Chapter Twenty-Two: The Bloody Aftermath

“You were ever fond of saying that the Venthyr do not destroy,” Renathal said to the imprisoned sword at the top of Dawnkeep Tower. “We educate.”

“You cannot bind me here,” Denathrius screamed from inside Remornia. “I am eternal!”

“Consider this your education,” Renathal said. He nodded to Ald and to all of the Humpday Heroes who were now gathered on top of the tower within their base of operations. Each one of them had bandages over their cuts and wounds where Remornia had sliced them just hours before. Luckily, Anda had been able to concoct a pain-reliever from Shadowlands herbs once they had left Castle Nathria.

Ald nodded in return towards Renathal as Denathrius screamed in vain.

The Prince left, his duty fulfilled and the heroes filed away one by one.

“I have a question, Ald,” said Bastian, raising his hand tentatively. “You said all that stuff about the Venthyr to Frieda and then to Denathrius, too. About how Denathrius betrayed them all. I have to ask. Did you mean any of that? Or was it just a ploy?”

“I meant every word, Bas,” Ald replied.

“I’m not trying to be antagonistic or anything, but why? I honestly haven’t met a Venthyr worth saving. All of them use torture or drink blood or cause harm to other people. Why does it matter that they were betrayed? Why even care about protecting them?”

Ald sat in silence for a moment, contemplating the answer. “It’s not easy to say why honestly,” he finally replied. “The Venthyr covenant is a tricky one. But I will say this. Of all of the covenants, the Venthyr were the ones led by a tyrant who cared nothing for them. They may have ways we don’t fully understand, but of all the covenants, the Venthyr need our help the most. They are the ones who have suffered at the hands of someone who was supposed to love and care for them. And so, I think I’ll continue to help these people in any way. To show that someone cares.”

Bastian didn’t verbalize a response. Instead, he laid one hand on Ald’s shoulder before walking out, leaving only Ald, Keb, and Fuzzy at the top of the tower.

“So, what’s next?” Fuzzy asked above the screaming of Denathrius.

Ald didn’t respond immediately. He didn’t know what was next honestly.

“Well,” Keb interjected, “I, for one, am going back to Azeroth for a bit.” She held her hand over her abdomen. “There’s no way I’m giving birth in the land of death.” She looked over at Ald who was looking at his own feet. “Are you going to try the portal in Oribos again? Now that you are back in the flesh?”

Ald breathed in the dusty air of Revendreth, feeling full and alive again. “No, not yet,” he replied. “I have lots of work to do here. The Venthyr need me until Renathal can get his feet back on solid ground.”

“You have your own life, too,” Fuzzy said. “Let the Venthyr sort themselves out. I heard what you told Bas, but you can’t deny that they have their own customs and traditions. They won’t want your help because you don’t understand them in that way.”

“No, I don’t understand their need for torture and blood,” Ald said. “But they need a guiding hand. It’s something that only we can provide them right now. Besides, we’re still missing our King. Anduin is in this world somewhere. We cannot forget our original purpose. I’m not leaving until we find him and bring him home.”

“Well, I like Anduin and everything-” Keb started, but Ald cut her off.

“No, you have something else to worry about. Your priority lies elsewhere. And it’s a good thing.”

She smiled.

Fuzzy smiled, too. “Man, I can’t wait until I can meet that kid!” he exclaimed. “I have so many terrible jokes to tell him!”

And the three of them laughed loudly over Denathrius’s yells and threats.

End Part Three

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