Arvus and Rey had been moving through the Forest for some time already. Although weather was truly hellish, they were not going to return.
Despite the fact that it would be more practical to move at a distance from each other, Arvus did not do this for some reason, and Rey was not really worried about this. Anyway, this night would not be as successful as if he was alone, so Rey did not bother himself too much.
Rey glanced at Arvus and asked him, “Why is your armor different from the rest?”
He could not see Arvus’ face because of the hood. After few seconds of silence, Arvus replied, “Once every five years there’s a tournament in the capital. People there compete with each other for the title of the best warrior.”
“So you got it for winning the tournament?”
“I didn’t win. But the king still awarded me.”
After thinking for a while, Rey asked another question, “What material is it made of?”
“It’s made of skin and bones of a Gilfar,” Arvus said quite coldly, showing that he was not interested in the continuation of this conversation. Rey, by the way, was not going to ask him about anything either.
Rey imagined the beast, which skin could look so impressive, but almost immediately he was distracted by a sound of a breaking branch somewhere far ahead. Both of the men stopped at the same time. Rey ducked down and reached for his bow. However, at this moment Arvus’ hand fell on his shoulder. Arvus took his daggers and looked at Rey, pointing to the belt, where Rey’s daggers were.
Upon taking out his daggers, Rey nodded to the right, showing that he was going to move on this side.
Only after five minutes, he noticed the two-meter-tall deer, which was slowly walking through the night forest. Stopping about thirty meters away from the deer, Rey hit a tree with the hilt of his dagger, giving a signal of readiness. The beast also heard it and turned its head into the direction of the sound. But after noticing nothing, the deer continued its way at a slightly faster pace.
The same knock came from the other side, and Rey immediately began to act. Trying to move as quiet as possible, he shortened the distance to the deer; there still were around ten meters between them. Once again hitting a tree trunk, he waited for a moment and rushed to the prey, raising his hand with the dagger. The beast instantly noticed him. Although the deer was predatory, it ran in the direction opposite to Rey instead of fighting with him. Even before the beast managed to make five steps, a shadow had appeared from behind the tree, which was closest to the deer, and cut its neck.
Rey did not say anything. He silently approached the fallen beast, which eyes gradually darkened. Upon taking out a row, Rey tied up the carcass of the beast and at the same time absorbed its soul. Just when he was about to put the carcass on his back, Rey heard Arvus’ words and froze up.
“Why you didn't take the daggers, which you used to kill the Gsarh?” although Arvus’ voice sounded quite usually: calm and strict, Rey immediately understood the reason of this sudden hunt.
Many excuses appeared in Rey’s head at this moment, but even he himself understood that no one would believe in them. That is why he simply remained silent.
However, Arvus continued, “Those daggers... I wouldn’t have noticed if there were any others, but I made those daggers with my own hands.”
Rey made few steps back, realizing that the man before him did not have good intentions.
“That was my gift to my younger brother,” the son of the Forest said by spelling words one by one and took the very first step towards Rey. “I presented the daggers to him, when he became one of the elite.”
Rey slowly retreated, trying to break the distance between them as much as possible. Arvus, as if he did not carry about this at all, continued speaking, “In that day I felt that he’s gone forever, but I hoped that I was wrong till the very last moment…”
Arvus put his hands on the daggers, which he had already hidden after killing the deer. Rey did not even try to reach his own daggers, since it was obvious that he would not be able to defeat Arvus in such a battle. He continued to move back slowly.
“Corvus always lived an honorable life, like a true son of the forest! Why he had to die!?” Arvus roared.
There was such a burning anger in his eyes that Rey did not even think about convincing him. He slightly indifferently but honestly answered in the end, “He became my strength and that’s the only one reason.”
After a moment of silence, Arvus squeezed the handles of his daggers so hard that even Rey could hear this. “I didn’t stab you in your back only because you saved my sister, but...” Arvus unsheathed his daggers and moved forward with his whole body, “today you will die!”
‘I must act quickly... There’ll be only one chance.’
Rey stepped back and hid behind a big tree, forcing Arvus to go around it. At this moment, Arvus activated one of his skills and sharply speeded up, but it did not help him. He only managed to put his hands with the daggers before himself, trying to block a huge paw of the beast, moving into his direction.
Although Arvus indeed managed to block the attack with his weapons, his body still had flown off almost ten meters, until it crashed into a tree with a thud. Spitting out a mouthful of blood, Arvus tried to get up. However, he could not move his left hand, which took the main force of the attack. On the other hand, he still could move his right hand, but its condition was not much better. Trying to get up by leaning on it, Arvus felt so strong pain that he even groaned.
At the same time, Rey already in the form of a Forest person simply walked out from behind the tree. He stood completely naked, because his armor was torn during the process of his transformation. He looked at his teacher, who spitted even more blood and tried to get up once again after another falling.
“I wasn’t going to harm you or anyone else. You chose your own fate at the moment you attacked me,” Rey himself could not completely understand why he decided to say these words. They just came from his mouth, as if he tried to apologize this way.
However, Arvus remained silent. He spent all his remaining strength in attempts to breathe, but there was barely something left of his lungs either. So powerful was single one strike of the Gsarh.
“Regardless of all this, I think you are a great warrior, and I respect you. I even feel sorry that everything has ended this way.”
Rey looked at his hand; on his palm there was quite a deep wound, which was left after clashing with Arvus’ blades. Shaking off blood, he came closer to him.
“Your folk is really very united. I don’t want you to be disappointed in your brothers and sisters before death. Your brother didn’t die by the hands of one of you. Although I look like you, I’m different. And now…” Rey put his hands on his teacher’s head, “goodbye.”
In one quick movement, Rey broke Arvus’ neck. He had two reasons to kill him this way. Firstly, Rey did not want to dirty the armor he liked. Secondly, he wanted to give him a quick death.
Taking Arvus’ soul, he hesitated and thought, ‘If someone in the town knows about our cooperative hunt, then it’s pointless to return.’
‘Dammit! I just get used to this place... I hope everything is all right.’
After taking all the equipment from the body of his former teacher, Rey put everything in his Inventory. Upon breaking four souls, he healed his wound. For some reason he did not want to turn into a small creature, so he took the form of a Gsarh again. Rey could not leave the body here. That is why, within several movements, he quickly dug a pit and threw the body there. Then he buried it and left.
‘If he didn’t tell anyone about this hunt, I can try to justify myself by saying that we separated after leaving the town. After all, they think that I’m one of them, and that I can’t attack a fellow,’ thinking about it, Rey equipped armor of one of the killed group of hunters. Then he took the carcass of the deer and went towards the town. Slowly moving to the town and looking around in case if Arvus was not alone, Rey recalled his own last words.
‘Probably, I wouldn’t kill those hunters so recklessly now… However, the past cannot be alerted.’