The Halo Breed…
THE HALO BREED
HELL IN HADES
The monster raised its four hands, and that was when Sena noticed that what served as its fingers were claw-like growth that were curved inwards and were as sharp as lethal knives!
It had locked Sena down, and its hands came swinging towards his belly with lightning thrusts! Sena was saved from being disembowelled by his own lightning reflexes.
It attacked with fiendish precision, violent and speed, and Sena found himself moving constantly backwards in a desperate bid to avoid those vicious attacks!
Then, he saw the monster’s tongue shooting out, aimed at his head!
It was a long, purple tongue with the tip now curled into a ball!
It dripped acidic venom, and Sena had to jump desperately and somersault to avoid it.
The tongue landed on the brown rock and immediately the rocks began to sizzle!
Up on the incline on the left, one of the people suddenly stopped fleeing and shouted with awe.
“Hey! Look at that Traveller! Look how he battles Balu! Hey! That’s insane!”
Zico paused and looked back.
All the others had stopped, and they looked with wonder as Sena moved like a spirit, his reflexes greased as he avoided thrust after thrust of attack.
“Zico!” cried one of the men. “Maybe we should go back and help him! If he can move like that and keep Balu distracted, we can attack it from behind!”
“Fool!” Zico hissed contemptuously. “That monster’s hide is like steel! No blade can cut through it! And see how it drives the Traveller towards the melting rocks! His fancy footwork won’t save him from death in a minute!”
Balu’s blinding speed attacks were driving Sena closer to the fast-approaching deadly lava.
“Watch out, Traveller!” Jabo shouted. “The ugly killer drives you nearer to death!”
Sena had to jump back and somersault again when Balu’s tongue came dashing towards his face, and this made him land almost directly inside the hot lava!
“Oh, gracious, Jabo!” Gazel cried. “He will fall into it in a second!”
“Yes!” Jabo cried grimly. “Unless we help!”
With a roar he raised his weapon.
It was a crude axe, fashioned from a piece of rock he had hewn into the shape of an axe head and tied into the split end of a thick club. Gazel was armed with a long spear with a sharpened stone tip.
Jabo screamed, jumped, and crashed the axe into the back of Balu, and the weapon broke into small pieces. Balu spun with a hiss of rage and crashed and slashed wildly at Jabo, catching the old man in the chest and opening horrible slash wounds on him!
Jabo was flung backwards to crash on the rock.
Gazel flung her spear at Balu’s head, and the monster batted it aside and crashed a solid foot into her stomach!
She crashed on the ground sickeningly, and then Balu’s tongue shot out and wrapped around her right ankle. It began to draw Gazel towards its mouth.
“The fool!” Zico yelled with disdain. “I warned her, but she would not listen! She chose to follow Jabo! Serves her right! Serves them right! Balu will feed on all three of them, and probably give us more time than we bargained for! Let’s move!”
“Wait!” cried one of the old men. “Look! Look at the Traveller!”
All eyes rested on Sena!
And they noticed that he had changed!
As he watched Jabo on the ground, horribly wounded because of his bravery, and as he watched Gazel being drawn into the monster’s mouth, the Halo Breed snapped!
His rage was back!
The rings of fire around his irises were spinning wildly now, and smoke curled slowly out of his nostrils and ears! His hands were balled, and he stood tall like a devil in Hades!
Sena leapt with a savage cry and landed a blow into the back of the monster! Balu let out a curdling wail of pain as its back cracked through the middle, and it was lifted off its feet to crash down hard on the brown rocks!
“Crikey!” Zico cried with a stunned expression!
The others made varying sounds of shock, wonder and awe!
Balu released Gazel and bounced back on its feet with a furious wail again. Its arms shot towards Sena’s face, but the young man did not retreat this time. He side-stepped, grabbed the arm in both hands, and broke it with a fist he hammered at its base.
Again Balu wailed with distress!
Sena jumped with a roar and crashed his foot down savagely on Balu’s exposed knee! It broke with a nasty feeling, and this time the beast’s wail was much more agonized and more pronounced!
Desperately, as it crashed on its knees, Balu flung its tongue at Sena, who spun, caught the tongue, and ripped it out of the beast’s mouth!
Balu whimpered pathetically now!
Sena was not done!
His wrath was not assuaged!
He caught one of Balu’s arms, spun, and threw the beast into the boiling lava!
The beast’s dying bellow was lost in the terrible thunder that split the air!
The sky had suddenly changed!
The brightness was gone, and in its place was a horrible red sky that was churning out lightning, thunder and a strong gust of wind! The whole brown rock was melting furiously now, giving off great and deadly fire!
“Look, Traveller!” Gazel, terrified, screamed and pointed!
Behind Sena, a golden staircase was rapidly ascending from the middle of the lava and climbing upwards where there were two gleaming doorways!
One was a golden doorway, and the other was a serene, bluish doorway!
“Climb up!” Sena shouted at Gazel as he spun in the air, dropped down beside Jabo, picked him up, and jumped high onto the staircase!
Gazel was already halfway up!
She reached the landing and collapsed with relief, and a moment later, Sena dropped Jabo beside her!
“My wounds!” Jabo cried with wonder. “They’re… they’re gone!”
Sena nodded grimly.
“You were given a new life, and a new opportunity,” he said gently. “Thank you, my friend!”
Jabo’s respond was arrested by the sudden scream of Gazel.
The men looked down and saw a terrible picture!
Zico and his people were under great strife!
They were screaming for help and weeping with great terror and pain as the hot-red lava swirled around them!
One by one they burst into flames!
Zico had reached the staircase, and was trying to climb.
His agonized face was raised towards the platform as he held out his hand, and tears of anguish streamed down his face.
“Traveller, forgive me!” screamed. “Please, help me! I beg you help me in the name of the Creator!”
Sena began to descend the steps.
“If you go down, you will perish down there!” a voice said sharply around him, making Gazel and Jabo to moan with fear.
“There’s a man dying!” Sena said grimly. “He needs help!”
“He needed repentance from his wickedness!” came the calm voice of the invisible entity. “He thought he could help himself by sacrificing you! Even the old one who originated the idea repented of his wickedness and came to your aid, Spawn of the Halos! The maiden repented of her sins too, and both of them got saved! That one, that Zico, he remained on his path, thinking he could save himself with his thoughts of wickedness! Those who continue in their wickedness shall perish, but those who with humility overcome their wickedness with a change of heart, shall be saved!”
They watched helplessly, sick to their stomachs, as Zico’s body burst into flames that ascended rapidly until his upraised head burst into flames!
He slowly sank into the lava!
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