Red Twilight: Worldwalker
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11 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 11
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Red Twilight: Worldwalker
Author :Dfeyder
© Read Light Novel

11 Red Twilight Worldwalkers chapter 11

Chapter 11

Wind Snow and Ice

Hetatsubatch runs over the tundra's of Cainon, a chain around his neck, dragging a stone block that only a few nights ago anchored him to the floor of his mistresses' dean. Voices echo in his mind in the form of waking nightmares 'show me your tail dog.' A women he once owned shouted at him seeing the once grate white Warg in chains 'I'll make you my new chew toy.' Another voice cries in his mind.

Humiliation, Hetatsubachi had been born into slavery, but under Cainon law he had the right to fight for his freedom, and fight he did. Every man is born a slave, that part is not uncommon, not even the kings and queens of Cainon are immune to this law, and even when one escapes they are never more than a street brawl away from having a chain around there neck again, and that is just what happened. It is the largest, the strongest and the smartest that rule in this land, or maybe the most deceptive.

As a yearling Tatsu was smaller than his sisters and brother, but he was clever, he watched the people around him and learned the rules of the political game. If you want to be respected stand close to someone with more power then you and learn how to hate whatever they hate, and be offended by what offends them. Then when the opportunity arises make sure you are there to usurp authority from your better or from how every you can find sleeping on the job.

Alongside his mistress Hetatsubatchi has killed a great number of lazy chefs and hunters, he has even drank the blood of lesser kings. With him by her side the mistress rose from being a sell sword to a duchess, and Hetatsubatchi got to enjoy the privileges of rising alongside her. But he made a mistake, and he knows what is was. He sat still too long, rowed the coat tails of the same person for a day too many.

Adera was the name of Hetatsubatchi's master, she was a Baatezu from Dis, she had moved to Cainon when hetatsubatchi was young. she was brutal, powerful, she came into town with something to prove. Adera quickly picked up on Warg law and did everything in her power to prove herself as one of them, then exploited the Warg to make a power play against Styx, the capitol city. She took the city in the name of the Warg, for the first time elevating their status from third class squatters to respected demons. Adera seemed to understand better than most what the phrase "the power of the wolf is the pack; the power of the pack is the wolf." Truly meant.

Adera somehow guessed that Hetatsubatchi wanted to claim her as his property. Hetatsubatchi already had a harem, comprised of his eldest and youngest sisters, and the bata's of each of the families that Adera and he had conquered, and at that point all he needed was to possess Adera and now all of Cainon is his to control. Adera would not have it, she stung Hetatsubatchi in his sleep, filling his veins an intoxicating drug. then employed Star, one of Hetatsubatchi's more vengeful mates to chalange him for his place in the order.


Drunk from Adera's sting Tatsu was hardly fit to fight a Warg, that without Adera's aid would have been his equal. Star easily forced Hetatsubatchi onto his back in a head on clash, and she forced herself on him as he had done to her not so long ago. Star banished Hetatsubatchi to the bottom of the pack, alongside puppies to start over his tread. Star would not make things easy on him, she punished by making him ware weights around his body, proclaiming that "it is only fair, you are older and stronger then the puppies, you need to be slowed down so everyone gets there share."

Star enjoyed abusing her former master, she limited his food, inchereged the girls that he once dominated to dominated him. If not for his pride this might not be the most horrible of lives, after all he was still getting to be with girl even at the bottom of the social ladder. But once one has been a prince it is hard to be a chew toy.

It was when Star announced that Hetatsubatchi was going to become Pine's (Star's youngest girls) personal attendant that Hetatsubatchi's raged boiled over and at last he made his escape.

Hetatsubatchi stops running for only a few moments to try to set his bearings, he has been running for so long, his paws are burning from running across ice and snow, he has lost a healthly amount of his body weight do to failing to eat. He sniffs at the air, he is at least a day's walk from any life form, but still he can smell four women's blood on the wind; two wargs like him, one fully grown, one just reaching puberty, it is Star and Pine, next a Baatezu, that must be Adera, the last is a Tanuki, Tatsu has never smelled her before. The four of them are not moving in unison, Pine is in the lead by at least twenty minutes, Adera is brining up the rear, lagging behind by maybe three hours at present speed.

Hetatsubatchi looks around. There are hills and dales behind him, a frozen lake to his left, bluffs to his right, ahead of him flatlands as far as the eye can see. It is amazing that his pursuers have chased him this far out, but it is becoming clearer that there is no place to go. The two wargs will never lose his sent, and he can't gain any headway with all this extra baggage. Pine is young and in peek fighting shape, his only advantage is that she is hormonal and easily distracted. In a one on one he could out fight any of them bar maybe Adera. But he is too tired and hungry to hope to fight of two or more at once.

Going to the lake or staying on the flatlands give him no quarter, he can't keep running like this for more than a day or two more and at that point he would have nothing left to give. If he wants to fight the bluffs are the clear choice. See if he can find a place to warm up and lay low for a spell. Find a way to force his hunters to come at him one at a time, and prays the moon should he find some way to throw the lot of them off his trail. Best case; he fights the four of them off, then hooks up with another group of wargs, kill off their leader then go after Styx.

Tatsu makes for the bluffs. For maybe in hour he runs along them till fortune shows her face and illuminates a fissure leading within the stone. He climes down into the cave into a world below, the blue white surface quickly gives way to a silver orange underworld. The cave grows warm, the smell of fresh water is inviting, romantic in many ways. The cave widens to a cavernous catacomb light by fire glowing through the crystal earth and three eye shaped holes in the cave looking out to the upper world.

A trickle of water ripples around Tatsu's paws cool and calm. He lowers his head for a drink, never has water tasted so sweet. So much loveliness hidden under the Bal Tundra, no one would ever have thought. Tatsu lays down letting the water run around his body, wash across his eyes and down his tail. The water refreshes his spirt and fills his mind with a dream, a world filled with flowers, a world of color, the moon fills his mind and a shadow of wolves' dances burns into the backs of his eyes.

As if a memory of a past life has returned Hetatsubatchi's dream fills his heart pushing out his greed and his lust for power, it is all replaced with a hunger for wanderlust. Hetatsubatchi want to run free, run with a pack, chase the moon surrounded not by slaves but by free wolves. "what is the feeling of power and drive?" he whispers to himself.

Drunk from the dream Tatsu can't possibly know how long he let the water run along his body but it was too long. Pine barks from behind. "Hello chew toy!" as with most wolves looking at Pine head on tells one almost nothing about her, even gender is ambiguous till you under the tail, or unless you can smell hormone. Pine does have a single trait that stands out though a triangular patch of blue yellow hair between her eyes that turns green when she is wet. She is small and youthful, if Tatsu had not fallen asleep he could have smelled her coming easily before she was in barking range.

"Hello Pine." Tatsu turns to face the juvenile pup.

"It's time to come home." She orders

"look at us Pine. look at this place. Do you feel anything strange about this place?"

"no."

"Pine, the way we are, the way the world is, I don't think this is what it is meant to be. I think Adera, and Styx, and Dis did something to us, robbed us of our heritage."

Pine tips her head, surprisingly letting Hetatsubatchi speak. "what do you mean?"

"we have been running for days, right? It felt good to run like that, didn't it?" Pines tail wags as Tatsu talks.

"I have been feeling a lot of things lately." She moves in close to him.

"I think Wargs where meant to be free, running the planes, eating what we want, fighting, playing…" Hetatsubatchi explains "free from all this materialism."

Pine runs her noise under Tatsu's chin then walks in a half circle slapping Tatsu with her tail, she makes him look at her womanhood "what are you trying to say wolf?"

"I want to keep running, I am inviting you to keep running with me." Hetatsubatchi tries to stay on topic but the tail in his face draws his eyes and his noise down, Pine's sent is alluring. He shutters happily. For only a moment the two of them act ferally Tatsu grabs Pine puling her in close to hug her, his fangs grip her by the scruff. For only a few moments as free wolves they enjoy each other's warmth.

Star appears to interrupt them "you know dog, I was going to give her to you." Star's eyes flair with yellow light, she has a scar that around her bad eye that has swollen it shut shaped like four diamond arranged in a cross, her teeth are bear, her head is down, Star wants to fight.

Tatus looks at Pine as he pulls away walking up to meet Star. "Pine, do us both a favor. Keep your head down." The Wolf mother and the white warg circle each-other fangs at the ready they size one another up. Pine stands back watching as the world she knows and the world she wants take on a physical form. Pine has seen contest like this before, under the old law when there is a disagreement between two or more wolves a battle ensues, the wolf in the right is always the winner of these challenges.

Star is the more aggressive of the two. Star jumps forth to try to wrap her teeth around Tatsu's head going for the quick and dirty end to the duel. Hetatsubatchi has seen and dodge this same strike from at least a dozen others. Hetatsubatchi jumps to the right then back-steps as Star presses her advance jumping in for a second strike. Tatsu is smaller than Star, but from his point of view that means that he is slippery and agile, as she is fast and plotting.

Star stand on her haunches bringing her front paws up to thrust he weight at the smaller wolf. Tatsu back hops one more time placing his feet on the wall, he jumps at his foe pushing her onto her back momentarily landing on her shoulder. Tatsu's eye turn to a flashlight green the two monsters showing their demon blood.

Star has hardly had enough, she brings her teeth forth to try to grab Hetatsucatchi by the noise, Tatsu opens his mouth wide showing off his teeth as the two of them bite at each-other viciously. Star paws at the air and rends with her hind claw trying to kick Hetatsubatchi off of her, but Tatsu has experience on his side, he lowers his weight sliding his rear paws between her hind legs getting to close for he to stretch at.

Tatsu places a paw on the side of Star's face pushing her head off to the side, he forces her to expose her neck, He salivates looking at her. If Star begs for mercy now, Hetatsubatchi can let her up and all she will be is mildly embarrassed, or she can chose to struggle and he can choose to take her blood for his own.

Star needs not make such a choice, Tatsu is struck form the side, he falls off Star and looks about to see who has interrupted the challenge. Hetatsubatchi looks up to seem what at first looks like Pine but he can tell it is not, the smell is wrong as is the posture and the orientation of the eyes, this changeling is older, more cruel, and lacks respect for warg laws "Bad form Tanuki." He protest "A fight between two wolves is a sacred thing."

Star stands up and quickly takes advantage of the distraction, with a shuffle-step forward she brings up a claw and slaps Tatsu. Tatsu rears back stunned momentarily, Star throw out another paw smacking him side to side. after a number of hit Tatsu gains his footing, when Star comes in to hit him again Tatsu grabs her paw in his mouth pulling her forward.

The tanuki takes its natural from of a racoon dog, it throws itself a Tatsu hitting him with unexpected force throwing him into a wall. Tatsu whispers to himself "A changeling with psychometabalic talent, I never would have thought." The tanuki can change its size and weight on the fly it seems allowing it to strike with a hundred PPI of force wall in a shape that only has forty pounds of mass to throw.

The tanuki is small and nimble, it easily out maneuvers Tatsu picking him up and throwing him from side to side several times. Tatsu tries to fight but any time he threatens to land a blow on one of his two assalintes the other steps in to block.

After only a few more healthy blows Tatsu is too badly broken to stand. Star licks her chops "show me our tail dog." She orders.

"Star," Hetatsubatchi lifts his head "your father was a chief, just like your lover after him, right?"

"who I slept with both before and since you are of no interest to you slave."

"the question was rhetorical anyway. I already know the truth. The point is you know the old laws. The Tanuki did not abide by the rules of conflict. A victory won without honor is a victory lost."

"Tama is not a warg and is not subject to warg law." Star nudges her head to the tanuki.

"but you are a warg." Tatsu points out. "because she (Tatsu points at Tama) intervened on your behalf it is your responsibility to relinquish the challenge. Do the right thing; offer yourself to me, acknowledge your defeat."

Star stands with her eyes wide, she struggles to justify herself, she knows Hetatsubatchi is telling the truth, she knows what she is expected to do. Pine calls over to her mother "Mama he is right." Star starts to turn away to bow in submission but Tama interrupts again.

Tama brings one paw overhead and drops it on Hetatsubatchi's noise. The supernatural power of the racoon shatters Tatsu's will to fight blacking him out. Tama looks over to Star and Pine "Lower your Tails. Those barbaric days are over. No one needs to offer there tail to anyone just for losing at a simple game."

When Hetatsubatchi awakens, he is covered in spider-silk. Adare stands over him, she is a chimera of a beast, looking at her from one side she is a spider with a pair of human arms and lags covered with red spiny hear, from the other side she is a human woman with four insectoid appendages protruding from her back, her human side seems to have a tail and a crown shaped like two mandibles, her spider side a spinneret and a stinger. She grabs Tatsu by the noise. She turns his head side to side looking at the grate white warg. His eyes are filled with distain, he curls is lip showing off his fangs wanting to keep struggling.

Adera looks at Star "His life belongs to you. Should we kill him now?"

Tama steps forward, one of her paws outstretches into the shape of a pike. "I'll take care of it." She chatters.

Pine shouts "No!"

The other three girls turn to face the puppy, Adera ask "why?"

Star speaks in her child's defenses "because I didn't order it. He dies when I say so." Star walks over to Pine and grabs one of her ears in her teeth. "will you step over here please?" Star leads Pine away from the others.

"why are we not killing Hetatsubatchi now?" Star ask Pine. "he tried to kill us."

"No, he didn't. he wanted our bodies not our blood."

"is that better?" Star looks sour after Pine's remark. "he didn't harm you did he Pine."

"no Mama." Pine explains "he rubbed me a little but you walked in before anything happened."

Star looks away from Pine "I'm going to eat him."

"Mama!" Pine yells, Star looks back "Does Dis still play that fighting game? The one where you wager blood against land?"

"the Hippodrome? As far as I know, yes." Star nods

"was there a time when this land belonged to us?" Pine ask "A time before Balrogs and Baatezu and Helblades, and all those other factions started fighting for control of the countryside."

Star nods again "I assume so."

"Dis is the top demon, right? All the families heed onto him?" Pine orders

"all but the Modeuis family, Phadrea family and Lucifarion family I think."

Pine smiles sinisterly "Offer Hetatsubatchi as a sacrifice, boarder his blood against Cainon. If he wins, the land belongs to you, if he loses, at least he died like a wolf."

Star smiles "smart puppy."

***

Charlie, David, and Milli catch up with Lances out at the courthouse as Celverant is cleaning up the mess left behind by Visstle. Charlie look around the room "I feel like we are late to the party."

Lances laughs, he holds out his arms to embrace Charlie and the others one by one "yes, well it seems someone wasn't able to hold their peace."

"what did we miss?" David ask

"it seems like Visstle started a war on Glyph in order to break down borders on some sort of an artifact hunt." Lances ushers around the room as he explains "I helped Magdalen expose her, and Cinder over there put the whole thing on ice."

The fish like being Keyor slides over joining the group "that is mostly right." She explains "I have seen the same thing play out on two other worlds myself in just as many years."

Milli looks to Keyor "do we know each other?"

"I know you and you know me, but we do not know each other, not in any classical way." Keyor blinks as they talk showing of her rotating eyelids. "there is an entity out there going around collecting worlds, Void worshipers like Visstle are facilitating this gathering. I have tried to tell the other Worldwalkers about this but no one seems to believe me. Then you should up Belmond."

David leans over to Charlie with a twisted smile "it is transparency time." He grabs Charlie by the coat with one hand and pats him on the should with the other just hard enough to be stinging "and if I think you aren't telling me the whole story this time. I'm going to break you."

Charlie take the lot of them outside, he walks out to the edge of the water looking out as he collects his thoughts. Charlie looks around his friends. "Crow, Kari, Cravixs, Mammon, the Void, the Nothing, Son of the Earth, the Gardiner of Eden, the King of Tamreal. We have all heard this names, right?" everyone nods "different times, different places, they all feel like some part of a half-remembered dream." Charlie looks to Lances "My whip, Souleater, Mammon forged it. I found a book in David's shop that filled in the missing parts of the legend to me, your book, the writing on the cover it reads 'White Dawn' it was pinned by Adam Crow, the vessel of Cravixs. We have all seen him. He has taunted all of us at some time, for some unclear objective. He is who leads the void worshipers. Hell, he is the void. Jazzman you knew that much already."

Jazzman folds his arms ducking his head "Biggest of the big fish."

"if he shows up and we all bow without question we slip away into his dream peacefully, we resist we fall into endless nightmares." Charlie brakes down into a whimper momentarily "there is no fighting this. But still we try, I don't know why, I don't know what is expected of us. We lost already three, for, five times, I don't know. I lost track." He swallows hard forcing his calm "Laus-dayO is on our side, he keeps hitting the reboot key and letting us try this again, reliving the same few days' time and time again. There must be something one of us has or something we know, or someone. God wants us to fight a thing that is no less powerful and cruel then he is…"

Milli looks about "why do only you get to remember this? Why don't we all?"

Charlie throw his arms up in lament "I Don't Know!" she shouts "there is something I am supposed to notice I guess."

Cinder looks to Charlie "what is the last thing that you did before the other reboots?"

"I keep going to Eden; the last time I went to Glyph, I got the St. Frances family to organize a raid on Eden, we got every free world we know about to join us in a push. Then I got stabbed in the back, the time before that I went in alone, the time before that it was you me Lances and David" Charlie points to Cinder.

"and before that?" Keyor ask.

Shyly Charlie exposits "the only thing I remember from that rotation was sleeping with Cinder."

Milli's eyes widen and her ears drop as she looks to the burning wood like elemental "was it any good?"

"it was unique." Charlie looks embarrassed.

Cinder tips her head in contemplation. "what if this is the end. The only possible outcome. God understanding that he and his enemy are equally undefeatable. So in opposition to fighting his advisory he forced a stalemate?"

Keyor turns her eyes to the sky "but then there would be no point in allowing anyone to remember the soft reset."

Cinder adds on "unless like with necessary evil there is some form of cosmic balances that dictates a mandatory minimum carryover from circuit to circuit."

Milli joins "If there is more than one god then that alone voids the so-called problem of evil. Right and wrong are no longer a binary so much as a spectrum wherein there is an evolution of morality that calls for mutual diminishing of outliers."

Keyor looks at Milli "this is a matter of balances not philosophy."

David calls them to order "so then we keep hitting our heads against the wall till something give? There must be a better way. Can you bring things back with you next time: a note book telling us what we have already done, a record player, video diary?"

Charlie shacks his head "no, it's my memories not my body going back in time."

David bounces in place in aggravation "so then we have done this before and we are going to do this again if we can't work all this out."

Lances rubs his beard "have we tried just helping people?" All eyes turn to Lances "with all this talk of fighting and philosopheng, what if we just don't do it? What if instead we become space fairing cops going around rescuing people that we know are going to get heart? We have at least some insight to the future, right?"

"yeah, about months' worth of it, and half that is up already. Cinder, I know you and David standing shoulder to should almost singlehandedly take down the void cultist, I know Hetatsubatchi kill Harm, and I know Lances covers me when I step into the black tower to fight Mammon. That much needs to happen."

Milli looks over "what do I do?"

"you look really cute in a one peace." Charlie smiles boyishly to disarm the inquiry. "now, David I need you to take me to meet your dad, and Keyor I am going to need you to tell me more about how Cravixs moves when I get back. Milli, Come with me." Charlie wave Milli and David on as he walks towards the stone circle.

Milli looks at David then to Cinder and Lances, "Anyone have any better ideas? Coz' I'm getting the feeling I know how this story is going to end."

From off head Charlie yells back "We will meet back at my room at 1700!"

Cinder looks up at Milli then to Keyor "He's confidences and kiddy giddiness are somewhat enduring."

***

The large bronze gates draw up and Tatsu is pushed onto a sandy ring, his fur waxed and his brow anointed with; oil, booze , and flowers he has been treated as both a hero and a man condemned in the last few hours. The rules have been stated clearly to him, a five man endurance challenge, each of the six wealthiest families have lead claim to Cainon and if Tatsu wants to leave to see sunrise he must kill the named champion of each family.

Trumpets blow, bells sound, drums beet, torches light the edges of the path. thousands of demon's cheer awaiting the daily blood sport, music, sex and death, good wholesome fun for the family.

King Dis, a man whose body is sculpted like a bronze age god with three eyes and stunning blue green angle wings stands up to address the days' game. "the Man you see before you! He is; King Slayer, the Devil of the Snow, Demon of Flowers, he is Hetatsubatchi Una. He believes he is the one true lord of Cainon! He has come here today to claim his crown! We, the people of the Brass kingdom acknowledge his stake and we shall give him the right to prove his blood is holy enough to war such a title. Should King Slayer Hetatsubatchi win five straight duels today he will be given the land he claims, and all the food and all the women he can handle, and should he not, another will fight in his place." Dis looks to Tatsu "I hope you have multitudes of children."

The promise is a half-truth. If Tatsu wins he will be given food, and there will no doubt be a number of girls turned on by watching him fight, but the real prize is the land and the right to fight for the right to breed under his own civil laws. Although the cards are stacked in the house favor, they always are. If Dis wanted to be truthful he would have made a statement more like 'let todays sacrifice bleed for your pleasure and if he survives he can be the hero of the hour.'

"Let the games begin!" the door across from Tatsu opens revealing the first of five nemesis; a ten-foot-tall walking botanical with what looks like a human women's head and torso growing out of its central bud. "from the Evea Family Elura!"

Elura slithers along the ground mounted on dozens of roots out stretched rattling like bone tendrils. Tatsu has seen flower demons before and if this one is like the others it will attack in one of two ways; first it will try throwing quills at him, if it hits Tatsu will faint and he will be eaten, otherwise it will try to ensnare him in its vines and crush him. Flower Demons tend to be balky and hit hard, but they have a weekness.

Tatsu runs off to one side of the monster, he grabs a touch I his fangs and holds it in front of him like a shield. Elura starts to bring her tendrils out to grab the wolf but stops short seeing the torch.

Teeth grow out of Elura's petals, Tatsu quick hops forward threating the flower demon with the torch. Elura fights her fear and snaps her maw down at the wolf, Tatsu throw the torch into her mouth and the flower starts violently lashing side to side in pain. Tatsu has exsperince on his side, he has slain many demons in his life. Tatsu runs and jumps up the side of Elura's body to reach her bulb, he takes her stim in his mouth crushing it.

The flower demon tries to cry out but Tatsu's grip on her stim has deprived the monster of breath. Hetatsubatchi snarls and pull back slowly dragging the monster to the ground. In almost silence the audience watches. Tatsu lays the flower demon on the ground then with one surge of might locks his fangs together piercing into the monster pollen sack forcing it to spray honey into the air in a gruesomely tasty display.

Dis laughs at the event shouting down to Hetatsubatchi "Play nice King Slayer, these people came her to watch a show not to watch you kill their favored fighters in under three minutes"

"everything burns Dis, we all know that!" Tatsu yells up at King Dis

"Very well! Then let round two begin! From the Noha Family I give you Guybon!"

The door opens again and this time what walks out is a man with a goat head and lags, bat wings for a cloak and a moon shaped axe held under one arm. Guybon throw up his arms calling for the crowed to welcome him. There are cheers and gift thrown onto the battlefield. Clearly Guybon has played this hall once before.

Goat demons are known for their constitution, be it in a brawl or in bed they seem to want to just keep coming. Tatsu thinks 'it will be far easier to cripple this one then kill it.' Hetatsubatchi rushes in to melee range, he stands under his appoinent to attempt to stay to close to hit.

The goat man tries to kick and stomp at the wolf demon, Tatsu is small and fast skipping off to one side and sliding between his enemy's feet to dizzy the beast. Tatsu Jumps onto Guybon's back and tacks his neck in his fangs to try to drag the goat to the ground. Guybon seems unfazed as he grabs the wolf with one hand and throw him at the ground, Guybon pulls up his moon axe and thrust it down on the dog.

Tatsu rules off to the side to get up to his paws, Tatsu grabs guybon by the lag tripping the giant. Guybon waves his axe out to discourage a fallow up attack. Tatsu duck the swing the darts in to grab Guybon by one arm. Tatsu shakes the goat man from side to side trying to shatter his arm, Guybon drops his axe to try to grapple with Hetatsubatchi.

Brutally the two monster roll around on the ground punching and biting at one another. But in the end Tatsu's fangs cut into Guybon's muscle slowly bleeding out the goat man. Hetatsubatchi end up needing to do little more than pin his advisory to the ground and hold him there waiting for the beast to become to fatigued to keep struggling.

Tatsu is bruised and bleeding by the end but he knows to act strong when you are weak and weak when you are strong. He spits blood at the goat then looks up to king Dis with a laugh "you could save yourself some time by declaring me the winner now."

Dis both amused and annoyed calls out "for the third-round I give you Ava, from the Mira family." The monster that emerges this time is mostly fish like in shape, a long tail, rainbow patterned fins, and where a head should be as if it where some form of a flying taur is a humanoid pare of shoulders and a ghastly human face with disfigured hook like interlocking zipper teeth, it has arms coming off its shoulders that end in webbed hands with nail that look like stone tipping them off. The monster move in the air as if air was water.

Land against air is less than optimal, the combatants move in to meet each other, Hetatsubatchi needs to try to jump to meet his opponent, Ava preforms a shuttle loop to flick him at the ground with her tail, Hetatsubatchi stunned Ava grabs him in one claw and swims into the air.

Cackling Ava drops Tatsu. A third party interferes as Tatsu is grabbed during his drop and placed back on the ground. David Jazzman lands on the battlefield his head down with a smug grin, dressed in his full body red leather armor he looks to king Dis "out little body her looks winded, how about we give him a breather and let me take a few swings?"

Whispers come from the crowed one word being repeated time and time again "Nephilim"

Dis calls down "Devil my boy, do you really want to dirty your hands like this?"

"I want to buy the dog there from you. How about I kill this mermaid then we call it a night?"

"there are plenty of hell hounds around, do you really want that one?"

"he looks just as good as any other."

"very well! Then in this round we have Devil from the house of Dis verse Ava from the house of Mira!"

Mira backs away slightly and offers king Dis a frightened glance. Dis waves Ava on to begin the round. Ava throws herself as David Jazzman haphazardly, she swims in preparing to wrap her claws around his head to pick him up, Jazzman pulls out his to revolvers crossing his hands at the wrist, he takes three shots with each gun before dancing out of the way of Ava lunge. Ava flips around twice in the air then swings her tail, Jazzman pull out the demon sword, he holds it off to the side as a shield, Matching muscle to muscle for a moment in a clash Jazzman calculate the force of Ava's swing, Jazzman back steps allowing Ava to win the clash, he allows her momentum to spin him in a 360 and he lashes out with the demon sword cutting into her tail and knocking her out of the air.

Jazzman plays with his food allowing Ava to get back into the air for another attack.

Hetatsubatchi lays down a moment, his eyes drift closed. As strong as he may be, physical abuse and starvation have crippled him, he roles onto his side in surrender. But something intervenes a hallow, earthshaking roar enters him mind. Hetatsubatchi's spirit is sundered from his body and pulled away to another world.

***

A grate serpent with triceratops like horn and skin that shines liquid metal, silver on the back, gold on the breast coils itself around Hetatsubatchis body. It's moth opens letting a soothing mist escape its bosom. The week flickering light Hetatsubatchi's essence takes in the light from the serpent with a gasp, Hetatsubatchi becoming many times stronger from it.

Seductively the serpent squeezes Hetatsubatchi before a flash of light seems to send the snake off into space and a gold and mercury dragoness comes into sight whose body consumes the horizon, its electric eyes sparkle. The holy dragon whispers a roar to the insignificantly tiny wolf.

"You, Hetatsubatchi-Una, are amongst the most breathtakingly beautiful beast in all of creation, and yet your life is drawing to an end all too quickly. I have given a single drop of my blood to you tacking away your cup filled with life and given you an ocean in its place. I will ever let you die, but I cannot stop you from being killed. I will pull away the curtain of your tiny reality and show you a larger one." As the mighty warm speaks Hetatsubatchi can do nothing by marvel at her magnificence's

"But all these things I do for you would mean little if I did not also give you the strength you need to survive to the next sunrise so I give you one more gift also: I will give you a second mind. One which you have already filled with the need for meat and sex, feral passion, gold, history, family, and the want for power, the second I will fill with, order, control, might and magic. I have given this gift to thousands of others and never has it been the same for any two wielders. You have always trusted your instincts, trust yourself again, you have seen so much and you will remember things now that you never realized that you had forgotten. You will know what to do when the time comes, and it will come quickly."

The dragoness walks forth a step and lowers her head to get as close to eye to eye with Tatsu as she can. "Go now. Return to your body and entertain me."

***

Hetatsubatchi's eyes open, from his eyes bleeds yellow and green flams. He looks around to remind himself as to where he is and what he is doing. Ava the unholy siren has flown into David Jazzman grabbing his sword in her claws, the two of them are seemingly inn a tug-of-war for control of the blade. The axe dropped by Guybon is still on the ground, the broken torch nearby as are the eleven still standing. Mounted on the wall beneath the stand on which king Dis sits seems to be mounted two shields and four swords.

Jazzman fallows his instincts, he pulls down on his sword pealing it out of the mermaid's grip as he takes a 180 step in delivering a deadly elbow strike to Ava's head. Jazzman fallows the momentum through then reverses into a sword uppercut. Cockily he drapes his sword over his shoulder standing over the mermaid. With one hand, he reaches into his coat to find his shotgun proclaiming "I win"

The touches all around them seem to come to life lifting out of the ground and orbiting around each other. Seeing Jazzman distracted by the braziers coming to life Ava opens her mouth baring her fangs and outstretches her claws to leap in vampirically.

The living light fixtures zero in on Ava stabbing down on her to pin the monster to the earth. Barely a moment later the moon axe lifts into the air and drops onto the siren separating her head and shoulders form her body. Hetatsubatchi walks over to the eviscerated monster standing over it. He lifts his head and howls.

King dis leans over to one of his gaurds whispering "when was the last time someone maid it up to round four of the land challenge?"

The guard shacks his head "before you took office I think."

Dis nods, "that is what I thought. Kill both of them."

Dis guards start to fluid into the chamber ready to overwhelm the two champions when a swirling black mist erupts form the ground, two hands reach out of the darkness, one grabbing David the other Hetatsubatchi, the two get dragged into the darkness.

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