Kyuuketsuki: Chapter 3

by S.M. Cook

“If you won’t hand it over peaceably, I will take it from you.” I stepped back giving myself another foot of room to work in. It was going to be a battle to the death and I had no intentions of being the one lying on the floor in the end.

“Do you step back from me in fear?” he sneered. “I thought I was the fearful one, according to you?”

“You are.” I moved quickly forward while drawing my sword upward, slashing him from hip to chest in a diagonal gash that ended at his right shoulder, the obsidian blade cutting through his skin effortlessly. Damascus stumbled backward taken by surprise; not dead but definitely hurting. Before he could regain his composure, I pulled my dagger and returned it to its sheath in a single fluid motion, slashed across his chest from right shoulder to left, cutting the leather thong which held the medallion, forcing him to stagger back yet again. As he did, my hand shot out catching the medallion before it had fallen six inches. All of this happened in the blink of an eye. Movements so quick, no human’s sight could possibly have tracked them.

Damascus went to his knees before me, the shock of what I had just done to him carved into his face. The blood coursed down his torso in rivulets of crimson. The stench of it, almost to the point of being overpowering, called to my more sinister nature, but I refused to allow it out of the cage I kept it so tightly imprisoned in. Stepping close I crouched down in front of him, grabbing his hair, pulling his eyes up to meet mine.

“Where – is – Lazarius?” I enunciated every word through gritted teeth. “I want to know where he is hiding.”

Damascus smiled painfully at me, “I think you’ll find what you’re looking for sooner than you think.”

“What in the hell are you…” My words hung unfinished as an unseen force pushed me up and away from my prey. Kenryū, my sword, flew from my hand spinning away into uselessness as I sailed backward through empty space. Slamming into the opposite wall, I whipped my head left looking for my new nemesis. I heard the footsteps, but my attacker visually eluded me. I was pinned to the wall by the force of him, but I could not locate him.

Unexpectedly, a voice in my right ear whispered, “I’m right here.”

I snapped my head back around, to see the man I most hated standing in front of me. My tormentor. My adversary. My creator.

“Lazarius.”


Finally, Lazarius shows himself! But what’ll happen now that he has? Be sure to join us again for Chapter 4, coming September 9th, 2022.


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