Chapter 37: Bloodshed
Awaiting the charging soldiers, her blades ready, Nisha’s heart was pumping violently; it was the first time she had consciously chose to face humans with the intent to kill.
The fiends were running towards her, but she was completely relaxed, feeling in another plane, where the time was flowing slower, she had so much time, she could scrutinize her opponents closely:
Five soldiers in total, coming at her in an open simple formation, two men flanking the leader on each side.
Their faces were warped into a war cry, but she didn’t hear anything, she only saw hatred and greed in their eyes as they brandished their one-handed long blades, beating them on the large wooden shields they held in their other hands.
There was a large red bird painted on their shields and a small version of the gruesome animal was displayed on their leather armor.
These persons should have incited fear into her, with their menacing appearance.
Yet the only thing she felt at the prospect of fighting them was a burning desire to win, to live, to thoroughly crush the adversaries before her; her craving responding to the heat of the bracelets on her wrists.
By using her [Spirit Sight], she easily discovered the mercenaries’ element to be earth, traces of aura were swirling around them but it wasn’t strong enough to make her lose confidence in her ability to kill them.
Holding one of the [Taurith] blade close to her body, Nisha stood in front of the carriage, prepared to confront and execute any number of enemies willing to come at her, the other blade in front her, guarding from them .
The soldiers must have seen her as a negligible threat, as only the leader of the group went against her, while the four other soldiers were heading for her older sisters.
“Sheathe your weapons, sweetie. I promise we won’t hurt you or the pretty ladies … not too much, at least.”
As if. I’d never surrender against this kind of trash.
The lewd smile on the man’s face had utterly disgusted the dragon girl, she felt that this man’s very being was repulsing something deep inside her.
Without answering the sickening person, she swiftly advanced towards him, throwing a weak probing strike at his chest.
Surprised by her speed, the leader had a hard time blocking the attack, but he managed to raise his shield in time to ward off the blade, a mocking arrogant smile on his face.
“Wrong choice. Now I’ll have to hurt your cute little body before capturing you!”
Confident that the little girl had used her best shot already, he raised his blade, about to hit her.
Nisha fell back in a guarding stance, putting up a nervous front.
Deception had always been one of her strengths, she had always thought that she had to use everything at her disposal in hunting to honor and respect the fallen preys’ lives. It was also much easier this way.
Pretending to give up, putting her weapons down, she backed a short distance away and bowed down, the soldier delighted to see that his opponent had surrendered to her fate, to him.
In her lowered position, the girl supplied the coin around her neck with mana, and at the same time she strengthened her legs with dark aura; before suddenly dashing in a sprint, she was flickering in everyone’s view thanks to the enchantment’s activation.
The spell only lasted for a moment, but it was enough to surprise the enemy soldier, his eyes were desperately searching the delicious-looking little girl that shouldn’t have made things difficult for him anymore and was in front of him a second ago.
Confused and alarmed by the unpredictable move, he was about to call for his friends when Nisha appeared to attack.
Taking advantage of his disarray, she circled the man to the left, investing all her strength in her blade, stabbing precisely beneath the shield into the soldier’s liver, exploding his precious organ.
A scream died on his lips before it could be given birth, the unlucky perverted man was staring at her in disbelief; one moment he believed he had the upper hand in the battle, and one moment later he was mortally wounded by a brat.
Shivering slightly, Nisha wasn’t able to move either, the sharp sword had penetrated deeply in a human body, transmitting her a wet and vile feeling; scalding hot blood was dripping from the deadly gash to the pure white skin of her hand holding tightly the sword’s handle.
I killed him. This was my duty.
It was not like the dragon girl had never killed before, she was an avid hunter and loved the feeling of competing with another predator, rivaling for food and survive one more day in a heartless world.
She had also killed the noble brother’s party before, using her claws, and then breathing scorching fire at the two brothers.
However this was the first time since she completed her transformation that she consciously chose to end a live; these soldiers were not here to capture her or her friends nor were they in direct conflict with her.
These men had orders, and they were allowed to satisfy their desires as they liked, while Nisha just wanted to protect her family. She was stronger thus she had won, killing him.
Did you have loved ones too? I don’t even know your name. Your fate was to die at my hands, and so will be that of many others. You won’t be alone in the next world.
Dark and empty, the leader’s gaze was fixed on her as he fell to never get up, hitting the ground like an empty shell, freeing her blade with a squelching sound that shook her to the bones. First kill.
Nisha’s body screamed at her to sit down and wrap her arms around herself, to coil and stay in this position forever. She was shivering, unable to perceive the outside world, she had to rest and calm down, but reality wasn’t as kind.
“Captain! That wench killed the captain!”
One of the remaining attackers shouted like a madman, he had been trying to corner Lydia who had kept her back against the carriage, defending from the sword strikes. When he saw his commander brought to his knees, overpowered by a girl many turns his junior, he lost it.
Enraged over the death of one of his own, the man stopped attacking Lydia and rushed to Nisha, forcing her to brandish her sword again The weapon seemed so heavy, the blood on the blade was weighing on her childish hands, dying the air with its unique scent.
It was only thanks to the serene warm feeling coming from the bracelet on her wrists that the dragon girl was able to lift the deadly tool again, steadily waiting for the clash.
Stepping past the dead body on the ground, Nisha’s steps were somewhat erratic, as she had nowhere to go but was still going; she had barely found a stable position when the enraged enemy arrived.
In his fury, the man had dropped his shield and lost his leather cap, revealing his short blonde hair. He gripped his weapon with both hands and smashed at the small girl over and over, trying to tear her apart and take revenge for his captain.
I had no choice. He threatened me, he wanted to hurt me … was I wrong in killing him? No, I protected myself and I was right in doing so.
Dodging and evading the blows, Nisha couldn’t quite bring herself to take one more life, but the onslaught of metal drew closer, her blades started to have trouble catching up, and a destructive edge ended up breaking through her defenses, digging a long bloody line on her collarbone.
Unable to bear it any longer, the former beast let her instinct take over.
“Dance for me, dance War Flame!”
Without knowing why, the incantation unchained the energy stored in her bracelets, winged symbols streamed from her wrists into the [Taurith Short Swords], accumulating on the broad side of the blade.
For a second, the combat seemed to stop, both attacker and defender were staring in awe at the marvelous spectacle unwinding in front of their eyes, a beautiful and incredible sight to behold.
When her own leaking blood stained the ground, the frozen scene shattered. A mad glint flared in the soldier’s eyes, he had spilled the first blood. He raised his sword into a decisive strike, ready to cleave the girl in half.
Nisha blankly stared at her blade, small wings had spread evenly over the sword after having directed Nisha’s fire aura and mana to the edge it glowed in a yellow-orange light.
Clashing her left [Taurith Sword] against the incoming strike, the two opponents gawked at their weapon stupidly as the dragon’s blade crushed the metal of the other blade, finishing its course in the soldier’s chest.
Dropping to the ground, he screamed in pain, clutching the wound, trying to prevent his life essence from escaping.
His hysteria attracted the attention of the three last soldiers, the smell of burning flesh filling the air.
The two dead bodies of their comrades at the gruesome girl’s feet, Nisha appeared as a terrifying monster, a hidden demon that had already claimed two lives with her strange glowing sword.
Lydia took this chance to dispose of her foe as well, her second rank in mana had reached the middle stages and from constant combat with the former beast she had learned how to create advantages against someone physically stronger, it had obviously paid off as she was able to dispatch the third fighter.
Most of the soldiers had been between the second and third rank, and although the situation had turned around because the girls had slaughtered their way to the greater number, Annabelle was in a sorry condition, her body was decorated with various shallow cuts and wounds dripping blood, she couldn’t defend against two persons at the same time.
Seeing her sister injured enraged Nisha, driving her nearly insane, consuming her whole being with hatred for the invading forces .
I hate to hurt without a personal grievance, but I will never allow you to take someone precious for me from me. Even if I have to wreck the whole world, this time I will protect everyone. You attacked my sister, be prepared to die.
Feeling an ominous shiver, the two remaining soldiers looked at the small girl in fear, the one they had deemed harmless had turned out to be a devil in disguise that had already reaped several lives seemingly without blinking.
Approaching at a rapid pace, she borrowed the battle tactic of the enemy she had just defeated; at a short distance from the soldiers who had yet to decide whether they wanted to escape or not, Nisha leapt into the air, lifting both of her [Taurith Short Swords] above her head, to finally swing them in a wide arc rapidly descending.
Completing the shiny curse, both of her blades bit the soldier on the left, freeing Annabelle from her predicament and terrifying the last survivor, his friend was in two halves and he had been unable to do anything to prevent it.
The excitement of the battle had completely devoured the dragon girl, she had lost most of her reasoning and only cared about her family. She ignored the last man’s pleading look, who had dropped his sword and shield to crawl, throwing sand in her direction, begging for his pitiful life.
“Spare me, please. I didn’t want to do this, I’m only a soldier. Don’t kill me, please, please, please …”
Seeing someone in such a miserable state, crying and sobbing, returned a thread of sanity to Nisha, and she hesitated; he had lost his will to fight, he wouldn’t try to hurt them anymore.
As she was about to put her sword down and reach out a hand to him, the soldier pulled a dagger out of its clothes and threw it at her. Whether he had aimed to kill or injure her was unknown as the next thing she knew was that her sword was buried in a lifeless body, penetrating through his eye and pinning him to the ground, dead as can be. The dagger had struck in her shoulder, she had barely avoided it.
Coated in her blood and that of butchered enemies, Nisha retched in disgust at the bitter taste of iron blood in her mouth, about to throw up.
“Are you alright? Nisha, please, I need your help, I can’t stop the blood alone, Anna needs you.”
Cautiously touching her friend’s back to wake her up from a distressing world, Lydia looked at her, worry in her eyes.
Nisha understood that her display of violence and death must have had frightened the woman as much as she was frightened herself, she was still shaking from the feeling of the blade slicing in someone’s flesh, the last glint in the adversary’s eyes getting slowly extinguished…
The mention of their oldest sister brought her back to reality, picking up her blades the dragon girl hurried over to her dear sibling leaning next to the carriage, pale and unconscious. Anna had been able to stay awake by riding the adrenaline rush, but the blood loss won over her will as soon as she felt safe.
Please don’t die Anna, you can’t, I did my best to save you!
Thinking of her oldest sister dying filled Nisha with dread, sending cold sweat down her spine; if Annabelle died because she had been too absorbed in massacring enemies it would haunt her forever.
Frantically gathering dark mana, she was unintentionally dyeing the numbed woman red with blood, it was dripping from both the dagger and the wound on her collarbone, yet she didn’t care.
Urging the black haze to condense in a healing spell, she pressed her darkened hands on the numerous sword slashes, hoping that it work as efficiently as in her memories.
Eating away the wounds, the mana operated as she had hoped, slowly healing the injuries, seemingly dissolving them; and Nisha was finally able to relax and exhale the breath she had been holding all that time.
Dedicating her whole attention to her patient, she didn’t even notice the symbols on her swords dissipating and returning to her crimson bracelets, adding at the same time simple blood-red jewels to the previously plain artifact.
Only when Annabelle drifted peacefully asleep, Nisha spent from expending so much mana, did she realize that Lydia had remained by her side the whole time, guarding them and, judging by the blood on her blade and the grim look in her eyes, making sure that their enemies were truly dead. Neither of them felt a desire to talk, they simply nodded at each other and placed their sister on the cart together.
“Open the gate, innkeeper! The soldiers are gone!”
During the fight, the old owner had slipped inside the yard behind the gate, yet Nisha was still able to perceive his presence, his stench dominating the heavy scent of blood and death, the fear was unmistakably his.
“I will give you three seconds to open the gate, I will tear it down if I must.”
Tired and losing patience, the dragon was about to resort to violence when the wooden doors parted from each other, a pair of eyes peeking through the small opening.
Recognizing the uniforms of the dead soldiers on the ground, the cowardly man panicked, looking at the three women in a new light.
“Of course, you are my guests, why wouldn’t I open the gates? Please come in, don’t destroy my doors!”
Rather subservient now that he knew their true strength, the innkeeper wore the most friendly face he could muster and enlarged the entrance, allowing them to enter, leaving behind them only a red field of corpses.