Torga calmly stepped out of the cave and into the light of day. He slowly inhaled and exhaled. Letting the fresh air of the outside world cleanse his nostrils of the rot that even now, clung to his scales. He twisted his head from side to side until he felt a satisfying crack, then smiled.
Now that his stomach no longer ached as much, and he'd had the opportunity to work out some of the stress he'd accumulated since he'd... Died? He wasn't actually sure what to call what happened to him, but after thinking on it for a moment. he pushed it to the back of his mind. It was just one of the many things he didn't understand and probably never would.
Strangely enough, he wasn't sure he actually cared if he did.
As he finished stretching the knots out of his body. One of his heads noticed a snake staring at him with its head tilted to one side; It was barely over six feet in length, had ruby red eyes, and brown/gold scales.
"Can I help you?" He hissed.
The 'little' snake slowly blinked at Torga, then nodded its head.
"Greetings your majesty. I just wanted to be the first to congratulate you on your ascension to the throne." It hissed in return.
Now it was Torga's turn to tilt his head in confusion.
"Which one?" He hissed.
"Pardon?" The 'little' snake replied.
"Which throne do you mean?" He clarified.
The 'little' snake slowly blinked at Torga, as if it were thinking of what to say.
"The... Serpentine Dragon throne?"
"I do not currently have that throne. After all, the previous king still lives." He replied with a shake of his head.
"Really!?" It yelled. "But I just received the notice from the odd window thingy that Lord Rajah was bested in combat and you have taken his place!"
"Bested him?" Torga asked aloud, then he thought on it for a moment before slowly shaking his head.
"Yes, I suppose that is true. I destroyed his body... However, his soul or whatever he has in place of one, still yet lives... For now, anyway."
Before the last word could leave his mouth, a stray thought entered Torga's mind and buzzed around like an annoying gnat.
"You say I am now the king of this place, yes?"
The snake nodded its head in confirmation.
A smile stretched across Torga's face as the beginnings of a plan began to form.
"Good... Because I'm going to need your assistance in tracking down a particularly annoying maggot." Having said this, Torga scooped up the snake and flew off into the sky. All the while ignoring the surprised hiss of the 'little' snake...
Torga POV - Two days before the battle of the valley
After searching the planet for any sign of Rajah and finding nothing. Torga had decided to return to the one place he had yet to search; The city behind the wall. While Torga didn't believe himself to be... Well... Dumb. He was quite annoyed with himself for only now deciding to check if Rajah was inside the city.
"I mean honestly, here I am making fun of Lokir and Fenris for the intelligence, or rather their lack of said intelligence and I didn't even think of checking the place with a giant statue of the very guy I'm hunting!" Torga thought with a derisive snort, that was quickly followed by a wave of loneliness.
"I can't believe I'm saying this... But I'm actually starting to miss even those annoying assholes." He sighed as he looked to the city looming over the horizon.
He shook his head to clear it of a particularly unwelcome thought and looked over his shoulder at the small brown and gold serpent following him.
"Surround the city. Until I find, and end Rajah for good, no one is allowed in or out." Torga hissed.
The serpent nodded it's head as if in understanding, then left Torga alone on the road to the cities gate.
A few seconds after the small serpent departed, Torga felt, rather than saw, the forms of several thousand snakes moving towards the city in unison. And while most of these serpents were small; barely reaching ten feet in length. A few were... Rather obviously not. As the sound of a tree being pushed over, reached his ears. A slight smile appeared on his face.
"I could get used to being King." Torga mumbled to himself as he too, departed for the city.
A cold chill raced down his spine and an overwhelming sense of dread settled in as he looked over the walls of the city. It started only three or four minutes prior when thousands upon thousands of snakes began to surround his beloved city... then came the monsters; Serpentine dragons of all sizes and classifications darkened the skies. And Earth Leviathans; being the eyeless creatures that they were. Tore themselves free from the ground and began using their long tongue tentacles to feel for weak points along the base of the wall.
"Sir!" one of his lieutenants yelled.
Dorian barely spared the man a glance, before turning back to watch the continuous nightmare fuel before him.
"Sir, what are your orders!?" Another soldier yelled as panic began to set in.
Dorian ignored them in favor of staring at the earth leviathans... That were now 'staring' at the top of the wall. This caused another cold chill to race down his spine as flashes of previous encounters with the eyeless horrors raced through his mind.
"Quiet." Dorian said as he continued to observe the situation.
Even though his words were barely above a whisper, they cut through the yelling of his soldiers like an axe and caused years of training and discipline to kick in. The gathered soldiers all quieted down almost immediately and awaited his next order.
A few minutes passed before Dorian turned to the first speaker; the lieutenant, and whispered, "The magic barrier above the wall will keep out the dragons, so they are currently a non-issue."
A soldier opened his mouth to interrupt, but a harsh glare from Dorian caused the man to remain silent.
"However, as we lack any such defense against the leviathans, I'd greatly appreciate it if you could all not draw their attention by screaming like frightened children. Understand?"
A chorus of near silent "Yes." answered him.
"Good." He nodded, then turned to the lieutenant.
"Take the first, second, and forth squadrons and scour the city for the civilians. I want any that can make it to the fort to go there, and all others inside the wall as quickly and as quietly as possible."
The lieutenant nodded his head and left to follow his orders.
Dorian sighed and ran his gauntleted hand over his face to wipe the beads of sweat from his brow. There were only three options available to him at the moment and none of them were... preferable.
Option one; Wait for the mages inside the city to come with a spell that can remove the threat from the air and use the airships to escape.
However, there were multiple issues with this plan; The first as with all members of the dragon family, serpentine dragons are at the very least resistant to magic. While some legends go so far as to say they were completely immune. This made relying on the magic of mages a very dangerous gamble and one Dorian wasn't sure he was ready to make. And besides, even if they could escape via that route, they lacked the airships necessary to transport all of the civilians at once, so some would have to be left behind.
Option two; Round up all of his men inside the city and push through the gates.
This option was even worse than the first due to the sheer number of monsters they'd have to fight and because there was simply no way for them to protect the civilians while fighting. Sure, some casualties are expected in battle. But Dorian knew that if he tried this option, even if he survived, very few if any others would be so lucky.
Option three; Bunker down and just worry about surviving.
Unfortunately for them all... This was their only real option at this point. Their lack of manpower, combined with the number of civilians meant that attempting to flee in any capacity would doubtlessly end with their deaths.
At least by fortifying their position here, behind the impenetrable walls of his beloved city and with their current stockpiles they could yet live... for a few more weeks, at least.
"Commander Dorian, sir!" a voice yelled.
Dorian sighed and turned in the direction of the voice. He saw a young man wearing the standard army uniform; consisting of a grey tunic, brown breeches, and leather boots that came up to his shin, running towards him.
"Quiet down, soldier!" Dorian hissed as the man opened his mouth to yell again.
Though the man clearly wanted to say something, he saluted and stood in attention until Dorian gave him the go-ahead to speak.
"Sir, there's... uh... something you need to see at the gate."
Dorian raised an eyebrow in question at the man, then turned to one of the higher ranking officers standing nearby. He ordered the man to continue surveying the wall while he went to see what all the fuss was about. After receiving a salute from the captain in response, Dorian followed the young man off the wall and into the city proper.
Upon arriving at the base of the gate and climbing the four flights of stairs to the lookout point above; The 'lookout point' as dubbed by the soldiers, was a rectangular section of the wall with an open view of the outside world. It was so wide open, in fact, that a fully grown horse could enter and exit the city from this area... Well, if not for the magical shield stopping such a thing from happening.
Inside Dorian saw several high ranking officers, Lady Karen, 'King' Tyrn, and a priest of the church staring at something outside the gate.
"What're you all doing here?" He asked the group as he made his way over to join them.
"Don't you know we are in a state of emergen...cy?"
His words trailed off as he caught sight of the thing, or rather, the creature that had the groups undivided attention. Though he lacked the eyesight of some of his younger peers, he could still make out several divining characteristics of the thing; It was incredibly tall and covered in dark green and gray scales and, from what he could see, it was humanoid shaped. It appeared to be wearing a pair of brown, loose-fitting pants around its waist, leaving the rest of its body exposed. However, all of that paled in comparison to the simple fact that it was surrounded on all sides by creatures no normal man could even dream of defeating and it did so almost casually.
"Ah, good. You must be the leader of this city. I've been waiting for you to arrive." The creature announced as it stared straight at Dorian.
"What is it that you want, Creature?"
"I want entrance into the city, of course." It replied as if it were obvious.
"If you plan to attack then be forwarned. We will fight until the last man to defend our home."
The creature stared at Dorian with what appeared to be amusement on its face.
"You seem to be a good man and I'd hate to have to kill you... So take this advice in the spirit that it was given." It took a few steps forward. "I mean neither you nor the inhabitants of your city any harm. However, I believe a creature I've been hunting for some time now is within those walls and I will do whatever is necessary to drag it out of hiding... Even if it means tearing this wall down to do it. So, please... Open the gate and let me in."
Upon hearing this declaration Tyrn turned from his place at the rail and stormed down the stairs.
"Don't do it...." Dorian heard Karen whisper.
"Lady Karen, you know this creature?" He asked.
"Don't let it in!" She repeated, but much louder this time.
As Dorian placed his hands on her shoulder and turned her to face him, he saw the madness within her eyes as she stared at the creature.
"Priest, please tend to lady Karen. She is not well."
The priest; an old human male with graying hair, dark skin, and faded blue eyes solemnly nodded his head and gently guided Karen over to a chair near the far wall.
Dorian turned back to the creature just in time to see the gate open slightly and Tyrn walk out in full battle regalia.
"What the hell is he doing!?" Dorian hissed as he turned from the rail and raced after Tyrn...
Third person POV (Ding Ding!)
Torga calmly watched as the large Lion-man marched towards him with an apparent scowl on his face. While tall and extremely muscular, the lion-man was slightly smaller than Torga's smallest size... So then, why were his steps causing the ground to cave in? Torga wondered.
As the Lion drew closer his skin began to take on a metallic sheen, his claws grew thinner and sharper, and his muscles bulged under his robe.
"There's always one." Torga internally sighed as the lion came within arms reach and pulled back his right arm.
The punch came much faster than Torga predicted and slammed into his face with all the force of a building falling on his head. The blow caused Torga to take a step back in surprise and grit his teeth in annoyance.
The backhand Torga let fly in return was a surprise for both of them.
As Torga's hand flew through the air, the lion raised his left arm to block. A loud clanging sound echoed across the field as the lion's arm was torn clear from his body. In response, the lion spun with the blow and kicked Torga in the stomach causing him to once again, take a step back. And before Torga could recover from the surprise of actually being pushed back, metal shards seemed to fly from the ground and rapidly rebuild the lion's arm.
Despite the blows and Torga's interest in his strength, he still wasn't interested in actually fighting... That all changed when Torga saw the lion-man's eyes flash a sickly red color and he realized who he was fighting.
"Hello Rajah, you sneaky little shit. How've you been?"
Tyrn stared at Torga in confusion, then his face twisted into an insane grin that showed off his teeth.
"I've been better." Tyrn admitted. "But after I kill you, I'll be doing MUCH better." His smiles grew so wide it split his face. "After all, I've been waiting to kill you since you so rudely intruded on MY PLANET!"
"Keep waiting, Bitch." Torga returned Tyrn's kick with one of his own; A front kick to Tyrn's stomach that bent his body in half and sent him flying.
Tyrn bounced off the ground; leaving large trenches where ever he landed until he finally slammed into the base of the large metal door to the city. The door bent in the middle as if it were made of cardboard and Tyrn vanished inside the city.
Torga slowly lowered his extended leg and placed it back on the ground.
"Looks like peace talks have failed... Enter the city and prevent anyone from leaving." As the serpents moved to obey, he added almost as an afterthought. "And don't kill anyone that doesn't attack you. I don't know how many of these people are truly innocent, but until I am sure, they are not to be harmed."
"Ohhhhhhhh~ How noble of you!" An insane voice laughed from just behind the door.
"It never ends..." Torga sighed while turning to face the voice.
What he actually saw, however, was a hundred humans, a bisected Tyrn with his guts hanging out, and Dorian staring at him with blood red eyes.
"... You know what? Fuck it. Kill em all and let Amaar sort them out."
The serpents and the 'citizens' charged at each other, while the now fully healed Tyrn and Dorian charged at Torga.
Tyrn leaped at him and slashed Torga across the chest with his claws, just as Dorian drew his longsword and spun between Torga's legs leaving thin cuts on them.
Torga quirked his brow at the rapidly healing wounds, then frowned at the two of them. He wasn't sure what Rajah had done to them, but if they were capable of leaving even small wounds on his body, then he couldn't afford to play with them anymore.
Torga slid one leg to the back and raised his fists in a classic boxing pose as his other eight heads unwrapped themselves from beneath the robe and hissed at the two men.
"Don't disappoint me now."
The two men looked at each other, then charged; Dorian swung his sword in a heavy downward slash intending to finish the battle quickly. But one of Torga's heads bit down on the flat of the blade, while another wrapped around Dorian's body and threw him into the air.
Meanwhile, Tyrn had once again leaped at Torga with his claws leading the charge. Torga tucked his head into his chest and slammed his shoulder into Tyrn's stomach, then he grabbed Tyrn by the mane and rolled him over his shoulder to slam onto the ground. Torga brought up his right leg and attempted to stomp on Tyrn, but he rolled out of the way and jumped to his feet.
Dorian kicked the head holding onto his sword in the third eye, which caused it to let go, then he swung his blade in a downward arc which bisected the head. His victory was cut short when another head bit him on the leg and lifted him into the air, before violently and savagely slamming Dorian into the ground. This gave the injured head time to regrow and rejoin the fight.
Tyrn dashed to Torga's left, then quickly cut across to his right and unleashed a heavy haymaker into Torga's rib. The blow actually caused Torga to stumble and wince in pain. The blow wasn't a bad thing, however, as it taught Torga something... Tyrn was getting heavier by the second.
Torga had to exchange a few more blows with Tyrn before he caught on to what was happening; Tyrn was continuously absorbing metal from the ground. This metal made him stronger, tougher, and much much heavier than he had any right to be.
"It must be a variant of my own skills." Torga frowned at the thought, then leaned back to avoid a particularly nasty swipe of Tyrn's claw.
The heads were closing in on Dorian. Every swipe, every slash, and every stab was returned with an attack of their own. Slowly but surely they were overwhelming him and the only thing that allowed him to continue fighting for as long as he had was whatever Rajah did to him... And even that was slowly beginning to fail him.
A glance down at his right leg revealed why; the bite wound from earlier was leaking a clear fluid and had already rotted to the point of exposing his bones.
Suddenly, a head swung around behind him and knocked his legs out from under him, then another head bit into his shoulder and lifted him high into the air before it and another head ripped his arms off and a third head grabbed his leg and slammed him into the ground.
Torga blocked yet another kick to his head with his already aching left arm, then swung his back leg into Tyrn's supporting leg. This knocked Tyrn off balance and allowed Torga to finally catch the much faster Lion-man. Torga wrapped his hand around Tyrn's throat and lifted him into the air. Tyrn struggled, kicked, punched, screamed, but Torga simply held him above his head with a wide smile on his face.
However, a scant few seconds later Torga began to feel Tyrn's weight weighing him down. After noticing the frown Torga tried to hide, Tyrn laughed in his face and that insane voice returned.
"What's wrong, Bastard!? Am I getting too heavy for you!?" Tyrn cackled.
Torga grit his teeth against the weight and ground out; "Are you trying to destroy your body as well as mine?"
"Fool!" Tyrn yelled. "Haven't you figured it out yet!? Look around you! Every living creature on this planet IS my body!" He admitted as his weight began to stretch his body into grotesque proportions.
The weight of Tyrn's body had long since passed that of a mountain and was rapidly approaching that of a moon.
"Oh... Thanks for the heads up." He ground out as he grabbed Tyrn's throat with both hands and slowly lifted into the air to prevent the ground from caving in under Tyrn's weight... Then he moved.
"What're you do-ing!"
Torga shot forward faster than the eye could see and choke-slammed Tyrn onto the recently slammed Dorian's unmoving body. Tyrn's body fell through Dorian's as if he weren't there and then he continued falling through planet like a bullet. The ground shook, planetary quakes could be felt everywhere, and a literal wave of earth crashed into the wall, destroying it and the city in the process...