Going Feet First Ch. 03byDarkPulse©
Author's note: this story continues my tale, 'Going feet First', and follows Galen, a soldier once in Vietnam, now on an interesting journey into a medieval fantasy world filled with Elves, Magic, and all kinds of interesting creatures.
I will say now that this story is longer and much more detailed than both of my previous chapters. This chapter does not contain any sex scenes, but I will make up for that later.
Any point where there is a line of dots it is a scene-change. A three-dot break is only a change of perspective within the same scene.
Now, without further ado...
Welcome to Raska.
Going Feet First
Chapter 3: Unto the Breach
The weight of a well-fed deer hung over a Neko's left shoulder while a heavily muscled boar lay limp over the right. With a long string of squirrels hanging off his belt, the stocky male groaned with the weight of his catch as he staggered out into the open clearing around the Willher village.
Sweat dripped down from his cropped mane of mud-brown hair and fur; the salty beads ran along discolored patches of grey in his coat wrought by old scars. Down his right arm lay an entire strip of silver hair a finger-width wide where he had been sliced by a Ra'zorlich blade. Where injuries like this had gone deeper, his fur never had recovered its natural shade. The skin, muscles, and bone healed; the hair never did. All over his body, his torso and arms especially, lay the patches of grey or silver in varying sizes.
These marks from battle were looked upon by some with disdain, though he showed them off with pride as they were his trophies from years of fighting, and winning.
As the Hunter stood staring at the village across the clearing, his perspiration began seeping into the cuts on his leather armor and over the open wounds in his skin. He winced, biting down on the scar that ran over his lip and down the chin of his otherwise fair, if not handsome face.
So close now, then I'll give that lazy disgrace a lesson not soon forgotten. I'll tear her claws out for this... he swore in his mind.
The first glimpse of daylight was emerging over the horizon; it would not be long until the sun's rays will cast down onto her bed to wake her. As the male Neko learned from previous mornings watching her, she always struggled with the waking hours, overcome with drowsiness and the wish to return to the dreaming world. It would be during this time of stupor that he would take action. No second thoughts this time, no inhibitions of morality, he would finally go through with it.
A year he had pressed her for this; a year she had been his tracker, a year she had always pushed him away. No longer. This morning he would have her purity and she would have his kittens whether she wanted to or not. With everything he had done for the tribe, the bandits he had slain and the bounties of meat he had claimed to feed their numbers in excess, none would stop his courting of her or punish him for his act. She belonged to him.
Shoulders aching and legs nearly dead from exhaustion, the Neko hunter made started across the clearing toward his village. Even in the early dawn light, the two guards standing watch at the entrance immediately took notice of his presence. Hands moving to their weapons, they took a defensive stance and stood prepared to defend at a moment's notice.
The fire in the braziers beside them had inadvertently hindered their night vision, the breeze blowing at their back carrying the new comer's scent away from their post. Both guards could only wait to see who the visitor was. When the hulking figure drew near the guards began to move forward to greet him. The second they made out his face however, their hands quickly parted from their swords.
"Emiel?" the one guard said in shock. "Where have you been?!"
"Bandits," the discolored Neko answered, wincing as another bead of sweat slipped into his wounds. "Take these to the butcher for me; I have business to tend to."
Before either guard could probe him further, the hunter tossed both his deer and boar into the arms of the guards and dropped his squirrels at their feet. While they stumbled with the sudden and unexpected burdens, Emiel yawned and pressed on into the camp.
Free of his gathered game, he straightened up his back and stretched out his arms, sighing in sweet relief as his spine cracked and popped into alignment. With a growing smile, he pulled a chip of medicinally impregnated wood from a pouch on his belt, the last of three from his semi-annual limit, and placed it in his mouth.
It took time for the medicine to act, for his saliva to moisturize the dried medicine in the wood as he bit down on it, but soon pains all over his body melted away from his muscles with the comforting warmth sweeping over his skin and insides. Relief and pleasure were audible in his sigh; he felt as though he had stepped into a steamy hot spring on a cold winter night.
He knew the concentrated herbs boiled into the wood wouldn't heal him, but the lack of pain and restored vigor would still serve him well. After three days in the forest, two of which were spent driving a pack of human bandits from the Willher territory after his tracker disappeared, he needed the relief, and release greater than the addictive lure of Kultren medicine.
The sky above had grown a bit brighter as Emiel stalked the streets of the village, dirt and rocks crunching under his bare toes. He didn't care for the stones jabbing into the pads of his feet though, as they were too numb from both his walk and his medicine.
By the time the last ache in his muscles had been suppressed, he'd come into sight of her home. Looking around at the barren streets of the village, he inwardly grinned as there was not a single waking creature in sight. None would disturb him, this time was his.
At this moment, she would be sleeping soundly in her bed, enjoying her day of rest between her days of tracking. Emiel did hope she forgotten that this day was his time of rest as well. If she did, then she would not expect or be prepared for what he had in store.
Claws emerging from his fingers, Emiel approached her tent and smoothly pulled the canvas door flap aside. Right then the first thing that struck his senses was the smell. Sweat, a female a few weeks shy of going into heat and... human? Little mind to the human, alarms went off in Emiel's mind as he wondered, Why does it reek of sex?!
His emotions, already broiling, had his body vibrating as he took notice of the vast change her quarters had undergone. She was there, sleeping belly down on the floor, but wrapped up in a giant sheet the likes of which he had never seen. There were several green, wooden boxes on the far side of the tent as well, and some sort of pack beside them that was completely alien to the veteran hunter.
"Michael?" she mumbled, her head lifting up from some sort of green pillow or shirt.
She yawned as she turned her head back toward Emiel, eyes out of focus in her morning stupor. "You rise too early, come back to bed..."
Emiel's seethed in anger; his eyes could glow red as a silent, savage snarl revealed his teeth.
Why are you speaking human?! Is that who you have mated?! A year you reject my advances, and in three days you find a mate?! I've killed for you, you errant whore!
Drops of blood escaped his clenched fists as his claws pushed into his palm. Pain numbed by the medicine being crushed in his jaws, Emiel stepped further into Mila's tent, looming over the woman with his tail lashing between his legs. His leather shorts became too small and snug with the stiffening erection beneath, the scent of her body enticing him to pounce right there.
At the same time, though, the stench of her quarters brought up the image in his head of the human that had been between her thighs, flooding her with his despicable seed. It sickened the warrior to take air in through his nose; she was absolutely coated with the stench. If he did not move quickly, it would be half-breeds growing in her belly, not full-blooded Nekos destined for strength and ferocity. The former simply would not do.
In her usual fatigued manner, Mila rolled over onto her back to better face the man standing at her feet. Chest exposed and tail playfully flicking about, her eyes opened just enough to focus on the figure before her then widened as she finally recognized it.
"You disgraceful waste of fur," Emiel growled in a low voice.
Before a single sound could escape her mouth, the Hunter pounced down upon her, his hands clamping down on her throat. Instinct made her take hold of his wrists to try and pull them away from her windpipe, but then his claws depressed her skin.
"Make a noise and I shall crush your throat. Fight me and I shall snap your neck."
Short, fearful breaths struggled past Mila's constricted airway, her eyes widely focused on his enraged face as she made feeble attempts to remove his hands.
Bringing his eyes just a breath away from hers, he whispered, "You have betrayed me, again. Now I am done with forgiveness, this time you will pay me back with kitt-"
Emiel slumped forward, his hands limp around Mila's neck and body motionless on top of her chest. A drop of blood and patch of fur stained the butt of the pistol in Michael's hand as he stood over them. Heavy, controlled breaths escaped the pursed lips of his rage-twisted face and flexing chest. With a throaty roar, he slammed his boot into Emiel's side to throw him off of his mate.
Heart pounding in her chest, Mila shoved the unconscious body away and sat speechless as she stared at it. When she looked over at Michael, he had his weapon holstered and was already coming to her side, wrapping his arms protectively around her and pulling her close against his chest.
"He was going to..." she mumbled.
"Then I would have blown his goddamn brains out," Michael interrupted just as heavy footsteps started approaching from outside.
First were concerned-sounding words and angered growls, the sound of metal sliding against leather, the rapid crunch of dirt underfoot. Within seconds, three armed Nekos came running up to the door flap, weapons drawn.
"Mila! What was that roar-"
The warrior cut himself off as he saw her wrapped in Michael's embrace, the Tracker's former hunting partner unconscious beside her bed.
"Whoever this fucker is," Michael started, voice flaring up again in anger. "He tried to force himself on Mila. Either you take care of him, or I will liberate his brain from his fucking skull."
The Willher warriors stared in awe at Michael for a moment, wondering how he had claimed victory of Emiel without as much as a scratch to show for it. Yet they did not spend much time deliberating the moment before they moved into the tent. With a grunt they seized the unconscious Hunter by the ankles and dragged him away from Mila and out the door of the tent. After waiting for the other two to go out of earshot, the remaining warrior leaned in close to the shaken couple sitting at his feet.
"You are lucky to have your heart in your chest, Michael," the warrior stated. "Emiel has professions like you, both hunter and warrior. And he is very skilled at both."
"Am I supposed to care?" the Sergeant asked. "He laid a hand on my woman; nobody touches my family and lives."
"I understand," the warrior stated. "Emiel will be caged and elders will convene to judge him tonight. Until then, good luck on your trial."
It's not happening... It's not happening!
Celia didn't want to watch, but she wasn't able to turn away. The Elf's teeth sank into the knotted rag used to gag her, the coarse linen damp with her tears and spent screams. The twine wrapped tight around her wrists and ankles burned her skin any time she struggled against them, a method her captor had used to bring a swift end to any attempts at escape.
Not that she could escape anyway, even if she wasn't bound around the ankles. Not with the Lycan guarding her.
Celia couldn't remove the image of the bipedal canine from her mind. His wolf-like head- from the elongated snout and pointed ears, to the powerful eyes and long, canine tongue- shadowed over her as she cried out for her soldier. She could sense his body, completely covered in thick, white fur, dense with muscle, standing so close behind her. As was typical to his race, she knew the Lycan wore nothing over his chest. The only modesty that the males of his race had was seen in the pants they wore.
Both the Lycan's hands and feet were all identical to other humanoids, though Celia could feel the thick, un-retractable claws in his fingers cinched around her hair. Had he been standing in front of her, she would have that curled, canine tail jutting out from his black, felt pants slapping her in the face.
It may have ben that having a tail in her face would be the preferable alternative to her current position; forced her on her knees and her hair grasped in an iron grip to keep her head facing forward. The Lycan wanted to make her to watch with watering eyes as three men in plate armor moved in toward her Galen.
The young soldier was hardly moving as he lay on the ground, roughly fifty paces upstream from the Elf between the river bank and the tree line. Petra was kneeling at his side, hovering over him, screaming and crying to unleash her emotions as she deliberately beat on his chest with closed fists. Fresh blood staining the Neko's hands came off onto the breast of Galen's jacket, though thankfully that blood was not his.
The man who had thrown a knife into the soldier's stomach, he had not lasted a second after trying for his life. Petra had pounced on him in an instant, tearing open his throat and ripping out vocal organs in less time than it took to blink one's eye. It was his blood that now stained her hands; his blood that she now smeared over Galen's chest as she tried to keep the Private from following his attacker into the Nether.
Petra now pressured his wound after removing the blade in his belly to allow him a chance to perform his healing magic. She even coaxed his hand into keeping its glow for as long as possible though, in the end, it proved futile. His face paled as the white glow died from his palm, his grip going weak in hers.
As Petra watched the strength fade from his ocean-blue eyes, she felt a quivering tear in her gut that she had sworn long ago to never acknowledge or allow again.
Fear that she couldn't rightly explain as it took the place of the joy that she thought she should feel. The life to which she was bound to serve is ending. The collar around her neck was loosening, about to fall off. In Galen's passing, she would be free.
Why did this fact scare her? Her mind couldn't wrap around it. His life was fading and her heart was quivering. She desperately kept his magic hand pressed to his belly, urging him to finish the chant to complete the healing spell. But it was an effort wasted.
Teeth digging into her lower lip, Petra brought her fist down and slammed it onto Galen's ribcage to cause a surge of blood to erupt from his mouth. His whole body gave a violent spasm before his head rolled off to the side. Red drool rolled off his lips as his eyes landed on Celia, taking in her image for the last time before they finally slid shut.
No... No... the Elf thought, trying to shake her head free from the hand that held her in place.
She wanted to cry out for him through her gag, but it was no use. The Lycan holding onto her had full dominance over her body. Only her thoughts were her own as she kept thinking, I'll wake up... we'll be in the cave... this is all a nightmare... he'll be okay... this is not happening!
When her master finally went still, a horrified Petra leaned down over him, pressing an ear over his heart. Her tail flicked upward as she listened for several moments; a single tear ran her cheek as she looked to the Knights approaching her with their hands on the hilts of their swords.
From the looks on their faces, she knew they were coming for Galen. Her focus momentarily shifted back to the soldier, claws inching out from her fingertips as she finally let go of his hand.
Before their blades could leave the Knights' sheaths, Petra had grabbed the soldier's rifle and gear and broke for the tree line. One of the Knights raised a bow, notching an arrow and firing at the Neko. With a feline grace, she tilted her head to the side and allowed the projectile to pass by without so much as grazing her hair.
When the slaver went to pursue, Pretayus caught his soldier by the collar. "We are shorthanded as it is. Forget the fur-ball."
"Yes, Pretayus," the man responded, returning to his place at his boss's side.
The slave master didn't delay further; he sauntered up to Galen with a touch of joy about him. He circled around the body of the soldier, jabbing his sabaton into his side and waiting for a reaction. Receiving none, he furrowed his brow and thought back for a moment, remembering how the young warrior had pressed his glowing hand over the knife wound in his gut.
Rubbing the scraggly stubble on his chin, Pretayus's dark eyes narrowed as he came down to one knee beside Galen. Gently, with the remaining two fingers on his right hand, the index and middle, he opened up the blood-stained hole in the belly of the Private's olive drab uniform while placing his other hand on the boy's chest over his heart.
"This does well for my spirits, boy... We have a score to settle..." he snickered as he eyed the partly healed wound in the Private's belly and felt the struggling beats of his heart.
Joy and rage burning in his chest, Pretayus raised his mutilated hand up high and slammed it down into Galen's gut. A crimson glob burst from the soldier's mouth as the blood cleared from his airway. With the bile that had been suffocating him gone, Galen began sucking in each breath as though it were his last.
His maniacal simper growing larger, Pretayus grabbed Galen by the collar and lifted him up with his left arm. The soldier's pack slid off his arms, falling to the ground as his aggressor drew his free hand back into a two-fingered fist.
"Good thing you're alive, boy! I like to look men in the eye before I turn their life into a living Nether!"
Galen's eyes lolled off to the side for a moment, his mind incoherently grasping what was happening besides the immense agony in his midsection. At the last second, he pulled together enough to brace himself as a fist slammed into his face, sending his vision into a flurry of stars.
Every inch of his face screamed in pain, his mind slipping even further away from coherent thoughts before his cheek turned to an icy field of numb. Whatever mental strength he had managed to recover after his near suffocation was replaced by the most intense migraine of his life.
"Nothing to say boy?! HUH?! Answer me, dammit!" Pretayus thundered, yanking Galen forward to bring his face within inches of his own.
"He looks out of it, sir. I'd say you knocked the brains right outta his head."
For a moment, Pretayus studied Galen's eyes, taking in the sheer emptiness inside them and the lame movements of his body. This sight amused the slaver as the soldier blinked several times, blood trickling down from his nose and his gaze beginning to drift again.
"Such a whelp," the slave master chortled. He hocked up the phlegm from the base of his throat and spat in Galen's face before tossing him to the ground.
Squaring his shoulders, Pretayus turned to his two men and ordered, "Strip his jacket."