A cat will always land on their feet.
In the city of Metinna on a warm summer day Kiyan took his trials. The rope was stretched taut between the courthouse and the church steeple and below him people went about their lives none the wiser. Kansa was watching him with that stray gaze of his from a spot beneath a willow tree.
You can do this. He stepped from the safety of the bricks and out above the street. The rope dipped but he continued forward. One foot in front of the other and keep your chin up .
He was halfway across when the wind picked up. He swayed and corrected, stepped forward again and again. Almost-
The rope swayed and suddenly there was nothing but air beneath him. If pressed later Kansa would say he didn’t not yell, did not panic at the sight of a kit falling without a net to catch him. If he feel then he was not ready to be a witcher and that was all- but Kiyan heard him. He thought he was dead.
He landed on his feet, well, on his
He cried out and then nearly bit through his tongue to stop the noise. Witchers got hurt though he clearly wasn’t a witcher yet.
He was running as fast as his bare feet could carry him. At thirteen he had received his eyes but the already restless child had gotten worse. Already unable to keep his hands still or his toes from tapping the young cat had quickly learned that not a soul would stop him from running laps if it meant a moment of peace. A large tree, standing tall and proud above decades old oaks that seemed like sailing in comparison, rose before him.
Aiden won’t find me up there. He thought madly and threw himself at the lowest bough. He caught on and clambered upward with all the grace of an awkward teenage boy just beginning to get his height. Quickly he climbed higher.
He wrapped his hand around a branch to swing himself around to the right and felt the limb beneath his feet give way- he tightened his grip; and the limb snapped.
He fell backwards and felt the twigs and leaves tearing at his face, brushing over his eyelids as he squeezed his eyes shut and waited for the ground.
Whump. The air left his lungs as surely as if he had been kicked, and he didn’t dare to open his eyes lest he see the way that his wrist was bent.
Someone was calling his name.
He didn’t care if they found him anymore, being caught would have been better.
Oh shit. Was his first thought as the werewolf came barreling toward him. He dove left and felt the near miss of claws by his cheek.
Unfortunately claws weren’t the only things that missed. As he twisted to get back on his feet he realized the ground beneath his feet wasn’t quite as steady as it first appeared.
He clawed at the earth and caught himself on the roots of a tree not big enough to hold him longer than a breath. His feet kicked at the rocks protruding from the cliff face. The werewolf’s snout appeared over there ledge and Aiden swallowed hard,
It’s just a little fall.
Aiden let go.
“I’m not going with you!” The little boy kicked and screamed, twisting in the Witcher’s grip. “I’m not!” Suddenly he was free, but the ground rushed up to meet him harshly, all fifty pounds of him hitting the stone littered path with a whump that split skin.
Axel whimpered and looked up at the man- the witcher - who had pulled him from his bed. The witcher with too sharp teeth and hair more red than Axel’s. They sighed and crouched, golden eyes trained on Axel’s skinned knee. Then he was caught again, strong hands clasped around his own.
“You don’t have a home to return to. It’s either me or the wilderness and you’re hardly more than a bite for a foglet, little monster.” Axel felt the tears well in his eyes and something changed in the Witcher’s face, a sigh passed his lips and he touched a pointed ear. “I’ll care for you, you’ll have a family with us, but your village is gone. Come now, stop the tears.”
Axel cried harder, but it wasn’t the fall.
“Axel, come on!” He hissed down from his perch below the window.
“No!” His brother hissed back with a worried look around him. The property was deserted as they were all drinking away the money stolen from the Caravan. They were lucky Cedric was just stealing their jewelry and not slitting their throats. He jimmied the window latch and grinned when it opened easily he had but a momentary victory as a hum began in his ears.
His eyes widened and the protection spell blew. Axel was screaming at him, screaming for him?
It didn’t matter really.
Cedric was screaming too.
He was tucked away in the back of the wagon, wedged between a box and a pile of furs that Kiyan had stacked just for him to hide in. Asleep and dead to the world save Guxart’s harsh call for camp he curled further in on himself and, to the amusement of those riding behind the wagon, fell from his place.
Whump , the Witcher behind the wagon stepped over him and continued on. It would be minutes still before someone would stop and wake him with a nudge of their boot.
“This is a misunderstanding!” He stood on the edge of the meticulations and edged forward to avoid slipping.
“Is it?” Kill my father, I’ll give you all the jewels you might carry. A Pretty offer from a pretty bedmate in Royal colors.
He was stupid really. Young and dumb and likely to get no wiser. The princess- no the queen- walked toward him. “You committed treason witcher, the penalty for such a crime is death within these borders.”
Guxart smiled, bitter and disbelieving.
“Let me save you the trouble my lady.”
He stepped back and let the wind rush by his ears. He could survive a beheading, but perhaps the rocks below wouldn’t break his spine.
Well, that is a fucking lie.