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Tarn said a fervent prayer that a lot less than ten minutes would beneeded. Ten minutes in a ght with the Stealer would likely leave them
dead. He shook his head in forlorn resolution and broke toward the beast,running hard, tightening his grip on his sword. The demon had crashed down with a thud in front of the shaman,knocking another wolf aside with a backward kick of its right leg. It whirledin place, slicing through the air with its left hand, screaming in fury as itsclaws impacted on the shaman’s mystic shield, making a sickening screechthat sounded like nothing less than metal scraping on metal. The orclaughed, slicing out at the creature with his axe. The impact of his bladeslammed into the demon, clanging off of it with no apparent effect. The demon made a noise that would have been a squeal of glee from amortal being.“Your puny weapon can’t hurt me! It is only of this world, notmine!”It swung its right arm down, bashing into the orc’s mystic shieldonce, twice, then a third time.
Pity I don’t have one of those. It’s the only thing keeping him alive!
He endeavored to keep the demon’s back to him as he closed the groundbetween them quickly. Between the Shaman and the wolves, the beast was so focused on ghting that it didn’t seem to even notice he was there.He kept jogging, not daring to sprint, knowing that he would need all hisbreath to ght. The orc shaman seemed to be on his last legs as the demon’s blowsforced him down. Then, from out of nowhere, the orc suddenly launched avicious counterattack. Bolts of lightning shot out from the orc’s outstretchedpalms in rapid succession, the impacts leaving scorch marks on the crea
ture’s body, and the demon staggered backward, reeling in pain.The beast quickly recovered its balance and began to deliver a series of withering blows of its own. It absentmindedly swatted away several wolvesthat had leapt up to attack it as if they were buzzing insects, but its focus was clearly directed at the shaman. It shouted at Ten-Kill in its gravellyvoice,“Your skills are better than I had assumed; you are almost as muchof a match for me as your sister was. No matter. You are but one littlemortal, and you will fall to me as all of your kind ever have.”“My wolves will aid me, beast.”
“These little soulless things? They matter not. They don’t even provideme with a challenge, for their little teeth can’t hurt me!”As if to prove hispoint, he skewered a wolf that was snarling and snapping at its feet and ungit at into the orc’s mystic shield. The repeated impacts must have sapped itsenergy, for the shield seemed to buckle and falter, nally collapsing with acrash as the wolf carcass knocked the orc down and landed on top of him. The demon stepped forward, ready to deliver a killing blow. Tarn had jogged up into the beast’s blind spot, taking grateful advan
tage of its continued focus on the shaman. Shouting, he swung his swordand connected solidly with the beast behind its knee. The demon whirledabout, and Tarn looked up into its eyes and sneered. “The wolves may notmatter, hell spawn, but I do!” The creature sliced at Tarn as it grew even more enraged, but the knightdeftly stepped back, avoiding by the barest thread a blow that would have