Approaching footsteps woke me with a start and I found myself curled up in a dark corner of the chamber. But the chamber didn't really have much in the line of corners. I needed to get away. I didn't want another person near me. I had killed everyone I had ever cared about, and now that I was fully magic again, I could kill everyone else. I had to get far away.
At first, I thought that the reason there were no bodies in the room meant that they were simply somewhere else, but I knew better. They had been taken away for burial.
I saw the dim light of a candle coming down the hall. It could only be Patricia or Haines. The others were all dead and they were the only non-magical people here. They wouldn't have been involved in the fiasco that had killed the others. They would be defenseless against me.
I slipped out of the cave before whoever it was rounded the corner and entered the chamber. The first thing I did when I reached the open air was change my sleeping robe for my leathers, but instead of the heavy boots, I made a form of moccasin so I wouldn't leave much in the line of tracks.
I found out quickly that I couldn't move very fast or very far, but I was determined to get as far away from here as I could. I was less than a mile away from the cave when I was forced to stop. I was depressingly weak. I made myself a stew and then curled up to sleep. Before drifting off, I looked with my magic to see if anyone had followed me and saw that they were looking for me but not in this direction; not yet anyway.
When I woke, I saw that the searchers were getting close so I moved on, choosing a different direction.
As time passed, I grew stronger and was able to put more distance between the searchers and me. Eventually, I took to following herds. I made my leathers grow hair and I made myself smell right to them. There would be no finding my footprints among dozens of thopper or baston.
I carried no weapon and didn't bother to make one, so I used my proximity to these animals to hunt, but this didn't endear me to them any. I was the black sheep in the herd to begin with, and as soon as I made a kill, I became the wolf in sheep's clothing. I seldom lasted with a herd more than one kill.
Cooked food was another thing that alienated me from the herd. It also wasn't what I was hungry for and I was soon quite happy eating my kill warm and bleeding.
Eventually, I forgot about anyone searching for me. I forgot my friends and all that had happened to them. I avoided all traces of civilization. I was all hunter now and my days were occupied with my next hunt or locating the next herd.
I was a mid-level hunter and not careless enough to think that I didn't have enemies. Many times, I was forced to abandon a herd, or even a kill, as a basilisk rampaged through where I was at the time. My survival depended on avoiding other hunters too - two legged hunters. I went out of my way to not be seen by any of those.
My nights were spent curled up somewhere that provided some protection from the cold winds - not that I was cold, but the wind could carry my scent. My nights were also marked by the dimly remembered voice of a woman. Every night her voice would lull me to sleep. There were no words, I had forgotten words, but the sound of her voice made me welcome the night.
Winter was no different. Both my hair and beard had grown long, and to keep warm during the cold months, I made fur grown on my clothes to match. The rest of me had long since turned lean and hard, and the constant hunt kept me warm too.