Chapter XII

Yemeana squinted, trying to see better. She thought that she had seen movement out in the forest. Kalik noticed and followed her stare. He couldn't make out anything. Yemeana had an idea and made her eyes like an owl's. Now she could see. It was a, two, now three.

'Vampyres,' she thought.

They caught her staring and stared back at her unblinkingly and nonchalantly. It unnerved Yemeana, and she subconsciously shivered. Kalik overlooked it as her being cold due to the freezing rain. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't tear her gaze away from one of the bat's glowing red eyes. She was transfixed completely.

At least until a loud whinny brought her back to reality.

Nightsky reared up, victorious, and whinnied. He had successfully killed his first victim, a vampyre. He had finally knocked it off by resorting to rolling onto his back. It wasn't exactly dignified, but he didn't really care. Better alive than dignified.

With the vampyre on the ground, it was easy enough to drive his horn through its heart. Turns out unicorn horns worked too. Now blood was dripping from it, cold blood, and all that was left was a pile of dust.

He thumped back to the earth, satisfied. But a shrill neigh of terror made him gallop off towards its source. What he found was Forest Mane cornered by two zardevilms along with a few other unicorns, practically all that were out in the forest. The zardevilms had their jagged broadswords drawn and ready to use. With their wings outstretched, they filled up a lot of space with their terrible presence.

Nightsky didn't know what to do.

Yemeana felt the scimitar grow warm and felt tired. Then she heard a cry of, "They're trying to break through the spells!"

'Well, that explains it,' she thought, trying to distract herself from the drained feeling.

She felt a jolt and started feeling weak at the knees. She collapsed, but Kalik caught her.

"You're going to have to release the spells soon," he whispered.

"I know," she whispered back, "but first...I love you."

"I love you too."

"Now, I want you to promise me something."


"That you won't die."

"I can't promise that, and you know it," Kalik told her, caressing her hand in his. "But I will promise I'll try not to get killed."

"I'll do the same." There was a pause. "What did you want to say to me earlier?"
Kalik blushed, but she didn't see. "It was nothing, it can wait 'til later, after the battle."

"Okay. Remember."

"I will. You remember too." He planted a kiss on her lips. When they parted, Yemeana had to lean on him for support in order to stand.

"Release the spells."

Yemeana did. She still felt tried, but now she was feeling her energy return. Now was their time. Their waiting was over. She grasped her green weapon even tighter and picked up her shield after putting on her helmet.

"Bang your weapon on your shield," Justice said in her head.


"Listen to him, bang it," Peace now joined in. "It's cool."

Deciding she had nothing to lose, Yemeana followed their suggestion and banged it against her shield. She added a war cry just for the heck of it, causing everyone to become bloodthirsty.

Nightsky took his chance and leapt. He leapt onto the nearest zardevilm. He then became a dark blur, thrashing, bucking, and kicking, and spitting and letting out fierce cries. It took both of them by surprise, and they were both slow to react. When they did, Nightsky had already wounded the one he was attacking a bit. But only a bit. Angry, it grabbed Nightsky and flung him. Then it turned its attention to something else.

Nightsky flinched as the tree came closer at an alarmingly fast rate. Then they met, and pain shot through his bruised body. He watched as the zardevilms advanced on the other unicorns until his vision went black and he passed out.

Zardevilms and vampyres were everywhere. They had rushed forward as soon as they found they could with no resistance. They were met with unicorns and humans alike, the latter being armed as best they could with whatever they had with their limited resources.

Yemeana felt her heart thumping and felt as though she were about to be sick. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kalik getting in a ready stance.

Then Yemeana's eyes widened as a zardevilm charged towards her. When it was within a few yards of her, it sprung on top of her. The scimitar fell from Yemeana's grasp and her helmet slipped off and rolled a few feet away. Yemeana was slammed against the earth and the wind was knocked out of her.

The zardevilm raised an arm to strike. Eyes closed, Yemeana pushed her shield up against the zardevilm, using her power to add force to it, causing the monster to go flying off her.

Yemeana got up now, despite feeling weaker than ever. Her eyes widened as a zardevilm charged towards her, utilizing the speed of its four limbs. When it was within a few yards of her, it sprung on top of her. The scimitar fell from Yemeana's grasp and her helmet slipped off, rolling a few feet away. Yemeana was slammed against the earth and the wind was knocked out of her.

The zardevilm raised an arm to strike. Eyes closed, Yemeana pushed her shield up against the zardevilm, using her power to add force to it, causing the monster to go flying off her.

Yemeana got up now, despite feeling weaker than ever. She grabbed her scimitar, and as the zardevilm charged again, she used the diamond to help focus her energy and sent a fireball at it from the tip of her scimitar. It hit one of its wings, causing the few black-brown feathers to burst into flames. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to bother the zardevilm; it just drew its broadsword, its red eyes gleaming like coals with the light from the fire reflecting off of them. It raised it over her head before she could react when there was a squelch. The zardevilm crumpled to the ground and Yemeana ducked out of the way of the broadsword. She looked up to see John, light brown blood dripping from the tip of his sword.

"Thanks," Yemeana said. Then she saw a vampyre, sword drawn, eyes on the unsuspecting John.

"Look out!" she yelled, but she was too late.

John gasped, dropping his sword, blood flowing from his wrist. With another swift movement, the vampyre managed to slash through John's chain mail, creating a gash in his side. John sank to his knees.

Desperately, tears stinging her eyes, Yemeana slashed at the vampire, missing it as it dodged with ease. As its blade came to within an inch of her armor, Yemeana suddenly parried the blow, her arm moving lightning fast. Before the vampyre could recover from its surprise, she stabbed it in the chest where its heart was. As it turned into dust, Yemeana breathed heavily. Some sort of magic had flowed through her and now she was exhausted. She fell to one knee, steadying herself by placing her hand on the ground. Looking around dizzily, her eyes going in out of focus, she glanced at the ground. Her eyes stopped on something, and she blinked a few times, hardly able to register what she saw. It was John, blood flowing from his side, eyes glazed over. Yemeana's heart pounded in her ears over the surrounding sounds of battle as she saw he was on the verge of death.

She stumbled over to him, clumsily grabbing his hand so he knew she was there. Using what was left of her concentration, she caught the words she needed in her head. Knowing she was using the last of her magic and that she would be extremely vulnerable afterwards, she let the words tumble from her mouth in an inarticulate rush, "Maz lno hwac ur exx acvimaoh." Instantly the gash healed along with the cut on his wrist. His breathing started to sound more regular. If it only were the same for her.

She could hardly seem to get enough air into her lungs. She swayed, letting go of John's hand. There was a thud as she hit the ground. There was a dull throb of pain from her head, but Yemeana just laid there, eyes half closed. Her head was tilted to the side slightly, and she saw along the ground. Somebody was busy fighting a zardevilm a few yards away. She heard a cry of pain and saw the person fall, having received a fatal wound. Yemeana's eyes closed.

When Forest Mane saw Nightsky pass out, he let out an angry snort and pawed the earth. He knew the other unicorns were responding in the same way. They were all fiercely loyal to their leader, and now they wanted to punish the creatures who had hurt him.

As one, they sprung, striking out at the hideous scaled beings. Forest Mane was knocked away, and he ended up behind one. He charged towards it, bloodthirsty. His horn hit something soft and light brown blood flowed out of the zardevilm. It crashed to the ground and within in a few seconds died. The unicorns let out a triumphant whinny, Forest Mane proudly lifting his head for a great neigh.

Pain in his side and the feel of liquid streaming down it prevented him from doing so. The other zardevilm had gotten him.

'How foolish of me,' he thought dazedly as the zardevilm then knocked him back. He crashed into a tree and collapsed, battered and bleeding, next to Nightsky, his eyes closing. 'If this is the end, at least I went down fighting.'

He heard a squelch and then a heavy thud. The other zardevilm has been defeated. Hoof beats and worried voices were the last things he heard. He felt somebody gently nudging his head in an attempt to get him up. They got no response.