They thundered unhindered towards the capital. There were no inspections or delays. The Djulok and Nedja territories were deserted. They had all left to join the battle at the capital.
From where they were they could already see that it was not the E’ni who were waging war at Jul’Dor (the new one). Blue ships stood out in the sky. Blue ships belonging to the Knights of Virtue. As they drew nearer the smell of blood, fire and smoke thickened in the air. A fleet of the Knights’ floating ships swooped in the distance. They circled around the capital while hailing down fires on the capital. The sky grew darker and darker with smoke. There were rays of burning light bursting out from the castle slicing ships and buildings apart in seconds. When the worm arrived at/crashed into the capital’s outer wall they beheld a terrible sight. They could feel the heat of rage, the sting of pain, the cold of fear and the numbness of sorrow. A battle waged before them, one that made bystanders of the brave. The fights, so near and yet strangely apart, appeared more as clashes of colour than people fighting. They might have continued their idle onlooking had a knight’s ship not flown passed and sent a ball of fire crashing into the worm. The worm didn’t mind though, it had been feeling a bit chilly. Those on-board, however, dove for cover.
Roach was the first to take action.
“Kedjs ut b’ql ut ay’ qudj. Axyes zhli keplzhedjp. Ouzhql kyd zhli chedjg tzhdechi.” he said.
“Don’t forget! You still owe me your lives.” he said to Jean and the others. “Get me some nice booty and we’ll call it quits! O’dda ‘ch rikydi ezh unn r’ddjzh!” He leapt off the wall and his fellow Jojoji followed him.
The E’ni and Djuloks aboard the worm didn’t know what to do. The screams became clearer with their silence. Screams of rage, fear, sorrow and pain.
“The E’ni have no part in this battle!”
“You’ll fight with us damn you!”
“For what!? To add to the body count?”
“You’d leave your kinsmen to die?”
“They never treated us like kinsmen!”
A ray of light beamed passed them and sliced the sails off a nearby ship. It tumbled through the sky. Part of the hull smashed into the wall and sent splinters of wisp wood into the air. The ship crashed on the other side of the wall. Jean dove after it without hesitation. Moments later she returned with an injured knight.
“We’ve got to help them.” She said. “There are more down there.” Beardface and Zev immediately sprang into action but the others hesitated.
“But, they’re the enemy!” said a Djulok. Jean removed the knight’s helmet and kicked it off the wall.
“There! Now the enemy’s gone. He’s just a person now. He’s injured and he needs our help!”
“You heard her!” cried Jean’s mother. “Don’t you Djuloks keep medical supplies!?”
“Yes!” they said in unison.
“Good, then get them. We’ll make this worm our triage facility.”
“But, for who?” asked an E’ni.
“For whoever needs it! We’re no man’s land.” Jean’s mom rolled up her sleeves and took the injured knight from Jean. “Well!?” she yelled at those idle. “Do you expect me to do all the work myself!?”
“No!” The Djuloks said in unison and scrambled to help. The E’ni followed suit.
Beardface ascended with four injured knights on his shoulders.
“Jean. What is our objective here?” he said as he passed the knights on.
“We… we have to stop this!” Jean said. She was shaking. “I feel so powerle…” A ship passed overhead and unleashed a jet of flame. It narrowly missed them but the heat from it singed their skin. It exploded in a crowd of Jul soldiers filling the air with fresh screams.
“No!” Jean cried. She disappeared into the chaos before Beardface could stop her.
Die, damn you! You accursed murderers will die by my hand! The Queen will be avenged!
I won’t go out there! Not again! No more! No more! Don’t make me! No!
Move! Please move! I can’t do it without you! Please, wake up!
It burns! It burns! It buuuurns!
Djinn sidestepped through the crowds of Knights cutting them to ribbon. Streaks of blood and grunts of pain followed each successive strike. He barely paused and when he did it was only so that the bodies could fall and the next waves could approach their death. He stopped at a knight dressed in red armour instead of the usual blue. A ‘J’ stood boldly on his/her chest.
“A leader?” Djinn said.
“Justice.” Justice said.
“Do you see this sabre?” Djinn said. “It was carved with the light of the Desert Flower itself. And, just as the Desert Flower cleaved the Desert from Head Island I shall cleave you.” And then he did so.
Djinn looked down on the dying form. “I find no satisfaction in killing. But, to protect the Kingdom of Jul I would kill until the moon dyes blood red.”
“If your people die fighting then who will be left to protect?” Jean said.
“Jean the Youthful.” Djinn said surprised.
“Djinn the Jousting.” Jean said.
“From the moment I saw you I knew you were unfit for the title of master.” Djinn said. “And, not only because of your dirty blood.”
“You’re the dirty one Djinn! How can you let this fighting go on?”
“The fighting will end when we have won.” Djinn said. He turned away and made for the nearest group of knights. As he raised his sabre Jean appeared in front of him.
“I won’t let you encourage this bloodshed. You’re a Master of the Chosen. You should use your skills to protect…” A ship loomed above them. They could hear the cursed poetry of a wizard’s incantation. A ball of fire screamed towards them. Jean sprang for cover but Djinn did not flinch. He simply raised his bandaged arm and pointed it at the incoming fire. There was a ringing sound and the fire fizzled into nothingness.
“Nulls!” cried a wizard. “I didn’t sign up for this! Get me out of here!”
Djinn laughed. He slashed his sabre in the direction of the boat. At first nothing happened but then a moment later the ship split into a dozen pieces and knights began to rain down.
“Djinn!” Jean cried.
“I am merely retaliating. Or, would you have preferred to be ash?”
“There has to be a better way!” Jean said.
“Your problem, Jean, is that you, like most of the pitiable beings on this planet, do not possess the black eye. You cannot see things clearly, like I can. You see things as they are and not as they should be. That is why your kind needs the guidance of the black-eyed. Without us you blindly amble towards your own destruction and ruin. Now join me. Help me kill these remaining knights and the bloodshed will end.”
“Jean, I’m not asking you to join the dark side. They are a raiding party and we are a city of innocents. They struck first and we must fight back. Would you sacrifice a city of innocent people just so you can keep your hands clean?”
“It’s not like that! It isn’t kill or be killed! We can stop this! If we all stopped we could just go home!”
“Your ideals are cliché and uninteresting, Jean. But, I do not blame you. You were born inferior.” Djinn brushed her aside and approached the knights once again but once again Jean stopped him.
“Have it your way. I will show you superiority.” Djinn smirked. “We shall fight to your death.”
“Don’t you mean: to the death?” Jean said, hopefully.