Chapter Eight: Family TiesMature

The air was filled with ash, swords clashing fueled the numerous sounds of war. The mages spells were as meager as balls of flame and strikes of lighting, but the more advanced enchanters threatened to rip there reality apart as the thin sheet that separated humanity and hell shook violently. 

Beasts of numerous shapes and sizes littered the field of battle. The mage army had summoned them using the dead body's that seemed to continue to grow in number as the fighting raged on. Arcane horrors of which no one had ever seen continued to tare their way through Alexandra's knights. The veterans defended there kingdom till they were inevitably cut down by the Cao's massive force and the newer faces among the knights fared no better. Some fled, others became blood sacrifices in the mages summoning. 

Out of breath and blood soaked, Walter rammed his blade through the body of another spell caster, there was barely anytime to think as a Cao warrior jumped above the impaled mage, sword at the ready to cleave the older man. His weapon came down making contact with Walters shoulder. The sword bounced off the mans armor with an ear shattering clang and as the warrior fell back, Walter ripped his sword out of the mages lifeless body, making his way to the fallen warrior and caving in his skull with the hilt of his sword. 

Behind him, he could hear the sounds of his comrades dying and being turned into monsters by the mages. The fighting had taken him further away from the main gates, he was almost in the very middle of all this destruction and death. He had long since lost sight of the Queen as he was pushed back. Walter cursed at his carelessness. He'd whipped his head back and forth anytime he could take a breath to search for the brunette, but the search grew ever pointless as the enemy neared the castle gates. 

As the mans breathing evened out he was met by a sharp pain in the back of his head and a ring of fire engulfed him. He winced, another mage attempting to take his mind long enough for a Cao warrior to strike. 

Two men came at him, emerging from the surrounding flames like demons. Steadying himself, Walter pushed back the pain, charging at the men unwilling to be broken by such a cowardly tactic. Then his attention along with those of the men attacking him went to the loud thunder like sound of wood being crushed, the gates had been blown open. "Their at the gates!"

Above the raging battle stood a man with a wicked smile planted on his face, behind him more then a dozen of the finest archers in the Cao kingdom stood tall awaiting orders. His body shook with excitement at the thought of raining death upon the pathetic lot of warriors below. Their screams played over and over again in his mind like a delightful tavern song, he licked his lips imagining the bodies going limp as the arrows pierced through there skulls and hearts. No one will be out of range and if the man 'accidentally' hit one of there own, well more to add to the delightful song in his mind. The tall mans songs of agony came to a stop as his scout stood in front of him, back straight and out of breath.

"Sir! The archers on the other side are ready!" He announced, the tall man looked beyond the battlefield, opposite of their position. A small light shimmered there and he returned the signal with his own, using the small mirror in his pouch. There had been no word from his foot soldiers below of the Queens whereabouts and more importantly Krea's. His jaw clenched at the name he never liked his half brother Briggs, but to have him defeated by a parasite like the 'blonde bitch' as he put it, was just to great an insult to ignore. If he launched his attack now it would be pointless, that and his banshee whore of a mother would throw a fit if he didn't bring the Queen or Krea's body to her.

"Wait for the signal that the Queen is in range." He said dismissively as his eyes trained back out onto the battle below, the songs of screaming playing in his head yet again, the smile returning to his face.

"Yes sir." The scout responded respectfully.

Alexandra ran as fast as her legs would allow her, the armor clanging as she sped through the castle kicking in every door searching for Jordan. The medic along with Malcolm's body had not been in the infirmary and any help in finding them was unlikely seeing as how she sent the castle hands away. 

The brunette had previously been fighting with the rest of her knights and Walter, but soon had lost sight of the older man as the battle became ever heated. One after the other, her people were dying all because of her incompetence. Letting Krea go in place of an actual negotiator? What in the gods names had she been thinking?

Now Krea was the target of a mad power grabbing woman and her nation was burning, the only thing she could do now was protect and defend what she had left and that included her friend Jordan. She stopped dead in her tracks as she heard the cracking of wood and the battle blow fire up further. She had a sinking feeling kicking down a door to her left she made her way through the room to the color stained window prying it open she saw the main gates blown to hell, she's running out of time. 

Leaving the room, she sprinted to the end of the large hall. Kicking down every door, shouting the medics name at the top of her lungs, Alex has to find her. She just had too.

"Jordan!" She bellowed as she made her way up another level, no response, at least not the one she had desired. Two men came into her view, they were no knights of hers. Gritting her teeth, she snared at them. The two large men looked her way, their disgusting excuse for faces twisting into grins aimed at the royal as her anger continued to grow. 

They were covered in blood If that's Jordan's! The men charged at her then, both with weapons lifted high, the brunette didn't move an inch. As their weapons came ever closer, in one swift move, Alexandra lifted her great sword over her shoulder swinging it and knocking there weapons out of there hands, impaling said weapons into the brick wall due to the force. 

There confusion and shock was short, but just enough for the brunette to exploit as she dropped her massive weapon in favor of her dagger. She sent it through the man on the right eye causing him to scream in pain as he fell to the floor clutching his bleeding socket. 

The man on the right came at her with his own dagger, swinging it at her in a fit of panic. One swing had sent him too far forward and that's when the Queen grabbed his wrist, twisting it backwards till a sickening crack was heard. He whaled in pain as he tried hopelessly to free himself of her grip. She looked at him, pure fury in her dark brown eyes. "You filthy bast-" her rage filled words and were stopped as the man in her grasp rammed his fist into the side of her face. 

The man realized his horrific mistake as the brunette turned her gaze back to him, twice the malice adorned her now jet black eyes. The brown having been consumed as her pupil enlarged. He quivered, the words out of his mouth came out in small raspy breaths " I...I'm....sorr-"

Alexandra grabbed his throat, slammed him against the wall and reaching behind her back. She grabbed her second dagger, ramming it deep into his hip, twisting it slowly the mans scream couldn't escape his crushed wind pipe. The Queen moved closer and whispered into his ear her voice was laced with the feral rage of a dragon "Who's blood is on you." 

He couldn't tell her even if he wished it, the man just stared back at her pleading with his eyes begging her to stop. It was all in vain however Alex was beyond reasoning with now. It's not that she's not aware of her cruelty when she is enraged, it's just she doesn't much care. 

The Queen removed the dagger, slowly she began slicing up the skin below the blade till she reached the pinned mans face his screams never making it out of his crushed throat. "You didn't answer me fast enough." 

The man still clutching his bleeding socket watched in horror with his remaining eye as the brunette killed his partner in the slowest display of torture he had ever witnessed. He scrambled to try and reach the massive weapon she had abandoned on the floor earlier as his hand closed around the large weapon he heard the body of his comrade hit the floor in a bloody lifeless mess. 

The Queen looked down on him, blood covered her face made all the more terrifying with the shadow she caste over him. The weapon wouldn't budge no matter what he tried. Alex stomped on his hand and he cried out realizing his hold on it. "Don't touch my sword you filth." She hissed. 

The woman placed the Great sword back between her shoulder blades, lifting it with ease. She knelled before the one eyed man, foot still firmly on his hand. "Who's blood is upon you." She stated once again, he quivered but answered regardless voice shaking after every word.

" A... Knight... Guarding the... Gates... Young fellow..." Alexandra visibly relaxed. She stood looking set to continue her search, the man tried getting up slowly but was soon met with a dagger embedded in his lower spine. All through out the large halls his screams were heard as he received a painful and much slower death. 

The Queen continued her sprint threw the castle, but this time did not have to travel far. A few feet ahead she saw an enemy try and fail to enter a room as he was impaled by an arrow. Alex made her way towards the open door slowly, not wanting to startle the archer that dwelled within. Stepping over the dead body, she raised her arms up in surrender.

"Don't shoot?" She said questioning on if it was a friendly. Hearing a small sigh of relief as she made her way into the room.

"Queen Alexandra." Jordan sighed in relief at the sight of the Queen, lowering her bow, the medic noticed the blood splatter. Did Alex fight all the way here just to get to her? She shook her head, reckless just like Krea. The Queen was surprised to say the least. She hadn't the faintest idea Jordan had any combat skills, though most would probably think the same of her. A smile made it's way onto her face as she figured who had taught her, but the Queen asked anyway.

"So who taught you how to use a bow?'

"Krea got a hold of one-" the Queen made a face. Jordan laughed. "Very well, she stole one when we were kids and taught me the basics. I continued being taught by Walter privately after she got to busy." 

The brunette raised an inquisitive eyebrow private lessons? She inwardly smiled, but quickly focused back on the matter at hand. Cao forces are already inside and are making their way up to them, now was not the time for pleasant chit chat or as Malcolm would say, 'dicking around'.

"Good we'll need those skills to fight our way out of here, come there's a secret passage" the Queen lead the medic out the door. Checking their surroundings before continuing to a nearby library. Jordan had half expected the blonde to be with Alex, but she hadn't been and the way Krea was acting the very last time they saw each other made her stomach churn. There was just so much pain in her eyes and it was understandable given what had accrued, but she couldn't help the bad feeling she was getting over what her friend might have done in such a state or more over what if she had miss stepped in the fight with Kevin. 

She tugged at Alex's armored shoulder the brunette turned,"What is it?" Jordan sifted her weight from one foot to the other struggling to ask the question that was causing her anxiety.

"Is she back?" Jordan asked. Alexandra cringed visibly, the brunette hadn't received word of the blondes arrival. As if a messenger would actually make it through all that fighting, but Krea could. Somewhere deep down she was hoping against hope her love had finished her fight with Kevin a was fighting her way back into her arms, she looked at Jordan soberly.

"No, She hasn't returned, but we must defend this place until she does. Wouldn't want her to come home to a pile of ashes." 

Charlie was pacing back and forth in front of her throne as the sound of her army marching filled the still outside air. She had everything lined up perfectly, soon she would have the Queen on her knees begging for mercy or perhaps something more then mercy she thought whilst licking her lips. 

Her imagination was about to run ramped with thoughts of the 'royal bitch' under her command, but all of it was brought to a stop as her son Emory walked in, standing tall, hands behind his back. Charlie looked at him indifferently as she took her place on the throne.

"Well?" She asked. Emory clenched his jaw talking to this woman was always to the point, she didn't skip around anything of importance whether it was brutal or not it was a bit unsettling, but she was his mother after all. Some of her qualities were far more tolerable then others. He just wished their meetings weren't so rigid.

"My brother Archidus has his men ready on the hillsides, I am getting the second wave of mages ready to attack after that."

"Are the foot soldiers already through the gates?"

"Yes mother. They are inside the castle, it will burn."

"Good. Keep me posted."

"Yes mother." He nodded and left the room sighing, as always short, emotionless and to the point. The woman looked into the mirror at the side of her throne putting her long blonde hair in a tight bun she studied her blue eyes. 

They were filled with anger, regret, and most of all want. Briggs death was tragic enough she supposed, but her attack on Alexandra's kingdom the purpose of it ran deeper then just revenge it was so much more.

Walter thrust his sword clean through another of the massive summoned beasts. It roared and hissed in pain as it's body fell in a heap on the ground before dissolving to the bone. The man was had not seen the warrior behind him, before said warrior had a chance to be head the older man, an arrow pierced through his eye socket. Following the range of the arrow he saw it's shooter, two familiar faces the brought a wearily smile to the knights exhausted face. "Jordan! Alexandra! Thank the gods you're both alright."

"How are they doing all this!?" Alexandra asked. Clearly the brunette hadn't been on the field long enough, when she had left in search of there medic, this fight wasn't as out of hand as it was now, she had never seen such mayhem. Walter looked a mess and her men or what was left of them were heavily injured, but the strangest thing out of all of this was that the Cao forces were backing out just enough for her forces to collect themselves, are they showing mercy? No why would they do such a thing with the advantage they had gained. What was Charlie playing at?

"Who can truly say, it's been a blood bath sense this began. Maybe their finally letting us breath. Dare I hope it" Walter said while putting his sword back into place.

"Everyone is scattered, we need them back to some kind of order or they'll be no surviving this." Alex stated, winning was far fetched at this point, but with luck they could see this through alive. The brunettes jaw clenched.

"How many men do we have left?"

"Not many, and most are heavily injured, but they were strong enough to hold out this long, we can handle it." Walter affirmed with confidence, he's shaken still by the mages ability to cause such destruction, but will not let his Queen fight alone even if the man ends up being the last knight standing.

"Any word from Krea?" Alexandra asked.

Walter didn't know what to say he couldn't lie to the Queen, so bending the truth for Krea's sake would have to do. Alex was a strong woman, she could bare the sorrow, he just prayed it wouldn't cost her life. With a heavy heart he placed his hand on her shoulder with the tenderness only a father could muster."There's something I need to tell you."

Archidus studied the battlefield below as the smoke cleared his eyes landed on the Queen, 'let the final bell ring' he raised his arm high, all archers following the motion as they pointed there bows to the sky. "Men! The target is in sight! Kill the Queen! Leave the stragglers to the mages!" He smirked to himself, how he did love a good slaughter signing the archers on the other hillside he bellowed.

"Make it rain!" The arrows were released the sound of there flight through the air pierced the very heavens as they completed there first arch.

"What do you mean she's not coming back!" Alexandra shouted, Krea wasn't returning why? what possible reason could the blonde have for not coming back?!...unless she was no. Alexandra couldn't think that way. The very thought of Krea laying somewhere possibly. "NO! SH—" as she began to yell at the man she was cut off as a dark shadow loomed over all there bodies. Looking up to see a swarm of arrows coming their way from both sides of the neighboring hills. Grabbing her shield Alex grabbed Jordan from the waist, pulling her toward and under the massive shield. Walter put his own up as the arrows fell upon them.

"Everyone! Shields up!" He could feel the force of the arrows, they were raining heavily only on their area in particular these were for the Queen. An ambush after all this slaughter that ruthless harpy, from under his shield he looked to Alex her eyes began to betray her pain already. His shield gave out to an arrow as it broke through grazing his arm, theses blasted things were never ending.

"Second wave... Fire!" The archers followed his command reteaching and release the high tension arrows.

Archidus looked on the screams filling his ears causing him to smile in complete delight, less then twenty Knights were left moving. If one would call there pathetic limping moving. His target however stopped completely."Hold fire!" Everyone did as they were told re holstering there bows, standing at attendance as they awaited further orders. "Let the mages do the rest." He ordered, speaking directly at the small scout demanded "Let my brother know, rest of you lets move."

Walter threw his shield out of the way and noticed his surroundings, all of his knights were dead, or on the verge of death. Arrows covering almost all of the land. He looked over at the two girls. "It's over, we have to leave, find someplace for shelter until we can regroup."

Alexandra got up before assisting Jordan. "I am not leaving my castle!"

"What castle!" Walter snapped. "Look around you! It's gone! Who knows what else they could be sending our way! We need to live to fight another day!"

"What about Krea!"

"She's gone! Dead!"

"You don't know that!" Alexandra screamed, eyes filling with tears as she stared at the tall man defiantly hurt beyond herself.

It broke Walters heart to see her in such a state, but her safety came first, he has embedded this lie into her head before anymore rout and hope invade it. "I do my lady, Please we must retreat. We are outnumbered more severely than ever before."

The queen looked around arrows littered the blood and body ridden land, the once green fields that welcomed traveler in and out of her great gates was gone, along with the gates themselves. If Krea truly was gone then what else was keeping her fighting here? Their home was gone. She swallowed the lump forming in her throat and bitterly agreed. "Fine."

"We need to get Malcolm's body first." Jordan interjected, the medic had put the young mans body away from the fighting, hoping it would calm down enough to bury him and now was the only time she saw fit to retrieve it.

"We don't have time!" Walter shouted.

"Make time! I promised Krea that he would receive a hero's burial! I know your pissing yourself cause of the mages, but don't begin to cower away now old man!" Jordan snapped. Before anyone could retaliate, a ball of fire came flying through the air and hit the Queens bedroom window.

"Mage's." The queen said under her breathe following the range of fire and watching in awe as the enemy mage forces began to block out the sun in the horizon. "We must hurry!"

Charlie was met by her son again. "Well?"

"My mage's are going in now to clean up whoever is left."

"Make sure they bring the queen to me. Dead or alive."

"Yes mother."

"Any word from Kevin or Krea."

"We found Kevin's body in a pool of his own blood, Krea was nowhere to be found, but one of our archers said that he hit Krea, but she was saved by a large, powerful man. Could be mage, or warrior, or both. I'm not sure."

"Did he come from the ground?" Charlie asked.

"That's what she is saying."

"Damn!" She shouted.

"What is it mother?"

"The man who helped her... He's... He's her father. Her real father."

"What? How could you possibly know that?"

"Because I am Krea's mother."

Krea woke up to a bright light shining in her eyes. She was in a fairly large tent, that did no justice to the rays of the sun. She tried getting up, but went back down when a jolt of pain hit her chest. Than she remembered the fight, and almost dying. Her thoughts were interrupted by a very large man walking in with a pitch of water. "Thirsty?" His voice was deep yet caring. Krea couldn't help but recognize this man from somewhere. But where? She thought. She nodded as the man handed it to her. It was freezing.

"How is this so cold?" She asked before taking a small sip at first, but the feeling of cool liquid filling her mouth and down her throat made her crave more. She chugged it down before looking at the man grateful. "Thank you."

"You're very welcome."

"So?" The man gave a confused look. "How is the water so cold?" The man smiled before putting his hand out and it turned to ice. "You're a mage! That means you're one of them!" Krea said before jumping up, ignoring her pain and holding the pitch ready to fight.

The man chuckled. "Not all mages are with Charlie."

"How can I trust you?"

"That is a very good question." He paused for a moment, taking in the sight in front of him. "I am going to be nothing but honest with you. I haven't seen you in years. I couldn't, she... She thought it would be best if we weren't there."

"What are you talking about?"

"Don't you see it?" He said moving closer to Krea. "We have the same jawline, nose, even your eyes are like me and... Your mothers."

"You're lying! My parents died years ago!"

"Those weren't you're parents Krea. Those were peasants that wanted a kid. You are no peasant, you are a warrior, you are a mage, you are part of the Bu family, one of the last ones.

"You really expect me to believe that you're my father? Who does that make my mother hmmm? Charlie?" She mocked, but the man looked down. "You're not seriously saying that wench is my mother are you?"

"I can prove it to you."


"Come here." Krea reluctantly moved to stand in front of the strong man. "This might... Sting."

"I can handle it."

The man brought his hand to the girls forehead and put his palm to rest on it. A series of images came flooding into Krea's head as tears came rushing down her cheeks. What happened when her father and Charlie gave her up to the two she was raised by. 

The heartbreak that it caused the man. His journeys to keep Krea safe, without being noticed. Always watching and keeping an eye out. Her family history from decades ago. The Dragon family. 

Krea was brought back when she saw an image of a little boy dying to the hands of Charlie. She could feel the pain and tried to get away from the grasp, but couldn't. She put her hand forward and a gust of air sent the man back. Krea was terrified at what just happened.

"I see your magic is finally kicking in."

"Kicking in!? Kick it out!"

"It's always been there Krea, you just needed something to unlock it."

"So what does this mean? Everything I thought I am is all a lie."

"No, I wanted to tell you earlier, but I saw the relationship you grew with Alexandra and Malcolm, I... I just couldn't."

"What? And now that my life has gone to shit you thought it was a good time to break the ice?!"

"I know you're upset, but doesn't it all make sense? I mean look back on the past years. How else were you good enough to become a knight. You were a natural born fighter, it runs in your blood."

"If Charlie is my mother than, I... I killed my brother. Briggs"

"Half brother really. You have plenty of those."

"Oh so what? Huh? That makes it okay to kill one because I have more? Heavens! You must be crazy."

"I know this is a lot to take at the moment. I'll give you time. I'll let everything sink in. We'll be outside whenever you are ready."

"We?" Krea questioned. The man just smiled and walked out of the tent. Krea sat back down and let out a breathe of air she didn't know she was holding. "Oh shit." Before laying back down with her hands on her head.

"Father, she's been in there for ages. Are you sure she is okay?"

"Yes Roux." He said walking up to his daughter. He couldn't get over how fast she'd grown up. She had been with him since she was born. She had long blonde hair like her mothers and the darkest green eyes. "Now. When she comes out, tell her lightly."

"Don't you think she'll be excited to have a sister? Like a full blood relative?"

"I'm not sure, she is very odd in the way that she reacts."

Krea had finally come out of the tent after a dew days of pondering. She looked around and saw a few men and women, all standing behind two people. She looked at the man. "I never asked of your name." Krea spoke.

The man smiled. "Aden. Aden Bu."

Krea knew that name meant fire, that had to be his main source of magic. She looked at the other woman, she looked nearly identical to her. "And yours?"

"I am Roux. Your sister. Full sister! Not that half brother sister shit."

"Way to break it down sweetie."

"Sorry father." She shrugged. She walked up and hugged the younger girl. "We've been waiting. I do hope you can join us."

"Join in what?"

"Taking down Charlie and all of her allies of course." Aden said like it was the most common thing in the world.

"Why are you choosing Alexandra's kingdom over Charlies? It's a losing battle. Thousands, if not millions are with Charlie, you and these few others, choose me and Alex's people. Why?"

"I believe that is the right thing to do."

"It's suicide."

"It wouldn't be fun if there were no risks Krea. Besides, these few men I have, are like family. And now that I have both you and Roux at my side. We can be as powerful as any army. If you choose to join, of course."

"Yeah, I've heard stories of our people." Roux started. "We were very powerful people."

"Were is the key word in that." Krea stated.

"The Dragon family was betrayed years ago so there are very few of us left. There's us and maybe a few more." Aden added. "So what do you say Krea? Take back the land that belongs to your queen? One bastard at a time." He smiled.

"How do we take down an army without being noticed?"

"We will be known, they will hear rumors of what we do, but we will never be discovered or noticed. We will be ghosts."

Krea had excepted that this was her family. She had all of the proof. "I will join you."

"Fantastic. I will get a weapon made for you as well as armor. Roux will teach you how to use and control your powers."

Krea noticed how relaxed everyone was. "No one to keep watch?"

"No need. Like I said, we are ghosts." Aden said while walking away.

"It's an illusion, a spell he sets around our camp to make it seem like nothing is here to other people. He just wanted to sound cool." Roux whispered. "Have a look around, get to know everyone. Get back to me when you want to learn. Oh and Scott will be here soon. He can heal your wounds."

"Who's Scott?"

"Our brother." Roux said while walking away into her tent.

Amory was standing by the gates and watched as his men burned the dead bodies. One soldier came running at him. "Any sign of the queen."

"She isn't here."

Amory's eyes turned a firey red. "Find her! Get all of our men to track her down!" The men scurried in fear, trying to get everyone to get together. "Three days we wasted." He said as he looked up to the now bright moon shining down on them. "I will find you Alexandra. Just wait."

The End

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