Halt's Revenge

This is my first time writing a fanfic so if something doesn't quite make sense, let me know! :) What would have happened if Will had died? How would have Halt responded to it? What about Horace? Alyss? Evanlyn? Let's find out together in Halt's Revenge! [Characters are under property of John Flanagan. All characters used are his.]

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Author's note

This takes place near the end of Battle for Skandia/Oakleaf Bearers. It talks about what would have happened if Will had died during the battle. This has been a story that I've been wanting to write for quite a while but I've never known how exactly I wanted to write it. So I hope you enjoy this!
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6. Chapter 6

Horace was lost. Not just simply-on-the-wrong-path lost. But I'm-kilometers-away-from-the-closest- town lost. 'I have no idea where I'm at.' Horace thought. And he was right.

Two days ago, he had passed through Dun Kilty. When he had left the city, he had estimated to reach the next town, Drayden, by nightfall that night. When he reached a fork in the road, the turned left. Horace realized this that night and knew it was too late to turn back. He set up camp that night and when he got up the next morning, he headed back the way he had come. Hitting the fork he had the previous day, he turned left. Horace knew he was seriously lost when he hadn't reached Dun Kilty again by noon. Horace had continued down that road in hope of reaching a town by the end of the day. He never did. He had camped for the third time that night and now he was here. In the middle of nowhere. Knowing nothing of the landscape around him.

It's weird, not knowing where you are. Horace was just figuring that out when Kicker's ears perked up. Horace listened and, sure enough, the sound of hoof beats could be heard faintly. The sun had just disappeared behind the nearby mountain, blanketing the valley in dim light before starting to fade away. The last bit of light was just about to disappear when the rider and his horse appeared on the road. Horace hadn't built a fire yet so he could see the figure of the rider but the rider couldn't see him. The figure passed by without any problems and totally missing Horace.

Horace was exhausted from the past couple of days. He got his sleeping gear, curled up in some tall grass nearby and went to sleep.

* * *

A shout awoke Horace. The echo reverberated throughout the valley, surely waking anything else that was sleeping. He waited, listening for the sound again. The shout again, closer this time. Thirty seconds later, it sounded again. And again. The sound of pounding feet, faintly at first, grew to a dull roar as it passed Horace's camp. They deceased as the group moved away into the distance.  Annoyed at the disturbance, Horace fell back asleep.

* * *

Halt was in an unfamiliar land. He looked around and saw a figure in the distance. It was a shorter figure, about the height of Will. The figure approached Halt at a walking pace but covered the vast distance very quickly. As the figure approached, Halt could make out more details of the figure. The brown hair looked familiar; the build of the figure looking similar to that of Will.

"But that can't be. Will's dead." Halt thought.

As if reading his thoughts, Will spoke.

"That's correct, Halt. I am dead. You are almost dead, too." Surprise spread across the old man's face, followed by confusion with his face finally setting on relief. He stepped forward and took Will in his embrace. They stood hugging for a long while before Will broke it by taking a step backward.

"What is this place?" Halt questioned.

"It's the after world, Halt. It's where we go when we die."

"So am I dead?"

"Not yet. You are on the brink of death. Right now, your body looks like it is dead. But really, it's waiting for your choice in this matter. Since you are on the brink of death, you have the choice to either go back to the real world and continue your life. Or you can come with me and your body will officially die. It's your choice right now that determines everything that happens both here in the afterlife and back in the real world."

Halt's mind was reeling. Such a big choice to make in such a short amount of time. He wasn't sure he was processing everything will had told him correctly but a questioning glance in Will's direction confirmed thatched heard everything right. He chose to go with Will, and his body would die back in the real world. He chose to go back, and he'd continue his life until he died.

Halt took a long moment to think about his choice. He was torn between leaving Will and going back to Erak. Finally, he looked at Will. Halt's decision was made. He knew what he wanted to do.

"I'll go back." He said, dropping his head to face the ground. Will saw the movement and approached his mentor drawing him into an embrace once again. Suddenly, he felt Halt's body shake slightly, growing more violent as Halt began to cry.

"I'm scared, Will," he said, barely more than a whisper. "I'm scared that if I leave, I'll never see you again. Scared that...when I go back, I'll have to feel that pain again. I'm not ready for that, Will." Sobs wracked his body again.

Will patted his teacher's back. Once Halt's sobs had calmed back down, Will nudged Halt away, grabbed his shoulders and looked into his eyes.

"Listen to me, Halt. Going back is the best thing you can do right now. I know it will hurt; I experienced this same thing during that night I was dying. I chose to go back, but I ended up dying before I could see you again." Will began to choke up. "But the world needs you right now. It hasn't happened yet but I can tell you this: that man that killed me has killed thousands of others and will surely kill thousands more if he's not stopped. You're the only one who can do that. You're the only person he doesn't known is associated with me. I don't know how he's missed this crucial detail but because he missed it, it will lead to his demise. Go back now. Your body is no longer poisoned and I will tell you where he's at." Will whispered the location into Halt's ear. Will took a step back, tears in both mens eyes. "Now go, Halt. I'll see you again when you return." Will and the unfamiliar place began to fade away.

* * *

The pain was gone; Halt knew that. Will had said it would be. Wait...where was Will? Halt's eyes flew open and he sat up so fast his vision became blurry for a moment. When his blurred vision cleared, he took in the setting around him. The sun was up and, judging by its position, it was about ten-thirty. Suddenly, a shadow fell across Halt's face. He looked up to see Erak leaning over Halt.

"Gorlog's beard, Halt. You scared the living crap outta me," Erak exclaimed. "When you wake up, you come a-swingin' at everything." He laughed. Halt blinked, processing everything that had just happened. He must have gotten lost in thought because Erak's face suddenly was in Halt's sight again.

"You okay, Halt?" He questioned. Halt nodded.

"Yeah. I just got lost in thought." Suddenly, his conversation with Will popped back into his mind. Stopping the killer. But how? Where was he? Wait, Will had told him that. Halt looked over at Erak, his face set serious.

"We have to go to Dun Kilty."

"What?"

"We have to go. We have to go now."

"Halt, you're not making sense. What do you mean? There isn't a healer there."

"I don't need a healer right now. Look, I don't have time to explain right now but we have to go there and we have to do it as quickly as we can."

"Okay, but let's get you to a healer first."

"No. I don't need one. Listen, I'm fine." He lied about the next part. "I don't know how I know but I do. I don't need a healer. Let's go to Dun Kilty now."

Erak gave him a weird look. "Okay, if you say so. Fellas," H

he shouted. "Let's get Halt to Dun Kilty. He says that's where he needs to go and he need to go there now."

A Skandian in the back spoke up. "What about the healer?" Murmurs of agreement washed through the others.

"Never mind about that. He need to get to Dun Kilty fast. Let's go!"

With that, the Skandians continued their running plan. One would run in the front, yelling every thirty seconds to make sure people know that they were on their way and in a hurry. Two would be next to him about three meters apart to clear the road.

Halt kept insisting that he was fine and could run on his own but Erak wasn't buying it. So Halt was hoisted onto Erak's shoulders and there they were, running through the darkness. And away they went.

Three hours later, they arrived in Dun Kilty.

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