So, Goo decided he wants to do some work to. And by work, I mean steal my chair.
Previous: Chapter 12
Chapter 13 (A losing battle)
The sun began to set as Aisa crafted a wall of fire across her front lawn, separating her group from the mayor’s.
Iomat placed her hands on her knees, Versist—her azure-forged katana—stuck in the ground in front of her. She panted while Rokki and Tesol knelt, eyes closed and mumbling under their breath.
“Just give up,” the mayor said from the other side of the fire wall. “With the heat from the sun leaving, we’ll snuff out your little barrier in no time, and you’ll be left starving and powerless.”
Iomat gritted her teeth. “Jump off a cliff. And take your fools with you.”
“I’m sure your boy would prefer it if you were more mannered,” the mayor said, voice full of scorn. “Especially since he is most assuredly in our custody now.”
“The One take you!”
“No, but I’ll take him.”
“I’m going to rip your heart out and feed it to my spiderchickens!”
The fire barrier shook and wavered, and Asia grunted. Her face contorted in pain, and her hands clenched into fists.
Iomat sat on the ground in front of Versist and crossed her legs. “A few moments,” she said in a low voice as she bowed her head. “Hold that barrier for a few more moments.”
“No, Sister,” Rokki and Tesol said at the same time, both looking up at her, “we’re almost done.”
“I’m not going anywhere until I kill that bastard, even if it’s the last thing I do.”
“It will be,” Rokki said.
Tesol shook his head. “Remember the last time you used Wind-Breaker?”
“Yeah,” Iomat said, bands of gray wind swirling around her. “I won the Gladiatorium.”
“And you were in a comma for a month afterwards.” Tesol closed his eyes. “And you’re not as young and strong as you once were.”
“We’ll have the tunnel finished soon,” Rokki said, “so don’t do this.”
The barrier shattered, and Aisa hit the ground, gasping. The sun set, and streetlights around the village came to life. Iomat stood and drew Versist from the ground as the gray bands of wind encased her body like armor.
Eyes wide, the mayor took a step back and grabbed the man next to him by the arm.
Aisa sat up, groaning.
“Make sure our way out is clear since there are probably more of these bastards around.” Iomat vanished then Versist ripped through the mayor’s improvised shield, splitting the young man down the middle. She vanished again.
Blood splattered to the hard-packed dirt of Aisa’s front yard.
“Release it!” The mayor darted to the left and dove to the ground beside a pair of Regime Hunters.
A flash of blue and gray sent both Regime Hunters’ heads flying.
Water and wind crashed into the area as the mayor scrambled into the street, crushing the bodies of the two Regime Hunters. Spears of stone hurtled towards Rokki and Tesol.
Aisa’s stomach growled, but she threw her hands up and unleashed a wave of fire then turned it into hands to snatch the spears from the air and drive them into the ground, shattering them. She panted. “How much … longer?”
“A few more seconds,” Tesol said.
Breathing hard, Iomat stopped in front of the mayor, Versist held out to the side, blade facing him. “Last words.”
“He was meant to be used against the One.” The mayor snapped his fingers.
Iomat decapitated him then slashed his body from crotch to neck. Her knees gave out, and she wobbled to the side.
A man wearing a gag, a blindfold and some type of glass breastplate stood behind the mayor’s corpse, and a boy began unclasping the glass breastplate.
“Finished,” Rokki said as Tesol stood.
“Stop him from removing the restrictor!” Aisa gathered a fist of fire and threw it at the boy.
Iomat regained her balance and charged him.
But both were moving too slow. The boy’s fingers worked through the clasps before either attack struck him down. The boy crumpled, and the glass breastplate clanked to the stone street beside him.
Iomat ripped Versist free from the boy then fell backwards, stiff as a stretcher. With the grace granted by water, Tesol slipped under Iomat and caught her before she hit the ground. Versist clanged beside them, and Rokki scooped it off the ground.
The stink of sulfur filled the air. A crackling sound accompanied it as sweat beaded every face. It was so hot steam rose from the ground. The stones in front of Iomat began to melt.
“Get away from there!” Aisa crafted a heat vortex to dampen the inferno gathering around the man and placed it in front of him. Her stomach screamed, but she set her jaw and held the heat vortex. “Hurry!”
The gag and blindfold around the man’s face melted away, revealing filed teeth and long hair that had been tied behind his head; his glowing red eyes were alight with rage. Four crimson soul crystals were embedded in his chest. A red aura expanded from the man, bumping up against Aisa’s heat vortex.
Tesol lifted Iomat into his arms and spun, sprinting back towards the tunnel with Rokki in tow.
Aisa grunted, her heat vortex shrinking. “Get into the hole.”
Tesol jumped in with Iomat, but Rokki stopped and said, “Not without you.”
“It’s everything I can do to hold him.” Aisa groaned and dropped to a knee. “Go!”
“My nephew would kill me if I did.” Rokki tossed Versist into the hole then scrambled forward and grabbed Aisa by the wrist. He shifted the ground and used it to fling them towards the tunnel as Aisa’s heat vortex vanished.
The man slung both his hands into the air and howled. Fire swirled around him, white hot, engulfing his form until he turned into a creature of fire. Then fire blasted in every direction, rolling in a massive wave with a boom.
Rokki dove into the hole with Aisa, squeezing the top twenty feet of the hole shut, using the rocks to help slow their decent and pushing his power into the tunnel itself to stop it from collapsing as everything shook.
Tesol nudged Rokki with his boot, artificial light stuck to his shoulder to light the way. “Are you alive, Brother?”
Aisa pushed up off his chest. “I’ll pretend that you’re not indulging Tima’s fantasies.”
Rokki shrugged and got to his feet with her. “You did kill him before all this mess started.”
Aisa groaned. “Let’s go.” She stepped around Tesol and Iomat’s limp form, taking the lead and heading towards Jutzoran, the first major city in this region and the best way for them to avoid notice on their way to Yarsek.
Next: Chapter 14