Blood was flowing out of me, a very odd sensation. I'd never been hurt this bad before. The cut on my chest burned strangely, like fire in my lungs. It made me want to jump Derrek and hit him, over and over again. But I didn't know what to use, which element would be best. Derrek, in the meantime, had pulled his sword out and fought Deirdre, like her, with sword and dagger.
Unfortunately for him, his sword was in his left hand. Deirdre made another swing after a glance in my direction confirmed my state. Her attack was fueled by anger about my predicament. All I could do was watch.
And pay attention.
Every time their weapons met, a small spark was enough for me. It was odd, despite the dizziness I felt, I could see the world clearer than ever.
A spark was fire.
Fire could grow.
It needed air to move.
The elements were all so simple.
Derrek soon had lost most of his hair and eyebrows, his face red and blackened, his clothes scorched. The three men who originally accompanied him had been dragged off by larger animals that came to Maeve's help. All that remained was me, Deirdre, Maeve, Derrek and the boy. Who just stared at us as if we were aliens from another world.
The blood flowing from me was starting to make me slightly dizzy. Not that it prevented me from seeing the world only as elements. I didn't want to use too much fire, to protect the trees. But Derrek was completely worn down by now. He'd barely managed to switch his weapons, long cuts in his right upper arm resulting from Deirdre using the opportunities to the fullest.
Another attack from her cut the back of his right knee. One of the lesser protected places on his body. Not that he had much protection left. Ever since he hit me, Deirdre's attacks had been relentless, cutting through his armor, slashing through his skin. He was bleeding, maybe as badly as I was, and falling to the ground.
He dropped his weapons. "Mercy."
I hated this.
I had read some stories, quite a lot of them in fact. And one thing that annoyed me was that people always let the bad guy live. They showed compassion and mercy on the most inopportune moments. But now that I was in the situation myself, it was hard to take the decision myself.
Deirdre looked at me.
I knew I had to do it, for the people, for the spirits, for everyone.
But I also knew I had to do it myself, not let Maeve solve it or give Deirdre that burden. She was fine fighting, but not taking life. That just didn't feel right.
Deirdre raised her right arm, sword held high.
"No, I need to do it. Give me the dagger.
I walked in front of Derrek, the dagger with two gems in my hand. A twilight dagger for the Twilight leader. Somehow it made sense. "It's not you who needs mercy, it's everyone else."
Derrek looked up at me, scowling. "At least you're not weak."
I took a deep breath, steadying myself. "From you, that means nothing."
I knelt down, ready to stab him when Derrek picked up the knife to his left. With the knife in his fist, he stabbed me badly in my stomach, the pain was intense. Before Deirdre could react, it was already buried into me to the hilt. The gems, and their splinters, had long gone from the blade, but it was still a very sharp knife.
Despite the pain, I managed to finish at least the last I needed to do. With one long move that slowed down time to my perception, I cut open his throat completely. The knife moved through it as if he was nothing more than water. Thick red water that gulped out of his neck with a speed that felt impossible. Red water that flowed from his body... and mine.
He clasped his throat, trying to stop the bleeding, but it was impossible. Even the scream he desired was stopped by the blood, though it spluttered past his fingers.
I fell backwards.
The knife still in my body, the pain in my chest diminished by the pain in my stomach. Bleeding... Maybe it would be my death, but at least it felt like my work was done. I saved the world from an evil.