The Gathering

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Chapter 30

“Let them go, Ares, I won’t ask again,” said Mori. He had his rifle directly aimed at the warlord. Ares’s simply laughed.

“Well, this is a surprise. Guess I have the pleasure of killing you all right here and now.” As he boasted, the war god felt a sharp pain in his side. He turned around and saw Avalon with one of his punch daggers embedded in one of his sides.

The young king then takes the stone from the warlord’s hand and places it back in his pouch. He then removes his blade from Ares’s side. The wound did not hurt the mighty war god, but it did leave some discomfort.

He glared menacingly at the young prince that, while his gaze was elsewhere, Tyra and Vortiger were able to grab Amyntas, Cynbel, and even Richard. With the friends safe from Ares. Avalon smirks the war god.

“You’ve lost Ares’s. We have the stone. It looks like you have another failure to your list.” The young wendigo could see that Ares was furious.

Before all of this, he was considered by Kairos the most efficient of all the warlords. Now, his reputation was at stake. He glared at the wendigo and spoke with a roar.

“You think this is over? It is only a matter of time until my lord Kairos has killed the last of the mages! Once that happens, you’re all stuck here and will be nothing more than a sport for my hounds. Your fates are already sealed,” said Ares.

It was now a tense standoff in the area—Ares and men against the champions of earth. Everyone waited for the unexpected. A scream is heard over the domain, and just then, bodies begin to fall from the sky. They were lord Ares men who were stationed outside the area. One soldier looks into the air and yells out in horror.

“Wyverns!” he shouted. Before any could react, five massive winged creatures descended upon the crowd. Their pointed tails knock down several soldiers, and their dangerous, flesh-ripping teeth easily tear through the enemy armor. Three of them land on the arena floor while the other two remain in the sky, causing further chaos.

Tyra and the others on the ground try to escort their friends to safety while Mori and Kanatakon: ha provide cover on the upper levels of the Colosseum. However, despite musket fire and arrows, their attacks did nothing to the Wyvern’s as they simply bounced off their scale hide.

“Watch out,” said Kanatakon: ha. He and Mori ducked as a Wyvern flew over them, nearly grabbing one of them with its powerful curved talons.

“These are more dangerous than before,” said the samurai, already loading in another round. While the other champions hid in one of the entrances, Ares was contending with the dragons. He swung his sword wildly in the air, hoping to hit one.

Alas, not even the mighty war god could best. Then from behind, Ares was struck in the back by the eldest Wyvern. She sunk her talons deep into his back, pinning him to the ground. The warlord screamed in pain as he felt the claws dig deeper into his flesh. She then lowered her head to his, allowing him to smell her noxious, poisonous fumes emanating from her mouth. Her forked tongue prodded his left ear.

“Hello Ares, its been a while,” she hissed. Ares grunted in agony as he tried to turn his head.

“Did you think your rule here would last forever? Tst. Tst. We have been watching your king for some time now, and it seems his reign is at an end. A perfect opportunity for my lord to invade once more and reclaim what is his,” Her harmful fumes made Ares cough and choke. He glanced over to her and tried to speak.

“Reclaim....whats.(cough)....yours? This is our....planet (cough), serpent. Our...(cough) shadow....planets... this... world.” She merely chuckled at his retort.

“You stupid fool. We created these shadows. We allow you and your kind to exist in this world, and now it seems your purpose here is no longer required,” She purred. She moved her head ever so close to his that he taste her breath.

Soon her massive jaws began open, and just before she acted, she said one last thing to her prey.

“Lord Jawzhar says his hello.” Before Ares could react, the eldest Wyvern clamped her jaws down on his heads. She twisted his head in such awkward places that with a snap from his spine, she tore his head off and gulped it down in one swoop, metal and all. She licked her lips, tasting the blood to savor the flavor.

Then her keen eyes lock on her next targets. With a piercing screech, she called for her brothers and sisters. They soon landed next to her, awaiting instruction. As she explained, back with the champions, Tyra and Vortiger tended to Richards and Amyntas wounds.

“Damn, Amyntas, you nearly killed Richard,” said Tyra.

“That was my intent,” said the spartan. He grunted as Tyra wrapped a bandage around his stomach. As for Richard, the Englishman was starting to recover consciousness after the brutal beating.

Upon waking up, he could only see out of one eye as the other had swollen shut. He slowly turned his head to Amyntas and struggled to speak.

“You....got.....lucky....,” Richard managed to say. The spartan looks at him and gives him a glaring look.

“Your lucky to still be breathing traitor,” said Amyntas. Just then, Avalon, Mori, and Kanatakon: ha arrived.

“We need to leave now,” said Mori.

“What are those things?” said Cynbel.

“All in due time, right now, we need to get everyone out of here.” As Mori and Kanatakon: ha help Richard up, the heroes make their exit out of the area. Outside the Colosseum, there found they only had five of their seven mounts, including Decimus horse.

That meant the heroes had to share a ride. They quickly pair up into groups: Tyra and Cynbel, Mori and Kanatakon: ha, Amyntas and Richard, Avalon and Vortiger, and Decimus. Getting atop his horse, the old roman heard screeching sounds coming from the area. Then looking into the sky, he sees the silhouettes of the creatures taking flight.

“Ride now!” he yelled. Bucking his horse, he and the others made a mad dash back to the forest. As they ran through the desert, just above them, the Wyverns stalked their prey with the eldest still locked on her prey.

Her next victims were the pair Amyntas and Richard. She then ordered the others to conduct mock attacks on the heroes, hoping to split the wounded up from the rest of the group.

The Wyverns swooped down and antagonized the heroes one by one, always making sure to separate the weak from strong. The humans swing their weapon at their pursuers, hoping to ward them away. It made them even more persistent.

Then over the horizon, there was a large cloud of dust approaching them. It was a sandstorm, but unlike the ones on earth, these sand storms burn your skin. Seeing no alternative, Decimus yells out an order.

“Ride into the storm, and we’ll lose them in there.” With the monsters close on their tail, the heroes all ride into the storm, with their pursuers close behind. Inside the red storm, the burnishing sensation was worse than expected. Everyone felt their skin begin to peel off of their bodies, yet they had to keep going.

Far in the rear, Amyntas and Richard struggled to keep up. Their weak state was proving challenging to continue the journey. Realizing their end was near, Amyntas knew they had to take shelter. Just then, he sees an outline of what looks like two large rocks.

He steers his mount and motions the creature to it. Getting closer, he notices that this rock was the shelter he took when he first arrived here. Once inside, he helps himself off his mount and places his gear near the rock’s side. He then allows Richard to get down from the beast and set him down on the opposite side.

Now free from the storm, Amyntas went to tending his wounds and saw all the “burnt” skin on his body. As he tended to himself, he looked outside, hoping his friends made it out safe and hoping they would come back to save them.

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