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Last Week’s SS: The First Fight


Outside of the house was nearly pitch black, with only the waning moon overhead lighting the night.  The new moon would beginning tomorrow.  It’d be a new beginning for me, as well.  If I lived that long.  Tears streamed down my face as I ran from the house.  Just outside I saw dead soldiers.  The man inside hadn’t lied about having back-up.  But my lion had dispatched them.  I wondered if he was alright.  If he had sunk his metal teeth into that soldier, or if the soldier had been especially deft with the knife.

I started towards the back of the house, but stopped.  My instinct was to run towards the cliffs.   It was the only place that I knew outside of our home.  It was also a dead end.

I turned around.  Going around the city would take time.  But going into the city wasn’t an option.  The Emperor wanted me dead since the day I was born.  And now, he knew who I was.

Despite my fear and sorrow, I moved quickly and purposefully.  There was a lot of land in this section of the island.  I couldn’t be caught out in open space.  It may have been dark, but if someone caught me at the right angle, the moon would give me away.

So I went inward, toward the city, but stopped as I approached the farthest reach of the merchant area.  The streets were abandoned at this hour and the unoccupied buildings surrounding the alley blocked any direct view of me.

I stayed on the smaller streets.  Occasionally, I’d reach a junction, where road I was on met with a larger road.  The main roads were lit, and the light spilled into the my path.  I avoided it as if I were allergic.

I walked through the night.  My legs were sore from the trek, and my chest sore from sobbing.  Throughout the journey, I replayed the scene over and over in my mind.  Eventually, I accepted that Victoria was gone.  The woman who raised me as best as she could had died for me.

I thought of her last words.  “Find the Hermit.”  I wasn’t sure what they meant or where to find this person.  If he was actually a hermit, he’d likely be hard to find even if I knew where to look.

By the time I reached the other side of the city, a small sliver of light had begun to slice through the horizon.  As the sun began to peek from its slumber, it reflected off of the golden bridge.

It was more massive then I could have imagined.  Victoria had taught me about it, but I couldn’t appreciate its size until now.  It was drawn up, held in place by giant, locking gears.  Shortly, the bridge would lower.  Merchants would begin to flock into the city.  And somehow, I would have to sneak out.