Chapter 94:

Gwyn and Grimes 4

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Gwyn took a deep breath before sprinting through the maze of library bookshelves. He cursed under his breath at whoever made the needless labyrinth, but he focused mainly on moving. Grimes had boasted that he could feel where everyone was in the territory of his ability, so Gwyn suspected he should not stay in one place for too long.

Around the bookshelf maze, the blades began to bump into shelves as Grimes started to hunt him more ferociously.

Before Gwyn knew it, one of the blades came around a corner and began to fly at him. Gwyn tensed up at first, then realized it was only one blade. He watched the sword come in close, and he jumped to the side, crashing into some of the shelves in the process as the blade sailed past him.

The blade drove itself into the wooden bookshelf as it could not change course before colliding. It pierced through the shelf, and an idea quickly entered Gwyn’s mind. He got close to the blade and liquefied it into a cylinder shape, and then he bent the shape into an imperfect ring before returning it to solid.

The newly formed ring shook as it tried to free itself from the bookshelf, but the new shape prevented it from movement. The metal ring stopped moving in an instant as Grimes realized it was stuck on something.

“I don’t know what you think you are doing, boy, but you can’t win so easily, you know!” Grimes shouted from beyond the maze.

Gwyn ignored the comments and took a deep breath as he started to move through the bookshelves once again.

“There has to be some rules to his power, right? Like how I have a range and can’t liquify living things?” Gwyn finally whispered to Mem.

Yes… but you aren’t planning to continue fighting, are you? We need to run now, partner! You do realize how outmatched we are, right? Mem echoed in Gwyn’s mind with a worried tone.

I just need to stall him long enough for the others to come. If I can keep disabling his projectiles, Rheba or Odell should be able to knock him out in one blow,” Gwyn continued to whisper as he ran.

You put a lot of stock in their abilities… Those two were the ones that were captured, you know.

Another blade came around a corner and began moving to strike Gwyn. This time, he made sure to stand in front of a shelf so that the sword would pierce it. He formed it into a metal ring and ran on his way. He continued trapping the blades as he ran around the library and talked to Mem.

“It doesn’t matter who takes him down; we just need to stall for now!” Gwyn said a little louder than he intended. He covered his mouth with his good hand, but his voice was still not loud enough for the leader to hear while surrounded by all the bookshelves.

Mem grumbled in Gwyn’s mind for a moment before speaking.

Fine, he must have a limit of what he can control; otherwise, he would have just restrained you. There also must be some limit to how his territory works. A Needaimus does not have a range that can cover a whole village without conditions. Mem explained.

Gwyn quickly disabled another sword that had come around the corner before responding.

“That works, so once I disable all his swords, we might be able to come up with a winning plan?” he whispered.

I can’t promise that.

Back at the newly formed library entrance, Grimes sat and sighed. He had split the blades up so that he could surround Gwyn and pierce him from all sides. What happened instead was each blade was taken out one by one.

The leader shook his head as he stood up. He had one blade, which he held behind, float into his hand, and he tightened the grip around it. Grimes pushed a hand over the black, bony dots on his forehead through his long, lush hair. He shook his head and brushed off his toga-like clothing.

His opponent was boring, and he could feel the tides on the floor below beginning to shift against his favor. His playtime was up, and Grimes knew he needed to finish things.

“I suppose sometimes you just have to get your hands dirty,” he said to himself with a smile, then he marched through the hole Gwyn had made and into the library.

Gwyn burst from the maze of shelves and found himself at the entrance to the library. Some tables were set out, and two large doors marked the entry and exit.

Gwyn took a breath and turned back to the library. He could no longer hear the bumping of the metal swords on the shelves, but he had no idea if he got them all.

Gwyn liquified one of the tables and formed it into a bat. He gripped it tightly in his good hand while silently wishing his left hand was able to hold something as well. Gwyn slowly backed to the library’s door as he faced the exit to the shelves. If he could get some distance between them, he would.

The Nonpareil did not get far before Grimes emerged from the shelves. He only had one blade in his hand, and he threw his arms out emphatically.

“So many blades made of rare metal, and you turned them into earings for the bookshelves!” Grimes said with a laugh. “I hope you have had your fun because my patience has worn thin.”

With his words, the books on the bookshelves began to shake.

“You don’t think?” Gwyn asked.

Just run!” Mem shouted within his mind.

All the books began to fly off the shelf like a swarm of locusts, and they aimed at Gwyn.

The swarm quickly surrounded and began to batter Gwyn from all sides as he swung his new makeshift bat for defense. Grimes laughed.

Gwyn slowly moved until his back pressed against the door. He liquified it and escaped into the hall. Across the door from the library was another door, which Gwyn ran through and slammed shut. The books began to batter on the door behind him as he pressed his back up to it.

The Nonpareil looked around the new room. It was a green space that stretched across half of the third floor. Artificial grass carpeted the floor below, and glass domes opened to the night sky above. Several fake trees were set out next to flowing ponds and clean benches.

Behind him, the books still began to beat on the door, and Grimes slowly moved close with confidence in his stride.