Valkyrie III: Song of Darkness, The Novel Edition

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Chapter Sixty-Four

‘Sif, my love, did you establish a link with the Caliph?’
There was a long pause as the Goddess searched for her former student. Gil, on the other hand, was trying to figure out a way to get to the Caliph’s tower without getting them all killed.
Reports were coming in left and right. A patrol going by, led by a trio of Night flyers. A handful of raiding parties scouring the northern woods. Minute by minute, more and more Goblins, fully armored and cheering for battle. This was not one of your drunken Goblin raids, there were just too many of them. This was more, this was war; but why Nasir? Reports had listed Misthaven as Malice’s target. Something wasn’t right.
He was worried. It was taking too long to locate the Caliph, and things were going from bad to worse. There were Goblins trucking down the main roads. Goblins hidden in trees and climbing over outer walls. They were everywhere and more seemed to be arriving by the minute.
“Sif?” He called out, eyeing his wife.
“There!” Her eyes flew open and her hand went up, pointing clear across the city. “He’s there, besieged with the last of the cities defenders.” She told the lot of them. “We must hurry, but first, we must ensure the innocent are safe!”
“Let’s do this, quietly!” Mist chimed in and then let her mind wander. ‘Kara, send back to the fortress for reinforcements. The war takes place in Nasir!’ Mist told the younger Valkyrie and watched as the female dropped down from a nearby rooftop and quickly disappeared into the shadows of the forest.
“Lead the innocent to Senna, she will protect them across the gorge.” Sif took charge, dispatching a half-dozen of her Elven house guard.
They too disappeared into the shadows, whisking away the frightened souls. Mist and Sif soon followed suit, moving as one with their soldiers and spreading out from the rooftop they made for the Caliph’s tower. Silent and deadly, their footsteps like rain against the old stone.
Mist was the first to arrive, staring down, some forty-five feet, to the base of the tower opposite her. Sif appeared a moment later and one by one their soldiers escaped the shadows, appearing on rooftops and windows surrounding the tower beside them. Eerie enough, it sent shudders down Gil’s spine, to watch them think and move as one. Silent and unnerving.
Jack was the first to notice the horde, careening through the city streets and up through the main doors of the tower. Then another small horde, shouts and hopes for glory as they too entered the tower.
‘Reinforcements?’ Gil eyed Mist, who for once looked as puzzled as he did. ‘They’re hauling ass like something’s up. I mean, unless your sister’s already taken the place and has them all running drills in the streets of Nasir!’
“Jack?” Mist eyed him and the elder nodded his head with a huge grin. “Take a few of the soldiers and take back that bloody gate. Make sure their troops can’t send anymore reinforcements!”
“Aye, aye, sir!” Jack chuckled and saluted the Valkyrie, already bouncing a grenade in his palm.
“You do remember how to use one of those, right?” Gil queried, teasing his grandfather in hopes to raise the crazy fool’s spirits.
They didn’t need raising, for Jack loved every moment. He may have complained about it to no end, but once that adrenaline starts and you’re on a roll…
“Drop the grenade, throw the pin?” Jack teased back, feeding his grandson a shot to the shoulder. “Get on with ye, ye draft bugger.” The elder Swanson shook his head, popping the grenade in his pocket before the Springfield appeared in his hands.
Jack without his Springfield, was like a flask with no liquor in it. Bad on all fronts. “Gunny, reporting for duty!” He grinned and vanished from site.
“Are you ready?” Mist inquired, giving Gil a look that either said, I’m worried this won’t work out, or I’ve got a cramp.
He hoped it was the latter, for her face was twisted in concern, their plans derailed yet again. Despite the fear gnawing away in his gut, he smiled, which in turn caused her to smile; her eyes lighting up.
He held back the shudder as the art of war surfaced in Mist’s mind, her battle tactics, far too complicated to picture; save for a Valkyrie. Whatever happened to say a Sunday afternoon raid? Making from town to town, raping and pillaging in small groups, you know, the things Goblins were known to do? Instead, here they were, in full force ready to take on whatever stood in their way. This wasn’t a raid, this was a bloody annihilation.
‘Gil, are you ready?’ Mist’s mind called to him again.
‘Always!’ He replied with a wink.
Gil let his Valkyrie reflexes have free reign and focused was on the enemy. He pulled the pin on one of his grenades, let go of the spoon and tossed the bloody thing over the first wall.
‘Fire in the hole!’ He sent out to the others.
Not a heartbeat later, five terrifying explosions went off at the same time. The grenade had detonated, taking a store of fire powder with it, taking out a squad of the horrid green bastards. Rising from where he’d taken cover, he couldn’t help but laugh as he peered through the smoke.
“What’s so funny?” Sif inquired, puzzled as she too rose to her feet to find four of the remaining squad, running down the street with flames bursting from their bodies.
Over the chaos of warfare Gil heard a scream and spun toward the sight of a young female, carted off by her hair in the hands of a heathen.
‘Three o’clock!’ He let out with his mind and blinked a few paces away from the creature. “Well, hello!” He chuckled, the fear welling in the beast before him.
He felt his lips curling into a sneer at the sight of the Goblin’s blade, steel ringing against steel as he evaded the bastard’s swing and stuck his own sword deep into the asshole’s belly.
“By the Gods…” The young female let out, but Gil’s blood was racing so hard, all he heard were the waves of adrenaline crashing against the walls of his veins.
Mist heard Belvaya as she and the others started chasing the goblins off the walls.

***

It wasn’t like she didn’t like a good fight, but Goblins? Hob-nobbed little fuckers, or they were before Pathen began experimenting on them. Just the sounds they made were enough to bring a full-grown male to his knees. Nonetheless, one by one she sent them flying.
“Whoa, slow down, Belvaya. We’re not playing a game, you know?” She heard Loki’s voice coming up behind her.
“Sure we are!” She grunted, using a broken post like a golf club, except the balls she was aiming at hung down like rotten potatoes between enemy thighs. “I call it, Golfing for Goblin. You should, try it, sometime!”
“You’re insane!” Loki shook his head as she sent another sailing over the wall.
“Your point?” She stopped short, eyeing him up and down. “I may be insane, but you’re now fifteen Goblin hides behind!” She laughed and took off along the wall in search of more.
Loki again shook his head, but there was a spark of something inside that female. It drove him nuts, but it also reminded him of Malice. She didn’t live life by the rules either. The world was at war and both of them acted as if it were child’s play.
He was still stuck in his dream when the shrill came up behind him, but the arrow sailed past his head and sent the bastard to the rocks below. “Now you’re eighteen behind!” She grinned at him from a few yards away. “Better hurry up!”
“You’re such a bitch, Belvaya!” He shouted.
“Nineteen!” She called back as he watched another fall from the wall.
She was good. She was really good.

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