Chapter 6:

Werewolf III

The Aliens They Summoned

It was dark. It was wet. It was uncomfortable... and he was a ticking time bomb. Everyone was a ticking time bomb. Being transported in a cart as he had been, Marion had noticed just how quickly they could make it to the town.Bookmark here

While traveling with walking speed, they took a few days, not longer.Bookmark here

If he were to transform into a beast and remember that there were juicy humans over in that direction... he could run that distance in half a night.Bookmark here

They wouldn't stand a chance.Bookmark here

He grabbed the iron bars, shaking them with the little strength he had. Marion couldn't complain about the treatment they gave him now.Bookmark here

The Lord of this castle, a Lord Viktor, also visited him on occasion.Bookmark here

All the strong fighters were gone, even that strong-looking but gruff-sounding guard Marion had noticed when he was first arrested with Carl.Bookmark here

To think that he...Bookmark here

Marion shook the thought out of his head, returning to the useless act of attempting to break out of his cell.Bookmark here

The prison cell across from his own was cleaned out, but missing the bars. It was the one Marion and Carl had been imprisoned in before.Bookmark here

He had a lot of time to study the damage he had done to something as sturdy as the stone walls, so he couldn't even imagine how it would be to stand against him as a mere human.Bookmark here

Humans are made to be devoured, a voice in his head spoke, sounding sweet but menacing.Bookmark here

It got worse the closer the full moon moved. That was when it would take over his mind. With how prominent it was now, it wouldn't take long.Bookmark here

Maybe one or two nights...Bookmark here

They didn't cover up the daylight, either. Maybe they were just gracious to their fellow human in need, or maybe they didn't have the personnel for such flamboyancies.Bookmark here

Marion couldn't tell.Bookmark here

Since the only window was the one in his old cell, he couldn't get close enough to see the moon at night. No matter where it moved, the small hole in the wall didn't provide him with a line of sight that lined up with visual proof about the state of his bestiality.Bookmark here

Waiting for the inevitable was the worst.Bookmark here

If he'd at least know when it would happen, but now he had the unknown evil he couldn't avoid creeping closer, and he couldn't do a thing.Bookmark here

It was frustrating.Bookmark here

It was infuriating.Bookmark here

It was useless...Bookmark here

Even if he were to be set free right this instance, he would never make it far enough to ensure the safety of the townsfolk from him.Bookmark here

Not to speak of the inhabitants of this castle...Bookmark here

Thinking stuff along those lines, Marion watched every evening as the sun went down and the moon became the only light source.Bookmark here

Would he transform, or was he safe for another day, until the fearing began anew?Bookmark here

Marion shivered, clasping his hands for a prayer.Bookmark here

"Please, don't let me transform tonight, I don't want to do this anymore! Why was I cursed with this bestial body? Who thought this was a good idea? Who...? Why...? Why me...?"Bookmark here

He hung his head as the light hit him... and a change occurred.Bookmark here

Don't hang hour head, a voice told him as bubbles protruded from his skin, hair sprouting out of each one of them. I'm no evil thing. I am simply hungry. Be glad, for I only come out once every lunar cycle... though, listen to the castle!Bookmark here

"Whooooo!"Bookmark here

"Awoooo!"Bookmark here

"Wahuuuu!"Bookmark here

Listen to them go! They are all going to join us tonight. though that's a problem. They're all moving for that town ahead of us! No, some are going in a different direction... yes, I also smell fresh meat that way! Interesting, to have a delivery transported right to our doorstep! Though they are a bit off, still. First is the cell...Bookmark here

"GRAAAA!" a voice both like and unlike Marion's growled, and a body which was both Marion's and not Marion's crashed through the prison bars as if they were mere young trees in the dirt. Some of the dirt (stone) was ripped out alongside the trees (bars). Similar sounds could be heard from above, and Marion lost consciousness as the beast took over. He was fully designated to the background as they made it outside and the moon shone down on their bodies. "AWOOOO!"Bookmark here

It was the time of the beast.Bookmark here

Tonight, we hunt!Bookmark here

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There was a strange scent among the smells of humans and werewolves he knew. Marion got a late start, but with this being the first transformation for most of his rivals, he caught up to them rather quickly.Bookmark here

They ran together, faster than any horse, driven by their thirst for flesh and blood.Bookmark here

The humans were just two miles or so away, but there was another, cold scent among them. Almost scentless, with a tinge of human.Bookmark here

What was it?Bookmark here

"Grah!" the beast said, swatting an annoying fly out of the air. A strange, black creature with leathery wings and weak fangs. There were a lot of these around, he noted. Just to try it, he caught one in his mouth, trying the taste. They were kinda similar to the scent ahead, the one with the humans. Why would they take these useless creatures with them? Or was this simply a part of the wildlife here? Marion didn't have the time to think about this as his nose caught the scent of blood! Someone had hurt a human, and... it smelled delicious! "GROOAAAARRRRRGH!"Bookmark here

All around him, the few dozen or so werewolves who went in the same direction as he did let out cries and howls of anticipation, and they crashed through the last treeline between them and their long-awaited meat...Bookmark here

Suddenly, Marion felt pain, and he toppled over.Bookmark here

A shivering paw with claws gently caressed his mid-section, finding a thin line of blood under the protection of his fur.Bookmark here

Similar howls of pain erupted around him, as something dark approached him again.Bookmark here

What was it?Bookmark here

"Foul creature, be purged!" the shadow yelled, and Marion answered its challenge.Bookmark here

It wielded a sword of some sorts, but it would stand no chance against Marion's claws-Bookmark here

"Graaaaah!"Bookmark here

Somehow, the shadow easily separated the claws from his paw.Bookmark here

The shadow's sword-like thing was stronger than his claws!Bookmark here

"Pitiful beast, prepare for hell!"Bookmark here

The shadow moved closer once more, but Marion wouldn't let it end him there! He hit the ground, throwing up dust and foliage, then he attempted to slice through the shadow with the claws on his healthy paw... but the shadow moved out of the way in time! Settling for some damage, at least, Marion swung his other paw without the claws at it, hitting it this time.Bookmark here

It crashed through some trees, which fell over.Bookmark here

With how strong the thing was, Marion knew that this was far from over.Bookmark here

As Marion showered in the moonlight, the wound on his belly and his claws began to sizzle and steam, healing them.Bookmark here

This creature smelled distantly human...Bookmark here

Marion wanted to take a bite.Bookmark here

As expected, it came storming back, though from a different direction, surprising Marion!Bookmark here

It swung its sword at one of Marion's legs, cutting deep.Bookmark here

"Graaaah! Nasty shadow, I'll kill you!"Bookmark here

"So you can speak, foul anomaly!"Bookmark here

"Are you one to talk?"Bookmark here

They clashed once more, and this time, Marion evaded the sword, slashing through the shadow with his claws... but it did nothing!Bookmark here

"Not like this, beast!"Bookmark here

As the moonlight hit the darkness, a distinctly human face appeared in the shadow. Marion couldn't hold himself back anymore.Bookmark here

His mouth shot forward, and a grin appeared on the shadow's face as intense pain silenced Marion. The sword poked out on the top of his snout, having entered through his lower jaw. But the shadow basked in its glory for too long!Bookmark here

"Die!"Bookmark here

This time, Marion's claws did something, and an arm fell to the ground as blood gushed from the wound.Bookmark here

The shadow pulled the sword out of Marion's snout as it retreated, calling into the darkness.Bookmark here

"Monrag! Herim! Take him!"Bookmark here

"Yes, Count Nosgrad!" two voices said, attacking Marion from places where he never would've expected someone to be.Bookmark here

How many of these things would he have to fight before he could taste a human? His jaw began to sizzle and steam and heal as he turned to these new adversaries, watching his previous opponent run towards the place where he smelled the humans.Bookmark here

The mere fact that they were two made it harder for Marion to land a hit.Bookmark here

Whenever he turned to one, the other moved behind him, wounding him in some way. They were weaker than this... Count Nosgard, but they were still strong.Bookmark here

Especially in a pair.Bookmark here

Normal weapons couldn't even harm Marion, so what was going on?Bookmark here

"What is this thing?" one of his enemies yelled, slicing for Marion's arm.Bookmark here

His healing couldn't keep up!Bookmark here

"Just kill it!" the other shadow barked back, gracing the skin of Marion's neck.Bookmark here

"Enough is enough!" Enraged over the hard battle, Marion allowed both swords to get clean hits in, burying the blades in his body. He tightened his muscles through the pain, ignoring the strange shadow-like substance steaming from the weapons, and grabbed one of the two with his clawed paw. the other one, angry over the capture of his ally, got too close, and Marion could bury the shadow under his foot. He heard bones break and a popping sound. The squirming stopped. The one in his paw struggled to break free, shouting inaudible stuff. Marion ignored it and bit hard on the head, tasting this strange new flavor. There was definitely human among it, but he couldn't say he was a fan. There was more human ahead, delicious human! "Awooooooo!"Bookmark here

His victory over the shadows didn't go unnoticed.Bookmark here

The werewolves in the vicinity fought with more vigor, their wounds seemingly healing faster than before. Marion saw several of them dead on the ground, sliced open or decapitated until their metabolism couldn't work anymore.Bookmark here

Something about it... made him lose it.Bookmark here

Instead of the humans, he went for the shadows, fighting them alongside his fellow monsters.Bookmark here

Shadows died.Bookmark here

Beasts died.Bookmark here

Marion wouldn't call either side a winner.Bookmark here

There was a shadow almost as savage as the first one he had fought, smelling hard of human. He had killed no less than three werewolves before making a beeline.Bookmark here

Marion knew that the end of the night was nigh!Bookmark here

In an attempt to get revenge for his fallen brothers, he followed the shadow, but it moved through the undergrowth as if it had no mass whatsoever.Bookmark here

Moreover, the strange black-winged creatures kept assaulting him as if they wished to protect the shadow, and Marion lost him.Bookmark here

He still smelled traces of him, but the sun was coming out, and he kept his body bestial through sheer willpower.Bookmark here

Not like this!Bookmark here

I'll kill this bastard!Bookmark here

Not like this!Bookmark here

He finally came upon a cave. The scent was very strong here, so he knew that the shadow was inside... but he had overstayed his welcome.Bookmark here

The sun was in the sky, and the beast retreated...Bookmark here

Not... like... this...Bookmark here

Its body had other plans.Bookmark here

Against its wishes, the night of the beast was over.Bookmark here

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He woke up shortly after.Bookmark here

The pictures of the night kept haunting him. He didn't know what these shadows were, but they had been strong enough to battle him and countless other werewolves to a stand-still.Bookmark here

If there were more of them, surely...Bookmark here

No, many werewolves had run to the town, too. They surely reached it, which meant that the villagers there were either dead or...Bookmark here

Marion didn't want to think about it.Bookmark here

He remembered why the beast had come here.Bookmark here

Please, don't be here!Bookmark here

Every movement in the shadows scared him. As much as he hated the beast, anything that could beat it was equally scary to him!Bookmark here

He didn't want to kill!Bookmark here

He didn't want to die!Bookmark here

He had to run away!Bookmark here

As quick as his tired feet could carry him, Marion ran away, through the undergrowth and past trees and forests.Bookmark here

He didn't know where he was going, but anywhere was better than here!Bookmark here

"Oh!"Bookmark here

A sound of surprise.Bookmark here

This wasn't the place he wanted to reach!Bookmark here

Marion was back at the site of the battle. He hesitated, but looked at the corpses, anyway. To his surprise, the shadows wore normal clothing.Bookmark here

He looked for the ones he had killed and quickly found them.Bookmark here

Their clothing would be better than nothing, at least...Bookmark here

But he couldn't go in this direction.Bookmark here

Judging from the direction they had retreated to, he couldn't go there either, as their fortress was probably there.Bookmark here

If he didn't want to go back to Lord Viktor, and not ahead to the land of the shadows...Bookmark here

He was left with two choices.Bookmark here

Marion deliberated his options while rubbing his neck... his neck? Did he always have bite marks there? Had he fought with another werewolf that night... no, he didn't?Bookmark here

The night was still vivid in his mind, so he was quite sure...Bookmark here

What was going on?Bookmark here

Judging it best to put some distance between him and this place first, he retreated.Bookmark here

As he walked, the trees wore fewer leaves and the bark turned darker...Bookmark here

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