“Spirit Run” – part 10

Still going strong on this story. I’ve made some revisions as necessary, but nothing too crazy. I’ve had my mind on some other projects, but have thankfully been staying on task. That’s the good part. The bad part? Well, I’ve had my mind on other projects. And I’d like to start them sooner than later. That’s the bad part. Until that time comes, more of this story to cometh.

Enjoy.

Two of the Angels ignored Armin. The other, closest to Armin, tilted his head in Armin’s direction. He was darkly-skinned and had long black hair. His eyes, a light blue, were striking to Armin. The Angel didn’t smile; he flapped his wings and nodded.
“Not much for conversation now, are we?” asked Armin. “Come on now, we’ve made it this far. Surely, you must have a sense of humor?”
“Seeing what I have seen,” said the Angel. His voice was deeper than what Armin expected. “It is difficult sometimes, but we maintain.”
“I see…,” said Armin.
“But as I’m sure you’ve discovered, it’s not easy caring for a Daughter.”
“Our Trio has never had the experience,” said Armin. “What’s it like?”
The other Angel’s eyes went wide. He had a look of terror and fright, which made Armin wish he could retract his statement. But then the other Angel smiled.
“When you get to the end, come and see me,” said the Angel. “The hope and the reward are more than justifiable. You will see.”
“I thank you,” said Armin. “That was better news than I expected to hear.”
The other Angel floated high and away from Armin. Balphin and Harda, still at the ready, looked on at Armin with inquiring faces.
“What did he say?” asked Harda.
“He told me eager to see the end of this journey and he’s tired of working with the other two he’s paired with.”
“Is that so?” asked Balphin.
“Ha!” shouted Harda. “Are you sure that wasn’t your own story you just retold?”
Armin smiled. “Lads, you know me too well.”
The Trio shared a laugh as they watched over their Daughter with great intent. The road was blossoming all around the path she was making. Eventually her path crossed with another’s and the area bloomed greater. And then another. And another. More and more were attracted to the garden she had created. Armin, Balphin, and Harda were elated. The journey was not as treacherous as they had presumed.
But then, the howls returned. Armin heard it before any of the others. A loud boom, followed by a vicious hiss swept over the landscape. Daughter stopped where she was and waited. The others did the same. The howls got louder and louder. It was all like it was before. The Trio readied themselves for battle.
“Again, eh?!” said Armin.
“Again, indeed,” said Balphin.
“It’s as I said – bring them to me!” shouted Harda.
Then, the Trio’s Daughter took off running. The Angels clapped their wings and took flight with her. She ran with arms pumping and legs flying high. Orange and gold light poured off of her as she ran. Then the Darkness came. One by one, Shadows flew into the path of the Daughter and the Trio. They were not without form this time. They had faces – twisted, wretched faces. Like skin that was melting away, their gray complexions screamed at the Daughter as she ran.
“Not again!” cried Balphin as he unsheathed his sword. Light exploded as Balphin’s blade struck the enemy. A violent clang shook Balphin, exposing that the Darkness was not without its own set of weapons. Out of its black robe emerged a silver blade, stained with the tears and blood of those whom it had already pierced. Balphin could see the faces of a hundred, maybe more, lined against the blade’s edge. Their pain could felt against Balphin’s ray of light, nearly disarming him. But the mighty Angel pushed back and took another strong swing – slicing the hand of the Shadow.
“Rahh!” screamed the agent of darkness as he dropped his blade.
“Weren’t expecting that, were you?!” shouted Balphin. He wasted no time as he swung again, crushing the Shadow where it stood with his sword.
“Excellent, Balphin!” shouted Harda. “But leave some for the rest of us!”
Harda grabbed another arrow from his quiver and readied his bow. He was ready to make his bow sing. Two more dark specters appeared and Harda shot them down in an instant. Meanwhile, Armin watched the back as their Daughter continued running.
“Nice work, lads!” shouted Armin. “I think you’ve got a few of them scared back here.”
Armin was flying quickly but he could see several Shadows gaining ground. They slithered across the ground, avoiding the Daughter’s trail, but keeping their sunken eyes on the Daughter ahead.
“You’ll never get it, will you?” said Armin with sadness in his voice. He raised his spear as he flew backwards. “You are serving a losing battle, Demons. Regardless, I will show no mercy if you do not cease and desist.”
A singular Shadow snaked out ahead of the pack. It screamed and moaned at Armin, taunting him to throw his spear. Then Armin saw something he did not expect – the blue eyes of the Angel he had previously encountered. Armin was alarmed; he could not throw his spear. But the advancing Shadow would not stop. Its eyes burned from blue to blood red as it closed in on Armin.
“Very well,” said Armin. “No mercy, it shall be.”
Armin threw his spear, skewering the Shadow at the base of its neck. The Demon let out a yell and fell to the ground. The other Shadows did not stop. They rolled over top of the fallen Shadow and continued their pursuit.
“Did we not learn anything from that?” asked Armin. “Did you think that was all I had with me?”
Armin reached behind his back and pulled another spear from his back, light pouring from within.
“So long as I am here, you cannot advance,” said Armin and he hurled another spear in the direction of the Shadows. He hit many, dropping them where they were hit.
“How are we doing?” shouted Armin.
“Most excellent from my vantage point!” shouted Harda. His bow was more than singing – it was chanting a chorus of arrows as each fell upon opponent after opponent.
“Indeed!” exclaimed Balphin. “It’ll take more than this to keep her back!”

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