Under the Shadow of Night

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Chapter 22

Sparks flew with each contact. Phillia shot fire and lightning and directed shards of rock with her glaive. The angel deflected each bolt of magick and rock fragment with her spear gracefully. Realizing this would be a battle of attrition, Phillia assaulted the angel with a constant barrage of magickal attacks while still pressuring her in a melee. 

The battle stayed in tense equilibrium for several minutes, neither side gaining an advantage. The angel sent rays of golden aura towards the demon, but Phillia summoned tears of void which the beams of light streamed into and were absorbed by. Phillia then dashed towards the angel, glaive crackling with concentrated power. The angel retreated and dodged Phillia’s strikes, rather than make contact with her electrified weapon. 

But then Phillia saw orbs of light around the room. She realized her mistake and tried to retreat, but at that precise moment, the angel lifted her spear and pointed it towards Phillia.

Vitam Carcerem,” the angel directed. The orbs suddenly burst into novas of light, the rays bending towards Phillia and binding her limbs outstretched from her body, forcing her to drop her glaive.

“Well, too bad these aren’t more pleasant circumstances,” Phillia wheezed as she pulled against her restraints and glared haughtily at the angel. “You look like you could use a good fu-”

The angel roared and drove her spear into Phillia’s stomach. Then the angel spun, with Phillia on her spear, and launched her into the stone wall, from which she fell limply to the ground, still bound by the shackles of light.

“Exactly what I mean,” Phillia chided, blood pouring out her mouth, as the angel landed in front of her. “You have some serious issues.”

“Be quiet, heretic. You are finished.”

Using telekinesis, Phillia summoned her glaive and it weakly skidded toward her, but the angel stomped on her hand with an armored boot before her weapon reached her. 

“Hæll’s blood,” Phillia growled as she attempted to cast a healing spell with her gut spilling out and her hands shackled.

 

 

Illathiel put the blade of her longspear to the demon’s throat. “I’m sorry it came to this,” she said.

“Says the self-righteous angel,” the demon said.

“You left me no other choice,” Illathiel snarled, then turned as she heard footsteps at the portcullis. The demons who retreated had returned, emboldened by the weakening of both Illathiel and the succubus, too many for Illathiel to fight alone.

I must kill the prodigus, Illathiel thought to herself. A few lives for the sake of all.

Then, Illathiel pulled back her spear and whispered, “I’m sorry,” to the demon before dismissing the shackles of light as she backed toward the stairs, hoping the wounded demon would buy her enough time.

“What?” the succubus demanded as she pulled her broken body toward her weapon the best she could, her voice losing confidence as she saw the resurging attackers. 

Then, Illathiel turned away and flew up the stairs into the keep in pursuit of the boy, ignoring the sounds of flesh tearing and screams as she left.

 

 

Finnir smiles once again, wide enough to reveal a maw of fangs. “Go on,” he urges.

A comet of living stone crashes into the demons behind Finnir, and they are crushed beneath Irnok’s weight. 

In an instant, the minotaur charges Irnok and brings his axe down upon him, but the elemental catches the weapon with one hand. At the same time Finnir spins around instinctively, raising his blade to decapitate Irnok.

Knel rushes toward Finnir, but the demon corrects the spin to partially turn back around and block her swords. Rolling her blades around Finnir’s, Knel disarms him before skewering him in the chest.

“I propose,” Knel said, her voice seething with anger as she presses the blades deeper into Finnir, pinning his movements, “that you pay attention. Negligence will get you killed.”

Finnir smirks as blood pours out from his mouth. “Very wise,” he whispers before Knel withdraws her swords and decapitates him. His limp body collapses onto the ground, and his head bounces near me before it tumbles down into the canyon. 

Knel turns to face the last remaining enemy, the minotaur, who grapples with Irnok but has been pushed back to the edge of the mountain. Their hands clasp the others’ and the pressure makes the mountain’s surface beneath their feet crack. Bloodlust no longer burns in the minotaur’s eyes, but is instead replaced by the fear of self-preservation. Then, the minotaur grunts and pushes himself off Irnok over the edge of the mountain through the opening Lirak had made. 

I do not hear a thump of the minotaur’s body hit the ground, and it worries me, but just then, my grip slips and I fall. Knel catches me by my wrist as I slide and then drags me up to my feet.

“Thank you,” I gasp. “Were you really going to kick me off?”

“Better you die a sudden death than be captured, don’t you think?” Knel asks me.

I nod dumbly, unable to respond further than that. Then, I remember what Finnir had said. “Wait, where is Phillia? Finnir sai-”

Then, I see a beautiful woman radiating light, holding a long spear and wearing silvery plate armor, who stands at the entrance of the room.

 



David Rauenzahn

Edited: 29.07.2019

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