• Published 12th Oct 2012
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Apocalyptic Riders - RedundantRedundancy



The Well of Souls is not where a journey ends, but where they begin...

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Chapter 2: Siege

“Thank you.”

The creatures looked at Death, their faces in the unmistakable pattern of confusion. Then their eyes widened, and they backed away in fear. Purplish mist had surrounded the Rider. The cloud thickened, hiding Death from the creatures' view. It glowed brightly, blinding the creatures for a bit. The purplish mist separated, revealing what was within.

***

War felt his brother. It grew stronger as he neared the city. He urged Ruin to move faster, the fiery horse obliged to his master's decree.

That was when they were stopped.

War had been riding beside a marsh. He did not think that there would be creatures in it. In front of him stood a four-headed creature. Its eyes glowered down on him.

“Hydra.” War muttered, “Great.”

The creature was big. Just as he expected any challenge thrown at him would be. It was a usual activity in the universe to mock him and his power by throwing things at him. Especially those with prodigious extent.

He sighed and unstrapped Chaoseater.

***

A large hooded, and hovering figure stood in the middle of the throng. Its face was hidden within a hood. All Death's captors could see was darkness. Large, bony wings connected by strips of flesh and muscle protruded from his back. His long arms ended in bony hands that held a weapon that radiated immense fear.

A scythe.

Its handle was wooden, wrapped in linen, like the body of a mummy. The blade was enormous, engraved were countless skulls.

Death had taken the form feared by many.

The Reaper.

He raised his scythe up, ready to start the slaughter.

***

War leaped up, Ruin vanishing into the ground. The hydra stood its ground, glowering down at the Rider. For a mindless beast, it was arrogant itself, even War had to give it some credit.

He unstrapped Chaoseater, and twirled it in his hand, handling it with much ease. For War, Chaoseater was a mere knife that struck fast, but hard with brute force. The hydra roared and charged. The same thing War did, only the roar was much fiercer, causing the hydra to falter. War took this to his advantage. He leaped up as Chaoseater engulfed itself in flames. He slashed at one head, causing it to burn and wither away into ashes.

Then the hydra did something War never expected it would do.

Two more heads grew from the lost one's place.

“What!?” War exclaimed. Impossible. A burnt stump was not supposed to grow again. War looked at the hydra, scanning for weaknesses. Then he had an idea.

One that his elder brother might think as stupid or childlish.

“You sarcastic bastard.” War muttered.

***

Death lunged at his captors, Harvester raised.

Despite the fear their captive radiated, the insect-like equines charged at the Reaper. Though they knew what awaited them, they would do what they thought was right in their insane minds.

A few of the larger creatures lunged, hoping that muscle would be enough to bring down the hooded specter.

It wasn't. Nobody could escape the swift and terrible justice the Reaper brought with him. Nothing could stop him, not now. Besides, it would catch the attention of the rulers in this city.

A creature lunged, but Death turned just in time and brought up Harvester, cutting the creature in half and spewing green blood everywhere, painting its comrades and panicking them, for they thought it was their own blood. More poured in, trying to land a strike on Death.

Slowly, the Reaper disappeared, becoming the Pale Rider once more. Harvester became two scythes, equally as deadly as their larger companion. Death cut and slashed. One of the larger creatures lunged, but Harvester was thrown. The combined smaller scythes became a longer and deadlier blade. It made three revolutions.

The first one cut off the front legs.

The second revolution cut right through the throat of the creature.

The third one cut the head clean off, making a sick cutting noise.

Green blood splattered everywhere as the disembodied creature fell, its comrades watching in utter horror. They looked at Death, their faces full of fear at the gruesome sight that stood before them. The Rider stood before them, his orange eyes peering through that grotesque mask of his. It was clear now. The creatures knew they had no chance against this formidable opponent. The action to be done was clear: retreat.

Death watched the creatures retreat to the castle.

He knew.

That the castle would be his next destination.

***

War ran. Straight for the hydra. He was a Rider, he knew what he was doing. Although his brother, Death, would think of his actions as stupid and reckless sometimes.

But what could you do, as you were the personification of chaos?

The hydra's heads lunged down, just as War had predicted. They were clumsy and slow. The ravenous heads crashed down on the ground, stunning all of them. War slashed with Chaoseater. The first leg went down. The hydra howled in pain as the leg fell, the blood that spewed out was acidic and burned the grass. The hydra tried to lunge, but failed as its lost leg did not help.

That was when War charged. This was an easy kill. He leaped and aimed Chaoseater. He dropped down, his sword plunging down on the flesh of the hydra. The gigantic creature writhed in agony and tried to attack. Chaoseater burst in flames, spreading throughout the hydra's body. The creature burned in agony, the surrounding trees caught fire also, starting a wildfire.

War walked towards his destination. The city. He did not summon Ruin. Not just yet. He sheathed Chaoseater, strapping the sword on his back. He watched the city as the fire raged on behind him.

It was an easy fight, and an easy kill. Too easy to be exact. But he did not let his arrogance get in the way. He had a city to go to.

War smiled.

The challenge was just beginning.

***

Death stood before the castle gates. He unsheathed Harvester and slashed at the gates, destroying the lock easily. He entered the palace grounds.

That was when he heard a voice.

“Stop there, Rider.” Death looked up to see a insect-like equine taller than the rest look down on him from a balcony.

“Who are you?” Death asked, his eyes narrowing. He had not met this creature before. From the voice he could tell it was a female, a long and crooked horn protruded from her head, and her face was a permanent look of arrogance.

“Did you think that none know you and your siblings?!” the creature hissed.

Death said nothing.

“Well, I, Queen Chrysalis know all about you and your 'justice'.” it said, “The Prince had granted me with knowledge and power that even you, cannot comprehend.”

Death narrowed his eyes, and prepared Harvester. Ready for a fight.

But Chrysalis turned and headed into the chamber she was in.

The doors of the castle opened, a horde of insect-like equines poured out, charging at Death, their eyes full of rage.

Death stood there, prepared.

For he knew that someone was to come and wreck havoc upon these creautres.

“War?” he said, “Anytime now.”

Under the mask, Death smiled cruelly.




Author's Note: So, you didn't expect Chrysalis to know about the Riders didn't you? More will be revealed in the next chapters of Apocalyptic Riders.