Book VII Prologue
Hot, sticky blood drizzled from his hands as he gazed down at the corpse before him with a mix of shock, awe, and a numb, growing realization that he had actually done it.
There was certainly no instinct involved; it was a little training, a little desperation, and a sizeable helping of dumb luck that he'd even managed to find the thing, let alone managing to bring it down with little to show for it but a few bruises.
His muscles were burning and sore from overexertion and the fight; he took great, gulping breaths of air and waited for his heart to grow steady and slow again.
The night air was cool and refreshing, and he savored it as best he could before gazing down upon his former prey.
Prey was entirely the wrong word. He wasn't... he wasn't going to do anything with it.
Like eating it or something.
That would be...
The leupak lay before him in the crisp grass, teeth bared and eyes wide in death, multiple gashes torn through its sides and flank where dark blood and brilliant green venom oozed down into a sticky puddle beside it. It was a relatively plain one, he decided, with four eyes, four legs, and a stump of a tail that ended in a fork.
People always talked about how thick leupak skin was, but he hadn't expected to nearly bounce off of the thing in his initial charge; beyond toppling it over, the so-called attack had done little more than startle it.
Startling it had been enough to give him a chance for an opening, however. His target tumbled into the grass in shock, and he set upon the beast with the steel-clawed gloves he had been lended by his superiors.
The rubbery flesh was hard to puncture, but he had torn through it easily enough after taking a solid hold of the monster's nape in his own jaws (a useful tactic, brutal as it seemed to him in hindsight).
It had ended relatively quickly after that; he had simply flayed and slashed with all his might until he felt the leupak slump defeatedly beneath him.
It had been much simpler than he was expecting, all things considered.
But now, he wasn't completely certain he was proud of himself. He'd accomplished what he was certain would become a rescue mission at best, or his own death at worst, but something was... off.
Worse, he had the unnerving feeling that something was watching him.
With a beleaguered sigh,Cazwellrose to his feet, took a few steps forward, and promptly retched beside his conquest.
Next Chapter: Book VII Chapter I
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