'What is he?' Aldra's thoughts blazed before she took control of them; she wasn't used to seeing her opponent look so relaxed, especially when facing her.
'There is no magical trait, no holy energy or demonic taint. He just changed his body as if it was a natural thing and somehow broke out of the demonic amber." Delmore sounded serious now. "He is an impossibility, my Aldra, and he must die."
"Obviously." The Queen waved her hand to the side, the air twisting and coloring over her palm until the red form of the Flesh-rending Secret appears on her hand. The grotesque, jagged shape of the blade seems to glint in a red light that radiated pure bloodlust. She could feel it trembling eagerly on her grasp like a war hound waiting to be released.
"Ohja Ohja you're already pulling a blade even though I say I just wanted to talk." The man sighed, a hand resting on his hips and the other scratching his chin. "My my, the women of this world sure are impatient."
"Why are you like this? How did you get out from my petrifying glaze?" Aldra asked over the eve before the battle. Like always, the bloodlust given by her heritage began to boil. Had she been a lesser woman, it would've made her smile maniacally and pant like a mad dog, or even launch herself toward her victim with an animalistic roar. But she was Queen, thus, above the rest of the world. So it merely made her tone of voice quieter, huskier, and more intense.
"Ah…" The man raised his perfect human arm at peak musculature. "I flexed my way out."
The Queen of the land didn't understand what was happening, her cold aggression wasn't working, and the man seems unaffected by the waves of killing intent she was projecting. This situation was getting out of her control… she hates when the situation gets out of her control.
"Ohja. Are you going to attack? If so, then answer me something first." Rana rolled his wrist. "Are you the queen?"
Finally, something she could use. "Indeed." Her mouth twisted into a small smug grin that had broke down many Warriors' spirits in the past. "Can you see now, the weight of your-."
He laughed, long and booming. It reverberated across the room, bouncing around echoing walls and stretching over the form of the petrified Warriors.
This man had discovered who she is, and laughed.
Again, she was laughed at again.
A bone-crushing grip threatens to deform the handle of the Flesh-rending Secret, but the sword itself was delighted by its master's bloodlust. There were so few times it matched it's own.
"Hahaha…Haha… Sorry about that, I'm just so thrilled right now." The man wiped a tiny tear that was gathered on the corner of its eyes. "I just didn't think I would have such good opportunity-."
The floor cracked under Aldra's feet as she lunged forward, launching herself toward the insolent man while he was still speaking. The Flesh-rending Secret cut the air in a gleeful song, eager to unleashed carnage upon the world once more.
Diabolic Metal met unyielding flesh producing a physical, almost deafening shockwave that rolled from the center of the room all the way to its edges. Red, corrupted metal ground against naked tanned skin as the man lowered his grinning face to Aldra shocked one.
"-To see how powerful I'm really am."
The man pushed his arm forward, uncaring for the very sharp weapon still in contact with it. Aldra felt her wrist aching as she was forced back, her grip on the sword tested by the enormous pressure produced by the disgustingly casual movement. She felt her knee sagging underneath her as the man started to loom over.
"AHHH!" With a scream of frustration, she suddenly lowered the blade and let his arm slide over it, her legs kicking the ground as she masterfully slid around her enemy to attack again. A crimson trail of sharp wind angrily followed behind her swing.
Another booming hit, and the sharp trail of wind was squished against the human-shaped obstacle before breaking into various lesser trails. They carved deep yet uncoordinated cuts across the floor around them.
Once again, her blade, who had cut down the mightiest Warriors and monsters was stopped by a single, human arm.
"Ohja Ohja, I suppose my clothes would've been torn one way on another, given that little move of your." His lazy blue eyes gazed at the conjunction of flesh and metal, the metal was trembling with an effort to cut, yet the flesh was unyielding. "It is somewhat annoying how often I found myself naked, is this a Warrior thing? I wonder, or it's just me."
Aldra jumped back, the mind momentarily giving up trying to rationalize her sword's failure in favor of creating a distance. She landed on a perfect stance and tried to regain her composure.
"What are you?" She breathed.
"A Human." The man answered easily. A finger slowly going up, "Though now I see that I stand at the very top of humanity. Ohjajaja, I'm sorry little Queen, but I don't think you're on my level."
Aldra saw red.
The windows of the top floor of the Queen's palace exploded. Long, resonating cracks began to boom across the walls. The innocent staff started to execute the emergency protocols with fear gripping their hearts. The brave Warriors of the Fangs; the secret organization working under the Queen, were more aware of the cause, yet they dutifully obeyed their Queen's order of not entering the hall. No matter how much they wish, no matter how much the place shook.
Shockwave after Shockwave, swing after swing, Aldra felt her fury increase, her rage feeding her attacks. She became faster, stronger, more ferocious and unpredictable. Her relentless assault had long since exited the level a human could easily follow; she began to move like the more demonic part of her blood.
Her left arm, containing the power she'd sealed long ago for the safety of her body, trembled.
The crimson Queen was fury itself as she threw herself against an opponent that could bring out her full potential, one that had annoyed her enough for her to unleash a quick, merciless death upon. All she wanted at that moment was for this man to stop existing.
Yet, despite all her valiant efforts... Her attacks were being blocked, not evaded, not parried, BLOCKED. And blocked with an ease that continues to grind her nerves.
"Why-Don't-You-Die!?" She roared, resembling more the feral Warrior she started her legend was rather than the cold, calculating Queen she had become.
"Ohjajajaja!" This laughter has been purposely created, it must've be, how else it could sound so irritating. "What's wrong little Queen!? That's all you can do!?"
She buffed through her nostrils, lowering her sword and striking like a whip in one instant.
Even the skin of his neck didn't give.
Aldra landed at a distance on the now shattered floor, even her near-unbreakable trophies around her began to show slight cuts and cracks over their surfaced. The man bumped his fist over the area of his neck her attack landed, flexing it a bit. "Oh my, thank you! I was feeling a little tense lately."
"Grrr." She steps forward.
'Kukuku, please wait my dear Aldra.'
'Delmore.' She almost snarled out loud. 'What do you want, I'm trying to kill this suborn cockroach.'
'Kukuku, have you lost yourself to your inner demon, Aldra? How nostalgic, it's been years since I've seen you so unhinged.'
"Shut up!" She actually roared this time; the voice sounding twisted and echoey. Nothing like what a human's throat was capable of producing.
"Ohjajaja, what? Are you going to show me your final form? Unleash your tail beast? Come on, little Queen, do something interesting, I'm starting to grow bored!"
She's going to kill that man, but first, she will cut his stupidly oversized member and stuck it down his insolent throat!
"Calm yourself, Aldra!" Delmore snapped in her mind, and just like every time he did, her body obeyed immediately, and like every over time; her mind lost focus on the part that wondered why that is. "…My sweet, sweet Aldra, can't you see he's playing you? His trick is very simple."
The Queen took a deep breath, pure unhinged rage still boiling inside, but she rose past her destructive instincts once more. 'And what would that be?"
"Easy. He is invulnerable."
Aldra scowled. "Clearly. That's the problem."
"Oh, my sweet Aldra and your limited worldview. There have been invulnerable humans before… And they all can fall just as easy as any other human."
The Queen listened to her lover's plan, closed her eyes, and lowered her sword.
"Ohja, you finished? Does that mean it's my turn now? I really want to test out the strength of my attacks now that I know my defense is pretty much perfect."
Aldra grinned, "Shall we put that to the test?"
She waved her arm. "Arise minions!"
Her shadow bulked, Delmore's presence serving as the perfect catalyst for a brief connection that formed with the underworld. The creatures there immediately turned, and head from the new portal, bursting from the shadow like it was a pool of tar.
"What is this? Your little familiars?" The man calmly considered the distorted flying bats around him; they looked like giant eyeballs with piranha's mouth. "They're cute, though not really effective." He slapped one out of the air; it splattered on the floor with a show of pitch-black gore.
And from the remains of this single one. Five, much smaller, emerged.
"Hohh, is this a Hydra thing?" Man questioned, slapping more out the air, multiplying their numbers as result. "Even if it is, I fail to see how this can be effective."
Aldra didn't glorify that with a response, instead, she transmitted her order to the flock. And they promptly started killing each other.
"Oi oi, I see what you doing know!" Each time one died, five more surged, smaller and quicker than before, and the ones born immediately lashed out on those bigger than them, then on their smaller brothers until others, even smaller, killed them. A gory display of death and birth.
The flock was steadily growing into a swarm.
It was baffling to see how quickly the cloud of the now insect-sized imps overtook the man.
Aldra could hear a sarcastic remark from the dark mass, and she expected no less; no matter their size her imps, they would never break the skin her blade has failed to. Countless mouth trying to gnaw the flesh out of him in a display that would have reduced most living things to nothing was an annoyance to him at best. Excellent, by this point, having a mere imp succeed in damaging what her blade couldn't would be a blow to her pride.
No, the imps were there to wound him.
They are there to kill him.
With a single, mental order, the imps concentrated into getting inside his body.
There was a loud, surprised gurgle. She felt the man convulsing through the imps senses, and instantly, the entrances to his body became nigh impossible to get in. His hands were blocking his mouth, nose and tear ducts, the thumbs were capping the ears, his gluteus clenching so hard no imp could get through, and nothing in the swarm was small enough to get in through the urethra, but it was enough; some of the imps had successfully managed to get inside his larynx before he blocked it.
She frowned when the flesh on the inside proved to be just as unyielding as the outside, but there was more than one way to kill someone like that, and he was helping.
Powerful muscles in his throat clenched into coughs and sneezes as a reaction to the imp invasion, smashing the tiny demons to gory without any difficulties. Of course, for each smashed imp, five more surged, this time bigger than before. They quickly clogged the cannel, preventing any passage of air.
Aldra let out a satisfied hum as she felt the man fall to his knees, the lack of air starting to affect him.
'Magnify my dear Aldra! Once more you have proven yourself to be the strongest!"
'Humph, it was only natural, Delmore.' Her sword chirped the floor, but she didn't dissipate it yet. Only a fool lowers their weapon before their opponent is fully dead.
'Kukuku, now then, do not forget to secure the copse. I'm very curious to see the source of his invulnerability. Most means to gain such power had been long eradicated from this world…'
Delmore trail off, he growing silent in a way he rarely does. Aldra was about to question this when she saw the light.
A tiny point of light amidst the dark, twisting mass of her swarm, the Queen has only enough time to blink when her entire vision exploded into white.
"Grah!" She stumbled back, falling to one knee while her arm rose to cover her blinded eye. She felt waves of something hit her among the massive rush of warm air, it flushed her hair back and made her skin tingle painfully, it was like she was left completely naked before the fury of a blazing desert sun.
Her weapon trembled fearfully in her hand. Her teeth ground in frustration as she found her legs disobeying her. The violent flush of the wind was the only thing she could hear for an eternity, but when she finally centered herself and pushed past the pain, she was able to hear a different sound.
'Delmore!?" She opens her eye reflexively before the burning whiteness forced them close again. 'What is happening!? Delmore? Delmore!?'
Her lover did nothing but continue the piercing wail of agony. She was blind to his pain, powerless before the light, unless in his struggle.
She was going to lose him.
"NO!" She clenched her teeth, lashing her arm to unleash another wave of cutting red wind from the tip of her quivering, whining demon sword. "NOT AGAIN!"
Her effort must have some result because the light lessened to a more manageable brightness.
"Delmore!" She shouted out loud, snapping her head to look at her shadow…
It was… burned, scorched on the extremities until it shrank in size and consistency, like a piece of paper that stayed under the sun for way too long. She could barely feel her lover's presence, and she could definitely detect his pain.
"What- What was…"
"Ohja Ohja, that was unpleasant."
Aldra, the Crimson Blade, two-time champion of the Queens Blade, and the supreme ruler of the land… felt a shiver of pure dread descend down her spine.
The man was unharmed, immaculate even, an aura of pure white was radiating around his body. His majestic dark locks waving in an unseen wind, his peerless blue iris glowing with direct intensity toward her. And on his back, shining against the still air…
"A Saint…" Aldra mumbled. There is only one explanation for a person manifesting a pair of ethereal wings; it had been the sure sign of sainthood for generations, but even so, every saint has manifested only one pair of wings in one solid color.
What she was seeing right now, was a man with six gigantic pairs of ethereal wings glowing in a shifting rainbow of infinite colors.
The power, the wings, his gender… it made no sense.
"G-get it away…" She heard the very soft and very fearful whine in her ears. "G-G-get it away from me…"
"Ohja, are you sure looking away from me will be a good idea, little queen?"
Aldra froze; she felt his presence right before her, kneeling to lower his face at the level of her own.
She hadn't even feel him moving.
"You almost Alexandria'ed me. I got to applaud you for that." She was a prisoner of the blue iris; she couldn't look away even if she tried. The coldness inside was being projected upon her body. She began to tremble. "Thank you for punishing me for getting my head too big… I assure you; I will not make this mistake again!"
Aldra opened her mouth but only managed gasp a misty breath. Her body isn't responding. God, why was she trembling so much?
"Now..." A hand, a perfect masculine hand made to comfort, protect, and annihilate started to rise. "It's my turn to attack, don't you think?"
Animal instinct took over.
"NECK BREAKER!" She was suddenly on her feet, trusting her quivering sword into the man's neck, her voice sounded alien in her ears, how could she sound so…
His afterimage vanished.
The world seemed to crawl to a halt. She felt the man moving behind her, maybe three times as fast as she could. When her pupil finally reached the corner of her eye, she saw the fingers closing into a fist, when her head started to turn, she saw the arm curling back, when she finally managed to turn, the fist was closing in.
'GET IT AWAY FROM ME!'
The world-shaped fist changed course right when it was about to obliterate her head, changing into an arm swing toward the new figure that flew toward then. However, the human form has its limitation, so aborting a movement with this much power resulted in a new movement that was…
Queen Aldra's rapid breaths echoed across the destroyed room.
She was alone, the last grain of stone had already fallen to the floor, and the last cloud of dust had already settled. Tranquility filled the room once more, but the Queen yet to follow its example.
She has lost, she has lost so bad it wasn't even funny; she hadn't even thought she was capable of losing anymore. Against a Celestial or Demonic threat she would've understood, but against a mortal...
"No." She rasped out loud. "Not a mortal." She finally moved, raising her eyes to the place that… thing was standing not long ago.
Two bisected half's of a Queen's Emissary, a holy automaton made from the powers of the head angel herself, laid motionless on the ground, it's corpse slowing dissipating into the air.
A fragment of the being said to stand at the right side of God, terminated by an arm swing.
"Definitely… not a mortal." Aldra decided, fighting her legs to keep herself standing. "What was he, Delmore?… Delmore?"
He lover was there, cornered in the back of her mind, not answering, not reacting, not moving, just… existing.
He has never done this before, she didn't know how to react to it.
"Delmore, what in the world-"
And just like that, the pondering, slightly terrified Aldra was gone, and the Crimson Queen took over.
"AHHH!" The foolish member of the Fang fell down screaming to the floor, clutching the stump where her arm was once attached. The Flesh-rending Secret was back in roaring in glee now that the implacable threat was gone, Aldra envies her blade's simplicity.
"Did you not understand my orders? Did I stutter as I said it? I explicitly informed that I wasn't to be disturbed until I said so."
"Arhh, Ah, hah, m-my apologies my Queen. I just… you were here for so long… and there was so much shaking… I couldn't-"
Whatever the assassin was going to say was interrupted by the blade of the Flesh-rending Secret cleaving her head in half. The sword chirped in delight was another soul was absolved by its evil maw, to be tortured there with the others, for the rest of eternity. It immediately thirsted for more souls. It needed more, it needed to be stronger; it was the first time it felt such intense desire.
The Queen let out a breath; a life was reaped by her swing, as it should be, no obstacle could stop her blade anymore. One swing, one life, the natural exchange. The world started to make sense again. Some of the bitterness of the defeat retracted ever so slightly.
Still, she wanted to lock herself away from the world, she wanted these… feelings bubbling in her chest, gnawing on her mind and making her eyes water to be over, she wanted to terminate these feelings, maybe find a way to change the past and short this out, she was the Queen, she was invincible, she couldn't lose, it's impossible for her to lose like that.
Aldra's problem had to wait. The Queen needed to show strength.
"Irma." She called, her voice going back to her usual tone; low, husky, controlled, with the right among of smugness for the one that held the world in her hand.
"Yes, my queen." The leader of the Fang was bowing low on her side; she had dutifully guarded the entrance to the chamber until her Queen has called for her.
"Sort out this mess." Aldra kicked the bloody remains of her operative. "And summon the stonemasons I want this chamber repaired by the end of the week."
"As you wish, my queen." Aldra barely acknowledged Irma as she walked past her with controlled, but quick steps. Starting to make her way toward her personal chambers.
She had a lot on her mind, and Delmore still wasn't responding. She also had a lot to do today; the Queens Blade is undergoing, and she must greet every new angel sent by the heaven on their mission to coordinate the tournament and spy on her. She needs to speak to foreign nobles and make sure that Vance rat stay rolled up in his castle until it's too late… this whole Saint business has taken more time she had imagined, and she needs to…short this out…
But first she needs to be in her room for a while, perhaps on her bed, hugging a pillow to her face, queenly, of course.
… Her only consolation was the place the Emissary had sent the thing before it was destroyed. Someone with that amount of Holy Energy wouldn't survive in that place for too long. Its ruler would make sure of it, and… and if the thing was too strong even for that twisted being…. With luck, one problem would solve another, or both would solve themselves.
Either way, that thing is far, far away from Gainos right now.
The vast cloud cover emanated a dim golden light that did nothing to truly illuminate the dark, barren land below it.
To an average human, his place was hell; barren wastelands cut by rivers of lava, grotesques cities of metal and bones with terrible monsters marching on the streets, forests of man-eating trees that emitted an alluring, hypnotizing smell, and swamps, so many swamps.
These swamps, however, where were the most danger lies; terrible places filled with magical pollution, radiating necromantic energies that could liquefy any lifeform lucky enough to die immediately and not be mutated into a twisting mockery of its former self by the eldritch gasses. Everywhere you looked, there were swamps like that, or worse. So much so this land was named of it, as was its incorporeal ruler.
The Swamp Witch's castle was located in the very center of the 'Swamp', the ever-growing land of death and devastation that would one day enveloped the world. On the very top of the highest tower, the Witch's eye blazed in its fiery form, watching anything and everything that happens within its domain.
Gendoi wondered if it could see him scratching his ass.
"ALRIGHT YOU LAZY HUMANS BREAK TIME IS OVER!" His voice boomed across the field. It was a mystery how such threatening voice could come from someone so small and bloated. "HAVE I NOT BEEN CLEAR ENOUGH!? MOVE,YOU WORTHLESS WORMS!" His whip shot forward and destroyed the nose of one of the worthless slaves.
The man screamed in pain, but had the desirable result; all others moved, quickly discarding the meager amount of half-eaten food to grab back the equipment and returned to the agonizing work.
Gendoi growled as his small, round eyes roomed across the crowd. Not a single women in sight, only malnourished men, and not even the fun type of men that looked like women. The goblin fumed again for the utter unfairness of his teacher; the old bastard was having Gendoi do the bulk of the work while he played with these men's wives and daughters back in the village, completely unfair!
"WORK HARDER YOU DOGS, THIS MONUMENT ISN'T GOING TO BUILD ITSELF!" He took his frustration on two of the nearby slaves. Argh! Why can't they work quicker! They had to finish this shitty statue so Gendoi can go back to the village and play with their wife too!
And his teacher, Grrr the nerve of that fat, old goblin! He should be there showing Gendoi how to properly handle the slaves in a important construction, not ditching all the work to him and leave him to fend for himself on this shithole. Gendoi knew he shouldn't have taken this class, but the wonders of untouched beauties at the fringes of the swamp eluded him.
Not fair! He wanted to take virginities too! Grrr, he better gets good grades for this!
Gendoi understood now why his seniors at the Slaver University were giving looks of pity. Professor Happosoi fucking sucks!
And that monument too, what a fucking unnecessary thing! A twenty feet statue of the great goblin king looking dashingly at the horizon. Seriously!? As if that guy needed yet another statue of himself!
Gendoi gets it, he is the legendary Goblin Slayer Slayer and all that, but there are only so many statues a guy can have before it becomes a waste of effort and resources. Why not use it on something more valuable to goblin society, like a twenty feet statue of Gendoi.
One of the humans stumbled to the ground.
"Did you just… did you just fell on my watch!?" Gendoi couldn't believe such blatant display of laziness. He was disgusted by it. "ARE YOU TRYING TO DELAY THE WORK, YOU PIECES OF TRASH!?"
"M-My Lord, oh please my lord I didn't mean to-" Hey, that's the young blonde hunk, Gendou remember him because his wife was in the late stage of her pregnancy and her breasts were dripping with milk. Oh, the things professor Happosoi must be doing to her right now.
His whip broke the skin of the lazy imbecile with a hot wife.
"WHY-MUST-YOU-BE-SO-LAZY!" He whipped while he roared and continued to whip until his arm was tired. The blonde man was an unrecognizable mess by the end. If he were here, professor Happosoi would have taken some points for unnecessarily incapacitating a slave, but giving them back for the phenomenal whip technique.
Gendoi panted the last of his anger, holding back his temper for now until he found something else to be angry about. He jutted his fat finger forward and pointed at two of the slaves.
"You and You, take this trash and throw it over that cliff!" He pointed to the cliff at the side, near the place where they're building the monument. 'It must be facing the great Swamp Witch's castle!' the king had commented once, now everybody followed this damn rule.
The slaves obeyed with their head down; these are broken, which was no fun. Gendoi liked when there was some challenge, where was the fun otherwise? Once more he thought about the fun he would be having at the village, oh all those pretty wives and deliciously young daughters... "AND HURRY UP, I WANT THIS FINISHED BY NIGHTFALL, AND YOU BETTER NOT DISAPPOINT ME YOU SACK OF SHITS!" He shot this whip to the side with the intention of making a threatening sound.
Instead, his whip hit something, the impact was so sudden and unexpected that it almost made Gendoi yelp.
He turned his furious eyes to the tall human who suddenly appeared by his side.
The fucker wasn't even looking at him, choosing instead to look at the hellish landscape of the swamp from the edge of the cliff.
"Oh dear, where am I?"
"H-HEY! YOU BUBBLING COCKSUCKING HEAP OF SHIT!" WHAT IN THE NAME OF WITCH'S UNGODLY TITTIES ARE YOU DOING OUT OF THE LINE?!"
"Hum?" The extraordinarily handsome man looked at the small goblin in the S&M gear. "Ohja Ohja…"
He got a feeling his mother won't be happy about this.