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The high-priestess took a step back. The young man in front of her had his sword drawn, but the weapon didn't point at her yet. She smiled sadly: “You sided with the Hunters? Why, Xep?”

His face remained motionless: “I won't be one of the weak.”

“We were friends” she argued.

He only grimaced scornfully: “There is no such thing as friendship.”

“We were friends” she insisted. “Until it stopped mattering to you if you'd have to kill me or not.”

The man shook his head: “A means to an end.”

Laughing bitterly, the young high-priestess looked up: “Thank you. Now, I feel a lot better. But I'm still breathing.”

“Still would be my keyword...”

“And as long as I am breathing, I won't do you the favor to lead the Iwik into a war.”

Xep turned away: “Your successor won't hesitate to avenge you.”

“Your subtle threat wasn't exactly subtle.”

“You don't seem intimidated, though.”

“Because I am not intimidated in the least, Xeperos” she countered.

“Well, that can change quite quickly.” With those words, he raised his sword. “Your death is sealed, Dowik, Highest High-priestess of the Iwik. It'll send the Yours into a war they can't win.”

Dowik gathered her magic and created a glowing shield. “I won't be an easy take. Stand down and you will not be harmed.”

The warrior lunged froward, forcing the priestess to spin to the side. Hit by hit, stab by stab followed. Dowik tried her best to avoid the attacks, wishing it was her who'd had years of training.

But then it happened. One of her feet got caught by a root and she fell. Her once best friend loomed over her, weapon in hand, blood thirst clouding his hazel eyes. In a final attempt to fight back, the young woman gathered all the magic she had left and let it loose on Xeperos. A bolt of energy hit him right in the chest and sent him flying backwards. He landed roughly, limbs sprawled.

Exhausted, she let her head tilt back into the cool moss. Dowik sensed an ally nearing, Whether it was an Iwik or a Guardian, she couldn't tell. They were, however, still about a mile away.

Leafs crushed underneath heavy soles. The tip of a sword rested on her throat, Xeperos applied enough pressure to break the soft skin and draw a small line of blood that trickled down the priestess' neck. A lump formed in her throat, making it incredibly hard to breathe. She opened her green-blue eyes. Xep was bent, a hand placed over his stomach as if to hold back the pain. He panted and groaned. Fear claimed her and she stiffened up immediately. He slowly leveled his blade to her abdomen. Red bloomed over her white tunic, the stain quickly extended as the cold steel slid in inch by inch.

The young woman cringed and a small, soft cry of pain freed its way from her throat. She watched in horror as the warrior withdrew his blade and limped away.

Slowly, shadows, black as ink, displayed on the edges of her vision.

Everything stilled and finally, the last ray of light vanished behind the all-consuming darkness...

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