Tainted Victory – Chapter 11, Part 10 (Page-a-Day)

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“If the knife is destroyed then so is the curse he has placed on everyone else!” exclaimed Claudia. “There is a problem with that, though. Most magical weapons can only be destroyed by magics that destroy runic items.” Claudia pulled out her unknown arrow. “I may not be able to tell you what this does, but I know some of the runes for destruction and they are not engraved on this at all.”

“We do have something that can,” Hugh said. He rubbed his arm. “My tattoo.” They looked confused. “Remember when I said that I can heal, but like all magic healing requires a cost. This destruction magic is the cost. If I heal too much without letting go of that energy it can build up and destroy me.”

“So we just have to cut you a bunch. You heal yourself, then you break the knife?” Evelyn removed a knife. “Easy enough.” She glided to him, knife in hand. 

Hugh held his hands up and quickly stepped back. “No, no, no. I should be okay. I had to heal myself a couple times earlier. I just need to get my hand on that knife.”

Evelyn rolled her eyes then slid her knife back into place. “How do we plan to do that?”

There was a second stretch of silence between the group. 

Goblet said, “We plan another assault.”

“The last one went terribly for us, save for Raisor coming in and winning the day. He’s dead so we are kind dead if we do that,” Evelyn said.

Hugh placed his chin in his hands. “Not necessarily.” The three looked at him. “We do not need to beat the army, just break the knife.”

“That would have way less steps,” Claudia said. 

Evelyn sighed. Her shoulders dipped. She sucked her breath back into her lungs. “I think I have a way to do it.”

“Good.”

“One of us gets close. The others stage the assault. In the confusion the person close to him steals the knife, gets it to Hugh. He breaks it.” She clapped her hands. “Day is saved!”

“Shouldn’t Hugh be the one to get close to Olivier?” Claudia asked.

Hugh looked down at the space between his feet. “I might be stronger than him but I cannot hurt anyone. It goes against my code.” He looked back up. “I can support the assault party. If I heal more people then my destruction power will allow me to break the knife further.”

“Who should get close then?” asked Goblet.

“I will,” Evelyn said. “He already does not trust me.” She looked to Claudia. “And some people are better at frontal assault than I am.”

Claudia nodded. 

“If the front door is gone then we cannot enter that way,” Goblet said. “It would also surely be suicide if we did that.” He looked down at his hands. He closed them over an imaginary axe handle. 

Claudia watched him. She looked to Evelyn. “Is there a way to get back to the strategy room from here?”

“N-” Hugh began only to get cut off by Evelyn’s “Yes.”

“I thought you said you could not find any secret passages in the strategy room,” Hugh asked . He gave the flattest expression he could. His mouth was thin and the corners of his lips were tight around the edges.

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