Orion the Bounty Hunter Chapter 4: A Loaf of Bread

Twenty days later saw them approaching the graveyard that Bas had predicted was going to be the next target.

A mixture of rain and snow pelted against them and their steeds. Coats and cloaks had been taken out when the storm started. Fortunately they were on a stone path, but puddles and small streams of water still rushed beneath their horses’ hooves.

Night came but they didn’t stop. Bas had made the call that, in this weather, they were better off going to the town that was right past the graveyard. Tam had no issues with that. Orion simply disliked being cold and wet, and she didn’t see a point to arguing.

Wind tugged at the trees around them, whistling through the open area that was the stone path.

Orion cursed and pulled her cloak tighter around her. She cast a look at Sirius to see how she was doing. The creature seemed perfectly fine, almost as if Sirius didn’t notice or care whether she was cold and wet.

Bas, who was in the front, suddenly stopped. He looked to his right. “Shit,” he muttered.

Orion could barely hear some sort of instrument, but she was not able to tell what it was; the sound was faint and drowned out by the rain. She only caught a few notes and followed Bas’ gaze to the field on the right.

The field, the graveyard, contained many stones and dirt mounds. Underneath a tree, on top of one of the headstones, was the shadowed outline of a person with something in their hands. There was a faint glow that rippled through the air, pulsating as it followed the whims of the strange person. Slowly, as the three riders watched, they saw skeletons rise from their graves and leave behind churned up dirt.

Orion slid down from her horse. She was at the edge of the stony path when she was blocked by Bas and his stallion, Arak.

“What are you doing?” Bas hissed.

“Taking care of our job,” Orion spat back.

Sirius bared her teeth and the stallion backed up a few steps.

Tam had grabbed the reins of Orion’s horse and then rode over to Orion and Bas.

“We don’t know anything. We’re not prepared. There’s a horde of undead; and it’s cold, dark, and wet,” Bas firmly argued. His eyes were hard; his mouth set into a thin, expressionless line. “We’re going to the town nearby and staying there for tonight, then going to the next grave.”

Orion looked at Bas and Tam, then at the necromancer desecrating the graves of soldiers. She stood there in the sleet and thought. After a few moments, she grit her teeth and snapped something sharp at Bas, but got back on her horse.

In this weather, the rest of the ride to the town, strangely named Bread Loaf, was just as unpleasant as the first part.

The town was small. The intersections with the main road, the stone path from the capital, were only dirt roads—or more accurately, considering the weather, mud-filled paths. Light could be seen between the shutters of some of the brick houses.

Orion couldn’t find it in herself to enjoy the idea of drying off and having a proper bed. She was fuming, her thoughts still stuck on the encounter they just had. There were several things bothering her and she needed to deal with them.

The first inn they saw had a large sign above it proclaiming the Bread Loaf Inn. The place was just the same as the other places in the town, brick with vines covering the walls. The roof shingles were made of the same kind of mud as the bricks, but colored a sharp green. The covered porch jutted out into the storm. The three travelers tied their horses to the hitching pole and walked onto the porch.

As soon as she was covered from the rain, Orion pulled down her hood and started arguing. “We could have taken him down, just now!”

Bas frowned. “We weren’t prepared. We don’t know the terrain or have any traps set up.”

“We still should have tried!”

“The pattern is real. My predictions were right. We can go to the next grave and prepare an ambush, but if we attacked now we would have lost the element of surprise and might have scared him off.”

Orion looked to Tam, but Tam shook her head and agreed with Bas. The bounty hunter scoffed. “You’re just a spoiled prince. I should have known that a golden child wouldn’t know when to make quick judgment calls or be ready to spill blood. What experience do you have in the field? Have you ever been outside in the real world? You’ve probably just been holed up in your pretty wing of the palace, having to deal with your family’s squabbles. You don’t even know how to buy things.” She curled her hands into fists. Her fingernails were short, but still cut into her palms. “I should have argued against you being called the leader. Hell, never mind, I should have just left you guys behind weeks ago and come here by myself. Then, I’d already be done with my job and rich.”

Bas wasn’t looking well. He didn’t look pale, but there was a flush to his cheeks from embarrassment or anger. The same kind of look was in his eyes from before; the one he had when he had ordered Orion to back off earlier. He slowly drew in a breath, harshly. “You know, being locked away? Being spoiled?” He propped a hand against his chin, a mock thoughtful look on his face. “I could say the same thing about an Ahan Baron’s daughter named Charlotte. She had a dual ice and earth elemental contract just like you. I wonder what happened to her? Oh right.” He clapped his hands together. “She tried to flirt with a noble and was publicly shamed by his girlfriend, Ahan’s oldest Princess Clarissa. Poor Charlotte, a fragile girl, was disowned by her family and thrown out. Priscilla’s tantrum was too much for them to handle. I’m not sure what exactly happened after that, but I heard rumors that she went to Malamut.”

“You son of a bitch,” Orion spat. She was already throwing a fist at the prince’s face before she realized it.

Bas’ eyes widened, but he had neither the time nor room to dodge. His head went sharply to the right from the force of the blow. “Motherfucker,” he coldly responded, clearly just as furious. He used their proximity to drive a fist into Orion’s diaphragm.

Orion wheezed as the breath was knocked out of her. As she leaned forward, she slammed her fist into Bas’ stomach.

The two started trading punches. Bas had the advantage of reach, but Orion was faster. There was no magic or weapons. It was simply and purely a brawl between two people who had pissed each other off to the point they could think of nothing else but venting their rage with their fists.

Tam watched with a wide eyed look; she clearly had not expected this. The knight tried to speak up and moved in between them. “Bas,” she said urgently. In her attempt at interception, she was punched in the face.

Sirius whined anxiously, looking between the two of them. When she noticed what Tam was doing, she grabbed a hold of Orion’s cloak and pulled—she was strong enough that Orion staggered and took a few steps back.

It was at this fortunate moment that the door of the inn swung open. The woman had a cigar between her yellowed teeth and a shawl across her shoulders. “What’s the racket I keep hearing? Fight somewhere else, rascals. You’ll drive away our business,” she scolded.

Orion scoffed. She twisted around and was trying to pry her cloak from Sirius’ mouth.

Bas straightened up and stepped forward. He nodded towards the woman, respectfully. “I’m sorry for the noise. I would like two rooms and stables for three horses.”



Bas and Orion get along like a house on fire, by that I mean that the friction between them set something on fire. They’re both immature older teenagers really. Of course they’re going to butt heads.

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Writer of An Unwilling Prince. Longtime reader, fanfic writer, artist, and animator. Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/thesilverhunt3r Tumblr: https://anunwillingprince.tumblr.com/

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