"This is foolish," Mithrax says, empty hands spread.
The Trostland forest had been quiet until three Eliksni jumped from their hiding places with weapons sparking with Arc energy. Two Dregs and a Vandal. They bear House Salvation's sigil.
"Misraaks, the Forsaken," one Dreg clicks, brandishing a spear. "Come to kill us?"
"No," he says, staring them down. "I will not harm you."
"You lie like a Human."
Mithrax sees the shift of the spear in the Dreg's hands the moment before he lunges. The Kell avoids its thrust and grips the Dreg by his head, slamming it into the ground with a hard crack. The Vandal draws a sidearm. Mithrax rushes him, grabs him by the wrist, and wrenches the gun upward. The Vandal's lower hand jabs a knife in the soft flesh between Mithrax's carapace. He barely feels it—the Kell of Light puts a hand around his attacker's throat and squeezes the life from him.
The third flees. Mithrax lets him.
The Kell pulls the knife from his side and drops it among the pine needles, pressing a hand to his wound.
Perhaps, when all the violence was done, the future he could give the Eliksni would be worth it. Would justify everything he had done. Every death, every act of cruelty… or kindness. Or love.
He knows that Eramis hoped for the same.
For now, Mithrax can only leave the two Eliksni where they lie. He will come back later for their funeral rites.