38 Alone in the dark
With the darkness, elder Usman activated his heat vision and mowed his way through the traitors of the clan avoiding the panic fire of crossbow bolts. Screams and blood field the air.
In addition, elder Usman had managed to kill two of the enemies Knights before an internal mage with the sound element confronted him. It would appear that despite Usman's skills in reducing the noise he made, this particular Knight could pick up on the slightest sounds like the rustling of clothing, the faintest of breathes and the shuffling of feet.
However, elder Usman was the more skilled Knight at this sort of fighting and would have dispatched this opponent as well if not for an addition Knight joining the fray. Unfortunately for elder Usman, this Knight also had heat vision and so the tag team was too much to handle.
Just as he was going to be overwhelmed Musa joined the fray.
Immediately the darkness descended, Hafis knew Musa had taken action and was glad they had made plans to counter his abilities. His team of internal mages were paired to guard each others backs and they even grouped together so each pair could assist the others. In addition, the mages with sound and fire affinity that were suited for tracking would team up together and engage the enemy.
However, he did not expect that even with these countermeasures, judging by the screams, one pair of Knights had already been eliminated. This had caused the other Knights who felt vulnerable in the darkness to panic.
Hafis was glad that he had chosen to team up with Nze for the additional security of his defense ability but also because he was the leader of this team of mages and seem to be more in control. With his back pressed to Nze's, Hafis said, "You need to calm down your team and get them to focus."
Nze responded, "Yes your right... I did not expect Musa who was barely a match for me before to become so powerful as an external mage...hah such a loss." Then Nze shouted to the rest of the mages, "Quiet all of you. Form up into a tight circle. Defense mages on the outside all other mages on the inside. Adebolu, Olamide come into the center you are the only ones that have abilities to sense the enemy..."
However, just as Nze was restructuring the group, two more screams sounded in the darkness.
Musa had first gone to clean up the remaining traitors in the clan that had come with Hafis as he felt that elder Usman could handle himself. However, when he noticed him struggling, he finally gave into to Niyi request to join the fight and left her to finish of the remaining clan warriors.
Even though Musa was always apprehensive about letting Niyi fight so never made use of her despite her insistence, he was confident that she could handle the few remaining traitors in the darkness. This was again one of Musa's failings as an external mage which resulted in Niyi not been as proficient in using darkness element to fight; nevertheless her talons proved fatal to the Hafis' warriors.
Therefore, while Niyi was sweeping through the remaining warriors, Musa focused the darkness essence in the darkness cloak to erase heat and sound as he could not maintain it for long and rushed up behind one of elder Usman's opponents. Musa could have killed him silently but in order to scare and startle the other Knights, Musa delivered a fatal strike that still allowed this sound element Knight to scream before death.
The distraction worked as elder Usman was able to take advantage of the situation to finish off his opponent but just as Musa was about to relax, an arrow pierced through elder Usman's heart.
A little while earlier, at the battle site of elder Ladidi, the team of internal mages were first shocked by the speed and tenacity of this one handed female before they realized that this female Warrior will never be taken alive.
Now, elder Ladidi lay on the ground covered in wounds and blood. The Knight called Bambo had made sure to caught off her other arm before leaving her to bleed to death.
As death drew closer, Ladidi was lost in the despair and sense of betrayal that Bambo's final words left in her.
"Foolish woman...Hafis had already guaranteed your life...to think you would choose death instead...what a waste."
Ubong had left Bambo in charge of securing the Abacha clan and proceeded to join the other team at the throne room with Chijioke. As a new addition to this mage uprising despite her reluctance, she knew she needed to prove herself to be secure.
On getting to the corridor of the throne room, Ubong was shocked to see all the warriors that submitted to Hafis on the ground dead and the Knights in a defensive circle. She quickly drew her arrow to eliminate the only threat she could see as the other two Knights of the opposition were at the end of the hall but as her arrow left its string she head Chijioke say, "Why is it so dark in here?"
He watched as elder Usman's body slowly slumped to the ground.
He watched the multiple expressions play over elder Usman's face: pain, anger, regret and then nothingness- the sweet acceptance of death from a man who had dealing in this trade of his life.
Then Musa followed the path of the arrow to the woman at the entrance of the corridor with a bow in her hand and then he moved.