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Chapter Twenty One – Meat, Fire, Life and Friends.

After the battle the company of knights keep their way, reaching the outside of the grave area, meeting now a area made of rock covered by snow a sort of valley . They stopped for a while and there were able to find some pine trees that allowed for a bonfire. they set a camp there to rest and them proceed further through the alternative road.

People cut the wood to make small benches to sit around the fire, shared food and put it altogether so everyone would have a good meal that evening.

They all deserved.

Annalot wasn’t so happy, she was unsure of herself. She was shaken as death came to her too many times in that short time. Was that the battlefield her dad told her so much stories about? Well, for here there were heroes and she herself had her time. But the sour taste in her mouth, the wounds that were made, the pain in her body, she was tired and her body was aching. The glory of the stories were, to that girl, nothing anymore. The only thing she had now was her life and she was glad she had been able to keep it.

“Life is something that’s easy to lose right? Hard to keep, but so easy to lose.” She said.

“Why you say this Ann? Something is in your head? you can talk about how you feel.” Enrich said as he came up to the trunks that were placed around the fire and sat down. “we’ve been into this together, every single one of us.” Said Enrich. Enrich was as tired as she was, and she was as anybody was. Even a experienced knight proven in battle so many times could not help but to feel like a greenhorn once the battle was over. The gamble was too high, with every danger avoided, every blow cast, you were not just sparing like back in the castle, you were betting everything. To the knights, everything really meant life. Should their blow were deflected in a unfavorable way, and they had not time to react, it would have been taken away from them without ceremony. A cold flash followed by a warm feeling and shocking pain, then they’re gone. Life would be gone, and with that everything. Anyone can understand that situation right?

“I-it is really bugging me Enrich” she said placing her head over her hands, with her arms upon her knees. “But the feeling of something, ah how do I explain this feeling? its empty, its calm, tranquil but its so cold, its feels like it has been swallowing all my feelings, I’m afraid of my own body, like my skin is now paper and my bones crystal, that my flesh is cotton and i can crumble at any time, I sort of want to cry…” She sighs, looking straight to the fire, fixing her eyes on the dancing flame in front of her. “But even if i try to, if i force myself to, i cant make myself drop anything. Part of me says that I am supposed to be dead. I think I’m happy? Because I am alive but I am not, I am not happy at all.”

“I guess then you should try shaking that feeling a little bit.” He said, sighing at the figure of that tired girl. “We are resting for a reason, back in the battlefield I’m glad you didn’t allowed yourself time to think about anything else but your own safety.” he said, pointing to his head as he spoke “You know, This is what win a fight Ann, its not about who gets to deal more wounds to the other or who strikes first. But the true trick behind winning a fight is not getting wounded. Ah… Hitting and dealing wounds they are parts of eventualities, if you are able to stand, and not get tired, avoiding getting hit and protect yourself against whatever comes around, there will be a time when a chance will come, and that chance is what could probably determine the outcome of that fight.” He said, throwing a few punches into the air.

“hm” – Ann let out a monotonous tone, still looking to the fire.

“But to do that you need your mind as calm and your body as rested as it can be. ” He said, looking to the rising smoke. ” Morale is our most important resource.” as he made whirl motions with his wrist, trying to mimic the dance of the smoke rising up in the air. “A motivated soldier, warrior, knight, even a normal person is capable of unimaginable things when his morale is high.” he gave her a smile, but to no response, then sighed. “morale Ann, makes our dreams, wishes, reasons and hope burn together with courage, giving us strength, power, even restores our energy a to its fullest.” then there was a pause.

“Are you even listening Annalot? ” He Frowned.

“Yes I am Enrich. Why you bother so much about me? I’m fine” She said, still monotonous

He threw her a stick, it hit her in the head.

“What was that for?” She asked, clearly angry now. then she rolled her eyes, another awkward silence stood there for a moment. she went back to watch the fire and Enrich was a bit nervous about the girl’s current mood. It was dangerous, should they need to react something, she wouldn’t make it.

“Dead, if it were a blow, you would be dead right now. Did you got the point yet? I said so much garbage for only one reason Ann.” He pauses and look to the distracted girl who is looking to the fire. “I want to tell you that you shouldn’t worry about anything really, they’re but noise and will make you more and more bugged. Somehow everything will work out just fine in the end.”

“uhum.” She said, absent minded.

“Have you eaten anything? Might help you to prove yourself you are alive, and also give you some motivation to keep on going. We cant fancy ourselves the same pleasures the noble but…” He let out a laugh.

“What are you laughing at? Did someone hit your head hard?”

“Then i would be laughing no stop at this point. No, its funny because sometimes, I think that the noble and the common create so much junk and trash, so much bullshitting because they never felt like they could end at any second without ceremony or warning. I saw friends die instantly with a arrow that came from behind at least six times in my life. They were there by my side helping me out, those guys… fought by my side, laughed with me at the parties, we trained so hard… we lived, got that? Until that moment… “His expression changed quick, Like he was revisiting nostalgic memories filled with melancholy. “I was lucky, the arrow didn’t got me. I don’t blame myself, but I miss these guys. Now imagine if a noble were to live through it? Nobles indulge themselves with pleasures and complex things to keep on going, to feel their own body, soul, flesh, to feel the rush inside their own body. Should those stop coming, they become a empty shell I guess, scared of the outside, vulnerable, you know where it’ll end.” he took a piece of a nice looking beef and offered to Annalot. “So… you know, you have already felt that you could have died and should be dead. Now prove yourself you are alive, prove that there are nice things to look forward little lady. Even a piece of meat could be this thing you’re looking for. We don’t need rewards all time because, soon, soon you will understand that being alive is our reward.”

“T-thank you… thank you Enrich.” She grabbed the meat, took a bite, as she chewed the meat slowly, feeling the taste of the meat, of the salt, the small amount of blood that had been dried by the heat of the fire, making the meat even a little bit crunchy overflowed through her mouth. Her eyes watered a bit, and a smile sprouted on her mouth full of food now.
“I feel better now. Thank you Enrich.”

Chapter Twenty – Einartoff, the mountain raiser

” I think its time to use my hammer again. ” Einartoff said picking his heavy giant hammer. ” it only looks heavy, weights a plume if i have to say so. ” he throws the hammer and Enrich picks is, it was too heavy for him.

” You Kidding you fight with this? ”

” Its light to me. ” he said picking the hammer back and showing off with it, as if it was just a small mace. ” Its also a relic. ”

” Why does everybody have a fucking relic? ”

” Not everybody, most old officers have one. Its part of the king’s old treasure and by now, the old leaders who were left behind are probably making their way out of the kingdom carrying as many as they could pack. ” he smiles ” i bet we’ll hold loads of firepower! ” he looks to the horizon ” everyone! listen! ” he turns behind looking at all the soldiers ” this is our last hour, our last stand, we’ll march right in the middle of the cardinal forces and smash them at the fort, it’ll be 2 forces against one, plus a pinch. I want everyone of you boiling with energy, pick up our weapons, because this is the moment, we either win, or die. You dont have a home to go back, you cant stay here inside this kingdom, our only chances lies outside in the wild lands, and the cardinal forces are the only ones in our way. Tell me soldiers, are you going to simply die? Or are you going to put a hell of a fight and maybe break out through their lines to freedom? ”

the soldiers gathered their equipment, and stood ready, they were mostly knights.

” I already have my answer. ” Einartoff said. then quickly turned towards the cardinal armies in a running motion, hammer in hands, ready for battle. Running and screaming like it was the last thing he would do.

Annalot soon followed him, then Enrich and Ariel, and the rest of the company, Stories tell that their numbers were a total of 174 knights, all graduated and experienced in battle. A small force, yet, with power enough to shake the ground.

During the advance Einartoff was always in the vanguard, in fact leading the vanguard, he was of course the most important, but once they sighted enemies forces, Einartoff screamed to his forces, ” stay back, just watch this ”

” Let me hold in my hands the tower of the sky, and be the weight of the blue infinity above the very weapon in my hands! ” The hammer glows golden ” And the starts that empower the aeons, turn the lanes and swirls, the very mystical dance of the universe into my impact! ” he jumps ” AWAKEN! MOUNTAIN RAISER! ” as he lands in the ground and the head of the hammer hits the ground a enormous shock wave is felt by everyone  around, from it a huge trail of stones go spreading through the floor directly into the army of the cardinal, upon reaching there Einartoff picks up his hammer and slams the base of the shaft on the ground as a staff, he screams ” ELDER THAN THE ELDERS, I ORDER YOU, FOR MY POWER IS THE ONE TO MAKE YOU BEND AT MY COMMAND! AWAKEN CHASM! ” the ground opened in a huge chasm, siege weaponry fell in as many unaware soldiers, the despair hit the enemies forces as some tried to turn around to see what was going on. Then Einartoff took his hammer and started to run towards them, everyone else behind him followed him into the fray, heroically he jumped inside the enemy ranks, as he landed, standing in only one leg he used momentum to spin the head of his hammer on all his enemies each slammed one simple flew far.

” WE ARE UNDER FIRE! ” one of the knights spotted as he saw a arrow volley rising in the horizon.

” BEND AGAIN UNBREAKABLE LORD, RISE MOUNTAIN! ” and from the same chasm a mountain rose up to the skies deflecting the arrows and hitting many of the enemy from bellow sending them flying to their demise.

The captain’s hammer was unstoppable.

But so was Annalot’s spear once she was joining the battle she quickly pleaded to the spear. ” Aid me again, please. ” she whispered.

” So be it ” the voice echoed in her head and again, the girl was possessed by the power of the spear, Her eyes bright red again and the gust of shining wind back again. She leaped, and started doing the same thing, masterfully wielding her spear as a graceful dancer, untouchable, deflecting blows and counterattacking before even the next second, swiftly disarming and making her way inside, two huge openings on the rear of the cardinal forces were carved and the knights were high on morale, each of them who peered inside and made it into the fray had hands heavy with energy and faith, heavy blows, swift feet, hope filling their lungs as their war cries rose up to the skies. Enrich peered inside with the Ariel who quickly made her famous relic work. ” One person, a single light, Many shadows. ” then from her quite a number of phantoms who just looked like her were made. they acted as shields for the knights. and thanks to the 3 powers of the relics, the advance was mighty and almost a miracle, as if the cardinal forces were butter and they were a really hot knife.

The cardinal forces were totally sliced in the middle.after fifteen minutes of fray. The forces with Annalot had pierced through, and as the knights poured out of the cardinal forces who took quite a blow, Einartoff was standing in the other side of the crossing making sure they were leaving, ” now let me put just the nail in the coffin for these traitors. ” he took the hammer with both hands and gripped it strongly.

” Oh unbreakable lord, hear my cry, come to my aid, for you are mighty, BE MY HAMMER! ” and with that he let a swing, from his swing the ground simply shattered and boulders rose in from of him sharp like the blade of a axe, by hitting each with his hammer, they simply flew as swift as the newly shot arrow by the best archer, slashing, crippling, beheading everything on its wake, at his side was Annalot, keeping the passage open protecting Ariel who was shielding the knights with her phantoms. Once all soldiers were on the other side she started to withdraw with Ariel to the other side as well, but by now the cardinal forces had no morale and most soldiers were terrified.

” Come, lets run away. ” said Einartoff

” But we got this one! ” said Annalot

” This battle is not ours, they lost already, their spirits are broken. We still have one milestone to acquire before i can say we are safe; ”

” What is it? ”

” Pass beyond the border. That is going to be easy but we still need to deliver it. ”

” Not a problem. ” they ran, as the cardinal forces simply stopped there lost and shocked. Badly damaged, the siege either wasted or completely destroyed.

Chapter Nineteen – Invisible Forces

” And how are we supposed to do so, Ariel? ”

” This sword of mine is a like your spear Annalot, its a Relic. ”

” oh, i… ”

The ground started to shake, and the impossible was made possible. In the horizon the tall towers of siege could be seen, catapults and a wide line of soldiers, the siege weapons could not climb that mountain, but somehow they made it there. and with haste, and no warnigns, the battle had begun.
the flaming stones crossing the sky were a ominous sight, as they tried to hit the walls of the fortress, they could feel the rustle inside, and soon Enrich spoke:

” No use stand here, we should regroup. ”

The Advance keep on going, but when they could see the banners waving in the sky, something was wrong. Those banners were from the cardinal’s orders, none of them were from the king. The siege weapons were under the king’s orders and no one could send them out, even more, the orders under the cardinal’s hands had no authority to handle those.

” Something is at play. ” Said Enrich. ” This scene shouldnt be happening, were are the banners of the king, i only see the orders from the cardinal but none from the king’s side. ”

” Should we ask? ” Annalot asked

” Nay, if we do, we would be murdered, if they were really going to send such advance force we could have crushed the forces inside the fortress like ants. this stinks more than cattle. ”

” what do you mean with that Enrich? ”

” What do i mean Annalot? I dont even know to be sincere, im just telling you, something is not right. first where are the king’s forces? Remember there were only banners from the king deployed? the cardinal was yet to deploy any of the forces under his hands, not a single order from his were sent since the very begging. Now we are seeing even siege weapons. do you know that siege weaponry cant be sent here? unless someone make some type of contraption to elevate them here. still only the king’s orders can move those around. ”

” Better not stick around, judging by the size of the boulders, there are some trebuchet settled nearby, and those do tend to miss the target. ” Ariel says, looking around. ” we better get out of the line of fire, and try sneaking back to the encampment. ”

” Bad idea Ariel. ” says Enrich

” do tell Enrich, why? ”

” If something is on play, they would kill us. ”

” and what if not? ”

” … well… ”

” see? if we stay we die, if we go, theres a chance we die or not. ”

” I preffer to risk. ” Says Annalot.

” Do you really? ” Enrich raises a eyebrow, lifting his hand up to the head height.

” I risked until now, i am yet to die, my injury may be severe, but well, i have this spear in hand so i am not really down, yet. ”

” Fine, you two, majority wins. The shit, i cant believe im doing this. ”

They went through the flanks of the current siege forces, unexplored by the enemies, probably because of their thinned numbers. The Battle was raging for quite a long time and, from the scenery, it was already determined who was going to win.
Annalot, Enrich and Ariel keep low profile on the way back, even with the advances of the cardinal forces, small skirmishes were seen by them on their way back, they avoided being seen at all costs. with haste it took much less time to get back to the encampment. Annalot commented on the way back, that she was feeling some force into play here too, it would take at least a day or two to get to were they were on foot.

Upon getting back to the encampment, the scene was terrible. Cardinal forces were fighting King’s forces, a total bloodbath was going on.

” Hush! ” said Enrich, ” Get down you fools, dammit, this place. i knew something was on play. ”

Annalot started to go deaf, the scene just burned in her eyes, while she was laying down in the ground, seeing all that happening, she heard a voice saying.

” let me guide your blade. ”

The voice sounded like the voice of many people together. and the sound echoed hard, clashing with each little corner of her head. always saying the same phrase, in the same tune. let me guide your blade, over and over again. The girl only keep her eyes looking the battle, as it slowly went in slow motion itself. The voice never stopping, until she saw someone spotting their place.
The voice then screamed in her mind ” Let me guide your blade! ”

the girl closed her eyes.

the sound slowly started to return to her.

a chill went down her spine.

it took a second only.

she then draw a breath, thinking ” This may be my last breath. ”

she took the spear, stood up and yelled:

” Then guide my steel to victory! ”

a burst of light emerged from her spear, and with a ghostly voice, words came from annalot’s mouth.

” THEE WHO SHALL STAND AGAINST ME, TALLER YOU ARE NOT THAN MY RAGE, I MAKE MY SPEAR THE SHAFT OF MY BANNER, THY BLOOD THE PAINT OF MY BANNER, AND THY FLESH, THE FABRIC I SHALL DRAW MY STORY.
THE BLACK TITANS OF THE LAST DAYS SHALL NOT ARISE
THE THREAT SHALL FALL BEFORE MY STAND
WHILE I GUIDE THIS BODY TO VICTORY, THE SOUL WITHIN WILL JUDGE WHO FAILS AND WHO DOESN’T. ”

Annalot’s eyes became bright red, and she was enveloped by a gust of shining wind, swift as the wind, she dashed with might direct to the soldier who spotted her, yes, her friends were spotted as well, but seeing something weird was going on, they just jumped into the fray as the girl rose to battle.

in a second Annalot closed the gap, sliced the soldier in three huge chunks of meat and advanced to the next, followed by her Ariel summoned the strength of her relic to make illusions of her, Enrich ensured no one would attack by the flanks or by the rear.

Each swirling motion Annalot drew with her spear was rich in elegance. her archs were perfect, her circles masterwork. Blood spit by her were like perfect pieces of art. no one had enough time to react her advances, soon she had fall more than a dozen warriors and mercenaries.

minutes of slaughter passed by, the time all the forces from the cardinal were just piles of bodies scattered on the ground, Annalot simply let of the spear. The spear fell blunt on the ground making a loud metallic sound, the wind around her dissipated, her eyes came back to normal, but instead of passing away, she just stood there, with a determinate face. She was conscious the entire episode.

” The spear. ” She said. ” Its alive, i dont know how is it, but it is alive. ”

Ariel approached her and said:

” Annalot, this spear is, as i told you, a relic. Its an ancient weapon used by the legendary gods themselves. supposedly, according to the myth of the last days, those were made and used only to fight the threat of those days. The Black Angels. These weapons people nowdays call simply Relic have great power, beyond our understanding, they use something we can not anymore, magic itself. It fuels the power inside the weapons. What happened to you might be some kind of mechanism, triggered by chance. Everything about these weapons happen by chance. No one really knows how to trigger anything until it triggers itself. And this is what we know so far about those weapons. ”

” we still have a battle to fight though… ” Said Enrich, taking the dust out.

” well, we do have a force gathered here. what do you think? ”

Soon a man in heavy armor came walking slowly, a sword sheathed, his helm upon his head, he seemed to be a veteran, face marked by scars and bruised by the battle, he looked to be as old as a man in his 40.

” Pardon me, and thanks for coming to our aid… ” he soon recognized Ariel and Enrich. ” Oh goddess you two ARE alive! i cant believe it! ”

” General Einartoff! ” Ariel and Enrich said at same time saluting him in oficial fashion, he too responded in the same way. then picked from here

” the performance of this little missy in the battlefield here was amazing, surely work of a master, she ended the fight in just a bunch of minutes. who is she? ”

” Ah, her name is Annalot, just joined the ranks, though it was not her feat the defeat of our enemies, she is quite skilled indeed. ”

” You are going to tell me, ” Einartoff said. ” It was her spear work? ”

” Precisely sir. ”

” I can buy that. now i have a question for her, im sorry for the rush, i truly am, but we have dire news, one, our king has been murdered, judging by what is going on you already know who did it. and second, there are more coming after us, looks like we dont have a capital to go back to anymore. ” he stopped, looked to Annalot and started with the brief set of questions: ” Girl, my first question is, can you do what you just did again? ”

” I believe i can. ”

” Will it harm your allies? is there a chance? ”

” No sir, there is no chance that will happen, the spear only fights if i intend it to, and it will only fall the ones i judge unworthy. ”

” i see… perhaps, with the number we have, and the knights we have specially, perhaps we have a chance of escaping this alive. ”

” were are we going then sir? ” Said enrich.

” Retreat to our last resort. To our kingdom, the crown is not the jewel, or the one who governs the land, neither is it blood. It is the fire that burns within the unit. Our kingdom is a kingdom of knights, found for knights, governed by knights, for knights. every single person in our kingdom is knight blood if you trail their family down. Murdering the king is not enough, as longs as royal knights stand alive. that is why, since the first lineage of kings, we had a fall back plan, retreat to the Rising Ashes Fort. “

you might not know, and there are too few things here for you to notice, but, most stories i wrote are connected in a web os universes, i call it simply Bridge, i dont know exactly why but, well… enough, here goes the serious shit, Enjoy:

some serious shit yo.

click to see it better.

Chapter Eighteen – Tears

It was the shortest nap a person could have, followed by a painful way of waking up. Enrich slapped Ann’s face hard, she screamed and started shouting:
” Hey, what was that for? Can’t you see im wounded here? Monster. ” she made an angry face now. yet, Enrich slapped her twice again.
” Ouch! Are you trying to pick a fight or… ” enrich interrupted ” Shut up, the first one was for waking you up, the second was for lying to everyone about who you are, the third was because you called me a monster. ”
” Still, it hurts couldnt you… wait. You’re lying about… ” Annalot said, a bit afraid and panicking.
” What? ”
” It cant be… who told you about that? ” her eyes were starting to water.
” Ariel did, but she didnt said your name. Now, what is your true name? ” Even his teeth were at sight, rage was building fast inside his heart. And he was shouting louder by the second.
Annalot remained silent, shocked.
” Answer me! ” Enrich ordered her
” I is… it is… ” it was not just shock, she thought of death once they discovered her.
” Spill it out! ” he slapped her again
” Annalot. ” and the girl fell in tears.
” Stop crying, stop it now or i’ll slap you again. ”
she said, still crying ” Aw, come on, you have slapped me already four times in a row, give me a… ”
Another slap
” Hey, come on! stop it! ” almost bursting tears out.
” Cant you see im angry? I worried about someone who wasnt real, you could have told it at least to me earlier. We were friends already and you did not believed me? How can you be part of this all, not being able to trust even a close friend of yours!? ” and he finally dropped a tear too.
” But… wouldnt you tell the… ”
” And get my freaking friend killed? Who the hell do you think i am? What the hell do you think being loyal means? What the hell do you think being a knight is anyways Annalot! ”
” I… i dont know. ”
another slap.
” Give me a break Enrich, im crying! ”
” Im crying as well, you spoiled princess. ”
” I cant see your tears! ” she bursted in tears.
He also bursted, but also with rage on his face.
” Can you see them now!? ”
” All right kids, enough with the soap drama. ” walking slowly with her hands on her hips, came Ariel.
” The hell are you doing here Ariel? ” Enrich was sobbing with a face as a angry wolf.
” Isnt this a relic, Annalot? ”
” Yes, it is. ” she was still sobbing.
” We have enough firepower to take that fortress down. ”
” What!? ” both exclaimed together, making Ariel Laugh.
” How do you two think a medic alone took so many well armed officials inside an infirmary? I might have skills but, come on, it was a surprise attack. Oh well… nevermind, we are going to make a wide opening to our army, just the 3 of us. “

Chapter seventeen – The Hunt for Hunters

While Enrich was still on bed, Annalot, was out with Vincent’s squad. She meet battle through the day many times, and it was as if she was at home. It was true that she left unarmed, but that haven’t stopped her. one of the strengths of her lied in counter-disarming fight.
counter-disarming is a simple, but deadly technique, once started, one must die. and annalot knew it. She had no choice,  the kingdom’s swords were too heavy, and there were no spears left in the armory at the camps. Counter-disarming relies in having the user disarmed trying to disarm a foe, and consequently killing it with a fatal blow, as it doesnt requires strength, but precision and speed, its the perfect technique for her to use.
it was starting to get cold, and the lights were starting to flicker as if newborns. the squad were preparing to leave the place going straight to the fortress, Vincent was trying to take the fortress by sneaking in and creating a opening to a strike.
Annalot was silent all the time, she didnt said a word since she left, nothing to say to the soldiers, yet, maybe her voice could rise suspicion, she was doing pretty well, her scores were above everyone’s. She was wielding a  Fhojrdine sword, light, but blunt and frail as nothing else. It never was a bother thought, the counter disarming technique was her main weapon now.
as soon as the sun started to set, Vincent’s squad started to move on their sneaky mission, if they were seen, duty was to kill whoever saw their advances. a hour of fast paced walk and the knights were surprised by a light passing through’em, none was harmed.
” just what was that? ” Vincent said.
the light passed once again this time taking the life of two knights with a single blow.
” i am not my auntie, i wont spare any lives if i can. ” a young feminine voice echoed through the place
” a living spear? ”
” isnt it magic? ” one of the knights said.
Annalot’s eyes were fixed in the darkness, something echoed on her head, ” dive or die. ”
she dived and shout ” to the floor. ”
” what the… ” as vincent finished the sentence, the spear passed right above his head.
” lucky guys… ” said the voice ” still i can take all of you now. ”
again, the voice inside annalot’s head said, ” roll to the left. ” she screamed the same, but it was too late, another knight was taken, his head ripped off by the spear.
” i cant believe, we’re all gonna die like dogs here. ” Vincent said, but as soon as he finished the sentence, he saw someone walking in the dark.
” you! ” he shout
in a blink, the spear crossed his throat, and there he lied. Annalot being the only one alive, she looked desperately to all sides, whispering  to herself  ” i cant die now. ” repeatedly
the young voice approached, it was a young girl as old as annalot was, she was wielding a beautiful spear. and as she approached annalot said.
” murdered my companions, without the single sight of  mercy, took coward opening of them and took their lives as if they were just pigs… ”
” or dogs… ” the other girl said, with a twisted smile, at that moment Annalot felt death’s hand on her shoulder, for the second time in her life. ” dont worry, im not going to kill you that fast, i can see the fear in your eyes, breath, words, and even in your stance, i’d like to play with that, a bit more. ”
Annalot were looking attentions to the lady in front of her, as soon as she saw the spear she realized one thing, it wasnt resting on her hand, instead, the girl was leaning on her spear, as if the spear were holding her. the spear wasnt shoved on the ground nor could it, for the ground was too rocky for that.
” shall we dance a bit knight? ”
” come. ” said annalot trying to shake the shock out of her head, little time she had, and a full arc was drawn at her neck, automatically making Annalot  jump backwards, no mercy, the next attack was a second full arc, and the following ones, as if the girl was really dancing with the spear on hands. with each arc, she danced spinning gracefully, Annalot was kind of jealous, but there was no time for that.
” here goes a true strike. ” the girl said
as fast as annalot could, she picked a sword from one of the deceased mans on her squad and held it, it was too heavy to be held overhead, so she crouched and hide behind the blade, the spear his the steel and the girl took a little recoil.
not half a second lasted until annalot ran to her, a burst as fast as she never performed, she managed to close the distance in time. She tried to land a fist into the girl’s eyes, but was deflected by a slap on her hand, the girl took the opening and tried to create a gap, but annalot held her by her waist, both went to the ground, they rolled, and annalot ended on the top, she grabbed the girl’s head and smacked on the ground twice, the girl let a loud cry, and lost the grip of her spear.
something started on Annalot’s head, something was telling her that, the spear never needed a hand to deal damage. it was commanded by voice, and annalot suddenly realized that, it created a gap, and the girl chanted something that annalot couldnt hear, soon, a vision popped in her mind, she fast as a blink rolled left and as soon as she made it, the spear passed right beside her, she then pressed her body to the ground, and the spear drew a horizontal arc aiming her, she avoided it, she rolled sideways again and the spear tried to hit her trice now the other girl called the spear back.
she was with blood all over her head, a serious wound, but she would not give up. neither would Annalot.
the spear was launched, it flew right in Annalot’s direction, Annalot risked and dived towards the spear, hitting the floor before it could hit her, she rolled forward and started to run towards the girl, picking a short sword on the ground, she could feel the adrenaline in her blood, her heart was beating inside her as never before, the blood rushing, the smell of the air, the stimulating cold brushing her hair and scathing her face, she started to scream, no, to shout, as a feral beast seizing her prey.
the spear flew, annalot dodged taking just a bruise, a bruise that she could not feel. nothing could stop her now, the spear was flying again, tried to take her legs but she just sidestepped and made a graceful spin, when the girl saw Ann’s smile, she ordered the spear to make a arc, annalot just rolled forward. nothing could stop her now.
” stop. ” said the girl
annalot was still running, dodging the spear, taking bruises, rolling on the floor, being wounded but nothing could ever stop her.
” stop… ” the girl was frigthened. ” im the hunter here, so stop. ”
Annalot’s loud scream was getting even louder and threatening, even the crystal trees were shaking with it, just a few steeps now.
” stop… ” the girl started to shake ” stop now! ”
she ordered the spear to fly to annalot’s leg, it lasted a fraction of seconds.
“”Stop now…  ”
but she didnt stopped, instead, when the girl screamed ” Stop you monster! ” annalot’s sword slashed her head off. and as retaliation, her leg was pierced by the spear.
a few seconds after, she felt the pain, it was excruciating. such a pain could not be supported by anyone, but she did, and keep her consciousnesses.
” damn! ” she said ” i must take this spear… ” she used all her strength and took the spear out, letting out a loud scream of pain, not a common pain, but a victorious pain.
she took some cloth out of her dead companion’s and a medicine prepared for these causalities, rubbed it against her wound and wrapped it tight with the cloth.
” now… i guess i’ll lay here for a while… until i… until i can walk again. ” the drowsiness suddenly took her, as she heard someone familiar shouting her name.
” Russel! ”
” who is russel? ” she wispered ” is he a dead soldier? well go away, hes not… ” she yawed ” here, i guess. ”
” oh my Russel are you alright, boy this… ”
” go away i want to sleep. ” and so she did.

Echo 2

it was night, and the clouds were nowhere to be seen. the moon was high shining over our heads. and we, lined up, over at the hill’s top. it was supposed to be the last battle of occupation, and we were sure of our victory. winning this, would mean bringing victory and a new land to our kingdom.
i was anxious,  my friends were, all soldiers were. you could feel our euphoria from far.
we went down, we ran as fast as we could to the place we were meant to meet our enemy, and fight our victory out.
but just as we were going to, something happened.
now im probably paying for what i did, now that im seeing these white wide fields of flowers, i think, I am dead.
” so you have come. ”
now im more sure than anything that i AM dead. my best friend and companion, Krinn is talking to me, Krinn was killed by me, when i suffered a accident, leaving his family behind.
” snap out of that enrich, i have things to tell you. ”
” like, hello again, enjoy the afterlife? ”
” … enrich, you have important things to do, you have a precious role in a scheme bigger than you can imagine. ”
” scheme? what the hell are you talking about? ”
” enrich, you must stay sharp, and act carefully, every step must be watched, you hear? ”
” why? im dead.  ”
” you’re not dead yet, you’re still alive. ”
” so why i am here? why are you here? ”
” this is not afterlife enrich, this is just the temple of your mind, its a place inside yourself. where you go when you sleep. ”
” so i am sleeping? ”
” somewhat, you’re knocked out from your last battle. ”
” … how did i managed out with that wound? i mean, there was a hole burned through me, not cut, burned. ”
” and you ask me? from all people? i was a knight, not a medic. ”
” … its hard to believe. ”
” you will see, so, as for what im here to tell you, simple, you need to do your best from now on. the omens of our blackest days are just starting enrich. just starting. ”
” why are you telling me? ”
” because you, and many other people have a role on this big scheme, you will know there people, when the time comes, but, you’re not supposed to tell. ”
” why not? ”
” the master piece, the key to the scheme is another person. someone you dont know yet. ”
” why are you telling me all those things? ”
” because you cant get killed enrich, its not your time yet. we need all of our pieces in the board, or we’re just sitting ducks. ”
” you just want me to stay alive? ”
” precisely. ”
” not a hard task. ”
” and, Enrich. ” Krinn said with a heavy face ” do not call mother earth again in two years. ”
” why? ”
” just do it. i cant give you much information, im a messenger,  im not the one who plotted this scenario. ”
” uh… Krinn, we’ll meet again? ”
” maybe my friend. ”
” im sorry. ”
” for what? ”
” your wife and daughter. ”
” my wife might not be alright, but, my daughter, she makes me proud every little day. ”
” she was so cute back’em. how old is she? ”
” fifteen, maybe? im not used to this line of time anymore, a year to me passes so fast now… ”
” eternity effect? ”
” no, its just that, afterlife is so much fun… one day you will taste it. ”
” im not looking foward to. ”
” you shouldnt either, anyway. Enrich, its time for you to wake up. ”
” ah… see you Krinn. ”
” see you Enrich. ”
and, with that, i opened my eyes. i saw a blinding light then, i saw a nurse.

” so you’re awake? ”
” yes i am… ” said enrich with a bored face. ” how did i survived? ”
” your wounds were half healed when that recruit found you. ”
” recruit? who? ”
” Russel i guess. ”
” that boy is alive? oh heavens! ” said enrich with a still bored face. ” did he brought any spear with him? ”
” no, he wasnt even with a weapon to begin with, just a bow, and he said that it was a trophy for our army. ”
” did he headed to the battlefield alone? ”
” Vicent was assigned to take care of him. ”
” from all people, that nihilist? Russell is going to die like a dog out there. ” said enrich looking around still laying on the bed.
” its not true. ”
” its so true, just you wait. “

Chapter sixteen  – The First Relic, Shooting Star.

While Annalot was still given by lost, Enrich didnt had enough time to take a rest. with Apari being dead, and the Fhojrd front advancing in the field, the royal force had to strike back. The Remaining force had to press on, in order to keep control over the areas they had already taken. just one thing was out of place, some knights reported being wounded by a some kind of homing beacon, while others told of being hurt by some kind of hot cutting edge wind. this wasnt normal as all of the wounded who reported were clearly showing wounds made by some kind of heat, not like pure fire, they were all wounded like a cut from a hot blade. None ever reported of seeing the source of such thing on the battlefield.
Enrich went straight to the defense force with his men to face the Fhojrd front, the information given was that it was a fight on a plain, the only cover were the crystal trees, no grass, only rocks, snow, and the crystal trees. the visibility was fair, but there were still areas where you couldnt see a thing.
” this is it, right? we are going to the battlefield to face not just angry barbarians with heavy weapons and crazy battle style but we are facing some kind of… burning flying light… thing. have your eyes wide open all time, stay sharp, follow your lines, find a role into the battlefield and stick to it to the end. its a easy and should be fast defense mission. just push the ojrds back and its all right to us. Gotta? ” Enrich spoke as fast as he could to his men. and in unison, every one of them answered positively.
” we have about 8 hours before the sun rises. we can still fight while its dark. but after the sunrise, all the light coming from the trees will fade, and darkness will reign. judging by the earlier reports, we dont stand a chance in the dark. ”
Enrich’s forces went on the battlefield, standing strong and pushing the enemy back. Enrich was still worried about Russel’s state,  he fought mighty through the hours that lasted the soldier’s stand, but then, when the enemy army was going back, a blinding light flew through the soldiers ranks, leaving many wounded.
Enrich though, did not let this unbalance his faith on the army, he gathered all the courage he had and started to trace, madly, the way that the light made through the soldiers. two, four, eight, twelve and more soldiers fell for the Red Beast’s fists,  Enrich keep on tracing its path, and the light flew many times again, leaving many soldiers wounded and killing other many of them.
After a while tracing the light’s path, Enrich found a lady, clad in elegant armor and wielding a fancy yet beautiful spear.  he dashed in direction of the lady, something was telling Enrich that, the source of the blinding light was this lady’s spear. The moment Enrich tried to close distance, the lady swigged the spear, and Enrich stepped back.
” Shooting star crossing the sky… ” the lady said, as she pronounced every sound, the blade of the spear started to shine. ” … beautiful light from up high … ” after pronouncing this phrase the lady struck the spear forward on the air, and the spear let out a blinding line of light fly.
” what the… ” said Enrich ” thats impossible, its sorcery! no human can make sorcery. ”
” what do you know about sorcery anyway? you probably know nothing. ” said the lady, ” if you knew you would know that some humans can perform magic. ”
” no human can perform magic. every little person in this world knows this. ”
” again, you know nothing! ” the lady dashed forward trying to hit enrich with a spear swing, but the Red Beast knight crouched and then dashed closing distance on the lady, he landed two punches on her ribs but she kicked him back.
” so, lets make this straight, you are the commandant of those soldiers are you not? ” Enrich asked.
” what if i am. ”
” ahem… let me present myself. I am Lieutenant Enrich the Red Beast, from the fifth order of the king Ermenas. ”
” such long presentation, very well, i am Atkasha, Leader of the Howling Wolf tropes, what do you want from he Lieutenant? ”
” lets make this fast, we will face each other right now, the winner takes over this field, the loser retreats his forces back to the base. ”
” can i trust your word? ”
” can i trust your acceptance? ”
“… very clever of you Lieutenant. ”
” so,shall we? ”
” let the battle begin. ”
The Two took distance, as soon as they faced each other the battle began.
Enrich dashed with all strength towards Atkasha, who swigged her spear as fast and strong as she could, Enrich just tumbled and rolled forward avoiding the swing, he landed again two punches on Atkasha’s ribs, she then, punched Enrich’s faces with one of the hands, Enrich stood back, the lady then murmured fastly some words and the spear started to glow.
” already going to try sorcery? ”
” not yet, knight. ”
the lady then dashed, enrich used the back of his hand to hit the spear taking it out of course, then he turned around and tried landing a kick, Atkasha rolled sideways and swinged her spear once again. Enrich parried the swing with his gauntlets, and tried to hit a side kick, Atkasha jumped back and dashed forward trying to impale Enrich, who jumped back avoiding the truck.
” you’re good, lady. ”
” you are not so bad too, lieutenant… ” Atkasha sighed. ” but i see that our ability is equal, none of us can win easly. ”
” you’re right… ”
” thats why i am going to lean on the Relic’s power.”
” Relic!? ”
” this spear, its an ancient relic from the time of the gods, the gods had many weapons back then, and they used it to fight great evil, they are all dead now, but their weapons live on, and live in the hands of man. they have special powers, that are actived by reciting poems. ”
” what the… ”
” face now, Lieutenant. the power of the Shooting Star! ” the spear started to glow again. ” Shoot, light from the firmament. Shoot, star of  high above. ”
Atkasha swigged again her spear, but now, a blade of shining light flew from it, Enrich was stunned, and was hit. breathing heavily Enrich stood up
” do you really… ” but Atkasha did not let he finish
” Silence! Kingdom’s Dog! ” Atkasha shout and swigged her spear again, and another blade light flew from her spear, enrich tumbled and rolled forward dodging the spear. Enrich kept on rolling until getting some safe distance while Atkasha made a fast spin in order to face enrich who was already in position.
” so… ” said Enrich
” you’re pretty good, even tought im using the spells you’re still able to dodge, im afraid you can even deal some damage, if you get some motivation. ”
” im not going to lose here, i refuse to let the army step back with me here. ”
” you’re pretty confident. ”
” besides… ” said enrich ” im just getting started. ”
after, enrich dashed like a red bolt down directly to atkashas, with blinding speed, she couldnt match the knight’s speed who landed a fast wave of  punches at her belly, so fast that the eye barely could see the hands actually landing. Atkasha lost the grip of the spear and tried to fall back in order to avoid Enriche’s punches.
” whats the matter? giving up alrea… wait what are you… no… ”
” as the life responds to light, thee, my spear, shall to my command respond. ”
the spear started dancing on the battlefield by itself, enrich never saw such a thing, no knight, no living being have ever watched such a scene, a spear dancing, alone, in the battlefield as if alive.
” what the… ”
” ymlaen! ” said Atkasha, and the spear flew towards enrich. swift as he could he fastly dodged the spear
” dychwelyd! ” and the spear made the movement back, passing through Enrich, who dodged the spear and going to Atkasha, then the spear stood there, floating without touching Atkasha’s Hand.
” what the… just what the hell was it? ” shout Enrich in indignation, ” This was not, how many tricks does this spear can do? ”
” about 5, you just saw about 3, Empower, Magical Wave and this one called Gorchymyn. in your language equivalent to Command. ”
” Come on, stop using these tricks! Fight fairly! ”
” what a crybaby, did you forgot? its war, there is no unfair. ” said Atkasha. ” Seren Wib! awr ymlaen! ” and the spear flew directly towards Enrich. Enrich dodged by making a quick steep to the side
” Chwith! ” and the spear striked to the left where enrich was. he managed to dodge by making another quick steep backwards
” Cynnydd! ” the spear rose into the air ” Troelli. ” said atkasha, and immediately the spear went down in a spinning motion, resembling a full sword swing, but instead of only a half arc, making a full arc. Enrich barelly dodged the attack, defending himself from the tip of the spear raising his gauntlets.
” Troelli yn dal i ” the spear keep on spinning and hitting harder and harder with each spin, Enrich’s deep breath could be felt. Atkasha was on the lead now. ” atal! ” said her, and the spear stopped, Enrich told that she was giving her a break, but it was everything but a break. ” streic galetach! ” the spear then started to make bashing movements as if trying to hit enrich, everything he could do was dance along, Atkasha was playing with him making he keep distance.
” streic gyflymach! ” and with that the spear made its pace faster with each strike, Enrich was starting to wear out. he was probably about to give up, then.
” mháthair, a thabhairt dom neart! ” a loud sound come from the ground, and, then, dust from all sides, a metallic sound could be heard. their battleground was covered in dust.
” wha… i tought you didnt had any tricks, what is it? some kind of smoke bomb or…”
” Wrong! this, is the power who made me kill my entire army against my will! ”
” no… you could be… ”
” im a survivor of Mother Earth’s rage against humans, and i can mimic Berserker! ” then Enrich dashed as a lighting bolt
” gard! ” said Atkasha, and the spear flew to her side as fast as enrich, and deflected his hit Atkasha didnt lose any time and fastly orndened ” ymlaen! ”
Enrich simple side steeped and rushed to Atkasha, she then ordened the spear to return. the spear flew as fast as it could, but the distance between Enrich and her was just too small.
Enrich took Atkasha by the neck and said.
” its over Atkasha, I won. ”
” no you didnt yet, gwthiad galed! ” the spear accelerated in the middle of the air so fast, that it couldt be seen. in a blink of the eye, there was nothing on enrich’s body, then, a hole was burnt, not pierced, burnt through him. and the spear was now, floating above Atkasha.
Enrich’s eyes started to glow red.
” damned witch… ” he said ” damned witch! ” shouting he said, putting even more strength around her neck, despite the pain, he only tightening his hand around her neck.
” stop… or you’ll wi… will. ”
” damn you accursed witch! ” he shouted out and tightened his hand around her neck so much, that her head just popped out, leaving the white snow of their battlefield red. and afterwards, making her spear fall.
” i hope, i can see you in the depths of the accursed land, i’ll be sure to give you some proper treatment there, you… can… count on… that. ” said him breathing heavily and laying on the ground. as the last sound, was the sound of the metal spear falling down on the ground. lifeless, as it should be.

Chapter Fifteen – The Woman and the Girl

Annalot went right through  the opposite patch, seeking what she judged be the sniper who killed her former leader Apari. she knew that it could be just a mistake, and that she was putting her life on the line probably for nothing. it was useless to try to stop her by the way, since her childhood annalot was stubborn as a mule. her heart was apprehensive, beating hard but slowly, her hands were shaking sightly, even with all the odds being against her, she stood firmly, as a proud knight. for every thought of turning back that she had, she would walk twice as fast forward. she was decided, and nobody would change her decision, even her heart and mind couldnt make she turn away and follow the knights. she wanted to take her revenge.
the patch would end on a kind of ramp, with corners just like the regular climbing of the mountain, but this ramp was shorter, and was way rockier than the last one. the girl clad in armor went swiftly by the first two rows of ramp corridors, but when at the corner of the third one, a arrow flew by, she dodged it easily, and as soon as she tried to go again through the corner, another arrow flew. the sniper wouldnt let her pass. not without a nice arrow stuck right between the eyes
” i know what you seek, dirty dog. ”
annalot remained silent clinging to the back of the wall.
” do you wish to come after me? isnt it what you came to do? taking revenge on your commander, you’re just dirty as any of the other Autralies dogs. ”
yet, she remained silent pushing herself against the wall. focused on passing to the next row.
” you’re never going to take me. im going to strike my arrow on the middle of your head. ”
” will you shut your trap? this is a fight, we’re enemies, not supposed to talk to each other, cant you just understand it and be silent? ”
” this is not how battle works. ”
annalot found a rock and launched it, the sniper let the arrow fly by the time the rock hit the wall. annalot ran, as fast as she could and leaned against the wall.
” dirty tricks, just as any Autralie. just like you guys took our home. ”
” could you stop with the shit already? first of all the Australie folk doesnt even exists anymore. ”
” you cant deny what you are. and you are what your ancestors were. ”
annalot slowly approached to the other edge. she tried to pass but the sniper was sharp.
” we are fighting, all of us Fhojrds are fighting, we will be forever fighting, until we get our lands back. the lands you australies took from us. ”
annalot let out a sigh, and struck the spear forward. the sniper was fooled by the simple act, and she got confident.
” im getting there. ” she cried.
” come you army dog. ”
” hey, im not a dog… ” she replied. ” by the way, man, we didnt took your lands, you guys were away, and when the kingdom was formed, we just annexed all the lands who were astray, yours were one of them. ”
” you did it KNOWING we were away, you did it KNOWING it was ours. doesnt that makes all of you australies thieves? ”
annalot stopped for a moment.
” thieves? ” she said ” we, thieves? does that… but the history isnt told this way. its just told that we annexed all the empty lands we had around. what is wrong with it? ” she took a deep breath ” i dont understand it actually. even thought we are enemies, you said something that i cant understand at all. history tells that we just annexed all the lands who were empty. ” she cried.
” and what does empty means? does it means without owner? does it means that the land never had a previous inhabitant? think better. ”
” i got no time, we are fighting a war! ”
” just low as any other soldier. ”
” i am not just a soldier. ”
annalot tried to pass to the next row.
” oh yes you are, a dead one now. ”
she put her foot but quickly drained it back. but the sniper didnt let the arrow fly. then, she held the spear high, but far from her head.
” i can see the tip of your spear. ”
she didnt answered, she just went by, and when her spear could be seen the sniper calculated a shot, he let it fly, never realizing that, there was a gap between her head and her spear.
” die now, you soldier. ”
” there! ” she cried upon recognizing the place where the sniper was “i am not…” she gathered strength as fast as she could ” … a soldier! ” then she just launched her spear directly over him. a sound of something getting struck echoed and the sniper let out a agony cry.
she ran as fast as she could, and by getting to the bank were the sniper was, there the figure of not a man, but a woman clad in mail, with her spear struck.
” i am a knight. ” said annalot upon seeing her enemy.
the woman smiled, and let out a painful laughter.
” i see… ”
” so, you are the sniper who took Apari’s life. ”
” yes, you’re correct, i am. ”
” so, doesnt makes you a thief also? ”
” now… when you put it this way… i guess. ”
” even thought we both are thieves for each other, there is no honor in robbery. you made me think indeed, but is this war really necessary? ”
” making questions like that… ” the woman coughs ” you’re not much the warrior type are you? ”
” maybe im just trying to understand both sides now. ”
” i made you confused then? ”
” who knows… ”
” ahaha hahaha. ” the woman coughs blood, getting soaked in blood. ” listen, you must keep yourself together during a fight, there is no place for doubts. you’ve got to believe in one of the sides, and fight for them, or… ”
” yes? ”
” fight for what you believe in. ” the woman coughs again. ” well, now that you got your revenge what do you plan to do little girl? ”
” what? how do you know i… ”
” its easy for us to recognize each other isnt it? pretty little flower? ”
” oh my… ”
” it doesnt matters now… history is not written by the dead. but i have you a wish. ”
” what is it? ”
” impale me firmly on a tree, and let me die struck to it. its just my last wish. ”
” as you wish. ”
Annalot took the sniper lady to a nearby strong and tall tree, upon seeing it the woman smiled and said.
” this one is a nice pick little lady, what a lovely big tree. ”
” do i… have to follow with this? ”
” yes you do. ”
Annalot closed her eyes, and struck the lady onto the tree. she began to cry, there was no apparent reason for, but she began to cry.
” thank you little lady. ”
” why did you wanted it? ”
” thats the way thieves are executed in my culture. but… the event also asks you to take my weapon to your commander, as i have slain one of your allies. ”
” your bow? ”
” yes take it. ”
” anything else? ”
” survive this war, live and grow the most glorious knight the world ever saw. ”
” i… ” annalot said trembling.
” pro… mi… see… ” the woman cough blood ” mee… ”
annalot looked to the ground and took the woman’s bow. and after a deep breath, she said.
” i will. ”
with that she turned away and keep on running without looking behind.
” even thought this… … was bri… ef… … im glad i got slain by her… shine young lady… shine. ” and with those last words, the sniper lets her head down and dies peacefully.

The Bard Way(The Young Knight) – Red Call(Arcane Relic Red Moon chant 1/5 strong)
by: Heimgael, The Lady Death( The Young Knight Character)

Red moon, red moon.
the tallest crops,
shiver from your glare.
be them mighty
even the strongest.
crimson is their doom.
who dares to stand,
your might gaze?
who dares to face,
your horrifying glow?
whoever they are,
crimson will be their syphon.