Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Forty-One

What had started out as a one on three match, had carried over into what could only be classified as a royal rumble. Twenty minutes, fifteen males of varying colors, races and sizes, and the crowd was going wild. Muscle bound Barbarians and armor-clad Beasts. Vampires and Day walkers, Goblins and Demons. The darkest of the dark, aiming for a piece of the prize and he was right smack in the middle of it.
Daggers and swords, shields and spears. An all-out free for all, until the bullet grazed his left shoulder and the whole bloody pit fell silent. Not a peep let out from the stands, save the gasps as Maisura rose to her feet.
“Who the fuck, brought a gun to my fights?” Maisura’s voice rang out as Ahlex’s eyes scanned the crowds for the trigger-happy reject; until his vision started to blur.
Everyone was silent as the guards searched the stands and not a muscle flinched within the ring. This was sacred ground. Blood was to be shed by a cunning eye and a quick hand, not a bloody pistol from a safe distance. This was not a place for cowards, and they were now hungering for a different sort of fight.
Someone had desecrated their temple. Run-down and more of an eye-sore, but a temple none the less. There were rules, traditions to follow and some ass-hat had just fucked up bad.
“So, a secret it is!” Maisura laughed as her guards turned up nothing but blades. “One of you, is hiding something. A pistol. A spell, perhaps?” She eyed the crowd. “I, smell a Witch!” She hissed and a moment later appeared next to the warriors in the sands.
There was no escape as the large metal doors slid down and locked into place. Shutters were closed and the lights grew brighter, though the eerie shadows remained tucked away in the corners. Gasps and whimpers rang out as the entire arena fell into lock-down and Maisura dropped her cloak.
“If you would aim at my warriors, then you would aim at me. So, I implore you to take your place on the sands and fight like the Champions of old.” She cried out her challenge, circling for all to see her long slender figure and dark black hair.
Nothing. Not even a peep from those who’d protested the closing of the doors. Fifteen warriors stood around her, bloodied and beaten but ready to lay down their lives to honor the sands. If it was a Witch, and Ahlexander sure as shit was hoping it wasn’t, things were going to get messy. Right now, at that very moment, the Realm of Magic was in limbo, so this little stand-off could literally go one of two ways.
If their Sovereign had ordered this hit, there would be war. If she hadn’t, and they were dealing with a Rebel, well, then there would be war there too. Either way, it wasn’t going to be pretty and Ahlexander could already feel his senses rising. He knew what was coming, the question she would ask.
“My Lex, tell me what you see?” Her words were right on cue, as if he was some sort of psychic and she wanted him to tell her the future.
Which one of these fucktards had gone A.W.O.L and signed their own death warrant, he had no fucking clue...
Okay, so that was not exactly true, for right behind her stood a male, shrouded in dark robes. He was big, like massive big, but it wasn’t his tall, dark and eerie persona that tipped Ahlex off, but the nice blue orb he tried to conceal beneath those tainted robes. You couldn’t hide shit like that from an Einherjar, which was why Maisura has asked in the first place.
Wait now, not just one, but a pair of glowing blue balls, and Ahlex’s mind went back to his own. Not as fancy and lit up, but fuck were they blue.
Shit, he did not have time to be thinking about her right now. Not here and especially not after she’d lied to him about their cargo, and that’s when it hit him; the first of those blue balls, that is, right smack in the fucking gut. The second nailed his leg as he flew through the air and landed with a thud on his back.
Next thing he knew, he saw the long, curved blades of the Samurai swords and knew that the fiend who’d nailed him wouldn’t last long; but come on, what the fuck had he done to deserve this?
‘You let her win!’ He heard Mai’s voice in his mind and looked up to see her swords come down about the assassin’s throat.
Gods, she was gorgeous; and she was right. Fuck, she was always right. He’d loved her once, hell, he still loved her; and Mist, and... She wouldn’t let him finish his thoughts, for her voice held him captive as she faced his attacker.
“You dare, come onto my sands and disrupt the sacred nature of my arena?” She growled in his face, “I will only ask you once. Why?”
One of the other warriors pulled back the male’s hood, exposing his bald head and furrowed brow; one that Ahlexander had laid eyes upon before. The male said nothing, but Ahlex already knew why he was here.
“You have nothing to say for yourself? Or, your Sovereign?” Ahlexander spat out, eyeing the male up and down.
Silence.
“So be it!” Maisura let out, her blades working quickly to offer sacrifice and appease the dishonor upon her sands. “Let this stand as a warning to any who would bring a weapon of such disgrace into my house!” She hollered at the crowd and they cheered back as she let her hands rise whilst circling her kill. ‘You will, tell me what you know, my Lex!’ Her words seeped into his mind once more, a warning that only he could hear.
That male had followed him here, because of Belvaya and Maisura expected him to explain it all. Problem was, he didn’t have all the answers. Belvaya had kept them all to herself.

***

Malice had made her way across the stone bridge that covered the murky waters of the Traigh’a, smirking away as she carried her prize. Quite proud of herself and wanting to deliver her target in person, she stormed in through the main doors of the keep; the blood on her boots, fresh, as it dripped from the satchel she held tight in her hand.
With the other bracing the MG Forty-Two on her hip, she used one finger to replace the magazine; just in case any of the bastard’s goons had followed her. There was no telling who’d be offended by his sudden demise, so she conjured a few more and tucked them into her breast plate. Anything was possible in the Shadowlands.
Spies. Assassins. Thieves. Masters. All of them tinkering with their own hidden agendas. Who could a girl trust in a place like this? There was one, but Malice couldn’t sense her anywhere.
‘Where, is To’llan?’ Marwolaeth whispered in angst, awake and yet leaving Malice in control.
‘Patience.’ Malice replied as she reached the door of the great hall, passing through with ease as she shifted her form.
The skull of a Frost Hound adorned her cloak as streams of silver and black gems covered her blonde hair. With wings deployed in all their glory, she resembled none other than the Champion of Enote, herself. Marwolaeth, the Destroyer, had come home; or what was left of it.
“Oh, our love, we are home!” She called out as she laughed manically, stopping only when one of the males in the room reached for his weapon.
Malice leveled the muzzle at the male, shaking her head. “I wouldn’t.” She snarled before blinking to the top of the banquet table, kicking plates, cups and wine glasses out of her way.
Their fear was such, no one said a word as she strode past the dinner cart and behind the row of chairs; dragging the bloody mess along as she went. When she got to the head of the table, she reached into her bag and pulled out the charred monstrosity, dropping it right smack in the middle of Pathen’s plate.
Smiling at them all, she knelt down, almost to his lap, sliding the muzzle of her gun to his throat. “Where, is our beloved To’llan?” Her Host spoke, dropping the temperature in the room.
“What is the meaning of this, Malice?” Pathen’s voice grew cold, his eyes flashing an eerie green in color as his own Host threatened to awaken.
“If we have to ask again, Pathen, we will gladly add your head, to his.” Marwolaeth laughed and even Malice wanted to crawl out of her own skin.

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