𝒜s Abraxas hovered; his wings flapping slowly, the gust of wind cast caused the ships to sway in place and the bridges connecting ship-to-ship, loosened from their latches, crashing to the ground or onto the wall. He released a guttural screech-like roar as he flung his tail through the air, breaking the tall masts and sails that crashed onto the decks below. The Zyphyn seemed to enjoy creating the chaos while turning his body around in a fast spinning motion that sucked the smoke from the fires and once creating a massive whirlwind of suction, he stretched out his wings releasing the hold and once doing so, the pressure was thrown outward causing the ships to crash into one another.
“That’s my boy!” he heard his mother’s voice telepathically declare in pride.
Breathing heavily, he built another large bellow; holding his head back then pushing it forward, he exhaled one breath (was all it took) that burned the ships, sails and metal attachments in seconds. Once the fire had been unleashed he grabbed hold of the nearest ship with his taloned claws, twirling it around before throwing it to the ground outside the gates avoiding the homes and other structures. The steam engines from the other two ships began overheating as their pipes burst and propellers failed to spin, keeping the aircrafts afloat. One nearest the wall fell dead weight crashing down onto the large structure but broke into two pieces from the impact. The mast snapped from the deck of the ship, landing across the wall blocking part of the guards walkway, while the deck plunged; crashing outside the gates. As Abraxas continued destroying the ships, the third ship exploded, causing those on the wall and on the ground, to shield our heads as the ship’s debris crashed down. Everyone scattered around, after hearing my voice shout out over the roaring flames, to escape the area from any chance of injuries suffered from the debris.
As I ran covering my head from fallen debris, I tripped on a plank of wood, falling to the ground. Watching as pieces fell around me, I crawled backwards on my hands then immediately curled myself into a ball as more fell from above. Zanz laid alongside me and I reached over, covering his large body with my own the best I could. Once fallen with smoke and flames everywhere, I tapped Zanz to stand but the weight of a large plank crushed my legs. I moaned as I attempted to break free. Zanz barked as he jumped in place, before trying to pull it away with his strength but the iron metal beam inside and iron ore dusting off the wood, burned against his mouth; Zanz released low whimpers. I had drained most of my telekinetic ability during this fight that when I attempted to push it off, the plank only nudged slightly but not enough to slip my legs out from.
“F*ck!” I cried then turned to Zanz who whined loudly, “Zanz, go! Get out of here! Go!” I ordered but he didn’t obey; whimpering in reply as he pawed at the plank, “Zanz, stop…stop…” I screeched as the constant friction squeezed heavier on my legs, “son of a bitch! SH*T…” I moaned but continued my efforts and when glancing ahead, a male figure approached through the smoke and fire. Thinking maybe it may have been an injured soldier, my Aura erupted as I searched for something to use as a weapon to defend myself, but nothing was close enough other than planks that could be used maybe once or twice to swing but nothing concrete enough to do damage if needed. Zanz scampered alongside me, growling at the figure ready to attack upon command. The smoke clouded my vision, burning my eyes, leaving me unable to fully view the figure but from what I could tell, he was at least six feet tall, dark hair and dressed in a knee length sleeveless tunic; revealing muscular arms. He grew closer as I continued trying to pull away. Recognizing the tunic I muttered with a wince, “Molock!?”
“Hold still…” he answered. Reaching out his hands he made a fist, as if grabbing hold of something then slowly pulling his hands back, the plank was removed and thrown aside among other rubble and debris. He scampered over kneeling alongside me, flipping the rear of his tunic back. He examined my soot covered face then reached for my hands. The size was unforgettably noticeable; mine looked so small in his palms, “Are you alright!?” he showed concern.
“Yes. Thank you.”
“Good…good. Come on now, on your feet.” he gently pulled me up.
“What are you doing here, not that I’m complaining…” I gained my footing.
“Didn’t I tell you to be careful of falling debris!? Yes, I did but look…you didn’t avoid the one thing I told you to look out for!” Molock answered in agitation.
“I didn’t…” I attempted a reply but Zanz began growling; gaze focusing behind Molock.
Two injured soldiers lunged toward him with blades in hand and before Molock could turn, I pushed him behind me, focusing my demonic energy; feeling the sensation begin from my feet up through my body until I had gathered it all within my hands, creating a fiery energy-like orb between them. As one of the soldiers grew closer, I pulled my arms toward my right as if sucking in the energy, then pushed my arms out, releasing the power aiming it toward him. Making contact, it imploded leaving a gaping hole through his entire torso and chest. Zanz pushed the other soldier to the ground, ripping the man’s throat with one massive grasp. I breathed heavily, then felt weak in the knees, turning to Molock for support (there was a lot to grab onto) who stood astonished for no one had ever saved his life before; not since Sumeria.
“Thank you.” he appreciated, “That’s the first time I’ve ever had anyone save my life.”
“You saved mine…” I gestured toward the rubble, “the least I can do is repay the favor.”
“Mm.” he smiled then backed away.
“Wait…” I stepped toward him.
“You don’t need me now, demoness…” he laughed then disappeared; his elegant laugh lingering in my ear.
I smiled then scampered off between limps with Zanz heeling loyally. I paused, watching through the smoke, my powerful and magnificent Abraxas show his dominance; filling the sky with fire as he released bellows one after another, making his point. The sky flashed brightly in between his bellows and it was breathtaking! He then turned his focus upon the ship near the harbor and once his form disappeared, the fight continued as arcane magic filled the air in various colors for the surviving Shayds wouldn’t give up until it was all over.
Those in their homes, stepped outside looking toward the wall where they watched as Abraxas left behind burning ships, soaring above their heads toward the village where there it was, in the distance, a massive ship with its sails blowing in the wind. Leonus ran onto the road among others, fearful, realizing we were under attack. Despite the message the young Keeper had sent, no one realized how extensive her warning was.
Thomas sprinting from his home two houses down, approached from behind, cursing under his breath in Italian, as he worried for our safety and of course that of his brother Anthony.
Frowning, Leonus turned to Thomas, ordering him to retrieve a weapon. Nodding without argument, they parted returning to their homes. Leonus pushed Heather and their sons aside as he removed his sword from its place on the wall, then rushed out.
Thomas’s wife Louisa, questioned her husband’s actions as he scampered toward their bedroom, retrieving his sword. Without having the time to explain, he rushed from their home, scampering down the road where he could see Leonus’ form running ahead; a few other warriors with him. Louisa and their children knew something was dangerously occurring and sought safety in their cellar upon Thomas’ orders.
Worried, Heather shouted as she watched her husband and Thomas climbed into Thomas’ truck, while others grabbed their vehicles.
“Leonus...Thomas…” she shouted, but her shouts were unheard.
Trucks and Jeeps drove down the road toward the manor; their tires revved rough against the pathway. Weapons in hand, the scattered warriors pushed the vehicles as fast as they could.
“Look!” Justin called out pointing toward the sky where a massive dragon approached, “Sh*t...sh*t! It’s Abraxas! Get off...get off now!” he hollered.
Wyatt and others took his warning to ear, jumping off board; some figures landed in the water or rooftops before rolling off landing hard on the cobblestone streets. They recovered quickly ignoring their injuries while seeking shelter from the firestorm that the dragon began unleashing upon the ship in between tearing the aircraft apart with his talons and massive teeth. Grabbing the ships body with his powerful jaws, and with strong flaps of his wings, he threw it away into the Irish Sea where figures that had fallen into the chilly waters, attempted to swim toward the harbor before the waters swelled and crashed against one another. The mast crashed onto the dock breaking the wooden planks while the sail, still ablaze, landed among the rooftops that destroyed some of the solar panels that the businesses had installed.
“Jesus…” Wyatt cursed as he floated near the dock near friends that held onto the wood posts.
“Hey, Wyatt...you alright!?” a voice called out.
Wyatt used his eyes to search for the voice and glancing near the warehouse, there stood Justin waving his arms to attract the Demons’ attention. Wyatt raised his right arm in the air and with the Wraith’s eyes, he observed the Demon’s reply growing relieved.
Clouds of smoke and fire filled the air among the village and that of the ground within the wall.
The Jinn and guards that still lingered upon the wall, veered their eyes over the walls’ ledge looking below at the grounds taking notice the exchange of magic had ceased. Azir and Natash appeared below waving away smoke that was so thick, they covered their faces with their turban scarves. Strolling slowly with their kin behind and Demon or Wraith guards soon after, they examined bodies buried or pinned beneath the debris that was all still ablaze. They worried, hoping some of the figures weren’t any of us that perished.
“Yzavela!” Azir hollered, coughing from the clouds of smoke, “Where are you!?”
Natash continued searching through the smoke then suddenly her foot stepped on a broken blade. Carefully moving her foot she gasped.
“Azir...” she whispered, picking up the two pieces, “oh, by the Elders…isn’t this? Wasn’t this…” tears stung her eyes.
He worried greatly as he raised his gaze, frantically searching among rubble and bodies.
“Yzavela!” he shouted out, “Yzavela!” and before he could continue his calls, he and those around him, heard someone coughing violently. Turning around, a large hound and petite woman walked through the smoke; their Auras surrounded their forms. Blood dried on her clothes, hair and the hound’s fur, “By the Elders…thank you!” Azir finished, watching as she walked toward him; amazed at the sight before them, “You’re…you’re…”
“Yeah…go with it.” I answered bluntly, “And don’t touch me.” I noticed he stepped forward, “Not if you want to burn your hands…”
“Dear child...are you alright?” Natash inquired.
“Bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes but just another day in Ravenstone.” I mocked.
Natash knew the young woman was attempting humor to hide her discomfort and injuries, then raised the broken weapon. Handing the two pieces toward her she muttered, “I believe this is yours?”
I examined the sword that was once glorious but now, it’s nothing but a damaged blade.
“Thank you.” I complained then coughed once more; Zanz snorting uncomfortably.
Azir turned to his kin instructing them to dissipate the smoke. Nodding, they then ventured in different directions pulling the smoke inward then threw their hands outwards, creating a funnel of air that sucked the smoke into one tall pillar before it disappeared above our heads. Studying the estate grounds, embers lingered from fires still smoldering.
“Thanks.” I coughed, hopefully for the last time.
“Little Yza!?” an Italian voice called out my name.
Turning around, there was Anthony walking in shuffling steps toward me.
“Anthony!?” I sighed as I limped toward him, thankful he wasn’t among those that lost their lives.
“Are you alright?” he worried, putting aside his injuries as he examined my face.
“I’m fine, I’m fine.” I placed my hands on his chest then felt him pull away because my touch had hit the nerves suffering from the wound in his shoulder, “Oh my god Anthony, you’re shot! Again!?”
“Eh, it’s nothing.” he shrugged.
“Here, let me?” Natash approached, waiting for him to agree to allow her inspection.
She raised her left eyebrow examining the wound and placing her hands over it, blood covering her palms, Anthony suddenly felt something squirming around in the wound causing much discomfort when suddenly, the unknown material ejected into Natash’s palm. There it was, a large bullet with ultra-violet rounds in the center.
“Hmm...” Anthony examined the bullet, “that’s new.”
“Yza!?” Jon’s voice interrupted.
“Jonathan!” I glanced around Azir’s tall form and there he was, walking with Sarah who held onto him giving her support for his wounded leg, “Oh thank god…” then I noticed his leg wound, “you too?”
“Yeah, well…you three!” Jon snapped, gesturing at my leg, “Hey, have you seen Erik?”
“No. I just started looking for everyone when Azir found me.” I answered.
“Relax, I’m here.” Erik’s voice interrupted appearing behind Jon with Nick, Caleb and Wyatt whose clothes appeared soaking wet, appearing as if he jumped into a pool.
“Are you alright? All of you?” I inquired, worrying about my friends and yes, even Erik.
“Surprised you asked.” Erik mocked turning away, suffering minor cuts and scrapes; his eyes beginning his search for his father.
I sighed heavily for was he really going to pull that card? Now? After what just happened?
“Hey, Yza...you need to talk to Abraxas about waiting to destroy things until after we’re out of the way.” Wyatt complained, “I’m not much of a water person and didn’t appreciate the late night swim in the f*cking cold waters of the sea.” he frowned.
“Yeah, love…didn’t get much of a chance to prepare my landing either.” Justin rolled his shoulder because he had dislocated it when rolling off one of the rooftops in the village before landing near the warehouse.
“Yeah, he got a little carried away it seems.” I moaned glancing at the sky looking for his form, “But you’re alright?”
“Yeah, we’re fine.” Wyatt groaned, “Nothing a good drink after this won’t fix.”
“Bloody hell, tell me about it!” Caleb complained.
“Mother…” Abraxas’ voice entered my mind startling me for a moment, as he released loud roars that echoed from above, “are you alright?” he continued, taking a graceful landing while accidentally spreading the fire and embers with his wings, but Azir quickly snuffed them out.
I smiled as I approached, petting his large snout before he changed into his smaller form.
The Nubians and my friends stood amazed; for the only dragon they had ever seen was Axeon. Azir strolled over cautiously, admiring Abraxas’ beauty and watching him approach, Abraxas stretched out his wings, releasing a loud warning screech-like-roar, as he glared at Azir; his snout vibrating violently as he showed his massive white teeth.
“Easy, Abraxas.” I whispered, “He’s a friend. You know that…”
“He’s unique.” Azir admired.
“Yes he is.” I smiled snuggling against his snout (or as much of it as I could).
Abraxas’ eyes scanned the Jinn and my friends, nodding in respect. Nudging my petite form, he telepathically inquired, wanting to know if I’d like him to return to his smaller size or that if he was still needed, he awaited my instructions. Stroking a soft patch of scales beneath his chin I answered stepping back,
“No. Everything’s done. So yes, please...shift.” then I turned to those standing around, “You might want to step back a bit? He’s going to shift.”
“He’s going to what?” one of Azir’s Jinn questioned curiously.
“You heard me, Sir.” I nodded then stood among them; Anthony nudging me gently then all of us watched as the Zyphyn stretched out his wings, held his head high before his scales illuminated in a bright flash red light. His form began shrinking smaller and smaller until there he was, morphed back into his original size that flew landing in my arms, “Now, come on...let’s go find the others and get this f*cking bullsh*t cleaned up and assess the damage.” I advised, receiving nods in agreement.
Leonus and Thomas with the other warriors with them, had finally arrived at the estates wall; the vehicles stopping abruptly with rough kicks on the breaks. Cautiously climbing out quietly closing the doors, the warriors approached the outer gate with debris smoldering outside releasing smoke into the air. Observing the iron gate with dented bars and missing rivets, the warriors cursed before peeking through the bars down the tunnel’s length. Catching a glimpse of figures walking by; two of them being Derek and Nick, Leonus and Thomas called out their names several times but they weren’t heard due to the loud ruckus coming from behind the wall. Leonus frowned as he stepped back; eyes focusing up on the wall where he could spot figures throwing smaller pieces of wood over the ledge.
“Oi...hey, you up there! Open the gates!” he shouted in command.
Glancing over the ledge, Wraiths and Demons took notice of a group gathered outside. Making sure the cogwheel wasn’t damaged during the falling debris, the guards quickly moved scattered pieces aside before turning the wheel; the outer gate opened half way before stopping, due to an unforeseen damaged mechanism inside the wheel. Leaning over the wall Wyatt shouted loudly,
“That’s it...that’s all we can do!”
“Dio accidenti a questa fottuta isola…” Thomas cursed, complaining about the island as he and Leonus crouched low beneath the spiked tips of the gate; the others trailing behind them quickly.
Sprinting down the tunnel and entering within the wall, they glanced around taking in the sight of garbage spread across the estate ground. Scanning the area, there stood Derek and Anthony with Azir and I. Thomas ran toward Anthony who stepped away, after hearing Thomas call out his name. Grabbing onto him, Thomas thanked God that his brother was safe. Pulling away, he noticed Anthony’s shoulder wound and cursed, kicking the ground beneath his feet.
“Thomas, Thomas...I’m fine, really.” Anthony whispered, “I’m fine.”
“What happened!?” he urged.
“I’ll tell you but right now…” he shifted turning to me, “do you think you can handle everything without me?”
“Of course. Go and take care of yourself.” I approached, gently laying my right hand on his arm more affectionately than I realized; something Thomas took notice of, “Go to the clinic and get that shoulder looked at. Keeper’s orders.”
“Si…” Anthony joked, bowing slightly before flinching from a pinch in his shoulder then turned away, walking away with Thomas.
“After the hospital, you’re coming home with me because Louisa must be worried. Besides, we have the good stuff stashed away and I think you could use a drink.” Thomas proclaimed.
“You don’t mean…” Anthony paused, referring to an Italian vintage that’s rare to purchase but one they favored in their earlier years.
“Yes, and there’s a bottle specifically with your name on it.” Thomas walked alongside his brother then grew unsettled by Anthony’s next slur of words,
“I swear, Thomas...if I didn’t know any better, I’m marked for death.” he huffed.
“Why would you say that?” Thomas paused in the tunnel, “That’s not funny!”
“Wasn’t supposed to be.” Anthony shrugged, “But think about it, Thomas. First, I was attacked and turned into a Lycynian, then I was stabbed by a woman’s husband. After that, we moved here where we went to Scotland and had my head almost bashed in, then after that, the Hunters where I was shot not just once, but twice and now this!” he gestured at his shoulder, “Something’s out to get me, Thomas and it scares me more than it scares you!” then he turned, shuffling down the tunnel crouching beneath the gate.
Thomas frowned following after his brother with great concern of his words and once outside, Anthony examined the debris on that side of the wall, growing relieved it had spared the homes or stables, barn and Raven aviaries. He groaned in discomfort as he climbed into the front seat, and situating himself in place, he watched as Thomas got in, feeling the motion from his movements.
“You!” Leonus’ voice barked in my direction, “Why didn’t you summon me!?” he roughly pushed me backwards knocking me to the ground unexpectedly.
Azir and others standing around stood before me all leering at the 6’6 Lycynian with their weapons still in hand.
“First of all…” I grunted pushing myself to my feet with Sarah’s help then pushed through Azir and Jon, “don’t you dare f*cking touch me like that again and secondly, I didn’t have time to wait for your f*cking a** to arrive and save the day! They came rather quickly and certainly wouldn’t wait for the red Lancaster carpet to be rolled out so I did what I had to do! Get it!?” I pushed him backwards with a thick heavy barrier that stumbled his balance.
Leonus frowned then glanced at Derek,
“And you? Fighting alongside the enemy?” he referred to the young half-breed, “I thought you hated this lot?”
“I never said I hated any of them!” Derek approached standing face-to-face with Leonus, “That would be you and only you!” he pushed past the Scotsman shoulder tending to debris I had asked him to begin clearing out of the way; duties I had given before Leonus approached.
“What’s the sense of having the Isle’s warriors train if you’re going to do everything your way!?” Leonus complained leering in my direction, “Are you going to do this if or when Drakuul or whatever the f*ck his name is, comes here!?”
“No, you dumba** I’m not! I had a choice and I made it, so if you have a problem with that, then too f*cking goddamn bad! You want something to do?” I engulfed in my Aura, “Why don’t you help in the clean up efforts, hmm? Or is that beneath the great and powerful Leonus Lancaster!?” I gripped the hilt of my broken sword ready to use it if necessary but the Scotsman backed down.
He bit his lower lip then turned, stomping across the field with his fists squeezing tightly against palms leaving behind puncture marks as his claws extracted. Raising his hands examining his palms, he frowned hating the young woman, wondering why he can’t just rid himself of her? Why hasn’t he? That’s something he asks himself everyday when he encounters her.
“GOD...I HATE THAT MAN!” I moaned slowly in a deep tone then turned my gaze toward the manor that remained untouched. Bodies laid everywhere; among scattered wreckage both inside and outside the wall. The Wraiths threw the masts over the wall, hollering out to those near the wall and gates, to stand back. Scorch marks were visible but left no severe damage on the property, “I can’t believe this happened.” I muttered sadly.
“War, little one...is inevitable. But I’m afraid the worst is yet to come.” Azir said softly standing alongside me, “There was nothing you could do. Material things can be rebuilt but not lives. Thank goodness none of ours were taken. Or yours. Now if Leonus Lancaster were here…I wouldn’t shed a tear or give a sh*t.”
“True.” Jon added, “Hey, listen...I think I’m gonna head on up to the hospital and get my leg checked out. You don’t need me for anything?”
“No, Jon...get some rest and feel better.” I smiled, “Thank you, Jon for being here.”
“No problem.” he returned the smile.
“And Sarah?” I looked at her, “Good job out there. You too Jon, both of you.”
“Thank you.” Jon limped in place.
“Thank you. You too.” she patted my shoulder then heard Leonard’s voice calling out her name and that of Nathan’s who was nowhere to be seen during this entire fiasco.
Suddenly, everyone heard Hiromi’s voice speaking loudly in Chinese and by the mood of the conversation and tone in his voice, he wasn’t happy. We turned our heads, watching as he stood before Erik who held his hands on his hips, listening to his father’s rants. Hiromi waved his hands around in expressive mannerisms to make his point; his lounging pajamas were stained in some places from blood splatters and torn from cuts he suffered during his moment of the skirmish.
“He’s in deep sh*t.” Jon fretted.
“I wonder what happened?” Natash inquired.
“Who bloody knows, really?” Sarah shrugged, “They’ve been arguing a lot lately and before you ask, no it’s not about you.” she gestured at me.
“Good to know. Thanks, Sarah.” I snapped then continued watching the argument between father and son; Erik’s level of disrespect and rage was unsettling, “Oh, my god…” I broke my focus on them knowing my mom and the others must be wondering what’s taken place, “my mom!” I limped in fast steps toward the dwelling with Zanz alongside and Abraxas cupped in my arms.
“I’ve never seen anyone run so fast with injuries to the leg.” Natash observed humorously tilting her head.
“Neither have I…” Azir answered, tilting his head as well.
Approaching the dwelling, the doors were locked securely from inside.