- Episode 45 -
Mal studied the charging beasts movements as it came at them, carefully looking for anything he could use against the creature. While it moved fast, seemingly reckless in a headlong rush it was different this time around - more cautious. It had been harmed before, and clearly seemed to remember the experience. Trinity seemed to be it's intended target, but the monster wasn't ignoring him or Tonniel either; perhaps it was learning. Mal would have to be careful, if that was the case he couldn't rely on the same tricks working a second time around. It was all the same to him however, he would just have to dust off a few other ones.
"By the authority of his majesty, King Rainborne, I hereby give you fair warning and order you to halt or forfeit your life." The ground at Mal's feet shuddered violently as the creatures clawed fists slammed into it, barely missing him as it continued it's assault. "Didn't think you'd take it," Mal remarked, mostly to himself. With a tilt of his broad blade he shifted his footing and took a short step to keep a defensive barrier between them.
Narrowing his gaze Mal let his instincts rise from the back of his mind and allowed himself to sink down into a deep quiet. His hands set themselves to motion, moving in tightly controlled series of blocks and parries that kept his guard strong. Patience was key, he knew, this was not the kind of fight that would end quickly unless he was foolish and he couldn't afford to be that.
"Oh, quit toying with the thing," Tonniel exclaimed as he moved forward to join the fray. With a surge of swirling swiped strikes the king circled in towards the monster his own blade a deadly arc of spinning steel. "Cower before the king," Tonniel roared, a sense of triumph in his tone. The beasts claws clanged off the feverishly flung weapon and it screeched back it's own challenge.
So caught up in his own attack Tonniel had taken his attention off the creatures other clawed hand leaving Mal alone to intercept the sinister blow. Power answered his call from within the blade as he rolled it into a strong arc that met the deadly digits with a crackle. Tonniel wouldn't need any reprimand, it was already written upon his face that he had misjudged his hasty attack.
Riding her will down through her staff, Trinity focused her mind deeper and deeper into the weakened wards of Oakhelm Keep. She had to have faith that her brother and Mal could protect her long enough to work, there was no time to spare worrying over it. Magic flowed around her like a waiting song, it's words somehow out of rhythm now.
And then Trinity could hear it, a voice pure and peaceful as a tumbling snowflake drifting down beside her. The silver and ivory pendant dangling from her neck began to glow with a warmness that held the promise of tender kindness. Trinity was no longer alone, she could feel it now; she had never really been alone. That is what she had been carrying all along - it wasn't a book of magic at all. It was the gift of the Unicorn's essence itself, the very Unicorn's spirit that even now was walking with her trying to help.
Born from the very presence of the Unicorn, hope began to flood through Trinity's heart, filling it with song.