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Sunday, October 19, 2014 Throne of the Lost Soul - Part Two

Dullahan, the Headless Knight

‘The mythical Dullahan… One of the strongest warriors of the First Cycle – at the time of Ragnarok*),’ Iris’ eyes widen in astonishment. ‘But, aren’t you already dead, fallen so many times even in the time of Fireheart?’

(* Ragnarok: War of the Gods. It actually happened in Eternia, not only in Asgard (now Fjorn) but also in Parthenia, Ashoka and Wushu.

            ‘Well, yes. But with this curse I bear,’ Dullahan points at his head. ‘I still exist through the ages. No matter how many times I got killed and got my head and body severed far apart from each other, I always returned. And this time, though only being a gatekeeper to the Dark Overlord’s throne, I shall faithfully serve the one who put my head and body together and the one who conquered him.’
            ‘Who ARE they?’ Dejan asks.
            ‘Lord Arachus made me complete, and the Heir eliminated him after he came back from his fight with Avariel injured, crippled, weak, wasted, running out of his purpose.’
            To this, Hernan rubs his trimmed mustache, saying, ‘Hmm, no wonder we didn’t see Arachus around since Hail’varan. And since you’re a gatekeeper, the exit of this labyrinth must be nearby. Thank you for all the valuable information, shall we come down to business, then?’
            ‘Certainly, sir, and now that you know my little secret, I must send you all to your deaths!’
            Dullahan and the five specters attack in unison, and are met with Iris’ spell, ‘Rotr Vaishazar!’ The Cyclone Sickles spread and slash like harvesting a wheat field with a hundread flying sickles. CRASH-CRAS-CRAS!! DANG! DANG!
            Being in form of energy, the specters are immune to physical attacks with ordinary weapons. In compensation to that, they are quite vulnerable to magic, elemental energy and attacks using inner strength. So, the wind slases through their bodies, tearing them apart.
            However, two specters still move on, and Dullahan swings his great broadsword to split Iris apart! The elf moves swiftly to the back, and the sword seems to get closer and inavoidable!
            SWIISH!! The sword is about to split Iris’ head! Her expression doesn’t change, and the reason comes a split second after. DANG! DANG! Dullahan’s sword meets Robert’s Grimlock and Dejan’s claws.
            And then, from behind the two Paladins Hernan leaps very high and springs forward with a serial thrust pouring down like Shears of the Falling Rain.
            DANG! DANG! DANG! DANG! ‘HROOOAAA!!’
            Dullahan lets out a roar of pain, and the next moment, his head is severed from his body and rolls on the floor! The so-called mythical warrior meets his demise with just one move!
            Hernan moves away to finish the motionless giant. The next moment, suddenly a great broadsword sweeps to the fencer’s side! FWOOSH!! DANG!
            The ponytail-haired Paladin blocks the sword with his rapier, and he is pushed three paces backwards.
            He says, his expression unchanging, ‘So I figured out what your ‘curse’ is, and it seems I was right. You’re a headless ghoul.’
            Dullahan’s voice comes from his head rolling on the floor, ‘Hmm, so this is the price of being ‘mythical’. People knows about you just too well… NOT!!’
            Suddenly, BUAGG! A punch flies and hits Hernan’s face! If not thanks to Omnigalatr field, his nose will be broken. Nevertheless, Hernan’s face is now a bloody pulp, and that move forces him to step back and recuperate.
            Dullahan immediately pulls his flying knuckle back to its place with a crimson chain attached in it. The knuckle picks the head up from the floor and puts it back on Dullahan’s shoulder. All in all, he’s showing his quality as an immortal mythical being able to take off his body parts while fighting.
            ‘Now it’s my turn! Dances in the Cascades!’
            Saying that, Hernan does a modified move by spinning and slashing sideways in recurrent rotations.
            Dullahan raises his too great, too heavy sword to block that move, and once again the Escudian fencer practices precision by slashing through the gaps on Dullahan’s armor, ultimately cutting off the head, arms, hands, legs and feet – again.
            BLUGG! DUGG-DUG! BLUG! The monstrous knight falls on the floor, scattering in pieces. And then, just as expected, blood-red chains come out from the severed limbs.
            Hernan moves and cuts the chains on the legs, CRASH! CRASH! To make sure that the undead knight won’t get up again, thus easier to finish off.
            Meanwhile, Iris has enchanted Dejan’s claws and the daredevil Halfling shreds the remaining two specters into pieces! CRAS, CRAS, CRAS!! All that left are their rusty armors scattered on the floor, remains of the cursed beings.
            ‘Haha! Thanks, Iris! Now to finish that gargantuan freak off… Huh!?’
            Dejan can’t believe his eyes. Dullahan, who should’ve been lying helpless on the floor without his legs already leaped up and merged his torso onto the stump once his horse’s head once been. And now he becomes an undead centaur knight. The dense, dark aura covering his body keeps the Paladins at bay.
            None of the Paladins is daring enough to attack head-on with this makeshift centaur.
            The situation is dire. Cristophe talks to Dejan, ‘You go, find the second team and lead them here. We are in need for reinforcements.’ The animorpher nods and morphs into a wolf, running rapidly away from sight.
            ‘Is it all you can do, Paladins? Play time’s up, now it’s time to DIE!!’ Saying so, Dullahan swings his great sword vertically and horizontally in rapid succession.
            BUUSH!! BWOOOSH!! The Paladins move rapidly to avoid that attack, but Dullahan adds Unholy Cross, a move similar to Robert’s Crossfire Slash, shooting a blast of dark energy on target!
            Chris moves clear away from the line of fire, but then the second cross comes towards him! Unable to avoid it, Chris blocks the bolt with his shield instead! DHAASHH!! Dullahan’s bolt pushes the red-haired Paladin back.
            Recovering from the blow, Chris dashes to attack Dullahan’s side. However, another attack already comes from the rear! FWOOSH-FWOOSH!! CRASH-CRASH! It’s Iris’Hurricane slashing its way into Dullahan’s armor to damage the undead within.
            As if that’s not enough, as the spell ceases Hernan gets into position and thrusts his sword rapidly and precisely, all targeting Dullahan’s soft spots, no move is wasted trying to break the opponent’s sturdy armor, and this Requiem of the Tides move is like serpents slithering into the sleeves.
            CRASSH! CRASSH!!
            ‘RHOOAAA!!’ Dullahan roars in pain, and then he accumulates his energy and explodes it to break free! BLUDAAMMM!! The force of the blast throws Chris, Iris and Hernan away!
            Chris hits the wall, and he struggles to get up as quickly as he can, expecting the worst.
            And his fear is confirmed. Dullahan swings his sword one time towards Chris. The Paladin outstretches his energized shield and blocks the blow, DANGG!! And suddenly the Dragon Bone Sword elongates like a whip and GLANK! The bones get entangled on Chris’armor!
            RRIIPPP!!! The undead knight ties Chris tight to crush him. ‘AAAHH!!’ Chris feels that his body is like plum being made into prune.
            And that’s not all. The next thing he sees is three bolts of dark energy coming out from the concentrated aura on Dullahan’s back, BUSSH, BUSSH, BUSSH!! And hit Chris squarely!
            No ordinary human being can withstand this kind of abuse. This destruction at its entirety. This mortal blow.
            And yet…
            Uuugh… It’s still painful – Am I still alive? Chris can’t help thinking. And then he slowly opens his eyes. Flashes of light, metals claingin… It’s Hernan, and he’s doing his finishing blow!
            CRAS, CRAS, CRASSHH!! The Escudian Fencer is like devilish, fiercely attacking the opponent from al directions. He moves so fast, as though a hundred of him pouring water all at once.
            And then, Hernan lands beside Dullahan, leaving him stunned in place. The sword-whip on the undead knight’s hand falls on the floor, and the pressure on Chris is loosened.
            The next moment, BATS! BATS! Dullahan’s head, limbs, torso and feet suddenly get severed and fall scattering on the floor. No sign, no hint of energy on him to put all the pieces back together, let alone to move even a finger. Such is the power of Hernan’s finishing move: Symphony of the Seven Seas.
            The Don just stands in place, puts the rapier Albatross back into the scabbard hanging on his waist, saying, ‘Rest in pieces, Dullahan.’
            The next moment, Iris comes near her ex-boyfriend, treating him with potion and magic. There’s no resentment on her face, only a warm visage and smile, showing sympathy upon this central figure of the Light Side who always becomes the prime target of any enemy.
            ‘Chris, next time, just be careful. Save your strength and health for your destined battle with the Heir of the other side,’ she says.
            Opening his helmet, Chris shows her the innocent look of his face like back when they were lovers, answering, ‘I’m trying. But I can’t just sit back and see my comrades risk their lives to open the path, and I can’t help it whenever Dullahan and the others somehow find the way through to me.
            So, please, just let me fight on so I can be stronger and wiser when I finally meet the other Heir, and yes, I’ll be more careful so I won’t fall into any more traps next time.’
            Hernan then interrupts, ‘Hey, I think I’ve found the exit.’
            Chris says, ‘Really?’ and moves to the spot Hernan is pointing. It seems the fencer was right. Behind Dullahan, the wall has opened up, showing a wide path and a great door. The door is blood-red, bearing carvings of devils and hellish fiends feasting on top of their fallen enemies. Big devil heads with big, gnarly fangs in their mouths biting a knocker on each door.
            This air... is suffocating. Is this the door to the throne hall? Are we going to see the Heir of Vordac at last, commencing the destined final battle between him and myself? I better be prepared on anything. O’ Vadis the Almighty, please bless us, your agents in protecting all the good things we’ve built in this world.
            CRRREAAAKKK!!! Chris pushes the heavy door with his two hands and he comes inside. The Paladins immediately follow him. Taking a step into the room, Chris’ eyes widen with shock.


            The Dark Overlord’s throne...

Image Source: 
Dullahan by Kid Eternity
Previous blog source: World of Garnia 

FireHeart - Legend of the Paladins Book Three: The Lion, the Eagle and the Serpent
Author: Andry Chang
Previous: Part One 
Next: Part Three (Original Script page 341/487)


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