It was silent as the snow fell on the battlefield. I looked over to see the Apostates all still stopped and looking at me. I was chilly, not frozen but cold from the snow falling around me. I could still feel the pain in my body with the cracked bleeding skin but compared to before it was almost pleasant. Empty of the power I had held I could finally move again. I pulled myself to my feet and looked off into the camp. Things were quiet there, everybody still taking in the disturbance that I had caused.
Then I reached out with me good right hand. I pulled at the air, I could feel the energies I released still floating in it. There was no more golden conduit but that didn’t stop me from accessing the power. It wasn’t Zillk’s power anymore so I no longer needed his symbol to access it. Instead I pulled at the power of winter. I wrapped it around me like a blanket and the cold no longer bothered me. There was no strange emotional connection like I had with Zillk’s power, it was just the raw force, the pure cold of winter that I held. Nothing more.
There was a faint light around me as the power inside me glowed. The power seeping into me was soft and light, like snow. I could feel it pilling up inside me. It wasn’t heavy or hard and I felt like I could carry all of it. I turned and faced the man. He had fallen down backward during the earth rumbling.
He stammered at me, “What, what did you just do.” He tried staggering to his feet and pulled his sword out of the snow next to him.
“Changed the world.” I said, “If you leave now, run away, and abandoned all notions of fighting the king then I will let you live.” It was calmness spreading throughout me. I didn’t want to kill him, Zillk would have but he no longer had any grasp over me. I knew that the Loyal might not like me letting him live but I had to offer him the option.
He however didn’t believe me. “Like I would run away from you. That was just a pretend display of power. You have nothing left, you broke your conduit and now you are trying to bluff me into surrendering. I won’t fall for a clumsy ruse like that. He straightened and pointed his sword at me. “I’m just going to kill you right here and then all your bragging about changing the world will be for nothing.”
I didn’t respond. If he didn’t want to surrender then there was nothing that I could do about it. Instead I began walking toward him. I didn’t know how much the power inside me had change but I knew that I had the advantage. The pure power of winter welled up inside me and I knew that it was stronger then what I had held before. It filled me. The man raised his blade and ran at me.
I closed my eyes and imagined the form of a sword. The was a tinkeling sound as the snow drifted around my crystalizing into the form of the sword that I had envisioned. The ones I had made before were crude constructs that barely held together. This was was brilliant clear crystalline ice. I raised the sword and blocked the man’s attack.
I reached out into the ether toward one of the other powers that I had freed from Zillk. The aspect of the blade began to seep into me. I had to share the space inside me. The two powers not longer mixed so I had to give them equal space. I balances the magical sword skills with the control over the cold. However I had more then enough space inside me to hold a bunch of each. Grace and pose. I could feel the forms that I had drilled with the Slayer coming easily to mind. I changed between them one by one knocking back the man’s sword.
I could feel something outside me pushing at my power trying to influence it. I could see what I hadn’t seen before. This subtle pressure. It was the man’s power that seemed to be influencing my actions. I see, that was what it was, manipulation of his opponents, making them make mistakes, making it easier for him to win. Now however it wasn’t working. My sword maneuvers were perfect incarnations of the base form. No desire to make him despair. Just the plan desire to win the battle.
He backed up and I forced him to fight desperately for his life. I was overpowering him and all he could do was retreat. Then his back was to a wall and he couldn’t retreat. He wasn’t able to keep up his guard and I found the opening that I was looking for. I managed to knock away his sword and bring my blade down toward his chest. Then I hesitated, the real personal desire not to kill somebody came upon me and I changed the angle of my blade instead bringing toward his shoulder.
I managed to inflict a horrible wound on his shoulder. He screamed and dropped his blade in agony. I froze his wound shut that that the bleeding wouldn’t kill him. Then I pressed my shoulder to his chest and knocked him backward into the wall. At he hit the wall I froze him to it preventing him from moving at all. He was in pain but he was still alive.
I turned and looked toward the others. The woman was still laying on the ground with my sword through he chest. She seemed to be dead or unconscious I couldn’t tell. I bend down next to her and touched her. She was cold but still breathing. I pushed a little of my power into her so that the cold wasn’t as bad. Her wound was beginning to bleed so I froze it shut. I checked her and found a bracelet with a symbol on it and pulled it off her putting it in my pocket. I then stood back up and looked as Risgar.
Risgar was fighting the other two but as they noticed that I had beaten the man they began to turn and run away. Risgar began to pursue them but I said, “Stop, let them go.”
He looked over his shoulder at me before saying, “Are you sure? They might come back for the main assault.”
I shook my head, “Unlikely, and we need to go secure Undir and Drarak. They may need our help.”
He stopped. “Alright, let’s go that.”
We turned and began running into the camp of soldiers. The soldiers stepped back before us not wanted to fight us. They would leave us to their Apostates. As we ran Risgar asked me, “What did you do back there. The earth and sky changed and your conduit broke but you still seem to be able to use Zillk’s power. What happened?”
“I pulled Zillk’s power apart by the seams through the broken shards the ring.” I responded. I looked and listened for any unusual sounds while we were running looking for the other two.
“That, how, what?” His face made strange expressions as he ran. Finally he managed to say, “I don’t understand but you had better explain everything when we are done.”
“I’ll do the best that I can.”
He pointed to some of the soldiers running in a direction and I nodded and together we ran that way.
‘I did it.” I said mentally to the Slayer. I waited as we ran. However there wasn’t a response. Had breaking the conduit messed up my connection with the Slayer. That shouldn’t have been true, I had been able to talk to her without it. However to make sure I called upon some of the other fragments. Yet there was still nothing.
I closed my eyes momentarily while we were running. The stage of my dream was there. The coffin that she had been in was still there but she was missing from it. She wasn’t anywhere else there either. I passed out of the theatre and into plains. This was supposed to be the Slayer’s dream. There cottage was there but when I opened the door nobody was inside. I looked around but it really was empty. Everything else was there like it was supposed to but the Slayer was gone.
I opened my eyes and kept running with Risgar. What had happened. I had spoken with her not long before I tore apart Zillk’s power but now she was gone. Had my actions changed something, I didn’t know. I wanted to try and find her but now wasn’t the time. There was a commotion in front of us.
I saw Undir fighting with another one of those strangely dressed Apostates. “I’ll get her. You find Drarak.” I said. Risgar nodded and turned off in a different direction. There was a group of archers nearby who had their bows back and must have been waiting for a moment to catch Undir off guard. My first task was to run into their group. Flowing blade cut through the strings of the bows causing them to snap from the release. In the confusion I ran past them toward Undir. The cold drifted with me and it was my entrance that gave Undir the edge.
She only had a knife all that she need but now that her opponent was distracted by my entrance she was able to push forward and had the advantage against the man. I however had a different plan for dealing with him. Having felt the pulls of divine power as I ripped Zillk’s power through the shards of the ring I was able to feel the same thing coming from this man. It was so clear that I wondered how I was not able to feel it before. He had a necklace that he was using as a conduit.
I followed Undir in and while she made the made attack with her knife I was able to slip in under his guard. My blade slipped in and made a slice across the side of the neck. It barely cut the flesh despite the fact that I could have made it deeper. It was along he side near the collarbone and it cut the cord that held the pendant. It slide down and fell through his shirt and onto the ground beneath him. Suddenly he was without the powers of an Apostate against two of us.
I scooped up the necklace while he raised his hands in surrender. Undir held her knife near his throat while she talked to me. “That rumbling that happened just recently. Do you know what that was. I disturbed me just before I was about to kill this man.”
“My apologies but that was kind of my fault.” She flashed me an angry glare while I continues, “I’ll explain everything later but the Apostate’s at the front have been dealt with and we need to escape before the army realizes that their Apostate’s are failing and that they need to kill us.”
“Alright.” She was not as merciful as me and she sunk her knife into the man’s chest. It was quick as the man died. “Drarak?” She asked.
“Risgar is finding him.” I said and she nodded. Then we ran toward the exit of the camp. The soldiers had begun to mobilize and several times I had to block arrows coming through the air with walls of ice. However after several minutes we finally managed to make it to the exit of the camp. She lead the way toward the rendezvous position. I followed her while keeping any eye out to make sure no soldiers were following us.
We made it there first and when we did I collapsed onto the ground. My left arm was still in immense pain from the wound the red robed man had given me.