Another rogue down. And another.
A crossbow bolt burned past her shoulder. She ducked, spun, and struck again, taking the shooter out at the ankles. He fell on her; angrily she shoved him away.
A mage stepped through the doorway, casting as she came. Valen moved in a blur of speed, tackling her and bringing her down. She could not break the mage's stoneskin protection, but she did a fine job of disrupting her casting.
Other thieves came at her with blades drawn, she slashed and whirled through them.
The mage had sat up and was casting again. Valen lunged for her....to late.
A chromatic orb slammed into her. Her new nature helped; instead of stunning or crippling her, it only made her wince and hiss in pain. Then she closed the gap and grabbed the mage's wrists, preventing her from casting again.
More crossbow bolts came arcing down from above. She had to get out of here soon. Her luck would eventually run out. But she couldn't breach the mage's protections.....
...unless, that was, she used her fangs.
Unless she fed.
No. Not yet. I won't do it yet....
So she kept one of the mage's hands pinned, and clamped the other around her throat. She could not choke the mage to death....but she could keep her from casting until the stoneskin expired, and then all bets would be off.
Another crossbow bolt thunked home into the wood beside her. A throwing axe skittered off her armor. She was getting nervous.
It occured to her suddenly that Bhodi was testing not just her abilities, but her worth; there was a very real possibility that she would die here. That would leave her magical armor in the hands of the Shadow Thieves, but she felt sure her Mistress was prepared to write that off. Or have some other spy steal it back for her.
She couldn't be angry at Bhodi for that. At least not today. She had to win. She would survive. She must!
An arrow this time, burning with acid. Her armor absorbed the strike and the corrosive both. But time was now something so urgent it screamed.
The stoneskin faded, and she choked the mage to death.
"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?"
She spun on her feet and looked up the stairwell. Renal Bloodscalp was there, readying his own crossbow. And beside him stood another mage. Three guild-sponsored warriors were on the stairs below them.
"Mistress Bhodi sends her greetings. You will never know how badly your organization is compromised until it is too late." She stood, gave a sarcastic bow, and ran for her life.
Renal fired one shot.
Not just a wooden bolt. Nor simply acid, nor even poison. But magically enchanted, with lightning.
It slammed into her shoulder, and her entire body jolted with electricity. She went into a stumbling roll out the front door. The guards drew their blades; she slashed at them absently as she got up, and kept running.
As she fled into the city, Renal reached the door of the guild and fired again; but it went high, over her head, as she fled.
Bhodi wrenched the bolt from her shoulder. Valen grit her fangs against the pain.
"Well done, child. Truly, I am surprised you did not feed; but that will come in time I'm sure."
So, that was the other aspect of the test. Bhodi wanted her to complete the transformation as soon as possible.
But not today. Not today.
"I am going to bed, my pet. I suggest you do as well."
Valen, part six
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