133 Rejection of the Abyss
A single step and all of his focused energy shot Taigen forward with incredible speed directly towards the monster before him.
The monster he faced was a tall humanoid form comprised of writhing flesh and twisted tendrils dripping with all manner of filth. It evoked a feeling of disgust and revulsion while hammering home a feeling of helplessness in its prey when one beheld it.
A small part of his mind was screaming at him to flee, but he ignored it and focused his mind solely on his opponent.
As he drew closer to the apparition the air started to burn his skin and lungs as if it were made of poison. He saw that the ground around it had turned black and putrid from the creature's aura.
As he neared the creature several tendrils dripping with some disgusting dark fluid lashed out at him with absurd speed. It was all he could do to avoid the strikes and slash the tendrils with his blade, causing them to recoil.
The monster hissed in displeasure, the air around it quivering from the corroding breath that it released. More tendrils lashed out at the approaching warrior, only to be repelled by the azure blade as it flashed with brilliant light.
Now that he was closer, Taigen threw out a talisman that caught flame then burst in a large fireball as it reached the creature, bathing it in fire. The thing shrieked and hissed, making Taigen wince from the sounds.
Then the dark horror seemed to swell for a moment before its body split open from neck to groin and swallowed the fire clinging to it into its body. Taigen quickly threw another talisman, but this one was swallowed before it could even explode.
Realizing that the creature was adapting to his attacks, Taigen dashed in close and slashed his azure blade at it in a horizontal arc. He was sure his strike would hit, but before it made contact, there was a jarring impact that deflected his blade with a burst of energy. It was so powerful that Taigen was momentarily stunned, and this allowed the creature to wrap its tendrils around his arms and legs and start to pull him in towards its gaping maw of horror.
Taigen witnessed the creature's torso split as it opened its maw wide to swallow him, and for a moment he was staring into the abyss. He saw horror that he could not describe, darkness that consumed all, corruption that tainted both life and death, and at the center of it all was an all-consuming entity with one sole purpose; Consume.
In that moment, Taigen was certain of his death. As he drew closer to the abyss he struggled with all his might, but his efforts were futile. He could not escape.
Then from behind him came a roar of fury and rage that seemed to shake the ground right before a massive blazing axe came in over Taigen's head and cleaved towards the creature that had him captive.
But the same barrier that had deflected Taigen's katana flared as the blazing axe struck it, releasing a blast of power that threw Taigen free of the creature's grasp. The creature shrieked in anger as he struggled to get his bearings, but then a moment later he was hauled to his feet by a powerful arm.
It was Ssaul! In the Carzivore's hand was the massive flaming axe that had saved Taigen, and his scales were smoldering and glowing with heat.
"Get ready boy," growled Ssaul to Taigen as his glowing, reptilian eyes watched the creature slowly begin to move towards them again.
Taigen grunted his acknowledgement and gripped his blade with determination. After what he had seen, he could not allow this creature to exist!
They sprang into action, Taigen going left and Ssaul to the right. As they did, Ssaul roared out and his scales and axe flared brighter with flames that seared the air. He darted towards the creature, defending against a tendril with his tail as he chopped another down with his axe. Meanwhile Taigen and his azure blade cut a path towards the creature on the other side in an attempt to flank it.
When they were both about to reach the creature, it let loose a tortured wail as the twisted flesh on its body gave birth to more tendrils that struck at the two warriors. The added threat brought Taigen and Ssaul to a standstill as they furiously wielded their weapons to defend themselves.
The scene was one of darkness and horror against azure blade and flaming axe, and the clashing of them all lit up the night in a series of colorful flashes.
Then the opportunity they needed came. The creature's tendrils were nearly all cut down, so it churned its flesh and flexed its gaping maw as it started to produce more. In that moment, Ssaul and Taigen let loose with everything they had left. Taigen's yell and Ssaul's roar followed their weapons as the azure katana and the flaming axe struck at the creature while it was vulnerable.
There was an explosion of power as azure light and hot flames clashed with the corrupted energy that protected the creature. Both Taigen and Ssaul were sent flying by the explosion, tumbling across the tainted ground before they came to rest nearly fifty meters away.
Taigen struggled to push his unresponsive limbs up as he looked through his dazed vision to see the damage they had done. Unfortunately they had only cracked the creature's shield and left not a scratch on its physical form. Taigen felt despair grip him as he looked over at Ssaul who was still struggling to get up as well.
They were not strong enough. They did not have the tools nor the power to defeat this monster. But if they didn't, then who would? There was no one else that would stop it from consuming his men and their families.
So he struggled to his feet, knowing that he would lose, yet determined to make this monster pay for every ounce of flesh. The creature emitted a maddened wail as its tendrils flailed about in anger and the abyss stretched open as if it wanted to swallow everything around it. Even though they had only put a crack into its shield, it was enraged that they had hurt it.
Taigen and Ssaul prepared themselves for one last effort. They were beaten and bruised, but either they killed this thing, or they died. It was that simple.
The creature let loose one last wail into the sky as it prepared to attack, and then the fist of god struck it.
There was not other explanation for it.
A streak of light appeared from the heavens and impacted the creature with a devastating crack that flattened everything around it in an explosion of force. Taigen and Ssaul were thrown to the ground as a brilliant white corona of light bloomed into the sky from the explosion.
In that moment, Taigen felt the faint light of hope inside his heart once again.