The length of the chapter makes up for the longer than usual wait. I hope you guys enjoy. Also, I really appreciate comments. I love it when my readers share their theories about the story, your comments have given me lots to think about and have certainly improved this story. Okay, enough chit chat, enjoy the action!
Chapter 110 – Songs of Magic
It was early evening and information on the events transpiring in Fort Smith were trickling in by the minute. My household, together with Yal and Uncle Rehanmir gathered in my study, on video feed were Victor, Henry, Konrad, Reza, Luca, Victoria, and Jeppe for the VHC. Luigi, Juan, Olaf, and August were live as well, representing the WCC.
“What’s happening in Arkansas?” Olaf said in a huff, he took an exasperated breath. “We can’t reach any of our agents in Fort Smith.”
“Same goes for the vampires we had in the area, it appears communications are down inside that zone. The Governor of District 17 can’t reach any of his people there either,” Victor added
“Same goes for us, we have several packs in the area, and none can be reached,” August reported.
“We know so little about what’s really happening,” Victoria said, she clearly was worried for what was yet to come.
“Any movements from the humans?” Reza asked.
“It appears they’ve evacuated people from the immediate area around the affected zone. They’re telling the media that it’s a gas leak issue. Good thing the national media hasn’t noticed yet and the local news seems to have bought it, for now,” Kalron replied.
“What do the scans say?” I asked Kalron for everyone’s benefit.
“My team has confirmed that it is indeed demonic in nature. However, the energy bubble surrounding the affected area is not letting any signal in or out,” he replied.
“So another general then?” Yal asked.
“Most likely, there’s no other explanation for it. This could also be related to the waves of dark emotions I felt earlier, it happened almost at the same time we noticed the aberration in the energy scans,” I replied.
“Damn, this one seems to be going all out eh? Whoever this demon is, has basically taken over an entire city,” Henry remarked.
“Quite brazen if you ask me, I’m sure the humans won’t stand for it but I really don’t think they would stand a chance against such a powerful enemy,” Reza commented.
“What do we do now?” Luigi asked.
“We gather as much information as we can. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and heedlessly rush into things blind,” Uncle Rehanmir answered.
“The humans should be warned,” Victor offhandedly said.
“I agree, if they send FRUSI or the National Guard, I’m not sure that would do good,” Juan replied.
“I will touch base with my contacts in FRUSI,” August volunteered as he started to scan his phone for contacts.
“We have to mobilize our agents and prepare for the worst. The local alphas and vampire officers near the concerned area should be warned as well, we should evacuate them if necessary,” Victoria suggested.
“I agree, the entire VHC will be on full alert,” Reza replied.
“And so will the WCC,” Juan retorted.
“Damn it, I can’t believe the second general would just show up like this,” I growled as I flopped on the couch in my study.
“It can’t be helped, we knew they were out there somewhere and now another one has shown itself,” Etalos said as he joined me on the couch. My assistant was obviously afraid of what was to come, he was trying his best to calm himself, as but the light shaking in his hands told me of his struggle.
I took a deep breath to clear my mind and calm myself, “Etalos…” I said, looking at the near panic stricken elf beside me, “I know you’re afraid, and so am I, but you’re right it can’t be helped. We just have to do what we have to do. We will deal with this, just like how we dealt with Yonthar,” I said as I tried to comfort my friend as I rubbed his back.
“I sure hope so Chris, but I have this nagging feeling that this enemy is worse than Yonthar. Kalron said the spatial distortion in Arkansas is 30 kilometers across, that’s huge and must mean whoever is behind this is one powerful demon.”
“Yeah, it’s a large area indeed, some of the energy bubble crossed into Oklahoma as well.” I said, thinking back to Kalron’s explanation about how the demon behind this has distorted the energy fields around the city.
Several hours after the meeting, my phone rang.
“What is it August?” I asked as I answered my phone.
“The leaders of FRUSI are as stubborn as ever. They won’t listen to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“They’re moving forward, with a large expedition into the affected zone after midnight.”
“So soon? But wait, do they even have the resources to do so? Last time I checked Yonthar dealt them a heavy blow.”
“They’re putting everything into this and the new director of FRUSI is not budging, they are hell bent on resolving this matter as soon as possible. It appears, the organization sees this as an opportunity to redeem themselves from the Yonthar fiasco.”
“What do they intend to do?”
“They’ll be sending at least 300 agents to Fort Smith, the National Guard will be sending 200 of their own as well. If this mission fails, the army and air force have already been put on standby to intervene.”
“That bad huh?” I huffed, “I don’t like this August, it’s going to be a total bloodbath.”
“I know, and I have made the threat very clear to them but they refused to listen. Reza even directly contacted the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security but no, they are hell bent on seeing this through.”
“How are they going to explain the sudden military buildup?” I curiously asked.
“Maybe some sort of training exercise, you know them and their cover-ups.”
I sighed, “August, they will regret this decision, hundreds of lives will be lost.”
“I know, but we can’t force them to back down, they might see it as a threat coming from us.”
“I understand August, thanks for letting me know. Let’s just hope that we’re just being overly pessimistic and they do indeed succeed.”
“I hope you are right Chris.”
To say that I had a sleepless night, would be an understatement.
“So any updates from the FRUSI mission?” Victor asked as he set his mug down on the kitchen table.
“No, nothing, Kalron said that the mission proceeded as planned, FRUSI agents and National Guard troops entered the demon zone at 1:30 local time, the central command hasn’t heard back from them since.”
“Let’s just hope it’s a communications issue.” Victor replied.
“I don’t think so Victor, I mean, if they succeeded, then the veil surrounding Fort Smith should have vanished.”
“You’re right. What now?”
“It appears that the army and air force will be involved, Kalron and August informed me that a thousand troops have been mobilized, several air squadrons will be involved too.”
“They’re really hell bent on finishing this as soon as possible eh?”
“That appears to be the case. Kalron also informed me that an hour ago, missiles were launched into Fort Smith and as expected, they just disappeared, ground sensors did not indicate any explosions to have occurred inside.”
“This isn’t good Chris.”
“I know, if this new mission fails, I’m sure the government will relent and maybe listen to our advice.” I gave out an amused huff, “Your advice I mean, they still don’t know of our return.”
“How’s the elvish preparation so far?”
“Patri and Uncle Rehanmir have put the realm on high alert. More Akros agents and maybe a thousand or so Royal Guards are ready to cross via the New York Portal at any moment’s notice.” Looking at Victor, I asked, “How about on your end?”
“Konrad is flying more Stratos agents into the country as we speak, capable vampires from across the country and even Canada and Mexico are also being recruited as well. Our existing pool from the New York joint training facility is too small for such a large threat.”
“Kalron, any updates?” I asked as I went into Kalron’s office. Yal’s deputy was busy on his laptop typing and swiping away as he coordinated the intelligence gathering effort of the elves, vampires, and werewolves.
“Yes, and it’s not good,” he replied as he shot me a foreboding look.
“What is it?” I asked as I sat on the chair across him.
“The demon bubble is expanding or rather, it expanded, yesterday it was 30 kilometers across, now it’s 35.”
“Is it still spreading out?”
“Not as of this moment but it could resume at any time, but I can’t say for sure, as we know so little about what powers its expansion.”
“I have a theory. I think whoever is behind this has started to tap into the souls of the tens of thousands of people inside, we already know how demons multiply using human souls, and maybe they’re harnessing it in some way to power this bubble too.”
“That could certainly be a possibility.”
“Have the others been informed of this expansion? We should do something about it before it gets out of control. If we let this go, we don’t know how big this zone will become.”
“I already sent word to the VHC and WCC.”
“The US Military failed,” August bluntly said, as everyone was coming into the video feed a few minutes later.
“What? Uh what do you mean?” I stumbled to ask.
“The joint army and air force mission that was supposed to be their second line of defense after FRUSI, it failed. At least a thousand soldiers, lost. The air force lost several attack helicopters and fighter jets as well. I honestly don’t know how they will explain this to congress, let alone the public, this could be America’s largest military blunder since the Vietnam War.
“Just like that? A thousand wiped out?” Konrad asked.
“Yes,” August grimly replied.
“What now?” Reza asked.
“I guess now it’s time we intervene. I doubt the US Government will have any qualms with that, especially with the mess of this military failure, August retorted, with a high level of certainty.
“Any updates on the demon zone Kalron?” Konrad asked.
“No sir, it has remained stable at 35 kilometers across for the past few hours.”
“Let’s hope it remains that way for the time being,” Konrad replied.
“The humans should evacuate more people away from the area, we don’t want any more civilians put at risk, especially now that we know the bubble may further expand,” Uncle Rehanmir said.
“I will reach out to the Governors of Oklahoma and Arkansas to widen the civilian buffer zone, I will suggest a 10 kilometer mandatory evacuation perimeter,” Reza remarked.
“Our guards will help your agents with the mind manipulation to ensure there’s minimal resistance from the human populace.” Uncle Rehanmir said.
“That’s certainly appreciated, we only have so many vampires with the skill to influence.” Reza retorted.
“Let’s convene again in 6 hours so that we can plan our next move. Let’s use the next few hours wisely,” Uncle Rehanmir suggested.
The next few hours were hectic, people were coming in and out of the portal to fix and organize stuff for the elvish plan of action. In the meeting earlier, it was decided that each race will shore up their troops and prepare a detailed audit of what they could offer to the three-way alliance. To say that my uncles, and Yal were busy would have been an understatement. Patri even mobilized the realm’s High Circle to bolster the barriers, we didn’t want any negative energy to leak into the realm. We did not want to take any chances, having such a large amount of demon energy accumulate around Fort Smith might lead to unwanted effects in the realm.
In the middle of the night, the representatives of the alliance convened again. Joining me to represent the elves was uncle Rehanmir and Yal. For the VHC, Reza, Konrad, and Victor while Luigi, Juan, and August stood for the WCC. Kalron was also present to provide intelligence as necessary.
“We have to address this issue as soon as possible,” Reza intoned with a steely expression.
“I agree, this will just get worse if we let things be,” Luigi replied.
“How soon can we mobilize our forces?” August asked.
“I have discussed matters with several clan and pack alphas, the most optimistic timeline for us is 24 hours,” Juan replied.
“Same goes for the vampires, 24 hours would be best timeframe we could offer,” Konrad retorted. He sighed, then went on, “as it is our existing number of people from the joint training facility is not enough, we have to gather people from across the country.”
“We can mobilize our forces within 24 hours as well, as of now, we are limited by the number of people that can simultaneously crossover using the New York portal.” My uncle replied.
“Kalron, any results from the drones we sent into the demon zone?” Yal asked.
“No sir, we immediately lost contact the moment the drones crossed the threshold into demon territory.”
“I see,” Yal tersely replied, as he crossed his arms.
“How do we go about this?” Reza asked.
“I suggest we work just like last time, a coordinated three pronged attack against the enemy,” Luigi replied.
“The logistics of mobilizing such a large amount of people on short notice will be a nightmare, but we will make it work. I’m sure we can borrow some resources from the US Government as well, I don’t think they’re in any position to refuse us at this point,” Konrad said.
For the next hour or so, the group discussed the details of the alliance’s attack into Fort Smith. We gave ourselves a little bit more than 24 hours to launch the assault. It was decided that the attack will be at daybreak, the day after tomorrow.
Konrad, Luigi, and my uncle will each lead a contingent. Konrad’s contingent will be mainly composed of vampires, with elves in supporting roles. Luigi will lead a group of werewolves, with elves in supporting roles as well, while my uncle will lead an entirely elvish contingent. Each contingent will be composed of 3 groups, with each group having 12 teams, each having 8 members. For the vampires and werewolves their teams will each have 6 from their own kind with 2 elves to help with magical attacks and defense. In total there will be 108 teams involved. In total there will be 864 people involved, 432 elves, 216 vampires, and 216 werewolves. These figures exclude the people we will put on standby that number into the low hundreds. It also excludes the members of a special attack team, whose primary goal is to find and kill the demon general involved. The special team is composed of myself, Victor, August, and Nomir.
Konrad’s contingent will attack from the west, Luigi’s from the east, while my uncle’s from the south. I honestly found it quite amusing that at least half the force will be composed of elves, but I guess it can’t be helped, despite their enhanced strength and speed, and occasional special skills with vampires, the other two races are weak when it comes to magical abilities, and demons are very much in tune with dark magic.
The following day, we flew to Little Rock, using the city as the alliance’s staging area, along with Tulsa in Oklahoma. Before leaving, Greensburg, I enhanced the house’s defensive spells and made sure Dad and Leo stayed put. I asked Henry, Troy, and Mark to stay there as well, just in case a surprise attack was launched in Greensburg. You can never be too careful.
I was restless the entire day, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about what was to come. I mean this surely will be the largest magical battle in at least the last few centuries.
“Chris, you’re fidgeting,” Victor said, as he pulled me in closer to his side.
“Yes, I guess I am, but I can’t help but be nervous Victor,” I whispered to him.
“I am too.”
“Promise me you will be careful,” he said as he put his hands on my head to make me look straight into his eyes.
“I can say the same thing to you. Victor, I don’t want you to get hurt,” I said, eyes misting.
“I definitely will be careful.”
“Remember, the moment I ask you to retreat, you retreat okay? When I tell you to leave, you leave,” I said with finality. The look on my face told him that subject was not up for debate.
Victor nodded, and sighed, “Yes, but don’t be rash okay?” he said as he slowly caressed my face, the look in his eyes screaming love and devotion.
“Kalron, what is it?” I asked as I answered a call from Kalron.
“Chris, the demon bubble expanded again, it’s now 37 kilometers across.”
“When did this happen?”
“Just a few minutes ago.”
“Were any civilians affected?”
“Yes, maybe 30 or 40, they are some of the people that refused the evacuation orders, and were not reached in time by our agents for mind suggestion.”
I sighed and clicked my tongue, “I see, it can’t be helped, make sure the others know, I’m sure this change will affect how the teams will position themselves prior to entry into the zone.”
“Yes, of course Chris.”
“Let’s just hope it doesn’t get any bigger.”
“I agree with you.”
With the continued efforts of the VHC, WCC and several agents from the civil guard, we were able to make sure the national media did not take notice of the recent events in Fort Smith. Whatever news has leaked out has been contained at the local level and the recent buildup of military hardware in the area has been made to appear as part of a military drill. However, I am sure the deaths of the more than a thousand troops from the military and FRUSI will be harder to deal will later on. Questions will certainly be asked by their families. Let’s also not forget, the likely physical damage the upcoming battle in Fort Smith will result in. I’m sure such a clash among strong opposing forces will leave scars and lasting damage. I can only hope that this battle will end in our favor.
I tried my best to rest and sleep that night, but I could only muster 2 hours of sleep. I was on edge and so were the rest of the people around me. We left Little Rock several hours before dawn in a convoy of armored cars and trucks.
Most elves in this mission were dressed in black or white magically enhanced battle suits, made of the finest and strongest fabrics from the realm. Each elf had with them a 5 feet long combat staff, used by elves to enhance spell casting strength and precision. Vampires and Werewolves were dressed in dark composite material uniforms, all wielding a semi-automatic rifle supplied by vampire and werewolf companies involved in the arms industry. Each vampire and werewolf had knifes for close quarter combat as well. Despite having superhuman strength and speed, the other races, unlike the elves, couldn’t afford to leave themselves defenseless when it came to modern weaponry.
Just before sunrise, we found ourselves at the edge of the demon territory. As the sun rose in the sky, it’s easy to be fooled by the illusion of the demon barrier, looking into the other side, all we were able to see empty buildings and houses. Nothing out of the ordinary except its eerie emptiness. However, if you look close enough, you can see a slight distortion in the light, a faint clue, that hinted that something was indeed amiss.
At around 7:15 a.m. engines revved up and our respective groups made a beeline towards the demon inhabited area. Crossing the threshold, the changes were immediately felt, a dark foreboding presence made itself known, the air was awash in a malevolent aura that is hard to describe. Looking out the windows of our armored vehicle, the illusion of normalcy was gone, what we saw were damaged buildings and cars, broken windows, burnt houses, bent metal, and cracked concrete. The driver made a conscious effort to navigate the nearly unnavigable road.
Not even two kilometers into enemy territory, we had to get out of our vehicle, the road was choked by the remains of dozens of military trucks and armored vehicles. It was obvious, the army stood no chance against what attacked them, not even a single body was visible from the wreckage we saw in front of us, all that remained were the tousled remnants of what would have been a valiant military effort. Getting out of the car, the acrid smell of burnt rubber, metal, and maybe even flesh wafted through the air. The miasma of a hidden dark aura lingered in our senses. Looking up into the sky, all we could see were dark and ominous clouds, markedly different from the clear skies of beyond the veil. Thunder roared through what would otherwise be a silent domain.
The contingents entered from the same direction but entered separately as a group, meaning 12 teams entered together, being on a team of our own, and not part of a group, we directly reported to my uncle.
“Uncle, can you hear me?” I asked via a communication spell.
“Yes, I can. How are you guys doing?”
“We had to leave the vehicle, the roads are blocked.”
“Same here, we did not get even a mile into the barrier before we ran into obstruction.”
“Okay, I’ll let you know if we find or bump into anything significant. Stay safe uncle.”
We walked deeper into demon territory and the silence was unnerving, add on top of that, the eerie atmosphere just made it even worse.
“Damn, what did they do to this place,” August remarked as he looked around the damaged buildings around us.
“They completely wrecked the area.” Nomir replied as he looked on.
15 or 20 minutes later, making a bit of progress, we hear loud explosions from the distance.
“W1 has made contact, enhanced humans and Anami” we hear, via a spell from an elf member of the werewolf’s first group.
Not a moment later, several more explosions.
“V1 has made contact, enhanced humans and Anami”
“E2 has made contact, Anami and demons.”
“E3 contact, Enhanced humans.”
The communication spells continued as more and more groups made contact with the enemy. Our team made an active effort to hide from view, a powerful cloaking spell by me enhanced our chances of minimizing contact until we were much deeper into enemy territory.
“It seems like all groups have been engaged, except us.” Victor remarked as the last group confirmed contact with the enemy.
“None have even made it more than 5 kilometers into the zone,” Nomir replied.
“Yeah, seems like we’re the ones deepest. How far in are we?” I asked.
“7.7 kilometers,” Nomir replied as he continued to cautiously eye our surroundings.
The explosions from the distance continued as the opposing forces engaged each other in battle.
“How do we find the general?” August asked.
“The darkness seems to get stronger the farther in we go. I believe that’s where the general is. I will cast a tracing spell to help us have an easier time,” I replied.
“If you cast that, won’t there be a chance for the general to be able to trace you back,” Victor replied, concerned at the prospect of being caught off guard by a powerful demon general.
“If he or she comes to us, even better,” I grinned.
I cast a powerful tracing spell to locate the source of the dark aura, and the effects were immediate, in my eyes I could see a faint purple line guiding us towards our goal.
“Uncle, any updates?” I asked, concerned for the rest of our troops.
“E1 and E2 have defeated the first wave, E3 is still engaged but Yaznal has informed me that he is sure they will win.”
“That’s good, how are the others doing?”
“V2 and W3 have made it through, the rest are still in active battle. How are you four doing?”
“Seems like my cloaking spell is working, the Anamis we’ve seen flying above have ignored us.”
“Good, keep at it, stay hidden as long as possible.”
“How are the others doing?” Victor asked as I ended my conversation with my uncle.
“E1, E2, V2, and W3 are through the first wave, the rest are still engaging the enemy.”
“Hmm, at least we’re faring better than the humans.” Victor retorted, as he pointed toward the remains of a crashed military helicopter not far from us.
We were approximately 9 kilometers into the demon zone, when I felt my cloaking spell break.
“What the hell?!” I said.
“What is it Chris?” Nomir asked.
“Someone broke through my cloaking spell. We’ve been found.”
“Shit. Who could have possibly done that?” Victor asked.
It wasn’t long for us to realize who did, about 500 or 600 feet away from us on top of a three story building stood a group of 7 demons. I’m sure they were acting as scouts and if they worked together, it would not have been impossible for them to break through any type of cloaking magic.
“Demons.” I said as I pointed towards the group of demons eagerly making their way towards us, and boy were they fast. They jump across the roofs of buildings with incredible speed and ease, which made them appear to blur.
“They’re strong,” Nomir remarked as he observed our incoming opponents.
“Alpha-1, contact, demons,” I said through a communication spell.
“Be careful,” was my uncle’s only reply.
“They should be at least high silver level or low gold level by the looks of it.” I said as I watched our enemies.
“Leave them to us Chris,” Victor said with a smirk, “They’re strong, but we’re stronger and you, well, you’re way stronger.”
“They outnumber you though. Be careful.”
“We will be.”
Several seconds later, the 7 demons dropped to the ground from the top of the buildings not more than a few dozen feet from us.
“Oh my, what do we have here?” a female demon smirked as she shot us a sinister glare.
“Props to them for making it this far,” chuckled a male demon.
“I sense an elf amongst them, they used a powerful cloaking spell.” Added another female demon.
“Enough chit chat, let’s kill them. Maybe we can make them into new Anami, the master wants us to make more.” Chimed in another demon.
And not a second later, they all launched themselves at us. August met them with equal strength and speed while Victor worked on weakening them through mental attacks. Nomir on the other hand launched a litany of earth spells at the enemy. It did not take long for the entire thing to devolve into a 7 – 3 battle as I watched. August took three demons together, Victor fought two and Nomir the last two. Watching them fight the demons and keep up with them was a sight to marvel, I knew they were strong but oh boy, they have certainly improved, my team mates are certainly not people you should trifle with.
The demons launched multiple attacks of dark energy balls and beams but August and Victor were able to easily dodge them, Nomir on the other hand used earth walls to protect himself. While the fight went on, Victor’s constant mental attacks took their toll on our opponents, they started growing slower and weaker by the second. After the demons started to show signs of weakness, it did not take long for my friends to finish the job. That’s seven demons out of action and dead.
“Good job guys,” I said proudly grinning at my friends.
“Like I said, they were strong, but we’re stronger,” Victor replied as he winked at me.
“Show off,” I blurted.
“Hmm, I’m sure you’ll do better later on,” he quipped.
“Did you get anything from them?” I asked Victor.
“Yes, but not much, their master is general, Azarahel. They have already harvested the souls of thousands of humans, there should be more than 300 or 400 demons around here, but with the losses they’ve incurred since the battle began, I’m not sure how many remain.”
“Fuck, thousands already harvested?”
“But there should be at least a hundred thousand people in this area, where are they keeping the rest?” I asked.
“From what I’ve gathered they’re keeping several hundred at the Phoenix Center west of town. Not sure where they are keeping the rest.”
“Konrad’s contingent is nearest that place, I’ll let them know,” I replied. I then cast a communication spell towards Konrad and said, “We have information, there are several hundred civilians being kept at the Phoenix Center, your contingent is the closest.”
“Copy that Chris, we’ll get there as soon as we can. We’re just about a kilometer and a half away.”
“Thanks Konrad, be careful.”
I recast my cloaking spell and continued to follow the trace towards the demon general, however it did not take long for the general or generals rather to find us. Fuck, I thought there was only 1 general but how come there are two powerful beings flying towards us.
“Victor, August, Nomir, get behind me, Azarahel has found us.” I said.
The waves of darkness emanating from the creatures closing in on us, was like no other. The closer they were the more sinister the air became.
“Fuck, they’re powerful,” Nomir remarked as streaks of purple light flew towards us. The generals did not even wait to reach the ground, they both launched a barrage of dark spells at us.
I immediately conjured an energy barrier around us. The shield vibrated and hummed as powerful energy balls made contact and exploded near us.
“I’ll take on one, you guys handle the other one.” I said. My friends only nodded in recognition of my command.
As the dust settled, what stood in front of us were two beautiful ladies of what appeared to be Middle Eastern descent. Both were dressed in tight fitting combat uniforms.
“My my, what a powerful shield you have there,” the lady on the right remarked.
“Not an ordinary shield if you ask me,” replied the one from the left.
“Who are you?” I asked.
They both sniveled and sneered at that, “I am Azar,” replied the one on the left,
“I am Ahel,” added the one on the right.
They looked similar however Azar was slightly taller and had shorter hair.
“I thought generals didn’t work together,” August whispered to me.
“I thought so too.” I replied.
“Congratulations on making it this far. However, we can’t let this continue, what we have here is just the beginning. This world is filled with so much negative energy, it’s basically begging for us to rule over it,” Ahel said with a lecherous leer.
In almost an instant both demons appeared in at the cusp of my barrier, and with a coordinated attack they punched right through it. My three friends took on Azar while I took on Ahel.
On my peripheral vision, I can see Victor, August, and Nomir work hand in hand to match Azar’s blows.
“Eyes on me, young one.” Ahel said as my momentary distraction gave her an opening. It happened so fast I did not even realize what hit me, until I was groaning as my back hit the cracked wall of a building.
“You’re quite the sturdy man aren’t you?” She sneered, “Stupid too for taking me alone.”
I grinned at her, “You don’t know what you’re talking about lady,” I said as I launched fire and water based attacks one after another. I even used earth magic to protect myself from Ahel’s counterattacks.
“Mutliple elements?!” She said in shock.
“That’s not all,” I retorted as I released an 18-layered Magnus Spell against her. Ahel’s barrier broke instantly and my spell sent her flying into a building. The building crumbled as my spell released a powerful explosion.
I reached out with my senses through the wreckage, and Ahel’s presence was undiminished. The rubble moved and a second later, Ahel stood almost undamaged aside from a scratch here and there.
“You’re strong,” she remarked, “but I am way stronger, I am a general of the demon race, boy!” She screamed as she flew towards me. I caught her punch with my right hand but her fist burst into a powerful blast. I was thrown to the ground and before I knew it, Ahel was launching beam after beam towards me. I conjured a shield around me, and took the brief moment to see how my friends were doing, they were still fighting Azar but the strain was obvious on their faces, I had to help them. I conjured 3 earth and 2 ice golems to help them. The golems were barely silver level but the extra help will be certainly welcomed by my friends.
“You should think first about yourself before you think of your comrades, you’re barely holding your own,” Ahel said to me as the barrage of attacks continued against my shield.
“Let’s see about that.” I teased. I closed my eyes and reached into the depths of my power, and deep inside I could feel the ocean of energy within me, I took a deep breath and implored the chains to give way and lend me more strength. The chains listened and immediately I was flooded with a large amount of energy, my skin tingled and I was glowing bright silver at this point.
“What…” Ahel said in shock.
“You were saying,” I teased. I opened my right hand and directed a 25-layer Magnus Spell towards her. The general barely had the time to react as the beam of energy hit her, driving her into a building almost a hundred feet away. Looking at the road, I can see the damage my beam has left, the heat and pressure coming off the beam that flew not more than 5 feet above the ground, shredded the road and left a deep smoking gash.
“Ahel!” Azar screamed as she saw the other general fall, “You will pay for this, now you’ve done it.” She sneered.
Azar approached the rubble of the building where Ahel fell, and to my surprise, Ahel was still conscious, and quite mobile. Ahel shot me a teasing smile, then before hugging Azar, she said, “Now you die.” As the generals hugged, a blinding red and purple light consumed them. I held my hands in front of me to protect my eyes and what came after was even more surprising. What stood in front of us was a single lady, that bore the features of Azar and Ahel.
“Azarahel, pleased to meet you,” the woman coldly said. She shot my three companions a look and with a psionic attack sent them flying towards a truck. “I believe this fight is between you and me, elf!” she added.
“So you were just a single demon after all.” I commented.
“Yes, I am too powerful to be contained in a single body for long periods of time. However, I recognize you as someone worthy of witnessing my true strength,” the demon said to me. The road buckled and rocks started floating in the air as the demon approached me.
I realized the gravity of the situation, and didn’t even hesitate to cast two 15-layered Magnus spells from each of my hands. The beams of energy converged on Azarahel as she created a barrier around herself. The street was enveloped in bright light as my beams tried to break through her protection. I breathed a sigh of relief as her shields broke, after which I heard a loud explosion. My double attack left a large crater in the street and the buildings shook and teetered on the verge of collapse around us.
As the dust started to settle, I was aghast to see the shadow of a standing woman. “That hurt!” Azarahel snarled, as she flew towards me, she formed a dark ball of energy on her hands and released a dark beam of red and purple energy towards me. My barrier instantly broke and I was sent more than a hundred feet into the air, before I realized I was falling, I was hit by a bombardment of attacks. I barely had time to recover and think, fuck! The onslaught was unrelenting and I honestly felt that I was about to die.
Seconds later, I fell to the ground, groaning and whimpering. Azarahel approached me and I could see that my previous attack has at least injured her. I felt my chains give way more and another surge of energy flooded me, and with that I found the strength to jump away from the demon in front of me.
“I see you’re still alive,” she smiled at me, “not for long.”
I launched a powerful 12-layered fire-based Magnus Spell towards her, she didn’t have the time to escape. The fire consumed her in a pillar of flames as she screamed in pain.
“You will pay for this! I will not take any more insult from a mere elf!” she said, as she broke free from my fire spell and attacked me. The attacks coming from Azarahel did not stop as I kept up with her punches and kicks in lightning speed.
While we were trading blows, something happened inside me, I felt the chains continue to give way and then I felt my first tattoo tingle. The tattoo of the House of Maktar shined and then the bracelet that triggered the tattoo appeared on my left wrist. Then my second tattoo did the same, and not a moment later, The Blade of Tarud was in my right hand. With a powerful burst of energy I sent Azarahel flying away from me. I pumped energy into the bracelet and was surprised to see it transform into a circular shield, I did the same to the blade, and it turned into a long sword. As Azarahel recovered from my attack, she was surprised to see the things I had in hand, “Where did you get those?!”
“Why? Recognize any of these?” I teased.
She groaned in anger as she conjured a dozen hell hounds in front of her. The hounds were the size of large bulls and were covered in black and purple flames. The hell hounds did not waste time, attacking me, but I slashed through them with ease.
“You will pay for that!” She said. Azarahel then started chanting and the clouds above us rumbled and swirled. In the middle of the spinning clouds, came a large black serpentine dragon made of dark energy. The dragon roared and its scream shook the earth.
“Guys! Get out of here!” I said to my three companions, “It’s not safe.”
“But…” Victor complained as he was helping Nomir on his feet.
“I will be okay, just go!” I formed an energy bubble around them and sent them flying away.
The demon dragon launched itself towards me as I heard Azarahel laugh from the distance, “This will be your end!” she said with certainty. But before the dragon made contact with Maktar’s shield, My third tattoo tingle and shined and the ring of Eyaha appeared on my left ring finger, and from it came another surge of energy.
Feeling rejuvenated, I hurled myself towards the dragon, I slashed it multiple times much to Azarahel’s horror.
“How?” she asked in disbelief, as her beloved dragon disintegrated right before her eyes. Her expression of surprise turned sour and she lunched a powerful beam of dark energy towards me. However, Maktar’s shield held on and it redirected the beam towards the structures nearby.
Azarahel was more than angry now, she gave me a vile look as I felt her pull more energy to the surface. She transformed into her demon form, now slightly more muscular, with three horns, red eyes, and a long thin tail with a sharp edge. With a loud roar, the demon flung herself towards me, but the relics from the three houses helped me keep her at bay. I found an opening, and was able to throw the demon several feet away from me. The three relic’s disappeared to my alarm but my fourth tattoo activated itself, and I felt the chains rustling and moving inside me, then on the palm of my right hand shot out a long golden and silver chain. The chains of Haldruin, the chains flew through the air and coiled around the whimpering demon.
“I think, this is where you end.” I said to her. With the demon immobilized, I took a moment to concentrate on a 30-layered Magnus Spell. I sent my Magnus spell rushing through the chains and Azarahel was consumed by a bright white flame.
Azarahel dropped to the ground and then the chains returned inside my body. I was surprised to find the demon still breathing, she was weak, but still alive, damn, she’s tough. Azarahel gave me a weak smile then said, “out of tricks young elf?”
“You might be wondering why I’m so strong, well the secret is not only have I used countless human souls to create my army, I have also consumed them myself. Throughout our fight, I must have burned through more than a thousand, if it weren’t for them, I would have surely been defeated by now.”
“What?” I asked, in equal disbelief and revulsion at the idea of her using souls as a source of power.
“They don’t call me the soul demon for nothing, that is my secret, a secret I have never shared with my fellow generals.”
“Then why are you telling me this?”
“Because, you’re going to die anyway,” she said as the staggered to her feet.
“I don’t think you’re in any position to say that,” I quipped.
“Oh believe me young boy, you haven’t seen the last of me.” Then she pulled put a dark stone out of nowhere and out of it I felt waves upon waves of pain and despair. I jolted back as the dark presence made itself known, “can you feel their pain?” she teased, “I have ripped out the souls of maybe ten thousand humans for this, I have distilled their pain into this stone of despair.” Azarahel slowly caressed the dark stone on her hand, then she shot me a knowing grin, “Thanks for the fight, but this is where you die.” I watched in fascination as the demon pushed the stone into her chest. For several seconds Azarahel squirmed and writhed in discomfort, then the effects of the stone kicked in, Azarahel grew larger, and now stood maybe 25 or 30 feet tall, her skin scaly, and her eyes crimson red, her tongue now forked like a serpent, and her tail now larger than before, she even grew large bat like wings.
“Tell your people to get away from here” I hear from a voice in my head.
“There’s no time to ask, she is dangerous, get your people away, now!” added another.
I did not question the intention of the voices, I cast a large scale communication spell, “Get away from the zone now! Elves, use transportation bubbles to get your teams back to the edge of the veil, this is an order, do it now!” I screamed into their heads.
Azarahel looked around as if to get used to her new form, the air was heavier now, and even more vile. Looking through the distance, I see streaks of bright white light flying away. I breathed a sigh of relief as I realize everyone heeded my call.
Azarahel let out a loud roar and the buildings around us crumbled from the sheer power of her scream. The demon opened her mouth and breathed purple flames across the area, “This is my final form, you stand no chance,” she said. Her voice was deep, and demonic at the same time.
I launched a 20-layered fire based Magnus Spell from my right hand and another 20-layered water based Magnus Spell from my left. My attack pushed Azarahel several feet back but it was evident that the damage was barely enough to slow her down.
The demon clapped both her hands in the air, then a large ball of dark energy formed on her hands. She started a demonic incantation, which only sent shivers down my spine. It was as if she was calling a greater darker power from beyond, the accumulation of negative energy in the air was palpable, and if it weren’t for the adrenaline, I’m sure I would be heaving my guts up in sickness right now.
From the dark energy mass, a large dark reptilian eye appeared, “Eye of Darkness!” She screamed, as a powerful beam of light flew toward me. I barely escaped, but good thing I did, coz a powerful explosion destroyed several blocks not more than a mile away from me, where the attack hit as it missed me.
Azarahel redirected her gaze towards my new position, the reptilian eyes, still looked straight at me, “Peer into the darkness beyond!” she teased. The eyes squinted a bit and then I felt a dark energy take possession of my being. I couldn’t move and my muscles refused to budge. All my energy suppressed. I floated helplessly in the air as a large amount of malevolent energy burrowed deeper into me. My four tattoos were brilliantly shining, but whatever magic Azarahel, or the eye has cast upon me, is successfully restraining my power.
I heard wails, cries, and screams of agony as I stood unmoving in the air. ‘So this is the power of despair huh?’ I thought to myself as I considered the inevitability of my death. As the darkness continued to consume me, I couldn’t help but embrace the pain of hundreds if not thousands of hopeless souls. At some point I caved in, and even came to relish the very nature of the pain. As I accepted my fate, something else awakened in me.
“So how does it feel to be consumed by the pain of lost souls,” Azarahel teased. The eye in the dark ball continued to observe me as it poured more and more of the darkness into me.
“I feel nothing,” I coldly replied. I was surprised to find myself being able to reply, but I was also hit with the sudden realization that the voice was not mine and that it appears that my consciousness has distanced itself from whoever was wrapped under Azarahel’s spell.
Azarahel gasps in surprise, and the eye showed surprise as well.
I broke free from the spell with a burst of black energy of my own.
“How… how, impossible!” Azarahel said, alarm clear in her voice, the eye in the dark ball she was holding stared, surprised as well.
“How dare you lay a hand on me.” I replied, my voice cold and distant and still not my own, “creatures like you could only hope to match me. You need to remember your place.”
Azarahel growled then breathed purple flames on my body. However, the flames did nothing to me.
“Is that all?” I asked.
Azarahel held tighter to the dark ball she had in hand and said, “Eye of Darkness!” Dark energy started to engulf my body again, but not more than a few seconds later, they were extinguished by my very presence.
“Foolish!” I said.
Azarahel stood surprised and gaped at me.
“My turn,” I coldly remarked. I pointed my right index finger towards the sky, a small dark ball of energy formed on its tip, “I cannot offer salvation, all I have for you is destruction.” A dark beam of energy shot towards the clouds from my finger and the clouds rumbled and glowed red and orange. Not more than a second later, hundreds of bright energy beams rained down on the entire territory, and deep inside I knew those beams were making their way towards every single one of the 309 demons that remained in Azarahel’s territory. It was as if it rained fire, but it was way worse than that, what I called upon was the rain of divine retribution. Loud explosions could be heard across the land, as each of the beams hit and killed all of Azarahel’s demons without fail.
“Impossible,” Azarahel stood in shock and awe.
Then in front of me, I conjured the unreadable book that I have tirelessly attempted to decipher. I knew I was supposed to be surprised but then again I felt detached from the entire situation. “This place is tainted, it is beyond redemption,” I said, the scripts on book were now shining bright silver. “Third Song of Destruction, verse 1 to 7,” I flatly said. Then almost instantly a duet of foreboding music from a violin and cello echoed through the air. Each note sending a powerful vibration throughout the land.
“What are you doing?” Azarahel said as the events unfolding in front of her, kept her from moving.
“What is the point of telling you? You will never comprehend the magnificence of what you are witnessing.” I callously and distantly replied.
As the song reached its peak, the buildings and structures shook, the grass and trees wilted, it did not take long for everything to catch fire.
By the end of the song, we stood in a desolate land. Ashes floating in the air, buildings burnt beyond recognition, vegetation nonexistent.
Azarahel snapped out of reverie, but the eye she was holding looked at me with much trepidation. The demon general conjured dozens of black energy balls in front of her and threw them at me. Not even a single attack made it close, as they all disintegrated into thin air.
I gave her a disinterested look, then flipped towards another page of the book, “Second Song of Death, Verse 1 to 12.” Then ominous music from horns and drums filled the air.
“What are you doing to me?” Azarahel said in a panic, her dark ball now extinguished and her body shaking from the magic of the song. I ignored her question as I allowed the music to reach its peak. As the song continued, the entire area was engulfed in a sea of black flames while Azarahel started to break apart into fragments of dark energy. I watched in cold blood as the demon general died in front of me, ripped apart into shreds similar to how she has ripped apart the souls of thousands of innocent lives.
“Fourth Song of Death Verse 1 to 8,” I said as I floated alone in the empty expanse of the now destroyed city. A slow yet powerful song emerged, with a piano playing at its very core began. As the song continued, the fragments of Azarahel that yearned for their return to the flow were instead sucked into my body.
As the song ended, I fully absorbed Azarahel just like I did with Yonthar. Moments later I was knocked out of my trance like state, and fell to the ground. I landed with my back on the ground, Looking straight up as I witnessed the clouds part, letting sunshine through. I felt the veil surrounding the city disappear, as I breathed a sigh of relief and fell asleep.
Thanks to @tigg615 for taking the time to help edit this story despite his busy schedule. I appreciate it buddy! Really, thanks.
ch111 is already up for editing, guess that means I have to get back to writing 112 😂