15 👣 The Execution

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The whisper of an unsheathed blade howls through the air, sourcing from Trixy's bent knife. While her left hand bears it, her right slithers to her jester's cap, which turns out to be a vantage point during this ambush, and retrieves the onyx feathers from its top.

Her movements, however fluid, are struggling to contain the boiling rage overflowing in her veins. "You dirty pest. After all you've done to everyone, you still dare to display your face here."

Raiden's arm is about to calm her when a snarl leaves her mouth, and she pounces away from him. Okay, that's a wrong technique to soothe the beast.

"And that doesn't stop you from being a coward, does it? Look at the army behind you."

"My business here is to attend Raiden and not to serve a lowly, vengeful villager like you." Ece steps forward, her onyx glinting like it originates from hell. "Step aside, and let me finish what I should've done before."

"No more innocents shall fall victim to your wicked schemes." Trixy's sentence jerks at the end. The swift contacts between her knife's blade and the feathers' sharp tips erupt tingling sparks like onyx fireworks.

Heavy grits of the bookcases squeeze the available ears with a demonic amplitude. An opening is formed between a bookcase and another as they swerve sideways, making an entrance for those yet to come. Instead of living creatures, black presences like the night skies appear, resembling an endless void of nothingness.

And that's when Raiden grasps the original reason of the shut curtains. Trixy's trying to hide her secret traps from either strangers or newcomers of her settlement.

But what can these voids do? They barely move. Seeming to be nothing but black walls separating each bookcase from its neighbor. What do they contain within?

Ece, on the other hand, lacks reactions. Her faceless creatures seem to be more expressive, with their frequent growls and anxious scratches on their exposed skin, which aren't uncovered by their poor attire.

Amidst this brewing noon-mare, Raiden's dread mountains higher than before. His legs' muscles are readied to dash once chaos ensues, but his heart won't ever be ready.

Trixy seems like she's ready to sacrifice herself for his safety, like those side characters in the movies. Being a coconut-head she is, she'll force him to abandon 'ship' once she dominates the battle.

Can he prevent her selflessness from saving him and harming herself?

"Seek cover once this all begins."

Raiden's yet to respond when Ece's men flood forward, like a horde of hungry cannibals. Fists raised in the air, their footsteps collide like an earthquake, dropping scrolls to the floor and deafening every existing ears.

Like a dark plague, they advance with their misfortunes dodging every obstacle.

Raiden's instincts yank him back to the tent, cowering behind the sofa with hands covering his ears. The rumbles of the men's footsteps even ruffle the tent's flaps.

But it doesn't seem to affect the retired jester, who remains rooted on her station.

Peeking from the fluttering flaps, Raiden glances at Ece's whereabouts amidst the ocean of refugees. She treads along with them. An onyx shield protects her from her men's lurching wrath, and her onyx now blooms into a false amethyst.

Stacks of bundles and books even meet their ends under their tramples.

It doesn't take an intake of breath before the tinkling metals resound again, this time shriller. It also drones longer than the first.

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