Death and Darkness V: Escaping the Burning City

Nexus

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Jun 21, 2020
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Rain drops started to fall on the burning city of Fabernum in the humid afternoon that swept through the area. A few souls still screamed and writhed in agony as the mercenaries finished gathering their take of the raid. Their packs were full and a handful of the men brought some horses in from the outskirts to carry the rest. Henrik stood tall on a wooden platform in the market addressing the men when one of them came running up panting.

"He got away sir! We chased the Khurite into a shop and he escaped out a window. We don't know where he is." The man sputtered as he dropped to a knee to catch his breath.

"I don't think he will be able to-" Henrik started, but was cut off by a loud clang in the distance and a scream...


Sjonnie stood grasping his leg which dripped bright red blood while Ziqiri circled him slowly. A small drop slid down the edge of the Khurite's katana as he held it close to his face. He could smell the rain that started to fall and his eyes shifted around him in case any other mercenaries heard his opponent's cry.

"We don't have to do this.. You can still walk away and let me leave." Ziqiri said as he started to let his blade down slightly.

"Fool!" Sjonnie spat back at him, "You will die here today and I will carve my name into your chest!"

With that, he raised his axe once more and bolted toward Ziqiri. A gravelly roar escaped his throat as he did and a mixture of mud and sand kicked up in his wake. His weapon came down with incredible force toward his opponent's head and he gripped it harder as he closed in on his target.

"Aghh!" He cried again, this time in pain, as the blade buried itself in the dirt. A soft rasping shing was all he heard before the katana split his arm open from his elbow to his shoulder. A stream of blood trickled through his leather armor and gathered at his finger tips before falling to the ground. Sjonnie stood panting as the ground turned crimson around him. His eyes raised lazily as sweat fell from his brow. Ziqiri stood five feet away without a scratch on him.

"I don't want to kill you Sjonnie. I'll take my leave and you can go get the help you need. Please, this will not end well for you." Ziqiri pleaded. His blade was now covered in tiny blood spots as was his armor. The wounds to Sjonnie's leg and arm wouldn't prove fatal, but they would limit his movement, making the following attacks more predictable. Just as he expected, the large mercenary pulled his weapon up into the air with his good arm and started to charge once more.

Almost in slow motion, Ziqiri took off toward Sjonnie in a flash. With his eyes on the blade, he dashed in close enough to swing at the handle. Another shing whispered passed his helmet as the blade missed his ear and fell to the ground. He turned his body and stabbed his blade into the man's foot quickly through his leather boots before pulling it back up to his side. A blood curdling scream escaped Sjonnie's mouth as Ziqiri slid back away from his opponent.

"You bastard, I'll kill you! I'LL KILL YOU!" Sjonnie bellowed as he dropped his axe and held his foot and leg. Blood was now pouring from his armor in multiple locations and Ziqiri was almost impressed by his resilience.

The Khurite walked slowly up to Sjonnie as he narrowed his eyes and raised his katana. "Forgive me, I did not want this." He whispered before gripping his blade tightly and slashing it down towards the mercenary's neck.

"Over here!" A voice cried out in the distance as the blade stopped suddenly only an inch from Sjonnie. Ziqiri looked up and then back down at his wincing opponent.

"Take care of yourself Sjonnie." Ziqiri whispered before spinning his katana once more, leaving blood spattered on the ground in tiny red speckles. A short rasp and a click followed as he sheathed his weapon and then took off in the opposite direction of the voices.

He made it to the wall of the city shortly and found a ramp leading to a wooden walkway on top. His heart raced as he heard the footsteps of the mercenaries pounding behind him. He looked around from atop the wall and found a small tree close enough to jump down to. He closed his eyes and took the leap. His helmet was caught and pulled from his head as he fell through the branches onto the ground. A thud followed as he landed hard. His back took the majority of the fall and he felt it but there was no time to lay there recovering. Ziqiri scrambled to his feet and ran off into the forest that surrounded Fabernum.

Henrik stood towering atop the wall after being called over by a few of his men. Smoke billowed up in dark plumes behind him as he did. Ash swirled around the building tops throughout the city. He looked down at the footsteps in the sand and saw a Khurite helmet dangling from a branch as it started to rain heavily. In the downpour he thought he saw a man running in the distance.. A grim look crossed his face as he turned around and headed down the ramp toward the rest of his men. "Find him." He ordered...
 
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