Angels Can't Die

By Ashwath Narayanan All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 40

The archer lay still as he watched the general take the captive inside. The black cloaked man. Was he even human? People said he never ate, never slept, was on guard duty at all times, loyally protecting his king.

The archer wondered if he should shoot this man and save the captive but decided against it as the king was more important. They would be waiting the entire day, looking at the palace for the king to show up, and when they were ready, they would shoot.

“Who do you think that is?” the archer asked the others who too were looking on in front.

“It could be anyone, the warrior, Aerys or Eris.” the man said.

Obviously, the archer thought. Who else was important enough to be captured by the king? Maybe Rogue? But Rogue was back with the tribals in their clearing. It might have been the chieftain, but the archer doubted it. Anyways, they had to rescue the person as fast as they could as the kingdom depended on them.

“Oh look there.” one man suddenly said, pointing at one of the windows where the king seemed to be. The archer looked there, and saw the king staring back. The king knew. The archer raised his bow, ready to attack when he heard the sound of arrows whistling through the air as all his companions slumped to the floor, dead. He then heard the palace gates opening and saw the general coming for him. He had to escape fast.

He jumped over his dead companions, getting down the building and fleeing into Ashanti, running for his life.

He ran through the streets, looking behind him to see where the general was, b ut the archer couldn’t see him.

“Stop in the name of the king.” he heard and then looked up, there in the sky flying was the general.

The archer rushed into the market place, trying to blend in with the crowd and escape from the flying terror.

Fear wracked his body as he knew his end was near. There was no way he could escape now. He wondered what to do? Was there anyone who could help him now? There were screams everywhere as the people noticed the general in the air and ducked for cover, running into their homes to escape him.

The archer kept running, overturning carts and pushing people out of his way. He moved deeper and deeper into Ashanti, trying to get away from the general.

Soon enough, as the general was catching up on him, the archer pushed past someone unexpected.

“What are you doing here?’ Rogue asked surprised.

“Well, look who we have here.” the archer heard the general say to Rogue, and he grabbed Rogue’s hand urging her to run.

“Run, run for your life.” he said, pulling her along and leaving a befuddled Ben behind.

The general hovered over Ben and then stopped, sword at old Ben’s throat.

“Stop or he dies.” He growled, looking at the archer and Rogue.

But the archer didn’t stop. He kept pulling Rogue forward, whispering, “Run, run.” fear in his voice. All Rogue could think of was Ben.

“Stop, stop.” Rogue said to the archer. Was she mad? Let the old man die, he had less time anyways, they had to run and save their own lives, and so he continued dragging her, without stopping.

“Stop now, I am warning you.” the general growled one last time, but seeing that they weren’t stopping, he slashed and Ben fell to the floor, blood spurting from his mouth.

“Beeeen.” Rogue screamed desperately, and it took the archer all his strength to restrain Rogue, and prevent her from running towards him. He saw her blink away tears as she screamed again and again.

“Beeen.”

Beeennnn.”

Cries of desperation, and he urged her on. Relentless. They had to get away as fast as they could.

The archer noticed the tears on Rogue’s face as she ran behind him. The old man had obviously meant something to her, but she was more important them him, and it was his responsibility to save her.

“Have any ideas?” he asked Rogue, who nodded.

“Follow me.” And the archer followed Rogue as she led the way,

But it was too late, as the general swooped down and grabbed the two of them. They were done for now. What was going to happen to them? The archer wondered. Would they be killed? Tortured? The king wasn’t going to spare them.

The archer looked across at Rogue who hung limp from the general’s other arm. It was all his fault that she had been captured. The king would now get the blood he needed, and if it was Eris who had been captured, the king would be able to complete his ritual. What had he done?

If only he hadn’t bumped into Rogue, he could have been captured alone and things would be better than they were now. But Rogue was here now. Moreover, her friend had died in vain, and it was all his fault. Guilt and fear wracked the archer’s mind as he hated himself in that moment. If only he had been more sensible, they would have been able to assassinate the king. He had been so immersed in his thoughts that he had got distracted and let the king notice him.

It was all the king’s fault, and now he would finally see the king. The archer looked down at Ashanti as the flew over it. The sun was setting, and the archer had never seen anything more beautiful. But it just made him sad, as he could feel the shadows come closer, and death approach. His time in this world was up, and he hoped he could do anything in his dieing moments to make things better.

The only thing left was to die his own way, and not let the king torture him, but that wasn’t possible. If only he could squirm free and fall to his death he thought. The archer tried biting the generals hand. He had done the right thing. The general let go of the archer.

It seemed like ages, and as the archer fell through the air as he looked at the setting sun. This was how he wanted to die, with the sun setting as the day came to an end.

His life flashed through his eyes, and then suddenly there was excruciating pain. And then darkness.

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