A/N: Okay everyone…you guys have been waiting many chapters for this…and what more to celebrate the twentieth chapter of this story than to have it hold the spot for the ultimate showdown…Our favorite Pure One owl Kludd against the almighty infamous Skarmoris, one of my greatly designed (in my opinion) OCs. Not only that, it will also host two other battles, that has yet to be revealed in this chapter. Now, as the fourth part of the finale, it is now time for the long-awaited second part to BRINGING DOWN THE GIANT!
NOTE: It is official, we had broken the 5,000 views barrier, THANK YOU ALL!
I do not own Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole...if I did, this story would probably be its sequel.
I do not own Bringing Down The Giant or Saving Abel, but the song is EPIC!
bluecatcinema owns New Beginnings, Ruffled Feathers, Dark Feelings, and Worlds Apart.
Note: blucatcinema's newest story for LotG: OoG, The Siege of Ga'Hoole, had recently came up, in case anyone who wonders, that story will also not play any role in this story.
Note: It is heavily recommended to read the abovementioned stories by bluecatcinema in order to understand parts of this story.
FeoranPride (a deviantartist) owns Nix, the grass owl, but TearfulFriend18 (Formerly Mic O'Malley) used it, so he deserved to be mentioned.
I own Samuel, the snowy owl, Skarmoris, the Sulawesi Masked Owl, and Biggs and Wedge, the barn owls, Alice, the Whiskered Screech Owl, LaRoche, the Elf Owl, and Pip, the Little Owl, as well as Harris Hawk the Red-Tailed Hawk, and Fatal the Golden Eagle, Zephyr the Barn Owl, Maurice the Sulawesi Masked Owl, as well as Nyra's parents, Solidor, another snowy owl.
P.S. As you read this chapter, please play the rock version of One-Winged Angel (as heard in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children) or Bringing Down The Giant, it is highly recommended.
Chapter Twenty: Bringing Down The Giant, Part II
"I hit the wall, I got back up and dusted off, I'm past the pain and I'm taking back all that I lost, I'm going to kick you off the throne, hang your crown upon the wall, yeah, your glory days are gone, gone, gone…"
- A verse from Bringing Down The Giant by Saving Abel
The clouds spiraling around above the ancient Pillar of Supremacy began to roil even more as rain began to fall from the sky, in multitudes of drops, immediately dousing anything that would be caught in such a horrid weather. The winds had begun to pick up as well, as it carried the rain around at a high velocity, that to an untrained eye, it would seem that it was raining completely sideways. With such a powerful storm now unleashing around the tower, all it would need now to perfect it was thunder and lightning, and given with the events that were occurring now, it should be coming in a matter of moments…
In the highest room of the pillar, within the throne room, the winds blew through the columns, as two beings stood on opposite ends of the room, a Barn Owl, with a scar marking the left side of the face with a bronze sword at his side, the tip covered in blood, and a Sulawesi Masked Owl, standing tall, with his left wing shrouded in black, and two silver blades that gleamed in moonlight, and eyes of the coldest silver, both of them stood there, staring at each others with eyes of unmatched fury, as the sound of the howling winds echoed throughout the room.
Skarmoris was the son of the Deathbringer, abandoned by him as a little hatchling because he deemed him weak. All his life, he had suffered from being shunned, losing the chance of having love to his master, being banished and dishonored…basically one unfortunate event after another…it wasn't before long that his mind had given into the darkness, a unknown deity that resided in every owl, but only manifested in certain beings it took a liking to, such as those who have the capability of donning red irises, who at times take on forms of other beings that the owl in question is familiar with. That darkness, as cruel and unforgiving it was, it could be deemed beautiful to the right eyes, as more often than not, it was strongest, as power attracted power, and despite the immorality and how soul-sucking it would be, no owl could deny that darkness…wields power. (A quote from synchronized harmony, again with my adjustments)
It was this darkness that gave him the key to unlocking ultimate power via the unspeakable Cannabis Regime, the method of eating another owl, dead or alive, potentially wiping your mind clean and turning you into nothing but a empty void, or twisting it to a point of where the owl shouldn't even be associated with. The latter would be what had happen to Skarmoris, who formerly went by the name Maurice. At first, he let the darkness in so he could make himself worthy of a beautiful owl that he had fallen in love with, thinking the things would be right when he had her…but little did he know that he was playing into the darkness's hands, as he followed it's guidance, he only sealed his fate as his mind became more demented, and towards the end of the third year of following the abovementioned method, a little ways before he perform the coup d'état on Kludd and Nyra, as powerful and mighty he had become, he merely became a puppet for the darkness within him, acting as it saw fit.
After hearing the crushing rejection from the beautiful owl, his heart was broken…but due to the prolonged corruption of the darkness, it had little to no effect on it, as the heart was almost completely pitch black. Love, and every other emotions and feelings for that matter, had become meaningless to him. The only emotion that he could feel now was anger…one of the strongest feelings aside from love and fear, and the most potentially dangerous one at that, as it feeds the darkness more, and makes it even more powerful. It was such emotions that were going through the Sulawesi Masked Owl's mind as he stared at the object of all his anger and hate, as bits of blood dripped from his long scar across his chest, inflicted by the said owl, as methods of torturous and gruesome murder to how he would kill him cycled through his mind…
The owl who was unfortunate enough to be caught within this intimidating gaze was none other than Kludd, a simple Barn Owl from the Forest Kingdom of Tyto who, within days, had elevated from a normal owl to a soldier within the Pure Ones to king of the Pure Ones…only to be knocked back down by Skarmoris a year later. One would wonder how Kludd could have possibly resisted the strong pull of darkness unlike Skarmoris. The answer is quite complicated, as three years earlier, darkness had begun to grow within him after the feeling of envy and resentment had begun to arise within him after a long time of being overshadowed by his little brother, coincidentally (and ironically) around the same time that Maurice had given into the darkness.
Kludd was an owl who sought to seek approval from his father and the adoration of his family, only to be inadvertently thwarted by his brother Soren, when the dark being within him begun to take an interest in the boy, as hate and anger, both benefactors to the said being, towards his brother was growing. The dark feelings (shoutout to blucatcinema) had grown worse when he heard the inspirational (to him it was) speech given by Nyra, as the belief of the strong ruling the weak appealed to him, and when his brother and Guardians for that matter said otherwise, he was more than willing to take him and the noble warriors out of the picture. His anger and hate, as well as a portion of the darkness within him, fueled his rage as he battled Soren within Beaks, as his strong desire for acceptance hungered for the younger brother's blood. In the end, however, it failed him, as he fell into the flames, forever scarring his face, as the Guardians prevailed over the Pure Ones, and Metalbeak met his untimely end…but…after the brother recovered from nearly being burned alive, his hate and anger (and consequentially, his darkness) only grew more, as he made it his ultimate goal to slay his brother and avenge Metalbeak. With this goal in mind, he became king of the Pure Ones, as if it was all part of a greater design, the darkness festered even more as Kludd focused on ending his brother and finally achieving the peace within his heart that he believed would result from doing so, and it would seem that he would become like Skarmoris, knowing nothing but hate and anger, being nothing more than a puppet on a string…
But there lied a difference between the two beings that stood in that room, a difference that was quite unfortunate if you really thought about it, that difference was none other than love. Maurice had never had that feeling of being loved and cherished by others, due to the fact that everyone feared him, even Aunt Finny, who made it her personal duty to see to it that everyone kept away from him. When Surtr took him in, he finally felt it, and it became stronger when he met Nyra and for eleven years, he could actually be happy…but it was all undone by his darkness, which blossomed from his jealousy towards Surtr for taking Nyra away from him, and it was that jealousy that eventually got him banished by his master, who himself had fallen into darkness's grasp. All that love he felt was shattered into pieces, leaving him with nothing once more, and when the dark being, in the form of his late father, came to him, he was easy for the picking.
Kludd on the other hand was different because despite his anger and hate, he could still feel love, as his brother Soren never gave up on him, and as much as Kludd wanted him to, he could never stop loving him, and it was what kept his heart strong. However, due to his pride and his still overwhelming anger, he couldn't see it, but even then, darkness could never take a hold of him, as Nyra, who had partially succumb to the darkness, had fallen in love with him, and despite them doing evil deeds in tandem, the feeling of love that Nyra gave him made him stronger than ever. And, with their quest throughout the worst parts of the territory, and the time he spent with Soren and his friends and tutor, the hate within him began to fade. Despite the unintentional hurtful words, not meant to be heard by Kludd, bringing the hate back, his heart, supported by the love he never lost from his family, his love from his queen, and the words of the Two Brothers, saved him from eternal despair of his darkness…
Now here stood Kludd, with sword in talon, as he stared at Skarmoris with determination and anger, as he listened to the wind. Unbeknownst to the evil owl, the barn owl had a bit of fear within his heart, as he never took on another owl that outmatched him in strength and speed, and he was still pretty new to wielding a sword, while Skarmoris had years of practice. He was also afraid for his family, the commotion would have certainly raised alarm within the tower, causing the entire enhanced army to come after them, and with a large group of the band, his family, and his love, he couldn't help but picture the worst…Kludd shook the thought, this was no time to worry about them, he needed to take his own advice and stay strong. His prayers were with them, as he knew that he was doing this so he could protect them, or die trying. He tightened his grip on his sword, as he mentally prepared himself before going into one of what he would believe to be the greatest and most difficult fight of his life…
Would it be enough however? Which emotion would prevail over the other? The owl with a heart of darkness, anger boiling within…or the owl with a tainted yet good heart, running on the beliefs and love of all the owls that he cared about? This was the moment of truth, as the storm grew worse around the pillar. Whose blood would stain the floors of the sacred halls? Who shall fall and who shall rise?
(Cue the One-Winged Angel music)
The answer to all these questions have begun to be answered, as Skarmoris, sick of waiting for his opponent, made the first move as he charged with a powerful scream that echoed throughout the entirety of the Pillar of Supremacy towards Kludd, with his two swords raised, as Kludd met his blades with his own…
Unbeknownst to everyone within the tower, as Skarmoris let out that scream, the lightning flashed across the skies and thunder bellowed, thus perfecting the storm. The Hagsfiend's Sea responded to the perfection of the storm with growing waves that begun crashing against each other with impeccable force. One in particular made its way to the pillar, swallowing every wave in its path, growing to such a size not much bigger than an oak tree. Within seconds, that said tidal wave crashed against the ancient architecture, hitting it very hard. As soon as it subsided, the pillar stood…but after weathering for centuries against these temperamental waves, that one wave make a very large crack with it's base, and as more waves crashing around it, pieces of it began to fall out, and sounds of scraping rocks were made as the tower began to slowly move…
Nyra looked back at the throne room with tears in her eyes as she and the others flew out in the elite's training grounds, with the remaining piece of her dead mate's helm in talon, as her heart prayed for her love's safety, as much fate she had in him, there was only so much she could have, as this was once her friend that he was facing, corrupted by glaux-knows-what...
However, her thoughts were interrupted as Digger asked, "Are you sure we should leave Kludd to take on that guy on his own?"
"I know you are worried lad," Ezylryb said, "I am as well, but we mustn't focus on him now, we have to get out of here and fast!"
"Ezylryb's right," Soren agreed softly, as much as he hated to admit it, they to focus on getting his family out of here before something horrible happens, "Kludd can take care of himself, we just need to find a quick way out of here."
"How about the skylight?" Gylfie pointed at the hole in the ceiling, "It's seemed to be the quickest way out of here."
"Right you are, Gylfie!" Nyra nodded, shaking her fears away, "Follow me!" as she then pull upwards towards the opening, followed by Soren, his family, Digger, Gylfie, Twilight and Ezylryb. This escape route seemed perfect, unfortunately, as if the universe made it that way, anything that turns out to be perfect usually turns out to be just awful. That is proven, as the scream that Skarmoris let out acted as a trigger for the clouds, as lightnings suddenly flashed in the sky, blinding the queen, as she flinched away from the hole. If that was not enough, the doors to the throne room suddenly burst open as a quick brown blur launched itself out of the room and towards the queen, as he blindsided her to the ground, as the shard of Metalbeak's helm fell from her talon…
"NYRA!" The band and Soren shouted, as they are then knocked to the ground as well by two owls, although not as quick as the first owl, Ezylryb quickly stopped Noctus and Marella as the two owls, which turned out to be Jatt and Jutt flew in front of the skylight, prompting them to land next to Soren and the others.
The queen opened her eyes, as her body was now wincing in pain, as she looked up, only to seethe in anger, as the owl that attacked her was none other than her traitorous lieutenant Nix, who was donning an angry scowl.
"Going somewhere, your majesty?!" He demanded sarcastically.
"Yes, Nix." Jutt answered dumbly as he and Jatt landed, "They were going-"
"SHUT UP!" The grass owl snarled at the long-eared owl, as he turned to the white Barn Owl and Soren, who was just getting up, but glaring as equally as Nyra at him, as he sneered, "I may not get the satisfaction of ending that stupid fool myself, but I guess that his girl and his brother will suffice."
"It is you that is the fool!" Noctus snarled, as he was about to attack, but Ezylryb stopped him, "No, Noctus, he is too dangerous!"
"Indeed, I am, you old coot. I can end all of you here and right now…but then again, the other soldiers got to eat too, you know." He darkly smirked, as sounds started to emanate from the tunnel leading up to their location, prompting the good owls to frown in fear…
Within that tunnel, a swarm of Pure Ones, corrupted by the Cannabis Regime, were now flying upward with accelerating velocity, as they heard the sound of their master's scream, as they rushed to his aid…leading this swarm was none other than the scout, who had served as the usurper king's spy, as he was snickering. "Come on, you dogs! Our king demands our presence, and that must certainly mean that there's blood to shed!" he shouted, as he let out a laugh of sheer insanity…
(Take note that the events between Kludd and Skarmoris and Soren and the others are taking place within the same moment, the '(-)'s represents changes of scene within the same moments, and the -number- means the continuation of the story)
Kludd and Skarmoris' blades locked, as their swords scraped against each other, but the Sulawesi Masked Owl possessed more strength than the Barn Owl, as he pushed him back. Kludd was given little time to recover, as Skarmoris quickly lunged at him with his swords, as he swung his two blades with precision. The scarred Barn Owl quickly jumped left and right to avoid the downward swings of his swords, and leapt back as Skarmoris swung both of them outward. Kludd retaliated by swinging his sword back at him, but the evil king blocked it with ease as their blades met.
"Oh, Kludd, how I pity you, you think you can beat me? Even without the Cannabis Regime, I have ten years of being a trained Pure One over you. From where I'm standing, I do not like your odds." Skarmoris taunted as he pushed him back once more, and charged forward at the Barn Owl, but he quickly rolled out of the way.
"Well, odds were made to be defied." Kludd said, as he and Skarmoris paced around each other "I was trained under the queen of the Pure Ones herself, and not once has she ever let me down."
"You think that Nyra would actually be mates with you?" Skarmoris fumed, "Let's face reality, the one she ever truly loved was that fool Surtr. I may not know why, but I know that you will never be him!" He swung his two swords in a hammer-arm fashion, prompting Kludd to glide over him, as the black-winged owl struck his blades into a nearby column, getting it stuck.
"You're right, Skarmoris." Kludd agreed, as he approached him, "I can never be Surtr…or Metalbeak for that matter, I was foolish to think that wearing his helm would make me as great as him. Greatness cannot simply be passed on…it must be earned. But I do know now that Nyra loved me for me, not because I wore her mate's helm. She kept me going even in my darkest moments!"
"Please, you are blind to your emotions! Don't you realize that if you were to become a Guardian, you will have to kill your beloved?!" Skarmoris smarmed, as he started yanking his two swords out, "Face it, you and her are destined to be torn apart, by race and history!"
Kludd's stern glare still stood, as he was silent for a moment, but he then said, "I do not know what will become of us…I am not even sure if I am worthy of her…but all I know is I will still love her, no matter what happens…and I know I will protect her, and I will see to it that you never get the chance to hurt her!"
"Oh, I might not…but my legion will!" Skarmoris chuckled darkly, as he suddenly pulled his blades out and quickly knocked Kludd to the ground, as he crossed his swords to his throat, much like he did three nights earlier, as he then closed in on the struggling Barn Owl's face, "It is futile, Kludd! Long have I walked in hatred's company. As long as I can curse your name, I shall not be defeated! Your friends and family dies! As they must, for surely you cannot protect them! Know now the despair father has taught me!" He said in insanity as he raised his left sword, and prepared to end his opponent…
But as he did, more waves crashed against the weakened base, prompting the mighty tower to tremble, as the crack grown worse…
That sudden tremble was all Kludd needed, as the earth shaking was enough to throw Skarmoris off balance as he tried to readjust his position to keep his foe trapped, but Kludd reacted in that sudden moment as he then rolled from under him and with quick precision, he got to his feet and pushed off the ground right into the bigger owl, and with that momentum, the two owls were thrown inbetween the columns and out into the storm…
The tremor did not go unnoticed, as the flying swarm of mindless Pure Ones soldiers, led by the scout felt the tunnel shaking. "Whoa, whoa, whoa, what is going on?!" The scout demanded, as bits of rock and dust was falling upon them, as they continued upwards, close to the elite's training ground. Then, suddenly, the ceiling at the top of winding skyward tunnel began to crack, as rocks, more decently sized, began to rain upon them. "No…no…NO!" The scout stammered, as he started to turn around, but the group of owls that followed him knew no difference between what was safe and what was fatal as they continued upward, and soon the entire tunnel collapsed, as stone and dirt buried the scout and that group, silencing them forever and sealing the pathway…
The Guardians and the Pure Ones felt the ground shaking under them as well, as they started to keep their balance.
"What in hagsmire is going on?!" Nix screamed, eyes darting around the room, as bits of the over hanging arches fell onto the ground.
"I suddenly have a bad feeling about this…" Twilight whimpered, as he got back to his talons, feeling a bit of fear.
"Well, this is honky-dory! First, we are going to surrounded by cannibalistic soldiers, and now the room is shaking?!" Digger cursed.
"I'm afraid it is something much more than that, Digger!" Gylfie said with uncertainty.
"Mum, I'm scared," Eglantine whimpered from within her mother's talons.
"I am, too, dear." Marella fearfully admitted, as she looked at her husband.
Noctus didn't know what to say, he had never imagine himself in a situation like this, then again, he never expected Kludd to be Metalbeak…he sighed inwardly at the fact that he was still shocked by that.
Mrs. P looked at Noctus and Marella as she too was growing fearful of what their situation was becoming, and for that reason, she tightened her coils on Noctus, almost to a point of cutting blood circulation.
Soren and Nyra looked at each other with fear, as their thoughts returned to Kludd once more, as he must certainly be noticing this as well.
However, it was Jatt and Jutt that broke the tension as they were also growing skittish, as Jatt complained to his general, "Nix, sir! I am not liking this!"
Jutt nodded, "He's right! We have to get out of here!" Then a piece of rock suddenly hit him on a head, dazing him a bit.
"Oh, no…" Nix denied, gathering his courage, "I am not going to pass up a chance of hurting that Barn Owl if it kills me! That means we are not leaving, not till every owl in this room are torn asunder and my claws are bloody, DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?!"
"My glaux, you're mad!" Ezylryb shouted in anger, "Are you honestly going to risk your hide just to kill us?!"
The grass owl answered with a demented smirk, "Oh, you're damn straight I am going to risk it all, I will never stop, till your hearts stop beating!" as he was about to lunge at them, as Nyra and Soren along with the Guardians prepare to intercept…when suddenly, the tunnel exit (where the swarm and the scout was traveling) caved in, kicking up a cloud of dust.
Nix's attention quickly diverted to the disturbance, "What the f-"
Before he could utter that profane word, the old Screech Owl seized the opportunity as he charged at the grass owl with a battle cry and quickly pinned him to the ground.
"Sir, what are you doing?!" Soren asked, surprised by his attack.
Lyze looked at him as he struggled to keep the owl pinned, as he ordered, "I need you and Nyra to get your family to safety! Your friends and I will hold these blaggards off!"
"What?! You can't be serious!" Nyra exclaimed, "You said so yourself, he's dangerous!"
"I know! But we have to make use of this opportunity while we can! You and Soren must get them out of here!" He looked at Noctus and his family, who were equally surprised by his request, "Please…take care of your family…we will be fine!" Ezylryb pleaded as Nix was starting to break free.
Soren shook his head, "Sir…I-"
"It's alright, Soren!" Gylfie interrupted, as she looked at Nyra and him, "We're Guardians, we were trained to handle situations like this," she finished with a reassuring smile.
The young barn owl looked towards Digger and Twilight, as they gave him a nod of reassurance, as they prepare to take battle stances, as Soren then sighed, "Fine, we'll go…"
Nyra herself was touched by their willingness to throw their lives on the line, a little peeved that they are dumb enough to take on what someone would call a 'supersoldier', but touched nonetheless.
"But how do we get out of here?" Noctus asked, "Apparently we can't go down, and we certainly shouldn't fly upward into the storm!
This prompted a frown from Soren, as his father was right, but then he looked to Nyra for any possible ideas.
The queen was just as uncertain, as she gripped the remnants of her husband's helm…only to realize that she dropped it when Nix attacked her, as she quickly looked around. Fortunately, the shard didn't fall far from when she was standing, as she prepare to grab it…but then a memory of her and Surtr suddenly flashed into her mind…one of her greatest…
"Me and your father had found this when we were both new recruits. We reckoned that this was an old escape route, but when you come here as the moon sets, it is one of most damn beautiful things in the world…"
It dawned upon her, all the time she and Surtr had used that place as a special secret hideaway for both of them, as a place that held most of her good memories, she completely forgotten that the place, to a normal owl…was an escape route, and with that in mind, her greatest memory would be the perfect way to get out of here…
"I know the way out!" Nyra stated with absolution, as she then spread her wings, "FOLLOW ME!"
Soren was about to follow her when Noctus pointed out, "Wait, how do we know that she isn't leading us to our-"
"NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DOUBT SOMEONE!" Ezylryb snarled, a bit annoyed, "NOW GO WHILE YOU CAN!"
Noctus immediately silenced his doubts as Soren then said with determination, "Okay, let's get out of here!" as he flew off towards another tunnel, with Noctus and Marella following him…
"NO!" Nix snarled, as he began shaking the old Screech Owl off, "JATT AND JUTT, AFTER THEM!"
"On it, boss!" The cousins nodded as they were about to follow him, but then Twilight, Digger and Gylfie stepped in front of them, all with equally determined faces.
"I'm afraid your beef is with us!" Digger taunted, as he took battle stance, "Right, Gylfie?" he asked with a sideway glance.
"I couldn't have put it in better words myself!" Gylfie agreed, as she also took into battle.
"Quite right, my friends, it is a time like this where we make a stand!" Twilight bellowed in a proud voice, as he draws his lute out.
The two cousins' blood froze when they saw that lute, as bad memories from the year before arisen, as they were both smacked in the face by that accursed instrument, and to say the least, they still heard the sound of it beating against their skulls…
"BOSS! HE GOT A LUTE!" Jatt whimpered.
This merely angered Nix to a breaking point, as he then let out a vicious snarl, "OH FOR CRYING OUT…" as he then with his enhanced strength threw Lyze off with enough force that he landed in front of his three companions.
Fortunately, being the well-trained owl he was, he merely got back to his feet, as he took battle stance as well.
Nix got back up to his feet as he approached the four owls, as his co-lieutenants took a step back, not just from the lute, but from their now-severely peeved general, as he then demanded, "Step aside, fools! Your barn owl friends are mine to kill!"
Ezylryb, however, gave a fierce glare as he taunted, "If you want Soren and Nyra, you will have to go through us! All of us!" He finished as he looked at his comrades.
However, the grass owl didn't like that answer, as he felt hagsmire's fury burning within, he lost his chance to kill Kludd, and was now losing his chance to kill his brother and would-be mate. This cannot stand; it was time that someone finally dies under his talon... "You just made a big mistake, you crazy old fool!" he scowled as he flexed his battle claws.
"Not as big as you did, lad." Ezylryb rebutted, "You betrayed your king, cannibalized a few of your own men, kidnapped my student and his brother's family, try to kill that brother…to say the least, you mess with one of us…you deal with all of us! In the name of the Guardians and all of the owl kingdoms, to battle we fly!" He bellowed.
Nix along with Jatt and Jutt (after Nix gave them a vicious ordering glare) charged at the four Guardians, who in turn charged at them as they ensued battle…
Lightning struck across the sky once more, as Kludd and Skarmoris are thrown into the vicious rainstorm, immediately drenching their feathers as the two began to fall downwards toward the sea as the two struggled to regain balance.
Kludd tried to spread his wings, only to have one of them cuffed by one of Skarmoris's talons (as he switched his two blades off of him), as the Sulawesi Masked Owl gave him a vicious caw, and gave him a sharp peck in the face, and gripped his other wing with his free talon, and given his super strength, the scarred Barn Owl couldn't do anything except swing his battle claw and sword like crazy as they free-fall, both of them upside-down.
Skarmoris smirked as he then spread his wings and push the Barn Owl against the side of the pillar, as he skid Kludd's back down along the jagged wall, prompting him to cry in pain, as the evil king let out a dark chuckle as he heard his cries.
The scarred Barn Owl gritted his beak as he felt his back being scraped to no end, but thinking on his talons (or his head), he saw how the bigger owl's abdomen was close to his talons, and hunched his talons inward and with a grunt, and tapping into his rage, he pushed Skarmoris off of him, as the Barn Owl brought himself back right-side up, his wings now flapping, his back slightly aching from the new scratches, and he quickly narrowed his eyes at the now off-balanced Skarmoris, as he tried to recover, but Kludd didn't give him the chance, for as soon as Skarmoris gain his bearing, the Barn Owl charged at him at a high rate of speed. The usurper king had no time to react, as the younger owl barreled right into him, accelerating their descent right into one of the pillar's cliff edge.
As soon as Skarmoris was smashed into the ground, Kludd quickly flew off of him, as he maintains his battle stance, although it was slightly hunched from his injured back. The Sulawesi Masked Owl, despite being rammed in the ground, got up and merely shook any dust and rock off him, as he equipped his two swords instantly, as he swung them round and adopted a vicious battle pose, as he then taunted, while cricking his neck, "I must said, you got gizzard, kid, too bad I have to rip them out of you!" (Spongebob Squarepants The Movie reference!)
Kludd let out a snarl as he then charged at him, with sword raised. Skarmoris smirked as he lunged at him, as they begun another sword fight, as sparks flew and sizzled within the heavy pouring rain, as steel clashed against steel. Soon, Kludd's blade locked with one of Skarmoris's sword, while his battle claw kept his other blade down, as Skarmoris gave a slight grunt, but nonetheless smirked at the Barn Owl with an evil grin, as he asked, "Oh! Where did you find…" He let out another grunt, "This strength?"
"I'm not about to tell you!" Kludd shouted, as he then flapped upward and pounded his foe in his armored face, knocking him away.
The Sulawesi Masked Owl took a step back as he shook the pain off, as Skarmoris merely threatened, "Wrong move, boy…" as he looked at the Barn Owl with his silver eyes, as they suddenly flickered red.
Kludd slightly gasped as he saw his eyes turn red, the only owls he knew that could pull something like that was Nyra (when she was very angry) and himself, as much as he would hate to admit it, but if Skarmoris could do it…he was in for a more gruesome fight than he thought.
Skarmoris went on to sneer, "Your family is as good as finished, Kludd. Once my cohorts make mince meat out of them, and I put you down, my forces will be ready to take flight, and before you can say hoot, the Guardians will fall, and all the other kingdoms will follow, no owl will be able to stand up to us, and Tytos will finally take their rightful place as the superior species!"
"Is that supposed to scare me?" Kludd seethed, "Soren would die before he let the likes of you hurt his friends and family. He risked his life so he could help me…" he paused, as he realized how ungrateful he was to him that night, "Now it's my turn…I will defend them from the likes of you!"
"Hah! Defend? You? You who failed the Pure Ones and your family? What can shame hope to keep safe? Your wings are flawed! Your oaths poison those you would protect!" Skarmoris laughed, as he then charged forward, running his swords along the ground, as he swung forward, as sparks from the swords flew, as Kludd weaved back to dodge every swing of his gleaming blades, but one sword made contact as it cut Kludd's unscarred cheek, prompting to him to flinch in pain, as he dodged another of his strike.
Kludd merely panted as he then blocked against one other attack, as he then grunted, "I don't have to explain myself to you!" as he slashed at Skarmoris's body with his battle claw, adding another wound to his chest, prompting the Sulawesi Masked Owl to howl in pain, as he step back, but Kludd kept up the pressure as he gripped him by his throat and pointed his sword at his face, as he stared Skarmoris dead in the eyes...
However, he laughed even more as he then sneered, "Hear me, Kludd. Do not think that killing me will win you back your honor. When you abandon your home and kin, your name was forever stained with shame. It will not justify all of your crimes, bring back those who died because of you, and you think it will prevent your parents from looking at you with those eyes...the eyes of disappointment? Admit it, Kludd, compared to your younger brother, you're nothing...and without your crown and kingdom, you are nothing but a stray, damned for all eternity to wander between our two worlds, with no place to call home...and you cannot change that fate."
The scarred Barn Owl paused for a moment...everything Skarmoris said was true...even though he no longer had Metalbeak's crown, he was still leader of the Pure Ones for that year, and he had almost killed their allies and took their children, and he had a part in Grimble's death. Forgiveness would probably be the last thing that the Guardians would ever give him and nothing can change that...but...
"I realize that, Skarmoris..." Kludd sadly stated, as he closed his eyes in shame, but then he opened them with fire in his eyes, "But I must try...maybe I will never be forgiven and maybe I will be cast out of both worlds...but even a stray has pride...and I will repay my debt and accept the punishment that is bestowed upon me…but for now, I will start off by finishing you!" He declared, as he thrust his sword forward.
Unfortunately, the waves hit the weakened base of the pillar once more, as the tower shook even more, as the entire structure suddenly slanted towards the right (the weakened side and where Kludd and Skarmoris are located), and when it did slant, it caused Kludd to trip forward, prompting him to miss Skarmoris with his sword. The Sulawesi Masked Owl make excellent use of this untimely miss as he then flipped his foe over him, sending him rolling down the now slanted cliff edge…
Through the pillar-laced open hallways near the top of the tower, Nyra, followed by Soren and his family quickly flew through the hall as fast as their wings can carry them, hoping to get to the escape route before something horrible happens. Fortunately, the said halls were silent and desolate.
"Come on, it is not much farther!" Nyra yelled to her companions, as she took a quick landing to check on them.
"For Glamoria's sake, woman, can we slow down?" Noctus moaned, as he felt pain in his back, new from when Nix defeated him plus the old pain of when his back gave out two nights earlier as he then landed, "I am not as young as I used to be!"
"Dear, we can't stop! There could be soldiers coming after us!" Marella pleaded, as she landed as well, but she saw Noctus gripping his back, and immediately realized how much pain he was in. With concern, she then asked her son, "Soren, is there anyone after us?"
The Barn Owl, slightly panting from flying so fast when he touched the floor, looked around them, as he then sighed with relief, as he saw no signs of Pure Ones, in fact, aside from the storm that was unleashing it's heavenly fury, there was no sound or sight of anyone except them.
Soren then turned to his family with a calm demeanor, "No…I think we can make the rest of the trip on foot. Besides, it not like someone is suddenly going to barg-"
His reassurance was shattered as all of a sudden, a brown blur smashes through one of the columns. "GET DOWN!" Soren ordered, as he and his family ducked, barely avoiding the object's claws as it then landed on the wall. The Barn Owl looked at what attacked them only to be horrified to see that it was one of Skarmoris's two soldiers, and judging from it's slightly small size, it was Wedge, as he let out an abnormal roar, jumping from the wall and approaching them menacingly, and to Soren's dismay, a sharpened bronze sword in his talon much like Nix had before Kludd bested him.
"Good heavens!" Mrs. P shouted as she saw the evil looking owl.
Nyra quickly saw him as she screamed, "RUN!" as the owls quickly ran from the corrupted owl, but unfortunately, there was no end to their bad luck as another brown blur smashed through another column. Unfortunately, this blur didn't miss as Nyra immediately found herself pinned hard against the wall, face to face with Biggs, another of Skarmoris's men, as he roared in her face.
"NYRA!" Soren screamed, as he was about to charge the bulky Barn Owl when Wedge himself lunged at the Guardian Barn Owl, as he pinned and tried to stab Soren with his sword, but had trouble as Soren gripped his sword-wielding talon.
"SOREN!" Noctus, Marella, Mrs. P, and Eglantine shouted at the same time.
"STAY BACK!" Soren ordered, as he saw his family looked in fear, "Get somewhere safe!"
Unfortunately, Wedge took notice of them as he felt a stirring in their gizzard, and no longer paying attention to Soren as he suddenly jumped off of him and quickly flew towards his family.
"NO!" Soren bellowed, as he then charged at Wedge, knocking him back to the ground, as he wasn't going to let some messed-up owl go after his family.
"SOREY!" Eglantine screeched, as she saw her brother tackled the mute owl.
Biggs immediately took note of his comrade's distress, but due to the distraction, Nyra manage to push him off her, as she took a battle stance and gave a glare at Biggs, who was now focused on her again, as he then charged at her again.
Wedge, as soon as he hit the ground, quickly rolled away from Soren, who landed along with him, as he flourish his sword in a intimidating way. However, it failed to perturb Soren as he then raised his battle claws and charged at him, as he and Wedge and Nyra and Biggs engaged in their own battles.
Soren and Wedge started off as the helmed Barn Owl swung his sword swiftly, and his foe, not having his brother's luxury of having a sword on him, had to make do with his battle claws, as he dodged Wedge's slash and retaliate by swinging his claws, but Wedge merely moved his head to dodge his swipes as he punched Soren in his guts (which was already sore from when Kludd beaten him), causing Soren to keel over once more. The corrupted Barn Owl went on to run his sword through Soren, but he quickly weaved out of the way...
Nyra and Biggs paced around each other, as they stared each other down with a glare, as the big Barn Owl made the first move by swinging one of his talons down on the white Barn Owl, who in turn jumped backwards, only to see in shock of the indent Biggs made when he smashed where she was a second ago. Nyra then went on the offensive as she swung her talons and wings in a frenzy as she continuously hit the bigger owl, who made no attempt to dodge her attacks...because Nyra's attacks were doing nothing, as her wings to his face merely moved it a little to the left and right, and her claws were only leaving meager scratches on his tougher-than-usual skin.
The snow-white owl's attacks slowed to a near halt, as Nyra panted from all the energy she exerted in attacking him, and she was horrified that her opponent was still standing, not to mention frustrated, as she then balled up her talon and punched him in the chest...only to have it aching in pain, as Nyra let out a pained groan as she gripped it. Then Biggs swung one of his wings and smashed it into Nyra, knocking her to the ground.
"Gah!" Mrs. P gasped as she covered her mouth, seeing the big Barn Owl pinned Nyra once more, about ready to finish her off, and saw Soren struggling against Wedge as he swung his sword at him again, forcing him against a wall.
"I got to do something!" Noctus declared, as he saw his son and Nyra in peril, as he was about to leap into the fray, but Marella stopped him.
"No, dear! Your back is already hurting from two nights back, and sorry to say, dear, but you are no fighter!" Marella pleaded.
"Pish-posh! You underestimate me! I bet I could take one of them just like that!" He rebutted, as he brought his left talon downward to emphasize his point...only to have the Pillar suddenly shake again, but with a much stronger force. The hallway then started to slant a little, prompting all the owls to stumble a bit, as Noctus quickly took back, "Not like that!" as he tried to maintain balance.
Soren seized his opportunity as he kicked his foe back a few inches, but Wedge only got angrier as he held his sword in a predatory matter.
"What is going on?" Nyra said to herself, as she threw Biggs off of him, as he fallen back onto a column, as her thoughts quickly went to Kludd, only glaux knows how he is faring against her old friend, especially with how the pillar is reacting. She wasn't given much time to think, as Biggs let out another roar and charged at her...
Within the elites' training ground, Nix let out an angry roar as his claws collided with Ezylryb, and with on a rotation of his hips, he threw the Screech Owl aside, then he ducked downwards to avoid a Burrowing Owl's charge, as he crashed against the ground, as he let out a dark chuckle. Then he tried clawing at an Elf Owl who was weaving around him, trying to get a hit in on him, and succeeded as he swatted her away.
"COME ON, IS THAT THE BEST YOU GOT?!" Nix taunted, as the three owls got back to their feet, all of them panting as they were struggling against the grass owl.
"Dammit...I never thought an owl would put up this much of a fight..." Ezylryb snarled in frustration, as he cricked his back a bit.
"Are you okay, Gylfie?" Digger asked his secret crush, who was recovering from being strucked.
"Yeah...erk...I'm fine, but what are we going to do? We can't hope to match his power..." The Elf Owl quivered with dread.
"We can't give up, lass. I don't know this owl at all, but I know he can be brought to his senses!" The Screech Owl said with determination.
"I don't know about that, he seems pretty angry!" Digger whimpered, seeing the seething expression on the grass owl, as he then asked, "What says you, Twilight?!"
The Great Gray Owl, instead of assisting the three smaller owls in helping them take on Nix, he volunteered on taking on his two dim-witted (but well-meaning) cohorts, Jatt and Jutt, on his own to, as he put it, 'lighten the burden on you three'. To say the least, he had his talons full, as the two long-eared owls were barging at him as Twilight dodge his lunges.
"I'm afraid...I can't...answer at the moment!" Twilight said between dodges, as he then swung his lute around to repel against Jatt.
"OW! That really hurts!" Jatt grumbled as he gripped the spot on his head.
"Well, my bumbling foe, that is the least of what will be hurting when I am through with you!" Twilight scowled as he twirled his lute around.
Nix darkly chuckled at Twilight's courage as he said, "You Guardians are imbeciles! Don't you see what Skarmoris is trying to do? He is finally setting things straight, us Tytos will finally rule everything as they had centuries ago!"
"Nix, listen to me!" The Lyze demanded, "I don't know what Skarmoris promised you, but you cannot expect him to let you live!"
"What nonsense are you spewing about?!"
"Think about it, lad! You are almost Skarmoris's equal in strength and speed, and the fact that you can still think for yourself makes you a threat to him! The moment you not expecting it, you will tossed aside like yesterday's meal!"
"Oh, Lyze, you fool, you think I hadn't thought of that?" Nix asked with a evil smirk.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Ezylryb asked with a raised brow.
"I should have you know, I bow to no one!" Nix snarled, "All my life, I had been kicked down by everyone I knew. But when I finally became a Pure One, I finally found my wings...only to have it ruined by that stupid Barn Owl! Now, with that idiot out of the way, I can finally have a chance of glory under Skarmoris…when he loses the right to hold that crown and falls, I'll take my turn and fan the flames as his blaze burns!" (Guess whose lyrics I just reference to!)
"You treacherous cur!" Gylfie snapped.
Nix ignored her as he continued, "I do not know how Skarmoris will go about purifying this world, but when he does, I will be ready to take it for my own!"
"I am afraid that will never happen, Nix..." Ezylryb rebutted, "Because Kludd will stop Skarmoris, and we will stop you!"
The grass owl let out a demonic laugh, "I dare you to try!" as he then charged at them again, with claws raised.
"INCOMING!" Digger shouted in fear as the three owls dodged his attack.
Twilight looked at Nix with concern, as he continued his one on two brawl with the cousins, as Jutt swung his talon, only to be met with the Great Gray's own talon, and while holding it, he swung him into Jatt, who was about to tackle him again, knocking them down...but not out, as they got up to their talons once more.
"Oh dear, this fight is going to take longer than I thought...well, there is only one thing to do..." Twilight stated, as he pulled up his lute and strum a tune as he sang, "Oh, do prepare to meet your untimely end, so I can go help out my friends..." (Sang to the tune of the song he played in the movie) as he approached the two owls once more in a strut.
"Oh glaux, it's that horrid music!" Jutt whimpered.
Jatt slapped Jutt, as he snarled, "Get a hold of yourself, cousin, we can't fail our king, not when our gizzards are on the line!" as the two charged at the Great Gray for the umpteenth time.
On the other side, Nix growled as he tried swinging at the old owl as Ezylryb dodged them and retaliated with a talon punch to his face, pushing him a few steps back. The grass owl was about to take to the air, when he felt two small talons scratching on his back, those two talons belonging to Gylfie. In sheer anger, the Pure One begun to convulse with fury, as he tried to get the Elf Owl off, who in turn, began gripping his back for dear life. Fortunately, with Nix being distracted, it gave Digger a chance to tackle him in the gizzard, causing him to keel over in pain. The grass owl was losing it, he wasn't about to let three inferior species defeat and humiliate him as Kludd did before. This was supposed to be his night of triumph, no one else!
"ENOUGH!" He screeched, as he threw Gylfie off with newfound rage, as she hit the ground with a hard thud.
Digger looked with horror as the grass owl knocked his crush to the ground, as she was dazed, then his horrified expression turned into that of fury as he shouted, "YOU SON OF A-" as he lunged at Nix with fury...unfortunately, his well-intended attack was countered as Nix tripped him with his wing, prompting the burrowing owl to stumble to the ground.
"What? Did I hurt your little girlfriend? Well, I'm afraid she will hurt even more when I end YOU!" Nix mocked with insanity as he raised his talon, ready to pierce the owl through...but then he felt his claw suddenly get snagged on by something and yanked back. The grass owl quickly look to his raised talon to see a satchel (the bag part, at least) caught on it, as it pulled more, prompting Nix to turn around to prevent the talon from being dislocated, as he then saw Ezylryb, who was on the other end of the satchel (In case you don't remember, the satchel belongs to Alice, who gave it to Ezylryb to help him...it was mentioned in ch 7, 9 and 13), as he let out a grunt as he pulled more.
Unfortunately, Nix immediately caught onto his plan, and being as super strong as he was now, he merely pulled back, ripping one of the straps of the satchel, as the Lyze fell forward towards his talons, as the grass owl taunted, "Really? You tried to fight me with a bag? And to think Metalbeak was defeated by you..."
Ezyrlyb on the other talon was shocked, as he saw the satchel, which was entrusted to him by an owl whom he had a crush on, lying on the ground broken behind Nix's talon, as he then glared upwards at Nix and snarled, "You will pay for that!"
"I'm afraid I have no intention of repaying a Guardian for a piece of garbage, but I do intend on ripping your throat out!" Nix roared as he swung his claw at Ezylryb, hitting him in the face and knocking him backwards.
"EZYLRYB, NO!" Twilight shouted, as he played/swung his lute against Jatt's head to falter his charge, as he prepared to help his comrade...unfortunately, he didn't see the two cousins (Jatt recovering from being hit on the head), as they dog-piled him, as they ensued in a wrestling tussle.
Nix smirked in admiration that one of his dumb cohorts managed to do something right for the change, as he approached the Screech Owl, who just finished recovering from the scratch on his right cheek, who was trying to get back to his feet as he stared at Nix with anger. Digger, along with Gylfie, who recovered from her head injury, were about to leap up and ambush him in order to save the senior Guardian...unfortunately, as soon as they manage to get to their feet, the pillar shook once more, causing everyone in the room to fall towards the throne room doors, as Digger and Gylfie, along with Twilight, who was now trying to throw off both Jatt and Jutt, were now rolling backwards towards one side, and Ezylryb, who tried to get back up, only stumbled backwards as his back hit the ground once more and slid down. To his horror, Nix used this change in the environment to his advantage as he then charged downward at a quicker speed, and raised his right talon upwards as he brought it down on the old Screech Owl...
The scarred Barn Owl could only hear the thunder and the maniacal laugh of his adversary as his body tumbled towards the edge of the cliff as he tried to gain footing before he plunged into the stormy abyss of the unforgiving sea, but he could only grab fistfuls of pebbles as he neared the drop. In a last attempt, he stabbed his sword into the ground, hoping it would prevent him from falling. Kludd's idea couldn't have been more perfectly timed as his sword skid along the rock to the point of where it drop, where it caught it, saving the Barn Owl from his untimely demise. Kludd let out a quiet 'oh, glaux' as he then glared up at Skarmoris.
Skarmoris merely frowned in disappointment that the living memory of Metalbeak was still living (despite stripping him of the helm, he could still see Surtr in Kludd's eyes, it tormented him). "He had certainly improved and show excellent swordsmanship, I'll give him that much...but let's see how he can handle the sky!"
The Sulawesi Masked Owl spread his wings as he complimented, "I applaud your endurance and skills, Kludd…Metalbeak would have been proud of such a good pupil."
Kludd's glare turned into confusion, as he continued, with a glare of his own, "But now play time is over! Let us fight amongst the skies like true warriors!" as he then flew upwards toward the top of the now-slanted tower. The scarred Barn Owl's expression returned to a glare as he spread his wings as well, and with the pulling out of his sword, he sped after him, flapping his wings as hard as he could to catch up with the usurper king.
However, Skarmoris hid a grin as he glanced back to see the Barn Owl chasing him as he then turned around while flying backwards as he then said, "I've thought of a wonderful present for you...shall I give you DESPAIR?!" He shouted as he then sliced through one of the outcropping rocks, sending it crashing down towards Kludd., but he manages to weave around it.
"Or shall I give you TORMENT?!" He slashed through another rock as it falls towards the Barn Owl, who barely dodges it.
But Skarmoris wasn't finished as he then bellowed, "OR WILL THE GIFT OF ETERNAL SUFFERING SUFFICE?!" as he then swung both his swords out, cutting through a bunch of the spires that laced the side of the pillar.
As they all cascaded down all over Kludd, all the Barn Owl could do was utter, "Spronk..." as the rocks concealed his view of Skarmoris...
When he saw the rocks fall into the ocean, Skarmoris gave an evil smile of triumph, as he had succeeded in defeating a disgrace to the Pure Ones' name, as he continued upwards and said to himself, "So long, Kludd and Metalbeak...and good ridd-"
He was interrupted as he was then bashed through the side of the Pillar of Supremacy as it gave way into one of the unstructured part of the tower as he crashed into the ground with plentiful force. The Sulawesi Masked Owl opened his mask's beak as he spat out a bit of blood, as he got back up to his feet in a instant and about-face to see who attacked him...only to snarl in fury that the owl he thought he finished...was standing in front of him, with the lightning flashed behind him giving him a dramatic backdrop.
"For glaux sake...how many times must I break you before you perish?!" Skarmoris screamed with anger, as he slammed down one of his sword to emphasize his point.
"That's just the thing, Skarmoris, you cannot break me. This 'weak' heart as you called it is what gave me strength. It never gave up even when I had, it helped me pull through the toughest times, as dreams made my brother strong...my heart is what makes me strong!" Kludd declared with pride.
Skarmoris's blood boiled at his foe's unbreakable will, as he then roared, "Well, let's see how this heart protects you from ME!" as he lunged at him once more with swords raised, as Kludd blocked them with his sword, only to be knocked against a nearby stalagmite, but when Skarmoris attacked him once more, Kludd quickly flapped away to another spire, and as Skarmoris swung his blades once more at him, Kludd blocked with his sword once more as he is sent flying through the pillar-laden cave.
The Sulawesi Masked Owl quickly pursued him as he attacked him mid-air as he and the Barn Owl ensued in a sword-fight, as they connected their swords and claw (in Kludd's case, since he has only one sword) many times in an attempt to get a hit in, but in terms of strength and skills, whether from the heart or the power of the Cannabis Regime, they were equally matched, and to Skarmoris's dismay, eating more of his kind wouldn't change that.
Unfortunately, Kludd was soon backed against another pillar, as his talon and sword was locked with Skarmoris's blades, as the Barn Owl struggled to keep him from sending his swords through him. Skarmoris, who would normally smirk at his suffering, was giving a vicious growl as he said, "I grow tired of your foolish games! I am Slayer...Destroyer...Warrior...Master! I am the beak in the darkness, the talons through the night! Mine is strength...and dominance...and power, I AM SKARMORIS, THE SON OF THE DEATHBRINGER AND FUTURE RULER OF THIS DAMN WORLD!" With that loud cry, he ripped one of his swords from Kludd's battle claw and thrust his sword forward...
But then, yet another powerful wave smashed the breaking base of the pillar, corroding not only the right half of it, but inching towards the left, causing the pillar to tilt from right towards a southeastern direction. Regardless, that sudden shift of the pillar prompted Skarmoris to accidentally stab his free sword to the left of Kludd's head. The Sulawesi Masked Owl snarled in frustration as he tried to pull it out, failing to notice that the tremor that they just experienced was causing the cave to collapse. Kludd's fear suddenly got the best of him as he tried to find a way out of here before they both got crushed by a ton's worth of boulders; fortunately he didn't have to search long, as the collapsing of the cave opened up a crack in the ceiling, as he saw more lightnings flashed outside it.
Seizing the opportunity (as it could be his last chance), Kludd then, with all of his strength, shoved Skarmoris out of the way and sent him rolling deeper into the cavern, as more rocks came crashing down, but Kludd paid no heed, as he flew with all his might towards the crack within the caving chamber as with all his strength and a scream, he burst through the crack…
Nix roared as he prepare to end Ezylryb with his own two talons, as he swung downward on the old owl with his right talon, ready to feel the satisfaction of grabbing the skin of an owl and ripping it to shreds...however, it never came.
Lyze, not willing to meet his end yet, caught the grass owl's attacking talon with his prosthetic talon, gripping it tightly, as he pushed against it with all his might, as they stopped sliding.
The general snarled as he began to talon wrestle with him, as he then said to his face, "It is useless to prolong the inevitable, you are out-fought, out-matched, and out-done, and let's face reality, you are past your times, old man!"
The Lyze of Keil wanted to rebut on that statement, but he was focused on keeping Nix's talon at bay, but he knew he was right in the out-matched department, as Nix's claw, enhanced by the Cannabis Regime effect, actually began to have an effect on Ezylryb's metal talon, as it started to bend under the pressure of the grass owl's strength. Ezylryb growled as he was going to be killed if he hadn't thought of something fast, but what could he do?
"SIR, NO!" Digger and Gylfie screeched, as they manage to regain their balance as they saw their senior Guardian in trouble. Even Twilight saw him in peril, as he continued to struggle against the two Long-Eared Owls Jatt and Jutt, as he tried to break out from in between them, but to no success.
Ezylryb heard the concerned shouts as well as the metal screeching of his talon being bent to spronk (making him thankful that he cannot feel pain in the talon), as he tries to feel around with his right talon for a rock or something to hit him with, as his artifical talon was on the brink of being broken off and if that were to happen, nothing would stop Nix from finishing the war hero off. Then...he felt something metallic within his grasp, as he quickly peek down, and held a gasp (to hide it from his potential executioner) as he saw that the 'metallic' piece that he held in his free talon...was none other than the remaining shard of Metalbeak's...Surtr's helm.
This would had to be the greatest irony he had ever witnessed. It was slightly over three years ago that he and Surtr confronted each other at the Northern forests, he being there to help the Northerners defend their home from Surtr's army, while he in turn was there to avenge his comrades and overthrow the kingdom so he could protect his family. He knew from the first time he confronted Surtr over twenty years back that they were destined to be rivals, warriors from two different worlds, both of them loyal to their own faction to the bitter end. Believe it or not, there was a time they did consider each other friends...or at least acquaintances, despite being on opposite ends of the war. In fact, they shared the same opinion of this war they fought...they both wanted to end it before it destroyed them all, like war (as rumors had it) had done to the Others, and they swore (not directly) to each other that once they had the power to do so, they would end this war, and live their lives in peace and harmony, like the way Glaux himself had intended centuries ago...
But, like every promises to make the world a better place had, it was broken...along with Lyze and Surtr's friendship (if you would call it that) that night. Although he had to do his duty to save the Northerners, he knew deep inside that Surtr had done what he had done because he was pushed too far, and he had a funny feeling in his gizzard that the ones they were protecting had a play in it...unfortunately, he realized these feelings too late, as he had already permanently scarred his rival that night, humiliating and hurting him for life.
Ever since that night, despite all the glory and fame he had achieved from defeating him, he had all but despised himself for what he done to him. Many owls called him a hero for what he did, but in Lyze's eyes, it was not being a hero, it was being a tormentor, relishing in pleasure at the expense of someone else's pain. There was even a time where he wished that Maurice and Nyra did ended up killing him for hurting Surtr, or better yet, not taken a role within the battle...but in the end, he would always reassure himself that what he did was right...but that was it. The only reason he accepted being a hero was so he could someday...forgive himself for the pain he caused Surtr and everyone around him...
Forgiveness...that was the thing he had thrived for all his life. He unintentionally ruined hundreds of lives because of what he did to Surtr, as it led to him to becoming the cruel and evil Metalbeak, which in turn led to his death at the hand of his pupil. As proud as he was of Soren for stopping the mad owl, he couldn't help but feel guilty when he died, as he had failed to make amends with him before his untimely demise. The saddest part in this twisted game of life was that this was the second time that he had lost someone because of his own doing...Surtr was the second owl he had let down...the first owl...he couldn't bear to think of him...but, as he thought of Surtr once more, his thoughts suddenly went to Kludd. All this time he had tried to think of how he could be worthy of Surtr's forgiveness (as he never once forgot about their little acquaintanceship they had) when he realize that he knew of two owls he had cherished, one of them being his mate, Nyra, whom even under the name Metalbeak, treated her as one of his sacred treasure, and Kludd...although he know not of the details, he had a feeling that Metalbeak had taken quite a interest in him above all other soldiers, like a father to son, which prompted him to see more reasons behind the obvious as to why Kludd held such a profound loyalty.
It became clear how redemption was possible for the old Screech Owl, as he eyed the shard of his rival's helm, a remaining mark of a once-great owl he once knew, who, even when he succumb to darkness, was a hero to his family, and even after his death, he lives through Kludd (metaphorically), who was also a hero in his own rights. The scar Surtr had, the one he gave him, was what made him stronger, sure, it also might had contribute to his insanity later on, but it made him stronger nonetheless, much like the scars Kludd had accumulated from that battle from the fires, as much as it contribute towards him becoming the new Metalbeak, it made him much stronger than any owl he had ever known. Despite all the bad tings he had done to himself and to his family, he was willing to risk his life to defend them against this evil threat, because he learn to forgive himself for what he done...if he could learn to do that, why can't he?
Kludd was right when he said that he was meant for great things, and Ezylryb was more than determined to make sure he was, for him, his brother, and Surtr...he would make him into an owl that Surtr would have been proud of (if he wasn't already) as well as his own father Noctus, that was how he will be able to make it up to his rival...and redeem himself...
Ezylryb's frustrated expression then turned into that of a cocky smirk, confusing Nix as he was close to snapping off his false talon, as the old owl said, with great courage, "You are right, lad...I may be old...but as once said, wisdom comes with age, and I had grown to learn a lot of things...you, on the other talon..." He let out a soft chuckle, as he gripped his rival's shard and snarled, "HAVE A LOT TO LEARN!" as with great force, he swung the shard against Nix's face with his right talon...
Where the shard had hit Nix was gruesome, as it sliced through Nix's left eye, effectively blinding him in that eye forever. The pain was instantaneous as Nix fell backwards, screaming in agony, as he gripped the left side of his face, writhing in pain.
Jatt and Jutt quickly stopped their quarrel with Twilight, who in turn stop struggling, as the cousins merely utter, "Boss..." but Twilight seized their distraction as an opportunity as he blasted them both aside and joined up with Digger and Gylfie, as he stared at the general with shock.
Digger and Gylfie also stared in shock, as glad they were that Ezylryb manage to escape death, they couldn't help but feel a bit of pity for the grass owl.
The old Screech Owl got back up to talons, well for the most part, as his artificial talon was now disfigured, and with a apologetic glance at the now screaming owl, he walked past him as he picked up his crush's broken satchel, and tied the broken strap together into a knot, so it could be carried once more, and with care, placed the broken half of Metalbeak's helm within, as he knew a certain Barn Owl who would want it back. He turned back to Digger, Gylfie, and Twilight with a serious glance, as he then said, "Let's get out of here before something else happens..."
Soren's friends nodded as they and Ezylryb were about to spread their wings and fly through the tunnel where Soren and Nyra along with Soren's family had fled through, but then the two cousins (who recovered from Twilight's last attack) stood in front of the escape route as Jatt said in a surprising angry voice, "You guys are not going anywhere!" as he gave a evil stare...or at least tried, despite being within the army for four years, he still hadn't perfected his evil look.
"He's right! No one hurts our boss and gets away with it!" Jutt snarled, with an attempt of a evil glare, "In the name of Skarmoris and his new world, which we will be in, we will defeat you!"
The four stared at the Long-Eared Owls with a look that screamed 'Really?' as Digger then shouted, annoyed with all the distractions, "For glaux sake, you morons! Skarmoris said that he would have every non-Tytos killed! Have you guys forgotten that you are not Tytos?!"
The cousins were about to rebut when they suddenly stop and realize what he just said, as their beaks dropped. Indeed, Skarmoris did said that he would end all other species that were not of Tyto blood; all this time that they had been serving the Pure Ones, they had long forgotten that they were not Tytos like the other soldiers in the army, in fact, the only reason they manage to get into the army was because the queen, who wasn't as malicious as she was a year back, took a liking to them. Sure there were times that she and Metalbeak (both of them) threaten to put them down, but they always knew that they didn't mean it (at least they thought they didn't). Now they thought of it, they betrayed the ones who actually did appreciate them (although they didn't show it), threw them aside for power...power that they won't be able to have because of their leader's genocidal thoughts.
This realization came to them like a breaking of a window (cough...How I Met Your Mother...cough), as it suddenly crippled their thought train. The two cousins stood there, completely shocked by what their new leader's plans meant for them. The four owls looked at each others with uncertainty, as Twilight answered Digger's question, "I think they did."
However, the pillar began to tremble again, causing everyone to stumble a bit, as Jatt and Jutt were snapped out of their reverie as they tried to regain their balance. They were now completely unsure about their career path, especially since Skarmoris will have no need for them, but all they know is that their old leader Metalbeak (the first one) would want them to defeat Ezylryb and the others, so with determination, the two cousins then took somewhat of a battle stance as they prepare to attack the quartet, who in turn were ready to take on them once more...
Unfortunately, the tremor had prompted cracks to travel up towards an over hanging arch that the two cousins and weakened it to a point where it had to give...in which it did, as a big piece of the said arch suddenly broke off, and just as the two owls were about to strike, the large rock crashed on both their heads, immediately being shattered upon them, as the two now dazed owls were now on the brink of collapsing.
"Son..." Jatt uttered, as he felt the world spinning.
"Of a..." Jutt continued, feeling dizzy.
Before either of them could said the last word, the remaining part of the arch fell upon them, effectively knocking both of them out for a little while.
Ezylryb and the others looked in surprise at how their two foes were easily defeated, as Twilight quipped, "Well...that was easy."
"No argument there." Digger agreed.
"I kinda feel bad for them." Gylfie admitted.
"You have to give them points for trying." Ezylryb nodded, as he then stepped forward, "Let's go, Soren is probably worried sick about us."
The three nodded as they were about to continue...but they were halted once more, when they heard heavy panting. The four owls turned around to see the trembling figure of Nix, who had got back onto his feet, but he wasn't trembling from the bleeding scar that was over his left eye now, no, he was shuddering from anger; sheer, unrestrained, boiling anger from the depths of his heart. The owl stared at the four with great hatred as he then got into a charging position, ready to murder anyone in his warpath, as he tried to mutter, but the pain from his lost left eye caused him to stammer, "T-This is not over..."
"Oh boy..." Digger muttered, as he saw the fury in his eyes.
"I have a bad feeling about this..." Gylfie whimpered.
"That lad does not know when to quit, does he?" Twilight said exasperated.
However, Ezylryb was brave enough to confront him, as he step towards him and said, "It is over, Nix. Your cohorts are out for the count and even you don't possess the stamina to fight all four of us. Stand down, while you have the chance..."
But Nix did not heed, as he then spread his wings and took to the sky as he bellowed, "THIS IS NOT OVER!" as he then swooped down towards the four, with claws raised. Twilight and Ezylryb quickly got out of the way, as well as Digger, as Nix came at them with relentless speed. Gylfie was about to follow suit, when she suddenly felt pain in his left hip as she gripped it, as it was bruised from when Nix threw her off earlier, thus impairing her ability to quickly weave out of the way. Gylfie could do nothing but stare in horror as Nix was aiming for her, seeing how she was the easiest prey for him, knowing that she couldn't get out of the way quick enough.
This did not go unnoticed, for as soon as Digger flapped out of the way, he noticed that Gylfie wasn't following him, and turned around, only to see in shock that his crush was in pain, and that the furious bloodthristy grass owl was closing in on her real fast. It was in that moment that the feeling he had felt back at the Hawk's Ravine, when she was in danger, had returned, as he then narrowed his eyes into determination as he then spread his wings...
Gylfie was absolutely frightened as she saw Nix was moments from killing her, as she heard Ezylryb and Twilight's voice, who had taken note that the Elf Owl wasn't moving, trying to tell her to get out of way. As much as she would want to comply, she couldn't, the pain in her left hip was just too great. She was helpless to do anything but braced for the pain that would soon ensued, as she heard Nix's vicious roar.
But, as the grass owl was seconds from claiming his prey, Digger, not willing to see anyone lay a talon upon his love, quickly took to the air, as he sped towards Gylfie as well. Just as Nix was about to attack the frightened Elf Owl, everything seemed to had slowed down, as Gylfie wanted to scream...but then Digger, the one she loved, blindsided him in the nick of time, as the burrowing owl bashed into Nix's un-scathed face with one of his talon with tremendous force, as the grass owl let out a small groan of pain as he was sent sprawling to the ground, as he fell unconscious for the second time that night...
The Elf Owl was dumbstrucked, as she looked forward to see the Burrowing Owl landing right in front of her, panting as he looked at Nix with anger, but seeing how he was now down, he then turned to Gylfie, as his glare turned to that of love and concern, like he did when she nearly fallen, as he looked at her with those green eyes... the eyes she fell in love with...not to mention the owner of such eyes, as she was speechless by his heroics. Digger was just the same, as he gazed at her hazel eyes, those beautiful eyes that he couldn't get enough of. In that moment, as the two owls gazed into each others' eyes, they knew without a doubt that they loved each other. All this time, nearly being killed by a snake, nearly raped by a hawk, and everything else, they had always thought that they were unworthy of each other, when in reality, they were meant to be...so without wasting another moment, Digger and Gylfie connected their beaks at long last...both of them had dreamt of this moment for a long time, and now, as they felt each other's embrace, it was a feeling they longed to have, and any doubt about their feelings were cleared away.
They felt so lost in their world, and the powerful moment would have lasted forever...had not a Great Gray Owl let out a loud "AHEM!"
The two owls pulled away from each other to see Twilight and Ezylryb, staring at them with a half-questioning, half-amused look, as Twilight said, "Digger, Gylfie...as happy as we are that you two had finally came to your senses and admit your love to each other..." then his face grimaced into anger, "THE PLACE IS GOING TO HAGSMIRE AND WE HAVE NO TIME FOR YOU TO SNOG! LET'S GO!"
Digger and Gylfie, as unhappy they were that their moment was cut short, nodded as they joined the two older owls and flew off into the tunnels, hoping to join up with their two other comrades...
Bigg's roar echoed through Nyra's ear slits as she quickly weaved out of the way, as the bulky barn owl smashed his head against the wall, as pieces of it rolled down the slanted hallway into the ocean far below. Unfortunately, Biggs was far from finished, as he shook the rubble off his head and glared at the white Barn Owl with such hatred.
Soren himself was having trouble as well, as his adversary, Wedge, brother to the bulkier owl (or so Soren thought), was wielding his sword with such precision as he couldn't get a hit in, not without risking getting a nasty wound.
Soon, Soren and Nyra were back to back with each others, as the two brothers paced around them in a matter that vultures do when they see a dying animal, just waiting for that creature to bite the dust, so that they could feast on them...well at least in their case, Cannabis Regime has no effect on them, but in the Guardian and Pure One's case, they would be unwilling contributors to their power like many unfortunate souls before them...
"It's no use...these owls are like made of stone, we can't defeat them!" Nyra said in frustration, as she was feeling, for the first time in many years, fear, fear of the beings that stared at them with murderous eyes.
"No...we can't give up, Nyra. There is too much at stake here...if we die now, our world will pay the consequences..." Soren whispered.
"You don't think I know that? But I...I don't know I have the strength-"
"Don't think that! Remember what you said two nights ago?! We all have someone to fight for! Think about the ones you're fighting for!"
Nyra listened to Soren's words attentively, as she recalled saying that two nights ago. To tell the truth, she forgot about it, as she refused to remember her past, but now that she thought about it...she remembered exactly whom she was fighting for. Kludd...Surtr...even though the latter had perished, ironically at the talons of the one she was back to back with, she knew that he wouldn't want her to give up...and Kludd...he was putting his life in jeopardy so she and his family could get away, another thing that made her love him even more. Then she thought of Soren...despite all the bad blood between her and him, she admired him...unlike others she had met, he fought for many reasons, he fought for his family, his friends, his love, and even more surprisingly, he fought for his brother, even when his brother had done things that would be deemed unforgivable, he never stopped fighting for him...not only did dreams make him strong, as he claimed, it was his family...maybe it was time she took a leaf from his book...
Judging from the look on Nyra's face, Soren knew he had managed to lift her spirits...but it didn't change the fact that their foes were still next to impossible to overpower. Biggs, as he watched him carefully, was obviously the stronger one of the two, and seeing how Nyra's attacks did nothing to him, it would take two owls at the very least to overpower him, but then there was Wedge. Unlike Biggs, Wedge was less bulky but more nimble, the Barn Owl knew he could defeat him, but that sword...the one within his grasp, as long as Wedge held it, he would have no chance of defeating him...meaning he has to focus on getting the sword away from him...but in order for that to happen, he would have to find a break in his defense...
From the sidelines, Noctus, Marella, along with Mrs. P and Eglantine within their talons, watched in fear as they saw the two guards closed in on their son and Nyra, as they wanted to do something, but knowing if they did tried someting, it could result in one of them dying, and that was a price they couldn't pay.
Wedge, whose back was now to the family, was about to make a move as he raised his sword to attack, when Eglantine, not willing to see another of her brother go away, just shouted, "SOREN!"
That little shout quickly diverted Wedge's gaze, as he turned around to glare at the family, but Soren, seeing his chance to go for his sword, quickly lunge at Wedge, knocking him to the ground, as they wrestle around, as Soren sought control over the Barn Owl's sword.
Seeing his partner in danger, Biggs charged at the struggling two owls, letting out yet another roar, but just as he was, Nyra, seeing how the big owl was distracted, quickly flew overhead the owl and grabbed onto the owl's helm, her talons clutching around the helm's visor and effectively blinding him. Unfortunately, the owl didn't take kindly to this act, as he began thrashing around to throw Nyra off.
Nyra inwardly smiled as she kept a deathgrip on the owl's helm, as her plan was to have the big owl to waste his stamina trying to throw her off, and when as soon as he did, she would conk him out. Unfortunately, Biggs, seeing (feeling, technically) that the female shown no signs of letting go, he began swinging his head against the wall, all in an attempt to see again. Nyra let out a groan as she tried to hang on, while bracing for pain as her body smacked against the ceiling constantly, as Biggs growled a non-owl growl in frustration.
"Damn it, just let go!" Soren snarled, as he gripped the handle of the sword within Wedge's grasp, trying all his hardest to pull it out, but Wedge, being under the Cannabis's effect, made it hard, as he tugged against him, and soon the two owls were back onto their feet, moving around in a circle, as they struggle for the possession of the bronze blade.
Noctus and Marella, relieved that they were getting the upper hand little by litte, began cheering for both of them...
"Come on, son! Get him, get him!" Noctus shouted.
"GO FOR THE THROAT! GRAB IT AND DON'T LET GO!" Marella screeched at Nyra, shocking her husband a little.
"You can do it!" Mrs. P cried.
"Please...beat them..." Eglantine whispered.
However, unbeknownst to them, Biggs's repeated smashing against the wall was causing cracks to appear along it, as more pebbles and rocks continue to fall, and to make matters worse, a even bigger crack was developing on a segment of the wall that was slightly above Noctus and Marella, and soon, a big chunk of the rampart was beginning to fall out, but the two owls, the snake, and the owlet were so focused on the fight they paid no heed.
Soren, deeply in the midst of his fight against Wedge, began to hear a cracking sound that didn't sound like that of lightning, as he looked around for what could possibly be making that noise while keeping his talon on Wedge's sword, and his heart froze when he saw the part of the wall about ready to come down on his family as he screamed, "MA, DA, WATCH OUT!"
His parents jumped when Soren said that, as he also heard the cracking sound, as they turned to their right to gawk in horror as the piece fallen out of the wall and came crashing down upon them. They were given little time to react as Noctus flapped out of the way instantly, and Marella did as well, but unfortunately, a bit of the rock broke off and nailed one of her talons.
"GAH!" Marella screeched as the sudden pain within her left talon caused it to splay open, weakening her grip on her daughter.
"MA! I'M SLIPPING!" Eglantine cried as she indeed begin to fall out of her mother's talons.
"Eglantine!" The mother realized, as she tried to grab her again, but the little owlet slipped away from grip, as she began tumbling, "EGLANTINE!"
"NO!" Noctus, Mrs. P, and Soren screamed, as the father tried to regain his balance from swiftly dodging the falling boulder, and Soren tried to push Wedge aside, but time was not on their side as Eglantine was moments away from falling to her demise at the hands of the unforgiving waters.
"HELP ME!" The little owlet pleaded out loud as she rolled off the edge, closing her eyes in fear.
But then, she felt something grabbed her tightly, not enough to be uncomfortable, but enough to confirm a tight grip, and soon, she felt solid ground beneath her feet. Curious as to who managed to grab her before she fell, she opened her eyes to find herself standing on one of the columns (that now stood at a 45-50 degree because of the tower's condition) and look upwards to see white feathers, not ones that belong to her brothers nor her parents, but those that belong to someone she knew meant dear to her older brother...she was saved by Nyra, who was looking at her with eyes that she never thought she see in a Pure One (except her brother), they were eyes of relief and love...
The white Barn Owl had took note when she heard Marella's scream while trying to keep her talons over Bigg's eyes. She took even quicker note when she saw Eglantine falling. When she saw Eglantine, she was horrified, even though she was of no relations to her, she did felt a connection to the child because she was a relation to her love, Kludd. Even though Kludd had denied it before and during his time as Metalbeak, while he hated Soren, he still cared about his little sister, and he, no matter how heartless he became, would never hurt her. Knowing that she would have to abort her plans, she quickly leapt off of Bigg's head as she quickly swooped and caught Eglantine (her time hunting and battling had paid off) before she fell.
All Eglantine could say, as she was now trembling with fear that she almost died (for the second time that night), as she said, "N-Nyra?"
"Shh, little one, it's alright, you're okay." Nyra soothed.
Noctus and Marella (as well as Mrs. Plithiver) were both in major disbelief as they saw her soothing their child, all this time, they had feared her because of her evilness, yet she had shown love and loyalty to their eldest son and now, she saved their daughter from certain death. Maybe they had her pegged wrong (they couldn't dare say that it was a ruse)...or maybe Kludd might have actually brought this side of her to light...they didn't know, but they were genuinely surprised.
Soren was also surprised, but he couldn't help but smile...at least he would have, had he forgotten that he was still in a tug-o-war match with Wedge. But to his shock, he saw Biggs, blinking his eyes as he could see again, as he then charged like a bullet at the white Barn Owl, as Soren yelled, "LOOK OUT!"
Nyra quickly looked Soren's way, but his warning came a little late, as Biggs smashed into Nyra into the next column, effectively pinning her by the throat.
"NYRA!" Eglantine gasped, as she saw the mean owl capture the one who saved her, when Noctus and Marella went down to grab her, so she didn't fall again.
The white Barn Owl began struggling under the bulkier Barn Owl as his claws were now starting to constrict her windpipes...she widened her eyes in horror as she realized that the owl was choking her, as she fought harder, but Biggs just kept on tightening his grip...
"LET HER GO!" Noctus demanded as he tried lunging (Mrs. Plithiver quickly got off of him and onto Marella) at Biggs from the column they're on, but unfortunately, Biggs merely swung his wing nonchalantly at him, knocking him back against the column and unconscious for a little bit.
"Oh no..." Soren whispered, as he then started to pull harder on Wedge's sword, so he could save Nyra...but Wedge, growing sick of this game, flung Soren around him two times and as soon as he was approaching the third, with all his might, he threw Soren a good distance across the floor. The Barn Owl smiled in victory as he raised his sword...only to be comically surprised that it was not there, and look in shock at where his sword landed...
Soren looked up from his position, as he was wincing from the pain in his bruised abdomen, as he then saw in surprise the sword that belonged to Wedge, jabbed into a column in front of them, vibrating.
There was a short silence, as Soren and Wedge looked at each other then back at the sword, as they stood there for a second...then Wedge let out a roar as he charged for the sword. Soren quickly reacted as he then dashed towards the sword as well. Fortunately, Soren had a bit of a lead on the Barn Owl as he ran to the blade, but Wedge, possessing more speed, caught up with him as he then bashed his body into Soren, effectively knocking him aside. However, Soren, not ready to give up, quickly blindsided him to the ground as he flew overhead...only to get his talon snatched by Wedge's beak. In frustration, the younger Barn Owl raised his talon as he swung it into his foe's eye, prompting the owl to screech in pain as he let go.
This allowed Soren to get to the sword, as he grabbed it...only to frown at the fact the sword was stuck in the pillar. "Just my luck..." he muttered, as he started to try pulling it out.
However, Wedge (with a bruised eye) glared at the Barn Owl as with a flex of his claws, he took to the air as he planned on finishing his opponent once and for all.
"Sor-Soren..." Nyra tried to get out, eyeing the evil Barn Owl, as she continued flailing under his accomplice, who was choking the life out of her. The white Barn Owl was growing more afraid as the world around her began to fade into blackness...
Soren continued to un-wedge the sword, as he heard the flappings of wings. Knowing that he and Nyra were running out of time, he doubled his efforts to get the sword out, as Wedge started to close in on his prey. "Come on...come on..." Soren growled, as his pulls started becoming slow and deliberate, and the sword started to loosen.
"[ROAR!]" Wedge roared, seconds away from his designated target.
"Sor..." Nyra croaked as she felt her eyes rolling to the back of her head, moments from meeting her maker.
"SOREN!" Marella, Eglantine, Mrs. P, and Noctus (who recovered from being hit by Biggs) all screeched as Wedge closed in.
Hearing those screams, Soren let out a shout as with the remaining of his strength, he tugged the sword out of it's prison within the pillar and pointed it outwards...
A sickening sound echoed through the slanted halls, prompting Biggs to look up in shock, prompting his grip to loosen on Nyra, allowing her to breath, as she started taking in air by the beakful.
Soren had his eyes closed when he turned around to face his enemy, but when he suddenly felt something heavy on top of him, he opened his eyes...only to be met with the eyes of Wedge, who was unable to stop himself when Soren pulled out his sword, and the consequence of his failure resulted in him being impaled on his own sword, going through his heart, as the Barn Owl's life was almost immediately drained from him, as he fell lifeless upon Soren. Not meaning to desecerate his corpse but freaked out nonetheless, Soren pushed one of Skarmoris's henchowl off of him, as he let out a series of pants, lying his back on the column, nearly worn out.
Unfortunately, Biggs look towards Soren's direction, only to see in horror, that his partner...his accomplice...his brother lying on the column next to Soren, and the blood on the sword Soren now held in his grasp...as Biggs's eyes went from dark red (the color for most Cannabis's affected victims) to a normal eye color of light brown, as he then roared in anguish as tears started to fall from his eyes. Soren quickly darted up to see the upset bulky owl, who sadness was suddenly replaced with vicious anger, as he ignored the white Barn Owl he had under his talons and was prepared to rip the one who killed his brother limb from limb...
"Oh no..." Soren panted, as he saw Biggs spread his wings, not paying attention to his family, who was on the column between Soren and him. Biggs was beyond upset, even though his mind was obliterated when he first bit into his first dead corpse, he still held onto his feelings for his brother...and now he was dead...this was unforgivable, in the name of Skarmoris and his brother, he would make his murderer pay!
Biggs was moments away from taking to the sky as he let out a powerful roar...but suddenly, he stop mid-roar, as he felt sudden pain in his abdomen. as he looked down to see an owl's claw stabbing him in his lower body, and the owner of that claw was none other than Nyra, who was now panting heavily, not only from exertion, but from nearly being choked to death, as she said, "I'm sorry...but I...won't let...you hurt...another soul." as she pulled out her bloody claw.
The bulky barn owl wanted to retaliate, but with blood seeping from his new wound, he immediately felt cold as he was about to join his brother in wherever they would go when they died. His sight suddenly began to blur as he was feeling dizzy from the blood loss as he tilted back and forth...
Suddenly, the Pillar of Supremacy began to vibrate once more from it's pillar weakening as Soren and the others held tight onto their columns, but Wedge and Biggs, since the former was now dead and the latter was dying, could do no such things, as Wedge's lifeless form slipped from the column, and Biggs tilted far forward as he let out his last growl, as both of them fell from the hallway and into the sea, neither of them, never to be heard from ever again...
Fortunately, the shaking stop...for now, as Soren got back up to his talons and looked down where the two soldiers of Skarmoris had fallen, and with a nod of respect for the fallen creatures, he quickly glided over to his family on their column as well as Nyra.
"Is everyone okay?" Soren asked with concern.
"We're right, dear." Mrs. P nodded, "A little shaken up, but fine."
"Easy for you to say, Horace (that's actually Mrs. P's name, no joking)," Noctus grimaced, as he gripped his back, "Your back isn't hurting..."
"Well, you're the one who tried to attack him!" Marella scolded.
"I was trying to help the Pure-I mean-her!" Noctus explained, catching himself before he said Pure One.
Soren then turned to Nyra, who was gingerly feeling the marks around her neck where Bigg's talons had been, asking, "Are you alright, Nyra?"
Nyra gave a small smirk, "Yeah...aside from the bruises, my talon hurting like hagsmire, and having my life flash before my eyes, I am just peachy..." She sighed, while grunting a little from her bruises.
"Well, that's good..." Noctus nodded, before he realized he needed to say something, "Say, Nyra...Thank-"
"Please save the thanks for later." Nyra interrupted, "All that matters is that we get out of here as soon as possible."
Noctus was a little off-put by her interruption, but she was right, they needed to get out while the getting was good, "Lead the way, then...Nyra." He said with a smile, as he gave a nod to Marella, as he took Mrs. Plithiver back from her, and spread their wings.
Soren took note of this, as he spread his wings as well, and after giving a nod to Nyra, the white Barn Owl gave a nod as well, as she took to the air, as she and the family flew off further into the hallway...
It was only a few minutes that Nyra, Soren, Noctus, and Marella spent flying in that hallway when they eventually came to a dead-end with a hole within the side of the wall.
"Uh, Nyra..." Mrs. P spoke up, a little nervous talking to a Pure One, "Are you sure this is the right way?"
"Don't worry, me and...my mate had been to this place many times before." Nyra reassured sadly, as she remembered her mate, "Just follow me into the hollow." she ordered as she then flapped upward into the hollow, due to the change within the pillar's environment.
Soren and the others looked at each other with concern as they followed her up into the hollow...
As soon as Nyra stepped into the hollow, she felt another wave of memories coming to her as she remember many good memories of her, Surtr, and even Maurice...but she snapped out of it as she looked around, the hollow was in major disarray with cobwebs and all the works, but that was understandable, it had been more than three years since she or anyone for that matter had been here.
"So, where is this 'way out?'" Noctus questioned, as he grimaced at the untidiness of the place.
"It is just within my mate's old hollow." Nyra answered, as she continued up the slope.
"Old hollow?" Soren asked as he followed the white Barn Owl, "You mean, this was yours and Meta-Surtr's hollow?"
Nyra paused and nodded, "Yes...me, him, and Maurice shared this hollow together for five years. For a while, it was like a home...but now..." she couldn't finish the sentence as she continued onwards.
Noctus wanted to ask who Surtr and Maurice were (remember, they weren't in the room when Skarmoris revealed himself), but judging by Nyra's trailing off, he knew that the subject was kind of sore. So the group of six continued up into Surtr's room.
As soon as they entered the room, Nyra was a bit shocked, as the entire room, much like years back, was still cluttered with books all over the place, and even more cluttered with the pillar suffering tremors from glaux-knows-what. Not wasting time, she said, "Our way out of here should be..." she cleared off some books that were over a mat that was now tattered, "right under..." she teared off the mat, "here..." she finished with a smile, as the door was still there.
"Excellent, I am more than ready to get out of here!" Noctus declared as he clutched the handle to the door and was about to pull it open...
"Wait, dear." Marella ordered, as she heard something, "Do you hear that?"
Soren and Nyra stopped for a moment as they listened as well, as sounds of flapping started to echo throughout the hollow, as Nyra grimaced, "Looks like we have company..."
"Get back..." Soren ordered, as his family and Nyra went off to the side, "I can handle this..." as he slid downwards next to the entrance of the room, as he held his sword firm, ready to strike, as the flapping sounds grew louder. To keep his nerves calm, Soren counted inwardly...
"One..." The flapping grew even louder, "Two..." The grip on his sword tightened and eyes narrowed, "THREE!" Soren bellowed as he then swung his sword at the being that was coming thtough...only to have his sword caught.
"Easy, lad, it's just us!" Soren opened his eyes to find his blade caught by none other than his mentor, Ezylryb, who was looking at him with his trademark cocky grin, "Although I must applaud your pre-emptive striking skills."
"Ezylryb..." Soren whispered, as he immediately lowered his blade, as he embraced him, surprising the Lyze of Keil for a moment, but he merely returned the embrace, "You're alright..."
"Hey, don't forget about us!"
Soren quickly looked behind the old owl to find Digger, Gylfie, and Twilight flying up into the hollow as well.
"Guys, you all made it!" The Barn Owl smiled as he felt a bit of tears come to his eyes, letting go of his teacher.
"Of course we did, lad! Were there any doubts?" Twilight gloated confidentally
Nyra herself was glad that they were here as well, but she asked, "But...what of Nix and the others?"
"We showed those bullies what happen when you mess with four Guardians!" Digger cheered.
"Indeed we did." Gylfie agreed, blushing at her love's spirit, "It is safe to say that they won't be causing any more trouble tonight."
The queen let out a sigh of relief when she took note of Ezylryb's artificial talon and questioned, "Lyze...your talon...it's..."
"Fine, Nyra..." Ezylryb shrugged off, "Nix went a little hard on it, but it's nothing that can't be fixed. I did more to him then he did to me." He smugly added.
"What about you guys?" Gylfie asked Nyra with concern, "You and Soren looked like you got swarmed by bats or something."
"Biggs and Wedge happened." Soren answered for her grimly, but then he sighed, "But they will no longer be bothering us."
"You can say that again." Noctus nodded, as he then eyed the hatch once again, "Say, you four didn't happen to see anyone following you, did you?"
"No, Noctus." Ezylryb answered, "I believe we are in the clear for the moment..."
Unfortunately, the old Screech Owl spoke too soon, as the pillar began to shake a lot more viciously then it had all night, as more lightning cracked across the skies and thunder boomed. The whole room itself began to rock rapidly, as books that were standing still at the upper part of the room began to rain down upon our heroes. The books were no trouble, as they merely bounced off their bodies...but Digger, being the accident-prone owl he was, got pelted in the face by four books in a row.
"D'oh-dee-daw-D'OH!" Digger grunted as each of those book hit him, as he was left dazed and groaning.
"Damn it...Surtr must have been quite a book worm." Ezylryb said as he felt a few books fell on him.
Nyra looked at Lyze oddly and was about to ask him about how he knew this was Surtr's hollow, but she opted against it, her mate and him were rivals, she just figured that it was one of those things that rivals just knew in their gizzard.
Thankfully, the giant tremor had ceased, but unlike many times before, the place was still vibrating...
"Why is it still shaking?" Eglantine whimpered from between Marella's talons.
"The waves must be causing this place to come down!" Gylfie fearfully answered, "We need to get out of here fast!"
"You don't have to tell me twice!" Digger said, while wincing from his new headache.
"Okay, this way!" Noctus ordered, as he then grabbed the handle to the door and opened it, only to be greeted by the strong wind, "Whoa...that is some wind! Come on everyone, let's go!"
Everyone nodded as Twilight went in first, followed by Gylfie (with assistance from Digger), then Digger as they waited around the entrance.
"Ezylryb, you're next!" Noctus shouted, as he lend a talon to help him in.
"Okay, I'm coming!" Ezylryb growled, not liking being rushed, when he suddenly felt his bent talon touching something. He look down to see one of the books that had fallen, normally he would have ignored it, but the name stood out to him, 'The Two Brothers of the North'. The old owl immediately recognized the name as the story that played a role in Soren and Kludd's life as well as Maurice, but what really caught his interest was a piece of paper pressed between the pages, as if it was a note...but given their situation, Ezylryb had no time to ponder it, so he quickly snuck the book into the satchel, as he quickly took Noctus's talon and went into the passage as well.
Marella (with Eglantine in her talons) flapped into the hatch, and following them was Nyra, and soon Noctus was lending his talon to his son, Soren...
"Okay, son, it's your turn. Let's get out of here!" Noctus exclaimed as he was about ready to pull the door shut.
The Barn Owl was about to agree as he reached for his father's talon...but then something stopped him...his thoughts of his brother Kludd, who was fighting a great evil...all on his own. This wasn't right, as much as he believed in Kludd, he knew that even his brother can't take on Skarmoris alone and survive...he didn't care if Kludd wanted him to leave him, he was his brother, glaux damn it, and he is not going to leave him alone again!
"I can't, da..." Soren stated with absolute.
"What? What are you saying?" Noctus asked, a bit shocked.
Soren knew what he said will prompt a major reaction, as he said firmly, "I have to go and help Kludd!"
"WHAT?!" Noctus screeched, surprising everyone who were behind him in the secret passage, "You can't be serious!"
"Da...he needs me..." Soren tried to reason, as he backed away, but Noctus quickly nabbed his talon.
"NO! YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO US!" The father snarled as he tugged him forward.
"Dear, think of what you are doing!" Mrs. P pleaded as she overheard the conversation from Noctus's talon.
"Soren, please, you can't leave us!" Marella pleaded as she heard the conversation as well.
"Your parents are right, lad! Kludd will be fine!" Twilight explained.
"Come on, we're wasting time!" Gylfie shouted, as she was growing jittery with the vibrations.
"She's right, if we don't go now, we will be ka-poot!" Digger reasoned with a emphasis on 'ka-poot'.
"Lad..." Was all Ezylryb could say as he listened to the father and the son's argument.
"Da, please let go..." Soren pleaded, while trying to keep his voice calm.
Noctus shook his head in anger as he shouted, "NO WAY AM I GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN! I HAD ALREADY LOST ONE SON AND I AM SURE AS HAGSMIRE NOT GOING TO LOSE-"
"I AM NOT LEAVING MY BROTHER!" Soren screamed in his face, as he pulled his left talon out of his father's talon, tears streaming down his eyes "I won't lose him...not again..."
"Son..." Noctus merely uttered, shocked by his son's reaction, "Please..."
"Let him go, Noctus." A feminine voice addressed him.
The father Barn Owl turned to his left to find Nyra, looking at him with a serious expression, as he tried to rebut, "But...he's my..."
"I know...but so is Kludd..." Nyra reasoned, "He needs him more than we do..."
"I...I don't..." Noctus stammered.
"Nyra's right," Ezylryb stepped up, shocking Noctus (the fact that a Guardian like the Lyze of Kiel would agree with the queen of the Pure Ones), "There are many bonds that we cannot understand, but one bond, the bonds between brothers, is one that cannot and will not be shattered. If the circumstances had been any different, I would have agreed with you, Noctus, but it is not...just let him go."
Noctus wanted to say no...but even he knew that he was right, even though it would hurt him and his mate, his nursemaid, not to mention his daughter, very much, Soren needed to do this. All he could say was, "Alright, son...go...do what you must..."
"Da..." Soren whispered as he faced his father, "Ma..." he turned to his mother, who was now crying, "Eglantine..." he faced his little sister, who expression were that of confusion, "Everyone..." as he look at his friends, his mentor, and Nyra, "I'm sorry..." He apologized as he turned away. However, before he took a step, he asked, "Nyra?"
"Yes?" The white Barn Owl answered.
"If me and Kludd don't make it back..." Soren begin to say, as he didn't want to think about that, but it was a contingency he had to prepare for, "...Please take care of Eglantine..." and with that, Soren ran down the slanted hollow floor towards the entrance.
Nyra was geniunely shocked by her love's brother request, as everyone else looked at each other with uncertainty and sadness. She didn't believe that she was worthy of being trusted with anyone else, especially with loved ones related to the one who hated her...needless to say, she was going to keep that promise no matter what. With eyes of determination, she turned around and said, "Come on, we haven't a moment to lose! The way out is at the end of this path!"
Following the queen's order, the band (the remainder of it) quickly went down the winding tunnel, soon to be followed by Ezylryb, who merely gave a nod towards where Soren had gone, as he hobbled (since his metal talon was disfigured). Nyra was about to go, when she realized that Soren's family was still standing there, just sadly staring out where their beloved had went.
Unsure on how to comfort them, she merely said, "Soren and Kludd will come back..."
Marella merely turned around, when she heard those words, and as apprehensive she still was of the Pure One, she merely nodded, tears still in her eyes, "I know they will." as she gave a sad smile to Nyra.
Eglantine, who was confused as to why her other brother was leaving, wasn't anymore. She knew Soren had a big battle to fight and no one else can do it...but it warmed her heart a little knowing that her bigger brother Kludd would be fighting the battle with him. To herself, she prayed, "I know you can win, brothers, I love you both..."
Soon, Marella and Eglantine took off, leaving just Noctus and Nyra (and Mrs. P, who was silently praying for the two of her three owlets she taken care of) as Nyra reassured, "You ought to be proud to have two sons that are willing to risk their life for their family..." as she then flew off, knowing that the father would follow her.
Even though Nyra wasn't listening anymore, Noctus merely said, "I already was..." as he then blinked the tears from his eyes, "Good luck, boys..." and with that, he flew off into the tunnel, hoping to make their great escape...
Soren was just out the hollow's entrance when he suddenly stopped and looked back into the hollow, as he thought of his family, as he then said, with a tear dropping from his face, "Thank you, da...I won't let you down." As he closed his eyes and then he opened them, his eyes burn with fierce determination, as he spread his wings and flew out into the raging storm, as he felt in his gizzard where his brother would be and prayed that he was not too late...
Kludd burst through the crack in the cave with the greatest amount of force he could muster as he was now up on top of the Pillar of Supremacy. As soon as he did, the cave he emerged from collapsed on itself, and seeing how Skarmoris wasn't following him, the Barn Owl let out a sigh of relief as major exhaustion begun to spread throughout his entire body, as he then landed ungracefully on the ground as he fell to his knee.
The whole fight had nearly taken it out of him, as his left cheek bled with a scratch from the Sulawesi Masked Owl's blades, his entire back was raw from being scraped against the wall of the pillar, and the exertion from dodging all of those boulders and Skarmoris's attacks had practically drained him, not to mention everything else was hurting already from being beaten around by Nix and Skarmoris earlier. But as far as he was concerned, Skarmoris was now buried under a bunch of rocks, and knowing his brother and Nyra as well as everyone else, they were probably out of the pillar and somewhere safe. Hopefully, once he had regain a bit of his energy, he could find them and...
His thoughts were interrupted as he was blasted hard in the back. Before he could react, he was suddenly kicked again, as he felt a talon grabbed him and flung him aside. Kludd tried to regain his focus as he quickly caught a glimpse of his attacker...and snarl even more...it was Skarmoris.
The Sulawesi Masked Owl that stood in front of him was staring at him with malice and hatred, as his body, that was once in tip-top shape before he and the others confronted him, was now all bruised and scratched up, even his helmet had a few dents in it. But the thing that made it out of that cave unscathed was his strength, as he had every intention of finishing what he started.
"Kludd, you fool. You think that mere stones would end me? You fail to realize that there are incredible forces at play here, and nothing can stop it." Skarmoris said with a scratchy chuckle, "Although I must congratulate you on being able to hurt me...and for that, you will pay dearly."
"Go to hagsmire..." Kludd spat viciously, as he tried to get up, but Skarmoris kept him in place with his talon, clutching him tightly with his claws, prompting Kludd to growl in pain.
"Is this the pain you felt before...Kludd?" Skarmoris asked sarcastically, as Kludd thrashed below him, "Let me remind you...this time, you won't forget."
Kludd was about to retort when he then felt sudden pain shoot through his right shoulder, as he look to see that Skarmoris thrust his sword into it. The pain was so awful he could hardly get any word out.
Lightning struck once more, as it danced along the clouds, as rain began pouring harder than ever. The wind coursed through the evil owl's feathers as he looked at his adversary as if he was his prisoner, ready to be subjected to sheer torture. A powerful wave crashed against the pillar's cracked base, and at long last, a huge chunk of the base was washed away, as 'Le Pilier de la Suprématie' begun to convulse severely. However, the sudden shift of the tower didn't seem to affect Skarmoris, as he held his sword firmly into Kludd's shoulder, as Kludd kept a stern glare, while resisting the urge to scream in pain.
"You should have let the darkness in, Kludd, then we wouldn't be out here, soaked to the bone...now you are going to die in a world you can never truly be a part of, and you will spend the rest of your days in whenever beings like you go, wondering what could have been...such a pity..." He sneered, shaking his head, "But before I end your miserable life, tell me...tell me what you cherish most..."
Kludd growled even more as he gripped the usurper king's sword with his free talon, not willing to show weakness to the despicable being that stood over him.
"Tell me...Kludd...give me the pleasure of taking it away." Skarmoris demanded, as he smiled at his foe's helplessness.
The Sulawesi Masked Owl's demand prompted the Barn Owl to think...what was it that he did cherished most? His mind was so befuddled by his anger and hate that he lost track of what was important so long ago...but then he remember Samuel's words...realizing what his heart truly desires...and as soon as he remember those words...everything seemed to click. His thoughts went to family...his father, his mother, his sister, his nursemaid...his brother Soren, the one who believed in him, even though he didn't see it...but it didn't stop there as he also remembered his 'other' family...Metalbeak, the owl he had grown to respect and honor, even after his death, and his mate, Nyra, the first owl that ever made him feel like he was worth something. Then he remembered Ezylryb, Digger, Gylfie, and Twilight...even though he wasn't a social person, he had actually grown to like them, maybe love them, despite all their annoying quirks. Sure it seemed like a cliche to him, but all this time, he always thought he was on his own...when in reality, he was never alone, he was loved...
The Barn Owl then looked at Skarmoris, able to ignore the pain in his shoulder, with a look of pity and determination, "You know what, Skarmoris...I pity you...there's not a thing I don't cherish! Not anymore!" He stated, as he meant every word of it, despite knowing he will soon perish.
To his delight, the Sulawesi Masked Owl was geniunely shocked by the Barn Owl's audacity to actually pity him! However, the owl's surprise was replaced with even deeper anger as he then said in a dark tone, "Very well...I guess I just kill anyone who hold even a glimpse of you in their memory...but I'm afraid this is the end for you!" He pulled his sword out of his captive's shoulder as he raised it, ready to end Kludd once and for all...but then, during a flash of lightning that struck as the sword raised, a brown blur suddenly cut through the air like firewood, as it struck the wicked owl across his face, knocking him off of Kludd, giving the Barn Owl (quite perturbed by what happen) a chance to roll away, while bracing his hurt shoulder.
"What the?" Kludd whispered to himself as he looked around to see who saved him, as he then saw the being landed, with a bronze sword within his right talon, and feathers of a lightish-brown, it turned out to be none other than...
"Soren?" The scarred Barn Owl whispered, as he knew that silly but always good-natured grin of his brother's face anywhere.
"Yes, brother, it's me..." Soren nodded, as the rain poured around them, as he let out a quiet sigh of relief that his gizzard had managed to lead him to his brother (please don't ask how, just call it a brotherly thing.).
"I don't understand...why did you..." Kludd asked, before stopping as he winced from the pain in his shoulder.
"Because...it is like you always said to me before...brothers always look out for each other...no matter what." The younger brother answered, with a loving smile.
That motto...the one that his father taught him shortly after Soren was born, those words had never been forgotten within Kludd's mind, even though he hid it away, it was never forgotten...Kludd could do nothing but return a smile...but their reunion would have to wait, as they both hear a roar...the two brothers quickly turned towards the origin of the roar as they grimaced in fear...
The Sulawesi Masked Owl began to shudder as the owl slowly rose to his feet, shaking his head to shake off the newfound pain, as he then faced the two brothers. Soren hadn't done any major damage upon Skarmoris except of that upon his helm, which now had a open gash around the right eye, revealing a part of Skarmoris's face. The owl however only snarled in cold fury as he saw the two brothers, who in turn took fighting stances relucantly, as Kludd and now Soren's greatest battle was still at hand, as the storm was now at full-force, as the pillar let out a mighty groan thus creating a perfect atmosphere for an ultimate battle between good and evil...
"Isn't this touching? Two brothers, banding together to defeat their adversary..." Skarmoris sneered, as his two swords flipped onto his talons once more, "But it will make no difference...both your fate had been sealed the same as mine...but our fate runs along different paths...your fate will send you coursing towards oblivion, as my fate shall bring me to limits beyond the reach of any mortal! With the power of my father and many others coursing through my veins, and in the name of the new pure world order...this IS WHERE IT ALL ENDS!"
A/N: Do you guys realize that Kludd and Skarmoris sounds similar to Cloud and Sephiroth? That, my friend, was on purpose. Well, here's done what ought to be the most action-packed chapter out of all twenty I had done so far, even succeeding chapter eleven. The battle between Kludd and Skarmoris had been inspired by the battle between Cloud and Sephiroth's battle in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, as there are many quotes from that movie as well as quotes from Judge Gabranth of Final Fantasy XII, as well as a reference to Beowulf (whose movie I watched last week in English class). To say the least, I am quite proud with how this chapter turned out...we bid adieu to Biggs and Wedge, bash Nix, Jatt, and Jutt around a bit, as well as some emotional resolution...oh, and there's the epic fight between Kludd and Skarmoris. However, there is still one more fight left to be done, which is the great battle of good vs. evil, of Soren and Kludd versus Skarmoris...to put into simple words, (BLEEP!) is about to get real. I would also like to recommend readers to read TearfulFriend18's newest LotG fanfic, The Blazing Inferno, which is starting out pretty good, as well as blucatcinema's Siege of Ga'Hoole (which I mention before, does not play any role in the story, so it never happened), I strongly believe you will enjoy those fics as much as I do. Well, I hope I did a good job for you readers, and should you have any questions, feel free to pm me. Be sure to stay tuned for the next chapter (which is not Bringing Down The Giant Part III, there is only two parts) and I will try to get the next chapter out soon. So, all that is left to say is...READ AND REVIEW!
"When it comes to fighting, it matters not who you fight, what you fight, where you fight, and how you fight...all that does matter is why you fight."
Artworks stuff is appreciated