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 Ch, 47: Deadly Mistakes

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Dye
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PostSubject: Ch, 47: Deadly Mistakes   Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:20 pm

There aren’t many things you can do when you have fifty archers aiming at you. Some people try to run in the hopes that each and every arrow will miss, while others just give in quietly and allow themselves to be captured. Saint wasn’t foolish enough to try either of those things. The lives of him and three others were at stake, and he wasn’t about to risk everything on a deadly mistake. Instead, as fifty bows twanged and fifty arrows rushed towards him, Saint reacted with one word.



“Creed!”



The wind howled as Creed responded, the black runes all over his body turned bright silver. His eyes glowed white, and he spread his wings as a hurricane screamed into existence. The arrows had nearly reached them by now, and as the wind picked up, one whipped past Saint’s face, leaving a thin line of red. Saint hoped that it wouldn’t be permanent. Then the air tore the swarm of arrows from their deadly paths and sent spiraling with the wind. In the buildings around the courtyard, archers could be seen grabbing at window ledges, roof tiles, and each other, holding on for dear life. But Creed’s power was uncontrollable. Seth dug his sword into the ground and held on, and Fire drew an earth rune in the air that weighed his body down. However, Saint was designed for speed and agility, not resistance to the elements, and he felt the wind lift him off the ground and fling him into the air.



Limbs flailed for a wild second as Saint looked for anything to latch onto. Nearby, a silver kite shield tumbled through the hurricane, a blue eye emblazoned across its front. It probably belonged to one of the dead soldiers that had followed him. Saint grabbed on, placing it underneath him and standing on it. They weren’t called kite shields for nothing. Then the hurricane brought him over the rooftops. Saint touched down with the kite shield and began to slide along the roof, tiles flying into the air behind him as he surfed with the wind, skating over tiles and steering his shield around chimneys. Ahead, a group of chaos archers could be seen hanging onto anything they could find, arrows pouring from their quivers and into the wind. Saint drew his daggers, lost balance on his shield, and slid off it, the wind carrying the kite shield, point first, into the chest of one of the archers. Saint let the wind carry him through the group, holding his daggers by his sides and shredding any archers that were close enough.



Finally, the hurricane died down to a whisper as Creed used up his magical energy. He went down on a knee, gasping for breath, using his black scythe as a support. Seth tried to dig his sword out of the ground, broke it, and cursed. Shoddy piece of work. Fire cast away his earth rune and looked around. Many of the enemy archers were still dazed, but some were getting up, brushing themselves off, and looking for arrows. They had to move, where was Saint? Saint was clinging to the edge of the roof of a nearby building, daggers stabbed into the wall. The hurricane had left him on the precipice, with nothing beneath him. He looked down. A few feet below was a window. He could try making it through the window, but if it was closed…



The window opened, and a head popped out. It looked down, then looked up. Saint dug his daggers out of the wall and fell. His feet crunched into the archer’s head, using it as a springboard for Saint to leap through the window and into the building. He gave the archer’s body a kick, sending it out into the courtyard. Then he looked around. Archers were everywhere, but none had any melee weapons as far as he could tell. Perfect.



Creed, Seth, and Fire looked up as bodies began to pour from the windows of the surrounding buildings. Saint was having fun. Creed was leaning onto Seth for support, leaving Fire to cast rune attacks at the surrounding buildings, helping Saint out. An especially large fireball crashed into one building, collapsing it and crushing all of its inhabitants with it.



“Hey, save some for me!” Seth complained, leaning Creed against the wall of an empty house.



Fire looked up. “Oh, you can take care of those guys.” He pointed to a group of soldiers that were barreling towards them from eastern Wa-Kia. Reinforcements. Seth reached into his soul, pulling out a scythe made up of his own life force, and began to make wide, slashing movements. The soldiers paused, unsure of how to react.



“Don’t interfere Fire, I’m taking them all.” Fire shrugged and went back to taking down archer positions, summoning a bolt of lightning that turned one building into a charred mess. Seth dove into the enemy with an uppercut that impaled three soldiers at once. Casting them aside, Seth spun around, crushing one soldier’s head with the back of his scythe, then slicing through the thin armor of two more soldiers. These men had been prepared for physical attacks, not the soul-stealing powers of Seth’s scythe. The captain ordered them to move into a different position, and the soldiers scattered, spreading out and around Seth. One of them made an aggressive slash at Seth, cutting through his right sleeve and leaving a shallow gash on his forearm. Seth responded by knocking off the guard’s head. By now other soldiers were beginning to get aggressive as well, with one of them landing a blow that shredded the cloth on Seth’s back. He sighed. There was one way out of this, and he didn’t feel like doing it.



-----



Inside the archer’s main building, Saint located the platoon leader that had sneered at them earlier. He didn’t look as jaunty as he did before, with the tables turned and his men dropping like stones. One archer managed to draw an arrow and made an attempt to stab Saint. With a swift flick of the wrist, Saint knocked the archer’s hand off. Another swipe, and his head joined the hand. Other archers picked up arrows to use as weapons, driving Saint into a corner. Saint turned, walked three steps up the wall, did a backflip over the archers’ heads, and landed behind them. A flash of silver, and Saint sheathed his weapons and turned away. Behind him, the archers collapsed in an explosion of blood. That left the platoon leader, who was now trying to find a way out. Saint moved swiftly to the nearest exit and barred it, then dashed at the leader and pinned him to the wall by the throat.



“Alright, alright, I’ll talk. My leader is Elitis.”



“Bullshit. Elitis doesn’t control chaotic troops. You’re part of Kobi’s army, and you’re going to tell me how Kobi knew to lay an ambush here.”



“Kobi didn’t set the ambush, he’s not smart enough to expect something like that. I’m from one of Kobi’s allied clans, the Chaos Rippers. My leader told us that he expected Requiem to send a second party out to strike from the flank, and set us here to block the likeliest route. We didn’t expect any magic users, so we only brought archers. Kobi’s main force has all the mages in it, along with his personal bodyguards and the rest of his army.”



“Were there any other traps set up?”



“No, we only expected one force.”



“Good. Blizzard should be having fun by now,” Saint muttered to himself.



“Blizzard? Red Blizzard? He’s also flanking us? I have to warn them!” The platoon leader drew a dagger in a flash and went for Saint’s heart. But Saint was faster. Blood gushed from the platoon leader’s throat as he collapsed. Saint sheathed his daggers.



“Rest in peace. At least you knew what you were doing, a quality that most leaders lack.”



-----



Outside, the last of the archers had been finished. Fire turned to look at the incoming soldiers, which were swarming around Seth by now. A little away from the fight, Creed rested against the wall, slowly regaining his strength. Fire went up to him and transferred some of his magic to him, then helped Creed to his feet.



“You are powerful, Creed. I didn’t expect something that scary out of you.”



Creed swayed, then regained his balance as the magic flowed through his body. “That comes from training as a wind mage. You get familiar with the element you use. I learned all of that from the last Zephyr, Lord of the West Wind. I inherited his position after he died, so I should be an excellent user of wind magic.” Creed managed a wry grin, making Fire smile himself.



“Well, we better make sure Seth doesn’t die. He said he wanted to fight all of them himself, but I think he’s overestimating his own abilities. What do you think?”



-----



Seth gasped as another soldier swiped at him. He spun around, striking the soldier dead, but by now he was covered in slashes, and his movements were slowing. The soldiers closed in.



“Kill him! Finish him off!” The leader of this platoon could be seen in the back, conducting his soldiers and waving his sword like a baton. One soldier lunged at Seth, sword going for his neck.



Seth pointed a finger at him, eyes glowing blue. “Disappear.” The air was rent, as if the fabric of space itself was being ripped open. A black opening, rimmed by blue light, opened in front of the soldier, swallowing him up as he lunged to his own doom. As his black boots disappeared into the opening, the rip closed up. It seemed as if nothing had happened, other than the fact that a soldier had just disappeared.



“Cipher spell,” Seth explained to the stupefied soldiers. “It’s a dangerous, forbidden magic that erases anything that it touches. I learned it once, long ago, and swore never to use it again, for it violates all laws that govern this land. Those who possessed such a knowledge are liable to be killed on the spot. But in this case, it seems I have no choice.” The soldiers stared at him for what seemed like an age, then they all charged at once, yelling at the top of their lungs, hoping to…Seth waved his arm, muttering a string of incoherent words. Each soldier blinked out of existence. Seth could feel his magic completely drain as the last of the soldiers vanished. He collapsed where he stood.



-----



Fire and Creed found Seth where he lay, unconscious. They were quickly joined by Saint, who quickly analyzed the situation. They were too few to deal with Kobi’s army, not after the losses they had sustained. Both Creed and Fire were low on magic, while Seth had no fighting ability left whatsoever. He had to make a decision now.



“Creed, take Seth and fly back to the rest of Requiem. Fire’s low on magic, but at least he can fight without it. You are in no state to continue fighting right now. Fire and I will try to find Blizzard and help him out. Tell Priest to press forward the charge when you reach him.” Creed nodded and took off, Seth in his arms. Saint watched him glide into the night, then turned. “Fire, let’s go.” They began to move at a swift pace, swerving through the back alleys of Wa-Kia, tracing steps they knew from back when they were both clan leaders. Now they were fighting a clan that neither of them had thought would ever amount to anything, and had seen men go down because of it. If they found Kobi, a slow, painful death seemed like a good idea for him.



A shadow flitted off to one side. Saint paused. Then a deep voice spoke. “Where are you going, Saint?” A man in a dark coat appeared, wide-brimmed hat pulled over his eyes, black goatee sticking out from his chin like a dagger. Twin black swords in his hands, black military boots clicking as he approached the pair of them. Saint noticed that his chest was covered in bloody bandages, an X-shaped wound showing beneath it. “You’re not seriously thinking of taking on Kobi in your current state, are you?”
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Ch, 47: Deadly Mistakes
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