Nailah simply watched as Lynn used her water magic, making a puddle beneath the unconscious Dremmick lifting off the ground. He was indeed in an incredibly bad state, but for some reason, neither Dremmick himself wanted to get healed neither the others wanted to get him treated, other than Lynn herself. Probably it had something to do with his strange blood magic he was using earlier, but Nailah wasn't certain. And she surely didn't want to be the one to test that hypothesis.
Without anything better to do, Nailah simply followed both of them. While they were making their way though, suddenly a dark crimson tail appeared from under Dremmick's sash. After hearing Lynn's surprised commentary, Nailah couldn't help but wonder... Didn't she see some weird stumps on his forehead when Lynn turned him? There was also strange scars on his back... With that tail now, things became even more strange... What exactly is Dremmick?"I don't trust him... He has far too many secrets..."
Nailah said, looking to Dremmick's unconscious body and to Allard and Lynn soon afterwards.
Truth be told, he wasn't the only one Nailah didn't liked that much. Aeden, the strange newcomer was another one. Although it wasn't due to the same reason as Dremmick. It was more of a personal thing. She didn't like at all how Aeden acted, almost as if he believed to be more important than everyone else, more capable or more responsible... Sure, he had just arrived, but his first impressions on Nailah weren't very good."So... what are you going to do with him?"
Nailah asked Lynn and Allard, obviously referring to Dremmick.
Everything around that man was just so... strange... He was hiding things and Nailah would definitely know his secrets. Whether he wanted or not..
Before Nailah could say anything more or even Lynn and Allard could answer though, a loud, strange howl cut the night coming deep within the forest.
Anyone that heard it could immediately say it wasn't a normal creature. It's howl somehow sounded... different. It was almost as it sent a chill down their spine as they heard so.
Immediately turning her head towards where the sound came, Nailah quietly listened without emitting a single sound. Her eyes pointing towards where the sound came, almost as if she was trying to draw a straight line to the origin of said sound."This is not a normal animal..."
Nailah finally said, after a few moment in silence.
Lynn looked to Dremmick floating in the air next to her. "I guess all I can do is set him in his room and go ahead to our own rooms. Maybe he-"
but Lynn was cut off as a loud howl filled the air.
Allard looked up at the sound of the howling. He was stunned for a moment. "Everyone, inside, now,"
he said. "Something isn't right. I will go see what it is. It could be another attack, but it could very well be a hunt. Either way it is not safe."
Allard said as he turned, about to make his way in the direction the sound was coming from. His large wings spread out as he prepared to take flight.
Aeden and Nyph looked south when they heard the roar. Something like that could only be considered dangerous. Surely, it was a beast hunting prey in the forest. Surely, no one would be dumb enough to enter the forest at this time of night. ”What are the odds of a beast like that entering the city? I can’t imagine too high.”
He was not too keen on going galvanting into the forest after a mystery monster. Flying at night would be too dangerous for Nyph as he could not see in the dark, so asking the pseudodragon to scout the situation out would be dumb as well. Defending the city from the rampant plants was one thing, but the city would have its own defenses against an exterior attack like a monster.”Allard was it?”
Aeden recalled the quick introduction before he quickly rushed into what he thought was more problems with the plants and turned out to be duel. ”I agree with you. The odds are the city has its own defenses against a wild beast, and I can’t imagine someone being dumb enough to enter the forest at night.”
He noticed the big man was starting to head off towards it. "I'm sure you're capable enough to handle most threats, but is it wise to charge off into something unknown when we don't even know if it's a threat?" "No,"
Allard simply replied, "But who is ta know what it is if we all just wait for it ta arrive. Someone could very well be in danger out there, and if not, then all is well. This is Gaia. We are it's defenses. I will return."
Allard wings lifted himself off the ground.
Aeden felt great respect for Allard’s courage. He nodded firmly at the man’s response. Before Allard got too far, Aeden called out. ”Very well. At the very least allow me to cast a protection spell on you. Just in case the beast or whatever is one of Chaos. Better safe than sorry. I will keep watch here with Nyph and anyone else that cares to help.”
If Allard allowed he would cast Protection from Chaos on him quickly forming the protective rune, so Allard could head out as soon as possible. "It should last an hour provided it doesn't take too much of a beating."
Nailah rolled her eyes when Allard said for them to get inside. She didn't know exactly why, but the deep wounds on that scythe woman from earlier seemingly weren't enough to tell Allard she could protect herself. Even if she wanted to protest though, it would be useless as Allard was already flying away.
After a quick exchange of words with Aeden, who casted a protection spell on Allard as he flew away, Aeden turned to Lynn and Nailah, saying he would stay there to watch over the town. Maybe that Aeden guy wasn't that bad after all... Even though he acted like that a bit earlier..."Say, Aeden... Can you know when your spell is broken? Or if Allard gets hurt? Or any way to know how things are going?"
Nailah asked. While she didn't really wanted to go, if something happened with Allard because she let him go by himself, she would feel guilty."I don't really want to go, but if Allard gets hurt because I let him go by himself I would feel a bit guilty."
Nailah said."Well... I doubt Allard would lose to a random beast... Should we go inside, my dear?"
Nailah asked, turning to Lynn."While we wait for him to return, you can ask me anything you want to know about me and in return I'll do the same to you!"
she said, laughing to the girl."You too, Mr. Shiny Seraphim."
Nailah said, looking to Aeden, raising an eyebrow with a brief smirk. Even though she was teasing her, it was obvious that he was considering giving the man another chance. "O-okay."
Lynn nodded to Nailah. "Siiga, could you get me some fresh bandages? We could at least wrap him up for now."
she asked as she went ahead to take Dremmick inside, dropping Dremmick off in his room, on the bed, which she made sure to remove the mattress beforehand leaving him the board beneath it to sleep on so as not to ruin the mattress and sheets. When finished dealing with him she came back out and sit at one of the tables with the others. Lynn stayed silent at first though because she wasn't sure where to start with the questions.
Siiga nodded, quickly rushing to comply. It wasn't much, but even the littlest things could make a big damn difference.
Aeden shook his head to Nailah’s first question. ”I’m afraid not. I can see the effect end very easily, but I would need to be there to witness it.”
He had seen the magical effect created by his protection spell enough to know if it was working or not thanks to his Divine Sight. “If you pay attention to the rune you’ll see it disappear when it ends. Beings of Chaos cannot touch him while under its protection, so a mindless beast should not be a problem.”
He could go further into detail about the effects of the spell, but he was not entirely sure he could trust Nailah fully. While she was no enemy she was still a stranger to him. While he made an effort to tell the truth and only the truth there was a danger to saying everything. He chuckled when she poked fun at him calling him “Shiny Seraphim”.”Oh! Oh!”
Nyph bounced up and down as they entered the Inn and sat at a table in the lounge space. He landed on the center of the table with wide excited eyes. ”What’s your favorite thing in the world? I love adventure!”
Right now, it was everything Bonnie could do not to rip his own eyes out his skull. How had he thrown his lot on with this ragtag band of misfits?
Oh yeah. Her. He scowled meaingfully at Siiga, who smiled and gave him a thumbs up in response.
"Is that whit we're doing noo? Sharing wee stories like a bunch a' schoolgirls at camp?"
Lynn's ears drooped a little, "Well, I mean, its probably good to know each other a little more...I guess."
She said, the last part being just a little above a whisper. She looked Bonnie up and down, noticing his clothes. Even though she cleaned them, they were still rather rough looking. maybe she could do something about that later. She looked up to psuedodragon to respond first before the others in order to keep the conversation going. Good conversation helped keep people's minds off their troubles after all. "Well, I guess...I like to sing when I can,"
she said with a small smile.
"Do you? I need to hear that sometime" Siiga smiled, ignoring the soft thud that was Bonnie banging his head against a wall "I like to travel, and get in touch with my, heh, inner animal"
Nailah quietly heard as Aeden explained a bit about the spell he casted on Allard. Even though he had said he couldn't know what exactly was happening, he couldn't know if the spell was broken or not, so if something happened with Allard, they would know nothing about it."I'm waiting for a while. If he doesn't come back I'll go after him.."
Nailah said, turning to him with a serious stare.
As Lynn started bandaging Dremmick's wounded body, asking Siiga for help, she agreed in getting to know each other a bit more. Even though she was still awfully shy, Nailah would make her less shy in time. She just needed to know her a bit more.
Nyph, Aeden's companion, was as happy and cheerful as always, bouncing on the table as he said that he loved adventure. Nailah couldn't help but giggle at the small pseudodragon."You're quite an energetic little guy, ain't you?"
Nailah said, giggling as she gently patted him.
In the other hand, Bonnie seemed like he was about to kill himself. Nailah still didn't understood the boy at all... Why was he so grumpy and angry for no reason at all? Did he want to go as well to the forest? That small boy?"I do think you would really like Dremmick... You're starting to sound as boring as him... A cute boy like you shouldn't be so grumpy~"
Nailah said, playfully touching Bonnie's nose with a giggle."Oh, do you sing Lynn?"
Nailah asked after she heard her."I would really like hear you singing sometime! See? Even Siiga wants to hear it too! Come on, Lynn! Don't be so shy! Act a bit more impulsively!"
Nailah said, laughing as she encouraged Lynn to sing a bit, with a kind smile to her."Your... inner animal?"
Nailah asked Siiga with a chuckle. By her reaction, she obviously misunderstood what she meant by that.
Bonnie was seriously about to break this girl's fingers. Who did she think she was? He oughta smash her lights in! "Hey! Hands off the merchandise!"
Siiga had to giggle. It was kinda like being back at the old gang. Just kicking around, relaxing, having someone almost get killed and acting like there was nothing wrong... Lots of old memories. She smiled, sure, but the air around her palpably saddened. "Anyone want drinks? I'm buying."
Aeden actually had to contemplate Nyph’s question. What was his favorite thing? Was it the Aion? Until recently he really did believe in the cause, and even now he would make an effort to free slaves of his own free will, but was the Aion really his cause? It was definitely Mirror’s cause, but he no longer had as much vigor about it as he did. He had spent almost half of his life working with them. Something caused a disconnect for him.”My favorite thing?”
He wondered with some weight in his words. ”Is being free.”
Lynn smiled a bit more, "Oh I would love to sing for all of you sometime! I grew up singing around the infirmary and then started learning siren songs to help soothe the patients."
Lynn then heard Sigga mention paying for drinks. "No need, I can summon water from my rune if anyone is thirsty!"
Lynn said, not even thinking about the fact that Siiga probably meant alcohol.
Aeden enjoyed the atmosphere of the group. It was very different than the team he was a part of while working with Aion. They were not bad people, and they were even enjoyable to spend time with, but there was a limited variety when many of them were ex-slaves themselves. This group was interesting. It was even exciting.
Drinks were offered and Aeden considered for a while, but he had a responsibility lingering. With Allard risking his life to investigate a beast he did not feel right drinking when he felt he may be needed. He actually started to hate the idea of wasting time in here when there were teammates at risk of harm. Stranger or no, how could Aeden enjoy himself in a tavern while someone he cast a protection spell on was out there?
Aeden let out a deep breath and stood up suddenly while looking at Nailah. ”I can’t sit here anymore. Let’s go check on Allard.”
He turned and headed for the door muttering to himself. ”I’m so stupid. If he’s in danger and I missed a chance to be there to heal him…”
As soon as he stepped through the door he started sprinting south toward danger. He wished his ethereal wings would allow him to fly. As he grew closer and heard the sounds of crashing he slowed down and came to a stop when he saw a charred figure rising up and approaching a beast that was in conflict with several other people including Allard. ”Fucking hell that’s one hell of a monster.”
He drew a Protection from Chaos rune on himself and drew his blade. "Oh~ He's so cute when he's mad!"
Nailah said after his clear protest to her touching him. That boy, even though cute had quite an attitude for his size... Not that it would stop Nailah, of course... Teasing him was really fun for her to stop like that.
Siiga also seemed to be enjoying herself by being around the others. Nailah was about to ask if they wanted to drink something, but Siiga was faster."Hey! I like the way you think girl!"
Nailah said, winking to Siiga with a mischievous smile."I would gladly accompany you for a few drinks."
Differently from Bonnie, who seemed to pretty much hate all that, Lynn, was slowly opening herself, especially after Nailah mentioned she would like to hear her singing, which made Lynn really happy, going as far as talking a bit about her past and mentioning the songs that she learned siren songs to soothe the patients on the infirmary she grew up in."Oh please do! I would be really happy to hear them!"
Nailah said with a kind smile to the Lassa girl.
Unlike Siiga though, Lynn was simply too naive regarding certain things, as it became evident when she mentioned there was no need for Siiga to get any drinks since she could summon water."Silly Lynn, she was talking about alcohol!"
Nailah said, laughing, pinching Lynn's nose."Do you drink, my dear?"
she asked, genuinely curious. Honestly, Nailah couldn't imagine such a sweet and pure thing like Lynn drinking alcohol, but it never hurts to ask.
That small reunion was indeed really pleasant, but Aeden's deep breath, suddenly standing up and staring at Nailah made her remember about Allard. Even though Nailah trusted Allard's strength, she could agree with his words. Sitting down and doing nothing while he was fighting was indeed really annoying...
After a long sigh, Nailah stood up, looking to Bonnie, Siiga and Lynn."We might have to leave the drinks for another time... Allard is taking quite some time to return... Something must have happened."
Nailah said, looking to the group."Stay here with Siiga, Lynn. She will definitely protect you if anything happens. Oh, and Siiga, wait for me before you start drinking. Something tells me you might be a great drinking company!"
Nailah said, laughing as she walked out of the Inn.
Lynn was about to answer when Aeden stood up to leave the room, followed shortly by Nailah. Lynn looked a bit disappointed in the two's quick departure, but she understood why they had to go. Shye looked to Siiga, "So, uh...how is...'drinking'. I've always heard it could be bad. But everyone always seems to be in good spirits when they do. Where we lived, we were underwater so we could see any lassa patient. We never really had to drink anything. On special occasions, when we went to the land area of Tearia, We would get different juices from the local fruits as a treat, but that was kind of few and far between."
she said, reminiscing a bit about home.
Nyph hopped onto Aeden's seat when he rushed out the door. "I'll keep your seat warm, partner!"
He hated flying in the dark and knew he would not be much of a help if he could not see. Nyph made a great scout, but a terrible combatant. He lifted his head at the mention about drinks. "Drinks! I like drinks! Drinks are fun! Drinks help make interesting stories! What drink are you going to start with?
In a rare moment of politeness, Bonnie refrained from snapping at the two thickos. Well, be honest, the real reason was that he wanted a drink himself and insulting the people with the money was no way to endear yourself. Siiga, meanwhile, explained with the patience of a saint "I mean we're gonna get some beers and ciders, kick back and relax. You two in?"
Lynn nodded with a smile, "Sure! I think...but...just one. I'm not so sure about it yet. Oh, or I can get a cider! That's just juice, right? I can't remember last time I was able to have juice from the surface."
Lynn was quite excited, as she could enjoy a rare treat while they had their drinks!
Shye didn't slow sown until she was in the forests south of town. There was a clearing that Mason had wanted her to meet him in, so she decided to make her way there. It was already nightfall in, though Shye was still able to see fairly well in the low light, picking her way through the forest carefully. after a while, she had made it to the clearing in the forest. It was decent sized, enough for what they had planned, but she wasn't comfortable watching for him in the open moonlight. She made her way to a tree at the edge of the woodline and easily climbed up it, finding a comfortable spot to sit and wait for Mason.
As time passed, Nix curled up on her shoulder for a nap. Though it seemed like neither of them would get much sleep. In the woods, they could both hear it. There was someone moving around throughout the forest, humming some sort of chant. There was a shiver in her spine at the sound of it. Who else could possibly be roaming around at this hour in the night? Surely that wan't Mason making all of that sound. And that humming, like an old chant of sorts. It wasn't long before she heard a rumbling, which got Nix's attention as well. Just as soon as she had heard it, a large creature rushed past her heading straight for pearl. Shye held on as the force of its passing rocked the tree she was in. She looked on wide eyes at the trail it left behind. "What the hell was that?"
Mason coughed up blood as he trudged through the dark. Though the already exhausted Taxis healers had tried their best-- they couldn't fully heal the wound Shye had given him; only having enough power to reattach his finger and stop the bleeding before bandaging him up. Normally, wounds like this would heal up in a day for Mason, but right now he was already nursing a third degree burn, and he didn't have that kind of time to wait. Step by step he marched on through the forest, flexing his partially healed finger as he went. Though it was pretty stiff and continued to hurt, it was at least somewhat usable by this point...
Mason froze in place as a deep, angry growl sent chills down his spine.
After several tense seconds, the young knight sighed in relief as he realized it was just his stomach. Since when did he get so hungry?
Tragically, Mason's hasty departure caused him to neglect packing any food for snacks, and now he was paying for it. In an effort to take his mind off the hunger, Mason decided look for a flower or two to pick along the way for Shye as a gift. Oddly enough, the only flowers he came across were wilted and dying.... Was there something wrong with this forest? Every passing moment began to make Mason more and more unsettled as he neared the clearing, as if some dark presence was stalking him, creeping ever closer. Then he heard it-- snapping teeth, a whirling blade, and massive footsteps crashing against the ground; something was fighting here. Drawing his chaos blade, Mason charged toward the commotion; unsure of what awaited him.
Garrett's low, yet loud hymn would continue, in fact, as the sensation of knowing there was something charging, wailing, and blitzing its way towards his approach made his ritualistic incantation grow with zeal and fervor as he knew he would soon meet his goal, a spike in his current power through the conflict fated to cross his path in these lovely, corrupting woodlands. The chant was crisp and clear to those around him, he wanted it to be heard by the large thundering beast and anything that would interlope in his penitent journey of bloodseeking. It seemed the beast was already in a conflict, per chance of another hunter, or perhaps the mischievous members of his retinue that utilized their free will regardless on whether they have thought through their actions for the best possible outcome or not.
Garrett did not in any occupation of his status or roles wish for the boons of his journey to be squandered off to any other who did not seek the same effects of the kill. His gait became more hurried, he wished only a cut on whatever large, and powerful beast was running rampant this night, the consumption of such, would render The Blighted Knight more powerful from the consumption and absorption of the monster's essence. His hurried pace would lead him directly towards the conflict at the present, a hunter making great attempts to stop a beast from charging directly into town and killing everyone. Perhaps his incantation lured the beast in the direction of the city, or the hunter himself's attempt to slay the beast angered and expedited the large, corrupted, incorporeal monster's original plans out of anger. The chanting did not stop, now Garrett was on track on subduing the beast, catching onto it's movement and preparing himself to claw into the side of the beast and stop it in it's tracks.
"Hm..?" The Hunter looked underneath his hat to see two new arrivals. One nearly glowed in the dark as his seraphim wings and clean resonating armor reeked of a Aion knight. Whilst the other was nearly the opposite. Sporting dark armor in an intimidating fashion. This hunter tilted his hat to the newcomers. Though they may not see it through his back steps that sent him out of harms way by several feet. His blades moved with technique and precision as it made contact again with the beast, only swiping one of its several heads after it attempted to close its jaws onto him. The beast seemed to be unable to move elegantly with all of its heads attempting to move one way to the other. But with one foe it was easier, now with three it found itself mostly stationary. It let out a loud howl from a handful of its heads. This howl was a declaration that it will be taking this battle seriously. More than just hunting, this was survival for both sides.
The beast's many eyes began to give a fiery glow. Their movements more controlled as they seemed to be undergoing a sort of trance. Their aura spiking. The aura of an ancient creature like no other that roamed these forests. It was menacing, hungry, and deep. Unleashing like furious rays of sunlight from its eyes were direct beams that burned all it touched. The many heads focused the beams in all directions. Trees began to be cut down and set aflame. The battle was getting more serious. The hunter suffered an injury as he miscalculated the timing of their constant rays. He did find a counter, firing an arrow into the face of one that was trying to aim at him stopped it as it closed its eyes to wince. Disrupting its focus. Patting down the flame on his coat the hunter wondered if the other two were even still alive.
The beast seemed to be conflicted with itself. It's heads were not in unanimity on what the beast needed to do. This was perfect. It's wild and reckless abandon remind him quite of some of the untactfully sensed members of his team, more so knowing it was destroying without consequence in account for it's energy, health, or surroundings. It was likely concerned with its wellbeing however, seeing as none of these powerful sunbeams the beast shot from it's many eyes was hitting itself. That meant one would implore themselves to get closer to the beast to avoid hurting themselves from the powerful magic beams. Blight implored himself in such a manner, keeping low, he roadied himself quickly to the beast's side, if anything, finding the source of the blackened blood would prove to drain the creature faster knowing that it wasn't going to attack itself. He eyed the trail of ebony blood as it glistened in the moonlight as he rushed the creature, he was moving towards the wound which caused such a trail, all he needed was to touch the fresh blood in order begin what he needed to do.
Garrett clung to the creature, particularly, he clung to a part with ready access to the beast's painful wound a claw moving with swift fervor to stain his gauntlet. The stain itself was all he needed, the blackened blood that clung to his already blackened gauntlet began to bubble, it was no longer a stagnant ichor that remained where it fell, it started to defy Newtonian physics, magically floating over the gauntlet which dirtied itself to begin the process of consumption, it became a magnet that held near Garrett's knuckles, where one end was siphoning the blood from the wound of the beast, and another end, was transplanting the gathered, blackened essence straight into one of the slits of The Blight's helmet.
This wasn't normal blood. It felt more blighted than the man himself, corrupted by unworldly power, as if the beast's lifeforce was thrown into a pit of insanity. manipulated, prodded, and shaped into a beast with no remorse for anything, it's only goal to destroy, to feed, to rid the world of everything besides itself.
That essence, that power, regardless of how abyssally corruptive it was, was flowing straight into Garrett's body as his ritualistic, cultist-like chant began to grow more, more pained.
Absorbing just the sliver he did was enough to drive an inexperienced hunter mad with the twisted power that was flowing into them. Garrett was reminded of the power he was bestowed when he had the craziest idea to consume the first beast on one of his patrols as a fledgling knight. It was all coming back to him. The beast he fought was not the killer of his fellow men, rather, it was him. Mad with the corrupting power from these beasts. It was something he could not deal with at the moment. He noted that problem. He was going mad. His mind was a jigsaw puzzle thrashed by a toddler, a dark, twisted, incorporeal toddler of immense power. His cloth began to redden, his mind was only on taking the power of this beast to become stronger. That's what he wanted. Strength. Power... Destruction. His helmet would soon split, breaking off, and dropping onto the forest ground, in replacement was a sleek black helmet, seemingly the same color as the blood he consumed, a large, red spike poked out of the helmet, it glowed with hunger, soon, his arms and legs would be replaced with similar armaments, red spiked littering the new, blackened, incorporeal armor, the gauntlets that seemed human soon became large, red claws, sharp enough to cut the antennae off a bee, cordoned off by more, black, corruptive armor. The chant was now a scream, either of pain, or hunger for more power. It was overwhelming. Blight continued to siphon the blood from the beast, now making an attempt to use these furious claws to tear more wounds into the beast as he screamed at the consumption. He couldn't find any passive-aggressive quips to say in his head that could describe his thoughts at the moment. It was only to feed.
The intensity of the essence that flowed through Garrett from the blood seemed to make him go mad. A clear influence derived from the black blood. A sign of Nuxta's corruption. Once a young Nayu tried to drink this blood but found herself sick and ill because of it. Physically harming this fluid was to the body. But to one who fed for power rather than sustenance they would find the corrupted blood to be worthless. Unless it was the blood of a immortal beast. Whatever exact consequences this knight will undergo for consuming such a thing is to be seen in time...
Shye was nervous the whole time after seeing such a creature pass by her. but it wasn't until she heard the howl that she got really worried. It was from the direction of the town. "Mason..."
she said quietly. He should have been here by now. Did the monster find him? Did he lie to her for some reason? Did she accidentally kill him? She shook her head to clear her thoughts, waking Nix in the process. She looked in the direction of the trail the beast took, and with a deep breathe, she jumped down from the tree, and followed the trail.
Mason's eyes widened in horror as the beast's howl vibrated through the air, nonetheless the Knight continued his charge, as he couldn't do anything if he didn't get in close..... As it's eyes lit up, Mason knew something was coming, and readied himself to dodge whatever was coming. The moment the beams of light shot forth, he took the air; saving his body but clipping his wing on a separate beam causing his speed to falter for a moment-- as he nearly fell to the ground. Thankfully, a knight clad in black armor jumped upon the beast; distracting it.
But something was off; that man quickly turned into a screaming, crimson-covered monster, brutally ripping away at the beast as it feasted upon it's blood.
Whatever was happening; Mason was going to stop it. After this man-creature finished killing the beast, he would no doubt move on the village, and cause further slaughter. Shooting even closer the many-headed beast, Mason swung around and landed on the creature's back. Igniting his sword with his dark flame, Mason plunged his blade into the creature's back and held on for dear life; it was time to end this. "Smother"
he whispered as a dark cloud enveloped his eyes. All present; even Mason himself, (within 20 meters) would find themselves suddenly robbed of sight, sound, touch, smell, and even taste. A sickly black flame enveloped the seraphim's wings-- slowly eating them away. Alas, the ground all about the monster began so spout pillars of this dark flame; disintegrating all it touched, and leaving naught but grey ash in it's wake.
While in the air Allard nodded his thanks to Aeden as he turned in the air and headed south. By flight, it wasn't too far before he could see where the fighting was taking place. He looked down and saw the chaos ensuing. Allard saw the black fire from above and dove in, shaking the ground with his landing. He looked to the hunter next to him and nodded, then continuing with his regular chant, Allard's limbs started to glow, prepared for battle. Allard saw Mason on fire on the creature's back. "Mason! Hang on!"
he shouted as he flew forward. He noticed his senses greatly dulled as he got close, wondering if it was the creature's aura that had this effect. The heads of the creature blocked his way to Mason, however. Allard dashed in , going below the monster and slamming into it with its fists, but the monster didn't seem to react at all, as if it wasn't feeling a thing.
Garretts rapid and tenacious form, and Masons reckless forward motion was a shock to the Hunter. As he watched to see the outcome. It was a bit too linear. Backing away at the sight of their invasion he sensed a risk he did not want to take. The beast was formidable. It's many heads choosing what to do as they saw fit. A few ending their fiery gaze as wounds formed on the beasts hide, the much smaller Garrett clawing away.
In the madness Garrett was scooped up by one of the jaws. Clasping down around him to grip onto what it could and swing him around like a toy in a pets jaws. It was only the attempted spell of Mason that would stop the creature momentarily. However unknown to Mason who had never battled a beast of this caliber not all the heads were affected by all forms of his spell.
Not one but two heads made a grab for Mason after he cast his spell. Unknown to his senses he was grabbed and tossed to the ground. One of the beasts heads suffering from the flames of his wings burning inside its mouth before it threw him down. Then pillars of flames erupted from below. With randomized direction it came up from below nearly everyone. But not directly under them. The flames flying up and burning trees as it began to harm all others near. All except the Hunter who leapt to the side and merely watched.
The beast snarled and stepped several meters backwards as it attempted to regain its focus. But many of the heads were disoriented.
Allard saw the three head coming at him, instead of jumping back, he jumped forward, ising his wings to quickly get out of the three heads that were on a collision coarse where he was standing. Sliding into a stop, he rolled around and jumped straight back at the three heads, aiming to strike the cemter on in the jaw, and then take a stance to wait for the other two heads' reaction, his wings now starting to glow as well.
The more the beast fought with them the more injured it would be. His armor sizzled and cracked from the flames Mason so carelessly used whilst allies were fighting. The more pain he found himself in, the more he knew he had to fight, to force all the pain away with more blood, whoever or whatever it may come from. All Blight could gander at the moment was to continue to slash and beat his corrupted claws against the monster. His roar was on par to the beast's as he continued to wail in a blood lusting rage, the more wounds he placed on the beasts's head, neck, or body, the more strands of blood would stream into the maw of the corrupted, horned helmet he wore whilst in this state. The more he consumed, the more wild his blows would be, the bigger his claws would be, the more he wouldn't feel the pain of being thrashed about by the maw of one of the beast's heads, it was a battle of endurance now. Something Blight was known to have, especially without recognizing the pain he was in.
As he was flung off of the beast's back, Mason's head struck a rock, promptly causing him to pass out. Without Mason actively maintaining them, both the immolation and smother were no longer in effect. The black flames slowly faded, revealing Mason's wings to be horribly charred, and black. For several seconds he lay there unresponsive; perhaps even appearing to be dead.
But this was not the end.
It started with a twitch, a shudder, a spasm
, and then there was nothing..... The seraph slowly rose to his feet and brandished his blade once more. With a slow movement he relocated his shoulder with a 'POP'
as he strode toward the beast almost casually; his expression concealed by shadows of the night. As the warrior approached the Teju, a subtle shudder began to overtake him, slowly gathering more and more intensity as small sparks began to bounce off the the hilt of his blade every so often.
[Aeden left the bar and arrived at this point]
After Allards display of perseverance he was lucky enough to land a blow on the center head. Damaged but not out the center head seemed dazed. The claws of the beast went for Allard. First the left then the right finally the second head made a bite from above.
The constant thrashing of Garrett was enough to turn this burned creature into a clever one in comparison. Though they knew not it's limit to being affected by lower spells of amateur casters.
With another fiery glow the eyes of these beasts began to reform. Their sight regaining through a focused aura igniting into over several rows of destruction once again. With little means of avoiding their renewed sight Garrett who was deaf, blind, and numb was pummeled by multiple rays. These were also directed towards Mason as he approached confidently.
The Hunter looked to Aeden who had appeared from the forest. No doubt from Pearl. " Hm.." He tilted his hat.
As the beams rushed towards him once again, the young seraph suddenly broke into a low sprint; strafing around toward the Teju's back. This time however, the few beams that struck his charred form; though tearing a rather sizable hole in his right wing, did little to faze or interrupt him. Closer and closer he slowly drew; his body shaking wildly as small, erratic arcs of electricity began to race across his armor.
Allard used his wings to guard the impacts of the claws, shoving them away with ease, thoigh the claws did rip into the webbing of his wings as he knocked them aside. The head that went to strike him, however, may fair much worse. When it came down, he grabbed the jaws between his hands, and pushed to force it apart to break it. Once completed he would attempt holding on with one hand as he drew his heavy blade in his right hand and swinging down to lop off its head.
The head of the beast was harder to cut off than expected. It only being cut deeply by the swing but enough to render this beast head nearly incapacitated. It was the other heads too focused on Mason that let it happen. However it took only one head to fend off Garrett who was still affected by the spell Mason cast for a bit longer. Though his resistance increased due to his consumption of the beasts blood.
It was two free heads that were aiming to Garrett now to Allard. Unleashing their fiery gaze at Allard simultaneously. While the others prepared to bite into Mason as he drew into range.
[Nailah leaves the bar at this time]
As soon as she was outside, Nailah saw Aeden sprinting. Starting to run herself, she quickly caught up to him."I'll be going ahead. Be prepared for anything."
Nailah said, with a neutral tone as she dashed into the woods, disappearing into it.
Tracking where Allard was wasn't difficult as the sounds of battle echoed through the woods. Arriving on the place where the fight was going on, Nailah suddenly stopped, raising her eyebrows after seeing the scene in front of her. It was a complete mess... Not just one but two monsters were fighting against each other surrounded by Mason, Allard and a strange hunter Nailah had never seen before.
One of the monsters, a beast with many heads with a frightening size, fought with reckless abandon against all who stood in front of it, including the other monster, a corrupted monstrosity, clad in a dark armor and using it's corrupted claws to attack the beast. Both the beast's howl and the corrupted creature's screaming chant, coupled with the noises of spells being cast and flesh being ripped create a hellish music, which was echoing through the forest turning that scenery a lot more disturbing.
Arriving a few moments after, Aeden also seemed to be surprised by what he saw. Even though Nailah was the one who said to be prepared for anything, both of them couldn't help but be surprised at the chaotic scene in front of them.
Just as Aeden drew his blade though, Nailah simply extended her arm, stopping him. Simply rushing in amongst that chaos was a terrible idea. The beast was already a dangerous enemy, but if that wasn't enough, the lack of coordination between those who were fighting it and the crazed corrupted warrior made it even worse. Nailah didn't know if the corrupted warrior would attack her or not, the only thing it was certain is that it was completely focused on the beast... for now..."Don't rush. Everyone there is pretty much just mindlessly attacking and casting spells without even coordinating with each other. Being hit by one of them by mistake won't be just probable... It's almost certain..."
Nailah whispered to Aeden, as she walked away from him, suddenly disappearing behind a tree.
Walking around the battle site, silently stalking it's prey almost like a predator would to to it's prey, Nailah carefuly analyzed the battle. The beast was the biggest threat right now, just before the corrupted warrior. Since the other monster was so focused on fighting against the beast, it would be wise to use that to her advantage. Let both monsters wound and tire each other, that would give her enough openings to attack and disappear shortly after. But first, she should calmly analyze her target. The beast was undeniably strong. It's sheer size, strength and endurance weren't it's only weapons, the many heads, it's powerful jaws and it's ability to fire a beam from it's eyes.
While silently walking around where the fight was going on, hidden by her ability and the trees, Nailah saw as the beast fired those beams. It was truly an devastating attack, but at the same time, gave her an idea. The beast couldn't possibly use that attack again if it had no eyes to use... Getting close enough was the problem, especially with so many people throwing attacks at the beast... Even with Nailah's agility and speed, the chances of her being hit were pretty high. Cutting it's heads also seemed to be effective, but that wasn't an option for Nailah, who fought using her claws, talons and tail. She would have to be smart about it. Fighting a big creature like that was different than fighting a descended... "A weak spot...?"
Nailah mumbled to herself, carefully analyzing the situation while still moving around silently, looking for openings.
Undaunted by the heads that lay in wait to strike, Mason drew even closer to the beast; the shuddering now nearing a violent level. The smell of Ozone clung to the air as the arcs of electricity continued to grow, coursing through the air around Mason as they licked the ground. Just as he neared the beast's range, Mason stopped just outside it's striking distance; almost as if taunting the creature.
Aeden raised an eyebrow as Nailah raised her arm as if to hold him back from charging forward. ”It seems you’re used to people charging into battle without a plan of action. I am so sorry.”
While he was only briefly surprised by the beast itself, the real surprise was the mess of the battle going on before him. ”If we can pull back the injured so I can heal them while those at near one hundred percent hold it off I am sure we can come up with a good plan to deal with this monster.”
He realized at this point he was effectively talking to himself as Nailah had left him to carefully observe the beast. He bristled slightly before shaking his head. "Well this is going to be easy."
Blight was no longer in the sopor that he found himself to be due to poor communication and bad teamwork overall, he could see, he could hear, he could feel. All of his senses were back. They all pointed towards pain, suffering. He had to fight. But he had to think. The only way to win against his own devices was to subdue the overwhelming taint of the corrupted blood he consumed. Think Garrett. Think. Why are you losing this fight?
He shouted in anger, louder than the beast's pained howls. It was mostly of pain, but of realization on the idiotic thing of not harnessing the power as it comes. The worst thing to do with an abundance of anything that is volatile is to let it fester and leave it to it's own devices. What Garrett. What Blight needed was a counterbalance, to equalize the immense power that he was receiving, his eyes looked around for an outlet, everything was a dark shade of red, he was seeing through blood, either of his, or of the beast's, he was in pain, being thrashed about and scorched by the beams of the corrupted guardian.
Of course. The movement was too much. He hated the feeling of being waved about in the maw of a beast. He hated those burning eyes. He had too much blood going into him he couldn't properly siphon the essence out of the blood at a reasonable rate. He had to do something spontaneous, something big, something that would return control of his bloodlust. He gauged himself, propping his large red, blood-shapen claws against the fleshy interior of one of the beast's mouths, giving him room away from the crushing power of the jaws as he prepared his attack. The large, magnetized and magical siphoning orb of blood shot away from Garrett's person, over the beast itself. If Garrett needed something powerful to get him in control, he'll use what his mind believed was a brilliant idea in killing and taking over the beast and its powers. The orb became a flat sheet over the length of the beast's body, continuously draining what is inside of the beast, in a sense, he was going to give it back to the beast. In another form. It started to rain black blood, but not a heavy, quick rain, a slow, procedural rain, that emitted from the sheet of blood, it wasn't rain, large, blood-shapen spears from the black corrupted ichor, sized like those a statue overlooking a river would wield, in girth and in length, once formed, they would shoot down, into the body or whatever the physical embodiment of the beast was, impaling or stabbing through the beast, in order to hold it in place, hopefully stabbing into the neck of the head that was thrashing the poor blighted knight about.
Allard was about to pick up the neck of the incapacitated head of the beast to guard from the fiery beams, but just as he did a dark spear pierced through his left thigh, making him drop the creature, shouting in pain from it and now the beams hitting him in the chest. He quickly covered himself with his wings, rather taking damage there than anything vital. At that moment he pulled the spear out of his leg, and then bursting from the cover of his wings, he would throw it at one of the heads, while making a swing at the other with his blade. If he could knock these two out without getting impaled further, he may be able to get to the man who was trapped in one of the other head's teeth. "HOLD ON, I'M COMIN' FOR YA!"
Shye could hear the battle raging on as she had approached. While she was using the trail that the creature had taken, She had split off into the trees as her doppelganger continued ahead. The doppelganger ran full tilt toward the fight until she arrived to the scene, sliding on her feet to a stop, the tails of her dress and dust kicking up in front of her briefly from the sudden stop.. She then maneuvered into the tree line herself. This way she had a sight on the creature from two different perspectives, looking for a the prime opportunity to either move in or watch Mason, but something felt off to her as she watched him. She let out a light gasp as she saw his wings charred to black, Nix letting out a small chirp of worry about all the commotion. She would have moved in already, but there were dark spears raining down on the creature. Although she was highly skilled at evading, she doubted she could make it through that unscathed.
With a bloody roar the beasts many heads let out cries of pain. Impaled by the spears from above the beast released Garrett and was planted in place. It's many heads were not entirely unharmed. Two heads were impaled by the neck. They were dying slowly but were able to still release a fiery glare to the first foe they could focus on. Allards size made him an easier target.
The beams cutting the spears he launched and deflecting heating his blade up immensely. One being hit by such a blade being cut with a sizzling wound. However the handle of Allards sword would heat up. With three unpained heads able to move they began biting and clawing at the spears, bending them and breaking them. It would be free soon enough.
With the monster both distracted, and restrained, Mason stepped forward; his body jerking wildly as electricity surged around him. He lunged toward the base of the nearest neck, aiming to drive his blade into the creature. Energy burst forth through the sword the moment contact was made, causing a deafening explosion and blinding flash-- leaving horrid second degree burns all down Mason's arm.
Everything was going to Garrett's impromptu plan. It was a very haphazard plan that was relying on the right pieces to move into the right place, as if it were a real-time action chess game with no pause for decisions. As the beast threw his body away from the pained maw, he used the momentum to guide himself towards a tree, movement, speed, movement. Movement would be perfect for the plan Garrett was coming up with on the spot. His clawed, corruptively armored feet connected with the bark of one of the trees in this clearing, like a swimmer kicking off to boost their approach back, he slammed enough force against the tree to fracture it, shatter it, even, with the amount he required to shoot himself back towards the beast, spiraling due to the position of his feet during his jump back, spinning, in particular, towards it's chest. This wouldn't be enough to pierce the beast, maybe stab it, but that wouldn't do much. Garrett you bastard, think further ahead, what can you do?
My thoughts exactly. The orb zoomed back to Garrett's being, but not to stay in one place, in fact, it began to swirl around him as he zoomed in mid-air, quickly spinning around his being, adding more and more force to the spiral motion he was performing, as if he were a screw, spinning towards a plank of wood to pierce through, with enough spinning force, the screw wouldn't be just a screw, when they pass through the object they pierce, they would be considered a drill. That was Garrett's plan, to drill through the beast, his arms were raised in front of him, the sharp, spinning claws perpendicular to the Beast's body as he shot towards it, the sooner this thing was dead, the sooner Garrett could collect himself better.
Allard swapped his blade to his left hand so it wouldn't burn anymore, then proceeded to bring the blade down on the other head, hopefully taking it down as well. but there still more that turned their attention on him and unleashed their gaze. He tried guarding this time until he could move forward to attack, but he couldn't hold out. At that moment, his divine protection spell burst, and anything that wasn't hitting his arm or his blade seared in pain as the beams cut full force into him. He was able to reach one more head, and with a mighty war cry, concentrated his shadow skill to his right arm as he bashed it in the face. The burning continued for only a moment more as something else with a sickening ripping sound made impact with the monster.
Two impacts, one after another rocked the beast back, breaking the spears as it fell back. A mist of blood from its hulking size cams pouring out. Black with a crimson tint under the moonlight. One of the heads were blown a hole into it and incompacitated. While the side of the creature was deeply pierced by Garrett. Yet it was not dead. Now freed from its cage and bleeding profusely it began moving in a blood crazed charge. Attempting to trample over Garrett and towards Allard. Its four remaining heads now freed began firing their flaming glares at everyone near it. One to Allard. Two to Mason and one on Garrett. Though the beams moved about wildly. Cutting down the forestation and threatening to hit Aeden and Nailah. The Hunter avoiding the scene as trees fell around them. If they made the wrong move they would be hit.
Just one focued on him, he could handle this. Allard used his arm to guard the beam, which would have worked if it wasn't going crazy, and with each step he made toward's the creature, he could feel everywhere the beams had hit him before. The beam veered of coarse, cutting down a tree, and he quickly braced himself. Allard's body started to glow as his power spread throughout himself, something he wasn't sure he could do fully. He caught the tree stopping it from falling, he grunted with effort as he turned towards the beast, it's beam coming back to hit him again briefly across the chest as the monster writhed out of control. This made Allard stumble for a moment with the tree in his arms before rearing back, similar to how he did in the throwing tournament, his power moving to his back and arms as he put his body into it. He then lurched forward, slamming the tree down on top of the monster.
Shye, seeing that Mason was targeted by two of the beast's heads, ran into action, her and the doppelganger bursting from the tree line coming in from different sides. With much grace and agility, she weaved across the battlefield as if she was a piece of the chaos itself, seeing where things would land and where the beams would most likely travel based on its movements. while erratic there was a light pattern of movement. Shye used her claws to gain purchase and climb up to the two heads that were focusing on Mason, holding on with her legs. Once there, she would ball both her fists up, creating a charge, and slam both of them down on its head, riding the propulsion from the blasts off it's neck and back to the ground. which semed to be just in time for a tree to crash over the monster as well.
Garrett was not relenting, the beam seared into the shoulder-plate of solid, blackened blood-steel, causing another, forest-shaking shout from the bloodzerker.. He had the beast right where he wanted it. He jammed his claws into the wound he created, keeping himself clung to the beast's body as he tugged out what seemed to be a thick enough cord within the body of the beast. He was not wasting time. He tore out a tubular organ from the beast. He snipped the ends off with the sharp ends of his claws, holding the newly acquired organ like a garotte
. He used the body of the beast as his own path to make it to one of the attacking heads, jumping onto the base of it's neck and wrapping the corrupted blood-spurting organ donation, all the while the orb siphoning the blood of the beast continued to get larger and larger. He was getting impatient, the more he let the orb lay complacent, the more he would lose his own mind. He tightened the hold of the organ around the beast's neck, essentially strangling it as he allowed the orb to raise up over the beast one more time, the process of another wave of blood-crafted spears incoming as he preoccupied himself with violently choking out one of the heads.
Aeden paced around the chaotic fight. He made a great effort to maintain a safe distance from the battle. He was quite fascinated by the beams of energy emitting from the beast itself, but he could not remain distracted by it for too long as they swung around due to a couple large blows by Allard and the others. Light on his feet, he made a serious effort to avoid being struck dancing around gracefully as he heard the snap of the trees around them as each beam ripped through them.
He then saw an opportunity and with some concentration summoned a spear of divine energy. Not pure to his disappointment, but raw elemental divinity. While he had the basics of this spell it proved difficult to train as even with his powerful bloodline he found it a challenge to create a true Divine Spear, so a Blessed one would have to be enough. Only with further training would he be able to push his limits further, and he would only achieve that through real combat like this.
Another errant beam singed Aeden's sword arm as he launched the spear with a well-exercised throw toward the monster as he found an opening at a decent flank he felt confident he could avoid hitting allies. He was certainly within the thirty paces needed for the spear to sink in although the elemental divinity would evaporate shortly after dealing damage. The pain hardly bothered him although it did hurt, and he did not even bother healing the damage as he needed to conserve his energy for the job to come.
He could see many of the people fighting the beast were injured in one way or another while a single hunter appeared to be simply watching the battle. Aeden decided to change tack and keep an eye on the hunter while avoiding taking damage, so he could be fully ready to heal those in need of it.
No one was dying on his watch tonight. Not if he could help it.
Shooting forward, Mason ducked under the oncoming laser; narrowly managing to avoid the initial beams. Electricity crackled across his blade once again (albiet much weaker than the longer charged attack) as the young knight leaped into an upward slash; aiming cut from throat to chin on the head that Shye hadn't attacked. Planting his foot on the beast's neck as he reached the top of his swing, he thrust himself away from the Teju just in time for the tree to come down on top of it.
Despite Nailah being carefully analyzing the situation, things were only going from bad to worse, since apparently, none of them knew how to cooperate with each other. They were honestly, as big of a threat against each other than the beast and the corrupted warrior were to them. Nailah had already lost count of how many times they wounded allies with their attacks. The last area attack, made by the corrupted warrior made Nailah lose the perfect chance to hit the beast as it conjured a rain of black spears made with the blood of the beast, hitting everyone, including Allard."As if those laser beams weren't bad enough, I have to deal with these idiots..."
Nailah thought to herself, rolling her eyes after a long sigh.
Almost like the beast could hear Nailah's thoughts, as soon as she thought that, the beast proceeded to use the lasers once more, hitting pretty much everything around it, including cutting a lot of trees around the area. Evading the beams and the falling trees was not difficult for Nailah, but with that last attack, she had completely given up on that battle."THAT'S IT! I GIVE UP! Kill yourselves for all I care... I will sit right over here and wait till either you're dead and I have to clean your mess or to carry the survivors back to the inn."
Nailah said, suddenly appearing from amongst the fallen trees around the are where they were fighting and sitting on a tree stump with an incredibly irritated expression and a piercing gaze to all of them, including Allard who had a lot of wounds covering his body. For anyone who took a look at her expression, it was clear that they would have an earful after the beast was dealt with."I could be drinking and relaxing now, or even getting ready to sleep, but no... I had to come over here and babysit you guys to be sure you would come back alive... I actually lost the count of how many times you guys hurt your own allies by using your powers without thinking! Are you actually trying to kill yourselves?!"
Nailah asked, putting her palm on her face while slowly shaking her head in disappointment.
She could easily understand why the hunter was simply watching the fight without getting close. Whoever he was, he knew that going in right now was simply begging to be killed... by friendly fire...
Honestly, Nailah would even have tried to put some order at all that, but she was too frustrated with what was going on. For god's sake, Nailah wasn't a soldier or something like that, but even her knew better than to simply attack wildly without any planning or consideration with your own allies...
A few meters away from Nailah, she the hunter standing still, watching the entire situation unroll together with Aeden, who didn't seem to compeltely trust the hunter yet."You guys don't want to sit down? It might take a while for this to end... Honestly... At this point I'm really hoping that they get really hurt and wounded. I don't want them to die, but they need to learn a lesson.."
Nailah said to both men, clearly frustrated as she pointed forwards two other stumps which were recently cut by the beast's laser, right next to hers.
After the simultaneous efforts of everyone at the scene no one was killed and the beast, a heap beneath a fallen tree and a pool of black blood flowing outwards. Affecting the natural surroundings with a decaying scent. But unmoving otherwise. Appearing dead, many of its heads bloodied and disfigured. It's organs hanging from out of its glistening hide. The Hunter soon approached the fallen creature. He cut and then reached into its chest and began to yank out a beating core. It's circular shape emitted a pulsating energy. Crimson blood flowed from this core. Blood that glowed in the night...
Garrett stood atop the collapsed, deceased beast's corpse, stabbing his claws into the deceased body of it. All until The Hunter would remove the beating heart from the beast, the fresh smell of a crimson, magical essence enrapturing Blight and his attention. He paused his mindless stabbing of the beast, turning and hopping off the beast to approach the hunter, and the heart, a single claw pointing at the heart, demanding it to be surrendered to the bloodzerker, as the only noises he could make were grunts, pants, and rough groans at the Hunter. His other claw splayed open, ready to swipe at whatever was in front of him were he to be provoked.
Shye was currently back in the treeline again, while she somewhat knew of Mason, she didn't know these others, save for that one woman, the one who snuck behind her last time. Both her and her doppelganger watched to see how the events unfolded, though it was also at this time that her doppelganger faded away due to her running out of time, So now Shye watched alone. She wasn't sure if she should walk out right now, not trusting any body else that was there. Nix, who was flying above, Dove into the woods and took a roundabout way back to Shye's shoulder, to keep people from watching it go straight to her.
Allard Sheathed his blade before falling to a knee, grunting with the exertion. New wounds spread across his body, and not all from the monster. His breathing was heavy, the wounds were deep, but even without medical care, he should make it. Though, now that the adrenaline was starting to wear down, the pain from the wounds were setting in. He watched the hunter pull an odd prize from the beast and the dark knight went to him, claiming it was his. Now, normally, Allard would agree with the dark knight that since he participated in killing it while the hunter watched, the hunter had no right to it. But he wasn't sure about the dark knight. An evil aura seemed to flow from his being, his ferociousness evident in his technique. Allard then looked over to Mason, noticing he seemd quite rough as well. Looking around further he saw Aeden and Nailah had followed. Allard then may have done something a bit odd to some considering the situation. He smiled and started laughing heartily."So you actually came anyway?"
Allard leaned back and landed on his back against the ground, laying out his body. "When I got here tha fight was already goin'. I saw Mason and this other knight with their hands full an tried ta help 'em, bu got entangled with the beast m'self."
Allard breathed heavily for a few moments. "Didn't think they'd be rainin' spear down on top 'a me though. At least everyone is safe fur now."
he said as his breaths got slower as he calmed down. "Can't imagine what stirred it up. It could've easily done a number on tha town."
Allard sat in silence for a moment before he remembered something he saw during the fight. "Did anyone else see some twin lasses attack at that last moment, or was I hit a bit too hard on the head?"
Allard was unaware that his shadow arm was showing. It was pitch black, darker than the night around them, with wisps of dim, pale red and black trailing off of it randomly here and there. He was so used to his glove being there and wrapped up in the fight, that he didn't notice it missing as he laid there.
Aeden remained wary for a few moments after the beast collapsed. Another beast-like creature continued to tear into the corpse before it started growling at the hunter. Aeden took a few moments to realize that the other beast was actually a person, and the others were not attacking him. He looked over to see Allard fall to a knee. The charred person he carefully looked at and finally saw the Aion armor he was so familiar with.
How could a fellow Aion be in such a state? They were trained to be much more careful to avoid receiving as much damage as he appeared to have taken, and Aion field-healers like himself were trained even harder than that. The only conclusion he could make was the young man was very newly recruited. Allard laughed and mentioned something about Aeden and Nailah coming after all, but all else of his chatting was lost on Aeden as his attention was on his fellow Aion.
From his quick assessment it appeared that his fellow Aion was in the worst state out of everyone present, so he approached.”You’re in serious shape,”
Aeden placed his hand on the shoulder of his fellow. ”My name is Aeden Demavend. I am an Aion Knight like yourself. Let me heal you these are some serious wounds.”
Ignoring Aeden completely, Mason approached the hunter; his eyes locked almost hypnotically on the glowing core. Stepping past the black knight, it was clear that he was either completely oblivious to the threat of the bloodzerker, or entirely unafraid of angering the maddened warrior despite his current injuries."May I see that core for a moment?"
he asked in a low, gravelly tone as he held out his uninjured hand to receive the core.
Aeden glowered at the other Aion for a few moments. He considered for a moment chopping the back of his head with a bare hand to get his attention and then chewing him out, but he felt the cost-benefit was just not worth it. Not only did his fellow Aion ignore him though, he in spite of his injuries approached the hunter whom was right next to basically what amounted to a feral man, and he then asked to inspect the core of the monster just slain for some odd reason.
He could not fathom such an injured fellow walking up next to an obvious potential threat and asking for something said threat had an obvious desire for. Aeden had no need for unwarranted disrespect and someone so willing to walk into a volatile location while in absolutely terrible shape clearly had no interest in being healed. He turned away and headed to Allard.”Looks like your concerns were correct about this danger,”
Aeden commented with a neutral expression. ”Good instincts to investigate this. I hope the protection spell did its job. Still you could do with some healing.”
He prepped to cast his Cure Wounds. ”Ready to get fixed up, Allard?”
After a great deal of effort, they managed to kill the beast. Unfortunately, they were all still alive despite their efforts. The hunter, whom understandably stepped away after the others arrived simply went to the beast to take out it's core while the corrupted dark knight simply kept mauling it even though it was already dead. Nailah didn't know exactly why no one seemed to even care about the other monster, but they all stopped fighting as if the confrontation was over. Nailah couldn't help but keep looking at the core the hunter had pulled out of the beast. She wondered exactly what it was... Especially seeing how it was pulsating with energy and crimson blood flowing out of it.
Allard, whom was in a sorry state after being pierced by the black spears, attacked by the beast and his friends alike, finally noticed Nailah, sitting down on a tree stump. Laying on the ground, exhausted and wounded, Allard finally talked to Nailah, saying how he didn't expect to be struck by the spear and that at least everyone was safe.
Aeden also noticed how bad everyone's state was. Although it made Nailah really annoyed that the first one he cared about was Mason, another Aion knight... Despite that, was helpful that he had come with her, Carrying Allard back to the inn wasn't something Nailah was looking forward to... Of course, she was much stronger than a normal woman due to her dragon blood, but Allard was still REALLY big and REALLY heavy..."Sure Aeden... The only one that matters for you is the other 'Aion Knight' Isn't it?"
Nailah said, looking to him. When Mason completely ignored his words, walking towards the hunter, Nailah couldn't help but let out a smirk. He really deserved it. After all, Allard was literally laying on the ground exhausted and he went for the Aion knight first..."That is what you call safe?!"
Nailah said, getting up and walking towards Allard with a piercing stare."Look at yourself! You're all wounded! And at least HALF of those wounds were made by your OWN ALLIES!"
Nailah said, putting her hands on her hips and leaning forward where allard was laying down."I can't believe on how STUPID you are sometimes! Could you at least think a bit better before just rushing towards an enemy without even caring about your own safety? Honestly, I'm surprised that you guys are still alive."
she continued with the sermon, now extending it to the entire group as she looked at each one of them with a really scary expression."Simply going around casting spells and attacking mindlessly without even caring for your allies! I could have easily blinded the beast... It could be much, MUCH easier if I did so, especially due to it's laser beams... But if you guys think I would jump in the middle of that chaos just to be hit by an ally, you're all nuts. In fact, I'm GLAD that I didn't. You deserve every single scratch and wound you guys have right now, I would say it's not even enough! No wonder why the hunter simply stood watching when you guys arrived."
Nailah continued. Looking to every single one of them, including Allard."And you guys don't even care finishing what you started."
Nailah said, pointing towards the corrupted warrior as it pointed its claws to the hunter, demanding the heart.
Before she got near it though, she heard Mason completely ignoring Aeden and walking towards the hunter, asking with a rather strange tone for the Hunter to hand that core to him while completely ignoring the corrupted creature pointing it's claws at them, obviously in a hostile posture. Honestly, after seeing how the group handled that fight, she didn't trust them that much in any dangerous situation.
The second she got nearby Mason and the Hunter, she simply pointed up to the black blood, still floating and ready to drop more spears. That coupled with the creature's hostile posture should be more than enough to make them realize the situation they were in right now.
Using Mason and the Hunter's bodies to cut line of sight with the creature, she seemed to simply disappear the second she walked behind them. With her eyes fixed on the creature, she dashed around the group, getting behind the creature.
If anyone paid enough attention to the creature's general direction, they would see Nailah's claws ominously reflecting the moonlight, contrasting with the dark forest behind them. It wasn't hard to imagine what she was going to do. It would be one single, swift strike to the back of the creature's neck
After the core was freed from the mound of flesh that remained from the fallen beast the Hunter was the center of attention. At least for those craving power. "Hm?" He looked up to see the dark knight ferociously eyeing him and his possession. Then approached the seraphim right after. The complaints of those around him was of great necessity. But hardly adhered to. The Hunter looked at the two with a cold stare. "If ya want this core. You'll have to trade me this beasts entire luxurious hide. Only thing that'll be worth tha same." He didn't seem fazed by the odd and beast like nature of the two. "But you two... you've been bitten and it won't do ya any good." He put his blades away, forming an x on his back.
He drew his crossbow. "Might be best I do ya a favor and stamp out the curse."
Blight stopped. He could hear words. Understand them. Something was wrong other than the fact he was a hulking beast. His claws dropped to his sides, tips marking the ground. He nodded. He couldn't speak. Not yet. His armor, corrupted as it was from the essence he already absorbed. He could only grunt that he understood he was, at the moment, cursed. He raised a claw, pointing at the beast, then to the heart, then to his chest. It was a signal of a confirmation of a trade, and confirmation he was ready to get de-cursed through the most rudimentary of means. His mind was back to him, more so that the fact that the beast was dead and he could take his time absorbing what he could from the blood before discarding the remaining, unusable substance. "Take the hide."
Mason responded coldly, "I have little use for it regardless...."
Slowly, the hole in his wing began to close, little by little, as the conversation continued. "And what might this curse, as well as 'stamping it out' entail?"
the young Seraph asked skeptically as he watched the hunter procure his crossbow, "Regardless, I will not leave until that core sees my hands at least once. After that, do with it what you will."
Allard smirked up to Nailah. "Not dead is safe in these woods at night."
He sat up, and used his blade to help pull himself up to his feet, sheathing it once he stood. "My arrival spared them many injuries as well, probably fatal ones. Though, I could have been better off with out some of tha....help... as it were."
Aeden walked up to him inquiring about his protection spell and offered his aid. "It worked well for a little while, though it broke after a few hits from this beast. Hold off for a moment though with your healing spells, I want to make sure this is over..."[/color] he said as he watched the three discuss who was getting the core. It surprisingly seemed to be going well, despite the threats the hunter made with his crossbow, it seemed that they were still negotiating, the corrupted warrior slowly calming down from his berserk state. It was shortly after this however, there was a glint of something behind the coruppted knight that caught Allard's eye. When Allard focused on it, he could barely make out Nailah's form, though once he knew he saw her, she seemed to appear clearly to him. "Nailah, wait."
Allard said, in a low tone that carried well, one hand slightly raised in a 'hold on' type gesture. He didn't know who this man was yet, but he wanted to know who he was at least before anybody tried to attack him.
With a low unamused chuckle the Hunter replied. "This curse is new and more dreadful because of it." He lowered his bow after seeing the wing slowly heal. He took out the arrow. Eyeing Garrett beneath his hat for a moment before placing another arrow, one a bit thicker and all ebony. His crossbow had enchanted writings all over its sides and was reinforced with steel. He pulled the arrow back the bow ready to fire.
"No cure found yet. Beyond death. A gift from tha lord of death.." He revealed his own wound which was black and spreading. "You'll become a husk of ya former self. Mindless. Sometimes mean, most of the time pathetic." He pointed to the blood of the beast on the ground with his bow. "This curse is spreading throughout this forest now. I hoped to kill tha beast with less bloodshed... ah no matter." He tossed the core into the air toward Mason and Garrett, giving it hang time as he stepped toward the carcass. "It's yours. I only need the money to get a special someone somewhere safe before this curse spreads throughout this world." He pulled out his blade and knelt down. Carving away at the silver scales.
As the core was tossed in the air, Mason shot off the ground and grabbed the pulsating orb.... Only to land and examine it for a moment before tossing it to the black knight, much of it's glow lost save for the blood itself-- almost as if something had vanished from it. Mason scoffed as he treaded off toward where he had intended to meet Shye, "A curse is of little threat to me-"
With a shudder, Mason's voice returned to normal, as if nothing had ever been wrong in the first place, "Go to Pearl, there is a woman there that can free you from the curse. I'm sure she'd be more than willing to help."
With that, Mason walked off into the dark of the forest..... Alone.
Garrett held his large corrupted gauntlet out to catch the bloodletting heart, the black sheet he was consuming losing integrity as it starts to rain blackened blood over them, Garrett now focusing his power to absorb the glowing blood. His helmet, finally, splitting in half, and deconstructing, rather, instead of being destroyed at the rejuvenating power of the fresh source of blood, fastening itself to his shoulders as if preparing itself to be put on and locked in place at a moments notice. He can finally breathe fresh air, and smell. Smell blood rain. His face was laid bare to the world and those who had no clue who was behind the helmet. Now they could see it wasn't a beast, nor some random Gaian corrupted by a beast's blood. It was Garrett Everard, the pathfinder of the retinue. He looked around, blood red markings ingrained atop his skin, revealing the more ritualistic side of the hunter of the alliance.
"Ah. Perhaps that was what this beast was after. A cure." He muttered as he tossed a silver scale into the forming pile of others he was carving out. "Too bad it didn't make it." He chuckled. The black blood rolling off his hat from above.
Shye was a bit farther down the path, waiting for Mason to meet up with her. Nix got his attention by flying out to him and then returning to Shye. Shye honestly wasn't sure what to think at the moment. For one, Mason was heavily injured, and for another, something didn't seem quite right with the way he was acting before. It wasn't like the person she met in the tent. Was he faking for some reason, either with them or her? She held her judgment in words, though a look of worry was on her face. "Are you...alright?"
she asked, glancing at his arm and back up to him.
Allard watched as the knight revealed himself to be none other than the man tasked to guide the alliance group along their path. "Garrett? It was you under that armor this whole time?
But hold on.... wasn't he out with Raquel? When did he leave out here? Where was Raquel now? Allard's face darkened as he looked at the man, pushing past Aeden. "Wait.... Why are you here? Where is Raquel?"
he asked hurriedly. The girl was like a niece to Allard, her and his daughter being close friends before the incident. If he was here, then that could have meant the whole time they were under attack, he couldn't have been sure if he was by her side. "Tell me. Now."