The Last One, as Alvandar is more commonly, lives on patience alone.
This is an incomplete and rough draft of the new prologue for my story. This is my first time writing in quite some time so please do forgive its lack of quality.
The lengths of which Humyns will string tales of untruth to have their desires met never ceases to surprise me, Alvandar thought to himself while watching the grey bear he had been paid a great sum and story to kill. The stocky weighted and sized mother had her desperate eyes on her cubs as they fed on a brown and white striped cow. Their claws and teeth were not sharp enough to pierce its thick hide just yet, a chore she was now resting from, last of her strength he realized she used to feed her young. The light pink blood oozing from her wounds was more than he had hoped she would have. The farmer who’d hired him was tall, but thin with not much muscle to him, though Húmyns strengthened with age and he must have been older than Alvandar estimated. He set his broadly spined bow down, not daring to use it unless the mother would ask it of him, but he would not let it come to that.
“The beast attacked my house, it did. Knocked my door down and rummaged through my kitchen! The law says we aren’t to kill them but what was I meant to do?” The farmer had explained to him upon his inquiry of the letter posted on his door two days ago. It didn’t take long for Alvandar to surmise by the tracks around the man’s house, and the mess inside as well as the bruises on his family, the bear merely was going for one of the fat cows gorging on hay within the fence just outside his home when it must’ve overheard sounds of the man’s abuse. The deep paw prints by the windows showed him the bear was trying to see what the cries it must’ve heard inside were about, and the haste of the ones after followed by the force used on the front door, the mother bear wished to save the Húmyn cubs within. He knew though the bear never made it inside as she couldn’t have fit inside the doorway, but signs showed she did try and he had taken advantage of that fact. The children were still there when Alvandar arrived at this…man’s home, but any marks he made were hidden by their clothes.
Was it desperation, unnatural anger or anger taking place of grief that drove this man to harm that which should be most precious to him? Alvandar wonders as he makes his way down from his watching spot, bringing with him only his leather flask. It was times like these he was grateful the scent of his kind was not known to many, for in the plentiful days before the Purges, grey bears were his kind’s natural competitors, often sparring for territory and the food that came with it. He can see her nostrils flare softly at the wind giving him away, though she has not enough life in her to warn her pups or move to protect them from whatever approached. This by far wasn’t his first time doing this, but being careful was always needed.
“Aelan karíyn narmei.” Alvandar speaks and reveals himself at last. His words fall on her like a comforting touch, her eyes dart back and forth upon seeing his Húmyn-like appearance. With a flicker of his eyes and tug of his neck, his eyes change in size and color to reveal the truth of his existence beneath. “Aelan cariyn narmei.” He repeats before focusing on the muscles of his hands. An ethereal mimic of his flesh rises around it, quickly but deliberately, it shifts and changes in shape until finally solidifying over his Húmyn form. There’s a light sting that endures while the collected threads and chunks of colorfully glowing edged ash floats from the newly formed larger, stronger black-haired, claw tipped hand as the residue of man beneath burns away. With a smile, he kneels between her head and stomach, taking a chance to look over her wounds again, not because he couldn’t see from afar, but to make sure he hadn’t missed anything between his thoughts and the pain he felt upon seeing her. The cubs had noticed him, but in their childish negligence and days of hunger, paid him no mind, for his gentle but protective gaze made him appear as a friend. He even nodded his chin back to the dead cow as if to tell them to eat while as they should. If he couldn’t save their mother, they would need it. Not that he would abandon them, but between going to the aid of others and tending to his own home, he could not promise them consistent aid. Thinking on that unacceptable path turned his attention back to her. He put a hand to the side of her face, holding it gently.
“I didn’t mean to attack! I meant no harm! Just hunting for my young when I heard them crying!” Her thoughts were expected, but her fear drove them deep into his mind. He brushes the side of her muzzle before placing his head against hers.
“I know, child mother, and I will take care of him, but first I must take care of you so you can go on taking care of them.” His voice is low in pitch but clear and had an affectionate tone to it. “Breathe with me.” He inhales deeply and holds until he hears her do so. “Out now.” He exhales strongly, prompting her to do so in the same fashion. “In…out.” She follows his lead raggedly at first, but not before long she is breathing steadily again, and feels the warmth of Lydia (life) tingle in her limbs. He roams his free hand over her belly, his skin aglow with intricate swirling, winding, crossing patterns. Symbols of his power. Muscle, tissue, and vein are seamed back together one at a time, her pulse already grows in strength as her blood becomes more plentiful. The mother lets out a long sigh as the pain of it all ceases.
“You have a heart and strength unknown to this world, Last One. To do as you do, serve the world as you choose to."
“Your strength is unmatched, and your heart most precious yourself, child mother.” He scratches her chin and behind her round ear, causing her little tail to wiggle. Her cubs, now full, come to them to greet him with a brush of their muzzles against his leg and to cuddle against her belly. Alvandar walks to the cow’s corpse and easily pulls one of the back legs off, using his claws to cut it clean. He sets it in front of her, just within reach of her paws which she extends to stretch her repaired body, wincing at her sore muscles. “You shouldn’t walk for a day at least, eat and…” Alvandar draws a fist up, his skin again glowing, and punches the ground to create a small five foot deep and wide crater in the earth. He promptly turns his fist in place to the left so his knuckles face the climbing peak and raises it slowly as if straining against an invisible weight. Starting with a series of cracks along a path designated by his mind, the earth falls a foot and flattens with round edges that grows in length. Up the bumpy mountain it goes until it’s out of sight. He raises his other hand, and again as if grabbing hold of an unseen force, yanks it down to his chest.
The cubs stare at all this in wonder, looking up to see what will happen next. From the peak, a stream of snow cascades along the path he made, melting as it gets closer. In mere moments, the crater he made becomes a small pond, and the path he made, a stream to feed it. “Be sure to drink plenty. I would suggest not coming back this way, and to not attack owned cattle. I know a spot, three miles opposite this way, to the west. There’s a daily gathering of elk and goats there. I’ll be back as soon as I can to make you a cave near there. Should be perfect for hunting and teaching them to do the same.” Alvandar reaches into his bag and pulls out a small pouch. “Sprinkle some into the pool here twice a day, it will help your pain and the smaller wounds heal faster. ‘Til then, stay safe.”
"May I ask one more thing of you?"
He stops at the slope at the end of the clearing they're in. "What else may I do for you?"
She shakes her head at the thought of asking him to take care of her further. She looks at him instead with compassion and hopeful eyes. "How much longer will it be?” Her question drenches him in a frost.
"I don't know." His voice is no more than the rumbling echo of thunder in the north as he begins his way down the mountain, his shoulders and spirits low. How much longer will it be? The question sparks the centuries old now self guided debate with himself to keep him company.
If it weren’t for the children, Alvandar wouldn’t have bothered changing his hands back to being Húmyn when he went back to the farmer to tell him the job was done, nor would he have spared the man’s life, but take them from him he did. If his wounds wouldn’t kill him, the attracting scent of his blood and his whimpers through a shattered jaw eventually would. Always their look of surprise when they realize he knows the story they told isn't true, and their darkhearts hidden beneath layers of clothing are known to him, will always delight him. A delight that reminds him of his teacher, of his purpose. He wasn't just biding time, he was keeping the world ready for what was to come.
In the end, he couldn’t blame Húmyns for lying to him. It wasn’t their fault they didn’t know what he was, only if they did, they would surely try to kill him. Try. Not that there wasn’t one out there with the skill to best him, he was sure there is one or two of the eldersword warriors now serving as Guardsmen for the great cities of Balifae (Realm of Man) bore the skill to best him. If only skill was the issue. No, ending his long, pain plagued life of immeasurable loss was a matter of power, and the only one with the power to send him to Gothiah, Ascended from this world not long after Alvandar’s own people did.
To be Finished...