How many times did the fencer have to reiterate himself before the zombie learned that what the green haired man was saying was no lie? On at least three separate occasions the fencer had told Johnny that lightning and fire were absolutely worthless against him, hadn't he? The nonchalant Aura Master simply shrugged as he watched the lightning around him trap him. Time to break free.
Without even a second thought, the fencer swung his arm back and launched it forward, releasing his blade from his hand. The fencer's smile grew slightly as he watched the sword cut the air like nothing, not slowing down in the least as it moved towards the dead man. Bones would sure enough evade it, but the sword wasn't his real attack.
The Aura Master channeled his aura into his left hand, increasing the strength of his fist, along with adding a bonus effect but that wound wait. The green haired warrior nimbly evaded the lightning bolts as they continued to rain from the sky and ground towards him. This had simply become a waiting game, and that was what the fencer was good at. He too was an expert of chess, and knew all too well what he had been trapped in.
As the golden sword shot towards the skeleton, he couldn't wait any longer and dodged to the side of the sword. The golden blade soon lodged itself in the fortress wall, becoming half way embedded. Now was the time to strike. With having sensed Bones move, the Aura Master took to the attack.
The fencer ran forwards fiercely and drove his fist into one of the meeting points of the lightning, ripping through the lightning like tissue paper, and continued running, but with an added trick. His fist cackled with an electrical crack, as it did when he had added lightning he had captured to his sword, and would be a shocker for Johnny.
In seconds, the fencer had cleared an immense distance was in front of Johnny, who was still recovering from evading the Aura Master's sword. Perfect chance to strike! The fencer's fist thrust into the skeleton's chest, pushing electricity throughout the dead man. The power of the Aura Master's fist pushed the zombie forwards and into the fortress wall, cratering the wall quite a bit.
Odds are, the dead man would recover quickly from Zorlo's attack, although his Central Nervous System would shut down for a bit. That's why electrical powers could paralyze a person: the electrical current disrupted the nervous system, damaging the bodies natural impulses, and with as much power that Zorlo had borrowed from Johnny, he'd be down for a few seconds. In fact, he was still sizzling from the Aura Master's fierce attack.
In fact, a defibrillator worked the same way, basically, shutting down the heart and restarting so the electrical impulses of the heart could normal out. In this case, the magical version was much more dangerous, but even so, it wouldn't stop Johnny, and Zorlo knew this. The fencer walked over to the part of the wall where his sword was and nonchalantly pulled the blade out, moving from the wall and watching Bones closely. It was all a matter of how soon he got up now.
Impact had pushed him into the thick fortress wall. Within seconds, his bruises healed and he had quietly placed three tan packages inside the crater. Then, he turned his mind to more important things.
The electricity had seriously charred his jacket. It wasn't any weaker, but it looked beat up.
"God damn," Johnny swore, sliding out of the indentation he had made in the wall. "That was expensive, too."
Zorlo looked surprised; evidently, he had thought Johnny would be incapacitated more severely. Well, surprise, biatch. It's my bloody lightning.
His sword lay nearby; he picked it up, not bothering to conjure flames again. Magic wouldn't work. He thought sarcastically that Zorlo's happy attitude protected him. Surely the man had to frown sometime. Johnny looked him over. The Aura Master was several inches shorter than him. He'd never really noticed before. Maybe it was because he looked down on everyone, short and tall alike.
The fencer blurred forward, sword raised. Instinctively, Johnny's own blade buzzed upwards to block. Zorlo came on harder than ever, and the zombie found himself backed up against the wall. This was why he didn't like swords.
There was nowhere to go but up, so that's where he went.
He leaped into the air, flames erupting around his feet and shins, and kicked back into the wall. His legs sunk into the fortress wall up to the ankles. Johnny strolled backwards as Zorlo stared up at him.
"You think that's cool," Johnny commented, tossing his sword from one hand to the other, "watch this."
He tossed his sword to the ground, reached into his pocket, pulled out a small piece of metal, and pushed the button.
The C4 he had planted in the crater his body had made in the wall went off with a bang like a firecracker store having sex with a forest fire. Hm...interesting analogy. Johnny grinned as he was launched into the air along with huge pieces of rubble. He had placed them as deep and low as he could so that the wall would explode upwards. Huge pieces of mortar flew into the air while parts of the wall nearby collapsed. It was a thick wall, but modern explosives prevailed once more.
Bounding from one rock to another as they hurtled to the ground like a miniature meteor shower, Johnny tossed the used detonator away. With luck, Zorlo would have been buried. Nevertheless, chances were high that he'd be fine, buried or not.
Crimson eyes turned upwards as their owner somersaulted through the air. "I could use some help."
Then he hit the ground in a crouch, and picked up his sword. There was too much dust to see if Zorlo was alive. His eyes gleamed once, and started to pick up on heat signals, much like a snake would taste the air, searching for prey.
Some of the wall by Zorlo hadn't collapsed yet. Johnny lifted his hands and unleashed a blast of energy wider than the oldest redwood tree trunks.
Cries and screams filled the air as the wall collapsed, killing countless civilians as his assault continued, but someone was missing from this massacre. The other combatant had seemingly vanished to somewhere as the last part of the wall collapsed from the erupting golden blast that struck the unsound wall. The rubble continued to collapse and crush itself into smaller pieces, but even that didn't' help any. All that was obvious was that Zorlo was gone.
Explosives... man the fencer loved watching them not work. Over and over again they ceased to hit him, and yet never ceased to amaze him. Weapons that were effective against normal humans would have been something that would have brought down Zachary, but they were an ineffective thing against a person that had seen parts of the future. Technology was only a wonder when it hadn't been seen before.
A single, split second of surprise hit the fencer as he nonchalantly stared at the oncoming blasts, but before they were close enough to do anything, Zorlo was gone. He wasn't anywhere to found, but not simply because of anything that Johnny, in his simple minded tactics would understand, but he found his tactics mixed up with the slightly less simple plans of the Aura Master.
This last one had been ingenious though. The fencer had already moved away from the broke wall as it fell into pieces, or he would have, had it not been such a brilliant plan. Perhaps one would see breaking rocks with his fists a bad idea, but it sure as hell got the job done, especially when he found a useable rock. That one he stopped with his hand, even though it indented slightly, and the green haired man simply seemed to vanish.
All would have been silent had it not been for the sounds of innocent towns people that had been killed or wounded by the destroyed wall. Even so, those people hadn't seen it coming. Hell, Zorlo had barely seen it coming, but then again, when you could move as fast as the fencer could, seeing and responding were one in the same.
Any places to hide had been burned into ash and dust before in the city, and now the only place that anyone could run towards was the interior of the fortress. Both things meant that there would be no more spectators. All there would be was the two warriors that were left standing for their next round of combat. A silence came about again, and the fencer had still not been located by Johnny Bones.
The Aura Master looked up at the moon from his perch atop the tower that linked the destroyed wall and its adjacent wall. His feet pointing down, wrapped around the towers point as the green haired man effortlessly kept the massive wall piece he had grabbed during his escape. How had he gotten up there? Well, it wasn't magic, so that basically narrowed it down to a mix of strength, speed, skill and will. His eyes watched the ever sinking moon, and something crossed his mind.
Would Johnny return to being a skeleton with the first light of sun? The fencer didn't know how the zombie's power to transform worked, so he'd find out, wouldn't he? Even so, it didn't matter. Skeleton or human in form, it was the same foe. Now, it was time to begin the battle again.
The fencer spun himself atop his feet, which nearly clung to the spike, and he smiled down at the skeleton, who hadn't seemed to have found him yet. Well, he was about to get one hell of a shock then. The Aura Master placed his right foot against the spike and pushed himself from his perch, launching high into the air. The question of how well this would work was irrelevant. The question was what would the dead man do?
"Johnny, catch!" Zorlo yelled out as he cocked his arm back and whipped the massive stone towards the formerly dead person. Johnny didn't waste any time and launched himself right at the stone, cutting it apart with his sword. The next sound was notably that of the warriors' swords clashing in the sky, and the two trying to kick each other, pushing their feet off each other and pushing the two warrior apart as the moved towards the ground.
There was another silence as both Zorlo and Johnny landed feet apart, both standing ready to continue their battle. The fencer still calmly smiled at the skeleton, and knew full well that many needless lives were lost in their fun. The Aura Master couldn't have stopped it. Luckily, only a few people had died, but they say casualties are unavoidable in war. And hell, this was war!
OoC: And now we're caught up in posts from our original. THis is only getting more interesting.
No one with half an ounce of sense yelled "Catch!" when they threw a potentially deadly weapon at their opponent. Either they were very cocky or very stupid. Zorlo, in Johnny's opinion, was both. Nevertheless, he'd put it down to "cockiness." With luck, he'd mess something like that up again.
Their sword clashed again and again, sparks growing harder to see as the sky grew brighter. It was the middle of summer--short nights and long days. He'd be a skeleton again soon...but truth be told, Johnny bloody hated being a skeleton.
No one else need to know that, o'course.
I could use some help, he thought again. A new power would be nice.
Groans of dying people floated through the air. Johnny snapped his fingers and the injured citizens felt their cuts and bruises heal, their broken bones fuse back together, their blood leave the dust and rock behind, flowing back into their bodies in the purest possible form.
A slight rustling in his one of his pockets informed him that the people he had saved had been subtracted from his soul count. He guessed there were about forty or fifty people he had saved.
Damn...that was why he was on the ground. He wasn't used to that much healing.
Zorlo smiled wider, grabbed him by the front of his shirt, and smashed him in the face with his sword hilt. Johnny felt his nose break; blood streamed down over his lips. The fencer hurled him into the ground. Another bone broke as he slammed into the hard dirt.
Johnny slowed down time as much as possible and looked up. A skeleton stared down at him, clutching a midnight-black robe about it. Stuck in the ground beside the cowled figure was a scythe.
"Is he going to die?" Johnny asked in a typical display of optimism, jerking his head in Zorlo's direction. Death looked uncomfortable.
IT IS HARD TO SAY. THE TROUSERS OF TIME WREAK HAVOC WITH MY SCHEDULE. I'M ONLY SHOWING MYSELF TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ASKED FOR HELP.
"I didn't know you were allowed to." Johnny felt a bit of energy return. His bones mended themselves, albeit slowly, and he burned the blood away with holy flames.
DO NOT GET USED TO IT, Death said. IT HELPED THAT YOU ARE ONLY IN TROUBLE BECAUSE YOU SAVED FIFTY-THREE SOULS.
"Do I get a new power?" Johnny asked eagerly, now mostly healed. Death shifted slightly.
"Well, c'mon. He's getting closer. Gimme."
IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE, Death said. He plucked his scythe from where it stood next to him, leaning slightly on it. YOU WERE SCHEDULED TO RECEIVE THIS POWER LATER--A LONG WHILE LATER. IT WAS BELIEVED THAT YOU ARE NOT PYSCHOLOGICALLY READY YET.
"...the hell?" Johnny scowled. "Scheduled? And me, not pyschologically ready?"
THIS POWER HAS SIDE AFFECTS. YOU WON'T FEEL THEM IMMEDIATELY, OF COURSE, BUT I WOULD SUGGEST YOU USE IT IN MODERATION. THIS...Death held out a fleshless hand. Pure darkness, inky and bottomless like a black hole, swirled around his fist. THIS IS NOT HEAVENLY MAGIC. QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
Johnny reached out a hand and took the ball of dark energy, examined what seemed to be an anti-glow. The light around it was sucked in.
YOU HAVE HEARD DYING BEING DESCRIBED AS AN ICY FEELING, SEEPING THROUGH ONE'S BODY, SAPPING ONE'S ENERGY? NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW, OF COURSE.
THIS IS LIKE THAT.
Johnny felt energy coursing through him again. There. Up and at 'em. No more bullettime for now. The Aura Master could come as fast as he liked.
He flipped upright, catching Zorlo a hard blow on the side of the head as the fencer swung downwards, the golden blade cleaving the air where Johnny had lain. Weren't expecting this, were you, Zorlo? The amazing, quintessential hero. Chivalrous and fair and kind and wised pure...my ass!
The zombie laughed, felt the darkness buoy up his spirits. "Let's see what this'll do!" he crowed, and hurled a ball of black energy into the back of Zorlo's head. Holy energy wouldn't work...that meant, surely, that the power of demons and shadows would. Johnny decided he could feel guilty about the power later.
As soon as he hit the ground, he lobbed another ball of darkness at the fencer. It splashed on the ground, latching onto the fencer's feet like glue.
Johnny laughed once more.
OoC: Description is in the profile. He finally got some souls knocked off his count, too.
BiC: This stuff... it just simply refused to come off of the fencer's shoes. Dark magic... why the hell did it have to be dark magic? The fencer felt slightly flustered. This was a first. He hadn't felt anything but calm, or relaxed during this fight so far. Why was that changing now.
Slowly, the fencer recalled this feeling. A feeling he had felt once before, as the Dragonic Overlord's dark aura overcame him. A power borrowed from the Specter of Death. The power to take a person's happiness and simply destroy it. That was rather annoying.
The fencer, for a instances, had countless flashes from his life. Moments when he had been the weakest emotionally, and most of them started after Selene had died. The fencer shook of the images that caused what little darkness lingered in him to fester and pressed his feet down hard against the ground, creating a massive crater and scattering the dark magic about.
True, his aura couldn't shield him from dark magic as it could other magics if he raised and aura shield, but in this case, he didn't really care. His characteristic smile returned and all of the dark feelings and happiness that had fled left him and he returned to his normal, nonchalant state. Good try, faulty effort. To bring out the unimaginable power that would be released if Zorlo ever truly became angrily would take almost a river of darkness.
Anyway, his mind could adapt to the darkness over time, if the amount remained the same, and return to his normal state anyway. The extremely positive nature of the fencer was hard to shake, and even next to impossible to break. The Aura Master smile widened as the thought about what Johnny had just done. In fact, the fencer almost felt obliged to thank the dead man. If it had not been for him, the fencer may have forgotten what the emotions he had given up felt like.
Anyway, there was still a battle to be had. The specter of death had given Johnny a new power, as it had enhanced Drago's aura, with what Zorlo liked to call the touch of death, but that didn't matter right now. That power wouldn't be near enough by itself to bring fencer to any level higher then he was. The green haired man hadn't needed to step any higher. What sense did that make?
On the other hand, the Aura Master knew that Johnny had to have more strength in him then some magic tricks, some nifty gadgets, and a really cool sword. All that Bones needed to fight seriously was a small push, and he'd break the barrier between what he was now, and what he could be. Hell, he'd seen the specter of death, the fencer knew it. After all, the green haired man knew the Lord of the Dead's touch all too well.
It had become normal for him earlier in his life, and it was what had made him more powerful in the end. It was why he had been pushed to his fullest, and then beyond that. It was why he trained so vigorously. It had become the last thing he felt in his soul before he ascended and gave up all of his dark emotions. They had died, and for the sacrifice of darkness, he had become more powerful then anything else he could have been.
The fencer smiled wider as these thoughts ran through his head, and his aura began to pulsate some, the flame growing wider around him. His power had flared up only very slightly, but the emerald flame seemed to have grown at least four inches and the expand nearly a foot in diameter. He could feel his desire to fight growing even greater.
Could Johnny feel this? Could the zombie feel his own warrior spirit burning as the fencer felt his? The green haired man doubted it, but if Johnny didn't start finding the true warrior within himself then there was no way he could even touch Zorlo now.
This time, the Aura Master didn't even blur as he appeared next to Johnny. he moved so fast he left no visible trace that he moved but the image of where he had once stood. Man it was fun to leave after images and awe your foes. His arm moved at an equally fast speed, striking the skeleton in the head and throwing hurtling away. The fencer turned slowly and walked towards the dead man, a smile still completely filling his face.
"She's stronger then you, you know?" the calm voice of the Aura Master spoke.
"What are you talking about?" Bones asked as he rose to his feet, looking angrily at the slowly approaching fencer.
"Cadenza, your teacher, is more powerful then you can dream. She's stronger then you, and she's stronger then I am. If you can't even defeat me, why is it you must claim you can defeat her. I heard the stories of Kellson's defeat at her hands. He foolishly attacked a weakened woman. If she had been at her best, she would have defeated Kellson with ease. She's even stronger now. What makes you think you could defeat her? Because she's a small, frail woman? If you judge her strength based on her looks, then you've already lost."
The fencer's words were in total seriousness as he continued his slow approach. It was about time this battle ended. Zorlo could feel Johnny's aura waning. He'd be defeated soon enough. Of that, Zorlo was totally certain.
Johnny opened his mouth to make a perverted wisecrack about Cadenza's looks, then paused.
He remembered Cadenza. He had met her recently at the Dome (even though he didn't know why he went back...something about acid) and she'd seemed exactly the same. Likewise, Zorlo hadn't changed in the time Kellson and Johnny had known him. In personality, Johnny himself hadn't changed. Kellson sure hadn't. Kellson had been a rock. No one changed. There was only enough time on earth to have one personality. You couldn't flip back and forth.
Maybe Cadenza could beat him. She'd left Kellson close to unconciousness with a gaping, dirty wound in his abdomen...and she had been close to unconciousness herself. Of course, Kellson had been a two-pound weakling...
Maybe she could beat him. But...in all frankness...what did it matter?
Johnny had believed he had been resurrected for one purpose: to save lives in exchange for his own soul to gain access to heaven. That was true, but now that he thought about it, on the battlefield with what probably was his most hated opponent, faced with a second defeat and a second death...
Most men can't think straight when they're about to die.
A man who has already died knows what is coming.
There was a second purpose. Understanding flooded through him, his crimson eyes staring blindly forwards even as Zorlo stalked towards him, filled with comprehension. There was another reason. No one changed...not really. Not when they were alive. People in hell no doubt had some second thoughts, remembering ideas that, in hindsight, probably could have been handled better, or at least less sinfully. But living, breathing human beings...they didnt' change.
"I understand," he whispered. Zorlo cocked his head.
Johnny was dead and back again. Saving others wouldn't save his soul. That would just buy him some time and pay his debt. But to save himself, to really rescue his soul from Hell...he had to change.
It sounded petty, it sounded like a sermon...but he knew it was true.
He glanced up, the wind rustling the ashes and dust around him. The sun would come up soon. He'd smash Zorlo into a pulp...but what would that achieve? An eye for an eye? You crushed me, I crush you? Zorlo thought it was a damn game.
"You're right," Johnny said pleasantly, looking down to face the fencer.
Ha ha...that threw him off. No one ever expects an agreement or an apology from Johnny Bones.
"What?" Zorlo asked, flabbergasted. Johnny smiled a bit. Ha. Flabbergasted.
"I said, you're right," he answered, picking his sword up off the ground and examining it for scratches. "Cadenza may full well be able to beat me. It's horribly sexist of me to think she'll lose just because she's a woman and about a foot shorter than me. I'm ashamed to think of it.
"Nevertheless...you're also wrong."
Zorlo blinked, slowing his advance. "You just agreed with me, Johnny."
"Yeeeeesssssss...I did. But not about that one phrase at the end...about how I've already lost? Ring a bell? Well, that's just as horribly wrong. Don't worry," he added, prodding a spent bullet casing on the ground with his foot, "you can feel like an idiot later. I haven't lost...I've won. I just have a bit more to do before I can finish."
Zorlo looked politely bemused. Johnny felt the elation subside into pure, emotionless apathy. Thoughts were detatched, floating beside him. The only thing left was God...faith...
"First on my list," he said, any cheerfulness leaving his voice until it was a solid monotone, all expression sliding off of his face, "is ending this fight. I have other things to do. You are nothing but an obstacle--an irritating, overly smug obstacle, but a simple obstacle nevertheless."
"I think you'll find it rather hard to 'simply' remove me," Zorlo chuckled.
Johnny did not respond. He looked up into the sky, watching and waiting.
The crest of the sun rose on the horizon.
The space where Johnny had stood a nanosecond before was now empty. Zorlo was hurled through the air, his radius and ulna snapping as the skeleton, flesh melting from his body, grabbed the Aura Master's arm and hurled him in the opposite direction, the force of the blow breaking his arm. Johnny felt satisfaction in the pool of emotions floating around him--around, but not inside. He knew it would be nigh impossible for him to reach this state of understanding again until he was truly dead, but for now, he could use it to end Zorlo and have done with the matter.
The emotions bobbing around him threw in their two cents worth.
"Stomp this motherf***er out right here!"
"Oh, what's the point?"
"I need some acid."
"He doesn't have to die...but that doesn't mean I want him getting up after this is done, either."
However, only one thought really stood out in Johnny's mind: This life is simply an illusion. What happens here doesn't matter. End it how you wish.
When the fencer had stopped skidding across the ground, Johnny cracked his now fleshless knuckles and walked after his foe. All anger had dissipated. There was nothing left but faith, and faith fueled him more than the fencer would ever anticipate.
The fencer looked at his arm, still smiling. Something about the wound seemed deserved, considering the feeling Zorlo had about Johnny suddenly. The Aura Master hadn't needed to ask what had transpired within the dead man's mind; only because the green haired man had had the same thing happen. Something had clicked, as it were.
This thing... no, it wasn't a thing. It was an epiphany. This great realization would possibly change Johnny's life, like it had Zorlo's... but then again it may not, one never knew. Well, it should be said, most didn't know. "Fate... it can be changed. With a strong enough will," the fencer stated completely as his eyes set upon the zombie. No fear, nor malice, nor hatred, nor annoyance, nor anything that was relatively negative flowed through these eyes.
However, something else stirred within the fencer. A sudden power burst through him and he feel to his knees, his aura vanishing. Something pulsed from him... something sinister. Something unlike the fencer ever radiated. The green haired man's eyes opened, and demon energy rushed into them, turning his eyes crimson. Something had upset the demon.
I cannot allow this to happen. What's going onaa...- the fencer asked as his hair, clothing, and even aura turned different shades of red. His Aura Crimson red, his jacket a very dark red, and his pants on the lighter shade. His hair was a normal red shade, and a small, toothy grin appeared over the demon's face. And I do mean toothy, since his teeth were all sharpened like mini-swords.
The red haired creature watched as the fencer's sword tried to forcibly release his grip, but the Blood Aura Master tightened his grip as he snapped his arm back into place. "Idiot fencer, not fixing that arm. Well, doesn't matter now," the red haired beast said as the bones instantly healed, the demon's aura flowing freely.
"Now, to stop these resistant weapons," he muttered as he sheathed Zorlo's sword, simply to watch the blade fly off of his belt and away. The Blood demon slid his gauntlets into the pockets of the jacket and looked at Johnny. "And who the **** are you?" the demon asked in an enraged voice.
Something had awakened him from his demonic sleep. Something that shook him as ill. Whatever it was, he'd beat it the **** out of this dead guy in front of him. The question was how long would boney take to die? The angered beast didn't know, but he knew it wouldn't be too long. The Blood Aura Demon sliced his own hand and let his blood drip onto the ground.
Crimson's eyes flashed with red aura and his energy flowed into the blood and created a Blood Aura scimitar. The aura was condensed enough to make the blade harder then diamond. It was a bit draining, but hell, it would do the job. Suddenly, Crimson vanished and a claw sharpened by the demon's aura sliced through Johnny's body into several pieces with his dark claws.
The aura claws vanished and the demon turned to look at Johnny. "That wasn't much fun," he muttered, holding his sword still This was a bloody waste of time, that was all. What had called him though, he didn't know.
OoC: There we go. That was fun to give a nice change. this shall be fun. ^_^
LEAVE, Johnny said. His skull, floating several feet above the air, no longer kept up the facade of moving the jaw up and down as he spoke. A true voice, one that came from nowhere and everywhere, so deep and hoarse that the it would put the singer (or rather screamer) from the heaviest death metal band to shame, echoed across the grounds.
"Oh ho," the red man said, baring his pointed teeth, "who's going to make me? You're a pile of bones."
Pieces of bone and bulletproof jacket hissed through the air, whirling and spinning into a spiraling tornado, surrounding Crimson and buffeting him with tiny bone shards that ripped through the skin. One of Johnny's lumbars ripped through the man's eye out the back of his skull. Blood pooled on the ground, pattering and falling like rain.
If Johnny still had his emotions attatched, he would have been rather annoyed that the new Zorlo simply regenerated.
The attack kept up for several minutes, howling winds created by the tornado eating up all sounds. Finally, Johnny's remains zoomed twenty feet away to rejoin his weapons and armor. With a clattering, the bones reassembled and the skeleton reappeared, arms folded, staring down at the demonic man.
WHO ARE YOU?
"Crimson," the man said, deep slashes healing all along his body. "What'd the fencer do now?"
HE PICKED A FIGHT WITH ME, Johnny replied. YOU SEEM TO BE HIS POLAR OPPOSITE.
"I'm just using his body, jackass."
THIS FEELS WRONG, commented the zombie. IT SEEMS LIKE THE ROLES HAVE BEEN REVERSED.
He turned to look in the air beside his head. The emotion of cynicism floated there.
"I'll tone down," it said.
"What're you looking at?" Crimson demanded.
NOTHING, Johnny replied. THIS WILL NOT WORK. I NEED THIS TO BE OVER.
"It'll end with me killing you!" the demon screamed, zipping forward, faster than Zorlo had been. Johnny found that his newfound speed was almost overtaken by Crimson's. Almost. Sonic booms erupted continuously as he zoomed to the side, leading the demonic Aura Master on a merry chase.
Abruptly, he stopped and a wall of golden fire erupted in front of him. Crimson ran straight into it.
I THINK NOT, Johnny said emotionlessly as Crimson was engulfed in holy flames. I CANNOT DIE. NOT TODAY. IT IS A FACT; IT IS WRITTEN.
Consciousness. The understanding and realizations of ones surroundings, along with the full awareness to the world around it. The power to change the surroundings and create new ones. The power to bend reality and, with but a whim, make things as wished. That was Crimson's dream.
All he was now though was a slave. His consciousness attached to a body not at all his own, and doing what he wanted was ill in the plans that Zorlo had. It had been a long while since Crimson had last gotten out, but whatever had dragged him out of his sleep was pissing him the hell off. He'd take his anger out on Johnny Bones, but how could Crimson deal with an enemy he had no ideas about?
Although Zorlo's consciousness was subdued, the fencer's subconscious was still fully active. Images, information, knowledge, and understanding flooded Crimson's mind, and he knew everything Zorlo had known long before. The history between Zorlo and Kellson became Crimson's first tool, and then the battle that had transpired became common knowledge to the blood demon as well. The last though Zorlo had had... an epiphany, but not his own this time. This skeleton had one.
Clothing, flesh, and muscle all burned as the golden flames engulfed his body as the Blood Aura Master continued to smile under the flame. Unlike Zorlo's smile, which was always calm and kind, Crimson's was full of darkness and hatred. He'd crush this thing like it was nothing. The beast knew the major weakness of Johnny's, and it screamed out loudly.
The demon's eyes glowed red. A deeper, more sinister red then Johnny's magical eyes, and a deeper power resonating from within the neutral figure. Bones and some muscle remained as a blood red energy poured off of the demon, and quickly nullified the flames. "If that trick didn't work on Zorlo, why in the hell would you imagine it would work on me?" the demonic figure asked as his body regenerated as if ain't **** happen.
He turned the blood that had been lost in the flame into new clothing before his flesh fully reformed. It was one thing to defeat your foe. It was an entire other thing to embarrass your foe in that way. As the flesh of his face grew back, the demon didn't even flinch at the last attack of the dead man, in fact, he'd walked through it like nothing was there. "Are you done yet, or am I doing to destroy you?" Crimson asked as his voice echoed from four directions as his body seemed to vanish.
Crimson had learned that Zorlo could do many amazing things, and moving as fast as Crimson did was one of them, and even that seemed to not effect the fencer. What in the world had happened to Zorlo to make him so strong? Whatever it was, it didn't matter, the demon was going to settle this.
A sudden flash and the monster's sword ripped through the zombie's back and front, nearly at the same time, followed by a slash that split Johnny's skull down the center. The demon appeared back where he had been standing and smiled. The demon knew that whatever had happened to Johnny had changed his life for that moment, and it made him powerful. Not as powerful as Zorlo was, but still powerful.
Crimson was actually slightly ashamed. Zorlo had become so much stronger then Crimson had remembered. The demon could see, and feel, the power of the green haired man, and knew that when Zorlo returned, this battle wouldn't last much longer. Well, it was better to have fun now before the fencer awoke then after.
"You know, little skeleton... Zorlo wouldn't have killed you. You were too entertaining, and he doesn't kill people like you anyway. It just drains the world of some people who may have some potential, he feels. You and that little red haired kid. Anyway, he won't kill you, I will," Crimson stated, pointing his scimitar at Johnny. How much longer would this take. Man that skeleton was pissing him off now. The time had come to end this, before Zorlo got his chance to step in.
This little rage cage wanted nothing more than to utterly destroy him. This enlightened, hyperactive state wouldn't last much longer. He was hungry.
Nevertheless, Johnny laughed. The gutteral, harsh sound echoed out across the flattened town. He laughed and laughed and laughed.
Finally, he stopped, his bones healing and clothes flowing back together. YOU ARE A STRANGE LITTLE MAN, he commented. IT MAKES ME WONDER WHAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE. NO, he said as Crimson opened his mouth. I DON'T CARE. IT JUST MAKES ME WONDER. DO NOT POLLUTE GOD'S AIR WITH YOUR FOUL TONGUE.
Crimson sneered. "God's air?" he said derisively.
YES, Johnny said. GOD'S AIR, GOD'S WORLD. GOD'S GRACE THAT ALLOWS YOU AND I TO EXIST. GOD'S WILL THAT ALLOWS ME TO TRANSCEND DEATH...AND GOD'S INEFFABLE PLAN IS SOMEWHERE UP IN THE HEAVENS, WRITTEN IN STONE, AND THERE IS A SMALL FOOTNOTE THAT IS DEDICATED TO YOU.
He stuck his sword in the ground beside him. COME ON, he said, beckoning with one hand. The bleached knuckles popped one by one in a rapid, machine-gun like sputter.
Crimson rushed forward, his curved sword raised. Johnny turned his palm outwards like a traffic guard, rejecting emotion, rejecting thought. A golden shield appeared in front of him, shimmering in the early morning sunlight. Crimson ran flat out into it.
Ignoring the sickening crunch, Johnny allowed the shield to dissolve, the energy flowing back to his palm. It curled around his hand like a hungry, constrictive snake, bubbling and writhing. Concentrating, the holy warrior morphed the energy into a translucent golden sword. Crimson, who had by now cleared his head, raised his sword to strike. It sliced through the air faster than the human eye could see.
Johnny responded faster than the nonhuman eye could see. Crimson's arm flew off, landing in the sand fifteen feet away. As another limb began to grow in its place, Johnny wasted no time in slicing off the next arm, then both legs at the knees.
The humorous emotion that normally resided in Johnny's brain laughed from where it hovered nearby.
"Bite his knees off!" it crowed. Johnny silenced it with a wave of his hand.
There was a bit of silence, and then... something most unexpected. Laughing. Crimson was laughing hysterically at something, or mayhaps someone, one was never certain. "God... that's a funny joke you've got there. There is no God," the demon said as blood that flowed like rivers quickly seemed to begin to bind Johnny, although it quickly vanished as the golden blade cut through it.
Crimson felt no pain. His power was far too vast to be hurt by something so miniscule. However, something did begin to happen. Something that didn't seem to make much sense at all. The air was beginning to turn into a fell, red mist.
"Blood Mist..." Crimson whispered as his body vanished into the dark red mist. The zombie's flames didn't seem to muster, and the dead man looked around, holding his golden sword as his eyes scanned. "Your powers won't work here. I've changed this realm to match my desires. This is no longer God's air, but my own," he stated.
The demonic energy simply pulsated from the red mist, making vision zero to everyone, including Crimson. He didn't need to see. Hell, he didn't need to stall, he had just been pondering exactly how well this would work for a while. His body was done regenerating, and now it was time to strike.
His former limbs burned into blood and flew back into his body. Next, his sword flew into his hand, the demon's eyes closed as he used a version of Zorlo's Spectral Sight to watch Johnny. There was something else Johnny didn't know, well, he'd know soon, if he couldn't feel it now.
Crimson appeared in the mist, merely a shadow due to the density of the Blood Aura skill filling the area. "Poor dead man, this mist will do it's job well. Before long, you and your God will learn what it means to be truly powerful," Crimson stated as the mist grew darker still. "Mostly since this mist is leeching your power," the demon stated bluntly.
The mist would have been a double-edged sword, and the only reason it wasn't was because it was Crimson using it. If Zorlo had been out at that moment, the effect, and perhaps the outcome of the battle, would have changed. This mist was dangerous to any with an aura, since it slowly leeched energy from a person. Although, stealing energy from a person who had none would normally be pointless, Johnny seemed to have a bit left.
Just a bit longer, the demon told himself as his body faded into the mist. Just a little longer, and then Zorlo could return, but for now, the Blood Aura demon was intent on killing this bastard that had been where he was when the beast had awoken. Annoying as it was having a time limit, the fencer's consciousness could only be held at bay for so long.
Slowly, the mist vanished into Crimson, and his body glowed a dark red for a moment. His power replenished slightly from the power drained. He couldn't use the mist for too long, since then he'd sap his own energy. "Ready for round two?" he asked, his body tensing as he completely vanished, getting ready to strike.
Words echoed around him. Someone was speaking. Crimson. The demon vanished. Johnny felt his power leaving him. Fatigue...he hadn't felt fatigue in years.
He speaks with certainity about things he knows nothing about.
NO, Johnny said. He felt a sword rip through his back and cut him in half. The body parts whirled through the air before coming back together again.
He felt his faith growing even as his power dwindled. God does not exist. God IS.
NO, he repeated, emotion buzzing back into his brain. Rage: kill him! Apathy: it doesn't matter. Irritation: Bloody Zorlo. Happiness: maybe I can finally die in peace...
The sword cut into him again; he felt heaviness return as organs began to materialize, arteries and veins crawled through his body...
Faith buoys you up. Faith gives you strength. You don't have to be a fighter to know that.
"NO!" Johnny screamed. His voice returned as skin appeared on his pure-white bones. He whirled, pinpointed Crimson's location, and let loose with a torrent of holy energy. There was a split second that froze in time: rage and ecstasy battling for control of Johnny's howling face, petrified onlookers cowering behind the ruins of a fortress that now housed a legion of dead bodies, corpses of men, woman, and children; a beam of pure light, energy given and powered by the will of God himself; Crimson, returning to the world of the visible, a shocked expression on a face contorted with hate.
Then time returned, and the beam ripped into the demon, crushing his torso with the force of an army of elephants falling off of an airplane. Flat as a pancake was no longer a simple simile.
And before he had hit the ground, Johnny was there, his wordless cries slicing the air harder than sword or lightning ever could. Grabbing Crimson by both arms, he kicked the demon in the stomach and pulled. There was a disgusting crunching and two loud pops as the man's arms were ripped off of his body. They incinerated in Johnny's flame-encased hands. He reigned blows down upon the demon, screaming, "Do you believe in God NOW?"
One fist punctured jacket and flesh alike, ripping out an unidentified organ and crushing it.
The bloody mess of what was Crimson lay there. Suddenly, the blood mess melted into blood and flowed past the dead man's legs and spiraled into a new body, exactly the same as the one that had almost been killed. almost here meant not at all, in fact, since the demon couldn't seem to even be weakened, much less killed. Although, truth be told, the Blood Aura demon was out of time. "Well ****..."
Suddenly, a massive pillar of green power erupted from Zorlo's body and shot several miles into the sky and covering almost the whole island as the green haired man returned to control. The blast of pure aura sent Johnny's body sky rocketing into the fortress and nearly crushing his body with the extreme force of the power emanating from the fencer's body.
The green energy lessened in intensity and the fencer walked over to his sword, lifting it from the ground and sliding it back onto his belt, looking over at Johnny. The fencer slid back on his gauntlets, smiling normally, a few sweat drops hitting the ground. The fencer drew his sword and looked at the skeleton. The Aura Master may have said something, but he was fully healed, and felt like he had slept for several days.
So he still exists. Interesting twist this is. Well, it doesn't matter, since he's normally docile. The fencer smiled normally as he pointed his sword at Bones. The fencer didn't think this fight was over. At least not yet. The Aura Master's aura had become silent for now, calmed down. He hadn't seen his full power in a while, so it was astounding to see how much power he had. Maybe that had something to do with why he had so much endurance, but the fencer didn't know.
The green haired man was, at least, warmed up now. A good sleep, as his mind slept, his body had probably suffered grievous wounds but had been fully healed, so his body was warmed up. That meant it was go time. "Johnny!" the Aura Master called over. "Are you ready to end this?!" he asked, waiting for an answer as he noticed something.
"Eh? Johnny, when did you become a human again?" the fencer asked as he raised a slight eyebrow that vanished seconds later. It didn't matter, but at least this fight would be fun now at least. Mostly since both people could bleed. Not that Zorlo was going to be too easy to make bleed. Especially now that he was going to be moving faster then Crimson. Faster then Johnny. Fast enough, possibly, to be dangerous to his condition.
Sometime, the human body worried him, but the body could take it. He'd tested this before. It wasn't a fun test, but hell, he'd need it. He'd seen the battle that Johnny and Crimson had fought, and he knew exactly the limits of the dead. It was time to test them.
Johnny dropped down from the wall and hit the ground standing, walking forward like he had simply dropped off of a stair. He passed the woman that had sold him the pyschedelic mushroom, passed the executioner, passed a small boy that could be no more than five years old. The zombie flashed him a grin reminiscient of the light-heartedness Kellson had had when he was that age. There was no cynicism then. There was just God.
His enlightenment had begun to fade, but it had left its mark upon his thoughts and mind. True intimacy with the Lord had returned, not the hypocritical junk he had practiced for so long now.
Zorlo was standing, practically bouncing from one foot to the next. The holy warrior chuckled. Most of the time, people thought the fencer was mature. In contrast, Johnny now saw nothing but the enthusiasm of a boy. A strong boy, but a boy nevertheless.
“The truth is,” Johnny said as he walked towards the fencer, retrieving his sword from where it lay discarded on the ground, “that we’re matched fairly enough that this fight may go on for days yet.”
“Aye,” Zorlo said happily, as if nothing sounded better than a week-long standoff. Johnny smirked.
“That may interest you, but not me,” the zombie said. He slipped his sword into his jacket, where it shrunk and disappeared completely. “I have more important things to do than while away the time clashing pieces of metal with an ignorant kid that’s more hypocritical than I was.”
The insults, as per usual, bounced of Zorlo like a lacrosse ball against a rubber wall. “But we’ve only just begun!” he complained—to Johnny, it sounded like the whine of a child. He smirked again and thought of a witty retort.
“You have had some sort of revelation,” Zorlo said, his sword still held in a ready position, the golden blade wavering slightly. “I’m afraid I have to burst your bubble. This battle won’t be finished until one of us is. You’re still the same Johnny.”
Johnny glanced down at himself. Bare, tanned feet peeked out from under scuffed, sand-colored pants. Scars lined his jacket, seamless lines where Crimson had punctured the bulletproof material. Heavy pistols hung from his hips comfortably, gently tapping his thighs whenever he walked. Familiar weights in dozens of pockets reassured him that various pieces of equipment were still there.
He smiled and spread his arms. “Luckily for me, I can change.”
Faith buoyed him up.
And with that, he was gone, abruptly a distant figure in the early morning, ambling out across the ocean: a scruffy Jesus walking on water to accomplish a purpose known by only himself and his ever-present, all-knowing Father.
OoC: Good battle, my good sir. This was good fun. I hope we battle again one day soon. Thank you for the honour of this battle. ^_^
BiC: The fencer watched Johnny walk across the water into the distance and the fencer sighed. That had been... slightly depressing. The fight had been slightly resolved, but not completely. The green haired man felt his power settle down and the sweat fade. He'd felt a battle was best left finish, but this fight wouldn't have ended, like the skeleton had said, the battle would have taken more time then would be needed for a normal battle.
WIth another sigh, the fencer spun his sword around and slowly sheathed the sword, letting the blade clicked as it finished being sheathed, simply for ambiance. The green haired man moved towards the fortress, and several people moved away from him. A few soldiers stepped forwards to perhaps challenge the Aura Master as he put away his gauntlets. "Fear not!" he said and all the people around him scattered in terror, moving farther away from him.
The fencer looked around quizzically as the people continued to move farther away. His mission was finished, so he could go back to the Dome now. That was good news. The green haired man smiled and spoke again: "I'm Zorlo, the fencer of Tasogare and Aura Master. I'm sorry that myself and that being, Johnny Bones, destroyed your town. I wish you the best of luck in rebuilding. Have a good day," the fencer said as he held his hand out and a door rose from the center of the stone path, and the fencer entered the door.
He had business to attend to now. He'd been gone for a long time, but he hoped that nothing had changed. Well, anyway, he was happy to be in his second home. He needed to go home soon, but he'd do that when he stopped getting useless missions. Then again, he needed to do it sooner or later. He couldn't keep putting it off. "Time to go," he told himself as he headed for Cadenza room. He needed to talk to the gypsy. Maybe she could help him.