It didn't take long for the elder demon to reach her.

"You can't go further." she was determined.

"You do not give this One orders" he grunted back at her.
"It was a statement."

"I've decided you can't have him."

"What are you prattling, woman?"

Did she want the glory for herself? No... that didn't seem likely. There was something else here.

"Woman." she snorted. "You know my name perfectly well, and yet have you ever called me by it? I don't think so."

"I'd deserve at least that much respect from you."

Well, not anymore she didn't: she'd betrayed the Clan already, but he didn't need to know that.

"You're still as green as summer grass, you have no need for respect" he snorted back at her.

Kilbas knew the truth behind his reluctance for team play and partnership, but he'd buried it so deep within that even he couldn't remember anymore.

The woman chose to ignore him.
"Had you ever treated me like an equal, I might've even learned to like you."

"But no!" she grabbed his collar, "You're an arrogant, self-centered bastard, and I will not let you have this one."

Anger was boiling within the Hunter. How dare she talk to him this way?

She gripped the handle of her dagger.

"And you will not follow me."
"Just watch me, woman." she snarled back, contempt seething from his words.

He needed to know what she was after.

But before he realized it, Tanith had sunk her dagger into the demon's abdomen.

His anger had made him careless.

The demon pushed her away instantly.

Despite his emotions, the Hunter's reflexes still worked.

Kilbas staggered back against the tree as his legs almost gave out from underneath him.

The wound was deep, and gushed with blood, but it was not fatal.

Tanith's hands were shaking. She could not believe she'd actually done it.

If he'd been carrying his bastard sword, she would already be dead. He could still rip out her throat if the approached him again, though the wound slowed him down considerably.

The bloody blade slipped through her fingers and thudded onto the soft moss.

"You should have killed me." he growled.


She would be his for this.

"I couldn't do that." there was a hint of regret in her voice.

Despite everything, she had too much respect for the Hunter known as Kilbas. Killing him in such a cowardly manner would have gone against her own values.

"I'll take responsibility if the Clan catches me."

And with that, she took her leave.

The demon looked at his bloodied hand.

It had been centuries since he'd last been wounded like this.

This was a disgrace; to let some woman anger him and catch him off guard.

He'd never admit it, but it was cleverly done.

It wasn't before he lay at the root of the ancient tree, listening to the sounds of the forest, that he remembered a warning he'd received centuries ago.

Much good it had done him.

Made him wary of every ally and caused him to keep them at a distance.

He really hated premonitions.

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