Characters in this chapter
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Marfa, Jack, Wilder, Moya: Cohen’s friends since childhood, today’s Dark army commanders
- Maiza: Cohen’s head guard.
The high screaming stopped halfway. A guard who was too late to dodge was hit, along with his horse. A moment later, the second lightning struck down and made him into pieces of scattered black fragments.
We had no choice but to place our bodies close to the earth and allow the earthy debris to fall on our faces. Our horses that have kept us company for these few days were now gone.
“Marfa!” I called out loud.
“Crystal ice storm!” Behind me, Marfa jumped off from his horse into the air and shot four shining arrows towards the left side of the hill, “On your left!”
“Incoming enemy!” Marfa landed, and while shouting to warn us, he then fetched another arrow.
Crystal ice storm? He might be able to release this spell in another five years. The spell earlier could have been just ordinary frost bolts.
Marfa’s distraction had won us a little time. I had to pay close attention. No matter who was the attacker, if they had an earth spell warlock in their team, and if that sorcerer were to release a random spell like “Wrath of the Earth”, then we would all be screwed.
“Moya, Maiza, to the right! Wilder, with me!” I crawled with my hands and feet to the side of the hill, and Wilder roared and followed. Although the attacker came from the left, the right side was a potential threat as well.
When we were inches away from the hillside, the second magic attack wave came. This time, it was not a dark cloud. Instead, it was a blast of lightning. However, the lightning was extremely massive! And it was aiming toward me!
I drew my weapon like a crazy person and shielded myself with the blade sheath. Then, my body fluttered forward.
My metal sheath had absorbed the dark lightning and it slightly changed its direction and “Crack”! My black steel sheath was struck into pieces while the leftover blast made an enormous pit behind my body.
I was thrown in the air, then kicked further to the hill by the blast’s force.
Who was it! Didn’t he need to chant the spells before using magic?
I clenched my teeth and supported myself up. Next, I crouched down towards a small woods not far away.
“Crystal ice storm!” Another few frost bolts flew over our heads. It was Marfa’s support.
On the right side of the hill came the fighting sounds of Moya and Uncle Maiza. They had begun combating the unknown opponents. The soldiers who were on the mountainsides rushed over, shouting desperately to support us. But,t they were rather slow compared to the speed of lightning.
“On my own!” I talked to myself, and found myself not far from the small woods.
A black figure jumped out from the woods with a pair of giant axes and swung them, blocking Marfa’s Crystal ice storms. It was a mountain manikin! How did a short jump become that high?
Another guy wearing a black cloak stood up from the grass. He tilted his silver bow to blow away Marfa’s last frost bolt with his right hand on the bowstring. A dark arrowhead aimed at me.
“Seleno Tuo” The first guy to jump out murmured an unknown language and swept his axes over my head.
Can you slow down! I need to steady myself!
I ward the attack with the Manchete. With the force I borrowed from the dwarf’s axes, I rolled to the left and fled.
“Awww!” The dwarf must’ve been wretched. He roared and chased after me.
“Wanna catch me? With your short legs?! No way!”
The black archers saw me running towards him. He looked calm and his arrow aimed at me all along.
“Seleno Tuo!” The dwarf behind rose once again. I did not even need to think to know that his axes must have been plunging down violently towards my precious head.
Showdown! I turned around and raised my Manchete against the dwarf in mid-air and shouted, “Marfa!”
The manikin was high up in the air. I guess he could have never foreseen that I would make a sudden stop and turn. That moment was when he passed over and arrived at his expected landing spot.
The time I bought was enough for Wilder to catch up.
“Crystal! Ice! Storm!” Marfa shouted once more.
“This again! You damn melon, can’t you give me something else!” I thought bitterly.
I shared a look with Wilder and the two of us rushed towards the dwarf from both sides.
The dwarf who landed was not able to steady himself and was forced to step back by Wilder’s bi-handler. Before he could take another breath, I slashed my blade and left a deep wound on his shoulder.
This was our training outcome. One plus one equals more than two.
It was my chance to initiate an attack. “Bang”, the archer finally launched his first arrow. His estimation was right. Now I could either keep on attacking and get hit by the arrow or turn back to defend and let the dwarf attack me.
I did not have much time to think and let down the blade I had in hand. In the meantime, I was able to alter my position slightly to avoid the arrow that aimed at my heart. There was only so much that I could do.
“AH!” I was shot. The arrow left a bloodied hole in my shoulder.
“What the hell. Who is he? My armor is made of black steel!”
The manikin was stabbed by Wilder, leaving only skin connecting his arm and shoulder. I assumed that Wilder could handle the dwarf all by himself. My opponent was now the archer himself alone.
Judging by the short distance, he would be able to release another arrow before I reach him. Judging by his archery, that arrow could end my life. Moreover, there was a mage waiting behind.
What should I do? If I don’t go, I’d be dead.
Anyhow, I rushed to the archer with eyes wide open.
“Crystal ice storm!” Marfa once again supported me with his fake spell.
Listened to Marfa’s lack-of-strength shouting, the man with a bow sneered and let off the arrow on the bow.
I knew that he would definitely block Marfa’s shot before killing me. A good archer was able to finish drawing and releasing in one moment.
“AHHHHH!” I sped up, and his sneer became colder.
Marfa’s shot flew over my head, and I raised my weapon as well.
Come! I will kill you even if you destroy my heart!
The archer picked his bow and challenged Marfa’s arrow. I heard a crisp sound then saw Marfa’s arrow bounce away.
Then, the man in black lowered his body. With his right leg backed, he fetched an arrow and fixed it on the string of the bow. The whole set of his movement was simple, smooth and impressive. I’ll give him that.
“AHHHHH!” I rushed closer, but had still not been shot by him. Anyone knew the fact that a close shot equalled to an accurate one. I was harsh.
“AHHHHHH!” I was even closer, but still no arrow! I noticed his lip quivering slightly.
“Shit! He was enchanting the arrow!? I’ll die an ugly death.”
“AHHHHHHH! Ah?” I was now closer than it ever was, still no shot! I was astonished. What was wrong with him? Was he scheming anything else?
“AH!” I rushed over towards him like the wind and finally knew the answer.
“Frost… bolt… it’s really the frost bolt!” I swore to Protoss, the archer’s last word was, “You fooled me… bitch!”
I was unable to find a proper explanation for this fact. However, I was sure that I had definitely looked like an idiot because I remembered to go back to stab him after I ran far away from him.
His body was frozen in ice. He was still looking awesome when his headless body fell. His awesomeness then became a loser’s face.
I rushed back into the woods.
A man who wore a black cloak was standing wordlessly in an open space within the trees. A mask was covering his face.
“Were you waiting for me?” Finally, I had met that guy, which relieved me. I talked while gazing around at our surroundings, “Kneel if you don’t wanna die.”
“We are alone here. Don’t get over your feet.” He said in a small voice, “I came here prepared to be killed. If I’m not dead when I return home, then it’s god’s favor, and it has nothing to do with kneeling to you.”
“Look around.” I put the Manchete on my shoulder and stepped forward, “Your people are all dead. Your life is in my hands. Kneel!”
“Yeah, they are dead.” The mage looked around, “All was left with me.”
“With such a close distance, you won’t have a chance to use magic.” I grinned, “I could make do with a lighting spell.”
A large number of infantries had arrived. I could even hear my brother’s footsteps. The sound of the dwarf roaring ended halfway.
“Is that so?” The mage also smiled, “What will you do if the spells were already released?” As he spoke, the trees and vines began to grow like crazy. A moment after, they had expanded into a green shield to enclose the both of us inside.
“See that?” He showed me the shield and with his chin tilted slightly upwards, he spoke, “It might take a while for your men to cut these open.”
“I hate green!” I said after I had observed that my fireball was useless on those plants, “But, I assure you: I’ve got what it takes to end your life!”
“Same here.” He said unhurriedly, “Other things equal, your ideas, reflection and combat skills are excellent.”
“And you hide here like a god damned turtle…” I replied, “Who are you!”
“I can tell you.” He wandered, “I am a warlock who excels in nature and thunder spells, within which, I’m best at thunder. Obviously, as a bounty warlock, I know a bit of space sorcery for escaping.”
“Why don’t you need to chant to use spells?”
“I need to chant.”
“Are you kidding me? Do you think I can’t hear your voice?”
“I still have some time.” He said, “I’ll enlighten before you die.”
“Mother fucker… say it!”
“For a vampire, profanities will not thrill me.” He took off the hood of his cloak and his mask to reveal a pale yet thin face. He grinned, and then I saw two pairs of pointy teeth.
“Vampire!” I was surprised, “YOU?”
“Yes, I am Earl Tacrio of the Aquamarine Vampire clan.”
“Hold on! I’m a friend with your chief!”
“Your Excellency.” He wiped off the dust on his mask carelessly, “You are talking about vampires of the Silver Quill clan, my century-old arch enemy.”
“I can assure you. The ones you killed were a dark manikin warrior and a raving elf archer. They were meant to lure you here. However, I had underestimated our abilities and you arrived here before I could get things ready.”
“You… you are saying.” My brain was in absolute chaos, “These clans are split?”
The soldiers outside were struggling in opening the woods. I could hear my brothers’ anxious shoutings.
“It is an advanced nature spell called “Green Shield”. The magic power stimulates the plants to grow at my will. This period will last for an hour.” He explained, “My years of experience allows me to chant in advance and suppress its growth with an anti-spell. Like just now, I withdrew the suppression after you came in. That’s why you didn’t hear any chantings.”
“What about the lightning that had almost hit us?”
“I’m good at thunder spells because of this: I call it QUAKE.” He pulled both his hands out from the large cloak and brandished a pair of tiny hammers.
I gazed at them carefully. Both of them were almost identical and looked like miniature war hammers.
“This powerful artifact allows me to use spells without enchanting.” He waved the hammers.
“Nice one! That’s all of your possessions?” I praised but secretly schemed. I never anticipated that he was such a powerful mage. I remembered vaguely about someone who had told me about a mage’s zero combat power at close range.
“So far, I haven’t…”
Before he could finish his sentence, I kicked hard on the ground dust. The burst of dust in the air then blocked his view of me.
Since the moment he started talking about his clan, I admitted that the bitches I met today were formidable and skillful in spells and fighting.
“BANG” A slash of lightning struck the spot where I stood; dust burst.
I ceaselessly jumped around, changing positions and released several wind blades in hopes to buy myself some time.
“Wood fairies, show me your pure figures. Stand around this land to erase my presence from their views and block my prey.” I chanted.
Then, my bottom felt a sudden numb sensation. A bolt of lightning blasted at my foot! Luckily, my spell to produce fog was a success.
Immediately, the enclosed space was full of crazy winds and thunder and lightning. The dust in the air had become my savior. I jumped between the flying sands and stones.
“How about we play a game!” He did not stop with his hands and words, “The one who loses will hand in everything.”
I flung about for a few seconds around the enclosed space and discovered that something was not right. The lightning was getting closer to me every time! A slight numbness on the body and then came a white light.
“FUCK!” I bounced back and threw off my armor. I had found out that every time before an incoming lightning bolt, that vampire bastard would throw in some mini flashes of lightning as well. Those tiny bolts would disappear once they touched my armor.
That must have been his trick as a thunder warlock to pinpoint my position.
Armors were thrown and scattered. This way, those mini thunders would never find me.
I stooped down low and quietly put the black steel blade down and drew out a pair of daggers from my boots. The one on the left was given by Windsor’s father; the one on the right was from the dwarf Grandmaster.
“From now on.” I told myself and squatted, “I have to watch out.”
“Time’s up. Let’s end this game. Don’t expect to be safe because I can’t see you.” In the thick mist, Tacrio said, “I am a thunder warlock, and I’m very resistant to lightning! Massive thunder lord!”
For a moment, countless lightning bolts slashed from the sky and rushed to the foreground. As for me, I shot my dagger to the direction where Tacrio’s voice came. Then, the first blast reached the ground.
“AH!” He screamed and fell.
Right on the target!
“AHH! AH! AH! AH! AH…” Then, it was my turn to scream. I was hit by hundreds of lightning bolts and felt numb and unfeeling. I felt bitter while wondering why I had not died.
“Mo… ther… fucker.” The blasts had passed. I lied, exhausted, not able to move a single finger. When did being beaten become such an exhausting thing?
“Elf of wind, redeem your promise. Blow away the mist and restore my view.” Tacrio chanted.
Thus, the mist was blown away. Tacrio walked to me on his one foot, hair mussed and face dirty. His cloak was scrapped. My dagger was stuck in his leg.
“Ha… ha…” I emitted a hollow laugh. Then the pain and hurt from doing so swallowed me whole.
Tacrio saw me moving and he uncontrollably fell over, “You… you are not dead!”
“Yes, my son! I’m not… dead yet…” I struggled and sat up, only to find my body move slightly before falling over.
“Even my own lightning had made me turn into this difficult state, yet you are still not…” Tacrio crawled closer and raised his QUAKE, “You are one hard piece of bone.”
“Bang!” A bolt of new lightning struck my chest.
I was hit by it and was forced to flip backwards, landing face-flat.
Then, another one slashed my back, which made my already miserable body worse.
Finally, it stopped…
“Puff!” I spat out a big lump of blood and lost any strength to even raise my head. My eyelids became extremely heavy. I imbued all the extra strength I had to keep them open. I’d really wanted to pass out like this.
“Haha…” Tacrio was severely wounded, “Blood! BLOOD!”
I gazed at him as he slowly crawled nearer and was reminded that vampires needed loads of blood after using magic.
“Your mother melon! My blood!? Really?”
Tacrio approached me and repositioned his wounded legs and used his tongue to wetten his dry lips.
“You lose.” He faced me and pulled on my collar, “I’m the victor. I deserve to be rewarded.”