I saw Brystagg on the ground, heaving for breath and bleeding out against the olive tree meters away from where Leinard and Trix were suspended within the tree's trunk.

Aside from Death, the other two were unaware of our presence.

I clicked my tongue at the sight of Moralta's gloating. Time to steady the turned table and fix this mess. Feeling renewed strength in my hands, I unsheathed my guns and shot a round at the floor near the hiruda's feet.

Moralta threw his head back with laughter, he faced me with a triumph expression.

"Thank goodness you're back. I can't handle this demon making a creep out of me any longer. A few times my poor body almost lost a limb, and I saw how huge my backside is. Their fight has been horrible to watch!" Death sighed with relief.

"Freend back!" Small Cap greeted me excitedly. So much so the gold coins that they hid behind tinkled.

I shot some bullets to the ground again to cover up the noise they had made. Moralta seemed none the wiser.

"Tell me what I missed, quickly." I thought as my eyes kept a constant fix on the demon.

A recap of what had happened topside sped through my mind.

In short, the platform had been an arena for magical attacks that had violated countless magism codes. Brystagg had been struck by an ice attack right before the bridge had warped out of time. He received further damage when Moralta's longsword had slashed across his leg as soon as the bridge warped back in. Moralta's damages were minimal. It made me wonder if Brystagg had been holding back since the body belonged to Death. I admired him for it.

"You're like a cockroach sucking the living joy out of everything." Moralta's expression sobered as he walked towards me. "I was having so much fun."

His sword disappeared. He called upon wind magic to throw us across the platform, so we were next to Brystagg.

"It's a shame my Aidoneus won't see home. Well, home will be with him soon. You had your chance my fair knights, you failed. Now, it's too late," said Moralta. 

He wasn't boasting.

He said a spell that made a blue book appear and hover in the air before him. The juxtapositioner demon's blue book? 

 No way! It couldn't be; I shot that damn thing into implosion! Was it possible that the demon didn't implode, but had warped?

I stood to make a run for the book and close it. A wave of blue light knocked me back down. Hard light links bound my arms. A ring of light went around my neck. I yelped at the cuts I felt to my skin from the ring's edges.

"I call upon the powers of the Dark Grimoire. Sol Tsazcuth is in motion. Come forth, Infinite Denbora. Ekarri zion Zyon!" Moralta's voice echoed around the platform and inside my head.

His body danced around the book, stirring blue-white light that made the grey clouds churn and swirl with images of lands. As the images drew focus, my heart raced at the outlines of an impending invasion from a countless number of demons and horrid creatures eager to wreak havoc on Sol.

I closed my eyes, trying not to panic. "Death what do we do?"

"I don't know Famine. I don't know." Death's voice trembled.

The demons, creatures and their black and red-green inverted landscape were further encroaching on our space.

Moralta was boosted with Zyon's dark power that crept across the platform, changing the floor's white to black.

"I'm scared Death." I closed my eyes, waiting for the inevitable. I failed without even reaching Pesti.

"Famine. The pink angels are smiling down on us from the sky. Looks like an eventful day awaits us." Shuso's voice warmed my thoughts.

"Yah cannot fight the Vapour Trail once it cuts through the sky to bring down the rain."

"Mushin, Zanshin, Satori; it's what we learn right? " Memory of my conversation with Pesti granted me a push for determination.

"Now I teach yah some ways to Mushin." Bulldog's wise voice answered my fears.

"Mushin." I slowly exhaled, feeling my resolve to fight for Sol.

I opened my eyes to the sight of demonic chaos circling about the platform, pushing past my pain to rise to my feet. 

ZaldizkoRead this story for FREE!