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 Ch. 29:...We Will Never Rest

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Dye
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PostSubject: Ch. 29:...We Will Never Rest   Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:48 pm

The lone figure, out in the middle of the battlefield. A large stone hammer perched on his shoulder, dripping with a comrade’s blood. Face chiseled, hardened with experience with killing. No hair upon his head, skin rough as sandpaper. No armor save a pair of gray, tattered trousers. Slowly but surely approaching the Requiem base, each step made with a sense of finality, as if the fate of Requiem had already been sealed.



Blizzard tossed his shades on the ground besides him, letting them clatter away. Red eyes fierce with determination, long red spikes of hair ruffling slightly in the morning breeze. Midday was approaching. He unzipped his leather jacket, revealing a black tank-top underneath. Reached behind his back, unsheathed two long, slightly curved katanas. Their crimson blades at the hilts faded to jet black at the pointed tips. A single word inscribed in runic on either side of each blade. The approaching figure grunted, paused about fifty feet away from the Requiem entrance.



“What’s your name, warrior?”



“What’s yours?”



“I am Kyojin, fifth best mercenary and the strongest man in the world of Lore.”



“I am Blizzard, a captain of Requiem. What is your purpose here?”



“I come here to accept the surrender of your clan on the terms of Lord Kobi, my client.”



“Surrender? We will never surrender.”



“Please, cut that crap out. I’ve heard that too many times, but nobody has ever defeated me. Your surrender is an inevitable fact.”



“Abandoning formalities are we? We’ll see what you have to say after I’m through with you.” A black and red blur. Kyojin didn’t have time to say another word as Blizzard sped across the ground, swiftly covering the distance between them, both blades extended outwards like the wings of a falcon. A swing. Then nothing. Kyojin looked down to where one of Blizzard’s blades had stopped at his neck, unable to pierce the skin. Then he turned to look at Blizzard’s surprised expression. A gray blur. Blizzard backflipped out of the way as Kyojin’s hammer came swinging down, forcing the air aside in ripples. The earth shuddered as the hammer bit into the ground, sending tremors outwards for miles. Inside the Requiem base, everyone looked up, startled. Blizzard landed twenty feet away, examining his katanas. They didn’t even leave a scratch on Kyojin’s rough skin, but at least they hadn’t chipped.



“Don’t get it? I am Kyojin, the strongest man in the world. Nothing can withstand my hammer’s blows. And nothing can pierce my rock-hard skin, not even the sharpest steel. Try as you might, I cannot be wounded. There is nothing you can do against an invincible man. Captain of Requiem, I am asking you one last time to lay down your weapons and surrender.” Blizzard sprinted forward, blades pointed straight at his opponent’s face. He just needed a little scratch, a drop of blood, anything to set things in motion. Face wild, red eyes gleaming, Blizzard was on top of Kyojin in a blink of an eye, leaving him with no time to respond or counter-attack. Both blades stabbed downwards on target. Nothing. The tips of Blizzard’s katanas glanced off of Kyojin’s open eyes, not even leaving a dent on them. Another backflip to avoid Kyojin’s hammer, which swung wide to ward Blizzard away.



“You are fast, Captain of Requiem. But speed will only delay the inevitable. Eventually you will tire, and I will kill you. Your blades cannot cut me, and surrender is no longer an option for you.”



“That’s good.” Blizzard smiled. “I’ve never liked having to make meaningless decisions.” Reversing his swords so that they pointed backwards, Blizzard grabbed his katanas by the blades, squeezing until their sharp edges sliced into his hands. He held them for several moments, letting his blood coat the crimson and black metal. Then he flipped them back over so that they faced forwards. Blizzard’s blood was soaked up by the katanas, turning them pure black. The runes on the katanas’ sides glowed red.



Kyojin watched this whole process without blinking, unconcerned. He stood still as before, watching Blizzard charge yet again, readying his hammer for the final strike that would end it all. Blizzard noted the slight change in Kyojin’s grip on his hammer, adjusted his own movements accordingly. As Kyojin brought his hammer down, Blizzard jumped upwards, using the hammer as a spring board, aiming both his katanas for Kyojin’s face, points eating up the last bit of Blizzard’s spilled blood, eager for more. A new sound, a beautiful sound. Blizzard landed lightly on his feet behind Kyojin, swords extended on either side of him, red runes burning bright. On Kyojin’s left cheek, two marks, thinner than paper cuts. Two thin lines of blood welled up and ran down his face.



“You cut me…wha…”



“You said that even the sharpest steel can’t pierce your skin.” Blizzard turned to look at at his opponent. Kyojin likewise turned around, blood trickling from his right cheek. “That’s why I don’t use steel. You see these blades?” Blizzard raised both black katanas in front of him, red light streaming from their edges. “They are made from my own blood, and have minds of their own. Every time they taste blood, they grow sharper. The sharper they get, the more they can cut, and the more blood is spilled. In fact, they crave blood so much that I cannot sheath them without giving them something to drink.” The runes on blades glowed bright at the word ‘drink’, savoring the thought of more blood to come.



“Those are Demon Swords, cursed swords!” Kyojin’s eyes were wide for the first time. He had heard of such weapons only in legends and through the bar-talk of drunken mercenaries. Most practical warriors dismissed such blades, and the making of, as pure myth. “The only way to make such weapons would be through…”

“Yes, through sacrificing enormous quantities of the user’s blood. Thankfully, I had outside help. I had my blood supply boosted right after I made them.” Blizzard held up his wrists, revealing bandages covering the vital blood vessels. “But about these blades. They’ve drunken quite a bit of blood now; some of mine, and some of yours. I think they will cut you now.” A red and black blur. Kyojin whirled his hammer in a defensive pattern, trying to keep up with Blizzard’s superior speed. Two more slashes. Kyojin stumbled backwards, a giant X carved across his chest. Blood began to flow freely. Blizzard’s Demon Swords burned with red light, making the air around them ripple with energy.



“Nothing is inevitable, Kyojin, mercenary of Kobi. Nothing except death. Including your death.”



Kyojin grimaced, lifted his hammer. “You are a melee fighter, correct?”



Blizzard’s eyes narrowed. “Why do you ask?”



A harsh grin spread across the mercenary’s face that warped rocky features. “In that case, you can’t touch me if I do THIS!” He brought his hammer down with all his might, uttering a spell as he did so. The earth split open, creating a huge rift between Blizzard and Kyojin. Blizzard stumbled backwards, barely avoiding falling into the abyss. “I am Kyojin, fifth best mercenary and strongest man in the world, and the most powerful stone mage in the world of Lore!”



Blizzard cursed. He had miscalculated his opponent. If this man was a stone mage, that would explain his incredible resistance to magic, even powerful magic such as the kind that Asterisk wielded. “I am Blizzard, a captain of Requiem. So long as I live, I will not let you destroy my clan.” Blizzard sheathed his katanas, their job done. Reaching under his leather jacket, he drew ten throwing knives, five in each hand. Each one had a single runic word on them as well. He brought the knives to his shoulders, slicing the sleeves of his leather jacket to ribbons, leaving five parallel cuts on each shoulder. All ten knives glowed.



Kyojin raised an eyebrow. “You have Demon Throwing Knives as well? How much of your own blood did you use making those things?” Blizzard didn’t answer, but instead threw all ten knives at Kyojin. The stone mage in turn tried to make the rift between them wider without using up too much magic, hoping that the knives would eventually plummet into the abyss. No luck. They crossed the gap, homing in on Kyojin with ghastly eagerness. Kyojin summoned a wall of stone to shield himself. The knives pulverized the stone, then bit into Kyojin’s body.



Two of them poked holes through the stone mage’s stomach, another sliced off a few fingers of his left hand, and three of them smashed into his stone hammer, leaving him with nothing more than a handle. The rest left cuts on his arms and legs. Kyojin stumbled, fell to one knee, was running out of ideas. Reached behind his back and pulled out two stone balls connected by a chain.



“I have ranged weapons of my own, Captain! Taste my stone bolas!” Kyojin ignored the pain from Blizzard’s knife wounds as he hurled the bolas at Blizzard. The captain didn’t need more than a glance to know that the whirling weapon would home onto him no matter how he dodged. Instead he drew a pair of Demon Chakrams, ran his thumbs over their sharp edges to get them wet, and sent them spinning. One of them shaved through the chain connecting the two stones of the bolas together, leaving them to fly away harmlessly in opposite directions. Then, together, the two chakrams homed in on Kyojin. In desperation, he summoned wall after wall of stone, depleting all of his magic in the process, trying to avoid the homing projectiles. The chakrams, enhanced with Blizzard’s blood, ignored all barriers, carving Kyojin into quarters. The four pieces slowly tumbled to the ground, then slid into the abyss that they had earlier created. The rift closed up, the stone walls undid themselves, and all traces of Kyojin’s stone magic disappeared. All before the Demon Chakrams returned to Blizzard’s hands.



As he put away the two weapons, Blizzard spoke to thin air, feeling drained but good about himself. “We are Requiem. While you rest in peace, we will never rest.” He then walked over to pick up his throwing knives. As he reached down, a shadow loomed over him. Looking up, Blizzard saw only a tall black shape standing over him, blotting out the noon sun.



“Very good, little Captain. I enjoyed watching that fight between you and Kyojin. Sadly, it is time for me to end this all.”
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Ch. 29:...We Will Never Rest
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