19a (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Chapter Nineteen

Argent opened his eyes as he felt his flute being pulled from his grasp. The monster was being pulled off of him and the flute was still lodged in its chest. It had all happened so quickly. The terror from his dream becoming reality had frozen him and it had been shear luck that had caused the weirwolf’s rush to drive itself onto his flute, stopping it’s heart before it could complete its attack.

“Thank Ferus, you’re alive.”

Argent slowly allowed his eyes to meet Simon’s, expecting to find disappointment at having fallen asleep on watch and being too stunned to help in the skirmish.  Instead he saw a glimpse of pride.

“And your first kill too … with a flute of all things.  Maybe there’s hope for the prophesy yet.  Maybe … maybe if you keep the element of surprise.”

Argent prepared to remove his poncho to allow Simon to check for any possible signs of infection.

“Keep your shirt on.  You’re a True Warrior now.  Check yourself if you feel off and do your duty to cut off any of your flesh that starts festering.  But you’ve completed the quest, been given Argentum and made your first kill with it.  You won’t be an easy one for the infection to take hold of from now on.”

With that, Simon turned his attention away from Argent and gave it to the corpse at his feet.  He retrieved his silver dagger and used it to point out a scar on the neck.  It was an elaborate design as far as weir culture went.

“I saw this same design on the one that ran off.  High ranking, might even be one of the Beasts original brutes.  Your first kill … a brute.”

Argent leaned closer, he’d heard of the brutes that the Warriors had originally been commissioned to hunt but this was the first time he’s ever seen one.  As he looked closer he could see subtle differences between it and a common weir.  Hard to nail down specifics, but a general feeling of being a counterfeit rather than corrupted human.  Simon squatted down beside Argent deep in thought for a short minute.

“I have no idea what two brutes would be doing this far south, or why they would be attempting to form a pack.  Now that we’ve foiled their plan though, we can’t take the chance that the brute won’t forget whatever grievance sent it away from the Beast and hope that bringing news of a new Warrior will assuage it’s wrath.  We can’t let that happen.  Maybe Ferus knew that in your weakness you would choose the flute.  Maybe that’s how you’ll be able to smuggle argentum close to the Beast, because it’s so small. ‘His pride will be his undoing.’

“Regardless, we need to keep you a secret.  I’ll track the brute, you finish the wounded runt that left that way.  If we don’t cross paths soon, we’ll meet at Bildad’s counsel in Phoenton.”

Simon handed his dagger to Argent.  That was the first time Argent realized his father’s claymore was nowhere to be seen.  Simon must have seen the question in his eyes.

“I tried to spear it as it ran away, but it was too fast, got far enough away that the bond lapsed and Wolfripper reverted before impact.  We can’t waste any more time, I’ll find you later.  Ferus grant you strength to do your duty.”

With that his father bounded down the mountain unarmed.  Presumably in the direction of the fleeing Sniffer.  Argent prayed the weir wouldn’t have the sense to set an ambush before Wolfripper and Simon were reunited and their bond renewed.

 

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