Dante’s Immortality – Chapter 73
His punch knocked the bastard off his feet, and the entire great hall went silent. Ignoring them, Dante turned back to Olivia to check on her, but she was already halfway out of the room, and running.
He felt someone grab him by the shoulder and yank him around, and Dante pushed the random assailant off of him as he spun. His attacker didn’t seem ready for the sudden force and he fell to the floor.
Seeing their friend hit the floor, three others attacked him. They lunged at him, piling on and sending him to the ground while trying to pin him and simultaneously raining down blows.
Dante clicked his wrist to discreetly pull his spare dagger. Then, using the three bodies that were on top of him for cover, slashed into them lightly with the enchantment activated.
As soon as he heard the voice, Dante used Manipulate Blade to hide the dagger back up his sleeve before standing. His three attackers twitched on the ground, but otherwise didn’t move.
Everyone turned to see an exceedingly irate Warlord Auron. He seemed to be seething, and Melisandre was already gone, likely chasing after Olivia.
Warlord Auron marched up to their ‘group’, and the men surrounding Dante backed off hesitantly. Even the three on the floor rolled away as their bodies regained function. The exception was the large man he punched on the chin. That man surprisingly stood his ground as Warlord Auron approached.
“Ethan, you dare?” After Melisandre left, it was like the warlord was a completely different person. Any kindness was gone, replaced by tyranny.
Ethan frowned, but otherwise didn’t react. “Dare to do what? You’ve lost your damn mind Auron.”
Warlord Auron’s expression tightened. He drew a sword and took a single step forward, but seemed to hesitate.
Seeing him move, Ethan took a step back, and for the first time looked uncertain. “You’d really turn on me because I offended the niece of some woman you picked up?”
Warlord Auron’s eyes narrowed as if agitated, and he took another step forward, but he seemed to struggle as he took it. It was as though he was fighting against Melisandre’s charm.
Dante looked closely, and noticed that all of the men surrounding him had an armband with a single color – red. He took a very subtle step backward. He didn’t know the limits of Melisandre’s charm, but if Warlord Auron broke out of it, things would end badly.
Ethan saw the struggle on Warlord Auron’s face and seemed to harden his resolve. “You may be able to win battles, but without me, you would’ve been nothing. Just put the sword down before you do something you’ll regret.”
One of the surrounding men stepped between the two of them. “Let’s just calm down and talk this through tomor-”
It seemed that the man who stepped forward didn’t have anywhere near the same status - or relationship to the warlord - as Ethan, because Warlord Auron stepped forward and slammed his fist into the man’s chest. There was no overwhelming impact, and the man he punched didn’t go flying. There was just a sickening wet crunch as the man’s chest was crushed and he slumped to the floor.
Warlord Auron stood over the man’s body, veins on his forehead twitching and muscles straining, but otherwise expressionless.
“Y-You-” For the first time, the severity of the situation seemed to weigh down on everyone present. No one reacted as strongly as Ethan though, he was peddling backward. “You’ve really lost your mind.” Ethan looked to those around him. “Someone hurry up and stop him, he’s gone mad!”
The coldly spoken word cut through the thick tension, and Warlord Auron went slack, falling to one knee and gasping for breath.
Before anyone even realized what was happening, an overwhelming force enveloped the room. One by one, people began dropping, falling to the floor unconscious.
Dante gritted his teeth as the force increased in pressure, he had never experienced anything like it before. It felt like the world was coming down, collapsing in the space around him and overwhelming him. The pressure was absurd, he couldn’t move any part of his body.
Dante felt his legs buckle as he fell to his knees, and watched on as the last of those around him fell unconscious. Warlord Auron was the last, struggling against it until the last moment.
The pressure continued to increase. Dante slumped down to the floor, laying down on his side as blood began to leak from his nose.
The faint echo of footsteps rang out through the great hall, getting slightly louder as they approached until they seemed to be right next to him.
Melisandre walked into his view, and when he saw her, he could feel a chill spread through his body. He had thought that she had seen her angry when he made Olivia cry, but he hadn’t realized how wrong he was.
Melisandre seemed to sense his presence. She glanced down at him, and he felt goosebumps begin to spread along his body. Her eyebrows lifted slightly, as if surprised that he was still conscious, then the pressure disappeared.
“The carriage is outside, go back to the inn.” Her voice scraped against his ear’s like a cold razor, it was almost painful to listen to.
Dante gave a slight nod, but Melisandre had already dismissed him from her mind as she moved closer to Ethan’s unconscious form.
Dante slumped onto his stomach, then struggled to press himself onto all fours. He was surprised to find that his body wasn’t weakened at all, but his mind seemed to be holding him back. Melisandre had used some form of mental attack on them, that was obvious, but it was completely unlike any of those that he had felt. It felt physical, and there was nothing to block in his mind. He was likely only conscious because of the glove’s presence in his mind.
He heard a loud gasp, and looked up to see Ethan wake up and try to struggle away from Melisandre. She had one hand on his chin, holding him in place and tilting his head up to face her.
“Which one is Aldric?” Her voice was somehow colder than it was only moments ago.
Ethan looked at the scene around him in horror, then raised a shaking finger and pointed at one of the unconscious bodies that was only a few feet away from him.
There was a loud crack as Melisandre jerked her hand and stood from Ethan, his neck now twisted at an impossible angle. She moved to her new target, who stirred awake as soon as she touched him.
Dante began to crawl to the door, his mind still wasn’t functioning enough for him to walk steadily.
“Who else saw?”
“W-what are you talking about?”
There was another loud cracking noise, this one sharper, likely a slap.
Melisandre’s voice grated against his ears, and Dante paused his crawling as a shiver shot through him.
“It wasn’t me-”
The voice was cut off by a loud grunt, and Dante glanced back to see Melisandre holding a dagger that was sticking out of Aldric’s thigh. The enchantment on the dagger lit up, and Aldric began to scream.
Dante continued to crawl, faster now as his mind began to heal. He had no interest in watching Melisandre torture someone.
The screaming stopped, and Aldric struggled to breathe through gasping breaths.
“-Eric told Clint from the Vulture’s Guard.” Aldric inhaled sharply between wheezes. “I don’t know who everyone else was, but he’s the one who brought me.”
There was another loud crack, then silence. Dante glanced back, Melisandre was gone, and Aldric’s neck was twisted like Ethan’s.
What in the hell is going on?
Everything happened way too fast. Obviously, something bad had happened to Olivia. Even Melisandre was taken off-guard by it.
Dante made it to the door of the great hall and used the door’s handle to pull himself up to his unsteady feet. Then, he stumbled through the hallway until he was back out into the courtyard.
Melisandre’s range was ridiculous, every combatant or servant he passed on the way to the carriage was unconscious, the exception being the carriage driver himself. Their carriage driver looked completely terrified and was shaking as he held onto the reins.
The look of relief on the old driver’s face was almost palpable as he stumbled up to the carriage. “Right this way sir. As soon as you get in, we will be off.”
Dante smiled grimly. It seemed that Melisandre hadn’t forgotten him. He had thought that it was entirely coincidental that she noticed him and told him to go back to the inn before killing Ethan.
The driver hopped down and held open the door for him, and Dante gave a slight nod of appreciation as he passed him and silently struggled into the carriage.
He was about to settle in for a nice and quiet carriage ride so that he could digest what had just transpired when he noticed Olivia silently sitting in the carriage, her head resting on the opposite wall. She wasn’t crying like he would have expected, she just looked overwhelmingly sad.
For some reason, the sight of Olivia was completely unexpected. He would have thought that Melisandre had already sent her back to the inn, and was completely unprepared to see her.
Olivia saw him pause as he stepped into the carriage and looked up. “I’m sorry.”
Dante looked at her incredulously. “For what?”
In reply, Olivia just shrugged.
That was a feeling he could sympathize with, he was also sorry, but had no idea what for. “You have nothing to apologize for, he was just an asshole.”
He struggled to think of what he could say to console her. “It’s not like you can help it.”
Olivia lightly snorted with disdain. “Melisandre can.”
“She’s lived with it longer.”
Dante hesitated, but couldn’t help but ask. “What happened?”
Olivia looked at the passing streets through carriage window for a moment before replying. “I went to go see my charmed like master instructed, but he brought an audience. I didn’t realize until after.”