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Chapter 27

“You still have a chance for life, young King. Turn around now, and allow my army to pass.” King Muis’ voice echoed through the valley, and around the two human. His voice was strange, there was not only a lisp but an accent as well. Scarlet pitied his horse, for the man was much larger than she thought by his picture. “To claim I am young is like saying the moon gives its own light. Surrender your army to me now, Muis, and I shall see it equal to the deaths you have caused.” The King’s horse stirred, but did not move from it’s place. The two leaders had come closer than the remaining armies, meeting in a safe middle. “This is my land, my home. You declared war long before I sent my air ships for Port Del Rey. I was merely playing my piece.”

“You killed nearly four thousand innocent beings!” Scarlet could only assume that King Muis shrugged because the next thing the King screamed was “You shall pay!” Raising his sword into the air, the King’s command rang clear through the air. “ATTACK!” The King’s horse charged forward towards Muis. King Muis sensed it, for his sword was in the air as well and met the King’s. Hell rose up and broke through the Earth after that. At the sound of the two swords meeting, both armies moved. Their voices, cries, grunts and other war noises filled the valley. The echoes were so loud Scarlet felt like she laid in the middle of it all.

The first few lines went straight for the opposite line of the enemy. Swords and hand to hand combat were the chosen methods. Further back men attacked with arrows, some flaming. A few guns could be heard, but it was not a typical ground method as it was for the sky. Each side had brought at least two catapults, both chose large rocks- some flaming, others not. They all flew through the air the same, and shook the valley whenever they made impact. In the air, war-style airships floated towards each other. Both were outfitted with guns, and Scarlet thought she might have even seen a canon. Their aims were both for the sky and to the ground. Taking out any enemy they physically could.

Scarlet and Renee were careful to lay low. The rising sun was hidden behind dark clouds that threatened to burst at any moment but the threat of the two humans being seen was still there. Moving quickly, but remaining low, Scarlet returned to their cavern. The fire from the night before was nothing more but a circle of soot. Something Scarlet was grateful for. She quickly grabbed both of their cloaks, and returned to Renee. Though they were no longer friends, if Renee got spotted then they were both good as dead. Renee took the cloak without a word and careful hid herself under it. Scarlet copied her, returning back to her belly. She gazed down into the valley, her stomach twisting and flipping as she did. Though they were far and high, Scarlet could tell that the men laying on the ground were not resting. Dark puddles surrounded most, and some bodies were even piled on top of the other. She wanted to be sick, but there was no food in her stomach. She wanted to cry, but situation would not allow the tears to come forth. She wanted to scream out for the dead, but nothing would ever come from her throat.

Out of the sound of the battle, over filling the noise, was a growing rumble in the distance. Scarlet looked to the noise, knowing full well who was joining in on the battle. Flying lower than the airships ever could, Theo’s Metal Bird burst from one side of the valley. The Bird took a small dip before making a deep turn towards the enemy. It was then the connected guns begun to go off. The bullets pushing up dirt and bring down men. The enemy’s airships tried to shift their focus to Theo and her Bird, but couldn’t. She was too low, too fast and much too near their own men. They tried a few shots, but only ended up taking out small portions of their own men. Next a few grey orbs were dropped near the ‘base’ of the enemy’s line. Dark clouds of smoke filled the air around them but did not spread out to their own troops. Scarlet smiled. A strange sense of pride was felt in Scarlet’s chest for Theo and her creations. They had become everything Theo had said they would be and more. Scarlet was sure that after the war ended, the demand for Metal Birds would sky rocket. Others would try to recreate Theo’s. Some would come close and others would surly fail but none would ever be as great as Theo’s.

In the mist of the battle, smoke and noise over whelming her senses, Scarlet lost track of the King. Though she had utter and complete faith in him, there was still a small fear in the bottom of her stomach. A feeling that she couldn’t get to go away, even after spotting the King once more. He was no longer on his horse, the beast was nowhere in sight. Standing, he used his sword to beat off an opposing solider. Once he was down, the King turned to an approaching female- made only clear by her figure-hugging armor. She aimed for his sword, taking it from him. Ducking, he quickly turned around and had the woman in his arms. His sword went flying from her hands and landed somewhere around them. They struggled, but ultimately she lost. The King flipped her onto the ground and twisted her head. Scarlet didn’t need to be close to know that the bones in her neck had snapped and the warrior was now dead. Her body landed like a rock to the ground when he released it. Taking the moment of freedom, he searched for his sword. It was during that vulnerable time that someone took aim. The King was too far, and busy looking for his weapon, to see the solider aiming his arrow. Scarlet wanted to scream out, to warn him of what was coming. But she couldn’t.

Rising up, Scarlet acted. She grabbed Renee’s wrist, and together the two rose high into the air. Renee cursed, and Scarlet’s head hurt. It was much quicker than she had ever attempted, but now was not the time for careful calculations. Thrusting them both forward, Scarlet’ vision tunneled onto the King. There were shots being fired- both metal and arrows- at them. Scarlet easily avoided them as she fell towards the King. Once close enough to the ground, Scarlet dropped Renee. Not looking back to check on her, Scarlet moved faster. Renee, who screamed when dropped, quickly recovered from it. With some wit, she curled her body so that she rolled after impacting the Earth. Hopping onto her feet, Renee drew her sword and quickly rushed to the nearest fighting group. Her cloak falling to the ground as she did.

Scarlet held her arms out, and pushed the King just as the arrow came flying at him. Instead of hitting him in the throat, it took a chunk of fabric from Scarlet’s cloak. The two landed in a pile on the ground, with Scarlet quickly rolling off of the King. “What.” He looked to the arrow sticking up from the ground and the fabric that was in-between. “Scarlet.” He looked to her, a mixture of emotions on his face. Turning her head, Scarlet reached out a hand and stopped another arrow mid-air. Turning it around, she flung it at it’s owner. It hit him straight in the heart, his body falling forward. His dead body went rolling down the hill he had been stationed on. She looked to the King, expecting him to scold her for not waiting soon enough. Instead he kissed her. “Thank you.” He stood, and pulled her up behind them. “Let’s go.” Her heart pounded, but Scarlet ran after the King into the battle.

The dead were littered throughout the valley, and Scarlet was careful to move around them. She had made the mistake of not paying attention as she sent some knives through the air and ended up tripping over one. To then land in a small pile of body parts and blood. Back on her feet she used her powers to pull her knives back to her and sent them back out. She was able to find a small, clean, clearing amidst the dead and used that as her epicenter. Men and women, creatures of all types came at her from all directions. For the most part, she was able to keep them at bay. Between her knives, bare fist and powers; she felt slightly victorious over the enemy. She met her match in the man that seem just smaller than a standing bear but much wider than an actual beast. Her knives in his armor’s weak spots did nothing to stop his charge at her. Lifting his sword, he aimed for her exposed skull. She had a sudden flash back to that day at the slave trade, when she had revealed herself for the first time since her capture. Not strong enough to stop the beast of a man, she was able to stop his sword. Flinging it across the battle field, his face turned a deep red. “You’re gonna pay ’or that bitch.” He charged at her and Scarlet did the only thing she could think to do. Meet him in the middle. Lifting from the ground, she charged at him with her final throwing blade in hand. As their two bodies impacted, Scarlet thoughtless flung her knife out. Her body fell back to the Earth, the impact on her head knocking her out cold. She did not see that her aim had been perfect. The knife had been plunged straight into the beast man’s neck, and as she fell it was pulled away. He fell to the Earth, unable to scream. Rolling to his back, his wide eyes sought help but got nothing. Blood filled his mouth, bubbling out. It poured from his wound as well. His death was painful, but quick.

“Scarlet!” Renee pulled her sword from the belly of a werewolf, kicking the dead being to the ground. Renee had caught the last bit of the fight, only seeing Scarlet get knocked out. With her sword still dripping of the werewolf, Renee rushed over to her former friend. Falling to her knees, Scarlet was covered in blood and dirt. Renee checked to see if the Blessed human was breathing. She was. Renee felt her neck, not sure if she would be able to find a broken bone. Renee was trained in fighting, not medicine. Not feeling anything wrong, or out of place, Renee rose up. A group of the enemy came charging for them. “Bring it fuckers!” Lifting her sword up, Renee begun to fight the group. Three to one. She took the first one out with a punch to the face, making a note to come back to the knocked out woman. The second was a bit more difficult, but she won by cutting both of his hands off. Then his head. The last one pushed her sword from her hand, and found herself relaying on her hands. The two did a tango of fighting, Renee taking him out with a kick to the back of his shin. Taking the knife hidden in her boot she fell on top of the vampire and slashed his throat. She repeated the process with the other two, just to be safe. Turning back to check on Scarlet, Renee was but wasn’t surprised to see the King. He fought on the opposite side of Scarlet’s body, taking down a lanky, but quick looking woman. Looking back, he and Renee made eye contact.

The noise of the battle was the first thing to great Scarlet as she woke. She opened her eye to the battle filled sky, and quickly remembered where she was at. Reaching for her throwing knives, there was only one. It laid by the fallen beast of a man. She crawled over it, desperately looking for the others but unable to spot them. “Scarlet.” Two voices called her but when she turned, Scarlet only saw the King. Looking further, Scarlet spotted Renee running to aid one of their soldiers. The King rushed over, and helped her up. Scarlet almost fell again, not realizing that one of her ankles had gone bad. Her left shoulder was burning and she could only assume it too was hurt when she impacted the large man. “Are you okay?” She nodded her head. The King was missing a large piece of his chest armor, an area near his stomach and heart, but was fine besides that. It was the screaming of a man that had them both turning their gaze.

Scarlet’s heart stopped, and her body grew stiff. Rushing towards them was a horse that seemed to be the size of a small hut. On it, was the devil himself. His black eyes bored into Scarlet’s soul and his wicked grin struck her core. As he rushed towards them, bow in hand, the ground suddenly rumbled. Turning her eyes from Muis for two seconds, Scarlet was able to catch a glimpse of Theo’s Bird shooting at the nearby hill sides. Large pieces of Earth fell away and begun to roll towards the enemy’s men. Without thinking, Scarlet took control of the pieces, making sure they stayed away from the mass population of their men. She lost her focus on Muis. As his steed came closer, the man raised his bow. Taking aim with his arrow, he released it just as his horse was tripped by the sliding mud. Scarlet turned too late, the arrow was already barreling towards her and her powers were being used elsewhere. She was prepared for the impact, knowing that she would indeed die on this day.

A body pushed her out of the way and she landed on her bad shoulder. Scarlet saw spots, a silent cry ringing from her throat. She sat up and looked back to the still body. Her body convulsed and she wanted to cry at the site. Laying just a foot or two from her was the King. Out cold, with an arrow sticking out from his chest. Scarlet crawled to him, gripping his hair as she heard a small breath come from his chest.

That was the moment. It was pin pointed. Something in Scarlet snapped, something changed. Releasing the King’s hair, she rose. She tossed her last knife at the king and he fell back. Forcing a hand up, Scarlet then stopped an arrow that was aimed at her. King Muis’s face grew paler at the sight as he struggled to sit up. He abandoned his bow and now sought to retreat.. Breaking it in half, she tossed it to the side. Scarlet begun to move towards the wounded king. Like a beast going after its prey, she stalked with a emotionless face. Once she got close enough to fully, clearly, see him she reached a hand out. King Muis begun to rise in the air, screaming. Using her other hand, she balanced her power into two parts. His waist was the split line. Without blinking, one had rose and the other fell. Muis’ cries were cut off with a sickening crack of breaking bones. Scarlet lifted the two pieces of his body higher, before forcing them back to the ground. More bones broke, but King Muis was already dead. Gathering her hands back to her chest, Scarlet brought back every ounce of her powers that she had released. Flinging her arms out, they shot back out. Like fast traveling streams of water they moved. Grabbing every single enemy along the way. Keeping one hand out towards the Earth, she moved the other to the sky.

Realizing that their enemies had not only ceased fighting but moving all together, all those on Scarlet’s side lower their weapons. They too grew quite, and turned their attention to her. The wind whipped her hair across her face, the leather hair tie having been lost. She brought the air ships down, and everything on the ground up to the sky. There were cries. People tried to fight it, she could feel it. Their resistance fueled her anger. Thus giving her greater power. Scarlet forced them into a large ball. Bones broke, people screamed. She circled the valley twice with the ball, the shadow covering large portions of the valley. Releasing the ball, she forced it as far North as she could muster. As they were flung and shrunk away; their cries could be heard. Once they stopped, there was quite.

Suddenly, their soldiers broke out into joyful cheers. Unaware of their King’s current state. They were naïve and so they celebrated the end of a war that had barely begun. They chanted Scarlet’s code name; Jasmine. She couldn’t hear it. A white noise filled her ears, and she desperately wanted to get back to the King. Turning, she made it three steps towards his body before she found herself falling into darkness.

Scarlet cried, longing for her mother as she woke up. There was pain, so much pain. She had barely been a wake when the tears started to flow. Once her eyes were fully open, she was able to get the tears under control. Unsure of where she was, Scarlet looked around. She was in her bed. In the King’s home. In her home. If not for the sling on her bad, and throbbing arm, Scarlet would have thought it all was just a dream. The battle, the deaths, the King. But her injuries were real, and so it all was very much real.

The door to her room opened, and Dr. Cartson entered. She held her bag of medical supplies, closing the door before looking at Scarlet. She gasped, “Oh my. Well, alas, you have woken up. I was wondering when you would. I was told that, that witch Evans put a sleeping spell on you to help with the healing but no one got how long it would last from her before returning here. Oh.” She came closer, and saw the confusion on Scarlet’s face. “Alas, I’ve confused you. Let me start over.”

“No allow me, I was there after all.” Theo stood in the door way of the sitting room and bedroom. Dr. Cartson nodded, and Theo moved into the room. “After you basically wiped out the entire Dralian army, you passed out. I figured you would considering what happened back at the Navy base. Anyways, you were brought to General Evans who did a simple sleeping spell on you. It was only to keep you out long enough to get back here, where Dr. Cartson could fully see to your wounds. General Evans was busy with all the wounded from the battle. You’ve been out for almost a week.” A week. The words echoed in Scarlet mind, because all she could think about was the King. So much could have happened to him in a week, he could have survived and started to heal from his wounds. Or he could have subsume and died from them.

‘The King?’

Dr. Cartson under stood the basic sign and placed a hand on her leg. “Alas dear, General Evans and I have done the best we can for him. He has not returned to health, and I don’t believe he will.” Scarlet shook her head, a fresh wave of tears filling her eyes. “Doctor, a minute alone please.” The Doctor nodded, standing. “Of course, I’ll be in the sitting room.” The door closed behind her and Theo took her spot on Scarlet’s bed. She noticed that her face looked slightly haggled, and there were dark circles lining her glowing eyes. It made them pop more.


“The arrow Muis shot at him wasn’t just a plain arrow. It was coated in some sort of chemical. Turns out Muis had a ‘Theo and Jim’ of his own and they created it. General Evans, and Dr. Cartson both tried to find ways to get it out of him. I even tried. I’ve barely slept this past week trying to find a way to beat it. I haven’t had any luck…” Theo looked away, and when she looked back, there were tears in her eyes. “Scarlet he’s dying. He goes in and out but he’s not going to make it much longer.” Scarlet’s chest heaved a few times as she sobbed. “He’s been asking for you though, whenever he’s awake. His only concern is for you. He asked me to give you this once you woke, in case he didn’t make it.” She met Theo’s gaze. It spoke more than words ever could. Taking her hands, Theo pushed something into them. “It’s not my place to judge who anyone else loves. Just know that I’m here for you.” Standing, Theo left into the sitting room. Scarlet looked down to her hands, holding back more tears. The picture was crumpled. There were defined lines from where it had been folded and reopened multiple times. But the faces hadn’t changed. They looked at each other, lovingly. Happily and blissful; ignorant to the upcoming events. They still held hands, neither one wanting to let go. It felt as if the photo of the King and she had been taken years ago rather than a few months. Hearing the door knob turn. Scarlet tucked the photo into her blankets. Allowing it to return to it’s bubble, hidden away from the rest of the real world.

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