In case you are seeing this for the second time, then everything is the same. I just edited some stuff I forgot to edit before, like the line breaks and such. Second time's the charm, right?
So, a new chapter! Here's to hoping things go well. Once again, thank you to Hofund for the great ideas. I finally came up with a decent way to advance the story, and I'm going to roll with it until it no longer needs to be rolled that way. Here goes!
Normally, being larger than someone means that you run faster than someone.
Obviously this isn't always the case, as before Usain Bolt decided to reveal himself as the world's fastest man those at the top of the event were relatively small, but my point still stands.
Another method that nature has proven to help increase speed is to add more legs. Admittedly, the amount of legs this usually implies is four, but adding another pair should mean an increased velocity right? That was my reasoning anyway.
With all of this in mind, there was no way two young teenage girls could catch up with me. I was in the clear!
Until the pounding rhythm of quickly approaching pursuers reached my... feet? I didn't have ears which let me hear ambient sound, but I could feel vibrations through the ground, so I suppose the statement was as true as any.
Anyway, back to the point at hand. "How can they be catching up with me?" I mentally screamed. "No one's that fast, let alone two teenage girls!"
I realised what that might sound like.
"Not that their gender means anything, of course, it's just that guys are on average faster than girls, and therefore I assumed – not that I should have assumed anything, beca- what's the point of me even backtracking? They want to kill me!"
As I began to enter mental warfare with myself, I heard (or is it felt? I guess felt) the feet slowly come to a stop. Had they given up? I refused to raise my hopes. They got crushed too often.
Two seconds later I was proved right.
The – what's between a boom and a tap? Wait, I know – thumping of shoes against a dirt road began anew, except this time it was different. They were taking longer strides, and the thumping was... I suppose heavier. So they were faster and bigger than the two chasing me before I guess.
(Like, 1 minute earlier. I would say point of view change, but this is third person, so f*** you)
"Is that Deathstalker running away?" said unimportant girl #1 (specifically the one wearing yellow).
"Maybe it's an ancient Grimm!" squealed unimportant girl #2 (specifically, the one with the green and blue clothing) with far more glee than required when talking about a Grimm that was potentially powerful enough to require a group of trained huntsman and huntresses to defeat, "which explains why it's smart enough to retreat in the face of two mighty warriors!" Pulling out a pair of wickedly curved daggers, she followed up by saying "Let's go kill it!"
"But what if we get hurt?"
Unimportant girl #2 stared in shock at her equally unimportant twin sister. "Are you forgetting that we are the two greatest huntresses of our year? Even stronger than all of the boys? Able to take on the older years and come out on top? Let's get that thing!" And so the two girls set off after their target, one wielding a shotgun with precision born of extended practice while the other twirled their daggers with precision born from a (dangerous) form of glee that made one forget about precision.
"Where do you think you're going?!"
I'm pretty sure I made it clear the two girls were unimportant right? At least, to this story anyway. The future spring maiden has nothing to do with our favourite Deathstalker named Robert.
The two unimportant girls stopped in their tracks to face the two plot-relevant and older girls who called out to them. With one wearing a thigh-length, long-sleeved white trench coat with red-trimmed knee high boots and the other wearing a mottled-grey hooded cloak along with black leggings and a light blue skin-tight jumpsuit that extended to just above the knees, they cut an imposing figure.
What was far more imposing was the fact that these two unimportant girls now understood why the Deathstalker had ran – the cloaked girl's semblance.
"Go back!" yelled the important white-trench coat girl.
"B-b-but..." stammered unimportant huntress hopeful girl #2, hesitating.
"That thing didn't run from you! You don't even have your own weapons yet!" pointed out important white trench coat girl. The two unimportant girls shuffled nervously. "So leave already!" she glanced at her cousin, the important cloaked girl next to her. "We've got this."
With a final glance at the fleeing creature of darkness and nightmares, the two unimportant girls relented and ran back to the village. Meanwhile, important trench coat girl turned to important cloaked girl. "Why'd you have to scare it off?"
"It was the best option," replied important cloak girl, readying her longbow and taking an arrow from the quiver on her back. "Shall we?"
"After you." And the chase began anew.
(Does this count as the present? The present time is, what, 10 seconds later. Eh, whatever)
I wish I could have looked behind me, but the lack of a neck means I had to rely on my hearing. And what I heard wasn't good.
They were catching up to me fast, but it seemed that whether or not they caught up with me was of no importance. An arrow narrowly missing the top of my head solidified this point, but I wasn't so blinded by fear I didn't notice the sound (vibrations? Whatever) of a killer teenage girl approaching my left side.
Unfortunately, I was so blinded by fear I didn't care that there was a killer teenage girl approaching my left side.
This proved to be my undoing, as pain so sharp and precise you should be glad to never even come close to imagining it impacted my body with explosive results. The explosion was so huge that it sent me careening to the side, rolling over and crushing my tail multiple times before with a final lurch, I came to a standstill, dazed, bruised, and battered beyond imagining.
"Oh God, that hurts," I gasped, wincing in pain, "What was that explosion?" I wasn't given any time to think however, as from the corner of my furthest eye I could see a girl wearing white charging towards me, moving at an unbelievable pace across the clearing while clutching a huge metal spear in her hands. Before I could even begin to attempt movement, I saw her click a button on the handle of her mighty weapon, and before my eyes it turned into a medieval looking crossbow, with the top half of the spear sliding downwards and expanding outwards to form the limbs (yes, I know the names of the parts) while the girl loaded an arrow, all while on the move.
As she took aim I realised that I was going to have to do something, other than running. But what? "Is peaceful negotiations off the table?"
The bolt fired.
"I don't think there's a table anymore." The bolt flew through the air, aiming straight for my already blinded eye. In a panicked frenzy I tried to smack it aside with my claw, only for the bolt to explode in a burst of raw electricity, shocking and burning my face in equal measure. Screaming in agony, I collapsed, the injuries on my body to great for me to even attempt movement.
"Is this how it all ends?" I wondered. Fear, pain and shock were overloading me so much that I instead felt a serene calm. "I... I don't want to go. Not like this. Not like a monster. Not without my family even knowing where I am. Not without any friends left to miss me. Not because of something beyond my control. Not like this. Not like this!"
"Do you mind if I finish it off? It's been a while since I had the chance to blow off some steam." Oh. The girls were still talking. Maybe I could take comfort in a quick death.
It didn't feel very comfortable.
"Sure, I guess. Doesn't look like it'll put up much of a fight anyway."
"Thanks! This'll be fun..."
I stared into the face of a teenage girl with eyes as dark as the night sky. Her face was split by an almost manic grin, and her cloak (though white) only seemed to reinforce what I already knew; this was the face of my death.
Slowly, small streaks of purple light began to extract themselves from various points in the girl's body, until she had several thorn-shaped light constructs surrounding herself. "Like Steven Universe... I'm never going to see how that ends, am I?"
Slowly, the thorns began to spin in place, until I realised what they were for – drilling. She was going to drill straight through my skull.
All at once, the thorns began to drift back. I knew what was coming next, and I wished I had eyelids that would stop me from seeing what was coming next. But I didn't. Humans have eyelids.
Pure, uncensored torture exploded from my face.
I screamed louder than I had ever screamed before. I thrashed around, desperate to be free of the pain that clouded my vision – or was that blood? My tail stabbed downwards with terrifying force, but the girl merely sidestepped, grinning in pure ecstasy at my cries of misery. Fear began to overtake me as I lost the ability to see anything but the face of my pain, my fear, my death. She... she was pure evil. And pure evil began to look confused.
With a sudden and sickening lurch, the thorns left their residence in my skull and retreated back into their creator. I stopped screaming and instead took great, heaving breaths. I wanted to vomit. That pain... well, I didn't help that I now knew the thorns were barbed, nor that my insides were slowly leaving their intended positions.
"Hey, Gigi? What's wrong?" The face of death snapped to the face of my defeat.
"I... I think I felt something. From the Grimm. It... It felt human..."
"But that's never happened before, has it? Don't you usually just scare them to death or something?"
"Yeah, but this time it was like... like it was sending something back. Like when I was still training with my semblance."
What on Earth were they talking about? I was tempted to think about it, but, well... my current condition isn't meant for A-level philosophy. As it was, consciousness felt now was a good time to leave me, despite how hard I was trying to keep it in place.
"-looks like it's falling... but Grimm can't... we'll give it a..."
Unconsciousness was not as peaceful as it should have been.
I had hoped it would be like in all of the books I'd read. They always describe it as being a mostly peaceful sleep, with maybe a prophetic dream mixed in. It wasn't for me though, but that might have had something to do with the fact those people were usually demi-gods, or the chosen one, or some other kind of super powerful teenager.
Not only was I in my late 20's, and therefore far too old to fit into that cliché, I also didn't have a bed to sleep on, friends to fall back on, no helpful mantra to focus on, or even the ACTUAL physical ability to fall asleep; at some point in my dream, I realised that the only thing keeping me asleep was my complete mental exhaustion. That fight... I honestly thought I was going to die, and the person responsible loved every second of it.
Something else that kept me on edge was the voice in the back of my head. It wasn't mine, but I definitely recognised it. But why was I hearing it...?
"You know, you could have killed them. You'd have an excuse too; they tried to kill you first. Self defence is ethical, so they say. But you were always too weak, weren't you?"
The voice was closer. Of course it was her voice. I just can't get away from her, can I? Even when we're on different planets, she's still systematically destroying me.
"I mean, come on. You've got bone armour. You've got humongous claws. You've got a fucking huge tail for God's sake! Heck, you could take me in a fight right now, but you just run aw-"
Being awake sounds better than listening to Males Twich in my dreams.
Coming to, the first thing I saw was a cage. I was confused where the rest of the cage was (why could I only see one side?) until I realised what I really should have figured out immediately; I was in the cage.
Least I was alive.