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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

there?” Sayana and Pacian had caught up, but were still catching their breaths. Aiden was
about to say more when the hair on the back of his neck stood upright.
“Take cover!” he shouted, crouching to leap aside as a stroke of lightning coursed
through the charged air, hitting all four of them and knocking them to the floor. They
didn't have time to recover before the terrifying visage of a giant man, his head obscured
by a fearsome visored helm roared a battle cry and drove a six- foot battle spear towards
Aiden's chest.
He barely had the clarity of thought to bring his shield across to block the attack, but
he managed to do so just in time. The shield, however, was destroyed by the force of the
impact, sending a shower of blue sparks into the air and leaving his spectral armour to
absorb the rest of the strike.
Aiden bellowed and rolled away as the spear was drawn back by this new assailant,
giving him a moment to regain his footing. During this time, Morik had risen from the
floor, ignoring his wounds and stabbing at their armoured opponent with all of his might.
Erag spat out some words in his native language, his helm making his voice sound
hollow. The only word Aiden recognised was 'Morik', who replied between stabs with his
short spear.
Aiden moved in on Erag's left flank to slash at the man, the battle too close to risk
using the sceptre lest he strike Morik with the deadly ray. Aiden was suddenly struck a
blow to his head which seemed to come out of nowhere. He staggered backwards, only to
be struck again by the sharp end of Erag's weapon.
For a moment, Erag was exposed as a clear target and Aiden seized the opportunity
to invoke the sceptre's power, scorching the warrior with a blast of light. He seemed to
ignore the searing burns across his body as he lunged at Aiden.
The shaman, Tald Black-Tiger, had so far remained out of the fight, no doubt
watching his champion finish his adversaries but after Aiden's crippling attack, he spoke
up for the first time.
“You are wielding borrowed power, boy,” he rasped, slamming the butt of his rune-
covered staff into the ground. “I shall strip it from you, piece by piece.” Aiden felt a wave
of coldness wash over him and his supernatural strength drained from of his muscles.
Erag, nursing his crippled arm, was set upon by Pacian, whose attacks were little
more than harassment to the towering warrior. This still gave Aiden the time he needed to
recover and he made full use of it, raising his sceptre and unleashing another blast at the
akoran usurper.
Somehow, Erag still had the strength to remain standing after the sceptre blast, and
looking at the big warrior Aiden could see why. Even as he watched, Erag's wounds were
slowly healing over as a faint, misty green light danced around his body, a light that
seemed to be emanating from Tald's staff.
Aiden now realised their mistake - focusing their attacks on the big warrior instead
of the real danger, the shaman. Erag was suddenly engulfed in Sayana‟s green flames,
blinding him momentarily as his howls of rage and agony echoed through the caves. It
was at this moment that a bloodied and enraged Pacian appeared behind the blinded
savage and finally drove both of his daggers into Erag‟s back.
“Die, you bastard, die!” Pacian roared with anger as he continued to stab Erag until
he crashed to the ground, scorched and bleeding from a dozen fatal wounds.
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