Chapter VI : Journey Home II

Chapter VI : Journey Home

“ Deicide “

Mangled corpses and bleached bones flew through the air as the scythed Six crashed through the ground. Errol and Hunter had switched opponents; at that moment, the Overlord was not about to let her target recover. She jumped and intended to land on Six’s body with full force, but the copy rolled out of the away. On Hunter’s side, the tamer held his ground just fine. The vine covering on his forearms were thicker than the ones on the rest of his body due to that other Six’s inclination to punch and kick her target’s torso.

While Six tried to remain fully synchronized, Errol and Hunter limited their synchronization. They could feel and see each others’ movements, and their thoughts and strategies remained coordinated; however, neither one restricted nor directly controlled the other. Six was an individual with two bodies and that was both her strength and weakness. On the other hand, Errol and Hunter were two completely separate individuals who had a connection; therefore, they could play all of their individual strengths while covering for one another’s weaknesses.

Hunter found an opening and he took it. The tamer ducked just as Six moved in; he grabbed her torso and ran forward until they fell down on the ground. The boy held the little copy’s arms over her head as he sat on her stomach. It was a surprising sight, especially to their comrades who’d just arrived at the scene.

“ Oh my~ “ Rina gasped.

The historian held Errol’s book to hide her blushing face as she looked at what Hunter was doing to his opponent. Thyme was equally awe-struck until Steel lifted the couple up and dragged them out of harm’s way. Errol had just kicked the other Six over and the copy’s body struck down a toadstool. Sunlight began to flood the cold sand as a domino effect was triggered and more toadstools fell over. Puppy, who’d been underground all that time, appeared from the sand and opened his shell to let the humans in. They eagerly complied with the offer as part of the toadstool colony fell down around them.

Under the brightly shining sun, grey mist in that area faded away. Linnorm peered between two toadstools to see how the humans were doing, but it did not interfere when it saw Errol who used her thorny vines to swipe the falling toadstools away. Hunter still held his Six down and, surprisingly, he had been able to call forth a protective half-dome of vines. The Six who was targeted by Errol tried to stand up, but her leg was stuck under many skeletons.  As the Overlord walked towards her, Six made vines grow out of the toadstools and they rushed through the air towards their target. It was a convenient strategy, but a useless one nonetheless. Errol simply waved her hand and the vines disintegrated into dust.

But the cheap shots did not end there. The Six who was pinned down by Hunter attacked him with her own vines but, although the tamer’s lower right arm was scraped by that attack, he managed to jump back just in time to avoid getting impaled. The Black Blood really did help; even though he’d been fighting for a while, Hunter did not feel tired and his body felt light. However, his mind was getting a bit foggy since there were too many things to think of all at once. Errol saw the attack and felt the weariness in the boy’s mind, therefore she ended their synchronization. A stinging sensation on her right arm remained at the exact same spot where Hunter was scraped. The tamer’s attacker tried to stand up but she froze in place…

Completely black eyes burned with a rare emotion : rage. Errol walked over to the incapacitated Six and,  with most of the incredible strength that she could muster, she stomped on the leg which was covered by skeletons. Both of Six’s bodies howled in pain although only the scythed one’s leg was mangled by the attack. The copies’ eyes returned to their normal appearance; the pure white color was gone, thus signifying the end of their synchronization. But Errol was not done with them.

“ Gods? “ the Overlord grabbed the injured Six by the hair, “ I guess I’ll have the pleasure of killing gods. “

Errol dragged her copy along the ground; Six kicked and screamed while her other body, still numb from the pain on her leg, struggled to get up. It was the first time that Six ever felt that much pain. Nothing stood in her way until she faced the Overlord. When Errol reached one of the toadstools which remained upright, she lifted Six so that they ended up face to face.

“ Seven said that you’re gods? “ she had a grin so wide and scary that her copy just stammered.

Before Six could reply, Errol bashed her copy’s face against the sturdy toadstool. Blood splattered against the aged plant and Six spat out a familiar black liquid along with some of her teeth. Her other half yelled since, although they no longer shared any sensations, she knew that if Errol continued… it would be the end of her. And Errol did continue. Strike after strike, bash after bash, the toadstool shook as Six’s face met its rock-like resilience. Black blood flowed to the root of the plant and brain matter soon broke out of its shell.

“ Errol! “ the tamer yelled as the other Six, though without sign of illness or injury, slumped down on the ground.

Hunter approached the intact Six cautiously. He poked it with a skeleton’s detached leg bone and when the body did not move, he lifted it by a shoulder to make it face the sun. The look of terror on the dead Six’s face was undeniable. Errol still held onto the bloody Six’s corpse but it did not take long before it disintegrated into black ash. The other body also disintegrated and the ashes flew in the wind for a while before it dove into the sand, and then it vanished from sight.

“ Gods huh… gods… “ the Overlord, wide-eyed, muttered repeatedly.

Linnorm, who watched the fight with worried eyes, slithered to Hunter’s side and nudged him gently. The tamer, although slightly afraid of the violence that he just witnessed, walked towards Errol. He didn’t know what to say; he was never good with words, and his actions had always been lacking as well.

“ I don’t know if I’m still me… “ the black-haired girl said without turning to looked at Hunter, “ Every time I fight, I feel as if I’m becoming more like them. “

When she traveled, she didn’t have to fight. Errol often wandered with Puppy and the pair merely dove into the ground at the first sign of trouble. Eventually, she had to face her first three copies, but those battles were few and infrequent. She felt as if she was losing her self who had a name, the one that the World knew as Errol, the one who could relate to humans and understand some of their emotions. She felt as if she was going back to who she was during the Age of the Sun, the nameless one who was known only as the Overlord, the one who was feared and hated.

“ For the first time in my life, I felt that I could really do things. I felt powerful because of the Black Blood,  “ Hunter approached Errol and put a warm hand on her shoulder, “ I became overconfident and even tried to control you… I almost forgot that we were supposed to fight together.“

The girl’s shoulders shook. The boy knew what it meant.

“ You wrote about yourself in that history book. You knew who you were and you tried to change, “ Hunter suddenly dashed in front of Errol so that she could not turn away, “ But you can’t always try to do it alone… “

Errol buried her face on the boy’s chest. She could feel his warmth; she could hear his heart which began to beat faster as he put his arms around her and held her close. Something warm trickled down her cheeks; she hated those droplets for they made her feel weak. Behind her, Puppy emerged from the sand and the humans hopped out of the tardigrade’s back. Steel, his own eyebrows raised, playfully covered Thyme’s and Rina’s eyes as they shot teasing glances at the flustered tamer. He saved the bad news for later. Errol’s mind, body and heart deserved a bit of rest.

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