Chapter 7: Curze
The old wooden shack I was at previously, despite being drenched in snow (Like everything else), was a perfect place to vomit, collect my thoughts, vomit, decide on what I'd do now, vomit, think of one million ways to kill Avonu, vomit, decide on the best way to kill Avonu, vomit, try to find a way to transform back, and vomit. Did I mention vomit?
The first chunks flew out as I tried to think this through: Avonu, an Arbiter?! It was an insane thought, but it was all too true to even attempt thinking of denying such a thing, unless it was part of a double-agent thing going on. Yet, the losing state of the war combined with Avonu's true nature would only point to a loss of key intelligence as the way the Onlisk Republic was losing.
As I continued to puke, Gear's warning about what would happen if the Arbiters won was something that would easily affect me, whether I was at home or not. As a particularly large glob of oddly-colored stomach acid was thrown out of my system, I realized that knowing this, my initial priority one (getting home, if you haven't realized) was thrown out the window, and in it's place stood another priority: Destroy the Arbiters.
I pondered Avonu's position in the Arbiter Ranks, as my stomach heaved out more of that horrible stuff in my intestines. Was he a simple pawn, or the head of the cults? I didn't know that much, though I knew that Blizzard bowed to Avonu, and Blizzard was a high-ranking official in the unnamed faction I created for Gear to destroy...It seemed likely that Avonu was higher, and that the white-haired man might be of equal rank.
Throwing up more and more, I was thinking of how best to kill Avonu, for he seemed to be of a high rank: stabbing him with a blade, shooting him with a gun, beheading him, crushing him, throwing him in front of a monorail, Arbit Burn him, make him commit suicide with some clever mind control...The possibilities of worthy, painful deaths, and clever, stealthy ones were nearly as infinite as the amount of acid coming out of my mouth.
But as my stomach was starting to finish up removing all that c**p, I decided that so long as he was exposed for who he really was, and then died, it didn't matter how he kicked the bucket. But Gear had already told me that my mind couldn't be extracted of valuable info, so there went the easy way. And even if that was possible, It would just cause civil collapse...Those that would downright ignore the facts and follow Avonu, and those that would notice the signs would clash.
Gear had told me long ago of other terrorist factions outside of the Arbiters...What if one of then killed Avonu? One that was formed on the basis of hate of the government? What if I told them what I knew? It would certainly feel better than finishing up the job of removing excess stomach acid from the body.
It was genius. As I finally recovered from the unruly business, I was still stuck with one more task: How to transform back. I was still stuck in Half-Latries form.
Fortunaly, he was, as always, floating beside me.
"How do I change back?"
I asked again. Without waiting for a reply, I tried thinking of transforming back.
It worked. With another combination of white-black-white, I was back in a twelve-year old's body. I walked outside, chilly from the business. I had but a few hours to return home. I ran towards the monorail, hoping that I'd get a few more hours of sleep than the usual.
The next day started out the usual way: Going into the training room and resuming the general habit of being told what kind of kick, punch, block, chop, head-butt, elbow, knee, throw, Volteerist trick, or combination of the previous to do by Gear, and after a few failed tries, getting it right-or just getting it right the first time. I can say that, but I can't say the details.
However, something new was thrown into the equation by the second lunch-and I had
to tell you folks this. It's absolutely necessary.
"You. You've got that blade, right?"
Gear asked, while eating one of his best pasta salads yet.
"Good, because I haven't forgotten the last part."
"The last parts of Knight's Assent feature weapon-based combat."
Gear started. "Knight's Assent isn't purely hand-to-hand whatnot, the trainees are also picked because they can wield a weapon in a manner that can be used to a similar manner as their selected style of martial arts...In this particular case, you've gotten an unusual choice..."
"And that is?"
I asked, with a curious face.
Gear obviously wanted to keep the tension held a little bit longer, for he looked like he liked the fact that he knew something that I didn't, what with that smirk on his face. That confused me greatly.
Gear finally answered.
"That sounds awfully commonplace."
"Not for Knight's Assent. I've gotten at least five for bows and arrows, six for maces, seven for tiger claws, and ten for spears. However, only you and I have swords."
Gear said. "We'll start-"
We'd start later. Without any warning, the Ventilation shaft above Gear was suddenly thrown downward at his head. Gear fainted on impact, for it was that severe.
In his place dropped in the White-haired man from before, with a look of downright seriousness on his face. The eyes were dark red, something I didn't like right off the bat. Were all these Arbiters supposed to creep you out?
He had not drawn his blades, and his posture was cool and calm as he walked up to me. I already knew he had no intention to kill me...For now.
"Hello there. My name's Curze. Tell me now, do you know what you are?"
The man asked. His tone was friendly, but his voice was overall quite mysterious, and he still kept that serious look on his face.
"Not 'who,' 'what.'"
Curze said, a little of that friendly tone now replaced by a bit of an irksome one.
"...You mean the Archangel?"
I asked, feeling more uneasy by the second.
"...So, you are him...Correct?"
Curze asked, emphasizing 'correct' to an extent that made the minimal hair on my back curl.
I said, now starting to get more confident with how I spoke to him.
"You know who you have knocked out, at the wooden shack nearby the forest?"
Curze asked. I felt like I was at a courtroom, being questioned by the prosecutor, accused of some heinous crime I had no time to think up of.
"Yes. I think his name was 'Lavar,' or something like that...He's an Arbiter, isn't he?"
"It was a total misconception, is it not? You have only knocked him out because of fear, or because you simply didn't know the truth yet, right?"
Curze asked, now sounding just a tiny, almost undetectable bit like he was wishing for something of dire importance. His face made not even the slightest change in expression whatsoever, however.
"...I had little clue what he was at all when I did it..."
"So, if you knew, you wouldn't have done it?"
Curze asked, now having a little more of that wishful tone.
I decided, right then, that lying was the best course of action. I looked down at Gear Pesse, who was still totally unconscious, from the looks of it. Unless one noticed him wiggle his finger.
"I do not know...I'm someone that likes to know motives. I know what you're trying to do-destroy all existence. Why?"
I said, trying to buy time-and earn valuable information. Every bit counts. I myself wasn't truly sure if I was the Archangel, but I didn't care. If I controlled the whole of existence, I'd destroy the Arbiters on the spot.
"It is because we wish to cease conflict."
I raised an eyebrow, the only form of communicating my confusion I dared to make.
"It is like this. The world over is almost constantly being plagued by war, being ripped apart by the universal indulgence to expand, and the immense power some of us have doesn't help matters."
Curze started. "The Arbiters believe first that the world is imperfect, and we cannot grace perfection like we are. Ever. We believe second that there is a deity known as Erevius, who cannot create anything, but can destroy everything. We believe lastly that if Erevius does destroy everything, he can create a paradise which all can live in-with perfection. It is not...Criminal...To believe in things, no?"
That honestly explained why there were followers at all. Though I honestly still couldn't believe that there were enough followers to be able to win a war against the world's strongest government force that ever existed.
"It's not...But...There's still...this thing..."
Curze got closer, into the unwitting range of my blows. "What?"
He said, not even attempting to disguise the lethal note.
I punched him, straight in the face. He backed off, not expecting that at all. I then kicked him to Gear, who leaped up, ready to kill the Arbiter.
That failed. Curze stepped on Gear's hand, and as the former noticed the latter, he kicked him straight in the face, truly knocking Gear out. I unsheathed the blade which I had no experience with whatsoever, ready for action.
"Yhea, I'm not sure if I'm this 'Archangel,' But I'm sure that I'm not going to be joining you, either way. I'll be a pain in the a** to you, every single time you come to me-or I come to you. I'll destroy you, leave nothing behind of you scum."
I declared, even more serious than Curze himself.
Curze looked shocked at such a speech, but I grinned at his dislike of it. I tried lunging straight at him with the sword, for he had no weapons drawn-quite an easy kill.
So I thought. In the blink of an eye, Curze pulled out his two swords-one white, one black-blocking me, then throwing my sword back, exposing my chest. I flipped to avoid being stabbed with one of the steel cutlasses, and blocked another one with an overhead swing.
That was all I could recall, before I decided to focus on nothing, not even remembering the details, but simply striking at a flurry of blade strikes with my own, both from every direction, with a madness and fury that couldn't be seen by anybody but us, in which the true insane pace was seen. We broke off quickly from this flurry-like state.
Curze then decided to defy gravity, doing a half-flip to land his feet on the ceiling, then trying to strike me from above. I blocked this too, then saw an opening.
I never named moves, nor did I listen to Gear when he said the true names. I just did them. I jumped upwards, just enough to allow my foot to connect to Curze's stomach, and hard, making him stumble back on the ceiling in pain, and managing to cancel his little gravity-defying trick, making him fall to the ground, head-first.
I do not want to get too detail in the bloody affair that was cutting Curze into tiny pieces, but I did decide to cut Curze into tiny pieces. After immediately granting my blade with the black energy that was the source of Arbit burns, Turning him into smaller and smaller chunks by the second, a black vortex formed beneath all of his body parts, and all were sucked in by a mysterious force.
That battle was brief, and I won it. If Gear hadn't regained conscious, I'd also probably think he was honestly dead.
"...Urgh...Uhh...Oh? Where'd Curze go?"
Gear asked, as he regained consciousness and picked himself up, using kinetic force to fix the ventilation shaft. "Did you kill him? I guess you did, you're not cut up at all, and blood's everywhere, as well as the Arbit Burn effect...Sorry, but he's not dead, There's this Arbitarian relic, I think I told you about it before, but they can be revived, no matter what. It's a pain in the rear, a major pain."
Gear said, exasperated by the rapid turn of events.
I had already heard of it, but I forgot it in the heat of the moment. For a moment, I swore that I had honestly killed a high-ranking Arbiter. Shame I didn't.
"...We'll continue training...As usual...Where was I?"