𝒟awn arrived and the sun hadn’t even risen in the sky but you could see its rays beginning to change the sky’s color; the portal had almost fully penetrated the island’s barrier as a massive black spot hovered in the air at the end of the dock. Azir and some of his Jinn stood far from the doc up near the village gates, watching as the center began forming a clear center; their Jinn eyes could see Heysham’s harbor and figures pacing about. They broke their gaze, looking at one another with fear and worry then turned, teleporting back to the manor. Once behind the wall or walking along its walkway above where the guards watched the harbor, Azir had Wyatt send word to all warriors via-phone or tablet.
I laid in Anthony’s arms after maybe our last night together, making sure we made one another feel loved in our last few hours. We laid awake for at least two hours, in silence before I got the call from Azir that indeed, Drakuul had made his way onto the Isle. Both Anthony and I felt lumps in our throats and knots in our stomachs. We stared into each other’s eyes then leaned forward, sharing possibly our last kiss. Zanz and Abraxas grew restless as they stirred from their place near the fireplace that displayed a dying fire. I climbed toward the edge of the bed, holding my arms for them and they eagerly accepted the embrace. Anthony scooted across the bed toward the young woman, gently rubbing her back affectionately. We shared a moment of eye contact then standing to his feet, Anthony held out his hands for me to stand and guiding me to the bathroom we showered, loving each other once more. Once the shower was turned off, we stepped out wrapped in towels then began dressing in our armor, managing a few more kisses in between. This wonderful man turned the perspective term LATIN LOVER into reality.
Jonathan and Sarah had spent their last night together as well, not with intimacy but just held each other because Sarah wasn’t in the loving mood. Her thoughts were elsewhere and well guarded from Jon intruding on them. Laying in her bed, he stared at the ceiling when suddenly their phones beeped, receiving a message from Wyatt’s number revealing the news. Sarah sat up, staring at the screen intensely, reading the words of warning over and over. Jon pushed himself into a sitting position as he leaned forward wrapping his arms around her shoulders. She pressed her back against his chest and head against his then immediately thought of her brother. Pulling away, she grabbed her boots then scampered out of the room, before Jon could even protest. He glanced around her room feeling abandoned. He stood to his feet, grabbed his overnight bag then left her room behind, venturing to his own to prepare himself for what’s to come.
Erik paced his room, thinking about everything he’s done wrong and hoped he’d have a moment to make things right. He didn’t want things to end badly between friends or exes. He showered then dressed in his armor that fit perfectly, making him look like a man of war. He carried his sword in one hand then knelt before his turtle tank, giving them one last feeding. He smiled, saying his goodbye to the small reptiles that crawled or swam then stood straight, sighing heavily. He glanced around his room then left, slowly closing his door and standing out in the hall, he met up with Jon who carried his thick heavy leather armor in his right hand and bag of bladed weapons in the left. They exchanged a friendly knuckle bump then strolled down the hall, where they met up with Caleb, Nick and Wyatt.
Heather barely got sleep; dark shadows attested to that. Leonus either hardly slept as he watched his wife and two youngest sons lay in his bed of the room he resided in the Lycynian dwelling during their fights. Liam slept on the floor near the fireplace. He sat in one of the chairs with his feet resting on the other, watching as his wife slowly climbed out of the bed, leaving her sons still asleep. She slowly approached her Scotsman, sitting in his lap wrapping her arms around his neck. Placing his arms around her waist, he enjoyed her gentle touch as she combed straggler bangs off his forehead, then stroked his beard. Her eyes said all that needed being said in the moment but was sealed with a kiss. If he wasn’t such a warrior, he would have made sure he had her one last time but he was a man that thought he needed all his strength for war. Liam began to awaken, interrupting the husband and wife’s tender moment; Seth and Daniel soon followed.
Thomas and Louisa laid in Anthony’s bed with their two children; his brother had slept with his mate elsewhere. When receiving the message, Thomas had feared leaving his family, as did Louisa who although wanted her husband to stay by their side, knew he would never forgive himself for allowing his brother to fight alone. Sitting up against the headboard, they whispered loving words to each other in their Italian tongue, sharing moments of tears and laughter of happy memories or just laid there staring at their sleeping children. Thomas’ eyes then glanced across the room where his armor laid spread out across the table near the chairs with his sword standing against the wall.
Hiromi, practicing his morning rituals, blessed his form with Asian incense, drank herbal tea that gave him energy and stretched his muscles keeping himself fit and limber. He showered, then dressed in Asian armor he kept locked away in a chest at the foot of his bed; black sleek armor that was lavishly studded and buckled, with not a single scratch on his hard leather surface. Buttoning his tunic he’d wear beneath the chest piece, he stared at his reflection sighing heavily for he hadn’t been to war or engaged in a vicious battle in quite some time. The night when the air-ships attacked, was nothing compared to that of his past. He frowned then turned away, reaching for a red silk headband he tied around his forehead keeping his bangs from falling into his eyes. He dressed himself in the armor with such ease and knowledge of what buckle and stitch went where. He nodded affirmatively to himself then once his armor had fully been applied, he grabbed his sword and dagger then slipped out of his room; the hall was slightly crowded with other warriors who nodded and admired Hiromi’s appearance.
Nathan paced his room with a cigarette in his mouth when a knock on his door broke his focus as he struggled with the laces of his gauntlets. He frowned, ignoring the noise then raised his head in curiosity when his sister called out his name. Removing the nicotine stick from his mouth, he combed his blonde hair back then approached the door, answering it smugly. He leaned in the doorway eyeing his sister up and down, but pushing him aside, she stormed her way into his room. He glanced up and down the hall making sure she wasn’t spotted then closed the door and before he could even hear the click lock in place, Sarah turned to him in ways that he hinted and taunted. She didn’t have a thought of Jon; not once while she engaged intimately with her brother.
Natash paced their tent, stitching her armor when one of the women Jinn entered, upon granted entry. Offering to aid her Queen with the task of buckling her golden armor up the back, she listened to instructions given to her by the Nubian Queen. She adhered with a nod then backed away when her King entered the tent, dismissing the Nubian warrior. Azir, already dressed and armed for war, finished the last few touch ups of tightening her buckles and stitches before sharing a tender moment. There was nothing in the world that could break them apart, not even war, but staring into each others golden eyes, the look was all that needed to be expressed. But they never went without showing each other; they shared a passionate kiss before summoned by Azim and guards who stood outside. The other Jinn that had arrived, all stood dressed in their golden armor and skins, carrying their own personal weapon crafted and forged by their own hands among others they favored according to their skills.
Derek and his Lycynian comrades stood gathered around the tents, dressed in their military armor, carrying guns, axes, machetes and even some cross-breed weapons of an axe and crossbow. They remembered each mission from their past, down to every detail but for some reason, they all felt this would be massively different from anything they’ve ever experienced. They gathered in a circle sharing military chant-like motivations then shared fist-knuckle bumps before turning their heads, hearing the sound of others nearby talking loudly.
The Demons and half-breeds on the island, whether they’re guards on the wall, village or not, all felt the magic that invaded the barrier surrounding the Isle. It was a strong tingle up their spines and when glancing at their tattoos, if within sight, they glowed faintly alerting them to the use of ancient-powerful arcane magics. Some sat on the fountain surrounding the manor flipping through books hoping to learn last minute arcane tricks that could potentially be useful and while some practiced the chants and spells, others waited to release their energy upon the field.
Wraiths, very tricky supernatural creatures, huddled together closely upon the wall, feeding from bags that Matthews had managed to salvage from the hospital, knowing they’d need as much as they could get to keep their strengths. Their red eyes, fangs and nails extracted and when leaning against the walls’ waisthigh ledge, the edge crumbled from their weight. Studying their hands, they grinned at one another knowing they had enough strength and power to get them through the first wave that awaited them on the field below. Their eyes studied the landscape, taking in its clear green beauty before it soon became a field of death, fires and whatever laid ahead.
Axeon, the protector of the Isle of Castillion stirred restlessly beneath the island, listening to the chorus of voices and magic bombarding the Isle from the invaders that held no place here. He squinted his eyes, releasing powerful roars that shook the ground above; dust and rubble fell from their place among the cavern’s rough roof. He sensed the Necromancer’s magic and that of Arxulet’s and it stirred his blood for war. He wasn’t a war dragon but he would prove everyone wrong once more. He stretched out his wings then strolled toward the cavern’s rear entrance, studying the sky watching as a cloaked serpent hovered above the island.
For Drakuul, dawn had never looked brighter as he approached the portal that had grown in size, revealing a clear view to what laid on the other side; a harbor or some sort laid in waiting. Suddenly, a loud buzzing sound emitted through the air followed by a powerful blast of energy that not only burst in all directions, but swept those standing too close back in stumbling steps, shattering the smoky crystal. Upon its destruction, you would’ve thought piles of glass shattered. It was done. The portal had completely broken through and locked in place. An immense power was about to be released upon the island and nothing in the world could stop it from invading.
“Well, look at that.” Matrx mocked, “Still have the mojo after all, eh brother…” he roughly slapped Drakuul’s back then turned, walking up the dock back toward his men who stood anxious in waiting, “It’s time!” he continued, “This is what we’ve all been training for, so are you ready!?” he listened as the men shouted, “ARE YOU READY!?” he riled up the soldiers of various skills and cultural backgrounds; all raising their weapons, “REMEMBER...TAKE NO PRISONERS!”
Drakuul turned, watching and listening to the eager shouts of men ready for war, glancing over his shoulder. He clasped his hands together behind his back, watching as the front line of men approached the lower part of the dock when he stood alongside the portal that created a swirling breeze. The men remained silent, holding tightly onto their weapons and gear while the creatures remained oblivious to what took place. Mindless creatures with only one destiny…destruction. The men stood in hesitation but watching as their General approached the portal, studying its magical window, as he reluctantly stepped through the void between dimensions without haste. They watched as he was sucked through in a pulling motion forward then backed away, waiting until Matrx returned to them on this side of the portal. He rolled his shoulders with a shiver then adjusted his armor and Katana belt where the two bladed weapons swung in place from the adjustment.
“What’s on the other side, General!?” soldiers hollered.
“There’s a harbor. Very much like this one, and some sort of a village up the hill but they appear to be abandoned.” Matrx revealed placing his hands on his hips, “They couldn’t have gone far or found ways off the island considering the time it took for the portal to connect, and if they went by ships or boats, we would have seen them. Or since they have Jinn among them, they could have helped them escape.”
“None of that matters! Whether or not they’re on the island, it’s mine!” Drakuul informed then stepped through the portal; his form disappearing.
Matrx stood behind, instructing and watching as the men stepped through in groups of ten at a time. Stepping through, they felt a tightness in their chests as if being pulled forward and a tingling sensation like needles pricking their skin. They were thrown forward on the other side landing on the harbor. Standing to their feet breathing heavily, they shook their heads, filling their lungs with fresh air. Dusting themselves off, they quickly examined their surroundings then turned, facing the portal catching glimpses of the army on the other side before the swirling center reappeared; ready for the next group. Continuous groups of ten stepped through appearing on the other side, suffering the same sensation as they appeared. Two hours passed and all men had come through, setting up camp in the village and Inn. They immediately claimed the pub as their own, pouring rounds of drinks to semi-celebrate their claim to the Isle.
“General...Lord Drakuul orders you to command the creatures through. The bloody beasts are lost without your direction, Sir...”
“Yes, I know.” Matrx frowned then turned shouting loudly, “Make room! Big load coming through and make sure there’s nothing obstructing their path! You…” he pulled a soldier aside, handing him a whistle, “take this and when they start coming through, blow it and point in the direction of where these things go, yes?”
“Yes, Sir…” the soldier muttered, following his instructions.
“Good...” Matrx nodded and before stepping through, he raised his gaze watching as Arxulet slithered menacingly above their heads in slow slithering movements through the barrier that continued disintegrating from the invasion. He frowned then lowered his gaze, watching as the portal waited for his presence then holding his breath, he stepped through standing inches away from the Trolls and Zarooks that practically bumped into him as they moved forward. Matrx waved his hands in front of one of the Zarooks but its expression was blank. He shook his head then removed the second whistle from his pocket, holding it momentarily. In a loud voice he commanded, “Harpies, Zarooks, Trolls...one by one, step through that and when you hear the whistle on the other side, follow the instructions! Harpies…” he glanced at the skies, hearing them screech in reply, “perch upon the rooftops of the buildings nearby and don’t venture further than that area!” he sighed then blew the whistle; the creatures becoming alert and taking in their surroundings, they followed Matrx’s orders.
One-by-one, they entered the portal, listening for the whistles and on the other side, the soldier quickly blew the twin whistle, instructing the Zarooks to move to the left and the Trolls to gather opposite to the right. Placed in their groups huddled on the dock and harbor; even on the faint beach line, the soldier sighed watching as they returned to their oblivious state. The Harpies passed through the portal in a lengthy swarming cluster, crowding the sky with their menacing terror; their screams filling the air with malice. The Shadowed Ones however, were the last to come through, contained within their orbs wrapped in large tarps. They were carefully rolled through the portal and landed roughly on the other side; soldiers immediately caught their weight carefully rolling them up the dock. The tarps covering them began unraveling and slipping off the round orbs; the rising sun peeking through the clouds created spotlights upon the crystal cages. The creatures within shrieked in pain. The soldiers quickly rolled the orbs into the ship warehouse nearby, covering them with large tarps retrieved from boat engines. The men listened as the Shadowed Ones whispered and shrieked from within, trying to cover and shield their ears.
“Shut up…” one of the soldiers complained, kicking one of the orbs gently, “you’ll be released soon enough.” and attempting to kick it once more, the creatures thumped against the crystal walls lining; thin bony hands pressed against the inside. The men jumped back hearing their eerie complaints then rushed outside, sliding the warehouse door closed.
Drakuul had claimed the lighthouse as his perch overlooking the island. Silence lingered in the air from the height and leaning his hands on the iron railing, his eyes focused on the black wall in the distance sitting there waiting, 2-3 miles away.
“Soon...you’ll be mine.” he whispered with sinister intent then glanced toward the harbor, watching as the portal created a loud blast as the connection exceeded its length of time connected between the distances. It sent blast waves of magic and energy in all directions before it vanished. He teleported in a swirling blackish-green flame, appearing in the village square near the gazebo. Walking through, he approached Matrx, requesting him to send word to the menacing gates. Not out of courtesy, but of respect, stating he’d give those on the island the rest of the day.
Everyone had gathered, dressed in their armor thinking the war would happen that very day but once receiving the message from the enemy, the guards on the wall sighed in momentary relief. I hadn’t emerged from my dwelling for both Anthony and I hadn’t begun dressing in our armor but everything was falling into place. Anthony gently rubbed my shoulders through my satin robe as I stared at the screen revealing the message.
“I should get out there.” I turned to him, placing my hands on his chest.
“I’ll come with you. I want to make sure Thomas and the family are handling the new official news. I’m sure they’ve heard by now…” Anthony fretted then backed away, studying the satin robe that was short enough to reveal enough for the imagination, “Can’t wait to see you in that armor…” his eyes glanced toward the piece hanging on its model.
“Likewise, Musketeer.” I added, “Going to have a hat with your armor?” I teased.
“No. No hat.” he grinned, then leaned in, giving a soft kiss then left the room, grabbing his swords and bag packed with his armor.
I bit my lower lip then read the message again, worrying heavily. I replied to the message, sending it through the broadcast connection, alerting everyone that they should be dressed and armed nonetheless. Taking my own advice, I began dressing myself in my armor. Laying my phone on the table near the bed I turned, approaching my armor with its black body-suit hanging alongside. I studied the craftsmanship of the armored piece, admiring every studded and stitched detailing and even that of the chainmail skirt-like flaps adding a touch of femininity. I removed the satin robe, feeling the air tickle my skin then quickly dressed in my undergarments. The body-suit was extremely form fitting, resembling those from the 2005’s FANTASTIC FOUR, accentuating my curves. I walked over, examining my appearance in my wardrobe mirror. Not bad, I guess. The suit was a gift from Natash; her kin all wore the same suit beneath their armor. It was stitched from Jinn’s thread and infused with magic, making it very tough to cut through but at the same time, it was light as a feather. I ran my hands down my waist and thighs then reached for my gauntlets, stitching them halfway. I dressed Zanz in his leather armor I had crafted for him as well, making him look like a true warrior hellhound indeed.
“You look so handsome and dangerous.” I smiled, watching as he jumped and pranced around.
“And you look fit for war but sexy while doing so...” a male’s voice interrupted.
Knowing it wasn’t Anthony I answered,
“How long have you been watching me?” I turned, seeing Molock’s image standing in my mirror; his eyes filled with fatigue, “And now you come around? At the last minute?” I placed my hands on my hips.
“In answer to your first question, I only just appeared.” Molock attempted a grin, “And to the second part, I’ve been busy...too busy that I couldn’t get away. Still can’t which is why I only have this moment to spare.” he continued.
“What’s going on? Where are you?” I examined the background behind him; a torch lit chamber of some sort, “You look exhausted. Are you alright?”
“You have war on your shores and you’re worrying about me? I’m touched.” he teased, “But I’m in Hell, Yzavela....a place that’s in total chaos but that’s nothing new. Every demon on every level is lashing out and becoming too violent; even Lucifer is a little more temperamental.” Molock glanced at his feet.
“Well...that’s Hell, Molock. What do you expect?” I folded my arms.
“True, but nonetheless, I apologize for not appearing when you called but I did tell you that I would if I could.” Molock’s voice rasped.
“I know you did.” I tilted my head then listened as a powerful demonic voice shouted Molock’s name; a voice that rattled the mirror and sent shivers down my spine. Glancing at Zanz and Abraxas who released worried moans, I continued, “Was that...”
“Lucifer? Yes.” Molock’s words rushed from his lips, “If he finds out about you, or the time I’ve spent here, it could mean dangerous things. For everyone involved, but please Yzavela...do me a favor?” he watched as the young woman nodded, “Be careful on that field and remember all that you’ve learned.”
“I will.” I bowed my head in a respectful nod.
He returned the head-bow then disappeared; my reflection stared back at me. Although he wasn’t fully gone for his voice whispered,
“Next time though, dear Yzavela...make sure your mirrors are covered. You never know who could be watching the little moments. Mm…”
“MOLOCK!” I shouted; his deep laugh replying, “Molock, you trickster!” I muttered then heard a knock on my bedroom door. Thinking maybe it had been Anthony, I answered quickly with a flushed face, but there stood Caleb dressed in his steampunk armor with his guns strapped in their holsters around his slender but muscular thighs.
“Uh…” he stuttered as his eyes scanned my figure, “hey?” he smiled.
“Caleb? Caleb?” I snapped my fingers in front of his face.
“Right, sorry…” he cleared his throat blinking his eyes, “sorry. But you look...wow!”
“Mm, thanks? And likewise! Look at you, huh?” I gestured at him then turned away, retrieving my armor, newly forged sword and dagger, “What’s up? And please don’t tell me someone needs something!?”
“Not that I know of. I was just coming to get you.” he smiled once more, “Here, I’ll carry that…” he reached for my armor.
“Thank you. Always a gentleman.” I turned to Zanz and Abraxas, “Let’s go…”
Caleb carefully swung the armor over his shoulder, watching as Zanz pranced ahead dressed in his armor; Abraxas perched on my shoulder.
“Bloody hell, that’s adorable…” he referred to Zanz, releasing a brief laugh.
“I know right?” I too, chuckled.
We shared another moment of laughter, descending the stairs to the lounge where human warriors gathered for early morning tea and coffee. Caleb gently hung my armor on the wall near the stairs, while I greeted the men who as well, studied my figure-revealing body-suit.