Chapter 37 = It’s time to fulfil that vow
Disclaimer: Although all characters here are of my own invention, the original idea of Yoshies, Birdos, etcetera, are copyright of Nintendo, and I make no money from writing this.
Visali strode calmly down the stairs towards Xenly, who was still on the ring waiting along with the blue Birdo to hear about Marcus, and also waiting for Shiala to come back. He made his way over to Sira, his quadra spear in hand, and explained things to her…
“It all makes sense.” Manny muttered. “If he’s a saviour, then the gods and many powerful people will know about it… and it explains how he survived my sword through his heart… and everything else… and they took out the Shoreside Village to get him, but didn’t take him down…”
Shiala put a gentle hand on his shoulder as they sat next to each other in front of Marcus’s body. “He’s come this far in good shape… he was in total emotional turmoil when I met him, but now I’ve helped him get over that… with any luck, we can help him to achieve whatever it is the gods want him to achieve…”
Manny sighed and looked down at Marcus. “I wonder why he didn’t tell me… I’m his friend, his best friend… I’ve known him since we were both kids…”
“Maybe he’s not taking it seriously because he’s an atheist?”
“That could be… but that’s a stupid thing to do…”
“Xenly!” Visali bellowed as he leapt up onto the platform. He planted one end of the quadra spear into the wooden ring floor, held it at an angle with one hand, and made an offensive gesture with the other.
She narrowed her eyes at him, drawing her swords effortlessly with flourish, standing ready for an attack. “I presume from your manner that you’ve worked it out?”
“You killed my parents!” Visali roared, causing silence to fall across the hall. “You seduced my father enough to get access to my house, before you murdered both of them!”
“Oh, you are very much mistaken.” Xenly replied nonchalantly. “It was never my intention to kill them… it was a mistake that your father died. He was meant to live…”
“And you were going to kill me? You… you…” Visali sputtered for a moment, unable to express in words what he wanted to say. After swearing viciously at her, he snarled and continued, “My father loved you… and he thought that you loved him back!”
“But I did!” Xenly protested. “I told you, he wasn’t meant to die… when I tried to paralyse him, I used the wrong needle and it killed him instead…”
“I don’t care! You killed them, and I took a vow to end your life… it’s been three years since then, and now I shall fulfil it! Xenly, I challenge you to a fight to the death, and a curse forever be upon you if you try and escape your fate!”
He jumped forwards and attacked, giving a loud Yoshian battle cry as he did, thrusting forwards with the spear and planting a solid strike against her chest. However, even though he saw his spearhead penetrate her skin, she stood there unflinching and laughed at him before disappearing in a small cloud of smoke, and he spun around as he heard her feet land on the floor behind him, spotting her standing with her swords sheathed and her arms folded.
“Nice try, Visali, but you fell for an old assassin illusion… let’s see if you can get past every trick I know, and I’ll warn you now, I’ve got a fair few moves to pull…”
She muttered something in an ancient tongue, older than Old Yoshi, and her body flickered for a moment before several images of her fanned out and surrounded Visali in a circle. He pounced for one to the right of him, but as he struck it, it fazed out and vanished, along with all the others except for the real Xenly, who had been behind him. As he leapt for her she threw a shuriken in his direction, but a quick swing of his spear knocked it away and it landed on the floor as she dodged another attack from him.
“Khiya Koysin!” she shouted, leaping up into the air and vanishing in a flash of light. Wary of a trap, Visali took his spear and stabbed behind him, hearing a gasp and feeling resistance as his weapon struck home. Whirling around, he spotted Xenly holding a hand against her left arm, which was oozing blood from a gash on the top of it, but she seemed otherwise okay.
“Don’t heal them!” Sira ordered, and the magi-medicine students paused in mid-spellcasting, before sitting back down and watching the showdown continue.
“Very nicely done… but I’m not through with you yet. Schisa Skosi!”
She raised the fingers of her right hand to the side of her head, before thrusting her arm forward and sending a smallish bolt of energy towards him, which struck him on the nose and knocked him back a little, though he remained standing.
“Impressive…” she admitted, before speedily pulling a handful of needles out of her saddlebags. She threw them all at once, and Visali quickly spun his spear around in front of him, catching all of the needles in the shaft of the spear, bar for one that pierced his left index finger. Pulling it out quickly, he took up a defensive stance again, but suddenly was overcome by the powerful sleeping toxin the needle had injected into him, and fell backwards onto the floor…
“You lose.” Xenly jeered, before slashing through his throat.
“On the contrary…” Visali replied, unaffected by the bloodless injury, “This fight is far from over.”
He faded out before her eyes and his spear fell to the ground, and she started scanning the area around her, before she heard his voice again. “You aren’t the only one who can cast illusions… Sira is quite an accomplished magic user, I’ll have you know…”
Sprinting out from underneath the ring, he backflipped up into the air, turned through a half-circle, and landed firmly on the ring floor, snatching up his spear with his tongue and pulling it towards him. With a single sweep of his arm, he knocked all of the needles out of the wood and onto the floor, before standing still once more.
“Enough of this, assassin. Enough of the games and illusions. Let’s settle this right here and now… so you can die relatively honourably.”
“Oh, and miss out on my fun? I don’t think so.” She said, goading him while she held her swords up to the ceiling. “Flito Foya!”
This time, her body faded out and her weapons appeared to hover in midair, and Visali could tell that it was some kind of invisibility spell… but not one he couldn’t get past, as the air shimmered in places around her body. She stepped forwards and swung for him, but he caught the attack on his spear handle, swinging it around to catch another attack, and bringing up his leg to stop her follow-up kick from reaching him. She jumped away from him before leaping forward again, with one foot in front of her aimed for his chest, putting enough power behind the attack that it could break his sternum and crush his heart, killing him easily, but he held the spear level with one end aimed towards her, and the spearhead cut open the side of her nose, causing her attack to miss.
Panting, she vanished in a puff of smoke and reappeared, fully visible, at the other end of the ring, waiting for him to attack. With a snort, he flicked a catch on the side of the spear, and the spearheads slid out once more on the ends of chains, dangling a few inches out from the ends of the handle. Running forwards, he swung one end of the spear towards her, and when she blocked it with a sword, the spearhead continued around and cut a shallow wound into her shoulder. Smirking, Visali angled his spear and swung it in a half-circle, kicking away the sword she tried to block it with, and the spearhead tore open a wide gash into her chest, which started to bleed profusely.
Panicking, Xenly stepped back again, but Visali didn’t give her time to reform her strategy before thrusting the spear at her, striking her leg like a whip with the chained spearhead, and she once again vanished, appearing on the corner post. Quickly, Visali pushed the two spearheads back onto the end of the spear, where they locked into place, before hoisting it up and holding it on his shoulder, pulling back on a small catch on the side of the spear.
Releasing it, the catch released a powerful spring inside the spear and shot half of it straight for Xenly like a crossbow bolt at such as speed that she was unable to avoid it. It buried itself in her chest, puncturing one of her lungs and knocking her off of the corner post, making her fall backwards and land on the floor just beyond the ring.
Feebly, she pulled the spear out of her chest and flung it aside, getting to her feet as Visali jumped over the ropes and headed for her. She sheathed her swords and reached into her saddlebags with one hand, holding the other over the wound on her chest, and pulled a small, glass orb out from her bags, with some kind of grey mist swirling around inside of it.
Struggling to speak with the damaged lung, she forced out, “Well met… but I’m so sorry, Visali. I won’t join your parents just yet…”
She flung the orb down to the floor, where it burst open and instantly caused a huge cloud of smoke to engulf her, Visali, and a good portion of the rest of the hall. Coughing as he stumbled out of the smoke cloud, Visali cursed her for her cowardice, but heard a window breaking on the far side of the hall, and looked up just in time to see the gravely wounded assassin escaping.
Intent on finishing what he’d started, Visali raced after her, leaping through the broken window with both halves of his spear in hand, forcing the spearheads back into the shafts as he ran so that he could combine them. She was leaving a trail of blood spots on the concrete slabs that formed a pavement, and he followed them, hoping she would collapse before she could get too much of a lead…
He followed the blood spots out of the University grounds and out into the street, past many people who, judging by their expressions, had just seen Xenly go past them. He trailed her to an alleyway entrance, where the trail suddenly stopped, and he kept on his guard as he started down the alleyway, walking cautiously. He heard a cry from a turning up ahead, and followed it, getting ever closer to what he was sure was his target…
Then, the white Yoshi ran out in front of him, holding her swords in her hands, her wounds still open, and she turned just in time to see him leap up into the air and plunge his spear through her heart, spurting blood out from the wound in a sudden torrent. She collapsed and fell onto her back, with blood coming from her mouth, and she coughed once before whispering, “Why me…?”
Pulling his spear out from her chest, Visali watched in satisfaction as her eyelids slowly closed and she stopped breathing, before her red-finned head slumped to one side, and her life ceased to be. Visali spat on Xenly’s dead body, poking it with his foot to make sure it wasn’t an illusion, before casting one final gaze to the female Yoshi, then walking off, his vengeance achieved…
To be continued…