For the next hour, they quickly salvaged what they could. But unfortunately, there wasn’t much as most of the drones were broken and unable to use.
They drove off, leaving the area as they left for their next destination.
It was a boring ride, which Alexus was glad for. However, after that rough fight against Wrath, he wasn’t so thrilled to be getting into another battle anytime soon.
If best, he wished that they wouldn’t fight anything the next few days before arriving at the meeting spot, or nothing terrible would happen.
Alexus dozed on and off as the soft whispers of Simon and Crystal were chattering with one another for the past hours, eventually becoming silent as Simon drove the rest of the way.
They occasionally stopped, taking breaks to stretch out and rest.
It took them two days to arrive at the horseshoe bend in Arizona. The muggy heat smashed into their heads, making Alexus sweat.
“Where’s Timothy?” Simon stepped out of the car.
“He should be here, hopefully soon,” Alexus replied. They were on time, even though they took a few side trips.
“Good, because I’m going to need a bit of a nap. Wake me up; driving nonstop gets you tired when they arrive.”
“Sure,” said Alexus. He glanced around, noticing Crystal standing over the cliff. Then, walking
over, he stopped.
His heart dropped. The cliff’s edge made him uncomfortable as the drop was deep and far.
Alexus had to stop looking straight down and cast his vision forward. A sharp inhale of breath escaped his lips. It was a breathtaking view.
Nature at its finest, the river bent in a horseshoe pattern, disappearing off into the reddish brown mountain range. The blue water was just as beautiful as he remembers seeing it on the internet.
“Beautiful, isn’t it.” Crystal spoke.
“Yes, it is.”
“In the past, this spot was a hot tourist attraction, but look at it now,” Crystal chuckled, “nobody comes here anymore.”
“Nobody would want to come out for vacation anymore after the incident with the demons.”
“For sure, but for us, it’s truly a privilege to see this place. Most people would be stuck in the sanctuary and probably live their whole life there, unable to leave but caged inside the confines of a wall. Instead, we have traveled through what’s left of the U.S to reach here for answers. I’m honestly quite grateful that we can leave Sanctuary for a while. It was getting quite stuffy there.”
“I agree. It was.”
“Nature has truly taken back most or all from humanity. But, on the other hand, its vibrancy of it had increased. So, hopefully, when we slay all the deadly sins and find the cause of all this, we will be able to go out on more of these trips.”
“We will,” Alexus assured her. He had already put that thought into mind, traveling around the world without too much worry about demons. “It’s what we are fighting for and hoping to see possible for everyone else.”
Alexus wondered where else he wanted to take her as well as he wanted to go out and see.
There was Niagara Falls in between the borders of Canada and the US. Not too far away was the national park, and he also wondered if the Red forest had increased in California.
“We should check around the area for the high level of demonic readings.”
“I did. It’s further north, and we must find our way down the canyon.”
“I don’t see a way down.” Alexus hoped that they didn’t have to jump off.
“We have some parachutes packed up, and the dragon suit can handle a bit of the flight downwards.”
Alexus coughed; flying wasn’t something he was still used to.
“Don’t worry, it will be easy and quick.”
“I believe you,” Alexus replied, but he liked his feet planted on the ground in his heart.
Loud sounds of tires screeching were heard, stopping behind them.
Alexus and Crystal turned around, wondering who had pulled up.
“Timothy!” Crystal shouted in happiness; she waved them down with a goofy grin.
The engine turned off, and the doors to the van opened. Timothy was the first to spill out with a goofy grin as he walked over.
“Crystal! It’s good to see you guys again,” said Timothy. “I don’t think I would have been able to cope with these numbers for another few hours.”
“You would have been fine,” Jones stepped out, rolling his eyes. “Honestly, you were the one that wouldn’t stop chatting our ears off.”
“I was keeping us entertained.” Timothy turned his nose upwards. “You should all be glad of what I have for you guys. It’s a blessing.”
Jones grunted, shaking his head. He then turned toward Alexus. “Alexus, good to see you guys again. I’m glad you guys made it out alive with the Deadly Sins, and we can meet up.”
“Same.” Alexus reached over, grabbing his hand. “Glad to see you both alive. I am guessing that you got Greed’s power?” He could feel the extraordinary power emitting from Jones that was different from the usual energy he knew.
“Yep,” Jones smirked, “Got that sucker by the tails and gave him the run for his money. The last blow across his chest was the killing blow, allowing us to break through and tame these suckers.”
Simon’s teammates started to come out as well.
Alexus was quite impressed by how much Simon’s team had changed. They weren’t the usual soft appearance but were more battle-hardened and serious.
“Where is Simon?” Kathy spoke up, chewing her bubble gum. She blew it out and popped it as she adjusted her baseball cap.
“He’s in the car, taking a nap.” Crystal replied, “Good to see you, Kathy.”
“Likewise,” Kathy came over, giving Crystal a hug. “It feels like ages since we last saw you and did a mission together.”
“Yea, it has.”
“Heeeeyyyy girlfriend~” Jessica, a small woman, hopped out of the van, waving over Crystal.
“Jessica,” Crystal smiled. “Always good to see you.”
“Absolutely, James and Sara should be coming out in a second. Staying stuck in the van can get taxing to the knees. I think running around battling these demons has been giving me arthritis,”
she joked half-heartedly. “But, seriously, my knees have been popping.”
“Have you gotten it checked out?”
“Yes, doc stated it’s the first sign of arthritis. I just need to keep it on the low, so this year or this month might be my last mission.” Jessica replied, “I need a long break from all these demon stuff. It gets on your nerves if you know what I mean.”
“Absolutely,” Crystal replied, “I would be there with you, but until these deadly sins problems get solved, I’m out of luck.”
“Hey Alexus,” Jessica said, “I’m glad you’re doing pretty good. The last time I saw you, you looked quite scraggly and pale. However, it seems you have been packing some muscles and confidence.”
“You think so?” Alexus asked; he was curious at Jessica’s sudden compliments.
“Yea, you were like a bean sprout like Timothy over there. I don’t know where he gets his power from, but now you don’t look like someone who will easily be pushed around..”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” said Alexus.
“Good,” Jessica reached over, trying to pat his shoulders, but she was short, so she had to go on her tippy toes.
“Where are the guys that Gerald sent with you guys?” Alexus asked, wondering if anyone else was coming out of the van.
“Ah, they are a bit behind…..”
On cue, three more vans pulled up as groups of people spilled out of the car.
“That’s quite an amount of people,” Crystal mumbled. “I don’t get why he wouldn’t send any our way.”
Alexus didn’t say anything and kept silent. He knew why Gerald didn’t send anyone to come with him, it was last minute, and Gerald didn’t like him as much as Marcus.
“It’s fine. We were able to kill Wrath with the number of people we have.” Alexus muttered back.
“Where’s Lara?” Jessica asked, peering behind and around, looking for her.
“She didn’t make it.”
“Oh,” Jessica’s expression fell. “I am sorry to hear that. I had only known her for a brief amount of time, but I thought she was nice.”
“Same,” Alexus replied, “I’m going to guess that you had some fatalities as well.”
“Yes, we lost over twenty of our best Ouroboros. Greed was not easy to fall into.”
“Deadly Sins never are.”
“But, I’m glad we had Timothy there to keep it in check while Jones got in the last blow. That last attack was all we needed to get things under wrap, allowing us to get through the rest alive.
I honestly didn’t think we would have made it.”
“They always brought problems, one after another; luckily, we only have trust and Pride left.”
“Agreed. Getting rid of this plague is what we need to do.”
“Guys,” Timothy called out to them.
Alexus turned around, wondering why Timothy was calling for them. What he saw surprised him. A pulse of green light rippled outwards, hitting them. A shock of energy zipped through his body, causing him to shiver.
“It’s the ship or whatever it is,” Crystal spoke in a daze. “It knows that we are here.”