Rule of Deception: A Witcher Fanfic - 1

The Witcher Series is copyright by Andrzej Sapkowski. This story is licensed under creative commons and derivative non-commercial fiction.

The wind howled through the darkened forest, carrying with it a haunting melody of desolation. Geralt of Rivia stood at the edge of a moonlit clearing, his silver sword gleaming in the pale light. His steely eyes scanned the surroundings, ever watchful for signs of danger. By his side stood Ciri of Cintra, a young girl with fiery hair and an unyielding spirit. She clutched her slender sword tightly, her face a mixture of determination and uncertainty.

Before them, a grotesque creature loomed, its twisted form barely recognizable as anything that once belonged to the natural world. Its jagged claws and gnashing teeth were like shards of death, hungering for the flesh of the living. It let out a guttural growl, a sound that sent shivers down the spines of those unfortunate enough to hear it.

Geralt, however, held back, allowing Ciri to take the lead. This was not a monster that posed a real threat to him—a Witcher with years of experience, honed skills, and countless battles behind him. No, this was a low-level adversary, and Geralt saw it as an opportunity for Ciri to gain some much-needed experience. He had fought countless beasts, and now it was time for him to pass on his knowledge to the next generation.

“Don’t show fear,” he said in his husky, calm voice. “Attack!”

Ciri lunged forward, her sword cutting through the air with precision. She fought with all her might, but her strikes were hesitant and her movements lacked the fluidity of a seasoned warrior. The monster's claws grazed her arm, leaving a shallow gash that bled crimson onto the forest floor.

“Don’t let it inside your circle. Keep everything out. Let your training be your guide.”

As the monster bared its fangs, believing victory was within its reach, Ciri's eyes narrowed with determination. With a swift, athletic turn of her body, she unleashed a series of strikes that seemed almost dance-like in their execution. The monster, caught off guard by her sudden skill, had no chance to defend itself. Ciri dispatched it with ease, her sword finding its mark again and again.

“A-Ha!” she cried, putting her foot on it’s head, as it heaved it’s last breath. “The foe is defeated!”

Geralt's eyes widened in surprise and pride as he watched Ciri's display of newfound prowess. He rushed to her side, embracing her tightly. His heart swelled with a mixture of love and admiration for the young girl he had come to see as his own.

Checking her wound, Geralt found it to be only superficial. A few moments later, Yennefer of Vengerberg, a powerful sorceress with raven hair and eyes of violet, approached the duo. She channeled her magic, mending Ciri's injury with a wave of her hand.

“When will you two learn to control yourselves? That monster wasn’t going to harm anyone.”

“The only good monster is a dead monster,” they both said in unison, then laughed.

Yennefer rolled her eyes, finishing the healing.

The trio continued their journey, making their way toward the city of Marabel, where Ciri was to further her magical training under the guidance of Yennefer's dear friend, Arabelle. Yennefer's excitement was palpable as they drew nearer to their destination. She had spoken of Arabelle's expertise and wisdom, eager to reunite with her long-time companion.

“You’re going to learn a lot from her,” Yennefer said. “She’s very powerful in earth magic.”

Ciri nodded, smiling as her friends walked beside her.l.

"Ciri," Geralt said, his voice a low rumble that carried with it the weight of years of experience, "remember the Rule of Deception. Sometimes, in order to defeat an enemy, a Witcher must appear to be something he is not. It is in that moment of the enemy's confidence that we strike, ending their existence."

“That’s why I feigned being tired. I knew it would draw the beast in.”

“Remember though, the monster’s know the rules too. It may also have been using the Rule of Deception against you. Some monsters are quite crafty like that.”

“Have you ever faced one that used the Rule of Deception?”

Geralt nodded. “Many times. A Faecore once lured me in with a baby’s cry. There’s also the shimmering pools of a Tartus, luring passerbies into thinking it’s a cool pond of water.”

“I remember the Tartus,” Ciri said.

“The whole pool is it’s mouth. The minute you step into that pool—“

Ciri pulled out her short sword. “Jab!”

“You slide right down into its gullet, is what. Better to throw a stone into the pool, let it close its jaws, and thrust up into the soft skin under the chin.” Geralt made an overhand stabbing motion with his blade.

Ciri listened intently, her gaze fixed on Geralt. She nodded, absorbing his words like a sponge thirsty for knowledge. She understood the importance of strategy and the power of illusion in battle.

As they approached the city of Marabel, their eyes fell upon a scene of desolation. Once a bustling hub of life and activity, it now lay empty and abandoned. The air was thick with an eerie silence, broken only by the distant howling of the wind. The trio exchanged concerned glances, their senses sharpened by the knowledge that danger lurked in the shadows.

“Fuck,” Geralt said, as they passed through the unguarded gates into the town. The last time he’d been here it had a bustling thoroughfare.

“I don’t like this, Geralt.” Yennefer raised her hands in anticipation. "This isn't right," she muttered, her voice tinged with unease. "Arabelle would never leave the city like this. Something must be terribly wrong."

With renewed determination, Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer pressed on, their footsteps echoing through the deserted streets of Marabel.

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