Chapter Fifteen – Silent but Deadly
He had muscles. His muscles had muscles. At least, that’s what it seemed, but Dylan had grown so large under the night’s sky that he became only a shadow looming before a canvas of stars. Daveon, Deena, and Kevin stood at the ready. Though, none of them felt ready in the slightest.
“Are we fighting a kaijou now?” shouted Kevin.
“This is bad,” stated Deena. “For more reasons than just him. We’re causing way too much noise. People are going to end up coming here soon, and then we’ll have more than just a monster to deal with. We need to get out of here.”
“We can’t just let this thing run free in the city. It could kill people! Somehow, we’re going to have to stop him.”
Deena shook her head. “I can see why you’re friends with Eldrian. Then what do we do?”
“We’re at the limits of town. If we run, I bet he’ll chase us, and we can get him away from here. Then he won’t be able to destroy anything, or anyone. It’s like the thing you wish people would do in movies so there wouldn’t be so much collateral damage!”
The boy began sprinting in the opposite direction, whether he knew his friends would follow him or not. Thankfully they did. All three of them tactically retreated from the battle and towards the vast, flat landscape of Alberta’s outskirts.
They felt each and every step Dylan took behind them, as if they really were being chased by a giant gorilla, or radioactive lizard. His giant fist took a scooping swing down towards them, clawing up the soil a mere inches from Deena’s feet. She nearly screamed, but she was far too winded. They all were.
“He’s catching up!” shouted Daveon. “His legs are far too big to outrun him any more!”
“Then take this,” Deena said with a deviousness to her glare.
She turns on her heels and tossed a spell she had been preparing. A sphere of roaring, sparkling void hurled from her grip like a revolving basketball sent to destroy. It blew a hole straight though the giant’s stomach.
Flesh and innards burst free from within. Dylan, who was now gripping the vacancy in his gut, roared out, but his blank expression stared daggers down at the group. When his hands moved away, they noticed something else.
Strands of skin and other tissues, even muscle and organs, started to string together like a macabre sewing machine. It only took a moment for the injury to completely disappear. It didn’t even leave a mark.
“You hit it, right?” asked Kevin.
Deena growled. “I did. I know I did. Did he heal that quickly?”
The force from Dylan’s next attack caught them by surprise, as they were not only too busy inspecting his healing factor, but the night’s sky was pitch black without the city’s lights. They could barely see. His hand swatted Deena and Kevin like flies, sending them flying across the dirt to land tumbling a distance away.
Next, like a hammer, the giant’s fist came down upon Daveon. He leapt and rolled to the right a mere moment before it came crashing to the ground. It shattered the soil and left a visible crater behind its wrath.
“That would have killed me,” muttered Daveon. “Guys! Are you all right?” he called to the darkness to no answer. He stood his ground with a look of worry on his face—concern for the others as much as himself.
He had nothing he could think of to help him in this situation. The vines he could manifest wouldn’t stand a chance against a target this large. If he became an animal, he’d still be only a fraction of the size. And if he attacked it, the monster would just regenerate. He thought even Deena’s hex wouldn’t bother something like this. That wasn’t a scream of pain earlier. It was one of rage.
Their witch was on her phone. It wasn’t to call up a friend to gossip, nor was it to check her messages. It was a frantic call to a devil—a final desperate attempt for aid.
Lucy thankfully picked up.
“Mhm. What’s up?” the devil asked.
“We’re fighting a gigantic mound of muscle that can regenerate!”
“Oh. Is it a demon?”
“I don’t think so. It was a guy who transformed.”
She said nothing else before a crack opened up in the Earth. The devil hopped out, and behind her, the crevice shut and disappeared. Lucy gazed up at the towering behemoth standing over Daveon, and her jaw dropped.
“This has to be the Elixir of Strength. Just like Rend,” she said.
“There was another. He’s back in town, unconscious in rubble. Hopefully. We didn’t have the chance to do anything with him before this guy showed up. We don’t know what to do to stop him. Does this elixir have any weaknesses?”
Lucy sighed. “Not exactly. Its effects differ so wildly. All I know is that it takes only a sip to achieve something like this. Any more, and the user would certainly die. I did hear that multiple doses remained. Both of these must have drank one, including Rend, so they have to be connected.”
“Do you think someone is giving them away?”
“I don’t know… I’m sorry. I have nothing to help you. I only know about demons, and even then, I’m not a fighter.”
Swopping out of the dusk was a crow. It transformed back into the handsome druid as it came near. He was sweating, panting, and he immediately looked behind himself.
The giant turned slowly. Its gaze soon locked upon the group.
“Sorry,” Daveon gasped. “I couldn’t do a thing.”
Suddenly, a roar came from the giant’s mouth that was loud enough to ring their ears. They felt the thunderous shock wave of sound several moments after it ceased. Dylan was only becoming more angry, and now he found them all once more.
“All right!” Lucy announced. “Here’s one plan. Nothing that can heal itself is infinite. He must have a limit. Maybe if you destroy him enough, the healing factor will slow, and he can be retrained.”
“Easier said than done,” Kevin muttered.
“I’m not that much of a combatant,” Daveon admitted. “I’m learning, but I never had to fight things like this back home.”
Lucy shrugged. “You need to try. As helpful as it would be to have a few more wizards, everyone’s just going to have to do their best. I—“
She was cut off, however, by the ringing of Deena’s phone.
The witch’s eyes looked to the screen, and they read the name Eldrian. Her eyes turned to her friends one by one as she pondered. She finally pressed a finger on the button to answer.
“Eldrian,” she whispered. “We’re a little busy right now.”
“I just found out Kevin’s missing,” came the voice in response.
“He was. We found him.”
A long sigh of relief came through the phone. Their conversation was soon interrupted by the stampeding feet of a creature taller than a giraffe. They split away like a frightened nest of mice, and Deena’s exhausted panic was heard by Eldrian on the other side.
“What’s going on?” he asked. “Are you being attacked? I heard something loud.”
“Someone else drank from the Elixir! Two of them. They took Kevin, and one’s still here. I can’t talk right now.”
“Don’t hang up.”
The foot of a god shook the ground behind them, sending all four off balance. They struggled to stand once more, but the hulking creature was ready to smash.
It was distracted by the sudden calling of a man behind them. The voice was familiar to Dylan. Actually, it was far more than that. The sound of the voice caused one of his blank eyes to twitch. It was the voice of his most hated nemesis, Eldrian.
“Hey!” the wizard called. “Remember me?”
A cocky grin was present on his face. On the top of his head was the same top hat he wore that night, and his arms crossed over his chest. There was no fear present on his expression. Eldrian stood his ground, even when Dylan turned to glare down towards him.
“Eldrian!” screamed the beast, though it was barely understandable.
“This man’s power is maximum,” muttered the wizard. He called out, “Do we have a plan?”
“Why did you do this if you didn’t have a plan?” Deena yelled back.
“I’m distracting him!”
“We’re going to hit him really hard, and then tie him down!” Kevin added.
“Simple enough. I was really bored laying in bed, and thanks to Deena, I’ve come up with a brand new spell. If we need to hit hard, this is the one, even if magic isn’t just about doing the most damage. I’ve been wanting to try it on something. Hopefully it works.”
“I’ve got your back!” Kevin announced as he dug his feet in the ground, pulling himself into a battle stance. In one hand, he gripped his magic blade Drodias. He was ready to aid his friend in whatever way possible.
“Canada is way more interesting than I expected,” Daveon said as he rose up his hands. A spark came to his eyes. The druid was ready as well, and any talent he had with manipulating nature was preparing itself to support his allies.
Deena said nothing, but she nodded. One of her hands rose up, and above the tips of her fingers glinted a flash of shadow energy. Her vacant, red eyes glared up at the monster. And beside her was Lucy. Even though she wasn’t there to fight, she wanted to see Dylan fall as much as the others.
Eldrian threw both his hands to the side. On each, two fingers extended, and sparks of magic came to life at the tips.
None was aware of the one who was watching. It was the Swedish warrior—hair brown and past her shoulders—known as Asta Ahlgren. She had just seen both Dylan and the others run away from town when her eyes caught the laying body of Ron. She stepped up to him.
“You’re both idiots,” he snarled as she thrust her boot into his side, knowing it would have no real effect. “Are you trying to piss me off?”
Ron groaned. “You said you gave us the power to get revenge on Eldrian. We didn’t know he’d have so many allies. Don’t yell at me. My head is killin’ me.”
“That’s not what I meant. What the hell is Dylan doing? The police are going to show up after all that ruckus. And do you know what that means? The official spellbreakers are going to show up. Maybe wizards too. I didn’t want them to notice what was happening.”
“I don’t understand any of this.”
“No. You don’t. It’s my goal to erase all of this. I can’t be found out. The government can’t stand people who work independently to hunt wizards. Plus we… have some history. They don’t care much for me, and I don’t care for them.”
“I didn’t know Dylan would turn into that.”
“Neither did I. I thought the Elixir somehow didn’t affect him. He’s a monster now. Hurry up. I don’t want them to find you. I don’t trust you not to tell them everything. They’ll be coming as soon as the police report what they found. First Xeno runs off, and now this.”
The bald brute finally pulled himself off the ground. He dusted various pieces of rock and other debris from his clothes before pulling out a new cigar from his pocket. With a flick of his wrist, he opened a lighter, and he lit the end. Ron took a long inhale, and then sighed a cloud of thick smoke.
“I almost had them,” he grunted.
“No you didn’t. Look at you. Your skin is metal-like yet you’re back here, because your stupid. Let’s move. Trust me. Unbreakable skin is irrelevant to the people who are going to want to catch you.”
“Sorry, ma’am,” he said with a dejected grunt.
“We’ll split up in a moment. Meet me at that place.”
Asta gestured for him to follow. They disappeared from the scene. In the background, they heard only booming noises of impact, and thankfully, no sirens—not yet.
Come back next week for Chapter Sixteen – Power of Imagination!