Jakun crept through the house, golden eyes gleaming in the low light of night. He'd been waiting hours for Loran to fall asleep, and now he could put his plan in place.
The catfolk would be dead if he stayed. He already knew that. Nine Hells, the only reason Loran kept him around was to use him in summoning skeletons for his human meat farm.
Not any longer. The cat was escaping. He would not remain here, not after what the necromancer had forced him to do. It may have taken him nearly a year after his mother's murder to get what he needed to escape, but he was done now.
'Are you sure Anya? I thought Theon guarded it.'
The spirit of his past life left his body, taking the form of a large, zombified werewolf. Her nose quivered as she took a breath, seeking out the telltale smell of rotting flesh.
'It's clear. Now go before someone wakes up.'
Jakun doubted anyone would wake up. Everyone else was dead. Still, he wanted to get what he came for and get out.
The neko tiptoed silently into the necromancer's workroom, moving toward a large oak cabinet. His workbook was in there, containing months of labor and study under Loran's cruel hand. A slave who could cast spells was a prized possession, even if Jakun wasn't quite sure exactly how he was able to cast spells. But Loran wanted the summoning spell for himself.
It had taken nearly a year of torture at the necromancer's hand, but his workbook finally contained an arcane summoning spell. One that Loran had immediately copied before making the cat create copies on scrolls. It hadn't taken long for Loran to have a small army of undead roaming the grounds of his farm, using Jakun as a summoning battery.
The catfolk was getting his revenge now though. Loran had bought a ritual that the necromancer hid in his book. A book Anya could look through whenever she wished. One of the many benefits of being a spirit, she could get through objects that were impassable to Jakun.
They hadn't wasted much time copying the ritual into his workbook, hiding it in the back pages. Jakun figured he would find a way to sell the ritual. It had to be worth something. The issue was it required the sacrifice of intelligent creatures. The cat wasn't sure he wanted that going around, but at the same time, the information would make for a good bargaining point.
Unfortunately, that same book was locked up with Loran's spellbook. Guarded by a skull on a stick that would alert the necromancer if anything came near the cabinet. Jakun was certain there were more traps too.
'And his guard will not see you?'
'The spell in his book showed nothing about seeing spirits. Just that it would see in the dark.'
Jakun let out a silent breath.
'Okay, you know what to do. Let me know as soon as it's done.'
Anya passed through a wall, moving silently out of sight. Jakun waited anxiously, watching the skull through a mirror on a wall. If its glowing blue eyes turned red, they would be in huge trouble.
The cat felt a brief pulse of energy leave him, and he let out a sigh of relief as Anya rejoined him. Turning around, Jakun crept back through the building, slipping silently outside.
His escape had only just begun. Jakun had his book, stored safely in another plane by Anya. He was grateful that spell had been easy to puzzle out after his work with summonings. No one could get the book unless he brought it back to this plane of existence. Not that it would stop Loran from torturing Jakun until he got what he wanted. The neko spat on the floor with a growl.
Still, he needed to get away from here before Loran woke up. And to do that, he would need to slip past the undead tending to the humans that would serve as fodder for Loran's spells.
'Any ideas Anya?'
Jakun grunted quietly, glancing around. The safest path would be to the right, parallel to the road. He'd need to slip past the slave pens, but perhaps he could unlock one to distract…
'It won't work. They only care about keeping the slaves put, and there are enough undead to guard each pen.'
Well, it was worth a thought. There was one other thing he could try, another ability similar to his summoning. Anya had once claimed that he got the power from his connection to her, but he wasn't sure about that. Still, it would work here. He hoped.
'You don't have a lot of energy left,' Anya warned in his head.
'I know. But I have to try.'
He cleared his throat, pushing sound past the block in his throat. That wouldn't be enough of course, but it was a start.
"Xurwk sia uraci temep zyak si nomag jutosh!"
The catfolk ran his hands over his legs, a blue glow surrounding them. He coughed slightly, his throat nearly catching on the last word, but the spell took, and he breathed a sigh of relief before he took off at a sprint.
The world blurred around him as Jakun ran, away from death, away from slavery. He didn't even try to hold back the bubbling laughter as he ran, finally free. Let the undead see him, those slow, shambling corpses that couldn't hope to keep up with him. Never again would he be tortured for missing a letter in a scroll, or beaten for a slave dying in the pens.
'They'll remember you ran this way.'
His feet turned a moment later, running away from the road. The magic would get him nearly a mile away, and from there, he just had to hide, lay low… avoid towns…
The catfolk hoped Anya was a good hunter. They would need her to catch food. Among other things.