Chapter 15

Simu pounded Whiptail heartily on the back. “Haha! I knew ye could do it, messmate- Never doubted ye for a sec’nd!”

Simu sobered as the gates of Salamandastron creaked open, with an enraged Markus standing before at its entrance, holding something wrapped in cloth. His warclub was stuck in thrust through his leather belt.

As Whiptail stood before him, Markus wordlessly undid the cloth around the item and, finally, showed it to Whiptail

The sight made him gape with wonder!

The weapon had been forged originally as spear, its point razor sharp. But over time, two axe blades had been forged on its side, making it capable for stabbing and swinging motions.

“It is called the Glist,” explained Markus. “Long ago a star fell from the sky. Its metal was harder than any seen before, and was made to form three weapons: the Glist, the Hocain, and the last was specially made for a great warrior.”

Whiptail admired the Glist, swinging and stabbing experimentally. Now this was a weapon he could get used to! Not like the bulky bananas or the Hocain, which was too specialized for multiple situations, but this…this was perfect.

In his admiration, Whiptail had turned his back to Markus, who drew his club and rose to strike.

Whiptail deflected the blow without even looking at him.

“Heh. You say it is us that use treachery, yet now you seek to destroy me when I have won fair and square.”

“Shut up, scum!” screamed Markus as he hefted his warclub. “You are worse than trash, every single one of you! I vow that before this day is done, your eyes will be in the bellies of the seabeasts!”

It was then that Whiptail understood Markus’s anger. “You have been blinded by hate, Markus- weakened by it.”

“Silence! You are not worthy to even stand on these sands!”

“And you are a fool consumed by hate of an entire race, even those that have done wrong to nobeast, you hypocritical maggot! YOU DISGRACE THIS MOUNTAIN WITH YOUR EVERY BREATH!!!!!!”

	“You… You…You are just like your father!”

Whiptail tossed the Glist like a throwing knife, its spearpoint lodged in the badger’s shoulder. Before he could react, Whiptail was on him, slashing and biting with an unseen ferocity none could have ever guessed at. The Badger Lord fell back and Whiptail stood on him, stomping on his muzzle and punching his snout. The last words Markus ever heard before his eyes were individually gouged out by the weapons of his predecessor were, “My father was a coward who deserted his own kin to save himself, and deserved to be crushed like one- As do you!”

Simu stared dumbfounding at the blood-coated rat and the corpse of Markus. But Cluny merely beamed. “You have done well… Whiptail Badgerslayer.” Cluny drew a conch shell from his tunic and blew into it. Whiptail and Simu were equally surprised as a horde emerged from the other side of the mountain. It consisted mainly of ferrets and stoat, with the odd weasel. Cluny took his place in the front. “You have played your part well, rat- but now it’s over. With the badger dead, this mountain is mine.”

“That was your plan from the beginning, wasn’t it, old one?”

“From the very beginning.”

“And Simu’s parents?” Cluny gestured to the left of the hoard, where two stoats, one with a bow and another with a spear, stood. Cluny faced an emotional Simu and asked, “And what of you, young un’? Would you care to join us? I could always use an extra set of paws, and your parents have missed you so.”

Tears streamed down the cheeks of the undecided stoat. He tore at his fur in confusion and fear.

Whiptail Badgerslayer, however, had made his decision. Cluny noticed with surprise the spearhead thrust in his knee.

“Perhaps I should have won armor today,” he stated dumbly.

“Aye,” agreed Whiptail, before beheading him.

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