Huntress of Castia

Entry for competition


1. The Fear You Have

You wonder who I am, unsure of truly wanting to know. Your weapon is too far from you, and the blood that pools by your knees tells you that it would do you no good anyway. Before I allow my beloved Requiem to finish what I have started, I feel I do owe you an explanation of sorts.

After all, how often do little girls get to kill their fathers?

Lightning and thunder tore the skies apart the night I was born. Do you remember? They told me Mother screamed in agony while you stood impatiently, waiting to see if she gave you the heir you so desperately wanted. They told me how you cursed her and spit on her as she lay dying because I was not the son you ordered her to have. They told me how you climbed upon your horse and rode off into the night with no regard towards me.

Those are such cherished memories for a child to grow up with, wouldn't you agree?

The family that took me in already had seven other mouths to feed. They cared for me, nourished me...they loved me when my own flesh and blood would not. Even though I was a girl, my guardian trained me in the arts of warfare just as he trained his sons. He taught me the bow, staff and sword. He taught me to move purposefully and silently. He taught me to strike quickly and without remorse.

But you saw that already. You are a testament to his training.

When the Second War came to our lands, I enlisted in the Sarnian Rangers along with my brothers. They went into the cavalry while my own contributions were a bit more complicated. It seems that I was better suited towards scouting and ambush tactics so I was sent into the Beast Program.

That was where I found my beloved Requiem. He was the biggest and strongest of the War Tigers. It was only fitting that he and I be paired since my hunting ability kept me at the top of my class. Together we learned to work as a team, finding our prey and then ambushing it. He became a part of me as much as I a part of him.

Look at him. Even now he wants to rip the dying breath from your lungs but he waits until I give him the signal.

When we were sent on our first missions together, we quickly gained a reputation of ruthlessness. We came across enemy encampments and waited, sometimes for days, for just the right moment. Then we would steal into their tents at night. Requiem would be my guardian, insuring I could go about my business without interruption. Before the morning arrived, I would decapitate dozens. It was a simple matter really.

I would slit their throats as they slept. Once the entire tent was taken care of, removing their heads went quickly. Just for the shock value, I would position each man lying on his back, holding his head on his belly. The screams of horror in the camps when they were discovered was worth the sleepless night.

Before long, the Gar'vothian army had bounties on our heads. Quite flattering, wouldn't you agree?

But, all good things must come to their end and war is no exception. Upon our release from the Rangers, we took up bounty hunting. There were plenty of war criminals to take up on for some quick gold. I only took the commissions that called for the wanted brought back dead or alive. I didn't have any desire to hold conversations with criminals.

But that brings us to you. I saw your name on a tavern keeper's list of debtors. I saw it on several more tavern walls as I tracked you across the northlands. You were so easily followed. I caught up to you almost four months ago. I watched you as you moved from settlement to settlement. I even sat in a tavern with you one night.

You were blind drunk so you wouldn't remember. You even flirted with me before some bar wench hauled you up to her room. As I remember, she returned rather quickly. I wondered if Mother was just another wench to you and my anger rose. I almost went upstairs to kill you then, but I came to my senses. I had bigger plans for you dear Father.

Now, I have the pleasure of seeing those plans to their fruition.

"Requiem! Come to me my beloved!"

Ahh, look at the fear you have now Father. Look at how your body trembles. The stench of fear rises from you in volumes. It gags Requiem. He hates you for it. Look at his fangs, how the soft moonlight gleams from them. Can you imagine what it will feel like to have them take hold of your frail little neck and then twist? Twist until the last of your pathetic life slips away?

But you are my Father. How could I do that to you? No, I will not let my beloved kill you. Nor shall I. Your wound is damaging, but hardly fatal. There is a settlement not more than four hour's ride from here. Go, heal yourself. Drink and carouse as you have always done. Your little girl gives you the gift of life this night as you gave me that same gift so long ago.

But before I go Father, I must tell you my name. You see, you left so quickly that you never heard it. I am called Sa'aleen, the daughter of the Huntsman. You had to know my name so that you know who it is that follows you. For the rest of your days, at any time Sa'aleen and Requiem will find you and hurt you. We will hurt you as you hurt Mother, as you hurt me.

We will come upon you in the night and rip your flesh and break your bones.

And one night, when I grow weary of this little torture, the morning will find your head propped up on your belly in some dirty whore's room. And the world will know that Sa'aleen finally found the justice she so richly deserved.


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