Blood That Flows
I own nothing.
Corona looked at the creature and grinned as she saw its water-like skin reflect and distort the light around it. "Wow... You're..."
"How is it that you were able to awaken me so easily?"
Corona pouted as she was interrupted. "Well, you're rude." She crossed her arms and huffed. "And my name's Corona. You're the creature of that armor, huh?"
"I am Zannafar..." The beast growled at her. "You somehow forced me awake. Oh well, I'll find out more when I devour you for your information."
Corona's red eyes widened and she grinned at the beast. "Go right ahead and try." She giggled as the thing growled and opened its mouth to bite her. Even as the mouth moved closer to her, she never stopped grinning. When the Zannafar stopped just a few inches from her face, the young girl could only giggle at it. "What's the matter?" She sing-songed, "don't you like the spell I put into you to keep you from hurting me?"
Zanafar pulled its head back and growled at Corona. "How?! I know for a fact that I'm immune to magic, so how are you doing this?!"
"Immune to magic?" Corona blinked several times. "But that's only magic outside of you, right? It doesn't do anything against magic inside of you, right?" The Zannafar growled at her and she just turned around and walked back to her golem, which picked her up. "So, tell me," she smiled as Balmung started to walk towards the North again, "how much do you hate me?" Zannafar growled at her some more. "Well then, don't you want to see if you can get rid of me?"
Zannafar growled as it got to its feet and followed after her. "This changes nothing. First chance I get, I'm going to kill you."
Corona just smiled at it. "You can eat all you want while we make our way there." When Zannafar growled at her, she giggled. "Silly puppy."
"I AM NOT A PUPPY!"
Corona frowned as her eyes glowed. "Bad dog." Zannafar's eyes widened as it found itself suddenly cowering for some unknown reason. "That spell I put in you... Yes, you're a good dog, aren't you?" Zannafar growled at her and she giggled again, her eyes going back to normal. "Come on, Zanny! Let's go find that other thing!"
"There." Lyos nodded to the clerk of the messenger office. "Make sure these get out."
"Of course." The woman smiled at him as she took the messages. "Our trained carrier pigeons will have them delivered in less than three days, no matter where on the continent."
Lyos nodded and walked out of the office. It was late in the afternoon, the sun was almost set and he could smell dinner being made. Still, even if the small village only had a few buildings, and most of them were rather simple structures made out of wood. It had all the definition of a frontier village that was small, hospitable and enjoyable to visit.
Still, as he looked around, Lyos wondered if this place would still be around in a few years.
"Oi! Lyos!" Turning, he saw Nove walking up to him with an annoyed expression on her face. "I've been calling you for a few minutes now."
"Sorry, got distracted." He chuckled at her disbelieving look. "I was just wondering about this town and what's going to happen to it."
Nove shrugged, it was human nature to migrate where the greatest chance to make it in life was at and leave the past behind. "That's all?"
"Well, that and wondering about my life. Living as a wandering hero for a good twelve years doesn't leave much time to do much else." Nove nodded and turned to walk away. "Don't you want to see it?"
"Huh?" The cyborg blinked as she turned around and looked at him. "See what?" Sighing as he just jerked his head towards a building, Nove gave up and started following him. "I swear, if this is just to show me something gross I'm going to kick his well-toned ass from here back to the old man's hut and then to the moon." Nove grumbled to herself as Lyos just smiled at her and jumped up on top of the small building.
Lyos smiled as she jumped up on the building with him. "Glad you joined me."
"And what am I..." Nove trailed off as Lyos pointed out to the horizon. Turning her head, she paused as she watched the sun slowly sink below the horizon. "...A sunset? What about it?"
"I like watching them." Lyos admitted to her as the air seemed to waver while the sun sank. "Mostly because it reminds me that I made it through another day."
"Didn't know you were sentimental."
Lyos laughed at that. "Nah, I just like the simple things, a nice place to sleep, money, food, the company of women..."
"Feh... I bet you've spent a lot of quality time with women, haven't you?" Nove sneered at him.
"If only." Lyos smirked at her. "Why? Jealous?"
Nove twitched and turned around to leave. "Why the hell would I get jealous over you? I hardly know you!"
Lyos sighed as she left and leaned back to look up into the sky. He wasn't trying to be a jerk to her, but he couldn't help but tease her a little bit. Considering his most common female companion was Nila, well, he barely got a conversation out of her and he really didn't like hanging out with guys too often, most of the male clients he had over the years tended to be more than a little annoying. "Man, I forgot what it was like to have people I could just talk to."
His eyes widened as he heard a scream from the other end of town. Getting up, he jumped off the roof, wondering what was going on.
Several minutes before...
Ixpellia took a few swings with the Blessed Blade and nodded to herself in satisfaction. The blade was heavier than her throwing knives, but not uncomfortably so in her hands. Nila had mentioned to her that it was originally more than twice its current size and mostly used for decorative purposes.
Even so, the sword felt like it was meant to be used.
Ixpellia looked up and smiled as she saw Arashi and Nila walking her way. "Hello." She blinked in confusion as Arashi was holding his arm. "What's wrong?"
"Ah, I hurt it when Nila was showing me this one spell of hers, slipped on some loose rocks and hit the ground." Arashi pouted as Nila chuckled behind him. "It still hurts!"
Ixpellia put her hand over her mouth to keep herself from laughing. "Well, it sounds like fun."
"Shall we?" Nila asked softly as she motioned towards the small hotel they were staying at. The two kids nodded and walked towards the building. Nila suddenly put her arm in front of the two, causing them to stop and wonder what was going on.
They got their answer when a black, thick fog suddenly covered the hotel.
"Dark Mist..." Nila muttered and looked upwards.
There, on the roof, dressed in dark colors that covered his body up to his eyeballs, was a tall, thin man. He had a black bandanna on his forehead, spiky blue hair and gloves that looked like claws.
"I'll deal with you after I'm done with your friends inside." His deep voice resonated as he jumped into the fog.
"Vivio! Einhart! Pokota!" Before she knew what she was doing, Ixpellia was rushing into the building as screams were heard from within.
The famous assassin Zuuma had finally made his move.
When the dense fog filled the area, Vivio felt every hair on her skin suddenly stand up. There was a soft thump behind her. For her, everything seemed to move in slow motion as a man in dark clothes was there, giving her an intense stare as he thrust his arm forward towards her prone body.
Zuuma's eyes widened as the girl he thought was too shocked to do anything suddenly fell backwards, causing his claws to merely knock a few strands of hair loose from the top of her head. "Missed." He muttered as Vivio rolled away from him. Zuuma's eyes narrowed as he saw her take a combat stance.
"Sacred Heart! Set up!" Vivio called to her device as it floated upwards and started to glow.
"Too slow." Zuuma lunged at her, clawed hands first. Just before his hand made it to Vivio, he stopped and jumped away as a body slammed into where he had been a moment ago. As he landed in a crouch, Zuuma's eyes narrowed as he saw a girl in a very short skirt and long hair standing between him and...
His eyes widened in shock as the small girl he had been trying to kill wasn't so small anymore. "Interesting."
"Vivio!" Einhart yelled as she took stock of what was going on before she lunged a kick towards Zuuma's head. She gasped as he ducked her strike and then thrust his hand right at her body. Unfortunately for Einhart, the fact that she hadn't quite recovered from her kick and the fact that Zuuma was lunging upwards with his hand put her in a very bad and awkard position. Mere centimeters before his claws could sink into her skin, Vivio grabbed his wrist, flipped over his body and threw the assassin over her shoulder at the back wall.
"You okay, Einhart?" Vivio asked as Zuuma disappeared into the dark. Considering she didn't hear a thump after a few seconds told her that her attack only bought them a little bit of time.
"Barely." Einhart shuddered at the thought of those claws piercing her right then and there. She honestly was sure that she would be dead if that happened. "He is good."
"Better than you think." Einhart's eyes widened as Zuuma's voice was just inches from her ear.
"Val Flare!" Pokota's voice was heard as a red ball of flame rushed towards Zuuma's back.
Zuuma spun and let out a sound that was half way between a growl and a yell. Energy suddenly spun around him, deflecting the spell as he cast the Goomueon spell to protect himself.
One thing that no one, other than Zuuma had ever figured out, was how to make Goomueon a useful defensive spell. While useful against Black and Astral magic, it was supposedly next to useless against physical attacks or spells, just like the Val Flare.
However, Zuuma had found a way to turn the spell into something that could deflect almost any magic by combining it with Dark Mist. Though, even he would admit, if someone could ever ask him that he wasn't quite sure how that was possible.
"Fool!" Zuuma growled at Pokota as he rushed forward and grabbed the rabbit by his ears and threw him with great force at Einhart, who was unable to stop in time before Pokota slammed into her face, knocking her off balance. The assassin ran forward at Vivio, who ran towards him as fast as she could and when she got close, she struck at his body with a straight right punch that Zuuma parried, she slapped down his other arm with her left hand and lashed out with a kick that he twisted to avoid before he jabbed her in the stomach with his knee and connected to the back of her knee with his foot before hopping back a couple of inches and drove a kick into her armored stomach, sending Vivio flying away from him.
Zuuma's eyes widened as he heard something soaring through the air, turning, he lashed his clawed hand out and batted away two thin blades that got close to him.
"So, you're an assassin, huh?" A young female's voice said as several soft steps were heard. "I've dealt with your kind since I was a little girl."
"Ixy!" Vivio coughed as she got to her feet. "Be careful! He's really good!"
"My name... Is Ixpellia." The redhead said as she pulled out two more thin blades and walked towards Zuuma, the Blessed Blade in her right hand and two throwing blades in her left.
Zuuma looked at her while keeping Vivio, Einhart and Pokota, the latter two had finally untangled themselves enough to glare at him. "Interesting, fine then." The assassin turned to face Ixpellia and bent his knees, before turning completely around and rocketing towards Vivio, who tried to dodge to the side and found that the assassin could stop in an instant and thrust his hand at her face. Quickly throwing up a barrier, Vivio gasped as his claws pierced her barrier like it wasn't even there, resulting in a shattering glass sound being heard in the hallway.
"Get away!" Einhart kicked Zuuma in the side, sending him sliding towards Ixpellia. "You okay?"
Vivio nodded, panting as she realized just how close to death she had come. She really doubted that her eyes could block claws that could tear through her shields like they weren't even there.
Landing in a crouch, Zuuma was forced to jump to the ceiling to avoid Ixpellia's thrown blades. He quickly twisted and batted the four new blades she sent his way. When his feet lightly touched the ceiling, he lunged at Ixpellia, who threw two more blades at him and shifted the Blessed Blade to meet his clawed hands.
Ixpellia watched as Zuuma batted away her blades and hopped back a couple of steps when he got close, causing his claws to shatter the part of the floor she had been standing on moments ago. Zuuma glared at her as pieces of wood flew in every direction and lashed out with his clawed gloves, Ixpellia was able to swing her sword out to block the strike, but Zuuma's superior reach and strength knocked her off of her feet and onto her back in an instant.
Ixpellia grimaced as she landed on her back. "Darn it!" Her eyes widened as several bolts of pure ice lanced over her head towards Zuuma.
The air seemed to swirl around the assassin, causing the bolts of ice to crash into some sort of wall and fizzle out.
"Another pest?" Zuuma whispered, wondering just why so many maggots were crawling out of the woodwork. Oh well, he was supposed to kill all of them, but he didn't think they'd all show up at once.
"What do we do?" Pokota muttered to himself. He could use a Dragon Slave, but seeing how fast Zuuma broke through barriers had him pause with the idea.
Plus he really wasn't sure that the others could get clear of the blast zone before they got killed.
Behind Nila, Arashi watched and frowned as something seemed to whisper to his mind. "...Darkness... With darkness?" He whispered as words started to form in his mind.
"Fragment of the Lord of Nightmares.
Free yourself from Heaven's Bond.
Become one with my body,"
Nila spun around and stared at Arashi in shock, even though her face was hidden due to the Dark Mist and her cloak, the surprise was palatable. "What are you...?"
"One with my power and let us WALK!"
Arashi stared as black energy started to take shape in his hands. He had no idea what was going on, but the words still came to him and urged him on.
"The path of destruction together!
Power that can shatter even the souls of the gods!"
"What is this?!" Zuuma hissed as a long, black blade formed in the young boy's hands. "What kind of spell is this?!"
Nila quickly ducked as a black blade of nothingness slashed through the air, cutting the Dark Mist and causing the air around them to suddenly clear up.
"What the heck?!" Vivio yelled as she stared at Arashi in shock. He could barely do a fireball, and he was holding a black sword that just screamed high level, dangerous magic.
Zuuma grimaced, if he stayed he was likely to get killed. "If you wish to find out what's going on, continue to the East, my work here is done."
"Wait!" Ixpellia yelled as Zuuma slashed the wall. "Who was it that sent you, assassin?"
"Head East and you'll find out who sent me." The next thing any of them knew, the air was filled with smoke that lasted for a few moments before Zuuma disappeared.
"Who was that man?" Ixpellia wondered out loud.
Einhart rubbed her head. "He was good, he beat us easily."
"Better than you think." Ixpellia frowned as she put her sword away. "He managed to fight all of us off and survive. I've killed at least three assassins in my life, that man was far better than all of them put together." The former King couldn't believe that someone had the skills to fight them off like this one had.
"Arashi!" Vivio yelled as she ran over to the boy. "How are you doing that?"
"I don't know!" Arashi yelped as he lost focus and the blade disappeared. "I heard these words in my head. And the image came to my mind and I couldn't help myself and..." He scratched the back of his head nervously. "The voice kind of sounded like mom."
"What happened?" Lyos asked as he and Nove finally arrived. "...Okay, better question, are you all okay?"
"An assassin?" Lyos frowned as the group gathered downstairs to eat and talk about what happened. "And Dark... Mist... Sunnvabitch!"
"What?" Nove frowned, wondering what caused such a reaction from Lyos.
"Zuuma... I've heard of him. Best assassin in the world, gloves that can cut through armor, barriers and parry swords and weaker magic, plus he's fast, always getting in and out without really being noticed." Lyos grimaced, if they had to deal with Zuuma, a bunch of Mazoku, that beastman who could keep up with him and magic tanks... "This just got a whole lot messier."
"But, really, Arashi..." Vivio, back in her child form, looked at her uncle. "How did you..?"
"I don't know, okay?!" He glared at her, frustration on his face. "Like I said, I just heard the words in my mind, then an image formed and then it came out! I don't know!"
"Eh, I don't see the problem." Pokota spoke up. "Even if you don't know how you did it, the fact is, you used a Ragna Blade, it's a the strongest spell I've ever heard of, though I heard it's supposed to be impossible to cast." The rabbit shrugged at the looks he got from the kids. "Hey, it's just what I've heard when looking into it, that's all. Anyway, if you can cast it, that's good, that spell can trash most Mazoku with ease."
"Really?" Einhart asked, getting a nod from Pokota. "Very well then, if they realize that the spell is dangerous, they might target Arashi. So, Vivio..."
"Yes?" The blonde blinked at her friend. "What?"
"You and I shall protect Arashi if he becomes targeted by an attack."
"Hey!" Arashi protested as Vivio thought about it and agreed to it. "Don't I get a say in this?"
"Don't worry." Ixpellia smiled at him. "I'm sure that they'll do a good job, and even I can help out too." She giggled as he groaned and slammed his head on the table, getting chuckles out of everyone.
Lyos frowned as he leaned back. 'Assassin Zuuma, Zannafar Armor wearing Beastmen, magic tanks and Mazoku... Why do I think it's going to get worse quickly?'
Arashi: Oh sheesh! Things never get easy, I think the author enjoys tormenting us or something.
Corona: I don't know, let's ask Rio.
Corona: WAHHH! I'm sad now!
Arashi: Um, next time on Blood That Flows - Revolution, please read it?