1. Warning; Contains a high amount of blood, and violence.
    Suddenly a dagger hit the captain in the lung and he fell forward Kluke chuckled from the shadows nearby,"That was comically bad timing. Now, I suppose this leaves four witnesses." Three took toward the door and one charged at Kluke with a spear. Kluke merely grinned at the man's foolish charge and jumped the spear skillfully flipping over the soldier's head and landing as the other three reached the door. Something small silver and very swift flew from Kluke's wrist and hit each in the lower chest causing them to drop and clutch their abdomens in pain but it appeared they could not scream. Kluke grinned sadistically,"A blade strike to the kidneys.... You lot will die in three to five minutes from that wound and screaming will be nearly impossible the whole time. Good luck with that."

    Aya had not seen this lethal edge to Kluke and now that she was seeing it, it unnerved her. He had as little remorse for his opponents as a hunter for their prey and against Kluke these soldier barely faired better than songbirds against a dragon. The spearman had pulled his spear free and was charging again. Kluke evaded the spear head and snapped the wood shaft of the spear easily and pounced on the young soldier holding the spear head against his exposed throat. Aya yelled,"Kluke! Stay your blade!" Kluke turned his eyes glinting, he seemed to soften a little and become more gentle, suddenly Aya saw it, his eyes changed color! Where once Kluke's eyes were a calm and tranquil Caribbean blue they were now crimson red like blood and his fangs and muscles were more pronounced he looked more like a killer now than when he had spoken so carefully to Aya and had been so gentle. Kluke looked hurt as if what he was about to do pained him, his voice was also much softer and kinder than when he had been acting all scary toward the soldiers,"I wish I could show him mercy, Aya. But this is a matter of wether I wish for you to survive or him. I do not expect you to understand my behavior."

    He lowered the spear head as if to spare the soldier but abruptly and coldly dropped the spear and snapped the soldier's neck in the blink of an eye as easily and practiced as a normal person might kill an insect. Aya screamed and recoiled in horror. Zola hugged her dropping her blade on the way. Zola hugged Aya and stroked her hip length fire colored hair soothingly as Kluke crouched beside them and spoke as his iris became oceanic blue again,"Aya.... I'm sorry.... It appears my killing them has hurt you. I can understand that, they're your kinsmen. Dear Aya please know though, I only killed them to save you. I would easily take ten Egalian lives before I let them take the life of a single innocent person."

    Aya hugged him and whispered,"The evil in the world, is not something you can stop by killing people. Evil survives regardless of futile human efforts, much like hope." Kluke though momentarily shocked hugged back and spoke,"I am only trying to protect you." Aya smiled,"I know." When they broke he looked over at Zola,"You are the Ravenborn that saved me?" Zola nodded. Kluke rubbed his neck almost nervously,"Don't hear me wrong, Milady. But why would you save me? The Ranavians kill Kronians and we kill you guys right back." Zola looked shocked as did Aya then again Ranavia had only been destroyed a week ago and this man could have easily been unconscious for that span of time. Zola just now saw it, this boy looked just like her deceased brother Zack except for opposite coloration, Zack's armor was jet black, this man's was white, Zack had black hair, this man's hair color bordered on white and was a gorgeous creamy blonde, Zack had pale moonlight tone flawless skin for he was so skilled no blade had ever cut him and this man had sun kissed skin that was a beautiful tan all over and had numerous scars all over his body not because he was less skilled but because where Zack is trained by people who cared for him and loved him Kluke had been trained a harder way Kronian skin was hard as rock because the stone of their home in the mountains was razor sharp and as kids they would be cut so much that their soft skin faded to armor hard skin.

    Zola suddenly noticed she was crying. Kluke quickly hugged her assuming it was normal as he wasn't familiar with showing sympathy to other cultures as Kronians often viewed all other people as weaklings who could be easily killed and who were less intelligent than they were. This was not to say Kluke could not show or feel sympathy toward other clans he was never met with that much as a challenge. In Koreen(Kluke's home village) it was rude to hug someone without their consent because it was assumed you were trying to in someway prove yourself superior by invading their personal space. He had once hugged Keen Larkwing (his childhood friend who was a noble from a weaker family and who also had a growth issue resulting in him being only three feet tall at 14 years old, fully grown he is only 5"2 and yet extremely lethal, he is also one of the few Kronians in the last two thousand years to be born with a hair tone other than blond and and eye color other than blue) Kluke was only 8 at the time and Keen was 7 due to Keen's shortness Kluke had assumed he could easily dominate Keen. This ended with Keen decking him in the jaw and beating the living daylights out of him. After that, he had held a healthy respect for Keen who normally was a fun loving, flirtatious prankster, except when people encroached on his ranking in Kronian culture.

    Kluke hugged Zola hoping she would not punch him as Keen had. Zola's tears were painful for him to watch and the sight, sound, feel, and even smell of her crying was heartbreaking to Kluke. This girl had saved someone who no one in Skylore in their right mind would have saved him. She was as full of mercy and goodness as anyone could be in Kluke's eyes and she didn't deserve the pain.... Much like Kluke's kid sister Kara who had died when Egalians raided their village. In fact, the closer Kluke looked the more he found she closely mirrored Kara except for her natural coloration, Kara had honey-colored hair and this Ravenborn had jet black hair, Kara had blue eyes where this Ravenborn had silver eyes, also Kara had fairly tan skin like Kluke's and like most of the Kronian people and this Ranavian had moonlight pale skin that appeared as if the sun had never touched it.

    Kluke spoke softly,"Whatever I have said that has caused you to cry, I am very sorry." Aya touch his shoulder,"K-Kluke. The Raven clan was whipped out a few weeks ago." Kluke froze becoming still as a statue and breaking from the hug. He finally spoke after what felt like an eternal pause,"Oh... Who was responsible?" Aya looked very ashamed and suddenly became interested in the floor,"King Fearoak of Egalia." Kluke's fists tightened and his teeth ground together violently. He suddenly stood and grabbed two of the Egalian bodies and slung them over his shoulder as he spoke,"Lady Aya! Do you have a rope?"


    Two Egalian knights rode down Gold Vale's main road toward the county. Suddenly the younger pointed and spoke shaking in fear,"E-Eronn.... G-Ghost." The older followed his gaze to where he was pointing and found five bodies hanging by the neck and carving into the bodies a message for Fearoak,"The soul of the Ravens will haunt you till your demise for what you have done." As well as a person in black armor with a black sword and terrifying black draft horse. An unnatural mist surrounded the horse rider suddenly and he vanished into it.

    Back at Aya's

    Kluke came back after an hour in black armor with a cheap wood sword painted black,"Fearoak will not sleep soundly this night! Come lady Zola and Aya we should leave now for the woods!" Aya and Zola looked deeply confused and laughed wondering at his odd behavior.


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