Chapter 24- fires of war

Suddenly, the young elf girl hung from the top of the doorway. 

“You’re right. A tree is crying.” (Maple)

The three were about ready to attack her until she landed on her feet. 

“The ents hear the cries.” (Maple)

Dramix was about to ask when Peter answered him. 

“People of the trees. They’re silent guardians of the forest.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix became worried. 

“This was a test of your defenses.” (Dramix)

Gulliver moved forward. 

“I agree. After the ents, what then though?” (Gulliver)

The elf became confused. 

“What else do we need? We live in harmony with the forest. We have no real warriors, but….” (Maple)

The girl suddenly vanished, and Gulliver slowly stepped out of the tree as ripples went through the leaves of the forest. 

It has begun. 

Gulliver went to the opening of the wall of vines and found several pieces of cut wood covered in the blood and bodies of other elves. There was also a solitary elf with a steel sword in his hand glowing gold, just as his gloves, boots, and helm were still standing.

“The royal family that got away. You’re too late. This one is mine as well.” (Corrupted Elf)

The elf charged them and Gulliver blocked the attacked with his sword, but it was cut through. 

Zwilander had turned to hard steel in between the blade and Gulliver. Dramix then pushed him back. 

“Go! I will hold him here!” (Dramix)

The sword went toward Gulliver again, but Dramix was in between him this time.

“I said go! Get these people out of here.” (Dramix)

Dramix knew that he just ordered them to leave him to die, as Zwilander laughed in his hand. 

“Finally a worthy challenger after all these years.” (Zwilander)

The elf looked at Zwilander in surprise. 

“One of the legendary weapons.” (Corrupted Elf)

Dramix pushed him away again, as he took a ready pose with the spear. 

“As much fun as it would to be to break you, I have other matters to attend too.” (Corrupted Elf)

Dramix didn’t let him continue, as he lunged with Zwilander in his hand, causing the dawn’s twilight to collide again. 

“Arrogant, aren’t you?” (Corrupted Elf)

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Dramix smirked. 

“I’m kin of dragons. Stubbornness is in our blood.” (Dramix)

The elf sighed. 

“Very well.” (Corrupted Elf)

The sword started to glow, then Dramix had to close his eyes to the blinding light, as his arm was cut. 

He nearly dropped his spear because of the attack. He was then cut again and he couldn’t find his opponent as a third cut was given to him. 

“Listen Dramix.” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix roared as he lunged into nothing. 

“Listen!” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix couldn’t hear footsteps. 

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“Listen to the trees. They know that they wish you to protect them. Listen to them!” (Peter’s Spirit Talking)

Dramix stopped his turning and tried to listen. He heard people quickly going past them preparing to run for their lives. He heard the leaves rustling in the wind all around him, but in one spot, there was a void. This is the clue that he was told to search for. 

Dramix turned rapidly and lunged toward the void, and Zwilander struck true. 

“Yes, the first blood I have tasted in centuries.” (Zwilander)

Dramix opened his eyes to find that he had entered the elves’ chest. However, that wasn’t all he saw. 

“You smite this body, but yours will serve me well.” (Corrupted Elf)

The light from the elf started to fade, as the glowing items vanished, but they soon reappeared. 

“A guide in the darkness. This solves the puzzle of how they have survived so long.” (Corrupted Elf)

The elf then grabbed the spear inside his chest and pulled it out of Dramix’s grip.

A moment longer, the elf fell over and the glowing items vanished again. Naleeit appeared behind, coming toward him. 

“The youngest of the elves are readying to leave. Dramix, you’re injured.” (Naleeit)

Dramix looked at his arms and grabbed Zwilander, but he didn’t have the strength to lift it. Another hand grabbed it and helped him pull it up at that moment.

“Zwilander is yours and yours alone.” (Maple)

He saw the little elf look at him as she pulled on the spear. 

“My dad died a slave to the thing that he treasured, but he died in the woods that he holds dear. Thank you for that.” (Maple)

Naleeit pointed to the others preparing to leave before speaking. 

“Go and help others. I will stay here and buy you time.” (Naleeit)

Dramix started to turn around to stand with her, as she put her hand on his shoulder. 

“You as well. You’re in no condition to fight.” (Naleeit)

Dramix closed his eyes. 

“Buy us some time. Once were past the walls, they shouldn’t care about them anymore.” (Maple)

Naleeit nodded. 

She then looked at the passage leading into the village. 

“The passage needs to become rather narrow so it can only fit one at a time. That will buy us enough time.” (Naleeit)

The elf girl nodded and took Dramix’s hand. 

Naleeit stood up after that.

She then took a plank of wood used for a lid on a pot and stood readily. She figured that it wouldn’t last more than a strike or two, but that would be as many strikes that wouldn’t land on her. 

As she stood there, she noticed a figure sitting on one of the growing vines.

“The elders say thank you.” (Maple)

Naleeit closed her eyes, smelling the fire coming closer. 

“This is my last lesson for you. Things sacred to you change with time. The most sacred thing for me used to be my brother, but now my heart is for another. Sacred things are fleeting, even people. An individual must protect something or someone if they treasure it. If you’re not around to protect in such a situation, then who will? Now aid with the evacuation. I don’t need any help to hold this place.” (Naleeit)

The elf shook her head before speaking.

“I can help.” (Maple)

Naleeit yelled at her. 

“Do as I say!” (Naleeit)

Naleeit paused before speaking with a smile.

“My squire.” (Naleeit)

The elf nodded her head. 

“When I come back to these woods, the first acorn I plant will hold the story of a brave knight. It will be of kin of dragons who made a final stand worthy of legends.” (Maple)

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