|The Grim Reaper a.k.a. a mysterious man with the Crow Scythe|
188.8.131.52. The Reaper and the Crow
Hernan hears it too up in the air, but his squad can’t help because the pegasus riders, along with the dragon riders and Airship Aurora are now in intense dogfights with the wyvern riders, hell imps (winged little devils) and other flying creatures of the underworld.
The Escudian fencer dives down to take a look, and terror comes to his face.
More undead... and DEMONS! Oh, no... this multitude... they must be from Bresconnor, coming along with the orcs. But, wait. If reinforcements come, one of the top Dark Generals must have come too. Ah, I better go down there and give my comrades a hand...
With that thought, the Flirty Fencer dives into the city. FWOOSH!! The pure-white winged steed is like cutting the air. Hernan uses that surprising speed to come near a group of undead and CRRAKKHH!! With a slash from his sword Albatross Hernan parts five zombies and skeletons from their heads and limbs, and that’s for starters.
Hernan goes up again, and suddenly a winged, big, green demon jumps up and lands an uppercut on Hernan’s pegasus! BAAMM!!
The pegasus gets thrown upwards and coughs out silver blood. Hernan leaps up from his steed, and with a somersault he dives! Without its master, the pegasus just flies away to safety until it’s needed again.
Still diving, Hernan aims for the demon. When he gets close, he launches serial thrusts that fall down like Shears of the Falling Rain. This skill hits the monster on several spots like puncturing a balloon with a thousand needles, but the demon is – as always – a tough nut to crack.
The demon leaps and does another uppercut in the air! CRASSH!! The evil claw grazes through Hernan’s shirt, and barely leaves a mark on the legendary mythril breastplate Eil’thanath. Nevertheless, Hernan is pushed, but he quickly does a somersault and a serial thrust that is so melodious and rhytmical, namely Requiem of the Tides.
This time, Hernan concentrates all thrusts on one spot: the demon’s head, on and on until at last CHRAATH!! Brain and blood spray out from the punctured head, and the demon falls lifeless on the ground with a loud BAAMMMM!!
Hernan surely doesn’t have time to enjoy the fruit of his experience. He immediately darts into the enemy. He splits a skeleton in two – CREEAKHH!! – and parts a zombie from its head – CRUSSH!! – and with a loud ‘EEEYAAARGHH!!’ he goes unstoppable, chopping several monsters into uselessness.
The fencer goes on rampaging until he sees a hooded figure with white hair walking among the crowd. The hooded man’s aura is so dark and dense, far more powerful than he ever witnessed before. Dark denizens move aside, giving him way.
As he gets closer, Hernan feels a greater pressure from that person that sparks a bit of fear in his heart. Never before he gets so intimidated – except, maybe from his plain but powerful wife. He stops and be on guard.
It’s a man wearing all-black robe, hood and cloak. The hood is so low, covering his face (that suspiciously wears a skin mask) in a dark shade, only his white sideburns hanging out from the hood. He holds his scythe high, just like a Grim Reaper, or rather a spider ready to execute the fly that is trapped on its web with one strike.
By Vadis, it’s... it’s Arachus’ weapon, the Crow Scythe! And this man holds it... it means, he’s either Arachus himself or someone more powerful thanhim.
Unknowingly by him, Hernan takes step by step back.
That scythe once belonged to Vordac, and before him, to Kraal, the Death himself. Could he be Vordac? Kraal? Or the heir of either?
The cloaked man suddenly speaks with a harsh voice, ‘You guessed right, human, but you may call me ‘The Heir’ for now. Now, say your name before I send you to hell.’
Hernan quickens his pace backwards, answering, ‘I don’t say my name to a rotten scum like you!’
‘You got some nerve, human, calling me, the Dark Overlord, a rotten scum. But I see fear in your eyes, and that’s the proper reaction whenever my enemies came face-to-face with me, alone. For all that, I’ll reward you with a slow, torturing death that you can enjoy.
So, take this for starters! Malevolent Infestation!’
The Heir extends his scythe as if a wizard’s stick, and FYAASCHH! A legion of evil spirits fly in high speed towards this unfortunate Paladin, ready to infest and devour him from within, feasting on his flesh.
‘An Jokul’me Fyasch!’
It’s Tina! With her spell, Blizzard she blocks and freezes the Heir’s attack! What’s more, the Blizzard counterattacks, forcing the Heir to convert his spell into the defensive Wall of Souls. He stays on the spot, pumping up his aura for another attack.
Soon, Kyflynn and Desmond also join their fellow Paladins here. The night elf asks his partner, ‘Trouble, Tina?’
The sorceress of few words answers, ‘Big.’
Hernan adds, ‘The Heir of Vordac is here.’
‘What!?’ Kyflynn can’t believe his eyes. ‘That hooded man? Hmm, he has white hair. Could he be... Robert?’
The answer comes immediately.
It feels like earthquake. Soon, Hernan hears wheels and gallops rumbling from a distance. The Alliance who is in a tight spot gets a relief. The cavalry and chariots charge on, unstoppable, whacking into hordes of undead like a tidal wave.
In front of them rides the man in question, Robert Chandler, shouting warcries as the fiery blade of Grimlock severs and burns the enemies relentlessly.
‘Feel the might of the Flying Lions!’ and WHACK! WHACK! Two more zombies get chopped and burned.
‘That answers all our questions!’ Hernan shouts and runs towards his enemy. ‘Robert is NOT the Heir of Vordac! C’mon, my friends! We gotta attack the Heir together before he recovers!’
‘To hell with the Heir! HYAAAAHHH!!! Kyflynn gets to the Heir first and is going to make a stab. The cloaked man doesn’t move at all. He attacks the elf frontally with his aura, and misses! He looks up and the elf already does a slash-somersault above his head!
CLAANK!! The Heir blocks the Cartwheel Slash with his scythe, but then comes another somersault and CRAASHH!! The slash grazes his shoulder. Black blood leaks out from the wound, and the Heir doesn’t scream in pain at all. Kyflynn lands behind the Heir and lands a Backstab.
‘Hmm. The Heir of Vordac isn’t nearly as good as he claims he is. Now you die,’ Kyflynn sneers.
‘Wrong,’ says the Heir with a gentle voice. ‘I am already dead. The fact is, now it’s your turn to die.’
‘Utter nonsense.’ Saying that, the assassin pulls his dagger, but it won’t come off. Instead, dark spirits crawl on that weapon up to Kyflynn’s hands. He begins to panic.
‘W-what’s going on hereee??’ The blue skin turns black, and it’s reaching the shoulders...
WHAAMMM!!! A timely blow from Desmond gets parried with the scythe. The Heir’s concentration splits a bit and Kyflynn uses this momentum to pull his dagger out completely. After that, he withdraws from the fight to get rid of the dark energy with his wind aura.
The Paladins are definitely not going to give the Heir even a moment to breathe. Together they attack: Robert from the upper-left with the jumping, super-speed, hidden blow of Green Dragon Assault Strike. Hernan attacks from behind with the spin-and-slash Whirlpool Polonaise.
‘Predictable cheap shots!’ The Heir swings his scythe in a powerful uppercut and blocks Robert’s attack, TANG! and in split-second swings it downwards, accurately hits Hernan’s sword midway of the slash and pins it on the ground. Such is the speed and strength of the Heir!
The look on Robert and Hernan’s face tells all. This time, the foe is the toughest that they ever fought, with the strength far exceeding their own.
Indeed, he’s more powerful than Arachus! No wonder the scythe chose him, Hernan thinks.
Another attack comes! This time, Desmond cracks the ground and sends an energy wave of Land and Sea Divide skill. Still pinning Hernan’s sword on the ground, the Heir uses his left hand and casts another Wall of Souls.
From the back comes Agustina’s spell, the Frost Arrows, sending a rain of sharp ice shards all concentrated towards a single target. Though not as brutally powerful as the Blizzard, the speed, versatility and precision of this spell is enough to force the Heir to block it with his scythe, not just his aura. He releases Hernan’s sword and spins the scythe like a propeller. Nevertheless, a few ice shards find their marks on the Heir’s body.
Normally, the shards would get repelled by the dark aura or graze his body at most, but four of them get planted on the Heir’s body! The wounds are quite bad, but nothing seems too serious for the Heir as he is ‘already dead’. He’s as agile as ever.
Analyzing this situation, Hernan wonders. What? All our attacks were blocked or yielded nothing but grazes and scratches on him, but a simple shard of ice can wound him? This is odd. This is against nature. The dark aura is weak against the holy power only! This must be something that’s related to the past battles...
Image Source: Grim Reaper - Artwork by n_deed (DeviantArt.com)