Surrounded by dangerous Shlavoin guards is where we previously left Islyn! And there, where last week’s story ended, today’s post begins . . .
“You thought you could escape?” The guard before me snarled. “As if!! Never in a million ballon days.”
What are ballon days? Kyo, where are you when you need me? And horse, I tried in vain once more to get my horse to run, why?
“We’ve got you this time!” The guard laughed, snaking in closer to me.
Shrill. Like scratching a chalk board. That was what the scream sounded like! It split the air open like a vibrant lightening bolt. Only it wasn’t light. It was sound. It took me half a second to realize that my horse had bolted and something was erupting in the midst of the pack of men.
Suddenly willing to run, my horse charged from underneath me. He left the clearing and I went down. Straight onto my face. The clattering of hooves, hollers of surprise, and sounds of fighting stung my ears as badly as the hard, gritty dirt burned my eyes. Pain shot up my back as I creamed the street face first. My breath and consciousness left for a moment until, seconds later, I felt myself being snatched up by a raging guard.
“It’s the boy that freed you!” He snarled. “Too bad it’s twelve to one!” Sneered laughter erupted from his slimy lips, while his hand wrapped tighter around my left arm to yank me upward. I caught a blurry vision of soldiers trapped in a fight before the man started to throw me over his horse.
“No!!” I screamed. Plunging my right hand into my shirt, I hurriedly searched for my hidden knife. Ripping it out of its case, I swung swiftly for the hand on my arm. A glass shattering scream overcame the man when my blade gashed his hand, forcing him to let go. I yanked the blade out, ignoring my stomach’s curdling at the sight of blood.
Instead, I focused on leaping away from my attacker and kicking the horse with all my might, screaming like hyena to make it run. It ran.
“KYO!” I yelled, dashing into the swarming mass of soldiers. “Ky . . . oh.”
Kyo was flying through the soldiers like a tornado in a silent, flat country night. Fighting like I’d never seen anyone do before, he charged in and out his powerful arms flattening men in defeat. Storming in, I caught a soldier with my fist. Unsuspecting of my attack and unaware of my presence, he fell flat on his back behind me! I threw another blow toward a man who was already reeling from one of Kyo’s explosions. Twisting out of the way of other staggering soldiers, I made my way toward the wild warrior in the middle.
“Kysha!” He kept my fake name. “Get the rope!”
Rope? Oh rope!
Nodding, I fled for his horse which stood calmly at the edge of the scene.
“Not yet!” Kyo hollered. “Come . . . help! Me!”
Like the sudden calming of a wild storm, the battle’s atmosphere changed. And Kyo fell with the same silence of dispersing thunder heads. The last streaks of lightening in his storm were when he wrenched an arm free but he was only pulled farther down by seven very irate soldiers.
“Kyo!!” Brandishing my sword, I lunged inward. Shutters raked my body; my mind wasn’t mentally ready to wound anyone with a weapon. But deep down I knew lives were more important. Ours. A panda’s. And all the countries in our world.
And then I charged. One man stumbled as the flat of my blade cracked against his shoulder, knocking him away from his grasp on my warrior. As the man stumbled, Kyo ripped one arm free giving me a fleeting feeling of victory. And then I heard it, the irritating scratching sound I always had disliked. If it hadn’t been a life or death situation I would have told the soldier how to put fur in his sword sheath so it didn’t make such a horrid sound. But as it was, I ended up being too preoccupied for such advice.
I whirled around to find the mean guard who’d said we’d never escape headed straight towards me. His feet pounded as he clumsily swayed side to side. Yet his powerful hand gripped his sword with skill, confident of his target.
I lept to the side but he was too fast. And as I jumped his sword nipped my right hand, slicing my fingers cruelly. My sword slipped from my grasp, clattering to the ground in cries of defeat. The next thing I knew my hands were being snatched up by two different sets of rough hands. A scratchy voice sneered,
“We got you both.”
The vicious grip of two soldiers yanking me upward gave me a glimpse of Kyo struggling underneath seven men. The other four guards and their captain, the mean guard, surrounded me. He was right; they’d caught us both. And in that moment corned by our enemies I began to wonder if the plan was really going to work out after all.
Two days in and I’d already been captured. Twice.
That was when I remembered it. One last thing that I could try. One last hope of victory. Abruptly confidence slipped onto my face in the form of a smirk. Struggling in the men’s grip, I met one of the soldiers in the eye so he could see the confident gleam in my gaze. My wings erupted from their hidden spot in a blast of glowing color. It took only two of their powerful strokes to wrench myself free. And with a delighted cheer, I was headed for the sky above me.
The first thing I did was fly straight at the main man holding Kyo. I latched onto one of his arms as tightly as I could. Straining with every ounce of strength my wings had, I drug the fighting and flailing man into the air and off of my friend.
The moments that followed were a blur because as soon as Kyo got free and found my sword no one could stop him. Plus I was a perfect shot with my bow. When the dust cleared we stood victorious with soldiers fleeing in all directions. I sped from the heavens, leaving my perfect view of the fleeing soldiers, to reach the spot where Kyo stood panting on the ground below.
“We’ve got to get them.” I gasped and dashed for my bag which I’d flung to the ground in my haste to free Kyo. After snatching it up off the dewy grass, I reached in, searching for my oil. “Ahah.” When my hands felt the glossy, rough side of a tiny, earthen pot, I lifted it from my bag.
“Here.” Unscrewing the lid, I held out the substance for Kyo to see. “Dip the sword in this and pierce their arms. They’ll be out cold and forget about us.” I pulled off the lid and held it out to Kyo. “If they escape, they’ll tell everyone about us. If we kill them all everyone will be after us because they’re missing. The soldiers might be gone. But we’re not free yet.”
“Don’t worry,” Kyo smirked, wiping a bit of the liquid onto my sword. “I’m a warrior. Capturing a few soldiers is just and everyday part of my job.” And something in his tone told me victory was just within our grasp.
The next post will be out next week!