“No,” grunted Marcus. The glaze in Marcus’ eyes was gone, but the struggle to stay sane was apparent on his face.
Alexus was startled by Marcus’ sudden voice. He thought that Marcus was gone, but that was not the case. His will must have been mind-bogglingly strong. Simon was one of them, but he couldn’t speak; Marcus was the only one that had almost all of his sanity intact.
Marcus rushed forward; his energy swirled around his fist like a blazing fire. His hand made contact with the demon’s dagger-like hand, breaking off the blades in one hit. The demon flew backward and slammed into the line of crates.
Alexus’ eyebrow twitched, staring at the sheer power Marcus just used in the arm that he was just injured with. Marcus tried to maintain a cool act, but he suddenly hunched forward, shaking his hand in pain.
“Damn, that hurts.” Marcus cursed, blowing at his fist to cool it down.
With a light chuckle, Alexus started to laugh. It was amusing. Only Marcus would say something like that and still look badass.
Marcus glanced over towards Alexus, looking at him funny. “What?”
“Nothing. Nothing at all.” Alexus replied, wiping away his tears. He needed that laugh. The tense atmosphere, the possibility of dying, and having someone there with him fighting against the monster that could easily obliterate their body made it much more relieving.
“It hurts, you know, hitting steel metal isn’t something my fist would usually win against. It’s the opposite.”
“I know, but you used your magic, didn’t you?”
“Yea, my eyes.” Alexus tapped the side of his head to remind him that he could still see the flow of energy.
“Well then,” Marcus unwraps another lollipop and sticks it into his mouth, “let’s finish this and get the hell in the Garden.”
“Roger that.” A devious smile erupted on Alexus’ lips.
Suddenly, the demon rampaged through the box of crates as it flew outwards, raining down on them. Both Marcus and Alexus ran and dodged towards the demon. The demon threw the crates at them to knock them out, but so far, none of them landed on them. All Alexus could say was the demon had a horrible throwing arm, and for once, he was glad that there was something faulty about this demon. He wasn’t perfect; no, he was far from it.
“I’m hungry! Why don’t you give me your soul!” The demon yelled in frustration, his claws were regrown, and his hands were crawling with a black flow of energy wrapped around his arms. They were becoming fury like a bear, bulky with muscles, and even had a strange green glow of runic symbol, decorating his arms.
“Because we don’t want to bitch.” Marcus crunched his candy, rushed in, and threw some hits like a pro-boxer. His feet shuffled, moving in rhythm with the attack of the demon. Each swing from the bear-like arm almost grazed his shoulder or face, but he dodged it just in time. His punches were deadly, and the demon was pushed backward away from the Garden itself.
Alexus ran forward, sneaking in a slash or two when Marcus pulled backward. He barraged the demon with a one-two hit combo, stepped back, and let Alexus swing. Every time the blade hit the metallic skin, it cut through into its arm like butter. This blade was awesome, and he loved swinging it every second.
Compared to the bullets they had been using, Marcus’ fist and the energy covering Alexus’s sword were damaging the demon’s skin effortlessly. They wouldn’t allow this demon to get in a jab at them. Instead, they pummeled and slashed into its thick arms to the point where it spewed out black goo substance like a fountain.
“I’m hungry.” The demon spewed out in anger.
“You’re so annoying, always saying you’re hungry. Do you have tapeworms in your stomach or something? I swear you’re like a glutton.” Alexus scoffed at the demon. His blade ripped into his arm; he had to pull back, so he wouldn’t be dragged along with the demon. “Actually, why not I just call you Gluttony.”
“Gluttony?” The demon tilted his head; Alexus could tell that the words, for some reason, piqued his interest. It was strange that the demon followed his words like a parrot. “Gluttony. Gluttony. My name is Gluttony.”
Alexus felt a sudden chill. Marcus came from the side and slammed his fist into Gluttony’s side. One of Gluttony’s arms flopped, unable to hold against Marcus’ punches. Marcus pulled back his punch and did a corkscrew, driving his fist into Gluttony’s belly. The demon could hear a loud oomph as air escaped its lungs. A fist-sized hole appeared as Marcus drew back, while Alexus followed in and cut off its head.
The rucksack filled with the head flew up in the air and fell with a sickening thump. It rolled and stopped a good couple of feet away from the body.
Alexus let out a sigh of relief at the battle that was over. It wasn’t as hard as they thought, and they both beat a Myth type demon together. The body fell forward, gunk of black blood seeped outwards.
“Nice job,” Marcus replied, finishing up his candy with a crunch. “I wouldn’t put it any other way.” He turned around and started to head towards the Garden.
Alexus’s lungs were gasping for air, his muscles tightened from the strenuous activity. He took a moment to catch his breath. He felt a hiss-like sound cooling his body, realizing that the suit was active. When he finally had the strength to walk, he walked up over towards Marcus, elated at the won battle. It was finally over, all they needed to do now was get in, and it was done.
They walked over towards the pod; Marcus hoisted himself up and made himself comfortable.
“I’ll be seeing you later,” said Marcus. He punched Alexus lightly on the shoulder.
“Yea, I’ll be seeing all of you guys later.”
The pod started to close, Marcus closed his eyes, and the machine pulled the pod into the Garden. With a loud mechanical click, the machine churned to life, and it began to glow once again. This time the energy around the dome was a lot stronger and more powerful than before.
Alexus could feel the wash of energy flow through his body, giving him the extra energy needed.
Suddenly, the dome gears started to crank and shudder, levers and unknown pulleys started to move into action, condensing the large dome smaller. Alexus stepped back, confused, wondering why he hadn’t been called in yet. Was it because he didn’t inhale the blue energy like the rest, or maybe he wasn’t in the system.
Being left alone with demons by himself didn’t sit too well with him. He had to take a deep breath to calm down and shake this nervous feeling out of his body.
When the dome stopped momentarily, another high pitch of metal contraption turning could be heard. Four giant pillars that reminded Alexus of an obelisk appeared from the ground, surrounding the dome on all four sides. Static blue energy erupted from each point, charging the obelisk with electricity.
Alexus’ hair stood on end; his body was buzzing with energy. He could feel all his exhausted muscles repairing themselves quickly. Then, just when he thought the high-density power was over, powerful, malicious energy from behind him throbbed in excitement. Slowly turning around, he froze.
The body that was decapitated was spazzing out as if it had epilepsy. The rucksack with the head burst out into a frenzy of laughter.
Alexus ran over towards the sack and kicked it as hard as possible. It was just too creepy to hear it still alive, and he felt better from kicking the crap out of it. Even though the laughter didn’t die down, the body on the floor rose up like a zombie.
Alexus sprinted forward towards the body with the sword in hand; before it could even attempt to rise any further, he slashed downwards. The demon’s hand rose, catching his blade before it could even cut through.
Gluttony’s body hardened, his hand becoming bigger and growing into animal-like claws. His body began to rip through the clothes that it had on, showing bare, pimply blackish skin, turning into a monster. Then, finally, the body slowly stood up, pushing Alexus backward. He gritted his teeth. His muscle tensed, and he pushed with all his power, but it didn’t do a single thing.
With a flick of Gluttony’s hand, Alexus flew backward, crashing into one of the obelisks. A stunning pain shook his head, causing him to see white. He was glad that he had on the Dragon Scale; even if he did look stupid in it, it saved his life numerous times. Looking to the demon as it stood up, Alexus could see it had an overbearing body that towered over him, thick muscles, two large bear claws, while the hole in its stomach wriggled and knitted together as it closed.
“Teheheheheheheheheh!” The rucksack with the head rolled in towards its body, trailing behind it black blood. Then, with a scoop of its large hand, it picked up the head on the floor and brought it up towards its neck. A plop with a mix of bone-crunching-like sound echoed, meshing the neck and the head together.
Its black claws caught on the rucksack, pulling back the face that Alexus had been curious about seeing. Instead, what stood staring back at him was an atrocity face that couldn’t even be called human. A frog face mixed with a smile of a toad, boils, pimples, and nasty blisters popped white ooze every moment, giving off a foul air.
Alexus wanted to hurl from the stench coming off its body; it was three times worse than before, turning his stomach into loops.
The laughing stopped, and the eerie green eyes that Alexus saw through the rucksack opened. Frog-like eyes stared back at him with interest. A slimy grin erupted on its face. “My name is Gluttony.” Gluttony replied, pleased with the name. “And I am hungry.”
With a crack, Gluttony’s back started to pop. He arched backward, a green glow lit up on his stomach. His belly expands three times its normal size, giving it an obnoxiously large potbelly. Bleaching-like sound could be heard as he hacked out a green goo that flew towards Alexus.
Scampering onto his feet, Alexus dived just in time before he could be covered head-to-toe. He didn’t know what that gunk was, and having barf covered up all around him sounded like a bad idea.
A hiss followed after, the green gunk ate through the metal around the obelisk but couldn’t go through the obelisk itself. Alexus had to wonder what kind of material was made from the green gunk for it to be unable to break the obelisk. Even runic symbols started to glow just like the black dome was shown as it hissed away the green gunk into nothingness.
“Can’t you just leave me alone?” Alexus replied, hoping that he would comply.
“No. Why should I?” Gluttony replied straight; the eerie green glow in his stomach started to quiet down.
Alexus was completely surprised that Gluttony answered his question. He thought Gluttony would go off on a repetitive tone of voice of saying, ‘I’m hungry over and over again. But, instead, this told him that this being was now a higher intelligence.
“Uh, because I don’t want to die.” Alexus stupidly replied, but at the same time, he was trying to find something to kill this demon as quickly as possible. His eyes darted around, looking for a solution.
Gluttony rubbed his belly, he tilted his frog face. “Why would I do that?”
“Because I gave you a name?”
Alexus saw what he needed to do; not too far away from him was the shotgun that Jones had used not too far away from him. He understood the basics of using it and knew that this was going to be a gamble.
“A name?” Gluttony thought it over. “Yes, you did. But you see, because you are my benefactor of naming me, I must eat you.”
“I don’t think that works out that way,” Alexus replied, diverting Gluttony’s attention. His feet started to slowly creep towards the shotgun to get as close as possible. “As your benefactor, shouldn’t I be welcomed with open arms and be held in high esteem? Not in anyways killing me?”
Gluttony chuckled; his large potbelly filled with green energy jiggled up and down. “You don’t get it to do you.”
“All newly born demons that are given a name become a solid existence in this world. Names have power, and I thank you for giving me a name. So as a ceremony for the newly awakened, I’ll eat your soul.”
Alexus was kicking himself for giving him a name. The thought of naming Gluttony made him feel like he was the creator. “I’ll pass.”
“But you see, your kind of soul tastes the best. I can’t let such a delicious morsel go loose.”
“Please do. I don’t taste good. You’ll get a tummy ache.”
Gluttony snorted. “Highly unlikely. Instead, I’ll just get stronger.”
Alexus’ lips became a thin line as his eyebrows furrowed.
“How about this.” Gluttony lip’s turned into an upward curl, giving his face a different look. Alexus couldn’t help but feel disgusted as more white puss broke from his skin because of that smile. “Let’s play a game of tag.”
“What if I say no?”
“You can’t, because either way you’re it, it’s just the time you have left to live longer depends on the game itself.”
Alexus ground his teeth, his feet crossing over the other in the hopes of getting to the shotgun as quickly as possible. “Fine. What’s the rule.”
“It’s really simple. If my energy touches you, you lose.” Gluttony rubs his glowing green belly. “Let the game begin.” His stomach begins to widen.
Alexus went into a full out sprint, his hand reached down, picked up the shotgun in hand. A loud lurching sound could be heard as green energy flew towards him. His feet pushed down harder into the ground; he ran with everything he got to dodge the falling acid throwup.
Turning, his fingers pulled back the trigger, and a thunderous gunshot rang out loudly. His ears started to ring; the recoil startled him, making him half falter. The bullet left a large hole in its stomach, but it was closed just as quickly as it appeared.
“Not bad.” Gluttony replied with glee. “This game is gonna be a lot more fun than I thought.”
Gluttony’s large body jiggled as he took a step forward, and his foot ground into the ground, breaking the stone. Then in an instant, he flew over towards Alexus and punched him in the guts.
Alexus didn’t have the time to react, but he felt the full force of the punch.
Pain riddled his whole body, numbing his senses. Even metal hitting on metal could be heard as he bounced around the wall and onto the ground.
Alexus coughed up blood as he shakily got up to his knees. The pain from that punch was mind-blowing painful, he glanced down to see if there was a hole, but there wasn’t. What was miraculous was that the Dragon Scale didn’t even have a single dent, but the power absorption from that punch was only a half.
Gluttony ran over, his tongue slipped out, and he licked his lower lips. Alexus’ sword raised just in time to make contact with Gluttony’s fist. A high, piercing, ping-like sound ricocheted outwards, with the blazing sword gold as his black fist was blocked. His eyes creased into a surprise that he was able to block his attack.
The vibration of the gold energy intensified. Alexus’ body pushed against Gluttony’s fist, stopping Gluttony from moving him backward. A hiss could be heard as the blade slowly cut through Gluttony’s fingers, completely surprising him. He pulled back in alarm; his stomach glowed green and expanded. With a blech, he shot out another nasty green guck at Alexus.
Stumbling backward as the gunk hit the Dragon Scale, a sizzling sound of metal being eaten could be heard. Alexus quickly brushed the goo off his stomach. Luckily, he got rid of most of the gunk, stopping from eating all the way through. But unfortunately, this was the only protection he had, and losing the Dragon’s skin protection made him panic, causing him to let go of his sword as it clattered onto the ground.
Gluttony fired off another barrage of goo at Alexus. Alexus dove forward picked up the shotgun on the floor, and fired. He didn’t need to aim too far; Gluttony was right in front of him; he pumped the shot again and again until there was nothing left.
Alexus threw the shotgun away and slid across the floor to pick up his sword that he had dropped. But instead, he swung into a horizontal strike from a downward position, lopping off both of his legs. He fell like a tree with a stumble, his arm flailing around as the green light in his stomach started to wane.
Turning over, Alexus stabbed downwards.
Gluttony rolled his fat body to the side; the sword missed and stuck into the ground. Raised his hand and fired off his toy yoyo that Alexus hadn’t seen him use again until now. The impact threw Alexus backward, taking the sword along with him.
“Damn humans.” Gluttony spat, green gunk spilling out of his mouth as he tried to get up. His stubby feet were heavily bleeding with black blood, making this whole scene into a horror film. “Why can’t you just stay still for me to eat your soul?! Why go through all this trouble? Don’t you understand how at peace you will be when you become my fuel? No more worries about living in this wretched world and being free from all this agony.”
“I rather live in this wretched world going through the agony. It tells me that I am alive and can make the most of this life. Besides, becoming a part of you sounds like a horrible idea, and I want no part of it.” Alexus hissed, rolling onto his stomach. He pushed up quickly onto his feet.
“Then so be it.” Gluttony angrily shouted. A green glow started to expand in his stomach, his belly began to enlarge five times his average size, continually becoming bigger and bigger.
Alexus had a horrible feeling that whatever that Gluttony was going to spit out would be one hundred times worse than before. His hand raised with the sword in hand. His heart pounded. He only had one shot. So, steadying his arm, he aimed directly towards Gluttony’s heart.
When he was focused on throwing the sword, he felt a sudden hard pull from the dome. In the corner of his eyes, his name and number were displayed. A loud metallic-like clinking sound was heard as the pod opened, waiting for him to enter. The pull from the dome was no joke. His mind scrambled for a moment, losing concentration. Focusing became temporarily difficult.
Alexus shook his head, bit his lower lips until it bled to snap out. His will to stay sane overpowered the pull and strengthened the blade. Gold energy swirled densely around the edge, becoming brighter and stronger than before. He eventually pushed the force back into the corner of his mind. His hands pulled back over his shoulder, and he threw. The sword flew true straight into the belly of the beast right at heart.
Gluttony’s stomach started to shake and rumble; the green glow turned ghastly until finally, he burst. Goo flew out everywhere. He scurried and dived underneath the nearest table. Splotches of goo were littered all around him.
Peeking out from the side, Alexus saw that Gluttony’s belly had ripped open and was bleeding profoundly with black blood. He stumbled forward, completely lost in thought of what just had happened. An unearthly high piercing screech wrung out loudly as he wailed nonstop.
Alexus’ hands came up to his ears. He clenched his ear, trying to block out the horrible sound. It went on forever until he thought his eardrums would pop. Eventually, the howling stopped. With great difficulties, he shakily crawled out from the table and got up onto his feet.
Thousands, possibly even millions of green orbs slipped out of Gluttony’s beating green heart. A large portion of them disappeared into thin air, while a handful headed straight towards the dome. The soul-like orbs disappeared into the dome as if it was absorbed, leaving no trace of the orbs behind.
“Nooooooooooooo! My food!” Gluttony cried out, trying to catch every orb escaping from him. “Stop!”He stumbled and fell on his knees.
Gluttony’s muscles were becoming shrunken and stick-like, to the point of bones. “No! No! No! No! No!” He cried out in pure fury, but his voice was getting weaker.
A single small green orb flew and went inside of Alexus. He felt a weird surge of energy as if a missing part of him was back. He just didn’t know what, but he knew something in him felt a bit more complete.
At that moment, a blast of dark energy shot forward, cutting an even larger hole that had taken away half its body. Gluttony gaze down, completely surprised, then Alexus looks towards his shoulder. The little demon girl was standing on the stairs with her hand stretched outwards.
“You.” Gluttony mouthed slowly.
“I’m tired. Let’s go home.” The demon girl let out a bored and tired breath.
Gluttony’s whole body shuddered and crumbled into nothingness. A green emerald fell onto the ground with a clatter. A drone flew by hurriedly and picked up the green emerald. It flew it back over towards the girl. The drone dropped it into her hand; she gripped it tightly and turned around, and started to head towards the exit.
Alexus was curious why she didn’t attack and left without doing anything. Relief flooded over his whole body, but then not even a moment later, a wave of dragonfly drones flew outwards and headed straight towards him.
Alexus scrambled onto his feet and ran towards the pod, waiting for him without a second thought. He didn’t know if it could protect him, but it was better than nothing. So far, Gluttony wasn’t able to damage the dome or the obelisk with its power.
Alexus dove into the pod with a leap of faith and attempted to make himself comfortable.
“Come on. Come on. Come on.” The glass door slowly closed, Alexus cursed at how painfully slow the glass was closing. It was just taking too long. His hand reached over and attempted to force it to close faster. All it did was close even slower, making him grind his teeth in frustration.
Alexus gave up in attempting to close something that wouldn’t close any faster and laid back tensed. His mind was in turmoil, praying that the machine would work in his favor.
The swarm dived downwards towards him from the air. Finally, he heard a clink of the glass door locks. Blue energy swirled outwards, zapping the dragonfly drones in the process. Every one of them crumpled onto the ground, unable to move forward.
He felt the pod shake and the machine crank. The pod moved backward as his eyes became heavy with sleep. The last thing he saw was the door closing and the dragonfly drones getting destroyed. After that, he fell into a deep slumber.