Sweeper

Chapter 41 Broken Man, Shattered Soul

Story so far: Before Cervantes can unleash the powers of the Rhevbrandt Broadsword, Kato is saved by Nina of Bloodlust and the two retreat from battle...for now. Sheena casts a spell on Voltez that momentarily limits his powers by half. But will it be enough for the three heroines to still prevail?

On the other side of Ghriname Forest...

Carrie remains unconscious with her back pressed against a tree in a sitting position. Gunther holds his ground in front of Taylor, who looks pleased to be in Gunther's presence.

"You're a bonehead" mocks Taylor gripping his fully extending whip with two hands. The whip suddenly ignites into a raging streak of fire while still in his grasp. "Did you never think we'd meet again? The way you ditched us. I remember the day you walked out on us. That's your way of saying thanks to the people who taught you everything you know? If it is, then I don't wanna see what you do when you hold a grudge against a person."

Gunther clinches his wooden sword stemming from anger. "I ran from my village. The very same village you and Voltez were in the process of destroying deriving me to run in the first place. When you found me right here in the woods later, I had no choice in the matter! A young boy who had no family left was faced with a decision. Try and fought his inevitable foes and get slaughtered, or join the ranks of his villains so that he may learn their dark practices in hopes of finally matching up to them and taking them down. That was my purpose when I left with the two of you that day and that was my reason for joining Bloodlust. Nothing more."

"The truth emerges." says Taylor. "You know, I'm not surprised. I never liked you then and I'm definitely not going to be your Prince Charming now. You're going to die today for betraying Lord Voltez maggot."

"Why do you cling onto Voltez so much?" questions Gunther. "Do you fancy him or something?"

"TAKE THAT BACK YOU OGRE!" shouts Taylor, embarrassed and thrown aback. "HOW DARE YOU QUESTION MY SEXUALITY! I'M COMPLETELY STRAIGHT!"

Gunther casually shrugs his shoulders with his eyes closed. "Yeah well your Mohawk looks pretty queer. I bet you and Voltez hump all nig-"

Taylor strikes forward at his safe distant at Gunther however Gunther wisely deflects the multiple whip strikes with the edge of his wooden sword. Tiny flaming particles bounce off at the weapon's collision point.

"I see the old alchemy claw still works." Taylor remarks while retracting his whip. "Do you recall the day you received Yamendawger's claw friend?"

"I'm not interested in rehashing forced events in my life." replies Gunther whose calm demeanor is worn.

"Well maybe I'm feeling nostalgic." retorts Taylor. "Humor me."

With a fully reluctant sigh, Gunther recounts the event that Taylor speaks of. "I would say I was no more than eighteen at the time. You, me and Voltez traveled to the chamber of beast who was said to be raping and murdering young beautiful women of about the same age. This was not acceptable to Voltez because he fed on such women at the time. Once we encountered the beast known as Yamendawger, Voltez pulled the mammoth's arm off with his bare hands. However little did we know prior to Yamendawger's slaying, his claws were magic. Able to change objects into almost whatever desired, Yamendawger used his claws to paralyze women by morphing their clothing into chains and proceeding to have his way with them. The magic he possessed in his claws was similar to alchemy. Immediately after learning this, Voltez melted my right arm off in his devilish fingers and had it replaced with the claw of Yamendawger so that I would be a suitable candidate for Bloodlust, a syndicate of warriors sworn to protect him around the clock. Are you pleased? My entire life history has just been laid out in front of you. But you all ready knew."

"OK I gotta say," starts Taylor preparing for a sinister remark. "I just wanted to have the tragedy that is your life be fresh in your brain when its leaking from your cracked skull." Taylor whips his weapon forward and wraps it around Gunther's wooden blade expecting it to burst into flames but to his surprise it does not. The two rivals now engage in a fierce pull and tag game.

"Old habits die hard old friend!" cracks back Gunther with a snide comment of his own. "The days of you always having the upper hand against me have passed! If you don't believe me, I'll show you here today!"

"Tch," starts Taylor struggling with Gunther for control of his whip. "All you did was reinforce your stick with holy water. An amateur who started yesterday would have thought of that technique by now. How can you be so sure you're better than me now? You haven't shown me any prove yet to persuade me otherwise!"

Gunther with all of his might yanks backward on the whip which in turn lifts Taylor off of his feet and hurling toward him. "Then let me show you...!" With Taylor soaring uncontrollably into him, Gunther's claw on his right arm lights up bright red. Tiny sparks flash around his claw creating cracking noises. When Taylor comes within range, Gunther smashes his fist into Taylor's face for an uppercut connecting with the Zerquetschende Faust. The impact lifts both combatants high up into the air as the ensuing wave of red energy explodes of off his claw. Most of the wave hits the night sky while Carrie appears safely against the post of a tree, unaware of the battle occurring around her. The aftermath of the explosion remains for seconds until the wave vanishes. Gunther emerges standing on the branch of a tree but leaning against the bark. He is visibly exhausted from his own attack, attempting to catch his breath. Taylor finally slams to the ground descending from above. He bounces of his neck and flops down onto his stomach. The whip, still in his hand is no longer on fire. His charred body simmers resulting from up close and direct contact with the Zerquetschende Faust.

"Get up!" shouts out Gunther. "We're not done here."