Until death – chapter 25

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Until death: Chapter 25


Theme: “Surprise or Shock.”


I felt proud in front of everybody. The ball I was standing upon was now rotating around the small ridge. My superiority was now in the blink of lashing out and I felt invisible. I am now the champion of the arena. I became the center of attention, and everyone stood eagerly waiting for what was going to be happy next. I can feel all my friends looking at me with shock, surprise, and disbelief. I knew they were finding it out to believe me. They all stood still on the dirt, their mouths open wide in stupefaction.


Well, I couldn’t blame them. Who will believe the story that a two-month-old corpse came back to life, and he is now more powerful? The venom woman was now crawling down the ridge. She was sneaking around the other side, hoping to catch me by surprise, but only if she knew that I had now acquired a new sight. It was like I could see everything that was happening on the arena ground. Ever since I returned to my body, it was like all my aptitudes have become intense, and all my techniques, survival instincts, and everything I have come to know has been renewed.


“It is an illusion,” a girl yells behind Ryan. “Or perhaps, he is a clone. The former Rey Reed is dead; this is just a trick. “


With a smile on my lips, I directed my gaze at the woman, who was none other than Ryan’s b***h. “Can you prove it?” I asked her, my voice booming throughout the darkness. I can remember how she tortured me, especially when I just woke up from a car accident. “Or do you want to give me a trial?” I directed the question to Ryan himself. “Maybe you should call out all your soldiers.”


I can now hear the snarling of the venom woman, and I can guess that she is now a few meters away from reaching the bottom of the ridge. If it was before, I would be panicking. My heart would be getting ready to desert me now, and my body would have begun to tremble. However, this is not the case. I waited for her instead. I wanted her to come closer, then tugged her by surprise and used her as a scapegoat. As the hissing of her Mambas gets closer, I ignore them and pretend to focus my gaze on Ryan and her b***h instead.


“I have seen my scapegoat,” I said with a smirk. Just then, the venom woman dived at me, and I slowly stepped aside, which made one of her Mambas whoosh past my face. I didn’t let them regain their stances when I removed two arrows and shot them in the same motion. It hit one of the Mambas, pinned it to the ground, and I watched as it burned to ashes. The venom woman yelled in a rage, then hurdled at me, this time with her long claw. She snarled, her bloody teeth, which looked like a fang, revealed in the process, and her claws aiming for my face.


I jumped away from the ice and rock ball I was standing on, flattened my body in mid-air, then removed an arrow from my quiver and shot it. This time, I aimed for another Mamba, and the arrow lunged at its neck. In the blink of an eye, the snake burned to ashes while the venomous woman screamed in pain. The disgruntled venom woman, conducting all her speed, switched her claw aimed at my throat, and I barely ducked in time. She doubled her attack, slashing at me with all the speed her power could offer, howling like a hungry lion with the remaining mamba.


Nonetheless, I evaded everything perfectly, and I could feel Ryan’s urge to tear me apart. Only if he knew what I had in store for him. “Soul sucker,” I mumbled inaudibly as the venom attacked me again. My palm burned with silver fire, and I wheeled behind her, then grabbed the back of her neck. She yelled in pain as the fire started burning her, and I could feel the nectar consuming her soul. I was trying what the professor told me: I could suck the soul of my enemy to boost my strength. With a loud, bitter shriek, the venom woman growls, and I watch in dread as she disintegrates into thin air. Then I felt something unimaginable. I feel more powerful and faster, while all my lost vitality is coming back. Not only that, I felt the urge to consume more souls, and it was unbearable. However, I restrained myself. I know better than to fall into such a temptation. I know that magic is just an illusion, a trick.


Dusting my clothes, I made my way towards my team. They had now assembled themselves in one place, their eyes still holding surprise, and I could guess that they were waiting for me to explain. The crowds were as silent as a graveyard. They weren’t making any of their stupid noises, and I am sure they were still trying to recover from the shock of seeing me again. That made me remember a story in the Bible that our Sunday school teacher told us about. It was the story of a man named Lazarus who was resurrected from the dead. The only difference between us is that I have been dead for two months, or should I say suffering and wandering around an unknown realm for two months, while Lazarus’s own is just three days.


“How are you feeling?” I inquired of them, my gaze moving around their bodies one by one. “Can you walk?” I said again, jolting them out of their thoughts. “You have to find your way out now. I will meet you outside.” I said, more in a commanding tone.


“We are not leaving without you,” Kira finally replied, but I ignored her.


Sauntering towards Vee and Manuel, I asked. “If I find any means of transportation for you, do you still have the strength to drive?”


“She has spoken,” Favour replied instead. “We are not leaving without our leader.” I examine them from head to toes, and I shake my head in pity. They look hurt and battered. Their eyes are now trivial as if they hadn’t eaten in many days, and all the flaws in their bodies look deep and puffed. However, I have a feeling that something is wrong. With the way I was looking at them, I suspected that they shouldn’t be able to walk, but they are still standing up, which made me mystified.


Even when I was in my human form, I mean before I went to the strange realm of the reaper, I know how it hurts when you get a single blotch from a sword or any projectile that was fabricated here on the arena ground. I know how long it always takes for them to rehabilitate. It was like Ryan always had them moistened in poisonous substances. However, my team doesn’t look like a fragile being. Even though one could see that they have been through hell, you won’t believe that they could still be standing. If not for the blood that was dripping from their bodies and the fact that I had known them for a long time, I would have thought that they were also supernatural beings.


“I can’t risk putting any of you in danger,” I disagree with them. “So, let’s get you out of this stinky hell hole before we continue our contention. I clarified. Still, they didn’t make a move or act as if I was talking to them.


“I swear by the almighty Allah, I am not leaving here without you,” Nasar swears, and I can see the truthfulness in his voice, while the determination is perceptible in his dilapidated eyes.


“Same here,” all my teammates said at the same time. “We either leave with you or die here together. So, the choice is yours to decide. “


Seeing that they had made up their mind, I didn’t bother arguing with them again. Letting out a deep breath, I turned back and faced Ryan and the spectators. They are still finding it hard to extricate from the shocks, and I am ready to give them more. “You have ten seconds to get down here, or I will come for your head by myself,” I said with a threatening tone.


“You will have to go through us,” another voice said from behind.


Slowly, I glanced back, and my gaze met with that of Ryan’s soldiers. The one in front, whom I assumed to be their leader, had black gloves, a flame thrower gun, and a gas mask behind him. He was wearing a green military dress and a singlet which revealed all his biceps while his arm muscles weren’t left out. 


“Don’t you guys get tired of shooting?” I said with a smirk and kneaded my hair in irritation. “You missed me, didn’t you?” I implored.


“I never thought I’d see you again,” the leader said. “You have grown big balls. You should have stayed in the dead land.”


I take some threatening steps towards him, trying to remember where I knew him. He also takes a few steps towards me, his huge shadow moving behind him with the help of the moonlight and the halogen lights that are illuminating the entire arena ground. As we stood face-to-face with each other, I was able to recollect how I knew him. He was the one who threw me inside a sack when I first awoke from the coma caused by the car accident. Our breath came out heavily, and I could feel the resentment in them.


“As you want,” I said with a deep tone, and my anger finally morphed into something else. Clenching my fist with fury, I hit him on the chest. It caught him unawares, the force so strong that it carried him twenty metres backward. His men became furious at what I had just done, and I heard them cocking their guns. Knowing what was going to happen next, I slid towards them and I could feel the sand bruising my knees. However, I didn’t give it a second thought because I knew they’d heal.


Faster than they could comprehend, I removed two arrows and shot them at once. It hit two soldiers in the gut, then came out from behind and hit another two soldiers in the forehead. I shifted to the left to bypass some bullets from a soldier. Then I reached him, stabbed him in the chest with an arrow, put the pointer into my crossbow, and fired another shot. I stepped aside to evade an attack, then leaped high to avoid getting hit by the spraying of bullets or any stray bullet. Still, in mid-air, I wheeled and released a volley of arrows at the soldiers. The arrow pierces the unlucky one in the skull, while somewhere he is lucky to dodge it. 


I wished to use some of my element’s power, but I still managed to keep myself calm. If there is anything I have learned from my mom, it is forbearance. She always told me that patience can conquer all things, even an unseen enemy. She always warned me not to be eager to show off all my skills. I landed in the midst of those soldiers, then charged at them. I designed my attack to be close-range, so none of them will be able to fire bullets. Not that I was afraid of getting shot, but I didn’t want to let the people and Ryan know that I was now invisible to artificial weapons.


Left and right, I fell on men with my arrow. Stabbing, jabbing, removing a knife from one military soldier then using it to stab his colleagues. Moreover, I made sure to give them a brutal death. I either stabbed them in the orifices, slivered their throat, or broke their bones. The last soldier charged at me, his rifle raised high in an attempt to hit me with it. However, I tap into my rock power and command it to hold him. The soldier stood frozen in the same spot, unable to analyze what was happening. Before he could scream or alert the rest of the people, I released two arrows at him. One hit him on the forehead, while the second lodged in his chest.


Taking a deep breath, I examined the damage I had done, and I was happy with it. Corpses of soldiers were littered all around the arena ground, and I can imagine the horrific looks on Ryan’s face from afar. I had just slaughtered about fifty soldiers without getting a scratch on my body. Nonetheless, I have a feeling that something is missing. Under normal circumstances, all the crowds would have been cheering with elation, placing their stupid bets, and demanding more bloody battles.


However, this is different. I don’t even hear a single roar from anybody’s mouth. I had expected them to be chanting my name and calling me Mr. F.I.S., as they always do. But this is different. They didn’t even flinch, talkless of attempting to save me. It was like they had been expecting me to perform this show, and even more. That is when I suspected that something was wrong. I glanced at Ryan, and our gazes met. I tried reading his thoughts through the expression on his face, but it was useless. His face was barren, as was the b***h beside him, and everyone else in the arena ground.


My ear caught the sounds of cracking bone, and I quickly scrutinized my environment, trying to locate where the sounds were coming from. My heart raced as soon as my eyes were drawn to the first thing they saw. I could feel my heart beating faster in my chest, and my brain yelling at my leg to activate his temple run again. Oops, I forgot that I had no heart but nectar.


That is when reality dawned on me, while the processor’s words rang in my ear. Different evil entities will keep coming after you once you get to Gaea. Then the priest’s messenger words also played in my mind. They mentioned one boy whom they thought was the last of the Smiths, but he was killed. That is also when I remember that I didn’t get the chance to ask him more questions before the war began.


The cracking of bones increased all around me, and I felt fear finding its way into my mind. All around me, I could see my team sauntering towards me. The cracking of bones increased, and I could see that all the spectators in the arena ground were now taking another form. Those soldiers that I killed were the first to complete their transformation, and I gulped down nothing in particular as they became something else. 


A loud shrieking voice pierces the entire arena, and the sounds of the creature disturb the peaceful atmosphere. I examined my team’s faces, hoping to see any sign of panic in them like it always happens, but I was met with wonder. They had a stern expression on their faces as if they had been expecting those ugly flying creatures.


After what seemed like forever, all the cracking of bones stopped, and I let out a breath of annoyance. I let my eyes begin their investigation into Ryan, but he didn’t look different. Surrounding us now are thousands of monsters, with sharp claws and teeth. They are now in black robes, and they have a veil covering their faces.


Letting my mind replay everything I had learned from the processor, I was able to guess that they were followers of a black rider. Just then, another thought struck my mind. If the soldiers of the black riders are the crowds that have been watching the fight ever since the beginning, that means Ryan is the last black rider that escaped from the grip of the priest. Not only that, he is the veiled man from the reaper’s realm, the ruler of the reapers. Moreover, the shrieking noise of the bird I was hearing belonged to a Nazgul.


I knew we were in trouble without being told, and our chances of escaping alive are slim. I examined my team’s gaze for the last time, and I could see that they didn’t look surprised at the scene unfolding in front of us. It was like they had been expecting it for a long period. I had thought of surprising them with my power, but I was the one that was surprised instead. No, a surprise is a minor word. I am shocked beyond my knowledge.




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  1. This is enthralling n intriguing, as a get a mental picture of what am really. Its just like am watching a horror movie, this episode in particular. I just slept of n dreamt d story playing as a film. Its very interesting

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