Chapter 29 - War
"I expected someone to try and take advantage of my moment of weakness. I didn't expect it to be you though." Chase stared across from his throne at Master Monk Guan.
Guan merely shrugged. "I am not here fight you. There would be no honour in defeating you like this."
"If it situation was reversed, I would not show you any mercy." Chase informed Guan.
"I don't doubt that," Guan replied, completely unfazed. "Though perhaps that's why fate decided that you would be the one with period of being powerless and not I."
Chase glared at Guan. "Why are you here?"
"While you are withdrawn from the world during the eclipse, I must withdraw as well for risk of upsetting the balance." Guan pulled out his Xiangqi set. "I was hoping to take the opportunity to challenge an old friend to a friendly game of Xiangqi while we wait to see what will become of the world after the events of today."
Chase raised an eyebrow. "You expect me to entertain some twisted sense of nostalgia?"
"You had something better to do today?" Guan asked innocently as he set the board up at a nearby table.
Chase glared at Guan some more and yet still got up and sat down at the table across from him. "If I'm playing this stupid game, I get to be red."
Rai crashed back first into a nearby rock. He wiped some blood from the side of his mouth as he tried to refocus. "Alright so that didn't work."
"You were a fool to come here." The head ogre mocked. "You are slow, weak, powerless and no match for us."
"Oh yeah?" Rai retorted weakly, "well you're ugly." An awkward silence filled the area. "That's right, I went there."
The head ogre turned to the others. "Make sure to kill him slowly. I want as much enjoyment out of his demise as possible."
Rai reached for his sword, only to realise
Rai raced to get to his sword. Just as he was about to reach it, an ogre stomped on it, snapping the blade in half. His irises narrowed in rage.
"THAT'S IT!" Rai did a double palmed wind strike into the abdomen the ogre, though lacking wind powers meant that it was nothing more than a double palm strike and a weak one at that. Rai gaped at how ineffectually his attack. "Oh yeah...I human now." The ogre raised his fist. "Crud."
When the demons finally descended upon the temple, all hell broke loose. Naturally the Wudai Warriors weren't going to go down easy. When legion got within range, the warriors opened fire, in Kimiko's case literally.
The opening attack of the three xiaolin elements as well the ranged Wu & weaponry of the monks was powerful and had probably killed a good chunk of the demons. The problem was that with an army as big as Zhanchi's legion, it was like hitting a tidal wave with a cannon ball, they were able to take the losses and still have enough to keep going.
When the wave finally hit the temple, all formal formations broke off and it became an all out brawl for survival.
"DRAGON KUMAI FORMATION!"
The Wudai Warriors gained a coloured aura matching their elements and then promptly split off to battle the invaders on several fronts.
"Arrow Sparrows!" Kimiko rained fire down on unsuspecting demons. She then spun round to see archers aiming for her. Before either side could react, the archers suddenly split in two and fell to the ground revealling Omi stand there with his Shimo staff shaped like a giant scythe.
Kimiko gave Omi a grateful smile and then threw a fireball at him. The fireball missed Omi by inches but hit the demon that had been trying to sneak up on him.
Omi gave a grateful smile back as two went back into battle.
Chiyoko was having some issues as she battled a demon that was coming at her with a bladed whip. The issue being that the demon wanted her dead and wasn't giving Chiyoko a chance to come in close enough for a counter attack.
Realising she had nothing to lose, Chiyoko pointed the Wu at the demon. "Thorn of the Thunderbolt!" The thunderbolt hit the demon square on, almost completely vaporising it.
Chiyoko looked down at the Wu. "Note to self, if I survive this I am so getting myself one of these."
Clay was busy fending off demons left and right. Soon he found himself surrounded by a variety of demons.
"WUDAI CRATER EARTH!"
Clay stomped the ground, sending earth spikes in all directions and skewering the nearby demons. The cowboy was about to move on when a long tail wrapped around him and lifted him off the ground.
"Such anger," commented the snake-lady whose tail it was. "How about a nice hug to relax you."
She then started to squeeze the life out of Clay.
Rai quickly picked himself back up again. "Right, so hitting their legs with my body worked about as well hitting their fists with my body. What's the next plan?" One of ogres picked him up in a bear hug refused to let go.
Rai tried to struggle out of the ogre's hold but nothing was working. The head ogre readied his axe. "We will fest well on your corpse, human."
Rai was about to resign himself to his fate when a thought crossed his mind. He looked up the ogre that was holding him. "You do realise that he's swinging that big axe at both of us, don't you?"
The look on the ogre's face told Rai that he hadn't realised that and as the axe swung in, he quickly dodged it.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" The head ogre demanded.
"You were swinging an axe at me!"
They stopped arguing when the realised that Rai had gotten free. "Alright, I may be a human now but I'm still a warrior. I won't go down that easy."
Rai then re-entered the fray, he dodged right to avoid an ax slash. Side stepped to the right to avoid a full on tackle. Feinted to the left but then went right to avoid a spear. Ducked down and rolled to the right. Rai leapt in the air mid roll to avoid a chain. He then landed and turned back to the ogres.
"You know why I know I'm going to win this?" Rai asked, "Because unlike you, I have something worth fighting for." He then gave a dramatic pause as the ogres finally realised that Rai's constant dodging to the right had resulted in the whole battle having been turned 180 degrees and that Rai was now standing beside the treasure chest. "Though being smarter than you also helps."
Before the ogres could stop Rai, he reached out and closed and closed the chest with a satisfying thump.
The snake lady's tight squeeze suddenly slackened. When it was loose enough for him to start breathing again, Clay mustered up his strength to fully break free. When the snake body finally fell down to ground limply it was only then that Clay saw a scorched stump where the creature's head used to be.
Clay looked up and saw Kimiko standing nearby with a fire ball in her hands. "Shake it off, Cowboy, This battle is far from over."
Rai looked down at the now closed chest and then up at the scenery and ogres that had remained completely unchanged. "Well that was disappointing."
The ogres burst out laughing. "You thought that closing the box would change anything? We are infused with the power of Zhanchi Fenua himself. Only at his defeat will my brethren and I fall."
Rai looked down at the chest in dismay before taking in a deep breath and rebuilding his resolve. "Well in that case I'll just have to win this fight the old fashioned way."
"And what way is that?"
With a heave, Rai flung the chest at the head ogre. The ogre effortlessly caught it and was about to make a smug reply when Rai leapt in with what remained of his sword. There wasn't much of the blade left but there was still enough to slice the ogre's head cleanly off.
"By any means necessary."
The remaining ogres, despite having lost their leader, charged in blindly at the smaller opponent, Rai twisted his body sideways dodge an incoming spear thrust, Rai grabbed hold of the top of the spear's shaft and used his other hand to chop the end off from the rest of the spear.
The ogre looked at his broken spear in dismay, briefly forgetting about Rai until the ex-demon did a base-ball slide between his legs while at the same, using the spear end a makeshift dagger, delivering a deep slash into the his thigh, right across the femoral artery.
Having a similar physiology to humans and lacking the knowledge on how to react, the ogre collapsed before he could attack again as he started to bleed out. Rai leapt to his feet and prepared for the next strike when a chain wrapped around his neck, He was able wedge his free hand in before the chain tightened around his throat. The ogre holding the other end of the chain looked on rather smug, until the spearhead flew in and went straight through the creature's eye.
Rai pull the slack chain off his neck and jumped in the air to dodge the last ogre that was charging at him, head first like a rhino. Rai landed on the ogre's back, wrapped the chain around it's neck and pulled back with all his might. The ogre struggled to get the chain off but soon collapsed due to lack of oxygen. Only when it completely stopped moving did Rai let go of the chain.
"Only fall at the defeat of Zhanchi, my tanned human butt." Rai said smugly. When he realised that he was the only one standing there, his bravado evaporated as he support himself against a rock, catching his breath and tryto ignore how much his body was hurting.
"Aww what's the matter? Did me and my buddies make you tired?"
Rai turned to see the head from the ogre he had decapitated was talking to him. Rai glowered slightly "I'd blame this on hitting my head but frankly this is more or less the norm for my life, human or not. So I take it you're not a run of the mill hell spawn."
"Indeed," The head replied. "And as soon as I grow my body back I will cut your head off and see how you like it."
"And how long would it take for you to grow back an entire body?" Rai asked. "A week?"
"Six and a half days," the head corrected defensively.
"Well good luck with that, sorry that I'm not waiting round but I've got places to be."
"Why bother?" The head asked. "My Lord and his army will have already descended upon the temple. By the time you reach the temple, it will be nothing but ruins."
Realising that the head had a point, Rai tried to jumpstart his tired mind, like it was an old car, running through possibilities. Starting with option A, he kicked the dead body off of the Treasure of the blind Swordsman.
"I can use the treasure to get me back to the temple."
"And what?" The Ogre head asked mockingly. "You think you can take on my lord's army by yourself? You, a weak, frail, pathetic...ugh!" The head was finally silenced by being crushed under a rock.
"If I wanted a second opinion I would have brought the hallucinations back."
And at that he was finally alone.
Just him and the treasure of the blind swordsman.
It was then that Rai had two realisations, neither of which was particularly pleasant or inescapable. Firstly that even if the treasure was to take him back, human Rai wouldn't be enough to save the temple. Secondly, the treasure could do more for him than just offer transport.
Wuya, Hannibal and Zhanchi were still flying in the sky as they watched the battle going on below.
"I have to admit," Hannibal said. "For a dusty old temple, they're not doing too badly. Who knows, the way this fight is going, they may even drive us out."
Wuya rubbed her chin in mock thoughtfulness. "Hm, you may have a point." She then petted the top of Zhanchi's head. "Would you be a dear?"
Zhanchi let out an annoyed hiss but still started to glow as the glove of Jisaku within his body activated.
Suddenly all of the temple's weapons, the wu, the wudai weapons, even the mundane ones, flew out of their owner's hands skywards. Zhanchi swooped in and swallowed all the weapons up.
With the loss of their weapons, most of the monks were quickly over powered by the demons and soon the only the Wudai warriors remained.
The three young monks battled valiantly, being able to use their elements despite losing their weapons. But soon the temple was completely overrun and they found themselves surrounded by a seemingly endless army. Despite this, they back put their backs to each outer and readied for a last stand.
"I wouldn't suggest that," Wuya said as she indicated towards an ogre that was hold a sword to a barely conscious Master Fung's throat.
Realise that there was nothing left to do, the Wudai Warriors surrendered.
Hannibal held up his tentacle in celebration. "The temple is ours!"
Rai looked at the treasure. He crouched down onto his knees and placed a pair of shaking hands on the chest. He exhaled slowly, hoping to calm the internal struggle he was dealing with. Well at least I got to feel one sunrise. Summoning all his will power, he flung open the chest and made his wish.
"Blind Swordsman! Make me a demon again!"
Then there was silence.
Rai opened the eyes he had involuntarily closed when he realised nothing had happened. He looked around and all he saw was a desolate wasteland.
When he looked down, all he saw was an empty chest.