The conveyor belt cranked and groaned, telling them that the game had started. It move underneath them, forcing everyone to walk. Behind them, parts of the metal walls opened up. Like a guillotine, the metal doors fell down and went back up again. The unfortunate people who were caught up in between the fallen wall were sliced in half. Piercing screams of the dying could be heard, and the people frantically ran away from the wall. Out of the four sections, Sliver was in Area C. They were a total of twenty-five people in each section from young to old in the area, walking around nervously.
“What the heck is that?” Jasper cried out in alarm. He ran up next to Silver in fright.
“Just keep walking. Converse your strength as much as you can.” Silver unconsciously answered.
Jasper nodded and followed her example. For the next hour not a single person died, but the conveyor belt did gradually started to pick up its speed. For her, it felt like a nice walk in the park, but she knew that there were going to be more. She could already feel the heavy tension in the air that surrounded her, suffocating her to the point of death.
“This is so boring.” Kushiel was floating above them. “How about this? I’ll add a couple more new assignments. Extra points will be given if you kill five imps and you’ll pass, plus you’ll also receive a small reward. Not only that, you’ll be able to get off the Merry-Go-Round or stay on for six hours and get a bigger reward. Okay? Now let’s get this show on the road.”
A door opened up on all four sides allowing a swarm of ugly looking imps spill out in droves. They ran forward with their sharp claws and attacked the people ruthlessly. It became a furious fight for survival.
People screamed and panicked. Some were unlucky enough to get sliced by the guillotine from terror. Others were run over and killed by swarms of Imps. Majority of the ones to die first were the elderly and the kids. So far no one helped them out in such a crisis.
Silver was waiting for this, the door to open and let in a swarm of monsters, she knew that Kushiel wouldn’t just easily end there. She was a devious angel that loved to see the destruction of mankind. Right now, she couldn’t help anyone nor save anyone with the body that she had. She was not strong enough, or fast enough. She had hardened her heart, knowing this outcome. Her priority right this moment was to get rid of many Imps as possible if she wanted to help them, but at the same time she knew that if she killed to many then the others wouldn’t be able to get off this merry-go-round.
This was truly the survivor for the fittest and the determination to face the consequences that are to come.
“Someone save me!”
The voice of the dying could be heard as they were slaughtered. People fell and were mercilessly dragged towards the metal guillotine. They were chopped into pieces as horrifying screams could be heard endlessly in the classroom. People were dying, Silver tuned out the screams as best as she could, but their voices did slip in a couple of times, breaking her concentration.
Silver had her sword in hand. She patiently waited, she did not wanted to waste any energy because she knew that she would need it at the end. The first Imp came running towards her. Without a second thought, she slashed down onto the imp in one fluid movement. Even though her power was weak, all the past battles that she survived through was ingrained in her mind.
A horrible cracking sound could be heard as the Imp arm was cut off. Even though her sword were sharp, she did not have the strength to slash through the Imp whole body in one go. Blood seeped out from the Imp’s arm. It cried out in rage and attacked. Silver side-stepped out of harm’s way and stabbed the Imp through the chest. The Imp faltered, giving her chance, a moments chance, and with all her might she pulled the sword across its back. It cried out a with a horrible squeal and fell down dead.
Like a dark warrior, her hands meticulously swung from side-to-side cutting down the Imps that came rushing towards her. It took her three cuts before the Imp fell down dead.
Even still, Silver had many difficulties keeping up with the Imps strength and speed. Being surrounded by three was very dangerous and her limit. Anymore and she knew that she couldn’t win easily. Her arms were becoming heavy as she was tiring quickly from the strenuous movement.
“Kakkakakak!” The Imp chattered to one another, they both attacked her at the same time. This made Silver falter, causing one side of her shoulder to be pierce through. She luckily killed the second imp allowing her to temporarily recover. Its claws curled and uncurled as it was bent on using it to kill her.
“Watch out!” Jasper called out from behind her.
Silver was a step too late in dodging, and the same shoulder was viciously streaked with claw marks. Jasper threw his dagger squarely in the chest of the Imp, causing it to fall forward dead.
“Are you alright?” Jasper asked worriedly. He came over to see her bleeding shoulder.
Silver frowned. She didn’t like how she now owed Jasper her life. Ripping off a piece of her shirt, she quickly tied it around her shoulder. She cursed in her head. I’ll repay this kid back by helping him survive through this game specifically. Gritting her teeth, she once again picked up her sword.
Leaning over, she broke the Imp’s horn and stashed it away in her ring. Then she stabbed through the Imp’s chest to fish out a small red crystals in each one of the dead imps. It was an disgusting feel of flesh and blood that squeezed through her fingers, when she pulled out the crystal.
It was the same red crystal that she saw on the pedestal stool. These were the special crystals that she knew she would need to survive in this games. Every single one were precious, she quickly stashed majority of them away and gave him one crystal from the imp that he killed.
“What is it?” Jasper glanced down wondering what she just gave him.
“Your kill. Keep it. Use it when you are out of energy.” Silver handed her one of the crystal that Jasper killed himself.
“Use it? How?”
“You eat it.”
Silver ate the red crystal. She felt the wound on her shoulder making a hiss likes sound, leaving behind a smooth skin. The pain was still there, but she ignored it as best as she could.
“Stay close. Don’t stray away.” Silver was back to walking forward. She felt like a hamster running nowhere on a wheel. The momentary rest made them come closer to the guillotine then they should and she did not like that. The dangerous gleam of the metal chomped downwards, creating an shivering feel that kept both of them on edge.
“I get the feeling that you know something about these strange crystals, though I’m glad that you’re okay.” Jasper happily smiled.
Silver wondered where all this positively was coming from. There was death and carnage everywhere right now and this boy was not phased. She felt that there was definitely something strange about this boy, but she brushed it aside.
“Listen carefully, these crystals are your life line. Kill more and you get stronger. Run away and hide and you will die.”
“I see. So then strength it shall it be.” Jasper grinned. “I’ll be following you if you don’t mind.”
“Do whatever you want.” Silver shrugged her shoulders. She was only going to watch over him till the end of this round. That’s was her agreement to herself. She walked forward, cutting down Imps as she go.
They were times, when she had to dodge, jump, and even spin-kick a Imp in mid-air. Her attacks were savage, but weak. She continued to fight till her arms became weak and her legs felt like jello. It was then when she brought out a red crystal and quickly ate one, refreshing her tired muscles.
She felt a sudden elevations of energy. The fatigue was partially gone and instead she had strength and stamina to continue. She took another one, and she felt herself becoming a little bit more stronger. These red crystals in her hands were evolutionary crystals. In the beginning nobody knew what they were for until later on. Wherever she saw dead monsters that people killed and left behind without touching them, she went over to scavenge the crystals in the Imp’s heart.
Jasper followed quietly behind her doing the same thing that she was doing. Helping her out in digging through the carcass, fighting next to her, or watching their backs.
People around her noticed that she was different. Even though she had roughly gone through eight Imps, she did not look too tired. Instead, they fought on with the hopes to slay five and to get off the devil’s merry-go-round. They did not follow her example of digging through the dead and instead stared at her with revulsion when she opened up its chest.
Silver did not care what the other people thought, others stepped back in disgust at her bloody a tire and were wary around her. Some stare at her with the hopes that she would save them, but instead she walked past them and ignored them. Hours passed and the people who killed five Imps were in the fifties.Till there were none left. Only a handful stay on the merry-go-round in the hopes to get the so called prize.
On the other hand, even Jasper stood by her side. She was surprised that he was power-walking next to her without heavy breathing. From her understanding, she saw Jasper killed four out of five Imps. There were times where she had to interfere and save his little butt from being killed.
“I guess I’m not so lucky. There is no more to kill.” Jasper frowned. He wipe his hands on his pants, leaving a streak of blood behind. “Though I don’t understand why you have not gotten off this devil’s merry-go-round.”
Silver was silent and didn’t answer his question. They were a couple of reason: to repay a debt and to get the prize at the end. A small bit of information swept through her mind, telling her that they were going to be something really special if she stayed a little longer, even though her muscles were screaming to take a rest. The red crystal abated the fatigue, quite a bit, allowing her to push herself to dangerous levels a couple of times.
“Is not because of me is it?” Jasper happily replied.
Silver turned away not answering his question. This kid had a sharper mind than she thought. For someone so young, he did not act like one at all, making her wonder what he had gone through to get to this point in life.
“Just keep walking.” Silver retorted without answering his question. It was just too much of a pain to do so.
“I am.” Jasper whined. “I mean come on. Is it that difficult to answer my questions? I don’t want to say hey you or you when calling you.”
“So that’s your name. Just like your hair.” Jasper happily replied and whistled a cheerful tune.
I swear his positivity is contagious. Silver thought. Though it was not a bad thing, in these dark times, such emotions were definitively hard to come by. Being serious all the time was not something that she wanted. She knew that it would become stressful later on.
“So we have one final hour to go.” Jasper spoke excitedly. “I’ll be getting the final prize, though I wonder what they are. I mean is it really worth getting it though?” He look towards her, wondering if she had the answer.
Silver just took a quick glimpse at him and did not answer.
“Well, Well. Well.” Kushiel appeared out of thin air above them. “Look like there are quite of bit of you guys still running on the treadmill. I propose an increase in speed and more monsters!” With a cry of excitement, she squealed in delight.
“You’re kidding me right?” Jasper face fell with shock. “This is outrageous. Is she trying to kill us?”
“Save your breathe, this is going to get worse.” Silver quickly spoke.
The conveyor belt started to crank and all of a sudden it slowly increase in speed. Silver started to jog as well Jasper.
“I really hope this won’t last till the end of hour.” Jasper was almost running rather than jogging.
“I told you don’t talk. Someone like you will not survive at this rate.”
“I know. I only have three crystals left. I just ate one two hours ago.”
“Take one now. You’re going to need it very soon.”
“Okay.” Jasper heeded her words and gulped the first crystal in his mouth.” He let out a satisfied sigh.
Gringgggg! Kraaang! Krinnng! The sound of metal against metal could be heard ringing violently throughout the area. Even the conveyor belt shook as more metal contraptions appeared out from the ground.
Small square walls opened up creating a wall, making everyone else who were stuck in the large merry-go-round maneuver around them. One large metal wall popped up from the ground and came towards Silver. Silver and Jasper momentarily spread apart to go around the oncoming wall. They meet up with each other on the other side and continued to jog towards their next obstacle.
For the first five minute, the appearance of the walls were slow, and a dozen more started to pop up from the ground, creating a hectic maze for them to overcome.
“Are they trying to make this into some kind of variety show game? I mean what’s with these obstacles?”
“It’s just Kushiel’s favorite thing to do: torture humans. She has a sick pleasure of ruining your childhood.”
Jasper went silent, understanding what she meant. Kushiel was doing an fantastic job in summoning up more obstacles that are considered unnecessary, putting more burden on the people’s body to just stay alive.
“Another one is coming!” Silver pointed out. She moved to the right and then left.
An Imp springed out from the left that she made. Silver barely swiveled out of harm’s way. She was lucky that she was able to stab into the Imp’s back giving her a chance to escape. This gave her a second to turn around and lop of its head in one swing.
A problem arise in gathering the red crystal right after. She quickly bends down and pulled out her dagger in her ring. With a fluent movement that seem almost inhumane, she dug into the Imp’s chest and fished out the crystal as quickly as possible. Getting back up, she was now a lot further away from Jasper who was up ahead.
I need to get to him or else this is going to get worse. She sprinted forward weaving between the oncoming metal walls.
Up ahead, she saw Jasper battling with an Imp that popped out from behind the wall. For a moment they struggled against each other’s grip, Jasper was pushing forward with the hopes of impaling the knife through the Imps neck, but he was stopped by the Imp’s arm. It was pierced through by Jasper’s dagger.
“Come on!” Jasper vehemently breathed and pushed with every strength he could muster with his body. “Come on. Come on. Come on.” He continually chanted quickly, spitting at the Imp’s face.
Silver could see a thick bulge of his veins popping out from his neck and arm. Not too far away from him, she saw another Imp making his way towards him with a knife above its head. She threw her dagger that she had in her hand, and aimed it perfectly through the Imps head. It fell backwards dead.
The Imp turned around in surprise at the sudden squeal of the dead Imp. This gave Jasper a chance to push forward and slip his dagger into the Imps neck. Blood erupted out from the side like a water fountain.
“Finally!” Jasper gave out an ecstatic cry. The Imp floundered around trying to stop the bleeding from its neck, but Jasper fell forward with the Imp. He raised up his dagger and slammed into its heart. With a terrifying squeal, the Imp shuddered and went silent.
“Move quickly!” Silver ran past him and pulled out the knife in the Imp’s head. The sickening thud of the knife twisting, causing the Imp to twitch. She quickly cut through the chest to fish out another crystal in hand.
Jasper nodded and bent down. His clumsy fingers cut through the dead Imp in the hope of getting the red crystal, but his cutting through the chest was not as easily done as Silver. Silver made things look a lot easier, while for a normal person like Jasper who never ever experienced cutting open the monster’s chest, it was a completely different thing. It took him three times longer than the first, causing him to be pushed back towards the guillotine walls.
“Jasper! What are you doing! You’re going to get killed!” Silver called out towards him in the hopes for him to abandon the corpse, but Jasper was diligently cutting through to get to the crystal. “Leave it alone!”
“No! I’m almost through!” Jasper viciously cut. He look back and saw the encroaching guillotine that slammed downwards in a repetitious manner. Bending over the Imp, he felt his sweat drip as he got closer and closer.
“Damn it, Jasper!” Silver was cursing underneath her breath. Why is he taking so long to get the crystal? Better yet why is he still bent over it? He’s really going to die!
Silver dispatched her fifth Imp and she had already cut through all five monsters heart for the crystals. Her mind already knew how to efficiently cut through the monsters skins without wasting time. She had killed millions of monsters throughout her past and skinned them for their leather and parts.
Running towards Jasper, she was stalled by other Imps that were blocking her path. With her sword, she perfectly aimed towards each Imp with the intent to cut and pick out the crystals one after another, all at the same time. Her fluid movement cut through the heart and created a small lesion, allowing the crystal to fall out. She reached over and snatched it out in midair.
Such skill was on a whole another level in itself, she knew it was not easy to do because such skill would require perfect muscle control and the ability to watch every single muscle movement of the Imps. One thing that was unique about her was that her eyesight had a natural ability to accurately watch the fluctuation of the enemies muscles and movement. This gave her an edge that allowed her to move fluently in the beginning with her weak body type. Though using such precise movement and speed caused her to go through half of her energy reservoir. The number of time she could do such precise movements and concentration was only two and she didn’t want to waste it anymore.
“Jasper!” Silver shouted one last time, she ran full speed towards him with arms outstretched.
“Got it!” Jasper yelled. He was already a few feet away from the guillotine.
Silver snatched him up from the ground, a moment away from getting his leg chopped off by the downwards force of the guillotine. His feet was dangling from underneath her arms like a willow tree’s branch. Saving his butt numerous of times was getting on her nerves. Maybe it was better that she just throw away her promise and move on without him. That would be a better answer than wasting energy on him.
Still even though she complained, she didn’t take back her words. Promises was sacred in her heart, and she wasn’t going to start breaking them any time soon. Once she had dedicated herself through her commitment, she was going to go all the way through. They were no ifs, but, or an and, but for her to suck it all up and move forward.
Jasper grasp onto his crystal like they were a precious gem, he gave her a sheepish grin. “T-thanks, Silver.”
“Don’t thank me. That was your fifth kill get off this merry-go-round now.” She spat. For him to stay any longer was a death warrant for both him and her. The game was not going to get any easier and watching over her weak self and him was simply to difficult. “I don’t have time to save your butt every second. This game will get even worse, so leave now.”
“W-worse? You serious?”
“What do you think? We only have thirty-minute left and I’m already running. Didn’t you see how the ground picked up speed?” Silver ran to the right and swiveled quickly to the left. She was dodging from getting stopped by the metal walls that were popping up now every minute.
Screams of the people dying, one-by-one, could be heard as they were pushed back towards the wall and were smashed against the wall like pudding. Jasper had a good view of the scene around him, and he noticed the mayhem that was happening. His face turned pale from the horrible scene before him.
“Don’t you dare hurl on my back.” Silver hissed, she felt his body slightly cunlvuge, making a throwing up sound as he was ready to hurl. She was not in the mood to have a wet and nasty smelling back at the same time keeping them both alive. Just the thought of that made her stomach queasy.
“I-I’m sorry. I just saw something that I didn’t want to see.” Jasper raised up his hands to cover his mouth.
“Close your eyes then!” She warned him. Moving to the right, an Imp screamed out in anger. It raised up its claws and aimed towards her arms to disarm her. Her hands drew across the Imp’s left shoulder downwards into a diagonal. A large line appeared on the Imp’s body, and Silver quickly cut in the opposite direction. A burst of black blood sprayed out from the Imps chest and a red crystal popped out.
One more, she could use such skill….she was not liking this at all.
Her hand that was holding the sword was tossed in the air, she shoots out her free hand and grabbed the crystal. With a fierce upward toss, she threw the crystal into her mouth and gulped it in one go. The sword came tumbling down onto the ground, and she caught it just in time before it hit the ground.
To Jasper the fluid movement was like a magic trick. His eyes were bulging from his head as he gaped at Silver as if she was some kind of magician. Silver ignored him, and instead she felt a small elation of energy sweep through her body.
She had already gone through almost half of her stash of red crystals throughout the five hours. At most she had only six left, but each time she ate one more, she felt an influx of energy that allowed herself to keep pushing forward. Her strength rejuvenated in the beginning at least half, giving her a bit more speed and strength, but as she keep taking more and more the amount she gain back was less and less. She knew that these crystals were special crystals that allowed her to get stronger, and the more she ate, the more rapidly she would grow.
Right now, from eating over ten crystals throughout the whole five hours and thirty minutes, she was able to be twice as strong than her usual self, though it did not compare to a fully grown man in his prime. She made up with it past skill, flexibility, and unnecessary movement that wouldn’t waste her energy. Sliver was already an expert in conversing strength, though right now carrying Jasper was making it a lot more difficult, testing her endurance to the extreme.
Her aim was only one direction, to get towards the door that allowed people who had passed by killing five imps. Though more and more metal walls appeared before them, making it difficult to get towards the exit.
“Aren’t we going to stay here? I mean we have thirty minutes.” Jasper turned his head towards her, trying to see what her expression was like. He noticed that right now, her whole face look like a scowling hag. Jasper couldn’t help but flinch when he saw her face.
“No. You are leaving.”
“But I can run more!”
“I don’t care. You think you can kill the rest? Really? If you can, I’ll chuck you to the nearest monster right now.”
“I swear, I feel stronger than before. These crystals make me feel like I can beat up a couple more and harvest them!”
“I just saved you from getting chopped up from being cut in half by the guillotine. Do you think you’ll be able to get out of that, fight monsters, run around, and harvest one after another without break? You barely can harvest them quickly enough nor stay on your feet without falling over panting.”
“Enough. You’re a kid. Get out when you can. There are other games to come.”
“Fine, but I’m not a kid!” Jasper grumbled.
Silver was getting closer, she was a step away. Her hands reached out and touched the wall where the door would open, and moments later the door painstakingly slowly opened. With a satisfied sigh of relief, she was finally free from him.
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