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."


55. Chapter 54

Shadow Wolf – Tihana

I looked at the skeleton, eyes harsh. Oddly enough he'd arrived only a few hours after the other two. Shame I couldn't tear him to shreds. He looked at me with his empty skull. We stood like this for a few moments longer, before I spoke, lowering my eyes.

“Why do you humans always need me? It's as if you can't go a week without getting into trouble...” I sighed, stepping out of the cave, Skulduggery following.

“You can blame yourself for this one.” All humour was gone from his voice. I turned instantly, looking at him carefully.

“You smell weird, skeleton. I've noticed this since we first met. You smell of shadows, death, and cold. Why?” I narrowed my eyes.

He was silent, watching me quietly. “I'm a skeleton. I'm dead, I was brought back with necromancy.”

I shook my head. “No, you don't smell like you've been revived with necromancy. You smell like you've used necromancy. But you can't have. What I smell is recent, fresh, if you will. No, you've used necromancy recently, but how?”

He crossed his arms. “Valkyrie uses necromancy too, you know. Maybe it's that you're smelling?”

“No, no, Mr. Pleasant. Perhaps you misheard me? You smell like you use necromancy. Not anyone around you. You, yourself.”

He fell into silence, lowering his head so it was cast into shadow.

“Hiding secrets gets us nowhere. You know of me, of what I've done, and my story. What of you?”

“I did terrible things in the war.” Was all he said. I sighed, rolling my eyes.

“You sound like Tyrian did when he was little. He used to wander off. When he came back, if he had done something bad, he would be all grumbly. Everyone, so I've heard, did terrible things. China Sorrows too, so I've heard, and yet she 'redeemed' herself. She apologized, and all but you have forgiven.”

He stood still. I was about to poke him when he spoke. “The amount of people I hurt... None of them would forgive me.”

I raised an eyebrow, crossing my own arms. “Huh, really? I suppose that the length of time you've kept this secret hidden doesn't help.”

He shook his head. God, sometimes I felt like I was the only adult around here.

“Geez, get a grip on yourself man! Silence doesn't help anything. If you want to be forgiven, you must speak! If you want to say sorry to all these people you've hurt, then you have to step up, and take the blame. Don't be a goddamn coward! Don't be the weakling of the pack!”

He leaned against the cave wall, head still down. I wasn't even sure whether he was listening to me any more.

“I can understand if you don't want to tell me, but at least tell the people you've hurt, before it's too late. Let them know your own way, otherwise you might end up brining your own downfall.”

He tilted his head slightly toward the back of the cave. “... Lord Vile...”

“Lord Vile? That's you're big secret?” I had to admit, it was a little surprise, but it fitted.

He remained silent.

“Well, I can't exactly blame for wanting to keep that secret.” I looked outside, into the night. “Anyway. Now we've got that out with. I believe we have some butts to save.”

He gave me what I imagine would be a questioning look, before following me outside.

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