Find Part 1 here.
Her father, Delia could see, was a formidable fighter but Iyuno, even without a fire to draw power from, was better. She found herself making tiny movements, fighting Iyuno with her father. Twice she found a fireball in her hand, ready to throw, but had to extinquish it in frustration. Ucheni was missing multiple chances to deal Iyuno a blow. In return, he was falling back, step by step. She gripped and re-gripped her sword pommel until her hand hurt.
Alia approached. “The fire is ready, Princess.”
Delia nodded, never taking her eyes from her father. “Can you tell what Iyuno is going to do, Alia?”
Alia focused on the fight in front of her. She shook her head. “No, Princess.”
Delia sighed. “What if you pretend you are the king? What then.”
Alia blinked at the Princess. “Let me try.” She took a breath and took a fighting stance.
Delia watched at Alia did what she’d been doing. The shield maiden shifted minutely, hands and arms twitching. Alia stood up. “No Princess. It doesn’t seem to work that way.”
“Thank you for trying.”
Delia took a breath and blew it out. Her hopes to use Alia’s magic sight for strikes were dashed. Besides, even if she could see a blow not meant for her, they’d never talked about whether Alia could send her thoughts to her. She didn’t even know if she could herself. Her fingers drummed against the sword’s pommel. Both Ucheni and Iyuno were using swords. Magical, Delia supposed. Iyuno was driving her father back. It was if he were getting stronger. She looked again at his soldiers. There was no smoke from a fire. Where was he getting his strength?
Suddenly, her father’s foot caught on something as he was stepping back he went to one knee. Iyuno raised his sword and before Delia could scream, he brought the sword down. Her father paused, sword half-raised. The army went silent. A gash appeared at the base of his neck. The sword, dropped, in seeming slow motion, in one direction as her father followed.
Then, she did scream. “FAAATHERRRRR!”
She ran out onto the field. Fireballs in both hands. She had flung them at Iyuno before her father had finished falling.
Iyuno swung his sword around and slid it into its scabbard as he held up a hand. Delia was knocked back, falling into the long grass. She turned on her magical sight. Now was not the time to be emotional, she thought as she rolled to her feet. She used her invisible heat force but the force bounced from Iyuno’s magical shield.
Delia made a shield for herself and glanced back at her army’s line. Her army, came the flash of thought. Alia had lit the fire. Delia pulled its strength to her then faced Iyuno.
“So, pup. You think you’re ready to face me?”
“Face you I will, evil one.” She moved into a fighting stance. “You killed my father.”
“Not much of a father, handing you over to slavers,” he said as he circled.
She watched as he moved. Where was he getting his power? She flung the sleeping spell at him. It splashed against his shield.
He threw another fireball while swinging his sword at her. She stepped outside the swing as his fireball hit her shield.
This could go on forever, she thought. Each of us is getting power from fire. How long can I pull on that and survive? His constant barrage of fireballs, force balls and other tricks she’d never seen were keeping her busy but she did her best, now that she was closer, to see where his power was coming from while still putting up some resistance.
A flash at his feet drew her attention. What sort of magic was that? She looked closer as she chanted the sleeping spell and threw a fireball. The ground? He was getting power from the earth? How could that be?
Where was Sisruo? Shouldn’t Iyuno’s hundred elves be asleep by now?
She scrambled as Iyuno pressed his attack. He was powerful, and her magical shield was taking a beating. Delia drew more heavily from the fire. He had to know what she was doing. Why didn’t he try to stop her?
She tried everything she knew, including throwing up a protection spell around him but she didn’t have the skills and training he had. He was going to kill her too if she didn’t do something.
He taunted her again. “You’ve developed some small skill, niece. Congratulations.” He delivered an invisible blow as he used his other hand to try and force her off of her feet.
Delia didn’t answer. At his feet were flashes of light. What was he drawing from?
He laughed and somehow, clapped his hands together, creating a gong sound.
She took a step back. Now what?
Screams from her army sounded behind her, as in front of her, behind Iyuno, the ground opened up and orcs came streaming from the holes. She stared. Orcs? Weren’t they all dead?
“You’ve broken the protocol, Uncle.”
He laughed. “Winning is winning, niece.”
She struck out, anger washing through her as orcs came racing across the field. Delia doubled her efforts as she used the anger to fuel her magic. She wasn’t sure just what she was doing, fire and lightning burst from her finger tips. Delia swatted at her uncle, a force ball like none other she’d ever done flew from her left hand, making him stagger. She pulled power from the fire. Ah, his fire was underground. That was it. Delia pulled power from that as well.
She charged as the first of the orcs reached her. They swirled around her as though she were not there. That wasn’t what she’d expected. Her army, though, were in the fight of their lives. Iyuno was not so lucky. Her charge took her right up to him. She held him, magically, with one hand as she drew her sword. “You killed my father!” She ran him through, twice, three times. Again, as he lay on the ground. She pulled her sword and began chanting the sleeping spell and swinging at orcs.
She was half way back to her own lines when she realized Alia was beside her, taking out orc after orc. The field was littered with bodies, orcs mostly but elves as well. Delia’s anger exploded and she seemed to swell, larger and larger as she charged after the orcs. When she’d finally killed the last one she found, Alia was calling to her.
“Princess! Princess! Stop! It’s over.”
Delia drew a breath and blinked. “Over?” She felt shrunken and old.
“Over, Princess. You’ve won.”
Delia removed her helmet and pushed loose sweat-soaked hair back from her face and looked around. “Over.” She sank to the ground, exhausted.
Thank You! Come back next week for Part 50.
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