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Chapter 43

Page history last edited by Anonymoose 6 years, 7 months ago

With each step the massive living suit of armor sent nearby debris jumping up into the air. The massive pile of iron had been fashioned into a giant woman, like Talos, but more woman than just one vein. It stomped relentlessly over and through the laboratory and all the equipment and boxes and barrles strewn across the room. Each footstep cracking the stone underneath it as the wood and glass splintered and shattered nearby with each near deafening footstep. Her head, shaped like a sallet with glowing red eyes shining behind the visor locked onto Christophaclies and I. Those eyes told me all I needed to know, she intended to complete her first order: Destroying the both of us.

 

I took a few steps back, but I remembered our escape had been blocked off by the piles of stone that had caved in behind us. The wyvern herself hadn't moved at all, she was still, her eyes dull and lifeless, tears drying on her cheeks. As the golem approached closer she still hadn't moved. I had to dive and tackle her from the side and push her out of the way as that golem's iron fist raised high into the air and came down with a mighty crash where she had been standing just a second ago.

 

The golem's fist hit the ground like an explosion, rocks shot in every direction like bullets and dust erupted into the air like ash from a volcano. Slowly, steadily, the golem lifted her unscratched fist from the crater she had created. As the dust cloud settled, she observed that crater was empty. Then those red eyes of hers scanned the room and her head pivoted on her neck with a grating groan of steel against steel. Her unblinking red eyes on the hunt to reacquire her target.

 

As pebbles rained down on my back I found myself laying on top of Christophaclies back. She still wasn't responding to any stimuli. Deron must have done quite a number on her psyche. She was like the Princess' big sister, right? If that's so, then Deron must have always been like a big brother to her. Even after being separated after the incident for well over a decade, she still had this image of him. I think I had to bear witness to that persona she built up being shattered in an instant. There must be a large piece of her heart missing right about now. If her hero of justice act for the Princess' sake, for her 'family's' sake, for the kingdom's sake... Then everything she had built herself on had been taken out from under her. One of the people she respected most, cared for and loved told her she was a failure... Worse than a failure, Deron had told her she had always been a burden at best.

 

While there was still dust in the air, I got off her wrapped one of my arms under her armpit and desperately dragged her across the floor.

 

     “Come on. Get up. Come on, Christophaclies!” I shouted at her lifeless body.

 

She didn't budge at all, but there was someone who did. I heard the metallic groan her the golem's steely joints grind as it stood back upright and turned to face the two of us. She was looking down and staring me dead in the eyes. She was very close now, so close I could feel her every footstep vibrate through my body. I wasn't sure if I was shaking in fear, or her very movements simply shook the earth. I quickly wrapped one of Christophaclies' wings around my shoulder and lifted her off the floor. I then hrew myself forward. Where I had just been standing one of the golem's mighty boots came crashing down and once again exploded against the stone floor like a bomb had gone off. Once more a massive crater was left behind, but this time I could feel the shock wave from the blast as it pushed against my back and sent my flying further than I had expected.

 

I came crashing down and rolling forward on impact like a log down a hill until my back finally crashed up against a pile of crates filled to the brim with alchemical supplies. I let out a hacking cough as my spine cracked on impact. Christophaclies had been blown somewhere else entirely. There had been no way I could have held onto her after all that. I desperately looked for her and saw her sprawled out on another pile of boxes, knocked down like a boxer in the corner of the ring with her wings tied up and hanging over and above her.

 

The golem's relentless assault was halted only for a moment. It struggled to pull its boot from the floor, but one mighty yank later it was freed from the rubble. As the dust settled once more her eyes scanned the room and settled onto Christophaclies. The rest of her body turned in the direction her head was and she took her deliberate and heavy steps toward the wyvern's comatose shell. Even if she could survive a blow like that, I don't think she'd be able to take another. That girl was going to get killed.

 

My breathing became panicked and I was on the verge of hyperventilating. If she was defeated... If she was killed... Then there was no way I could take the golem out. There wasn't even going to be a hope I could escape this place without her. I stood up on shaky legs, but there was no way I'd ever be able to get to her side fast enough. Even if I did, there was no way I could protect her from that blow. There wasn't even time to pull her out of the way. But what could I do? What could I do? What could I do?

 

I could do what she can't right now. That's what I can do. My hand slid on top of a box as I got up and my fingers touched against a large hammer. That will do.

 

     As the golem raised it's fist and readied itself to bring it crashing down from its apex I jumped forward and hammed it up, shouting in a deep and exaggerated heroic voice, “Stop right there, Iron Golem!”

 

The golem came to a stop, freezing in place and directed her attention toward me. Lugging the railway sized hammer over my shoulder, straightened my back and raised one boot on top of another box. My body was still trying to shake uncontrollably, but I put on the bravest face I could.

 

     “You'll have to go through me first. Thirteenth Knight of the Realm. Tamerlion!” I thrust forward the head of my hammer toward her and challenged the behemoth. “Iron Golem, your reign of terror ends now, Sir Tamerlion has come for you!”

 

The golem observed me for a moment, her eyes locked on me, her mouth below the visor remained emotionless as it always been. However, she lowered her fist and her body slowly and deliberately turned toward me. I had succeeded in changing her target. I had mixed feeling about it. More than that, I can't believe it worked. Maybe since I was armed with a weapon, I was a higher priority target?

 

     “That's right, villain.” I spat. “ I challenge you. Fight a real knight. If you want to crush the helpless. You'll have to answer to me first!”

 

Faster than before, she strode toward me and closed the distance fast. The golem's fist was raised high in the air and ready to come down over her should and crush me like a plastic bottle. As soon as the fist came speeding down, I didn't retreat, I surged forward. Behind me the fist came crashing down, the concussive force of the arm's movement through the air almost enough to shred me to pieces. The blow missed though and even the shock wave as it slammed into the ground as I leapt slightly off the ground as the stone beneath my feet buckled and broke as another crater was born. I sailed between the iron golem's legs and appeared on the other side, her back wide open.

 

In the confusion and dust that erupted from the blow I raised the hammer high and took aim at the back of her left knee.

 

     As I pivoted on my heel and spun around like I was making a hammer toss, I bellowed, “Thunder of the Lion: Hammer Fall!”

 

The head of the hammer clashed with the thin armor behind the knee and buckled the joint in one blow. The golem's leg bent forward, and with her right arm still embedded into the floor, her body fell forward and her left hand swung out in reflect to break her fall. Now kneeling,

 

     I ran around back to the front and brought my hammer down again on the golem's head, screaming at the top of my lungs, “Finishing Move: Lion Emperor's Wrath!”

 

Like a gong, the hammer head collided with the helmet and a metallic ring that echoed off the walls of the room. On the side of the sallet a deep dent had been caved in and the rest of the head turned sharply ninety degrees in the opposite direction. As I pulled back my hammer, the golem's left hand quickly rose from the floor, swung away and then swung back toward me. All of it happened in an instant. All I could do was hold the hammer's shaft in front of my body as the back of her hand, the size of my torso, collided with me and threw me across the room like a swatted fly. I was still soaring through the air and wondering what the hell had happened. Next I felt gravity take its hold on my and slam me back down to the ground. Hitting the ground wasn't enough though, I carried on and plowed through crate after crate, through table and chair until I came to a skidding stop just before I collided with a wall.

 

In my hands I was holding two pieces of the hammer. In my right the head and in my left the rest of the shaft. I was left in a complete daze, I couldn't even pull myself to my feet. All I could do was watch the world spin around me. When I finally came back to my senses, I hurt everywhere. Not the blinding pain I had felt before, but I still couldn't pull myself back to my feet. Then I felt the earth shake once again. Each rumble in a rhythm like footsteps. A shadow cast itself over me and soon I felt a cold and strong force wrap itself around my torso. As I was lifted into the air the crushing pressure against my shoulders caused my hands to seize and the hammer pieces to fall to the floor.

 

When I looked up, I saw myself looking at the golem. With her free hand she grabbed hold of the top of her head and with a sickening sound of metal tearing against metal, she forced her head back straight. Her visor was partly bent in on one side, but I could still see one of her glowing red eyes beyond it. Her emotionless lips below it now twisted into a frown. A scowling frown. Her free hand then wrapped around her other hand and the two of them began squeezing tighter and tighter. I couldn't help but let out a scream as I heard the bones and joints in my body slowly snap, crack and pop under the pressure. My legs helplessly kicked below me, hitting nothing but air. Soon enough I couldn't scream anymore. If I screamed, then I would empty my lungs and I wouldn't be able to take another breath deep enough to keep on going. I grit my teeth as the golem slowly and maliciously tightened her grip. I'm sure she could end it in a moment if she wanted to, but I suppose she was savoring this as revenge from before.

 

Lifted off the ground, helpless and being crushed I grit my teeth as I was failing to bear with the pain. A mere human like me didn't have the strength to do a thing. In my last moments I found myself screaming out against my will.

 

     “Chris!” I cried out from the bottom of my heart.

 

With that the crushing pressure held my chest tighter and I couldn't suck in another bit of air. Unable to breathe I could feel my consciousness fading and I knew I wouldn't wake up after I had passed out for the last time. As the world started turning black at the edges of my visions and my vision starting going dead, I heard something at the edge of my hearing.

 

     “Justice!”

 

Is that...?

 

I sluggishly turned my head toward the sound, as did the golem. Floating in the air, no, it was just that time seemed to have come to a standstill, the wyvern was swooping down with on leg up high.

 

     “Kick!”

 

A beautifully executed axe kick. A kick with razor sharp talons attached to the end of that dragon-like leg. Like a knife through butter, three talons tore into the bicep of the iron golem. Each talon cutting deep, deep enough to the bone, if she had bone. A new sound louder than my creaking bones rang out in the room, metal twisting and rending. The overwhelming pressure from two hands was cut in half as her left hand went limp and the rest of the arm sagged down and hung loosely, swaying like a pendulum. Chris kicked off the golem's arm, somersaulting forward and bicycle kicking as she soared though the air, but her second strike fell short of the golem's other arm as it was now aware and trying to dodge. Chris tore a gaping hole into the golem's chest instead. A fatal wound for anything else, but the insides of this golem were empty. Not a vital organ could be seen.

 

     Landing a few meters away with a perfect two pointing landing, declaring: “Evil Stand and be Sundered!”

 

I took a few hacking coughs and sucked fresh air into my lungs, but the golem's grip was still much too tight for me to think about escaping.

 

     “Laven!” Chris shouted up as she rose up and stood tall. “Sorry I'm late.” She said with a grin. “Hold on, I'll free you!”

 

I had a bad feeling.

 

     “No, hold on. Don't just-”

 

     “Prepare yourself, iron beast!” Chris shouted, crouching down and then leaping into the air.

 

Beating her wings to project herself forward like a spear toward the golem deftly held my forward in front of Chris' path causing her to brake in mid air and come to a full stop right in front of my eyes. Our foreheads almost crashing into one another. From the left came the golem's arm, still hanging by a string, but a string as strong as chain. And like a flail her left hand like a wrecking ball swatted Chris out of the air and sent her flying back toward the ground where she started. This time the ground did not treat her so kindly. She crumpled on the spot, not even able to break her fall, she lay there groaning in pain.

 

     “Chris!” I shouted out in vain.

 

As the wyvern tried to get back to her feet, the golem swiftly strode forward, pulled back one of her boots and landed it square on Chris' back. She let out a painful shriek as she was thrown across the room before coming back down, a large pile of crates exploding and splintering after breaking her descent.

 

Still clutching onto me tight, the iron golem began following the trail of destruction Chris had left in her wake. All the while I tried to pull myself free, but it was all in vain. Chris looked down from the count, unable to get back to her feet despite still being conscious. When the golem reached her, I'm sure the next blow would be a fatal one. I desperately looked around, for something, anything I could do. When I looked back at the golem, I found it.

 

Beyond the hideous gash in the golem's chest, where Chris' three talons had raked across it's breasts and rolled back the steel, I saw something darker than the shadow inside that mount of metal. A pulsating sphere of black, the size of an apple. It beat like a heart, suspended and held in by some type of mechanical contraption. As the golem stood over Chris and raised one of its boots up high to come smashing down on her, I threw caution to the wind.

 

I squirmed one of my arms loose between the golem's fingers and stretched out with all my might. Each centimeter causing the bone of my arm to grate against the thin space between the golem's fingers. If I kept going, there was a chance my arm might snap. I wasn't sure if I could extend it all the way and if she clenched her fingers tight, she might just sever it off. Ignoring all that, I continued to reach out. My hand passed through the tear in her chest and approached the sphere. The black sphere of demonic energy with tendrils squirming around it as thought it was alive. Hell, it probably was alive if Vee was correct. This thing was the heart of this beast. Without it... Without it, it would surely perish. That is the conclusion I came to.

 

The golem's boot came to the highest point she could lift it. Below Chris was still unable to move. She hadn't even the chance yet to look up and see her impending doom. As those two actors played out their part, I in the background reached further until my fingers were close enough to graze the orb. A moment later the orb could rest in the palm of my hand, so I did just that. I reached out and snagged hold of it squeezing my fingers around it like the golem was crushing me.

 

Instantly I felt the heat coming off the orb. It was hot like a rock from a roaring fireplace. It felt like my hand was burning, but I clenched my teeth and bared with it. Then I watched in horror as a thousand tiny tendrils erupt from the sphere and shoot back down on my fore arm, piercing it like a thousand needles. Each sting wasn't hot, but was cold like ice. My arm felt like I had dipped it in liquid nitrogen: A completely different kind of burning that my palm was experiencing.

 

I wasn't the only one in pain though. The golem froze on the spot. It felt something was wrong, very wrong. It clumsily stumbled back a few steps and looked down. In a panic it pulled its hand away from its chest, but it was too late. As I was pulled back, my grip on the sphere of demonic energy didn't break. Two thick tendrils trailed back to the contraption within its chest, still anchoring it in place. The sphere itself was attacking my arm, a cold feeling running up my arm and reaching into my shoulder and starting to wash over across my chest. Despite all the pain, I still held only tightly. However, the invasive cold suddenly stopped and like a wave ebbed back across my body to its source. The needles from the sphere pulled back and instead a thousand spikes shot out from the sphere, giving it the appearance of a sea urchin. Spikes even pieces through my hand but didn't spill a drop of blood. It still stung like hell though, it was colder than cold and the sound it made. A horrid sound. An ethereal screech like a banshee's wail.

 

Glass that had yet to be broken, shattered. I couldn't cover my ears, but I could swear a wetness in them told me they could very well be bleeding right now. I felt my hand convulse as though the sphere was desperately attempting to break my grasp. The golem itself was loosing strength and its knees were buckling as it continued stumbling backward. Finally the golem came crashing down onto its butt, and sat there paralyzed. The one red glowing eye I could see through its visor wide and shaking. As its grip also slackened and freed my arm enough to give one last good yank as I gave out a yell:

 

     “This is the end, Iron Golem! This is Tamerlion's victory!”

 

With a sound like tearing flesh the tendrils connecting the sphere of demonic energy to the golem tore free.

 

I watched as the red glowing eye of the golem slowly turned faint before going white. Afterward the light vanished completely and the golem went limp with one last shake then became as still as a statue. Even the sphere eventually became quiet and with the golem dead I tossed it away onto the ground. It hit the floor with a sick wet thud, the tendrils still squirming and trying to drag the rest of its 'body' across the floor like an octopus after impact. It didn't get very far though, a black mist started to rise from the body and the sphere became smaller and smaller. It gave off one last pathetic and quiet wail as the last bit of it finally turned completely to mist and diffused into the air completely.

 

The statue didn't last long either. I watched as the body of the golem slowly turned from gray steel to a reddish brown rust. Flakes of rust began falling off bit by bit. Even the clenched fist that was still holding me up about 4 meters off the ground. The pace of the rust sped up and soon the golem was disintegrating. The arm of the golem soon couldn't hold my weight and the hand itself crumbled apart and I was sent into a free fall toward the ground.

 

     “Laven!” I heard Chris call out below me.

 

As I turned my head mid drop, I saw Chris running full speed toward my point of impact with her wings outstretched into a cradle. I fell into her outstretched wings, but she didn't catch me completely. My weight bowled her over and we both gave out a yelp of pain and surprise as we both landed into a heap on the floor.

 

     “Laven!” She cried out again. “Laven! That was aweeeeesome!”

 

In her excitement Chris wrapped her wings around me and pulled me in close, stuffing my face between her breasts as she squirmed and squealed in delight. Next she pulled me back up and planted a series of kisses on both my cheeks before rubbing her cheeks against my own, giggling all the while.

 

Well... I suppose that's one problem down. As I looked around the ruined chamber, a few occasional pieces of stone falling from the ceiling from pebbles that had been shotgun blasted into it previously, I knew we were still in a world of trouble. Deron had to be stopped, but we were stuck in here regardless if we were corpses or not.

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