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Vital by Aderyn
Chapter 22 : Chapter 22
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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Chapter 22

Battle readiness was not an instinct. It took Elena’s brain a minute to catch up with what her eyes were seeing. Her head spun until she could name the cloaks cracking through the air, and the whips of light that sliced through the fog.

Corinne had pushed her aside in an effort to enter the fray, leaving Elena’s arm throbbing. The slight pain brought her mind into focus and she stopped her absent musings about the way the mist glowed with blue and green, about how she wasn’t sure how the Ministry could tell themselves apart from the Lestranges.

Instead, she sprinted after Corinne, feeling the disillusionment spell fly off her back like drops of water. She wasn’t going to try to attack any of the Death Eaters head on—Elena knew from experience that she would last a minute at best—but she could help in other ways, shielding the Aurors from whatever they missed.

But battle wasn’t quite as neat as that, especially with so many bodies trying to tear each other apart. Spells didn’t scream out their destinations, but rather travelled indiscriminately, hitting whatever they first touched which in the whirl of battle was not often their intended target.

Even on the relative fringes, Elena had to duck to avoid rogue curses. At the start, they were simple hexes; no on seeming willing to risk killing or maiming an ally. That was the problem with dueling—you had to be too close for it to be effective. This wasn’t the showy, gentlemanly sport that old families participated in, dressed in lace collared robes. This wasn’t at all the optional class at Hogwarts that had stressed protocol and sportsmanship above all else. No, this was fighting where a slash of a wand might hit actually hit an opponent. This was a physical attack, where kicks were exchanged as often as disarming spells.

She couldn’t make out more than flashes of faces, most unfamiliar to her. Was that Corinne’s arm? Did she see Simon hurl a jinx into Evan Rosier? The air was loud with gasping breaths and shouts of curses—silent spells didn’t matter when no one could hear your voice anyways.

“DEAD OR ALIVE,” Moody bellowed, his contorted face becoming clear for a second as his words lifted above the crowd. There was no further strategy than that. This was not an organized assault, this was a last ditch attempt to eliminate threats, in whatever manner proved most convenient.

Yet that seemed to signal some change in the gravity of the fight. Each side now lanced forbidden curses at each other. The Death Eaters knew that they were outnumbered and were indiscriminate. The Ministry knew their opponents had the advantage of fighting for their lives.

A slender figure detached itself from the mass of black fabric and light, stumbling to the ground. She shuddered once and went limp. A list of potions and charms flooded Elena’s mind unbidden. Suddenly, she felt ridiculous. She was a Healer! She was not needed as a fighter, not when there were so many others trained. There was no reason she had to stand guard at the fringes just as the Aurors didn’t stop to practice their limited healing skills.

Taking a deep breath, Elena dove forward, towards the woman on the ground, hoping that if she crouched low, she could avoid the worst of the battle.

For an instant, Elena hunched next to the woman, felt her breath on her hand and started to drag her towards the edge of the clearing. Something less physical—apparation—simply wasn’t possible with the woman covered in blood. And she wasn’t so much dragging as pulling the woman—she was levitating inches off the ground, enough to keep the rocks from opening new wounds.

 “Get down!” a voice shrieked and Elena dropped, falling heavily, a stone snagging her knee. She smelled the burning of hair as an acrid jet of light seared the air above her head. Had it been an attack, or simply a meandering spell Elena couldn’t tell, but she heaved herself to her feet a second later, and shuffled the last dozen yards to a cluster of brush, which provided a modicum of shelter.

She let her patient settle and took a better look at the woman. Mid-twenties, close cropped dark hair, broad features. Blood smeared her left cheek, and was oozing from a wound in her side. A quick spell told Elena that her breathing was normal enough—it the spell hadn’t hit a lung.

There was no time for complex diagnostics that searched for obscure hexes. Field Healing wasn’t so academic. Instead, Elena held her wand up to the long slice and cast a spell to affix the wound shut. It wasn’t as effective as the searing of Dittany, but one hardly carried a vial of it around.

As Elena traced the gash, blood congealed and the skin drew together, leaving a heavy scar but stopping the immediate danger. It didn’t appear as if any vital organs had been damaged and the sealing spell would mend the ruptured veins, but Elena wished she could be more certain.

After all, this woman could have been her brother. Until the War, the Auror Office had attracted men, primarily, and that was whom they had dispatched in early days. But as the older veterans died, they had to dispatch the youth, knowing they too would die in droves. Maybe this fighter had a family who worried of a day they would hear in rumors that she was dead.

But that couldn’t matter, not when the woman was still pale. Elena cast another spell, speeding the replenishment of the lost blood. Pending any arcane curses, she would live. This woman was not Oliver, was not going to die alone.

Silencio,” she hissed. “Rennervate.” The woman’s eyes shot open and her hands flew up to grasp Elena’s wrists. Her nails dug into Elena’s wrist in stabbing bites of pain.

“Stop it,” Elena ordered. “I’m a Healer. Don’t hurt me.”

The woman’s mouth opened as she struggled to speak and Elena saw her mouth several obscenities before she relaxed her grip. Elena suspected that offering her back her wand might have also had something to do with it.

“You’ve only been out a few minutes,” she explained, casting a brief glance in the direction of the battle, wishing she could see the progress. “But you shouldn’t move,” she tacked on as the woman tried to roll to her side.

Elena’s patient gestured to her mouth angrily. “Right. Sorry about that, I didn’t want you to scream when you woke up,” Elena said with a laugh, relieved that the woman seemed to have healed well. “But really, before you can try to convince me otherwise, just promise you won’t move.”

The woman rolled her eyes, and nodded in sullen agreement. Laughing, Elena pushed her hair back from her face and was about to mutter the counter curse when the woman jabbed her knee into Elena’s ribs. She sprung into a crouch as Elena recoiled in indignation. She was about to reprimand her patient when she felt something warm brush her back.

Before she could even look, her wand jerked out of her hand, as did her patient’s. The injured woman launched herself to her feet, only to be met midway with a boot to her injured ribs. She collapsed to the ground, still unable to speak or cry in pain.

Elena tried to scramble away, but the brush was too dense and full of brambles. The attacker caught a hold of her hair and yanked her head back. Elena felt her scalp sear with pain and screamed as she was forced to stand. An arm wrapped across her chest, pulling her towards the assailant, restraining her.

Avada Kedavra!” a female voice laughed in brashly in Elena’s ear, sending the final spell to Elena’s patient. At such a close range, there was no way for the woman to escape, and Elena screamed again as she watched the woman’s body tense for a second, before falling utterly limp.

But her shock was not dissimilar from her fury and Elena stomped her foot down on her capturer’s instep, and jabbed her elbow back, all the while twisting against the arm that pinned her to the attacker’s chest.

“Stop that,” the voice was tinged again with amusement. Elena knew the tone, haughty, amused, aloof, deranged. Bellatrix Lestrange seemed impervious to pain as she tightened her grip on Elena. “I’d rather not kill a pureblood if I don’t have too.”

Elena refused to let herself feel sick at the words, at the sight of the dead woman who had just moments before tried to rejoin a fight despite her injuries, and let her weight drop. She twisted to face Bellatrix, surprised that she was nearly the same height as the other woman. With a gasp, she freed an arm and pulled at Bellatrix’s hair, trying to reach her wand.

Crucio,” Bellatrix replied in a monotone, and Elena felt a wand jab into her side. There was a flash of searing pain, so intense it was bright in her eyes. She half wondered if she were bleeding, if she were going to die from whatever injury had caused this searing.

But instead, her body went limp, the pain fading and once again she was contained by the Death Eater. “Walk,” was the given order, and this time Elena didn’t try to resist. Anything to avoid that pain again.

She shuffled forward, a wand trained at her head, walking straight into the clearing.

A few yards in, Bellatrix stopped with a yank on Elena’s hair. She didn’t announce her presence or her hostage, just stood, waiting to be recognized.

Tears blurred Elena’s vision and she could do nothing to wipe them away. Her body was weak from the curse as was her mind. She didn’t want to die, not like this, not as a hostage. She didn’t want her friends to have to kill her so that they could kill Lestrange. They wouldn’t have a choice, not if Bellatrix Lestrange were the ultimate target—the woman was enough of a menace to warrant extreme measures and certainly collateral damage.

“Look!” Bellatrix, cried out, raising her wand to the sky. Elena felt the spell explode into the air and green light fell upon the clearing. From the hissing of the fighters, Elena knew that if she could tilt her head up, she would see the skull and snake of the Dark Mark. “The Dark Lord remains, even now!”

That if nothing else stopped the fray. “I’ve got one too!” someone shouted triumphantly, stepping aside to reveal a bound Lestrange brother—Elena wasn’t sure which. It seemed from the way the Aurors had grouped that the other Death Eaters were not there. The battle must have fragmented. Or Elena hoped that perhaps, the enemies were some of the bodies lying on the ground.

Bellatrix laughed, her breath was rancid has Elena struggled to keep herself clam. “Are we going to exchange hostages now and part ways? I’d much rather not. How about this? You remove the anti-apparation jinx you’ve put on the place. I leave.”

A tall man stepped out of the crowd. “We don’t negotiate with Death Eaters.” Elena didn’t recognize him, in fact, she didn’t see a single familiar face in the small group. Simon, Moody, Frank, Corinne, no one to even shout her name. She couldn’t think straight enough to rationalize why they might be away, just that they had to be. There weren’t enough bodies on the ground for them all to be gone.

“I’ll kill your Healer,” Bellatrix took a step, nudging Elena forward. “If any of you so much as call for your other friends, I’ll kill her. Now, remove the jinx.”

From the way the Aurors shifted, none of them seemed particularly worried. None of them knew Elena. No one there thought her life was particularly worth saving. “We can’t,” the same tall man offered, now sounding sheepish. “Moody set it.”

“Please,” Bellatrix giggled. “When will they ever teach you to lie properly? Why would I summon the only worthy opponent out of you back here?”

The man trained his wand on the Death Eater. “We don’t negotiate,” he repeated softly this time, calculating how fast he could call the others, or kill Bellatrix.

Another sharp pain began in Elena’s neck. “I didn’t want to spill pure blood, but I will.” Elena felt the sound in her back and heard her own wail as blood began to stream. It wasn’t a deep cut, she was relatively certain, but enough to make her dizzy from the blood loss. Not fatal if they caught it soon enough.

There was a shout as someone mimicked the cut on the hostage Lestrange brother. “What are you doing?” the spokesman demanded sharply.

“An eye for an eye,” was the reply.

Elena suddenly noticed how cold she was, despite the heat of the blood that now soaked her collar. She was so cold, and so tired. In the distance, too far away for her to tell whom, someone said her name. Her ears were ringing and her vision speckled, but she tried to see. Only she was tired.

It was almost too easy, this time, to relax her legs, to let her weight shift down and forward. There was an instant where Bellatrix shifted her weigh forward too, bending slightly because she couldn’t help it. It was either let Elena go, or lose focus to hold her upright.

The vise-like grip loosened, and Elena slid to the ground. A stunner passed just above her head. She had to move, she knew. She was still too close, but now the Aurors had the advantage. Bellatrix had lost her hostage and her shield.

Absently, Elena wished she had a blanket and reached her hand up to rub a drop of water from her neck. Only the pain was so sharp that she nearly lost consciousness. Her head spun and her eyes squeezed shut.

And then there were hands, turning her onto her back, brushing her hair back. Everything was soft now, blurred and floating and she thought she would just sleep, rather than try to think. Even the pain was gone now, and her mind couldn’t even remind her why it had been there at all.

And then sensation returned as jolts of energy ratcheted down Elena’s limbs and her eyes sprung open. The fog had lifted and she sat up, ending up face to face with Frank Longbottom. “Did you remember to replenish lost blood?” Elena asked, running her fingers along the now sealed scar at her neck.

Frank looked mildly surprised at the question. “Elena, get up and run.” He kept his voice even, but as soon as he had finished, he lifted her to her feet and started to sprint.

She ran without thinking about how to, without realizing that green spells chased them. She didn’t know where or why they were running, or how long she could, but that spell that had woken her had also kept her from caring. Adrenaline surged and she followed Frank as best she could.

She stopped when Frank did, at the sound of voices. She couldn’t see the speaker, but she could hear the menace in his tone.

“What is in Albania?”

“I don’t know,” Simon said.

Elena was breathing hard from running, but still managed to gasp. Frank grabbed her arm, as if he expected her to move.

“You know she mentioned Albania to me,” the voice was male and rough.

There was a pause, then a grunt from Simon. “I don’t know who she is.”

“The guard.”

Natalya. There was no one else he could be talking about. Elena felt her limbs shaking and her pulse in her newly formed scar. She couldn’t run past the clump of trees to Simon, she shouldn’t.

“I never talked to a guard.” Simon kept his voice even, placating.

The man laughed once, more a bark than anything. “That’s because I killed her.”

“What did she do?” The calm was gone from the conversation.

“What you did, refuse to talk. That’s right, I see you looking scared. I see that fear. I saw it a year ago when you found your girlfriend’s body.”

Elena wished she could see something, wished she wasn’t just hearing something that sounded like a nightmare.

Simon didn’t use words to respond to the taunt, instead there was a cry and a thud. The sounds of fighting. And then a single word: “Crucio.”

Screams—Simon’s—filled the air and Elena had to cover her own mouth to keep from joining in. That man was going to kill him. Simon sounded like he was dying and Elena couldn’t even reach him. She wanted to tear at the man who was torturing him, to rip his wand from his hand and snap it in half.

Silence. “What is in Albania?”

“I will kill you, Rosier,” Simon said in a growl to the Death Eater.

“What is in Albania?”

Elena didn’t think, and launched herself forward, towards the voices. Frank didn’t even try to stop her. Her leg caught on brambles, and her hair snagged on sticks. She realized as she left the cover of the trees that she wasn’t holding her wand. But still she stopped between the man and Simon, who was tied and on his knees.

“My brother,” she replied.

For a second, the man looked shocked, but then Simon made a sound, exhaling in resignation.

Before anyone could move, Elena lunged at the man, knowing that she couldn’t over power him. But she didn’t have a wand, so attack was her only option.

But it was a futile as she had guessed it would be. He dismissed her with a flick of his wand, sending her skidding into Simon.  With a swirl, ropes tightly bound her ankles and wrists.

“Your girlfriend, Burke?” Rosier said, wiping a drop of blood from a scratch on his forehead. “She seems even denser than that last one.”

“You bastard,” Simon hissed, trying to shift himself so that he was at least partly in front of Elena.

“But at least she knows how to talk,” the Death Eater mused. His hood had fallen back and Elena could see oily brown hair. “So why was your brother in Albania, sweetheart?”

Elena bit her lip. “Work.” She could stall by giving the vaguest answers possible.

Rosier shook his head and bend over. With a jerk, he lifted Elena to her feet and put a hand on Elena’s cheek. “And what was his work?”

Elena stared into his eyes. “With the Ministry.”

“Bitch,” Rosier pushed her, so that she stumbled backwards. “I asked you what why he was in Albania!”

If Elena could have taken her eyes off the man, she would have seen Simon’s face, splotched and red. Saw the fury in his eyes. “Don’t touch her,” he said in a deadly voice.

“And who are you to stop me?” Rosier said absently, rolling his wand in his fingers. “I could kill you both and I could kill you now.”

“No,” Elena said, setting her jaw.

Rosier blinked and a smile slid onto his face. “Good girl. Keep talking.”

This was a risk and Elena knew it, but she had to waste time as best she could until someone could think of something. “It’s a long story,” she said, glancing towards the ground. “Tell me what you already know.”

“Oh?” Rosier smirked. “It sounds more like you’re trying to stall me. You know what would be faster, to torture your friend here.” He jabbed his wand towards Simon.

Elena bit her lip. “He was in Albania because of the War,” she blurted out. “He was an Auror.”

“Elena, stop it,” Simon ground out. “Stop it right now.”

She shook her head marginally. She could tell him everything because he was going to die soon enough. That was what she had to bet on. “He found something,” she continued, staring so hard at Rosier’s face that she noticed the pocked scarring on his cheeks, covered by a shadow of a beard. “It was important too, important enough that he wanted everyone to know. He sent a letter to the Minister’s daughter Alice. That’s how the Minister knew it.” Now she was hedging, trying to fill in the story as best she could. “That’s why Natalya knew. He had asked her to look into it. But when she couldn’t tell you, you went after the man who would know.”

Rosier had stopped sneering; there was a glint in his eyes that let Elena know she was telling him what he wanted to hear. The only problem was, she had no idea what the thing her brother had found was. “Who’s in Albania?” The Death Eater demanded, looking gleeful.

Who. That was the wrong word—Oliver’s letter had mentioned a relic. “You mean what.” Elena said, aiming for dramatic flourish.

As soon as she said the words, she could tell that they had been a mistake. Rosier’s face darkened and he took a step forward. “No,” he said slowly. “Who not what.” As he enunciated the words, Elena could see the flecks of yellow on his teeth.

“He always said it was a what,” Elena began, her voice trembling. “My brother that’s what he said.”

Rosier hit her again, this time hard enough that Elena fell to ground. With her hands bound, she couldn’t catch her fall and hit the ground roughly. A rock jabbed into her ribs and her feet were tangled awkwardly in their ropes.

“Liar!” The man’s voice rang out. “How’s this, Burke, you tell me the truth or I’ll hurt your girlfriend here.” Ethan Rosier stepped over Elena so that he was between her and Simon.

Simon had managed to stay silent through the whole exchange but Elena could hear him struggling now. She turned her head and saw a streak of blood running down his temple. For both their sakes, Elena hoped Simon could follow her logic. Rosier would be dead soon; Simon could tell him everything. Of course, that depended on Simon knowing the truth and on someone coming to kill Rosier before he decided Elena and Simon were no longer valuable.

“I don’t know,” Simon snapped. “I don’t know anything.”

“It’s not hard,” Rosier drawled.  “Just tell me something.”

Elena moved her feet experimentally, wondering if her fall had loosened the ropes. They were slightly less constricting, but not by much, and certainly not enough for her to run.

“Go to Hell,” she heard Simon say.

From her angle on the ground, Elena managed to see Rosier step forward and whisper something in Simon’s ear. When the Death Eater stepped back, Elena saw Simon’s face go pale. “Okay,” he said with a nod. “Yeah, okay.”

Even crushed beneath her, Elena could tell that the bonds on her wrists were secure. But as Rosier screamed a round of questions at Simon, Elena realized that the rock currently digging into her side had a rather jagged edge. If she shifted slightly, she could saw at the rope.

“I don’t know any more,” Simon ground out, in response to some question. Elena tried to meet his eyes, to assure him that she was working on their escape, but he only had eyes for Rosier.

Without turning around, Rosier sent his foot back, aiming a kick at Elena. It hit her arm and she gasped, just as the rock severed the ropes around her wrist. “Start thinking,” he ordered.

Elena tried to not to hear the sound Simon made—it was too horrible, too unlike him. He was truly terrified of whatever Rosier had promised to do to her. But he had to keep the Death Eater distracted. Moving as little as possible, Elena reached down to untie the knot at her ankle. Though it was a magical bond, Rosier had been sloppy and she managed to free herself.

“Think faster.” This time when Rosier kicked at Elena she rolled out of the way and onto her feet.

“FRANK!” she bellowed. “A little help!”

Rosier whipped around and Simon lunged forward, knocking his hands against the man’s knees. It wasn’t enough to knock the Death Eater over but it made the stunner he had sent towards Elena veer to the right.

“Frank!” she called out again looking towards the woods. She didn’t have a wand, and Rosier was already straightening to his feet. Simon was giving her a look that seemed to say, what can you do? It wasn’t so much resignation as an acknowledgement of the dilemma. Elena could run, or she could stay.

There was a sound in the woods, enough to make Elena turn her head, sure Frank was coming. He had been there, had watched her run to Simon. He had to have some rescue plan. But no one appeared and Elena’s split second was over. Rosier bound her hands with a quick flick of his wand and pulled her over to Simon, forcing her to her knees.

“I’m tired of your games,” he snapped, all traces of humor gone. “I want the truth and I am going to kill one of you slowly until the other talks. I need to know who is in Albania.”

Elena was kneeling so close to Simon that her shoulder touched his. She leaned slightly against him, as if to apologize. “I couldn’t leave you,” she whispered, “You know that.”

He smiled a little. But Rosier didn’t seem to have patience for such conversation. “Crucio,” he hissed.

Once again, Elena felt her body become a pyre. Every bone was breaking in the heat, every thought burning away. And then it was over and she was lying on the ground again. Simon, above her, looked ready to murder.

“Who?” Rosier repeated calmly.

Simon sneered. “I don’t know. The Dark Lord? Who?”

Elena winced in anticipation of the cruciatus curse, waited for Rosier’s fury at Simon’s joke. No Death Eater would take kindly to jab about their dead master.

But instead, Rosier’s face turned gleeful. “I knew it,” he breathed. “I knew this was all worth it.” He turned his wand towards the sky. “Modmorta!” he cried in a triumphant voice.

As the sky darkened with clouds, skull and snake, Simon looked down at Elena, who was gasping on the ground. “He’s mad,” he hissed.

“He’s alive,” Rosier said blissfully, staring that the mark in the sky. With a laugh he rolled up his sleeve and pressed the twin on his arm. “My Lord, you have returned to us at last!”

Elena knew with icy certainty that Simon was right. Rosier was frothing mad. He wasn’t logical and he would probably kill them just to kill. She should have run. Simon had been joking and yet, Rosier was practically praying now. The Dark Lord Remains, that was what Bellatrix had said. Was that what they believed? Were they so fanatical that they thought their leader the master of death itself?

Simon seemed to be having the same thoughts. “Elena,” he said softly, looking down at her, face battered, bloody. “I love you.”

She bit her lip, about to respond, when she felt the bonds on her wrists vanish. Simon, looking as shocked as Elena felt, stood shakily and hauled her to her feet. Rosier’s back was to the two, so Elena had a second to scan the area. Moody stood resolutely several yards away. He jerked his head towards the woods.

With a flick, Moody summoned Simon’s wand from Rosier. Elena felt frozen and was glad when Simon pulled her towards Moody and his wand. Rosier’s cry sounded in her ears. Moody tossed Simon his wand. “I’ve got this one,” he said darkly.

“Alastor,” the Death Eater replied.

Elena didn’t wait to hear more, she just started to run. Even with Simon pulling her along, Elena couldn’t go far, just enough so that she could no longer see the clearing they had left. The curse had left her weak and her lungs ached from the effort of breathing.

As the paused, Elena leaned her back against a tree. Simon scanned the area once, before giving a satisfied nod. His gaze turned back towards Elena and she swallowed once. “You know,” she said with a smile, “I love you too.”

Simon shook his head and stepped closer. After a second, he mimicked her smile. Elena put her arms around his neck and reached up to kiss him.

For the first time, she didn’t care where they were. There was always an excuse not to: they were hiding, it was too soon, they were acting, the others were around. It wasn’t the right time. And now she just didn’t care. Simon pulled her closer.

After a minute, he leaned back. “It’s going to be alright,” he promised, placing a hand against her face.

Elena shook her head slightly. Simon was staring at her as if he never wanted to let her go. “No it’s not,” she said, thinking of the woman on the ground Bellatrix had killed, of the pain of the curse, of Rosier’s madness. But all the same, he lifted her head up to kiss Simon again and he didn’t protest the kiss or her statement.

Again, Elena felt her thoughts dull, but this time for an entirely different reason. Terror was replaced with desire. Her weakness had not come from any injury.

Simon ran his hands down her sides, fingers settling at her waist. Elena pulled him closer, feeling the tree’s bark scape her back. But that wasn’t enough. She wanted him to kiss her harder, wanted them to be closer.

Their breaths were shallow and fast. Elena wished she hadn’t worn a jacket with so many buttons. Then the coat was on the ground and Simon pressed his hands against the skin of her back. Her skin was burning and this time she wanted more of the fire.

“Did you ever think we were going die?” Simon whispered, kissing her neck.

She bit her lip. She had an answer but it didn’t matter. “Shut up, Simon,” she announced and kissed him again. There would be time to talk later.                                                                                                                                                                      

She didn’t hear the other person until they were shouting. “Hey! Come on!” The panic in the voice made Elena jump.

She dropped her arms from around Simon’s neck, and he let go of her waist. The world seemed at once too bright and too fast. Elena’s mind felt hazy from exhaustion and lust. Simon stepped aside and Elena rolled her shoulders as she stepped away from the tree. Frank didn’t seem to care that he had stumbled across the two kissing in the middle of the battle; instead, he wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“What is it?” Simon asked, clearing his throat.

“They’ve got Corinne.”



Note: It's been forever since I've updated for a lot of reasons, lack of time, for one, and also I've been worried about writing a huge battle scene.

This is a pretty long chapter and honestly, the past 3/4 chapters have been one continuous scene--basically, everyone should just drop dead from exhaustion now. But as for the rest of the story, I estimate five more chapters maximum (and one possibly two of those are epilogues). I am really eager to write the end, so hopefully the updates should be more frequent.

Anyways, if you're still around, you are a wonderful person--thanks for reading and drop me a review maybe?  




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