Chapter 14 Creature Of Malice
Fully focused Shana tries to see into the blackness as she feels the presence nearing.
“Show yourself!” she says in frustration.
“Brave wordss..for an insssssect..” a voice reaches her ears out of the night.
The words feel like snakes crawling over her skin. Out of the darkness comes a monstrosity like Shana have never seen before. Everything about it is just...wrong. It is a denizen..but then again it is not. it is something far worse.
It appears as a massive and powerfully built humanoid, easily the size of three grown men, clad in black. It has long ram-like horns and its eyes burn with a fierce inner reddish light, though the area around it is always covered in shadows, even while standing within the light of the Nietono no Shana. Every aspect of this being suggests it is a creature of a more supernatural world then just Guze…compared to this…Guze is a happy place.
Preparing for combat Shana calls upon all her inner reserves, and the flames dancing around her hairs increase in intensity.
“Ahh.” The creature speaks again as it sees that.
“I see why they wanted you...your blood will do the job just fine. Too bad we will have to use all of it.”
As the creature speaks those words, Malachite pushes Shana back and positions himself between her and the creature. In his hands he holds two blades. blades shining in a green glow..the moonlight blaze enchantment. finished this time. He puts a hand over Shana’s mouth and before she can protest a veil seems to come over her sight. As she looks to her hands she notices she cannot see them. Malachite must have stealthed her!
“You can't have her” she hears him saying to the frightening being.
“Not while I am around.
Didn't they even bother to send him again?”
Shana cannot help but notice the hate dripping from the hybrid’s voice.
“Whatever got him involved, it is something he hates even more then flamehazes” she thinks.
“Who are you?” she asks in a commanding voice, and as soon as she speaks the stealth spell fails, revealing her.
Malachite looks at her with a mix of annoyance and concern.
“Like I could have known talking would disrupt the effect” she thinks.
But then she remembers how she has only seen Malachite using this spell two times before.
And both times he didn’t speak while it was up..
“I am your executor, making way for my masters to walk this dimension. I am.. The Disciple” the creature addresses her directly.
“You are nothing compared to me.
Why don't you face your end with dignity, instead of hiding behind this weakling's back” it mocks her as the creature now known as the Disciple gazes with his red eyes upon Malachite, who is still standing between you and this corrupted form of denizen.
“He can't protect anyone.
He never could.”
Malachite’s face hardens with those words, as if it were punches .
“Failure.....” It whispers.
As the Disciple says that Shana feels the change that comes over Malachite, the state of mind that Alastor always tries to warn her for.
The hybrid is on the edge of reason, and about to go berserk.
“Somehow those words had more meaning to them then I can understand” she thinks.
“I don't know you, but I have fought your kind before..” the hybrid’s voice sounds cold.
“And I will do the same to you as I did to them.”
“You do not possess the Weaver Of Shadows anymore..insect. Even at the pinnacle of your might you could not stop us..”
“The Weaver Of Shadows? What is that? I am not getting any of this?!” Shana wonders in confusion.
“A long time has passed.. AND I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT I HAVE LEARNED!”
And with those words Malachite charges upon the creature, both swords pointed forward.
For the first time Shana has the opportunity to observe him in actual combat.
His dual-wielding style is elegant, almost like that of a dancer, constantly moving and evading.
The disciple does not seem to have any trouble however, as Malachite seems to hardly inflict any damage.
Then again, the dark bull-headed denizen hasn’t hit him yet either.
It is clear that the hybrid compensates his lack of strength with superb agility, making a habit out of simply not being there where his enemy’s strike lands.
Malachite’s face is only a mask of his former self, as he dances around the monster that is easily four times as big.
Suddenly the Disciple utters a triumphant “hggggg!’ as it uses one of hise claws as if it were a hammer, aiming for the hybrid’s head, clearly intending to cut if off in a single strike.
It launches the attack with much higher speed then before, and Malachite can only evade partially, causing the attack to hit his side..or at least something hits his side.
Not the claw..but something dark coming from the claw.
The half denizen clearly needs all his willpower not to cry out in pain, as skin and muscle gets ripped from his body, causing him to hit the hard surface of the street with his shoulder.
Slowly he tries to stand up..but he falls down again.
Finally he gets himself up, but it appears his wounds are severe.
Way more severe then one would expect from such an injury…
Malachite has to lean on both swords in order to just stand…
“If you ever wondered about a cursed attack flamehaze..” he says looking at you.
“That was it.. run!”
For some reason Shana feels fear as she hears that last word from him, the urge with which he spoke it..
But then she gets a grip on herself.
“I am a flamehaze.. I have sworn to protect the balance and the innocent... he might not be innocent..but he is on my side..fighting for me..protecting me.. and I will return the favour!” she thinks, and with a pumping “AAARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” she attacks the Cursed creature, attempting to cut it right through its chest with the flame of the Nietono no Shana.
It has the same effect as if she tried to hit it with a wooden sword.
The Disciple’s skin seems to darken and thicken where she hits it, and Shana is shocked as she sees that her flaming attacks do minimal damage..if any.
Meanwhile Malachite tries to divert the creature’s attention by charging it from the side with a leaping attack.
The dark denizen laughs with a horrible sound, as it launches an attack with a black whip out of nowhere, hitting Malachite mid-air with full power. With a bonebreaking sound he hits a wall, causing it to crumble on top of him. One sword flies out of his hand, and Shana’s eyes grow big as it misses her face by only a few inches as it sails past her, impaling the ground.
The Disciple slowly turns toward her, looking at her with his terrible burning red eyes.
“Now its jusst you…”it says with an almost demonic pleasure.
“Kh” she utters in anger.
She feels the rage flowing through her.
“Nothing matters, but whatever the costs, that thing will die!” Shana thinks as a red haze comes over her.
“No Shana, careful! Think first!” Alastor desperately tries to reason.
“I never do! I am a Flame Haze!”
With a battle cry she attacks the creature again, approaching from the front, her hair flaming, her eyes burning..
“So predictable..ssooo..weak…” The Disciple speaks as it launches what appears to be a massive black bolt her way. It is directly in Shana’s attacking path and she cannot evade it.
“Ahhh!” Shana screams as a massive pain engulfs her, and she needs all of her flamehaze training to prevent from falling unconscious at the spot.
Quickly she jumps backwards, creating some distance between her and the creature as she gasps for breath.
She doesn’t want to admit it, but that attack hit pretty hard.
A small trail of blood is running down her face from her temple, her socks are torn and her legs are covered with bleeding scratches and cuts…
“He's...strong...” she admits reluctantly while clenching her teeth in an attempt to ignore the pain.
“Be careful! His power can be almost equal with a Crimson god! Be cautious! Think!”
“I can’t think…only fight” she says in herself, once again ignoring Alastor.
She pants heavily as she looks towards Malachite.
He hasn’t moved from below the rubble of the crumbled wall on top of him.
Slowly Shana fixes her gaze upon this “Godlike” being again.
“I...I will send you...where you came from!” she yells as she runs in again and once again tries to cut it with her longsword, avoiding its claws as she tries to find a weakness in the dark protection it wields.
Malachite’s voice is drenched in pain.
From the corner of her eyes Shana sees he has pushed himself a bit from the ground, holding one hand against his belly, the other one , still holding a sword, leaning against the ground. Both his face and hands are covered in blood..”too much blood!” Shana realizes in terror.
The shock of that realization causes her to forget about The Disciple for a second.
As soon as she realizes her mistake she feels how something dark is forming as it points one of his claws at her.
CORRRRUPTION! Shana suddenly hears the creature chant, and her flamehaze instincts notify her of a twisted unrestricted spell being used. The next thing she sees is a massive tidal wave of black fire pulsing from The Disciple . She cannot evade it..” so much power..so much speed..” Shana thinks as the world seems to slow down around her.
What in reality happens in less then a second seems to last an eternity as she sees the black fire coming closer..and closer..and…closer…
“AGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!” Shana cries out as the manifestation of pain breaks this moment of altered time as the corrupted cursed spell hits her at full force.
She get pushed back by the force breaking a wall and falling hundreds of metres away. Finally an old oak tree stops her launch, slamming all air from her lungs upon impact. She gasps and falls down to her knees. Shana can barely hold herself on her hands… With pain ravaging her tiny body she spits on the ground in front of her.. and throws up blood. A lot of it. A wound must have opened in her stomach like a big cut, causing her to bleed internally..
Another deep wound runs from just below her hairs all the way down her cheek, creating a deep red line across the right side of her face.
“I can’t…anymore..so..tired…” Shana thinks as strength seems to flow out of her with every drop of blood..
Alastor sounds concerned.
Somehow that sparks a tiny remnant of strength within her as she closes her mouth, opens her eyes again and slowly works herself up to her knees.
“I...I must...get up!...”
“I...I must...get up!...”
“I...I must...get up!...” she repeats to herself as a mantra.
Finally she stands, only to almost fall down again as she struggles to hold her balance.
Her sight is blurry.
“Get up!... and stay up” she says to herself.
But she knows that she can’t win.. not like this…
Her feet are shaking, she is bleeding and weakened..panting..she needs all of her willpower to hold on to the Nietono no Shana, let alone swing it…
She needs to blink twice before she is able to see The Disciple in front of her again.
It is almost unscatched by her attacks.
He looks upon her with a ravenous gaze coming from its demonic red eyes.
In its right hand he is forming one of those devastating black bolts again.
Shana feels that she won’t be able to dodge this one..
“And this is where it ends…insect.
Don’t make this harder for yourself.
Any last words, before I send you into blacknessss…”