12 Chapter 12: Helmlock VS Jeru
"You, who are you?" Helmlock looked at the little boy cautiously.
"Soldier C75, Jeru Moon. Code name Helio." The little boy raised his sword and pointed it towards Helmlock. "For my brother." Without pause he leaped towards Helmlock, blade first. Helmlock used the side of his blade to parry Jeru's blade. Sliding his blade against Jeru's, Helmlock swiveled around and brought his blade towards the boy's side.
Using his other hand Jeru blocked the blade with his arm bands. Carried by the force of the impact Jeru loosened his grip on his blade's handle and allowed himself to be swung around the handle. Bringing a foot towards Helmlock.
Blocking the incoming foot with his palm Hemlock grabbed Jeru's foot and tried to toss him. Sensing this Jeru brought his other foot around and kicked Hemlock's hand, freeing his foot. Pushing off from Hemlock, Jeru landed about four meters away from Helmlock.
"For… my… bro…ther…" Jeru began swaying, his head hung over, his shoulder limp. His weapon hung loosely in his cupped hands. "Bro…ther…" Dashing towards Helmlock Jeru appeared in front of Helmlock in an instant, his eyes glowing red while emitting a red haze. Veins popped from Jeru's head and arms, turning from red to black. Jeru released an inhuman growl, he looked like an animal.
"S**t, a berserker huh? And it looks like he's in the breaking stage. Already being able to use berserker mode to skip stages, impressive, for being so young but, it's not going to be enough." Dodging Jeru's mad swing Helmlock distanced himself from Jeru, letting the slyphir around him spread out slowly. The thick green mist flowed from Helmlock's fingers.
The frenzied Jeru didn't think much of the slyphir and dashed towards Helmlock. With a smile on his lips Helmlock softly whispered.
"Fool." Stepping backwards Helmlock let the mist surround himself, blending in with the mist. Caught in the middle Jeru looked around for Helmlock. Turning his head side to side he waited for Helmlock to make a move. A small dash reached Jeru's ears and he swung his blade backwards, narrowly grazing Helmlock's mask.
Unfazed Helmlock continued his dash towards Jeru, closing the gap in one stride. He brought his fist into Jeru's stomach, spit flew from Jeru's mouth. Twisting his fist Helmlock added more force to the impact and released it in a burst, shooting Jeru out of the green mist. Jeru landed on his side and slid for another four meters.
Coughing Jeru struggled to stand up, the red haze in his eyes, flickering. He leaned on his sword, trying to prepare for Helmlock's next attack. As Jeru tried to stand, he felt a sharp pain in his head and wobbled a bit. Leaning his head into his hand he tried to stop the nauseating feeling but made it worse. He glared at where Helmlock had been standing. Realizing that Helmlock was gone he raised his blade to his left and parried Helmlock's blade.
"Oho. Still able to block?" Helmlock swiped at Jeru's legs but Jeru leaped up and leapt away from his weapon. Making some distance between him and Helmlock. "Giving up your weapon?" Jeru didn't say anything except glare at Helmlock. After resting for another breath Jeru dashed towards Helmlock. Readying himself Helmlock was fully prepared for Jeru's attacks. Jeru unleashed a fury of powerful punches, all aiming at vital areas. Helmlock was parrying the blows smoothly, countering where Jeru left his defenses open. After exchanging blows Jeru suddenly backed off. Snarling and drooling Jeru looked more and more like a wild animal than when he first went into berserker mode. On all fours Jeru began to squirm. His body twisted and stretched in unusual ways, like something was trying to come out. He howled into the sky, seemingly to finally calm whatever was inside him. Once again the red haze returned to his eyes except in his left eye it was a yellow haze. Jeru stood up, the air around him seemed to have changed. Fiercer, calmer, more dangerous.
In one breath Jeru closed the distance between them. A fist shot out from Jeru, aimed at Helmlock's right arm. Pulling his arm away Helmlock used his left arm's elbow to jab into Jeru's side. Dodging the blow Jeru flipped forward, bringing his foot towards Helmlock's head. The swift kick dented Helmlock's helmet, electricity slightly fizzed from the cracked wires. Grabbing Jeru's arm Helmlock threw Jeru away from him. Unfazed Jeru allowed himself to be thrown and landed nimbly on both feet.
Helmlock's helmet continued to fizz, eventually the green visor's light dimmed to a dull dark green. Raising his hand Helmlock pushed a button at the back o the Helmet. A small click and slight *fsshhh* noises came out as steam escaped the helmet. Pulling off the helmet Helmlock never stopped looking at Jeru. Silently he threw the helmet away.
"To be able to hit the spot where the sensors were in that instant, I'll give you that much praise but, don't think that this is over yet." Helmlock's cold eyes showed no emotion. Even as he was prepared to kill a child his eyes didn't waver. He raised his hands and disappeared. In a flash he was next to Jeru, sword aimed at Jeru's throat. Out of instinct Jeru barely managed to dodge the fatal blow. A thin cut appeared on Jeru's throat, where Helmlock's sword had grazed it. Helmlock's eyes remained cold as he went in for another strike. Anticipating the next strike Jeru ducked and swiped outwards with his foot, trying to trip Helmlock. Sidestepping Jeru's kick Helmlock brought his sword down on Jeru. The blade aimed at Jeru's vitals again. Dodging the blade Jeru dashed away.
A sharp pain hit Jeru's chest. He clutched his chest but the pain increased, burning, ripping, tearing apart his chest. Jeru's breathing became unsteady as the unknown pain continued. Falling to his knees Jeru's eyes bled, his vision fuzzy. In his eyes Helmlock, who was walking calmly towards Jeru, looked blurred and multiplied. Swaying, Jeru tried to keep his eyes open but found that it was very hard. The pain spread throughout his body and Jeru collapsed on his side, twitching whenever the pain spiked. Helmlock stopped in front of Jeru. Sword readied. In a single thrust he pierced Jeru's skull. Blood splattered from the wound, landing on Helmlock's cheek and dribbling down Jeru's face. Jeru's face was frozen in pain, eyes wide his mouth hung open. Sliding his blade out Helmlock wiped off the slick blood and re sheathed his blade.
"Though poison is not really my style I needed to end this quickly. Forgive me for not fighting you properly." Helmlock turned and dashed towards the forest where the man in white had disappeared. Helmlock continued to sprint through the trees but found that nothing was changing. He knew he was moving forwards but somehow he couldn't leave that area of forest. Eventually he ended back at Jeru's lifeless body. Confused Helmlock tried running through the forest again but found himself next to Jeru again. "What is this?" Helmlock used his slyphir to try to prod his surroundings but he found nothing wrong. No trace of another's slyphir. Jeru's body twitched. Slowly Jeru's body rose, the blood from the wound dripping down the middle of his face.
"How can this be? I know I killed you." Helmlock was disturbed. How could a lifeless body come back to life on it's own? Nevertheless, Helmlock readied himself to fight Jeru's corpse. With a screech Jeru's body lunged forward, clawing at Helmlock's eyes. Parrying the attack Helmlock lodged his elbow into Jeru's chest, enhancing the impact with slyphir. A loud crack came from Jeru's shattered chest, and yet Jeru's body continued to lunge at Helmlock, it's relentless attacks becoming stronger and stronger with each punch. Puzzled, Helmlock was left on the defensive, parrying and dodging. Eventually Helmlock managed to cut off Jeru's head in one clean strike. Even then Jeru's headless body continued to strike at Helmlock. Dodging and dashing away Helmlock finally came to an conclusion.
"This is an illusion." Calmly he stated this out loud, trying to draw out whoever was controlling the illusion.
"Half right, half wrong." There was a slight distortion in the surroundings and a small boy, identical to the headless body, walked out from it. His evil grin didn't match the age he looked like, especially the heavy stench on blood coming from the boy.
"So, that's the real you." Helmlock drew the long blade on his back. He inhaled sharply before slashing down in front of him, a shockwave of violent wind blades aimed at Jeru. The little boy didn't move, instead he just raised his hand and caught the wind, instantly dispersing the moment he touched them. "Wh- what's going on?" Helmlock looked a bit nervous.
"Still haven't figured it out completely? Too bad." Jeru walked over to the headless corpse and touched it. It wavered and then it formed a replica of Jeru, the head intact.
"Wanna see something even more fun? I'll show you." Jeru's evil grin reached from one eye to the other, making him look like a sinister devil. He snapped his fingers and the replica collapsed into a puddle soon forming Lydis and Helmlock's wife.
"Lydis! Marie! You, what are you going to do to them?!" Helmlock had completely lost his cool. His panic showing in his eyes as he looked at Lydis and his wife.
"Me? Nothing much. But I'm not so sure about that thing." Jeru pointed behind Helmlock. A big hulking beast had appeared behind Helmlock. As tall as a tree and muscles as thick as a grown man the beast trudged forward, shaking the ground with every step. A scar across one eye it's other eye glowed a crystal blue. Steam snorted out of it's nose. A minotaur with four horns. Helmlock's eyes widened in fear, he trembled slightly as the monster neared. Sweat formed in his forehead as images flashed through his mind.
A dark silhouette against a burning village. Screams and cries of terror rang in his ears. His mother, torn to shreds, his father, pulled apart and staked on their house, his brother, rolled and bent into a ball now a pile of mush next to him, and his little sister, so sweet and kind but was now being dragged by the legs to join another pile of headless bodies, her head staked next to his father's leg. Blood, blood, blood and more blood. It was everywhere. Splattered in pools on the ground, dripping down from the ceiling and running down the walls. He himself was covered in it. Little Helmlock could only watch as the four horned silhouette destroyed his village. Now, it has come back to take him, Lydis, and his wife.
"Terrified aren't you? Kuhaha! To think that THE 'hero' of the rebellion is scared right now? So scared he can't do anything except watch as this monster tears apart his family once again?" Jeru was laughing like a madman. His hysterical and crazed laughter added to Helmlock's confusion and fear.
"Dear!" Marie was trying to go to Helmlock but she couldn't move, Lydis was in her arms, shaking in fear, her eyes tightly closed.
"Papa! I'm scared!" Lydis's small cry was barely audible against the ringing in Helmlock's ears. He couldn't block the noise out, all he could hear a high pitched whine. The minotaur was in front of Marie and Lydis. Helmlock tried to scream out 'No!' but his voice wouldn't work. He tried to move but something was keeping him there, confined to that one spot as his wife and daughter were slaughtered.
The Minotaur separated Marie from Lydis. Marie struggled but ultimately couldn't do anything. The minotaur grabbed her left arm and tore it from her body. Even her inaudible scream was painful for Helmlock to witness. She reached out towards him and he reached back but they would never touch as the minotaur ripped off her remining arm. Marie's arms fell to the floor. The minotaur started on her legs. Having lost the will to fight back Marie's eyes became unfocused and lifeless as the minotaur tore off her legs. Splattering next to her arms her legs twitched and kicked a bit before stopping. Marie's head rolled around as blood streamed out from her arms and legs. The minotaur grabbed her by the head and began bashing her into the floor left and right, cracking the stone path. Like a child with a new toy. Marie's blood soon covered the area around the minotaur. The minotaur dropped her body, seemingly bored with it now. The only thing that could identify her was her blond hair except the minotaur stopped and ripped her head from her body and tied it to his waist. Patting it as if to say that was how it should be done. It turned towards Lydis, it's eyes gleamed with new found joy.
Lydis tried to scramble away but she tripped on her feet. The minotaur smiled in glee, revealing a row of razor sharp teeth. Picking up her small body the minotaur grabbed one arm and twisted it. Slowly turning and turning her arm around and around. When it neared the limit the minotaur kept twisting it. Soon her arm popped out of it's socket and hung limply at Lydis's side. She screamed and, like her mother's scream, Helmlock was unable to hear anything besides the high pitched whine. Tears mixed with snot dripped down her face. The minotaur twisted her arm and eventually the skin rolled into tight twisted twirls and tore off. Lydis let our another inaudible scream. She thrashed and kicked trying to free herself. She looked at her father and said something but he couldn't hear her. The minotaur threw her arm into it's mouth and began chewing. Blood dripped from the corners of it's mouth as it bit into the side of Lydis. Organs spilled into the minotaur's mouth along with chunks of flesh. Lydis was no longer struggling, her eyes like her mothers. Lifeless and dull. The minotaur continued to chew on Lydis's body, slurping up the remaining intestines and livers. After finishing the minotaur popped off Lydis's head and tied it next to her mothers, satisfied.
Helmlock couldn't hear himself screaming, begging the minotaur to stop and kill him. To spare his wife and child. Tears mixed with blood streamed down his face. It was only when he tasted blood in his mouth did he realize that he had bitten through his lip. He smashed the ground in anguish. Regret building upon guilt. An overwhelming question tugged at his thoughts. Why had he become strong? Why had he worked so hard? What was the point in trying if things always end this way? His spirit and will had completely broken. His eyes turned dull until the minotaur appeared in front of him. In that instant all of his past fear disappeared and was replaced with an urge to kill and take revenge. Bloodlust shot out from Helmlock and he stood up ready to kill the minotaur or die trying.
Shaking his head Jeru clicked his tongue.
"Poor poor Helmlock. To think that this was all it took to break you." Jeru sighed in disappointment. He snapped his fingers and an distortion appeared next to him. Walking through he left Helmlock and the minotaur.
Jeru opened his eyes. In front of him was Helmlock. Helmlock's eyes were closed, brows furrowed, and sweat dripped down from his chin. His mouth was tightly clenched, as if he was struggling against something.
"Whew. Although he's strong anybody would crumble when faced with your illusions." From behind Jeru walked out the old man in white.
"Henry." Jeru's voice was cold.
"Whoa whoa." Henry held up his hands in defeat. "Just saying. I'm complimenting your skills." He had an awkward grin on. "So? What're you going to do?" Henry studied Jeru's face for any kind of clue but that just irritated Jeru more.
"Get out of my face geezer." Jeru pushed Henry away with the palm of his hand.
"Why so mean?" Henry maneuvered to the opposite side of Jeru.
"We were never close." Jeru maintained his distance from Henry, looking at him like he was a bug.
"C'mon. Give a guy a break. We're comrades remember? The deal was you listen to me if I got you over here and boom. Look where you are!" Gesturing to the burning manor Henry grinned again. "The abnormal prodigy Jeru Moon! A master ghost whose strength known no bounds!" With his arms raised Henry took a deep bow
"Bug off. Don't label me as you like." Jeru slipped past Henry and moved towards Helmlock.
"Sheesh. Learn to loosen up."
"And look where being 'loose' got you." Jeru hinted at Henry's missing arm. Before Henry could retort in any way Jeru lifted his weapon off the ground and brought the blade close to Helmlock's neck.
"Hey, hey. We were supposed to bring him back alive, remember?" Henry tried to lower Jeru's blade but it wouldn't budge.
"Only, if, it was possible." Jeru glared at Henry. Sighing Henry backed off and raised his hands in defeat.
"Do as you wish. Not my problem if you get punished."
"I was never your 'problem'."
"So cold." Jeru raised the blade and swung. In an instant Hemlock's head was separated from his body. Slumping over the headless body fell forward, crashing into the ground. Helmlock's head rolled to it's side.
"Mission complete." Jeru grabbed Helmlock's head and walked away.
"Sort of." Henry shrugged and walked after Jeru.