Chapter 19:

Sonic Barrage


"Hurry it up then, knave," Tommy told him, his voice reaching a new low.

The Fiend gave an exhilarated shake of his head, tilting Tommy slightly upward to meet him in the eye.

"I certainly could do that and have you promptly die from the poison causing fissures across your skin and melting you inside out."

Plainly, his intention was something different from that. What it be, though, Tommy had little clue.

"So what do you demand then?"

He was willing to cooperate; for his life to end there proved a bit more than disappointing.

"Only that you beg, of course."

Hostility peered from Tommy's eyes to his assailant, regarding him with specifically distinguished hate.

"You demand of me this?"

The sheer astonishment he had bled with an overinflated sense of pride, culminating in a lofty yet vengeful sputter.

"If by this, you mean a little bit of humble pie from yours truly, then yes!"

"Scum. That is all you are."

Without saying so much as another word, Tommy resigned himself to his fate. He stood still, his eyes perfectly concentrated on Larasel.

The thing was beginning to approach now, albeit slower than anticipated.

Slowly, it slithered, hundreds of blurring legs propelling it into motion.

The sound was nauseating. The collective motion of an uncountable series of limbs brushed against the carpet.

Tommy saw it steadily approach, eventually crossing half the distance.

What happened then was a pause, a moment where nothing save for the flow of sweat and the exhale of breath seemed to move.

The stillness was broken, though, upon the sound of a strange transformation.

Tommy tensed.

The sound was, in fact, a demonstration of what happened when porcelain violently collided against flesh.

Flapping upwards, the once pristine front Larasel had was gone.

The mask it once wore, meant to faintly resemble a humanoid, now showed only two pincer-like forelegs.

Forcipules, they were called, the primary means of offence for a centipede—that which injected venom into any unsuspecting, or in this case, very suspecting foe.

Tommy glared at them, inspecting the long red appendages for himself. He wondered at that time, a possibility of a distinctly different future. One, wherein he chose not the path of summoning but rather something else.

Demons were fickle things, all the more so ones of such antagonistic nature. Understanding this was the basic tenet of many a summoner, and Tommy was no different.

In this regard, he understood perfectly why the demon would fight back.

No doubt Larasel sensed a prime opportunity. A rare occasion to reverse its position and seize its summoner's own mana and blood for itself.

"Change your mind Mr. Tommy?"

The Fiend sounded so happy and foul. So much so that it left a sour distaste in Tommy's mouth. The time allocated to his would-be killers' existence wasn't terribly long, though. Resulting from his ego, Tommy concluded that he would much rather spend his last moments thinking over himself.

When Tommy came to that conclusion, he secured an introspective position. But the response he had found proved less than attractive. Rather than the sensibility of a level-headed, practical mage, Tommy instead found displeasure.

Emanating from his gut, the boy felt its long tendrils of woe spread through every crevice of flesh. Its long imaginary protrusions reaching his mind, limbs, and throat alike.

“Don’t worry Tommy, I’ll take ample care to tell the others you put up a good fight, I’ll lie just for you.”

A silent beckon reached from his soul, urging the demon to finish the job already.

By then, the centipede had launched forward—dexterity beyond its size, spurring it into motion. Tommy once again resigned his mind to coolness, bracing for what was to come. The sudden discharge of speech put an abrupt end to his reverie, however.

Spaced in the middle of life and death, betwixt the attack and nothingness, was a word. When Tommy ruminated on who said it, he understood it was The Fiend. It seemed an obvious answer beyond doubt, but it took a second longer than usual to the cornered Tommy.

Preening his body, Tommy listened close, understanding The Fiend's incoherent murmurs to be a prelude to something more.

Whispered under his breath, Tommy heard the mutter of a blissful "Superb."


The Mage started to deliberate something, but no thoughts came. Cut short by the exertion of force, it could be fairer to say that the thoughts never had time to develop. When he felt a pull on his shirt, Tommy realized The Fiend was attempting to throw him.

The Mage, who remained ever defiant, made an effort to resist. To no avail, however, The Fiend's arm twisted and tossed him to the side.

He flew through the air before an untimely collision.

Slumped against the wall, Tommy aimed a probing gaze at his attacker. He saw Larasel, unable to halt its momentum, caught between its already moving lunge. Wishing a painful death upon The Fiend, Tommy waited.

At a glance, the man had no time to dodge or move out the way. The sheer dexterity required to perform such a narrow escape was unthinkable.

But, the smile on his face betrayed ever-persisting confidence, even so.

Despite the tremendous amount of evidence pinpointing the origin of such confidence, Tommy still confided in the hope that he would die. With a frown, the boy rejected his vague impression of what was to come.

Adopting what seemed to be a martial arts stance, The Fiend's right leg stepped forward. Then, leading with a right punch, thrust it straight into Larasels' face.

What resulted was the sound of moist meat imploding.

Larasel shrieked backwards from the impact, pained from the blow The Fiend dealt.

"Honestly, I applaud your resilience, Tommy."

His words rang somewhat hollow on the Mage, preoccupied with images of exquisite brutality.

The Fiend suddenly stepped diagonally, a lift of his left leg in motion. Tommy undertook the duty of visualizing the attack, hoping to grasp the man's technique or style.


With his overwhelming power, the Fiend surpassed the physicality of any person Tommy had ever met.


Using sheer strength alone, The Fiend shattered Larasels' steel-strength carapace, a wave of gooey flesh in its wake.

"I hadn't expected a boy like you to be so brave, all things considered."

Meeting Tommy's amused gaze, The Fiend showcased his distinct grin once more. This time, the undertone of malice and hostility was gone, however. Something had changed Tommy's outlook on the man. His opinion on him was now more akin to the dry dislike one had for a poorly executed joke, if anything.

The boy, who watched with a knuckle on his chin, patiently awaited what came next.

The Fiend returned with an approving nod and proceeded to unleash a series of punches.


-thud -             thud                              - thud

                               - Thud - THUD

                                                     -thud                 -thud -thud


He shifted from one to the next in lightning succession, each bringing a new ooze of greyish liquid. Like the teeth on a chainsaw, his fists were an endless cycle of destruction, ever grinding away with each succession.

Upon the twentieth, the man's hand briefly unfolded.

Tommy watched as the man's lithe fingers moved. Extending his fingers forward, The Fiend had transformed his blunt weapon into a sharp one. The Mage spent a moment wondering as to why, then promptly came to a conclusion.

Affirmed of his belief with a final nod of The Fiend, Tommy held bated breath.

As the man turned to face Larasel, he swept his leg backwards in an exaggerated arc and, with great bravado, yelled, "Prepare for the finale!"


His arm equalled a shaft, and his hand, the spearhead. Plunged straight into Larasel, his attack triggered another ear-piercing screech.

The last of which would ever come out of the demon.

Curiosity began to bud in the boy's eyes. Although he had a general suspicion about what he did, Tommy still clung to the child-like hope of seeing it for himself.

The Fiend answered the boy's desires, pulling out his arm with a dank squish. Turning to face Tommy, he then knelt. Enveloped within his hand was a severed aorta, the long hollow tube that pumped blood within the demon.

Still smirking, The Fiend appeared to be in a joyous state of mind.

As if anticipating some reaction or response to his actions, the man kept kneeling, showing an earnest scratch of his chin.

Tommy, in response to his stiff perseverance, took a deep breath.

That was a surprising display of ability, to be fair.

"Not bad." He said derisively.

Steward McOy
Kya Hon
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