31a (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Chapter Thirty One

“For the glory of Ferus!”

A distant part of Argent regestered Bildad’s call and horn as help on the way, but he maintained his focus on trying to get Simon into the tree beside him. A brute grabbed onto Simon’s body, sinking it’s fangs into his calf and added it’s weight to the load. Simon grimaced but said nothing. He took a swing at the beast with his free hand and saw the other two closing in. Turning back to Argent his face softened and he released his grip on Argent’s arm. Argent redoubled his own grip and added his other hand as well, leaving only his legs to keep him anchored to the tree.

“It’s O.K. son, I got the messenger before he could talk. Separated me from Wolfripper .. but I stopped it.”

A weir sprung at Simon’s throat, the invincible warrior’s fist smashed it’s chin off target but it still got a claw swipe down his arm and teeth sunk into his hand. Argent could feel Simon slipping away. This couldn’t be happening.

“Let go. I’ve done my part. The Champion will escape. The prophesy …”

“Forget the festering prophesy! Don’t give up.”

“Forgetting the prophesy is giving up.”

Another brute latched onto Simon’s body and Argent would have toppled if his one hand hadn’t reflexively released and grabbed the branch. Simon kicked with his only unencumbered limb but had no leverage to do any real damage.

“Learn from Bildad.”

The weirs gave a concerted tug and Argent’s father tumbled from his grasp.

“Escape and end the Beast!”

Argent looked around desperately for a weapon, anything to arm himself with that would be substantial enough to allow him to jump into the fray without it being in direct disobedience to Simon’s order. There was nothing, nothing but the flute he had wasted his gift on. A horn sounded, but musically rather than any signal he knew. From his vantage point he could see it fall out of sight behind a tree slightly uphill. Looking back to the base of his tree he saw the brute move off to investigate while the two weirs stayed behind to keep him treed. Downhill, obscured by trees, it looked like Bildad had dropped one of his four, but the other three were keeping him busy.

Would you play your flute again?

Argent looked uphill at that. Martha backed away from the brute holding disappearing from view until all he could see was his dagger shaking in her hand. She had come after all. Why had she decided to listen to him now? Listened just long enough to get cornered and give up, it was the only way her request made any sense.

Play for me?

Argent wasn’t going to give up. If he really was the champion he could save them all. He just needed to time to think! If he timed it right he could use the momentum of launching himself from the tree to shove his flute through the rib cage of one of the weirs. If that killed it quickly enough he might be able to make it to Wolfripper before the other one caught him. Then if he could do some real damage as long as it didn’t revert and it hadn’t …. yet. It was flickering but where there was aura there was hope.

Hope. Play. Remember.

Argent looked at the aura glowing through his fist. That had not been Martha talking. Was he loosing his mind? Sentimentality was how he failed his father the first time, he wasn’t going to do that again. This situation required a Heroic Champion not a cracked musician.

A gust shook snow free from the needles above him. It covered him but also hit the ground heavily, distracting one of the weirs. Argent tensed to jump but a forgotten memory flashed, distracting him.

What if your Hero wants a Champion Musician?

The weir looked back at him, he had missed his chance. The other weir took another swipe at Simon, Wolfripper’s flickering quickened.

Play. With. Me.

The Brute leapt towards Martha.

Argent played.

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