Day 2: Nine Against the Mountain
All nine of them were shocked by the turn of events but the previous battles that they all had made them more alert, as soon as the giant showed its face, all of them had already activated their power except for Elle who hesitated. Samel looked at her and nodded as if saying that they’ll take care of the giant but some of the group noticed.
“Elle, why haven’t you activated your power. The attack from the giant could be anytime soon. You could get hurt without your powers”, It was Ave.
“Long story Ave but Elle need not to activate her power right now,” Roberto answered. “Trust me it’s for the best”.
“But how can she get the mark and exit this place?” Chris asked.
“It’s okay guys, let’s focus. I’ll figure it out but for now, I can’t use my powers yet.” Elle answered, her voice was trembling.
“Okay, Elle, just stay back”, Karl said.
“Primo, just do what you can, stay with Elle,” Samel said and was answered by the little ball of fire with a yes. Soon the eight of them started to summon each of their weapons. The giant seemed to be waiting for them to attack first which was to their advantage.
Samel summoned his word on his right hand with a white orb on his left. Karl has his spear ready and is floating underneath what looks like a circular pool of water beneath his feet. Ricka has her rifle strapped on her back but summoned what looks like pink butterflies on both of her palms. Ave is holding a glowing rope on her hands while Basti is unto his flute. Roberto held his forward-curved sword, Jen has her ruby dagger ready too, and Chris was looking deadly as ever with the scythe. Elle and Primo distanced themselves from the group.
“I don’t know what to do, I should be helping them but what if my shadow attack them instead,” Elle said.
“But Elle, it’s your shadow, your power, somewhat you should be able to control it, or find ways to control it. You have the blood of the god in your hand, trust yourself.” Primo answered.
“I’m not sure Primo,”, Elle replied. She can’t do anything right now but watch.
“We don’t have all day young ones. I am waiting.” The giant named Pulag bellowed.
The firsts to attack were Samel and Karl. Samel threw three of his orbs towards the giant while Karl hurled his emerald spear towards the giant. The giant was unaware that the orbs would soon release shockwaves and casually blocked them with his right hand but as soon as he did so, he felt the impact, not too strong but there. The spear was aiming towards his throat, but the giant even though huge, was fast. It caught the spear which soon disintegrated into water dripping off his hands. Ricka immediately acted to, blowing butterflies which she discovered as one of her powers when they had the encounter with the tikbalangs. The tiny butterflies can enter the ears of any creature and create illusions. The last time she used it, the tikbalangs thought they’re of the same race and help them reach the campsite without being astray.
The giant soon enough exhibited its power. As soon as it saw the incoming threat from the tiny butterflies, some of the inscribed tattoos on his body became tiny needles which soon hit the butterflies one by one with precision.
Ave whose power draws light from the sun had an unlimited length for her rope which she soon commanded to circumvent and tie the giant up but that was of no use too, the giant breathed against the incoming rope which immediately froze midway. Basti started humming his flute and soon the grasses around hardened like rocks and soon hurled themselves towards the giant who swatted each as if they were nothing but mosquitoes. Chris slashed her scythe, creating several flying blades towards the giant and was successfully able to reach the chest of the giant but the skin of the giant was thicker than they could imagine. Her strikes didn’t even make a mark on the giant’s skin. Jen, on the other hand, was trying to land a dagger anywhere on the giant's body just to get one cut that would allow her to connect to the giant's magical energy but she's still unsuccessful. The giant looks as if it sensed her magical dagger's energy and wouldn't let her dagger near it.
Soon with their simultaneous attacks, the giant laughed hard and with a force, he transported himself at the summit, the half-gods now seeing his full glory, about 30 meters tall, muscled and too powerful for them to defeat.
“Is this all that you can do? Childish attacks? Give me more intensity, more enthusiasm on this fight.” The giant said as he made his move towards them. The giant, with both hands, aimed punches towards the direction of the half-gods. All of them were able to avoid the incoming attack. They were all too careful not to hop far from the summit as they could fall down the waiting abyss.
Soon it was chaos, Samel and Karl are full-blown attacking the giant with their weapons. Karl was hovering using his pool of water beneath his feet, allowing him to float eye to eye with the giant as he throws his spear while Samel was just in the ground slashing against the leg of the creature. But it was not that easy, the giant parried their attacks with ease. Smashing against anyone it can reach and missing them by just inches. Ricka had no luck with her rifle too, she did try to shoot but the bullet, like the blades from Chris’s scythe just bounced off the skin of the giant. It was all looking hopeless for all of them, unable to land a single solid blow against the giant. They all also noticed that where the giant’s punches landed, ice was forming. If one of those punches hit any of them, it would be fatal.
It was Karl, who's hovering in the air who came down first. As he hurled his unlimited number of spears towards the giant, the spears are being warded off by the swiftness of the giant's hand. The giants jumped and hit him with his palm in a quick manner before he can react and before he knew it, he was falling and soon hit the ground with his bones crunching.
Each of them started to follow through, Samel and Ricka receiving a full punch and feeling the shock of cold on their system. Ave and Basti received a blow from the giant's mouth which froze half of their bodies. Jen was also on the ground after being hit by the giant's kick and Chris is still trying to reach for her scythe after it was yanked off her grip by an unanticipated blow from the giant.
Elle watched it all, seeing her group trying to make any decent land towards the giant but failing to do so.
"I have to help, Primo. It doesn't matter if we can't defeat this giant but I would regret it for the rest of my life if I would not help them." Elle decided and soon she activated her power.
As soon as she did so, completing the activation of the nine of them, the others felt a boost in their powers. Each of their aurae began to manifest with more intensity as Elle ran towards them to join them in the fight. She summoned her claws and used it to catapulted herself towards the waiting giant. The giant was taken aback by her attack and was stunned for a moment. As she was about to hit the giant's incoming fist with her claws, she felt a jolt of power coming from her. Everyone witness as black vines emerged from Elle's body and wrapped themselves around the giant's hands. The giant tried to shake off the vines but it was too late, they already entered his body. The vines were leaving Elle's body and transferring themselves towards the giant. What more was that a huge black shadow came from Elle and stretched, covering the giant's body except for his head which was protected by the glowing inscriptions on the giant's neck. The glow on the giant's neck was flickering as if anytime soon the light will disappear and the shadow and vines totally consume him.
Elle, with her failed attack, dropped to the ground and watched with horror. The vines left her body and transferred themselves unto the giant Pulag and the shadow seemed to be feeding the vines that are covering the giant's body.
"This is of Sitan's work. How come it was able to reach this summit without me noticing. You," the giant Pulag said to Elle. "You carried this with you and now you're all more in danger. Before the black vines can cover his entirety, the giant jumped away from the summit plateau and was soon swallowed by a thick fog that began to cover the ravines on the sides of the summit. Soon, the giant was nowhere to be seen.
The shadow which had covered Pulag retreated back to Elle's body and disappeared.
"Elle, are you okay? What just happened? Did we defeat it?," It was Ave.
"I don't think so. I think I understand now what's happening", Elle answered in a weak voice.
"What do you mean?" Chris asked as everyone huddled around Elle.
"Sitan's plan was not just to corrupt us. The main goal is the giant. He wants to bring him to the underworld using the vines. With our power, the giant was not able to detect the vines because of our human blood and the worst part is, I acted as a carrier of the vines. And my shadow, it's somewhat feeding the vines, making them strong enough to get past the power of the giant Pulag. My shadow became stronger after the tree prison I entered. It mught have fed off the darkness of the trees", Elle said.
"We can't do something about it anymore, I mean it looks like Sitan has taken that giant. It looks like it's gone but now the question is how are we going to leave this plateau?" Karl asked. "We can only leave if we get the mark from the giant who is currently missing".
"That's right, there's no entrance or exit here," Chris replied.
"Let me fly around and see what I can find", Roberto said and he flew away to checked. Pretty soon he came back. "Nope, I can see nothing but endless fog. I didn't wander far too else I'll get lost."He said.
"Sitan, he wants to take us too right?" Samel asked. "What if the giant comes back and takes us all with him to the underworld? Maybe Sitan wants the giant to be corrupted first then use it to take us. Right now, we are in a divine space for the final battle for the mark. What if like us, the giant can't escape this place too unless everything's completed?" Samel said. The gods and goddesses can definitely not enter this space so it just makes sense that they are all inside a box where no one can escape, the giant can't leave this place too unless they complete the challenge and open the exit. "If the giant will come back as I think so, we need to think of a way to defeat it and I think I might have an idea," Samel said.
Everyone looked at him, ready to listen to what he's about to say.