Darkest Star, Brightest Shadow

There are some times in life where even the brightest of stars can become so dark and corrupt, that they are unstoppable. It is at this time of peril that a nobody, an insignificant little shadow, must step up to face the enemy. Umbra. Umbra must step up, and become the brightest of all shadows...

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8. Helping

Thorn, with already too many injuries, was trying hard to ignore the pain. The unbearable agony, trying to invade her consciousness. To swallow it whole. But Thorn had trained too hard to succumb to the pain. Instead, she swallowed cries of agony as she leaped around on her injured thigh, and slashed with the arm which depended so desperately on the shoulder with the spear - now broken and splintered - embedded deep into it. Or when she stabbed with her bleeding arm. Even so, she refused to give in. Surrender was not a term the assassin understood. A heavy axe came hurtling down towards her. Thorn neatly sidestepped, then used the axe as a springboard up onto the goblins shoulder. Her foot lightly tapped the monster's shoulder, then the other foot slammed down with incredible force onto the goblin's skull. Toppling over onto it's front, the goblin screamed in rage, rolling over with incredible power. Thorn leaped up to avoid being crushed under the goblin's ponderous body weight, landing lightly on swift feet. Thorn threw her head back, an axehead sweeping over her nose. A spear scraped right past her back, drawing blood. Seizing the axe with one hand, Thorn slammed the heavy weapon onto the floor, implanting it into the ground. She used the goblin's confusion to her advantage, stabbing her blade right through it's open, gawking mouth. The blade errupted right from the other side of it's head, coated with the sickly green blood of the goblin. Right. Good. Another one down. It was at this point that another goblin rammed into her, sending her sprawling to the ground. Thorn's eyes danced as the throwing axe came towards her. But the weight of the other goblin in front of her was too much to push off with as many painful injuries as she had. So... This is it. she thought. Which is when the shadowy blur moved in front of her so swiftly that she thought she must be hallucinating. But no. It was... Umbra? The boy, sword drawn and ready, somehow managed to deflect the axe off of his sword, sending it spinning off course, into the trees to the left. For two long seconds, all was silent as the goblins registered that Umbra had just deflected an axe. Thorn realised how powerful the boy was really. She had, although predicting him to be a powerful kid, had underestimated him hugely. Perhaps it was not just luck that had killed the lead goblin. It was Umbra's skill. Thorn was the first to snap out of her shock, using all of her force to shove the goblin off of her. Grunting, it slashed wildly, but it never found it's mark on the assassin's body.

"Thought I told you to run?" the assassin laughed. Her eyes glinted with a slight madness as she threw herself down to avoid a spear. Umbra replied by leaping back from a spear thrust, then sliced at the goblin who had wielded it. He attacked again, seeming to attack the goblin with no will to kill it, just injure it so much that it could hardly stand. Thorn, too busy keeping the other goblins off the boy, did not notice. Umbra, after severely wounding his foe, darted over to Thorn, whispering in her ear, ever so silently,

"Get behind a tree. Now." Umbra ran alongside the assassin, ducking under spears and axes. He skidded behind a thick - trunked oak, joined by Thorn.

"I'm a sorccerer. Fear me, for I shall kill one of you by merely lifting a hand!" Umbra yelled, swiftly moving out from behind the oak, pointing a hand at the goblin he'd been fighting earlier. Thorn heard the thud of a spear, digging itself into a weak spot of the goblins armor. Then the crash as it fell to the floor. Daring to take a look from around the tree, Thorn saw that every living goblin had it's eyes flitting between Umbra and their fallen commerade. Only Umbra and the assassin saw Aquila and silver hiding in the shrubbery, having just thrown the spear that killed the goblin. Fotunately, it looked like Umbra was a sorccerer.

"Good plan, boy, good plan." Thorn muttered, as the goblins glanced at each other. Then, in unison, they ran, dropping their weapons in fear. Thorn stepped out from behind the tree, watching them scatter in all directions. They charged through the undergrowth, their heavy bodies crushing whatever was in their paths.

"Nice." Thorn spoke, the pain in her body suddenly becoming real. She started to sway slightly, breathing in deeply and concentrating hard on staying conscious. Umbra smiled at her, his eyes glinting proudly. The other boy came running over, his silver wolf at his side. An expression of concern crossed Umbra's face as Thorn put a hand on the oak to support herself.

"You should sit down." Umbra advised urgently. "You need to sit down. You have too many injuries to stay standing."

"I'm fine." came the assassin's reply. "I don't need to sit down and waste your time."

"You won't be wasting our time, you'll be saving us from having to carry you out of this forrest!" Umbra protested.

"Nobody carries me anywhere. Besides, you need to warn your villiage that there's still Imperial Dark clans in here."

"No way." The look on Umbra's face was stern, and also slightly pleading. "You have to just rest for a minute. I am not leaving you here to die." He stated, glaring at the assassin. Thorn was too busy concentrating on breathing to come up with a good reply. Her entire body ached with pain, her frame trembling with exhaustion. Aquila ran up beside Umbra, his wolf nervously sniffing at Thorn. The image of the two humans, concern on their faces, was the last thing she saw before blackness swallowed her.

 

Umbra and Aquila lunged forwards, each of them siezing one of the assassin's arms to stop her falling. Her body hung limp between them, breathing shallow. They set her down gently on the floor, and Aquila checked her pulse.

"She's still breathing. She's still alive." Aquila said in relief. Umbra breathed a sigh of gratitude, gratitude that the woman who had saved his life was still alive. For now. Aquila inspected her wounds, looking closely at the spear embedded in her shoulder.

"She needs to be healed. Fast. Umbra, can you stay here with the woman and I'll go get some help from the village?" Aquila asked. His new friend nodded, and Aquila left swiftly, Silver at his side. Umbra looked closely at the assassin's face. Covered in old scars, yet so beautiful. She didn't look any older than a teenager, about fourteen, maybe fifteen? Umbra couldn't tell. But at any rate, she was not much older than him. Umbra was fourteen. Yet this woman, no, girl, had been able to run and flip and fight like she had been fighting every day, every night. Looking at her, Umbra realised that, although fairly tall for her age, the assassin was not actually much taller than him. He couldn't believe that she was about as young as him... She must have been training ever since she was little. Really, really little. To endure that much pain, and fight with as many wounds as she had was an amazing feat. Meaning she was probably used to pain, and lots of it. Sitting down against the oak tree, Umbra found himself wondering where she came from. What her name was... Who she was...

 

After flying through the next maze of lava-falls, I find myself lying on another ledge, in the middle of a lava pool. Now, even more of my glorious feathers have been burned into nothing. I find myself wondering how much furtherI will have to go before I reach the centre. Hopefully, not much distance to go until I may defeat the gaurdian and go to this place in the North East of the kingdom. Until then, I am stuck here in the fiery walls of the volcano. And who says that I shall even be able to defeat the gaurdian. In my current state, it shall be no surprise if I loose...

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