Skulduggery Pleasant: Death's Dawn

"I grabbed the axe off of one of them, snapping it with a sharp crack, twisting around and driving it into the skull of another. These guys were easy to kill, but we were being overwhelmed. I was almost at Tihana's side again, when I felt the rock hit my head.

"Oh bollocks." Blood trickled down the side of my face, and then I passed out."

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30. Chapter 29

Shadow Wolf – Tihana

“Well well. It seems you've improved. Slightly.” I sighed, definitely not prepared for the hug that followed. “O-kay. Who are you and what have you done with Tyrian Chase? Last time I checked, he was fine with me being away for a little more than a week.” I pushed him off, sighing. I looked over his shoulder, at the skeleton, who was now adjusting his tie. I gave him a discreet nod, and received one back. Two mentors would never admit to their students that they thought the other had done well.

Valkyrie sat in the corner, yet I payed no heed to her. I'm not one to start a greeting- if someone would greet me, then sure, I'd greet them back. But if they don't I ignore them, until they do. Simple manners had become of great use in Tyrian's family. After all. With every new addition, my guardianship was moved to them. If Tyrian ever decided to have his own offspring, I would be theirs and no longer his. I hadn't told him this yet, and still I don't know whether he's worked it out or not.

I found myself with my hand to the hilt of my dagger, and stepped back out into the air. As the other three followed me, I spoke. “Grand Mage Storm has told me he does not plan on doing anything whilst we are here, and that we were simply sent to lend a hand, as the English Sanctuary feels rather bad having stood dumbstruck for these past six years.” I looked back, suddenly looking the skeleton in the eyesockets. “And I will assure you, as long as you do not plan on doing anything like the night we first met, all will be fine and I will not start tearing your detectives and members to shreds.”

 

Valkyrie and Tyrian were asleep. Or so, they wanted myself and Mr. Pleasant to believe. He had quite a nice place, if I did say so myself. Once we had all cooled on the 'You're English and you're in Ireland' situation, we had become acceptable acquaintances. Or even co-workers, if you wanted to go that far. The two younger sorcerers had bedded down in the main sitting room, whilst me and the skeleton were in the next room along, at what seemed like a dining table. We sat in an awkward silence, before he spoke first.

“So what sort of things are we facing?” Was the first question. I was almost reluctant to answer. Rivalry between packs and all.

“As I've said before. Wendigos, Vampires, Zombies, Ku'Siths, Draugr, Litches and Kitsunes. Oh yeah. And Dullahans.” There were more, but the ones I told him were probably the most prominent.

He moved one gloved hand to his chin, and I could imagine the thoughtful look on his face, if he had one. “Dullahan, rings a bell.”

I crossed my own arms, raising an eyebrow. “I'm not surprised. They originate from Ireland. They've been featured in your mythology, as well. Rather like Werewolves in English.”

He nodded, tapping his foot slightly. “So who is their leader?”

“Oh, I suspect it's Dusk and some other more... famous generals among the others. They appear to be arranged similar to our Sanctuaries, each race is suspicious of each other, wary of what the others could do. They don't seem to trust each other much, either. They've only come together because they feel us, the living, are posing a little too big a problem.” I heard complete silence from the next room. They definitely weren't asleep. Their breathing was too quiet, and I couldn't hear Tyrian's quiet snore. Plus, I could smell their scent from right beside the door. I lowered my eyes to glare at the door- hoping Skulduggery got what I meant. He moved his head slightly, angling it to the same corner I was. I returned my gaze to his skull.

“Any news on where they are?” Was his next question. This was starting to seem a little too question and answer.

I thought for a moment, attempting to recall whether Storm or the Elders had said anything about their location, before I shook my head. “No. Without coming to Ireland ourselves, we couldn't tell. That's up to your sanctuary to figure out.” I watched him, my eyes asking a challenge. We had respected their privacy for now, from before and since we came here. Whether they had done the same was a different matter. I could list at least three things they had done, and I hoped that list would not grow.

He merely returned my gaze, to what extent he could. It must be harder when you have no eyes. He nodded slightly. I stood, guessing our conversation was over.

“Tyrian. I've told you once, and so I'll tell you again. Eavesdropping on me does not work.” I heard a mumbled curse from beyond the door. A quiet conversation was whispered before the door creaked open. Skulduggery was silent- I thought nothing of it, at the time, but Valkyrie looked at him strangely, raising an eyebrow, slightly concerned. Tyrian just looked toward the floor, fumbling with his hands.

“How come I feel like a child who's just be found by the adults?” His voice was disappointed and sulky. I could have laughed.

“Because, technically, you are.” I took a step forward. “Now. Bed. Unlike me and Mr. Pleasant, you need sleep.” Valkyrie patted his shoulder, leading him back inside. Tyrian glanced back at me just in time to receive a questioning look.

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