Before you start reading, I have a little sum’n sum’n for you. Someone mailed me and asked the meaning of the title. Well. “As the wolf bites my heels” is a rarely used phrase that means something is CONSTANTLY nagging you, like a wolf snipping at your feet while you try to do something. In the story, it’s the war. It’s constantly ailing Larky and… friends.
No. It has nothing to do with Clyde. His being a wolf and the title are just a coincidence.
Larky: Psh, you’re joking, Wolfie. Clyde’s always bothering me.
Xephyra: !! -tackles Clyde-
Larky: -gets hit by somersaulting Clyde- See?
Part 10! WHOOT.
The sun had already given way to the moon over the pitiful town, probably while Larky, Aster, Zanna, Ava, Josh, and Ike were all occupied in the Helios tower.
It took the team only a moment to realize that, even though towns are monster free, theyre not soldier free. As they wandered about the deserted and defiled town, they came upon a rather terrifying sight nestled in the Ludibrium Village.
There, right in front of them, were fires, all alight, but dying. But there were no marshmallows. There was, however, the enemy.
Almost 600 archers and thieves slept before them. They were hanging from balcony windows, sleeping on the ground outside of houses, napping on benches, leaning against umbrellas, what have you.
The entire mage force froze. They stared, wide eyed, at the mass before them. Not a soul stirred.
Well, so it would have been, if not for the ground shaking blast that had just come from the general direction of the Eos Tower. From that direction flew the smoking remains of a few ratz, a lego or two, and what looked like a few rocks. There must have been a blockade, but not anymore.
The 600 awoke with a start. Their just waking forms met a welcome sight to the mages who were intruding. An uncountable swarm of mages and warriors stampeded from the Eos Tower entrance, shouting as barbarians running to a battle would in the frozen fields of El Nath.
The first few deaths came swiftly. Enemy soldiers who were just jumping up to avoid the onslaught were quickly stabbed, frozen, burned, bludgeoned, and electrocuted.
More soldiers were quickly defeated when a thin, light green gas filled the air. They were grasping their throats, clawing the sky for oxygen, falling to their dooms while twitching and writhing in agony.
The eleven heroes decided that being on the opposite end of their comrades was a sure way to die. So, without even a word, they all flew to their battle stances and began attacking from their side.
A few archers and thieves had been able to get fully suited and armed already, but they still had not detected the eleven behind them. Lucky mages and animals. Unlucky soldiers.
The first to go down in the back was an archer fumbling to grab arrows from his quiver. He made no noise as ice covered his body. The shattering of his corpse when it met the ground, however, caused others to turn around.
A bandit who leapt up to use savage blow quickly flew back with a terrifying force on his chest. Xephyra was ripping at his armor, clamping down hard on his shoulder. He cried in agony, but was quickly silenced as Clyde leapt to his throat.
Larky and Zanna were freezing soldier after soldier, Aster and Josh firing arrows at the statuesque men and women to end their freezing and lives. Ri and Xhyro were kiting* soldiers to the slaughter that Clyde and Xephyra were causing. Body after body fell to the floor, and each that writhed in pain or attempted to get up were silenced by a ray of white in the form of an arrow, courtesy of either Ava or Ike.
Tsuki, perhaps, played one of the most important roles. For the first time since he fended the team from Pianus, he willingly left Avas shoulder and protection and flew away from her. She paused momentarily to glance upward once she felt his weight leave her. She called to him, but he just flew onward, straining to fly where there was no updraft to carry him.
The raven flew over the grisly battle. It was being won brutally by the mage and warrior force. He finally saw his target, and aimed a slow dive at it.
He landed on the shoulder of the General of their division. He was previously yelling out orders and tossing knives into the chests of oncoming soldiers. However, he diverted his attention to Tsuki, who was nibbling softly on his ear for the mans consideration.
The Generals face lit up in delight. Tsuki, dear boy, its you! Is Ava around, then?
The raven cawed gleefully.
Is she with Larky and Clyde?
The raven cawed again, beginning to flutter his wings.
Oh, my, then, where are they? Are they fighting?
Tsuki shot a glance straight forward, bristling his feathers. He let out a suppressed caw, made to sound like the signature growl he had heard a million times form Clyde. He failed at the sound, but the General understood all the same.
Tsuki, youre a great bird, you know. But were fighting. Go help Ava, and bring those girls back to me when this battle is won! We are winning, I hope. Now, go, he said. Without warning, he grabbed Tsuki, thrusting the bird into the air. Startled, he cawed, but used the momentum for an easy flight back to his teammates.
When he arrived on Avas shoulder, the cleric was busy healing a wound on Asters leg. The team had taken out their fair share of soldiers and had fallen back behind a few houses to recuperate.
Clydes maw was so full of blood that it was dripping, as were Xephyras claws. Xhro was whimpering in the black dragons arms from a small scratch on his underbelly. Ri was picking pieces of debris from her fur. One of her pads had been cracked and fresh blood trickled onto the plastic beneath her feet.
Zanna was busy holding Ike down with the aid of Josh while Larky placed her boot on his chest as lightly as possible.
No, really! Its okay! I can do i—AAAAGH! began Ike, ending with a shriek.
At that moment, Larky yanked an arrow from his waist, dangerously close to his groin. She tossed the dripping thing to the side while Ike quickly shrouded himself in a healing green magic.
He sat up, groaning. Then, he made the mistake of peeking from the corner of the house. The gore he saw was too much, and that sight mixed with the pain of his former wound caused him to vomit. The three that were with him made various disgusted noises and backed up to Aster, who was healed completely and leaning against the wall of the house.
Ike regained his composure and dragged himself sullenly to Asters side, pulling his knees to hi face and hiding behind them. He shivered.
Its so gory and all that pain , he started, tears beginning to well in his eyes. I was trained, I grew up, to help people not not kill them
Aster sighed, pushing his body into a more upright posture. Well, you get used to it. And you did help us. You saved Avas life back when we were lost at sea.
The cleric nodded slowly and hid his face in his arms. Larky came over and sat in Asters lap, Josh and Zanna following suit and sitting next to Aster and Ike. Ava, finally done healing the pets, came over as well, the pets trailing behind her.
That was fairly cool, sneaking up on all of them like that, said Larky, leaning back onto Asters shoulder.
He subconsciously began stroking her hair. Yeah. Espionage, almost.
You want espionage, Aster, Im the man. You just got lucky that none of them woke up.
What? the six mages said simultaneously. They looked up at the direction of the alien voice.
From the roof of the house they were hiding behind, down jumped our favorite Bowmaster, landing in a crouch.
Hello, he said casually, taking a seat in front of the team. Sup?
*Kiting is the MMO term for catching the attention of an enemy, then running in circles or something like that so it follows you while someone else kills.
WOAH 10 CHAPTERS. This calls for celebration!
Any suggestions of what the celebration should be? >.o