Interlude: Those Who Slither in the Dark

Kronya looked down at the grass at her feet and wondered how much blood she had spilled getting away from the riffraff before Edelgard and Monica threatened to finish her off. Normally she, one of whom Fódlan’s rumor mills euphemistically called “those who slither in the dark”, would have no trouble slipping quietly away without a trace. Perhaps that was why they chose that nickname for people like her, Myson, and their master, Solon…they needed something that sounded sinister and threatening to remind them of how weak they were.

The Remire mission was a lot bolder than the ones she was used to. Before, all she had to do was find a target, make them “disappear” by any means necessary – preferably with one of her favorite knives – and leave before the inevitable chaos erupted. This time, the chaos was the lead-in, and she was to sneak into the village while their “experiments” attacked the villagers. Was it supposed to be a scare tactic? A show of force? A calling card to announce their presence to the world? It didn’t matter to Kronya, so long as she got to do what she loved best.

But then she showed up…

Seeing a perfectly healthy Monica von Ochs as a member of the defense force made Kronya almost hurt her teeth from grinding them so hard. After all she had done to break the girl’s spirit – slapping her, punching her, kicking her, stabbing her, mocking her very existence, and then doing the same to all of the other prisoners around her to crush any hope she had of escaping – it irritated her to no end that her highest-profile victim had now eluded and attacked her twice.

She considered herself fortunate that the villagers were unable to follow her blood trail without using torches or magic. If they were able to see in the dark without them like she could, she was as good as dead. When she heard footsteps approaching her from behind, she reached for the dagger she used against Monica and turned around, stopping short of drawing it when she saw Myson’s silhouette. “Did anyone else see you?” she asked.

“One would hope not,” said Myson. “I had to stop along the way to bury a few bodies.”

Kronya blinked so that she could see her partner more clearly. “What are you grinning about? You do realize that we got our heads handed to us again, don’t you?”

“Even in defeat, you can learn something valuable about your enemy. With that in mind, you must have plenty of intelligence on the red-haired one by now.”

Kronya stood up and punched Myson in his left arm. “Oh, shut up.”

“It seems they are all guided by the one with the Fell Star’s sword. Removing her from the picture will be difficult. At least the one with the cursed voice will no longer be a hindrance to us.”

“What about Skull Boy?”

“He is also no longer relevant. Let the so-called Flame Emperor deal with that one.”

Kronya walked forward, keeping her left arm on her stomach to hide the slash mark on her clothing and keep more blood from spilling. The rustling of dead leaves under their feet made it hard for Myson to make room for a teleportation circle without making too much noise, but he tried to move some of the leaves out of the way to avoid taking anything unnecessary back with him.

“Don’t you have anything in that book of tricks of yours to stop me from bleeding out?” asked Kronya.

“No,” Myson said bluntly as the first circle lit up the ground. “Once we return to the lair, you can recuperate all you want. When you awaken, you’ll forget that wound was even there.”

“I wish we didn’t have to use these circles all the time. They give off too much light.”

A second, smaller circle appeared in the dirt inside the first one. Kronya stepped to Myson’s right side to avoid getting left behind.

“A small price to pay for expediency,” he said. “It is time for us to leave this rat-infested town behind and give our report to Lord Solon.”

“I am not looking forward to that.”

As the spell to transfer them out of the forest activated, Myson prepared to think of a way to approach Solon without sounding like they had suffered a total loss. Kronya, on the other hand, was still fixated on finding a way to get to Monica and getting rid of her forever.

She did not want to be denied a third time.

%d bloggers like this: