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Fire Emblem: Curse of the Goddess [IC/PG-16/Not Accepting]

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Shiro only hoped that the others were doing fine. For all he knew, they had all let some enemies inside and were all struggling. He wasn't sure, but that was all the more reason to make sure his job was done. None would pass him, not as long as he stood there, like a great wall, one lined with many, many cannons.

The frog attacked once more, hitting the enemy with his full body. The enemy just shrugged it off though and stabbed him with his lance, making sure even worse off than he was before. Geez, this was just not his week.

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As a new soldier stomped over the ashes of its now beheaded and charred ally, Sienna almost instinctively covered her eyes for fear of seeing more of Link's blood stain the ground, only to breath a sigh of relief as Link effortlessly dodged the incoming attack. “We broke their rank, so it’s gonna get easier from here! How are the princesses doing?” Link said before turning his attention back in front of him.

 

The thought suddenly shot through Sienna's head, how were the princesses doing on their side? Looking around, Sienna figured that this side of the shrine was well defended enough to where she could assist elsewhere. "I'm gonna assist the princesses!" she called out before making her way to where the two girls were defending. She stopped in her tracks upon seeing the onslaught of mounted enemies attacking this side.

 

Alois managed to down one but the other in front of him was still far from giving up the fight. Taking the opportunity, Sienna switched back to her normal firestone and launched a fireball at the pegasus knight, nailing the rider in the back. Hopefully that was enough to try and draw some attention from the others.

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"I can't imagine they'd let this get to them.”

 

Link grimaced. His gut feelings told him something was wrong, but there was nothing he could do to help them except hold the line. The lancer he was battling took another stab at him, but he swatted the attack away, then stepped forward and capitalized on the momentary opening to slash the beast’s chest. Against a normal opponent, it would have been a lethal blow, but the zombie seemed inconvenienced at best. Link danced away before he could be attacked again.

 

“Are...Er, we won't let them get to us." Gunther had changed what he was going to say.

 

Link threw him a look but was too preoccupied to dwell on it. The undead lancer surged forward again to attempt to run him through, and the soldier attempted to dodge, but was struck by a glancing blow to his side that knocked the wind out of him.

 

He jumped back a foot to and steadied his breathing. Natural instinct screamed for him to gasp for breath, but training and muscle memory told him he needed to control himself. The lancer growled and hobbled up toward him again, but it would take a moment for him to close the distance between them with his stunted pace, giving Link the much needed time to rally. Sienna had gone to help the princesses, the zombie priest had gone to help someone else, and Alois had left as well; it was up to he and Gunther to hold the wall now.

 

Link raised his blade and exhaled. The tension in his shoulders loosened and his stance relaxed, but his eyes narrowed and he scanned the horizon. It was dark and hard to see more than a few feet in front of his face, but he was a Night Wolf, and the absence of the light was nothing new to him.

 

Focused in on his environment as he was, Link heard the ‘thwip’ of the bowstring before he saw the undead archer. The arrow struck him in the shoulder and pain blossomed all the way down his arm. He clenched his teeth and reached up to snap the haft of the arrow off, throwing it down to the ground and hefting his blade to face the lancer closing in on him.

 

“Archers!” he shouted loud enough to be heard across the battlefield. Where there was one, more were sure to follow.

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Things were at least improving. The enemies before them were falling, however slowly, and so far none of their own number had died. A cursory look to the side saw Link back on his feet and fighting, which was no small comfort to Edrick. If one of their best was still up they were in this, and so long as he could stand he was going to keep fighting. Even if he ran they would probably catch him anyways. However there was one small problem: his newest foe was at least as fast as he was, and as he lunged out and caught the Lancer in the chest he took a spear through his gambeson as well. By now the Pontic could feel the ground beneath his feet becoming slick with his own blood, much like the rest of himself at this point. Though Ciela was doing an admirable job keeping him alive, and more importantly in the fight, he had to wonder how they were actually going to get themselves out of this. All the same, as he and the undead lancer pulled their spears from each other almost simultaneously, he braced himself to strike once again and made ready to avoid his quarry's own.

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And they kept on coming.

With a well-placed strike, Adel managed to down another of the cavalier, but another replaces it and attacked her, though her position allowed her to once again dodge the attack. Her other allies were now being occupied from defending the walls from the pegasi, and while they seemed to be doing a good job on it so far, the situation had not yet become favorable for them. And she would rather not think aout what even happened on the other side of the fort.

 

At least, hearing the situation so far, they hadn't been overran yet.

 

---

 

Things had been improving. That alone was good to know. Link didn't end up half-dead yet, and the rest of the people also didn't seem like they would fall anytime soon. As the enemy pulled out its spear from Edrick, Ciela once again focused herself and healed the lancer. There was nothing else she was able to do, but this should be good enough.

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"Move away!" in usual circumstances, Catriona would have been offended at being ordered like that, but as a soldier, she had long grown used to obeying orders barked on the battlefield. The woman struggled, managing to crawl a short distance away, taking out a vulnerary as she did so. Applying it to her wounds, she hissed as the medicine started to work its magic, sighing in relief as the bleeding finally stopped. Managing to lift herself to a sitting position, the woman watched Licorice tear a long hole through the pegasus knight's throat, the enemy dissipating into red mist soon afterward. The action also caused her to evade the lance thrust of the cavalier.

 

It was an impressive display of skill, but rather than awe, Catriona only felt annoyance. To have to be saved thus was a blow to her pride. Still, it would be remiss of her to say nothing. "My thanks," she croaked out.

 

To the north, the enemy gathered around the walls. There seemed to be no end to them, and it was apparent that while they were yet unrelenting in their attacks, the defenders were starting to grow tired. And yet, more and more enemies seemed distracted by the fighting further south, and broke off. One of them, a mage, threw a fireball over the wall, but instead of hitting Alois, it hit its flying ally instead, though the attack didn't seem to faze the pegasus knight, who flew over to attack Ciela, but missed.

 

Quatro, who had gone largely forgotten throughout the battle, would see from her position a bright light coming from the east. As it got closer, she could barely make out what looked like a figure astride a horse, holding a staff aloft. It was from the staff that the light shone. As the figure came closer and closer, it looked as if they would reach the shrine within the minute.

 

In anticipation of that, the enemies on the east side started to move down as well.

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Tsetseg seemed to be getting frustrated in herself as the knight seemed to keep pressuring the croaky one in front of her. In spite of the hail of arrows that she had let loose towards the creature, it did not seem to be any closer to falling. All the same, she had to keep firing and so, the girl began to draw yet another arrow. However, as she did, she heard something unfamiliar coming from their side. Wing beats. Looking to see that a pegasus, one with evil red glowy eyes, had flanked them, the girl jumped a bit. "Shiro, I need to take of that flyee horse pegasus. I'll be back!" With that, the girl, quite like the protean she was spotting, hopped closer to the combat. Once the pegasus knight was in range, the girl pulled the arrow she had readied back, taking aim at her target. Slowly looking at them, she read the rhythm of the flier, watching the rider bob up and down with each wing beat of its mount. It didn't take long for her to get a full read, before quickly firing an arrow out, hurtling towards the Awakened. As the arrow struck them in the head, a sickening crack could be heard as the neck bent back entirely and the rider fell of the pegasus, leaving the mount still alive and hovering while the rider lied motionless on the ground. 

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Things were getting more and more hectic. He noticed the Pegasus Knight fly by but couldn't do anything about it. His heart sank as he saw Ciela in the open but...it seemed she was fine. And Tsetseg proved her aim was true by felling the Awakened that had attacked.

 

Gunther nodded. Like Link he had come to the conclusion that all he could do now was hold this line and keep this wave of enemies from crashing down upon the rest.

 

Determination renewed he watched as the Knight drew his lance back. Noticing the undead creature wavering a bit, perhaps due to damage done to that shoulder, Gunther, in a surprisingly swift motion, stepped to the side and let the lance breeze past him. A thrill went through him as he thought, perhaps in another lifetime, he could have gone the route of speed over defense. The blonde Knight thrust his own lance forward and struck the Knight in the same shoulder again, hoping to damage it more and make it easier to dodge next time.

 

He was starting to get the hang of this...though Link's proclamation of archers made him remember something important.

 

They were sitting ducks for any ranged attackers.

 

With a groan Gunther lifted his shield up. Well, here we go again...


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Okay, that had...gone very well. Penelope smiled, despite the pain, at what she had witnessed. "We manged to stave off their invasion force, they won't break through us!" She proclaimed.

 

"More...coming." Came what she assumed was Quatro's voice. So, they had finally began to move on that side as well...Originally she wanted to go with Catriona to protect that side but as it was...she wouldn't reach. And there were more foes on this end to contend with. "Catriona, go with Unil to our unprotected side and make sure they don't break through. Be careful and take it slow. We don't need you to take them all on yourself just to keep them from funneling in."

 

She moved behind their Pegasus-less Pegasus Rider. Calling back to Alois. "Adelaide needs backup, follow me."

Every time she said that name, Adelaide, something in her mind perks up. For some reason there was something vaguely familiar about the name but she couldn't pin down quite why...

Either case once she reached her destination she looked to Unil and held out her hand. "Torch please...hold onto this for me, too." She handed over her flask of Antitoxin, knowing that she was beginning to weigh herself down, as she lit up the torch.

 

She considered ordering Ciela down there as well...but that could leave them open over here, too. She decided to wait for just a bit longer to determine where the healers would be most needed.

She was still unused to even having healers to work with. Usually her strategy would call for a lot more replacements but with this...truly, the Pontics were a frightening foe.

---

"Keep...safe." Unil grunted as he spurred his undead horse towards the opening where Awakened would soon be attacking. As he passed by Catriona he told her "You are...not like...most." The mysterious statement seemed all Unil could manage in his state.

 

Dua would sigh if his body allowed such things. Back and forth he went. Healing here and there. He wondered if his mentor had ever had to exercise this much to do his duty. Nonetheless he wasn't too far to reach Link and once more raise his Mend staff. He wouldn't let this boy fall again.

 

Penvo, eyes locked ahead, and feeling confident, decided to throw two knives at the same time. A trick that usually wouldn't work well especially in the dark. But for Penvo it seemed almost natural. Both knives struck the Awakened on the other side in each eye socket and, finally, the creature died. She glanced over at Trim and let an almost smug. "Not so...hard."

 

Trim grunted and noticed as the Lancer who had prayed for their help leaving his spot and...Now THAT was a boy Trim could fight alongside! He attempted to let out a battle cry but it turned out more like a battle rasp as he immediately took Edrick's place. Knocking aside the Lancer foe's weapon with the shaft of his axe he then raised said axe up high and brought it down with a heavy slam onto the creature's skull. Cutting through it entirely with a single swing and ending the Awakened's second life.

 

After letting out her warning Quatro immediately moved into position and knocked and arrow, aiming for the enemy she could hit that was closest to entering the shrine. "Not...on my watch" she muttered as the arrow sank into the undead's neck. A usually fatal wound which was still not quite enough to finish it off.

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Alois was feeling confident as he, the princess and the dead horse guy managed to repel off the pegasus knights. This was not broken, but overlayed with confusion, as a fireball came near him and instead struck the last living(?) pegasus knight near them. While Alois seemed ready to strike at the mage, Penelope had called to help her with backing one of theirs up. Glaring at the red eyes and remaining embers that tried to strike him, Alois reluctantly backed off and instead moved down. Seeing the red eyes, higher off the ground then that of the mage, Alois attempted to line up his hand axe as he was about to get ready to toss it at the Awakened. Just before he threw his axe, however, a light flared up behind him, giving him a much better view of the opponent. "Alright, much better." With a much better look at his opponent, Alois tossed the handaxe over to the cavalier. Flying true, the blade cleaved into the already injured Awakened, tearing through its torso and causing the nearly severed body  of the Awakened to slump forward. While Alois seemed happy with work, he merely let out a, "tsk," as the Awakened he struck let out a groan and seemed to still ready itself for a chance at their dismounted pegasus knight. 

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"No one should...fight without...aid." Shiro looked to see one of the dead people on their side healing him. It made him feel much better. He was ready to fight this knight once more! He got into position, but not before hearing the archer call out to him. 

 

"Shiro, I need to take of that flyee horse pegasus. I'll be back!" With that, the girl ran off, to take care of the flying horses. He had to admit, it was good she was doing her part. It seemed everyone was. Otherwise, they'd all be dead by now. Speaking of dead... Shiro dived forward, ramming his head into the knight's body. The knight retaliated, and once more, two immovable objects clashed.

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The sound of beating wings drew Edrick's attention away from the lancer he had been fighting, and sure enough as he turned to look he saw a rider atop a Pegasus swooping down, both of their eyes red, and presumably coming to strike at Ciela. For all the hurt he had taken, he could not allow her to come to harm. But at the same time he could hardly move from where he stood to intercept. But before he could even make up his mind, he saw the rider's head snap back as an arrow struck it. Heard its neck snap and the Awakened fall clattering to the ground, though the Pegasus itself was still there. Surely as much a danger to them as a mad horse left suddenly to run about a town unattended.

 

That thought inspired an idea. A Pegasus was basically a horse, right? Sure there were wings, but a cursory glance at it showed that the saddle was, indeed, very similar to a normal riding saddle. Even more so to those he had seen the Paladins in Amaseia and Sinope use when they rode. He knew how to ride a horse, Elba was the entire reason he had run off on this crazy venture after all. How different could it be? Somewhere in his mind a doubt arose. This was insane. How did he even know he could do this? He answered it in a way that he imagined would make his mother and father proud: he didn't know, but he believed.

 

The clumsy thrust of his spear at the Lancer he had been squaring off with did not fend them off as much as he could, he felt the head of their spear dig into his left buttock as he turned and jumped for the Pegasus, but he heard the sound of flesh being torn behind him as an axe came down. It seemed he was not leaving as big of a gap in their defenses as he thought. That let him resolve all the better to continue, and so he threw his foot into one of the stirrups and swung himself up into the saddle. The Pegasus reared up, and from its flaring wings he imagined it was going to leap into the air to try and buck him off, just as he got himself settled in. So he leaned forward, wrapped his left arm around its neck and pressed in against its back to hold on while he held the spear out past his side. Without even thinking he spoke a few words that had calmed Elba during her fits.

"Calmează-te și nu plânge, eu sunt prietenul tău." It was almost second nature for him to say, and he felt the Pegasus stamp back on the ground, at the very least stalled in its anger for a moment. Its head turned back to him, red eyes gleaming in the night, as he stood himself up in the saddle and reached a hand forward to stroke at its mane. Rotted and ragged though this Awakened creature was, it seemed it did indeed react very much like a normal horse. It gave a whinny, which he took to be plaintive, and he spoke again. "E în regulă dacă te împrumut?" He was not sure if the creature understood, but before his eyes its own changed, to gleaming white stars much like their unexpected allies'. It snorted, held its head high and looked all around them while raising its wings. Well, that was a good sign.

"Penelop!" Edrick cried out, looking for the younger of the Princesses as he took the reigns in his left hand. "Where do you need me?"

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Sienna flashed a smile as her fireball hit its mark on the undead pegasus rider, and within a matter of minutes, it soon came crashing to the ground. Little by little, she was getting the hang of this fighting business, though she wasn't getting any closer to liking it. Thankfully, she could rest easy on the fact that these things weren't human, or even still alive for that matter, come to think of it. Her mind shot back to the battle as the flap of feathery wings could be heard flying past her, a pegasus had managed to fly over towards her previous position.

 

Sienna could only hope that her allies would be able to take the winged creature down as she had other things to take care of, namely, helping the princesses' group. Noticing Alois moving away to take care of a cavalier, Sienna followed after to the point where she could see the princesses, or at least one of them, and by the looks of things, they were struggling. Especially the group's pegasus knight newcomer who was off her mount for some reason.

 

Taking the opportunity to assist them, Sienna jumped in front of Alois and launched a fireball over the wall at an already injured cavalier, putting it to a fiery rest. She looked over at Alois and the Princess. "Is everything ok? I've come to help." she stated.

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The lancer closed the distance and stabbed at him. Link swatted the spear away, then pushed off his heel and smashed elbow into the undead’s helmet. It stunned the creature long enough for him to pull back his blade and stab it through the lancer’s stomach, pushing until it came out his back. Link ripped his sword free and kicked the undead in the chest, knocking it to the ground.

 

His attention was caught by the pounding of a pegasus’ wings from nearby. He whirled around, expecting to find an enemy flanking them, but instead found Edrick struggling to stay purchased on an undead pegasus. “...”

 

Another arrow struck him in the shoulder before he could gather his thoughts. Pushing that situation out of his mind for the moment, Link turned back and found himself staring down a rotting archer, presumably the one who had just put an arrow in his shoulder.

 

He really wished he had a shield right now.

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Yet another Cavalier came to replace the one that had been re-murdered by Adel. Fatigue had started to kick in on her side, but she remained on her position. Adel was barely able to pay much attention to the situation around her, but she managed to feel that Penelope had moved in to near her, a guess which was confirmed with a torch being lit up. The flashing light had given her the opening to get her grip back and strike at the enemy cavalier, injuring it, but her footwork this time was slow, and the cavalier managed to strike her in return. It was nothing but a small wound however, and Adel remained steadfast.

 


 

"W-the hell are you...!"

 

Just as Ciela finished healing Edrick again, a Pegasus Knight suddenly attacked her out of her blind spot, and if it was not for pure luck, she would've been disemboweled in one strike. Locked in melee with such a fast enemy, Ciela's breathing became more and more unsteady, but thankfully, a well-placed attack by Tsetseg downed the rider of the pegasi. However, before Ciela could sigh in relief, Edrick happened.

 

"Wha..uh...what...Edrick! That doesn't even make any sense!"

 

So just when Ciela tried to gather herself and focus on her job on keeping Edrick alive, Edrick somehow had gotten the bright idea of jumping at the now-riderless Pegasus and thought of using it as if it was a horse. Even Remy was horrified. But it somehow worked, and Ciela was left dumbfounded for a moment until she realized that she still had to do her job and so she went to heal Edrick again, internally cursing inside of her head.

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Grimacing in pain, Catriona swayed on her feet, dizzy from blood loss. The woman could only hope that Licorice would be able to take care of the others. Though, if she were to be honest, she should be more concerned with herself. She was still injured, with barely anything left of her vulnerary. The sound of hooves brought her from her thoughts, and the lord turned to the left to see Unil, the Awakened cavalier, pulling past her.

 

"You are...not like...most."

 

While Catriona didn't understand his exact meaning, they were enough to push her to move toward the east. "You are right," she replied. "I am not like most, and that is why I must keep fighting." The lord continued applying the vulnerary to her wounds, until there was nothing left. The woman straightened till she stood tall once more. She was the Crown Princess of Galtea, and she would defend the shrine with her life if need be. They needed to survive this.

 

Licorice, meanwhile, had taken the head off of the cavalier in front with a casual swipe, avoiding the attack from the cavalier following up behind with an equally casual backflip.

 

To the north, a lancer stepped down and attempted to hit Trim, but missed. However, the archer behind it managed to hit, though the attack didn't seem to do much to the Awakened barbarian.

 

To the west, the cluster of enemy Awakened moved south, in range of the units behind the wall, though they did not seem to realize yet that they could attack, stumbling and pushing against the stone blocks to no avail, as if the wall itself were their enemy.

 

On the eastern front, the enemies continued to move south, but paused suddenly as the horsed figure they had anticipated reached the path leading to the shrine. They shrank back from the light temporarily before continuing to move forward.

 

[spoiler=OOC]

Things are heating up as more enemies move down and away from the north exits, one of our own is astride an undead pegasus, and a mysterious figure appears to the east! Meanwhile, Catriona is ready to die for the cause. What happens next? Find out next time, on Fire Emblem: Curse of the Goddess!

 

Also, CowCow, it's "that" time.

 

 

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After having shot the rider off of their mount, Tsetseg could only watch a bit in awe as to what had happened next. She wasn't quite sure how to describe what happened, merely that the end result of it had left her a bit stunned. As the Pontic boy had managed to tame the undead horse, Tsetseg was equally parts shocked and impressed as she was a bit uneasy by the whole thing. As such, she was conflicted as to whether she should ignore it or congratulate the boy, and so she went with an awkward combination of both. Without facing him she merely stammered out, "good- good job, good job with the pegasus...and...yeah."

 

With her hand gripping her bow tighter, the girl looked for something to swiftly take her attention away from this conflicting feeling, when she realized that a few of her friends were fighting in the complete darkness. Thinking that her friends might be having a difficult time with fighting in the dark, as she had learned that people did indeed have trouble seeing at night from her time in the patrol, she took out one of the torches on her person and lit it. Moving so that her allies were engulfed in the light, she gave a friendly wave to them, with the torch, were they look over to her position. 

 

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After catching his axe, Alois was ready to send the sharp weapon at the cavalier again when a white beastly suddenly jumped in front of him. Reflexively recoiling from the suddenness of it, it didn't take him long to see that it was just Sienna, and that she had come to aid them. As she turned back to ask them if everything was okay, Alois remarked, "well, it's the middle of the night. We're at an abandoned church and we're fighting an army of dead people. So, just peachy really." In spite of the clear sarcasm in his quip, Alois looked around briefly and noticed that the mass of red eyes they had been facing off against had looked much less massive. Bolstered by this, a grin formed on the boy's face as he saw more of the Awakened move alongside the wall.

 

Looking at the mage that had failed to hit him earlier, he called out saying, "hey! Time for round two Sparky." The Awakened halted its advance, and turned to Alois as if it had suddenly remembered that people beyond the wall existed. With tome in hand, the corpse begin to conjure a ball of flame in its hand, only for this conjuration to be stopped short as an axe buried itself in the chest of the creature. Sending the Awakened backward, its body harmlessly colliding with an ally before dropping to the ground lifelessly. With the axe dislodging itself from the corpse of the mage as it made its way back to Alois, the fighter merely smirked at his quite decisive victory over them. 

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Gunther took a deep breath. He could do this he could do this he could do this. Bracing himself the Knight thrust forward, aiming for the other Knight's head. Unfortunately the attack merely hit across the side of the helmet. And, though it snapped the Awakened's head backwards it seemed not to truly stop the undead creature.

 

And so the Awakened attacked in turn. The lance piercing into Gunther's abdomen. It managed to get through part of his armor and cause a wound onto his skin. The lance pierced his skin and blood welled up and out of the pierced armor.

 

Gritting his teeth he tried not to cry out in pain, and failed.

 

And then next to him Link nearly fell again. "No, Link, you..you can't die! I can't...hold them off...if you fall."


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Penelope looked around. Things were going...well? It was hard to tell, especially as she noticed some issues up front. Yet, over here...things seemed to be looking up.

If they could keep going like this...they might be able to break through.

 

She smiled as Alois felled one of the mages easily. "Good work, seems all that wood cutting was helpful for something right?"

 

Adel looked to be fine. The woman was impressive, Penelope had to admit, and the princess was glad she was here with them.

 

Penelope considered trying to attack herself but then the injury flared up and she hissed as the pain went through her. She had to concentrate. And to concentrate she had to be healthy. And so, holding the torch still, she administered a Vulnerary on her wound.

 

"Where do you need me?"

 

Penelope glanced over to where she heard Edrick's voice and he... "WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?" Penelope shouted. Then, taking a deep breath, she immediately began to consider the tactical implications.

 

She knew that the enemies near Licorice were falling quickly. Which meant that the Fox would be freed up quickly. And so...

 

Penelope nodded. "Edrick, come here, to us, and avoid the range of the Archers. Everyone. Get ready. We're going to attempt to push them back and take some pressure off our front line."

------

Dua was almost glad that he was dead already. He felt that this young man, this Link, would have given him a heart attack otherwise. Moving to the soldier he once again used his Mend staff to bring him from the brink. "Getting to be...a habit." He rasped.

 

Trim, on the other hand, seemed to only be getting into it more. With a rasp his mouth opened up into a semi-grin. Raising his axe high, the Barbarian didn't seem to mind the Lancer sticking his weapon into the Awakened's chest, he brought his arm down to cleave a wound deep in the Lancer's chest. The opposing Awakened stumbled back from the force and Trim grunted as he prepared to go for the kill.

 

Penvo would have laughed were it possible. She was fighting alongside an immovable Frog! "You're like a walking...castle...wall." She said to him as she vaulted over him and, as she jumped, launched a couple of knives into another of the Lancers across the way. Upon landing she stumbled slightly, her body not as used to such things in this state, but brushed it off as she prepared to attack again.

 

Quatro quickly moved down to the other arrow slit as the horde began to advance. She narrowed her eyes in annoyance as she noticed that her previous quarry had moved into a position she couldn't reach. So instead she settled for firing off an arrow at a second Fighter, intent on feathering as many of them as possible, and struck the undead on the side of the head, almost into the ear hole itself.

 

Unil wished he could move faster as he approached the opening in the wall that he was to defend with the...odd girl. If his horse was just a bit faster perhaps he could have reached the foe already.

 

And then, as he reached his destination, he hesitated. There was a light, not far from there, a strange light. A powerful light.

 

What...was that?


"Egads, even in this strange land there is evil running amok! Well, no matter, for it is my sworn duty to smite evil no matter where it may rear its detestable and uncouth head!" The green haired woman astride her horse posed gracefully as she watched the undead horde approach. "If only Rennac and Dozla were here, they would enjoy this ever so much! I suppose I must put in the effort for them then! Come, vile beast, and face my holy vengeance!"

 

The Cavalier at the head of the group seemed to hesitate for a moment before charging towards her. Without letting her confident smile slide off her face the woman pulled a tome out and began to chant, in a language unknown to those here, and a ray of light shot into the sky. Moments later a beam of light crashed down on the Cavalier and, when it vanished, so too did the Cavalier disappear. As though vaporized instantly.

 

"Now who is next to face my divine fury...wait, what is this, I hear...By Latona there are people fighting in that building!" She then, completely unconcerned about the army moments from reaching her, spurred her horse onward and into the entrance of the structure. Where she found... "Ah, another fiend! You, too, shall face...hm, you seem somehow different from those." And indeed she didn't feel the same malevolence from the creatures outside. A rather strange circumstance but one that she wouldn't let get to her. "Well then I suppose I should introduce myself. I am the Divine Beauty of Radiance and Gracefulness, the Princess of Holy Might whose divine mission is to rid the world of evil and let justice prevail. I am L'Arachel and I am here to save you all from this strange evil!"

 

She then noticed the woman on the other side of this strange undead. "Ah, I take it you are in command here, yes? There is a certain aura about you. You, too, are an ally of justice are you not?"

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Luckily for the Galtean soldier, the archer wasn’t quick to notch another arrow. It was an especially good thing because the fallen lancer at his feet feet apparently wasn’t dead either. It reached for his boots and tried to pull him to the ground. Link buried his sword in the back of the ghoul’s head. Incredulously, the monster kept clawing at his heel until he desperately wrenched his blade free and stabbed it again.

 

“Spirits…” he rasped. Fatigue was finally starting to catch up to him. The cold had thoroughly sapped Link of his usually legendary stamina, and while his wounds had been magicked away, there was nothing but a good night’s rest that could cure his blood loss.

 

Another arrow slammed into his chest. His chain held that time, but it still sent a wave of pain racing from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. It was a hurt that urged him to tuck his tail and admit that there was no fight left in the wolf, because he was tired and cold and everything hurt. But he was once a Garou; the fight wouldn’t leave him until the day of his cremation, so instead he summoned forth every ounce of willpower and soldiered on, hefting his sword and dashing toward the archer who had just shot him.

 

He was almost within striking distance when another lancer stepped out from the shadows, striking him on the chest with a strong thrust from a rusted spear. A sharper weapon and the attack would have spelled his end, but as it was, it picked him up off his feet and launched him back toward Gunther.

 

Link huffed and dug his heels into the ground to stop him from sliding any further. “I can’t get at the archer! Armor is holdin’ for now, but they’ll get lucky eventually!” he warned, his rural accent heavily surfacing when he raised his voice to be heard over the clamor of battle. The lancer advanced on him and Link barely caught the spear with his sword, knocking it away before tucking his shoulder in and bowling into the lancer to push him back and buy enough time to regain his bearings.

 

It was, of course, at that moment the archer shot again. The arrow stuck into his collarbone, not sinking very deep because it hit bone, but the reaction was immediate. Link reeled back clutching his neck with one hand, blood already gushing between his fingers.

 

Beside him, Gunther faltered. "No, Link, you..you can't die! I can't...hold them off...if you fall."

 

Link tried to find his voice to respond but nothing came out. He wanted to reassure the Knight that he wasn’t about to go down but he couldn’t. His vision was starting to “spot”, fill with little black dots, a telltale sign of consciousness being lost.

 

And then the familiar warmth of healing magic washed over him again and most of the pain faded. The aches were still there, but the spotting cleared up, and he could breathe again. "Getting to be...a habit."

 

Link felt terrible. Not just physically, but emotionally, having to rely on the Goddess’ dreaded magic to survive. “Death happens. If I do fall, you’ll have to carry on for the both of us.” He reclaimed his spot at Gunther’s side. “The princesses are relying on us to hold the line, so we will.”

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"You're like a walking...castle...wall." Shiro looked up as one of their new allies played leap frog with him, vaulting over him and attacking the enemy in front of him. He never though of himself as that bulky, but it seemed that everyone else was a lot squisher than he was, so it must be true. Foxes must just have amazing offensive capabilities to tear through a frog's defense.

Still, he shouldn't let himself get distracted because of a little praise. The giant frog dashed forward, ramming his large, wall like body into the knight, who took it all in stride. The knight retaliated, stabbing Shiro with its weapon. Once again, the cycle continued.

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"Well, it's the middle of the night. We're at an abandoned church and we're fighting an army of dead people. So, just peachy really."

 

Despite the remark from Alois, Sienna could tell he at least was happy for the backup. He threw his axe across the wall and the sound of a dying awakened could be heard before his axe came back to him. Maybe moving over here was a smart move, she was only making space for the enemies up top but here she could freely shoot at the awakened on the opposite side. Using this knowledge, Sienna moved a bit and could make out the sound of a swordsman dragging his sword across the ground.

 

She took aim and shot a fireball from her elfirestone, the sound of a burning awakened assured her that she had hit her mark. Unfortunately, by the sound of the awakened stomping around in rage, it seemed like it wasn't a killing blow.

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"WHAT ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?" Penelope's question was, honestly, the first bit of doubt Edrick had about this plan that he actually listened to. At least he listened to it for all of six seconds, at which point his own thoughts caught back up to him and he answered.

 

"IT'S WORKING, DON'T QUESTION IT!" Essentially that summed up his own thoughts on the subject. For now he was keeping himself in the saddle of a flying creature that had absolutely no business so much as crawling right now. If he bathed more regularly he might be concerned about the smell. Eventually though, Penelope's wonderful strategic mind had an answer for him as well.

"Edrick, come here, to us, and avoid the range of the Archers. Everyone. Get ready. We're going to attempt to push them back and take some pressure off our front line." That was a good plan. It would let them hit the enemy's back lines with relative impunity, and more over allow them to properly regroup with their own front line. He nodded, and flicked the reins of the Pegasus to turn it around and get it on its way. Flying was...an interesting experience. So interesting in fact that he spent several moments trying to figure out how to get the winged horse to go back to the ground. He managed to work it out well enough actually, such that he came down by the altar where he had initially performed the ritual that...now he thought about it might have kicked a lot of this mess off. Shaking his head to clear those thoughts, he took note of the pack left on top of it and a thought occurred. Torches. Dark as it was they were going to need more. So he made to dig one out, and in the process he noticed the water he had entrusted to Penelope. Maybe she hadn't been able to carry it? Well it would do better in his hands than in nobody's hands at this point so he took that as well and ignited the torch he had lit.

 

He raised his head just in time to see a miracle play out in front of his eyes. A pillar of light coming crashing down from the heavens, and incinerating one of the rotting awakened that were assailing them. So he stood there, slack-jawed, in the saddle of the Pegasus, clutching a lit torch in the hand that had previously been holding the reins. The whole of the rest of the world around him went quiet as he waited, holding his breath without even realising it, to see what would come of this.

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Adel tried her best to not pay attention to the stunt that Edrick was doing with the undead pegasus, and everyone's reactions to it. HIs attempt of riding hit a little too close to home, but more importantly it was distracting. With the illumination making the vision of the area clear, Adel managed to land a direct hit on the cavalier in front of it, strong enough to kill it. However, this occasion was used by a revenant mercenary that had been waiting right behind the cavalier, and Adel was unable to dodge the attack. Furthermore, just as she was reeling from the impact of the strike, a mage that she had missed from her field of vision used the moment to hit her with its magic. That really was painful. Adel was still holding up, but the damage was definitely felt.

 

Then that one loud woman came into the fray and start blasting the enemy using some strange magic. It was the first time Adel saw such a magic, and it made her wonder on what the hell was that woman on to be able to use something like that. But nevermind that, it's another of those absurd distractions in this battle. It seemed that Princess Catriona would be the one to deal with it anyway.

 

In the meantime, Ciela, who was still shaking her head at what Edrick was doing, ended up healing the undead ally that moved in to replace the now-roaming Edrick. It didn't seem like she realized the new arrival just yet.

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Catriona stared at the woman before her in stupefaction. For one, she hadn't heard of there being another princess, and for another, this woman was an amazing thunder valkyrie. That had to be what she was, for there was no other magic that released such a blinding light. Still, something about it seemed different than what she had seen before, but no matter.

 

"Ah, I take it you are in command here, yes? There is a certain aura about you. You, too, are an ally of justice are you not?"

 

"Ah, indeed, I am," the lord replied as she approached the woman, stopping to stand in front of her. "My name is Catriona," once more, she cursed her thoughtlessness. She would have to get used to using a pseudonym, or her slip of the tongue might be her undoing. "And if by ally of justice, you mean that we are fighting these Awakened, then yes." Her expression brightened. "If I may be frank, are you set on fighting these foes as well? If so, I suggest we join forces. As you can see, the enemy are many."

 

Right after she spoke, the enemies started to move down, clustering in front of the eastern entrance. A few tried to attack L'Arachel, but only one, a fighter, succeeded in actually hitting her, though his attack didn't seem to faze the horsed woman, who looked to be a valkyrie.

 

To the west, two archers gathered around the entrance, both aiming their bows at Adelheid. The two hit, whittling her down to very low health.

 

Below, Licorice lunged at the cavalier twice, watching with dispassionate eyes as it dissipated into blood red mist. She looked back briefly to see that Catriona had the stranger with the staff handled before turning back to look at the foes to the immediate north. "Where do you want me to go?" she asked Penelope.

 

To the north, the enemies stayed where they were, though a few on the western edge looked as if they were ready to break free and head down to join their fellow Awakened there.

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As the boy got his axe back in hand, he turned to face the princess as she spoke out to him. "Wasn't the best woodcutter in town for nothing," he joked towards the girl. "And I bet all those royal libraries are really paying off now for you." It was at that point he heard the girl shout, to which his attention was draw towards a pegasus. But not just any pegasus, one with a boy that had caused him to question their sanity on more occasions then one. And it appeared that this was yet another of those occasions. As both he and the princess screamed back to each other the boy shook his head saying, "not even going to question it."

 

He then watched as the fox companion next to him went to work and shot the flames towards one of the sword wielding Awakened. Seeing that the husk of a man did not take the fire well, Alois didn't pay much mind to where it was going, thinking that their new lancer who had been parked in the one spot this whole time could keep it up, instead  turned his attention to one of the Awakened archers. Spinning his hand axe around, the boy then lobbed it at the archer, the blade of the axe  spinning and slicing across the back of the archer. A large chunk of flesh and bone was taken off by the blade, with the archer just letting out a low raspy moan as it slowly turned it slowly went back to readying its bow as  normal. Catching the axe back, he merely looked to the archer and taunted, "come on. Gotta show a little more spirit than that if you want to kill us." 

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Just focus, Gunther, focus on the enemy. He could tell the Knight he was facing was almost done for. This was his chance! The large man stepped forward and thrust his lance at the foe. It struck true, piercing the Awakened's armor at the chest and, as Gunther drew his lance back, leaving a hole in the metal. The Awakened stumbled, nearly falling, and Gunther tightened his grip on his lance in preparation to finish him off.

 

And then an arrow came in and caught him in the arm. Wincing, he instinctively moved to take the arrow out, and in that moment a hand axe came in and, similarly to the Knight he just attacked, pierced through the man's armor and dug deep into his flesh before returning to the Awakened's hand.

 

Gunther let out a gasp and blood came from his mouth. A coldness crept through his body as he stumbled and dropped his lance. The world grew blurred, and his eyesight dimmed. All he could hear was a low buzzing as he felt himself start to drop.

 

So, this was it, wasn't it? Even with all his armor...this was the end.

"Urgh, it was inevitable… after all."


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Penelope couldn't see, nor hear, what was happening with Gunther at the time. Which was quite possibly fortunate as she would not have been able to continue to fight here were she to realize.

 

Her trust in her companions made her certain the front wouldn't fall yet. So she was focused on the group in front of her. Alois has scored an impressive hit on one of the archers but she knew both would have to go down as fast as possible if they were to employ Edrick and his...let's not think about that.

 

That was when she heard Licorice's shout. She called back, realizing now was their chance, with a "Attack their flank while they're focused on us, that Archer, take it down first!"

 

She then moved in front of Alois. "Let's not taunt the undead legion, shall we?" She said to Alois as she summoned her powerful Elwind attack and sliced the Archer open, felling it.

 

She grinned, then shook a bit, as she thought of what it must look like now. She decided to glance away to see how the others around her was doing and noticed Edrick astride the Pegasus, holding a torch aloft. "He's rather, er, noticeable. Isn't he?" She muttered.

---

Unil wasn't sure how to react to this strange woman...and so he didn't. He would just continue to defend this place as he had intended from the start. Hefting his Javelin once more he took his position besides the young woman who was leading this group. With a mighty heave he threw the weapon over the wall and into the throat of one of the axe wielding Awakened, pinning it to the ground before its body faded into death once more.

 

Dua's eyes scanned the wounded once more. They all seemed to be in rough shape but he noticed the other healer, that strange woman, was already treating some of them. The Knight seemed hurt but he hadn't been attacked again yet and Dua knew that armor was strong. Hopefully it would hold while he went off back to that strange Frog person. He wasn't sure how many times this made it but once again he lifted his Mend Staff and healed the warrior fully.

 

Trim was prepared to finish off the foe in front of him but, before he could, Penvo suddenly appeared at his side and finished them off instead. He let out a rasping growl of frustration at her, not noticing her point out the enemy approaching until he felt the sting of its lance in his side. An arrow to the chest following soon after.

The Barbarian prepared to bring his axe down on the second Lancer until he heard a cough from Penvo. "Didn't I tell you...use head,...for something other than breaking skulls?"

He paused, then noticed the other Awakened ready to swarm him, and, reluctantly, pulled his hand axe out instead and cleaved it through the Archer's shoulder.

 

Quatro smirked slightly as she realized that one of her targets was still within range. She moved closer to the arrow slit and, turning to the side, fired off a second arrow into the Fighter's temple and dropped him. She was feeling fairly pleased with herself...until she noticed the intense power of that rather loud woman.


"And if by ally of justice, you mean that we are fighting these Awakened, then yes." Her expression brightened. "If I may be frank, are you set on fighting these foes as well? If so, I suggest we join forces. As you can see, the enemy are many."

 

"Awakened?" The woman said. "So that is the name of these dreadful creatures? Rather pleasant sounding for something so sickening. Whatever the case I, The Shining Beauty Princess L'Arachel, shall not hesitate to bring my divine power to exterminate these fiends. Watch, Catriona, as my power brings light to this darkness!"

 

The dastardly undead tried to take advantage of her speech to attack her but her horse, and her reflexes, were too swift. She merely took a grazing blow across her leg. A wound that, in the past, may have truly hindered her. But now was but a flesh wound.

 

She moved into position on the other side of the wall,letting Catriona be in position to fight back, "After all it would not do to prevent you from sharing the glorious mission of smiting this evil!" and launched another mighty beam of light onto a Cavalier on the other side of the wall.

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