(Part 2) [Current]
“Right, as my brother said.” Kayden spoke, moving farther into the room enclosing the space between himself and the bandit crew, but also moving out of the small entrance way they stood in. “So we will be taking this one.” With that he gave a smirk.
The bandits looked at each other and after their leader began laughing, joined in his uproar. Just as Kayden hoped they would, and once again it seemed like his life was a fairy tale written by those old child authors. What were their names? Professor Stuess? What did that matter? Kayden was getting lost in thought in a spot where he needed to focus. He did that. Clark knew.
“Oh, did you now?” The leader spat, walking down the stairs that led from an upraised area in the room. Fallen bookshelves littered the upper area, and from what Kayden could see, it might have been where they all slept. “We could let them join us for the night, eh boys?” The bandit leader reached the rest of his crew and stood between the two tables where they all sat. He elbowed one of the bandits as they all chuckled about what he had in mind. Clark gulped as he and Kayden both realized just how dark those storybooks were. “And how exactly were you two goin’ to do that?” The bandit leader raised his arms as if to show the obvious. There were nine of them against their two.
Clark realized he didn’t need to re-run those figures, as they were outnumbered. Clark stood behind his brother, hoping he had some secret up his sleeve. Kayden didn’t, but he hoped what he was about to do worked, as much as it made him look cool. That was the sign that it wasn’t well thought out.
“Well, you Walnut.” Kayden said, cocking a pose Clark could only guess to represent him as a ‘tough guy’. “Fee-Simmuh!” Kayden spoke sternly, throwing his arm diagonally as if culling the air in the room. Clark recognized it as the language of magic, and with those words the still air raged quickly to rival that of the storm outside. The wind blew from the fireplace, extinguishing the flame and knocking the tables and men in the room into each other. Throwing them against the walls or just knocking them over. That was all Clark and Kayden saw before the fire went out. Clark heard Kayden draw his sword, Emlen, and it began emitting a soft white glow from its silver blade. This was only the second time Clark had seen the sword out of its sheath. Clark still found it strange that the sword had no tip. It was flat on the end, and not by accident, as it seemed to be forged that way. Kayden held it in his right hand, though that hand remained behind him with the blade reaching forwards towards the floor. He stood in a stance with his left hand open and ready, as if he meant to cast another spell.
The room was quiet, as they both expected to hear the sound of bandits shuffling to their feet. To see them charge Kayden with their array of weapons, and Clark to see his brother in action. Clark quickly drew the words for a spell to mind. Fotia Kyma, a spell translating to ‘Fire Wave’. It was promptly called ‘burning hands’ in the wizard’s circles, as it was a blast of fire extending forward from every finger, pinky to pinky. Clark considered calling it to mind and grabbing his materials, but quickly realized that he would have to get in front of Kayden to cast it without hitting him. He dug for another. Dynami Velos, translating to ‘force arrow’, or otherwise known as a ‘magic missile’. That was a basic for his school of magic, and he knew he needed to not miss his target, as it never did.
They still sat in the room, silence still filling the air, which at this point had gone still after Kayden’s spell. Both lost in thought, Kayden broke the silence. “Are you guys going to attack us or what?” He broke his stance at this point and moved his sword as if to pierce the darkness with its pointless end. The light shone where the two tables lay, empty and scattered across the floor. The bowls were still on the ground and the bandits were nowhere to be found.
“What…” Kayden remarked, as he and Clark both looked at each other and back at the room. He moved the sword back and forth, filling and emptying the space with light, hoping that the bandits would just reappear where they were supposed to be. That didn’t work, surprisingly.
Kayden began to walk forward when he finally heard a sound, like blades being dragged across stone, from upstairs. He stopped and they both glanced upwards, Kayden back to his stance and Clark readying his spell, the words on his lips and hand movements on his muscles. Seventeen beady red eyes stared back at them.
“Seems we’ll have more than just the stew tonight.” Said a voice that resembled the bandit leaders, yet it contained a more guttural sound. As if it was spoken from a different mouth, with the same voice box. Kayden’s face turned ashen at his sudden realization of what they were dealing with. These weren’t just simple bandits. Clark was starting to catch on that they were now in more trouble than before. He saw Kayden freeze and start to back away.
“Clark…” Kayden started but didn’t get to finish as 8 sets of the eyes began to descend quickly to their position. Kayden pushed Clark into the narrow entranceway, casting another spell off the top of his head. “Grah-Soh!” Kayden chanted and hot oil spewed from the tips of his fingers. It landed in front of them on the ground, and Clark figured it hit a few of the bandits, creatures, or whatever they were as well. Clark then had a spark, no pun intended, of inspiration. His previous spell! Burning hands would ignite the oil, and keep the bandits at bay! Clark quickly recalled the spell, which he always had burnt into his brain, also no pun intended.
“Kayden, get back!” Clark shouted and pushed Kayden behind his form. Kayden tried to resist but there wasn’t much he could do to his younger, yet much larger brother. Clark pulled the spell forward, extending his feet out into a stance as he was taught and putting his hands out in the required form. “Flowguh Keema!” He spoke, making sure that every syllable was perfect, as the language of magic was delicate and complex; and Clark had spent the past 10 years studying for this moment. It had to work, and he was happy when it did. Fire spread from his fingers, engulfing the room in a red blaze. The oil Kayden had spewed in desperation caught quick lighting the room more to reveal what enemies they really faced.
Slender furred forms, standing taller than a human but hunched as to have their heads at the same level. The 8 creatures stopped beyond the flaming oil. The fire had caught a few of them, catching two on fire that caused them to fall to the ground rolling. Burning flesh and fur filled the room, and it almost made Clark puke. After Clark’s spell subsided, the room returned to its previous silence, except for the sound of anxious claws on stone, and singed fur rubbing against anything to stop the pain. The fire lit the faces of their enemies, once stupid faces on men’s bodies, now replaced by that of rat-like fiends on grotesque bony figures. Fur covered them from head to claw, and their teeth danced across their pronounced snout. Their eyes turned beady and red, they looked as if they hungered and could never fill it.
Clark was starting to feel drained, as the spell took some of his stamina away. Kayden pulled him back behind him, taking up that same stance as before against their human forms. He once again challenged them for ownership of the room.
“Wizards…” The voice squeaked, as a much a squeak as thunder is a whisper.
“Were-Rats” Kayden sneered, as much a sneer as… well it was sarcastic.
A rat thing, larger than those in front of them, moved ungainly down the stairs. The same red bandana sat on its head. The mask remained as well and seemed to just be a large eye patch. Kayden was now sure he was blind, as he already had vision that pierced the darkness.
“So what now, you hunking masses of disgusting?” Kayden spouted, Clark behind him shocked that he would treat this with so much humor. The were-rats sat on the edge of the fire, knowing that at some point it would disperse and they could feast on their cornered feast. He considered trying to open the door, but noticed there wasn’t enough space with him and Kayden squeezing into the narrow entrance way. Clark felt he only had enough for one more spell and knew he would have to make it count. He, however, did not know what Kayden had in reserve.
Clark actually realized he had never discussed magic with his brother. They had talked about Clark’s studies and choice, but Kayden never talked about his own inventory of magic. After spouting his most recent insult, as to try and anger the beasts, Kayden realized he didn’t know what he had in his inventory either. He actually had run out of ideas at this point. He had really just said that to be funny; or as his brothers, and most everyone else, would say, he’s an asshole. He just hoped to whatever there was out there that maybe this would work out okay.
As if to answer his thought, a loud roar of thunder, like that of an explosion, rang through the building. It echoed loudly across the walls, as if lightning had struck the exact spot above them on the roof. The room shook from the blast as well and the were-rats all grabbed their rodent ears to keep the ringing from claiming them. Kayden assumed they had enhanced hearing like rats, and among that sprang an idea. That would mean they have sensitive eyes, and with that Kayden recalled a spell he knew.
“Clark,” Kayden looked back at him, “get ready to grab the door!” Clark began to question, but before he could Kayden held up a clenched fist and yelled “Hey, Rats!”
They looked at him snapping out of their daze from the thunder, and in that moment in the fire lit up there beady red eyes just as Kayden had hoped. Clark noted at that moment Kayden looked like he had it all figured out. He expected the words of magic to ring out, but he didn’t expect what he got.
“Bang!” Kayden shouted, unclenching his fist as he did. On cue the fire exploded into magical burst of fireworks. The light was blinding to Clark and he found himself so shocked he had to fumble around before finding the familiar ring handle on the door. Kayden was shouting at that moment and he heard loud screams, guttural and rough as the were-rats were blinded by long bursts and blasts of bright magical light.