Chapter 50 - Kell
Kell’s whole body was tense with anticipation as he stood hidden from sight in the trees surrounding the castle. He was on a small rise and had a clear view of the courtyard. His warriors surrounded him. Behr was at his immediate right, and his wee warrior was to his left. It was barely dawn, and the ground was covered in a thick hazy mist. The sun had just started to rise, giving them enough light to see by, but still enough darkness to camouflage them. It was the perfect time to launch their attack.
Before setting out, Kell had taken a minute to privately talk to the elements. His priority was his bride and the child she carried. He needed to make sure they were protected. He had asked the elements to shield her from any harm, and the warm whisper of breeze that feathered across his cheek assured him they would. It eased his mind some.
Now everyone stood at the ready, awaiting his signal. His warriors had their swords drawn and their battle gear on. The Fae, led by Kiera, were standing on the thick limbs of trees, all with bows and arrows at the ready. The warriors he had posted inside the castle were ready to shed their disguises and attack. Oryn was inside with them, and he would lead that attack. But it was his wee warrior that had all their attention. She was a sight to behold.
Emmalyn was dressed for battle as well. She was wearing a pair of black leather pants and a tunic that Abrielle had fastened for her. Her boots rose to her knees and were laced up the front. She wore a lightweight metal chest plate, and a long brown suede cape finished off the ensemble. Her hair was done up in dozens of intricate braids and then woven around her head. But it was the hundreds of wolves prowling amongst the warriors that had them all in awe. His bride was truly magical, and she had come prepared to fight with her own army.
They were all a sight to behold, Kell and his warriors in full battle gear. His wee warrior and her intimidating wolves. And Kiera and the Fae with their bows and arrows. It was finally time to launch the attack, and the air was thick with anticipation. Kell raised his arms high, threw his head back, then shouted into the sky.
“Air Element I call on you. I need you to start this battle with the mightiest crack of lightening you can provide me. Reign terror on our enemies, and show them we are here to take back what is ours,” Kell bellowed.
As soon as he was done, a streak of lightening so bright it was blinding ripped across the still darkened sky. The crack of thunder that followed shook the ground and broke the stillness of the coming dawn. Men’s shouts could be heard from the castle, as the enemy scrambled to understand what was happening. Then screams ensued and the loud clash of metal followed, as Oryn and the warriors hidden inside revealed themselves, and the battle began.
Kell raised his arms again, and brought them down quickly, sending another powerful bolt of lightening into the sky. The thunder that followed was louder still and was the signal his second wave of warriors were waiting for. Behr was in front and in command of them. They roared savagely as they surged down the incline to join the fight. As soon as they did, the rest of his warriors moved forward to take their place.
Kell watched, full of pride, as his warriors tore through the enemy, that were distracted by Oryn and his warriors. Then more flooded out of the castle and joined the fight, evening out the numbers. Some were skilled fighters and held their own, inflicting painful injuries on his warriors. Others stumbled around, obviously terrified of those attacking them. It was clear they were commoners, with no training whatsoever.
Kell only waited a few minutes more before he gave the signal for the rest to join them. He was anxious to enter the battle himself, and the shock of the first two attacks appeared to be wearing off. It was time for him to draw his own blood.
This time he called on the Fire Element. Kell raised his hands as he shouted for the Element. The Element responded favourably by presenting him with a giant fire ball that formed out of thin air and floated in the sky just above his head. Kell threw his arms to the side, and the projectile hurled itself into the middle of the courtyard where a group of tents stood abandoned. Flames licked high into the sky as the tents caught and ignited. The enemy stumbled back in horror, pulling a satisfied smile from Kell.
That was the only warning his remaining warriors got, before he and Emmalyn surged forward to run down the hill. Both the rest of the warriors and wolves followed, the warriors shouting a vicious battle cry, while the wolves added their own growls to the fray. At the same time, Kiera and the Fae took the sky and soared above them.
Before the battle had begun, and while Emmalyn had slept, Kell had taken some time to visit with Kiera. He had already asked the Elements for help, he wanted the Fae’s as well.
“You look troubled,” Kiera had greeted, as she flew down from the tree she was perched in and landed at his side.
“Your news took both of us by surprise tonight,” Kell admitted. “It is not something that sits well with me on the eve of battle.”
“And you think I can help with that?” Kiera laughed. “If you wish me to talk your bride out of fighting you waste your breath. It is clear she needs to be by your side. I would do the same in her position,” she added with a raised brow.
Kell smiled, already knowing she would indeed do that very thing. Kiera was a strong woman, and she would need a strong man by her side. Someone that would want to be her equal and not try to reign her in. And from her earlier words she had not found that yet.
Kiera looked to the trees and crossed her arms, as she raised her head in defiance. Kell followed the direction of her gaze and saw a male Fae watching her intently. There was possessiveness in his stance and a hint of concern in his eyes. Kiera looked away and turned her back on the Fae.
“Alden,” she revealed as she nodded in the Fae’s direction. “He rules the Kingdom next to mine, and we have been the best of fiends all our lives. Lately his attitude has changed, and I fear he has grown feelings for me. I am terrified he will soon ask for my hand.”
“And you do not wish for that?” Kell questioned. The Fae was larger than the other males of his kind, and the way he held his bow proved he was skilled with it.
“I feel only brotherly affection. Although a marriage would unite our Kingdom’s even more than they are now, it is not the kind of marriage I want,” Kiera sighed.
“You want a love that consumes you,” Kell declared.
“I want a love like yours. I will find my equal one day, I just need to be patient,” she huffed.
Kell nodded, having no doubt she would, but it was time to get back to the reason he had sought her out.
“I need you to stick close to my bride. You are skilled and can take out any enemy that gets past me,” Kell ordered.
“You don’t think the Elements are capable?” Kiera pushed.
“They are,” Kell confirmed. “But I will be looking for Connor. I am skilled, but she can be unpredictable. You will see things from the sky I cannot.”
Kiera had agreed. Now, as he ran down the hill, he took a moment to glance at the sky. Kiera was directly overhead and keeping pace with his wee warrior. She was a favourable ally and was doing all he had asked of her.
As the group entered the courtyard they were set upon. The enemy came from the shadows and attacked from all sides. Immediately arrows reigned from the sky, and many fell before reaching them. The Fae were as good as they boasted. Kell glanced at Emmalyn to see she had her small sword in her hand. Her expression was as fierce as his and her stance proved she was ready for battle. Thankfully, any time someone got close, either a Fae or a wolf was there to protect her. Men were bleeding all around her, and she hadn’t done a thing.
Then Kell was forced to turn away, as several of the enemy attacked him at once. He raised his sword and twisted, shoving it into the shoulder of the first man. Then he was pulling it out, dropping to his knees, and shoving it back behind him into the chest of another. Kell rose and kicked at yet another man, effectively shoving him into the path of a wolf. The wolf leaped and sank his fangs into the man’s neck, twisting his head and ripping the skin as he did so.
Then Behr was beside him, and they were able to fight back to back. He heard a mighty roar and saw Lorcan and Mathias both moving to Emmalyn’s side. With Torin already with her, she was effectively surrounded, and could do no more than watch as the enemy fell around her.
The battle was brutal, and the ground was red with blood. Kell fought hard, and still some took him by surprise. He received a nasty cut on the arm that he couldn’t prevent and another on his thigh. Finally, he had enough. The next man that got close suddenly disappeared into a hole, when he called the Earth Element for help. A bolt of lightning hit another. When one got too near to Oryn, a wave of water appeared to knock him on his ass. Kell couldn’t stop everything though, and soon more of his men were falling.
Every time a warrior fell, Emmalyn hurried to his side. She had saved him from death, and she was convinced she could save them also. King Lorcan, Mathias and Torin moved with her, protecting her as she worked. As she healed each man, the Fae would move in and fly the warrior to safety. They all worked together, and it was a sight to behold.
Then Kell noticed the enemy had realized what Emmalyn could do. They converged on her as one, and the wolves, Fae, and his warriors had to move fast to keep them back. Even with the Elements stepping in to help, they were getting dangerously closer. Kell was locked in battle himself, and he knew he had to step things up if he wanted to win.
Dropping his sword back in its sheath, Kell looked to the sky once more, and called for the Earth’s help. He had a secret, one that would tip the scales once more in their favour, and it was time to call it up.