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 Chapter 17: Wind against Earth, Friend against Friend

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Red Blizzard

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

PostSubject: Chapter 17: Wind against Earth, Friend against Friend   Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:03 am

Author: Red Blizzard

Creed and Oblivion squared off in the middle of the camp. A large swathe of tents had been cleared away by earlier fighting, making for a wide-open battlefield. Oblivion noted the place with approval. Here and there, razor-sharp rocks jutted up from the ground, dotting the bald face of the earth, while below them, massive, buried boulders waited, positioned perfectly to be used. Above them, the wind screamed through the camp, blown by the blessings of three of the four winds. Creed secretly smiled as he heard words of encouragement carried to him by the wind. For both sides, this was the perfect fight.

Creed held the initial advantage, hovering several hundred feet up in the air on black wings. Oblivion looked up, seeing the black angel’s silhouette against the milky white background of the moon. He gave the ground a small kick, and a great, rocky pillar rose up beneath him, allowing him to rise rapidly up to Creed’s height. Creed dove down to meet Oblivion, and his scythe clashed up against one of Oblivion’s claymores. The attack brought both to a standstill, but Creed pulled back first, flying backwards, upwards, then circling around Oblivion, probing for weak points. He slashed outwards again experimentally, coming in from the left side. Oblivion slammed into Creed with his claymore, sending him spiraling backwards. Immediately, Creed flew over to his other side, scything in from the right. Again, he was rebuffed by a low clang, Oblivion’s claymore had a long reach and a broad blade, allowing for him to parry the scythe while staying at a relatively long distance. Creed immediately changed tactics, soaring upwards, only to dive down upon Oblivion from behind, scythe glinting in the moonlight.

A massive spike of rock shot up from the surface of the pillar, covering Oblivion’s back and stopping the scythe cold. Oblivion tried to crack through the rock’s hard surface, but made nothing but sparks fly. Was Oblivion enhancing the rock’s hardness? Creed pulled back to analyze the situation at a safe distance, then blasted Oblivion with a gust of wind, trying to knock him off the pillar. Oblivion hunkered down low, eyes averted away from the shrieking wind, but he could still feel his feet slipping, the edge of the pillar inching towards him. He twitched a finger, and a wall of rock rose up behind him, stopping his fall. In front, he summoned another wall of rock, blocking the onslaught of wind. Meanwhile, Creed circled around the sides of the pillar, trying to break down Oblivion’s base. Finding a critical point near the bottom of the pillar, he rushed in with his scythe. Suddenly, a spike of rock jutted out of the pillar, stabbing forward to meet him. He averted disaster at the last second, swerving to one side. More spikes of rock erupted from the pillar wherever Creed turned, forcing him away from the pillar. He rose up to the upper levels, and encountered a thorny resistance there as well. Not deterred, he dove in with his scythe, slashing at the spikes, trying to get in closer. Two scrapes and a shower of sparks told him everything he needed to know. Oblivion built his defenses well. Time for a different type of offense. Creed backed away from the pillar, a strange gleam in his silver eyes. The black tattoos that spiraled across his body began glowing a brilliant white, and the winds consolidated around him in a whirling fortress more impenetrable than a castle’s walls. In the winds, Creed could hear the laughter of his brothers, egging him on. His white hair began to grow, extending behind him and dancing in the silver light of the moon. His muscles tensed in anticipation. This was going to be a good fight.

Oblivion couldn’t see anything through the stone walls he had erected around himself, but the lack of sounds way up here was not a comforting thing. He wanted to at least hear someone dying, for god’s sake, rather than the lonely silence way up here. Was this how Creed felt whenever he fought? Time to put him out of his misery then, if that was the case. He gave the pillar of earth a little kick, retracting most of the stone walls but leaving a few spikes of rock lining the pillar’s top at regular intervals, like a cage of stone. Then, the pillar, spikes along its length fully extended, began to rotate. As it began to pick up speed, Oblivion spun the top of the pillar in the other direction to keep the world around him from becoming a blur. Now was not the time to make himself dizzy, but at least send a message to Creed.

Creed saw the spinning pillar, its sides a blur as a wall of moving spikes shredded the very air around it. And he got the message. Oblivion was impatient. No time to keep him waiting now, was it? Creed folded his black wings in behind him, and dove into the pillar, scythe fully extended. He smashed right through the thicket of spikes, the whirling winds doing their job to keep the spikes away from him. His scythe dug deep into the pillar, ripping out a chunk of earth. The winds enlarged the hole in the pillar, chewing away at dirt and loose rock. Then Creed was through, a gaping hole in the pillar behind him. Robbed of its support, the pillar collapsed upon the hole, and broke in half, the bottom falling in one direction, the top falling in another. Oblivion was thrown out of his rocky cage and fell into free-fall. Twenty feet away from a hard landing, Oblivion turned his eyes towards the ground and gave the earth a small nod. A giant’s hand, completely made out of stone, erupted from the ground and gently caught Oblivion, bearing him up into the fray. Creed watched all this with not a flicker of emotion on his face. Then, nearing the end of his dive, he spread his wings and sped forward again.

On his first pass, Creed scored nothing more than a few glancing hits off Oblivion’s armor. Oblivion responded with slashes from his claymores, missing completely and nearly throwing himself off-balance. Creed changed direction in mid-air and came rushing back like a boomerang for a second pass. This time, Oblivion was ready. Creed rolled over Oblivion’s first claymore slash, but was forced to parry his second attack with an upwards flick of his scythe, stopping the blade just inches from his face. The momentum of the swing sent him rolling backwards again, so that he came to a stop ten feet away from the giant hand. To his shock, the hand’s fingers began moving, coming at him one after another, each one tipped with a spike of stone. Creed found himself parrying attacks from its pinkie, its forefinger, its ring finger, its middle one…where was the thumb? The thumb came stabbing in from the side, and Creed narrowly blocked that one as well. The barrage of stone kept him occupied, so that he didn’t notice anything else until the moon’s glow was blotted out by a massive shadow. Creed looked up to see a second, giant hand coming down to catch him. Oblivion watched with satisfaction as the hand clenched into a fist and slammed into the ground. Anything inside that hand was bound to be crushed. But suddenly, a shadow, up among the stars. Oblivion looked up to see Creed, flying free, untouched by the hand. This guy was way too fast for him to catch by conventional means, and if he couldn’t catch him, he couldn’t harm him.

Creed summoned the winds again, hearing them scream with delight, and sent them at Oblivion’s stone hand. The wind rushed in from all sides, taking chunks out of the hand, tearing away all loose dirt until there was nothing but a skeleton of stone. Without its softer support, the hard rock cracked under the weight of Oblivion’s armor and crumbled to pieces. Before he had time to twitch, Oblivion slammed into the ground, sending a jet of dust shooting into the air. Creed didn’t stop there, sending the winds blasting downwards, pinning Oblivion to the ground. Unable to move, cheek up against the earth, Oblivion could do nothing but shut his eyes and listen to his surroundings. He focused hard on the wind, barely able to decipher anything else through it. As he listened, he heard little voices that chattered incessantly. And when he focused on those voices, they suddenly became louder, as if someone had opened a door into a particularly noisy bar.

“Face-down in the dirt!” “You like that, don’t ya?” “The winds are everywhere!” “Can’t stop us!” “Nana nana nana!!!” “There is nothing you can do…..” “Give up?”

Oblivion stood up with an almost superhuman strength and, with a roar of fury worthy of Dye himself, smashed his foot into the ground. Around the perimeter of the battlefield, four massive prongs of solid stone erupted from the earth. They soared up into the sky, their pointed tips lost somewhere in the night, the bases of the prongs forming into thick walls of rock. Then, at the very top, the four prongs met, and the walls of rock joined, creating a massive dome of stone that trapped everything inside of it: air, earth, light, sound, breath, and Creed. Everyone who was still fighting looked up from their battles at the sight of this spectacular apparition, paying it the homage of their glances before returning to their respective fights.

Inside, Creed was stunned, and he fell to the ground, suddenly robbed of his ability to fly. The air here was heavy and sluggish, refusing to bend to his will, and there was no light for him to see. In the darkness, he suddenly felt alone. So very alone. He couldn’t even hear the sounds of his brothers beating ceaselessly up against the stone walls of this place. No sound, no sight, no smell, no fight. Creed experimentally made his way up to the walls of the battlegrounds and felt his way along the wall with one hand. A sudden idea, and he struck the wall with his scythe. A few sparks scattered, landing among a tiny patch of grass that had managed to be trapped inside. Creed carefully fed the sparks with a steady flow of air, and soon, he had a tiny fire going. Another gust of air, and sparks from the flame leaped onto another patch of grass. A final burst of wind, and the flames spread along the edge of the arena like wildfire, igniting other strands of grass that had been trapped just within the stone walls. Creed lessened the flow of air just a little so that the grass wouldn’t burn out too fast, then made his way to the center of the arena. Oblivion was there, waiting for him. A change had seemed to overcome Oblivion. In the center of the battlefield, no fires flickered, and his face was hidden in darkness, only his eyes reflecting the fires that lined the place. His armor also shined, but barely, glinting a dark grey tinged with orange. In each hand, his massive claymores seemed to absorb the light of the fires and almost glowed of their own accord, flashing in the darkness.

“You’re dead.” His voice was low and gravelly, though his labored breath showed that he was struggling to keep calm.

“We’ll see about that.” Creed met Oblivion’s gaze with bright silver eyes. His tattoos were still brilliant white with energy, and his long hair floated behind him even though there was hardly a breeze in this place. “What is this place you’ve made, anyways?”

“This place? This is your tomb.” Creed laughed at Oblivion’s words, stirring him. “What makes you so confident? Oh, I almost forgot. You’re the Zephyr, god of the west wind.”

“That’s nothing to sneer about. What, are you going to hold a grudge against me just because I can fly?”

Oblivion didn’t respond, but remained silent for the longest time. At long last, he spoke. “I heard your brothers talking to me while you were blasting me earlier. Nice bunch, aren’t they?”

“Yeah. They’re free to do whatever they want, so once in a while they give me a helping hand.”

“That got me wondering. If you’re an all-powerful wind god, then what are you doing hanging around with a bunch of mortals like us?”

Creed’s face changed, his features hardening. When he spoke, it was a different person who spoke, one who spoke of a life longer than his own. “I was exiled. Among the great ones who control the forces of Lore, it is forbidden to directly interact with humans. You cannot marry a mortal, nor can you kill a mortal. Even Death himself cannot collect souls unless they have been severed from their bodies. But I…I killed a man. I won’t go into the details, but I was bound into a single form for my crime, doomed to die as a mortal, before I can retake my former place among the four winds.”

Oblivion rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, cool story bro…” Creed moved so fast Oblivion didn’t even realize it until he saw the ground turn crimson in the firelight. The next moment, a searing pain was in his shoulder, and one arm suddenly stiffened, its ability to react slowed by a severed clavicle. Creed’s scythe had bitten deep into his armor, and now dripped with blood. Oblivion bit his lip, ignoring the pain, and stamped the ground. Spikes of stone shot out of the ground all around Creed, and he instinctively flapped his great black wings, taking off from the ground. Flying under the strength of his own wings, Creed looked down on Oblivion.

“You know, that always had me curious. You don’t use words to summon your spells, but instead rely on small movements to command the earth. Where did you learn your brand of magic?”

Oblivion smiled, feeling the earth comforting him below, easing the pain in his wound. “This kind of magic is not learned. It’s inherited. While you get your powers from your immortality, I get my powers from my parents. My mother was a human alright, one of the Amazon warriors who fought in place of men. But my father…my father was the Earth Giant, Antaeus.” No wonder, Creed thought to himself, as he watched Oblivion gather his strength. The Amazon would begin to explain his superhuman strength, but the Earth Giant! There was power enough to match his own, though both of them were little more than shadows of their predecessors’ strength. Now was not time to be wasting time.

Creed tucked in his wings and dived in at Oblivion, stirring the sluggish air inside the arena to action. His scything edge, power redoubled by the wind, sliced through two consecutive earth barriers erected by Oblivion. As Creed approached, Oblivion hefted his claymores, his wounded shoulder functioning properly for the moment. Their weapons met in a clash of sparks. Creed pulled his scythe away from above, ducking under Oblivion’s guard and moving in for an uppercut. Oblivion kicked Creed away, his knee guard blocking the scythe attack. As soon as one attack was repelled, Creed tried another one. He reversed direction on his scythe, whirling around to make a stab at Oblivion’s knee from behind. Oblivion brought his claymore up and over his shoulder, bringing it down to parry Creed’s attack once again. While before, Creed had easily outmatched Oblivion’s speed, here they were moving evenly. Creed made another scythe attack from the other side, trying to hook onto Oblivion’s arm. Instead, he found the other claymore coming for him, and was forced to duck. Immediately, Oblivion brought down both claymores, slamming them into the ground where Creed had been just a moment ago. Creed had taken the opportunity to slide backwards, out of range for the moment as he tried to analyze the situation .Then he felt it: the heavy, draining power of the earth, weighing down his movements, slowing his reaction times, feeding his doubts and fears. This place was poison to him, and if he didn’t find a way out, then Oblivion was right. It was going to be his tomb.

Oblivion’s claymores dug deep into the earth, sinking in up to their hilts. Then he gave them both a slight twitch, and parallel spikes of rock sped towards Creed, tearing up the ground in front of them. Confronted with moving lines of ten-foot tall spikes, Creed tried launching into the air, but with the air so still inside, he couldn’t move fast enough. On his first downwards flap, the stone spikes shot upwards, stabbing through each wing, impaling them. Creed ripped free of the spikes and soared upwards to nurse his wounds. Each wing had been badly torn up, and he was barely keeping aloft. A shower of black feathers fell from him, robbing Creed of badly needed lift. He needed a way out, fast. Creed flew up to the top of the stone dome, listening to the outside world. On the other side of the stone wall, his brothers were still hammering on the dome, their invisible hands scraping the surface to no avail. Creed answered their hammers with a rap of his scythe. At the sound, the winds outside began raging more fiercely than ever, stirred to action by the sign of life within. Now to answer their call…Creed stretched himself to his limit, reaching out to all the air inside the stone arena. The winds were slowly called to action, stirring upwards to the ceiling to answer the call. Down below, Oblivion could feel his breath being sucked out of his body as Creed took all the air in the dome, compacted it into the leading edge of his scythe, and brought it crashing into the ceiling with all his might.

There were two simultaneous cracks, and the stone dome burst open in a shower of jagged rock. Reunited with the outside wind, Creed summoned the four winds to his command and exploited the cracks in the dome, bringing it down with an almighty crash. As his ‘tomb’ fell apart, he examined the cause of the other crack. His scythe had been jarred by the effort, and the tip had broken away. There was to be no more stabbing with this weapon. Down below, Oblivion dug himself out of the rubble, stood upon a chunk of stone broken off from the dome, then looked around. Creed was up in the air, seemingly unharmed after all this battling. Meanwhile, he himself was beginning to tire. The effort of moving so much dirt around had taken its toll, as had Creed’s wound upon him. Now, with the stone dome gone, Oblivion could feel the full wrath of the wind in his face again, stirring up the biting pain in his shoulder. Creed saw a flicker of that pain betray Oblivion’s stony features, and dove in for the kill.

Oblivion could barely move as he saw Creed diving in towards him yet again, the full might of the four winds on his tail. Oblivion erected the largest stone wall yet, only to watch it smash to pieces as Creed came bursting in, eyes streaming white energy. A flash of metal, and A chunk of metal was torn off Oblivion’s wounded arm, laying the shoulder bare. Creed sped around for a second attack, slicing into the bone as Oblivion struggled to block the attack. He called out weakly to the earth, but this time, heard no voices calling back. Looking around for the cause, Oblivion was stunned into silence. Creed had lifted the stone platform he was standing on into the air, levitating it fifty feet above the ground. Without direct contact with the earth, Oblivion was helpless. He could only watch as Creed went to work on him, slashing at all the critical points on his body. Oblivion could barely keep Creed from killing him outright by parrying blows to the head with his one good arm. But chunks of armor were ripped from his body all the same, and one entire half of his body became crisscrossed with fresh wounds. At long last, Creed sliced into Oblivion’s leg, bringing him to his knees. Creed withdrew the scythe, pulling out tendons and spraying blood. The entire battlefield had been peppered with splashes of crimson. None of it had come from Creed.

“I don’t get it. Why did you run off with Dye? You know that what he did was wrong.”

“I…I…” Oblivion couldn’t bring the words out of his mouth. Creed had punctured one of his lungs. He could only thing different words as Creed said them out loud.

“We used to be on the same side.” Same…side… “I used to respect you for your wisdom and strength.” Wisdom…strength… “Now, I have to kill you in order to save someone that I still have some respect for.” Kill…respect… “Is your loyalty to Dye worth that much to you?” Loyalty…Dye…same side…wisdom…strength…strength…respect… strength respect loyalty wisdom Dye loyaltyDyeloyaltystrengthloyaltystrength…KILL

For the second time that night, Oblivion roared. He roared with his one good lung, blood running down his lips and settling on his chin as he roared with all the strength he had left. Creed took a step back in hesitation, raising his scythe. Oblivion struggled to stand, but the tendons in one leg were gone. He wasn’t going to stand up again that night. Instead, he faced Creed and spat out the few words he had left to say.

“Yes, loyalty is worth everything to me. Dye is the one leader that I’ve truly trusted from the very beginning, and I respect his strength and wisdom to a level that you will never be able to comprehend. If you cannot understand the value of loyalty, then nothing can save you.” Creed attacked before he had registered the words in his head, striking out in fear of what Oblivion might still have to tell him. Oblivion saw the scythe coming down, aiming straight for his head, raised his bad arm to stop it. His ripped tendons complained, but bowed to his will, moving the arm upwards with a speed that they should have long ago lost. The momentum from Creed’s swing sent the dull tip of the scythe through Oblivion’s hand, grinding through bone to stop less than an inch from Oblivion’s head. But it would go no further. With his scythe stuck in Oblivion’s hand, Creed was suddenly defenseless, and he was well aware of the fact. Oblivion wrenched the scythe out of Creed’s hand and swung with his other arm, claymore glinting in the moonlight, reflecting the stars, reflecting the fear in Creed’s face. Creed raised both arms and summoned all the winds howling in as a shield to protect him. One by one, his brothers sent forth their might to stop Oblivion’s blade. Oblivion pressed forward harder. Fifty feet in the air, without contact with the earth, he had no one’s strength to rely on but his own. No, that wasn’t quite true. He still had the strength of his friends behind him, the strength of his captain flowing through his veins like liquid fire, sharpening his determination. His claymore’s edge, dulled by the battle, cut through each layer of air under the strength of sheer resolve, biting through each of the four winds, brushing aside the Zephyr’s brothers, severing their connection with him. In that moment, as the last of the winds fell apart before Oblivion, Creed saw true loneliness, without comfort, without a soul left in the world to care for him. He saw how he had never trusted his brothers of the wind, only using them as a way to fight. How long had it been since he had last flown by their side as an equal? His memory faltered. Through exile, through a lack of comprehension for loyalty, not merely the loyalty to one’s officer out of obedience or a sense of duty, but true loyalty to a friend, trust in a brother, faith in a god, Creed had lost. His world had become a world without friends, a world without brothers. A barren world.

The blade struck Creed full-on, shattering his bones on impact, slashing open his chest, slicing into his neck as he turned his head sideways, unwilling to spend his last moments with the silhouette of his killer filling his vision, unable to stare into his opponent’s eyes. As the blade cut him, the winds left him and departed, abandoning him in his defeat. The air that had held up the platform Oblivion stood on lost its strength, and together, they fell, all the way back to the earth. Oblivion braced himself for the impact, curling together what limbs he still had that were functioning. The ground rushed up to meet him, jarring him as he slammed into it. The stone platform shattered and flew apart, and Oblivion’s feet touched true ground at last. The warmth of the earth scurried up through his metal boots into his body, dulling the physical pain. But it couldn’t dull the mental pain, as Oblivion looked upon the body of the man he had defeated. Creed lay sprawled upon his back, arms outstretched like the wings of a fallen eagle, blood smeared onto the ground behind him, seeping out of his body through various wounds. His true wings had been broken by the fall, and lay, half-folded, behind him. His eyes were shut tight in defiance of death, but his mouth lay slightly open, a small dribble of blood meandering from one corner. Oblivion dug Creed’s scythe out of his hand and placed it next to the body of his fallen opponent. For a moment, he bowed his head in silent respect. Then, the whine of arrows and the clash of swords brought him back to life. He got up, balancing on his one good leg, picked up the one claymore he had left, and hobbled into battle.


A gentle, cold breeze parted the still air over the battlefield, finding its way over to the fallen wind god. It whispered soft words into his deaf ears and wafted fragrant smells to his dead nose. His shut eyes could not see the images dancing before him. The breeze sighed, then rustled through his white hair and blew its way into the gaping hole in his chest, finding his heart, unmoving. The breeze cried as it left the body, rustling onwards into the night. But as it did so, a voice called to it. The breeze heard the voice, rejoiced, and danced through the white strands of the wind god’s hair. Yes, yes, the breeze laughed. Come, come, come with us. The wind god left his body without a backwards glance and rose up into the air. The mighty warrior was left behind in the still body on the battlefield, while his spirit was carried away with the winds.


Last edited by Red Blizzard on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 17: Wind against Earth, Friend against Friend   Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:13 am

Friend against Fri.




In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 17: Wind against Earth, Friend against Friend   Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:14 am

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Chapter 17: Wind against Earth, Friend against Friend
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