Great pain went through Mia's chest. They had started to walk again but abruptly stopped when she fell to her knees. Her hand went to her chest as she tried to make sense of what was happening. Powerful hands clasped her shoulders as she steadied herself.
"Mia?" Anubis' concerned voice broke through the white pain. She looked up and saw both him and Kayura next to her.
"What happened?" She tried to stand with his support but quickly fell against his hold.
"You just fell," informed Kayura. The priestess pulled the shakujo nearer to Mia's forehead. She rested her palm on top of her head and felt nothing. Sighing, she dropped her hands. "What did you see?"
"I didn't see anything. I felt more than anything. What's going on?" Mia held her head as Anubis supported her.
"Your powers are blossoming more than I thought. Just sit down and relax."
They sat her up and waited for her to relax. Her breathing leveled.
"Now Mia, I want you to describe to me what you felt." Kayura sat down in front of her.
"I felt like I was being torn apart form the inside out. Three colors kept flashing in front of me even through that short time."
"What colors did you see?"
"One black, one green, and one brown. In the end, they all blended together and became black. The colors radiated so much pain and so much evil that I was shocked."
"Nasuti left you with more than her looks and brains. This is going to be hard on you Mia, but I need you to concentrate on those colors and find out what they are doing."
Mia looked at Kayura then at Anubis who gave her a reassuring squeeze. She nodded and closed her eyes. A second later, she jolted upright. Her back went ridged and she gasped. A painful groan escaped her lips.
"What's going on?" Anubis took hold of her shoulders as she lurched again. He turned to the priestess. "Kayura?!"
"She's okay Anubis," reassured Kayura. "She's just getting used to being able to sense things she didn't before."
He turned back to face Mia and found a great variety of expressions pass on her face. They ranged from fear, to anger, to evil. Anubis reached a hand up to touch her face.
With eyes still closed, Mia grabbed Anubis' wrist as a wave of seizures passed through her body. Her grip was hard and surprised him. At least she was responding.
"They're fighting...Both mind and body...physical and mental...nature and human nature...Tyra and themselves..."
Her hold on his wrist grew tighter with each word. She shook her head as beads of sweat appeared on her forehead. Her other hand took hold of Anubis' shoulder as she violently shook.
"Kayura!!" He held Mia as she tried to pull away.
"She must be talking about the Warlords," Kayura whispered, distracted. She turned to the direction of the battle. "Oh, no."
"What the hell is that?!" Reva shouted. The Warlord's size had doubled and its armor blended the three's perfectly. Dais' weapon was on its back, Sekhmet's swords were on its sides, and Kale's no-dachi was in it hands.
It laughed. "You can thank the Empress Tyra for this new form." A blend of all three Warlords' voices answered Reva. "You may call me Destroyer."
It attacked without warning and caught Kala in a punch. She flew back as its swords caught Reva. Royda jumped out of the way after shooting it with a fireball. It didn't slow down.
Kala landed just above where Mira and Kishin were hiding. She tried to get up but let out a groan instead.
"Kala?!" Mira ran to her while Kishin watched her back. "What happened?"
"Oh, those Warlords seemed to have found a new weapon." She coughed. "I think you guys either get back there or go find help."
"It's that bad?" asked Kishin.
Suddenly, Reva went flying over their heads and made a dent on a boulder. She slid down and remained motionless. Kishin quickly got to her.
"Reva?!" She shook the other girl and patted her cheek.
"Hey, hey!" Reva shook her head. "I'm not dead you know. It takes more than being thrown 50 feet to stop me." She tried to stand but quickly fell.
"Where's Royda?" Mira asked with concern.
"Probably going toe-to-toe with that thing." Kala picked up her kusarigama and checked for broken bones.
"If you two didn't have a chance against them, why do you think my sister would fair better?"
"Because she's been training to no end since we last saw our armors. She's way beyond our level. Besides, it's only one now."
"One what?" Kishin held Reva steady.
"One Warlord. All three merged before us and called itself Destroyer."
"And you guys left her alone?!" Mira looked at Kala and Reva.
"It wasn't exactly our choice. We were just a bit slower than her and they caught us." Kala stood in front of Mira.
"What happened to her then? You should have stayed!" Mira shouted in Kala's face. Before the other girl could answer, Kishin stepped between them.
"Mira, calm down!" she commanded. "I know you're worried. We are, too. Yelling at Kala might feel good right now but it doesn't help our situation. We've got to get back into that fight. If what happened to Reva and Kala were any indication, even Royda wouldn't survive long. Stop blaming and get ready."
At her command, all three girls nodded and stood tall. Reva shook her head and leaned heavily on her yari. Kala tested the chains on her kusarigama. Mira extended her bow and took out an arrow. Kishin unhooked her no-dachi from her back. She surveyed the others then led them back into the battle.
Royda saw Kala and Reva batted away like flies. She kept a steady stream of fireballs going to the Warlord to distract it. It still came at her without any signs of faltering. Every hit it took, it laughed louder and revealed an emotion for the first time on Royda's passive face: She was annoyed.
"Give up now and give us the girl," the Destroyer demanded. "Maybe then you'll just have a quick death."
"I happen to understand death more than you think," she answered, shocking the Warlord. "I'll give up Mia if and only if you can kill me!"
She stood up and concentrated. Her palms came together in front of her and pulsated red energy. The Warlord stopped for a second then ran towards her, thinking of tackling her before she fired. It jumped with a wide grin on its face.
Before it could hit her, Royda's eyes quickly opened. She stepped back, pulled her arms back, and fired at point blank range, into Destroyer's face. The Warlord flew back the way it came and then some. It stayed down for awhile.
Her breathing was heavy and her back heaved. She was down on her hands and knees, showing fatigue for the first time. Her eyes were closed and her breathing slowed a little as she heard rocks falling. Royda slowly lifted her head and opened her eyes to see Destroyer, dusting itself off.
"Now that was impressive," praised Destroyer. "I see now why you're the leader, and it seems that you're a little tired, too."
It walked towards her and she slowly got up. Her eyes didn't reveal her disbelief on what was before her. Nobody could have survived that. Unless, she was totally out of training.
"I am very impressed by you," Destroyer continued. "You're not even going to betray your physical status even though I know you're tired. A sign of a good leader. Unfortunately, it's also a sign of a dead leader." It unsheathed Kale's no-dachi and ran for her. Royda in turn unsheathed her katanas.
"I don't go down that easy," she said through gritted teeth as they came together, swords clashing.
"We will see."
They bounced off each other and came together again with a massive clash of energy. Royda's quick energy releases before were quickly catching up to her. Destroyer caught scent of it and intensified its attacks. She resorted to being on the defensive while she devised a plan. Her mind on other things, Destroyer quickly disarmed her.
"Now, what were you saying about not going down that easy?"
"I didn't say anything like that," a voice said from above them. "Did you hear anything like that Kala?"
Destroyer looked up as well as Royda. They found Reva and Kala floating over them.
"Nope," answered Kala. "I don't think I did. Maybe we should tell him that." Both girl looked down at the Warlord.
"You girls are no match for me!"
"We'll be the judge of that," said Kishin who had taken Royda's place in front of it. She concentrated and a gust of wind blew the Warlord away. "How about you go up against all five of us instead of one?"
"It would be my pleasure." It stood up from the rubble and attacked again.
"Oh, no?" Anubis turned away from Mia. "What are you talking about?!"
Kayura still didn't hear him. She looked out to the battle and could just hear the yelling and clashing. The Shakujo started glowing and she looked up to it. An idea suddenly presented itself to her.
"Anubis," she called, turning around to face him. He still held Mia while the woman struggled against his hold.
"It's about time you got out of that little world of yours," he reprimanded. "Care to explain what's happening to her?!"
"I'll take care of her." Kayura knelt down next to them. "You've for to help the girls."
"What are you talking about? I thought you said they could handle this."
"They've become one. There's no time to explain."
"Become one? What's that suppose to mean?"
"The Warlords have merged into one. They can't go up against that kind of power no matter how hard they train. It doesn't help that most of them haven't been to many battles lately."
Anubis digested what she told him. Now he knows where Royda got her bluntness. Mia's violent jerking quickly got him back to the situation.
"How am I suppose to go up against something like that? You forget Kayura that I do not have my armor anymore."
"I know, but I do." Her pleading eyes looked up to him.
"What are you saying?" He turned to her.
"For the sake of humanity, I will restore your armor to you." She stood up and held the shakujo before her.
He watched as the staff glowed. It slowly transformed into his helmet and fell next to him. Kayura leaned over to Mia and touched her forehead. The woman momentarily stopped then slumped forward. Anubis caught her and laid her down.
"What did you do?!" Angry eyes turned to the priestess.
"I put her to sleep so she wouldn't strain herself. Don't worry, she'll be fine. You, however, have other things to worry about." He quickly stood up and grabbed Kayura's shoulders.
"Other things to worry about? My reason for living just so happens to be experiencing something I have no clue on. You expect me to just leave her?!"
"If you don't, you'll leave her in another way. They will take her and take your life to get to her. You have to understand that this is as much for you as it is for her."
Reluctantly, he knew she had a point. He was being called on again to leave her and go to a battle. This time, he didn't know if he would be back or not. Cautiously, he reached down and brushed a lock of hair away from her face.
"Do you promise that you will take care of her?" His eyes still taking in every detail, hoping that this wasn't going to be the last time he saw or touched her.
"I promise you. I will do all I can. She is the one they want. I would die first before giving her up." He picked up his helmet and looked at it.
"Let's hope it doesn't come to that." He put on the helmet. "To arms."
Light illuminated around him and formed on his body. The armor he gave up that saved one life and took his was once again on a familiar owner. His helmet disappeared like before and freed his hair. He testily pulled his chains and smiled.
"Bring it on."
After one last caress of Mia's cheek, Anubis looked at Kayura. She had a lot of explaining to do but that would have to wait. For now, a battle awaited and his help was needed.
Five armors surrounded the Warlord. They just stood there, resting as much as they can. Even Royda took that time to stop.
"Don't tell me you girls are stopping already," Destroyer mocked. "I thought the Ancient's Warriors were supposed to be the best and most powerful. Maybe that's why your clan is dead then. You're not as high and mighty as you think."
"Shut up!!" Kala shouted. She charged after him, kusarigama flying. For awhile, she stood a chance because of her rage but faltered when fatigue caught up with her. She was shoved back to her friends.
"Please! These pathetic attacks are weaker than what Royda dished out. You have to be kidding me." It walked around them, studying their status. "I could guess that the power you use are yours. You look really tired after every shot."
"What does it matter where our powers come form?" Reva spoke up, her Koya accent revealing none of its happy tone. "All there is to know is that we have to stop you!"
She attacked followed closely by Kala. Even Mira joined in while Kishin stayed behind with Royda. Their leader was trying to cope with her rapid lose of power.
"They can't last that long against that thing," Royda said.
"And you think you can?" Kishin told her. "I'm sorry, but you're not going back in there just yet."
"He has us figured out. We need a new strategy."
"That could be a problem." They turned to the battle. "You know they don't take kindly to new strategies."
Royda tried to stand up and barely did with Kishin's help. Her breathing had leveled somewhat and their armors were a little worse for wear.
"The strategy I had in mind is something we haven't tried in a long time."
"What?" Kishin looked up to her. "You can't mean..?" Royda nodded. "Have you been tossed around one too many times?! You are in no condition to do that!"
"It's the only way." Royda kept her eyes straight. "They don't have any knowledge on her."
"It's because we haven't used her." Kishin stood in front of her. "And do you know why? Because she's as dangerous to us as she is to them."
"Don't you think I know that." Blazing eyes turned on Kishin. She took a step back. "If this works, you can tell me what my mistakes are later."
"And if it doesn't?"
"You can reprimand me in the after life."
As Royda walked forward, Kishin let out a heavy sigh. She didn't like where this was going, but she had no choice but to obey. If they were going down, it might as well be fighting.
The other girls were surprisingly holding up against the Warlord. Their training kept them together and in sequence. However, power lose was another thing.
"Don't you think we need help?" asked Kala.
"I know you do but that's another story," answered Reva. She smiled at her and continued to fight.
"Oh, speak for yourself Miss-Double-Personality."
"Can the two of you stop talking?" asked Mira. "You're going to get..." a blast interrupted her and threw Kala and Reva over her head, "...distracted."
Mira shook her head as she looked at her friends. When she turned around, she was chest to face with the Warlord. Her eyes grew big and she was quickly frozen in place. A clawed hand descended and headed for her head. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth while she waited for the impact.
Anubis ran harder and hid behind a rock. He looked over it and saw the Warlord being surrounded by the girls. Their armors showed the damage they had taken.
He saw three of them attack it while the other two helped each other up. The two left behind discussed something and he saw one of them back up. He couldn't tell what they talked about but could sense urgency in it.
A blast rocked the battlefield as he saw two of the girls fighting being thrown back. The smallest of them all looked back at her friends and shook her head. As she turned around to get ready for another attack, the Warlord stood before her with clawed hand raised. As it descended, Anubis got up.
"Quake With Fear!!"
Mira didn't feel anything. The impact she had been waiting for didn't come. She didn't even hear anything.
"Are you all right, Mira?" somebody asked. She opened one eye.
In front of her, the Warlord was stuck on his downward motion. A chain had wrapped around its wrist and pulled it back. She opened both eyes and looked behind it.
Reva and Kala helped Mira up. They too were surprised by the former Warlord's appearance.
"What are you doing here?" asked Kala.
"Dying!!" Destroyer answered. The chain that held him quickly broke and threw all of then backwards. It turned to Anubis. "Did you really think that you would be able to defeat us? You are no match against our power!" An energy blast left its palms and headed for Anubis. He jumped out of the way.
"You three might have merged," Anubis said as he got away from another blast, "but all of you are still there."
"What are you going to do Anubis!" it mocked. "Are you going to reason with us? Save your breath. You'll need it when we get serious."
"Hey!!" shouted Reva. "Don't act like we're not here."
"Oh, I'm not." The Warlord turned to the girls. "Why don't we start with you three to prepare us for Anubis?"
"Bring it on!" answered Kala.
The Warlord attacked again and again, never slowing down even for a breather. The Ancient's Warriors and Anubis alternated against it but to no avail.
"Where's that help you were talking about Kala?" Reva asked, half-jokingly.
Mia's eyes flew open. She looked up at a dark sky and snow-covered mountains. Something woke her up. Something in her heart.
"Anubis?" she asked, expecting the man to be right next to her. He wasn't there and Kayura was a few feet away from her.
"Mia?!" Kayura approached her and knelt. "What are you doing up?"
"Where's Anubis?" Mia's initial terror that the something that woke her up was related to him was back the second she didn't see him there near her.
"Just lie back down and relax. He's..."
"He's helping them, isn't he?" Worried eyes looked out to the battlefield. "I can feel it."
"You're just exhausted. Why don't you..."
"Give it a rest Kayura!" Angry, concerned eyes turned to the priestess. "You've told me all this time about the powers within me. This is the time I actually get to test what you say."
"But that's just it." Kayura grabbed Mia's hand as the woman got up. "You don't know how to use that power. You could be more of a liability than help."
"Is that what you thought I was with the Ronins? I happen to remember that if it wasn't for me, there would have been no Ronin Warriors. I am not a liability. Maybe in the start but not now. I have learned a thing or two about survival."
Kayura could see that a stubborn streak had grown behind Mia's eyes. She was going to help and find her friends if it was the last thing she did. Kayura couldn't let her do that when family was involved. Mia pulled her arm away and started walking.
"Mia!" The other woman stopped and turned around. "Why don't I join you? They'll need all the help they can get." Mia smiled and nodded.
During a lull in the attacking, Royda and Kishin slowly took everybody away from the battle. They did it silently and with precision. So silently in fact, that Destroyer didn't notice that his enemies were gone.
"Thanks," said Reva. She held her head in one hand and looked around. "Who's fighting the big lug?"
"Nobody," answered Royda as she laid down her sister.
"Nobody?!" shouted Reva and Kala.
"We've got a plan and we need everybody's help," elaborated Kishin.
"This isn't some new strategy, is it?" asked Kala.
"Actually, it's a very old strategy that we haven't used," Royda answered.
"You're not thinking of using her, are you?" Mira almost shouted. Her light blue eyes looked from Kishin to her sister with worry.
"Unfortunately, yes," answered Kishin, looking down.
Reva, Kala, and Mira started to argue with Kishin and Royda. More Royda really, rather than Kishin since they could tell that this was decided by one person alone. Anubis sat there, watching three girls trying to convince somebody who had already made up her mind. They might have as well been talking to a brick wall.
"Who is this 'she' you are talking about?" Anubis asked. Four heads turned to him.
"Should we tell or just show?" Reva asked.
"Since she's already made up her mind, I guess show," answered Kala.
Mia could see the Warlord. She couldn't see anybody else. For a second there, she turned around to see if Kayura had caught up to her yet.
"What have we here?" Mia stopped at the voice and held her breath. "We didn't even have to look for her."
She slowly turned around and saw Kayura hide behind some rubble at the corner of her eye. She secretly prayed that the priestess had something up her sleeves.
"Do you know how much trouble you have caused us?" it asked as she faced him. "Just you associating with them has caused us much grief."
"You're not taking me anywhere," she told it boldly.
"You're not?" it seemed to say mockingly. "That's too bad because we can't take no for an answer."
"They will stop you."
"And who would that be? Your Warrior friends?" It grabbed her arm. "Or your worthless lover-who-calls-himself-a-warrior Anubis?"
"Mia?!" a surprised shout interrupted Mia's answer. "Let her go!"
The afore mentioned Anubis landed in front of Destroyer and advanced. He quickly stopped when it spun Mia round in front of it. It used her as a shield with its clawed hand held near her throat.
"We wouldn't try any heroics right now." The clawed hand gently traced her jawbone. "You wouldn't want us to slip, would you?"
"If you injure her in any way, it wouldn't matter that I once considered you as friends."
Anubis expected Mia to be a little frightened but she wasn't. She stood there with her hands clenched into fists. A glazed look came over her eyes and she didn't seem to notice what was happening around her. Suddenly, she started to glow.
The girls surrounded the Warlord and could also see what was happening. A great amount of energy was being gathered around Mia. They couldn't tell if it was coming from her or the Warlord.
The Warlord seemed to finally notice that its hostage was glowing. It had done nothing to her and was a little apprehensive about it.
"Now you get to see the power you so want," Kayura said as she emerged from her hiding place.
Mia's head bowed down and she seemed to be concentrating. The Warlord behind her couldn't decide what to do.
"What's going on Kayura?" Anubis turned to the priestess. Even he could feel power surrounding them.
"She wanted to help. I couldn't let her do that alone."
"Doesn't that aura feel just a little too familiar to you?" Reva asked the other girls.
"Way too familiar," agreed Kala.
"We better start on our own plans," commanded Royda.
The girls fell back unnoticed by the Warlord or Kayura and Anubis. They were more concerned about Mia to really care about where they were. However, it did cross their minds that how come the Ancient's Warriors weren't trying to do anything.
The energy that surrounded Mia slowly started to engulf Destroyer. Its hold on her slackened a bit and it took a hesitant step back. Before it could fully let go, a great force ran up to it and pushed it back.
Destroyer crashed into several boulders and slowly skidded to a stop. Mia stayed where she was and still radiated energy. As she lifted her head, the aura around her lessened. She blinked twice and looked around her, finally aware of what was going on.
"Anubis?" she asked.
Before he could answer, the Warlord quickly stood up, more angry that before. It roared its rage to the high heavens and got a lock on Mia's position.
"Now we see why the Empress would want her," it said. "Too bad it was just a demonstration."
"What's he talking about?" Anubis asked Kayura. Before she could answer, Mia's eyes rolled back and started to slump forward. Anubis ran out to her and caught her.
"See, what did I tell you?" Destroyer stood just a few feet away from them.
"You're going to have to go through me," Kayura challenged. She stopped in between it and her friends.
"What are you going to do little girl? Give us more of a challenge than the Ancient's precious warriors? Or just disappear in the middle of battle?"
"You don't know much about them and that is your downfall." Kayura attacked with whatever she could find which wasn't much. She diverted it away from Mia and Anubis.
"Mia!" Anubis shook her shoulders. He looked up and found Kayura just stepping out of Destroyer's way. His eyes looked for the girls and wondered where they were. "Mia, you have to stay conscious for me."
He could see her blink a few times. Her head shook from side to side to clear it. She finally focused on his face.
"What is that thing doing?" Tyra asked nobody in particular. "Why is he playing with that priest?"
She paced in front of an image. She had watched everything from the moment they had left her Netherworld. Their progress was slow against the more powerful Royda but they were able to handle it. For a few seconds there, she had thought that her prize was finally hers.
Alas, the others came to the rescue. Even when all three combined to make Destroyer, the Ancient's Warriors were able to keep one step ahead. Only when they had exhausted themselves did the Warlord get the upper hand.
"Doesn't that thing notice energy forming behind it?!" she shouted to the image. She was so caught up in being mad at it, she forgot to warn it. "That aura is awfully familiar. Where have I...? Oh, no! It couldn't be her!" Before she could warn the Warlord, a bright flash went off and quickly dissolved the image she was shouting at.
She stood there, stunned and a little annoyed. Stunned because she couldn't believe they had to resort to her. Annoyed that the Warlord didn't finish them off earlier.
"Oh, well," she shrugged. "I guess its back to the old drawing board."
With a brisk flick of her wrist, the fuzzy image that was left in front of her vanished. She tossed her silver hair over her shoulder and quickly went out of her throne room.
Kayura was thrown back. She was stopped by Anubis before she ran into a boulder.
"Where are you sisters Kayura?" Anubis asked, a little mad.
"I'm not really sure..." she trailed off.
"Don't worry about them, friend," Destroyer answered for her. "They probably got wise and left before some real danger came around."
"Don't you dare say that about them!" the priestess shouted, getting up. "They would rather die than leave this."
"Well then, where are they?" The Warlord looked around, mocking them. You don't know them as much as you think."
The aura that Tyra noticed in the Netherworld suddenly flared up behind the Warlord. They all turned to the source and just had enough time to cover their eyes from the white glare. Mia blinked and turned away from the bright light. The intense heat penetrated the cold of the coming night. Even Kayura had to turn away.
When the light subsided, everybody looked to see four of the girls unconscious on the snow covered ground. They were all down to their subarmors and you could barely see them breathing. Standing in front of them, Royda stood clad in the white armor Mia saw in the store. All the girls' weapons were nowhere to be found.
"Royda?" Anubis asked.
The girl didn't acknowledge his question. Royda's dark blue eyes looked darker and she seemed older somehow. The power she held so effortlessly was almost tangible, brimming at its highest point. As she stepped forward, the snow at her feet evaporated with each step.
Kishin's no-dachi appeared in her hand as she prepared to attack. The Warlord looked around him and finally decided that he was being silently challenged.
"If you really think that you could defeat me a second time, you're gravely mistaken." Kale's unsheathed no-dachi was still in its hand. It readied the sword. "Well? Aren't you going to answer?"
For her answer, Royda, or what looked like her, came at the Warlord with her sword raised. They came together with sparks flying everywhere. The white armor she wore was glowing a faint green.
"Who is that?" Mia asked. She could sense that this wasn't the same girl that had been helping her.
"She's..." Kayura started. Before she could finish, a rain of debris came down on them. Anubis had quickly covered both women.
When they looked back up, they saw the Warlord just getting up from a pile of rubble. Royda was now glowing red and was using Kala's kusarigama. She threw it at Destroyer and the chains wrapped itself around its neck. His hands quickly let go of the no-dachi and went for the chains.
Without hesitating, Royda pulled the chain and flung the Warlord up in the air. Before the chains even had time to disappear, Destroyer was shot down by an arrow. It landed, shaking the ground.
The Warlord shakily got up. It looked at her with murder in its eyes. Royda didn't seem to notice.
"I've had enough of this game," it said as it straightened. "Let's see you go up against our full power!" Its eyes glowed bright red and its aura flared up around it.
The bow she carried disappeared when the Warlord came at her. Destroyer got to her and locked hands with her. This was a true test of strength!
Kayura, Anubis, and Mia watched the two push each other with their hands. Even though the Warlord was twice her size, Royda stood up to it, digging her feet into the ground so as not to slide back. The Warlord had done the same thing.
Energy crackled around them as the Warlord tried to push her back. It leaned forward with its whole weight but only imbedded her down more. Destroyer couldn't believe that this girl who had been close to being unconscious was actually keeping her end. It also couldn't believe that it was somehow losing power.
Her aura grew as Destroyer's waned. It could feel the power it once had draining away. When the Warlord looked at her eyes, it found them blank and cold.
"What are you?" Destroyer asked, its power slowly draining out of it.
"Protector," she whispered. Her dark blue eyes glowed and she was able to push the Warlord back. It flew back and landed rather uncomfortably, unconscious. She stood up straight and stomped an armored foot on the ground. It sent a shock wave towards the Warlord.
When it hit, Destroyer howled in pain. It raised itself on its arms and shouted to the high heavens as if it was being torn apart. Royda saw the three Warlords' heads split from the one and its armor faded in and out. After more physical pain, the three Warlords were finally separated, albeit unconscious. She walked past them to where her team laid.
Anubis, Mia, and Kayura witnessed what happened. They still couldn't believe that the Warlord that had taken five warriors hours to defeat was taken down by one in seconds. They were quickly beside their friends and started to check for injuries. When the Warlords were found okay, they all turned to Royda.
She had her whole unconscious team on her shoulders and arms. Her aura and intense eyes still glowed with the same passion as before. Neither her step nor her balance slipped. She paused for a while next to Mia before going on.
"Are they alive?" Mia asked, indicating the girls.
"Yes," answered Kayura warily. "That is the price of creating her." She helped Anubis lift Dais.
"I would gamble that you
already knew that wasn't my sister?" Anubis followed
what looked like Royda down to the village. Kayura turned
to Mia to confirm her question.
"Well, you're right. That wasn't my sister. That was the incarnation of the Ancient's armor."
"She is called the Protector."
Kayura sat next to Mia near Kale. "Protector because
she was suppose to protect the Clan. However, nobody was
good enough to be able to wear the armor before the attack came.
"She is also the girls' powers combined in one body. Like the Ronins' white armor, she is the combination of the Ancient's Warriors. It chose to take Royda's body since she was the one most fit."
"Then what happened to the others?" Anubis was back for the other two but stopped to listen for awhile.
"The girls have natural talents, born not handed through armor. Therefore, the Protector actually takes some of their life-force with their power. She stays as long as the power will last, which is usually a couple of hours. After that, the power will slowly go back to their owners, awakening them."
"Isn't that a little dangerous?" Anubis asked. He went over to Sekhmet.
"Yes. I know that is hard to believe, but if they don't sleep, the girls would only be a burden in battle if they were able to be awake. That way, they could take a much needed rest."
"What about Royda? She's got to be tired, too." Anubis lifted Sekhmet's arm over his shoulder while Kayura and Mia balanced Kale between them.
"That is the one thing that I don't understand. Royda strives to be the best in the team and is always the one to be summoned on to carry the Protector. I think she doesn't want the other to risk their lives."
"On the price of hers."
"My sister has her own rules of loyalty. She follows it to the letter and wouldn't dare go against it. If it's her life that is needed, then she would sacrifice it to save anybody."