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 Chapter 1: Crack of Dawn

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Red Blizzard

Posts : 164
Join date : 2011-05-30
Age : 25
Location : Elsewhere

PostSubject: Chapter 1: Crack of Dawn   Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:22 pm



“Jeez, you don’t have to be so serious, you know? This is just a scouting mission.”

“I know, but just to be safe.”

“Whatever.” A pause. “I can’t believe we have to do this stupid job. Who’s going to wake up in the middle of the night just to come attack us?”

There was a rustle in the bushes. Then a squirrel scampered out. Someone exhaled.

“That scared you, didn’t it?”

“Shut up.”

“Make me.”

“This is so stupid. Why are we together anyways? I can’t stand you when nobody else is around.”

“They put us together because we’re…”


The two of them looked up. Leaves floated to the ground around them, shaken loose by a sudden, jarring motion of the earth.


One backed up, muttering a few precursory words. The other one started to crack her knuckles, then remembered that she didn’t have knuckles.


One of them gave the other a look.


“Well? Go on. Find out what is it.”


Two nearby trees were reduced to splinters as a dark, hulking figure emerged out of the darkness, its mass blotting out the stars.

Immediately, a stream of red arrows it in the face, sending it stumbling back, shielding its eyes. When it opened them again, the air had turned a sickly, glowing green. The beast paused in hesitation, not sure what to expect next. The response was almost instant, as a red blur came swooping in out of the left, an oversized fist slamming into its face. It went careening into a clump of trees, crushing them all as it fell over. Prickly branches and pointed tips jabbed into its back, jolting it back onto its feet almost instantly. But it swayed very slightly, befuddled by its opponent’s onslaught. As it struggled to regain its senses, a haunting voice reached its ears, and his eyes led him to believe that a host of figures were now in front of him, not just one, each one wielding a blade that seemed to meld into the half-light, nearly impossible to see.

“Pixie, cut it out.” In the background, the girl in the purple dress paused in the middle of her singing and turned.

“Come on Dawn, it’s the only way I can use my best magic.” Her ethereal copies wavered as her singing stretched on into silence.

“Well, it’s bugging me. Why don’t you let me fight instead?”

“How about no? First one to kill this creep gets a cookie from the loser.”

“You’re on!” Dawn charged forward, red stealth suit blurring in her intense speed. This time, the shadowy giant was ready, crouched forward to spring. As Dawn neared it, leg muscles tensed. Then the beast pounced. Earth spattered the air in a fountain of mud and rock, but the creature’s claws came up empty handed. Too late, it saw a flash of red behind its back, and felt the bite of a blade digging deep into its hide. Roaring with pain, it wheeled around, just as Pixie finished charging parallel balls of black and white magic. Merging them together, she blasted them at the monster’s head. A roar went out into the night, toppling a few more nearby trees, as the creature wheeled around, more furious than actually hurt.

“Jeez, for once we get a monster that’s just as hard as it looks.”

“Excuse me?” Dawn was suddenly above the beast, blades formed out of each arm as she bashed the creature repeatedly. Its thick hide sustained the brunt of the damage, barely allowing more than a knick to pierce below the surface of the skin. Its flailing arms reached up, and for a moment, Dawn saw no way out of the enclosing fingers. Then, Pixie grabbed one hand, elongating the nails into scythe-like claws, then slashed upwards at the beast’s exposed arm. Muscles rent apart, and as Dawn slid down its back to safety, the arm collapsed to the creature’s side, hanging dead and loose.

With one side completely open, the beast could do nothing but shamble and roar as Dawn pummeled one side, red arms constantly switching between various different shapes and forms in an attempt to break through the skin. Slowly but surely, she succeeded, and as the creature pulled back into the safety of the woods, it left a smear of dark, thick blood on each tree it brushed passed. In the darkness, Dawn couldn’t tell what exactly the creature was, even after coming in contact with it. All she knew was that it was big and stupid, not knowing in the least how to utilize its great strength. Pixie knew exactly what it was, her twilight aura illuminating its features, but she didn’t feel like sharing info with Dawn. Cookies were at stake here.

Dawn was half-tempted to follow the giant into the forest, but then again, she didn’t know what else was in there. More likely than not a host of reinforcements. But Dawn ended up not having to decide, as the beast came crashing back out of the woods, a fallen tree trunk wielded in one hand as a massive club. The first swing roared through the air, forcing Dawn up and away, bone necklace jangling. She spared a glance down at the interlocked skeletal arms once she was safely out of the way; a grisly reminder of what happened when she wasn’t careful enough. Her magical red arms transformed in mid-air into the wings of an eagle, lifting her high above the earth, bordering on the edge of the lake. Or, as it was properly known, the Grave, the mass-burial grounds for Requiem’s fallen warriors. It was said that on clear nights one could see straight to the bottom where the decaying bodies rested. Now, Dawn didn’t look in that direction, instead angling herself so that she could see her opponent in the moonlight. She could barely make out squinting red eyes, a mouth full of misshapen teeth, a spiked tail, and horns. So it was the stereotypical demon, big and stupid. But what was one doing here? Allowing no time to dwell on the thought, Dawn switched out of her wings in mid-air, reverting back to human arms for a split second as she decided on what to do next.

Next never happened.

An arrow was suddenly there, sticking out on both sides of her head, feathered tail still quivering, metal head crimson and wet. Dawn’s eyes were transfixed and glazed open, her mouth slightly agape, as she plummeted through the air. Her red arms disappeared back into the raw magic from whence they were made, her bony necklace clattering to pieces as the life-force that sustained them dried up and withered away. From a distance, she seemed to become a red line, painted in mid-air as she streaked to the earth, disappearing in a plume of white foam as her body struck the surface of the lake, just off-shore. Slowly, she came to a rest on the white, sandy bottom, where the fishes paid no attention to the body as it slowly dyed the water pink.

There was no pause on the battlefield, no moment of silence to mourn the fallen. Pixie was all action, spotting the dark figure on a rocky outcrop on the other side of the lake, ideal for sniping. She saw the glint of a second arrow, saw the demon in front of her with the club, decided it was time. With an unearthly scream, Pixie rose into the air, black and white armor spreading across her body and enveloping the fairy wings on her back. In each hand a sword appear, curved and jagged, while a metallic, grinning mask hid her face from view. Insanity, her final form.

An arrow struck her from behind, splintering and clattering to the ground in pieces. Pixie ignored the sniper, leaving him for later. First, she would take out the demon. Then she would fly across the lake later and deal with the other one. Adding assurance to her thoughts, Pixie flew circles around the demon experimentally, probing for weak spots with her blades. The demon, fresh off the kill of the first opponent, hadn’t yet pulled itself back into battle mode, and was dumbfounded when its tendons were systematically snipped by precise cuts all around its body. As the demon was brought to its knees by the pin-point attacks, its arms flailed instinctively, club swishing through the air. Pixie bobbed and weaved among the ill-timed strikes, arrows bouncing off her armor, delivering a painful death with every stroke. She wanted the enemy to feel it in its very bones before she dealt the ending blow, and made sure of it, waling away only where she could afford to, cutting back just before the pain became numbing. In this way, the demon was crying with pain even before she was halfway through. Almost delighting herself with the damage she was now causing, Pixie lost her grief in her new emotions, toying with the demon as a cat would toy with a mouse. Here, a loose nerve end touched. There, a few strings of muscle snapped. There was rhyme, but no reason, to her fighting as she continued to prolong the fight. But as she ran out of fresh nerves to jab, the demon regained a cursory amount of its senses, and remembered just enough to raise its club up for a swing while Pixie wheedled away at its chest. Looking up in time, Pixie saw her impending doom, flying up and away out of reach.


The edge of a tree-root hooked onto one of Pixie’s wings, dragging her in and under the falling tree trunk, slamming her into the ground. Armor shattered, magic scattered, and Pixie was left defenseless under the crushing weight of the demon’s weapon. She closed her eyes, waiting for an easy death. She didn’t get one. The demon, still dying from pain, easily wrapped a fist around Pixie’s body. Barely resisting the urge to squeeze the life out of her, the demon instead held her gently but firmly, and dunked her under water before she could regain her breath. It held her there for several minutes, feeling her body squirm. The hand only let go once she had ceased to struggle.

Out of the woods behind it, the demon heard a twig snap. Whirling around, it saw only a black, hooded figure, longbow in one hand. The demon grunted, dropping the tree trunk and shambling over to the sniper, trailing blood from many wounds, wincing with every step.

“The second one was rather interesting. My arrows were useless there. I didn’t know that anyone in Requiem had a secret final form like that. Then again, I’ve hardly come in contact with them before now.” The demon snorted, steam issuing from its nostrils as it barely understood the words coming from the cloaked figure. It only knew to obey those superior to it in both intelligence and strength. This figure was certainly one of them.

“Ah well, enough wasting time here. We’ve done our job sending Requiem the message. Let’s go before your leader decides to withhold payment.” The hooded figure turned to leave, demon shambling on behind it.

“Oh, go on ahead and report to your master in whatever language he speaks in. I can’t stand the sight of you walking around like that.” The demon scratched its head, then continued on back to where it came from, leaving the hooded figure alone on the shores of the lake. Nobody would find out about the two bodies until the crack of dawn. Still, he would make sure that the message was well-received. Following the orders from his contract, the figure dropped a demonic crest in the water over the two bodies, watching its metal weight swiftly sink it to the bottom to rest upon the breast of the second girl. Then, he turned to leave, only to pause yet again.

Almost as an afterthought, he admired the way his arrow had punctured the first girl’s head. Then, he looked up at Requiem Castle, glimmering in the distance. He could have done it, if he had really wanted to. He could have put an arrow through every window in the castle, potentially rousing the entire clan from its sleep, narrowly missing most of those exposed to his fire. But he wasn’t being paid to do it, and the risks weren’t worth it. He was only after one man anyways. With a sigh, the man turned away, but as he did so, he pulled back his hood.

The moon had set, and in the dimming starlight, a great hollow was revealed in the man’s head; a great black abyss in the skull stretching from the left eye socket up to the crown of the skull and onwards, a grand total of a quarter of the face just gone, replaced by a black emptiness. In the spot where the eyeball should have been, only a red orb hung, glowing. Rubbing the stubble of a beard on his chin, and sleeking back his hair, the great mercenary, Bremen, reflected on his last encounter with Requiem. Then he thought no more of it. A blink, and he was gone, no trace left but a few wisps of smoke.

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Chapter 1: Crack of Dawn
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