The Gathering

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Chapter 39

These heroes have face up to this point out of all the enemies, from dragons, warlords, to even a king of cannibals, Kairos was something far different. Something far worse. For a sorcerer, he surprised the humans with his experienced combat skills. This was going to be a tough fight.

Steel clashing steel filled the throne room. The heroes and the mage fought as one to beat the tyrant. However, things were not going their way. While the mage did provide magical support in the form of energy blasts and magical shields, he was still recovering in his weakened state, and Kairos took full advantage of it. Using his magic to knock the heroes away, he ran full speed towards and mage and jumped into the air; scepter rose high.

The mage reacted as best he could and summon a barrier; however, he was not fast enough. Before the wall could be sealed, Kairos slammed his scepter downward, crushing the shield and breaking one of the mage’s shoulders with the staff’s crescent end. Then, using the hook end, he dug into the mage’s shoulder, pulling him and throwing him across the floor. The mage screamed in pain.

Cynbel jumps Kairos from behind and tries to stab at him. He blocks her attacks with his staff and throws her off of him. Before he could react, Tyra slashes his left arm, leaving a deep gash. He grunted at the pain but thought nothing of it. He then pushes the Viking away with an energy blast. Tyra blocks it but is still sent back a few feet. Then from the corner of his eye, he sees two more attackers. Without even looking, he points his staff at them and freezes them in place.

Richard and Mori could not move their bodies. As Karios was about to finish them, Amyntas rushes in and defends his friends. Blocking the attack with his shield, the spartan unleashed an onslaught of attacks, never along with the tyrant a moment to use his magic. Kairos was taken aback by the young soldier.

He was preoccupied with the constant attacks that he did not see who was behind. Suddenly, there is a sharp pain in his back as he feels a sword go right through, courtesy of Decimus. This angered him as he responded his an elbow strike to the Roman’s face and a punch into Amyntas’s stomach. The duo is pushed back as Kairos pulls the sword out of him.

He then throws it at the Spartan, who blocks it with his shield. Just then, the heroes noticed that Kairos was beginning to heal his wounds at an alarming rate. They needed a new plan.

“This is not working. We need a better strategy,” said Decimus.

“I have an idea,” said Richard.

“What is it?”

“Something that I learned from the Hawks. Hit high, hit low, all around.”

“In English, please,” said Cynbel.

“Some of us will attack high; others will strike below. Together, we corner him in a chokehold and end this.”

“That’s risky, Richard, even for you,” said Mori. Richard told them that they did not have a choice. Helping each other up, the heroes attacked once more, this time following the mercenary’s plan. Amyntas struck first, with a downward chop from his sword. Kairos smirks and easily blocks it.

However, his smirk changes as he is cut on the thigh by Decimus. Blood soon stains the white robe he was wearing. Kairos charged up an energy blast but had to cancel it as Cynbel went after his wounded leg quickly. He blocks her knife strike but leaves his back exposed as Kanatakon: ha stabs him in the shoulder with his war lance.

He grunts in pain as he kicks the Mohawk away from him. Suddenly, Richard and Tyra attack from both sides, left and right. Kairos quickly blocks one attack with his staff, the other with magic. This was the chance Mori needed as the samurai slipped under Kairo’s nose and, with his dual katana’s, delivered powerful slices and slashes across his chest and stomach.

The front robed was now stained red and torn to shreds. The heroes repeated these series of attacks over and over. Following Richard’s instructions, they attacked the tyrant from all sides, from the top of his head to the bottom of his legs. They soon began to tighten their circle around him as Tyra, Decimus, and Amyntas used their shield to form a triangular bubble.

Then, in unison, they all began to stab and hack at the defenseless tyrant. Blood began to spurt everywhere as Kairos was becoming red all over. He felt their blades piercing his body and cut away at him.

For a brief moment, the heroes thought they were winning. They thought they had beaten the mighty tyrant. They couldn’t be more wrong. In the triangle, Kairos clenched his first and started to glow. This bright light blinded the heroes and stopped their assault. Before they had a chance to react, Kairos lets out a loud yell.

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!” Suddenly, there is a massive energy repulse then sends the heroes flying in all directions. Some the ceiling, while others hit the pillars. They each all land hard on the ground, with the possibility of a few broken bones.

As the light begins to fade out, Kairos was left standing. His once elegant white robes were not tattered and stained red. Heavy breathing filled the room. The tyrant eyes were wide and attentive. He looks around the room as he sees the champions groaning in pain. He was about to turn away until he hears a voice.

“What’s the matter, don’t tell me your hurt? We’re not done yet.” Kairos turns and sees Amyntas on his feet. The young spartan was clearly in pain. The blast had caused some serious internal injury and bleeding. Yet despite all that, the Spartan refused to back down. Kairos glares at the Spartan through his helmet. Using his magic, he pulls the human to him.

Grabbing him by the throat, He began to squeeze the Spartan’s neck. Amyntas could feel his throat being crushed. Suddenly, he feels another pain as Kairos stabs the spartan in the chest with his sword. The young soldier’s eyes widen, and he feels the cold steel penetrate his body. He tried to gasp for air but found he could not breathe. Just then, Kairos feels a sharp pain in his head, causing him to lose his grip on the young neck.

Amyntas falls to the ground gasping for air. Fearing that Kairos would retaliate soon, he quickly pulls out his sword from his gut and hits the tyrant square in the head with his shield’s back end. The shield bash knocks the tyrant flat off his feet and on his back. Now both men were lying on the floor in a pool of their blood. Amyntas struggled to get up. He fought through the pain and managed to get on his knees. He was losing a lot of blood and did his best to bandage up the wound.

As for Kairos, the tyrant slowly began to recover. As he got up, he felt a ringing pain in his head, probably from the shield bash. He then feels blood dripping down the side of his head and running down his cheek. He then tastes the blood as it ran down to his mouth.

“All that work for a drop of blood,” said Kairos. Suddenly there is a loud female voice shouting in the room.

“Enough! Please, stop this, Archibald,” said Margret. Throughout the fight, she stood behind a pillar and watched the whole ordeal. Seeing her husband hurting others and himself getting hurt was too much for her. Kairos looked at her with a puzzled look.

“What did you call me?” he said to her.

“It’s me. It is your wife,” she replied, tears running down her cheeks. Kairos slowly walks over to her and places a hand on her cheek. Then his hardened expression begins to change, and his voice becomes a little softer—a little familiar.

“Margret?” Archibald said. His voice was soft and weak. Margret places her hand over his.

“Yes, my love,” she said with a smile.

“How is this possible?”

“We brought her here,” said Amyntas. Archibald looks over to the wounded Spartan.

“No, this is impossible?” said Archibald.

“Its true mate, ole’ Amyntas here summon her from your time to save you,” said Richard. Archibald looks at his wife for the first time and tries to smile. His expression soon quickly changes to worry.

“You should not be here.....He’s too strong...You all...need to......ARGH!” Archibald places his hands over his helmet head and begins to scream in pain. Margret began to worry again.

“What’s happening to him!?” she wailed.

“The helmet. trying to retake control,” said the mage.

“We need to remove it,” she said.

“You can’t,” said the mage. “Any mere weapon cannot destroy the helmet. It needs to be destroyed by another weapon of the same caliber.” Looking around, the mage sees Kairo’s weapon on the floor. “The staff! Use the staff!” Margret rushes over to the staff and tries to pick it up. She pulls away as her hands begin to burn from the mere touch.

“Dammit,” said the mage. “Kairos must have placed a spell on it, making sure he was the only one who could wield it.”

“We don’t have time for this crap,” said Amyntas, limping his way over to the staff. Decimus places a hand in front of his friend.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” said Decimus in bewilderment.

“Finishing this fight,” said Amyntas. Taking a breath, the Spartan grabs the staff. He feels the burning sensation in his hands. As he picks it up, he is shocked by how heavy the weapon is. Pushing thoughts of the pain out of his mind, he slowly limped his way towards Archibald. The burning was at the point that Amyntas could smell the skin on his palms cooking. It almost made him want to throw up, but he kept on limping away.

As he got closer to Archibald, he struggled to raise the staff over his head. He did not have the strength to do so. Thus, he positioned himself and held the staff in a downward position. He had to make sure he hit the helmet on the crown with the back end of the crescent head. Already feeling his body starting to lose strength, he twisted his hips and swung with whatever power he had left.

The end of the crescent hit the helmet dead on with a thunderous CRACK. It’s recoil forces Amyntas to take a knee. The Spartan yells in pain. As he looks up, he sees that the helmet was cracked but not destroyed. Trying to get up, his legs fail him and force back to the ground. Time was running out. Suddenly, Margret remembers something.

Reaching into her leather bag, she pulls out the ruby moonstone. Richard stares at her wide-eyed.

“You brought that here!?” said Richard.

“I thought it might help,” she replied. The mage grabs the stone from the woman’s hands. Then an idea pops into his head.

“Amyntas, combine the stone with the scepter. Its combined magical force may be enough to destroy the helmet.” The mage then tosses the Spartan the stone. Catching it with one hand, the young Spartan places the stone inside the crescent shape.

Suddenly, the stone begins to float as the two magical properties work in harmony with each other. Breathing heavily, Amyntas knew this was his last chance.

“All mighty Heracles, give me strength one more,” he whispered to himself. Using the staff to prop him up, Amyntas positioned himself again. Then with a mighty yell, he swung with whatever little strength he had left.

As soon as he made contact, there was an earth-shattering CRACK. Blueish light fills the room, the floor shook uncontrollably, and sparks began to fly everywhere. Amyntas, taken aback by the sheer force of the blow, is sent back to the far end of the room, hitting and cracking the stone wall.

“AMYNTAS!” shouted Cynbel. The young Celt ran over to him, followed by the others, except for Margret. She rushed over to her husband.

Cynbel kneeled and cradled the Spartan’s head. His face was covered in bruises, dirt, and blood. She checked for a pulse but could not find one. Panic was starting to take over her. Just then, the mage kneels beside her.

“Is....he....d-dead?” asked Cynbel.

“Not if I can help it,” he replied. Making fast hand gestures, the mage creates a glowing orange sphere of light. He then guides the orb over to the body and gently pushes it in. Suddenly, the Spartan awakes with a loud gasp of air, followed by a cough or two.

“You’re alive!” shouted Cynbel. She hugged the Spartan tightly, patting her on the shoulder to release him from her bear-like hug. Breaking away from the embrace, the spartan looks up at his friends who were happy he was alive. He then turns his attention to Margret. Slowly getting up, he makes his way over to her.

As he knelt beside her, they both saw Archibald. Instead of the young man she married and last remembered, laying before she was a wrinkled, grey hair, older man. His eyes were no longer bright and full of life; they were now dull orbs devoid of joy. As he turned his head over to his wife, he brushes his fingers over her cheek.

“Thank you, my love. You...have...freed me.” Margret cupped his cheek, trying to hold back the tears.

“We are going to get you out of here,” she replied. Archibald shook his head.

“” He slowly closes his eyes, and his hand falls softly to the ground.

“Archibald? Archibald! ARCHIBALD!” she began to scream and openly weep over her husband’s body. Amyntas placed a hand over her shoulder. The mage soon approaches them with an equally sad look on his face. Margret looks up at him.

“Can’t you bring him back?” she sobbed.

“I’m far gone. His body was a vessel for the spirit that lived off his life force. That helmet was the only thing keeping him alive.” The mage helps them lift the weary older man. Decimus retrieves the staff, with the stone fused to it. They were about to leave when they hear a dark voice.

“Who said you could leave,” said a voice. The heroes stop cold in their tracks. As they turn around, their eyes widen with horror.

“You got to be kidding me,” said Cynbel. They all look and saw the helmet pieces humming together in unison. Suddenly, the parts begin to merge and fix themselves. As they do so, the helmet starts to glow the same blue light. With the pieces all together, the helmet began to drift upwards slowly.

As it lifted higher into the air, it began to spin around at an alarming rate. Then, a figure began to take shape. Its body was made entirely of blue light. As the helmet started to slow down, the heroes got a full view of the specter. The luminous apparition lowered itself before them. Its glowing white eyes stared directly at them. As it spoke, a familiar voice emerged.

Kairos was free.

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