262 The Ruin of a Revenan
A Light Magician? Seriously? And one associated with the Holy Order to boot. Or was it more than one? Admittedly the blinding light had meant that Aegin could barely see whom was actually interrupting his meal. But the fact was, they'd interrupted his meal. One interruption, and his entire Estode set up had been thrown to the dogs.
It didn't take long for the streets to awaken to his meal's wailing. Nor long for the doctors to discover they couldn't staunch the bleeding. The Light Magicians, who amounted to seven in number from what Aegin heard, had managed to stop it, but not before the man lost copious amounts of blood. Far more than what Aegin had had the chance to take, much to his chagrin.
He'd taken so little that he'd need to go hunting again tonight. Seeing as he had to kill his victims, he'd discovered that hunting every 5-6 days was usually his limit before he was so hungry that his reasoning was affected. Last night he'd managed to get in three or four mouthfuls before the Holy Order's Magicians had cut in. He'd perhaps be able to wait another day, but that was not nearly enough time for the interest to die down. It bothered him, even more so than his meal-gone-wrong. But on top of his list of newly found worries had to be the question he'd found himself asking as he'd ran the night before.
How had those Light Magicians managed to find him?
He'd been silent, swift, and had left no evidence. Yet they'd interrupted him in the middle of a meal. He hadn't even sensed them when he'd been looking for that meal. They had to have been close by after all, they didn't have the speed to be able to catch him unawares.
The Holy Order, as Aegin understood it, was the key religion in the known world. They honoured the Six Great Gods, at the apex of which was the Goddess of Light and Harmony, Valessa. She was both Guardian and Guide, laying the path of order and ensuring that those on it were protected. It was why only Light Magicians were allowed to head their order and become priests and priestesses.
The Order's influence in Eldovia had been there, but it was minimal compared to on the Southern Continent where the Order had built it's vast empire. The Holy Empire was even larger than the Eldovian Continent, and thousands of years older. In fact, it was the only standing nation that was known to have records of the era before. The one that was but a story to the rest of the world.
A story that, through the Other, Aegin had learned was very much real.
The only Priests and Priestesses Aegin had ever met were the ones in Eldovia. From his understanding, they were trained in Eldovia at the Magician Academies, but took the trip to the Holy Empire as a pilgrimage to be ordained. They had always talked of the Empire and it's capital of Havellion like it was a dream. A dream that Aegin had never quite believed.
But as the day wore on, and Aegin heard more and more of the priests and priestesses currently in Estode and hunting him, he was less than impressed with his knowledge. He knew little of this threat, and that posed a problem. How was he meant to avoid them in his hunt if had hadn't a clue how they'd found him to begin with?
The answer, after half a day of listening and observing in the streets, was simple. He had to move on. But to where?
His first instinct was to move further south. It would take him further from the other. But then it occurred to Aegin that further south meant closer to the Holy Empire, which meant he could encounter more priests and priestesses there. That was also the case if he went East.
But north would take him back towards where the had left the Other. And West...well, that was the Jade Sea...
Unless...he crossed the Jade Sea. The Western Continent did have the least amount of influence from the Holy Order. It was said that the Tribes that dominated the continent had their own gods. But a trip like that would involve going on a ship. And a trip to the Western Continent took far longer than to cross Whaler's Strait. At least twice as long. To spend nearly two months on a ship, he'd need a steady supply of blood. If he ate once a week, that would be six to eight passengers that wouldn't survive the to see the jewel-ridden red continent...
A slave ship perhaps? No. He'd had enough of slaves and chains. He couldn't go on a regular merchant ship either, the crew would be too small. He'd be too easily recognisable.
A Passenger Ship then. The bigger the better.
In the two months he'd been in Estode, he had seen a few anchor out away from the Port. Estode was large enough for it to be a stop on the way north or south.
Aegin made his way down to the docks, his hood up to shield his eyes from the sun as usual. The few coins he had left jingled in the small pouch attached to his belt. He hoped it would be enough for a ticket.
It seemed, Aegin wasn't the only one inquiring. Word of a monster spreading had drawn many people to look at ways out of the city. Still, Aegin managed to find the Dock Master who had a regular schedule for Passenger Ships.
"West?" he asked as Aegin brought up where he wanted to go, "Well, yes, some of our ships do go that way instead of Eldovia, usually only once a month or so. The last one was scheduled for a week ago before Winter set in".
Aegin huffed, "I see, thanks for your-"
"You must be in luck though, because it was delayed in the South for repairs," the Dock Master continued, "Bloody Pirates had run rampant ever since Helguard when up in flames. Not that we should be complaining that that awful place is gone I suppose".
"Then, the ship hasn't come through yet?" asked Aegin.
The Dock Master shook his head, "No, last I heard it was due here in three days".
Aegin grinned, "And tickets?"
"Well, you'll have to inquire when they get here, as I don't have a full guest list, but there should be a spare cabin for you somewhere. Those ships are large enough to haul two thousand passengers. Quite a feat if you ask me. The Yilish really know how to build ships," the Dock Master stated, "Anyway, I believe the usual cost to go to the West is between 20 and 30 gold coins. Enough for a bed and meals for the trip".
Aegin's smile dimmed. He had only 25 gold. A fortune for some, but he'd known such a long trip where he wasn't employed on the ship would be as such. The Dock Master sensed his hesitation.
"You don't have enough?"
Aegin sighed, "I do. There just won't be much left upon my arrival is all".
"Ah, but if you're going to the West surely you're going for a new start?" asked the Dock Master, "Not that I can really see the appeal. From what I've heard, apart from the Triad Capitals, it's rather...barbarian over there".
Aegin's smile lightened somewhat, "Could be interesting, is it possible to put my name on a waiting list somewhere?"
The Dock Master nodded, "I could do that for you. It'll be my dock they deal with".
"I'd appreciate it," Aegin replied.
Alright, his path out was almost secured. Now he just needed to hunt elsewhere for three days until the ship arrived, then he could leave without having to encounter the Priests and Priestesses again.