Chapter 5:


Drowned Gods

Aires turned sharply about and dived at Auron. That didn’t stop his charge though. He kept moving straight at her, and as she began opening her maw to send a gust of frozen breath, he jumped. He flew over her head, straight at Skies, who just got his shield up in time to block the incoming kick. Auron bounded over the shield after making solid contact to land around Aires’s lower back. His hands dug into her scales, ripping them off, to slow his momentum.

Clunky runt, Aires growled.

Skies was about to respond when the smell of burning metal caught him by surprise. He looked down at his shield to see a boot print scorched into his family’s crest. Liquid metal pooling between the lines until it ran freely down his shield.

You can say that again. He scuffed my family’s crest. With more frustration than worry, Skies dragged his hand down his face before taking a deep breath. He turned the shield towards him and breathed lightly over it, adding a layer of ice for extra protection.
No worries now. He just surprised us is all. I can take care of him though. His power fluctuated tremendously with the kick.

Are you sure?
Well… it wouldn’t hurt to take us down. Do it where there’s still some fighting.
The sight of others might distract him.

With a shriek Aires dove towards the ground as Auron bolted, his body bent over with his hands helping to propel him forward, towards Skies. The general readied his shield for the oncoming attacks, and strapped his harness for the impending landing. Auron’s first blow landed heavy on his shield just as Aires landed. With his footing secured, Skies pushed the boy back, cut his harness and began his own assault.

The fighting in the area had stopped for a moment with the wyrm’s landing, which was followed by a chorus of cheers from the water soldiers. The earth soldiers had already been hard-pressed, but they had been able to form a solid line of defense. Now, several of the Earth tribe were cut down immediately, frozen in their terror. The shoulder to shoulder line the earth warriors had work so hard to hold dissolved. They tried to summon their courage, giving their own cries of defiance, giving their all to try to stand beside one of their own again. But blue armored warriors moved fast to encircle the men and women still standing. Frustration and fear filled those still left, but with their backs against their homes, the homes of their neighbors, their children, their family, they refused to give in to such weak emotions.

Pushing their resolve was the sight of a smoldering human, one of their blood, fighting hard against the guardian on top of the dragon. It was a sight they could not comprehend, and thus a sight to put their faith into. There was hope in that person. There was a chance with the impossibility of the situation. Beating their shields, the earth soldiers challenged the water tribe to try and take them down.

Skies watched as Auron’s eyes constantly shifted to the fighting around them between each strike. Auron’s movements were fast, but fidgety, and Skies decided to add a little more to the noise that was obviously distracting the young man. Every time Auron’s eyes averted their gaze from the fight, Skies knocked on his shield and screamed. He even directed Aires to pound her tail into the ground every ten seconds.

Auron’s movements shortly became erratic, his whole body twitching, as if trying to respond to every clang of metal. It was during such an uncontrollable response that Skies bashed his shield into Auron’s face, knocking him down, impaling his right shoulder on one of Aires’s spinal spikes.

“It’s over,” Skies said in relief, his double bladed axe poised over Auron like a guillotine.

Auron’s eyes stared straight into Skies. They were no longer human. The pupils were black slits, empty of any light. A movement near his left foot forced Skies’s gaze towards Auron’s shaking hands. The skin was peeling off. His nails popped off and his bones grew out as sharp claws, while scales, clear shards of diamond, scraped off the last bits of skin from his knuckles. The transformation was moving up his arms.

Shit, he’s shifting.
You have Seiya’s water, right?
Quickly, then.

Skies unclasped a flask from his chest, and shoved the neck of it down the boy’s throat.
Auron choked as he tried to spit out the elixir, but it flowed too quickly. He needed to swallow, and once he did a calm spread throughout him. It was a slow process, as if his blood had thickened to smother the fire that had been rising up his chest. His eyes widened, and the energy that had been surrounding him finally disappeared.

With an axe poised above his neck and the dim glow of the city rather than the black of the sanctuary, he was confused. He didn’t understand where he was or how he got there, but before he could even worry about finding an answer he felt his eyes closing. Exhaustion took him before his eyes fully closed.