Kahlem watches with great pleasure as the Alumni soldiers ready to strike. Arya is a formidable opponent, but he doubts she can take on the likes of twenty Alumni soldiers of this caliber. Malich’s preceptor Mekhi forms a quick fist and in lightening quick speed the soldiers encroached upon Arya as one. She parries their blows while meeting them blow for blow as they form a tight circle around her and close in.
Bright light blows them back once they got too close. Arya still stands, but blood drips from new wounds and tears in the fabric of her leathers. They made contact. Good. Malich looks down at the ground and grimaces. His gaze returns to the lone Queen and something like respect shines in his eyes.
As Kahlem takes notice, that same respect is present in the eyes of every soldier on the battlefield. The twenty Alumni soldiers move to strike as one once more and like before, the moment they get too close they’re met with bright light, only this time one of the soldiers fall. Surrounding soldiers reach out to grab him and drag him away from the fight. He’s injured but not dead.
More blood pours from Arya’s wounds, but the girl has steel will and fire in her veins. She refuses to go down and there’s a determination in her eyes. Does she really wish to kill him this badly?
Her sword clangs with that of the remaining nineteen alumni soldiers. They press and she presses back, but they’ve learned her fighting style. One soldier opens up her back and another opens up her thigh. She falls. The Queen has fallen.
Kahlem smiles, ready to celebrate when a large red dragon drops from the sky, protecting his Queen. He breathes fire at the Alumni soldiers who take cover beneath their capes. They emerge from beneath their capes unharmed with their capes still fully intact.
Turning to Malich he grins. “Fire resistant?”
Malich nods. “When the dragons disappeared from their pens I thought it would be best to protect my assets.”
Kahlem is pleased even though Malich appears to be disgusted with himself. “Smile brother,” he claps Malich on the shoulder, “Thanks to you, we may win this thing yet.”
The subliminal blow hits home. Had Malich not have had the foresight to protect his soldiers Arya would be winning right now. Malich’s position in this war is a terrible one and Kahlem enjoys watching his brother war with himself.
“No!” Arya cries out from the battlefield, pulling Kahlem’s focus away from his brother’s misery.
Several spears are suspended in air, slowly edging closer to Queen Arya and her dragon. She’s fighting against the strength of one of the Alumni and losing.
The tips of the spears are a hair away with no sign of slowing down. This is it…the Queen will finally fall and this war will be over. He’s won.
Arya screams out in pain and victory is so close Kahlem can practically taste it. “Yes!” He hisses stalking from the tent towards the battlefield with Arokin, Bevi and Malich in tow. He’s lest than twenty yards away from Arya when something grips his feet and he is unable to move. He looks down to find shadows curling around his feet.
His eyes whip back to where Arya stands fighting with the spear threatening to slice its way into her skin. A dark pool forms behind the Alumni soldiers, rising from the ground and forming into a girl around Arya’s height and build. Kahlem has never seen this girl before. She’s Darkin…and powerful.
Beside him Malich roars with laughter. Obviously he knows who this girl is and neglected to tell anyone about her. “A friend of yours?” Kahlem turns to his brother and asks.
“Never,” Malich shakes his head, “But she isa friend of yours.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Surely you remember the assassin you hired to kill the Seelie Queen,” he continues to laugh. “What you didn’t know is she’s the Queen’s sister.”
Sister?The figure cloaked in shadows begins to rip through Malich’s soldiers with ease. Arya shouts at her not to kill them and Kahlem laughs. Even facing death she remains noble. If his fate wasn’t tied to her demise perhaps they could be friends.
With her sister beside her, the two of them are like fire and ice…opposite sides of a double edge sword, both deadly. While one strikes the other defends. They too move as one against the Alumni soldiers and they have the upper hand.
In the distance, General Evander, Queen Boleyn, and General Penki have broken through the remaining Red soldiers, charging towards them. The Alumni soldiers will be outnumbered. There are too many of them. Shit.“Retreat!” Kahlem shouts, struggling to break free from the shadows holding his feet in place.
It’s no use. There’s no escape. He’s about to give up hope when suddenly he’s released. But he’s not out of danger yet. Thousands of pools of darkness surface all around him with shadowy figures emerging from their depths.
“Anan’s cock!” Malich gasps, jumping backwards away from the dark pool forming before him.
Kahlem is about to run when Audric forms before him. Perhaps this war isn’t over yet. Audric glances sidelong at Malich, turns to where the Seelie soldiers approach and smiles. “You’ve done well King Kahlem,” Audric inclines his head. “Allow me to introduce you to my master, Lord Balor.”
Kahlem never imagined Audric’s master would look so young. He doesn’t look a day over twenty cycles. He definitely didn’t expect his master to be the God of death. What could the God of death possibly want from him that he couldn’t take himself?Whatever it is, with Audric’s master on his side, victory is most certainly his.
Beside him Malich blanches and goes pale. Lord Balor shoves his jeweled hand in Kahlem’s face and waits. He can’t possibly expect Kahlem to kiss his hand, can he?
His answer comes moments later when Audric clears his throat and motions to his master’s hand. Swallowing hard, Kahlem takes Lord Balor’s hand into his own, kissing the giant ring adorning his middle finger. Satisfied with Kahlem’s obedience, Lord Balor focuses his attention on the battle. He nods to Audric who commands his Darkin soldiers to attack in a tongue he’s never heard before.
They swarm to attack and Queen Arya is the first to notice. Panicked, she yanks her sister behind her, takes a step back, and drops to one knee punching her fist into the ground before her. White light arcs out before her, disintegrating every dark soldier in its wake. The wind carries what remains away like black mist.
So much for victory…
Lord Balor narrows his eyes, not at Arya, but her sister. He heads in their direction, Audric falling into step behind him. Where Darkin soldiers fell, two more rose in their place. They too fall into step behind Lord Balor and Malich leaves Kahlem’s side to join them. His eyes are laser-focused on the death God. ns18.104.22.168da2