Chapter 11 - Regret:
A time for change, a time for new beginnings. Ironically, also a time for demon hunting. While some days had low activity, a rising in the appearance of Demons appeared by the beginning of March. More often than not, it would be reported to the news, in one way or another: TV, newspapers, magazines, even radio. Social media's number one topic was probably the appearance of these strange beings that would do harm, ranging from random acts of chaos, such as arson and vehicular accidents, to more direct approaches, such as rape or murder.
A recurring figure would sometimes be mentioned in the retelling of these events. A teenager, sometimes holding a spear, others an axe, and five more different kinds of weapons at his disposal.
Wearing a lower-face mask, it was hard to identify who this person was. And of course, controversy came to rise. It was obvious he was fighting off the demons, but it wasn't clear whether or not he did it for the sake of human lives.
A person can be driven up the wall and shoved right through it if the right buttons are pushed. If everything they believed in became shattered. If everything they thought was common sense was a rare jewel.
There's no point in fighting for what you hate.
But not everything in one's life can be completely bad. Having one's little world, being able to reach a ray of hope, it can keep someone from doing something rash.
It worked for about three years. After that, Sakuma snapped. A moment of insanity is enough to make a decision without thinking everything through. Even when we are completely convinced of doing something that we think will work for the best.
But there are always downsides, things that we end up regretting.
"Get back here!" Sakuma landed on top of a train about to depart, holding a double-edged sword with a blue blade and a sapphire-coloured hilt, encrusted with precious stones.
He chased a peculiar demon. Being able to assume their most desired shape, most would think of strong muscles, perfect looks, or even the shape of their favourite animal. Of course, each with their own personal characteristics, there would be great distinctions between some, such as a hairless demonic body built with muscle, a scare crow with giant claws for its hands, or a female beauty with the lower half of a giant spider. However, this one was different from any other.
Resembling a completely black cloak, this demon had no humanoid or animalistic features, but rather could change shape into whatever it desired, to an extent. It would usually keep the shape of the cloak hiding a person with a rather odd body shape, with a circular red mask with three holes and three spikes resembling fangs at the bottom of it as its face, stoic and without ever changing.
The two noticed the train moving and the voice in the communicator announcing its departure.
"Well, this will be fun…!" Sakuma pointed out, noting how hard it would be to just stay standing on the train, let alone fight on top of one. Even with the lent power of Asmodeus, who he currently held in her weapon form, it would be hard to stay with his feet firmly planted on the public vehicle capable of reaching 250 kilometres an hour. As it began to speed, the shapeless demon started shivering from side to side, aiming at Sakuma. "I hate it when I'm hunting the silent type."
"It feels like I'm talking to myself, most of the time."
Aww, don't worry, Sakuma. I'll always listen to you. After all, I love you!
He couldn't help but to chuckle awkwardly. He was aware of how exaggerated her 'love' was and how it would extend to pretty much anything. But he would most likely be the newest sentient target of such since her main interactions for most of her after-life would most likely have been her six accompanying sins. And he was aware of how intimate they could be between them ever since a certain night.
But he had to focus on the battle. Especially since multiple sharp limbs protruded from the demon's body. They could extend as far as they needed to, covering the 10 meters between the two with ease. As the speed of the train started to increase, Sakuma swung his sword in order to deflect the multiple spikes, as he ran towards the enemy in order to slash the main body up-close.
Able to deflect the upcoming projectiles, making them withdraw, he managed to run up to the opponent, but upon seeing multiple needles being created in its abdomen, Sakuma figured the next move.
"C'mon, the pants are new!" Before they could be launched, Sakuma jumped, performing a backflip. Thanks to the speed of the train, the distance he travelled was multiplied. Upon landing, he stabbed the sword into the unsteady floor to make sure he wouldn't fly off. Which was close to happening, since he landed close to the edge of the last carriage.
Maybe you could start wearing red.
"But I don't like wearing red!" Sakuma replied, charging in once again. While it took more time to reach the demon, and the train making a turn, which he had to hold down on to during it while still dodging the upcoming sharp arms, Sakuma managed to reach the unusual demon, who created humanoid arms with clawed hands in order to defend itself.
The two fought for a moment until Sakuma spotted an obstacle in the distance. "Crap…! Belphegor!" The sword turned into a wisp of deep blue fire, and after entering his chest, a light blue flame emerged and moved into his arm, forming into what he considered to be his most powerful weapon.
It was an easy assumption taking into account the kind of weapon it was. While the remaining six Sins were weapons for close-quarter combat, the chain Beelzebub turned into being a sort of exception, able to be used for mid-ranged combat, Belphegor could turn into a powerful firearm. A weapon that would strike fear to anyone who would be at the end of its large barrel.
Aiming it at the opposing demon, Sakuma pressed the trigger, firing a missile. The explosion didn't cause damage to the train itself, but it propelled Sakuma backwards again.
"Night Flight!" Positioning the firearm carefully, the barrel pointing downwards, Sakuma pressed the trigger, releasing a stream of fire, propelling him upwards. Thanks to some training and practice, not to mention pairs of burnt trousers, Sakuma was able to hover with efficiency.
From the cloud of smoke emerged the demon, assuming the shape of a featureless hawk, with claws sharp enough to cause strong damage. Quick on the trigger, in both senses of the expression, Sakuma aimed at the demon again and fired another missile, pushing him away because of the lack of ground to stand on and hold the kickback.
Needless to say, the enemy didn't find it very appealing either. Coming out of the cloud of smoke, in the shape of a ghost, with four sharp claws protruded out of its shapeless body, it closed in.
"Leviathan!" Swapping weapons once again, Sakuma blocked the crash with the forked claws and hurled it away before landing on the railroad. Quickly chasing the teenager, the demon landed and created multiple arms with sharp needles for hands. "Lucifer!" He summoned a weapon whose expertise had increased throughout the days, and used it to deflect the upcoming arms before stabbing it through the hollow body.
Tough one you got over here.
"You said it!" The strike didn't seem effective. Pulled in by the twisting cloak, he almost lost balance. And a perfect opportunity was wide open in the mask's eyes. Creating an arm with a spike on its end, he aimed for the back. "Please not the spine!"
While he was lucky enough to not be struck in the spinal cord, which would leave him paralyzed until the regeneration took care of the wound, Sakuma still felt great pain upon being struck. A small wound didn't mean little pain.
"Gyah-! Beelzebub!" Quickly turning around, suppressing his flinching as much as possible, he launched the chain, but the spectral demon dodged it with ease, curling its body around it and landing close in order to continue the attack, but removing the spike in Sakuma's back. "Pig's Tail!" The teenager hurled the chain once again, but this time, it followed a spiralling pattern. Tricking the evading demon, it struck its mask, pushing him away and making it flee. "Oh no you don't! Belphegor!" Sakuma jumped and followed the demon through the air with the use of his Night Flight technique. "Come back here!"
Ignorance is bliss, as they say. Though usually the meaning is used in a different kind of context.
Flying through the skies, they eventually reached a city, and Sakuma could just tell that the Demon didn't want to play around when it swooped down into the empty streets. At the time of day, yes, it was possible for bystanders to be around, but being a week day meant that it was less likely for someone to come across them.
Swapping weapons left and right, Sakuma tried his best to hunt down the shapeless demon. Though he admitted that the fact of only being able to use one at a time was something that held back his performance. But being able to use weapons and gain enhanced features while wielding them was more than enough to ask for.
"Lucifer! Light Beam!" Firing a light beam through his right palm, Sakuma tried to slow down the demon. How the enemy managed to dodge around the beam was a mystery, but the attack scrapped part of its body. The mask glanced at the burning at the edge of the cloak, apparently affected by it. "Guess I found a weak spot. Fallen Angel!" Aiming with the spear, Sakuma fired a thicker beam through it. However, the opponent dodged, running away. While he repeated the attack, Sakuma couldn't land a solid hit, and resorted to give chase again.
Urban areas were very popular battlegrounds for the demons. Not only would the multiple streets and connections offer escape routes, but also because of the possibility of obstacles appearing more often than not, be it buildings or people.
Whether it was sheer luck or a strange day altogether, there were very few people out in the open. The chase didn't stop, trading blow for blow, tactic for tactic, all while Sakuma kept jumbling his weapons around. "Mammon!" Close enough for a strike, Sakuma swung his arm up, hitting the mask hard. "Satan!" Changing weapons, he swung his arm down, slashing the cloak in half. "Asmodeus!" The double-edged sword replaced the current weapon and he prepared something he was only able to do when bearing Asmodeus. "Heart-Breaking Kiss!" Moving incredibly fast, Sakuma reappeared up above, having performed an upwards rising slash, striking the mask again. Flipping backwards, as the cloak healed itself, the demon ran away.
Changing to Belphegor, Sakuma used to fire stream to chase and crash the demon into a nearby building right after changing weapons, bearing the white and violet spear. A classroom, of a fight grade class, was invaded by the two. Many young boys and girls screamed when the two crashed into the room, by breaking glass. How no one was hurt was quite miraculous. Everybody fled, including the teacher. In the room, stood only Sakuma and the Demon. Or so he thought, until a familiar set of words, spoke in a familiar soft voice, were muttered.