Chapter 9

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A bolt of lightning exploded from the staff. Dazed and unsteady, Uriel's aim was off. Instead of the Slayer, the mount was struck, which in reality was nearly as effective. Ahrokh, preoccupied with taking Ghemella, reacted too late to deflect Uriel's blow. He was unseated heavily, the mount sprawled back a distance as well.

Amidst the ensuing confusion the Council appeared, though Wyxotte and Dhynelle were not among them. With their help Khyrhyelle, Ghemella and Uriel were ushered into the protective barrier before SoulSlayer and mount could recover adequately. The group stood within the confines of the barrier, taking stock. Khyrhyelle and Uriel were both fine, if a little shaken. Ghemella, her eyes distant and unfocussed, was in shock but would recuperate.

Outside the barrier, Ahrokh was once again atop his skeletal stallion, flaming eyes burning with hate. The High Witch walked up to the edge of the barrier and stared at the Slayer with granite eyes. "You have erred," she said quietly though all heard her.

A thousand voices of laughter erupted from Ahrokh. "Erred? This has only been a greeting. The appointed time has not yet arrived, Oh most holy slut. I only wish they would allow me the opportunity to taste the sweetness of your body before I ravaged you." Khyrhyelle shook from a combination of fear, disgust and anger. "But alas, that is not meant to be. Your fate has been entrusted to another."

"We will see," said Khyrhyelle.

"No, unfortunately you will not. Time will not allow you to see our victory." The laughter came again and the stallion reared. Ahrokh pointed to Uriel and called, "Until we meet again." The SoulSlayer then turned and galloped away.

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