The sun had gone down completely and a starless night had covered the land. Azzara’s heart had plummeted as Xander revealed himself. The fear that had gripped her the night she had lost the feeling in her legs had returned. She could only stare wide-eyed as Farron drew his sword to face the creature. Azzara wanted to scream at Farron. She wanted to order him to grab her and run. But she could not. They would never be able to outrun the creature. She did not know how skilled Farron was, but she hoped that it was enough to save their lives.
Xander looked at Azzara and stuck out his snake-like tongue at her playfully. Azzara recoiled in her chair.
“There you are my sweet princesss!” He said cheerfully “Xander has been ssearching high and low for you. My masster was most displeassed when you esscaped the first time. But he shall reward Xander well for recapturing you! Oh yess he will!”
“Princess?” Farron turned to look at Azzara quizzically. That was a mistake.
Xander rushed at Farron with his dagger-like claws and swiped. To Azzara’s surprise, Farron had ducked and spun around the creature so fast that she wasn’t even sure how he did had done it. Farron Slashed at Xander’s back, drawing blood. Xander screamed in rage and continued to swipe at the young swordsman. Farron dodged and parried each swipe of Xandar’s claws. Azzara was mesmerised. It almost looked as though Farron were dancing with his sword. She had never seen anything like it.
Xander was becoming frustrated. He started to swing and charge blindly in a rage. He missed Farron every single time. Meanwhile, Farron had left large gashes all over Xander’s body.
“ENOUGH OF THIS!” Xander roared. He suddenly dived into the ground, and all was quiet. Azzara felt tense. Farron stood very still. It looked as though he were concentrating. Suddenly, the ground under Farron’s feet erupted, and Xander popped out, flinging Farron into the air. Xander slashed at Farron while he was airborne. Farron’s chest was ripped open as he fell back onto the ground. He lay on the floor coughing out blood and struggling for air.
“I’ll eat you sslowly” Xander said before turning onto Azzara. He walked slowly toward her, licking the air around him. “Where iss your other hero? I very much would like to repay him.”
Azzara was now very afraid. It was happening all over again. She couldn’t run. She couldn’t fight. All she could do was sit on this chair as the creature ravaged her once more. She began to cry silently as Xander got closer to her, laughing hysterically.
Suddenly a rock bounced off of the creature’s head. Azzara’s heart could have jumped out of her chest with joy. Keon stood a few feet away, sword drawn. He was alive. But he looked different. His hair was longer and swayed in the wind. He looked stronger and mightier. His eyes were narrowed, and he looked at Xander with a fierce determination.
Xander burst out laughing. “Xander didn’t think his day could get any better!” Xander advanced toward Keon, still laughing. “Come hero! You took me by ssurprise lasst time. But I assure you that you will not besst me a ssecond time!”
Keon wasted no time charging at the creature. He swung his sword over his head, but Xander sidestepped and dodged the blow. Xander slapped Keon with the back of his claws, sending him flying a few feet across the ground. Keon looked winded, but he got up anyway. He put his arms in front of him to defend himself. Xander just laughed.
Azzara had felt relief and joy when she saw Keon. He was still alive, and he had come to her rescue yet again. But Keon was no warrior. If an expert swordsman like Farron could be ripped apart like that, what Chance did Keon have?
Xander rushed at the weapon-less Keon. He slashed at Keon with his giant claw. Keon ducked at the last moment and planted his fist under Xander’s chin, knocking him to the ground. Xander looked at Keon in surprise, and so did Azzara.
“You’ve gotten sstronger” Xander said as he got up off the ground. The smile on his face had been wiped out.
“You will not touch her again,” Keon said softly as he picked his sword off the ground. “I’ll make sure you die this time.”
Xander roared violently “Inssolent whelp! You are nothing but a village bumpkin! And you would talk down to me sso!?”
Xander charged again. Keon blocked with his sword. Xander pushed forward against the blade, but Keon held firm. Azzara was amazed at Keon’s physical strength. Keon pushed Xander’s claws to the side with his sword and tried to thrust his blade into the creature, but he was too slow. Xander was much faster and slammed his claws against Keon with such force that Azzara could hear his bones break.
“KEON!!” She screamed. Azzara couldn’t take it anymore. She would not see Keon die again. She would not lose someone else she cared for. She felt a power swell up inside of her. She felt warmness run through her entire body. She floated up from her chair and glided toward Xander. The creature could only stare in fear. Azzara stretched out her hand as she floated closer to Xander.
Azzara did not know what this feeling was or why her body was moving on its own. All she knew was that, at that moment, she was powerful. She would be the one to protect Keon this time. She was not the helpless princess she had been all this time. She was powerful, and this creature would pay for what he did to her.
Xander shrieked in pain as Azzara touched him on his head. A bright light emanated from her hand and covered Xander’s entire body. When the light had finally vanished, all that was left was a stone statue in the shape of Xandar. The stone crumbled into dust and was carried away by the wind.
Azzara felt drained and exhausted as though she had walked a thousand leagues without rest. She closed her eyes and fell from the air. But she did not hit the ground. She fell into a pair of arms. These were arms she never thought she would love to be in. Arms that protected her and cared for her. They were arms she could stay in forever. She drifted out of consciousness with one thought on her mind: They were his arms.