Authors: Nicodemus Zamoran and DreadnoughtDT
Mortal ~ Chapter Two
Mortal ~ Chapter 2
Nicodemus stood in a dense fog, the rotting corpses of demons scattered around him. His black clothes stained with blood, and his cloak torn. Crimson blood dripped from the tips of his swords. His head was bowed, his black hair hanging in his face, his breath coming in ragged gasps. There was a large gash in his left arm, the blood mostly dried now. Nicodemus looks up slowly as three demons appeared. The three demons looked like human men, wearing black cloaks with red trim that obscured their faces in shadow, to the point that they could not be seen. Their sibilant hissing filled the air as they circled Nic, crouched in an animalistic manner. Nic’s eyes followed them, waiting for them to attack, his grip tightening on his swords.
One of them, wearing a much more ornamental robe, drew its arms in close to its body and twitched, then pounced at Nic, the other two following in succession. Nic jumped into the air and kicked the one in front of him in the face, using the momentum to backflip over the other two. He landed agilely and charged at the small group.
The one that was kicked screamed in a high-pitched, wailing manner. The other two walked over to it and helped it up, and then cowered as the leader-like one seemed to scold them. One pointed as Nic charged, and the leader turned halfway, then extended his arm. Several tendrils of darkness extended from his seemingly empty sleeve, whipping and spiraling towards Nic.
Nic slashed at the tendrils with the white blade he held, and they dissipated. He then threw the black blade at one of the demons, the blade impaling itself into the demons chest. The impaled demon shrieked and fell to the ground, black smoke emitting from every open spot in its cloak. The cloak flattened when it hit the ground, empty.
The leader demon yelled something to the other, weaker demon, who nodded quickly after cowering a bit and drew a blackened sword, rushing at Nic. Nic spun and kicked the demon in the chest, sending him flying back. He raised his hand and the black blade that he had thrown appeared once more in his hand, and he charged at the demon, the blades held diagonally to his side. The lesser demon held it's arms out, a worthless gesture of defense.
The leader demon sighed and allowed Nic to attack the lesser demon as punishment. The white blade bit into the cowering demon’s neck, slicing through it easily. The leader demon shrugged off his robe, showing his true, shadow-like form, as the dead demon dropped to the ground. His face was featureless except for two eyes that glowed with a dark green hue. His claws were enormously long, almost as long as his arms themselves. He pointed at Nic with one claw, hissing softly.
Nic smiled slightly. “Come on, ugly. Let’s see what you can do.” He said as he moved into a fighting stance.
The demon mimicked Nic almost perfectly, ripping one of its own claws out as a sword. "Come on, ugly." It mimicked in a distorted voice. "Let's see what you can do."
Nic walked forward slowly, then kicked one of the dead demon’s cloak into the air, distracting the final demon, and charged at him. The demon shrieked and charged at Nic, it's claws ready to tear at his flesh. Nic slashed with one of the blades, cutting one of the demon’s hands off, and jumped to the side, readying himself to strike again.
From the demon's wound poured black smoke, like the defeated demons. However, it wasn't actually smoke, but blood that was spraying out at high-pressure. Higher pressure than any human's blood, at least. It screamed towards the sky and dissipated, then reformed behind Nic. Nic quickly turned around. “What a tricky devil you are.” He said. He positioned his swords like pincers, only sideways. The white blade, he held above his head, and the black he held at his waist, both pointed at the demon.
The demon made a reverberating, low noise that sounded like laughing. It split in two and the two new demons moved around to Nic's sides. One had claws on its left limbs only, and the other had claws only on its right limbs. They both laughed and charged at Nic, screaming.
Nic flipped into the air backwards, avoiding the two, and landing agilely, then charged forward and thrust his swords into the two demons. Both demons shrieked and dissipated into clouds of black, ichorous blood. Nic stood straight, head down, as his weapons vanished as well. His eyes slowly changed to a dark blue as the fog around him dissipated, revealing thousands of dead demons, the grass around the bodies dead and limp. Nic looked up at the sky and yelled. His cry, filled with sorrow and rage, echoed across the field.
Nic sat up in bed, his eyes a deep blue. It’s that man again… He thought. For years, Nic would have dreams of a strange man who looked a lot like himself, but older. In each of the dreams, the man was fighting some form of demon, always using the same weapons. Nic shook his head, the dream still vivid in his mind. He looked at the clock. 7:19 am. He sighed and lay back down.
DT sighed and tried calling Nic for the fourth time. He hadn't gone to sleep the entire night, so he had been trying to call him to pass the time. Even though he should feel tired, his nerves were still shot from yesterday, and he couldn't sleep.
Nic picked up on the third ring. “Hello?”
DT took a deep breath. "Sorry for calling so early... But, I haven't been able to sleep." He paused for a second. "So, what's up?"
“Nothing really. Just had a dream about that strange guy again. This one was so vivid, far more vivid than the others I told you about.” Nic said.
DT's brow furrowed. "That's odd. New demons this time?" He got out his note-pad. He loved to document the demons in Nic's dreams. Not as a joke, but because he liked to draw them after he'd written notes about them. As a past-time.
“Yeah.” Nic said, then described the dream in detail.
DT whistled softly. "That's going to be a lot to draw for just one demon, y'know." Then he sighed. "It seems that these dreams are a recurring thing for you, too. And quite frankly, I bet it bugs you."
“A little, yeah. He looks a lot like me, yet I have no idea who he is and where he is, although I am pretty sure he is in the past.” Nic said.
"Maybe it's faded memories?" DT suggested thoughtfully.
Nic sighed. They had had this conversation a hundred times before. “Yeah, maybe.”
Nic sat up in bed, still holding the phone to his ear, and pulled out his sketchbook. In it where many drawings of the two swords that the man wielded. He had searched through many books to find out what they were, but was never able to find them. They were just as mysterious as the dreams themselves.
DT sighed. "I know you must be tired of this kind of conversation..." He muttered. "But you know... You've never elaborated on those swords you were purportedly wielding. What do they do?"
Nic thought for a second, realizing that he never contemplated that aspect. “I don’t really know. I have only seen then used to kill demons.” He said.
DT nodded. "I see... Well, I guess since we're up, and it's just barely starting to get light out..." He paused, hoping Nic would know what he was about to ask.
“Yeah, sure. Be at the Spot at 8. I’ll meet you then.” Nic said, then hung up. He sighed and got up.
After Nic had showered and dressed, he glanced at the night table beside his bed. The strange necklace he got yesterday sat there, seeming to call to him. He walked over and picked it up, examining the necklace again. So much detail had been put into it. Even the chain links where different. At a glance, it looks smooth, but once you examine it, you see small runes carved all over the metal. Nic put it on, the weight of the metal seemed to comfort him. He then left the house and headed for the spot, merely fifteen minute walk away.
DT was already at the usual spot before Nic arrived. He was sitting on a tree stump, making patterns in the dirt with his toes. He wasn't wearing his usual street clothes, instead wearing a white sleeveless T-shirt and a blue half-robe.
Nic entered the small clearing and walked over to DT. “So, what’s up?”
DT looked up and smiled slightly, but the life seemed to be gone from his eyes. "I told you that I couldn't keep the truth from you forever." He said in a dark tone. "We've been friends since I was six..." He got up off the tree stump. "This is something I gotta do." Nic’s eyes changed to a darker blue as he nodded, indicating DT to go on. DT took a deep breath. "I should tell you before I show you..." He looked at the ground, contemplating if he could back out or not. He decided against doing so in less than a second. "I am half wolf." He clenched his jaw and shut his eyes tight, waiting for Nic to start laughing or saying that he's insane.
As Nic heard those words, a thousand thoughts ran through his mind, but none of them ever doubted that DT was telling the truth. “Go on.” He said, a serious look on his face.
DT opened his eyes slowly. "You... You believe me?"
“I’ve known you for years. I know you enough to know when you are lying, or telling the truth.” He said in a serious tone.
DT nodded. "I suppose this is where I show you, right?" He said, his confidence restored somewhat.
Nic nodded. “If you want.” He said. His voice revealed his curiosity, but not much.
DT held out his necklace. "This is more than just a pretty piece of craftsmanship." He said as it segmented and opened into four sections, rearranging itself. The cross in it extended outwards as the segments rearranged and fit back together. The cross then flipped upside down and retracted back into the necklace. "It is something far more than that." DT muttered, his voice now with a growling tone to it. A black mist surrounded DT, making him hard to see, although it was evident he was changing. The mist soon dissipated, showing DT's new form. A humanoid wolf with metal gauntlets and greaves, made of the same material as his now changed necklace.
Nic inhaled sharply. The change wasn’t drastic, but the gauntlets and grieves caught his eye. Upon them, the same runes where carved as the ones on his coin. He pulled it out to make sure, and the runes matched exactly.
"I know." DT said quickly. "It is much to take in in such a short amount of time." He sat back down on the tree stump. "It's odd, though... I don't know why I'm like this. I just am."
“Do you have a way to explain this?” Nic asked, indicating the runes that were carved in DT’s gauntlets and grieves as well as his coin.
DT's now pure white eyes widened. "I do not." He said, baffled. "That is something that I have never noticed..."
Nic stared at the coin. “Ok.” He said. His father had given him this coin. It had been passed down in his family for generations, supposedly a good luck charm. It was worth billions, yet it was far too precious to the family to sell.
DT's wolf ears perked up as he heard a hissing noise in the far distance. Since his senses were honed to almost a ridiculous point, he was sure Nic hadn't hear them yet. He jumped to Nic and brought him to the ground. "Stay down." He whispered in Nic's ear. "There is something close by."
Nic soon heard the hissing as well. He instantly recognized them. “It’s those demons from my dream…” He muttered.
DT gritted his teeth. "Are you sure?" He said, looking around to see if the demons were around. He couldn't see them yet, but he could almost feel their gaze beating down on him.
Nic pushed DT off of him with little difficulty and stood up. “Yes, I am sure.” He said, his eyes slowly changing to a blood red.
DT's gauntlets extended brass claws as the demons drew closer. He marveled at them for a brief moment. "They've never done THAT before..." He muttered as three demons, wearing black cloaks with red trim, walked forward. One was wearing a more ornamental cloak, just like Nic's dream.
Nic turned his body to the side and raised his hands, smoothly moving into a martial arts stance.
DT shook his head in disbelief. "First we had crazy motorcycle demon, and now evil cloaked demons?" He scraped his gauntlet's claws together. "This just gets better and better..."
The lesser demons hissed and circled the two, hunched over animalistically. DT held his arms out to his sides tauntingly. "C'mon, make a move!" He yelled to the two.
Nic faced one of them, his eyes blood red. “Let’s dance.” He said, the charged forward and kicked the demon in its chest.
The other demon tried to attack Nic, but DT pounced in front of it and slashed at it, putting gashes in its robe and making a spout of black blood issue forth.
“Thanks, DT.” Nic said over his shoulder. He faced the demon in front of him. He ran forward and spun, kicking the demon in the chest. He then quickly crouched and swiped the feet out from under the demon.
As the demon fell, DT shoved his claws upwards through its chest, piercing it all way through and making it scream as its body disappeared, nothing but the cloak remaining.
Nic turned on the other lesser demon, its blood still pouring from the tears in its cloak. He ran and kicked it in the chest, causing it to fly and strike a tree. Nic continued forward and punched the demon in the chest. He then grabbed it and threw it towards DT.
DT held both arms out, stabbing the demon through the chest. It struggled for a moment and then went limp as it dissipated like the other demon.
Nic turned to the last demon. “It looks like we have one more.” He said as he moved into a fighting stance.
The demon crossed it's arms, obviously disappointed in it's subordinates. It raised it's arms and black tendrils shot forth, wrapping around Nic and DT, completely immobilizing them. A voice rang through their minds. "The time of death is upon you. No escape. No second chances."
As Nic struggled, he felt the metal of the necklace heat up. He soon saw that it was emitting a strange light that damaged the tendrils of darkness. The demon shrieked and let go of Nic, but as it did so, it squeezed DT tighter, trying to crush the life from him. The glow of the necklace grew brighter and suddenly two swords appeared in front of Nic. They where the swords from the dream. Nic smiled ruefully. “Let’s see how long you survive against these.” He said as he grabbed them and charged at the demon.
The demon held up it's free arm and a wall of tendrils appeared, as solid as steel. "Break through that, why don't you?" The demon said in a raspy, whispery voice.
Nic jumped at the wall and practically ran up it. When he reached the top, he stood and looked down on the demon. “Oh, was that supposed to stop me?” He asked sarcastically. He then jumped down and landed agilely, then stood straight. “Let’s see you dance, demon.”
The demon scoffed and released his grip on DT. "I do not dance, human. However, I bet you could." He whipped at Nic's feet, making him jump back a bit. "Most amusing, humans are..." The demon said darkly.
Nic cracked his neck. “You won’t find me the least bit amusing.” He said and charged.
The demon created another wall right in front of Nic. "On the contrary, you are the most interesting and most amusing human I've met... Except for the furry one over there. He's an oddity as well."
This time, Nic slashed at the wall and it dissipated. He ran and thrust the two blades into the demon’s chest. “Like I said, you won’t find me amusing.”
The demon laughed. "Skill such as yours is too great for me to not be amused." It laughed again. "Perhaps I have been taking it too easy on you."
Nic yanked the swords from the demon and jumped back. “You haven’t even moved from that spot.”
The demon laughed. "This requires a new tactic." He shrugged off the cloak, revealing his true shadowy form. "Let's... How you say... Dance."
DT got up and stumbled to Nic's side. "I hope you hadn't counted me out yet." He smiled and turned to the demon.
Nic glanced at DT. “Not at all my friend. You were only taking a rest, as I saw it.” He said as he raised one of the blades above his head and placed the other at his waist like the strange warrior had done in his dream.
The demon laughed. "That's right! He used to do the same exact thing." He said cryptically.
DT furrowed his brow. "Who's "he", smart guy?"
The demon scoffed. "As if I should tell lowlife humans such as yourselves. You are undeserving of such divine knowledge."
As Nic stood there, a thought popped into his head. “It was the Hellslayer Knight, wasn’t it?” He asked in a low tone.
The demon laughed. "The peabrain figured it out!" He said in a mocking tone.
“DT,” Nic said in a light tone of voice, “shall we dispose of this nuisance?”
DT cracked his neck. "Yes, we shall."
The demon stopped laughing. "Two against one hardly seems fair. Allow me to even up the odds." He split in two, just like Nic's dream. "This is where your journeys end!" The left half yelled. The right half remained silent and charged at the two.
Nic charged forward and delivered a kick that sent the charging demon flying back. “You aren’t so tough for a demon.” He said mockingly.
Both demons snarled and leaped forward, one going for Nic and the other for DT. DT grabbed the demon by the arm and threw him at a nearby tree, then stomped on its chest, crushing its ribcage. It disappeared in a puff of black smoke.
Nic threw the blades to the ground, impaling them in the ground on either side of the remaining demon. The necklace that Nic wore flashed and bolts of lightning flew from the blades, black from the black blade, white from the white blade.
The demon shrieked as it was electrocuted, and then started laughing. "Your power is indeed that of the Hellslayer Knight...!" It said surprisingly enthusiastically. "Magnificent...! Truly magnificent...!" It fell to the ground, charred. "May the savior of Hell, Zeron, grace you!" As he uttered those last words, his body exploded into black smoke like the others.
Nic stared at where the demon had dissipated. How did I do that? He thought to himself.
DT sighed and lifted his necklace so he could look at it. "They came for this, I bet..." He said softly.
Nic walked over and pulled the swords from the ground, then looked at DT. “It is either that or my necklace. This stuff didn’t start until yesterday. Why do you think that is?”
DT shook his head. "Probably because we're magnets for trouble, as usual..." He stopped, thinking. "What did he mean by that? 'May the savior of Hell, Zeron, grace you'?"
“I am not sure. But since we now have some names, we may actually figure out what is going on.” Nic said. He held the swords up and they vanished. “At least I won’t have to deal with hiding the swords.”
DT sighed. "You're lucky. I have to wait for an hour before I can turn back." He looked at his hands. "God, I'm such a freak..."
Nic smiled. "You aren't a freak. You are unique, just like you should be." He said.
"Heh, thanks..." He muttered. "It's nice that you don't care. Cuz the first person I showed it to freaked out and ran... Then every time I got close to someone, I got afraid that I'd mess up one day..."
Nic looked at DT, a serious look on his face. “Friends to the end, man. Friends to the end.”