42.1% Ars Remnants / Chapter 8: The Beast of Audacia

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Chapter 8: The Beast of Audacia

Held watched, mouth agape, as the rotting giant lifted its club, lifting the tree over its head.

"ARRGHHHHHH!!" With a roar that shook everything around them, the giant stomped forward, swinging the massive club towards Sai.

Sai dashed forward towards the giant, leaping up and landing on the giant club as it was swung forward, running along with it towards the giant's head. As Sai leapt forward, pointing his blade toward's the giant's eye, it quickly slapped him away with its massive palm, sending Sai plummeting into the ground.

Standing back up and brushing the dirt off of himself, Sai smiled.

"Yer' pretty damn huge, but don't hit so hard, do ya'?" Sai said with a mocking tone.

The giant turned towards Sai with a furrowed expression as it slammed its club against the ground, causing the dirt to shift into mud and contort.

"Huh? It can use earth magic?!" Held shouted out, watching as the field completely turned into mud, vibrating around the giant.

As the giant stomped its feet into the mud, sections of the mud began to rise in waves towards Sai. As Sai attempted to move out of the way, the mud he was standing in latched around his ankles, holding him in place.

"Agh, dammit! This shit is annoying!" Sai struggled to move, watching as a large wave of mud towered over him, blocking his vision of the sky.

"VI SURNA!!" Held heard Sai yell out behind the approaching waves of heavy mud, suddenly strong gusts of wind rapidly formed around Sai, dispersing the mud around him.

The wind magic emitting from Sai surrounded him like a tornado, causing Held to grip onto a nearby tree to prevent himself from being blown back.

The giant stood there like a statue, watching with its dead eyes as Sai gritted his sharp teeth.

As Sai began sprinting towards the giant, his wind magic sending the surrounding mud away, the giant puffed it's chest out and took a deep breath.

Just as Sai could react, the giant leaned it's head towards Sai, opening its mouth wide as it roared out a stream of icy mist, encompassing the field in ice.

"You- You and yer' annoying ass magic!" Sai yelled out, trying to move his muscles that were completely frozen by the ice.

As Held tried to send a fireball towards Sai to help defrost him, he heard the snarls of husks approaching from behind him in the woods.

"Shit-" Held panicked at this situation, turning around and lobbing a fireball towards an incoming husk, it continued to sprint towards him as it slowly decayed into ash.

As Held turned back towards Sai to help him, time slowed as he watched the giant's tree club slam into the immobilized Sai, shattering the ice around them as he sent Sai flying into a nearby group of trees.

The impact from the blunt force sent a massive shockwave through the area, feeling it stab against his bones as Held watched in horror.

"SAI----!!!" He screamed out, as blood splattered in the air.

With Sai gone, the giant turned towards Held, slowly walking towards him with its thundering footsteps, dragging it's bloodied club against the icy, muddy ground.

This kept happening. Held felt the bottomless despair fill his body as he could only watch the giant husk approach him.

"Why am I so weak? Does this world hate me so much that it wants me to experience this suffering to no end?" Held asked himself, clutching his fists as tears formed around his eyes.

Standing up, trembling, Held looked up at the giant and screamed with everything he had.

"I WANT TO LIVE! EVEN IF THIS PIECE OF SHIT WORLD TREATS ME LIKE I'M NOT EVEN HUMAN! COME AND GET ME THEN, YOU UNDEAD BRUTE!" He screamed out as his throat felt as if it was tearing apart, grabbing his sword and holding it toward the slowly approaching giant.

As it lifted its club, it's massive shadow covering Held, the giant prepared to crush him into a fine paste.

"Mom, Dad, everyone..I won't let my memories of you be erased!!" Held screamed out once again, struggling to focus his mana as his mind was in a panic.

Despite the fear engulfing him, Held kept his eyes opened and watched, preparing for the incoming attack before something dashed in the corner of his eyes, followed by a loud crash.

"WHO THE HELL DO YA' THINK I AM----!" A familiar, rough voice yelled out as Held blinked.

A blood-soaked Sai crashed his foot against the giant's jaw with incredible force, sending the husk stumbling backwards as Sai landed back onto the ground, nearly falling over.

Held looked at the man in front of him, Sai was covered head to toe in his own blood, bruises forming along his body as he looked back at Held.

"I heard ya' loud an' clear," Sai said, wiping blood and sweat from his chin as he gripped his jagged-edged sword. "This giant is a real pain in tha' ass. I guess I'll have to take this seriously then." He continued, spitting some blood onto the ground as he firmly planted his feet against the ground, unleashing a new magical pressure.

"Sai..what is this?" Held asked, confused at what this new feeling has he felt emitting from Sai.

"I told ya' they called me the Beast of Audacia, right? Ya' must be some country hick like me if ya' never heard of me." Sai grinned, his body bulking up as veins popped out all over his body. His pupils changed from yellow to a sky-like blue. His fingernails grew into claws as his sharp teeth became even more apparent.

Stomping his foot against the ground with ferocious might, he exclaimed with a deepened voice, "YER' FIGHTING THE DEMI-HUMAN SAI, THAT WAS YER' FIRST AND LAST MISTAKE, GIANT!"

The air around the giant changed, as it seemed to have awakened. Stomping its feet and roaring back at Sai, it began to charge towards him.

As the giant swiped it's giant club towards the beast-like Sai, he sliced it in half with ease, sending the tree to crash into the ground.

Continuing this momentum, Sai charged forward, slicing apart the giant husk's ankle, cutting right through the bone as rotten flesh flew off. The giant didn't even flinch at this and began swinging its boulder-like fists down towards Sai, who sidestepped every hit. Stopping one of the giant's fists with his own hand, Sai dug his claws into it's flesh, slamming it down with devastating force.

"HOW DO YA' LIKE THAT, YER' ANNOYING ASS MAGIC DOESN'T MEAN A DAMN THING NOW!" Sai screamed out, baring his beastly fangs as his voice boomed.

"He's insane. Now I understand, he really is the rival of Elias!" Held thought to himself, engrossed by the display of power from Sai, who seemed to be toying with the giant by now.

The giant clasped its hands together and slammed them against the ground, sending a flurry of large icicles rising from the ground towards Sai.

Sai retaliated, slicing apart the incoming ice with ease as the cold air enveloped the battlefield. Rushing forward, Sai engulfed his blade with air magic, running up the giant's body as he dragged his blade across it's rotting flesh.

The giant stomped violently, attempting to reach for Sai who was racing across the giant's body, cutting off one of the giant's heavy arms as it dropped to the ground with a giant thud.

Leaping from its shoulder and crashing his blade down against the nape of its neck, severing the head of the giant with one mighty swing.

"Rest. You were pretty fun, old mountain." Sai said with a solemn tone, standing on the giant's lifeless corpse as it slumped down.

Turning towards Held, Sai lept down from the giant's corpse and gritted his teeth as a sharp jolt of pain travelled through his body.

Held ran over, helping Sai walk as they continued on towards Retan.

"He got you pretty good, didn't he?" Held said, with a light chuckle.

"Yer' damn right. I seemed to tick him off with my earlier comment." Sai tried to chuckle, but only spat up some blood.

"We are both pretty roughed up, how the hell can we tell Elias we are there to assist him?" Held asked with a half nervous, half-joking tone.

"That bastard is probably doin' worse than me, so he better damn appreciate the help." Sai wiped his forehead fruitlessly, as both his hand and forehead were covered with blood.

As the pair slowly walked into the woodlands, making their way towards Retan, the sun began to set, leaving a dark, silent night ahead of them.

"Oi, Held, I don't know if I mentioned this but.," Sai said in a slight whisper.

"Huh?" Held turned his head towards Sai, who was now lightly gripping his shirt.

"Husks usually move around a lot more in the night." That line from Sai sent a cold shiver down Held's spine, as he now watched the pitch-black area around him, hearing a leaf crunch every now and a then.

"No breaks for us, huh." Held sighed, forcing a smile.

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