Table of Contents
Wow. Now it's over.
It was night, and the valley was strewn with corpses. In and amongst the decayed bodies of soldiers were the occasional bear corpse, where a huraka had failed to escape in time and been destroyed once and for all. The battle was all but over; the Wind Masterâ€™s army had pursued the fleeing zombies and ghosts, led by their Lunar companion.
One of these corpses shuddered, and was pushed aside. Cracking his neck, Twice-Forged Steel rose from the wreckage and looked over the valley. â€œWell, that went badly.â€ Checking his cloak, he looked around, pulling Restraint from the neck of the huraka. â€œThanks for covering for me.â€ He chuckled at his own joke, but his grim mood returned as he surveyed the destruction.
Not far away, he saw the top half of the Penitent And Terror, and sighed, ambling over to them. â€œIt was nice knowing you, pal. Never did find out if you were a guy or a girl. Oblivion take your soul.â€ He lowered his head, crossing his hands in front of his chest in respect, and kneeled beside the corpse of his fellow Deathknight. For a few moments, he remained there, and then he spoke again. â€œHey, your powerbow! Well, you wonâ€™t be needing it. You donâ€™t mind, do you?â€ Taking the bow, he slung it over his shoulder, and turned. â€œWonder who else survivedâ€¦?â€ He thought back to where the battle had been when he had fallen. The Grim Night Falling had been slain by the Lunar, over that way, and Steel started trudging towards where he had last seen the deathknight; that armour was very nice, and recovering the soulsteel of these soldiers was something, at least. Heâ€™d also seen the Ebon Guardian die, but hadnâ€™t spotted the one person that he was most worried aboutâ€¦
â€œThere you are.â€ The voice was cool, passionless, and the best thing that Steel had heard all day. He spun with a grin.
â€œJasmine! Youâ€™re alive!â€
There was a pause, as Steel blinked and considered his companion. Corpse-Scented With Jasmine stood before him, her veils in a shambles, gangrenous flesh showing for the first time in months. For a moment, he just stared in confusion, before noticing the rent veils around her midriff, and a conspicuous lack of intenstines. â€œJasmine! You died and came back as a ghost, and are now possessing your own corpse!â€
â€œIndeed.â€ Jasmine sighed, shaking her head, and gestured out over the field. â€œQuite the disaster.â€
â€œEyep.â€ Steel sat down on a corpse, glumly. â€œIâ€™m glad that youâ€™re alâ€¦ here, but it doesnâ€™t really matter. We lost the Loverâ€™s army, at least three and a half deathknightsâ€¦â€
â€œFour and a half. Youâ€™re the only true survivor.â€ Jasmine sat beside him, following his gaze out over the lake.
â€œEven better.â€ Steel looked down at the ground. â€œThe army, all the Abyssals but me, and to top it off, that Splinter got away with the secret. The Lover is going to soulforge us for sure.â€
â€œIf we return to her.â€
â€œWell, of course weâ€™re going to return to her. If we donâ€™t, sheâ€™llâ€¦â€ Steel trailed off and looked up abruptly, meeting Jasmineâ€™s eyes.
â€œShe has suffered an immense setback, lost over half her Abyssals, and must now concern herself with defense against the Splinter. We, by contrast, have our own not-inconsiderable skills, and though my powers are weakened by death, I remain a master of the Shadowlands Circle of Necromancy. If we travel far enough, she will not have the resources to pursue us.â€ Jasmineâ€™s voice was matter-of-fact.
â€œHm.â€ Steel stood up abruptly, with a grin. â€œJasmine, my love, you know just what to say to make a guy feel like the top of the world again. Letâ€™s do it. We have an arsenal of soulsteel, a head start, and each other.â€ He held out a hand, which Jasmine took, and he pulled her to her feet with a laugh, catching her in a hug. â€œThe world isnâ€™t going to know what hit it!â€ He laughed again, letting her go; she smoothed out her veils as best she could. â€œFirst things first. I bet youâ€™d fill out Grimâ€™s armour better than she ever did. Then we can grab the othersâ€™ stuff before those elementals get back, and slip off.â€
As the two strolled towards the second fallen Deathknight, Steel grinned. â€œYou know, I feel good about this. This whole mission has been nothing but a disaster, and it felt like we got sidelined by that Solar brat. This time, thoughâ€¦ big things in our future, hon. I can feel it.â€
He looked out over the valley, where the moon cast its light on the lake. â€œYep, tommorowâ€™s another day.â€