The acrid smell of rotten meat and old blood reached my nose seconds before I saw the troll. Its black eyes were touched with a streak of red madness, something that happened to old trolls sometimes. The end of a chain, locked around its neck, reached all the way down over its fat belly and touched the piece of fabric that almost covered its groin.
Apparently, it was a he.
The wolf, white as snow, looked small and helpless in the enormous thing that was the troll’s hand. It closed its two fingers and thumb around the wolf and brought it to its nose far above our heads. I had never in my life seen a troll that big. It wasn’t just tall but wide, its gray body corded with muscles. Clearly, this was a troll that had never starved a single day in its life.
It itched in my fingers to use my power, but trolls were naturally immune to anything magic. So instead, I drew my sword and ran around the massive body, aiming for the thick muscles right over its knee. I couldn’t reach its neck, so I had to cut it down in size.
My sword cut through the muscles and skin, and a dark mouth opened in the gray flesh and spilled black blood down the leg.
The troll bellowed in pain and flung the wolf away. The small body hit a tree with a sickening thud. The troll turned, but the leg gave, and with an angry cry, it went down on one knee. It was still big, but I could definitely reach more.
The four men closed in behind me, and the troll decided we weren’t going to be an easy meal. It twisted its big body, reaching for the wolf, lowering its head towards the ground.
Using a fallen tree, I jumped and aimed for the neck, my arm drawn back, poised for the kill.
Something crashed into me from the side, and for a second, I thought a werewolf had attacked me. We hit the ground hard, and it took me a second to clear my head.
“Get off me, it’s killing the wolf.”
“Our orders are to take it alive,” Texas grunted as I hit him in the chest to get him off, but even as I struggled, I could hear the sickening sound of crunching bones. I knew in my gut I was too late, but it didn’t matter. With the hand trapped between us, I drew a simple glyph on his chest. Power exploded between us, and he was thrown from me.
I was almost on my feet when the first wolf jumped over me, hit the troll, and started tearing into its armor-like hide. I saw two more wolves through the trees and knew more were coming.
It didn’t matter. This was my kill.
The wolves were doing a messy but effective job on the troll, but trolls weren’t exactly known for their bravery, and faced with that much pain and resistance, it did what all trolls would. It turned to flee. I would have thought it impossible, but even with its muscles ruined in one leg and a few werewolves still doing their best to tear it apart, it made its way towards me and the path out of the forest.
I swiped the sword from the forest floor, where I had dropped it, and stood my ground, waiting for the troll to come to me. I was dimly aware of the men shouting that we couldn’t kill it, but my focus was on the troll.
When the creature hurtled past me, I swung my blade. It cut in a slow curving motion, from the front of the thigh, around the side, and bit into the troll’s back. The creature bellowed and fell face down on the ground, almost crushing one of the wolves attached to it. As the troll fell, I swung my sword. When the body hit the forest floor, the head rolled away, flinging black blood all over the place.