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Warlock

Picking Up the Pieces

40 posts in this topic

So many months had passed since Annabelle had seen the farm she had spent her life in. She wondered if she would still remember it, then chided herself when she was reminded how there was nothing left to remember, how all that was left was ashes and monsters. Arriving back to the Midlands brought a lot of memories back with it, along with a fair amount of nightmares. If not for the friendship she had with the draconic hybrid Arashi, she wasn't sure she would ever return there. 

Traveling had done well for her physique, it filled out the portions of her body that thinned from the lack of food the cultists had, where hunger pain was just another way for them to honor their demonic lord. Abandoning the black robes of the Passus Cult, she instead wore an outfit of a brown shirt, gray breeches, a green scarf much like Arashi's, brown leather boots, gloves and a leather cap she wore to keep the sun out of her face. She felt like a completely different person than the one that left the farm so long ago, it had been an interesting journey, one she hoped to continue, especially with her new friend. 

Arashi had been forgiving for her previous actions, when she used to be a different person, a horrible person that did bad things for worse people. Now was her chance to help redeem that part of her life, so that she could find some peace knowing she could make something better of a terrible situation. After going up a hill, they spotted that which Annabelle had been leading them to, a sight which brought the young woman mixed feelings. It was where her farm used to stand, where she spent so many happy memories there, but now all that stood was a mound of ashes spread far and wide. "It's all gone...all of it..."

Annabelle sighed, looking at her old home with sorrow, knowing that the acres of land that used to hold crops or animals, now was purely just cinders. From their vantage point, there seemed to be movement in the ashes, figures that would start to rise from the ashes concerned her somewhat, she making note of their misshapen features, their horns, their multiple arms, all features that would indicate them as demons. There were twelve in all, with what must have been two dozen others out in the fields some distance away from the main house. Her home was now being trampled on by squatters, horrific monsters that disrespected it's memory just from their very existence. "It sickens me to see them there, do you think we can even handle that many?" 

@Metty

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Arashi stood ontop of the hill with the kid, looking over as she noticed the demons below. Demons...a pathetic species that thrive on human emotions. Dragons and human coexisted together but demons were a different story. They were stronger than most, requiring humans and other species alike to have enough strength to face them head on.

Arashi wasn't going to let a few demons scare her. She had the power of a lightning dragon by her side. She wasn't afraid. She would eventually become the thing that they're scared of, demon slayers. She already was a dragon slayer but had never actually slain a dragon with her strength.

Arashi had a fairly musclar physique, despite barely eating alot due to not having money in the first place. Arashi was a fairly strong individual being able to lift up cars with ease with her amazing strength. However, she didn't know her true strength.

"Pfft. With my strength, probably." Arashi clenches her fists. "You can fight somewhat, right?" Arashi pulled the bow off her back, handing it to Annabelle and handing the quiver of arrows to her as well. 

"The normal ones pierce through armor. Should be enough to destroy the demons easily." Arashi rushed forward, surrounding her hands in electrical flames. "Hey, today is the day you get slain by me!"

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"I'll do my best, just be careful!" 

Annabelle did not wish to lose the friend she had just gained, but knew that fighting was the only way they were going to be rid of the monsters that lurked within the grounds of her farm. Her farm...it was hers now, wasn't it? Her father was dead, and so now all his property would fall to her as inheritance, something she would likely never experience if she didn't survive her encounter with the warlock Mathias. Everything about her life just seemed so depressing, it was hard to find something to keep a hold of, to keep her sane through it all. That's why she was thankful to have Arashi as a friend, they seemed to work together very well.

Taking the bow in her hand, she nocked an arrow on the string, doing her best to remember the lessons she was given when she was a small child. Doing her best to aim, she released the arrow, watching as it ripped through the arm of a nearby demon, Arashi's battle cry alerting them to their presence. Annabelle did her best to help in what way she could, cursing herself when she missed, knowing that for every arrow she missed, a demon lived to make the battle difficult for her friend Arashi. 

The demons responded to Arashi in kind, their lumbering, deformed bodies swinging crude weapons or claws her way, roaring in anger as they were cut down. With every demon killed, they seemed to grow more frenzied, their attacks coming quicker, perhaps too quick for Arashi to defend against without falling back? "Watch out Arashi!" Annabelle said, noticing a lumbering monster of a demon coming towards her friend's blind spot as she dispatched a demon. She would do her best to slow it down with her arrows, but it would not stop it from swinging at her with it's log sized arms.

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"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine! Just focus on the demons!" Arashi said as she turned around, using her quick reflexes, surrounding one of her legs in electric-flames, kicking the demon that tried to attack her with the electrical fire surrounded leg.

"You can't even defeat me! Barely even hit me!" Arashi was fast, maybe even faster than the demons. Arashi clenched her fists as she landed on the ground, going to attack the nearby demons with the draconic electrical-fire with her fists.

"Ya hear me! I'm going to send you back to hell!" Arashi had said with an arrogant tone and a smirk on her face.

She was fairly arrogant and powerful when it came to using her abilities, just the lack of training made her weak. The menacing dragonkin was something the demons should be afraid of, mainly with all that power she had stored inside of her.

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As the battle continued, it looked like they would prevail over the demons that made residence in the ashes of her home. That wasn't to say that all of the demons had been defeated, merely the few that stomped around where her home once stood. Many demons still roamed the acres surrounding the farm, which would take some time to clear them all out, assuming they didn't kill the duo first. 

As the last demon fell, Annabelle let out a breath of relief, her heart pounding as she was able to finally stop fighting and to go see how Arashi was doing. The field they fought the demons in was littered with the bodies of the dead, thankfully none of them being Arashi. It was difficult to not feel sick when wading through all the dead bodies of demons, whose ugliness seemed to know no bounds. Some seemed to have wild skin tones like bright red or dark blue, others didn't even seem to have basic organs like eyes or mouths. With all their blood seeping into the ground, Annabelle knew it would be that much more difficult to make the land suitable for farming. 

"Are you okay, Arashi? I've never seen you fight like that before, it was honestly amazing." Annabelle was being truthful, as they had not gotten into any sort of physical altercations during their journey to the Midlands. While there was still a lot of work that could be done with her skills with a sword, Arashi seemed to be able to use her innate power to make up for it. 

Looking behind her she noticed the sun beginning to dip into the horizon, signifying the coming of night. From what she knew of demons, they were generally more active at night than at the day, which would explain why the demons they faced seemed so sluggish. Weariness from their foot travel, as well as the rigors of combat had sapped her of most of her energy. Annabelle knew that Arashi had a lot of power within her, but she surely had to feel some amount of exhaustion from fighting so much. If they didn't stop for tonight and make camp, their risk of being killed by the demons would go up far too much, and that wasn't a risk she was willing to take with her friend. "I think its time we make camp, Arashi."

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Arashi looked over at Annabelle. She seemed slightly wounded from the demon's attacks, however, she seemed to seem exhausted as she seemed to be breathing quite heavily. "Yeah....we should...before I really run out of energy." Arashi had said as she followed Annabelle to make camp. "I'm fine, just a little tired." 

Arashi had began to absorbing the demon blood over here into her body through her abilities. She knew it was toxic to her system, judging by what it did to her before back when she was restrained but she had no other choice. If this was to make her most resistant to demon attacks and eventually be able to stand up to stronger demons, she had no choice. 

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They picked a spot around seventy feet from the farm, hopefully far enough away that they wouldn't have to worry about the demons coming over to bother them. Once there Annabelle went to work setting up the camp, finding some firewood, then using some flint she had to get the flames going. Soon enough they had a fire going to warm them through the night as they were able to handle their business. Annabelle began unpacking some meat she saved from a hunt earlier that day while looking for rabbits.

"I think there's a pond nearby if you want to wash off, all that blood is starting to get a little rank." Wrinkling her nose at the odor, she took a few sticks and impaled the rabbit meat upon them, driving the other end of the stick into the earth so it can cook near the fire. Arashi looked like she had been through a lot during that battle, her lack of energy apparent as she caught her breath.

"I can take first watch if you want, make sure the fire keeps going so you can rest, its the least I can do for your help." Annabelle couldn't believe how understanding she was about helping her return to this place, where so many things went wrong all at once. "Maybe we can kill some demons in the morning, then go looking for my father, so I can gibe him a proper burial at least."

Thinking back towards that part of her life always made her believe she was a failure as a daughter. If only she had done something sooner, warned him about how dangerous Mathias seemed, maybe he would still be here and Annabelle wouldn't be in this world without a father. Sometimes the sadness got so bad that she considered ending it all, with one particularly bad night being where Arashi caught her trying to slit her wrists with a dagger. That wasn't her highest moment, but bearing all that guilt would surely kill her if she didn't find some way to resolve it. At least here, in this place, she felt like she could do just that, to fight the demons she had in her home, and in her heart. It was her hope that by finding some measure of forgiveness from her father, even if she couldn't hear it from him herself, would remove a terrible burden from her heart. 

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Arashi got up, going over to the pond to wash off the demon blood she had on her. She came back after she was finished. "If you want...I'll keep watch over. My flames should be enough to keep it alight for a while anyway."  Arashi said, as she added her electric-fire to the campfire, probably making it burn longer than normal. 

"I do feel sorry for your father and you...him getting killed like that. I don't like the guy that killed him. Even though we haven't met." She crossed her arms. "I wish I had family..." Arashi wasn't jealous of others having family, she just was...curious. She grew up in a lab most of her life, not knowing the outside world much.

The dragon slayer only knew of one thing, she was god damn good at murdering things. 

"Maybe that was wrong of me absorbing that demon blood...."

Arashi knew damn well it was toxic to her system. If she could harness the power in it to resistant demon attacks and be able to turn it in some sort of demon slaying thing, she'd be able to hold her own against demons.

"Maybe I'm trying to develop demon slaying abilities the wrong way."

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Annabelle frowned as she looked to Arashi, she was scared at what she might become if she absorbed too much. She had heard of some terrible things happening to those that had tried to use the power of demon blood in order to increase their power. Some go mad, others died from the toxicity, while the worst cases were those that turned into some terrible cross between human and demon. There was nothing else in the world that terrified her more than seeing her friend up like that.

She went over to her, hugging her tightly as she buried her face in Arashi's shirt, trying to keep her voice from cracking as she spoke. "I don't agree with it, but if you want to do it, thenat least let me use my knowledge to help keep it from destroying you. You matter too much to me for me to lose you like that, I just won't let that happen." Perhaps it was her vulnerable mental state, or perhaps she did feel a legitimate bond with Arashi. Their friendship was something they cherished, something she wanted to protect and keep close to her.

Annabelle didn't have many friends growing up, she was an only child, so the horrible feelings of loneliness got to her sometimes. With Arashi, she didn't feel alone, she felt safe and comforted and so she hugged her tighter and whispered softly. "I consider you family, Arashi, like the sister I always wanted."

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"Alright, alright. Okay, you can help me. I don't know how it helps...so if you know how it works, it'll help. I'm not going to let some demonic thing destroy me. I won't die. I promise that." Arashi hugged her tightly back. 

"That's okay with me. I don't know what it exactly means by family but...I think I understand." Arashi smiled as she hugged the kid close to her.

Arashi had no meaning in her life before this. She was a fairly destructive invidiual, destroying villages and murdering people for zero reason. Then she met this kid. Araahi had actually cared for once in her life rather than outright killing people instead.

She had no regrets showing that kid mercy back then, as she knew it was the right thing to do. 

"I was created as an experimental weapon made to kill dragons and mess with the government back in Terranus. I never thought I'd actually have a friend even hough I'm in deep trouble back home..." 

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"Maybe you can stay here in Genesaris then, away from all the troubles and just be here with your friend. We can clear out the demons, get the land suitable for farming and get the other landowners to pay tribute again. We wouldn't have to fight anymore after the demonswere gone, we could just live here in peace where its safe." She knew how desperate she sounded, but she didn't care, all she wanted was for this moment to last forever.

Her exhaustion must have been greater than she realized, her eyes getting heavy as her legs began to wobble a bit. Part of her wanted to fight it, to stay awake and make more plans, but she wouldn't be able to think straight otherwise. Reluctantly she released her arms from Arashi, walking over to the soft grass where she would lay beneath the stars. She enjoyed the outdoors, now that she wasn't cooped up in that musty cave anymore.

"Goodnight Arashi, try to stay safe, okay?" It would not be long before she would drift off to the land of sleep, hoping that tonight would be one without nightmares. Such horrible dreams made it difficult to get restful sleep, she waking up in a cold sweat, a few times even waking up having urinated on herself. She hated being so afraid of the warlock Mathias, but it was impossible not to feel afraid of such a horrible creature like him. He had destroyed everything she knew, dragged her all over Genesaris, then stuck her in a cave to lead a cult while he traipsed on the other side of the world. 

Even now Mathias still had power over her, the mark of the curse he placed on her chest still itched from time to time. Annabelle wasn't sure how long it would take for him to find her, but she knew that when he did, his wrath would be terrifying. Its one of the reasons why she wanted to always be with Arashi, because she had the power to take him down, she just knew it.

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Arashi sighed, looking up at the stars, eating the food that was cooked over the fire. Arashi had suddenly noticed black markings covering the whole of her left arm, probably due to the demon blood.

"Don't tell me...damn it." She got up, going into the woods nearby for a walk, to get a few things out of her mind. 

She returned later, sitting down, taking her scarf off her neck, doing her best to cover it up on her left arm to avoid Annabelle getting scared of her. It wasn't completely covered, she could see it probably.

Arashi was afraid. She didn't know what she quite did. 

She waited till Annabelle woke up, just staring up at the stars and keeping watch on the fire till then.

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As the sun began to rise, Annabelle thankfully did not have any nightmares, in fact she did not dream at all. She preferred it that way, because of how bothersome her dreams had been for her lately. Rising up from the grass she did her best to straighten out her hair with her hands, working out the grogginess that waking up always inflicted upon her.

Things seemed to be going normally so far, but Arashi was acting strange, as if she was hiding something. Her arm was wrapped up in her scarf, which was odd because she never took off that scarf, that's when she spotted the black markings on her arm. "Arashi what happened?!" Annabelle said, racing over toinvestigate them, hoping it wasn't tooserious. The marks were demonic in nature, she only able to translate a loose word here or there, but it didn't seem like it was spreading beyond that arm. 

"We'll have to be more careful about how much blood you absorb, I don't know what'll happen, but I'd rather not find out." She thought for a while, then looked out at the fields where the demons would rise from the ash once again. "We only fight a few demons at a time per day, and I'll help you scrub off any blood you might miss in the pond. I think it would be best to keep your exposure at a minimum until we can figure out more about this."

She did her best to hide her worries, but it was hard this early in the morning, with the day just starting and already so much to do. "We'll hunt first though, get some food in our stomachs so we'll be our best for the fight, then if you're feeling up to it afterwards I would like to find my father." She said with a sigh, worrying herself silly about her friend.

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Arashi sighed, taking her scarf off of her arm and putting it back on her neck. "It's alright, I'll be fine. Don't worry, I'm not going to do anything bad!"

"I can take that demons...all of them. It'll be fine!" Arashi got up. She looked over to her other arm, noticing the slight black markings on her lower arm.

"...Oh. Come on. Really?" She sighs. "Maybe I absorbed too much.."

"I'm up for anything, uhuh..."

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When Annabelle noticed the markings on her other arm, she started to get frightened of what was going on. In an effort to stop her, Annabelle stood in front of her with her arms stretched out, determination on her face. She wasn't going to let her only friend get herself killed fighting all the demons on this farm in just one day!

"No Arashi! You can't just go out and do that, we don't know what this stuff will do to you if you get too much in your system. For all we know the more you absorb the higher the chance is your body will be poisoned by it and you'll die. You aren't alone anymore, you don't have to just go off on your own on suicide missions just because you think that's all you're good for. I can't show you how to do anything else but killing if you just go off and die on me!"

Emotions were raging through Annabelle's heart at that moment, many of them being fear for her friend, that she would die or lose herself to the blood. She had a chance to turn her life around and achieve some kind of normalcy, so she was willing to fight tooth and nail for it. "Please, Arashi, do this for me, lets take this slow."

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