But right now, right now was probably the worst.
The disfigured creature standing in front of him was just
sitting there, sharpening his obsidian colored sword. Acris was afraid to even
move. He’d seen how fast the freak could move. And that sword was easily sharp
enough to cut his head off. Zarrus had been ‘kind’ enough to demonstrate the
blade’s sharpness by slicing a door open.
Zarrus wasn’t even doing
anything. Just sitting with his back against the wall and running a whetstone
up and down his sword. His yellow eyes were focused wholly on the stygian
blade, picking out the few nicks and dents in the edge.
“So. Um. What are we doing?” Acris asked nervously.
“I didn’t tell you?” Zarrus furrows his brow, looking up at
Acris. The creepy elf’s face was uncovered, his melted face a horrible sight.
“N-no. You just brought me here and said to wait,” Acris
“Ah. Well, we’re going to be meeting an informant. Haha.”
Zarrus giggled to himself. “You’re a powerful earth mage, yes? You can find any
creature, so long as you have a sample of it, correct?”
“Um. I-in theory,” Acris replied, surprised. “I-I’m not too
terribly good at it.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll get better at it.” Zarrus giggled
again. “Very quickly, if I’m any guess.”
“Okay. Okay.” Acris nodded frantically, returning to
silence. After a while, he spoke again. “So, um, who is your informant? And when
will he be here?”
“He should be here… now.”
Right as Zarrus said it, a grungy-looking elf staggered out
of a nearby alley. His face was covered in exposed flesh, an angry red color. What
skin he had was glistening with sweat, and his eyes were bloodshot.
As soon as the elf exited the alley, Zarrus sheathed his
sword and flipped his hood up, walking over to the sick man. Zarrus pat the man
on the shoulder in a comforting manner, bringing him over to the shade of the
building that he had brought Acris to. “Acris, I’d like you to meet our friend
for the time being. Gunk here will be telling us about the blood snake queen.”
“The name’s not Gunk. It’s Gary.” The sick elf muttered.
“Right. Garbage.” Zarrus gave the elf another pat on the
back. “So Garbage, what was your little story about the blood snake queen?”
“I was mindin’ my own business, hidin’ in the alleys, when
this monster jus’ comes outta nowhere an’ tries to kill me. Spat acid in m’
face. ‘m lucky to’ve survived,” Gary said, slurring his words. “I fought ‘er
off, though. Beat her t’ a pulp.”
“Good old Grunge. Always embellishing his stories, haha.”
Zarrus smiled, patting Gary on the back again. “’cept I know he’s lying. He’s
trying to lie to me again. But I can hear his heartbeat, and it’s fluttering
more than a butterfly right now. Haha.” Zarrus paused for effect, smile growing
wider. “Oh, and now it’s going unhealthily fast. Poor, poor Grunge.”
“I tol’ you. M’name’s-,” Gary began.
There was a blur of motion, and Zarrus was holding the sick
elf against a wall, sword at Gary’s throat. “I know your name, dimwit. I just
feel like Garbage is a far more suitable name for the likes of you.”
“’m sorry! ‘m sorry!” Gary wept, tears streaming down his
face as he broke down. “It hurts!”
“I know it hurts, Gunk.” Zarrus whispered, his voice
soothing. “I’m pushing a sword into your skin.” The yellow-eyed elf turned his
head to look at Acris. “Acris, my dear friend. Could you ask Garbage here what
he was really doing when he saw the blood snake queen?”
“W-what w-were you a-actually doing?” Acris muttered the
question, not really wanting to hear the answer.
“I’m so lonely. I just need a little release.” Gary
whimpered. “Nobody’ll come close, and it’s not like it’s wrong. They all
deserve it. Even th’ little ones. Just little sl-,”
“You sicken me.” Zarrus was immediately in his face, hood
down. He was so fast that Acris hadn’t even seen him move. Blood began to
trickle down Gary’s throat. “I’m horrible. I kill people. I slaughter children.
But you sicken me. A rapist is one thing I will never be, and a pedophile is
just a step worse. At least my victims die. At least my victims don’t have to
live with the scars. I’m insane. I know this. But I’m not as bad as sick people
Then Zarrus lowered Gary to the ground and pulled his sword
away, crimson blood slowly dripping down the blade. “I’ll give you a five
Gary stood, stunned. His eyes were as wide as saucers as he
cowered against the wall.
The rapist didn’t even move, still staring dumbfounded at
“Y-you can’t talk. You kill all kinds of people!” Gary
stammered, pointing accusingly.
“I know. Three.”
“Then y-you sh-should b-be ashamed!” Gary seemed to grow a
backbone at this point, straightening. “You’re worse than me! I don’t kill
“Four. And you do kill people. You’ve driven people to
suicide. I know because they came to me to ask me to do the deed.” Zarrus’
voice was cold. Emotionless. “And never once will my actions be motivated by
lust, unlike you. Five.”
Gary’s eyes widened and he turned to run. He was far, far
The stygian blade darted forwards and twisted, turning in
Zarrus’ hand so that the edge was reversed. Down the blade went, slicing down
the length of Gary’s spine. The elf made to scream, only for Zarrus to reach
around and cover his mouth. “Goodnight, Gary.” With a brutal pull, Zarrus
wrenched the sword out of Gary’s spine, tearing bone and flesh out with it.
Acris stared, eyes wide, as Zarrus flicked his sword to
dislodge the bones and flesh. The disfigured elf raised his sword to his face
and licked along the blade, eyes rolling upwards in thought. Then he reached
into the depths of his cloak and produced an empty vial, spitting a glob of red
fluid into the glass container. “There’s the venom you’ll need to find her.”
“Y-you. You just. Just killed him. Just like that.” Acris
stuttered, paralyzed with fear.
“Of course. He was despicable.” Zarrus reached down and
ripped off a part of Gary’s shirt, wiping the blood off of his sword. “People
like that are worthless. They do nothing to help the world, they do not
participate in society, and they anger those who watch. Of course I killed him.”
Zarrus didn’t hold a hint of remorse in his eyes or voice. “And he tried to say
we were alike. How irritating. How bland.
As if that’s anything new.” Zarrus paused. “As for the police finding him,
well, that’ll happen soon. That’s why we’re leaving before the day is out. For
now, though, I need you to leave.”
“Why?” Acris asked, confused.
“Religious reasons.” Zarrus knelt down and dipped his finger
in the blood pooling over the ground, staring at the red pool mesmerized. He
turned to the side and placed his bloodstained finger to the ground, making a
crimson mark. Then his head snapped up to glare at Acris. “I told you to leave.”
“Right. Right.” Acris quickly turned and walked off, trying
to keep himself from vomiting. As he left, he heard Zarrus speaking.