Chapter 4: Dark Crawlers
Kaze swallowed the fear in his throat and closed his eyes; he took a deep breath and allowed the relentless snarling and growls sink into his mind – the boy took another deep breath. Kaze opened his eyes and placed his fingers in the temple placement before proceeding to tap both of his legs. He then extended his right hand before his chest and while turning his head to the left, a blue ball of light materialized in it.
"Come and get me," he taunted as he flung the ball to his right. The groans of the wolves pierced the sky and then the sound of their feet clomping against the dirt hit Kaze's ears.
The young mage moved quickly as he spun to the right, outstretched his right arm, with palm facing upward, before bringing his forearm towards his bicep. He then took his right hand and formed a half fist. He moved his whole arm in an upward motion and as he did so, a pillar of hardened earth rose from the ground. Due to their momentum several of the wolves were unable stop quickly enough without colliding with the pillar.
"Now to deal with you guys!" Kazgke snickered as he leaped into the air and wove star to heaven to wind, "Billowing Ash!" Thick black smoke issued out of the mages mouth and instantly engulfed the rapidly approaching beasts.
The sounds of their gagging rose high into the air alongside the smoke as Kaze landed and instantly whipped around to meet the other group of wolves who were now making their way around the pillar and toward the young mage.
The boy clasped his hands and then placed them into the golden placement, "Element Control: Earth Cave!" Without moving his hands from the position, he turned his hands so that they pointed toward the ground, "Reverse!"
Instead of forming a mound rising from the ground, a gaping hole appeared. The wolves began clawing their way at the grass and dirt attempting to stop their forward motion. Some were successful while others failed and found their way at the bottom of the pit. Kaze turned back toward his friends on the left with a slight smirk on his face as he formed a fist with his left hand before moving the open palm of his right hand over it thus instantly closing the hole he had just made. A slight gasp escaped the young male as he noticed that the smoke had begun to dissipate. Kaze closed his mouth tightly and began speeding into the throng of cloaked mutations.
Once into the smoke the boy pushed off the ground with his foot, thus allowing the blue pulsations to illuminate his nearby unfriendly neighbors and causing his body to enter the air; he then began to spin midair. He located the one on his left and formed the temple placement with his fingers. "Viper Sleep!" With a forceful jab to the head the wolf dropped to the ground allowing Kaze to safely land next to him and begin sliding across the wet grass on his shins. As he slid, Kaze touched the palms of his hands to the soles of his shoes. Blue pulsations echoed out into the terrain as Kazgke forced his hands into the ground and hoisted himself up with all his might onto his hands before pushing off and launching into the air. The male cast Viper Sleep on the wolf to his right before spinning midair and casting it on the one to his left. With subsequent thuds the two beasts feel asleep and Kaze landed firmly on his feet.
The young mage turned around slowly with a devious smile on his face ready to take on whatever came next. The smile faded as the grotesque visage of a deformed human-wolf hybrid passed into his line of sight. It was so close that Kazgke could feel its hot sticky breath on his skin inviting shivers to run down the boy's spine. Before the mage could react, the beast had latched onto his left arm with its vicious teeth and began sinking into his flesh. Shock ran through Kaze's mind as the rubicund liquid began issuing from the wound splashing both him and his attacker.
"What the hell," is all Kaze could mutter as he watched and felt his arm separate from his body.
His flesh was torn and bloody, his bones were exposed and bloody, his clothing was ripped and bloody, the earth was sullied and bloody. Kazgke let out a composite of a growl, scream and howl into the air.
"What the hell!"
Kaze placed his fingers into the temple placement, "Shatter!" He placed his hand into a position resembling a sword.
The young mage drove his now sword like hand into his attacker. Over and over and over again until blood was splattered everywhere. Over and over again until the beast cried out for its last breath. Over and over again until a pool of crimson liquid – both his and the beasts – was covering the ground.
Kazgke abruptly stopped his bludgeoning and turned to the last remaining few. His pupils were dilated and an aura of inhumanity cloaked the boy.
Kaze pushed off from the ground and began flying toward the three wolves. With three final slashes he had decapitated the lot of them.
His breathing had become labored now and his knees were feeling weak. Tears slid down the boy's cheeks as he embraced the pain that had now taken hold of his body. Kazgke limped his way toward his damaged arm and picked it up. He looked over the torn muscles and tendons; the veins and the arteries. He closed his eyes and his body began shaking violently. Stifled moans escaped him and the boy crashed to the bloody ground. As the blood began to seep into the young man's pants, Kaze opened his eyes. He struggled to his feet and eyed the large structure a ways ahead of him.
"Shin," he cried, "I'm coming to get you." The mage slowly made his way toward the large tree.
Once he reached the base of the tree Kazgke took his left arm between his teeth while he placed his fingers in the temple placement and spoke softly, "Reverse."
With a bright, nearly blinding, flash of white light, a ragged brown door rose from the wood of the tree. Kaze hastily made it inside. The red lights hanging overhead barely illuminated the corridor but Kaze trudged along either way. The clanging of the metal walkway was the only sound he could hear and by the time he reached the door at the very end of the tunnel, he was feeling light headed. Kazgke latched onto the doorknob, pulled it down and pushed it forward. A loud screech echoed haunted the metal ceilings as the door opened. Slowly the profusely bleeding mage wobbled his way into the room. There in the center laid Shin.
A thud sounded as Kaze's knees hit the floor. His vision poured over Shin's body. There were no marks or scratched or bruises from what he could see. Kazgke reached his hand up to the boy's neck and began feeling for a pulse. When he did not find one, he sighed and closed his eyes. The boy raised his right hand forming one half of the star placement before opening his mouth wide and reaching in. He gagged intensely as his fingers probed about inside his mouth for the vial he had stowed away earlier. Since he could only perform one half of the placement, there was not enough magic to push the object up his throat and therefore this caused Kaze to improvise. The young mage pushed farther into his mouth and then began clawing at the little bit of his throat he was able to reach. Blood began spilling down the teen's hand as he latched onto the vial. He pulled it out forcefully and eyed the milky white substance. With a solemn face Kaze peered down at both halves of his battered limb and whimpered slightly. The boy uncorked the vial with help from his teeth and began to move over toward Shinkokurou. He peered at the boy's seemingly lifeless body and whimpered again.
"I'll figure something out." Kaze whispered leaning over Shin with the aide of his right forearm.
Kazgke firmly grasped the vial with his index and thumb while prying open the boys mouth with his remaining three digits. He tilted the liquid into the boy's mouth; allowing some to spill over. The mage pushed himself off of his forearm and back onto his butt. He sighed again; then again before looking at his broken limb. Kaze took his hand and clasped it onto the remnant of his left arm and began forcing raw magical energy into it. The boy tried his hardest to stifle his screams as the energy burned away at the flesh in an attempt to get the area to clot. After several seconds, the bleeding stopped and Kazgke sighed again.
Kaze stole another look at Shin before falling back onto the metal floor next to him.
"You'll be awake soon… I hope."