Kayel didn’t even look his way. Joey’s vision blacked out, came back, and blurred. Maybe, he screamed. He hopped backward, turning his agape mouth into something that could laugh, and fell to the ground. The sound of battle didn’t stop, but instead of the growls of the enemy, he could hear the sounds of humans. They were screaming, begging for help. It was getting thinner and thinner. He gasped and felt his sore throat. So, he was screaming.
It started to rain.
He questioned why he was here. He’s not supposed to be here. He’s not even built to fight. His skill was talking, and look where that took him. He chuckled. The splatter of rain came, beating at the top of his head, beating over his shoulders, wearing his back. He started to look around. Cold. Lucy was on the ground, struggling to move. Jonathan was the same, and he turned into a beefy pin cushion.
Everyone on his back was a tattered pair of wings drawn by bodies on the ground. Everyone was still fighting. They were losing. Some might even be dead. He didn’t know. He just took a deep, wavering breath to internalize the feeling that’s caving deep into his chest. His body was hurt, but he couldn’t feel his right leg. Right. It was bleeding. Cold.
“Is this really what you invaders amount to?” Kayel grinned, puffing out the steam from the corners of his mouth. “Pathetic.”
“Hey, fuck you,” Joey shouted. Fuck. He’s crying. “I ain’t quoting Uncle’s speech. I’m doing this my way.”
He called Kayel’s attention. It’s do or die. Joey laughed, gritting his teeth, almost screaming as he pushed himself up and leaned on both of his legs. There. It was. His right leg was still there. The only problem was this big man right there.
“I don’t know what that means, but I feel offended for some reason. Congratulations. Now, you got my attention.” Kayel turned away from Lucy, summoning an ice sword as he walked towards Joey. “Do you have something you want me to tell to your family? You know, something about what you all said earlier if someone asked me if I saw you, something that I would say to them before I tell them that I killed you and left you to be eaten by Tiyanaks or the birds. Something fun.”
Joey widened his grin. The glow in his eyes sharpened. He tried moving his fingers. He gained traction. This guy’s ability is bullshit, but it’s raining, and it’s getting heavier. Now, if he could just get more water. This guy thought that he had no ability. He forgot to pull some water. It’s not like he had something to use, anyway.
“Then you’ll be forgotten.”
Joey clicked his tongue. “I already am. I know my place.”
“Then let me help you down.” Kayel shadowed him and raised his blade. “Any last words?”
“...I am the dark one that snatches the very conscience. Witch of Lies, do my bidding. I am the deceiver of the body and of the mind… I call upon thee fate to be shackled by mine bidding… With mind and tongue… I forgot what the others were…” Lucy wobbled and slapped Kayel’s thick bicep. Her dead and dimmed eyes narrowed as she smiled. “There you are…”
She stuck her finger and pointed at Joey. Kayel didn’t know what to say. Joey took the initiative and pointed her finger in the right direction, which was towards Kayel’s face. Lucy coughed up blood and wobbled, but she kept her smile with her eyes facing the floor.
“What are you…”
“With tongue and fate connected as one…” Lucy coughed again and shivered as she raised her chin to look at that monster. She faced Joey again, but the man didn’t dare to correct her this time. “Vinidicus. You’re going to die, Kayel. I have said so. You will explode, and your head will go beyond,” she pointed her finger upwards. “the fucking stratosphere.”
Kayel cringed. He stomped the wet ground, kicking up the puddle that turned into ice and grew to impale Lucy’s body to turn her into a piece of modernist sculpture, with a splatter of blood involved. Joey grit his teeth, ignoring his friend for a moment to clench his butt and summon a sharp wave of water aimed at Kayel’s neck, but the monster breathed through his nose to freeze it in place.
Joey screamed. Kayel turned to finish the job and kill him, but Jonathan came, his body covered in some sort of aura-like smoke that flowed all over his body. It followed his movement. Joey continued to scream. That aura expanded to accommodate Jonathan’s broad movement before it narrowed, gathered on his back, flowed towards his elbow, followed his punch, and gathered in his fist. It sharpened as he drove his fist into Kayel’s face and exploded as the big man twisted his arm to send him flying and rolling through the wet ground.
“Jona… Lucy, she—”
Jonathan breathed, his aura expanding, flowing, giving more definition to the smoke that enveloped his body. Gaining more control as though his life was a sea that moved with heart-shaped ebbs. There was no rage. He’s calm. Must be a lie, then. Joey couldn’t figure out the stuff. Sinaya didn’t tell him about something like this. It looked powerful, but it was not enough. Kayel was already standing, grinning wide as he used that ability again to cover his body with cold dark blue armor.
“Kinabuhi!” Kayel declared, stepping forward, using his ability again to create a huge two-handed tower of a sword. “Not everyone can manifest their will and weaponize it to such a degree. Fight me, Jonathan. I will not let my men touch you. This fight would never be sullied. This fight is just for you and me alone. You are worthy of me. You are worthy of this fight. We will continue even if you’re the last one standing!”
“I must be a combat genius then, but damn…”
Jonathan’s aura moved towards his leg. He dashed and disappeared. Joey blinked. By then, Jonathan was already spinning his body to sink his leg into Kayel’s ice cuirass, shattering it like glass. The monster was pushed back. He planted his feet, grinning, and whipped his gigantic sword to cut through Jonathan, but he missed.
No. Jonathan ducked. He took his stance, cladding his leg with aura yet again, while utilizing the opening that he got to push himself off the ground and shatter Kayel’s helm with both his heels. He twisted his body in midair to whip his leg down his neck, stunning him, to allow himself to deliver the same punch earlier. But Joey might be seeing things because he saw it make an impact twice, forcing the monster to vomit blood before his body was pushed back.
But Kayel didn’t fall. “You don’t know how good it feels to be able to finally receive some decent damage.”
Joey looked behind them. His right leg gave up and he fell to one knee. They’re losing. Lucy became a bleeding statue, and Jonathan was squaring off against that monster alone. Time seemed to slow down. He learned his place after all that. After all, that happened.
He was, once again, useless.