Chapter 7: Justice and Vengeance

A small nug was running fast through the cold chambers of the Deep Roads. Its small legs were trembling from fear; somewhere behind, something was following it. But, as it reached one of the many chambers of the Deep Roads, it stopped suddenly and froze at the sight of what it saw in front of it. There was huge chamber, and in the middle of it, the nug saw a big fire. Close to the fire, there was a party of many hideous creatures, a large group of darkspawn. Some of them were sitting around the fire, cleaning their weapons, others were patrolling slowly around the chamber. The nug gathered all its courage and jumped backwards, running away with all its strength from the tainted creatures. But it was already too late... one of the darkspawn saw the small creature and ran its way, sounding the alarm. All the tainted creatures gathered their weapons fast and ran towards the small nug. A darkspawn archer shot arrows toward the small creature, but it missed it.

Suddenly, the darkspawn stopped as they all felt something familiar at the same time. There was a familiar scent in the air. Who would dear to disturb them in that Maker forgotten place?

Brothers. Wardens.

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

A party of humans were traveling slowly through the cold Deep Roads. A tall black-haired warrior was leading the group of humans. Behind him, a hound and six men were following: four warriors, a mage and a black-haired archer.

"A had enough of these cold Deep Roads..." whispered the mage to the black-haired archer. "We are traveling through this Maker forgotten place for two weeks. It's a nightmare!"

"There is nothing we can do, Anders." whispered the archer. "We must follow our leader."

"I don't know how much I'll resist, Nate." whispered Anders back.

"Just stay put and follow his orders. Don't argue with him anymore, because he won't hesitate to kill you..." said the black-haired rogue.

"I know... I wonder when he'll lose his temper and kill me. " The mage sighted deeply. "I must leave, Nate. I cannot resist anymore! I must escape, as Vellana and Sigrun did."

"Don't do it, Anders. You know how he chased Vellana after she escaped... "

"Yes... I remembered. But he failed to find her."

"She was lucky... and an elf. Her kind protects her."

"And Sigrun... she vanished too. Into the Deep Roads. A week after Vellana did."

"She is a rogue. She knows how to hide herself."

"Maybe I should start drinking... Maybe he would fire me... like he did with Oghren."

"Don't be stupid. You cannot fool him that way either."

"I don't understand why you are following him so loyally, Nate."

"He saved my life... I owe him some respect. He's not a bad man, but he likes to be so... bossy."

"Maybe... but he hates mages... he hates me. I cannot forget that! " protested the blond mage. "And I also dislike authority! Look at the Orleasians Wardens that he brought with him... They are so... obedient, so good at following orders and rules. I cannot be like that, Nate."

One of the Orleasian Wardens turned and looked at Anders.

"Please, Anders... be careful. They might hear you... just be careful, my friend. One of them knows Ferelden too."

"I'll do my best, Nate. But escape is my only option here. Either that or... death. "

"Just try to be a little obedient, my friend. Death is not an option for you. Trust me!"

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

"All mages are a disgrace in the Maker's eyes! They should all be punished!" yelled Gerald to the dead walking warrior that was walking close to him.

"How can you be so unjust? Not all mages are bad... Anders, my human friend is not bad. It is not just to consider all the mages guilty by default. "

"Don't argue with me, Justice. Your view about this world is an idealistic one. You don't know how dangerous mages are!"

"I am Justice, the spirit of Justice. And I'm just saying that you are not a just leader! You let yourself be guided by your prejudices and misconceptions and this is not what a good Commander should do!"

"So... you are now questioning my commanding skills?"

"Yes. Defining rules and forcing people to obey them is not leadership. You should help your people work together, understand their needs, make them respect you. "

"No! This is all just bullshit! People obey their leaders only because they fear them! Fear is good... it is the key ingredient for leadership."

"Be careful... authority is a double edged sword..."

"Oh... just stop it! I command you to stop talking!"

"And why should I obey you?"

"Because I have the power to kill you!"

"This body is already dead... And I'm a spirit... you just cannot kill me."

"Then... I'll just have to punish your friend Anders!"

"That's not fair... but is possible. I haven't thought about that."

"See... you have so much more to learn about this world... spirit."

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

The dead warrior got closer to the blond mage. The spirit from within him had just made an important decision after his arguments with the Warden Commander.

"Anders... my friend." whispered the spirit.

"Justice..." answered the mage.

"I'll leave soon and I must help you also escape..."

"Oh... wow... do you spirits also read thoughts?"

"No. But helping you escape is the just way to correct this situation. This body is weak. I'll have to leave the human's world soon. But first, I must return the Warden's body to his wife, Aura. This is the right thing to do. Still, my mission in this human world is not done for me, yet. I have some unfinished business here."

"Then we should escape and head for Amaranthine. Maybe we'll find a way for you to remain here... another body, perhaps?"

"Yes. We shall escape as soon as possible."

"Thanks, Justice. I owe you one."

But their conversation was interrupted by the Commander's hound which was barking and growling.

"What is it Diable? Darkspawn?" asked Gerald.

Diable barked shortly, then growled again; the hound sensed another animal,a small nug, which was hiding itself in a small corner of the room.

"I don't sense any darkspawn... then what is it?" asked Gerald.

Diable did not answered back, but started to run madly towards the nug. The little rodent's scent was just driving him mad!

"Diable... come back!" screamed Gerald, hardly keeping the pace with the fast hound. "Merde!"

"Wait... where are you going?" screamed Gerald. "Follow me!" he ordered and started to ran after the hound. The Wardens ran for a few moments, but then, suddenly, they all had a familiar feeling ...

"Darkspawn!" yelled the Warden Commander. "Prepare for battle!"

The Wardens just entered a huge chamber of the Deep Roads where a big group of darkspawn were expecting them, already prepared for battle.

"Sixty darkspawn against seven Wardens and a hound... it is not a fair fight at all. " whispered Anders.

"A suicidal mission..." stated Justice.

"It was the new Warden Commander's decision to search the Architect into the Deep Roads., but who dares to question his demands?" whispered Anders.

"Just me... but my body is already dead. And it was useless. He won't listen to any of us!" stated Justice again.

"Attack!" ordered the Commander and then all the Wardens attacked the horde of darkspawn

The Orleasian Wardens charged first; they were killed fast by the rain of arrows.

Then, the Commander right arm was hit by an arrow, making Gerald drop his sword on the ground.

The Commander took his sword in his left hand and continued the charge on the horde of darkspawn.

"Commander! We must retreat!" yelled Justice.

"No! Never! Charge!" ordered the Commander as he charged the horde of darkspawn.

Nathaniel dropped his bow and took his swords out, then charged too. Justice followed Nate closely, guarding his back. Anders remained in a corner of the room, casting lightening spells, then a healing spell on Nate.

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

A small nug was trembling in a corner of the cold room. There were dead bodies everywhere... about sixty dead darkspawn bodies, a dead hound and three dead Wardens. Close to the fire, three Wardens were kneed around another Warden that was wounded.

"You are badly wounded, Commander. Here, drink this potion!" said one of the Wardens.

"No!" I... won't!... I... don't trust you, mage!" protested the wounded Commander.

"Listen to him, Commander. You are badly wounded." said Nathaniel.

"No! I... don't need your help, mage!" said Gerald.

"He wants to heal you, let him help you, Commander." insisted the black-haired rogue.

"Non!" yelled the Commander with all his power.

"Then you will die..." stated the spirit.

"I want to help you, Commander. Trust me! I'm a healer... I can help you." said Anders.

"Non! Get away from me, mage!" protested Gerald again.

"I see no other way..." stated Nate. "I'll hold him and you'll give him the potion."

"No-" said the Commander, but his word was interrupted by the mage just poured the potion into his mouth, while Nathaniel was holding Gerald's head. The Warden Commander fell into a deep sleep.

"He'll heal slowly. I'll also cast a healing spell on you too."

"Thanks, Anders."

"You're welcome, Nate." "We'll leave now, come with us."

"No. I'll stay by his site... he's still my Commander."

"I don't understand you, my friend... "

"I believe that there is something good in any man... even in Gerald." stated Nathaniel. " Here, take these maps of the Deep Roads. You'll need them if you want to get out of this Maker's forgotten place. I have a copy of them with me also."

"Thanks, Nate. Take care of you, my friend!"

"You too, Anders!"

"Goodbye!" said the spirit of Justice.

"Goodbye, Justice!"

And then the mage and the dead warrior left the Deep Roads, heading for Amaranthine.

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

A tabby cat was running fast through the cold chambers of the Deep Roads. Its small legs were trembling from fear; somewhere behind, something was following it. But, as it reached one of the many chambers of the Deep Roads, it stopped suddenly and its small heart started to pounce madly. A blond mage that was sitting around a huge fire, in the middle of the room.

"Meow!" meowed the cat at it ran towards the mage.

"Ser-Pounce-a-lot!" said the mage, smiling beautifully.

"Meow!" meowed the cat as it almost reached the human.

Ser-Pounce-a-lot was preparing himself to pounce into the human's arms...

Suddenly, a big lava pit just grow out of nowhere in front of the tabby cat and it forced it to stop from pouncing.

"Hey, pussycat!" said a big hound from behind to the small feline.

"What?!" said Ser-Pounce-a-lot surprised at he turned and faced the big hound.

"Hmm... surprise?!" said the hound.

"Hey, why are you you chasing me?"

"Because you're my dinner. I just want to make a delicious Oleasian cat stew... yummy!" smirked the dog.

In a moment, the hound charged the cat; Ser-Pounce-a-lot pounced over it and used his sharp claws to scratch the dog's ears. The hound growled again, this time from pain as its ears just started to bleed.

"Meow!" meowed the cat again. "You didn't expect that, didn't you?"

"Just a few scratches... is this all you can do, cat?"

"Damn you, Orleasian dog!" said Ser-Pounce-a-lot at he charged the dog with all his power.

Suddenly, the hound disappeared and a black-haired woman appeared from nowhere in front of Ser-Pounce-a-lot...

"Pouncy! Where are you?" yelled a black-haired young woman.

Then the woman disappeared and Ser-Pounce-a-lot was facing the big hound again.

"Hmm... Orleasian cat stew. Yummy!" said the dog as he jumped at the cat.

"No! I'm not going to be your dinner!" yelled Ser-Pounce-a-lot as he pounced again.

But as the cat pounced over the dog, the hound slipped over a small rock and fell into the lava pit that was behind them. Ser-Pounce-a-lot landed safely on the ground and watched as the dog vanished into the lava.

"Ha! Dinner is better served hot!" said Ser-Pounce-a-lot, laughing.

The black-haired woman appeared suddenly in front of Ser-Pounce-a-lot.

"Pouncy! Where are you?" yelled a black-haired young woman.

The fat tabby cat opened its eyes slowly. In a moment, the lava pit and the Deep Roads vanished and all he could see was a small dark room full of shelves. He looked around and saw that he was sitting in a wooden basket full with wool that was placed on one of the shelves.

"Pouncy! It's dinner time. MILK!" said the woman again, emphasizing the last word.

Ser-Pounce-a-lot pounced out from the basket and started to walk slowly towards the room's door. His fatty body made pouncing so difficult! He pushed the door with his head and walked slowly to the woman.

"Meow!" said the feline on a gently tone as he reached the woman.

"Here you go, Pouncy. A plate full of milk. Enjoy it!" said the woman. She immediately placed a plate full of some delicious milk in front of the feline.

The cat didn't wait too much... he actually threw itself at the plate full of the delicious white liquid and started to eat greedily. After he finished the whole milk, the cat slowly returned to its cozy basket and began to clean his whiskers slowly.

Yes... life was good for Ser-Pounce-a-lot since he had been given to Dililiah, Nathaniel's sister. There was plenty of milk there, and the new human friend was treating him nicely. A great life indeed!

He was well fed... getting fat... a good thing, right?

Ser-Pounce-a-lot thought about the dream that he just had. His life was good, but still... there was something important missing there... an essential part. A missing piece of puzzle that made Ser-Pounce-a-lot feel so... incomplete. Like a part of him had been left behind. Someone stole a part of his heart and got away with it! There were days when he felt so bad... he missed his old human friend, Anders.

Why did they take him away from him?

The answer was simple: because of a dog, of course.

Why did life had to be like that?

Because there was always a dog in the way of a feline's success in life... life was so unfair!

But still... life was good there, at Deliliah's... that could work... maybe he could forget about Anders, stay there, drink gallons of milk... it was an option to consider.

Ser-Pounce-a-lot stopped cleaning his whiskers for a moment and thought deeply...

Were was the fun in all that? Who would call him Ser-Pounce-a-lot again? Pouncy was a name for a pussycat! And Ser-Pounce-a-lot was a tomcat... a proud and independent feline.

The cat raised its head proudly.

Staying at Deliliah was a very comfortable situation... but all his Warden blood was yelling for escape! Suddenly, some memories about Anders came back to him... he way he was petting him gently, his unusual bound with the human... He wasn't feeling the same bound with Deliliah.

And there was also the fact that he had to do something about that... disgusting hound. Revenge was a necessity!

So, after a few more thinking, Ser-Pounce-a-lot decided that he would do something stupid, but necessary: he would get out of his comfort zone and go in search for Anders!

"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"

It was midnight and a full moon was lightening the streets of Amaranthine. A mage and a warrior were walking slowly on the empty streets of the city.

"Come Justice. Just a little more. Aura's place is close."

"I'm so weak... " whispered the warrior.

"Don't worry, my friend. I'll help you."

"I... must keep my promise to her. I must give her back the body. But my mission in this world is not done.. yet."

"I'll be your vessel."

"This is dangerous, Anders."

"I want to... you helped me too... I owe you." said the mage as he stopped walking. "We're here. This is were she lives."

The mage and the warrior stopped in front of a big house. Anders knocked on the door, but nobody answered.

"Mistress Aura!" yelled the mage.

After a few moments, a tall woman opened the door of the house slowly.

"Who... who is it?" whispered Aura.

"Aura... I brought his body back... as... I... promised." whispered Justice, then his body fell on the ground.

The woman got out of the house slowly and found the dead body of her husband in front of the door. She felt over the body, crying; she did not see the blond mage that just walked away fast and vanished into the night.

As soon as he walked away from Aura's residence, Anders's eyes turned shining blue.

"The symbiotic bounding between the mage and the spirit has been successfully completed. There is no more turning back now." said the spirit from within the mage.

"Who are you? Where is Justice?" asked Anders.

"My name is... Vengeance." answered the spirit from within the mage.

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