The greater demon used its axe to hack at the earthen spike buried in its thigh while a layer of green powder coated its body. At first, it wanted to pull away from the spike, but surprisingly the earth was barbed and refused to let go of its flesh. Its vision was obscured by green, but it could hear groaning and screams resounding in the battlefield as metal lances pierced flesh and stone axes crushed metal. Nothing dared to approach the demon as it attempted to free itself.
After the greater demon hacked halfway through the earthen spike, another cloth bag exploded on its head, causing its vision to turn yellow. It let out an enraged roar and slammed its axes against the spike with renewed vigor. However, after three more blows, its movements grew sluggish, almost as if it was trying to move in water. It let out a bellow as it panted for breath, inhaling more powder. “You damned poison user! I’ll rip you to shreds!”
The blood on the ground flew into the air towards the greater demon’s body. Its muscles squirmed as the blood seeped through its pores and coursed through its body. A burning sensation rose in its chest, causing its face to contort in pain, and it let out another roar, causing the blood that was still floating in the air to drop to the ground. It swung at the spike, finally breaking it. It charged forwards in an attempt to escape the cloud of powder surrounding it, only to find that there was no exit.
The demon stopped moving as blood leaked from its nostrils, mouth, and eyes. The battlefield was silent, except for the sound of its blood dripping to the ground. It took a step forward and its hoof crunched on metal. Beneath its body, an angel lay on her back with blood seeping out of her orifices. The demon frowned as its body spasmed. Laughter echoed through the air from behind and it whirled around, charging towards the sound.
Palan sat on top of a tree with Raea slung over his right shoulder. He held Emergency Victuals by its tail with his left hand. Beneath him, the battlefield was enveloped in a multicolored cloud of powder: green, yellow, purple, red, and white. The blanket of poison washed over angel, horse, and lizardman alike, killing them all. The only survivors were Palan, Raea, Emergency Victuals, and the greater demon who was still enveloped in the cloud. Palan laughed again, causing the greater demon to charge towards the tree even faster.
“How is it?” Palan asked as he smiled down at the demon. He couldn’t see it, but he could pinpoint its location through his other senses. “Like I thought, you can’t regenerate if there’s no fresh blood left.”
“Where are you!?” the greater demon shouted as its body shuddered. Blood continued to leak out of its orifices. “Fight me like a man! I’ll tear your body to pieces and choke you with your own intestines!”
Palan didn’t say anything as he watched the demon wander around in the cloud of poison. After five minutes, it stopped in place and shouted in frustration before dashing in a straight line. It staggered repeatedly while leaving a trail of black blood behind it on the ground. Palan smiled and tied Emergency Victuals and Raea to the top of the tree with leather straps from his bag. “Stay here and don’t make a sound.” Emergency Victuals nodded.
Palan held his breath and descended from the tree, following after the greater demon with his dagger in his hands. The two demons left the clouded area, but the greater demon’s vision was still obscured. Its vision was black, and it could barely see its axes in its hands. After traveling for a long while, it gasped for breath and muttered, “How many poisons did he use?” A flash of pain burned its left hamstring and it whirled around while swinging its axes. It saw a blurry humanoid figure retreating.
“Five kinds,” Palan said and smiled as he circled around the greater demon. “It seems you know them?”
The greater demon laughed as its body sluggishly turned to follow Palan’s movements. “Who are you? I’ve never heard of any poison users in Haalbeh.”
Palan raised an eyebrow. “So you’re from Haalbeh. I always wanted to go there,” he said as he charged forwards with his right hand grasping his dagger and left hand making a fist. The greater demon grunted and swept its axe horizontally. Palan threw a scattershot of dirt in his left hand at the greater demon’s face, blinding it. The greater demon let out a roar as Palan’s dagger cut through its right hamstring.
The greater demon fell forward onto its face with its arms splayed to the sides. It let out a weak laugh as it released its axes. “I was so clo—”
Palan sank his dagger into the back of the demon’s head and retreated ten paces away. Palan frowned and stared at the greater demon for a minute. He picked up a rock and lobbed it next to the demon’s head. There was no response. Palan muttered, “Maybe I used too much poison. I barely have any left.” He sighed as he walked up to the demon and yanked the dagger out of the demon’s head. He cut out its heart and consumed it. He raised an eyebrow and cut into the demon’s chest again, pulling out another heart. “So he had two.” Palan nodded as he recalled Owen’s surprised expression when the demon just laughed as it was impaled through the heart.
After consuming the corpse, Palan rummaged through his bag and pulled out a vial of green liquid. He drank it and shuddered before discarding the vial. He muttered, “The antidote needs to taste less disgusting.” He glanced at the skeleton of the greater demon and frowned. He walked up to it and stomped on its neck, ripping the skull off the rest of the body. “A greater demon was only this strong. Pathetic.” Palan snorted as he carried the skull with its eye sockets and headed back towards the battlefield. In his bag, unnoticed by Palan, the brown orb heated up, the blue light growing larger.
A layer of multicolored powder blanketed the ground of the battlefield like snow. “Is she awake?” Palan yelled up to the top of the tree. There was no response except for a few whimpers. “Guess not.” He placed the skull on the ground and pulled out empty cloth sacks, scooping up whatever powder he could. When he finished, he glanced around at his handiwork while drinking another vial of antidote. A layer of corpses blanketed the field, most of them already rotting and turning into sludge. He frowned when he saw the place where Owen’s corpse should’ve been. There was no body, only an empty patch of land.
Emergency Victuals barked and Palan looked up. He saw Raea’s eyes begin to flutter as her body stirred. Palan scratched his head and headed to the base of the tree. He climbed upwards while saying, “I did tell her I was going to kill people. It’s not my fault she wasn’t awake to stop me.”
In a dark cave, an angel sat with its legs crossed. His hands were clasped around a dagger that was pointed at himself, gripping it with bleeding hands; it was almost as if it couldn’t feel it. His eyes were completely white, unable to see in front of himself. His body shuddered as the sounds coming from outside the cave gradually dimmed. Blue mist leaked out of his pores and accumulated above his body before dissipating. His body slouched and his skin began to sag as if he aged twenty years. Laughter echoed through the cave as the angel spoke, even though he was unable to hear the sounds he created, “So he died. His potential really was a lot greater than the first one. It seems like my dreams end here. I’ll wait for you in hell, Sariel.”
Anidun lifted his hands and plunged the dagger repeatedly into his abdomen. He didn’t even groan as his body collapsed forward and began to bleed out.