Author’s note: I guess that I should tell you guys, but this is the last chapter I had in my stock of chapters. I just forgot to upload it. For now I might have some down-time while I finish my IO marathon. Either THAT, or i could upload some older, already dropped works…
Anyway, enjoy your story!
Making his way through the mall back to where he left Kara, Drake couldn’t help but feel a tinge of excitement and anticipation towards the idea of seeing something literally out of this world happening right in front of him. That, and he wanted to check if his friend was fine too, of course.
Since almost everyone had already evacuated the building, guards and clerks alike, he didn’t need to bother with dodging through the crowd to get to the place where he had last seen her. In fact, he even went as far as cutting through some of the larger stores to reach his destination faster.
On the way there, he saw with the corner of his eyes as a person in a black robe came out from a service door, running hurriedly down the hall towards the emergency exit. It didn’t take him much time to find out that it was the person on the speakers, and as much as he wanted to go and hunt that person, he was way too distant from him to even think about catching him.
Clicking his tongue in annoyance, he quickly set his mind back into getting over towards Kara, seeing how the man seemed despaired, as probably did not expect to meet such a creature anytime soon.
Still, shaking his head so he could focus on the situation, he saw from afar the area where he had been earlier with Kara. Reaching the white-plated monster that was crouching close to the dark mist. Slowing his pace as he got closer to her, he stood besides her, receiving a brief look of acknowledgment.
“So… What’s happening?” He asked her while standing besides her large body.
“I don’t know.” Her voice echoed, graver than the one he was used. “All I know is that this dark smoke is some kind of twisted ether, and its doing something to her.” As she said that, she pulled back her clawed hand, a significant chunk of smoke coming with her hand, only for her to crush it.
“I take it that’s bad?” he asked dubiously.
“Could be for all I know.” She said briefly with a sigh. “To be honest, I’m not exactly an expert in ether, and what is happening here is way beyond my knowledge.” She explained to him in a grim tone.
“I see…” He said with a pensive tone. “Still… Remember what the guy said?” He asked, and saw as Kara turned her armored head towards him with a curious gaze.
“Something about… Summoning a demon?” She said hesitatingly, and Drake nodded.
“Yeah… If we were to say it on human terms, I don’t think calling you guys a demon would be a stretch, you know?” He said hesitatingly.
However, his words served to make Kara understand his meaning, as she turned towards the chunk of black smoke with a gaze of surprise and fear. For a moment she stared at it before standing up and turning towards Drake with a look of worry in her eyes.
“You have to get out of there. If what you said is true…” She said while pushing him away with her tail.
“Whoa! Is it that bad?” Drake asked confused.
“Yes! She’s a Murrow, and if she gets her body back in this place…” Although she started her words, she didn’t get a chance to finish them, as a loud screech that sounded unlike anything Drake had ever heard before echoed throughout the mall.
Turning their heads towards the source of that sound, they saw as the smoke dissipated in a single burst at the same time something came from inside it. Before they even had a chance to react, something struck Kara right in the chest, throwing the white armored giant away. Drake, who stood right besides her, managed to escape by a hair’s breadth, and saw what had attacked her.
A long and green furry tail, as thick as he was wide, had hit the Hu-ara. The creature from which the tail came from was some kind of snakish worm, with a five meters long body made of a sickly green coloration, the head part had a triangular formation to it, made of what looked like some kind of hard shell. No eyes appeared on its head, but a couple of holes and what looked like whiskers appeared from it, and a single large mouth-like protrusion appeared from its end.
However, looking at the monster in front of him, Drake couldn’t help but feel that it was somewhat… Distorted. Its body had some irregularities to it, and the triangular shape on its head wasn’t made of straight lines and had odd dents and bulges in it.
The worm like monster looked around for a moment before raising its head and screeching loudly, the windows in the nearby vicinity exploded in an array of shattered glass. Crouching down and trying to cover his ears, Drake caught sight of Kara as she nimbly recovered in the air and landed on her back claws, not even skidding on the ground.
Although her expression was a bit difficult to make out when she was in this other form, Drake could somehow make out the urgency in her actions, as she ran towards the Murrow, as she had called the woman.
Extending her claw forward, she grabbed the worm by the mouth, her claw barely digging on its skin as she used her other claw to slam it into the ground, leaving the triangular shape upside down.
“Get out of here, quickly!” Kara said hurriedly. “A Murrow near exposed rocks can be extremely dangerous.” She said hurriedly. Drake blinked surprised but quickly nodded.
Although not exactly from experience, he had an understanding from the stories he read that doubting the professional when it comes to danger isn’t a good idea. Nodding, he quickly turned back and prepared to run away, but before he could do so, the worm started to contort itself in Kara’s grasp as a loud screech escaped it.
The Hu-ara tried to hold the monster down, but its movement proved to be a bit too ferocious to the proud warrior, so she was thrown out of it and into the ground, impacting with force against the stone, Kara quickly rolled around so she could get back on her feet, but the worm had already twisted itself back straight up.
Looking at it in shock, Drake saw as the worm flailed around for a moment before twisting itself and looking towards a certain direction that he recognized as being the direction of the entrance of the mall, where people had gathered, then it looked downwards while aiming at the ground, coiling its body as if it readied itself to attack.
“NO!” Kara shouted worried just as the worm shot itself towards the ground.
But instead of breaking it, the stone rippled like it was a liquid, and the worm started to sink into it. For a moment, an idea appeared on Drake’s mind as he wondered the reason for Kara’s worry, but once he understood, he hastily took action, dashing forward towards the worm and desperately grabbing on to the fur on its tail end.
However, contrary to what he expected, the worm was monstrously strong, and even as he grabbed onto it with all his strength, he could barely stop it as it sunk into the ground as if he was sinking into water. However, different from the monster that so easily sunk into the solid rock, his hands couldn’t do so.
Feeling the crushing pressure as they were forcefully pressed against the cold stone, he tried his best to hold on to the monster until Kara finally reached him and sunk her claws onto the tail before forcefully pulling it back and grabbing its head with a fierce grip before punching it down towards the ground.
“Scribe! Are you fine?” She asked worried while seeing him make a pained face while shaking his hands.
“Not… The worst… i’ve went… Through…” He said with a pained face as his fingers twisted in odd ways. Worst part was exactly the fact that it really wasn’t the worst he went through.
Kara looked at him worried for a moment before turning her attention to the flailing monster under her arm. Wrapping her own tail around it, she tried to restrain it, but the monster quickly reacted to it by making a violent swing with its head and slamming against Kara, knocking her breathless. Following that, the monster quickly turned towards her and slammed its head in a headbutt, throwing her back even further.
As he saw the scene, Drake started making his way back to hiding, watching as the two monsters duked it out.
Kara quickly got up on her feet and for a moment opened her claws wide, but she closed it into a fist before connecting with the worm’s head, slamming it down in the ground before kicking it back up with her feet.
The worm flipped in mid air and fell down with its whole body, but seemed vastly unaffected, as it quickly straightened its body and twisted it around itself before uncoiling in a single go, scraping the tail on the ground.
Much to Drake’s shock, the ground didn’t break under the swipe, instead, it bent and folded into the shape of a wave before advancing towards them, growing bigger and bigger the more it advanced. For a moment, Kara twisted her body sideways to dodge, but a quick glance behind and she saw Drake who was straight on the way of the wave.
Cursing loudly in a word he had no idea what it meant, Kara jumped towards the wave and opened her claws, swinging it in a wide downwards motion, her claw still passed at the very least one meter away from the approaching wave.
However, the wave earned a huge gash to it as well as parting itself in half, each one flowing to one side of Kara, who stood still. The part where the wave passed through would immediately go back to its original shape as if nothing happened, however, the cut part ended up with a massive gash to it that seemed to go down for a few ten meters into the ground.
The wave still kept on crossing towards the walls of the mall, but at the very least nothing came on either Drake or Kara’s way. However, the worm didn’t seem to take that nicely, because it jumped from its place towards them, the mouth fully open as it aimed towards the large armored monster.
Kara took the charge on her arm and swung it overhead, slamming the monster in the ground once again just as the waves impacted against the wall, breaking in a thousand pieces and leaving a strange mark on the ground, where a few centimeters from the wall a long trench opened.
Raising her hand up high, Kara brought down a punch that seemed to compact the monster’s to half of it’s original size for a moment, leaving a small crater on the ground. However, the worm reacted quickly, coiling the tail around her arms and twisting her body in odd ways and raising Kara up high before slamming her back down. However, she managed to right her body in the air and land of her feets while taking hold of the tail.
“STAY DOWN!” Kara said angrily while pulling the worm trying to free itself from her grasp and landing a punch on its head that made an oddly loud sound.
The worm flew far with the impact, hitting the ground a couple of times before smashing heavily against the wall and falling to the ground, twitching a couple of times before staying limp.
“That… Looked like it… Hurts.” Drake said with a wry smile.
“I hope it actually hurt it.” Kara said with an angry tone. “Fighting while holding back is surprisingly difficult.”
“… Holding back?” Drake asked before motioning to the gash in the ground. “You call that holding back?”
“She’s a victim in here! I can’t go around killing her, can I?” Kara asked angrily “Besides, she’s nowhere near as strong as a true murrow, so I’m still not sure how much I can pull my punches so that I wouldn’t simply smash through her body.”
“What the hell?” He said surprised before frowning in pain as his fingers throbbed. “Dang it… that hurts.”
“I really should be angry for you having done something like that, you foolish scribe.” Kara said coldly for a moment before sighing. “But you might have saved those people, so I’m grateful.” She said while extending her open claws towards him. “Give me your hand, I can do at least some basic treatment with Ether.” She said gently.
“… Somehow it’s really scary when you say that with those clawy hands.” Drake commented with a deadpan tone. Still, he raised his two hands and showed them to her.
Feeling the surprisingly warm shell that covered her hands, he watched as he saw her using the second hand to hover above his own. Soon after, a white mist started to form between them before slowly changing into a more reddish color.
As the mist spun around his hand, he could feel as some of it seemed to enter into his hands, giving him a strangely pleasurable energizing sensation. However, the pleasurable sensation was overshadowed by the disgusting sounds of bones cracking as his fingers were fixed into the correct position.
They weren’t exactly broken, but the pain still wasn’t something that he could ignore, so he was grateful towards Kara who healed him.
“You really need to teach me about this whole Ether thing.” He said while checking his hands that weren’t hurting anymore. “This would be really convenient.” He said with a satisfied tone.
“Humans can not wield the Ether.” She explained briefly.
“…Really?” Drake asked dejected. “I really wanted to be able to use magic.” He said sadly while looking at his tingling hands.
“This isn’t magic. This is Ether. The two are different.” Kara said briefly, making Drake blink surprised while looking at her.
“Wait, Magic? You mean there is magic?” He asked surprised, making Kara blink surprised while looking at him for a moment.
She was about to say something, but a screech interrupted her words as Drake flinched in pain. Looking back, they saw as the worm once again stood up and started flailing around while screeching. After some time, its tail slammed down on the ground heavily, creating short waves on the stone that died down after a brief period.
“Damn it! It’s tougher than expected.” She complained while standing up and running towards the monster. But with a single glance from it, she froze while Drake looked down towards the ground, there a strange bubble started to form a couple of feets away from where Kara stood previously. “SCRIBE!” She shouted worried.
“…Fuck me.” Drake said angrily while throwing himself to the ground.
Then, the stone bubble exploded.