Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 59

59 The_____
"Ho....Ho...How many are there????!!!!!!!!!"

Even the violent fervor inspired by group holy magic was useless against the endless tides of undead which pulsated unendingly from the distant trees. The burnt field below the walls, full of scattered bones, was soon filled with multiples more very much animated skeletons. Archers continued to fire, fingers burning, and several bowstrings snapped under the strain as arrows were poured down to the plains.

Twang! Twang! Twang!

Pucha! Pucha! Klang!

It was pointless however, for every arrow that hit and caused an undead to stumble or totter over, two more would push up from behind. Then four. Then eight. These kinds of overwhelming numbers were not only strategically devastating, but destructive to morale. Across the line, gazes once burning for battle dulled and were replaced by a glossy eyed look of hopelessness. Under this pressure...the faiths of Lightholme's defenders was unable to hold. This early stage of the battle was not even physical, the undead had yet to scale the walls, but mental. If their morale broke here, it would be over in a flash. The undead would ascend the walls unmolested, and when they came, the defenders would simply be crushed underfoot. Only if they could continue to hold back and delay, slow the stream of undead to the top, might the battle continue for some time longer. However, a long battle was not in their favor. The undead do not tire, they do not flinch at losses, and they do not contemplate retreat.

The human defenders on the other hand... archer's once nimble fingers become clumsy and slow, occasionally slipping slightly with each shot, not that it mattered, the amount of undead below meant virtually any shot was a hit. The paladins above were forced to slow down their chants for the use of Judgement as their minds seemed to lose track of the words caught in a thick fog of despair. As each wave of undead drew ever closer, the regular soldiers of Lightholme began to grimly mutter and make strange faces. This devastating mental domination was precisely the advantage to necromancy. With their mind's unsettled, and their hand's unsteady, the flow of the battle slowly slips away before the undead even get close.

"Kiddo, now you see right? As I said, this position is untenable, this city is in deep trouble. Avoid any major Qi usage, while the chances are slim, provided you are in top condition, even if the city falls, there is still a way out for you..." Mei grimly advised Lineir to conserve his energy.

"Master... I don't have wings, there's no way out unless... No! You can't be serious?" Lineir flinched a little as he realized what Mei was suggesting as his "escape".

"Yes disciple, that is exactly what I expect from you. To be frank, the undead below, while difficult to eliminate, are individually fairly weak, and possess minimal intelligence. If you truly had to, you could wade through their rotting ranks and possibly escape untouched with the movement skills I've taught you." Mei was cold and frank about this plan. She didn't sound particularly confident, but she absolutely considered it a viable final resort.

"But still... so many... no matter how much I've trained..." Lineir was imagining an endless walk, dead bodies hoping to drag him to hell every step. The strain on his mind would be enormous as one mistake and he would find himself alone and helpless in one of the most terrible situations he could imagine.

"Of course kiddo, it is true, while you have grown a little stronger, you are still nowhere near the stage where you can wade through armies intact, but... I expect you to try! If you have to. Who knows, with your destiny anything is possible. Keep your eyes and ears open, and feel the world move around you. Opportunity is almost always there, it is simply a matter of seizing it."

Clack! Clack! Thump! Rattle!

"They've reached the walls!" Suddenly, the raging tides of flesh smacked against the wall, and above, the defenders felt vibrations as even the thick stone was gently moved.

"Engage traps!" The head commander of the paladins in blessed silver white armor screamed out, and suddenly, defenders were pouring streams of liquid down the walls. Below, the ranks of the undead rippled as the liquid hit and dismantled the dark Qi holding their bones together.

"Smart. See that kiddo, somebody has been planning ahead. Those buckets of holy water will not only deal direct damage to the undead now, but will delay their ascent by coating the walls. Eventually however... the undead will not be climbing the walls so much as the corpses of their fallen. When that happens, these walls will simply be a dam, holding back the waters until they break and surge across this city. I'm quite curious. That presence still hasn't done anything after sending that message. What is it waiting for?" Mei analyzed the battle, imparting useful tips and pointing out key details. While Lineir lived a nomadic cultivator's life at the moment, the finer intricacies of group battle would certainly not hurt him. Suddenly a booming insidious dark voice covered the entire city.

"Lightholme! The City of Light, will meet the dark tonight! As those serving a useless master, be sure to bring your grievances to him in the Hells!" A massive turbulent whirlpool of black death Qi opened up in the plains. Below, the undead armor hoisted their weapons high and saluted their creator and only master. From this doorway of darkness, a resplendent figure clad in ebony gilded bone hung in their air, long unfurling wings seeming to drift in defiance of life. From these rich dark purple wings, strands of death Qi spiraled around endlessly, leaving trails of torrid power, as if his simply presence was in defiance of nature. This was no ordinary cultivator. This was one who had left the bounds of mortality long ago. A true cultivator, an immortal! This death angel raised a hand, and from below, countless undead which had disintegrated under the valiant efforts of the defenders reformed from ground dust and broken pieces to raise their weapons once more.

Shua! Shua! Shua! Clack Clack!

"What an amateur, letting his Qi trail behind him all day, its a wonder he managed to cultivate to Immortality. Actually, he was probably born with it, spoiled brats angels always are." Mei disdained this immortal angel, even as she warned Lineir,

"Spoiled or not, his level is not something you can fight right now, and I don't have the energy to deal with this. Leave! Quietly sneak back down to the streets, this siege will not last now that an immortal has shown. Funny, I didn't think this plane had any such figures, Heaven's ways generally do not permit true angels to descend to mortal planes... His Qi's building, get down!" Mei shouted out, and Lineir dropped to the deck, while drawing as much Qi as possible to form a barrier around himself. His hairs all stood on end as a horrifying surge of death Qi blasted from the angel's finger and burrowed into the gates of Lightholme. For a second, interlocked glyphs painted below gleamed and seemed to repel the beam of energy, but with a snort, the angel flicked a second finger and the beam pierced straight through and traveled up and down the gates.

Zzzzzzzz Boom!

At the end, a massive explosion appeared and the gates blew wide open. Defenders on the inside and undead on the outside alike were blown to pieces, so for a moment there was a brief lull, but then the undead massed and were surging in!

Mei sighed,

"Kiddo, I'm sorry but it looks like you're going to have to go with plan B... prepare to escape through the undead!"

Lineir, carefully poking his head up, stared at the surge of undead engaging in melee battle below, could only grimace.

"An immortal...what is this luck of mine, come on!" He made ready to jump below and try to make his escape when once again, the mysterious voice entered his skull mentally,

"Lightholme! Those who still stand with me are valiant indeed. Thank you. Deliverance is near!" The soldiers below straightened and fought with fanatical fervor as this holy voice thanked them.

" The walls stand tall, Lightholme will never fall!" A great chant came across, and suddenly the undead were being held back, and then slowly pushed out of the city as the forces below rallied and fought in unison.

"Impressive, with just a few words, to inspire such faith, this presence must be powerful. The way those soldiers are fighting without a care for their lives, it's as if they're the undead." Lineir was actually a little amazed by the tenacity of these ordinary men fighting below. Suddenly, holy Judgements began to fall as the paladins rallied with this momentum. Soon, the undead in the city were locked into a stalemate with the defenders just inside the gates.

"Hmph, a temporary reprieve, while the undead can't attack in numbers yet since the opening is so small, there are countless reinforcements waiting outside. This is a hopeless battle unless that presence decides to do more than utter a few words." Mei knew that no matter how emboldened the soldiers were, simple numbers would show that this battle could not be won by men alone.

"Laightner, come now, you still wish to spin lies of hope to your men? Don't they realize that they are hardly going to leave this city alive? I gave you a chance to surrender this city and spare their pathetic lives, but you insisted on ignoring me. Now they can die, join my undead, and serve under a master worthy of their respect!" The dark angel raised a fearsome blade filled with Death Qi and began to chant an unholy spell.

"Say goodbye to these walls you're so proud of mortals!"

"Off the walls kiddo, he means to destroy them all to let the undead in!" Mei shrieked a warning, but Lineir, who had been trying to leave the walls for some time, could only sigh. All around him were frantic men, and below, a mass of undead in a giant melee.

"Plan B it is" With his vision pulsing with the redness of madness, he prepared to leap off the battlements into the mass of undead below. Behind, the booming voice of the angel roared out,

"Laightner! I'm coming for you!" The sword came down, and a wave of death Qi sped towards the walls, Lineir jumped off, as behind the world seemed to end.

Ch 59 The Fall of the Wall
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