Story - The March Toward Death
The March Toward Death
The abrupt departure that Morning had everyone ill at ease. The last few days of this journey had not been easy for any of them and it showed. Smriti was glad to be on the road and moving forward again but she was torn over where they should be going. She desperately wanted to turn back to the silk road and continue their trek east, toward Mung Li, yes; but mostly toward her home. She was not sure how she would be received, after so long, but was desperate to see it again. But the dreams she had been having and the forces that she felt tearing at her subconscious would not let her even think to long on home. She had been invaded by this evil force and all she could do was follow where it lead.
After last night’s encounter with the mist and the discovery of the evidence of an army of undead ahead of them, she almost thought that, for her to simply go ahead and sacrifice herself, would be best. The rest of them had no compelling reason to face this enemy, save for her. But she knew that they would never allow her to do that, especially Kumori. And some part of her knew that, given their overall quest, this sort of thing should have been expected. Its just that, this foe seemed overwhelming.
They knew that the enemy possessed some sort of flying beasts as well as an ARMY of undead. How were 6 supposed to fight so big a force? And thats assuming that the lamp spat Sukai out in time to fight, they may simply be 5. The stench of death lingered in the air, and got stronger as they rode… they were obviously catching up. Conversation was fairly limited and mostly restricted to planning to face their foes. Smriti and Kumori and Blue Beak were discussing the best way to maximize their damage against so many foes. Ian and Ottos were talking about magics and spells, and scrolls and potions that might help. As the sun got high in the sky they stopped for a bit of rest and a bite to eat for themselves and the horses, knowing it might be the last chance before the battle. As they got going, Smriti got her Vajra out and began to pray, her voice barely audible over the horses and the other’s conversation.
She prayed for Kumori, that his strength and courage might inspire them all; that his weapons be sharp and accurate; and that he, above all others, would survive this fight. The quest that the started on so long ago would not end here… dooming his homeland and perhaps the world with it. Smriti prayed for Ian; that his mind remain clear and his spells ready. She knew that his magic might mean the difference between life and death. She prayed for Ottos and Blue Beak as well; that they remain safe and that their weapons find their targets. She prayed that she would have a chance to come know them well. She prayed for their new friend, Rajet. Thinking that he should probably simply stay out of the fight and mind the horses. She had been sparring with him and teaching him to fight, but knew that he was nowhere near ready to face this kind of foe. She prayed that Sukia would be spat out of the lamp, or the rest of them sucked in, so they would not even have to face this foe. She stopped her prayers at that point, realizing that she was being selfish. They needed to face this foe and rid the world of this threat.
Having refocused herself she started her prayers again, this time praying that she remain focused during the battle and be able to help her friends survive. She prayed that she had lead the sort of life that would make her family and her mentors at the Monastery proud. She thought briefly about what form she would take in the next life.
After all of this, she began her prayers again. After all the planning and discussions of tactics, that was all that was left to do. As the sun sank lower she looked around at her friends and knew that each was doing much the same as she, praying and hoping that they would not face death tonight.