Well I'm back and with quite a bit of editing especially with the previous chapter, which is actually complete now.
"They are enemies of Aevincere!" Darren commanded the other disciples. "It is your duty to help us catch them!"
While the disciples are searching, Ian and Corey are actually hiding in one of the cubicles of the girl's bathroom. Ian laughed quietly and proudly, "Heheheh, and Rina thought Prisha was smart."
"So why are we hiding in this smelly place?" Corey asked curiously. "Is it supposed to be some kind of ritual to turn us into rats?"
"Idiot, don't you get it?" Ian answered taking a peek beneath the cubicle walls, necessary to see who entered. "With Rina and Prisha downstairs, the disciples will only be looking for guys who look like guys... remotely. They'll never look for us in the girl's bathroom where we aren't allowed."
"Who do you think is in that cubicle," Voices sounded outside startling both Ian and Corey. "They've been in there for quite a while."
"Do you think we should just ask?"
"Hey!" Some girls knocked on the door of the cubicle. "What must have you eaten last night to go for a half hour round in there?"
"No, that's an understatement. You've been in there for way too long!" The girl forced the door open and was shocked at seeing the two boys in there. "AAAAHHH! BOYS?"
"Not just any! Those are the sinners opposing Aevincere!" Her friend said as she went out to call the others. "Everyone! I found where the sinners are!"
"The girls bathroom? Those perverted scum!" One of the male disciples raged and rushed into the bathroom. "I'll go in there and teach them a lesso- OW!"
The girl kicked him out, "No boys allowed!"
Meanwhile, Rina, Prisha and Jimmy were still in the chamber with the Tree of Youth. Prisha decided to continue examining it while Rina decided to ask Jimmy, "So the other road in the tunnel leads to the prison they kept you? So is there still more we should go back to save?"
"No, I'm sadly the last," Jimmy answered in a gloomy tone. He'd rather not go deep into it and think of how all his friends have been fed to that monstrous tree.
"It's a shame the cutest boy had to be the sinner," Mera's voice sounded from the entrance of the chamber referring to Prisha. He, Rina and Jimmy turned to see her with a few more disciples. They weren't sure how Mera convinced them to come down here with her but that's not important at the moment. Mera also seen the unconscious and tied up Kageta to see he failed. "The sooner you surrender, the less painful your death."
"It's at least as painful as being fed to a man eating tree right?" Rina remarked. "Besides, aren't you the one who should consider surrendering now?"
"It's true, there's no point in asking you to surrender," Mera sighed then smirked arrogantly, confident she could take them both on. She did bring about ten disciples down here to help even if they are just normal people no match for someone who defeated Kageta, they can at least slow these intruders down a little. "You sure you still have the energy to defeat me after your fight with Kageta?"
Prisha could tell from Mera's behaviour that she fell for his trap. The phone call had convinced her that the fight against Kageta lasted longer than it really did and caused her to underestimate them. They can now use her overconfidence to their advantage. Prisha looked over to Rina wondering how she'll handle this.
"Well if that is your course of action," Rina summoned a sword in the hand in front of her then directed it at the Tree of Youth. "Then your precious fountain of youth gets it!"
Ian and Corey somehow got out of the in the bathroom with as little fatalities as possible only to come across more disciples. "There! The Sinners! Get them!"
"You know who you're dealing with? Bring it on!" Ian fought his way through them, trying to only knock them out. He soon ran into who he recognized to be Darren. "It's you! One of the High Disciples."
"Stay back! I'll handle this," Darren told the other disciples then used his power to summon his weapon of choice in front of him. "Diamond Sword!"
"Aevincere smite you!" Darren rushed forward to swing his sword at Ian. Ian tried defending but could avoid a cut in his right chest. He was however able to counter and punched Darren back.
"I see this is where I fight seriously!" Ian pulled out his own Relic Sword and unsheathed it. This time it was him who rushed forward at Darren, trying to get past his defences. But Corey noticed Darren wasn't trying to get past Ian's defence at all, even with the openings he left. As if the only thing he's trying to hit was the Relic Sword itself.
"Very fast for a snail!" Ian scoffed seeing how Darren never managed an offensive. But when he realized his own Relic Sword is broken, it was too late. Darren had used this opportunity to strike the unarmed Ian's left shoulder. "AAARRRGGHH!"
"Whatever your magical sword is, it's no harder than steel," Darren looked down at the broken blade of the Relic Sword, then to Ian. "In a battle of endurance, my Diamond Sword will always prevail."
"Shut up!" Ian stood, with the Relic Sword reforming and charged again.
"This is going to take a while," Darren said as he clashed swords with Ian once again.
On the side lines, it's getting a bit difficult for Corey to watch Ian's fight as he needs to beat up the other disciples trying to attack him at the same time.
From the display Rina's power and her threat, one of the disciples questioned Mera, "Who is she and what does she mean?"
"You heard me!" Rina smirked confidently. "These who you call High Disciples secretly grew a man eating tree that grows fruits to keep themselves young. They fed those innocent people you captured and they plan to feed you too when the time comes."
"I told you," Mera reminded the disciples. "Anyone who aquired such powers without being blessed by Aevincere are given demonic powers. They secretly built this underground passage and planted that tree to decieve you."
"Tell us who are you and how did you gain your demonic powers?" Mera yelled at Rina and Prisha and stirring their temper.
"I'm glad you asked," Rina said then introduced herself and her team mate. "Rina and Prisha of Team Freakshow! We were sent to investigate this not so discreet group of yours! So what ever happened to fighting us at the cost of this tree?"
"Hm hm hehehahaha!" Mera laughed. Does this foolish girl really think killing that tree would put an end to the Disciples of Aevincere's plans? Mera decided to play along though, "Nice try, that's a very creative story. However there is one flaw to it all. If that really is our magical tree as you say then killing it would also destroy any evidence for you to testify against us isn't that right?"
Of course it wasn't the only evidence, but she wasn't going to let anyone know that.
"You know for a tree that matters so little, you sure are hesitating a lot for it," Rina smirked before realizing that Mera had fired a flame blast toward her. She managed to evade it though, the tree now burning up beside her. After one of the larger burning branches fell, Rina pushed it in front of Mera, swinging her sword like a golf club. The smoke clouded Mera's view for a moment and Rina used this opportunity to make a break for it. "Come on Prisha!"
"Jimmy!" She grabbed their hands to pull them around Mera. While running through the tunnel, Prisha also snapped his hand away like saying he could run on his own.
Mera and the other disciples also chased them until they reached the ladder where Mera decided to stop to let Dominic do the work. Once Rina, Prisha and Jimmy had reached the chamber with the conspicuous door, they found Dominic along the tunnel, having tied a rope to said door to pull it open revealing the trap behind it all this time, killer bees.
"Frozen Wind!" Prisha quickly projected a ray of sub zero temperatue from his hand to not only freeze some of the bees but block the doorway in ice. He, Rina and Jimmy only had to fight off a few more bees before turning to see that Dominic had already exited the passage.
Exiting the passage themselves, the encountered some disciples ready to fulfill their duty to Aevincere. They're only normal humans though and can only slightly slow them down. Once Rina and Prisha are done with them, they need to be off to find Ian and Corey.
Speaking of which, Ian is still locked in battle with Darren. While clashing swords, Darren spoke up, "That boy," He referred to Corey, "He's the one who set the winged snakes loose on more than one occasion isn't he?"
"What does that have to do with anything?" Ian kept fighting.
"Does he even realize the damage he could have done? Do you really insist on siding with such a brat?" Darren broke Iand's sword again, but Ian evaded his next attack. "Haven't you ever at least found him annoying?"
"That may be so but he's not the one going out of his way attacking other religious groups," Ian answered as his Relic Sword reformed once again. He was reminded of a time back then when he actually was reluctant to join the Occult Society. He still has some reluctance hanging around a bunch of weirdos. But considering the corrupted defence force he was part of before, it really was the lesser of two evils after Rina had showed him how misguided he was. "Compared to you he's a saint."
"Hey Darren, how are things going here?" Mera had arrived at the scene, now watching the fight.
"He doesn't stand a chance," Darren replied to Mera before turning back to talk to Ian. "It's not a matter of who's good or evil and you'll understand that eventually."
"No, we're offering for you to join us and hand that brat over to us because of how beneficial it would be. For one we're clearly the stronger side," Darren lended out his swordless hand. "You'll be rid of that brat for another thing and our reason for attacking those religious groups aren't as bad as you think."
"Heheh, you don't me much do you," Ian charged forward again to attack. "You'll learn I'm too stubborn to accept that offer!"
"It's no use, I only need to stay on the defensive for your sword to break," Darren stayed calm. "even if you were to hit my sword a thousand times-"
"What?" Darren then noticed that this time it's his sword that broke and Ian had cut a wound in his chest. "AAARRRGGGHHH!"
"Impossible... you shouldn't have been able to break my sword no matter how many times you hit it!" Darren stood up again before taking another look at Ian's sword. It had also changed structure. Not only was it larger and had wave like blades at it's other side, the material was also different. The blade looks similar to gold, but it's definitely not. It's much brighter than gold for one thing. "That sword, it couldn't be made of... Garmonite?"
"Garmonite? The legendary mineral made of Tusklion bones that is said to be harder than diamond?" Mera gasped. "It was always said that a sword made out of such a substance was impractical. Not only is it actually one of the heavier minerals, it's melting point is far too high to forge anything out of it."
"That..." Mera pointed at Ian's Garmonite sword. "That can't be the relic sword can it. It's said that the sword has a mind of it's own and changes form to suit the situation. It must have turned to Garmonite now that your strength is great enough to handle it and you need a weapon to defeat diamond."
"Too bad you didn't realize it soon enough," Ian ran forward and slashed many more wounds on Darren, who passes out from the pain and blood loss and dropped on the battlefield near where Corey is.
"Not bad, I guess you could provide quite a challenge with that power," Mera stepped in to take over for Darren.
"Bring it on!" Ian readied his sword once again. "I can take a hundred more of those rounds!"
"Maybe so if you fought another Darren each time," Mera replied arrogantly. "But you see, I'm on another level entirely!"
"Uh, Ian? Can I tag in actually?" Corey tried calling out but the other two were just so loud and energetic and he found he still needed to beat up the other disciples and their poor attempt at amubshing him. At least he will still be getting some action even if it's against dull normal people. Besides, it's the chalk eater he really wants to fight, he looks cool.
Ian started the fight by charging up and swinging his sword at Mera, who dodged it. She then shot a flame blast at him. It was almost powerful enough to knock someone as strong as Ian off his feet. Mera jumped back to make some distance. "So that sword isn't all you got going."
She fired another blast, but Ian has proved to be able of slicing it in half with the flames now burning in the carpet behind him.
While fighting off the disciples, Corey found that Rina and Prisha also made it up to him along with a stranger who seems to be part of the group. Corey greeted, "Hi so who's the wrestler?"
Prisha and Rina face faulted before Jimmy queried, "Wrestler?"
"Oh em gee," Rina got up thinking that was random even for Corey, then said. "Well, I can explain later... both questions. Corey, Jimmy, Jimmy Corey."
"Hey, wasn't he one of the four leaders of the Aevincere group?" Jimmy looked down at the unconscious wounded Darren.
"Yes and he's still alive it seems..." Rina checked his pulse.
"Ian just won his fight with him," Corey explained.
"So should we finish the job?" Prisha discussed.
"That's not the way we do things," Rina replied.
"I'd certainly like to," Jimmy said, thinking about the number of his friends who had died by Darren's hands. "But killing him won't bring them back."
"What I mean is that the leader of the disciples had been shown to be capable of healing abilities," Prisha glared. "Taking him along with us will only slow us down or would you rather risk fight him all over again?"
"I have a better idea," Rina smiled, making sure Mera was still distracted in her fight before holding up what looked like a tracking device and showing the watch Darren is still wearing.
Back at the fight, Mera sent another Flame Blast at Ian, who jumped over it and managed to land a cut on Mera's shoulder. The fight continued with Mera mostly dodging Ian's swings until a certain point where Mera threw another blast of fire for Ian to cut. Spectating the fight, Prisha commented, "That fool! Getting caught in such a simple trap."
"Huh?" Jimmy turned to question him.
"Hahahaha!" Mera now only had to burn the carpet for the trap to be complete. Ian tried to turn back but found another wall of fire behind him. Not just behind, all around. "It's too late, the fire around you has built up enough to make the perfect trap!"
"We'll see about that!" Ian knows he'll have to run through fire anyway, so he went for the direction he believes will damage him the least. But even then, as the flames gathered and the burning pain overcame him, not even he could stay quiet, "AAAAARRRRGGGGHHH!"
"Pyrokinetic Technique!" Smirking more widely than ever, Mera fired one last blast through the flames yelling, "Living Hell!"
Prisha, Corey, Rina and Jimmy watched in shock, barely seeing Ian through the flames.
Despite the huge pillar of flames, Ian had miraculously emerged alive, one thing only someone of his fortitude can manage. But he wasn't able to manage much more before he falling to the carpet floor and losing consciousness.
"Ian!" Rina rushed to his aid. At least he wasn't dead but it will take a lot for him to recover.
"So... any volunteers on who's next?" Mera smirked seeing their expressions. They might not be saying anything, but it's clear what they're one thing, she had taken down Ian and they none of them knows if they stand a chance. Not only that, someone will need to quickly treat Ian's injury rather than fight. There's also the fact that they will need to protect Jimmy who Mera can use to gain the upper hand. It's not just Jimmy, The other disciples here may be against them, but they are only misguided. They will also try to avoid their deaths. Prisha may not, but he knows Rina would make a fuss, which wouldn't be helpful right now.
Sure, Mera may have lost some energy in that last fight, but it isn't just her, Dominic is still here in the church. From the way Kageta spoke about him, he's likely to be even more powerful than Mera. Once he arrives, he can even heal Mera and the disciples will surely win. Mera also knows if she's in trouble, she can buy time until he arrives with some help from the above details. She laughed, "I know I won't want to fight me either but in this case it's pretty much inevitable isn't it?"
"Challenge accepted!" Corey turned to see the corridor wall and felt out his PSI and heighten the sensation to prepare for the attack. He threw his hand forward to project a a ball of kinetic energy. "Force Blast!"
"Detonate!" Right before the blast had hit the wall, Corey closed his hand into a fist causing it to self destruct and blast away everything around it, even the shockwave pushed back Rina and Prisha a bit who was luckily enough, already at a safe distance from the wall.
"Give a little warning next time!" Rina yelled. Then took a look at the window sized hole Corey made in the wall. "Wait Corey! Even if we run we would be too slow carrying Ian."
"That's right!" Mera smiled thinking they might just run off without him. But then again, leaving Ian behind means they can torture him for information, it may even be a little game of bondage.
"Ready Prish?" Corey smiled at him and looked up at the ceiling between them and Mera. Rina also found Ian's Relic Sword that reverted to it's dagger like form and sheathed it.
Prisha nodded then did the same with radiating the sensation within him and projected a frozen wind at the ceiling to make it brittle for Corey to fire another force blast right at it. The ceiling came down as rubble, in front of Mera, who needed to step back, hitting the smoky floor.
This was the time to escape for Jimmy, Prisha and Rina, carrying Ian on her back and Corey supporting. But right after Prisha jumped through the hole, he decided there's still a job to do back here. Rina looked back to yell at him, "Prisha! We can't slow down for even a second!"
"Then don't! Just run!" Prisha yelled back before summoning even more PSI this time and used a Frozen Wind to fill the hole with ice, save for most of the top area where only the left side is connected to the top of the hole. He then ran off thinking how stupid he was just then. He didn't know the precise time it would take for Mera to get around those rubbles and after all these years he taught himself not to leave his fate to chance. So why did he decide to stay behind like that?
He soon found that he almost caught up to his team. But caught a glimpse of an encrypted handbook they left behind. So that's their plan now huh?
Once Mera had gotten through the rubble, she found Prisha had set another obstacle to slow them down, but she only needed to fire a flame blast at the ice wall. However, she was surprised the wall didn't phase instantly and needed to increase the power before melting and blasting the ice wall aside.
Psychic reinforcement huh, Mera thought. It's the ability that involves manipulating the element you manifest and strengthen their molecular bonds to not breakdown so easily. Prisha only worked with ice but preventing it from melting at the mere presence of Mera's flames must make him a really powerful psychic.
Mera got ready to also exit through the hole and continue chasing them. But to her surprise the wall above the hole also collapse onto her and slow her down for another minute. She wondered how it happened before remembering Prisha's choice in the structure of the wall of ice.
"Now I see... by leaving most of the top open, my flame blast will concentrate most of the force on the brick wall's weak point..." Mera gasped while making her way back up on her feet. "This had caused the wall above the hole to become inbalanced and come crashing down."
"He sure is cute but I didn't know he was clever," Mera smirked before chasing after the rats. She may have lost sight of them, but they can't run far carrying the dumby swordsman. She will have to guess one direction first and check the other areas if she has to.
But along the way, she found a handbook. Those rats must have dropped them in the rush. It's also encrypted, meaning it can contain much important information about them that will be useful for her and Dominic.
Fact: Annoying Disciples was a title made up on the last minute due to the realization that the formerly planned title held too much unfortunate implications.