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 Ch. 52: Judgment

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Ch. 52: Judgment Empty
PostSubject: Ch. 52: Judgment   Ch. 52: Judgment I_icon_minitimeThu Apr 29, 2010 7:28 pm

There is a quality to Death that makes it more frightening to people than anything else. Just the mention of the inevitable is enough to send ghastly images flashing through the mind. Unnatural fear of darkness, of eerie lights, and of silence all stem from the natural fear of the unknown world beyond the grave. With the appearance of Angel in the form of Death itself, riding a pale horse, using darkness, eerie lights, and a strange magic that even silenced the pattering of rain, the Chaos Legion, supposedly the strongest mercenary unit fighting in the name of Chaos, broke down in panic, dropping their weapons and running as the scythe of Death reaped the lives of those that did not flee quickly enough.

However, those that managed to escape quickly called for backup. A group of soldiers from one of Kobi’s allies showed up, rested and eager to fight. That eagerness drained away at the site of Angel, sitting on the back of his demonic horse, scythe gleaming with fresh blood. They grimly charged, raising swords, spears, axes, and other useless things. Angel met them without a change of expression, raising his scythe. His first swing drew blood, splitting open the chest of a young soldier, freshly infected with Chaos, never knowing what he had bought into. His heart could be seen beating through his open ribcage as he went down, forcing blood out of his chest and onto the battlefield. Angel raised the scythe again, bringing it down in the middle of a crowd of soldiers. The scythe’s tip went through a unusually tall spearman’s forehead, his height working to his disadvantage as he was singled out for the blow. His comrades, cowering behind him, were met with a spray of blood as his head was split in two. The scythe kept going, impaling each successive man in line until it reached the bottom of its arc. Angel brought up the scythe, bodies dangling from its tip, and gave it a swift flick. The bodies dislodged themselves from the weapon, limbs flying everywhere. Those that did not duck were bludgeoned by bits of weaponry and chunks of armor.

A soldier tried to attack Angel from behind as he wasn’t looking. The spear drove up against cold, black, armor. Something shattered. Not the armor. Angel turned around as he felt the blow, and with a whirl of his scythe, sent pieces of soldier flying in all directions in a wide arc. Three more spearmen plucked up enough courage to lunge at him from behind, all aiming for his head. Angel slid off his pale horse, letting the spears run harmlessly through his long black hair. The horse galloped off to one side, running over a group of soldiers, giving him enough space to swing his scythe freely on foot. He paused for a moment, cold blue eyes staring into the faces of his opponents. Nobody dared to look back at him. Scythe poised in mid-air, water drops glancing off its blade as the rain fell, washing it clean of blood. One drop of blood dangling from the scythe’s tip trembled, then fell, splashing on the ground as the rain pattered. Angel closed his eyes for a moment, letting the pungent smell of blood waft up his nostrils. He didn’t like The terror he had unleashed before was just a taster.

Everything moved at once: Angel swung, chaos soldiers fled, none of them fast enough. His scythe sliced raindrops in half as it found its next target, biting into the spine of a fleeing soldier. A loud crack, the soldier fell, torso twisted around at an unnatural angle. Angel swung again and again, mercilessly hacking down the retreating Chaos Legion. Priest, who had been surrounded only minutes ago by living troops, now found himself looking at piles of bodies in all directions. Angel scythed his way right past him, killing troops that were too terrified to turn around and face him. As he slashed through another group of soldiers, Angel looked up. Some of the swifter soldiers had made it out of reach. He raised a finger. Three tall, hooded figures appeared out of thin air, blocking the soldiers’ retreat. They yelped and turned around, only to find more soldiers heading towards them. Confusion ensued as soldiers began to run in every direction, no longer sure what they were doing, no longer caring. It was over for them almost before it had begun. In the short span of but a few minutes, more soldiers had been killed by one man than the combined might of an entire clan. Angel waved an arm, banishing the three cloaked phantoms he had summoned. Though they were nothing more than illusion, they had done their job well. Then he motioned to his horse, which obediently walked over to him, rib bones stained with blood from the soldiers it had ridden over. Then, a faint clatter. A small squad of archers approached, alerted by the death cries of their fellow soldiers. The voices, inarticulate but loud, had done their job.

Angel looked up in the middle of yanking his scythe out of a pile of bodies. Crossbow bolts whizzed by his head, trailing thin purple threads of chaos magic. Though he was powerful, he was still only a mortal. He jumped away from his horse as three more bolts singed the air where he last stood. One of the crossbow bolts struck his pale horse, and kept going. The soldiers stared blankly as the hole left by the bolt writhed for a moment, then wove itself up. The horse turned around, sensing that something had touched its essence. It opened its mouth wide to reveal long, white fangs. Blank eyes rolled in their sockets. A stream of white breath issued from the horse’s mouth as it silently galloped towards the oncoming crossbow bolts. The closest archer stared blankly, mouth agape, frozen with fear, as the horse rode straight towards it. At the last moment, a nearby friend yanked him out of the way. The horse thundered passed in silence, leaving behind the dank, dark smell of decaying flesh. The archers turned their heads and watched as the horse dashed off into the night, oblivious to what was swiftly approaching them. A flutter of black feathers. Six archers fell, various parts of their skull missing. The rest turned around and hastily tried to return fire.

Even with the deadly grace with which it was wielded, Angel’s scythe was too slow to block the incoming arrows. Acting quickly, he stabbed it into a dead body nearby and drew a long, thin claymore. A flash of silver, and the crossbow bolts scattered. Another bright flash. Angel turned and walked away, sheathing his silver claymore and folding his one black wing behind him. The scythe was left behind, quivering from the force of the blow that had embedded it in the dead Chaos Soldier’s body. Around it, the piles of dead served as a grim memento of recent events. There would be no one to warn Kobi about the fate of his soldiers.

“Let’s go.” Same golden voice. Angel walked by his former clan member and kept walking. Priest turned to watch him go, his wing mirroring the movements of his proud, solid stride. This man was a born leader, whereas he was still unsure about leading a clan. He suddenly felt small and rather insignificant. Then Angel turned around, one eyebrow raised, blue eyes glowing. “Coming?” Priest smiled. Wherever he had gone, Angel hadn’t changed one bit. On their way back, Priest healed his wounds, then used some excess magic to remove the dried blood from his robes. By the time he arrived at the western entrance to Wa-Kia, he looked normal. Almost. Saint looked up from where he sat just in time to see Priest suck the last patch of blood from his robes, leaving them pure, spotless white.

“You were hurt!?!?!?”

“Look, it was nothing. I…”

Dye burst out. “Priest! This is the last time I’m letting you or ANYONE try something as stupid and as ridiculous as going up against the enemy alone, you hear? And that goes for everyone else! We’re a clan, let’s start acting like one!” Blizzard groaned but said nothing, while Priest shifted uncomfortably.

“Dye, everyone…I’m sorry. I thought that if I died and you guys managed to get away, then I wouldn’t have died in vain…”

“Yeah, well stop trying to sacrifice yourself to save the clan. From what I hear, you did it earlier today while defending the clan base. Next time, count us in. We can help you.” Priest nodded.

“So,” Saint stood up and walked over to Priest. “How did the fight go? You don’t look as if you were stabbed to death like what nearly happened to Blizzard.”

Priest made a face halfway between a grimace and a grin. “I didn’t do as well as I thought I could. If it wasn’t for Angel, I wouldn’t be here right now. Thanks to him, we were able to kill them off.”

“Angel? Our former leader?”

“Where is he?”

Priest turned around to present Angel to the clan, but the spot where he stood only a minute ago was now empty, save for a single, black feather. Priest looked up, but where he was, he could not tell. The stormy night sky cloaked everything. He turned around, ignoring questioning stares, and went to work healing Blizzard, who was still slowly bleeding from his earlier wounds.

Suddenly, two soldiers appeared, wearing dark, bloodied armor. “Job’s done, no more reinforcements for Kobi!”

“Good…” Blizzard muttered through a mouthful of caked up blood, congratulating Lu Bu and Jorge for holding off Kobi’s allies.

“You shouldn’t talk Blizzard, you’re not fully healed yet,” Priest fixed up yet another of Blizzard’s wounds. “And I hate looking at your chest, that thing is disgusting.”

“What thing?” Blizzard looked wryly at Priest. He already knew what. His heart was beating through a hole cut in his rib-cage, a memento of a botched attempt by Lizargeco to convert him into a full-fledged Remnant. His heart could not be removed; now it was vulnerable. Priest tried to look away as he closed up the hole right next to it. Saint watched its steady beat with interest.

A flutter of wings, Creed landed. “They’re here. Liz is coming with a large part of his clan!” Everyone looked up and cheered. They finally had the strength to take on Kobi’s personal guard of heavy soldiers.

Blizzard got up, fully healed. “Are we ready to fight?” More cheers. He looked around. Many soldiers seemed to have fresh armor, but that was a trick of the light, wasn’t it? There weren’t weapon suppliers to be found anywhere in Wa-Kia, and even if there were, they were probably empty by now. He looked more closely. Ergent had a new shortsword, different from before, and Jake…Jake had the oddest weapon he had ever seen. He approached them, curious.

“Where’d you get those weapons?” Jake looked up.

“What, this? I got it from Aeon.”


“He’s a mage, joined about a week ago. Not many people know him. But he can use magic to change metal into any shape he wants. He’s been taking old chunks of armor from dead enemies and turning them into weapons for us.” Jake motioned to a mage who was busy at work molding an axe out of a chunk of metal that hung in mid-air in front of him. The mage had light hair, bright eyes, and silvery robes with straight, jagged runes on them. As Blizzard watched, the mage moved his hands, as if molding the metal with his fingers. The metal responded, changing shape fluidly to attain a deadlier form. In front of Aeon, a soldier watched the progress, adding personal suggestions in here and there. Blizzard turned back to Jake.

“So, what’s with the shape of your sword?”

“What, my fish blade?”

“Why fish!?!?!?”

“I don’t know, because I like fish?”

Aeon came over, finished with his work. “It started off as a normal leaf-shaped blade. Then he started adding barbs and jagged fins here and there, adding a dual-tip to the sword, and before I knew it, we had a fish sword.”

Blizzard sighed, but congratulated the weapon mage nevertheless. “That’s some pretty neat magic you got there.”

“Yeah, it’s great.” Dye walked over. “He’s going to be in my group for this battle.”

“Wait, how does he fight?”

Aeon smiled and lifted both hands into the air. Chunks of scrap metal left over from the weapon-making process melded together and twisted in mid-air to form a set of six swords that slowly revolved around him. Dye turned to Blizzard, grinning. Then, in the background, marching. People looked up as a battalion of troops in thick, dark armor came pouring in through the city entrance. At its head was a proud, sinister Lizargeco, red eyes glinting as he paraded down the street. Priest got up, Saint turned, Nathan looked, Jake waved, Dye stared, Blizzard smiled.

“We’ve finally taken care of our little problem and came over to help you. Though by the sound of it, this clan has already stolen most of the fun.”

Blizzard walked over, putting a hand on the shoulder of the Guardians’ leader. “Well, you guys came just in time to see the fireworks. This is going to be a blast.”

Lizargeco looked down at Blizzard’s bloodstained suit. “Is your clan ready?”

Priest walked over, followed by others. Behind him, Nathan, Dye, and Saint were busy preparing their groups for battle. “We’re ready when you are.”

“Good. Let’s do this.”
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Ch. 52: Judgment
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