Author: Warpwind PM
What would happen when we mix Kenichi with the man that would make Yami wary. Forget the old Ken-Kun, add secrets, some war, a new goal and the time tickling by. Parings - maybe later. Kenichi crossover with the 'Sentinel of the Pass'Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Kenichi S. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,338 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 12-28-12 - Published: 12-16-12 - id: 8803531
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter #1 Tides of War
'You can be the strongest, the smartest, the most brave, but if luck is not on your side you'll also die the quickest'
First rule of a magician – run faster
First rule of a weak magician – carry a good knife
First rule of a Master – hit with everything you got
Darius I, called Darius the Merciful by people, sovereign ruler of the Empire of Rune, a descendant of the eight demiurges, the one whose titles are as endless as his greatness, was on the battlefield in person. Not in the thick of the fray of course, but behind the army, on a hill and surrounded by hundreds of guards and mages. Close enough to enjoy the impending victory and far enough away from the immediate danger to really risk accidentally killed. Overlord's presence was inspiring the army in front of an uphill battle.
Here are located nobles and the influential. Benefit from this crowd in the battle was not intended, although many of them put for their troops. Those who could and wanted were already on the field, demonstrating courage and loyalty. Here were men in years, many with a solid stomach, double and even triple chin. And though most sported a pompous ceremonial weapons and armor, few could have bested even one orc. Among the guards and battle mages, they looked foreign and understood this themselves. Ultimately, it was the wit and trickery that helped many of them achieve their position.
And that's why they did not dare to leave the Emperor alone - too dangerous. Who knows what the enemies would slip to his ears? Now, if their lord himself remained in the capital ... but to expect that would be foolish. The Emperor was young - six decades, not an age for the magician, and peculiar ardor of youth and arrogance. Youth is unable to enjoy the quiet life, spending time at the feasts, or listening delighting music, and watching the dancing of young girls. Blood boils in the veins causing risk for phantom goals, and not listening to the voice of wisdom. Though, that does not matter, Emperor decided to risk his divinity, and faithful servants would not challenge the decision already taken by the master. Fool, arguing too hard, is risking falling out of favor.
The sounds of battle were heard for a long time. Two huge armies decided the fate of nations. Emperor silently observed the neat rows of legions and hordes of orcs. Gone are the days when the savages rushed to fight one by one, and now they use the system. And it's very unfortunate.
Magical protection of the battlefield is taking occasional attacks of hostile shamans. For the most part attacks were wasted, but sometimes there is a breakdown and a dozen other soldiers fell dead. Orcs have setbacks more often - shamans rarely come into direct confrontation. Who can argue with combat mages? The outcome is predetermined.
At the top of the hill, panting, ran messenger. His armor was dented and in some places blood could be seen. Soldier fell to one knee and spoke hurriedly.
- My lord! Orcs pushed right flag. General Ink requested reinforcements!
The Emperor saw that things on the right were not going the best way. There's a field closely approaching forest and in trees orcs had an overwhelming advantage. And plate cavalry could not go there. Forest would have to burn, but it was understood and shamans had blocked several such attempts. It was raining over the area from the early morning.
- Take two hundred guards. Tell general to advance. If he does not beat out the orcs there until the end of the day, I'll be dissatisfied. Go!
Dissatisfied ... Darius grinned. In the mouth of his father it would sound a death sentence. "I'm not happy," he said, and without a doubt the closest guard chopped the guilty head. If the general will not handle it, the old man will have to be executed. Sad, but there will be no other way.
The authorities do not tolerate losers. Betrayal of the weak - not a betrayal. Few people know the governor is close, most believe the rumors. Now rumors say he is weak. Darius the Merciful ... All-seeing gods, how can man be proud of this nickname? Charity - the lot of monks, and foolish women. For the governor, mage and warrior it almost sounds like an insult. And as a sentence. Certainly, his eldest son has already received several offers of "assistance."
These thoughts would gnash their teeth in his mind, but Darius remained motionless. Expression of feelings - also a luxury unaffordable for the governor. From what they see depends much, and he has made a lot of mistakes. Inside, everything was boiling with rage.
Mysher II, entered the annals as "Good" - son strangled him straight in bed. Ingar IV – "All-Good", drank too much poison in the morning from the hands of his beloved elder wife. So, He was constantly sick and even numerous medical amulets could not do anything. Until the traitor sprinkled his food with dusted diamonds. Even magic has its limits. But both genuinely cared about the people ...
Iraan the 'fair' ... likewise reached a hundred and decided he should go down in history not as a man that on the slightest suspicion executed closest friends and burned the whole town. The idea to issue a special decree and sent to the mines every one that did not add his name to the word "fair" has brought some effect. Mine started to bring more revenue, especially in the early years. Historians have excelled in flattery and praise of the ruler. But during the rule of his grandson, historians were not touched and in the annals Iraan still came as Iraan the "bloody".
Darius himself did not regard himself as weak. Those who first attributed mercy to him, certainly had a sense of humor. Emperor just did not want to kill the last brothers that survived in the struggle for the crown. Succumbed to self-pity, recalled childhood friendship, dying request of his father ... and just made it impossible for them to leave heirs, blinded them and cut off their thumbs, but he left them alive! Not he touched many sisters, sentenced to the mountain monasteries, under the supervision of the eunuchs to take care of them. That's all! "The people" had cooked up the rest.
But all councilors unanimously requested, if not to make a public execution, than slowly strangle relatives in prison. He refused, and the rumors of the nobility started. Weak will not last long ... Jackals! All of them!
Darius was thinking even executing couple a hundred courtiers, but then here's such a case. War! Wild barbarians crossed the border again ! Vassals pleading for help, the governors pour bitter tears in the letters, begging to be saved. What could be better? Who could believe that the savages will be so numerous this time?
Worry not, after he wins he'll hang out captive orcs along the main road, will ride their leaders and magicians in the cells through the cities, and then expose them to terrible tortures in the square in front of the palace. During the year it will be possible to arrange public executions daily. No more weakness. It will be possible to order the scholars to find of the most rare and sophisticated forms of torture in the books and not to repeat them once! People will remember the screams of the dying for years and after such a sight no one would dare call him merciful. And if they dare - Executioners will have them all. Darius stroked his sword and smiled dreamily. No mercy!
- We are under attack! Save the Emperor!
In the back coldness spread, surprised and frightened cries of the court sounded. One of the dozens of amulets burned chest with delay, warning of the danger. Forgetting about the dignity, the emperor turned sharply. Had his son decided it was time to act?
Out of the thickened fog four ghostly figures came to light of one after another. Spirits!
Not wasting time for doubt, Darius threw up his hand. Fighting rings discharged releasing monstrous wave of power. The Emperor can not be weaker than his mages, and the ancestors have taken care of it, turning the mundane decorations in the extremely powerful artifacts. Archmage risked losing to the emperor in direct opposition, and full battle regalia made him nearly invincible. Theoretically, as an opportunity to train and master his power never came. Shooting the wooden target or slave is not something that could teach how to fight. They did not even resist. Though, slaves often pleaded for mercy or cried ...
Now the opportunity to test their capabilities in the real war. The flow of energy swept dozens of nobles and wizards, turning them into ashes, crushing into dust, freezing and evaporating at the same time. Only after that power tore in the aliens, breaking ghostly flesh. Spirits howled, but resisted. Only one dispelled, losing his vile life. Incredible!
Magicians of the escort came to help, supporting the attack. The Archmage raised the shields. Guards belatedly revealed enchanted weapons and covered-up with tower shields. For a second it seemed that the enemy attack stupidly failed. Spirits will be destroyed, in spite of all their power.
Spirits were incredibly strong and were in no hurry to die, generously spreading around death themselves. Essentially, they diverted attention and effort. Magi reduced protection of the hill, slowly eliminating the immediate danger, and adversary took advantage of the opening. The air near the hill foot rippled and there were dozen orcs were uncovered, festooned with artifacts - a dozen old shamans of the losing clans who bought the lives of their fellow tribesmen by this suicide attack. They spared no effort and charged tribal artifacts.
Titanic explosions literally tossed hill in the air. Land upturned and covered mutilated bodies. Branches of lightning finished the few survivors. Hundreds of lesser spirits - scavengers quickly drank lives of defenseless wounded ...
But this was not enough to overcome the most powerful artifacts in the Empire. Darius could well survive, but did not have time to react to the new threat, finishing off another enemy. Power of the emperor is immeasurable, but you have to know how to use this power. Protective charms collapsed for a few seconds and flared again to protect already dead body. The emperor died without knowing that his dream has come true and the infamous nickname Merciful did not stick in the annals. Indeed, more shameful things tan charity exists, and the gods sometimes have strange sense of humor ...
Shamans have spent all they had, and fell exhausted on the grass. There was nowhere for them to run. It did not matter. The deed has already been done, and their clans will be forgiven. When the cavalry came to the rescue, it was too late. The army and the empire were beheaded.
- The Emperor, the Emperor was killed! We run brothers! A ...
First cry cut short, warrior was distracted and was instantly cut down the nearest orc. Cry was drowned in the din of senseless iron and wheezing wounded, but fate decreed otherwise. Screaming was unlikely to cause a panic. It was heard only by a dozen neighbors, and only a few dared to throw a quick glance back. There, over the hill from where a large flag - a symbol of the presence of the emperor on the battlefield should ave been. The banner has disappeared!
- Emperor fled! We lost! - New cry was much more plausible and even more scary. Simple warrior sees only a narrow section of the fight, but the enemy in front of him to the very end, and he does not know exactly who has the upper hand. What's the use if your squad wins when others have long been broken? Who knows, are there thousands of new enemies to cut off your escape route? Perhaps everything is lost, and you do not know? This fear is present and inescapable, even for brave. But at the same time there is also the hope that somewhere else the enemy is running and there will soon be a victory, rest and reward. You only need to hold out a little longer!
The presence of the General reinforces this hope, as the commander sees the whole picture and is the first to know when things are bad and it's time to save lives. The presence of the emperor on the battlefield - solid guarantee that things are going well, and flight - a sure sign of defeat and a terrible blow to the morale of any army.
Kevin was on the side, and the trees did not allow to see the Emperor. Distant explosions and bursts of magic from the other side were not too disturbing. In war, anything can happen. He did not hear the soldiers shouting and panic, so when a moment ago the army wavered it was a surprise. Thousand, which was covering his circle of the attacks from shamans suddenly bent and leaned back. The cries spread like propagating wave, resembling the circles of stone thrown into a lake. Only these circles and did not think to subside, creating panic. Only a few veteran groups had managed to keep their cool, knowing that escape was pointless. Most wanted to live, And this instinct told them one thing - to save the situation. Officers for a while were still trying to reassure solders, but many lacked confidence in their words. Beating and threats of sergeants had almost no effect.
And then the enemy noticed this momentary weakness. Orkish hundreds started to move and hit with a new force, ignoring fatigue. Out of the woods, where the rate was located Leader, flew two hundred green riders, reserve. Reaching the combatants, they immediately threw spears at the horses. Their strikes swept lines in several places at once, but even so the legionnaires tried to restore the wall. Vaunted discipline kept most of the soldiers on the ground. And thousands did not even know what was happening. Several regiments of reinforcements could easily remedy the situation, but there was no one to send these regiments. The defeat was inevitable.
However defeats are different. Discipline and experience allowed to retreat keeping system, gathering in groups, bristling with iron and with the hope of retribution.
It were shamans that turned the tide. They hit only once, but put in everything accumulated over the years. Many died, unable to withstand the enormous flow of energy, and the other lost their power. But it was worth it.
Protective canopies that magicians supported over the troops of the empire trembled and scattered in thousands of tornadoes. Nine "battle mages" part of the coven, had no chance. Wild power of the destroyed weaving turned upon the creators. Kevin first stopped trying to keep weaving - now everyone was for himself. Instantly, on reflexes, he blocked lines of force, and put-up a new shield, much smaller and unable to help legionnaires, but able to save the life of its creator. The magician had even jumped to hang two feet above the surface. Less agile magicians cried wildly. Rolling back from the blow, the force broke their auras, hurting energy channels, causing terrible pain. And then rain of fire swept on the field. Plasmids fell everywhere, and one of these balls exploded close by, kicking up sods and felling on the magicians, who survived the first attack. His defense shuddered, but held, Kevin slowly sank to the ground.
The dust around him unwinded, and it became clear that the battle was lost. Those of the soldiers who were in the front row and survived still fought, knowing that escape is useless, that no one is left behind them. Thousands fell under the attacks in places orcs broke through the ranks.
The troops ran. Everywhere soldiers were throwing weapons and stripping armor, trying to outrun death. Most stupid dropped to there knees, trying to give up - they were killed first. Orcs overran the last barrier and with cries of rage cut defenseless. Their cavalry quickly cut the flanks, driving the crowd mad and not letting it dissipate. From the forest, rushing to take part in the massacre, rode the reserve. Over the field in a wild whirlwind circled spirits, collecting booty. Every now and then, they chose a victim, and threw down upon another figure, devoid of protection of magicians many fell down dead.
As if out of nowhere, bringing even more confusion, chimeras appeared - a sure sign of lack of reserve forces. Each monster was cherished and nurtured for many years, and to throw them into the meat grinder of the general battle could only be used as a last resort.
Kevin a calmly watched as the Grand Army was disappearing under the blows of the orcs. He was ... sorry? Yes it hurt. If soldiers could get it together and detain green-skin for an hour, the surviving magicians would be able to turn all around. Without the support of shamans even chimeras do not mean anything ...
Vain dreams, now distraught herd will not stop even in front of the bottomless abyss. He can not change anything, and it's time to take care of himself. Apprentices, who helped him to keep the circle were destroyed. Auras of the three of them glowed, saying that boys were alive, but there is no time to deal with these fools. But he couldn't leave them entirely without help. Several cold-blooded strikes of sword mercifully cut short their lifeline. It was better than being captured by orcs.
The magician turned around and ran back to the horses. Orcs will be here soon, he should hurry. But before that the fastest cowards will come and begin to divide the herd. Certainly a battle will unfold for each horse . And the hostile spirits may become interested. Fend off a swarm intoxicated with blood would be difficult and time consuming. He must leave the woods now.
Sprinting to his Whirlwind, magician randomly picked one more horse. Of course this horse could have saved someone's life, but it's better to increase your own chances. Who knows how long the pursuit will last? Striking horse, he directed away from danger, wanting to leave as soon as possible to a safe distance. It was necessary to get into the capital, and the road was long. It is not good if the horse falls in the middle of the way. The idea to take refuge in the camp was dismissed - after a few hours it'll be captured anyway.
Noble art of 'retreat' requires cold mind and considerable ingenuity. The reserve units who did not take part in the battle, poorly understood what was happening and now were only blocking the road. Magician had to drive around a hundred of retreating militia, although they waved their hands, trying to stop him.
Leaving and getting on a large tract, Kevin had lingered. He was not the first to realize that something was wrong, dozens of legionnaires tried to escape on foot. Most fled without weapons. Some supply officer noticing noble horseman left the cart with the wounded and hung on the horse reins.
- Mr. magician! Sell your horse, I'll pay! Any money! Please ...
Kevin drew his sword and slashed with pleasure. Even after death, the body did not fall to the ground while continuing to squeeze his fingers. He had to cut off the limb.
Several soldiers who thought to acquire transport retreated. Kevin notice a large number of riders retreating in distance. He hesitated for a second - to run now is much safer, it is unknown what is going in the mind of the soldier. The battlefield is close, and the war will write off everything - even killing an officer and a magician. But among the steel shells flashed bright clothes of imperial entourage and purple robes of Mages.
- Emperor ... - not trusting himself whispered Kevin, at the sight of a broken body thrown over horseback.
- He's dead. Damn orcs. - Spat a guardsman.
- Dead ...
Stunned by the news, Kevin fell in the tail of the column. The defeat was indeed complete. Empire of Rune had hard times ahead. It is unlikely that this battle will go down in the annals.
The Battle at the Field of Blood occurred just four years ago. Then the empire was still strong, and no one believed in the victory of orcs,, except maybe orcs themselves. In the ill-fated battle humans had all the advantages: more mages, better trained soldiers, enchanted armor, quality weapons and iron discipline. The only thing equal was the number of troops, but this is not the main thing. Orcs had only recklessness, inhuman cruelty, more powerful warriors on average and naive faith in the help of their gods. They could be saved only by a miracle.
In a way it happened. Shamans forged contract with up to three Great Spirits. It is hard to imagine what they were paid for their help, but for the first time in many years, they openly intervened in the affairs of mortals.
The Emperor was killed one of the first, in spite of the two hundred bodyguards, fifty magicians and all artifacts. Hill, where Darius first decided to watch the coming defeat of green-skins, was almost demolished. From a position near the governor survived only the Archmage.
Shamans were able to break the protective netting of Imperials in minutes, destroying two-thirds of combat mages. Another quarter of the remaining perished during the stampede. Many were captured, but the difference between the death in battle or a sacrificial knife is small.
The number of ordinary soldiers that died that day, was difficult to count. Of the two hundred thousand regular troops only twenty returned to the capital. Plus militia, nobles, mercenaries. Of course not all of the missing were killed, many deserted or took refuge in smaller cities. Many more surrendered. By the end of the day, tired of hacking, orcs accepted prisoners and tens of thousands of cowards lived a little longer. Till the sacrifice on the occasion of the victory. In any case, killed were more than a hundred thousand veterans, and there was nothing to oppose the horde. Dozen cities fell during the week and the same amount in the next two months.
It was the worst defeat in history, but it was not the end. Broken Army - nonsense, farmers give birth to new recruits, you can declare a recruitment in the legions, and in a few months turn greenhorns into tolerable soldiers. You can call the veterans that served their share. Death of wizards, despite the severity of the loss, also identified the most powerful, capable and resilient. Each survivor was worth three victims.
Hardest hit was the death of the Emperor Darius the Merciful. Not even death itself, the rulers are killed regularly and suddenly, but the empty throne and its attendant problems. If there were no heirs, management would be taken by the Sovereign Lords. If the heir was one, he would be crowned and nation would be united against the common enemy. But more than a hundred women of harem left sixty-eight children and twenty-seven of them - boys. The news of the tragedy reached the ears of the senior heir later than it should have. His three younger brothers could leave the capital before the start the traditional slaughter. Another managed to escape from the killers in turmoil. That was nothing, but all of the survivors belonged to an influential families and layed claim to the throne. Civil strife broke out in which only orcs won. The capital was captured and burned, and the last direct descendant of the royal family was killed. Archmage and almost all of the strongest magicians also died.
Pitiful remnants of the Order miraculously escaped from the trap and took refuge in the mountain stronghold. New Master has managed to secure the treasures of the Order: gold, jewelry, and some artifacts, and most importantly - the library. All that gave hope for revival. After all, there are still a lot of free cities, sooner or later, the orcs start infighting and settle down ...
Well, maybe it will, but by this time mages will be already dead.
Orc shamans somehow learned about the stronghold and hidden treasures. Otherwise it is difficult to explain this persistence. Five major leaders led their teams ten thousand orcs to two hundred of the garrison and hundred magicians. Even a lot of magicians could not iron out such differences, especially as number of shamans, attracted by new knowledge, became more every day. They have not yet launched the assault. Even the barbarians had the sense to realize that it was not necessary to climb the steep rock walls.
Collected in the area, local farmers cut down trees, built houses and siege weapons. Catapults were ready in a month, and the wall gradually ceased to be impregnable. To sleep was almost impossible, argument between mages begun...
The siege was drawing to a close.
Kevin was well aware that if nothing was done to the end of the year, his head will turn into some cup from which to drink during filthy shamanic feasts. By the way, there were two of these cups left over from his grandfather in the house.
Kevin pulled his cloak tighter and walked into the hall. Chainmail was pressing on his shoulders, and crossbow strove was protruding, but magician was patient. Guard of a dozen soldiers saluted him, striking swords against their shields. Previously, it would have flattered him, but now clatter only the caused headaches.
- May the gods be kind to us!
- Let Kykh admire orcs. - Found the strength to make a joke in response Kevin. A few mages nearby laughed exaggeratedly merrily. Nervous.
Sixteen magicians were involved in the ritual of Rupture. The weakest of the lot, most of them yesterday's students. He was perhaps the most powerful and the only one who really knew what was going on. The remaining fifteen were not even aware what fate awaited them and were not particularly worried, believing in the wisdom of their leader. Interesting, the other magicians who were to hold the wall, did they knew? Sure...
The idea of establishing a permanent portal to the demon world was entirely on the conscience of the Magister and he volunteered to conduct the ritual. In words, everything was simple and was not dangerous. Demons of Kykh were always ready to serve the strong and would give a lot for access to the material world. They will be even more happy for thousands of tasty orcs. And the fact that then they'll settle in the surrounding land - is nonsense, empire is big.