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A Chance For Survival: Prologue

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A Chance For Survival

Chapter 0

Rhea

 

It had been a hell of a night for everyone in St. Curtis.

Rhea stumbled weakly through the streets. Her body ached, her hopes were crushed. Kieri was probably dead, either soon or eventually. Buwaro had been unmoving ever since he got bitch-slapped aside by Iratu. Everything was falling apart.

She needed help.

She stumbled into the alley, flopping onto her side. "Goddammit," she breathed. She hadn't cried in a long time, but she needed to, badly, and she couldn't stop the tears now if she wanted to. Her first tears hit the earth, her sobs wracking her wounded body. "I need help. Please, someone, anyone," she begged, "please help..."

Silence save for the crackling of flames. Her fury built. This was all the fault of the Gods. Had they abandoned everyone?

Her scream of rage echoed through the night.

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A gentle, but chilling, caress filled her mind – as if something was touching her very soul – as the sounds of the burning city faded. "We have failed you all," the deep, rumbling voice said. "I am sorry. You are not wrong."

Her head jerked up to stare at the dark void around her. And before her was a great dragon of black and purple, all the Elemental colors –

'Oh shit,' she thought, staring up at the speaker. That...that was Father Syndel she was talking to. And he was talking to her.

Oh Gods, it was worse: she'd just insulted Him to His face!

And then she realized: he'd just sort of passively accepted her judgment.

The God of Chaos stared silently down at her, sorrowful and raging, but not at her words – she could tell that from simply feeling His presence. He was not angry at her, He did not hate her.

He hated the fact that she was right. 'Good to know He's not the 'Shoot The Messenger' type,' she thought numbly.

"I can help you," He said quietly, His voice rattling her very ribcage, "but it will require you become my dedicated knight. You can survive this night and save your friends...and the world. What say you, Scion of the New Moku?"

Rhea shivered, eyes widening as they turned to the ground that wasn't there. "So it was my dad, wasn't it?" she asked quietly.

"...yes. Your father is your killer. He is working with this Hellion army, against my wishes. He appears to have discovered powerful magics to fool Hell's warriors."

"Why doesn't that surprise me," Rhea growled. "...I'll literally take the worst Hells just to make this right."

Syndel grinned. "The good news for you is that you don't have to." His claw slowly lifted and touched her forehead. "On the other hand...this will hurt."

And her soul was ravaged by hellfire, and she screamed with the bass of a wounded rhinocerous as she took in her new God's gift of power.

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And she awoke. She wasn't hurting anymore. Her blood was like a fine sandpaper, but other than that...

"Hey, you're that bitch!" someone shouted. She turned to see the Wind Demon that had attacked the wagon, bloodied and raging. He lunged at her, preparing to slaughter the Jakkai. In a flash of insight, Rhea gripped and swung.

The heavy sword that manifested in her grasp arced in the firelight, and the rough edge cleft the Demon in half.

Rhea gawked at the damage she'd done. Turning to stare at the Demon, she shivered. The sword vanished.

She ran. She wasn't sure where to go, but she had to do something now that she could.

Chapter Text

A Chance For Survival

Chapter 0

Buwaro

 

It had been a hell of a night for everyone in St. Curtis.

Buwaro lay in the burning inn. Sno – Kieri – was probably going to be killed. Who knew where Rhea was. She'd probably abandoned him.

Abandoned him like the trash he was.

He deserved this, if he was being honest with himself. He'd tried so hard to do just one thing right. To save Kieri at least, to stop his brother, to get the burning and chaos and everyone's pain and misery to stop, and he couldn't even do that.

He couldn't do anything. Fireball, fight, speak, read, he could do nothing. He was worthless.

His sobs filled the inn, echoing with his misery and self-loathing.

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Silence seemed to fall around him. "He really isn't that bad a person, is he?" he heard, and jumped, scrambling in the strange, dull void of red and yellow around him.

"No, he isn't. That is what the girl was trying to tell you, Melli."

Buwaro whirled to see Moku and Melli – the Guardians. But Moku, at least, seemed different – his eyes were both orange, rather than one red and one green. "You're wondering who I am," the Snake Guardian replied. "Simply put, I'm the previous Moku. The current one murdered me for my power, but he did not acquire it all."

Buwaro swallowed, quaking like a leaf in the wind. "Um...I hope that's a good thing?" he tried, clearly about to wet himself from terror.

"Easy, child," Melli sighed, slowly shrinking to the form of –

"Weren't you the one that yelled at me and Sn – k-Kieri?" he asked.

"Yes, I was," she sighed, massaging her sinuses. "I'm sorry. I honestly thought you were like every other Demon I've encountered."

The ex-Moku also shrank to a Jakkai's form. "Technically, we can take any Median form with practice, but it makes it easier to just have one or two set forms. In any case, our main point: you want to help, right?"

"Yes," he mumbled. "But I'm so useless and stupid..."

"You're not useless or stupid if you can convince a Warrior Angel to be your friend," Moku chuckled. "You have charisma, which is a powerful ability in anyone's hands. You just need to learn to use it right."

"That being said," Melli sighed, "physically, you're no fighter – which is why we're going to help you. It will hurt, but you will be able to slay foes with but a few scratches with time and practice. After all, poison can kill anyone."

Buwaro nodded. "Anything for her."

Moku nodded. "Just remember this: she still cares for you, but she has troubles of her own. Be there for them," he told the boy –

And with a sudden bite and sting, Buwaro's world became numb and blurry.

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And suddenly, he was awake. Scrambling upright, he saw some green liquid on his claws. Stumbling out the door, he saw the Fire Demon woman from the wagon, still beat up but not paying attention to him.

Righteous fury filled him. He may have been weak, but they did this. They created this pain, this suffering. He rushed forward, and she turned in time to see his claws sink into her gut. He felt the green liquid seep into her wound, and she gasped.

She fell, choking on nothing, before shivering and lying still.

Buwaro flinched. That had been too easy. He stared at the... poison in his claws. He could squirt it from his claws with a thumbclaw clench, and he realized his breath felt the same kind of liquid weight.

He concentrated on his fire breath, but instead puffed out a small cloud of green. Seeing that, his eyes widened.

He ran. He wasn't sure where to go, but he had to do something now that he could.

Chapter Text

A Chance For Survival

Chapter 0

Kieri

 

It had been a hell of a night for everyone in St. Curtis.

Kieri hobbled along, weaving through the alleys. Her body ached, save for the right arm she knew was lost. She couldn't heal it without magic, she couldn't use magic unless she was free, and she couldn't get free unless someone knew her name.

She was, as Medians put it, "screwed" when a Demon found her...not that she wasn't "screwed" anyway after jumping out of the wagon in rabbit form. The fall and roll could have killed her.

'Perhaps it should have,' she mused darkly as she slumped against a door.

Her silent scream of pain was drowned out by the fire around her.

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[PROCESSING]

[TARGET=ORGANIC>ANGEL>WATER-E.]

[R.ARM!=FUNCTION]

[START REPAIR.exe]

[PROTOCOL UPDATE=TARGET=VOCALIZE!=TRUE, TARGET=VOCALIZE=TRUE]

[JEWELRY!=UNEQUIPPED]

[JEWELRY=CURSED, COUNTER TARGET=VOCALIZE]

[TARGET?=PRISONER]

[DATA IRRELEVANT, START DISREGARD.exe]

[TARGET=PAIN=8-10]

[TARGET=MOVE=VIOLENT=UNCONSCIOUS]

[BEGIN TRACTION.exe]

[BEGIN APOLOGIZE.exe]

[BEGIN INSTALL-ORB-PROTOCOLS.exe]

[ANESTHETIC=APPLY=TRUE]

[ANESTHETIC=APPLY=TRUE]

[ANESTHETIC=APPLY=TRUE]

[ANESTHETIC=OVERDOSE=C1]

[TARGET=OVERDOSE=SURVIVE]

[BEGIN APOLOGIZE.exe]

[TARGET=SELF-REPAIR.exe]

[BEGIN APOLOGIZE.exe]

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And Kieri jerked awake with a gasp. She was lying, unstrapped, on a traction bench, as if she'd been under medical supervision. She suddenly realized she'd gasped, and gently touched her throat, reaching with even her numb arm –

...why was her right arm prosthetic? It looked like something from a medical golem – a device designed from iron enchanted to act as a doctor or nurse. Yet, there were also three thick glass orbs installed in the forearm.

That was when the Water Demon burst in – the same one she'd stabbed all the way through the stomach – and tried to close the door behind him. Her rage kindled hotter than all of St. Curtis's flames combined, and she lunged for him, grasping him with the mechanical hand by the throat, and squeezed, preparing to punch him.

Before she knew it, one of the orbs had lit up with electricity, and the Water Demon was fried as his throat was crushed.

The girl flinched, staring at the charred mess of a corpse. Horror filled her...but also a sense of triumph. She finally had the strength she needed to defend herself.

To defend her friends.

She burst out the door and ran. She wasn't sure where to go, but she had to do something now that she could.