-At All Costs-

The nine warriors prepared themselves for battle. This is it... Ayin thought. Her hands became sweaty, from anxiety or fear? Beside her, Tsadde gulped nervously, but his gaze did not shift from the dark fiend. They surrounded Tallas, but knew that even though he seemed outnumbered, he was far from being beaten.

Tallas did not keep them waiting long. "You shall now experience my true power. ULTRA VORTEX!"

"What the-!?" Denyx exclaimed, definitely not expecting such a strong attack delivered so early in battle.

"White Dragon Protect!," Jerin cast, saving everyone from a nasty injury.

Ayin tried out her newly acquired 'Dragon Bolt' skill, which proved effective, or at least a little.

"HYAAaaaaaaah!" Daleth shouted as she rushed forth, scimitar drawn. She swung at Tallas, but her attempt failed as the dark fiend evaded her at the last moment.

Tsadde made his move and charged Tallas. "Be careful Tsadde!," Ayin cried after her brother. Tsadde heeded her words as he jumped at Tallas, but the overlord caught him by the wrist and flung him effortlessly at Nall.

"Uwaa!" exclaimed Tsadde as he collided with the White Dragon, and they both went down.

Ruby drew in a sharp breath as she saw what happened. She glowered at Tallas. "Ooh boy-that really wasn't nice, mister. DRAGON FIRE!!!!" she shouted. Fire blazed at Tallas, and he shielded himself from the blast. Nall and Tsadde got up once again, wondering what their opponent would do next.

Tallas outstretched his hands toward Ayin. "Cosmo Vortex!"

Rykea recalled what had happened prior to their assault on Neo-Vane, and he rushed to aid the Dragonmistress, pushing her out of the way just in time. Ayin gazed up at the young mage's face. "Y-You okay?" Rykea asked her, and she smiled weakly and replied, "Yeah, thanks Rykea."

The Premier helped Ayin up, and then cast the 'Red Dragon Anger'. Tallas was bombarded by the shower of fire, and he winced as he was struck repeatedly. He was clearly aggravated by the time the flames died down, and wasn't about to play any more games with them. "You want to play with fire? I'll give you fire! PYRO BURSTER!!"

Rykea stood protectively before Ayin, but the force of Tallas' 'Pyro Burster' threw both of them back. Seren gasped. She faced Tallas. "This should cool you down! Dragon Tear!!" she shouted. Tallas spat angrily as the attack of the Blue Dragon hit.

"He's down!" yelled Denyx. He leapt into the air, his sword held high above his head. "Rraaar!" he snarled as he swung. To Denyx's surprise, he actually managed to get a piece of Tallas. The Black Dragon tightened his grip on the handle of his sword. Tallas clutched his arm, apparently where Denyx had injured him. His eyes flashed and he glared at the Black Dragon. Slowly, he drew something from within his cloak and without any warning, with one quick and fluid motion, he threw it directly at Denyx. The dagger struck the Black Dragon in his chest, who was caught totally off guard, and he crumpled to the floor.

"KYAAAH!! DENYX!" screamed Lumiya. She turned to Tsadde. "I have to get to him! He's been wounded badly!" she told him, a desperate, pleading look in her eyes.

Tsadde nodded. "I'll try and distract Tallas," he said bravely, for Tallas now stood over Denyx, ready to finish him off. Lumiya prepared to run, and Tsadde held his Blue Dragon rapier before him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, his hands grew clammy around the handle of the weapon. "BRAZEN BLUDGEON!" he yelled, and rushed at Tallas at an astonishing speed. Tallas whirled around to see who was foolish enough to attack him now.

Lumiya, seeing that this was her chance, raced toward Denyx as fast as she could. She was surprised at how fast Tsadde moved, and hoped that she could help Denyx while Tsadde bought her time. Once at Denyx's side, she carefully removed the dagger. She placed it on the ground beside her, and then, closing her eyes, she whispered, "Althena's Love," as she held her hand over Denyx's wound.

The Black Dragon groaned and his eyes flickered open. "Lumiya..." he said with a slight grin. Lumiya smiled when she saw that he was all right, but her moment of relief was cut short by Tsadde's sudden cry. She turned around and gasped as she saw Tallas holding him by the neck, suspending him in the air.

"Erk," he wheezed, struggling to escape the overlord's grasp.

"Let him go!" Lumiya cried, going for her boomerang. With a few arcane words, she conjured up her 'sword', and holding it firmly, she launched herself at Tallas. "POE SWORD!!!"

Tallas took a direct hit, causing him to loosen his grip on Tsadde. The boy fell to the ground, gasping for breath. He looked up and saw that Lumiya had sliced Tallas right down the middle. Everyone stood flabbergasted. Lumiya, when she landed, could not believe it herself when she saw what she had done. She ran to Tsadde, her eyes wide with fear. "What did I just do!?!" she squealed, burying her face in his shoulder. As Tsadde consoled her, he could not keep his eyes off Tallas.

The evil overlord was still standing, a blazing line marked where Lumiya had struck, the expression on his face was one of surprise.

Ayin and the others stood in disbelief as Tallas finally fell to the ground and slowly faded away. Minutes passed silently by. Ruby was first (naturally) to speak. "Wait-a-sec; what just happened!?"

Back to The Calling of Ayin.

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