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Thread: That Merciless Blade - Legends of the Arctic Wolf

  1. #61
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    I really liked the way that you brought the wuxia element into it - although I'm beginning to think that Mathieus had met just about Everyone significiant before he went into hibernation.

    The style was very good - reminded me a lot of tai chi sword

  2. #62
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    Talking

    Not that I'm chasing you or anything, but I'm really looking forward to the next section!

    D

  3. #63
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    I just finish reading it from beginning of this story and it seems not updated yet. anybody got all of this story please gave where its links. it very-very good story n want to read it until finished. pleassssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeee

  4. #64
    Senior Member kwekmh's Avatar
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    Hi

    When is the next chapter going to be ready? I really enjoy reading your story. It is better than most online fictions I've read, and in my opinion, it's comparable to many of the books on the library's shelves. Perhaps it's just me, but I really like your style. Your plot interests me greatly and I hope to read more of it.

    You were the one who brought me into the world of fantasy. I never really read fantasy books before I was introduced to your story, and your story was what generated my interest in fantasy series. Therefore, I sincerely hope you can continue your story and help sate the appetite of your readers.

    Moreover, I am also taking the chance to learn more about writing from you. You are, in a way, a role model to me. Your writing style is really fascinating and I hope to learn more from you.

    Thanks a lot!

    Kwek

  5. #65
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for all the warm wishes and the questions. To answer your questions, I've just been swamped with so many things recently, and was also working on another project. That, combined with certain recent events which really took away my time and energy (eg, Tibetan riots + Sichuan earthquakes), have obviously caused a major stall here. But it has definitely not been abandoned!
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  6. #66
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 20: Invidia

    Chapter 20: Invidia

    Aya-ya-ya-ya-ya-yi!

    An eerie, piercing howl suddenly split the silence which had been birthed from that strange, momentary stillness.

    It was a distinctive, unique sound which nothing in nature could hope to replicate. It sounded like a cross between the cry of an owl, the howl of a wolf, and the wail of a banshee. It was an ululating call, undulating from one piercing, howling high to another, separated by brief, staccato-like lows. It was a deathly sound and a profoundly unnerving sound. It grated against a person’s very soul, causing it to tremble in tandem with the quavering cry.

    Aya-ya-ya-ya-ya-yi!

    A second time the cry. Only this time, it was uttered from hundreds on hundreds of throats, a massive death-wail, a great keening call that erupted from everywhere. It echoed from treetop to snowy treetop, forming a giant circular wave that smashed down at the Savant forces, battering away at mage and Raven alike, the two groups already disoriented from that moment of utter stillness.

    AYA-YA-YA-YA-YA-YI!

    The cry reached a terrible crescendo, reverberating throughout Shtyre Forest as though it were a charnel house where a thousand mournful, vengeful ghosts had suddenly been given voice to protest their wrongful deaths. The sound even seemed to dim the brightness of the noonday sun, as though dark Death itself had been summoned to cover the lands with his shadow.

    Mixed in with the echoing cries was the sudden twang of numerous bowstrings as a flood of arrows filled the air, seemingly out of nowhere. And then an army of howling lunatics erupted from the snow, descended from the trees, and began to assault the main Savant positions.

    _____________________

    “Insurgents.”

    The word came as a long, drawn out whisper from Spectre as the echoing cries filled the forest. What perfect timing. No matter what Frost’s claims or denials, there was no way he could now claim innocence in all this.

    That deathly wail was, without a doubt, the signature war-cry of the rebellious Seventh Cohort, a remnant of a remnant of the last army of the old kingdom that had been crushed long before Spectre was even created. It was their standard tactic, to let out that demonic, ghostly cry at the beginning of a battle, to demoralize and terrify their opponents before charging.

    It had been fifteen years since Spectre had last heard that call. Then, several units of the Seventh Cohort had ambushed a supposedly secret convoy containing recently unearthed magical artifacts from an archaeological dig site. Underscoring the importance of it, Spectre had been personally sent with two Murders as well as a regular army regiment to escort the convoy to safety.

    While they were making their way through a particularly precarious mountain path, Spectre had heard that dreaded yell, right before several hundred tons worth of rocks had descended upon the convoy in a mini-avalanche. All of the Ravens had managed to survive, although some were badly injured, but half of the regular regiment had been crushed by those rolling boulders.

    Nearly two thirds of the convoy had been knocked into the deep mountain crevasses, and much of what remained was badly smashed. Even with the help of magic, only a fraction of the lost artifacts were ever recovered, and even amongst those, most were irreparable.

    Worst of all, the Seventh Cohort had disappeared after springing the trap, vanishing like smoke, electing not to stay and fight with their main objective achieved. They had achieved a flawlessly executed surprise attack, causing great damage with no cost to themselves at all. It had been, hands down, the worst defeat which Spectre had ever suffered, and the audience with the Master had been...most unpleasant.

    Some distance away from him, two silent, black flares suddenly rocketed into the sky, exploding into a cloud of dust which vaguely formed the outlines of a dark bird. Distress flares. Spectre narrowed his eyes. His Ravens must be in trouble. A dark, burning anger began to fill him, as he glared at Frost. But when he spoke, his voice was as dispassionate as ever.

    “I see your treachery stretches even farther than the Master feared,” Spectre said calmly, “For you to go beyond consorting with criminals and murderers to working hand in hand with those insurgents. You will be executed, no doubt, but not before being questioned first. Thoroughly.”

    A look of utter shock was on Frost’s face. “I...” he began, then paused, mouth opening and closing like a fish. “I don’t have anything to do with this, I swear,” Frost said. “How can I have?” His eyes looked away from Spectre, turning to stare at the two black raven-flares which hovered off in the distance. “I didn’t even know that you were-”

    As soon as Spectre saw Frost’s gaze shift away from him, he struck. Like the uncoiling of a tightly wound spring, what looked like a pair of smoky black snakes erupted from Spectre’s hands, shooting directly towards Frost, fanged mouths dripping with venom and ready to bite and tear.

    Shit! Uncustomarily, Frost had been caught off guard. Eyes widening at the surprise attack, Frost only barely managed to react in time. He leapt backwards just a heartbeat before the serpent-heads struck.

    Five, ten, fifteen, twenty. Like a weightless flake of snow blown by the wind, Frost hung in the air an impossibly long time as he flew backwards as though propelled by some invisible force. And as he continued to fly backwards, those dark, spectral serpent-heads continued to pursue him. Twenty five, thirty. Thirty five, forty. After retreating exactly forty one feet, Frost finally descended to the ground, as lightly as a leaf falling from a tree.

    The shadowy serpent-heads came to a halt exactly six feet away from him, having apparently reached their limit. As they did so, their fanged mouths opened and spat out many black, slender needle-like objects which streaked towards Frost like an innumerable number of raindrops in a storm.

    But Frost was not completely unprepared. Even as he was flying backwards through the air, his eyes had begun to glow white as his hands flashed through one magical sigil after another. Just as he landed, he let out a sharp cry, then knelt and slammed both hands onto the ground. Instantly, a small barrier formed of ice appeared from the snow, rising upwards like a monolith to stand guard in front of him.

    A series of light tink sounds were heard as the projectiles struck the wall, embedding themselves within it. A moment after each needle struck, it would quiver strangely, then dissolve into a strange black liquid which bubbled and hissed as it carved its way down the ‘face’ of the wall.

    “You bugger. That was a close one.” Frost was panting slightly, but his voice was cheerful. A small smile could be seen on his face, the only part of him which was exposed behind the wall. A few dozen feet away, Spectre simply glowered at him. “But you won’t get me that easy on my own turf.”

    A third flare lit up the sky, forming another shadowy raven in the air to join the two other distress flares already there. Gesturing with his right arm, Frost pointed at it. “Your boys are in trouble, Spectre. And you should know by now that even if manage to take me down with the help of these five, it will take you some time. Looks to me like your Ravens don’t have that much time.”

    Spectre did not respond. “I give you my word,” Frost continued, “That I don’t have anything to do with this at all. I also give you my word that if you continue harassing me, that once you bring me before the Master, I will be sure to let him know how you chose to pursue a personal vendetta against me, at the expense of both our missions and at the cost of his men. Now, what’s it going to be?”

    Spectre only continued to glower at Frost at a distance. He neither moved to attack, nor retracted the phantom-serpents, which snapped and hissed impotently at Frost from six feet away. A look of utter confidence was on Frost’s smiling face as he waggled his fingers at them.

    Still another distress flare further lit up the noonday sky as Spectre continued to stand there. Finally, Raven Athos was no longer able to contain himself. “My Lord!” He burst out. “He’s right. We need to go to their aid now! If we delay-” But Spectre cut him off with an imperious gesture. “I know,” he said tonelessly.

    The serpent-heads snapped one last time at Frost, their shadowy bodies writhing in anger, before retreating all the way back, until they once more disappeared into Spectre’s hands. Spectre’s fingers twitched slightly. Go, he gestured towards his men. I will join you shortly. Breathing a sigh of relief, they began to sprint towards the direction of the flares, disappearing within seconds.

    “Well?” Frost asked, a cocky, teasing smile on his face. The miniature ice wall around him still stood; he was taking no risks. “Did you want to go a few more rounds first? I warn you in advance, you aren’t going to get very far!”

    Spectre’s eyes were unreadable, and, with his face covered by the Dragon-mask, any expression on his face was hidden as well. He was silent for a long moment. Then, in a conversational voice, he said, “You were lucky, Frost. Again. But your luck has to run out eventually. I’ll be there when it does.” Then he, too, departed.

    Frost waited for a few seconds, making sure that Spectre had truly departed. Then the smile fell away from his face and was replaced by a pained grimace. “Luckier than you thought, you son of a *****. But not that lucky.”

    The wall of ice surrounding him suddenly collapsed as he staggered and fell down to one knee. He gripped his left arm with his right. Hidden behind the icy wall, his left arm, up to his elbow had turned almost completely black, as though soaked for hours in some dark liquid. One of the venomous needles from those Spectral Serpent Fangs had managed to strike him after all.

    “Can’t believe he managed to catch me off-guard,” Frost muttered through gritted teeth. “That bugger.” His left arm was almost completely immobile, and the blackness was rapidly spreading upwards. Soon, if something wasn’t done, it would reach his shoulders, and then spread to the rest of his body.

    Gritting his teeth, he forced the palm of his left flat against the snowy ground, holding his left arm perfectly vertical. Once again, Frost’s eyes began to glow. Even after he closed them in concentration, faint wisps of white light could be seen escaping from his lashes. With agonizing slowness, the poison’s spread began to halt, then reversed. The snow underneath Frost’s palm began to turn an inky black as he expelled the poison through the palm of his hand.

    A full twenty minutes passed before the last of the poison was driven out. With a long exhale, the light from Frost’s eyes faded. He opened his eyes then blinked, startled. The formerly pristine white snow beneath him had turned a putrid black in a ten foot diameter all around him.

    “I always knew there was a reason I tried to avoid getting hit by him,” he muttered, a wry smile slowly appearing on his face. “That is a ridiculous amount of poison.” Probably enough to kill a normal human being outright.

    Experimentally, he flexed his left hand. The smile faded, and he wrinkled his nose. It wasn’t responding the way it should. Nerves must be damaged. He could regenerate them, but it would take some time. “A ridiculous amount of poison,” he repeated, shaking his head, then stood up, still flexing his hand. Good enough for now. It was time to find Matheius and the others. “Hopefully, he’s doing better than me,” Frost muttered.

    ____________________________

    The taste of blood mixed with snow was in Krenos’ mouth. The scent of blood filled his nose.

    He was lying face-down in the snow, his head throbbing with pain. With a pained groan, he slowly opened his eyes, a dazed look in them. Why the hell is my head hurting this much? He must have suffered a mild concussion. His head was aching as though struck by a hammer, and not only was his vision blurred, but he was seeing double as well.

    With an effort of will, Krenos forced himself to concentrate. It was excruciating, but he managed to focus his vision. Enough, at least, to see the mutilated corpses which surrounded him. His eyes widened. His concentration broken, his vision blurred again, and the pain intensified. Krenos clenched his eyes close. By the Rift. What the hell happened?

    What was the last thing that he could remember? Krenos fought to concentrate. The last thing he remembered was a sudden stillness which descended upon him and his men after he had stabbed the target (stabbed Matheius, his mind corrected him), completely obliterating the enchantments they had placed on themselves.

    Still lying on the cold, bloody snow, Krenos shook as he remembered the hideous red glow which then surrounded Matheius. It was as though the blademaster had been possessed, or had turned into some monster. Even as the Ravens’ reflexes slowed down with the death of their spells, Matheius’ movements had sped up. His wounds had healed with preternatural speed as well, closing before Krenos’ eyes.

    Krenos shuddered a second time upon remembering the look on Matheius’ face. It was a look of horrific glee and twisted pleasure, completely different from the Matheius he had dueled earlier. His entire demeanor and personality had changed. Covered with that strange, beastly red fire, Matheius had grinned like a madman, eyes gleaming with abyssal flame. And then...and then...

    Krenos opened his eyes again. His vision had stabilized somewhat, and once more he looked upon the bloodstained bodies of his men. And then Matheius had begun to kill. It was a far sight from the duel they had engaged in earlier; this was neither graceful nor beautiful. It was efficient and it was brutal. Limbs had been lopped off, entrails had been ripped out. It had been a sickening butchery as Matheius disposed of the Ravens as though they were nothing more than cattle.

    Krenos managed to stagger to his feet, looking around himself with wide eyes. “Dead,” he muttered. “All dead.” Every last one of his men lay on the ground, most of them lying in multiple pieces. The cold had preserved their bodies, so that no decay had set in yet. Looks of horror and surprise were on every last one of their faces.

    Only eight bodies. Where is the ninth one? Krenos turned his head around, scanning the area around him. He found the ninth Raven some distance away, head severed from his body, which had fall forwards onto the snow. Jorryl. Must’ve been cut down while trying to run away. Krenos clenched his fist. Son of a *****. Where did he go? And why didn’t he kill me?

    Krenos could find no answer for the latter question, but the answer to the former was in plain sight. A line of spectacularly bloody footprints stretched away from Jorryl’s corpse, heading northwest. Towards where that girl’s voice came from, Krenos suddenly realized. That must be where he went.

    Krenos slowly followed the footsteps towards the northeast while fighting a nausea induced by both the concussion and the slaughter. Strange, Krenos mused. The footsteps were deep and shambling, as though the person walking was dragging his feet with every step. Only a person utterly exhausted and moving on pure willpower could have footsteps like that.

    It was an image difficult to reconcile with the hellish energy Matheius had displayed. But perhaps the energy was just a momentary boost. Perhaps it had worn away over time, leaving Matheius even more exhausted than he had been. If so, he can’t have made it far, Krenos decided, judging the footsteps with a practiced eye. Each footstep was more plodding than the last, until it had almost turned into a single line.

    Sure enough, after only a few dozen more meters, Krenos found a large, bloody impression in the snow, as though a person had suddenly collapsed. He must have fallen down here. Krenos frowned. But if that was the case, where did he go? Matheius, or his body, was gone.

    Krenos glanced at the snow around the large impression. He frowned again. Towards the right of the body, another set of footprints had appeared. This set was smaller than Matheius’, separate and distinct from his. They were also very deep, deeper than even Matheius. Krenos came to the only logical conclusion. Someone must have carried him away. But who?

    He studied the footprints some more. Whoever it is, he realized, they have an injured leg or an injured foot of their own. There was a definite favoring of the right foot over the left, as though the person who had carried Matheius away limped with every step. Should I follow them? Krenos was fully aware that he himself wasn’t in the best condition, but if Matheius truly had passed out, and the person who took him away was injured as well...

    It was just then that Krenos noticed the sounds of battle which could be heard in the distance. Perhaps it was the concussion, or simply the daze he had been in, but only just now did he hear the quavering death-wail which continued to echo throughout the forest, and the sound of explosive spells and clashing weapons. He raised his head to look at the sky and for the first time since standing up, he saw the smoky, raven-shaped signals which hung darkly in the clear blue sky.

    “Trouble,” Krenos murmured to himself, staring with disbelief at the unprecedented number of distress flares. Five – no – six of them. What in the world was going on? What a catastrophe. This had been nothing short of an utter catastrophe. He cast one final glance at the footprints leading away from where Matheius had fallen, then shook his head, slowly jogging in the direction of the flares. Time to cut our losses and save as many of our own as we can.

    ____________________________

    Matheius was dreaming again. The amount of blood he had lost from the wound Krenos had given him was not inconsiderable, even if the wound itself had healed. He had exerted a tremendous amount of energy in activating both Aratha and Anj as well. It had proven too much for even him to handle, and so his mind banished him from the chilly, remorseless forest, into a memory which was distant in both place and time.

    Sitting next to Vast in the large ceremonial chamber, Matheius was brooding silently, barely paying attention to the awards ceremony which proceeded in front of him.

    A month had passed since the battle of Stormhaven.

    The post-battle cleanup had taken nearly two weeks, so thickly had the field been strewn with corpses. The persistent number of wolves which continued to hang about the area did not help. Although they had not proven to be aggressive, they unnerved the civilians, with their hungry, too-intelligent gaze and their feral, mocking smiles.

    The initial wave of ebullition at the unexpected triumph had begun to fade, and already people had begun to question Matheius’ strange, newfound allies. Witchcraft, many of them whispered. Dark sorcery, which allowed him to command such fearful, vicious creatures. Or perhaps some sort of fell pact he had signed with demons? What else could enable him to compel the fealty of such vicious, violent beasts? And the gigantic wolf which he had ridden into battle upon was the stuff of nightmares which mothers would use to scare their children at night.

    Matheius had been all smiles when the battle first ended, in a more joyful mood than any had seen him in a long time. But as the rumors and the whispers continued, and as so many people cast their suspicious, fearful looks upon him, the smiles began to fade, before disappearing altogether, replaced by the customary look of cold arrogance for which he had become so well known.

    It hadn’t helped that even his own superiors had questioned him on the army of wolves which he had brought to cut down Del’gotha and his army. They had been much more tactful about it than the commoners, of course. But whenever Matheius looked at them with his icy, penetrating gaze, he saw the truth hidden deep within their eyes. They had begun to fear him, too. And, as was often the case, hate him, even if they themselves did not realize it yet. Humans always hated what they feared, and feared what they did not understand.

    Matheius did not answer them or their questions. He was well aware that this only made them fear him all the more, but in his cold fury and wounded pride, he did not care.
    How dare they question me, he would rage silently. He had rescued the city, rescued the men, maybe even rescued the kingdom from Del’gotha’s surprise attack. Kuan knows that no army would’ve made it back in time. And this is how they repay me? With suspicion and scorn?

    And so, each time they would question him about his allies, Matheius would only fix a cold, wordless glare on them until they began to stammer and stutter, then finally give up. Then, and only then, would Matheius’ reply come, in the form of a single mocking smile. For some reason, that smile seemed to frighten them all the more.

    Matheius never knew that in that smile, they saw the feral, toothy grins of his wolves.

    His relationship with Vast, momentarily repaired in the midst of that bloody battle, had grown strained again as well. True, Vast had been very thankful and had shown none of the suspicion or fear which was so evident in the faces of the others. Yet he too was insistent on bothering Matheius about the source of Matheius’ friends. And, unlike the others, Vast couldn’t be scared off with just a glance and a smile. That made him much more persistent, and consequently much more annoying.

    Matheius grimaced.
    It wasn’t just that. He had to be honest with himself. It was also the fact that everyone treated Vast like some sort of damned saint or hero for holding out as long as he did. And true, Matheius would admit, it was nothing short of incredible that Vast managed to hold the line for two weeks.

    But Vast was about to lose, Kuan damn their eyes! If it weren’t for me, Matheius seethed, they would be singing Vast’s eulogy instead of his praises. And yet they want to act as though Vast were the knight in shining armor, and I were the bugbear?

    Although Matheius would never admit it to himself, underneath his anger and his sense of injustice was an ever-growing jealousy and a persistent fear. That no matter what he did, he would always be overshadowed by the man he had called ‘brother’. He couldn’t recall a single time where he came out ahead of Vast in the end, even though he had deserved it many times. So it was, so many years ago, with their sparring matches and with Cryzalis. So it was, now, with Stormhaven.

    A hard nudge in the ribs from Matheius’ left broke him out of his reverie. He turned and snapped a glare at Vast, who only raised an eyebrow. “We’re up next,” the big man whispered to him quietly. Matheius blinked, then glanced at the stage. It seemed as though Geki, the Mountain Bear of Etos, was wrapping up his thank you speech for the commendation he had been given for his victories at the front lines. Vast was right. The next and last award on the agenda would be to the victors of Stormhaven.

    Feeling slightly churlish about his behavior, Matheius grimaced slightly, then turned towards Vast and nodded, forcing out a smile. “You’re right,” Matheius whispered back. “Thanks.” Vast nodded back, a genuine smile on his own face as he patted Matheius on the shoulder. “Not a problem. You prepare a speech?” Matheius rolled his eyes and snorted. “Guess. You?” The big man only grinned and shook his head.

    Warduke Arakan was speaking now, having taken the floor after Geki. He was giving the usual flowery speech about ‘valor’ and ‘courage’ and ‘steadfastness’ which came with each presentation. Matheius tuned it all out, not bothering to pay attention. He would just wait for his name to be called, along with Radavast’s, then take the damned award so he could leave the ceremony.

    “And with all that in mind,” Arakan finally concluded, “It is my distinct honor to offer this medal and commendation for the successful, courageous defense of Stormhaven, to…” And here, Arakan paused. He cast what appeared to be an apologetic glance towards Matheius, before continuing, “To Stormhaven’s indefatigable guardian. Radavast, the Southern Tiger. Radavast, please come to the front!”

    It was the loudest roar of applause yet to be heard from the always-boisterous crowd, and yet, Matheius didn’t seem to hear it.
    They did what? They didn’t acknowledge my part at all? They’re going to pretend it was all Radavast’s work? I don’t really care about what they think, but for them to completely ignore me, as though I didn’t even exist…Matheius turned his stunned gaze towards Radavast, and was met by a look of equal shock from the big man.

    They exchanged stares for a long moment. Matheius noted the look of helpless apology in Radavast’s gaze, and for some reason, it infuriated him all the more. Gradually, Matheius’ eyes narrowed, and the look of disbelief was replaced with one of fury and hate. That look pierced Radavast to the core, and stung painfully enough so that Radavast physically flinched. Matheius had never looked like him in that manner before. Never.

    “Congratulations
    , my lord Radavast,” Matheius whispered, in a voice which Radavast could barely recognize. “Go get your commendation. You’ve earned it.” Radavast flinched a second time. Just as he was about to say something, Matheius stood up, turned, and walked away.

    “Wait, Mat!” Radavast cried after him. “Come down with me. Who cares what they say? We did it together, and we’ll receive the awards together!” But either his voice was drowned out by the tumultuous roar of the crowds, or Matheius simply ignored him. Regardless, Matheius did not turn back, and Radavast could only watch, helpless, as Matheius disappeared into the sea of people behind him.

    The people in the crowds unconsciously parted in front of Matheius, including those who did not know him. There was an aura about him which simply made one so uncomfortable as to want to get far away. It was as though Death himself walked by Matheius’ side as he stalked away from the ceremony, eyes burning with fury.

    “Congratulations, Radavast,” Matheius whispered between clenched teeth. “You win again.”


    _______________________________________________

    He was having another dream, or another nightmare.

    Lyria watched silently as Matheius twisted and turned in his fever-ridden sleep, filled with manic energy. His eyebrows were furrowed, and his face was a snarling rictus of fury and rage, his lips curling and twisting, then untwisting, the unspoken words forming on his lips, then dying, then forming again.

    He had been like this for hours now. Lyria had found him lying face-down in the snow in a pool of blood. At that time, he seemed insensate. Lyria had feared him dead, so colorless was his features and so shallow his breathing. She was relieved, and angry at herself for being relieved, when she detected a pulse.

    She shifted her body slightly against the wall of the cave she had carried him to, grimacing as the movement disturbed her already-damaged leg. It wasn’t painful, but for a centuries-old banshee who had been used to regenerating wounds in the blink of an eye, it was definitely an annoyance.

    Lyria shifted her gaze from Matheius to that sword on his belt and unconsciously, her mouth curled up in a snarl. The damnable, cursed blade had eaten that part of her up when Matheius stabbed her with it. It was fortunate that she had recognized him and that sword at the last moment. If it weren’t for the fact that she had been able to hide her soul within her focus-pearl, her very essence would’ve been consumed by Aratha as well.

    “Just another way he would have harmed me,” she muttered, turning to glare at Matheius instead. But she couldn’t sustain the fierceness of the glare, and it softened despite her best efforts as she saw him shiver with the cold. “Serves you right,” she said, even as she dragged herself over to the pile of dried branches and firewood which she had gathered earlier, tossing them onto the campfire she had made.

    The flames roared eagerly as they were fed more fuel, significantly brightening the insides of the cave. Lyria could almost instantly feel the greater warmth which it provided, although she herself was far beyond such mundane concerns as temperature. But it seemed to help Matheius, as gradually the shivering stopped, although the fierce, manic energy which possessed him in his sleep remained.

    Her clawed hand, guised (as was the rest of her) under an illusion of human normalcy, lifted itself as though of its own will and rested itself upon his head. “Serves you right,” she said again, softly, although even she wasn’t sure what she was referring to as she all-too-gently stroked his trembling forehead.

    After a few moments, his face seemed to smooth out, as though he had calmed down somewhat. As she continued to stroke his forehead, like a mother comforting a child, Matheius suddenly reached out and covered her hand with his own. Lyria froze for a moment, staring hard at him, but he was still asleep. A surprisingly tender smile appeared on her face. It lasted but a moment, as Matheius, still asleep, breathed out a single word. “Elaiana…”

    The smile stiffened on Lyria’s face, freezing so quickly as to turn into a macabre grimace. Her clawed hand, still on Matheius’ forehead, tightened enough so that the clawed tips drew blood from his scalp. After a moment, she calmly yet firmly detached her hand from his and replaced it in her lap. She was silent, now, and all trace of emotion had disappeared from her features. She simply sat there, by his side, an unmoving statue, with her downcast, illusory eyes reflecting the light from the fire and drawing no warmth from it.

    And then, suddenly, came a cry from outside.

    “The tracks lead to that cave!”
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 05-26-08 at 07:06 PM.
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  7. #67
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Chapter 20 is up! As a quick author's note, Invidia is the Greco-Roman personification of envy, to explain the chapter title (no, it has nothing to do with graphics card).

    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  8. #68
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    <_<

    >_>

    Hmm. no update for a while.. don't worry - your fans are still waiting for the next installment

    Thanks RWX!

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    Still checking

  10. #70
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Hi disrupt,

    I am in the process of editing/revising/ret-conning a lot of the things in the past, so posting the 'later' chapters might not necessarily make sense, due to the continuity having been slightly changed. Rest assured, this has not been dropped, no way.
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  11. #71
    Member Icefrog's Avatar
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    regularly checking for updates and patiently hoping there will be some of these days. It's a great story you know, and i would love to see it come to a good end!!!

    rwx, more power!!!

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Icefrog View Post
    regularly checking for updates and patiently hoping there will be some of these days. It's a great story you know, and i would love to see it come to a good end!!!

    rwx, more power!!!
    Excellent - it's not just me that keeps checking!


  13. #73
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    Also want to chime in my thanks to RWX for writing this unique story. Always checking for updates.

  14. #74
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Significant revisions made to chapter 9 and smaller revisions made throughout the story. Only one or two more chapters worth of revisions, then the story can proceed.
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

  15. #75
    Member Icefrog's Avatar
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    rwx,

    everytime i finished reading your updates on dgsd(which are oh, so gloriously long and entertaining---thank you so much for that), i always make it point to pass by this thread, hoping that you have made an update!!!! hopefully, you would make one soon!!!

    eagerly awaiting, whenever doesn't matter!! this is one of my favorite stories....


  16. #76
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    *surfaces to check the thread, then submerges again to lurk some more.*

    There's still a lot of interest here, RWX, even if I know you're actually translating more at the moment (and all the RL stuff too!)

  17. #77
    Senior Member yeongwee's Avatar
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    Just found this thread and read everything. Like all the others, I can't wait to see the final magnitude of this world you have created.

    This is really fusion... I mean that white mist part really looked a lot more like Steven King or Clive Barker than any fantasy, sci-fi or wuxia story, of which there have been elements of in your story so far.
    Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?

  18. #78
    Junior Member WhiteHairedMaiden's Avatar
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    Hey I look forward to reading this sometime.

    I like your intro of it.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeongwee View Post
    Just found this thread and read everything. Like all the others, I can't wait to see the final magnitude of this world you have created.

    This is really fusion... I mean that white mist part really looked a lot more like Steven King or Clive Barker than any fantasy, sci-fi or wuxia story, of which there have been elements of in your story so far.

    this story is great... your ideas ren are amazing... the delicate balance between the charecters and such.

    reading wise.. there are some lines which need editing for smother easyer reading... but plot and charecter get 10/10 written dialog gets 9/10

    i dont think i could ever manage to maintain a story for so long. when i dream at night i usally have 2-3 short dreams... i would be a short story writter :-) hahahaha

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    while I'm congratulating RWX on his translation abilities, I wonder if he'll take up posting a few more chapters of his excellent fiction?

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