The Gathering

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Chapter 24

“Secure the stone!” shouted one Valkyrie. The enemies then attack the heroes. Amyntas shouts for the others to make a circle around the villagers to protect them. He then hands Margret the stone, telling her to protect it.

“Protect the stone,” said one of the elders. As the enemies descended upon the heroes, Amyntas kept his gaze on Richard. He could not believe that Richard had betrayed them. Drawing his sword, the spartan got into defensive formation behind his bronze shield.

“Grab the woman,” yelled Richard. “She has the stone.” Hearing the order, the Valkyrie’s made mock descents upon the defenders, trying to grab Margret. Realizing they were in a tight squeeze,

Amyntas gives the order to make their way outside the great hall. Moving as one, the defenders make their way to the exit. One outside, the defenders now had more room to move about.

“Avalon, you and Vortiger keep Margret safe. Everyone else, kill the attackers,” said Amyntas. Taking Hamilton’s wife to safety, the others turned their full attention to their enemies. Tyra lunges at one of the priests, repeatedly bashing the heads on the ground. Decimus slashes away with his sword at two un-dead soldiers, while Cynbel wrestles with several wolves.

As for the spartan, he charged through the whole lot of them. He was stabbing with his spear, crushing those with his shield, splitting skulls with his sword. All he thought about was getting to Richard and killing him. Making his way closer to the Englishman, there was a scream. The fighting ceases for a moment as Margret was brought out, a sword near her throat.

“Stand down earthling, or the woman dies,” said one of the priests. The heroes were powerless to do anything. Though Amyntas could kill the priest with his spear, he could not risk hurting Margret. The tension was bubbling up inside of him until finally, he firmly planted his spear in the ground.

“Stand down, everyone,” he said. Decimus and the other heroes lowered their weapons. Reaching into Margret’s dress, the priest pulled out the green stone. Snickering in victory, he shoves the woman away.

“Margret, are you alright?” said Decimus.

“I’m alright, Avalon and Vortiger were ambushed by those black monks. They are both unconscious but alive.” With the stone in their possession, one of the black monks calls over Richard and his friends.

“Thank you for helping us retrieve his majesty stone. Lord Kairos will be very pleased.” Richard half-smiles.

“A pleasure, but I am so sorry you will not be able to present it to him.”

“What do you mean?” Before the priest got his answer, Richard thrusts his sword into the man’s gut. Then Mori kills another with his musket, and Sparrow kills the remaining with his bow. The priests were shocked by this betrayal, as were the others. The priest felt the sword tear through his body.

Blood oozing through the black robes. The man could not get another word out as he felt his body go limp and slowly pull away from the sword. Falling to the ground, Richard cleans the blood off his blade. He then turns his attention back to the Amyntas and the others.

“Do not look so surprised, everyone. We have done this before.” Placing the stone in his belt, he sees Mori and Sparrow with three Basilisk ready for the journey ahead. Getting atop one, he looks back at Amyntas.

“It did not have to be like this,” Richard said.

“Spare me your words traitor,” replied the spartan.

“Traitor is such a harsh word. I consider myself a survivor, a survivor of five years of this damn planet.”

“So, now what? You ride for castle Olympus and present your prize to Kairos?” asked Tyra.

“We do have plans to sell the stone...for a price,” said Mori.

“All we want is go home,” said Sparrow.

“And so do we, please do not do this. We can still accomplish our goals,” said Cynbel. Richard shakes his head.

“Sorry, lass, but my friends and I have been stuck on this planet for too long. We will do anything to get back home, even this.” With a whistle and a kick, Richard and his friends ride out of the village and into the night.

As the dust settles, everyone is lost for words. Then Avalon and Vortiger arrive on the scene, just waking up moments ago.

“What happen?” said Avalon.

“Richard took the stone. He is going to use it as a bargaining tool.”

“Blast! We need to go after them,” said Vortiger.

“You will not m-make...i-itttt...” said a voice. Turning around, they see a Valkyrie struggling to breathe.

“What do you mean?” said Tyra.

“Our...master....k-knew the....hu-man would betray us.....My lord...Ares plans to kill them and acquire ... the stone ... soon.....at...the....arena....” The fallen soldier says no more as her life leaves her body.

“An arena?” said Cynbel.

“There is such a place, but its deep in the desert,” said Avalon.

“I know where that is. I landed in a desert on arrival here. It’s beyond the borders of the woods. If we leave now, we might just make it.”

“I’ll get my horse,” said Decimus. “Everyone else, mount up and take what you can carry.” Acknowledging the command, Cybel, Tyra, Avalon, and Vortiger gather up their belongings and make their way to the village entrance. Fully stocked and ready to ride, Amyntas explained the plan.

“We’ll split up into three groups. Cynbel and I will go after Richard and stop the exchange. Decimus, you and Tyra will go after Mori. Avalon and Vortiger, you have Sparrow. Once you have them, make your way to the arena. Time is not on our side, everyone, so make every second count.” Getting into their groups, they all rode out of the village after Richard and his friends.

By the grace of the Gods, they hoped they may still have time.

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