Tuesday, March 9, 2021

365 Day's Writing in the Void: Prompt 4 part 5


Last Stand of the World

Volume 1


Chapter Five: Azer

He howled, in anger letting the lid slide through his fingers, slamming shut. He jumped back to his feet, bemoaning his fate, holding up a long piece of snake armor to his chest. "Well, it would work for her," he sighed. "Why was life so hard?" He groaned, letting the scaled armor fall to the floor.

Asaa’d had jerked up when he’d howled and now was scowling at him. Exasperated, why was he so noisy? He couldn’t even give her a second alone with her grief. Also, what the hell was he mumbling about dancing around with snake armor?

He ran his hands through his hair; and snatched up the armor again. "Look, I just want something to put on, is that so much to ask? But all this cavern will give me is stuff like this that I physically can not wear," he said, holding the tiny piece of armor up to his chest and waving it at her. “Not to mention all the trouble this has given me,” he said, lightly tapping the box with his foot.

Her eyes widened as she finally took a good look at the armor in his hand and sprung towards him, taking it from his hands; Azer? She clicked her tongue, and then a shifting sound could be heard deep within the boxes that had fallen in her hurry forward. She pushed him to the side. Azer!

“Who, or what is an Azer?”

“He’s my Elder and friend of the family. Help me find him before all the debris crushes him.”

“Okay, but I’m still not clear about what I’m looking for,” he said and began sorting through boxes near her.

She paused for a moment and thought of something before grabbing the box that the armor had been in. A beautiful smile graced her face when she saw its contents. A small blue snake shifted its scales inside. She lifted her head and looked at him and gasped a little incredulously, “you protected him while you were falling?”

Davern looked away, “it’s not like I did it on purpose; I didn’t know Azer was in there; I was just after the clothing.”

“Still, he says that you saved him and that he is too ill to be thrown around.”

“Ask him what it is. Did the Nuller Poison him? Or is it something else? My mana is running on fumes right now, keeping the Nullers venom in check by slowly cleansing it from my system, but I can still take a look. If it’s something other than the Nuller, well, even if it is the Nuller, I can take a look. It’s not like I’m completely useless against the Nuller. It’s just that I can’t completely heal it.”

She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “If you know magic, why are you like this.”

Davern gritted his teeth and took a deep breath, “because my bloody jinx of a brother got himself caught by a Nuller. Do you even know what a Nuller is?”

“She flushed and looked guilty, “vaguely, I mean, they sort of explained it to me. I just wasn’t listening very well.”

He smacked his head, “I could shake you. The short version is it’s a creature that can nullify all magic around it. It has several other skills, but I don’t want to explain to them when there isn’t any time. Also,” He said, looking at her pleadingly, “Do you have anything I could wear?”

Asaa, looked at him for a while, not knowing what to think. She didn’t think he would be like this, especially from the little she knew about humans. They seemed particular about male and female clothing. Also, she didn’t want to marry him, even though that is what had to happen now; according to tribal law, she huffed and blew out her cheeks, looking down at Azer.

Who’d been vaguely aware of things that had unfolded since he’d fallen into the room, with what was his name again? Deven? Evan...Tavern? Right. Davern’s arms? So even if she wanted to blow it off as if nothing had happened, an Elder from the tribe had witnessed the entire event, so it wasn’t like she could just get out of it. “What do you think about this?”

“He’s a little rough around the edges, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Also, there are a lot of things happening in the world right now; this might be the best choice for you…” he paused as if he was about to say something, but in the end, he stayed silent. He lifted his head and flicked his tongue in Davern’s direction, “Plus, there is something different about him; I think this is the right decision. Also, you know the custom.”

“I know, but does he know?” she queried.

The snake flicked his tongue, “unlikely, but he doesn’t have to know. He’s in our country. Such as it is, and in the presence of your Elder, there isn’t much he can do to argue; if he has an issue later, tell him to read the tribal customs. Also, tell him that your branch never uses beguiling magic; the humans will try to say that you used magic to force him to obey you if you aren’t clear from the start. That everything he is thinking and feeling are his own emotions. Relationships are built on trust, Asaa, start yours off on the right scale.” She hugged him to her, as you wish, a tear trickled down her cheek.

She turned her face away from Davern so that he wouldn’t notice, “yes... I do have something that you could wear;" she closed her eyes, and bit her lip. She looked up at him blinking her eyes a bit, "but you have to promise not to yell at me when you see it. Also, you have to help Azer," she said, and carefully shifted the body of her Elder from the box and placed it into his arms. “I’ll be right back."

The man and the snake looked at each other then shook their heads as if agreeing not to speak about it.


“Okay, little guy.”

The snake hissed.

“Okay, sorry, Azer, I’m going to inject my healing mana into your body and see if I can find the source of the problem.”

The little blue snake raised its head then lowered it, the exhaustion in that activity apparent.

{Add in a description about this room, and the fact that the occupant is obviously intelligent}

He gathered his mana into his hand, passing it in a loop through his guild crest so it would record the procedure. He didn’t want anything that could possibly have something to do with the Nullers slipping through their fingers because of his negligence.

He sent tendrils as small as he could make them, trying not to disrupt the beings’ mana, gently encouraging healthy mana to latch on to his and recharge, promoting healing. He passed them through the snake’s whole body as delicate as he could.

Davern shared memories with the old snake as he healed him; he watched as the snake tried to get to the girl, how the poison ate at him, and he finally succumbed when he reached the box how he’d been so close yet so far.

Azer could see that Davern had been telling them the truth, and Davern knows what he doesn’t have the heart to say to the princess. That he’d crawled back after the battle to free her but had instead gone into dormancy, but why did he seem so desperate? Davern wondered.

Something about the visions didn’t add up. The girl should be safe here and could stay for several years, as he let his mind wander and he continued to heal; a wall had come up between their two-minds, the snake was hiding something important from him.

Davern shrugged it off; everyone had their secrets; when he came back to himself, his thoughts were on the snake’s heartbreak so close yet so far, and he couldn’t seem to shake the melancholy and the deep longing to hurry along to his brother before the same thing occurred to him.

He continued to follow the flow of mana, catching every now and then on something that seemed to tear it away and cause it to start to decay like cancer. He wondered if this snake were really only a snake. He followed it all the way to his core, Which when he saw it, he almost dropped him in surprise.

It was as if a void had developed in his core. As if the Nuller were there, and it was slowly spreading out, destroying every mana particle it touched, devouring and nullifying him from within. It seemed different than what the Nuller had done to him, and what he wanted to understand was that difference and why.

He needed to speak to him; Davern walked over to the couch and sat down, placing a pillow on his lap between him and the snake, “I can keep you comfortable and heal some of the wounds in your body, but what she’s actually done.

'I’m not sure healing isn’t my specialty, and as you probably know, Nullers are an anomaly that appears and disappears. If I didn’t know better, I'd think someone was controlling them; anyway, back to the point, I can make you comfortable, but I can't heal this. I’m not sure anyone can.

'You’ll need constant treatments. Unless you know a way to regenerate my mana so I can clear away the venom and deal with this bloody concussion. I can't deal with your core right now. I'm only able to stabilize you. If I can take care of my mana depletion, I would be able to deal with the primary treatment and stabilize your core for the time being, but you would need to find someone else to do the others. That is unless;" he paused for a moment as if he were debating something.

He looked around behind him and then lowered his voice leaning in the direction of the snake, "but unless you know where her family has gone, I recommend you come with me to the guild. If you come with me, we'll have the healers at the guild take a look at you and help me manage your care?" He sighed. "I know this sounds ridiculous, and you have no reason to trust me, but there is not much information left on the Nullers, nor how to treat people infected by their poisons. So, I guess this is kind of a selfish request in a way." Darvin leaned back, keeping one hand-delivering a steady flow even though you could see he was already bearing the strain of mana depletion and to a dangerous degree.

By our customs, you're already her mate, so it’s only right that she follows you to your guild… ho ho; I wonder how he will react when he finds out. The old snake thought, flicking its tongue at Davern and nodding his head in agreement. Knowing that the boy couldn’t understand him right now, though he looked at him with a wise eye, that would change in time.

It snickered to himself and flicked its tail, enjoying the energy through its body that it hadn’t felt in a long time; he sighed really a time too long to count. If they had a magic stone, he could absorb it, and they could slow the progress of his degeneration.

He knew what the Nullers were; he'd encountered them in the last purge, but he’d only been a youngling then; his memories were faint. He sighed at the loss of the old ones. Arching up against the palm of Davern's hand, the energy helped ease the pain in his body.

He also knew from the boy's thoughts that he genuinely didn’t intend to harm him and that even though the magic felt good on his skin, deep and rich with an ancient flavor, deep and forgotten, he couldn’t let him continue much longer. But the other humans were what troubled him. He sighed, he knew he would regret this action, but it had to be done.