Energy coursed through my veins, filling every recess of my body with the warmth spiritual energies of my friends and comrades. All hands were on my arms, except for Albert and Axel’s. Albert was fending off Salazar as best he could, preventing him to come near us when he guessed our plans. He had Albert at his feet and turned to thrust his sword to Axel, luckily, Axel’s reflexes were quick and deflected the ripples of swords coming at him.
Energy peaked in my body and I knew my battered body could only absorb as much. Every wound and cut hurt, sending waves of fear and pain through my body, not even the amount of energy I was absorbing could block out the pain. Shizuma’s hand rested on my arm, her eyes comforting when I turned to look at her. There were so many things that I wish I could tell her before my demise, but this was not the time for it. If I perish, I wished to die cradled in her arms.
The sky was turning into gray, announcing that the Earth had crossed midnight and turning into dawn. Everything would end soon, good or bad. I heard Candravar’s faint gasping beside, and I prayed that he could withstand just a little longer. Axel was on the ground, maelstrom lying several feet away from his. Salazar’s wound was slowly closing and that meant one thing: he was using his spiritual energy, at last.
I sprinted to them with my twin blades reversed on the sharp side. I deflected a wave of his sword before it crashed on Axel. We exchange some words before he leaped to his feet and took maelstrom, running to the pillar that was holding the Elder’s scroll. Albert rolled out of sight, knowing that a battle would rage between Salazar and me.
“You again, foolish boy,” he sneered whipping his sword sideway. The blade was emanating a slight and faint yellow color, stark against the dark contrast of the sky. “I will tear you apart before that other boy can get to the scroll. By the end of the day, every hunter will be killed.”
“Over my dead body,” I snarled, lurching toward him with both swords. The blue of my energy was flaring and increasing each step I took. I had to strike before he did, and strike again when he was down. He jumped back and slashed in front of him; I quickly somersaulted back and spun on my feet, sending ripples of deadly blue arcs at him. He waved his sword maniacally, creating a whirlwind of yellow color blades around him, before releasing them and sending me skidding backwards.
“It was a matter of time,” I said, pushing my body, “before you started using your spiritual energy.”
His jaw tightened. “I see you’re sealing Candravar’s death with your words, young hunter. If he falls, the scroll will target me. Then, let’s pray that I kill you and that boy before that happens.” He dashed toward me, lunging his sword in front of him. I sidestepped the blow and run low, intending to cut his legs, but he jumped high, and I followed him, a trail of spiraling energy following me the higher I rose. Up in the sky, I could see all the surviving hunters doing their best to defeat all the criminals that were intent on killing them.
Our blades connected with against each other. I threw my left sword on him and he received the impact. I used the momentum to escalate higher in the sky and thrust my swords at him again, and again. Here in the sky, his swords couldn’t ripple as much as when on the ground. I did a turn in mid-air and connected my leg to the side of his chin. His heavy body plummeted to the mountain top and he crashed. I tilted my body down and speeded to the ground, intending to deliver the fatal blow.
Salazar was lying on the ground, heavily wounded and panting as he tried to stand. The scroll was taking a toll on him, slowly seeping away his spiritual energy. I came hard on him, but I had turned the swords just in time and the blunt size hit him. His chest received the blow and his body indented more into the ground. I rolled away from the impact when my energy crashed on him. He panted where he was, heaving. He tried to stand up and laughed.
“I’m far from defeat, boy,” he leered. He shed his cloak away and I could see where my swords had grazed his chest, leaving behind huge and long injuries. I ran to him again, he swung an arm at my head; I dodged it and spun on the floor, unbalancing him. Then I quickly leaped to my feet and kicked him in the gut. He skidded back and crashed.
I limped to him, my wounds were opening again and I was bleeding. I held one katana, with the sharp edge pointing at him. He smiled from the ground. “Everything is over, you’re defeated.”
“I served a much larger cause, I was just a pawn in this game,” he said, smiling.
Everything happened so fast. Salazar pulled out a dagger from behind him and lurched toward me before I could react. A blinding light some feet away from me told me everything was over.
I staggered back, with my hand clutching my side before collapsing on the ground, blood was oozing where Salazar's dagger had pierced. Light seeped through my eyes and I looked over the source of light. Axel was lying on the ground; the scroll was shreds beside him. I smiled and felt the rain caress on my skin. Salazar was whimpering where he lay, shouting “no” at the sky. The energy field had disappeared and the sun was slowly sailing behind the clouds.
I heard another “no”, it was a “no” filled with sadness. I looked over at Shizuma, holding Candravar’s body against her, cradled in her arms. She was crying, begging Candravar to stay with her. After all, I was not going to be the one whose demise Shizuma would cry over, but that of her paternal figure. I felt hollow inside, losing Candravar felt worst that I had anticipated. Slowly, I rose from the ground and walked to them. I dropped on my knees next to Candravar’s body and stared at his peaceful face. I admired him, despite the pain he had been through, he could still smile. Maybe he knew we would win.
The other surviving hunters had climbed up to the mountain, and the day mourned, for the last of the Elders was gone.