Bonnie watches him and grunts before looking away. “Now what? We need a kill to taint this place.”
“Want a kill? Then I’m your guy,” says an echoing voice from above.
Without warning, a huge radiance of light explodes from the floor outside the room. A man with a big sinister smile slowly rises out the ground. He bears a large green and black sword with the point of the blade between his feet, resting his hands gently on the pommel.
His sword has cracked black bones with green lava in the crevasses. His sword’s guard is a formation of tiny black skulls with green light glowing in the eye sockets. The skulls even poke out the blade’s base in smaller sizes and incomplete structures. The grip’s all black and much longer than the average sword. The blade’s shaped like a ninety degree triangle, much like a saw with double-edged teeth moving up to the narrow end.
Once he completely emerges from the ground, he tilts his head and fixates his pale green eyes on Derexen. Derexen steps out of the room first with Bonnie walking behind him. “You’re an elder I presume?” Derexen says.
“Yes, I am. The name’s Carnavess. The elder of supreme power. And I’ve come for your head. You have overplayed your role and now it’s time you go back to the darkness you once came.”
“I don’t think so.” Suddenly, all the Righteous Kiras emerge from the wall. They stand strong, ready to do battle.
“Uh-oh, it’s elder Carnavess. We’re in trouble,” Aquarius says jokingly.
“How do you know my name?” Carnavess asks without taking his eyes off Derexen.
“I know lots of things. Actually, I know nothing. Just ignore me,” he says with a joyful smile and a light chuckle.
Derexen and Bonnie begin to walk around Carnavess as he slowly turns with them. They continue to stare each other down till Derexen prepares to call forth his swords. When he pushes his arm through the black hole to reach for Catastrophe, he swirls his other arm one time to create a white wheel of light circulating eight fragments of the sword. He puts his hand in the wheel and catches the sword’s white diamond grip with the rest forming through stacking metal pieces.
With the crossing of his arms, the completed sword, Genesis appears in a flash of light. The blade looks like the twin counterpart of Catastrophe. The only difference is the blade’s white pale aura and its engraved gold symbols lined along the glow of the white luster blade.
Carnavess unexpectedly charges at Derexen with blinding speed and does a swift slash. He blocks it with an astonished look on his face. Without losing his sinister smile, Carnavess turns his blade to the right and swings him into the wall. He relentlessly follows through with a dashing piercing attack aimed for his head. Derexen ducks before his blade pierces and demolishes a section of the wall upon pulling out.
Derexen swings his two blades in a cross slash motion. Carnavess swiftly jumps back and tilts his head upon landing. He waves his hand to create a circle consisting of ten spheres of light. The moment Derexen grips his swords, a sphere flies out at him.
Derexen jumps back, causing another sphere to fly. He lands on the wall with his black sword raised as three spheres come his way. He blocks the explosive attack and remains motionless. Although he is slightly torn and bloody, he waits for his foes next move. Derexen grits his teeth and watches Carnavess intently. Not good, he thinks. Carnavess tilts his head again with his never ending smile.
“What's wrong?” Coda asks. “He blocked it, he’s okay.”
Bonnie shakes her head with a nervous look on her face. “No, this is bad. Those attacks are motion based. If Derexen even moves an inch, those orbs will be coming for him. From what I’ve gathered so far, I don’t think Carnavess is allowed to move when he activates that technique. Sofherie, go aid him.”
“Stay back!” Derexen shouts. “I don’t need everyone getting injured against him.”
“Whoops, you talked,” Carnavess says as another orb flies from his ring of light.
Derexen jumps off the wall at the last second before the orb hits. It explodes on impact as he lands on the ground. Less than a second after landing, he is hit by the next orb. The blast destroys part of his robe. Genesis slides across the floor as he bounces from the force. This uncontrollable movement triggers the next orb to attack. He quickly regains footing and slashes the orb, nullifying its power.
Derexen’s black outfit is charred. His plain black shirt is torn past his abdominals, leaving the robe to cover half his upper torso and most of his lower body.
When the seventh orb is fired, Derexen hops closer to Carnavess and slashes. The eighth and ninth are released. He leaps far above Carnavess’ head and does a spinning slash attack to destroy the remaining orbs. The final orb is released as Derexen comes down like a meteor. He slashes right through it, pitting him only inches from Carnavess’ head.
Without even looking, Carnavess quickly steps to the side with only his robe sleeve being grazed. Derexen follows up with a wide swing in his direction. The attack fails when Carnavess does a light based shimmer far behind him. The fading slashed shimmer looks like a brief scrambled image of him in yellow light.
“Bravo, Derexen!” Carnavess says with a hint of mockery. “Using the dark powers of Catastrophe to null the power of my orbs is very clever. And you managed to nearly cut me… Nice.”
“As powerful as your attack is, it has one weakness,” Derexen says. “The fact that you can’t move until all orbs are deployed makes it easier for your opponent to defeat you.”
Carnavess’ smile becomes an outrageous laugh. “Can’t move!?” he laughs. “Fool. I didn’t move by choice. My abilities have no drawbacks!”
Carnavess rips away his holy robe, revealing his gladiator body. Underneath, he is wearing a sleeveless, green kung fu shirt that’s tucked in his baggy black cotton wool pants. The shirt has long black, horizontal buttons with a vertical black stripe on the sides. Under and around the shoulders is a thin black stripe connecting around it. Around his waist is a long dark green, sash knotted and joined on the right side of his hip.
Carnavess spreads his feet apart and waves his hand to make the circle of light with the ten orbs. He slowly turns his head counterclockwise and grins. “Let us see if I can kill you with five sphere shots. My money’s on yes.”
He jolts toward Derexen with his blade raised and a wide grin on his face. Derexen raises his hand and calls Genesis back to him, causing the first orb to fire. He leaps horizontally toward Carnavess and slashes the orb using Catastrophe. Two more orbs are deployed. Derexen sheaths Genesis into his torn robe to cast a spell with his freehand. “Dark Serge.”
Derexen fires a black, purple, and white electrical attack at Carnavess, destroying the two orbs that came his way. Carnavess quickly rolls out of the way. Just before he bypasses Derexen, he is slashed down his side the moment Genesis is unsheathed. The forth orb is fired and hits Derexen on the back. The explosion creates enough force to separate the two warriors.
When the smoke clears, Derexen is kneeling on the floor. His right arm is bloody and charred, managing to deflect the blast to his arm instead of his back. Carnavess stands tall, barely bleeding from his wound. His sinister grin downgraded a bit, but he still kept the devilish demeanor.
“I figured the only way to injure would cost me,” Derexen says. “In order to hurt you, I must be willing to hurt myself.”
“Yeah, but who gets hurt more? Certainly not me. I’m down to my last five orbs. Shall we play again?”
Aquarius raises an eyebrow. “Five? I counted him shooting four.”
“Derexen, you talked!” Valerie shouts. “Look behind you!”
Derexen rolls to the side. Before the orb can hit him, he slashes it and turns toward Carnavess. He notices that his opponent’s down two orbs, with the third one coming his way. He dismisses Genesis by having it break apart and bursting into small flashes of light before taking a charged leap toward Carnavess, activating another orb.
“That’s four movements,” Carnavess says while leaping toward Derexen. “You’re setting yourself up for a fall.”
Three orbs are coming at Derexen from three different directions, excluding the one in front of him. As the two men near each other, darkness begins to envelop Derexen’s hand as he tucks Catastrophe under his arm. He directs his hand toward the ground. “Swirling Darkness!”
A dark tornado encircles him and cancels out the four orbs. Within one split moment before Carnavess is hit, and the last orb is fully deployed, he shimmers away and reappears behind Derexen. The final orb begins to leave the fading ring when he whispers in Derexen’s ear. “It’s the end.”
Suddenly, a whip wraps around Derexen’s waist. Outside the tornado, Bonnie is being pulled in until it lifts her. “Alexus, catch me!”
As she comes his way, he catches her and pulls her back to yank Derexen out the dark tornado. The two of them hit the floor as the tornado explodes. Alexus kneels down to prop up Derexen and Bonnie.
“Are you two alright?” Alexus asks Derexen.
“I said no interference,” Derexen says.
Bonnie coughs. “Your power has been greatly reduced. Honestly, I’m not sure how you were even able to use that many dark spells. But Carnavess is toying with you. He’s not even fighting at half. Swallow your pride and let us help.”
Derexen hesitates before replying. “Fine.”
Balthazar does an excited arm pump. “Finally! Let’s set this guy a blaze and get the hell outta here!”
The smoke clears with Carnavess standing completely unharmed. “Nine on one.” His sinister smile returns. “This should be fun.” Minerva begins to walk slowly toward him with her head down. “No offense young one, but my only target is Derexen. And that will not change.”
Carnavess begins walking toward Derexen, but she gets in front of him. He steps to the side as if she didn’t stand before him. As he proceeds, Minerva does a swift kick toward his head. He shimmers to the side, moving slightly faster toward Derexen.
Minerva’s pupils become sharp, but her irises remain blue. She leaps backward and lands in front of him. Without a second thought, she begins to unleash a barrage of high-speed attacks. Through a combination of kicks and punches, not a single blow is connected.
She drops down and does a swift under toe kick. He quickly hops over her legs, but she continues to be in motion. Within that moment, she swings her body upside down and pushes off the floor with her hands. Minerva successfully smashes the bottom of her foot underneath his jaw. They both become airborne as she curls her body back and grabs his ankles. She pulls him forward and hurls him toward Aquarius.
As Carnavess soars through the air, his shocked face becomes a smile. Aquarius makes a large ice shard form above him and launches it at him. Carnavess shoots a white stream of fire toward the flying shard.
To his surprise, Balthazar appears in front of the fire and absorbs the flames with his hands. Bonnie wraps her whip around Balthazar’s wrist and pulls him down out of the path of the ice shard. Carnavess yanks on his sash and begins to spin it around. He lassos Minerva by her neck and throws her in front of the attack.
Derexen grunts. “Cancel your attack,” he forcefully commands.
Aquarius clutches his fist and turns the ice lance into water. Carnavess pulls Minerva toward him and punches her in the stomach, sending her into the ground. He lands with his back to Aquarius. He nonchalantly reties his sash and then leaps toward Derexen. Coda’s eyes turn black before he pushes Carnavess far away from them.
Carnavess safely lands. “That’s enough,” Derexen says. “This is getting us nowhere.” He stands up and grips his sword tightly. “Sofherie, Alexus, come forth.”
Alexus summons his scythe and twirls it around. “Ready.”
Sofherie pulls her blades from within her robe and kneels down. “Set.”
Derexen nods softly while Alexus waves his hand to make a dark cloud appear at his feet. The two of them run forward with Derexen leading the attack. He jumps up as Alexus slides underneath him. Derexen lands on his shoulders with them standing in the dark cloud. They both kneel down and extend their blades in opposite directions. Combined, they do a sliding spinning attack that creates a dark ring around them. The ring itself extends three times their combined blade’s length.
Carnavess leaps high above the attack and points his sword at Derexen as he’s coming back down. Sofherie steps forward and shakes for a second. She then swings both her blades like an eagle spreading its wings.
Her swing releases a strong air gust aimed at Carnavess, forcing him to switch from the offensive to the defensive. As he is propelled by the attack, he prevents heavy injury by condensing his body and landing softly above the doorway. He then leaps off, going full speed through the air to attack Derexen.
Carnavess raises his sword over his head and slams it into the ground, making the duo split up. Once parted, he leaps toward Derexen with a violent barrage of swift sword attacks. As the two clash and dodge each other’s attacks, Alexus looms up behind Carnavess and takes a slash at him. Carnavess leans back smoothly dodging Derexen’s attack and blocking Alexus’s all at the same time. “Hey, kid,” Carnavess says with a grin. “This dance is reserved for two.”
Carnavess heel kicks Alexus away and slashes Derexen away as well. The two warriors kneel while Sofherie stands far, with a confused look on her face and her mouth barely open. Carnavess looks at the three of them and starts laughing. “Is this it!? You two kneel like beaten children while the girl is too afraid to get in the fray! So much for the Righteous Kiras! I thought you guys were stronger. Even with Xenler’s power grid restrictions, I honestly expected more.”
Derexen and Alexus look up at each other. Derexen nods twice and Alexus nods once. They look over at Sofherie and all she does is tilt her head to the left.
The two men stand up and bolt toward Carnavess to attack him simultaneously. He easily dodges, blocks, and counters each of their attacks no matter how vicious and planned out they were. As Alexus’s scythe is about to remove his head and Derexen’s sword’s about to server his torso, Carnavess prepares to duck the scythe and block the incoming sword.
Suddenly, they stop in mid-attack and quickly reverse their blades and their attacks. Carnavess instinctively grabs the pole of the scythe and blocks Derexen’s sword with his own. It’s at that moment a long bloody blade bursts out of Carnavess’ chest.
At his backside, Sofherie is knelt down with her blade angled through his back while holding the other one to her chest. “I am the tactician opportunist. Never underestimate the organization’s battle strategies,” she says with a cold face.
Coda starts jumping up and down. “Yeah! Mommy’s the best, mommy’s the best!” Carnavess stands cold as blood drips down his chest. He puts his head slowly down, revealing his sinister grin once again.
“Get back!” Derexen shouts.
It was too late. Carnavess’ body explodes, blowing them in three different directions. Derexen and Alexus slam up against opposing walls while Sofherie’s about to fly off the edge. Minerva quickly jumps up into her. The collision causes a force cancellation that makes them spin in place before hitting the ground.
“Valerie, go aid Alexus!” Bonnie says as she rushes over to Derexen.
“Damn,” Derexen says as he leans up. “I should have seen it sooner. What an incredible scapegoat ability. This realm is suppressing my dark powers too much. It’s all this light…” Derexen makes a realization. “The light.”
“That’s it! How could we have forgotten!? Focus on the light. Use your abnormal abilities of coexisting attributes.”
“I am well aware of my light, Bonnie. I’m just not fond of it. I doubt I ever will be.” Derexen sighs as he slowly stands up. “So be it.”
Carnavess slowly descends from the sky, grinning. “To think if I was a little slower, I would be dead right now. Luckily, I just suffered only a mild puncture wound in my back. Well darkling, this is the end. You did your best. But you and your friends can’t beat me, not while I have the advantage. Farewell, dark king.” He raises his massive sword over his shoulder while walking toward Derexen.
Derexen slightly pushes Bonnie to the side before slowly standing. “You want to see what a darkling can do? Sorry, I’m not your guy. But let me show you, what I can do.”
Derexen lets out a mighty howl as enormous amounts of light pour out of his body. The palace begins to shake with Sofherie wakening to his howls. Catastrophe disappears as a longer, slightly broader version of Genesis appears in his hand. All of Derexen’s wounds begin to heal at a rapid pace, leaving his body refreshed.
Carnavess is taken back by his power. No longer does he carry his sinister grin and arrogant looks. His face has a new expression… Fear. “Light? Of this magnitude? This is even greater than… What is this? Why have you healed!? Stop that!”
In the blink of an eye, Derexen moves at a speed that’s never been seen as he thrusts his sword at Carnavess’ face. Carnavess barely dodges it as the blade grazes him from his cheekbone, down to the side of his neck. Derexen kicks him in the chest and punches him in the face several times, ending the combo with a knee to his gut.
Suddenly, Derexen begins to move at blinding pace again. He swiftly does dash slashes all over Carnavess’ body and ends it with a powerful angled punch to his face, sending him flying off the edge. As he soars over the Righteous Kiras and spirals off the edge, Derexen leaps after him.
Greyshio begins to stand up by the farthest side of the dark wall Derexen made. Without warning, Carnavess’ body hits the wall, startling Greyshio for a moment. The force of his crash landing creates minor cracks throughout the structure. His fall causes him to lose his sword as it slides up the dark wall. He lies on his back, bruised and bloody while trying to reach for his weapon.
Suddenly, Derexen falls from above, landing on top of him with his legs spread out. Derexen gives him such an icy glare as the light pours out of his body, gently blowing his tattered clothes. Carnavess couldn’t shake the feeling that he is staring up at a god. Derexen raises his sword and thrusts it toward his face. Carnavess turns his head before it reaches him.
His sword pierces all the way through, making the wall crack even more. He pulls it out and thrusts the blade at his chest, only faster. Carnavess rolls to the side before the blade can hit him. Derexen pulls it out the wall slowly before doing rapid thrust attacks with tremendous speed. Although it’s fast, Carnavess is actually able to dodge over ninety-five percent of the attacks. Derexen suddenly stops and does a slow gravity defying backflip. Carnavess raises his arms up, bracing himself for what’s to come.
He comes down with his feet joined together and smashes him through the dark wall, shattering it like glass. Derexen narrows out his body in order to catch up to his falling foe. He reaches Carnavess and grabs him by the collar before rapidly punching him in the face. He tears the cotton sash from around his waist and wraps it around his neck. Derexen hurls himself downward while choking Carnavess as they fall to the ground.
Aquarius looks over the edge to watch them fight while smiling. “I think it’s time to go.”
“If we needed an exit plan, now’s our chance to make one,” Sofherie says, limping over to Aquarius while using Minerva as a crutch.
“You okay, mommy?” Coda asks.
Sofherie smiles through her burns. “I’m fine, sweetie.”
Bonnie comes from behind the group. “We may need to combine our powers to create a portal that will stay open long enough for all of us to pass through. It must have enough dark energy to override Xenler’s spell.” The Righteous Kiras walk over to the edge and look down. “We have to beat him down there. Valerie, do you have enough power to warp us further down as we fall?”
“I think so,” Valerie replies with little confidence. “But you guys have to be in pairs so I use less energy.”
“Enough talk, I sense palace guards,” Alexus says as he randomly pairs with Minerva and jumps off the edge.
Aquarius looks at Bonnie. “You heard him. Let’s go Bon-Bon.” He grabs her by the wrist and jumps off.
“We better do the same, little boy,” Balthazar says as he attempts to grab Coda.
Coda pulls away from him. “No! I want mommy!”
“You little—! Sofherie take this fucking kid and let’s go!” She takes Coda’s hand and dives head first off the edge. Valerie and Balthazar grab each other by the waist and jump off as well.
As the Righteous Kiras fall at great speed, Bonnie and Valerie give out the commands through their earpieces. “Everyone, gather your energy and release it on my command!” Bonnie says.
“Okay, guys,” Valerie says. “Narrow out your bodies as much as possible! Do not let me pass you!”
She closes her eyes and all of them vanish in a puff of white smoke. They reappear further down the wall. Seconds later, she warps them all again, bringing them a few meters from Greyshio’s location. Greyshio sees them falling and grabs his sword in preparation to strike.
“Give it a rest,” Aquarius says. He flicks his wrist a couple times and freezes Greyshio in a block of ice from the neck down. They all fall pass him, not even bothering to look his way.
Valerie warps them once more, placing them yards from Derexen and Carnavess. “Bonnie, I can’t do this anymore!”
“That’s fine, we’re close enough,” Bonnie says.
As the two men continue to fight it out, Derexen grabs Carnavess by his face and takes his head, grinding it against the wall as they plunge below. Carnavess screams out as a long bloody streak shows his life being shaved away. Suddenly, chains from below wrap around Derexen’s body and pull him away.
Aquarius smiles. “Hey, Minerva!” He shouts behind himself. “It’s Demeseus! And another elder guy!”
With less than sixty-five seconds before they all hit the ground, the obstacles are steadily rising. Demeseus struggles to keep the chains wrapped around Derexen while he pulls him down. Helios steps forward with palace guards standing behind him as he kneels down to swing his broadsword.
“Hello. I’m Helios, the elder of superior intellect. Pleased to meet your acquaintance,” He says as a yellow aura outlines his body.
Helios makes a loud grunt and releases a massive yellow energy aimed at Derexen. Carnavess regains enough focus to comprehend what’s going on and quickly fires a large green and white energy sphere at Derexen as well.
Bonnie panics. “Valerie, one more! Warp him toward us even if it kills you!”
Valerie focuses all her power to the point her nose starts bleeding. She successfully warps Derexen out of the chains, leaving the two attacks to collide.
The force of the blast makes a bright light, blowing Carnavess away from them while reducing the Righteous Kiras falling speed. “Demeseus, catch Carnavess,” Helios says. “I’ll finish these guys.” He kneels down charging up for another devastating attack.
“Nooow!” Bonnie screams. All the Righteous Kiras point their hands forward and open up a large vortex. They all fall within the portal, fading into the black.
Just before Helios is about to swing, Grayson appears from behind him, laying his hand over his. “Hold on. We can use that portal. I’m having Xenler stabilize it as we speak.”
Demeseus catches the badly beaten Carnavess in a hand of chains.