The room was larger now, and seemed to have a balcony overlooking the edge of the castle. The first man smiled at him wickedly, and Wendell realized that Kimberly was asleep, her head lying in the man’s lap, who stroked her hair gently.
“Wake up, Kimberly!!” Wendell shouted, and the man looked at him with frustration. Then his face became pleasant again, and he put one finger to his mouth.
“Quiet, please, she needs her sleep,” he said gently.
Then the man took out a red stone from a pocket, and started to lift one of Kimberly’s hands.
“You can’t do that!” Wendell roared at him, leaping to his chair without thinking, the dagger raised. The man flinched back for a moment, then raised the stone up. Wendell’s dagger crashed into it and bounced off, harmlessly, and Kimberly fell down onto the floor, never stirring. Now the man rose up, broiling with a dark power.
“You don’t even know who we are! You could never know!” he said, smiling with anger. A black sword flashed out of the air and he brought it down at Wendell’s head, who clashed the dagger up into the blow, and was thrown backwards. Now Wendell leaped up again.
“You have no idea what you fight against!!” the man thundered, flashing the black sword with all his might. But Wendell met it and turned it aside. How did I even do that, Wendell thought randomly.
He parried another blow, pushing it back, and then stepped forward, forcing the man to back off. Now forward, now back, Wendell slashed to one side recklessly, now leaping forward again, now clanging the man’s sword out of the way.
“I don’t care who I’m fighting against! Who cares?” Wendell howled into the man’s frustrated countenance.
The other one rose from his chair, all pretense of goodness gone from his frame, and from the corner of his eye Wendell saw him raise two hands in a horrid gesture. But Wendell quickly leapt over to him and made a mad swing for his ribs. The man leaped quickly backwards and threw something invisible, and suddenly a dozen ravens flew at Wendell, their beaks open wide.
He fell down and covered his head, and suddenly they were gone. But the second man gave Wendell a great kick now, and he sprawled on the ground, clutching at his stomach. There was Kimberly, sleeping peacefully.
Wendell staggered up quickly now, still holding his side, and raised the dagger.
“By the swords of David, of Curdie, I defy you!!” he wheezed. They were laughing now. But Wendell felt strangely stronger, the more he spoke.
“You don’t know who you’re fighting against! You don’t even know!!” Wendell said now, feeling the pain and fear drowning in an endless sea of fury, as if a terrible dragon was arising.
“You don’t even know what you’re fighting against!!”
Wendell leaped at the first man now, who mercilessly brought his sword out at him. But the man’s strike was glanced aside, and Wendell advanced. From the edge of his eye he could see the second man approaching.
Suddenly, Wendell hurled himself forward, the dagger pushing against the great black sword, sending the great man sprawling onto the ground. Now he turned to confront the other man, who stopped suddenly and put one hand out in a striking gesture, and Wendell felt a sharp prick in his ribs.
The man beat at the air now, and it seemed as if a multitude of hands were buffeting him, evading his attempts to get away. Wendell flailed his sword now pointlessly after him, as he spun and shimmied out of reach.
The first man rose up now, glowering with fury, and Wendell saw him going over to where Kimberly lay... Wendell spun about now, as an invisible hand slapped his face. He began staggering over, step by step, but it was far... The man knelt down next to her. Wendell hunched over as something dug into his aching stomach, and fell on one knee.
“You won’t...” he gasped now, and staggered around after the dancing one... there was a great chair beside him, and with a terrible cry Wendell seized it over his head and brought it hurtling down on the man as he tried to skip away, sprawling him into a wall.
Now Wendell jumped up on one foot and threw himself at the other, who raised the red stone defiantly, blocking the deadly strike.
But Wendell brought up his foot swiftly into his chest, and he fell, gasping for breath. Wendell leaped after him now, and plunged the dagger down, a horrid black substance oozing out of the man’s body as it tore open and disappeared, the red stone rolling onto the ground.
Wendell spun around, and saw the other coming, a towering maelstrom of strength and motion. As he raised a hand, a rush of wind came into the air, and as he lowered his other, a wave of fire followed. But Wendell cut through them, standing behind his sword.
Now the man stepped up on his feet and clapped his hands up to the sky, and rays of piercing lightning came out, but Wendell put his sword across his eyes quickly, blocking it.
Now Wendell saw him glance at the sleeping girl, but pretended not to notice. As soon as the man started to step towards her, he hurled the dagger suddenly.
The man gave a snide grin and put out his hand, but the dagger struck true and he staggered backwards onto the ground, wailing shrilly in surprise.
Slowly the man raised his head and looked at him with amazement, before he withered away into the air, leaving a puddle of odious black.
Slowly, clutching his side again and wheezing heavily, Wendell went and knelt at the side of Kimberly, but everything had changed back into a cold, empty room. Wendell found the dagger lying in a corner, and put it wearily back on his belt. Then he picked up the sleeping body and carried it from the room.