Chapter 8:

End of A Terror (Part 2)

The Symphonia of Erde (DISCONTINUED) (ARCHIVED)

                                        *CLING* Bookmark here

*CLANK* Bookmark here

*CLANG*Bookmark here

The sound of clashing blades fills the air of Notte del Circo, replacing the cheer and laughter that used to merry the place from silence. Sparks after sparks flew by as the irons of their spears and swords collide. Bookmark here

Allies battling one another, brother against brother. The town guards of Smillia fought valiantly against the horde of their fellow tranced men, puppeteered by an unseen adversary who observed their struggle from afar.Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Sir Ryleigh, the knight in not-so-shining armour, wrestled the lizard-like Dario monster into submission. However, the beast was relentless and refused to submit under the knight's might. Time and time again the Dario monster managed to caught Ryleigh off guard and threw him away, before making the same mistake of charging head first towards his brother only to be intercepted by the knight.Bookmark here

"Please brother! Stop!" Philip Dario begged as he witnessed his monster brother being surplexed by Ryleigh for the umpteenth time. Of course, the monster refused to listen.Bookmark here

"Dear Lord, this tin' wouldn't stop 'eadin after yer!" Ryleigh complained as he held tightly to the monster's tail.Bookmark here

"What kind of grudge does yer man 'ave against yer?"Bookmark here

Hearing those questions by Ryleigh, Philip's mind immediately flashed back to all the moments he had with his brother. He recalled the times where he yelled at his brother for being too soft on others, and the times where he pushed his brother to work harder despite him begging for rest. He remembered shouting at Benson for allowing a poor elderly woman to sell her flowers within the fairground without paying a single cent as rent. Finally, he remembered that moment, back during the early years of the circus's establishment. Bookmark here

Benson was reluctant to partake the circus business for he had his own dreams and ambitions to pursue. This decision of his infuriated his older brother whose eyes were blinded by the riches they could profit from the circus business inherited to them by their long gone parents. Philip used their parents' will as a forefront for countless of excuses to force his brother in helping him manage the circus. Bookmark here

"This is what mother would've wanted." "Family should always have each other's back."Bookmark here

Philip remembered using those words to force poor Benson in helping him despite never really cared of what he just said. But now, all of his manipulations towards his brother are turning back against him, in a form of a monster who would stop at nothing to have its hand on its brother's neck.Bookmark here

"Let him have me!" Philip shouted suddenly.Bookmark here

"What!?"Bookmark here

"You heard me knight! Let him have me!"Bookmark here

Ryleigh hesitated on fulfilling Philip's request but before he could even come up with a decision, the Dario monster managed to loose himself from the knight's pin and threw him away like a piece of trash. The monster charged towards Philip who did not even move an inch, bracing himself for what's to come next.Bookmark here

With one swipe, the monster grabbed Philip off the ground and held him tightly with its ferocious might. Philip struggled to breath as he felt his brother's grip slowly getting stronger and stronger. Even then, he managed to let out a few words.Bookmark here

"Li-listen to me brother... I'm sorry for everything I've done to you-"Bookmark here

The monster squeezed his hand tighter as he let out an enraged growl. Philip could feel the bones of his body slowly giving away to his brother's might.Bookmark here

"It does not- *AGHK!*- it does not have to end like this... I'll do anything... anything to pay you back-"Bookmark here

At this point, Philip's consciousness began slowly fading away. He could not withstand the strong force of the monster's grip yet even then, he managed to let out some words.Bookmark here

"Pl-please brother... I'm sorry..."Bookmark here

A tear fell from Philip's eye as his vision slowly turned black. The monster still refused to let go of him and in fact, lifted his other free arm up preparing to smash his brother into oblivion. As it was about to do so however, the monster sensed a strong presence coming from its side.Bookmark here

The monster turned its head to the left and was greeted with an eight-feet Behemoth, piggybacking a person with a weird hat, stomping his way towards it. The Behemoth leaped to its face with its clenched fist pointing straight to its face. Bookmark here

With one swift punch, Claude knocked the monster out cold. It released Philip from its monstrous grip as they both fell to the ground. Philip immediately got back up however, gasping for air, as Claude quickly attended to him. Bookmark here

"Calm down mister and follow me. Breathe in, breathe out," Claude ordered as he helped Philip Dario recover. He could see several minor wounds here and there from the plump's man body but miraculously, no bones were broken.Bookmark here

"Claude! Jakob! Where in Erde 'ave yer two been?" Ryleigh grinned joyfully under his visor, happy to see his friends once more. Bookmark here

"Yer two 'ave any idea what's 'eadin on around 'ere suddenly?"Bookmark here

"We're from the forest," Claude replied while doing a quick checkup on Philip, "and for your second question, you could blame Jakob for that."Bookmark here

"Yeah that one's on me," Jakob admitted, scratching the back of his head.Bookmark here

Their conversation were interrupted abruptly when a bright red light glowed at the Dario monster's unconscious body. The crimson glow eventually diminished as Benson Dario reverted from his monstrous reptilian form back to his timid human self. Bookmark here

"Benson!!" Philip ran towards his fainted brother as the other three followed.Bookmark here

"Benson! Benson!" Philip shook Benson's body trying to wake him up, "Its me Benson! Please wake up!"Bookmark here

"Br.. Brother..." The timid brother's eyes slowly opened as the world gradually unveiled itself to his vision.Bookmark here

Philip was relieved to see his brother conscious once more. Without a moment's waste, he immediately hugged his dear little brother with tears in his eyes.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry for everything brother. I should have not dragged you into this mess. I promise I'll do things right this time," Philip spoke non-stop as his brother still tried to process what's going on.Bookmark here

"Enough with the circus business for now. As a payback, I'll help you with your dreams."Bookmark here

"You will?" Benson's eyes shined upon hearing the statement.Bookmark here

"Yes, I will." Bookmark here

Jakob, Ryleigh and Claude witnessed the two brothers joyful reunion as they finally resolved years worth of brotherly conflict and misunderstandings. Bookmark here

"Hey! You three!" a voice shouted from a far.Bookmark here

It was Marie, waving excitedly as she and Isaac ran towards them. The five of them finally reunited at the circus ground, or at least what remained of it after the great conflicts that had occur. The tranced guards too, slowly regained their senses. The guard captain immediately commanded to cease their battle, seeing that it was no longer necessary. Bookmark here

"So, now what?" Marie asked, initiating an immediate discussion among them.Bookmark here

"Logically, we should find William Shadford before he creates more mess with that strange powers of his," Jakob suggested, "spotting him would not be that hard considering he's gone berserk."Bookmark here

As the hunter finished his dialogue, the sky suddenly thundered. It was unnaturally loud, like a roaring of a raging beast or the volley of a hundred cannons. The gang looked up and saw strobes of red electricity appearing from all directions, traversing the cloudy sky as all of it struck a singular point at a forest up north.Bookmark here

"Guess we've already found him."Bookmark here

And so, without a moment to waste, the five of them immediately made their way to that forest.Bookmark here

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bookmark here

"Have you ever wondered about the lives of the people you hunted?"Bookmark here

Jakob raised his eyebrows upon hearing the sudden question by Claude as they all traversed the slightly dark woods.Bookmark here

"Not really. Why?"Bookmark here

"Have you two ever thought about the reason for their misdoings? What led them to who they are?"Bookmark here

"Sometimes, but that's not our job now is it?" Jakob replied simply, "We're more of executioners really. What drove them to become a criminal was none of our business."Bookmark here

"You still feel bad for William aren't you?" Marie asked from above the trees, using her eagle-like vision to see ahead of his friends.Bookmark here

As they made their way to the forest, Claude told the rest of them a bit of William's side of his story based on the information he gathered during the two's consultation. It was saddening to hear about his life; a tragic tale of abuse and neglect. Jakob however, was not flinched by the story.Bookmark here

"Just another person with a bad childhood. Nothing out of the ordinary"Bookmark here

"Damn, someone's cold-hearted," Isaac commented, flying several feet above them but still below the trees.Bookmark here

"Judge me all you want, but what truly out of the ordinary is that he somehow got himself involved with this thing called "The Grace" or something." Bookmark here

All four looked at Jakob. This was new information for them.Bookmark here

"Did ye said "The Grace"? Oi swear ah've 'eard of them somewhere."Bookmark here

"He never told me of such things," Claude remarked, pushing away a branch blocking his path, "but he did said that someone's influencing him. He heard whispers every time he felt the urge to do something... terrible."Bookmark here

"So you're saying he's not crazy, but used?" Isaac asked as he slowly made his landing. Claude shook his head as a reply.Bookmark here

"He still has his own problems."Bookmark here

"If anything, he's crazy enough to let himself be used. Marie and I have dealt with a lot of cult-ish fanatics. They aren't exactly the most mentally stable."Bookmark here

"Heads up guys! I could see him from here!" Marie announced suddenly as she spotted William less than a mile from them.Bookmark here

Jakob immediately signaled the others to stop. He gestured them to come close to discuss their next plan of action, but it seems that would be unnecessary. Bookmark here

"DIE YOU PIECE OF SHITS!!!" William flew above and threw a huge fireball at them.Bookmark here

Ryleigh immediately stepped forward and drew out his sword, summoning a translucent barrier of light that shielded them against the fireball. William continued to volley them with flaming balls one after another as Ryleigh stood his ground retaining the protective barrier.Bookmark here

"Alright here's the plan," Jakob announced as he and the other three hid behind Ryleigh, "I'm going to count to three and all of us will jump away. I'll shoot him, which he will easily dodge, but during that time Isaac will fly to him and rip his head off with his fist!"Bookmark here

"Wait! Do not kill him please! He needs help and I promised him help that day!" Claude intervened. Bookmark here

"Tch- fine," Jakob scoffed, "just knock him out cold then."Bookmark here

"Ho ho, I've been wanting to do that since the last time I've punched his face!" Isaac grinned excitingly.Bookmark here

Jakob looked over his shoulder to see if it's the right time to strike. He saw William still attacking them, stuck in an enraged blindness despite the futility due to Ryleigh's barrier. This was the right time to strike.Bookmark here

"Get ready guys! In three... two..."Bookmark here

William threw one last fireball; this one bigger than all those before, towards the five.Bookmark here

"ONE!"Bookmark here

The five of them immediately jumped away as Ryleigh released his barrier. The ground exploded gloriously as the fireball touched it, perishing all there is in a magnificent flame. Only ashes and smoke remained as the place was reduced to a deep crater of ember.Bookmark here

Not a second to waste, Jakob drew out his gun and fired it at William. As anticipated, he dodged the bullets easily leaving his right side unguarded.Bookmark here

"This is for all the trouble you've caused us Will! DORAAAA!!!" Isaac flew straight for the madman with his bony fist in front.Bookmark here

The punch connected to William's face perfectly. A powerful surge of electricity went through his veins. Unfortunately, this was not enough.Bookmark here

"YOU!!!" Bookmark here

William grabbed Isaac's hand which was still on his face. He pulled him closer and delivered a knuckle sandwich of his own flavour. His fist connected Isaac's jaw as it glowed bright-red with power. The Storm Revenant crashed to the ground right beside his friends.Bookmark here

"Well, the water has been tested. We now know how powerful he is right now," Jakob remarked.Bookmark here

Isaac quickly got up and brushed away the dirt on his clothes, "Did you seriously used me just for that?"Bookmark here

"Yes and no. Time to do those midway improvisations then."Bookmark here

William was not satisfied by the blow he dealt. He could still feel his rage building up within him.Bookmark here

"William! Listen to me!" Claude shouted, "You're not yourself right now! You are better than this! There is no need for violence!"Bookmark here

"Oh yes I need it! You betrayed me when I need you the most!" William's voice cracked as he held back his tears, "You're the last person I expect to be with him!" he pointed at Isaac.Bookmark here

"Ah, so it's my fault now."Bookmark here

"You're the worst person I've talked to! You sent that weird bird-hat guy to kill me!"Bookmark here

"Weird bird-hat guy!?" Jakob became offended when he heard that statement. Bookmark here

"Alright listen 'ere you lil' piece of shit! This hat, is the coolest headwear across Erde!" Jakob took off his hat and pointed angrily at the mummified bird on it, "And this bird 'ere is the pride of the Fowlhunter!"Bookmark here

"But that ain't all! This big feller here-" Jakob went to Claude and patted his back- "has been tryin' to help you since day one! I came to that cave to f*ck you up under my own will! He's not involved in anythin' and now he's trying to slap that dumb head of yours back to order!"Bookmark here

"Uhh, he might misunderstand that last statement," Claude replied.Bookmark here


"And I don't care! My suffering has been on long enough!" William raised his arms up as his hands emitted strange magical aura.Bookmark here

The sky thundered as an army of skeletons popped out of the ground, each wielding spectral-like blades. They quickly surrounded the gang from all sides, leaving no route of escape.Bookmark here

"I buried all of my victims here in this very forest, and now I reanimate their corpses to do my bidding!"Bookmark here

He conjured huge amounts of flame through his hands, which gradually took form of a gargantuan winged beast. The fire beast soared mightily to the air above them, drips of ember fell from its flaming body scorching the earth below.Bookmark here

"Now all of you will be part of them as well!"Bookmark here

The army of skeletons marched towards the quintet in unison with their blades pointed towards them. The five braced themselves; Jakob drew out both his pistols, Ryleigh adjusted his stance, Claude puts up his fists, Isaac charged himself with electricity, and Marie-Bookmark here

-picked up a thick branch from the ground.Bookmark here

"Great, now what's our move?" Isaac looked at Jakob as the horde approached them ever closer.Bookmark here

"H-"Bookmark here

"Screw living quietly in this town!" William shouted suddenly.Bookmark here

"Hold on, he's not finished monologuing."Bookmark here

"Today is the day I burn Smillia down to ASHES!!!" Bookmark here

With a single gesture, William commanded the flaming winged beast he created. It flew straight towards the town, bringing along pure fiery destruction on its wake.Bookmark here

"THE TOWN!" Isaac panicked.Bookmark here

"What ye waitin' for lad? Go after it!"Bookmark here

Isaac instantly flew after the dragon leaving behind his friends to deal with William and his army. Bookmark here

The moment the revenant left, the horde of skeletons charged towards the remaining four. Ryleigh lifted his sword up and summoned a flash of bright light, momentarily stunning William and the skeletons.Bookmark here

"Leave them ter me! Yer three go for William!"Bookmark here

As ordered, Jakob, Claude and Marie left the knight to fight the army of dozens on his own. They sprinted through the horde of skeletons, pushing aside and killing those that get in their way. Bookmark here

"Not so fast!" William shot a magical bolt that hit a huge boulder beside the three.Bookmark here

The boulder started to crumble violently as it transforms into a huge golem. The golem charged towards the three ready to smash them into a pulp, but its action was cut short as Claude intercepted it and wrestled it into submission.Bookmark here

The golem bought enough time though for a group of skeletons to charge the three from the front. Jakob quickly shot down four right through their skulls. One of them managed to get close and slashed its blade furiously towards him. The hunter dodged and ducked as the skeleton was immediately greeted with a thick branch to the face, shattering its skull to pieces. Bookmark here

Without a time to waste, Marie leaped above Jakob, took the ethereal blade laying on the ground, and threw it towards another skeleton. She grabbed her fallen adversary's blade once more and threw to it to yet another, and another, and another. Marie moved gracefully between the spaces of her foes all the while bullets fired by Jakob's gun flew pass her meeting its end on the skulls of the reanimated army.Bookmark here

As the last remaining skeleton fell, Marie took one of the ethereal spears and threw it at William, who conjured a small translucent shield to block it. However, as the spear flew fast towards him, Jakob fired a shot towards it. The bullet went through the entire wooden grip and hit the blade from the back, increasing the blade's speed and force. The blade pierced through the magical shield and stabbed right through William's left shoulder. Bookmark here

"Hah! Nice throw there Marie! Pity we couldn't hit his head."
Bookmark here

"No, I think that's better." Claude appeared beside them after smashing the golem to pebbles, "I will talk him out of this."Bookmark here

"Really now?-" Jakob opened his top break revolver and loaded its chambers- "After what he said and done you still think that lunatic'll listen?"Bookmark here

"I'm a doctor Jakob, and that lunatic is my patient! I have sworn an oath to stop at nothing to help those in need, no matter the obstacle! He's mad indeed, and no amount of backstory could justify what he had done. But that does not mean he does not deserve help!"Bookmark here

Jakob looked at Claude curiously. He did not know whether to admire or disagree with the Behemoth's determination to help the mad murderer but either way, William must be stopped.Bookmark here

"Fine. Four minutes," Jakob took out his pocket watch, "if he's still raging around after four minutes there'll be a bullet between his eyes."Bookmark here

"That's too short! Give me more time-"Bookmark here

"Hey guys! Incoming!" Marie called out as William shot a magic bolt towards them.Bookmark here

"Your time starts now!" Jakob announced as they leaped away from the bolt. The ground exploded as it came to contact with it.Bookmark here

Claude immediately got up and shouted from below, "William! Listen to me!"Bookmark here

"My ears are all shut now doctor!!"Bookmark here

"You don't have to do this! You don't have to become a monster just because they treated you so!"Bookmark here

"Monster? Oh no doctor, only now they consider me a monster. Otherwise, I'm nothing more but a property! A TOY FOR THEIR PLEASURES!!!"Bookmark here

Claude looked at Jakob who signaled that there was three minutes left.Bookmark here

"Your parents see you as something disposable. They used you like an object. But here's my question William; do you see yourself like that?"Bookmark here

"WHAT SORT OF STUPID QUESTION IS THAT!? OF COURSE NOT!" William fired a barrage of magic blasts as the three took cover. Bookmark here

Jakob gestured at Marie to follow him up a tree several feet away. Marie obediently followed as Claude watched the two leaving him behind. Jakob stopped and turned back to signal Claude that he has two minutes left.Bookmark here

"That's what you thought William-" Claude got up from cover- "yet you surrendered yourself to that 'Father', fulfilling his orders and rites without question."Bookmark here

"I came to him for power! And I used that power to kill my parents!"Bookmark here

"So you've got your revenge. Then, why did you not stop there?"Bookmark here

"I-" William hesitated to answer that question- "I was angry."Bookmark here

"You were angry?"Bookmark here

"I could not help myself," William's hand stopped glowing as he descended from the sky.Bookmark here

"I thought I would be satisfied after I killed them. But instead, I felt worse. My insecurities grew, and I quickly felt that one and two blood was not enough."Bookmark here

Jakob and Marie watched the two from afar. The hunter's grip was locked on to his rifle, his finger twitching on its trigger. He glanced at Marie who quickly checked the pocket watch and put up a finger signaling there was a minute left. Jakob looked back at Claude and William with his heart conflicted to two. Bookmark here

On one hand, he wanted to pull trigger now and end it there and then. Yet on the other, he secretly rooted for Claude to talk William out of this mess. The Behemoth's lecture just now opened the hunter's eyes. It was the first time he saw someone with such moral standing after who knows how long. He wanted the doctor to prove him wrong.Bookmark here

"I told this to Father once, he said I needed more blood," William continued, "more blood so that the Grace would bless me with it."Bookmark here

"Did you feel blessed though?"Bookmark here

William stared at the ground, holding back his tears, "N-n-no. I feel better, and worse. I don't even know what I should feel anymore!"Bookmark here

William could not handle it any further and broke down. Without hesitation, Claude offered him a shoulder to cry on and comforted the crying man.Bookmark here

"He used you William. The Father used you to achieve his goal. It was no different then what your parents did isn't it?"Bookmark here

Claude patted William's back as he continued to cry endlessly. Jakob, who watched from afar, decided to put down his rifle. It seems the Behemoth doctor managed to prove him wrong this time. Bookmark here

"Wait, something's wrong," Marie spoke suddenly. She could see them both clearer than Jakob and saw something popping out from William's hand.Bookmark here

"Thank you doctor." William got back to his feet, "But this was not the first time someone said those things to me."Bookmark here

William pulled out a dagger and lunged at Claude.Bookmark here

"JAKOB!"Bookmark here

"On it."Bookmark here

Jakob instantly pulled the trigger and fired his rifle. The bullet flew straight towards the dagger and blew it off his grip. It did not stop William though as his hand glowed red with power. Bookmark here

He punched Claude straight at his face. The Behemoth was sent back flying, destroying the trees behind him until his body slammed to a hillside. He was instantly knocked out cold.Bookmark here

"I'm tired of being used and tricked my whole life-" William turned his head towards Jakob and Marie- "I've realized now that there was no one I could rely on."Bookmark here

"Whether from a doctor or from 'Father', all of you are the same!"Bookmark here

William charged up his hand and fired a magical bolt towards the tree the two hunters were on. They jumped out right before the bolt annihilated the tree into ashes, landing on a pile of leaves as Jakob caught his partner and covered her fall. They both quickly got up and saw William hovering straight towards them, his hands and eyes glowing red.Bookmark here

"Go left Budgie!"Bookmark here

"Which left?"Bookmark here

"We're facing the same direction goddammit!" Bookmark here

The two instantly split up moments before William shook the ground with a mighty punch. He channeled his power and directed it towards Jakob, firing hundreds of death beams and disintegrating projectiles. The hunter jumped, ducked and stepped, dodging the deadly projectiles ever so swiftly, until a small misstep cost him a direct hit towards his chest. Bookmark here

Fortunately, the leather armour he wore underneath his duster protected him. However, the force of it sent the hunter shattering through a thick tree trunk. Jakob tried to get up as fast as he could but William caught up to him easily. He stepped one of his foot down on the hunter's back, mocking him as he struggled to get up.Bookmark here

"After all that have happened, I have to thank you for what you have done." William pointed his hand towards Jakob's head, its palm glowing ever redder as he charged up his power.Bookmark here

"You made me realize that there's no one to trust in this world. Once I'm done with you, the doctor and that f**king revenant, I shall go after Father myself!"Bookmark here

"Yeah sure, tell him what a good boy you are for doing all of his chores," Jakob smugly remarked.Bookmark here

"I would not waste my last breathe on insult, Mr Bird-hat!"Bookmark here

Jakob snickered after hearing his reply.Bookmark here

"Funny, cuz you just did." William looked at him confusingly when he felt a sharp, powerful blow on the right side of his head. Bookmark here

"GAAAH!!"Bookmark here

He immediately collapsed as Jakob used this opportunity to get back up. William turned to his right holding his wounded temple in pain where his eyes caught sight of Marie, pointing her signature pickaxe proudly at him.Bookmark here

"Nice try Willy! But you have to go through me first if you wanna tear Mr Bird-hat's structurally superfluous be-hind!"Bookmark here

Jakob nudged Marie and whispered to her, "We should get out of here now!"Bookmark here

"Oh come one! This was about to be my time to shine."Bookmark here

"You'll shine later until we both get a character arc where we'll learn some powers, magic or some sort. Until then-" Jakob glanced at William as he telekinetically uprooted a dozen or so trees and threw it towards them- "RUN!"Bookmark here

He grabbed Marie's hand as they both took off while dodging the huge trees thrown at them by an enraged psycho-mage. Jakob quickly passed a small pipe-shaped bomb at Marie who threw it towards William precisely hitting his face. The pipe bomb flashed brightly and emitted a deafening bang, effectively distorting William's senses. He recovered rather quickly and saw them both managing to create quite a distance between them. The two hunters left the forest and went on straight until they were out of his sight.Bookmark here

"You both are not getting away that easily," William spoke to himself.Bookmark here

"Aye, an' neither shall you!" a voice shouted out of nowhere.Bookmark here

William turned around and saw a knight whose armour was stained by dirt and scratches. The knight pointed his ivory-white sword at him maliciously. Bookmark here

"I've been millin' those 'undreds av skeletons on me own, an' its about time we bake each other like real men!"Bookmark here

With no more time to waste, Ryleigh charged at William with his sword pointed at him. William looked at him with disinterest and summoned yet another horde of skeletons.Bookmark here

"I'll deal with you later knight. I've got two idiots to hunt." He flew away just like that, leaving Ryleigh to deal with a horde of undeads once more.Bookmark here

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"Hurry! Get in!" Jakob called as Marie followed him into an empty house.Bookmark here

They quickly closed every curtains, doors and windows leaving no light to illuminate anything within the household. After that, they waited quietly in the dark living room, awaiting the arrival of William.Bookmark here

Jakob took out a cigar from his pockets, lighting it up to have a quick smoke.Bookmark here

"Seriously? At a time like this?" Marie looked at him disgusted.Bookmark here

"Gotta kill time somehow. It's going to take a while before he arrive-"Bookmark here

*BOOOOOOOOOOM*Bookmark here

The ceiling and walls behind Jakob collapsed, and an angry William Shadford stood amongst the ruins menacingly.Bookmark here

"YOU TWO!!!"Bookmark here

"Marie now!" Bookmark here

Immediately, Marie started whistling a strange melody. The house shook violently when all of a sudden, a swarm of cockroaches and rats appeared from various cracks and holes. William's shriek echoed the place as the critters swarmed him; hundreds of the filthy pests flew all over his face, climbing on to his body and into his clothes as the rats bit and teared his skin.Bookmark here

"GET OFF ME! GET OFF ME!" William started to fire his magic recklessly as the critters continued to swarm him.Bookmark here

"Let us help!" Jakob signaled to Marie as she threw a burning lantern at William, engulfing him in flames.Bookmark here

William shrieked helplessly as the hunters quickly followed up. Jakob fired his gun straight towards his forehead causing him to fall on his back. His flaming body lit up a trail of gunpowder set earlier by the two which led all the way to the basement, where a crate of dynamite, barrels of gunpowder and other explosives awaits.Bookmark here

Jakob and Marie quickly rushed towards the exit leaving William wailing and struggling to get up. They both turned their gaze towards the abandoned house now gloriously covered in bright orange flames. Bookmark here

Not a minute later, the house exploded magnificently. What was once a gloomy building devoid of life now soared gloriously as it shattered to a million burning pieces. Like children watching fireworks, Marie cheered upon the sight of the explosion, but her joy was cut short when she noticed her friend's serious expression.Bookmark here

"What's wrong? Didn't we got him?"Bookmark here

"Oh we sure did. Everything went exactly as planned, which is why you need to move aside a little."Bookmark here

"What do you mean-" Marie did exactly as told, moving one step to the side when a blurry figure suddenly flew towards Jakob and speared him.Bookmark here

"JAKOB!!!" Marie was left in awe as she saw the two crashing at a house far away.Bookmark here

Meanwhile in said house, Jakob got up to his knees as the ashes from the crash finally settled. He could feel a sharp pain on the side of his chest. It was a miracle the armour he wore managed to protect him, though the crash might've costed him a rib or two. Bookmark here

Right there and then he was greeted with a uppercut that sent him all the way to the upper floor. Jakob barely recovered when William burst through the floor below. His body was black with soot and wounds after being burnt badly. He glowered straight into Jakob's soul before dropping the ceiling on top of the hunter, crashing him back to the ground floor. Bookmark here

"GET UP!" William slowly approached Jakob as he tried to limp away. He casually grabbed the hunter by the collar of his duster and pulled him back up.Bookmark here

"I've always hated people who used me, but if there's anyone I hate more-" William pulled Jakob closer to his face- "are people that like to hunt me down!"Bookmark here

"Yeah, I hate certain people too, like people who spit when they talk."Bookmark here

"THAT'S IT! YOU'VE DONE IT THIS TIME!!" William charged up his right hand and punched Jakob's stomach upwards with all his might.Bookmark here

The hunter crashed through all two floors above and was sent flying through the roof. He soared the skies before crashing back down to the house. Bookmark here

He might as well just die at this point, but even then, he still remained conscious.Bookmark here

"Heh- *cough* Buddy, my face's over here." Jakob pointed his own face weakly, smug written all over his stupid smile.Bookmark here

William was not mad by his insults. He looked at the hunter pitifully for using the last moments of his life just to taunt him, even as he struggled to maintain his conscious. Bookmark here

"I've had enough," William declared as he pointed his right glowing hand at Jakob, "you have been quite a handful; trying to crush me in the caves, burning me in that house. I believe I have inflicted enough to payback the things you've done to me. Alas, it was time for you to die."Bookmark here

The red glow of his hand grew ever brighter as he charged up one final blow; one that would put an end to the hunter's life.Bookmark here

"I admit, I've never been able to release my steam like this since my battle with the Storm Revenant. It was fun while it lasts, I guess."Bookmark here

"Yeah. Good thing I had the last laugh." Jakob pointed towards sky, much to William's confusion.Bookmark here

The sky thundered out of nowhere and William's right hand was suddenly struck by a massive lightning. It immediately disintegrated much to his horror. He looked up at the sky and lo and behold, the Storm Revenant had arrived.Bookmark here

"Out of the all the places I would meet William Shadford-" Isaac landed between the two- "IT WOULD BE IN MY OWN DAMN HOUSE!"Bookmark here

William was confused by his statement when he noticed a picture frame hanging on the wall beside him. It was a painting of a child and a wheelchair-bound mother, and a written text below it saying "Family forever! Isaac and Annerose Nikola". William turned towards Jakob who snickered at his luck, the expression 'just as planned' and 'you fell for it' written all over his face.Bookmark here

"You're quite late though." Jakob inched closer to Isaac, who glared at him suddenly.Bookmark here

"My mother was still in the house! I could hear her fearing inside the basement!"Bookmark here

"Wait what! I thought you've evacuated everyone?"Bookmark here

"We'll talk about this later! But first-" Isaac turned his attention to William.Bookmark here

Without a time to waste, the two immediately engaged in battle. Bookmark here

Magic versus magic, lightning versus crimson, a stormy wrath against a wrathful storm, the two exchanged their blows as they engaged in a complete slugfest against each other with relentless force.Bookmark here

Isaac, being the swifter among the two, ducked William's left hook and punched his abdomen with his electric-infused fist. He was blown all the way outside through the front door where he quickly rolled away, dodging the lightning strike summoned by Isaac. He noticed Isaac's sudden increase in power, probably fueled by his anger, and it did not help his situation that he was greatly injured by the loss of his right hand and the burns caused by the damn hunter.Bookmark here

As he tried to regain his footing, William was greeted by an onslaught of skeleton fists, barraging at him as quick as lightning, going after every frontal part of his body. He managed to create a magical barrier to block the flurry of punches but it was quickly shattered seconds after as a massive lightning struck it from the skies. He instantly received a blow at his left cheek, liver, and face almost simultaneously, knocking him off several feet away once more.Bookmark here

"NO NO NO! I WILL NOT GO DOWN LIKE THIS!" William broke down as he felt his powers failing him, "NOT FROM THE HANDS OF YOU!"Bookmark here

Using the last of his might, William charged up every bit of his crimson powers in his left hand. Tattoos of the upward crescent began appearing all over his left arm as his hand glowed brighter than it ever had. With that, he delivered his final resort, flying towards Isaac in supersonic speed with his left fist out, aiming straight towards the Storm Revenant's skull.Bookmark here

Isaac did not move an inch. He prepared his stance, charged himself up as pulses of electricity flowed through his body. Finally, William's fist arrived, inches away from his face. In that moment Isaac swung his right elbow up, hitting William's arm as it broke the hell out of his bones.Bookmark here

William screamed in pain but not a second later he received a blow to his face, and another to his neck, and another to his shoulders, to his body, to his throat, to his right shoulder, Bookmark here

to his left shoulder, 

to his knees, to his ears, 
to his forehead,
to his jaws, to his temple, to his other temple,
to his liver,
to his left kidney,
to his pelvic, to his teeth,
to his right kidney,
to his stomach, Bookmark here

to his mouth, 
to his ribs, to his other ribs, to his eyes, to his nose,
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to all five of his fingers, to his toes, each ten of them, to his chin, to the spaces between the nose and the mouse, to the fatty part of his cheek,to his fists and every part of its knuckles, to his lungs,

to his heart, to every one individual ribs,Bookmark here

Bookmark here

to neck, left, right, front, back, to his groin, hammer his head up and down....


And a final uppercut to end it all!Bookmark here

"DAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!" William flew all the way to the heavens above. Several seconds later, he crashed back to the earth. The ground shook hard as the crash formed a huge crater. Bookmark here

Finally, the dark cloudy sky began to settle, paving its way to the first few rays of the light. After hours of gloomy weather, the sun shined brightly as it marked the end of a terror.

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