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*( mood song: "Starset - My Demons")

Trutk: "revenge? what are you-" he then saw Inky behind Erik, his eyes opening wide, soon full of greed "demon flesh!"

Erik got annoyed though "hey you fucking bastard, I'm your oppone-"

Before he had finished Inky had charged forward, the earlier slaughter filling her with confidence.

"Inky wait!" Erik tried stopping her but she just charged forward.

Left with no other choice, Erik upped his thrusters to the max and charged with her as he said "all troops fire!"

*BANG* dozens of shots occurred but they only moved Trutk slightly, as they couldn't pierce his thick exoskeleton, just bouncing in other directions.

Erik thought 'damn, the shell is is tougher than a tank...'.

Inky charged at him with her spear and a smirk full of confidence 'this slow crab will never reach-', but before she could finish the sentence, Erik grabbed her and threw her back as a big claw impacted his power armors chest like a meteor, sending him flying.

*THUD!* and he loudly impacted a cave wall embedding himself and then falling to the floor.

[ERIK!!!]

Inky: "ERIK!!!" both Rose and Inky were immediately concerned, as Inky charged to Erik.

Meanwhile, Erik was dealing with system prompts from his power armor as he struggled to breathe.

*Guill system destroyed, leak in blood pressure, shutting down*

*Detected gas pressure leak, initiate gas pressure compensation? yes/no*

Erik: "y..e...s"

*gas pressure initiated, according to depth parameters, checking Neon(Ne) gas reserves... Neon gas insufficient, another gas needed... gas Hydrogen available, initiate? yes/no*

Erik: "Hydrogen at this depth?!?!.... fuck... yes! initiate!"

*initiating... WARNING, hydrogen can cause hallucinations at high depths"

Erik took deep breaths as the suit filled with air, a mixture of Neon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen.

The gills system was sealed, and his blood had stopped flowing inside, the blood still inside just started leaking to the surrounding waters.

Finally catching his breath he stood up and calmed Inky that was beside him, looking to the front, Trutk had stood there after his hit, seemingly surprised with Erik surviving.

Erik: 'well, it seems I can breathe properly... that sure hurt... alright, let's do this' he gently pushed Inky aside, and picked up his chainsword that had fallen beside him, and started it, making it roar at high speed.

He could see Trutk visibly twitch at the sound, making Erik chuckle "oh, so you don't like this sound huh? jajaja it's time for round 2, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE OLD CRAB!"

Erik could visibly see Trutk eyes dilate and then narrow with anger as it started charging at him 'now I'm in my own body and won't make the same mistake...' he looked at Inky "remain here, don't get close to that thing"

Inky was frantic with worry "b-but-"

Erik: "just watch"

Inky lowered her head "alright... I'm sorry"

Erik: "it's fine, tell the Elders on the radio to watch this"

Inky nodded and Erik started charging forward too, his armoured heavy metallic boots digging into the muddy floor of the cave with each step due to the high weight of the power armor, leaving muddy clouds behind as he ran.

Trutk's 6 legs also leaving a long trail as they finally came close.

As they came to 6 meters distance, they slowed down as Trutk elevated his remaining right claw, ready to strike.

Erik thinking 'he~ you might be fast but without any martial training..., let's see how you like feints' he faintly moved to the right but then crouched and sidestepped to the left at the last moment using his left foot, passing below Trutk's enormous claw and getting to his side 'take this!', he then pivoted on his left foot and moving his right foot back, his body moving along and swung his chainsword at the crabmans enormous torso with all the strength his body could accomplish.

The blade tore big chunks out of the exoskeleton, reaching flesh and tearing some out, before he then back stepped with his left foot, placing him behind Trutk and out of his claws range.

*KRAGHHH!!!*

Moments earlier, Trutk had been really sure of his victory, seeing the being move to his left, thinking 'kukuku, stupid creature, now you are in the range of my claw!', after attacking the creature had seemingly disappeared though, 'huh? where did he? ugh-' his confusion didn't last long as he felt a sharp pain tearing his side open, roaring in pain.

The pain was clouding his judgment as he slowly turned around while holding the wound closed with his hands 'damn creature... i will show you my secret technique, it worked with that bastard Rukud and will work again... that damn bastard, his body wasn't even tasty all weird shiny bones inside...'

Erik on his part watched cautiously as Trutk turned around, his power armor made him slow but thankfully the 6 legged enormous crab was slower, that wasn't the problem though, even with just that light movement he was feeling dizzy 'damn, is the hydrogen starting to affect me?' he was starting to see shadows at the corners of his vision, Trutk had already turned around though 'i will deal with it later, now I have to- huh?'

He saw Trutk grab a pose leaving his side and frontal left leg exposed '...ja..jaja. juajaJAJAJA! seriously? you think I will fall for that again? too naive...'

Trutk was delighted, the enemy creature kept observing his leg, clearly falling for his trick, it was also a good trade, even if the enemy got his leg it would be fine, 'it will grow back anyways' he saw the enemy attacking and grinned.

Erik charged forward and readied himself, he needed to cheat the crab again and a mistake could cost him his life. He advanced with firm steps, dragging the front of his feet on the ground as he had been trained to do in his combat classes, he made the motion for swing his sword, but when he saw the claw starting to descend he used the power armor thrusters and a powerful sidestep to bolt to the right, effectively passing through the space left by the missing left claw. Then, as Trutk's claw impacted the ground where he had just been earlier, Erik swung his sword at the two side legs next to him, his sword cutting through the equivalent to knee joints with ease "hehe~ you thought i would fall for that again crab?"

Trutk fell to his left side, now not having a claw or enough leg support on his left side, pain waves surging from his severed 2 legs.

*KWAAAAHHH*

In the fall, one more leg was severed, it felt bad and he looked around and realized he was surrounded there were big demons surrounding him from all directions, even his slave sluts were watching, he was filled with greed and anger at the food in front of himself that he wouldn't be able to eat "EAT YOU ALL!, I WILL EAT YOU A- KWAAARRRGH!"

Erik had used the time to sever the crab's right claw on the shoulder 'never wait for the villain to talk, it brings bad karma' he was impressed by something though, the wound from earlier as well as the wound just now barely lost any blood, and were quickly covered by a foam that hardened, if he could he wanted to keep Trutk as a test subject 'he should also be a great template for a combat body, just need to feed him different things, maybe bone powder of deep beasts to make him even sturdier, let's wrap this up'

Without his big claws, Trutk's remaining bare arms weren't a threat for Erik's power armor, as Erik pulled his poison launcher from his side and walked in front of Trutk, looking at the fallen crabman's head from above, looking at its narrowed eyes and armoured beak "so, you wanted to eat us?"

Trutk: "yeah! I will eat-" Trutk started talking, but was interrupted as something was stuck down his throat.

Erik had stuck his poison launcher down Trutk's throat, pulling on the trigger "oh yeah? choke on that then!" the high-speed flow of poison cutting the crabman's insides, the poison also quickly invading the struggling crabman's system "that's it... don't struggle, I won't kill you..." that seemed to calm

the crabman a bit as it lost consciousness, "just replace your brain, just like I did with Rukud" Erik's last words made its eyes deeply dilate with fear as it sank to unconsciousness.

Erik looked around at the excited octopeople around, the elders had come with also dozens of restrained crab people, the snipers had come too, Inky then also came running and hugged him, luckily the power armor was connected to his nerves, so he could feel her hug as she was trembling slightly, he lightly patted her back to calm her down.

He then raised his head and announced to the crowd "MY PEOPLE! WE WENT TO WAR, IT IS NOT OVER, THERE WILL BE OTHER BATTLES TO FIGHT... BUT! IN THIS FIRST BATTLE... WE! ARE! VICTORIOUS!!!"

Cheers resonated as the elders and other octopeople shouted, in a chorus of voices "VICTORIOUS!!!"

Crabina also came in front of him and hugged his leg "thanks for saving my tribe!"

Erik was about to smile when he noticed something that chilled him to the core as cold sweat covered his body 'I hope I'm hallucinating...' out of the shadows of the cave, he could see plumes and tentacles of darkness extending.

He stumbled back some steps as he tremblingly looked at the ceiling of the cave [R-Rose.... please tell me this isn't real?]

But no one responded to him, only distant echoes resounding in the darkness that seemed to engulf him, he panted loudly as the horror was reflected in his eyes.

In his vision, veins crawled all over the cave wall to an enormous half-closed eye on the ceiling, with a big tumor twitching under it as the eye seemed to be opening more, looking directly at him.

Erik didn't know what was real anymore, but he knew something 'I NEED TO GET OUT OF GERE ASAP!' he quickly shouted in Spanish as he deactivated the translator "EMERGENCY PROTOCOL 3 ACTIVATED!"

*protocol 3 initiated, power suit moving host to a safe place*

Inky and the elders were alarmed, Erik had suddenly collapsed while looking at the ceiling, then shouted something and ran away at high speed.

Shana sensed something wrong and took control of the situation "Timberly, Inky, go with him and make sure he's okay, us three will remain here to set up the camp, we also need to keep an eye on these..." she looked at the mutated crab women and her voice turned chilly "abominations..."

Timberly nodded but said "isn't Megan better for that task?"

Shana scoffed and said "no offense but Megan by herself can only act as bait if Erik is attacked along the way"

"Hey! that's not... completely true" Megan complained, but the rest ignored her as they nodded to Shana's words.

Inky and Timberly immediately vaulted away, catching up to the sprinting Erik that wasn't answering their questions.

In Erik's vision though, all the tunnel walls were now filled with pumping veins, and tentacles of darkness seemed to be getting closer, making him hyperventilate in fear, nothing in his training had included such a situation, after all, he was trusting completely in the power armors AI by now as he couldn't differentiate reality from illusion, too afraid to shoot without thinking and ending hitting someone dear.

He tried calming down to stabilize his body and breathing and finally was almost half of the way done to be out of the cave, in his vision the tentacles were engulfing him by now, he could feel them crawl over and under his skin and kept repeating himself 'this isn't real... calm down... calm down...' but it wasn't working, he didn't even hear the suits prompts.

*safe area detected, pressure elevator, take the host there? yes/no.....*

*abnormal mental state detected in the host, dangerous levels of stress, elevated pulse, high risk of cardiac arrest detected, awaiting response..... host in no position to reply, applying security measure 1, sedating the host, detected as a level 1 priority, releasing safety measures and speed limiters..., overclocking turbines, reducing plating weight* and the power armor vaulted forward with twice the speed, soon reaching the outside, charging at the already waiting elevator and charging inside, Inky and Timberly gabbing the lower part of the elevator as the AI closed before they could enter.

*safe area reached, taking the host to safety pressure levels..., suits energy levels in critical condition, power source... unreachable, estimated time to reach safety... 9 hours.... energy required insufficient, detecting shortcircuits... level 1 priority override protocol, diverting all energy to life support systems... goodbye commander*

Erik on his part could feel the squirming sensation all over and inside his body, soon fainting when he was sedated, in the perfect time too as he was about to go crazy.

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NirvanaPenguin

Bio: Love reading and I also like writing, I love ancient knowledge, scuba diving, and science fiction, and magic kind of settings, been accumulating novel ideas since I was 16 years old and I should start publishing novels around 2022, I wanted to create my own webpage in the beginning and I might do so, let's see how it turns out, I learned to code in WordPress and PHP, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so I can create my own proper website anytime if my books turn out to be popular enough, but I will be just posting here and in WebNovel for now.
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