Chapter 661 – the siege pt 7

The battle raged around Isaac Bird and in the brief moments where he wasn’t desperately trying to keep himself from getting skewered or sliced in half he had to wonder why he was even here. Peer pressure was part of it, he could admit that to himself. When three quarters of the guards under him had volunteered to go down and aid in the defence it would have looked a little ridiculous if he, their leader, didn’t go with them. There was an element of pride, also. The ants had done much to help the refugees and now when a chance came for the people to return the favour it would be churlish to turn it down. Another part of him, a more honest part, was willing to admit that he’d hoped to see Morrelia here. When she’d left, all those weeks ago, he regretted not going with her, and now that she’d returned with the Legion, how could he not take this chance? What exactly he hoped to accomplish in wooing the woman who captured his heart with her fierce and headstrong ways from the opposite side of a battlefield, he wasn’t sure, but it was worth a go! He hoped it was worth a go.

“SPEARS UP LADS!” he roared into the din and hoped his people could hear him as the Legionaries surged forward for another clash.

CLICKCLICKCLACKCLIK!

A chorus of snapped mandibles rang out as the ants issues their own warcry. Isaac held his ground and tried not to get buffeted by the huge monsters around him as they crawled over each other and clung to the ceiling to try and get at the enemy.

“FOR THE COLONY!” Roared the priest from behind him. “DELIVER VENGEANCE UPON THE INFIDEL WHO REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT WHICH HAS BEEN MADE CLEAR TO US! FIGHT! FIGHT FOR THE COLONY!”

“I’m fightin’, I’m fightin’!” Isaac grumbled as he activated his shield wall Skill and deflected a blast of sword light upwards.

The ant above him angled its carapace to absorb the diminished blow before it lunged forward to try and snap the sword of the offending soldier but the enemy was too crafty and snatched the weapon back just in time.

“Try this on!” He roared and executed a perfect micro-dash as he ignited his spear with energy and used Expert Thrust.

A pure beam of light shot forward from the weapon and caught the enemy unawares, hitting them full in the chest. Other than knocking the wind out of them, the strike didn’t appear to do much to the foe. The ranks closed around the soldier who was back in the fight a few moments later after collecting their breath.

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“Their armour is too damn tough. What the hell is tha’ stuff even made of?” Even exhausted in the midst of battle, Isaac couldn’t help but complain to himself about how unfair life was.

Whilst it was true that the Colony had provided the guards with brand new arms and armour, far better quality than anything they’d been able to lay their hands on before, it felt a little inadequate when they were put against the bloody Abyssal Legion. Still, beggars couldn’t be choosers. If he was here in his old gear he had no doubt his head would have left his shoulders behind some time ago.

“DO NOT YIELD TO THE HERETIC. DEFEND THE PATH WHICH WE HAVE FOUND THROUGH TRIAL AND SUFFERING. DO NOT FORGET THOSE THAT SAVED US! DO NOT ABANDON THE ONE WHO LIBERATED YOU FROM FEAR!”

How the damned priest didn’t detonate at the neck projecting that level of volume, Isaac would never know. It was inhuman as far as he was concerned. Not that he had much time to worry about it.

“SPEARS UP!” He roared again as the two sides surged toward each other once more.

The clash and ring of steel filled his ears as the flash and flicker of light blasted his eyes. There were hundreds of beings fighting at once, each employing their Skills, equipment and natural gifts to the limit as both sides struggled to hold on. Isaac snarled and bellowed as he dipped low before executing a sneaky shield charge. He clipped his opponent’s weapon at a different angle than was expected which caused the soldier to lurch backwards before he was disarmed. Not willing to let go of this chance, Isaac lashed his spear through a tight sweep that clipped the left foot of the Legionary and caused him to crash to the ground.

The moment the man fell, his allies on either side leapt to defend the breach and protect their comrade as those behind pushed forward to cover the gaps. The ants refused to let it happen so easily and dove forward, hurling their bodies into the swords of the enemy to try and widen the break in the line.

“RALLY TO ME!” Isaac called, hoping someone could hear him above the clamour.

If the ants were going to push, he sure as hell wasn’t going to let them do it alone! He cursed and spat with wild abandon as he lashed out with his spear, desperate to widen the gap and take the pressure off the monsters who absorbed insane amounts of punishment without taking a backward step. It wouldn’t be possible for Isaac to perform half of these heroics without the boost he was receiving from Beyn and his kin. The more humans and ants gathered together, the greater the strength of the buff and right now Isaac was riding high, his stats pushed to levels he’d never experienced in his life.

“DEFEND THIS HOLY GROUND WITH EVERY FIBRE OF YOUR BEING! LET YOUR VERY SOUL SHAKE WITH THE POWER OF YOUR EFFORTS AS WE DRIVE AWAY THESE LOST ONES. DO NOT BLAME THEM CHILDREN, FOR THEY TREAD THE FALSE PATH, COLD AND ALONE WITHOUT THE LIGHT OF THE GREAT ONE TO ALLEVIATE THEIR FEAR!”

Does he ever shut up?! Isaac shoved all thoughts of the priest from his mind as he frantically battled in the front lines. The fighting had reached a fever pitch as both sides jumped on the tiny, infinitesimal edge he had created for the Colony and he was finding it harder and harder to hold his ground. Sweat poured into his eyes, his shield was battered and rent, and his spear arm shook  from pure exhaustion. He refused to quit. So long as the ants kept fighting, so would he.

“Come an’ get it you shiny bastards!” he grimaced his challenge as he forced himself to keep fighting.

Then she was there. For the rest of his life, he would fail to explain how he recognised her so quickly, but the instant that red armoured figure, a brutal short sword in either hand stepped into view, he knew it was her. His heart froze in his chest and a foolish smile broke out on his face. It was wildly not the time for it, he knew that, but somehow he just couldn’t help it.

“Hey Morr. How’ve you been?” he grinned.

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He didn’t get a reply before Morrelia charged forward, her twin weapons a blur as she struck at him from both sides. Somehow he managed to parry the first attack with the shaft of his spear and catch the second square on his shield. The weight from that blow nearly caved his shield in completely and he suspected his arm may have been fractured but he didn’t have time to worry about it. Still with a stupid grin on his face he struck back, spear lancing out only to find empty air as she brought both her weapons up in a perfectly timed cross block. She didn’t give him time to recover, snapping out a quick kick that threw him back a few feet. God’s she was strong!

He set his feet quickly and brought his weapon up once more, eager for the fight to continue.

“That all you got?” he laughed, “and here’n I thought you was supposed to be strong!”

It was a complete bluff and both of them knew it, but he wasn’t going to back down, and neither was she.

“HAAAAAA!” Morrelia bellowed and Isaac could see her eyes blaze with red light through her helmet as her berserker Skill ignited.

Isaac watched as she charged forward, heedless of the danger, like a stone from a siege engine right into the ant lines. Her weapons smashed his spear and shield aside with ease as she crunched straight into his chest and just kept going. He felt his feet lift from the ground as her shoulder bore his weight deeper amongst the swarming Colony. When she finally stopped running she collapsed on top of him, causing him to cough out a mouthful of bright red blood.

“Nice ta see you too,” he said.

“You’re an idiot,” came back her distraught reply. As the ants and humans descended on the top of them she dropped her weapons and ripped off her helmet, exposing her midnight black hair to the light.

“Capture me, Isaac,” she said.

Was it the chest injury, or those magnificent words that finally drove him over the edge? A few seconds later, as Morrelia raised her hands in surrender and was taken away under guard, the ants would find Isaac passed out, blood leaking from numerous wounds. What they couldn’t explain was the copious flow from his nose that continued long after they had already healed him. A quirk of human physiology, they decided, and promptly forgot about it.


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