In The Spirit World - Chapter 15
The Buso King
Agawe heard the gruff guttural voice, “The moon! The moon is turning red!” The laughter was deafening. “Almost there… almost there…!”
He burst into the dimly-lit enclosure as the laughter stopped, “It’s not moving… the moon is standing still…! What’s happening?!”
“Encanta…!” Agawe muttered, “She did it…”
The moon cast eerie shadows from the open roof of the cave. A hideous creature held a dagger above a motionless girl on top of a bed of rock. Agawe raised his hand, lightning flashed and the dagger burst into flame. Ashes fell from the hands of the stunned Buso King.
“Agawe!” Ayong’s voice came from an iron cage which held him, Gayon and Atina. From the corner of his eye, Agawe saw their swords stuck a few feet from the cage.
“Agawe… Addalin is up there!” Gayon was despondent.
“So you are Agawe…” the Buso King slithered to him, dragging his long tail with its sharp point glistening on the cave floor.
“It’s over, Buso King!” Agawe said, his eyes on the swords. The first to burst into flame was the red sword, then the blue. As Agawe watched, the flaming swords pulled themselves up and flew to the waiting hands of Gayon and Ayong.
“You might have saved the Encantor souls… but one girl,” the Buso King raised a finger, “one girl is all I need… and this world and your world will be mine!” He roared with laughter as he turned back to the motionless girl.
Agawe pulled his tail to drag him away from the altar while Gayon jumped up to take Addalin to safety.
The Buso King cursed as he thrashed his steel-like tail which grazed Agawe’s arm. He lifted his tail to strike again but Agawe thrust his sword and cut its point off. What remained of his tail slithered up and wrapped around his hairy leg.
In a flash, Buso King changed into a hideous savage covered with coarse black hair. It had long oversized legs and gnarled fingers which ended in sharp claws. Its hooked chin was long and upturned. The red orb in the middle of its forehead eyed Agawe. It grinned, baring sharp fangs which lined its mouth. It’s the Tigbanua, Agawe thought.
The ogre howled as he sprang up and Agawe fell to the ground, knocking off the sword from his hand. With its sharp claws, it tore into Agawe’s tunic and grazed his chest.
The Tigbanua let out a horrifying howl as Gayon drove his sword into its side but its anguish was momentary as it spun and leapt on Gayon. Flashes of light shot from Agawe’s fingers as the monstrous beast tore into Gayon’s flesh. Addalin screamed and the Tigbanua twisted its neck backward and sniggered gleefully as it brushed the flames off. He shuffled toward Addalin and Atina.
Atina pushed Addalin behind her. She stood in front, both hands holding her sword firmly against the approaching Tigbanua as Ayong ran up and plunged his sword into the monster’s back.
The creature howled and whirled, thrashing its claws in the air, hitting Ayong and throwing him off. Agawe let out a grunt and ran toward the creature. He jumped over the monster and cut his head off. As he landed, Agawe stuck his sword on the ground and shot the ogre with a bolt of light. The beast was thrown off the other side of the cave headless.
Ayong, Gayon and Agawe Wounded
Agawe was alarmed when a crimson line ran down Ayong’s white tunic. “You’re bleeding…!”
“I’m alright, Agawe…” They rushed to Gayon. Atina and Addalin were trying to stanch the blood flow.
Agawe was worried. “Your wounds are deep…”
“Don’t worry…” Gayon mumbled. “I’m not going to die from this,” Gayon clutched his bloodied chest.
Agawe was aghast when he heard the deafening laughter.
He turned to see the Buso King now in the form of a bull-headed buso. The horns sticking out of his temples were bent forward menacingly. In his hand was a deadly looking double-bladed axe.
It howled as it rushed toward him, its axe held high ready for the kill.
Agawe dashed forward to keep the monster from the others. He dodged the first swing of the axe. He parried the second with his sword and struggled to push the blade away from his face. Agawe realized with dread that the monster’s weight was ten times his and the blade could slice into his head anytime.
As he gripped his sword, it burst into flame. The axe and its iron handle turned red and the monster let go in a howl. He took a step back and sprinted to attack, not Agawe but those behind him.
Agawe shot bolts of fire but it bounced off the monster’s back tearing up the walls of the cave causing debris and dust to fill the air. Gayon and Ayong swung their swords against the beast. Atina’s speed gave her a chance to slash the Buso King’s arms but it did not deter the monster.
Agawe raised his hands up in the air. Dirt and stones flew up around the monster as it was lifted into the air. Bolts of lightning struck the Buso King before Agawe slammed him down. It howled as it hit the ground, his body smoking.
“You are not human…” Buso King snarled. “Who are you, Agawe?” he hissed. “You are not human…” Buso King’s voice echoed throughout the cave.
Agawe was disoriented. The echo was doing something to his head. He raised his sword to strike when the monster became the Encantor King.
“Agawe… what are you doing…?” King Daniyan gasped.
Agawe hesitated. Buso King shifted back and lunged at him. He sidestepped the monster but not before its sharp horns tore a chunk of flesh from his side leaving an ominous red gash. Atina’s scream did not lessen the pain as he reeled and dropped to the ground.
As the Buso King made a move to gore him again, Agawe saw a blur of two figures plunging their swords on each side of the monster. When they pulled their swords away, Agawe let out bolts of lightning which sent the Buso King tumbling to the far side of the cave.
Ayong and Gayon rushed to Agawe but they froze when they heard the laughter again. “How long can you stay and fight, humans? You are bleeding… you are all going to die here and I am going to get that girl…” he hissed.
“Gayon… Ayong…” Agawe was bleeding profusely. He used his sword to support him as he struggled to his feet. He flipped the sword in his hand. As Gayon and Ayong did the same,” Agawe said, “Aim for the heart!”
The Blazing Swords
In a flash, three flaming swords charged like an arrow with red, blue, and purple flames fusing together to become one bright purple flame blazing from three swords.
The scream of the Buso King was ear-splitting and blood-curdling as the swords stuck deep into his chest burning him from inside. The cave wall burst open giving way to the swords which shot into the night with the howling monster. The flame blazed into the darkness and became smaller and smaller until not a spark could be seen.
The mountain began to shake and rumble. Agawe stared at the opening in the wall. “I will have to fly us out before the mountain falls….”
“You can fly?!”
Agawe ignored Ayong’s frantic voice. His mind was focused on getting them all out of the mountain.
He looked at Gayon’s ashen face. He’s not going to make it, he thought. Ayong was also bleeding but not as much as Gayon.
“Atina and Addalin… you hold on to each other and you will have to cling to me. Ayong, can you hold on for long? Hold on to me while I carry Gayon…”
“Agawe… you are bleeding as much as Gayon! How can you carry us all?” Atina screamed.
“I have to or we will be buried under this mountain, Atina…” he replied calmly. “I cannot let that happen…”
“Gayon!” Addalin cried when Gayon fainted.
Agawe kneeled beside Gayon, took his necklace off and tied it around Gayon’s neck. “Let’s go!” he ordered as he stood up.
Ayong grabbed his arm, “Adi… you’re not going to make it without the purple stone…”
Agawe squeezed the hand on his arm, “We cannot let Gayon perish. Be strong, Adi…”
Ayong wiped his eyes as he turned away. The tremor became stronger and rocks blocked the opening in the wall.
“The roof… it’s the only way…” Agawe declared.
They had to tie Gayon to Agawe’s back to secure him. Ayong gripped Agawe’s right arm and Atina held on to the left while Addalin clung to her tightly.
They held on to each other and Agawe flew up as the mountain started to collapse. He felt the searing pain as the weight of four people pulled at his torn body. Just as he thought he could no longer take it, he heard a joyous cry from Atina, “Nibor! Nibor is here!”
As they settled Gayon slowly on Nibor’s back, Agawe’s strength drained from his body and he fell backward, plummeting back into the disintegrating mountain. The faint screams were drowned by the night air as he plunged head first into the dark crater.
Agawe crashed down so fast he could hardly breathe. He closed his eyes. He was tired. He didn’t want to fight anymore. He wanted to rest. He wanted to be free from the excruciating pain.
Then he realized he stopped falling. He must have reached the bottom. This would be my grave, he thought. He was at peace. He felt no pain. Out of the darkness, powerful hands grabbed him and pulled him up, higher and higher until he felt the crisp air nipping at his face. The sun had just peeped out of the horizon.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
He took a deep breath, “I knew it was you, Laidan…”
“You could have saved yourself… but you did not… why?”
“I don’t know… perhaps I thought I would die… because I did not have the purple stone… and because I was wounded…”
Agawe glanced sideways. Only his blood-soaked tunic stared back at him. There was no wound on his flesh, not even one small cut. He turned to Laidan with questioning eyes.
“Let us go home, Agawe! Your questions will be answered by the King himself.”
Read Chapter 16
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