Branches shattered behind Deragan and saw a battalion of Cimmerii coming through fog toward them.
Way more than I’d ever envisioned. More than I knew he possessed…
Like any good strategist Radix had saved his heavies reinforcements for flanking. He’d been the bait to his trap, luring Forever Knights into the clearing.
He intends to slaughter us. Deragan’s insides tightened as he watched the approach with dread. If he’d taken his time to make his move, he’d have seen the pieces aligning. I should’ve seen it.
Guilt bit at him. Deragan had lost all restraint. Time had been on his side. Time to recon, to check the woods, to move further out. But we didn’t.
Because I need this. But even over the din of his rage he felt an ominous sinking in his gut. No one had batted an eyelash when their leader ordered them to go in blind. What have I sentenced them to?
Radix’s game started by murdering their strongest player. My Fallen.
At once, undermining the Captain’s usual diligence. Pressing him into a battle his Forever Knights were unprepared for. Heart dropping, he realized his mistake. Anger and pain had driven him after Radix long before they were ready. Before they could gather necessary intel.
Radix had baited the trap, knowing Deragan’s grief would drive him straight to the center.
Forever Knights poured from the sky.
Engaged in the battle I began. Deragan watched what he’d wrought horrified. What have I done?
For centuries we hid. Hid as canines, felines, horses or birds and Radix had struggled to find us. Now I’ve brought them all to him. To Deragan’s horror Cimmerii poured from the trees in waves.
Rushing in, he pulled several Cimmerii launching from the trees, off Lucien’s back. To his right another dragon was already weighed down by Sarabi. Brutally tearing bits from his wings and sinking teeth into his back, the dragon was crashing.
Deragan rushed to him in a dive but as the other hit the ground he was immediately covered in a swarm of snapping Nonis. Deragan roared but they only looked at him with flickering orange eyes, unworried.
Dragons were being snatched from the sky and those that Cimmerii weren’t ambushing, Radix was yanking down with chains of vibrating light he sent streaming from his hands. Pinching the dragons and rending them from flight, sending them careening. Ground bound.
Deragan’s heart lurched. They’re all going to die.
Even as he thought of the spear, his eyes sought the green dragon. Only to see him falling from the sky in the distance. Stomach up and wings reversed up around his face in a dead fall. Raese!
He was either unconscious or already dead.
No! The spear! His eyes searched for Tev but couldn’t find him.
Only one option was left. Take out Radix. Save what’s left of my Forever Knights.
Sinking from the gray sky and evading the bright glimmers of the rising sun seeking to blind him Deragan swept down toward Radix.
You’re mine now.
This will not be for nothing.
But the demon’s eyes found him, a slow smirk twisting his face. His eyes darkening with glee. Hair crackling with electricity the demon beamed. Arms jutting, he unleashed a ferocious torrent of gray currents lashing from his body.
Feeling a strange sorrow Deragan slowed but knew he didn’t have time to change direction. Goodbye Angel. I’ll see you again one day.
A sudden, tremendous weight hit him at an angle which forced him from the trajectory of the demon’s assault. Knocking he air from him. Deragan twisted and caught the glimmer of Bast’s gold scales.
He came from nowhere.
Now he yanked Deragan from the destructive path of Radix’s strike.
Staring in confusion, Radix’s eyes trailed the movement. Seeing he had two dragons lined up, Radix anticipated lashing at both. But his intention changed as he focused on the gold dragon. The one he knew the Forever Knights called the Great Protector.
Aiming for the back of that one, clutching the Captain’s wings from behind. His gold ones wrapping the black dragon protectively. The whips of magic shot from Radix’s fingertips. He hissed when yet another dragon intruded.
A white one molded its’ back to Sebastian’s. Covering the other two and forcing himself belly out toward the lightning strike. His wings melding over Sebastian’s like a cape in the wind. Defending every inch of the Protector.
Radix didn’t have time to assess the situation. Chords of magic tore the pale dragon. Searing through his wings and splitting his stomach and chest as he rolled away from the Protector to ensure the strike didn’t go through him and into the gold dragon.
Releasing the Captain with a shove, Sebastian pivoted in flight. Moving to catch his friend’s weight but Chavias was completely limp. Slipping from Bast’s reach. Unconscious and falling he was incapable of catching himself.
Bast swept in. Attempting another angle to snag Chavias. But it was to no avail.
Radix’s whipping chords speared Chavias. Bearing him down quick. The demon slowed his path just as he hit the ground. Enough to save Chavias’ life.
Seeing the white dragon falling paralyzed the rest. Hovering in stunned silence as Cimmerii clamored over the fallen warrior.
Bast dived, roaring in pain as Deragan’s talons sunk into his back. Followed by those of the others. As they flew in around him. Enough weight held him up, he couldn’t sacrifice himself to try to save Chavias.