Overcoming the Aftermath

The rubble of razed, demolished, and totaled homes scattered across the clangrounds. Many of which he remembered having a raucous time and a merry drink with comrades, now reduced to refuse and mere memories.

The fresh resting places of the warriors who had fallen defending the clan against the invaders. Many of whom he had left alive and healthy and had expected to see the same after his raid, only to see their maimed and mutilated corpses upon his return.

The wails of new orphans crying for the parents who would never wake from their eternal slumber. Many of which he had messed around and goofed off with, now abandoned in a cruel twist of fate.

Kane looked around at the remnants of the village that used to be the proud home of the Dynio for the hundredth time since the attack three days ago and saw thdestruction and desolation, all of which was due to his complete incompetence.

“Dammit! Dammit! DAMMIT!!!” Kane slammed his sword into the wall of one of the destroyed houses. The force caused the stone to shatter as it if it were glass before a sledgehammer. It had been three days since the mysterious clan had attacked the clangrounds. Kane and his men had eventually been able to break through the tactics and force them to retreat. But the devastation they had inflicted remained. Almost half of the Dynio clan had been killed, including their clan's leader. A lot of the survivors hadn't gotten through it unscathed either, with injuries ranging from scratches and bruises to lost limbs. Kane cursed himself for the umpteenth time for going on that raid. He'd taken many of the clan's better warriors with him, leaving the clangrounds unable to probably fend off the ambush. It was his fault that everything had happened.

Suddenly Kane felt a presence come from behind. He heard the distinct swish of metal cutting through air. Instinctively he turned and raised his sword in defense, just in time to block a massive battle-axe from taking his head off. The force of the collision wrenched the blade out of hands and sent it spiraling leaving him defenseless. Kane looked up at his attacker and scowled. “What the hell do you think you’re doing Zethenia?” he yelled. The tall woman tried to slice Kane again.

“Giving you a much needed kick in the ass, Kane Dybel,” she replied. Kane jumped back and avoided another slice. He grabbed his weapon from where it had fallen and confronted his opponent. Almost born for the battlefield, Zethenia Arcil was in the top-tier of Dynio warriors and the greatest female fighter the clan had seen in generations. With her curvaceous body, and taut, smooth skin, she was the envy of the Dynio females, and with her subtle, yet iron bands of sinewy muscle underneath her stunning form, she could beat the pants off of most of the males in the clan. She was both beauty and beast. Zethenia stood a full head taller than Kane, and he was no shorty. He’d never been able to best her in an arm-wrestling match yet. Kane’s magic skill, battle sense, and agility gave him an advantage over her reckless style, but she was still a formidable opponent.

“What are you talkin’ about?” he asked.

"I'm sick of watching you throw Zethenia swung her axe in an arc, causing a row of icicles to form in the air and fly towards Kane. Kane released a wind wave, thinking to cancel out the barrage. However, when the two attacks met, the wave wasn’t able to deter the shards of ice from continuing their path towards him. Kane narrowly missed getting pierced by one of the icicles, saved by his reflexes. However, even his reflexes couldn’t stop a couple from grazing his thigh. Kane managed to stay standing, though the sharp pain didn’t help matters.

“Pesky Ice magic,” Kane said through gritted teeth. The magic was a rare sight in the Dynio clan. Zethenia was currently the only one that could use it. She stared at him with contempt. The savage look in her wild, violet irises made it difficult for Kane to look her in the face.

“You’ve lost your edge, Kane. I was holding back on that attack; your wave should have knocked my icicles away easily. You wanna know what happened? You’re so hung up on how the clan got attacked while you were away! You’re letting yourself go soft. You’ve been moping around long enough. You're not honoring any of the people who died by throwing a pity party and man up.  If you really feel like it's your fault and redeem yourself, go and avenge their deaths by teaching those guys who attacked that they've messed with the wrong clan! The time for mourning’s over, so get your ass in gear already! What are you waiting for?"

Kane didn’t answer Zethenia and looked at the ground instead. The words stung, because they were the truth. He had been using his comrades’ deaths as an excuse to wallow in pity, but not anymore. Kane raised his head and looked Zethenia in the eye. "I guess it is high time I get my head out of ass," he admitted. Zethenia saw the light of new resolve in Kane's grey gaze and grinned.

"Those are the eyes I wanted to see." She strapped her axe to her back. "Before you go start that quest for revenge, we have to take care of the survivors first. Follow me."

Kane followed Zethenia to the center of the clangrounds, where the Dynio had set up a make-shift hospital. One of the men, Aboron Volison spotted them and ran over. He gave them a crisp salute.

"Clanhead Arcil. The people from Fregurd have arrived!"

The End

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