Chapter 33 – Maiden Battle Part 4

Syndra watched Michal pace up and down the long tent they resided in. He made sure to avoid the injured that lied down on the ground, their groans combining together into a chorus of pain and agony. There was nothing either leader could do except to help the medics with their duties.

‘Here’s another one. He’s heavily injured, but still breathing,’ a couple of mages brought in a deformed body which spasmed at irregular intervals.

‘Place him by the others. We’ll see what we can do,’ Syndra instructed while opening a wooden capsule of gel, rubbing it against a cut on a man she tended to.

Michal jumped at the opportunity to help the mages ease the body down. He gave them some instructions before returning to walking from side to side deep in thought. He remained silent, not helping with anything. His actions annoyed Syndra, but she kept it to herself.

A shriek outside caused everyone to jump. All except Syndra that is. She knew better and continued to do her best treating the patients, unconcerned by the tragedy going on outside.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

‘Why,’ Michal muttered under his breath. ‘Why only us?’

Syndra didn’t bother with the man’s whims. However, when he kicked some dust that almost fell upon the eyes of the others, she had enough.

‘You know full well why. So, if you can stop causing a hazard with the sand, that would be appreciated,’ she snapped. ‘Better yet, how about you help us instead?’

Michal gritted his teeth, stopped walking and turned to Syndra with a serious expression that she didn’t know he had. ‘We have people guarding us as stealth bestials rampage through the rest of our battalions, killing everyone. Why are we given special protection? Just because we’re leaders?’

‘It’s precisely because we’re leaders that we must be as far away from danger as possible. If we die because of brashness, then we’ll go into disarray. The offence and artillery group rely on us to do our duty. If a hundred die because we played for damage limitation, it’s better than all fifteen hundred dying because of our recklessness.’

‘She’s been sliced and stabbed multiple times,’ some mages barged into the tent with a body lined with streaks across.

‘Tsk,’ Michal retreated to the side of the tent, chewing as if he ate the words on the tip of his tongue.

Syndra looked at him and sighed. The only thing more annoying than his cheerful optimism was the brooding expression he exhibited. He didn’t even lower the near-dead mage to the ground this time. What little help he offered no longer existed.

‘Look,’ Syndra addressed, finishing her duties before getting up from her position to face Michal head on. ‘We cannot do anything. I am a familiar type. Nasir is the only one that can fight. I’d just be a sitting tinoo if I went out there. But you. You are an F ranked stone elemental with no combat experience. If anything, you’d do worse than me. You can’t think for yourself properly. You let Gin do all of that for you which is why you feel bad when he’s not around. He knows his limits and he knows yours but, obviously, you don’t. It’s why he’s fighting while we sit comfortably under the guards protecting us.’

‘I,’ Michal started, looking away to gather his thoughts. He then turned back with a serious expression that caught Syndra off guard again. ‘I know. I’m a deformed stone elemental that could only melt a certain type of stone and tweak it a bit. That’s all. But I will say that you’re wrong and that I have been thinking for myself. At first, I was content with following orders and make armour but I’ve been thinking of how I could fight. I tried creating gauntlets and stone blades. I’m close. I’m oh so close. So, no. You’re wrong about that.’

Michal breathed a sigh of frustration while clenching a fist. Syndra didn’t say or do anything except to send a piercing glare to those that stopped working to watch. However, despite her lack of response, she knew what she thought of the whole situation. This nonsensical arguing, this rashness, this complacency driven by pure emotion; It was as if the danger outside meant nothing to anyone within this tent bar those who already felt the full extent of the enemy.

‘But I guess you’re right,’ Michal admitted with his usual cheerful smile. ‘I know I can’t do anything at the moment, so I’ll ask Gin to train me and then I can in the future. Then I can protect many people next time. Better than me moping, right?’

Ugh. What is with that sudden shift from depression to optimism? Syndra gave a disgusted look. ‘If you finally understand that you acting pathetic then help treat the others.’

‘Will do!’ Michal obeyed as he went to grab some supplies from the medics. ‘Oh, one more thing. Thanks! I needed that.’

‘Whatever,’ Syndra mumbled, glad she didn’t have to deal with his whining anymore.

She returned to pouring gel on wounds, ordering the medics and comforting the wounded. But, every so often, she would glance towards the entrance of the tent. Wonder when Nasir’s returning, she thought whenever she did so. The cycle of treating, ordering and worrying about her tinoo continued for the next five or so minutes but it felt like thirty.

I’m here miss Syndra!’ cooing broke the cycle and slowed-down time.

Ah! Nasir, welcome back,’ Syndra whistled back.

Nasir landed on her shoulders, got a neck rub, then flew to the floor to do his signature language of dancing.

‘Good to be back at your side too,’ he curtseyed. ‘I’ve got the others into a crescent formation.’

‘Awesome! Great work, Nasir. Give the rest of the report. What’s the situation so far?’

‘It would seem that the offence group are holding up for now. Unfortunately, they can’t send reinforcements to help protect us though.’

‘Ah. I don’t think the utility group will survive at this rate then.’

‘No, miss Syndra, on the contrary. Brim and some artillery group members realised we were in danger and are making their way here. They’ve already dealt with most of the stealth bestials on the outskirts of our group and are just setting up torches to spot them.’

‘Oh, thank goodness! No wonder the screaming has stopped. I was so worried that more would have to die. I…’ Syndra stopped whistling, biting her lower lip to stop it trembling. ‘I don’t want to go through that again.’

‘Neither do I, miss Syndra.’

Syndra let out a sigh of relief that caught the attention of all the conscious people in the room. She glared back at the medics who got the message and continued their work. But Michal remained oblivious. Not only that, he stopped helping out and began fiddling about with the gauntlets while she wasn’t looking.

‘Is everything ok?’ he asked.

‘Yes. We got confirmation that the artillery group has merged with the utility group. We’re no longer in danger.’

‘That’s a relief,’ Michal sighed himself, going back to his gauntlets.

‘Look at him!’ Syndra whistled again. ‘He’s being pathetic and useless again!’

Nasir looked annoyed, flying up and onto her shoulder, slapping her in the face along the way.

Only allowed on

‘Miss Syndra, you really ought to be more considerate,’ Nasir scolded. ‘He’s done all he could do. Everyone’s had medicinal lotion on put on them. Did you expect him to do the stitches too? Not like you’re doing anything better talking with me and all.’

‘Ugh. Hate it when you’re right.’

‘Just give him something to do.’

‘Michal, go and tell the guards to help Brim. Have one or two remain though. The faster we deal with the stealth bestials, the faster the artillery group can help the offence group,’ Syndra commanded.

‘Huh? Oh, sure thing,’ Michal listened, getting up onto his feet and out of the tent.

‘Oh, whatever shall I do with you, miss Syndra,’ Nasir teased.

‘Shut up, will you?’ she replied.

A few minutes later, Michal returned, giving a simple “Done!” before going back to his project again. For some reason, he became the topic of debate between Syndra and Nasir. Not that they had anything better to do. As pointed out earlier, all the treatment they could do as non-medics was done, and Nasir needed to wait for the utility group to be fully secured before going out and ordering his underlings to change formation again.

‘There are about fifteen minutes until our reinforcement arrives. I’m sure we’ll win this battle,’ he assured.

‘Yeah. I’m glad. We’ve gotten through the worst’

‘Hurk,’ the sound of someone vomiting filled the air followed by the torch by the entrance collapsing, blowing out upon impact with the floor.

Ugh. That was Michal, wasn’t it? Just how clumsy is that guy? Syndra scowled to herself before demanding, ‘Light another torch. Make it quick.’

One of the medics managed to get a torch alight. Syndra then turned to Michal to give a piece of her mind. But, instead of the brown drivel of digested lunch, she expected to come out of the man’s mouth, blood splattered across the floor in front of him. Stains of red seeped out of four distinct areas on his chest as he clutched his gauntlets. He looked on the verge of death. No, he was on the verge of death.

Look out!’


Before she knew it, Nasir kicked Syndra, causing her to trip and tumble to the floor. Pins and needles throbbed from her shoulders. She glanced at the cause, finding blood trickling out of three, lined streaks. She clutched the wound, trying and failing to stop the pain that amplified more and more.

Squawking made her look forward. Her body stood still, her beating heart and quivering eyes the only parts that dared to move. She watched Nasir fighting against the invisible enemy, floating blood and a shadow the only features visible. She watched his bravery get punished as something swiped across the breast. She watched as her partner and life-long friend crashed into the ground.

‘Nasir, no!’ she exclaimed, freezing the other medics in their spot, all as equally scared.

But now the floating blood walked towards her. The sound of dripping broke the seal placed on her. Her body moved again but not to escape. Instead of running, she shivered. From her trembling lips to her shaking feet, every organ in her body moved but purely in the sand she sat in.

Blood dripped from the claws the enemy attacked with. Drip by drip by drip it came closer. Why was it so slow? Just to taunt? Just to instil fear? Whatever the reason, it worked. Step by step by step it came closer, until the bleeding nails stood over her, the blood falling onto her face drop by drop.

‘Get off of her!’ Michal came from behind, grabbing hold of the enemy. He stabbed the enemy with the gauntlets he equipped.

But the enemy materialised, revealing just the everything bar the head, twisting around in a motion much faster than before. The man grabbed Michal, shanking him in the abdomen. However, Michal grabbed hold of one arm. He mouthed something to Syndra before drilling his gauntlet into the enemy’s torso back.

The stealth bestial screamed a painful scream in response. He used his other arm to stab Michal, piercing him again and again and again. He didn’t stop, but neither did Michal who persevered, digging deeper into the African.

Michal collapsed the next moment followed by the stealth bestial, his head now materialised too. The medics sprung back to life, rushing to treat their saviour. However, it was too late. He became pale, blood continuing to pour out of his wounds.

‘Why are the guards dead here?!’ Brim shouted, bursting into the tent. His voice quietened down the next moment when he saw the scene. ‘Oh no…’

Brim gave some orders but Syndra didn’t listen to any of them. She cradled Nasir into her bosom. Tears fell onto her friend. She tried immediate treatment on him but none of them did any good. His wings didn’t move. His lungs didn’t breath. His heartbeat hovered just above zero.

‘Nasir, don’t die,’ she pleaded.

‘Nasir, please wake up,’ she whistled, seeing if that would provoke a response.


She embraced her sole friend, weeping into the feathers and wounds. She didn’t know how else to react.

‘Nasir…I’m so sorry.’

- my thoughts:
Rest in Peace Michal and Nasir. You shall be missed.
You may also like: