Continued from here part 9
The Capitol, West Wall
Zhin managed to cut herself free of the vines and wiped the spores from her face. She noticed Alana fighting and launched her blade to eliminate her. Alana knocked it away the the Rose and slung a vine whip with the Thorn. She caught Zhin's leg and yanked her toward her. Zhin quickly pulled back her blade and cut the vine.
She began to get to her feet but Alana made it to her first. She kicked her in the gut. Zhin rolled away allowing for only a glancing. Alana was too close to use the chain as a whip so Zhin attempted to slash her with the blade. Alana blocked with one blade and moved to attack with the other.
Zhin wrapped her chain around her hand and punched Alana in the jaw. As she staggered back Zhin unfurled her chain again and called forth a new swarm. Alana saw this and surrounded them in a cage made of thorny rose bub covered vines. The rose buds opened and shot out tendril-like spores that snatched the insects from the air.
Zhin gritted her teeth as she charged at Alana.
While this was going on, a few yards away Paimon faced off with Sarah. He looked her over, "You really think your little flower can defeat a tiger?"
He then shot out a beam of red energy which she dodged. She then ran forward and swung her sword. Paimon moved but his cheek was slashed open. She pulled back, "A slow tiger is worthless against lightning."
The grin he'd held throughout the fight disappeared. He gritted his teeth and punched her in the face. He then delivered a savage kick to her gut causing her to spit blood. As he lifted his sword to finish her she stood up and smashed the hilt of her blade into his jaw. There was a horrible crack as it shattered. She then shoved him back.
As he stood with his mouth hanging open and now unable to speak she took a fighting stance. One hand behind her back with her sword aimed at Paimon, "I haven't got all day."
All he could muster was a hateful glare as he charged. She side stepped as he was about to connect. As he turned to fight she drove her sword into his heart. She then ripped off a piece of his shirt as he fell and used it to wipe her blade as she walked away.
Belial moved to enter the city but Marcus attempted to punch him. There was a loud clang as Dmitry's blade blocked the Lion's Paw. He attempted to shove the High General back but he couldn't move him. Belial slipped in with the distraction but Marcus knocked Dmitry away.
Dmitry picked himself up and began to dust himself off as Marcus turned to stop Belial. Before he moved Dmitry called to him, "You killed my father, you know."
Marcus turned, "You'll have to be more specific, I've killed many."
Dmitry chuckled, "About the response I expected."
Marcus sighed, "You after vengeance?"
"Nah, he was a jackass who got what was coming to him. But being a sell sword like I am, killing the High General of the Marshals would look fantastic for the resume."
Marcus chuckled, "That your way of saying you'll kill me when my back is turned?"
Dmitry nodded, "Without hesitation."
Kearn and his men marched in with the royal guard following. He halted them as he noticed a few frightened guards standing in front of a large sturdy looking building. He turned to one of the guards with him and pointed, "That the civilian shelter?"
The guard nodded. Kearn gave a loud whistle and two dogs the size of rhinos jumped off his ship frightening the guards who stood by it. They charged into the city and stopped right before Kearn who patted them on the head. He ushered them toward the shelter. He looked to the men on guard, "These are Menace and Bedlam, they're gonna stand watch with you."
He looked to the dogs, "Anyone who ain't a friend tries to get in, you eat'em."
He then looked to the cabin boy, "Dory, stay here and make sure they can tell the difference."
They marched a few streets in before running into a few dozen attackers. A man aimed a sword with a golden snake head hilt toward Kearn. A chubby man in short pants and an ill fitting sleeveless shirt stepped in front. He held two scimitars resting on his shoulders with the blades crossed behind his head as if to form a head rest. He looked to the man, "Hey lads, that's a fancy looking pig sticker."
The man yelled, "Its the Golden Viper, even a scratch from it is deadly."
The man called Bartley grinned, "My blades ain't got no nifty name or fancy powers, guessing I'd have to be a fool to fight ya."
The man with the Golden Viper moved to attack but Bartley split open his chest before anyone had seen him move.
Bartley turned to Kearn, "I can handle this lot boss, go on and find your brother and that runt nephew of yours."
As he still rested one sword on a shoulder he raised his other and lifted two fingers off the hilt of his blade to beckon his enemies forward, "On with it boys, we're wasting daylight."
Toward the center of the city Gunnar and Ian stood breathing heavily along with many other soldiers amid a pile of dead bandits, some laying with half melted ice spears run through them. Gunnar looked to Ian, "You got any fight left, Old Man?"
Ian nodded, "You kidding, Boy? I can do this all day."
Gunnar then chuckled as he looked back to his men, "This area's clear, let's move."
Angus stood with the Changeling in the form of armor with long claws. Bao looked him over, "There are a few minor flaws in that form."
Angus chuckled, "Is that so?"
Bao moved with blinding speed as he began slashing away with his blade. Angus was deflecting him as best he could but had trouble keeping up. Suddenly Bao changed position and aimed for a knee joint where the armor had to be weaker to allow movement. Angus realized this just in time to dodge.
He leapt back a bit realizing the armor was making him too slow for this fight. As Bao moved in for another attack the Changeling became a staff with a long blade at each end. Angus turned to hit him. Bao backed off but not in time to avoid being slashed across the chest.
Bao noticed a flaw in Angus' defense and charged again, slashing his hip. Angus gritted his teeth at the pain and jumped back. He then noticed Bao's eyes had a yellow glow. He figured out that his blade was showing him weak points.
Angus looked down to the Changeling, "All right buddy, we need to keep this fella's attention scattered."
As this was going on Harris and Vargas charged each other. Harris blasted a flame as Vargas' blade howled. The two attacks canceled each other out as the Wolf clashed with the Dragon's Tail. Vargas attempted to gut Harris with the Coyote but he caught his hand. Harris then headbutted Vargas sending him back. He then raised his leg kicking him in the chest.
Vargas hit the ground and rolled away as Harris swung his blade down. As he rose Vargas slammed the hilt of the Wolf into Harris' gut and then swung the Coyote around aiming for his throat. Harris dodged the blade and rammed a shoulder into Vargas' midsection lifting him off the ground and knocking the wind out of him.
Vargas pushed off and landed on his feet but Harris charged again. Vargas side stepped and grabbed his arm. He turned and flung Harris away. Harris noticed he was now past the gate but had little time to examine the situation. Vargas stabbed the Coyote into the ground ripping a crack that Harris barely avoided falling into.
He turned and spun the Dragon's Tail creating a flame in the form of a full dragon that flew toward Vargas. He swung the Wolf causing what sounded like a thunder clap that dissipated the dragon but covered the area in flame.
Harris pulled himself up on a staircase that lead up the wall. Vargas came at him coming a mere inch from slashing his throat as Harris rolled onto the stairs. Vargas then jumped up next to him and slashed. Harris blocked his blade, sending it into the wall. When the Coyote hit the wall it sent a shock wave through it causing it to crack. Vargas kicked Harris driving him further up the stairs as the wall began to tremble.
After a few minutes of swinging and dodging the two found themselves on top of the wall as it began to crumble. The two men were no longer paying attention to what was happening around them. Harris raised his blade covered in black flame and slammed it down to shoot a pillar of fire at Vargas. He dodged but the flame had destroyed a large chunk of the already fragile wall.
As Vargas released a Howl large portions of the wall collapsed leaving them standing on the bare wooden support beams that held together what was left. It reminded Harris of Victor's lessons with the poles. He looked to Vargas, "Looks like only one of us is getting cake."
Vargas gave a nod as they both squared off for an attack. Again the Wolf clashed with the Dragon's Tail but Harris had a pained expression as he looked down on the Coyote in his chest. He then looked up to Vargas with a grin, "You always were a sneaky bastard."
Vargas then pulled the Coyote from his chest and pushed him off the remains of the wall.
A frustrated Marcus slammed a fist into the ground as Dmitry dodged with ease, "Stand and fight you damned jumpy bastard. Dmitry sighed, "As you wish."
He then took a fighting stance as Marcus charged. The High General winced as he saw one of the Lion's Paws hit the ground along with the hand that held it. Dmitry then turned and sliced his head off with a single stroke. He then gave a slight bow, "Rest easy old man, your fight is done."
Alana stood across from Zhin in her cage of vines. She moved to strike but Zhin dodged. Smashed a chain wrapped fist into the side of Alana's head and slashed open her side. Alana fell to a knee as she held her side and Zhin was about to deliver the killing blow. The last of the spores was clearing up and out of the corner of her eye she saw Paimon fall as Sarah casually walked away. Her eyes went wide as she slashed open the cage and ran to him.
Alana tried to follow but dropped down. Oleg came up behind her and lifted her onto his shoulder. She looked down, "Don't be getting any ideas, fella."
He chuckled, "The Captain would make a woman of me if I tried."
He then carried her toward a few soldiers, "Get her to a healer."
Zhin stood over Paimon looking at his smashed face and chest wound, "That woman will pay for this."
Near the center of the city, Gunnar and Ian along with their men had strewn several streets with the bodies of their enemies and were feeling confident. As Ian turned a corner a blade came from the shadows and went through his back. Belial stepped out kicking the man off his blade. He then turned to Gunnar and his men as he swung the Reaper's Arm. Black energy swept over them but Gunnar was enveloped in white light that protected him as his men turned to dust before him.
He pulled the Angel's Wrath as Belial charged. Before the blades clashed a blade stopped the Reaper's Arm as a large hand caught Gunnar's wrist. Gunnar looked to see Kearn holding him. The Admiral roared, "What the hell do you morons think you're doing?"
He threw Gunnar to the side as he shoved Belial back sending him to the ground. He then stepped on Belial's hand as he reached to retrieve his blade, "You trying to kill us all? Every idiot knows those two blades can't touch."
Belial kicked his foot off him and grabbed the Arm, "They belong to me."
Kearn gave a wary look as he lifted his broad sword called the Leviathan, "Is that so?"
Belial gave a hateful grin, "You think you can beat my blade with that?"
Kearn shrugged, "Ain't about beating the blade, just the one who holds it."
The North Wall had just begun to crumble as Angus tried to figure out a way to defeat Bao who seemed to see through everything he did. An idea occurred to him. He then had the Changeling take the form of a ridiculous looking weapon covered in spikes and blades. Bao smirked, "You can't be serious."
As Bao looked on the strange mass of metal Angus held he didn't notice the thread like bit leading to the ground. Angus took a fighting stance as his enemy charged. As Bao came in striking distance hundreds of blades shot out of the ground. The shredded him before he'd had a chance to react.
Angus then dropped to the ground sweating as he talked to the Changeling, "You took a bit more out of me than you thought for that one."
He then sat up, "Yes, I know it worked."
As he pulled himself up Harris hit the ground. He looked up to see Vargas hopping down the broken chunks of wall. As he landed Angus shouted, "We ain't quite done here yet."
Vargas looked on the body of his former friend and sighed, "True, hurry up. If the Marshals are gone there'll be now one to pay the bounties."
(To be continued)