Chapter 2 – The red river night
10 years earlier
I was floating in a cold, but not uncomfortably cold, river, as I followed the clouds on the light blue sky. It was peaceful and I could stay here forever.
A gentle sigh escaped my lips as I enjoyed the peace as I simply floated around, paying no attention to the world around me or myself. I was simply being here.
An addition to the world with no purpose, no meaning.
I could stay here forever. I wanted to stay here forever. Could I simply stay here?
I made the quick decision that if nobody interrupted me I would just stay here and be me. I rested my arms behind my head as if the water was a bed and I couldn’t sink any minute.
I closed my eyes for a moment as I sensed the danger coming closer.
Did it really matter if I took care of it? Was I obliged to it?
Just because my nametag said I was a Kirehe and that I was some kind of important… did that really mean that I had to go kill?
I would much rather just spend my time here… floating down the river as the masses screamed for mercy.
Okay… a bit dark. Let me try that one again; floating down the river as I ignored the masses screaming for mercy.
Ooh well. Their lives had never been my problem and they never would be.
But as the iron scent sent chills down my spine and as the water around me turned a dark red I kept floating. While I chanted to myself that it was not my problem if mere little humans were killed. They overpopulated the earth and made a mess of it. I mean come on, why didn’t they just walk like the rest of us. Maybe, because they were so incredibly slow.
As something warm and bloody hit my chilled out body, I had enough. I pushed the bloody corpse of a man without a head off of me and swam to the nearest bank.
I looked down at my clothes, not only were they soaked by water and blood, but someone had dropped a fucking eyeball on me. I scrunched my nose, looking at it with a weird expression as it squirted some weird substance as I flicked it away.
Dead or alive that was not okay!
“Humph… fucking humans. Can’t even keep their eyes to themselves… have to go drop body parts everywhere on me” I mumbled to myself as I used my power manipulate the water in the liquid substances and remove them.
This was one of the awesome advantages of being a monster; you got to manipulate things…
I collected all of my dark brown mess of a hair and made a braid of it. When your braid reaches your waist, you need it cut. But somehow I couldn’t get myself to it. I liked it wild and tangly, close to becoming dreadlocks because of my evil curls.
I didn’t feel the supposedly cold as I walked through the forest, my leather boots cracking the precipitate the trees had shed. The forest shouldn’t be dark green with no red, yellow or orange leaves on their crowns. Something fishy was going on there, but as the scream of a little girl erupted I had no time to dwell over the wonders that was this kind of stupid magic.
I started to run as I put two fingers in my mouth and whistled after Nova, the white wolf of Jharack. She was my companion and my friend.
My only friend.
As I ran further and faster than ever in the direction of the girl’s scream, I started to see glimpses of the white wolf through the trees. The gigantic body of the she wolf moved at a speed that to humans would have been impossible to see.
Once again I whistled, giving her a signal that I was ready. Her ice blue eyes locked on mine and I registered her nod.
I couldn’t keep up with her anymore and the sound was a way of telling her that. If I talked to her through our mental bond, then I would disturb her and she would end up running straight into a tree.
With a mighty jump she landed a couple of meters in front of me and slowed down a bit, enough for me to set off and jump onto her enormous back.
I laughed of excitement and clung to her back as she set the speed up a notch or a hundred up. We approached the village with a rapid speed and the smell of burned flesh hit all my senses like a brick wall and nearly knocked me over.
Nova that giant bastard just licked her lips and I knew she would be going crazy on the corpses after I had killed the Valayá and she had protected me.
The most important thing was not to be seen by a lot of people, because then after it wasn’t so much work to delete all the happenings from their minds.
So much work for humans and they didn’t even get to remember that it was, seen through their eyes, a little girl who saved their arses.
Well at least I got to kick some arse and complain a whole lot about it. Right until Nova threatens to bite my head off.
She’s no fun sometimes.
“And the terrors awaits” I whispered to Nova through our mental bond. When she just nodded once, I thought that was all I got.
“Blood and gore is what we live for, my sweet girl” her voice rang inside of my head and I winced. I did not except her to reply. It was kind of like those irresponsible humans that were talking in their phones while driving.
This was kind of the same thing, Kirehe style.
When the bloody hell did we get there?! I mean I’ve been listening to those goddamn screams for over ten minutes now! And they forced me out of the river.
Bloody humans! I chuckled as I thought about that… what had forced me out of the river were literally bloody humans.
Okay, that was a sick joke. But I liked sick jokes; they always seemed to describe my reality in a jokey kind of way.
Ooh there they were, the screams and horror was now right in front of us. We had supposedly run in the middle of the village, which was shaped as a weird half circle, were there was a forest in the middle. So we had been surrounded by this amazing horror for the entire time. Bugger.
As I took in our surroundings I noticed a few other presences that were not human. About three other Kirehe, one of them a lot older than me, it was a male and it was a grown up. Disgust rolled through me as I remembered the adults of my early childhood. The second one was kind of an adult about twenty to twenty-two years old, also male, he was a strong one. The last one was a girl, a teenager, about fifteen. She had a unique aura, and it sent of weird vibrations. She was dangerous, the same skill and strength as the young man, but in a different way.
They weren’t dangerous to me and Nova. And they were over a kilometre in a southern direction.
I let my tentacles of pure power reach out and find the Valayá. It was easy and it emanated the power of a level 7 Valayá. Impressive.
I transmitted the information and the location to Nova and there we went again.
We were hunting for our pray and nothing would stop us before we had Valayá blood on our hands and paws.
The Valayá had ravished most of the village already. Well… that’s what was a level 7 did. It wasn’t like a level 9 and 10 who actually had a brain and were smarter than to just destroy a whole village themselves. They would do it from the inside, make the humans destroy themselves.
See those were the tricky ones.
Nova stopped up and we took in the sight before us.
“Look this one has taken the form of a wolf. How pathetic” Nova growled inside of my head and I laughed. She hated when the Valayá took the form as a wolf, or anything dog like, since she wanted nothing to do with them and have no relations to them.
I kind of didn’t care. A Valayá was a Valayá.
And it was right in front of us now. It was a little smaller than Nova, so if you ever saw the film princess Mononoke the Valayá was as big as her wolf mother.
It was black with red tinting its fur, which matched the creature’s eyes. Its two tails whipped around making frenzy.
Oh this was a stereotypical level 7 Valayá. I sighed and jumped off her back, sliding the blade out of my sleeve. It was made of dragon glass, and was therefore black but still almost see-through, with jacked edges on both side. It had blood red engravings down the middle saying;
The Ghost blade.
It was the Imperial language, only used by few now, otherwise extinct.
It was a fitting blade for me. I had had it for as long as I could remember. Nova had given it to me, and it was my dearest possession.
I locked eyes with Nova and nodded once. With a howl we both set off against the Valayá. I stretched out my tentacles, sharpening them, using them as weapons as I with an animalistic growl circled the creature. It was much larger than me, but that had never stopped me before.
The creature took notice of me, but didn’t think I was a threat, so it continued to munch on the corpse underneath its giant black paws.
I growled and bared my sharp canines. I wanted a decent fight, at least one where I was taking seriously by a fucking mutt.
It requited the gesture and finally lashed out at me. Sadly I was prepared and so was Nova. With a sadistic smile on my lips I jumped forward, and slid under its belly, plunging my dagger in its stomach as my tentacles plunged in its sides. The black blood was everywhere and splashed over me like it was a waterfall.
The dark matter inside of it began to regenerate the skin and heal it. I could not let that happen. But when I yanked my dagger out… or tried to do that the jacked edges had stuck. I would not leave my blade inside some stinking corpse of a Valayá.
Hell to the no.
With all my power I tried to rip it out again and again, but the stupid thing wouldn’t budge and I grew panicky. The blood kept coming, splattering all over me and into my eyes, making it a hard to see anything.
The creature growled trying to snap at me, which was such a bad idea since that only made it have, Nova at its throat, ripping it to pieces.
“Get out of there!” she yelled through our bond, but I wouldn’t give up. I needed that blade! With a scream of pure termination I elongated my tentacles and sent them straight into the wound I had made.
“Don’t you dare…” she never got to say anymore as what she wanted to stop me from doing, I had already done.
The Valayá was no more; it had been turned into a pool of blood and gore. I had ripped it apart, made it to confetti. But sadly I was under all of that mess. Nova howled as she began digging me free of all the stuff.
I tried to breathe, but quickly realized that was a thing I shouldn’t have done. All the slippery slimy stuff slid down my throat and I wanted to vomit.
But first I needed to breathe, as I was choking and sadly dying.
Another howl, but this one was distant. Like Nova was far away. How could that be?
“Don’t you dare die, my little Kirehe!” those were the last words I heard.
At least until I woke up. And I did wake up.
It happened with a very discreet scream and knocking over a couple of houses. You know the usual.
I chose not to open my eyes and play it cool. Let’s see if I for once in my life could do that. I would probably fail.
“What’s her name? I won’t ask again!” wow… that douche sounded like such a caveman. Who was he talking to?
My question was answered by a growl that would send chills down even the most hardcore guy’s spine. Nova.
Where were we? And who was the fucker who dared to threaten my Nova?!
This made me snap open my eyes, just as Nova growled once more. I was on my feet and in front of Nova, barring my canines at the strangers, before they could blink.
It was the Kirehe adult from before. Did he have no respect against forest spirits? He must have been able to feel the dark power radiating from Nova that specified that she was a forest spirit, and was to not be harmed. She was the white wolf from Jharack.
The man was tall, had black hair and very green eyes, he had a scar that ran all the way from his left brow to his chin, and he looked terrifying.
He looked surprised for a moment, but then a cold mask of seriousness appeared on his face. Nice one, I wanted to try that sometime.
“Who are you girl?” he asked in a weird language, but I still understood it. Nova had taught it to me, she had called it English. It was the language they spoke here. The human language.
I stared at him for a moment, wondering if it really was a good idea to tell him who I was or if I should just go for a simple lie.
“If you don’t already know that, then you’re not meant to know it” I chose to go with the third option; be a cocky brat.
That lit a fire in his eyes and I wanted to see how far I could push him. He seemed like someone with a huge temperament and not someone who was very good at controlling it.
“Tell me now!” he snarled through clenched teeth. I had been correct. I sighed and looked at Nova, not for permission but to see if she agreed to not say anything. A simply nod showed that she did. I wasn’t telling this bastard shit.
“Are you a Kirehe?” Said the young boy that approached us with a rapid speed. He was young and he had unruly dark blond hair and a pair of gentle dark green eyes. He was older than me, but not by more than a year.
I straighten up my position and closed my mouth. I was trying to look kind of normal.
“Where’s your parents?” he asked and looked at me with curiosity and I sensed no threat from him.
I shrugged simply because I didn’t know who or where they were. I looked at Nova.
“She’s my family” I said and smiled. He looked like he didn’t believe me and that made me put all my defences up again. Nova nudges her snout against my cheek confirmed what I said.
We were family.
I pulled the fabric on my long sleeved shirt on my left arm up, so I could reveal the inked skin underneath.
I had never shown this to anyone else, Nova had seen it of course, but this boy made me feel strangely safe and in a moment of trust I lifted up my wrist and showed them it.
The red and black ink forming a symbol from the old language.
“My name is Ghost and I was left to die because of this”
The boy smiled so did the man, it was a smile full of sorrow and pity… but it showed that they cared. That they were different.
“Welcome to the order of the Kirehe, Ghost” the man said and his features softened.
This was when I was brought into the world of the Kirehe and the day was known as the day of the red river night. I used my powers to rebuild and fix the village, and to erase the humans’ memories and replace them.
The night of the red river would be forever burned in my mind.