The guards patrolled the wall and switched posts. Nick, Caleb, Justin and Wyatt remained at their posts toward the walls’ front entry near the gates; their eyes scanned the island and skies. The torched land markers flickered brightly, illuminating the grounds in its serpentine shape. Things were quiet until they heard it; a distant scream.
“Hey, do you hear that?” Caleb asked.
“What is it? It sounds like…” Justin pondered, “it sounds like a bloody Banshee!”
“Banshees wouldn’t surprise me…” Wyatt grew concerned.
“Shh…it’s getting closer!” Caleb hushed them; the four guards put their heightened Wraith and Demon hearing to use listening as the loud screech grew more distinct above their heads. Raising their gaze, their supernatural eyes watched as a large mass approached swiftly. Worried maybe it was something else attacking the island in a new wave, the guards prepared themselves with their weapons drawn. The Demons present reached out with their magical senses and nothing bounced back in reply.
“Form up…form up!” Wyatt ordered and hearing his instructions given firmly and powerfully, all the guards appeared together in a large cluster upon the walls’ walkway; their weapons of choice were at the ready.
Suddenly, massive wings stretched outward bracing a vast creatures’ weight. Think about this. The way a massive blue dragon appeared with wings stretched out and someone’s or something’s screams as a background effect, can put fear into anyone. The pressure from the whirlwind cast, knocked the front two lines of Wraiths and Demons to the ground but were quickly helped to their feet by their comrades and friends. Wyatt and Nick sighed in relief, taking in Axeon’s presence upon the wall.
“It’s alright...it’s alright!” Nick hollered, “It’s Axeon...back down and lower your weapons!” he tucked his two axes back in their hoops on his belt.
As Axeon adjusted himself, landing on the wall with a rough yet elegant pounce, a woman quickly slid off the dragon’s back; her fall was rougher than expected.
“Yz…Yza!? Is that…you!?” Nick inquired cautiously, watching as the young woman stumbled to her feet.
“Who else…” I combed my hair back in place, “would it be!?” I snapped as I turned to him, “Nice to see you too and uh…thank you for preparing, by the way.” I gestured at the group of guards that began breaking apart returning to their posts.
“No problem. Nice scream by the way.” Wyatt smiled then turned to the others; figures scattered or disappearing.
“Bloody hell…that’s a big dragon!” Justin admired in excitement, pointing at Axeon, “Man, I wish there was a guard-guide book for this sort of sh*t. You know, if I knew this was part of the job, I don’t think I would have accepted.” he dramatized the moment, despite knowing Axeon’s existence but nonetheless, the dragon’s was still surprising.
“Justin, dear friend…” I smiled as I approached him, “he’s a dragon. Like Abraxas. Only bigger. Besides, I’d think a Wraith on an island with Demons, Lycynians, Boar-wolves, hellhounds and Jinn, would be used to the sh*t that pops up!”
Justin stood there, thinking momentarily with his mouth agape, then casually shrugged his reply,
“Yeah, okay. You got me on that one...”
“We don’t have all night!” Azir’s voice boomed from Axeon’s back, but his figure was hidden from view as the dragon held his head high above our heads.
“Oi…did he just bloody talk!? He better not have…” Justin gawked humorously, “because I know I didn’t just hear that dragon bloody talk!”
“No, Wraith. He did not. That was I…” Azir leaned to the side, allowing the young man to observe his presence.
I chuckled, walking toward the chest wrapped in chains, chasing Ravens away. Nick sped over, adding his helping hand carrying the chest as if it weighed nothing.
“Thank you.” I appreciated then glanced toward Justin, “He’ll be okay, won’t he?”
“Eh, don’t worry about Justin. He’s all drama.” Nick smiled with a chuckle, “He’ll be talking about Axeon for days now. Still can’t believe you or Marxus didn’t tell us about him.”
“Wasn’t my secret to tell. Besides, why didn’t you tell me you were Wraiths and whatnot when I first arrived here with my mom?”
“Wasn’t my secret to tell.” Nick teased, adjusting the chained chest before laying it before the dragon’s massive taloned feet that frightened the young Wraith as he jumped back watching as the talons flexed.
“We’ve got it from here, Nick...thank you.” I nudged him gently as he stood alongside me then glanced back at Justin before climbing back up on Axeon’s back, again with Azir’s aid, “Catch you guys later!” I waved with a smile then held onto the dragon’s spike.
Axeon raised his head toward the night sky releasing a deafening roar then leaned down for momentum, he pushed off the wall; the guards yet again lost their footing. Leaning on his elbows Justin muttered,
“Un-freaking-believable!” he grew a smile in admiration for the blue creature.
“I told you it was a mistake, I told you but you didn’t listen to me! Again! Now look…” Matrx slammed his hands on the table; his actions echoed loudly throughout the Throne room, “we’ve lost four more units and airships!” he then began pacing, waiting for Drakuul to say something but he didn’t, “Well!? Aren’t you going to say anything!?”
“What do you want me to say, brother!? Hmm?” the Necromancer turned to the General, “That I was wrong? That all of this…” he gestured around, “is pointless? You want me to say that I’ll stop, is that it!?” he squinted his dark eyes in a menacing stare, “Because you and I both know that day will never happen! We are underestimating our enemy and yes, we’re suffering losses but what’s a handful of men that can return in hordes!”
“Return in hordes?” Matrx mocked in disbelief, “Is that all you f*cking think about, aside from finding Marxus and this goddamn book!? Magic?” he released a chuckle in mockery, “Well, I’ll you what! You can sit here on your throne, reading from Mother’s books while I’m out there, winning this war! Not for you, but for me because if it rids me of you, then I’m glad I’m on the streets day-in and day-out!”
“Matrx…” Drakuul warned, “watch yourself!”
“Or what? Or what, Drakuul? You’re going to kill me? Go ahead…” Matrx called Drakuul’s bluff, “go ahead and good luck finding someone who can do my job better than I can! Go on...do it!” and waiting, he proved his point, “That’s what I thought!” he spat at the ground then turned.
Drakuul frowned and feeling his rage scratch at the surface he stretched out his hands toward his brother’s turned back. His hands glowed a dark blue in color that created what looked to be a magical tether that was attempting to wrap itself around the General but as his eyes focused, the magic bounced off like a whip snapping against the ground. He felt a force pushing back and lowering his hands, he frowned in confusion.
Matrx had stopped inches from the door when he felt Drakuul’s magic press against his back and turning around, he leered at the man.
“How is that possible!? How did you...what did you…” Drakuul muttered.
“How is it possible that I deflected your magic? How did I do it? And what did I do?” Matrx mocked, “You’re not the only brother, who can make magical allies so let me tell you what I did...to protect myself from you. Your prisoners that you’ve captured? The rebel Demons and warlocks? Well, they were eager to make a deal for their freedom. The older ones that is. You’ll be surprised what they’d give for freedom so they worked their magic, giving me an immunity to yours and since we share the same energy and all that hoopla…” he grinned, “it made it easier for them to bind a protection charm upon my pretty little shoulders. So...if we’re done here? I’ll be out there while you keep yourself locked up in here like a hermit crab in its shell and you know what?”
“What is that!?” Drakuul ignored his brother’s betrayal.
“I feel sorry for you.” was all Matrx said before turning his back again, storming out of the room.
“I don’t want your pity!” Drakuul shouted, knowing the General heard his slur, “F*ck!” and clenching his fists tight, he raised his hands to his chest before throwing out his arms, releasing a blast of energy that knocked chairs from their place, toppled the Throne and his black orb, even extinguishing the torches near the door, “Guards!” he commanded loudly in a heavy huff.
Three humans and four Shayds soldiers patrolling the corridors answered their Lord’s summons and when entering the throne room, the Shayds felt the Necromancer’s magic lingering along the walls, floors and air within the room.
“My Lord…” the guards bowed their heads.
Drakuul observed the seven men standing near the door, then changed his mind not needing their service for if Matrx wanted to play a game, he’d play it. Thoughts of the prisoners still kept captive; men and women who used their magic against him in a different way infuriated him.
“How many prisoners do we have?” Drakuul proclaimed.
“Forty, Sir give or take.” one of the soldiers revealed.
“I want you to take those forty prisoners, give or take, put their heads on spikes then stick them outside on display for everyone in this city to see that that’s where their lives wind up for betraying the city’s laws!”
“We haven’t questioned all of them yet, Sir...are you sure?” a soldier argued.
“I said…” Drakuul slowly approached, “put their heads on spikes and display them on the streets for everyone who dares to go up against me, to see! Is that clear?” he waited, “Soldier...is that clear!?” his voice was blunt and threatening.
“Of course, my Lord...we will see to it right away!” the soldier muttered.
“Good and if it’s not done by tonight, I’ll make sure your head stands among them.” Drakuul warned, “Now get it done!”
The soldiers quickly slipped out of the room and back into the corridor.
Glancing over his shoulder taking notice the guards had left, Drakuul sighed, returning the throne and orb to their place. Taking a seat breathing calmly and steadily, he closed his eyes growing tired of all the games and declining numbers in his army’s soldiers but what more could he do? He couldn’t continue conjuring creatures or making new Night-Walkers for they’d be under Matrx’s leadership.
Matrx strolled down the halls and entered the grand courtyard where the horde of Trolls, Zarooks and half man-half beast mutations stood around like massive toys. They were aware of the General’s presence but offered no physical reaction other than grunts and heavy swings of their arms as the General poked at them with the tip of one of his Katanas. Standing in front of the horde, Matrx resheathed his blade when four soldiers entered the courtyard with news he had been waiting for; they had found the tunnels but lacked the perpetrator of deleting the documents.
“How did you find the tunnels?” Matrx made his presence scarce from the courtyard.
“Units Eleven and Thirteen were scouting the subway tunnels when they found an old turn off tunnel that was blocked. They investigated half way but turned back because the roof was unstable but we found them, General.” the middle-aged soldier smiled.
“Excellent.” he tapped the soldier’s shoulder, “Walk with me…” he and the man strolled through Parliament; the General giving further orders to look for the individual who might know more about the tunnels, “Whatever you find, bring it straight to me. Is that clear?”
“Yes, General.” the man nodded then backed away with the three men that accompanied him.
“Perfect.” Matrx slurred, rubbing his hands together before heading out back to the streets handling his own business.