Chapter 2: On Your Own
The "several days" that Konlar planned to stay gradually turned into two years. Kyle and Mary had practically adopted him as their own son.
He learned many things while living with them. His skill with daggers improved immensely. Konlar had started out very talented with them. He was now a master, able to throw a dagger and take down a flying sparrow with it.
He had become an apprentice to the local blacksmith and had learned how to forge weapons. His skill with weapon creation improved to the point that Justin, the blacksmith, had made him a business partner.
Since no one knew that he was a lycanthrope, he rarely morphed. Only when he was out on a camping trip and completely alone would he morph into a wolf.
In spite of his wonderful home and high-paying occupation, Konlar was not satisfied. He still remembered that night. The night when he had to hide in a bush to save himself from the genocide that took his family.
He couldn't stop his mourning for them. Every day he was overcome with grief over what had happened.
One day as he was sitting in his room, admiring the dagger that his father had made for him, he snapped. "That night has haunted me long enough. I will find the soldiers that launched that attack and kill them. I will avenge my family and my race."
Later that day, he asked Kyle about Mikasalla's troops. "Well, we don't have a very formidable force. Just enough to defend the town. I believe that our soldiers number at fifty."
"Has Mikasalla ever launched any attacks on any other villages or towns?"
"Yes, we have launched the occasional preemptive assault. The last one launched was actually done so against my will. Three years ago, the head officer came and asked permission to launch an attack on a small village to the east.
Supposedly, the people there were cursed warriors that were going to attack us. After listening to the whole story, I told him that it was ridiculous and that he didn't have permission.
A year later, he called the soldiers together and set off to the east. When they returned a week later, I fired him."
"Do we have a record of the soldiers in the militia?"
"I think I have one stored away somewhere. If you want, you can look through my files. Why do you ask about this?"
"Oh, just a hunch."
Konlar spent the next five hours sorting through years of old paperwork. Finally, he found what he was looking for. A roster of the militia. It was two years old.
Only eight of original thirty soldiers that carried out the genocide were still in Mikasalla. The rest had either gone on to other towns or, in the case of two of them, died in combat.
That night, Konlar prepared to strike the Mikasalla barracks. He grabbed his dagger and strapped it onto his upper leg. "Tonight, the vengeance begins."
He waited until two in the morning before sneaking out. He quickly slipped into the shadows behind his house.
The barracks were only about three hundred feet away. He was able to sneak up and hide against the wall without being seen.
He had checked the guard roster earlier that day. The man on guard wasn't one of his eight targets. That complicated things. He couldn't just kill an innocent man in cold blood. He had to sneak past.
An idea struck him. He quickly jumped up and grabbed onto the edge of the roof, pulling himself up.
He crouched down and made his way to the front of the barracks. He looked down at the guard, took aim, then jumped.
The guard was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground. Konlar dragged his body up against the wall and snuck in.
Once in, he drew his knife and crept up to his first target. The man looked to be forty-eight. Ah well, age didn't matter. All that mattered was that this man had killed off Konlar's friends and family.
Konlar stabbed the knife down through the man's throat, severing his spinal cord. The man opened his eyes in shock, but couldn't move his body.
"I'm a werewolf. You killed my family and friends. That's why I killed you."
He walked over to his next target. This man appeared to be forty and a battle-hardened veteran. As before, Konlar didn't care who this person was. All that mattered was vengeance.
He used the same method as before, stabbing his dagger through the man's throat. The man grimaced in pain.
"You killed my family in your attack on the werewolf village. This is vengeance."
He killed the other six in the same manner, then snuck out again. He paused briefly to wipe the blood off his knife. He was back in his room before the guard even woke up.
The next morning, there was an uproar in Mikasalla. Soldiers had been murdered in their sleep.
Of course, the rumors said anywhere from eleven to all thirty had been killed. The rumors also said that they had been stabbed, strangled, disemboweled, decapitated, and many other gruesome forms of death.
Only the mayor and the troops in the barracks actually knew the truth. Eight soldiers had been stabbed in their sleep. No one knew who had committed the murders. The guard at the door had been found unconscious with a large bruise on his head.
Kyle was busy looking through the military records, trying to find some connection between the murdered troops, something they all had in common, but none of the other soldiers had.
So far he had found nothing unique to the eight soldiers who were murdered. He had spent hours looking over every detail of every military action in the last twenty months.
"Konlar!" Kyle yelled. Konlar came running. "What is it?"
"You know those military records that you were looking at? I need them."
Konlar paled. "Why?"
"I'm trying to find some connection between the murdered troops."
Konlar lowered his head in submission. He ran up to his room and brought the records back to Kyle.
Kyle studied the records for fifteen minutes before noticing the common factor he was looking for. "Here it is!" he said as Mary brought him something to drink.
"They were all involved in the attack on that small settlement two years ago. You know, the one that resulted in the chief officer getting fired."
Mary nodded. "So how does that help determine who killed them?"
"Well, it was most likely a survivor from that settlement. Did any people pass through town from the east after that attack?"
Mary shook her head. "No, no one that I can think of."
She gasped, and then stood up.
"Mary, what is it?" Kyle asked her.
"Nothing. Nothing at all."
She made her way up to Konlar's room and pounded on the door. "Konlar, let me in!"
The door opened and she walked inside. Konlar was sitting on his bed, head bowed.
"Konlar, you told me that your village had been attacked by raiders and that your family had been killed. What village are you from?"
"A small one to the east. Why do you ask?"
"Because we both know who committed the murder last night. Your family was killed in the attack two years ago, and you decided to get revenge on the men who carried out that attack."
Konlar was silent.
"Well, is that true or not?"
"Come downstairs. We need to talk."
Twenty minutes later, he had related the whole experience. Every detail of that awful night.
"For the past two years, I have been mourning their deaths. Yesterday, I snapped and decided that it was time for vengeance. If you can help me track down the other twenty, I would be very grateful."
Kyle was recovering from the shock over what Konlar had done. "Why should we help you track down men so that you can murder them?"
"Because they killed my family in cold blood without any reason whatsoever. Tell me why that doesn't deserve revenge?"
"Because vengeance doesn't belong to you. It belongs to God, not to you."
"If you won't help me, then I will go and track them down myself."
"Konlar, I realize what kind of pain you are going through. My father was ambushed and killed by robbers. But I didn't waste my life tracking them down to kill them. I accepted my father's death and moved on.
"If you are going to do this, then I can't stop you. It is wrong, Konlar, and I wish that you could simply accept your family's death and move on. But if you can't, then I pray that you will survive this. Regardless of whether you are sinning, you are still as close to me as my own son."
Konlar nodded. "You have been a second father to me. And you, Mary, have been a second mother. But you must understand this: Some of my race besides me survived. If I don't kill these men, then there is nothing to stop them from killing off what remains of my race."
Kyle nodded. Mary started to cry. "Konlar, please take care of yourself."
The next evening, Konlar was ready to leave. He grabbed his backpack and walked with Kyle and Mary to the edge of town.
Once there, he embraced both of them. "I'll be back. Don't worry."
He started walking off to the west. When he was twenty feet away from Kyle and Mary, he morphed and ran off.
Andrew Ames (Pyro1588)
(^^ It's finally up and working! YAYAYAYAYA!)