Sirens wailing, emergency calls flowing in, people evacuating as the energies clash and the pressure building began to become toxic far beyond the perimeter set up by the military. At the base, Michael had the news on.
”I am Aidrian on the site, and right behind me you can witness this heavy flow of traffic. Its quite chaotic as people are panicking at the sight of this high-pressured energy clash. ” Aidrian, a reporter, was struggling to maintain his balance as he spoke about the happenings a few miles away from the established radius.
”Earlier on, there were reports by the military of a test drill which was meant to briefly evacuate people within ten miles of Central Park East high school. It seems to have been more than just a test drill, as clearly the hazar… ” Michael muted the screen. He had been calling out to Yu, but Yu was focused on the damage reports coming in.
”This is a total mess! The spy bot has been destroyed by that wild flow of energy! We don know if James is hanging in there or not! We are blind! How much longer do we need to wait before they deploy a white source? ” He bellowed.
”With this all over the news, the priority automatically shifts to guarding the president and important personnel. White sources are quite rare and apparently not enough. I got information that the closest unengaged one would be arriving soon. ETA fifteen minutes. ” Yu replied, looking at Michael.
”Would he be able to last that long? ”
Yu took a deep breath and said, ”Michael, you are our strongest combatant as of now. ”
”You don need to say anymore! I was planning on bursting out of here to go stall for time anyway.
”Thank you! ”
”You don need to get all sentimental with me… Ill bring him back safely! ” Michael smiled as he turned around to leave.
Yu clenched his fist as Michael left. He held the shoulder of his missing arm and bit his lower lip as he looked downwards, and his hair fell over his eyes. ”
”If only… ”
BACK AT THE schools field, there were high-speed clashes and the ground cracked on impact. From both edges of the field, James and Edward dashed, clashing their weapons at the center of the field, releasing a large shockwave and burst of energy. Kris, who was getting closer to the field, got blown back into the school building. James gritted his teeth as he was being pushed back. He was bleeding from his palms from squeezing tightly on the energy blade. He yelled a bit as he tried to push back against Edward. He looked downwards and closed his eyes, struggling to call up more strength from his crackling body.
”Whats wrong, James? You are getting weaker by the second! ” Edward mocked as he threw him away.
James bounced twice and rolled till his face was on the ground. He tried to push himself up, but he fell back on his face. He was exhausted, and his body ached. His breathing was irregular, and his face was drenched in blood and sweat.
”Its too early to bow out, boy! ” Edward smirked as the drill head of his spear began to rotate.
”Tchh… ” James stabbed his sword into the ground. He squeezed the hilt and used it to lift himself up as his body staggered. He could barely open his left eye. He tried to control his heavy breathing! ”
”Thats it! Let me enjoy this more! ” A trilled Edward pointed the violently rotating spear head at James.
”That was… that was really cheap… combining two cores together! ”
”Hoo… are you going to cry about that? I never pegged you for a sore loser. This is almost too sad ”
”Huuf Huuf… ” James Panted.
”Are you really done for? Thats disappointing… Maybe after I kill you, Id head to the American base, play around with your dad and that annoying Major. ”
James paused for a while and looked up slowly at Edward. His energy began to rise as he squeezed tightly on the hilt.
”Maybe Ill find a way to get back to Egypt, trash around a bit, and finally get to meet your friend… You know… the one that saved you? ”
The air started getting still as James began to feel his energy rise. His heart was beating faster as his sword pulsated on the ground.
”Abubakr was it? Probably hed be able to take me on. You know… ” Edward widened his eyes and laughed out loud, ”SINGLE-HANDEDLY! ”
James teleported behind Edward. His eyes were glowing red. He struck the blade at Edward, but Edward reacted in an instant, turning, and blocking with the rotating drill head.
”Hmmn? ” James was surprised.
”Its too early to be surprised! ” Edward smirked as the drill head doubled in size, shattering James blade. At that moment, Edward gathered energy in his right hand and struck James in the gut.
His eyes popped out, his pupils rolled back as saliva poured out of his mouth. His hands and legs flared forward before the force sent him flying and then sticking into the wall of the school gym. The impact brought James consciousness back. Almost immediately, he saw an even larger drill coming at him. The drill head, which had detached from the staff, was still linked to it by an energy chain. As the drill got closer to James, he formed an energy blast at his feet which propelled him upwards, dragging him along a hyperbolic path from the wall to the air, spinning him a bit. James gasped, barely catching his breath before he saw the drill, even larger, heading towards him. He dragged his hands forward forcefully, roared loudly, as if to call out all the energy in his body and created a small blast on his hands which shot him into the ground, dragging against it. He looked upward in despair as he saw an even larger drill coming downwards at him. He summoned two swords, joined them together to make an even larger sword, and struck against it. He kept struggling as he sank deeper into the ground. The drill doubled in size again, shattering his blade, but before it touched his chest plate, he teleported away and landed on his back against a tree. He rolled to his side, placed his hand on his mouth, and vomited out blood.
”Tch… You are still breathing, ” Edward scoffed as he retracted the drill head. It shrank back to its normal size before reattaching to the staff.
”I really wished I could have fought you at your full strength. This… I don even know what to call this. Disappointing seems to be way too shallow a description. ” Edward prattled as he walked closer to James.
He stopped for a while and looked over his shoulder with a smirk. ”Its a reinforcement for you, and he is coming quickly. ” Edward smirked as he pointed his staff due south.
”What are you doing? ” James asked while trying to raise himself up.
”Oh, not to worry, a bug just entered the radius. ” Edward jeered with a sadistic smile.
The drill head began to rotate as emerald energy gathered. It doubled in size and the rotating speed increased. It doubled a second, a third, and a fourth time. The ground began to vibrate and crack. The energy rise was insane. It felt like it was pressing James down against the ground. The dust rose, and the emerald energy shaped itself around the drill as if to dictate its path. It doubled in size once more, and Edward yelled maximum power before launching it. It tore through buildings almost instantaneously, with a loud screeching sound heading towards the intruder. Michael, who had just entered the 10-mile radius, could feel something coming fast towards him. In a few seconds, the drill appeared. Michael created a shield with his blue armor to receive it. The drill pushed Michael out of the radius and through two buildings. shattering his shield, hitting his chest plate, drilling through it, and making contact with his bare skin. As his leg dragged against the ground while his armor was falling apart, Michael felt powerless. He asked himself why he thought hed be able to do anything. His back slammed against the wall of another building. His face fell slowly as he looked at the drill pulling blood from him. The drill was about to go deeper into his body when it suddenly stopped and retracted back. Michael fell to his knees. Blood was dripping from his lips and his chest. His eyes were wide open, and his pupils dilated. He held his chest shakingly. At that moment, his life nearly flashed before his eyes.
BACK AT THE field, a brief moment after Edward had shot his drill, James forced himself up and shot a blast at him which he swiped downwards with his left hand. He noticed how weak the blast was. A distraction? he thought. James launched at him with a weakly shaped dagger and aimed for his neck. Edward countered with the staff. The energy chain constricted and the drill head, while smaller, reattached to the staff. James jumped backwards.
”Why didn you teleport? You could have hit me with a surprise attack just now if you did. ” Edward inquired.
”Its because you can use it indiscriminately, isn that right? 10 seconds… Thats the time delay before your next teleportation. If you had used it now and missed, you would not be able to utilize it in a pinch with my quick stream of attacks. ”
”Now that I have all your moves figured out, what will you do now, boy? ” He added, laughing hysterically.
”Five times… ” James mumbled as he tried to speak out. ”It doubles five times to reach the max level. After that, you must wait for a cool-down period. ”
”Hoo.. You figured it out? But was it really a wise choice to tell me that? I can now take precautions against it.
”Because… It wouldn make a difference. I am still… I am still going to be the one to win! ” James looked upwards and roared as if to give himself some sense of relief.
”Thats fine! Lets put an end to all this right now! Whos going to be the victor in our glorious battle? Whose deduction would be useful? ARENT YOU EXCITED TO FIND OUT BOY?! ” Edward exclaimed as his emerald energy spiralled around him and rose. His armours blue linings began to glow, and the drills head began to spin violently.
James wiped his hair backwards. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He looked forward and jerked his right leg backwards, clenched his hands till his veins popped, gritted his teeth, widened his eyes, and dashed at Edward. He felt… no, he knew this was his last chance. He headed towards Edward with that determination. Edward shot the drill at him, and it doubled as it got closer to him.
Everything went silent for James. He created a blast with his left hand, which propelled him rightwards away from the attack.
”1, ” he said under his breath.
He spun and landed on his feet, lifted his head to see the drill as it changed its direction, doubled again and headed towards him. He blasted the ground to propel himself upwards to dodge it a second time as it drilled deep into the ground.
It burst out of the ground and doubled again with a loud screeching sound. It tore upwards towards James. He summoned two blades, merged them together, and struck sideways at it. The blade and drill screeched against each other. James managed to shift its direction a bit before his blade shattered and he fell into the dust screen created earlier by his blast.
”Hiding won save you, James! This is where it all ends. ” Edward bellowed. He saw James dash out of the dust screen at the far end of the field. He pulled down the drill, which doubled to strike at him. As it slammed at James position, Edward noticed a frame of red energy flowed out. He smiled as he saw James appear in mid-air above him.
James summoned four swords above himself and merged them into one. He compressed the large, newly formed sword into a thin, fence-type sword. His eyes were full of desperation. His veins were popping from his hands and forehead. The red source energy gathered around him as his jaws clenched and his muscles shook.
Edward smirked. ”Smart… But no more teleportation for you. I have got you… Die! ”It was as though his thunderous roar sucked up all the sounds in the vicinity. In a flash, the drill doubled and increased its speed as it came into close contact with James. There was a brief silence, their eyes locked, desperation versus pride in the most intense stare-down. A victory was to be granted, a long wish to be fulfilled, and an overwhelming joy filled Edward as the seconds stretched forever… And in one moment, one infinitesimal second, James vanished and appeared below him. Edward couldn even react. He didn understand. To be accurate, he couldn understand. His body and mind were so fixated on his victory that it prevented him from even thinking about what had just happened.
”FIVE! ” James roared as he pierced through Edwards heart. The force of the attack was so great that it blew a hole through Edwards chest. The sound of the attack seemed to restore all the sounds in the vicinity.
Edwards eyes, now finally able to express shock, fell downwards to look at James as he coughed blood onto James hands. James had not only pumped a hole through Edwards chest, he had also been able to stab through his core.
”How… ” Edwards voice shrieked, almost disappearing. His hair fell over his eyes and his knees fell to the ground.
”Source trace…huff…huff. A special technique developed by Captain Edward von Shwaz of the legion squad. The man… ” James panted. ”whose legacy you are tarnishing. ” James added, panting deeply.
”I see… from that energy blast, I… deflected… Thats why it felt unreasonably weaker than it should. ”
”The particles left resonated with your body and found the point where the energy was strongest. All I needed to do was aim for the dim marking. ”
”Your… Your teleportation has a ten-seconds lag… How… how were you able to pull it off twice successively? ”
”The first one wasn teleportation. Same principle. A reflection of myself from source energy that mimicked my movement. ”
”I see… you cheeky brat… you set it up where the dust screen was less so that even though you moved at the same time, it would come out first. ” Edward laughed slowly but painfully.
”Once I blow up this blade, your core will go with it. You wouldn be able to regenerate from that. Any last wor… ”
Edward stabbed James in the guts. An energy blade stretched out of his right wrist and went straight into James. James eyes sank at the immense pain as blood gushed from his stomach and back.
”Did you really forget that I can still manifest my energy blades? ” Edward jabbered as he rose to his feet.
James bit his lips to summon strength through the pain and tried to explode his sword, but Edward lifted his left hand in Jamess face and created a blast that sent the two flying away. As he landed, he dragged out Jamess sword from his core and threw it away. As James landed, he clenched his right fist to make the sword explode, but it was already too late. It exploded in the opposite direction of where Edward was.
James face was burned. His hair fell to cover it. At this point, only his right eye and chin were visible. He looked at Edward, who had begun to heal up, and his eyes closed gently.
”If you die here, Ill take over your body… If you call out anymore of my power, your hold on me will be weak and Ill still take over… So what will it be James? ” said a soft but sinister voice James knew all too well.
James opened his eyes and found himself in front of a shattered glass wall. On the other side of the wall was a large silhouette of a humanoid creature sitting on a throne chair, legs crossed, left arm along the arm of the chair, and right elbow on the other arm with its knuckles resting underneath its chin.
”I will kill him by all costs, and I won let you resurrect using my body, Aswang. ” James retorted as he stared straight into the demons eyes!
”I look forward to seeing you try… ” Aswang laughed as James eyes opened back at the field. Edward was almost fully healed at this point. He had covered the hole in his chest when he noticed James getting up.
”Do you still have a lot of fight in you? ” He chuckled as he stood to pick up his drill and staff. Jamess energy was rising slowly. His wound had stopped bleeding and the shade of his red energy was gradually getting darker. His hand armor spread to his shoulders and joined up with his chest plate. His leg armor spread upwards and formed a full lower body armor suit. His pupils constrict and were red in colour. The energy around him kept getting darker and darker. It was already blood red at this point and was sending chills all over Edward.
”You are finally releasing your power huh? ” He yelled at James, but James didn answer. He just stared with a straight face at Edward.
”Its a little too late for that, James! I am already tired of this! Ill end you with this one attack. ”
”You are noisy… ” James retorted with a bit of an echoing effect in his demons voice.
”Why don you shut your mouth and come at me? Worm… ”
Edward burst out of his emerald energy and focused it on the drill. His eyes were full of rage. The energy he felt from James kept frightening him, but he refused to accept it. He was beginning to feel frustrated. After everything he had done to get to this stage, suddenly James, using a bit more of his power, was making him shake. He thought it was impossible. The drill head doubled as it violently spun five times as source energy kept pouring into it. He took a stance, crouched his knees, and placed his left hand a bit of a distance from the drill as if to guide it. He took a deep breath and pulled it backwards as his entire body was vibrating from the weight and pressure of the drill.
”You are not going to teleport away from this like a bitch after calling me a worm, RIGHT? ” He snapped. The ground surrounding him took a major depression and energy burst upwards, sending cracks and a wild flow of energy around him.
”Hmph… ” James smirked.
”You know, the only thing I won miss about you is that lousy, irritating proud smirk! This is called the final thrust! BURN IN HELL! ” Edward screamed. He shot it at James. It felt almost instantaneous, the distance it covered. The ground below it was dug deep and sheared apart as though to give way to the attack. Edward was certain that at this speed, even James wouldn be able to teleport from it.
The drill flowed, splitting both land and air as it headed for James head and, as it got closer, James caught it with ease, using only his right hand. As he caught it, it cracked and stopped rotating. He squeezed and shattered it effortlessly, causing a loud explosion.
”Huh? ” Edward squeaked as he felt an uppercut smash his jaw making him spin helplessly in the air. He didn see anything, and he couldn comprehend anything. Next, he saw James in the air with a sword. He glanced at his lower body and saw that it was already severed in half, along with his left hand.
As he stared into James red-glowing eyes, the only thing he felt was despair. It was so deep that even the pain of a smashed jaw and his body being severed didn matter to him. As James was about to give the final blow, a hole in the sky cracked open and a hand stretched to grab Edward.
”I am not going to let you! ” James roared as he blasted the air behind him and flung himself closer to Edward. A black energy burst out of the hole and wiped James into the ground, tearing through the surface till he hit against a tree. He staggered to get up, but as he looked up, the hole had closed and Edwards body was gone.
”No… Come back… It can end like this. Nooo!!!! ” James screamed out as he walked helplessly, frustrated, confused, angry, and pained as he looked at the sky. Tears felt like falling from his eyes when suddenly he felt a loud ringing sound in his head as he fell to his knees.
”Arrgggghhhh, ” he wailed.
”Yes!!! My ressurection is at hand! ” James screamed with a sadistic smile on his face and his hands stretched into the sky. He forcefully dragged it down and jabbed it into his hair and pulled against it till his head touched the ground.
”I won let you… ” His right eye returned to being grey.
”Theres nothing you can do… you have no hold against me. ” The left side of his body had already been taken over by Aswang.
”Its only a matter of time before… ” James stabbed his right hand into his body and reached for his core. His index finger pierced slightly into it.
”What… what are you doing? ” Aswang reacted. James left side had a shocked expression, while his right side was smiling a bit.
”When a core is infused with an external energy, it causes an anomalous expansion, which in turn leads to an explosion. ” He retorted shakingly, as he began to infuse energy into it.
”Suicide? Why would you go that far? Are you insane? ”
”I won let my failure cause more problems for the world. ”
”NO! STOP! How dare you? ” Aswang screamed!
”Hehe… ” James chuckled. ”Goodbye Dad, Mom, Michael, Abubakr, Louis, I truly am sorry! ” He added as he closed his eyes and began to infuse more energy. He smiled a bit, and tears rolled from his eyes.
”You did it! ” A voice came from behind him.
”Huh? ” James turned slowly, with a slight shock on his face. He saw a trembling but smiling Kris. His eyes were filled with admiration.
”Oh God! I thought I was going to die, but there you were jumping, turning, slicing, spinning and all. Oh man! It makes so much more sense why I couldn do anything against you. ” A jumpy, shaken but all excited Kris praised as he walked closer to James.
”The.. fff.. ** GET OUT OF… ”
Jamess body exploded and sent a very wide range of energy covering the entire school area. A blood-red and then wine-coloured dome shape formed by the explosion was seen all over the world by those following the news. Yu, who was watching, had his eyes widened. Not only did he see the dome shape, but he could also feel the intense amount of energy that was just released. The whole of America could.
Rather than the feeling of a life being burned… it was…
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