The loud noise echoed in the ears of the ponies as they watched Ra'zaan and Golam clash together with an almost impossible speed.
Twilight glanced to her right and realized what had the Khajiit filled with such rage. Lying several feet away from the battle was Nadene, and she wasn't moving. Twilight levitated the young Dark Elf over to the group with her magic to assess the poor mage's condition. She didn't look good. Rainbow noticed Ra'zaan's pack sitting on top of his armor, and quickly fetched it. The cyan pony landed next to Twilight and held out the pack in front of her.
"Twilight, I think we might be able to help her with one of Ra'zaan's potions... should we give it a try?" The cyan pony asked, staring at the contents of the bag.
The purple unicorn turned and glanced at the bag. "What should we give her? I have no idea which potion does what..."
"Ahem..." A voice behind the group said weakly.
Everypony turned to see Halius, barely conscious, staring back at them. All the ponies glared back.
"What do you want, mage?" Iron asked angrily.
Halius looked sadly over at Nadene. "If you want to help her, see if that Khajiit has a red potion in his bag... 'cough'... That's what a healing potion from our world looks like..." The High Elf was finding it fairly hard to breath.
"Yeah?! Why should we trust you?!" Rainbow growled angrily at the mage.
Halius just smirked painfully and replied calmly. "Because if you don't, we'll both lose a good friend... You see, I knew about Nadene's craving for revenge... I believe I was the only one she ever confided it in... So please, trust me just this once, and give her the potion..." The High Elf's eyes were full of sadness and regret, and he laid there, staring at Nadene's unmoving body.
Twilight searched the mage's face for any sign of malicious intent, but found absolutely none. She glanced over at Rainbow and nodded. Rainbow reluctantly flew over to the bag and grabbed the only red potion she found. Carrying it carefully, she hovered over to Nadene and placed the vial to her lips. Twilight raised the mage's head and made sure the liquid wasn't going into the Dark Elf's lungs. Rainbow slowly emptied the large vial completely down the Dark Elf's throat and sighed.
"I really hope that works..." The blue pegasus said solemnly.
Twilight looked over at the battle that was occurring in front of them. "It has to, Rainbow. If it doesn't..." She couldn't finish her sentence. She never wanted to see anypony - or anyone, for that matter - die in front of her.
In front of them, the fiercest battle they had ever seen was playing out.
Ra'zaan stood with his sword clashed against Golam's. the intensity fire on the Khajiit's blade was matched almost exactly with the ferocity of the electricity running through Golam's. Ra'zaan slammed his white-hot blade against Golam's again, knocking the mage backwards.
With the few seconds that gave him, he glanced over to see if Nadene was okay. To his surprise, he sees Rainbow and Twilight giving her one of his healing potions. "Good job, girls. She may just make it after all..." He thought to himself.
"Your inattentiveness will be the end of you, Cat!" Golam yelled as he ran at the distracted Khajiit.
Ra'zaan spun around and blocked the attack with ease. "You're strength isn't as much of a factor anymore, Elf." The Khajiit's eyes still glowed a crimson red that showed the immense hatred he had for the mage. "Come at me with everything you've got, because if you don't, not even the Divines will save you!"
Ra'zaan pushed Golam back with another forceful strike. Then, with a downward arc, he swung his katana and created a flaming wave of energy, which was hurled at the evil Dark Elf. Golam countered the wave with his own electrically-charged horizontal arc. The two energetic waves collided together, causing an explosion of fire and lightning, which knocked both Ra'zaan and Golam back several feet.
"Not... bad... Cat..." Golam said between breaths.
Ra'zaan glared at the mage. "Not... too bad... yourself..."
The two fighters ran at each other again and clashed. Left and right, they swung, each trying to outmaneuver the other. With each connection of their swords, sparks and flames shot out from the center. The mage and the warrior were a blur to everything around them; they were moving at unbelievable speeds that rivaled that of Rainbow Dash doing a sonic rain-boom. Ra'zaan jumped backwards and pointed his blade straight out in front of him. Charging with all of his strength, the Khajiit ran at Golam. The mage spun around the flaming edge and caught the warrior's thigh with a back-slash of his katana.
"Ahhhhhh!" Ra'zaan yelled in pain and cringed slightly. Electricity from Golam's blade danced freely throughout the wound on the Khajiit's leg, amplifying the pain it inflicted. "Damn you, Golam!!!"
The fury in Ra'zaan's eyes somehow grew even more intense as he spun around with his sword outstretched. The blade seemed to be alive as fire skipped on and around it. The swing produced another wave of fire, and the Dark Elf didn't have time to react. The wave hit him with full force and launched him into a nearby tree, stunning him a bit. The wave had left a searing burn across his abdomen, but the mage would have to worry about that later. For now, Golam was more worried about the half-sane Khajiit charging at him. Golam ducked just as Ra'zaan swung his ungodly flaming sword at him, and the tree he'd been leaning against fell in half and landed on the ground. The mage landed a kick to the warrior's chest and pushed him away to give him a moment to catch his breath.
"You really are a lost cause, Khajiit. Attacking aimlessly like that? I thought you were a better fighter than that! You couldn't even land a blow with me against a tree!" Golam taunted after taking a few deep breaths.
An extremely dark smile grew across Ra'zaan's face. "Is that so? Care to reach up and touch your left ear?" Ra'zaan asked confidently.
Golam reached up to see what the Khajiit meant. To his disgust, the top half of his ear was gone, and the wound was burnt shut, preventing a healing spell from fixing it. "He was that close... I'll have to be much more careful than I thought with him..." He thought, a bit of fear welling inside him. The mage wasn't about to show this enemy any weakness, however, and kept the feeling locked away. "Fine. That was a lucky shot, Cat. Let's see you do it again!" He yelled angrily.
Again they collided their blades, and again both held their own under the others' strength. With each passing moment, the intensity of the magic flowing from the blades grew stronger and stronger. Ra'zaan hacked and slashed at Golam fruitlessly for several more moments before jumping back. Golam took this chance and pointed his katana straight into the air. A blue streak of lightning flew off of Golam's sword and into the sky. Ra'zaan realized what was happening and hopped to his right just before the same lighting bolt came crashing down where he'd been standing only a second before. He turned to the Mage and smirked.
"I've got a surprise for you, too!" He grinned as he brought his sword over his head and stabbed it into the ground.
A rumbling sound resonated from underneath both fighters for a moment before several cracks started forming all around Golam, including directly beneath him. He jumped to the left just as a geyser of flame shot out of the crack. The mage dodged over and over as each of the cracks that had formed shot fire out at him. Just before he was in the clear as far as the geysers were concerned, one caught his robe on fire. He took off the flaming cloak, and underneath was a black tunic that looked like it had seen plenty of use. There were no sleeves on the tunic, and the mage's arms displayed the fact that the mage had seen his fair share of battles. Scars ran up and down both of his arms. He also wore a set of black pants that had the same worn look as the tunic.
"Well, I can safely say you are the most persistent opponent I have ever faced." Golam said, his fangs glinting in the sliver of light that was left as the sun finished its route across the sky. "I'm going to end this, here and now." An electric glow flowed across Golam's immobile arm, bringing it to life.
The mage reached his animated arm towards his other sword, which was stuck in the ground a few meters away. The sword came to life and flew the his hand. Once there, it ignited with the shocking power Golam's other sword was showing.
"Disabling my arm was smart, but futile. As you can see, I can still move it with my magic." Golam laughed.
Ra'zaan looked on with a hint of fear in his fiery eyes. "N-no way... I cut his muscle... He shouldn't be able to move it even with magic!" He thought. Then it hit him. Golam was a vampire. the powers he possessed were a mystery, so the Khajiit should have foreseen this from the beginning. He smiled and drew out his glass dagger.
"I'm not going down without a fight. Vampire or not, you still bleed the same, Golam!" Ra'zaan remarked as the glass dagger lit with the same white-hot appearance as his katana.
They slammed together with their blades again, but this time Golam had the advantage. He held Ra'zaan's sword with one of his own, and furiously bashed against the Khajiit's dagger over and over. Ra'zaan couldn't keep up with the sheer speed of the mage, and the dagger flew from his hand. Golam then sliced between the warrior's ribs and Ra'zaan jumped away in pain. Again, the pain was amplified by the electricity.
"Where is your cockiness now, Cat?" Golam gave a malicious laugh.
The pain was starting to get to Ra'zaan. He was finding it increasingly hard to think straight. He lifted his head and swung his blade twice releasing two more flaming waves. Golam sliced at them with his katanas and made them vanish with ease. Ra'zaan charged at the mage and swung again, hacking and slashing to find another way through the mage's defense.
There was none.
The mage kept in pace with the Khajiit's every move. No matter what Ra'zaan tried, Golam could match it. It was a lost cause. Ra'zaan sliced wildly, but it was no use. In one swift motion, Golam slammed both of his blades against Ra'zaan's single one and launched him backwards several meters.
"This can't be happening... This can't happen now!" Ra'zaan thought to himself.
But it was all real. He couldn't beat the mage that stood in front of him. The Khajiit started to doubt himself.
"He's... he's too strong... there's just no way... It's all over from here, isn't it...?" He questioned himself. "Fine. If I'm gonna die, I'm going down in flames!"
Ra'zaan's fiery aura that surrounded his sword grew to surround the Khajiit himself as well. He knew what he was about to do. He'd use all the power he could muster in one last devastating attack. Fire rose from the Khajiit's body, showing just how much pent-up energy he was about to release. This was it. He had one shot.
Ra'zaan looked up at Golam. The mage hadn't even flinched. "I've got one last trick up my sleeve, Golam!"
The warrior ran towards the mage. He stopped halfway, though, and pulled his sword back like he was going to try to spear the mage again. Instead, the Khajiit thrusts his sword straight ahead of him, and all his rage and power were released. A white-hot, flaming spear of magic was fired from the tip of Ra'zaan's katana at an almost impossible speed. Golam didn't even have time to raise his weapons, and was hit directly with the wave of intense heat and power. After a few seconds, all that could be seen in the entire area where Golam had been was smoke and ash.
Ra'zaan fell to his knees. He was more than tired. Even exhausted wasn't the word for it. All of his energy was drained, and he felt like he could pass out at any moment.
"You did it!" "Way to go Ra'zaan!" "It's over!" Ra'zaan could hear these and several more compliments and cheers coming from the sidelines. "It is, isn't it? It's all finally over..." A smile crossed the Khajiit's face.
A little too soon, in fact.
Suddenly, two waves of lightning crashed through the smoke and ash and directly into the kneeling Khajiit, forming and 'X' across his torso and launching him all the way back to just in front of the ponies.
"Ra'zaan!?!?!" Nine voices sounded in unison as the Khajiit landed. He moved his head towards them, but nothing else on him moved.
"Girls... I can't beat him... He's too strong for me..." Ra'zaan said painfully.
A figure materialized from the ash. Golam staggered towards the Khajiit with burns covering over three-quarters of his body. "Well, this is it, Cat. You fought well, I'll give you that, but you're just not strong enough to beat me." Golam smiled as he stopped at Ra'zaan's side. "It's over."
"No! Leave him alone!" Twilight, Applejack and Rainbow ran to guard Ra'zaan, but Golam simply shocked them away with his electricity.
"Well I guess this is it... Too bad, too. I thought for sure he'd be done after that last attack..." Ra'zaan thought calmly. He looked up at all the terrified faces that were behind him. "What am I thinking?! If I let this bastard win, all of these innocent ponies are gonna feel his wrath! Think, Ra'zaan, think!" His, entire thought process went into overdrive.
"Well, any last words, Ra'zaan?" Golam asked, raising his sword above his head.
Ra'zaan looked around. His sword lay inches from his right hand, and the glass dagger he'd lost was only about two feet away from his left. He knew he'd never have time to react both before Golam finished him, but it was a thought. He looked at ponies' faces one last time. The Khajiit sighed before speaking.
"I won't waste my breath on you, Golam. Do your worst." Ra'zaan spitefully.
Golam scowled at him. "Fine, then let's end this!" He pulled back and was ready to swing down when he heard something.
In the blink of an eye, Derpy hovered in front of Golam.
"D-Ditzy?! Y-your alive?!" Golam stuttered at the sight of the only pony that he'd ever given a second look in this world.
"Leave him alone! What's wrong with you?!" Derpy said angrily.
While this was happening, Ra'zaan found his opportunity. He rolled to one side grabbed his sword, then rolled to the other and grabbed his dagger.
Golam noticed his movement and came out of his stupor. "Out of my way! If you're against me, you're as worthless as that niece of mine!" The Dark Elf swung his sword at Derpy with deadly intent.
Ra'zaan now stood in front of Derpy, sword and dagger blocking Golam's weapons. "Thanks for the distraction Derpy. Thanks to all of you, too. I wouldn't have been able to snap out of it if you hadn't been here!"
The Khajiit swung his sword in one fast motion and knocked both blades from a stupefied Golam's hands. The mage was knocked back two or three feet, and this gave Ra'zaan the opening he needed. He pulled both of his blades back, dagger in his left hand and katana in his right, and charged. He pushed his two favorite weapons deep into the mage's chest, with his sword reaching all the way through. Time seemed to slow down as Golam and Ra'zaan's eyes met.
"...And so... it ends..." Golam said, blood pooling at his feet the same way it had the first time he had laid eyes on the Khajiit.
"...The same way it started..." Ra'zaan finished.
Golam gave a small smile. "That was a dirty trick, Cat..."
Ra'zaan smiled back. "Sorry, but fighting clean never got this mercenary anywhere..."
The mage laughed. "I'm... a little glad this is all over, you know. This body of mine was old and tired, considering it has been around for longer than most. I guess the best thing I can say... Is thank you, Khaj... I mean, Ra'zaan."
"Rest in peace, Golam. You fought hard, I'll give you that. But this is the price you pay for threatening so many and helping so few." Ra'zaan's eyes were still filled with rage, but a side of sympathy was there as well. "Go now, mage."
With one last motion, Ra'zaan pulled his blades to either side, finishing the job and making sure to kill the evil mage. The Khajiit laid Golam's lifeless body gently on the ground, then turned towards the ponies.
"It's finally over, everypony. All of this mess... It's finally over..." Ra'zaan said. He passed out right where he stood, landing right beside the Dark Elf he'd fought for the last four days.
All the ponies looked on and smiled. They weren't smiling because of the death, but because they were happy for Ra'zaan. Ra'zaan had finally finished his mission he'd accepted from his 'Mage's Guild', and now he lay peacefully, resting. The ponies just sat there quietly, watching as the moon finally came into view.
The moon rose slowly above the horizon as the Khajiit fell, and it beamed it's light down on the two fighters. On one side, the Khajiit was out cold, blissfully resting after a chaotic day. On the other, two fangs shined brightly from the rapidly cooling body of Golam Faram. A wide smile was spread across his paled face.
TO BE CONTINUED