Khuna and Valerie hadn't seen her before, but they saw the expression on my face and stepped back. I rushed forward to grab Muriel's wrist and hold her back. Summoning up all the strength that I had, but was it enough?
Muriel looked around with surprise. Her sword-hand caught between mine. It only lasted for a moment before she, almost effortlessly, swept me away as if I was nothing. I tumbled forward, almost off the roof if I hadn't used my gliding to stop. Just barely I managed to get a grip on the ledge and stop myself from sliding over.
I reached out for her, an angry fire burning inside of me, yet I felt powerless. It happened so fast, but at hectic times like this, things just appear to slow down and play out in front of you as if it was a play.
Muriel charged through the door into the stairway, probably not slashing because of the lack of space. Khuna and Valerie came out a second later, a bleeding cut on Valerie's arm. When Muriel stepped out of the stairway, she was smiling.
Of course, now that she had them in the open, she could more easily take them on.
She made wide sweeps with her sword, slashing at their legs first. Khuna was the next one to get hit and a large tear in her pants betrayed a big, bleeding cut underneath.
All the while, Isabel was giggling.
Muriel heard it and stopped attacking Khuna and Valerie, knowing they were no match or danger to her. She, correctly, assumed they couldn't fly and would not be able to flee anywhere faster than she could follow. After a fast dash forward, cutting them both on their heels with a sideways slice, she stood up as both of them fell down.
Khuna and Valerie hadn't cried out in pain, but tears were rolling over their cheeks. They looked at me in fear, begging me to do something. But what?
Muriel advanced on Isabel while I got up, slowly and deliberately. Isabel was still smiling, apparently uncaring about her coming doom. Muriel readied her sword and made a strike.
I couldn't quite believe what happened next.
Muriel slumped down as if her sword was suddenly immensely heavy. She herself, however, stayed on her feet. She grabbed her forehead with the other hand and grimaced in concentration. She took a step back and regained more control over her own body.
"Muriel, please don't kill my friends."
She looked around to me, surprised and partly confused by my words. "They're followers of her." She spat out the last word with a vengeful force.
I shook my head, noticing that Muriel had still some trouble keeping herself standing. "They never were. We were tricked by her."
"You and them did her bidding, for that you must be erased. A next life will give you a new chance." She made a lunge for me, but her sword seemed very heavy again. She looked at Isabel with a thoughtful look in her eyes. "Protecting your followers?"
Isabel smiled. "Things have to happen in the right order."
As Muriel turned herself to Khuna and Valerie, she could move more freely again. The tip of her sword raised with her anger and she slowly walked towards the both of them, still squirming on the ground.
Valerie held her hands up protectively. "Please don't. We're not what you think."
Khuna tried to sit up, tears still in her eyes. "Why do this, we don't even know who you are?"
Muriel raised her sword and spoke slowly and deliberately. "You are servants of the dark, I am a servant of light and I have come to chase the darkness from this world."
Khuna cowered from her stance but Valerie lowered her arms and sat up as well. "Is there nothing we can say?"
Muriel shook her head.
"No, there is no excuse for darkness."