For people who don’t know, the left picture is an Angler fish, while the right one is a Blobfish. There both quite….uh…unique. And yes, they’re real deep sea water fish if you never seen one before. So, to help with visualization for one of the demon fish that you’ll read, you’ll know what they look like.
Author’s note: Okay peeps, hello again, the deadline for voting for either Valkyrie’s Lament and Mind Linker has about two weeks left. For the duration of two weeks, I’ll post an extra chapter this week and the next for both stories, before the voting ends.
Castle Invasion II
Silver watched Jasper kill the fish in hand. She noticed at first he struggled to kill one, but slowly, but surely, he started to adapt in killing them a bit faster. It took her to gut out four piranhas before Jasper finished one. Just looking at him struggling made her feel a bit bad, he reminded her of her sister that she had back home. Unconsciously, every successful kill, she gave Jasper a crystal.
She felt like she was taking care of her little sister, and by doing this her old memories of her sister was brought back in her mind. Sharing candies, fighting over stuff toys, and the same old look that Jasper was giving her now.
Jasper glowered when he saw her place a crystal next to the crystal that he had personally collected. “I can collect them by myself.”
Silver saw him pout. For a moment, she couldn’t help but think that he look so cute. He reminded her of a baby bunny with that round face and the way his nose wiggled. She couldn’t help but let out a quiet giggle. Turning over, she covered her mouth, trying not to burst out into laughter.
“What?” This time, he scowled at her. “I feel like you’re laughing at me.”
“I’m not.” Silver held back her laugh. It was getting difficult every second, the more angrier he got, the cuter he became.
“You know i’m not weak. I can do this by myself. I will become stronger and taller than you.”
“Mhmm.” Silver nodded her head and stuffed a crystal in his mouth, when he succeeded in killing the Demon piranha.
Jasper gulped and Silver patted his head. He sighed and shook off Silver’s hand. Annoyed that he was treated as a child.“I’m not a kid.”
“I didn’t say anything.”
“I felt like you just did.”
“What are you a psychic?” Silver gave him a fake surprised look.
“No, but I feel belittled.”
“I did no such thing.” She gasped pretending to be offended.
“Sure,” He rolled his eyes not believing a single word that came out from her mouth.
Silver and Jasper continued to leisurely, but efficiently, work through the many piranhas that they fished out. They were bent on getting to full strength before leaving this temporarily haven.
Rose jumped in through one of the openings that neither one of the four had came through. She had to stop herself from smashing into the wall by putting her hands in front of her. With a relieved voice, she let out an exasperated sigh. The other turns to see who just came in, but Silver didn’t pay a single attention.
”What are you guys doing in here?” Rose was looking at the strange sight before her. She noticed that everyone was fishing the piranha’s that they were just desperately trying to get away from. “Are you guys all nuts?” Throwing up her hands in exasperation, she couldn’t help but feel completely out of place. One moment they were running away, and the next they were fishing. It truly was a strange sight to see, especially from the terror of being eaten by them.
Mike came in next, but he was holding onto his bleeding missing arm. He staggered towards Rose listlessly, trying to call out for help. He lost to much blood that he wavered, he fell forward dead.
“Kyaaaaa!” Rose screamed at such a high pitch that the building echoed her voice and amplified it.
Silver finally stopped what she was doing and turned. That girl has some serious volume, Silver cringed from the dreadfully painful yell. Even she couldn’t scream that high, and what was worse was that the sound of her voice was amplified inside the building, giving her a throbbing headache.
Rose scampered backwards away from Mike’s body flustered at what was going on. Kathy reeled over and threw up on the side, while Cole’s face was frozen stiff. Tyler didn’t say anything as he got up to walk over towards Mike.
“Someone save him!” Kathy yelled out in plea. She look straight towards Silver in the hopes that she can do something for him, but it was at this exact moment that swarms of Piranha jumped out of the waters from the smell of blood. They viciously attacked Mike’s body, tearing it apart into pieces. Blood, skin, and even bones were broken down into small bites, but the swarm of piranhas couldn’t drag it back in the water.
Following after three large piranha, the size of a large dog, jumped out of the water. They were more grotesque and uglier than the smaller ones. Small lantern like bulbs, dangled off their head, swaying side-to-side like a lure. Even there face remind her a blobfish combined together with an deepsea water angler fish. Their razor sharp teeth gapped open, they even had small feet that allowed them to walk on land.
Silver face lit up when she saw the new prey before her. This was her chance to get a bigger size crystal that she was hoping for. The small ones that she was killing was just not enough to fill up her lost stamina. Just scaling, killing, and picking through the fish took way too much time, and getting something that could be at least a quarter size was worth getting. She quickly got up, took out her sword, and went in for the attack. It’s cold metal pointed forward, aiming towards the piranha’s eyes.
The piranha hopped backwards and spat out an disgusting foul smelling glop towards Silver. With a hiss, the glop of spit fell short, where she just barely dodged it. A large hole formed on the ground, allowing a smaller size piranha to hop out towards the dead Mike’s body.
Silver smacked the large piranha’s body like a bat and the sword left a deep imprint on its scales unable to cut through. She frowned and pulled back. Licking her lips, she knew that the scales on theses monsters were difficult to pierce through. The points where she could slip in with her sword or dagger were the gills and the eyes. Other than that, she had to find slivers of opening with her hands to gut them. The other two large piranha hopped over and continued their attack in the hope to harm her.
“Silver to your left!” Jasper called out. He picked up a dead fish that he just gutted and threw it towards the large piranha. The piranha swiveled its head towards the meat and snapped it up in one gulp. This gave Silver a chance to twist her sword in an uncomfortable position, but gave her the edge to pierce through its eye.
A horrifying shriek that rang with pain sounded out from the piranha as it thrashed on the floor. Silver picked up the body of the piranha with her sword and smashed it against the second one that tried to attack her like a sledgehammer. The third turned away in alarm and attempted to drag Mike’s dead body into the water as it failed to out strength Silver.
“Someone stop it! It’s taking Mike!” Kathy was shouting as she frantically bolted towards him, but her hand was too late as he disappeared into the water. She stumbled forward and fell where her hair barely came close to touch the metallic water.
“Kathy!” Cole grabbed and yanked her by the back.
Kathy barely missed getting her face bitten off by the smaller piranha’s that jumped at her vigorously. She held in a sharp gasp from fear, and brought up her hand to her face.
“You idiot! Didn’t you see that he was dead?”
“No, he wasn’t! I saw him breathing!”
“Kathy! Stop pulling!” Cole dragged her backwards out of harm’s way.
“Are all women crazy?” Tyler was staring from Kathy and back at Silver.
Jasper watched on the sideline, making sure that they were no more attacks that would crop up on either him or Silver. Silver pulled back her sword from the eye socket of the larger piranha, the one underneath it that she buried struggled and snapped at Silver’s feet. Silver shuffled backwards, falling over as her foot got caught into the small hole.
Alarmed, she tugged her feet out of the the hole in a hurry. Becoming footless wasn’t something on her agenda, she was lucky that nothing took a chunk out of her foot, but because of her small misstep, the piranha underneath had weaseled out.
Jasper bolted in fearlessly into the piranha that was bee-ling towards Silver, he slammed downwards with his small body, using his weight to plunge his dagger into its eyes. Wickedly, he twisted the dagger into a sharp ninety degree turn, he heard a nasty squishing sound as black blood gushed out.
Silver snapped her head towards Jasper in surprise. She didn’t expect him to bolt forward into danger. The piranha Jasper pinned down flailed desperately, trying to get out from under his body, but he wouldn’t move. He leaned over even more, trying to use his body weight to make sure the dagger go through.
The piranha viciously floundered around, while Jasper kept on pushing harder and harder to get it to stop. It was a struggle for another minute until the piranha finally stopped moving.
“Both of you guys are crazy.” Tyler broke into a wide grin, he was showing his pearly white teeth with amusement at the two. He glanced from Silver and back at Jasper with more respect for the two of them, but Silver got the feeling that he was calculating something quickly in his mind.
She wasn’t sure if she was considered crazy, maybe because of the sporadic memories that seem to crop up on unwanted times does make her feel crazy, but she feels sane majority of the time. Other than that, the crazies were the remaining ones that actually took the chance to go through this mini-game without preparing. From what she could tell, everyone except Jasper and her had necessity items stored away in their inventory.
Kathy was sitting in the back crying and hiccuping with fear. The mess was too much for her, and she was breaking down quickly.
“Shut that girl up for crying out loud.” Rose spoke out harshly. “My ears is going to bleed from her shrills.”
Kathy became quiet. She rubbed her eyes and stare at Rose unable to say anything.
“What girly? If you have something to say say it to my face.” Rose walked over and leaned against the wall. She slide down to take a breather.
“You guys are pretty good. Did you learn martial arts or something?” Tyler walked over to take a closer look at the two dead monsters.
“Somewhat.” Jasper spoke. He finally got off the piranha and examine its body. “Though I’m just a budding survivor and a quick learner.”
“Well, you’re doing a hell of a fine job.”
“Hey Silver, what’s the best way to gut it? We use the same method, right?” Jasper asked, taking a good look at the dead fish before him. The scales on this fish was a lot more harder and rougher in texture than the smaller ones, making it a bit more difficult for him to figure out.
“The same way.” Silver was already cutting through the fish as if she was a professional chef. She stuck in her hands, feeling the slimy texture of fish meat, and blood dripping down her fingers. What was worse, she could feel the prickly feeling of the bones poking at her fingers as she felt her way around. Until finally, she felt something hard and pulled the large crystal the size of a quarter out without much difficulties. Out of all the red crystals that she had gathered, this one was a lot more deeper in color, giving it a more vibrant twinkle.
She was thrilled at the crystal that she was able to scavenge. This small crystal took at least ten smaller ones combined to get this big, while the power and energy was ten times more.
“That’s quite a catch.” Tyler whistled. “I’m surprised that they are something even bigger than the one we were just gutting before.” He was staring at the crystal in her hand with hunger.A tinge of jealously laced his face.
Silver gobbled the crystal in one gulp, enjoying the crystal dissolving into her throat and leaving behind a cherry like taste. She felt a large jump in restoration of her energy. The pain in her muscles were quickly disappearing, but that didn’t mean all of it was gone. At least, it wasn’t like when she first entered and everything on her body was screaming in pain. Now, she could just ignore it without worrying to much about slowing down.
Jasper finished cutting through the piranha and fished out his own crystal. He too quickly ate it up without a second thought and gave a satisfied sigh.
“What the hell was that?” Rose was gaping at them strangely. “Are you guys actually eating that disgusting thing?”
Disgusting? That was a matter of opinion. For Silver every crystal has a unique candy like aftertaste that she enjoyed. It was easy to swallow as it melts away upon putting it in her mouth. The only downside is that she would also taste the blood of the monsters with it, but that wasn’t an issue.
“You wouldn’t be talking like that if you knew what they are actually eating, but either way it seems you don’t want to get them yourselves. Not my problem.” Tyler voice towards her with annoyance.
“Shut up baldy, that ugly face of yours got the nerves to even speak to me.” Rose spat in disgust.
“Yea, well beauty like you will get dropped fast the moment you open your mouth. All your good for is just spreading your legs. So stay quiet or i’ll shut it myself.”
“Try me.” She challengeded him
“Gladly.” Tyler walked towards her with a dagger in his hand. Rose flinched and scooted away for the fear of getting killed.
“Thought so,” said Tyler. He sneered at how easily she was frightened by a simple threat.
While both of Rose and Tyler were quarreling, Sliver had finished dismantling with her kill. Jasper as well followed pursuit but he took a bit longer than her.
“Hey guys,guys!” Cole yelled to catch their attention. Everyone turned towards him, wondering what he was yelling for. “We got to move! Now!”
He pointed downwards where they saw the water slowly creeping into the building.
People, who were sitting down, jumped up in alarm. Piranha’s started to filter in one-by-one through the hole. Cole who was the nearest stomped onto the fish in the attempts to kill it, but the fish floundered around making it difficult.
Silver understood that any minute now the building will submerged. This was what she was waiting for as the time to rest was over and the game continued. Still, she wished for a moment that she had a bit more time in gathering a bit more crystals. She wasn’t completely one hundred percent, but at least she was close to it.
Everyone scattered quickly looking for the way out, but they only found the entrance where each one of them jumped through from. There were just no way forward towards their next goal where they needed to go.
“Nothing here!” Tyler yelled out in a strained voice. “Did you guys find anything?”
“No. Every single one of them is leading backwards.”
“Damn it. What’s with this retarded game!”
Carefully examining the building, Silver glanced up. What she saw confirmed her belief that this was the only way out of here. A large opening with broken stairs were present above her. A couple medal rods jutted outwards, she bent down and leaped forward, missing it completely. The only way up was to use someone’s shoulder, and right now she knew that no one was going to stay behind to get devoured by the piranhas.
“Is that the way out?” Jasper walked up next to her, he craned his neck to take a better look “Lift me up. I’ll see what I can find.”
Silver picked him up, allowing him to climb up on her back. She was pretty sure that he won’t just run away, even though this was a chance for him too, it was a risk that she was willing to take. Jasper foot pushed into her shoulder as he stood up, causing a momentary pain of his sneakers rubbing into her skin. He reached, almost missing, as he pulled himself up. She could hear his small feet, running around above them, looking for something to pull her up.
“Do you think he left?” Tyler was next to her, he gave her a quizzical look wondering if she understood what he was worried about. He crossed his arm and stood still, gazing up.
“How are you sure?”
“I just know.” The question was, did she really put all her faith in him? No. Not really. She had seen many people betray her in her memories, and even rarely the young did the same. Honestly, this was more of a gamble, she got the feeling the debt that he needed to pay was strong enough reason for him to not run away.
“You guys have quite a strong bond for a brother and sister.”
Silver didn’t correct him. There was no point, he would eventually find out he wasn’t her younger brother. Instead, she paid attention above her for any movement that would tell her that Jasper was back.
“Hey guys! We don’t have time to just wait! Hurry up and get me up there!” Rose pushed through between them, making herself known.
Silver frowned as her lips twitched from annoyance. They were always one of those type of girls that think they were princess and it annoyed her that they would assume that she would say yes. She ignored her as if she didn’t exist and stood silently as she waited. Her mind was thinking up of a different way to climb up even if Jasper didn’t come back.
“Wait your turn bitch. I’m not going to push you up if my life depended on it.”
Rose grimaced from Tyler’s glare, but she still stood her ground. Her hips cocked to the side, showing reluctance to his voice, while her fingers tightened into a fist.
“Silver!” Jasper called out. A thick rope with knots on fell in front of her.
Silver snatched the rope before Rose could grab a hold of it. The thought of her going up there and possibly sabotaging it made her react fast. She didn’t know Rose, and right now the way she acted didn’t rub her the right way. Accidentally killing a man wasn’t something foreseeable, but her selfish attitude did annoy her. There were going to be many more supposed ‘accidents’ to actual murder, so it didn’t bother her as much as it should. It only just meant that she needed to watch herself.
Her finger wrapped around the rope, and pulled herself up with the little bit of muscles that she had. It wasn’t an easy climb, sweat started to pile up, and even her muscles were slightly shaking from the strain. Even still, she gritted her teeth and pulled herself into the hole, grabbed the metal rails as she pulled herself the rest of the onto the stairs.
When she got up, she noticed that the rope was tied to the metal bar that was jutting out on the side of the wall. Jasper actually did a good job knotting the rope, so it didn’t slip or break. She walked up a couple of stairs and saw that she was on the second floor. Looking around, she saw that the floor was completely empty with only one other staircase spiraling upwards.
“Hurry it up!” Rose screeched. “More of them are coming!” Her voice was like nails scratching down a chalk board.
Cole then Kathy came up from the hole. Following behind them was Tyler who came through second, until finally Rose came out angered.
“Why was I last? Huh?!” Rose was pissed off at the treatment.
“Shut up murder. I don’t want you in front of me to sabotage the rope.”
“I wouldn’t.” Rose voice was strained, annoyed that she was suddenly accused of possible sabotage.
“How would I know? Your fluctuating bias emotions seems to have killed someone already.”
Rose fell silent as she stare down in guilt. She twitched her body in an uncomfortable grimace at the thought of what she had done.
“You can’t say anything, huh?”
Rose gave Tyler a menacing glare and crossed her arms. All of a sudden the building shook. The water splashed in through the first floor, a lot more quicker than before. At this rate, the water would reached into the second floor in a matter of minutes. Alarmed, everyone ran towards the stairs. The water behind them gushed through from all sides, making climbing more difficult and slippery.
Silver took the lead. Even though she only got back a two-thirds of her strength, it was enough for her to run up the stairs without being winded. She didn’t have time to look back, her main focus was to get to the top as quickly as possible. The thundering roar of the waters was like their last dramatic symphony that beckon their death.
“It’s getting closer!” Rose was having trouble breathing. She faltered and fell backwards, heading straight into the water. Her eyes became wide, and her mouth opened to scream. “Kyaaaahhh!”
Kathy reached out, she grabbed her wrist and stopped her fall. She desperately pulled her forward saving her life.
“T-thank you.” Rose whispered, her face was pale. Her knees buckled, pissed trickled down her legs.
“We need to move quickly.” Kathy waved the words aside,her focus was getting up the stairs and towards safety. Once again, the two continued to climb the stair with hurried step. They could hear the sloshing of water, coming up faster than before.
Silver saw an opening, leading to the top, she pushed forward until she made it out. Laid out in front of her were more platforms with higher numbers that they left out on, but this time they were floating in the air. Below it was the sparkling metallic calm water that was calling out towards her to fall into its embrace. With quick steps, she took the first number and jumped. Landing perfectly, she glanced behind her and noticed Jasper doing the same thing.
Every single one of them made it safely out, the building sunk back into the depths of the water, leaving nothing behind, but now they all wondered what crazy obstacle was laid out in front of them. This time, they were all dangerously floating up in the sky, ready to fall into their deaths if they were not careful.
Silver didn’t like what she was seeing. The jumping hopscotch like game was still continuing. She wondered what other problematic events this part of the game entitled.
With careful steps, Silver lightly jumped on to the next number. She noticed that the floating platforms were a lot more closer to each other than the ones that they were on before. She didn’t have to really hop from one to another, but more of a taking long strides. In which case, this allowed her to spend less energy.
“Kyaaah!” Kathy screamed so loud that everyone momentarily froze, wondering what happened. A giant fish, the size of an elephant, jumped out of the waters entirely missing Kathy by a margin. She temporarily stood still with fear plastered on her face as she gazed at the giant fist that splashed back down into the depths.
“Keep moving!” Cole shouted, trying to persuade her to move.
“You have to do this!”
“I-I-I don’t think I can.” Kathy wailed, her fear lacing her heart.
“Trust me. If you don’t move now, you’re going to get eaten!”
When Cole shouted that she was going to get eaten, she took a step forward and jumped to the next number. The thought of being eaten terrified her to continue to move.
“Your doing great.”
Kathy half heartedly nodded as she continued forward.
Silver continued to go through the steps, when she was on number 279, she felt a sudden chill running down her back. Quickly jumping through five steps, a large fish the size of a school bus jumped out of the water where she once stood. A snap could be heard as the fish teeth closes around the platforms, breaking it in the process as it shut and miss. A splash of water hit her in the face as she saw the large pearly sharp teeth missing her by a hair breath. Even its ugly beady eyes seem to stare into her soul as it passes her completely. Silver gulped, she never came so close to death until now.
She didn’t take the chance to kill the fish, her life was at stake and staying still to cut through the thick scales will cause her to fall from the sky. There was always a time and place to hunt and right now wasn’t that time.
Minutes went by as the large piranha’s jumped out of the water in the attempt to eat them. The closer she got towards the castle, the more attempts the fish took to swallow her whole. Sliver didn’t slow down and increased her pace. Her energy was now at fifty percent, and she was almost through the floating obstacle.
Suddenly, on platform number 498, a giant fish’s fin crashed into the platform causing Silver to falter. Her hands waved around for balance, the floating platform tumbled out of the sky, leaving a huge gap from number 498 to 500, where the final platform lead to the base of the castle.
Silver gritted her teeth, knowing full well that she had to make the jump. There were no other numbered platform around her that allowed her to bypass the large gap. The jumping distance from the platform she was standing on to the last one was long. Honestly, she wasn’t sure if she could make it, but even still she couldn’t stay too long. It was a do or die chance. Her muscles tensed, her breath became short. With a burst of speed, she went into a full out sprint.
I can do this. I can do this! She chanted in her mind. Her muscles tightened as she put as much power into her last step and sprung forward. Adrenaline was pumping hard as the world felt like it slow down around her. For a brief moment, she felt like she was flying, her arms stretched out as best as she could, and her fingers grasp onto the edge of the platform. She could feel the tips of her fingers tearing from the slide as she desperately grabbed on for her dear life.
I can do this! Silver screamed in her mind, her feet dangling in midair, she pulled herself up with every ounce of strength she had. One feet after another, she desperately pulled herself up, until her body was on the platform. Her heart was thudding in her chest, she breathed out a loud sigh of relief. Painfully, she weakly got up as her legs buckled. She caught herself, straighted up, and took the last jump.
She flew and fell into a roll as she collapsed onto the sandy ground exhausted.
“I did it!” Silver yelled with conviction. Her hands flopped to ground in a T position. Closing her eyes, she breathed in deeply enjoying the cool breeze that passed before her. She didn’t know for how long she was on the ground, but she enjoyed every minute of it.
Suddenly, she felt a strange presence around her.