Brothers 3 – Chapter 2 (Part 3): Out of the Rain, Into the Stew.

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
(Part 1)
(Part 2)
(Part 3) [Current]

Kayden dragged Clark along, realizing he didn’t tell him to close his eyes. Clark complained about such as they ran in a direction he couldn’t tell. He just knew that it continued to rain and pour across them. When he finally was able to see, after tripping his way through muddy ground, they had stopped over at the same outcropping of wall they had before.
“What was that!?” Clark exclaimed to his brother.
He had never seen magic performed without first a magical word of activation, and to his knowledge ‘bang’ wasn’t a magical word.
“Shhhh!” Kayden hushed his brother, a finger to his pursed lips as he looked around the wall. “It was a few seconds to get out of that corner and formulate a plan.” Clark had to admit that did work. He still wanted to know how his brother broke that rule.
“Okay, they have heightened sense of smell, but the rain will throw that off.” Kayden explained. “They will find our foot prints in this mud, so we need to find a position we can hold.” Clark looked at his brother; finally the sarcastic joke time was over. He was serious, and in this moment, that scared Clark. Even more than the impending death by were-rats did it scare him.
“What would you consider a good defensible position against nine giant rat people?” Clark asked, with this situation being completely new to him. Kayden thought on it, and before he could process a thought, they heard the muffling and scraping sounds of the were-rats leaving their lair.
“I say we get up high.” Kayden stated, risking a peak around the wall to the courtyard. He scanned and he and Clark seemed to note high up a window on the tower that was partly broken in. “There.”
“So how do we get up there?” Clark once again asked, this seeming like the catch in his brother’s plan.
“Do you feel like you could cast another spell?”
“Maybe one more, but that would be it.” Clark was tired from the first spell, as he knew he would be. It was more than a mere cantrip, and he knew his limit was two. Anymore and he it would make him pass out. “How about you?”
“I have a few more in me. I just need to think of one we could use.” Kayden stated and held his hand to his forehead as if to concentrate. Clark took this moment to look at Kayden. He didn’t seem tired at all and he had already used three spells. Two being spells beyond his casting ability, the other a basic apprentice spell used for different tasks.
“By the way, nice fire spell, it combined great with mine.” Kayden congratulated, and at that moment he was back to himself. Not dead serious, not worried, just Clark’s fun brother. “So I think I thought of something.” Which led Kayden to dig into his clipper for something, though; Clark knew what was in there and doubted any of it would be useful at this moment. Until Kayden pulled out the small wooden statue of a rabbit, which made Clark doubt his brother’s intelligence.
“I don’t think their smart, but I doubt they will fall for that.” Clark remarked, looking at the rabbit figurine with judgment. How did his brother think this would help?
“Just watch.” Kayden looked at Clark noticing his reluctance to trust him. He then placed the figurine on the ground. “Zontanose” He whispered and the figurine burst into what seemed to be a real living rabbit. Clark was amazed as he didn’t sense the figurine as magical when he touched it. His brother continued to get weirder.
“Hey, Buddy.” Kayden started, speaking to his little friend, it looked at its master with approval. “I need you to lure some things away from us for about half an hour. Could you do that?” It seemed to nod, from what Clark could guess was a nod for a rabbit, and hopped away quickly. They waited a second and they heard one of the rats call out about a sound and scent. Kayden risked a peak around to find that the voice came from only a few feet from them, as the rat ran in the direction the rabbit had skipped away in.
Kayden and Clark pushed themselves as tight as they could to the wall as the rats ran by one after another into the woods after what they thought was the brothers. They counted each one and about the sixth came up and stopped, sniffing the air with his rattish snout. Clark saw Kayden reach for Emlen, which lay beside him, its light extinguished as if it knew. The creature jerked its head in their direction and it seemed like Clark’s brain skipped a moment, as he saw Kayden standing and recovering from a sword swing. The beast fell to the ground without a sound, its snout followed as it fell from the air. Clark wondered why it didn’t call out, until he saw Kayden had already cut its throat as well.
“That’s one.” Kayden said, and Clark just stared. Kayden motioned for him to follow him, but Clark just kept looking back and forth at his brother and the body. The body had transformed halfway back to human leaving this weird mass of fur and flesh bleeding out in the rain. His brother just stood there, sword in hand, silver shining from the moonlight, and hair sopping wet once again as it clung to his face. It was obvious at this point that he was missing his left ear as the hair showed his right prominently, and sat upon the area that would contain his left.
“Clark, come on.” Kayden hurried, grabbing him to shake him out of it. “We don’t have the time. Servo can only keep them busy for thirty minutes before returning to statue form.” Clark nodded his head as if understanding, but he didn’t hear the words. The rain was loud and beating on him, and the body was still just sitting there. This was possibly his first real experience with death. He realized he had to get used to that, and that disgusted him.
“I think I can see a part of the wall that caved in over there.” Kayden stated, looking around the corner, but saying anything to get Clark back to this world. Clark did hear that and focused up at that point, he remembered they needed to survive this.
As they rounded the wall there was in fact a caved part about ten feet up from them. “I would climb up, but this rain is going to make that too slippery.” Kayden noted to Clark pointing out stones that would allow him an ascent. “I think I have a solution though.” Clark expected him to pull out the bag of rock at this point. Telling him they weren’t rocks at all but actually magical beanstalk seeds, which would allow them to just climb up to the high point. Instead he chanted another magic word and touch Clark on the chest. “Mehtah Vuhsee” Clark recognized the words as a acrobatic spell. It allowed the castee to jump farther, higher, or survive longer falls than they should. It was mostly used for circus wizards, but it fit the bill on what they needed to do. Going along with Clarks thought, Kayden ran up to the wall and jumped like a human grasshopper up onto the wall.
“Come on, we only have about fifteen minutes left.” Kayden shouted to him, Clark readied himself. He never had used this spell, as it wasn’t from his focus school of magic, and knew that he would not expect the results he would get. Clark ran for the wall and jumped, and realized he overestimated how high he could jump, as he flew through the air like a chicken that had been kicked really hard across a field. He landed with a thump and getting up realized the world was really blurry. Clark had forgotten to take off his glasses! He stopped, making sure to not move, as he realized that he might step on them. He looked up to see a figure standing over him.
“Kayden, don’t move, my glasses fell off!” He quickly stated, as this had happened before, and glasses were not cheap. The breath from the blur in front of him destroyed the hair in his nostrils. This quickly made Clark realize that Kayden was not in front of him.
“If you touch him…” Kayden demanded aggressively. Clark knew that at this point it was the rat leader. He tried to think of a spell for this close of combat, and hoped that the rat didn’t grab him, or worse, attack him so he could focus. His wish was not granted, as he felt the furred paw close over his neck and lift him to his feet. Clark grabbed the furred wrist, trying to leverage some air out of it, but he could not. His only hope was that his brother would reach him before he choked, the rat killed him, or to think of a spell. If only he could concentrate. He heard Kayden yell as he charged, the rat’s grip tightened, claws dug into the skin of his neck. Blood started to trickle, and the loss of oxygen was getting to him.
Rain tapped across him and the wind blew across the roof of the building. A spell, any spell, a spell that would work in rain. Anything! The world seemed to slow at that moment, and thought it might have been from the lack of air. The only thing he could see in his blurred vision was a flash of lighting, and that kicked it into him. A spell he knew that was for close encounters such as this.
“Astra…Ack!” Clark uttered, but couldn’t get the words out. They were trapped in his brain, which was slowly being deprived of a precious resource. He saw the world going black and thought about Kayden. Clark realized that he would blame himself for bringing his younger brother out here. He just wanted to show me a good time, and it got me killed. He thought about the tag team spell casting they did, the way his brother cast a spell without triggering words. An idea stopped the blackness, or seemed to. He had to try that. Clark didn’t know how Kayden managed it but he did it. He cast without words, Clark had to do it too. He thought the word in his head, over and over. Astrapi Katanoisi. Astrapi Katanoisi. Chanting it, hoping. It had to work. Otherwise he would die, and Kayden would blame himself. Then he felt it. The magic surge and rise through his arms. An electric arc cut through his veins as he cast a spell known as ‘shocking grasp’. The shock apparently surprised the rat leader as he immediately loosened his grip. Clark did not. He kept holding on as he gasped for air. He didn’t let his focus hinder. He pushed his hand to the creature’s chest and the shocking continued. Smoke began to rise as the spell singed the fur on its wrist and chest. When the spell stopped, Clark fell to the ground as the leader let go and stepped back.
“Bang.” Clark said, breathing as if it was a new thing, and he was its inventor. He didn’t get to savor his victory long as the leader looked at him with a look of pure hatred in his eye. He pulled his arm up as if to swipe and Clark closed his eyes, readying for the blow. It never fell. Instead he opened his eyes to see his opponent’s arm on the ground next to, but not connected to the body. The arm was human, while the rest of the body did the weird transmogrification thing. Kayden walked over and extended his hand to help up his brother.
“ ‘Bang’?” Kayden asked sarcastically.
“ ‘You Walnut’?” Clark quipped back. Kayden just laughed, and reached down to pick up something off the ground.
“You were waiting to ask me about that one, huh?” he said and put Clark’s glasses back on his face.
“Yeah, it just made your whole ‘I am taking this place from you’ thing a little…” Clark shifted his hands back and forth as if looking for the word. “You know.” He couldn’t think of it.
“I guess, though, I like how you re-used my line there.”
“Seemed right.”
“Don’t do it again. I work hard to think those things up.” Kayden pointed at Clark with the look of a stern older brother. He then started to walk past the amputated were-rat leader.
“So did you kill him?” Clark asked reluctantly, looking at the bleeding body, shifting back and forth between its two forms awkwardly. He rubbed his neck, hoping he wasn’t bleeding to badly. He did notice the claw had messed up the tie he wore to signify his place as a magic user.
“Nah, but you could say he is… disarmed.” Kayden joked, with his normal punny expression. It was drowned out by the pouring rain and sounds of dying lycanthrope.
“Stop it.” Clark stated firmly. He loved his brother, but sometimes he felt he just didn’t know when not to make a joke. Kayden waved him off and instructed him to follow. He headed towards the window.
“I’ve got an idea for the rest of the rats.” Kayden smirked as he said it, and hopped into the broken window.
“I’m beat out of spells, so unless you have a cache of soldiers in that clipper…” Kayden cut Clark off as he rambled.
“I’ve got something better.” He said, and Clark believed him, which was another sign of a bad idea.

(Part 4)

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