Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Page 910

Hector tried to stay bundled up, but too much of Xuan had regenerated. The Seadevil could no longer fit inside the small pocket of safety between Hector’s chest, arms, and shield. So the mercury seeped through the cracks, and Hector could only thrash against it.

It was like trying to fight ten opponents at once, all with invisible hands guiding the flow of mercury, pummeling Hector’s whole body, tearing at him, swarming him. A tendril wrapped around one of Xuan’s regenerating arms and tore it off. Another tendril tried to do the same to the other arm, but Hector used the point of his shield to chop it off. And he saw Xuan’s one remaining hand. It was nearly complete. The stubby fingers were all that was still needed.

And then Hector felt himself being pulled away by the legs. Only Garovel stayed with him, having somehow repositioned himself to Hector’s hand, hiding just behind the battered shield. Melchor spat the pair of them out like old chewing gum, and Hector clattered to the floor in his crushed armor.

Before even standing, he stared back up with wide eyes, wanting to know if he’d bought enough time for Xuan. And he still couldn’t tell. Chunks of shattered iron were falling all around him, crashing into the rock and making the room tremble, and Hector had to annihilate the pieces that would have otherwise fallen on him.

When he saw Darktide again, the man was a writhing mass of marbled silver. Moving, shifting. Struggling.

And then a white flame burst out of the mercury like a sword, smoldering and bright. Swirling trails of white seeped through the hole, growing as the flame did, until a plume of smoke finally spewed outward, accompanied by a booming laugh that filled the foyer.

Darktide splashed down to the first floor while the Seadevil billowed up to the second. The liquid mercury shuddered violently, almost boiling, and Hector couldn’t tell if that was the result of anger or just a dose of Xuan’s acid.

Hector,’ came Garovel’s strained voice, ‘stop using the shield...

Hector let it drop to the floor and heard Garovel let out a groan of relief. He armored up his other hand so that he could pick it up again. The leather glove underneath was shredded, but he wasn’t presently concerned about the added discomfort.

9 comments:

  1. So, does the strain on Garovel's soul the shield causes result in 'pain' for Garovel, or is it still just exhaustion, anxiety and fear?

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  2. All of the above, I'm betting. It probably took every one of his years as a Reaper to pull that endurance effort off, too. *winces*

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  3. Garovel need to match the shield's resilience so Hector can use it.
    Hector's level and the shield's level's gap are just too big, and Garovel was there to even it.

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  4. Hector is a fucking tank, look how he was tanking that boss character like a badass

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  5. I think the fraction of a day that Hector can use the shield is directly linked to the fraction of Abbas' age (when the shield was made) that he's been a servant for.

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  6. To be honest, I think Xuan's good mood is definitely not justified. If it hadn't been for Hector, Xuan would have been screwed many pages ago. He might be a hell of a lot more powerful than Hector, but while he's dead or regenerating, he's no good to anyone in a fight. And then he goes and distracts Hector during the fight...

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  7. He's a bit of a berserker, I think - he's terrifying and unstoppable as the pan-rozy Seadevil, but a bit silly in his normal form. I think that the way the reaper and servant's minds seem to kind-of meld while in that form has a lot to do with it.
    I wonder if his survival was more or less due to his reaper's skills and patience until they got to the point of hyper-states.

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  8. Remember for a reaper, pain, injury, discomfort and exhaustion are basically the same thing. But yes, using the shield for too long might hurt or even kill him.

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  9. The thing is, once he gets into fighting mode Xuan is a total psychopath who would make Morgunov himself back away slowly.

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