Chapter 28: Resistance Is Fatal
Avdon and Amsyn are the first to emerge from the tunnel into the Temple of the Fallen Ones. Sinnion lifts himself off her shoulder to hover above her. Amsyn brings her bow over her shoulder, clutching to it at her side instead.
Amsyn stands guard outside the vine curtain that serves as the door to the Temple. She can hear Avdon bark commands and watches as the Children take off in all directions. He emerges from the vines with Stalia and Aka. Amsyn pushes herself off the wall.
Avdon grabs ahold of her arm and pulls her aside. “Stay behind me at all times.” He orders. Amsyn nods. She knows the order leaves no room for argument. He releases her arm and leads the way into the Cri Wilds.
Amsyn draws an arrow from her quiver and loads it into her bow. She stalks through the woods behind Avdon and beside Stalia and Aka, all of whom have drawn their weapons. Avdon allows the metal whip to drag along the forest floor. Aka’s spear is clutched in both of her hands and Stalia’s hands are wrapped around her daggers.
Amsyn quickens her step, falling in line with Avdon. “Are we sure this is the Duke’s path?” She questions. Avdon glance over at her.
“Yes, I sent out scouts after Stalia warned us. They saw the arrival of the Duke and his forces. They are numerous, but they are trained for open battlefields.” He eyes glint with cunning. “They are no match for the forest. We have already laid our traps.” His lips curve into a full smirk.
Sinnion swoops down to head level. Amsyn looks to him. She sends him a small smile of reassurance. He flies upwards and ahead of them.
“It does help that we also have our own scout.” Avdon adds. Amsyn lets out a laugh. The laughter dies down and Avdon’s face turns serious. “Take no unnecessary risks and remember all your training.”
“I will.” She promises.
She falls back, and pulls the string of her bow back slightly. Her steps are made with Elven grace rendering them soundless. Her ears twitch. She focuses on the sounds surrounding her. There’s the pounding of her heart in her ears, and the stealthy footsteps of Avdon, Aka, and Stalia. In the distance she can hear a collection of footsteps marching in perfect unison, the Duke and his men. She swallows back her fear.
Cries fill the air. Amsyn freezes. Fear grips her heart and mind. Avdon’s is startled straight, as are Aka and Stalia. The two warrior rebels exchange glances, their faces painted with worry. Amsyn closes out all out sound, centering in on the sound of the fight. She can hear the Children of Tevata’s cries of freedom and orders being barked by a strong voice.
“It’s the others and the Duke’s men.” Amsyn declares. Avdon’s eyes snap to meet hers, worry flashes through them, but is quickly gone.
“Now!” He shouts.
The four of them charge forward. They run through the woods, ignoring the nicks and cuts they suffer at the hands of nature. The burst through the trees into the clearing. It is chaos. The men and women of the rebellion are scattered across the fields, clothed in different colors and different styles of clothing, wielding different weapons, and yet they fight in complete unison, tearing through the Duke’s men. The Quvanians are clothed in the Duke’s colors, blue and red. Soldiers riding Flerysbaras storm the field, cutting down several rebels in the process.
Avdon swings his arm, his whip moves with him, slicing the head of a Quvanian soldier clean off. He charges forward, burning with anger. He swings his arms back and forth, his whip reverberates with every movement. The sound of the metal fills Amsyn’s ears.
Aka twirls her spear as if it is nothing more than a fallen stick. She thrusts it forward, driving it into the stomach of a solider. She yanks it out and hurls it into the head of an oncoming solider. She leaps forward pulling it from his skull, the blade is stained with blood and pieces of his brain and skull cling to it. She opens her mouth and lets out the roar of a Thunderbird.
Stalia is far less aggressive, but no less deadly. She dances across the battlefield, slicing through solider after solider with her daggers. She kicks a solider to the ground and drives her blade into his neck. She pulls it out and blood squirts out. He struggles for only a few moments before dying. Another sneaks up behind her, his sword raised overhead. Stalia catches the sun reflecting off of it and whirls around. In one swift movement she slices through his armor into his belly, killing him. She grins and charges into the fight.
Even Sinnion is in the thick of it. Sinnion swoops down from the sky. He opens his mouth and releases a stream of fire. Two of the soldier’s clothing catch on fire. They run across the battlefield screaming in pain. One of the Quvanians try to stab him with their spear. Sinnion growls and charges down. He tears into the soldier’s face with his claws and rips off his nose with his claws.
Amsyn raises her bow and fires an arrow into the shoulder of a charging solider. He doesn’t die but he stumbles backwards, giving her enough time to load another arrow and fire it into his leg. He cries out and falls to his knees. Amsyn runs to him. She knocks the blade from his hand. He looks up at her with wide eyes. She grasps the back of his head and drives her knee into his face. She hears a sickening crack and he collapse to the ground, unconscious.
She has agreed to fight alongside Avdon. She wants to fight alongside him, but she can not betray her oath. She cannot kill. It is against everything she has been taught to do as a healer. She fights for Avdon as an Elf and a citizen of Udor, but she will not kill for him as a healer.
She leaps forward, gliding through the air. Her braided, orange hair whips through the air. She lands on the guard, knocking him to the ground. With her dagger drawn she stabs him in the arm, leg and shoulder, before using the handle to knock him out.
She stands back up, her breathing labored and her heart pounding with excitement. Despite the chaos and death, she feels more alive than she ever has. She slides her dagger back into her boot and draws her bow. An arrow she fires nails a solider in the leg. He stumbles forward enough for Aka to drive her spear through his throat. She glances over at Amsyn, and nods. She nods back.
Avdon slashes his way through the soldiers. Several of them charge at him, trying to avenge their fallen comrades. Avdon smirks and swings forward. The metal of his whip slices through the solider’s arms. His screams fill the air. Avdon whirls around drawing his whip with him. It slices through the chest of three oncoming Quvanians. All three collapse to the ground. He pulls the dagger strapped to his thigh and hurls it at another solider. It lands in her chest. She is dead before she hits the ground.
Avdon glances behind him. He spots Amsyn, fighting her way through the guards with Stalia. His eyes land on the Duke, cornered in the center of the field, mounted upon a Flerysbara, protected by over a dozen guards. Avdon’s lips curl up and a feral snarl escapes them.
Amsyn sweeps down to slice the soldier’s leg and then kicks him in the chest. He collapses to the ground, unconscious. She is shoved to the ground from behind. The blade of the dagger slices through her hand. A cry escapes her lips. She turns to the side and kicks out her leg. She manages to weakly strike the soldier’s leg. It doesn’t slow her down. Amsyn draws an arrow from her quiver and drives it into her leg. The solider lets out a strangled stream. Amsyn scrambles to her feet and uses her bow to strike her face, rendering her senseless.
She looks around. Her eyes land on Avdon, fighting in the center of the clearing. He is surrounded on all sides by soldiers. Amsyn glances around. There is no one near that can help him. Amsyn runs across the field, her bow clutched in her hand. She weaves herself in and out of the fighting, dodging strikes and soldiers.
Avdon cuts his way through the guards. His rage providing the energy burst he needs. The whip slices across the solider’s neck, cutting his head clean off. He whirls his arm around, slashing the Quvanian across the chest.
“You have come for me Citagi and you have found me.” Avdon calls over the sounds of the battle. The Duke sneers. Citagi jumps down from the Flerysbara and draws his khopesh.
Avdon raises his whip to strike down another Quvanian, but before he can the man is struck with an arrow in the shoulder. He follows the direction of the arrow, to see Amsyn standing there. Her face is stained with blood and dirt. Half of her hair has fallen out of her braid and the sleeves of her tunic and pants are torn. Avdon nods his thanks. Sinnion swoops down from the sky unleashing his fiery rage on the soldiers.
Avdon charges at the Duke, his whip in hand. He swipes his hand, sending a flurry of his power down the metal. The metal pieces lock to form a sword. He leaps forward, the sword raised above his head. The Duke raises his blade to block Avdon’s strike. Citagi growls.
“To think the group that has been such a nuisance is led by nothing more than a common animal.” He taunts. Avdon grits his teeth and swings at the Duke again, nicking his arm.
“Perhaps I’m not the common animal.” He retorts. The Duke’s eyes blaze with fury.
“How dare you? I am a Dragon. We are gods among men. You are nothing but a half wit animal.” He snarls. His Dragon teeth extract from his gums. He brings the khopesh around slicing through Avdon’s leg. He gasps but holds his stance, refusing to give the Duke the satisfaction of seeing him in pain.
“There are many stories of the deaths of gods.” Avdon replies. He thrusts the sword into the Dragon’s side. The Duke cries out. He pulls on the sword, drawing Avdon to him. His own blade buries himself in Avdon’s side. The Faun screams. The hooked blade is twisted into his flesh. Avdon grits his teeth and steps back yanking the blade out of him, pulling his own sword with him.
Amsyn hears Avdon’s cry. Her heart is gripped with fear and rage. She charges across the battlefield with her bow raised. She draws an arrow from her quiver and fires it at the Duke. It hits him in the shoulder. He stumbles backwards. His eyes find Amsyn. He barks orders to his remaining soldiers. Avdon yells something that she can’t hear over the sound of the battle.
Amsyn bolts across the field, straight to Avdon. He is kneeled on the ground, clutching his bleeding side. The Duke is in no better condition. He collapses backwards onto the ground. Avdon lifts his head. He grips the sword laying on the ground beside him. He forces himself to his feet and staggers to the Duke. Avdon raises the blade as high as he can and thrusts it downwards into the Duke’s skull, killing him.
A solider crosses Amsyn’s path. She jabs at her with the spear. Amsyn jumps back, barely missing the arrowhead. Amsyn opens her free hand and emits a lightning bolt. The solider collapses comatose. Before Amsyn can move she feels a blinding pain across her shoulder and chest. She glances down to see her dark green tunic and the golden-brown Funay turning red.
“Avdon...” she says, meeting his eyes. Her legs falter and she collapses to her knees. The world around her grows darker and darker till it fades completely. She meets the ground face first.
Sinnion flies down, landing beside Amsyn. He whines and nudges her with his snout, trying to awaken her. She doesn’t stir. He raises his head to look at the soldier who injured her. Sinnion launches at the soldier. His jaw open and fire pours forth from them. He doesn’t cease until the soldier’s screaming stops and the smell of charred flesh is prominent in the air.
Avdon pushes himself to his feet, ignoring the pain and stumbles his way to Amsyn. He turns her over, pulling her onto his laps. He grasps her cheek. “Amsyn! Amsyn!” He calls. His hand travels to her neck. He checks for a pulse. There’s a strong one, but it is quickly fading. He scoops her up and rises to her feet. He ignores the curious and worried glances of the rebels around him and continues to Ta’floon.
Amsyn first becomes aware of the pain. It’s dull, but sharp. She groans and opens her eyes. The bright light streaming in from the window blinds her. As her surroundings come into focus, Amsyn finds herself in her room in Avdon’s manor. She turns her head to the side. Sinnion is curled up by her side. The sunlight reflects off his blue and silver scales. She smiles slightly.
Her eyes fall to her arm. She’s been changed out of her battle clothes into a simple, pale green, sleeveless gown. Her arm and chest have been wrapped and beneath it she can feel gel against the wound.
Amsyn rolls her head to the other side. Curled up in a chair beside her bed asleep is Avdon. His own gruesome wound have been tightly wrapped. Smaller cuts litter his torso and arms. Amsyn is relieved to see he is okay.
“Avdon,” she whispers. He doesn’t stir. “Avdon.” She calls again, a little louder. His eyes flutter open. At the sight of Amsyn he sits up. Wincing, he grabs ahold of his wounded side. He waves off Amsyn’s worried look and rises from the chair. Amsyn scoots over and pats the area beside her. He lowers himself onto the bed beside her, taking her hand.
“How do you feel?” He asks softly. She shrugs then winces.
“Alright, I suppose.” She replies. Her eyes fall to Avdon’s wound. “What about you? I saw the Duke drive his blade through you.” Avdon smirks.
“The Dragon had the strength of a child.” He jokes. Amsyn laughs.
“Was anyone else hurt?” She questions.
“Only a few cuts and bruises, one stab wound.” Amsyn’s lips dip into a frown. She feels Sinnion stir beside her and glances over. His tail stretches out, but he doesn’t wake. “That is something you don’t need to worry about now anyways. You need to focus on getting better.” He adds. “Get some rest.” He stands up and leans down to press a lingering kiss to her forehead. Heat rushes to Amsyn’s cheeks. He pulls away enough for his eyes to connect with hers. He leans forward ever so slightly.
Sinnion growls. Avdon jumps back. Amsyn giggles. He gives her hand one last squeeze before leaving the room.
Amsyn turns to Sinnion. “You have the worst timing.” She exclaims. He moves his neck in a shrug like fashion and rests his head on her arm.