Chapter 35: Scorn of the Shadow Angels

Hi readers! More fighting comes in this post

Jack darted in between cannons, his throat dry from repeated hoarse yelling. The storm was in full force now, with rain pelting him like a hail of needles and lightning bolts etching countless scars on the sky, so bright they lingered in Jack’s eyes seconds after they had vanished. The dark purple clouds boiled with demonic fury, and Jack could see nothing of the sky. Scrimm, he thought, is doing a good job.

The monstrosity in the sky kept on blasting fire at the ground, safely out of their reach, and Jack could do nothing to stop it. His stomach churned and it was all he could do to keep his eyes on the battle.

“Sir, what is that in the sky?”, his aide Sugreev asked.

“The machine?”

“No, sir, the small rapidly flying speck.”

Jack looked up in shock, and saw that there was indeed a flying speck, weaving amongst the lightning bolts. The monstrosity turned toward the speck and started firing at it, slowly moving away from Rent’s army until it hovered near Lucio’s tower.

A lightning bolt struck the machine and it blew apart in a tortured flash. Jack said nothing but let out a wolf whistle.

Overlooking the window, it was Lucio who finally let out a groan of frustration. “Are you deliberately trying to sabotage me, Eclipsius”, he began in hot fury, “by supplying me with the weak-minded murderers that these machines are!?”

“Lucio, don’t make me withhold my help.”, Eclipsius answered tonelessly.

Lucio snorted contemptuously. “You call this help.”, and then remained silent. “What do we do now?”

Eclipsius paused and then said, “It is time.”

Lucio said, with no trace of question, “You will do it.”

Rent let out a yell of exultation. Without the machines his army had the advantage of stronger soldiers. In this mindset, he watched as Raychel barreled through the lightning strikes and pelting rain, her hair whipping back from the wind, until she landed in front of him and threw a silver piece of metal at him. “Unbelievable, Rent! This shard tried to take over my mind when I came in close contact with the Tamrune machine!”

“Those were Tamrunes?”, Rent asked.

“No, just their machines. But your crown is a Tamrune artifact as well!”

Rent muttered, “Is there anything that isn’t? Was it trying to take over you?”

“Yes.”, Raychel said insistently. “I had to remove the shard before I could destroy that machine.”

Rent paused, and then said, “Very well, I will order everybody but you to stay away from any piece of Tamrune technology.”

“Or Tamrunes.”

“I don’t think your Eclipsius would have bought any of his followers here.”, Rent said confidently. He then peered at the tower, seeing what seemed to be smoke billowing out the top.

Raychel followed his gaze and said, “Rent. Those are Tamrunes.”

Rent barked, “Go destroy them. Please.”

“With pleasure.” With a flourish she leaped off the side of the fortress and flew off.

Pacael and Lescael, the Windstar twins, found a shadow on their tails, quickly catching up to them. Pacael turned around and fired an arrow at the shadow’s heart. It passed through as if there was nothing there. A being in the same form as them, yet composed entirely of shadow, the Tamrune laughed and raised a finger. Pacael gasped in shock and knocked her sister away. Lescael’s hurt, injured and shocked face, and her hand reaching out for Pacael was the last thing Pacael saw until she was consumed by a flash of white light.

No!, Raychel screamed, as she witnessed the Tamrune’s victory. Her locket seared her chest, but she stayed level. Drawing her sword, she darted through the sky against the Tamrunes. One… two…. eight Tamrunes, she thought. Drawing on all the speed she could, Raychel became a blur, faster than the raindrops, and cut through the Tamrune that had killed Pacael. It dissipated like smoke, and the other Tamrunes scattered in the blink of an eye. Quickly she caught Lescael, hand in hand. “Get away from them! Only I can defeat them!” A shadow in the shape of a man, but with great black wings, drew up behind Lescael, and Lescael let go with a smile, her wings spread wide. Raychel could only watch in horror as Lescael vanished in light.

She will join her sister. Arin said.

Raychel screamed in rage, tears flying, as she drove the white blade straight through the core of the Tamrune. A great blinding flash from within the shadow, and the Tamrune exploded into harmless shadows of emptiness.

Rent watched in horror as the Tamrune took its victory in the distance, and ordered, Everybody except Raychel get out of the sky now!

Raychel sliced another Tamrune in a blur so quickly the Tamrune had no time to react. Five left.

She sped toward another Tamrune. The Tamrune flew in a completely predictable arc, and Raychel raced to cut it off. As she raced toward it, it released a thunderbolt and Raychel dodged, part of her shirt singed. The Tamrune gripped her arm, and Raychel felt as if its “body” would pull her arm inside it. With a grunt she swung the sword and cut the Tamrune’s head off.

Rent watched Raychel’s fight with a jolt of fear, but soon turned his eyes upon the battle on the ground. The ground had turned into wet and slimy mud grasping at the soldiers’ heels, slowing down both the bears and the silver wolves. This is good for the bears, Rent thought.

Jack was still pelted with rain, and as he darted from cannon to cannon, he was acutely aware of the risk of staying so close to metal during a thunderstorm. With this in mind he admired the monkeys’ bravery even more. Lightning bolt after lightning bolt kept on striking the tower, but dissipated into nothing by the time it reached. Around the tower, Jack could see flying figures. He knew Raychel was up there, somehow, and he fervently hoped she was safe. And then his thoughts turned to his daughter. Here, holed up in the fortress. With that, Jack moved with a newfound resolve.

Her right side throbbing painfully, Raychel darted around the sky after the last Tamrune. She had taken bolt after bolt of energy, and the pain was taking its toll on her. The Tamrune turned around and she swerved, dodging the bolt. She flew side to side, up and down, not letting the Tamrune get a bead on her, until she was right in front of it. It fired off one more shot, but she cut through it. Immediately a surge of pain flooded her left shoulder and she flew off wildly, feeling nothing in her fingers. She landed hard on the entrance to the fortress and climbed inside. Rent jumped when he saw her and ran over to her. “Did you kill the Tamrunes?”

“Yes, Rent.”

He took up her red hand and turned pale. “Raychel…”

“What!?”, Raychel screamed.

“Your last two fingers have been blown clean off.” Raychel stared at the crimson stubs of what used to be fingers, and Rent turned around. “Get some first aid over here!”, he cried out. Dark shadows came out from the darkness and dragged her further in.

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About Neil Viswanathan

A college student that loves knowledge, music, and writing.
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