"Please... please..." Aventus Aretino pleaded as he tried and tried performing the ritual.
The Black Sacrament. The call of the Dark Brotherhood.
He did as it was instructed. Effigies of human bones, flesh, and heart; pedals of nightshade, and a dagger to stab the heart repeatedly. Once done, only then will he repeat the incantations.
Sweet mother, sweet mother,
Send your child unto me,
For the sins of your unworthy
Must be baptized in blood and fear.
And he did everything... for nothing.
He thirsted for revenge against the crone who beat and lashed at him along with the children since he first came to that orphanage. By the Nines, it was torture. Every night, he dreamed of one day seeing that witch die a painful death; choking in her own blood with no one to mourn for her.
Which is why he ran away from Riften, all the way back to his old home in Winterhold.
Before, it used to be so alive. When mom was still around.
He missed her... so much.
Tears began to form in his eyes as he began to grow tired. And not just tired. He was cold, hungry, and lonely.
"Please... someone..." He murmured.
"Well, isn't that the most pathetic scene I've witnessed in awhile. Then again, customer service ain't exactly what it used to be, these days." The back on the boy's hair stood up frozen as a voice emerged from behind him. He slowly turned around to see who it was. What greeted him was a man standing above him with a predatorial gaze. He was dressed in dark blue leather gear along with several assortments of cutlery on himself. He figured he was an assassin, but this was just overkill. The stranger's face was hidden behind a hood; practically obscuring his identity from anyone who got too close, Aventus gandered. The stranger suddenly crouched to Aventus' eye level, causing the boy to flinch in a matter of seconds.
"Well, boy... is there a reason why you have this whole creepshow setup? Or are you gonna just keep staring at me like you've seen a ghost?" The stranger asked, grovelly. Aventus had a good look of the stranger's face. And boy, was he too close for comfort.
On the man's back, he carried two swords. Guess Skyrim's dangerous these days, Aventus thought. But what really caught the boy's attention was the man's eyes. Despite his face being underneath the hood, the candlelight from the ritual effigy caused a reflection in the man's eyes. Aventus could see clearly that the eyes were golden-coloured with two slit pupils. A khaijit? Argonian? Couldn't be since he didn't have the fur nor the scales of the respective races. He squinted a bit and see that he was human. A really pale-looking human.
Another but final thing he's noticed was the stranger's necklace. It wasn't an unusual thing to look at, but it was something important. Unlike most jewellery, where it usually had some sort of shiny looking mineral with some complicated design, this one had none of the fine jewels and resembled more of a snarling... cat? Whatever it was, it somehow completed the look of the man.
"I see you've got a lot of questions about me." The man interrupted Aventus' thoughts. "Understandable. So I guess I'll start with introductions. I am... Shadowcat. I am a witcher. A monster-slayer, to be exact. But that's not important. No, what's important is that you've been the... 'whisper' of the hold."
Aventus gulped at those last words. He was expecting the ritual to work. But this was not what he had in mind. A creep coming to his home and gets into his personal space and then starts monologing about himself was too much. Still, he had to be patient. The "witcher" continued on.
"Rumors been spreading about a boy running away from an orphanage somewhere in this frozen wasteland you call a home. Rumors of him committing black magic in his old abandoned home. For some... nefarious reason."
The witcher stayed silent after that. Aventus paused for a moment and suddenly realized that the witcher wanted answers. He was hesitant to speak about it. And the witcher could see through it as he soon took a deep breath and relaxed his shoulders a bit.
"I get it, kid. Never talk to strangers. But I'm only here to help. I have no reason to harm you nor am I sending you back to the place. All I'm asking is for you to answer me honestly. And see if I could solve whatever problem you're having. Do we have a deal?"
Aventus felt a bit ease. Shadowcat seemed rather trusting enough to atleast keep things a secret. Though, he was a little cautious about it still.
"Well... you said you were a monster-slayer... yeah?" Aventus asked.
"I am." Shadowcat answer, before standing up and taking a seat on one of the chairs near them. He soon pointed towards his two swords with one finger.
"You see these two swords on my back? One is for those live in the wilderness; preying on travellers and children. The other is for those that live behind the safety of the walls of their homes. Both, however, are for monsters."
There was a small smile forming Aventus' face. It appears that this witcher, Shadowcat, was offering him his services. He quickly began forming the words in his mouth.
"Well, Mr. Shadowcat, there's this... 'monster' that lives in Riften. Works in Honorhall Orphanage. She calls herself Grelod the Kind, but don't let the name fool you. She hurts kids. Kids like me. She always beats us and say cruel things about us. Calling us unwanted trash and a waste of skin..." The last words hit the boy hard, but there was no turning back.
He wanted her dead. End of story.
"... which is why I ran away. Escaped from that old hag and returned to my home. But... my friends are still there. I feel so horrible for leaving them with that monster. Which is why I performed the Black Sacrament. To call the Dark Brotherhood. But they're not here."
Aventus finished his final sayings on a exhausted note. For the first time, he was finally able to have someone listen to his story. And his shoulders felt lighter somehow.
The witcher sat in his seat. Unmoving. It was really unnerving to look at him; standing so still like a statue that he could be mistaken for one. Eventually, he stood back up and communicated with him, once more.
"I see, now." Shadowcat responded. Aventus noticed the witcher's hands clench into a fist.
"You desire for revenge. Totally relatable. I'll accept this contract." Aventus bolted up in joy at the acceptance.
"Y-You will?! You're going to ki-" Shadowcat instantly silenced the boy by covering his mouth.
"Shhhhh, not so loud!" He harshly whispered. He slowly took his hand off Aventus' mouth. "But to answer your assurance: I will. I'll be heading there now as we speak. I will return and bring news of her... removal."
Aventus had a stupidly big grin on his face as Shadowcat informed. The witcher was about to turn before he needed to finish a few errands.
"Oh, and before I go..." Shadowcat pulled out some sort purse from one of his pockets.
"Catch." He said as he threw it in Aventus' direction. The boy caught the purse in his hand and heard something inside. He took it out and it revealed a septim. There were several more inside and the boy looked back at Shadowcat in astonishment.
"I figured you're hungry, so spend it wisely. Buy only what you need. Until then, I'll be back in a couple of days. See you around."
Shadowcat soon left. Aventus felt lighter and had a strange feeling. A good feeling. And there was a word to describe it.
Hey guys! This is just something I wrote up! As I'm still figuring out how to continue the Goblin Contract, here's something I wrote up in the span of my hiatus. Been playing Skyrim for awhile, furnishing manors doing contracts for both the Companions and the Dark Brotherhood, so I figured why not write something related to the School of the Cat. Sadly, this will be a one shot story as I am sticking to only one story for the time being. For the sake of continuities.
However, I will plan on writing up a story on this eventually. There's a lot of potential in doing Skyrim/Witcher crossover for me, but I'll be placing this on the shelf for awhile. Anyways, do forgive my extended break, I'll try to return to the Goblin Contract once I settle with a proper continuation.
Anyways, stay safe folks and hope you're all doing fine out there! Bye!