They moved quickly but quietly. Searching diligently but were attentive to their surroundings.
Alexus knew that he could get attacked at any second; such a feeling is still horribly nerve-wracking. The first time he panicked and killed a demon, he almost lost his life. He panicked the second time, but he had some experience and could handle it better. The third time, it was even easier than before.
He couldn’t help but feel his heart pounding in his chest. There were over ten, possibly even more than twenty, the different demon’s inside this mansion. That was a lot more than he had ever fought before, and even though he had enough bullets, it still wasn’t something he was comfortable with.
Something as simple as practicing martial arts or gun training is completely different than going through and fighting in real life, especially when they haven’t gone over this type of large-scale infestation.
They couldn’t exactly rush in, but they couldn’t dilly dally simultaneously. Jones’ life was on the line, but so was theirs. If one wrong move, they would quickly be overwhelmed.
Pushing past the kitchen, they quickly went through the hallway.
Marcus meticulously cleared each corner and room, moving methodically like a swat team.
The way he held himself as he carried himself amazed Alexus. He paid close attention to how Marcus moved. Learning firsthand just how Marcus cleared the room made him feel self-conscious about how he should’ve been taking these corners and spots.
The sheer amount of lessons that Alexus was being taught firsthand by Marcus was quite eye-opening in such a short amount of time. Even though he was a bit clumsy with how he cleared after him, he followed suit. He quickly tightened up his form as best as he could. Marcus glanced at him a few times, but he didn’t say a word.
So far, there have been no surprise attacks from under the floor like in the horror movies. Instead, they went through a large dining room, where a huge rectangular table was present with chairs around it.
Alexus walked closely behind Marcus and passed by the dining table. Suddenly, multiple chairs scraped against the ground, rushing towards them. He swung his sheath downwards, stopping the chair from ramming him.
The screeching of chairs continued, and quite a few were thrown into the air toward them.
Marcus cursed, ducking below a chair that was thrown over his head.
Alexus swung his sheath upwards this time, blocking a chair that came flying from the side. Suddenly, he felt something hard slam into his back, causing him to stumble forward. The wooden chair splintered and broke all from impact. He turned around and found another flying towards his body.
Dropping down to his knees, he ducked out of harm’s way. Next, he quickly got on his knees, pushing back up into a scramble. Staying on the floor wasn’t ideal, especially when there was a high chance of being attacked from the top.
He suddenly felt his leg get sharply tugged from underneath his, causing him to fall flat on his stomach.
“What the hell?!” Alexus shouted, dazed for a moment. He looked over his shoulders.
An ugly, haggard, black-skinned demon with sharp teeth that reminded him of a shark and a glowing pair of red eyes stared back. His sharp claw dug into his suit, but it didn’t damage him. He wildly kicked his leg to free himself, but he got a good hold, dragging him under the table.
Alexus cursed at himself for forgetting to check under the table, realizing he needed more awareness. His heart pounded hard as he could feel the intense rush of adrenaline kicking in. He rolled over with another vicious kick, kicking the clawed arm off of him. The twist caused the demon to let go, giving him a chance to scramble out from under.
The demon growled, pulling itself out from under the table with its arms. The way it scrambled outwards was creepy; it spazzed and contorted like it was broken. Even how it moved its arm was disgusting that Alexus thought it would break; when it came a third of the way out, he saw the other half of its body.
The legs were flipped over like he was a crab, walking while his front hand was pulling its body in a craw. Twisting in such a way that made Alexus’ lower back hurt just looking at it, and it made him wonder how it was even able to move like that.
“G-give me y-y-your legs.” The demon hissed in a snake-like manner. “Your prrrrettty legs.”
Alexus’s lips twitched, disgusted at what he was seeing before him. Then, reaching over towards his blade from the sheath, and with one pull, the blade smoothly came out. He loved it!
The sheathe mechanically clacked in a spinning motion as it merged with the sword, becoming a part of the handle.
Reaching over with its ugly hand, the demon attempted to grab his leg again. He kicked the first one away from his legs, dancing away in a hurry. Then, he swung in a crescent arch from the bottom up, cutting deeply into the demon’s hand. It cut through muscles and even bone, leaving it like a thin connection at the end as it dangles like a thread.
“How were you able to sssssssee me?” The demon pulled back its other arm with an angry hiss and attempted to stick it together. “You ssssssshouldn’t be able to.”
Without letting it finish thinking, Alexus kicked back the chair that was in between them and the demon. Then, with a quick swing, he attacked. He wouldn’t let it figure out that he was Ouroboros anytime soon. The blade was cut into a horizontal strike as he slit open its throat in one fluid swing. Black blood spluttered outwards like a fountain. He stumbled backward so he wouldn’t get caught up in it.
Not even a second later, the body’s constitution started to change back into its human form, but something stopped it from morphing halfway.
Wherever Alexus cut, there was a small sheen of magic glow with sigils engraved around the wound. He couldn’t help but gag at the mutilated sight before him. He didn’t want to see something like this right after slaying the demon, but it wasn’t possible if the demon would continually possess a human soul. The cuts if his sword left weren’t even the worst thing about the whole picture; instead, it was the odd contorted angle the man was in when the demon was through with its body.
It was inhumanely impossible for their body to function like that, and the demons somehow made it work. Quickly looking away, Alexus had to hold in his dinner. He realized that he shouldn’t eat right after when he was supposed to go after the demons.
“You okay?” Marcus was about to help him fight against the demon but stopped himself and let Alexus handle it. He saw how Alexus could hold off on his own to let him get some combat experience that he extremely needed.
“Yea.” Alexus coughed, walking over, shaking off that experience as best as possible.
“Good. We got more of them to deal with and clear out. You being wounded right now would’ve been more difficult on me.”
“Sorry. I’ll try my best to keep up with you.”
Marcus nodded. He headed off first through the doorway.
Suddenly, when Alexus passed, he heard the gunshot go off twice. He knew then that Marcus had found another demon, and when he came out, he saw the humanoid demon dead on the floor. The bullets that Timothy made were working very well as they lodged in the demon’s chest, leaving a magical imprint that looked like a mixture of a rune or a sigil.
More surprising was that the demon didn’t change back into its human form. It was as if it was stuck between human and demon, unable to either one. Pleased at the bullets working and the sword, I was glad that we had more proof that demons were real. It wasn’t just an imaginary thing that people pointed their fingers at us, but an actual living thing.
Alexus suddenly felt a dangerous intent from behind him. Quickly stepping off to the side, he went into a roundhouse kick. His shin hit something hard, and broken bones could be heard. A wild howl shouted, and he saw a Demon, holding its broken arm close to its body.
Marcus was a bit a distance away, fighting three demons at once.
“You!” The demon hissed, spitting out in anger. “I’ll kill you!”
Before that, demon was able to jump at him and claw his face with its uninjured arm. Alexus swung his blade in a flash. The outstretched arm was cut off, falling onto the ground with a thud. The demon howled angrily once again, flailing its stumpy bleeding arm, and kicked him across the chest. He stumbled backward, and the demon went into a series of kicks.
Alexus was surprised that this demon knew a good extensive amount of kickboxing moves. It was fast and lethal.
The demon’s leg did a low sweeping kick; Alexus jumped up and landed, swinging his sword down at the demon. With a hiss, the demon ducked under, dipping into a short series of low to mid-kicks. Unfortunately, Alexus’ moves weren’t as fast as the demons and had quite a few lands hit against his side and leg. Luckily, the kicks didn’t damage much because of the suit, allowing him to fight back more aggressively.
When the demon saw that his kicks weren’t leaving behind strong impacts, Alexus felt and saw a swirl of dark energy swirling around his leg. It was then that he knew that the power and force behind his kicks would be even more deadly.
They moved around the room, trying not to stumble against the chairs or the table. Alexus had to use the table to create some distance around them to give him some time to figure out what to do.
But before Alexus could think, the demon slammed his heels into the table, cracking it in half. The demon jumped onto the broken table as it rushed towards it. Alexus dove towards the right. He jumped off the broken table and chased him. It was a strange fight. The demon kicked with one broken arm and a stumpy arm closing up, while Alexus used his legs to stop quite a few of his kicks, especially those he didn’t put magical energy into.
“Stay still!” The demon angrily spat. Alexus could tell that he was getting on his nerves.
“Hell no,” Alexus grunted; there was no way he was going to do something that would kill him.
He loved his second life, and he wouldn’t waste it.
Out of my eyes, Alexus saw a high spinning kick coming from the right. He ducked just in time, moving around the demon to the left. His foot smashed into the wall, getting it stuck. He took this god-given chance.
Alexus’ sword flashed forward, cutting into the demon’s leg in one swooping cut. The demon’s body collapsed as it fell onto the ground. He didn’t let his prey escape as he lunged downward and struck into the demon’s chest. Suddenly, he felt a large burst of his energy shoot into the sword.
A blast of golden energy erupted outwards, burning into the demon’s body with an angry hiss. The demon cried out in pain as it shrieked. “It burns!” With rapid-fire, the demon burst into white flames. Alexus couldn’t help but take a step back, startled.
Pulling out his sword, the demon started to shrivel up as it rolled around on the floor, trying to stop the flames. Even still, the fire persisted, becoming a large blazing flame. Yet, surprisingly the fire didn’t even burn the wooden floor. For a moment, he just stared dumbfounded at what was going on until he heard a loud crash from behind him.
Marcus fired off a couple of bullets into the first demon, but the second one, he couldn’t move in time to set off another. His hand was grabbed down, pushing both the Demon and Marcus into a stalemate. They struggled with each other as they attempted to outmaneuver each other.
“Get your hands off my gun!” Marcus shouted, spitting into the female demon’s face.
“Try me!” The demon hissed at him with a snarl.
“Bitch, please.” Marcus headbutted the demon in the face, causing the demon to reel back. He then went into a stomp kick, throwing the demon back. Raising his gun, he fired off a couple shots, then turned quickly towards the third one that clasped him from behind.
The demon gripped hard, lifting Marcus off the ground.
Alexus saw what was happening and rushed over to help him. But unfortunately, his blade slashed in an upward horizontal strike, leaving behind an ugly slash.
A painful howl escaped, and a burst of flames erupted, searing into the demon’s back. The demon let go and turned towards him to strike. He swiveled his blade around and missed as the demon made it to his open side, but that didn’t stop him. Instead, he moved his arm, elbowing into the demon’s face. Black blood spluttered out from its nose and even broke his teeth.
Marcus was able to kick the demon from behind and double-tapped him in the back, killing the demon instantly.
Alexus’ heart was still beating from the adrenaline rush, especially after the quick fight that lasted all under one minute.
“Thanks,” Marcus said, nodding towards him as he nudged the demon once with his foot with his gun drawn towards it.
“No problem,” Alexus replied. Quickly scanning around him, he looked for any other possible demon attack. The number of gunshots that went off in the past five minutes told them their location to the other demons. There was nothing they could do but quickly go through the room as fast as possible.
“Let’s go.” Marcus quickly went towards the exit.
Alexus followed behind as they went through the hallway. Again, their movements slowed a bit as they listened to their surroundings. This time, he stashed away the sword back into its rightful place near his leg, where it somehow broke into different parts, conforming to his leg. It was a cool technology to see it conform along with him. Then he reached for the handgun near his ankles, pulling it out.
Followed after, Alexus took out a magazine and slapped it in as he pulled back the slide. Finally, he was ready, and he knew that he had limited amounts of Ammos, especially the new bullets that Timothy had made. Most of the bullets were given to the others, while he was limited to about fifty. In which case, he hoped it was enough.
The sword was getting a bit of a handful, and right now, shooting was the fastest way possible by the rate that Marcus was moving.
Alexus’s handgun training had extensively improved, but he wasn’t a perfect shot like Marcus. Now, his bullets hit at least 60-70% of the time if it was long distance, making it a big improvement. Close quarter, he hit at least 90% of the time, in which case it was more of a point and shoot. From his understanding, there were going to be more close-quarter bouts than long distances, so he didn’t worry as much.
Gun training was fun, but putting it into real-life scenarios was damn difficult. Just thinking about the past scenarios that Alexus did for practice made him feel embarrassed and ashamed.
Even now, he wanted to hit himself for even thinking about it. Who would’ve thought that it was a whole different beast in itself? Even though he had many different experiences with demons, having a gun and shooting at actual humans put a lot of stress on his mind?
Alexus can do demons all day, but other people shooting back at him are different. The concept of stealing a life without any remorse was the hard part, and the first run-through was terrible.
Getting shot at and being hit with rounds hurt, and the paintball rounds. Ugly welts were left for about a week. It took quite a lot of practice to get through without freezing up when they were shooting back. For a normal person who hasn’t gone through such simulations, it’s a whole different experience, opening up to the possibilities of a different fight and feel.
Shaking his head, Alexus tried his best not to regress into memories. It wouldn’t help him right this minute, especially against a demon. Getting all worked up by his past failures wasn’t something he should even be thinking about. He had to pep talk to himself, reminding him that it was just a starting point in his training, and eventually, he would get better at it.
Feeling better, Alexus let his thoughts calmly observe back around them. So far, they pass a few more rooms, eventually finding nothing. But then, there were times when they heard quite a bit of gunfire going off not too far away from them, and they instantly knew that it was Simon and his group. The number of guns fired sounding off wasn’t just two to six, but hit over twenty.
Then they heard quite a few yells that sounded like James going off like an angered gorilla.
Alexus swore there he thought he heard James pounding his chest, but that could be just his imagination. Eventually, everything went back into its peaceful state, and both Marcus and he kept ongoing.
“We got a room left to go,” Marcus whispered towards Alexus. “Then we’re entering the basement quickly and pulling Jones out.”
Alexus nodded, knowing full well that every second counted.
Our movement speeded up, clearing through the final room without much trouble. There wasn’t anybody present.
“Guys.” Jones radioed in, his voice low and soft, almost as if he was whispering. “Anyone there?” Both of us stopped to listen in on Jones.
Marcus quickly replied. “Jones? Are you alright?”
“Yea. Never better.”
“What’s happening around you?”
“Well, that’s a bit difficult to explain. I can barely see in here.”
“Give us something to go off on.”
“I’m in some kind of box-like room. Honestly, I don’t see any way out except the way up from where I dropped from.”
Marcus let out a sigh. “That’s good to hear.”
“I don’t know, man; being in this boxed-up room gives me the shivers. I’ve been looking around for a way out, but I have nothing.”
“Keep trying; we’ll be getting to you soon,” James replied.
“Great to hear that.” Jones let out a sigh, telling them that the pent-up stress he was accumulating was getting to him. “I swear I’m starting to understand people with claustrophobia.” He weakly chuckled, trying to get his mind off his situation.
“Marcus, shouldn’t we tell him that he’s surrounded by demons?” Alexus whispered over towards him so that Jones wouldn’t hear.
Marcus shook his head, “We don’t want him to panic; best he doesn’t know about it for now.”
“True, but if he finds his way out, he will get swarmed.”
“That’s why we need to move fast and clear out those bastards before he knows about it.”
Alexus understood his thoughts, but at the same time, he felt that it was a bit better to at least warn him that they were going to be demons around. If something did happen, it was better than he was ready for it.
“I think I found something,” said Jones. Static started to pick up when he talked.
“That is?” Marcus asked. He went silent, listening in on Jones.
They heard a couple of rumbling sounds like metal against metal. Alexus turned towards Marcus, looking at him as if what Jones had touched was even a good idea. A very bad feeling welled up in his stomach as he felt that something was seriously wrong.
“Shit!” Jones cursed; suddenly, a slew of static buzzed around the radio. “It’s…..s…..t…..a…!”
“Come in, Jones. Jones!” Marcus called in worriedly, his eyes furrowed as he gripped his gun tightly. Suddenly, loud yells and gunshots could be heard through the radio. Silence followed after with a couple of static, but nobody answered. “We need to go!”
Alexus knew instantly that Jones was in trouble.
“Simon! I need you down here now!” Marcus radioed towards Simon.
“I’m in a little pickle here!” Simon radioed back.
“Kill it and come down quickly!”
Marcus burst through the door, and they ran down the stairs. For all they know, Jones could be battling thirty demons right now, and that was the worst spot to be in by himself.
Alexus hoped that Marcus would be alright, but he didn’t know what could happen in the short period as they rushed over to help him.
Moving fast and clearing the room without getting jumped wasn’t easy, especially knowing they could get jumped anytime soon, putting them in danger. Even still, they worked together efficiently and quickly to get to where Jones was.