“Dreamwalker, hurry up—there’s no time left!’”
Luchino sprinted frantically towards Soul Catcher—Norton—who got caught between the Vines of Euthanasia; while keeping his head straight so that he could dodge all the attack Ghost Girl threw.
He swore to himself that he would never let anything happened to his partner—and new lover—and here they were; Norton getting caught by Ghost Girl’s secret ambush and Luchino trying his damn best to save him.
Time was ticking. Norton didn’t have much left.
“Luchino, you pendejo! Get out of here, don’t rescue me!” Norton yelled at him as Luchino came closer.
“I’m not letting you die, Soul Catcher. Mark my words, I’ll never leave you—” Luchino’s answers was abruptly cut by a sudden blast of green spirit beam; Luchino almost got shot in his leg—almost.
“Luchino!!” Norton shrieked and struggled even more on breaking away from the vines.
The vine sucked him even more instead.
“Norton, stop struggling—the vines will eat you alive even faster!” scolded the Dreamwalker, who was now squaring off for a counterattack.
“Then stop getting hurt, damnit—watch out!” Norton shrieked as sentient poisonous ivy vines attack the Dreamwalker from the side—again—almost whipped and injured Luchino’s leg.
“Dreamwalker, she’s after your legs—she knows the source of your strength and she’s trying to annihilate it,” the Soul Catcher explained as he wiggled his arms away from the Euthanasia vines. Luchino rolled his eyes.
“As if—” he dodged an attack. “I don’t—” dodged another one. “Know it yet.”
“Heuughh!” Luchino let out a bawl as he struck an attack towards the ivy vines; one slash, and they were all cut into halves.
“Enough of this, Ghost Girl! Just surrender and we won’t hurt you any further,” the Dreamwalker warned. Ghost Girl only stared at him solemnly.
“No!” she shrilled. Hands forming a grip, tears flowing down her pale transparent skin.
“Why can’t you just let Emma be free and search for Emma’s daddy? Emma has to find Daddy!” she wailed.
As if Mother Nature was on her side, the earth trembled and flowery vines emerged from the ground. Luchino jumped several times as he tried to dodge as many vines as possible—the attack was so sudden he didn’t had the time to positioned himself for a counterattack.
“Ugh—” Luchino groaned painfully; some of the vines managed to slice through his waist and tail. Thank the heavens it wasn’t the poisonous ones; however, it still did hurt a damn lot.
“Luchino!” Norton squirmed even harder. His arms were finally from the vines’ grasp; but his body ended up being sucked into it further.
Norton need to find away soon—he knew time was ticking and he didn’t have much left; he needs to escape before the Vines of Euthanasia swallowed him alive for real.
“Think Norton, think—what would Dreamwalker do if he’s in this situation?” looking around frantically, he tried to search for something that could free him entirely from the deadly vines. Nothing.
Norton let out a frustrated roar. He was near death—and Luchino was really in need of a hand. Closing his eyes tightly, he recited the same sentence over and over again like a mantra.
“What would Luchino do? What would Luchino do? What would Luchino do—” he suddenly widened his eyes; as if he already got an enlightenment.
“What would Soul Catcher do?”
Staring at his pocket, he smirked as he just found a way to liberate himself from the vines’ clutch.
Sneaking his way through the vines around his leg and waist, Norton took out a round object from his pocket; a magnet.
“Luchino, listen to me—I know how to break free from this goddamn vines, but I need your help,” he shouted, calling for his partner. Luchino dodge another spirit beam attack before glancing at Norton.
“I’m listening—spill it out!”
Norton gritted his teeth—he could feel the vines had started its phase two; digesting.
The Soul Catcher could feel it from his legs; liquid oozing and puddling around his ankles—soon it would be as tall as his thigh. Digestive acid.
Norton already felt a burning sensation on his foot. It gnawed him.
They really need to hurry before it’s too late.
“I managed to get my magnet back—I can projectile myself towards it but I need someone to hold it for me first,” cold sweat flowed from his forehead as he tried to explain it as clearly as possible.
“It hurts… it starting to burn my skin,” he thought; frantically.
Luchino did a backflip as he dodged another poison ivy attacks—he nodded at Norton.
“Please wait until I get an opening,” he said as he slashes another strand of vines into halves. Norton bit his lips; if only the vines wasn’t drowning him in acid, he wouldn’t mind waiting for as long as possible.
“Please be hurry—time is ticking.”
Luchino took a more defensive route, rather than offensive one this time—he kept dodging the attacks while making his stance closer and closer towards Norton.
“I got my opening—Norton, now!!” he shouted. Norton closed his eyes and threw his magnet high up towards the sky.
Luchino leapt sideways; stretching out his arm, trying to reach for the magnet—and he did.
“I got it!” he shouted in triumph; he then sprinted towards Norton—getting himself close enough for the magnet to work efficiently.
“Soul Catcher, your turn—do it, now!”
Norton obeyed the Dreamwalker’s cue and activated both of his magnets.
Two super strong magnets attracted each other and made a force immense enough to pull both of the holder into the air together.
Norton was finally free from the vines’ grasp.
“Ugh…” Norton moaned in pain. He almost couldn’t feel his legs. Luchino squeezed him on the waist; embracing him.
“You alright, amore mio?” he asked worriedly. Norton bit his lips; he shook his head slowly.
“I can’t feel my legs…” he whimpered.
Luchino gazed at his partner’s legs; burnt badly and without shoes—the shoes most probably had already been digested by the acid.
Luchino stared at him somberly; before holding him in a princess hug and leap away from the battlefield.
They just lost. For now.
“Hss—” Norton let out a hiss as Luchino gave a makeshift ointment made from patches of wild jewelweeds nearby.
“Ouch—it hurts, Lulu…” he whined.
“I know, Amore. Please hold it for a little bit longer—the pain will go away in a few hours, I promise,” the half lizard reassured his partner; while still rubbing the ointment gently on the burnt leg.
Norton let out a frustrated sigh.
“I can’t believe we got lost to a little niña like that. It’s kinda embarrassing, you know,” he pouted.
Luchino held on to his tail—which he already bandaged with makeshift bandages.
“Little bambina or not—Ghost Girl is a powerful entity. I mean—she was the sole reason the Anomaly exist.”
Norton let out a tired huff.
“You’re right. Speaking of the Anomaly—how much time do we have left to destroy it?”
Luchino calculated it in his head. He let out a defeated sigh.
“…only seven days more before it finally reaches its peak and destroy Dream Realm—our realm.”
Norton bit his lips.
“And to think that only Ghost Girl who could stop it…”
“We will catch her. I know we could,” Luchino held Norton’s shoulder; giving him the reassurance he needed.
Norton smiled back at Luchino. He stroked the hand that was on his shoulder tenderly.
Time was ticking, yet they still have it. They still could make it.
-F i n-