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“Holy s***, it was actually true…”, I said, crouched before a pile of skeletons in one of the Wind Cave’s many mysterious rooms.
“Yeah, the part about the corpses is true. The part in which that boy fought the ‘giant magical wolf’? I doubt”, Dam, my subordinate with a white mohican, harrumphed. “As far as we know, that boy could even be one of Arapaima’s goons, responsible for these deaths.”
“Are you sure?”, I pointed the torch up, and to the holes, cracks and burn marks in the ceiling.
“…Either way, we should go back to report immediately. We finally got Arapaima, captain”, Dam frowned.
“Yeah”, I got back up, sighing.
It was a tough job, but we were almost done: tomorrow morning, we’d have a whole battalion ready to storm the bandit’s fortress.
“Oh, is that so?”, a deep voice came from the only entrance of that room, one of the paths blocked by the debris of the supposed fight that happened there. “I believe this situation could be better described with: I got you”, Arapaima stepped into the torchlight, showing a creep smile with many needle-like teeth; his goons stood right behind him, some laughing, some tenser.
“I get this is a threat?”, I asked, unimpressed.
“It’s the truth. Your fate is to die here today, Mari”, the tall man replied. Pointing his huge club at me, he concluded: “Kill them all!”
“Shu…”, I laughed, as the wave of spear-men charged against us. “This is perfect, actually”, I gripped my wolf’s tooth necklace and awoken the spirit within, which only I could see: a floating, semi-transparent wolf head. “After all this time I can finally beat the s*** out of you!”
“A: thrust to the chest; B: Downward diagonal from left to the right; C: will stand behind and try to get you if you dodge to the right”, Nopa, my wolf spirit spoke directly to my mind, faster than words could be spoken.
Not only did the spear-men move exactly like the spirit foresaw, and I easily dodged all of the attacks, but I had even leverage enough to firmly grip onto the weapon of the last attacker, and pull him forwards, taking him off balance, and hit him with my knee, knocking the man out.
“WITH THE AUTHORITY GRANTED TO ME BY THE BEAR COUNCIL, I TAKE YOU ALL UNDER CUSTODY FOR HERESY, CORRUPTION, MURDER, AND ATTEMPT MURDER! MEN! DON’T LET ANY OF THEM ESCAPE!”, I shouted, bringing down a second enemy with the butt of the spear I stole from the first one.
My men joined the struggle, and didn’t fall even a bit behind Arapaima’s goons, their axes crossing ways with the enemies’ spears. The tall man himself, however, was mine.
I re-positioned the spear on my hand, and hurled it with all my might against Arapaima; and this time I wasn’t holding back at all, I couldn’t afford to.
With a dump “tuck!”, the projectile dug itself into Arapaima’s club, which he used to protect himself. While he unstuck the spear from the club, however, I pulled my copper axes from my sides, and double-wielded them against the creepy tall man in a hurricane of blades.
Arapaima wasn’t all size and talk, though, but an actually skilled warrior and dodged and blocked my attacks with impressive agility. And his horizontal semicircular counterattack, carrying all of his weight and power, I knew, would be mortal if it had caught me.
“Guh, guh! She can move”, Arapaima taunted me once I retreated.
“Go f*** yourself, s***-head.”
“Guh! She bites too…”
I charged once again, and with the help of my wolf spirit, my opponent and I evenly exchanged attacks and counterattacks. Until it was time for my trump card: conjuring a body-enhancing spell, I was covered in my entirety by magic waste that looked like flowing blood, and my speed and power were raised by 25%. As I slashed, bashed, and cut, the surprised tall man was forced to use his club to block my attacks more and more, until:
“CRACK!”, the huge wooden weapon was cut in half by my axes.
“It’s over”, I dug both blades on the sides of the wide-eyed tall man.
“Guh…?”, blood leaked from between his gritted teeth.
His men stopped fighting, simply staring at their defeated tyrannical leader with a mixture of fear and relief.
“O…ver?”, Arapaima repeated, staggering to a nearby wall, and leaning against it. “Over? OVER?! NO!”, his sides were bleeding a lot, and he breathed with difficulty, turning pale quickly, and shaking, but purse spite kept the tall man straight. “I spit on you all! Arapaima never loses! I am the strongest warrior! The people’s chief! I’ve met a God personally!”, after the last statement, he turned his eyes downward, and frowned. “A God… Damn the Gods! I spit on them too! And all that is sacred! They exist to serve me, not the other way! EVERYONE EXIST TO SERVE ME!”, frothing in the mouth, Arapaima somehow managed to give one step in my direction while giving his last delusional words, before finally falling down, dead.
I sighed, and turned back to the tall man’s underlings to explain their situation:
“Listen here! I have the authority to end your lives if necessary, so unless you want to end up just like your boss over there-”
“EnD Up JuST Like WhOooO…?!”, to everyone’s surprise, Arapaima got back up. But this time, there was something different about him.
Arapaima’s eyes were all white, and a gush of wind was encircling him, coming from deep within the cave. The foam in his mouth dripped in larger and larger quantities, his hair started to fall down, and the bones and muscles were being re-arranged beneath his skin right before our eyes.
“What is happening!?” Dam had his mouth gaping.
A scaly creature laughed where before stood Arapaima: the thing had tiny black eyes, his fingers and toes were webbed, and a sail rose from the top of his head all the way down to the tip of the long tail at the end of its back. And it was huge. Arapaima was tall, but the fish monster it became must have grown a whole meter taller.
“Gluh, gluh, gluh! SeRVe… MeEEeE!”, the thing raised its arms, and the body of water in the room rose too, in a wave.
Everyone tried to protect themselves they best they could, but there wasn’t much we could do against the power of a whole underground lake; the wave crashed against my men and me, and also against Arapaima’s own underlings.
I only wasn’t crushed by the immense force of the water alone because of my body-fortifying magic, but my whole body turned into a huge bruise. Still, my magic waste offered just light enough to see the few survivors around me, who resisted the wave. Then, we were encased in water spheres, which moved with us when we tried to swim away from it.
“I’m sorry, Mari. I can’t possibly imagine the perfect answer to this situation” Nopa told me, melancholic.
S***. I really was about to die from that b*******? The guy turned into a super monster out of nowhere!
The magic waste from my body fortifying magic started to dim down, as my consciousness slip away. I was drowning.