Chapter 33: A Giant Problem

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Regis and the Vangen smashed into the Rebel lines in a clash of steel and screams. Those that were unprepared or under armored were cut down in an instant, their robes offering little resistance to the Vangen axes and Regis' black metal sword.

The first swipe took a man's head clean off. The second cleaved another clean through. Nearby, the coterie of Centum's surrounding Magus slammed into a group and brushed them aside with their shields as if they were made of straw.

Even Libro, for all his blustering in the past, was cutting into the rebels with a fury Regis had never seen before. He cut into the throat of a rebel too brave or to stupid to get out of the way, his knife coming out the other end glistening red in the sunlight. Wild eyed he pressed on, clutching the knife in both hands, his knuckles near bone white.

Regis charged on, cutting a path straight towards the Palace. Most of the First Gate had collapsed in on itself, leaving behind a jagged pile of rubble. That was fine. Nothing that a little climb couldn't fix.

At least, that was the case before a body the size of a small hill emerged from beneath the rubble, swathed tits to toes in black armor. A broad, flat face turned towards Regis, teeth grit in pain as a large hand reached up and ripped a monstrously sized bolt from an equally monstrous sized neck.

"That is one big bastard." Regis laughed, his heart beating to the thrill of a new challenge. Shapeshifters, warriors and now giants. What would the Ministers throw at him next?

The giant in question stumbled back up onto its feet, clutching at the ruined sections of the first gate for support. Green and blue bow levies on the intact portions of the parapet continued to pepper the monster with arrows. Most bounced off the armor, but a few sank into the flesh of the giant's neck, only to pop out a few seconds later.

Regis moved to a relatively clear area and raised a fist, rallying the men around him. He made the finger cant calling for Libro and Magus. They appeared moments later, both looking equally worse for ware. Libro had lost his knife somewhere during the fight, his hands clutching a Vangen axe now. A few more coats of blood dripped from his chainmail. Magus on the other hand looked like a well used leather satchel, his pale skin dripping with sweat. His robe was tattered and stained in a few places, though the chainmail glinting beneath still looked remarkably pristine.

"Why have we stopped?" Libro demanded, his gaze shifting warily over the battlefield. Most of the Centums and Grenadiers were keeping the rebels busy, the rest forming a circle around the officers.

Regis pointed a finger up at the giant standing before the ruins of the first gate, swatting arrows out of the sky and men into it. Every now and then the bark of Nox's crossbow would crack through the air, spearing the giant and forcing it back.

"Where in the seven hells did they get a giant?" Libro ran a hand from forehead to jaw, his eyes boggling.

"The Clans of Jotan may be all but forgotten now, but look hard enough and you'll find one skulking through the caves of old." Magus ran a nervous hand through his patchy beard. "Tyrannus sure is a crafty one, I'll give him that. One can only wonder what he promised the giant in exchange for its service."

Libro turned towards the old wizard. "Tyrannus?"

"The Dominator." Regis said, remembering the words of Flemendos. "The one who started this whole damn rebellion in the first place."

"And when did you take the time to figure all this out?"

"Last night," Regis produced the speckled black sword for Libro to see. "When a Minister tried to kill me with this."

Libro could take away enough context to figure out the rest. His face went pale, eyes glassy as he brushed the spine of the Archive with a free hand. "You too huh?"

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