“Marcus!” I shouted hurriedly, stumbling forward from bumping into a chair. “Marcus!”
There was no answer, only silence, which only made me feel even more alone.
Curse words rung through my head, as I searched around for any hint of clue that I wasn’t alone. I hoped to dear god that what Naz said was a lie, but every second that Marcus didn’t answer, the more I started to panic. I knew that demons told lies just to get in my head, but it wasn’t easy not believe when things were quickly becoming true.
“Jones! Marcus! Timothy!” I raised up my radio, calling them. Only static answered me back.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me!” I cursed some more for falling into a simple trap of mind game, but it was eating at me really fast. There was no way I could just forget so easily and brush it aside anymore, especially since I was panicking.
Trying hard to calm my nerves, I breathed in and attempted to think straight. Naz was a demon, a liar. I shouldn’t believe in him and get back to what I came here for. There was a chance that Marcus was just a bit far away to hear my voice, or possibly fell into a trap like Jones.
Yea, that could be it. Steadying myself and feeling better, I clenched my sword in hand, looking around for any surprises. So far, in the dimly lit dark room, there was no other movement or sound, just dead silence.
I carefully peeked out the door, pushing it open with my foot. Finding out that it was clear, I searched for Marcus from the last time I heard him. The dimly lit hallway made it difficult to see beyond my arm, in which I strained my other senses too find any unsuspecting demons that could come out and jump on me.
With steady steps, I pushed forward. Using the end of my sword to poke forward at times, or even brought it forward to guard if necessary. It was a long two minute walk across the dark hallway, making me feel like I was the only living thing in their.
There were times when I thought I saw a blur of shadows zip past me at the edge of my vision, but when I snapped towards the shadows, it wasn’t even there. This didn’t happen just happen once, but many times, making me wonder if I was starting to hallucinate.
Pushing through the hallway, I came upon another door, but made out of metal. This door wasn’t as creepy as the one that I went through with the shrunken heads, it just looked absolutely normal, almost to clean. I had to wonder what the heck was down here that needed a metal door, so I quickly pulled up my watch to see where Jones was located.
The map lead directly towards through the door, and he was on the other side. What was strange was I didn’t see a single dot for possible demons around, making me wonder if this was really the door that I have to go through. Last time I saw the map, I was sure there was quite a number of demons hanging around, waiting to burst in, but there was none, making me very uneasy.
“What’s going on?” I mumbled under my breath. Anxiously looking around, I checked to see if any demons would come jumping out from the dark.
Nothing happened, and I inched forward examining the metal door in front of me. My hand touched the cold metal, electrifying up the arm and then spreading like wildfire throughout my whole body. It was icy cold, more so than any normal metal door that I had felt. Ice started to build around the door, becoming white as fog started to spew out from other cracks. Confused, I took a step back, wondering what the hell was inside the door.
The question came down to, was Jones okay? I know the Dragon Scale could take icy cold weather, but this felt like it was possibly going below zero. When I checked the watch, I saw a sharp decline in temperature.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to go inside now, but I stilled my heart, reached over and pulled. A gust of cold air slammed into my body, causing me to shiver in cold even inside the Dragon Scale. Bright light blinded me, until finally I could adjust and see.
Taking small steps, I noticed that the whole room was lit up with a strange, orange light that slowly bled into a piercing white light, reminding me the first time that I had entered into the hospital ward. Then I saw the same bed that I was on, I froze.
This was a memory that I never wanted to relive in. It was the day, I was called to becoming a Ouroboros and baptized by the first demon slaying experience. Fighting hard just to survive, knowing full well that failure wasn’t an option or my death was on hand.
“Jones?” Walking through, I called out my comrades names. “Marcus? Simon?” My voices echoed through the white room, hoping that someone would answer.
The whole room was empty, making this a very strange experience. Only cold invaded my skin, making me shiver. Even the Dragon Scale started to heat up, finally making me warm. Hot air escape my lips, squinting my eyes trying to find something.
I checked my watch again, making sure I wasn’t in the wrong room, but it was correct. Jone’s gps was pinging exactly where I was standing, telling me I wasn’t wrong.
“What the hell?” I shook my wrist, checking if it wasn’t malfunctioning. “Is it broken?” I tapped a couple times.
Nothing change, making me wonder what was going on. Something was wrong with this house, I knew that much, but I made a decision to step in here for my friends and to wipe out the infestation that was killing those who came near it. The thought of seeing so many people that falls in the hands of the demon made me furious.
Checking the room, I carefully walked through. I stopped and tapped each wall and the ground with the point of my sword, hoping to find something that I was seeing.
Suddenly, the door behind me slammed shut, startling me. I ran over,before ruthlessly slamming my body on the metal door in the hopes to break it down. Only the clang of loud metal against metal was heard, echoing down the hall loudly.
“Marcus! Jones! Simon!” I pounded into the door with my fist. “Anyone out there?!” I shouted to the point where my voice was going hoarse.
Frustrated that nobody was answering, I stepped backwards to see what else I could do to break down the door that was blocking my path out of here. I didn’t wanted to stay here any longer than necessary, because it was bringing unwanted memories that I didn’t wanted to remember.
“Hello?!” I radioed in, but all I got was static. “Damn it!” I kicked the metal door with a bang, frustrated that I was trapped back inside the hospital ward. In my frustration, I even pulled out my gun to fire off rounds in the hope to signal to someone that I was here, but all I was rewarded with was a painful sound of echoes.
Even my sword didn’t do any damage. It was as if the metal door was created by titanium or something because not even a single scratched was seen. I tried everything, from throwing things at it, running at it, or focusing my attacks on one particular spot. Absolutely nothing worked. Even when I searched the whole room for any cracks or weak points I could exploit, but there was nothing.
Defeated, I walked over towards the only hospital bed. I looked over it to make sure it wasn’t rigged and found nothing. With a sigh, I sat on the bed, thinking of other ways to get out of this mess.
I had to wonder why there was something like this here in the room that reminded me of my past awakening, especially in a half run down building like this mansion. In the first place, it was weird to see a half furnished and half decayed building. It honestly didn’t even make sense on how half of it was even perfectly fine. The weather didn’t just rain on half the building in the first place, it was just too illogical.
The only thought was that there was something strange about this mansion that brought up strange illusion, and this room might actually be a lie to begin with or a trap. My thoughts ran rampant for a while, trying to find ways to get out of this room, but no answers came. It was as if my mind was going numb and sluggish, keeping me sedated.
I eventually lay back on the bed, staring up onto the ceiling. Wondering what was I doing here in this room. Thoughts like failures and depressing moments crossed through my head. I realized that I had lived through my second life without a specific goal. All I could think about was to survive in this hell torn world filled with demons that were attempting at my life every step I took. There was just no escaping it.
With a sigh, I closed my eyes.
I felt small compared to the world, while the demons were constantly barraging us on all sides. How long would this fight last? I wasn’t sure, but I knew that this was going to be a fight that vastly going on until I die. It was quite a depressing thought.
“So, it seemed you gave up.” Naz voice echoed throughout the room, startling me awake. I bolted up onto my feet, drawing my sword in front of me to use.
Standing not to far away from me was Naz standing by the only dark corner of the room. It was as if he couldn’t move from that shadowy part of the room, making me wonder where did the dark shadow even came from. Last time I remember looking around, there wasn’t a single dark spot that casted a shadow.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
“What do you mean what the hell am I doing in here? The question is what the hell are you doing here?” Naz replied like a parrot, mocking me of my words.
“You should know better than I that I am trapped.” Just saying the last words made me annoyed that I wanted to throw my sword at him, but I knew that it wouldn’t effect him.
“Being trapped is all in your mind.” Naz chuckled, standing up straighter as the dark shadows started to elongate towards me.
“I don’t really think so,” I replied, looking at him strangely. Though, I had to wonder if it was all in the mind and this house was affecting my sanity, but the better question was why would Naz even tell me all about this? He could keep me here forever like any demon would. They all hated humans from far as I know.
“You think so?” Naz smirked, knowing full well that he was making me think round in circles.
“Why don’t you just leave me alone.”
“Why would I do that?” Naz pretended to be offended, gasping back as if I said something horrible.” I wouldn’t dare miss this opportunityoppertunity to pick the minds of your kind.”
“We’re not science experiments.” I replied back, watching every movement that he would take.
“I never said you were….though, I do find you quite….fascinating.”
I wasn’t sure the word fascinating to the demons were even considered a good thing at all. Being less interesting was better than being caught by a demon’s attention.
“How so….?” Waiting for his answer, I examined around me for any unsuspecting attacks.
“Simple really,” Naz shrugged, he took a step forward where the harsh light divided from the shadows and flinched. A nasty hissing sound could be heard as I saw his foot bubbling and burning. At first Naz didn’t move, he just stood there accepting it burn as holes started to appear. “You, who are more than human…..no….you are more like monsters like me.”
“What?” I asked confused, wondering at the same time when he was going to pull back his foot. The longer he kept it in the harsh light, he continually burned and the strange part of it all was that he wasn’t responding. It was as if he was attempting to accept to live in the light, but the light was rejecting him every second of his existence.
“I am sure I am not a monster.”
A deep chuckle erupted on Naz’s throat, he pulled back his foot, allowing it to quickly heal back in the dark. It was as if their wasn’t anything wrong with him in the first place, allowing Naz to look brand new.
“Do you really believe that?”
“Let me ask you this. Where do you think demons come from?”
I was stumped, that was something that I had never thought about or realized who or where they appeared from. The only thing I ever thought about demons were that they were creatures of hell or made from evil that god had created and messed up on.
“It seems, like most humans, you don’t know the answer.” Naz sighed, shaking his head in disappointment in my lack of knowledge. Naz, with his eyeless face, stared at me with a creepy grin that slowly spread from one corner to another. “It’s human’s of course.”
“Bull.” I quickly replied, realizing that I literally shouted. “Demon’s aren’t humans!”
“You think so?” Naz chuckled, his body was shifting into a more humanoid figure. He was now an older gentleman, who looked to be around his mid to early fifties. The clothes that he wore was clean black suit, white undershirt with a red polka dotted tie. Surprisingly, he still had hair, nicely slicked backwards. Straightening himself, he adjusted his white cuffs and then to his tie and with a knowing smile, he replied. “What do you think?”
I gapped for a moment, then snapped back to reality. “You stole that body.” Quickly, I remembered that demons were good at possessing people’s body in real life.
Naz snorted, then he raised his eyebrows at me, stating that I was being illogical. “I am in my spirit form, Alexus. There are times, when demons like me can materialize in front of a physical being without a shell. That’s what we call those….” He motioned his right hand in front of him in circles. “Humans.”
He made it sound like humans were different from him and I, making me feel a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t completely see other humans different from Ouroboros as much, I always thought we were the same kind of species, just a bit more…evolved.
“I am a human too.”
“Well, not completely,” said Naz. “Now, humans have three paths to choose from when they die, if you didn’t know.”
I tilted my head slightly, confused in where he was going with this.
“You get to: one, peacefully go with your supposed guardian to after life, which I believe is completely bogus.” Naz’s fingers were brought up towards him, then started to count, raising one finger at a time. “Two, choose the path to fight to stay alive and become an Ouroborus. Personally, fighting to stay alive is such a drag. Three, choose to exact revenge, hate, or destroy other humans who have dealt harm to yourself, and that, my young Ouroboros is where I come in.” A sinister smile erupts from his lips.
“So, you’re implying that humans can become a demon.”
“Exactly,” Naz snapped his fingers in agreement in what I had said. “But, I personally would say that humans are more demonic than demons themselves with the way they hurt each other for pleasure.”
“And demon’s don’t?” I asked, skeptically of what he was saying.
“Not always, though there are quite a few who do find it pleasurable.
“How do you know all this?” I asked.
“How? You were given a choice when you died.”
“Such as? To fight, to stay behind, or fester in the dark emotions and gain true power.”
“That was you who talked with me?”
Naz raised up his eyebrows, not quite agreeing or disagreeing with what I had said. Instead, he replied. “Once again, you are on that crossroad of life and death. Why don’t you leave the life of an Ouroboros and step into the role more fitting for you.”
“Fitting?” I didn’t know that they was even a role to begin with. Being a human was tough, and now, being a Ouroboros was even tougher. What else would there be that would consider something higher than an Ouroboros.
“And what would that be?” I asked slowly, I wasn’t sure if I should continue listening to him or shut him out. Listening to a demon wasn’t something that I wanted to do, especially when they are considered habitual liars.
Heavy silenced was in the air, i was stunned in what I had just heard and was unable to believe what Naz had said. A god? That was something I know humans would love to be, but something that powerful was something people can’t get a grasp on or understand. For me to become a god was a huge burden that I couldn’t even phantom.
“So…..you’re saying that you’re a god?” I asked, motioning one of my hand in front of me. “A little g or a big G?”
“Does it matter?” Naz asked.
“Actually, yes. God with a capital is different from a lower case god. You were created from something higher that lords above you. That in itself is supposedly only one, if you believe in such a thing. While the second is a smaller g, where you were born into the world where and made into one.” I thought it over what I had said, “well, something like that. Though, I thought you were a demon.”
“Well, you can say I’m a god either way. Large or big, it wouldn’t matter.” Naz stated pridefully as he puffed up his chest as if he was someone important. “I was gifted with power, turning from human to demon to now a god. With such a path led out to me, why wouldn’t I attempt to be one?”
“Because, it’s wrong.” I cut him off, being an Ouroboros was one thing, being a god was another. At the rate that Naz was talking, I could tell that he was full of himself as if he was self important. “I would state your a demonic god.”
Naz snorted, chuckling deeply with malicious intent that I could feel his power creeping out of his body and spreading the dark energy around the white room. Already, he was half way in taking over the whole room with darkness and stopping at the foot of the bed, close to my feet.
“You don’t know the half of it.” Naz’s energy sparked out erratically, light and shadow danced together in a frenzy of dominance, telling me that any more eradication of the light that I would be in serious trouble. I didn’t wanted to become like the foul demon god in front of me and change into something evil that wasn’t my goal nor the path I wanted to go.
I unconsciously took a step backwards, but stopped, knowing full well that if I cowered now that I would lose. There were two options, I had to fight for my existence or become dominated by the demon’s energy that wanted more harm to my very soul than the good.
Taking in a gulp, I stood up straighter, wrapping my right hand even tighter on my sword. There was no way I was going to run, especially because I couldn’t. Pushed to fight for my life, I willed my own energy to spike.
Gold energy streamed out of my body, wrapping around the very sword itself. The Dragon Scale started to glow with the same color as my energy, humming loudly in excitement. The gold energy smashed into the darkness, static of black and gold erupted outwards in a frenzy.
Naz stare in surprise, but he didn’t falter. “Come now, Alexus. Why don’t you sleep a little longer…..or maybe even join me.”
“No.” I replied with a cold voice, I wasn’t going to let Naz win. “Leave.”
“Why?” Naz voice was low with an hint of animalistic growl. “It’s just getting good you know.”
“Leave.” I stressed the words again.
“But, you should know that you can’t leave.”
“I don’t care.”
“Oh, yes you do.” Naz said slowly, “Why don’t I make a deal with you? Be who you are meant to be and follow me, or be stuck here forever.”
I stopped for a moment, thinking about his offer. Leaving this place was good and all, but losing my soul and becoming like him? “No. Never.”
“Are you sure?”
A burst of gold energy shot forth, splashing outwards like a tidal wave as it continually hit against the demonic energy. Electric sparks continually got stronger, striking everywhere it could. There was a couple of times where I had to duck under or even jump so I wouldn’t get electrocuted, especially because it seemed to particular like to aim straight towards my sword.
Naz burst out laughing, “then so I shall.”
With a snap of his fingers, the darkness burst outwards, attempting to swallow the light in one go. The gold energy around me flared to life, keeping me in a bubble as room became completely dark.
“Alexus Tyger, why don’t you wake up from this dream and follow me?” Naz voiced boomed. “Wake up, Alexus. Wake…..up.”
Suddenly, the world around me shattered like glass, startling as I fell backwards into the void. I felt a rush of adrenaline kick in as fear doused my very soul. I was confused at the sudden fall, wondering what was happening as I flailed around. Just when I thought the fall would last forever, I felt a jerk of pain as I slammed onto the ground. The sudden shock vibrated throughout my body, and I felt myself stir. It was as if I was suddenly brought back to my real body as I woke up, meeting the glaring light of the sun.