L'Ombra della Vendetta (The Shadow of Vengeance)

L'Ombra della Vendetta is a fanfiction about World of Warcraft.
Don't feel discouraged from its length, the story seems huge but is actually pretty short. I hope you'll give it a try.

This is a work of fantasy. The entire world where it takes place is owned by Blizzard Entertainment.
This story and its main characters are products of the author’s twisted imagination.

Its content may be not suitable for sensitive people, because it contains acts of violence even towards defenseless people.

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18. Chapter 18

Below her there was only the abyss. Behind her, the hard rock wall. Above her, a root, a tiny fragment of the World Tree. She gripped on it while falling into the void, a freefall that she felt everlasting and that not even her knew how would have ended. She couldn't allow to be caught, but couldn't even allow it to end like this. And stretching her arm, she stopped her descent into the mountain's depths using that little grip coming from the high peaks of Mount Hyjal.

The wind was swinging her around, like her thoughts were swinging. Soon they would be there too, soon they could be again upon her, there was no time to lose. Yet the ocean, that outlined before her eyes, had a shade of azure so intense that stole her thoughts. An azure that reminded her of her hairs... Her eyes...

There was no time. There were no escapes. Far away she could hear the cries of a hippogryph, who broke the silence over the snowy Winterspring. They would have found her, unless... Slipping a hand in her pocket, she pulled out her Hearthstone. It was months since the last time she saw it. Everytime someone held this mysterioys object in their hands, memories of the place they consider home would resurface. Focusing on it, on the link, on the memories related, it allowed its owner to come again to that place. The only memories that come forth at that moment, were the last moments she spent with her. When coming home like every day, she found the door open and her in those conditions...

She wanted to stop, to stop thinking, but the noise coming from the peaks of Nordrassil grew louder. Then, grasping the stone, she plunged back into the past, to those terrible moments when she had witnessed her end. She closed her eyes. In her mind, she ran through again from moment to moment throughout that long scene. The breathless race toward her. Her last breaths. Their last kiss. And the scream, that loud scream she shouted breathlessly, as she held her for the last time. It was like she could still hear her own voice crying for despair, so much her head was spinning.

And, opening her eyes, everything around her had changed. Their house was exactly as she remembered it, just much more sad and empty. Slowly moving along the rooms, she could go through all the little everyday gestures that only a few months before constituted her entire life. Their whole life, since they decided to stop fighting.

She was crying. If some people say that time eases the wounds, it was not her case. Red tears fell from her eyes as she watched the horizon through the window.

"This isn't over" boomed a voice in her head "You're still missing two."

Her hair color changed again, returning to a scary scarlet red.

She left the house, putting on the black hood. She knew what to do, she knew where to find him. She saw him, in Dun Garok. She would be able to take revenge on that coward, who ran away as he was about to be defeated. Callie wondered how such a character could have ended up to lead a Horde's army, perhaps they just had low standards, or he had been recommended. However the war didn't matter to her, he was her only victim.

Walking to the west, she was approaching to the remnants of Southshore. She had to act with caution, that area was fully under the control of the Horde, unlike Dun Garok. The Horde... They had no restraint, the war had rules, they weren't respecting any. Destroy civilian homes, looting, raping... At that thought, her hatred increased.

It was already early afternoon, when she stealthed to the town's ruins. There was not much to see, the war was currently being fought elsewhere. A dense fog enveloped the whole area. Disgusting greenish pools were scattered here and there in what was once the market where they had shopping together. The dock, dock, once noisy and full of life, where long before the same ship that Sophia and Physia had used for their travel, was silent as a graveyard.

The town was the ghost of itself, it was hard to recognize even for those who have seen it so many times. But something... One thing had remained exactly the same, apparently. More or less. And it drove her crazy.

Callie jumped into the forest. Silent as a shadow, she stealthed from pine to pine, until she reached the little raised sod across the main road leading to the town.

Holding her breath, she walked to figure who was yawning quiet, sheltered in the shade of a purple curtain.

Without being noticed, she brought her blade under her victim's neck.

"Shut up, Darla."

The victim gulped, nodding.

"Traitor. Once you wore different colors."

"There aren't many choices when you're 'recruited' by the forsaken..."

"Astrid had: fight and die."

"Astrid?" that name brought back to Darla Harris' mind some memories "Oh, you must be the small C-"

The rogue approached the blade to the the flight master's neck.

"I'm just a shadow, right now. And if you don't want me to be the shadow that will send you to the next world, for good this time, you'd better speak only when interrogated."

The forsaken nodded again.

"Well, apparently you really care for your skin. So much to spit on the past, on your people, on your friends."

"That's not true, you know me. You knew me." The victim reacted by shaking. "But if killing me you will find peace, that's fine to me. Hurry up."

"I don't seek revenge in you. I'm here for another person. I'm looking for the person in charge for this area, one of your... Kind."

"You mean ... Hercular?"

"What? No way, that assed necromancer. Good only to shed some wagon of plague."

She looked around, just to her left there was a wagon used to infect the area. They had to be well peaceful, to let the flight master alone to watch it, without even a guard around.

"I'm talking about a rogue. I've fought him at Dun Garok, few months ago. He leaded your vanguard."

"Ah!" the forsaken let out an exclamation, "I know who you're talking about. You're looking for commander Gasshink, right?"

"It may be, his name doesn't matter. Where can I find him?"

"Right now he should be at the town's watchtower. Well... Its remains."

"There are guards?"

"No, the guards are all in the west, in this moment. We are under attack by Bloodfang at Silverpine's border, they need all the potential soldiers. They left just a few patrols to the south, but he should be alone..."

The little rogue felt a touch of bitterness in her words. It was almost like that the girl, who she knew since she was still human, wanted to help her.

"Is... Is he involved in Astrid's end?" asked the flight master breaking the silence that had been created.

"Maybe. I'll find out soon."

She took the blade away from the girl's neck.

"I'm sorry, you know. Reaching you from behind, forcing you..."

"Don't worry, I can understand you. It was hard even for me to accept what... what I am."

Callie noted in her eyes a bit of sadness.

"Will you give alarm? Will you call for reinforcements?"

"I don't see why I should. I just saw a shadow, they would call me mad."

The two shared a brief laugh.

"Farewell Darla."

"Farewell Callie. The next time we meet, I guess we'll be enemies."

The rogue turned away toward the tower, which could be seen with naked eye. She did not know whether there would be another time. It didn't matter.

As she approached, concealed in the shadows, she felt the anger rise. Step. Step. She felt the smell of blood in the air, which somehow was enhancing her combative side. Step. Step. She stopped. Reached the tower's ruins, she climbed up on what once were the city walls. And peering inward, she recognized him immediately. He was playing, throwing knives to a small fixed target. He threw the first one at a short distance from the mark, on the wall. The second one struck the third circle, the outer one. The third blade pierced the focus, bullseye. The undead came to collect the blades, and bending down he noticed that the third didn't belong to him.

"Wha-"

He didn't even have the time to get up, when a kick to his neck knocked him on the ground.

With blurry vision, the forsaken tried to stand up.

"W-who are you?"

"The ghost of Winter Veil past." answered the shadow, hitting him again, dragging him away unconscious.

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