Chapter Twenty-One: Check

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Vlad had kicked in three more doors before reaching a large empty room, which looked like the "king's" headquarters. It was a large, mostly dark room which looked like a boss arena in over half of the video games Riku had ever played. He half expected either skeletons or Russian soldiers to begin falling from the ceiling. He gripped his new swords, ready to begin impersonating the inside of a blender in-case an army decided to appear. Vlad walked next to him, scanning the walls.

"If I giant monster bursts out of the ceiling..." The Romanian said. "I'll take care of it."

The sound of clapping suddenly began echoing from the far side of the room.

"If whoever that is clapping is sitting at a desk and has a cat on his lap, I'LL take care of it." Riku said as he and Vlad approached the sound. Vlad pulled from its sheath the sword Riku had given him. He stomped towards the sound, almost being pushed forward. After a few seconds, the figure of a teen revealed itself. As Riku got closer, he saw the teen's face.

"So, you're Gideon." he said. He then got a closer look at the "king". While he was partly covered by the shadow of the impractically dark room, he could make out a red tie and a white suit.

"You do realize that this is reality, right?" Vlad asked. "We aren't in a bad cartoon shown only on saturday mornings."

Gideon smiled.

"Of course not. In those, the heroes win." He quickly pulled a handgun shaped item from his suit and fired it upwards. A red flare shot out and flew, landing between Vlad and Riku.

Gideon then shouted something neither could interpret.
"That wasn't even a language." Riku said. "That isn't a good sign." he said. The light from the flare clawed a few small marks into the darkness, but did not extend more than a few yards past the two. Vlad gripped his sword as he spotted movement to his left. Riku immediately spotted more movement to his right. While Riku couldn't see exactly what is was, he spotted a few things: long, inhuman nails, grey flesh, black, shining metal, and an occasional hunched humanoid in the darkness.

"I was wrong about the giant part." Vlad said. "I was right about the monsters."
The figures then began to swarm.

While Riku tended to avoid stabbing directly into an enemy he could not see completely, the bits he could see alerted him that whatever he was fighting was not human. As he got of one figure get close, Riku slashed at it with the blade the swordsman had called Diabolik which, according to him, killed the target as soon as the metal entered the body. To Riku's astonishment, the being fell forward. Riku caught a glimpse of two other figures closing in behind it. The teen took a step towards them and spun with both swords extended. Though he could barely see the figures, he could feel his blades cutting into them. Like the previous monster, the two fell forward. 

Riku then refocused, looking around for another target. As he scanned, he felt his right arm being slashed, He jumped to his side and slashed with his other sword, Algolic. As it hit the beast, it hissed, stumbling backwards. While Riku's arm stung from the monster's attack, he could thing was in much greater pain. Riku stepped forward and extended Diabolic into it's chest. He then pushed it forward, sending the creature backwards. As the light from the flare died, Riku heard a thump from the creature. 

Suddenly, the room was filled with a seemingly blinding light. After a second, Riku's eyes adjusted to the light. Riku quickly looked around him. He saw the four creatures he had killed. They all looked the same and, despite being humanoid, they were not human. Riku guessed that the only way they could pass for human were if they wore a full suit of armor. They had grey skin and wore what amounted to brown rags. They had long, yet thin black hair which seemed like it would shatter if touched. Each was in a pool of what Riku guessed was blood, but looked blacker and thicker than any blood he had seen. Riku then remembered Vlad and turned to face where he was. 

As Vlad was hard to miss, he saw him standing with the sword balanced on his shoulder, "blood" dripping from the blade. Around him were four torsos with pairs of legs scattered around them. Vlad, seemingly finished admiring his work, wiped off the blade and sheathed it.

"The heroes won, but there is too much blood for this to be a saturday morning cartoon." Vlad said as he turned his attention to Gideon's desk. Riku turned and spotted the teen who was now wearing sunglasses. Well, Riku thought. At least he's frowning. That's a start.

"Whole lot of good the Voice of Kings did." Gideon said as he stood. Riku immediately spotted a sheath on his side.

"Ken!" he shouted out. "The ghouls failed. Come out here. Once we kill them, I'll pay you the twenty bucks I now owe you." He sounded more bitter than angry. Vlad laughed as he began walking towards Gideon.

"It seems like you are in check. Perhaps you should surrender, before the king loses his head."

Gideon, trying his best, Riku noted, to keep from shuttering, motioned behind Vlad. Vlad looked behind him right in time to see a teenager in a pure white hoodie and white slacks fall from the ceiling, landing about ten yards from Vlad, causing the room to rumble as he landed.

"Well, it doesn't look like a monster, but he did fall from the ceiling." Riku said.

Vlad smiled as he turned and faced the teen.

"He did, didn't he..." he said as he cracked his knuckles and began walking towards the teen.

Riku then looked to Gideon who walked out from behind his desk and was drawing a rapier from the sheath at his side.

"I guess I'll take the king." Riku said as he approached Gideon, gripping his swords tightly.

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