B1 — 29. Unexpected Outcome

Scarlet’s POV; 3/3

Scarlet felt powerful as she gripped her scythe, but something was wrong; her adept knowledge of how to use the weapon was gone.  Crap … Guise of the Reaper is blocking Scarlet’s Tree; so, I can’t use Scarlet’s Blessing.

Her mind was clear, despite the setback.  She glanced at Relica’s puppet as the shadow continued to study her changed appearance.  I don’t have long ‘till I’m out of energy.  I need to make this count. What abilities can I use?  Shroud of Darkness, Shadow Movement, Reap Life, Reaper’s Choice, Advanced Detection, Amortality, and Levitate.

Relica’s frown deepened.  “I will take a guess that this ominous feeling I have has something to do with your transformation.  Obviously from the Reaper Tree…”

Scarlet activated Shroud of Darkness; the space around her turned utterly black, but she wasn’t using her eyes.  She teleported behind Relica’s shadow and cut through the umbra with a single slash; it was effortless, cutting Relica’s sentence as the shadow dispersed.  It’s like cutting the air with a knife; it’s so easy.  I may not know how to use the scythe like a pro, but it works just fine for cutting.

She sensed something changing with Relica’s creatures.  Floating through the wall, the darkness that surrounded her pushing back the sunlight blazing in Relica’s palm; her creatures’ skin was crusting and turning dark brown as their exposed bones began to glow with a red light.

Scarlet could sense Life Force inside the ball of light in Relica’s hand.  She uses Blood Magic, which utilizes Life Force as an energy source.  

“You’re not the only one with tricks.  So, you want to hide behind that shadowy mist?  Then let’s see if you can handle Minor Sunfire!”

The ball of light in her hand expanded by a foot, exploding with radiance; she threw the blaze at the darkness as Scarlet moved forward.  The Sunfire entered her shroud and was swallowed. She could sense the fire still burning ahead of her, but no light escaped. She continued through the invisible flames as if it weren’t there, gliding toward Relica.

All five of the creatures rushed her, but Scarlet just teleported behind the woman, bypassing her guards; her dark mist exploding around her as she appeared.

Relica cursed as she dove forward, but Scarlet’s scythe cut clean through her.  One of the creatures ahead of them split in two, falling to the ground. What?  But I cut her?

Relica stumbled forward as the darkness enveloped her.  “Okay,” she huffed. “You really are like some Grim Reaper!”  A rift opened up below her, and she fell through, causing Scarlet to hesitate, but another rift opened fifty feet away, and she crawled out of it.

She has a billion spells … why isn’t she dead?  She studied Relica’s mutant slave that had been cut in half and was already reforming; the four others were running at the dark mist she created.  They flailed about in the dark, but any blow that struck her simply passed right through.

Her mutant was cut in half instead of her; so, is she linked to them?  They take her damage? Why would she need to be really resilient like that other guy when she has creatures that can regenerate, are physical brutes, and are linked to her?  She’s way too powerful!

She slashed at another creature, but her blade only sunk a few inches into his skin.  It beat at her scythe, but his hands simply passed right through it. I’m using my scythe as a physical weapon, but it must be used for more than that.  It’s a freaking grim reaper’s scythe. Reap Life, what is it … an ability attached to my weapon that once activates, deals damage to Life Force.

Activating it, her scythe passed through the creature like butter as a green flame lit across its length and she sensed the mutant’s life diminish slightly.  She watched the bright bluish aura inside it dim. It stumbled and struck the ground, but quickly rose to its feet again, rejoining the rest in searching for her.

I see; it’s not physical damage, but an attack against its Life Force; it can’t regenerate that so easily.  What’s Reap Life’s level, rank, and grade … one, Novice, zero. Wow, it’s super weak, can I make it stronger?  I guess not … well, that sucks. Did I use all of my points just getting Guise of the Reaper? Probably. What about Reaper’s Choice … five, Novice, zero.  Back to Novice, not Rookie … can it still Rend Magic? You won’t tell me, so, nope … I guess that’s a part of the Rookie Maxed proficiency.

Raising her scythe, it began to glow with a faint green light as she cut through the creatures with simple slashes.  She watched their lives shave away, but there was so much, and each swing only did minor damage to their life energy.  However, she could see progress.

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“What are you doing in there?”  Relica yelled. “Why are my darlings becoming weak?  Come back, split apart and run opposite ways!”

Crap.  She followed the one that was the weakest and struck her blade through its chest, keeping it lodged in its torso as she kept pace.  After a minute, it dropped to the ground. Its breath rasped out in ragged pants as it struggled to crawl away, but she slammed her blade through its bony spine.  The blade passed through the creature, and the ground before she stopped the stroke, Reap Life doing continuous damage.

Relica was looked at the mist with wide eyes.  “How—how are you damaging them … how did you kill it?  It has Rapid Regeneration … do you know how much effort it took for them to get that skill?  To level it up to seven and force them to rank it up to Novice seven?” She growled.

Scarlet chuckled; her voice had changed, it almost seemed without origin, and her tone was a whisper that resonated in the air.  “It was a brilliant plan. Link your life to these creatures, and with Rapid Regeneration, you’ll never die. I’m guessing you spent nearly every point they had on it; I mean, it wasn’t just any regeneration ability.  They must have gone through much of the Regeneration Chain, but I just realized something.

“Your Life Force has lowered since losing that creature.  So, I can attack you or them, and these creatures will die with you as their life is linked to yours. When the last one dies, you’ll just have your own life left.”

Scarlet vanished in the shadows, appearing behind Relica in a tornado of smoke, but she was already dropping into a rift that appeared under her.  This isn’t good.  I don’t know if I can kill her before my energy runs out.

Both Scarlet and Relica moved across the beach before entering the city, Scarlet chasing her down.  Two puppet umbra split off from her shadow, but she quickly teleported to them and cut them in two. You’re not getting away!

The creatures never left more than a few hundred feet from her, which gave Scarlet plenty of time to catch up and slash at her or the creatures.  Relica had tried several different spells, but none of them touched Scarlet as she passed through them with ease. After several minutes, only one mutant remained, weakened by all the cuts Relica received.

Scarlet floated after her like a hound; Relica was fast on her feet, and Scarlet only floated so fast.  She was forced to teleport to catch her a few times, but Relica had a spell to propel herself through the air and evade her clumsy scythe swings, keeping her out of the darkness.

“This is bullcrap!”  Relica yelled, throwing up a magical shield as she ran through the palm tree filled park at 14th and Ocean Drive, a cloud of darkness in pursuit.  “You’re immune to everything! What kind of ability is that?”

A ring of purple energy encircled Relica as Scarlet reached her; she hesitated a moment to let her scythe strike the barrier.  The darkness enveloped her, and the blade slid past her shield as if it weren’t there. Relica barely missing the edge as she launched into the air.

Scarlet looked up, following her climb into the sky.  I’m just about out of energy, but I’ve just about killed all of her life links.  Scarlet looked up, following her vertical climb into the sky.  She’s a sitting duck!  Why’d she jump up? To not be blinded by the darkness and ram into something?

The last creature leaped into the air, shooting toward Relica.  The moment they were about to collide, Relica used him as a launchpad, purple ring appearing again.  Was that planned?  I know she hesitated, so she wanted to test that shield against my scythe … she’s a crazy psychopath, but incredible at adapting.

Scarlet floated toward the creature as it fell through the air.  She moved her scythe to cut up its center, passing through its body.  The creature landed hard, legs collapsing as fell to its chest, trying to struggle back to its feet.  Her blade passed through its back, and she held it in place, watching Life Force chip away. It lurched forward, pulling her scythe through its body.

Following, she thrust the edge back through its torso, and after a moment, it collapsed.  The green energy surrounding the black blade decaying the rest of its life, it stopped breathing.  Finally!  Although, now Relica can run away without worrying about distance.

She found her life signature atop a white six-story building with the words Winter Haven written across the front.  Moving through shadows, her mist of darkness began to envelop Relica from behind, but she somehow dodged her blade.

“There!  I can at least detect the scythe.”  An edge of excitement showed on her face.  “I knew there was some kind of element involved; the Death Element; it’s amazing!”  She danced around another broad swipe. “Death has an element, and I don’t have anything that can counter it at the moment, but I can detect it.  So, let’s see how long you can last now.”

Dang it, I’m not good with scythes!  If she can detect my swings, then how can I hit her?  This thing’s bulky and weird to use … I’m so close, but my energy…

She vanished in shadows, appearing behind Relica.  She stabbed with the butt of the shaft, but Relica quickly sidestepped and leaped off the building, purple halo appearing as she landed below.

“I’ve got to say, I was not expecting you to be the Grim Reaper,” Relica giggled, but she was sweating and breathing hard.

Scarlet floated down to her; weapon pulled back to strike as the fog spread across the street.  Wait, she can detect the Death Element, then if I don’t use Reap Life, she won’t be able to detect it, and all her regeneration puppets are dead!

Just before striking, she deactivated Reap Life; the green flames along the blade dispersed.  Relica froze as the energy left, but just before her attack hit, she activated a transparent shield.  Her blade bit into it, but she felt the resistance, giving Relica enough time to retreat out of the darkness.

Relica laughed giddily as her shield broke.  “This is so much fun! Now that I know what I’m dealing with, I know how to fight it, but congratulations on making me bleed; it’s been years since someone’s accomplished that.”  She clapped, and Scarlet noticed the small cut along the back of her left arm.

Scarlet lurched forward but tripped as Shroud of the Reaper left her, shadows dispersing.  She struck the ground, locking up as emotion, thirst, and pain struck her all at once. She gasped, chest and fangs burning as she curled into a ball, arms pressed against her chest.

“Oh, that’s not a very lady-like position.”  Relica mused. “I was wondering how long that could last, but it looks like I have some evidence to compile.”

She walked over to Scarlet, trying to calm her heart with a few deep breaths.  “You honestly pushed me very hard, my little vampire reaper.” She sat a few feet away from her, crossing her legs and fanning her face.

“Well,” she grinned, pulling on her bikini to pump some air in and readjusted her bottoms.  “I know you want to jump on me and put those crimson lips to my neck,” she winked. “Vampires can be so erotic, but I can sense that little burning desire for blood itching within you.”

Gritting her teeth, Scarlet moaned. “What—what are you waiting for?”

“You’re too cute.  I’m not going to kill you!  Heavens, no.” She clicked her tongue.  “No, I want you. Oh, I want you so bad after seeing that display of power.  If you utilized your abilities properly, the things you could do.”

She blinked apologetically, “Oh, I’m not calling you stupid, no, not at all.  Just—inexperienced. The potential I sense in you, that raw urge for blood and that … I don’t know how else to describe it, that evil inside you.  Oh, it’s hidden, hidden deep, but I can sense it. I want to pull that out and make you mine. If I had you, I don’t think I’d need anyone else; no one could compare.”

Scarlet tried to swallow, but she felt so parched; no blood entering her mouth.  Smiling weakly, she chuckled. “I—told you … I don’t—swing that way.”

“Come now,” Relica ticked her tongue.  “Don’t be like that. I already told you, I’m not interested in some sensual relationship, but I do enjoy master-slave.  You know, there were plenty of women that begged like dogs, threw themselves at my feet, yearning for me to use their bodies instead of what I had in store for them; I enjoy letting my experiments know what is to come.  That way, they aren’t surprised.

“So, perhaps we can compromise?  I won’t do anything—weird to your body, I never planned to; so, why don’t you become my slave?  I am a wonderful master; meals, as much blood as you can drink. If you enjoy men, I will get you dozens, the best.  Pleasure, whatever you wish can be yours.”

Scarlet squinted, and the look she found waiting for her sent chills down her spine; Relica’s hazel eyes were globes of desire.  “It’s better than being dead, right?”

Scarlet tried getting to her feet; she got to her hands and knees, but her body felt so tight, it was hard to straighten her arms and legs.  I have to get away … she’s insane!

“Where are you going?”  Relica giggled. “Well, I suppose there are about, what?  I know you’d be more accurate, but I’d say—at least twenty people are in the surrounding buildings.  You could still give me a hard time if you got some blood in you, but do you really think you can kill me without that reaper ability?  It was—OP,” she finished with a chime in her voice.

Taking a deep breath, Scarlet shook her head with a pained moan.  “Not—not interested. I’m already—already…”

“Huh, a shame,” Relica leaned back with a depressed sigh as she cut her off.  “I don’t understand. You’d be with me; men and women trip over themselves for an opportunity like that.  I suppose—I’ll have to force you then. I didn’t want you to be a subject of that experiment.”

Scarlet’s arms began to shake as she tried getting to her feet; mind filled with nightmarish treatment.  Force me?  How? “Are—are you going to—make me like—like those creatures?”

Relica’s eye’s popped.  “Oh, dear, absolutely not!  How dreadful. To be frank, I doubt I could.  Hmm, no, the requirements were fairly large for those Heroes, but I have no clue about Mythickin; an utterly gray area.  I mean, you’re already a monster.

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“However, controlling a monster.  That, I should be able to do. The highest level spell I have in my Mental Branch.  I’ve been saving this one because it requires a lot of energy, but I fulfilled its requirements and have just been waiting to use it.  I just have to hope it doesn’t fail; a low proficiency level is quite troublesome. Once you become my slave, you’ll have to tell me how your skills grew so rapidly.”

Scarlet stumbled to her feet, losing one of her shoes; she limped down the road, trying to put distance between them.  Relica just chuckled. After a moment, she was locked in a purple circle of magic, unable to move or speak.

No … no … no…

“This won’t take long,” Relica cooed, walking to her.  She placed her hands on her hips as she stood squarely in front of Scarlet, emotions brimming with delight.  “When I first heard about the Seattle Vampire, I thought, how brilliant.

“Some might believe that he was an idiot, causing such a commotion, but no, he was testing, advancing, becoming accustomed to the system.  War, chaos, death, it propels you forward in this brutal system. Achievements seem to be the only thing that can possibly outshine that snowball, and this spell is an Achievement gained from my Mental Tree.

“After manipulating so many minds and doing it in several different ways, I obtained a one time use for an advanced mental spell, Mind Flay.  It peels back the brain’s barriers to access the target’s entire mental state and manipulate it; implant memories, change behaviors, force control,” she grinned, eyes brimming with anticipation as she slid her fingertips down Scarlet’s bloodstained cheeks.

I don’t want this … I don’t want any of this … I don’t want to be a slave to this psycho.

Relica licked her lips as a purple halo surrounded her left hand; it moved up her wrist and past her hand.  Spreading her fingers, it expanded, and she placed it over Scarlet’s head, pushing it down until it encircled her forehead.  Slowly closing her fingers, she sensed the energy close around her head, and she was falling.

She looked up at the violet sky of an unknown world, a gust shot down from above; immobilized as the cold wind pressed against her skin, purple lightning rolling through the heavens, creating claps of thunder that shook her bones.  Where…

Her muscles twitched as she struck freezing water.  Gasping, she swallowed the liquid, and not soon after, her mind began to swim.  The dimming lights shining past the water’s surface hazed, fracturing in her eyes.  Is this … what’s happening?  Everything’s numb; I can’t … I can’t feel my body.  Her mind faded as her senses began to leave her.  The only thing she felt was emptiness, an endless void that she was sinking into.  I lost…

Feeling slowly returned to her muscles as her body warmed, mind rousing.  It took her a moment, but she realized it wasn’t her body that was heating, but the water.  Her eyes opened wide as bubbles floated around her; the temperature continued to climb, and she rose with the foam that slid across her skin.  Sharp lights suddenly broke across her vision, shining up from the depths of the void below. What’s going on?

The bubbles grew, and she broke the surface.  Gasping for air, she pulled back her wet hair and looked around.  The sea was frothing with foam as the ocean boiled and massive waves crashed against each other in claps of thunderous noise, but despite the cataclysmic forces, the water kept her afloat.

Massive beams of energy broke past the colossal waves, shooting into the heavens.  The violet sky was turning rosen as the rays of light forced the clouds to circle them like a hurricane, and hot air whipped past Scarlet’s face as jets of wind pulled the water into raging cyclones.

Blood Storm [Commissioned: Pino44io] by S-M-E

The sky turned the color of wine as the purple lightning struck crimson, the roaring claps of light illuminating her surroundings.  Pelting drops of blood fell from the darkening clouds, stinging her skin and dying the ocean with spots of rose petals. The last remaining violet patch turned red as the storm escalated.

Face ashen; her stomach twisted as her thirst deepened.  “Scarlet…” Bright light burst from the heavens above her, and she began floating up, storm raging around her.  “Why?”

She broke past the cherry colored clouds, hand raising to shield her eyes from the blinding moonlight above as the deafening sound below broke, everything turning peaceful; the sky was black, speckled with countless stars and galaxies, bloodied clouds gently swirled below in large serine circles with glowing centers.

“What’s happening…”  She was back in the real world, staring at Relica’s face that reflecting the shock she felt.

Relica took half a breath before it locked in her lungs.  She stared at Scarlet for several more seconds in locked silence before breaking eye contact.  She stepped back three steps and hesitated; a lump slid down her throat as she took one last glance at Scarlet before dropping through a purple rift that opened below her feet.

Scarlet blinked; Relica’s immobilizing magic broke, and she heard the dark, yet soft laughter of The Reaper in her mind before the chuckles faded, and she returned to her slumber.  Scarlet?  What did you do?

All she heard was silence.

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