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Rise of the Nightmare Crestmaster

Chapter 14 Run No More

Cazmer then went on to repeat his actions on every soldier around. Aldrich watched in disgust as blood spilled and a terrible stench spread.

Suddenly one of the supposed corpses shot up and whacked Cazmer in the back of the head. With a loud thud Cazmer fell unconscious.

Then the pissed off soldier turned to Aldrich. Aldrich didn"t know when he did it, but he unsheathed Isger"s sword and had it pointed at the soldier.

His hands were shaking, he thought about solving this matter peacefully but then he remembered the still warm corpses around him. Aldrich realized there was only one way this could end.

Aldrich looked at his opponent and discovered that he had yet to unsheathed his own sword. In fact the soldier was still fumbling weirdly with his belt, his hand was slipping, rising and falling pointlessly.

When the soldier finally managed to unsheathe his sword, Aldrich finally realized how unsteady and weak he was. It was now or never. Aldrich lunged and slashed at the soldier"s torso. And blood spilled.

Aldrich watched as the soldier was pushed to the ground, he still didn"t believe his blow landed, and the soldier didn"t even fight back. No, he did he just swung his sword far away from Aldrich completely missing him.

The soldier was not completely awake, he was forcing his body to move and thats why he was unstable and clumsy.

The soldier was not dead yet. His sword was knocked away when he crashed on the ground, he did not or could he get back up. He was simply moaning and touching his bloody wound.

The slash was not deep enough, Aldrich wanted to just leave him like that, hoping that he would just bleed to death. But what if he got back up? Or maybe he could wait for Cazmer to get back up then he"ll do it...

Aldrich grimly walked over to the fallen soldier, the easiest way to do it is to cut open his throat. Aldrich placed the blade of his sword on his throat. He had to push it in, but the sword just wouldn"t move.

Aldrich looked at the soldier, he was young at around twenty three, guys like him would already have two or three children running around in Wakefield. He could have a wife, parents and grandparents.

Aldrich hesitated for too long. The soldier held the sword by the blade and flung it off of Aldrich"s soft grip. Aldrich didn"t have the time to see where his sword landed because he was caught by the shoulder and headbutted.

Aldrich fell back in pain. Now he was certain, if he did not kill this man he would be killed by him. Aldrich didn"t want to die. Couldn"t die. Mr. Isger was still waiting for him, he needed to warn the village of the impending attack, he needed to save everyone and for that he couldn"t die.

Aldrich felt his right hand land on a stone as big as his hand. Aldrich picked it up and lunged on the still fallen soldier and struck his head, the soldier tried to struggle but Aldrich straddle him and struck him in the head over and over.

"Stop.... stop.... please stop...heg... I don"t want....die..."

Aldrich didn"t stop or slow down. This soldier in normal circumstances could overpower him easily. He could not allow him to rest.

Aldrich struck over and over over and over over and over and over again. Even after the soldier stopped moving, even after his face became a mess.

Suddenly before his next blow could land a hand stopped him.


Aldrich looked up to see Cazmer.

"No, I have to—"

"Enough, get up"

Cazmer supported Aldrich to stand. After he stood up, Aldrich let the bloody stone fall out of his hand. Then he looked at his hand, it was shaking.

Cazmer suddenly put a waterskin in his hand. Aldrich poured some water on his hand and since the blood was still fresh it washed off easily.

"You did alright boy. Now watch carefully."

Cazmer then pulled out a sword and stabbed it through the throat of the soldier. The soldier didn"t twitch.

"Always make sure your target is dead. You"re probably gonna do more of that from now on."

"More? More what?"

"More killing, of course."

"You said that you will answer all my questions. I think this is the right time."

"I did, go on, ask me anything. But do it while looting these guys, see these nice leather bags? Take any food or coin you find."

Aldrich felt conflicted but he was originally here to rob graves so this wasn"t such a big deal.

"Tell me everything you know about this attack."

"Hmm, well I told you I was a member of the true saint"s folk. It was around two weeks that I got an order, I was to participate in this attack, me and a few others.

Our job wasn"t to really attack by just stand by in case something happened. Why would they need ten Crestmasters to stand by for something like this? That"s one of the questions I asked. Remember that masked man juat now he"s one of them."

The man that talked about how fun and educational slaughter was.

Cazmer stopped talking as he had to flip one dead soldier to the other side to get his valuables.

"But why? Why attack us? We"re just—"

"I don"t know why, I"m not qualified to to know. Long story short I didn"t like what I was told to do so I ran away to warn your village. Unfortunately I was captured."

"So this true saint"s folk order accepted an oathbreaker like you?" Aldrich had to ask. Even being in the vicinity of an oathbreaker is dangerous.

Cazmer snorted, "like me? You don"t know the half of it, this order is basically filled with Oathbreakers! As far as I know there"s at least fifty of them some of them are fully transformed."

To think such a blasphemous order exists in this land, it made all the horrific stories that peddlers brought to Wakefield seem a little more real.

Aldrich finished collecting some coin pouches and was surprised each one had at least a silver, he deposited the coins and the dry meat in a leather bag and fastened it on his back.

"Who are these soldiers? Are they from that order too?" Aldrich was definitely curious about that while still being dumbfounded that these guys actually sent ten Crestmasters to Wakefield.

"I have no idea. It seems to me that they are a different force, they joined hands for this apparently. This is all a guess." Cazmer looked like he didn"t even care about the soldiers.

"Alright, lets get going, running early like this is the best option for us. They won"t even miss me until everything is done for."

Aldrich was confused, "go where? We have to go warn the village!"

Cazmer looked at him like he was the mad man, "are you someone important? The son of the mayor or something?"

Aldrich felt like the question was out of nowhere but still answered, "no I am not. I don"t see how this has to do with any of this."

"It has a lot to do with all this. Tell me, is there anyone in your village who would believe you if you started screaming that the village will be attacked in the middle of the night?"

"I-I am not sure."

"What"s your name?"

"I"m called Aldrich."

"Listen here, Aldrich, this whole situation is shit. I know that better than you but the fact of the matter is we can"t do anything for the people down there.

The entire village and the surrounding area is completely surrounded. They have squads like the ones here all over the place. Think of it like a net that has already captured the fish.

My plan was to warn your village days before the attack so you could evacuate. That chance is now gone. The only opening in the net is this place here. Now.

The attack will be at sunrise, in around two hours, can you evacuate a village of a few hundred in that time? If anyone even believed a word you say."

How could Aldrich not understand, if he was sleeping in his warm bed and a random kid started shouting that the village will be attacked, that guy will get publicly spanked. Why would he take something like that seriously?

Even right this moment when he was personally experiencing this whole thing seemed surreal, like listening to a story that had nothing to do with him.

Aldrich bit his lips and drew blood. This is real.

"Can"t you help us? Can"t you come with me if they hear it from you they"ll believe it."

"Look at me, I am an oathbreaker would anyone sane believe a word I say?"

"Are you implying that I"m not sane?"

p "Fine you can go. I"m going down there to warn a few people who might believe me. I have to try."

Aldrich remembered his mother and Mr. Krynt, he remembered the mayor and father Gombst. He couldn"t just leave them to die and escape on his own. He had to try. Two hours was still enough time, he could make it.

"You"re going to die with them! Kid you got unbelievably lucky on this night. Don"t throw away your life like that."

"No, I can"t go without at least trying. Two hours is good enough I can make it there and back in time."

Cazmer was fuming, "are you trying to be a hero?! You"re nothing! You"re a nobody! You"ll die without even knowing how!"

"I know!" Aldrich shouted back, "but I still have to try. You can go first. These people helped me countless times! I. Have. To. Try."

Cazmer looked like he was struggling with something intensely. Aldrich had no idea why Cazmer was so angry, he could just escape now.

Cazmer facepalmed and sighed heavily. Then he proceeded to take Aldrich"s bag off and fill it with the contents of his own bag.

"You"re not making this easy. Listen I will go and make a ruckus on the opposite direction of this place right before sunrise, that should get their attention for a while."

"Why are you giving me all this?"

"A deadman like me won"t need it."

"No you don"t have to do that—"

"Shut it. I"m doing this on my own. I have to try at least right? And I"m not doing it for free. either."

Suddenly Cazmer used the sword to cut a wound on his left leg. He then pushed his fingers into the wound and pulled out a black ring and gave it to Aldrich.

"This is the item I used to make the soldiers fall asleep, it also doubles as the key to my treasures hideout. On a night of full moons inject it with Ether and the details will be revealed then. Give some of the treasure to my brother in Ebrict, there"s a certain map there you can take it. You might be able to make some use of it."

Aldrich didn"t know what to say. What can you say to a man"s dying words?

"Deal." Thats all.

Cazmer cleaned his hand with a wet cloth before tying it around his wounded leg.

"Never reveal all your abilities and items to anyone, not your friends or enemies. Information is a powerful weapon, reveal only what suits your needs."

Aldrich couldn"t say anything but he nodded.

"Tell me Aldrich, if you did bad things all your life but did a good thing before you died, do you think it makes up for all the bad?"

"No" Aldrich replied before he could stop himself. Then again he didn"t want to lie right now.

"Yeah I figured as much. But you know what, I am tired of running. My father was a pirate, part of a particularly notorious band, so when I went to study in the academy I had to hide my identity. You are the first person I told my real name to in years.

The first person I killed was my friend who accidentally found out my secret.

When I graduated my talent was shit but I had big dreams so I took the oath and later on for even more power I broke it.

Don"t ask me, I"ve long forgotten what my dreams were. At some point I forgot. I haven"t seen my little brother in thirty years, I"m ashamed to see him.

And now look at me, a half-human half-monster madman. You know the worst part? I am afraid to die, even more scared than a fifteen year old boy. But I am tired of running. I will run no more."

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