Thraxas / Траксас: Двадесет и седма глава

Английски оригинал Перевод на български

Chapter Twenty-Seven


Somebody is screaming, "Put the fire out, put the fire out!"


It's me. No one puts the fire out.


I don't believe it. Here I am, surrounded by Turai's most powerful Sorcerers, and I'm going to die in a house fire.


"Doesn't anyone have even one spell left?"


Gorsius Starfinder shakes his head. His Apprentice looks blank. Hasius the Brilliant is unconscious.


Lisutaris, Mistress of the Sky, is still stoned. The smoke gets thicker. Flames lick under the door. Makri and Hanama try to wrench the door open but it now seems to be barricaded from the outside.


I lose my temper completely. I grab Lisutaris, haul her to her feet and give her a slap which nearly takes her head off. She opens her eyes, and grins stupidly.


"Hello!" I scream. "Anybody there? Listen good. We're about to burn to death. No one else has any power left so it's up to you. Put the fire out."






"No need to shout," says Lisutaris, showing some signs of coming back to reality. She waves her hand. The fire goes out.


"I'm really hungry," she says.


I beat the door down with a few mighty blows. Lisutaris' spell has ejected the rioters from the house but they are screaming outside, regrouping for another attack. I'm getting out of here. Unfortunately an even larger crowd of maniacs, including several heavily armed soldiers, now surrounds the house, occupying the Praetor's gardens like an invading army. All of a sudden a fancy landus careers into view.


The driver is struggling desperately to control the horse as all around missiles fly and flames spurt into the sky.


The carriage thunders through an ornamental hedge and over some beds of flowers before scything its way through the crowd. Whoever is in it seems to be deliberately heading our way.


"Nice driving," mutters Makri, as the carriage veers round some trees at a furious pace. The driver is hunched down low, trying to avoid the rocks hurled by the rabid mob. It almost makes it to the house but comes shuddering to a halt when the front wheels get stuck in an ornamental pond.


"It's the Princess!"


"She's picked a poor time for a jail break."


Du-Akai, showing more spirit than I would have given her credit for, leaps from the driver's pillion, fends off an attacker and dashes towards us, crowd in pursuit. She makes it to the front door and we haul her in. She collapses on the floor, panting for breath. Unfortunately for her, her sanctuary is likely to be brief. Maddened by her appearance the crowd charge the house and start removing the door frame.


Any second now they'll be pouring through. I groan, and turn quickly to Lisutaris.


"Finish your counterspell and make it quick!" I tell her, then wearily get back to the task of preserving my life against the mob. Hanama and Makri join me at the door and we hold them off the best we can. Even in their maniacal state, the sight of our three blades is enough to deter some of the rabble, but the soldiers seem to relish the opportunity for combat and fly at us like we are hostile Orcs. It's a grim battle, and the fact that we're being forced to slay innocent people makes it worse. Horm the Dead has certainly wreaked a terrible revenge. Makri should never have stuck him with that throwing star.


I've just dispatched an opponent when Lisutaris, Mistress of the Sky, shouts at us from behind.


"What's the Orcish for "peace"?"


I'm baffled by this interruption.


"What are you talking about?" I scream.


"I have to translate my counterspell into Orcish to make it work. My Orcish isn't very good. What's their word for 'peace'?"


"Vazey," yells Makri, kicking an opponent away from her.


We carry on fighting.


"What's the Orcish for 'Harmonious Conjunction'?"


This takes Makri a few minutes, which is not surprising as she's locked in combat with a huge soldier carrying a twin-bladed axe.


"Tenasata zadad, I think!" she screams back after dispatching him.


Bodies are now everywhere but the attackers don't let up. Their madness seems to be intensifying and smoke is starting to drift into the room from the houses burning in the street. I've got a serious cut on my face and another on my shoulder and I notice that Hanama isn't moving too well and seems to be wounded in the leg.


"What's the Orcish for 'All men shall be brothers'?"


"For God's sake, Makri, go back there and translate her damned spell. Me and Hanama will hold them off."


Makri sees the wisdom of this and hurries back leaving myself and the Assassin to fight on. In my vainer moments I've been known to claim to be the best street fighter in the city. This is an exaggeration, but I am good at it. So is Hanama. I wonder about the incongruity of fighting shoulder to shoulder with a heartless Assassin, but I don't wonder for long because a truly frightening opponent now leaps at me.


He's one of the largest men I've ever seen and he's carrying an axe the size of a door. He attacks me with a ferocity that drives me backwards, and I find it almost impossible to block his axe. He's extremely fierce and strong and I'm too weary to fight much longer. I lunge at him and stick my sword in his shoulder, but he's madder than a mad Sorcerer and doesn't even feel it. His axe crashes on to my hastily raised blade and I'm forced to my knees. He chops at me again and my arm goes numb. I drop my sword. He slashes at my throat.


His blade stops right at my skin and he tumbles to the ground with Hanama's knife sticking in his back. I gasp out a thank you and haul myself to my feet, ready to meet the next wave of attackers.


Behind me I can hear Makri, Lisutaris and the other Sorcerers bandying around Orcish and Elvish terms as they try to complete the counterspell.


Hanama's wounded leg gives way and she sinks to one knee, heavily pressed. Again showing some spirit, the Princess runs forward and clubs an opponent to the ground. I'm gripped with sudden fury about being forced to make my death stand in such a useless manner. I never figured I'd go out fighting a crowd of demented Turanian shopkeepers. I turn my head and bellow at the top of my voice.


"If you don't finish that spell, Lisutaris, I'll come and kill you myself before they get me!"


"Hold on," she shouts in reply. "Another minute."


We hold on for another minute. As Lisutaris starts intoning the spell I go down under the weight of six attackers armed with clubs, and pass out of consciousness.