Chapter 93:

Gwyn and Grimes 3

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Gwyn rather gracefully moved to the side as a swarm of red dots flew past his head. After discovering that Grimes was moving clear marble “bullets” in the air, it became easy to dodge blows. As each shot flew past Gwyn, he would liquify them and drive them to the ground to solidify in part with the floor—using Mem’s tail to push them down.

Through the course of the process, Gwyn was learning new things about his ability. He had some control of movement over the things he liquified, though it was not in an exact manner.

Gwyn would force the liquified bullets to the floor with a solid tip remaining as a point with his ability. The point would puncture the floor, and he would move the liquid out beyond the hole before solidifying the whole thing. The end shape resembled an upside-down tree. Grimes could still attempt to move the bullets, but they were stuck in the floor due to the shape Gwyn made.

Of course, Gwyn only had a vague sense of what he was trying to do, and Mem took care of all precise actions and movements.

Within no time, Grimes had expended all his crystal marbles. He leaned back on his metal throne and laughed while he smacked his knees.

Gwyn tensed up as he faced the leader. The intense use of his ability left his breath shallow.

As the Nonpareil tried to catch his breath, Grimes stood up and reached to the back of his metal throne, where many blades were sticking out in a gaudy manner.

“You got farther than most; I will give you that. Unfortunately, you have failed to grasp the extent of my ability.” At once, all the blades flew off Grime’s throne and began to circle him. He grabbed one out of the air and playfully swung it around as if to mock Gwyn.

“You can control everything in this room?” Gwyn asked after he gulped. Grimes laughed.

“I suppose I will humor you; then you can see how hopeless it is. This is a Surri Needaimus made to declare and control my territory, I can move anything as I please and feel everything move, and my territory is the entire town. Anywhere you run, I can hunt you down. Anywhere you hide, I can find you. This town is mine, boy.”

Gwyn thought to the miners who cheerfully prepared for battle, his allies who were captured, and the little Aqueenian girl that, for better or worse, reminded him of his sister. He shook his head.

“I can’t accept that,” he said, though he wasn’t sure how he ought to respond.

Grimes laughed before dramatically extending his hand toward Gwyn. The blades shot all at once. Gwyn barely had time to jump out of the way, let alone think if he could disable the swords in the same manner as he did the bullets. They quickly arced in the air and returned to strike the Nonpareil.

He managed to avoid another attack but could only partially liquify a blade as it zoomed past him. Gwyn gritted his teeth as the swords sailed around the room. They arced in the air once again as they turned to refire at Gwyn. He pressed his back against one of the room's long walls.

“Can we melt those?” Gwyn asked.

We can liquify anything, not living. You just need to keep it in your range of ability long enough to complete the process. Mem replied.

“So, the bullets were small enough to work with my range? How do I make the range larger?”

You raise your compatibility. It won’t do much good here, though.

Grimes laughed as he circled the swords in the air in front of Gwyn. He strode across the room so that he could look at Gwyn in the face, with only the blades in between them. The leader smiled a friendly but wicked smile. He pushed some of his black hair to the side and began to stroke his short, black beard.

“Even a novice would know not to shout things out in a battle to their Needaimus,” Grimes said through chuckles, “but that information won’t serve you any in the future since you’ll be dead.”

Behind us, a scan shows a densely packed room, and his swords will be limited on movement! Mem told Gwyn.

Gwyn didn’t give it a second thought before he liquified the wall behind him and fell into the next room. As he fell back, the swords sailed over his head. Gwyn quickly jumped up and ran into the room.

What greeted the nonpareil was a library. There was no mistaking the densely packed shelves with anything else as Gwyn slipped into it. The library was full of books, more than Gwyn had ever seen on earth, and the ceiling-high shelves were placed around the room in a sort of maze. Though the labyrinth was not intentionally built and merely due to neglect with storage as books were long obsoleted by tablet technology on Resh.

Gwyn quickly found himself deep in the book maze, where he sat down and began to catch his breath.

“What do we do?” he whispered to Mem.

We run partner; we have no chance to win this!

“Even if we ran, I suspect he wouldn’t let us get away,” Gwyn whispered back. He began to slide down to the end of the shelves and peered out down into the maze. Grimes was nowhere to be seen, but he could hear the distant bumps of the metal blades on the bookshelves.

Gwyn slid back away from the corner as he tried to think of what to do next.

“There is not much use in hiding, boy. I know where you are in the maze; it is just a matter of time until my blades find you!” Grimes shouted from beyond the library. The leader could pinpoint Gwyn in the room, but his ability did not grant him perfect enough sight to traverse the maze quickly. Grimes sighed and sat on the ground at the hole Gwyn had made in the wall. He saw no reason to chase after his foe.

It was only a matter of time before the invader was defeated by the leader’s superior power, after all. Grimes chuckled as the thought ran through his mind.