Purification episode 63: Battle in the Dark

Axra held onto her blade and waited. Waited for the flying monsters to come into her range. Lysara had her chakram out and waited by her side. The creatures lined up in the air, forming a circle.

“Looks like they’re trying to surround us,” Axra noted. “We’ll have to really go back to back.” She and Lysara pushed their backs together.

“Never thought I’d be entrusting my back to you,” Axra said. “I’m counting on you, Lysara.”

“Don’t worry,” Lysara stated “I won’t let you down. We both have a precious person to protect, after all.”

The monsters hovered above them and swooped. Axra brought up her blade to block their weapons, keeping her thrusts and swings controlled. She managed to bring one down with a counter-swing and pull her blade back in time to block a spear thrust.

Lysara swung her chakram around wildly at everything that came near her. Miraculously managing to deflect all of their attacks.

“Keep calm!” Axra declared. “Don’t waste so much energy on unnecessary movements. Look at where they’re coming from and guard those spots. Look for a chance to counter-attack while doing it.”

“Okay,” Lysara said. “I’ll… I’ll try.”

Axra took a quick stock of the creatures encircling them. Eleven. “Dammit!” Axra exclaimed. “Two of them are missing.” She glanced quickly above them. Nothing.

“Over there,” Lysara said. “They’re heading for Lilly.”

“No choice,” Axra said. “We have to break through and get to her. On three. One, two, break.”

The two hurriedly moved away from each other and swung into the oncoming creatures.

Lysara jumped to evade a mace swing and her chakram sliced open one of the creature’s skulls. She hurriedly moved backwards to avoid two more of the creatures. Their blade and spear hitting the ground where she was heading.

Unfortunately, she couldn’t control her landing and had to hurriedly get back up, while the creatures were making their move.

She was saved only by Fang’s arrival into the fray. The tiny dragon hurled fire at the two beasts heading for her, slowing them enough for Lysara to regain her feet. She ran at the alight creatures, chakram flashing on both sides. Two skulls separated from their bodies.

Axra strode carefully, but quickly through the mass of enemies. He initial swing had brought down one while injuring another. Five more moved to block her way.

Was this a distraction? Were these ones sacrifices to let the others reach Twila? It did make sense, strategically. After all, without Twila’s magic they were trapped down here. But… were these creatures really that smart?

She cut down another creature, but had to pull back. The other four had built a pretty solid defense. If she only had time…

That’s when she heard a scream. “My eyes! I can’t see!”

She glanced over at Lysara. The other woman was flailing around at nothing. Two of the creatures had landed behind her and were creeping up behind her.

“Behind you!” Axra yelled. “One to your left, the other dead centre!”

Lysara turned and swung at the areas that Axra had indicated, but the creatures had already flown back.

“Hold on!” Axra shouted. “I’m coming to get you.”

“You can’t!” Lysara protested. “You have to save Twila and Lilly. Just… just leave me. I’ll manage somehow.”

Axra swung one final time at the four creatures in front of her before breaking away and running towards Lysara. The four pursued, but Fang breathed a wall of fire between Axra and her pursuers. She cut down the two monsters who were menacing Lysara and grabbed the smaller woman.

“Quick, get on my back and hold on. We’re making a dash for it.”

“But… Twila and,” Lysara began.

“They’ll be fine,” Axra said. “I know that Lilly will manage. But you, you’re kind of helpless and I won’t leave one of my friends behind when she’s helpless.”

*****

Lilly had her bow prepped and was tracking the two winged creatures when everything became pitch black. She could hear their leathery wings softly flap overhead. Getting closer, closer.

Blindly, she fired an arrow at the sound. The sound moved farther back for a moment, before returning. This time quickly and chaotically.

Lilly covered Twila’s body with her own, bracing herself as the sound got nearer. She just had to save Twila. Then Twila and Axra could live happily. It wasn’t so bad, she mused, to die for the women she loved.

Just when she was certain that the creature’s blade was going to pierce her, she heard a crackle of energy and a shriek of terror.

After that, he sound of the wings was gone. “Tw… Twila?” Lilly whispered. “Di… did you do that?” The other woman didn’t respond. Lilly kept holding her, just in case.

“Lilly!” she heard Axra cry.

“Y… yes, Pr… Axra?” Lilly asked.

“You can stop holding her so tightly,” Axra said. “Those things are done for. What’d you hit them with anyway?”

“M… me?” Lilly asked. “I… I didn’t… I mean…”

“Well, whatever it is you did great,” Axra said, patting Lilly’s shoulder. “I’ll keep watch. You and Lysara should stay back until Twila wakes up and can redo the darkvision spell. I don’t want Lysara almost going over the edge again.”

“I guess Axra was right,” Lysara said. “You did manage on your own.”

“I… I suppose,” Lilly said. “I… I just wish I knew how.”

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About ktulu007

I don’t really like talking about myself, but for the curious I’m Deutsch. I’m the second oldest of three children, four if you count my adopted sister. We largely grew up without a father. Writing has been a major passion for me since I was small. I like to write online because it offers me some freedom to experiment with different genres and provides me with more of an audience than I would normally have access to. One of my bigger influences has always been my youngest sister. She’s very socially aware, an excellent judge of quality when it comes to writing and very supportive of my efforts. Whenever I write I ask myself “would she find major problematic elements in this that I need to change?” and I try to be socially responsible enough and good enough to be as good of a writer as she thinks I am.
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