The Lords of Ambros (Chapter 8, Part 2 (continued))
Table of Contents: https://www.bungie.net/en/Forums/Post/244705039?page=0&sort=0&showBanned=0&path=1
[b]Chapter 8, Part 2 (continued)[/b]
Roak watched attentively as the duel progressed, silently celebrating those of his ally’s blows which landed, and lamenting those that failed.
When Ikoris had fallen, an involuntary cheer had escaped the frontiersman. Yet this mirth proved temporary, as what next transpired prompted anything but joy.
Roak watched through the scope of his rifle as Ikoris rose again and, with unfathomable speed, plunged his blade into Felwinter’s chest. He watched as the length of bronze rent the armor at his friend’s breast, and then that of his throat. He watched as the corpse of his fellow Iron Lord dropped to the dust.
Felwinter’s Ghost appeared, mere inches from where his body now lay. The drone turned about to face its master’s killer. Ikoris met its gaze. His hand reached to grasp it. Slowly. Hesitantly.
Roak’s mind raced.
Felwinter would never forgive him for what he intended to do.
[i]There is no honor in war[/i], he offered himself in solace.
Then he aimed, shifted his finger to the trigger, and pulled.
Gheleon, still seated atop his steed, had observed the fight from a distance. He had not, as one might expect, pressed to the ring of spectators in order to facilitate a quick response should his ally be bested. No, he had expected that Felwinter would fall. His fate was sealed.
Still, the frontiersman harbored hopes for his friend’s survival, and had internally rejoiced when Ikoris was felled. But, as was soon evidenced, it was not to be. When Felwinter had fallen to the Awoken’s bronze blade, Gheleon looked on in quiet acceptance.
Time seemed to slow, and the world took on a sense of surreality in the following moments. The warlord stepped forward and reached for the Ghost of his vanquished foe, hungry flames rising from his fingertips to lick its surface. These sputtered out unexpectedly as he stumbled forward, a clean hole punched through his chest in the wake of a crimson spray. The tool of its creation sped onward, disappearing into the Ambrosians gathered at the scene’s edge. These warriors, men and Risen alike, watched in frozen terror as a second bullet struck their king, and he dropped to his knees.
In the next moment, Ikoris’ corpse impacted the barren earth, and chaos ensued.
At the onset of the battle, Ikoris found himself within the Ward of one of his Chosen. The warrior had rushed to his aid at the duel’s conclusion, as the tides of the two forces rose to engulf their respective emissaries. His defender had chosen to disregard the unprotected Ghost of Felwinter hovering nearby. He had chosen wisely, for Ikoris would have killed him had he decided otherwise.
Yet as it was, the Awoken sought refuge within the shelter of his conjuring and, rather than join the sudden fray of lead and steel, he watched.
They were outnumbered
This was Felwinter’s first thought, upon his resurrection. His second was of ripping the heart from whatever coward had elected to strip him of his rightful death.
The scholar scanned the area about his person, searching for the unseen perpetrator. The ringing of blades overwhelmed his thoughts, and he saw only the dead and those soon to join them. An explosion sounded to his left, knocking him to the ground once more. Screaming silence washed over his sensors, and he was engulfed in darkness.
Felwinter rose again, his movements plagued by languor. He stumbled backward into the host of his allies and clawed weakly at the side of Gheleon’s mount, which still held its master. The other Lord hefted Felwinter onto the saddle and began to retreat eastward, returning from whence they had come. He did not speak: they would not have known if he had.
Those who saw their leaders’ departure followed suit. Those who did not fought on with honor, and died.
When the sharp reports of the guns and the singing of swords had ceased, only the groans of the dying remained to spoil the silence. Chosen moved about the battlefield, tending to those of their men who could be helped and halting the cries of all others. The ward that had shielded Ikoris dissipated, yet still he did not move-he only stared.
He looked not eastward, where the Wolves’ disorderly withdrawal could be seen in the distance.
No, the Lord of Ambros stared rather to the west, toward a particular, barren knoll. He did not blink. He saw a flash of motion at its crest, sudden and brief, and then he saw no more.
Ikoris sprang into action with sudden, grim purpose, seeing to the proper treatment of his men-both the lost and the living. He spoke not, nor did he signal to his subordinates. He forged to the battlefield’s edge, and rode on at a canter; to the east; to war.
The host followed at its own pace, leaving the scene of the skirmish and the Wolves’ remains scattered about it, each untouched since the moment of his death.
[b]End of Chapter 8[/b]
[i]Tips, criticism, questions, etcetera are greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my work.[/i]
[b]This chapter was cut short, as I had intended for it to encompass what I now realize will likely amount to at least three chapters' worth of material. I apologize for any seeming inconsistencies or oddities that this decision may have given rise to.[/b]