SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Ok, here is the second to last chapter of this story and probably the climax to the story. I wish this story were a movie or better yet, a GAME! Would that be cool. Too bad I am not skilled in either movie making or game making... -_-

Thanks for all the reviews; especially from those people I don't know. I didn't know anyone outside my circle of acquaintances was reading this? Well, welcome to the adventure though it is almost over.

And don't be scared to read my newest story, Dread Lady. I think that will be my next project after this one. Ok, that is all. Enjoy. ~_^

Barius stopped Nicholas by holding his hand out. Their horses softly snorted in the darkness. Nicholas turned and ordered his men to stop.

"What is it, Paladin?" He whispered harshly. Barius looked at the man annoyed, but Nicholas didn't see him in the darkness. He should have gone alone... but Nicholas had insisted on coming with him. He wished his students were with him instead of this muscular man, but they followed in the back somewhere.

"We are almost there." He whispered to Nicholas. The plan was to ambush the Adver-Ties and to release Red. Hopefully the Adver-Ties hadn't done anything to her...

Barius cringed as Nicholas's horse stepped on a branch. If they were to ambush the Adver-Ties they needed to be quiet, didn't they?

"I think it would be better if I go on alone." Barius suggested. Nicholas made a contorted face. "I will save Red and then you and the army can attack." Barius explained. "I just hope she hasn't changed into Lunaura yet." He thought aloud weighing all possibilities.

"What?" Nicholas said confused. "Lunaura?"

Barius looked at Nicholas in wonderment. Could it be that Red had not told her right hand man about her secret?

"Oh Lunaura!" Nicholas said seemingly remembering. "Her 'supposed alternate personality.' She told you about that?" He said doubtfully. Barius nodded. "Heh, I can't believe it." he continued amazed. Barius shrugged and changed the subject.

"I will go first and you will follow me after a couple of minutes..."

"I don't think so..." Nicholas interrupted.

Barius continued. "...regardless of what happens to me, you follow after counting to a hundred."

Finally after a moment of hesitation Nicholas nodded his head. He put his hand on Barius's shoulder. "Find Red. Make sure she's all right. I don't know much about this Lunaura stuff, but if anything were to happen to her, I don't know how I could live with myself. She's like family to me."

Barius nodded. "Don't worry." He assured. He looked back at Red's army one last time. Lenna rode up silently and gracefully upon Zenith, Red's horse. She had Red's long sword attached to the side and clutched her own small bow in her hands.

"Please Barius..." She pleaded. "Get Red back." He smiled and pet Zenith.

"You will see your master soon." He assured.

"Good luck, Barius." She said. "And good luck, Yue." She said looking at his new black horse given to him by Nicholas. She had been the one who had named the horse. She had named it Yue, the son of the Great Yarius, the first person to set foot upon the earth of the people of the cloud and one of his ancestors.

As the village was attacked, there was a boy who watched from the distance. He watched in envy as his father slashed through the villagers. One day he would be like his father... But he had yet to hear the voices of the gods. And that was his greatest shame...

She woke up tied to a tree. Dim candle-like lights circled her and the tree. Faint murmuring was heard and the smell of blood hung in the air. Red looked around her and realized that blood had been poured around the candles. She gasped realizing that these Adver-Ties must be demonic indeed.

A man walked out of the darkness.

"We wondered when the leader would awake." He said in a low voice. She squinted trying to make out his face. He lit a torch and she was exposed to his full face. She gasped in fear. He looked like the man who had killed her family! She was scared, but then became angry.

"YOU FILTHY DEMON!" She raged struggling against the bindings that held her to the tree. He looked amused by her anger.

"What is the leaders anger with us? We have never been pursued before." He chuckled.

"You killed my family!" She blurted trying to throw herself at him. His eyes widened at her outburst.

"The Great Dab-drey killed many. He heard the voices of our god. Our god told him to kill."

"Why?" She cried.

He shrugged. "He did not question the god. I do not hear from our god." He seemed sorrowful by this and then sighed.

"You are all crazy!" She yelled. "They were simply peasants. They could not protect themselves against your evil barbarity!"

His eyes widened.

"The leader is a peasant? Not the half-mortal of the light?" His face darkened. "So the leader pursues us in remembrance of her family. Yet that is not all. I sense a second reason."

"You cursed me..." She said in a low voice. "You should know of this second reason!" He stood there studying her for a moment. "You cursed me!" She repeated. "With Lunaura! A crazy woman who takes over my body at night!"

He laughed at her words. "We did not bestow this second upon you."

"Yes you did. Ever since you destroyed my village, she has been there."

"The being of which you speak of was always there." He answered seriously. "She is you."

"No!" She shook her head. "You did this to me! You cursed me!"

"No. We were curious about the leader. But now we know all we need. She is angered by the great Dab-drey, who sacrificed her clan. She thinks that we bestowed a curse of another mortal to live in her. She comes to us to relieve her of this other and to end our lives. Very interesting." He remarked.

He looked at her amused. "My father knew not the power of curses. He knew death talk and death-killing. But it was his sister who knew great curses." He explained. "We did not curse you. My father would have stopped your breath if he knew you had still breathed. His god told him to kill everyone in the village."

She again tried to lunge at him angrily. He grabbed her chin roughly. "You determination would be good for our tribe. Ta-vek has seen your darkness. Someday you could strike fear. Join us." He said squeezing her chin. "You will learn powers beyond your imagination. You can even speak with your dead clans people. You can learn our warrior ways. Already you have killed some of our prodigy. Join us and help us build up a new and mighty Adver-Ties tribe."

"Never!" She spat. "I hate you! Why would I want to join you?"

"Hate can be used as power. We have learned that."

"I will not join you!" She said turning away harshly. "I would rather see you rot and bathe in your own blood!"

He laughed and hit her across the cheek. "Already you have an Adver-Ties woman's words."

Tears fell down her bruised cheek. "I could never be like you!" She screamed and struggled again.

"Yes." He finally agreed. "It may be difficult to control you. But perhaps your children will learn."

She looked up in fear as he began to reach for the ties of her shirt.

"No!" She whimpered.

Just then a bright light burst behind him and he fell a top her unconscious. She screamed and struggled as his body lay limply against her.

Barius stood in the distance. He walked over and carefully removed the body and cut the rope.

"Are you ok, Red?" He asked. She got up stunned. "Come on." He said before she could say anything. A battle raged in the distance.

"Master Red!" A voice called in the distance. Lenna was upon Zenith with her bow and arrow raised. She rode over to her and reached down to help Red upon the horse.

Two Adver-Ties men rode up behind them on something that looked similar to a stag as it had small antlers on its head. They both rose their crooked swords over their heads and yelled something in their barbaric language.

Barius grabbed her sword and handed it to her and got onto his own horse, Yue. "Where did you get the horse?" Red asked.

"Nicholas gave it to me." He answered and galloped after the two Adver-Ties warriors.

"Red?" Lenna asked. "Did they remove the curse?" Red shook her head though Lenna couldn't see it.

"No..." She answered but didn't have time to say anything as she turned Zenith toward the battle.

She killed without thinking. She saw herself as if she were detached from her own body. She swung her sword mightily dealing the deathly blow to many of the unprepared Adver-Ties. Lenna shot at them behind her and they circled in and out avoiding deathly blows on top of the horse.

Barius in the meantime was fighting along side Nicholas and some of Red's other men. He couldn't shoot at them at such a close range because he didn't want to hurt any of Red's men. The Adver-Ties performed deathly curses, causing men to fall over coughing up blood. But still the battle raged on. Her heard the battle cries of Flovia and smiled as an explosion followed the fast swinging of her blades at the enemy's throat.

Jacquel fought bravely as he darted in and out of the Adver-Ties. His small stature made it hard for the Adver-Ties to fight him as he wove in and out of the way of the swords as Nicholas had taught him.

Andarius was currently having trouble wielding off two strong men. One of Red's men fell dead to his side, blood dripping from his mouth. Then another man joined the two Adver-Ties men who were fighting Andarius. It was Bak-neh. His back was burned from Barius's blast, but still he held a sword and walked as if it didn't matter or hurt.

He smiled evilly as he approached Andarius. One of Red's men ran toward him, but he mumbled a curse and blasted the man with a black cloud that erupted from his fingers. The man fell over dead. The two men Andarius was fighting backed away as Bak-neh approached the boy.

Andarius got ready to fight his new foe. Bak-neh's crooked sword quickly raised over his head, but was blocked just as quickly by Andarius. Bak-neh swiped at his middle, but that too was blocked.

"You are the servant of the Half-mortal of the Light?" Bak-neh said in a low voice blocking Andarius's blow.

"If you mean Barius... yes." Andarius answered trying to hit Bak-neh in the thigh. Bak-neh blocked the blow almost half-heartedly.

"And therefore you are also ally to the peasant leader?"

Andarius saw Red upon her horse in the distance. He blocked a blow to the head and did not answer. Andarius threw a blast at the man. Bak-neh deflected it with his sword and sent it flying into the sky.

"Do you really think you could defeat me?" He laughed and muttered a curse. Gas sprouted out around them. Andarius coughed and his eyes watered. Still, he was able to fend off the Adver-Ties leader's blows. But his strength was ebbing...

Meanwhile, the Adver-Ties army was getting smaller and smaller. Red noticed this as not as many men attacked her on her horse. Barius rode by her on his own horse and smiled. She weakly smiled back as she hacked at another Adver-Ties man.

Flovia blasted another Adver-ties man with her fire as she joined another of Red's men in a battle against two big Adver-Ties men. Andarius now lay on the ground fighting Bak-neh but he seemed to be having trouble. He desperately backed away still on his back while blocking the man's blows. Flovia was just about to go help him when the Adver-Ties man stabbed him in the chest.

"NO!" She screamed and quickly slit the two men's throats in front of her and ran towards the man who had stabbed her best friend. She angrily discharged flame at the man who quickly recited some sort of spell so that the flame did not hurt him.

Her blades moved quickly in and out trying to cut his neck or artery, but he quickly blocked them and moved out of the way.

"Another servant of the Half-mortal of the Light." He said smiling evilly. "I shall kill you too." He laughed. Gas began to surround her.

"No!" She cried as she continued to try and cut him with her fast moving blades.

Red had seen it all. One moment Andarius was fighting and the next he was down. She didn't know if he was dead or not, but he was not moving as he lay at Flovia's feet. The situation didn't look good as sweat began to form at Flovia's brow. She was tiring out quickly as she swung her blades around at Bak-neh's face.

Red galloped over to the scene as Flovia bravely fought the leader. She jumped off her horse and charged at him. He kicked Flovia away and faced his new foe.

"So the leader comes to kill me." He laughed. Gas rushed into her face. She coughed, but still she swung her sword at him. Flovia watched in admiration as Red fought off the Adver-Ties leader.

As Bak-neh and Red fought, Lenna was trying to care for Andarius. She had dragged him away and tried to tend his wound. She didn't believe that he was really dead.

"When I kill you, everything will be finished!" Red vowed darkly. "I will avenge my village and rid myself of the pest Lunaura."

He lashed back with his sword and laughed. "Are you sure that's what the future holds?" He asked. He strongly swung his crooked blade at her. She fell backwards from the force. "And we did not give you this extra being." He said getting ready to deliver the killing blow. She blocked it from the ground and scrambled to get up. He strongly lashed down at her and her sword was whipped out of her hands. He raised the sword to her throat.

"Now what does the future hold?" He said.

"No..." Both Flovia and Lenna whispered.

But Barius was suddenly there and knocked the crooked sword, sending it flying. A sickening thunk was heard as it imbedded itself in the side of a tree. Barius focused on the Adver-Ties leader and let out a large blast of light toward him. Bak-neh counteracted with his own blast of black cloud. Everyone watched as the two blasts crashed into each other and disappeared as if they never existed.

"The Half-mortal of the Light surprises me." Bak-neh laughed focusing on another spell. "I would have thought he would have been stronger."

And he released another cloud, this time a green one. Everyone began to cough as they breathed in the deathly cloud. Barius held his breath and quickly defended himself as Bak-neh lunged at him with another crooked sword.

Everyone gathered around to watch them fight as Bak-neh seemed to be the only Adver-Ties left. All the others had either fled or died. Red's men were drawn to the sound of fighting.

They both seemed to fight equally well by blocking the others blows. But they both were tiring. They stopped and stood apart staring at the other trying to catch their breath.

"I will kill you half-mortal of the Light." Bak-neh growled.

"I don't think so." Barius answered. And they both ran at each other with their swords raised high. They moved so quickly, it was hard to see what had happened. But they now stood at opposite ends with their back turned toward the other.

Bak-neh mumbled something. "Save me Ad-ver. I have been slain by the Half-mortal of the Light." She heard him say. But his words fell on his god's deaf ears and with that he fell to the ground never to move again. Red rushed toward Barius.

"You did it!" She said happily. "You killed the leader of the Adver-Ties." She threw her arms around him but he grimaced in pain. She backed up to see his robe was torn at his chest. Obviously, Bak-neh had wounded him.

"Barius?" She said worriedly, looking at the tear in his clothing. He smiled weakly when he saw what she was looking at. He pulled back his robe to reveal armor underneath.

"Just a bruise. It will heal." He mentioned. But they didn't have time to talk as Flovia let out a wail. They ran toward her.

Currently, she was leaning over Andarius. He lay unmoving in her arms. "Wake up Andie!" She wailed sobbing and rocking back and forth with his head on her chest. Lenna stood a little ways off with tears in her eyes. She had tried to tend his wound, but the sword had gone through his armor and awfully close to his heart.

Barius felt his student for a pulse. There was none. Andarius wasn't breathing. They all watched as Flovia held him rocking back and forth sorrowfully.

Andarius was dead.

AW! SO SAD! *SOB!* Only one more chapter left? What will happen? _