Sorry for the wait! I had theatre practices to go to and this weekend was the production. Anyway, since I'm sure you probably don't really care about my theatre stories, this is, I'm sorry to say, the last chapter of Lark Song. But, don't dismay! A sequel is on the way!...eventually...
Skye slowly pulled out his sword. He spent the entire night beforehand sharpening and shining the blade until it gleamed in the morning sun. Using his teeth, he gently tugged on his gloves to make sure they wouldn't fly off in the hectic fight to come. "Ready?"
Savitor placed an arrow in his bow and nodded. "Ready as ever, kid."
He heard a grunt behind him as Almaya tried to tie up her hair and hold her belt in her teeth. Skye went over to her and took the ribbon from her hands, tying it up himself. "There. Tight enough?"
She looked up at him and smiled. "Thanks. How many times have you had to do that for me?"
"Too many." He looked away from her and stood at the entrance to Lark's cavernous hideaway. "It's time we finish this. For all that is well and good, for Lapin…and for Valaeri."
"Give Lark a good whack for me."
I'll give her more than just a good whack, Valaeri. I'll give her hell itself. He gripped his sword tightly and marched into the cave.
All through the mountain there were openings where a tunnel bored through the stone into…somewhere. The map given to Savitor gave them a detailed diagram of the inner workings of Lark's mountain, and they knew that she could be in any of the rooms or corridors. They decided to start and the bottom and work their way up. Surely, they'd find her eventually. Or even better, she'd find them.
Lark did not come out for them. They climbed through the entire mountain, searching every room until at last they climbed the last staircase to the topmost room. The late afternoon sunlight shone through the large opening, casting shadows throughout the stone room.
"The sun is so pretty this time of day, don't you think?"
They turned to see a pair of red eyes gazing at them. From the shadows Lark walked out to them, her black hair neatly combed and her white outfit freshly cleaned. Had he not the task of killing this woman, Skye gladly would have wanted to take the time to know her. However, he also didn't want to know the person inadvertently responsible for Valaeri's death.
She continued to walk up to them. "I was beginning to wonder if you three were coming for me at all. It certainly took you long enough." She looked at them, a bored expression on her face. "So, what shall we do now?"
Almaya slowly took out one of her daggers and threw it in Lark's direction. It hit and stuck in her arm, quivering slightly. Lark looked down at it and pulled it out smoothly. Her skin repaired itself immediately. "You idiots. I'm immortal, remember? You can't kill me."
"Then we'll gladly die trying!" Skye roared and swung his sword around, aiming to hack her head off. She caught his blade in her hand and swung it to one side, throwing Almaya's knife with the other. He crashed to the ground and wasted no time in jumping up once more.
"This is the most fun I've had in decades!" Lark grinned as she caught one of Savitor's arrows and lobbed it back at him. To her joy it slid across the top of his shoulder, slicing through cloth and flesh.
Almaya grabbed her dagger from the wall and quickly ran up behind Lark to stab her in the back. However, she turned around in time to block the attack. Almaya narrowed her eyes and began rapidly slashing at her. Every move was blocked until finally Lark grabbed her wrists and swiftly kicked her in the stomach, sending her flying against the far wall. The thief crumbled to the ground in a heap.
"Almaya!" Skye looked over at her before turning his attention on Lark.
"Give Lark a good whack for me."
He quickly ran over to her and managed to slam the hilt of his sword in her face, smiling when he heard the satisfying crunch of her nose breaking. She stumbled backward, waiting for her body to heal itself. "That was for Valaeri." Skye then swung around to meet her arm blocking his attack. She glared at him over his blade.
"You don't even know what you're doing." She dove sideways and let him fall forward. "You don't have the strength to even coming close to defeating me."
As soon as he regained his footing, he desperately threw his sword at her. She merely deflected it with her arm, sending it skidding across the floor. "If anything, you'll be the one to die here."
She grabbed him by the front of his tunic and slammed him against the wall. "But you'd like that, wouldn't you? To be with your beloved…whatever her name was. I don't even care. All I know is that I enjoyed watching her heroic display as she fell to her death." Lark smirked with a chuckle. "She actually survived…had I not pushed her off the second ledge. After, of course, I had a little fun with her."
Skye's eyes widened as she spoke. She pressed him further against the stone, cutting off his breath. "Either way, now I've finally managed to kill off everyone from that God-forsaken village. That was my goal. And now, I get a head start on the killing of everyone in the Capital. Good for me."
"Wh-why?" He choked out, stars dotting his vision from lack of oxygen.
"Why? Well, when you've lived as long as I have, you deserve to be supreme ruler of your own country. That's why." She swiftly threw him to the side, smiling slightly as he slid across the floor to rest next to his blade. "Besides, I'd be much better than those pompous fools they have now."
Skye weakly lifted his head just to let it drop again. Through his distorted vision he saw Savitor and Almaya desperately trying to overpower Lark. He took in a deep breath just to exhale quickly. Is this even worth it? He watched in emotional agony as Savitor's bow was broken in half and Lark threw him to the ground.
There's no way to kill her. She's indestructible.
Almaya dug her daggers into Lark's back and quickly flipped so that Lark hit the ground on her stomach. Before the thief could react, however, she jumped up and grabbed her leg, sending Almaya to the ground next to Savitor. She then proceeded to dig out the annoyances in her skin, throwing them dangerously close to hitting Skye's friends.
I'm so sorry, Valaeri… I couldn't do it. I told you I couldn't. Not without you.
Lark grinned maliciously as she stood over them, her hands planted firmly on her hips. "What shall I do with you now? Kill you both slowly and let you suffer? Or push you off the mountain like I did to your little friend?" She laughed softly. "No… That would be too easy. Why don't we go with the first option?"
"I think that every woman's weakness is her heart."
Valaeri's words echoed in his mind, words from a seemingly useless conversation long ago. But now, he thought, perhaps they serve a purpose. He grabbed his sword and pushed himself to his feet. His body ached from the beating it took, but he pressed on. While Lark was preoccupied with his friends, he made his way up behind her.
She turned around just to gasp in pain. He smiled as he slid his sword up to the hilt through her chest. "No one lives forever." He ripped it from her as quickly as he had stabbed her.
"You… How did…" She collapsed to her knees, coughing up blood and trying to stand.
Almaya happened to notice this just in time from where she tried to help Savitor regain consciousness. "Lark! Helen says hi!" She struggled to her feet.
Lark looked out to the setting sun. "Helen… My old friend…" Tears pooled in her red eyes as she sank lower. "I had forgotten… I had forgotten her…and everyone else…" She finally hit the ground and breathed her last.
To the surprise of everyone, she slowly dissipated into dust and the wind carried her out over the mountains. Skye watched the silvery powder float slowly away. As he turned back to his friends, something caught his eye. He looked again to see Valaeri standing against the rocks.
"I knew you could do it, Skye. Thank you."
He took a step forward. "Valaeri…"
She smiled slightly. "I'll be waiting for you. We'll see each other again. Someday." She turned and walked away, disappearing in the last rays of the sun.
Skye ran to the edge of the platform toward her, but it was too late. "Someday…" He held her ring in his hand, the cool metal warming in his palm.
"Hey kid! You know what this means, right? We finished it. She's gone and we did our job." Savitor walked up beside him.
Almaya found her place on his other side. "Does this mean we can go home?"
He nodded, looking up at the sky. "Yeah… Let's go home."
Everyone dies eventually and I can't stop it. I understand that now. I'll wait for you too, Valaeri. Because someday… We'll be together again.
"Skye! Are you coming or not?" Almaya called to him from a ledge below.
He smiled and sheathed his sword, jumping down to join them. "Yeah. Let's go." He looked up once more. Somehow he knew there wasn't a reason to mourn her any longer. He never had to in the first place. She certainly hadn't mourned him, so why should he?
"Thanks Valaeri. For everything."
The sequel will be posted...
I couldn't help myself there. Anywho, hope you enjoyed it!