The Princess Journey Part. 2
“A fire? On the road? But…” She trailed off a moment. She grabbed Sam's hand and peeked out the window. She could see the gentle golden glow flickering in the distance against the deep purple sky. As she peered into the dancing sparks and shadows, she thought she could see a figure embroiled in the heat, becoming clear as it stepped out of the light, a tall armored silhouette wreathed in flame.
Kichi ducked back into the carriage and grabbed Sam's hand tight.
“Sam, I saw someone.”
“What who, do they need help?” Sam stuck his head outside a moment then ducked back in and knocked on the front window.
“Go,” he said and Hori drove the ibex forward and then started to turn around. The Ibex whinnied and then stood up on its back legs. It ran forward then the car hitched a moment before everything went dark.
Kichi slowly open her eyes, she was lying on the floor no wait, she was lying on the roof. Her entire body ached especially her head. She tasted copper and could hear the faint sounds of metal clashing against metal. They had been flipped over. Sam got onto his knees then sat up and saw Kichi.
“Shit.” He breathed “ It's ok I got you.” He said and reached to help Kichi. “Are you alright Princess?” He said scanning her for injuries.
“Yes.” She took a deep breath. “I'm fine.” She reached up and grabbed her head rubbing her forehead. Everything still felt thick and slow. Sam took a breath and swallowed.
CLANG! CLASH! Then a shout. A thud and the carriage shook as something was thrown into the side of it.
“Oh, princess?” Says a voice. It was feminine and raspy, She said it drawn out and with a chuckle.
“Shhh Stay here please.” Said Sam. He grabbed his shield and put his forearm in the strap and pulled it tight. He maneuvered around Kichi and crawled out of the upside-down carriage.
As he stood up he looked around to see fire everywhere. The entire caravan was ablaze and the flames were getting closer to Kichis carriage, but not touching it yet. And in the distance, he could see blurry figures pouring heavy dark liquid on the ground. The bodies of Sams's commanding officers were scattered throughout the flams. The sun was just dipping behind the mountains and the flickering orange light was all that was left. The fire was crawling along closer to the trees surrounding the sides of the road as soon as he stepped out it encircled him licking his boots. He could feel the intense heat of the flames juxtaposed against the temperature drop of nightfall. And then his eyes landed on her. She was on fire, her feet, her armor, and her hair, were on fire but all her focus was on Sam.
“Heh. You don't look like a princess little boy.” Said the woman. She was tall and covered head to toe in armor. Her muscled physique was evident despite it. The hulking figure wore a helm of polished silver, reflecting the flickering flames around her. It was rounded at the top, flaring wide around her neck. Two horns curved from the back of her head, plated in more silver, ornately carved with patterns of flames. The front, rather than flaring like the rest, left a wide-open trapezoid-shaped space to the face. And what a horrendous site the face was. A crimson mask glared out of the opening, its mouth curled in a snarling grin, fangs protruding from the corners of the lips. It projected confidence, a sick pleasure, and doom for all those who met its terrifying gaze. And she wielded a ginormous two-handed katana.
“Fuck off.” Sam spat at her.
“I’d say I don't wanna hurt you but that's a lie. Gimme your best shot kiddo.” She said and she raised her hand, palm towards the sky, and curled her fingers, taunting him to come forward.
Sam yelled and rushed the woman with his shield. He lifted up his arm and jammed the spiked bottom into the woman's chest. He swung his sword up and hit the side of her arm clashing into the pauldron on her shoulder. The woman lurched backward.
“A shield is a little boy’s weapon.” She laughed then lifted up her sword above her head and swung. She was fast and terrifying as she swung over and over again her long sword twirling and dancing around her body. The fire reflecting on the sharp blade. With each swing, Sam rose his shield, and a clang of metal radiated throughout the quiet forest as night fell. Sam yelled out with each hit the force radiated throughout his body. Even though his desperate deflections to keep the blade away, a fire of anger ignited in his belly. She was toying with him. Using the rage as a focus and predicting her next strike, he readied his own blade. Again the sword clashed against his shield with a metal clang, but rather than resisting the blow he stepped to the side, letting the force carry away from him, forcing the woman to stumble. Sam swung his sword, slicing under her arm but again colliding with the plate.
“Maybe not so little after all!” the woman laughed as she quickly recovered, her fist colliding with Sam's face, knocking him backward. He landed on the ground hard and before he could catch his breath he raised his shield just in time to block her blade as it swung down on top of him. He rolled out of the way of another swing and scrambled to his feet on the other side of her. The woman looked at him a moment then she saw Kichi poke her head outside the carriage. She took a few steps forward toward the princess.
“No!” Sam yelled and charged forward with his shield again. The woman chuckled and raised up her sword but not in time before Sam jammed the spike into her chest again. She stumbled back and took a breath. She spit on the floor and laughed.
“Alright, no more playtime.” She decisively stepped forward and grabbed Sam's sword arm. He tried to move his wrist to strike at her but before he could his arm was wrenched into an unnatural bend behind him. A scream erupted from Sams's lips as he fell to the ground. The woman laughed, then dropped him and continued on her path to the Princess.
Out of the burning corpses a figure struggled to stand up, the blonde guard from earlier, now bloody and his helmet broken revealing his terrified face, raised a broken plank of wood and crashed it against the woman's head. He unsheathed a dagger from his thigh. The woman lurched forward and snapped her head to the other guard. She growled and quickly snapped her sword up, catching the elf in his unarmored throat. But his distraction had not been in vain. The princess was gone, as was the foolish boy, lost in the billowing black smoke of the burning caravan.