Mission to Middlehaven: 9

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LYCRALAD

“Will you watch where you’re putting your hand?!” Lycralad screamed as he felt a sharp fingernail press into the inside of his inner upper thigh. “You really do have hands all over the place, don’t you?!”

“You’re a feisty little one, aren’t yoooou?” The creature whispered into Lycralad’s ear. “I may keep you as my little play thinnnng!”

“Where are you taking me, anyway?”

“We are almost there, my dearrr.”

The creature’s strong wings made for an uncomfortable ride for Lycralad, each beat meant the creature bobbed and rose as she flew. With each bob, the grip from the sharp claws on each of the creature’s four arms dug a little deeper into Lycralad’s body. And Lycralad realised that the creature did not mind in the slightest where she put her hands.

Suddenly, the creature let go of Lycralad, and watched him plummet before he managed to gather his senses and take flight. At which point, she grabbed him again and continued on their journey.

“Ooh!” Lycralad winced as she grabbed him in an intimate place once more.

“I’m sorry, my dearrr… I enjoy my funnn…”

The creature dropped him again, but this time Lycralad was more prepared. He quickly gathered the air within his uniform and hovered… but once again the creature grabbed hold and continued on her way.

“Take me or drop me…” Lycralad was starting to feel as though he’d had enough.

“I’ll take you any dayyyy…” the creature rasped, menacingly. She gripped Lycralad tighter, and made her descent into a clearing in a pine forest. Finally, she threw him away from her, just above the ground so he had no time to take flight before hitting his shoulders on a large stone. Before he could gather his breath, the creature stood astride him, and then knelt, pinning his thighs to the ground, and she used one set of arms to hold Lycralad’s arms still. With her upper left hand, she gently stroked his cheek. “You are a little darrrlinggg…” she said, as she moved her face very close to his. She licked his nose, before trying to lick beneath his mask. “Sooo sweeeetttt…”

As she was sniffing his forehead, a pebble-filled leather bag struck her on the back of her head. “Scripulus – be gone!” commanded a voice from behind another of the large stones. A jet black horse then appeared and reared up onto its hind legs, ferociously kicking at – but not contacting – the red scripulus creature.

“Who daresss strike the scripulussss during matingggg?” cried the white haired demonic-looking woman. Lycralad hadn’t seen who was carrying him properly until now, and reeled back in shock once he did, once again hitting the large stone. He looked around and noticed that he had been placed within a stone circle. The sky above was clear, and the Moon was full, so he could clearly now see the demonic being that had just toyed with him over the last few minutes. Although to Lycralad it felt more like hours.

“I dare, scripulus!”

Lycralad watched as a long-haired man appeared from behind another of the stones, naked from the waist up.

“Be gone and leave this traveller alone… or would you like me to play the Harp of the Afterlife?”

“You have the Harrrrpppp?” the scripulus sounded just a little worried, “You, a morrrtallll?”

“Indeed I do, and I will play it in an instant if you do not depart right now. I say again… BE GONE!”

“Spoilsporrrrttt…” moaned the red creature as she took flight once again. For a moment all was quiet.

Lycralad sat up and looked around. He thought he was alone until a hand appeared in front of his face.

“Yah!” Lycralad screamed and jumped at the same time.

“Ha!” laughed the stranger. “Let me help you up and introduce myself. I am Adam Hunter, and around these parts I am also known as the Huntsman. I must say that you do not choose your friends wisely.”

“Friend? You mean her? No… She just picked me up!”

“Just as I am doing right now!” he laughed once again as Lycralad took a hold of the Huntsman’s hand and stood up.

“At least you look nice!” Lycralad said, “And on that I shall, for now, have to trust that is the case.”

Lycralad glanced over the Huntsman’s body, noticing a large scar down his right side. I wonder how he got that. He thought, before he noticed that this new stranger was intensely looking at him.

“You are ashamed of your face?” Adam asked, pointing to Lycralad’s mask.

“No…” Lycralad answered, “Its part of my uniform.”

“You are a stranger. Nobody knows you here. You should remove it.”

Don’t! Psychic Sue’s voice boomed inside Lycralad’s mind.

“Yah!!!” Lycralad screamed again, this time making Adam jump with a start also.

“You are a strange one, my friend. Masked and consorting with the scripulus – very daring. Yes, unique and different but daring. Are you hungry… or thirsty?”

“Neither, thank you, I’ve just eaten. I don’t know how I’ve kept it down, but I’ve managed!” Lycralad cringed at what he heard himself say.

“So, if you weren’t here to be with the scripulus, why have you come to the Sacred Circle of the Seven Stars? And you do know that you were lay on the Sacrificial Stone, right?”

“The Sac – No! I did not know that. I have been sent here to find…” Lycralad realised he didn’t know what he was looking for. Ah, he thought.

“To find what? Yourself? Inner Peace?” Adam sensed that his new friend was good-natured.

You’re looking for a golden diamond, Lycralad.

“A golden diamond? Is there any such thing?”

“You are a strange one indeed. Nameless. Faceless. And you ask questions of yourself. Of course there is a golden diamond. Everyone knows of it, although not everyone knows of its whereabouts.”

“And you do?”

“Of course I do. I can take you to it, if you so desire. But you must do something for me first.”

Be careful, Lycralad.

Lycralad jumped once again, causing Adam to frown and smile simultaneously. “OK… what is it?” Lycralad started to raise his hand, thinking Adam was once again going to ask him to remove his mask.

“Tell me your name.”

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