8 The Dreamer in the Catacombs of Ur
(From the point of view of Violet Belladonna)
I think I'm gonna die.
I gazed at the two children of the people I serve. Undisturbed, silent, peaceful, their faces filled with the utmost comfort one would not expect from newborn babies. After all, this misshapen thing desecrated the quietness and stillness of the mausoleum in this here catacomb below Ur. Perhaps my barrier is still strong and intact even though my body is naught but a weak, flabby piece of meat standing weakly in front of my immediate doom.
However, as the monster facing me rages with the noise of a thousand crowds, my princes remained undisturbed as their consciousness continued to sit within their dreamlands.
Of course, I have my mission to protect and the princes but, fuck; I'm dead for real this time. Try as I might get out of this mess, I don't think I'd be able to pull off any kind of magical contraption or sorcery to save me from the touch of the reaper. I am drained, and I have nothing left in me but the power to provide a somewhat strong barrier around the princes. I cannot even shoot a weak fireball to give me enough chances to distract the enemy.
"What's wrooooong?" The woman who looked like a debauched version of a bride chuckled, "Scaaaaared?"
"Well, aren't yooouuu a toughy, eeeehhhh? I liiiike touughiiees! Toughy women are very great, eeeehhhhh? Just giiiive me what I want," she uttered as she extended her veiny thin hands towards me, opening her first one finger after another, "and weeeee will finish this eeeeeeaaaassyyyyy!"
What does she want? What could she possibly want from me?
I crept my head down and diverted my attention toward the two sleeping babies lying so comfortably on my arms.
Oh no. Here it is. Something that she seeks.
I see that the enemy already knows the existence of the princes. They are here to end the lineage of the king once and for all.
"I can't believe you would kill a child."
"Weeeellll…" She chuckles, revealing the darkened teeth hiding from beneath her chapped lips. "All for getting the goodieeessss, and you have the best treasure in this here castleeee!"
Of course. The princes, as they stood now, are the greatest treasure of the kingdom. It's no wonder that when she finally squeezed them into a pulp with those gigantic arms of hers, I am confident that they would win the war one way or another. After all, it would scar the king, and I loathe to see a future where a monster like her would succeed in killing the gift Queen Lara left to this world.
My god, I cannot imagine what Vortigern would do when the children died, what he would do to them, and what he would do to us.
I must protect the princes. Not just because it's my duty, but I fear what would happen if Vortigern's anger consumed him after the death of his sons. I have no choice. If violence is what she gives, violence is what she gets.
"I refuse! I will never let you harm my princes!"
"Princess? Huuuuhh?" As she uttered mindlessly, the bride pointed one of her long fingertips to her temples and scratched the side of her head with her worn and wrinkled fingers.
However, I am not the sort of person who allows my enemies to have the time to think, let alone let a simpleton like this try to use her head when she doesn't have one! Before she had time to comprehend whatever a monster like her would think about, I sent an orb flying to her head. With a loud smashing sound similar to that of a ball hitting a wooden slab, my desperate strike sent her one step away from me, making her off balance in the process. The monster hissed like the feral demon that she is as she landed on her butt upon the concrete floor of these sacred catacombs she's desecrating.
"No more, you ugly thing!" I hurled two more orbs towards her direction! Once again, an earth-shattering sound resonated throughout the quiet, dark mausoleum as both the balls hit her malformed and distorted face, and my god, am I filled with so much euphoria when I heard that sound. My orbs hit her head at the same time. For once, I felt a sense of power over her as I dominated her in my weakened state.
"Ah! Ow! Stop, what the… AARRGGHHH!" She cursed over and over as I hurled all of my orbs at her filthy little ugly ball of pure ugliness she called her head from all direction, keeping her from thinking straight.
If there's one thing I know about mages, it gets progressively difficult the more one's mental solitude is under such great disturbance similar to what I'm doing to her right now. As I hit her again with more of my orbs progressively getting harder and faster each strike, I heard that sound once more; that sound of bones and skin cracking and forming into countless different shaped! What a beautiful sound! My orbs might be brittle, but my barriers are tougher than steel; with enough momentum, I can lay a strike at her damned ugly face repeatedly without halting for even a quarter of a second with force stronger than a general's iron war mace. The best thing about this for me is that I could have all my orbs obliterate that disgusting thing called a face pasted on her head and make it even uglier; not to mention, it costs no energy.
I can do this all day if I have to. Boy, hearing her scream and squeal like the pig that she is sends nothing but pure and unadulterated happiness to my body. Torture. Yes, scream more; sing and hum. I'd like to see how well you perform with all those hard circular motivations I'm giving you.
"Staaahhhhpppp!" She screams before one of my orbs hit her jaw. "Noo! NOOOOO!" Then one hit her forehead the same time as another hit her neck. The sound of the orbs banging her head felt like drums thumping one after another in repeated succession. In contrast, the sound that my orb leaves behind as it orbits around that disgusting clump of garbage that is her face was like string instruments played together in perfect harmony. Alas, her screams of agony and the utter painfulness within her guttural yells sounded better than a soprano I heard from a famous theater act the queen saw days before her death.
"WRAAAGGHHH!" She growls like a chained exotic animal found from the deep reaches of the Mist Valley from outside of Caelum.
"RAARRGGHH GHRAAAAGHH GRAAAAGGGHHHH I'LL KILL YOUUUUUU!" She howled like the two-headed wolves lurking on the peaks surrounding the mines of Defuntalac.
"STOOOOOOOOOOPPPPP!" She roared like the monsters living beneath the barren lands of Nihilheim outside of Varba.
This is not enough. Oh, no. Not enough. I remembered the head I saw flying towards my direction earlier outside of the catacombs when she blew up the walls of Ur. She deserves more—all those deaths she caused. I wonder if she ever wondered how the families of those people she massacred must have felt when they tried to look for the remains of their husband when all they can see if their severed limb. Did she ever ask herself how the children of those soldiers must have felt when they realized that their fathers were nothing but minced meat now lying on the pale ground of their "invincible" walls?
How dare she defile the sanctity of death like it's just another day?
Death is sacred and special. It has a story; it has a meaning. She defiled that by doing that meaningless slaughter.
"You did this to yourself, you little ugly ass bitch," I said as I looked down at the squirming giant as she tried to sway her hands to deflect my orbs like they're some sort of wasps, prickling her skin.
She's lucky we're not in my chamber right now. I have so much more in store for her. Poison perhaps? Or maybe a bit of hallucinogen? What if I tied her up on my needle chair and forcefully pulled those disgusting nails off her fingers? If I gouged her eyes off, would she scream like a lady, or would she whimper like a dog? I'd like to see her whimper. Maybe I could use some of her own illusionary magic to her and make her think she's a pig, and then I'd let her live the rest of her life along with the other pigs in a barn somewhere.
I want to do so many things to her. So… many… things… I want to do it all. I want to give her one unique torture for each Izrecaelean soldier she killed.
"That batch is only for the people you massacred in the gate, oinky looking ass motherfucker!" I shouted with my eyebrows furrowed in such an intense display of my frustration that I can almost feel it combining, "I haven't even given you the batch of beatings for the people you killed in this catacomb."
The image of Sir Damian Carmichael flashed through my head.
"You are sooo fucking lucky I have no energy right now!" a tear streamed to my right eye as the side of lips slowly perk up to reveal a distorted grin I had never worn for a long time now. "I can't imagine just how fun it is to play with a giantess like you. Oh, you have no idea!" A soft but maniacal laugh escaped through my mouth, playing along with the song the giantess is singing.
I let my orbs halt for one second, just one second to let me see what sort of expression she has on, and what I saw was beyond what I had expected. As my orbs readied themselves around her head, a dumbfounded expression with a twinge of pitiful, pathetic sadness and a wave of unquenchable anger are all painted on her face, mixed like a witch's concoction found on a darkened cauldron.
"YOU BIIIIITCH!" I shouted from the top of my lungs as I lunged my orbs towards her face and let it orbit around her. I did so while crushing her repeatedly one orb at a time. "YOU BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!" I screamed as a cyclone of orbs beats her face down in rapid succession. "YOU FUCKING BITCH!" In one final scream, I used all the power in me to send her flying toward the ceiling.
I panted and gasped as I saw her body swaying from the stone ceiling of the catacomb, 20 feet away from the ground.
I stared at the ugly creature blankly as it swings slowly. To be honest, I am not pleased. This is not the end she deserves. That is not the death she deserves.
"I wish I can kill her again."
But of course, I can't anymore. Good riddance.
I turned my back away from her to find the lion switch behind the tomb of the late Queen Lara, whom I loved more than anything in this world. With a weak smile, I finally found it: the switch. I was about to pull the lever down when suddenly…
A crash! Something crashed behind me had fallen to the concrete ground; before I could even react, a lightning bolt coursed through my body, sending a shock all over me, but not enough to give me harm. It was a weak thunder spell, but with the current state I'm in, it felt like an advanced lightning bolt had crackled through my body. Luckily, my barrier around the princes is strong enough to withstand this attack… It's better that I'm the one hurt than them, but I'm not sure if the strength of my barrier can endure any other strike stronger than what she had hurled at me.
My hands shook, and my body trembled as it followed the fast beating of my heart. It's not hot—in fact, the catacomb is cold, but I'm sweating all over me. My eyes are bulging so much I feel it escaping my eye socket. What is happening to me? Is this the effect of her spell, or is this my body finally surrendering to my enemy?
I can't tell anymore.
I tried to call my orbs, but nothing. They're not returning to me. It's as if my orbs had suddenly stopped to answer my command.
My feet gave in. As I feel my body weakening in every passing second, my knees finally hit the ground while my spit slowly drips from my mouth alongside my sweat.
I looked at the giantess bride in front of me, but I can't quite see her. The dust around her that was caused by her fall created a makeshift mist of gravel all around her. The touch of the shadows and the kiss of darkness covering the upper part of my body accompanied it.
The only thing I could see is her hanging wrinkly vagina and her old and spent blackened legs as well as her muddied feet filled with dirt and shit.
I tried to call my orbs once again but to no avail. They are not returning to me at all. What's happening? Where are they? I can still fight; I can still do this!
Then I heard her chuckle, and she slowly approached me, stopping only a few meters away from me. She's so near that I could smell the fishy aroma all around her.
"Myyyy tuurrrrnnnn!" She said with her hands wide open as I noticed how her the state of her face worsened in a considerable amount as I could visibly see with my own eyes. As if her face is not fucked enough, it turned even uglier because of the many ways I bombarded the mistake that is her countenance with all the spells that I have left, which I do not at all regret. Seeing how stupider she looks like now, I can assure myself that the wound, the lump, the swelling, the blood, the bruises all over her face proved that my attacks are effective—again, no regrets.
It's just not sufficient enough to end her for good. Just how tough is she? Just how powerful?
Who is she?
She shakes her hands to take the specks of dust off her palms and wiped her arms using her already blackened wedding dress, further soiling her already filthy skin. Wait… Dust? Dust on her palms…
That's when I realized… Those are not dust and gravel. The thin mist of dirt covering her body is not from the unbothered dust around the mausoleum.
Those are the broken fragments of my orbs, shattered into dust, flying around her—another irrelevant speck in the wind.
All of them are gone except for one.
"Soooo thiiisss violet oooooorb is the quueeeen's ooooorb?" She chuckled as she looked at the one last remaining devil's shit on her hand. "The greatest treaaaaassuuurreee in the kingdooooom!"
She tried crushing it with all her might, but the queen's orb is nothing like any other devil's shit. It's tough, almost unbreakable. The only one of its kind in this world, the strongest razheema one could ever see!
"Well," The bride pondered before continuing, "It's not as strong as my stoneeeyyyy!"
As she said so, she placed the orb on the ground and took the enormous gleaming stone sitting on her back, and with all the force a giantess like her could muster, she swings the rock like a hammer and used it to crush the queen's orb, shattering it into million particles in the air.
Queen Lara, King Vortigern, I'm sorry.
"I failed you!" I mumbled an indistinguishable cry as I let my tears flow from my eyes. It's hopeless. I can't do this anymore—I really am the wrong person for this job. I couldn't protect the children...
"I'm a failure..." I whispered as I saw the bride place her stone to where it was sitting earlier on her back.
"Yooouuuurrr turn woman! The best treeaaasure in the kingdom is noooot a treaaassuure after aaaaalll wwaaaAAAAAHHHAAARRRAAAHARHARHAAARAAAHAARRR!"
She extended her arm towards my direction, and a red ball suddenly appeared from both her hands.
I know this magic. I know it all too well. I didn't know what to do; I was at a loss; helpless and weak. I feel so stupid compared to an invincible sorceress like her, and I doubt anyone in this continent could ever beat someone like her.
This magic she's casting is the same magic she used earlier on the wall. Without thinking, I instinctively used my body as a shield to protect the princes, facing my back on the bride with my eyes closed tightly and my arms wrapped around the princes, never letting go.
It's supposed to have ten minutes of casting time, but the bride pulled it off within ten seconds. I heard her ear-piercing scream as she charges the explosion charging in her arms as if it's a dramatic build-up to an intense crescendo!
There is no crescendo. There is no explosion. There is no death.
There is only the bride's blood-curdling scream.
I looked behind me to see a man piercing a blade in the bride's throat. He stood above the stone on her back as he struggled to thrust his sword into her neck. I noticed how a single hound kept persistently biting his shoulder while he tried his hardest to pierce her thick skin.
"Shut up!" The soldier screamed as he struggled to maintain his balance while the bride jumped around exaggeratedly to show her pain. "Your voice is annoying!"
Not minding the hound wounding his shoulder, the lone soldier persisted on holding onto his sword as his battle cry reverberated throughout the darkened room along with the bride's screech of agony. As their debacle ruined the faultless tombs all over their surroundings, the blood-curdling growls of the mutt biting the soldier's shoulder seemed almost unbearable as it goes along the yells and cries of the two combatants.
And I was there—awestricken at what I'm seeing before me.
"Sir…" I whispered weakly as hard as I can, ignoring my aching throat. "… Damian."
"YES!" I yelled as hard as I can with much happiness in my heart. Indeed I am happy at this very moment. Perhaps because this man had saved me from certain death for a second time… But also because I am glad the valiant knight had survived.
Sir Damian motherfucking Carmichael is alive! He leaped from the stone on the bride's back and landed on her head. He pulled his sword with ease before jumping off her bobbing head and landing in front of me.
"Try that again, wretch!" He shouted with a spine-chilling resonance as he pulled the hound off his shoulder and threw it to the ground. "Your magic is as weak as a needle, nay, weaker!" As he said so, he stomped his feet onto the convulsing black hound on the floor with a bang, ending the feral beast's life once and for all with a soft whimper.
"I am your opponent now, witch!" Sir Damian proclaimed before the walking garbage creature before him with his arms opened wide while I marveled at him with awe as I remained kneeling on the moist cobblestone floor of the catacomb.
His armor is filled with blood, and I am unsure whether those are his blood from the countless hound he had slaughtered before coming to my aid. His body is filled with holes and scratches, some of them even have residue fangs hanging on them while his sword that was once silver now gleamed with a fresh new crimson tint.
The bride threw countless spells at him. None of them worked!
"Your magic will never work on me, witch!"
"AAAARRRGGHHH!" The bride screamed from the top of her lungs while scratching her head, ruining her already ravaged hair. "THEN DIIIIEEEE!"
Sir Damian remained steadfast in protecting the princes and me. Meanwhile, I crawled towards the lion statue behind the tomb of Queen Lara. I tried to turn the fifth fang of the lion statue counterclockwise, but it's stuck! It's moving a bit, but it's not turning completely. It feels like a barrel lid closed tightly but not too tight to the point where it's immovable.
I am just absolutely fucking weak right now.
A force so strong suddenly hit Sir Damian's side, and it sent him flying towards the wall. It was a tomb, and it was stuck on Sir Damian's body as if it was glued on tight to him—locking him there as he levitates from the ground with the help of the tomb pushing him to the wall. Blood spurted out of Sir Damian's mouth, and blood slowly trickled down from and dripping on the wall before finally falling on the ground.
After seeing that, I tried my hardest to turn the damned fifth fang of the lion statue but to no avail. It's not moving at all!
The bride slowly walked towards me, her palm pointing at my direction while her other arm is facing Sir Damian.
"Magic can't kill him? I'll show him magic can kill him!" The bride said in a rather childish tone but with the voice of an old hag. "Magic can kill everything!"
The bride slowly charged the same explosion magic she was charging earlier, but this time, it's now pointing directly at me, a few centimeters away from my face.
I can't believe it. This magic needs about seven people to cast the last time I saw it, and when they did, those same seven people fainted after charging it, not even after a successful shot. This woman is charging the same spell again as if its basic newbie spell a seven-year-old learns in a magic school.
"YOU'RE DEEEEAAD! DEEEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! YOU. ARE. DEAAAAAAD!"
The bride screamed once again with all her might as if the same energy she uses to scream came from the same bottomless source where her explosion magic originated.
Then she died.
Without warning, a wooden pole impaled her from her vagina straight to her mouth, making us hear the cracking of her bones and the ripping of her skin. Soon enough, her upper body finally gave in and cracked open into four different hanging pieces while her blood painted her body as it sagged from her waist.
She looks like a beautiful gumamela.
The wooden pole slowly grew bigger to become a thin spruce tree that slowly stretched her body. The spruce tree grew larger in a short amount of time, and gradually, it formed cracks all over the bride's upper body, sending gushes of her own red and blue blood all over the stone pavement.
What is happening? What is this? I'm supposed to be dead right now! How come… The tables had turned somehow.
Vines from within the bride's waist and it entangled all over her until her stomach contorted, keeping the remains of her upper body hanging to the still-growing spruce tree.
I also realized that her limbs are… slashed off of her body. It's now lying on the ground a few inches away from us, crimson blood with a tinge of dark blue liquid oozed from within her severed limb.
The spruce tree started growing some branches and leaves, leaving holes all over the bride's body, showering the catacomb with her crimson blood accompanied by the blue liquid with it. She was silent. She didn't scream; she didn't gasp; she didn't moan. It happened in such a short amount of time that I bet she didn't even realize what was happening to her.
I can't blame her.
Really, what is happening to her?
Branches grew in her insides and started bursting out from her feet to her forehead; leaves started sprouting just as fast, making the holes over her body to gape even further.
Now, she looked like a part of the tree trunk underneath the thick leaves of a spruce tree hidden among the thick dark-green leaves.
That's when I realized it. A baby is floating on top of my head. He was levitating from the ground without the aid of my magic—he's doing this to himself… with his own abilities. He's using magic—a baby is… I can't believe it! He was floating so casually there looking at the spruce tree in the middle of the mausoleum.
The baby chuckled when the spruce tree finally stopped growing, revealing a gigantic conclusion to this lengthy battle. It pierced through the ceiling of the mausoleum, and it covers the entire vicinity all around us.
The baby once again chuckled, this time louder as the bride's blood ceases to spurt out of her body.
I looked at my arm and saw that only prince John laid on my arms, sleeping soundly without a care to the world. I took the floating baby from the air and put him gently on my arms, kissing his forehead as much as I can.
"I can't believe it, Prince Nevermore…" I said, trying my hardest not to weep in vain. "You saved me. Thank you. Thank you, prince, thank you." I hugged both princes in my arm as hard as I can, ignoring the spruce tree standing like a coffin for the bride amidst the darkness permeating the atmosphere within the mausoleum.
I was so stunned at what I saw that I didn't even realize a tomb was falling on the ground until I heard the grunt of a man afterward.
I took the floating baby on top of me; his eyes are glowing, and his body is radiating a crimson glow.
"Sir Damian, are you okay?" I whispered as I helped him lay on the ground properly.
"What just happened?" Whispered Sir Damian as he panted on the ground.
I gazed at prince Nevermore as hard as I can. The glow in his eyes is no more, and the radiating crimson light all over her body is slowly disappearing. Instead, red lines slowly starting to form all over his body like an intricate line art prickling him from beneath his skin, forming a complicated set of red tattoos all over his body.
I then diverted my attention to Sir Damian, still not believing what I'm seeing with my own eyes.
"The prince just saved our life."
Both Sir Damian and I stared at each other as the catacomb slowly regained its stillness and quietness once again.