Arc 3 – Chapter 12: Blood and Fire
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In a large pristine white chamber, that gave off a pure sanctified aura, five men sat around a large round marble table with others standing behind them. Four of these men were dressed in papal-like garments, while the last stood out the most in eerie black while wearing a golden beaked mask. Behind him stood a giant of a man, his visage a mystery due to the dark brick red robes that served to hide his form.

As the four others argued and chattered, the large man stirred. Sensing his restlessness, the man in black questioned him, “Vulkratos… is something the matter?”

Shuddering and twitching in an odd manner, the man called Vulkratos answered “He… he he… hehehe… that man you kept… Gaspard was it?... he’s fled…”

*crack*

With these words, the man in black unconsciously crushed the surface of the table with his hand. The echoing noise brought the other men out of their talks as they turned towards the man.

 

“Are you… certain?”

“Yup… hahaha… looks like he still had more fight in him after all… good, good… I can’t wait… he was exceptionally strong… at least strong enough for me to remember his name.”

 

With Vulkratos’ confirmation, dark miasmic energy arose from the man in black; anger and frustration ready to burst and take form.

 

“Korvo, is there a problem?”

 

The dark energy seeped back as quickly as it formed. Korvo as the man was called, turned towards the one who spoke out, the oldest and most cunning of the four, Bishop Narthaniel Romulund Kurst. The man was older than he appeared, with a long grey-white beard flowing from his chin up to the sides of his face.

He had the image of a kindly grandfather and his temperance matched that image… that is of course only when he was dealing with the common folk. The nobles and merchants who deal with him directly know of him more than his façade; that he was cruel, cold, and cunning like a snake.

 

“Nothing, Your Excellency. It’s just more business regarding our trade. With regards to that business, I would prefer that we finish this discussion soon. I ask again… why did you send that man to our target before we can finalize the plan?”

 

“Hmm… very well, I’ll avoid prying into your dark business and choose to ignore that little outburst earlier. As for your question… to be frank, we did not. It’s simply how Cyril is… of course, I’m not saying we can’t control him, but his recent actions were simply done without informing or requesting our consent. I hope I’m not being rude, but I believe one such as you should understand our situation and cannot fault us in this case.”

 

Saying his words while looking towards Vulkratos, the large man simply snickered, as he understood what the old man was referring to.

With a long and audible sigh, Korvo stood as he addressed the Bishop, “… very well, Your Excellence… but know that his actions have put our plan at risk, and might I remind you that our mark is no simple lizard.”

 

“Oh you don’t have to worry about that… had he not interfered, WE would have been able to deal with that devil in Orgo. Even if he is a High Dragon, unless his powers rival that of those so-called Archlords, then he won’t be able to defeat Cyril.”

“Oh? And pray tell what makes you so confident?”

“Huhuhu… after all… Cyril was a ‘gift’ from that ‘man.’ And like your large friend… with his powers… he should be nothing less… than a demigod.”

 

***

 

In a storm of wind, light, and blood, two beings raged in a whirlpool of destruction as earth, wood, and stone were broken and gouged as each mindlessly fought the other.

Taken aback at the level power displayed by the two, Sorena and the other women blankly watched the fight as if they were in a trance. Snapping out of it when a destructive blow came too close to where they stood, Sorena started ordering the others to fall back behind her and keep close to the Pavilion.

 

“M-Master, what’s going on!?” cried out Cheshi, almost in a panic.

“It’s Sir Camus… and that man. I don’t know why, but that man possesses Divinity, the energy of divine beings. Because of it, he’s able to go head on against Sir Camus, a Dragon – no, a High Dragon.”

“Huh!? T-That can’t be! You told me that –“

“That Divinity can only be possessed by the gods, right? Indeed, that man isn’t a god… However…”

 

‘However, the same can’t be said of their descendants.’

 

Sorena didn’t voice out these thoughts as it may increase the anxiety within the others. Knowing that their enemy might be on the level of a superior being might only bring about despair and unnecessary panic.

Regardless of the enemy, however, she cannot forgive those that would trample their lives and home. With that said, though she cannot destroy the enemy since she might harm Camus alongside him, she instead chose to provide Camus with the most optimal battleground. Hence, she didn’t hesitate to reveal her greatest secret.

Seeing the surroundings, she confirmed that all their Order men have either fled or been captured, while all her women were safely behind her. Closing her eyes and bringing together her two palms with fingers raised towards the sky, she appeared like a holy maiden in prayer as divine energy –the very power their enemy possessed– gathered between her palms while golden rune-like symbols and red tribal-like tattoos appeared over all her face and body.

As her magic surged, her silver hair unfurled as it glowed bright under the moon while behind her, nine tails of silver fur grew from under her gown, and on her head two silver fox-like ears grew.

As she opened her eyes, golden pupils of a beast shined like jewels as she turned towards the fight. Upon seeing the two through her mystical eyes, she was further stunned, not by the being of blood and its eerie divine energies, but what she saw within Camus. Seeing ‘him’ and coming to an understanding on what she must do, she prepared the final phases of her spell.

 

“Camus… even I couldn’t be sure if I could win against that man… however, seeing you for what you truly are… as the last of the Kumiho, I will support you with all that I can.”

 

With those words, she released her spell as she pointed her palms towards the fight of the two superior beings. A cage of light filled with multiple diagrams surrounded the area that Camus and Cyril fought, containing as if separating them from the world.

 

“With this… I pray for your victory… Oh flesh of the Lord of All…”

 

***

 

“Argh!”

 

I don’t know when was I brought out of the haze of battle, but the pain I felt in my arms and body tell me of the power the one I’m facing possesses. Seeing the field around us, I can see the destruction our fight has caused.

I grew worried for the women but the enemy I’m facing doesn’t allow me such leeway as we have exchanged blow upon blow.

From our exchange I can see that in the same manner that drops of water could eventually erode a rock… or that even winds can shave away at a mountain with time… regardless of the many analogies I could use, it all boils down to one thing… my scales were gradually being chipped away.

Because of this, I knew… that I mustn’t hold back.

Taking out the fastest of my weapons that I could wield, I faced him with my dual-ended glaive, the same one I fought the assassins with. Though this weapon has nothing magical about it other than me having made it with an Obsidian alloy, it is what you’d call a ‘trick’ weapon.

As I twirled and slashed, wielding it like a bladed staff, he made to block my overhead slash with his blood-like energy aura, but before it struck I separated the bottom end to slash horizontally.

Taken aback by my action, he blocked my second attack with both his arms moving back to gain some distance. He didn’t forget to attack me with the blood tendrils as he moved to prevent me from cornering him.

 

“Vile lizard… your attacks mean nothing… the more you make me bleed, the more I bleed you in turn. My powers grow as more blood is suffused by the divine energies of my Lord, Seraphaem. Yours and my blood will only serve to fuel this power. Your defeat is only a matter of time.”

 

Hmph. He says all that, but the only blood he’s drawn from me could hardly be called injuries and are merely scratches when put against a Dragon’s vitality. On the other hand, I can see that rather than healing, he’s actually causing his wounds to bleed further. I’m not sure if that’s actually making him stronger, but if it is then it’s got to be double edged just from the fact he’s using blood alone.

We clashed once more.

Blood and blade struck yet the sound of metal clashing rang true. The land and air quaked as we fought. In my mind, I thought of the ways I could maybe finish this fight, because if I don’t then I have no idea how many hours or even days our fight might last.

Ichaival is a no go simply because I don’t think I’ll be able to put enough distance to fire it off safely. World Breaker will only slow me down. My “last card” is also out of the question since it has a long cooldown time of maybe up to a month; even I’m not sure but all I know is that I can’t ‘will it’ to come for many weeks on end after I’ve unleashed it.

My best choice would be to utilize magic since I’m technically a mana battery, but… I should have practiced more.

Having almost no options, I continued to whittle away at him hoping that he’ll bleed himself out in time.

 

“What’s the matter, lizard? Is this all there is to your power? If it is, then it is fitting as sinful worms could only ever hope to crawl beneath the feet of our Lord!”

 

… I… really… REALLY… wanna pineapple his ass right now. If I have to listen to this bastard throughout the entire fight, I’d almost feel like letting him cut out my ears just to shut off his stomach-retching voice. Oddly enough, this gave me an idea.

 

[Fenril, are you there?]

[It’s about time, My King. I was wondering when were you going to contact me. I felt that you could have used a little help.]

[Shut it. I’ll try to keep him still for a few seconds. Can you hit him with your Howling Cannon within that time?]

[Of course, My King. Or rather, I’ll be able to if you two weren’t inside that white box of divine energy.]

[Alright, as soon as… Hold on… what did you say?]

[I said I could help if you weren’t inside that white box of divine energy.]

 

White box? Divine energy? I looked around when I had the chance and saw that our surroundings didn’t look any different. I did notice, however, that the women and this bastard’s men were no longer around.

 

“Do you think you have the freedom to look away while facing me? Impudence!”

“Fuck off!”

 

I tore apart the blood tentacles that came after me. While trying my best not to look like I’m looking for something, I tried to sense the energies around us.

… There! Because his aura is filled with the same kind of energy, I wasn’t able to detect it at first, but I felt the powerful magic that surrounded us when I concentrated.

This magic… it must be Miss Sorena! I felt the same kind of magical presence like when she used magic to capture the bunnykin assassin from earlier. From what I could feel from the spell… I see… she created a space just for us – no, for me.

In that case…

As the tendrils came closer, I let them all take a stab at me. *schunk* Urgh! That hurt more than it should.

 

“Ho? What’s this? Have you finally realized how futile your actions were and decided to let me kill you?”

“Ha ha… I’m glad… that you’re such a fool.”

“What!?”

 

I took hold of the tentacles. I couldn’t destroy them as easily as magic, but I can physically take hold of them. While they’re stuck in me, I held them to make sure they don’t let go.

 

“Hmph. whether you’re a fool or not, it doesn’t matter. I have won the moment you’ve allowed yourself to be stabbed by my Blood Arms. Now, suffer and die!”

 

Grrr… I could feel my blood being drained through these damned things. However, that’s not enough to stop me.

 

“Let me show you… the powers… of a Dragon!”

 

With a grand inhalation, I sucked all the air I could as I charged the Dragonfire within me.

 

“Burn in hell, motherfucker! GRRRAAAAAOOOOOON!”

 

Flames burst forth from my mouth as an unending stream that surged and raged. Soon, flame and heat enshrouded the entire area turning it into a sea of fire.

 

“Gaaaaaaah! C-Cursed beast… Graaaaah!”

 

He tried to block my flames with the remainder of his aura, but it burned and boiled the blood turning his very protection into a weapon that boiled him alive.

 

“AAAAAAAAGH! DID YOU… NOT CARE… ABOUT… THE WENCHES… AFTER ALL? HUUUURGAAAAAGH!”

 

I breathed flame after flame. I did not stop as I let my rage take over so that I wouldn’t stop releasing more flames. Turn this world into an ocean of cinder and fire. Those were my thoughts as I held onto the remains of his blood tendrils and continued to unleash the flame towards him.

Heat and fire raged as if we stood within the sun while his screams filled the world.

 

***

 

It’s been almost an hour since the cage of light contained Camus and Cyril. From outside, Sorena and the others couldn’t see what was happening within and so were anxiously waiting.

 

“Master… will he… be okay?”

 

Sorena looked at Cheshi’s worried look and smiled as she patted her head.

 

“I sure he’ll be fine, Cheshi. It’s the woman’s role to have faith in the man she believes in, isn’t that right?”

 

Cheshi’s ears perked up as she smiled brightly and responded, “That’s right! Cheshi and everyone will be sure to reward him lots once he beats that bad man!”

 

She giggled and nodded at Cheshi’s reply, but she soon felt a disturbance within the “Pocket Dimension” she created. She felt great pressure from the energies that threatened to break her spell. Seeing the light from the magic turn bright orange, she swiftly manipulated the magic to thin out faster from above to force whatever is causing the pressure to erupt from the top.

 

*BOOOOOM*

 

With a grand explosion, a massive pillar of fire rose into the sky like a giant serpent rising towards the heavens. Lighting up the night as if it were day, the fire dissipated as soon as it appeared.

From the remains of the area where her magic used to be, embers and ash lingered as she saw a towering form standing over what seems to be a black mass.

 

“Heh… to think you’re still alive. That’s good, or else I wouldn’t feel satisfied.”

“*cough* *cough*… *cough*… wretched… sinner…”

“Looks like you still have enough in you to talk back… in that case.”

 

Malicious thoughts took over when I realized I could finally fulfill what I sought to do. This world didn’t have pineapples, but I found a fruit that more or less looked the same only it’s a bit smaller, red like a raspberry, and the ‘eyes’ had needles like those from a cactus. With how it looks, it’s much better than a pineapple.

Feeling glad that I bought it when I did at Orgo, I flipped him so that he lay prone on his stomach.

 

“What… are you…”

 

I pulled down his pants and in one go, shoved the whole thing as forcefully as I could down to the base of the leaves.

 

“oooOOOOAAAAAAAGGEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeuuuooooOOOOooOOHH!”

 

He made such a weird scream when I thrust it in, then made several octaves of varying cries of pain as I finished it with a good stomping so it stays lodged in there.

Satisfied, I turned towards where I felt the women’s presences and saw… that they were all shaking… some on the floor… having lost control of their bladders… and some hugging each other in fear.

 

“M-Master… e-even though… Ch-Cheshi said… Cheshi w-would reward him… Cheshi i-is… a-afraid…”

“N-Now, now Cheshi. I-I’m sure S-Sir Camus isn’t really… i-into that kind of play… is he?”

 

Seeing their states, I realized the horrible misunderstanding I made because of what I did just now and so… I now just want to crawl under a rock and bury myself… like… maybe indefinitely.

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