Chapter 9 -Of battles and Boxes

It hadn't been hard for Gabriels troop to find the Centaurs.  Six hundred horses make an amazing mess of the ground leaving not so much as a trail to follow as a whole new road before them.  However the destination was obvious and six sprinting angels can cover ground as easily as marching Centaurs.

It was a stroke of luck that Gabriel had spied the group splitting up and decided to follow them.  It stood to reason that they anticipated an element of surprise by diverting a small contigency of their force elsewhere to battle at another part of the castle.

So that was how seven angelic archers stood high upon their own roof looking into the bottleneck that the narrow street this troop had taken had become.  Gabriels bloodlust began as a smell, he could smell the fear as the first Centaur was felled by Simons accurate shot to the neck.  Next it filled up with the sight of Balthazar spinning around looking in the direction of the arrow.  Gabriel raised his own bow and if not for the deftness of the Demon's swift leap behind a small jutting section of the castle wall.

All the angels began peppering the army with arrows into their midst and it was taking far too long for the confused beasts to organise themselves.  In a matter of a minute thirty Centaur had been slaughtered.

The darkness of the annex beneath them was suddenly marginally illumiated by a small crack of light snaking it's way forward.  A door concealed by its decor matching that of the rest of the wall had begun to open.  The Centaurs needed stopping. if they made it inside the building then the tentative hold on this region would be lost until the angels could amass a proper army to siege this castle.

It was an instinctive action.  Gabriel loosed an arrow into the crack of the door without seeing who was opening it.  The arrow had hit something and just over the cacophony below them a distinct sound of a screaming woman slithered to his ears.  Squinting to see who had fallen in the lighted corridor behind the door became the most foolish decision Gabriel was to make.

Balthazar peered around to see Gabriel lowering his bow and knowing the trajectory of the other arrows concentrated on the back of the party.  He sprinted, momentarily leaving his cowardice and self preservation behind him and flung himself at the door.  His body weight and speed created enough impact to force the door halfway opening and allowing himself to slip through the door.

A pale man stood before him looking at an unmoving olive dress at his feet.  The sallow, statuesque armed man was stood rigid.  Balthazar shouted three times but the man did not move.  Bathazar strode toward him and slapped him hard three times in the face.

This had awoken Greaves from his trance.  Before him he saw a fierce bloodsoaked demon glaring at him through a gnarled confusion of emotion. 

'What is wrong did you imagine war to be pretty?'  Balthazar snarled.  Greaves remembered Persephone and looked down at where she had fallen.  Looking out at the fray had been unwise in hindsight, no better illustration was there than an arrow in your left eye, compimented and accentuated only by the ever spreading scarlet upon the floor before him.  Greaves had failed his mission, but he had another.  The angel wheeled around and sprinted back up th stairs.

The clamout of falling and screaming Centaurs pierced Balthazars already serrated eardrums and he turned to heave the motionless Persephone away from the door she was laying against.  As he did so the Centaurs burst through.

Balthazar leant against the wall to allow them passage motioning to one of them to pass him a bow and quiver.  Singularly he could hold the angels off from the top of the stairs in the shadows.


The End

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