I looked to see lightning arcing around Kasner, streaming from Niven’s hands. I could smell his hair burning… but he managed to wrest control of the lightning and shot it back in a single bolt. Niven barely dodged out of the way, her robes singeing. Kasner coughed. “Ha! So you can do something besides fire!”
Halette continued to shoot her bow, but the hallway was now a raging inferno. The arrows themselves burned up before they could reach Niven- and even those that made it through didn’t hit.
“I’ll help!” I called out.
“No, I’ve got this!” Kasner said. I could see his burnt hair and hear the strain in his voice… but he had Halette’s support.
I turned to go help Alhorn, but he shouted back to me, “Llyr! Go rescue Kantrilla! We can’t wait around for Mehmud to show up!”
“Right!” I had almost forgotten about him. Though it seemed like we had the advantage… we were burning through mana at an astounding pace. I had used over a third of my mana already… and I could tell Kasner was shaky. Alhorn was holding up alright, but there was only so much he could do to continuously deflect Deepak’s axe. It was even harder because he had to fight against Luck.
I rushed into the room in front of me. I saw Kantrilla there, still chained down and passed out. Before anything else I touched her hand. It was still warm, at least. I just had to find some what to get the chains off. I wasn’t strong enough to snap steel links… not now, anyway. More importantly, if I did it wrong I’d just hurt her. I needed a key. The easiest place to find that would be… on Enok’s body. I turned around to leave the room and just barely caught a twisting of the shadows in the corner of my eye.
The sound of metal on metal rang out as I moved my bracers to deflect the attack, even as I dodged away. I couldn’t believe I fell for it again. He’d died far too easily… and I’d gotten distracted just afterwards. Enok was still alive… and right in front of me. Or perhaps he wasn’t. I couldn’t be sure if this one wasn’t another fake. Either way, his attack still had something real behind it. I wasn’t planning to find out how real if I could help it.
I moved toward the center of the room, prodding at him with my spear to keep him back. I had to make the best use of my reach, and get away from anything that might catch onto my spear randomly. I could avoid the effects of Luck if I just focused. Or I would be dead, but I chose to ignore that possibility. Sure, I was weaker than last time… but I was more ready. I barely even used any of my abilities before. But then again… the same could be said of him.
I couldn’t afford to think about any of that. Instead, I focused on fighting him. Any time he tried to move forward I could threaten him with impalement. A spear had much larger reach than a dagger, after all. I just had to concentrate on keeping in the center of the room and keeping my spear level with the floor. I tried disarming him a couple of times… but a spear wasn’t the best weapon to use, and all he had to do was pull his arm back. I could have had a chance if I followed through, but if I failed he could step forward inside of my reach.
He was fast… and strong. Not as much as me, even now… but for a sneaky cleric over three hundred and fifty Strength was quite a bit. That came with levels and more training. However, beyond fancy daggerwork… he had more to offer.
I noticed the shadows in the room slowly creeping in from the corners. Because of that, I barely managed to avoid as a shadowy figure rose up and attacked me. I batted it away with the butt of my spear, and kicked at Enok himself as he came forward. The shadowy figure fell apart, but I could see more of them forming.
I didn’t have enough more Strength than Enok that I could contest against him directly, at least not if I wanted to kill him in one shot. I wasn’t sure how many I would get. I couldn’t afford to let the fight drag out, but I couldn’t win quickly. Was I just going to fail to rescue Kantrilla a second time?
Of course not. I had more to give. I couldn’t give up so quickly… especially not against a bastard like him. Kantrilla was probably the nicest person I had ever met… and seeing what he’d done to her… made me angry. I wasn’t even sure how to consciously activate rage, but it didn’t matter. As the next figure rose up I impaled it, swinging the spear into another at the same time because I didn’t have time to draw back my spear. Once again Enok approached, and this time he stabbed into my leg when I kicked him away. It wasn’t deep, but if I hadn’t had armor it would have gone straight through.
Shadowy figures started appearing more and more quickly. They came two, three at a time along with Enok himself. I couldn’t keep up, and my attacks sometimes missed. I couldn’t afford that, and any time I attacked Enok himself I just barely couldn’t hit him.
I hadn’t raged for any real period of time before. When I first got it a few days before, I hadn’t even known I had. It had only been for an instant. Now, I could tell that the increased Strength used more than just that bit more of my energy. I wouldn’t be able to fight for long. Especially not since I kept accruing more wounds. If I could, I preferred to take a hit from the shadowy figures instead of Enok himself. Their attacks had less impact. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid them entirely.
I found myself being pushed back. Then, my spear broke as I stabbed one and Enok slashed at it from the side. I dodged backward, but tripped and fell back into a table. I found myself without a weapon, with Enok moving toward me with all of his shadow figures. I reached behind me, trying to find a weapon on the table behind me… but only found Kantrilla’s hand.