Done. Read, review, enjoy. I made this 2,000 words longer than I normally do, expect that to become the norm.
Rory was staring at the horrific scene before her. The green giant of a man that ran past her sunk his fist deep within the chest of one of the imps. His hand exited out of the little beasts back, and wrapped around the throat of another imp that was standing behind it. The man in green crushed the little monsters throat with his grip, and pulled, ripping the creatures head off and pulling the now decapitated skull through the hole he created in the first imp.
She couldn't move, she was stuck in shock as she watched the scene play out before her. Green plated armor covered him head to toe, and he stared at the little demons through a blue visor, his gaze causing several to attempt to flee. The only reason that the apostle believed it to indeed be a living being was the fact that she could sense the raw fury radiating off of him.
Well, she assumed it was a him anyhow.
One of the tall monsters tried to fly away in with its little metal backpack, only for the man in green to leap up after it. The green man grabbed one of the little crossbow attachments on its shoulders, and aimed it towards the skeletal beings head, blasting it apart and splattering gore to the earth below. The remaining beasts that hadn't died yet began firing projectile energy at him, which splashed against the body of the falling tall skeleton.
The man in green fell, landing right on top of the head of the fat monster. He wrapped his hands around his skull before the fat thing could react, and smashed it between his crushing hands. He leapt off of its back again, and made short work of the remaining monsters in the village. They didn't even stand a chance as he cut through them like a hot knife through melted butter.
He even punched their
Heads off a couple of times. Once the man in green was done, he stood completely still, much like that of a statue. He looked all around him; likely for any sign of the scourge that had plagued the land, and saw nothing. For a moment, he looked back at her, and then turned back around, marching away as if he were just told that his favorite beer was out of stock.
He stopped mid stride, and then looked back at her, then towards the woods, then back again. He raised his hand, and urged her to follow. Rory cocked her head at the green man, who simply began sprinting towards the forest. Well… who was she to say no to an invitation by a complete stranger to go into an isolated forest with no one else around? She ran after him, doing her best to keep up with his running speed. His armored boots pounded against the grass as he charged, and the smell of smoke still flooded her nostrils.
Now… why did he seem familiar? Had she heard about him before?
That was it. She remembered now, in the last town she passed before reaching Coda, she had heard of the demons arriving with a green knight that consistently hunted them wherever they could be found. This must be him. Why did he want her to follow him? Could it be that he wanted her to join him on his quest to kill all of these creatures? Because if that was the case, she didn't have a mind to say no. However, he didn't seem very talkative.
"That was very impressive; what you did back there. Sure, I had the situation handled, but the way you slaughtered them was simply gorgeous." Rory said. "What are those creatures by the way?" She asked.
She got no words in response. He simply continued running.
"Hello?" She asked once more.
"I see, you're the strong silent type. You know it's a courtesy to tell someone you just met your name." Rory said, still receiving no answer.
Rory narrowed her eyes at the green man's back.
"What are you a mute? Say something!" She shouted.
Again, no response. She couldn't even hear him breathing.
"You're being difficult green man. Not talking with a girl that only wants to give you attention could hurt her feelings you know?" She said, giggling.
Not even a moment of attention was granted to her as he continued on. Rory huffed.
"Knights are supposed to be courteous! Especially to women! Not counting the fact that I'm an apostle of the god Emroy. Also a demigod. Did I mention demigod?" She stated.
Not even a gasp with shock. He remained silent and ignored her. She would kill for any kind of conversation with this man. Literally anything would be better than the silent treatment she was getting. She continued to spark any kind of reaction from him, and still received nothing in kind. Rory discovered that she was proficient at holding one sided conversations.
When they were deep in the forest, he had suddenly come to a complete stop, causing Rory to almost smack face first into his back. She observed her surroundings, and all she could really see was more forest, nothing of note. That's when the green man punched a tree seemingly for no reason, splintering the wood and eliciting a feminine cry of surprise from above.
Rory looked up and saw the source of the cry. A lovely blonde haired blue eyed elf girl sat atop the tree in one of the higher branches. She was adorned in a ridiculously large coat and loose baggy pants. The green man pointed his finger to the ground, and the elf climbed down slowly. She was tall as well, certainly nowhere near as tall as the green man was, but at least a foot taller than Rory.
"Are you Rory? Apostle to the god Emroy? What are you doing here?" The elf asked.
Rory placed a finger on her chin.
"Killing monsters nowadays. What brings you here elf? Besides the fact that this is a forest?" Rory asked.
The elf took a deep breath.
"Well… my name is Tuka; I'm from a village of elves much deeper within the forest." She said. "My village was… burnt to the ground by the same monsters that he fights. He's the one who saved me, he doesn't really say much though." Tuka stated.
That much was obvious.
"I think what he's been trying to do with me is drop me off at the nearest safe place, but every time we reached a village, those monsters had burnt it down." Tuka stated.
Rory looked back up to the green man.
"Is this true?" Rory asked.
She didn't even receive a nod in reply. Instead, the green man turned around, and began running back into the forest like a madman, leaving Rory behind with the elf. Rory was left dumbfounded for a whole minute before she realized what had happened.
He had dumped the elf girl on her to take care of. Rory was tempted to chase after him and show him what for, however, she couldn't just leave this elf maiden all alone and defenseless in the middle of the woods could she? Rory could find him later and teach him a lesson in manners, but first…
Now she had to find a place to dump Tuka. Italica was still standing, so Rory would take her there. Its high walls would keep her safe. The elf girl gazed at the massive boot prints that the green knight left, and frowned. Her gaze was transfixed on where he had just left, as if she were expecting the green man to come back.
Rory remained silent, and simply stared at the elf's features. After another minute, her eyes moistened.
"I thought he'd at least say goodbye…" She muttered.
The fact that she was able to slay demons meant that she was the one to leave the elf girl with. That's all that mattered, now that the girl was gone, he could go back to his eternal crusade. Stopping to rest every night felt unnatural to him, and while the elf slept, he would stay awake at all times, keeping an eye out for the scourge. Now that she was gone, he didn't need to stop for anything. He could rip and tear freely again.
Until it is done.
In the meantime, during his travels with the elf, Vega had picked up on many words. He could translate almost easily now. The AI had become almost fluent with the native language of this place. When that girl in the black dress was telling him that she was a demi god, he scoffed in silence. Perhaps that meant something different in this place, but all that mattered was that she was strong enough to protect the elf.
He charged through the forests again for hours, finding and dispatching many lone wandering hordes of demons with fist and gun.
Back to the basics. The Slayer tore an arm off of an imp and then beat the creature to death with it, and an odd feeling began creeping its way up his spine.
It was worry.
He immediately suppressed it. His job was done, well, that one was done anyhow. As soon as he destroyed every demon here and their pitiful gore nests, he could return to hell to kill the scourge for another millennia. That was all he existed for.
Several more days passed after that, and he found himself not only slaying demons, but saving villages that the scourge had gone to destroy.
"Look it's him!" They would scream.
Vega had begun translating at an excellent rate.
The Doom Slayer must have become famous for the things he had done here, all the more troublesome for the Slayer. He did not want to be bothered by people who incessantly asked him questions. Wasn't it enough that he had saved them? It wasn't like he could answer their questions anyhow; he wished that they would stop trying. Not that it really mattered, for as soon as he was done killing the scum of hell he would take off with great speed, for he always knew there were more somewhere.
Pina shook her head, and took a deep breath, taking in her surroundings. The village that she and her knights had arrived in had been half scorched to ash, and several bodies lay piled up in the center of town. Demon bodies. The stench of flesh burnt black reached her nose, and she noticed freshly dug up soil with grave stones sticking out from it. The peasants of this village already buried their dead in such a fast time.
The sunlight reflected off of her armor, and hid nothing from her view. Several children sat next to the freshly dug graves, their face caked with dry tears. Other children who had not suffered the same loss were chattering about the green knight. The boys droned on about how one day they were going to be as strong as he was so they could take the fight to the demons as well.
The girls were a lot more… silent about it, still staring at the burnt down houses that likely had existed there all of their lives. That didn't mean that they went without chatting about him though. An old man had approached the Order of the Rose Knights, and bowed his head while the other adults continued their work to bury the bodies of the fallen.
He had a chest length white beard with equally white hair, and was hunched over on a creaky brown wooden cane. He had large bags under his wizened eyes, and the skin on his spotted hands was pulled tight against his bones.
"Greetings, I am princess Pina. I've been dispatched by our emperor to bring the green knight to him. I'm to understand he had passed through here not even a day ago correct?" She asked the little old man.
The old man took a deep breath.
"Aye, he came through here all right. He's the damned reason most of us are still alive. Why has the emperor not evacuated his people princess? Why does he leave us defenseless?" The old man asked.
Pina's eyes widened.
"There have been messengers that have been spread out throughout this area telling everyone to flee to Italica or the capital. Are you telling me that you received no messenger?" Pina asked him.
The old man grit his teeth.
"Aye, we did. The same time we were attacked. His grave is over there." The old man stated, pointing to one of the tombstones. "Is there a reason that they haven't been gifted horses? He had ran here on foot. Can't spare any horses to save your citizens? My son was killed, and with him two of my grandchildren, only one remains! He has not spoken a word to me or anyone about his grief!" The old man shouted. "You noble bastards must be cheap on everything."
Bozes placed a hand on the hilt of her sword, her blonde drill hair bobbing with the motion.
"How dare you speak to the princess in such a manner! Retract your words this instant!" She shouted.
"Bozes stand down immediately." Pina said, in that instant the blonde removed her hand from her blade. "I did not know that they didn't have proper transportation. I'm sorry; I'll send a notice to my father and fix this grievous error. As for all of you, I'm going to take a hiatus from my mission, and guide you all to Italica safely." Pina stated.
The old man let out a sigh of his own.
"I apologize for my words; my heart has been struck with intense sadness. It affected my judgment. Yes, please guide everyone here to safety. I'll remain, and finish burying our dead."
"Will you not come with us? You'll be exposed to another demon attack." Pina said.
The old man chuckled.
"I suspect I won't survive the journey there. Let me explain this to my grandson, he has always listened to reason before, he'll understand that I can't make it." The old man said.
Pina clenched her reigns.
Rory looked towards the high walls of Italica, and saw several patrols atop the stone palisade. Parts of the grey stone wall were scorched black, and various bodies were piled up outside of the walls in a ring. Corpses of demons and men alike lay piled atop each other, and Rory frowned. There weren't that many demon corpses, mostly just the bodies of humans. That upset her because they had died fighting and she wasn't there! She shook her head, the blade of her axe glinting in the morning sun.
Tuka and Lelei breathed heavily behind her, staring at the walls of the city in awe. Rory couldn't help but feel put off by the woods behind her, as if something were going to leap out from behind the trees and attack to two girls she had been protecting. She knew that the green knight had already destroyed the portals to the demons dimensions in the immediate area, but they still were coming from somewhere.
"So this is Italica… it's bigger than I thought it'd be." Tuka stated.
"You think that we'll be safe here Rory?" Lelei asked, twirling her mage staff in hand.
Rory looked back to the two girls and smirked.
"I mean probably!" She shouted happily.
The two girls looked at each other and then back to Rory.
"If you say so. I have family I will go to after it's safe to leave… what about you Tuka?" Lelei asked the elf. "What will you do once it's safe to leave again?"
The elf girl looked to the ground.
"I… don't really know. I suppose I'll get to work on finding another elf village. It wouldn't feel right if I stayed in the world of humans." Tuka replied. "Maybe I'll see the green knight again along the way. I hope he's alright."
The days that Tuka spent with the man in green were terrifying, yet she oddly missed clutching to his back as they ran across the land. The elf had seen him destroy the demons with impunity, never hesitating for anything. The man in green seemed to hate them more than anything else. The instant they spotted demons, the green knight would drop her off of his back and immediately get to work dispatching the monsters.
She's seen floating red monsters with a single green eye and cavernous mouths, and large fat monsters with metal encasing their fists. Not to mention the imps that she had already previously encountered… and the dead. The corpses of the fallen that she had encountered in her travels with the green knight were terrifying. He attacked them with just as much hatred as any of the other creatures, but she couldn't help but feel horrible for them.
Sadly she and the girls were encountering more, and more of the dead than they were normal people nowadays. Their hordes must have spread out far and wide, because even foreign armies had begun appearing en masse in an attempt to clear them out. The monsters were dispatched easily enough, but there were just too many, and for every one that was slain, two more would take their place.
They seemed to follow the demons around to help attack the defenseless settlements that they came across. It was sick, and Tuka could understand why the green knight despised the demons so much. They must have hurt him in a way that was completely unforgivable.
Rory then began her trek towards the main gate of the city, the girls wordlessly following in tow. Once the trio got closer, they saw that a line of wagons were lined up at the front of the city. Several peasants were covered with soot and held their eyes low to the ground. Children screamed and cried while the adults argued with one another.
Fights broke out between men while their wives shouted at them to stop, and one wagon at a time was being waved through at the open palisade. Rory could see that a barricade consisting of tables, barrels, chairs, and just generally any wooden object was stacked atop each other facing the direction of the gate.
As Rory approached, more and more people began taking notice of her presence. Some of them kneeled, others cheered that Rory the Reaper had come to protect them from the demons. The soldiers on the opposite side of the gate eased up, and let their shoulders hang.
"Oh praise be to Emroy! I didn't think I would be saying that!" She heard a man shout within the town.
Rory smiled but said nothing, simply walking into Italica like she owned the place. Lelei and Tuka followed closely behind, both of them eliciting their own whispers. Rory took a center position in front of the barricade, and slammed the hilt of her axe against the cobbled stone of the ground beneath her.
"I am Rory the Reaper, demigod and apostle to the God Emroy. I have two weary souls that seek shelter within your walls. Take them in and I will help with the defense of your precious Italica." Rory stated.
A large man with a thick black beard approached her, and offered a hand.
"You got yerself a deal their little lady. Not that we'd ever turn ya down anyhow." He said, his baggy bloodshot eyes conveying relief.
Rory smiled and then took the hand.
"It's a deal then. Now, where are the baths? And do hurry with getting those peasants in the city immediately, wouldn't want them to become demon fodder." Rory said.
"Or bandit fodder your holiness. There's been a roving band of ruffians that've been attacking whenever they can, making sure to launch their assaults right after the demons strike." The bearded man said, his chainmail shining in the sunlight. "You'd think that in these times of strife men would learn to stick together to face this overbearin' threat. These bandits are made up of criminal scum and deserters from Alnus; cowards that couldn't stand to hold the line against the monsters any longer. They number in the thousands and we have to deal with them atop of the demons. Some days we get lucky and they both try to attack at the same time and end up killing each other. Usually the demons win those scuffles."
Rory put a finger to her chin.
"I thought the green knight already destroyed the portals around here?" Rory asked. "Are you telling me that more have already taken their place?"
"Aye, that's the case. Every day they show up at the walls to just take away the bodies of the bandits that died. I can only guess that's why they still keep showing up round' here." The bearded man said. "Word is even the capital's dealing with the same problem; they get attacked every day by roving bands of demons."
"Really? Even old Augustus's prize city is being assaulted by these things? They seem to fear nothing save for the man in green." Rory said.
He stroked his beard.
"Speaking of which, word from the sentries is that he's been seen darting between the trees around here, probably to take care of the new portals that've shown up. Let's hope that he puts them down for good." He said. "Oh, I forgot my manners your holiness, I'm Rellen. I've been keeping command of the guard here since the demons began attacking." Rellen said.
"Well it is excellent to meet you Rellen, now; me and the girls here have been traveling and fighting for days now. Could you provide us with some baths? Once we're done I'll take a position on top of the wall. If anyone approaches that isn't supposed to, I'll take care of it." Rory said.
"Thank ye for that your holiness, you just being here is raisin' my men's spirits higher than they've been a while." He said, nodding his head. "And what's this? An elf and a mage? Can they fight?"
"They've both picked up some tricks on the way here." Rory answered.
With a crack of the imp's neck, that marked the last of the demons in the abandoned village. The first thing that the Doom Slayer had done was take apart the gore nest they had built here. He could have sworn that he had already cleared this place out before, but the scourge seemed to just find more and more bodies to use for their disgusting constructs. He ripped off its head for good measure, and punted it into the air like a soccer ball. It flew into the forest and landed somewhere with a thud.
The Slayer scanned his surroundings, listening for any sound that would indicate the presence of any more of the demonic scum. He heard nothing. The burnt houses were little more than scorched black wood posts and ash; this place had been destroyed long before he had arrived. The Doom Slayer got into a running position, and was about to take off in a sprint when he heard the clopping of hooves approach closely behind.
He quickly turned his hateful gaze upon the interlopers, and saw several women and a few men in plate mail staring at him slack jawed. A red headed girl at the front of the company of knights smiled, and silently whispered "finally" to herself. Most people wouldn't have heard it, but nothing escaped the Doom Slayers ears.
There was a line of horses that stretched back a long ways, almost as far as his eye could see before the trees obscured the rest.
"I am princess Pina Co Lada, and you have been requested to accompany us to meet our emperor Molt Sol Augustus. He wishes to discuss the demons with you and the best way in which to defeat them." The red head said.
The Doom Slayer said nothing in response. After a long silence between the two parties, Pina spoke up again.
"Do you accept?" She asked.
The Slayer still offered no reply, instead opting to turn right around, and sprint away at full speed. Pina gasped in shock, and he heard several more hooves begin to chase after him.
"Damn! They warned us that he'd try to run! Do your best to restrain him!" He heard Pina shout.
No human could possibly hope to bind him. No one was forcing him to meet anyone, he knew what he was doing, the Doom Slayer didn't need to meet any king, and even if he did, he couldn't tell him anything. Not that he could inform the young knights that were currently chasing him. The Slayer knew he was fast, but the horses were doing a decent job with keeping up with him. The problem for them however, is that it was notoriously difficult to guide horses through thickly wooded areas.
He zig zagged through the trees, heading deeper and deeper within the forest. He gradually began losing them, once he was certain that they had no chance, he felt something wrap around his wrist. He looked down and saw that a brown whip had latched itself onto him. The Slayer came to an abrupt stop, and he clenched his teeth in anger.
"I have him!" A young man with a brown pony tail shouted. "Please sir knight just listen to us!"
The Slayer would not have it, and grabbed the shaft of the whip with his free hand. He tugged, pulling the man off of the horse and causing him to land on his face. The horse galloped away and several more knights began surrounding them. The Slayers eyes went bloodshot. No, he wouldn't kill them, but he would beat them like he was their father! He tugged on the whip once more, ripping it out of the young man's grip. He grabbed the handle of it, and gave it a test whip against a nearby tree.
A thin line appeared in the bark, and the Slayer grinned. He heard weapons being drawn, and he ran towards the downed knight, and began whooping his ass with the whip. Again and again he cracked the whip against the young man's posterior, eliciting a cry from him with every rapid strike. A club had struck his helmet, and he could sense it was not with intent to kill, only incapacitate, sadly for these knights, nothing could hope to bring him to unconsciousness that was at their disposal.
They would need to collapse a tower on top of him to accomplish that feat. The Slayer turned his attention towards who had struck him, and was surprised to see an older man with short graying hair before him. Everyone that the Slayer had seen before was young, no older than eighteen, maybe even sixteen.
As such the Slayer would save him the embarrassment from being whipped into submission. He stepped forward and crashed his helmet into the older man's forehead, knocking him to the ground unconscious. The Slayer had to hold back on that one or he may have killed the older soldier.
"Cease this immediately!" A blonde girl with odd hair shouted at him.
She drew her sword, and he whipped her hand, causing her to drop the sword with a cry of pain. A red welt had begun to form on her hand, and she grabbed the wound. He whipped a few of the horses backsides around him, spurring them into a frenzy and sending them careening in random directions throughout the forest. The kids that dismounted their horses charged at him in an attempt to grapple him.
He smacked them all in the face with the whip, sending them to the ground with a shout of pain. He then stood over them, and began whipping their asses while they were down.
"Ow stop!" They would shout.
"Please for the love of all that is holy stop hitting me!"
"This is embarrassing stop!" A brown haired girl shouted.
The man with the brown pony tail stood up again, and the slayer whipped his face, knocking him down to the ground once more. A long red line formed on his brow, and he began whipping his thighs. He screamed with pain, and attempted to block the blows with his hands.
"Why me!?" He shouted.
"Stop this immediately green knight! There is no need for this! Please just come with us!" The red head shouted, galloping towards him with a club raised. The Slayer ducked beneath the oncoming blow, and then shot his whip forward, the weapon curling around her throat. He tugged, ripping her off the top of her horse. He ran up to her, and began whipping her ass as well, making sure to layer the whip together and pull, giving it an intimidating crack first.
Children needed discipline!
An hour passed like that, several more knights appeared after that, only to receive an ass beating from the whip as a courtesy of the Slayer. Any that attempted to get up were whipped to the ground again with ferocity. He became lost in rage, though this time, the rage was out of complete annoyance rather than raw hatred, so he didn't end up killing any of them.
The parts of their bodies that weren't covered in metal were covered with red welts and black bruises. Their cries echoed throughout the woods for miles, and none of the Rose Knights would be able to live this beating down. The Doom Slayer had enough of soldiers pursuing him in order for him to meet their king. He was keeping the whip, the next time anyone showed up and bugged him to meet their monarch and didn't leave him alone, he would whip them too.
He would Whip and Tear.
Until it is done.