Drake (Book 1)

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[69]-Fallen Angel

London

9:46 p.m.

Rain flew sideways, dousing everything in its path accompanied by claps of thunder and flashes of lightning. Cruel winds clashed against the clock tower. A harmonic rhythm rang across the city like bells tolling for Sunday mass. Within the guts of the tower, two flurries of blue energy collided, repelled, and reconnected. Drake and Sir Tristan.

Tristan fired his enchanted bow, sending gold projectiles that shattered stone and steel. When Drake closed in, he used the bow’s limb to repel his advance, parrying away Acheron’s blade and countering as needed. They seemed evenly matched, and the other horsemen encircled Drake to attack as a pack.

Drake backed off, observing the situation. Four against one; the odds stacked against him. That was before Rain intervened, swinging her great blade and spinning around Drake to swipe away any hidden attacks. When Drake and Rain moved, it looked less like fighting and more like a dance. A tango. He grabbed Rain and pulled her back, blocking a savage blow from Sir Mordred’s scythe.

Sir Mordred bounded back, leaving an opening for Gawain to enter the fray. The dead knight stopped suddenly as their arena turned pitch black. Then, a brilliant flash of lightning illuminated it, and the fight resumed. It turned pitch black a second later; the metallic ring of cold steel and bursting sparks appealing to the senses.

When the lightning struck again, it grazed the tower, taking away more of its formation and collapsing the wooden beams and flying buttresses above, setting the ceiling ablaze. Drake and Rain stepped aside to avoid the disintegrating gears and mechanisms that crashed through the layers of wooden floors.

Gawain struck fast like a cobra’s bite, swinging his sword only to have it swerved by Rain’s blade. The blow knocked him off center and before he could realign himself, Drake appeared from behind Rain and made his move. His chain wrapped around Gawain’s body, forcing him to submission. Then he detached the blade from his arm and impaled Gawain through the hand; the husk of a man still defying the infernal steel inching to his throat.

“Lyn!” Drake yelled.

She sprang to action and hurled the crucifix towards him from, also catching Sir Mordred’s attention. Drake caught the cross as Mordred dashed towards Lyn, scythe raised above his head ready to reap her soul. Drake and Rain exchanged a glance, and she nodded, already reading his thoughts.

They separated. Drake took the glowing crucifix and pulled the chain, driving the blade through Gawain’s hand and into his throat. The open wound leaked dust and ash and he stood there stoically, almost relieved from the crucifix’s presence.

Gawain, you were a suicide…

He drove the cross’s divine light towards Gawain and absolved him. His body glowed and shattered like ice scattering into the wind. Red robes floated to the ground, the only admonition of his existence, along with the two-handed bastard sword marking his tomb.

Without her bow, Lyn could only dive or roll away from Mordred’s attacks as he sliced the ground and pillars, his blade grazing the top of her hair. He hounded her towards a wall, confident the next blow would eviscerate her. Lyn sprinted, walking up the wall and somersaulting away, landing behind Mordred. Rain took her place and impaled him against the wall.

“Get the crucifix!” Rain barked. “We have to absolve him!”

Lyn nodded and bolted towards Drake as Rain held Mordred. Mordred grinned, gripped the blade with both hands and slid his body against the sword towards Rain hollow bones grinding and cracking, sunken eyes black as a charcoal. Rain gasped and pushed against him with all her might and vigor. But the soaking rain loosened her grip on the sword handle…

“Drake! Drake!”

She could hear the echoes of their blades and minor explosions beneath her, but could not see. She didn’t have to as a projectile from Tristan’s bolt emerged from the hole in the floor, nearly taking off her head and smashing into the ceiling. The tower rumbled, and a bell rang before falling from its hinges.

Lyn scooted backward as it crashed through the floor, creating another massive hole. Her hands trembled and she could barely hold the crucifix. The skirmish below intensified as Drake kept Tristan and Merlin at bay. She composed herself, breathed and took a leap of faith feet first through the hole. A pile of rubble broke her fall, but the impact left her in a stupor. She groaned and rubbed her aching buttocks.


9:47 p.m.

The impact from Tristan and Merlin’s attacks pushed Drake several feet. He planted his heels as the collision reverberated through his body, both hands pushing against his blade to wane their blows. He roared like that of a mighty lion, blinding electricity biting his blade and the marveling strength of his enemies. Tristan and Merlin did not relent, forcing Drake to break away and reorient himself.

By the time he could raise his blade, they were already on him, strafing him with arrows and streams of electricity generating from Merlin’s balance scale. The sheer heat of lightning left sizable holes in Drake’s clothes, leaving scorching marks like evil coals embedded in his skin. Tristan released another bolt of energy; Drake deflected it, but with each movement his strength dwindled. Such limitations did not affect Tristan and Merlin, two beings that existed outside the rules; outside the parameters defined by man.

The fallen knights capitalized on this advantage and pushed on, set on winning the battle by attrition. The same as setting siege to a city, cutting off its lifeline and striking the enemy at their weakest. Merlin summoned another cluster of lightning, his wide orbs for eyes glowing purple and wavy black hair floating.

As the lightning gathered above Merlin, Drake disappeared in a flash, appearing from behind and gutting him with Acheron. They went airborne and Drake ripped his body in two, each half falling off the building. That left Tristan, who turned his attention to Lyn.

He and Drake exchanged a glance. With that glance, Drake saw his intent, and ironically, sensed the breath of life in the dead man’s chest. The same breath that would take Lyn’s life in one stroke. Before Drake could act, Tristan was already before Lyn, bow centered on her head.

“LYN!”

Lyn stood there stupefied, a sparkle in her rain-like eyes tarnished with fear. But Tristan hesitated, lowered his bow and bellowed, thrashing his head. The fear worming in her gut dissipated, and she moved as Drake rushed between her and Tristan.

“Drake! I can’t keep fighting it! The dark magic — it’s so strong! Please absolve me!” Tristan appealed, a black aura emitting from his body.

Drake grimaced, faced Lyn and tightened the grip on his crucifix. Tristan stumbled forward, eyes hollow and face ashen. One of the few bells that remained boomed.

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