It's finally complete! After several rewrites, I've finally completed this little... Ok, not really little, somewhat large accompanying piece to my main story, Flameheart. At least that's the plan, because I become quite lazy to update my new works after awhile as you can see with Vanguard. Well, hopefully this won't be the case for this story because I might have a little more motivation to think up plotlines for the main two characters of this story since they'll be making contact with the crew from Flameheart very soon.
This also is a little experiment for me as I've realized I have never tried my hand at writing from a first person's perspective before. I did try limiting the views in Flameheart to Maia's alone but I never wrote from within the character's eyes, if you understand what I'm saying. Also, this might well turn out to be a romance; which is a completely new genre for me as a writer, but I may as well get into practice now because... Never mind.
So then anyway, I do hope you enjoy this latest offering of mine, new readers and faithful (I won't call you old heh) readers alike, and if you would please, drop me a review! Also for your information, this story will be told from two perspectives: Atelier Rosenberg, a Crusader of Corinthos and Yiazmat von Kampf, a Daim Myrmidon and lieutenant of a certain Elias von Bismarck in Flameheart. They will probably alternate between chapters so yes, keep an eye out for the chapter's title if you're confused!
Thanks again and this is me, anti-climax signing out.
I never thought I would have had the opportunity to return to this place, not since its annexing some twenty years ago at the hands of our hereditary enemies, the Daim.
We call them the albino people because of their exceedingly fair skin, honed by decades of dwelling in the northern wastelands men call the Myriad continent and we have been foes with them since time immemorial. They refuse to acknowledge our God the Halar and cast their covetous eyes upon our prosperous lands, ever seeking to expand their so-called Imperium and spread their heretical religion, worshipping their own brilliance and supposed superiority…
I loathe them. My blood still runs cold when I wake up in the middle of the night, shuddering in fear as I recollect the memories of my formative years. The harrowing year I spent in my hometown under siege by the Daim oppressors, watching on helplessly as many of my acquaintances, my friends, my family perished one by one because of starvation, Daim bullets or most frighteningly, hopelessness.
I remember being so happy when the sky stopped raining dust and fire, though I had wondered then why my father had seemed so dispirited. I remember I had accompanied him to the courtyard, where many of the survivors had gathered, listlessly watching on as the outsiders; those who had been oppressing us first made their entrance.
My first encounter with the Daim occurred when I was twelve, and I thank the Halar that it would not be my last.
I watched the horizon as the sun rose from the east, painting the landscape a beautiful crimson. A blazing sun was an ominous portend of things to come, if there was any but I would prefer to think of it as an omen given to us by the almighty Halar perhaps—a sign of glorious deeds and victory.
The horn blew in the distance, signifying the beginning of the day and I made my way back to my tent, knowing that the call for battle would soon be unleashed and I would be needed at the frontlines to spur on my men, proud Corinthos all.
This would be the day that we wrest back the lands that were rightfully ours, the day where I myself would free my homeland from the tyranny of the Daim. That thought alone burned in my mind, spurring me on as I pulled aside the drapes of my tent and stepped into the familiar darkened interior that had housed me for the past week throughout the campaign.
My armor, bloodstained and notched hung loosely on a mannequin and I equipped the heavy plate pieces quickly over the thick woolen tunic and hose I had already donned for my early morning walk. The weight of it all however was strangely comforting, probably due to the fact that it had saved my life countless times in this brutal campaign and I smiled to myself as I finally looked upon the final piece to my armor, the masked plate helm that would conceal my features to all.
The faceless aspect of justice, I thought it to be, the perfect visage to present to the uncouth Daim. I hoped it would terrify them.
I turned to observe myself in the full-length mirror placed unobtrusively at the corner of my small space and smiled ruefully as my reflection stared back at me. My comrades often mocked me for bringing this accessory around with me, but I suppose as a young woman my vanity just could not do without being able to look myself up on occasion.
All five feet seven of me smirked in the mirror before creasing into a frown as I heaved a plaintive sigh. A sense of pride infuses me as I run my hand over the emblem inscribed upon my hauberk directly above my heart—the Cross of the Knights Templar. I said it aloud softly, for my ears only, that I am Atelier Rosenberg, daughter of the Halar and Knight Crusader of Corinthos.
I had worked so long to attain this title, to be reckoned amongst the most elite of the Halar's holy warriors and I now return to the land I once called my home as one of the glorious Crusaders, no longer the helpless child I had been in those times anymore.
A cheer rose up as I strode through the camp, having received the summons from the ranking Crusader only minutes earlier. I could not help but smile at the enthusiasm; it appeared as if the entire army was spoiling for the battle ahead and in truth, they had every right to be. Many had been displaced from their homes in the northeastern reaches of Corinthos as I was when the Daim made their continuous thrusts southwards, and as I am now, were overjoyed with the prospect of reclaiming their heritage that the damned Daim had so callously usurped.
My zealots thumped their mail-clad chests as I passed, calling out words of encouragement and I saluted them in return. Janissaries filed up in neat platoons and I watched on approvingly as a humble priest came by to sanctify them; their firepower would be important for the battle ahead and it would be best to ensure that their minds were clear of any doubts and fears.
One of the clergymen abruptly barred my path and made motions to pray for me but I did not mind. I placed my helm on the grassy knoll and clasped my hands together before inclining my head slightly as the elderly parish murmured the briefest of prayers for me.
"Father, consecrate thy daughter's soul and bless her sword and shield as she raises it in thy name. Thy favor be with her this morn and commend her eternal soul into thy keeping, amen."
"Itta amen," I said gratefully before bowing once to the priest, "Thank you, Father."
He bowed in return before shuffling off to bless other members of the flock and I collected my helm before striding towards Maynard's tent, which was deceptively nondescript. He claimed that it served two purposes; firstly to project an appropriate image of humility to his men that would in turn foster a closer kinship between us Crusaders and our men, and the second far more practical reason: to avoid scrutiny by the Daim sniper assassins who were well adept at picking off targets from great distances.
Most of my Templar brethren were already present when I walked into Maynard's tent. They threw me cursory nods and I merely nodded back in return, feeling the same lack of need for words in the moment. The six of us, Ivan Hussar, Markus Rosier, Adrienne Hess, Evangeline Liebovich, Richard Maynard and me myself stood rigid in the silence, awaiting the last of our comrades and to pass the time I observed Maynard's battle plans immortalized in writing upon fragile parchment.
The internal workings of San Basamento was well documented; our reconnaissance having performed their task well, and from what I could see the Daim had not made many changes to the town I once called home. A flurry of activity at the tent flap drew my attention and I turned to see the last Crusader, Rudolf Ivanov marched in grimly with his massive Damascus broadsword strapped to his back.
Seven Crusaders now regarded one another and Maynard placed his gauntlet-clad right arm over his heart in a form of salute and we reciprocated the gesture. The ranking Crusader looked into each of our eyes before beginning curtly, "Halar bless us all, today we march into war."
"Amen," we replied automatically in unison, each of us exceedingly familiar with the mannerisms of our reserved and esteemed commander. Maynard was a simple man by nature, his features deceivingly mild for a man of his profession but if provoked all of us knew that he was more than capable of striking down the Daim without a moment's hesitation.
He was also not one well equipped with euphemisms and flowery language, and after a short briefing came to the reason why he had summoned us so early in the morn, "Yiazmat's flagship, the Caspian was detected twenty leagues north of San Basamento yesterday morning."
Hussar let out a long hiss as Ivanov scowled fiercely while I and a few of the others frowned at that disconcerting news. I had heard of the towering reputation of the Baron Yiazmat von Kampf before, favored lieutenant of the shadowy Hierarch Elias von Bismarck and current ranking commander of the Doombringers Myrmidon chapter.
The Daim Myrmidons were much like us Crusaders, representing the pinnacle of our respective military might but even amongst the Myrmidons the Doombringers were especially infamous. One of their companies once held back the advance of the armies under the command of the great Paladin-General Eisenhower upon the ridges of the Gibraltar for a week before being forced to retreat and Tiamat himself was renowned for being a blademaster though his preference was more for the strange plasma katars of the Daim than our conventional swords.
In any case, twenty leagues was scarcely an insurmountable distance for an Imperium airship to reinforce the garrison at San Basamento in time and the implications of Maynard's words were clear. It was entirely possible that we could be facing Tiamat's Doombringers in the streets of San Basamento today in addition to the crude militia and forcibly drafted conscripts the Daim found so easily disposable, and that one fact could make or break the battle proceedings for us Corinthos today.
"What of the rest of the Imperial Armada?" Hess asked softly.
"Our Crucibles are currently in engagement with the 4th and 8th Imperial Fleets over the Gibraltar region," Maynard answered, "Intelligence maintains on record that the remaining elements of the Grand Western Armada returned to Dai'vyaz but Yiazmat's presence in the vicinity hints that the 3rd Imperial Fleet is currently deployed within range of San Basamento."
"We cannot hope to capture San Basamento with that much force deployed against us," Rosier said quietly.
"Have faith, Brother Rosier," Liebovich said calmly as she regarded the soft-spoken Rosier, "If done unto the Halar, all things are possible."
"Perhaps," Rosier said with a ghost of a smile, reflecting the disquiet we all felt before turning to Maynard, "You were always the pragmatic, Brother Maynard, surely you have requested for reinforcements from the Paladin-General?"
"He can spare us the Invincible and the Scourge should the 3rd Imperial Fleet come at us," Maynard replied without expression, "But we must make do with what we have for the initial thrust into San Basamento. The rest of the Knights Templar and our fellow Crusaders are required on the main Front itself, to preserve the significant inroads Eisenhower has been making in Rommel's lines."
"Only because Rommel was recalled by his father," Hussar pointed out. We had all been startled when we had first heard of that piece of information—the Master of the Imperium summoning his two top performing generals in the West back to the capital of Dai'vyaz; the first being his son Aldor Rommel and the second his close friend Elias von Bismarck. Even more startlingly, rumor had it that Elias had in fact been assigned a mission in the darkened forests of the Yser in the north, a bizarre decision if there ever was one in the grand scheme of things.
Our own Paladin-General, the Duke Lazarus Eisenhower had been quick to exploit this information, launching a great offensive across the entire Western Front while our Daim enemies regrouped from the unexpected shift in Daim military might, triggering off a stunning chain of events that had me finally return to a land I once thought long lost at the hands of our enemies.
The Halar does work in mysterious ways, at times.
"The internal matters of the Daim are not our concern, Brother Hussar," Maynard said calmly, "Markias Rommel is no fool and must have reasons of his own to summon his son home, but so long as the younger Rommel is absent you can be sure that the Paladin-General will not let this advantage pass him by."
Adrienne Hess sighed before murmuring, "We are getting distracted here, Brothers, Sisters. The cool morn slips away and our men grow restless should we spend too long in conference."
"Noted," Maynard replied before continuing, "The presence of Tiamat in the region is significant and my orders are for us to claim San Basamento with minimal casualties. Should we subsequently discover that we have engaged with Tiamat's Doombringers, retreat if necessary and preserve the majority of our force's strength available to us."
I noted that I was not the only one frowning at Maynard's order. Retreating to the Daim scum is a distasteful notion, one that definitely did not appeal to me though I had to grudgingly admit that the force available to us was indeed scarce. Seven Crusaders with zealot and Janissary support would have been more than sufficient for a confrontation with the normal rabble employed by the Daim in defense of their stolen towns but to face off with an entire Myrmidon chapter? Even assaulting a single company sheltered behind their battlements would be suicidal.
Hollowly I echoed the words being uttered by my fellow Crusaders, "Understood." We saluted one last time before each departed for their own paths, seeking out the contingent of brave Corinthos we would be leading into glorious battle.
As I strode towards my expectant men, I could not help but sneak a glance at the blue morning sky, slightly tainted by that crimson sun and mutter to my invisible God, "Thy will be done."
Trebuchets hurled man-sized boulders into the weakening walls of the town. Our massive siege engines were doing their job well; large cracks could already be seen forming in the hardy granite that formed the outer walls of San Basamento, testament to the two day bombardment we had already subjected their walls to in addition to today's hail. Howitzers would probably have been more efficient but they were a scarce commodity in the stretched formation we Corinthos currently found ourselves in.
That was the one weakness of the Paladin-General's offensive: a concentrated Daim counterattack would easily overwhelm our scattered forces and subsequently flank the main thrust of our attack along the Gibraltar plains. This was the primary reason why we had to take San Basamento immediately. Secure and fortify the town and we would have a buffer for our fragile flanks and protect our brethren to the north.
Eisenhower was gambling that without Bismarck or Rommel to guide them, the Daim would simply match his movements and by extension concentrate their efforts on the Gibraltar when their greatest success of defeating our attack would lie with the southern and northern ridges surrounding the Gibraltar. I never thought I would have said this of such an esteemed member of the Church, but Eisenhower definitely enjoyed taking risky gambles.
I sat on my charger directly before my forces, all of us standing just outside Daim range. My men buzzed with anticipation, they were absolutely longing to be able to meet the enemy, already sickened by the deceptive lull that accompanied the stillness before battle.
In the distance, a horn blew and our engineers struggled to coax strong packhorses to trundle powerful mangonels forward. Knowing this stage of the attack, I signaled to my esquire who nodded knowingly before lifting the decorative red banner. On cue, hundreds of longbowmen strode a pace beyond the main body of the army and strained to notch in their arrows into their good bows before arching their weapons upwards in preparation to unleash that deadly payload upon the enemy.
Siege engineers set fire to the ammunition of the mangonels and soon the cry came up. "Loose!"
The simultaneous release of hundreds of arrows and burning pitch was nigh deafening. The second volley was then hurriedly undertaken before my esquire raised the blue flag and a great roar emanated from the assembled Corinthos as the drums of war were sounded.
Zealots began to march forward, raising their shields before them in anticipation of Daim bullets even as they whipped out their swords with a steely hiss. Before them, mighty battering rams trundled onwards towards the crumbling walls, the bravest of us Corinthos pushing those siege machines on towards their destination where they would open a route for our warriors.
I remained where I was; the time had not yet come for us Crusaders to lead from the forefront. It would be folly to commit the full strength of both armies so soon and the Halar and the Church required us to inspire our people when their spirits flagged. To lose even one Crusader to an errant bullet would be disastrous for the morale of the entire army, especially when we were so few.
Our longbowmen let loose another volley, this time with fire arrows designed to sow chaos and anarchy amongst the enemy. They would mount a counterattack for sure; conscripts, Myrmidons or Imperium, the Daim were fierce and hardy folk by nature and would not sit by lightly while we Corinthos attacked and our longbowmen were designated to keep them occupied for as long as possible till our zealots and Janissaries could breach the wall.
Then, amongst the chaos came a roaring thunder. The Daim curs had finally decided to fight back.
Their bullets bounced off our armored rams ineffectually but the frontlines of our zealots were slowly cut down one at a time. My esquire signaled for another volley and the Daim guns temporarily fell silent as our arrows cleared them off their walls, buying our men some precious time.
Fiery boulders flew aloft before crashing down upon the buttresses the Daim had designed for their walls, weakening their supports and our battering rams finally came beneath those tall walls the Daim had rebuilt following the first siege of San Basamento, when they had then been the besiegers and we the besieged.
Agonizing minutes passed as the Daim opened fire upon our ranks and our Janissaries retaliated before breakthrough was made. Finally a segment of the barrier that had impeded our progress collapsed inwards and we Corinthos issued the loudest triumphant cry I had ever heard in my short life, blotting out the terrible crash made by the falling wall.
My zealots issued their ferocious battle cry as they broke loose of their disciplined ranks and surged into the gap, many already discarding the shields that had protected them against Daim gunfire in favor of a second blade or mace. To the east, another wall was torn down and more of our men rushed inside the town of San Basamento to clash with the Daim defenders within.
I still waited, wondering when the call would come. When Maynard would announce publicly with his horn that the Crusaders would once now walk the streets of San Basamento…
A trebuchet projectile flew overhead with a piercing whine and finally I heard Maynard's horn, much deeper and brassier than the trumpets before. I drew my sword with a steely ring and brandished it aloft as my champions, held in reserve alongside me issued their own battle cry and urged their mounts forward as did I my faithful charger.
Another segment of the wall collapsed outwards and I spurred the great warhorse on which I rode past the powerful rams and atop the debris and directly into the heart of battle. Peasant conscripts stared dumbly at me before I rode them down or decapitated them with single blows.
One uncouth fellow hurled himself upon me and I smashed him aside with my shield and urged my charger to trample him. Beside me, one of my zealots hacked down an Imperium sergeant viciously before crumpling into a heap as a stray bullet tore through his temple and in rage at his loss I cut down a militiaman who had jabbed at me with a pitchfork.
I turned around and witnessed one of my champions ride before me only for his head to disappear in a pink mist. I roared angrily, furious at the loss of one good man and called upon my mana reserves to smite the person responsible, a Daim sniper, with holy fire. He screamed as the fire consumed him and seared his filthy spirit before collapsing in a dead heap.
A strong hand clasped my heel and attempted to heave me off my mount and I turned to hew the impertinent bastard, splitting his head into two with my first blow. I then glimpsed a Janissary missing her right arm scrabble weakly for his hand cannon with two of the militia in close pursuit and instinctively I hurled my shield at them, catching the first and nearest in the throat and killing him instantly.
The second kicked the Janissary's weapon away before preparing to impale her but a zealot caught his sword arm before decapitating the militiaman with a smooth overhanging blow. A second zealot dragged the weeping Janissary out of harm's way while a third handed me my shield wordlessly as I strolled up. We exchanged slight nods and I fastened my shield upon my left forearm comfortably before charging into the raging battle once again.
Four of my mounted champions sweep away all in their path but to my surprise, three are abruptly decapitated in midair while the fourth falls beneath a hail of bullets. I spot haggard-looking conscripts jerking at something in the corner and smite them before charging in and hacking dead the remaining survivors. The last one tugs at something desperately and belatedly I glimpse a silver thread hanging midair and just about manage to bring my blade up to slice it into half before the wire in turn decapitated me.
It had been a trap, I swore angrily before urging my mount to trample the survivor into the dust. His pitiful cries for mercy was soon extinguished and I wheeled about to push several accosting Imperium soldiers back. I impaled the first between the eyes before searing the centurion with holy fire, but the others were soon upon me and reached out desperately in attempts to hurl me off my charger.
I gnashed my teeth at them, lashing out at them with my shield and sword before spurring my charger to burst through the men, leaving them in the dust in my wake. I threw them a look over my shoulder, watching on as my zealots caught up with them only to find myself aloft in the air abruptly and tumbling over my stricken mount.
My landing is bumpy and I find myself staring into the rabid face of an Imperium soldier who lunges at me with a bloodied javelin. I just about managed to catch the edge of the polearm, ignoring the pain as its blade cut through my gauntlet and thrust it instead into a crushed wagon nearby, embedding the tip into the wood firmly before scrambling to my feet.
Instinctively, I reach out and grab the struggling soldier in a headlock before snapping his neck with a single twist. My colleagues had always expressed their disbelief when I informed them that I was capable of such a feat, claiming that I was always a little wisp of a woman; but the training I had suffered to just qualify as an initiate for the Crusaders had definitely empowered me for such unsavory tasks should the need arise for me to do so.
Claiming my weapons which I had lost during my fall, I regard my fallen mount gravely for a second. A pitchfork lies in its flank and its breaths are heavy even as it regards me patiently with those dear brown eyes. I smile sadly before doing what I must, what I can for a faithful companion.
A stray rocket abruptly blasts past me and into a nearby structure with a thunderous explosion that showers us all with debris. I swear involuntarily as I turn to see the grenadier falling with a scream as a champion skewered him with a polearm. My champion removes his spear from the corpse and looks around for a moment, and then I see a sight which turns my blood cold.
A man practically flew into the air before falling upon my unsuspecting champion, instantly killing him by crashing into him while burying two gleaming plasma katars into his torso. My eyes widened as I identified the newcomer immediately; all clad in streamlined black armor, he was undoubtedly a Myrmidon.
He rose to his feet proudly, as if the battle raging all around us was inconsequential before catching a glimpse of me. For a moment, we both hesitated but I began my charge and he launched himself into the air once more, equipped with a damned jetpack no doubt.
I threw myself clear as he fell upon me and before he could react, I had hurled my shield at him. The hard metal collided with his face and he staggered backwards in a daze, only to shriek and thrash about desperately before falling still as I smote him.
A bullet crashed into my shoulder, piercing my mantle and jerking me around. I bit my lips to avoid from screaming in pain, quickly rolled over to my shield and collected it deftly before assuming a defensive posture, my eyes already discovering my onrushing assailant. A second Myrmidon dashed forward, his wrist-mounted blades held low but I surprised him by hurling my shield at his feet.
He leapt over my shield nimbly but I dashed forward instantly with my blade held before me and watched in satisfaction as he unexpectedly impaled himself upon my sword. Spitting blood, the Myrmidon tried to lash out at me but I jerked out my blade before taking his head with an aching slash.
The headless body collapsed to the ground, quivering despite the fact that there was no more life in the corpse and I noted grimly that the markings that clearly identified the Doombringers chapter had been etched upon the back of their necks. My shoulder still burned and sickened by the pain, I ripped out the bullet with a vicious cry before channeling my mana to heal the ache temporarily at least.
I staggered forward, my motor functions still dazed by the powerful bullet that had penetrated my flesh, before leaning to pick up my shield. One of my still mounted champions galloped up and said gravely, "Milady, are you still able to fight?"
My answer was a brief nod, the sting was dissipating from the wound and my concern now was for my men. If Myrmidons were here in a sizable force, augmenting the miserable Daim rabble that already outnumbered us, there was no way we could win. So far I had encountered two and conquered both, but the next battle could easily swing in the Daim's favor.
The very next moment, the champion cried in alarm and whipped forth his sword, only for Daim bullets to riddle both him and his mount. I threw myself behind cover, wincing as my shoulder crashed against the uncomfortable pavement whilst zealots advancing behind me fell under the rain of bullets, the survivors rushing for cover howling the dreaded words, "Myrmidons!"
I chanced a look over the piece of rubble that shielded me and to my horror glimpsed a whole platoon of the damned Myrmidons gliding over the battlefield like ghosts. Behind them, one of their massive eight-foot humanoid walkers lurked ominously before sending a wave of rockets into the awnings atop my men, burying several beneath rubble and dust.
Their screams enraged me, but I knew that now we had no chance of victory. It was clear that Yiazmat had come, and his numbers outnumbered our own. In spite of all the distaste I now felt at this seeming defeat, I hollered at the men around me, "Fall back!"
Some ignored me, charging forward only to meet their demise on the katars of the Myrmidons. "Fall back!" I screamed again, waving at the survivors. I would say proudly that many did not wish it, as I too felt inside but for their sakes I now encouraged their retreat. Lives would be lost unnecessarily should we persist in fighting this now hopeless battle.
Grudgingly, they pulled away but to my frustration the war-torn streets of San Basamento provided little cover for such retreats and despite my efforts my compatriots were gunned down as they fell back. Anger washed over me as a brave Janissary, covering his comrades' retreat fell pierced with a Daim bullet between his eyes and I knew what then I could do.
A Crusader would definitely be their optimum target, no?
I lurked behind my cover till a Myrmidon glided past, unmindful of the danger there was. His mistake soon cost him his life as I emerged from my hiding place to slash his torso into two halves. A nearby Myrmidon leveled his carbine at me but I was quicker, having had the advantage of surprise moments earlier and he soon fell screaming as holy fire purged his heretical soul.
I dared not hurl my shield from me any longer, it being the one thing that would keep me alive now as the Myrmidons turned their attention on me. One of them took a powerful leap into the air, propelled by his jetpack while a second charged me from the ground; clearly intending to catch me in a pincer move. I could not help but scoff, what amateur did they take me for?
Without warning, I hurled myself at the onrushing Myrmidon's feet and he gaped for only a second before finding himself falling forward and directly into his comrade's flight. I ignored the subsequent scream and immediately charged forward, attempting to distract the Daim from my brethren for only a while longer.
It was the whine that warned me and I leapt aside at the last moment and watched on in a daze as two rockets sped past me before exploding with a thunderous crash against a nearby building. I had evaded a direct hit, but the temporary lapse of concentration cost me dearly as the bone in my left forearm shattered, pierced by a Daim bullet and I could not help but scream as my nerves exploded with pain.
Worse yet, I could no longer bear my shield and instinctively I knew that I would not survive this encounter. Fury engulfed me and I lashed out with my mana at the indistinguishable shapes around me even as I struggled to my feet.
This was bad. My vision was blurring. My body called out for relief or oblivion, whichever came first.
I gritted my teeth and howled my defiance. A Myrmidon tried to flank me but I having spotted him out of the corner of my eye, twisted about and let his charge take him past me before thrusting my blade through his shoulderblades without mercy.
The form of the massive walker loomed before me and I glimpsed the spinning barrels of its gatling cannons for the briefest of seconds before dashing to the right, narrowly avoiding the first round of bullets which tore through the pavement impotently.
The walker turned to aim at me, still spraying its bullets wildly and killing not a few of his own in his desperation to kill me. One of the Doombringers came to bar my path but I shoulder charged him before slicing his throat with a single upwards thrust, ignoring his grasping hands as he collapsed with an ugly gurgle choking on his own blood.
My thigh almost exploded with pain and I stumbled forward, only for another bullet to slam into my right shoulderblade. I twisted around in agony, willing one last bullet to at least end my consciousness as I knew it and allow the pain to stop but none was forthcoming.
The walker's cannons jammed abruptly and hearing this, I realized that the mechanical monstrosity was temporarily helpless and swung myself around to meet it.
For the briefest of moments, I felt amazingly light. My wounds no longer gnawed at me, and adrenaline surged through my entirety. So this was to be my final blow, before I perished as a martyr in service of the glorious Church?
I leapt into the air towards the gargantuan walker, pulling my right hand back and summoning all the mana reserves I had left remaining to me before smashing my blade into the tinted cockpit, screaming with all my might as I made the final thrust, right before darkness overtook me.
I know the ending is quite similar to Flameheart's. I like my women slipping into unconsciousness apparently, perhaps I'm feeding my secret inner desire to one day rescue a damsel-in-distress or something. Heh.