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 Ch. 48: Charge!

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Dye
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PostSubject: Ch. 48: Charge!   Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:22 pm

Priest had promised that he would defend the center of the town at all costs. But as the first enemy fireballs crashed into their hastily crafted defenses, he wondered if he had made a rash promise. Some of the newer members ducked behind piles of debris and makeshift barriers as a hail of icicles, thunderbolts, rocks, acid bombs, and fireballs rained down on them. Priest peeked out from behind a chunk of fallen masonry to count the number of enemy mages, and ducked back under cover as an energy bomb sailed by. There were too many of them.



Next to Priest, Jacob took another peek at the enemy, counted in his head, and muttered, “There are so many of them!”



“No, really?” Dye didn’t bother to look, knowing that he would only make himself an obvious target.



“Any orders, Priest?” This came from Megan, waving from behind an overturned apple cart. She and Dawn were likewise taking cover, but Megan would occasionally shoot a bolt of magic at the enemy where there was a relative lull in their barrage of attacks. And once in a while, a satisfying shriek of pain from across the town center would tell her all she needed to know.



Priest shrugged. “We don’t have many ranged fighters with us. Nathan is having fun though.” He pointed to the captain in black armor, who was not hiding behind a barrier of any sort, but hurling javelins from atop the destroyed fountain in the middle of the town center. The mages were concentrating most of their fire on him, but many of them were poor shots, and those that managed to hit him would only watch in dismay as he deflected every incoming attack with his large roundshield.



Finally, Dawn couldn’t stand it any more. “It’s not fair that other people get to have fun while I’m stuck here.” She leaped from behind the apple cart and began racing towards the enemy mages. Her speed caught them by surprise; none had time to react as she raised her new, magical fists and smashed through the head of one of the mages, sending chunks of shattered skull and brain flying everywhere. The ones closest to Dawn panicked and tried to run, while those farther away took aim. Dawn raised one arm, concentrated for a moment, then changed its form into that of a giant arrow launcher. She began to spray red, magical arrows everywhere, shooting down the mages where they stood.



“She can do that?” Dye turned to Priest, dumbstruck.



“Yep. Neat bit of magic isn’t it? I used some of the untapped magical energy in her bones to recreate arms that would obey her will. Of course, that means that her new powers are only limited by her imagination and her stamina.” They watched as Dawn transformed both of her arms into giant tiger claws, shredding through the thin magic robes of the enemy like tissue paper.



“Is it safe to join the fight now?” Jake looked up, unsheathing a pair of fish from his belt.

“You can do the honors.” Dye plugged his ears.



A wide grin spread over Jake’s face as he motioned to the members of Requiem. “CHAAAAARGE!!!!!” Everyone cheered and leaped up from their hiding places, unsheathing swords, axes, maces, spears, staffs, wands, and fish as they stormed the enemy position. Soon, Dawn was joined in the fray by Marcus, hacking through mages with his shortsword; Edvin, confusing the enemy with his clones before impaling them from behind; Dye, burning the foe with his sheer presence; Nathan, smashing through soldiers with his shield and throwing javelins at those that were farther away; Megan, who sent enemies flying with her magical spells, and Jake, who could actually snap bones with blows from his fish. Priest stayed behind to treat the injuries of those that had been hit by magic spells. In the middle of regrowing the skin of a soldier hit by an acid bomb, he looked up. The air had…changed. The first wave of mages had been defeated; now the air buzzed with a kind of magic he had never felt before.



Dawn looked up as she crushed the bones of one of the last mages. Down the road, she could see purple-robed figures approaching, and with them, a sickening sensation. Suddenly, she lost balance and toppled over. Dawn rolled around and tried to sit up, but to no avail, and she quickly saw why: her magical arms had disappeared. Dye’s flame flickered, then went out; and Megan saw the spark of magic leave her wand.



“What is this?” Dawn was furious as she tried to stand up. She could feel no magical pulse of life coming from the bony arms entwined around her neck. Without her arms, she was helpess.



“I don’t know, my wand isn’t working anymore.”



“Yeah, my ice clones disappeared. Do you think...”



“Guys, we have a problem.”



Jake looked at the approaching figures. He couldn’t feel anything, but everyone with special abilities suddenly found themselves powerless. Wait a minute…



“They’re countering our magic!” Jake called out to everyone.



Dye swore. “We have to pull our mages back! Bring out some of our heavy fighters!”



“I’m on it.” Nathan motioned with two fingers to a group of warriors behind him.



“Bhlewos, Oblivion, you know what to do.” Two hulking warriors in thick armor nodded to him, then stepped forward and planted themselves in the middle of the road.



“Oblivion? Wasn’t that the name of one of the Guardians that were supposed to help us?”



“Yeah, the guy that didn’t come. What about the Pumpkin Head and the other scary guy that Lizargeco sent to help us?”



“RIGHT HERE!!! LU BU IS IN THE HOUSE!!!” The square-jawed man and the pumpkin-wearing warrior came forth, the former wielding a halberd of enormous size while the latter carried an orange broadsword. They walked right past Nathan’s warriors and kept going.



“No point in waiting for them to come to you,” Jorge muttered. Then they charged. Dark energy began to build around the both of them, turning the pair into black comets that surged towards the enemy. Then, the darkness was ripped to shreds just as easily as it had come, leaving them without their greatest form of protection. Dye saw one mage raise its arms, summoning an enormous orb of white energy. The Guardians never stopped running, swinging their blades through the first of the mages before they were blown off their feet and sent flying. Dye stepped aside and Jake ducked as they soared past them, landing with a sickening crunch just inches from Marcus’s toes. They were back on their feet in an instant.



“Oh…HELL NO!!!” Lu Bu charged again, but was stopped short.



“Stay out of the way.” This came from one of Nathan’s warriors, sporting a blue Mohawk and a short beard.



“Bhlewos…” The other man took a step forward, but was stopped.



“It’s alright, Oblivion.”



“IT’S NOT ALRIGHT!!! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE, ORDERING ME AROUND!?!?!?” Lu Bu tried to push passed him. Bhlewos summoned a huge glaive out of the air and smacked Lu Bu with the flat side of it, sending him sailing backwards. Both warriors turned around without a backward glance. Jorge decided it was best not to risk getting his pumpkin helmet damaged.



The mages kept moving until they were within fifty feet of the warriors, who stood their ground. They formed a line, then summoned a row of energy balls. Nothing moved. The warriors didn’t even flinch as they received the full blast of the enemy magic; a barrage that lasted for a full minute. When it was over, the mages were practically wheezing for breath. The warriors still stood, without so much as a speck of ash on their armor.



“Is that all?”



“Awww, I was expecting more.”



“I guess it’s our turn now.” Oblivion hefted two claymores, each one larger than Dye’s scimitar, and charged, the blades extending from his sides like the wings of an albatross. The mages panicked and tried to retreat, spamming magic as they went. Oblivion flipped over their heads, and despite the weight of his armor, landed gracefully on the other side of them. The mages turned and began to run the other way, towards Bhlewos, trying to avoid Oblivion’s claymores. Each slash from his blades cut down five mages in half, pulverizing them with their sheer weight. On the other side, Bhlewos grinned as the first of the mages came within reach. He began to whirl his glaive about him in wide, sweeping patterns that scraped the buildings on both sides of the street. The only mages that made it past him were the ones that were in pieces. The two warriors worked to herd the mages together into a tight bundle, then decimated them with wide, sweeping blows. Their magic was unable to do anything, and their anti-magic was ineffective against these monsters. Within five minutes of their appearance, they were all dead.



“Unbelievable…”



“And there was me thinking that Nathan’s men never did anything.”



Nathan smirked at them through his helmet. “Dye, you should recognize some of them. They are your men, I just borrowed them to train them up. Anyways, now’s your chance to regain your pride, there’s another group coming, and by the looks of it, they’re strong.”



Dye looked down the road, where Bhlewos and Oblivion were piling the body parts of the dead anti-mages into a grisly barrier that stretched across the street. After finishing, they bowed out, letting Marcus, Edvin, Dye, and Jacob to take over. As they took their positions behind the wall of flesh, the third wave of mages came roaring in, wearing aerodynamic robes reminiscent of Saint’s uniform and wielding staffs that crackled with energy. As soon as they were within range, they began to shoot bolts of fire that turned their defense into a mound of charred flesh that stank up the street. Edvin created a few clones that dodged and rolled in front of their defenses, distracting the mages while they pulled away from the stench. This was a mistake. The mages soon took cover behind the wall, shooting at the Requiem soldiers out in the open. Edvin’s clones managed to take down a few mages with their crude ice swords before the mages finished them off, turning them into steaming puddles of water. Megan covered for the soldiers and returned fire with loud, purple explosions while Dye and his crew debated what to do.



“These mages are different from the others. They actually mean business.” Marcus was covered in burns from the fire bolts as he tried to fend off the attacks with his shield. Edvin was in a worse state, as his vulnerability to fire cost him his frozen armor and his ice weapon. Jacob was looking miserably at his fried salmon, stomach growling.



“I just realized, we haven’t eaten anything since last night. No wonder I’m starving.” Everyone else clutched their stomachs as the scent of cooked fish wafted around.



“People, people, remain strong…” Dye muttered encouragingly, but to no avail. Everyone began to tear off handfuls of salmon from Jake’s weapon, leaving behind nothing but bones as they satisfied their hunger. “Leave the other salmon guys, I have an idea.” Everyone looked up. “I bet the enemy hasn’t eaten anything in a while either.”



-----



Dye went to Megan, telling her of the plan. She backed away, letting Dye take over, and watched in mingled surprise and horror as Dye methodically made his way towards the enemy. Apparently the enemy mages either thought he was giving up or just plain stupid, because they stared at him for one moment, then started to laugh. Then they pointed their staffs and him and fired. Dye grinned as their magical attacks were absorbed by his armor. A moment later, he had a raging inferno around him, fed by his inner emotion. The mages were shocked, and a little afraid. Though they used fire magic, that didn’t necessarily mean that they were immune to it. They backed away, expecting Dye to pull out something big and nasty. Instead, he dropped the salmon in front of them, turned, and walked away.



The mages suspected a trap, and just stared at the salmon. But the smell was overpowering. Finally one mage, then another, gave in to their hunger and tore into the salmon, gorging themselves. When they finally remembered that the were on a battlefield and bothered to look up, it was too late. Marcus cast a bubble shield around the mages, trapping them in. Then Edvin and Jake went to work on them, destroying the mages one by one. Edvin exacted his revenge for the loss of his ice suit, using icicles and frost attacks to make them bleed. Jake chose a more direct route, smashing through them with the remains of his salmon. By this time, the entire street had turned into one bloody mess of mage bodies. Jake nearly lost his stomach as he snapped the neck of the last mage.



“Well, that’s the lot of them.”



“Yeah, you think it’s time to move on?”



“Probably…I’m surprised that Kobi has this many men to spare in the attack…where does he get all these people?”



“Maybe he paid them a lot of money to die in battle?”



“Where does he get all of his money?”



“That’s a good question.” Jake, Marcus, and Edvin turned. Around them, the darkness of night had turned into the dim green of a sickly twilight. Down the street, sporting a pair of pixie wings, was a mage in green and purple robes, black hair cascading down her back, a disdainful grin pulled across her red lips.



“You know, maybe I can find out for you if I kill you all and bring your heads back to him for a reward. Does that sound good to you?”
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Ch. 48: Charge!
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