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"Wait!" I called as I stumbled after her, not at all surprised that she did not turn back.
"Gods," I muttered, stopping my pursuit.
It was useless to go after her. What was I going to do, calmly explain to her that I was sent by Lord Keb's keeper to hunt down renegade souls, and politely ask her not to mention that she saw me rise from the dead? That would work supremely well I imagined. The only way to ensure her silence would be to kill her, and I was not in the habit of murdering defenseless temple girls. No, my best option was to find my way out of the temple quickly, without being seen. It was not such a difficult task, I was familiar with the temple routes, plus from the darkness, I could tell that I would have the cover of night to work with once outside. Quickly I ran down the narrow corridor, turning off in a different direction than the girl had gone.
As I had predicted, getting out unseen was no challenge. In fact, I had even managed to ‘borrow' a cloak that was hanging outside a nearby house, and now, with the hood drawn up I could move around easily. My head was still was still throbbing, so I stopped for a moment, under the shade of a gnarled old oak, breathing in the night air. From where I stood, I could hear the conversation of two men that were passing by.
"Quite hysterical...but she swears that's what she saw" one was saying.
"But people just don't come back from the dead!" the other replied. It seemed my young acolyte had made it out of the temple and had spread the word around.
As they moved closer, I drifted further back into the shadow of the tree.
"That's what I thought, too, but I heard talk, people had seen strange things...near the burial mounds outside Jorell, bodies missing, the earth dishevelled, and the forest near there...now, no one dares go in. Some say they saw, men, not whole men, understand, but rotting, yet walking around."
"That's just stories to scare children!" the other man replied.
His friend shook his head vehemently and replied. "No, I tell you, honourable men they've seen it with their own eyes. Dead men, walking, and nothing can put them back in the grave...they say they feed on the living! It's punishment from the Gods I tell you, they who have abandoned the old ways, burying the dead and not setting fire to the corpse as was custom."
The man sounded terrified. He said a lot more, but the two had quickly passed out of earshot. I had heard enough however to understand how dire the situation was. The dead were coming back in the small town of Jorell, not far from here. And they were feasting on the living. The thought made my stomach churn. These abominations had to be stopped. But they could no be killed by any weapon made in the mortal world. I needed a weapon from the Gods. The sword and the stone that Faren had spoke of. I had to find them fast. And there was one man who could help me. Quickly I turned around and headed back in the direction of the temple.