Ouran changed his fur into fireproof scales before the wall even came close. That wasn’t to say the flames didn’t burn, they just didn’t burn as much, or set him alight as they should have. Ouran charged forward before he saw Althra blowing into the air. Ice flowed from her mouth and coated the ground before him. He quickly jumped and sprouted wings, charging for his old creator. He slammed into her shield, bounding back off of it. Althra’s hand suddenly flared with lightning and she lashed out at the raccoon.
“Funny.” She growled. “If it hadn’t been for me, you’d still be a raccoon. What an ungrateful creature you turned out to be.”
“You tried to kill me and were incompetent enough to not only create me in the first place, but FAIL to check for a body.”
“You fell off a cliff!” She yelled, turning herself invisible. “It was a reasonable assumption.”
“Ah right. I forget you could never be wrong. Must be my fault for not dieing properly, then.”
She roared. “DON’T YOU MOCK ME!!” A bolt of lightning flew from behind Ouran and zapped him, right in the back. He yelped out as all that power flowed into him, ravaging his body. He fell down on his belly.
Sihlk’s flesh turned from bright purple to white in an instant. “Oh Creator… OURAN!!”
Sihlk dodged Althra’s fireball and shot at the wizard, wrapping around her like a giant snake. Suddenly Althra’s body became wreathed in flame, and Sihlk shrieked as she released the wizard.
“Do you understand now?” Althra sneered at the white snake, trying to pull itself up. “I. Am. A. Goddess.”
“You are tiny.” Sihlk sneered. “You know nothing of godhood, little human.”
Althra’s sneer faded. She faced her open palm straight towards Sihlk. “Perish in flames for your hubris, mortal.”
“Ouran was right, you DON’T check for bodies, do you?”
Althra blinked at the purple snake. “What are you talking about?”
“Where’s Ouran’s body?” Sihlk suddenly was a badger, and that badger was digging into the ground as quickly as it could.
Althra was arrogant, but she was not a complete idiot. A quick glance confirmed that Ouran’s body was gone. As she fired flames down at the badger (ignoring its howls of agony) She looked around, trying to find where Ouran would have gone. There was nothing she could see, but she wasn’t humble enough to believe Ouran had anything better to do than get himself killed fighting her.
There was a rustling of tree limbs behind her. She turned, eyes wild with fire… and those quickly changed to complete shock and horror.
A massive reptilian creature nearly four times her size thundered towards her on a pair of massive, muscular legs. It had teeth as tall as she was, and as it roared, she felt it reverberate throughout every fiber of her being. She immediately focused her energy on the barrier around her. The reptile slammed into her, enclosing its teeth around the barrier but unable to envelop her utterly. It instead pushed her along the ground to smash into a cliff.
The reptile suddenly shrunk back down into a raccoon. Althra was embedded in the wall, eyes shut and blood leaking from her lips. Ouran smirked as Sihlk came up from the ground a little to the side, assuming the form of a horse and grinning wide.
“There! Feel better now?” She grinned, turning her head to the side to look at Ouran.
“… A little.” He admitted, chuckling. “But… I dunno, I guess I expected more. Like a final badass transformation or something… Ah well, I guess reality isn’t always-”
A bolt of energy shot straight into Sihlk’s shoulder.
Time seemed to slow down as Ouran and Sihlk both slowly turned their heads to see the small hole left by the bolt. It stayed slow as Althra muttered a word Ouran didn’t hear.
Sihlk’s leg suddenly exploded from the hole in her leg downward. She screamed and fell over, blood pooling beneath her. She twitched, her color shifted once more, and she laid still.
Ouran was quiet for a moment that seemed to stretch into eternity.
“A slow death from blood loss – fitting for such a beast. You’re next, abomination.”
Ouran didn’t speak for another moment. “Sihlk was fun. Happy. Bright.” He slowly turned to look at the wizard. “And you just blew her leg off.”
Althra sneered. “After working with a creature like you she deserves far worse than that. Ready to die, raccoon?”
“This was her idea.” He said quietly, as if ignoring her. “She wanted me to put all of this behind me. And she was right – this whole mess with you DID weigh on my soul. It’d been months and I still wouldn’t stop talking to her about it. And you shot off her leg.”
Althra’s sneer faded, eyebrow cocked. “… So are you just going to LET me put another shield up?”
“… She was kind. Too kind to deserve that. Sure, she’ll be able to cauterize herself if she regains consciousness, but I don’t know if she can regrow that limb.”
“… Hello? Archenemy here?”
“…We’re miles from her home. And even if I bring her there, she can’t swim back with one limb missing.”
“Hellooooo? Goddess regaining focus?!… I did say my defenses were down, right?”
“… You hurt my friend. My only friend.”
“You gonna shut up and actually DO something any time soon?”
“……..You’ll pay for this.” He snarled, feeling rage begin to boil in his blood. “I will make s-”
Althra was pointing at him before he could strike, and with a blast of lightning, Ouran slumped to the ground. “-uch a nice trophy? Yes, indeed you will.” She sneered. “Well, I suppose that should about wrap things up here-”
Sihlk coughed, and Althra glanced. The creature had closed its wound, and while still not entirely awake, the purple horse-thing was no longer bleeding. It was even shifting in its sleep – imagine that. It was only a matter of time before it regained consciousness. She sighed and walked over to the creature.
Ouran raised his head from the ground. He couldn’t move, and he watched Althra raise her hand above her head.
“I don’t know what you are, little monster…” Althra said coldly, flames leaping into her hand. “But when you get to the afterlife, tell your creator to try harder next time.”
Something in Ouran suddenly surged with energy and rage. This woman had taken everything from him – his old identity, his life (well, tried to, and failed miserably), and even his form… and now she wanted to take away his only friend.
Energy surged through the raccoon, and Ouran was on his feet and running before he realized he could move again. “NO!”
A massive monkey with melon-sized muscles made to grab Althra and throw her into the rock face. She suddenly ducked, however, whirled on Ouran, and shot the fireball at his face. He didn’t care. Burns on him meant none on Sihlk. His eyes were gone but she didn’t move fast enough for that to matter – He slammed his fist into the wizard’s face, pushing forward through the pain and forming new eyes on the monkey’s belly. All of them burned with anger as he charged towards her new position next to a broken tree.
Althra disappeared and reappeared twenty feet above. She faced both of her palms downward and shot a plethora of fireballs. Ouran didn’t even notice his arms blow off. He shifted into a massive bird and screeched upwards for the wizard.
The Wizard screeched back, and hers had the wail of a banshee within it. Ouran’s ears began to bleed, but he ignored it. Another spell he’d take for Sihlk.
He raked his talons forward and caught her in the stomach. He then shifted into a massive grey blob, bringing Althra down to earth. As he did so, Althra placed her palms against his body and lightning suddenly coursed through both of them. As she howled in pain, Ouran was glad.
They crashed into the ground, and Ouran released her, changing the talons into stumpy legs to match his grey form. The wizard stood, and flames danced in her hands.
“Abomination…” Her eyes widened with insane rage. “How dare you…”
The creature pawed at the ground, ready to charge.
Althra screamed, and this time brought up enough lightning that every tree around them fried as well as Ouran. He roared and charged through the pain, slamming her into a tree. Althra coughed up blood and started slamming her electrified fists into his body. She was ignoring the pain too, now.
“I’LL KILL YOU!!” She screamed. “I’LL KILL YOU AND THIS TIME YOU’LL DIE!!”
Ouran changed into a bull, goring the wizard, and tossed her farther away from the cliff Sihlk was unconscious at. Althra stood and coughed up more blood, eyes wild and crazy now.
“YOU… I… I’LL KILL YOU!! I’LL KILL YOU TO DEATH!!” She slammed her lightning-charged palms together, and a massive lightning bolt flew from her hands, slamming into Ouran and punching him through half a dozen trees. Ouran gasped, and as he slumped to the ground checked the damage… she’d blown apart his guts. That was more than fatal.
…No! If he died, Sihlk would…
He stood, and in the back of his mind, it occurred to him that he wasn’t feeling any pain that he should have. He filed it under ‘don’t care’ and shifted into a large cat. He charged forward as fast as he could, trying to find Althra. He burst into the clearing and found Althra laying against a tree, holding her own gut. He saw that the recoil of the spell had blown her guts apart as well.
…It would be so easy to just walk forward and slit her throat. Watch the life drain from her eyes. End it for sure, once and for all.
… But he was dieing, Sihlk might need help and he didn’t particularly care what Althra did.
“… If you survive,” He said coldly, “Don’t come after me or Sihlk. Because next time, I won’t let you live.”
He said nothing more to her, shifting back into his raccoon form.
It wasn’t until Althra’s final curse took effect that he realized the wizard was already dead.
Her body exploded, lightning, ice and fire all exploding outward. The shockwave carried him far and in the direction of the cliff, though he slammed into a tree before he made it all the way.
…Sihlk… my friend… Thank you. For everything…
His eyes fell shut… he wondered if-
- Lord of Change – Part 4 (halftangible.wordpress.com)
- Lord of Change – Part 6 (halftangible.wordpress.com)