Tyr dashed across the street into the armory, letting Essence flow through him as he sent off another message to the front lines. â€œCancel all of Kitanoâ€™s orders! Fourth wing deploy to the Eastern Rampart! Second wing deploy to the Gandar Redoubt!â€ The words left his lips and were heard over a mile away â€“ the urgency of the situation left no time for him to write the many laborious messages he would need to convey the depths of the akumaâ€™s deception.
â€˜Kitanoâ€™ had ordered all of the troops available, independently, to respond to the attack on Hattas Redoubt. If they had gotten the time to answer the deployment orders, they would have left the rest of the eastern and northern borders almost completely undefended, allowing the Fair Folk to swarm over the walls nearly unopposed. From there, the defensive emplacements would be useless against the Fair Folk.
Which left only one problem; Tyrâ€™s attempts to send his baubleâ€™s message ahead to the armoury, or to Kitanoâ€™s guard, had been met with failure. The implications worried him deeply, and as he rounded the corner to find the main gates suspiciously open, his suspicions hardened to certainty.
With a twist of his wrist, Tyr brought his skycutter into his left hand, letting the familiar feel of the great jade boomerang settle into him, and marshalling his Essence for battle. He knew that, if the stories Millia had related were true, he was unlikely to win this fight without the support of the other Exalts â€“ but he had no choice, now.
Charging down the stairs, Tyr leapt and rolled as he dashed through the halls. Once, he passed a pair of soldiers that had been slammed into the stone wall hard enough to leave a spiderweb of cracks across it; their heads were reduced to pulp and Tyr reluctantly ran without pausing. He was almost to the main doors of the armory; there was one Dragon-Blood on guard at all times, along with ten highly skilled mortal soldiers, and they would not let even Kitano through without the satrapâ€™s permission. If he had been stopped, it would have beenâ€¦
Tyrâ€™s thoughts screeched to a halt as he rounded the last staircase, and exited into a blood-soaked hallway. Body parts were strewn carelessly across the stone floor, and blood arched across the walls, leaving a trail of gruesome crimson. Horrified expressions were fixed on the two heads that he could clearly make out, and he noted the slumped corpse of Ragara Beld, the guardsman who had been on duty, his sword arm neatly removed at the elbow and a thin hole sliced through his armor, lying on his side next to a shattered daiklave. The corridor was filled with silver light, which flowed out from the steel doors which hung, ajar, mostly blocking the view of the armoury within.
Without waiting, Tyr leapt forwards, his skycutter slicing through the air towards the source of the light. The weapon flew straight and true, spinning sideways and collapsing the doors inwards in its wake. It arced perfectly towards the lightâ€¦ and General Kitano, shining with silver brilliance, a green crescent shining on his forehead and horrible tattoos of silver and greenâ€¦ movingâ€¦ across his skin, caught it in one hand.
â€œTyr. You came quickly.â€ Kitanoâ€™s voice was soft and menacing as he tossed the skycutter aside. Behind him, a pulsating orb of light was growing in the room, stretching and twisting into a disc.
â€œWho are you?â€ Tyr frowned, gesturing, and let a pair of knives grow from the wind.
â€œI am Cathak Kitano, of course. Is it not obvious?â€
â€œYou are not. You murdered him and took his shape.â€
â€œI drew his destiny into alignment with the Twisted Sky.â€ Kitanoâ€™s lips split into a grin, and his hair rose and elongated, twitching darkly against the light. â€œNow, I am him. No one can gainsay me this.â€
â€œI can. And I will!â€ Tyr let fly the twin knives, leaping through the air and vaulting over a rack of force pikes. Snatching one up, he brought it humming to life and sent it after the knives. Kitano slid out of the path of the first knife, ducked under the second, and then reached into his coat. Dozens of cards fluttered into the air, knocking the pike off-centre, and the general snatched three from the confusion, without a glance.
â€œIs that what you believe your destiny to be? This is your destiny.â€ Kitano turned the first card. â€œThe Yozi.â€ His smile grew as he turned the second card, and all three began glowing with a sickly green light. â€œThe Underworld.â€ With an easy motion, he sent the three cards flying towards Tyr. The Dragon-Blooded leapt for safety, but the cards twisted in the air to follow him, curving around the table he kicked towards them to slice through his armor. â€œAnd the Deathlord. Your fate is to die, Cathak Tyr!â€ Reaching up, Kitano took a single hair and pulled it free, watching it straighten into a lethal-looking needle. â€œGoodbye.â€ The needle flicked forwards, gathering darkness and light around it as it flew, growing in size and power until it seemed a javelin of evil intent launching towards the Dragon-Blood.
Tyr, struggling to his feet, blood streaming from his shoulder and arm, saw the needle flying forwards, and threw up an arm as he leapt backwards.
And there was the sound of steel on stone, and he gaped as Serafin leapt through the room, claws springing from her suddenly cat-like face, fur rippling through skin, and caught the javelin in one hand.
Millia stepped through the door, snapping out her seven-section staff. â€œWeâ€™ll decide whatâ€™s fated around here, thank you.â€