Xyris & Raleigh; Bringers of Misfortune

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She froze. Raleigh's frightened eyes locked on to hers, wide with fear. His body quaked, it almost left more slices along his neck. She nodded towards the Divine, eyes cold with unveiled hatred,

"I'll do it."

The center Divine merely chuckled to himself,

"You Walkers are so predictable."

She bristled, infuriated by his aura of smug superiority.

"Well, you're not so--" But her words were cut off by a black feather-tipped arrow.

The wooden shaft flew at amazing speed and precision at the gray Divine. Smoky eyes tracked the arrow and a second before it could hit him squarely in the face, it fell to the ground encased in ice. The Divine glowered in the direction of a quaking shrub. From the side, she saw heavy black armor. The temperature seemed to drop several hundred degrees until crystalline ice spread across the clearing. Icicles were forming on the ends of branches and Xyris swallowed her previous words.

"You dare try to attack me?" his words were low, but intimidating. His silver eyes flickered a pale white and he jerked his hands out. From his fingertips, the very moisture in the air crystallized into deadly icicles. Wisps of mist spiraling mid air until freezing completely into the spiked projectiles that flew into the bushes. A black figure scrambled out of the undergrowth and sprinted away without a backwards glance, his hand was grasping at his shoulder. Blood was seeping through his fingers, his cries echoing as he tried in vain to pull out the icicle embedded in his shoulder.

A small thump from the shrub was enough to make Xyris turn away in disgust, the dead body of the other soldier lying lifeless on the ground.

"Commander Sterling..." the other Divine muttered, "That was a scout from the Chroma."

All mortals in the clearing stiffened, The Chroma... So, even they want to get their hands on the dust?

The Divine holding Raleigh withdrew his dagger and threw him to the ground. The gray Divine called Sterling stared at him, his silver eyes boring into hers as a smirk played around his lips,

"Looks like you'll have some company on this journey."

It was all too much. Forget what she said about wanting adventure, she should've kept her nose out of the fire. She kept her head bowed and Raleigh touched her lightly on the shoulder.

"Let's go, Xyris," he held her hand and raised her up and shaking legs.

"Where do you think you're taking her?" the gray Divine glared at Raleigh, who raised his eyes to meet the Divine's evenly.

"Leave her out of it," Raleigh began slowly, "I'll go Syren by myself."

At his words, Xyris snapped her head upward to stare at his back as he faced the Divine.

"No! Raleigh, you can't!" she screamed, walking towards him. The assisting Divine moved quickly, his body a faint blur to block his path.

Sterling took a step towards Raleigh, his hand moving towards his sword, as he swung, Raleigh ducked quickly, pulling out a weapon of his own.

"Is that wise?" Sterling drawled, his sword glinting in the moonlight.

Raleigh remained silent, his eyes fixed on Sterling's sword hand.

"Syphid..." Sterling started, "How many people does it take to receive a shipment?"

"One," came the swift reply from the other Divine.

"My thoughts, exactly." He replied quietly, pausing for a second. Then, fixing his eyes on Raleigh, he struck like lightning.

The thin silver blade rapped against Raleigh's as he brought the flat of his blade up just in time to parry the blow. Staggering back, he tried to regain his posture. Like a viper the Divine struck again, sparks flew as the blades clashed mid air. Pushing forward, Raleigh swiftly moved to his left narrowly avoiding a stab to the chest. Taking a step forward, Raleigh thrust his blade towards Sterling, the Divine merely turned at the last second. The blade came within millimeters of his chest. Raleigh took another swipe, his blade passing over Sterling's head as he ducked nimbly.

"You're pretty good, mortal," commented Sterling. His face was apathetic and smooth, although a childish glee rung in his words.

"You aren't bad yourself," Raleigh said, wiping sweat from his forehead with his free hand.

Sterling flashed him a quick smile that reminded me of a victorious look a predator would give a trapped prey. His lips pulling over his pointed white teeth.

In a flash, Sterling disappeared, only to reappear behind Raleigh. His blade pressed against his neck. The muscles in his arm twitched as he began to slide the blade across. But before he could move, Syphid had appeared by his side, his hands on Sterling's arms, keeping them locked in place. Syphid leaned in close and whispered something in Sterling's ear.

"Luck is on your side, mortal," he spat poisonously.

Raleigh stumbled backwards, but kept his blades aloft.

Sterling turned away and muttered under his breath, "Aerie..."

And then they were gone.

"You stupid boy!" Osmion rose to his feet and strode angrily towards us. "You're upset the Divine! We'll have years of bad harvest and be slaughtered in the war. You've brought this on us, both of you!"

"Calm down, old man," Raleigh began, but Osmion interrupted him.

"Especially you, orphan," he spat, "I understand why you're parents left you."

Xyris froze in shock, anger rippling through her veins.

"You've gone too far!" Raleigh took a menacing step forward but she put a steadying hand on his shoulder.

"He's not worth it," she whispered, "we have a job to do."

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