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DarkHorse

Under The Hot Desert Sun

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Khepri smiled as she saw the wall of fire raise out of the corner of her eye. Her shadow puppets cleared the way for her as she ran through the camp, following the noise of her name being bellowed. 

There, in the center of the camp he stood, bellowing her name in rage, massive sword above his head swirling in his anger. He was at least a foot taller than her already impressive height, his massive chest bared and upon his head was a shock of hair just as coppery red as Khepri’s. He was her twin in every sense of the word, down to the birthmark on the base of his spine, the only difference was he was male, and did not possess her magic. 

“KHEPRI!” He bellowed.

“Brother.” She said quietly to counter his bellow. 

“Call it off.” He said.

”You must pay for your crimes.” She said as they began to circle each other.

They moved with the grace of two large jungle cats, preparing to fight to the death. He lunged at her, she blocked him with her spear. 

“I freed you.” He corrected, countering the blow she attempted to land on him, they were warming up. 

“You stole me from my home!” She hissed, “You destroyed the temple, killed priestesses and erected a likeness of yourself in sacred ground!” 

He swung at her viciously and she blocked it, countering him with a quick strike to the knee. He leapt back, getting a small cut in the process. 

“You should be the mother of kings.” He said, “You were wasted on that temple that took you from your rightful family....Garr would have been a good match had you just let him break you.” 

With an angry hiss she leveled several more quick blows, swinging her double sided spear like a windmill she pushed him back, back, back until his heels dug in and he shoved her away with one powerful sweep. 

“Him, his entire garrison, his elite guard, and anyone else that wanted to have a try.” She said through angry gritted teeth.

”You would not break!” Her brother aimed a blow at her that she had to kneel and put her spear over her head to block, she could hear the wood creak from the blow. 

“Nor will I - “ She said, “Not for any man, not ever.” 

With a cry she leapt up and brought her sword down on the head of her brother, with a swift cut upwards he shattered the shaft of her spear in half, breaking it in two. Words no longer necessary between them, she fought like a Bezerker, tossing the spear shards aside she unhooked her short blades and hefting them in each hand continued to fight him, blow for blow. 

She knew that she could lay down her weapons at any time and he would stop, tend to her wounds and care for her. She knew that he truly did think he was doing what was best for her - he was her twin. But she tucked that into the back of her mind as she fought him, he committed a terrible crime and she was a servant of the Goddess above all. 

She ignored the sting of the blade as it sliced down her cheek, the blood running into her eye, she ignored the gash that ran along her arm and threatened to make her arm numb....she just kept fighting, her magic lending power to her swings, giving her energy, blocking out the pain. She remained oblivious to the fighting around them, only they two existed. 

She cried out as his sword swung low, catching her in the side, cutting through flesh, muscle and finally lodging in the bones of her ribs. His surprise at landing the blow, and being unable to remove his sword quickly and cleanly threw him off guard. Khepri, with an anguished yell, took the opportunity to cleanly and neatly slice her blade across his unprotected throat, his face still holding the shocked look as the head rolled to the side and away into the dust. His hulking form falling to its knees and then toppling over. 

She too fell to her knees, as they touched the sand the control she had over the shadows slipped and they consumed their hosts before disappearing into a pile of ash. She tossed her swords aside and with a painful yank, pulled her brothers from her side, pressing her hands to it to keep it from bleeding out. Her blank eyes stared at her brother’s lifeless form. She was a twin killer - and an upholder of the Goddess will. 

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Scarlett, with blood splattered on her beautiful, unscathed body, watched the battle. She knew this was not her fight, though she desperately wanted to rip every organ from the man. Five men tried to take this as an opportunity to stab her. Unfortunately for them the inscribed runes on her blade glowed blood red, and her sword became two demonic blades, made from a strong metal that looked like magma. She sliced all their throats and blood spilled on her.

Someone from a distance away shot her with an arrow. It hit her back on her right shoulder. Her hair went up like fire as her wings came out. She looked the man dead in the eye. He dropped the bow in fear and started running. She flew directly behind him and stabbed him twice, in both lungs. Her blades cut through the bone and pierced the other side of his body. She was tired of these men and seeing that Khepri was now injured, she made sure to lay waste to the men around. 

She flew faster than they could react and cut them all down. When she was done, she was covered in blood, and her blades faded as she ran to Khepri, the arrow still in her shoulder. 

"Khepri! Can you hear me?"

She knelt down to her.

Edited by Trevor Wisegem

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He didn’t know what was happening out there and his work kept his mind from it.  When the day was over the temple stood as a grand testimony to his ability to put together a building.

 

He used the remaining time to search the scriptures  to try and find out about the destroyed statue. Which he wasn’t willing to remove due to fear of a cure or some holy wrath washing over them. 

 

He did not find out about it and so what was the be the master piece of the temple was left unfinished safely, he’d need the remaining Preistest to try and help him figure out the final piece.

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The sounds of Sei puffing out air could be heard through the now silent camp. Bits of limbs were stuck in the barbs attached to her, her tusks stained red and her sides heaved from exhaustion. She began rifling around in the sand and digging in search of water. All movement seemed to cease, and the desert sand curled around them as a light breeze kicked it up. 

"I can hear you -" She said through gritted teeth, "But I may not in a little while..." 

She groaned and staggered to her feet, red dripping from under her hand that she had pressed there. She unraveled her head wrap and used it to clean away some of the blood to see how bad it was. The gash was deep, revealing some of the chipped ribcage beneath, shit, it was likely going to leave a scar, especially with what had to happen next. 

"You are going to have to burn it closed." She said, "I will hold the skin together if you will burn it for me. That should stop the bleeding until I can get back to the temple." 

She noticed the arrow sticking out of Scarlett's shoulder, "You have been stuck too, can you not feel it? Burn this closed and I will pluck that out for you."

She grimaced as she pinched the skin closed around the wound, her waist and pants stained a deeper red. 

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Scarlett held Kephri in her arms, so she wouldn't fall. She looked at the arrow I her shoulder as Khepri asked about it. 

She looked to the ground a bit while keeping g a straight face. "I feel it. Pain just hasn't bothered me since I was a little girl..." She looked back up after a few seconds. "Unfortunately you will feel and be bothered by what I'm about to do. My fire isn't normal and will hurt a lot more, even with the little power I'm about to use."

She held up her index fineger. As it had a tiny flame. She pressed it against Khepri's skin, sealing it up. This hurt though, it would feel like the organs near this area would be burning into a crisp. Fortunately, they weren't. 

A second later the wound was closed, and knowing Khepri would fall from pain, Scarlett held her hands and held her close. Scarlett's hair flowed in the breeze like a gentle, calm flame. And her eyes showed a bit of care in them. She would stay there, holding Khepri until she was strong enough to stand again. 

Phillip even came over to comfort her. 

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Ahab has brought it all together and he sat infringe of those amazing steps staring out  into the distance after the two women who’d left.  It had fallen quite  silent without them all raising hell around this place.

 

 

 

 

It stood at the edge of the desert.  Huffing and puffing.  All around we’re the dismembered bodies of a group of bandits trying to rob Him. He strings around his fingers had the last one begging for mercy. She screamed st him about how he was a coward, however he knew he’d jsut our thought this bandit. Most of the time he’d let the unworthy go to becom stringer but today wasn’t one of those days. He wasn’t on pay roll and this place was better without them. With unseen hands, she was silenced. She didn’t know she was dead till her head rolled off her brain processed this and her mouth formed to scream, to bad he didn’t let her have her vocal cords. 

 He huffs. Holding his sides. Clicks and clanks barely being conceal.  He couldn’t patch it up!  How fortunate he didn’t bleed any more. That his body was no longer of the flesh that brought in such great weaknesses.   However  he wasn’t able to be fixed like them now lifeless. 

He groanses and continued. He took out yet another beautiful sword from its sheath he was close so close. He let go of that beautiful sword dropping it down the side of a sand dune. Two were left of his fifteen. Soon the fighting and blood would be over, rest would finally find him.

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The fire burned, it burned so badly she saw black and red behind her eyelids as she collapsed. She let herself too, she knew she was safe with Scarlett. And while it only took a few seconds, it felt like an eternity of being burnt to a crisp form the inside out. 

She didn’t even let out a grunt of pain before passing out and becoming dead weight. Visions of the past swam in her eyes causing her to nearly cry out in emotional pain, loss and emptiness claimed her for a moment - light flooded her eyes and she woke with a choked gasp. 

“Fuck that hurt!” Were the first few words out of her mouth, “Thank You.”  

She called Sei to her and the beast dropped down on its knees so she could climb up it with a pained cry. She flopped across her back and squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. 

“Let’s get back to the temple.” She called down to Scarlet through gritted teeth, “It’s my best chance of this not killing me.” 

She passed out on Sei as the beast began to thunder back to the temple. 

It took less time to get back to the temple that I find the army. After several days of hard riding, Sei thundered through the gates. Khepri limply draped across her back, feverish and incoherent, babbling about someone named Tobias and a mission. 

Sei let out a deafening roar to get attention for her master to get help. She slumped down on her knees and roared again. 

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Scarlett held Kephri in her arms, so she wouldn't fall. She was impressed by how she didn't groan with pain. Her heart maybe sped up a bit for it. 

"Don't worry. I got you." 

For once over the course of their relationship, Scarlett spoke with a calm, sweet sounding voice. She did not sound angry. She did not sound excited. She just sounded like she cared and she even let out a smile. 

It was time to ride now. They had to get her home. She rode back with Khepri. Once they arrived, and she was on the ground, Phillip came over and nuzzled her face. Khepri felt a tiny surge of energy in her. 

Scarlett went looking for the man they had met before. 

"We need some help over here!!"

 

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Ahab ran out of the now grand and spectacular temple looking over at the source of commotion he ran over to Scarlet and Kherpi. “ What’s wrong? What’s happened how can I fix it?” He asks in a worried panick at seeing the state Khepri is in. 

 

Tobais walks the desert alone until sand tumbled beneath his feet. He grabs a sword and ends the battle before it even begins earnestly. As a young man in what use to be a nice white uniform pops out of the ground he drives his sword into his face and leaves it and him pinned there. “ Good officers jump over board when their captain tells them to.” Is all he can say.

 

after who knows how long as passed he sees the majestic temple and leaves the last blade at the  dune closest to the entrance. With that he takes one final breath and steps inside he can hear muttering from deeper within.  His me tired he says the only thing he can think. 

“ Khepri.”

 

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Khepri felt a surge of energy as something soft brushed against her face, she opened her now glazed over eyes and looked around at the temple. Confusion mostly flooded her as she saw Scarlett and then Ahab, who ran out of the temple. 

She jerked suddenly, the energy giving her enough power to move a little. 

"Where is he!?" She demanded, "Where is my Tobias?"

She was near frantic, trying to stand up, in a different world completely due to fever. Blinking she was able to vaguely recognize where she was for a moment, again confused, thinking she was somewhere else moments before. 

"Scarlet?" She asked, looking at the woman, "How did we end up here? Who are you?! Who is he!? Why is there a man in my temple? Where is Tobais?"

Again her mind slipped as she drifted back into the false reality that her mind was creating, failing to stand she collapsed again onto the stone floor and the cool stone on her cheek cleared her mind like being doused in cold water. 

"Inside -" She said through gritted teeth, "Inside - underneath the temple, there should be healing herbs....if any of the sisters we managed to free on our way to the battle are here , they will know what to you...."

Her eyes rolled in her head for a moment and when they rolled back they were unfocused, again she began to murmur about the mission, explosions and this Tobias character. 

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