The Gryphon touched down on the large balcony at the very tip of the Citadel. Deadrick climbed off warily, stepping aside to let Naluitha and Nerui land.
He walked to the edge of the balcony as Danyel and Bruad and their riders landed.
He put his hand on the black iron railing and peered over the edge.
“Whoah-oh that’s a long way down,” Nerui said, masking a nervous gulp with a chuckle.
She was right.
The battlefield was fully visible below; the brown mess that was the crowd of Unholy were running about like a bunch of chickets with their heads cut off. The small, but much more organized line of Skrule’s werewolves repeatedly tore at them.
The three, huge black corpses of the Dragons were randomly dotted around
The formation of Elves dropped over the crowd, and sprayed the Unholy with their ornate arrows.
“The evil lies through here,” Naluitha said, leaning up against the thick, metal door built into the side of the tower, “It is alone, and it is weak, you must end your quest now,”
Deadrick could feel it too. Behind that door, lay the evil- or at least the weak host that held its essence- that had hunted them for so long.
“It looks like they… boarded up the windows,” Bruad said, that was the first time he had spoken since he had been lifted from the seat of the Ecrid cannon. Garum was still firing into the crowd.
He was right. Around the entire outside wall of the tip of the tower, there were huge windows- but they had been covered completely by black material that completely stopped the light from getting through.
“The Demon must have been weak when his essence was transferred through the planes, it could have only transferred itself into a weak host. The pure Ecrid at this altitude would have been too much for it,” Naluitha explained.
“Come, riders, we must return to the battle while the enemy is weakened and outnumbered,” The Halara said.
Naluitha pulled himself away from the door, and went to Nerui.
“Good luck, my child,” He said, hugging her tightly against his chest. He kissed her head, “I love you. You are redeemed in the eyes of the clan,”
Deadrick could see her eyes tearing up, but she sniffed slightly and hugged her father back, returning his love.
The riders jumped onto their Gryphons and took to the air. They dropped out of sight, returning to the battle below.
Naluitha was next. He smiled and Nerui and gave Deadrick a nod of respect, before he followed after Derelei and Galerionai.
“Deadrick,” The Halara said, climbing onto the back of his Gryphon and straightening himself out, “May the Dragons guide your sword, your bullets, and your heart,”
He gave Deadrick a smile- which was filled with concern and anxiousness- and nudged the side of his Gryphon.
It immediately squawked and jumped, its wings flicking out and striking Deadrick with a strong gust of wind as it barreled over the edge.
Deadrick turned to the door; he wandered over to it and ran his finger over the lock.
“This is a big job,” He said, almost to himself, “It looks like it can only be opened from this end with some sort of key,”
“Well that’s just fantastic,” Danyel said.
“The windows are covered from the inside with iron,” Nerui said, “From what I can see it looks thick,”
“And I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole tower was sealed by magic to prevent the Demon from escaping,” Deadrick said, “That’s why the Unholy couldn’t get in- that’s what the key is, some sort of amulet, or jewellery…”
“How do you know its magically sealed?” Danyel asked.
Deadrick put his ear against the wall.
“Look... put your ear against the wall,” He said, and Danyel did, “Hear that buzzing?”
Danyel made a small ‘ooh’ noise, and pulled his ear away.
“And I can feel it, like an atmosphere around the whole outside of the tower,” Deadrick explained, “Oh-“
“What?” Nerui asked.
Deadrick narrowed his eyes.
“The tower isn’t magically sealed anymore,” He said quietly.
Everyone exchanged looks and then turned to the door.
“We can’t go back now, lets go,” Deadrick told them.
“We could if the door wasn’t locked- you know, with an actual lock,” Nerui said, causing everyone to make a small noise of frustration.
“So, what do we do now?” Danyel asked.
Deadrick ignored him; he was fumbling about with the lock.
“Deadrick?” Nerui asked.
He still said nothing.
“Deadrick!” She said loudly.
“Shh,” Deadrick said quietly.
Nerui looked like she had just eaten a wasp.
“Did you just shush me?” She said, open-mouthed.
“Yes,” Deadrick replied, still refusing to acknowledge her, keeping his attention solely on the door, “Now be quiet,”
Nerui didn’t know what to say, and there was a silence for a few moments- the only sound coming from Deadrick’s tinkering.
“Do you have a plan?” Bruad asked him.
Deadrick stepped back.
“Yes, I plan to blow it up,” He said calmly.
They all turned to the door, to see that Deadrick had placed four sticks of dynamite evenly apart across the width of the door, linking them all with one fuse- a fuse that was lit.
“You might want to step back,” He finished, pushing through them and going to the far end of the balcony, “We’ve got about ten seconds,”
Nerui, Bruad and Danyel exchanged looks for a second, before they quickly followed after him. They turned back to the door, and watched as the spark thundered down the fuse, meeting with the red packets of dynamite.
Danyel squeezed his eyes shut for the explosion- but nothing happened. He opened them again to see Deadrick’s eyes narrow.
“Great, your explosives are dead, well done-”
The balcony suddenly lit up, as the blast sent bricks and mortar in all directions.
The force, slightly stronger than Deadrick had calculated, pushed them back against the edge of the balcony.
“Well, I miscalculated that slightly,” He said slowly.
Danyel went to make a sarcastic remark, but he was interrupted by a cracking sound.
They all turned simultaneously to where the door used to be, watching as the light cracks spread out like droplets of water down a window pane. They spread from the wall to the floor, and began to creep out across the balcony.
“Uh-oh,” Deadrick mumbled as the balcony began to crack, “move!”
He pushed the three of them towards the open wall. They stumbled through, but Deadrick felt the ground beneath him crumble like sand.
He tried to pull himself through, but there was nothing to grab onto. He felt the balcony shatter like sand, and break away from the tower.
And he went with it.