Author Topic: Parallel Hero Chapter 4: Stygian Burning  (Read 51 times)

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Offline niam2023

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Parallel Hero Chapter 4: Stygian Burning
« on: August 04, 2018, 09:08:02 pm »
That night...

Gabriel considered the schedule - he wanted to move out faster, but Jerome insisted on giving people more time to mobilize and aggregate the logistics. The deployment should happen in nine days, which was altogether too long in the mind of the knight of lightning. He did not wield his sword to wait on this sort of thing.

Frustrated by both a King who ignored signs and a council that included that obsequious cretin Larg, Gabriel basically threw his armor into a corner in his room, undressed, and went to bed.

...And not one woman to share my bed tonight to work out my frustrations with.

Putting his arms behind his head, he stared up at the ceiling.

Before long the young knight started to drift off to sleep, hoping a good rest would allay his worries.

A few hours later, Gabriel stirred awake due to the light cast by baleful beacons outside - the light shining on his ceiling and through the window in total detail. "What the devil...?" He murmured and slowly brought himself up, pulling on his small clothes just in time for a squire to barge in.

"The township of Giorga within the city is ablaze!! Tis calamity!"

When the squire began babbling about what was happening, the shirtless Gabriel ran over, gripped him by the shoulders and shook the man. "Speak plainly! What is going on!?"

The squire calmed and stated, "One of the townships caught fire! Sir Galavan took his squad to the area, and we've heard naught from him since his team arrived there."

Gabriel started to get a picture of what happened, and didn't hesitate for a moment to get dressed, put on his armor - ensuring the circuits and such were in proper order - and then picked up Arondight. He ran out lightning fast from the castle, past sentries and baffled messengers, out into the main roads of New Camelot. In the distance he saw the flames raging, and the young knight grit his teeth.

He promptly leaped high, jumping from the top of one building to the next in amazing bursts of speed - checking every area he passed in case people were in danger.

He eventually found what he judged to be part of the cause of these events.

A trio of creatures harassing a baker trying to evacuate his goods from his burning shop. The leader seemed to be a red, single horned humanoid with beady eyes clad in unusual clothes resembling shorts and a sort of blue and white shirt. It carried a long handled sword-like weapon in one hand which it brandished at its intended victim.

The other two resembled shrunken, vile humanoids, their nails longer than usual due to their flesh withering, long fangs visible in their mouths, hair grown out long and bedraggled.

"P-Please let me go..."

The red tall monster laughed loudly, "Not without your goods."

"O-Okay, okay, you can have my bread, just let me live!"

The red monster leaned forward, readying its weapon, "We prefer your innards, human!"

And just as he swung his weapon, a massive bolt of lightning crashed into the monster, stopping its attack short and outright almost incinerating it. All that was left of it was a vaguely human looking corpse amidst the tar its body was reduced to.

Gabriel stood upon one of the buildings, his sword showing a mote of light at the tip, lightning crackling on the rest of the sword. He glared intensely at the other two monsters, who outright shrieked in fear and ran away from the baker, "I-Its him! The Lightning Strike! He's too much!" The monsters retreated back in the direction of Giorga.

Gabriel leaped down and helped the cringing baker get his bearings. The older man patted the knight's shoulder, "T-Thank you, thank you, good sir, come by my shop and you can have whatever you like free of charge."

The lightning bolt knight asked, "Could you tell me what happened here? This is all tremendously unsettling and confusing..."

The baker shuddered, looking further at the burning township, "People were shouting about...about a locust, and then there was a light...a bright, red light...and some of the townsfolk...their bodies, they twisted and changed...oh dear God, they weren't even human any more..."

Gabriel contemplated this, and asked further, "...Locust? Red light...?"

That was when he heard the sound of horses approaching, and turned, seeing Sir Jerome and his ensemble arriving.

Gabriel ran over to the mounted Sir Jerome, and stated, "It seems something arrived that turned the citizenry into foul monstrosities..." Gabriel looked over at the charred corpse he'd produced by his lightning, and winced. That...that had once been human. Was there anything left in there?

Jerome nodded, "Let's tackle whatever happened here together, Sir Gabriel. The monsters seem to be staying within the Giorga area and surrounding district. The monks have informed me that there is a singular dark force that seems to be instigating this chaos, and so have given me this device..." He promptly took out a small machine that showed a basic map of the surroundings with a few dots visible further on. "This machine shows the location of the monsters and their originator, using the signal of the originator to locate the monsters."

Gabriel nodded, looking at the Giorga area, "Lead the way Sir Jerome. I'll follow and do my best to destroy the creatures inciting this destruction."

With that, both of them continued on.

Further in, a pair of harpy like creatures darted down from the tops of buildings, met by Sir Gabriel, who brandished his sword and split one of the creatures in two in one swing of his sword mid-jump between buildings.

Sir Jerome was not exactly harmless himself, and he drew his own sword, shouting, "Witness thrice holiness - Trisagion!" The sword crackled with flame and then emitted a cone of flame that incinerated the harpy remaining as it went at him.

Gabriel then cut down a strange creature that seemed halfway between human and plant life, its shrieking only getting louder as Gabriel sent a powerful bolt with a thrust from Arondight through its main body, interrupting an attempt by it to feed on bound villagers. Its roots then disintegrated and freed the villagers after it perished.

He then landed on the ground near where the monster had stood.

"What horrid creatures these are...how did they emerge from the good citizens here?"

Jerome incinerated another of the odd plant-like monsters mid-attempt at feeding, and stated, "We are getting close to the source of this explosive epidemic, so we may well get our answer. We have not seen hide nor hair of Sir Galavan since we arrived here...how odd."

However neither let that stop them.

Both continued deeper into the village, the fire having done quite a lot of damage the deeper they went in. Eventually, they reached the mayoral office, which was absolutely totaled by what looked like an intensive battle long before their arrival. A dead monster rested on the ground...

And Gabriel covered his mouth.

Sir Galavan's corpse was right next to the dead monster, and the creature so evidently responsible was now in sight based on the frantic beeping from Jerome's device.

The cause of the event was feeding upon the dead knight's body. It resembled a tremendous metallic locust with a vicious gargoyle-like face, red light pouring out of carved looking eyes. Its curved teeth tore meat out of the fallen knight's body, and it stood to full height to regard its new foes.

Sir Jerome's men arrived shortly behind the two knights, murmurs of disgust and horror shared between the knights.

Gabriel readied his sword and shouted, "Be strong! This is the monster that inflicted this disaster upon Giorga!" And that was all he said, followed by running along the ground right into the fight. The creature attempted to fend him off, which got one of its limbs torn off by a swing of Gabriel's sword.

His eyes widened however as the monstrosity's limb simply extended a black mist that then brought the limb back on.

This was followed by a burst of dark wind generated by its wings sending Gabriel backward.

He tried to dart back in, but the creature seemed to expect him, striking the knight and sending him backward through one of the remaining walls of the mayoral building. It didn't hurt as much as it could've courtesy of his armor, but that was a heavy blow regardless.

Jerome attempted to take advantage of its distraction to attack with his flames, shooting a tremendous firebird from his free hand at the horrific locust. While this blew off a few of its legs and limbs, even ripping clean its jaw, all of the above simply flew back on via the black mist contained in its body.

It followed that up by swiping at Jerome, sending him flying backward via another burst of dark wind.

Such was the fight for a good twenty minutes, both knights tried to strike at it - and the monster simply regenerated and struck back harder and harder.

Gabriel managed to control his movement and stopped next to Jerome after one particularly heavy strike, "...nothing we do seems to stop it for long! It regenerates too fast!"

The lesser knights tried to step forward, prompting Gabriel and Jerome to move to the sides, shooting yellow blasts from swords and lances both at the Apollyon, which simply walked right through them, not even taking any damage.

Gabriel and Jerome then fired off a lightning blast and a fire burst at the Apollyon from the left and right respectively, which again just resulted in the monster regenerating the damage soon after taking it.

Gabriel cursed to himself, "Dammit! It just keeps on regenerating, nothing seems to slow it down..."

"Watch out!" Jerome shouted, just in time for Gabriel to move, seeing the creature readying its own attack.

A number of black orbs formed as the Apollyon gripped two of its claws together - in greater and greater numbers around it, and it then fired them off in a tremendous range but at very slow speeds. Gabriel and Jerome easily dodged, but a couple especially cocky lesser knights didn't move in time...and promptly entirely turned charred black at contact from that.

Those so affected them crumbled to dust.

A couple of the knights commentated, "It kills instantaneously..."

"...hah, if we just dodge, then it'll..." He barely had a chance to complete his sentence when the Apollyon moved in, ripping through both commenting knights' throats with its claws.

Gabriel grimaced and charged back in, thinking of something, "Follow my lead and back me up!" He couldn't just dodge and run away and let this thing wreak its damage on the men without doing anything!

Jerome muttered, "I fail to see what charging in will do, but anything to bring this to a close..." The flame knight promptly followed.

Gabriel dodged several swipes of the creature's claws, and then stabbed Arondight into the monster's torso...followed by flaring up his power. The clouds above turned black and angry, followed by a huge lightning bolt crashing down on the impaled creature while Gabriel held his sword in there.

He winced due to the heat and force from the lightning crash, the locust abomination stumbling on its feet, barely any of the black mist remaining as it tried to repair the damage done to it. Jerome then darted in and shouted, "Yes! I have to strike before it can restore itself!"

Jerome then ignited his sword and struck up close, igniting a tremendous explosion that shattered the shell of the monster. Both knights skidded backward due to the sheer impact produced. Gabriel breathed harshly, and saw Jerome doing likewise.

Only the lower body of the monster remained, looking charred by their combined effort.

Slowly the remains of the creature disintegrated, and Gabriel sighed - he'd hoped to see the apothecaries collect samples on that, such that they could understand whatever that thing was.

Both men felt battered, exhausted, and confused - this was beyond their normal experiences, and well beyond anything they'd seen even during the Reclamation War. They then looked at one another and both sighed. The King would need to know about this.
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