The Flight of The Draykes
The knight drew closer to the boy, who clutched his right shoulder that had a deep gash going through the armor.
Each step the Knight took was as heavy as the sky for the two companions who watched helplessly from where they were, scrambling to get up.
The knight in jet black armor raised his sword with a cruel smile on his face as he stared down at the boy.
A smile that twisted a moment later.
In pain, that is.
As I stabbed my dagger deep into his right leg.
Then, pulling it back, I jumped aside just as the blade passed by where my head was.
The boy was obviously me.
I had pushed Ares out of the way and taken the cut on my shoulder which Baling hurt like anything, even with my armor on.
Without checking, I knew that my shoulder, and by extension - my right arm, was useless.
Clutching the dagger in my left hand, I ferally glared at the Knight, who looked at me furiously.
Lesson 1 that our teacher had taught us - Redirection and that even a gold rank is mortal. Though in this case, what I used was the feint misdirection.
Leading him in and wounding him in exchange for a wound in return. As for the wound in question?
I’ve taken wounds all over my body. Wounds that would have killed ordinary people. But I lived and breathed, though admittedly at the expense of many extraordinary potions, but still! I lived.
I will not be taken out of the fight by just a Baling shoulder wound.
Breathing out in relief, Sia launched a furious assault on the silver rank Knight, who grunted in annoyance as he lunged clumsily on his wounded leg.
Ares joined in with a battle cry and peppered the Knight from his blind spots with attacks that distracted him.
Taking the opportunity, I quickly clenched my teeth around the dagger handle and summoned a smaller shield since the Knight had cut the previous one in half.
Then, joining the fight again, we danced around the frustrated silver knight.
Seeing the stalemate continue, our side gained in vigor as the archers' rain of fire began telling.
Slowly, the tide of war was going our way.
Then a terrible aura spread, and every fighter froze for a moment.
The aura seemed endless, raging forth like the seas.
Then the aura moved.
Jacob Drayke had joined the battle, and he was raging.
Gasping for breath, I watched as he flashed toward Sir Galen, who was fighting the enemy weaponmaster.
About to call out in alarm, I watched in horror as an arm flew into the air with blood trailing after it.
Then in stupefaction, all of us watched as an infernal scream sounded out, followed by the words, “Jacob Drayke! You Bastard!”
Nonchalantly, my uncle turned around to face the now one-armed weaponmaster, while standing beside a shocked Sir Galen.
“You took my family hostage and now you want to take my nephews as well. You expect me to stand by and watch?”
“They’ll all die because of your actions!” The one-armed weaponmaster hissed.
Suddenly the endless raging aura broke out again, as my uncle spat out the words, “The only one dying will be you and your men,” and then the one-armed weaponmaster bellowed as he clashed with the murderous Jacob Drayke.
Sir Galen, suddenly left alone, stood confused for all of a second before he joined the battle that our teacher was engaged in.
Meanwhile, the enemy morale plummeted, and the tide was now firmly in our favor as we had one more free gold rank compared to theirs.
But then, we were also fewer in numbers and wounded as we were, weaker in strength.
Something which the desperate enemy silver ranks realized as they launched blistering assaults on all of our soldiers.
Reeling, I watched as Sia fell - comatose from a blow to her temple.
I watched as Ares dragged her away before his legs gave out under him as the silver rank unleashed all of his aura on him.
I roared inside!
Ignite my body, Ignite my heart, Ignite my blood, Ignite my soul!
Last time I lasted 18 seconds.
This time, hefting the shield and grabbing my dagger in my useless right arm, I wondered how long I would last.
Then I charged the Silver rank Knight alone.
I danced the dance of death with him as he swung at me, time, time, and again.
I parried his blows with the smallest margin for error.
I redirected his blows for the smallest wound in exchange for the greatest time I could purchase with my blood.
Time slowed, and my vision narrowed.
Each movement was excruciatingly slow.
But I never realized that while I was dancing with the Knight, he was also the one playing the tune.
As a cruel smile crossed the Knight’s face, I tensed.
Looking behind me, I saw Ares watching dumbly as I stood in front of him and the sword descended, a repeat of what had happened before.
Turning back, I grimaced as I took the blow on my shield, which finally splintered apart and the sword cut deep into my other shoulder.
Falling to my knees heavily, I stabbed forward clumsily with the dagger in my right hand - only for the Knight to knock away the dagger contemptuously.
Heaving in deep breaths, arms dangling uselessly at my sides, I spat at his feet and stared at the knight, who sneered at my last show of defiance.
Then he raised his sword in line with my heart... and lunged forth.
The wind whistled.
I twisted enough to make the locket that Frizelda had given me catch on the sword tip and deflect it.
But it was, after all, a locket and I was run through, red staining the back and front of my shirt.
The locket shattered and blood stained the portrait within, and I felt pain greater than I had ever known before.
Gasping out rattling breaths, I stared down at the sword that had passed through my chest and my vision darkened.
The knight smiled in relief as he took back his sword, only to pause, as the sword didn’t budge.
Looking down, he saw the boy had raised his useless arms somehow and caught the blade in his hands.
Pulling, he watched as the flesh on the boy’s palms was sliced apart, but the sword did not budge.
Then the boy looked up.
And the knight felt terror.
I grasped the sword and held on to it tight.
Blood and foam flecked my mouth and rivulets of the red liquid streamed down my lips and onto my shirt, dying it a deeper shade of red.
Smiling mirthlessly, I looked up at the Knight who paled.
Ignite, my life!
A Drayke roared.
And a Drayke answered.
The silver rank Knight froze where he was while his head slowly spun through the air and landed, eyes wide - still staring at me.
Then his body fell and my brother, standing behind him, was revealed.
The look of relief on my brother’s face vanished as I fell back, the sword buried in my heart.
“Faust!” He cried out.
I couldn’t hear him.
I saw faces flash by.
Sir Patrick, Sir Egon, Sir Faaris, Sir Galen, my uncle - Jacob Drayke, my brother, Ares, Damon, Teacher, and Sia.
I watched as their lips moved and Sir Galen shouted out something as his needles flew in the air.
Struggling, I tried speaking only to choke.
Desperately, I tried to raise my hand to wipe away the blood, but my fingers were so heavy.
Then Sia was beside me, taking a potion from my uncle and tearing my shirt apart - She poured it on my heart.
Coughing, I spat out the blood and foam that had gathered before attempting to speak, only for words to fail me.
Trying again, I croaked out, “The battle, did we win it?”
“We won,” said Sia, with tears running down her face.
“Good, good.” Then, as I was released of the burden I was carrying, my warforce began receding and my vision became black and faintly I could make out bright light in the distance.
Standing, I felt puzzled as I wondered why my body felt so light before dismissing the thought and walking toward the light.
As I approached it, it became warmer and warmer and the light became brighter and brighter before a white space was created, and I relished the feeling, basking in it. It was just so comfortable!
I reached the source of the light and curiously examined it. It was just a curtain of light. I couldn’t see what lay behind it, but seeing nothing of worth nearby, I took a step forward.
For I heard a voice. A voice that I was so familiar with.
“Don’t you dare die. You promised that no one dies or you’ll haunt us as a ghost. Don’t break your promise, Faust!”
Panicked, I looked around and shouted,
“No! I meant it. No one dies today!”
“Come back to me then!”
Frustrated, I looked around crazily.
Then I heard her voice say,
“Faust... If you die, I will follow you.”
Screaming, I said, “No! Don’t! That can never happen!”
“Faust... if you want me to live... then you will have to live forever as an immortal!”
I watched in the white space as Sia grasped the dagger she had gifted me and slowly raised it.
I watched as she closed her eyes, and the dagger split her skin. I watched as the terrified Knights lunged forward slowly.
Agony filled me, and pain pierced my heart.
“NO!” I cried out.
Ignite my body, Ignite my heart, Ignite my blood, Ignite my soul!
Then my hand was clenched around the dagger and time suddenly sped up and the white light faded away.
With a roar, the sounds hit me as the horror-stricken Knights came to a stop, dumbstruck.
But I ignored all of that.
I smiled at Sia, who looked at me with tears running down her face and caressing her face with my other hand, said,
“If I have to live forever, then so be it. For you Sia, I will become an immortal.”
Sia clutched my hand and sobbed. “I know you will. I believe you will be an immortal!”
And then my hands fell and my vision went black.