Chapter Fifteen: Together We Stand
Monsters from what felt like everywhere were eager to meet us as we kept running towards the tower. Together we were a worthy force to defeat them all. More roars and growls emanated from the darkness, like the world itself was up against us and the gravel roads would go on forever. The Reskimit Tower stood as a black beacon against the navy-blue starred sky, guiding us to our escape.
Zombies swung at us, tearing across our clothes and scratching across our skin. Dual sword blades clashed with the hard bone of their skulls as we fought them together. The corrupt creatures mindlessly stepped forward to be slaughtered more. The purple, dark mesh coating that clung to the blocks around us infected their brains, pushing them forwards, making them attack us. There were so, so many. Twelve in this one group at the least, plus the corrupt skeleton attacking us from afar. Arrows drove into us repeatedly, maddeningly, painfully, but we couldn't take out the source because of the front of undead flesh swiping at us. Swords worked in tandem, killing one, two, and more, but there were enough of them for them to deal damage anyway.
Our technique was much better together than on our own, and we fought well as a team. Even though I fell to the ground nearing the end of the battle, it was no problem. Alex finished off the last zombie, and swung around with a bow and arrow, releasing a speedy shot into the annoying enemy's head.
"Here," she said to me. "You need to stop falling down like that."
I took her hand and got up. "Thanks, I'll keep that in mind next time," I said, and laughed. She did too, but it didn't last long for either of us. "Let's keep moving."
So we did once more, and barely made it two city blocks before another ambling group of corrupt zombies met us, and we ran in yelling, taking the offensive on the slow gathering. There were much less than before, so the win was a simple task.
We took a curve, as the city was getting much less linear. A few steps up, and we were suddenly on a higher level road than most of the monsters, and we could look out and see twenty houses' worth of roofs.
"There's a road," Alex suddenly said, "right there. It leads straight to the tower." That was all she needed to say. We both jumped down and kept moving, as we had basically run up and over a bunch of enemies. There were no more city blocks. Houses were haphazard and placed all on top of each other, balconies and bridges stretching above our heads, all coming together to make a very decent-looking city, at least in my opinion from what I could see. We jumped over a few small cracks in the road, and kept going. Almost there.
We noticed the chasm at the same time, halting our run so as not to fall in. The gaping maw in the road effectively blocked our "direct path" to the tower, ten blocks wide and who knows how deep.
"Any blocks?" I asked.
"Nope," she responded. "I used all I had left to make some barriers after the teleport."
We started to look around for alternate routes, since the towering building clusters led to many roads and paths. Suddenly, I heard the thump-thump-thump of very large footsteps from the other side of the chasm, and looked in time to see a red beast bounding towards us, in a direct line to Alex. I screamed "Look out!" before it leapt, cleared the entire ravine, and tackled her directly, knocking her down. She cried out in pain, and some of it stabbed through me. I yelled out and charged the monster with pure fury, jumping up into the air and jabbing it with my sword while it turned its head towards me. It roared out, and attacked back, hitting me up into the air. Some tendril of knowledge struck through me and I remembered the bucket of water I'd gathered at my original home. I maneuvered my body to land on a rooftop instead of the ground, splashing the water out in front of me. I landed in it, and it absorbed all the fall damage. I picked the water back up, and stood up. I drew out the bow that Samuel had given me, and fired it out at the monster, which still had its eyes fixed on me. It roared and jumped high into the air, preparing to land on me. A thought flickered once more, my sword! I drew it out and held it out above me, quickly falling to lie flat on my back. The beast fell directly onto me, impaling itself on the blade. In those milliseconds it turned red and vanished into smoke. No damage. I was okay.
I jumped down onto the gravel, running to Alex. "Are you all right?" I asked, the desperation in my voice seeping through.
She turned her head to me, the rest of her bruised by the impact. "You... killed it..." she said, partly in disbelief, partly in admiration.
"Yes, I did, it's dead, it's gone. You need to get back up," I said hurriedly. "More might be coming." I grabbed her hand and helped her to a sitting position. I sat with my arm around her, supporting her.
"It... hurts..." she said, clenching her teeth for a second. "Steve, I... I can't... die now..."
"You're not going to!" I said, almost shouting. "You're going to get through this. You can do it."
"What if the bed is gone? Where... where will I respawn? What if you can't get out of this place?" she asked, her voice faltering. She turned to me and there were tears in her eyes.
I took hold of both her shoulders and looked into her eyes. "Don't even say that. I know you can do it. Remember, you killed an entire army of monsters in my old house without breaking a sweat. That guy attacked us, and you didn't break down. You didn't panic, you just stayed calm and didn't break your resolve one bit," I said, remembering all she'd done. "You can definitely get through this."
"Steve... if I die... if I don't make it back... if you never see me again..." she said in what was barely a voice at all, moving closer.
"That won't happen!" I yelled out, with tears forming in my own eyes.
"I just want you... to remember... me," she whispered out, and then moved her face closer to mine and the next thing I knew she was kissing me, her lips pressed to mine, her eyes closed, her arms around me. She was warm against me, and I was in another plane of reality. I closed my eyes as well and hugged her back, pulling us together.
She broke the kiss, and our eyes opened together. Soft, warm red light glowed around us. Zombies stood at a ten-block radius from us at the ends of the street, not daring to come closer to the spherical aura. Then I realized what I was seeing. Her bruises were vanishing, the damage was healing. As I noticed this, the red light faded away, leaving only the glow of a streetlamp.
"Did I... heal you?" I asked.
"I think you might have... no, you did!" she exclaimed, happily.
The zombies groaned behind us, and we fought them off together as a team. They were no match.
The Reskimit Tower was just ahead of us. We only needed a way to get there.
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