The burnt humans that were engraved into the wall shuddered and wavered, causing them to fluctuate. It was as if they were coming alive as they peeled off the wall and stepped forward becoming transparent figures.
“What the hell?!” Kim shouted in disbelief. Maze gasped, covering her mouth in shock.
“Stay behind me!” Alexus shouted, pulling out his sword. It hummed to life as gold energy naturally coated the sword itself. Summoning up his energy had become second nature that he barely even thought about it.
“This is crazy?!” Kim shouted in disbelief. “What is that?!”
“Crystal, do you know anything about them?” Alexus asked quickly, watching his surroundings as he tried to see what the shadows were going to do. He didn’t like how they were transparent and probably unable to kill. The best way to describe them was that they reminded him of a ghost.
“We need to destroy them now or leave!” Crystal started in a hurry. Her eyes furrowed, she reached down to grab and pull out something from her hips. She then shuffled and clicked her gun, causing the gun to whirl to life. Soft blue engravings started to appear around its side.
Alexus has never seen her guns change and make soft humming sounds before, it made him wonder what kind of crazy bullets and ability it had.
“It’s a demon!” Crystal pulled her trigger and he heard barely any sound as her bullet shot out of the gun. The bullet spun as blue light wrapped around the bullet itself. As it shot towards the shadow, her aim hit dead center in its forehead, causing the shadow demon to freeze.
Suddenly, the blue energy from the bullet spread like an infectious disease, cracking the shadow like an egg. It didn’t take long for the blue energy to spread. It burst into flames, causing it to burn like rabid fire.
Alexus was amused. The reason was that there was no way that we had such powerful guns, especially something like what Crystal had. Most of the bullets were engraved with scriptures and dipped in holy water. It did the job for sure, but it didn’t kill the demons in such a fashion. Second, they were barely any sound. Only the clicking of the shell, falling out the gun and hitting the ground.
For a moment, Alexus couldn’t think about how cool it was, but just as quickly as that thought came, it disappeared in seconds.
They were five shadow demons, who peeled themselves out of the wall and ran towards them like a madman. Crystal didn’t hesitate, she shot and killed three more. They burst into blue flames, but the last two didn’t seem to phase them until their comrades died. Instead, they rushed in like a lunatic, aiming to kill them.
“Holy crap, that’s wicked.” Kim couldn’t contain his surprise. It wasn’t often that they saw something like what Crystal had done. “Is it possible for me to even use one of those guns?” He asked, looking at what Crystal had in her hand with envy.
“No. This is only a prototype and you wouldn’t be able to fuel it without magic.” Crystal replied, she shot another, but this time the shadow slipped to the side, completely dodging her bullet.
“Yes,” Crystal replied, “the blue energy is from my own, transferring into the bullet itself. Just like how Alexus is coating his sword gold.”
Alexus understood him a bit, if he was a normal human being like them, he would have been shocked too, but what was more surprising was that they could see the gold and blue auras.
One of the two remaining shadow demons was a good distance away from Alexus, he burst forward, kicking off the ground with his glowing gold sword in hand. Without a hint of remorse, it swung in an upward arc, causing the gold energy to trail behind.
The demon saw Alexus coming. It halted, jumping to the side to dodge his swing. The sword barely grazed the shadow demon, missing it completely. Still, that did not stop him. He stopped short, changing the angle of the direction into a horizontal slash.
It was too late for the demon to jump out of harm’s way, his blade cutting through the side as the demon’s arm tried to block the attack. He felt the sword hit something solid for a brief moment, but that didn’t stop his sword from cutting through.
With a vicious cut, the sword went through the body and came out the other end. Following after a burst of golden flames wrapped around the body and ate it alive. Suddenly, he was wrecked with a painful screech of telepathic pain in his head, slamming into his mind like a sledgehammer. He wasn’t the only one who heard it, the others did as well. He flinched. It didn’t take long for the shadow demon to disappear.
The second shadow jumped in from Alexus’ side; he whirled around, blocking and hacking off the arm that tried to pierce him in the guts.
“Oh no you don’t.” Alexus growled, changing the trajectory of his blade. It was a smooth transition from the shuffle of his feet to the placement of his hands, sweeping in deeply into its chest. Dragging it across, he rotated his wrist. The blade changed direction once more, making it look like a jagged L.
The shadow stuttered, looked down at itself and gazed at Alexus. Even though he didn’t see its eyes, he could feel its hatred aimed towards him. Luckily, the shadow didn’t screech out in pain as it burst into flames.
With a flick of his sword, he put it back to his side, watching if there were any more shadows in the vicinity. So far it was clear, but that didn’t mean the other shadows that were
burnt into the wall not another shadow demon.
Kim asked, “I never seen those types before?”
“That’s what a demon looks like without an actual body.” Crystal replied, scanning around. She was still fully on guard as they continued forward through the streets. “They can’t completely harm you, but they can possess you.”
“I’m sorry?” Kim wasn’t completely getting what Crystal was saying. Not many have seen a possession before.
“They’re spirits. It’s just that they can’t be killed with a normal method.”
Alexus has never seen demons actually show themselves in their spiritual body and even manifest itself to the point where everyone could see. Usually, they would inhabit a body and warp it to their likings, but that wasn’t the case.
“Usually, you wouldn’t be able to see them…” Crystal replied, she then glanced over towards the normals.
“Why are you looking at us like that….?” Kim was feeling uncomfortable with Crystal’s pondering gaze. “Is it…because of us?” He shivered. The word “us” made all the others realize where Kim was taking this conversation.
“Yes.” Crystal sighed, answering his question without a single regret. “They need a host, and you guys have the perfect body.”
The others were shocked, the thought of being a host for the demons made their skin crawl, especially because it was something they never thought would happen to them. They were severely wrong, and it made them realize that without Crystal and Alexus, they would’ve been possessed.
Kim gulped as he stayed silent, David was thinking hard about what he had just learned, while Jesse was staring at Crystal and Alexus with sparkling eyes.
“Let’s quickly get out of here.” Alexus replied, catching their attention. They snapped out of their stupor as they once again followed behind. “Just a couple more blocks, we’ll be out of this street.”
The thought of being out of this haunted street made them all pick up their pace even more where they were literally half jogging and power walking. They were all tense, hoping that there weren’t any more shadow demons popping out of the blues, but there were too many to tell which one were demons and which ones weren’t. He had no time to individually tell nor wanted too.
Alexus’ priority was getting out of here as quickly as possible and bringing them to safety. They cut to the left, splitting up as they rounded the light pole and zipping through a few cars. The burnt shadow engravings started to thin out and instead parked cars started to multiply.
“How much further?” David called out, Alexus could tell that he was starting to get tired holding Rye, but he didn’t stop and dropped him on the ground for him to walk.
“A little more.” Alexus replied, “Just around this bend and it’s a straight shot.
“Okay.” David’s breathing was getting a little bit winded. The others stayed close behind, trying not to get left behind.
“We got ten incoming!” Crystal shouted from behind the group, she started to shoot off multiple bullets, hitting as many as she could. Some of them were in unique shapes. They had extra arms, legs, and contorted bodies that reminded him of horror movies. He was glad that he didn’t see their actual appearance, because he was sure that it wasn’t going to be pleasant.
Everytime she killed a shadow demon, a short screech that resounded in their head making them
shudder. He hated how their telepathic screams made him uncomfortable. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, instead it gripped at his heart and made him want to flee.
“Are you serious!?” Kim shouted in disbelief. “What the hell was that?”
“Less talking, more running!” David replied in a hurry.
Three more shadows fell from Crystal’s bullets, leaving behind five. The remaining demons quickly caught up to them. One of them reached over to grab Jesse by the arms, she was jolted back with a nasty pull, causing her to stumble and screech out loud.
Alexus snapped around, realizing too late that Jesse was in the hands of the demons as she kicked and yelled in fear. Her foot phased into the shadow without harming it at all.
Quickly, bursting towards her, Alexus raced to kill the demon. “You guys keep going ahead!” he shouted to the others to not to stop. Having dead weights right now wasn’t going to help him one bit in saving her. He didn’t want Jesse to become possessed. Having another child demon sounded bad in itself. He had seen what they could do.
“Help!” Jesse shouted, thrashing on the ground furiously attempting to crawl out from the shadow demon’s hold, but wasn’t able too. The demons were holding her tightly, yanking at her foot and pulling towards it.
Fear rose in Jesse’s heart, her eyes bulged bigger as she screeched in horror. The shadow twitched, its head tilted to the side, pulling itself closer and closer. Suddenly, the head started to lean towards her as a slit opened up from its mouth, turning into a large grin.
Aurelius pushed himself even faster, kicking up dirt and indenting the pavement on the ground.
He zoomed towards her with his sword blazing gold.
Every step felt sluggish and slow, his heart was beating fast, and his eyes zoomed in on Jesse and the shadow demon that was attempting to take over her body. Alexus’ right hand reached out to grab the back of her shirt. He gripped hard as he yanked her backwards that she was literally flying.
Jesse squealed in surprise.
Luckily, Aleuxs caught her with one hand, cradling her close to his chest, while the other hand swung at the shadow demon who was startled by his sudden entrance. It raised up its hands to stop him, but was too late as both its arms were cut off. The blade continually slit through its body, cutting it in half.
A trail of burning gold energy was left over, leaving behind a thin line. It didn’t take long for the shadow demon to burst into flames, screeching its horrible soul shaking pain.
“Hold on tight.” Alexus spoke, trying not to drop her.
Jesse shook her head hard, knowing full well that if she let’s go, she will fall flat on the ground. She didn’t want to be left behind and get eaten by the shadows or worse become possessed.
“Crystal!” Alexus shouted, Crystal was shooting off more bullets as another handful of shadow demons appeared out from the darkness and headed straight for us.
“Yea?!” Crystal quickly reloaded and fired off another round, taking down another three. Alexus was highly impressed with her shooting skill, but there wasn’t much time to admire it.
“Let’s go!” Jumping over a fallen lamp, he landed with a thud, bracing impact. “We need to get to safety before this gets out of hand!”
“I know!” Crystal shot once more, hitting a shadow in the head, causing it to burst into flames.
“Do you have any talisman for us to set up?” Alexus asked, bolting in full speed to catch up to the group. His blade slashed in three rapid motions as he cut through another.
“Yea!” She replied, he sprinted forward, picking up pace as she came on hot on his tail. Bringing up her wrist, she pressed a couple of buttons. Her suit clinked as metal gear started to churn. A small white bead popped out of her wrist, and it expanded and unfolded into a rectangular device that looked like paper.
“How much closer!” Crystal pulled out a few more, she was picking up speed and able to catch up quite a bit behind him. “I can only use this once, meaning once I set it up, I can’t take it down until it’s depleted in energy.”
“Not too far.” Alexus replied, “just a block ahead. Do you see that red colored apartment?” Alexus nodded towards the direction of where they needed to go. It was a run down looking apartment compared to the other apartments that they passed. The ground was broken into jagged pieces, the fire hydrant was bent with a puddle of water around it. Even the small trees that were in front of it were shriveled up and decrepit looking like an old prune.
The apartment looked the same even in one hundred fifty years, which was surprising in itself. Mostly because the buildings and apartments they were passing by still looked a bit newish; even though they were abandoned. They were still construction tapes and parts of the building still half opened as if it was going to do a renovation, but stopped halfway.
“The red apartment building?” Crystal asked, a bit skeptical of what Alexus was pointing at.
Finally, both of them caught up to the others. Even though the others were ahead, the Dragon suits boosted their speed, allowing them to catch up to them a lot quicker than a normal human. In a way, they were three to five times faster.
“You guys! Head towards the red apartment building!” Alexus shouted, catching their attention. Quite a bit of them were surprised that they caught up so quickly, especially because they were fighting against the demon a while ago and they had a head start.
“Wait, that red building?!” Kim baffled at what he was asking for. “That’s old and abandoned! It can probably fall down on us!”
“Just go!” Alexus snapped, he had no patience for his complaint.
“Just listen to the damn man will you or I’ll shoot you in the ass!” Crystal threatened. For a moment, Kim’s eyes became big as he went silent.
Definitely, Alexus knew that Crystal wasn’t someone to mess with, especially when she had a gun and threatened to shoot off their butt.
“Aren’t you a spit fire.” David chuckled, though he wearily gazed at Crystal. He knew as well that she wasn’t someone to mess with, but he couldn’t help but comment.
“If you say so.” Crystal brushed it off, she was busy running towards their destination. They headed straight towards it, a few times he had to look over his shoulders to make sure they weren’t being followed.
Alexus saw a few shadows dart behind them, chasing them with fever.
Maze was the first one to the broken down apartment door, she literally rammed it with her body, causing the hinges to break apart as she stumbled in head first. With a loud thud, the door fell flat onto the ground with a loud bang, she caught herself with her arms just in time before she fell face first.
Kim followed behind her, hopping over her before he almost tripped on her. He had to do a
sudden running stop, stopping in front of the wall where he too almost had his nose slammed into it. His hands caught himself before his nose got squashed.
“Mother-” Kim gulped, realizing how close he was to the wall. His eyes were wide, surprised how he almost went flat as a pancake from that stumble.
Abbie on the other hand wasn’t so lucky that she didn’t see Maze drop to the ground because Kim blocked her view. It was a last second reaction that her right foot caught on Maze’s leg, causing her to tumble forward, hitting herself against Kim. Kim’s face was pushed against the wall, causing him to be smothered.
David ran in next, he saw the disaster the two in front of him had almost got themselves into, he stopped in time for him to not run over Maze or Abbie who was sprawled on the ground. They were both attempting to get up while Kim was groaning in pain, rubbing his nose.
“What …” David was able to step inside the door without much trouble with Rye in his arms.
“Don’t ask.” Kim groaned, he wasn’t so thrilled that his face was crushed that all three of them forgot for a split moment that they were still being chased by the shadow demons.
“What are you guys doing?!” Alexus yelled, catching their attention back at him. Baffled at their forgetfulness at what was happening behind them that he couldn’t help but yell at them for dilly dallying and being slow. This wasn’t the time for that at all. “Go! They’re coming!”
Alexus words pierced through their mind, realizing what he was talking about as feared lace their hearts once again. They scrambled onto their feet, rushing to get deeper into the apartments as they started to climb up the half broken stairway up towards the second floor.
Alexus entered with Jesse in his arms a strong scent of old wood and chipped pain still lingered in the air. Running in after them, he bolted up the steps. Loud creaking sounds could be heard underneath his footsteps, telling him that the harder he stomped the chances of the stairway breaking was high.
“Don’t look back!” Crystal yelled, “it’s going to hurt your eyes!”
Alexus instinctively listened to her words, knowing full well she meant what she had said.
It was even a few seconds later, he heard her light footsteps, scuffling for a moment as her shoes hit the fallen wooden door frame. Then a blast of obnoxious blinding light blasted outwards, causing him to close his eyes shut.
Dizziness swirled in his head, he stumbled. He reached out, trying to catch his balance as well as trying to not drop Jesse. It was a short struggle, but luckily he didn’t have to reach too far. He felt his metal gloves hit against the metal railing, making a loud clang sound.
Grasping it quickly with hurried hands, Alexus steadied himself.
“What?” Alexus murmured, a bit shocked at the sudden bright light that almost made him blind.
“Flash bang, but for demons.” Crystal grunted, she was close behind him. His guess was a couple of stairs down by the tone of her voice.
“More like humans. Shit that hurts.” Kim groaned, whining. “A little heads up would be great, you know.”
“I did.” Crystal snorted. Alexus suddenly heard a thump against the wall as if someone was sticking something to it.
It took a moment for him to be able to open up his eyes. A swirl of constant white flickered in front of him, making it a bit difficult to see. Eventually, his sight was finally brought back, allowing him to see around him.
Crystal had on sunglasses, Alexus didn’t know where she just brought it out, in the middle of the night, making him feel a bit jealous. The pulsing slight pain from the flash was a bit numbing, but it wasn’t too bad. It took him a moment as he saw a small talisman that she had posted on the wall, glowing pure white around its frame.
“Barrier?” Alexus asked.
“Yea, a twelve hour lifespan. Emergency use only, and I only got six days worth. After that we’re going to need to find another method to keep the demons out.” A slight hint of worry could be heard in her voice, and he knew well enough that six days was going to be short.
“Better than nothing.”
Crystal sighed, she was glad that the barrier was up. He could hear the effect of her talisman going off like bug zappers as the constant noise continued outside the apartment, telling him it was working.