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 Chapter 6: Ten Minutes

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Red Blizzard

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

PostSubject: Chapter 6: Ten Minutes   Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:46 pm

Dye was not happy. This was abnormal, for the Captain who loved battle more than most things, and usually jumped at any chance to get out and do something. The cause of this discomfort wasn’t readily known to anyone who didn’t know him, but for those close to him, the details were as prominent as day. Jake was leading the charge. This was a position that Dye usually reserved for himself, and he resented anyone else leading the way into battle. But this time, there had to be an exception.

For starters, he couldn’t run fast enough. The second-rate armor he had rented for this battle was nothing like the Guardian armor he was accustomed to. Here, the knee joints squeaked and the plating was a little tight around the midriff. The shoulder plates clamped down painfully on his bulging biceps, and the tiny chainskirt seemed more like a token to modesty rather than a functioning piece of protection. If he ran at full speed, more likely than not he would tear the leg pieces apart, cut himself against the tight elbow pieces, cough for the lack of being able to breathe through the narrow chestplate, and swish the chainskirt everywhere, exposing a pair of pink moglin boxers.

So Dye silently fumed and let Jake led the charge into battle against the Demons of Hell. Jake did so with gusto, screaming at the top of his high-pitched voice, watery blue eyes fierce for once. Anyone from the outside would mistake his charge for a fool’s tactic, with absolutely no thought thrown into it. But Jake, who had spent half his life with a demon living inside him, had nurtured a deep-rooted hatred for these otherworldly beings. All this came out in one brilliant flash as he officially commenced Requiem’s war, slicing off the foot of a demon, climbing up the wounded stump, dragging his blade along the length of the demon’s knee, then finishing with an uppercut that split the demon’s chin as it came tumbling down, unbalanced and unlucky. Jake’s fish-shaped blade came out black with blood, the first demon crashing to the ground in pieces.

The various members of Dye’s squad leapt into action behind Jake, carving up the demons. Dye allowed his eyes to linger for a few seconds on the bloodbath before charging into the fray himself. He uttered a half-hearted battle roar that frightened no one, then unsheathed a massive claymore from his back. He looked at the claymore in disgust. It was too light for his tastes. Too light, and the balance was way off. The oversized pommel transferred the center of balance to the middle of the handle, making his swings too light and too superficial. Dye found this out the hard way with the first demon leg he took a whack at. The blade pinged off solid bone with a light ring, the pommel counteracting the next swing with a furious rotation in the wrong direction. The demon looked down, feeling something tickling its shin. In frustration, Dye rammed the pommel into the demon’s leg, shattering both leg and pommel in the same blow.

Suddenly, the balance shifted in the complete opposite direction. The blade was now top-heavy to a fault. While Dye didn’t exactly mind the change, it didn’t make things any better. His stab was deflected in the offing, wind pressing against the flat of the blade and swinging it way off so that it bit empty air. The demon sank to one knee, arm coming down, claws out in a giant death rake. Dye looked up, instinctively igniting his blade in flames and raising it to parry. To his mild horror, the blade went limp, molten metal flopping about before finally dripping away in hissing silvery drops, leaving Dye with a useless handle. The next thing he knew, three demon claws were jammed into his gut, cracking his armor and pricking his skin. Dye was heaved through the air, send face-first down into the dirt several yards away. Dye looked up, wiping the grime away with his gauntlet. The air was crackling cold, filled with flakes of hardened ice. He had landed beside Edvin and Icy Feather, who were busy hewing at the regular foot soldiers coming to defend their camp. His own sword useless, Dye extended his hand out to Icy Feather just as he was in the middle of slicing someone in half.

“Lemme borrow that for a second.” Icy looked up as Dye snatched his blade right out of his hands. Dye tested its edge against the first enemy he saw, carving through his armor like paper. The blade itself faintly resembled Dye’s old scimitar, with its single, curved edge and worn, wrapped handle. But he frowned as he beheaded a second soldier and skewered a third. “Too light,” he muttered, and tossed the blade back to Icy. He in turn struggled to get it swinging again with both hands.

Dye looked around. The battle was going wildly in their favor. What temporary advantage they had gained at first through the shock of their appearance had now turned into a permanent advantage as they swept through the forward parts of the camp like a storm of blades and armor. But they could do better. Most of the demons had been left untouched in favor of fighting the weaker foot soldiers. Edvin and Icy Feather were having great success where they were. A little ways away, Oblivion’s massive claymores hewed wide swathes out of the crowd of soldiers surrounding him. Marcus was near him, golden shield reflecting what meager light reached the camp. Jake could be seen, a little ways behind, with a guy known as Sword Saint. He was Aeon’s apprentice, mastering the ways of metal, and could levitate swords in the air as if it were no one’s business. Aeon himself no longer fought, having become too engrossed in smithing for the Requiem armory to retain any stamina for battle. At their spot in the battle, a maelstrom of whirling blades churned up the air and prevented any soldiers from stepping close to him.

Dye turned in time to see a demon towering above him. Not overly concerned, Dye erupted in a plume of orange flame. Too late, he forgot that his armor wasn’t suited to withstand the intense heat. Looking down, he saw his chestplate come unhinged, glowing brightly at the edges, the heat spreading inwards towards the center. He grabbed it, ripped it off, and flung it upwards like a great, molten discus. It struck the demon’s forehead full on. Normally, its flight would have ended right then and there, pinging off the demon’s thick skull. But having been heated to somewhere upwards of a thousand degrees, it sliced through like a knife through butter, streaming gore as it came out the back of the demon’s head. Dye casually began to move one side, forgot that he was still encased in molten armor, and felt his knee joints melt together. Swearing, he kicked his way out of the molten iron, felt the chainskirt drop, ignored everything as he ran for his life, the demon’s corpse looming large over the sky. He got out of the way just in time, freeing himself from the last bits of molten armor. Then he swore loudly. There he was, standing in the middle of the battlefield in nothing more than his boxers.

One enemy soldier, in the middle of tussling with an Edvin clone, saw Dye’s pink moglin underwear and made the mistake of pointing and laughing. His finger was chopped off by the clone, then his flesh was roasted off his bones as Dye strode forward, gripped him by the throat, and ignited him. As the sizzling body was dropped, Dye looked around. There didn’t seem to be much to worry about, other than his dignity. For the most part, Requiem was winning. The demons were still lumbering about, but they were dazed and confused by the various enemies crawling up their legs. Of the human soldiers of the Demons of Hell, little was left to be said. The Shadowstorm Elites had taken an entire day to be wiped out, and the 13 Lord of Chaos had taken several days. The Demons of Hell took ten minutes. Dye expected Saint to finish up his side of the affair shortly, hoping the demons would disappear back into their own dimension once their summoners had died. So all that was left was...

An arrow whistled through the air, striking Dye full on in the chest. Through sheer, raw instinct, Dye burned the arrow to ashes and sealed the wound on his chest. Temporary, but good enough. Then he ignited himself fully again, watching as arrows came at him one after another, passing through the heart of his flames. None touched him. Squinting to see, Dye peered through the tents, barely making out a blurred figure dashing through the shadows. The arrows kept coming, from directions he thought impossible. He tried to see the blurred figure more clearly, tracing its erratic motion pattern while the ashes piled up at his bare feet. Teleportation? Too fast for the ordinary kind...blink teleporting? Dye tried to make sense of this. Then he heard the first scream.

The scream came from Edvin, who had cut down two soldiers and was wiping the sweat from his brow when an arrow caught him under his armpit. He fell, screaming in pain, all of his clones disappearing as two more arrows followed the first, stitching his side. Dye’s head swiveled, but the blur was gone already, pumping more arrows at Edvin from all directions. How did the assailant know which Edvin was the real one? In any case, he didn’t have much time to worry. Dye considered his options. He couldn’t protect Edvin as he was now. His flames would roast his comrade alive worse than what any arrows could do to him. At the same time, he couldn’t just watch him die. Bending down in front of Edvin, Dye positioned himself between the camp and Edvin. Several arrows hissed and melted before his flaming body, but behind him, Dye could hear the sound of blink teleportation; knew someone was there.

Suddenly, a golden orb was flung over Edvin’s body, arrows deflected on all sides. Dye found himself on the inside of this orb, and turned around to tend to Edvin. Arrows stuck into him from all angles in a thicket of iron and feathers. Dye plucked away a few arrows futilely, feeling Edvin’s body wince as the barbed arrowheads ripped out chunks of meat on each hook. It was hopeless; Edvin would be dead long before he could figure out how to heal him. Where was Priest when he needed him!?!?!? Dye looked around wildly, saw Icy Feather crouched by the body as well.

“Don’t worry, I think I can heal him.” Icy Feather’s face was concerned, but not panicking.

Dye glanced up with a curious look on his face. “I never knew you were a healer.”

“It only works for ice users. Anyways, don’t worry about it. Whoever’s shooting those arrows is going to be busy.” Dye nodded and looked up. The golden orb around them had suddenly faded, exposing them once more to the harsh battlefront. Dye scanned the field to get an idea of how the fight was going. And that was when Marcus fell.

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Chapter 6: Ten Minutes
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