Forces of darkness clashed with those of electricity.
Zade and Cameron locked eyes, both filled with murderous intent.
The collision of their blades sent shockwaves across the room, and as Cameron was blown back, Tyson charged ahead, his eyes brimming with mad power, as he and Zade parried, strike for strike, sweep for sweep.
Meanwhile, the rest of the soldiers dealt with the tendrils of ice that arose from the floor, stabbing anybody unfortunate enough to be caught by it.
As Tyson pushed Zade back, Elizabeth ran along the curves of the chamber, appearing behind Zade and blasting him with red-hot orbs of flames, send him skidding across the room.
The three of them were relentless. They didn’t spare Zade for a second. Either of the three was continuously assaulting him.
“Let’s finish this,” Cameron cried out, as he swung his sword, and charged with all his might at Zade, who countered with a high-power blast of ice. Cameron’s sword shot of tendrils that blasted against all of Zade’s icicles.
Elizabeth kept supporting Cameron, her own flames accompanying Tyson’ blasts of telekinetic power, which kept pushing Zade back.
Just then, several Siauhus leapt in from the chamber entrances, gobbling up several Valhallan soldiers. They completely overwhelmed the forces of Valhalla.
It was a complete mayhem.
Blood spattered all over the place, and as the deafening roars of the feral creatures echoed through the chamber, Cameron’s head started getting heavy, as the strain of maintaining the constant flow of electricity was starting to get to him.
Colonel Stanley was handling the situation with relative ease, though. He stood at the top of an icicle, blasting each Siauhu to cinders.
“A moment, if you’ll allow me,” Zade sneered, disappearing into the shadows, and as his silhouette vanished, a Siauhu leapt through it, baring its sharp fangs at Cameron, who smack it away with a bolt of lightning.
“Come out, you coward!” Cameron yelled. He looked around. The horde of Siauhus was almost dead. Just a few of them were left, still raging on.
Elizabeth followed Cameron’s gaze, and charged at the beasts, who, despite becoming outnumbered, didn’t let up. She slammed her scythe into the floor and used it as a springboard, jumping several feet into the air, and charged a sphere of flames in her left palm that she blasted in the face of the first Siauhu she saw, then swirled her weapon around in a giant arc of destruction.
A Siauhu tried to act smart and sneak up on her, but got killed by Tyson, who projected his own sword at breakneck speeds and impaled it through the beast’s heart.
The Valhallan Soldiers went up against the rest of them
‘Where is he?’ Cameron thought.
The room had gone deadly quiet. The three friends knew Zade could pop out of anyplace at any moment, and so they stood, back to back, looking in all directions.
The soldiers and Stanley were alert as well.
“Formation Delta!” He yelled, and the troops moved into their positions, forming concentric triangles the best they could, with the Valdorian teens in the middle of the inner layer, standing back to back, and weapons at the ready.
Stanley himself stood atop the icy floor, charging his twin barrels.
For a few seconds, nobody moved. It felt as though time had stopped, and the only sound that could be heard was of the crackling of the flames on the tip of Elizabeth’s sword.
Then, shadows solidified under the trio’s feet, and as they leapt away, tentacles flew out that grabbed Cameron’s feet.
“Cameron!” Elizabeth yelled, as she swung her blade in a wide arc, and dispelled a white hot bolt of flames that collided with the mass of shadows, but to no effect. Cameron was dragged into the swirling vortex of obsidian black.
In a matter of seconds, Cameron felt his vision fade away, and absolve into complete darkness.
“I’m…dead?” Cameron softly muttered. His body was glowing, exuding brilliant white light, yet everything around him was absolutely black.
Cameron brought his hands to his face. He could see them. He could see everything that was a part of them, and yet, he saw nothing.
“Is this what happens after death?” Cameron pondered. His arms and legs so rejuvenated, so fresh and so…unscathed.
He kept floating around in the deep void of nothingness.
Cameron wondered how much time had passed since he had been in that state. It felt like an eternity had passed as he felt a soft breeze pick up.
“Dying….sucks.” It felt weird for Cameron to say that out loud. He heard his words echo several times in his head.
He didn’t know what had happened. It all unfolded so fast. At one moment, he was standing alongside his comrades. The next thing he knew, he was being dragged, and then, he was dead.
He floated around. Suddenly, a small orb of blue light appeared in front of him.
“Huh?” Cameron tried grabbing at it, but the orb moved out of his reach. He tried again. It had the same result. Every time he tried reaching for the orb, it flew a bit out of his reach.
As he continuously chased it, it began changing shape.
Cameron’s eyes widened. It spread outwards, surrounding Cameron inside a wall of light. His heart suddenly felt an intense pang, and tears appeared in his eyes.
“Why?” He thought. This was not what he had expected. It was pain beyond belief.
He willed himself to float out of the lateral wall of light that encompassed him, but as his body orientation changed, the beams of light changed from a light blue to a brilliant purple. All around him, along infinite directions, those lights appeared, and then merged into one huge sphere which engulfed his body.
Cameron felt his heart being torn apart. Nothing he had ever experienced even compared to this. Glimpses of his life rushed past by him. His earliest recollections as a baby in his mother’s arms, as his father looked on proudly; when he was five years old, and saw his father get beheaded before his eyes, and how his mother wept in one corner; when he was ten, and had met Tyson and Elizabeth for the first time; all of those times when he had been beaten to a pulp, or had lost someone close to him.
Cameron felt all of that pain in those few seconds. He couldn’t bear with it. He felt his existence on the verge of dissipating, and then…then it was gone.
There was no more light. It was just him, all alone again, with tears brimming in his eyes.
Slowly, the aching in his heart stopped. He felt at peace.
Cameron breathed slowly. The darkness was starting to recede. He could make out something in the distance, but what was it?
In a flash, the shadows disappeared, and he was standing. Standing on solid ground.
The sight before him was completely alien. He was standing on what seemed like… a bridge?
He wasn’t sure. The only bridge he remembered seeing was in Valhalla, which stretched across several streets.
All around him, the clouds were dark, and precipitation seemed to fall down from the skies, although Cameron wasn’t sure why the precipitation was liquid. It felt nice, though, feeling the droplets flow down his body. It took him a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t his own body.
Cameron felt shorter, and much lighter. To his right, odd vehicles passed on the road. Cameron had never seen such things ever before. They were peculiarly grounded, and he could only compare them to the Zippers that were used by parking lot guards.
The atmosphere felt warmer and more surreal than anything Cameron had ever experience before. It was simply…beautiful.
Cameron tried to move, but he couldn’t. He didn’t have any control over the person whose body he was inside, but could feel everything else. The person was sad. His fingers shook uncontrollably as they curled around a small object
The host’s hands moved, as he flung something that glistened in the rain, into what Cameron now noticed was the sea beneath him.
The dark waters of the majestic body swirled with great waves that crashed against each other, and against the sandy shores that appeared lonely in the storm. Far away, a large spire stood tall and mighty, and shone a warm light that rotated all around, appearing as a beacon of hope.
The host turned and ran. Cameron felt tears streak down the person’s cheek. All around him, things appeared to come to a standstill. The host was the only one moving at all, and his sight was veiled under the dark bangs of hair that covered his eyes.
Cameron felt his spirit being whisked away, away from the body of the person. All he had was now his sight. It was terrifying.
Everything that he was admiring until now was starting to evaporate.
The mighty sea, the humongous bridge, the clouds and the rain drops, all turning to ash and floating away. The road under the host’s feet was also being whisked away into nothingness, but he kept on running.
Cameron felt pity, pity for the person. He knew whose face was hidden under those dark hair. But he needed to confirm it.
Almost everything had disappeared. It was all white. Everything had been consumed. The person gradually slowed down, until he came to a stop. For a few minutes, everything was silent. Only his shallow breaths could be heard. Cameron felt the pain from earlier return, pain that made his heart ache and eyes tear up.
An indescribable hollowness welled up in his mind, exponentially greater than anything he ever experienced. Anguish threatened to tear his soul apart, but Cameron stood his ground.
Cameron, like earlier, will his body to float next to that of the person. Jet black hair. Piercing dark eyes.
Cameron knew who he was. They were friends, having helped each out several times. They had enjoyed together, laughed together and faced several adversities together.
They had also tried to kill each other, but Cameron looked past that.
Cameron was never able to hold grudges. He wasn’t going to start at that point.
Zade raised his head, his eyes devoid of any emotion. He slowly fell to his knees, and Cameron tried to grab his shoulders, but his hand just slipped through the body. Zade looked up, gazing at the emptiness above, before yelled.
It was a guttural scream, a sound of pure misery. Cameron felt the surroundings around him darken, as the dazzling white was being contrasted by a mesmerizing black that shone from Zade, right in front of where his heart was.
Cameron looked around wildly. He had definitely heard something.
A soft breeze flew again.
Zade remained unresponsive. His eyes were hollow, looking devoid of any spirit.
“Damn brat.” Cameron spun on his heels. A lone figure stood.
Completely shrouded in darkness, same as what had appeared before him in the chamber.
“You’ve seen enough,” The deep, metallic voice boomed, and a razor wind blew from behind him, nearly knocking Cameron off his feet.
“It is time for you to go back.”
As the shady figure said that, Cameron’s vision buckled, as he was propelled away at immense speeds. The last thing he saw was the dark figure loom over Zade’s kneeling body.
Cameron blinked his eyes open. For a second, it was all blurry. The bright lights made it so that he felt they were burning into his vision. The ridiculous glare nearly made him go blind.
But slowly, his vision colorized, and before him, several people appeared.
As his eyes focused, he only saw one face, which was nearing him quite fast.
“Gia?” Cameron was tackled and given a bone-crushing hug from his friend, as her hair had the touch of a bronze feather across his face, and the smell of lilacs filled his senses.
For a few seconds, they stayed like that. Cameron wasn’t complaining either. The warmth of her embrace filled his heart with happiness, and something else that he hadn’t felt in a long time: Love.
Then, she broke apart, tears of happiness streaked across her face.
Cameron finally had a clear vision.
He was on a bed, in a hospital.
And in front of him, stood everyone that he loved.
Elizabeth, with her usually close-cropped blond hair cascading down her shoulders.
Tyson, with a jagged scar across his right cheek and long hair covering his relaxed face.
Gia, whose face radiated beauty beyond anything he had ever seen.
Dr. Sycamore, standing tall and poised, yet with a friendly smile playing on his lips.
And finally, in one corner, Stanley stood, dressed in the same attire as ever, with his dark overcoat and white pants, a gun in his holster and a calm face.
“Took you long enough, dumbass.” Stanley smirked slightly, as he walked and put his hand on Cameron’s shoulder.
Cameron simply grinned.