In the Darkness

Part 3

Two men knelt outside a stone mansion. One had very dark, unkempt hair loosely hanging about his shoulders and a dark beard was beginning to form on his face from lack of shaving. He was dressed in some light armor, mostly leather but he also wore a light shirt of chain mail beneath his leather vest. His companion had blonde hair which was cleaner than the first’s although dirty as well, it was held out of his face in a pony tail. His face was adorned with a short beard of the same color. He was dressed similarly although not with such dark colors as the first and instead of wearing mail he carried a round shield, which alternately could be slung upon his back. Both men had swords out and at the ready.

"It’s practically committing suicide." The first noted, looking across the wide courtyard.

The second nodded, "We are not likely to return." He agreed.

The two remained silent, both contemplating their self appointed mission, "Let’s do this." The first declared.

As one the two men stood, rushing the castle. Creatures of the darkness ran at them as they became aware of their presence but were cut down quickly, before they could even sound any alarm. The pair paused outside the great wooden door after vanquishing all the enemies in the court.

They burst through the door, knowing they were sealing their fate and made quick work of the creatures within the dimly lit room. They briefly surveyed their fallen enemies, sprawled upon the ground. The dark haired man seemed content with the job and began to make for the next room.

"Aiden!" The blonde man called, stopping his partner, "Look here."

The dark haired man, Aiden, walked over to his friend, swiftly wiping black blood from his sword and returning it to it’s sheath. "It… Looks human." He commented, looking upon the small form on the ground and prodding it carefully with his foot.

The second man nodded, "That is what I thought. Is it alive?"

Aiden stooped, turning the body over. It looked to be a young boy, his skin was very pale but for the dark area around his eyes and his frame was very thin. He felt for a pulse at the boy’s neck, "I think so." He said, nodding to his friend.

"Well, should we leave him here?" The second man questioned again.

The dark haired man laughed, "Marcell, if you would like to flee I am not stopping you!"

The blonde man glared at him, "I do not believe I said anything about fleeing, Aiden." He practically growled.

Aiden laughed again, a hearty noise that had not been heard in that house in all it’s memory. It was at this strange noise that the boy stirred again. He gradually blinked his eyes open, still not used to the light and looked at the two men over him curiously.

"Very well, then." Aiden stated, calming down again, "We will conquer this house another day."

His friend, stubbornly trying to hide a smile agreed to this plan and Aiden gently slid his arms under the boy’s body, he had not yet noticed the boy had woke. He had only begun to lift the lithe form from the ground when he suddenly dropped it again in surprise.

"Marc…" He started slowly, speaking sidelong to his friend who was now alerted to the boy’s condition as well, "I think he’s awake, Marc."

"Indeed." Marc replied humorlessly, "Would you like to get out of here?" He asked.

"Yes, actually. Much too dark for my taste." His friend answered, grinning slyly.

The blonde man punched his friend’s arm, "I was not speaking to you but to the boy!" He stated the common knowledge, "Well, what of it, boy?"

The boy was so stunned to see the normal people before him that he couldn’t think of any reply. Even if he had he would not have been able to voice it through his parched lips.

The dark haired man waited for the boy’s reply for a moment before addressing his friend again, "He’s not answering, Marc."

The blonde man rolled his eyes, "I know he’s not answering, Aiden. I can see that." He turned his attention back to the boy, "We’re going to get you out of here." He stated, this time not forming it as a question.

Aiden took his cue and scooped the boy back into his arms, picking him up this time without any mishap. The boy took this all in, not understanding a thing he was seeing. He found himself hard pressed at the moment to fathom such a thing as kindness or friendship, so long had he been in the bleak loneliness of this house.

He was terribly surprised, to say the least, when the men carried him out and away from the house that he thought would imprison him forever. He was surprised, but content with the assurance and soon found it impossible to stave off much needed sleep any longer. Aiden smiled fondly down at the boy in his arms as he fell asleep and muttered a quiet blessing for good dreams to the child before concentrating upon his path once more.

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