Saturday, March 26, 2011

Part 59 by Taylor

Laurel and Cerelda attacked again and again. Laurel felt the lust for blood inside of her, but something else as well. Remorse? Sadness? No, it couldn't be. The only thing she should feel for the rebels was disgust. She resolutely pushed the other baffling feelings aside.

She landed Cerelda on a grassy knoll overlooking the blazing camp. She grinned a little in satisfaction at the destruction. A figure in white moved through the camp. She spun while holding her staff above her head. A downpour of rain drenched the fires in a wide radius around her. Laurel growled low in her throat and kicked Cerelda in the ribs.

The bronze dragon made a wide arc through the sky and swooped down behind the wizard. Just when Laurel thought that they had her, Mintara back-flipped up past the dragon's groping talons and landed behind Laurel. The elf let out an outraged cry and drew her sword, slashing at the white figure. Mintara blocked with her staff as the enraged elf continued to attack. Cerelda, without any direction and thought of her own, flew aimlessly with the two sparring women on her back.

                                                                                       ~

Tomas ran through the thick smoke, coughing and holding his sleeve over his mouth and nose. He couldn't see anything. He could only hope that he was running away from the fire, not toward. A new line of fire blazed up in front of him. Tomas yelled and skidded to a stop, sliding on the ashen grass. Flames leapt toward him, clinging to his clothes and hair. He dropped to the ground and rolled himself in his cloak, desperately trying to smother the flames. The heat was unbearable. He screamed in agony as the flames engulfed him. Fire was everywhere. A dark shape fell on him and grabbed him by his cloak. He felt himself lifted just before he blacked out.

Kyrian ran with the others and searched the tents that were still flaming for survivors. She still hadn't located Tomas. She could only pray that he had gotten himself to safety. A dark figure on the ground made Kyrian pause. She raced to the prone man and pulled him away from the blazing tent. His hand was burned, but not too badly. Kyrian dragged him to a safe distance and flipped him over. "Landlion! Are you all right?" Kyrian could have kicked herself for not remembering Landlion's disability. He could have easily died while she was running around like an idiot. Landlion coughed and opened his eyes a little. He stared above Kyrian's head as his eyes widened. Kyrian looked up as well and saw the battle in the air between the enraged elf and determined wizard.

Laurel, strengthened by the marse's power, was indeed a formidable foe. Her moves were so unpredictable that Mintara had all she could handle just blocking the wild attacks. Cerelda suddenly screeched and lurched sideways, her wings flapping furiously to balance herself from the weight that had slammed into her side. Emerion dove away from her claws and raked her side with his razor-like, silver horn. Cerelda, infuriated by the smaller creature, turned her long neck and snapped at him. Emerion dodged just in time and carved a line on her passing head. He turned and shot forward, the maddened dragon giving chase just as he had intended. He swooped down low over the charred camp, a white blur, slender wings slicing through the air. Cerelda followed, the two powerful persons on her back still sparring.

She steadily gained on the unicorn until she opened her jaws to grab him. Emerion suddenly dropped to the ground, and Cerelda flew right into a net that she had failed to notice in her blind rage. Emerion had dived underneath her as she had flown over him and knocked Mintara and Laurel off the dragon's back before they too became ensnared. Mintara, who had been expecting it, grabbed Emerion's mane and swung onto his back as Laurel fell to the ground. A group of men were waiting, courtesy of Kyrian. They grabbed the falling elf and quickly tied her up before she could do any more damage. "To my tent," Mintara directed.

Kyrian helped Landlion limp to the tent, his arm wrapped around her shoulder as he leaned on her. They stepped into the un-harmed tent, which apparently had some spell over it to keep it safe. Mintara and Goricnal were sitting together, talking in grave tones. They both looked up at Kyrian and Landlion's entrance. Mintara nodded shortly and stood up. "Out of 8,000 soldiers, we have lost approximately 1,500. About 5,700 are wounded." Everyone winced at the ill tidings. "Where's Tomas?" Kyrian asked. Mintara and Goricnal shared a look. "He's in the infirmary. He was badly burned," Mintara offered. "That dragon had let loose a stream of fire practically on top of him. Earlier, that unicorn had come to get me to help him rescue survivors. When we saw Tomas, he swooped down and dropped me on top of him, then came back around and I grabbed his mane and hoisted both of us up. Then he dropped us off and went to go help you," he finished, gesturing to Mintara. "How bad is he?" Kyrian demanded, jumping up. "We don't know," Mintara waved her hand. "He'll live. We have more important things to discuss. Like our possessed Dragon Rider."

Kyrian turned on her heel and fled the tent. She ran through the camp, or what was left of it. Men were still killing small renegade fires, but it was under control. She reached the makeshift hospital and pushed her way inside. Most recognized her as a general and made no move to stop her. She reached the intensive care place and saw Tomas stretched out with two doctors bent over him. One turned and caught her before she reached Tomas. "General Kyrian, I'm sorry, but you cannot be here." He pushed her from the tent with stern orders not to return, but not before Kyrian had caught a glimpse of Tomas. Burns covered him from head to toe. Chunks of his blond hair had been burned away. His face had angry scars as well. His chest barely rose as he breathed shallowly. Outside the tent, Kyrian sank down and sobbed.

Mintara, Landlion, Goricnal, Emerion, and a brawny man holding the squirming and kicking Dragon Rider went to a tent that had been reserved for them. "On the table," Mintara said with a nod. The soldier was only too glad to be rid of the struggling elf, and put her down on the table. Laurel was tied hand and foot with a gag in her mouth so as not to draw attention, but she still looked at her former comrades with hate smoldering in her eyes. "Do you know how to do this?" Landlion asked Mintara as she and Goricnal strapped Laurel down. "I read about it once somewhere," the wizard answered vaguely. Landlion and Goricnal exchanged a worried look.

As Kyrian walked, she heard screaming from a tent. She quickened her pace and burst into the tent to see Mintara bending over Laurel's head while the girl screamed in agony. Kyrian looked over to see Goricnal and Landlion sitting off to the side with pale faces. Mintara leaned back and let out a sound of intense frustration and anger. Laurel quite screaming and her eyes slid shut in exhaustion. "What are you trying to do?" Kyrian asked, a little taken aback like the men. "I'm trying to draw out the memory blocker!" Mintara snapped. She bent back over Laurel's head, muttering something about stupid people who asked stupid questions. Kyrian went and sat down with the other two, waiting.

Several attempts later, Mintara threw down her staff in anger. "If I ever find that marse, I swear, I will make him pay for all he's putting us through." She stormed from the tent, and the three still remaining exchanged glances. Laurel still lay on the table, breathing hard in ragged gasps.

Kyrian was about to go and find Mintara when the wizard re-entered with Emerion. She appeared quite a bit calmer, an effect Kyrian knew came straight from the gentle unicorn. "Emerion reminded me that we are stronger together, so we're going to try this again." She and the unicorn went to Laurel's head. Emerion lowered his horn over her and crossed it with Mintara's staff. They both closed their eyes as the staff and horn began to glow with a white light. "I wish I knew what was going on," Kyrian whispered. "It's called joint wizardry," Landlion explained. "It's when two wizards join power. One wizard provides the energy, and the other maneuvers it. Right now, Emerion is providing the energy, and Mintara is concentrating on drawing out the memory blocker." Kyrian and Goricnal looked at him in surprise. "I read a lot now that I seem to have a lot of time on my hands," Landlion shrugged, tapping his injured leg.

Suddenly, Laurel started to choke. Landlion staggered to his feet and made a move as to help, but Kyrian grabbed his arm. Laurel's breathing cleared and changed to a peaceful sound instead of the raggedy noise earlier. Mintara and Emerion separated and stepped back, both looking a little winded. "Is she healed?" Goricnal dared to ask. Mintara offered a tired, half-smile. "Yes, she's going to be all right."

                                                                                      ~

It was the next morning before Emerion and Mintara managed to heal Cerelda as well. The dragon shuddered as if shaking off some stupor. Her eyes were clear and intelligent once more, albeit a bit bewildered. She apparently remembered nothing of her forced allegiance to the enemy. Emerion went and informed her of what had happened and apologized for the gash on her side and face. Of course, no one else could hear their conversation, but Cerelda nodded frequently and a horrified look crossed her face from time to time.

Laurel slept. "Is she all right?" Landlion asked. "Yes, her body is destroying the poison," Mintara explained. "She should be ready in time."
"In time for what?"
"We're attacking tomorrow morning."

Kyrian sat by Tomas, holding his hand as he slept. The healers had done all they could for him. The worst of his burns had been healed, and he could move around, but he was horribly scarred. He hadn't said a word since his terrible ordeal. Kyrian worried for him. When asked if he would fight, he had nodded. Kyrian had every intention of keeping a close eye on him so he wouldn't do something stupid.

                                                                                  ~

That night, Laurel walked through the camp. Tears trailed down her cheeks as she surveyed the damage. She heard footsteps behind her and turned to find Cerelda, who also look immeasurably heavy-hearted as well. "Oh Cerelda, what have we done?" she whispered.

2 comments:

Tessa Brooke said...

Nice. I suppose I shall write a park now if that is okay with everyone. :D

$Taylor$ said...

Yeah, go for it Tessa! =D