A scream of surprise pierced the air at least a mile from its source. It overcame the sound of battle for just an instant before disappearing, allowing the clank of metal to rise in volume even higher than before. Any animal or monster within the sound range turned its head towards the skirmish, while a group of travelers looked around in puzzlement. Even if the humans had decided to investigate the noise, they would have only seen a circle of Slime Knights attacking seemingly empty space. However, for the ones that could see, they knew that a battle determining the fate of many lives was taking place.

In the center of the circle a female Celestrian, the one who had released the sream, fell to the ground. She landed heavily on her back, her newly injured wing staining the off-white feathers and grass a sickening color.

"Shada!" A second Celestrian delivered a fatal blow with his sword to the slime knight in front of him, who vanished in the glowing light that appeared when all monster me their death, and pulled back to rush to his fallen companion's side.

He stood beside Shada, who already began to rise, ignoring the pain and blood dripping from her wound. Spotting her trusty weapon beside her, a sturdy javelin with a strange chain at the end, she grabbed it and picked herself up.

"I'm fine, Kele." Shada swiftly blocked a blow from a small sword with the strong wood of her javelin. Kele nodded at his mate, remembering the strong will that had lured him to her those many years ago. He swiftly turned to stop another oncoming blade and slashed the miniature knight's chest, easily cutting through the thin armor.

Despite both of their various injuries, so far none deep enough for concern besides Shada's wing, they could only think of the well-being of the other. It was only natural; their love ran deep and true, and both would decide to sacrifice themselves for the other in a heartbeat. However, as much as Kele wanted to, he couldn't plead for Shada to leave. Not only was it because of her determination that would ensure her decision to stay, but also because this battle was not just for their lives.

Not more than five miles away, on top of a high plateau where two great waterfalls gushed down, a grand stone establishment stood in the glory of the evening sun. A wide staircase connected the ground to the entrance, where twin torches burned regularly, welcoming travelers despite the time of day. This building, renowned for the abbot who could change vocations using his mystical powers, was called Alltrades Abbey. But more important was the many humans who resided within, unaware of the impending danger.

As Celestrians, Kele and Shada knew that it was their duty to protect the lives of mortals at all costs. Especially Kele, Guardian of Alltrades Abbey, knew of his responsibility. As Kele continued his onslaught, he couldn't help but wonder why all of these slime knights had gathered to attack Alltrades Abbey.

When he had brought his wife with him this morning, he hadn't expected this kind of trouble. In all of his days of being the Guardian of this place, he had only seen a few of these monsters roaming around. But today a huge army had showed up from nowhere, forcing them into battle. Monster usually don't try to attack humans, so why was today different?

A tiny blade left a cut on his left arm, deep enough to summon a flash of pain. Kele quickly responded by severing its head and stabbed at another. Behind him, Shada was having an even harder time, because of her injury and type of combat. Her weakness is close-combat, so she usually tried to stay in the air to attack. But now that her wound grounded her, she was forced to block and almost never counterattack. The slime knights crowded in on her, taking advantage of the situation.

Kele defeated three more monsters, but was disappointed to see that they had barely made a dent in their numbers. Their situation was quickly turning badly, with both of the Celestrians growing tired and killing one knight only for two more to take its place.

"Shada?"

"Yeah?" she answered, blocking a blade before pushing it back into the swarm. He could tell by her tone that she had also come to the same conclusion.

"It looks like this is the end." He stated.

"But we will die together." Shada flinched slightly as a slime knight struck her leg while holding onto its slimy steed.

"And I'd have it no other way." Kele smiled and slashed again. However, there was one concern that surfaced in their minds. Shada spoke their thoughts, a tinge of regret in her voice:

"I just hope that our children will forgive us."

One chapter and I already feel that my skills have improved from my last story. If anyone is curious (and so I can write some random information XD), Shada means pelican and Kele means sparrow. If you would like to see some of my art from this story, you can find my deviantart account in my profile. I hope you enjoyed and please review!