Hey, everyone! New story! I have a feeling it's going to be a long one! I hope that you will all approve. This is an AkkxSon fic, sorry to all the DorxSon fans. Never really liked him... But I won't be horrible to him.
Italics are from the book. I only used the last part here because I wanted the battle to be realistic.
And I am fully aware of the DanxTay fanbase, so there will be plenty of fluff for everyone. Depending on whether I want to get smutty or not, the rating may change.
Anyway, I hope you like it, and please review!
"They're here," Akkarin muttered. His arms slid from her shoulders.
He shook his head. "Only as a last resort."
"This is a last resort. So many of our number are dead. There are other magicians around there, and the Ichani don't know about the stores of power. We can draw on them without Kariko and his allies noticing." Sonea said.
Akkarin frowned uncertainly.
"Akkarin, whatever happens now, this is the final battle. We won't get another chance." She continued.
"Are you sure? I couldn't bear it if we were wrong." He said, uncertainly.
"I'm sure. I don't want to lose you – this way, the odds are in our favour." Sonea smiled faintly.
He pulled her to him again, and when their lips met, there was urgency in his kiss which frightened her. He brushed a strand of hair from her face and smiled sadly. Then his expression went distant, as an echo of sinister laughter echoed through both their minds. Kariko was ready.
"Let's go." His expression was hard as he strode across the room to the door.
Sonea straightened her shoulders, drew in a deep breath, and followed.
"So they've finally arrived," Balkan murmured.
Rothen looked out at the city. The late afternoon sun sent long shadows across the streets. As he watched, three men stepped out and started toward the Guild Gates.
"What did Akkarin and Sonea plan to do once the Ichani knew they were here, Dorrien?" Balkan asked.
"I don't know. They never discussed it."
Balkan nodded. "Time for us to leave, then."
Yet he did not move, and neither did Rothen and Dorrien. They stood and watched as the three Ichani passed between the gates and strode toward the Arena.
Then, from below, came a hollow boom.
"What was that?" Dorrien exclaimed.
They leaned over the facade and looked down. Rothen caught his breath as he saw the pair on the steps below.
"Sonea! And Akkarin."
"They've closed the Arena doors," Balkan said. "It's down to them now. Although perhaps we should go to the entrance.
That way, if they need help, we can open it from the hatch door. Although I doubt our involvement would be beneficial. If Sonea and Akkarin cannot beat them, then we most definitely will not fare better."
"Should we call out and let them know we're here?" Dorrien asked quietly.
"Knowing you two are watching could be a distraction to Sonea," Balkan warned.
Balkan frowned. "I would like to communicate the fight to the rest of the Guild."
"Dorrien and I will keep out of sight until we have an opportunity to help," Rothen suggested.
Balkan nodded. "Very well. Just be mindful of the moment you choose."
The forest surrounding the Guild was striped with golden light. Twigs cracked under Gol's feet so frequently, Cery began to wonder if his second was deliberately trying to make a lot of noise. He glanced back and couldn't help smiling at the big man's strained expression.
"Don't worry," Cery said. "I've been here before. We should be able to watch without being seen."
Gol nodded. They continued on. As Cery saw glimpses of buildings through the trees ahead, he quickened his stride. Gol fell a little behind.
Then Cery saw a figure crouching beside a tree trunk at the edge of the forest. He stopped and signalled to Gol to stay where he was and remain silent.
By the way Savara was cautiously peering around the tree; Cery knew she was anxious to avoid being discovered. Too late, he thought. He crept forward. When he was a few steps away from her, he straightened and crossed his arms.
"We can't seem to stop running into each other, can we?" he said.
It was gratifying to see her jump. She let out a sigh of relief as she saw him.
"Cery." She shook her head at him disapprovingly. "It's not wise to sneak up on magicians."
"You've come to see the show, then?"
She smiled crookedly. "That's right. Join me? But we need to move. They are using the arena. I can try to create a window, but I'm not sure we'll see the battle."
He nodded. Beckoning to Gol, Cery crouched by the trunk of another tree. As he saw what lay beyond, he felt his heart sink.
Sonea and Akkarin disappeared into the Arena, leaving the door swinging open. Not too far away, was a swish of robes as a small group of magicians stood hidden on a balcony.
Savara tugged the back of his shirt and pulled him behind a pillar.
"Look. Behold the enemy." She whispered. Kariko and two of his allies clambered into the arena. They pulled the door shut, but didn't secure it.
"You and your friends have done well," Savara murmured, "if this is all that remains of Kariko's allies. Perhaps you have a chance, after all."
Cery smiled grimly. "Perhaps we do. We'll just have to see."
The Guild magicians didn't strike, but crept out from their hiding place.
"Shouldn't you help?" Cery asked.
"No. I cannot risk being seen by the Guild." Savara replied, a crease forming between her brows.
Kariko's voice echoed across the arena. Immediately, Akkarin sent out a heat strike towards him and his allies as they entered the Arena.
"Kariko," Akkarin replied.
"I see you've brought your apprentice. Do you intend to trade her for your life?"
A chill ran over Sonea's skin as the Ichani looked at her. She stared back, and he smiled maliciously.
"I might consider taking her," Kariko continued. "I never liked my brother's taste in slaves, but he did show me that Guild magicians can be surprisingly entertaining."
"Dakova was a fool for keeping me," Akkarin said, "but he was always making stupid mistakes. It is hard to under-stand how a man with such power could have so little grasp of politics or strategy, but I guess that is why he was Ichani—and why he kept me."
Kariko's eyes narrowed. "You? I don't think so. If you are such a master of strategy, why are you here? You must know you can't win."
"Can't we? Look around you, Kariko. Where are all your allies?"
Kariko looked around, feigning surprise.
"Dead, I suppose. And you killed them."
"You must be worn out, then." Kariko glanced at the other Ichani, then back at Akkarin. "What a perfect end to our conquest. I will avenge my brother's death, and at the same time Sachaka will finally have revenge for what your Guild did to our land."
He lifted a hand, and the other Ichani followed suit. Strikes flashed toward Sonea and Akkarin. She felt magic batter their shield, more powerful than any strike she had en-countered before. Akkarin sent a trio of strikes in reply, but all curved inward to attack Kariko.
More exchanges followed, and the air hummed with power. As Akkarin continued striking at Kariko and ignoring the other Ichani, the leader frowned. He said something to his companions. They moved closer, leaving only a narrow gap between their shields.
—Strike Kariko from beneath, Akkarin instructed.
As Sonea sent heatstrike through the earth, Akkarin sent more curving down on Kariko from above. The other Ichani shifted their shields to meet Akkarin's strikes just as the ground began to steam beneath Kariko's feet.
Kariko glanced down, and then said something quietly. His companions increased their attack.
—Keep striking at Kariko from all directions.
Kariko appeared to have resigned himself to being the main target. He concentrated on shielding, while the others attacked. Sonea resisted a smile. This was all to her and Akkarin's advantage. Shielding took more power, so Kariko would be tiring faster.
It seemed they would stand and blast each other until one side finally weakened.
Akkarin sent a dozen strikes at the Ichani. At the same time, a dozen weaker ones streaked from the direction of the gates. The Sachakans glanced to the side.
Sonea gasped as she saw the figure standing just inside the entrance. Blue robes swirled around the man as he walked forward.
"Lorlen!" Sonea gasped. But how could that be? Lorlen was dead. Or was he . .. ?
Kariko sent a blast of energy toward the Administrator. It flashed through the magician and struck the magically enforced walls and was absorbed.
Lorlen had vanished. Sonea blinked. It had been an illusion. Hearing a chuckle, she looked up to see Akkarin smiling grimly. Kariko and his companions looked unimpressed. They resumed their assault with greater ferocity.
Akkarin threw a rain of strikes at Kariko, testing the Ichani's shield. Kariko sent powerful blasts back. Akkarin sent a great net of heatstrike out, curving around to hit Kariko from all sides, just as Sonea had done in her last bout against Regin in the Challenge.
Sonea frowned as she remembered that battle. In the second fight Regin had saved his strength by shielding only when a strike hit. Could she do the same? It required concentration. ..
She focused her will and refined her shield, leaving it weaker behind and above, but not so weak that she could not strengthen it quickly if she needed to.
—Be careful, Sonea.
She watched the Ichani closely, ready to react if any strikes should change course.
"LOOK TO THE DOOR!"
The voice came from the entrance. Looking up, she saw Balkan by the open door, and felt him adding his power to theirs.
—The Ichani are weakening, Akkarin sent.
Sonea looked at the Ichani. Kariko stood straight and smiling. The rest of the Ichani looked no less confident, but the strikes against her shield had weakened.
Akkarin took a step forward, then another. Kariko's face darkened. Sonea followed as Akkarin began to walk toward them. She sent her own strikes at the Ichani and felt a surge of satisfaction as they backed away.
Balkan rushed to their side, closely followed by Dorrien and Rothen, panting and looking angry.
"What do you think you're doing?" Sonea hissed. There was no way that the Guild magicians could defeat the Ichani – there was now a greater risk of damage.
"Helping, of course!" Dorrien grinned down at her, and she felt a wash of relief. They hadn't abandoned her and Akkarin.
-Sonea, it is time.
She looked at Akkarin. His face was creased with exertion.
"Tired already?" goaded Kariko.
Sonea drew the energy from the walls of the arena. She was filled with a sense of immense power. She could sense Akkarin doing the same.
"Not quite..." Akkarin muttered under his breath.
The other magicians looked confused. They could feel the change in power, but not its source. The Ichani also seemed taken aback, Kariko's eyes widening. They strengthened their shields, as Akkarin and Sonea's strikes became more forceful, each one driving the Ichani back.
Suddenly, one of Kariko's allies dropped to the floor, spent from exhaustion. His energy was drained, and he was dead, but Kariko did not even turn to acknowledge his fallen comrade.
Akkarin's mental voice resonated within her head and she concentrated all her energy on the next attack.
As one, she and Akkarin send a multitude of stun strikes towards the Ichani, breaking the shield, and striking their two remaining enemies.
Kariko staggered backwards, away from the blinding flash of light which caused them all to cover their eyes.
When they looked up, the three figures on the floor of the arena opposite them were nothing more than charred piles of flesh.
Sonea winced at the sight. She turned to Akkarin. To her horror, he crumpled to his knees.
"Akkarin!" She dropped to the floor beside him. His eyes rolled up in his head. He was completely drained of energy.
She put her hand to his chest and the other to his head, sending a stream of healing energy into his body, gasping with relief when his eyes focused on her and he smiled weakly.
"I thought I'd lost you." A solitary tear slid down her face – a tear of relief, and love.
"I'm not so easy to kill, Sonea." He replied, with a sense of dry humour.
Akkarin strained to sit up, and the other three magicians looked on as they embraced.
"We have a lot to explain..." Sonea whispered. "What will we tell them?"
Akkarin smiled crookedly.
"The truth, Sonea. We will tell them the truth."
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