This chapter is pretty long, probably one of the longest. But enjoy! This chapter has some action in it!
“Good for you, Sekrite, good for you. Now, if you don't mind, we have a long trek tomorrow, so I'd like to get some shut eye.” and without another word, Ivan fell back asleep.
Nicolaus frowned down at the young black haired man, his features flickering in the firelight. Alexandra and Kissavos exchanged glances, then decided not to pursue the subject until the morning. Alexandra gave Sekrite a wide smile, which she returned gratefully, some of the happiness returning after the slight blow from Ivan's attitude. She had presumed that her brother, well half-brother, would be more interested in her life, but perhaps she was wrong. Ah well.
Garth came over to join them, and gave Sekrite his signature thumbs-up. She returned it with a grin. Garth always cheered her up.
Garth sat next to Sekrite, his green, rough hand clasping Sekrite's smooth, pale hand. She smiled at him warmly. Garth whispered, “I think we all owe you an apology for our attitude towards you today. We basically ignored you...because we were afraid of your powers.”
Sekrite nodded in understanding. She, of course, would probably do the same if somebody else was in her position. She wouldn't know whether to trust them. She was just glad that they admitted they were wrong to do so.
Nicolaus sat on Sekrite's other side, still staring at Ivan. Garth and Sekrite glanced at him, then Garth whispered, “There's bad blood between them. Nicolaus and Ivan used to be strong friends, but they kept on falling out, and Ivan isn't the smartest of humans.” Sekrite grinned.
“Nicolaus didn't really trust Ivan after he went to Jovian, to 'spy' on him. However, he's realised now that Ivan was simply trying to find his little sister, and help our efforts.” Garth patted her shoulder.
Sekrite felt honoured and strangely proud that Ivan had gone to all those lengths to find her. She smiled, then remarked, “But he's still an idiot.”
Garth laughed and gave her the thumbs-up. He yawned widely, revealing his sharp looking teeth, then winked at Sekrite's awestruck face.
“You should see your face,” he chuckled. But his mood became dark when Nicolaus stood up, and drew out his weapon, an angry expression on his face. Sekrite and Garth stood as well. Garth drew out his weapon, a short sword.
“What is it, Nicolaus?” hissed Garth, tensing up. Sekrite felt vulnerable, for she had no weapon. Come to that, either did Arthfael.
Nicolaus looked around warily, then turned to face Garth and Sekrite. His eyes were full of concern. “There are some warriors nearby. I could hear them...” he trailed off, looking towards the direction that they had come.
Sekrite scanned the area that Nicolaus was looking at, and knew that he was right. She could sense a small gathering of warriors, and an unpleasant foe.
“Jovian!” she hissed, tensing up, eyes narrowing like a cat's. Nicolaus and Garth blanched, and Garth immediately began to wake the others, not doubting her judgement. Nicolaus looked at her.
“Are you sure?” he murmured, clasping her hands in his own. She nodded fiercely, fury blazing in her eyes.
“There's a small group of warriors, and Jovian. They don't know that we're nearby...luckily they can't see the fire,” before Nicolaus went to put out the fire, Sekrite waved a hand at it, and the fire burst out of life.
This startled Garth, Alexandra, Kissavos and Arthfael, who were gathering themselves up. Alexandra wielded a staff, Kissavos a sword, and Arthfael had acquired a dagger. His eyes were full of fear.
“Um, Nicolaus,” spoke Sekrite.
“Yes?” he answered briefly, poking Ivan awake.
“I don't have any sort of weapon. . .” she trailed off. Nicolaus turned around, then groaned.
Garth, however, stepped forwards, a bow and a quiver in his arms. “Can you use a bow?” he asked quickly and quietly. Sekrite gave a wide grin, and nodded her head.
Arthfael cut in, “She's one of the best archers in our village. We went on a hunting trip once, and she shot a bird in the trees dead accurately from forty feet away.”
Garth gave a low whistle, and Sekrite blushed as she took the bow, and placed the quiver across her shoulders. She tested the string; the bow itself was quite small, but it was made for Garth, so it would be. However, she knew that it would be powerful and lethal.
Nicolaus divided them into two separate groups. Himself, Garth, Sekrite and Alexandra would attack them from the front, whilst the other three would go round the back of the group, and when they were distracted, attack them. It was a solid plan, and everybody agreed.
As they separated, Sekrite gave Art a quick hug, whispering in his ear, “Thank you,”
Art gave a shy smile, then shook his head, as if to say that it was nothing. Then, waving one last goodbye, they separated, Sekrite trailing after the others.
They finally caught sight of the group after about five minutes. They were well hidden in the grass, a small fire in the middle. They had made a sort of clearing in the grass, not too large, but small enough to conceal them enough for them to unleash a surprise attack.
Sekrite counted at least twenty men, most of them sleeping with their armour on and weapons close at hand. The others, including Jovian, were up, and on guard.
Sekrite caught site of Jovian, on the opposite side of the fire, slouched over in disappointment. Sekrite gave a sly grin, then glanced at Nicolaus. He nodded at her curtly, and she strung her bow.
Then, taking an arrow from the quiver, she aimed at one of the guards near the fire, and let the arrow go. It whizzed through the air, and before anybody could see what was happening, had struck the guard right in the back of his neck.
Nicolaus and Garth grinned broadly, and Alexandra patted Sekrite's shoulder proudly. Sekrite aimed another arrow, this time at the burly bodyguard of Jovian, and fired. It hit him dead in his chest, killing him in a matter of moments.
By this time, Jovian and his guards were on their feet. Most of the men were asleep. “Who goes there?” spoke Jovian, a touch of nerves crackling his voice. The death of his guard had come as a major blow, who had done this?
Then, with a cry, Nicolaus rushed into the clearing, followed by Alexandra and Garth. They had agreed that Sekrite stay hidden, for it was best that she wasn't seen.
Sekrite killed three more men before Kissavos, Ivan, and the terrified, but determined Arthfael came onto the scene. They fought Jovian and some other warriors, killing two, and wounding three.
Sekrite gasped as Arthfael took a blow to the head, and collapsed onto a heap on the ground. She felt tears come to her eyes. No! He couldn't be dead, no!
Then she noticed that he was breathing, and realised that he was unconscious. She wanted to go and help him, but she couldn't.
By this time, Alexandra, Nicolaus, and Garth had slaughtered most of the men, but with some injuries themselves. Alexandra had a bleeding left arm, which hung loosely from her shoulder. Garth's right index finger was missing, and bleeding profusely from the stump, but this didn't slow him down. Nicolaus was limping, he had twisted his ankle slightly.
Sekrite aimed an arrow at Jovian, planning to kill him. He was fighting Ivan angrily, swords flashing. Sekrite hoped that Ivan wouldn't be hurt. She was about to unleash the arrow, when something stopped her. A hand grabbed her waist from behind, and dragged her into the clearing. She dropped the bow in the grass, but the quiver remained over her shoulders. She looked, and retched when she was the bloody mess of a warrior.
Jovian noticed her, and stopped fighting Ivan. He froze too. Everybody turned as Sekrite was flung into the clearing, right next to the fire. She winced as some of the flames licked her hand, and quickly rolled away from it. She glared at the warrior.
Nicolaus was gazing in horror at Jovian, who had a triumphant look. Slowly, he whistled, and his remaining warriors came towards him. One, the same one that had flung Sekrite into the clearing, grabbed Art, and flung him over his shoulder. Arthfael stirred, then looked at Sekrite in a daze.
“Sekrite...” he mumbled, before blacking out again. Sekrite blinked back tears, then turned to face Jovian. His grin soon dissolved into an angry scowl.
He walked over to her, and she whimpered as he roared, “So, back from the dead, are you? Well, next time, I'll get my revenge on you for killing Brutus!” he kicked out at her, and she ducked in time. Nicolaus gave a cry of rage, and tried to get at his brother, but Kissavos stopped him.
“No, Nicolaus. It would be pointless. He had decided to spare our lives, so we should leave him for now. If we try to kill him, the warriors would kill us. We're too weak at the moment.”
Nicolaus nodded curtly, then went over to Sekrite and helped her up. She was shaken from head to toe, visibly furious with herself.
Before Jovian left, Sekrite glanced at Arthfael, then up at Nicolaus, then back to Jovian. “Jovian.” she called. He paused. “I didn't come back from the dead.”
Jovian glared at her. “Well, you survived only due to your little allies. I shall have so much fun with little Artie here.” with that, he and his men, with Arthfael, ran off into the night. Sekrite knew that they couldn't go after her friend, and it would be foolish to do so when they were so weak.
Ivan came over to them as Sekrite went back to where were had been based, and collected the bow off the ground. Nicolaus and Ivan began to argue bitterly, but everybody else just ignored them, and started to walk back to their camp. Alexandra and Kissavos held hands as they lead them, leaving Nicolaus and Ivan to sort out their differences before rejoining them. Sekrite looked back guiltily, thinking of Art, then flinched as a hand touched her.
Sekrite relaxed, then indicated the bow. “Do you want your bow and quiver back?” she asked Garth. He shook his head, then waved his right hand in her face, showing off his missing limb. Sekrite nodded in understanding.
“You keep it. I won't be able to use it anymore. No matter,” he raced Sekrite back to the camp, and Sekrite won. She grinned, gathered up her cloak and nestled next to Garth by the now relit fire.
Alexandra smiled warmly at them. “Well done Sekrite, you did very well.” her arm was back to normal now, she must have healed it on the walk back. Sekrite smiled back, then sighed.
“But I've let us down. . . and Arthfael's gone.” she sniffed. Strangely, no tears came to her eyes. She knew they would save her friend, but at the moment, there was no point moping over it. Forgive me Arthfael.