Farewell Part 1

Gio was livid, not because the town was burning, nor was it because of the putrid stench of roasted human flesh that hung in the air as he and his brother sped towards the village, he was angry because this ruined all his mother’s plans, the chance of his brother’s wife being dead was rather high, and of course if she was dead, so would be the thing that his mother was interested in more than any other, the stormspirit she carried, his mother would be mad, and when she was mad, she wasn’t pleasant( not that she was pleasant when she wasn’t mad).

The town was in ruins, which was expected, it was burning after all, but what Brodje did not expect were the numerous dead that littered the street, were they mages that didn’t flee the city fast enough? Or were they just normal folk who got in the way? Brodje stepped over the corpse of a woman he recognized as the old fat lady he bought apples from on the weekends, her face was charred beyond recognition, but the blue sash she had round her waist hadn’t been touched. Brodje turned around and made as if to pray for the slain woman.

“Are you stupid?” shouted Gio “There are literally dozens of dead bodies that line these streets now, if you’re going to stop and pray to some god that couldn’t or didn’t even want to stop this in the first place, I suggest we head home now, because for every pause we make, every breath we take, the chances of your wife and my nephew joining them increases”

Brodje nodded and stepped away from her, his first priority- the only thing that should be on his mind now was finding Rara and getting her to safety. It didn’t seem like the soldiers had gotten to the city centre yet, but he had no plans to wait till they did, he drew his sword and levitated by bending the air currents around him. As much as he wanted to have nothing to do with this side of him, he was a mage, and he might as well use his gift.

“Hey, brother” Gio called “Wait”

“What is it now?” Brodje asked, clearly annoyed

“Um, we left Wiete behind”

“We have to go back for her” Brodje said, exasperated

“No, there is no time”

“I did not save her to let her get killed again” Brodje shouted ” And how did we even leave her behind”

“It was when you levitated, she was holding onto you remember? She dropped some time ago I think.”

“And you said nothing?”

“Calm down, I just noticed” Gio paused ” I’ll go get her, we have no time, go rescue your wife”

“How am I supposed to face all these templars alone?”

“I’ll be back in time”

“Fine then, be careful”

“No time for talk, just go!” Gio spat, and he was gone.

“Damn it” Brodje said ” This can’t get much worse”.

Gio, raced back to the outskirts of the town looking for Wiete, what was he doing? why was he even here? he asked himself, he had a mission to help Zio rescue his wife, then get out of Umere, there was no mention of rescuing a helpless albeit pretty girl from rape and rescuing her again  when she was stupid enough to get lost( Although technically it was Zio’s fault). Gio couldn’t find her when he was in the air, so he decided to drop down and check whether she was in any of the buildings that weren’t smoldering heaps… he was right, she was in one of them, a store from the looks of it but seemingly abandoned by the owner, that or the owner was dead, one of the many corpses that lined the streets, but that didn’t matter right now, Wiete was in there and surrounded by templars.

“Not again” Gio thought as he crept closer, he’d not act just yet, something was telling him not to and through the years he had learned to listen to that voice, mostly because every time he hadn’t, he had almost died. Gio crept closer-camouflaged by the debris of the burnt out house just opposite the store and tried to listen to their conversation, they weren’t hurting her yet, but by the looks of things they would be, and it wouldn’t really take long either.

“This one’s a mage as well” said a heavy set man with red hair, obviously the leader of the group

“She’s so pretty though, sure we can’t have some fun before we off her?” asked a slim, tall soldier

“Orders are orders, we have to get done with this fast and get to the main squad, apparently there is a ridiculously strong mage in the town that refused to budge”

“Come on Cap’tn ” said a soldier who had seemingly lost half his mouth, which explained his odd intonation “We’d be done quick as a h’re”

“That isn’t really something I would be proud about” said the captain grinning “Fine then, you lot have ten minutes, no more”

“Thanks Captain!” said the first templar as he grabbed Wiete and lifted her off the ground “Get up now lass, you’re lucky, you get to have a taste of heaven before you die!” he said laughing, the others giggled as well.

“N..No” Wiete said, her voice barely a whimper

“What did you say lass?” asked the slim templar “I don’t promise we’ll all be gentle, but I suggest you don’t resist”

“NO!” Wiete shouted, shocking the templar and startling Gio, who was still behind the heap of still smoldering roof(?) he was using as cover.

“I’m  af’raid you got no choice las’sie” said the templar with half his mouth ” Unless you prefer to die now” he looked around at the rest of the templars  and winked ” Where’s the fun in that?” they all laughed.

“I.. I won’t let you touch me” Wiete was in tears “I WON’T!”

“Ooh” it was the captain this time “And how exactly are you going to stop them, hmm?” he looked around at his men and added “Seven minutes you louts, tick-tock”

“Well then” the slim templar pushed her over the desk” We’d best get started right?”

“NOOOOOOOO!” Wiete shrieked.

Gio was just about to come out from his cover and grab her until she shrieked and after that there was an almost infinitesimal moment of silence and then the templars started laughing again, they weren’t laughing for too long however. Gio stood, mouth agape at the scene unfolding in front of him, all around Wiete purplish-black tendrils were extending and anything they touched, instantly rotted, anything of course included the templars, the shrieked and screamed as they tried to run away, cast an anti-spell, stab her before a tendril could get to them, but it was all in vain. The store crashed down around Wiete and she stepped around and over the dry bones that were once lecherous templars.

“Gio!” she called “I know you’re here”

Gio appeared behind her and took her by the shoulders “The captain was about to escape so I went over to impale him” he said pointing to a corpse farther down the street ” It was definitely not my self-preservation instinct”

Wiete smiled coquettishly at him and said ” I’m sorry, you could’ve been hurt”

“Hurt?” Gio asked, incredulous “They are bones!, seriously!, bones!, did you always know how to do that?”

“No, it came to me just now, being raped isn’t fun you see”

“Someone’s definitely talkative now” Gio said ” How sure am I that you’re the same person?”

“I don’t know, I feel a bit more confident in being able to defend myself now, that might be it” Wiete started walking down the road “Let’s go help my saviour”

“Wiete”

“Yes Gio?”

“Remind me never to try to rape you”

“Sure” Wiete replied with a smile

Brodje couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing, there were four mages, holding off about fifty templars, were there this many powerful mages in the town? He asked himself, he then noticed that all the mages looked alike, as if… they were… the same… person… It was Rara.