Chapter 40:

40

Balancing the Scales: The Sage Hero's Story


 When the group had arrived at the courtyard, there stood a large group of knights in full plate armor awaiting orders from Commander Hargeon. The commander emerged from the barracks and stood on a soapbox, he divided the knights into groups and assigned each group a job. The citizens had all been ordered to take refuge in the church, it had the thickest walls besides the castle. The first group of knights were dispatched to guard the church and care for any wounded away from the fighting. Lucia tapped on both Kaz and Tasi's shoulders, "I'm going to take Ezra and Zavi to the church. I want to help anyone who gets injured, we'll be safest there as well." She tells them. Tasi and Kaz both nodded in agreement, Lucia grabbed both kids and broke off with the squad heading for the church. Groups continued to leave to their assigned areas, lastly Commander Hargeon points out at Kaz's group. Consisting of himself, Tasi, Telos, Roarke, and Saphana. "You lot are ordered to join me on the frontline, along with your fire breathing buddies. Now make haste, we got to keep them out of our city!" Hargeon yells. Bookmark here

Kaz tightened the straps on Saphana's silver armor and made one last check on his gear. They were all prepared, they followed Hargeon through the castle ramparts. Saphana flew up and over the wall to meet them on the other side, a thick metal gate slowly rose in front of them and revealed a hellish sight. All up and down the mountain, fires raged, dragons scattered around slashing at demons. The group ran out into the fray in a tightly-knit formation, almost immediately after exiting the gate a quadrupedal demon pounced out in front of them blocking their path. Tasi quickly slithers around behind it and binds its back legs with her long tail and begins to hack at its thighs in an attempt to immobilize it by severing the muscles in its legs with her blade. Telos rolls sideways dodging the beast's garish talons, its forward slash causing it to fall on its stomach as Tasi throws off its balance from behind. Saphana drops in from above and shatters the demon's single horn under her foreleg as it bellows out in pain. She then sinks her teeth into the thick neck of the beast and rips a chunk clean off. Tasi loosens her grip as the demon’s movements begin to slow, and stop all together everyone regroups and continues up the side of the mountain. All around them there were both knights and dragons fighting the onslaught of demons. Bookmark here

The knights would primarily focus on the smaller ones while the larger ones were occupied with the dragons. A stream of flame jets in front of the group barely missing them, Kaz looks left to see where it came from. He sees Zen struggling with a cloud of the small scout demons buzzing around him, he strikes them down one by one. Ripping them out of the air with his reinforced mithril claws, or snapping at them with his teeth. No matter how many he felled, the swarm never seemed to get any smaller. Kaz grabbed a bow from a fallen knight and plucked an arrow from a nearby tree, as he notched the arrow, Tasi called out, "Kaz, look closely! Aim for the one that's much smaller than the others!" Kaz nodded as he took aim, he took a deep breath and let loose the arrow. There was a loud thwack sound as the bow string slung forward sending the arrow soaring towards the swarm of bat-like demons with incredible speed. A high pitched scream came from the direction of the swarm, the smallest of them fluttered to the ground where it was swiftly stomped under Zen's foreleg. The other demons all vanished moments later, Kaz slides the bow over his shoulder as Zen approaches, "They were all fakes, except the one." Tasi explained. "A nasty trick indeed." Zen agreed.Bookmark here

The group, plus Zen trekked further up the mountain. They put down every small demon they came across with little effort. "It seems their numbers are thinning!" Kaz calls forward to Zen, who looks back and replies, "Only the smaller ones, there are plenty of larger ones ahead!" Zen stops on his tracks and spreads his wings out to halt the others behind him. As he folds his wings back the other's gaze forward and see Salamat facing off against a colossal demon, roughly one and a half times his size. As the group approaches they are yelled at by Salamat, "Stay back, this one's too dangerous!" He ordered. Reluctantly backtracking a bit, Kaz spies an injured knight pinned under a tree trunk out of the corner of his eye. He calls Saphana over, she needed no instruction to know what he wanted. She wedges her foreleg under the trunk and lifts it up, Kaz pulls the soldier out from under it, he grunts and thanks Kaz. "You're in no shape to continue, head back to the church and get fixed up." Kaz tells him. The knight nods and begins to limp down the mountain, Kaz finds the knight's gear nearby and picks up his quiver of arrows. He then runs back to find Salamat isn't doing so well against the demon behemoth. Bookmark here

Kaz calls over Telos, he mumbles something to him. Telos nods as Kaz draws an arrow from the quiver and notches it. He takes precise aim at the behemoth's head, the arrow begins to glow a faint green as Telos envelops it with wind magic, Kaz takes another deep breath. As he lets the arrows loose the behemoth slams Salamat into the ground. Telos quickly whips his hand downwards causing the arrow to both change its trajectory and gain velocity. With a loud crack the arrow pierces straight into the pupil of the giant demon's eye. This gave Salamat the opportunity to deliver a well-placed upward slash with his claws, tearing away several layers of tough rock from the demon's chest exposing it's soft skin beneath. As Salamat struggles to get out from under the giant, Roarke casts a reinforcement spell as he charges forward with his spear. His feet begin to glow and his speed increases, he leaps towards the behemoth, weapon held at his side, and jabs his spear into the exposed part of its chest. Roarke drops to the ground and leaves the spear protruding from the wound. Telos runs up and vaults off of Roarke's shoulder and leaps up to the end of the spear. Using his heel he pushes himself off and away from the demon hammering the spear deeper into the demon's chest cavity. The behemoth falls on its side and writhes in pain, squirming on the ground before its final cry, the demon falls silent. Roarke tugs on his spear, dislodging it from the demon's chest.Bookmark here

With this great loss, the demons become disheartened and begin to retreat. Scurrying back the direction from whence they came, the remaining knights cut down any demons they could before they turned tail and ran. Meanwhile the dragons regrouped and all formed a line in the air above. They flew forward, torching any demon slow or unlucky enough to end up beneath them. The knights on the ground cheered and raised their blades as they watched the dragons dispose of any stragglers. Kaz was caught off guard as Tasi wrapped him in a hug and kissed his dirty face. Kaz then hopped up and wrapped his arms around Saphana's neck, she sat on his back legs and leaned down. She gave Kaz a lick on the cheek, after he hopped down he ran over to see Salamat, "We did it, we won!" He cheered, the big red drake struggled to get to his feet and fell back on his behind. Kaz looked worried, he peered around the massive dragon and saw his rear leg was covered in crimson. A large bone protruded from the thick hide around the joint, Kaz yelled for Saphana to come. Kaz raised his hands to cast a healing spell on his leg, but nothing seemed to happen. Saphana came running and saw his leg, she dropped to her stomach.Bookmark here

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