It took Galahad a moment to recognize her through the eyes and the face, seeing as ten years of being underground was not a good way to stay healthy looking, but it was definitely the one and only Keyna Mystroff.
She looked deathly thin with skin that cracked and paled to nearly an undead color. Her hair was a rat's nest flowing all the way down to her knees.
"H-how the fuck!?!" Was the only question Galahad managed to spill out as he tensed up with shaky grips around his weapons
'I thought you might find fate to be a fickle thing. All this time, you've been searching for the only human I have ever kept alive. I was waiting to show you as a final part of testing your mind, wondering if you are truly something else. But it appears I've been mistaken.' Sladdus saw the fear creeping into Galahad's eyes,
"You're lying, that's just another mimic!" Galahad spat as he whipped around and stabbed the only other human left. He hadn't forgotten the remaining enemy, Galahad was still able to hear the man's labored breathing behind him since the start.
He had slowed down and crept up behind Galahad in hopes to bring the mace down on his head, but the set up was too slow and Galahad got him through the heart.
The mace that was hanging over their heads before it fell into the dirt with a little thud, sticking upright in the dirt due to the sharpened ends of the weight used for bashing.
Galahad turned around and saw his sister was now outside of the box, carrying a bowing knife in each hand. He didn't focus too much on where she got them since there were weapons everywhere in the tunnel, he just kept staring at her face. Her green eyes that matched both his father's and his own were filled with something not human, making Galahad believe his previous statement.
'You can say whatever you like, but I'm curious, you've spent a large part of your life searching for her, not ever thinking to stop and wonder if it was all for nothing. What are you prepared to do now that you have to choose to end her life to save yourself or die by her hand?
'He says that, but it's all bullshit.' Galahad yelled at himself to wake up and read the situation. It had to be a lie, there was no way this demon was holding his sister hostage. She'd be no more of a slow and imprecise soldier like the rest of them.
Even in the tiniest of chances that this was somehow his sister, it only meant she was no more dead than the man he just stabbed.
Yet this fake sister moved too quickly and precise to be a possessed husk. She dove at him, startling his stance and made two different cutting motions with her arms, a tactic he was somewhat familiar with because of Trista's love of disorienting her prey with multi-stage and simultaneous attacks.
All he could do was attempt to dodge and retreat from the dual blades attack. The dagger he used worked well enough to block the attack on his left, but the slash at his right side had more reach than he thought.
The bowing knife ran down the side of his chest and having only his under armor shirt meant nothing was there to stop it from cutting. It left an arc of blood along the floor once the blade left his skin. Having lost his leather chest piece and a few other parts of his armor made him extremely vulnerable in places he usually trusted to hold up, Galahad was in one of the worst situations possible.
All Galahad could do was ignore the blood dripping on the floor with the intent on following through his retreat backwards, but his misfortunate luck led to him tripping over the mace still sticking in the ground. He tumbled over and sensed his sister coming at him once again.
Keyna leaped forward and brought both blades straight down at Galahad's midsection. He just barely made it out of the way with a side roll, throwing himself on his stomach and crawled back up onto a kneeling position.
From there, he was able to deflect the third wave of attacks. Keyna was relentless with her stabbing and slashing, never giving Galahad a break to try standing up.
No matter how Galahad tried, he couldn't bring himself to follow a defensive blow with a killing strike. He had many chances as time seemed to quickly past. It was just far too real of a possibility that he was going to kill his long lost sister. How could he possibly kill her after searching for nearly a decade.
Not even five months ago, he was thinking that the only chance he'd ever have of seeing her again was sticking with his friends as adventurers in the dungeon.
Yet now of all times, he was panicking at the sight of her. Galahad couldn't figure out what to do, even with the suppression of Fury and Fyre, he was losing control of the situation.
Meanwhile, Sladdus was analyzing everything he could about what was going on in Galahad's brain. Watching his neurons fire in a spiral of conflicting emotions, something he normally saw in the regular humans he captured and experimented on.
'How unfortunate,' he thought to himself. The mind flayer was watching quietly from his little throne of boxes, disappointment was clearly expressed in his little squid eyes. 'Here I thought I found the most suitable specimen for master. It seems this human still carries the burden of emotional attachments, might as well finish this off before those pests arrive at my doorstep once again.'
Sladdus pushed Keyna to attack harder, wielding the bowing knives with more crazed animosity. Galahad wasn't ready for her to become even more difficult to dodge, she brought a knife down on his offhand, and clipped the hilt of his dagger.
It clattered loudly on the ground, overtaking the sound of Galahad's severed pinky and ring finger hitting the floor with wet splats.
Thankfully Fury and Fyre kept the pain to a minimum, but suppressed pain didn't solve his problem and it certainly didn't help with the horrifying image of seeing two of his fingers cut off to stumps, rapidly pumping out blood on the floor.
Galahad's breathing became faster than before, not out of exerting himself or from pain, but for the first time in a while, it was fear.
[ Heart rate accelerating and emotional stimulation overloading. ]
[ Adjustment Commencing. ]
'What?' Thought Sladdus and Galahad at the same time.
Galahad was concerned because reading that text in his vision made his realize his panic attack shouldn't have happened while Fury and Fyre was activated. He shouldn't he freezing up like this and even the black orb knew it. Sladdus in the other hand was shocked to see the words himself.
Reading Galahad's mind meant seeing through his eyes, watching these words pop into view was enough to stun his control over Keyna.
[ New Opportunity of adjustment found: Evolution of Skill Commencing ]
[ Fury and Fyre . . . . . . . . . Raging Inferno ]
[ Good Luck ]
Galahad was speechless as his whole body went cold, like a vaccum in the center of his chest pulled all his pain and fear into a little abyss. Everything just disappeared with a blip, relaxing every part of his body and causing the red flames of Chi on his body to shimmer.
'Pathetic.' Said an all too familiar voice to Galahad.
Sladdus bolted upright and stood on his four little tentacles with what could only be considered a facial expression that meant being surprise. He almost didn't believe that he could hear a second voice within Galahad's mind, something he had never witnessed.
Galahad's brain was still his own, yet somewhere between his mind, heart, and soul; Sladdus was picking up on something completely alien.
'I'm started to think old age has worsened my judgement. I've truly stumbled upon an unknown, and nearly tore it shreds.' The flayer thought to himself. He let out a sort of chuckle, which was really just his circles of teeth clacking together.
At first, Galahad thought the cold sensation sweeping his body was relief, but then he quickly realized it wasn't his anxiety leaving, it was something else overtaking him.
Fury and Fyre, which now was called Raging Inferno, stopped fluttering across his skin and changed. His skin was still busted open with various cracks and emitting Chi, but the flames started staying closer to his skin.
He looked less like a torch fire and more of a glowing hot rock. The Chi hovered at inch away from his skin and kept the red glow closer to the surface of his body.
Galahad would have taken a heavy interest in inspecting his new form of Battle class, but he quickly realized his body wasn't moving on its own.
'Pathetic.' Repeated the black orb. 'I thought I could leave you to keep getting stronger on your own. Yet here I find you breaking down at the first sign of trouble. Look what you've done here.'
The black orb brought his now three-fingered hand right up to his face. If Galahad had any control over his stomach, he certainly would have started dry heaving his empty stomach.
If he could make his eyes move away, Galahad would certainly have missed seeing two, pitch black bones stem from his finger stumps. They sprouted instantly like a little bamboo shoots, followed shortly after with the meat around the bones filling in with the same black liquid that his armor was made of.
Galahad was horrified to feel the black orb pick his body back up and brought both hands up like he did against Tekko when he sparred in Teramore.
His mischievous smile was even creeping along his lips, having no control over what was happening. He felt like he was sitting in the backseat of a carriage about to go over a cliff, and there was nothing else that he could do but watch.
Internally, he was screaming at the black orb to stop and let him go. He had no idea what it planned to do with his sister, but he knew they it would end horribly for him.
In that brief moment of contemplation his old age, Sladdus completely missed the change in Galahad's brain. He could no longer understand Galahad's thought process, he only saw a repeating thought, flashing by too quickly to catch.
While increasing the mana tether's strength between himself the Human, Sladdus learned to start fearing that one word.
'DEVOUR! DEVOUR! DEVOUR! DEVOUR! DEVOUR! DEVOUR!' Screeched from Galahad's mind.
Before the little demon could do anything, Galahad nearly disappeared from his sight. His body moving much faster than before, kicking up dust clouds that almost touched the ceiling with each step.
The black orb circles back around Keyna and had her spinning in circles with both knives poised forward. She had no reaction to Galahad's entire being behaving differently, but she did let out a grunt of surprise when he dove on top of her.
Keyna began stabbing both knives forward in a fury, but soon found she couldn't move her arms.
Galahad's new host was holding her by the wrists, squeezing tighter and tighter with every moment. Soon after a pop went off in each wrist, followed by a snapping and grinding of the bones breaking together.
Galahad wished at this point he was dead or became unconscious; he could feel everything the orb was doing and yet not a single ounce of his willpower could stop it.
His sister dropping the weapons as each arm lost its ability to function. She proceeded to lunge her head forward and chomped her rotted teeth at his throat.
Her lurching motion was then carried over Galahad's head, as the black orb simply leaned back and flipped her straight into the ground behind him. It was simple case of throwing her momentum of attack into a body slam.
Galahad felt his heart skip so many beats as the black orb started emitting waves of murderous intent. His foot stomped on Keynas's back, along with the hand with the two obsidian fingers starting to hurt immensely.
From a glance in the corner of his vision, Galahad could see curled claws pouring out the ends of each finger, not just the new ones, but the human ones as well.
Before Galahad could even realize what the orb was doing, his long monster nails were reaching over Kenya's head and into her mouth, pulling upward with an inhuman amount of force.
The jaw stayed in place as the top section of her skull was ripped open and dragged most of the spine along with it. It was like a sick version of a ripcord being pulled on a thread spindle, unwrapping a spine from a body instead of yarn.
Galahad no longer could take the pain of watching his sister die by his own hands, he went catatonic state within his own brain. He didn't even scream internally, all he could see and hear was a white buzz deep in the recesses of his mind, it was all he could handle.
He never got to witness the black orb take one of the bowing knives off and throw it straight at Sladdus.
The knife spun three times in the air before clipping off a large chunk to one of the tentacles, stopping the Sladdus from scurrying away. Only being to use three-fourths of his appendages meant he was far too slow to have any chance to escape now.
Galahad's body picked up the other knife in the regular hand and slowly made his way to the hobbling demon.
Now it was Sladdus's time to experience fear.
Had the mind flayer known something like this would have happened, it would have gone all out trying to kill Galahad from the start. Too bad all he could do now was die in a panic of wishful thinking.
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