the shady file III
the DEMONS & the LAST FAIRY
General AKUMA walked through the forest of light, as softly as he could, with his broadsword resting on his shoulder, and his eyes peeled for even the slightest sign of movement. AKUMA found the forest rather strange, and its trees especially discomforting. Their large wide trunks were a deep black as far as he could tell. Their leaves, however, were made up of a pure, bright, white light of some kind. What unsettled AKUMA the most were the glowing veins that ran through the leaves as well as the trunks of the trees. Not only did the veins frequently change their color, they constantly changed their pattern and location as well. AKUMA didn’t understand it. The way the veins moved through the trunk and leaves of every tree made it seem as if they had a mind of their own. A few times, it seemed as if the patterns the veins formed in a few of the trees resembled various pairs of eyes. Other times, AKUMA thought he saw the veins group together and form a multicolored smile.
AKUMA had immediately struck the trees that he thought were smiling at him, but nothing had come of it. He’d even swung his broadsword at the ones that seemed to be spying on him, with as much force as he could. But once again, the result he desired had eluded him. His swings and thrusts had parted the trunks of various trees, and sent them flying in different directions, but the portions of the trunks that were still connected to the ground had somehow pulled the various flying pieces back towards them, and the trees had quickly become whole again. AKUMA had tried uprooting the trees next, but that too proved to be an exercise in futility. His hands had simply gone through the base of the tree trunks, and digging deep into the ground around the trees had yielded no roots either. AKUMA had eventually given up and resumed his hunt.
A while later, once he was deep into the region of the forest he had chosen, AKUMA suddenly stopped and knelt down. He examined the ground in front of him.
“There you are,” he whispered softly with a smile, as his large hands played with the tiny footprints he had found in the deep black soil. AKUMA followed the footprints, and stopped at the spot where they abruptly ended. He squatted in place and gently put his broadsword on the ground next to him, without making a sound. AKUMA slowed his breathing and began to pivot on his toes, making circles, as quietly as possible, while continuing to squat. He carefully looked around him as he turned, and scanned everything his eyes came across.
AKUMA noticed a faint movement as he began his sixth circle. He almost didn’t notice anything at first, but a sudden fluttering motion, the pink hues of which stood out against the bright green of the luminous grass, caught his attention. AKUMA stopped moving, and crouched down even further. His eyes stayed focused in the direction of the motion, while his right hand slowly reached for his broadsword. AKUMA noticed another pink flutter, which was immediately followed by a green one. AKUMA rose slowly, lifting his head up as he did, without making a sound, to get a better view of the movement his eyes had zoomed in on.
There you are, you little runt, AKUMA thought, as his target came into full view.
The fairy lay asleep between the large blades of grass. She was tinier than what AKUMA remembered of her kind, and for some reason, much more pleasing to the eye as well. She was no larger than AKUMA’s palm; a tiny, fragile creature, with translucent black skin, covered from head to toe in bright, scaly, white armor, with only her fingers, feet, eyes and lower jaw being visible. Her eyes were closed but AKUMA could tell, from the slivers of light that escaped their edges, that they were colored a bright green, just like the four long wings that came out of the upper part of her back. Four smaller wings, colored a bright pink, came out of the lower portion of the fairy’s back. A large, deep blue ponytail, which came out of a hole in the back of the fairy’s helmet, rested between the wings, and ended just after the fairy’s waist.
AKUMA patiently waited for the fairy to turn away from him completely. As she did, he noticed the two sheaths on her waist.
A pair of legendary hilts? How did she get them? She looks nothing like the great fairy warriors the legends described. It doesn’t matter though, does it? It’s not like she will get to use them. This will be quick, and her demise will be pitiful, AKUMA thought, as he smiled to himself.
The hilts the sheaths contained were legendary weapons that were bestowed on only the greatest of all fairy warriors. The weapons, as soon as they were unsheathed and held, became a part of the fairy that possessed them, by turning into extensions of their hands. The fairies had a variety of spells that they recited in battle, and each spell lit up different runes on the hilt. The runes then imbued the hilts with their power, and thereby turned them into different types of weapons. These weapons were projections of pure elemental energy. Their shape or form could only be seen when the fairies used them, which made them a surprise that was as deadly as it was unexpected. Thus, a blow from such a weapon could amount to anything. The fairies could make the hilt resemble an ice sword, or a hammer made of fire, or a bow that shot arrows that contained the power of a thousand streaks of lightning in them.
AKUMA recollected the legends that told of the havoc the great warrior fairies caused with these weapons, in the first great battle between their kind. The demons thought that they had a clear path to victory until that fateful day. Never had they been so wrong. It was the first time the great fairies stepped into battle. There were a handful of them, but they had been a force that could not be reckoned with. The Demon Lord had ended up losing all his generals and most of his army. The fact that he had managed to retreat with his head and limbs intact had been a miracle. Demon kind had been forced to go into hiding for a long time after that loss. But the demons had persevered. They hid inside volcanoes that nobody cared to look into, and they risked everything they had to search far and wide for something that could give them an advantage over the great fairies and their devastating weapons.
The Demons found nothing that they could triumph over the fairies with. They did, however, manage to find and coerce an ancient species into teaching them how to create a metal that could stand the blows of the legendary fairy hilts without crumbling at the first hit. The Demons then hoarded the materials needed to create this metal for a long time thereafter, while they grew their army once more. They forged new weapons once their numbers were formidable, and they, once again, marched into battle. The great fairies were still formidable, but the demons were now able to counter their blows with their newly forged weapons. A number of demons fell in battle once more, but this time, they died to give their Demon Lord the decisive victory he so desperately craved.
AKUMA tightened his grip over his sword. One swift blow is all I need, he thought, as he bent down and pushed into the ground under him, with as much force as he could muster. With a single silent motion, AKUMA jumped high into the air, and lifted his broadsword over his head with both his hands, just before he began his descent. The ground trembled when AKUMA brought his broadsword crashing down on the fairy, and a crater formed around him.
“Curse you, you little runt!” AKUMA screamed, when he realized that he had struck nothing but rock and luminous grass. His eyes darted around him, and he screamed when they found the fairy flying away.
AKUMA ran behind the fairy as he flapped his light red wings. He grabbed his broadsword with both hands as soon as he took flight, and began mimicking the fairy’s flight pattern. He continued doing so until he got closer to the fairy, and, once she was within striking distance, he began swinging his broadsword as fast as he could. The fairy expertly dodged his first four swipes at her, and would’ve dodged the fifth as well. AKUMA, however, changed the sword-strike’s pattern midway. The fairy pulled out her hilts, and the runes along their length lit up, and morphed into two long, bright, blue swords of pure elemental energy, just in time to stop AKUMA’s broadsword from splitting her into multiple pieces.
AKUMA continued striking the fairy, and she continued deflecting his blows. All of a sudden, the fairy dodged one of AKUMA’s strikes instead of blocking them, and used her wings to put a few extra feet between both of them. AKUMA quickly changed direction and rushed at her, and only noticed something approaching him from the side once it was too late to do anything about it. He winced as a hard surface crashed into him and broke into multiple pieces. He shook his head and looked around. The fairy had used the few moments she had gained through her dodging maneuver to throw a few large rocks that lay nearby at AKUMA telekinetically. AKUMA screamed when he realized what had happened. He immediately took flight again, and chased the fairy with renewed wrath and vigor.
It took AKUMA some time to catch up to the fairy, and he laughed as she prepared her swords once more, when he was close enough to begin striking her again. This time, however, AKUMA only pretended to strike the fairy. Instead of going through with the blow, he suddenly pulled his sword back and swallowed the air around him. The fairy screamed as she was pulled closer to AKUMA. AKUMA’s eyes glowed menacingly as his entire throat lit up and he began to spit fireballs. The fairy managed to join her hilts and convert them into a large semi-spherical shield that covered her entire body just as the first fireball hit her. The fairy was thrown backwards, and then sideways, as two more fireballs hit her, but she managed to keep her body shielded through the blows. The fairy turned around and began flying away from AKUMA immediately, and held the shield behind her, continuing to use it as much needed cover. AKUMA screamed once more as he began chasing the fairy again. He began to suck in the surrounding air as he closed in on her.
The fairy flew as unpredictably as she could, and managed to dodge AKUMA’s first two rounds of fireballs. The third round struck her a few times, and she dove downwards the second she recovered. AKUMA followed, and this time, he sucked in as much air as he possibly could. He could tell that the battle was over. The fairy had panicked, and her downward dive had been a mistake. The ground was too close, for they had simply not flown high enough for it not to be. The fairy would have to make a sudden turn to avoid crashing into it. All AKUMA had to do was rain fireballs down on the entire area when she did, and the resulting bombardment of flaming spheres would trap and finish off the fairy with ease.
AKUMA began executing his plan as soon as he saw her near the ground. His eyes gleamed with joy when he realized that the fairy had panicked again. Instead of trying to turn to avoid the ground, the fairy simply landed on it clumsily, and buried herself under her shield. AKUMA concentrated his fire. He spat every fireball he had at her, and he pulled his sword over his head once he was done. He struck the fairy’s shield as hard as he could when he landed, and winced as the reverberations of the blow ran through his arms. Despite the pain, AKUMA continued pounding the shield with his sword, laughing as he did, enjoying the warmth of the blaze that he had created all around them.
The forest around them burnt as AKUMA’s blows finally began to dent the fairy’s shield. The shield finally cracked, and AKUMA pulled his sword up over his head one last time.
“Any last words, fairy?” he laughed and asked, as he bared his teeth.
A loud scream rang through the air, and something lunged at AKUMA suddenly, just as he was about to smash the fairy with his broadsword. AKUMA was flung sideways, as if he were nothing but a pebble. He tried to regain his balance midair but he was unable to do so. A loud scream pierced the air again as AKUMA slowly got back on his feet after he had hit the ground. A large elemental chimera stood menacingly in front of AKUMA, ready to attack. The chimera’s lion head and body were made up of a pure white light, while the lion head’s mane was colored a light blue, just like its glowing eyes. The screaming goat head that protruded out of its body was constructed from a light that was a deep red, while its tail, which consisted of a hissing snake head attached to its end, was created from a dark green light.
The chimera lunged at AKUMA before he could grab his sword. AKUMA managed to dodge it by rolling away. The chimera attacked AKUMA again before he could get up. Its goat head unleashed a stream of fire directly at AKUMA before he could even begin to dodge it. The creature screamed, angry and surprised, as AKUMA ran through the fire and punched it.
“Is that the best you’ve got, creature? You cannot harm a demon with fire,” AKUMA screamed, as he ran for his sword.
The snake head on the creature’s tail bit into AKUMA’s hand and pulled him back before he could close in on his weapon. AKUMA screamed in pain as the acid of the snake’s fangs burnt his skin. The creature lunged at AKUMA again, but this time, all three of its heads attacked AKUMA simultaneously. AKUMA tried dodging the creature’s blows, but he simply could not. The goat head continued breathing fire on him. The fire didn’t hurt AKUMA, but it obscured his vision, which allowed the creature to attack him relentlessly. The snake head bit into various parts of AKUMA’s body, its venom weakening him and wearing him down with each subsequent bite, while the chimera inflicted a thousand cuts on him with the claws on its limbs.
AKUMA fell to the ground in a flash, powerless to move even a single part of his body. The creature’s lion head bit into his throat with its sharp teeth, and began drinking his blood. AKUMA’s eyes found the fairy, and watched as she stared him down, before she finally flew away, just as the life left them.