Chapter IX : The New World III

Chapter IX : The New World

“ Conflagration ”

Beast against sword, Eight and Errol clashed. The first collision was so forceful that both fighters were thrown back. Still nimble and fast within her black armor, the Overlord merely flipped in the air, landed on the ground and left a deep impression of her tracks, then she dashed back into battle. Eight was momentarily stunned as her dragon’s head was driven backwards, but she managed to regain control just as Errol brought her sword down upon them. The vine beast’s spikes met the sword’s thorny edges and they momentarily sparked due to friction.

Errol was strong but Eight was equally powerful. When the Overlord kicked off the dragon’s head to get ready for another attack, her opponent lunged at her with its mouth agape. She didn’t know if the black armor could indefinitely take damage, therefore Errol lodged her sword in the beast’s mouth. With her hand firm on its hilt and her armored arm up against its blade, she kept her weapon in place. The dragon crashed through ground, stones, rocks and even the foot of the Iron Wall. Its huge body also upturned everything that it slithered through.

It was a one-on-one fight, but the damage to the area beyond 54’s border looked like the aftermath of a porcupig stampede. The dragon soon raised its head above the cloud of dirt and dust. With Errol still in its mouth, the beast reared its face towards the Iron Wall itself and repeatedly bashed the Overlord against it.  Black shards flew in the air as the repetitive strikes broke off parts of the mountain range. In the distance, volcano wolves howled in response to the unnatural loud sound which resonated across their territory.

We should end this, said the voices that Errol could hear, End this now. But the Overlord shook her head and with renewed strength, she pushed the dragon away from her and kicked its chin upward. With its neck exposed, she aimed for Eight once again, but the copy’s position was already lower than before. Trust us, the voices said, It will rain soon. Errol closed her eyes for a moment and then she pulled her sword out of the dragon’s neck. She kicked off of the beast and landed on the foot of the Iron Wall.

With one powerful leap, she reached a height that was a few meters above her target. As soon as she was airborne, black stems emerged on the shoulders of Errol’s armor. They grew longer until each one was thrice her arm’s length. Many fine black strands then formed net-like features beneath the stems. It resembled the structures called wings which extinct ancient Earth creatures, “bats”, once had. Due to the terrible heat of the sun, almost everything that could fly died out; the fate of flying creatures was sealed when dandelions evolved and began to hunt them. But at that moment, it seemed as if a creature of the past reappeared in front of the humans.

The townsfolk looked on, for the massive black figure was visible even from the farthest end of 54. It raised something over its head and the historians hurriedly took out pen and paper to chronicle that eventful occurrence. Above the grounded dragon, Errol hovered. Her wings caught the wind and the Ancient Ones grabbed even more of their brothers and sisters as gusts carried minuscule tardigrades to that part of the World. Part of the collective consciousness of the planet, the newly-arrived tardigrades knew what was going on and, in fact, had leapt into the eastbound winds so that they could join the battle.

“ Fuel. “

Through Errol’s eyes of Black Blood, she could see the white specks which surrounded Eight, who in turn was completely puzzled as to how her target remained in the air. Conversion, alchemy, whatever humans called it- the World’s tardigrades changed the composition of the air around Errol’s target as their champion kept her great sword raised over her head. The sun’s face was almost hidden by dark, grey clouds which moved in from the desert, but the tardigrades assured her that there was still enough time.

“ Heat. “

The white creatures then moved against her sword, and soon, even though they were incredibly tiny, they created enough friction which surrounded the thorns with visible blinding-white sparks.  Errol breathed in deeply as she used all of her strength to bring down her great sword. As her movement threw the weapon downward, the tardigrades paved the way for its descent by making the air less resistant. Errol’s completely black eyes looked at the dragon which had its mouth wide open and full of spikes.

“ Air. “

The Overlord’s massive wings then flapped downward. Its wind made the sword descend faster and as the sparks met the inflammable cloud which the tardigrades created around the dragon, their target went up in flames. Alarmed and confused, Eight soon panicked as bright-white flames ate her summoned beast. She screamed in horror as the searing heat burned through her clothes. Soon, her flesh felt as if it was being torn off by many small hands. Her hair was instantly consumed by Errol’s blaze while the Overlord herself flew down into the fire.

Errol picked up her great sword. It was soon consumed by the blaze, but the bone knife remained. Her black armor, unlike Eight’s dragon, was not made of flammable substance. Eight staggered towards the Overlord. She held her burning hand out but the long-haired girl screamed in horror when she saw that the fire burned her skin off. Eight looked at her own hands and saw that while her flesh was being burned off, it was also, at the same time, trying to regenerate. Around her, the flames continued to dance. She tried to run towards the Iron Wall, but the flames followed her. She tried to cover herself with dirt, but that merely intensified the pain as the rough substance rubbed against her bare flesh. Soon, the immortal Eight was nothing but a walking mess of burning flesh and bones. It was an eternal inferno.

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