Moonlit Blade

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"All right then, ya bastard! Show me what you've got!"

Utter mayhem! People were running in every direction, though a few of them stood and fought the horde of demons that were attacking. They were strange creatures, of all shapes and sizes, yet they all shared one thing in common. They had dark gray skin or fur, and were marked with jet black symbols and markings, seemingly following no set pattern. Many of the demons were animal-like; some appeared as monstrous wolves, while many were giant, scaly birds. Others, however, were more humanoid. In fact, from what could be observed, the demons clad in heavy knight armor were leading the lesser demons.

"Reik, please don't antagonize the enemy."

The enemy, as it were, weren't the demons. Those, the man named Reik left to his small army. The real enemy was the giant, red scaled dragon that was leading the horde of demons.

"Tch. Leave him to me, Allere! It's an Earth dragon, so your Lightning attacks won't have any effect on it!" With that, Reik leaped forward. As soon as he left the ground, however, dark magic shot out from the soles of his shoes, and sent him flying towards the Wyvern. Clenching his fist, it became covered in the same dark magic that was propelling him forward. "How's about some of this?!" Getting close to the massive beast, he swung his fist, and, though his fist didn't actually make contact, the dark magic struck the Wyvern, breaking through the thick, tough scales covering it.

"Bastard DragonSlayer!" the Wyvern cried. Moving back, the Wyvern struck at Reik with a claw.

"Whoa!" Jumping back, Reik barely dodged it. "That was close... How're you holdin' up, Allere?"

"Just fine, thank you," she replied. Bluish-white bolts of electricity crackled around her body, and she seemed to move with lightning-fast speed. Killing the demons, she struck at them with her kata
na, which was also covered in dancing sparks. "But I suggest killing the dragon as soon as possible. That way, you can help with this issue..."
The hulking, ape-like monstrosity dropped from the recesses of a ruined building onto the three unarmed humans who were fleeing the violence. Only one of them was an adult, a man who appeared to be middle-aged, and then a teenaged girl and a much younger child. As tired and haggard as they were, they would make easy pickings for the beast, who could take its time with them here, away from the onslaught. Still, they would only serve to whet the things inhuman appetite.

As the demon lunged at the children, swatting the man away with a sweep of its massive forearm, the thing suddenley froze in its tracks. A strange stinging sensation stole over its entire body, and try as it might, it found that it could not move another inch. All it could do was turn its gaze from the children cowering before it to another human standing several feet away. It hadn't noticed his prescence until now, but it could see a slick trail of frost extending from where it stood to the human. The young man was crouched low to the ground, one hand planted on the soil in front of him. The ice seemed to be coming from that hand, around which a pale, misty aura crackled.

Rising from his position and walking over to the others, Garron brusquely told them to run away. They complied, and then he turned his full attention to the demon. Speaking up at it, he said "You're pretty clever, monster. Too bad it didn't make a difference in the end."

Turning as if to walk away, Garron briefly paused, his fist clenched in front of his chest. The same chilling vapor as before enveloped his hand and quickly solidified into a solid sheet of ice. Pivoting one heel, he thrust his fist into the demon's frozen form, shattering it into chunks of gore.

From where he stood, Garron could here the battle taking place. It had gone on for some time, and for once, the humans seemed to be winning. He contemplated what might happen if he just took off and left the fighters to fend for themselves. It would mean he could remain safe, but there was the chance he would be abandoning humanity's only chance to turn the tide against the Wyvern, perhaps for good. Muttering to himself for taking such a stupid risk, he ran to join the fight.
Celia, the had-been princess, was only miles away from the chaotic clash between the demons and their human enemies. She could distantly hear the chaos and terror, and began to encounter people who had managed to escape. I cannot let this chance evade me, Celia thought, determined as she ran toward the conflict. I can't attack, but I can help somehow; I have to help somehow!

As she got closer to where the actual violence was, she noticed that more injured were around her. The instinctual need to help in the way she could took over almost immediately. A circle of heavenly light opened beneath her as a mystical magic illuminated her amongst the dreary violence. Raising her arm up to the sky, a small group of human warriors and simpletons running from the scene paused for the moment as Celia began to sing.

Her voice reverberated in heavenly splendor as those injured around her were consumed by a light that seemed to descend from the ever distant heavens. Although no words came from her voice, the voice alone filled them with a determination, a hope. Hope was the greatest gift she could give to those warriors, for without hope, they would certainly lose. However, her role would soon come to a close, for a more humanoid demon took notice. He charged forth with his small group of lesser demons towards the healer, knowing that if she did what she intended to do, this battle would be made much more difficult.
Nhara spun her smooth wooden staff in an arc around her head, using it for a dual purpose though only one was readily apparent. The escaping group of people behind her screeched shrilly and for a moment, she almost forgot why she was protecting these shrieking beasts. Unfortunately for her, kindness kicked in and she knew that she would do it because she did not wish to be responsible for their deaths and if she did nothing, she would feel the burden of responsibility.

The staff hit home, straight across the snout of the indignant creature before her who seemed to be more annoyed by the notion that she would hit it than by the fact that she had smacked it about the nose with a stick. While it was distracted, however, the real intent of the stick was manifesting. The eyes, she'd gone for the eyes first. A film of mist crawled vaporously over its face unseen and unfelt but settled into the eyes and began to blind it. Heavy, oxygen lacking mist choked the jeweled eyeball, starving it of air and draining the moisture. After hardly a minute, the creature had forgotten its bemusement and was thrashing around sightlessly. Nhara leapt to its back and took the opportunity to grab the neck of the beast. The chains she had grabbed in preparation were thrown about its neck to use as harsh reins.

"You're mine" she told it, giving the chains a snap. A mount of similar size should even her odds against the others.
"Take this! DragonSlayer's Lightning Fist!" Seemingly from nowhere, Allere burst through several demons, and struck the demon attacking Celia. On impact, the demon was sent flying backwards, and the smaller demons stood and stared at the DragonSlayer, stunned. "DragonSlayer's Wings of Lightning!" As she cried out her next attack, her arms became engulfed in an endless swarm of lightning bolts, forming what appeared to be the wings of one of the Wyvern. "Don't worry, girl! Do what you were doing!"

Spinning, she struck all of the surrounding demons with her wings of Lightning, cutting them in half and spilling black blood onto the ground. "Don't worry about the dragon, the Captain is dealing with him."

"Heh, so... Tell me, where did you dragons come from?" Reik was grinning, standing on a building while looking the Wyvern in the eye.

"I have no reason to tell you, human boy. But... If you defeat me, I will tell you a little of how we arrived." The Wyvern shifted his weight, his dark brown scaled reflecting the light of the sun, but dully.

"Hey, that's not gonna work, dragon-bastard." Reik clenched his fists, and both were covered in dark magic.

"Oh? And why is that?"

"'Cause, idiot... If I beat you, it means you're dead!" With that, Reik lunged at the dragon, propelled once again by dark magic from the soles of his shoes. "Die now, dragon-bastard! DragonSlayer's Dark Spiral Fang!" Pushing his arms out in front of him, the magic from his fists began spiraling around him, and he released magic at an angle from his feet. Now moving quickly, he became a living drill, and before the massive and heavy Earth Wyvern could move, Reik pierced through flesh, where the scales had previously been broken, and burst through the back of his skull. Landing on the ground, and, miraculously, untouched by blood, he turned to the Wyvern, panting heavily from the intense amount of magic he just used.

"Gah... bastard dragon... It took more energy than I thought, breaking through bone and the other layer of scales..." Watching the beast fall, the Wyvern's body landed, crushing dozens of demons underneath it.

The demons, seeing their leader fall, began to turn tail and flee, though few chose to remain behind and fight to the death; failure, after all, was not rewarded. "That Earth Dragon was weaker than the first one I fought- he must have been the lowliest of dragons.... got lucky, this time."
Saved by Allere, Celia nodded quickly, only to notice demons fleeing from the scene. Noticing that only a few of the demons remained, she moved on with the intent to heal those who were fighting on the front lines. She knew that it was slightly risky, but something compelled her forth once again; so, despite being too frightened to sing, she hastily pulled out her violin and her bow and started playing in a determined, passionate manner. The same light from when she was singing radiated out, reaching out to Reik and others who were still out there. The war-torn area was filled with the sound of her playing, healing the people that were injured in people. She was completely absorbed in what she played, that same feeling of hope now growing stronger.
Garron arrived on the scene of the main battle just as the dragon in charge was felled. He marveled at the sight. Never in five years had he seen anyone manage to take down one of the Wyvern. Until now, he had assumed it was impossible.

As the remaining demons were routed by other fighters, he walked through the signs of devestation wrought by magic to where others were celebrating the apparent victory. One girl was playing music, and the heavenly light that shone around her suggested that it was part of her own ability. Drawing closer, Garron could feel the soothing effects of her magic, and even stranger, a faint feeling of hopeful optimism welling up within him. In all the years he had spent on the run, he had never encountered this feeling, this deep seated belief that tomorrow could be a better day. Finding himself transfixed on what had only moments before been a battlefield, Garron shook off the unfamiliar prescence that had taken over him and continued walking towards the center of the destruction. There were more important things to think about right now, mainly finding how what had made this fight against the Wyvern turn out differently than all the ones before.

Standing next to the slain dragon was a young man who appeared not much older than Garron himself. He seemed quite fatigued, though uninjured, and Garron presumed that he had just ceased fighting.

Glancing from the corpse of the Wyvern to the young man, he paused for a moment before asking ,"So... Are you the one who killed this thing?"
Nhara glanced at the sound of a thump coming from a distance away and saw the tip of the tail of a beat protruding around a still-standing building. She jabbed her staff into the shoulder of her mount to urge it to move in the direction she indicated. It was reluctant at first but soon she had rounded the corner and saw a man with a felled wyvern.

"Well aren't you all that, huh?" she asked sarcastically down from her position on the resistant creature's back. She rolled her eyes - they all seemed dreadfully impressed and he seemed especially proud of himself. "But since you're here and all, you want to help me look for anyone still in distress or trapped under a broken building, ya' highness?"

In truth, she wasn't terribly annoyed, simply distressed and perhaps a little jealous that he seemed to be surrounding by adoring people who had come to help him or watch him or whatever. She couldn't let him know that though, so she simply sat there, frowning in their general direction.
Reik sighed and stood slowly, stretching his limbs, when a man approached him. Asking about the Wyvern, he nodded. "Eh? Yeah, 'course I did. Stupid thing wouldn't answer my questions, so I took it down." Nudging the Wyvern with his foot, a woman also approached. Her sarcastic tone made him laugh, though. "Well, of course I'm all that. I took down this bastard!" When she asked him, though it seemed rhetorical, to help him look for people, he laughed even harder. "'Your highness'? That doesn't sound to bad! But, I prefer 'Captain'."

Turning, he looked around. "Hey Allere!" Within minutes, Allere arrived, sheathing her sword.


"Go get Kana and the supply buses. We'll take what we need and see if anyone wants to join our group." Looking up at the sky, he nodded to himself. "Send thirty of out fighters to look through the houses and buildings. I want you to find whoever wants to join, and sign them up. Ask Kana to take inventory of food and supplies. I'll go check out some of these houses with Miss Sarcastic over here." Grinning, he stretched out once more.

"Very well, Captain. I'll signal Kana." Allere used her lightning magic to get to the top of a small building, and she focused, sending out three short bursts of lightning into the sky.

As Allere did that, Reik nodded to Nhara. "Let's go, then." As he spoke,he glances over at Garron. "You wanna help too?"
The leader of the band of fighters seemed a bit cocky to Garron. While that didn't exactly sit well with him on a personal level, he supposed the young man had every right to be if he could hold his own against the Wyvern.

Garron stood there in silence while the Captain briefly bickered with one of the fighters. So, it seemed not everyone in the group had as particularly a high opinion of the man as he did of himself. Garron supposed that might be a good thing actually. He didn't see himself ever being part of something that operated strictly along rank and file. If other people's opinions were tolerated or even respected by this man who was in charge, maybe there was a place for Garron within this motley little army.

In response to his question, Garron anwered, "Help? Yeah. I guess I should." Helping-out was something of a new concept to Garron, who was so used to doing things for himself. Although, he figured that if he was going to be a part of this group, he would have to contribute to the effort in some way. As he walked away, he turned back to say, "The name's Garron, by the way."
Nhara's tight expression broke into a little smile when the man before her spoke. A second seemed intent on tagging along, which was fine by her. The more people helping, the more lives saved by busy hands working. She inclined her head at each other them in turn, her expression having softened from brisk sharpness to a more mellow worry.

"Well now, best be hurrying. I'm Nhara of the Plainstriders, if any were wanting to know" she tugged the reins of her by now grudgingly willing steed who turned a little with her tug. It was hard to decide where to begin and even harder to recognize that the group ought not split up. They would cover more ground one by one, but Nhara knew that she alone could not lift much of the debris that had trapped the civilians and she doubted that the men could lift some of the greater chunks either.
Noticing the people who had helped her about to leave, she called out. She felt an obligation to tag along and help the group's cause. For their cause, after all, was nearly the same if not exactly the same as hers.

"Hey, do you mind if I tag along? I can heal those who are injured, if you shall let me," Celia requested the group, running towards them before coming to a quick stop in front of them.
Nodding, Reik started walking with them. "Name's Reik. But if you're going to be joining the DragonSlayers, call me Captain. If you're not going to join, then you don't have to call me anything, since I won't have any reason to speak with you guys afterward. I've got enough on my plate without having to care for people who aren't bound to our rules." As they walked, he spotted a girl approach.

"I don't mind if you tag along," he said. Eventually, they reached a broken down house. Opening the door, Reik moved in, his left hand now immersed in darkness. "Hello? Is there anyone here?" The house wasn't in too bad of a condition, though it was a bit broken down. Fairly normal. "Garron, you and the healing girl go upstairs and see if anyone's up there. Nhara, come with me to the basement. If anyone was in here, the basement and the second floor are probably the first places people would hide. Stay at the ready, you never know what might happen." With that, Reik opened the basement door, and climbed down the stairs with Nhara.
Giving a short nod to Celia, Garron began climbing the stairs without saying so much as a word. A couple steps were broken and had to be skipped over to avoid injury, but most of the staircase was intanct and they made it to the second floor without any serious challenge. A wide hallway littered with broken furniture and other pieces of debris branched off to one side. There didn't seem to be the slightest sound or hint of movement anywhere around them, but they had a job to do, so Garron continued searching the upper level of the house.

He passed several rooms whose doors were open, allowing a view of what was inside them. There didn't seem to be anything unusual in any of the rooms, just more dilapidated furniture and broken windows, much the same as out in the hallway. Garron arrived at the end of the hall, where the last doorway was strangely closed. Testing the doorknob, he was surprised to discover that it was actually locked tightly from the inside. Grasping the doorknob firmly, he focused his powers through his palm, freezing it with his touch. As a sheen of thick ice spread over the doorknob and into the inner part of the door where the locking mechanism had to be, Garron twisted the doorknob sharply, wrenching it from the wood of the door, leaving a splintered hole in its place.

Slowly pushing the door open, which creaked softly on its hinges, Garron took his first tentative step into the room, trusting that Celia would follow from a safe distance. Looking around the room, he discovered there wasn't much to see in here, either. The only contents of the room were a bed situated against one wall, which looked to be collapsed and was covered with a thick layer of dust that testified to it not having been slept in for years, and tall wooden dresser in the far corner. Deciding there was no one left in this part of the house after all, Garron turned to walk out when he suddenly heard a muffled rustling sound from the direction of the dresser. Glancing over his shoulder, he could see that nothing had changed as far as the dresser's appearance went. Still...

Garron quietly stalked over to the dresser, listening closesly to see if there were any noises coming from inside. After several seconds, he decided he would have to open it up to solve this mystery for good. Placing one hand on the handle of the dresser door, he silently formed a long, pointed icicle in his other hand, grasping it like a crude dagger. When he opened the dresser, he would be ready for whoever or whatever came out. He himself probably could not be seen from his position on the far side of the dresser, but Celia was visible in the open doorway across the room. If something leapt from the dresser and charged at her, it would be up to him to cut it down before it could reach her. Taking a deep breath and holding it to prepare himself, Garron swiftly yanked the dresser door open.
Nhara nodded to Reik soundlessly, her worry expressed in how swiftly she darted down the stairs to the basement. Reik called out after her but her long, slender legs and light clothing made her faster than he was. She didn't want his warnings, she wanted to check as many houses as possible for injured or trapped survivors.

The house held the haunting remnants that reminded one that it was indeed a dwelling where people had been living happily until now. The walls down to the basement were lined with pictures of children smiling as they patted mud into the fur of an aggravated pet, a little girl with large gaps in her eeth smiling over a birthday cake, and as she neared the bottom, an almost ominous portrait of a happy couple dressed to the nines in wedding attire.

"Come on, hurry up" she called to Reik, pausing before opening the door at the base of the stairs. If there were others along, she might as well wait to have backup in case there was something laying in wait behind the door.