33: Battle for Castle Livor

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                     Part 33: Battle for Castle Livor

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                     "Do you trust me?" (Disney's Aladdin)

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                       -Ruta-

        Nate’s sword swings towards my head, full force. Without thinking, my hand finds Eden’s chest and I shove him back, away from me, away from Nate’s bloodthirsty eyes. Eden goes tumbling to the ground, leaving me to face the gleaming blade alone. I watch as Nate’s blade swings towards me. I can see my terrified expression in the silver surface for just the briefest of moments before the sword connects with its target.

            Somehow, the target is not me. Nate's sword cuts cleanly through the air, just a few inches above my scalp. It's so close that I can feel the cold wind the blade creates push through my cloak.

            Another loud shriek pierces the otherwise silent room and this time, I’m certain that the noise does not come from me. A moment after Nate cuts through the air, a dark, warm liquid sprays down above my head. The sticky, foul-smelling ooze drips down my back like hot wax. Something large and meaty falls by my feet, producing a wet thud. When I glance down upon it, I half expect it to be my head.

            But no, it belong to someone else. The head of a creature from nightmares stares up at me. Its fang-ridden mouth is wrenched open in an eternal scream that no longer makes a sound. Rotting flesh dotted with umber blood covers the skull of the monster. More dark liquid seeps out of the bottom of the detached head, forming a brownish pool around it.

             My quivering palms find the cheeks of my mask, making sure that a head still lies behind it. I release a broken sigh when I feel my clammy hands press against my neck. The head on the ground does not belong to me. The head on the ground does not belong to me.

            Although I’m afraid my head will be the next one to roll if I do, I force myself to look up at Nate. He is watching me with a calm, calculating gaze, as though he’s waiting for me to react. His dark bangs drip over his cold eyes like black ink, hiding the face of a man capable of murder.

           As my eyes once again find the grotesque head on the floor, it finally dawns on me. That monster could have killed me. It might have only been seconds away from biting my head off and I couldn't have done a thing about it, since it snuck up behind me like a gigantic coward. In only seconds, I could have been dead. This time, for good.

             Nate just saved my life.

           "Look out!"

              I barely have time to register the feeling of complete disgust building up in my stomach, because the next moment brings a new shock. Nate’s voice, as well as his metal hand, suddenly shoot out. His hand grasps my wrist and he draws me to him.

        Before I've the chance to scream or become fearful, Nate pushes me towards the door and heads for the place I was previously standing in. It is now that I see the headless monster stumbling about. Its bladed fingers reach out, desperately seeking us. Blood gurgles and bubbles out of the chasm where his head was placed. All that's left now is a bloody geyser.

        In one giant, vertical swing, Nate's sliced the thing in two. Its halves teeter about some but both eventually crash to the ground. They writhe and shake about for only a moment or two until they still forever.

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