• Published 6th May 2015
  • 5,629 Views, 427 Comments

Never Broken - Torgaddon

A shattered and broken soul, Spike has spent the better part of the last two thousand years in never ending battle in the dead world of Ginun. Now, he must return to Equestria to protect what is most precious to him, but also face his shame again.

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Steel and Doom

"We are Steel".

"We are Doom".

"We are the Legion of the Damned".

"We shall know no fear".

Thus did the war chant sound and echo throughout the mountains as another wave of daemons smashed themselves upon the waiting shields of the Legion. The few daemons that survived the Legion's spears long enough to retreat were shot down by the Val-Drakar hand cannons.

Row upon row of ponies trudged on, obeying the Draka's command of not stopping. The Royal Guard stood between the ponies, weapons at the ready, even though there was obviously no need for it. Not a single daemon had pierced through the defending line of Draka and, by all appearances, that was not about to change soon.

The ambush had come as a surprise to the convoy of ponies and Draka. The daemons had come from deep within the mist caking the peak of the Mountains of Grey Crystal. The mountain winds, strong and irregular as they were, had made it all but impossible for the Draka to smell their enemies. Yet, for all that, successfully ambushing a Draka and catching a Draka unprepared were two different matters entirely. The Draka are always ready for battle. The howling, charging daemons had emerged from the mist only to find a bulwark of perfectly disciplined Draka waiting for them.

Shagga threw her fist forward, catching a daemon's throat and crushing his windpipe. Even as the pitiful creature fell to it's knees, suffocating on it's own blood, Shagga's ax cleaved it's skull and ended it's life. Another charged at her only to find itself facing the female Draka's tower shield. With a mighty heave Shagga lifted the daemon on her shield and flipped the doomed monstrosity behind her. A quick stomp on the nape of the daemon's neck stilled it's thrashing.

She looked to the convoy and yelled the signal. As one the line of Draka moved sideways, maintaing the bulwark and keeping the convoy of ponies at their backs. Her eyes scanned around only to lock with those of Sekeolath. The slim Draka had a struggling daemon by the throat while tearing through the failing defense of two others.

"Sekeolath" she yelled, "where is the Darraor?"

Sekeolath shot out with his foot, snapping a daemon's leg at the knee cap and put his blade through it's skull even as it fell. A gout of flame caught another daemon point blank and cooked it in it's own armor. With a few deft twists Sekeolath snapped the third daemon's neck.

"Rot in the grasp of the Abyssal Gods, bastard child of darkness and life!" he spat at the lifeless victim and turned his attention to Shagga.

"The Darraor has gone further into the mist, he has ordered that we hold the line and keep the ponykin safe".

Shagga nodded "Understood". Turning her attention to the line of Draka she gave the instructions. "Legion, tighten formation, let none pass through. Drak'Aviri shock troops, at the other side of the convoy, guard the flank".

The Legion nodded as one, trusting in Spike's second in command's wisdom.

Deep within the mist, Spike sliced left and right, annihilating an entire charge of daemons before they had even reached the Draka line.

A goat headed thing, wielding an enormous claymore sliced at him, only to stop short as Spike's massive hand engulfed it's wrists and crushed both hands and the claymore's haft in his vice-like grip. The daemon's scream of pain was ended as Spike caved in it's skull with the haft of his Odachi. Another, this time a gigantic leonine abomination, found it's end as the Darraor's fist crushed it's maw and skull in a single blow.

Spike looked at the pool of blood and corpses around himself. He could hear more daemons approaching from his flank even as another group charged from in front of him. Even through the mist's limited visibility, the sound the foolish daemons made was enough for him to deduce their feeble attempts at tactics.

Spike did not like these daemons. They were too driven, their eyes were too bloodshot and fervored. Normally daemonic battalions broke at one point or another but these ones fought to the last, almost as if possessed. Neither did he like that low humming he kept hearing. It had begun with the battle and Spike could almost hear it at the edge of his consciousness.

Spike spat on one of the corpses and brought his hand to his mouth. With one massive breath he let loose a gout of flame which rolled in on itself and grew into a grand fireball, molded by the Draken Rune on his forearm. It grew until it was three times the size of Spike's body and he let it fly.
The grand ball of flame flew, splitting the wall of mist only to collide with and reduce an entire battalion of daemons to ash and smoke.

Twilight shuddered as she heard the great explosion and yelled as it's force tore at the cloud of mist surrounding the peak of the mountain. From the corner of her eye she saw the pale green flames billowing and, some distance away, Spike striding towards another advancing battalion of numberless daemons.

Even as she looked, Spike charged and shot through the daemons like a wolf through sheep, reducing entire groups of daemons to broken meat and armor in moments.

With a shake she tore her eyes away and ran as fast as she could towards the two princesses.

Celestia and Luna sat, horns crossed, drawing power within them.

"Twilight!" gasped Celestia "we need you... now".

With a curt nod, Twilight added her own strength to the spell. With a final heave of energy, the three alicorns loosed a gigantic ball of force towards the sky. It rose quickly, only to expand and wash down like rain over the mountain peak.
Although harmless to any living being, it had succeeded in it's purpose. The gigantic cloud of mist had been pushed off the mountain, leaving the entire area with perfect visibility.

The three alicorn's eyes grew in shock as they saw the full daemonic force. Row upon row of daemons stood at the ready at one side of the plateau, splitting into battalions numbering between five hundred and six hundred each and charging at the Draka like clouds of hungry locusts.

Behind the lines of daemons a group of ten women with the lower bodies of snakes whirled and danced in a display that was in the same time glorious and terrifying in it's beauty. It spoke of horrible and lascivious things, of love of the flesh and death of the soul, of the horrible beauty of war. Another, this one larger than her comparatively diminutive counterparts, similarly snake-like in her lower body, her beauty, at once both supremely glorious and unbearably disgusting, obvious even over such a distance, presided over the odd dance, guiding her coven.

Twilight did not have to wonder who she was, for the name came as a kiss of death upon the winds of magic. Wilhelmina Aszh'Vala, the White Widow of the Dead Sea.

"Princess Celestia..." she looked to her mentor "What..."

"I do not know Twilight" she answered, her quizzical and worried look adding another layer of fright to Twilight's already waning resolve "But whomever they may be,there is a lot of magic being drawn towards that place. I fear the worst".

Twilight instinctively began weighing multiple options in her mind, her inquisitive personality and keen intellect forcing her to weigh in and consider as many strategies as possible. Yet, they all had the same common basis. They all relied on the use of the power of the Elements of Harmony that she and her friends represented. She doubted she had recovered enough of her strength to be able to do this.

No, she could not allow herself to think this way, she was Princess of Friendship, she HAD to do it. With that in mind, Twilight Sparkle stretched her wings and took to the skies to gather her friends. It was all she could do before it happened. Before that horrible rotten thing had left it's perch and the wind caused by it's monstrous wingspan had rocketed her to the ground.

The corpse of the Mountain Eater had sat patiently atop it's mountainous perch for long enough. Kilmaail the Half-Born had seen all he had needed to see through the monster's eyes and the sadistic little insect had given the order.

"Attack their leader, the one named Spike, separate him from his warriors and butcher him".

Like a primordial beast, the Mountain Eater had taken flight. It's wingspan, almost as large as half of the plateau, covering the assembled forces of Draka and daemon in dark shadow, heralding his arrival as an envoy of doom.
Ancient and rotting jaws opened and phlegm filled throat rattled to give wake to a roar so massive that the entire mountain seemed to quake.

Black flame belched forth from his rotting maw, reducing fifteen Draka to ash.

The telepathic voice of Kilmaiil came, channeled from deep within the unholy runes carved within the Mountain Eater's flesh.

"Know my name and tremble worms, for I am Kilmaiil the Half-Born, Prophet of the Abyssal Gods, know that I bring your doom as I have brought it upon your foolish companions at the Mouth of Madness. Know that you are last of the Legion of the Damned. Know that upon this mountain, your bones shall wither and turn to dust".

Howls of rage came from the Draka as they saw the perversion suffered by the corpse of the once proud forefather of the draconic race, the Mountain Eater and at the knowledge of the fate of their battle siblings at the Mouth of Madness.

One roar came louder than the rest, almost rivaling that of the Mountain Eater itself.

Spike, standing atop a small hillock of daemonic corpses howled his anger for all to hear.

"Come to me Mountain Eater, let me reacquaint you with death".

From deep within the Mountain Eater's rotting flesh, his chained spirit rose at the sound of the power in that one voice. He could feel in it, the voice of one that would defy his might. For a single moment, he could almost feel the spark of hope burst into existence, the hope that this one warrior would be able to stop him.

It was quickly extinguished by the magic of Kilmaiil, for even if the soul wanted freedom and the peace of the afterlife, the body obeyed only Kilmaiil. With a surge like that of a falling comet, the titanic undead creature launched itself at Spike, the enormous, indestructible horn atop his head leveling with Spike. Enormous, leathery wings, pierced with holes of rotten flesh launched gusts of wind as powerful as the fists of giants at the Darraor before the Mountain Eater had even approached the master of the Legion. Yet for all that, Spike did not waver. He stood and took it all, even as the stone around him burst from the pressure, even as his own armor started denting and groaning, he simply stood, immovable and indomitable, merely taking his blade in a two handed grip. Every muscle and vein on his body bulged with barely restrained energy as he readied himself to deny the Primordial Dragon.

Spike was angry. Angrier than he had been when he had seen the charred corpses of Mr. and Mrs. Cake and children. He could feel the Madness gnawing at his mind again, his ears hearing nothing other than those words "companions at the Mouth of Madness". This Kilmaiil had killed them, his warriors, his FAMILY, HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS. HE. WILL. DIE.

A roar like that of an elder god escaped his lipless maw as Spike welcomed the Madness. As he took the rage and hatred and turned it in on itself, disciplining it and turning it into complete focus, closing off any parts of his brain that were not dedicated fully to battle and vicious savagery, transforming his entire being into and engine of war.

The clash of Spike and the Mountain Eater took shape with the sound of two mountains crushing together. The horn of the Mountain Eater came with the insurmountable force of lightning only to be smashed away by the vicious strike of Spike's blade. Even as the monstrously large head snapped sideways, the rotting undead body, ignorant of both pain and damage surged onward, inertia taking place of intent.

Spike found himself taken to the air, his body smashed by the titanic sized skull, as the Mountain Eater took flight again, taking him towards the adjacent plateau.

Wilhelmina screamed in anger as she saw her future plaything be taken away. She had wanted the mighty Darraor all to herself, but now he was being taken to an entirely different plateau. Even if she were to make the effort of going to salvage whatever remained, she doubted she would find anything more consistent than a puddle of blood.

Damn it all, she would have words with Kilmaiil when she would return to the base. No one took from Wilhelmina what she had decided would be hers and hers alone.

She turned to her coven of Sirens and screamed her displeasure at them.

"Faster you useless harlots, sing louder, I might have lost one plaything but the rest of the Draka will be mine".

The Sirens looked with fear at their mistress and began singing louder and faster, doing their best to corrode away at the Draka's indomitable wills.

Shagga looked in horror as Spike was flown away. She knew that the rest of the Legion shared her fear. They had all heard that roar, the entire Legion had felt it again, that same dread that had permeated their being when Spike had seen the charred bodies of the ponies in the Everfree Forest. Shagga knew full well what that feeling and what that roar meant. Spike was once again grappling with the Madness.

A flutter coming fast behind her alerted her to a new problem. Shagga released her shield and ax and jumped suddenly to her left, her strong hands closing like a vice as she grabbed and tackled the struggling blue streak to the ground.

"Hey, what the hell are you doing? Are you crazy? Let me go?" the comparatively little blue thing said as it tried to struggle out of her grasp.

Multiple footsteps coming towards her stopped as they saw the scene unfolding.

Shagga rose, still keeping the struggling Rainbow Dash in her embrace, refusing to let her go and allow her to fly towards the adjacent plateau. She looked towards the other five ponies, especially eyeing Twilight's lolling left wing, obviously freshly broken at the shoulder.

"Let me go, LET ME GO" Rainbow Dash cried again "What's the matter with you, Spike was taken by that thing, we need to get to him, we need to help him".

"Please Miss Shagga ..." began both Twilight and Fluttershy, obviously anxious and worried.

"Listen here missy, ya' better not try to get in our way or ah swear ah'll...".

"ENOUGH" bellowed the female Draka, her voice carrying much less of the instinctive domination and commanding presence than that of Spike, but enough that it made all six girls turn rigid and a few Draka turn their heads in surprise.

"You can not, you WILL NOT go to the Darraor's aid. He would never forgive me if I allowed you to go near him, in the state he is now".

"But you can't..." Twilight began.

"I can and I shall" bellowed Shagga again. Twilight recoiled at the shake in Shagga's voice. The strong and usually calm female had always spoken in measured and calm tones with the girls, but now her voice and entire body were shaking, either of fear or concern, she could not hope to guess.

"But... but... he's already wounded, he hasn't had any proper treatment or rest since Canterlot...he'll... he'll... DIE IF WE DON'T HELP HIM".

"HE WILL END YOU IF YOU TRY TO HELP HIM" Shagga bellowed again, this time drawing her other ax for emphasis ""Listen to me, if you go anywhere near the Darraor now, you would be in more danger than if you were to be surrounded by a pack of starving rot-wolves. The red haze is upon him once again and you must not approach him".

Rarity looked aghast. With a voice shaking with impotent anger "You would let him die? Alone and with his mind broken?".

Shagga stopped and her mouth clamped shut. Her red pupils contracted even as her mane of red "hair" bristled. She looked like an angry lioness ready to pounce.

The tense moment carried on for few moments only for Shagga to release Rainbow,turn away and retrieve her shield.

"May his doom be a grand one" she said with finality.

"You are to take the rest of the convoy, tell all to run as fast as they can, we will attack the remaining daemons, force them to stay and fight and allow none to follow you".

"But...?" began Twilight again.


The strength and command in the voice allowed no more protest or contradiction. The girls turned, eyes aghast and shoulders slumped, wanting nothing more than to run towards Spike but unable to deny the truth in Shagga's reasoning.

In their hurry they could not see Shagga's trembling shoulders, could not hear her muffled sobs and could not see her wet eyes.

Shagga looked towards the adjacent plateau, at the sight of Mountain Eater and the small shape of her precious Darraor atop the titanic head

"Please Darraor...you cannot die...you cannot leave me".

Wiping at her eyes, ashamed of her own weakness, Shagga set her jaw and looked to the daemonic line. All of them would die for this.

"Grasping Claw formation, let none survive".

"ORAAAHH!" came the war howl of the Legion, each and every one wanting nothing more than to see the daemons spitted upon their spears.

The blade rose and fell again and again, sending a torrent of sparks as Spike chopped through the steel scales and iron bones of the Mountain Eater's skull. Even as bones splintered and flesh ripped asunder, it healed almost as fast, the unholy magics permeating the abomination's body reknitting undead flesh.

Even though the monstrosity felt no pain, uncountable millennia of battle and honed instincts made it jab and twist it's massive head and long neck with the speed and force of a whip.

For all that, Spike held with the grimness and calm of stone, his face an unmoving funeral masque, his untold anger betrayed only by the net of veins standing out against his face and the bursts of flame escaping his lipless maw.

With a horrible roar, the Mountain Eater launched himself against the side of a granite cliff, reducing the ancient stone to rubble. Even as he felt ribs crack and armor break, Spike did not let go. He sliced again and again, ignoring the foul blood that spurt and burned his flesh with the intensity of acid. The ridiculous speed of the regenerating flesh made it seem like nothing more than an exercise in futility yet, in the depths of Spike's mind, beyond the crashing waves of rage and the unbreakable wall of disciplined self-control, the embers of a strategy began to take light.

The Mountain Eater struck again, smashing his own body against granite, trying to dislodge the stubborn warrior that would not stop slicing at it. Gigantic leathery wings expanded as the Mountain Eater took flight. Spike found himself unable to do anything more than hold as pressure of the wind flattened him against the abomination's skull. The undead dragon rose until it burst out of the sea of clouds, only to reverse and plummet towards the stone plateau like a hawk towards it's chosen victim.

Spike saw the ground coming fast towards him, the air pressure denying any attempt he made of trying to jump off the abomination's snout. It was all he could do to contract every single muscle in his body, a virtual armor of steel slabs of muscle tissue against the coming impact.

The plummeting dragon made contact with the plateau with the sound and effect of cataclysm, the sheer weight and speed of the creature ripping away an entire section of the plateau, sending it rolling down the face of the mountain.

Even as the massive head and body rose from the crater, broken flesh and bones already reknitting, it found itself falling again as the joint and ligaments of it's right foreleg were slashed through. It collapsed on it's side, barely even registering the purple scaled warrior as it jumped from under it and plunged it's blade and body into the creature's eye.

Spike rose from the mush that had once been the Mountain Eater's Draka sized eye. Grinding his fangs against the pain of his crushed muscles and grinding broken ribs, the Darraor of the Legion surged onward, driven by unbendable will and savage battle lust. From within the depths of his fast shattering mind, the analytical part of Spike analyzed every movement and action with the cold calculating intensity of an apex predator.

The Mountain Eater may have the size of an entire fortress but there was no such thing as a chain with no weak links. And Spike exploited those weaknesses. He jumped as he felt the massive neck muscles of the undead dragon's neck flex, avoiding being sent aflight by it's whipping neck. Even as he ran, he once again grabbed his blade with both hands, sending a monstrous slash at the monster's left foreleg, slicing through the mountain of flesh that was the abomination's bicep. Even though the iron-strong bicep was five times Spike's size in thickness and seven times in length, Spike's monstrous strength and perfect technique cut into it, the slicing force of such strength that it scraped against the bone.

The Mountain Eater fell again, now both it's forelegs cut down from under him. For the first time ever, his own titanic size was it's greatest downfall. Kilmaiil the Half-Born screamed in disbelief upon his throne in the great cave expanse as he saw through his mind's eye the turn the battle had taken. He raged impotently at the colossus of purple scales who was defying his might.

Spike launched himself upwards grabbing onto a scale and hauling himself upon the great expanse of flesh that was the Mountain Eater's upper back, near the nape of his long neck. Wasting no time, he ran his blade up to the hilt into the flesh and charged forward, his blade cutting into the rotten bulk, cutting the entirety of the dragon's sternocleidomastoidian and trapezius muscles effectively rendering the massive creature unable to even lift it's neck and head.

Kilmaiil howled again and lifted his emaciated arms towards the idols of the Abyssal Gods, begging for more strength. He felt as the winds of magic went rabid around him and screamed in pain as a surge of unholy energy ran through his body and traveled through the aethyr and the mystical connection binding the Mountain Eater to Kilmaiil's will.

Spike found himself suddenly slicing at empty air as the prone abomination suddenly jerked it's entire body, sending the Darraor flying. He could see the grievous wounds he had inflicted closing in seconds. Spike took a deep breath and brought both arms in front of his chest, hearing rather than seeing the scything tail as it impacted with the force of a comet into the Draka and sent him flying into a stone wall. With impossibly fast jerking movements the undead dragon turned it's head and launched a gout of black putrid flame and smoke at Spike. But Spike's analytical mind had foreseen this attack from the moment he had heard the tail scything for him. Even as the stone around his body shattered from the impact, he dropped his Odachi and cupped both palms in front of his mouth as he exhaled a gout of flame. Draken Runes upon his forearms blazed with power and once again the flame was molded into a grand ball of incandescent fire three times Spike's size.

With a growl, Spike let it fly and the pale green missile of compressed flame tore through the black unfocused flame of the Mountain Eater only to dispel into nothingness before reaching the monster. Undead or no, the Mountain Eater was still a dragon and magic came as easily to him as breathing. A simple shift in the winds of magic and the ball of flame had become not but a self-consuming missile. Another shift within the winds and a wave of pure force washed upon Spike crushing him against the stone wall again and again.

Blood spurt from Spike's mouth as more muscles were crushed and bones splintered and fractured under the relentless assault of force. Still, Spike fought against the force until the palms of his hands were leveled with the Mountain Eater's gigantic head. Every Draken Rune on his arm blazed and consumed as Spike squeezed his opened hands into fists. The Mountain Eater's blazing, freshly regenerated eyes exploded into mush as the telekinetic grasp ripped into them.

The moment the assault of force had ended Spike was once again charging at the undead dragon. The few seconds it took him to cover the hundred feet separating them, newly regenerated eyes glared at him. Spike did not falter, his long bladed Odachi licking out to cut at the monster's forelegs once again. He had to keep close and personal, he had already exhausted almost every Draken Rune he had at his disposal and he could not allow the monster to use magic again.

The Darraor had not felt this way in a long time. It had been so long since he had been in a battle that he did not know if he would survive. The realization made Spike want to howl with joy. He was close. This could be it. This opponent could be his doom. His much awaited redemption.

Galvanized by the thought, Spike barely even felt the claw, four times larger than himself, smash into his right side. Battle instincts took over immediately, throwing his blade into his left hand as he took the hit with his right shoulder. Stone smashed and splintered upwards where his foot ran deep into the ground giving leverage and helping him to stop the blow completely.

The Mountain Eater stood dumbfounded at the sight of this little creature that had stopped his claw. He had shattered entire mountain sides with his blows but this Draka had taken the brunt of the attack with his body and overpowered it. The momentary diversion was enough for Spike's blade to bite deep into the dragon's wrist, the sheer strength of the strike almost enough to rip it off completely.

Spike jumped and ran upwards on the Dragon's arm, the muscles of his back and chest flexing and resetting his freshly dislocated shoulder. Powerful arms swelled with muscle as he grasped the blade with both hands and powerful legs propelled Spike as he jumped from the dragon's forearm right before it's great maw. A two handed slash ripped through the undead abomination's titanic sized skull and Spike found himself atop the dragon's head once again.

This time however, Spike knew what to do. He had analyzed his enemy throughout the battle and knew how it functioned. In one fluid motion he sheathed his Odachi and drew his straight sword Ildezgherdi, the Dream Drinker. With a perfect thrust the he pierced the wailing blade up to the hilt into the dragon's forehead.

Far away, deep within the security of the cave complex, Kilmaiil the Half-Born wailed as he heard the wailing blade and felt it's mystical edge partly sever the aethyric connection between him and the Mountain Eater's corpse.

The effect was immediate. An ear piercing shriek belched from the throat of the Mountain Eater's ravaged throat and his head shook violently, sending Spike flying once again. He landed on his feet upon the cold stone and watched as the undead dragon's thrashing nearly shook the mountain apart.

As quick as it had begun, it stopped. The undead creature rose it's skull and regarded Spike with cold, death filled eyes. A voice, as ancient and as wise as the world filled Spike's mind.

"Your name?"

Spike simply stood, his mind still in the process of fighting against the advancing Blood Madness, barely able to register the meaning of the words.

"Please warrior, time is short. Your blade has released enough of the bindings upon my soul that I may speak with you, but my body is still under the sway of the Abyssal Gods and I can feel it preparing to attack you again. I am... was the Mountain Eater, third of the Primordial Dragons, please... give me your name... so that I may know the title of the warrior that may yet allow me the sweet release of death once more".

Spike's mind slowly began to calm. The clash between rage and discipline gave way to the warm familiarity of the customs of the warrior's code.

"I... know not... if I can defeat you. I know not if I can gift you... with the release... you so desire. You are strong... stronger than any opponent I have... ever faced" Spike began slowly, finding it hard to speak while the Madness still held some sway within his mind.

The tired but truly warm and grateful laugh of the Mountain Eater thundered in Spike's mind.

"Yet I wish to know it nonetheless. Even if you do not defeat me, I wish to know your name. You, young warrior who has opposed me on equal grounds.
Give me your name so that if you die by my claws and fangs I may remember it always as one among the few, truly worthy opponents I have faced.
Give me your name, so that if I am freed by your hands, I may hold it in gratitude for all eternity."

"I am Spike, Darraor of the Legion of the Damned, Veshanesh of the Draka"

"Yes, YES, truly you are a death-seeker as myself, Darraor of the Legion, truly you are deserving of the title of Veshanesh of the Draka. Truly you rival the strength and will of the Primordial Draka himself, first bearer of the title of Veshanesh".

With every word, Spike's mind calmed even further. Apart from his beloved Legion and the six ponies, he had never been acknowledged with such warmth and gratitude before. He calmed until he found himself with a mind as clear as a still pond. He found himself unable to hate his enemy... no... not enemy... adversary. He found himself wanting to fight him for nothing more than the pure joy of battle itself. No hatred, no enmity. Just the pure bliss of battle.

"Come then" continued the voice as the Mountain Eater's body crouched into a lunging position. "Let us battle for battle's sake. Let us test our wills and our strength. Let us indulge in the glory of the fight. SPIKE, IT WOULD BE THIS ONE'S HONOR TO DIE BY YOUR HANDS".

"AS IT WOULD BE MINE TO DIE BY YOURS" bellowed Spike as he drew his Odachi, Karasuma, the Devil Crow and grabbed it's hilt with both hands, setting himself in a "Hasso" stance.

Even as the great beast jumped at Spike, the Draka's mouth opened not to roar or grunt or growl. But to laugh.

"GAHAHAHAHA" the laughter boomed and clashed against the stone cliffs of the mountains. For the first time in over two thousand years Spike laughed. Even as the warm and joyful laughter of the Mountain Eater boomed into his mind, Spike laughed in tandem, both warriors overjoyed at the realization that they had finally found a worthy opponent. One that could truly challenge them and maybe even grant them their rest.

The two warriors clashed against one another for a time, titanic claws falling only to be smashed away by Spike's ever present blade. They laughed as they fought, falling completely into the rhythm and sway of battle until their every movement seemed too look like a dance of death, true poetry in motion.

Suddenly, the dragon's wings opened and he took to the sky.

"NOOO! Not like this, this battle must be fought face to face, warrior to warrior" the Mountain Eater's voice bellowed in desperation within Spike's mind "Spike, the coward that controls my body will attack you from a distance. He will not allow me the honor of battle."

Spike looked to the dragon, his eye widening with anger and disgust at the worthless coward that would rob this noble dragon even the right of honorable battle.

"No, you shall not be denied this" bellowed Spike as he tore the remnants of his broken armor from his troso, revealing the recently inked Draken Runes that blazed upon the Draka's massive chest.

"Aku" "Soku" "Zan", "Evil" "Cut" "Immediately", the three Runes created by Spike's own hand, the strongest of his spells, the Runes of Challenge, the runes that would force any who witnessed them to attack close and with full force.

"Yes, YESSSSS, THIS WILL BE THE FINAL STRIKE TO END IT ALL, YOUR DOOM OR MINE. IT HAS BEEN A HONOR, MY WORTHY ADVERSARY" bellowed the joyful voice of the Mountain Eater as his body, unable to resist the compulsion of the Runes, denying even the control of Kilmaiil, plummeted from the skies towards Spike, horn first.

Spike drew his blade above his head grasping it with both hands. The most aggressive stance of the Yagyū Shinkage-ryū school of swordsmanship, the Jōdan-no-kamae stance. He would honor this adversary by using the same stance and technique he had used to defeat the Avatar of the Abyssal Gods. The same technique that had almost killed him.

As the dragon plummeted towards him, Spike closed his eyes and extended his perception throughout his own body, until he gained control upon his own myocardium muscle tissue, his heart muscles. Exerting the utmost control he began forcing his heart to beat faster and faster and faster, until the steady rhythm of his beating heart had become an incoherent hum, like the wing beat of a dragonfly. Blood vessels as strong a steel cables groaned as his blood flow turned into a torrent of unbearable velocity, bringing blood and overflowing energy to his muscles.

Spike's every vein stood out like an iron cable, every muscle swelled more than they had ever before, until they threatened to burst his skin and scales apart. The friction of his own blood's velocity grew to such intensity that it began evaporating and seeping out of the very pores of his body. Spike's massive frame was engulfed by the vapor until his entire form would resemble naught but a blurred shape lost in the depths of the crimson mist that had formed around him, as much a herald of doom as the titanic beast speeding towards him.

"YES, GLORIOUS" came the last few words of the Mountain Eater before his aerial charge reached Spike.

In the heartbeat before the two warriors clashed, Spike opened his eyes and sliced down with "Karasuma".

So did the two entities, war and battle personified clashed. In the moment as the horn and blade connected, time seemed to stop for a mere moment, the length it would take a hummingbird to flap it's wings once, as the two warriors reached the complete apex of their strength. They saw each other's pain, joy and trials as mutual understanding passed through one another in the way that only two warriors bound by code and deeds can, reveling in being pushed to the brink of their entire being and martial prowess. The single clash of weapons had meant more to them than a thousand lifetimes as comrades, had given them a glimpse within each others souls. So did that one moment pass, as all things do.

The blade fell like the ax edge of the elder gods, bringing with it the entirety of Spike's strength and conviction.

The unbreakable horn of Mountain Eater split in two, followed by the entirety of his colossal body. In a heartbeat, the Mountain Eater, third of the Primordial Dragons, had been sliced in two perfectly symmetrical halves.

Spike stood there, his blade before him, as the split titanic form surged harmlessly to either side of him, not even touching him, as the dragon's own inertia pushed the two halves to the other side of the plateau, where it lay still.

With no possibility of the body regenerating from such damage, the unholy energies animating the corpse flowed and dissipated from it.

"Ahhh, finally... I can feel the bindings upon my soul breaking. The Abyssal Gods have been denied today".

Spike turned his head to regard the broken halves. His one good eye met with that of the Mountain Eater. The once cold and death filled eye had regained it's former life and color. The green eye of Spike met with the blue one of the Mountain Eater.

"Thank you ... Spike. You, whom from this day I shall call my brother and my savior".

Spike sheathed his blade and brought both his hands together and took a deep bow, acknowledging his former adversary's respect and gratitude.

"Know that I shall be there to accompany you upon your last march upon the Road of Skulls and Bones. Know that I shall await to drink with you within the Halls of the Ancestors. But hurry not upon that road, young warrior. Those such as you, who have something you wish protecting... you cannot afford the luxury of death... not yet... at least".

Spike looked on as the two halves began turning to brittle dust, swept by the mountain winds.

"Ahh, battle... such bliss it has been".

Such were the final words of the Mountain Eater as his soul departed for the rest of the afterlife.

With the departure of the Mountain Eater, Spike fell to his hands and knees as the expected pain hit him. Blood exploded and gushed from his mouth as every muscle of his body contracted uncontrollably. This was the price to pay for such a technique.

Spike fell on his back as he desperately tried to get his heart back to a normal rhythm before it burst apart. It would be shameful to die like this. A Draka of the Legion must die only in battle. He still needed to make sure the girls were safe.

These were his thoughts as his heart slowed back to it's rhythm and calmed. These were Spike's thoughts as his eye rolled back and he fell into unconsciousness.

Author's Note:

Hey lads and lasses, it's been a long time i know, but here you are.

I've been waiting to write this battle scene since i began this story, hope you enjoy it.

As always, give a comment, ask some questions and by all means, please enjoy.

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