The Crusader Chapter 5- Deadly Wounds
Posted March 4th, 2013 by ARandomWriter
Chapter 5- Deadly Wounds
By the time they reached Hemer, both Dorian and Xavier were completely exhausted. Sagus lay limply across Xavier’s back, and the two were unsure about whether he was dead or alive.
They pushed on, desperate to get Sagus to safety, even if his fate had already been sealed. His hood had fallen backwards, and his eyes were closed. His mouth was straight and relaxed, like he did not have a care in the world.
Xavier had wrapped some of Ger’s lovely carpet around the wound to stop the bleeding. They arrived at the huge gate as quickly as they could. The same guard that had first greeted Dorian waited for them. He looked surprised.
“Is he dead?” called the guard.
“Open the gate and we’ll find out!” Dorian called back.
The guard shook his head sadly as he signaled for the gate to be opened.
“Didn’t I tell you to stay away from Ormaan? You didn’t listen to me, and it seems your friend has paid the price!”
Xavier led the way down the main street, and Dorian quickly glanced at the gate guard behind them.
“Where in the name of the gods is my replacement?” Dorian heard him say to his colleague, “my shift was supposed to have finished an hour ago!”
“Don’t mind him,” Xavier said under his breath, “he’s with us. Wants the Crusader dead as much as the next man. He’ll probably visit after his replacement arrives. He’s a good friend of Sagus’.”
An expression of confusion crossed Dorian’s face.
“I’ll explain when we get Sagus to safety,” Xavier said, seeing the look.
They strode past the tavern just as Ormaan exited it, and began walking down the steps with a smug smile on his face, and a tough looking assistant at his side. He looked up, and spotted Dorian.
Ormaan’s eye twitched in rage, and he gave Dorian a look so cold it would have turned the devil to ice. Then he noticed Dorian’s accomplice, and his look changed again to express pure rage.
“You’re a traitor to your town, Xavier!” he shouted as the two turned and moved off, “and I will see to it that both your pathetic heads are sent rolling down the main street to show that nobody, NOBODY, crosses Ormaan and gets away with it!”
“We have to get Sagus patched up immediately,” Xavier muttered, “and then we need to get out of here. Ormaan’s threat is not empty. I’m almost certain Ormaan is on his way to Lord Drasen’s hall to get guards.”
The two broke into a run, Xavier using all his remaining energy to sprint with Sagus in his arms. They weaved through streets, almost hitting an old woman as they cut a corner. She yelled out in shock, but they had to keep moving. Eventually, the pair arrived at Xavier’s house, and burst through the door.
Xavier lay Sagus down on a small wooden table in the centre of the room and pulled up the unconscious man’s cloak and garments to reveal the wound in the side of his stomach.
“It’s not a deep wound,” Xavier whispered, relief in his voice, “we can fix this up!”
He rummaged through a drawer and took out a piece of cloth while Dorian put pressure on the wound.
Suddenly, the door burst open, and the entrance guard burst through the door.
“Is he ok?” the guard asked immediately.
“We don’t have much time, Ormaan’s coming,” replied Xavier, “get over here, we need your help.”
The guard strode over, pulling a vial out of his pocket. Xavier looked at it with curiosity.
“I’m training to be a healer, remember?” the guard said, noticing the look. He turned suspiciously to Dorian, while letting a few drops of the liquid from the vial fall onto the wound. “Who are you?”
“My name is Dorian.”
“He helped us bring down Ger,” Xavier cut in, “it’s safe, Vrewen.”
The guard, Vrewen, nodded.
“About time somebody dealt with Ger,” he muttered, carefully pulling out the arrow. Once it was out, he threw it across the floor, then withdrew another vial from his pocket. He splashed the wound with it and rubbed the liquid in gently.
A loud crash could be heard from down the street. The three looked at each other with a sense of dread.
“Ormaan,” whispered Xavier.
Vrewen noticed the cloth.
“Xavier, tie that around the wound, then we need to leave. And I don’t just mean we need to leave this house. We need to leave Hemer.”
Xavier nodded in agreement as he rushed to tie the cloth. The guards started banging on the door.
“We know you’re in there,” Ormaan shouted, “so why don’t you come out and play?”
“Vrewen,” Xavier whispered, almost silently, “hide, don’t let them see you or they’ll know that you’re a traitor.”
Vrewen nodded, and slid into a tiny drawer.
“We surrender,” Xavier shouted through the door.
Dorian knew that Xavier was making the right call. They would never have made it out using force, especially with Sagus to look after.
They exited Xavier’s home with their hands raised in surrender, and were greeted by Ormaan’s snarling face.
“You pathetic whelps,” he spat, “you all disgust me! You dare defy my will, the will of Lord Drasen, the will of The Crusader himself? You were never supposed to return to Hemer! However, now that you are here, disposing of you will be a simple task!”
He raised the back of his hand high into the air, and brought it down with all his strength, then slammed it into Dorian’s face. The young man showed no emotion. Ormaan growled quietly.
“You will perish, stranger,” Ormaan whispered menacingly, “and I will watch in delight as your ugly head rolls away from its body!”
He hit Dorian again, then turned to Xavier.
“And you, you traitor! You have been given the hospitality of Lord Drasen, who has let you live in his town for years, and yet you repay him with this treachery! You disgust me, Xavier, and you will die alongside your friend!”
Ormaan turned back to face the large force of guards he had brought with him.
“Take these scum to the hall, where Lord Drasen will bring them to justice for their crimes!”
Dorian and Xavier were dragged along the dusty streets silently, Ormaan walking alongside them with a spring in his step.
People milling quietly about the streets stopped and stared, their faces filled with fear of Ormaan, and the knowledge that those who stood up against him would fall.
“This,” Ormaan roared to the onlookers, “is the result of treachery! You will never win! The Crusader and his will are unstoppable! I am unstoppable!”
Dorian laughed, loudly enough for the bystander’s to hear.
“You glorify unjust murder, Ormaan.” Dorian indicated Sagus. “You plan to execute a man who is already dying, and others who have committed no crime but defend themselves from attackers.”
Ormaan brought his boot crashing into the side of Dorian’s chest, laughing himself.
“You know nothing of justice, boy! The only reason you are here is because of a lust to murder! Or do you plan to give The Hunter a hug when you see him?”
Dorian fell silent for the rest of the time he was dragged through the town. They finally arrived at a huge building, with a defensive fence positioned around it, and manned by at least fifteen guards.
The doors were swung open when the guards caught sight of Ormaan, and he stepped inside with the guards that were carrying Xavier, Dorian and Sagus.
Dorian looked up at the room, which was entirely empty except for eight chairs assembled in a small circle, and a larger, far grander chair, down the end. The circle of chairs were filled with men that had an air of authority about them, and the chair at the end was filled with an extremely fat man with an advisor whispering in his ear. The man wore the finest silk Dorian had ever seen, and his face was dull as he listened to the advisor’s words. Dorian looked straight into his eyes, and he knew he was looking into the eyes of Lord Drasen.
Drasen stared at the newcomers with frustration.
“I am busy, Ormaan! Bring these prisoners back later.”
A brief flash of fury crossed Ormaan’s face, but he quickly hid it
“These are the men responsible for Ger’s disappearance, and the deaths of all his guards. By doing whatever it was they did to him, they have completely destabilized Hemer’s economy! We were relying on Ger to keep a steady flow of money running into Hemer, and because of these men, that won’t happen anymore! They must be suitably punished! The public needs to be shown that we are just as unforgiving and terrifying as we were in the past! As you were in the past, Drasen.”
“What are you suggesting,” Drasen snapped.
“I’m suggesting that you are growing soft and weak just as you grow old, and the townspeople know it! If you don’t prove to them that you are still worthy of their fear, then they will soon bring you down!”
Drasen heaved himself out of his seat with great effort.
“You dare insult-”
“Yes!” Ormaan interrupted, “I dare! What will you do, kill me? No, because you need me, Drasen. You get to sit around and play leader, but everyone knows that I’m the one who pulls the strings! Now, Lord Drasen, have these three pathetic wastes of life executed publicly tomorrow morning!”
Drasen slowly shrank back into his chair. He knew that Ormaan was right. Lord Drasen was nothing but a puppet, and puppets had masters.
“Take them to the dungeons,” Drasen shouted to his guards, “and keep security tight. If they escape, it will be you lot on the chopping block!”
Lord Drasen then turned to his advisor.
“Tell the executioner to sharpen his axe. Tomorrow, he will have work to do.”
As Dorian was hastily taken away by the guards, he saw Ormaan turn away ad leave with a smug, satisfied expression on his cruel face.
See more stories by Harry