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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

so it didn't really make a noise as it struck. But the man's skull still rang, smashing his
nose on the force shield and tumbling him back on to the ground.
This left Aiden vulnerable for a split second however, and the sharp-witted
opponents he faced were quick to take advantage. A dagger slashed at him, partially
deflected by his chain shirt but bruising him nonetheless. The other man cut Aiden with
his shortsword, forcing the novice warrior back or risk taking further hits. He got his
shield back in place as soon as he could, and slashed back and forth with his ow n
weapon, connecting with the blades of his opponents more than anything else.
Help came in the form of a red-headed girl with a very big axe. Sayana leaped up
from behind the men with her weapon held high above her head and slammed the axe
down into the back of one unlucky bandit. He fell to the ground at Aiden's feet from the
force of the attack, with Sayana riding him to the ground and hitting him again to finish
him off, showering them both in blood.
Taking advantage of the startled look from the last remaining man, Aiden stabbed
forward with his sword, cutting deep into his flesh. Sayana rose from the ground and
swung the axe at him as he staggered back, smashing into his back and severing his spine
as he fell to the ground. Aiden struggled for breath after the brief struggle as Sayana
looked around at the scene.
“Nice timing,” he gasped. “Everyone else okay?”
“Still standing,” Colt replied from nearby, holding his greatsword in one hand but
clearly having trouble trying to lift it. With the pressure off, Nellise had put her crossbow
aside and was taking a closer look at Colt's wounded arm.
“Good, because I think we're only just getting started here,” Aiden added.
“What makes you say that?” Nellise asked while fetching her healing crystal.
“The other eight or so men moving through the fog to surround us,” Aiden observed,
surprisingly calm given the situation.
“Do you have a plan?” Colt asked. “I'm fresh out of ideas.” Aiden thought about it
for a moment.
“I think the time for subtlety is over,” he declared. “How do you feel about a last,
desperate charge into certain death?” Colt's grin was very wolf- like.
“Now you're talking my language.”
Chapter Eight
Aiden took a moment to briefly check his wounds while Nellise tended Colt's injured
arm. Usually her healing took at least a few minutes to work, so there wasn't much
chance of her having the ranger fixed up before the fight continued. His own wounds
appeared to be relatively minor, thankfully, so he was still in the fight.
“Why don't you grab one of those shortswords,” Aiden advised, pointing down at
one of the rusty blades carried by the fallen bandits. “You'll never be able to use that
behemoth on your back now.” Colt reached down and hefted one of the smaller blades,
feeling the weight and balance of it.
“This thing is garbage,” he declared. He was probably going to comment further, but
an arrow flew past his ear. “It'll work fine,” the big man muttered as he ducked for cover,
resigned to using the inferior weapon.