With my declaration to continue the battle, nobody else had the opportunity to run. If the number one runner in the world remained for this battle, it would be disgraceful to be regarded as a lesser.
"Let's get married when this is over," Camilla whispered into my ear.
I felt overwhelmed with sadness at her suggestion.
"I already have too many regrets to take to my grave. I don't want this to be one,"
I smiled sincerely "Fine!"
Maybe it was my sincere smile, or the loving atmosphere surrounding Camilla and me, but everyone flashed their first genuine smile in years and began shouting out their last declarations.
"For my wife, that slit her throat earlier,"
"For my child that starved to death because I was an incompetent father,"
"For the man, I abandoned at the altar to chase after riches and fame,"
"For my son that had to fight to protect his family because I was unable to,"
More and more final declarations rang out as everyone stared at the Abominations running wildly in our direction.
Simon was the first to break into a sprint, with everyone following immediately after. I was the fastest, so I leaped into battle first, always making sure to keep myself within reach of Camilla.
I wanted to die before her because I don't know what I would do after she left.
The moment I stuck my landing, I brandished the sword that materialized in my hands. I sliced, cut, slit, pierced, and dug like there was no tomorrow … likely there wouldn't be a tomorrow anyway.
Camilla brandished a spear that sparkled like fireworks. Anything she touched would break apart in speckles of light, never to be seen again. Stephen's body density skyrocketed as he rammed through whatever entered his view.
Simon cut through sections of Abominations at a time, sometimes using wind, sometimes glass, sometimes charged particulates. Every ability under his belt was used exquisitely. I envied the thorn that gave him that ability.
Two Hours Later
I knew the end would come soon, I could feel it encroaching every second I continued fighting. Stephen, Camilla, Simon, me, and about ten others were the only ones remaining on the chaotic battlefield.
Luckily, the Abomination's objective was not us, but The Tree of Beginnings we were defending. Still, the few stragglers that got by could not do anything to dent the barrier that protected The Tree of Beginnings.
I felt strangely empty at a time when the battle should have fulfilled the lingering regrets I possessed. I searched for any form of comfort available to me.
Lightning concentrated into my eyes, I watched the tear that slid down Camilla's cheeks from a couple of hundred meters away.
I remained close enough to reach her in an instant, but far enough that she could battle freely.
It pained me to see the guilt lacing her every facial expression, but I was growing more and more relieved. It was best to let the pain out now, I was experiencing the exact same thing.
Every Abomination I killed made me think of all those I abandoned, killed, raped, loved, and hated. It made me think of the number of times I was betrayed, it made me think of the number of times I betrayed someone.
Snippets of fragmented memories began to become clear once more. I felt like I was on the verge of remembering who I once was… before all the killing… before all the shame … before all the abuse…
Before all the vile hate that bubbled in the pits of my stomach threatening to consume me every day.
Who I was before all the … SELF … HATE!!!
However, my moment of enlightenment was short-lived. I felt a potent concentration of energy enter my vision. A Colossal had made its first appearance on the battlefield. Colossals were humanoid, ginormous, creatures that dripped pride.
Their bones were made of gold, and some even believed that their blood was the most nutritious meal in the world.
They never fought a battle unless someone strong made an appearance, but they were also sadistic beings that enjoyed torturing and eating other humanoid creatures. Women and children were their favorite dishes.
I knew I could never handle a Colossal without depleting my life force, Simon and Stephen were the only two options.
I directed my gaze at Stephen, the exact moment he directed his gaze at me.
"I'm sorry!" Stephen whispered, knowing my advanced hearing would still pick it up across the chaotic battlefield.
I returned a cold gaze, not bothering to reply, but I think he knew from my relaxed brows that I had forgiven him. The animosity between Stephen and I was deeper than just a Waffle Mix, but I at least forgave him for The Waffles.
Stephen leaped into the air, meeting the Colossal head to head. His body glowed with transparent light. The next moment, Stephen and the Colossal were no more – both turned into dense statues, frozen in place, until it crumbled just moments later.
"A heroic end for a heroic man!" I murmured.
Yet, with the Colossal gone, I could not help but feel afraid of something still lingering in the air.
Without notice, a foreboding feeling shook my body as my head snapped to Camilla's location. Whether instinct or precognition, I cannot say, but my body moved instinctively to reach Camilla.
The world slowed as blue lightning flickered around me, then the world slowed again as red lightning crackled around me. Finally, the world slowed once more as purple lightning emerged from the red.
Each time my lightning shifted, I felt the world slow by a substantial degree. Still, the atrocious feeling in my gut did not disappear. And that's when I saw it… something standing behind Simon…
No! Something… it was not something… it was Simon, himself. But this Simon was completely different from the person I had come to know. It reminded me of Simon of the past before he grew disgusted with his ability.
Even at the limits of my ability, my speed still seemed negligent in front of Simon. The sad look in his eyes remained as he stood behind Camilla with a dagger in his hand. It was the sad look he always directed my way.
He stood silently behind a frozen Camilla and slowly pushed the dagger through her heart. Had she suspected an attack, Camilla would be able to counter this attack regardless of speed, but she had let her guard down around Simon.
I was almost at their location, but I was still too late. Simon was already successful and he remained in the same place with relief plastered onto his face. Rage overtook my rational thought.
I arrived, my perception of the world returned to normal. I grabbed Simon by the neck and slammed him into the ground causing a mini-quake that shook the lands. I then embraced Camilla with my other hand.
I was swift like the wind but gentle as a feather. I was holding my reason for living, and as she slowly died, something inside me also died.
I watched as the light slowly left her eyes.
Camilla used the last of her strength to pull me into her embrace and whispered "Let's get married,"
My mind blanket, I felt like the person I was before Camilla found me – a person I didn't like.
Someone who would do anything to survive, someone who would kill without a question, someone who had lost everything; however, before I could fully relapse into my previous personality, I thought of the last words Camilla said 'Let's get married!'.
"Why?" I asked Simon with a blank stare.
Simon did not try to escape, instead, he looked around at the happenings of the battlefield.
"This is the moment it all starts," he said.
"WHYYY!" I yelled angrily, my voice beastly to an unbelievable degree.
"This is where it starts," Simon said again, but this time with more fervor in his voice "I did it! HAHAHA! This is where it begins. I am redeemed! All the sacrifice was for this moment!"
I skilfully twisted Simon's neck in the middle of his mad ramblings. I had seen this psychotic behavior several times before, but I never expected that a Heart Demon could affect Simon as well.
I paid no attention to the two Blosu that pierced my abdomen and shoulder. The pain was all I felt at the moment, the pain of losing the person you love, the pain of madness, the last pain I would ever feel in this lifetime.
My eyes turned bloodshot, white lightning began rampaging around my figure like the holiest God of Lightning. I was burning everything I had for this last burst of speed – my body, my soul, my energy, my very life force.
I burned everything just to run away from battle one last time.