I can't believe my sisters had been beaten by THESE soldiers.
Actually, that was a good point. They were horribly easy. So they let themselves get killed, because let's face it- they were hardly organized and barely worth the effort. If that was true, then this whole call of alarm...
Looking back to Cempe's head on the pike just next to me, it still held that very dead, eyes barely open dried out looking face-look to it. I frowned, leaning closer, blowing a puff of air at her eyes; it blinked, to the shock of the crowd. The corpsy head slowly grinned, opening an eye up cockily.
"Why, how nice of you to join us!" Her disconnected head said in a raspy voice, grinning as I leaned over and flicked her hard on the nose. "Ow!"
"You did this on purpose, didn't you? You let yourselves get beaten by these idiots just to lure me back here?" I could strangle this already dismembered head if she only had enough neck for me to do so. Cempe grinned wider as i flicked her nose again, scrunching her face up , "You let them come in here and destroy our home, JUST for that?" Cempes disconnected head rolled it's eyes.
"We can fix it, I threw these babies a bone, so what?"
"So what? They think they're all powerful super-gods! And YOU, Aisa!" I leaned over as Aisa's face awoken to a sheepish worry. " You let Cempe talk you into this plan? I thought you were the smart one!" Aisa looked away, grinning and giving a motion that she'd probably shrug if she was anything but a head.
"I kinda...enjoyed the rest" She smiled innocently as I shook my head some more, turning back to the soldiers, who were all mumbling frantically with one another . Perseus and his attendant gabbed together , barely paying attention to us as I stood there, ready to fight.
"Well, go ahead and regenerate back, maybe you can help me with these yokels."
"No way!" Cempe looked off, "I'm not regenerating until these guys are gone, i don't want them looking at my lady bits" I stopped and turned around back to her, grumbling out loud.
"Class act, Cempe. Class act." I jerked a thumb at them " So I gotta deal with these dumbasses myself? "
"It'll boost your approval rating, these guys have been causing a fair bit of hell down here about your reputation. " She remained serious for a second before her face lit up in glee "I made a pun! Uh, but they do regenerate, that's not a lie"
I pulled the Colus from the ground, spinning it in my hands.
"Well, it'll at least make it interesting. I guess. " I said tiredly, starting to walk slowly down the steps. Soldiers in the field were already backing off as their leader remained where he knelt, gingerly reaching for his weapon. As I can only assume it was a guy under that mask, the frame indicated so, but it was impossible to really tell anything about this Perseus jackass. The mask covered his face much like mine did; though instead of having eye-holes, it had a sort of bubbled, glass-like black orbs installed into it, looking more like a bug then like a beast. On the top were some 'purely decorative" horns embedded into the mask, and the whole thing was a dark reddish color, with a sinister, evil little grin printed across the mouth of the mask. It looked annoyingly similar to mine, like a poorly manufactured copy.
"So. You want this seat, hmm? Beyond your airy fluff description of ideals, why don't you speak up like a man, tell me yourself what your actual aspirations are." I stopped just in front of him as he refused to back off, only re-gripping his sword and slowly easing back to his feet. his clothes were baggy and nondescript, save for a blood-red sash tied around his waist, ends laid onto the ground and strewn amongst the soldiers behind him like he was their rope to salvation. His clothes were generally a very dark, muddy looking indigo, only popped out by the red neck...scarf...thing, the red sash, and the two red, for the lack of a better word, Knee pads. Everything else was a variation of those two main colors. At least for a villain he had fashion sense, a color scheme; they generally don't. Our usual visits like this came about once or twice every five years, and on the whole, amounted to two or three demons who wanted the option to boss others around. " So?"
His assistant was about to speak up as Perseus put out a hand, stopping him and lowering back down. Annoyed that I'd be given no clues who this usurper was, my temper soured farther into arrogance and frustration. "Fine. Keep silent. Fine mask you've got there, quite the original idea. Can't imagine where you got the inspiration from." I sneered, standing up a little taller as he remained unphased.
"Perseus wears his mask since he deals with the scars left from fighting in your wars, and is an eyesore to his people without it." The assistant said haughtily, another line of dialog that was easy to see he practiced. "But he chooses to still fight for them. Same can't be said about you and your decoration there, Demon Nona. " I let it get to me, just a little. It was a pain in the ass to fight in this mask anyways, too many discrepancies between the mask and the ground sometimes led you to swing too far on an attack. Grinning, insulted, I pulled the mask off and dropped it at their feet.
"Fair enough. There's more damage done knowing the opponent you fight is far younger then you anyways. So here, have a face to remember me by when I wipe every living last soul on this field off the realms of existence!" I grinned, leaning forward, readying myself with the Colus in hand and fronting my aggression. "So! This is the last call, fellow demons! I've had a real shit day! I am not in the mood for pity and mercy! Whoever drags their disgraced soul out of my eyesight right now lives to cower and grovel for my forgiveness another day! Take that opportunity now!" My tone rose, slowly yelling my threats to a crowd of increasingly nervous looking soldiers. Perseus remained unmoved.
"Going once!" I began pulling in the excess energy I had to dim and distort the Moirae plot, barely noticing the other demons and spirits on the edges of the cavern gathering to watch. I grinned a little more, i loved to perform for an audience. Hell knows they've probably been waiting for someone to kick their punk asses since they moved in. I looked back to the soldiers, a few towards the back noticeably scooting farther away, like they were just undecided to run or not. I narrowed my eyes, jumping into the Colus's largest form, trying again and bellowing my threat out, "GOING TWICE" This time about half the mass of soldiers were quickly scooting away, jumbling over themselves as I fell onto all fours, seething with energy and rage and spreading my wings out wide.
A few towards the back started the trend; so to hurry the process along, opened my mouth up as far back as it'd go, summoning that blast of light. The soldiers were bathed in a white glow, making their decisions an easy one. As the light pulled in, as the surroundings darkened around me, half the group suddenly bolted, a few of them accidentally falling into Styx and burning alive anyways. I watched them go, mouth open, hung up on the edge of eradicating the whole slew of them. Remembering my recent fights, my time back in Greece, my will to kill off a whole army slowly faded, taking the obnoxious glowing light with it. My mouth dimmed back to normal, tucking my wings in as the group of soldiers ran into the distance, splitting up, massing back into Hell's realms of undead. Looking at the rest of them, which i was sure were just too petrified to get up and run, I dropped back into human form, snagging the Colus and landing heavily on my feet. Perseus and his attendant were the only two that didn't look scared, and one of them was cheating.
"What is you want? A fight? The fuck do I need to do to get you to go away? I wasn't kidding about having a bad day. I'm not at my fighting best and I don't want to deal with snarky pissants who think they can kick me out of my chair." I stepped just next to him, slamming the colus down inches away as he remained as he was. "Figure it out. You're not going to beat me. My sisters only gave up so easily because they were trying to lure me back here, and you and your army got caught up in a bad joke. So however many 'years of fighting' you've got under you belt, I've got that tenfold. Give it up." I could see him hesitating, trying to make an attack, trying to calculate something out- just by body language alone it was easy to see that. The attendant was about to answer for him as Perseus lunged for a strike at my shins. But before his sword got anywhere close, I had pulled my leg up, stepping down onto his clothed wrist and pressing it to the ground. I stepped just a little harder, breaking his wrist as he pulled back in pain. I didn't even have to move any part of myself below one knee. Maybe a bit of the hip too.
Holding the hand close to his body he cradled it, suddenly shaking it out a few moments later. Looking at it myself, it was healed, just like Cempe had said. No blood, no scars, no marks. Interesting; I raised an eyebrow.
"You seem surprised at our renowned healing abilities. You think you alone have that talent?" the assistant said again, getting back to his feet. "Perseus is a true God among men"
"You know, that's a good point. Where DID you hear these factoids from?" I rested my hand on my chin, kicking Perseus's sword back to him with a half-hearted scuff. "Did you overhear them or..."
"The great spirits of life and death told Perseus himself! They came to him as a mortal , descended from the sky to impart their philosophies that he shall lead the demons to greatness. They gave him the gift of immortality to do so." The assistant looked almost lovingly to Perseus like an awe-struck fanboy. Perseus kept his glassy-bug-eyed glare to me instead. "To strike fear into the current regime, to eradicate your tainted presence from this life and the next"
I stood there for a few seconds more, looking at the whole group of them, suddenly turning around.
"Go home. You're not welcome here and take your crazy asshattery with you on the way out"
"DO NOT MOCK OUR MANTRA!" The assistant shouted as Perseus clanged the sword on the ground a few times in anger. I only waved, my back still to them.
"Thanks for stopping in! Happy to convene with my fellow demon! " I started back up onto the steps, both Cempe and Aisa looking at me frantically.
"What about the epic battle? What about teaching these punks a lesson!?" She rattled around on the top of her pike as I stood at the last step, stretching out.
"They're trying to goad me into a fight." I grumbled, scratching my head. Now I had the long task of fixing our house. Of trying to remember just how everything in my room looked, and hope that the spirits around us would be kind and willing enough to allow the change. It was a long, frustrating amount of work for the smallest thing, and I wasn't looking forward to it. " I'm not always in the mood to fight. Now is one of those times"
Before Cempe could reply back, a sword came jutting out from between my ribs through my back, thrown with enough precision to aim for my heart---if I had a heart. I looked down at it, continued to stretch out my back the last kink i needed to straighten out, then tried to grip the handle from the back, turning around to them in a shimmy.
"Not interested!" I pulled the sword out with a wince, dropping it to the ground where I stood, scratching my sword-hole as it healed up like a cluster of weeds. "I'm serious, don't fuck with me!" The usurpers were not amused.
"All behold the great Coward Demon Nona!" the assistant bellowed out into the caverns, purposely focusing on the demons all gathered around. My ears snapped back. " Too scared to stand up for her own cause, too afraid to fight for her fellow demon! Is this the person you want in control of your lives? Did you know that she decides just how many of you should die in each battle? That she's in league with the angels?" I turned back around, arms folded, slowly growing more and more furious.
"Some of you may have heard rumors of a demon, years ago, that fought with the angels instead of against them! That slayed demons itself! " My eyes grew impossibly wider. Who squealed? No no...no way. The assistant went on, grinning the whole time as he did so, " I have credible sources, multiple sources from the same clan of demons, confirming that this cannibalistic demon, is your beloved Excelsis! That she doesn't go off to attend to other demon clans, only goes off to join the angels in killing demons herself!"
"Nona!" Cempe hissed at me. " Do something!" No need to tell me twice.
I bent low, fury burning in my heart and soul, conjuring the Colus up before quickly slamming it down with all my force into the ground. Red, blood-like glowing cracks etched and raced along the ground from the weapon, through the entire group of remaining soldiers at their feet, up the cavern's walls on both sides as the assistant finally stopped shooting his mouth off. He stumbled back, looking to Perseus as he backed off himself, looking to the lines, the etches in confusion. Watching their terror, bathing in their insecurity and fear for a fraction of a second, they both looked back to me in utter shock as my insidious grin told the tale. I warned them. i warned them more then a few times. And in the eyes of everyone around me, i was going to slaughter ever last breathing soul here. They were NOT going to ruin everything I had built.
Tightening my grip on the handle, pumping every last breathing ounce of energy i ever owned into the strike, the lines from the ground and the walls around them shot out a thousand feet like pristinely sharpened knives, blazing red, dicing and cubing every human soul there in the visible line of sight. The lines quickly receded as they kept their shape for just a second, the entire platoon of soldiers, usurpers and demons fell like chunky, uneven blocks. The light slowly faded away as I remained hunched there, breathing hard.
"Jesus Christ Nona, you think that's overkill?" Cempe said , shocked, somewhat happy but more along the lines of confused and a little nervous herself. I left the colus where it lay, standing back up and brushing my garments off, now beyond tired.
"I warned them. Nothing pesters me more then someone that squanders my patience and good will like that. "
"Fuck, no kidding" She said as I trudged to the top of the stairs, yanking her head off the pike " I mean, that's--- AH!" I snagged Aisa's head as well, gave a light kick to the pikes to push them down the steps, walking to the open room of the Moirae estate and chucking thier skulls vagely onto the couch. "OW! Careful!" She bitched again, already starting to regenerate back.
I turned back around at the door of the estate, looking at the destruction I'd brought, starting to feel the shame, the regret that I could've handled that better. In some ways, I missed being that person. I missed living a life where no one screwed around with you, that they took your words and threats to heart, and never belittled your kindness, even though they'd ruined everything left that you loved. ' Clan of demons', hm? There'd only been one clan of demons i ever hung around with as Neri. Quite a few of them were dead already, so this betrayal happened some time in the past, just now coming together after years of silence. Speaking of, that was a good question. Just how long had I been away?
"We're almost done, just a few things more" Cempe called out, sounds of ribs and bones cracking, of muscles forming and separating, general gross regeneration sounds. I looked back to the field.
It was an unintelligible mess of cubes, parts of bodies and copious amounts of blood everywhere. I'd snagged all the soldiers on the field, I killed some of the spectator demons on the side watching, save most at the back, and these wicked red lines were now burned into the stone like a reminder. If they were a little neater and a little more organized, it'd be a pretty interesting design. Whoever this Perseus jackass had been, i guess it didn't matter. Him and his buddies sure didn't resurrect and heal themselves after that one. Some regeneration powers. But I had to know how far down this line of knowledge went, just who was aware of my dealings with Michael, I needed to find the source and protect my image, or I'd be out of a job pretty quickly.
"Alright, we're all done, you can come back in now" She called from the living room, looking out the door with a much sunnier disposition, back to not really caring that i'd killed a huge amount of demons in a few seconds. " You've changed your look around, huh? I like it! It's retro!" I grinned a little, heading back inside; a creak and snap from the bloodied battlefield caught my ear, halting my step.
"What is it?" Cempe said, confused, hearing the next set of snaps herself and freezing like a deer. "Wait... are you telling me..." She slapped my shoulder, walking past me to stand on the edge of the temple. I nodded and gave a quick hug to Aisa, joining Cempe to overlook the battlefield as indeed, some people were starting to regenerate and put themselves back together. A hand shakily pulled itself from the disorganized heap of body parts, pulling the torso of a man with an still-intact mask slowly back together. Farther back in the field, a few others were doing the same thing. I stood there, a little dumbfounded.
"Wow." Aisa scratched her head, looking to me for a second, "I'm pretty sure even I would have a hard time coming back from those types of injuries, I'm genuinely impressed" She waited for a second as I gawked at them, nudging me in the shoulder. I stood up taller and quickly agreed. Cempe chimed in.
"Well, are you going to go over there and take care of them for good, or are we just birdwatching on them as they re-mass themselves together?" I frowned, debating it.
'It's not all of them. From what I can see, it's only about 9-10 people out of what was seventy or so." I folded my arms, watching them as he slowly pulled his lower body back towards his torso, slowly healed in what had to be an incredibly painful ordeal. Perseus knelt there, huddled over, mostly complete as he gripped at his head in pain. He looked around quickly, shoulders uneven, not put together, not the stoic facade earlier, it was very easy to see the shock. I frowned, almost feeling bad for the guy, almost understanding his utter dismay and sadness at getting his ass handed to him royally. At losing a mass of people like that in one blow. With my time back from Greece, I could relate that despair and shame easily now, pitying him.
It turned out that about fifteen soldiers in all resurrected themselves, slowly fixing their wounds over the span of a half hour or so. They all slowly limped off to the side, back into the darkness; except for Perseus. He stood there like a stalker, staring at the three of us with those dead, bug-like eyes in his mask. Like he was looking for something, searching. My sisters made jokes about it, but something about him standing there creeped me out. Worried me. He wasn't looking at them, it was at me. It was a stance that told how he utterly hated me. That I was the bane of that soldier's existence. That he would be the one to ruin my life some point down the line, that he pledged revenge. All without saying a single word, or making a single gesture. Maybe I was just being paranoid.
After a while, every last reviving soldier stumbled off the field; he slowly followed them, limping. My sisters turned away from the group of them, heading back inside one by one as I remained where I stood, watching. As thier shadows eveloped back into the darkness I kept there, thinking about their words and mulling them over. Maybe i should've been more relentless with this, more cruel. Kept beating the shit out of them, ripping thier souls into smaller and smaller bits until it finally gave up, not just letting them get away and regroup. Maybe this is the time my empathetic heart would get the best of me.
Hearing my name inside, I turned a blind eye regardless, the two sides fighting for the seat going to their separate corners at the end of round 1.