flASH fiction Volume 3 Finale, Part 1
Rin watched at his magic coursed through the water of the Bone Sea and sealed the crack in Rustwatch’s seal wall. Reuniting the sundered sheets of metal with solid ice from the docks of the outer harbor to where the watchtowers were lost to the sky was a staggering display that muted all the crewmen on the ship that carried the Forestdale boy. While the execution of mystical power has been nothing short of extraordinary, it felt like a trivial matter for Rin after he had toppled a mountain not so long ago in the wilds of his homeland. The anger that fueled Rin’s power was replaced with a sense of self-satisfaction, as he wached the culmination of his magic thwart the gigantic chimera that attacked the seal wall.
Hammurabis roared with a sound that split the atmosphere above the Iron Lord’s city like thunder. The beast’s cry of dismay could be heard for leagues. The chimera thrashed about at the newly formed icy barrier but to no avail. Even with its unmatched brawn the aquatic monstrosity could not pierce the wall. Its dauntless precession of days on end, slamming itself into the wall had been all for naught. The thing turned its attention from the wall to the lone ship that mocked it from the outer tides of the harbor. Hammurabis released its squid-like tentacles from where they were holding its massive bulk on the seal wall and returned to the water of the Bone Sea. The creature began to lance thought the waves with destructive speed. The impact of it’s considerable frame would reduce the ship and all aboard to a shower of bloody splinters.
Rin looked on at the mammoth thing plowing thought the water ahead. He felt the deck of the ship shift heavily below his feet at the swill of water displaced by the creature swept under the boat. The Frostdale boy managed to keep his balance while the most of the ship’ s crew were cast to the deck and even a few hapless men found themselves flung overboard. Rin was the only one on the ship to keep his calm. All around him men cried in despair and fearful alarm as Hammurabis bore down on the craft. The beast would be upon the vessel in moments and then all would be death on the water. A villainous glint shown in the terrible thing’s beady black lifeless eyes. The thing was perilously close to the ship and raised up one of it’s crushing pincer claws to bring down a killing blow upon the defenseless craft.
Rin called upon his winter magic once more. His anger was reignited as he saw good men falling to watery death over the side of the ship. Once more his rage put him in tune with all of Argaia’s creation. In that moment his hatred of the chimera let the boy harness every drop of water in the sea before him. As he had commanded the royal mountains of Frotsdale to bow before him, Rin now brought the tides of the ocean under his reign. Rin’s hate ran deadly cold and seeped into the water. With a blinding flash of silver Rin had frozen the surrounding waters of the Bone Sea solid.
Hammurabis was stopped abruptly in its charge. Where there had once been a churning swirl of foam and sea spray as the monster had plowed it way thought the waves was now a thick sheet of ice that ran from the surface of the sea down do where sunlight was unable to reach in the depths below. The chimaera twisted and bent in a vain attempt to extricate itself from its cold restraints. It screamed and growled in terrible anger as the water it had so effortlessly cut though had become impassable. Hammurabis fought against its imprisonment until it was clear that the magic holding it in place was too powerful to be overcome. The momentary defeat put the beast’s nightmarish features into a grand expression of retaliation incarnate. The thing abandon its futile battle against the all-encompassing ice and refocused its attention on the small ship that was now similarly trapped in ice.
Rin felt his strength begin to fade. While he had possessed the means to repair the seal wall, the rapid follow up feat of freezing and ocean had taxed the boy to near total exhaustion. He had to grab the side rail of the ship’s deck in order to steady himself. His head had started to spin and he could scarily keep upright. Through blurred eyes and rasping breath Rin made out the image of Hammurabis rising up a wicked pincer claw and wailing a feral wrathful call. Rin fell to his knees and covered his head as Hammurabis brought is claw smashing down. The creature was too encumbered by the smothering ice to strike the timber of the ship but it’s heavy blow slammed into the ice just in front of the vessels figurehead.
The next thing Rin was aware of was being airborn. He saw the ships deck shrinking below him as he continued ascending into the air. The force of the great chimera’s attack catapulted Rin and several of the ship’s crew up as far as the vessel’s crow’s nest until the men began to plummet back to the unforgiving hard ice waiting below. The sight of a blinding white sprawl rushing up at Rin was enough to make him pass a reflexive fearful gasp from his lips. Rin shut his eyes tightly as he fell to the ground. Even though he had put the image of a swiftly approaching demise out of sight, the terror filled shrieks of the other men falling to their death on the ice echoed in Rin’s ears like cannon fire.
The sensation of wind softly whipping over his body as he fell came to a violent end. The impact was every bit as hard in reality as Rin’s mind had imagined during his time falling. While he hit the ice with a visceral thud, there was no pain that found him in the moments after landing. Rin waited desperately to feel the heat of the moment fade and be replaced with the agony of broken bones and open flowing cuts but that feeling never found him.
Rin opened his eyes to find himself laid on strange soundings. A massive lavishly decorated four-poster bed and ornately overstuffed pillows had broken his fall. He saw that each of the other crewmen scattered from the ship had also been saved from grim deaths smashed upon the sea turned to ice by beds and pillows embroidered with the crest of Lighthouse Bay. As he took the luxury of a moment from the wild beat that rampaged nearby to ponder the strange salvation that had speared him, a soft alluring voice whispered in the back of his mind.
“You are most welcome, my friend,” came the soundless call of a gentle woman’s sublime voice. “We will be at your side presently.”
Rin’s distraction was ended by the earsplitting roar of Hammurabis. The chimera had begun to pull itself from the ice that encased much of its body. With his wits back about him Rin returned his efforts to bolstering his spell that had transformed the sea into a vast frozen field. The Frostdale boy and the towering chimera became deadlocked as Rin’s force of will battled Hammurabis’s sheer brute strength. The two fought for a painstakingly agonizing length of time before the stalemate was interrupted by a magnificent clarion call from the city across the ice.
The main gate of Rustwatch was thrown open and from it poured Iron Men, Amuari warriors, Rayward Knights and a great host of brave united people hailing from every corner of Argaia. At the vanguard of the wondrous charge were Coal, Dimona, Saria and Noah. The four great Argaian heroes led an army thundering across a sea of ice to once and for all end the strongest of the living chimera. In one splendid moment upon the frozen Bone Sea there were no separate nations divided by history, faith or culture. There were only brave men and women who were ready to fight and bleed for the survival of all humankind.