A dark Elf sat crossed legged with his elbows on his knees and chin in hand. His face, covered in long thin scars, with one long gash running from under his left ear to his mouth was devoid of emotion. His green eyes had no life in them as the scene before him lit up his pupils.
He was sitting on the roof of a small building, looking at an almost shining city stretching before him. Every building, starting from about 2 kilometres, had a glittering purple glow around its edge. Inside this radius, there was no such glow. It was dead quiet, the setting sun being the only thing illuminating this dead district.
‘Wouldn’t it be nice... to enjoy a view like this without having to fight for your life?’
The Dark Elf’s head moved to the right at an incredible speed as a dagger stabbed at its previous position. A yellow glow flickered in and out of existence as he appeared behind the attacker, holding a dagger to their throat. The yellow glow, a neckless, was now the only light source on the roof.
The attacker, clad in black from head to toe, laughed behind their mask, “You think I’d te-”
A sound of flesh being cut resounded on the quiet rooftop as a head was sent flying. Then a thump as the head, followed by a decapitated body hit the roof.
The Dark Elf’s darted around, trying to identify other attackers in every possible hiding spot, white bracelets were glowing around both wrists now. He readied his dagger while taking out another and entered a defensive position.
‘I sense seven of them in a loose encirclement... is the gap a trap? Was this one supposed to complete it? If there is an assassin skilled enough to hide from my sense, I’ll have to be far more vigilant than usual.’
The Dark Elf deflected a blade coming out of the shadow his glowing bracelets were creating and darted to his left. The force of his acceleration destroyed the surrounding tiles, as a blue glow flickered around his combat boots, and an agonizing echoed out through the night sky as a perfect circle collapsed inward. He accelerated run, dodged inside a retreating assassins guard and stabbed him in the throat, followed by two rapid stabs to the eyes.
Kicking the body away, he parried a stab to the kidney, turned around while cutting the attackers’ hand off and then followed up by letting their head roll.
A sigh escaped as his eyes darted around the rooftop yet again. The glowing yellow necklace, coupled with the pulsing white bracelets created a small circle of light around him as he stood in complete darkness. He brought his daggers into another defensive stance and moved in a small circle as the assassins were rapidly moving around, trying to confuse his sense.
‘Am I just paranoid? No, better to proceed on the assumption that they have a more skilful assassin with them. Save as much energy as possible.’
A few seconds of tense silence followed. He continued to shift his position, his eyes continued to jump between the moving targets and where he assumed the one he couldn’t sense still waited. After a full ten seconds of utter silence, a red flare shot into the air a hundred meters back. This was their retreat signal.
The Dark Elf focused on the spot he was worried about as he sensed the others retreat. Trying, even knowing it was probably nothing, to sense if there was an enemy he could not sense.
He waited a full minute before wiping dripping red daggers on his already stained white shirt. He sheathed them and the glowing white bracelets lost their glow as he adjusted them, and the others, in a more comfortable position. The glowing necklace similarly lost its yellow light.
Heavy footsteps reverberated through the silent night as the Dark Elf made his way to the edge of the hole he’d created near the beginning of this. He crouched down and peered into the dark interior of the building he was on. Locating the assassin he’d sent falling under a pile of rubble, he jumped down and landed beside the nearly buried body. His combat boots sent dust clouds flying as they made contact with the wood floor.
A cough echoed off the desolate buildings walls as the Dark Elf stood over a wheezing body. He crouched down while reaching out with his left hand and placed two fingers on the assassins’ neck.
Cold green eyes met emotionless black ones.
“I’ll ask you some questions and if you answer and if you answer, you’ll live. Look left if you agree to answer and right if-”
Before he could finish his sentence, the assassin looked right.
“As I thought.”
A red glow pulsed from one of his bracelets and the assassins’ head began to bulge. Their eyes started shifting around before settling on him, cold green eyes meeting pleading black ones. There would be no mercy however and chunks of flesh exploded into the dark empty room and a splash resounded as it hit furniture.
The Dark Elf sat in silence as his green eyes examined the headless corpse. His hands hung lifeless as he rested his arms on his knees. Blood dripped from his chin and left hand. Another sigh escaped his mouth.
‘How long... Just how long will I have to endure this? Zergus... There’s one thing I have left to do... please...’
“You know your duty. We do not care for your emotional state human.”
Green eyes flashed in the darkness and a fist collided with the ground as a crash reverberated through the building. The Dark Elf let out a growl as chunks of wood and concrete crumbled around his bloodied hand and his eyes shifted to the hole in the roof.
“I’m here, aren’t I? Tell your new chosen to come to me, I’ll gladly give them this curse.”
“You failed, Prince, what makes you think you have any say in how I make decisions? ... Unfortunately, for us, we lost our apostle some days ago and a failure is now our only tangible link to your world. Until such a time that we anoint a new apostle.... or you fulfil your duty... we have no choice but to hold you under contract.”
“Fine. I’ll find your chosen.”
The Dark Elf stood and wiped the blood off his face on his shirt. This exposed his abdomen which was covered in damaged white tattoos. He let go of the completely red stained shirt and rolled his shoulder in a stiff manner.
“At least they’re always considerate enough to attack once a night now.”
He peered around the dark interior as if trying to figure something out and after a few seconds, his eyes focused on something and he made his way over to it.
He stopped in front of a cupboard and opened it, revealing bottles of whiskey all lined up. He took a bottle out and turned it so he could read the name.
“This should do just fi-ugh!”
His relaxed posture instantly went rigid as a warm fluid flowed down his back. His vision became fuzzy and needle sharp pain exploded from his back before spreading through his body.
At that moment, between life and death, his instincts kicked in before his consciousness could register reality.
He turned around. Feeling a blade tear through the flesh in his back. Hit the assassin over the head with the bottle of whiskey. The assassin fell backwards from the sheer blunt force behind the bottle as a piercing clink rang through the air. The Dark Elf soon followed, stumbling while franticly grabbing at his dagger. As they hit the ground, he finally brandished his dagger and stabbed the stunned assassin in the chest.
The assassin let loose a screeching scream as blood began to spurt out of the wound in a thick stream, another stab to the arm quickly followed. As he connected he twisted the dagger to go as deep as possible
The Dark Elfs’ vision was almost gone now. Blood spilled out of his mouth as he growled. The only thing keeping him conscious was adrenaline. He and the assassin entered a ferociously frantic struggle on the ground, and he suffered a stab to his lower arm, sending even more of his blood to the ground. The pain was gone now.
Finally, comprehending his situation, the Dark Elf pulled the broken whiskey bottle back and stabbed the assassin in the neck, a stream of red liquid squirted out of the bottleneck. He tore his injured arm free and used his bodies weight to stab the assassin in the eye with his now free dagger.
It seemed the assassin would struggle one final time... before they stopped moving.
The Dark Elf sluggishly rolled off the corpse and turned his head sideways as he coughed up blood. His uninjured arm went into his pants pocket and fumbled around. Desperately grasping something, he pulled it out and held it to his mouth.
“*cough*... Sis... *cough*... old place... need... he-”
The fuzzy edge of his vision completely took over his sight and soon after he could see nothing. His hand lost strength and the device he’d held to his mouth fell to the floor.
Blood pooled under him as his limp hand fell.
His consciousness faded as he heard his name being called.
“Ivan! Ivan! I’m on my way! Do yo-”
“On your right, idiot!”
A fresh faced Ivan took the advice screamed at him and immediately turned his attention to the right, just as a purple wall of magic materialised in front of him. His shining sword slashed through the wall and a bewildered red demonic looking entity, leaving behind two charred halves.
He looked behind him and gave a thumbs up to accompany his grin.
Unfortunately for him, the only sight waiting was a furious blonde woman in a gold trimmed, white robe. Looking passed her however, a tattered black robe floating in place gave him the thumbs up he was looking for.
“I can always count on you, Jay!”
As Ivan shared a short laugh with the tattered robe, another large boom shook the hall the found themselves in.
“Ivan! Some help dammit!”
The grin disappeared off the young elfs’ face as he double gripped his sword. His necklace gave off a brilliant yellow glow, two bracelets started giving off a similar blue glow and he instantly disappeared. Reapearing in the thick of a horde of the entities.
The person screaming for help wore heavy gold armour and was currently weilding his massive shield and broadsword against more than ten of them.
Ivan gave him two taps on the shoulder before sprinting behind one of the enemy, sword now engulfed in flames, and immediately decapitated one. He slipped through the encirclement again and stood back to back with his ally.
“Thought you said this many would be nothing, Rock?”
The massive man gave Ivan a glance back as he pushed three opponents back with his shield, making his feet dig further into the concrete floor. Seeing them stumble, he swung his broadsword and killed them instantly.
“They’re nothing. These fuckers are just too damn many!”
Another grin formed as Ivan evaded two sharp claws to his face, cut off the offenders arms and followed by decapitating them.
“Hmm... No, i think still fairly easy to be honest.”
Two more swings of the giant broadsword and Rock had taken out five more opponents. Having cleared his side, he turned around and charged four approaching enemies with his shield.
The opponents stumbled back by the sheer force the massive shield released and Ivan took that chance to quickly dash between them and relieve them of their heads.
“Ivan, how the hell are we getting out of this one?!”
The ground was rocked by another large boom and both their heads looked at a large purple shield intermied with green colors flicker under pressure. A barrage of magic attacks were constantly thrown at it.
Ivan gave their surroundings a quick scan, confirmed they were safe for now, and lay on the ground while putting his hands behind his head. Sword forgotten next to him.
“Relax, Rock... Jay will handle this. Breeze will definately not let the barrier fall before he is done.”
A vein appeared on the massive mans head as he struck his shield into the ground. He did the same with his broadsword and pulled at his hair as a scream of frustration tore above the growling horde of demonic entities.
“Why do you always act so carefree! We’re in deep shit dammit! Deep fucking shit!”
Rock kicked his shield so hard it toppled over, sending dust flying into Ivans eyes.
“Hey! Can you take your negative energy somewhere else? I’m trying to relax and dust in my eyes isn’t helping!”
Rubbing his eyes with a frown, Ivan rolled unto his side, deliberately facing away from the fuming brute.
“The FUCK are you doing?! At least face the horde! That way you can at least know when we’re about to fucking die!”
Ivan put his hands on his ears and started to hum to himself.
“Rock has such a huge stick in his ass~ Rock has su-”
A massive shock wave of force blasted the arguing pare and both sprung into a defensive fighting position. Rock grabbed his fallen shield and grabbed his broadsword out of the ground with practiced ease, letting it lie over the edge of the now shimmering defensive weapon.
Ivan now had his sword in both hands, crouching behind Rock. Yellow, green, purple, white, blue bracelets and necklace gave off brilliant glows. His flaming sword gave off a divine pressure.
“Breeze, what the fuck?!”
“You’re lucky i held out this long!”
Rocks’ white armour started to radiate and he crouched behind his shield till he could only peak over the massive thing.
“Time to earn our gold.”
Ivan tapped him on the shoulder, “Let’s dance.”
As soon as he felt the tap, a massive blizzard exploded out of Rocks’ shield, destroying the walls of the hall they were in and freezing every demon in sight. Ivan disappeared in a multi colored dash, the ground where he stood shattering, and every frozen demon started losing their head the very next instant.
Breeze ran up to Rock, put her hands on his back and started chanting in a language only magic casters understood. As soon as a green sphere surrounded him, Rock was off, charging at the demons crushing their way through their frozen allies.
As soon as Rock engaged the enemy, the blur that was Ivan came to a stop next to Breeze, a smile on his face.
Breeze ignored him as she put her hands on his chest, chanting in the magic language again. A green sphere with purple tints soon surrounded him.
Ivan cracked his neck and looked her in the eyes, “I might die you know. You could end up regretting the fact that you didn’t even give me some parting words.”
Breeze looked at Ivan and cocked her head, “Don’t die then.”
Her peace said, she ran back to Jay who was still floating in the same place.
Ivan laughed as he looked at her retreating figure, “As you command.”
He disappeared again, making a beeline for the surrounded Rock, slashing through two demons before vanishing in and out of view, the only visible thing about him being the multi color blur behind him as heads continued to fall.
Rock sent another blizzard through the horde, freezing countless more demons, “I have one left!”
Ivan gave him a tap on the shoulder and went to work on the frozen enenmy, he was drenched in sweat and blood now, his braceletts and necklace was shimmering in and out. He knew he didn’t have much time left.
Finishing the last frozen enenmy he could, he came to a stop next to Rock, “I think we made a dent, think they’ll retreat?”
A dry laugh escaped the armoured giant, “Yeah, any minute now.”
As more enemies crashing through their frozen allies, Rock let loose one final blizzard, the air crackled and their breaths became visible once more as demon after demon succumbed to the cold.
“Ivan, Rock! Get back!”
A smile creeped on their faces as they heard Jay’s voice and both took off running. It seemed the demons were looking for an oppertunity like this, as no sooner had they turned their back than explosive fireballs crashed behind them. The debri crashed into them, a huge chunk hitting Ivan in the head, leaving him with a deep cut over his eye.
Rock saw this, took hold of his neck and sent him flying, “Run ahead you idiot! i’ll bring up the rear!”
Ivan hit the ground on his side, continued his roll with a grunt, slid to his feet and immediately took off in Rocks direction as his narrowed eyes noticed demons on his friends heels. He passed a frowning Rock, slashed a demons head off and used another’s head as a spring board to run back. As he came side to side with a running Rock, he gave him a tap on the shoulder, “Stop trying to look cool, if you were able to handle the rear you would have taken care of that.”
Rock smiled in his direction, “At least i’m not the one bleeding.”
The came to a skidding halt in front of the two mages, Rock immediately turning around and readying his shield, Ivan doing the same with his sword. The demon horde metres away.
Just as they seemed to close the gap however, a black orb swallowed the party and the ruined hall in their view changed to an open field of green.
“No, Jay don’t!”
Ivans’ eyes shot open and his hands shot out as he tried, in vain, to grab hold of something. Realizing it was just a dream, Ivan lowered his head and brought his knees up as he grabbed his hair, tight enough for veins to show on his burnt hands.
Tears, forming at the edge of his eyes, he spoke to himself, “Breeze... Rock... i’m so sorry.”
His body shook as he blinked a few times in shock at the sound, turning his head in the direction however he calmed down, “Sis... I didn’t know you were here.”
Ivan sat back in the bed, combed his hair back with his fingers and looked at his sister with a blank expression. She was slunk back in a chair, white hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, and she had on a tight tank top with pajama bottoms, her feet were stuffed into fuzzy slipper. She was looking at him with a bored unfocused expression as she slurped some kind of drink through a straw.
“So... what were you about to cry about?”
“I wasn’t about to cry.”
“Hey, you can cry on my shoulder all you want, i’m here for you big brother..."
“Ugh... shut up.”
A smile creeped around the straw as she saw him frown, “Anyway, you were dead... tell me how you’re alive.”
Ivan scratched his head as he rested it against the bedrest, “If you want me to thank you then i’ll thank you, Rose. No need for dramatics.”
Rose leaned further back in her chiar while slurping at her drink, her eyes were now lazor focused on him, “Fine, don’t tell me, i’ll find out eventually. By the way, some girl actually got to your place before i could. She’s the one you owe your life to. You got lucky this time.”
Ivan smiled at her, “Thanks for always saving me anyway.”
Rose gave Ivan a dismissive wave as she took one final slurp of her drink before tossing it into a cornor of the room, “Yeah, Yeah...”
She stood from the chair and made her way over to the bed, “Now move over, i need sleep too.”
Ivan gave a grunt as he slowly pulled the covers off him and brought a shaky leg over the edge of the bed.
A small hand grabbed his leg before his foot could make contact with the floor and he looked at his sister with a raised eyebrow. She looked at him with half closed eyes and flipped his leg back on the bed, before casually rolling him over to the other side of the bed.
“I don’t have energy to argue, just go back to sleep.”
Ivans’ eyes shut tight as a sharp pain ran from his back, through his entire body and his fists tigntened as he tried to conceal a groan, “There’s no point in me staying here... i won’t be getting any sleep.”
Rose crawled into bed, pulled the covers over both of them, and curled up with her back to him, “I don’t care. Goodnight, brother.”
Ivan peered through loose hair that fell over his eyes and tried to look out of a large window a few metres away from the bed. The cool silk covers on his back felt great against the burning sensation the wound gave off, and he was losing consciousness again.
He couldn’t let that happen.
He had to find some distraction.
‘I can’t fall asleep... Those dark circles under her eyes don’t need more company.’
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