Elijah glanced around the crumbling castle, wondering how he’d ended up here. The muted sounds of shouts and swords clanging together seemed at odds with the ruined building in front of him. Broken towers, a gaping drawbridge, uneven walls and a dried moat stared back at him, taunting him with his stupid decision to follow Tamhas.
Where was this army he spoke of, the leagues of mages, werewolves, vampires and humans ready to stamp order onto this warring world? He closed his eyes, calling himself a fool for believing anything the stranger had to say. Magic tugged at him, sliding over and trying to gain a hold onto his body.
His lips twisted into a sneer, finally understanding what lay before him. Nothing but an illusion meant to lull a passerby. How many were waiting to tear him apart? Was this a trick to destroy Elijah the Bloody, one of the most feared fighters on the battlefield?
“Impressive,” he called out, eyes still closed. “But I’m not here to play childish games.”
An arrow flew at him, the slight whine while it raced through the air alerted him, and he sidestepped the projectile moments before it sped past. A second too late and it would have impaled his throat.
He laughed, and shook his head. Expanding his senses, using the innate ability within all mages, he tracked the mage sneaking up on him. To his left, a werewolf. Is this what they had to offer? Two against him?
Deciding not to kill, only incapacitate, he rounded on the mage and slammed him in the face with a gauntleted fist. Mental crunched bone, cracking the mage’s jaw. The werewolf leapt at Elijah, silent and lethal. A true predator.
A huge grin covered Elijah’s face, and he snapped his eyes open while he sidestepped the massive beast. Another arrow, another nimble jump to the side. Stealth no longer on his side, the werewolf growled deep in his chest, and bared his long canines.
A fireball smashed into Elijah’s back, one he didn’t bother avoiding. His hair caught fire and he calmly patted it out. His clothes he let burn. Not far from here he’d stashed an extra set of leathers. The blaze slowly died away, unable to consume any of his flesh.
Now naked, save for his gauntlets, he lunged at the werewolf, then twisted out of the way when the creature bounded forward. As if he’d try to take a massive wolf on headfirst. No, he wanted access to his side.
Hunching forward, leading with his shoulder, Elijah slammed into his opponent, forcing him to scramble to remain upright. Another laugh burst from Elijah. It’s been a while since he had so much fun.
With ease born from riding horses, he jumped onto the werewolf’s back, knowing it would infuriate the creature. Seconds after his body made contact, his opponent went wild, howling and bucking to rid himself of his unwanted rider. Elijah burrowed his fingers into the thick fur and held on.
Magic sparked from Elijah’s fingertips, slamming into the wolf. Elijah cursed and dismounted, putting distance between him and the creature. He held his hands up, streams of green and blue writhed around his fingers, and said, “Peace. My magic just unlocked and I have no control of it.”