The Angels and Nephilim continue to battle the Dark Lord's minions, but is there enough grit to hold off the relentless Succubi? In the meantime, War has unfinished business with the evasive Incubus.
Chapter 22: Something Wicked This Way Comes
"Ack…" Haamiah could be heard falling eight feet from the sky, tumbling to the ground over his already tattered wings. Although they have taken abuse before, they were being subjected to heavy wear than they had ever been before the Succubi platoon. Pulling himself up from the marshy shore of the pond, he looked up to an oncoming Succubus, the one whom brought him down in the first place. Baring her weathered horns, she lowered her head to shield her neck from his sword. Hammiah gripped the handle of his plasma sword before lowering into a ready stance, folding his wings back tightly to avoid further damage. He could already feel the barbs swelling from being yanked and scathed. The Succubi were maliciously tactful about shredding and tearing the Angels' wings any way they could, leaving them enflamed and bleeding from the barbs.
Flanking to the side, the neophyte Succubus was careful about approaching the Commanding Angel. Although she had a thick, purple-hued hide that was resilient against most wares, she only branded a chainmail battle skirt which left the rest of her body vulnerable. Her ripened bosoms hung freely, which suggested that her habitual occupation was most likely to seduce and breed, but whatever the reason, the Matron Succubus had called her breeders to combat. The Dark Lord must be desperate…Haamiah pondered…or he is waiting for something, but what?
Within moments, the topless Succubus leapt to tackle Haamiah to the side, but he was able to shift his stance just enough to counter-attack the Demon's horns, thrusting her head into mud. Bringing his plasma sword to his breast, he then impaled the Succubus with the beam, thrusting it into the back of her head repeatedly, shearing through her thick skull until she was still. Finally!
In the near distance, another Succubus came crashing down into the bank of the pond. The Elemental Pandemonium could be heard scolding from the top of the bank,
"Impudent Demon whore! Go back to Hell!" he could be heard sneering as he rolled up his flail from the ground. The fallen Succubus yanked her head from the mud to let out a piercing hiss, but Haamiah was quick on the draw as he stepped over to the side to swing his plasma sword and sever her head from her slender neck. The severed head toppled down her back and into the muddy bank once more.
"…and stay down!" Haamiah barked. A haughty laugh could heard from the boisterous Elemental,
"Nice play, Cherub…and I thought you Heaven-sent were sacred in all things, including combat," Pandemonium gloated.
"Since when has battles been sacred affairs?" Haamiah pointed out as he panted, wiping the sweat from his already drenched brow.
"Indeed," Pandemonium cooed before he leapt from the bank and onto the marshy shore, "… but disorder is my affair."
Gathering the chain to his flail to wrap around his left gauntlet, Pandemonium looked over his shoulder and noticed Ulthane getting flanked in all directions. The she-demons were trying to wear him down like a pack of wolves chasing a deer down to its last spat of vigor.
"Bah, these things just keep comin," Ulthane could be heard complaining as one by one, he would bludgeon one Succubus after another. With each swing, his Hammer came down on them hard, but the moment he brought it down, an elusive Succubus managed to slip past his defense and blind-side Ulthane, ramming her head into his briefly exposed loin.
"Argh…" he bellowed as her horn pierced his side, causing him to topple over from her blunt force. Although he was the bigger of the two, her momentum caught him off guard and forced him to hit the ground, hard.
Another was about to leap towards him, but the unsuspecting Succubus was pummeled by Pandemonium's flail, Affliction, sending her flying the other direction.
"Look alive, Old One…" the Elemental yelled out. Ulthane lifted his head from the mud.
"Yah damned wenches…" was all Ulthane could muster between the pain in his side and the throbbing in his face. The Succubus released her head by yanking it from out of his flesh before Ulthane could whack her off with his other arm, but he missed. Standing over the maimed Old One after she dodged his attack, the Succubus scoffed,
"Your time on this place is long overdue, Old One…" she sneered.
"Yea, ya younger hoodlims' tink ya know it all, but lemme tell ya somethin' missy…" Ulthane growled before he managed to yank out the Hammer and slam it to the ground, consequently causing them to fall on all fours from the aftershock, "…I may be old, but I still got more wits than da times you've spread yer legs to da scum of the damned!"
Barely pulling herself up on two legs again, the Succubus let out a snarl before she was suddenly impaled by another Succubus. The two rolled another six feet before they sunk into the marsh. Haamiah could be seen leaning over with his sword in hand, panting as he clutched his shoulder.
"I don't know how much longer we can withstand this," he commented as Ulthane gathered himself up.
"Aye. I'm getting' a bit bushed myself…" Ulthane had to agree, feeling the pain burning from his side, like a thousand pin pricks stabbing him all at once.
"Get down!" Pandemonium suddenly shouted before he released his flail. Instantly Ulthane and Haamiah ducked, allowing the flail to stretch pass them and knock another incoming Succubus. The massive flail bludgeoned against her head, causing it to split and blood to spray. A mist of crimson hovered in the air as droplets fell on the two beneath it.
"It's rainin' blood! Quick lad, cover your eyes!" Ulthane shouted.
Haamiah used his sword to shield his eyes from the red rain falling over them. Droplets could be felt all around, running down his arms and the back of his neck. By now Haamiah's wings was painted crimson, along with Ulthane's stout arms and wiry hair.
In the near distance, Fury and Strife managed to fend off three other Succubi just enough to give them a brief window to regroup with the others, but the numbers of their opposition was relentless.
"Damnit, where are they all coming from?" Strife grumbled with smoke seething from Mercy's barrel. Gunpowder residue was cluttered along the barrel and Strife's arm, leaving a musty colored pigment on the gun-metal. Although Strife was much more lucid than earlier, he was beginning to feel the she-demons thinning him out.
Although Fury as a bit more boisterous than that of her fellow Horseman, she too was feeling her vigor draining. Her auburn hair was damp from the sweat and blood, which was also caked on her pale face.
"Is…there no end to this?" she huffed, limping her way to a maimed Ulthane.
"Hang in dere lassie," Ulthane could sympathize. By now, all of them were donning multiple battle wounds, bleeding and blistering from the Succubi's acidic sweat. The group here huddled now with their backs to each other, trying to avoid further contact from the Demons continuous bombardment.
That's it my sisters…the Matron Succubus scorned, …smite them until they flounder! Beat them until there is nothing left…and then we will wallow in their bones!
More Succubi came from all directions, advancing with their thorny hands and horns.
"Keep them back!" Haamiah bellowed, pushing one Succubus back with his plasma shield as he pierced another with his sword. Fury was just as unyielding, searing one Succubus with the crack of her whip. Bracing her back against Strife's, she managed to keep most at bay, but the multitudes were falling on top of them.
"You will fall, Nephilim dogs…" one roared as another jeered,
"The Dark Lord is loosened, and he will ravage you and that bastard Horseman, along with that Elemental bitch!"
Swiping the sword at the multitude of Demons encroaching in their shrinking space, one of Haamiah's brethren glanced over to his superior, looking over his shoulder past his bloody and tattered wing. Sensing the weight of anxiety trembling among his subordinates, Haamiah knew that there was more at play here than a Demon Lord rising in the ranks of the Dark Prince's parliament.
Just as the Destroyer set the stage, another will enter the spotlight…
It was long rumored that Mephistopheles was not held in the highest esteem amongst the elites, even in the immediate abode of the Darks Prince's chosen, but it was said that the Dark Lord was the most pertinent to everything Hell was. His vices were radical and sometimes primeval, and yet he was refined, tactful, and had no penitence for his means. It was said that he was Hell, and that alone would wreak fear among all those who sought company with the Dark Prince. Masterfully articulate, he did not cling to the old methodical ideologies of the Dark Prince's devices, which thus made him unpredictable. He would bend, mutate or acclimate, to any environment, like a virus adapting to an unacquainted host. He is the true Plague…no conscience, reverence, or the luxury of principle. He will change everyone else's structure to accommodate his new encryption…
Feeling heavy trodden from the Succubi force beating them down, Haamiah took it upon himself to address the others,
"We will not survive this…"
Pandemonium growled in response after bringing his flail back to his side.
"Speak for yourself, Cherub! I've beatin' these nags before…"
"It's not the Succubi I was referring to Elemental," Haamiah rebutted, feeling the energy of his plasma shield waning.
"How about addressing our immediate problem," Fury snapped, cracking her whip to keep the encroaching Succubi at bay.
"Shea, and fer how long?" Ulthane growled, "…they've got us in a vice!"
"Then we die trying, but not without taking their forces with us," Fury blasted over the sounds of her whip strangling a nearby Succubus to the ground, "…we cannot let them follow War!"
"Wait, what?" Ulthane perked up, "…where is dat boy anyways?"
"He went to save that one Elemental…Plague," she yelled over her shoulder.
"Wait…dem horned fiends got her?"
"Oi! We're worse off dan I thought," Ulthane concluded.
"What do you mean, worse off?" Strife chimed in, feeling the barrel of Mercy beginning to scorch his hand.
The Succubi were closing in, cramping what little space the group had, when suddenly, past the noise of the growling Succubi and their battle cries, a shrilling war horn bellowed in the near distance.
"For Heaven's sake, now what?" one of the Angel's groaned, still picking the damaged barbs from his shredded wing.
Haamiah was beside himself, dropping his lifeless light-sword from hand, leaving only his weakened but functioning plasma shield secured to his gauntlet.
A callous neighing could be heard in the near distance, along with a booming snarl that resembled a rock grinding against asphalt. Both sides looked up to the oncoming commotion just above the ridge on the outskirts of the forest. Against the bleeding sunset in the sky, a dark rider emerged from the shadows of the trees.
"It is the Reaper!" one of the Succubi bellowed out, "…he has come, just as the Dark Lord said he would!"
Sitting tall on his insipid horse of decay with the Harvester in hand, Death scanned the battlefield with prudence.
"It looks as if we came just in time," Death lowly hummed. Pele the "firewoman" followed up behind him, branding her duel-headed, fire spear. Not too far in the distance, rising over the ridge was three enormous Gatekeepers, shaking the ground with each step as they closed in. They drenched the ground beneath them with soil and gravel, marching in rhythm to an echoing requiem recited in their native tongue.
Amongst the rabble, more Elementals came forth, each branding their talent to the arena with their arms. Death sat erect on his steed, glowering at the Matron as he brought up the Harvester for the fiends of Hell to see. The Matron's blood boiled in abhorrence the moment she recognized the rider and his summoned militia. As the Succubi directed their attention to their new threat, Death 's mellow, subtle voice could be heard on the soft breeze,
"Let us begin, shall we? "
Rock debris littered the ground with shards of wood chips from the decimated trees nearby. War and the Alpha Incubus had been at it for only five minutes, and they had already demolished the landscape around them.
Although the Incubus had multiple abrasions along his arms and legs from War's arsenal, none of it slowed him down. It was as if the creature relished in the pain, brushing off the jabs and cuts made by War's sword, Chaoseater.
Although War was able to get a few good hits, the Demon was not thwarted at the slightest. His skin was abnormally tough and was able to move fluidly despite his enormous size; the Demon was still able to barely evade War's more fatal techniques.
War resumed to a wider fighting stance, keeping one leg in front in the event he would need to move quickly to thwart the Demon's sudden bouts of frenzy. Although the Incubus' blade was inferior to that of Chaoeseater, War's flesh was not immune to the carbon steel alloy that made up the Demon's dark blade.
The Demon was squatting on all fours, holding his blade backwards to keep it flush against his forearm. His loins were caked in his blood, dribbling from an open gash War managed to inflict earlier.
"Is she really worth your life, Horseman?" the Incubus hissed between his jagged teeth. War wasted no time to flank the brazen Demon as he lifted Chaoseater to the side. Swinging the massive sword, War leapt from a granite platform, bringing Chaoseater over the Demon's head, but the Incubus pulled back to evade the Horseman's assault.
The moment War's feet met the ground after the Incubus dodged the seeming assault, he whipped Chaoseater to the side instead of coming down as he had led the Incubus to insinuate, severing the Demon's right arm from the shoulder. It took a few moments for the beast to realize what had just transpired, but as the blood splashed between the two, leaving a cloudy crimson mist in the air between them, the affliction became clear.
Without the right arm to accommodate the Demon's weight when he landed, the Incubus plunged to the ground, falling into his own pool of blood. The Incubus used his own momentum to whip his head from the ground, stirring the blood/dirt muck into the air. War was quick to evade the Demon's damning horns, but between the dry heat, the hard skirmish, and the sudden loss of fluids, it was only a matter of time before the two succumbed to fatigue. Despite his seemingly vigor, saliva began to ooze from the Incubus' gaping mouth, dribbling along his tusks as the excess on the corners of his mouth began to foam. The Demon's wits were coming to an end.
War was able to regain his posture quickly in the event the Demon would counter-attack, but the war-hardened Demon was slow to rise. Ignoring the burning sensation along the back of his arm, War lifted Chaoseater to poise. Harboring a sword of such vitality and size, it was a feat in itself that the Nephilim could wield such a weapon, but as it was, War was agile in his own right, earning his occupation as the Horseman War.
"Any last words, Demon?" War growled, holding the tang of his sword tightly in his hand. Although his contempt with this creature was without prose, he still clung to his ethic of honor.
Fumbling under the weight of his wounds, the Incubus merely lifted his head. His crimson eyes firmly met with War's, glaring at the Horseman with a malice that could unravel normal men, but War was not one to fracture so easily. War's gaze was pressing, but the Demon did not advance, nor flee, but chuckled. Beneath the gurgling, blood-congested bowels of the Demon's inner mechanisms, the beast began to laugh diabolically.
War's facade melted into puzzlement as the Demon laughed out loud, coughing with each brazen chortle that spat from his mouth. Between the blood trickling down from his blackened nostrils and the saliva accumulating along his chin, the creature still had the drive to mock his opponent one last time before the air in his choking lungs left him for good.
"Did you think…that I would have bothered to waste my time, *cough…fending you off over something so trivial…as that unsanctioned human spawn?" the Demon conceded. War's brow crunched tightly over his illuminating eyes, baffled as to what the Demon was alluding to, but the Incubus' haughty laugh was not mistaken.
"Your time *cough, is up, Nephilim. Enjoy your little victory while you have it…cause it won't last long."
Shortly after the last word exhaled from his gaping mouth, War grabbed his sword with both hands before he leapt over the Demon to plunge Chaoseater into the creature's neck, severing the right artery. The blood gushed like a dam opening its floodgates, pouring from the vessel through the gaping hole War put in the Demon's neck. Gradually the Incubus dropped his head until it slumped to the blood puddled ground. His body sank as his legs gave out from under him, leaving him to lie on his callous belly.
War was panting heavily as wrath pulsed through his veins, causing the fibers in his muscles to gorge. By now his mind was flooded with rage, ticking closer into some chaotic mindset, but there was nothing left for him to take out his anger on, except for the corpse that was lying before him. Bringing Chaoseater to his breast, gripping it securely into both hands, War moved towards the fallen Demon. His eyes gleaned over the blood-pool beneath him as the emblem on his forehead burned brightly, allowing his wrath take over. Glaring heavily at the comatose corpse, he brought his sword over his head. A brief moment past before he swung Chaoseater onto the Demon's head, severing it swiftly.
It was within that moment that nothing compelled him to stop.
My apologies for the delay. Anyhoosits, I would like to thank to those whom have left feedback; I do read them and take them into account and make fixes when errors are pointed out. Since I started this over a year ago, alot of the information concerning the universe I had to rely on the wikia and the comic, other than the game. With each video, article, and concept art shared as we are bridging closer to the release of Darksiders 2, I am enlightened to the new details of the canon. Therefore, I do the best I can to stay with canon, but because I am twenty plus chapters into this, there may be some things that would be futile to change. Oh well, it's just fanfiction.
Anyways, I will post the next chapter soon, for it is complete and is in the process of editing.