Chapter Five: Centipeetle's return attack
As everyone was leaving the mist, the Alteans’s injuries weren’t too severe, Romelle slowly limped down the path. Coran walks with side her. Shiro looking behind them. He could go back where he started but he can’t, become a space captain or explorer to prove everyone wrong, as he’d always wanted. Prove that he’s not sick or weak effectively as his optic stabilizer buzz softly, Shiro sighed as he was keeping his muscles loose again.
The flashes of color were mesmerized until they got to the end of the mist, and it was an amazing sight, it has magnificent houses and shops and farmland for the people, with Sleek design with a pearl color and light blue color,
“Welcome to our home, Arus and the shrine of Lions”, Coran says.
Shiro stood a moment in Amazement, the Villages were having ordinary lives, doing farming work, and regular jobs.
About to repeat himself, Shiro stops when a strange, weightless sensation comes over him. It persists for a moment, then leaves him in an instant as though something just picked him up and set him down even if he still wasn’t home.
The Altean and his guards seem to visibly relax. Shiro glances about, noting the pristine ivory of the homeland and the people who have had the same small sickle-like markings that have diversified to include stripes and geometric shapes located on the foreheads, upper lips, and jaws.
“Now that we’re out of immediate danger, we can have a proper look-see,” the Altean said. he then gently cupped Shiro’s chin. “Let me see your face for a moment, boy.”
“Uhh...” Shiro muttered, nervously as Coran turned his head to the left, then to the right.
“...How odd,” Coran mused. “Perhaps it is my old age, playing tricks on me...but I am almost ye look like the Samurai that visit us years ago.”
“...The Samurai?” Shiro repeated as he swatting his hand to release his chin.
“Yes, but be at ease, young man,” said Coran. “We are no dark daemons and we are the same as you and me.”
“Daemons, Whether those”, Shiro thought as this world wasn’t Earth, he wasn’t home.
Along the way, the Alteans talked among themselves, “A young man in strange clothes” asked a middle-aged man.
“From a foreign land,” said a young woman.
“Will be war from the Galra” whispered a woman who was holding her infant son.
“Just before planting our crops,” asked a more elderly man.
“Don’t worry the mist will protect us” said a little boy.
Shiro couldn’t help but gulp nervously as he, Coran, and Romelle have arrived at Arus’s Main attraction, the shrine of Lions, but it didn’t look like a shrine in Shiro’s eyes: it was surprisingly like a castle with a futuristic look with the same pearl color but with an amazing blue color on its four nacelles. The whole scene was an incredible place to him.
“Right this way,” Coran said, held the shrine open for everyone, one by one stepped inside. Then he closed the door.
The Shrine was empty, however, the inside was beautiful, at its center lies a ballroom with long great stairs of white along with lights of blue, but Shiro felt exhausted from the day that he had.
Shrine guards presented to him as more people who could have worked in the shrine began to check out the wounded as the guards leading him as they walk the stairs and through a long corridor, after that, the guards stop and gesture him to a guest quarter. When the door slides shut behind him: it’s had a bunk bed sits nestled in a cubby scooped out from the left side of the room and the far wall on the right side is an open door for a tiny washroom. Save for the twin sconces on opposite walls, the decor is nonexistent. It’s basic. It’s bare and it’s perfect for Shiro as it reminds him of the Garrison.
For a moment, Shiro can almost imagine himself back at the Garrison, returning to the barracks to sleep like the dead after a long day of drills. His bunk always felt like an absolute cloud, and just the sight of one now has him mourning for the rest and routine he took for granted but he wasn’t.
He crosses over to sit on the bunk, resting his elbows on his knees. He was still worried about Adam and how to get home. Without another thought, he lay down and fell asleep.
Later that night, dreams filled Shiro’s head. Images appeared in a constant loop, bright lights surrounding him. They came quickly and made sense. Light...Swirling color... corpses on fire...and finally, a cloudy image of a majestic woman holding a small crystal, her hair and cape flowing behind her. Then he heard a voice... a voice that he somehow knew did not belong to the woman with the Crystal.
“Balance must be restored. Altea must not fail, it seeks a samurai, will you answer It call Shiro”... “Shiro!” She said.
Shiro’s eyes snapped open. Waking up and sat up. Then a knock outside the door.
“Hello, can I come in” a voice that Shiro recognized?
“Come in.” He said and on command, The door slides open, and a girl in a white midi dress with pink trim at the bottom and a light blue half-apron and white boots with pink flat soles and her hair was dirt blonde, fashioned into back style with a perfect crown braid, entered his room.
“Hey I know you, you’re Romelle isn’t”. Shiro said.
“yes, it is” Romelle replied as she greets him with a bow. “Coran asks you to come to dinner”.
“All right” Shiro replying softly, he felt hollow but hungry. Romelle gestures for him to follow him out into the hallway, the two entered a huge dining room with a long white table and shares with the same color where Coran sat down at the front row of the dining room table.
“it ok, you can sit down it’s not going to hurt”. Coran said.
Shiro even though he was surprisingly starving, felt like he can’t trust him since he needed to know about or where he is.
With Romelle showing him where to sit, across from Coran. “thank you, Coran” Shiro said, having to remember his name.
“hey, can you tell me where I am?” Shiro said.
Suddenly a servant with a utility cart of food for the table for Shiro and Coran.
“Thanks,” Shiro said to the servant
“You’re welcome,” the servant said, respectively as he started to deliver his food; green goo with steak and green beans
“I know everything around your sounds confusing to you,” Coran said.
“it is I meant I have so many questions,” Shiro said, started to his food.
Coran answers, “Well, that part’s easy!, Which I already explained to you, do you want me to explain again”.
“No worry, that part I have already got,” Shiro said, even though he was freaking out on the inside. “So what is this world”.
’Oh right, this world is called Altea”, Coran said,
“What,” Shiro said, stood there in shock, he was in a world that wasn’t his own, so no surprise there, it looks like a fantastic sci-fi world mixed with fantasy, “So... is this not Plaht City?” He figured it was probably pointless, but he wanted to try asking the question that had been nagging on him the most.
“Plaht City? I have never heard of it... Is that your homeland?” Coran ask, he got that by homeland right he meant hometown, but it still took him a few seconds.
“Um, yeah. Well... I mean, I’m from the Galaxy Garrison, but I live in the city right after my parents died, luckily I was raised by my grandpa but he died too. And I want to get back there.” Shiro explained
“There is no reason you cannot return,” Coran told him.
“Well, you might say that, but...” he didn’t know the important bit of “how” to get back...
“You are an odd one in fact and your clothing is quite uncustomary but no surprise you humans unique species on Altea, for us daemons”
“Daemons, what are those”, Shiro question Coran,
“Oh Daemons are mythical creatures with special abilities, we are one of them”, Coran said
Shiro was perplexed by the saying, “what you mean”,
“We call Alteans,” Coran said, “and the other daemons are called Galra”.
He paused for a moment, Daemons and a world, now he truly wants to get home with Adam. “I’d like to go now please, I have to find someone.”
“But you can’t just go home, especially with the war”.
“War,” Shiro said, feeling more confused than ever.
“Forgive me. With the war with the Galra Empire still going on, our people have been concern about the war reaching to Arus even with the mist surrounding the forbidden place, they wanna fight back, Even if I tell them we have no business with the war, especially what happened to our priestess, right Romelle” Coran explains, looking at her.
“What do you mean!” Shiro said.
“Allura was the priestess who protected Aurs, 50 years ago,” said Coran. “Sadly, she died when I was still young.”
“I see...I’m so sorry to hear that,” Shiro replied, sadly, as she suddenly thought of Adam and the desperate expression on his face as he tried to help him escape from that centipede woman. “If you don’t mind me asking...how did she die?”
“...It was a tragedy,” Coran replied, grimly. “And the very culprit was the one known as Keith.”
“...Keith...” Shiro repeated. “Wait...is he that boy I found, pinned to the tree with that arrow?”
“Yes, Shiro!” Coran confirmed. “Keith attacked Allura, leaving her fatally injured, and then viciously attacked Arus whilst attempting to steal the quintessence Crystal. With her last ounce of strength, Allura pinned Keith to the tree with one of her sacred arrows, putting him in a state of eternal slumber. She then perished in the fire, taking the quintessence Crystal with her...and thus, I was left to protect Arus as I grew older.”
“...Wow...” Shiro whispered. “So...wait...what does the Samurai have to do with me?”
“look exactly like him when he was still alive,” Coran replied. “How that is possible, I am not quite sure.”
“What do you suggest”, Shiro said.
“Allura wasn’t the only one that perished, the samurai also perished in the fire!” Coran said
“In any case,” Romelle began, “’its best that ye get some rest for the night if you can.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Shiro nodded. “Thank you, Lord Coran, Romelle”
“No, problem!” Romelle said.
“Just ‘Coran’ is fine,” Coran smiled.
“...Thanks, Coran,” Shiro smiled back. Just then, “Coran, Coran, something’s coming”. A guard in blue, white, and gold uniform came in a panic.
Coran stood up. “Arturo, What is this interruption?”
“We saw Something, Something big” he replied. “Making its way over the forest in the night”.
Coran bolted for the room much more quickly from the table would assume, with Shiro and Romelle following after.
“What happened?!” He said when Coran ran outside the shrine with a group of guards, something huge came flying out of the darkness of the night and fell to the ground in front of them with a crash.
“Eek!” Romelle recoiled involuntarily. The thing that had come flying was a horse. There was a gash in its flank like it had been bitten off, from which its white rib bones were exposed and blood spouted out like a fountain.
“Horrible” Shiro stared at it, dumbfounded.
“RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!” a man screamed as he and several other Alteans ran away. “IT’S A DAEMON!!! A DARK ONE”
Shiro looked up, only to gasp in horror upon seeing it was the same centipede woman from before, holding a chunk of flesh in her mouth.
“It’s her” Shiro called out in surprise.
“Boy...!” Mistress Centipeede hissed before she began to crawl toward Shiro. “Give me the quintessence Crystal~!!”
“The...Quintessence Crystal...?!” repeated before she glanced at Shiro. “You have the jewel in your possession?! How is that possible?!!”
“I’m not sure!” answered Shiro as he watched Mistress Centipeede bite the throat of a man with her huge fangs. “But I know this much...that monster is after me...and if I don’t do something, everyone here will get killed!!”
Some of the Alteans tried to ward off the demon by shooting at her with arrows and throwing spears at her, but all she did was swat them away.
“Coran!” cried one of the men. “Our weapons are useless against the centipede!!”
“If we can lure her outside of Aurs,” Coran began, “we might be able to trap her!”
Upon hearing Coran’s words, Shiro grasped in thought, “You mean....that’s right the mist where the tree and maybe the well”, he was certain of it.
“Hey, which way to the forest?!” Shiro said.
“It is at the eastern outskirts of Aurs”, Romelle said, Shiro followed Romelle’s gaze.
Beyond the fields, he saw a thick forest bathed in light, “That glowing place, right?! I got it!“, Shiro said.
“What did you just say?! You can see the mist invisible to the normal human eye?!” Romelle said.
Romelle’s words struck like a bolt of lightning, except that Shiro didn’t hear them. He was already running like crazy with the monstrous centipeetle on his tail.
“Coran!” Romelle said.
“Get the horses and fast” Coran Shouting, and soon they spurred on their horses.
Meanwhile, at the great Tree, Keith remained pinned to the trunk...when suddenly, his eyes flew open. His heart pulsed, faintly and slow, at first, but then it became steadier as his body began to writhe.
“...This energy...” he hissed, his purple eyes glowing fiercely. “...I recognize it...it’s the energy of the woman who killed me...Allura...!!”
Shiro panted as he ran through the forest as fast as his legs could carry him. Behind him, Mistress Centipeede wasn’t too far off. Of course, Shiro should have expected her to catch up so quickly. What did he expect from a daemon with so many legs?
“Hand over the quintessence Crystal!!” Mistress Centipeede demanded.
“Why do you keep insisting that I have it?!” asked Shiro before he tripped and fell, barely ducking under the daemon’s long body before he landed on the grass and soil. “Ugh...just my luck...!”
“Why are you playing with puny bugs like Mistress Centipeede, Allura?”
“Huh?” Shiro muttered before he looked up and saw the face of Keith...who had this smug grin on his face. “I...it’s you! Keith! Wait...you’re alive?!”
The Boy didn’t respond to that question, “of course I’m alive Allura, why would I be!?“, His words were filled with hostility, and he glared down at Shiro with a sharp look and suddenly the now awaking boy was looking at him in disdain.
“Wait a minute, you’re not Allura” the boy shouted.
As Shiro, ignored him and continued to speak. “Of course I’m not! Lemme tell you something, buddy! Whoever this ‘Allura’ is, she’s not me because my name is-”
“She’s here,” Keith interjected as he looked up, and suddenly, Mistress Centipeede dropped down from the tree, causing Shiro to shriek in horror as she grabbed him again.
“H-hey, let go!!” Shiro cried, but just as Mistress Centipeede opened her jaws, she was suddenly struck in the side by several spears.
“We got her!!” shouted one of the Altean men.
“Hahaha! Too easy!” laughed another.
“Curse you!” she cursed at them while she pulled at the ropes with a strained creak.
“I’m... I’m saved...” Shiro said as he sagged in exhaustion, his lower body was completely sapped of energy. It was pathetic, as he was pretty sure he’d pulled his hip, but he was relieved that Arus and its people were safe.
But relief was short-lived at the black hair boy says, “That isn’t enough to kill her”.
Shiro was confused by his statement. “What you mean is not enough”, Shiro asked the boy.
“You know, Kill her in one strike, just like I was when she did me or wait for the Sun to Incinerate her since she is a dark daemon,” the boy explains to him.
“Dark daemon” Shiro was confused by the statement “what you mean by that”.
Looked up, Keith’s lips curled back in a smirk. “Heh, you’re pathetic, Takashi.”
“Grrr...!” Shiro growled before she got up in the boy’s face. “Will you stop will all this ″Allura’ nonsense, already?! And how do you know my name, we never met, Ok!”
“Don’t you think I don’t know that!” Keith questioned. “You are not foolish enough to think a haircut and a change into strange clothes could ever change my mind about you, I could still sense you.”
“Sense me! that’s very weird talking to a guy you just met” Shiro thought as he was thinking about this boy, the only person who calls him by that name was Adam, but then again this is not his home, so why is he like that! As he about to snap the boy’s face suddenly took on a dubious expression. “Hn?” He tactlessly examined Shiro’s face again.
What is it?!” Shiro said in surprise,
“you’re right, You’re... not him,” Keith said, gesturing to Shiro’s appearance.
“Of course, I’m not!” shouted Shiro, growing more frustrated by the second. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! I meant my name is Takashi but everyone calls me Shiro Shi. ro.”
“...Yeah...you’re right,” said Keith as he looked away from him. “Takashi was...a lot hotter than you.”
“Excuse me?!” Shiro questioned in shock. “I don’t think I like your tone, mister- WAAH!!” All of a sudden, Mistress Centipeede grabbed him and pulled him up into the air.
“Hahahahaha!!” she cackled. “You’re mine, at last!!”
“No! Stop!!” Shiro cried as she grabbed onto Keith’s Black hair. “Lemme go!!!”
“Ouch! Hey, watch the hair!!” Keith yelled.
“Look, Coran!!” cried Romelle. “Keith...he has awakened!”
“Impossible...!” Coran whispered in disbelief. “That magical arrow was supposed to place Keith in eternal sleep until his body rotted away...and yet, somehow, the spell has been broken?!”
Mistress Centipeetle clicked her tongue in frustration. “Stubborn boy...I will get the quintessence Crystal” with a disturbing tearing sound, the sides of Mistress Centipeetle’s mouth began to split apart.
“Oh, no...!” Shiro whimpered in horror.
“Wait...did she say quintessence Crystal?!” asked Keith.
“Get...OFF ME!!” Shiro shouted as he pushed Mistress Centipeede away, and just like back in the well, his palm emitted this peculiar light, causing Mistress Centipeede’s arms to fall off.
“Did you see that?!” asked one of the men.
“That light...it looked just like Allura’s...!” whispered another.
“Just like back in the well,” thought Shiro as he looked at his hands. “How did I do that?”
As Shiro stared dumbfounded at the five arms on the ground, he became from thoughts as he rolled up his sleeve to seen a glow coming from his wrist where his optic stabilizer was.
“Damn you, boy!!” Mistress Centipeede roared before she lunged at Shiro...and bit down on his right hand, causing him to scream in pain.
“Shiro!!” cried Romelle.
“He’s a goner, now...” Keith muttered.
Just then, as blood sprayed from Shiro’s hand as it was ripped from his body...something else fell out from the gaping wound in her side: a light blue, rock-style gemstone with this illustrious glow.
The group clamored much more loudly than they had before. “Th... that’s...” said Coran.
“The quintessence Crystal !” said Keith, eyes locked on it.
“I knew that you’d been hiding it in your body!” Mistress Centipeetle’s voice gave a pleased shudder.
“The quintessence... Crystal...?” Despite the pain and the Lost of his arm, Shiro tried desperately to move his body from where it had fallen on the ground, strangely, his side barely hurt at all, and the bleeding had not stopped. Even though he’d been bitten with beast-like fangs. Even though it had hurt so much just prior.
His arm shown a clear glow. “It came from... inside me? Why...?!” Feeling like he was dreaming, Shiro cautiously grabbed his arm where it had fallen into the grass.
“Hey, you!!” Keith barked at Shiro. “Don’t just lie there!! Hurry up and gimme the Crystal!!”
“What?!” Shiro asked.
“I said hurry!” Keith urged, but then, Mistress Centipeede coiled her body around the two, pressing Shiro up against the boy.
“Ah!!” He cried as he struggled to get away as he still couldn’t believe what was happening to her, this is too weird to be real for him, Shiro should be in his warm room at the Garrison with Adam, So why? Why is all this stuff that he doesn’t understand happening to him?! This centipede monster. Getting captured. Why? What did he ever do?!.
“Hahahahaha!” laughed Mistress Centipeede. “I heard that a half-daemon brat was protecting the Crystal with a priestess and Samurai...So it was you.”
“Huh?” thought Shiro as he looked up at Keith. ‘Did she say half-daemon? Does she mean this guy?’
“Heh!” Keith smirked. “Don’t insult me, Mistress Centipeede. If I’d wanted to, our meeting would’ve been very short...and you’re
“You know,” Shiro began, “I’m starting to think that you’re all bark and no bite, here!”
“...Is that an insult?” Keith asked with a glare.
“I’m just asking,” Shiro started, “can you do something against her?!”
“Ha!” Mistress Centipeede laughed. “That boy?! He can’t do anything against me...since he’s pinned to the tree by that magical arrow. And you can’t do anything against me, either, boy. Just sit there and watch...” Soon, she picked the quintessence Crystal up with her long tongue before she swallowed it in one gulp!
“No!!” Shiro shouted. “That Crystal is supposed to be mine!!!”
“She swallowed the quintessence Crystal!!” cried Romelle “What do we do now, Coran?!”
Before Coran could answer, Mistress Centipeede’s arms began to reattach themselves...even the one that was left in the well when she first attacked Shiro.
“That can’t be good...!” thought the young man.
Just then, the centipede daemon’s face began to split in half as her eyes flashed red...and not long after, the green but human shell that once covered the upper half of her body suddenly fell off, revealing the face of a monster beneath it!
“This is... the power of the quintessence Crystal?!” Shiro had been holding his breath, but this was only the prologue of Crystal’s show of frightful power as the daemon began to coil her body around him and Keith, even tighter. At this rate, he would certainly be crushed to death along with him. If only there was a way to stop this beast!
“Ugh!” The pressure was so great, Shiro unintentionally let out a cry of pain, “I’m... I’m gonna suffocate!”
“Hey.” he suddenly heard Keith’s voice. “Can you pull out this arrow?”
Shiro struggled to get his arm free from underneath Mistress Centipeede’s body, but he managed to pull it out from the creature’s thorax before he reached up for the arrow.
“No, wait, Shiro!!” Coran cried. “You must not remove that arrow from Keith! That arrow is what seals him to the tree! He must never be released!!”
“Oh, yeah?!” Keith questioned. “And what do you expect, Coran?! You wanna end up in the centipede’s belly?! The moment her body has completely absorbed the Crystal, no one will be able to stop her!!!”
“What?!” Shiro questioned in shock. “You’re kidding, right?!!”
“What’ll it be? You wanna die here with me?!” Keith said.
The word “die” flipped a switch somewhere in Shiro’s mind. Death! Dying! Dying here?! And dying without knowing what happened to do a person that you know?! Here?! In this kind of place?!
“...No,” Shiro replied before he reached up and grabbed the arrow’s shaft. “I...refuse to die here!!” he shouted as he gripped the arrow with all his might.
Crack cracks!...while Keith’s body began to pulse, to Shiro’s unease as an electric shock traveled from his palm through his body with an intense scattering of sparks. Instantly, a dazzling light spilled from the arrow, flaring up with heat and spreading along its entire length of his body. The powerful energy that had been forcefully pent up with nowhere to go now escaped like a surge that turned Shiro’s hair or rather turns his fluffy streak white. Like a ferocious sleeping life, the force had now been awakened.
From within the flood of light, Shiro watched in bewilderment as the arrow became like a mist before his eyes, then vanished. But when the heat and light were withdrawn... with a grin, Keith feels like a victory jeer from him. As if to physically show his joy at the freedom he had gained, he spread his arms in a flourish.
“You’re too late!!” Mistress Centipeede shouted as she completely wrapped Shiro and Keith in her coils...only for her thorax to be ripped apart!
“WHOA!!!” Shiro cried as he fell to the ground, having been blown back by the force of Keith’s strength. The half-daemon boy somersaulted through the air before he landed on his hands and feet with the grace of that of an expert acrobat...maybe more so as he faced Mistress Centipeede, who growled at him, viciously.
She screamed out of anger. “You little brat!“, she rushed at Keith in a fit of rage.
“Oh shut up! you bitch”, Keith retorted as the daemon lunged for him with the intent of devouring him whole, but the boy just lunged right back with brandished his knife in his right hand as his weapon. “Daemon nature Art, Iron Reaver!”
SLASH!!! With a single swing of his arm, Keith broke Mistress Centipeede to mere shreds in a matter of 3 seconds, to the Alteans’ shock and awe.
“...In just one fell swoop...?!” asked one of them.
“He truly is a half-daemon...!” whispered Romelle.
Soon, Keith landed on the ground, once again with a grin of wicked triumph.
“...I’m back,” he said.
“Okay...I guess he’s not all bark, after all,” Shiro mused as he sat in the middle of Mistress Centipeede’s body parts...one of which twitched violently, causing him to gasp. “This part of her is still moving!”
“Be calm,” said Coran as he approached. “Can you see a place where the flesh glows? That is where the quintessence Crystal is.”
“B-but...” Shiro stammered.
“If ye do not remove the crystal,” Coran began, “her body will reattach itself and she will continue to attack us!”
“...If I don’t take it out...?” Shiro whispered before he looked around and saw a piece of the daemon’s flesh that was glowing. “There!” Soon, he pulled it out, causing the flesh to disintegrate into nothing but bones and soon sunshine was coming up, the daemon’s body began to burns to ashes, leaving nothing behind but the Crystal.
“That’s it!” Coran exclaimed. “The great quintessence Crystal!”
“...So this is the crystal that my Grandpa always talked about, Why was it inside of me?” Shiro mused as he stared at the gem. “So... these things make daemons even stronger.”
“Exactly! A human who is now possible use for it!” Keith cut him off. “Now, if you wish to not feel the power of my weapon, I’d suggest handing it over.”
Shiro and Coran started in surprise at him. “wait! but... isn’t he the hero?!” Shiro thought.
In a black with violet lights, a long corridor of stairs and floors lies a throne perched at the top was a giant of a galra man seated there. The hooded figure stood closer to the throne, delivered what she discovered.
“Lord Zarkon,” she said, respectively,
“Haggar” Zarkon demanding “What news you bring”,
“The quintessence Crystal has returned and now I feel a resurgence of outer worlds energy Like we discover before but is different Is almost like Altean”.
“That is impossible”. Zarkon was surprised by the news, but that’s impossible only Alfor’s daughter had that much energy? How?
“I know not, but it is time to reclaim what is rightfully ours”.
“Yes, I shall wipe that foul race from this planet forever and take back the crystal”. With that being said to Haggar, Zarkon contacted his commander on Aurs.