Like a black shooting star, Declan dives at tremendous speed towards the three men who were enjoying tea on a terrace. Down he goes, seven hundred feet, five hundred feet, four hundred feet. The wind blasting his face like a force of a thousand razors, but on and on he dives…
Two hundred feet…
One hundred feet…
Inside the house, Chitose, despite the pain she is feeling from her sprained ankle, suddenly bolts up surprising Lyn. The silver haired girl’s face livid with terror.
“Something terrible is coming… something very very strong… as strong as Tusk’s dad… but full of malice and anger… full of hate”
Chitose held Lyn’s shoulders with trembling hands, looking straight into her eyes, her face pale, the throbbing pain of her ankle, completely overwhelmed by a deep fear she has never before felt in her entire life, as she sensed the terrible aura emanating from the unknown intruder due to her passive mana field skill. Closer and closer it came.
“We need to run, all of us! NOW!!!”
Lyn can clearly see how scared Chi is. Her childhood friend has always been brave, even after seeing Bong being devoured by the green slime, she never showed any hint of fear, instead charging forward with a cocky smile. To see her unnerved like this is not to be taken lightly.
“Hunai! Good that you showed yourself! What’s going on?!” Lyn asked, turning to the sprite for answers.
“It’s an angel-class primordial. You guys need to get out of here if you want to live!” Said the tiny sprite as she tried to push Chitose towards the back of the house, urging them to move quickly.
“We need to wake mom, auntie Ayako and Miss Anne! Come, let us hurry upstairs!” Lyn said, grabbing Chitose’s arm, making sure that she’s with her at all times, as she runs towards the staircase with haste.
“Waah! Lyn, not too fast- my ankle… ah!” Chitose protested as she hobbled and hops, trying to put as less pressure on the ankle as possible.
Invisible to the naked eye, the elf is one with the shadows, cowl over her head, her forest green cloak trailing silently behind her, swaying with the wind. Her emerald green eyes, peering from under the dark cowl carefully scanning the area for any signs of danger.
Holding a longbow by her left hand in a tight grip, she followed Tara from the darkness, always watching like a ghost, silent and deadly. Taking an arrow from her quiver, the elf readies herself for a possible confrontation. She positions herself behind the trunk of a huge oak tree, it’s shadow hiding her from watchful eyes.
“Fweeeet” Whistled the elf, catching Tara’s attention. She then motions her hand that she got this position and the angel can start to sneak at the back of the estate and get inside.
Tara, understanding what the elf is trying to say, nodded in agreement, she examined the wall surrounding the estate, looking for jutting stones that may serve as a hand and foothold. Carefully feeling the sides of the ten feet tall partition with her hands, she finds an uneven part of the wall, probably recently repaired. Giggling softly, proud of herself with the discovery, Tara backs a few feet away from the barrier, getting ready to attempt a wall run.
She starts to run towards the wall, adding speed on her approach, she begins pushing through it, translating her forward movement to vertical motion. Stepping on the small jut with her right foot, she used this as a boost, propelling herself on an upward leap, her hands grabbing the top edge of the ten foot wall at the same time.
Now dangling above the ground, Tara readies to top out. She scrambles her feet beneath, pushing through with her legs, she pulls her chest above the top edge, and then pushes down her hands, lifting her entire body up the wall. Reaching the top, the angel nimbly jumps on the other side and scurries towards the backside of the mansion crouching, silent as a mouse.
On the front, just outside of the steel gates of the Holden Estate, Silma holds the arrow shaft close to the nock behind the fletching… She proceeded to expertly place the arrow shaft on the arrow rest of her longbow. Her keen eyes already locked on her possible targets, especially on the big man with long red hair.
From out of nowhere, Silma suddenly heard a faint pop from above the tree that she was hiding, an inaudible sound that only elvenkind can hear. The elfmaid, as tense as ever, returns the arrow back unto its quiver, slings her longbow across her back and starts to gracefully climb towards the tree top.
Silma reaches the topmost branch of the mighty oak tree, then peers through the dark night sky, looking for the source of that faint sound her elven ears picked up moments ago. Squinting her eyes for a better focus, she scans the heavens that were bereft of moonlight and starlight.
At first she saw a black form falling from high above the clouds, diving very fast, looking more thoroughly, her green eyes started to widen in horror as she caught a glimpse of those dreaded bat-wings, descending nearer and nearer to the ground, finally landing with a tremendous crash right in front of the very house that she and Tara were heading, surprising the trio that were casually sitting on the terrace.
She clamps her mouth with her both hands, suppressing her urge to scream. Tightly closing her teary eyes, she willed herself to rise above her fear, reaching deep within herself to find the courage needed to face this monster.
Suddenly from out of nowhere she faintly hears a throaty laugh, louder and louder it came.
A guttural voice that only she can hear, answered her unspoken prayer.
“So you finally reached me eh? Khe khe khe… Tell me, what do you seek?”
The voice surprised the elf, she didn’t know who spoke or where it came from, keeping her eyes tightly shut, gravely scared and on the verge of a mental breakdown, she answered nonetheless.
“I- I seek power to crush my enemies…”
“So be it… I leave my essence to you… forever!”
Heat began to surge from her center, pulsating beneath her skin at the tempo of her pounding heart.
*Lub-dub, Lub-dub, Lub-dub*
Silma slowly opens her eyes, gone are it’s emerald green color natural to elvenkind, replaced instead by a crimson-red, flaring with fiery fury- Minotaur eyes.
Declan lands with a crash, forming a crater on the ground, clouds of dust rise around him obscuring him from view. He can see his target clearly enough in front of him all standing up with a surprised look on their faces.
“I see you little boy…” Declan smirks coldly, as he spotted his prey. The angel starts to grow his claws, not taking anymore chances, this time ge will go all out from the get go.
Declan moves quickly, launching himself forward towards the three men with breakneck speed, his gold eyes glowing, claws positioned for a sideward slash.
Ars Regnum shoved Tusk and Mr. Holden away from him and away from danger, he then wasted no time activating a protective spell. The angel might move insanely fast, but he can match this speed with his own.
“Lightning control MAGIC; STATIC SHIELD!”
“There it is…” Declan said in his head. A smirk formed on the angel’s lips as he was waiting for that particular spell to be casted. He gauges the distance between him and the Balekon, and between him and the boy, making sure that the Balekon, even with his speed won’t be able to reach him on time.
“I never expected him to be back so soon. To return even… and it seems his injuries have healed in just a short amount of time ” The Balekon took a mental note of this knowledge, as it may be of use to him in future battles. Fighting the angel earlier at school had made Ars very familiar with the fighting style of Declan, such was the Red Lightning’s battle prowess.
His instincts senses that the angel would not push through with the frontal assault, Ars, quickly dispels his shield, and instead moves forward to intercept Declan.
Ars, upon reaching just a few feet away from Declan, suddenly planted his left foot firmly on the ground, turning his body to the right, facing directly away from the angel as he pivoted on his left foot, gaining speed and momentum at the same time. He continues turning to the right, looking over his right shoulder at his target – making sure not to miss his target’s nose. He sweeps his right leg in a big arc delivering the kick, as it nears the angel’s head, Ars activated his offensive spell.
“Lightning control MAGIC: THUNDER DRILL!”
Declan acted quickly, using the Balekon’s unstoppable momentum, he quickly side stepped, directly in the path of the attack, meeting the spinning heel kick head on absorbing the kick’s power, ignoring the pain from the Thunder Drill spell, he let himself be thrown back by the force of the blow, towards his true target.
Tusk’s eyes were full of awe as he finally saw his father in action. Even when he was young, all he knew about his father’s reputation as a fighter, comes from stories. Almost everyone living in the capital has heard of the Red Lightning. A deep sense of pride welled within the youth. For the first time in his life, Tusk is truly proud to be Arsenon Regnum’s son.
“Wow… just look at him go…” Tusk muttered silently, clearly entranced by his father’s skills.
“YEAH!!!” He roars in triumph, pumping his fist in the air with such ferocity as he sees his lord father connect with a beautiful spinning heel kick, enhanced with an extremely advanced lightning spell, sending his opponent flying towards… him.
Declan was sent flying by the powerful attack. Despite crossing his arms at the last possible second to block in an effort to somehow lessen the impact of the blow, he felt a rib or two cracked, causing him to cough blood. It didn’t matter, the pain didn’t matter, only his mission mattered. He is now parallel to the boy… just as he planned.
With great effort, blocking the pain, Declan twisted his body while in mid-air. He used his leathery wings as a sail to catch the air, forcing his body to change trajectory towards Tusk’s general direction. He can smell the fear and confusion of the boy as he grabbed Tusk’s left shoulder in a tight grip, his claws digging through his flesh and bone. The angel pulls the boy in a quick jerking motion towards him.
“NOOO!” Shouted Ars as he ran towards his son in an attempt to save him.
“That’s far enough!” Declan warned the Balekon, making him stop just short of fourteen feet away from Tusk and Declan. The angel now positioned himself at the back of the boy, his left claw tightly lodged to Tusk’s already bleeding shoulder, while the right claw is dangerously close to the young man’s neck, ready to rip out his throat.
“You forced me to do this… this despicable and cowardly act!” The angel blurted out in sheer frustration. He lightly tapped Tusk’s neck, just to accentuate his point to the boy’s father.
“You don’t have to do this D-Declan…” Ars reasoned, the Balekon slowly lowered his hands palms down to show that he wants to settle things peacefully. Taking a deep breath, he looked straight in the gold eyes of the angel in all sincerity.
Declan felt the pure intensity of the Balekon’s eyes, he felt very ashamed of his actions, the guilt of doing such a disgraceful act clearly visible on the angel’s handsome face. Declan felt conflicted and scared, he tried but failed to hold the tears that began to form from his gold eyes.
“I always knew that you are not evil… our first battle proved it. You are a true warrior, a worthy opponent that deserves to be remembered for all eternity.” Ars told the angel, his sincere words cutting through Declan’s heart like the sharpest sword in the world.
“How… how can I be free of him? I am a summoned primordial, I have no will of my own… I am trapped…” Cried the angel, finally unable to hold back his tears. Slowly his left claw loosened its grip on the young man’s shoulder.
The rain slowly started to fall, stronger and stronger it became, lightning flashed and thunder booming and crashing it’s loud protest. The angel, the young man and the Balekon, standing still under the rainstorm, not even feeling the biting chill of the cold wind that accompanies it.
The mighty Balekon, finally understands his enemy’s true situation. It all makes perfect sense now. He always wondered why someone as powerful as the angel spared the Headmaster and his party when he can just kill them on a whim. He was right all along, this being is not evil, he is a true and honourable warrior, worthy of his respect.
“Let me help you…” Ars’ words were spoken softly, but carries a reassuring strength of sincerity. He truly believes that he can turn Declan back towards the light. He can see himself training the angel and his son as his successor.
The prospect filled him with inspiration and renewed vigor. He will help Declan, no matter what. This he solemnly vowed in his heart.
Lord Arsenon Regnum calmly walked towards his son and Declan, he no longer fears the worst, he has seen through the mask and saw the real Declan, and he is not evil. A sincere smile formed on his lips as he slowly offered his hand in friendship.
Declan’s grip on Tusk’s shoulder loosened, his right claw limply falls back to his side, their intent to kill is finally gone. Declan hungs his head as he cries in shame of what he was about to do to the young man just a moment ago. An innocent being… he was so desperate that he was willing to hurt someone that has nothing to do with his business.
Ars finally stands in front of the angel, he placed his right hand on Declan’s shoulder, offering his support. Tusk was finally free from Declan’s grasp, but he did not run away, despite bleeding from his shoulder, he stayed and faced the handsome angel, his face full of sympathy, he too understands what Declan must have endured and the pain he is suffering. He cannot look away at this.
Declan slowly and calmly looks up to Ars’ eyes, his own eyes still tearful and pleading. Like he is asking the Balekon to save him.
Lord Ars Regnum understood the unspoken plea very clearly, he nodded, assuring the angel that he will stand by his side, no matter what or whoever the true enemy is. He felt very happy with his decision, he smiled to the angel sincerely, like a loving father to his son… His pure smile was the last expression he will ever have as Declan rips his heart out from his chest.
The rain continues to fall hard on the world that night.