On the Evil Scale: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book Two

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𝓒𝓱𝓪𝓹𝓽𝓮𝓻 55

𝐼t was probably a little after 7:00am when Justin turned to all the warriors gathered. In a loud powerful voice that echoed in the quiet of the morning, he revealed the enemy were marching toward us. Hearing the Wraith’s words, made this a reality for it then hit everyone; a hard hit to everyone’s nerves. We knew this was coming, we did. Standing among my men that are fighting not for me, but for their home and families, I could see those who have never been to war like myself, shaking in their armor while others held onto their weapons with rattling hands.

“What do you have to say to those who are fighting for you?” Leonus leaned in over behind me, “Or are you going to have someone else speak for you, little runt?” he pushed past me.

Anthony who stood next to me, growled in the Scotsman’s direction receiving a leering gaze in return.

“Don’t listen to him. “Anthony advised, “He’s messing with you.”

“But he’s right.” I looked up into his handsome face then stepped forward, walking toward the fountain outside the manor. Clearing my throat and having Abraxas silence the crowd, I hollered firmly with confidence once I spotted all my friends and Anthony standing in the front row,

“Normally before war, there’s always a speech given but what can I say that hasn’t already been said? We all know why we’re here...we all know what’s out there...and we all know what’s coming, so I ask you, to take everything we know and everything we’ve learned and put it all out there! We’re not just fighting for ourselves because look around! We’re fighting for our homes, loved ones and friends which is why, even though we’ve said our farewells and goodbyes, I want everyone here to close your eyes and picture their faces because THAT...is what we’re fighting to protect!” and no sooner did I finish that last sentence, roars and cheers of support erupted from the crowd and upon the wall, for my words were enough, giving these brave warriors something to fight for. After the cheers dwindled, the warriors took my words seriously; closing their eyes. Moments before opening their eyes, I did the same, feeling a sense of peace and strength flood over my thoughts; images of my mom and I sharing a moment of laughter and moments between Zanz, Abraxas and most importantly those of Anthony and I. I opened my eyes, staring at a cloudy sky then continued in proclamation, “Are we good!? Are we ready!?” I watched as warriors raised their weapons, releasing another round of shouts and cheers before everyone turned their heads glancing around, observing everything around them; the manor, its grounds and beauty, because once we step through those gates, our characters will change. Especially for those who haven’t engaged in war, for it takes its toll on one’s mind, personality and soul. I had hoped that all of us would be strong enough to withstand the outcome.

Stepping off the fountain’s ledge with Anthony’s elegant assistance, he and I just shared a moment of staring into each others’ eyes, before leaning forward pressing our heads together. Holding my hands on his chest, I could feel his fear race through my gloved fingertips. He too, felt the young woman’s nerves beneath his gentle touch. Placing his hands gently around my face, he smiled then leaned in giving another kiss that wouldn’t hopefully be our last.

“There’s something to fight for as well, no?” he whispered.

“Most definitely.” I returned the kiss because even though he and I were new in this relationship, it felt right as if we had been in it for ages. I smiled then hugged him, feeling his arms hold me tightly.

Afterwards, I led the warriors toward the gates that had opened and staring at the tunnel, it was then I heard Molock’s voice enter my thoughts,

“You have never been to war, demoness...but that speech gave me hope. I’m proud…”

I stopped in my tracks glancing around and there he was near the gates of where he approached. I smiled as I broke away from the crowd, strolling in his direction. Erik frowned as he caught Molock’s godly form leaning against the wall but his father urged him to continue forward, letting his presence go.

Zanz ran toward the DemonJinn, greeting him briefly before backing away upon my command.

“What are you doing here!? I thought you couldn’t get away!?” I wondered.

“Shh...don’t tell anyone.” he smiled, “But I just wanted to wish you luck and to ask another favor.”

“Another favor?” I folded my arms, “All these favors…”

“They’re words of warning.” he revealed bluntly as he stepped close, “There will be a time on the field where you’ll...you’ll…” he stuttered as if the words couldn’t be spoken, “I can’t say the words but please...just look around you at all times when you have a moment to do so. Always.”

“You sound as if you care.” I questioned.

“I do care, yes.” Molock grinned as he glanced around, “Very much but don’t tell anyone. It’ll ruin my reputation as a cold-soulless DemonJinn.” he teased jokingly but I didn’t find the humor as he continued, “But seriously, Yzavela...take my words to heart. Be careful.” he gently placed his hands on my shoulders then stroked my cheek as he glanced over my head, “Your army is waiting for you, my lovely. Like I said before, remember all you’ve learned and don’t be afraid to release your Aura. And to Anthony Giovanni…” he raised his gaze past my shoulder toward his figure that approached with worry, “be careful as well. You must be here for her, if you’re to be her life-mate.” he nodded.

“ I will do my best, of course.” Anthony answered firmly.

“Good. I must go.” Molock backed away.

“Molock, wait…” I called out, “thank you!” but his form had disappeared.

But he wasn’t really gone; he still remained but invisible to the half-breed’s eyes. He watched as she sprinted off with the Italian at her side. Then there it was, a little tickle somewhere where his soul once resided. He held his hands to his chest feeling some sort of energy but then lowered his hands, pushing aside the concern when Lilith’s voice interrupted his thoughts,

“By all the Demons in Hell...Molock, you care for her! It’s sweet, it really is, but how?” she mocked as she walked in front of him, taunting him with her arrogant expressive hands, “How can you…” she gestured at the DemonJinn, “care if you don’t have a soul?”

He reached out grabbing her petite wrists, pulling her in close, lifting her off her feet. She squeaked, feeling his firm grip then thinking he wanted a little foreplay, she wrapped her legs around his waist.

“Ooo, I like this position.” she leaned in.

“Don’t be ridiculous!” he pushed her away roughly; she fell to the ground, “I wouldn’t touch you with a pen foot horn and as far as caring for the half-breed? I’ve grown an attachment, there’s a difference! But what would you…” Molock muttered as he knelt before her as she still laid on the grass, at his feet, “know about anything of the sort, hmm? Being shackled like a b*tch and loyal to only one, doesn’t mean you’re attached to anything but yourself.” he spat at the ground to her left then stood, leering down at her petite form that stood as well.

She adjusted her dress, fluffed her hair then squinted her red Demon eyes.

“All of these Earthly matters bore me. I’m only here because Master demands your presence and for some reason, you’re not adhering to them so he thought little me, could find out why. And now I have. Tell me, though Molock...what would our Master do if he found out about her?” she warned, “Hmm? Capture her? Kill her? Violate her?” she taunted then glanced over her shoulder watching as the army squeezed through the tunnel, “It would be such a shame if she were to…” and before she could finish, Molock grabbed her throat, pushing her against the slate wall.

“I’m only going to say this once, Lilith so you better listen very carefully.” Molock leaned offering a warning of his own, “If our Master finds out about us, I’ll go through with the first warning I gave you when he questioned my whereabouts. Do you remember Lilith?” he ran his hand up her right thigh where the warning he had sent, scratched across her skin, “And mark my words, if any harm comes to her by your hand because of your chatty mouth...no Demon, cavern or cage will keep you safe from the wrath I’ll unleash, do you understand?” his demeanor changed; he was the Demon that Lucifer admired.

Lilith stared into Molock’s brown eyes that flashed red. Feeling the hold on her throat grow tighter, she nodded before gasping in release, as the DemonJinn stepped back. Coughing yet again, feeling the burn of the iron shackle leave its mark around her neck despite the glamour she’s placed upon it, she rasped,

“To think I was only messing with you, but I guess that’s what it takes to reveal who you really are, hmm? Threaten what you hold dear.” she caught her breath as she arched her back, “But no harm will come to her by hand, Molock. And after this war’s over, she won’t need much protecting from others. It’ll be the opposite if anything, for once she becomes what she’s destined to be…” she moaned feeling the discomfort from the collar, “she’ll be an entirely new supernatural that’s never existed. You know it...I know it. And trying to warn her of her impending…” she paused for Molock stepped close, “dot-dot-dot and whatnot, was very naughty.” she released a series of TSKS, “Now…are we done? Lucifer’s waiting.” she vanished in a burst of red flame.

“F*ck me.” Molock sighed then glanced toward the gates before following after.

“What did HE want!?” Erik questioned as he strolled alongside me, referring to Molock.

“Would you care?” I looked at him.

“No. Not really.” he mocked.

“What’s the sense in telling you then?” I walked ahead, blending in with the army.

Words weren’t said as the sound of marching feet and rattling weapons echoed through the tunnel. Marching alongside Derek and their comrades, Lt. Forester proclaimed calmly,

“She’s one brave and strong little spitfire, that one.”

“Yes, she is and spitfire in a literal sense. It’s a respectable quality. And one I admire.” Derek answered, “I’m proud to fight with and alongside her today.”

“Aye…” Forester nodded proudly, “me too and if we win this f*cking war, I think I might stay here for a while. Seems like a peaceful place, no?”

“Peaceful? At times, but definitely safe. Hopefully.” Derek grinned.

Unfortunately the clouded sky presented us with an issue as a darker shade took over. We hoped they’d pass but to no avail as the rain began. Zanz whined as rain wet his soft fur and Abraxas roared as it beaded off his sleek scales. Everyone placed caps, hats or hoods covering their heads from the rain that began its torrential downpour.

“You rain now!?” I muttered a complaint glancing at the sky,“Wonderful. Thank you.” I covered my head with a black knitted ski-cap, “Ugh, f*ck me.” I blinked water out of my eyes then glanced to my right, watching as Thomas and Anthony placed hats upon their heads, “Oh, my god…” I chuckled for they took the affectionate term Musketeers literally.

“No?” Thomas teased.

“Too much?” Anthony joked.

I chuckled, shaking my head with joy.

“Cute...very cute!” I smiled, loving the Giovanni brothers to death, proud to have them fighting alongside me.

Ravens squawked in a swirling black mass above. They grew startled as Axeon and Jinn, including Azir and Natash, appeared up on the wall adding thicker layers of magic and dragon’s breath to the dome that protected the estate above. Nothing could penetrate through it at first but with constant bombardment of dragon’s fire, the dome would shatter. Scanning the sky above and behind, the faint shimmer of the magic placed could be seen before it faded swiftly. Once the dragon and Jinn felt the dome was secure in place, the Jinn had reappeared among the army that gathered and clustered along the wall outside the first gate. All eyes gazed out toward the open field watching as the figures grew closer, appearing over the slight slope or hill leading to and from the homes and village.

Silence lingered in the air except for the sound of the Ravens, rain pounding on armor, nervous breathing and that of weapons shifting or clanking against armored bodies. Suddenly, everyone felt a chill; not from the cold dank rain, but of fear and worry for what we were all about to face; creatures none of us had ever fought before. Glancing out across the open field, I played back a memory of a meeting I had with Derek and Azir:

“You’re Jinn. Unimaginably powerful, so why can’t you just appear in the Great City and end all of this. End Drakuul!?” I said, “Or you Derek. You’re a skilled warrior and assassin. Why can’t you do it!?”

“If that’s what you want, I can.” Derek replied, “But that’s not the right way and you know it.” he folded his arms, “Besides, I think we settled that during the other meeting, don’t you think?”

“He’s right, Yzavela. Of course it would be easy for Derek or my kin, to march into the Great City and defeat this Necromancer, but you and I both know that...that’s the cowards’ way out. And you, my dear girl...aren’t a coward. If life were that simple, it wouldn’t be in such chaos and sh*t, would it!? Magic of which you know, is such a delicate fabric of energy and it can’t be used for everything. It too, like everything else, has balance and it should only be used when all other things fail. You and I both know how people tend to abuse it, which is why mankind’s ability to yield such skill, has been taken away. Take Drakuul for instance. Perfect example. He hides behind his. Very few practice real magic.”

“You’re right. Both of you. It was just a thought. Even when I mentioned this to my mom, she told me magic shouldn’t be used to solve issues. True strength comes from within and using your own abilities.” I replied, “One thing I’ve learned and have always known.”

“I met your mother and she’s a wise woman, and despite what Leonus says about you, I respect you.” Derek added, “You’re a strong little spitfire and a powerful little warrior and you can do this. You can win this and...you can lead us. A true warrior never runs from a fight and always faces it head on. I’ve had recruits sent to my units during my time in the military and they were cocky little sh*ts thinking they can just...you know...point and shoot a gun and hey...sure that’s the easy part they can do but you want to know something? When it actually came down to using the weapon, they hesitated; dropping their guns and running from the fight only to be shot with their backs turned. They were cowards and you...you’re not a coward. So…” he placed his hand on my shoulder, “I say you get out there and show them what you’re made of and just know you’re not alone in this.”

“Derek’s right. You’ve proven to everyone that what knocks you down, makes you stronger so how strong will this war make you?” Azir inquired.

I nodded, knowing they were 100% right.

I watched as the enemy moved into position across the island. Almost 4700 figures created a long line; trolls, Harpies and Zarooks not among them, leaving me wondering if they planned to use them as an ambush. Even Derek wondered the same tactic.

“WE’RE F*CKED.” I thought as my heart raced.

“Yza...you alright? Considering?” Wyatt approached behind me; smaller axes attached at his belt and shield hung across his back. His leather completed his Swedish Viking persona.

“Yes, I’m fine thank you and Nick wasn’t kidding about your armor!” I admired, “Very nice! And so very viking!”

“Thanks.” he grinned.

“If it helps, everyone’s afraid.” Wyatt added.

“Yeah, that doesn’t really help but thanks for the effort.”

“Well, worth a try, no?”

“Yes. Yes it was. And I’m honored to fight alongside my friends.”

“Likewise.” he held out his right hand, waiting for the warriors handshake. Once shared, he walked away approaching Nick.

Drakuul marched alongside Matrx who led the army across the vast landscape, passing the homes and their properties; distaste on their faces. The soldiers marching behind their Lord and General, examined the homes, wondering who lived there or admired and envied the unknown individuals. The invaders continued their march forward; glancing back watching as the creatures trailed behind in their clusters and groups. Moving forward, the wall grew closer into view in the distance ahead; small figures or shapes huddled outside.

“We’ll stop here.” Lord Drakuul instructed, holding his right hand up, signaling for the march to come to an abrupt halt.

Matrx turned to the legion of anxious soldiers, ordering four to accompany him as he turned; focusing ahead. He intimidatingly began his approach toward the opposing side; a megaphone tucked under his left arm. Drakuul watched as his brothers form and that of his men grew smaller.

“What do you think is waiting for us, General?” one of the soldiers asked.

“Not much.” Matrx mocked, “Just a little bit of this and not much of that.” but he worried.

“That wasn’t comforting, Sir.” another soldier complained.

“Wasn’t supposed to be.” Matrx paused at a reasonable distance, watching and waiting for someone standing in the mass across the field from them to step forward, “I’m here to talk!” he shouted.

Standing in front of the warriors behind me; weapons held tightly in hand, I glanced across the field taking in the sight of a lone man dressed in some sort of armor waiting for the Keeper’s presence to be known.

I sighed ready to step forward when I heard Leonus’ voice mumbling something unclear as he took steps forward to the front of the crowd and attempting to push me aside, glancing across the field himself, he felt the pinch and pressure of a blade inches above his groin near arteries that if cut, would cause him to bleed profusely. He glanced down, observing as a daggers’ blade held its place and following the length of the warriors arm, there stood the woman he hated with every breath. I kept my gaze facing the field then glanced up at his 6’6 height, leering at the man I loathed.

“Take one more step, Leonus...please...and I’ll neuter you where you stand.” I warned, “Or maybe...just give a little cut…” I pressed harder, “and you’ll be dead before this war begins. It’s your choice, Lancaster but I’d choose quickly because I have business to tend to.”

“If it weren’t for these f*cking shackles you’ve locked me in, I would gladly tear you apart.” he moaned as he leaned forward, “And not even your lover beside you…” his blue eyes leered at Anthony, “would be able to protect you.”

“I wouldn’t have to rely on Anthony…” I raised my gaze studying his ruggedly handsome features, “because Abraxas and Zanz would tear you apart before you could even begin your shift!”

Leonus suddenly heard their roars and growls from behind him and glancing over his right shoulder, they were eager to follow through on their Mother’s threat. He bit his lower lip then turned his gaze away from me, glancing at the warriors standing behind me in support or just eager to end him as well; warriors being the Wraiths and Demons. He groaned then slowly stepped back. I didn’t know why he tolerated me; knowing he could just swipe my head clean off with his large axe because if he wanted the island that much, he’d do more to fight for it so what his games were, no one knew. As for me, if it weren’t for Heather and their sons, I would’ve handled Leonus accordingly; in the means of banishment off the island but...circumstances. I sheathed the dagger then began stepping forward; Anthony, Azir, Caleb and Derek following closely behind with Zanz and Abraxas who had taken a wolfs’ form.

“What are you doing, Little Yza?” Anthony walked alongside me.

“I don’t know. I’m really just going from minute-to-minute.” I answered in a worried tone, “But right now, let’s size up the other guy first, yeah?” I watched as he nodded, slowing his pace; Zanz and Abraxas walked alongside me and approaching the man ahead, I thought of words to begin the conversation.

Standing, give or take, 10 feet from each other, the encounter began.

Azir and Anthony, along with Caleb and Derek stood inches behind me; their hands on their weapons.

The General examined the warriors standing before him, studying each of them. His eyes leered in Azir’s direction, recognizing him easily from their first encounter 100 years ago. He rolled his tongue along the inside of his mouth then began his introduction.

“My name is Matrx Lexus...General of the army standing behind me and I’d like to speak to your...KEEPER.” he spoke firmly and bluntly, “Marxus! Where are you, you old fool!?” his eyes searched the grounds but a young woman stepped forward; wolves heeled beside her. His eyes scanned her petite form up and down liking her figure hugging armor then realized she took her stand as Keeper. He released a long hardy laugh in mockery, as did those accompanying him; his hands were held against his stomach hidden away beneath his armor.

I tilted my head before arguing bluntly,

“So you’re General Matrx that roamed the streets, spewing and declaring orders from the cowardly Lord Drakuul Lexus of whom...I’m guessing is your brother? Or your Master? I haven’t seen either of your faces so I can’t say it’s a pleasure but I have heard of you.”

Matrx’s laughter ceased as he lowered his hands, placing them on the hilt of his Katanas.

“You’re joking!?” he mocked once clearing his throat; his French accent clearly heard.

“Does it look like I’m laughing!?” I returned the mockery.

“No...it doesn’t.” he sighed, “So you’re the new Keeper? What are you…12? A Joan of Arc wannabe? Interesting. Can’t say I’ve fought a little girl before and such a pretty one at that. Pity.”

“Wish I could say I haven’t dealt with scum and vile personalities such as yourself, but unfortunately I have.”I shrugged mockingly,“Now you’ve managed to break through the islands’ barriers...that’s interesting.” I declared, pushing aside his remarks, “With dragon fire, I’m guessing because I’ve heard about your brother and his performance issues; magically speaking that is.”

Anthony, Caleb and Derek smiled, while Azir didn’t share the humor or sarcasm.

“You have a smart mouth.” Matrx frowned, “That could get you into trouble.”

“Yet here you are! Trouble!” I gestured at him.

Matrx smirked, admiring the young woman’s spunk, even with the threat of war on her doorstep.

“What do you want!?” Derek added; his arms folded across his armor.

“I’m here with terms. Terms of which Drakuul has eagerly offered.”

I scoffed, placing my hands on my hips.

“Eagerly? That man isn’t eager to do anything, for anyone, except if it benefits himself but please...continue. What are these terms?”

Matrx glanced around, taking in the walls’ height behind our army.

“My brother thinks you possess the book and obviously, according to this place and how it managed to stay preserved for so long, I’d say it’s here and that maybe you…” he pointed toward me, “you pretty little bird...have used it?”

“Book? What book would that be? We have a library full of them so you might want to be a little more specific?” I snapped.

“Enough of the attitude, smart mouth!” Matrx stepped forward but paused; the wolves snarling their sharp fangs and warriors grasping onto their weapons, “The Book of Solomon! That’s what I...that’s what he seeks!”

“The Book of Solomon?” I hinted, making him believe I knew where it was, “Hate to break the news, but I don’t know where that is. Honestly.”

“Look...just hand it over and maybe, if you’re lucky, I’ll convince Lord Drakuul to let all of you go.”

“Right. Let us go long enough to stab us in the back.” Derek stepped forward, “I’ve heard and seen that bullsh*t many times, you lying sack of French sh*t.” he spat at the ground between him and Matrx.

“You’re pressing your luck...all of you. Now, just give me the book!” Matrx grew impatient.

“Like I told you the first time, I don’t have it much less know where it is so if we’re done with this little game of back and forth, I’ve gathered enough from you to know all I needed to.”

“And what’s that, you little pipsqueak?” Matrx mocked.

“For starters, you’re standing here summing me up and that of my army. Your glances past my shoulder gave you away, and second...you’re thinking of ways and moments when you can release your creatures.” I watched as the mans’ eyes grew wide, “Oh, yeah...I know about them and the Red Death. Hence...you breaking through our barrier so there goes your element of surprise, General Matrx. Wish I could say it was a pleasure but…I’d be lying.” I sighed, “See you on the field and your creatures too.” I turned, walking away leaving the man baffled then paused adding one more little bit of detail, “Just so you know, I have my surprises too that you’ll never see coming.” I smiled then continued walking away, with Anthony at my side and wolves escorting us back to our line of men.

He leered in Azir’s direction.

“So she’s your puppet, is she? Shame on you, Jinn. Never thought I’d be seeing you again, Thought maybe you perished along with Marxus?” he barked.

“I could say the same about you, Matrx Lexus. Your brothers’ magic is hanging by threads. He had just enough to break through the islands’ barriers and although that’s impressive, I sense his magic is dwindling. The portal he conjured had drained much of his power and that’s a fact, I think you…” he pointed toward the General, “might even have noticed on occasion. He’s never told you the price of his power, has he?”

“I don’t care about his magical endeavors.” Matrx glanced over his shoulder.

“You should, Matrx...indeed you should.” Azir smirked then he too, turned away.

“And what are you looking at G.I. Joe and Musketeer!?” he gestured at Derek and Anthony then glanced at Caleb, “And you, prissy boy!? Hmm!?”

“Nothing, mate.” Caleb shook his head, “I just thought I was cocky…”

“You three...” my voice called out over my shoulder.

“You better go...your princess is calling!” Matrx groaned.

“Matrx!” Drakuul’s voice boomed behind him.

“And so is your, errand boy…” Derek gestured behind him then he, Azir and Caleb turned their backs.

Matrx frowned then released a string of French slurs as he turned away; the soldiers trailing closely behind.

“Well!?” Nick inquired.

“You heard it all...no sense explaining.” I snapped.

“Ouch…” Nathan mocked.

“Matrx might be cocky and arrogant, but he’s a dangerous and highly skilled warrior.” Azir revealed, “But he has one weakness.”

“Yeah!? What’s that!?” Leonus complained.

“His ego.” Azir answered, “Very much like you.” he stared in the Scotsman’s direction, “And that’s his biggest flaw. Taunt him and harass him, and he’ll slip.”

“You did good out there. Looked like a true Keeper.” Anthony announced proudly.

“Thank you.” I smiled.

“He’s right/” Erik added, “You did good.”

I nodded in his direction then focused toward the field before us.

“It’s not over. Far from it.” I muttered.

“Meaning what?” Jon questioned.

“They have something planned, I don’t know what it is, but it’s there.” I worried.

“She’s right.” Derek added, “I sensed that too.”

“No one asked you, mutt.” Erik barked.

“And I wasn’t talking to you, boy!” Derek growled in agitation.

“Stop it!” Azir’s voice raged standing between them, “We are NOT doing this here and now!” he pushed them apart; the Wraith and Lycynian felt an energy pushing them back.

“Derek, please…” I urged, placing my hand on his large arm; he nodded then backed away, huddling with his comrades, “Erik…” I continued, “please…”

He shook his head then turned away, while I closed my eyes ignoring his demeanor.

Matrx returned to Drakuul’s side, summoning up the young woman in a matter of sentences.

“She’s smart, for starters and knows how to handle herself.” he revealed.

“She!? Marxus is working with a woman!?” Drakuul mocked, “My-my...he surely has lost his mind. And the book? Did she say where it was!?”

“Yes. In the library, but she said you need a library pass.” Matrxs’ voice grew tired of Drakuul’s constant nagging.

“Don’t play games with me, brother.” Drakuul grabbed his brothers’ armor by the neckline, pulling him in close, “What did she say about the book? Does she have it?”

“She said she doesn’t know where it is and I believed her. Although, we do have a problem and if you’ll let go of me, I can tell you.” Matrx grasped onto his brother’s wrists firmly, feeling Drakuul’s hold loosen, “She knows about the creatures and the Red Death.” he continued bluntly once Drakuul’s released his grasp.


“For starters, anyone with binoculars could see those f*cking things…” he gestured at the Harpies perched upon the rooftops in the square, “from a mile away but how she found out about Arxulet, is a loss to me.”

“They were our best defense and element of surprise” Drakuul cursed.

“No it’s not.” Matrx interrupted, “She may know about the creatures and Arxulet yes, but she’ll be looking and waiting for us to use them and then…” he turned to the army standing behind them, “she’ll let her guard down and that of her army as well, giving us the opportunity to sweep in and crush them before they can sit down for dinner. But there’s something though, that concerns me.”

“You’re afraid of a little child!?” Drakuul turned to his General.

“Of that little pipsqueak!? No. But it’s what she said before walking away.”

“And what did she say that bothered you so?”

“She too, has surprises and from what I managed to observe from my distance, the Jinn are among them. That’s the only surprise I could think of but considering they were there out in the open, isn’t much of one. She has something else up her sleeve, that little girl…”

“Jinn, you say?” Drakuul raised an eyebrow, “Interesting. I thought they would have stayed in Africa or Timbuktu, or wherever the hell they came from. Didn’t think they’d help her, unless…” he paused thinking carefully, “unless Marxus isn’t around anymore and he found someone to take his place.” then he released a quick laugh as he paced, tapping his fingertips together, “And a girl, of all things. Oh, Marxus you senile fool...unbelievable.”

“Yes-yes-yes...good for you, you figured it out! They’re stalling, so...let’s just start this and get it over with. That way, you can find your book and I can finally rid myself of you and your failing magic...” he strolled through the crowd of men who parted aside, allowing their General to pass.

Drakuul grinned as he folded his arms, glancing across the field; figures blurred from the rain that continued to pour; grass turning into slush and mud beneath their feet. He too turned toward the men, following after the man he hoped would win him this war.

“Form up!” Matrx’s voice boomed over a megaphone, “Form up!” and watching the men begin their formation lines and groups, the Necromancer’s army began releasing loud shouts and cries that from our distance sounded almost rhythmic, mixing with the pounding rain.

“Jinn, Sir…” a warrior inquired standing alongside Azir’s brother, Azim, “couldn’t you stop the bloody rain so we could see who and what we’re fighting!?”

“I’m not an Avatar, capable of manipulating the elements within the snap of my fingers!” he looked at the soldier; left eyebrow raised.

“Just thought I’d ask, mate…” the soldier turned away, adjusting his knit cap that was soaking wet against his shaved head, then quickly removed it, throwing it to the wet ground.

“Did you really have to do that!?” I argued quickly, “He was just asking.”

“And I was just answering.” Azim answered bluntly.

“You’re a real friendly fella, aren’t ya!?” I snapped sarcastically.

“And you’re a real sarcastic little demon, aren’t you!?” he stared into my eyes.

“Oh, you’re…” I muttered then kept further words to myself out of respect but my eyes said all I needed to; the bright dancing flame flickering in my dark eyes. I strolled past, pushing him aside firmly then walked through the masses, making sure everyone had what they needed. It was then I approached Steven, Roberto and Nikolaas, “Wow, look at you three!” I admired.

Roberto wore a lightweight metal chest piece and one shoulder guard. Medieval armored gauntlet-like gloves fitted to the elbow graced his hands and forearms. They were made of a heavy leather adorned with metal spikes of various sizes that were melded onto a sturdy metal plate stitched to the leather surface. Also, with Leonard’s aid, a hidden blade was forged within the gauntlets; a blade that would eject upon release of its pressure lever. The Puerto Rican Wraith was once a boxer before he was turned, so he’d utilize his skills in that field, for the battle to come. The gloves weighed nothing as he shadow-boxed nearby; rain creating a faint tinging against the metal.

Steven dressed in an old military vest that he stated was his lucky armor so no one argued with him about it. It had seen its fair share of war for scratches were visible on the metal surface. He carried a sword draped across his back, two short swords on his belt and held a large mace-club in hand.

Nikolaas, the Hungarian Demon, carried and twirled two 16th century Hungarian swords that belonged to his father. Their long slender-polished blades had the shape and resemblance of Scimitars. Holding them in hand, he flashed a grin before sheathing them away in sheaths draped across his back. His leather armor and metal helmet made him appear as a misplaced Turkish soldier.

“Good look, Nik…” Steven teased, “a real tin man. If only you had a heart.”

Nikolaas frowned, cursing at Steven in his Hungarian tongue that if only he had a brain in a teasing tone that followed by a brief grin,

“Ha csak lenne agyad.”

“Hey, watch your language. You’re in front of a lady.” Steven teased.

“It’s okay.” I dismissed Nikolaas’ rant then leaned in close to Steven, “What did he say?”

“Nothing important. Just mumbling to himself.” Roberto added, “Aye, you look sexy!” he teased.

“I won’t look sexy when I’m covered in blood and fatigued from war.” I argued.

“True.” Roberto agreed with a smile. “But then again, I don’t think any of us will!”

I chuckled then turned; my gaze focused on Derek, Azir and Azim.

“Excuse me…” I walked away approaching the men huddled close together hearing Derek’s last words of THAT’LL WORK, “What will work?” I added.

“Azir and I were just discussing a technique I used during my days.” Derek revealed.

“Mind letting me in on the plan?” I raised my left brow, “Oh for god sake, Azir..would you please stop this f*cking rain!?” I complained.

“No, Little One..you know we have uses for it.” Azir gently placed his hand on my shoulder.

“Ugh. What’s the plan?” I ignored his protest.

Derek revealed the maneuver we’d use in our first round of advancing toward our enemy. He drew the diagram the best he could, explaining how it would work and although I wasn’t too familiar with war strategies, I understood enough. I nodded, agreeing to the technique.

“Then that’s when Azir will release the, uh…” Derek thought of the word to describe his meaning but went with, “bubble?”

“It’s not a bubble, but yes.” Azir glared at Derek, “Shield. It’s a shield.”

“Shield, right...sorry.” Derek raised his hands.

“ I will raise the SHIELD once we take steps forward onto the field.” Azir revealed, “Knowing Matrx’s strategies, he’s going to order his men to surround our numbers and once they do, my Jinn and I will release the shield that will push them backwards, allowing us to advance upon them in a moment of distraction.”

“It’s a shame you can’t keep the shield up during the entire war.” I complained.

“Yzavela...my Jinn and I are powerful enough yes, but not even we can focus our magic on two things happening at once. Our magic is in place over the manor and its surrounding grounds, so if we were to derive from that, it’ll weaken and…”

“Azir…” I interrupted firmly, “I was just commenting.”

“Mm, right.” Azir groaned and before he could reply with other words, everyone heard our enemy shout and holler as they began their march toward us.

“Is Axeon ready?” I inquired.

“He’ll come when summoned.” Azir answered.

“Good.” then I turned to the army who stood behind me, “Are you ready?” I shouted; cheers grew louder each time they chanted before taking deep breaths with their weapons tight in hand, “To war!” I proclaimed then turned, moving into formation Derek had instructed.

Matrx and his army advanced and the war was about to begin beneath the dark rainy clouds. Walking in front with his Katanas held in hand, he listened as the men grunted behind him and the sound of their feet marching in the wet slushy grass that quickly turned to mud with each step. He paid no attention to the distractions for his entire focus laid ahead.

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