The sound of explosions and screams filled the air, the smell of smoke and burning flesh hung heavy while the battle in the courtyard came to its end. “They’re breaking through!” bellowed above the other sounds, the voice sounded rough and tired but the man who it belonged to stood tall and strong, his body looked like he had fallen into a pool filled with broken glass as he was covered in cuts of all shapes and sizes.
“Sir, we should tend to your wounds” one of the men who had been with him through the battle this day said; he looked at the younger man stoically, “There isn’t time for that, you would be better served to prepare for the barrier to fall instead” his words sounded as strained as he looked. Behind them stood the place they were here to defend, the great mansion of the high witch they served, “We have to hold them here and make sure they don’t get past us and through those doors” he said pointing at the double doors which led into the imposing structure.
As he pointed at the doors they doors swung open and a young man walked out with two others following close behind; the young mans short black hair framing his face perfectly and seemed to crackle with power with each step he took down the stairs leading up to the double doors of the mansion. They all knew who he was and knew what he was capable of and yet they couldn’t bring themselves to so much as bow to him since they had seen what their enemy was also capable of.
The young man stood before the battered group, his piercing ice blue eyes scanning over them, he seemed to be looking into their very souls something they all knew wouldn’t be beyond his blood. “We hold them here, as long as we can” the young man spoke and the two who had walked out with him were flanking behind him on either side walked past him and began to ready themselves.
“Young master, they outnumber us, not to mention they far exceed our level of power” the battered man said, but the younger man just smiled at him. “You have seen many battles by my side, so you should know by now that power alone doesn’t win them all” he wore a cocky smirk as he said it and gave a nod to the other two who had walked over to the statues of the high witch herself before turning to look back to him for his instruction.
He nodded once at them and they turned to the statues and began to chant, “We’ll hold them as long as we can, with everything we have… even if we have to throw our dead bodies at them” his words were cold but no one expected anything else from their young commander. This was a war that was thrust upon them so they didn’t have a choice in whether or not they could choose to fight; it was fight or die because their enemy was also a high witch that coveted their mistresses lands, “We hear and obey young master” the man said before limping off to prepare for their death.
The young man walked to the front of the group and stood there, his lean body and muscles only proving what their knowledge about him already told them, this was a warrior, this was their hope; this was Ander, the son of their lady the High Witch of their realm. The battered man looked back up at his young master and remembered how many times they had bled together for their mistress, how many times they had found themselves like this, but somehow this felt different and he had a feeling that this would be the last time he would be able to gaze upon the heir and hope of his people.
The quite was short lived as a loud crash came from the tall iron gates which led into the courtyard in which they now stood prepared, the sound faded to silence before it rose back up again, “Gather yourselves” the battered man said as he readied himself for the horror that will be flooding them yet again. The group stood and watched as the tall gates to the yard were broken down and the minions of their Lady’s enemy came running at them but they didn’t care about those, no they cared about the three young women who slowly walked towards them. The three women walked with grace and the power of titans, each step they took caused fear to seep into their foes, and each step they took made their hair dance in the soft wind that blew; however what really gave them their power over the fear in the hearts of their enemies was the blood dripping from their hands and the menacing smiles that they wore.
The memories of those three witches slicing and dicing through the forty men he had fought against them with only minutes ago was still too fresh, just like their blood dripping from their hands. The two men who had arrived with their young master stopped chanting and drew swords to join the fight the survivors of the forty had started. The statues started to glow blue and hum with power as the battle against the witches’ minions commenced again..
The witches’ minions were no bigger than a ten year old with light grey skin, but with their razor sharp claws which were five inches long and stronger than any steel made these monstrous creatures terrifying not just to the eye but also the flesh. Adding to it speed unmatched by any other creature they have fought to date and a strength far more than its little body can hold; it was one the worst creatures he had ever fought against, and he knew that one of the hundreds would surely be taking his life today.
The minions didn’t stop to wait for the three witches who had summoned them, they charged right into the group. Some had already been fighting against their prey while the others of the swarm were still charging into the courtyard to join the slaughter. It was a grey wave of death that seemed to have no end as they kept coming no matter how many were cut down and dispersed into grey mist; the battered man saw two more of the survivors falling victim to long sharp claws and he could do little else but lash out at the nearest summoned creature and cut it down, but his effort was for naught as it was just one of an unending swarm.
Ander watched the battle before him, he watched as people he had fought with before died before him and he couldn’t just stand back and guard the doors any more so he lifted his left hand which had a ring on his middle finger and thumb. The ring on his middle finger glowed white and discharged lightning that shot out in every direction in front of him, each bolt hitting one of the grey summoned minions and weaving past his men to find its targets. The minions were sent flying by his magic; the group didn’t wait for them to recover or for their leaders order as they launched forward to try and reach the witches that were controlling them in an effort to cut off the endless supply of creatures.
Ander lowered his left and raised his right hand which had a ring on his thumb, forefinger, middle finger and pinkie, the ring on his middle finger glowed again, only this time instead of lightning a short sword appeared, the blade a pale white that seemed to catch the light of the moon; the young man didn’t waste time as he too joined the others in defending the doors to the mansion, the doors to Hadia, the High Witch.
The three witches didn’t seem fazed by Ander’s lightning, instead they only looked amused. In terms of power they knew that they had him beat, but still they knew better than to underestimate him so they began to silently chant together. Their voices were hidden by the screeching and sounds of the battle they had brought upon their foes, but even if their chanting could have been heard it wouldn’t have made a difference because only the high witch herself could pose any sort of threat to them at this point.
With a complicated series of slashes and jabs Ander fell the enemy minions before him and around him, his left hand coming up to rest against some of them only to send them flying with a burst of lightning, the group seemed to be winning since the wave of creatures had thinned to only a few dozen. When Ander noticed this he stopped to look at the three witches and saw why the minions had stopped coming, it was because they were using their power for something else.
Cutting a path to the three young women Ander wanted to interrupt whatever spell they were weaving, though two of the minions fused together behind three that slowed him down. The new minion which stood just as tall as him blocked his attack with ease, over its slender grey shoulder he could see one of the three witches smirking at him while her eyes watched him; the amount of concentration someone needed to focus on two spells at the same time was astounding and far out of Ander’s reach, it was a skill only high witches had which is why he was shocked by it and pushed back by the fused minion.
Ander got up and ran at the monster again, his sword readying for a downward slash, but just before he hit the grey beast he let go of his short sword and blocked the minions attack with a shield spell while he caught his weapon with his left hand and thrust it home into the things side. As it dispersed into grey mist another startled him by attacking right through the mist, he almost lost his head but the battered man had shoved him out of the way to take the blow and deliver a fatal one of his own to the grey beast, the man looked over his shoulder at his young master, “It was a pleasure serving under you…” he said with a bloody smile before falling to the ground as the creature whose claws had held him up disappeared.
Ander didn’t even have time to mourn his old companions’ death as the remaining creatures fused, and to make matters even worse two of the adult sized creatures fused as well and became an armoured grey soldier and it reared its head in his direction. Taking his sword back into his right hand he ran at it, but it flicked him aside with an invisible force and instead impaled two of the other survivors; this new beast was beyond his capabilities and it was forcing him to decide on using the statues on it rather than the witches.
Getting back up he dropped his sword and watched it disappear back into his ring, he took a breath and raised his hands towards the two statues and began to chant one of the few spells he knew. The two that had come with him saw what he was doing and went over to guard him, since that was their duty. The statues stopped glowing and humming, instead a glass shattering screech burst out throughout the courtyard, Ander moved his hands to point at the armoured monster and the screeching narrowed in on it and he could see it burst into grey mist as the spell devastated it.
Deciding not to waste this power he directed the statues with his hands and attacked the remaining grey minions, he watched them all dissipate before turning his attention to the three witches intending to use his life to power the statues to kill them as well if he had to. When he looked over at them they were no longer chanting and the swarm of hundreds was back at their backs, and in front of them floated a ball of pure light; before he could act to direct the screech at them the ball expanded towards him.
It knocked him back, it would have killed him had the statues’ screech and his own shield spell not protected him. He laid on the ground, his world slowly turning black as his eyes grew heavy, “We’re not allowed to kill him, luckily he survived” he heard the muffled sound before seeing the witches walk by followed by their grey minions. “Brat put up more of a fight then we were told he would, didn’t think he would abandon the doors to save his men… noble but stupid” were the last words he heard before darkness took him.
The three witches walked past the burnt corpses towards the doors, “Knock, knock” they said together and several of the minions fused together into a huge hulk like creature and charged at the door and began to bash it in. it only took a few good hits before it broke inward to reveal the entryway of the mansion and some more guards waiting inside, “Tear them apart” they spoke in unison again and the smaller creatures charged into the mansion and did as they were commanded.
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