Chapter 114: The Warriors of Red Claw

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They had come, drawing the forces of barbarism with them. Kazalibad had destroyed countless worlds, whether by Kai'Draeni raiding braves, or Albic clan wars, inciting them to war with greed. Now, his foul gift, the wretched eye that let him see the prices of others' souls, had been plucked free from his form, and his legions of savagery had tasted defeat. 


She knew something was wrong when Karik'ar stopped in the middle of running through the street. 

Skaria paused and looked up at him. "He's here." Angror. The assassin after Karik'ar. The look of fear on her partner's face was unique to that specific Kai'Draen.

"You can sense him?" Skaria asked. Karik'ar nodded. "How?"

"I've been practicing with my power. Just trust me on this." Skaria did, of course, but part of her was curious. Her own power, to command the universe, was simple enough. Karik'ar's magic seemed stranger, more exotic.

"So what do we do?" Skaria asked.

"We make sure the rest of our group goes on their way, and I fight."

"We fight."

"No." Karik'ar shook his head, keeping his voice low. "They're stronger than you, faster than you, and they won't hesitate to kill you. I'll fight them alone."

"No. That's not happening," Skaria snapped. "I'm going to be at your side, and you're not going to stop me. You understand that?"

He shook his head again. "I won't have anyone hurt on my account. Least of all you, khokani." Skaria, however, was adamant about it.

"You're just going to try and get yourself killed, and for what? For me? No. We'll kill those whoresons and live happily ever bloody after, got it?" Karik'ar gave a rumbling chuckle, but his face immediately sobered.

"They're on their way. I can feel them." He turned to the rest of their group. "We need to depart," he said. "Go to the University, and keep Kyra safe," he said, that last comment directed at Thaen and Po Shun. The preacher was a warrior, if he remembered correctly.

Thaen nodded. "Once that's done, I'll come back for you."

"No. Don't," Karik'ar said. "Now go!" They did, leaving Skaria alone with Karik'ar.

She unsheathed her viper blade, then undid the other one, the Sidhe-make sword. This is not my fight.

I really don't care. You're going to fight anyway, Skaria thought at the blade. It took a bit to get used to a telepathic sword, but when she had just seen the man she had fought alongside transform into a bloody dragon, a telepathic blade wasn't too hard to get over. "Where are they?" she asked.

Karik'ar turned away and started stalking down an alleyway. "I really don't​ like this, Skaria," he said. "You shouldn't be here."

"Well, tough. I am here. And I ain't leaving." She had her two swords ready, prepared to spill blood. "You think I'm going to let you have all the fun?"

"There is no fun here." Karik'ar was grim. "Only death, hopefully not ours."

"Well, you're in a mood," Skaria said. She scanned ahead, ready for anything. "So, how many would we be going up against?"

"Eight or nine Kai'Draen," Karik'ar answered. Skaria stopped in her tracks. That was a lot... She'd have to strike quickly and capitalize on the element of surprise and on her magic if she wished to come out of this alive.

This isn't my fight, but they will taste my curse, her sword reassured her. Curses were never a good reassurance, but she'd take what she could. She may be marching to her death, after all. She needed all the help she could get.

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