Archive for December, 2010

Chapter 8: The Shining Knight Returns

December 22, 2010

Almost there. Just one more chapter beyond this one and it will be complete. I’m looking forward to completing this story, so that it can live on in some sort of tangible form.

Chapter 8: The Shining Knight Returns

“This is it, guys. Just one more, and we’ll be ready to take on Corrunderus,” Animus said with a smile on his face.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s coming to an end. Our tasks as Spirit Warriors will be complete,” Mentivis added.

“But, what happens next? I don’t know if I could get used to being a normal guy again,” said Dirk.

“I do have some idea of what to do after all this is over. But it depends on how things roll,” Animus replied.

“Maybe it’s best to start planning before the time comes. If we wait, it will be a lot tougher to adjust to living normal lives again,” Mentivis proposed.

One week had passed since that day, and the warriors prepared for their futures. One day, Animus found Mentivis in his room. He had been searching online for careers that involved his strategic mind. However, he did not express interest in even one, so far.

“Mentivis, may I ask you something a little personal?”

“Uhh, sure. It’s fine by me,” Mentivis replied.

“I was wondering if you approve if I wanted to propose to Melina.”

Upon hearing this, a smile came across Mentivis’s face. “You know, I was wondering when you were going to mention it. I can’t imagine her being together with anyone else.”

“So you approve?” Animus added.

“Absolutely. I’m looking forward to watching how well you both do as a couple.”

A few days later, Animus and Melina returned to their favorite cliff.

“Lots of memories on this cliff, Melina.”

“But some weren’t so good,” Melina said, with a frown starting to show.

“What counts is that we were always with each other, and we overcame those trials together,” Animus responded, trying to cheer her up.

“Yes,” Melina began to smile again. “Our strong bond helped us overcome those trials.”

“Probably the biggest trial was the one where our love for each other broke the bindings of the demon of lust.” Animus and Melina began to recall together what had happened that day.

Animus was on the computer in his room watching video game playthroughs. All of a sudden, lustful thoughts came to his mind.

“(No! Not this time! I gotta get away from this!)” Animus quickly walked out of his room and left the base toward the cliff.

“That explains why I felt nauseous just before I found you there,” Melina said. “I went to look for you after coming home to find you weren’t there.”As soon as Animus arrived on the cliff, a demon materialized in front of him.

“Drown in your shame.” The demon suddenly fired a strange orange and yellow beam. However, Animus failed to dodge the attack and found himself surrounded by what looked like chains, with lustful imagaes relentlessly pouring into his head.

“I couldn’t even move. It was like my body betrayed me in favor of lust,” Animus said.“I remember seeing you bound up in those orange and yellow chains when I found you. I found out what you were dealing with when I touched the chains.”

Tears fell from Melina’s eyes as she saw him bound by those chains. Suddenly, she was also struck by an orange and yellow beam.

“Aah!” Melina found herself also bound by chains. However, she began to glow.

“I don’t remember much that happened when I was struck with the beam. I do remember somehow breaking free of those chains and lunging toward the demon with a bejewelled staff in my hand. I don’t know where it came from, though.”Melina emerged from the shattered chains clothed in a white dress with light armor around her torso and shoulders. She immediately lunged toward the demon and fired a beam of light from her staff, immediately vaporizing it. She turned toward Animus, still bound by chains, and raised her arms. Large beams of light emanated from her as the chains began to shatter.

“I remember opening my eyes and seeing you before me. I didn’t see a staff, though. All I could do was cry on your shoulder and apologize.”Melina looked over at Animus, who seemed to have a small tear in his eye. “But you’re thankful for being free from lust, right?”

Animus turned toward Melina, “More thankful each day than the day before.”

Back at the base, Dirk was in his training chamber finding an opponent to match his strength.

“Ok, let’s try this.” Dirk entered the gyroscope and booted up a powerful new opponent.

Mentivis returned to the base with a large bag of food. “Animus! Dirk! Melina! Special delivery!” However, the place was silent.

“(Animus and Melina must not be back yet. Doesn’t explain Dirk, though. He’s probably still working on the teleporter.)”

Mentivis headed downstairs to Dirk’s lab to find the teleporter still half-finished. There is a faint roar of an engine in the background. He stepped into the training room to find the simulation chamber being used. He walked into the control room to find no one there. However, on a nearby monitor was Dirk fighting… another Dirk?

“(Now this is interesting.I’d like to know how he did it.)” Mentivis put on a headset that was on the desk.

“Yo, Dirk!” One of the two Dirks stopped for a moment.

“Oh, hey, Mentivis! Can’t talk right now. This must be my toughest battle yet!”

“Lunch is getting cold,” Mentivis said calmly.

“Wait, what?! Lunch?! I’ll be right there!” Dirk immediately turned off the simulation and ran upstairs, leaving Mentivis behind.

“(Heh. It looks like eating is still his biggest passion,)” Mentivis chuckled to himself. He then decided to telepathically contact Animus.

“(Hey, Animus. How close are you to the base? I have lunch on the table.)”

“(We’re right outside. Just give us two seconds,)” Animus replied.

At the table, the warriors discussed matters concerning the final mission.

“So, I know we’re going to fight Corrunderus very soon, but what’s the best way to prepare for that moment?” Animus asked.

“Well, I just created a special machine that scans our brain patterns and our physical forms. I put it to a test run earlier today. I had a lot of trouble trying to beat my copied form,” Dirk responded.

“So, I’m guessing that by uploading a copy of us right now, we can use that copy to gauge our strength just before the final battle,” Animus said, trying to understand clearly what the new device can do.

“Exactly. We can improve much faster this way, and we can also challenge each other, even when one of us isn’t available.”

Mentivis spoke up, “That alone might not be enough. What if Corrunderus has more tricks up his sleeve?”

“I don’t think we’ll be able to find out exactly what he has planned until he shows us,” replied Animus, concerned.

“We wouldn’t have been given this task if we were going to fail it. Corrunderus doesn’t really know how powerful we really are when we work together,” Melina spoke up, which was a rare moment, as she often just listens.

“This isn’t a video game, Melina. If we don’t perform our jobs well, we may as well call defeat,” Mentivis spoke, voice raised a bit.

“I think Melina has a point. We can’t lose. We’re destined to win, and our status as spirit warriors is proof. Let’s not forget who gave us our powers in the first place,” Animus spoke up.

“Not you too, Animus. We can’t go in without a plan!” Mentivis began to shout.

“Ok, before we all go nuts, here. There’s no point in thinking this through, right now, because we only have so many cards in our hand. We play what we have, and I believe we have the winning hand,” Dirk spoke, in favor of not only Melina’s thoughts, but also because he didn’t want to see his friends quarrel.

“I guess you’re right, Dirk. I guess I’m just getting anxious. I’m sorry guys,” Mentivis apologized.

“It’s all good, Mentivis. It’s times like these that the best way to prepare is to simply pray about it. Swords, staffs, and knives we may have, but our best weapon is always prayer,” Animus responded.

“Yes. I have to admit, I nearly lost my focus. A short nap should take a load off things.” Mentivis left the table and went to his room.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to start a fight,” said Melina.

“You don’t need to apologize, Melina. We’re just in a tense moment,” said Animus.

“You’re telling me. I took a break because all that teleporter work was just getting on my nerves. At some point, it seemed like I wasn’t getting anything right on it,” Dirk responded.

“So, you take a break from building a device by building another. Now that’s funny,” Animus chuckled.

“Heh. Now that I think about it, that is a bit funny,” Dirk replied.

A month has passed, and the warriors trained hard for the next battle. The day finally came when they engaged the enemy in a big battle.

“Guys, it’s time! There’s a large army of demons heading to our base from the west. It’s the largest I’ve ever seen!” Mentivis called over the intercom. “Forget the war room! We engage the enemy immediately!”

All four warriors exited the base and looked westward. The demons were so many, they covered the setting sun and much of the sky.

“Oh God, that’s a lot,” Dirk said in shock and awe at the sight.

“Corrunderus is giving it everything he’s got to destroy us,” Mentivis replied.

“Then, there’s only one thing to do,” Animus responded. Then he stepped forward and unsheathed his sword. “Let’s do this!” Animus quickly flew toward the cloud of demons, followed by Dirk, and then Mentivis and Melina.

Mentivis engaged a group of demons, who seemed to number one hundred. Suddenly, as he prepared to attack, he suddenly felt pulled into an entirely different battle.

“You aren’t used to going in without an plan, are you?” Everything around Mentivis was black, but he was able to see clearly. A figure appeared in front of him, wielding a bo staff and wearing light armor with purple and gold cloths. “You didn’t see this coming either, did you?”

“That’s… impossible. You’re me,” Mentivis stood, surprised and scared.

“Yes, and I will make sure there’s nothing left of you.” The evil Mentivis fired several energy shots, all charged with fire, ice, or electricity. Mentivis quickly countered by spinning his bo staff, deflecting all the shots.

“Mentikousen!” Evil Mentivis fired a powerful energy beam towards his true counterpart. Mentivis attempted to dodge the beam but ended up being chased by it. No matter where he went, the beam followed.

“(I have an idea. How about he get a taste of his own weapon?)” Mentivis quickly moved behind his dark counterpart and attempted to hit him with his own beam. However, he quickly teleported out of harms way. The beam then formed into a giant energy ball. Evil Mentivis began to control the energy ball to attack Mentivis.

“(Ugh! I can’t seem to outsmart him!)” Mentivis continued to fly away from the chasing energy ball.

After about a minute, Mentivis began to get tired of fleeing from the giant energy ball.

“(Eventually, I’m gonna need to stop. I can’t keep up this running.)” Suddenly, something came to his mind.

“(Ya know, sometimes you just gotta do.)”

Mentivis turned around and held the lower part of his staff. He got into a batting stance as he faced the fast-approaching energy ball.

“Here goes nothing!” Mentivis yelled as he struck the energy ball hard with his staff. The resulting collision brought a violent shock to Mentivis’s arms. However, the energy ball hurled itself toward the fake Mentivis, who screamed as he was vaporized by the energy ball. After the energy ball disappeared, a shiny object floated where the fake Mentivis once stood. As it flew over to him, the seven Great Deed Medallions appeared to greet what he finally saw was the final Great Deed Medallion. They began to spin all around him, and as he began to glow, the medallions, one by one, started to disappear within him. When they all disappeared, Mentivis found himself wearing bright gold and silver cloths with shiny teal light armor and helmet. His bo staff was also different. What once was bright red was now gold with a crystal orb at the tip. Immediately, the darkness around him began to fade as the battlefield once again appeared around him, still populated with hundreds of demons.

Mentivis immediately harnessed a ball of energy and threw it toward the demons in front of him. He kept his hand out as the ball spun around in a tight circle, destroying many demons with its intense velocity. As he moved his hand around the battlefield, so did the spinning ball of energy, slaying nearly as many demons as there were in sight.

Meanwhile, Melina created a barrier around herself and started attacking demons with radiant beams of energy. However, she was quickly overwhelmed by an odd black mist. As the mist faded, she saw that she was no longer on the battlefield, but surrounded by black, though she can see her hands clearly. In front of her, a small cloud of black mist formed itself into a human shape. The mist then disappeared to reveal, to her surprise, another Melina! All Melina could do was gasp in shock as she saw her other self’s eyes open. At once, she began to speak.

“You’re always hiding behind something when you go to battle, do you?”

“You’re lying! I always help my friends in battle!” Melina shouted, offended by the fake Melina’s words.

“Really? Then show it by defeating me!” As Evil Melina began to attack, Melina put up her barrier. The false Melina fired radiant beams of light from her hands at Melina, shattering her shield.

“Aah!” Melina was knocked backwards by the resulting blast.

“Such cowardice! Show some backbone!” The fake Melina unsheathed her daggers and flew toward her. Melina attempted to fire radiant beams of energy at the fake Melina, but she dodged every one of them. In a short time, Evil Melina was right up to her, preparing to strike with her daggers. Melina unsheathed her own daggers and blocked those of her false self. Immediately, they began strike at each other with their daggers. Every attempt to strike the opponent met with the opponent’s dagger. After some time, though, the fake Melina struck so hard, that Melina’s daggers flew out of her hands.

“Are you so helpless that you think a knight in shining armor will come rescue you every time you’re in trouble?” Evil Melina spoke in a taunting manner.

Suddenly, Melina began to recall her moments with Animus and how she rescued him in his times of trouble. As she recalled more of these memories, she began to glow and her daggers quickly returned to her hands. Within seconds, within the shy girl awoke a mighty woman.

“The only coward is you, demon. You take the form of someone else and try to attack your opponent with your tongue before the actual fight,” Melina calmly and firmly spoke. The false Melina was taken aback by these statements and flinched. Immediately, Melina rushed toward the fake Melina with her daggers in her two upper hands and energy in her two lower hands.

“For Animus! No, for all my friends!” Melina blasted the evil Melina with both energy shots and pierced her heart with her daggers. At once, the fake Melina disappeared into black smoke, which dissipated to reveal an eighth Great Deed Medallion. Immediately, the medallion, along with the seven others that appeared, surrounded Melina and began to gather into her. As the medallions disappeared, she found herself in a white dress and light armor, and in her hands was not daggers but the staff she used to defeat the demon of lust. At once, the darkness around her scattered to reveal the familiar demon-filled battlefield. Melina held the staff with all her hands and rose it in the air, causing the staff to glow and disperse many balls of light, all targeting demons around her. Hundreds of demons were slain at once, and those who did not get struck by the light fled from her.

As Dirk fought demon after demon, he found himself suddenly surrounded in darkness, though he was able to see clearly a dark form that appeared before him. It was another Dirk, just as monstrous as he currently was. As the other Dirk’s eyes opened, he began to speak.

“Why do you hesitate? Go ahead and slay me with the hatred that helped you slay many opponents in the past. I’m only a heartless monster.”

Dirk, though he wanted to attack his false copy, suddenly felt unable. Instead, feelings of fear and shame came over him, and he feared to even make a move.

“I thought you were a spirit warrior. Why don’t you come slay me? Surely, you have no feelings toward your opponent.”

“Stop!” Dirk tried to shake off all these words. “I’m not a monster! I have feelings! I have a heart!”

“It’s only natural you try to lie to yourself to get yourself to fight. Or is that burden of bitterness and hatred weighing you down so much?”

Suddenly, one by one, people Dirk held a grudge with began to appear in his mind.

“(You remember these people, do you? You hate them. You know you want to kill them,)” his mind echoed at him.

“NO!” Dirk shouted with a roar. “They may have given me a hard time in the past, but the past is the past. It’s time to forgive and move on. There’s no need to be angry at them anymore.”

“Without that burning anger, what then drives you to fight?” asked the fake Dirk.

“There are people who are putting their faith in us, right now, and for them, no, even for those who DON’T put their faith in us, I WILL FIGHT!” Dirk lunged straight forward into Evil Dirk and impaled him with his claws. As soon as he had done so, the fake Dirk vanished, a Great Deed Medallion appearing in his place. The seven other Great Deed Medallions joined the eighth and surrounded Dirk. However, as Dirk glowed brightly, it seemed like he was splitting apart. Surrounded by glowing fragments of him stood the shape of a human. The pieces reattached themselves onto the human figure, and the glow began to disappear, revealing a human Spirit Warrior Dirk. What was the monster’s head was now his helmet. His scaly body became armor. His claws were now part of a new weapon, which looked like a staff. At both ends of that staff were the claws of his monster form. Immediately, the darkness around him shattered to reveal the battlefield, still full of demons. In the blink of an eye, Dirk dashed towards the army of demons and sliced through them. His speed was incredible, well beyond that of the other warriors. No one could track his speed, and hundreds of demons fell from his assault.

Animus went headlong into battle, striking down demons that got in his way. However, as soon as he got close to the main force of the demonic army, darkness surrounded him. The demons were no longer in sight. Neither were the other warriors. All he could see was a shadow that materialized into no one other than Animus, himself!

“What is the meaning of this?!” Animus stood, shocked to see himself.

“Do you remember the times when you used to call yourself a failure?” the figure spoke.

“Yes, but I’m not a failure. I am more than a conqueror. If the past year wasn’t proof enough, I have plenty more evidence that I’m no failure,” Animus boldly replied.

“Really? So that army of demons is no indication of failure, then?”

“Why do you try to convince me that I’m something I’m not, illusion? This battle will end in victory, I guarantee it.”

The fake Animus spoke more, “You’ve failed. You failed to protect your friends from the demon known as Atraledo. You failed to be a knight in shining armor. Lastly, you’ve failed to overcome your own lust, even for the sake of your woman.”

Animus lashed out in anger, “Silence, demon! I’ll run you through, because of your lies!” Animus dashed toward the fake Animus and attempted to strike him down with his sword. However, his sword was quickly blocked, and Animus was blown away by a powerful energy shot.

“Failure. And once I’ve given you a failure to end all failures, I’ll be taking your woman, and she won’t have to share your failure.”

Upon hearing this, Animus got up and roared in fierce anger. “You shameless lustful demon! I WILL DESTROY EVERY INCH OF YOU!” Animus sped toward his evil counterpart once again, striking with a much harder blow. So hard, in fact, that it snapped Evil Animus’s sword in two. Animus sheathed his sword and grabbed the fake warrior by the throat.

“This is for accusing me of being a failure!” Animus blasted him point-blank in the face. He threw him down and spoke again. “This is for Melina!” Animus put his fists together above his head and slammed them as hard as he could onto the false Animus’s head. At this point, his evil form had to struggle just to get up. “And this, this is for you! To wipe you out for good!” Animus put his hands into the air. “ENERUGIIIII…” All the demon could do is watch in fear as he saw Animus gather a large amount of energy. Then, Animus stepped back and moved his hands in front of him pointed at the demon. “KOUSEN!!!” The resulting energy beam utterly wiped the demon from existence, with a Great Deed Medallion appearing where he once stood.

The seven Great Deed Medallions of previous battles appeared, and, along with the eighth medallion, spun around Animus, causing them all to glow. The medallions disappeared into Animus’s glowing figure, and once the glow began to dim, Animus could see that he was wearing his shining armor, once again. His hair was now silvery white and flowed down to his shoulders. His cape was now bright yellow, and his sword glowed brightly. Within seconds, the blackness around him dissipated to once again reveal the battlefield. Animus held out his left arm and held it with his right. An enormous amount of energy gathered into his palm, as he slowly shouted “SUPER CLUSTER BLAST!” The ball of energy shot toward the demons, causing a chain reaction of massive explosions, destroying hundreds upon hundreds of demons.

As Animus looked around him, he saw that his friends, like himself, have also gained new powers. Only a couple hundred demons remained on the battlefield, led by four generals and a leader, who had authority over those generals. The generals split the demons into four battalions of fifty, one for each warrior. As the demons approached, Animus held his sword tightly and focused, causing it to glow. As soon as the demons got close enough, Animus mightily swung his sword, unleashing a giant energy blade that sliced nearly the entire battalion in two.

As the second battalion focused on Dirk, he held out his staff and pulled both sides apart, revealing a long chain. He lunged forward into battle, wielding the two halves as short swords, and struck down many demons with them, along with his incredible speed. The battalion, now reduced to less than ten, fled from Dirk and was subsequently destroyed by the leader.

As Mentivis looked upon the oncoming third battalion, he held out his staff in front of him and began controlling it with his mind. As he let the staff float in the air, it became encased with sharp icy spikes. Mentivis directed the staff to the oncoming battalion, and it spun directly towards it, impaling nearly all the demons in the process. The remaining demons were subsequently destroyed by the ice spikes that shot outward from the staff.

Melina saw the fourth battalion rapidly speeding toward her and held out her staff. As the staff glowed, numerous small energy beams shot forth from it, targetting every demon in front of her, destroying them until there were no more.

The four vastly powerful spirit warriors moved near the four leaders, now without battalions. All were slain from a couple swings from each warrior’s weapon. And now, only the leader remained.

“H-how?” The demon stuttered in fear. “No one can be that powerful! It’s just not possible!”

“Even though you have seen with your eyes the destruction of your entire army, you cannot comprehend the strength that flows through us,” Mentivis spoke.

“All you could see was your own might, which failed you in the end,” Dirk added.

“You’re just a monster whose only desire is to kill what you see,” Melina also spoke.

“And now, allow me to send a message to Corrunderus with your corpse as the delivery package!” Animus spoke as he and the other warriors struck him down all at once with their weapons. At that point, the demon disappeared into black smoke, and the area around them was finally cleared of demons.

“It’s finally time to bring the fight to Corrunderus. Dirk, is the teleporter ready?” Animus asked.

“Yes. We can fight Corrunderus at any time. All we need to do now is prepare.”

“Let’s rest up before we take him on. We’ll need to be prepared in every way before we go,” Mentivis spoke.