182 ~ Anala

Jourd’Selene, 17th Trinnia

0008 hours

She watched things unfold, agony gripping her heart, barely able to believe what happened before her.

Yarrow and Umbra fought in the centre of the hall; the bellica frantically, the Goddess almost lazily. Anala could see, now, though she’d missed it before, that Yarrow’s belly bulged slightly, and she held her breath as she watched the pregnant warrior engage a Deity of unimaginable power.

Yarrow’s sword slashed at her twin’s body, but while she made cuts upon the flesh, she could not seem to hurt the Deity within. Blood did not even flow. She fought expertly, but Umbra’s power was too great; She knocked the bellica aside as if She’d been flicking a fly from Her skin. Yarrow fell, her sword falling from her hands. Umbra went in closer. Anala knew the Goddess moved in to kill her friend.

“Why d’ye nae pick on someone yer own size?” the admiral was shouting before she knew her own mind. A silly thing to say, for Umbra’s added height to Zardria made the Goddess-Empress composite stand half a metre taller than the admiral. She drew the Naratus and placed the Magisphere on her other arm, standing at the ready.

Umbra turned to face her and sneered. “You think you can kill Me, Magi?” the Goddess asked, and laughed.

Anala’s eyes narrowed. “May be I cannae. But I cannae let ye kill me friend, either. Sa why d’ye nae kill me instead?”

Umbra smiled. “With pleasure.”

Umbra snapped Her fingers, and out of thin air a sword materialised. It was black in blade and pommel, the hilt decorated with red stones the colour of blood. Anala got the feeling that was what they really were. She felt a frisson of fear run down her spine, but did not back down.

The Goddess came at Anala then, and she fought with a vigour she’d never felt before. There was a clash of steel as their swords hit each other; a clash of a different sort as Umbra’s sword came down on the Magisphere that Anala used in an expert blocking move. She felt a tremor go through the shield, and the buzzing of the Naratus increased. She used the opening to cut Umbra’s leg. The Goddess screamed in pain and rage, and fought with more anger. Anala could barely block the hits as Umbra advanced on her, pushing her back towards a wall.

Soon she was cornered, and fighting with every last bit of strength she had left. Umbra was relentless, Her sword making vicious sounds as it moved through the air. Black blood streamed from the cut on Her leg; Anala could see it as Zardria’s peplos had been torn at some point.

Suddenly, in a move completely unexpected, Umbra knocked the Magisphere from Anala’s arm; it went flying across the room to land close by Caelum’s prone form. The Goddess’ hand closed around Anala’s throat and She lifted the admiral up, still against the wall. The Naratus dangled lifelessly in Anala’s hand; she could not breathe.

Then, from the corner of her eye, she saw Yarrow moving towards the Magisphere, to pick it up, and she could not even scream a warning that to do so would kill the bellica.

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