How do you fight five heavily armored soldiers and win?
I was lucky I was fighting them in a pretty open and vast environment. When the odds are against you, you make them work in your favor. Don't just stand there lamenting your rotten luck. There's no such thing as luck, just bad circ.u.mstances during which you choose either to react or complain. I chose the former.
For the five soldiers in front of me, seeing me was bliss. The demonic cat had leapt off to intercept the reinforcement. They were out of the woods, (no pun intended.)They had a fighting chance and, I suspected, a fleeing one as well. They didn't lose much time in trying to surround me, cut off all exits. They knew I'd try to run away and use the trees to my advantage.
'Can you help?' I asked Eva.
'Not if you want to have your Conduits blow up,' she replied.
'Thanks for nothing.'
I tailed it.
The others followed, pretty fast for the weight they had to carry along with them. I heard another explosion near the tree house. Raiya must be fighting with the Priest and his escort. I wished I could watch their fight. I might've learned a thing or two from them. But I had more pressing matters to deal with at that moment.
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I heard armor clanking behind me. I risked a quick glance. There were only two on my trail. The other three had vanished. I suspected they were trying to use the trees to their advantage too. Too bad they were wearing noisy armor. I smirked. This fight is a win if I plan it correctly.
I saw the blue light before I felt an incredible force blow me off my feet. I landed on my back a few paces away. A childish squeak left me as my back heavily hit the ground. I turned to the right and my eye widened. I'd missed a broken branch by inches. It was pointy and st.u.r.dy enough to skewer any part that had landed on it.
Death lurks in every corner… I had yet played a trick on death. I still wouldn't say I was lucky to miss the broken branch. The spell caster's aim was off, that's all.
Wait a f.u.c.king moment, spell caster?
I got up with difficulty, searching for the sword I'd dropped. Arrows were scattered on the floor around me. I collected them as I went. My ear buzzed and the whole world rotated around me. What the h.e.l.l did he hit me with?
'That was a soul ma.s.s spell,' Eva instructed. 'A nasty spell if I've ever seen one. They rely on their own soul energy to hit you. One well-placed hit and you're dead. You're lucky the warlock coated you with protective spells.'
'I'll remember to thank her later.' I'd finally spotted my sword. I wavered as I tried to reach it. My legs weren't responding properly anymore.
"Didja kill 'im?" I heard one of the soldiers call out.
"I guess we're about to find out!" the other replied.
I heard the latter's voice closer to my position. I'd barely managed to get my hands on the sword. s.h.i.t, this is going to be tough.
'Some help here?' I mentally said.
'I am helping,' Eva retorted. 'That spell almost let the Fragment's energy loose. You've got to do something about this later.'
"Sunovab.i.t.c.h!" I heard someone shout. The soldier I'd heard earlier was already standing before me. "How are you still alive?"
He was as surprised as I was actually. His voice was a bit hoa.r.s.e, as though he were out of breath.
'The spell takes a lot of Essence to cast, and a part of your soul,' Eva whispered. 'He wanted to kill you in one shot then escape this place.'
I mustered all the energy inside of me and ran at the beast with iron armor. Scare tactics always work… given you use them in the right moment.
'Take it easy!' Eva urged. 'Your own Essence is still unstable.'
'Worry about blocking the Fragment's,' I retorted. 'I'll worry about mine.'
The armored soldier took a step back. I had him! I swung my sword at his head. The latter brought his shield up to block. That's what I was waiting for. I felt the Essence storm inside my Conduits. It felt like the tips of my fingers grew numb. I didn't have time to think of it at that moment though. I had to get rid of the pile of iron in front of me.
I kicked him in the leg. The weakest part when you're wearing heavy armor is your knee pit and inside the elbow, the places armor doesn't always cover. Since I couldn't reach that to immobilize him on time, I went for the side of the knee. I heard a crunching sound as my foot connected. I'd hit as hard as I could then drove my entire weight down.
The man wailed as his leg bent in an unnatural angle. He looked at me as he helplessly stumbled to the ground. His shield fell to the side. His eyes peered at me from behind his visor. They spoke of terrors unseen. He knew what was about to happen. His friends were still running toward us. I didn't waste any more time. I couldn't hear this one coming before. Maybe others could m.u.f.fle their footsteps too.
I drove my sword through his visor. The squelching sound his eye made when the tip of my sword connected made me wince. I was pretty sensitive when it came to eye injuries ever since I lost one myself. I put my weight on the sword and drove it forward. The man screamed his lungs out. The others heard and picked up speed. I head their noisy iron plates. .h.i.tting each other violently as they tried to reach their fallen comrade.
When they did, he was on the ground, b.l.o.o.d.y and lifeless. I was gone.
At a close distance, using a bow and arrow wasn't going to be much of a problem. I was hiding behind a nearby bush. I could aim with one eye. The first shot caught one in the neck, right between the bottom of his helmet and the shoulder plates. They should really think of full body armor that protects the entire body. I don't think anybody could make something like this though. You won't be able to move!
The poor soul didn't know what hit him. He put his hand on the arrow. Tried to pull it out then realized it was too late. The way his body fell to the ground was eerily funny. His friends watched him fall in horror. The thought of the sharpshooter with eagle eyes must've come back to their minds. They stood back to back, holding their shields closer to each other.
Three left! You can do it Stalwart.
I couldn't afford waiting for them to make up their minds. They were looking around frantically, turning in place, their eyes trained on the trees in the distance. They were panicking. I had to keep it that way. They wouldn't try to look for me if they'd lost their logical thinking abilities.
I shot another arrow. It missed them by a hair's width.
I shot another which missed them by an even narrower margin.
f.u.c.k it! I'm a really lousy shot.
"Keep moving," one of them ordered. "Retreat behind the trees, don't move in a straight line. We have to find the one that killed Roland first!"
They were looking for me huh?! It was time I made a move. I shot another arrow. I didn't bother aiming this time. I just needed it to go near them, to scare them.
Son of a b.i.t.c.h! Now that I'm not aiming properly?
One of them wailed as the arrow hit him in the shoulder blade. The exact same spot I manually inserted arrows in. What are the odds? It takes a sharpshooter with eagle eyes to do that.
'You got lucky,' Eva said.
'Shut up!' I snapped at her then ran at the disoriented soldiers.
They were scared, out of breath, and I had the element of surprise. And what a surprise!
The saw me running at them from behind a nearby bush, the injured one was still wailing while another tried to wrench the arrow away. It must hurt like a motherf.u.c.ker. I've had arrows. .h.i.t my legs before. I've also had a penknife deeply lodged in my right shoulder blade, just a day ago. I knew the pain and I didn't sympathize.
I reached the first soldier who was trying to shield the others, keep me busy until they get the arrow out.
"These are our own arrows!" the one trying to pull the projectile out blurted out.
The soldier facing me must've seen the compound bow hanging loosely at my shoulder as I ran.
"Motherf.u.c.ker!" he exclaimed. "He's the sharpshooter!"
"Language!" I snapped at him. "Didn't your Priest teach you properly?"
"Forget about the arrow Alan, help kill this son of a b.i.t.c.h!"
I had two heavily armored soldiers to deal with at the same time. I didn't like my chances. I was a good fighter, but I only had a few spots I could hit and cause damage. Whereas they only had to swing and connect, especially the one called Alan. He held a Morningstar! Do you know what that thing could do to my chest, legs or head? Any hit and I'd be mashed potatoes.
Why the h.e.l.l did I leave my buckler behind?
'Like that would help against the spikes!' Eva retorted.
'Shut up! I'm trying to concentrate here!'
Alan reached me first. The b.a.s.t.a.r.d still had some energy left. He was a hulk of a beast, as tall as the dead leader and even larger. I felt like a child dealing with bullies in the slums of Yanoku. There was this kid named Sergei –
Hey look at that! My memory's coming back. Now's not the time for it though. Focus Myles, F-O-C-U-S!
The first swing missed me by an inch. I felt one of the spikes sc.r.a.pe against my cheekbones. I heard the other soldier move behind me. s.h.i.t! My chances of survival were getting dimmer.
'Eva!' I was willing to beg for help now.
'You're on your own boy,' she replied. 'If I help you we die.'
I dodged another heavy swing then jumped to the right just in time. The other b.a.s.t.a.r.d had a two handed sword. He almost cleaved me in half.
'We die if you don't help me,' I told her imperial highness.
'You're good on your feet, make them waste energy!'
What did she think I was doing? Dancing to entertain them?!
I had just dodged another swing from the Morningstar when I felt a dark and ominous presence behind me. Something told me to roll forward, and I did. Thank the G.o.ds for light armor. The heavy sword hit the ground with a thump. Dust filled the air and leaves scattered. I felt the impact of the sword in the back of my head. I shuddered to think of what would've happened if that hit me…
"Slippery little s.h.i.t!" the swordsman cried out.
I heard a grunt behind me and my sword was suddenly thrown to the side. Iron arms surrounded my throat and tried to break my neck. From the heavy grunts, I realized it was the injured soldier, the one whose back I'd just put an arrow in.
"Get 'im!" he called for the others. "Now!"