Chapter Nineteen: Knowing That Faith is All I Hold
And if we should die tonight
Then we should all die together
Raise a glass of wine for the last time
Calling out father, oh
Prepare as we will
Watch the flames burn auburn over
The mountain side
Desolation comes upon the sky
Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me
"I See Fire" –Ed Sheeran, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Look it up on YouTube, it's amazing.
Author's Note: Also, seriously stop asking me to update this story in "reviews" on other stories. I'm working as fast as I can on this one, and I know this is one of my most popular stories, but I take my time so I can get what's in my head written down for you guys. I refuse to rush out chapters for this just because I know I'll get a lot of reviews for this story. I want genuine reviews on my other stories and not just messages to update this one. It's getting annoying. If you want me to write the best chapters for this, you'll have to even if you might have to wait a few months for updates. If you pester me about this story on other fics I will purposely delay updating! Also, I didn't realize how sappy all my writing for this is! Also, Hellsing Ultimate references for the win!
Garfield woke quietly, he was feeling restlessly. He knew Richard was still arming the remaining villagers. He looked over and saw Richard enter the room.
"Where is Raven?"
"I haven't seen her; she must be off meditating somewhere."
"What do you have to report?"
"Every villager able to wield a sword has been sent to the armory... my lord?" Richard rarely addressed Gar by his title, but he could sense his friend was being serious.
"Who am I, Richard?" Gar asked.
"You are our king, Sire," he replied.
"And do you trust your king?" Gar didn't look at his friend.
"Your men, my lord, will follow you to whatever end," Richard reassured him.
"To whatever end…"
Richard began to help his king into his armor. Each piece was put into place.
"Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadows. The days have gone down in the west, behind the hills. To shadow."
Richard placed the final piece of armor onto his Liege, then he handed Garfield his sword.
He headed towards the door, he was about to leave when he felt the searing pain hit him.
Kori rushed to his side. "You should have taken the medicine."
"I am fine, Kori, I can control myself."
Gar composed himself and walked away from her.
Raven had decided to go out to the castle wall, to look out at Malchior's vast army.
"This is the only thing I can do."
Raven hesitated, questioning her motives for leaving. After all, he'd tracked her all the way to her home dimension just to bring her home.
"It is the right decision," Raven said aloud, to convince herself more than anything.
She stopped as she heard the minstrel playing a song that he had composed, why he'd come up with such a morbid yet soothing tale of Malchior's siege, she didn't know.
And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns
Then my brothers will die
And as the sky is falling down
It crashed into this lonely town
And with that shadow upon the ground
I hear my people screaming out
She sighed as they continued to sing and turned away, heading towards the large doors.
Suddenly, Raven felt a pair of arms slip around her from behind.
"Where do you think you're going?" Gar asked, his voice was teasing.
"Gar, I—" Raven started to come up with an excuse.
"I already know, I heard you, sweet Raven…" Gar whispered, kissing her cheek. "I won't let you run way, that's all you're doing."
"I'm not running away! I'm protecting all of us!" Raven insisted. She saw the look on his face; she knew he didn't believe a word she said.
Raven reached out and used her powers to summon a sword from a nearby wall to her hand.
"You'll let me pass, Garfield. This is something I have to do!" Raven brandished the blade, threatening him.
"Very well, you insist on this?" Garfield looked exhausted.
"Yes," Raven glared at him. "You aren't going to stop me like last time."
"Raven, wait!" Gar called out to her as she backed away.
"Why didn't you tell me that you were leaving? Why shoulder that burden alone?"
"Get you gone! My decision doesn't concern you!" Raven snapped, hoping her anger would make him back down. It didn't work.
"How can you say that? Whether in this life or the hereafter. To the end of eternity, so did we vow!"
"It was the promise of a child, empty as the air!" her words are hollow.
"Even if you felt that way, I don't! Malchior doesn't give a damn about you; he'll kill you if you go to him!"
"He'd do no such thing. You have a death wish; you know he will kill you, no matter what. Then to Heaven I shall send thee! And besmirch only myself with the villainy! For my beloved, to Hell gladly I'd go!"
"You would never kill me Garfield; you say such strange things when you are angry."
"Yes, yes, but I meant what I said. You will die if you go, and it will be the same as if I'd killed you myself."
"Get out of my way!" Raven screamed at him.
Their blades met, Gar wasn't backing down an inch. He wouldn't let her leave him, even if her plan did succeed, he would be alone, and he didn't want to be alone anymore.
The sound of their swords echo like thunder, the guards rush to their lord, to aid him.
"Leave us, this is a private matter!" he orders, never losing focus on the task at hand.
"Leave me to my fate, please I beg of you!"
Their swords tangled, every peal of their blades was a plea, on either side for the other to submit, but neither would yield.
"Never!" came his answer, he swung his blade; she parried and threw a tapestry at him. He cut it down and Raven punched Gar in the face; she slammed her sword into his gut. He staggered back and stumbled.
He went down on one knee, keeping his balance as she continues to rain blows down on him. He manages to catch his breath and rises to his feet.
Raven slashed to the right, only to have him meet her, he is an impenetrable wall, and she tries to tear through his defenses. She switches hands, but he will not relent.
Gar is fighting like he's going to die, as if he's going to surrender to Malchior in her place. She has nearly broken through his defense, but he too switches hands, and still no advantage.
Finally, after an eternity of fighting, when his arms burn and his legs are lead, he bats her sword away.
"Your plan won't work, no time to be self sacrificing." Gar reached out and stroked her cheek. "It wouldn't keep him from sparing me, he would kill me, whether you went to him or not."
Raven was about to protest when he tossed aside his sword, pulled her close and kissed her. All their emotions that they wanted to express and the words they wanted to say were summed up in that kiss.
Garfield ran his fingers through her hair and stroked her cheek. Raven placed her hand over his and held it there.
There was a loud noise, like the rumbling of thunder. They pulled away and looked towards the large doors.
Victor approached them, "Malchior's here!" he announced.
The entire castle shook as Raven heard the roar of Malchior as he prepared to attack.
"Come out, pretender!" Malchior roared.
Malchior's men rushed over the walls. Kori, Richard, and Victor were all fighting viciously.
"Open fire!" Victor ordered, Malchior stared in surprise as several cannons fired upon him, the dragon roared in agony, but managed to stay on its feet. He unleashed a stream of fire, burning the soldiers to ash and sinders.
The others go running, taking cover behind thick slabs of stone.
"Fire!" Garfield commands. Kori and the others, fire at arrows, aiming for the soft spots between Malchior's scaly hide. He swats arrows away with his tail. Kori's arrow lands, embedding itself deep into his body and he snarls.
Even their best efforts aren't enough to defeat him in this form. He's both a wizard and a dragon, and his knowledge of magic is unparalleled. He lets out a deep breath, his smoky breathe creates a great fog that blots the sun for a brief moment.
"Now what? Your dragon stands before you, Christian. You're going to defeat me, is that right? What do you think your chances are? One in 100? 1,000, 10,000? A million? A billion maybe?" Malchior taunted.
Garfield is still standing, much to the worm's dismay, he grabs two swords off the bodies of his deceased men. He holds them in a reversed grip.
"I am more than prepared to destroy you, you monster! No matter what the odds are against me!"
Still, Malchior's soldiers continue attempting to scale the castle walls. The others were under attack, Richard decapitated another soldier. Kori kicked another off the wall. Victor was slashing and hacking the limbs off multiple men with a battle axe.
"Garfield!" Raven screams a warning to him. She isn't fast enough to raise a shield around him to ward away Malchior's attack.
It happened before any of them could stop it. One swipe of Malchior's claws severed Gar's right arm.
Garfield suddenly leapt off the wall, landing on the ground below, it is outside the town and the land is flat, an open battlefield for both enemies.
"What's the matter Christian?" Malchior taunted. "Your dragon is waiting!"
Gar was breathing hard, his arm was badly torn up, he could barely move it.
"You're bruised and bleeding, your arm hanging by a few strands of meat. What are you going to do? Will you die like a dog? Or on your feet like a man?"
"What does it matter, worm?" Gar retorted. He gripped the remnants of his arm with his teeth, holding up the other sword. "You think a cut on my arm can stop me?!"
"Now shut up, and come at me!" Gar brandished his blades with what was left of his arms. "Come on! Fight me!"
He tosses the left blade into the air, catching it so he can get a better grip. "Hurry! Hurry!"
Malchior never thought he would be in awe of this pretender, but he was. He gasped, "Excellent. Humans are such fascinating creatures."
There is still a vast army between the two. Gar lets out a muffled roar and charges in. The others follow close behind, cutting down enemies at their sides as Gar beats them aside, his rage giving him inhuman strength as he slices and dismembers enemy soldiers, blood flows freely, like a river, but all he can see is the creature waiting for him.
He had been regaled with stories of Saint George and the Dragon; he never thought he'd be facing his own.
Slashing right and left, Gar knows he's closer and closer to Malchior, it doesn't matter how many are in his way, he'll kill the accursed worm.
Kori shot soldiers through the head as Richard gutted some and beheaded others.
Suddenly, a large soldier blocks Gar's path. Gar shoved the sword into the man's mouth; his opponent grips it, making it impossible for Gar to move without losing his weapon. He's open to Malchior's attack.
Suddenly, his army rides out and skewers the enemy in front of them, only to be torn apart by either Malchior's claws or burnt to ashes by the fire from his mouth.
Gar doesn't have time to react as his cavalry is wiped out in a matter of seconds.
"Now you die weakling!" Malchior thrust his claws at Gar, intending to slice him in half.
Raven suddenly pushed him away with her power, putting herself between the two.
Blood burst from her body. She fell to the ground without a word.
"Raven? Raven?!" He shook her, trying to wake her, but she wasn't moving. He kisses her and whispers to her.
"Please, please, you can't leave me! I promised you that!" His shoulders are shaking, what's left of them anyway. He turns to look at the monster who has stolen his greatest happiness.
"You killed her! I loved her, you son of a bitch! I finally found someone who cared for me, and you took her away, you...you are a dead man!"
"NO!" Malchior raged, "You've ruined everything!"
Malchior smirked, what was the lowly pretender king going to do? Rush him on all fours? He saw Garfield doing just that, but his amusement turned to horror as Garfield's body began to shift and change into that of some sort of inhuman monster.
"I knew that he should have taken the medicine. He has been taking it for years to keep his angry rage and his emotional troubles from affecting his body," Kori sighed.
"He wanted to be this way, he said it would be the only way for him to defeat Malchior's dragon form, but that was before Raven…" Richard replied. He prepared to join Gar. Richard stops, he's seen this monster before, it has always lived inside their friend, though they don't know where it came from.
Richard knew that his friend had been sick in childhood, and that his parents had supposedly taken him to a wizard named Rorek who had saved his life by fusing his soul with a strange beast. For the most part, this creature did not affect Gar, but when he was under deep stress or extremely angry, it would take over. Rorek had given Kori medicine to help keep it at bay.
The Beast surges forward, Malchior's men flee in terror as it ripped off their heads, his clawed hands tear and shred; a dozen men are flung up onto the flagpoles, impaling them for the rest of Malchior's army to see.
His would be attacker shrieked in terror, "No! You're a monster!"
Gar looked down on him, "Yes, people keep telling me that. And what does that make you who would stand against me, Soldier? A man? A dog? A monster?"
His enemy is shaking, he suddenly removes a knife and slashes his own throat, taking his own life.
Gar's face changes from a deep frown and contorts into pure rage.
"Tend to Raven. Malchior is mine!"