The Gathering

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Chapter 37

If the battle between the champions and the soldiers was just a warm-up, then the fight between the honor guards and the humans was the main event. Unlike the regular foot soldier who made up a bulk of Kairos forces, these honor guards were reserved for the last line of defense.

They were the best equipped, well trained, handpicked from a category of two hundred cadets and put through a rigorous evaluation by Kairos himself. Those that survived had the privilege of becoming honor guards of the respective warlords. And it was these individuals who were facing and dominating the humans.

Amyntas and his comrades were finding it difficult to deal with these new enemies. In the beginning, they were on the offensive and breaking through the lines, but now with the introduction of the reserves, things were not going as planned. These warriors were much faster and more durable than their human counterparts.

Also, they were killing wendigos quicker and more efficiently. Their actions soon cause the heroes to form a defensive perimeter around the body of Hephaestus. Once the heroes re-established their foothold, Decimus approached Amyntas.

“They are like locusts. There are far too many of them. We need to fall back,” said the Roman. Decimus was beginning to feel his age, and his sword hand was shaking.

“We cannot fall back; we will never get another chance,” replied the spartan. He was breathing very heavily but fought like a lion—the roman tries to council his friend.

“Amyntas, we cannot win. We have too few men, and these honor guards are un-killable.” Amyntas surveyed the battlefield. Decimus was correct, their army had shrunk, enemies cornered them at every turn, and many were growing tired. The Spartan then tells his friend a story he was told back home in Sparta.

“During the Persian Invasion, our late king, Leonidas, fought Lord Xeres’ most dangerous soldiers, the Immortal, at the Hot Gates. They were the elite of the Persian army. And they were thought as un-killable. Do you know what our king did when he and men fought them?

“What did they do?” Amyntas turns and smiles at the Roman.

“They put that name to the test.” Decimus shook his head, letting out a huff and a chuckle.

“You are one crazy bastard. Well then, if this is to be our end, I’m glad to have known you as a brother in arms,” said Decimus.

“The feeling is the same,” replied his friend. Raising his sword high in the air, Amyntas shouted in Greek.

“Μέχρι το θάνατο!” (To the death!). Soon everyone began shouting and cheering. Outside the defensive line, Zeus and the other warlords smiled.

“Even in the face of annihilation, they remain defiant. Brave fools. Stupid. But brave,” said Zeus.

“Perhaps once this is all over, we give them a proper burial. They have earned that at least,” said Hera. Then, with one last command, Zeus orders all forces to converge on the humans. Like a swarm of ants, the honor guards began their final assault on the humans. Everyone braced themselves for what was thought to be the end. Just before the first wave, there is a loud screech up in the air. Everyone knew what that sound was.

Wyverns.

Five dragons descended upon the battlefield from out of the sky, but to the surprise of the humans, the dragons went after the honor guards. Just then, one of them hovers above Amyntas.

“You?” said the spartan. It was Garston, the same dragon that saved him and Richard from certain death in the desert.

“What devilry is this?” said Richard. Garston looks at the mercenary.

“We have our reasons for wanting the tyrant dead. For now, we work together.” Not wanting to argue, Amyntas gives the order to attack. Thanks to the surprise attack by the dragons, the humans were able to counter the honor guards and take back the initiative.

Amyntas thrust his sword into an Atlantian’s heart while Decimus protected his rear and hacked away at a Valkyrie. Cynbel and Kanatakon: ha worked together as they tackled random soldiers and stabbed them viciously with their knives. Suddenly one Valkyrie swoops down and grabs the Celt by the arms. As she began to fly away, Kanatakon: ha reached for his quiver of arrows but realized that he had run out.

Seeing his spear, he quickly grabbed the weapon and threw it at the winged maiden. The spear penetrated one of the Valkyries’ wings, causing her to lose her grip on Cynbel. Avalon then caught the Celt. She quickly thanked him and went back to fighting. As for Mori, he was fighting both an assassin and Amazon at the same time.

Due to his long years of Bushido training, the samurai was able to contend with these two warriors, even managing to disarm one and cripple the other in a single strike.

Amidst the chaos, the other Wyverns dealt with the last surviving warlords. Zeus attacked the eldest with his spear, but the massive reptilian was able to avoid the strike. She then scratched him with her mighty talon, leaving deep cuts in his chest. Enraged, the lightning warlord lunged at her and grabbed her wings. With his strength, he attempted to pull them off.

While the eldest Wyvern felt some pain, she retaliated by pinning Zeus to the castle’s side. Then, with her sharp talons, dung themselves into his flesh. She made a close fist and pulled a massive chuck out of his body. Zeus then let go of her wings and screamed in pain.

Back in the center of the fighting, Amyntas was noticing that the battle was in a stalemate. While the dragons were helping turn the tide, the spartan realized that they were using all of their energy here, and not dealing with Kairos. Just then, Avalon bumps into him. The wendigo king was covered in blood, and his punch dagger was completely red. He was panting hard and turned to his human friend.

“Please tell me you have a plan?” said Avalon. The spartan turned back to the castle and looked upwards.

“How long can you and the others hold out here?” asked Amyntas.

“Long enough, why?”

“I need you to bring Margret. We are going for the head of the snake,” said Amyntas.

“Alright,” replied Avalon. Amyntas then shouted in the air.

“Champions, storm the castle!” Decimus, Richard, Mori, and everyone else heard the order and rushed to the Spartans side. Avalon quickly gathered Margret and escorted her safely to the others. As they made their way past the carnage, Amyntas told his friends the situation.

“I’m not going to explain what we are going to do. When we go through those doors, we will be in the fight of our lives. This outcome will decide once and for all the future of this world.”

“Then you are going to need all the help you can get,” said a voice. The humans turn around and see the mage.

“You’re to hurt badly,” said Richard.

“Kairos has magic on his side, you will need my help if you wish to beat him,” said the mage. Looking back at the battlefield, Amyntas could see Avalon and Vortiger leading a charge against the enemy while Garston and his dragon siblings dominated the air.

“He’s right. we are going to need all the help we can get.” The spartan turns to Margret. “Are you ready to see your husband again?”

Margret rubbed her wedding ring finger. She looks up and gives the spartan a firm nod.

“Let’s go.” Grabbing their weapons, the champions, mage, and Margret raced up the walkway to confront Kairos. As they reached the throne room’s main halls, Amyntas was about to charge when all of a sudden, the doors magically opened. Suddenly everyone stopped in their tracks. Inside, they saw Kairos staring at a nearby window overlooking the battle. The tyrant had a small smile on his face and turned to look at the heroes. He then walks over to the center of the room.

“Come in, everyone; the final act is about to begin.”

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