Chapter Three

Cho entered the doorway and was met with the strong stench of decay. The room must have covered the entire floor because he could only see about a hundred feet in front of him before the light diminished into darkness. He cautiously ventured forward listening and scanning for anything non-friendly. He only got about fifty feet before he heard it.

Cho concentrated on the heavy breathing he was hearing directly in front of him. As he approached the sound, the temperature noticeably began to rise. After a few minutes of walking, he realized why. There was a huge bonfire raging in the middle of the dungeon floor. The heat was immense and he had already begun to sweat. The bonfire turned out to be a huge pit that had been set a blaze. The heavy breathing was close, but he still could not find the source until it snarled.

He rushed around to the other side of the pit and found his last opponent and something else. Stooping over a naked human body, a female body, was a Hellfire Demon. It was large and muscular with skin the color of blood, and cloven hooves for feet. The demon stopped what it was doing to turn and stare at him. Its eyes were pools of glowing red while two large horns protruded from its forehead. A mouthful of small sharp and pointy teeth spread in an evil grin finished the gruesome image.

"What do you want? I'm about to have dinner." The demon told him and turned back to the girl's body. Cho bit back an urge to vomit at the thought.

"You've already had your last dinner, demon." Cho replied and brought his sword up to bear.

"Fine. I'll just have to eat you, too." The demon responded and stood to tower over him at ten feet tall.

Cho stared at his opponent in awe. He did not remember his father ever saying a Hellfire Demon was so big, but it did not matter. He would defeat this foe like all the others and prove his worth to himself and everyone else.

The two stood across from the other and took each other's measure. The demon turned its head to the left and spit. The saliva flew a couple of feet and caught fire immediately after hitting the ground. The flame of the pit flared for a moment and the battle had begun.

Cho leaped backward as the demon dove for him. Its fist hit the floor smashing the stone. Cho leaped forward and slashed at the demon's midsection just as it was standing then leaped back to assess the damage. The demon looked at its wound, which leaked green blood and just smiled. The fire behind it flared again and Cho stared in amazement that the wound began to heal.

"What the…?" Cho mumbled.

The demon held its hand out and ball of flame formed in its hand. The flame stretched and mutated into a red flameberge. The demon gripped it with two hands and ran toward him. Cho powered up his Battle Aura, which glowed blue around him, and braced for the impact. The red blade struck his causing sparks to fly around them. Cho was struggling with the demon's immense strength and the demon was astounded at the boy's power. Most humans could not stand up to the assault of a Hellfire Demon since they were at least three times as strong as a human. Simultaneously, they both pushed off to put some ground between them. The demon raised its hand toward him.

"FIREBALL!" The Hellfire Demon yelled and a melon sized ball of flame shot towards him. Cho leaped high into the air avoiding the attack.

"AIR CUTTER!" Cho screamed and a seeable crescent shaped wave of energy leaped from his sword as he swung it in a downward stroke.

The Hellfire Demon put up his sword to block the pressurized air attack, but not without a few cuts. Cho continued his attack by coming down on the monster with his sword. The demon managed block his strike and punch him in the gut then toss him away. Cho flew across the room and landed hard in the dirt. He grimaced at the pain, but managed his eyes to see the demon outlined by the pit fire.

The flame of the pit fire flared again and the demon's wounds began to heal again. Cho's hazel eyes widened as he came to a revelation.

That's it! It's drawing power from the fire. Well, not for long. Cho thought to himself and hauled himself up.

"You've made me work up quite a sweat human, but now its time to die." The Hellfire Demon finished its threat and ran towards the boy with its sword ready to thrust into the boy's chest.

"I don't think so, demon." Cho said through gritted teeth and matched the demon's charge.

The two combatants ran at each other at full tilt, but just as the demon thrust its sword, Cho leaped into the air, bounded off the demon's head, and leaped high into the air almost touching the ceiling. The demon, surprised, turned and watched the young swordsman rise into the air.

Cho reached into his belt and pulled out the blue orb he acquired earlier and hurled it into the fire pit. Cho landed and turned to smile at the demon.

"Your done." Cho said loud enough for the beast to hear him. As he finished his statement, the ground began to rumble making the demon look around nervously.

Suddenly, a pillar of jagged ice shot up from the pit to about fifteen feet and extinguishing the hole's flame. The ice leaked out over the floor and spread a small distance.

"NOOOOOO!" The demon yelled in a panic and reaching out for the doused flame as if to grab the last of it.

"AIR CUTTER!" Cho yelled his blue aura shining brightly and released a multitude of energy crescents. The Hellfire Demon could only block the first two and was hit full force by the others. It fell over screaming in pain.

Cho was breathing heavily, now. He had never done so many of that technique at one time. His energy was nearly drained. He hoped that last attack finished the creature. Cho cautiously walked toward the beast until he saw it move.

"Y-You…can't kill…me…that easily." The Hellfire Demon struggled to say as it hauled itself up. It was injured badly with cuts all over its body, a gaping wound in its left side, and one of its horns was now a bloody stump. It raised its sword ready to continue the battle.

"I'LL NEVER LET A PATHETIC HUMAN DEFEAT ME!" The demon yelled getting some of its strength back.

"Sorry! You don't get a choice!" Cho replied and his aura began to grow brighter than ever.

Suddenly, three beams of light shot out from Cho's aura. The demon looked around to find itself surrounded by four of the same warrior. They did not give him time to ponder the situation before they were on him.

The one to the demon's left attacked first slashing across its left thigh and dissipated. The one on its right streaked by cutting the monster across the chest. The third Cho behind it flew past him and cut off the demon's left arm. Finally, the real Cho rocketed past the beast cutting it across the chest, landed behind the demon and back flipped high into the air. Cho twisted in midair and came down in a blue fireball screaming, "DIVINE RETRIBUTION!"

Cho slammed into the Hellfire Demon pushing his broadsword through the demon's heart as it turned around to find him. The demon looked into Cho's eyes in shock.

"How?" It managed to say. Cho looked into the demon's eyes, gritted his teeth, and pushed again.

The monster convulsed a few times then fell to its knees with Cho still riding its chess. Cho pulled his sword from the monster's chest and jumped away from it. The beast fell face first to the stone floor and burst into crimson flames. Cho fell to one knee trying to catch his breath. He could not believe what he had just done.

I killed a Hellfire Demon single-handedly. I can't believe it. He thought with pride. After a few minutes, he sheathed his sword and let out a deep sigh of relief.

Cho scanned the area to get his bearings again and then headed back to the doorway. On his way back, he stopped when he heard moaning. He cautiously followed the sound back to where the pit was located. It was the girl. She was still alive and in great pain. He double-checked her vitals to make sure he was not hearing things. Despite the bruises, she was a beautiful girl about his age with shoulder length red hair and a very fit body.

"She must be one of the missing students." Cho said to himself.

He found what was left of her clothing and wrapped her in them. He then carried her toward the exit. As he approached the door, he noticed a shimmering circle and a small brown chest nest to the door. He put the girl down for a moment and checked the chest. Inside was a pair of silver Bracers, which he happily pulled out and strapped to the hilt of his sword. He picked the unconscious girl back up and stepped into the circle. A moment later, he and the girl were teleported back to Grey Hall.