Chapter 10:

The Blooming Battle

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Immediately without hesitation, Coal ripped the double-edged spear off the ground and twirled it. He was now holding it with two hands almost in a blocking position as the weapon corresponded diagonally with his body. He was staring at me in a fighting stance waiting for me to make the first move. Bookmark here

I tossed the bag I've been holding on my back, jerked the knife that he threw at me earlier from the tree, and launched it at him while running straight for him. He dodged leftwards to avoid the blade, but at that point, I was about three feet away from him as I loomed near. As he landed on the floor from his leftward dodge, I closed in swiftly and went for a straight right-handed punch aimed for his face. Before my punch can even make it halfway to his face, Coal lifted his spear which was sharp on both ends rapidly in an uppercut-like motion to intercept the strike and cut my hand, but before the spear could connect with my hand I used the momentum of my punch to shift my body to the right while pulling back my punch to avoid the slice. While following through with this motion, the spear barely missed me and I now had the advantage to go for another straight punch, and that’s exactly what I did.Bookmark here

My wounds were exerting slight pain, but they weren’t stopping me from moving smoothly, and so I reached for Coal’s right torso where I was aiming successfully landing a solid strike. The blow sent Coal stumbling back a bit as he held his spear with one hand and now his torso with the other. As he stumbled back, I briefly noticed something move from the bushes and flowers behind Coal. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure, but I think it was the old man that the villagers called Sugu as I saw him oddly clawing his way through the bushes like a lobster. My eyes were focused on him now as he seemed to be trying to make his way to a giant stone monument a bit farther from the ones that we were standing at. I didn’t notice the monument when I first got here, but it was definitely the biggest one in the forest as it towered above most of the trees. The gigantic monument was obviously further in the forest since I couldn’t see it completely, and specifically, the tip of the statue prominently stuck out from aloft the great trees.Bookmark here

I looked back at Coal and witnessed a knife coming right for my head. Damn! I only looked away for a second. Everything was in slow motion now as my instincts kicked in. As fast I could, I moved my head to the right forcefully. I couldn’t completely dodge the small blade as it skidded through the left side of my face leaving a pretty light cut. The blade flew through my face and onto the ground where flowers now covered it. I turned my attention to something else for only a couple of seconds and almost died because of it. Despite whatever that crazy old man was doing, I couldn’t turn my attention away from Coal again or else it might cost me greatly. Coal’s hand (the one he had on his torso that I hit) was stretched out in front of me still from the throwing knife launch. I ignored the small amount of blood coming down from my face where the knife sliced.Bookmark here

“You know an old man named Sugu?”
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He lowered his arm slowly, looking at me a bit confused. He did seem to think about it for a second though.Bookmark here

“No?”Bookmark here

Now was not the time for conversing; I had to continue this. I already landed one solid blow earlier. This Coal guy had weapons, but he wasn’t stronger or faster than me. From what I can tell, he doesn’t really have anything too special about him going on besides the fact that he literally gains a weapon out of thin air from killing people.Bookmark here

I rushed him once more, not responding to his answer, but this time he swung his long spear vertically downwards aiming right for my head. I dodged leftwards immediately similar to how Coal did earlier as the great weapon came smashing into the ground, sending dirt and flower petals flying everywhere. This was my chance. He smashed his weapon too deep into the ground for sure, so now was the time for me to counter. There was no way he could pull out his weapon fast enough to attack again. I was reminded of my fight with Jack when he performed practically the same attack with his sharpened pan. I could either kick the spear deeper into the ground and counter, or I could take a risk and go for another blow. Either way, depending on his speed and decision-making, he could block or reflect my counter. Bookmark here

I quickly made my decision and closed in on Coal going for a left kick aiming straight for his abdomen. I decided that I shouldn’t bother kicking the weapon deeper into the ground because there was simply no way he could pull something that heavy out of the dirt fast enough to block my strike. Coal, who still had his hand on the spear, jumped high up in an acrobatic-like fashion to avoid my kick which now followed through and missed. His body was now floating in the air horizontal to the vertical blade standing in the ground as he still clutched it for balance. His clothing and hair were flying everywhere from the hop and the wind. While he was in the air, he twirled his body and kicked me right in my face sending me spiraling backward onto the floor. He landed on the ground after the kick and immediately, as if it was routine, abandoned his spear and quickly forced a medium-sized dagger out of one of his sheathes. I wondered if he killed someone to obtain that. He hurled his body towards me going for a stab straight to my abdomen which was now covered in bandages and my tank-top, but I wheeled my body rapidly to dodge and quickly grabbed his wrist which was holding the dagger. I smacked it out of his hands and quickly punched him in the face with all the might I could exert from the ground where I sat. He tripped backward from the blow, stumbling and twisting until he regained balance right next to his spear. His face was blood red from the impact of my fist which I was still holding up from the punch. I’m sure my face looked the same from his acrobatic kick. Bookmark here

Coal had his hand on his face where I punched him as he noticeably clenched his teeth angrily.Bookmark here

“DAMN IT SPADE! I don’t have time for this crap! I need to get back to the ritual monument and complete the resurrection before the sun goes down!” Bookmark here

He was still gritting his teeth while looking at me when I just remembered that I saw Sugu head towards a large, distinct monument. Could that be the monument Coal was referring to?Bookmark here

“Wait, ritual monument? You mean the one all the way back there?”Bookmark here

I pointed at where I think I saw the old man clawing his way to. Specifically, I pointed at the tip of the monument which rose above the trees. Coal looked to where I was pointing with conspicuous eyes.Bookmark here

“Yea, that one. I already got the arm, fresh blood, and even the shard from one of Arsenal’s blades already prepared in the altar right in front of the thing.”Bookmark here

Arm? What’s he talking about? Shard from one of Arsenal’s blades? I wanted to get more information here. Unless this guy is the nut job that I think he is and the resurrection is bull, this could end up being bad and making my job harder.Bookmark here

“What do you mean an arm? Like a real human arm? Arsenal’s blade? Who the hell is Arsenal? Explain Coal because I just saw the old man I asked you about earlier make his way towards that altar.”Bookmark here

Coal’s eyes widened slightly, but he didn’t seem too worried. He explained quickly as he tried to rip the spear out of the ground. I got up off the floor filled with flowers as he spoke. Bookmark here

“I learned after years of traveling and gathering information that only those with spiritual connections with specific people can ever dream of reviving a man from the dead. You see, when I was a young boy-”Bookmark here

He successfully got the spear out of the ground and threw it on his back as it now hung on his shoulders as he continued.Bookmark here

“A bounty hunter named Arsenal-you see his blade hit my arm, and I’ve kept the blade with me ever since. I think the incision is what made me inherit Arsenal’s greed.”Bookmark here

I looked at him in pure confusion. He continued in an annoying-like fashion.Bookmark here

“What are you so confused about? You’re looking at me like you don’t know Arsenal. Don’t you bounty hunters practically worship the guy?”Bookmark here

He explained it to me like I was a child.Bookmark here

“Me and a bounty hunter named Arsenal both gain the same thing, Spade. Stop being an idiot. You should know how these abilities work by now. Since the blade stabbed me, a fragment of his soul connected with mine which led to me inheriting his ability. We both gain new weapons every time we kill. Anyways, I needed fresh flesh and blood which I got from that pedophile whose arm I cut, and I needed a piece of Arsenal’s soul which was the blade that I kept all this time after it stabbed me in the arm. After using all these materials, all I need to chant is the words on these monuments next to us. That’s how to complete the resurrection.”Bookmark here

He lowered, stretched, and opened his hand to show me as it pointed towards the monuments which lied next to each other. Bookmark here

“You have to memorize and read it in a pattern, and I was almost done until you showed up. Once you chant these words in the correct order, the man which you’re trying to revive is supposed to come abo-.”Bookmark here

I finally responded by cutting Coal off eagerly.Bookmark here

“Okay, but the crazy old man went in that direction! Isn’t that a problem for you? What if he takes your blade?”Bookmark here

I was trying to get in his head and make him worried, but he was calm and collected after clearly thinking it through.Bookmark here

“No, Spade. No, it’s not a problem. Yea, it’s true. Maybe whatever old man you're talking about will screw with my ingredients if he’s a curious or crazy old fart, but I’ll recover them and continue the ritual just fine. As for the blade, I will always know where it’s at since I have the same ability as Arsenal. We’re both connected in that way. I always know where both of our weapons are at all the time.”Bookmark here

He twirled his spear around gathering himself in a specific stance. Black clouds were beginning to flood the sky rapidly. Rain was inevitable at this point. He had some words to say before we continued our battle.Bookmark here

“You’re out of your league here Spade! It seems there’s a chance that you did gain something without killing, but that’s insanely rare and doesn’t change the situation even a little. I can tell from how strong and fast you are.”Bookmark here

Coal began towards me once more aggressively. I raised my arms in defense waiting for the continuation of our battle when all of a sudden, right before Coal could swing his weapon, there was a huge explosion to the right of us. Coal and I both froze as we looked to the right of us where the giant explosion just commenced in the forest. Smoke and an insane burst of wind were flowing towards us as we both covered our faces. Birds and tons of wildlife scattered in every direction both running past us and flying in the air to get away from where the explosion occurred. It was like a C4 bomb just went off right next to us. It was so loud that my ears were ringing as I continued to cover my face trying to avoid the debris and great wind. After the wind and smoke settled, Coal and I just lowered our guards and gazed with open eyes at where the explosion occurred.Bookmark here

Coal yelled out, “WHAT! THERE’S NO WAY!”Bookmark here

He let go of his spear as it clanked and settled quickly on the floor filled with flowers, and he began running towards where the explosion just occurred. After he took about three steps there was another boom which was even louder than the initial explosion making both Coal and I fall backward onto our butts. My ears were hurting so bad from the noise that they even began bleeding. I subsequently had my hands now covering my ears. Bookmark here

The boom unleashed a beam of white light that reached and streaked upwards at the sky in a straight distinct bright vertical line from where the explosion occurred. The wind was settling down, but animals were still scattering like mice. The light shined brightly and vertically for about three seconds, opening the dark cloudy sky circularly until it flared up and looked like it was congesting and swaying greatly from the tip where the clouds were. It swelled up like an insect bite until it detonated, fulminating everywhere and clearing the entire sky from the black clouds that once betrothed it. The beam literally cleared the whole sky now leaving the bright sunny day that existed before the clouds took over the sky. After the sky was cleared, everything was silent. We witnessed the whole thing in a front-seat sort of view. Bookmark here

Coal looked at the sky in pure terror as he stuttered loudly to get his words out.Bookmark here

“WHA-WHAT THE HELL! SO-SOM-SOMEONE JUST USED MY RITUAL ALTAR TO REVIVE SOMEONE ELSE!”Bookmark here

My eyes enlarged as I was beginning to realize how dreading the situation at hand really was. If this Arsenal guy that Coal was trying to revive wasn’t the one just resurrected… then who was the one that was resurrected? Bookmark here

Coal without saying one word to me rushed towards the scene abandoning his spear which he left on the ground. I just gazed upon the scene created from the explosion and light with an open mouth and wide eyes as I even began to notice redlight-like particles beginning to decorate the sky above me. I couldn’t even process what was going on, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t let Coal get away from me as I was now following where he ran trying to get back to him. I immersed myself in the trees and forest where Coal ran as I tried to catch up.Bookmark here

While running, crimson light-like particles bounced off my skin and the trees as they transformed the flowers beneath us into different colors. There was no rainbow of flowers anymore as most of them were noticeably turning red like roses. Besides the crimson light particles, the sun continued shining down on me, glaring at me like before.Bookmark here

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