Just like mist she disappeared, and Vath swung at empty air.
What followed that empty sensation was a feeling of pain. Pain… it was a feeling that Vath had long forgotten, and was forced to be reminded of in his fight against Freya. After dodging Vath’s attack, she had swung her blade and that wounded him.
Vath had had his fair share of battles. The weapon that his opponents used never mattered to him; the outcome was always the same. Whether or not they were imbued with magic, swords would shatter, arrows wouldn’t pierce, and mace would break against him. Being invincible against weapons was a pride that he took to heart.
However, right there above his waist on the right side, was a shallow cut that inflicted him with pain.
Seeing the blood, Vath turned around to see Freya who had slipped past him. There the swordswoman was, showing her back to him. Her head was tilted up at the sky, but her eye stared over her shoulder straight at him. Under the starlight, that amethyst eyes of hers that showed no fear or desperation irritated him.
She held her sword with her right hand beside her waist. At the end of that sword, Vath could see blood coating the very tip of the blade. His own blood.
Enraged, he took a step forward and crushed the ground as he grew closer to her.
The Cerberus trampled everything in its path with its ferocious limbs. The broken concrete road would mark the trail of destruction it had left in its wake.
Confronting the burning beast were Dunnford, Ray, and Elaine.
Ray, being the best damage dealer among them for now, was most responsible to confront the beast. He fought the beast by coating his sword with wind magic and swinging the sword with his might. Beside him was Dunnford, who supported his fight and gave instructions for him to obey.
‘To the right!’ In that situation, Dunnford didn’t bother addressing his master. Ray took no offense to it and followed his instruction.
Dunnford was the person in charge of steering where they were going: the mountain. Hence his instructions to lead the three headed hound to its right. He stepped to the beast’s left to block its path and Ray followed his lead.
Ray swung his sword to the beast’s left. It noticed the danger and immediately leaped to the right, going the path they wanted it to go to: the right. The blade might have missed, but it achieved a greater purpose. They were leading it successfully toward the mountain.
‘Dunnford!’ Elaine called him. Being someone who excelled in magic, Elaine had to take the support role by checking the path ahead with wind magic. ‘The path ahead branches into two. And there are festivals going on both roads!’
Dunnford heard her loud and clear. Festivals meant people. And if they were to lead the Cerberus through the festival, then who knew how many lives it would steal?
‘Which path has the least people?’ Dunnford asked Elaine.
‘Both are roughly the same!’
Dunnford looked at the direction of the mountain. ‘We’ll take the right then! Go ahead and clear the way!’ Elaine followed his instructions and went ahead before them. ‘Master Ray, we’re going to stall the beast here!’
‘I hear you,’ Ray said.
He swung his sword, it cut the air as it travelled to the burning beast’s limb.
Vath received a light cut above his nose. As he was charging toward Freya, she swung her sword and aimed at his eyes. Vath had seen ahead of time to consider that possibility and was able to dodge by stopping his charge short.
After the sword had gone by, Vath took a heavy step in that crushed the ground, and knowing Freya’s preference of swaying by dodging, he threw a body blow.
Again she vanished like a mist and Vath had hit empty air. He had underestimated how low she could go with her sway. As his swing missed, Vath glanced down to see the swordswoman touching the ground. She then pushed the ground and rose up, swinging her sword and causing another new shallow wound. She had made a light cut on Vath’s shoulder. Though little, more blood was spilled.
The burning beast could bleed. After facing Extinct Formulae Magic users, knowing that he could cut his opponent bring a smile to Ray's face. Though, in the end, his attack was almost as useless, since the burning beast would regenerate itself from the cut. The slash wound which was there before would immediately disappear after a few seconds.
That discouraged him, but at least he was able to cut his opponent.
‘Is the path cleared yet?’ Dunnford shouted at Elaine who was at a distance. He saw her nod. ‘Master Ray, let’s go.’
Ray went with the same strategy. To make the beast go to its right, Dunnford would block its path to the left and Ray would swing his sword to its left so it would go to the right. He had done it a few times to lead the three headed hound and so far it had been successful. However, Ray considered himself naïve to think that the beast would behave as he had expected.
The Cerberus didn’t make an attempt to dodge the slash, even when knowing that the slash would cut one of its limb. It gladly received the slash that was coated with wind magic, and lost a limb which would regenerate in a matter of minutes. It lost its front left limb, but not expecting the beast to do that, Ray was not prepared to dodge.
With the three headed hound’s ferocious right claw coming at him, Ray thought that everything was over. He wasn’t in a state to dodge. All he could do was to coat himself with wind magic and brace himself for the impact. But he doubt that that was enough to protect him.
Dunnford stepped in in front of Ray in an effort to lessen the impact of that blow. The claws hit Dunnford and he hit Ray. They both clashed and were thrown by the burning beast’s attack. In mid-air, feeling the impact from the blow; as blood coursed through his nose, he wondered how much damage he had accumulated so far.
Ray and Dunnford would have crashed to the wall of a building because of the blow. Thankfully, Elaine was quick on the uptake and brought them to a stop before crashing with her wind magic. The ordeal however, wasn’t done yet. With three limbs and a bloody regenerating limb, the Cerberus rushed at Ray and Dunnford, brazenly showing its sharp fangs.
‘You okay?’ Dunnford asked Ray without addressing him.
‘Fine,’ Ray said.
Ray followed Dunnford’s instruction without thinking twice. Ray needed some moment to recover from the impact he had received. Had he received that blow without Dunnford’s or Elaine’s interference, then it would have been over for Ray.
As he and Dunnford were running from the beast, Ray noticed that the blow had brought the both of them to the left path. The path full of people which was yet to be cleared by Elaine. That could not be good.
‘We’ll have to depend on Elaine to keep the innocents safe,’ Dunnford explained.
Ray responded with a nod. His breathing was too ragged to respond with words.
Freya’s breathing was ragged and unstable. The world in her eyes was still swirled and distorted. Darkness still crept in the peripherals of her vision. Her perception didn’t worsen, but it didn’t improve either.
There was sweat on her eyelash. In her amethyst eyes, Vath was reflected there. His clothing was tattered from all the cuts she had given to him. All of them were shallow wounds.
Vath ripped off his tattered clothe and the herculean man revealed his upper body. His massive figure was all drawn with inscriptions of Extinct Formulae Magic. In her eyes, those inscriptions shone a sinister purplish black color. A color that she had grown to hate ever since coming to Arkef.
‘The end—is at sight,’ Vath said. His words were no longer warped to Freya’s ears.
Freya was still unharmed; for she was able to dodge all of Vath’s attacks. Now, her shoulder was leaning on a wall which was still intact. Her eyes still showed no signs of giving up, even when knowing the bad situation she was finally put in. Freya looked down at her legs. She could hardly feel any sensation from them.
‘Your mind might still want to fight,’ Vath declared. ‘But your body is at its limit.
‘And your loss is decided.’
Any form of reviews or critics, kind or unkind, is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Things happens, updates Freya at least once a week at EST Saturday 19:03. (If I don't get the timezone wrong)
Oh hey, speaking of which:
Some stuff arises during the holiday, things I need to deal with.