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Author Topic: A Murder in Alvedara - Chapter 29 - The Ritual Completed  (Read 1554 times)
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Kane
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« on: February 07, 2011, 05:07:18 AM »

A Murder in Alvedara – Chapter 29 – The Ritual Completed

I could feel my anger rising again. The Grand legate knew where the ritual was and purposefully kept me away. I wouldn’t give him that option. I barked orders to move the men at a trot toward the location Selene gave me. We were a little less than a mile away; minutes away from the killer and the Grand Legate.

I heard the start of the battle when we were still blocks away. We started to run toward the sound and I narrowly avoided the falling debris as the wall of the building in front of us exploded. At least one of my men went down, but we couldn’t stop. Turning the corner I could see the soldier legates fighting robed figures and a variety of spawn. They were trying to reach the center of the building where the man who had to be the killer I’d hunted was hunched over a massive body. Before I could shout another command, he flung his body back and screamed that we were all too late, it was done.

Energy crackled through the air and the huge naked body began to rise. It was easily eight feet tall. Even from more than a hundred feet away, I could see that it was not a person, but parts of several different people. A monster made of the flesh and organs of the killer’s victims. A group of soldier legates cut their way through the spawn to the monster but were cast aside like a child’s dolls. The monster’s power was incredible.

I ordered the men forward and told them to concentrate on the spawn. Let the Grand Legate handle the monster and its creator. As I was moving forward, Selene grabbed me, whispered a few words and touched my blade. No other words were said. She pulled out her own blades and we moved forward.

The next few minutes were a blur as I fought for my survival. I couldn’t take the time to look for any of my men or to watch anything but what was immediately in front of me. I heard men screaming in fear and agony, and the insane laughter of the man responsible for all of this. There were flames all around me and I expected the building to start collapsing.

Suddenly the area around me was clear, at least for the moment. The air was thick with smoke, but I could see the Grand Legate and a score of his priests fighting the beast. I couldn’t see Bashar or Selene. To my left and right were maybe a dozen of my and the prince’s guards still on their feet. Like me they all bore wounds but still could fight. I gathered them to me and prepared to join the legates. Then the smoke cleared and I saw the killer, the man I’d chased for past two weeks. The Grand Legate be damned, I was going to kill this man.

We charged the killer and caught him at least partially unaware. Two of my men were a bit quicker than me and struck at them with their blades. If the blades had any effect, it didn’t show.  The killer casually reached out his hands touched them and they crumpled at his feet. I screamed in rage and brought my blade down. Whatever armor was under his robes couldn’t turn my blade and it cut deeply into him. I think we were both shocked.

Before I could pull my blade free he swung his mace hitting me squarely in the chest. I could feel my bones break as I was flung across the room. Somehow I kept my blade but had difficulty both standing and breathing. The rest of my men swarmed over him; and even though more died, the killer appeared to be weakening. Those men bought me the time I needed to get to my feet and rejoin the fight. By then only three of the guards were still alive.

The killer was bleeding out and I was gasping for breath. One of my lungs had likely collapsed or filled with blood. It had to end soon. We traded weak blows before I slipped past his guard and struck him solidly across his shoulder, skipping my blade across his throat. As he fell, his eyes bored into me; their madness and hatred like daggers punching into me. Exhausted, unable to catch my breath, I fell to the floor and everything went black.
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