I held Lyra for a few seconds before I heard Yara storming over to me. She did not look happy but this was hardly my fault. It was Valenstar’s fault that I fell from the tree and nearly died! I had no control over it.
“Get off her” She demanded furiously. I looked her directly in her pitch black eyes before replying.
“No. This has nothing to do with you. I can look after her.”
This response slowed her slightly but then she pushed me aside and took my place next to Lyra. I took a pace backwards and watched her as she called for some water. She splashed it over Lyra’s face which woke her up. Past Yara’s body I could see a faint glow but when I stepped forward to see what it was it had disappeared. Lyra looked very worried while she spoke quietly with Yara. Why would she be worried? What was wrong?
Before I had time to ponder these questions I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned just in time to meet a fist with my jaw. The force of Valenstar’s punch put me on the ground. I was enraged as I got up. I growled at him and he took another swing at me. I barely dodged it before he kicked my legs from under me. I was absolutely furious now and when I got back to my feet my tattoos were already starting to glow again. I launched an attack at him quicker than I had ever moved before. My fist connected with his stomach and the force lifted him off his feet and threw him into a nearby tree which creaked and groaned under the pressure before giving way and collapsing, narrowly missing us both. We continued trading punches, I had a slight advantage at the start but started to lose it once I became tired but Valenstar did not let up once I had grown weary. He redoubled his efforts and soon I was finding it difficult to catch my breath.
After an attack I crouched over as my lungs screamed out in pain from a lack of air getting to them. As I was trying to catch my breath I heard a sword rasp out of its sheath and I looked up to see Valenstar advancing on me with his sword raised high and murder in his eyes. Before I could even think to react, I had been knocked to the ground as Lyra charged past me to catch Valenstar’s blade on her own.
“Only a coward attacks a man when he isn’t expecting it” She shouted at Valenstar before cutting under his sword to stab him in the chest. The pain of her strike caused him to double over and she kicked him, knocking him backwards. She pulled out her sword and sheathed it once again before rushing to my side.
“Hey, I’m here now, you okay?” She asked while fussing over me.
“I’ll live, just a bit out of breath.” I replied slowly while pushing myself to my feet and using Lyra to steady myself. By now Valenstar had healed and was on the War Path again. He strode towards us menacingly with his sword raised in a fighters pose.
“Stop, he is in no fit state to fight” Lyra stated calmly while making herself a barrier between myself and Valenstar.
“Move naïve little Sievere, you know nothing about this, this is between me and him.” Valenstar spat, the hatred pouring out of him with every word.
“Not anymore, if you want him, you will have to go through me” Lyra replied defiantly.
“Lyra back down, you’re no match for him” Yara shouted across the clearing, but either Lyra didn’t hear her or she ignored her.
“Lyra…” I breathed, placing my hand on her shoulder. “You don’t have to do this”.
“I do, for you” She replied, as a few tears rolled slowly down her cheeks. “Come on then” She beckoned to Valenstar. She unsheathed her blade again and wiped away her tears.
“Let’s get this party started” Valenstar breathed, seeming to relish the impending fight.
He took a step towards Lyra and his blade started its downward arc towards her. She lifted her blade and managed to stop his sword but it knocked her blade from her hand leaving her defenceless, but Valenstar did not stop. He raised his blade once again and lined up for the killing blow.
The blade started the same downward arc as before but this time there would be no blade to stop it. A solitary tear rolled down Lyra’s face, a look of acceptance awaiting the blade. The wind blew her hair haphazardly around her face. Time seemed to slow to almost a stop. Valenstar’s blade inched closer slowly, or so it seemed.
“ALTGARH LICNT HUOS” The words of the Ancient Language ripped out of my throat before I could even think to form them in my head.
Their effect was immediate. The sword flew from Valenstar’s hands and imbedded itself in the forest floor. He didn’t have a chance to look shocked as he was lifted from his feet and slammed forcefully through a tree causing it to fall over behind him. He lay on the floor unconscious. His arms and legs were lying at unnatural angles to his body. A soft cracking could be heard as they reset themselves yet he didn’t stir.
“You” I pointed at Destran, “Check to see he is breathing” I commanded.
He did as he was told and went to check Valenstar.
“He is breathing but he is not waking” He reported back.
“He will not wake for several hours, do not worry, he will wake.” I replied calmly.
I turned to see Lyra staring at me. She was crying freely now, although I could not tell if they were tears of shock or joy or possibly sorrow. I took a faltering step towards her but she jumped over to me to hold my hands to keep me upright. I looked down into her beautiful eyes and smiled.
“Lyra…” I whispered, just before collapsing out of her grasp onto the forest floor as the darkness enveloped me.