A familiar face appeared at the opening to the top of the tower. It was her! The white haired woman! Tayla's lips curled into a smile. She watched as the coins flew towards the woman's face.
To Tayla's dismay, the woman jumped to the ground and barely avoided the attack. Tayla bared her teeth. She pushed the cotton tufts off to the side with her tongue. "GET HER!"
She raged. "SMASH HER FACE IN!"
The first of her men made it to the top, his club raised above his head. He ran at the woman. Ready to slam his weapon down on the woman's back.
Some of the coins that Tayla had launched had made their way towards Týfurkh and impacted on his shoulder plate and armor, both of which he had luckily strapped on again just moments before. There was a saying that money was the root of evil, but it being that
dangerous was something that could only mean that the cultists were back."How the hell..."
He didn't get any further with his exclamation as a potential disaster unfolded right in front of his eyes. Týfurkh not really had time to think about things, but decided spontaneously to not even try to aim and fire a bolt at the charging man. Instead he did the same thing and tried to intercept him at speed in order to slam the metal front end of his crossbow into a place where it was bound to hurt or to simply ram the attacker off the platform.
The two men's height was so vastly different, the charging giant ended up smashing the man in the chest. The man was sent flying backwards to the ground. The impact causing him to drop his club.
Tayla cursed. The giant would be difficult to deal with. She figured that if she could get close enough to touch him, then she could use her Hydraision magic to make his armor heavier. But first, they would need to get off these stairs.
Grabbing more coins, Tayla shifted the cotton in her mouth until she tasted sour. The coins launched up the stairs
It was just a single glance, but upon seeing that face and hearing the enraged shouts, Karina almost instantly knew who was responsible for the coin shower. It was the cultist woman she had beaten before. Apparently she wasn't very happy she got so humiliated...
Her plan, coupled with the fact that Karina was caught off guard almost resulted in Karina's death but thankfully, she wasn't alone. The second the man began running towards her with his club raised, he was brutally smashed on the wall by Týfurkh's charge, immediately making him drop the club.
With a thankful nod towards Týfurkh, Karina quickly got up and prepared herself to fight. Tayla was still on the stairs, behind the group she brought with her and she was certain that she wouldn't stay still, patiently waiting for her turn.
"Be careful with the coins!" Karina shouted to Týfurkh as a cold aura began forming around her as she formed two sharp ice spikes. Just as she finished doing that though, just as she had just said, more coins flew up the stairs, but this time Karina was prepared and had something planned to retaliate."Let's see if you learned anything..."
Karina said to herself with a smirk as she shot the ice spikes towards Tayla. While the spikes would go to the general direction where Tayla was, upon getting close to her and the rest of the people she was with, they would explode, sending many ice shards flying everywhere to cut those nearby.
If it worked as Karina was planning it would buy her and Týfurkh a little bit of time to think of what to do...
The two icicles shot towards Tayla. She grit her teeth. Not this time
Tayla thought. Those icicles were dangerous. The woman did all sorts of sneaky tricks with them. Best to avoid them. Tayla slid her left hand along the stone wall and swapped around the cotton in her mouth. Savory.
A single stone in the wall extended. It wrapped around Tayla's wrist, stretching as she ran up the stairs. This allowed her to maintain contact with the stone. The warped stone then shot outwards from her wrist, stretching sideways to form a protective roof over the people on the stairs. Though this would protect them from the icicles, Tayla knew it wasn't enough. The person at the front would still be vulnerable.
Tayla warped the stone further, stretching it beyond the opening to the floor above. The stone curved downwards, making a protective alcove. It's opening facing away from the giant and the white haired woman.
Still not enough. Without a distraction, her team would remain on the defensive. The stone warped further. Several spikes shot out from the back side of the alcove, towards the woman and the man. She couldn't see pass the opening above, so she fanned the spikes out blindly. Unsure if they would actually hit anything.
"Damn it, Tayla!" She heard a shout from above. "I'm on your side!" The clansman with the club. Still alive, apparently.
Tayla licked her drying lips. She was pushing herself. Dangerous, she knew. And yet, it was necessary. She would do what it took to beat this women.
Tayla took another sip of water from her skin. Two more people made it to the top. One of them was a female deterrent user under Smit's tutelage. "Ready the deterrents!"
Tayla shouted. The woman pulled out her throwing knives.
Karina couldn't help but to let out a smirk when she saw Tayla's reaction. She had indeed learned from their last encounter. Karina wasn't wrong when she got interested by that girl in the first time they met. It was truly a shame she was on the wrong side though.
Tayla's next move was smart though, protecting the ones who came with her from Karina's ranged attacks. They were in a pretty disadvantageous position and Tayla knew that as it became clear on how she used the alcove she formed to send spikes towards them. Even if it was a blind attack, it still served to further push Karina and Týfurkh back, making them step back and give Tayla's allies enough space and buying them enough time for them to get up and corner them.
Despite Týfurkh and Karina's position, Karina knew very well that Tayla was pushing herself much more than Karina or Týfurkh were. Other than that, Tayla was enraged just by seeing Karina. Judging by how she was acting and screaming, Karina doubt she would be able to keep her cool if she provoked her a bit more. Luckily, she would make a mistake and give them an opportunity to either escape or turn the battle in their favor.
Using her magic once more, Karina readied the same ice blades she had used against Tayla on their last battle. More of them would soon get up, they couldn't let Tayla and her allies to overwhelm them at any costs."Týfurkh, don't let them overwhelm us, try to eliminate them quickly, otherwise we wont stand a chance!"
Karina said, as she got ready to impale whoever was the one who tried to get up next with two of her ice blades."Pathetic to the very end. Couldn't beat me in a duel so you resort to an ambush..."
Karina shouted, with a cruel smile as she tried to provoke her.
Just as the next two people arrived on the top, Karina sent two ice blades to impale one of them as she got ready to fight. They needed to take them down quickly, before more were able to get up...
Mr. Club had made the mistake of betraying the fact that he was still alive, something he wouldn't survive. Having noticed it, Týfurkh once more slammed the front end of his crossbow against him, this time aiming at his throat. It was apparent that something very important for breathing had given way as a result, leaving the attacker regurgigating blood and on his way of dying if left untreated.
Týfurkh stepped back, trying to get some distance between him, the edge of the platform and the entrace where Tayla's weird magic was about to make its appearance. That weirdly warped piece of stone was an obstacle very hard to go around for both any individual and any projective, however it seemed that their men didn't have to face this problem.
Faced with a rather one-sided situation, Týfurkh sticked to Karina's advice of trying to kill quickly. However while there were Tayla's men standing on the other side of her obstance maybe she'd refrain from using it as a source of shrapnels again. The last volley of them had almost hit Týfurkh in his face and, in fact, a small amount of blood had started to pour from a place where his armor wasn't metal. The next piece of stone flying at him might not be so 'benevolent'.
One bolt was ready in his crossbow and Týfurkh pulled the trigger at a very close distance. He didn't care much about where it hit as long as it did hit. At this range there was so much kinetic energy involved that the bold possibly would just rip through the flesh and leave a large cavity behind. Still he couldn't be sure if that was enough, so Týfurkh also gave the attacker a kick in his belly region that was intended to make him stumble and come to a fall rather close to dead Mr. Club.
The obvious disadvantage of this action was that now the crossbow needed to be reloaded and this would require at least a bunch of seconds. However hopefully this barricade was as intransparent as it seemed to be from this side so hopefully none of the attackers on the other side would know this. And they had moved themselves into a cramped space Týfurkh intended to utilize with the next bolt. With a certain plan firmly in his mind, the giant started the reloading procedure as quickly as he could.
Tayla got to the top of the steps in time for the woman’s taunts to reach her ears. Her ears turned red as the hatred seeped through her. To the side, she noticed some of her comrades looking to one another. Perhaps second guessing the reason why they up here. Tayla’s face redden further. She reached for one of the blades at her side.
Without warning, one of her men stepped out from the warped stone’s protective cover. His actions earning him a crossbow bolt in the chest. He fell to the ground bleeding out. Another got his shoulder impaled by a blade of ice. Their dying forms. tampered Tayla’s rage and give her a moment of clarity. Reluctantly, Tayla relinquished her grip on her blade.
They were focusing on the ones stepping out of cover. That probably meant that her comrade, with the club, was no longer a threat. All of the enemy’s focus would remain on the rest of her team hiding behind Tayla’s cover. A cover she could not hold forever. To make matters worse, both of her opponents could use projectiles. Despite their numbers being on her side, range had her team at a severe disadvantage.
Tayla looked around, wondering what she could do to turn things in their favor. She saw nothing. Nothing, save the dangling rope hanging from the giant bell above them. Her eyes widened. A plan starting to form in her head. A desperate plan, but a plan nonetheless.
A strange calm filled Tayla as a familiar itch crawled up her neck. “Go back downstairs and help the others.”
Tayla told her team coolly.
The others hesitated, looking to her as if she were crazy. Tayla sighed. She grabbed a handful of coins while eyeing them threateningly. “Now.”
She said firmly.
Grudgingly, they turned to leave. “You.”
She said to the magic deterrent user. “I’ll be needing those knives…”
Moments later, the remainder of her team had begun their trek back down the stairwell. Tayla grabbed her skin of water and took a long sip. She released her hold on the stone wall and let it revert back to its original shape.