“You’re kidding me,” spat Billy as he watched Mr Xion weave his way through the battle, staying clear of conflict. He was carrying a long item wrapped in cloth. “First he joins the enemy, now he is trying to run away from his comeuppance.”
“We should leave him. We have other things to worry about than that gutless worm,” reasoned Trey as he scoured the battle to see where they would provide the most help.
“I’m not letting him escape after everything he’s done. Why should traitors like him live while good people like my parents died?” Billy hissed through gritted teeth, holding back a fresh wave of tears as he ran after their former teacher.
Trey followed reluctantly. It was hard to keep track of the man in the chaos that enveloped them but Billy’s determination soon paid off when he was within swords reach. With a quick burst of speed, Billy caught up to Xion and grabbed his collar, swinging the man around to face him. A quick punch to the nose sent the man staggering back, his hands cupping his face.
“You really think that you can run without being punished for what you have done?” growled Billy.
“Ah, if it isn’t Billy Delb. Are you looking forward to your family reunion?” smiled Xion cruelly.
“You scumbag!” snarled Billy as he leapt forwards to attack, rage overriding common sense.
Xion flicked his wrist and the cloth fell from whatever it was that he was carrying. His arm lashed out and before either teen could register what had happened, Billy crashed to the ground as blood began to soak his clothes.
In Xion’s hands was a large metal lance unlike anything Trey had ever seen before. It was a black metal like the usual Forukk weapons but it was smooth and glossy like glass and had fine golden inlay that made strange symbols and patterns. Along one side was a blade so that the lance could be used to slash as well as to lunge.
“So, once again we are at a face off, Trey,” spoke the man as he fixed Trey a death glare. Trey stared at the lance, mesmerised by the dancing flames that reflected off of its surface.
“You like this?” Xion asked, amusement evident on his face. “You see, I never joined these mindless brutes because I believed in their cause or feared for my life. No, I joined them because it was the only way to get hold of this. The Lance of Arkima, fabled slayer of Sprites. With it in my possession I can raise my own army and take over the world with minimal effort.”
“I will stop you,” stated Trey as he blanked his face of emotion.
Near ecstasy played across Xion’s features. “I have wanted to kill you for so long and now that time is finally here. I shall truly enjoy this.”
As Trey dodged a lunge from Xion’s lance he saw Liam in the distance fighting with a guard. “Liam! Get Billy to safety,” he shouted as he rolled away from a high slash. Liam nodded and quickly finished off his opponent before running to Billy’s side.
“You can’t avoid my lance forever,” sneered Xion while he lunged at the boy again.
The very tip pricked Trey’s stomach and his nerves exploded in an outburst of pain. It was like being shot by a flaming arrow despite the fact that the wound was nothing more than a pin prick. Only with intense concentration did he not fall to the ground in agony.
Xion laughed like a mad man, upping the pace of his lunges until Trey could not see the individual thrusts. Unable to dodge the attacks, the teen tried to parry the blows but each time the blades connected chunks of Trey’s sword flew off as deadly shrapnel.
Xion’s grin could not have grown any more. His eyes shone feverously with glee. “Do you like the lance’s power? Only a truly evil being could create such a weapon but now that it exists, to not use it would be idiocy.”
After a second attack hit him, Trey was in too much pain to defend against the others. Dozens of small cuts and scratches appeared on his skin. Xion was only playing with him, causing him a world of pain without inflicting a single serious wound.
The attacks stopped and Trey just lay on the ground twitching in pain. “Time to end this!” screamed Xion in excitement. He lunged at Trey one final time, putting all of his strength into the attack.
Warm blood splashed Trey’s face and a pain like no other he could ever imagine ripped through his whole body. He felt his world disappear. The pain was not physical though.
Stood in front of him with arms stretched out was his mother. Xion’s lance protruded from her chest and blood covered her whole body. She was facing her son, her back to the enemy.
“T-Trey…” she gasped.
“It seems we have an uninvited guest,” cackled Xion. Keeping his eyes on Trey the whole time he swung the lance around, flinging Sarah’s body away into the chaos around them. An insane smile spread across his face.
Emotions cascaded through Trey’s mind but at the same time it was blank. No thoughts entered his head, just a swirl of riotous feelings with no meaning. Wind eddied around him as his body stood up without conscious thought.
He locked eyes with Xion, his muscles shaking and his hair lashing around his face as the wind became fiercer. “I…will…KILL YOU!” the teen screamed as all of his emotions burst from his soul.
A blinding light enveloped the battlefield, stunning every warrior present. A hurricane raged outwards like a ripple from where Trey stood, knocking down every person within a mile radius. As the light faded and the winds ebbed, Trey was once again revealed to the stunned Xion.
The man who stood before Xion was not Trey. That is to say, not the same Trey that had entered the battle. No vestiges of childhood remained on his person. His eyes were hard and his mouth was stern.
Xion hardly noticed these changes. His focus was on the sword in Trey’s hand. Its blade was pure energy that glowed azure and was double the length of common swords. Its guard looked as though it belonged on a lance, its conical shape curving down to protect the wielder’s hands. The metal was elegantly engraved like a king’s personal blade and small hollows suggested that jewels had once graced the hilt. Its handle was wrapped in dragon skin and what appeared to be a giant jagged tooth stuck out from the pommel.
A deep voice inside Trey’s mind told him what to say and the teen obeyed without conscious thought. “The scourge of the Klade has risen once again. Zenbou has returned!”
An internal nudge directed Trey to attack without warning. Xion managed to parry the blow but the recoil nearly sent the lance from his grip. Trey allowed his emotions and the rough voice to guide his actions, his own mind retreating into a deeper sanctuary.
Xion knew that if it was not for the Lance of Arkima he would be dead already. Since Trey had gained the strange sword the boy’s skill and power had increased tenfold. He had read about the mystical sword Zenbou and knew it was an even match with his lance if not superior.
Their battle raged on, creating as much carnage as the ongoing battle between Htaed and the Alpha Forukk. The black and blue energies clashed with their own hatred towards the other as did their bearers.
A bone in Xion’s arm shattered as Trey brought down Zenbou into a devastating counter attack. At that moment he knew that he could not win. From one of his pockets he grabbed several small balls and threw them at his feet. The balls exploded into fountains of black smoke, obscuring him from his opponent’s view.
As the smoke cleared Trey saw that Xion had ran for his life, already too far ahead to catch up with. On an impulse that Trey guessed came from the sword, he faced the blade behind him and poured all of his energy into it. The blade flared up then like a rocket propelled him forward. Everything immediately behind him was incinerated. Within seconds he had caught up to the coward.
With the blade still propelling him, Trey slashed at Xion’s back. The additional force shredded the man’s body and caused him to topple over. Xion rolled onto his back so that he faced Trey and made one last thrust at the teen. Trey yanked the lance from the man’s grip and cast it away in disgust.
“P-please don’t kill me,” whined Xion. He was already a bloody mess who looked on the verge of death. “Please, please-” his cries were cut off as Trey stabbed down with all his might, splitting the man’s heart into two. The blue energy burned at the man’s flesh, reducing his organs to ashes.
Trey watched Xion die instantly, then Zenbou disappeared. Without the sword’s power he collapsed to the ground. Unable to move he decided to look around him at the battle. A few foot to his side he noticed the body of his Mother. Even though he had no strength left he still managed to crawl to her side. She still breathed but only just.
“Mum?” he asked softly. One of her eyes half opened and she tried to smile.
“My beloved son,” was all she managed before stopping to regain her breath.
Unable to control himself he sobbed at her side, only stopping when someone else rushed towards them and knelt down next to him. It was Blake. Tears filled his eyes too and his clenched fists shook at his side.
“Go away,” muttered Trey to the man, anger and sorrow raging through his brain.
“Trey, I know it is hard but don’t let the anger take over you,” Blake tried to soothe him. His voice was strained and he too seemed on the verge of lashing out at the world.
“What would you know?” Trey snapped. “Why would you care? She is the only family I have. How could you possibly understand what I feel?”
“I understand all too well. She…she is my wife.
“Your w-wife. But that means… No you’re lying!” shouted Trey as he grabbed Blake around his already bruised throat.
“It is true, Trey,” whispered Sarah. “He is my husband, and your father.”
“My f-father?” stuttered Trey. He released Blake from his grip.
“Yeah. I was shocked too, son,” said Blake. It felt strange calling this kid son, he thought to himself.
Sarah coughed weakly. “I’m so sorry I cannot be here for you. Promise me you will look after him.”
“I will,” promised Blake.
“I was talking to Trey. It’s you who needs looking after,” she laughed. The laughs grew quieter and quieter until Sarah made no sound at all. Blake clasped one of her hands while Trey held the other, both shuddering as they tried to put on a brave face for the dying woman.
“Goodbye,” she breathed. “I will wait for you in the next life, but don’t try and rush there.”With her last breath the words “I love you,” escaped her lips.
After a long moment of silence Blake rose. “I suppose we should finish up this battle, son.”
“I suppose we must, Dad.”
Previous – Chapter 56. A Long Awaited Showdown.
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