Figures dashed through the trees and giant mushrooms ahead of Barrett. Ahead of them was the unicorn- though Barrett could only rarely see flashes of light. However, he kept watch for the small splashes of blood that almost shone red on the ground, quite different from the expected dull red. Following the archers would probably be fine, but he needed to catch the unicorn more.
Suddenly, there were two arrows in quick succession flying through the air towards him. The first was aimed at his head, and he didn’t even notice it until it struck his helmet, piercing through at a slightly deflected angle, into his cheek and gum. The second one was less than a second behind the first, but that was enough time for him to react. He tilted his whole body to the side while he ran assuming more attacks were on their way, though he didn’t see the arrow coming until it passed him. The second arrow was aimed at his torso, but his entire torso was in a different place by the time it reached him.
He continued forward at a faster pace than before, vaguely seeing someone dart off into the distance. As he ran, Barrett started to tug the arrow out of his face. He could feel it was barbed… and normally that would have resulted in causing more damage as he took it out… but a little bit of stamina let him maneuver his body to pull away from the arrow, leaving the same path it took in to go back out without causing any more damage. Barrett still had to yank to get it out of his helmet, but his body was mostly fine. The wound was still bleeding more than expected for its size, however, even without the barbs causing extra damage on the way out. There had probably been something on the arrow…
Barrett was running forward trying to catch a glimpse of any of those he was following when the trees started to split apart- or rather the forest split apart. The trees themselves remained whole, but they moved as the unicorn- a pure white horse with a spiraled horn- charged back towards Barrett. Except it was still quite some distance away when he spotted one of the archers in the parting trees, who the unicorn proceeded to gore with its horn.
From elsewhere, two more arrows flew towards the unicorn, striking it in the side to go along with the arrow already in its flank. Barrett saw where the arrow closest to him had been shot from- and it had to be the archer who had shot him, since they were further back. He wasn’t far, and Barrett changed his trajectory, ready to swing his axe. He didn’t have any particular grudge with them before, but the arrows were obviously meant to be deadly… so he wasn’t going to hold back either.
Since the archer had to stop to fire his bow- at least with the level of accuracy he was displaying- Barrett was within five meters of him by the time he was moving again… but even as he looked over his shoulder at Barrett, the distance was closing quickly. Barrett thought these particular archers relied on stealth more than mobility, and while the man wasn’t slow… Barrett was much faster, and already had momentum built up. It only took another moment to catch up to him.
As Barrett slashed at the man with his axe, he missed having large stores of berserk energy to use. He wasn’t able to extend his blade’s width without energy, and while he could extend his own arms a small bit if necessary, that was much more difficult to accomplish. Thus, the axe merely sliced through the man’s bow and slightly into his shoulder instead of lopping off the whole arm.
Barrett’s momentum carried him past the man towards the next, who was focused on the unicorn. There was still about ten meters between them, and the man was drawing yet another arrow, ready to shoot the unicorn’s heart as it charged towards him. Barrett wouldn’t be able to reach him before that happened… but he did have lead balls to throw even if he couldn’t make them explode with berserk energy. In fact, without the berserk energy they were harder to sense coming… as the man figured out when his ribs shattered. It was just after he released the arrow from his bow. The unicorn dodged to the side, but it was not particularly nimble. It merely managed to avoid the arrow piercing its heart.
The third archer was subsequently trampled by the unicorn, and Barrett saw the archer who had shot him fleeing. That left just Barrett and the unicorn. Barrett wondered why he had bothered trying to stop the archers when he needed the unicorn’s horn still… but he also didn’t want to kill the unicorn if he didn’t have to. Currently, it was bleeding profusely from four wounds, but that didn’t stop it from turning to face Barrett, head down slightly.
As it started to charge, Barrett made his decision. He pulled out a vial with his left hand, while strapping his axe onto his back. The unicorn charged straight through where there had once been trees- and were again, as they moved back to their positions in its passing. Its lowered head pointed the horn straight at Barrett’s chest.
Just as it approached, Barrett sprang forward and up. The horn scraped along his right side, tearing through the armor and along his ribs. At the same time, his arm went over the back of the unicorn’s neck, and he swung himself up onto its back. “Calm down! I don’t want to kill you!”
Barrett wasn’t sure if it understood him at all, but if it did it certainly didn’t believe him. The unicorn bucked and turned, trying to throw him off, but Barrett locked his thighs around it keeping him firmly in place. He used his free hand to pull out the nearest arrow- pulling hard because it was barbed. That made the unicorn whinny in pain, and Barrett grimaced… but he still rubbed some of the poultice from the vial he had pulled out onto its side. Touching its wound seemed to hurt the unicorn even more, but the antiseptic salve would help stop its bleeding- both externally and internally. Then Barrett moved onto the next one.