Volume 5 – The Adventures The Young Dragonborn
Chapter #240 – Death-Brand (2) Alina Moonblade Vs Haknir Deathbrand
This Chapter comes to you by the good graces of @DarkPriest and @Patrick_Schuster 2/2
Alina put her fears aside for the time being and took the lead by herself, it was the time to show the effort of all these years of relentless training. Wulfur and Bjorna took the sides, Jull and Nefertiti stayed near Jon as he was summoning Frost and Storm Atronachs instead of undead. Jon’s Atronachs seemed to be bigger than usual this time, these were the Greater Atronachs.
Atronachs can also have grades and with their grades their normal form changes slightly, a mage can summon an Atronach when they are at the rank of an Apprentice Conjuration Mages (Rank 2), at that rank the atronachs are normal ones in abilities and in appearance, but when the Conjurer is at the rank of an Adept (Rank 3), they can summon the more powerful Potent Atronachs. Jon was able to summon Potent Atronachs since the time he left Riften more than two years ago and now he summoned the Greater Atronachs that can only be summoned by Expert Conjurers (Rank 4). There are Thralls and Monarchs but these are only summonable by Masters and Arch-Wizards.
Reforming the Atronachs also depended on their grade, Horses and Wolves can be mimicked by the Normal Atronachs, Bears and Hawks can be mimicked by the Potent Atronachs, and with the Greater Atronachs, Jon still haven’t researched that far yet, he was hoping to learn something new from Laaneth and Nurina who kept researching further in the matter but that was not the time for these thoughts, he had to master the control of the Greater Atronachs first and reform them later.
As soon as the Undead were switched with the Atronachs, the power of the two sides was balanced right away. The Atronachs are normally more powerful than the undead and Jon was actually a better Conjurer than a Necromancer but the undead were smaller in size and easy to manipulate because of their lack of ego which can make their lack of ego.
With that, the Greater Frost Atronachs took the front with their bigger sizes that surpassed the Potent and the Normal Atronachs greatly, each one of those can make three of the Deathbrand Pirates busy. The Greater Storm Atronachs also became bigger than before and instead of being a floating pile of rocks, they now have a visible figure made of rocks connected together with lightning to resemble arms, legs ribs and all else.
The fearsome appearance of Jon’s Atronachs provoked the dead crew of Haknir Deathbrand and they all attacked at once.
“All the living shall fear the dead!” The voice Haknir Death-Brand echoed through the hall as he and his crew started their to attack.
“Stick to the plan! Alina, GOOOO!” Jon unleashed his ‘Battle Cry’ that echoed through the hall of Gyldenhul and his four friends were enchanted and rallied forward.
He then let go of the Skull of Corruption and cast a Rune under it then powered it with a Soul Gem, the was a technique to keep the staff casting the rune while taking power from the soul gem without the need of the caster. Jon held the Staff of Sheogorath on his left and summoned a Bound Sword in his right then joined the fray.
Wulfur and Bjorna were wielding heavy weapons each and their strikes smote the old ghosts.
Jullanar was targeted by a deadly arrow but avoided it by a hair’s width, the shooter seemed to be a skillful archer. She focused on the ghost that just targeted her and aimed at him. When this man was alive, he was known as Garuk Windrime and he was the quartermaster of Haknir, he was an incredible archer and Jullanar’s battle with him turned to be a contest of accuracy, speed and surprises.
At first, Jullanar managed to overwhelm Garuk with the incredible reloading speed of her lever-action crossbow but soon the sly ghost managed to retake his ground. Ghosts may have become husks of what they used to be in terms of raw power but their existence was all about memories and from that their experiences were still as bright as ever. Garuk started shooting two arrows at once while using archery techniques to increase his speed, he was not short on arrows and spared Jullanar all that he could.
On the other side of the hall, Jon was facing Thalin Ebonhand, Haknir’s ship helmsman and a powerful Spellsword. Jon, however, wasn’t in a disadvantage at all. His Bound Sword can do a great deal of damage to undead especially ghosts like Thalin and the Staff of Sheogorath was able to make the movement of Thalin harder. The eye mounted on the top of the staff kept staring at Thalin and reduced its movement speed, he could only rely on Magic to try to compete with Jon who was avoiding it all like nothing.
Nefertiti was in her Werecat Form and she was having the fun of her life, she loved being in that form especially because it made her tall. She kept running on all four then disappear in shadows to appear in another area like she ghosts she was fighting and attack them from behind. All the knowledge about underhanded combat were hammered into her by Jon.
Lastly, there was the protagonist of this fight, Alina.
She was facing Haknir Death-Brand all by herself. She crossed her two swords together and scraped them together making an unpleasant sound and a spark.
“Kyne, bless my blades!”
She roared and ran forward. The Fire Keeper Blindfold on her eyes glowed red and her Aura glowed blue. Her long black hair swayed behind her and her sword moved in an artistic fashion as soon as she reached Haknir then… disappeared.
She appeared an instant later behind Haknir who and slashed at his neck. She teleported with an inner cast spell she prepared forward.
Still, it was not that little preparation what would take down the ghost King of Ghosts, Haknir’s blade was blocking hers without him even looking back. A skill unfathomable is needed to wave a slash away from your back but Alina was just starting, she read Haknir’s next attack which came from other blade targeting her neck and she acted accordingly. She simply exhaled a blow from her fine lips and a bizarre thing happened, Haknir was blown from his place and she retreated back in the air.
This was a power only available to a Daughter of Kyne, ‘Kyne’s Breath’. That breath didn’t only have force but it was freezing like the blizzard wind of winter.
A ghost-like Haknir wouldn’t be affected by a simple element like Frost but that Frost was the gift from a Goddess to one of her favored daughters, an unholy being like an undead ghost won’t take that one easily.
Still, Haknir was someone not to be underestimated. As the breath blow him away, he managed to use the force that pushed him and redirect his direction by revolving around a blade of his moving away.
Alina noticed the movement of the sword and her blood boiled, one of the martial arts that hailed in her family was the dance on a sword. It seemed that the Moonblade ancestor that Haknir killed in the past used that move and copied it from him. To Alina, it is an insult and a shame to her ancestor to let the secret art leak out.
Her eye power started gushing out and Haknir felt it but it was hard to apply a mental effect on the dead, it was not as effective as she hoped it would be but she was at her full readiness again. Alina moved forward was a sword dance that made her swords go in circles and her legs move in a weird fashion, she was totally in control of her body and well protected but the moves main purpose was to distract the enemy from noticing where the kill move will come from.
It seemed that Haknir had an experience with that move too as he retracted right away not daring to put himself in a bad gamble. Alina seemed to not be going anywhere with her maneuver so she stopped it and inner cast a Wind Rune on her back then activated it.
A daring move that would damage her was moved to move her forward in an instant. As soon as she knew it, she was right beside Haknir and they waved their sword against each other again.
*Cling* *Cling* *Cling*
The three slash were well performed but the speed was equal, thankfully, Haknir can’t exert more power or speed as ghost else the situation would have ended differently. His attacks were the deadliest Alina experienced, each slash she blocked, she pushed away from the reaper with all her effort.
The forth slash, however, was as far as it could go. Haknir managed to disarm Alina’s right hand and the blade fell from her hand pinned on the ground between them. With the enemies sword a few inches away from cleaving her neck off, Alina pushed her left-hand blade down and performed the same move Haknir did to avoid her ‘Sky Breath’.
She managed to retreat a foot to the back to only see Haknir’s blade trim off a few hairs that lingered ahead but she was too focused on her counterattack to even give that a thought. With her left-hand blade on the ground, Alina jumped up and held herself up on the blade with her free hand casting a ‘Bound Sword’ and her legs kicking at Haknir’s face.
The first missed, the second landed and the Bound Sword grazed his shoulder but he also managed to injure Alina’s shoulder. She hurriedly landed her first leg on the right-hand blade that was still stuck to the ground and jumped from it over Haknir’s head.
While she was on the air, she exchanged over four slashes with him from above but couldn’t cut his head off and landed in a tight spot. With her two legs landing first on the ground, Haknir found the chance and slashed as fast as he could towards her legs before she ensures her foothold, Alina knew that this was a disaster and decided to sacrifice one foothold to ensure the other and pulled her left knee upward blocking Haknir’s attack with its guard while blocking the other sneak attack that came from above with her blade and bound sword.
In a tight situation, she was, it was hard to counterattack from this at all. This gave Haknir the right timing to keep on momentum and use the blade on her knee to attack her face. She reacted rashly and retreated her head to the back but it seemed that Haknir’s target wasn’t her face but her swords, he kept slashing upwards striking her swords and knocking them away in one go.
Alina was cornered to the limit this time and the first lady of house Dare was not going to let it end like that. She used her magic once again to cast one risky spell and Wind Blasted once again between her and Haknir.
She was blown away and he was also sent to the back.
Alina landed on the ground with an injured shoulder, an injured knee and a very tired body. She stood up as fast as she could to do anything before Haknir comes for her life. She saw Haknir fixing his stance and was about to charge at her but what she noticed was how her right-hand blade was stick to the ground still waiting patiently to be picked.
Alina tore a page from Jon’s book and decided to go on Dare Mode.
She stood without a fighting stance to show mysteriousness, raised her head upward to show superiority and smugly smiled to provoke him. Haknir sensed the change in Alina’s air as she seemed a lot calmer and much more dangerous, as he decided to assess the situation once more, Alina had already executed the first part of her plan.
She stood where she wanted to be and looked Haknir, her stance showed readiness, her head was lowered and showed firmness and her senses were heightened as she entered a certain zone. It was like two cowboys standing face to face for who would shoot the bullet fastest.
Haknir moved first towards Alina as he couldn’t translate anymore and wanted to finish this once and for all but that was what all Alina wanted. He is now in a charge and can’t change his direction easily, what was left was…
“WULD NAH KEST!”
Alina shouted the Thu’um she trained on for years in its fullest form this time. She was launched with speed that surpassed her imagination but she was not overwhelmed, with that charge, she managed to grab her sword and…
Her charge ended as she appeared on the other end of the hall in a slashing pose. Haknir was frozen in his place in a slashing pose too.
Blood flowed from Alina’s arm and she knelt to the ground holding her wounded arm with her other hand.
Haknir, on the other hand, got his head separated from his body but it dissolves in thin air.
By that time, Jon had finished Thalin right away and Jullanar was done with Garuk, their main focus was Alina who seemed to be injured. Jon teleported beside Alina in a poof and knelt beside her.
“Good job, Alina. It was marvelous!”