Chapter 13-Shadows of StepMature

Shalius Firion

"More importantly how do you fight it, and survive?" Shalius responded to Nytahls character grasping his Broadsword with a strong focus, however he was far to weak to cast a spell let alone fight off a horde of shadow's.

"We'll find the answer yet!" Kalton yelled from up front ducking under one that launched itself from above.

"They're ahead of us too!" Raitoguchi said in frustration," we're surrounded!"

Shalius closed his eye searching for any tendril of magic he could use, he couldn't his body was far from ready to cast another spell. He opened his eyes and resolved to find out if he could do any damage at all to these shadow's! About 12 feet ahead of him stood a lone shadow constantly  morphing itself into different shapes. Shalius feinted a direct jab and side stepped with a strong strike. The blade harmlessly through the shadow.

"Damnit!" He cursed jumping back as it morphed itself into serrated edge rapidly spinning downwards. If these things were created by magic perhaps they could kill the caster, but the  caster was nowhere in the immediate visible area.

"Can anyone sense if these things are simple spells?Because if they are we just have to find the caster, and beat him into submission, and if the caster is hiding in the shadows for the coward he is. He probably is not good at combat!" Shalius shouted stabbing his sword into the ground and span out of the way as a group of shadows connected into a large fist just missing him, and leaving a small crater in the ground.

" I think I can but I need time!" Nytahl shouted quickly escaping a brutal attack from a group of four she rolled back onto her feet. The shadows were quickly separating the traveller something that Shalius felt was there goal from the beginning.

"I can give you time!" Raitoguchi yelled fending jumping back from a what looked like a rolling wave of shadows.

" I think I may be able to shed some light on this situation!" Kalton said raising his staff high and reciting a prayer a growing light burst forth from his staff. The shadows retreated from him. It was obvious solution however Shalius doubted that Kalton could keep that up for longer and it also did cover the area it needed to.

"Raitoguchi allow Kalton to hold the shadow's off Nytahl!" Shalius yelled  as a shadows attack made contact with my chest I was flung backwards as a small blob of shadows attached itself to his armour. It quickly immobilized him with shadowy tendrils. 

"I'm down!" He yelled.

"I can't sense a caster!" Nytahl shouted.

"I will not be taken down here!" Raitoguchi yelled swinging his blade with swift succession to no avail the Shadows only got closer! Shalius couldn't talk now the shadow saw to that. Other shadows began to close in on him. He struggled frantically trying to free himself. He could hear the others they had enough troubles of their own to help their fallen comrade.

"It can't end here! this is pathetic!  If only I had some magic at my disposal!"  Shalius though as his eyes where shaded over. With the time remaining he gathered whatever he could but it wasn't nearly enough to escape. 

"This can't be happening!" he struggled uselessly for another few moments before it was made completely impossible.

BANG!BOOM!

The earth shook violently and a blaring hot heat threw Shalius into the air, the shadow that had attached itself to him loosened its grip and fled. Shalius hit the ground winded, but amazed he was still alive. He gasped for air, and held his sore ribs seeing a man wielding some odd sort of a contraption with a large barrel and bigger base.  He slid another wooden case down the large barrel. Surrounding Shalius was burning grounds and more carnage. Whatever that thing was it packed one hell of a punch and it sure had the shadows on the run, and Shalius had no interest in being in the way whenever it was fired.  He towards the man with the odd weapon as he fired it again a little behind Shalius who was now running like a mad man.  He dived to the ground seconds before the second explosion went off the shadows fled the scene, as the Savior stood victoriously chewing his nails. Shalius got up padding himself down making sure he was still alive.  The others looked a little better off then Shalius but also shaken by the man's sudden appearance.

"The Lord must be with us today." Kalton stated.

Shalius was both thankful to the stranger the he was still alive but was also frustrated he had to be saved by a lone man, not a group just a lone man and his strange contraption of a weapon still he owed this man his life.

"Thank you." He managed to while his breath was still hoarse," It may be rude under these circumstances to ask but who may you be?"

"Um, the names Jonathan, Jonathan Maxis, and your welcome, I saw you leave Isalona, I also saw that huge fireball thing, and since you walked your way into this part of Kilimba I though I would meet up with you to warn you the shadow's of Step have invaded this area." He said a little quickly.

"You could have tried to warn us sooner that the god of shadows, and assasian's where out to kill anyone who walks here!" Nytahl Spat.

"You could try to show some manners to the man who just saved your life." Kalton noted. Nytahl gave him a very cold glare.

"Where are you planning to go?" Jonathan asked.

"We are heading to where Sukeroku is buried and kept in subterranean caves. Which are a good six day hike over those mountains." Raitoguchi said. Jonathan nodded, he hadn't the faintest clue what Raitoguchi said.

"Well those lands are also controlled by Step, I have managed to carve a small piece of land for myself but he has no love for those who have not taken his side." Jonathan noted.

"I don't care if the Lord of Death, and Destruction has laid waste there and killed every living creature!" Shalius broke in holding his sword before him proudly.

"Fierce words coming from a man who would have died had I arrived any later." Jonathan said. Shalius opened his mouth for a response but thought the better of it.

"Well perhaps there is an easier way around?" Nytahl asked Raitoguchi Indirectly.

He shook his head," the  western route was lost to us when the copper dragons had taken over the golden empire. The east has been rendered completely impassable since it is governed by liquid fire, and flaming mountains. The lay the proud empire of Sname, and they let no stranger pass in or out of their borders alive."

"Would you accompany us across the valley?" Kalton asked Jonathan, who didn't respond immidiatley and continued to chew his nails.

"Well I have one goal and that is to kill the three goddesses of Seduction!"

"Well our effort is little different than your own maybe with a wider scope." Kalton replied happily.

Shalius didn't fully agree he wanted a chance to speak with the gods, he wanted to show them the pain they were causing humanity.

"I don't see a reason not to then." Jonathan said," But first I need to get some supplies!"









The End

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