Ruin nudged the dead wererat with his toe, then shoved the corpse over onto its back. It looked human now, the bestial features fading away in death. No wonder they seemed to come from nowhere.
The guards were finally arriving, now that the fight was over and they were no longer needed. Ruin ignored them, surveying his companions instead. He'd met Azrael -- or Lilly, as his sister insisted on calling him -- on several occasions. The boy was strange, but also one of his mother's more accomplished students; small wonder that he'd acquitted himself well in the fight. He'd met young wizard's sister only once or twice, but she'd not only charmed their way with the High Provost, she could also apparently stab things rather thoroughly to death when she put her mind to it.
The human priest was the real unknown as far as Ruin was concerned. He might have argued against traveling with a human, save that this one worshipped Artemis and appeared to have come to Duendewood because of the goddess' popularity here. He, too, had handled himself well, fighting when he needed to and then healing the last of the wererats so that they could get the answers they needed. He'd even turned the beastman loose afterwards in a rare display of human honor. And it wasn't as if there were no humans in Duendewood; it was just that they tended to live in the larger cities, well away from the area that Ruin called home.
But I do not forget... He never really forgot. The memory, twin to the rage, was always there with him.
"Is that... wererat blood on your hands?" One of the guards was standing beside him. Between his musings and the chaos of the street after the attack, Ruin hadn't realized he was there. This one was a halfblood, what most humans considered an elf: slender and handsome, more graceful than a human but also more easily broken. Bishounen. He thought that was the Dwarvish term.
The guard looked perplexed. "You have to get to one of the temples, and quickly. Have them purge you of diseases, or else you might become one of those things."
"The condition really is infectious?" asked Ruin. He'd heard that before, he just hadn't been sure whether or not to believe it.
"Do you want to take the chance? Even for a True Elf..."
No, he didn't want to take that chance. And he wasn't ready to trust his fate to the human priest, however well the man had carried himself. He'd go to the temples.
"Uh-oh," said the guard. "The Sergeant's coming. Look, just don't forget what I said: get yourself cured, just in case. I'd really hate for you or your friends to go over to their side."
Ruin turned his head to watch the guard's back as he walked gracefully away. Bishounen, he thought again, appreciatively.