Ahir is desperate to win his race through the city with Lang’kahn. If he wins, he has a chance to save Bar’bou’s people, if he loses, everything he has been fighting to protect will be lost. Meanwhile Milton engages in another fight, and displays expertise in using his weapon in the battle, and the end of the chapter sees Milton and Ahir reunited. You won’t want to miss this audio chapter of Ahir, Guardian of Malor!
Ahir jumped onto the side of a building, and pushed off of it, and the fireball crashed into the side of the building he had just pushed off of. Ahir sailed over Captain Ember’s head and landed on the sidewalk, and tensed his body up, ready to react to whatever Captain Ember did next. “Is this really how a hero deals with his problems? Just burn to ash those who haven’t done anything to harm you or anyone else?”
Captain Ember formed two more fireballs above his hand. “Shut up! What do you know about how a hero acts? You are my arch nemesis, and I won’t make the same mistake that Captain Ember from the comics made. If I stop you now then you can’t ever hurt anyone! Now stop running! I have a city to protect!” The fireballs turned into two twin streaks of liquid flame so hot that the air crackled around the two streaks. Trash cans started melting as they passed, and the garbage in them and scattered around the sidewalk burst into flame.
Ahir looked on in terror as the fireballs came ever nearer. I can’t dodge these. I only have one choice. Ahir raised his hands up and the twin streaks of fire hit an invisible barrier, and then vanished, leaving behind two trails of black smoke rising up into the sky, and soot where they had hit the barrier.
Captain Ember looked at Ahir in shock, and then a smirk of satisfaction crossed his face. “I knew it. If you weren’t my nemesis then you wouldn’t have been able to stop that attack, but you did, so that proves it! I doubt you can stop this, though!” Captain Ember raised both of his hands above his head, and a large fireball, like a small sun, formed above his hands. Suddenly, though, a blackness covered Captain Ember’s eyes and first a look of confusion filled his face, followed by a look of confidence. The fireball above his hands disappeared.
Captain Ember began talking to himself in a deeper, regal and commanding voice. “Well, that took longer than I expected. For someone so easily seduced by the power of magic, he had a surprisingly resilient soul.” Captain Ember turned his attention onto Ahir. “Greetings, Ahir, this is the first time I have gotten to speak with you. I must admit, you have been doing well against my minions so far, but there is no reason for you to fight any longer. I will leave you humans in peace.”
Ahir’s body relaxed, and he blinked in confusion. “Oh. Good to hear, Captain Ember. I don’t know what brought on this change, but are you ready to listen to what I have to say?”
Captain Ember sighed. “How does Bar’bou put up with you? I am Lang’kahn! Captain Ember, as you call him, is now my puppet. I control his every movement. Enough of that, however. Are you ready to make a deal with me that will let you get back to your normal life?”
A look of realization passed over Ahir’s face. His body tensed up. “I can’t go back to my normal life, who will stop the monsters you keep sending from enslaving my people?”
Lang’kahn chuckled. “My dear boy, if you hand that sword over to me, I won’t have any reason to do anything to your people. Hand it over, and I promise you that you will never see another Aureus’aevum as long as you live.”
Ahir’s hands formed into fists at his side. “I can’t give you the sword, you will use it to slaughter those who stand against you in your world.”
Lang’kahn smiled and held his hands up. “Ahh, but who are these people to you? What have they ever done for you? You think that you are a hero now? You could be a true hero to your people by ensuring their safety. All you would have to do is hand over the Gladio Protegat.” Lang’kahn held out his hand.
Ahir took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He locked eyes with Lang’kahn and stared at him. “It’s true that I’ve never seen these people, and probably never will, but that doesn’t make it alright for me to say that the safety of my people is more important that the safety of yours. You will never get the Gladio Protegat from me as long as I live!”
Lang’kahn shook his head and tisked. “Very well. You have made your choice. I must say, I respect the strength of your resolve. Unfortunately this means that I’m going to have to kill you and burn this city to the ground. Once I have, I will pull the Gladio Protegat from the ashes, and herd whatever is left of these humans you fight so hard to protect through a portal where they will become slaves for the Aureus’aevum.” Lang’kahn formed a fireball in his upraised right hand and threw it at Ahir. As it came nearer, it began to spin, and as it did arms of flame formed, spinning faster and faster.
Ahir darted to his right, the spinning fireball finding nothing but air where he had been standing just a moment earlier. Lang’kahn chuckled. “One thing I could never understand is how others could be alright with wasting a magic spell. Magic is a precious thing, and it should not be wasted.” Lang’kahn waved his right hand and the fireball turned and started following Ahir.
Ahir’s eyes went wide and he started running towards the nearest alleyway, the fireball began catching up with him. Ahir made it to the mouth of the alley and started running up the wall. He made it three steps up before he started losing his fight with gravity, but the fireball crashed into the building. Ahir pushed himself off of the wall and toward the fire escape on the adjacent building,while the wall of the building that the fireball had crashed into began to crumble.
Lang’kahn walked up to the alley and examined the rubble of the wall and then looked up at Ahir. “I won’t lie, I am quite impressed at how well you have avoided my attacks. I can understand how you survived the Aureus’aveum that failed me before. I promise you this though, I’m nothing like them.” Lang’kahn lifted his right hand up and spun it in a circle a few times before pointing it at Ahir, who was desperately climbing up the fire escape. A breeze stirred the pile of rubble, and bricks and small chunks of wall began to spin faster and faster in a cyclone, before the bricks began to fly at Ahir.
Many of the bricks bounced off of the metal bars of the fire escape, and most of the ones that made it through bounced harmlessly off the wall of the building, but one managed to hit Ahir on his bicep. Ahir sharply sucked in a breath of air, and gripped the bloody, scraped patch of his skin, but continued up the fire escape and onto the roof of the building. “That’s going to leave a bruise.” Ahir looked over the edge of the roof down at Lang’kahn. “Since I impress you so much, maybe you want to let me go, and you know, send more of your minions through to fight me?”
Lang’kahn threw his head back and laughed a deep and rumbling laugh. “You’re quite the bold one little hero, but I’m afraid I cannot. You see, I gave you a chance, but you rejected my offer. Besides, it’s not often I get to use magic on something that will actually die. No, I’m quite enjoying this.” Lang’kahn began to rise up off of the ground toward the rooftop.
Ahir took off running across the top of the roof towards the roof of the next building. It was worth a try. I wish I hadn’t sent the sword back with Trixie, however. Ahir lept from the roof onto the roof of the building next to it. Ahir began the long and difficult process of trying to escape from Lang’kahn.
Milton stood in an alley, his bow held at the ready in his left hand and Tor’jahd perched on his right shoulder. “How much longer do we have to wait Tor’jahd? I am running out of patience.”
Tor’jahd looked up from preening his wings. “It should be opening anon, any minute now. Ah, there it is!” Tor’jahd pointed a wing at the portal as it opened up. Milton pulled back his bow string, and took aim at the portal.
A golem made up of boulders stepped through the portal and Milton released his first arrow. The arrow deflected off of the invisible shield that surrounded the golem and bounced into a garbage can standing to one side and slightly behind it. Milton pulled back his bow and fired at the ground to the other side and in front of the golem the same time that the golem threw a fireball at Milton. Milton dove to his right and went into a roll, Tor’jahd taking off from Milton’s shoulder and circling the top of the building.
The trash can flew into the invisible shield and just sat there, pulling and pulling, but not having enough momentum to actually move the monster. The golem swung its fist into the trash can, sending it flying down the alley before it reversed direction and was pulled to the spot the second arrow had hit. The golem charged at Milton, sparks jumping about on its stone hands.
Milton came to a rest with his back up against a brick wall, and saw the charging golem. Milton shot his foot with his bow and then shot through the golem’s legs with his second shot. His body was pulled along the floor of the alley and he passed between legs of the golem. The golem smashed its fist into the ground, sending rocks and sparks flying out and cracking the blacktop. Milton sprang up onto his feet and shot a crate leaning up against the building then shot his second arrow into the wall behind the golem.
The crate flew across the alley and into the golems shield, and the wood of the crate splintered apart. The golem bellowed down the alley toward Milton again. Milton shot his own chest and then shot the wall halfway down the alley behind the monster, and he was pulled up into the air, and flew over the golem’s head. The golem picked up a dumpster and threw it at Milton.
Milton released the pull on his body after passing the golem’s head, and landed back on the ground. The dumpster the golem threw passed over Milton’s head, and Milton turned and fired off two shots in rapid succession, first into the dumpster and then into the wall behind the golem. The dumpster flew down the alley and crashed into the golem, a sound like shattering glass ringing out as the air around the golem seemed to shatter and break. The dumpster pushed the golem slowly down the alley and pinned it to the brick wall.
Milton reached up and pushed his glasses back onto the his face and drew back his bow once more. “I must admit that this is the most exciting battle that I’ve had so far, but it’s going to end, just like all the others. Buh-bye monster!” Milton let the pull end on the dumpster, which then fell onto the floor of the alley.
Tor’jahd screeched from the sky above, “Milton, look out behind you!”
Milton turned and looked behind him and saw a monster that looked like a gorilla, with long bone claws growing out of it’s knuckles and a skull over its head. A long horn grew out of the middle of the skull’s forehead and a pair of yellow eyes stared out at Milton from the skull’s eye sockets. A lighting bolt formed in the monster’s hand. It hurled the bolt like a lance at Milton, who dove out of the way. The lightning bolt crashed into the stone paved ground, sending shrapnel flying out in all directions, a piece of which flew into Milton’s leg.
Milton cried out in pain and dropped his bow as both of his hands grabbed his calf, blood starting to flow out of it and stain his torn jeans. The golem pushed the dumpster off of it and bellowed out in defiance as it charged down the alley at Milton. Milton looked up at the charging Golem with fear in his eyes, which quickly changed to confidence. He picked up the bow with blood smeared hands and launched two arrows in quick succession, the first into the body of the golem and the second into the portal.
The golem reached out in an attempt to grab and bring Milton with him, but couldn’t quite reach him before being pulled away. The golem flew towards the portal and crashed into the gorilla, sending both of them flying back through the portal. Milton got up slowly and winced in pain when he put his weight experimentally on his left leg. He leaned on his bow and used it like a crutch as he hobbled across the alleyway to the open portal. He shifted his weight to his good leg and reached out with the bow into the portal. the portal closed in a blue glimmer around the bow, and Milton fell to the ground once again.
“Tor’jahd, why didn’t you tell me that there was going to be a second Aureus’aevum coming through the portal? I could have been killed!”
Tor’jahd landed on the lip of the dumpster. “I didn’t know there was going to be a second one. There never has been before. I have the ability to predict when a portal will open, not how many Aureus’aevum will come through!”
“Alright, I suppose I should thank you for warning me that it was there at all.” Milton rose to his feet once again, and winced in pain. “How am I going to explain this injury to the school nurse?”
Tor’jahd’s head turned towards the east. “I don’t know, but there is no time to worry about that! Another portal is about to open in an hour and a half!”
Milton looked skeptically at Tor’jahd. “Are you sure? There has never been two portals opened within three days of each other, let alone on the same day.”
Tor’jahd turned his predatory gaze onto Milton. “I told you before, I can tell when and where a portal is going to open, and another one is going to open today! We need to get something on your wound and get to the site before it is too late!”
Milton sighed and then tore a long strip of cloth off of his shirt. “This was my favorite shirt too.” He reached down and dug around inside of his wound, wincing in pain, but he finally pulled out a blood-covered stone. He tossed it aside with disgust and wrapped the strip of cloth around and over the wound. He tested putting his weight on his leg and winced. “Which way is it to the portal, and how far away?”
Tor’jahd held out his wing to the east. “It is about half a mile that way. Even in your current condition we should be able to make it there before the portal opens.” Milton started limping out of the alley.
“I almost wish I hadn’t told that Ahir guy to stop showing up to fight these things. Even if we do make it there in time I’m going to be exhausted and in no condition to fight it.”
“All things will happen as they are supposed to, and you were chosen for this task. I do not think you will fall easily to this threat.”
Trixie paced back and forth across the floor in Ahir’s kitchen. “I can’t believe that we just left him there. We should have stayed and helped him!”
Bar’bou sighed and looked down at Trixie from his hammock. “Miss Ameliason, for the hundredth time, WE are inefficiently equipped to contend with the dynamism that Ahir was contending with, uttermostly you. Ahir has a great foreordination, I doubt he will quickly expire. His visage will appear forthly, this I previse.”
Trixie threw her hands up in frustration. “I am sure you are trying to comfort me, but all I could understand that you said was the name Ahir, and that you have told me this multiple times! I’m going. I’m going to go out there, and I’m going to help Ahir!” Trixie started walking over to the door.
Bar’bou leapt off his hammock and onto Trixie’s shoulder. “Desist!” Bar’bou began grumbling under his breath, “In what manner would you humans verbalize it? You cursedly simple-minded creatures! You don’t know where he is, and if you did find him, you being there would only provide him with a distraction that he doesn’t need!”
The front door opened and Ahir walked through it, his clothes were singed and shredded, but he still looked whole. “You know I could hear you two arguing all the way down to the corner, right? You might want to be a little more quiet.”
Trixie turned and smiled wide and wrapped her arms around Ahir. “Ahir! You’re okay!”
Ahir blushed. “Yeah, I’m, um, I’m fine. Thanks for the hug Trixie; it’s nice to see you too. We do have a problem, though.” Trixie blushed, let go of Ahir and took a few steps back.
Bar’bou shook his head. “Humans. What exactly entails the difficulty that you have presently alluded?
“I’m guessing you asked what the problem is, so I’m just going to tell you what that is. Captain Ember has had his soul corrupted by Lang’kahn. He really wants the sword and tried to kill me for it. He says he’s going to burn this world to the ground and then pull the sword out of the ashes, blah, blah, blah, bad guy talk. I managed to escape, though, so we should have a little bit of time to plan before he finds me.”
Bar’bou’s eyes opened wide with shock, and his mouth started opening and closing rapidly. “Y-y-you buffon! The capability you employed to discern Lang’kahn’s position is possessed by Lang’kahn as well . His arrival could be momentary!”
Ahir ran his hand through his hair and sighed. “Seriously Bar’bou, you need to use simple words so I can understand you. I just don’t get why it’s so difficult…”
Bar’bou grabbed Ahir’s collar in both of his hands and pulled Ahir’s face up to his, interrupting Ahir. “Try and understand this. Lang’kahn can track you down with magic just like you tracked him down. He could be here any moment!”
A look of panic crossed Ahir’s face and Trixie started screaming. Ahir walked up to Trxie and grabbed her by the shoulders. “Trixie, I need to know where the sword is. What did you do with my pack?”
Trixie calmed down a bit, her breath coming in short ragged bursts. “What? Your bag? Um, I put it on your bed. Ahir, what are we going to do, what are we going to do?”
The wall ripped away, revealing the two story drop down to the sidewalk, the pipe where the sink had been began spewing water all over the place. Lang’kahn was hovering next to the opening, the wall hovering a short distance over his head. He let the wall fall to the ground. “This is where the hero lives? Come now, Ahir. Surely these people can take much better care of the one that is protecting them.”
Ahir ran across his apartment to his bed and grabbed his bag. “Run! Get out of here!” Ahir pulled his sword out of his pack, and started working on untying the knots that held the cloth over the sheath on his sword. Trixie ran out the door with Bar’bou on her shoulder.
Lang’kahn floated into the room and landed on the floor and held his hand out. “Ah, I see, you came back here to get the sword for me. Now just hand it over and I may yet forgive you.”
Ahir pulled the cloth off of his sword and pulled his sword out of his sheath. “I told you before, I will never give the sword to you!” Ahir charged across his apartment, the sword held high over his head.
Lang’kahn held his hands out to his side and his body turned into a mist that flew past Ahir and reformed into a solid body behind him. Flames shot out from Lang’kahn’s outstretched hands and consumed the apartment. Smoke spilled forth from the apartment and rose into the sky.
Ahir started running for the door to the apartment and flames sped past him and turned the door into a blazing barrier. “You weren’t going to run away, were you, hero? Isn’t it more heroic to stay here and fight the villain? You are humanity’s last hope after all.” Lang’kahn threw his head back and laughed a deep and rumbling laugh.
Ahir squinted as smoke from the fires caused his eyes to water. He glared at Lang’kahn and grunted in resignation, knowing that this was it. He would be burned alive here, but maybe he could take Lang’kahn with him. Then he noticed the missing wall. Ahir mumbled under his breath, “Please let me survive this.” He ran across the apartment once more, the roof beginning to collapse behind him, and he jumped out of the hole in the wall. He fell toward the ground, feet first, knees ready to absorb the impact.
Ahir landed on the ground, bent his knees to absorb some of the impact, and turned it into a tumble. He tumbled backwards, and hit his right shoulder on the trunk of a tree. He cried out in surprise and dropped the sword. Lang’kahn walked over to the edge of the apartment and looked down at Ahir. Two streaks of light shot through the sky, the first hitting Lang’kahn, and the second flew further into Ahir’s crumbling apartment, pulling Lang’kahn backwards out of sight.
Milton limped up to Ahir. “I thought I told you not to let this happen. You never could do what you were told.You always have to do it your way, don’t you?”
Trixie ran up to the two of them with Bar’bou perched on her shoulder. “Milton? What are you doing here? Did you come to help Ahir?”
Milton grimaced and reached down to grab his leg. “No, a portal is about to open up here and I came to deal with that. Saving Ahir’s life is just an unfortunate side effect.” Milton swayed a little on his feet. “Tor’jahd, how much longer until the portal opens?”
Tor’jahd stopped circling and landed on a branch of the tree that Ahir had come to rest against. “It should be opening any second now, but we can entertain ourselves with this foofaraw for now.”
Milton felt the pull that his bow was creating on Lang’kahn suddenly stop and he looked up in shock. A gust of wind shot across the sky and knocked Milton to the ground. The Powaga Jousi went flying from Milton’s hands and he looked up at Lang’kahn. “The power of the Powaga Jousi is nothing to me. I’ll take care of this hero first, and then I’ll give you the honor of being the next in line for extermination!” Lang’kahn lifted up his hand and a ball of fire formed over it. The flames swirled around and around, elongating until it became a large, white, fire lance that Lang’kahn held ready to throw.
A portal split open the sky right next to Trixie, and Bar’bou’s head snapped so that he was looking right at it. “Presently? As if we need another complication in our current predicament.”
A beagle stepped through the portal with a kite shield gripped in its mouth. It dropped it at Trixie’s feet.
“There is no time to explain, Trixie. Take the Escudo Spegel and defend Ahir with it!” Trixie looked at the dog for a second and then bent over to pick up the shield. She ran across the distance between Ahir and her and stood over him as Lang’kahn launched his fiery lance down at Ahir.