Ashera: Chapter 12
A story by Writerial.
NOTE: Hey this Chapter is a bit shorter than usual, sorry about that. I considered combining this chapter and the next one, but I think next chapter is too important to be combined. :)
Ashera unsheathed her sword, jumping out of the way of a guard rushing toward her. She lunged at another, the tip of her blade burying itself in the guard’s chest. The sword seemed to fit perfectly in her hand. She could control it easily, like it was no more than an extension of her arm. She blocked the shaft of a spear with her arm, and flicked the blade against the guard's chest.
“What the hell, Fox?!” Ryan yelled, bashing a guard’s head with the hilt of his sword.
“What?!” Fox threw a dagger and it buried itself in the back of a guard that was trying to run away.
“I had almost convinced them! We were going to be fine!”
“Well I’m sorry that I can’t hear through walls.”
“If you had followed the plan then you wouldn’t have needed to!”
“Oh so you choking up doesn’t count as an emergency anymore?”
“Guys, focus!” Ashera warned. A guard charged towards her, sword in hand. She leaped out of the way, right into the tip of a guard’s spear. It cut deep into her shoulder and she grunted in pain. “A little help here?” she asked.
“I’ve got it!” Fox said. Ashera felt the whoosh of wind by her face and when she looked up, an arrow was buried in the guard’s eye socket.
“Help! Someone, pl-” the guard’s voice was cut off by Ashera’s sword, slashing her throat. She made this sick gurgling sound, and fell to the ground, clasping her throat.
Ashera felt deep wave of guilt through her stomach. These guards, they had done nothing wrong. They had families, they were just doing their jobs. Killing Calidi was different, they were evil. But this...these were people. Innocent people who had been slain because of stupidity.
“Ashera! What are you doing?!” Ryan asked, his hand held out to her. “C’mon, let’s go!”
Ashera grasped his hand with her good arm and let him lead her away from the room.
“I still can’t believe you attacked him!” Ryan told Fox as they ran.
“You needed help! I was there for backup, yes?”
“No buts. I did my job, now shut it.”
It took very little time to escape the jail, and the group jogged on until they were well into the woods. There, they stopped and caught their breath.
Ryan looked up at them. “Well, it’s safe to say that we’re never going there again. Goodbye, honeymoon plans.”
“I didn’t like it that much, anyways,” Fox said.
“Yeah, not this time around,” he laughed. “And you,” he said, his voice turning serious as he glared at Ashera, “You are forbidden from coming into contact with any alcohol whatsoever from now until the rest of time.”
Ashera nodded, but sadness still filled her eyes. “Ashera? What’s wrong?” Fox asked.
“What we did to those guards isn’t right. They were innocent people and we slaughtered them…”
“They would’ve arrested you again,” Ryan said. “You could’ve had to stay there for much longer.”
“So? They didn’t deserve to die,” Ashera huffed. She looked at each of them, looking for some sort of sign that they agreed with her-that what she was saying made sense in their minds. She saw nothing. “Just, forget about it. I’m going to bed.”
“Wait, Ashera,” Ryan said, trying to catch her arm.
“It’s fine. I’m glad you guys were there to save me,” she said, but she couldn’t stop the emptiness and guilt from filling her voice. “Goodnight.”
Ashera was woken up sometime later in the night. Ryan hovered over her face. “What? Is something wrong?” she asked, her thoughts foggy.
“No, it’s just your turn for guard duty,” he said. He opened his mouth to say something else, but closed it.
“Are you okay? You look like you have something on your mind.”
“I’m fine,” Ryan said quickly. “How’s your shoulder?”
“Okay…” Ashera said, trading places with Ryan. “If I knew how to work this stupid light magic thing, it’d be healed by now.”
“We can probably work on it in the morning,” he said.
“Yeah.” She brushed the dirt off of her tunic and stood up. “Let me know if you need to talk about anything.”
“I will,” he promised.
Ashera took her place in a high-up tree, overlooking the camp. Bright stars twinkled overhead, their light shining like fairy dust. She sighed, thinking about the events of the last few days.
She still wasn’t over the fight from the jail. The sound that woman had made when Ashera slit her throat would haunt her forever. Those people that they had killed hadn’t done anything wrong, and Ashera hated herself for taking their lives when it was unnecessary.
Fox and Ryan didn’t understand this, Ashera knew. They were good people, but there was something more guiding Ashera, something else. She knew they felt bad, but it didn’t hurt them like it did for her.
Still, she had meant what she had said earlier, about being glad that Ryan and Fox were there beside her. She knew she wouldn’t have gotten this far without them. Fox was her best friend and she loved Ryan, too, no matter how complicated things between them were. There were no two people that she’d rather have fighting by her side, besides Bear, that is.
A wave of sadness hit her thinking about Bear. He was gone and there was nothing she could do about it. Her heart ached for him. He’d died alone and in pain, probably thinking that he’d failed her.
But, at least, she knew she needed to go on to save Saria. If today had taught her anything, it was that people’s lives shouldn’t have to go to waste. And it was the only way to make Bear’s death to have not been in vain.
Ashera bowed her head. She whispered, “Please, Saria, wherever you are, don’t lose hope. We’re coming for you.”
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