Chapter 4:

Prologue: The Strong and The Weak

KurtzPel: <Bringer of Chaos>

Moments before...
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Immediately reacting to the energy infused arrows Geralt clutched his breast and murmured a few choice words.Bookmark here

'This is my karma, Castle of Azure!'Bookmark here

Castle of Azure, a Karma Unique to those with a desire to "protect" others around them. Geralt had discovered this power long ago which soon led to his recruitment with The Chase. It had brought much success for their reconnaissance missions over the years which casualties were lessened greatly. However, the faint traces of previous wielders surfaced in his mind whenever he used it. He had hoped to bestow this gift upon his children though it seems as though this wouldn't be the case...
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"Honey! Let's go!"Bookmark here

Grabbing his wife and child he grasped the door handle of the nearby trapdoor and flung it open as he quickly brought them along as he struggled to see amidst the blood trailing over his eyes.
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"Geralt, where's Luke?!"Bookmark here

"I don't know Bridget, but I can feel him nearby. I was fortunate to have shielded all of you but he's alive, that I can assure you."Bookmark here

"Thank goodness..."Bookmark here

Exiting the passageway, they quickly moved away from their home and nestled in a quaint area with Geralt slumped on the ground frustrated at the current situation with only Bridget trying to comfort him with Maria buried in her chest nearly in shock.Bookmark here

"Honey..."Bookmark here

Geralt grimly pondered over his options, from his work in The Chase it was only a matter of time before this area would be purged via Lustratiol. He was already beset with fatigue from using up his karma's power and would not be able to shield them all like before. All he could do, was buy his family time to escape...he would die...Bookmark here

"I..think this is the end for me...Please take our child and stay alive...for my sake."Bookmark here

"Please don't say that."Bookmark here

Taking a moment to look at his daughter despite his wife spilling tears the same could be said of Maria though they came from shock. Smiling, he continued as the pursuers' voice echoed around them.
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"Maria, never forget what I'm about to tell you."Bookmark here

"The world is built upon lies...Everyone must learn the truth. Please do not forget this..."Bookmark here

Maria looked at her father, his face stricken with blood yet saw his loving smile as if nothing had happened.
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"Stay healthy, my child."Bookmark here

"Dad, no."Bookmark here

Bridget covered her daughter's voice as Geralt nodded and began to run towards the army directing their attention away from his family.Bookmark here

"Honey..."Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Helmut was getting impatient at the incompetence of his army as their lack of success were obvious he pondered over the slight moment of power that came from the apostate.Bookmark here

'I could only wonder if he's here...'Bookmark here

Then, taking note of the group of soldiers forming upon an area he began to march over to inspect.
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"Search this house!"Bookmark here

Rummaging through the wreckage proved fruitless as mere remnants of the family's home were sprawled around.
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"He couldn't have gotten far, keep looking!"Bookmark here

"This way! I see the heretic!"Bookmark here

"We got him! We got him!"Bookmark here

Much to the soldiers dismay, it was the villagers who found him first binding him then taking him up to General Helmut who could only look down in disappointment as if wasting those mere seconds gauging Geralt's power was meaningless. From the distance, Maria could see her father along with her mother.Bookmark here

"Where are the others?"Bookmark here

"I...I don't know sir.."Bookmark here

"I'll ask you one last time, Where are the others?!"Bookmark here

"Please truly...I don't...Kn-uuaaakkk!"Bookmark here

Before even finishing his pleas for mercy Geralt was silenced by Helmut's blade dissatisfied with the outcome of his interrogation. Turning to his surroundings, he could see nothing nor sense nothing for that matter.Bookmark here

"All units, continue your search."Bookmark here

As if bored, Helmut returned to the main party though turned briefly to a faint presence in the area. It was foreign but before he could focus on it the entity vanished. This brought great concern for him, but for the time being he could only finish what he was ordered to do. Moments later a soldier came to report.Bookmark here

"Sir! We've searched everywhere in the forest but couldn't find the rest of the traitors, sir."Bookmark here

"Is that so?..."Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Bridget was mortified at what become of her husband. With a sobbing Maria in her arms all she could do was comfort her the best she could.
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"It will be...alright..."Bookmark here

She knew she had to escape, but while despairing over her husband her attention circled around both Maria and Luke. Where could he be? She wondered. Nevertheless, she had to move and quickly if there was any hope for them both.Bookmark here

'I will, save you both!'Bookmark here

Helmut looked up to the skies, nightfall was soon to come upon them.
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"Private, gather our men. The Purification must be completed."Bookmark here

"As you wish, sir."Bookmark here

Helmut began his march towards the murmuring villagers as with the house burnt to the ground concern among them had already begun. It was only a matter of time before the citizens here were "saved" from their sins.Bookmark here

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