Alexandros: Ch. 30byJoeBarnosky©
Alexandros Manuscript Page 112
Now you will know what pain feels like. The demon held the man with one hand and with his other he slowly sliced the man's midsection open. Blood spilled out as the demon ripped the man's intestines free. What was left of the man's insides fell hastily to the ground. I watched feeling helpless for the man and hoped his suffering was over.
"No!" I heard a shout ring out. It caught the demon's attention. I followed his gaze and it landed on a lone woman in a sea of creatures. I remember looking to her and not being able to pull my eyes from her. She was as beautiful as any Spartan woman much like Captain Marcello was.. Perhaps even more than any woman in all of Greece.
Ah. It looks like someone tried to save you. The demon spoke to the dead corpse he still held up.
The woman jumped with her blade at the demon. He easily stepped backward and avoided the strike. He stood laughing at her like a giddy little child that just got his way.
"You will pay for that," the woman said threatening the demon.
Like I haven't heard that one before. He laughed again.
"Laugh all you want but I will have your head!" The woman swung widely bringing the blade down into an arc then she swung upward and around. The sword smashed onto the ground where the demon should have been standing.
Am I too fast for you? He taunted. He then grabbed the sword that was stuck through his body and ripped it free. Come. Let us see just how you plan to make me pay.
The demon moved swiftly. As soon as his blade touched hers it was already in motion to the next spot. I could see the woman had little trouble matching the demon's pace.
The woman grinned. "Come on. I thought you had something to teach me," she said taunting him.
The demon's only response was more attacks. He feinted thrusting at her before dropping to the ground with a swinging blade at her exposed legs. The woman leapt into the air and over the demon with ease and finesse. Before he had time to act, the woman's sword slid across his spine. He stumbled forward howling in pain. When he turned around I could see the hatred welled up in his eyes at the woman. You cannot be one of them.
"Who?" she asked looking a little confused.
The demon laughed heartily. You truly do not know? My master would like to meet you.
"Well he is going to have to wait until I send you back to Hades."
She charged the demon. He seemingly appeared to be caught off guard. Her sword slipped across his throat. At the last moment he was able to back up enough to save his head from being cut cleanly off. The demon almost doubled over grabbing at his throat. I knew instantly it was a ruse. I've fought enough of these things to know when one was truly unhindered by an attack. The woman, however, didn't know or didn't see it.
She attacked once again, but just before her blade touched him, he was gone. Vanished. The disappearance of the demon threw her off balance but she was quick to counter. With a roll she came to her feet facing where her opponent should have been. Only he was not there or anywhere for that matter.
A second later the demon appeared standing behind her. I saw the look of recognition light up in her eyes. His hand dropped steadily down upon her head before she had time to think of moving. She fell crumpled on the ground, alive.
I rushed down into the mass of soldiers and creatures. I wasn't what had come over me to risk everything and run in blindly. I saw the shock some of the men had upon seeing me appear from nowhere dressed tremendously different then they were.
There shock quickly dissipated when I began curving the creatures up with Gaijin. The only acknowledgement I gave was a simple nod. My focus was to reach the woman and dispatch that bastard demon.
The creatures fell before me in heaps. For each one I cut down two appeared to take their place. And for each of the two my blade was there to meet them. I caught the bastard demon's attention. He focused on me but remained standing with his arms crossed across his chest. His armor gleamed from the afternoon light and for a moment he almost took on a human look.
He looked more menacing than he was because of the ugly look he had. I figured that must be why they took on a human form. They could not stand to look at themselves in their natural state.
I was within feet of reaching the bastard demon and he still did not move. He remained only gazing upon me with cold eyes of steel. Then his eyes flashed and suddenly I was encircled by creatures. They broke off from the men they fought and tuned toward me. The men seeing their enemies suddenly had no interest in them continued their assault. The creatures did not turn to fight but remained focused of me.
My guess was the intention was for me to fall by these creatures. I, however, had other plans.
I charged those closest to me. I did not worry about specific strikes like killing blows but whatever would hinder them enough to keep the attack off me. I relied on the soldiers to do what it took to finish each creature I maimed.
Limbs and blood flew and splattered in every direction and the bodies just kept piling up. The attack felt relentless and my arms began to ache. Maybe the bastard demon knew these creatures were of no match to me and his goal was to wear me down. If that was so it was working.
The creatures began to pick up their assault and I quickly became overwhelmed. My circle got closer and closer until almost everyone of the creatures was within arm's reach. It became harder and harder to swing Gaijin and the edge of fear began to creep in under my guard.
I dropped to one knee and using every bit of resolve I had left to fight. The weight of the creatures was enormous. I felt scratches and bites piercing my skin. I could feel the blood slowly ooze from the broken parts of my skin. My determination was slipping and I was on the verge of just giving up and letting the creatures have their way with me when suddenly the weight was gone. I could feel the sunlight beating down upon me.
I opened my eyes to see not sunlight but a mass of light. The bastard demon floated just feet in front of encompassed in a ball of light. The creatures all stood back seemingly paralyzed. It was then I noticed the same had happened to the soldiers. My brain screamed for me to attack but I could not move. It felt like my feet were made of stone.
The light began to swirl faster and faster. I tried with all my might to urge my feet to move and all I received in return was the feeling of my energy being sapped.
Then without any warning the orb of light flashed out away from the bastard demon. I closed my eyes expecting this to be the end of me. It ripped past me leaving me unharmed. Further out it spread tearing through the creatures and soldiers leaving nothing behind but dust.
When the light dissipated I opened my eyes to see the bastard demon slowly floating down. His cloak fluttering in the wind that suddenly stirred up.
My mind screamed out to look for her. She lay where she had when I began my assault, unharmed.
She is safe for now. He replied to my racing mind as if he could read it. I will finish what I started with you.
The words opened up a memory I somehow forgotten about. This was Sapon. He was not the one that killed Captain Marcello but he would be the one I let out my anger upon.
"I promised to get vengeance for the death of Marcello and you will be the first to feel that wrath," I said feeling a sudden burst of energy.
That was my brother's doing. It is too bad you cannot fulfill that promise as that he has already been slain. A mistake I do not care to repeat.
I smirked. "My vengeance is not going to stop with just your death. I will wipe the plague that is your master from this land."
With that I tipped Gaijin low dragging the tip along the ground as I ran at the bastard demon. The blade cut through the ground effortlessly making it easy to sling dirt up into the Sapon's eyes as I brought the sword up and across.
With the bastard demon distracted and blinded I leapt sidestepped to the left gouging my sword into him. I then ran in a circle with Gaijin plunging deeper until I reached my original point of entry.
A moment later the bastard demon's body split into two. Both halves fell to the ground. His eyes pierced mine like cold steel then faded out.
I stood for a moment catching my breath then turned to the woman. She was beginning to wake when I reached her side.
"Who—Who are you?" she asked.
I smiled. I could not help but to. "My name is Alexandros."
"A Greek?" she asked. The surprise not withheld from her voice.
"Spartan to be exact. Well I used to be."
"Dead. Now let me help you to your feet," I said offering her my hand.
She ignored it. Instead she bolted to her feet in that instant. "Khaldun! We have to help him."
"Khaldun?" I asked.
"The general. The hope for Pharaoh's army and the people of this land."
"Then lead the way," I said.
As she began to head into the city I quickly reached out and took hold of her arm. "Wait! You didn't tell me your name."
"Rashida. Maybe if we survive this you can get to know me more," she said with a wink.