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16+ Violence

Before The Dragon - Chapter 6.2.2

by ShadowVyper


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

“He needs the physicians.” Jerica bent and swept him up in her arms. It was awkward. He was much larger than she was, and she had to cradle him to keep the blade from doing any more internal damage than it already had.

“I’ll take him.”

“The troops need you.” Jerica didn’t slow her pace.

“For the love of the gods, RUN!”

“Sir!” She shifted Rek’s weight in her arms so that her right arm was hooked under his lower back, supporting the bulk of his weight. His legs were hooked over her left arm. “Put your head down.”

Rek rested his head on her shoulder, hand still pressed against the dagger in his side. Jerica burst through the entrance of the tent, sprinting as fast as she could back towards the city wall. It was sheer chaos. People were fighting all around her, the clanging of blades and anguished shouts filling her head. Her focus was singular – get to the physicians, or die trying.

Her body was electrified. She felt her heart thumping hard against her ribcage, but nothing else. Any injury she might have had was forgotten in her panic to get Rek to help. This was all her fault. Oh gods, don’t die.

She got them through the gate.

“Rek?” She started up the cobblestone path that lined the hill directly up to the palace.

He murmured, head lolling against her shoulder.

“Rek!” She sprinted up the hill as fast as she could while carrying him. “Rek, stay with me. Don’t go to sleep. Wake up.”

“It hurts, Jer.”

He might as well have stabbed the dagger into her heart for the way his words pierced through her chest. She swallowed down the knot tying itself in her throat. She’d take a thousand blades if she could un-make the choices that led to this moment. All of them. She’d un-kill Valeren and the physicians. She’d un-insult Josef. She’d throw herself in the dirt and kiss Lord Femola’s feet and beg his forgiveness. “I know. Try to stay awake.”

She burst into the palace, entire body trembling. The sole guard snapped to attention. Ordinarily they’d have multiple guards at every entrance, but most of them had been pulled to serve on the front lines. Most of the remaining Palace Guards surrounded Levin every moment of the day.

“Physicians!” She screeched. “GET THE PHYSICIANS!”

“Ma’am!” He turned on his heel and bolted up the stairs, armor clanking.

The physicians’ offices were on the third floor, on the wing furthest from her room that they could be. Rek’s room was on the second floor, just below the physicians’ wing. She stumbled up the stairs, running as fast as she could manage through the halls and into Rekard’s room. His attendants leapt to their feet at the sudden arrival.

“Water!” Jerica barked, running towards the bed. “Bandages!”

She dumped Rek on his bed. He groaned. She grabbed the dagger sitting on his bedside table and sliced through his tunic. The fabric fell away from his body. He was too pale. She and Rek were normally paler than their countrymen – some odd trick of pedigree, no doubt – but his abdomen was ghostly white. Blood still seeped from his wound.

The Physicians rushed into the room.

She backed away helplessly as they flocked around his side, yanking various supplies out of their medical bags. Jerica couldn’t tear her gaze from Rek’s face. He looked so much younger now. He was several months older than her, but in that moment, it was as if he was the same age as her squire. A child.

This is my fault. The refrain ran through her mind again and again. And again. And again. She’d steal the entirety of the riches that the treasury contained and trade it, if only someone could back up time and let the blade find her neck, like Rileng intended.

Rileng. Rage flooded into her again. That death was too good for him. He deserved something slow; intimate. Painful. She’d rip each of his fingernails off and cram them into the cavity behind his eyes. She’d make a thousand tiny cuts on his tongue before she cut it off and shoved it down his throat until he could taste his own lungs. She’d – oh gods, she was going to be the reason Rek died.

“He’s lost a lot of blood…” Jerica’s attention snapped to the head physician as he addressed her. “Ordinarily we’d ask the King… or the War Lord… but there’s a—”

“Will it help him?” Jerica interrupted.

“It’s a new procedure,” he answered. “But so far there’s been great success with it.”

“Do it.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

“What do you need to do it?” Jerica questioned.

“Well… the procedure involves collecting another person’s blood in a bladder and then coaxing it into his body to help replenish the lost blood. We need to find a suitable donor.”

“Take mine.” Jerica stepped forward, holding her arm out.

“No.” The head physician’s voice was firm. “You have already lost too much blood today. It’d be too risky. We can find another –”

Jerica’s gaze landed on the dagger still sitting on Rek’s night stand. She grabbed the dagger and sank it in her left arm, next to the elbow, and yanked it down the length of her forearm. She yanked on the last thread of her tunic that was clinging to her wrist, snapping it so that she could pull the sleeve away from the blood dripping down her arm.

“My gods!”

Jerica grabbed a nearby pan and held her arm over it. Large droplets of crimson splattered against the shiny metal bottom, then smeared together as more joined them. The blood slipped down the pan and pooled in the bottom corner. The floor shifted under her. The pan was small, but it was already half filled.

“That’s enough.” The physician grabbed the pan. She looked towards him. The room spun. She clenched her fist. The blood flowed from her arm faster, dripping off her fingers into the pot. “We have enough! Let me have it!”

Jerica released her grasp, allowing the physician to take the container from her. She stepped backwards, out of his way. The room spun again, the floor in front of her tilting upwards. She tried to take a step up the now-vertical floor to get back to her chair, but stumbled forward. She crumpled to the ground, lights dancing in front of her eyes.

“Take care of her!” The physician’s voice seemed distant now. “For the love of the gods, if either of them dies on our watch, we’re all going to get executed. Stitch her up now.” 


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Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:22 pm
JabberHut wrote a review...



Oohhhhhh Rek's gonna be okay!!

Clearly, I should have wait until this segment. XD (Note that I WILL be heartbroken if he still dies here!) But right now, I see this as an opportunity to reveal where Atraya is in technological and medical advances. It would be really interesting to see if this plays a part later, maybe another blood transfusion later that actually goes awry. Or perhaps Jerica could desperately attempt to save someone and cut herself in a desperate attempt to save them again -- like in her mind, this is another way she can save a life, though you and I both know that's not always the case either. Basically, I look forward to seeing if this scene turns into a foreshadowing of some event later on.

Speaking of, though, it was FREAKING BADASS the way she just donated her blood like that. I mean, I'm also critical of her like do their blood types line up or is that pan sterile enough for this (or why the doctors don't "have some in the back" or anything), but considering there's a lot of ignorance in this room regarding proper blood transfusion, I kinda overlooked all that. I'm just mightily impressed with her and it was Freaking Awesome.

So I think I have the place mapped out wrong in my head. I'm assuming there's a pause in the battle while their leaders are meeting right now, but I also assumed the military were all still set up and prepared to resume fighting or whatever. Basically on standby until they hear from their leaders. I was not under the impression that both armies were packing up for the day. In which case, wouldn't there still be medical tents/stations up? I'm concerned about Jerica having to travel so far for a physician considering the emergency situation they were in, but even if there's no other choice and she has to travel that far distance, it seems to me that others would conjure up a stretcher of some sort in order to make that sort of trip easier to do. I'd imagine Jerica's just going to end up jostling that dagger around as she's running with him in her arms despite her best efforts, worsening the wound and quickening the blood loss.

I think the best part of this segment was seeing Jerica's humanity really shine through. I've mentioned before how we've gotten very little emotion aside from battlerage and general frustration with the world. We've had that moment with Josef before, and now we have this. And my gosh, this is a shining moment for her right now. We can really connect with her, seeing her anxiety and sadness and worry and anger and desperation all at once and it was just. so. good. It was so relatable. It was really a great way for the reader to finally sympathize with her and appreciate her and actually care for her. You really just did this phenomenally well.

I really enjoyed this segment. There's a lot of really great things happening here, and I'm looking forward to seeing what the novel's future holds in relation to this scene. I think you have a lot to play with here. And also, I am deathly worried for Rekard and hope you don't spin me round again and kill him off. That would be so mean, Shadow. That would be SO mean.

ell done! :D UNTIL NEXT TIME!! <333333




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Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:23 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



"He needs the physicians.” Jerica bent and swept him up in her arms.

[Well it's a good job yours aren't dead then, isn't it Jerica?!

I’ll take him.”

“The troops need you.” Jerica didn’t slow her pace.

“For the love of the gods, RUN!”

“Sir!” She shifted Rek’s weight in her arms so that her right arm was hooked under his lower back, supporting the bulk of his weight. His legs were hooked over her left arm. “Put your head down.”

Got a bit lost as to who was saying what here...
I'm also amazed Derik let her leave alone with Rek, wouldn't he have sent someone with her to help her fight her way through? I mean, her hands are kind of full at this point.

He might as well have stabbed the dagger into her heart for the way his words pierced through her chest. She swallowed down the knot tying itself in her throat. She’d take a thousand blades if she could un-make the choices that led to this moment. All of them. She’d un-kill Valeren and the physicians. She’d un-insult Josef. She’d throw herself in the dirt and kiss Lord Femola’s feet and beg his forgiveness. “I know. Try to stay awake.”

This really shows her humanity in amongst all the cold hearted King's Assassin business. Good job!

She dumped Rek on his bed

Um, perhaps place him gently J! He's been stabbed, no need to throw him around!

Jerica grabbed a nearby pan and held her arm over it. Large droplets of crimson splattered against the shiny metal bottom, then smeared together as more joined them. The blood slipped down the pan and pooled in the bottom corner. The floor shifted under her. The pan was small, but it was already half filled.

Haha brilliant!

“Take care of her!” The physician’s voice seemed distant now. “For the love of the gods, if either of them dies on our watch, we’re all going to get executed. Stitch her up now.”

Ok, a very dramatic end (?) to the chapter! I like how you showcase how much she cares for Rek whilst still maintaining her headstrong personality. Obviously, we know how things are gonna turn out for Jerica, but I really hope poor Rek is ok!

I should not be allowed to read stories on this site. I get way too invested in the characters...




ShadowVyper says...


Thanks so much for the review!

I should not be allowed to read stories on this site. I get way too invested in the characters...


Ahaha what a mood xD



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Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:37 pm
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ShadowQueen wrote a review...



Hey there! I heard from someone that this story was interesting and well-written, and it was true! So now I’m here to provide just a few thoughts.

Rek rested his head on her shoulder, hand still pressed against the dagger in his side. Jerica burst through the entrance of the tent, sprinting as fast as she could back towards the city wall. It was sheer chaos. People were fighting all around her, the clanging of blades and anguished shouts filling her head. Her focus was singular – get to the physicians, or die trying.


It is really hard to push through a battle without getting hurt or killed. You do a good job of representing that difficulty! However, since it’s still unlikely, maybe there could be some one there following along and defending them to help them get there safely? It wouldn’t have to be someone important to the story or any specific character, a simple soldier would help make that part more realistic!

This is my fault. The refrain ran through her mind again and again. And again. And again. She’d steal the entirety of the riches that the treasury contained and trade it, if only someone could back up time and let the blade find her neck, like Rileng intended.

Rileng. Rage flooded into her again. That death was too good for him. He deserved something slow; intimate. Painful. She’d rip each of his fingernails off and cram them into the cavity behind his eyes. She’d make a thousand tiny cuts on his tongue before she cut it off and shoved it down his throat until he could taste his own lungs.


I like the mood swings and changes in emotion Jerica has, like there’s some internal conflict for her leaving her unsure how to feel about possibly getting Rek killed. She can’t decide whether she should be vengeful, regretful, upset, furious... There’s a lot of emotion packed in here, and you did a good job at writing it!

”No.” The head physician’s voice was firm. “You have already lost too much blood today. It’d be too risky. We can find another –”

Jerica’s gaze landed on the dagger still sitting on Rek’s night stand. She grabbed the dagger and sank it in her left arm, next to the elbow, and yanked it down the length of her forearm.

This is another good way to show her more impulsive, brave side, as well as her caring side, despite the fact that she’s not acting really sentimental at the moment— Jerica’s taking a risk for Rex. I like seeing what this action meant for her.

The room spun again, the floor in front of her tilting upwards. She tried to take a step up the now-vertical floor to get back to her chair, but stumbled forward. She crumpled to the ground, lights dancing in front of her eyes.


This is a really good way to describe blood loss! I like how it covers multiple aspects of it: dizziness, feeling lightheaded, weakness, blurred vision.

I really only have good things to say about this chapter. Great job, and keep up the good work!




ShadowVyper says...


I heard from someone that this story was interesting and well-written, and it was true!


Awww, this makes me feel really nice <33

However, since it%u2019s still unlikely, maybe there could be some one there following along and defending them to help them get there safely? It wouldn%u2019t have to be someone important to the story or any specific character, a simple soldier would help make that part more realistic!


Fair point! I'll write that in when I go back to edit :)

This is another good way to show her more impulsive, brave side, as well as her caring side, despite the fact that she%u2019s not acting really sentimental at the moment%u2014 Jerica%u2019s taking a risk for Rex. I like seeing what this action meant for her.


This also made me SO happy to read <3 This is like EXACTLY what I was going for, so it's nice to hear that was conveyed well :)

Thanks so much for the review! Would you like to be added to the tag list when I post more? No pressure! Just thought I'd offer in case :)



ShadowQueen says...


I would absolutely love to be added to the list! Thank you! :)



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Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:24 pm
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Vil wrote a review...



Just gonna jump back in here...

“For the love of the gods, RUN!”

I'm actually a little divided here. Jerica could A.) stand and fight, potentially ending the war or risking death/capture, although it is unknown if there be truth to the rumors (assuming those still exist?). Or B.) she could run, which is the option I think you're going to take, increasing the chance of her death/capture-- most likely capture. Let's rad on, shall we?

“Physicians!” She screeched. “GET THE PHYSICIANS!”

I feel like this is the right time for an f-bomb, goddamn, or some other appropriate curse. Also, please don't kill them this time XD

This is my fault.

No, Jer, no, no, no, it was the fault of those motherf***ing b******s that tried to kill you.

[qupte]Rileng. Rage flooded into her again. That death was too good for him. He deserved something slow; intimate. Painful. She’d rip each of his fingernails off and cram them into the cavity behind his eyes. She’d make a thousand tiny cuts on his tongue before she cut it off and shoved it down his throat until he could taste his own lungs. She’d – oh gods, she was going to be the reason Rek died.[/quote]
Oo, yes, I like that pl-- no, no, no, not your fault, fam! <3

Jerica’s gaze landed on the dagger still sitting on Rek’s night stand. She grabbed the dagger and sank it in her left arm, next to the elbow, and yanked it down the length of her forearm. She yanked on the last thread of her tunic that was clinging to her wrist, snapping it so that she could pull the sleeve away from the blood dripping down her arm.

Jer, what would your boyfriend say? (I think I could live as a gossiper in this world XD)

“Take care of her!” The physician’s voice seemed distant now. “For the love of the gods, if either of them dies on our watch, we’re all going to get executed. Stitch her up now.”

Ah. but by whose hands, the King's or mine?

;-; Sad chapter. Dramatic chapter. Bloody-effing-awesome chapter!




ShadowVyper says...


ahaha thanks so much for this review! Glad to see it caused raised emotions ;)




No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies.
— Daisy Bates