The Guardian

There was tension in the air, as the trio of us were standing side by side against the Guardian. Each of us prepared for a fight; Squeakly with his magical cutlass in hand, Maestro focusing all of his eyes upon the enemy and not blinking once, and I with only my wit and my small dagger. Facing us was the final obstacle, the so called Guardian. A bug-like creature covered in chitinous carapace, and wearing a breastplate of aquamarine colour. His four gauntleted hands wielding a dangerously looking glaive, which he wielded with surprising grace, despite its unwieldy look. He seemed like a nice and boisterous fellow, but he was standing in the way of my freedom, and for that, he shall know no quarter from us. All of us were waiting for the others to make the first move. I expected the Guardian to move first, as we had a ranged attacker and because he seemed rather brash and straightforward with that attitude of his. But he was patiently waiting in place, looking at us with a cocky smile, as if daring us to attack him. Me and Squeakly started to circle our opponent step by step, until I, Squeakly, and Maestro were in a perfect triangle with our adversary right in the middle. No matter how skilled he was, he wouldn’t be able to withstand being flanked on three sides. I looked at Squeakly, nodded, and charged at the Guardian. I am the least skilled fighter in our group, so I hoped my attack could occupy him for awhile, and create an opening for my companions to exploit. As I was rushing towards him, the bug raised his hands, so that the hilt of his glaive was almost next to his head, the blade pointing slightly downwards, straight at my neck. Realizing that I would get a stab to the throat before I could manage to get within reach of him with my tiny dagger, I decided to do something that might catch the guardian off guard, once I was just out of his reach, I threw my dagger right at one of his huge yellow eyes. I hoped that he would try to protect his face and it would give me a moment to go under his guard and kick him in the groin. However before I could do so, I heard a sudden clang and realized that he had deflected the dagger with the blade of his weapon. Suddenly I felt a blunt object hit my head with such a force it made me almost see stars. It was a proper hit with a pommel, and my head hurt like hell, but I instinctively backed away to get out of his reach so I would not be the subject of a more serious injury. “Clever, but wasteful. No matter how tiny it is, you should never let go of your only weapon.” Said the Guardian and he quickly picked up the dagger from the ground and threw it back towards me. As he was doing that, I noticed Squeakly about 5 feet behind him, quickly approaching him, and preparing to do a diagonal cut at the Guardian’s back. And at the same time I heard Maestro charging up one of his eye-beams as well. So my plan worked at least to some degree, the Guardian was flanked from two sides and he could have either tried to dodge the beam, but that would have left him vulnerable to Squeakly’s cut, or he could have tried to parry the cutlass attack, but that would result in him becoming a scorched crisp. He surely must have realized the pickle he was in, yet he didn’t show any sign of panic nor desperation. and he remained still. He was still maintaining the same guardless position that he had when he threw me the dagger, and was still facing me, as if still registering me as the only danger in his vicinity. It was almost as if he was trying to seem like he didn’t notice that he was the subject of two other attack, but by the look on his face, I could see that was not the case. What was he trying to do? Squeakly was in the middle of a wide overhead diagonal swing, and Maestro was on the brink of unleashing his beam when I had realized what was going on. “Watch out!” I shouted, but it was too late. The Guardian did a slight pirouette under Squeakly’s clumsy cut. With two of his hands he swiftly led the blade of his glaive against the blade of the cutlass, and hit it with such a force, that it flew a few dozen feet away, out of Squeakly’s hand. With his other two hands and the two animated gauntlets, that were floating near him, he grabbed Squeakly’s arms and twisted them into a hold behind his back. And while he was restraining Squeakly so, he rotated them both until he was directly facing Maestro, with Squeakly as a living shield. Upon seeing that he would put Squeakly in danger, Maestro tried to stop unleashing his ray, but he only managed to prevent the attack from being unleashed in full power. As the ray hit Squeakly he began screaming and writhing in pain, he desperately tried to free himself from his restraint but to no avail. Fortunately, the beam wasn’t as strong as the one used against the skeleton artist, but it still hit Squeakly pretty hard and it left a large patch of burnt hair on his torso. “Your coordination is nonexistent, your attacks sloppy, your tactics…lacklustre. If you want to pass through this portal, you need to show me something more.” Said the Guardian. With that he let go of Squeakly, who fell on his arms and knees and began panting heavily, obviously still in quite some pain. The guardian turned towards Maestro, and shouted with a taunting and provoking voice: “Beholder, so far you have only managed to painfully injure one of your comrades. I have heard your kind are supposed to be powerful, but I guess great deeds are not to be expected from someone so tiny.” This obviously struck a nerve, and Maestro began fuming with rage. “I will show you power you arrogant insect, I will burn you to cinders, and then perhaps shall you learn respect.” And with that Maestro started to charge up his beam once again. But this was obviously what the Guardian was waiting for, as soon as this started happening, he started sprinting towards Maestro, who was trying to create as big of a beam as possible, to burn the object of his rage. But amassing power for such a beam took time, and the Guardian was approaching with incredible speed. Before he could unleash his remarkable powers, Maestro was knocked out of the air with a strong sidewinder, and his devastating beam was unleashed upon the cavern ceiling. “Good effort travellers, but you have not passed the test. You are forbidden from entering the portal. I apologize, but it is for your own good. The world outside is dangerous, and you are not ready to go there.” Said the guardian. The apologetic tone in his voice was genuine, but that didn’t make me hate him any less. However there was one mistake he made, with all his skills and experience, he forgot about one thing. “Hey, mate, the fight isn’t over yet” I shouted at him, mimicking the arrogant taunting tone he had used against Maestro. He looked at me with a patronizing look “I admire your bravery young lady, but you cannot possibly think of fighting me alone with just a dagger. I don’t want to hurt you further, so please stand down. The fight is over.” I quickly snapped back at him as he said his part “Oh, but I have more than a dagger.” And I picked something from the ground where it had fallen. Upon seeing me pick up that weapon, a first sign of worry started appearing on the Guardian’s insectoid face. Suddenly I could feel a tingling of power across my whole body. Power that was ready to be unleashed at my command. A large storm cloud started forming over the valley we were standing on, and small sparks of lightning began appearing around my blade. Squeakly later told me that my eyes changed colour, there was no white and they became grey like a raging storm with yellow sparks of lightning appearing. My auburn hair with one single streak of white began rising as if filled with lightning power. Now wielding the Cloud Cutlass in my hands with conviction only someone fighting for his home could have, I faced the Guardian and exclaimed “You say you don’t want to hurt me further, I would like to see you try.”

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