|Series||Fable: The Return by Scorponix|
|← Chapter 37||Chapter Chronology||Chapter 39 →|
Swords clang, screams echo, bones shatter, bullets fire, and fire burns. Little did the King know that the fire that burned around him was of his own doing. It formed several spinning circles of pure flame on the ground around him, sending anything that stepped within the circles erupting into spouts of fire. Hordes of undead make their way through the thinning line of pirates in an attempt to slay the King in the middle of the Archon's Shrine. Every one is sent into a blazing inferno and is transformed into nothing but piles of ash.
The King feels his hands burn, he feels the fire in his heart fueling the fires around him. He feels the heat on his body and lets it warm him, allowing it to burn closer. Henry breaks from the fight for a mere moment to glance at his father. He sees lines as red as blood emanating from his skin, he sees darkness swirling around the masks in his hands, he sees his father's eyes go black as the fire burns higher.
A frost troll bursts from beneath the lake near the Archon's Shrine, called by one of the Court no doubt. It rises from the ice and roars with newborn fury that has not been heard in many an age. Henry watches as the troll sets its menacing gaze onto his father. Henry screams as he hacks his way through the Court's army of undead with his massive claymore. He cuts a path and breaks through the end of the horde, leaving a great open plain between him and the troll.
The troll sees Henry standing alone, and his gaze on the King is broken. Trolls minds cannot let them stay on target when there is a challenge being boasted right in front of them, Henry knows this. When the troll begins to run toward him, Henry reaches into his pockets and pulls out a large black cloth. Once more, Henry dons the cowl of an executioner and raises his claymore, ready for the coming battle.
Some undead form a ring around the two combatants, seeing what is about to happen. The troll lifts a massive arm and lets it fall toward its target. Henry sidesteps slightly and allows the icy arm to plunge into the ground. He lines up for an attack with his claymore but is caught by the troll's other fist. He falls to the ground hard, not allowing himself to let go of his blade. As the troll recovers his arm from the snow, Henry lifts himself off the ground to prepare. The troll now sends both fists crashing down onto Henry's head, but Henry steps out of the way just in time.
This time, the troll stamps a foot down nowhere near Henry, but this sends great ice spikes up from the ground. They all miss Henry but the spikes now form an obstacle course in the circle formed by the overlooking undead. Henry spends the next thirty seconds dodging a flurry of fists thrown wildly by the frost troll. He uses his blade sparingly on the beast, but it only causes the ice of its body to chip.
In a moment of breath, he looks to his father once more. The King now stands tall, erupting tornadoes of flame upon the undead, but Henry can see that the fire is weakening. An icy fist flies towards Henry's skull, but he ducks just in time. In a split second he grabs the troll's arm and flings himself up onto it. The troll barely reacts in time as Henry sprints up its arm. But he is caught, the troll's other hand reaches and grabs Henry. In the blink of an eye he is flung into a wall of ice with all of the troll's strength behind it. His body falls limp and his hand releases the blade. With a snort, the frost troll turns to face the King.
The King feels his strength beginning to wain. The fire within him is running out, but the undead are too many. Without much choice, he draws his blade and starts to attack the armies of the dead head on. He joins the ranks of Reaver and his men who have now formed a circle outside of the Archon's Shrine. Most pirates now fight with dual blades, but some still have ammo to spare and fire upon the skulls of the undead.
He lights his blade aflame with the little Will that he has remaining. He sends his flaming sword through scores of hollowmen, slicing though their bones and setting their dry bodies on fire. Reaver stands proud in the center of the circle, barking orders at his men. When he can, and in order to conserve ammunition, he takes precise shots that go through the skulls of at least ten hollowmen per shot.
Reaver's men begin to fall one by one, the circle starts to close inward as undead claw and slash their way closer to the King and Reaver. Their masters order them to retrieve the masks, they call to the spirits that dwell within their awoken bodies. To make matters worse, the frost troll now comes closer to the circle, still with its sights set on the King's head.
All hope begins to fade from view, the screams of the undead deafen them all. Their glowing eyes still number in the hundreds and now a troll is coming to seal their fate. The King screams with pain and fury, letting his fiery blade viciously cut through the army. The scream is then answered. The noise that now echoes throughout the battlefield overpowers even that of the undead's roaring. From deep within the Whitewood forests of the Northern Wastes, the King's scream is answered by howling.