Kaiden ducked as an arrow whizzed past his head, missing his pointed ear by only centimeters. He was starting to think that they were targeting him because he was a teenage elf, which wasn't common in this land. Continued sprinting forward towards a group of enemies trying to flank the main battle. Clenching his sword in his hand, he poured his magic into it. His black hair turned silver, and his brown eyes turned into a sky blue color, a result of using his magic. His body tensed up as flames engulfed his sword, causing the warriors he was charging towards to avert their attention to him.
Kaiden thrusted his sword through the chest of the first warrior, a river of blood pouring down the sword. The two other soldiers rushed him, trying to kill him without much of a struggle. Letting go of his sword, Kaiden rolled out of the way, and brought his foot up. A loud crunch sounded as his foot connected with the throat of one of the soldiers. The man's body went limp, falling backwards, and landed with his neck in an awkward position.
Enraged the other soldier grabbed another sword and flurried at Kaiden's head. Kaiden easily somersaulted backwards and pulled his sword out of the body he left it in. Fire once again engulfed the sword as he rushed forward. Panic showed in the soldier's eyes as Kaiden swung the sword towards him. He easily cut through the man's wrists, making the two swords clatter to the ground.
Defeated, the soldier dropped to his knees. The man coughed up some blood, a result from getting hit with an arrow earlier in the battle. Kaiden, his eyes still burning a sky blue, extinguished the fire and held his sword to the man's throat.
“Where is she?!” Kaiden commanded. The soldier got his bravado back and laughed, but started coughing half way through, spitting up more blood. Anger flared in Kaiden's eyes, he didn't have time for games. Slowly, he pressed the sword into the man's throat, stopping just as a trickle of crimson flowed down.
“Your little friend has joined us knife ears.” The soldier spat menacingly. “I guess she got tired of watching the one's she love die in front of her.” Kaiden backed up, bewildered with what he was hearing. His eyes faded back to a dark brown, and his hair to it's natural black. He thought back to what had happened at the Village of Eralin.
Fire surrounded the buildings, dancing among their rooftops. People screamed, some in fear others in agony as a storm of black arrows rained from the sky. Hundreds of people were dead in the streets, killed in the first attack.
Kaiden was running behind the buildings, pulling a young girl behind him. Her eyes were wide with fear as they tried to find some way to escape the burning Village. Kaiden pulled them behind a pile of barrels, trying to hide as a group of soldiers rushed past them. The girl made a small whimper, and tugged on the back of Kaiden's shirt.
He looked back at her, and saw that she was watching a group of soldiers execute villagers. A big burly man held a war axe and threw one of the villagers onto the ground, two other soldiers grabbed his arms, holding him down. The man brought the axe over his head, and swung downward. A sick thud sounded as steel met flesh, and life left the man.
The girl was crying, sobbing quietly as she continued to watch the scene. The man threw a woman down next, preparing to make her the next victim in his killing frenzy. The woman's deep brown her flew to the side, revealing her face.Her deep violet eyes looked towards the barrels they were hiding behind, as if she knew they were there.
“Mom?...” The girl whispered under her breath. Kaiden felt a jolt of fear coursed through him as the man brought the axe up once again. Kaiden watched helplessly as the axe fell towards the Earth. A scream echoed throughout the burning village as the girl shrieked at the top of her lungs, letting out her pain and rage.
Quickly, Kaiden pulled her back behind the building and started sprinting away from the scene. They found a way out and ran to the next nearest town, trying to find help. Kaiden and the young girl joined with the militia there, and the girl had never left his side. Until this battle.
“Where is she?!” Kaiden commanded once again, the fear and anger in his eyes boiling over. The soldier looked at Kaiden, and smiled a frightening smile, his eyes dancing with disgusting pleasure.
“She's our General, the one who leads us. The one in the black armor.” He said as he coughed up more crimson, his body slightly twitching from the amount of blood loss. Kaiden brought his sword around his head and decapitated the soldier, his armor crumpling to the ground. Kaiden looked towards the East, where the enemies main camp was.
That's where I'll find her, and once and for all bring an end to this. He thought to himself as he jogged across the war torn battlefield. He surprisingly found little resistance as he started approached the wood spiked fence around the camp. Stopping next to a fallen soldier, Kaiden picked up his bow and the arrows that were strapped to his back. Two soldiers stood atop of wooden towers, keeping a lookout over the camp. Kaiden rolled forward, rolling into the shadows behind a small hill.
Quietly, he slid an arrow onto the bow, and pulled it as far back as he could, the bow moaning in protest. He let go, the arrow shooting from the bow, which embedded itself in the guard's throat. Very slowly the man fell backwards, his body flipping through the air before he smacked the ground. The other guard quickly knocked an arrow into his bow, and scanned the perimeter, trying to find the person responsible for killing his comrade.
Kaiden once again set an arrow into place and pulled back on it. The bow creaked, making a louder groaning noise than before, as he released the arrow. The wooden support of the bow snapped in half, and the arrow whizzed through the air as if it were nothing. The soldier turned just in time to see the sunlight reflected off of the tip of the arrow, before it ripped into his chest. He was knocked backwards, falling to the ground in a cloud of dust and metal.
So far so good, Kaiden thought to himself as he rushed towards the fence, and started climbing around the wooden spikes. Stepping up, he could almost see over the spikes and the camp that laid beyond. Quickly he put his foot down, missed the foothold, and started sliding rapidly downwards towards another spike. Reaching down, he grabbed his sword and thrusted it into the spike, stopping his decent downwards. He let out a soft exhale as he steadied his heartbeat, not wanting his presence to be known prematurely. Kaiden reached up and grasped the small grooves in the spikes, continuing his climb through at an even pace.
He kept to the shadows of the camp, as the sun in the distance had started setting. Using magic, he changed the color of his armor to a charcoal black to blend in with the shadows. Soldiers were jogging around the camp, barking orders at each other. A gruff sounding soldier marched into view, barking orders to one of the footman. The soldier snapped his feet at attention and ran off towards the gate, intent on doing what his officer commanded of him. This soldier was obviously a higher rank than the others, with the armor he was wearing and the amount of orders he was shouting. The armor reflected the last rays of sunlight in a bluish-yellow hue, casting lights in all directions.
He must be one of the lieutenants. Kaiden thought as he pressed further into the shadows, trying to avoid the soldiers that were now igniting torches for light. The lieutenant started walking at a brisk pace towards a tent in the center of the camp, seeming almost anxious to report what he had heard.Carefully, Kaiden stalked the man from the shadows until he had slipped inside of the tent. Running quickly across the lit part of the camp, Kaiden rolled into the shadow of the tent. He made sure that nobody had seen him, and pulled a small dagger out of his boot. Reaching up, he cautiously cut a slit into the side of the tent.
Stepping inside, he found himself behind large stacks of books that almost brushed the ceiling. The lieutenant was standing with his hand clasped behind his back, his helmet sitting on a table next to him. He was a rough looking man. His eyes were as gray as the sky before a storm, and his auburn hair came to the bottom of his ears in a rugged cut. The torch light cast a bright orangish glow on his ruddy skin, illuminating a deep scar that stretched from his left temple to the crook under his right eye. His eyes were filled deep with anxiety, as he looked upon his commanding officer.
“Ma.. Ma'am,” he stuttered as a figure cloaked in armor that was almost as black as a starless sky entered. A menacing aura filled the room, as the figure reached up and took off the helmet which covered its face. A sharp pain echoed in Kaiden's heart as he looked upon the face of the commanding officer. Her face which once was beautiful and smooth, now was flaked with black corruption. The black lines of the corruption surrounded her eyes like mini spider webs, causing her eyes violet to pop and look more menacing than they already were. Her once soft lips were now cracked, and hard like sandpaper.
Claire?! Kaiden thought to himself as she raised her hand towards the lieutenant, which formed a dark swirl of energy which crackled with small jolts of lightning. Kaiden held his breath to keep a gasp from escaping his lips. Only a few people in the entire nation could use magic without uttering words, himself included, but since when could Claire use magic?!, he thought to himself. The lieutenant's eyes went even wider with fear as the hair on his arms started to stand up. The static electricity in the tent had become so strong that the hair on his arms looked like pin needles, completely immobile from fear.
“Please! Please mi'lady!” The lieutenant pleaded, as he dropped to his knees. A menacing smile formed on her face as she grabbed the back of his head and held the mass of magic above his head.
“Tell me why I shouldn't kill you for your incompetence lieutenant,” Her raspy voice echoed throughout the tent. Kaiden almost had to cover his ears from the roughness of her voice, the voice which once had been as sweet as angels singing. The lieutenant's mouth went wide with a loss from words, as he stumbled and tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for her to spare him. Her smile became even more venomous as slowly brought her hand closer to his forehead, which was now drenched in sweat.
Kaiden closed his eyes as the electricity surrounding the dark magic danced around the lieutenant's head, causing a thick, sick smelling smoke to pour from his eye sockets. He screamed out in agony, as Claire killed him slowly, absorbing his life force. A sinister laughter filled the tent as Claire threw the body of the Lieutenant to the side.
“Did you enjoy the show old friend?” She rasped as she approached the desk at the far end of the tent. Cautiously, Kaiden stood up and walked around the stacks of books. He made sure not to look at the charred corpse of the lieutenant as he approached his once best friend. She turned towards him, the corruption around her eyes even blacker than it was before. She reached over the desk and grabbed a long black sword that seemed darker than Death himself.
“What happened to you Claire?!” Kaiden shouted finally looking at the body of the lieutenant, his anger swelling within him. “This isn't you! You took an oath to destroy these people, not become one of them! You're destroying everything that we ever stood for, everything we loved!” A flash of hot tears sprung to his eyes, as Claire looked at him without a single speck of care within her dark violet eyes. Realizing that talking was useless, Kaiden grasped the sword on his back and unsheathed it.
“Your soul shall be mine,” she shrieked as Kaiden held the sword towards her. Another dark swirl of energy formed in her hands, which she unleashed onto Kaiden. His breath left his lungs as he was hurled backwards through the air, ripping through the entrance of the tent and out into the middle of the camp.
His vision blurred and a high pitch ringing sounded in his ears as he tried to sit up. Claire slowly approached him, her sword giving off a black cloud of despair which seemed to long for his blood. Kaiden grasped his sword and used it to prop himself up, finally getting to his feet. He stumbled, but his vision finally cleared and the ringing in his ears faded to a dull sound in the back of his mind. A loud horn was sounding, causing all soldiers in camp to the surround the two. Claire hissed at the other soldiers, causing them to keep their distance.
“Don't touch him, he is my kill!” she shouted as several archers raised their bows. Hesitantly, they lowered their weapons and let her circle around him. Kaiden grasped his sword, ready for another magic attack. The spider webs around her eyes had stretched out and now consumed her entire face, causing her to look like she hadn't slept in years. The dull glow of the moon off of her armor made her seem almost translucent as she charged towards Kaiden, her sword aimed for his chest.
Bringing his sword up, he knocked hers to the side and brought his foot up to her chest. She stumbled backwards and brought her sword up just in time as Kaiden thrust for her ribs. Sparks flew off the swords as the struck at each other again and again, their rage fueling their attacks. Summoning the magic within him, Kaiden set his sword ablaze. His hair turning silver, and his eyes to the sky blue color once again. Claire eyed him cautiously, obviously not use to fighting another magic user.
He swung his sword at the ground near the soldiers that surrounded them, causing a ring of fire to enclose around him and Claire. Another sinister smile crossed her face as she formed dark magic around her sword. Static filled the air, as the sword started to spark causing the hair on Kaiden's head to slightly stand up. A bright flash emitted from the sword as lighting wrapped itself around the blade, causing him to shield his eyes temporarily.
She pointed the lighting blade towards him and charged forward once more. Kaiden barely brought his sword up in time to deflect the blow, making him stagger to the side from the sheer force. She brought her foot up and kicked his side, causing him to crash to the ground. Coughing up blood, Kaiden rolled to his stomach clenching his sword with one hand and his side with the other. A small trickle of blood flowed from his mouth where he had bitten his tongue, the bittersweet taste of rust filled his senses.
“You can't kill me,” she spat, the lighting dancing around her sword wildly as if nothing would stop it from killing its prey. She brought the sword above his head, ready to strike the killing blow. The memory of the executioner from their village flashed through his mind, of all the innocents he killed. He wasn't going to let Claire turn into that, he couldn't. Anger swelled within him, and he felt his magic flow faster. Forcing it into his hand he shoved it with all of his might towards Claire, the air making a cracking sound as the blow met its target.
Her violet eyes went wide as she was flung backwards near the edge of the fire. A cloud of dust was kicked up as she skidded across the barren ground, hiding where she landed. Kaiden waited a minute or two, trying to reduce the pain in his side. He was pretty sure that even with the armor, he had at least two broken ribs. Staggering to his feet, he grasped his sword and cautiously approached where Claire had landed. Using magic, Kaiden made the dust settle revealing where she was.
She was laying on her back, a gaping hole in her chest piece where the magic had hit her. Her eyes were half closed, blood flowing from her nose and mouth. Her sword had been thrown from her hand when she hit the ground, and now lay in the ring of fire. The electricity was fighting with the fire, trying to prove who was stronger but was slowly diminishing. Turning his attention back to Claire, he checked the severeness of the wound.
She suddenly had a small fit and spit up more blood, her eyes fully wide now. The corruption around her eyes had started fading into nothingness, her skin returning to a normal color that quickly started fading again. Her eyes fell on Kaiden, his hair slowly fading back to its natural black color, and his eyes to their brown color. A tear formed in her violet eyes ,that were now bright and soft instead of cold and hard, as she locked eyes with him.
“Claire? Is it you?” Kaiden asked trying to keep his voice even. She barely nodded her head, the effort obviously taxing her remaining strength. Pain and relief shot through Kaiden's heart as she barely managed a smile, blood covering her teeth. She raised her hand towards his face, her arm shaking violently. Grasping her hand, he held her hand to his face. Kaiden's eyes filled with sorrow, her hands were as cold as ice.
“I...I,” she stuttered, trying to muster the strength for the words. She tried again, but couldn't get them out. Tears flowed out of her fading eyes like small rivers, splattering onto the barren ground. Kaiden blinked, trying not to cry, and looked away as the last light of her life faded away. Her body went limp, the blood drying on her lips. Gently, he reached up and closed her eyes.
“I swore I was never going to leave your side,” Kaiden whispered to himself.
“I swore that I would protect you no matter what! What did I promise that for if I was going to end up taking your life?! What happened to you?! To us?!” he shouted at the top of his lungs as tears streamed down his smooth face. The fire around them had faded, the soldiers surrounding him had fury in their eyes from seeing their fallen General. One of them let out a vicious war cry and rallied the rest of them into a frenzy.
Kaiden reached down a grasped the dagger holding it up to his chest. I couldn't protect you from myself, but I'll protect you from others. I'll always protect you, even in death. He thought to himself as the soldier rushed towards him with his sword held high. The last thing Kaiden remembered seeing was the reflection of himself in the steel as it was swung towards his head.