Moving to the next chapter of Dormin's Curse.
I'm disappointed to find that my chapters are shorter than I would like; even the last chapter, which covered four topics, barely reached four thousand words. If anyone feels that the chapters are too short, I urge you to tell me.
Also, the lack of reviews also has me a bit 'bummed out'. Reviews are what keeps authors going; if you don't review, then how do I know you didn't get bored halfway through and switch to a Digimon fanfiction? I need feedback to improve.
More character development, then another Colossus from one of my friends is next.
I own nothing but Lexus, Azgarot, the Colossi of Sealing and the Ghost of Erageo.
A God's Apology
Todeous, the Poison-Backed Toad
With an impact that shook the sands, the great stone door crumbled beneath the might of the titanic bull hidden behind it. The ancient creature shook itself, giving a roar as it kicked up plumes of sand.
The warrior stepped back, eyes wide with surprise. Then his face hardened into a mask of determination. "Agro!" he called. The horse, upon which he rode to this land, came at his call with a whinny. He leaped upon its back, and it fled before the piercing red gaze of the giant.
Lexus blinked the vision away. She lay still in the depths of the Forgotten Temple, sword and pistol beside her. A rumble alerted her to the fall of Gumaha's idol.
However, Lexus noted that another idol, further down the hall, had already shattered. She counted off the Colossi she had already slain in her head. Runtus, Cancer, Ciarog, Carnibel, Lupas, Gumaha...why had seven idols crumbled?
I am stunned by this as well.
Lexus bolted upright, looking around. She spotted Celosia laying against another idol, gazing at her. "Celosia!" she cried breathlessly, scrambling to her feet and rushing to the Colossus' side. "You're unhurt?"
The spring that Dormin introduced us to worked wonders. I am completely healed.
"Thank the gods..." Lexus sighed in relief. She then turned, glaring around the hall. Azgarot was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey, Azgarot! Get out here!" she shouted. "Because of you, Celosia got hurt!"
There was no response. Lexus growled under her breath, stalking to her weapons and scooping them off of the ground. She sheathed the Ancient Sword and holstered her gun.
"AZGAROT!" she bellowed. The Forgotten Temple echoed with her voice, reverberating off of the idols and stone walls. However, no answer came.
"Erageo! Are you there?" she called. Celosia stood and walked to her side.
I have seen neither Dormin nor Erageo since we returned here.
"By swords and sabers, I'll have them take responsibility for this!" Lexus swore. "AZGA-"
A weak whisper came from the end of the hall. Lexus turned, her eyes narrowed, then she blinked. Azgarot was staggering towards her, hand clutching Their side and blood running down Their face.
"A-Azgarot?" the warrior girl exclaimed. The mortal Colossus stumbled, panting.
"We heard thou the first time...be patient, young fool..." They grunted, wincing before falling to Their knees. As Celosia and Lexus rushed to Them, Erageo materialized from the mist.
"My, serious injuries." the ghost chuckled. "Not so easy is it, Dormin? Fighting a Colossus, I mean."
Celosia snorted in surprise; Lexus simply blinked numbly at the statement. Azgarot...fought a Colossus?
"Back, hopeless phantom." Azgarot grunted through clenched teeth, rising steadily. "We seek neither thine pity nor thine goodwill. The task is complete, now begone."
"You fought a Colossus?" Lexus demanded. "That's insane! If you could do it, then why am I even here?"
"Cease thine chattering!" Azgarot boomed, shaking the temple. Immediately afterward, They inhaled sharply and clutched their side again. Blood soaked Their hand and cloak. "We did it to prove what a simple feat it is. We cannot fight fate, mortal; only one of warrior's descent may slay Colossi."
"Aye, We slew one rightly enough. But its spirit has passed to another, as Our body is not a suitable vessel for a Colossus' essence." the mortal Colossus continued, staggering forward until They reached a wall. They sat slowly, breathing heavily. "...We find Ourselves corrected. Slaying Colossi proved to be too much for Our mortal body to handle."
Lexus was speechless. Azgarot raised Their head to look at her. "...apologies...Lexus..."
"You..." she said softly. The mortal Colossus coughed.
"We take back Our previous statements...to a degree. Truly, thou art not meager mortal trash as We had taken thee to be. If thou doth take this task for thine people, then perhaps such resolve alone maketh thine village worthy of protection. This is something We did not care to consider for the boy."
For a moment, the temple was silent apart from Azgarot's rasping. Then, Lexus bent down. She wrapped one of Azgarot's arms around her shoulders and lifted Them to Their feet. The mortal Colossus blinked, looking at her.
"You need the spring. It wouldn't do for our guide to die, would it?" she asked quietly, moving towards the healing spring. Azgarot limped beside her, grunting.
"We do not ask for help, girl. The shame We bear 'tis a godly burden. Twice the shame, for a mortal to attempt to rid Us of it."
Erageo, who had been watching silently, stepped forward. "It's alright, Lexus; if Dormin returns to Their godly form for a short period, they should rejuvenate far faster than the spring can provide."
"The specter speaks truthfully. Allow Us to return to Our heavenly perch; by this time again tomorrow, We shalt be whole." Azgarot assured her. Lexus was silently for a moment, then she lowered Azgarot into a kneeling position.
"Then...what is the next Colossus?" the warrior girl asked quietly. Azgarot coughed.
"Thy next foe is...at the poolside too dark for light...a treacherous beast looms from the waters...truly, its reach is formidable..."
Lexus wordlessly hauled herself onto Celosia, who turned before dashing out of the Forgotten Temple. Erageo watched her go, then turned his gaze to Azgarot, who had lowered Themselves to the floor.
"Well? Did you learn something?" the ghost asked cheerfully.
"Mortals are flimsy and irrational creatures." Azgarot replied. "We must ponder Our thoughts before coming to a conclusion."
"God or not, you acted very human there for a while." Erageo chuckled.
There was silence, then Azgarot's eyes rolled back into his head. The boy's body dissolved into a black cloud, which formed into a shadowy silhouette. The essence of Dormin rose into the air, vanishing above the ceiling.
And all was quiet.
Celosia first noticed Lexus' unnatural mood when they had gone ten minutes without her lifting the sword.
Did Dormin shake you that much? Certainly, They seemed-
"My anger at Azgarot came from his complete disrespect of mankind." Lexus said shortly. "No matter what has happened, he has always seen mortals as tools, just a means for him to achieve his goals. Even when my ancestor gave his life for his love, Azgarot thought not once of either of their feelings; only dominance was present in his head."
Such are the workings of gods. As a Colossus, I also am ignorant to the 'feelings' of mortals.
"But you have the good decency to be subtle about it. Azgarot told me, to my face, that I was nothing but his pawn. He had me fooled for a while, thinking that he cared about something other than himself."
"But now, it's different. It's like he's starting to see what makes mortals important. The one thing I can't figure out is, why did he kill the Colossus in the first place?"
I would wager that Erageo holds the answer to that.
"I might have to force it out of him later." Lexus decided, raising her sword to the light. It led to the forest, and Celosia pounced towards it.
In the Fertile Land, Malus opened his eyes. He lifted his great foot, then planted it onto the ground again. He repeated this until the edge of his platform prevented further traversing.
Through the eyes of a Colossus, Malus' perspective was different. He saw not light, but purpose. When the Deceiver had met Their end by the cursed warrior's hands, They had been clouded in darkness, supreme but tainted. When the boy clashed with the giant, Malus had seen shades of brown and pink; determination and love drove Wander, not lust or selfishness.
And when Lexus was born, her purpose nearly blinded Malus. Truly, extraordinary things were to come of her; the living tower could sense it.
But what worried him now was not the Deceiver, and it was not even Origin. A shadow had settled upon the time-forgotten land which lay beyond the mist, a terror which had not been seen since the beginning of time. Origin had something hidden beneath the Earth's surface, and lack of knowledge as to its nature was what truly worried Malus.
With a screech and a rush of air that would send a man reeling, Avion perched upon the mountainside.
"Malus, your thoughts? I know that you see it, too."
"Sweet Avion, what I see is danger. Our young ambassador to the next land is inexperienced." Malus replied. The eagle Colossus ruffled her feathers. "I wish for you to seek council with the Deceiver; she must prepare for this threat."
"Have we arrived?"
Lexus slid off of Celosia's back. Deep in the forest, where little light penetrated the canopy, they had found a pond with a cliff overlooking it. A great boulder sat upon the cliff, silhouetted against the treetops.
The smell of the beast is everywhere. Dormin said that it waited 'at the poolside too dark for light.
Lexus nodded, moving forward. Movement caught her eye, and she lifted them. The 'boulder' shifted slightly, then two large blue orbs flared from beneath it.
The Colossus was a frog.
It lifted itself slowly, shaking off centuries of dirt and dead bugs. Moss had grown over its head, and several large stone spines extended from its back. The Colossus was around five times Celosia's size.
"It's a big frog." she said flatly.
The frog Colossus examined the two intruders, then simply fell from its cliff into the water. Lexus shouted as a wave of water splashed over her, drenching her.
"Oh, that is it! Get out here, you big ugly son of a - "
The Colossus wailed as it emerged from the waters, towering over Lexus. She stepped back, fumbling for her sword as it raised a claw. Celosia suddenly entered her field of vision, ramming the Colossus' side and causing it to stagger.
Heavy...! Such a beast will not be easy to stall. Hurry, maiden!
Lexus drew her blade and her gun, loading the latter as she backed away. Celosia retreated from the Colossus' blows, and Lexus let off a shot. It pinged off of the frog's lower jaw, and it bellowed.
The girl did a thorough examination. Stone armor covered its legs, and the only fur was on its back - on its head, too, if one counted the moss.
"Can you see a way to climb it?" she yelled to Celosia, ducking under a swipe from the mammoth. She then yelped and rolled to the side, narrowly avoiding being crushed as it body slammed the ground.
No, I can see no path!
Celosia roared, drawing the frog's attention as Lexus crouched in the shade of a tree. She gasped as the beast's maw opened, then a large tongue flashed from its fanged mouth and collided with Celosia. The boar was sent flying, crashing into a tree and knocking it over.
She ran from her shelter, firing off at the beast which turned to face her. Red eyes gleaming, it launched its tongue at her, and she ducked under it. The tongue collided with a large rock and stuck fast, but soon the Colossus was free again. It wailed.
"Loki?" the swordsgirl asked breathlessly, recognizing the voice.
Precisely. As our holy friend is still recovering, it remains my duty to guide you against Todeous..
"Then do something!"
One moment, if you will.
Celosia, back on his feet, charged Todeous with a bellow. The frog Colossus turned to face him, and they rammed into each other; Todeous fell back as Celosia rolled across the forest floor. He whimpered as he came close to the water's edge, digging his claws into the soil to keep from sliding in.
The predator's greatest weapon is its only flaw.
Lexus was amazed at how uncryptic Loki was; it must have something to do with not being a god. Glancing back at Todeous, she could only assume that the ancient bird was speaking about Todeous' tongue.
"Oi, this way!" she shouted, whistling. Todeous looked at her, shook its massive frame, then shot out its tongue. Lexus dove to the side, and the muscle stuck to an oak tree.
Vaulting onto the tongue, Lexus fought her way to Todeous' mouth as it howled its displeasure. The sticky material of the tongue unbalanced her, and she nearly fell three times before making it to the head.
With a crouching leap, Lexus tore her sandals free of Todeous' tongue and landed on its mossy head. The frog Colossus shook to and fro, trying to work its stone claws above its head in order to swipe at her, but the moss gave her a firm grip and she held fast.
I will create an opening.
Celosia rammed Todeous again, causing it to stagger to the side. Lexus took off running, reaching its back in a matter of seconds. Holding her sword point down, she drove it into the only furred area on Todeous' body.
The Colossus bucked and wailed in pain, thrashing beneath her. The girl fought to keep control as she twisted the blade within the frog's flesh, loosing torrents of black blood, then wrenched it free. A telepathic yell caught her attention, and she glanced up to see Celosia knocked back by Todeous.
I'm fine, kill it!
But Todeous had fully recovered. It turned to the pool, crouched, then leaped high into the air. Lexus screamed as she was torn from the creature, and both of them plunged into the water.
Todeous' head rested only a few feet from the top, as the pond was not particularly deep, but it was deep enough that Lexus could not touch the beast while waterlogged. She thrashed frantically towards the poolside as Todeous raised its red eyes to her, then crouched before leaping from the water. Lexus flew forward, colliding with a tree. She gasped in pain, clutching the injury as Todeous landed only feet behind her.
Todeous is upon you!
Lexus groped for her sword, then instinctively rolled out of the way as Todeous' tongue lashed out at her. She slashed at it, and blood flew as the frog Colossus recoiled.
"Take that, you slippery pile of shit!"
Todeous bellowed, leaping into the air. Lexus scrambled to her feet, and was flung forward as Todeous impacted. It's just playing with me now! she thought.
Standing, she whirled to face her opponent. The swordsgirl positioned herself so that a large oak was behind her, and waited for Todeous to face her. "C'mon, come on!"
Todeous loosed its tongue, and Lexus dove to the side. The muscle seized hold of the oak, and Lexus quickly climbed on top.
She ran the length of the tongue, climbing onto Todeous' head as she readied her sword. At the first chance, she shoved it deep into the Colossus' back.
A fountain of blood erupted from Todeous as it wailed, thrashing from side to side. The frog Colossus rammed into a tree, and Lexus' grip on the sword lessened. She was ripped from the handle, skittering down Todeous' side.
"Oh no, you don't!" she snarled, gripping a fistful of the beast's fur. Hauling herself back up, she kicked the Ancient's Sword and Todeous moaned. She wrenched it from the frog's flesh, then brought it down as hard as she could.
The Colossus seized up, then its eyes darkened. Its great body fell to the side, with Lexus jumping off just in time to avoid being crushed.
"Victory! Lexus eight, Colossi nil!" she cheered, dancing as Celosia padded over to her. His gaze was drawn to the body of Todeous, which quickly became enveloped in light. Then an impact drove Lexus to her knees.
The distant voice of Azgarot called to her as she fell into darkness.
There's the next chapter. Please read and review, and I'll get to work on the next one right away.