Chapter 6 of the slovian series. Features new characters.
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A FULL MOON CLOUDED WITH BLOOD
It’s been around two hours since they found a nice spot to rest and have their meal. There is a slightly huge fire burning steadily and silently caressing a spiked deer that has it lower torso missing. The deer is lifted slightly higher that only the tip of the flame is allowed to make contact with it. The aroma is tantalizing as fat falls from the deer to the flame slowly igniting it even more. The Ripojuq and Jareb squads socialize around the flame knowing each other more.
Roafgar moves closer to the flame as if to make an announcement, “We have four black flags yet to loose any” he displays the flag to the group.
“We have six flags five white ones and a black one, the black one Jamby pick pocketed it from a guy who was trying to hit on her earlier (The Ripojuq squad immediately look at Jacqui when they hear of a guy that had been hitting on Jamby) before the importance of the flag was disclosed” Ruby displays their flags including the black one.
Jacqui jumps to his defense “It wasn’t me if that’s what you think, so in total we have ten flags which means if we are all to hit our target of twenty each we have to get thirty flags within the next approximately eight hours”
“Why don’t we form a groups to go hunt for flags depending on our calling then meet up after every hour to present how many we have collected” Morty who doesn’t talk much suggests”
“Good idea bro,” Toshuk agrees.
“Why risk going out when we can lure our prey to us, all we have to do is attract them to our position, I’m sure the smoke has already started attracting unwanted guests.” Poldark suggest her idea as she takes out two black flags and three white flags handing them to Roafgar. “I collected this two from some group that attacked me while I was hunting the deer and this three I pickpocketed from the crowd before the instruction were given.”
Wow! Runs in every one’s mind, ‘she’s good’ they all think that of her. They are pleased with Poldark who just made them get five flags more which means they only need twenty five more flags.
“One more thing. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but as a caster I can sense manna coming from the flags, the black are emitting black manna while the white are emitting white manna. Which means in the dark noticing black flags will be even harder due to camouflage while the white flags will be more conspicuous like a whistle blower to your location.”
“Are you sure Jamby, I can hardly sense anything.”
“I think that’s the point of the exam. I think it’s mostly visible to us magic casters as compared to the naked eye. I can also hardly notice but if I cast the Third eye spell which takes a lot of time to perfect I can tell you right now that (she walks towards what used to be a window and points straight) like a good two hundred meters in that direction someone with a white flag is coming at this direction. For a while I have been seeing their three white flags approaching nearer every time. I don’t think they have also realized that they are leaving a trail I doubt they have a caster of their caster is just not that good.”
Silence envelopes the room for a while, just the sound of the fire tickling as the firewood turns to ashes, a mixed reaction from the group not knowing if they should be happy that the plan they were aiming for is working since there is a group coming for them hence they have a head start or, probably since they have around eight flags that means anyone who has realized what they have discovered must have noticed the immense white manna from all the white flags.
“Let’s fold all the white flags like a ball then wrap them with black flags, assuming that each flag is emitting same amount on mana then the black mana might act as a cloak covering the white mana produced by the white flags then place them in a black comer masking the black manna.”
“Nice thinking Quinwreth, then we leave one flag to lure our preys, right.”
“True; Jibed I think one flag is enough for that then ensure our ball of flags is always in the dark in order to cloak the black mana it’s emitting will work even better.”
As they make their ‘ball of flags’ the form a few groups leaving Jamby, Chompa, Jacqui, Rubi around the fire. The rest stay away stalking in the dark hiding their presence as much as they can as they eat their meal. The group that was coming for them was almost upon them. They decided it would benefit them if they left a few people around the fire to fool the enemy.
It takes longer for anything to happen a good forty five minutes exactly. As the group around the fire continue chatting about their abilities while making sure to brag of the many flags they have with them each time. When they realize that their plan has worked and that their enemies are now close they stop and draw their weapons. Rubi stands up and calls out “I know you are there, so are we going to do these or not.” She receives no answer at all and decides to make the first move, she stands with her spear on her left hand. “Go forth Sporty and seek your masters enemies.” Her spear rotates mid-air for a while before heading to a dark spot at the end of the room between the wall and the broken roof. As it goes through the dark it is repelled by something metallic as sparks are seen in the dark as the spear goes back to her master’s hand. “There you are, Jamby take him out”
“Sure thing boss, body binding the art of dark cloak restraints!” Jamby invokes her spell which makes the darkness from the comer grow what looks like arms and start moving around like ropes trying to tie something in the dark corner. Suddenly a guy falls down from the dark part of the room trying to free his leg from a hand of darkness that is swallowing his right leg. A small but heavily built guy with a sword on his hands.
His brother in arms reveals himself as he tries to help him, he jumps from his hiding spot. He is average height for a seventeen year old with a similar sword but half the size of his friend. He jumps to try and server the hand of darkness that has now swallowed the whole of his friend’s right leg now spreading to his waist. He is stopped by Chompa’s sword who parry’s him to another side of the room that they are in. the room looks to have been a hall of gathering from how big it is. Chompa does this in order to make other members of the intruders to show themselves as they try to save their comrade. They engage in a clash of swords as Chompa slightly holds back to keep him busy as his friend cries for help. He tries to cut the darkness enveloping his body but that only leads to his arm getting stuck inside the darkness itself.
To add salt to their wounds Jamby casts another spell. “Oh! Cloak of darkness confuse thy foe and rid your master of this thorn on her side.” Interestingly the darkness roars even though it lacks a mouth and speeds on sucking him up. The poor boy is left crying for help. This forces his counterparts to show up, three of them in particular jump to his aid. One of them also a magic caster stretches her arm to help him.
“Kings of light release my ally from the enemy of darkness.” She tries her spell as light builds up oh his arm.
“Kings of confusion reverse spell meaning to aid your daughter,” Jamby counters with her own spell. Her spell changes the light that was building on the enemy’s palm to turn into darkness. “Body binding the art dark cloak restraints!” she repeats her first spell but now against the fellow magic caster. The darkness on his hand start covering the palms stretching to her arm. “Oh! Cloak of darkness confuse thy foe and rid your master of this thorn on her side.” She adds on and with another roar the same happens to her. Jacqui who was fending of the other two leaps back to help Jamby by knocking out the other guy whose whole arm to the chest was now covered in darkness. He then hits him toward the first guy whose whole body apart from shoulder up is covered in darkness. The two roll over to a darker corner and the two darkness combine together cocooning the two together. Very fast the other guy’s full body gets covered in darkness like immediately he went to a darker corner. One of the two guys Jacqui was fighting notices this drawing his own conclusion.
“I knew it was weird the spell was taking longer on Billo when you cast the spell on him, that spell works slower where there is light, which means when exposed to brighter light it is possible to break the spell.”
“If you can reach them then be my guest.” Jacqui taunts them. The two had been giving him quite a hard time. They were well coordinated in their attack not giving him any space. He had then noticed the underside of the spell of Jamby.
He calculated that Billo had already noticed that which is why he unleashed a spell using light and her next spell would probably be one that produces a lot of light able to free himself. He had no other choice but to knock him out before that. Meanwhile Chompa had stopped holding out on his opponent but he could still not knock him out. His opponent was using daggers and knives always attacking from a distance, a downside to him who uses swords and prefers close combat. He was not landing any strikes at all. Chompa decides not to waste any more time or stamina on him and asks Jamby to swap with him. She agrees immediately as the two guys in front of her look really strong and merciless. They are dressed in brown shirts and black pants both with swords and faces that are enough to tell about their past fights. Jamby thinks to herself, if they look like that from their scars I wonder how their opponents looked like each time they fought. They quickly make a swap as Jamby heads over to the other side, Chompa moves towards Jacqui’s side. Jacqui is a little bit reprieved as he can now focus on one opponent instead of two.
Jamby comes face to face with a guy who looks to have unlimited knives as sharp as a razor blade. Luckily for her she does not need close combat, she also prefers the distance. As her opponent rains down his knives, Jamby decides to try something interesting, probably revealing what great talent she’s been hiding. She however continues to make take her attackers attacks countering the moves once a while.
On the other hand Jacqui as much as he wants to save his stamina decides to become serious and calls upon his sword. “Like a flame cutting through water I order Jack to never leave his masters side.” This makes a chain to form from the base of his sword and wraps itself on his arms to the elbows. He starts his attack, always stretching out his arms letting go of his sword which flies to attack. “Go jack.” It attacks. “Home Jack.” And his sword retreats back to his hand any time it goes on attack he controls it by moving the chain connecting the sword and his arm. The chain stretches like rubber allowing him to pull as much as he want about five meters long swinging it around. He attacks straight on always going for his opponents head, his opponent sees this as an opportunity to parry it away and go for a counter attack because Jacqui will have no weapon on him. He carefully calculates his moves which goes according to plan and as he parry’s the chained sword away he dashes for the kill with his sword in front of him he aims for Jacqui’s heart. Jacqui smiles psychopathically like a serial killer taunting his victim. His smiles creates a doubt oh his attackers mind who starts thinking why the smile from a guy he is about to kill. He evidently doubts himself and slightly hesitates reducing the speed and thrust he was building up.
Jacqui leaps two steps back instantly and changes his smile, he now smiles like he is happier, his smile looks like a kid ready to unwrap a present. His attacker Kerry feels weird if is as if he is been hugged by massive arms around him not letting his escape. Even though he seems to be the predator going for the kill, he can’t shake the feeling of an apex predator that has been waiting for him to show his back. As Jacqui leaps back with his new smile he moves his chained arm towards his bark. Kerry realizes Jacqui has trapped him he realizes he left his back wide open and an enemy’s sword behind him. Jacqui has him where he wants, he cannot escape to the right as the chain blocks his right side and if he tries to change to move right he knows he will be playing into Jacqui’s hands as he can physically attack him. Kerry decides to go forth with his attack but before he reaches Jacqui with his sword, ‘Jack’ stabs him from behind on his left shoulder completely running him through, slightly missing vital organs like his heart intentionally. Jacqui walks a two steps from where Kerry is and pulls Jack out of his shoulder slowly. Blood spurts out from his wound as he starts loosing
On the other field Jamby who had been chased all over by his assailant takes a stand and faces him. “Perfect.” She shouts. “Self-binding light prison,” she casts a spell as she kneels and touches the ground with both hands. That is when his opponents realizes that he is in the middle of a hexagon marked with his own blades that Jamby had been missing or redirecting his attacks and had landed on the ground. Perfectly inscribing him in a hexagon which joins its six corners when Jamby touches the ground. The light forms the hexagon with yellow bright light forming the walls like a box. From her point of touch light connect the blades together and immediately a hexagon box prison forms, it starts shrinking coming towards the centre. The trapped guy tries to jump out of the entrapment via one side but it respells him back inside like a magnets of same sides.
He starts to feel his strength draining away, like a drowning man clutching to a straw he tries everything from trying to attack from his ‘cage’ to trying to fly out to no avail. “I call all my Kerrys come to your master,” he invokes a spell to his blades so that they can come back to him and destroy the hexagon they have formed but they disobey him. “You dirty witch, curse you and your team.”
“It’s no use, your blades cannot heed to your command as for now. This trap uses your own mana and weapons against you. The hexagon is shrinking towards you because your blades want to return to their master. However the light connecting them ensures they move at a steady speed without breaking their formation. In short your weapons have trapped you and since they are connected to you through mana, your own manna acts as a charger charging the light that is entrapping you, that’s why you are loosing your stamina. There is no way out it, it is the same as attacking yourself.”
As Jamby finishes to explain, the trap completes its work trapping him in a manner that he is left standing in a box of light unable to move. Job well done as on the other side Chompa finally defeats his opponent with the help of Jacqui. A very strong opponent than the rest of the group. The trapped guy under Jamby’s spell laughs out, “Well even though you have defeated us we have no flags with us, serves you right.”
“Of course I know that, that’s why we haven’t wasted time in searching you guys or even bothering to ask you,”
“You’re lying you witch.”
“Well I guess my boss went to hunt a certain prey at that thicket down there on that sycamore tree over there, or did you not notice she was already missing from here. Oh! There she is back already, and what’s that in her hands?”
“Curse you all, all of you.”
Rubi walks in to find the team had already finished their part. “How did we do Boss?” Jamby asks. Rubi shows her four flags, one black one and three white ones. “Two different colours, maybe they were aiming for twenty flags also, some greedy guy’s right.”
“Touché, we are also aiming for that but from what I learned from the guy I picked them from, they had lost two black flags but had managed to collect three white flags to replace them. Too bad they run into us”
“What of the other guys I thought they were supposed to be our backup in case things went sideways.”
“Well Chompa, seems they saw that you had everything under control and decided to go look for other flags. We shall remain here waiting for any other groups who will decide to attack us and also hold the fort for an hour for them to come back.”
“What about them? Boss, we have to get rid of them sooner or later, we can’t have them hanging around here.”
“Please don’t kill us.” Kerry mutters to Jacqui while on the ground.
“Unlike you guys we have no intention of killing you, fail the exam but survive to take it again next summer. We will let you go and nurse your injury, if you make it up that staircase (he points to a dirty staircase with moss and mushroom growing on it) there is a room at the end of the hallway. You can rest there until morning, at least so you will be alive to try again next year. However as for that guy with his big mouth that insists on calling such a cute damsel a witch we will just use him as bait to serve as punishment for his loose tongue.”
“Thanks guys” one of them picks himself up holding his gut, he moves to pick Kerry from the ground supporting him as he heads towards the staircase.
“Do not mistake our generosity for weakness, if you try anything funny I swear next morning they will be lowering you six feet under.” Rubi threatens them.
“We couldn’t even if we tried, we will just nurse our wound and wait for the sun.”
“Hey what about me you witch, release me I need to pee.”
“Art of Sound proofing. That will shut him up for a while, the trap will undo itself when it’s absorbed all his mana draining his stamina. Then he will pass out.” Jamby’s spell leaves her Prisoner shouting but no one can hear a word he says.
“Well Boss what do we do now I don’t sense anyone nearby.”
“It’s Rubi, not Boss, Jamby. Please I’m not anyone’s boss.”
Replies sarcastically, “If you say so Boss Rubi.”
Angrily, “Like I said No Boss just Rubi please try…” Jacqui picks up from Jamby.
“My Princess hope you are not hurt I was worried for your fair skin.”
“Like I said It’s Rubi, Rubi, Rubi no Boss or Princess Just Rubi. ”Rubi shouts out irritated.
Both Jamby and Chompa burst out laughing at her as she gets frustrated at the nicknames she does not want. They gather around the fire to discuss their next move. They assemble around the fire as they sit around Jacqui moves to force himself between Rubi and Chompa.
“Hey men I thought you were head over heels over Quinwreth?” Chompa asks Jacqui
“Yeah I also thought so,” Rubi adds while blushing but not letting it show.
“My man, let me give some advice…”
“Never mind not interested.” Chompa tries to silence Jacqui.
“Just hear me out, Love is like…”
“Okay guys we are not interested in your lovers’ quarrels what next now.” Jamby cuts them short.
After few discussions they agree to stay where they have camped as they wait for the one hour to elapse for the other group to come back.
Meanwhile the other group had divide into two groups as Roafgar, Quinwreth and Poldark headed for the North East part, Jibed, Morty and Toshuk headed slightly north not very far from each other in case they needed to back each other up. Their plan was rather simple target a group with five members and when they made contact they were to give a signal to the other group, a whistle that Jibed gave the group in which when blows the human ear would slightly hear it as a low sound but he together with Poldark were able to hear the sound over a range of one kilometer. Depending with how either Poldark or Jibed used the whistle they were able to decipher what each whistle meant, from needing back up or making contact or retreating. They would then proceed to share the information with their respective groups.
The first group to make contact with another group was Jibed’s who came across a group of five and passed the message through their whistles. Poldark and the other who were only five hundred meters from them received the message. They stopped advancing forward and decided to circle around a radius of one kilometer from where Jibed’s group was in order to avoid loosing communication with them. They also had to stay close and wait for the second whistle that would confirm whether Jibed’s side needed help from them. Ten minutes from when they received the message, they got themselves in a pinch when they were surrounded by a group of five heavily armed men. All five of them were in their thirties. They had not noticed them until they fell for their trap having all their escape routes blocked. It was going to be real trouble if any of the two adjacent groups needed help as they had their hands more than full.
Roafgar who is never intimidated by the numbers game reached his hand to his back to pull out one of his swords. Just as his hands had just reached his sword handle yet to grip, one of their enemies attacked him head one not giving him a chance to pull out the sword. Roafgar evades the attack that almost severed his arm from his shoulder with a back flip but even when he landed another swing from his opponent made him make another back flip and this time he made sure that as he made the back flip he pulls out his sword while in mid-air. The third attack that came found him ready as he blocked it with his sword. However he intentionally made the block a little bit weak to force his attacker to press his sword down towards his chest. As he fell for his mischievous plan Roafgar had forced his attacker to move at an arm stretch distance just where he wanted him. He lands a very powerful kick to the left ribs of his attacker breaking a few as he sends him crashing on the ground. The kicks drives all of the air from his lungs and he is left gasping for air trying to catch a breath.
Suddenly the clear moon is obstructed by a bunch of slowly moving clouds. Darkness covers the Milebu ruins as the night stars try their hardest to light up the night sky but they are not able to produce half of what the full moon was producing. Everyone stands his ground waiting for the other to make the move. As they look up at the feint light of the sky they can clearly see that it will take quite some time for the moon face to shine upon them as the cloud hiding the moon is enormous and is moving at the pace of a snail. They can hardly make out the positions of their allies let alone their foes. Roafgar eyes are on the assailant on the ground who has managed to gather his breath enough to start moving.
Roafgar will not have any of it not after the guy never even gave him a chance to draw his weapons. He swings his blade towards the guy who is now on all fours trying to crawl away. Just as he swings his blade he is blocked by another sword their encounter send sparks of metal colliding with metal. “Roar my Beennie roar for your master” as this spell is cast, out of the tiny sparks grows a fire joining the sword of the attacker making Roafgar to step back. The flame as if possessed follows him trying to burn him alive. The fire on the sword produces enough light on the battle ground to showcase everyone’s position.
“You okay Mike?”
“Thanks Pelly I think I might have broken a rib or two but I can still fight.”
As they are still talking Poldark attacks the rescuer Pelly. He evades the attack from in which Poldark threw two ten inch daggers at him from all three directions his left right and front. He has no other option but to jump escape by leaping back leaving Mike behind. Roafgars sees this opportunity and goes on to finish the job. He smashes Mike’s head with the flat of his sword knocking his lights off. He collapses on the ground completely, this makes Pelly angry enough to call upon his sword. “I call you Beennie come and burn my enemies.” His sword activates by lighting up with a more intense flame that looks like it has a soul of its own from the roar that comes from it. He swings his sword covering a good 160 degrees from his right to left, the swing sends one huge fire curved in shape towards Roafgar and Poldark who was behind him. The flame about three meters long travels fast incinerating almost anything in front of it. Roafgar dodges by jumping up avoiding the fire. “I expected that from you, now Noft finish him.” another one of his pals was awaiting Roafgar to jump. Pelly calls the flames back. “Heed my call roar of Beennie and come back to me.” The flame stops as if it was pulled back by a string and changes direction.
Noft who is one of Pelly’s group member sends his whip which catches Roafgar who had leaped up to escape the fire. Once the whip hold on to Roafgar, it felt like an arm had grabbed onto him. He tries to get free but to no avail. Noft casts the whip the same way a fisherman would throw a fishing line with bait in the ocean or river, but he being the ‘fisherman’ in this scenario and his whip the fishing line, it concludes that Roafgar is the bait that is being dipped in the water but in this case its red hot fire. Roafgar comes head to head with the flame that sends him flying knocking down a small fig tree. If not enough, as he is still on the mercy of the whip, Noft repeats it again this time crashing him face first on the ground. Poldark is shocked by the combination, maybe they had taken this group lightly, she remembers she is yet to send a signal to Jibed.
The message is rather simple just that they had made contact with a very tough group. As she passes the message through the whistle, Quinwreth all this time has been held at bay by the other two members of Pelly’s group. She had tried to stay close to Roafgar but she was stopped by the two. With her weapons on both hands panting from the mask covering her mouth she looks more irritated than scared. The two; one a magic caster and the other an aspiring adventurer who uses a bow and arrow. Quinwreth who prefers close quarter combat finds it hard as he faces opponents who have a totally opposite fighting style. Each time she goes to attack Vimid, Dory fires his arrows toward her. The same happens if she tries attacking Dory at close combat, Vimid the magic caster fires fire balls or lightning bolts towards her. She is not making any progress at all.
With Roafgar on the ground, Quinwreth not making any progress, Poldark is left confused she trusts in Roafgar’s strength hence she has doubts that the previous attack was enough to completely knock the guy out completely. However at the same time she is not sure whether Roafgar will be a hundred percent fit if he wakes up. It’s time for her to stand out which something she does not like doing.