Component 33 - Stolen Away

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COMPONENT 33: STOLEN AWAY

The mighty Hellsmasher struck, and the force of the blow was as if striking a steel wall. Angon was sent reeling and fell back, crashing into the snow right before his shocked friends.

"Angon, are you okay?" Lavina whispered into his ear.

But his mind wasn't focused on his friend; instead he stared straight ahead at the still standing form of Gus. Not only was he still standing, but instead his hand was up, holding the head of the hammer. The attack had never struck; Gus had caught it.

"H-how?" Angon stammered.

Gus tossed the hammer. It landed in the snow and skidded to a stop by Angon's feet. The huge orc looked down at the fallen forge, and shook his head.

"I can not allow you to win." Gus said, his voice calm. "They have my wife. And if I do not comply, they will leave her to an eternity of torture in the Abyss. So I ask you once because I do not wish to kill you; hand over the Soul Rupture."

"Maybe we should." Ramona said, walking up beside Angon, holding the small black pouch.

"We can't." Angon told her. "My life depends on it."

The forge picked up the hammer as Ramona put the belt pouch back into her skirt pocket.

Angon grabbed the haft of the Hellsmasher and stood.

"Don't." Buster said. "If Hellsmasher can't hurt 'im, then you got no chance of winnin'."

"He's right!" Lavina cried. "Your life isn't worth throwing away just to become like us; weak and fragile."

Angon turned back to Lavina and frowned. "It is worth it. Because if I don't, you will never love me."

The half-elf girl's eyes widened, but Angon didn't give her a chance to respond. He took a step towards Gus, and held the hammer to his side.

"You fight your wife's life. I fight for my own." Angon said. "I haven't been in this world long, but I've learned enough to know that what I have is no life. I need to feel, to taste, to love; you have all of that, but I have never felt any of it."

Gus stared straight ahead at Angon, and gave a slight nod. "I would not consider that much of a life either. But I still cannot back down; because I have felt love, and I can not bear to lose it."

Off to the side, Budge and Weiggs were back away, afraid to see the slaughter they had witness once again. Weiggs still held Tricia, and she had her eyes buried into his shoulder. Gonzeelda on the other hand was edging closer towards the group of Angon's friends, and even Ramona, with her keen senses, was too focused on the impending battle.

"Let us fight." Gus said. "To see who deserves more what life has to offer."

The Walking God, reached onto his back, and drew his great axe. He held the weapon ready and nodded to Angon.

The forge burst forward, thrusting Hellsmasher. Gus brought the head of the axe up to block. With an explosion of force, the orc stumbled back a step, but then lunged forward pushing Angon. The forge pushed back and neither incredibly strong force was willing to back down.

Angon glared up at Gus, who looked back down at Angon. The forge pushed with all his might, gritting his teeth and giving it his all. Gus stared with his always calm, always cool face.

Just when it seemed the game of chicken would never end, Angon spun around behind Gus and brought Hellsmasher in with a close swing. It struck into Gus' back. The orc grunted, but didn't budge. Instead, an orcish elbow struck back into the forge's face. Angon skidded back.

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