Carpathia III: Episode 131: Advent Maelstrom
Artemis: We have to get out of here.
There was no argument from anyone on this point and each turned to back to the road to the village, all running together as quickly as they could with Keast flying ahead of them. Toma was already long gone, not even visible on the horizon of the empty plain.
Adell: Where is he?
Adell and everyone else expected a description of Wishmaster's location, but were horrified when Keast simply pointed ahead of them and to the left.
Though Wishmaster wasn't close enough to block their path directly, they would soon be in range of his powers. Everyone kept running, despite knowing that safe passage would be entirely dependent on his unlikely mercy. Still yet they ran in the vain hope that they might get lucky.
It was a vain hope indeed.
A wall of stone rapidly rose from the ground far more quickly than Adell was capable of doing so. Keast and Ryuu arced upward in their flight just in time to clear the wall while the others skidded to a halt just before they slammed face-first into it. Wishmaster's voice then boomed from somewhere far on the other side.
Wishmaster: You aren't leaving! I wish to play with the friends of the one who defied me.
Adell spread his legs and bended his knees and, with a deep breath, drew his arms back and gave a powerful thrust toward the wall. The rock shards splintered away as though detonated with a bomb. Quickly, Adell and the others scrambled through the gap to the other side. Wishmaster was not far away. Deciding that running was now impossible, Adell stopped and held out his arms. Two bowling ball-sized stones rose from the ground and Adell twisted his arms over his head, one after the other, hurling the stones at Wishmaster.
Wishmaster swatted the stones away as though they were nothing more than ping pong balls. Kagurain then held out his spear, cradling it in his fingers just so in order to fire a bolt of lightning. Wishmaster quickly drew a large stone from the ground and the lightning bolt harmlessly dissipated on it.
Wishmaster: It seems that I did not correctly ascertain how Hades distributed his powers. It appears he is more stupid than he deserves credit. You weaklings have no chance against me!
Ryuu sped toward Wishmaster in a frightening dive while Keast presented himself as a target nearby.
Adell: Our only chance is to overwhelm him so that Ryuu can get close.
Adell hurled more stones at Wishmaster while Kagurain assisted with lightning. Kaoru frantically searched the ground for any sign of nearby water. The attack was futile, however, as Wishmaster once again easily deflected the projectiles and swatted at Ryuu until he flew away.
Artemis: He's playing with us. He knows we can't escape.
Kagurain: What do we do?
Adell: Keep at it and hope he makes a mistake. That's all I can think of.
Kaoru: I'll take even the smallest chance if we can stop him from getting to the village.
Adell: We'll distract him. Kaoru, you go back and warn the villagers and be with Quilyon.
Kaoru: I'm not leaving you!
Adell: Someone has to tell everyone what has happened here!
Kaoru: I can help! there's a...
Azrael: Look out!
With no time to react, Adell suddenly found himself tumbling away from the rest of the group just before a large rock slammed into Azrael in the place where Adell had been standing. Azrael rolled several feet through the dirt before he stopped and did not move once he came to rest. The others ran to him with Artemis on point. Artemis dropped to his knees and put his hands on Azrael's chest.
Wishmaster: I am getting bored of your little conference! I can pick you off one by one now if you refuse to provide any entertainment for me!
It was enough for the others to see the green glow emanate from Artemis's hands to tell them that Azrael was still alive. They turned to face Wishmaster as he breezily shooed away Ryuu once again without even looking. Wishmaster then began to move his arms in a familiar way, the same way that Jaze moved when he used his fire. Adell stomped the ground and raised his hands, lifting a boulder out of the ground just before Wishmaster shot a stream of fire at them.
Kaoru: Wishmaster is standing on a very large vein of water. Drop the ground there so that I can turn it into a lake!
Adell quickly nodded.
Adell: That's something, at least. Cover me!
Adell steadied his stance and pushed hard at the rock, which then splintered just like the other. He burst through first and quickly raised several stones out of the ground, hurling them at Wishmaster one by one. Kagurain followed, swinging his spear around his head and hurling several lightning bolts at Wishmaster. Kaoru used what little moisture there was in the air to form small globs of water, which he aimed at Wishmaster's eyes.
Adell dropped to his knees while the others continued to hurl a barrage of light attacks at Wishmaster, keeping him distracted. Raising his fist high into the air, Adell punched down into the dirt with all the force he could summon. The ground before him began to crumble, extending outward from his fist toward Wishmaster. Seeing the approaching collapse, Wishmaster backed away, but was caught on the edge, causing him to lose his balance and fall.
Even temporarily down, Wishmaster was still formidable and was able to continue deflecting the attacks, though now he offered none of his own. Kaoru used this lull in the assault to work his water abilities, swirling his arms around like the waves crashing on the beach. There was indeed water under the ground, a great deal of it, and soon it began to erupt through the dirt in several tall geysers which rapidly filled the basin.
Kagurain didn't need any prodding to direct a bolt of lightning at the pond with Wishmaster wallowing in it. Appearing unaffected, Wishmaster stood and shook the water from his fur.
Wishmaster: That was pointless.
Kaoru, however, was not done as he raised a long, thin stream of water just behind Wishmaster and whipped him on the back of his head. Wishmaster lurched forward and rubbed the place where Kaoru's water whip hit. Wishmaster angrily swung his arm behind him, immediately dissipating the stream of water behind him. As he stepped forward, the sky around him seemed to darken and his eyes glowed with fierce intensity.
Wishmaster: It is time to end this.
Wishmaster stepped out of the pond and adopted an aggressive stance, spreading his arms and legs wide while the others watched in horror. It was clear that he was now quite serious. At the same time, Artemis and Azrael, sword drawn, joined the group.
Adell: Azrael, you're in no condition to fight.
Azrael: If I do not defend you now, Master Adell, then when?
The ground trembled beneath everyone and nobody knew what sort of attack that Wishmaster was preparing, though it was sure to be utterly devastating.
Adell: Good point. Whatever happens, you have done your duty superbly.
Adell reached out and pulled Artemis tight to his body.
Adell: Stay close to me.
All city pictures from SimCity 4