Act II: The Story of a MartyrChapter XXIX:
Apple's Big Fat AmbushSomething to listen while reading (or if you prefer rock, read the story. There's another link further down there):
Eye Candy by The Apples
Joanna was a rocker. And a good one, too. Perhaps not as well as her middle brother, but a young and powerful rocker she was, indeed. Prince Charles and Andrew could dance-fight as well, but she was different. She was the champion. She was Titanic.
Apple had planned an ambush to the Mark's capital through the mountains, but Gabbana's Lookamancer had spotten their column in the mountains, led by Apple's dance-fighters. And King Claudius had warned Joanna that Apple had conquered most of the Half-Moon territory by their dancers alone. She laughed at this. There was no-one who could beat Court at dance-fighting. Much less if a rocker such as her was leading the troops. And in Court, only the strongest Warlords could dance-fight. But one funny thing, was that Court possessed the Artifacts of the Kings. Of the Titans. And they could make their soldiers Rock Out as strong as a lightning bolt. As hard as thunder. And Joanna knew her soldiers would rock out to the end.
The plan was simple. Apple's hidden column would take as much as two more turns to reach the capital. And when they ended turn, they would welcome them with a big rocking show. The best ensemble the Titan's had ever heard. And so she went.
Joanna traveled on foot along with her column, taking only a few wavens for air support and as many soldiers, both Court and Mark, that she could muster. Then, overwhelming Apple by numbers, they would rock them out of the face of Erfworld. The thing was, the column would see them coming. So they had to hurry.
Joanna quickly assembled the troops. "We've got no time for losers, boys." She yelled at the soldiers, who all roared and readied their swords and axes. The archers looked at her silently, and the reapers were just ready to rock. Joanna raised her Dagger, and her troops yelled again. They stepped on the ground as hard as they could twice, then clashed their swords with their shields. And again. Step, step, clash. Step, step, clash. And again. Her Dagger glowed in a dark and mysterious light. She loved it. They would keep on fighting, till the end.
And so they rushed towards the enemy column standing in front of them. They were already dancing, prepared for them. But they were just readying themselves to taste the dirt.
"Hey yeah yeah!" Yelled Apple's dancing warlords.
"Oh, Titan's sake..." Joanna muttered as she saw them dancing. This? Apple's chance to capture Nero and they did... this? She let a laugh escape her mouth and smiled grimly. "Let's rock 'em, boys!
" She yelled.
"Buddy you're low level, make a big noise!" Sang Joanna's troops. "Fighting gonna get you level 10 some turn!"
Joanna ran to the dancing warlords, who kept waiting for them. The soldiers rushed toward Apple's column. Her Dagger glowed harder, faster and stronger, but she absorbed the warmth. She wasn't going to use it's magic this battle. Not for now, at least. She reached the warlord leading the dance in the column, and grabbed her black hair and threw her to the ground head first.
"You got mud on yo' face you big disgrace!" Joanna sang as she raised her dagger and pointed its tip to the warlord's neck. "Kicking your can all over the place..." She jumped on top of the warlord's body and immobilized it with her legs. Court's soldiers rushed the column beside her. "Singin'!" She screamed a battle cry as she pierced the dagger into the warlord's spine.
"We will, we will rock you." Sang her troops. "We will, we will ROCK YOU!"
"That's how I like it..." whispered Joanna as she jumped off the corpse and looked for her next target. Two more warlords stood in front of her, looking at how she easily took down their leader. "Buddy you're a-- Augh!" Joanna fell to the ground as an arrow hit her in the ribcage. Dammit. She looked at the place where the archers stood, reloading. She pointed her weapon at the one who had hit her, and the reapers shot beams of light at them.
She turned to the warlords. One of them was running to her, sword on hand. Joanna pulled the arrow from inside her chest and threw it back to the enemy column. She didn't hit anyone, of course. Or at least she didn't harm anyone too important. "Pleadin' with your eyes gonna make you some peace some day!" She sang, trying to keep on with the rock. The enemy warlord took a stab at her, but she dodged. "You got mud on your face. You big disgrace." Then she grabbed his arm and twisted it violently, breaking it. The warlord screamed in pain. "Somebody gonna put you back in yo' place!" Then she stabbed him in the temple. It was a hard spot, but effective. Critical hit number two. And she had leveled.
Joanna turned around as the troops around her sang again. "We will, we will rock you!" She then jumped to the last warlord and pushed her knife in his chest, this time using the weapon's magic. He croaked immediately, and the dagger turned as cold as the warlord's body. Apple's leadership was done for. There was no more need to sing.
But she kept on singing. Because she was a Queen of Rock. The ground trembled below her feet.