Part 4; Finale
Standing next to Rak (you learned his actual name before arriving), you look over at Hoaqin. “He’s gotten bigger.” You absentmindedly mention, Hoaqin’s eyes snapping over to you as you speak, the scowl on his face quickly replaced by a grin.
Having focused on your face first, it took a couple seconds for him to notice the change in clothing. And with it, he saw the scars.
While he did enjoy the view, your past injuries were far too numerous for him to ignore.
“Wait, Y/N, how did your clothes get ripped like that?!” He asks. He could question you about the scars later.
“Oh. Rak threw his spear at me because I wanted to test my defense. I forgot that my clothes aren’t as protected as my body.” You scratch your cheek, hearing his sigh.
“Well, either way, come over here.”
“Uh-” Your answer gets cut off as the announcer guy begins to speak, making Hoaqin huff.
“Let’s begin the last round of the Dallar Show! The name of it is-"
He gets cut off as a familiar girl floats next to him. "Wait, you forgot to mention something. The most important participant, me.”
She says, you looking up at her. “Hey, it’s her.”
Looking down at you, she smiles, waving.
Hoaqin looks at you, confused. “You know her?”
“Not really, to be honest. She is your last sibling, though.”
“That is correct.” She confirms.
“No way! She looks nothing like any of my siblings! Y/N, are you sure about that?” He asks, looking to you as you shrug.
“I mean, I figured it out because I sensed her power."
"Hmm…” He looks back up at her, brows still furrowed. Seeing as he was actually trying, he could sense her power, but still, he didn’t like how friendly she was acting with you. She might even try and take you for her own.
You could tell by the look on his face that he was misinterpreting something or other relating to you, that jealous spark in his eyes unmistakable.
She flickers over next to Viole, leaning over his shoulder. “You’re facing him, huh? A Slayer Candidate…”
As Khun and Rak begin to shout at her, she flickers in front of you, Hoaqin’s eyes narrowing into a glare.
“And you, the one he’s interested in.”
She glances back at him, his expression making her smile grow wider. She flickers back up to the announcer guy, lifting her finger to her lips. “I guess I’ll watch the game and hop in to help whoever I like. That would be okay, right?”
Hoaqin scoffs indignantly. “You’re my last clone, right?! Why wouldn’t you help me?!”
“Shut up. That’s minus five points for you.”
Your expression shows your small struggle to refrain from making any noises of amusement, managing to calm yourself down in time for the announcer guy to allow her intrusion.
"Now, let’s begin the final game of the Dallar Show; Go to Hell!” He calls, a ringed circle much like the one you were standing on appearing on the screen behind him.
You stare up at the screen, entertained by the name.
As he begins to explain the rules, you do your normal thing and zone out, especially uninterested in a game you wouldn’t even be participating in.
“As a final note- there will be two surprise hostages, one from each team! They will be introduced in the second round!"
That was pretty much the only part you caught as you and the others in Viole’s party moved up to the next layer.
Yura was a small bit away from you, not looking at you and instead focusing on the ball Rachel was in, which Khun had entered as well.
"Hey, Dragon.” You start, him looking over at you. “Can you decompress, put your spear down, and hold your arms out like this?” You ask, holding your arms out like you were holding a large chest.
Confused, he does so, you taking the chance to leap up into his arms. Promptly, you fall asleep.
“Blank Turtle! Hey! You tricked me!” Rak huffs, looking back down at the match to see Hoaqin glaring at him.
Rak pays no mind to the bloodlust that radiates off of Hoaqin, most of it gliding off of his tough skin and exceptionally smooth brain.
Prince gets dropped, falling lower and lower.
Hoaqin doesn’t move as Viole waits for the right chance, soon launching off and into the center pipe. He paid out 30 Dallars as he did so, Hoaqin’s unamused eyes following him down.
He calls out to Khun, the submarine door popping open and letting the purple-haired boy tumble out and into Viole’s arms.
“Saved! Viole’s team successfully saved their hostage!”
Prince floats out of Viole’s arms and onto the platform that you and the rest of Viole’s group was as he returns to where he began, the announcer sending the next person down.
Hoaqin chuckles, a mean grin on his face. “You’re the type to try and save everyone, huh? I can tell. You know, Viole…"
Abruptly, he launches forward, bringing down his sword as Viole tries to block it, the sword slashing into his arm either way. "You’re exactly the type of person I hate!”
Hoaqin blocks the main passage from Viole’s view, his grin more of a snarl. “You always do everything for everyone! That stupid altruistic mentality of yours really gets on my nerves!”
He laughs as Viole attempts to round him on his blue platform, leaping up to send him back to the ground. “You should really try and be a little more selfish!” He laughs again, louder, as Viole picks himself up, glaring.
“Why would I want to be as heartless as you?” He asks, gritting his teeth as Buelsar continues falling, his path blocked by the prior Slayer.
“It just makes life… so fun! At this point, there’s only two things I truly care about.” Hoaqin’s expression grows sly as Viole continues to try and get past him, failing and getting more and more damaged with each slash.
“Ah…I have a story for you.” His grin continues to grow as he sends more slashes towards Viole, who grows more distraught as Buelsar falls further and further. “Before I got trapped here, I ruled over two lands, as their king.”
He continues to tell his story to the stricken boy, whose blood was beginning to pool around his feet. Buelsar continued to fall, and Viole continued trying his damnedest to get into the pipe, continually getting blocked by the white-clad man. “It truly is a shame about the one in the submarine, but if I am going to be the pinnacle, I needn’t worry myself with such disposable peons.”
“Disposable…?” Viole’s breaths pick up as he glares at Hoaqin, the Thorn flaring up. “He put his life on the line to fight for you, and you call him disposable?! You truly are worse than scum! I can’t imagine living a day in which I think of those around me as disposable!”
“Oh well. You just aren’t cut out for being a Slayer, then.” He sighs, his expression neutral.
Viole rushes forward, faster than before, but still not quite fast enough. Hoaqin sends him flying back with one strike.
“I… don’t want to be a Slayer! I’ve already told you this! And if you truly see him as disposable, or a peon, why won’t you-”
“Let you save him? It’s simple.”
Hoaqin’s face breaks into a wide smirk, his eyes glowing underneath the shadow of his bangs. “You and your team annoy me; I wanted to watch you squirm as you tried and tried to save someone, only to fail and fail, over and over, until they were gone from this world. And look! I succeeded in that, didn’t I?” He throws back his head, letting out a mad laugh as Viole stands, rushing past and leaping into the pipe. “Jump down there! I’ll let you. No matter what you try, you won’t make it in time.”
Peering into the deep passage, he watches with twisted amusement as Viole rushes down, faster and faster, before stepping back, already knowing of his hostage’s fate. Viole’s injuries slow him down, ribbons of blood flying through the air behind him as he hopelessly descends.
“Three, two, one…” He counts down on his fingers, ending with the announcer. “Zero.”
“H-Hoaqin’s team has failed to save their hostage.” The announcer shakily states. “Any spent Dallars will be lost.”
Viole floats up no less than a minute later, his face dark as he glares at Hoaqin, the Thorn blazing behind him.
“A-at the moment, Hoaqin has 24 Dallars remaining, and Jue Viole Grace has 67. The second round will begin now!”
Hoaqin looks up at him, his playful grin making the announcer sweat. “We will now be introducing the surprise hostage from Jue Viole Grace’s team!”
Hoaqin glances back at you as he hears you wheeze, having lost your breath when you hit the floor. “Damn, wasn’t expecting that.” You mumble, using the railing to pick yourself back up. You look around behind you, trying to find the reptilian. “Rak? Oh, was he the surprise…?”
Sighing, you lean on the bar, eyes half-lidded as you watch the submarine plunge down. You close them, propping your head up on your hand.
You didn’t want to watch.
“Jue Viole Grace. You can go after him if you’d like, this time I won’t stop you.” Hoaqin smirks, stepping around to get on the opposite side of him. “As a matter of fact-” He rushes forward, Viole preparing for a slash. “I encourage it!” His eyes widen as the white-haired man reels the opposite arm to his sword arm back, bringing it into his crossed arms and sending him flying back, his heels digging into the floor as he tries to slow down.
By the time he manages to, he stands less than a foot away from the edge, listening to the announcer before paying out and leaping down. Hoaqin laughs loudly, not seeing your grimace, as you had barely opened your eyes to see what was happening.
You knew from the start that Hoaqin, that White, was a cruel person. That by standing by him, you were standing on the wrong side.
He held you there.
If you ran, he would follow right behind.
If you hid, he would find you.
You didn’t take him seriously enough in the beginning, and now you were paying the price; he never lied when he told you, “You’re mine.”
Opening your eyes to escape from your thoughts, you look over Viole’s group, noticing an extra person. A purple-haired kid, who was clearly trying to calm himself down. Your eyes move back to the arena, watching Hoaqin’s last clone as she stared down at her origin, disgust and anger coursing through her gaze.
“Jue Viole Grace has successfully saved his hostage!”
Viole called out for Khun, and Rak was saved. He was returned to your side soon after, sweat nearly pouring off of him. You pat his head, him looking up at you briefly before his eyes go wide.
“Blank Turtle!” He shouts, whipping his head around.
You had vanished.
You sigh, the restraints binding you to the submarine wall. “Of course it was me.”
Hoaqin glances over to where you should be, only seeing the crocodile as he looked for you. His eyes widen as he looks over at the submarine, soon glaring up at the announcer. “The surprise hostage from Hoaqin’s team has been selected!”
The second the round starts, Hoaqin pays out 10 Dallars, slashing at and subsequently knocking Viole down before jumping down, boosting his speed. He got to the correct height a few seconds later, Viole unable to stand up in time. He winces as his various cuts bleed, stinging against the air.
“Woman! Open the submarine!” Hoaqin shouts, Rachel doing so right after. The door shoots open, and you fall straight into his arms, slightly disoriented.
“Ugh, that didn’t feel good.” You lightly complain, feeling Hoaqin’s grip on you tighten, ever so slightly. He looks down at you, the sharp panic that had risen in his throat giving way to a broiling anger as he glances at his last clone and Viole. His eyes blaze, only relenting as he gets an idea, letting out a scheming hum.
“Hoaqin has saved his hostage!”
You notice a blue light surrounding you as you reach the top platform, hearing Hoaqin’s chuckle. “I said I wouldn’t be dying, now it looks like you need to make the same promise.”
You yawn. “Yeah yeah, even if I hit the acid I’d at least survive for a couple minutes.”
“Whatever you say.”
“Oh, so now you’re-” You get cut off as you get transported back to the group, Hoaqin laughing.
You huff, a small pout on your lips as Hoaqin grins, eyes on you.
He looks back at Viole, expression growing vicious. “Even if you don’t want to become a Slayer, you’re in this battle with me. And I expect a fun fight! No more throwing yourself at my blade, make this entertaining!”
Pointing his sword at the injured boy, Hoaqin stares down his arm as if measuring. He hums as Viole pants, still winded. His vision was fuzzy, and lightheadedness was beginning to strike him. His head pulsed with pain.
“You’ve barely used that Thorn of yours. Are you even trying?” He asks, tilting his head mockingly. “Well, I can find out your capabilities next round, I suppose.”
“Hoaqin has a total of 24 Dallars remaining, and Jue Viole Grace has 67! We will begin the next round! Viole’s hostage will be dropped now!”
Grinning, Hoaqin pays out 10 Dallars and follows Viole in jumping down, Viole turning in mid-air to face him, grimacing.
“Now, let’s make this fun!” Hoaqin calls, lifting his sword above his head before swinging it down, his Arie heritage clearly showing as many slashes happen synchronously. Viole brings his arms up before Shinsu pours into the air, swirling into orbs before streaking around Hoaqin, leaving trails as they whirl around. Abruptly, they fly up, homing in on the prior Slayer and flying directly at him.
He dispels them with a single swing, glaring down at Viole as he jets down. Hoaqin sneers, raising his sword above his head once more, gathering a massive amount of energy. Now, his plan would go into action.
He swings down, releasing the energy burst before following behind it, hiding himself among the light.
Seeing the sword being thrown, he reveals himself for less than a second, knocking it out of the way.
His last piece, having had their intervention denied, teleports down in order to block his attack from hitting Viole, who had a young girl in his arms. Holding out her arms, she begins to form a shield, only for a hand to burst forth, roughly grabbing her arm and pulling her into the attack.
The energy dissipates as Hoaqin ignores its stability, grinning at his now hurt last piece. “You… you have so many souls within you. They all look… so tasty…”
She was unable to teleport away as a bright light surrounded her and him.
Every spectator watched with some form of horror, you feeling the creeping dread climb your back as your future reality sets in.
“Ah, finally.” His voice appears before he does. “I’ll be getting off this stuffy train in no time.“
Viole looks up, eyes wide as he stares at the Slayer. White’s gaze meets his, a grin forming on his lips. “Ah yes, you. I’ll savor your soul, so don’t worry about going to waste. Get back on the main platform. The next hostage is about to fall, after all.”
Viole slowly ascends, Miseng disappearing from his arms as he lands himself.
“Now…” Pointing his sword at Viole, he tilts his head. “I can’t have you winning this game, now can I? Spend all your Dallars on the next descent.”
The second Viole takes a step forward, White points his blade towards Viole’s group. A drop of sweat drips down his face, his body aching even with the adrenaline that coursed through him.
“H-hoaqin’s hostage will be dropped now!”
Grinning, White gestures towards the center pipe.
Begrudgingly, Viole pays out 37 Dallars, leaping down after the submarine.
“Pfft. Is he planning to save the hostage? He knows about the spell, does he not? It’s useless.”
He chuckles quietly.
“Hoaqin has s-saved his hostage! Jue Viole G-grace has no more Dallars to compete with, so he is… disqualified! Hoaqin wins!”
Humming, he waits for Viole to return to his level, holding Angel with shaking arms. He had lost so much blood, it was really a wonder how he hadn’t collapsed yet. “I’m impressed, Jue Viole Grace. I think I’ll eat you now, instead of waiting for the spell.”
Viole turns to him as Angel disappears, eyes dully glaring. He breaks into a sloppy run, jumping as he tries to land a punch, reinforced by Shinsu.
White lifts his arm.
Viole stops, held in the air by a sword that crackled with energy. He chokes, coughing out large amounts of blood as he grabs the sword right where it entered his body.
“Still struggling, hmm? It’s no use.” White levels the sword, staring at the Slayer Candidate.
Weakly, Viole shoves himself off the blade, falling to the ground. His chest heaves as he tries to stand, unable to put weight on legs without his knees going out.
His quivering arms hold up his torso, more blood pooling in and dripping out of his mouth.
“You’ve fought well, Jue Viole Grace.” White stands above him, sword hovering over the black-haired male’s spine. “But not well enough.”
He brings the sword down, Viole gasping out a last breath before all life drained from his eyes, face growing gaunt as his soul was consumed.
White’s eyes widen as his power surges, flaring up around him. Looking back down at Viole, his brows furrow. “An Irregular…” He kneels, picking up the compressed Thorn and pocketing it.
He sighs, stretching his limbs and dispelling his sword as Khun runs up to Viole, kneeling at his side and lifting his torso up, getting a better look at what had happened.
His body quakes, looking up at White with a snarl on his face. “You….” He growls.
White meets his gaze, amusement showing through his glowing eyes. He looks away, paying the Lightbearer no mind as he begins to walk forward, cloak fluttering behind him.
Khun lays Viole down gently, standing up with rage seeping into his heavy breaths and clenching hands. He takes a few heavy steps, soon advancing to a full-on charge as he whips out his dagger, about to run the soon-to-be High Ranker through. White whips around, seizing his wrist with enough force to nearly snap it. “Aren’t you supposed to be the smart one? You should know it’s less painful for you to simply die to the spell.”
“I don’t care about pain! If I’m about to die, I might as well go down fighting!”
Looking to the side, you watch as Rak reels his arm back, decompressing and throwing the spear before jumping down next to Khun. White easily blocks it, releasing Khun as the spear bounces off, letting Rak grab it once more.
It didn’t take long for the rest of Viole’s comrades to join him, Rachel and Yura standing somewhat off to the side.
You, however, stood still. Watching from above.
“Blue Turtle is right!” Rak shouts. “The best way to go out is with a struggle!”
Your brows furrow.
A chorus of agreement passes over the group as they ready their weapons and abilities.
You bite the inside of your lip.
“Hmph. I suppose I can reward you all for your courage with a quick death.” Lifting his arm, his lips twitch up as he notices your grip tighten on the rails. Shinsu emanates from his hand, extending in a beam as he forms the beginnings of a sword. He sees your expression grow more conflicted, the group in front of him approaching cautiously.
He laughs, letting go of his gathered Shinsu, seemingly vanishing from in front of them.
A chill travels up your spine as hands grab the railing beside your own, your back pressed into a chest and a head resting on your shoulder. “You were going to jump in.” He claims, a drop of sweat running down your cheek. “You know I won’t allow you to get hurt.”
One hand traces a scar on your stomach, making you shiver at his cold fingers and light touch. “Especially now that I know how hurt you used to get. You could probably survive a couple hits, but after that, it would be over.”
“Hey! Leave Blank Turtle alone!” Rak shouts, waving his spear at White.
He looks down at the reptile and the rest of the group, the hand he had moved now stationed around your waist. Raising an eyebrow, the corner of his lips twitch up. “Hey, Y/N. Do I kill them now, or activate the spell?”
Your lips open shakily, closing without a word escaping your mouth.
White hums. “Alright then. I suppose I’ll choose for you.”
He grins, his other hand placing itself on top of your own before his fingers slip in between yours. “Killing them all would be a bit too tedious for my tastes. I’ll activate the spell.” He leans more into you, eyes closing.
“Even with your defense, you would die to this if I wasn’t here.” His face breaks into a satisfied smile. “I’d close your eyes. You still may be knocked out though; the attempt to rip out your soul will be rather taxing physically.”
“I… could guess.” Your drab voice makes White’s smile droop a bit.
He could see it in your eyes, that returning blankness.
Was he not enough?
Or was it them, for even getting close enough to you for you to care if they died?
He quietly scoffs, feeling the collection wave begin from the caboose, quickly advancing along. “Well, the collection starts now.”
You hum, monotonous.
“Blank Turtle!” Rak shouts, leaping up and reeling back his arm, spear in hand. He throws it, and everything seems to slow as it approaches.
Did you lower your defense? Let it strike you down?
Did you redirect it? Try to hit White?
“It’s no use.”
Of course. It didn’t matter.
White holds his hand up, catching the spear by its head. He smirks, tossing it to the side.
Suddenly, the group leaps up, readying their attacks as Khun, at the front, uses his Lighthouses to form a path, running up to the next lexel. His dagger is in his hands, face serious as he leads the last ditch attack. Before he could come into contact with the amused White, he ducks to the side, slipping around White and passing something to you.
You felt the cold metal in your hands, knowing what you had to do.
White faces the group as they attack him, blocking Khun from getting any slashes in with his dagger and keeping the wide range of blasts from the group at bay. Rak, who had managed to grab his spear, jumps up, pointing the spear towards the Slayer as he descends, White looking up to block him.
You take your chance.
Whipping around, you drive the Heavenly Mirror into his chest.
A hand grips your own as you attempt to pierce his heart, silver eyes narrowed. A mean sneer takes its place on his lips. “Hmph. You almost got me. Still, that knife only stores someone if it pierces their heart, correct?”
He rips the knife out of your hands and his chest, throwing it without care at the group, whose attacks had ceased.
His eyes shift to the wall, feeling the wave as it gets closer and closer.
Rak swings his spear, White ducking and grabbing its length, snapping it in two.
Khun again charges, White grabbing him by the neck.
“Don’t you ever give up? You’re annoying.” He throws the Lightbearer at the group as well, ignoring their startled reaction and Rak’s shout.
“Ah, whatever. The wave is here.”
Everyone turns their attention to the wall as a bright light slips through the cracks, eventually overtaking the room. Clenching your eyes shut, you feel two arms encircle you, pulling you closer before your consciousness disappears.
When your eyes open, bleary and unfocused, you could tell that you were in a different room.
Blinking, a quiet groan escapes your lips as you sit up, hand against your forehead as a dull pain pulses through it. The sheets that covered you fell, pooling around your waist and revealing the same tattered clothes.
You sigh, looking around the room with a tired, unsure gaze.
You tense as you feel arms snake around your waist, a head nestling in the crook of your neck. He practically deflates with a breath, leaning into you.
“How long I have waited for this…” He mumbles, his hold on you tightening as he lifts his head, placing a kiss on your neck, just below your jaw. “I’ve regained my status and power, and you are by my side.”
He smiles, pulling you into his lap. “As it should be; perfect.”
Everything worked out exactly as he wanted.
He places another kiss on your neck, just below the previous.
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