There's the chapter. Go devour it!
Update 4/24/16: No chapter this week. Haven't finished writing it and busy with other stuff.
Chapter 35 – Fear
The assassins are staring stock still at the pitch black being. They feel instinctive fear at the being, but some of the inexperienced assassins collect themselves. In their underground world, their group has always stood at the top. Naturally, they should be the ones looking down on others not this unknown black thing. Feeling outraged, three of them grip their weapons and jump into the air.
The leader of the assassin notices his subordinates' movements a moment too late. "Wait! Idiots!" He cries out seeing them try to attack the Black Being.
"Hmm..." The Black Being scoffs. No incantation or movement is seen from the being, only a short red flicker from the depths of its eyes. Shadows emerge from the black pillar under the being. The shadows shoot forward in an instant piercing through the three assassins' stomachs without any resistance. Skewered in the air, the shadow spikes hang them firmly.
A smile breaks out on the faces of a few knights. The sight of their enemies being killed brings them great joy, but their expression quickly falters at the sight before them.
Two of the pierced assassins groan from the injury, while the third one starts to foam at the mouth. The gray colored clothing of the assassins begins to turn black from the source of the injury. The shadow seems to corrupt their very being. Any signs of exposed flesh quickly changed to become pitch black. The assassin foaming at the mouth spit out blackened blood into the air, which promptly fell back down onto his face. The blackened blood seems to have changed significantly, the second it touched the assassin’s skin the black corrosion hastened spreading over the rest of the body. The three assassins struggled at first, but their movements slowed down until they completely fell silent.
The knights and other assassins go completely silent at the spectacle. In a mere 20 seconds, three assassins were killed, no, devoured with one attack. The spikes retract back into the black pillar dropping the three corpses unceremoniously to the ground. Upon impact, the corpses shatter releasing black dust into the air.
Princess Liliana buries her face in the unconscious maid's buxom crying. She feels terrified at the strange being and silently prays for it to go away. "Someone help. Please." She silently murmurs.
King Victor trembles seeing the vicious acts of the being. He closes his eyes and sees the faces of his family. Calming himself, he looks at his daughter. He silently resolves himself to convince the being to spare his daughter even if he loses his life in the process.
"I said just what is this noise?" The black being Speaks once again. The sound of irritation is much more apparent in his question. Many of the less battle hardened knights quietly gulp feeling the tense agitation in its voice.
"On behalf of the royal family, we apologize for disturbing your slumber." King Victor answers just as Captain Lewis prepared to answer it. "We were viciously attacked by these people without reason and strove this defend ourselves against their threat."
"Your Majesty." Captain Lewis cries out. He had planned to answer the being to avoid drawing attention to the king. He wanted to protest further, but the king kept a firm gaze on the black being. King Victor makes a small hand signal for Lewis to hurry up and face the being again. Suppressing his agitation, he follows orders and turns around.
The Black Being turns his head away from the knights focusing on the gathered assassins. Tension ripples through their group as the being directly stares down at the group. The leader breaks into a cold sweat as he mentally ponders what to say. Should he honestly answer that they were hired to kill, or should he create some righteous claim of justice? He sneaks a glance at the Black Being atop the pillar only to find it sneering at him.
"Fuck! You bastard! Don't think you're almighty just because you killed them with a sneak attack!" One of the magician type assassins yells out angrily. The magician is unable to endure the blow to his pride. He is a member of the Basilisks, one of the most powerful assassination groups hidden within the region. Members of the Basilisks have always been treated with fear and reverence, even among the underground world. The scorn and mockery of the Black Being has severely hurt their pride. It goes without saying that the magician is among the more prideful members of their group due to his status as a powerful magician.
The magician releases an extra-large <Flame Lance> spell that he has been secretly chanting since the black being arrived. The eight meter flaming lance, reaches almost three times the size of a normal <Flame Lance>, floats above the Basilisk magician. The lance shoots towards the Black Being aiming to severely injure it. The magician knows that his comrades have also prepared powerful spells alongside him and are ready to release it at a moment's notice. He's confident that their combined assault will completely eliminate the monstrous entity before them.
However, things don't go according to his plan. The black being chuckles seeing the spell. Its eyes narrow slightly in its amusement. The flame lance abruptly stops, floating above the frontline assassins with another 10 meters to go, between the lance and being. Not an impossible distance to travel, but still too far for the spell to take proper effect.
The assassins on the frontline break into a cold sweat as the <Flame Lance> burns above directly above them. They instinctively want to escape, but with the way the black being is staring at them, running would only trigger a new trap and hasten their death.
The <Flame Lance> draws their attention when it suddenly moves. The pointed end of the lance turns around 180 degrees aiming at the caster. The lance rapidly spins in place gradually shrinking in size. The magician starts to laugh seeing the spell start to dissipate, but the laugh quickly dies in his throat. The red lance of fire shrinks even further as the color shifts from red to orange to a dark yellow flame. The 5 meter lance continues to shrink as the yellow flame's color pales. A slight crack is heard as the lance shrinks from 5 meters to 2 meters in an instant. The flames have transformed into a pure white color. 
The nearby assassins have already escaped out of range. When the <Flame Lance> turned yellow, the heat from the lance became too unbearable. The ones in the immediate vicinity had their clothes ignite from the residual heat emanating from the lance. The assassins all moved to the side giving a clear path between the white <Flame Lance> and the magician. The magician tried to run out of the way, but the lance tip followed him with every step.
"Shit! Shit!!" The magician curses. He tries running over to the Royal Guards' side. If hiding among his comrades doesn't work, then using the injured knights as meat shields will preserve his life. He acts according to such thoughts, but upon reaching the midway point between the two groups, a shadow appears beneath him gripping both legs. The shadows firmly grip his legs keeping him standing. "Shit!! Oi! Stopping gawking and help me!" Feeling the looming certainty of death, he screams at his comrades for help.
However, the magician quickly learns what it means to be discarded. All of the assassins and even the knights take two steps back clearly separating themselves from the magician. The other assassins don't avert their gaze, but watch with a twisted glee as death looms over the magician. The prideful magician has always made it a point to assert his dominance over everyone else. Due to his aptitude in magic, the assassin leader allowed him to do as he pleased to avoid affecting the magician's performance. The others did not enjoy being bullied, but they could not do anything once the leader chose to ignore their troubles. Now that his pride bared his fangs at the wrong target, he will have to pay the price for his actions. It would be stranger if they didn't enjoy the scene before them.
The assassin leader shakes his head. He turns away from the magician and focuses on the black being and white flame lance. Even though he remains silent, his actions paint a clear message. 'You attacked him. Take responsibility by yourself.'
The clear sense of abandonment roars in his brain. A grim laugh escapes his mouth as he feels a crack in the depths of his mind. “Hahaha...” He glares with bloodshot eyes at his fellow assassins. “Fine! If it’s like that, then I’ll just take you all down with me!” As he yells a wave of searing heat passes through him. His plan to release a destructive spell and take everyone down with him comes to an end as quickly as it came.
The black being finally released the spell as the magician yells. It made its first major movement as it lifted its arm to point its black claw at the magician. The white <Flame Lance> shot off in a streak of light, lodging itself into the magician’s chest. Before any of the spectators can even let out a breath, the magician completely ignites and burns leaving nothing but ash. The <Flame Lance> still maintains its power as it shoots off. The flame suddenly bends downwards crashing into a nearby sand dune.
The flame lance explodes releasing a large white flame pillar reaching up to 20 meters into the air. Waves of heat and sand wash over both groups making them break into a hot sweat from the temperature and a cold sweat from the sheer power of the spell. An <Advanced> level magician could easily replicate the strength of the pillar of fire when they casted the <Flame Pillar> spell. However, none of them has ever seen a pure white flame that could exude such heat. They are standing over 100 meters away from the source of the explosion, but the temperature reaches such high levels that their bodies feel as if they were being cooked alive. They close their eyes at the bright candescent of the flame as it shifts from bright white to yellow, orange, and red before fading back to normal.
Opening their eyes, they see the ashes of the once prideful magician. Their sight remains on his ashes for only a moment before being drawn to the hallowed sand in the distance. A large 30 meter molten red crater is left from the aftermath of the attack. Even the lance's path left a molten red trail to the crater. The sand had thoroughly melted from the <Flame Lance>'s heat turning it into molten glass. The end result was a gigantic molten glass spoon.
While both sides are breaking into a cold sweat, the black being comments again. "I'm losing my patience."
The assassin leader snaps his gaze back towards the black being to find it glaring at him. He flaps his mouth trying to find his voice.
"AHHHH!!!" A scream pulls the leader's attention away from the being. He swings his gaze towards a subordinate to find several of them entangled. His blood runs cold seeing the black shadows under their feet extending up from the ground and firmly wrapping their legs. The black shadow covers the ground entangling everyone in the leader's field of vision. An assassin that fell over finds his arms and legs bound holding him in place. The assassin leader's gaze moves down trying to find the edge of the shadow. His pupils dilate when he looks down at his feet, only to find tendrils locking his legs into place.
"Damn it!" One of the assassins tries to free himself from the shadows by cutting it. His dagger swings down, but the shadow tendrils shift to the side leaving an opening. The dagger misses the shadows and stabs firmly into the assassin's leg. "Argh!" He releases his grip on the dagger immediately.
"Enough." The agitation in the black being's voice pulls their attention away from their struggles. Looking up, they see it open its jaw. From the knight's side, they stiffen seeing a small black orb form. It quickly expands from a few centimeters to a two meter tall orb.
"Wait!" The assassin leader screams seeing the pulsing orb form. The <Dark Cannon> surges with his voice. A pitch black beam extends out crashing into the assassin's side. The beam sweeps over the group obliterating every single member. As the beam touched the shadow covered ground, it was immediately pulled into the shadow as if it ceased to exist.
The scene turns silent as the bound assassins are killed. Their bodies are vaporized by the spell leaving only a few scraps of clothing. With the last of them eliminated, the <Dark Cannon> spell ends and the shadows disappear leaving no trace of the devastation.
The Royal Guards tremble seeing the entire spectacle. The thought of making it home alive seems like a faraway dream. The black being before them is like a mass of malice that thrives on killing and destruction. The thought of fighting does not even enter their mind with how direct and ruthless it is. The thought of protecting the King and Princess seems like a fleeting hope with how powerful its magic is. The shadow magic will most likely bind them all from moving regardless of what they attempt to do.
While they are in the pits of despair, a white light catches their attention. Several knights jump as they look around to see their entire group standing within a large magic circle. They pale seeing the strong magical power emanating from the circle.
“RUN!” One of the knights yells. His yell shocks them into motion. Most of them move a single step before abruptly coming to a halt. They all want to run away with all their might, but the sensation pressing against their legs makes them lose all of the color in their face. Looking down, numerous familiar looking shadow tendrils extend out of the ground wrapping around them in the same fashion as with the assassins. Several knights are caught with their legs raised. They kick their legs and break free, but the shadow’s grip only tightens locking their legs to the ground.
“AHHH!!!” The Prime Minister and his knights scream the loudest when they find themselves caught.
“Irene…” Princess Liliana weakly cries as she clings to Irene’s unconscious body. Her tears have all dried up watching the assassins die. She wanted to run away, but couldn’t just leave Irene and her father.
King Victor and the Royal guard leaders let out a weak sigh. They have already discarded any ideas about surviving after seeing the decimation.
The interior of the magic circle shines a bright white blinding everyone in the area. They firmly clamp down their eyes waiting for their end. Many of them are cursing their chain of bad luck. From the encounter with the Gaia Lizards to the assassin attack, which brought this malicious black being before them, they haven’t had a single enjoyable moment on this day. They silently wait, but hear nothing, but the sound of breathing from their comrades nearby.
A burst of warmth fills Captain Lewis’ face. He unconsciously touches his face and notices the oddity. There’s no pain when he touched the cut on his face. In fact, he feels no cut at all, only the bristly sensation of his beard. Opening his eyes, he sees the light from the circle start to fade. Turning his gaze, he spots one of his subordinates that received a large cut to his ankles. “George! How’s the leg?”
“Captain. Now’s not the time for that?” Another knight hisses with his eyes still firmly shut.
“Ah?” The knight George reflexively opens his eyes when his name is called. Patting his body, he finds himself still in one piece. He shakes his injured leg and notices the lack of pain. He squats down quickly to inspect his leg making his armor clatter with the fast movement. The knights nearby shoot him a glare which he completely ignores. Sliding his hand into his greaves, he finds some spilt blood, but no cut. “It’s healed. Captain! It’s healed!” He loudly answers Captain Lewis earning himself even more pointed glares.
Lewis looks down at his own feet, and finds no trace of the black tendrils holding him in place. He glances at the Black Being, but finds it staring directly ahead into the distance ignoring them. He quietly slides over to King Victor. “Your highness, how are you feeling?”
King Victor pats his body finding nothing wrong. He had already opened his eyes when Lewis yelled out and started checking for any injuries. “I-I’m fine.” King Victor walks over with the Captain in tow to Princess Liliana, who’s still trembling with her face buried in Irene’s chest. “Liliana, are you okay?”
Liliana meekly looks up hearing her father’s voice. “Dad!” She clings to Victor as fresh tears run down her face. Lewis crouches down and inspects Irene’s body. He touches her bloody shoulder, but finds no cut. Her clothes frayed when her arm was disconnected, but no trace of her injuries is seen. The spell went to the extent of fully reconnecting Irene’s arm to the point that no scar can even be seen. “…Captain, is Irene going to be okay?”
Lewis looks up and finds the Princess staring at him with tears in her eyes. He nods firmly. “Yes. It looks like she’s going to be just fine.”
“Thank you...” Liliana squeezes her father’s hand tightly. More tears run down her face as she starts crying again.
“How?” King Victor mutters. He looks at his aide, Sebastian, and sees his injuries are fully healed. The wooden shrapnel have been pushed out of his body revealing no trace of his previous injuries. He looks at the other guards that have opened their eyes. Most of them are examining their bodies for any injuries. Unfortunately, the mages that were struck down do not move again. The spell seemed to have had no effect on the dead.
“I think that thing helped us.” Lewis turns his gaze towards the black being.
“Why…?” Victor blankly mutters staring at the still being.
“I don’t know. It must have been on a whim. It would be best to silently slip away until it leaves. We’ll have to leave behind our fallen members and pray they aren’t devoured.” Lewis proposes. He speaks in a low voice hoping to avoid attracting his attention.
“We can’t!!!” Liliana yells interrupting them.
“Shh…Princess, please be quiet.” Captain Lewis hastily covers Liliana’s mouth. He glances at the Black Being, but it remains immobile. Breathing a sigh of relief, he stops covering the Princess’ mouth and whispers quietly. “Princess, it’s too dangerous here. We need to leave.”
“We can’t!” Princess Liliana yells again drawing all of the Royal Guards’ attention. They want to scold her for making too much noise in the face of danger, but hesitate on scolding a member of the Royal Family.
“Liliana, the Captain is right. We should leave now.” King Victor pats his daughter’s head.
“But Father.” She looks up at her father’s face. Her cheeks have swelled slightly from all of her tears. “We can’t leave. Father has always taught me to be polite and thank someone that helps me. I need to thank him for helping Irene.” She points to the Black Being. “Father needs to go thank him too for helping everyone right?”
“Uhhhh…T-T-T-Th-That is…aaaaa….” King Victor stammers at the unexpected response. He never expected that teaching his daughter to be kind and caring would threaten his life in such a way. He knows she’s absolutely correct about being polite, but in this situation being polite is the last thing on anyone’s mind.
“Princess, first we need to treat the injured and bury the guards that passed away. After that we can properly thank him.” Lewis cuts in trying to divert her attention away from it.
“We can’t! What happens if he leaves before we can thank him?” Princess Liliana protests.
‘It would be better if it leaves! The sooner, the better!’ The nearby guards silently scream in their hearts. They desperately want to voice their thoughts, but restrain themselves from hurting the overly kind Princess.
“…Princess…” Captain Lewis pauses before placing his hand across his chest. “I will go and thank it.”
“Captain!” One of the guards yells out. “You can’t!”
“Quiet!” Lewis yells back. “Princess, I will go and thank it.”
“No! It’s rude if I don’t go! I’ll just go by myself then!” Princess Liliana cries out. She dashes forward, but Lewis grabs her and lifts her off the ground. “Let me go!” Liliana start to kick and squirm trying to break free from his grip.
“Your Highness.” Lewis turns his gaze towards the King. He silently asks for the King to intervene. King Victor’s gaze moves between the Captain and his daughter. Captain Lewis is correct that they need to leave quickly. Every second they delay means a greater chance that the Black Being decides to lay waste to their group.
Princess Liliana turns her body. “Father, I’m going.” Her brow is scrunched as she stares at her father. She firmly declares her intent without hesitation. King Victor and the Captain give a defeated sigh. Her tone declares that she is absolutely set and will not waver on what she wants. Based on past experience, they know they can’t stop her anymore. Even if they attempt to bring her away, she is guaranteed to slip out when she finds an opening and return here. The ramifications would be far worse if any monsters come here later. They can only give up and accompany her, while doing their best to make sure she stays alive.
“Fine. We will go and thank him.” King Victor spits out a sigh at his hard headed daughter. He knows they have little choice with how determined she is. They have to bank on that thing being merciful to them. “Captain, arrange one or two more men. We don’t want to agitate it.”
“Yes sir.” Captain Lewis quickly grabs the Vice-Captain and another willing guard. Though reluctant to go face that unknown being, they swear in their hearts to evacuate the King and Princess, no matter what.
They approach the Black Being and stop 15 meters away. The group wanted to stay a safer distance away, but the Princess ran ahead forcing them to follow. They keep a firm grip on the Princess to keep her from approaching any further.
King Victor coughs lightly suppressing the worry in his heart. “On behalf of the Erein Royal Family, we wish to thank you for your assistance and mercy in our predicament.”
“Um…” Princess Liliana steps forward, but the Captain and Vice-Captain keep a firm grip to prevent her from running off. “Thank you very much for helping Irene!” The Princess bows her head to the Black being. She lifts her head waiting for an answer, but the Black Being calmly sits immobile on the black pillar. “C-Can I hear your name?” She weakly asks.
The King and guards tense up with the awkward silence. “We should leave.” Captain Lewis murmurs. They nod at his suggestion. As they start to turn, they hear an answer.
“Unfortunately, he won’t answer you.” A calm female voice yells back. The three guards tense as they quickly unsheathe their weapons. They scan the area before resting their eyes on a girl stepping out from behind the pillar. Her long white hair shines over the brown leather armor on her body. She walks out completely at ease without even a weapon drawn. “I figured out what happened, so I stopped stalling.”
Pointing up at the Black Being, she answers with a smile. “He played his part while I was gathered information, but your conflict is resolved now. So I don’t have to play the ventriloquist anymore.” She snaps her fingers. The Black Being dissolves into particles disappearing into the air, while the black pillar retracts back into the earth.
King Victor, Princess Liliana, Captain Lewis and the other guards all stare blankly at the sudden appearance of this young lady. The girl faces them again with a bright smile. She performs a deep bow before introducing herself. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Senna, a traveling adventurer.”
Sorry! I’m late and forgot to make a comment too. I’m not totally up to snuff and it didn’t help that my allergies took over and beat me up on the weekend. More than likely next week will be a bit delayed too. I’m going to be expected to work next Saturday, so that’s sure to cause me some delays. Let’s just say the next chapter will come anytime between 1-2 weeks. Things will slow down quite a bit in May, probably a chapter every 2 weeks(?), since I need to start cramming for the test I’ve been ignoring in June, so yeah… Studying any Japanese flew out the window completely. XD
Hopefully, you enjoyed the chapter since it jumped around a bit. I was playing around with perspective and what each side was thinking. Not the best though, obviously.
Anyways, over and out~