The Story So Far
Solomon, a mercenary turned Seeker of Truth, had aided the Monster Lord and Heavenly Knights in stopping Akame Artiste from utilizing the former Enforcers of Truth, the mysterious dark powers of Shadow and the White Rabbit to conquer the world.
Prologue; Three years later.
It's been five years...since that day...
"And to think, the absolute worse that happened to me," I began to say as I looked at my mechanical left arm and legs. "was losing some limbs."
"Still not over it?" Lucia asked.
"No, just looking back to this crazy life I've lived in the past 5 years." I said.
Lucia stood from her bed and walked up to me as I was looking at my artificial limbs. I had lived in her mansion ever since I helped stop Akame. "I'm sure Promestein is also shocked you served her this long." Lucia said. "I didn't even serve her a week before betraying her." Lucia then smirked. "Oh although I can't say you've stayed entirely loyal. How many times have you snuck off to train at Thunder Mountain?"
I looked shocked as she had known about that.
"Why do you keep training?" Lucia asked. "There's no more fighting."
"I know," I said. "it's just....kind of a way of release. Like something calls me to unlock my full potential there."
"Release you say?" Lucia asked. "You could've just asked." She said as she teasingly bound me with her tentacle arm. However she didn't get a reaction.
I was just standing there, eyes opened wide and red, just like when I went berserk and killed Sophira. I was sweating and breathing heavily.
"Solomon?" Lucia asked. "Solomon!"
I snapped back to normal, panting as I looked around.
"They've been happening more frequently." Lucia said. "Are you sure you're alright?"
"Yea..." I said. After I awoke from that coma two years ago. Very occasionally I'd get flashes back to that crazed self of mine I thought was just Hyde's remains. They appear like visions, and this one was one I've seen before; An ancient battle, Angels and Monsters, crashes, flames, thundclaps and screams. It usually ends with one, loud warcry. Lucia snapped me out of it before it happened. Me and Lucia grabbed our things and headed to the Academy of Truth's construction site.
Act 1: Destruction's Return.
Chapter 1; The Academy of Truth...Under Construction.
We both arrived at the site. While progress is definitely being made, resources for construction have been making it slow and steady. The approved construction site was the abandoned Lady's Village. The monsters who lived here alongside the monster Cassandra have all ran off after Luka and Alice defeated Cassandra. They decided not to live there anymore and just work towards adapting to coexistance. So no real harm came.
"I can't believe a year's waiting for the Monster Lord's approval." Promestein said. "I'm still grateful however, despite her incredibly long time to decide set us back."
"Still, this is a wonderful idea." Lucia said. "A great way to allow you to continue your goals."
"However it's restrained." Promestein said. "Thanks to someone's suggestions." She then glanced at me.
"Look Alice and the others would've never said yes if they weren't allowed to inspect." I said looking at the designs Promestein had drawn out whilst watching the chimera's construct it. "I'd be suspicious too with your idea of underground laboratories. Like you wanna build a second Drain Lab or something."
"Who's turn is it to watch us this time?" Lucia asked.
"The Heavenly Knights are usually quite active and make their presence obvious." Promestein said. "So it's very likely to be Shadow then."
"You can never find that man." Lucia said. "Solomon you think you can scan his location."
"He's here." I said. "Don't bother looking, his Shadow Meld became so advanced that it feels like he's in another dimension." I then scanned around for his movement. Of all those in the Monster Lord's courts, Shadow might have been the most suspicious. I can't blame him honestly, especially considering the tragic misuse of his powers and all that both the Seekers and other villains have put him through. He did seem quite relieved that I brought up the right for their overseeing of the construction.
"Solomon, can you go to the sublevel and make sure it's being dug through properly?" Promestein asked. "Solomon?"
I was staring off into the distance, another flash had taken me; It appeared to be a strange island. Nowhere I had ever seen before.
"So you think this little pit will be enough?" A female voice said. The same voice I always hear. "Too gutless to execute me yourself? You already won, yet you won't finish me off? That will be your downfall."
"Save your words." Another familiar voice said. "You will be trapped in here until I'm certain you have learned your lesson. You were once a great ally. A great friend. A great daughter..."
"Very well....master." The first voice had said. "But when I've escaped and slaughtered more of those brats up there and have a blade at your throat. Be prepared to admit to your stupidity before I strike you down."
"Solomon?" Shadow asked calmly as he tapped my shoulder.
I then jumped and panted. "Shadow? Sorry...I just..." I began to say.
"I saw." Shadow said. "What was it this time?"
"An island, two figures, one sounded like Master Raijin." I said.
"Perhaps you need to get this looked into." Shadow said. "If one involved your master, then talk with her about it."
"Then I'll have to sneak off again." I said.
"No need," Promestein said as she walked up. "Lucia and I have been concerned and I think it's time you take care of this. We'll be fine on our own, just do what it takes to stop your episodes."
I nodded. "Thanks, I'll try to make it quick." I said then teleported away to Thunder Mountain.
Promestein and Shadow looked off as I warped away. "Every time he has one of those flashbacks, he always describes the same figure. Perhaps something like that is out there, and he's being warned of it." Promestein said. "Perhaps you should go with him just in case?"
Shadow calmly closed his eyes. "I have it handled already." He said.
Promestein then rolled her eyes and went back to work. "'Her'? So be it." Promestein said.
Chapter 2; Thunder Mountain. Raijin's concerns.
I arrived at the peak of Thunder Mountain. Although you wouldn't say her training grounds were popular, some fighters have braved the elements to seek a chance to train with her. Jade was laying around off to the side as Raijin, Spirit of Lightning was training a few new students.
"Master Raijin?" I asked.
"Ah, Solomon. Snuck off from that academy you Seekers are building?" Raijin asked.
"No it's something I have to talk with you about." I said. "In private."
"I see," Raijin said. "Jade, take over for me whilst I speak with Solomon."
"Yes master." Jade said as she yawned and resumed where Raijin left off. Raijin and I then walked within her quarters as we talked.
"So, what is it you wish to talk about?" Raijin asked. Relaxing on her cloud.
"Well, I've brought this up before, but lately it's been happening more often." I said. "I get these flashes, images and flashbacks to the past. My eyes glow red and I see from the perspective of this figure."
"Anything noticeable about this figure?" Raijin asks. "Appearance? Voice? Personality?"
"Well, it's female obviously." I said. "You've met her before I believe. One flash I had recently was of you two speaking with each other. At some island."
Raijin then looked nervous as I mentioned that. "What did I say to her? In your most recent one?" She asked. Sitting up on her cloud.
"I recall you referred to her as an ally, a friend, and even...a daughter?" I said.
Raijin's expression turned cold. She then looked at me and removed my goggles. "Are you sure? Don't lie to me Solomon." She then demanded.
"I wouldn't lie Master Raijin." I said. "Who is this figure?"
Raijin then shook as she was sweating. "I must confirm...Solomon," She then stared deep into my eyes. "do what you did when you killed Sophira. I sensed something from within when you and I fought together but I must see it from outside."
I took a breath and exhaled as I closed my eyes, concentrating. I then opened my eyes as they were now red like before.
Raijin concentrated as she stared into my eyes. She then let go of me and backed away. "No...how could I have not seen it before?" Raijin said.
"Seen what?" I asked as I returned to normal.
"That figure...you've just reminded me of something greatly important." Raijin said. "It...no she, and I have indeed met. We've battled, both alongside and against one another. She's a great evil, and your visions may be the key to preventing another catastrophe."
"If it's that bad, then what do we do?" I asked. "Who is this thing that I keep seeing?"
"Solomon," Raijin began to explain. "there's something I need you to do for me. I haven't done this in so long, and if I were to do it, the world would be in grave danger. It shall answer your questions as well."
"What is it?" I asked.
Raijin then got off her cloud as it vanished. "Long ago...the figure in your flashes, was a pupil of mine. She was of a rare tribe of Dark Dragonkin. They often sent their strongest warriors to serve powerful monster figures. She was among my first pupils before the Great War..." Raijin and I then walked outside. "I'd send Jade for this, but Jade met her before...she fears her."
I was surprised. As Jade was one of Raijin's eldest and most powerful pupils. "You can count on me." I told her. "It's the least I could do after all you've done for me."
"That's all great Solomon." Raijin said. "But she is not like any monster you've faced before. Nothing that mad scientist you call a mentor created is as fearsome as this one. She will not tease or tempt you with pleasure, she has absolutely no regrets or remorse. She will kill you with zero hesitation. I need to be absolutely certain you will be fine on this mission."
I nodded my head and readied my weapons. "I've faced true terror when we fought Akame." I said. "I've witnessed and forced the hand of some of the world's strongest monsters. Even Shadow was one of my greatest adversaries, and you know he never hesitates to kill. You can count on me."
Raijin smiled. "I knew it's right to have faith in you." She said. "Jade! Come here please."
Jade then flew over to us. "What is it Master Raijin?" Jade asked.
"Take Solomon to Black Storm Asylum." Raijin said.
Jade shook as Raijin mentioned the location. "Oh no, I don't wanna see her again!" Jade said.
"Take him at once." Raijin said. "And don't chicken out, I'll know if you left him there."
"Come on Jade!" I said. "You got me alongside you."
Jade gulped then lowered herself. "Hop on then." Jade said. "When this is over, you owe me big time Solomon."
I was confused, how could Jade fear anything as the legendary Jade Thunder Dragon. I hoped on her back as we flew off.
The two of us flew through the clouds. Southwest past the lands.
"So where is this Asylum at?" I asked Jade.
"About 500 kilometers west of the Sabasa Coastline." Jade said. "It's a desolate, near-uninhabitable island. One massive prison, once for a single prisoner. A few dozen years back, the Monster Lord requested it be expanded and reinforced for other powerful prisoners."
"So what exactly is Raijin so worked up about?" I asked. "Who is the main prisoner?"
"1,000 years ago;" Jade began to explain. "She was one of Raijin's strongest pupils, cause of many massacre's during the Great Monster Wars. A hero amongst the monster-kind. But as the centuries passed, she grew dark, crazed and hungry for more power. She no longer wanted to defend our world, but obliterate it. She is," Jade then gulped nervously. "Abbadon, the Destroyer."
My eyes opened wide. That name, it's the same monster Tyrannea was based off of. The legendary monster who invented the Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade. She was imprisoned this whole time. "She's..alive?" I asked nervously.
"Indeed. And her power continues to spike up as she grows enraged." Jade said. "Raijin requires you to execute her. Kill her whilst she's restrained. Master could never do it herself...the two, formed a great bond as they fought together and trained together. Abbadon was like a daughter to Raijin."
I calmed myself down. "Then I must execute her, as Master Raijin could never do it. And you're obviously too scared." I said.
"I'm not scared!" Jade said. "We're almost there...unfortunately."
I chuckled as we flew down now, towards the asylum.
Chapter 3; Black Storm Asylum. Abbadon the Destroyer's domain.
We descended through some storm clouds as we approached the asylum. The island seemed impossible to land any ship on as Jade landed on a small island a bridge across from the asylum. I jumped off Jade and walked towards the bridge.
"You sure you don't wanna catch up before I do it?" I asked Jade jokingly.
"This is serious Solomon," Jade said. "but if you're not afraid then I have faith in you."
I then walked across the bridge to the asylum entrance. I saw two guards at the entrance. The two noticed Jade then looked back at me before opening the door for me. "Go to the warden first." One guard had said.
I walked inside the asylum and went down the stairs to the jail cells. I looked around the halls of cells. Eight sectors, each filled with dark figures. As I walked passed the fifth sector, I heard a voice.
"Well, I knew I smelled a familiar handsome man." A woman's voice said. I turned to her cell and recognized her immediately.
"Lily?" I asked. "I never knew they moved you to a different jail."
Lily sat calmly on her bed as she saw me. "Well I escaped Witch Hunt's prison. Perverted guard couldn't resist letting me break my seal. But I was hunted down before I could kill that traitorous wench Lucia."
I raised my eyebrow. "You couldn't even withstand her the first time." I said. "And don't get any ideas, she couldn't even defeat me." I was about to walk away before I drew my blade. "And that 'traitorous wench' is my girlfriend, I'd suggest you keep your trap shut."
Lily was startled. "You're even stronger than I recall." Lily said. "But I'm more shocked you're dating her. I guess you really did like visiting me back then."
I rolled my eyes and sheathed my blade. I walked off and found another guard examining the cells. "Excuse me, I'm looking for the Warden." I said.
"Speaking to her." She said, she was an adult goblin girl with a large hammer. "And who are you?"
"I'm Solomon," I said. "Raijin sent me...about Abbadon."
The Warden then looked shocked. "Wow...Master Raijin finally sent a proper executioner?" She said. "The very few she's sent, Abbadon scared them off. Even with her chained down and having her power restrained."
"She's heavily restrained and power is restrained?" I asked. "Perfect. Lead the way."
The two of us walked through the prison, going deeper and deeper towards Abbadon's cell. "So you trained with Master Raijin?" I asked.
"Me, my mother, grandmother..." The Warden said. "But I know potential, and you're much better to do this job than any I've seen." She then stopped at a large set of iron doors. "Here we are." She then opened the doors to reveal a bridge to an elevator. We walked inside the elevator and descended slowly to a circular chasm with a massive cell in the center.
"Deep..." I said.
"She's right in the center." The Warden said. "Grab your sword. Show zero mercy."
I nod and do as she says we walk out the elevator as it lands. I notice the entire large cell is surrounded by siege crossbows. The Warden gulps as she opens the bridge to the cell. Where a strange, magically charged, stone suit chained to the pit surrounding the platform inside the cell sat. The suit inhaled and exhaled slowly.
"Abbadon?" The Warden asked, then listened for a few moments. "Good she's asleep. Make it quick."
I nodded and walked towards the cell. As I did, flashes rushed through my mind rapidly. Even restrained, the aura of death and destruction she gives is intense. It even attempted to force me back. But I recalled everything I faced before; Tamamo no Mae, Akame with the White Rabbit, being up close and personal with Black Alice herself. This monster shouldn't intimidate me any more then them. I stood beside her and raised my blade.
"Huh...one who didn't crap himself?" A voice asked. "Not bad...Raijin sent the right one this time. How unfortunate."
I remained silent. I knew it was her.
"What's wrong? We've never met, shouldn't be an issue." Abbadon said calmly. "Oh? Perhaps we should introduce ourselves; I'm Abbadon. And who's this...delicious smelling executioner?"
I exhaled. Just another prisoner trying to bid for her life. I hear them all the time in the Drain Lab. I then swung my blade down towards her neck.
Abbadon caught the blade with her stone-clad arm. "Excuse me...that was very rude!" Abbadon shouted as she burst out the magical suit made to restrain her. I was knocked off my feet as I landed.
"Abbadon is free!" The Warden shouted. "Solomon get out of there!"
I stood and held my blade, facing her.
Abbadon had brushed off the remains of the suit. She, true to Raijin's story, was a Black Dragonness. Massive Black and Purple wings and long, curled horns and a thick tail. Scales covered her arms and legs from elbow and knees down respectively. As well as her stomach and hips from the underside of her large breasts downward. She was wearing only a bra and thong under the suit. "Did I hear that correctly?" Abbadon asked. "Solomon? Was that so hard?"
I charged lightning and looked at the entrance, the guards prepared to close it off to prevent her from escaping. I invoked Zylphe's power and ran to the cell door. Abbadon rushed to the door too fast to see and slammed it shut, trapping me and her inside.
"Oh no you don't my little executioner." Abbadon said. "You were tasked with killing me, show me what you got."
I calmed down and held my blade. "Very well." I said. "Tri-gust Slice." I said as I attacked her three times swiftly. Abbadon however avoided the first two and caught my blade on the third.
Abbadon then grabbed my neck and lifted me. "Hmm, your lightning skill is pretty good, I'd say a second year? Maybe third?" Abbadon said. I couldn't believe her strength. Unarmed and without a lightning charge of her own she's overpowering me. I tried pulling free from her grasp but I couldn't escape. Abbadon then took my sword and restrained my arms behind my back as she held my blade to my throat. "Let's go for a walk now. To our master Raijin's."
The guards at the siege crossbows were hesitant to fire as Abbadon held me hostage. As she was about to walk off, a figure stood at the entrance of the cell.
"Shadow?" I asked. "You followed me here?"
Abbadon was confused at first. She then looked into the eyes of 'Shadow' then immediately gave a stern expression. "Oh...you. I knew you were still alive. 'Oh! Gone forever!' 'Oh! Rotting in Hell now!' Those were the words I kept hearing."
'Shadow' gave a smile. His voice sounded strange, as if he was trying to sound different; "Well old friend, you do remember. Do you remember this?" 'Shadow' then stabbed the floor as a blade melded through the ground and struck Abbadon. She shouted in pain and dropped my sword, releasing me as well.
"Gah! You rotten bitch!" Abbadon shouted.
I was shocked that Abbadon fell for the same trick I often fell for. I then grabbed my blade and charged lightning. "Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade!" I called and struck Abbadon head-on with the attack. Although sent her flying back and incapacitated her after the barrage of slashes, it didn't even look close to killing her.
'Shadow' and I escaped the cell and retreated with the guards and Warden to the elevator. We rose as quickly as the lever could speed up.
Abbadon stood a few moments later.. "He knows...my technique?" She asked. She then released a violent war cry as she charged lightning. Causing it to surge throughout the area. Her lightning however was different, it was black in color and was much more powerful. She then charged a punch and broke through the top of the cell effortlessly. She flew and looked at us, who had made it to the exit and left. She then flew straight for the door before the Warden and Guards slammed it shut. They then held it shut as they locked it down.
The Warden was panting as they finished. "That should stall her." The Warden said. "You two gotta get out now! Inform the Monster Lord!"
"Tee hee, with such flashy show lights who wouldn't notice~?" 'Shadow' giggled, and began to run off. I followed.
"Shadow? You knew Abbadon the Destroyer?" I asked.
'Shadow' kept giggling. His voice now sounding feminine, but familiar. "We can catch up over tea. It's been five years since I made that offer and now you're not busy, Solomon~"
I blinked, a bit puzzled at what 'Shadow' said. "Very well....Shadow." I said calmly.
"Oh my, have you forgotten? I'm Phantom, not Shadow. But you can say the actual Shadow was here if anyone asks." Phantom had said. We then walked to Jade, who was shaking.
"Jade, take us to the Monster Lord's castle now!" I told her.
"I knew this was a bad idea! I can feel her from here, she's pissed!" Jade said. "Hop on now! Before she catches up!" We both hopped on and flew to the Monster Lord's Castle.
Chapter 4; Tea with the Phantom.
The three of us arrived at the Monster Lord's castle. To our surprise we saw Raijin, waiting for us.
Raijin merely sighed. "I sensed it...she's free." She said.
"Master I do apologize." I said.
"Your little pupil was serious in his intent." Phantom had said. "However little Abby was...crafty. Anyways, I'm anticipating our little Tea Party Solomon. Don't keep me waiting." Phantom then disappeared.
"A combat mastermind, even when the odds were against her. At least when she see's every outcome and isn't angered or distracted." Raijin said. "Whether it was archangels in the Great War, would-be heroes or my own pupils when she had fallen to insanity, Abbadon is known for her intelligence when it comes to battle. Unlikely I know, considering her title as 'The Destroyer.' She probably planned her escape in advance and just bided her time until an executioner came."
"Well she's still at the asylum." I said. "The guards locked her in that pit but they have to evacuate. I have to inform the Monster Lord."
"I already have." Raijin said. "It's me she's going to go for, but for now she'll have to take a detour."
"Detour?" I asked.
"Her blade...her favorite black blade." Raijin said. "She has its scent still I'm sure but it's hidden." We then walked in the castle as Jade flew back to Thunder Mountain. "Abbadon won't attempt any massacres or try to hunt me down without it. She's very attached to it."
"Then we have a chance to intercept her and put her down for good." I said.
"You? Solomon it wasn't like I asked too much of you before, but given what had happened. I shouldn't have risked your life like that." Raijin said.
"I'm capable of fighting her." I said.
"Abbadon is nothing like Jade, nothing like any of my pupils." Raijin said. "What she invented was forbidden in my teachings and extremely devastating. I'm sure you've experienced it, that Black Lightning."
I recalled Abbadon using a much different form of lightning charge. It was truly powerful. "Perhaps you're right. I need to prepare and train more." I said. "Study my foe beforehand like with Tyrannea."
Raijin smiled. "Still gonna go after her? Well at least you're gonna prepare." Raijin said. "I've lost too many to her...be careful if you do face her. Now enjoy your Tea Party. I'm going to speak with Luka and Aliphese XVI."
"Tea party...." I said and thought to myself. I then rushed to Shadow's quarters. Inside, I found what I thought was Shadow, but turned out to be Phantom.
"You made it in time!" Phantom said cheerfully. "Have a seat Solomon."
"So, where's Shadow?" I asked and nervously took a seat.
"Shadow's escorting Promestein back to Enrika." Phantom said. "3 years, and she still can't be trusted. Especially not after all those backstabs."
"It's understandable." I said. Then carefully sipped the tea. "So, Phantom. Mind answering a few questions?"
"Of course not." Phantom said. "After all we never had a chance to chit-chat when we fought that crazed necromancer. I'm sure you had a ton of questions."
"What are you exactly?" I said. "You're clearly a monster. Similar genes to Shadow. What relationship do you have with that Assassin?"
"Oh, it can go into a lot of interpretations;" Phantom said, then jokingly brought up possible relationships. "Siblings, lovers, long lost relatives. Take a guess."
I then closed my eyes. I thought for a moment; The female voice, the playful demeanor hiding a truly murderous vibe, the talk of playtime and tea parties. It was now obvious who she was. But I was curious about one more thing. "What ever happened to your little Bear?"
Phantom then giggled and patted my head jokingly. "You do remember!" She said. "For a moment I thought you went stupid on me. Beary's still here, just safely tucked away."
"Well now that I know, I'll have to especially keep it under wraps." I said. "Phantom." I winked.
Phantom, Black Alice, giggled. "Oh just keep your promise and I won't kill you." She said. "And my relationship with Shadow is complicated, yet simple at the same time."
Phantom had explained to me everything. Shadow's true origins and how she survived and aided him. "Shadow is the Demon Assassin, yes, but he is not the first." Phantom explained. "There are many Cursed Sword users, and the original Demon Assassin, simply called the 'Phantom', had her own set of skills. These skills revolved around the darkness itself, and who's a better user than none other a descendant of the embodiment of darkness herself? I don't know about the ancestors, but the 8th Monster Lord used her inherit darkness this way, and became the origin of the title. Despite history saying she was a tyrant, as a matter of fact she was the opposite; killing only in cold blood on those who would drive a wedge between peace. However, unless you were someone had lived through that era like Mistress Tamamo has, no one knows about the original Demon Assassin all thanks to Ilias tampering with historical archives; she completely disappeared without a trace once Ilias took the 8th Monster Lord under her wing and corrupted her, turning her into the tyrant you formerly knew. As a plan to destroy that despicable goddess and release the deranged woman from her shackles, the 8th Monster Lord detached part of her soul away, containing the good and Cursed Sword power within, and sealed it away. That soul would resurface and become Shadow. The 8th Monster Lord, despite her corruption, would appear to guide him along the way."
"Wait so you're his..." I began to ask then snickered.
"What's so funny?" Phantom asked.
"Nothing just...he's such a stiff." I said. "I would never believe it."
"Oh he's lightening up." Phantom said. "Just takes a little help from me."
"Little? I've seen supposed bandits bigger than his sense of humor." I said.
"..." Shadow said nothing as he appeared. I felt his presence and immediately turned aiming my handcannon arm at him, but he was unfazed. "Careful where you point that. You might just poke your eye out." He said with a small smirk. I then lowered my guard as Shadow joined us.
"Hee hee. Anyway, let me continue." Phantom said. "After Shadow defeated the tyrannical 8th Monster Lord, unknown to him the soul that was separated fused back into each other. He went into a coma following his initial battle with the necromancer from 3 years ago, and his troubles awoke me and I helped him escape the coma. So, here I am, in flesh and blood, though I don't have all the magical Monster Lord or White Rabbit power from before. I'm happy though, free to be back in my roots and that stupid goddess destroyed."
"So how did you know Abbadon Phantom?" I asked.
"It was so long ago. But I remembered that dance like it was just five minutes ago." Phantom said.
Over 500 years ago; Black Alice's coronation.
"As is tradition, if any feel as though they're worthy for the Monster Lord's throne, speak now or we shall continue the ceremony." Tamamo said.
Black Alice simply stood before most of her oppositions, holding her stuffed bear. However, her presence simply made many monsters cower before her. "N-no way... She looks young but... What kind of power does she have? What the hell is she?!" voices said as their owners trembled.
"Actually, I want to give it a shot." Abbadon said as she removed her hood and faced Black Alice. "Monster Lord Abbadon the Destroyer. A brilliant title and governmental power to ensure the world burns."
Black Alice smirked. The entire throne room was shocked by the challenger's sudden proposal. "Oh, what's a ceremony without some dancing?" Black Alice said. "Very well, you and I to the arena at once."
Abbadon then bowed. "Is an oppressive aura all you have? Show me why they fear you Alipheese 8th!"
Black Alice then gave a curtsy, before the two of them walked to the arena.
"The two of us fought for hours on end." Phantom said. "I had to go all out for her, Monster Lord, shadow powers and everything. Abbadon moved us to an isolated zone before I unveiled my true power, wouldn't want that secret getting out after all. In the end, both of us exhausted ourselves, but Abby was the first to submit to defeat. Oh I've heard of her so much before then, but never imagined how that dance would end up. She moved far better than anyone save for Heinrich and Luka. Oh and you too Shadow." Phantom then patted Shadow on the head.
"Wow... Never thought you'd be challenged for the throne." I said. "But she has to be stopped now. And I'm confident you two can take her as well."
"Tee hee, what dance does Abby have prepared for now~?" Phantom giggled. "She must certainly be planning something with those left in the asylum."
"Do what you must, and we'll make our move as soon as she makes hers." Shadow said. "Though if she intentionally stayed at the asylum and had the power to escape at any point, who knows how much her power's accelerated since 5 centuries ago."
"I feel sorry for those guards holding her back." I said. "And those prisoners."
Chapter 5; Abbadon's Game. The Vengeful Eight Victors.
At the Black Storm Asylum. Abbadon stands outside the busted prison doors. The prison guards around her were slaughtered. Except for the Warden, wounded on the ground staring up at her in horror.
"Well my little Warden." Abbadon said. "You put up a valiant fight I'll admit, but this great prison has fallen." Abbadon then looked around. "Now, let's play a little game with these big-named prisoners." Abbadon then shouted; "Attention prisoners of the Black Storm Asylum! If you look outside your cells, you'll find every guard has been killed. Now you all will follow my directions or face the same fate." Abbadon then grabbed the Warden by the neck. "And to show I mean business, let's allow our Warden to give some commentary."
The Warden coughed a weakly said; "You'll never win Abbadon...Raijin will stop you again."
Abbadon then rolled her eyes and snapped the Warden's neck. The few prisoners that saw it were terrified. "How boring." Abbadon said. "Now then, I'm going to unlock your cells...one by one. You're free! But here's the catch; You're among others who want freedom. You'll remain locked in your prison districts until you win the freedom by fighting your fellow inmates." Abbadon then chuckled. "Eight Districts....Eight Victors. Oh, and any who try any funny business are sharing the fate of the guards." Abbadon then unlocked every cell. "Let the games begin."
Back at the Monster Lord's castle arena, Raijin and I were training to prepare for Abbadon.
"Very good Solomon." Raijin said. "Now once more."
"Master Raijin, how much will it take to defeat Abbadon?" I asked.
"You're to intercept her before she receives her blade." Raijin said. "I have to be sure you're ready."
"Why can't you just teach me how she accomplished that Black Lightning?" I asked. "I understand it's forbidden but I'm unsure I could take something that fierce."
"Solomon," Raijin said calmly. "it's not that I don't believe your full potential. It's that Abbadon's Black Lightning is very dangerous for anything to attempt to mimic. Even I, Spirit of Lightning, would be at risk trying it. It drains vitality...exchanging it for power. How she learned it...I've never fully figured out."
I thought for a moment, it seemed familiar. That Black Lightning, vitality for power, even Raijin can't figure it out. "Very well Master." I said. "Let us continue."
Raijin smiled. "If I could endure and defeat Abbadon, I'm sure you can." Raijin said. Then we continue training.
Back at Black Storm Asylum. Abbadon stood at the prison entrance.
"I sense I have my victors." Abbadon said.
In the closest sector to Abbadon. Lily walked out. "3 years gives a bit of time to prepare my magic." She said. "Now, I hope Lucia has enjoyed her time. For betraying my trust for her own mindless vengeance, taking my village, and even taking that handsome Enforcer from me. I'll make sure that witch suffers as I have."
Next to her, a succubus with blue skin, long blue hair and a blue nurse's outfit, appeared. "Ah, betrayed by your own creation. Well, I feel your hardship. That little whelp Chrome helped these fools kill my sweet twin sister. Perhaps I shall follow your example." The succubus then shook Lily's hand. "Aome, Aome Artiste. The greatest dollmaker of our clan." Aome then said as she bowed. "I don't care what Akame said, it's a fun hobby if you mix necromancy with it." Lily was confused at the figure introducing herself however.
At another cell, a large Scylla changed into a maid costume. "That meal was delightful. But I, Ran, must carry out Mistress Cassandra's wish. I will bring Aliphese XVI to justice for her 'royal executioning'." Ran then walked out the district and was startled as an archangel stood.
"Trapped with these pathetic monsters." Ariel said. "How dare that traitor Icarus waste the power of our Goddess. I'll return to Enrika and grant divine punishment, even if Micaela is there."
As the two met and face each other. They were startled as what appeared to be Luka approached them.
"Oh, focus on coexisting!" The fake Luka said to them as he then changed his gender. Revealing it to be the Doppel Luka. "That's what that cursed hero would say. He caught me off guard with that skill, but I know his little tricks now. Promestein created me to end him, and so I shall."
At another side of the prison, a pink slime slithered out. "Erubetie, Black Alice promised me the title of Queen Slime." Slime Bess had said. "I'll claim the throne, and poison any who dare oppose me."
"Ah, another of Black Alice's court. How fortunate." The Spider Princess said. "Whilst you claim your throne, I shall reclaim my own and devour that Heavenly Knight's lapdog and that scientist's pawn."
"You two served Black Alice?" Deana said as she approached them. "Perhaps you two can help me find the power she granted you. So I can show these plants what to really do with the Insects. Including that priestess who took the role of Queen Alraune."
The eight of them then met in the prison center. Abbadon then approached them.
"Ah, the winners." Abbadon said. "Wow, quite a powerful group here. And each with a vengeance." Abbadon the eyed each of them as she walked around them. "Yes, it's fueling your power. Let that thirst for vengeance fuel you eight. Now, your reward for winning the game. It's two things; Freedom, but you must aid me first."
"Why should I assist you, you disgusting monster?" Ariel asked.
Abbadon then grabbed Ariel and slammed her into the ground. "Because of reward two; I'll fuel your quest for revenge if you help me, and grant you great power to accomplish it."
"Ohohoho!" Aome laughed. "I do believe the archangel must abide. It is eight to one here."
Ariel coughed and stood. Weakened by her recent fighting. "Very well...I promise however once I punish that other archangel I shall go for you."
"Oh, I'll look forward to it." Abbadon said. "And seeing if Micaela has the same fury as 1,000 years ago." Abbadon then walked with the eight to the entrance of the prison. She then busted the door open and sniffed the air. "Ah...freedom. Now...time to find my blade. Then you eight are free to do whatever you want."
Back in Shadow's room. Shadow and Phantom were reading the list of inmates in the Black Storm Asylum.
"Eight districts..." Shadow muttered. "I doubt Abbadon would recruit all of the inmates; even a massive army of criminals can go awry, and weak underlings aren't exactly dependable upon. The instruments of Heaven weren't in harmony either, so she must be recruiting only the strongest to aid her."
"Hee hee, Abby is really crafty~" Phantom giggled. "Oh, some of these inmates were servants of Promestein and Black Alice. But considering the two reformed, I wonder how their servants will take such news."
"Lily..." Shadow looked through the first district. "A subordinate of Promestein who terrorized the Witch Hunt Village. Magic, tentacles..."
"I heard she had a fling for Solomon before he got snatched away by Lucia~" Phantom giggled. "Her hatred must be focused on him."
"Aome.... Artiste? Abuses necromancy and fuses them with dollmaking..." Shadow looked though the second district. "... Shirome, Akame, and now another one? I'd hate to hurt Chrome but at this rate her entire family might have to be inspected on." Shadow then sighed. "Phantom, please summon Chrome and have her wait in my realm."
"Shadow and Chrome sitting in a tree~ K-I-S-S-I-N-G~" Phantom giggled as she left the room through the shadows. Shadow rolled his eyes as he went back to reading.
"Ran..." Shadow looked through the third district. "A scylla maid to the late and ruthless Cassandra... Fighting Cassandra wasn't pleasant, though I was inexperienced at the time. Though I'm sure the tyrannical 8th Monster Lord had no use for her weakness, but the same can't be said for Abbadon."
"Archangel Ariel..." Shadow looked through the fourth district. "A powerful high class angel said to have survived the fight against the Angel Killer... How depressing, the classic 'I hate Micaela' is in her group."
"Doppel Luka..." Shadow looked through the fifth district. "A doppelganger of Luka created by Promestein, knowing every single of his moves and countering them... I remember seeing her at the Navel of the World, before Luka took her down easily. Now that she's learned Element Spica..."
"Slime Bess..." Shadow looked through the sixth district. "A slime that coveted the title of Queen Slime, betrayed Erubetie and allied with the tyrannical 8th Monster Lord, and poisoned Undine's Spring... All that work of cleaning up the pollution easily gone to waste, and the spring's still uninhabitable. The throne would be useless to her anyway."
"Spider Princess..." Shadow looked through the seventh district. "Sadistic, only sees humans as nothing but food, even dethroned as Queen Insect for such brutality... She certainly must hold a grudge against me and Solomon for putting a halt to her freedom."
"And finally... Deana Canaan..." Shadow looked through the eighth and final district. "The eldest of the Canaan Sisters, a carnivore plant that preys on others for sadistic excitement... Would she go so far to eat her own sisters under Abbadon's game? ...I'm sure she'll get along fine with the Spider Princess..."
Shadow let out a soft sigh after reading the inmate list. "... That's eight potential additions to Abbadon's army. Quite a big number. I suppose the others would want to hear this." Shadow muttered himself as he left the room with the list in his hand.
Chapter 6: The Crystal Maw; Solomon vs. Abbadon.
The next morning, I panted as I prepared my gear to guard Abbadon's blade. Alice walked in my room.
"Hey, Solomon. Got a second?" Alice asked.
"Hello Lord Alice." I said. "Sure, come in."
"Listen, I understand you feel as though Abbadon's escaping was your fault." Alice said. "But I don't want you doing anything crazy and fighting her alone. I hope you're not offended by my suggestion of sending some assistance to you."
"Actually no." I said. "Safety in numbers."
Alice was shocked. "Wow, thought I'd have to force you again. Seems you learned your lesson overextending against those Enforcers." She said. "Very well, I sent Granberia and Alma Elma ahead of you."
"That's excellent." I said. "I'll meet them there." I grabbed my things and teleported. "Say hey to the kids for me." I said and warped off. I arrived at the destination Raijin mentioned, The Crystal Maw.
The Crystal Maw is a massive pit that extends deep underground. The name derives from the beautiful, near unbreakable crystals that line the entirety of it. At the bottom is a wall of solid crystal that blocks off a cavern.
I headed down to the bottom to find Granberia and Alma Elma staring at the crystal wall. "Hey, good seeing you two here." I said.
"When I heard that Abbadon the Destroyer was alive, I had to see it to believe it." Granberia said.
"I'm just here because it sounded like fun." Alma Elma said. "Of course I'm sure Abbadon can't reach her blade here."
I scanned the crystals. "They're artificially made." I said as I placed a hand on the crystal wall. "Made to repel lightning." I said. "Raijin must've had the crystals made to prevent Abbadon from reaching it."
We looked around the cavern as we felt multiple foes outside the caverns. Abbadon then descended into the pit. Who found some black armor plating to cover her breasts and hips.
"Oh, why hello there Solomon!" Abbadon said. "I had some questions for you back there in the prison." Abbadon landed, glaring at Solomon. "Like how does a human perform such a powerful technique?"
Granberia stepped in front of Abbadon. "He doesn't have to answer to a heartless criminal." Granberia said. "I shall face you, I am Granberia, Cursed Sword Master and Heavenly Knight of Fire, pupil of Salamander and I shall~"
"Bla bla bla! I don't need your life story." Abbadon said rolling her eyes. "Cliche knights of order and balance and all that stupidity."
"Then taste my fury." Granberia said as she ignited her blade and hit Abbadon head on with Vaporizing Rebellion Sword. Much to Granberia's shock however, Abbadon appeared unharmed.
"Hmm, not a bad opener Lady Boring, actually hurt a little." Abbadon said with a smile.
Granberia was shocked, Alma Elma stood in front of her. "Move aside Granberry. This requires a playful hand." Alma Elma said. "She seems like one who can't resist a pleasuring touch." Alma Elma focused wind energy and rushed to Abbadon, attempting to pleasure her with a Melty Hand.
Abbadon smirked and grabbed Alma's hands and pinned her down. "Madam please, I only rape serious fighters." Abbadon said. "Least buy me dinner and fight me with these martial artist arms and legs first." Abbadon then stood, cracking her knuckles. "I suppose it's your turn now Solomon. You never answered my question."
I charged lightning and faced Abbadon. "I'll tell you if you go back to jail." I said. Then I focused Gnomaren and rushed behind Abbadon trying to impale her with my blade.
Abbadon turned and kicked me back. She toyfully fought back, testing my blade skills. "I must say I'm impressed with your skill." Abbadon said.
I jumped back and turned my arm into an electric cannon. I aimed at Abbadon.
Abbadon was shocked. "What is that?!" She asked.
"My...handcannon?" I said.
"That's....cool!" Abbadon said. "Weapons surely have evolved. Where'd you get them!?"
"I...lost my arm and legs in an explosion." I said. "Wait aren't you a destructive force of war and chaos? Don't you wish to end the world?" I asked.
"Of course..." Abbadon said. Having a more serious tone. "Can't I get curious when my opponent draws a strange weapon?"
I fired at Abbadon, she dodged and the electric bolt bounced off the crystal wall and hit the crystals throughout the pit and flew outside the pit. I thought fast and fired a flashbang to blind Abbadon.
Granberia and Alma Elma covered their eyes and quickly moved to me. They prepared to fight alongside me.
Abbadon, during the flash kicked them both back and pinned me down. "If you won't answer my question, then I'll personally investigate." Abbadon said. She then sniffed me and stared into my eyes. "Oh? So that's how." Abbadon then licked my face, causng me to blush. "Well I never thought I'd see this so soon after escaping. Let alone mid-escaping."
"Hey! Hands off him!" Alma Elma said as she kicked Abbadon off me. "I was gonna take that as my pay."
I stood. "Thanks...hey!" I shouted.
Abbadon landed on her feet. "Rude!" Abbadon said. "Perhaps I should just get this over with. I have all the answers I need. Including why Raijin chose Solomon." Abbadon then cracked her knuckles.
"Fine, since pleasure won't work." Alma Elma said as she got into stance. "Then let's beat her down Granberry and Solo-boy."
The two of us sighed at the nicknames and prepared to fight alongside Alma Elma.
Abbadon charged Black Lightning. It cracked and surged around the pit, bouncing wildly around the crystals. She rushed to Alma Elma faster than Alma can counter and delivered a swift, powerful punch to her stomach. Knocking her out in one shot. She then roundhouse kicked Granberia into the crystal wall. Actually cracking it.
I jumped back and got into stance. "Winged Dash Blade." I said and rushed at her delivering multiple slices. Abbadon deflected them with her punches. She then kicked me off my legs, knocking me down.
Abbadon simply turned to the wall and knocked Granberia aside. "This is a waste of my time." Abbadon said. "Let me grab my blade and end this."
I stood and stared at Abbadon. If I didn't go full-on murderous like before, Abbadon would win. I grabbed the Hyde Injection and injected myself. I then concentrated as my eyes then glew red. I then charged lightning again and rushed to Abbadon, preparing to strike her down.
Abbadon sensed me and turned. Her eyes also blood red as she stared at me. I was paralyzed, I couldn't believe it, it was almost like a strange mirror. Abbadon then smriked. "That's what I saw...you see it too now." Abbadon said. She then grabbed Granberia's blade and used it to shatter the crystal wall with a few strikes. She tossed the blade as she grabbed her own, stuck inside the ground. She walked to me and showed me her black blade. "Behold, my old blade. I named it: Deshimeta."
I held my blade, prepared to fight her off. Still staring at her with crimson eyes.
Abbadon then stabbed her blade into the ground, staring at me. "Still not afraid? I expected no less." Abbadon said. "But sadly I must take my leave, I have a few promises to return for helping me track this blade."
Lightning then stuck the center of the caverns as Raijin appeared.
Abbadon then smiled as Raijin appeared. "Master Raijin. What an honor you finally show up to take me down yourself."
Granberia and Alma Elma stood as they joined us.
I backed away to Raijin as we stood ready.
"And how you've failed this pupil of yours Master." Abbadon said. "I'm sure you know damn well what's hidden within him."
"It is only you I have failed." Raijin told Abbadon. "To think I could've prevented you becoming insane. From becoming 'The Destroyer.'"
"There is no insanity." Abbadon said. Staring into the metal of her blade. "Only the truth I've seen. Countless lives taken before me. A futile struggle to convince myself that this world is worth keeping intact. Then they took her...you could've saved her! But I'm over that now...Now, I wish to see it all turn to dust. This dark, cruel world will fall, burn and crumble." Abbadon then flew upwards. "And I hope you enjoy the show. Especially you Solomon. I do hope you decide to join me in putting it together."
"Forget it." I told her. "I don't care what you're taling about, I'm not going to aid you."
"Hmph, then I'll just give you the front row seat. Unless you get in my way again." Abbadon said. "Goodbye for now. Be sure to speak with Master about some other secrets she's kept." Abbadon then flew away. Leaving us, defeated, in the caverns.
Chapter 7; The Origin of The Destroyer.
The four of us returned to the castle shortly after.
"Alright, we need a plan now that Abbadon has her blade." Raijin said calmly. "I was foolish to not plan these things better."
"All four of us should be enough." Granberia said. "Shadow and Solomon included."
"Abbadon won't go down without casulities." Raijin said. "Who knows how many innocent lives she'll take with her if you get the upper hand."
"Perhaps we need to think of a way to isolate her then." Granberia said. "Any suggestions Solomon?"
I was staring at the floor, deep in thought.
Raijin looked concerned. "Granberia, I'll speak with Solomon. Just inform and prepare to plan with the Monster Lord." She said. Then Raijin floated up to my side. "Is there something wrong Solomon?"
"It's just...what Abbadon said." I said. "How she and I looked at each other. She saw something within me, and I don't know what it is."
Raijin then took my hand. "Have a seat, you and I need to speak about something important." Raijin then said.
I nodded my head and did as she said. We then slowly moved through the halls of the castle. As Raijin and I traveled, Raijin then spoke up;
"Abbadon, like I had mentioned, was of a tribe of Dark Dragonkin." Raijin said. "They had a tradition known as 'The Apprenticeship.' Like a right of passage of sorts. They hold tournaments to rank their young and send them off to serve powerful figures."
"So that's how Abbadon found you?" I asked. "She was the lucky one who was chosen to serve you."
"The strongest usually serve more powerful and higher ranking figures. Bodyguards, Future Advisors, Partners." Raijin said. "Abbadon herself was quite young, but easily one of the strongest of her kind. However, she was a problem for me at first."
"Rebellious type at youth?" I asked.
"Quite, but then I learned why." Raijin said. "Never knew her real mother, her father was a slave of war with a human tribe that was killed. So I reached out to her, and she and I had a Master and Apprentice and Mother and Daughter relationship." Raijin then looked to the side. "Then the Monster Wars happened. She was a master at lightning power by then. She requested to serve the Six Ancestors and fight alongside their forces. She didn't want to see innocent monsters killed due to Ilias' hatred. She was a great student, protecting others and was considered a hero even."
"Then something was taken and she became the Destroyer." I said.
"It was a chain of things." Raijin said. "Seeing death and the chaos of the war was what sparked it. Seeing heroes now taking the angels place. The conflicts of the world. Abbadon tried to help everyone, but she started realizing, it was a futile effort." Raijin then clenched her fists. "Then one final trigger made her the destroyer. Her home village was attacked by something truly powerful."
"Abbadon requested your help, and you declined?" I asked. "She had mentioned you being able to save someone."
"I declined because I recognized the force that did it." Raijin said. "Something that would've needed someone beyond my power. Abbadon left anyways...the figure had finished when she got there. She had lost the final thing keeping her sane; Her younger sister Velga." Raijin closed her eyes, she then took a deep breath before continuing. "That was about 550 years ago, then she returned to the mountain...and the massacre began."
"She killed your own pupils?" I asked.
"Without any mercy." Raijin said, a tear slowly rolling down her cheek. "Even poor, young Jade was greatly injured and terrified. I managed to defeat her but then she retreated. Her last words that she will be the destroyer of this world. Then the reign of Black Alice began years later."
"She challenged Black Alice for the throne and lost." I said. "I know that part."
"What you didn't know was what she did afterwards. When Black Alice's reign came to an end." Raijin said. "A series of events from the shadows. She was hiding, planning, preparing her next attempt. She then faced me again, with her newfound power of Black Lightning. I was almost overwhelmed. But as I defeated her she retreated. Then...the reason this concerned you."
"Why me?" I asked.
"She was going to create a legacy." Raijin said. "A legacy of her own pupils of the Black Lightning, to take control of my power and use it to destroy the world. A few years later, an incident occurred with Abbadon again. She was captured and imprisoned. But what she was after...was her daughter. Taken by a strange man. The man was killed, but the child lived on. And her Legacy of Destruction continued through the generations. Down...to you." Raijin then looked at me. "Solomon, you are Abbadon's descendent."
I was in shock. My heart was nearly beating out it's chest. "So all this time..." I thought back to every moment where I was the red-eyed murderous force. "it was those dormant genes awakening." I said.
"What I saw in you was the same that I saw in Abbadon's eyes." Raijin said. "When you awakened it fighting the last Enforcer, you tapped into those murderous, instincts of war. Your body can withstand that of pure destruction through her own techniques. Techniques that her own kind could only mimic." Raijin then placed a hand on my shoulder. "I should've told you sooner. I'm deeply sorry I kept this a secret."
I quickly stood off the cloud. I stared into my hands. I was some natural born killer. Descendent of some insane, evil force. A long line originally born to destroy everything. I couldn't believe it. I then clenched my fists and ran away.
"Solomon!" Raijin called. She then sensed something as she quickly turned to find Shadow. "Oh, it's you. I can only imagine what's going through that young man's mind."
"I knew there was a reason to keep an eye on that man." Shadow said. "I'll speak with him. He and I have more in common than you know."
Raijin nodded. "Just make sure he doesn't go down the wrong path. He must remember who he is regardless of his heritage. Just because his line was originally made to kill, doen't mean he must follow that path."
I ran down the halls of the castle, still unable to believe what Raijin had said. I then stopped and panted. I removed my goggles and wiped the sweat from my forehead.
"Excuse me sir." A voice said. "Are you alright? Is there something I can get you?"
I shook my head. "No thanks I..." I said as I looked at the one offering. It was a maid. Not uncommon to see a maid in a castle but she was already in the middle of another task. Holding a drink on a small tray. "You must be a new maid." I said. "Haven't seen you before.
"Of course sir." The maid had said. "If you don't need anything then you must excuse me, I'm going to serve the Monster Lord a final cup of tea for the night." The maid then walked off.
I stared at her in confusion. I placed my goggles back on and scanned her. "Scylla, not unusual really. Wait..." I said to myself as I scanned her drink. "Alice!" I shouted as I ran back following the maid. But she had vanished as I decided to just hope I beat her to Alice.
Shadow then appeared in front of me. "Not now! There's a fake maid on the loose." I said quickly as I ran past him.
"... Poisoned tea? How foolish." He calmly said as he vanished.
Chapter 8; A Maid's Trick.
I ran through the halls, Zylphe aiding my speed. I had to beat the maid to Alice to warn her in advance. "Alice!" I called, as I turned and ran down another long hall, I held my head in pain as I had another flash.
I felt like I was flying in a massive storm. I kept hearing a cry; "Velga! Everyone! Hold on I'm on my way!" A familiar voice shouted. It was Abbadon, probably trying to save her family as I was trying to warn Alice.
As the flash ended, I was headed blindly into a wall. I triggered Gnomaren and blasted through the wall into the main hall. Where Alice XVI stood.
"Solomon? What are you crazy?" Alice said.
"Alice?" I said as I jumped up. Panting. "Oh man, I beat her here."
"Poison. I smelled it from here." Alice said. "And I recognize the scent of the maid. Cassandra's former head maid. But breaking through the wall was completely uncalled for, idiot."
I was not surprised. Alice has shown exceptional abilities even in a sealed state. Combined with her intelligence confirms any questioning of her abilities as Monster Lord. "Very well," I said. "what shall we do?"
Alice smiled. "You tell me Solomon, I'm quite bored. I have to deal with Abbadon's escaping whilst Luka watches the kids." Alice then said. "How about we play the maid's game and teach her a lesson about why revenge isn't a good idea."
I thought to myself for a moment. Then the maid walked in.
"Greetings Miss Alice." Ran had said. "I brought your favorite tea to help with your hard work today."
I scanned the poison again. A rare toxin, causes immediate paralysis and renders the body in a corpse-like state until the poison completely kills it's victim. I have no idea if that would be enough for a Monster Lord, let alone one of Alice's power. But I recall La Croix showing that she had used the same toxin to assassinate monsters in the past. I remembered her warnings when using it. Chemicals not to expose it too. Or as I remembered more-so, certain, easy to find ingredients that make the toxin react violently.
"Excuse me, Miss Maid?" I said.
"Call me Ran." The maid said.
"Miss Ran." I then said. "I don't smell any of Alice's favorite berry. She always mixed it with her tea."
Ran was confused. "Oh, dear me I must've forgotten. I do apologize Alice, enjoy this one and I'll make another glass right away." She said.
"You're not too late however." I said. "Just squeeze some raspberries in and mix it good. I guarantee Lord Alice will drink it all in one gulp." I then winked at her.
Ran then smiled. "Ah, I see. I'll be right back then." Ran then walked away with the glass.
Alice was pondering. "Raspberry tea does sound nice." She said smiling.
"Well it'll still be poisoned." I said. "Don't you think about gulping it down you glutton. But Raspberries and that rare poison don't get along. After a good stir, kaboom!"
Alice was then surprised. "How did you know that?" Alice asked.
I smirked. "Shirome taught me a hundred different ways to poison a high ranking monster without them knowing and what not to do in the process. Chemical Warfare, Assassinations, Kidnappings. How did you think she got those Cirque du Croix members?"
Alice then smiled. "To think three years and I still have reasons to avoid you when you get crafty. You're still an idiot however."
I rolled my eyes and listened. Suddenly I heard a loud bang. "And there goes the tea. Sorry about the kitchen by the way." I said walking off.
"You can clean it up since that fake maid is going back to jail. Re-sealed this time. Don't forget the wall in my throne, too." Alice said.
I sigh and run to the kitchen area.
In the kitchen, Ran laid there coughing as the smoke cleared. The poisoned tea glass shattered.
"No! The poison!" Ran shouted. "That bastard! I will not let Cassandra die in vain!" Ran then transformed into her scylla self. "I'll strike at the Monster Lord's weak spot. By devouring that boy who sealed me and her children!" Ran then charged out the kitchen and ran towards the royal bedroom where Luka was.
I ran towards the kitchen to find Ran, in true form, charging down the other hall. I used Gnomaren and Lightning Charge to catch her and try to pin her down with my arms and back-claws. "Not so fast!" I shouted. "I ain't letting you harm anyone in this castle."
The Scylla Maid then grabbed me with her tentacle, pulling me off of her. "Well, then if you hadn't sabotaged my poison. I would've served you as a means of thanking you. But that won't stop me, I'm sure Mistress Abbadon won't mind the man she's keeping an eye on devoured." Ran had said.
I freed myself from her grasp. "You're not even worth the effort." I said. "But you can lead me to Abbadon since you know so much about her then." I then deployed my hand-cannon. Now talk, or you'll see something I'm normally not allowed to do anymore.
Ran then attempted to swarm me with all of her tentacles at once. I used my right hand and back-claws to hold some of them back as she grabbed me again. As her lower-mouth opened, I fired an electric-shock straight into it. Ran had shouted in pain as she released me and fell over writhing. I pinned her down again and aimed at her face.
"Now, where is Abbadon?" I asked. "And how do you know her?"
Shadow then appeared infront of us. "She was among seven other high-priority prisoners reported inside that asylum." He said as he handed me the list. "As soon as you mentioned a fake maid, I knew that something was up. Abbadon broke out the prisoners and aligned herself with the strongest of them." He then turned to the maid. "... Of all people Abbadon picked, an incompetent servant of that lowly Cassandra was picked? Pathetic."
"Incompetent?! Lowly?!" Ran angrily shouted as she hopelessly squirmed under my grasp.
"Your master was selected by Black Alice, but she rejected that cause. A even more foolish choice than to join her. She was weak, and Black Alice was right to desert her after that." Shadow said. "For your failure here, Abbadon would be smart to desert you."
The Heavenly Knights then joined us and saw the maid. Shortly after, she was arrested, re-sealed with Angel Halo as punishment and placed in the prison of the Monster Lord's castle until further notice.
Later tonight; I was preparing to head home when Raijin, Shadow and Phantom approached me.
"Solomon?" Raijin asked. "I'm staying in the castle. Be careful." Raijin then hugged me suddenly. "Also I'm sorry I never told you about your connection with Abbadon."
I hugged her back. "I overreacted." I said. "I forgot about your wisdom, and the knowledge I've gained in the years."
Raijin let me go and smiled. "So you knew that no matter where you come from, you won't follow the same path?" Raijin asked.
"Of course not!" I said. "I worked hard to achieve my goals, I'm a powerful Seeker of Truth, I have become the first human lightning user in who knows how long. I've protected the Earth even. Plus Lucia would kill me." I jokingly said afterwards.
Raijin gave me a pat on the back and smiled. "You are truly something Solomon." Raijin said. "This time, we'll hit Abbadon with everything we got."
Shadow then spoke up. "... You may be Abbadon's child, but don't forget I'm Black Alice's child as well. I could have gone down her tyrannical path that was forced upon her by Ilias, but I didn't. Instead I embraced the power that was blessed upon me by Black Alice and used it to defeat her old self and Ilias. Lucia also could have gone down the twisted path that Lily and the old Promestein laid out for her, but instead embraced her monstrous power and alchemical knowledge from them, so don't forget about her as well. You're a descendant of Abbadon, but also remember what you've accomplished up to now."
Phantom then hugged me. "If you by any means aid that foolish Abbadon, I'll swallow you~!" She then giggled. Back then that would have sent me chills but I knew she was merely half-joking.
I smiled and said goodbye before warping back home.
"... I'll be sure Solomon doesn't stray from his path." Shadow said to Raijin as he and Phantom vanished.
Chapter 9; Angelic stowaway. Solomon vs. Ariel.
I arrived at Lucia's manor. I immediately went upstairs and changed to went to sleep. I knew I had a lot of work to do tomorrow so I had to get some rest.
The next morning, I slowly awoke to a pair of hands obviously trying to undress me. I had first thought it was Lucia, however I immediately remembered that Lucia knows better than to try anything without restraining me. I jumped awake and used Gnomaren to pin down the intruder. "Icarus?!" I shouted. "What are you doing at my place?"
"Oh hey Solomon," Icarus said. "good morning."
"Icarus you better explain why you're here." I said.
"Archangel I warned you not to try anything with Solomon." Lucia said as she walked in. "Sorry Solomon, I let her stay because she's hiding."
"Hiding?" I asked as I let her go. "From what?"
"Well, after Ilias' fall, I was given a special task by Micaela to aid in assisting other angels to live in this world peacefully." Icarus said. "All was good until my old commanding officer Ariel became unsealed."
"Ariel..." I thought to myself. "Oh, that archangel that Luka sealed during the assault."
"Right." Icarus said. "She was a hardcore follower of Ilias. Participated in many assaults including Remina and the Great Monster Wars. So she didn't take the news of Ilias' defeat well. She attempted her own assault, and I helped imprison her."
"She must've been among the prisoners of Black Storm Asylum who escaped." I said. "So you're hiding from her? But you're both Archangels."
"Well of course we are both the same rank." Icarus said. "But she's been an archangel for far longer. I was a simple scout turned elite in a time of desperation." Icarus then held me tightly. "Please help me Solomon! She's been pursuing me ever since she escaped."
I sighed and freed myself from Icarus' hold. "Very well, but not because she's working with Abbadon. However it's because you're my friend and you worked hard to help other angels."
Icarus smiled. "I knew I could count on you." She said. She then ran to the window and looked outside to the village. "She's here already! Man not even one night of rest."
I changed into my gear. "Lucia, be ready to help me if she gets the upper hand." I said. "You too Icarus."
The two nodded and followed me outside. There we saw Ariel.
"There you are you traitor." Ariel said to Icarus. "Promoted to Archangel to cover my absence, only to fail and surrender to the very beings who killed our Goddess."
Icarus was afraid, however her confidence came back as I stood infront of her.
"She had done the right thing." I told Ariel. "The war has been over for years. You were imprisoned because you refused to accept peace."
"Oh, the male Seeker from the battle at the Monster Lord's Castle." Ariel said. "It's a shame you also have to be destroyed."
I drew my blade. "Tell me, why do you work for Abbadon the Destroyer?" I asked.
"Work? No, once I'm finished here she's next." Ariel said. "I only helped her retrieve her blade to guarantee my escape."
"Then stand down and spare Icarus and I shall aid you in defeating her." I said.
"Why don't you let me kill this traitor, then we can hunt Abbadon together and I shall reward your loyalty." Ariel then proposed.
I then pointed my blade at Ariel. "I offered a much easier proposal, and you refused. Now I shall make sure you're imprisoned again." I said. Lucia and Icarus stood back.
Ariel then focused her holy energy. "Then I shall deliver divine punishment upon you Seeker." Ariel then said.
I immediately opened with Lightning Charge, Ariel stood ready.
"Lightning? Among the most rare techniques I had saw during the great war. Very few pupils of Raijin fought in the Great War." Ariel said.
I recalled Ariel having fought Heinrich himself and knowing his abilities. I knew to use something she may have not been familiar with.
Ariel opened with an rush towards me with her arm out. She had then blocked my counter attack with her golden bracelets. Instead of outright attacking me, she was using pleasuring techniques. I rushed back and shook my head. Ariel didn't give me a moment of hesitation however and kept her unrelenting assault of pleasure going. "I had witnessed your skill against high-class monsters, I heard of your feats against chimeras similar to those Next Dolls. And I'm aware you had even overpowered Icarus. I shall show no mercy."
As she attempted to move in to embrace me, I used a lightning-charged palm to her stomach to push her back. Before she could retaliate, I then hit her with a Winged Dash Blade.
Ariel quickly stood after the attack. "Perhaps I shall end this immediately." Ariel said and focused her power.
I scanned Ariel to find she was charging a powerful holy bolt. One hit would paralyze me and leave me wide open.
"Arc Bolt." Ariel cried as she fired Holy Bolts at me. I swiftly dodged however I couldn't get close with her assault. I deployed my hand-cannon and helped avoid her fire by intercepting the bolts with my own fire.
Icarus readied her bow. "I have to help him." She said to Lucia.
"Whilst she's distracted with Solomon." Lucia said to Icarus. "You use those trance arrows and I'll wrap her up."
Ariel stopped firing. "You're quite formidable Seeker." She said.
I readied Zylphe and Lightning Charge. Knowing full well I could outspeed her. "I'm just getting started." I said. I then noticed Lucia and Icarus moving behind her from a distance. I scanned and found Lucia was using Gnomaren's power. "Those bolts will never hit me." I said. "Just surrender."
Ariel fired another at me, I quickly dodged. Ariel then rushed to me to try another assault of pleasure attacks. I swiftly dodged them this time. Even countering her attacks. I then fired a point-blank electric shock at her, paralyzing her.
Icarus was off in the distance, taking aim with her bow. She then fired an arrow at Ariel.
Ariel broke her paralysis and dodged the arrow. "You impudent fallen angel!" Ariel shouted as she rushed to Icarus. Icarus had drawn her blade and prepared to fight.
I however, rushed to Ariel and grabbed her with my back-claw and slammed her into the ground. Ariel's arm was free however as she shot me with an Arc-Bolt. I fell over and released Ariel, now paralyzed.
"Finally, I shall not stop until you're entire soul and body and drained." Ariel said as she straddled me.
Lucia then grabbed Ariel and tried to restrain her. Ariel was clearly angry now that both her targets kept getting away. She then shot Lucia with an Arc-Bolt. As Lucia released Ariel, Ariel then shot her again and kicked her back.
"Grotesque monster. Don't get in my way." Ariel said.
I had stood and saw Lucia was hurt. I then felt strange. Clearly angry at Ariel, however I didn't feel like myself. I felt...pure rage.
Ariel then turned to me. "Now to finish you." Ariel said.
My eyes then glew red. "How dare you!" I shouted as I charged lightning and rushed to Ariel. However the lightning was strangely black. I was too angered to notice as I punched Ariel, sending her flying into a building. It's inhabitants quickly evacuated as I charged into the building and performed a Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade. It however, was at it's full power. Much more massive and deadly compared to before. Completely destroying the house and defeating Ariel.
Ariel weakly looked up at me. Noticing my red eyes and black lightning. "No...no! Abbadon! We had a deal! Stay away!" She shouted as she tried to back away.
I shook my head as I returned to normal. "What...happened?" I asked. I saw I had destroyed this house and Ariel was cowering infront of me, greatly wounded.
Ariel fainted from fear then.
Lucia and Icarus ran to the house. "Solomon!" Lucia said. "Are you okay?"
I noticed Lucia was fine and rushed to her. "Lucia! You're alright!" I said hugging her.
Lucia smiled as her tentacles wrapped around me. "You should know my endurance. I withstood your attacks why should that archangel be any different?" Lucia said. "But what was with you when you attacked Ariel? You were fully intent on obliterating her."
"I don't know." I said. "I saw her hurt you and...after that I stood and prepared to fight her again then everything went black like I had a flash or something. Next thing I knew I'm in a torn-apart house and she's infront of me cowering in fear."
"Ah, that's what I was looking for." Abbadon said as she appared infront of the house. She then turned around and saw the destruction. "Wow, not bad...not good enough however. I know you did that Solomon."
Lucia and Icarus stood behind me as I faced Abbadon.
"I was watching your little fight then I saw my Black Lightning. Go ahead, show me. I'd love to see how you're evolving as a Destroyer." Abbadon said.
I then focused a lightning charge. But I was unable to mimic what I had done before.
"Oh...that's too bad." Abbadon said. "You one-shotted that archangel. But I guess it's gonna take more to make you exactly like me."
"Go to hell," I said. "I'm never gonna be like you."
Abbadon merely chuckled. "I'll be watching you Solomon. I'll eagerly await the day you reach your full potential." She said. "Until then....grandson." Abbadon winked and flew off in blinding speeds.
Chapter 10; A Clone's Training. Solomon vs Doppel Luka
As I stared at the direction Abbadon flew off in, Lucia placed a hand on my shoulder. "She's trying to provoke you. I imagine she became a destroyer the same way." Lucia said.
"I was told something wiped out her family." Icarus said. "Possibly caused by Ilias."
My anger was immediately calmed knowing Lucia and Icarus were okay and that Ariel was stopped. I let out a relieving sigh. "You're right." I said. "Anger will just push me to be more like her. You guys are fine, the danger to the village is defeated, I should be calm. Abbadon's taking her time as well, letting those prisoners make their move." I then grabbed Ariel with my back claws. "I'm going to take Ariel to the Monster Lord's Castle. Icarus, fly back to Enrika and inform Micaela of this and Abbadon's return, request she help track Abbadon's movements. Lucia, you stay here okay? I'll be fine." I said.
Lucia nodded and Icarus flew off right away. I teleported back to the Monster Lord's castle. As I arrived, I went to the dungeons and set Ariel in a cage.
"My my, went a little overboard there Solomon?" A voice said. I turned quickly to find it was not Shadow, but Phantom.
"Well, you know some of these stubborn angels." I jokingly said.
Phantom giggled. "I'm fully aware. Shadow is tracing the nastiest of the eight prisoners that escaped by request of a friend of his. However another big threat was seen near Port Natalia."
"We're going for the bigger threats?" I asked. "Fine, I'll look there." I nodded and warped away.
"Now then." Phantom smirked as she turned to Ariel.
Ariel quietly stared at Phantom before speaking. "You... I remember you as that loathesome human from the Monster Lord's Castle. Pathetic, losing to the disgraced hero before being pummeled further by a Chimera."
"Oh my... Is that what you recall?" Phantom simply giggled before staring at Ariel. "Hehe... You... look tasty..."
Ariel raised an eyebrow at this and looked on in confusion. "... I do not understand such nonsense...?"
Phantom continued staring, licking her lips. Ariel remained confused at the gesture, but then suddenly found herself rearing back as if she had been intimidated. "W-what...? T-this oppressive force...! J-just who are you?!"
"Tee hee." Phantom giggled. "Her stoic expression broken in a matter of seconds. Coming from an angel who survived against Heinrich, I'm sorely disappointed."
Ariel was shaking in fear and had her back against the wall in her cell, attempting to get some distance away from Phantom. "Y-you...! You will regret this! Once I am free, I shall destroy your soul!"
"Now... What is Abbadon planning?" Phantom asked.
"I-I don't know!" Ariel replied. "I had only assisted her to enact my revenge. She's using the Asylum as a base of operations, but other than that I know nothing of what she has planned."
"..." Phantom quietly closed her eyes before turning away from Ariel. "How boring. I guess angels are useless, after all." She said, walking away.
"Useless?! How dare you!" Ariel shouted as Phantom ignored her screams.
As I arrived at Port Natalia, I asked around the city if they noticed anything or anyone suspicious. The only answers I got were of noticing Luka walking around and headed towards the beach alone and ignoring everyone. I decided to see what Luka was upto. As I arrived at the beach, I saw what appeared to be Luka, fighting off a Crab Girl.
"I'm not going to give up!" The Crab Girl shouted. I've trained for years and now I'm going to get my revenge. The Crab Girl then focused energy and attempted to Paralyze Luka with a beam attack.
Luka quickly evaded the attack, seemingly using his angelic wind technique, and rushed to the Crab Girl striking her with his blade.
"Damn, I'll remember this!" The Crab Girl shouted as she weakly retreated. I walked past her and saw that it wasn't exactly Luka. I realized it when I recognized his blade as not Angel Halo, but one we crafted specifically to drain Luka instead."
"Wait...oh no, Doppel!?" I asked. "I thought you were eliminated!"
The Doppel Luka looked up at me, then immediately turned into a female. "Master Solomon?" Doppel Luka said. "I thought it was someone else for a moment."
"So you were in that prison?" I asked.
"Yes sir!" Doppel Luka said. "After I lost at the Navel of the World, I was sealed as a child. I broke my seal and plotted my revenge, but was intercepted and overpowered by the Heavenly Knights. Then I got locked up."
"So Abbadon broke you out?" I asked.
"Right! And I remembered my fight with Luka and know the spirits left him!" Doppel Luka said. "I'm gonna get my revenge! I know his tricks and everything!"
"You still got four Heavenly Knights, a Monster Lord, a powerful Assassin of Darkness and myself to get through." I said, trying to convince her that it'd be futile to try.
"Of course I didn't forget!" Doppel Luka said. "But you see, I'm training to pull off a much bigger plan, to turn the world against him."
"How so?" I asked. "He's the most liked and trusted man in the world."
"You see, I have his memories from before Wormiel was sealed." Doppel Luka began to explain. "He's first pick for a male suitor for the Princess of Sabasa. So naturally the King would assume anyone similar in strength and appearance to him would also work."
"He was reported as able to detect imposters. Our data confirmed this observing the assault on Sabasa." I said. "Also Luka is married."
"My DNA is a clone of Luka's, he'd just sense that I'm the perfect husband for the princess." Doppel Luka said. "One excuse that I left Alice for Sara later and I rule Sabasa."
"Wait so your plan is to become a tyrant and..." I began to ask. Wondering where I recalled this plan from.
"Correct! Get my revenge through war. Distracting the bigger threats and attacking Luka whilst he's at his weakest." Doppel Luka answered me.
I raised an eyebrow, while it'd be a brilliant use of his reputation and memories, there's so many flaws with what happened after Doppel's defeat that the ruse would be crystal clear. If a right hand to a Queen Class monster couldn't fool the King then Doppel Luka's evil intentions would be obvious. "I'm sorry but, that plan is utterly complicated yet flawed. You won't succeed." I said.
Doppel was frustrated. "No! I'll get back at him!" Doppel Luka said. "Actually, I have a better idea. You're Promestein's strongest human soldier; The Enforcer. I'll just combine both our DNA's into the ultimate warrior and use that for my revenge plan." Doppel readied her blade and faced me.
I shook my head, any idea of 'mating' with a female Luka would be off-putting. I witnessed that man molested by chimeras too much as well. I drew my blade. "Seems you need to be taught a lesson Doppel. I'll be sure you're re-sealed when I take you to Alice." I said.
Doppel focused a Holy Wind power. Known as the Fallen Angel Dance.
I used Zylphe, and attempted to strike her, she blocked my attack with her blade. She then used Luka's Thunder Thrust to knock me back. "Not bad," I said. "I never underestimated Doc's advanced creations."
Doppel then immediately tried to mix pleasure and blade techniques to weaken me, I avoided her assault narrowly. As I tried countering, she jumped back. She then used a Heavenly Demon Revival on me, I couldn't avoid the technique so I guarded and was forced back and heavily damaged. "Hehe, you never had to fight Luka head on. Promestein conserved your strength for special missions." Doppel said. "Though you were aware of my creation, you're unaware of my flaws. With knowledge of Luka's new technique in my brain, I'll offset any cursed sword technique." Doppel Luka then concentrated. "Now come at me!"
I scanned her to find her power was spiking up, perhaps she was preparing said technique that defeated her. I didn't want to take any chances, so I just used a Lightning Charge and prepared to dodge. "Wait..." I said to myself when I realized. Luka couldn't have used Daystar at first, she would've used her own. I then looked up and noticed the dazzling star. Which then vanished as I wasted Doppel's time and energy.
Doppel was startled. "No! You were supposed to attack!" She said.
Without hesitation I used the opening to attack Doppel Luka, gaining the upper hand as she never fought Lightning based opponents. With or without Luka's memories. I on the other hand, witnessed Luka fight and knew Doppel had no artificial spirits to heighten her elemental skills. Doppel jumped back panting, I readied myself for anything she could throw at me.
"Sorry, I witnessed his holy power in action." I said. "I observed his battle with Lucia and the Assassinroid. Like you, I have memories of his battles to look back upon."
Doppel then smirked. "Oh really?" She asked. "How about this one?" she then focused elemental energies into her arm. The main four were there. It was similar to a lower-powered Quadruple Giga.
That attack would be devastating, I had to avoid it or overpower it. But Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade would be stopped by it and Oblivion Blast takes too long to charge. I had to force it back with a greater force. I then had two swift flashes of seemingly Abbadon's perspective. I recalled one and then I focused Lightning in my blade and feet and got into stance, preparing to thrust my blade forward with a quick dash. "Like this?" I asked myself.
Doppel then thrusted her arm. "Elemental Spica!" and unleashed the attack on me.
I countered with a powerful sliding thrust forward, Offsetting the technique and pushing Doppel back quite far. I then realized I had just mimicked a powerful technique, possibly Abbadon's.
Doppel stood, her clothes now shredded from the technique. "My clothes!" She shouted. "Fine, I'll have to stick to pleasure it seems."
She was naked, vulnerable yet dangerous. She could try for an instant win through rape. Can't take any chances, I'll just bind her and shock her until she surrenders. I readied my hand-cannon and used Gnomaren, preparing to grab her.
Doppel tried to use her fallen angel dance to speed up her pleasure techniques. I endured and avoided however she was too quick for my claws. My hand-cannon also was unable to land any hits as I fired as well.
"Hold still..." Doppel said. She then tackled me and straddled my hips. "Got you!"
I then grabbed her with my back claws and restrained her. "No, I got you!" I said.
She tried struggling, but was unable to free herself. "Let go! Why can't I escape?" She asked.
"Because you're just like Luka." I said. "Luka was a sitting duck when restrained. Now surrender, or I will shock you into submission."
"Alas, I had hopes for the clone. But it seems she's a failure." A figure then appeared behind her. She was a succubus in blue.
"Who are you?" I asked. "Wait...an Artiste?"
"Correct! Aome Artiste." She said and took a bow. "I figure little Chrome's lover is searching for me, so she'll have to wait for now."
"Then why come here? He watches me like a hawk watches it's prey." I said.
"A little detour." Aome said. "Unlike those others, I've actually planned my revenge carefully. I'll strike soon enough. But I want to test the descendant of the legendary monster." Aome then shot strings into Doppel Luka's back. I let go of her and she was dragged to Aome and forced to stand. Aome then floated and used the strings to make her dance.
"Let her go!" I shouted.
"No, she's my doll now." Aome said. "I was the last great dollmaker of the Artiste clan. Combined with necromancy and special magic, I can be a master puppetteer." Aome then made Doppel grab her sword. "Let's make her fight for real. Imitation is only flattery if you do it right."
Doppel was forced to rush towards me and try to attack. Although she was trying to defeat me before, she only wanted to incapacitate me to rape me. Now with Aome in control she's actually trying to hurt me. "Wait, I was doing fine! Let me go!"
"But your revenge will be easier if I sped things up." Aome said. "He can get a little beat up before you rape him."
Doppel was unable to break control. She was forced to continue attacking me.
I dodged narrowly and used Lightning to avoid her attacks. I couldn't get a moment to focus Aome and stop this. It'd take to long to get a clear shot at her to paralyze. I had to bide for time, I used a flashbang on Aome, she was blinded and moved her hand controlling Doppel to cover her eyes. Dopple was hanging below Aome. I used the opportunity to slice the strings holding Doppel, breaking her free.
Aome opened her eyes as she could see again. "Clever boy." Aome said. "Guess you never liked puppets."
"They creep me out honestly." I said. "Especially unwilling puppets."
"Hmm, perhaps another show is needed for this one." Aome said. She then summoned a human sized doll. She then imbued magic into it as it jumped to life. It then grabbed Doppel's sword. "Behold, my brilliance! Akame should've trusted my dollmaking and released me from prison to help in her revenge!"
I scanned the doll, Human figure, soul of a powerful fighter, the doll's materials were made with defense in mind. Harder than human or monster skin and bone. "That's gonna be tough to break."
"Oh? Quitting already? Kill the fake hero." Aome said. "We need to motivate him."
"Enough!" I said. I gritted my teeth, this dollmaker was more annoying than threatening.
"Oh? Make it then, It's given it's order." Aome said. "Or has the Enforcer gone soft?"
I stared at my blade, then looked at the doll as it approached Doppel. My eyes then glew red as I suddenly charged Black Lightning again. I used my hand-cannon to paralyze the doll. "Death's embrace awaits! Black Lightning Assassination!" I shouted as I got into stance for winged-dash blade. However, I sliced straight through the doll, cutting it in half. I quickly turned and sliced it apart before cutting back through it. Shattering the doll and releasing it's soul.
Aome wasn't shocked. She instead smiled. "My work is done, for now." She said as she warped away.
I shook my head and returned to normal, I saw the singed and torn apart doll. "Great...this half-monster thing is really annoying." I said.
Doppel stood. "Man, forget revenge. First you beat me, then that creepy dollmaker. I'd rather sit in jail. It's not worth carrying out an objective from a war long ended." Doppel Luka said.
I saw Doppel surrendering. "You still did good." I said. "Perhaps your mimickry of Luka is best suited elsewhere."
Doppel shrugged her shoulders and surrendered. I teleported us to the Monster Lord's castle to imrpison her again.
In Shadow's realm at the beach of Port Natalia, Shadow, Chrome, and Raijin watched the events unfold.
"Twisted cousin." Chrome said as she was piggybacking on Shadow. "I'm disgusted with Aome's methods of dollmaking."
"... Tracking the Artiste was not yet my aim." Shadow calmly said as he turned to Raijin. "But this confirms your fears, correct?"
"I... I see... Abbadon must be trying to provoke his monster genes." Raijin said.
"It must be hard, your own 'daughter' turning twisted, and now your own 'grandson' appearing to follow the same fate." Shadow gently patted Raijin's back. "My primary objective is to stop the remaining five of Abbadon's followers, however preventing Solomon from going down the wrong path holds more importance. You may have to request him not to continue to fight against Abbadon until the situation is resolved, but like a certain hero I doubt he'll sit idle. Though, considering Aome's goal here, he's better off not fighting her, though fighting the others may yield similar results."
"Thank you, Shadow, for your efforts... Perhaps I shall talk to him again. I'll be heading back to the Monster Lord's Castle now." Raijin smiled softly at Shadow.
"Before you leave..." Shadow stopped her. "Undine's Spring is still being purified, so I believe Bess and Deana will aim their focus on Plansect Village, and I suspect that Spider Princess is joining them, waiting for either me or Solomon to come to the village's aide. Phantom will head there immediately once the village reports an attack, and knowing the relationship she had with them she doesn't require assistance. Also, before you talk to Solomon, I request you inform the Heavenly Knights to send reinforcements for Lucia, should Lily make an attempt on her life. Meanwhile, Chrome and I will defeat Aome when time presents itself. I would like for you to try to prevent Solomon from leaving the castle, if possible, until all five have fallen."
"Yes... I believe that it would be best if he were not provoked any further." Raijin nodded before she vanished into a dark portal.
"Chrome, I remember that we've fought Akame together, but it appears that this Aome is nothing like her." Shadow said. "In fact, I know she only specializes in dollmaking and necromancy, but nothing else. I don't want to put you at risk, but will you assist me in defeating her?"
Chrome smiled and patted Shadow's head. "Silly, I'm the one who's supposed to ask you that. But as you remember, it's the Artiste's duty to kill the traitors in our family, unworthy of our techniques. Frederika, Spi, and Rit may not be here, but I'm glad you're here helping me with this, thank you."
Shadow smiled and took Chrome off his shoulders, placing her on the ground in front of him, to pet her head and hug her. "Very well. She may have her revenge plotted out, but she cannot reach us here unless I allow it. Though, placing her in here may put her in a serious disadvantage. With whatever information you have about her, I'm certain I can come up with a plan to stop Aome."
At the ruins of the Asylum. Aome warped to find Abbadon. "My my, renovation is not something I'd task a destroyer to do." Aome then said.
"I didn't task you to write jokes, I tasked you to carry out your revenge and observe Solomon." Abbadon said. "Anything interesting?"
"He's definitely showing more signs of your lineage." Aome said. "Even accomplished a few more of your signature moves."
Abbadon smiled. "His body is unlocking it's monster half. And the half of that bastard I tried building a legacy with. When I merged that Berserkers signature ability with my lightning charge, Raijin was nearly overwhelmed." Abbadon said. "Even the Spirit of Lightning, unable to reproduce it."
"Won't he evolve into a threat then?" Aome asked. "You want them to fight Destroyer with Destroyer?"
"No," Abbadon said. "I want to transform him into one that will end the world at my side. Soon, he'll have awakened his full potential. Those other four, shall further trigger his outbursts. You may resume your plans, I'll take to observing Solomon now."
"Excellent." Aome said. "But what of the Monster Lord, the Heavenly Knights, and that Assassin?"
"Psh, you expect me to believe the Monster Lord is a threat when she has a poor, defenseless family under her wing?" Abbadon said. "The Heavenly Knights were just disappointing from their efforts to stop me from reacquiring my Deshimeta. However..." Abbadon's expression soon turned sour. "My old dancing partner and your assassin stalker have too much in common. She's a clever girl. Avoid confrontation for now."
"My my, our Destroyer getting strategic?" Aome said. "I figured you'd be just smash and kill. I love being surprised however."
Abbadon rolled her eyes. "Away with you!" She said. Aome then chuckled and teleported. "I'll never understand Artiste's. Even in the war they were wierd."
Chapter 11; Genes Awakening.
Doppel and I arrived at the castle and walked to the prison. As we arrived, Tamamo was waiting.
"Welcome back Solomon, oh you defeated Luka's clone?" Tamamo asked.
"Yes, also inform Shadow that Aome Artiste tried to intervene. She escaped however." I said.
"Shadow's probably aware of her movements." Tamamo said. "But Raijin wishes to speak with you before we discuss Abbadon's movements."
"Oh? Of course, let me speak with her right away." I said and handed Doppel off to Tamamo to imprison. I headed upstairs and found Raijin in the training ground.
"Oh Solomon, glad you've came." Raijin said. She then sat up on her cloud. "I've noticed, as you fought those escaped prisoners, your monster genes are awakening."
I scratched my head. "Yea, it's getting worse it seems. These techniques, that black lightning, they can really hurt people." I said.
Raijin then jumped off her cloud. "It's what Abbadon wants you to do." She said. "She wants you like her, destructive, muderous, merciless."
"I already told her I'd never become that!" I shouted.
"Precisely." Raijin said. "You may not have noticed it, but Abbadon's plan is to tempt you down the wrong path through anger and hatred. Make you resent the world like she has. Right now it's mere provoking actions through these prisoners, but it may worsen. Abbadon may want to take it to a new level, involving your friends and loved ones."
I was shocked, Abbadon was known for her brutality, could she really target those closest to me? "I need help then Master." I said. "It's been getting easier to be provoked through what's been happening. I need proper discipline."
Raijin nodded. "It pleases me knowing you're keeping calm and not giving into that anger." Raijin said. "And I know you've trained frequently for stress relief. So we shall do just that. Those techniques you learned, were of four legendary techniques of Abbadon."
"Four?" I asked. "Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade is one, those two are..."
"Demon Stinger Blade;" Raijin began explaining. "Focusing strength and lightning into a single-armed, series of rapid thrusts. Dealing five powerful hits and forcing your opponents back. Abbadon toppled creatures twenty times her size after drilling a massive hole in their torso with this technique."
"Really? With the grotesque descriptions?" I asked.
"And Black-Lightning Assassination." Raijin continued. "Critically striking foes and assassinating them during the shock. Greatly amplifying the power when the opponent is disabled through a means of status infliction. Abbadon paralyzed her powerful foe, whether by lightning, a trap or fear itself, before obliterating them instantaneously. Often leaving nothing but a puddle of blood and a pile of limbs."
"Guhh, sick." I said.
Raijin giggled. "What's more sick is you able to perform them when they're designed for sheer murder. But amazing that you can having never seen her perform it." She said.
"Well, sometimes those flashes show me viewing through Abbadon's perspective." I explained. "I saw her get in stance before it faded back to what I was fighting." I then thought for a second. "But what of the fourth?"
Raijin's expression soon looked stern. "That one....I hope and pray you never witness it." She said. "I will only give it's description; A rise to the heavens, turned into a crashing fall. The Destroyer's scream is the last sound heard. Cities, Mountains, Islands, entire armies, none survive it's absolute destruction."
I widened my eyes in shock of what I heard. I agree that I hope never to witness it, let alone take it. "Those other two will do." I said. "If my genes are awakening, I have to control them and use what I can to help everyone out." I said.
Raijin smiled. "I shall teach you to use them effectively." She said.
Raijin and I trained for a few hours. I had successfully performed the Demon Stinger Blade and Black Lightning Assassination. Though my tests completely destroyed training dummies. I had also discovered my awakened Dark Dragonkin genes improved my endurance and speed. I was excited to have learned some powerful new techniques.
"That's enough for today." Raijin said. Your body needs to get used to these awakening changes.
I panted and wiped sweat off my forehead. "I can't do Black-Lightning without some provocation it seems." I said. "But thank you Master Raijin."
Raijin smiled. "This brings back memories. Be safe Solomon, promise me I won't lose you like I lost her." She said.
I hugged Raijin. "I promise." I said.
Raijin hugged me back before letting me go.
After the training I left the hall to check up on Shadow and Phantom's progress. I then passed by Chrome.
"Hey Solomon!" Chrome said.
"Oh hey Chrome! I uhh, saw your cousin earlier today." I said.
"Aome? She's a strange one." Chrome said.
"I figured she would've been Akame's concern before." I said. "Curious as to why the two never teamed up."
"Aome is a dollmaker at heart. Akame is a person of war, assassinations and torture. Even after Aome's improvements with necromancy, Akame never saw dollmaking as anything to be proud of." Chrome said.
"She did say it was disgraceful and that the Artiste's let it die for a reason." I said.
"Aome was never like Akame however." Chrome said. "She was once an entertainer like other Artiste's. Her dollamking and puppetry entertained the royal courts of the Monster Lords." Chrome then looked troubled. "Then the royal family disliked the necromancy and banished Shirome and persecuted Akame. Aome kept feeling in an artistic slump after that. She needed a new muse, a new way to reinspire her dollmaking and puppetry to a new level. She then discovered her own necromancy, and she found her new inspiration."
"I hope you and Shadow can stop her." I said. "She's quite annoying."
Chrome giggled. "I'd be careful if you see her." She said. "She's still got a jester-like demeanor with annoying people. It's all a big magic show to her, and you're both her audience and her volunteer." Chrome then walked off waving back at me. "But if she bothers you, just give me and Shadow a call."
I chuckled. "Chrome's feeling confident. Seems she wants to upstage the legendary Artiste dollmaker." I said to myself. I headed towards the labs and thought about my mechanical parts. "Should I improve them?" I asked myself. "Well maybe a few field tests of gear attacks. An Oblivion Blast to make sure." As I was about to open the doors, a familiar tentacle wrapped around my waist. I looked down and saw it. "Lucia?" I asked as I turned my head.
"No, but you must be exhausted." Lily said and sprayed me with a strange gas, I then passed out. "Rest now, I'll be sure to extract plenty of samples." Lily said as she teleported both of us away.
Chapter 12: Kidnapped...
At the construction site; Promestein and Lucia were working with Shadow supervising. Tamamo then warped beside them.
"You two, this is urgent. Solomon's missing!" Tamamo said.
"What?" Lucia said. "When?"
"He was last seen near the castle labs last night." Tamamo said. "He suddenly vanished and we have no idea where he is."
"Have you attempt tracking? Solomon's chimeric limbs were given a tracer." Promestein said. "No...real reason."
Lucia raised an eyebrow. "I'll ask about those later. But I'm grateful we had those anyways." She said.
"Unfortunately, they were shut down." Tamamo said. "And his scent was masked."
Promestein thought for a moment. She then snapped her fingers. "I got it! Take me to the labs at once please. Supervise me all you wish, but when it comes to Solomon I'll help."
The four of them warped to the Monster Lord's castle.
I felt myself on a field, laying down. It felt like another flash. I didn't feel like Abbadon however, I felt...human. Whoever it was, they were laying down in a field. They appeared to have just lost a battle.
The person had looked up at his foe, the figure appeared to be...Clark? The First Enforcer? But before he became a Seeker it seems. Whoever I was had just lost to him. "Damn, it's my loss." The person had said. "I won't beg, finish me off then."
Clark had raised his blade, he had looked for a moment then sheathed his blade and offered a hand. "No, not worth letting a warrior of that skill die." Clark had said. "There's always room in my troop, how about you work for me?"
The man had sat up. "You sure? I don't really support the whole 'Ilias baptism' thing so forgive if I attract monsters." He had said.
"A monster would know better than to mess with us." Clark said. "A boy as strong as you would just give them another reason."
The man grabbed Clark's hand and stood. "Don't call me boy...It's Sam." He had said. "And perhaps it's better if I join you then."
Clark then smirked. "My name's Clark. I can tell you'll be of great service to us." He said before the flash ended.
I had awoken after that flash, tied to a bed with chains. It had felt much more pleasant then the last ones. I realized I was tied up and tried struggling, but it was no use as I was greatly weakened.
"Don't bother. I turned off your little mechanical limb trackers and shut down the handcannon." Lily said as she entered the room. "I've made sure you couldn't escape. Delicious as always Solomon."
I was really annoyed by the whole rape in my sleep thing. Back then the Seekers had to just ask, but now is no excuse. "Lily, you release me this instant." I said.
"I can't do that Solomon." Lily said. "You see, I made a breakthrough discovery before my imprisonment and shortly after escaping that jail and helping Abbadon. Male's are actually compatible with my experiments."
"They sleep with them day and night now." I jokingly said to Lily.
"Not that way," Lily said. "I mean a male with those monster organs."
"That's...just gross." I said.
"Ohoho, still thinking with that even after being milked dry." Lily said. "What I'm saying is, it gave the males incredible strength. But the men i kidnapped didn't last long. So I had a hypothesis; What if it had to be a special breed? A more powerful male that can handle the monstrous organs?"
"You're gonna make me like Lucia?" I asked.
"No, I had discovered something else, you inherited genes from Abbadon the Destroyer, a truly powerful monster." Lily said. "I'm going to use your DNA to breed the ultamite creation to serve me and exact my revenge."
"So you want to just breed a man to kill Lucia and Witch's Village?" I said. "How gutless, not doing it yourself."
"Oh, don't critic my methods Solomon." Lily said. "After all, you're nothing more than subject to be milked dry day and night. Also, I need you alive, so this benefits me even more." Lily sat at the bed, tentacles exposed. "So tempted to take you again and again, keep you like I should have during your training. You handsome young witch."
I blushed and tried struggling more, but was unable to. Whenever she extracted samples from me, must've been recently.
"Alas, I must keep you alive however." Lily said. "So after an hour's rest and a meal. You're a special prisoner so just stay tight whilst I work." Lily stood and walked out the room.
I laid on the bed sighing. Sword is gone, cannon disabled, energy drained. I was a sitting duck until Lily needs another sample. I couldn't even muster a lightning charge.
Five minutes later; I heard Lily speaking with someone.
"So, you've captured him? Quite impressive." The voice had said.
"Merely lured him in a false sense of security." Lily said. "My plan is accelerating perfectly now."
I then heard crashes. I then recalled the voice, it was Abbadon, she had traced me by scent.
"We had a deal!" Lily said. "I helped you, you help me with my goals!"
"Your goal is to use my bloodline to create a weapon." Abbadon said. "Now it's for your revenge I'm sure, but my genes in more humans I can't quite control is the last thing I need. I checked his family, they're perfectly fine, innocent folk. I have no desire for them, but he's different. I need that man in top form." I then heard footsteps towards the room. She was approaching me, I was afraid of what terrible things she had planned. Abbadon opened the door. "Oh my..." Abbadon said. "Mighty warrior, brilliant minded, and now a cassanova...what is my descendent not?"
I shook my head. "It's harder and harder to think of you as a destroyer." I said.
"Why's that?" Abbadon asked.
"You looked in awe at my mechanical weapon, teased around with Alma Elma, and now you're teasing me." I said.
"What's a little joking between pests?" Abbadon asked. "Those knights would need all of their numbers now. And that's impossible without casulites." Abbadon said. "Also I thought your arm-cannon thing looked impressive."
"So why are you here?" I asked. "Another attempt to get me on your side?"
"Not really." Abbadon said. "Convincing you won't be easy." Abbadon then freed me with her blade.
"You...rescued me?" I asked.
"I need you in top form." Abbadon said and helped me find my clothes. "Because I have a proposal for you, a challenge if you will."
I raised my eyebrow.
"I have eyes on you Solomon." Abbadon said. "I've heard you're evolving more and more. So I need to test you for now, I'll give a few days for you to rest however." Abbadon then sheathed her blade. "Three days from now to be exact, then at that asylum we met in, I want to fight you. If you win, I shall turn myself in and accept my fate, if you lose however..." Abbadon then chuckled. "well, let's just say I'll stop taking 'No' for an answer." Abbadon then walked to the door. "What say you, Solomon?"
I knew it was risky, Abbadon is truly a powerful force.
"You could always just refuse." Abbadon said. "But then my offers will have more..,personal preferences for yourself. Like that girl, the green haired one. Or perhaps another you kept close to you." Abbadon and I then heard the front door open. "You got three days to think about it." Abbadon said before vanishing.
Lucia then entered the room. "Solomon!" She said as she held me.
"Lucia." I said. "How did you find....Promestein?"
"How did you know?" Promestein asked as she entered. "Lily was smart, but she forgot about my own genius mind."
I got dressed and followed them out. Tamamo stood in the ruined lab, holding Lily.
"We just found her like this." Tamamo said. "Do you know what happened Solomon?"
"I was tied to the bed..." I said. "I heard some crashes, then I waited a little while and untied myself."
"Don't...play dumb Solomon." Lily said. "I know you heard everything."
"Whatever happened." Tamamo said keeping Lily's mouth closed with her tail. "Let's just be glad you're safe."
"Yea..." I said. "I'm gonna need to rest though." I said. Whether or not I'd accept Abbadon's challenge, I knew I'd need my strength.
Chapter 13: The Decision.
A day of rest, two until Abbadon's expecting a decision. Even if I said no, I'd have to fight her off to protect the others. I needed a plan either way. But I had to train and prepare.
I had to tell the others of Abbadon's challenge. It'd be stupid of me to head there alone. But what if Abbadon would expect that and had a backup plan? I had to think of a plan. As I walked through the halls of the castle, I figured to ask Tamamo, Shadow and Raijin know and request each of their advice. Those three are the most powerful foes Abbadon would have to face.
First and foremost, Tamamo. One of the six ancestors, a master tactician, probably one of Abbadon's biggest threats. I headed inside her room.
"Ah, Solomon. Something the matter?" Tamamo asked.
"Yea..." I said. "I need your advice for something."
"Always happy to help." Tamamo said. "What's wrong?"
"To tell you the truth, Abbadon rescued me from Lily." I said.
"I caught her scent," Tamamo said. "but why she didn't just run off with you is the wierd part."
"She wants a fight...me and her, one on one." I said.
"Obviously a bad idea." Tamamo said. "You're powerful, intelligent, and would truly be a difficult foe even to me, but to go without help is suicide."
"Hmm, that's true." I said. Tamamo's wisdom and experience are unmatched, so it's very likely she's forming a plan herself anyways. "You have her location correct?" I then asked.
"Of course," Tamamo said. "she isn't hiding strangely enough."
"She might make her move if we don't stop her soon." I said. "If I decline her challenge, she might get impatient with me from then onwards."
"I'll think of a plan." Tamamo said. "It's you she's after, we're going to take precautions before making our move however."
"Understood." I said. "Thank you Tamamo." I headed out the door and decided to talk to Shadow next. But obviously he's lurking somewhere. I had to scan him out of his darkness. I walked through the palace for a good few minutes, I was informed he was here but he's often watching, planning and waiting rather than socializing during a time like this. I felt a prescense behind me and turned to find him appearing from a thick black smoke.
"..." Shadow said nothing.
"I merely wanted to inform you I was challenged by Abbadon." I said. "I have two days to respond. Yes or No she may make a move then."
"I have eyes and ears everywhere, have you forgotten?" Shadow said. "Of course you're going to accept if it means stopping Abbadon."
"Not without a plan." I said. "I have told Tamamo already, she's thinking of something now. I'd suggest we'd prepare for a battle either way."
Shadow quietly nodded and disappeared.
"I can keep an eye out but I can never know what that man is thinking." I said and walked to find Raijin.
I arrived at the hall after a few minutes I saw her relaxing on her cloud. "Master Raijin?" I asked.
"Ah, Solomon. Come in!" Raijin said. "You've been busy today...Abbadon's challenge bothering you?"
"H..How did you know?" I asked.
"Tamamo told me while you were looking for Shadow." Raijin said.
"I'm not going to accept without a plan or at least some backup." I said.
"Oh we have a plan." Tamamo said. "You will accept...with us watching and waiting to ambush her."
"So I must make an opening." I said. "I'm not sure if I can tire her out."
"No need to." Raijin said. "We will simply use the same strategy I used when I captured her before." Raijin then showed a drawn map of the asylum's island. "Now it's likely she turned the prison into ruins, so you will arrive via teleportation and accept her challenge." Raijin then pointed at the location Jade had dropped me off at before. "Lure her here and feign your demise through letting her knock you off the ledge. Keep the battle convincing, if you immediately rush there, Abbadon will notice your tatics and will require more force. So take your time with that."
"So you guys are gonna catch me?" I asked.
"Shadow will make you...'disappear'. Which will make Abbadon assume you fell into the depths below." Tamamo said. "Abbadon will be left alone on the island and then after a quick heal-up, you, Shadow and us four will ambush Abbadon."
"That sounds brilliant." I said. "I'll prepare myself for my end of the plan. Master Raijin, I'm gonna need some help preparing."
"With pleasure." Raijin said as we walked off.
In Shadow's realm, as Chrome played to herself with her dolls, Shadow and Phantom were conversing.
"... You're not going to participate?" Shadow asked.
"As much as I'd love to waltz again, not this time." Phantom replied in a more serious tone. "Not only is it rude to interrupt a mother and son's duet, Abbadon doesn't take kindly to being in sticky situations, especially being outnumbered or overwhelmed. Back when we fought during our coronation, time only served to fuel her rage, and to my surprise she held out long enough before I was completely fatigued."
Shadow looked at Phantom in surprise. "She really managed to match the original Demon Assassin, even at her peak? Even while locked away, her power is likely to have grown exponentially, perhaps rivaling Mistress Tamamo at her peak, and 'that' as well. I see why you're hesitant. However, I'm not going to abandon Solomon or the other Knights and leave them to march to deaths."
Phantom smiled softly and patted Shadow's head. "You really have grown independent, my successor. When the time comes, Abbadon and I will dance again."
Two days later, I was fully prepared to face Abbadon. Shadow and the others were going to follow shortly after I departed to ensure Abbadon wouldn't get suspicious.
As I was about to leave, I saw Lucia and Promestein in the castle.
"Apparently Abbadon would target us." Promestein said. "To think the being Tyrannea's based on is your foe now."
"You two will be safe here." I said.
"Solomon." Lucia said.
"Yes?" I asked.
Lucia then hugged me. "Please, be safe. Don't overdo it." She said.
I hugged her back. "I won't, I promise." I said. "W..When Abbadon's defeated. I'd like to talk with you about something important." I then said with a blush.
Lucia let me go. "Alright. Be careful." Lucia said.
I waved at them then teleported to the location Abbadon was waiting at. I found Abbadon and Aome, waiting for me.
"Ah, the man of the hour!" Aome said. "What's a show without it's stars?"
Abbadon remained quiet.
"Abbadon, about your request for a duel..." I began to say. I then unsheathed my blade. "I accept. But I kindly ask it remains one on one. I even told the Heavenly Knights to stay back."
Abbadon smiled. "Smart boy." She said. "Aome, you may leave."
"Oh, but I can't miss this." Aome said. "And how do we know he's truly alone?"
Abbadon then sniffed the air. "He is. Also I'd tear apart every village in Sentora before those four knights could stop me." Abbadon then said.
Aome then levitated. "Very well, I shall watch from a distance." She said as she flew off.
Abbadon drew her blade and walked towards me. "I've looked forward to this." Abbadon said. "How about you?" She then chuckled. "Son."
"As have I." I said, and prepared to fight. "Finally I'll end this."
Abbadon prepared as well and signalled me to come to her. "Then end this once and for all, Solomon." Abbadon said.
Chapter 14: Ultimate Destruction.
I held my blade ready. Abbadon circled around me like a predator, dragging her blade on the ground.
We both expected an opening attack and invoked a lightning charge. Abbadon's was strangley normal and not black like before.
"You are my kid." Abbadon jokingly said.
I rolled my eyes. I had one advantage; artificial spirits. But Abbadon's combat experience alone makes up for it. I figured a defensive route was best. I quietly invoked Gnomaren.
Abbadon sniffed the air around her. "I've been meaning to ask...those smell like the spirits but they're different." Abbadon said. "Why is that?"
"Ilias knew a hero with the spirits was a major threat." I said.
"Oh...like that Heinrich?" Abbadon said. "I wonder, does such a pseudo-spirit exist for Raijin?"
"Nope." I calmly said. "Also all the copies of these spirits were destroyed or used."
"Oh...I broke out too late." Abbadon said. "What a shame." Abbadon then rushed at me and tried to swiftly attack me. I blocked with my blade but she pushed me back far. "Least you have them, especially when you could fight alongside me."
"I already told you I'd never!" I shoved her off. I then grabbed her leg with my back-claw and struck with a tri-gust slice. I threw her aside and fired at her with my hand-cannon.
Abbadon landed on her feet and dodged the shots. "Good, keep fighting like that. I wanna see your full potential." Abbadon said.
I didn't come to show off to Abbadon, I came to stop her. I knew the plan but I had to keep her suspicions down. I couldn't act so reckless and angry like that. I ran at Abbadon, she merely got into the same stance as Demon Stinger Blade.
"Take this!" she shouted, I jumped out the way barely. "Come on! Fight!" She kept attacking me with it.
I had to off-set it, dodging was too difficult. "Fine, my turn!" I then used Demon Stinger Blade at the same time as her, she off-set my attack and hit me numerous times, flining me back.
"Hmph, Raijin taught you well." Abbadon said. "But those moves weren't hers, they were my own."
I stood, I wasn't too far from the point I had to lure Abbadon to. I knew that I could perform the plan if I did this right. "Fine then, one more!" I said and got in stance.
"Seriously?" Abbadon said. "You've already done it flawlessly. I was just better."
"No, I've seen the best now. If I'm part of your lineage I'm sure to be able to match you if I try harder." I said. I was hoping to convince Abbadon to send me flying off the cliff.
Abbadon smiled. "That's it! Give it your all!" She shouted. "He wants to get stronger...he may be mine just yet." Abbadon whispered to herself then got in stance.
I focused and tried my best to overpower Abbadon's Demon Stinger Blade, but once again I was sent flying back. I fell off the cliff-side, hoping they would act. As I approached the water, I was sucked into a wierd portal.
Abbadon walked to the cliff and looked for me. "Oh...overdid it. Well I'm sure he can swim well." She said. She then felt a presence and quickly turned just as Shadow appeared from behind.
"Shadow Strike!" Shadow announced as he made a wide slash against Abbadon's chest. Abbadon was a little slow to react but leaped away, managing to only receive a graze.
"Damn... that really hurt." Abbadon said as blood dripped from her wound, but quickly regained her composure. She then raised an eyebrow as she gazed at Shadow. "No...you're not her. You must be the Shadow that Aome talked about."
A thick black smoke appeared behind him and I appeared, ready to fight again. "Thanks Shadow." I said.
"I expected her old dancing partner to be more intelligent." Shadow calmly said before turning to Aome. "Your petty revenge is fruitless, reaching Chrome's hiding spot is impossible for you." He then turned back to Abbadon. "Unfortunately, your old dancing partner isn't here, she wants to respect the mother and son's dance. However, I'm not letting Solomon die on my watch."
I smiled and nodded my head and prepared to fight alongside Shadow again. Soon the four Heavenly Knights arrived alongside us.
Abbadon clenched her fist. "Oh Solomon...you shouldn't have done that." Abbadon said. Her eyes were glowing red as black lightning now surged around the island.
Tamamo stepped forward. "Perhaps you need another lesson Abbadon." Tamamo said.
"Go ahead...mutter that spell, that bastard saved your life last time." Abbadon said. "Now you'll all be sent to oblivion."
Tamamo then glared at Abbadon. "That bastard was your mate. You would've revived your tribe through him alone. He even requested that of you and you refused in your quest for power and destruction. Peace was offered to you, and you refused. Now accept your fate." Tamamo said.
"No, accept yours." Abbadon said. She then released a violent war cry that shook the island. Abbadon then darted straight into the sky and blinding speeds.
"She's...gone?" Alma Elma asked.
"She's probably assaulting somewhere to avoid capture." Granberia said.
I looked to the skies and scanned with my goggles. "No..." I whispered. "Is this what Raijin warned me about?" I looked around and saw each of the Knights, attempting to locate her. She would descend too quickly to stop through any of their means. I had to save them. I then sheathed my blade and raised my hand, focusing a spell Promestein taught me.
Shadow and the Four Knights noticed they were being warped away. "You're an idiot." Shadow muttered before escaping into his smoke, evading the teleportation.
"Solomon! What are you..." Tamamo began to ask and then disappeared as the four were warped to the Monster Lord's castle.
At the Monster Lord's castle;
"Back so soon?" Alice asked.
"Abbadon flew into the sky, Solomon looked up then warped us away." Erubetie said.
Raijin's eyes widened. "That idiot! He's gonna kill himself thinking he can stop it!" Raijin yelled.
"Stop what?" Granberia said.
Raijin then clenched her fists. "We won't make it in time... Abbadon's Oblivion Bomber is impossible to evade. Even the Phantom had trouble dealing with it." Raijin said.
The others were shocked. They were unsure if they could make it in time.
I deployed my handcannon and prepared an Oblivion Blast. I charged as much energy as I could, I saw my target; Abbadon, crashing down in a black lightning-charged meteor. I couldn't evade it, I had to shoot her down before she crashed into the Earth.
"Who's gonna save yourself Solomon!" Abbadon shouted. "Face your doom before I destroy the world! Oblivion Bomber!"
I released the energy and fired. "Oblivion Blast!" I shouted as the beam collided with Abbadon. However it hardly slowed Abbadon despite it being a direct hit. I then realized, I lacked the proper setup of my original gunstaff. I couldn't keep the blast stable with only one arm. I couldn't stop it.
"Abyssal End!" Shadow suddenly appeared above Abbadon and released a vortex in the air. However, her descent was only slowed down slightly by the vacuum, and she managed to escape the explosion that followed.
As Abbadon was mere yards from me, I felt time slow, my life flashing before my eyes. I muttered one last thing;
I took the full force of the attack directly, the entire island completely destroyed. The blast shook the Earth. Rumbles were felt even as far as Hellgondo.
Abbadon flew up and examined the remains. She looked around for me. She then laughed and landed on a rock, where I laid. "Your body is mostly intact." Abbadon said. "Now I hope you recognized the true terror of Abbadon the Destroyer."
Shadow then landed nearby. "Idiot." he muttered. "For someone who nearly bested the 8th Monster Lord, you really thought you could shield such an attack? You chose to save others, yet not including yourself? Idiot."
Abbadon suddenly charged Shadow. "Black Lightning Assassination!" Shadow quickly evaded the dash and turned around to parry the three follow-up strikes. Her dash back, however, was much more powerful, as it broke though Shadow's block effortlessly as struck him in the chest, barely missing his heart.
Shadow coughed blood and wiped it off his mouth. "There, now we're even." Abbadon said. "Impressive though, my old friend even managed to evade and block most of the attack like you did. Even her first attempt to stop the Oblivion Bomber was done the same way you did, yet she was surprisingly able to endure the attack head-on, unlike the little pup here. What a curious relationship you have with her. However, that can wait." Abbadon then turned to Solomon. She unfurled her wings and took off to the sky. "I'll be back for you another time Solomon."
I laid on the floor, out cold. My mechanical limbs, back-claws, goggles, blade, all destroyed without a trace.
Act 2: Reawakening. The Destroyer Within
At the Monster Lord's castle. The Heavenly Knights, Alice, Promestein, Lucia, Shadow and Raijin overlooked me as I laid in a hospital bed.
"That idiot." Alice muttered. "What he did was noble, but he didn't have to sacrifice himself. Just like a certain idiot."
"Abbadon was less than a minute from impact." Tamamo said. "Had he not done it, we might've perished."
"'Might've'?" Shadow muttered. "Aqua Pentagram, Word of Dispel, Quadruple Giga, incredible speed, the power of darkness, technology and lightning... Even with our combined power could we not have countered it at all?"
"He's still alive however." Promestein said. "That's twice he's endured this sort of thing with only a coma to lay through."
Lucia was silent, she merely sat at bedside.
"Me and Lucia will do all we can to bring him back." Promestein said. "Abbadon should be your focus."
They went their separate ways, I however was dreaming again. I couldn't hear them as I felt myself back in the life of that man from my previous flash. Sam, Clark's comrade. Why is it showing me his life now?
Chapter 15: Sacrifice.
Sam and Clark ran through the halls of the Monster Lords castle. Both injured, Clark with his shield and sword, Sam with his large blade. The two made it to the main gate. But a voice hits them as they run;
"You two are dead!" Shouted Black Alice. Soon, dozens of monster guards follow.
Sam pulls the door open. But shoves Clark outside. "Go! Now!" He says.
"I'm not leaving you! I've already lost everyone else!" Clark had said.
"Listen to me captain;" Sam said. "If someone doesn't hold them off, they'll kill us both. Now go! Better you than me! Get reinforcements, the Monster Lord is wounded and her forces are weakend. You have to escape!" Sam then closed the doors and faced the guards.
"Pursue the other! We'll take this one!" A guard had said.
As the guards charged at Sam, he drew his blade and fended them back one by one. The monsters were of many different types. But Sam, held them off. He feels a strange presence as he looked and saw a dark, hooded figure walk past the oncoming monsters. This distracting him as a behemoth knocks him down. He quickly stands and grabs his blade backing to the door.
"You idiots!" Black Alice shouted. "You let that bastard get away!" The Monster Lord Black Alice, clearly angered and forced to show her true form, had arrived. "At least I can kill his friend."
The warrior panted as he saw the guards run away. It was him against her. But no matter what he could do, his fate would've been sealed. "More will come..." Sam said. "My commander was the strongest there is, but there's another...the both of them will stop you."
Black Alice laughed. "Well, too bad they're not here now to watch you die." She said.
Sam attempted to attack, but Black Alice's tentacle knocked him down and disarmed him with zero difficulty. The warrior looked up at Black Alice. Who had raised her tentacles to finish him. Her attacked was stopped however.
"You!" Black Alice said.
"Hmph. I can't believe I lost to you for the throne..." The dark hooded figure from before said as she caught the tentacles. "I'll just leave you without satisfaction. I've been watching this one and I like his potential." The figure then charged a strange energy in her fist as she punched Black Alice back. She then grabbed the young man and warped away.
Chapter 16: Berserker meets Destroyer.
Sam had woken up hours later, covered in bandages. He looked around to find he laid on a stone bed in a cavern. It was lit by several torches but blocked by a stone door. "Where am I?" He asked himself as he looked around.
"Oh...you're awake now." The hooded figure said as it walked towards him. "I was hoping to grab both you and your friend. But he'll have to wait. By the time I brought you here and patched you up, I returned to find him already departing back to Sentora. Who knows where he'll be now."
"Clark's alive?" Sam asked. "I wish the same could be said about the others..." He then noticed the figure looking at him strangely. "Oh...thank you for saving my life. My name is Sam."
"Abbadon." The figure said. "I intended to grab both of you for a reason." Abbadon then removed her robe. "But one will have to do for now."
Sam had blushed seeing Abbadon's body.
"Oh? Walked and ran through a castle of monsters fine. One dragonkin wants to cool off and you can't handle yourself?" Abbadon jokingly said.
Sam shook his head then. "Apologies. I mean seeing Black Alice...like that, threw me completely off so you're admittedly the most attractive I've seen today." Sam then sat up. "So...I assume you need a favor returned?"
"Pervert." Abbadon said.
"You're the one who assumed sex." Sam responded.
"You have me there." Abbadon said. "Maybe later I'll ask for that favor. For now you can make yourself at home. The cavern isn't far from the mountain shortcut to Safina.
"Well, close to home then." Sam said. "Just let me know when. I owe you a lot for saving my life and ensuring Clark got away." Sam then found his gear and large blade. "I might be bed-ridden for a few days. Guess I'll have to wait before finding Clark."
Abbadon then headed to the stone door. "Don't worry about being stuck here, I used some medicinal herbs to patch those wounds." She said. "You'll be up after a night's rest."
"Didn't think you'd be a doctor too." Sam said.
"I fought in the Great Monster Wars." Abbadon said. "It was learn to patch yourself up or bleed out." Abbadon then turned. "By the way, noticed your armor and blade there. Berserker clan from Safina?"
"You're right." Sam said. "Must be skilled with a blade too right?"
Abbadon turned back around. "I'm well known. Don't ask around however, I don't want people knowing I'm alive still." She said.
"Well you'll know where to find me when you need that favor." Sam said.
"Four." Abbadon said.
"Four?" Sam asked.
"I'll need four favors. Favor number one; You and I will be staying together. You'll have to follow my instructions. For now recover and train until I need you." Abbadon said. "Oh and don't sneak off, I'll find you...The Destroyer always finds those who retreat."
Sam gulped. He felt Abbadon's intimidating aura keep him pinned to the bedside.
Abbadon then chuckled. "Good boy." She said then chuckled as she thought about something. "Don't worry, you're a strong fighter so I might actually want to feed of you. I'd suggest you keep your guard up training down here." Abbadon then opened the door and walked outside.
The next morning. Sam was indeed recovered as Abbadon said. She was sleeping as Sam trained to prepare for whatever she requested. He noticed she dozed off and made sure she was asleep.
Sam then walked off to the stone door. It appeared very heavy. Sam tried grabbing it's hand-made handle and managed to slowly pull it open without making too much noise. He looked back to find Abbadon still dozing as he decided to wander around the caverns. He eventually found the exit and looked outside to the sunny fields. "She was right." He had said to himself.
Before he could take a step outside. He felt two hands restraining his arms and pulling his head back. He then felt Abbadon's breastplate against his body. "Where do you think you're going?" Abbadon asked.
Sam struggled out her grasp. "I just wanted to see the outside." He said.
"I already warned you, escape and you'll be brought back by force." Abbadon reminded him. She then grabbed his neck faster than he could see and took his blade. "Now I have to punish you. Some brutal training with me as your foe, impress me and I'll only rape you halfway to death."
"Wait..no!" Sam shouted but Abbadon carried him back inside.
Chapter 17; Tracing a Seeker.
A few days passed, Sam trained hard with Abbadon. However the worst part was if he managed to impress her, he wound up being raped. Sam awoke in the morning feeling very stiff. "Man, she nearly killed me that time." He said to himself. He stretched and decided to keep training his body. "Gotta work on my endurance." He then said.
After an hour, Abbadon walked inside appearing very frustrated.
"What's...wrong?" Sam asked.
"It's about Black Alice." Abbadon said removing her hood. "She's dead."
"What? How?" Sam asked, clearly shocked.
"There was another." Abbadon said. "This Heinrich, whoever he is, apparently obliterated her."
"Heinrich?" I asked. "I knew he was tough but not that strong."
"You know of him?" Abbadon asked.
"He crossed paths with us before." Sam said as he recalled. "He and Clark had a battle. He fought strangely however. Like he was in sync with the elements. Fire, Water, Wind, Earth...he managed to beat Clark. But that was before we left for Hellgondo."
Abbadon raised an eyebrow. "A human, in contract with the spirits?" She asked. "No wonder...well I can't bother looking for him. I was at high risk looking for your friend anyways. Angels have desencded. First time in 500 years. They're tracing Heinrich for some reason, and he isn't willing to come quietly. I even caught that psychopath Lucifina following him."
"If a hero actually managed to kill a Monster Lord, I'd imagine Ilias would want whoever it is." Sam said. "But peace may come with Black Alice gone."
"Whatever." Abbadon said. "Since I have to lay low with those angels on the loose, you'll have to do favor number two."
"Two down, Two to go." Sam said.
"Good, since you're eager." Abbadon said. "Your commander's been moving all over the place since Heinrich beat Black Alice. He stopped in Plansect for now, bring him to me."
"Why do you need us anyways?" Sam asked.
"You'll learn when I have both of you." Abbadon said. "Now go." Abbadon then focused her power to warp Sam away.
Sam arrived at Plansect. He wandered around the forest, looking for any sign of Clark. He came to a small clearing and looked around. "Which way to go? More importantly if I find him, how will I return?" Sam asked himself.
"Ara? A human?" A voice said.
"Ah crap..." Sam said.
A young Alraune approached him. "Oh, he looks too tough." She said. "I don't wanna get hurt."
"Hey, I don't wan't any trouble." Sam said. "My friend is lost here, have you seen him?"
"Is he the scary man in the black coat?" The Alraune said. "My friends and some insects were trying to stop him. They went that way." The Alraune then pointed in a direction.
"Hmm, I'll go check it out. Thanks!" Sam said and ran off. He ran for a few moments before he stopped and hid behind a tree. Three other plant monsters were moving through the area.
"That strange man is really powerful." One of them said. "He apparently took on twenty without rest. We must be careful."
"He's intelligent as well." Another said. "Whoever it is must be very disciplined."
"We have to stop him." A third then said. "He's stolen the endangered plants near the Queen's domain."
Sam waited for the three to rush ahead, before he followed them carefully. He then discovered search parties scouting around the area. Sam decided to stay hidden and move when it was okay to go.
"...Sam?" A voice said.
Sam turned and found Clark, dressed in a black coat and suit, with a dark sword and shield. "Clark? I knew I'd find you!" Sam said.
"H..How? You locked me out the Monster Lord's Castle! Black Alice was right behind you!" Clark said.
"I'll explain later but for now we gotta get out of here." Sam said.
The two of them sneaked past the scouting parties, some managed to get their scent and tried to trace them, but Clark had thrown them off using a strange potion.
"What was in that?" Sam asked. "Man I have a lot of questions when we get out of here."
"We'll need to talk afterwards." Clark said.
The two escaped Plansect and panted as they saw none followed.
"So, mind telling me why you crossed the Queen Alraune just then?" Sam asked.
"My Master needed these rare plants." Clark said. "I fought in self defense I swear."
"Master? Who are you working for?" Sam asked.
"I can't say. I'm risking my life just talking to you." Clark said. "But I needed answers to strange things going on in this world since before we went to Hellgondo. This person is providing the answers, so long as I do this dirty-work." Clark then looked at Sam. "A better question would be, how are you alive?"
"This weird monster saved my life." Sam began to explain. "She's been training me and wanted me to bring you to her. She didn't say why, but I just wanted to see if you're alright. You should come with me, I'm sure this 'master' won't mind you taking a detour."
"I can't Sam." Clark said. "I would rather you came with me and helped me."
"I can't as well." Sam said. "She has my scent and is strong enough to bring me back by force."
"I can say the same." Clark said. "Perhaps we need to part ways for now. Until we get a chance to meet again." Clark turned, "Before I go...whatever happened to Black Alice."
"She's dead." Sam said. "About a week after we were defeated, Heinrich finished the job. But apparently Ilias is looking for him with force. Angels have been following him."
"Wait...Angels?" Clark said. "There should be no reason, he's a hero!" Clark then pondered. "Questions being answered, only for more to arrive." Clark then felt a presence. "I have to leave now. Sam, watch your back. Something's not right." Clark then warped away.
"You do the same." Sam said. He couldn't bring him back by force. Not just because of the difference in combat abilities, but because of everything they've done for each other.
"So, couldn't convince him?" Abbadon said as she appeared.
"I can't fight him either." Sam said. "Not Clark...not after what he's done."
"Sometimes you have to put aside any bonds." Abbadon said. "I threw away my ties to my old master. For good reason." For now, we'll just keep an eye on him. Whoever he's working for will try to kill him without hesitation it seems if he steps out of line. Then we'll save him like I saved you."
"I guess...I wish it didn't have to threaten his life though." Sam said. Abbadon then warped the both of them away.
Chapter 18; Valley of Darkness. The Third Favor.
Time had passed, days...weeks...Every attempt to bring Clark back for Abbadon, led to the same result. He'd avoid Sam even. Whomever he worked for, was truly serious about their threats.
It was a storming day, Sam had his gear and blade ready as Abbadon told him of Clark's next location.
"Now or never Sam." Abbadon said. "Seems Clark crossed his master one too many times. I'll take you there and I'll be ready to jump down if things get too extreme."
"We have to move quickly then." I said.
"Be prepare for the fight of your life then." Abbadon said as she warped both herself and Sam away.
The two arrived at the Valley of Darkness. Sam witnessed a horrifying sight.
The ground around much of the valley, littered with strange corpses. Monsters by obvious first glance. Abbadon examined the bloodshed from afar as Sam rushed down to find Clark. He walked around the corpse ridden valley, examining the strange monsters that have been killed.
"I've never seen these monsters before...not even in Hellgondo." Sam said. He walked further and soon found Clark, heavily wounded and unconsious. "Clark!" Sam shouted as he kneeled down beside him. "Stay with me, I'm getting you out of here."
Clark's head turned away as his eyes opened slowly. "Sam....I don't have much time...listen..." Clark began to say. "Black Alice....alive...."
"What? No she's long gone now! Heinrich killed her." Sam said.
"No...she was saved...Heinrich was hunted down...d..don't trust Ilias..." Clark said.
"Ilias? Why?" Sam asked.
"Ilias...k...killed Heinrich." Clark's eyes slowly closed. "Get...out of here."
"Clark? Clark!" Sam shouted. "Come on stay alive!" Sam then heard footsteps as he stood and drew his blade.
"Truly a shame dear Clark." A scientist said with a sorrowful expression on her face. "Your desires to discover the true corruption within the world and purge it. They were admirable."
"Who the hell are you?" Sam asked.
"Promestein." Promestein said. "I gave the humans fire. And your friend here was my aid...until he eavesdropped and discovered our true plans. Alas, I told him he was just as useful as a corpse with a body that strong."
"You tricked him!" Sam said. "Then killed him!"
"You think I like my top soldier dead?" Promestein asked. "And he took a good 980 Chimeric Beasts with him! That's gonna set my resources back quite a bit to make up for."
Sam rushed at Promestein. "How dare you!" He shouted and attacked. Promestein's appearance changed to show angelic wings and a halo as she avoided his attack. "No way..."
Promestein smirked as she shook her finger. "Ah...attacking an angel? That's a big sin there." Promestein said. "I sent 1,000 beasts after Clark. The remaining twenty should be more than enough for you." Promestein then snapped her fingers as the remaining chimera beasts surrounded Sam. "Make sure this 'sinner' is a shrivled corpse."
Sam looked around as the beasts closed in. If he retreated, he'd lose Clark's body to that angel. "One last debt to repay Clark." Sam said. His eyes then glew red as he shouted. His body was covered head to toe in a flame-like aura. A Chimera Beast tried attacking him. But he cut it clean in half. "He's saved my life too many times and put up with me. Now I wanna make sure he's at peace by killing you."
Abbadon descended into the Valley and watched from afar, fascinated by this technique Sam has performed.
Sam kept fighting off and killing the beasts, one by one. Eventually he struck down all twenty of them and pointed his blade at Promestein.
"Fascinating...trading vitality for power." Promestein said. "The reactions your body must be having to maintain that power. I'd love to experiment with your endurance, but even if you win...you'll be fighting a losing battle. Especially since it's against Ilias herself."
"To hell with her." Sam said. "I just want you dead now." As Sam charged at Promestein, Abbadon jumped in front of him and caught his blade.
"What?" Sam said as his flame-like aura disappeared and he stopped attacking. "Out of my way!"
"We're leaving...now." Abbadon said.
"What about Clark?" Sam asked. "I'm not leaving him with her! She might desecrate his corpse for Goddess knows what."
"A burial won't do anything. She'll just ruin the grave." Abbadon said. "Trust me...I lost my entire family to those freaks called Holy. There is no Goddess to worship if crimes like this go unpunished. Nor is there a world worth living in. I heard it all, he discovered the corruption and true evil. It's never ending, plaguing everything it touches. Ilias can burn this world down for all I care...but I'd rather do it myself."
"But...he was all I had left...my commander...my friend." Sam said.
Abbadon knocked Sam out with a hook to the face. She then grabbed him and teleported away.
Promestein reused her disguise as she grabbed Clark's body. "Whomever that was, seemed dedicated to destruction. It's a shame Ilias would not recruit such a figure.
"Oh my...Little Abby's been busy?" Black Alice said as she appeared. "No matter, this bastard Clark is finally gone. I'd swallow his corpse, but that'd be too good an end for him."
"Abby?" Promestein asked. "Must you have pet names for everyone? Clark already frustrated me calling me 'Doc.'"
"Oh, Abbadon the Destroyer?" Black Alice asked. "She was a nightmare from the Great War to you angels. Also the best dancer save for Heinrich himself. A little scuffle with her for the throne. I nearly lost it was so intense."
"The Destroyer?" Promestein "Interesting...perhaps something like her may be of use in the future. I'd need a lot of time however."
At Abbadon's lair. Sam awoke rubbing his cheek. "Gah...what did you hit me for?" Sam asked.
"So you would shut up." Abbadon said.
"And you left Clark behind?" Sam shouted. "If I didn't owe you my life I'd kill you!"
"You exhausted yourself fighting those beasts." Abbadon said. "I'd kill you without mercy. Besides, we couldn't have stopped her anyways. You didn't smell her, but I did. That bear-hugging little wench Black Alice."
"She's...really alive?" Sam asked. "Clark was right...Ilias is..."
"That I'll focus on later." Abbadon said. "Once I've accomplished my plans for now."
"Count me out." Sam said as he walked out.
"Where do you think you're going?" Abbadon asked. "You're two favors left here. And now you have Ilias and Black Alice after you."
"I'll take my chances." Sam said. Abbadon however grabbed his collar.
"Waging war with a Goddess won't bring your friend back." Abbadon said. "But help me and we'll ruin everything she's trying to have."
Sam took a deep breath and exhaled. "Fine." He said.
"Good. Now favor number three...that technique you had used against those chimera. Where you were on fire." Abbadon said. "What was it?"
Sam turned around. "It's the Infernal Bloodrage." Sam began to explain. "Our clan's ultimate strength for deadly foes. We exchange our own vitality for raw power."
"Teach me it." Abbadon said.
"Really?" Sam asked. "It's a very risky technique."
"I can endure it I assure you." Abbadon said.
Sam and Abbadon trained together until she had perfected his clan's secret skill. The process took only two days time in order for her to get used to it.
Abbadon performed the technique. Sam smiled as she perfected it now.
"Two days!" Sam said. "Much faster than me. Took me a week."
"Thank you." Abbadon said. She then inhaled, then exhaled. "Now for the fun part." Abbadon then invoked a lightning charge on top of it. She found the flaming aura diappearing as her arms, legs and blade were coated in a black lightning. "This...this is..." She said as it surged all around the room violently. Striking the cavern walls and nearly hitting Sam.
Sam fell back and slowly backed away. "What...is that?" He said.
Abbadon laughed as she examined and got used to this new-found power. "This is incredible!" Abbadon said. "This Black Lightning! My plan will be complete...Raijin! Once I've mastered this, prepare for your demise! Then the world will follow!"
Chapter 19; A Storm of Black Lightning. The Final Favor.
Days had passed. Abbadon and Sam then departed when Abbadon was ready. They stood at the base of the Thunder Mountain, staring up at it's never-ending storm circling it's peak.
"The one you want dead's up there?" Sam asked nervously.
"Afraid of heights?" Abbadon asked. "Lightning strikes this place constantly as well. You'll quickly lose count of the number of thunderclaps."
"I was fine about the heights until you mentioned that." Sam asked. "So this Raijin, Spirit of Lightning. What did she do to you?"
"Left me alone when I needed her most." Abbadon said. "I lost everything after that; My family, my faith in this world, and I never even sensed her coming to save me afterwards."
Sam sighed as he looked to Abbadon. "I'm sorry." He said. "I never knew you experienced such pain. I was foolish to not listen back then."
Abbadon smirked and patted Sam on the back. "Ah. but you've made up for that foolishness with your potential." She said. "I'll take you to the top safely. I just need you to help me kill Raijin."
Sam nodded his head. "I lost everyone now." He said. "Because of Ilias, now I want her to lose everything."
"That's the spirit." Abbadon said. She then warped him up to the top. The storms around the mountain were unusually more violent. Sam unsheathed his blade and approached the monsters training. One, a Jade, Serpent-like Dragon Girl, noticed him and approached him.
"Who are you?" Jade asked. "We don't allow random figures just warping up here."
Sam was silent. He merely attempted to attack Jade. Jade jumped back as the other monsters came to help. "Bring your master here." Sam demanded. "Immediately." Sam didn't seem to care how strong his opponents were.
Jade and the others, around six of them, got into stance. Each prepared to fight him off. "Master Raijin has no business with a rogue like yourself." Jade shouted.
"Then how about old family." Abbadon said as she landed beside Sam. As quick as she arrived she then cut down one of the monsters, killing her. The other five attempted to fight but were immediately overwhelmed and killed.
Jade backed away slowly out of true fear. "Stay back..." Jade said.
"Oh? Weren't you the top pupil?" Abbadon asked as she walked towards Jade slowly. "Come now, don't make your last words those of fear."
"Enough Abbadon." Raijin said as she appeared between Abbadon and Jade. Jade regained her composure and stood. "Jade, inside. I'll handle her alone."
"But master she's killed everyone else." Jade said. "I have to help!"
"Not against her." Raijin said. "I have to settle this myself."
Jade backed away inside the temple. Raijin and Abbadon faced each other as Sam watched.
"It's been centuries." Abbadon said. "Now I shall have my revenge."
"Your revenge was for murder caused by another." Raijin said. "I told you that force was too strong to fight. I had told you that even you and myself had limits.You didn't listen, and now you're blaming me for your foolishness." Raijin then looked to Sam. "And now you've enlisted a once innocent man to aid in these murders." The Thunder roared after Raijin had said that. "A berserker who lost his comrades, seeking to end the world as revenge to the Goddess Ilias? Young man, vengence will not revive anyone. Destruction won't do so either. Your mind is simply flooded with anger, much like my former student here. I can guide you, help you before you're lost to your own hatred."
"Don't listen to her Sam." Abbadon said. "It's time we ended the world together. Starting with this spirit." Abbadon then charged her normal lightning power and rushed at Raijin. Raijin had done the same and countered her attack. Raijin then summoned a blade with a lightning bolt and used it to parry Abbadon's massive great-sword.
Sam merely watched as the two fought. Thunder, violently booming with each clash of their blades and martial arts. He was almost not able to keep up with their swift movements.
"My family, my sister, my tribe!" Abbadon shouted. "They were all killed. The images of their corpses burn in my mind!" Abbadon kept attacking Raijin.
Raijin fought defensively, dodging and countering the assault. "I had saved your life as that figure nearly made your fate the same." Raijin said. "And you've refused help afterwards. You went insane and killed everyone of your fellow students, and tried to kill me. After you admitted we were your family."
The two clashed equally. Master and Pupil, too fast and strong for Sam to hope to take on. He merely watched to the best of his skill. Jade peaked from the temple and had done the same.
Abbadon forced Raijin back. "Enough!" Abbadon shouted. "Time to truly show you the force that shall destroy the world." Abbadon then triggered the Black Lightning like before.
Raijin was horrified by what she had saw. "This...is not what I've taught you." She said. "What have you done?"
"No Master Raijin." Abbadon said. "This is what I shall end this world with." Abbadon then resumed her assault. Only this time Raijin was overwhelmed. The heightened speed and power, too swift to dodge, too powerful to counter.
Sam was concerned as he looked up. As Raijin took damage, the storm became more violent and unstable. "Abbadon stop!" Sam called. But Abbadon was too focused on her revenge.
Raijin fell to her hands and knees panting. Abbadon then grabbed her neck and held her up. "Abbadon....daughter...please...." Raijin weakly said, trying to struggle free.
"Your daughter died when she lost everything." Abbadon said. "There is only the Destroyer left behind."
"I said stop!" Sam shouted as he sliced Abbadon's back with her blade. Abbadon took the hit and dropped Raijin.
"Gah! You little..." Abbadon said. But as she turned to face Sam, Raijin had warped away. Jade soon flew outside the temple as fast as she could. "No..no! No no no no no! I nearly had her!"
"The storm would've killed us. She's Spirit of Lightning, without her the world would be bombarded with endless storms." Sam said.
"That's what I wanted!" Abbadon said. "You idiot!" Abbadon then grabbed Sam. "She'll be in hiding away from my scent for months now! Why'd you stop me? I thought you agreed with me!"
"You're wrong!" Sam said. "You're just as angered and insane as Black Alice. If not worse! Raijin's not at fault, it's Ilias! Why not build up the forces and power needed to stop her? Spare the world and kill where it comes from."
"What you think an army of Destroyers would stop I..." Abbadon said then paused. "An Army of Destruction...more like myself." Abbadon then smiled at Sam. "Come, we shall return to the caverns."
Sam shrugged his shoulders and left with Abbadon.
After their return, Abbadon patched up her wound.
"Sorry I cut you." Sam said.
"It's nothing serious." Abbadon said. "I do love the craftmanship in your blade. To think it'd pierce the hide of my kind." Abbadon then stood and approached Sam. "Now then...Raijin's death can wait. If I'm to purge this world and all who inhabit it, I need more than just some new power." Abbadon then placed a hand on Sam's cheek. "I discovered a little flaw with this lightning boost you've aided me in finding; You see, your bloodrage was used by generations of your clan. Your body is naturally attuned to use it. I can do the same but not with such control of the health drained. I shall request a final favor from you, dear Sam."
"Well..a little more training never hurt." Sam nervously said as he tried to back away.
Abbadon swiftly then moved her hand to the back of his head and pulled him him close to a deep kiss. She removed his clothing effortlessly before breaking the kiss. "If I'm to make my army...I'll need to ensure they're perfect." Abbadon then slammed Sam down onto the bed.
Chapter 20; Sam's Redemption. The Legacy Begins.
It felt like darkness again. Was this the end? Did Abbadon kill him then and there? No...I recalled what Tamamo said. Soon, another flash and I was in his perspective again; From the looks of things, at least a year had passed. Abbadon's child was born, Sam was forced to stay, not like he'd win a fight anyways.
The child slept in a makeshift crib constructed. Sam and Abbadon appeared to be talking.
"I've said this before and I'll say it again, the only reason I agreed to stay is because I would never trust you with a baby." Sam said.
"Right, just assume 'The Destroyer' is terrible with kids." Abbadon said.
"You sure you wanna go through with this plan?" Sam asked.
"My decision has been made." Abbadon said.
"But look at her." Sam said. "You see a potential new army of destruction. I see a chance to revive your clan. Return it to it's glory and right the wrongs. I'm sure your revived clan in servitude to a proper Monster Lord could take care of Ilias and Black Alice."
Abbadon was prepared to respond. She then walked to the crib and looked at the child. "She reminds me of my sister..." Abbadon softly said. "No...no more talk of this! I've chosen my path, our path. The world shall end with us as it's heralds."
Much later in the night; Abbadon slept heavily. Sam had taken her black hood and worn it, concealing his face. After opening the door he then grabbed the baby dragon. He looked back at Abbadon before leaving the cavern. Sam managed to leave the cave without alerting Abbadon this time and began to run. As fast and far as he could.
Although he had made it far and ran into no opposition. He had heard a powerful cry, the night sky, eclipsed by storm clouds. Lightning struck all around him. "Raijin?" He asked himself. "No...Abbadon." He knew she was approaching now. He had made it to a clearing before he was grabbed by something...fluffy.
"You!" Tamamo shouted.
"Hey, you're the fox Clark fought before Black Alice!" Sam said as he recalled. "Please, let me go!"
"Indeed, and I know what you're running from." Tamamo said as she set him down. "Rest assured we shall take care of her." Raijin soon approached her.
"You're the young man who was with Abbadon." Raijin said. "What is that you're holding?"
Sam rushed to Raijin and handed her the child. "Please...do not let Abbadon take her back." Sam pleaded with Raijin. "Until she has learned the right path again I do not wish to see that baby raised into a killer."
Raijin was shocked as she stared at the sleeping child. "You and her...I see." Raijin then took the child from Sam's hands. However before Raijin could retreat to a safe location. Abbadon landed near them.
"You...traitor!" Abbadon said. "Attempting to deny me my revenge. Return the child immediately."
"Abbadon you could've regained what was lost." Sam said. "But you didn't listen."
"You were the one ignorant to reality." Abbadon said. "You don't just replace family with new members. Not when they were murdered in cold blood." Abbadon then drew her blade. "I'll just take her back and begin this legacy of destruction by force."
Sam then reached for his blade but Tamamo stopped him. "I shall handle this." Tamamo said.
"You were pushed to your limit by Clark though. Abbadon's on a whole different league. And she has this Black Lightning now." Sam said.
Tamamo listened to Sam's reasoning, however continued anyways. "I ask thee, eternal time..."
Abbadon readied her blade and Black Lightning. "So the fox wishes to play first? So be it." She said.
"My body, shackled by the powers of creation, I beseech thee...." Tamamo continued.
Abbadon was not ready to let Tamamo finished and lunged forward, preparing to impale her.
Sam jumped in front of Tamamo, who's incantation was almost cut short from surprise as Sam took the blow for her.
Abbadon paused as she witnessed Sam impaled by her blade. "You....fool." Abbadon muttered.
Sam merely looked up at her. "I almost agreed to end the world over some lies. I worked for you out of fear and let you trick me." Sam said. "I'm done trying to destroy alongside you. So I'll redeem myself for my errors this way if it means protecting that child."
Abbadon then pulled her blade back as Sam kneeled, holding his stomach. A white flash shined from behind him as Tamamo had quickly jumped in front of him and began fighting Abbadon. Sam fell to his back, and looked at Raijin and the child.
"Not destruction...use your heritage to protect..." Sam weakly said. "You're too young to understand now...but I hope you hear this...if not you, maybe your future children or further down." Sam's eyes closed...my vision in this sleep ends...back to darkness and silence.
I felt weightless, alone and left with my thoughts only. I now know everything...I was willing to master her techniques before. But to stop Abbadon, I must go further...
I looked up, I was ready now. To begin any preparation to do just that. To become what Abbadon wanted, for a goal nowhere near her intention. All I had to do now, was wake up.
The hospital room I was in only had Lucia, sleeping at my bed side on a chair. I slowly awoke and looked around. I sat up and discovered Promestein did me a favor and rebuilt my arm and legs. But they were merely standard artificial limbs. Not like Next Doll level technology inside them. I stood and discovered I had been out for a week. I managed to get dressed without waking Lucia. I was back up, but I had work to do.
Chapter 21; Awakening. Rebuilding. Upgrading.
I was curious if anyone knew I had awoken. Before anything however, I needed information. I walked in the library and searched around. I managed to find a book about legendary monster weapons. I flipped through and found the Deshimeta, the famed black blade of Abbadon the Destroyer.
It was mysteriously enough, originally a weapon from Abbadon's home village, the rare materials come from that corner of the world. But it was further improved with rare Thunder Crystal Obsidian from the Thunder Mountain. Very compatible with Lightning power. However not all of it's secrets were discovered. However all I needed to know was how to make something like this. I had grabbed an atlas as well and looked for the ruins of Abbadon's homeland. The Dark Dragon's land was only locatable from ancient maps though.
I gathered supplies and warped to the location I managed to find and found what appeared to be the place. I looked around the ruins and found that something truly powerful must've destroyed these lands. Craters, ancient ruined buildings, and that was what wasn't buried over the centuries. I examined the ruins and found a cavern and discovered it was an ancient mine. I searched inside with only a latern, no signs of monster life anywhere. I managed to find what I was looking for. The ore used in Abbadon's Blade. However I needed to ensure I had enough for everything I planned.
I knew it wasn't an easy task. In fact it took a few trips back and forth to the labs in the castle to get enough. But I managed to finish and required the Thunder Crystal Obsidian now. I discovered that the Thunder Mountain actually has a series of underground caverns and managed to find said crystals easily after locating an entrance.
I was ready to begin. But at the lab I realized before I can draft a blueprint...I'm left handed with writing. Promestein forgot to make this fake hand functioning.
~One Hand Rebuilding Later~
I began drawing the blueprints. It took hours to get it right. But once I was prepared. I took the materials and lab equipment to the forge. And began this long task of rebuilding the necessary upgrades.
Lucia awoke in the infirmary and discovered I was missing. "Solomon?" She shouted as she stood.
Tamamo rushed inside. "What's the matter? Wait...where's Solomon?" Tamamo asked.
"I had just awoken and he was gone!" Lucia shouted. "You think Abbadon tried something to get him?"
Tamamo sniffed the air. "No, he's been moving a lot though." Tamamo said. "Back and forth even...this much teleporting after just awakening from a coma. I imagine he's probably eager to get back to work. I'll ensure he doesn't go get himself killed." Tamamo then began searching the castle.
I had continued working. I then felt a presence and looked behind me to find Tamamo.
"You have your girlfriend worried up there." Tamamo said. "Mind telling me what you're making?"
"Just some necessities to fight Abbadon." Solomon said. "Well...gear wise, necessary. Skill wise? I need some work after I finish.
Tamamo then examined the first thing completed, a long, powerful looking black blade. "That's...Abbadon's blade? No...you managed to find the blade's secrets?" Tamamo asked.
"Not all of them." I responded. "Just how it's so compatible with her lightning. She wants a destroyer? She won't have it. She will have me at my full potential like she wants however. Only as her worst enemy."
Tamamo then examined what I was building now. "And I thought Clark was frightening when Akame revived him." Tamamo said with a concerned look. "Call if you need anything."
After a few days working, everything was completed;
The blade, while not an exact replica, was a similar design to Abbadons.
The combination of materials however, allowed me to create proper upgrades to my other gear. A new and improved hand-cannon. With the materials to allow empowerment from my lightning power. The Back-claws; able to grab and shock on their own as well. Finally artificial legs with the same materials. Armored and will recieve a more powerful speed boost from lightning. After finishing the gear, I went back to the lab and constructed another pair of scanner goggles using back-up data discs.
After a series of field tests, I found this new, optimal gear was ready. I was about to meet with the Heavenly Knights to see what has happened. When Raijin stopped me.
"Solomon I...you look, and feel, more powerful." Raijin was about to express concern. But she sensed something within me it seems. "Your monster genes awakened fully now. You're no longer holding back."
"Master Raijin. I had learned a valuable lesson whilst I slept." I said. "Although she's insane, I have to accept who I am because of her." I then placed a hand on Raijin's shoulder. "But not as what she wants, what I want."
Raijin smiled. "That's the spirit!" She had said. "But are you sure you're ready?"
I stood back a bit before concentrating. "Just like I saw..." I said to myself. I then performed what I could not do willingly before. My body was shrouded and charged by Black Lightning.
Raijin was startled. "It's just as he said before his death." Raijin said. "Go Solomon, stop her wrath from consuming this world."
I deactivated the lightning power and nodded my head before warping the Alice's throne room.
Act 3: The Enforcer Reborn.
I appeared before Alice XVI. Ready for what's next.
"Solomon, good to see you're back and...okay I thought the metal limbs were silly at first, but now you look ridiculous." Alice said.
"Lord Alice, with all due respect, get to the point please." I said.
"Abbadon and Aome have changed their hiding posistion and this time they're well hidden." Alice said. "Whilst we track Abbadon and Shadow focuses on Aome, there are three escaped prisoners remaining."
"The sooner the better." I said.
"Well fortunately three of them are in an alliance. And are all focusing one area, heading for Plansect. Shadow's partner... Bla-- I mean Phantom, said she wants to have a "tea party" with the three by herself. I don't know what Shadow or that fox have hidden, but they say we can trust her. Well, whatever. Go ahead and meet with the Alra Queen and Undine there and prepare to protect them, if you'd like. Join or crash the party, I don't really care as long as the three prisoners are recaptured." Alice said.
"Understood." I said and warped away.
Chapter 22; Tea Party in Plansect.
Arriving at Plansect, I met with the Alra Queen and Undine, alongside the Queen Bee as well. The three were guarded well already it seems.
"So, you must be Solomon." Alra Queen had said.
"Though I still don't condone the use of our artificial counterparts." Undine said. "It is good of you to be on our side this time."
"So, we have three headed for you guys." I said. "Each with two possible goals in mind; Revenge and Conquest. My...associate might have found the three already however."
"So will this be over without any harm to the villagers or slimes staying here?" The Queen Bee asked.
"I've heard these lands were stricken with war and internal conflicts before." I said. "Hopefully, that shall not be the case any longer. Now, if they have been found already, I should be looking for my...evasive friend." I walked off and searched the forest. I scanned for traces of Phantom. Much like Shadow however, she was difficult to find. If Phantom wanted a 'Tea Party,' it'd bide enough time for them to be found and stopped. "Why crash a party?" I asked myself. "Creepy as she is, least she makes a good cup of tea."
Elsewhere in the forest. Hidden from the others;
"Though my soldiers refused to join our cause, they shall be punished later." The Spider Princess said. "Our plan can be accomplished without them."
"Once this forest is conquered and it's leaders devoured, Erubetie shall arrive to protect her dear friend." Bess had said.
"As well as those two fools who re-sealed me." The Spider Princess said. "And what about you? Our newest comrade?"
"Sadly my sisters refuse to help." Deana said. "They know better than to get in our way however. But as promised I'll help you two deal with any who try to stop us."
"Excellent." The Spider Princess said. "Now let us move."
As the trio proceeded through the forest, they came across a table set with four seats, and tea cups and cookies set for each seat.
"... What the hell?" the three looked on in confusion.
"My my." A voice giggled. "Two of my aids from before, and a new friend they've made it seems."
"That voice..." Bess said.
"It can't be..." Spider Princess said.
Appearing from the dense forest was Phantom, wearing a blue gothic lolita dress. "Ah, it is good to see you two again." she giggled.
"Black Alice?!" The Spider Princess was shocked when she recognized her former master. "You're still alive?! But it can't be..."
"This is your former master?" Deana asked. "I heard she had perished years ago!"
"That's what I heard too..." Bess said. "But that voice and appearance... It's definitely her."
Black Alice gave a curtsy. "I'm here, in the flesh. The three of us should really catch up over tea~ And introduce me to your new friend, too."
The three were a bit confused, but eventually agreed. All four sat down at the table as Black Alice levitated the teapot and poured into each cup.
"Ehehehe... Though nothing beats the taste of humans, this tea is still quite delicious." Bess complimented.
"I suppose its better than those dreadful days of being watered." Deana said.
"I agree with Bess, a feast would be much more pleasant, but this is better than nothing." Spider Princess said.
"Deana Canaan, was it?" Black Alice turned to the plant monster. "I've heard about the Canaan Sister's extraordinary skill, but alas you three were far too busy to have a tea party at the time. It's amazing how these two had found you."
"But I must ask, Black Alice..." Spider Princess said. "How did you survive?"
"Tee hee." Black Alice set down her cup and simply smiled. "I... simply separated my soul from my body. Before that hero and that assassin destroyed it. I spent a long time to regain a physical form again, though my magic power has severely waned as you can see."
"I see... To think the infamous Black Alice survived death not once, but twice." Spider Princess said.
"Even I wouldn't have expected her to have survive." Bess said. "While I don't feel a strong power from her anymore, that voice is definitely unmistakable."
"Now that you're in a weak body, what will you do then?" Deana asked.
"Simply wait." Black Alice replied. "Why don't you three join me again? You won't say no to a glorious feast again, will you?" she then giggled.
"Hehe... I'm so sorry, but the three of us are aiding Abbadon the Destroyer. She promised us a fulfillment to our revenge." Bess said.
Black Alice stopped giggling. "Oh my... Abby? I find her rather... unpleasant."
"Hmph, this farce has gone on long enough!" Spider Princess grabbed the underside of the tea table and flipped it, sending it crashing above Black Alice. She merely used her hand to push it aside, but Spider Princess rushed her and grabbed her by the throat, holding her up high.
"So weak..." Deana chuckled. "This is the mighty Black Alice as you both claimed?"
"Black Alice never lived up to her promise." Bess giggled. "But I bet Abbadon's help will surely land me the Queen Slime's throne."
"How pathetic!" Spider Princess strangled Black Alice. "You acted as our leader before, but Abbadon's might is superior! You've lost to the accursed hero and his buddy assassin, and now that you're in this weak form, you won't live a third time!"
Black Alice briefly struggled before suddenly stopping. As the three monsters were laughing, Black Alice suddenly smirked in Spider Princess's grip.
"W-what?!" Spider Princess's laughter stopped once she realized Black Alice acted unfazed. She then suddenly felt her grip slipping from Black Alice's throat. "H-huh... My strength?"
The other two monsters also felt weakness. "No... Poisoned tea?! You bastard..." Deana scowled.
"Was all this... just to toy with us?!" Bess too had scowled.
Black Alice smirked as she summoned her blade staff to her left hand and stabbed Spider Princess, forcing her to rear back and release her. Her assassin clothing materialized around her body as she engaged a battle stance. "My my, how rude to your hostess. After all that work setting up the table and preparing the sedatives. Shall we skip to the dance, then?"
"The assassin?!" The Spider Princess said angrily. "Is this some impersonation trick?!"
"Tee hee." Phantom giggled. "What I said about splitting my soul was true; he and I were originally one, but he left me to play with you three."
The three's strengths were slipping from the poison. However Phantom merely stood by, waiting for the three to start.
"We won't be able to accomplish anything with this poison." The Spider Princess said. She then tried to restrain Phantom in her web.
Phantom dodged and stood atop a branch. "My my, eager...yet slow. Perhaps this ones a slow dance tonight." She said.
"She's merely toying with us." Deana said. "But it's difficult to move."
Bess however, was merely staying back.
"Oh? My dear slime, how rude of you to try and speed things up." Phantom said and quickly rushed to Bess delivering a swift strike, jumping away before any of the three can react. "Your pesky regeneration."
Bess flinched but recombined. "Her poisons aren't much for one like myself." Bess said. "Maybe we can stall the venom if we play it safe."
Spider Princess smirked. "You smell that...help's on the way too. Good plan Bess." She said.
Deana nodded. "Allow me, brace yourselves you two." Deana then released an trance-inducing fragrance in the air.
Phantom teleported away into black smoke to avoid the fragrance, Spider Princess covered her mouth and nostrils and Bess wasn't affected.
Spider Princess then released a large series of webs. blocking off the tree brances and areas around the clearing.
Phantom emerged from her shadows as the intoxicating fragrence wore off and looked around. "Oh my, it seems I'm trapped with you three." Phantom said. "But I've had enough fun for now."
"Too late." Bess said. "It's gonna be over for you."
"Indeed." Spider Princess said. "You sensed it as well I assume, Abbadon's here and she'll finish you. Black Alice, Assassin, whoever the hell you are."
Phantom sensed the same presence behind her. "Oh? Is Abby here for a dance?" Phantom turned around and sliced the web open for whoever it was to enter. She then gave a courtsey.
I walked to Phantom and chuckled before giving her a bow. "Apologies, these three ladies need my attention first." I said.
"That Seeker?" Spider Princess said. "Impossible! I knew I sensed Abbadon."
"The young man who quivered in fear when Promestein gave us those spirits?" Bess asked.
Phantom giggled and stood behind me. "You were right my dear Spider." She said. "You sensed Abbadon's blood...but in this young man. It appears he's embracing his heritage for the right reasons. The floor is all yours Solomon."
I drew my blade and face my three opponents. "Surrender quietly, or I will use force." I said.
The three were cautious, yet more confident. "Poison or not, a tasty human is a tasty human." Deana said.
"She's right." Bess said. "You must be delicious to have the blood of Abbadon."
"Least part of my revenge shall be satisfied." Spider Princess said.
I scanned the three to find two of their vitals had dropped due to poison. The third, Bess, was regenerating faster than the poison could work. She was the main problem. "Gnomaren..." I whispered and invoked the artificial Earth Spirit.
Spider Princess jumped a top the trees and hid herself. Deana stood in the center as Bess went to her side.
I looked up to scan for the Spider Princess to find Bess attempting to rub against me with her slime. I endured the attack and lightning charged, knowing Bess is more attuned with water.
"Damn," Bess said as she stood back.
Deana then tried chomping down on me with her fly-trap. I caught it's massive plant jaws with my back claws and fired an electric pulse inside them, causing Deana to reel back and fall over from paralysis. I jumped back and looked up scanning. I detected Gnomaren's presence moving around the tree-tops.
"Might be dozens of webs up there," I muttered to myself. "Zylphe" I said and prepared to dodge. Spider Princess then swooped down and tried pinning me with her legs but I dodged swiftly. She then climbed back up.
"Come and get me Seeker." Spider Princess said.
I knew better than to fall for a lure. I decided to just prepare to evade an ambush and focus on Bess and Deana.
Deana stood. "Let me just end this right away." she said and prepared a trance-inducing fragrence.
Before it could spread however, I paralyzed her again with another shot from a safe distance. Zylphe's wind would blow it aside as I finished Deana. "Black Lightning Assasination!" I shouted and took out Deana in one more empowered attack.
Bess used Grandine and stood ready. "That lightning may make you impossible to grab, but this artificial spirit will enable me to just finish you without binds."
I stood ready. "Try your luck then." I said.
Spider Princess then shouted. "Plan B Bess!"
"Ah, plan B." Bess said. "I suggest you surrender. Or I'll release a toxic miasma to poison the weaker alraunes and insects."
I scanned to find she was indeed preparing that. "Hmph, that desperate for power?" I asked. "Very well, hows about a wager before you poison an entire forest for one human?"
"I'm listening." Bess said.
"I'll finish you and Spider-girl in one attack." I said. "Just give me a moment's preparation. If it fails, I surrender."
Phantom was curious as to what I was planning.
Spider girl took the opportunity to sneak directly above me.
Bess looked up then back at me. "Let's make it more interesting....no preparation. As soon as I say 'Now!' you attack."
"Hmmm." I said. "Tell me when then."
Bess chuckled. "Very well...now!" She shouted.
As Spider Princess descended to catch me, I caught her with my back-claws. "Oh, that was for her?" I asked.
"Let me go!" Spider Princess said as she struggled.
Bess decided to finish preparing the miasma.
I charged black lightning this time. "My turn." I said and threw the Spider Princess on Bess. "Demon Stinger Blade..." I said and hit both of them directly, sending them into a massive tree before it fell over.
I looked around to find no miasma was released and the three were unconcious.
"Bravo! Bravo!" Phantom said giving a small applause. "Truly a fantastic quartet. But the real applause goes to it's lead."
I smirked and waved to the 'audience' that was Phantom and took a bow. "I see how Shadow's lightening up." I said.
"Ah, once Abby's finished. I shall throw a big party, maybe have a marvelous show for everyone to see." Phantom suggested.
"Keep it within your boundaries." I said. "Alice is still unsure about you."
"She'll be sure to trust once a banquet is served with the entertainment." Phantom giggled.
"Assuming Abby is finished so easily." said a voice. I turned quickly to find Abbadon standing beside the three I just defeated. "Though you've put on a little show it seems. I liked the part where the fools thought a gambit would work on the star." Abbadon then said. "I'm trying to put together a big show as well...I'm missing it's co-star however." She then casually walked towards me and examined me, inch by inch as she walked around me. "Very nice...truly, truly amazing. I sense it...you are of my bloodline. No hiding it, no rejection, embracing it." Abbadon then placed a hand on my cheek. "Shall we set the world on fire?" Abbadon asked me.
I grabbed Abbadon's hand and moved it away. "No." I simply said.
Abbadon glared at me. "Oh? You'll come around...don't be a fool like that last human I thought I could trust." She said.
"You mean Sam?" I asked. Not even intimidated. "Rest assured, when I'm done...you'll wish you took his advice."
Abbadon looked shocked. She then laughed. "Oh, well perhaps I need to spring to the next phase sooner. Then you'll quickly regret that little attitude my Truth-Seeking Pup." Abbadon then said before turning to Phantom. "It's been a long time, Phantom. Not since that era?"
"Oh my, the Lightning Bruiser remembers her role from that era? So many playmates, what a glorious party we all had back five centuries ago." Phantom giggled.
"Hmph, how could I forget?" Abbadon snarled. "Every one of you bastards were quite a pain to deal with, but the biggest annoyance of all was the Demon Assassin."
"Tee hee." Phantom giggled. "Such a marvelous festival back then~ Of the others I loved every elegant moment of the role-playing Hero. Don't worry, you danced pretty well too, Abby."
"Times have changed." Abbadon chuckled. "Now it's only two of us remaining. After this, it'll only be me. Tell your 'other half' to stop stalking Aome as she sets the stage."
"Can't do that Abby." Phantom smirked. "He does whatever he wants. Besides, it'll to make the show more interesting."
Abbadon chuckled. "All the more reason to act sooner. Do what you wish to those fools. They were merely there to make preparations easier." Abbadon then flew off.
Chapter 23; Aome's final preparations.
Abbadon arrived at a hidden location. She had saw Aome, relaxing.
"And what are you doing?" Abbadon asked.
"Just a bit of a breather while that assassin stops his own breathing down my back." Aome said. "Don't worry, everything is going according to plan and that assassin hasn't seen the true plan. We just need the final piece."
"That will come soon enough." Abbadon said. "We may need to act quickly."
"Ah, but what of dear Solomon?" Aome asked.
"He is still resisting." Abbadon said. "His powers grown at an incredible rate since our last battle. I have no idea where he got that new attitude from either."
Aome chuckled. "Perhaps he needs a little...aid to convince him our plan is the right one."
Abbadon looked up at Aome with a smirk. "Indeed my doll-making friend." Abbadon said. "He, like myself, needs to see that this world is not worth protecting." Abbadon then stood. "That academy, his family, his teacher and master, his...beloved. Fortunately all of those shall perish with our plan."
Aome clapped in joy. "Ah, a strike at the heart! A perfect way to turn your kin into our ally." She said. "And it won't add any time to our plan, once the stage is set and act 1 ends; we can send act 2 to all he loves and send his rage into overdrive. Then, you will convince him."
"Then let us depart. I need one last thing to prevent that boy and Raijin combining their strengths." Abbadon said. Both of them teleported away.
Back at the Monster Lord's Castle;
"Excellent work!" Tamamo said with glee in the dungeons. "Seven escaped prisoners all returned!"
"Only my cousin and Abbadon are left!" Chrome said.
"We can focus our time and energy on them now." I told Chrome. "All of us against those two will overwhelm them."
"Perhaps." Shadow said. "Your ability is improving, but their fall was no surprise."
"Phantom's rubbing off on you." I told Shadow. "But with the 'fodder' out the way, it's time for the real threats. Be in top form and ready."
"As should you." Shadow responded.
"Enough you two." Tamamo said. "You're both right to be on your guard however."
"Indeed. With her distractions out the way, Abbadon will likely act sooner." Raijin said as she walked in. "Solomon, this is why I must request something of you. Come with me."
I followed Raijin upstairs. We walked until we arrived at the lab entrance.
"As I've said before, Abbadon was my strongest pupil and nearly overwhelmed once she discovered Black Lightning." Raijin began explaining. "Even as you are with discovering it's power, she'll likely be your greatest opponent."
"We have allies however." I said. "I won't face someone that strong alone despite how much stronger I am now."
"Precisely." Raijin said. "You and I shall fight as one for this task."
I was startled at the suggestion. "Isn't it a big risk?" I asked.
"Your lightning mastery is far greater now than when we fought together before." Raijin said. "Another contract between you and I shall aid the Heavenly Knights greatly."
I nodded my head. "It's the best way for you to guide me against her." I said and offered my hand.
Raijin smiled and shook my hand. She disappeared only to reappear in my head. "Together again." Raijin said smiling.
"Indeed." I said.
Back at the castle's dungeon. The seven prisoners were being monitored by Shadow.
"How frustrating... To think that I would be a prisoner... again. Damn you, assassin!" grumbled Spider Princess.
"Hmph... I'll still never accept peace." grumbled Deana.
"Why... Did I lose again...?" Bess muttered.
Doppel Luka and Ariel quietly sat in their cells.
"Forgive me, Mistress Cassandra..." Ran quietly muttered.
"Damn you, Abbadon! And I was so close to making him mine!" Lily grumbled.
"... They haven't changed at all. I doubt they know what Abbadon's planning." Shadow muttered as the seven cried out and left the dungeon. Outside the dungeon, Phantom appeared.
"My my... still so sour." Phantom giggled.
Shadow simply sighed. "Seems like Abbadon entrusted Aome the most of the eight. And yet I'm not getting any closer to finding out their grand master plan."
"Patience." Phantom gently patted Shadow's head. "They'll reveal their plan soon enough."
"... Now that I think about it... Her Black Lightning made her exponentially more powerful." Shadow said. "I recall through your memories that before she had Black Lightning she was on equal footing as you. A force to be reckoned with, yet oppressed by other forces which kept her in line for the most part. But now that she has Black Lightning..."
"Tee hee. Always so analytical. Such grand intelligence~" Phantom giggled.
"... Perhaps you're right." Shadow continued. "I think it's best if we act on Aome's and Abbadon's plans from the sidelines rather than attempting to brute force the ringleader again."
Later that evening; At the Seeker's Academy construction site. Promestein was startled by a crash.
"What is going on?" Promestein asked.
Abbadon and Aome appeared before Promestein. "Remember me you mad scientist?" Abbadon asked.
Aome then restrained her. "We request your services dear Seeker." She said. "We won't take no for an answer."
The three then warped away.
Chapter 24; Abbadon's Assault; The Beginning
The next morning, I awoke to find Raijin ordered Jade to assist us against Abbadon before coming to me. We made the preparations to begin tracking Abbadon, however my work was interrupted by a loud banging.
A few minutes of it went by before Tamamo came to the hall, dragging Tyrannea. "Solomon...I found your Next Doll friend banging on the door." Tamamo said. "Thank goodness she's weaker, else I would've mistook it for an assault."
"Weaker?" Tyrannea shouted. "Ah I don't have time for you...Solomon! We got a major problem!"
"Hyde?" I asked. "What are you doing here?"
"It's about Doc! She instructs me to guard the academy at night, but when morning came...she wasn't there!" Tyrannea said.
"That's odd. She'd never just skip a day like that without reason." I said. "Have you tried Enrika?"
"Yes, and the former Seraph said she never came home!" Tyrannea said. "She told me to warn you guys."
"Who was supervising Promestein last night?" I asked Tamamo.
Tamamo merely exhaled before saying; "Alma Elma..."
"Figures." I said.
"Why is she in a posistion of power again?" Tyrannea asked.
"Nevermind that mystery we need to find Promestein." I said. Before our search began however, we heard a rumbling. A small kitsune rushed to the room.
"Miss Tamamo! We're under attack!" She said.
All of us rushed to the front entrance to find what appeared to be Abbadon, but it looked more like a lightning-charged statue.
"What is that?" Tamamo asked.
I scanned it. "It's like a giant doll or a statue...made of a tough material. Animated through magic and lightning power." I told her.
The statue clone rushed with it's stone blade towards us. Granberia easily countered it however it actually took some effort to take it down. "Whatever it was...is quite formidable." Granberia said.
I looked outside the busted door to find more of them approaching the castle. "There's more of them." I said.
Yao then appeared beside Tamamo. "Tamamo this is urgent, all over the world these wierd statues are assaulting areas." She said. "I've recieved word that they're keeping them at bay however."
"Aome." I said. "These must've been by her and Abbadon."
At a hidden location.
"This most amazing show of the ages has begun!" Aome said with joy. "All shall be the audience! New volunteers will come by the hundreds!"
"This is most excellent Aome." Abbadon said. "These doppelgangers, while weaker, are bringing the world to it's knees."
"Ah, but I have my director to thank." Aome said and bowed to Abbadon. "You've reinspired my works of art with your desires. Now the whole world shall enjoy my work."
"Just keep focused and ensure it goes unhindered." Abbadon said. "Now then my angelic scientist...hows it coming along? I'm a very impatient woman you know."
"You've kidnapped me without the proper tools and I have to go off memory for this." Promestein said. "Whilst Aome's labs are sufficient for now, I'm unsure I can get this done in time."
Abbadon then grabbed Promestein's collar. "I don't have time now! The assault has begun! Finish it, or your dreams shall perish!" She then dropped Promestein, who kept working. Abbadon kept her blade pointed at Promestein, forcing her to work.
Back at the Monster Lord's Castle.
"Take this!" Solomon shouted as he combined his and Raijin's power to defeat a few statues. He, Tyrannea, and the Heavenly Knights managed to defeat the assault for now. "That's all of them."
"These things were tough." Tamamo said. "We need to stop Abbadon's plan now."
Shadow then appeared. "I've discovered where they're coming from. I've also found Promestein, Abbadon's holding her captive."
"The sooner we stop them, the better." I said. "Tyrannea, I need you to go to Port Natalia, Protect everyone there."
"Your family?" Tyrannea said. "Twice now I've had to do this, but how strong you are now I don't wanna mess this up." Tyrannea then warped away.
"I hope Lucia will be okay until this is over." I said.
"Lucia held off chimeras and angels assaulting her village. These statues aren't any different." Tamamo said.
"You're right," I said. "let's go." We all then warped away.
Chapter 25; Aome's Laboratory. Abbadon's true Plan.
We arrived at the source of the assault, which was a strange theatre in the middle of nowhere.
"A theatre?" I asked. "Chrome was right, this is all a big magic show to Aome."
Tamamo then focused her magic. "It's like the Biolabs," She began to explain. Then revealed a massive factory-like building behind it. "a facade."
"Hmph, her lair is like herself." Shadow said. "An act hiding true intentions."
"Let's head inside before those statues arrive." I said as we walked inside.
Deep inside the building:
"Our interlopers have arrived." Aome said. "Like a storm to a playground or a shark to a beach party, here to try and ruin the fun."
"Quite right Aome." Abbadon said. "Unfortunately, they will be pre-occupied."
"Unfortunately, it is finished." Promestein nervously said.
"Right on time." Abbadon said to Promestein. "You're not free to go however. My dear Solomon shares a bond with you...his other mentor I presume?"
"He will stop you." Promestein said. "He endured and helped stopped that made of the essence of a God. As well as Akame's numerous failed plans. Need I remind you the Knights are with him as well."
"Why bring my deceased sister into this my dear?" Aome asked.
"I'm aware." Abbadon said. "But whilst he faces his demise for not joining me, his knights shall be overwhelmed."
We walked through the theatre and found the lab entrance backstage. We moved carefully through the area, expecting any kind of ambush. We made it to a central room with six paths.
"Ohohoho." Aome laughed as she appeared. "The intruders are here, but moving rather slow. Hopefully I can speed them up, with a show."
Another Aome then appeared in front of her. "Welcome welcome! I'm right here can't you see?" She said with glee.
Another Aome then appeared in front of another. "However, let's start with a little game for all of thee. Your task is simple, find the real, little, old me." The third then said.
"Why waste time chasing fakes?" Alma Elma said. "We can just take care of you here."
Four more then appeared in front of the doors. They spoke in unison. "You are right, we are fake. Zombie dolls which are rather easy to make." They began to say in rhyme. "However only one will go to the real me. With that, we shall begin to flee." The fakes then ran away into each of the doors. "No cheating now, that's not the way to play. Or Abbadon will hunt you one by one, and make you pay."
"Ugh." I groaned.
"What shall we do?" Alma Elma asked. "Chase the dolls and run into traps? Or just sniff the real one out."
Tamamo sniffed the air then covered her nose. "Her scent is masked. It stinks here!" She said.
I tried to scan. "This place seems impossible to scan naturally. I guess we have no choice. But should we really split up?" I ask. "It's what Abbadon and Aome would want."
"If we try going together, it'll leave unchecked paths." Erubetie said.
"And if we try to just skip this nonsense, it'll provoke Abbadon." Granberia said.
"We have no choice. Be careful everyone." Shadow said with a sigh.
We each picked a path and wandered through it, surprisingly we each found a clone and chased it as they wanted. I followed mine, avoiding and cutting down zombies and dolls that tried to attack. No matter how fast I went however, it stayed ahead. I kept going and eventually reached a big, central room.
"Wrong door my little pup." Abbadon said sitting on a table.
"Solomon, be careful!" Promestein said. She was chained to a post.
"Abbadon..." I said. "I assumed you needed Promestein to bait me here?"
"Actually, something far bigger." Abbadon said, then sniffed the air. "As I expected, she's combined with you."
I was cautious to approach. Even with my new power and Raijin, Abbadon might've made a back-up plan if she was aware of this possibility.
"What's wrong?" Abbadon asked. "I nearly killed you last time, don't you want to return the favor?" Abbadon then stood and drew her blade.
I drew my blade and awaited Abbadon's first move.
"Oh fine, since you're such a hesitant one." Abbadon said then focused a strange magic.
"Solomon! Get out of there!" Promestein shouted.
I felt a strange force hit me, but I didn't feel harmed. "What the...what did you do?" I asked.
Abbadon smirked and stood to the side, revealing Raijin, bound to a device on the other side of the room.
"Master Raijin!" I shouted and tried to rush after her. But the floor around Abbadon then rapidly rose out the ground and up a large tower. I invoked a lightning charge a Zylphe and quickly freed Promestein. She apologized as she was a hostage forced to make that device before departing. I quickly followed Abbadon.
Chapter 26; The Puppet Master. Shadow vs. Aome
Shadow followed the Aome doll through his shadow melding. The doll seemed to not bother stopping however.
"Seems they want you guys apart." Chrome appeared out of Shadow's realm and on his back.
"Abbadon nearly destroyed us all in one fell swoop." Shadow said. "But it seems like Aome wants some alone time with us, just like Abbadon wants alone time with her descendant."
The doll made it to a workshop. Dolls, small and large, complete or horribly misfigured, were everywhere around. On tables, shelves, even some rejected ones hanging from the high ceiling.
Aome's doll stopped by Aome herself. Aome was working on a doll. "Oh dear, is it game over?" Aome asked. She then raised the doll with her hand and looked at it. It was of Akame. "Dear sister, when you and Shirome were banished, it broke my heart." Aome said.
Chrome leaped off Shadow's back and stood behind him, silent.
"Oh...the traitor too? Didn't think you'd show up as well." Aome said.
"Where'd the other dolls go?" Chrome asked. Wondering about the other Heavenly Knights.
"The four knights got lucky." Aome said. "Running in circles, finding only themselves, a few zombies, a statue or two."
"And Solomon found Abbadon." Shadow said.
Aome merely smiled. "A one in six chance of bumping into Abbadon, and he succeeded. It's like fate wanted them to be together again." She said. "But don't worry about them. I'm your foe, correct? Oh sweet, sweet Chrome. I've wanted to meet you when I've heard of my sister's demise. I had learned of your hand, lent to them in doing so." Aome then laughed hysterically. "You helped kill your own family. Sister, cousin, what's next? Mommy? 3rd aunt twice removed?!"
Chrome was sweating and looking down, clenching her fists in anger.
"Our family was scattered already." Aome said dancing around. "Now we're left. But you wish to be my enemy? Will you have me slain next? Was this your only way to the top?"
Chrome teared up, she was about to go berserk until she heard a slash. She looked up to find Shadow had decapitated Aome.
"Hmph..." Shadow muttered. "Shirome wanted to be saved; she couldn't be more proud of you. Akame on the other hand was beyond redemption; her actions and methods were far more insane."
Chrome wiped her face and nodded. "You're right!" Chrome said.
Aome's body however did not fall. Instead of blood, a blue puff of cotton-like material leaked out. Aome's head floated back up as the body repaired itself. "Ohohoho, tell me more about Akame being 'beyond saving.'" Aome said.
Shadow looked up to find Aome, controlling the doll with a series of strings coming out of her hand. Her right showed off her other claw before it's five fingers shot to the various dolls in the room, bringing them to life. They shambled over to Shadow and Chrome as the doll Aome floated over to a table and grabbed a saw.
"Now for the Grand Finale." Aome said. "Our two Lovers, die in each others arms!" As Aome said that, the zombie dolls moved in to attack with surprising speed.
Shadow immediately hid Chrome in the safety of his realm as he began fighting off the dolls. He used Black Reaper to quickly dispose of the dolls with a powerful double spinning strike. The Aome doll avoided the attack and quickly rushed to attack Shadow with it's saw. Shadow had swiftly dodged and sliced it's arm off. But it had regenerated and floated to Aome, who's claws had summoned the rest of the fake dolls. Shadow found himself surrounded by seven of them.
"You've hid Chrome, but it'll be fine with just us." Aome said teasingly. "Chrome will come out crying and suffering when you fall. Just as I had when Akame had fell."
"Akame was beyond saving." Shadow had said. "She risked the lives of many just for revenge. Even going so far to trap me in her nightmare, all for the sake of gaining my power. Ignoring options of discovering new passions, even referring to your own as a disgrace." Shadow then melded away from the dolls and stood on the other side of the room. "She was raised to know nothing but conflict. Unlike Shirome, who merely wished to come back to life and continue living with her sister, Akame left you to rot in a cell as she tried to become a God."
Aome paused for a moment. "You're wrong!" Aome said then signaled all seven dolls to rush at Shadow. "My dear sister and I were separated and torn apart by your lord's pathetic word!"
Shadow closed his eyes and prepared to strike. "Concealed Blade." In a near instant, he slashes through all seven dolls, ripping them in half. Before Aome could repair them, he severed the strings from her claws to them. "You were different." Shadow said. "You had known Alipheese was against necromancy, you prefered your shows with doll-making and were spared for that reason. Chrome told me everything. She had known before your imprisonment that you were an inspiration to doll-makers."
Aome landed slowly and laughed. "An inspiration?" She asked. "Different you say? Shadow I was always able to tap into necromancy. I just never had a reason to. Then I was left alone." Aome thought back to before; "I continued my works of entertaining the courts of the Monster Lords, 14th and 15th, with a passion. Then I witnessed the exile. I lost any purpose in continuing."
Many years back, Monster Lord's Castle;
"Aome, where are you going?" Tamamo asked.
"I am of the exiled clan." Aome said. "I have no reason to stay."
"Lord Aliphese had spared you." Tamamo then said. "You're free to continue your work. After all, I'm gonna have my hands full with her daughter when she's born."
"I have no reason to stay as I've said." Aome said. "I need to search for something...a muse, something to make my newest dolls really shine and entertain. My sister, my cousin, both exiled. Childhood friends who enjoyed my work gone. The cheers don't feel the same, the clapping is more quiet, the expression on these dolls...is of sadness, no matter how many smiles I carve."
Tamamo nodded her head. "To be parted with your family is a most cruel fate." She said. "Take the time you need to find what you are looking for."
Aome turned to Tamamo and took a bow before leaving the castle.
"Since then, I've searched." Aome then said. "looking everywhere, examining everything. I needed to revive the passion I once had in my work. Then I experimented and discovered what I was missing. Putting literal life into my work!" Aome then extended the claws. "Taking the passions of our clan and merging it."
Shadow prepared to fight Aome. She rushed to him and tried to slice at him. He blocked her attack and countered with slice. Aome was unable to avoid it entirely as it slashed her arm. The weapon's toxin began working at her body slowly.
"Aome please...stop." Chrome said as she appeared from Shadow's realm.
Aome looked at Chrome. "Why would you care if I did or didn't?" She asked.
"Because we've both lost everything." Chrome said. "I didn't want to help stop Akame, I didn't want to see Shirome go. I could care less about being the best. You can still stop this, help us stop Abbadon and we can work together to rediscover your muse."
Aome glared at Chrome before rushing at her and impaling her with her claws. "Enough already!" Aome said.
Shadow calmly shook his head. "So reckless."
Chrome coughed and sputtered from the attack. However on closer inspection Aome realized she merely impaled a doll. "W...what?" Aome asked. "No...no! I'm not the one to be tricked!"
"Just as planned..." Shadow muttered. "The irony of a great puppet 'master' to be fooled by their own expertise."
Chrome appeared behind Aome, holding her own saw, and slashed at Aome's back. Aome shouted in pain as she fell to her knees. "I didn't want to do that, but you left me no choice."
Aome removed her claws from her hand and fell over, crying. "I...I just wanted to make the greatest show in the world." she said. "In my anger; I, the jester, was fooled." Aome stood and walked to a table. She grabbed a cutting tool. "You've outdone me dear Chrome. You surpassed me with your own tricks. Now, I must take my final bow."
Chrome walked to Aome and snatched the tool from her hand before slapping her face. "Giving up after one bad act? I thought you were the Artiste's greatest dollmaker? Surely you've had worse." Chrome said.
Aome's eyes widened as she looked at Chrome. "So you wish to surpass me? I warn you, my next show will be a masterpiece." She said then fainted.
Chrome was nervous. "Is she..." She was about to ask, but Shadow cut her off.
"Unconcious." Shadow said. "Seems she won't let you surpass her truly without a competition."
Chrome giggled and hugged Shadow. "I'm already better!" She said. "But I'll prove it to her a second time."
Shadow chuckled at that statement as he hugged her back. Yao then entered the room.
"Shadow, the statues began crumbling to dust." Yao said. "You were successful?"
"With the puppet master gone, Abbadon's all alone now." Shadow said. "Let's hope Solomon doesn't perish." He then turned to Aome's unconscious body. "I'm not one for personally jailing people, could you do it in my stead?" he asked Yao.
"Understood." Yao picked up Aome's body and teleported away.
"... I'll see you soon, cousin." Chrome let out a long sigh. "At least someone else in the Artiste family didn't have to die. Thank you, Shadow." Chrome smiled and nuzzled into Shadow's chest.
Shadow smiled at her. "Even if she doesn't reform... you still have me, right?"
Chrome happily nodded and kissed Shadow's lips. "Mhm~ You're the best anyone could ever ask for~ I do hope Aome regains her muse one day."
Shadow then set Chrome on his back. "Let's not dilly dally anymore. There's still one more threat to the world before anything can be done."
Chapter 27; A Duel of Dark Dragons.
Spiral stairs were the only alternate path up the tower. I darted up the stairs, hoping I wasn't too late.
Abbadon and Raijin were at the top, Abbadon had her blade gripped tight as she faced Raijin. "You think I didn't know you two would try something?" Abbadon asked. "A good precaution. But as Solomon said, Ilias had known a hero with the Spirit's aid was too big a threat."
"Abbadon," Raijin said. "release me at once! You know full well the consequences of the death of an elemental spirit."
"And that's my goal." Abbadon said. "To watch it all crumble as well. Where better than from this viewpoint?"
"Abbadon." I said as I reached them. "If it were any other spirit, you'd be right to do it here. But you know well lightning strikes the tallest first."
"Like that's going to delay the execution." Abbadon said as she turned.
"How about this?" I said. "You won't live to enjoy your little 'show' if you do it."
"That's better." Abbadon said.
I turned and looked from the tower. "Well, Shadow and Chrome are all finished. Aome's dolls have stopped the assault. You're all alone." I said. "Even if you beat me, it'll be outnumbered again."
Abbadon clenched her fist. "I've always been alone. Don't try to convince me to surrender peacefully. You were originally my executioner. Why suddenly do you want me spared?" Abbadon asked.
"Because I've seen it." I said.
"Seen what?" Abbadon asked.
"What you went through." I began to explain. "Rushing to save your family and friends. The moments where redemption was possible. The bond you had with my ancestor."
"You...saw it?" Abbadon asked.
Soon, another flash took me. I was Abbadon, facing a man with a robe and staff. Dozens of dark dragonkin slaughtered, he was holding another. I had heard begging then a cry as the last one's life was taken. "It...wasn't fair. I understand." I said as the flash ended. "You saw a world beyond saving. But look at it now! Before you strike anyone down."
Abbadon clenched her fist. "Enough..." She said.
"Did your time in jail screw with your ability to think clearly?" I asked. "Even great soldiers of war found peace in this world. Do what Sam said you could've done."
"I said enough!" Abbadon shouted and tackled me off the tower.
"Solomon!" Raijin shouted.
We both landed on the rooftops below and began clashing blades immediately. I matched Abbadon's lightning charge however used Gnomaren to fight defensively. Abbadon tried a quick thrust but I countered with my back-claw grabbing her sword arm as I struck her twice.
"You did your research?" Abbadon asked. "I'd recognize the materials for your tools anywhere."
I took aim with my hand-cannon and fired at Abbadon. Using lightning to enhance it's power. Abbadon swiftly dodged and tried to rush behind me. I grabbed her with my back-claws and shocked her. She broke free however and kicked me back. We both used Black Lightning and tried a Demon-Stinger blade. Colliding and creating a massive shockwave. Both of us seemingly equal now.
"Hmph, you're matching me quite well." Abbadon said.
"Not enough..." I said to myself. I then swapped to Gigamander.
Abbadon darted behind me and grabbed my back-claws in one hand. I was forced to sword fight her one-handed before making her back off with hand-cannon fire. I retracted my back-claws to prevent it from happening again but Abbadon soon forced me on a defensive as she began attacking relentlessly.
"You might have copied my people's craft secrets and the improvements I made to the Deshimeta." Abbadon said. "But all of it's secrets are still unknown to you." Abbadon then stopped and focused on her blade, it then split into two, smaller blades as she continued her assault.
"What the hell?" I asked. Reeling back after her last attack.
"This was a magical, transformative blade." Abbadon said. "Rather...what it once was when it was first made wasn't even a blade. I had forgotten it's original name even." Abbadon then made it cycle through various melee-type weapons. "It's shape is dependent on it's master's desire." It then stopped on a blade. "Had my people still lived, our sages would've shown you what that gear you made was really capable of." Abbadon then held her blade ready. "Still shy of true potential Solomon." She said. "Even embracing your heritage fully."
I had not even given Abbadon an answer. I shot her with an electric shot and quickly used Black Lightning Assasination. Though the shot missed, the attack still landed. Before she could retaliate after the final strike, I grabbed her leg with my back-claw and used Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade. "Perhaps you're the one shy of full potential." I said in response as she landed and panted. "I just learned of a wonderful artifact weapon. One even the Seekers of Truth can't mimic. It's original name? Lost due to you forgetting what it was possibly made for. I'm embracing my heritage. But you've lost touch with yours."
Abbadon raised an eyebrow as she stood. Clearly angered by that statement.
On top of the tower, Shadow appeared next to Raijin. "He's holding her off much better than before." He said.
"Indeed. But Solomon might have a chance. Free me please Shadow. We all shall assist him." Raijin said.
Phantom then appeared and watched the two fight as Shadow worked on releasing Raijin. "Raijin. The sooner you can accompany Solomon for this dance the better." She said. "Abby might wish to show some moves he hasn't seen yet."
I then scanned the tower. Relieved that Shadow and Phantom released Raijin. I just now had to focus on Abbadon.
"Oh Solomon, lost touch you say?" Abbadon said. "Forgotten what it was made for? No, I'm merely using it's potential for a new intention." Deshimeta then glew with a red light as it floated on it's own. "After all, I am...the Lightning Bruiser still!" The blade then rushed into Abbadon as a light filled the area. The sky turned dark and cloudy as lightning struck the source repeatedly. As the light faded, Abbadon had appeared to have merged with the Deshimeta. She was clad, head to toe, in a dark armor. It appeared flexible, yet durable and was charged with lightning. "Now," Abbadon said as she cracked her knuckles. "as that tea-sipping Demon Assassin would say; Shall we dance?"
Phantom smiled as she watched the fight unfold. "Oh she's finally going back to who she really was." Phantom had said. "The Lightning Bruiser, returned."
Chapter 28; Lightning Bruiser Revived.
Abbadon entered a stance and looked at me carefully. I held my blade ready, scanning her armor.
"How..how is that possible?" I asked. Scanning revealed that the blade itself had morphed around her.
"As I've said Solomon." Abbadon said. "You had done well, but were still shy of it's true potential." Abbadon then rushed at break-neck speed and began barraging me with numerous attacks. She then kicked me backwards. "I'm not done yet!" She shouted as she rushed behind me and suplexed me before pinning me down. "Heh, already overwhelmed?" She asked before jumping back. "Ah, it's been so long since I used this. I believe the last time was...oh that fox and Raijin beating me." Abbadon began reminising in frustration. "But enough of that. I'm not going to give you any more mercy or time to prepare and...what the.."
As she was speaking I had recalled exactly the fight she was refering to. Sam died before I saw it but I knew the exact combination needed to hold out. "Gnomaren!" I called and as the pseudo-breath of Earth empowered me I charged lightning. "Take this!" I shouted as I sliced quickly."
Abbadon dodged back and countered but found her punch was not as effective. Though she was faster, my defensive strength compensated as we were now trading blows evenly. I found an opening and grabbed her with my back-claw, flinging her away. As she landed, she was clearly angered. "Those damned, fake spirits..." She said. "No...I shall not lose focus. I must remember my goal here." She looked at the tower, seeing Raijin behind Shadow and Phantom.
"Oh no you don't." I said and sliced at Abbadon, forcing her back. "I'm your foe here." I knew better than to leave her time to reach Raijin. It'd be much safer if Raijin and I recombined however, but with Abbadon hell-bent on killing her I had to be careful.
"Fine then." Abbadon said. "Then let's keep it one on one." Abbadon then shot lightning into the sky, she then rushed and grabbed me, flying up with her.
"Let me go!" I said and struggled. I then saw storm clouds surrounding the two of us as we were in the sky. Trapped in a large, spherical, storm cloud. She dropped me and I found myself able to walk in the air.
Abbadon landed across her storm arena. "Take a good look at your surroundings. You cannot leave and any who try to enter will be violently dealt with by lightning." Abbadon said. "When I challenged Black Alice, our Lightning and Darkness collided in this very dome."
I recharged Gnomaren's power and was prepared for anything. Lightning surged around and across the dome as we faced each other.
Raijin looked up at the dome. "So this is how she's making up for having no options." She said.
Shadow stood ready to enter the dome. "The Heavenly Knights have escaped also. We have to help him." He said.
"I couldn't even get out of this one without beating her Shadow. I doubt we could enter also." Phantom said. "Relax though, Let her prefer the one on one." Phantom then turned to Raijin. "More importantly. Whilst I believe you can get in there fine, I don't see you trying to assist him dear Raijin."
Raijin shook her head. "I can enter." She said. "But it will not allow me to interfere with it's desire."
Shadow then thought for a moment. "It...the blade. It's testing Solomon through Abbadon, isn't it?" Shadow asked.
Raijin nodded. "I felt it when Abbadon transformed it. It see's something within Solomon that it wants, for now we must wait however."
Shadow then looked back at the dome.
Within the dome, I prepared to fight Abbadon. I had to be careful as this was clearly her peak strength. I waited for her to strike first, knowing unless she outright begins with her signature moves I can endure it.
Abbadon reeled her fist back for a punch, lightning then struck her hand as she shot it straight at me which I narrowly avoided. Before I could counter, she used Demon Stinger on me knocking me into the dome's border, which immediately electrocuted me.
"Gahh!" I shouted as I managed to jump back in panting.
"Don't lose right away." Abbadon said as she rushed behind me and began moving around striking me from all sides. I blocked and dodged all I could but the assault was relentless. "You had a chance to avoid this. To just follow me and allow this all to crumble." She began to say as she struck me with lightning then kicked me back. "Now I'm just going to kill you for your defiance. You claim to know what I've been through? I don't know what's fed you my memories but you were never there. You never saw that horrifying demon Ilias wielded destroy my people. It didn't just kill, it obliterated. No corpses to even bury. If you wanna truly see the horror I went through, then I'll just do the same to you." Abbadon then walked towards me. "I'll hunt them down like he did...bring cataclysm and ignore pleas of mercy. That Assassin, those knights, Raijin, that scientist angel, the alchemist you loved. All of them." Abbadon then stopped infront of me as I got back on one knee. "Now fall to Earth so you can witness it." She finally said as she tried to throw one last punch.
I caught her punch with my arm as I stood and gripped my blade. "No...I'm through trying to be merciful to you." I said. "You went too far now and I'm going to silence you." My eyes glew red as I glared at her, black lightning now surging around.
"Did I pinch a nerve there?" Abbadon asked.
Without even answering I knee'd her in the stomach and fired a massive shock blast point blank at her. As she flung back paralyzed I used Black Lightning Assassination. She regained her composure and our blade and fist collided. She charged her own black lightning as we fought on even terms now. I fought blade and cannon as she dodged and returned the assault through both hand-to-hand and lightning. The storm reacting violently to our clashing.
"Enough of this!" Abbadon said. "Be shredded by the unrelenting storm! Black Tyrant Wyvern Blade!"
I responded with a Demon stinger blade, enduring the attack as I flung Abbadon into the dome's border. Lightning baragging her. She cried in pain before jumping out. Both of us clearly at our limit.
Chapter 29; The Final Blast. A Dark Guardian Blade.
"Had enough?" I asked.
"Hmph, you wish." Abbadon responded. She then clenched her side in pain.
I knew I had to finish this, I rushed towards Abbadon to take advantage of her wounded state.
"One more trick to finish you...my little pup." She said as the dome faded slowly. She charged her lightning and spread her wings, about to take off.
I quickly grabbed her shoulders with my back-claws this time. I knew the attack she was performing. I found myself soaring at incredible speeds into the sky. I quickly felt the energy she was charging. It was her final move, Oblivion Bomber.
"Oh, you think you can stop me before I land?" Abbadon said. "Well I'll just take us both out then." She then went faster and higher.
I kept holding on. I had to think of something. We were soon both beyond the clouds. The air was thin, almost nonexistant. "No...I can't stop the blast. At least not by intercepting it..." I said as we began crashing down, I aimed my cannon towards the ground and began charging energy. "Have one shot..." I slowly said.
"W..what are you.." Abbadon said.
"Oblivion Blast!" I shouted and fired it towards the ground. The beam collided with the earth as it began slowing out descent.
Everyone had managed to escape the blast as it destroyed Aome's lair. They looked up and witnessed it.
"Propulsion to reduce her velocity...ingenius." Promestein said.
"He couldn't intercept the attack with Oblivion blast." Shadow said.
"So he slowed down her descent to minimize it's destructive power." Promestein then said.
As the blast finished, the two of us crashed to the ground with minimal damage. Abbadon's blade had reformed away from her inbetween us as we both stood.
"Clever...real clever." Abbadon said. "In all my years you're the third to actually stop my Oblivion Bomber. Granted the first was Micaela and the second being Phantom, but still impeccable Solomon." She said panting and walking towards her blade.
"Phew." I said panting and wounded. My handcannon shut down. "Come on, recharge faster..." I said.
"Too bad I can still finish this." Abbadon said as she grabbed the blade, but to her shock couldn't lift it. "What?! No! No no no! What's going on!?" She shouted.
"As I saw Abbadon," Raijin said. "it's rejecting you after all this time."
"What's going on Raijin?" I asked as the Heavenly Knights and Shadow surrounded Abbadon.
"That blade...no, that armor." Raijin began, "Was originally known as the Promethean Guardian. Long before the Great War when monsters began to forge armor. The chieftain of the Dark Dragonkin then had discovered Promethium, the ore it's made of. She worked to make and enchant the medal with dark magic to make an armor designed to take whatever form needed to protect as a guardian of her kind, of all kinds."
"Wait...it's alive?" I asked.
"Yes and no." Tamamo said. "It's mostly acting upon memories of it's wielders. Using them as a base. Promethium was named as it was by humans due to it's vast transformative properties and compatibility to alchemy.
"No surprise ancient monsters had such capabilities." Shadow said. "But what of it now?"
"It's chosen a new master...Solomon." Raijin said.
Abbadon was silent at first. But then spoke up. "I see...he was right." She said. She then vanished in a flash of lightning.
"Abbadon!" I shouted.
"Relax...her danger is minimized without that blade." Raijin said. "We can trace her at any time no matter where she shows up. However I'd show caution when taking that blade Solomon. Who knows what it'd tranform into for you."
I looked at the blade and approached it. I slowly reached a hand to grab the handle. Right as I did, a bright flash consumed me, releasing surges of power. As the flashes died, I lost conciousness but I heard the voice of Shadow.
"Just as you said Phantom...I was concerned about this when Raijin explained it."
Chapter 30; A Dark Meeting.
I had awoken in Lucia's house and immediately removed the blanket to find myself appearing normal. I scratched my head and tried to recall what happened. Lucia then walked in the room.
"Ah, Solomon. You're awake!" Lucia said happily.
"Yea...woken from a seemingly comatose state again." I said. "Lost count how many times, so how long have I been out."
"Only about 20 hours surprisingly." Lucia said. "Your wounds from fighting Abbadon weren't as severe as last time. In fact it wasn't her who knocked you out...it was, her blade as I was told."
"Huh..." I said confused at first. "I had been told to take her blade as I...was chosen by it. Then when I grabbed it I had a big flash. What had happened?"
"I'm unsure." Lucia said. "Granberia and Tamamo came here holding a strange technological suit of armor...which turned into a staff when we got it off you." Lucia then pointed at it. "It radiates a strange aura. I wouldn't advise touching it."
I looked at my mechanical limbs. "So Raijin was right...it makes itself a fitting shape." I said and stood. I walked to the staff and concentrated before grabbing it. To my surprise it didn't change. "So I can control when to use that power..." I set it back down and got dressed.
"The Monster Lord requested your presence once you were awake." Lucia said. "I wouldn't keep her waiting."
"Yes Lucia" I said and kissed her cheek before grabbing the staff again. "Thanks for looking after my reckless self." I said and teleported away.
I arrived at the castle and headed to the throne room. "Greetings Lord Alice." I said.
"Ah, rise and shine Solomon, and you brought...Abbadon's....Sword? Armor suit? Staff? Will it make up it's mind?!" Alice said frustrated. "Dark Dragonkin...how did they even do that?'
"Master Alchemy...transformative metals...Dark Magic. Likely one of the Ancestors to prepare for the Great War." I responded.
"Regardless...I've wanted to talk with you about some major issues." Alice said. "First, Abbadon is still on the loose. Though stripped of her tools, she's still a strong monster."
"You're right." I said. "Shall I focus on tracking her down?"
"I've tasked Shadow and....'Phantom' with that for now." Alice said. "Now the second one, the task that concerns you; Although 'Phantom' is in fact Shadow's other half, we can't forget who she really is despite Shadow's word. We've had as close an eye as we can on the two but with how they lurk it's difficult even for the Heavenly Knights, not to mention all four seem very reluctant to handle this task. You however, have traced him and even handled his powers properly before."
"Correct, the past Enforcers." I said. "I understand your reasoning also, as if Promestein doesn't bring caution alone, the fact that another devious mind who betrayed even Ilias in all her power would require a close eye is a great concern."
"Precisely." Alice said. "Whilst I know you can't breach their little hiding spot, you do have the capability of knowing when they come out when aware. You've also gotten a new tool to keep the scales balanced now. We've predicted the growth of your power with that new weapon. So a simple back-up plan for if and when Phantom wishes to take advantage of her link to one of my strongest forces."
"Very well." I said. "Anything else?"
"Keep Shadow out of knowing." Alice said. "I do see he and you still have faith in both of your abilities; I also know both of you are always butting heads like the idiots you two are. Why you two won't admit to it being a friendly rivalry I'll never know, but he's linked to her. They're one being, so all she knows, he knows."
"You're right." I said. "We're not friends!" I then shouted.
"Whatever you call it, just make sure she's monitored. Also you better not overdo it!" Alice said. "I know you inherited some habits from Promestein. I don't need the Six-Ancestor's seal or the White Rabbit involved."
"I know neither process for those anyways." I said. "Both were kept classified from me anyways. But I'll see what I can do." I said and bowed before leaving.
Elsewhere, in Shadow's realm.
"Ooh! Did you hear that? Seems little Alice is hesitant about keeping me alive again." Phantom had said. She then looked down at her feet and clenched her fist. "If only they knew... what that damned Abbadon and Ilias had done to me. How they brought great turmoil to my friends and my dear husband, how they tarnished my name and decreed me as a tyrant, and... how they destroyed the life I cherished 500 years ago. I was really looking forward to the new life I would have with my child, but it seems Abbadon's future still schemes to that away..." Phantom had shed a tear before wiping it away. "I guess I'm truly can't escape that dark past, huh?"
Shadow gently patted Phantom's shoulder. "Even after you've done your part to aid little Alice not once, not twice, but thrice... Whilst I had done my best to explain, it seems like some paranoia was bound to happen." Shadow said. "I don't disagree with Solomon however, I don't consider him a friend, more so an ally I must monitor closely. He understands why and also understands Alice's reasoning. I know he does not assume the same about you however. I expect his little back-up plan to be a simple of calming Alice's suspicions."
"Perhaps he sees the opportunity to test himself against you." Phantom said. "I remember keeping an eye on him when Promestein recruited him. His capability of weapons is nightmarish in the right hands. That Oblivion Blast, the tools he made with Promethium. Oh he knows what else to do to unlock their full potential too."
"I've defeated him once, without your help." Shadow said. "He's evolved over time, but so have we."
"He accomplished forcing Tamamo's Word of Dispel as I was told by her." Phantom said. "Endured a chimera designed to kill me, survived Akame with the Dark God's genes and even handled the extreme powers of Heinrich's finisher. Now he's gone and defeated Abbadon. Would you really want him and the Seekers continuing to grow?"
"You're suggesting he might take the opportunity to eliminate me? Perform what Abbadon could not with you?" Shadow then chuckled. "I detest watchful eyes."
"Maybe we can give the eye a reason not to stare back." Phantom suggested. "Or show Alice that trusting the Seekers over us is more than a bad idea."
Shadow thought for a moment. "He did bring up allowing us to monitor them." He said.
"Hmm, that may be." Phantom said. "But maybe we can have a little fun with him, you poke at him whilst he watches me? Or vice-versa?"
"Hm hm... Lets go play with the doll, shall we?" Shadow chuckled. "I guess I'll stand by to clean-up when he decides to punish you."
"Assuming he can catch me." Phantom giggled.
Chapter 31; Conjuring the Storm. Showdown's Preparation.
In Grand Noah. I had decided to place the monitoring on hold to finish an errand I wanted to do for a while. I headed inside the shop and got what I needed.
As I walked outside, I had thought about how to go at this. "Hmm, maybe...no." I said to myself shaking my head. "Perhaps...I should ask someone experienced with this." I said. "Maybe team up to set this right." But while thinking of people, a voice talked in my head.
"Oh, that's what you were up to?" Phantom said. "Thought you were thinking of a way to take down little old me?"
"Phantom?" I asked. "Wait...no you got it wrong, I'm merely gonna just assure Alice there's nothing wrong." I said.
"And allow all the breathing down our backs like with your Seekers?" Phantom jokingly asked.
"Hey at least they complied." I answered. "If you resist, then you're only proving to Alice that you need to be watched."
"Hmm, then maybe I should deal with you then." Phantom said. "Or maybe..." Phantom then giggled. "Postpone that little event you're planning." Her presence disappeared after that.
"Postpone? Lucia!" I shouted and warped away.
I arrived at Lucia's manor and heard a scream. I rushed inside and upstairs as I saw her on the floor. "Lucia!" I shouted.
"Solomon..." Lucia said as she awoke. "It was...Shadow, I think... Said not to pursue..."
I lifted her and laid her on the bed. "Rest." I said. "I'll deal with 'him'."
"Just inform the Monster Lord." Lucia suggested. "Don't fight him again."
"I won't....alone." I said then warped away.
A few days later, at the Seeker's Academy, nearing completion.
"Alright! Whoever's in the labs! Stop and I'll use force!" Tyrannea shouted. "Wait, or...I meant OR." She then walked to the lab. "Alright what's going...on...."
Four large figures glared at Tyrannea. They scanned her for a brief moment "Master...Tyrannea, Codenamed; Hyde, is here." One had said before moving aside to reveal me.
"Solomon?" Tyrannea asked, looking shocked. "Who are..."
"Shame they weren't done before the Abbadon Incident..." I said. "But that Promethium mine came in handy...Move out!" I shouted as the five of us warped away.
"Solomon wait!" Tyrannea shouted. She then looked at the computer and saw the details. "Promestein!" He shouted.
1 hour later. Promestein and Shadow walked with Tyrannea as she explained.
"Then I got to the lab and found these four chimera. They were nothing like yours though. Solomon constructed them...they then all left with him somewhere. He's dropped off our scanners and they have some kinda power-concealment system." She explained.
Promestein then entered the lab and examined the scene. "Hmm, he said he never liked making chimera, only repairs...but he did study well." Promestein said. "Voragon...La Bella...Priscillia...Vyvernum..." She read off the names in the capsules they were created from. "Dubbed the 'Promethean Knights.' Made over several months, a year or so. Next Doll level...truly fascinating."
"What a bothersome rat..." Shadow muttered.
"He claimed they weren't completed when Abbadon broke out. But that whole incident helped him work out some flaws." Tyrannea said. "Seemed like a sort of containment plan for a huge threat."
Promestein kept reading. She then was surprised at something. "Shadow..." She merely showed a final sheet; a message for Shadow knowing he'd investigate;
Apologies. But she's crossed the wrong Seeker. Please refrain from interfering else these four will get involved.
To Shadow's other half,
Pray to that Dark God I still have mercy for what you did to Lucia. Accept your fate at Grand Noah Coliseum. Or hide like the mischevious coward that Alice, for some reason, is afraid of.
Granberia warped inside the lab. "Shadow...it's an emergency, Solomon's...evacuated all of Grand Noah's Castle and Arena using only four chimera. He's willing to negotiate with you alone strangely enough." Granberia said. "Zero casualties. No injuries. But we can't seem to find the chimera he used."
Shadow calmly closed his eyes. "... Very well. I'll handle this alone. No outside interfering, not even from the Heavenly Knights."
Shadow then moved to his realm to speak to Phantom. "He's quite overreacting isn't he." Shadow sighed.
"All I did was boop his girl's nose and she lets out an alarming scream." Phantom said. "And then he throws a pissy fit on us. He takes after Abbadon alright."
"As always I doubt he'll listen to reason." Shadow said. "And will most likely fire at will and sick his custom chimera at either one of us."
"Not to mention the four laying dormant within him, too. Solomon's kind of cheating with those numbers isn't he~?" Phantom giggled.
"Recently I went all around Sentora to find your old friend's old friends." Shadow chuckled. "Its a last minute idea, but it'll help even the odds."
"Oh my my~! What a festival we're going to have~!" Phantom giggled. "If anybody other than him and that other kid could dance with them, its you~!"
"Well, I've frequently sparred with the Heavenly Knights, and had multiple duets with that other kid." Shadow said. "My mastery won't be as top-notch as theirs, but its certainly beyond novice level."
"Hum hum~ Splendid~" Phantom exclaimed. "Do you want to confront him first? After all he knows you better. Other than the ace up your sleeve."
"Very well. But if he does start a fight..." Shadow said. "Well, will he be smart enough to distinguish between the two of us?"
"Tee hee hee. I'll happily take my time toying with my new doll..." Phantom giggled.
"Hehehe. And when I'm done, I'll bring forth a bloody bloom with his forfeit life..." Shadow chuckled alongside.
Chapter 32; The Promethean Knights.
Shadow and Phantom sneaked through the evacuated castle. Searching for Solomon. Shadow noticed he was being followed.
"The other half comes." It said. One of the four chimera watching from a balcony above. She was slender in appearance, modeled after a harpy similarly to Hainuwelle. However hidden arms broke from her large wings in order to wield her bow.
"That one according to the logs; Vyvernum." Shadow said. "Unlike that harpy Promestein made, it seems to favor long range."
"To the one called Shadow." Vyvernum spoke up. "I shall escort you alone to Solomon unharmed. That is your one warning."
Shadow and Phantom nodded as they both appeared. They both spoke simultaneously, Shadow imitating Phantom; "Very well, come and get me!" They shouted together as they spun around and swapped positions repeatedly.
Vyvernum quickly shot an arrow, it barely missing Phantom. "Do not toy with us. Though you're two halves of one being, Shadow's more human side brings enough differences for us to know that trick." She said.
"Someone's a stick in the mud." Phantom said. "Think they're all like that?" Phantom then quickly appeared behind Vyvernum to strike her from the rear. However, Vyvernum had turned around and used her bladed wings to block.
"Initiate emergency, contingency plan!" Vyvernum shouted as she kicked Phantom away and flew off.
Shadow felt another presence as a string circle surrounded him. He quickly jumped as in immense speed a large sphere of webs nearly caught him. Shadow was forced to dodge away from Phantom as he evaded traps.
Phantom tried to rejoin Shadow but was blocked by Vyvernum. "I see how he expects to fight us." Phantom said. "But that never works you know. We'll escort ourselves to Solomon thank you."
"Shadow Walker!" Shadow planted a dark mark next to his feet which Phantom suddenly appeared over. With the two rejoined, they had vanished before the chimera could give chase.
"Damn it! Priscillia! They got away!" Vyvernum shouted.
"Oh not my fault." A spider-like Next Doll, Priscillia said as she descended with her webbing. "You were supposed to bind Phantom whilst I trapped Shadow."
"You could've intercepted her." Vyvernum said. "But no, thinking with your reproductive organ you kept going for Shadow because Master approved of draining him non-lethally if he refused to stand down. You could've trapped the primary target for the kill!"
"Ah, well Voragon and La Bella are guarding master anyways." Priscillia said. "But there are other threats approaching. We must finish quickly before we are overwhelmed." The two then vanished.
Shadow and Phantom moved quickly now as they knew they were being traced.
"So he wants us separated." Shadow said. "The chimera are for ensuring that."
"So he thinks he can hold you down while he fights me. Seems he covered his bases with telling who's who." Phantom giggled. "He's aiming to please."
The two entered the throne room to find what appeared to be a jester dancing in front of the empty throne. Wearing a massive jester hat. Though it appeared human, parts of her body signaled to obviously be a chimera. "The Assassins appear! But we wanted only one. Those two just had one job, and they couldn't get it done." She said. "Oh poor Vyvernum, she must be such a grump, if it ain't by the books, it's a pain in her rump!" She said and started laughing.
"Another of the chimera... La Bella?" Shadow said.
"Whom me? What gave you that idea?" The jester asked as her face popped out like a mask and rotated clockwise before popping back in. "Please, hear La Bella's story; I'm but a beggar woman, forced to find comedy for gold. My daughter sick, my husband a cheat, dancing for the queen to make ends meet." She then took a knee and held out a palm, it extracted a massive claw "Oops! Just..a second." before she put it back inside quickly and tried again. "But, my debt shall shorten with your aid. Just a coin, to let it be paid?"
Phantom and Shadow glared as they melded a blade to strike La Bella's foot.
"Ow!! Owowowowow!!" La Bella shouted over and over as she hopped on one foot around the room in unpredictable speeds. She then flung herself at Shadow by surprise as she tackled him out a window.
Phantom prepared to follow but she stopped and turned as the fourth chimera appeared. "I'm starting to see it now." Phantom said. "The weapons, the style. Like those before him with a twist."
The fourth and final; Voragon smirked as she said that. She was the most armored of the four, modeled more after a dragonkin. Holding a blade and shield.
"He's made this a true party." Phantom said as she jumped out the window. "Entertain us then!"
Voragon charged after her, as they landed, Voragon tried attacking Phantom only to find Phantom teasing and taunting her as she dodged swiftly.
Shadow however had kicked La Bella away. La Bella stood and began dancing. "Care to tango? Salsa? Conga?" La Bella jokingly asked Shadow as she danced around.
"No thanks. Why not make that offer to Phantom instead?" Shadow responded.
"Then, here's my favorite dance." La Bella began to break dance as blades in her legs extended. She moved towards Shadow, slicing with her legs swiftly. Shadow moved quickly and dodged and parried.
"I see, but we have business with your master. With that, we're off. Black Reaper." Shadow said as he used elongated dark blades to trip La Bella over and darted away. Phantom blew a raspberry at Voragon and followed quickly.
"Hmph, such a playful girl." Voragon said. "Seems we can't separate them so easily."
"Oh, it was getting good too." La Bella said as she stood. "Not like they can hide anyways."
Voragon nodded as the two scanned around and began searching.
Shadow and Phantom moved through the city's rooftops, the four chimera trailing close behind.
"Even if we find Solomon, these four are insisting to be the entertainment." Phantom said. "I liked the jester, and that archer had such a cute stern expression when something went wrong. Solomon's a prize enough though."
"But I for one am not interested in being a spider's plaything, and a dragonkin's so cliche." Shadow said. "I'd hate to break out that 'secret weapon' of ours so early, when they're meant to counter the four powers that Solomon had stolen long ago."
"Tee hee. Grudges are quite a bliss." Phantom giggled. "The times I spent watching him, training with him. And those memories are imprinted on you, too. I'm sure you have a knack for all of 'that' when the time comes."
"I see the memories as clear as day." Shadow said. "Phantom had a penchant for analyzing and adapting, a vast knowledge like the ocean itself, and took in the abilities of others and made them her own. Yet the Lightning Brusier was extremely overconfident and reckless, believing everything would fall before her in one fell swoop."
"I'm surprised I may just have to use all that I learned from 500 years ago here and now." Phantom giggled. "Such a wonderful history. Something that not even Promestein was permitted to learn about, ironically we have Ilias to thank for that."
"Knowledge verses brutality? Hehehe." Shadow chuckled before stopping. "I suppose we could look all over Grand Noah and still not find a trace of Solomon."
"Suggesting we stake our ground, let the grand prize fall in our lap?" Phantom giggled as she stopped alongside Shadow. "Not a bad plan."
Shadow and Phantom turned to face the trailing chimera, weapons at the ready.
Meanwhile, on top the castle.
"He's evading them better than expected." I said. "they know four on two, despite their skill, will cause them trouble whether or not I intervene." I grabbed the staff and merged with it into the armored suit, finding my blade and arm-cannon merging as a normal metal arm replaced my left arm. "Very well, I'll make it five on two." I then began to move out to join the chimera.
The four knights rapidly approached the twin assassins. Vyvernum jumped to a vantage point on a nearby roof.
"Priscillia, create a webbed barricade, non-dimensional." Vyvernum commanded. "La Bella, prepare to incapacitate as instructed as you aid Voragon. I'll provide supporting fire."
"Very well." Priscillia said.
"Make a nice ballroom Priscillia." La Bella requested. "I'll have the two ready for a light-show."
"Keep focused." Voragon said. "They're standing their ground. Expect anything."
The four got into posistion. La Bella and Voragon began to fight Shadow and Phantom as Priscillia encased the six in a web-arena. Shadow and Phantom stood back-to-back, frequently swapping places to fend off the two. La Bella extended her claws and spun rapidly towards Shadow. Shadow parried however and sent her moving backwards. Phantom then appeared and tripped La Bella as she stopped and prepared to impale her for a finisher. La Bella however pushed herself away using the appendages disguised as her jester-hat and quickly recovered. Shadow quickly turned and found Voragon's shield extending blades on the side as it merged with her sword. It then split into twin sabers as the two fought. Shadow however outsped Voragon easily. "Concealed Blade." Shadow muttered as he attempted to slash through Voragon and back, however the second blow was cut as he had to quickly deflect Vyvernum's fire. Vyvernum then used a flash-bang arrow to allow Voragon and La Bella to regain their distance.
"Now La Bella!" Voragon shouted.
"Let's bring the insanity!" La Bella then jumped high in the air as her palms opened and spewed a strange, pink fog over the majority of the webbed area. Phantom had managed to meld in time however Shadow was covered in it. As it faded, Shadow was turning quickly and forced on guard.
"What... what is this?" Shadow asked. His vision distorted, the chimera's images all looked the same, blacked out figures, the buildings and webs around them having twisted shapes, the sky around him covered with laughing faces. Phantom thought quickly and brought Shadow down back into their realm before all four of the Promethean Knights attacked him at once.
"Damn, hiding again." Priscillia said.
"I guess even the illustrious Shadow can't endure the Delirium Mist." La Bella said as she danced in triumph. "He's in a panic for once, what a twist!"
"Still, half hit with the mist is much better than anticipated." Vyvernum said. "La Bella still has one shot left with it."
"He'll be out of commission. Just in time for Master Solomon's arrival to aid us in ending this as well." Voragon said.
In the distance, I had charged a Giga-Bomb with my weapon. Preparing to snipe Phantom as I slowly approached.
In Shadow's Realm. Shadow's vision was not distorted in the darkness.
"That accursed jester." Phantom said. "That's Delirium Mist. A notorious gas used to create mass-hallucinations. One good spread can make an entire squadron incapacitated. It'll wear off over time, but do they really think that'll work on us?"
"I don't need my own eyes to see what's going on." Shadow said. "But you can't face them four on one...no five. He's on his way as well."
"He's merciless this time. Four chimera designed for contingency through numerous means. Duelist, Strategist, Diversion, Containment, those knights aren't like pawns in a chess game, they're different members of a specialized task force, designed to fight combined." Phantom said. "He'll secure the win if I go alone."
"Frightened now are you?" Shadow chuckled. "After all, Solomon is approaching. We can end this quickly if we endure until his arrival."
"Precisely." Phantom said. "See through my eyes dear Shadow. Ignore the distorted images."
Shadow concentrated and smiled. "Let's keep this show going then." He said.
Shadow and Phantom emerged separately. Facing the four knights and each other from a considerable distance.
"Shadow as well?" Vyvernum said as her and Voragon faced him. "He's still blinded."
"Let's just blind Phantom and let Master finish her." Priscillia said as she faced Phantom with La Bella.. "I'll give him a real eye-opener once we're done."
Phantom and Shadow took stance and awaited the Knight's first moves.
Vyvernum quickly flew behind shadow and attempted to slice him with bladed wing. Shadow quickly turned and blocked the attack. Vyvernum dodged his counter however.
"Impossible!" Vyvernum said.
Voragon then attempted to attack Shadow however rushed around him as he turned to strike from behind. Shadow had quickly turned and hit Voragon directly, forcing her back. "It can't be, Serene Mind?" Voragon asked.
"We have no record of him learning that." Vyvernum stated. "Also his eyes are wide open, how is the mist not working?"
"Have you forgotten, or did Solomon overlook?" Shadow smiled. "I've met a few of the most gifted Cursed Sword Water users. Potentially, I can adopt to Serene Mind. Or, I can bring Deeny out here to swim with~"
Phantom moved around the area as she evaded La Bella and Priscillia, making sure to face Shadow at all times. Shadow moved in time with her and mirrored her positioning. "Quite a unique dance with Shadow I am performing. Wouldn't you agree La Bella?" Phantom asked. She then blocked and deflected Priscillias attempts to bind her with webbing. "Oh? Expected a different one? Well we wanted to be unique~"
"Regroup! Box formation." Vyvernum said as the four faced Shadow and Phantom back-to-back each. "It must be their link. They know all of their thoughts, why not assume other senses are involved?"
"Fire-cage counter." Voragon suggested. "Then La Bella uses the other shot."
"Agreed." The three said in response as they stood ready.
Phantom appeared between the four. "Whatcha whispering?" She asked.
"Now!" Vyvernum shouted.
Priscillia made a cage of webs as Voragon set it ablaze with fire-breath. La Bella then jumps above it to blast Phantom with one last case of Delirium Mist as Vyvernum spins the combined fire and mist with her speed into a cyclone. The four then landed and faced the cyclone as it faded. Shadow and Phantom were gone however.
"Where did they--" But before they could finish asking, Shadow and Phantom, now no longer under the mist's effect, binded the four with dark tendrils. However Shadow was forced to pull Phantom from finishing them in order to avoid my Giga-Bomb.
"You four, return to the lab!" I said.
"But Master we can't leave you alone." Vyvernum said.
"You've done enough." I said. "I'll face them now."
The four hesitated at first but then all warped away. Shadow and Phantom faced me now, both eager to battle and still full of energy.
I merely sighed. "So much data-mining and research to make a squadron of contingency chimera for threats of your caliber...you understand what a failed plan after tons of build-up is like. Correct Phantom?" I asked.
"Don't compare me to that twisted half slain by Shadow and Luka." Phantom responded. "I no longer desire the throne or godhood for that matter."
"Though you've should've kept them here." Shadow said. "Or at least guarding the evacuation zone of a ballroom you've made for us."
"True, but I sense your...backup." I said. "Truthfully, I knew even a Monster Lord, offspring or even second half would have a short-term effect from Delirium Mist. However, you surprised me with that sight manipulation."
"But of course, we have more surprises in store." Shadow said. "Ready to face the music?"
"Just don't slip thinking of all the things I'll do as your punishment for this." Phantom giggled. "All this because I spooked your lover? Not worth it."
"Ah, but both of you forgot what I had wrote. I'll repeat myself just once..." I began to say. Then quickly boosted myself off the ground with my back-claws, dodging the two's prank of melding a blade to poke my feet from under. "You've crossed the wrong Seeker." I then raised my blade as it shot lightning skyward, shrouding a good, yet evacuated, portion of the city in a dome of lightning. "I knew Lucia wasn't actually harmed." I said. "However, what could be a better experiment for facing a real challenge of a threat than the one even my ancestor couldn't match?" I then got into stance.
Shadow and Phantom were as eager as ever. "He's elevated so much." Shadow said. "For once, I feel from him an actual challenge."
"Indeed." Phantom said. "Let's hold nothing back. He's deserved it."
"Oh, he may be on to our 'backup'." Shadow laughed. "But alas, this time no Heavenly Knights, it's a personal thing between us all. Oops~ Can't give out the spoiler yet! And by then it'll be long too late when he realizes of our ace in the hole."