Owin pulled out his sword from its sheath and readied it. He proceeded forwards toward the light. When he got to the end, the light dispersed, and revealed a large opened enclave rifled with edges, paths and rocks, the light of the moon now illuminated what he knew was the valkyrie’s lair.
He had no time to admire it as he saw something from the corner of his eye coming fast at him. Owin ducked as it hit the stone wall behind him. Sparks came from the now identified spear that had dropped down to the ground. He lifted his head then to where it originated from, and off hovering from a stone’s throw away was the site of a silver winged armored woman with pale white skin, long light brown hair and…bright sapphire-blue eyes.
“It was you…the little girl that guided me…it was you!”
“I possess many souls for my bidding, most monsters like yourself that come to kill me.”
“So you kill her then? A little girl!?” Owin shouted.
That angered her, and she flew down to grab another spear and hurled it at him. Owin brought up the kite shield to block, and he almost tumbled backwards as it hit.
“I gave her the mercy she deserved. She was a curious one, but her intrigue made her stumble and fall, and I was the only one to save her soul.”
“They are not yours to protect! I command you to release them!”
The valkyrie then started laughing uncontrollably from Owin’s order.
“You do not command me,” she said slowly gritting her teeth.
“Nevertheless, I come for her honor, and the many others you have reaped. I will end you demon!”
She hovered about the enclave, her wings flapping with the sounds of each feather clinking.
“You call me a demon, yet you fail to acknowledge the evils of your own. This “Crusade” that your kind now pursues is of your own vanity, and you kill your own for the sake of righteousness. I loved one once, one who was not my own. It was your kind that killed harpy. And with that, I drew that name of Sanngriõr.
Remember that name, Crusader, for it is the last one you shall know.”
Owin shoved his sword into the dirt, picked up the spear and threw it at Sanngriõr. She remained hovered as it came towards her. She turned and used one of her wings to block it, making a loud clinking sound and dropping down to the ground. She flapped her wings harder taking her up several feet, then stretched her wings and bowed forward hurling herself at Owin.
Owin grabbed his sword and dropped down from the ledge, sliding down one of the rock walls and tumbling at the gravel bottom. He got up to see Sanngriõr turning about and coming down at him. He could not get out of the way as she dropped a rotten corpse onto him, making Owin drop his shield and knocking him to the ground.
She flew to another ledge, grabbing two more corpses with each hand.
“Would you like more friends for your Crusade?” she shouted, and threw both of them at Owin. He pushed the first rotted corpse off of him and rolled to the right as the other two corpses hit hard, sending one to break apart on impact in a dusty explosion. He then stood, and twirled his sword in his hand, looking up at his opponent.
“Can you not face me alone? You need others to do your own bidding?” Owin taunted.
Sanngriõr jumped and spread her wings, coming down towards Owin. Owin then brought the sword behind his head and threw it with all of his might. It went into the loose opening of her armor stabbing into her collar bone perpendicular to her neck. She gasped as she lost composure and crashed down to the ground.
Owin jumped out of the way as she hit but then stood back up, witnessing a still Sanngriõr laying front first on the ground. Taking a dagger from his belt, he moved in closer very slowly. As he got to her side, she remained motionless. Owin took note of how the moon made her wings shine. They were as alluring as she was when he first saw her, and it made it difficult to see her completely as a monster. But her actions proved to make her otherwise, and as he held the dagger downwards, he came down with all of his might as he intended to stab the back of her neck.
His attempt was thwarted though. Her right wing came up and cut his face with the tip, making him fall backwards. She then stood up and pulled the sword out from her collar bone. She grunted loud as it came out of her, and her eyes then fixated on Owin as she stepped forward.
“This ends now!” she screamed.
Owin crawled backwards as she approached. She lifted the sword above her and readied to swipe down. Owin noticed a rusted war axe right next to him and grabbed it, parrying the sword strike as she bent over. All of her weight was on him now, and Owin used her unbalanced stand against her, kicking her over to the side. The blow knocked her down, and Owin stood as quickly as he could. As she lay on her back, he took the axe and came down hard on her chest, and she screamed as it hit her right in the middle of the iron armor.
Owin was amazed that the rusted axe went through it, as he was ready to attempt several more hits on her chest. But somehow this one hit had done it…the bracelet! It definitely had to be helping his strength!
Sanngriõr suffered from the blunt weapon. She then flapped her wings and created a wind that pushed Owin back. She began to fly away manically, brushing stone walls and rocks, finally crashing back into the ground.
Owin noticed the less than majestic creature now laying face up to the dark sky, struggling for a breath to behold. She tried to sit up but nothing came from it. Her arms and legs lay limp along side with her silver metal-like wings.
He walked slowly to her left side, pondering the mere amazing look of the wings; they looked so heavy, and wondered how in this world such things could bring her to the sky. He kicked the left wing, finding it to be not as hard as he thought, and snickered, bringing himself into her view.
She screamed loud at first, but it ended shortly as blood gurgled from her mouth. She so wanted to get up and requite what he did to her. Trying to spit into his direction and failing, she could not help but notice the silver bracelet around his right hand.
“He sent you!” she blurted.
Owin lowered his head, and unsheathed another dagger. Fiddling with it in his hand, he was wondering who she was referring to for a second, but could not stray from the obvious.
“Why do his bidding? Why hunt us?” she asked.
“Us?” Owin replied with wonder. “To what ‘us’ do you refer?”
“Just me now, Crusader,” she gurgled. “I am the last of my kind. But since the dawn of time, before you pesky beings even could speak, the world was ours to rule. You hunted us to extinction. Not just the valkyries, but others, thinking the world was only meant for your kind… you prejudice bastards!”
Owin scowled and held the dagger firmly. He then climbed on top of her, straddled her body, and held the blade to her neck.
“Take your reaping!” she said.
“Enough of your talk. God bless me with the strength…” he said, attempting to reconcile his previous beliefs.
He took in a breath, and slipped the blade. She gasped as the knife sliced her throat, drawing not a reddish color, but black. Her eyes opened wide as she struggled with the last ounce of life in her, finally succumbing to blackness.
Owin looked into her eyes just as Pyr suggested. How blue they were, and so big. The life in them seemed to have faded at first, but then just as he was about to turn away, the corpse of Sanngriõr sat up, coming directly to Owin’s face and matching his stair. Her eyes glowed bright as they both locked into a gaze. He then felt something burning into his pupils. He struggled to gasp for air as if something was entering into him, perforating into his soul. He wanted to scream, but for what seemed like an eternity lasted only a few seconds in actual, and the last thing to come to him was her voice for one last time.
“Take your prize,” it said once more.
The eyes of Sanngriõr’s then dulled to a white and she fell back to the ground. Owin stood up frantically as the burning in his eyes began to subside as tears ran down his cheeks. He felt the bracelet then, and brought up his wrist to see. It glowed whitish-silver now, illuminating the entire area.
Owin was still trying to figure out just what exactly happened now, but was interrupted by an excruciating pain in his back near his shoulders. It felt as if something was trying to push itself through.
No. Not push, grow.
He keeled over, screaming in agony as the back of his tunic and surcoat ripped open. The sound of metal crackling resonated throughout the walls of the area, and as Owin looked to his right, saw the site of a bloodied silver wing growing out beside him.
He looked to his left to see the same, and started to wail loudly as the pain subsided. Finally, as he noticed his new winged limbs, he screamed in agony so loud, all of Europe could hear him this very night, as he found himself to not be of a man anymore.