The Abandoned Chapter 47: Let’s Make a Deal
Author’s Note: A bit late. More because I realized it was a bit short, and so, made it longer!
It was much different now. The entire field was different. The wraiths were mixed in with the averati so much that there was no division of who belonged to which group. They just slaughtered each other mostly, only being careful of targeting those they did not recognize. Wraiths against wraiths. Averati against averati. Wraiths against averati.
Delias was in the center of that chaos. His appearance at first seemed to calm the entire field for a moment; but that moment was fleeting.
Seeing his face, the averati even tried to attack him who was fighting the wraiths! And Delias knew why. Seeing as how he could easily combat the wraiths, they must have felt he had the key to their escape!
But Delias was not deterred by this. The situation was somewhat going by his plan, the result quite as how he was expecting.
The column of wraiths attacking from his left was one of those unexpected circumstances. He was not sure of the deep divisions and locations of the wraith troops, but this had made his plan even more likely to succeed.
Given as how the wraiths surrounded the averati, he was going to charge from behind through the center as he had done now, and break apart some of the wraith’s momentum and control of the field by physically separating them. The wraiths would weaken, and the averati would be more apt to fight back than most of them farther away from the wraiths rushing at where Cotter was tied.
And seeing as how he was using crystal light to fend them off, he hoped to give others the same idea, bolstering the confidence of those who had to fight. And it did. Crystal light was popping up here and there across the fields by those who still had them from the pre-trial.
Delias aimed deeper into the wraith encirclement of Nargul’s group and into the averati who circled them out of improvisation. In fact, he at first intended to stop at the point between the wraiths and the averati. It would be highly dangerous, but not as dangerous for him as it would be if he were surrounded by averati who wanted to take everything from him; averati who were not harmed by crystal light
But seeing the column of wraiths attack from his left, he knew it would not bode well for anyone if he did so, even if those wraiths seemed to be against the others.
It was quite apparent that the intruding wraiths intended to charge through, breaking the enemy wraith’s left flank whilst running straight into the averati through their sides the long way, collapsing whatever cohesiveness the averati had when they faced the undead creatures.
This column would then break out and cirlce around the wraiths to attack them from behind after merging with a reserve force. And Delias knew they had a reserve force because it was something he would have done. It was simple strategy.
Such a quick attack would cause the averati to completely turn into a mass without any sort of direction, even with from their own group leaders, and then by focusing on the wraiths from behind, creatures who were much more together, would be the smarter choice, resulting in the degradation of both groups much more easily.
Enemy wraiths pincered between a mob and a full, cohesive force? Those wraiths would sweep both their enemies and the mob of averati away.
At that point, there would be only one victor.
Thinking of all this brought him in a short reverie. Back when he was made a commander at the age of fifteen. His country was near the border, and between the war with the averati and so many neighboring countries, having young men joining the military at even younger ages was not odd. There was just not enough soldiers.
It was a simple maneuver, but one that was quite powerful in this given situation. And one Delias was going to stop no matter what.
Driving forward, he had clashed with the leading wraith. So far things went according to plan, and all he had to do was hold this wraith here or kill it. It was something that, in this chaos, and with the tools he had fashioned, would be easy.
The wraith held onto the spear tip after he blocked Delays lunge with his hand for a moment before he charged at him. Delias punched, a crystal embedded into the cloth wrapped fist.
The claw like hand wrapped around his fist, and more spoke, as if the hand was burning, emanated from the spaces of the grip.
But even though the grip was not so firmly rooted to him, to Delias, the grip was like steel. And even with Delias’s strength seemingly having been raised recently, he just could not get out of it.
Bringing himself forward, Delias kicked up, pressing his booted foot on the chest of the wraith, running up the length of the wraith’s chest until his body flipped around, and his fist slipped from the weak point of the grip.
Delias pulled back, and the spear, too, slipped from the wraith’s other grip.
On the very tip of the spear was a white goo. It sizzled and smoked as the crystal pulsed.
“Ok, it seems this is not going to be so easy, after all,” and Delias struck again.
Wraiths were not all the same. Some were large and bulky, others were small and scrawny. They all had their various forms and types like averati and even humans do, some even looking something far from the norm. But it was not all wraiths that were unique. Just the highborn, and with those differing traits came power. Much power. Even the smallest of them could kill a normal wraith easily, let alone averati who were not versed in combat from those stemming from the spirit realm.
Such a scene was apparent with just one look around. Wraiths flitted across the field, scurrying across the ground or gliding through the air. And as there were more groups of averati using crystal light to combat them, many highborn wraiths began to transform into a more tangible self, bearing through the pain of the light, and attacking with a ruthlessness never before seen.
That night was not a dark one. The moon shone brightly above, and the field was in a large clearing without a cloud in the sky to shadow it. But that night still seemed darker than most. It could have been anything. The surrounding trees around the clearing or the mass of shadowy figures moving about made it appear darker. But whichever one it was, knowing would not make it any different.
Standing behind the treeline, watching the entire field from a distance, was Crasus.
He walked leisurely at times, taking note of every detail whilst staying under the canopy of the trees, their shadows becoming a shroud that kept him from view.
Many wraiths passed him by as he travelled, his form gradually moving to the right side of the event taking place no longer a few feet away from him. But even as the world seemed to be in chaos, where even stretching out his arm could have him dragged into bolstering atmosphere of blood and wrath, he always managed to stay out of it, out of that mayhem.
It took the better of fifteen minutes before Crasus broke through into a small clearing where several more wraiths, some highborn and some of a lower class glided around a grey hooded figure by a casket.
The figure jumped up, it’s robe fluttering. The sound drew the attention of the wraiths nearby, and the world seem to go silent.
Crasus could feel the fear in them; the unease among the wraiths. They could not detect his presence until the cloaked figure had moved, even though there were tens of them around keeping great vigilance. In fact, Crasus doubted some of them could even detect his presence now. And especially since he was so bold as to come out clearly, even after detecting their position, it made everyone around seem uneasy.
“I had not thought that you would dare come here.” The cloaked figure spoke slowly. “Why aren’t you at the heels of your masters, bowing and scraping at their disgusting bodiless forms?”
Crasus sneered inside, but there was nothing about him that emanated his scorn. But was that scorn for the cloaked figure, the council the figure spoke of, or himself? Even he was not sure these days.
Crasus knew the cloaked figure. He has spoken to him many times and for years. He had abjectly refused the figure’s invites to his group as the figure was human. And not just human, he was old. It was obvious that he was a man who failed at life; and now was trying to use them as a resource to succeed.
Back then, Crasus was young, birthed into the world as a wraith filled with a passion for power- probably lingering emotions from the soul that used and morphed to make him.
He did not listen to anything the old man had to say back then, not really anyway, and just wholeheartedly followed the council’s wishes, aiming to strive forward into more powerful roles within their society.
But as time flew and Crasus grew older, he began to wonder what he was doing it all for. What was a society of wraiths? What use was power to him like this? And the more that time flew, he began to think differently than most, and see things more objectively.
When he looked things in this new light, he found the council too old. The way they thought was as if they were not in some abandoned corner of some forgotten space and more like champions who are seeking to overthrow the word. And as these older generation wraiths ruled them, nothing meaningful was accomplished.
He could tell this even now, how careless the council was, as if everything would fall into their lap with a little planning. From the previous actions alone, if it were not for the boy with the light crystals charging through, he well believed the council would have suffered too much. Even if they managed to accomplish their main objective, moving forward would be a lot more harder.
Now, Crasus had enough. He was no longer going to follow at the beck and call of the council. In fact, he stopped following them years now, and had made moves in the dark that could very well bring him to newer heights, to obtain things no other wraith had ever thought to have obtain before.
Crasus looked at the cloaked figure for a while before he finally spoke. His voice was soft, but it travelled towards the figure, and only the figure. None of the other wraiths could hear it, and with Crasus covering his face with a mask, could tell if he even said anything. But anyone paying attention could see the cloaked figure visibly shake for a moment.
The old man sat back down. He looked at the darkness of the forest where the intruder left. His hand grazed the casket and he pumped more energy into it to sustain the thing inside.
He closed his eyes and thought about the first words of that intruder, “Let’s make a deal”. And what came next utterly shocked him, but… for a long time since even before he made the construct, a smile was etched on his face.
“Breaking free is inevitable now, Elkis. I’m coming for you.”
Author’s Note: Elkis is a character from chapter 2