|The Ancient Prophecy
Pt. X: Plague and Cure
by Vipers ©
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
I'm sorry." Atrus said slowly.
"One more thing, Ranger. If you see Daemon, send him my warmest greeting." He grinned.
Two swirling holes appeared behind them. "Now begone from my sight!!"
A powerful magical force pushed them toward the holes, which engulfed them quickly before they could protest. Once the hole disappeared, the air was silent and lifeless, and his fate was sealed.
"And good luck..."
Even with three races fighting together, the resistance was slowly pushed back. The zombies were far too numerous. Most of the Elves had long run out of arrows and were fighting less effectively with their lances and spears. The Dwarves and Humans fought well, but not enough to push back the undead. The battle had created a large pile of rotten bodies along the battlefield, yet the undead kept on coming. As strong as they were, they're mortals, and mortals couldn't fight forever.
"Archers, retreat!!" Roberto barked the order. "All swordsmen, man your posts! Prepare to defend the wall!!"
Just as planned, the allied army retreated in order. He could see the three heroes, Hawk, Holgreb, and Farn protected the army in their retreated. The dragon-riding Elves fought to cover their retreat. Once all foot soldiers retreated, the gate was raised, sealing the castle, for now.
The moat did little help to slow the zombies down. Th critters simply piled their dead comrades in the trench and quickly formed a bridge. Undead creatures normally didn't have the sense of teamwork. There could be one explanation. Somewhere out there, someone's controlling them...
Hawk joined him with his long spear, ready to defend the walls. Holgreb followed him shortly, wielding his trusty axe.
"Farn was wounded, so Aurelia is helping him." He reported.
"A fine warrior he is." Roberto nodded, then drew his gigantic sword. "Ready for the party?"
"Never been better!" Maya shouted from behind.
"Maya, I told you to stay in the shed!" Roberto said.
"And let you have all the fun?" She drew her combat blade. "I'm in!"
"It's too dangerous!!"
"Yeah... yeah... You sound just like Master Atrus when he gets annoying. Well, Atrus can't stop me before, so I doubt you can do anything about it."
"You're such a stubborn girl!!" The prince shouted.
"I know you care for me..." She gave him a playful smile. "But it doesn't work on me."
"Roberto, they're coming!" Hawk cried.
The prince peeked over the wall when a clawed hand missed him by an inch. Reflexively he slammed his fist on the rotten face, crushing the skull and sent the zombie along with his friends down.
"Yeah..." the prince wiped the slime off with his pants. "They're coming all right..."
Another critter popped out, but Holgreb's axe welcomed him and sliced neatly in half. Another tried his luck, but Hawk's spear met him halfway through the wall and sent him down in two pieces. Battle raged throughout the southern wall. Heroes and swordsmen fought side by side, keeping the critters from breaching the wall. At the base, zombies tried to scratch their way through the metal-reinforced wooden gate. Soldiers and citizens fought together to keep the gate as long as possible. Pikemen thrust their pikes through the holes on the gate, trying to ward the critters behind it. As strong as it was, it was still an emergency gate, made at the last minute. It could collapse anytime.
Then when the situation seemed hopeless, the sky was opened and hundreds of flying figures filled the sky. "The Fairies!!" Maya cried. "They're here! They're here!"
The legion of Heaven sang their beautiful chorus in the sky. The melody filled the air, strengthening allied soldiers and cured minor injuries they'd had. Soon the morale was shifted once again as the Fairies brought the allied army from the edge of defeat to their top spirit once again.
A Fairy landed on the fortification. "I've fulfilled my promise, Miss Maya." She bowed.
"Glad to have you here, Lynn!" Maya sliced the nearest zombie with her renewed strength and hacked him back using the blade handle. "I'm sure Master Atrus would be glad to see you."
Lynn propelled a zombie away with her magical force. "Where is he?"
"He's busy!" Roberto spoke up and made a short salute. "I extend gratitude for helping us in the battle for our race."
"The honor is ours!" Lynn nodded. "But the Prophet hasn't returned yet?"
"We're quite worried about him, too." Roberto said as he split a zombie in half. "I sure hope those wizards didn't fry him to crisp."
"How rude! Such manner is not in our list!"
Roberto turned around and found five people, two Elves and three Humans, all with long beard and wearing funny pointy hats. He'd never seen wizards before, either, but for some reason he knew he shouldn't laugh.
"Well, you need our help or not, Human?!"
"You're the wizards!!" Maya cried. "Then Master Atrus...?"
"I'm here, Maya." Atrus was standing on the other side of the plank, smiling at them. "And I want you all to meet my loyal aide, Adriana Freesland."
"Mistress!!" Maya ran toward her mistress and hugged her tightly. "You're okay...!"
"I have a long story to tell, Maya." Anna smiled. "We'll talk about this later."
"So, Atrus, the wizards have agreed to help us?" Roberto asked.
"Yes. They're on our side."
Roberto quickly knelt before the wizards. "I thank you for your assistance and apologize for my country's mistake in the past."
"Don't thank us yet, son!" Calem chuckled. "We haven't showed you what we are capable of doing. Boys, let's rumble!!"
Another dozen wizards appeared at the castle courtyard. They raised their staves, which quickly flared in bright light, and chanted their spells. The sky was opened once again, and from there hundreds of flaming rocks fell into the ground. The rocks hit the ground and created huge explosion with every impact, scattering, crushing and burning the undead beneath. The spell created a mass destruction to the battlefield ahead, but at least the attack to the walls was halted temporarily.
"Anna, do you know what to do?" Atrus asked.
She pointed at one cloaked figure among the undead horde. "He's the necromancer. You must defeat him and get me in the center of their ranks. Only then I can use the spell to end the plague."
"Very well. Roberto, can I borrow some of your men?" Atrus asked.
"We're all yours to command, Prophet of the Guardian." Roberto replied.
"Okay, you, Hawk and Holgreb are coming with me. We need to get Anna to the center of the horde."
"Count me in!" Aurelia popped out, followed by her brother.
"Fine. Can you guard the castle?" Atrus asked Farn.
"With my life." The Elf bowed.
"Maya, I need my mace and the Book of Elements." Anna said.
"Right away, Mistress." She searched her backpack. "Can I go too, Master?"
"No, you stay here with Calem. Tell the citizens to take cover. When the spell was working, everybody must stay on the ground. Do you understand?!"
"Everybody must stay on the ground." Farn and Maya chorused.
"I need your help, Calem."
"You're on, Prophet." The old wizard smiled.
"Be careful, everybody..." Maya said. "You too, Prince Roberto..."
"Don't worry, Maya." The prince brushed her hair. "We're going to win."
"Let's go, people!" Atrus ordered. "Let's send those undead to where they belong!"
"Behold, the Demon Slayer!!" Roberto cried.
The allied soldiers cheered up as they saw the greatest hero of the land leading them to battle. Atrus nodded at Calem, who was still standing on the defense planks. "We're all set!"
"Come on, boys!"
The wizards summoned another round of flaming rocks from the sky, clearing the battlefield. Lynn and her sisters chorused their blessings to the heroes as they prepared their assault.
The gate was dropped, and six heroes dashed toward the battlefield. Behind them, the allied forces of Human swordsmen, Dwarven warriors, and Elven archers followed them. The heroes charged the enemy and drilled their way through the horde.
"Remember, people!" Atrus sliced through the zombies with his sword. "Protect Anna at all cost!"
"Hey, I'm not that helpless anyway!" Anna cried while whacking a zombie with her mace.
Atrus and Roberto sliced through the zombies with Anna and Aurelia following behind them while Hawk and Holgreb protected their flanks. The allied forces charged through the broken enemy ranks, keeping the hole open for the party. The Dwarves and Humans fought in the front line while the Elves provided arrow support. The group went through the horde, trying desperately to reach the hooded figure among the zombies.
Soon Anna could see their intended target. "He's dead ahead, Atrus!"
"Cover me, people!"
Aurelia knelt down, raised her bow and fired six arrows at the same time, clearing the way. Atrus quickly spotted his nemesis, a demon with green skin, wearing dark leather robe and long hood. The necromancer saw him quickly and nodded at his challenge.
"Embrace your death, puppet of the Guardian!!" he hissed.
The necromancer met him with his long staff. The staff was quite plain, except for the crystal skull on top of it. But the staff was surely magical and a fine match for Rainbow Sword. The demon was very proficient with the weapon. Atrus was basically faster, but staff had two sides, so the demon could attack with one side and deflect with the other.
"You're hopeless!!" The demon hissed. "Your pathetic race will fall before us!!"
"Nice dream, demon!" Atrus replied. "Tell me that again when you're retired!"
The duel continued as the two warriors battled against each other. Around them the other battle raged as the party tried to keep the zombies out of the duel. The zombies had closed the gap, trapping them inside. Fighting their way out would be suicidal, so the only choice they had was to succeed.
"You can't defeat me!!" The necromancer said. "We're even. This fight will go forever!"
"Wait until you try my newest trick! Spirit Last!!"
Atrus dashed toward the demon. His sword flared brightly as he swung it down at his victim. The demon quickly parried the blow, but Rainbow Sword magically went through the staff and dove all the way through his body. The fatal blow severed the link between the flesh and the spirit, weakening the life and paralyzing the victim. The demon staggered and dropped the staff.
Just like its name, Atrus began dancing around the paralyzed victim, sending blow after blow to the dazed demon. The necromancer growled in pain and soon collapsed to the ground, unmoved. Atrus sighed. Under normal circumstances, as a full-trained Ranger and a Royal Knight, killing a helpless enemy would be a dishonorable action, but there were exceptions. Honor was not what he pursued. The demon had killed thousands of innocents, and would continue to do so if nobody stopped him.
"Anna!!" Atrus yelled.
"About time!!" The priestess growled as she joined him. "This will take a while. Cover me."
The allied army had fought well, forming a ring around them. They had even built their own mini fortress out of the rotten bodies of dead zombies. The critters tried desperately to push through the walls of their dead comrades, only to be stabbed or cut by the soldiers behind the walls. Some who escaped the wall fell in Atrus' hands...
Until he met his nightmare.
The female before him was badly disfigured, but he still remembered her well. Her clothes were badly torn, revealing her lithe, yet ruined body. Her face was almost perfect, except for the blank stare she was giving him.
"Sylvia? Are... are you okay...? Don't you remember me? I'm Atrus White Lion! We met in Labrador before!"
To his dismay, the girl attacked him, which he evaded easily.
"Atrus, it's not her!" Anna shouted.
"No! I know it's her!" Atrus shot back. "Sylvia, please remember me! I'm Atrus!"
The zombie ignored his plea and attacked again, this time making a long cut on his chest. The pain was nothing, but the pain inside was more than he could bear.
"Atrus, she's no longer Sylvia! She's one of the undead! You must end her misery!"
Atrus raised his sword, but his body refused to move. He still could picture the old Sylvia he had known. He could still remember the good times they'd been through together. No matter how useless those memory were now, he still couldn't hurt his friend, let alone kill her. He just stared silently as the zombie attacked, ready to jam its claws inside his skull.
He gasped as the bright flame incinerated the zombie before him. Its mournful cry shattered his soul. When he opened his eyes, only a pile of ashes was left. Anna softly massaged his shoulder.
"Atrus... I'm sorry... But she's no longer the fine maid we know..." she said sadly. "The plague has taken her away from us, and she's no longer herself. Imagine how bad her soul would feel if her body had killed you..."
"I... can't... hurt... my friends..." Atrus repeated slowly.
"I know." She squeezed his shoulder firmly. "What we can do is avenge the bastard who forced her to endure such curse. Come."
They returned to the center of the circle made by the party. The allied army was holding well, but they couldn't fight forever as fatigue overcame them. Anna picked the Book of Elements and turned into the right page.
"This is it." Anna said. "Hopefully it'll work."
"You can do it, Anna..." Atrus said.
"I haven't done a spell this strong before... I don't know if I can do it..."
"I'm here, Anna." Atrus assured her. "We'll go through this together."
She held the Book of Elements on one hand and lifted another hand toward the sky. Slowly she began chanting the spell from the book. Atrus whacked another group of zombies trying to interfere with the process.
"Aurelia!! The symbol!!"
was split into 12 parts. Jump to any of the segments from here:
|Another top quality story by Vipers.|
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