'"Come on! Don't let them push us back, keep going!" Altair commanded, blowing away a cluster of imperial soldiers with a blast of wind, and the horde of Barroth soldiers passed him, slamming their huge Great Swords and Hammers (there were very few with different armaments in the Chikyuu army), bludgeoning anybody who might stem their advance. Gigas, who was now at the forefront of the attack, had really let himself loose on the surrounding cityscape, andalot of the building had been reduced to rubble (although to be fair, the city wasn't complete and they were only half-built anyway). As Roux was wildly swung her Alatreon hammer at masses of enemy soldiers, Gigas noticed an Alatreon-clad soldier appear behind her, lunging out with a gargantuan Great Sword.
"MOVE!" he shouted at her, pushing her out of the way and drawing his Dancing Hellfire over his head from his sheath just in time to hold back the huge blow (with one hand, too). When the smoke cleared, the intimidating white eyes of the Alatreon helm bored into Gigas, the man looming over the Descendant imposingly, his steadfast grip on his ever-steady Great Sword silently willing the middle-aged smoker to give in.
Roux almost gasped when she saw the Abyssal Sanctum soldier.
"He...he's that guy from before, at the Lost City! But...but he disappeared...!" she muttered under her breath, not believing that Lux was alive at first, but watching him overpower Gigas and force him away dismissed any illusions she had.
Lux gave no time for Gigas to recover, swinging his humungous blade deftly again, forcing Gigas to roll out of the way, firing Dragon S shots at his assailant. Severely susceptile to Dragon element attacks, Lux felt each blow and was knocked off of his feet, but still no sound came from beneath the silent helm. He slowly picked himself up, but not quick enough to stop Gigas from running toward him and grabbing his helmet, swinging him round a few time before throwing him into a stone wall, which dented and cracked from the force of the impact. The Great Sword slid to the ground beneath him as he slid off of the wall like a raindrop off of glass, slumping to the ground in a bulk. Gigas leapt into the air, his free hand alit with flames, before slamming his fist into Lux's back, consuming the two in a ball of flame, obscuring them from view temporarily.
When the dust settled Gigas stood upright, cluthcing his Agnablaster. A scorch mark remained where lux had been lying. But it was too good to be true. Gigas yelled out in surprise as Lux grabbed his head from behand and slammed him into the already dented stone wall several times, before puching his spine, making him growl with pain and frustration and pivoting to throw him to the ground. Lux then teleported to where Gigas was headed, swinging his Great Sword like a shield, swatting the Descendant away like a fly, dust and gravel flying in alldirections as he slid across the ground in a tired heap.
Roux, still holding her own against the imperial onslaught, looked on at the scene is dismay. Altair usddenly whooshed by, swatting slodiers with martial arts like flies and quickly dispatching fresh assailants with quick headshots, blasting away those who got to close with his wind abilities.
"Roux, stay here with the Barroth soldiers! I'll go and give Gigas a hand!" he said, putting his pistol back in its holster and drawing his balisong-style butterfly knives, disappearing in a puff of smoke and reappearing a second later infront of Lux, rushing him with stylish combinations of knife slashes and martial arts: he was indeed a true Sky Village ninja, finally pummeling his stomach with his gauntletted right hand, sending him tumbling past gigas and into the wall again, firlmy slamming into it for the second time. Altair channelled the power of the Abyss, allwoing it to fuel himw ith unearthly strength, the wispy shadows writhign around him again, his eyes glwoing a pupilless vermillion. He leapt through the air at the trapped Sanctum soldier, his gauntlet glowing with purple energy as it slammed into Lux's stomach, shattering the wall and bringin the skeleton of the incomplete building crashing down around them, the pair of them still flying through, escaping its collapse just in time. Lux, roly-polyed over the ground limply, while Altair shrugged of the impact with a forward roll. Amazingly, Lux's Great Sword had made it through as well.
Lux peeled himself off of the floor in utter silence, picking up his huge blade once again, still garnering some (or allot, it was nard to tell) strength within him. Altair sheathed away the knives and pulled out his pistol again, cautiously awaiting the dark Descendant's next move.
"Just roll over and die already!" Kazir shouted, still slicing at Enshi with his freezing cold blade, desperately trying to land a hit. Enshi swiftly dodged the flurry of inaccurate attacks, teleportin away and reappering behind the psychotic young man, dragon pucnhing him with a flame-covered fist. Kazir somersaulted to recover, sending a wave of ice at the experienced warrior, who dismissed the inane manouvre with a wave of dancing flames. The pair then stood impassive, staring at each other- Kazir with angry, hateful eyes, Enshi with a calm, slightly smug expression.
"Why do you persist? Ice cannot beat fire. What do you hope to accomplish by flinging ice at me? You might as well throw stones at a Barroth!" Enshi taunted smugly, but he was actually half-serious. Suddenly, a bitter, bonechilling cold cut through Enshi, and his next sentence was cut off, and he trembled feebly, frozen in place.
"Problem, filth?" Kazir sneered, slowly pacing toward Enshi, gleaming blade in hand. As Kazir approached slowly, his serpentine eyes as sharp as his sword, he heard a sharp, feminie cry, a juxtaposition of angish, vengeance and courage. He flung his blade out sharply, icy blue sparks igniting as it clashed with the equally keen edge of Gale's Lost Black Katana. He smiled smugly from behind the sharp steel, taking pleasure in the accosted face of the girl he had caused so much pain.
"Seeing as it's make or break in this battle, I really am going to have to kill you this time. Sorry, sugar," he purred, slashing elegantly at the battle-weary Descendant.
"Save your speech, asshole! You can talk when you're in hell where you belong!" Gale retorted, sweeping the Long Sword at Kazir's legs. He leapt back and let loose a wave of freezing tundra at Gale, who waved it away with a gust of wind. Kazir dropkicked the young woman and pinned her to the ground with the flat of his blade, drawing a knife and knneling over her, knife arm raised truimpahntly. As the knife came pseeding toward her face, Gale impulsively clutched her assailant's wrist, both their arms trembling as they struggled, the knife rising and falling like the tide.
"Would you like me to tell you about hell? It's a common misconception, that it's a kingdom of fire and flame. No, no, dear Gale, hell is a place colder than a thousand tundras. Perhaps, if you let me, I can show you but a precious glimpse of sweet, sweet purgatory," Kazir hissed slyly.
"I've heard...enough...of your...bullshit!" Gale yelled, finally pushing the psycopath- and his sword- off of her and blowing him into a wall with a blast of wind. Quicker than expected, Kazir teleported, reappearing behind her and slicing at her repeatedly, the time between each hit so short that it felt like rain was falling. Gale desperately blacked the onslaught with her Long Sword, before the eeried coldness that emanated from Kazir's blade subdued her. Before she could evens hiver, she felt another bolt of cold pulse through her as the blade strucke her delicate Kirin X armour hard, and she rolled into a heap upon the floor. Kazir approached the fallen girl, ignoring the pained yelps as he grabbed her by her hair and slammed her face onto the ground over and over again, before he pivoted and threw her in the opposite direction, her beaten body slumped against the wall, her Lost Black Katana by her side, but out of immediate reach. As Kazir casually began to strangle the hapless girl, a burst of whitish flame interrupted him, forcing him to let go of his quarry and deflect the attack."Leave her alone, you cold-hearted bastard!" Makoto spat defiantly, paointing her black and yellow matenbou at the abhorrent man like a spear.
"Why, thank you. That's very sweet of you to say so. But I'd really appreaciate if you shut the fuck up and die now, m'kay?" Kazir replied sweetly.
Makoto growled, before she grunted harshly, defiantly, the way a martial artist would, as she flung herself at the imperial menace with a series of quick, hard and stylish had-to-hand combat, smiultaneously swishing her matenbou like an ancient martial artist of legend. She placed her fist to her mouth and turned her head from left to right and a huge gust of fire enveloped the area in front of her. Gale saw it coming and quickly formed a wind barrier around herself to defend against the fires. Kazir growled almost inaudibly as the heat took it's toll. Finally, Makoto stopped...breathing?...fire, and placed her palm to the ground. A series of jagged spikes protruded from the ground, cathing Kazir before he had the chance to counterattack, sending him high into the air. Makoto placed her matenbou firmly into the ground, before pressing her entire weight against it like a springboard, then letting go, allowing the stick to project her into the air. She grabbed Kazir by the collar of his shirt and flung him forcefully back down.
"Gale, catch me!" she shouted as she, too, came tumbling back to earth. Gale created a funnel of wind like a safety blanket, catching Makoto a few centimetres off of the ground, then allowing her to drop to the floor. To their surprise, Kazir was nowhere to be seen. All of a sudden, Kazir appeared in a bright azure flash, puching Makoto to the floor with a yelp.
"Go, Gale! I'll deal with him!" Makoto yelled as she defended against Kazir's feezing blade with her matenbou.
"But-!" Gale began.
"There's no time! Mizu is at the epicentre of the fight! Go and find him! You must get to Altair and find the Abyss!" Makoto interrupted commandingly. Gale nodded and sprinted away, headed for the city centre, desperate to reunite with allies.
"...Wait!" Enshi cried out at the last moment. In the heat of the battle, Gale had forgotten all about him. He quickly ran up to join her.
"I will accompnay you. Come, there is no time to waste!" he said wisely, and the pair ran off together.
Mizu pushed Skylar out of the way as a huge Ukanlos Destructor bit into the stone ground, a huge cloud of dust rippling in all directions. Mizu quickly slew the imperial before he could draw his huge Great Sword from the earth. He then sped to offer his hand to Skylar, who lay on the floor. She grabbed it quickly, before the area was overrun by yet another horde of relentless Ukanlos soldiers. The pair rushed through the crowds of enemy and ally forces alike, to a slightly clearer and less ostentatious area of the already debris-ridden city centre. Broken buildings, shattered bodies and bloodied swords lay about the place, in such awful quantities that one might think this place was a post-apocalyptic wasteland, if not for the multitude or warring people.
They weren't sure how they had been separated from Gale and Makoto; they must have taken different turns in the heat of battle. But it was alright. Skylar was a Sky Village ninja and Mizu was a Descendant- they could hold their own for now.
He didn't know what, but something compelled Mizu to look up at the looming tower before him. It covered in tendrils of bitterly cold ice that climbed up the tower's stone walls like ivy. A sinister character dressed in a traditional white hakama glared down at them, his bleach blonde hair barely visible in contrast with his crimson muramasa.
"What is it, Mizu?" Skylar said, following Mizu's sapphire eyes.
"...That's him, Skylar. That's the White Star," Mizu said with quiet dread, but the words were so emphatic that shouting wasn't necessary. The White Star turned on his heel and headed back into the depths of the Frozen Spire. Suddenly, a desperate screeching broke the awe-filled stasis.
"LOOK OUT!" Nina cried, louder than Mizu or Skylar had ever heard her shout before. Mizu wrapped his arms around Skylar and dived to the left as a long, cruel silver blade spearheaded the air where they had stood moments ago. Mizu and Skylar once again gazed upon the purple-eyed, spike-ridden, phantasmal form of Shinkaiyami, the Abyssal Sovereign.
"Stop this futile struggle now, Dark One," Nina said calmly, with determination. "You cannot win. You may have conquered this land, but how will you conquer the other regions? Minegarde? Moga? Pokke? The Central World? Doragokuni? Vast as your armies may be, you cannot conquer all those regions together with this one warforce. And what about the rest of the world? You yourself know better than any human alive that this world is vast beyond imagining. You cannot hope to usurp humanity in such numbers. And now that the Lake is protected, how will you replenish the infantry you will lose here? It is all but hopeless!"
Shinkaiyami began to laugh deeply, wisely, slyly.
"My dear, dear Nina; did you honestly believe that the Lake of Eternity was the only way to produce my Descendant facsimilies? Of course, the Lake of Eternity would have strengthened my armies, but it is not thier origin. The Ice Descendants are borne of the Frozen Tower, and the Abyssal Sanctum borne of the Abyss. I can produce as many copies as I please, and you can do nought to stop me!" He replied smugly, following which he raised his arms to his sides and began to hover in the air, wings outstreched in their grotesque, demonic glory. He chuckled throatily as shadows began to writhe around him, and the gem upon his chest began to glow and hum.
"The Abyss answers my call, and the dark Heart beats within my breast! Now, you will see what a king truly looks like!"
The shadows grew larger and larger, until Shinkaiyami's sinister form was obscured, the bulk of whispering shadows flew into the air, and a purple flash blinded everyone all over the city.When everybody's sigh had been regained, both rebel and imperial alike stood and gazed up in awe at the gargantual dragon that circled in the sky, like a vulture from the dapths of hell. The very sky had turned dismally gray, and purple bolts of lightining ruptured the heavens.
The beast itself was nightmarish. It was stygian, skeletal, tenebrous. It was asymmetrical is some areas, and its body was like a phantasmal skeleton that harboured the bright purple dark energies within, which could be seen through its ribs, legs and face, and its wings were like rows of jagged scythes. It was as if the enrgy itself had become sentient and cobbled a makeshift shell to cover itself with. It was both hellish and heavenly, sublime in design and yet cruel to the eye.The ornate crest that was part of its head was like a crown, its claws like huge knives. Its bared tail whipped at the darkening skies, and its beady purple eyes gazed at the shattered earth below.
"Behold, my brothers! Your king is come!" Shinkaiyami's voice echoed through the sky, straight from the gargantuan creature's mouth.
"...Shinkaiyami's Heart...this is why he needed it..." Nina revealed with sombre dismay. Mizu, Skylar and the soldiers around them swiftly returend to battle as the imperials suddenly spurred into action once more with renewed vigor at the arrival of their king on the battlefield. The presence of a dark Wyrm was something nobody could ignore.
Mizu silently worried, and prayed that everybody he loved was safe, and that they would destroy the Abyss before its master could utilize it for his own deadly intentions.
To Be Continued in: Fate and Freedom XXVII: True Darkness