Lightning cut the sky in half above the neo-echo’s head, forcing an involuntary cringe out of him. He normally wasn’t so jumpy. Then again, the voice in his head wasn’t normally as angry and forceful as it was at that moment. He could feel WL tearing at his very thoughts.
“Go to the Rakaran Fields now,” he ordered Dante. “I am not asking you to go there. I’m demanding that you go there. I’ve got a way out, pal. Don’t you want to get rid of me once and for all?”
WL engulfed every single inch of Kaja’s body with innumerable jolts of pain. Every inch except for his legs, that is. Gorin’s mind really did have a way out of the neo-echo, and there was no way in hell he was going to miss it.
“Fine,” Dante said, starting on his way into the night. “I’m bringing somebody in case you try anything, though. Remember that.”
He was sure that this person would be able to help him. He had gone toe to toe with WL before, after all…
“P-please,” the white-haired boy whimpered, by now too weak to bother struggling against the chains that held his arms and legs down. “stop! At least six more of you already d-did that to me. When are you going to let me goooo?!”
Cyan grabbed TDC’s face, wet with tears, and held it close to her own. “We’re not letting you go until we’re sure one of us has our master’s grandchild in our womb. If that means doing this a hundred times each, we’ll do it.”
The boy let out a couple of dry sobs. After all the crying he’d been doing in the last few hours, he had no more water left for tears. He didn’t want to go through it again. It had hurt him more and more each time one of them did it to him, but they didn’t seem to care.
“Awww,” his captor said with mock pity. “I’m so sorry. You poor child…”
She struck him so hard that his head swung to the side and smacked against the concrete. Now it was his forehead’s turn to cry, and cry it did. It cried red tears, the sight of which gave Cyan sick pleasure.
“Madame,” came another, slightly younger voice. She turned from where she’d been eyeing TDC’s forehead and looked at the succubus in the doorway with a venomous expression. Her counterpart didn’t seem too frightened, though. She seemed downright ecstatic.
“Amber’s pregnant!” she shouted. Cyan felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. How could Amber be the one carrying the vessel in which Gorin was to be reborn? She was the leader! She should have been the one to carry the vessel, not Amber!
“Alright,” Cyan said, the joyful expression on her face betraying the swirl of anger she felt inside. “I’ll just finish up here and I’ll visit her.”
After the succubus left Cyan’s expression of fake joy was replaced with one of utter fury.
“You,” she seethed, grabbing TDC’s throat. “I was supposed to be carrying the vessel, not Amber! This is your fault you little bastard! You don’t like what we’ve been doing to you, eh? Well, too freaking bad! Consider this punishment!”
And Cyan went to work making this time the worst of them all.
OOC: Obviously, this takes place after “Uneasy Alliances and New Friends”.
BiC: Time had passed since the fencer had hunted down the God of Wrath, but nothing had changed. Something prevented Zorlo from recalling what exactly had occurred, or whom had won, but the green haired man knew that something new was stirring. A dark swirl in the air seemed to be moving, as if all evil converged upon a single spot. The green eyes of the young Aura Master closed and his spectral sight saw nothing but the blurs of a strange fog. His eyes opened slowly, and the power of the cosmos seemed to begin to become strained. A new child with godlike blood would be born soon, and this worried the fencer.
A few months ago, the fencer had found a lead on something he had though was Gorin, but it turned out to be something else. This creature wasn't human, but nor was it anything like Gorin. The fencer had trailed the creature for a short while, but eventually left it alone, learning it had no relation to the former god, but did find a rather good lead, along with a good deal of new information.
The green haired man's perch upon the massive tower gave him a great amount of sight to what moved around him. The Aura Master reached one of his hands into his pocket and pulled a small note that had been left behind by someone that had been following the strange boy that the fencer had stopped. Unfolding the note, the young warrior read over what he had and then looked out into the distance again.
The boy is needed to complete Master's plan. He will be reborn, and we shall capture him. Stop at nothing.
Something else bothered the green haired man, and that was mostly that a third force seemed to be stirring. Whereas Zorlo's goal was still to wholly eradicate WL, and Dante was brought into this picture because of this predicament, but someone else seemed to be getting involved. Not a person on the side of the fallen god, but nor was this person on Zorlo's side. The fencer had to find Dante, and if need be, defeat him, in order to prevent his rebirth.
His eyes opened in the same fashion as the fencer's, but he was completely different. He trudged slowly, still wounded, still angered, and still filled with the undying desire to see all dead. Oh how the mighty had fallen, and the green haired man and the black eyed warrior had brought him down a long way. Although Shinu had managed to save most of his power, the Master of Darkness was no where near as powerful as he had been only weeks earlier. His magical energies and control of the darkness of the world were still far beyond reckoning, but he no longer had the power to defeat Zorlo and Tsuukai at the same time, but now, rather, barely enough power to defeat either on their own.
"Damn them," he stated, moving silently through the blackness, knowing full well all the players of this event. To be more exact, Shinu had been watching this whole event fall into place, and that is why he had usurped the great power of darkness itself, even if the power had failed him. Shinu would claim the title of a god, to be more exact, he would be the God of Darkness, but first, he and Zorlo now had common foes. The first, and foremost, would be Gorin, seeing as he had no vessel of his own, and Shinu could rob him of his powers while he tried to transfer them. Even if Shinu couldn't completely destroy the mind of the god, he would at least drain most of his power.
The second of which was the true God of Darkness, being the one and only Sin. His location had been lost when Zorlo had succeeded in failing miserably to defeat the creature, but it mattered not. Shinu had returned, and this time, not even the fencer would stop him from gaining what he desired.
OoC: Okay, well, this takes place after What's Left to Fight For ends, and I'll have my newer Shinu posted shortly. I just want to finish WLtFF, which will be soon.
“I know what you’re thinking,” WL said, sending a few warning bolts of pain coursing through Dante. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the fencer involved. He’d probably try to kill you anyway, so why not just head for the fields?”
The neo-echo snarled and smacked his head into a tree, temporarily shutting his alter ego up.
“I don’t give a damn,” he said. “I know you’ve got something planned, you ****ing bastard. He needs to be there if I’m too weak to kill you after you’ve gotten your body.”
“What?” the voice of WL chimed. “How the hell did you know that was why I wanted you to go there?”
“You can read my thoughts,” Dante replied, clenching his fists. “and I can read yours. Maybe not as frequently, but enough to get an idea of what you’re up to. I can’t kill myself, so the only way to kill you is to let you go through with this. That way I can kill you and be done with this **** hole we know as life.”
“You’re a stupid prick, you know that?”
Kaja was nearing his destination by now. The tower should be nearby. Judging by the power he felt emanating from it, the fencer had to be there. It was an incredibly strong aura, though not as strong as Sin or Kenjin’s. He was definitely there…
“Cyan, can you believe it?!” Amber shouted, hugging the blue-haired succubus. The fake smile Cyan had used earlier was once again plastered on her face. The only difference was that this smile was a partially real one. She’d had a little fun doing that to the kid.
“I’m so happy for you!” Cyan said, returning Amber’s hug. “Slut,” she thought, her fake smile wavering for a moment. “God damn slut!”
Anna, the succubus who’d interrupted Cyan and TDC earlier, was positively beaming. The three of them were the only succubi who knew about Amber’s success. For the moment, anyway.
“Don’t let the others know,” the blue-haired succubus told Amber and Anna. “I don’t want them to have to stop having fun with the boy. Why punish them for Amber’s success?”
Anna and Amber both nodded, still smiling, and left to head for the transfer room. They had a lot of preparing to do, after all. Their master wouldn’t be long…
The fencer could feel it, even if he couldn't see the aura of the landscape anymore, he could still feel something was drawing near. A lingering moment of silence, and then a cold chill ran up the green haired man's spine. What could it be that walked towards the Aura Master that could produce this effect? And then it struck him, for he had felt this feeling once before, and that was when the fencer had seen the true Dante for the few seconds he had appeared before the events of the youth's clash split the two up, allowing the battle to go unfinished.
"Why has he come here?" the fencer asked himself, opening his eyes and looking down, seeing the dark form that could only be Dante. He had sought the fencer out, and now the green haired man had to know why. Without a second thought or a moment of delay, the fencer stepped forwards and began a free fall from the building, looking directly down as he continued his descent. The power of gravity had always amazed Zorlo, but something about falling like this was almost rewarding, because nothing but the warrior and his body were in this predicament.
The fencer smirked and turned his body so it faced the ground, using his aura to manipulate the wind, as he could with the greatest of ease now. Before long, the green haired man had moved himself into position to run down the remains of the tower he had perched himself upon, and did so, pushing off forwards just before the ground, and landed so that he slid, his right foot forwards as he did so, and spun around before stopping and standing up to face Kaja, who stood in front of him.
"Impressive entrance," the Neo-Echo stated, looking at the green haired man. "I must say, I never thought I'd see you again," the former god stated with a certain amount of fear, but the fencer easily knew it wasn't towards him.
"You are Dante, if I recall correctly, the one who houses Gorin, the God of Wrath. Why are you here?" the Aura Master asked, keeping his eyes fixed upon the shape-shifter.
"I've come to ask for your help," the creature responded, looking at the fencer, half smiling.
"I see, please tell me why you have come here, for I may already have an idea," the green haired man responded, sliding his right foot back and resting his right and upon the pommel of his rapier, knowing this man would not attack him. Not only was that, but if the former god took control, Zorlo could destroy him. The pros seemed to outweigh the cons in this instance. How could Zorlo refuse to listen?
Shinu, although he hated to admit it, knew all too well that what he was attempting to do was dangerous, but the images and the note he had seen from his connection to Zorlo made it all to obvious where Dante was heading, and why he would recruit Zorlo. It was all too simple, and Shinu knew this. The fencer had watched over the spawn of the God of Wrath, and had stopped a succubi from capturing the boy once, but this was rather different. The monstrosity, as the Master of Darkness saw it, was in control of the fell creatures, but both souls knew what was being planned.
Aizi knew exactly where the creatures that steal the souls and lives of men were, and with that knowledge, he and the dark soul of Zorlo's dark-side could easily find these creatures and help them long enough to usurp the God of Wrath's power. The dark one needed little time, and could travel through the near endless darkness of night. The power and control of darkness were far to easy now that Shinu had united himself with the endless blackness, but the exchange would slowly take from him what he valued so much.
Despite gaining a massive boost in power from using the Amulet of Aizi to unite himself with the darkness, Shinu had given up his nearly immortal life span. He, himself would slowly become part of the darkness he wrapped and veiled himself in. He couldn't just steal a body, for to do as he needed, he's either need a body that could handle the great darkness that lived within himself, or he would need a body who's mental defenses were weak. This is why he needed Gorin's powers.
The power to change his form would allow him to regain his full power nearly after taking a new body, but such powers did not exist in the darkness, and only appeared to to gods who supported the realm of chaos and destruction. Although Sin's powers would be much preferred, to slay that creature was much beyond even the Master of darkness himself at this very moment. He had to speed up his pace, and did so, moving within the darkness to arrive where he was needed at a speed that would boggle the mind.
Shinu was close, and now stood at the door to the base of the creatures that stole the hearts and souls of men, and there was only one thing to do. The dark one moved towards the door and knocked upon it, wholly intent on using his powers of persuasion to gain him entrance into where these creatures lived and then begin enacting his master plan. First, though, he'd need them to trust him enough to share their plan with him. Would they wind up dying in the end? Probably, but what did the Master of Darkness care, they were only stepping stones towards his ultimate ends.
Gorin saw his cult of succubi in a similar manner as Shinu did: Disposable. The only purpose they served was to bring him back from the prison that had once been his soul. His body was a mutated freak stalking about, and his soul had become an illusion of a being.
If there was any way that the God of Wrath were to live on in his glory, it was through his own mind. WL wouldn’t allow himself to be nothing more than a thorn in Dante’s side.
“All of them,” he muttered to himself, sitting on a throne of hardened human muscle. He was in his own little world in the back of Kaja’s existence. It was in this world that he spent the majority of his time. “Cyan, Amber, Anna, Cherise… They are nothing more than tools to be used. Once a tool has been used for its job, there’s little reason to keep it around.”
His lips peeled back in a grotesque smile, revealing a row of pointed teeth. The eyes on his palms opened to take more of the egg-white world around them into their murky yellow depths. WL always chose to have an appearance akin to the original Gorin while in his world.
“Once the tools are all used there are other projects I can work on. Destroying my old body, for example. Chovex isn’t doing any justice to us, after all. There’s also that fool Dante. Once I’m free of him, he’ll be of no more use to me than the succubi. Just another tool to be discarded.”
“Then there’s the fencer. Hollowing him out would be so much fun. After I’m through with them, there’s always Dante’s allies. Oh!”
WL smacked the side of his head, remembering the one who’d started it all.
“I can kill the Heavenflame Samurai as well! It’s his fault that we died, that Dante was created, that our body became that thing! He may not be the only one who deserves to die, but he’s the one that’s done the most to earn it!”
Gorin’s mind continued this rant for several minutes, completely unaware of the fact that the third party in this conflict was waiting for him.
“Cherise,” Anna said, catching the red-haired succubus just as she was leaving TDC’s room. “I think there’s somebody outside the gate. Could you check?”
“Sure,” Cherise replied, brushing her hair out of her eyes. “I think it might be Yvonne. She went to town a few hours ago for supplies. She said the kid looked hungry. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was. It’s been what, three days since we caught ‘em?”
Anna nodded and the two succubi walked off in opposite directions. Cherise for the gate, and her associate for the boy’s room. Just because TDC had already served the purpose he was originally meant to serve didn’t mean that Anna couldn’t get some fun out of him.
It didn’t take long for Cherise to reach the gate. The entire building was fairly small, after all. Then again, succubi did do a lot of traveling for their main job. Very few of them actually lived in the building.
“Who is it?” she called. Shortly after doing so she felt what seemed like a warm pop in her very soul. Something powerful was on the other side. Something equally evil.
“My name is Jamenda,” Shinu replied. It didn’t take a lot of research to know that Jamenda was the name of Gorin’s right hand man during the Oblivion War. Seeing as none of the succubi had ever seen Jamenda, there was no way for them to tell that it wasn’t the genuine necromancer standing at the gate.
“Gorin summoned me to help you prepare the ritual,” he continued. The succubus on the other side of the gate practically jumped onto the lever that opened the stone slab, allowing the dark man entrance into the succubi abode.
“H-hello,” she said, staring at Shinu. She and Cyan had made a playful vow several weeks ago, a vow that was spawned by Cherise’s realization that Cyan loved their master. Cherise had jokingly suggested that the blue-haired succubus could have Gorin, and the red-haired succubus could have Jamenda. If the necromancer ever returned, that was.
“Where do you need to g-go first, sir? Do you need to speak with Cyan, or do you want to see ’the boy’? O-or would you prefer I show you to the ritual room?”
“Fencer,” Dante said, eyeing the pommel of Zorlo’s weapon. “I think ’he’ found a way to get out. I’d go alone, but I’m afraid that I’d be too weakened after whatever he has planned to kill him. That’s why I came to see you. I know there’s no love lost between the two of you.”
“That‘s true,” Zorlo replied, slightly loosening the grip his hand had on the pommel of his sword. As much as he hated to admit it, Kaja could easily guess why the Aura Master was on edge. Any moment now WL could take control and force the two of them to fight.
“He wants me to go to the Rakaran Fields,” Dante said. “I normally wouldn’t bother to give in to any of his demands, but he’s been really forceful about the whole thing. He told me that there’s something there that will let him get out. That’s something that I’ve been waiting a really, really long time for. Would you accompany me to the fields?”
OOC: Sorry that Dante and Zorlo’s segment was short. I tried to focus more on WL, Shinu, and the succubi with this post. ^_^
The fencer stared at the former god, looking all too serious as he looked out towards the growing darkness that seemed to re-eclipse the world. It hadn't been long since he and Tsuukai had ended the threat of Stacia and Shinu, with no big thanks to the dark one's own ego. Stacia had become powerless, her empire in ruins, and Shinu had, supposedly, died. After a few moments, the fencer looked back at Kaja, not really saying anything, but not exactly not saying anything.
"Of course," the Aura Master said, cracking a smile at the dark being. "Anyway, I think there is something you should know before we begin moving towards wherever you are taking me. A short while ago, I found a strange boy that had a similar aura to yours and Gorin's, but he didn't seem to be anything short of a good child. Another thing that struck me about him was that he had white hair similar to Gorin's, do you think there may be any connection between you and this boy?" the green haired man asked, keeping his eyes fixed on Dante.
"Hmm..." That was all the black skinned being told the fencer as he turned away and began to walk towards the fields where he and Zorlo were heading.
Naturally assuming that Dante probably had no idea, the youth merely began to walk with this man, keeping a distance from him to prevent any sneak attacks by the vicious creature that lurked inside the soul of the former god. "I'll admit that was a bad question, and I'm sorry I asked, but I do desire to know one thing about you and your other. Did something happen to you that caused this to happen to you? Something that split your mind so severely that you now have the mind of a former god lurking within you? I just wish to know to try to understand, because I have... or should say had, a similar problem. Mine died a few weeks ago," the Aura Master stated with confidence as he looked towards the field, the strange energies of the field disrupting his spectral sense.
Did he really die? the fencer suddenly asked himself, pondering about Shinu now. After all that has happened to him in all of his battles, is it possible that the fall from that cliff, even if his energy was leaking out of him, could have killed him? He did defeat Stacia with the greatest of ease, but that doesn't mean that he could have survived that fall with the wounds he sustained. Could have, though?! the young Aura Master asked himself as a slight amount of fear and a slight amount of anticipation hit him. Even if Shinu was alive, what would he be doing besides recovering right now anyway? the fencer asked himself, fully unaware that even he was a pawn to Shinu's plan.
True enough, nearly dying hadn't been part of Shinu's plan, and it had seriously hindered the dark one's plans, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Master of Darkness from moving forwards. The time that Shinu would have his revenge would be soon, and the dual voice man would be there to steal Gorin's powers, and then kill Zorlo as he had failed to do so recently.
The dark warrior knew that Dante would hunt down Zorlo thanks to the battle that the green haired man and Gorin had fought. Now Shinu would merely need to await their arrival, and then he could move forwards with his own plan, and that time would be soon. But what now was this energy that seemed so similar, yet so different, from Gorin, the God of Wrath that existed within these walls. The dark one's gaze returned to the woman that had escorted him in, and his eyes gazed at this strange creature.
Beautiful although she was, Shinu had little to no interest in finding a mate. He had no need of children, and apparently this woman had some odd interest in him that he couldn't explain. There was the chance she could be some fun, but the matters at hand were more pressing then something as menial as that. For now, Shinu would deal with the matters at hand. Then, the great hatred of the dark one's other entered into his mind, filling him with great anger.
Zorlo... the dark human soul hissed. You and that Shadow Master may have stopped me, but this time, I'll have my vengeance, the dark one told himself, his fist clenching tightly.
The red haired Succubus took note of the tight grip the evil one had placed on his glove and moved towards him, placing a hand on his shoulder and giving him a lustful glance. "Is there anything I can help you with?" she asked, keeping her eyes fixed on him.
"Yes, take me to this boy. I have something about him I must check," the Master of Darkness ordered the girl, who instantly did as she was told. Before long, the door to TDC's room opened and the dark one entered, casting a dark look at the Succubus already in there. "Leave us!" he ordered, the woman turning to face him.
"Why should I?" the woman asked, turning to see the dark one and instantly became scared, slowly moving away from the boy and towards the door. "I'm sorry, sir," she said, taking note of his gray eyes.
"You as well," he told the woman that followed him. "Wait outside for me, I just need to check on something," the dark one stated, moving slowly towards the devastated boy.
"Yes sir," the red head stated, leaving the room.
"Well, well, well. I can't believe I've found such a creature alive," the Spector stated, looking down at TDC. "The bastard spawn of a god, but you are imperfect. That is why they can't use you, but perhaps I can," Shinu said, turning from the boy, who looked at the man, probably more scared of him then the women. With a quick turn, the dark one placed his hand around TDC's neck and lifted the boy into the air, squeezing his neck. "Show me your proof of godhood. You should show some sign when you near death, so I'm going to force it out of you, and perhaps after that, I'll make a nice puppet out of you," the dark one stated, darkness seeping from his gloves and engulfing the boy. Normally, making puppets out of the kind hearted with darkness didn't work, but this boy had a flaw: he was the bastard spawn of the God of Wrath.
“It’s kind of complicated,” Dante said, staring at the murky gray sky. “I suppose I’d better start with how the original Gorin died.”
The neo-echo jammed his hands in his pockets and waited for the flash of pain that would signal WL’s protest. When none came, he decided to continue.
“The original Gorin, as you probably already know, was the God of Wrath. His power was decent, but far below any other gods due to his part-angel lineage. One day he was infected by an anti-god disease that the Death Dealer Grasthos was developing. A side effect of the loss of his immortality was the loss of his sanity, and he thus attacked Tokumaru Kyo: The Heavenflame Samurai. Needless to say, he was torn apart by his former teacher.”
“According to Grasthos’ notes, which are all I really have to go by, Gorin’s soul was sent to an experimental dimension the Death Dealer dubbed: Echo Side. That soul became me. Meanwhile, Gorin’s mind tried to return to his body. By then Grasthos had already tested on Gorin’s corpse with Tainted Element, which turned it into an abomination of a being.”
“Anyway, it was impossible for Gorin’s mind, WL, to re-enter Gorin’s body due to the modifications done to it. Thus, I became stuck with it.”
At this point Dante pulled a vanilla flavored clove cigarette from his pocket and placed it between his lips. It seemed to Zorlo that Kaja forgot about the cigarette just a moment later, as the neo-echo’s lips were barely holding the cigarette, and it seemed that the unlit stick of tobacco could fall out at any time.
“I didn’t know about him at first. Over time he grew in power and influence. It wasn’t long before he was able to take control of me and attack people. It’s because of him that I haven’t bothered to try and visit those I care about…”
“As for the boy you saw,” Dante said, switching the subject. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t know anything about it though.”
“I’ll try to find the boy sometime after this thing at the Rakaran Fields is done.”
No you won’t!
Dante felt a warning twinge of pain in his back, and decided that he’d better stop.
WL was about to send another, far stronger surge of pain through the neo-echo when Cyan appeared. Inside the realm of Gorin’s mind the female succubus was a bit more modestly dressed than usual. Instead of the usual small amount of clothes, or occasional lack thereof, she wore a crimson colored robe with the hood up.
“Sir,” she said, bowing her head before her lord. “I’ve got incredible news for you.”
“What is it?” WL replied, glaring at the blue-haired succubus. The mental link they shared was getting increasingly unwanted with each repeated visit the succubus made. Sometimes it seemed like she was simply making excuses to visit him.”
“Anna just informed me that Jamenda’s arrived to help take care of the ritual!” Cyan practically shouted. “He’s with the boy right now, Anna says. After he’s done with the child I’ll give him whatever he needs.”
“You do that then,” Gorin said, totally unconvinced. She was probably making it up, after all. “I think it would be a good idea for you to leave now, however. You interrupted me when I was about to have some fun, and your presence is starting to tire me.”
“I wonder what he’s doing in there,” Cherise thought. “I hope he doesn’t take too long. I want to show him around!”
If she’d known what Shinu was doing in the room, and how it would effect the whole course of events to follow, she probably would have run screaming to Cyan.
“I don’t know what you’re talking a-about,” TDC managed to gasp out. The grip Shinu had on his neck barely allowed him to breathe, and it was getting tighter. “I-”
“Silence,” Shinu said, frighteningly calm. He smacked TDC against the wall with enough force to shatter several of the abomination’s ribs, cracking a small smirk at the boy’s screams of pain. “I can tell that you’re getting close to showing the sign. Show it to me!”
Almost as though checking to see what all the fuss was about, a yellow eye suddenly opened on the back of the child’s hand. It swiveled around in its socket for a moment before fixing its gaze on the dark being standing before it.
“There we are,” he told the boy. Without another word he smacked his head against the wall and knocked TDC out. In his sleep the boy was invaded by Kowai’s darkness. When he awoke, he would be under the Lord of Darkness’s command, and probably in his wrath demon form.
Before leaving, Shinu made sure to weaken the boy’s chains with a few Shadow Bolts. Oh, how much chaos the boy would unleash upon his awakening. The thought brought a sadistic smile to his lips.
As the fencer and the Neo-Echo continued their travel towards the field, the fencer listened to Dante's explanation of what had unfolded, along with what else he knew on the boy. The Aura Master needed not guess at what was causing the yellowed eye being pain, for there existed a good reason within the poor man's mind. The green haired man seemed bothered by the fact the god's mind would send pain through the former dark god, but not steal his body. Gorin must have had something planned that required him to not steal the body; that or Dante was resisting with everything he had.
I know that feeling. Back when Shinu and I were one, when he'd escape or try to escape, it'd be painful for me, either while he was trying to usurp control of my body or after he had and caused his damage. I can't say that my break from Shinu wasn't a bad thing, but I am incomplete, but unlike Dante, I want to have Shinu to complete me. Right now, I'm two thirds of the trinity. I contain good, myself, and neutrality, which is Crimson. Although Crimson doesn't seem to desire control of my body that often. Only when Dark Selene appears or when he seems to have a cause.
To think how ironic it is that now I help someone who seeks to free himself of his dark curse, whereas now that I am free of mine, it is dead, and I can never be complete again. I don't know what will happen to Dante when he and Gorin split, but I imagine that something similar to what happened to me, where I lost most of my powers, but he is different; Dante has power comparable to the most powerful warriors I've ever fought, yet Gorin doesn't seem to be much stronger then I was. Tis a strange fate that one who has so much power is trapped to being weaker because of a thorn in his side.
But what of me? If Shinu lived and I did reabsorb him into myself, what would happen to me? Would I become stronger, or would something similar to what happens to Dante happen to me? Will he cause me to, ultimately, weaken? Or when he returns, will he be silent and my power grow? If, say, he lived and I managed to reunite with him, what danger would those I care for be in? Now that the Ancient Aura is awakening and I'm learning to control it, what would Shinu do if he discovered this power? Would he attempt to channel it, or would he merely submit?
Between he and Crimson, I would contain four auras within my body, so what would that mean. Right now I'm the controlling factor, because I rule over two energies, and the other energy within me is quiet, but what if Shinu were to return. Would I be in danger of being overpowered by him and lose my body, this time permanently? Is it possible that my body would become wholly unstable and corrode? I guess I'll never know, but I shall keep this in mind, mostly seeing as something strange is out there.
The green haired man clenched his fist tightly as he walked forwards, and the Neo-Echo took note of this and decided to say something about it. "Something the matter?"
"Nothing, just thinking about something that is bothering me right now. I've just realized how my decision to help you is ironic, and yet I know it is for the better I help you. After whatever happens happens, Gorin will be dead and his threat will vanish. Do not worry, let us continue," the Aura Master told his new ally as they continued to walk towards their ultimate goal. They were drawing near, slowly yet surely. If they arrived soon, there may have been a chance to stop the worst from happening.
Even though that plan seemed effective, something was tilting the scales, and not for either side. Although the fencer and the former god were walking towards the fields, Shinu was already there, and he was putting plans in motion to steal Gorin's power, even if it meant putting his slaves to good use.
The gray eyed man looked back at the boy, a black aura glowing off the creature's body, but slowly fading into his body so that none would notice. All too easy, Shinu told himself, his minds working well in sync, but the question of who was dominant no longer mattered. Whence Gorin's power was theirs, they would no longer be two souls, but one all powerful god. No longer plagued by infighting or questions of strength, the only thing that would effect them was the great power they would acquire. It will all be over soon. Zorlo and Dante will be dead, Gorin will no longer exist, the boy will be my servant, and the Succubi will be my slaves. I feel sorry for all these pathetic creatures, Shinu thought again, moving close to the door and resting his hand upon it, opening it slowly.
The dark one left the room and the Succubi quickly placed herself in front of him, smiling as she oggled him again. "So, what happened in there?"
"Nothing, I just had to make certain of the boy's connection to Gorin."
The red head made a pseudo laughing sound at this remark and looked up at Shinu again. "You could have just asked, we already checked."
"Did you know?" the gray eyed man asked, moving forwards, causing the woman to step back.
"Y-yes. We wouldn't merely grab some boy without knowing for certain of his connection to our Master."
"Good, you truly are good servants. Now then, show me around this place, I must get familiar with its premise before Go-..." Shinu stopped himself, nearly slipping up. He had referred to the God of Wrath by his first name because of the fact that TDC was his son, but to refer to the creature as anything less then master would appear suspicious.
"Yes, before what happens?" the red haired creature asked, looking at the dark one, who merely looked at the ground for a second before his dark, gray eyes fixed themselves with her eyes, making her nearly melt again.
"Before... the Master arrives," Shinu muttered, almost feeling like biting his tongue off for that comment. He'd let this creature lead him around for now, and when the time came, all that opposed the dark one would be killed.
“You’re getting close, Dante. You see that prairie over there? That’s the field. The place you’re supposed to go is in the middle of the field, where the grass grows up to your waist. It won’t be long now…”
Dante looked Northward, seeing if Gorin was lying. What he saw was a major surprise for the neo-echo- They were closer than he’d expected. Kaja thought it would have taken at least another hour or two to reach their destination.
Apparently, he’d been wrong.
To call the boy’s surroundings ‘Hell’ would be an understatement. Although it was no more than thirty yards in each direction, this place was filled with more suffering than TDC had ever endured, or even seen, for that matter.
The spike-studded walls were oozing a mixture of various bodily fluids, with blood merely being one of the liquids joined together in unholy matrimony on the wall. The spikes themselves were even more gruesome. It seemed as if every single one had a human mate impaled on it.
The bodies were alive…
TDC quivered at the sight. As if on cue, all of those doomed to be forever impaled began to scream. The voices melded together to create a noise that made the abomination envy the deaf. Then, to his horror, the bodies began to transform.
The majority of them took on the appearances of people TDC had seen, but never spoken to. Three, however, turned into the three most important people in his entire life.
“Freddy,” the Kawaii look-alike whined, grasping in vain at the spike that was sticking out of her chest. “Freddy, this hurts! How can you let this happen to me? It hurts so much!”
“Well,” a second voiced said, temporarily drawing TDC’s attention from ‘Kawaii’. “I guess it’s safe to say that I wasted my time saving you that one day. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here now. You little brat!”
The second figure was drenched in her own blood, so it took a moment for the boy to realize that it was Nenet. As soon as he realized who the second figure was, the third one tore itself off of its spike. That was exactly what he’d been afraid it would do.
“You really are an idiot, you know that?” The white-haired, winged being said. Its neck was snapped back in a grotesque display of flexibility. At least, TDC hoped that flexibility was why it was bent back so far.
“Wh-wha-” the boy began, shocked beyond belief at the things he was seeing. If his hair wasn’t already white, the color would have been bleached by his sheer horror. The Gorin look-alike seemed to take note of this, and decided to give TDC a memory that would be burned into his mind for the rest of his life.
The look-alike’s head suddenly snapped back into place, forcing a noise akin to a man being torn in half. Even more horrible than that- It kept tipping forward.
TDC was sure that it was going to fall off any moment. Truth be told, that would have been far less morbid. It tipped until its chin rested against its sternum. The boy thought that the horrible sight, which he for some reason was completely transfixed on, had stopped there.
Instead, he found that it was nowhere near over. The thing kept pushing itself to tip its head forward. TDC dry heaved when he noticed the thing’s chest start to give way beneath its chin. A horrid ripping sound ensued, and the thing’s head started to sink into its chest amid a torrent of the same ungodly mixture that was dripping from the walls.
Just when TDC couldn’t handle any more, the being leapt at him. The attack was so sudden that the boy was unable to defend himself properly, and the creature grabbed him. Its head tore back out of its chest, now covered with the bizarre mixture, and fixed its eyes on TDC’s.
For a brief moment the eyes turned gray. Only for a moment…
“This place is pretty small,” Cherise said, leading Shinu down the main hall. “I think there’s only six rooms or so. The only reason this place is bigger than a house is because of the halls.”
Shinu nodded in response, taking note of as many things as he could. Knowing this place inside-out would make it somewhat easier to appear at the critical moment and steal Gorin’s powers. The red-haired succubus showed him the rooms that wouldn’t matter- The bedrooms (Of which there were two: One for Cyan and one for all the others), the bathroom, and a small kitchen.
Kowai zoned out of the succubus’ excited explanation of what seemed to be every single detail about the settlement, including what they’d last had for dinner. It wasn’t until they reached the ritual room that he ‘came back’, so to speak.
Cherise led the way through dual oak doors, revealing a surprisingly large room to the Dark One. The room itself had to be half the size of the settlement! It seemed that the red-haired succubus wasn’t exactly the best person for information regarding this place…
There were only two succubi in the ritual room. Cyan was sitting before the altar, attempting to reconnect with WL, and Amber was cleaning off a large stone slab in the center of the room. Shinu cracked a small smirk when he saw that Amber’s stomach was beginning to bulge.
“Succubi have an amazingly short pregnancy.” Shinu thought, “No wonder Gorin chose them to be his followers. It makes his return so much quicker and easier- both for me, that is.”
The fencer suddenly took note of where they were, and both warriors moved slowly towards the black building in the center of the rather small prairie. This trip had been easy... almost too easy. No traps, no deadly beasts, no hunters, not even any human guards. This was ridiculous! Not a single thing to even remotely try to slow down the fencer and his compatriot, and yet, at the same time, everything seemed to be dangerous here. The dark swirl appeared to be gathering here, which meant something very strange was about to happen in this building.
The green haired man couldn't help but turn to the dark creature and ask a fairly obvious question, although it had to be asked. "This is way too easy, almost like we are expected," the Aura Master said jokingly, and Dante even partially chuckled. "Come to think of it, everything inside of this building will probably want to kill us, so I guess an easy trek is better then a dangerous trek and an even more dangerous destination, right?"
"I suppose so," the Neo-Echo stated, looking towards the building. "They do want me to arrive, and I suppose if they want me there okay, they need you as well. I think we should be careful; something dangerous is lurking behind those walls, although what, I'm not entirely sure. It’s not like something I've encountered before," the former god stated, picking up the powers of both Shinu and TDC.
"This place is bound to be dangerous, but its not just that, something inside isn't quite right. Its something I know, but not something that I've ever felt in this form before. I wonder if it could be the boy, but I don't think he could produce a dark feeling like this," the fencer stated, adjusting his armor so the weight was evenly distributed. "I suppose we should head in," the Aura Master said, looking over the building quickly.
"I know what you are talking about, although I don't know exactly what it is that seems to be manifesting itself in there. We should be careful," Dante stated, taking a step forwards, but the green haired man's hand intercepted him.
"Sorry, I can't let you enter. Not yet anyway, because whatever is in there wants you. Not just that, but something is amiss, and I'm not sure what it is. We shouldn't rush into a trap, mostly because they seek to claim you, not me. I suppose we could just head straight in, but what good would that do?"
"I know what you are saying, but it is time this ends. I will kill White Light once and for all, and should I fail, you will be the one that must do it. He has to die, there is no choice about it, I'm afraid. Let us enter and end this," the Neo-Echo stated, slowly moving towards the door.
The building itself was black and in the form of a gothic building, three tall, cone towers shot into the sky, moving down into three towers. From there, the building became very obviously gothic, with many shingles of wood appearing almost like a dark lizard, with the red windows at the far left and far right acting as eyes to it, and the door almost like a mouth. The door itself was black with silver figures in the form of nude women upon it, the handle in the form of a man apparently moving away in fear.
The fencer didn’t' like this at all, but Dante had already opened the door, and Zorlo no longer had a choice but to follow.
Shinu looked about the room, interested in the progression of the pregnant women, but a sudden creak told the women that someone had entered. The blue haired succubus signed to the red haired one, who peaked her head out the door and ordered the others to go deal with the intruders. If it were Dante, they knew their orders. Bring him to the ritual room, and all others had to die.
The dark one wasted no time, he couldn't risk being discovered as a fraud, but things had to work out first. He moved slowly towards the red haired creature, who still stared at him with starry eyes. "Where are you going, Jamenda?" she asked, a certain amount of worry in her eyes.
"I'm going to greet our guests," he told her, knowing full well that wasn't anywhere near what he was going to do. He moved past her, and the door to the ritual room remained open, Cherise keeping an eye on him. "Don't worry about me, you three finish setting up. I'll be back soon," he stated, leaving the room and listening to the door close.
Now then, he had more pressing matters at hand then apprehending Dante, but rather, he'd merely need to slow down Zorlo, to make sure that he robbed the God of Wrath of his power without any problems. Now the boy would go to good use, and his dark powers would slow the fencer, although the Master of Darkness knew even the god spawn could not defeat Zorlo.
The boy's door slowly opened, and Shinu entered, holding his right hand up, dark energy emanating from it. TDC's body glowed with the same dark energy, and slowly stood up, his eyes opening looking at the dark one. "Well, my puppet, its time you go to work doing your job," the dark one stated, increasing the darkness in the boy until it began to transform him. Shinu had felt the power of the God of Wrath in him, and the boy had power to go along with it. With little effort, the Dark Master forced the boy into his Wrath Demon form, and with a dark smile, Shinu became darkness itself and returned to the ritual chamber to hide there until the ritual was about to start.
The boy shattered his chains, awaiting his Master's orders. As soon as Zorlo was in range, the Wrath Demon would stall the Aura Master for as long as he could while the ritual occurred. This plan couldn't have been better laid out if Shinu tried.
“Ohhh,” Amber moaned, starting to go into labor. She lay down on the stone slab and pushed as hard as she could. Shinu watched from the shadows, anxiously waiting the God of Wrath.
“This is as far as you go,” WL’s voice chimed, “I’ll take it from here, Dante. Thank you for getting us to this point, but I don’t trust you enough to let you be in control when we go through the ritual. Don’t worry, it’ll all be over soon.”
Dante stopped and leaned against a wall. As much as he hated to admit it, he’d need Gorin to be the one in control for the ritual. He knew where the room was, how the ritual went, etc. He relinquished control without a fight. Big mistake.
“Zorlo,” WL/Dante said, using the neo-echo’s shape shifting ability to take on the appearance of the original Gorin. “I’ll be in charge of ‘ol Dante until the ritual. I suggest you leave now. I know you came for Kaja’s sake, but you’re no longer needed. If you leave now, I’ll try to ignore that you were ever here in the first place.”
Zorlo may have said something, or he may have remained silent. Either way, Gorin didn’t hear. He was already on his way to the ritual room, passing through a group of succubi that had come to greet their master. They all stayed. As much as they wanted to be there for the ritual, they knew that their master wouldn’t want Zorlo anywhere nearby once the god was reborn.
It only took a moment for the possessed neo-echo to exit the fencer’s vision. In that moment the women who’d so willingly followed Gorin’s leadership were given a death sentence.
“Fencer,” a child’s voice said from behind the crowd of succubi. There was something strange about the voice, as though there were more voices overlapping it. It didn’t take long for Zorlo to recognize the other voices.
The succubi at the back of the group were the first to die. With unnerving precision, the possessed child went to work flinging the women every which way. Those that were lucky died upon striking the walls. Others weren’t so fortunate, and lay screaming until their faces were stomped by the demonic child.
The rest of the succubi screamed and scattered, finally giving Zorlo a clear look at TDC.
Further down, in the ritual room, the cries of a newborn baby could be heard…
Zorlo couldn't help but smile as the boy spoke, revealing what the fencer had hoped was false to be very true, and yet, something about this revelation made the green haired man excited. Shinu's alive. Good, that means I can take back what is mine, but why is here, and better yet, why is he using this boy? This kid looks almost like that boy that I was following, except his eyes are red right now. What happened to him? the Aura Master asked, watching as the boy killed each every Succubi in his path. The fencer laughed, not very amused by the futile attempt of Shinu to slow him down.
"So, Shinu, you are alive. Better yet, you've possessed this boy. What, was your soul so angry you wouldn't just vanish?" the fencer asked, watching as the dark child moved slowly towards him, a black aura radiating from him, his eyes still glowing red, just as Aizi's had when Shinu's body had been placed under the Demon Lord's control. "So, why couldn't you just descend into the darkness of death and leave this world alone?!" the fencer asked, a slight hint of anger, yet a spark of excitement escaping.
"Not quite," the abomination's voice combined with the dark voices of Shinu spoke. "I've not possessed this boy, but rather, I've taken control of his mind through the fact that he is Gorin's son!" the dark one revealed to the fencer, still weaving his black magic from the ritual room.
"What?!" Zorlo stated, looking very surprised by this revelation as well. "This boy... I thought there was something a bit odd about him, but to be the child of a god..." the Aura Master paused, his head looking towards the ground for a moment. It all made sense now. The Succubi had taken this boy in order to use him for the ritual, but he had escaped with Shinu's help. Then why had Gorin gone ahead and not returned? These questions Zorlo couldn't ignore, they needed immediate answers.
"Why did you help save this boy from joining with Gorin then? What are you planning?"
"You understand so little," the child spoke, Shinu using him to the fullest advantage. "Seeing as you won't live much longer, I might as well tell you what I've got planned."
Too easy, the fencer thought, almost laughing. Oh how the forces of darkness were far too stupid to comprehend when they were being used. Zorlo, having almost no idea on what was going on from within the forces of Gorin needed an idea on what was going on, and who would know better then Shinu.
"You see, Gorin shares a body with Dante, as you well know, but the Succubi wish to give Gorin his own body, and this boy's body has far to short a life span and far too powerful of a will. It is too bad they didn't realize that everyone can be weakened, all it takes is a little bit of creativity, or for me, nearly killing this boy and awakening his birth right. Being part God of Wrath made it far to easy for the darkness to overwhelm his mind and make him into my servant. If I found it so fitting, I could have this boy kill you, then Dante while I steal the power of Gorin. I will be the new God of Wrath, and eventually, I'll destroy Sin and claim the power of the God of Darkness. I will not vanish!" Shinu stated in absolute certainty while Zorlo looked at him oddly.
Disappear? What does he mean? I'm sure he's about to tell me, the fencer told himself, mentally sighing as the controlled body began speaking again.
"Disappear I bet you are asking yourself. Well, that is your fault as well! You see, when I formed my pact with the darkness and united it within my body, I made a trade. The nigh infinite power of darkness in exchange for my body slowly fading into the darkness itself. This power would have been more then enough to slay Sin, but you and Tsuukai Ita had to step in and nearly kill me.
Although I lived, I lost something. When I fell, my power seeped out, not fully combined into my body, and I am a shadow of my former self. Although, once I steal both Gorin's powers and his new son, I'll be saved, letting this body be taken by the infinite darkness and bestow myself with the mantle of a god. You can't stop me!" the boy told the fencer, pointing at him and crouching down slightly. "I'll use this boy to kill you, and then, at the fabled moment, I'll claim Gorin's power! He'll be destroyed, Dante and you shall be dead, and then I'll destroy Sin. Good plan, no?" Shinu asked, mocking the fencer, who merely began to laugh.
"I've got to hand it to you Shinu: you've really lost your mind! Its crazy enough to think you shall defeat me, but its even more insane to think you'll claim the title of a god. I'll make sure that doesn't happen," the fencer said, holding his his right hand, palm towards TDC, who merely laughed again.
"We'll see, boy," the dark child spoke, charging at the fencer at a very high speed.
This could get messy, but I guess I have no choice, I need to get to that ritual room quickly, the fencer told himself mentally as he placed his left hand on his sword and slashed right through the abomination as it jumped up at him. The green haired man slowly turned, to pay his respects to the boy, but found him, not in two pieces, but rather, his body had regenerated already. "How in the-" the fencer was quickly stopped as a dark fist slammed itself against the fencer's face, throwing him back a short ways.
The green haired man's heels slid on the ground, looking at the boy who's strength was something beyond what the fencer thought possible for someone who looked so frail. That kid is really strong, I'd better be careful or I might end up just like these Succubi. Time was growing short, and the fencer had a fight on his hands. He'd need to subdue this boy, or else the world might be in danger.
“Welcome,” Cyan said, a broad smile appearing to greet her master. “Master, it’s always a pleasure to see you. The ritual’s ready. The symbols have been made, the weapon is ready, and the vessel is there on the slab.”
The blue-haired succubus gestured towards the small creature laying on the slab. The baby’s wide, blue eyes were staring at the world around it. Wails of obvious fear were being constantly emitted by it, the child’s little chest pushing inward to force as much air out as possible with each cry.
The child’s mother, having died during the birth, was laying in a pool of her own blood at the other end of the room. She had obviously been dragged over to her resting place, the evidence clearly visible in the smeared blood.
“Cherise,” WL said, jerking his thumb at the door. The red-haired succubus quickly left, leaving Cyan and Gorin. The succubus leader stepped forward and handed two orbs to WL. He took them without a word, and didn’t even bother to look as the spirit orbs fused together to form the Kaldran, the original Gorin’s weapon of choice.
He tilted the leaf-shaped blades, letting the light reflected off of them strike the stone slab on which the baby was continuing its ceaseless tirade of crying. The slab reacted instantly, absorbing the light and turning crimson.
“Akham,” Cyan recited, getting to work painting runic symbols on the baby. The baby grew steadily quieter with each symbol she painted and eventually went into a lucid state. Once the baby had quieted itself, the symbols began to glow with the same crimson light as the slab. “Eekhan nerom, Harges laf nashae. Purgatorio es la dias. Pas la granpe, no deshomb…”
Shinu watched the whole thing from the shadows, anticipating the moment he could swoop in and become the new God of Wrath. The boy was certainly doing his job right. At this rate, the fencer wouldn’t be able to interfere until it was already too late.
“Impas,” WL said, suddenly pointing one end of the Kaldran at his chest, the other blade aimed at the baby. “Arias, nof nexam! Impachin ma la chaste! Ma la chaste! Ma la chaste!”
Gorin suddenly dove forward, impaling both the baby and himself on Kaldran. Shinu and Cyan saw the dual-leaf blades driving through WL and the baby for a moment. A bright flash erupted from the slab, temporarily blinding Cyan and very nearly doing the same to Shinu.
The Dark Being knew that it was time to take what was he deserved. It was time to become a god. Nothing was going to stop him now!
Amidst the slowly dimming brightness were two forms. One was Dante, passed out at the end of the room. The other, currently naked (Much to Shinu’s disgust), was standing in a small hole where the slab used to be. His tattooed face smiled, revealing a row of pointed teeth.
“That’s better. Much better.”
Shinu materialized out of the shadows. Now was the time to strike, when the god was still awaiting his powers…
As the light flashed, he struck, the dark one reaching out to take the power, but before he could, something had already gone horribly wrong with his plan. Gorin had already been reborn. Albeit Shinu had not known the plan, this little fact had just shattered all of the demonic beings hopes in one fell swoop. It didn't matter, he'd destroy this new god before his powers could fully develop, and he would destroy him, if was the last thing the dark one ever did.
The being of pure evil gathered darkness into the palm of his hand, intent on blasting this new creature from existence as it began to get a feel for its new body. Shinu radiated pure evil, intent on proving his darkness surpassed everything, including a god. Before the Master of Darkness could strike, Gorin counter attacked, quickly smacking the dark one away with a side swipe of his arm. The reborn God of Wrath then turned towards Cyan, looking at her carelessly and made his first order to her since he had been born. "Bring me my clothing, woman!", and quickly, she brought what it was he wanted. A pair of dark red pants with black stripes running up the sides and a red dress shirt, which the malevolent god quickly attired himself in before turning to face the dark one. "And who the hell is that?"
"He, my lord, is Jamenda. Don't you recognize him?" Cherise responded, referring to the man she had been duped into believing was an old ally of Gorin's.
"There is no way that man could be Jamenda. To my knowledge, he disappeared a long time ago. Whether or not he is alive, there is no way to be certain, but he certainly isn't that man."
The Succubus turned to the face the dark one, but barely had a chance before his eight bladed weapons, engulfed in gray flames, roared through her, cutting her in half and flying past the Wrath God's face, cutting it slightly. "Sadly, my dear, he is correct. I am not Jamenda, but rather, my name is Kowai Shinu, the Terror of Death," the dark one introduced himself, the god laughing at that proposition.
"Terror of Death? That's a riot!" he said, laughing insanely at this prospect. "You sure do talk tough for a guy that isn't even a god, much less a person that had to trade their very existence to try to even have a hope of stealing the powers of a god," the Wrath God stated, picking up his two bladed sword from the ground.
Shinu slightly growled when Gorin confronted him on the fact that Shinu, himself, was not fully part of this world anymore. "How do you know that?!"
"I can read your mind, you fool. You traded your own body in a pact with the darkness just for a chance at god-hood, but you lost most of that power when you were defeated by that green haired guy and some other half-wit with purple hair. Man, where do they find freaks like you guys?" the dark god asked as he smiled, revealing his sharp, blade like teeth.
"You bastard! I'll make you pay!" Shinu stated as one of his blades appeared in his right hand, his other blade returning to the darkness and appearing in his left hand. The two malevolent beings stood apart, both ready to begin their battle.
The building shook slightly as the god gained his body, and the fencer stepped back, avoiding a falling part of the building as part of the ceiling collapsed. "This place is falling apart. That isn't good," the fencer stated, looking at the boy, but the dark aura around him had faded slightly. I guess things didn't go as Shinu had planned. He's probably getting ready to fight Gorin right now. I've got to beat this kid quickly and get Dante to safety, then I'll kill Shinu and Gorin. Perhaps I'll reclaim what I lost in the process, the fencer thought as TDC rushed him, raising his arms, trying to clamp down on the fencer to stop the green haired man for moving.
The boy's lithe, almost sickeningly skinny, body moved towards the green haired man quickly down the hallway, but it wasn't like Zorlo hadn't dealt with anything faster before. The body of the wrath demon quickly began to lose the influence of the dark one, and before long, the power had vanished to almost nothing. Obviously, the battle was forcing Shinu to use more energy then he had expected. This was the Aura Master's chance to free the boy, and it'd only take one or two hits. They just had to be well placed.
The fencer moved quickly, kicking the boy once in the chest, and then delivering a quick spin kick into the boy's head, knocking his body against the wall and knocking it out. The Dark Child's body returned to its normal form, a little hurt, but no worse for the wear. He would only wake up with a splitting headache, that was all. It was better then being the slave to a very dark being. But the fencer couldn't just leave the boy here, he need to move him somewhere safe, but the only place that would be was outside.
The Aura Master knew moving the boy outside would take time, something there was little of, but it was for the best. This child could not suffer the wrath of Gorin, for he wouldn't survive. The green haired man grabbed the youth's body and quickly moved it outside, looking for a place to hide the child. He'd be back shortly, but hopefully, Dante would still be alive when he returned.
The two dark forces quickly made their moves, Shinu swinging his eight bladed weapons which quickly locked with both blades of Gorin's weapon, preventing the God of Wrath from making any quick movements to try to kill the Dark Master. The reborn god began pushing the dark one back, and quickly forced his blade which pointed towards the ground up, throwing the dark one off balance and the black haired god quickly kicked the dark being in the chest, throwing him back into a nearby wall.
"Wow, looks like someone is all talk and no action. Why don't you just die now and give up on any hope you have of ever gaining power like mine. I'll be ruling the world long before a wannabe like you will ever hope to. I mean, even with the help of an army and a powerful small girl, you couldn't take down a pair of annoying fencer's and a weak girl. What's wrong with you? And you want to be a god?!" Gorin asked, mocking Shinu's power.
The Dark Master had easily had enough of this loud mouthed beings insulting and stood up, his eyes glowing red for an instant before returning to their normal gray. He was getting mad, and, unlike Zorlo, when Shinu got mad, things tended to get very violent. In an almost unexplainable burst, two flaming disks flew past the god, who quickly moved his sword, deflecting them both with ease, but something was wrong. Where had Shinu gone?
The Wrath God's eyes couldn't believe it. Before he knew what had happened, there was Shinu right in front of him, a ball of gray flames in his hand which soon found itself slammed into Gorin's stomach, and quickly released, slamming the revived god painfully into the wall.
The dark one stepped back, a very confident look on his face as he looked down at his newly struck foe as the two eight bladed weapons that the Dark Master so normally handled appeared in his hands. "So, where is all of your big talk-" Shinu was cut off and a blast of darkness struck him in response, causing him to slide back, his boots skidding as he did so.
Gorin removed himself from the wall and spun his double bladed weapon around in his hands, looking at the dark one and an evil smile crossing his face. "How do you like a taste of your own medicine?" the god mocked, grasping his weapon again and charging, swinging one blade down towards the darkness.
"Actually, I liked it a lot, I feel revitalized," the dark one stated, blocking the blade with one of his own, and then blocking the second blade, which came from above, which was the reverse of the black haired god's last move. The two creatures of pure evil stood, face to face, blade to blade, unmoving. Shinu was fighting with everything he had to keep Gorin from overpowering him. This battle was bound to be intense, and Shinu sensed this. He'd just have to be careful to save some energy for the fencer, whenever he showed up.
“How cliché, Dante. At least have an original nightmare…”
Hell was nothing. This was… this was…
“Get up, you lousy wretch!”
Dante was dragged to a sitting position and forced to open his eyes, as much as he hated to. He already knew what he’d find. The neo-echo was dead, apparently. Of course, there was only one place that he could go when he died.
“Dante,” the dark-skinned man said. His lips peeled back to reveal a row of yellowed teeth. “I applaud your decision to get rid of WL. You can enjoy life a little more now, I guess. You’ll never truly be able to enjoy it though, will you?”
“Grasthos? Are you really here?” Dante paused and hugged his knees to his chest, suddenly feeling cold. “It’s Echo Side, isn’t it? This place keeps finding more and more ways to torture me every time I come.”
The Death Dealer knelt down and looked Kaja in the eye, sending another chill through the neo-echo.
“Whether I’m really here or not is up for interpretation,” he said, scratching his chin. “I guess you could say that I’m a test of what’s left of your sanity. It would be plausible for me to be here, seeing as I’m an echo. At the same time, you could simply be losing your mind.”
Dante sighed and fell onto his back. The sky above him hadn’t changed since his last visit to the realm of Tainted Element. Just as before, the sky was filled with crimson clouds. The neo-echo thought of how fortunate he was to be there at this specific time. Those clouds rained blood every time somebody died a horrible death. Dante considered how lucky he-
“Damn,” he thought. A drop of blood had just landed between his eyes. The torrent was about to begin. “The world sucks…”
“Mm-hmm,” his old acquaintance agreed. “Dante, the world sucks, as cliché as it sounds. Have you ever noticed that governments spend more money on their military than their poor? Millions of homeless litter the streets of the world, and the higher ups can still afford to eat gold and sh-t silver.”
Grasthos knelt down beside Dante before continuing. “So many people in the world suffer simply so that a few others can live without staining their hands. Those that deserve to live die every day, and circumstance’s favorites continue to live their lives of luxury. The governments do little to change this. In fact, they favor those that rely on others.”
Kaja’s yellow eyes turned to take in the sight of his old foe. The Patriarch of Echo Side had an odd air to him. He’d seemed crazed and downright evil the last time they’d met. Right now he seemed simply angry, but somehow content.
“I thought,” Grasthos continued, slowly craning his neck to watch the clouds. They were about to burst any moment. “I knew that the world would be different if I were in charge. Everybody would be equal, and there’d be no social classes. There would be no corrupt politicians. There would be no homeless. Nobody would have to suffer so that somebody else could live an easier life.”
The clouds suddenly released all of the torment they’d been holding, drenching the landscape in a crimson sheet. Grasthos smiled and stuck his tongue out, intent on catching some of the ‘rain’ on his gray tongue. Dante was utterly revolted by the sight. Here Grasthos was ranting on the pain that the majority of the world felt, and now he was enjoying said pain!
“You’re a hypocrite, you know that?” he said, doing his best to ignore the layer of red liquid that was building up on him. “Either you’ve really, really lost it, or I’ve lost it and you’re the other side of my consciousness. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.”
“Ah,” Grasthos replied, flopping onto his side and directing a gluttonous look towards the blood that was by now soaking through Dante’s clothing. “Dante, you miss my point. The pain that people suffer through isn’t what irks me, it’s the fact that the well-to-do have no idea of pain. Dukes, kings, politicians, and especially gods.”
“And this matters, why?” Dante said, getting where his fellow echo was going with this rant.
“It matters because it isn’t fair!” Grasthos retorted, his voice suddenly taking on the manic tone that Kaja was familiar with. “Why should they live the way they do? Everybody else has to do things to survive that are sins according to the rich! They have to steal, fight, and kill for things that the high and mighty don’t consider fit for their dogs!”
“I lived in poverty, Dante. My parents were forced to lie, cheat, and steal in order to feed me. Needless to say, they didn’t live as long as they should have. I appealed to any god that would listen, only to find that they didn’t care about what we mortals suffered through. The worst one was the original Wrath God, Harges. He vehemently denied me help, and said that the gods would no longer listen to my prayers!”
Grasthos rose to a sitting position, running Dante through with his piercing glare.
“I swore that I would be above the gods one day! I would destroy this horrid, corrupted world! Then I would remake the world the way I envisioned it: Completely equal. If those who lived in my new world weren’t equal in life, they were bound to be equal in death!”
The echo swung his arm in a slow arch, as though he were pointing out Echo Side’s features to Dante.
“You see this, Kaja? I made this! This was supposed to be a prototype for my new world. All those here would suffer the same torment. Nobody would be exempted! Of course, it also serves a second purpose. The souls that collect here and become echoes eventually merge with the Tainted Element, making it stronger. Do you know what happens when it gets strong enough?”
Dante opened his mouth to reply, and was quickly cut off.
“I was going to absorb Echo Side into myself, gaining limitless access to Tainted Element! Mortal souls are so bad at adding power to the place, though. That’s where all of those gods come in. I developed the virus that was used to kill the original Gorin, and another strand that was used to kill the god Rize. They became echoes, Dante. Of course, you already knew about Gorin. You are Gorin’s echo, after all.”
“Anyway, gods add to Echo Side’s power so much. It’s powerful enough now. Sadly, you had to go and kill me. I’m not bitter though. I kind of like it here, actually. In fact, I think I’ll let you take my place. I know you’ll make good use of Tainted Element’s power. There are so many people that deserve to die. Gorin, Toka, even that Shinu man that’s fighting with the God of Wrath as we speak.”
“What?” Dante replied, grateful for the chance to speak.
“You heard me. This is an offer that you can’t afford to refuse, because I say you can’t refuse it.”
“You’re the opposite of a success story, Shinu.”
Gorin let go of the Kaldran and rolled to Kowai’s left, generating a machete in each hand. He preferred machetes for their sheer power. Kaldran was more of a precision weapon, after all.
“You had a powerful ally, and you betrayed her. You’ve wasted away your life for the sake of power,” Gorin said, recalling all of the things he’d found out via the Mindscan ability. “I can’t believe it! As if that wasn’t already enough, you tried to steal my power! That had to be the dumbest choice you’ve ever made!”
The God of Wrath casually struck with the machete in his right hand, and was parried just as easily. It didn’t matter. Anger was what the god was going for. An impulsive opponent would be easier to defeat. Far easier to defeat.
“Did you even know jack about the ritual,” he said, again striking, “or did you think you could just wing it? There was no opening in which you could take what wasn’t, and never will be, yours! You’re nothing compared to me! You’re simply an imitation of an illusion, and you gave up your part in reality a long time ago!”
Shinu growled and lashed out, exactly what Gorin wanted. The God of Wrath sidestepped his opponent’s attack and hook kicked him across the room. Rather than take advantage of the Dark One’s temporary vulnerability, Gorin turned to the unconscious form of Dante.
“I love it out here,” he said, grinding the neo-echo’s head into the ground with his left foot. He wouldn’t have time to enjoy this, however. Somebody else, probably the fencer, was coming. Shinu would be attacking any moment, as well.
“Well,” Gorin said, swinging his foot behind him, “I’ll be seeing you.”
With that, the God of Wrath kicked Dante as hard as he could. The neo-echo was sent straight through the wall, and landed somewhere outside. Gorin didn’t have time to see exactly where his counterpart had landed. The fencer was just outside the door…
It had taken a good while, but the fencer had found a safe location to place TDC, and left him on top of a rock which was slightly over ten feet tall. Although the fencer knew that if someone really wanted, they could get to the young warrior, the fencer also knew that anyone who wanted to already found themself dealing with something else. The boy was safe, and the green haired man would make his move now. The dark one was fighting with Gorin, and that was Shinu's business, but the Aura Master had to stop the two, because they were far to dangerous to be allowed to exist in this world.
I lament the fact that I was incapable of destroying them both earlier, but now that they are together, I'll eradicate them both. I won't allow evil like theirs to snake its way through the world. That cannot be the final answer to the world's problems. Tis truly saddening and disheartening that Gorin has been reborn, but it also means I can destroy him with a clear conscience. Now that I need not fear Dante being destroyed in the process, this battle can move to the next level, the green haired man told himself, watching as a figure shot through the wall of the Succubi lair.
The Aura Master quickly bolted towards whatever had just erupted from the side of the den, pondering what had taken such a devastating blow.
Shinu watched, with an odd amount of satisfaction as Dante's body was kicked through the wall with great ease. Something about this action brought a dark smile to the Master of Darkness' face, and he now had his chance to counter attack. Melding his weapons back into the darkness, the dark one moved, quickly rushing his foe, who turned to find the evil, angered creature already face to face with him again. "You shall learn the error of your mockery," the malevolent warrior stated, a gray ball of flame growing in his hand and, in a flash, blasting Gorin in the face, throwing him skidding back a few inches.
The imperfect god looked at Shinu, anger growing in him as well at the attack. "You are really foolish. I can't believe anyone would give up everything they had for nothing but death. Fool," the Wrath God responded, raising his weapons and swinging them down towards the dark one, but suddenly, the Darkness was gone.
Whilst the god looked at the empty spot where the dark one had stood with an amount of confusion, darkness behind him rose up and took the form of the dark mystic, who quickly gathered energy again in his hand and blasted the Wrath God in the face with another Nightmare Flash, this one sending him flying into the wall opposite the one that had been smashed by his kicking Dante through it. True enough, by now Zorlo had found a weakened Dante laying on the ground and was headed towards the battle, but neither malevolent being seemed to pay him any notice.
"How do you like my powers now?" the maniacal demon asked, recreating his weapons in his hands, spinning them with the greatest of relaxation as he watched the reborn god rise. "Who do you think you are to judge me?! At least I didn't lose everything I ever had to begin with you fool!" the dark one said, throwing one of his blades, which was covered in gray flames, at the maniacal god.
As Shinu had done moments before, Gorin disappeared as well and reappeared behind the dark one. Had the Dark Master not foreseen this, he probably would have died, but as the god swung one of his machetes down, it was suddenly stopped by an almost unforeseeable force. With a quick movement by the tentacle that Shinu had summoned, he displaced the god's weapon upwards and quickly spun, kicking Gorin in the chest and throwing him into the wall, where he quickly removed himself and charged, thrusting one of his machete's through the dark sage.
A cry of pain roared out as the blade of the machete ran through Shinu's lower abdomen, causing pain filled screams to echo through the room. The Wrath god smiled as he pushed the weapon slightly in further. "How do you enjoy the pain that you've brought upon yourself?" he asked, pushing the blade slightly further into the dark one.
"Actually, That doesn't hurt that much," the evil one stated as he melded back into the darkness, getting away from Gorin, who's blade now dripped gray blood from it. The dark one reappeared a short while away from the twisted demon, clutching his wound. "But I think I'll survive," the dark one stated, gathering up more dark energy into his hands and getting ready to attack.
"I doubt that," a heroic voice stated, entering the room with unforeseen power, causing both of the malevolent warriors to look at where it came from. Both snickered as they looked at Zorlo, who stood with his sword drawn, ready to begin this battle. "Shinu, I thought you had died."
"Not likely, and I don't see any reason to play around here. I'm not going to hold back anymore," Shinu stated as he transformed into Aizi. With a quick blink, the dark one's eyes were now glowing red, his teeth razor sharp and his hair like a gray flame. This transformation quickly healed up the massive wound the dark one had received only moments before quickly. In the dark sage's hand quickly appeared a sword of gray flames, and the demon swung it a few times to get a feel for the weapon. "Much better," Aizi stated, looking at Gorin and Zorlo. "Now you'll both die."
"I guess I'll need to step it up a level then as well," the Aura Master stated as the room began to vibrate. Energy rippled from under the fencer's feet, and power radiated from the green haired man as if it were nothing at all. The building around the three warriors began to move slightly and the upper parts of the building began to collapse around the warriors. The fencer closed his eyes and as he opened them slowly, a green flame rose over him, but then quickly burst into a golden one. Two massive golden wings emerged from the fencer's back, and he smiled, revealing his full power. "Let us begin," the Aura Master stated, looking at both of his foes.
“Interesting,” Gorin thought, searching deep into his new power to see if he himself had any other forms. “I’ve got two. I’ll use one here, and try the other one out on Dante. If he wakes up, that is.”
He laughed for dramatic effect (Though he didn’t understand why) and tapped into one of the powers. The physical changes were barely noticeable at first. His hair turned from its black, lightly spiked style with red highlights to a color he was more familiar with- Pure white.
The god’s eyes took the opposite approach. Rather than become paler, they grew darker. It only took a moment for them to become completely black.
“Now then,” he said, turning his dark eyes towards Zorlo. “I think I’m ready now. So then, we can begin.”
A large monument stood before the echoes. Its more defined features had been worn away by the innumerable blood rains it had been forced to sit through, but it still kept its general shape. To Dante it looked like a large tombstone with an orb atop it.
“This is it Dante,” Grasthos said. His yellow eyes turned back to meet Kaja’s own. “I’m afraid that it’s not quite powerful enough yet. I thought it was, but I guess I was wrong. It needs a direct sacrifice now. I guess-”
The Death Dealer suddenly wheeled around, a dagger in his hand. The attack was so sudden that Dante didn’t have any time to dodge, and was stabbed in the shoulder. He let out a howl of pain and tried to back away from his longtime nemesis.
Grasthos generated another dagger and dove forward, shoving this one into Dante’s other shoulder. The neo-echo continued his retreat for another two feet before falling, a third dagger sticking out of his chest.
“I guess this rules out you being imaginary,” Kaja wheezed, staring up at Grasthos. The last dagger had pierced where his lungs would be, if he even had any. (Did he have any? He’d have to find out, if he ever got out of this predicament.)
“Not really,” Grasthos replied, twirling a fourth dagger between his thumb and middle finger. “I could just be a figment of your imagination trying to escape. Who knows? I could even be you, and you’re a figment of your own imagination. Hell, maybe I’m really Grasthos and you’re a figment of my imagination.”
“Either way,” he concluded, flicking the dagger at Dante’s stomach. “I think it’s safe to assume that I have the upper hand in whatever’s going on here.”
“Mr. Shinu,” Gorin said, casually turning to Aizi. “I’ll let you have first blood. I want to prolong the fencer’s death as long as possible. Have fun.”
It seemed to the Wrath God that Aizi already had plans to go after Zorlo first. He attacked the fencer with a horizontal swing almost as soon as Gorin had finished his sentence. Gorin didn’t bother to watch after that. He was too busy shifting through the wells of his new form’s abilities.
“Hmm,” he said, coming upon a particularly interesting one. Using it would give him more time to find other abilities before being forced to join the fray. He smirked and sent invisible, ethereal tendrils into his opponents, destroying their inhibitions.
“That’s a useful one,” he thought. Ashoka, as he was going to call it, was an ability that solely damaged his opponent’s inhibitions, making them more reckless and impulsive in their fighting. “I wonder what else- Ah, there we go!”
As much as he wanted to simply watch Ashoka’s influence convince Aizi and Zorlo to tear each other apart, Gorin wanted to have some kind of part in this fight. He was having a hard time choosing which ability to use, however. They both seemed so interesting, after all.
“I guess I’ll try that one first,” he thought, finally choosing the one that would allow him to receive as minimal damage as possible. “I think I’ll follow that egotistical prick Kenjin’s method, and give this ability a name. Jerogniew’s Spear sounds pretty nice.”
The clouds above were starting to rumble again. Somewhere, somebody was in a heck of a lot of pain. Grasthos chuckled and threw another dagger at his weakened opponent, this one driving into his leg. Real or not, he was enjoying Dante’s pain.
By now the clouds were beginning to release their pent up tears, temporarily diverting the original echo’s attention from Kaja. If he’d been paying attention to Dante, maybe he would have seen the neo-echo generate the hammer, and probably could have avoided having his leg snapped at the knee…
As quickly as they had started fighting, something had snapped in both of the warriors, at the same time. The fencer swung his blade wildly, with a speed nearly unseeable towards Aizi, who blocked with a slightly slower speed, his gray flame sword fully ready now. With a powerful recoil, the Demon Lord threw the fencer back and began to launch dark gray fireballs at him, all of which the green haired man seemed to deflect with ease with his sword. The dark monster charged, swinging its sword down at the Aura Master who guarded, and as soon as the flame sword rebounded from the attack, the two began exchanging attacks at an unimaginable speed.
With each time the fencer and the demonic warrior exchanged attacks, a pulsation emerged, and as the two fought, the pulsations seemed to grow larger and larger; the building they fought in shook in its foundation and then up the building, threatening to bring the entire structure down around the two. Suddenly, though, the pulsations stopped, but not before the largest one, a powerful punch from the green haired man that struck the demon in the face, throwing him into Gorin and then through the side of the building. The pulse from the last attack blew the roof of the building off, and the fencer walked slowly towards his targets, aura brimming off him violently.
Now that the fencer's inhibitions had been removed, he had become the perfect warrior. He no longer cared if anyone outside of the battle died, nor did he care about how badly his foes suffered or about what honor meant. This battle had transformed into a fight of pure instinct, and combined with the Aura Master's natural power, he was the perfect soldier. The green haired man's sword became engulfed in a golden flame that was as wild and violent as he had become, threatening to swallow up anything that crossed its path. Thankfully, the aura was not flame, so it did not begin swallowing up the field, where Dante lay, but it did threaten to end two dark creatures from the world this day. No response came from his body as the fencer charged, reckless though it was, towards his now feeble foes.
Aizi, on the other had, even after losing his inhibitions still had something nagging at him. A voice he couldn't shut up that distracted him. Even though Shinu had allowed the demon to take over, the human soul was still conscious; therefore, his thoughts strayed into the mind of the cold blooded killer, throwing him off every so often. In this state of pure instinct, anything not in sync with his thoughts would throw him off, and the Demon Master didn't need that right now. He stood up slowly, watching as Gorin rose next to him. At this moment, Aizi would allow the god to live because the two had a common enemy.
The green haired man went from slowly trudging towards his foe into a full speed run, becoming a blur of a person for a moment as the two dark beings tried to keep up with him. Before either knew what had happened, the Aura Master appeared in midair, kicking Aizi in the face and launching him a short area away skidding along the field to a stop, completely stunned at how different the green haired man's actions were. The fencer pointed his enflamed blade at his other foe, the man that he would kill first. The weaker of the two.
"What the hell have I done?" the imperfect god asked himself, backing away slightly at this new fencer, who's power easily equaled his ability. Immortal or not, the Wrath God knew this foe would be a hard fight. "Doesn't matter, I'll still defeat you!" Gorin yelled, swinging his machetes down towards the fencer, who merely stepped back, evading the weapons with ease.
"Not... likely..." came the silent, almost evil response from the fencer as he raised his sword and swung it down at an amazing speed. The god had time to raise his weapons to guard, but it didn't help. As the blades rose, they were cut, their blades falling idly to the ground as a blade of energy left the Aura Master's blade, running into the malevolent creature and sending him flying into the small plateau that the green haired man had placed TDC.
The imperfect god slammed into the rock, causing it to crash down around him and the unconscious body of TDC to fly over the fencer's head, the green haired man's eyes following the boy's body as it slammed on the ground, rolling until it landed, one arm hung over Dante's body. As the Aura Master watched, his eyes changed, emotion suddenly returning to them. "What was I doing?" he asked himself as his aura, like his mind, returned to a normal state. Something about seeing the Neo-Echo and the Monstrosity together made the fencer feel oddly warm inside.
The Wrath God erupted from the rock and rose, glaring angrily at the green haired man. "Lucky shot," he yelled as the green haired man turned his attention to the angered god. "You aren't what you were a few seconds ago. I guess you must have gotten your inhibition back. Too bad, we could have had an interest-" Gorin was cut off as he was blasted by a Nightmare Flash nearly the size of a larger bowling ball.
"That's what you get for betraying me, you bastard. We had a common enemy, now I'm going to kill you both," the Demonic Overlord roared as he charged, slashing his sword down towards the Aura Master, who merely moved his sword vertical and absorbed the attack, bracing his blade from the wrathful attack of the demon mystic. "You'll both die!" Aizi roared as he pushed his blade, trying to break the green haired man's grip from his sword.
Suddenly, the figure of the Wrath God appeared, kicking the fencer in the face and into one of the few remaining supports to the building and shattering it, causing what remained of the building to collapse upon the fencer. "I know he isn't dead, but this is all the time I'll need to kill you," Gorin stated, staring at Aizi, who gripped his blade tightly and readied to strike.
OoC: Okay Kiri, this should do. I didn't use Gorin's attack because I think you should have the honor of explaining how it works... even though you told me. Hey, its your character, your technique, why should I steal what it does from you explaining it?
Dante swung the hammer in a wide arc, a small smirk starting to appear. As sick as it was, the sound of Grasthos’ knee snapping and buckling under the hammer’s weight caused the smile to broaden. The Death Dealer fell to the ground, throwing a knife at Dante as he did so, ushering a fresh cry of pain from the neo-echo.
Kaja rolled over and brought the hammer down on Grasthos’ forearm, issuing another sickening crack. The original echo didn’t seem to notice however, and stabbed another knife into Dante as penance for the strike. The neo-echo did his best to ignore the pain, bringing the hammer down again.
This time it was Grasthos’ turn to scream. The hammer struck him in the side, undoubtedly breaking a few ribs. (Did echoes even have ribs? Dante would have to find out later.)
“Son of a whore!” the Death Dealer shouted, stabbing his creation again. This stab seemed to do it, as the neo-echo stopped his doomed fight for survival. He merely lay back, Tainted Element seeping out of his many wounds in liquid form…
Three red spheres shot out of Gorin’s back, unbeknownst to Aizi. The Demon Lord wanted to end this just as quickly as the God of Wrath, though for different reasons. He lashed out with his blade, only to find it blocked by a red spear.
There were now two red spheres floating above Gorin’s head, and they morphed into spears as well. The one that had blocked Aizi’s attack twisted and swung upwards, forcing him to break away. One of the other spears took advantage of his temporary weakness and struck, driving through his knee and pinning him to the ground.
“Master!” came a voice, drawing Gorin’s attention from his opponent. The blue-haired succubus, Cyan, came running up to him. Obviously, she had no idea that the fight was way out of her league. She would be decent help if it was TDC that the god was fighting. Of course, both Zorlo and Aizi were far more powerful than the white-haired child.
Still, she’d serve for a quick morale boost for the god. He waited until she was within arm’s reach, akin to a Venus fly trap, and grabbed her when she was close enough. Unfortunately for the succubus, her arm wasn’t what Gorin grabbed. Needless to say, she was blushing instantly.
He reeled her in and gave her a quick kiss, watching Aizi out of the corner of his eye. It wouldn’t take long for the Demon Lord to remove the spear, so he’d have to make it quick.
“Go to the hideout,” he said, slapping Cyan’s rear. “I’m going to want to celebrate killing three enemies in one day, so be ready for me.”
Cyan didn’t respond at first, utterly in awe at what her lord had just done. She didn’t stand there for long, however. Gorin, upon noticing that she was still standing there (And Aizi was just about done ripping the spear out), backhanded her with enough force to send her staggering back a few feet.
“Didn’t you hear me?” he questioned her, generating two more Jerogniew spears to use against Aizi. “I said to get your ass moving!”
He watched her run off, paying particular attention to the lower part of her body. Of course, he couldn’t watch her for long. By now Aizi had removed the spear from his leg and healed. The spear itself dissolved into thin air, having served its purpose.
“Ah,” Gorin said, feeling revitalized. “I’m sorry about that. Where were we?”
Grasthos managed to stand, having generated a spear to use as a crutch of sorts. He stared at his fallen foe, wondering exactly what was supposed to happen. If he was a figment of Dante’s imagination, shouldn’t he be dead now?
But, if he were real, then why wasn’t he being endowed with limitless power over Tainted Element? Or was Dante even dead yet? A quick look at the neo-echo’s wounds reassured Grasthos to his enemy’s fate. He was practically soaked in liquid Tainted Element, after all.
He turned around and faced the “Tombstone”. What was this thing supposed to do again? His memory was failing him…
“You know,” said a barely living, yet still bloodcurdling voice, “it took me a minute to realize what you were.”
Grasthos wheeled around, finding the battered neo-echo staring straight at him. Pointed at his chest was a harpoon gun of sorts. The Death Dealer didn’t even know that Dante could produce such a weapon.
“You see, ‘Grasthos’,” he said, a light gurgle in his voice, “I realized that you’re not real. You’re the half of my mind that wants to die, personified the reason I exist. You want me to give up and die, don’t you? There’s little, if any, reason for me to live.”
“Or,” Grasthos replied, deciding to drop the façade, “I could be your unwillingness to let the past go. You know that? Or maybe I’m a combination of both. Either way, I’d suggest that you lower your weapon and let me perform my purpose.”
Dante laughed, ignoring the Tainted Element that came out of his mouth and dripped down his chin as a result. His laugh temporarily became a cough, which in turn led to horrible hacking. He forced himself to stop coughing before his wounds bled out.
“Don’t you know my policy?” he said, steadying his trigger finger. “I always say: Let the dead stay dead. ‘Grasthos’, you’ve got one thing that you need to learn. You see, you need to learn to take the past, burn it up-”
He depressed the trigger. The harpoon struck ‘Grasthos’ with enough force to tear through him, but the back part of it hooked into his wound and pulled him with the weapon. The harpoon continued its journey until it pierced the tombstone, pinning the apparition.
“And let it go.”
“Damn!” Gorin thought. One energy was about to clear his way out of the rubble, but that one wasn’t the one he feared. Dante was stirring, and his energy felt different. It was as though he’d taken the gap left by WL’s leaving, and filled it with Tainted Element!
The same feeling that caused fear in Gorin also caused anticipation. It would be the perfect opportunity to try out the other form he’d felt earlier. The other one was pure power, and no technicality.
“Hey,” he said, two of his spears blocking a slash from Aizi in an x-formation, “I know the one you want is Zorlo. How about you go after him, and I go after Dante? You want Zorlo more than you want me, and I want Dante more than I want you. How’s that sound?”
Regardless of the Demon Lord’s answer, Gorin was morphing into the other form. He honestly didn’t think that Dante stood a chance, no matter what the extra Tainted Element did for him.
Something had awakened. It wasn't something that had never been there, but merely something that had always been there. Even to one who hadn't seen it, heard of it, or felt its power before, it was there. It loomed everywhere, in the air and earth; In water and fire; in ice and lightning; and even within darkness and light. This force existed on a similar level with Ancient Aura, but very few ever knew it existed, even if it was there. Not quite the power of a god, but much beyond the power of even the most powerful elemental force there. It was Tainted Element, and it was at the moment that this battle changed.
The fencer stood up slowly, this energy was the only thing he thought about for this moment. The Aura Master had felt this energy before from Dante, but this time, it was unlike anything the green haired man had ever imagined possible. His power continued to grow to a level that the fencer didn't imagine a body could handle, but then recalled that Dante wasn't human, he was something much greater. Using his sword to help prop himself upwards, the fencer now stood ready to fight, watching his dark counterpart trudge slowly towards him. Gorin had gone to fight Dante, and Aizi came to fight Zorlo, and this battle would obviously not be over soon. That was the bad part.
Five minutes had already passed, and the fencer's body was already straining from the use of his greatest weapon. Although it was his greatest weapon, it was also his greatest weakness, making his body ache more and more every moment the power lagged on. In fifteen minutes, he'd be completely powerless, and the Aura Master knew that even if Aizi had been fighting Gorin, he wouldn't be nearly as weakened as the fencer felt at this moment. The time was coming to an end, and it might very well be the fencer's this time.
The Demon Lord's gray flame blade scorched the earth as it dragged along the ground, destroying plant life and the ground itself. What did he care? He was the Lord of Darkness, the newest Master of Darkness now that all of the last one had faded away. There was nothing to stand between this new Dark Lord and his ambition except for those few that needed to be destroyed. After the dark one finished his battle with the fencer, the Neo-Echo would die next.
The dark energies of the demonic mystic radiated from his body, filling the air with an unparalleled amount of darkness, forming a dome around the fencer. The Aura Master now stood, his wings glowing brightly as he closed his eyes, trying to follow the dark one's movements, but soon found that the maniacal dark warrior's energy was all around him, shielding him from even the fencer's Spectral Sight.
The dark one's movements were now too fast to trace, and without his ability to follow Shinu' energy, the fencer couldn't keep up. A quick cut behind his back sliced through his armor and into his back, leaving a searing wound. The dark one moved again, slashing the fencer this time along the front of his jacket, leaving a burning slash across the Aura Master's chest, and then adding to it with another slash across the fencer's chest, creating an 'X' pattern. The dark one then merely floated back into the darkness, watching his foe suffer as he tired to hold on. The battle had seemingly ended itself.
Ten minutes had passed, and the Aura Master had made no head way in this battle, barely capable of standing at this point. The dark sage merely laughed, materializing and walking slowly towards the green haired man. "You are weak, Zorlo," he said, standing in front of the green haired man, looking down at him, the fencer looking up to meet the demon's eyes. "It isn't because you are weaker then me... no wait, that is it!" the Master of Darkness said, breaking out into laughter at the belittled fencer and placing his right palm in the Aura Master's face. "Now die!" Shinu said, delivering a powerful Nightmare Flash to the green haired man at point blank range.
The fencer's body was launched from the dark sphere like a rag doll, slamming into the ground and sliding along the ground and into a nearby stone, stopping upon collision. His body had gone limp, nearly dead from the looks of it. The blast had been powerful enough to blast him several yards away, and now the dark one strolled slowly towards him to deliver the last blow. It seemed as if this battle would end here, but something occurred to Zorlo at that moment.
Selene... he saw her face, and he tried to move. His body twitched slightly, his muscles aching unbearably from the last attack and his own power. The burden of this energy was great, but something else was greater: his determination.
He began trying to push his body beyond what he knew it could do to what he wanted it to do. Thoughts of all the friends and allies the fencer had began to fill his mind. How could he leave all these people? He wouldn't! He couldn't, there was power enough to defeat Aizi somewhere within him. All he had to do now was find it! It was at that moment of great desperation that something began to happen. The pendant about his neck began to glow bright gold, energy erupting from it, seeming to remove the strain of the Ancient Aura by taking in extra energy from it. He could stand again, although his eyes remained closed.
Do you want to survive? a strange voice asked him.
Yes! the fencer mentally responded, the voice sounding familiar.
Then allow me to combine the power I have given you with your power. Awaken the power of Thunder! It was in that moment that the fencer recognized the voice. It was none other then Hælor, the God from Otherwolrd that had first given him the pendant. Its power rushed through him again, and with it, he knew he could win.
His eyes opened, glowing gold with a cackle of golden lightning come from them. Lightning bolts soon grew from his back out to the farthest reaches of the wings, and his flame like aura transformed into a lightning like form that moved about his body. Despite its appearance, the fencer had not gained the power over lightning, but rather, his aura had merely taken its shape, but that made it wonderfully easy to do some things. "Let's end this, Shinu," the fencer spoke, his voice filled with certainty.
The green haired man smiled, holding his right hand as the lightning began to form a ball in his palm, but soon burst into several bolts of lightning, slamming into his foe and blasting the demon back a distance. Even as his foe flew back, the Aura Master rushed after him. The green haired man's speed and strength had increased, not to mention he could now transform his aura into a lightning like form he could fire at his foes.
As the green haired man charged, the ground seemed to split, being cracked by the extreme power that ran through him plus the amazing speed he was moving at. The difference in power that had existed between the fencer and the demon had now been closed and shattered by the new power that the fencer had gained. His power had grown to a level greater then the Ancient Aura, but not much greater. He could win now, and there was no doubt about that.
The green haired man now ran next to his other, quickly spin kicking the demon in the back and gathering energy in his palm and slamming it into the dark one, then diverting the demon's body towards the ground, intent on not letting the evil creature get away. The ball of energy burned easily through the chest of the demon as it slammed him into the ground, creating a crater as it collided with the ground. The newly empowered Aura Master leapt back, looking at his foe. The battle had ended.
Suddenly, the fencer felt woozy, the electrical current of his energy suddenly stopping, all of his power suddenly vanishing. He fell to his knees, completely drained of power. He couldn't move in the slightest, his body was far too weak. Although the power that the pendant had give him had slain the dark one, it had left the fencer in worse shape within a five minute time span then using the Ancient Aura for twenty minutes normally did. His eyes waved slightly before he passed out. What the green haired man really needed was a nap.
But within the crater, the dark one's hand twitched. He wasn't dead, merely wounded. The hole in his chest slowly regenerated as he placed his hand on the top of the crater, and began pulling himself towards the fencer. His wounds were grievous, but not as much as the Aura Master's were about to be.