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Изменено (AggressiveBacon): 1/11/2019 10:08:07 PM

The Lords of Ambros (Chapter 9, Part 3 (continued(4)))

Table of Contents: [b]Chapter 9, Part 3 (Continued(4))[/b] Once Timur gathered the strength of body and of will to raise his head from the earth, he found his eyes clouded by a haze. This was primarily because he did indeed rest amid the low-lying fog which covered the tundra…but there was another sort of shroud over him as well, this cast upon his mind rather than his sight. Neither veil, however, could bar him from sensation altogether, or from thought. His first observation was of a faint war cry, made quiet by mental as opposed to physical distance. The scholar’s hearing was forced into focus as the screams of bullets sounded above him, soaring toward an unseen enemy. His vision cleared, too, as he placed his palms to the dirt and lifted himself upward. He then realized that he was not alone; present before him was the figure of his sole protector, who had taken up a guarding stance and was firing imprecisely at a nearing force, the proximity of which was signaled by the thunder of steps, which was felt more so than heard. This suggested what was, in Timur’s current state, likely the imminence of death. The first of his thoughts, however, did not rest so lightly upon him. He thought of his sin. He thought of the stain which would forever mar him-not in the eyes of others, but in his own. What he had done, the scholar knew, would surely leave a scar upon his soul. Of course, only philosophers had time to believe in such things as souls any longer. Truly, despite his most certainly being a philosopher, even Timur hadn’t the time for such thoughts at the moment, as he was torn upward from his place and from his musings by the hand of another, who wasted no time in explanation before shoving the scholar forcibly away from himself. Timur stumbled, grasped for balance, and-failing to gain hold of it-fell back to the ground, twisting as he did so in order to look upon his protector. What he saw was no more than a corpse upon the shaft of a black spear, and the broken shards of a Ghost. Summoning what little Light he had managed to regain since the commission of his sin, Timur propelled himself across the flat earth as he would across the sky, skimming its rock-strewn surface at the cost of his armor’s shielding, and ending much closer to what remained of his host. Rushing forward in his superior’s defense, one among the Lords of Iron vaulted into the air and sent a sphere of Light to descend upon the enemies’ phalanx. Its arc was uninterrupted, and it struck the formation to the right of its forward rank, shattering the ward about it and decimating the southeasternmost section of the host. Knowing that none among them who now fell were destined again to rise, the Ambrosians broke into a blind charge, each keeping in step with his brethren despite being apathetic toward any other given aspect of existence. As the Warlords’ jagged ranks neared Timur’s own, the latter opened fire, unleashing a hail of leaden fury upon the foremost Chosen. To these rounds, two fell. The Men of Albios, still nestled atop the cliffs to the west, had at this time begun to break their minds free of Timur’s spell, and now set their sights upon the Wolves once more. This process of liberation had been neither instantaneous for, nor synchronized among, the Men, however, and as such much infighting had taken place, with some on each side spilling the blood of their friends and fellows. Once the side of original allegiance arose victorious, its members were left to chip away at Timur’s forces once more. This quickly proved to little avail, for as many of their rounds fell short as hit their marks, to the detriment of their Lords. In recognition of this, their fire ceased. They were too distant and too few to be of use any longer. This was of little consequence, as their superiors hadn’t any time to consider the possibility of reinforcements, nor even to count the losses inflicted by their men’s previous attempt at support, for they were quickly set upon by the blades of Iron. Few of SynIva’s Chosen endured to the edge of their foes’ host, and fewer still went beyond it. Yet their presence-however numerically insignificant-did succeed in sowing further chaos through their adversaries’ already disorderly ranks. To Timur’s right, a figure was run through by a spear, which he survived only to lose his head to a slighter blade. His Ghost was left untouched, and his killer dropped by a spray of lead. To the scholar’s left, another of his charges fell, his breast pierced at the tip of a sword. Again, his Ghost was spared, while his better received no such mercy. The third and final of those remaining Ambrosian Lords ran straight to Timur himself. His progress was slowed, and his shield dropped, due to his catching a blade in the shoulder, but he continued on. Timur permitted himself to step several times backward, as he was currently unequipped for any engagement of a close-quarters nature. His attacker pursued, either unaware of or uncaring toward the sword which now materialized in his grasp. Timur knelt, and the Chosen drove himself onto the blade. This did not serve to end the warrior, however, and the blow was reciprocated as a dagger plunged upward into Timur’s chest, piercing his heart. Being dead, Timur was, of course, forced to release his blade, along with the one upon it. As he, too, had been dealt a mortal wound, the scholar’s battlefield acquaintance was quick to join him upon the ground. Timur’s Ghost appeared, and he was revived. The other’s lifeforce lingered on. “What have you done?” the Warlord asked, his tone one of anger as well as confusion. “Only what was necessary,” Timur dismissed, kneeling at his opponent’s side. “Tell me,” he continued, “what is your name?” “Lineas,” came the faint reply. “You fought well and honorably, Lineas. I will remember you.” This was said in consolation, but was true nonetheless. “You turned our men against us; against each-other,” Lineas accused, refusing the gesture. “You meddle with powers of darkness. You are a sorcerer…a warlock.” “Yes,” Timur agreed, his voice slow and grave. “I am.” He spoke at this time only to himself, however, as Lineas’ breathing had ceased. [b]End of Chapter 9[/b] [i]To whatever remains of my readership, on this platform or otherwise, I apologize for my lacking a concrete posting schedule. I have taken as a resolution a daily writing quota, and-as this is my focal work at the moment-that may well lead to my posting on a far more regular basis. The next chapter should be out in about three weeks or less, if all goes well. Thanks for reading.[/i]

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