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 Ch. 45: Before the Plunge

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Ch. 45: Before the Plunge Empty
PostSubject: Ch. 45: Before the Plunge   Ch. 45: Before the Plunge I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 29, 2010 7:18 pm

Sera, second strongest ‘mercenary’ in the world of Lore, formerly possessed by one of the most fearsome demons ever known, lay curled up by the fireplace in a small tavern in western Wa-Kia. Around her, various members of Requiem were seated, some in chairs, others on the ground, watching the orange glow of the flames in somber silence. They had gathered there temporarily to treat their wounded and shelter their tired. Outside, rubble was strewn across the streets, reminder of the demon’s devastation. Distant drums told them that their enemy was already on the move. But for the moment, everyone was still. Then life slowly returned.

“I still can’t believe that Kobi would do something as cruel as this.” Priest sighed and stood up. “He’s got a lot to answer for.”

“Indeed,” Marcus answered, standing up as well, hoisting his large, golden shield behind his back and sheathing his sword. The room stirred as everyone prepared for battle. Seth flexed the fingers of his left hand, then tested the balance of a fresh shortsword, soul scythe safely stowed. Besides him, Saint sharpened his reverse-curved daggers, then sheathed them. Dawn flexed her magical arms, making them glow brightly as she drew power from the bones wrapped loosely around her neck. Megan polished the purple stone at the end of her wand. Edvin examined a crudely-constructed ice blade. Fire prepared a few preliminary rune spells, drawing the glowing characters in midair, leaving them to follow behind him as he headed for the door. The door burst open.

“Sorry I’m late! I couldn’t find this place earlier…” Jake was out of breath, looking as if he had just single-handedly taken down a demon.

“Where have you BEEN?” Dye rushed over to him as he tottered down into an empty chair. Before he could answer, the door opened again. Blizzard walked into the room, shades glinting, flanked by two hulking soldiers. They were Remnants, from the Guardians of Doom.

“The warriors from the Guardians have finally arrived.” Blizzard announced proudly to the room. “This is Lu Bu,” he gestured to a surly man with a square jaw and a black ponytail, “and this is Jorge,” he motioned towards a man wearing thick orange armor and a pumpkin over his head, two small holes cut out for their eyes. Needless to say, the members of Requiem were unsure of the two eccentric warriors, but relieved that they had arrived.

“I thought a person called Oblivion was coming.”

“He was GOING to come,” Jorge muttered, voice muffled by the pumpkin helm, “but he had other business to attend to. I came in his place.”

Lu Bu burst into speech, and everyone cringed as he swore loudly as he explained how they had been a little held up by one of Lizargeco’s friends, the Demon.

“Wait, the same Demon that helped the Remnants in the war against the Shadowstorm?”

Jorge nodded, his pumpkin head bobbing up and down. “The very same. People don’t trust him, always think he’s up to something, siding with the wrong people.”

“THAT’S RIGHT!” Lu Bu thundered. “NEVER TRUST A DEMON!!!” Everyone turned to look at Jake, who looked around innocently.

“What, you guys don’t trust me because I was possessed?”

“WAS possessed?”

“Yeah. I don’t have a demon any more. Sera’s demon ate mine.”

“ATE yours?”

Priest walked over to stand besides Jake. “I only know a little on this subject, but from what I’ve heard, demons eat each other to gain their powers and grow stronger. I’m surprised you managed to defeat it all by yourself, especially after losing your demon powers.” Jake began to explain, but Priest silenced him. “We can hear your story later, but for now, we have to prepare for battle.”


Kobi paced the room of a luxurious dining room in an abandoned hotel in eastern Wa-Kia. Around him, his generals clustered in loose formation, alert and unhappy. They had their complaints, but didn’t dare to speak them aloud. This was their leader, after all, and a little ‘respect’ had to be given.

Finally, puffing out his chest slightly, Kobi spoke. “Wa-Kia is burning. In fifteen minutes, we will be storming through it to clean up what is left of Requiem. I want our mages to lead the charge, followed by our allies’ soldiers, then our own. We will clean up the remnants of their ragged clan, and when they are all dead, I myself will storm in with my bodyguards to claim victory. Understood?” Silence. The generals only stared at Kobi, each one wearing a slightly sour look. Suddenly, one of them burst out.

“Sir, I…I don’t quite agree with this plan.”

“Oh? And why not?” Kobi smiled, feeling patient and open to suggestions.

“Well sir, first of all, I feel that this whole war has been waged the wrong way from the beginning. We sent half of our mercenaries to attack the Requiem base, backed up by only one of our allies. So far, our scouts haven’t reported anything on their progress, and seeing that many of the members of Requiem have made it into this city…”

Kobi scoffed. “I’m sure the mercenaries did just fine against the Requiem base. In fact, their members are here only because they are fleeing the destruction of their base.”

“Either way, they are here because they managed to get passed the mercenaries, and that could only have happened if all the mercenaries, as well as the soldiers with them, were neutralized. In addition, you left behind almost all of the other mercenaries to guard an empty base…”

“I’ve told you many times, that was to eliminate the Requiem counter-attack party that they could have sent if they survived our attack on them. However, I am sure that Requiem couldn’t have found any troops to spare to attack us, and those mercenaries are probably doing just fine…”

Suddenly, a messenger burst into the room, breathing heavily. “Sir! I have urgent news to report! Our base is on fire!”

Kobi turned a deep purple, steam rising from his face. One of the generals gently gave the messenger a shove out the door before Kobi could wring his neck. Bereaved of his stress relief, Kobi spun around to confront his generals. “Did any of the mercenaries that we hired use fire magic?”

“Only one, Ferris. But we sent him to attack the Requiem base. Besides, Cyberos and Wendigo both use water and cold magic; they would have doused the flames…I warned you. We should have either stayed behind to guard the base or brought the mercenaries along with us instead of leaving them behind all by themselves. You’ve mismanaged this war, Kobi, and it’s only getting worse. Listen.” The general walked over to a window and flung it open. Outside, the sound of open air mingled with the gentle murmur of their troops preparing for battle. But that was all. “That is the sound of your last ace-in-the-hole going to pot. Sera and her demon have been taken down, otherwise the city would still be blowing up. Requiem has people with powers we couldn’t dream of emulating, and…” Kobi stormed up to the general. A longsword flashed. The general’s head landed on the ground with a wet plop.

“Any more questions?” The room was dead silent.


The line of Requiem members stretched an entire city block as they filed out of their shelter, lined up in a loose single file. Priest led them with a grim face, while the other captains followed, discussing their battle strategy with each other. Behind them, the two members from the Guardians of Doom exchanged war stories with the newer soldiers of Requiem, telling them what to watch out for.

A gust of wind next to Saint marked the arrival of Creed, who had been watching the enemy’s movements from the air. He landed lightly, folding his black wings behind him, then gave his report. “The Thirteen Lord of Chaos are coming down the main road. They’re leading with their mages, blasting their way through the wreckage with chaos magic. They’ll be here in ten minutes.”

“At that rate, we’ll be meeting them just beyond the city center.” Saint glanced at the bits of masonry strewn throughout the streets. “We should block up the road there with rubble and defend that place. It will be hard for them to get through that, and we’ll have time to take a few shots at them.”

“No.” Dye sped up a few steps to walk even with Saint. “We should speed up and spread out so we can take the side streets and hit them early. We don’t want their mages to flank us and rain down spells from all sides.”

In unison, they turned to Priest. “What do you think?”

Priest sighed and rubbed his forehead. “Both are good points, but we have to consider the state of our men. We can’t afford to be careless, and that means conserving our energy. It’s getting dark, and we don’t know if they’ve sent any troops through the secret backroads of Wa-Kia. We’re not going to waste time and energy to build barriers or intercept them early. We’re going to wait at the entrance to the town center and watch for them to come. Once we see them, we can start launching attacks on them, as we will have a wider front to attack with than they will. From there, we can engage them from a relative advantage. Saint, you take a group round the left to hit them from the north, using the alleyways to smash into their side. Blizzard, you take another group round the right, hitting them from the south. I’ll manage the center group and make sure that it holds. Everyone, good luck.”

Saint and Blizzard nodded, motioned to a few chosen men, then dashed off into the gathering evening.
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Ch. 45: Before the Plunge
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