Escape, part three

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Between them Nakora and Trai made short work of the soldiers they ran into. After that the wild rush through the corridors continued. Three times they met armed men, and three times Trai and Nakora displayed their deadly skills with fire and steel. Then the corridor opened up ahead of them.

Harbend didn't even bother with peering out into whatever room or hall they were entering. Nothing could have prevented anyone there from hearing their approach.

He ran out into a long hallway. Threw himself flat on the floor to avoid being cut down by men coming their way. He rolled.

Arthur! Gods!

Finally they had managed to come to the right place.

"Trai, archers to your left!" Nakora's voice cut through the noise.

A red, hissing inferno raced away. Battle cries of men running to meet them in combat turned to screams of fear and pain.

A man in bone white robes faced him. Harbend slashed wildly with his sword. Killing was not as important as to make room now. The man fell. If struck or not Harbend didn't know. It didn't matter. He continued towards Arthur.

"Arthur! Run you whore son!"

Chaijrild struggled with one of the robed men. Arthur wheeled low on his feet and kicked the legs out from under the closest guard before throwing another to the floor. In a few moments the outworlder had managed to free Chaijrild and ran to Harbend with the girl in tow.

Gring didn't struggle with her guards. She tore them apart limb by limb.

Gods! Mother slaughtered chicken like that!

Arthur managed to cover the distance to him. Then robe after robe went up in flames. Trai was put his powers to a ghastly test.

Suddenly Arthur staggered and almost fell. He caught his balance and limped all the way to Harbend, Chaijrild still in tow. An arrow stuck out from Arthur's lower leg.

Arthur came to his knees. Suddenly, accompanied by short roars of death, men dropped with blood spurting from exploding torsos. With hands clasped to his ears in a vain attempt to shut out the awful sound Harbend recognized the disgusting device Arthur had used in the mountain pass.

Resolve wavering the guards fled. Harbend, sick with the killing, could only watch helplessly as Trai threw long coils of fire consuming anyone caught.

"Arthur, we should go. Follow Neritan."

"Not bloody going anywhere without Gring!"

"Gods! Take the girl and follow Neritan! We shall get Gring for you."

To Harbend's relief Arthur did as told, and Harbend could concentrate on making good on his promise. He followed Nakora and Trai in pursuit of their enemies.

"Help Gring and get out!" he shouted, but they only continued running.

Striding over the battleground he caught sight of the Khraga. She was breaking the back of a man in leather armor and seemed oblivious to what was happening around her. Harbend looked for more dangers, but they were alone, if he didn't count the broken bodies littering the floor.

"Come back! I have her." No answer. "Gring, Gring!"

At last the Khraga had the sense to listen. She looked down at him, took a few step, and for a moment Harbend was afraid she'd mistaken him for yet another target. Panic rising in him he wondered what it would feel like having his bones crushed by her immense muscles. She stopped.

"Where is Arthur?" she asked.

He wouldn't die, not now at least. "Neritan, a friend, is helping him and the girl, eh, Chaijrild out of here."

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