A Path of Anguish (Sahmael)

As the king of Faomori was giving his heartfelt speech, Eireen stood dazed and confused. She gently took Sahmael’s hand off of her shoulder and walked up to the edge of the parapet to look at the blue demon better. She felt sharp pain with every sentence Daegna’ar spoke, it hurt her to know that with all the pain he caused her, all the sacrifices he neglected, he had the audacity to speak of such profound things. She had absolute faith in the prophecy that Ba’alzathar and Sahmael shared with her. The fury building up in her chest was unrelenting and going through everything in her head over and over again, she finally made up her mind, and the difficult choice was made.

As Daegna’ar held a pause in his speech, Eireen started to speak to the King of Faomori, loud and clear. She told him that it is all forfeit, he had his time and chance and now fate is giving her another way. A better way. If he wouldn’t leave now and take his soldiers with him, they all would fall at the gates of this city. Through the difficult transformations she went through, she became stronger and needed a strong companion to be with, and it is not he who will be that companion. Eireen told that Daegna’ar is weak, and only she alone was responsible for him to even be where he is now. As she said all of that, her chest felt tighter than a noose on a hanged evil doer. But the choice was made, and what had to be done now has been done.

Finishing her reply, Dr. Holmes slowly turned around, and walked back to Sahmael, snuggling into his arms, embracing her new future.

Listening to her, Daegna’ar’s heart sank lower with every word. His hope was fading away. The vengeful and hate-filled King of Faomori was climbing back up from the depths of Daegna’ar’s soul. He was crushed, again. Nevertheless, the King takes what he feels belongs to him. The eternal enemy of the Old Gods turned around and walked back to his warriors. He set his enhancements into overdrive and gave the order to his army to begin the siege of the City of Dis.

Hearing the choice of the primordial, Sahmael sprawled out in a pleased grin. His plan worked. Without hesitation, he unsheathed Vur Chavvui and sprang into the air. The demonic knights at the frontline of the bridge were covered in a dark mist and started moving fast across the bridge, toward Daegna’ar’s army.

Eireen stranded on the parapet was looking at the theater unfold, feeling guilty for what was about to begin. She knew full well that she was the catalyst of the events that are about to become historic, whether she wanted it or not. Her heart cowardly pounded in guilt.

Ba’alzathar went up higher in the air, to get in position to control his warlocks and support the advancing forces of Dis. He was near gleeful in anticipation of the heavy units crushing the interlopers. That excitement did not hold for long. As the heavily armored units came closer to the other side, a blinding light struck through the advancing soldiers and cut through the bridge itself as if through paper, ending its path at the gates of the city, melting right through them. The soldiers of the Dark Wing Order who were struck by the light, or were still on the bridge all went down to the bottom of the river Styx.

The light came from the Daegna’ar’s base. A huge weapon stood right in the middle of it. A war machine the likes of which Ba’alzathar had never seen before.

This strike was felt even on the parapet, the whole thing shifted, but Eireen was staring at the battlefield, deathly scared, but for other reasons. Ba’alzathar took note of her reaction to this and realized that her heart and mind are still at odds, and she was on the verge of trying to stop the upcoming battle, getting in the way of the plans ahead.

The Dark Wing heavy units that made it across finally reached the front line of the interloper’s army. These seasoned warriors of Infernum were absolutely aware of the task before them, and the challenge the enemy poses. For 16 years they have been fighting for their lord, conquering and becoming stronger with every fallen foe. It all came up to this. Yet none of them were expecting such valiant effort from the enemy at hand. The Dark Wing soldiers pushed through the suppressive fire of the mechanized bears infused with Sigurdin serum, the dark shroud made it impossible to aim at the approaching enemy. The bears have been torn apart like toys, together with any riflemen and gunners standing in their way. Along the frontline right in the middle of the fight was Daegna’ar and two of his Faomori soldiers, covered by a few warlocks. During the clash, one of the warlocks was struck through his chest with one mighty blow of a needle-like pike, and as he fell, he crumbled into ashes.

The Dark Wing expected the enemy to fall back in panic, scattering and giving them more ground to advance and reinforce, yet after the first line fell, the dark mist that engulfed them lit up. It was moving a flash to the left, a flash to the right. The flashes were followed by screams of the fallen riders of the Dark Wing, harmonizing with the screeches of the mounts in a bone-chilling crescendo. That was Darkir-Tungu, slicing through soldiers up to three at a time. It looked as if the giant sword in the hands of the blue demon weighed nothing. He was quick and deathly efficient with each and every blow. Only took a few minutes for the forces of Dis to spread out in two, to the east and the west, making them sitting ducks for the suppression fire that rained upon them from the backlines of Daegna’ar’s army. As the dust started to settle from the skirmish, Daegna’ar saw that only he, his two wounded Faomori warriors, and a warlock were left in his unit. The field was littered with corpses from both sides of the battle. He grabbed the wounded warriors and fled in the direction of the base, running through the army of souls, who covered their retreat with a shield wall.

Seeing the power of the siege gun the interlopers possessed, Sahmael ordered the flying demons to destroy it as fast as possible. The flying demons fell by the hundreds on approach to the fortification of the gun, yet more and more reinforcements came in, allowing them to get closer in masse. They figured out that flying lower made the AA guns less effective, and a hundred or so of the flying soldiers reached the siege gun. They’ve crushed its supports right as the gun was firing, and as it was falling, it sliced through the western watchtower, caving in a big portion of the wall, burying a few hundred demons under the rubble. The debris less into the river Styx creates a makeshift pathway across.

Meanwhile, the Ultec Robotics observation force was sending back intel on the situation, and waiting on further orders.

The parapet above the gates caved in as the last shot from the siege gun rung out. She fell into the rubble. Deagna’ar noticed that it has caved in, but didn’t see if Dr. Holmes got out of the way. He was strangely worried, still, even while hate and resentment were surging through his mind and soul now. Ba’alzathar and Sahmael, seeing Eireen fall in, both decided to not get in the way of that, seeing as the Doctor was still relatively safe, and this could only play into their favor. She fell with the rubble, on the outside of the city walls, being cut off from any way into the city by land.

As the aerial assault continued on the encampment, the AA guns were falling one by one, even though they’ve cost the army of Dis countless lives of their soldiers. As more airspace was cleared, the aerial attacks intensified on the forces below with even more ferocity. Even outnumbered and outmaneuvered, Daegna’ar’s soldiers, along with the souls that joined the King of Faomori, were hitting back heavily. The eerie-energy-powered weaponry cut through the flying demons like cardboard toys.

Sahmael ordered the army to divert some of the forces toward the makeshift bridge that manifested from the fallen watchtower and caved in wall debris. Heavy infantry started to pour out in between the caved-in wall but was greeted on the other side of the river by Lost Souls, fighting on the Daegna’ar’s side. They held them off quite well until the demonic ballistas at the walls started to annihilate them in significant numbers. Even in Infernum, the Lost Souls felt fear and fled as their numbers dwindled. This did allow the army of Dis to advance further, yet the backline of the flank was ready for them to cross, with heavy weapons to cut through them. Both sides came to a stalemate, realizing that crossing this embankment would be impossible without losing an excessive amount of soldiers at they are fired upon.

As the chaos on the battlefield raged on, Sahmael flew behind the enemy lines, hiding in the ashen clouds above, and landed right where the gateway was positioned. He sliced through it with the dark blade of Vur Chavvui, closing the portal to the Soranus-13 facility.

Now that the way back was cut off, Sahmael cut through the defense forces at the encampment. Some tried to fight back, some stood petrified of the Lord of Dis. It mattered very little to Sahmael, he was there to make sure not a single soul leaves this battlefield.

Deagna’ar got word of this over the radio. He ordered the troops to hold firm on the ground they are standing on, as he deals with the sabotage at the heart of the base. As a retaliation tactic, he ordered reserve forces to move out closer to the river, to mortar the enemy artillery, blasting them from behind the city walls. While Sigurdin serum-infused bears stacked up the bodies of the fallen enemies into another embankment across the Styx.

He ran as fast as his body allowed him to, and within a few minutes, he finally reached Sahmael. Throwing away his last victim to the side, Sahmael soared into the air and dove sword first at Daegna’ar, without hesitation. This attack was easily fended off by Darkir-Tungu. Throwing Sahmael to the side. They stared at each other, circling in a dance to the death. Daegna’ar made the first move, rushing at the Lord of Dis, bombarding him with slashes which Sahmael defended against without much trouble. Yet, Vur Chavvui started to shoot shards of onyx after each deflection of the blue demon attacks. This signaled to Sahmael that fighting Deagna’ar and his imbued blade would be foolish, as Vur Chavvui will shatter to pieces if they continue this fight like this.

Sahmael once again flew up into the air, knowing exactly what to do next.

As the battle was in full swing, the Ultec Robotics observers were still waiting on the go-ahead from the high command back in Cutieland. The weather was not getting any better. The winds were picking up, creating sort of an ash storm around the battlefield and the surrounding areas. The winds blew high at first, yet with little time it was noticeable as it was descending lower and lower as if directed by someone’s hand.

Suddenly, a dark pillar of energy shot out from the middle of the city of Dis, arching its way back to the ground, like an arm, trying to feel for something specific. It was coming closer and closer to the observers, and it was clear that this pillar was searching for them, and found them.

A call to arms was called, but it was already too late, as the dark feeler went past every soldier and robot swallowing the gateway within itself. It looked as if this thing was consuming the portal itself. The portal closed and the dark feeler dissipated into a little cloud of smoke taken away by the winds like nothing was even there. Seconds later, the pillar arched once more, this time it aimed at several kilometers to the north of their position, at a nearby temple, then moved back towards the city.

The Ultar technicians tried to restart the portal, but no new rift appeared. It appeared that the dark feeler from Dis depleted the batteries from the power supplies for the portal, and no matter what they would do there was no chance of them bringing back the portal home.

The Ultar general Drago Sicinari now had to choose who they would aid in the battle below, as there was no way to get back the portal online. It wasn’t a long process of picking aside. Drago knew full well that Daegna’ar and his army possessed the portal technology, and could be their ticket back home. He ordered his troops to march north, readying weapons to join the battle of Infernum.

Through this whole ordeal, Ba’alzathar kept his Lord up to date about the course of the battle, and on the mental state of the primordial, who showed her insecurities about the choice she made. To which Sahmael ordered Ba’alzathar to get ready to bring Dr. Holmes out from the rubble into the air above where she would be seen from the battlefield, and ready a spell that would cause unextinguishable pain unto the primordial. Sahmael ordered him to wait for his signal as soon as Ba’alzathar gets in position.

Daegna’ar lost sight of Sahmael. Figuring that the fight is over, for now, he looked around the area that was once his encampment. It was trashed, piled with corpses of the fallen warriors of both sides, the siege weapons crushed, the gateway slashed in two. The portal could be repaired, but they would need time and live engineers to do so, and he had no clue whether any of the support personnel would still be alive. He gathered the surviving soldiers, ordering them to search for any survivors and repair the weaponry as fast as they could. It was imperative to get back online for them all to survive this fight. Right after giving his orders, he went back to the destroyed bridge that lead to the gates of Dis.

He joined the troops that were finishing up with the embankment across Styx. As they were building, some demons tried to take potshots at them from the walls, but they were suppressed by the heavy gunners that were doing their best to buy the building crew time to finish up with their task. When the last pile of bodies and rubble was thrown down, finishing the makeshift bridge, the soldiers of Dis started to advance on the enemy, trying to bottleneck the attackers before they cross over to the other side. Even before getting close to the freshly build embankment, the Infernum troops were blasted to smithereens by some sort of an explosive. The explosions had the same glow as the eerie energy. A few hundred heavy armored soldiers were turned to ash in a split of a second. Daegna’ar was confused by this and turned towards the origin of the projectiles. To his absolute shock, he saw hundreds of robots, robotic soldiers, and mercenaries silently approaching his position.

Deagna’ar saw that the mercenaries were Cuties, alive Cuties, but he had no idea who they were and where they came from. The only clue he had was that the weaponry was very much the same as the Tron City forces that were also a part of his army. It became clear that those are allies and they are here to help against the forces of Dis, not the other way around.

It felt as if a rock fell off his chest, knowing that there are more people on the same side of this than he expected and that they are not alone. This did not last long though. Looking back at the city walls, Deagna’ar saw Eireen levitate above the rubble of the gates, like a centerpiece in a twisted painting. His heart sunk once more.

Above he saw Ba’alzathar, he was the one holding her up in the air. She let out a horrible, agony-filled scream. The great warlock was twisting his hands and moving his fingers, and to each of the movements, a scream followed suit. Ba’alzathar twisted Eireen’s body whichever way he pleased, getting as close as possible to a breaking point of her body, then twisting her back to normal.

Daegna’ar bellowed an order for the gunmen to focus fire on the Warlock, but nothing got through the powerful protection sigils he was covered by. Knowing that something had to be done about the warlock, as the last resort Daegna’ar threw Darkir-Tungu at Ba’alzathar. The sword whistled through the thick hot air of Infernum with speed and might. It cut through the sigils slower and slower, until finally cut through the warlock’s protection and struck him in the chest. The warlock started to hover down to the ground, along with Eireen.

Falling to the ground, Eireen understood the reality of the situation, and tears of sorrow filled up her eyes. She knew what Daegna’ar have surrendered for her. This was what Sahmael was waiting for. He dove sword first, from the ashen clouds, aiming at the heart of the King of Foaomori. Daegna’ar heard the warcry above him and turned around to face the Lord of Dis, face to face.

A split second later, a cold blade pierced Deagna’ar’s heart. He knew that his journey has come to an end. Feeling life draining from his body, Daegna’ar squeezed Sahmael’s head with his augmented hand with all his remaining strength, crushing the eyeless helmet. The King of Faomori was the first to see the true gaze of the Lord of Dis, since the Fall.

Sahmael pulled back his sword from Daegna’ar’s fading body, slashing through an eerie battery in the spine of the exoskeleton, causing it to explode. This explosion threw Sahmael into the River Styx, where the souls of the sinners tried to pull him down to the bottom.

As the explosion rolled through his body, Daegna’ar was finally smiling. He was finally free, he was finally alone again.

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