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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

and wondered for a brief moment if he should rush back over to support her. But he
needn't have worried. She raised her hand, pointing at the approaching men, and flames
shot out, engulfing both of them.
Their screams echoed through the forest and they dropped to the ground and rolled,
trying to put out the flames before they were consumed. But before Sayana could finish
them off, four others came rushing towards her, trying to take her down before she could
recover. A crossbow bolt shot out of the fog at that moment, distracting them enough for
Sayana to ready herself. Nellise was still in the fight.
Aiden took a blow on his shield from his opponent and returned it with his own
sword, cutting him but not getting through the cured leather armour he wore. In a surprise
move, the bandit suddenly kicked Aiden in the knee, knocking his leg out from
underneath him and following through by smashing his sword hilt into the young man's
forehead. Aiden reeled back, momentarily stunned by the pain echoing through his skull
as he tried to bring his shield up to protect himself from further attacks.
But it was no good; he was disoriented and off- guard, and completely open to the
impending attack. A sickening 'thud' sound filled Aiden's ears, and he thought for a
moment that it was his own life ending. Through vision rapidly filing with blood, he saw
the bandit drop to the ground, Sayana's axe embedded in his back from a near-perfect
throw. Aiden, still on his knees, turned his head slightly to see what was going on, and
was dismayed to see that Sayana had throw away her only weapon, leaving her
vulnerable to attack. She wasn't done yet though.
Reaching towards the axe with both hands, it seemed like a strange ly comical
attempt to grab the axe from over twenty feet away. But the axe shuddered and leapt out
of the body of the bandit, flying though the air to be caught by the wild girl in her right
hand. In one swift movement, she turned and heaved the axe with a ll her strength at the
bandits who were now right upon her, taking the closest one in the chest. Blood spattered
over the others, but it didn't slow them down this time.
The first one slashed at her with a dagger, cutting across her stomach and drawing
blood, while his companion gashed her arm with his shortsword. She had been totally
focused on retrieving her axe and hadn't positioned her magical shield effectively, and the
wild girl stumbled backwards trying to regain her footing, blood flowing freely from the
wounds.
His head still ringing from the blow, Aiden struggled to get back onto his feet to
assist, but it was all he could do to avoid toppling over. Another bandit was creeping up
on Sayana from behind, and looked about ready to strike at her when he flipped both of
his daggers at one of the other highwaymen, both weapons hitting him in the head,
grievously wounding him.
Aiden stared at the bandit and caught a glimpse of his face from underneath the
hood. It was Pacian! He had taken the cloak from one of the fallen highwaymen and used
it to sneak around in the melee in relative safety, but his cover was blown now, and he
had thrown away both of his weapons. The cunning rogue didn't wait around to see what
was going to happen, though, instead dashing off into the fog once more before any of the
bandits could attack him.
Sayana, holding one of her arms tightly against the bloody wounds in her side, had
her axe ready once more in her free hand, and positioned her shield to protect her from
further attacks. Taking the initiative, she swung at the wounded man before her, a dagger
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