Posts Tagged ‘Melina’

Chapter 9: Counteroffensive and Corrunderus

May 10, 2011

 This is it! The final chapter of Spirit Warriors! Animus’s journey comes to and end here. However, it is not the end of my desire to make stories. I plan on doing more at some point. It kinda has a bittersweet ending, but I really enjoyed making the events that led up to the final battle.

Chapter 9: Counteroffensive and Corrunderus

“I have to say, Dirk, that is quite an amazing suit of armor you’re wearing. You remind me of a dragoon from a Final Fantasy game, even,” Animus said to Dirk.

“So, this is what it feels like to fight as a spirit warrior in human form. I feel so amazing! I bet I could fly around the world and make it back here in less than an hour!” Dirk exclaimed, admiring his new form.

“I suggest you save your energy for the final battle, Dirk. We don’t know how powerful Corrunderus may be. He could be just as powerful as we are, if not more so. We need to be in top form,” Mentivis replied.

At that moment, Animus glanced at Melina for a split second and looked back in his original direction toward Mentivis. “How much time do you think we have? I still have things to do before we head out.”

“This will be a longshot, but I would say a week. We may have decimated his main army, but he may still have some demons in reserve. A week is not only just enough time for us to prepare; it is also enough time for Corrunderus to prepare. Let’s make the most of this short time while we have it, and…” Mentivis turned his attention to Dirk “…make sure we don’t overwork ourselves.”

“What? You think I’m gonna spend an entire week in the simulator?” Dirk asked.

“Well, considering that you probably got the biggest change of all of us, you were probably planning on going all-out with your new powers and exhausting yourself.”

“…Dang. You know me too well.”

The first day came, and the spirit warriors dedicated themselves to preparing for the final fight. Dirk and Mentivis were training together in the simulator, while Animus and Melina watched them on the monitor. The two warriors were battling waves after waves of demons in a ruined city.

“So, I lost count. What wave was this, again?” Dirk asked, while slicing through several demons with his claw staff.

“Uhh… eight, I think,” Mentivis answered as he fired large needles of ice at a bunch of demons.

“Just eight? I want to go at least twenty,” Dirk replied as he dispatched the remaining demons.

“What was I saying about conserving your energy, Dirk? We have no chance if we are too tired to fight.”

The ninth wave commenced, and more demons spawned around them. Dirk rushed toward a group of them at lightning speed. However, as soon as he was about to strike, a buzzer rang, and the demons disappeared, along with the entire battlefield. They now found themselves back at the base.

“Uhh… what just happened?” Dirk asked, baffled.

“I had the time limit set to an hour when you weren’t looking. You need to consider resting every so often.”

“Dang it! I can’t get away with anything anymore, can I?”

Animus and Melina stepped into the simulation chamber as Mentivis prepared the combat simulation. They found themselves in the same ruined city as the one from Dirk and Mentivis’s combat training. The two warriors progressed wave after wave until they came to Wave 6. As Animus kept slaying demons, his eyes turned toward Melina, who was also slaying demons, almost as many as he did, so far. However, he noticed a demon coming down from directly above Melina.

“Melina! Look out!” Animus yelled as he sprinted toward her as fast as he possibly could.

“What?” Melina stopped what she was doing to find Animus running toward her. All of a sudden, she saw the shadow of the demon and turned around. She was petrified with fear, seeing the demon about to strike her down. Animus jumped and slid on the ground and readied a Cluster Blast, firing it before the demon made it to her. However, Melina was too close to the blast and was launched several feet away, landing on her back. Animus felt the heat of his Cluster Blast and had it not been a simulation, would have been scorched.

“Animus!” Mentivis shouted into the microphone in the simulation chamber. “You can’t overexert yourself like that! You could’ve killed both yourself and Melina in the process!”

Because both warriors were down, the simulation ended early. Animus quickly got out of the device and proceeded toward his room, when Mentivis stopped him.

“Melina would’ve been all right. If you’d just left her alone, she…”

“I can’t! I just can’t!” Animus interrupted as he brushed Mentivis aside and moved on. Dirk and Melina came up to Mentivis shortly afterward.

“What’s gotten into him?” Dirk asked.

“Whatever it is, it just revealed itself. I’d best go talk to him. Melina, come with me. Whatever he doesn’t tell me, he’s sure to tell you.”

Melina, shaken up by the incident, nodded and proceeded to Animus’s quarters alongside Mentivis.

As the two approached Animus’s room, Melina whispered quietly to Mentivis.

“Let me talk to him.”

Mentivis nodded and stayed behind as Melina knocked on Animus’s door. There was no answer.

“Animus, may I come in?”

A muffled voice answered, “Sure.” Melina walked in to find Animus lying on his bed with his face to his pillow.

“Animus…”

“What?” Animus replied, still with his head to his pillow.

“…Thank you.”

Animus turned to look at Melina. He was sad, but his face shown a more disappointed look.

“For what? Killing you in the simulation?”

Melina calmly replied, “For trying to rescue me. I know you didn’t succeed, but you risked everything to save me. Don’t be ashamed of yourself.”

“I can’t help myself, Melina. I just can’t stop worrying about you. I don’t even know if I’m going to lose you again.”

“I can take care of myself, Animus. You don’t need to look after me. Promise me that you won’t worry about me anymore.”

Animus was silent for a moment, then said, “I promise.” Melina hugged Animus and left his room.

The second day arrived, and Animus spent much time thinking to himself in his room. He didn’t feel like simulation training, and yesterday’s mood was still with him.

“Animus…”

Animus broke from his thoughts to listen to the familiar voice. “I’m here.”

“You seem to show some doubt of your own skill as a warrior. Take your sword out of its sheath,” the voice said.

Animus took his sword from his sheath as the voice told him.

“Now, hold your sword out in front of you and look at the hilt. What is the shape of the hilt?”

Puzzled, Animus replied, “A ‘V’.”

“Now, what’s the first word to come to your mind that starts with the letter ‘V’?”

“Uhmm… Victory, I guess.”

The voice answered in a pleased tone, “Remember that you are not only wielding a sword. You are also wielding Victory, itself. You will do well.” At the moment, the voice was no longer heard.

“He’s right. I shouldn’t doubt my skill as a spirit warrior. Especially not when I’ve come this far. The upcoming battle has already been decided. Now all we have to do is play our roles and follow through to the battle’s decision.” Animus felt a new wave of confidence as he stepped out of his room to join the others in a game of Brawl.

The third day came quickly, and Animus began to worry about the constant running down of time.

“(There are five days left,)” Animus thought to himself. “(I need to get this out of the way before time is up.)”

Animus went to Melina, who was watching a show on TV. On the outside, it looked like she was entertained. However, she felt a similar anxiety of the diminishing time.

“Melina?”

Melina turned from the TV toward Animus. “Oh, hi Animus! You look better!” Melina said as she smiled.

“It’s a beautiful day out. Do you want to go to our favorite spot, today?”

Melina’s smile broadened as she heard this. “Oh, absolutely!”

On the cliff that held many of their memories, they looked toward the placid ocean reflecting the sun like a mirror.

“Melina, remember that day we met?”

“Oh, yes! I was a little nervous, at first. I mean, you just suddenly appeared. But you were so kind.”

“I thought it would be nice to reflect back at those memories. I want to remember how it felt like my heart wanted to burst out of my body to be with your heart. Heh. Now that I think about it, I couldn’t get you off my mind. I’ve lost sleep for several days in a row. I felt pain, because I had a very strong desire to be with you.”

“You’d be surprised at how I thought of you, at first. I thought you just wanted to be around me for my four arms,” Melina giggled.

Animus’s face turned a bit red for a moment, but it was more of a blush. “Well, I was worried that I was lusting after you after that first time. I mean, four arms. I’m curious at how you were able to use them all without getting all klutzy. It must be difficult to concentrate on what each arm is doing at the same time.”

Melina smiled as she responded, “Well, it was an interesting experience trying to use these arms, at first. Mentivis, well, he and I saw each other as spirit warriors that very first time. I mean, he was brave enough to come running to my room telling me about his powers, while I was struggling to get out of a knot I made with my arms. I had no idea which hand I was supposed to let go first.”

Melina paused for a moment to give both of them some time to laugh at that moment. “I was on the floor, face redder than a tomato, and he was standing there doing the biggest facepalm of the century!”

Melina paused again, for they could not control themselves in their laughter. After the laughter died down, Melina continued her story.

“So, yeah. After Mentivis was done with that, he helped me get my hands untied. I could’ve just gone as a normal human being with two arms between battles, but by the time Dirk built the base, I became so used to having this many arms that I decided to stay as a spirit warrior just to try my arms out around the base, doing household tasks much faster.”

Animus felt so relaxed, listening to Melina’s story, that he decided to ask a question about her spirit warrior form. “Melina, when I became a spirit warrior, I was a knight, because that is what I imagined myself to be. Were you the same way?”

“Actually, yes. I used to draw things all the time. A lot of them were of me as a powerful warrior with four arms. She did magic with two arms and held her weapons with the other two.”

Animus thought to himself, “(I could’ve sworn I’ve seen something like that on the web back in the day. I’m actually still kinda scared to admit it. I mean, I know she would hate to have her pictures lusted after… Man, that last thought just creeped me out. I don’t want to have anything to do with lust ever again, especially when I know she’s the one.)”

“Animus?” Melina spoke as she looked at him, who apparently was fixed like a statue. “Animus!” Melina snapped her fingers in front of him, breaking his thoughts in two.

“Whoah, what? I… Oh. Sorry, Melina. I just hit some not-so-pleasant memories that surfaced on me. They’re gone, now.”

“Thanks to me, I bet!” Melina smiled.

Animus smiled back. “Heh, yeah. Thanks.”

The fourth day arrived, and even Mentivis was feeling uneasy. He sat alone in the War Room, thinking about how to engage Corrunderus. Having spent about an hour already, he was ready to move on to something else. It was then that Dirk walked in.

“I thought I’d find you here, Mentivis. You’re the only one I know who would sit alone in a dark room while the rest of us enjoy the weather outside. Melina wanted me to come ask you if you’d like to join us for a picnic. She and Animus are already bringing the food and drinks.”

Mentivis looked up at Dirk, thought for a a second or two and smiled. “Yeah. I’ll be more than happy to come with you guys. (That would help me clear my head, though Melina would have a fit if she caught me thinking about work during a time of relaxing.)”

The four warriors arrived at a beach about 15 miles south of the base. They were all dressed in normal clothing, enjoying a nice lunch of sandwiches, pickles, and potato chips.

“I never realized there was a very nice beach here,” Mentivis said before biting into a turkey sandwich.

“Well, maybe you should come outside more,” Melina answered with a grin.

“Melina pointed it out to me when we were coming back from a trip,” Animus added.

Dirk wanted to join in, but he was too busy nomming on pickles from a very large jar. Animus was amazed as he watched Dirk down what looked to be his fourth pickle.

“Dang, man. Where’re you putting ’em all?”

Dirk quickly swallowed to respond to Animus’s question. “I can’t help but enjoy pickles. I’m a sucker for anything that involves vinegar.”

After lunch, Animus decided to build a nice sandcastle on the beach. Dirk was sunbathing, and Mentivis was, as always, meditating on something. As Animus was getting towers built on his sandcastle, he noticed that Melina had gone up to him. She was wearing a bathing suit.

“Do you want to swim with me, Animus?”

Animus’s mind instantly went into a power struggle, seeing Melina in that bathing suit. He felt that it was all right to look upon her, while he felt the fear that grew within him during his many fights with lust, back in the day.

“Uhh.. s-sure. I’ll join you,” Animus answered, very nervous about this situation.

“Come on, I’ll hold your hand,” Melina said, noticing Animus’s nervousness.

At that, Animus just thought “to heck with it” and held her hand without hesitation.

“(Why do I need to be nervous about all this? She’s the one. I shouldn’t be nervous about seeing her like that. It feels funny doing this, but it’s better than cowering in fear of something completely pointless.)”

The two walked toward the water, hands held firmly to each other.

The appointed day of attack was getting closer, and the fifth day has risen. Animus and Melina were in the simulation chamber again, battling demons in waves.

“(I can’t get worried about her, this time. I must let things go. She’ll be all right if I don’t interfere.)” This thought echoed throughout Animus’s mind during his training. He turned around to find Melina fighting demons, as well. Suddenly, a demon came from above, much like last time. Animus quickly began to run, but stopped.

“(Come on, Animus. Self-control. You can’t interfere!)”

As he paused to watch the demon slowly descend upon Melina, he saw her look down, turn toward the demon, and blast it to pieces with energy beams.

“…Maybe I have been worrying way too much,” Animus said aloud.

Much of the remaining time of that day was spent on training, though the warriors went on periodic breaks for both them and the simulation machine to cool down.

The sixth day has come, and the warriors sat down in the living room area to talk.

“So, I forgot. Which day do we strike? Tomorrow, or the next day?” Dirk asked Mentivis.

“We should strike tomorrow. I don’t think we can afford any more time beyond that,” Mentivis answered.

“(Tomorrow! I need to get this plan done today!)” Animus thought to himself. “Mentivis, is it okay for me to take Melina out to dinner, just the two of us?”

“Sure, I have no problem in that,” Mentivis answered.

Melina couldn’t help but feel something was up in Animus’s mind.

Later that day, Animus spoke to Mentivis privately in his room.

“Uhmm, Mentivis. Since you’re the one who looks after Melina, I wanted to ask you this question,” Animus said, nervously.

Mentivis was puzzled as he answered, “Go ahead and ask.”

After a bit of a struggle with his tongue, Animus managed to say, “I would like to propose to Melina at dinner tonight.”

Hearing this blew Mentivis away. He was stunned at this question.

“I’m… uhhh… well… okay with that. I guess I’m so used to you and Melina being so close that I didn’t even think about what’ll happen next. I believe you’ll make a fine husband for Melina. You two share a very strong connection to each other, as well. Now that I feel more comfortable, yes. Go ahead and propose to her. I’m eager to see you two as a couple.”

Animus couldn’t contain his excitement. “Thank you, Mentivis! I promise I’ll be the best husband to her as I can possibly be!” On that note, Animus left Mentivis’s room to take Melina out to dinner.

After dinner, Animus and Melina agreed to return to the cliff one last time before the great battle.

“I wonder what will happen when this battle is over,” Animus thought aloud as he watched the setting sun.

“Maybe it’s ‘happily ever after’?” Melina suggested.

“Maybe. I’ve grown so fond of my abilities as a spirit warrior, it wouldn’t feel right to be normal again.”

“Maybe we’ll get to keep them.”

Animus turned toward Melina. “I love you, no matter what.”

Melina turned to look at Animus. “I love you, too.”

“Melina, have you thought about what you plan to do once this is all over?”

“Well, I kinda avoided thinking about it. I wasn’t nearly as happy back then. And then we met. I don’t want to return to my old life.”

“Then, I guess you wouldn’t mind me asking this question.” Animus knelt down on one knee to Melina and held out a small box. As he opened it, he spoke the words to Melina: “Will you marry me?”

Melina was breathless at the sight of this. To think they would be together forever was beyond her wildest dreams. She could be just as happy after the final battle, if not moreso. Finally, she made up her mind.

“Yes! I will!” At that moment, Animus and Melina kissed as the sun continued to set.

The day of the final battle arrived, and everyone gathered in the war room after brunch. The teleporter was in the room, ready to be activated at a moment’s notice. Dirk was tweaking the device to make sure it was communicating with the teleporter at Corrunderus’s lair.

“Dirk, are we ready?” Mentivis asked.

“Everything is all set. We should be able to return here via the teleporter at Corrunderus’s base.”

Mentivis turned toward Animus and Melina, who were holding hands. “Animus, Melina, are you both ready?”

“I say ‘Let’s do this!'” Animus proclaimed.

“I’m ready!” Melina chimed in.

“Then let’s go. It’s time to finish this war.”

All four warriors successfully teleported to Corrunderus’s lair. The place was dark and ruined, thanks to Animus’s previous trips. They entered the main hallway to find it deserted.

“Man, we really did wipe out the whole lot of ’em,” Dirk said.

“Something’s not right, here. The space station is far too small to hold the many demons we fought. Where else were they coming from?” Mentivis spoke.

“I guess we’ll get the answer from Corrunderus, himself,” Animus answered.

The warriors quietly approached the door to the bridge of the space station without any attacks from demons.

“This was too easy. What is Corrunderus planning?” Mentivis whispered.

“I hope it’s his funeral, because we’re going to end him hard,” Dirk answered.

Then Animus came up with an idea. “Maybe it’s best that we split up. Dirk and I can take on Corrunderus, while you and Melina search for any traps.”

“No. We’re going in together. Any lack of manpower can be a fatal mistake,” Mentivis answered.

“And I’d like to know why you’re not inviting me along. Not only am I a healer, but I’m also going to be your wife!” Melina shouted at Animus.

Mentivis quickly covered Melina’s mouth after that statement. “Darnit, Melina. Corrunderus probably knows we’re here, now. Shush!”

Melina slapped Mentivis’s hand off her mouth and just glared.

“I guess it’s settled. We all go in,” Dirk said. “Any more hesitation will just get us shaken up.”

The four warriors entered the bridge, where Corrunderus was waiting for them.

“Even without that girl’s help, I knew you were waiting behind that door. Experience agonizing pain and fear!” Corrunderus raised his scythe and began to charge toward the warriors.

Dirk, always enjoying a challenge, went up first. He quickly split his staff in two and swung around one end over his head. As soon as Corrunderus got close, Dirk threw the end of the staff at his scythe, causing it to wrap around and latch on. The leader of the demons struggled to get his scythe free, while at the same time, Mentivis and Animus flanked him on both sides. Mentivis fired ice shots, while Animus fired energy shots. As Corrunderus suffered under the attacks of Mentivis and Animus, his horns began to light up. Melina quickly knew that something was up and immediately shielded all of them as Corrunderus released thunder bolts from all directions.

Corrunderus felt that it was futile to pull his sycthe out of the grip of Dirk’s staff, so he charged toward him, causing Animus and Mentivis to accidentally hit each other with their own shots. Dirk retaliated by dashing right past Corrunderus, moving too fast for a counterattack. However, upon doing so, his staff unlatched from the scythe.

“All right everyone, concentrate all your firepower on him!” Mentivis shouted.

Animus held his arms out, gathering energy in his palms. “YUUKI…KOUSEN!” He brought his palms together to make a more powerful energy beam than his enerugikousen.

Dirk held out his hands in front of him to where the claws from his gloves looked like the teeth of a dragon. “Feel the power of the dragon’s roar! DRACOKOUSEN!” Immediately from his hands fired a powerful beam.

Mentivis brought his hands together and focused hard until an energy ball was formed in them. “MENTIKOUSEN!” Mentivis fired his own beam of energy at the demon.

Melina focused all four hands in front of her chest. “This is the power that comes from the heart! IKIKOUSEN!” Immediately, an intense beam of energy fired from her into the enemy.

The combination of all of these beams left Corrunderus weakened. But, as soon as the beams subsided, he quickly fired blasts of dark energy in every direction, hitting every warrior on the battlefield. All of the warriors were flung into walls behind them.

“You gotta be kidding me! What kind of demon can survive that?!” Animus shouted in amazement.

“A DEAD one!” Dirk got up and charged at Corrunderus. Corrunderus quickly swung with his scythe, preparing to decapitate Dirk. However, on excellent timing, Dirk stopped the scythe with one end of his staff. But before he could attack with the other end, Corrunderus fired a dark beam of energy at point blank, knocking him into another wall.

As Dirk was charging the demon, Mentivis readied another attack. As soon as Dirk was thrown into the wayside, Mentivis launched a spinning ball of energy around Corunderus. However, it was quickly destroyed by a swing from Corrunderus’s staff.

But as Mentivis was distracting Corrunderus, Animus readied his own attack. “CLUSTER BLAST!” Animus launched a powerful ball of energy at Corrunderus. As it made contact with Corrunderus, it exploded, but Corrunderus appeared unscathed.

“To be fair, I couldn’t use a really powerful one in this sort of place,” Animus sighed.

“Any more plans, Mentivis?” Dirk called from the corner.

“One more plan!” Mentivis answered. “Weapons ready!” Mentivis used telekinesis on his staff and surrounded it with ice needles. Animus focused his power into his sword, causing it to glow. Dirk put his staff back together and prepared for another dash attack. Melina held her staff high above her.

A powerful beam was released from Melina’s staff and paralyzed Corrunderus, while Mentivis launched his staff in his direction. Animus followed up by releasing powerful energy waves from slashing with his sword. After the other three were done, Dirk charged at Corrunderus one last time, piercing his body armor with his staff.

“All right! Fatal blow!” Dirk cheered.

“Not yet, fool.” Corrunderus blasted Dirk away and removed the staff from his chest.

“How can you still be fighting?!” Animus shouted in amazement.

“I am not like those weaklings you defeated with little effort. I am a veteran of innumerable wars. If that is all the effort you can muster, then this battle has ended for you.”

“D…darn it!!!” Dirk shouted in pain as Melina hurried over to heal him.

Animus and Mentivis went in to strike Corrunderus with their weapons while evading the swings of his scythe. However, both were thrown toward Melina and Dirk.

“Enough toying around. I’ll destroy you, along with this space station!” Corrunderus held out his arms and began to glow in a dark aura.

“Animus, I have an idea, but it will require a split in manpower. Dirk and I are going to find the control room and activate the self-destruct mechanism on this thing,” Mentivis said.

“How do you know there’s a self-destruct mechanism?” Animus asked.

“This was a government project at one point. If it was in danger of falling into enemy hands, one man would stand by to activate it. However, this had been abandoned for supposedly unknown reasons.”

“How do we know if it will work?”

“That’s what I haven’t worked out yet. Presumably, even demons can’t survive the vacuum of space. That’s why the teleporter was required. I’m hoping it works on Corrunderus.”

“So then all Melina and I have to do is stall him.”

“Yes,” Mentivis answered. “Get ready! He’s just about done changing!”

Mentivis and Dirk left the bridge, while Animus and Melina stayed behind to engage the now much larger and scarier Corrunderus, who can now barely fit inside the bridge.

Animus turned toward Melina. “Melina, go with them! If I lose you, it won’t matter if I win!”

“Are you crazy?!” Melina shouted. “Don’t you think it would be the same thing for me?!”

“Just run! I’ll be fine!” Animus shouted harder.

“Y..you…” Tears streamed down Melina’s face. “Idiot! Fine! I’m leaving!” Melina ran out of the bridge still in tears.

“Aren’t you a sweetheart?” Corrunderus sneered. “I’ll take care of your friends later. Let’s see if you can survive the same vacuum of space you once dove to earth through.” Corrunderus stretched his arms and legs out and destroyed the bridge around him, causing the air to be sucked into the void of space. Animus found something to hold onto and held it as tight as he possibly can to avoid getting sucked away. However, he was losing air fast. All of a sudden, a celestial being appeared and shielded him with an oxygen bubble. Though, Animus still could not stand a chance against the more powerful Corrunderus.

“How can you possibly breathe?!” Animus called to Corrunderus. “There’s no way you can survive!”

“You humans always need an explanation for everything. You thought we could not survive in space. If we couldn’t, we would not have gotten here in the first place. The teleporter was merely used to make sure my henchmen attacked in the target area.”

Meanwhile, Melina was still running to find where Mentivis and Dirk had gone. Two celestial beings appeared before her.

“Return to Animus. He needs your help.”

“He doesn’t need me! He wants to do it by himself!” Melina answered in frustration. Another two celestial beings appeared before her.

“Corrunderus will win if you do not hurry. Mentivis’s plan will fail.”

“Huh?!” Melina reacted in surprise.

“Go. We will aid you.”

Melina ran back to the bridge to help Animus. Around that time, Dirk and Mentivis made it to the control room.

“Ok, Dirk, I assume you know what to do here.”

“Boy, do I!” Dirk exclaimed. “I can set this space station to make me a pizza if I wanted.”

“Just set it to self-destruct. I’ll use telepathy to let Animus know we’ve arrived.

Back on the bridge, Animus was struggling to keep his grip. Suddenly, Melina returned, and two celestial beings have grabbed on to her to keep her from getting sucked into space. They also created an oxygen barrier around her for protection. The remaining two celestial beings assisted the one helping Animus by holding his feet firmly on the ground.

“Melina,” one of the beings called. “Hold up your staff and lend all of your power to Animus. Once he has regained his strength, focus your energy to make a shield for him.”

Melina did as she was told and gave her power to Animus.

“Now, Animus. Prepare to be let go. Strengthen your sword with all your power.”

Animus put all his power into his sword. Once it hit its peak, Animus was launched toward Corrunderus, aided by the vacuum of space.

“No! Even if you destroy me, you cannot avoid your fates!” Corrunderus yelled as Animus got closer toward him.

“For everyone who suffered by your hand. For Melina. For my Lord! I will destroy you!” Animus yelled as he swung downward with his sword. As he swung his sword, a powerful beam three times the length of Corrunderus emanated from the sword’s tip. As the beam went downward, it cleaved Corrunderus in two, utterly destroying him and vanishing into a large puff of black and purple smoke. The two celestial beings who released him came to hold him again to bring him back to the space station.

After Animus and Melina left the bridge, the celestial beings departed by unknown means and were not seen again. An alarm suddenly went off throughout the station.

“SELF-DESTRUCT SEQUENCE ACTIVATED. T-MINUS 5 MINUTES”

“He’s done it. We must meet up with them!” Animus told Melina. However, it had not even been a minute before Dirk and Mentivis arrived to meet with them.

“Don’t think we didn’t get to see ol’ big an’ ugly while you were off fighting him! Nice work, Animus!” Dirk exclaimed joyfully.

“No time to celebrate, yet. Let’s get out of here!” Mentivis called to the other warriors. They immediately ran toward the teleporter and escaped.

The warriors finally found themselves back in the war room in their base. Animus and Melina were about ready to pass out from all the energy they used up.

“We did it. It’s finally over.” Mentivis said to himself.

“All right! Let’s break out the festivities and party all night long!” Dirk yelled out.

“Dirk, I think we ought to wait until those two lovebirds wake up, first.” Mentivis motioned Dirk to look down to find Animus and Melina sleeping on the ground in front of them.

A moment later, when Animus and Melina were awake again, they gathered together in the war room to celebrate their victory. Suddenly, a voice called out to each of them.

“Well done, brave warriors. You have crippled the enemy’s plans. They no longer have the numbers to cause devastation to our army in the final battle. Not only that, you have severely weakened their morale by winning even the most difficult battles with just the four of you.”

“The final battle? You mean there’s more?” Dirk asked.

“Armageddon. But that will not be for a while. You may keep your powers for your enjoyment, so long as you don’t misuse them.”

Shortly after, Animus and Melina finally got married. They moved out of the base to enjoy a home of their own. Dirk and Mentivis, now close friends, stayed in the base to keep it tidy. Occasionally, they would visit each other and catch up on things that had gone by since. Dirk and Mentivis had been looking for their own “special someones”, as well, and later, finally found them. Some time later, Mentivis moved out of the base and left it at the hands of Dirk and his new wife. Unknown to the Spirit Warriors, however, their actions and Corrunderus’s deception will, in a few years, cost them their lives to humans who have wrongly accused them of war crimes and possessing WMDs, which were never found. It was shortly after that the world began to move into a new age, led by the Devil, himself. However, as the spirit warriors all know, his war was already decided by their victory over Corrunderus.

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.

Chapter 7: Battles Begin with the Mind

September 21, 2010

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve done anything on this blog. Anyway, Chapter 7 covers some of the backstory behind the four warriors. This chapter was done over a month ago. However, I never put it up until now.

Chapter 7: Battles Begin with the Mind

Nearly a month had passed since the second escape. The warriors had gathered in the War Room to discuss the future of the base. However, Mentivis was absent from the meeting.

“Well, this is it. In a couple days, we’ll be left without a base,” Animus sighed.

“At least we’ll still be able to defend the people,” Melina replied.

“The same people who hate us? The same people who are going to destroy the base? The same people who want to kill us just as badly as the demons? I’m almost ready to throw in the towel, here. Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t,” Dirk angrily responded, losing his cool in the midst of all the problems.

“I’ll give you that reason, Dirk,” Mentivis answered as he walked into the War Room holding an envelope.

“Convince me.”

Mentivis walked to the table, slapped the envelope down, and slid it towards Dirk, who then opened it up and read it. However, as he read the letter, a couple tears were seen going down his face.

“I need to be excused.” Upon saying this, Dirk got up and quickly ran out of the room.

“What was that all about?” Melina asked.

“I never thought I’d see someone as proud as he cry like that,” Animus pointed out, feeling sympathetic for Dirk.

“The base is ours,” Mentivis began to explain. “Apparently, the destruction of the base was meant to be top secret, but someone leaked the information to people who cared about us. Many people around the world started protests and marches, and it was more than enough for the Alliance of Nations to repeal the previous letter. Some people within the AON were arrested for publicizing confidential documents. In short, we’re off the hook.”

“That’s incredible, Mentivis! Isn’t this awesome, Melina?!” Animus shouted. Without a word, Melina got up, ran towards Mentivis, and gave him a big hug.

“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Mentivis was slightly puzzled. “I don’t have anything to do with this. I was only sending a message.”

“Yes!” Melina answered. “That’s why I’m thanking you!”

A short time later, Mentivis went to Dirk’s room to find him lying in bed with his face on the pillow.

“Dirk, uhmm… I’m sorry if I’ve done anything wrong.”

Dirk slowly picked his head up and turned towards Mentivis. It was easy to tell that Dirk had been crying a lot, because it looked like his face was wet all over. “You don’t need to apologize, Mentivis. I was foolish. I was thinking there was just no more good people in the world. When you showed me the letter, I realized how wrong I was, and for that, I am ashamed of myself for what I said.”

“It wasn’t much easier for us, either. When the side you’re defending and the side you’re fighting both hate you, it’s pretty much being caught between a rock and a hard place. Even though we’re warriors, we’re still just as human as we were before then. Strength does not keep us from falling. It helps us get back up when we do fall.” Realizing that Dirk was still quite broken from earlier, Mentivis decided to change the subject. “Hey, uhmm, how about we play some Halo? If you beat me, I’m buying tonight’s dinner, your choice.”

Dirk quickly got up. “Wait, what about Animus and Melina?”

“They’re going out to dinner, tonight. It’ll just be the two of us for a while.”

“Ok then, let’s go! I’m so going to dominate that match!” Dirk proudly replied as he and Mentivis went to the big room.

The following week, Dirk and Mentivis decided to build a teleporter that will bring them to Corrunderus.

“Dirk, do you still have the wave frequency from a month ago?” Mentivis asked.

“Yep. I had the data saved and everything. However, it’ll take a while for me to figure out exactly how to build one. I mean, I don’t know the first thing about making a teleporter.”

Mentivis sighed, but suddenly had an idea. “I say it’s time to make a few trips to the library.”

As they passed the big room on the way to the entrance, they met Animus and Melina, who were playing a video game together.

“Animus, Melina, we’re heading to the library to find some info on building teleporters,” Mentivis said.

Animus turned around a moment and asked, “Need me to help you with that?”

“No thanks. Dirk and I will handle things.”

“Well, good luck, then,” Melina said with a smile.

They travelled to the library, being careful not to be noticed by the people of the surrounding city. As they got to the library, Dirk noticed the vastness of the building.

“(Wow, this looks like it could be twice as big as the base or so,)” Dirk thought to himself.

They continued into the library and began to search for books that may help them build the teleporter. However, something else was on Dirk’s mind.

“Chad,” Dirk began to ask Mentivis. As the warriors lived in the base, Animus and Mentivis shared their real names to the others, so that when they went out in public, Dirk and Melina knew how to address them without arousing suspicion. “I’ve been thinking about Keith and Melina lately. You just never see them apart, anymore. You think they will eventually…”

“Marry?” Chad interrupted. “I can imagine they will. Their hearts are so connected to each other, if one of them gets hurt, both of them feel the pain.”

“I’ve never seen any other married couple be that close to each other. Could it be because they are… you know,” Dirk asked, trying to be careful of his words.

“No, it’s not because of that. Keith and Melina have gotten rid of their selfish desires in the past. They live solely for the Lord and for each other. They have created an environment within them where true love can blossom to its full potential. Such a bond is rare, nowadays.”

Dirk felt puzzled for a moment. “I kinda have trouble understanding all of this. Can you make it a bit simpler?”

“Well, in this world, there are two sides to every coin. Where one side is true, the other side is counterfeit. In this case, it’s love. So the counterfeit is what, Dirk?”

“Lust. But what does that have to do with anything?”

Chad continued. “The devil had placed counterfeits to nearly every truth that exists. Some people think they are falling in love, when it is really lust. The only way to discern the truth from the counterfeit is through the Spirit. I think we’ve spent too much time on the subject, though. We need to return to those books.”

Months have passed, and Dirk and Mentivis had begun work on the teleporter, having acquired enough knowledge.

“I have to hand it to you, Mentivis. This is just incredible. There would’ve been no way I could’ve done this without you.”

“Well, when two minds work together, amazing things can happen. Now that we have the blueprints done, what do we need to start building?”

Dirk looked through the blueprints to see if there was anything that needed to be retrieved. “Ah, here we go. We’ll need some onyx.”

“Onyx? Isn’t that meant for jewelry?”

“Yes, but I am looking for black onyx. I’ve been testing the wave frequency on various kinds of minerals, but it seemed to react to black onyx in a special way. The waves seemed to attach itself onto the black onyx and slide across it. I can make a funnel out of the black onyx to condense the waves together, making travel by particle-wave so much easier. You can find black onyx in the southern continent. However, Spirit Warriors are not allowed on that continent. I’m sure you’ll be able to retrieve the onyx with no problem, though.”

“Ok, I’ll go ahead and retrieve it. Oh, by the way, where are Animus and Melina?”

“They went to their special spot again. They won’t tell me where it is, though.”

During that day, Mentivis went undercover in the southern continent to retrieve the onyx. He wore his normal clothing as he got information and eventually obtained the onyx in one of the caves. As soon as he left the southern continent, he was walking through a forest and suddenly got knocked down from behind, causing the onyx to fly out of his hand and onto the ground, where a demon appeared to pick it up.

“You will not return with this onyx,” the demon said. Suddenly, four more demons appeared around Mentivis.

“You’re too late. I’ve already crossed the border. I can transform into a spirit warrior without fear of retaliation.” Mentivis raised his right hand up and was surrounded in a veil of light. The light gathered onto his hand to form into a bo staff. He emerged from the light in his mixture of light armor and tan and purple cloths. “I won’t be leaving without that onyx,” Mentivis calmly stated.

“Very well. Attack!” The demon with the onyx motioned the others to attack Mentivis. Mentivis propelled himself upward with his staff as the demons lunged toward him. As they followed him upward, he let loose a few energy shots. He then charged his staff with ice and threw it downward, making it spin horizontally with his mind. As the demons collided with the staff, they were hurled in different directions and fell to the ground, becoming dark clouds of smoke. The staff returned to Mentivis’s hand, and he descended to the ground, confronting the demon with the onyx.

“Return the onyx or face defeat.”

“I am always a step ahead of you.” The demon unsheathed his sword and pointed it at Mentivis.

“(The hilt is oddly-shaped. That would mean…)” Mentivis quickly jumped to the side, dodging a surprise attack from the sword, whose blade was attached to a long chain. The blade quickly recoiled back to its hilt. The demon fired his blade again, and Mentivis quickly dodged and knocked it down with his staff. However, the blade was now coiled around the staff, restricting it from retracting. As the demon attempted to pull Mentivis’s staff from him, Mentivis charged his staff with electricity, causing the blade to become electrified, along with the demon.

“Aaaargh!” The demon screamed as he vanished into a dark cloud of smoke, along with his weapon. Mentivis picked up the onyx and continued back to the base.

“So, you got this back from a demon?” Dirk asked as he examined the onyx. “This must be the right kind, then. Let’s go ahead and put it in the device.”

“Dinner!” Melina shouted from downstairs.

“We’ll just have to try it tomorrow, then,” Dirk said to Mentivis as they got ready for dinner.

Later that night, after the Spirit Warriors have turned in for the day, Mentivis began to dream of himself with his parents. They were hiking on a mountain trail to reach a waterfall on the other end.

“Ahh, this mountain air is refreshing. We need to do another vacation like this next summer,” said Mentivis’s dad.

“Maybe we should move a little closer to the mountains. This is a good way for you and Chad to have some father-son time,” replied Mentivis’s mom. Then she turned to Chad. “Besides, Chad, you need some outside time, anyway. It seems like all you ever do nowadays is stay in your room and read. Chad, are you paying attention?”

Mentivis suddenly broke from his daydreaming. “Uhh… Yeah. Outside. I like that. (Everything feels so real. I don’t understand.)” Mentivis heard some odd sounds coming from above him as he stood still, his parents slowly moving away from him, and he looked up. “(Boulders!) MOM! DAD! LOOK OUT!” But he was too late. In a split second, the boulders were about to crush his parents, and they would not have enough time to move aside. “NO!!” All of a sudden, the boulders stopped in mid-air, and Mentivis found himself wearing his Spirit Warrior attire. His hands were in front of him as he used his mind powers to move the boulders away from his parents. “Now I know what’s going on! I’m Mentivis, the Spirit Warrior of the mind. I can control my actions in my dreams!” Suddenly, a figure jumped from a mountain ledge onto the ground between him and his parents and revealed himself to be a demon.

“Curse you, meddling warrior! But your friends won’t be so fortunate!” Suddenly, everything faded away. His parents, the mountain, everything had disappeared, and all that’s left was a mix of red and black all around.

“My friends… What is going on?! Tell me!” Mentivis yelled at the demon in anger.

“I will never tell you! Now prepare to die!” The demon unsheathed his sword and flew towards Mentivis, who quickly jumped up fired several energy shots at his sword. The demon’s sword was knocked out of his hand after a few hits, and Mentivis moved in subdued the demon with his staff.

“Tell me what is happening with my friends!” Mentivis ordered.

“I… will never tell you!” the demon swore.

“There are other ways for me to find out.” Mentivis began to read the demon’s mind and found out that his friends are getting the same nightmares. “So, my friends are also having these nightmares, then. Thanks for the info, demon.”

“No! How could you?!” The demon couldn’t say any more when Mentivis impaled the demon with his bo staff. As soon as the demon was impaled, he disappeared into a black mist.

Mentivis suddenly found himself awake in his bed at the base. “I need to check the others!” He quickly ran to Melina’s bedroom, which was next door, and found her in her bed, sleeping. However, she was pale and sweating all over her face. “I’ll need to enter their minds and save them from whatever is going on. I hope they’re all right.” Mentivis closed his eyes and focused deeply, so that his consciousness could enter Melina’s mind.

Melina found herself in a mysterious, yet familiar, apartment. There was a shadowy young man with her, and he began to speak.

“Melina, you’re the most attractive woman I have ever known. Come, sleep with me.”

Upon hearing this, Melina’s heart began to race and began to stutter. “N… No… I shouldn’t…”

The shadowy young man quickly grabbed her by the wrists. “You WILL, and you will ENJOY every minute of it!”

“No! Get away!” Melina kicked the man in the chest, loosening his grip on her. She bolted for the door, but to her horror, it was locked.

“Oh no! Someone! Anyone! Help!”

“RRRAGHHHH!!!” Mentivis suddenly broke through the apartment window, glass flying everywhere. “GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER, DEMON!”

“What are you doing here?!” No sooner did the man shout than Mentivis leapt forward and slammed his bo staff down on him. As soon as he hit the ground, the man’s form turned into that of a demon, who only showed his true form seconds before he disappeared into black mist.

“Melina, wake up. You’re having a nightmare,” Mentivis told Melina in the dream. All of a sudden, both of them found themselves back at the base.

“Wha… Mentivis? What happened?” Melina asked, still drowsy from her sleep.

“I’ll tell you later. I need to go rescue the others.” Mentivis quickly ran out of her room and went to Dirk’s room, where he found him in the same condition as Melina. Mentivis closed his eyes and deeply concentrated on Dirk’s mind, as his consciousness began to enter the dream.

Dirk appeared in what looked like a fraternity club. His face was hot as he argued with someone, who appeared the be the leader of the group.

“Why did you sabotage my machine?! It could’ve revolutionized cyberspace travelling! It could’ve drawn many people to the club! What gives, man?!” Dirk yelled at the leader.

“I own this science club. No one outdoes me in this campus. You would’ve had all the money and left the rest of us with nothing,” he coldly replied.

“What?! You fool! Do you even realize what you’ve done?!” All of a sudden, Dirk felt a blow to the back of his head and fell to the floor.

“No one speaks to the leader of the science club like that!” another man shouted from behind. All of a sudden, Icegra shots appeared from out of nowhere and struck the people in the club.

“Money is the root of all evil, or was that your intention, demon?” Mentivis suddenly appeared before the leader.

“You don’t belong here!” The demon began to point to Mentivis. “Get him!” All of a sudden, the people of the club changed into demons, and they all launched at Mentivis. However, Mentivis countered by firing large volleys of Icegra shots, destroying all the demons that went to attack him.

“Your turn, next.” Mentivis charged his staff with ice power and impaled the leader of the demons, causing him to disappear into black mist. His attention then turned to Dirk, lying there on the ground.

“Dirk, wake up. This isn’t real. You’re having a nightmare,” he said as he knelt next to him. All of a sudden, he and Dirk found themselves back at the base.

“Ugh, what was that? And why do I have such a headache?” Dirk asked, drowsily.

“I’ll explain later. I need to rescue Animus.” Mentivis then left for Animus’s room, where he found him in the same condition.

“Hang on, I’m coming.” Mentivis focused deeply into Animus’s mind and carried his consciousness into his dream.

“Well, just one more class and I’ll be heading home for the day. As awesome as learning about supply and demand is, I’m looking forward to a well-deserved nap,” Animus thought to himself as he walked to the University Center for lunch. Animus bought his sandwich – a footlong italian meat sub with honey mustard – and sat down at the table he felt most comfortable sitting at. Suddenly, there was a loud bang coming from behind him, along with screams. No sooner did Animus attempt to look behind him when he was jerked up from his chair with his left arm held to his back and a gun to the side of his forehead.

“Don’t anybody move, unless you’re willing to lose a classmate!” yelled the gunman. Animus stood there, petrified, afraid to make a move in the face of death.

“(Where’s the police when you need them? In seconds, this guy will pull the trigger, and that’ll be the end for me,)” Animus silently panicked in his mind. All of a sudden, the gunman was struck in the back of the head by a bo staff and fell to the ground, losing his grip on Animus.

“You go so far as to touch one of my friends like that, demon, I’ll rip you apart!” Mentivis appeared from out of nowhere.

“You meddling warrior! I’ll finish you here and now!” the gunman said as he transformed into a demon as he slowly got up.

Mentivis lunged at the demon and froze him in a powerful Icegra blast. Immediately, he struck the frozen demon with his staff, shattering him to pieces. Animus was stunned by the entire situation, as Mentivis turned to him and spoke.

“Animus, wake up. This is only a dream, created by the demons.”

The two warriors found themselves back at the base.

“What just happened?” Animus asked. Dirk and Melina also came to his room, wondering what was going on. Mentivis began to explain to everyone.

“Somehow, demons entered our dreams and tried to destroy our subconscious. Fortunately, I had the ability to control the dreams and defeat the demons inside.”

“But where did they come from?” Dirk asked.

“Oh crud!” Mentivis facepalmed. “I was so focused on saving you guys, I forgot to see if the demons had any information on where they came from. I’m sorry, guys.”

“They came from the onyx,” Animus suddenly spoke. The other warriors turned to him in surprise.

“How would you know that?” Mentivis asked.

“I was told by the Spirit where we would find the source,” he replied.

“The gift of prophecy. I didn’t know you were able to prophesy, Animus,” Dirk said in response.

“Then let’s go! The sooner we check that onyx, the better!” Mentivis and the others ran into Dirk’s lab, where the onyx lay.

“Let’s all touch the onyx. I’ll pray.” Everyone touched the onyx and closed their eyes. “Lord, I thank you for being our provider and our strength when we are weak. I ask that this onyx be cleansed in your name, that it will no longer be a vessel for demonic forces.”

As they warriors opened their eyes, the onyx began to glow for a second.

“It’s done,” Animus said. When they removed their hands from the onyx, a Great Deed Medallion appeared in front of each warrior. As they grasped their seventh medallion, they knew that the time was near.