A Champion's Soul

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Controlled Nightmare

The guards rushed out of the gate and circled us. The one with golden armor screamed. “What the hell are you two doing?!”

Gah, don’t direct that at me. “I’m trying to leave, she just wants to fight!”

The woman laughed. “Oh dearie, I hope you don’t think a few humans can get between us, do you? My soul is screaming at me to fight you. You’ve got something hidden deep inside that I just need to see! Oh, I wonder what it could be? A dark secret, those are always fun to get out. Maybes it’s something that master of yours is hiding, hmm? I do hear archdemons like to hide dangerous secrets in their hell knights.”

The demon spoke up. “Now that’s just morbid, an archdemon can easily hide something within their realm. Why would they turn their most useful servants into walking safes? I can’t imagine that’s a pleasant feeling for them either. Having things in your soul that don’t belong, is a rather cramped feeling.”

The golden one looked at me, then back at her, then back at me. “Fine if you want to leave then help us deal with this mess!”

Help? She broke my armor in one punch. “Do you see my face? She can break my armor with just a swipe of that tail? What exactly am I going to be able to do here!?”

He shouted back! “You’re lucky it’s just armor! With that much power, she’ll likely split a human in half!” He turned towards one of his men closest to the gate. “Get the mages here now! We’ll need some defensive magic!”

The woman crossed her arms and started tapping her foot. “Oh fine, I’ll let you humans prepare. At the very least I’ll crush you at your strongest. Might even send a message to your friends. As for you little dragon, we’ll be starting now!” She raised herself into the air and launched at me!

Oh no. I’m not playing this game! I changed into my dragon form and slammed my foot on her as she approached! I lifted my foot and slammed down several more times before changing into my human form!

I left a pretty decent size hole in the ground from that, and all the guards were staring at me now… the guard scratched his head and approached the hole. “Did, did we just watch a demon get stepped on by a dragon?”

A different guard answered. “No, we watched a larger demon step on a smaller demon.”

I walked over to the hole in the ground looked down. I peered down into it and saw her laying on the ground. Her eyes were glowing… She lunged at me! I ducked backward and brought up my armor! She barely missed me and flew up past, where she was hit by an arrow. It stuck into her shoulder but didn’t look to be bleeding.

She flew down at me baring her teeth, before abruptly closing her mouth and backing off to the other side of the hole? She pulled the arrow out and cleared her throat. “You’re a bitch…”

What? “I don’t know what that is?”

The woman sneered. “I just called you a dog. How sheltered were you?”

Oh… “So, you just called me a dog, which means a dog just pounded you into the ground? You didn’t think about that one, did you?”

Her eyes started glowing again. “I AM THIS CLOSE TO RIPPING YOUR THROAT OUT!” The glow faded again. “I have never met someone who’s caused me to lose my composure two times in such a short period. I don’t even care about the prize in your soul now. I just want to break you! You’ve ruined my dress, messed up my hair, and now made me act ugly in front of so many people! You’ll pay for that!

There is something very wrong with her… The demon spoke. “This what you should expect from every succubus. The incubus, are an entirely different monster… Which I will not be talking about, ever.”

Succubus? “What’s a succubus?”

He didn’t answer. “How about you ask your mother. I’m not going to give you the birds and the bees. Now, no more talking. Focus on dealing with her, or better yet find an opportunity to flee.”

One more question. “Do the demon powers useless magic in my human form?”

He quickly answered. “Significantly.” Good. I only got a minute or two in my dragon form. Maybe that'll work out better. “now hurry and embrace them. You have an advantage, the people and guards have fear in them. It overtakes their attraction to her. Let the people fuel you, that is how your power works.”

I sniffed the air. I could smell blood, it wasn’t mine… I look back at the woman, there was small trickle running down her leg… Despite her bravado, she’s hurt. She may not be as strong as I thought, but then again, she’s holding back.

The golden guard shouted. “Don’t you dare do it nightmare! I can see what you're planning! If you lose control, we’ll cut you down!”

I could feel the power building in my stomach… I embraced it, faster than before! The woman’s eyes went wide, and she lunged at me, but a black flame encircled me and forced her back! I felt hot, very hot! It was burning even! I screamed out, though it wasn’t my voice. It was something louder, higher-pitched! A screech, it echoed in the sky! A warning… This is a power that doesn’t want to be used. It’s fueled by fear, but only because it wants to scare them away… Maybe it’s the reason I wanted it, and not the power itself?

As the fire faded, I felt different. This form wasn’t human, or dragon… Something in between. I was on four legs but felt like I could climb onto my back two. I had a tail and spikes down my back, but no wings. There was no armor, only a black fire that seemed to shroud around me. Everything around me looked like it was through a red lens. I felt strong!

I could hear a guard scream in fear. “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!? NIGHTMARES ARE JUST SUPPOSED TO BE VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES!!!”

He fell backward, but the golden guard grabbed him. “Pull yourself together! For now, that monster there is on our side! Do everything in your power to avoid pissing it off!”

I looked back towards the woman. She was glaring at me. “Here I thought we could keep this civilized, now things get dirty.” Her eyes glowed again, and a red shroud enveloped her…

I’m not taking any chances. I jumped at her and ripped her from the shroud! She screamed and with another pulse, she freed herself from my grasp! It hurt! I screamed out and slashed at her! I cut her side open and grabbed her again! I hurled her into the wall, and she smashed through it! Before the final blocks could hit the ground, she was back through… This time not as a woman, but a beast. She looked like a massive minotaur. She was holding a wooden log from one of the stands.

She charged at me preparing to swing the log. I duck under her swing and rolled her over me! As she tumbled to the ground I got up on my back legs and brought my sword out! Even in this form, I can use it…

She jumped up and swung the log at me, but my sword cut it in half! She’s still holding back… This woman is so afraid of being ugly like she says. So much so that she won’t fully embrace her power. That’s good for me at least.

I swung the sword at her this time! She ducked below my swing, but it still took her horns off! She lowered her head and charged into my stomach, dragging me back to the wall! Just when I thought we were going to hit the wall a clear barrier stopped us! I pushed her away and swung the sword again! She punched the blade and launched it from my grasp! Try as she might I can just bring it back!

She let out a roar! “A soul sword!? How did you get one of those!? That must be the dirty secret!!! I’ll have that sword for myself!”

She just might. “If you keep fighting then you’ll have this sword lodged in your chest!”

She bellowed out a laugh. “Big words for a little demon!”

Little demon. “How long do you plan to drag this out? Do you hope to take me down with just a little bit of power, or are you at your limit?”

She sneered. “There’s always more power!”

Good. “Then use it! Show everyone just how ugly you can be!”

She took a step back. “U-ugly…” she looked at her hands and grabbed her head. “No no no I lost it again!” She covered her face for a moment, then pulled her hands away and glared at me… “Fine, if I have to be ugly. Then I’ll be as ugly as possible!”

A red ring formed around her feet and she started screaming! A red shroud enveloped her again! I could hear bones cracking! It sounded like a scream of agony!

A small voice yelled at me from the wall, it was the golden guard. “Nightmare! Is this the limit of your power!?”

Kind of. “Well no, but I don’t have enough magic to go further.”

He mumbled to himself. “Not enough magic. FUUUUCK! We don’t have the men or equipment to take down whatever she’s changing into! Fuck fuck fuck!”

Another man wearing a hood spoke up. “Sir, it may not be the only way.”

The golden guard looked at the man, and then back at me. “Son of a bitch!”

The hooded man spoke up again. “If only for a moment, we’re not swearing loyalty! It’s just to save the city!”

He threw his sword to the ground. “DAMMIT! Fine, we do it or everyone here dies. Pray to the damn demon!”

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