Second Church Protectorate
Eldrid spat a piece of broken tooth from his mouth. The bitch had hit him with a pan! His beautiful wife, replete with dowry was bat-shit crazy. Over the last year she had accused him of an affair with an unidentified female, of hiding their life savings and most recently of trying to kill her. The local priest claimed that demonic possession was the only explanation, but having spent time with his wife’s family he was not so sure.
“Grow a pair,” she screamed, waving the grease-streaked implement wildly, “be a man and let me go!”
“The door is that way,” he mumbled, swiping the sleeve of his jacket across his mouth, “feel free.”
“You only want me for my money...”
“It’s your fucking father’s money,” Eldrid snarled, losing his patience, “and he can have it and you back. In fact I told him that last week. His answer was to laugh in my face. “Keep the money,” he said, “but for the Lord’s sake, don’t send her back!”.”
“Unfortunately not. Listen Castra,” he said more calmly, “keep the money and the house, in fact keep everything. Find someone else to torment. I’m out of here.”
She raised the pan again with murderous intent.
“Don’t,” he said, “you fooled me once. Trust me when I say that you’ll never do it again.”
Her eyes flicked to his right hand which played with the hilt of the knife at his belt. Castra seemed to decide that mental abuse would be a more healthy option, and began to recite her repertoire of his faults. Eldrid merely smiled as he packed a small bag, wondering at how easily a weight could be released from around a person’s neck.
“Bye Dear,” he called as he closed the door behind him, “missing you already.”
His laugh echoed in the corridor as he heard her retort, the words could no longer hurt him.
Second Church Protectorate
“Do you have the time?”
Eldrid looked up. A man barred his exit from the end of the alley. Behind him, he heard more footfalls. He had been expecting this.
A day spent in a tavern did not necessarily mean that he was drunk, but it was an easy mistake to make. In fact, although alcohol had passed his lips, it was only a means to aid his digestion, and in a small way to celebrate the end of his abusive relationship. For sure, no-one would have understood how a man as large as Eldrid could have suffered beneath Castra’s ministrations. She was petite, pretty and drew admiring gazes wherever she went. He, however, was easily overpowered by the scope of her anger.
His father lived by the tenet that any loss of control was a weakness, and had taught his children the necessity for a positive outlook in the face of adversity. Each new day brought joy and opportunity, although Eldrid’s choice of wife had been a bone of contention between them. They reached an agreed peace before his father’s untimely death, and Eldrid’s last private words, before the flames took his wasted body, had been ones of contrition.
It was therefore with a resigned smile that Eldrid stopped, relaxing his muscles for what he knew was to come.
“Sorry,” he said, “I’ve been a little preoccupied today and left my chrono at home.”
The man smiled back, his open mouth revealing blackened and twisted teeth. A quick glance over Eldrid’s shoulder revealed the presence of others.
“Castra says hello,” said the man, unlimbering what looked like a cosh of some sort.
“She never knows when to let something go,” responded Eldrid, “and now she has your blood on her hands.”
Surprise turned to shock as Eldrid threw his bag straight in the man’s face, following it with a snapped kick into his opponent’s groin. He span, blocking the overhand strike of another attacker. With a twist, he disarmed the man, continuing to exert pressure until he heard a bone snap. Now he used the second attacker’s momentum to spin him into a third, in whose hand he saw the glint of steel. Eldrid stepped forward, grasping hair and smashing his knee into a face. There was the crunch of bone and a satisfying scream of pain. All three men were confused, disoriented. Castra no doubt had told them of how weak and spineless was her husband.
He retrieved the dagger from the floor, deliberate in his movements. The blade was sharp and the skin around the third man’s throat proved of little resistance. Fear and pain greeted him as he turned to the second attacker. It was short-lived, the blade driven deeply into the man’s chest. He left it there.
“Castra always underestimated me,” he said conversationally as he retrieved his bag, in passing noting the small device emblazoned on the men’s tunics, “but in a way she has won. Now I must leave my home, this night’s work is too much even for her father to ignore. I would ask you to take her a message, but this will have to do.”
The cosh smashed into the groaning man’s temple, crushing bone. Eldrid probed with a finger and struck again. Satisfied, he turned away, whistling a tune as he headed for the main Port buildings.
Second Church Protectorate
Joshua David winced as the door to his study slammed open. He had no doubt who was making their entrance.
“Castra,” he drawled, “to what do I owe this pleasure?”
His nonchalance stopped her for a moment, but no longer.
“You cannot ignore this. He has besmirched my honour, demeaned me and embarrassed me in front of others. What are you going to do?”
He had in fact been considering his options before she had so rudely interrupted his thoughts. Eldrid’s message was clearly intended for both of them and he could not ignore it. Castra’s anger and precipitation had caused the death of three of his men and a created a slight that he needed to erase from the minds of his followers.
His words were clearly enunciated and cold. It was the latter which stopped her in mid tirade. She remembered the last time he had spoken in such a tone. Men died.
“Your whims and anger are no doubt my fault.” He said, “That, however, does not resolve our issue. You married a man beneath your station, tried to turn him into something he was not and forgot who he really was. Three men lie dead because of you.”
He held his hand up in warning as she drew breath.
“Heed my word, girl. One more stupid comment and I’ll have you dragged away and publically flogged. That is an embarrassment I am sure you will long remember.”
Castra bit her lip, eyes flashing, but held her tongue.
“Eldrid Wild is a soldier. He was trained to kill for us, to protect us and sow discord amongst our enemies. You tried to turn him into a noble, then berated and abused him when he did not live up to expectations. You tried to kill him, without my knowledge or permission. Have you forgotten where his family came from?
“Idiot girl. Be thankful he has left our planet. I must respond to his little message though, and so you will get your wish. He is a dead man. The order has been given. Now get out of my sight!”
King Joshua David watched her leave, triumph in her eyes. May the Great One keep me safe, he prayed, for Castra as Queen was a future he wished on no-one.
Last edited by Rayo Azul on 2012-12-13 12:14pm, edited 1 time in total.