“Death in all its forms is a release. A release from responsibility, from pain and mostly from the fleetingness of life.” -Geran, Last Disciple of Arias, the goddess of death
“Mind giving up a part of your flesh?” The figure laughed.
It was overwhelming. Every word he spoke seeped out power, one I could feel. The air around me felt heavier the longer he laughed. My armor began creaking and my hands shaking. No matter how much I tried to move, I couldn’t. It was like he had hijacked my every muscle. What the hell is this thing doing to me?
“Oh, that? Hmmm… So, you really are just like him. You’re not an exile like me, you possess raw void energy. No…” As soon as he spoke, the strange pressure around me started to dissipate.
“…w-what the hell are you talking abou-” However before could finish, a stronger, much more powerful aura surrounded me as he began speaking in strange and alien tongues.
I could feel it; every part of my body was in agony. Blood was filling my mouth, threatening to drown me. My knees trembled and screamed out as every bone in my body started cracking, with my vision becoming blurry. My body wanted to fall to the ground there and then, but then I remembered.
I’m done kneeling for others. This bastard better clench its teeth.
Finding the strength to stand up, all around me I saw the pools of crimson blood slowly start swirling and churning. As they did, at the center of each appeared specters just like what I saw in the streets. The only difference in this scenario was that they were all bloody, armed and emitting a violent bloodlust. They were holding all sorts of weapons from daggers to crossbows to rapiers. As the old knight looked at me with a questioning look, his eyes took a violent red flare.
“Hmm, an unyielding one…how does it survive without protection? Maybe I could make use of you after all…” it mumbled. The knight’s eyes started raging into an inferno, surrounding us and the bloody specters. As it did, he emerged from the hellscape, engulfed in flames and started pacing towards me. Out of the surrounding flames, it pulled out a massive black great sword.
“…. Survive, then maybe we could come to a compromise.” It pointed its sword at me, all the sudden the strange pressure was gone. “
… This Flaming Piece of Scrap just dug its own grave if he thinks he’ll win.
Lunging at it with the large bowie knife and a retractable steel short sword from my armor, I started kiting it with slashes. The knight skillfully blocking most hits, started swinging the massive sword like a maniac. It was painfully obvious that we were at a stalemate. He would block, parry and dodge my attacks while I dodged every single one of his. An unstoppable force, meeting an immovable object.
It didn’t help that the specters were there to back him up. Whenever I had an opening, a specter would lunge itself at me to block the hit. On the contrary, the little devils would block me whenever I tried to run or dodge. It was not pleasant.
We fought for what seemed to be hours, but neither of us were tired. We were all inhuman, machine or magic, so it was to be expected. Whenever I did get a hit in, it would just scratch his armor or cut through the flames that engulfed up his body. He barely even flinched. Whenever he hit me, it hurt like hell. My pain limiters at the base of my spine had worn themselves out in the void. Every hit felt like somebody shoved a grenade into my face...
…grenade! If blades and bullets weren’t going to cut it, I’ll just blow it up!
Under normal circumstances, this would’ve been a very stupid idea. However, I doubt a floating city filled to the brim with ghosts and this ugly flaming matchstick would be considered normal. After all, who would ignite a grenade in close-quarters combat, especially one with a 15-meter blast radius.
Launching several knives and bullets at the specters and the knight, I charged at it with a grenade in my hand and a short sword from my back in the other. It had reached him despite the large gap between us. Deflecting it had made an opening. I sheathed my short sword into a specter as I drew out my pistol and started emptying the magazine at his armor, making a fist-sized hole. He knew that this last attack would dictate the winner. He charged towards me, raising the massive sword high into the air. Pulling the pin, I rolled under his dark blade.
I didn’t need to look behind me. I had won. Seconds later, the great sword fell along with his armor in the cloud of noise and dust.