Demons and Hunters

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Demons and Hunters
~An RP between Ice and TriOctium~

Hunting a demon involved patience, a careful nature, and an observant eye. Demons were the natural predators of humans, which made them unused to being prey themselves. They often left behind trails of their presence - a path of trampled undergrowth, the whiff of smoke, the faintest presence of magic. Firion was a fledgling demon hunter, but he considered himself one of the best of his generation. Tracking demons came as naturally to him as blending into the forest, and he moved through the trees with nary a sound, following the trail he had discovered two weeks ago. A demon named Bruth and his lackeys had pillaged the nearby village of Thum, and the resulting outcry caused the Church to mobilize him in pursuit of Bruth.

Firion was close now. He grabbed the pendant hanging around his neck, feeling its slight vibration against his palm. It was an artifact from the Church that would react when in close proximity to a demon. He released it and concentrated on his magical energies within, reducing his weight to a bare minimum as he continued onwards. The grass no longer bent beneath his feet, causing them to feel more like little pinpricks that Firion had to walk over, but his shoes protected him from most of the discomfort.

Then, he heard the low murmur of a voice.

It was barely audible over the usual noises of the forest. Sounds of conversation could be heard coming from his left, and Firion turned and started to move in that direction. One of his hands unconsciously moved towards the hilt of the shortsword next to him; its comforting grip helped him to concentrate in stressful situations. The sounds were clearer now - it seemed like a heated argument was going on. Then, he arrived at the clearing, and saw his quarry.

He counted five demons, with two of them facing off against each other in the middle of the clearing. One of them had shaggy silver hair and was relatively lean in stature, while the other was obviously more bulky and menacing. There were two other demons standing behind the burly one, trying their best to look menacing, and two others trying their best to hide in the shadows of the trees. Their best was not good enough.

Firion's arm shifted to his belt, grabbing hold of a throwing dagger before hesitating. He could take out at least two of them at this distance before they would know what was happening, but it looked as though the demons were in some sort of conflict. Perhaps it might be better to sit back and watch the situation unfold before he took any action. With any luck, they would kill each other off, making his job a lot easier.

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"And you think this is the best way to handle that, do you?" The silver haired demon spoke calmly and his face showed no readable emotion. "You five against me? You do realize there's no chance."

"You're a cocky piece of shit, Storm! You'll go down one way or another tonight!" Thunder rumbled in the distance.

Storm laughed, opening his arms wide to indicate himself. "I'm an alpha, Kaine! It's not cockiness, it's rationality!" His laughter left and his face took on a serious expression. "Turn around before you start something you'll regret. I'm sure you can find better ways to solve your little power problem than committing suicide."

"It's time you learned a lesson asshole! Get him!" Kaine shouted, his face red with anger.

Storm's eyes instantly glowed a bright crimson and he disappeared the instant Kaine's four demon 'army' collided into each other where Storm had been moments ago. Kaine had stayed still as he'd given his order and now his eyes were wide as a trickle of blood ran down his throat. Storm stood right behind him, his glowing eyes the very embodiment of demonic. "This is your fault, Kaine." He spoke before he disappeared again and one of the other demons screamed as long black claws shot out from his chest, his life-blood splattering everywhere. The other three demons immediately jumped to grab Storm but only succeeded in grabbing their dead companion's body before it reached the ground.

"Get him you idiots!" Kaine seemed to have gotten over his shock and now drew the 2 knives he held at his waist.

"What are those play things you have there?" Storm appeared, standing right in front of Kaine. "Ah, yes. It's those 'special blades' you're so fond of, aren't they?"

"Why don't you stay still and fight instead of hiding and picking us off!"

Storm shrugged. "If you insist." Storm immediately shot forward and slammed his elbow down onto Kaine's wrist, forcing him to release one of the blades he held. He jumped back and tossed the blade into the air, catching it again with a smile, his eyes still glowing ruefully. "I'll do you a service. You cherish these so much, I'll let you be killed by one. You better dodge." He winked and threw it straight at Kaine's face.

Kaine easily snatched it out of the air. "Are you just playing games now St-" Storm couldn't be seen.

"What was that Kaine?" The voice came below him.

Kaine looked down and Storm crouched, spinning and throwing a kick straight up, catching Kaine under the chin and throwing him backwards but Kaine stubbornly held onto the knives. Storm stood, dusting himself. "You're not making me very impressed here, Kaine. You get one more chance. 1 life or all of them. How much do you wanna lose for your sorry pride?"

Kaine smiled and the other demons had their hands on Storm. One had their arm around his throat while the other two grabbed his wrists, holding his arms down. Kaine tossed and caught one of his blades. "It's my turn to smile now, Storm. Let's show you why I treasure these blades."

Storm's eyes flashed. "Don't make a mistake, Kaine."

Confusion flashed in Kaine's eyes momentarily but he shook it off. "Suffer in the afterlife, Storm Recair!" The blades elongated, turning pitch black as grey fire covered them. He launched one, aiming straight for Storm's chest.

In one fluid motion, Storm jerked his right arm forward, forcing the demon holding it to stumble after it. Storm grabbed the collar of the demon's shirt and hauled him to stand in front of him, facing Storm. Blood followed next as the bewitched blade landed in the back of the demon. He screamed as the enchanted fire engulfed him and Storm kicked him away from him and the other two demons. The stranger fell to the ground, writhing in pain and screaming for mercy but Storm knew there was none to be had. He knew these blades. He would not let ignorance be the reason he died. This fire knew no mercy and hardly knew command. Storm's gaze fell stonily on Kaine as the screams finally began to fade. He smiled widely, fangs showing. "One more try, Kaine. Don't make a mistake."

Kaine's gaze shot from the dead comrade to the hostile one in front of him. He shared the same uncertain look the other two holding Storm held. Determination replaced the uncertainty as Kaine walked towards the other, the other blade blazing in his hand. He stopped right in front of Storm. "Grab his hair. I want his neck." The demon holding Storm's throat nodded and obeyed, grabbing Storm's hair and holding it tight. Kaine rose his blade. "You can't dodge this, asshole." Hate filled Kaine's eyes and he slashed the blade. In a split second, Storm, wincing, ducked down and pushed himself back, making the demon holding his hair lurch forward only to have the blade slash across his throat that now lay bare where Storm's had been. Horror filled Kaine halfway through but Storm didn't hesitate. He shoved the injured demon away from him as the grey fire began consuming him. He spun and grabbed the stunned demon still holding his other wrist, catching his collar and hauling him over his own body while ripping his wrist free from the slackened grip, throwing the demon on top of the hungry flames. He rose straight, ignoring all the screams. "That's it, Kaine! You were warned. Now I'll keep my promise." He disappeared once again, appearing right behind Kaine and jerking the arm that held his blade behind his back. He shoved the arm upwards quickly, not pausing after the loud snap resounded, and let the knife fall to the ground. Without the touch of Kaine, the fire immediately extinguished from the blade, making nothing more than a normal knife. Storm grabbed it and stabbed it deep into Kaine's throat.

Kaine's face showed nothing but shock and horror, his lungs begging for air but only a gurgling sound being heard from him. Storm looked down at him, emotionless. "I'd turn this into a lesson but you have no more time to learn. 'Suffer in the afterlife', Kaine." The light of life faded from Kaine's eyes before his body fell to the dusty ground.

Thunder rumbled closer, the sky beginning to darken with the promise of rain. The glowing crimson eyes slowly left Kaine's body to fall on a cluster of bushes. He instantly disappeared and a voice sounded behind Firion. It was extremely close and, along with the pointed touch of claws on Firion's back, it was as if he dared Firion to turn around. "Why don't you make a smarter move than poor Kaine here and remove your hands from your weapon belt, hunter."

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Firion watched with awe as the one named Storm quickly dispatched of the other four that had engaged him, and despite their numerical superiority, they barely even managed to touch the swift demon that danced and slashed his way past his foes. He watched as the one named Kaine used a bewitched blade - Firion had heard of it in stories, but he had never seen one before. Those weapons were dangerous - he'd heard stories of them being turned on their users. But even the bewitched blade did not give Kaine much of an advantage against Storm. Storm must have had some sort of enchantment that made him move faster - the other demons could barely keep up with him.

He debated with himself whether this target was too dangerous to take on. He'd never seen such fluid movements from any demon that he'd tracked down before. They were strong, yes, but dexterity and grace were not their strong suits. And that was why Firion had been so confident in taking them on - he knew that his speed would be superior to theirs. And yet now, he was witnessing an exception to the rule, an anomaly; Storm.

While Firion was debating over his next course of action, he didn't notice that Storm had stabbed the blade into Kaine's neck, finishing off the last of his foes. Neither did he realize that his hiding spot had been compromised, until it was far too late. He felt the claws on his back before he sensed Storm's presence. "Why don't you make a smarter move than poor Kaine here and remove your hands from your weapon belt, hunter," the voice that belonged to Storm had growled.

No. It wasn't an option to negotiate with demons. They would offer promises to spare your life, but that was a non-negotiable standpoint. Once someone held the power to take your life away, he would always have that power. There was no such thing as 'relinquishing' the blade on your neck once it was placed there. Firion's eyes drifted to the ground beneath his boots - loose dirt, gravel. Good, he could use that.

With a swift jerking motion of his feet, he kicked against the ground with his left foot and applied magic to it. The dirt sprayed upwards into the air with surprising force, striking Storm in the face as the demon reeled back with a roar. Firion simultaneously pushed forward with his other foot, propelling himself away from Storm as he tried to spin around in the air. Due to his magic-induced weightlessness, his push sent him flying further than a normal hunter would. He propelled through the air and spun around, pulling out two knives as he tossed them at Storm. His arm reached down at his weapon belt, aiming to draw his blade in case Storm tried to close in once again.

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Storm immediately reeled back as the debris flew into his face, his left arm coming up instinctively to further protect his temporarily blinded eyes. He steadied his footing, forcing himself to wait to try to recover his sight, standing silently, listening. Seeing with his other senses. He felt them coming, the two knives aimed for either side of him. It was too late to dodge both....

So he picked one. He sidestepped, putting himself directly in front of one of the knives while putting himself out of range of the other. His right arm came up, a blade in his hand that did not seem to be his... One swift movement and he cut the knife out of the air, only now allowing himself to rub the dirt from his eyes, his fangs bared in an angry hiss. "Running away while attacking. Are you playing defense or offense?" He taunted, opening his injured eyes and growling as they stung him. He dropped Firion's blade into his boot. "Let's see how you play once you run out of weapons."

"I think you've underestimated me, demon," Firion taunted with a playful smirk as adrenaline filled his veins. This was the kind of hunt he lived for. "Everything is a weapon to me." As he said this, he snapped a branch off of a tree next to him, throwing it like a dart at Storm. Infusing it with magic, its speed was increased tenfold, sending it cracking forwards like a bullet as it headed straight for Storm.

His vision already being impaired, it took him a minute to rationalize(not the word I wanted) what he just thought he saw, losing his half a second chance at moving from the speeding bullet's path. It pierced him and he doubled over, blood immediately falling to the ground... and Storm immediately vanishing. "Try hitting what you can't see." His voice drifted on the wind.

Firion whipped around, thinking that Storm was trying to approach him from behind. When he saw nothing but forest, he dropped into a low crouch and held his blade tightly close to him, trying to back against a tree to reduce the number of directions that Storm could attack him from. "What's the matter? I thought you were a demon, not a chicken!"

Storm instantly appeared in front of Firion, holding a hand over his bleeding abdomen but wearing a smirk on his lips. "So that's your extent, then? You can move far. You can transform objects. You are faster than others but not faster than me. So you really are different from the other hunters who come wandering into my forest. It'd have been interesting to watch you. Shame you attacked me." He bared his fangs and moved like lightning. He ducked low and kicked the blade out of Firion's hand, kicking himself back into standing and knocking Firion back against the tree. His blood-covered hand grabbed Firion's weapon belt and ripped it from his waist. His left arm pinned Firion to the tree while the right drew back, claws long, sharp, and aimed. He bent, his fangs brushing Firion's throat as his clawed hand dived forward for Firion's heart....

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