Patina – Chapter 37

She was beginning to understand why they called it the Tide. Wave after wave of monsters rolled uphill, breaking against the defenses, but as they withdrew and charged once again, they reached ever higher. A few of the smaller ones already skittered past the burning piles of firewood, piling on the corpses of the slain, screeching and hissing with their misshapen mouth full of needles and endless hunger.

The man who called himself the Hunter shot left and right at those brave enough to reach past the circle of fires and blood droplets, but he was getting tired. Sadja also believed he couldn’t see as well in the darkness as she could, and his right eye, swollen and red, did not seem to help him in that regard. 

She struggled against the binds holding her to the tree. He was right, she managed to rub the rope to its steel bone, but there was no ripping it, no matter how much she tried. She had flayed her skin so much she almost broke through it and each movement was a sharp burst of pain. But she had to try. There must be a way to rip through the metal. Maybe she could bend it enough to break it, but the tree got in the way and she couldn’t twist it hard enough. 

Meanwhile, the Hunter backtracked. Each step in the snow turned redder and blacker as blood and ichor mixed together. And soon enough, a huge thing roared from the street below. It was a creature that looked like a snake that had tried to digest a huge spider. Its long neck broke in three mouths and its carapace distended in a huge bloated abdomen held up by a dozen uneven legs. It screeched and groaned as it skittered on the snow, climbing the hill. It roared in pain as its large body touched two of the bonfires and even more so as the Hunter shot at it, lifting bursts of white smoke as the bullets ate through its mass. It roared and lowered its head to take a bit of the man, but he danced away from its lunge, taking out his knife and plunging it into the creature’s side. It roared in pain, but the Hunter couldn’t take advantage of the situation as more critters used the now-open wound in the defenses to swarm through, assaulting him. The knife found more eager purchase but the huge thing swayed, still in pain stumbled and in so-doing it hit another of the bonfires. Its right side went up in white flames and it let out a high-pitched, sizzling lament. Mad with pain, it crashed on its side and its huge neck collapsed right next to Sadja. She shivered. Just a pace to the left and it would have crushed her.

“Girl!” The Hunter shouted. 

She ignored him. What could he tell her? To get away from there? He had…


As the monster wriggled in pain on the ground and the fires ate through its cursed flesh, making its skin bubble and ooze down charred bones, its muzzle got dangerously close to her. Maybe she could…

She twisted, lifting her legs and rubbing the ropes holding her calves together against the closest of the thing’s huge teeth. It was larger than her forearm and it looked just about as sharp as the Hunter’s knife. As it did quick work of the ropes and began to eat through the steel core, maybe even more so. 

Sadja chafed away. The Hunter noticed her and tried to sprint at her, but the critters, now that the path was open, swarmed him. He was a whirlwind of blood, ichor and steel, but they were at least slowing him down. 

Better that way. 

She kept rubbing. Almost there… the Hunter reached for something at his belt.

With a snap, the steel rope was no more.

With a hiss and a blast, a column of fire and light enveloped the critters.

She had to be quick. Now that at least her lower legs were free, she lowered on the ground as much as she could. She kicked the teeth until it came off and used her leg to push it as close as she could to her wriggling hand. Luckily, the steel still holding her wrists gave her enough wiggle room to get a grasp on it. She let out a yowl of pain as the edge bit into her skin and silver mist began to come off the wound, but she focused on cutting. She rubbed the rope against the tooth. Once. Twice. Again, again, quick.

The Hunter waved his arm, chasing away the smoke. He emerged from the pillar of fire covered from head to toe in soot, the edges of his coat having caught flame. But he still held strong and he advanced upon her. 


She gave a pull on the rope.

And it snapped apart.

“Stop!” The Hunter tried to reach for her, but more of those monsters reached for him and he had to slow down once again, throwing more of the same fire bombs to the swaths of open ground between the fires to slow down the advance of the others. 

With her hands no free, Sadja cut the remaining rope and threw away the tooth. Or what remained of it. Her hand sported a deep cut, but it was the tooth itself that had… melted.

Weird, but it wasn’t like she had much time to think about it. She tossed one last look at the Hunter, still struggling, and she dashed towards the closest bonfire. She had nowhere to go – but she had managed once, and she would manage once again. She had already shown she could do this, she could escape Verna – forever if she wanted to. She coul-

Something hit her from the side. 

Sadja let out a surprised choke that burst into anguished shriek. Her arms… one of the mid-sized monsters, looking a bit like a dog with a too-long head, snapped its jaws on her arms. She tried to pull away in panic, only to lose her footing and fall on her back, with the creature still biting her.

But it was shrieking as well. A whine that rose into a shriek of utter agony as her silver blood spurted at the rhythm of her panicked heart, rolling down her arms like so many mercurial rivulets. The thing let go.

Not because it wanted to.

It did because its jaw went up in silver smoke.

Sadja looked at her arms. Deep gashes where its teeth had bit into her flesh rode from right to left, and it was as if each of those was a burning stake running her from side to side. She fell on her side, pain and fear rising to choke every other thought. She barely saw the monstrous hound running away, mad with pain, as more white smoke hissed from his body and it then turned into a ball of silver fire running on seven legs. 

She embraced her tail, coiled on herself and tried to hold onto any coherent thought. She had… she had to run away. To stand up and run away…

But the blood spilling out of her flesh argued otherwise. She looked at it with fascination even as the night lit up in a grey fire that gave some of its colors to the night. All around her, the belt of shrieking, screaming creatures spread. 

She turned to look at the Hunter. He was also bleeding. He had probably come there to finish her. She weakly lifted one hand to push him away.

He picked her up, threw his coat over her and all she could do was hang onto it for dear life.

Pic by Bakura Yuri

Author’s Note: this has been another extremely difficult chapter to write. I was a little stuck on Sadja’s predicament for a while. I also decided against making her faint at the end…
All in all, I am pleased we finally get to see her blood in action! Hope teasing it for 37 chapters wasn’t too long… this is one of those scenes I am certainly going to change in review, though. At least it’s behind us. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow.

2 risposte a “Patina – Chapter 37”

  1. […] What’s this? Index Previous Next […]

    "Mi piace"

  2. […] What’s this? Index Previous […]

    "Mi piace"


Inserisci i tuoi dati qui sotto o clicca su un’icona per effettuare l’accesso:

Logo di

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Foto di Facebook

Stai commentando usando il tuo account Facebook. Chiudi sessione /  Modifica )

Connessione a %s…

%d blogger hanno fatto clic su Mi Piace per questo: