40 Loss and Heartache
Tunde was not sure what to do.
At first he did not believe what Nnenna was saying but when she told him the locations of all the emergency escape tunnels, he relented.
His first instinct was to use his ability to convince his followers to buy enough time for him to escape but he quickly dismissed it based on the same reason he was feeling shocked and depressed.
This young teenage girl seemed to have the ability to negate his 'influence' and he knew she would never allow him sacrifice his people for the 'greater good'. Therefore, after some brief internal deliberation he submitted and said, "What would you have me do?"
Nnenna smiled and said in a confident voice, "Don't worry I have a plan."
Lola was shocked and apprehensive at what was going on.
Tunde had called all the members of the sect to the only room that could contain them, the dining hall and told them swiftly and succinctly, that they were under attack. Next he had split them into two groups, one led by the two other Knights in the group and the other led by him and Amina with Obi and his friends in the group.
Lola pinched herself to use pain to resist Tunde's persuasion and clear her head, but she noticed that Tunde was not using the two combat Knights of the group as a diversion but had actually assigned them to the best breakout point and given them the most combatants. In addition, Tunde had sacrificed most of his familiars, as he liked to call them, as distractions.
Lola was now worried about the success of the mission so insisted to wait behind with Tunde's group after everyone had hurried to their assigned position. But what shocked her the most was that this coward Tunde, without any tamed beasts, was heading for the main entrance.
Seun was the one the Patriarch had put in charge of the mission as it was of the utmost importance but he would have still volunteered for it even if he was not in charge because he was concerned for his niece. He knew that his worry was a side effect of his ability but he still could not help it.
But it seemed there was nothing to worry about.
"Reporting to the elder, the encirclement is complete. We can commence with the attack."
Just as Seun was about to relax, his ability triggered, and he shouted an order, "Defense Formation!"
Everyone quickly assembled into a square formation, braising for an attack from any angle.
However, time ticked by without anything happening. The tension rose and rose until a point when it burst like a bubble and everyone thought it was just their elder's paranoia so they began to relax their alertness.
Suddenly, multiple flares shot into the sky from the areas where the emergency escape routes that they were guarding, signalling a battle at those places. Seun could not believe what was happening, how had the Sabi Sect known they were here and already started escaping? But he had no time to figure it out as his only assumption was that Lola had been discovered.
Therefore, he commanded, "Units 3, 5 and 7 split up and go reinforce the other teams. Everyone else with me." and he raced to the main entrance. Seun reached the entrance first but noticed it was sealed, he quickly shouted without a moments notice, "Itoro break it down!" as he was consumed by worry.
Meanwhile Nnenna observed all that had happened behind the sealed main entrance.
The other team, which was at the farthest escape tunnel, had been the first to make an exit, led by the two combat Knights. They had speed ahead of the team and quickly dispatched the guards there preventing them from firing their flare thus buying enough time for people to escape through the small passage. However, to prevent the sound of battle spreading, Tunde had been instructed to command his familiars to attack after a certain time frame.
The timing was not exact but the results were still effective as Nnenna watched the ensuing battles. However, these experience warriors would have no issues dealing with beasts that were not being directed. They had only realized the flares due to the unexpected attack and their commander's orders.
Now the group at the main entrance was small enough for them to handle without her having to reveal Kayto.
She readied her bow from her position at the back with the other archers, noticed the look on Lola's face but just attributed it to tension, then said to Obi, "It's your turn, big man."
Musa reeled back and cried out in pain.
The blackout and darkness cloak canceled.
Ubong distanced herself from him and prepared another arrow from the scattered ones on the floor due to her roll. Meanwhile, Chijioke who had felt the contact on his spear had already started a follow up attack.
But Niyi, who had not made a sound since birth, felt Musa's pain through their bond and cried then de-materialized into a dark smoke and fell into its own shadow.
As the spear drew closer to the now blind Musa, Hafis, Nze and the others, who had been drawn to the sound, watched with triumph. But just as the spear struck home, Musa had also de-materialized into a dark smoke and fell into his shadow as well. Niyi has just learnt and used the ability shadow switch.
Musa emerged beside the dead body of elder Usman who had been brought away from the battle, closer to Aunt Turayo by Niyi, while Niyi emerged at Musa's position from the shadow on the ground with his beak snapping closed on the spear and corroding it. However, Ubong's arrow flew through piercing Niyi's heart.
Niyi cried for the second time.