prayed for a good night's sleep.
Sunlight cascaded through the glass windows and into the young man's blue eyes; waking him from his slumber. Silently, Danaush cursed himself silently for waking up so late; for in his months spent on the run, he had accustomed his body to waking up before dawn. Leaping out of his bed, Danaush threw on his clothes as fast as possible, tied Gladius to his back, and then ran out the door.
The common room of the inn that Danaush was staying at was full of travelers and locals trying to grab a bite to eat before heading out for the day. Unfortunately, Danaush did not have the time to eat on this morning; and only took a minute to pause in the common room to hand the innkeeper a small gold coin, before he was on his way again.
Danaush pulled up his hood as he walked out the door, which effectively blocked the sunlight from reaching his eyes. Having become accustomed to coming and leaving before first light, Danaush had never given any thought to the reaction of the townsfolk to a stranger dressed in all black. And thus, he was surprised to have everyone passing by look at him as he left the inn. Silently, he told himself that if he ever had to flee by day again, he would come in normal attire; black only worked when it was night.
Fortunately, the stable yard was located right behind the inn; which made for a very short walk on Danaush's part. Upon entering, Danaush tipped the stable boy before sending him to fetch his horse, Night Rider. Just as his name suggested; Night Rider was black. Mounting his horse, Danaush and Night Rider walked out onto the town's cobblestone streets; the combination of a rider dressed in all black and a black stallion looking very much like death.
The town of Bau Moins was located in the heart of the land of Aey; a country which was located to the north west of Danaush's Selen. Bau Moins was in no way a dwelling of the wealthy; a fact made even more obvious by the stench and the grubbiness that were ubiquitous in the town. The town's streets were a bit too narrow to properly contain the town's many market goers, and made moving through them very difficult; especially in the morning time. Danaush found himself having a hard time pushing through these very same crowds; and the fact that he had a horse with him worsened matters, for he was unable to weave in and out of the traffic and was thus at the mercy of the crowd. And being at the mercy of a throng was the last thing that one wanted when they were trying to leave the town as fast as possible.
Ever since leaving the stable yard, Danaush had felt a sense of foreboding doom; which he had first suppressed, but found that he was no longer able to do so as time went by. Had the demons caught up with him already? Anxiously, Danaush looked around the crowd for any sign of Snana's minions.
That was when he saw it.
At first he hoped that his mind was playing tricks on him and that the dog covered in hideous red scales- which was standing on its hind legs-was not really there. But slowly as he progressed through the market crowd; more and more of these dogs appeared. It was obvious to Danaush now that the demons had caught with him once more.
Danaush turned Night Rider around, and tried to head back to the inn as fast as possible; for he knew that he could not battle the demons in broad daylight. He would have to wait until nightfall, so that way he would not seem insane and would not risk hurting someone who was not involved. If he could just get back to the inn before the demons caught sight of him, he knew he would be safe. If he could just get there fast enough…
One of the demons began to close in on him. Although Danaush refused to fight with them in the daytime unless it was absolutely necessary, there was nothing stopped the demons from attacking him. Danaush kicked Night Rider's side, in an attempt to urge his stallion to move faster, as he watched the mutated dog approach them. But after a few quick moments of though, Danaush realized that the demon was moving so slowly that he knew that it had to be teasing him. Either that, or it was pulling him into a trap. Demons were not stupid creatures.
A high pitched scream sounded behind him. Danaush turned his horse around just in time to see another demon lunge at him. Trying to relax at his moment of greatest peril, Danaush tried desperately to summon the fires necessary to destroy his foe. But it was too late. As soon as the blue-hot flames were about to leave his palm, the dog-like being collided with Danaush's shoulder and knocked him off of his horse.
Slowly, Danaush and the demon made their descent; and as soon as Danaush's head hit the cobblestone street, everything went black.
A/N: I know that the last part was a bit fast. By the way, this is a retro-edited chapter; meaning I went back after writing chapter fifteen of my story, and edited this chapter. This chapter is still not as good as I would like it to be, but this is the best I can do for now without totally rewriting it. I was also able to add about 425 more words to this chapter through editing!