You can read the other chapters found in my page entitled “Soul Bleeder”.
Note: I understand that some of the things going on this chapter might be a little “out of this world”. Feel free to ask me any questions that you might have!
I face the huge monster in front of me, squinting as the dust threatens to corrupt my vision. Elizabeth and Joshua rise from where they had fallen behind me, and I say to them, “Get out of here. Keep moving in the same direction through the rocks. I’ll be fine.”
They rush off, and I turn towards the beast again. The dust begins to clear, and I see him smile. He’s enormous. Twenty feet tall, bulging with muscle—his arms are longer and thicker than my body. And his skin is tough. This won’t necessarily be easy. But nobody said protecting souls would be.
This monster isn’t an ordinary Evil. He’s a troll. His head is square-shaped, his eyes small and piercing, and everything about his body is muscular and brawny. He wears nothing but a cloth around his loins. I shift, waiting for him to attack. “Let’s see what you’ve got, Soul Bleeder!” he roars. His fist slams down towards me. I side-step the attack, a torrent of wind ruffling my skin, a keen reminder that I almost died. His fist strikes the ground as a result, causing another eruption of dust and earth. I rush towards him, only to quickly leap into the air as he swings with his other hand for my legs. He punches while I’m in the air, but I air-climb, stepping off the air as if it were something physical. I rise out of range, and his arm falls back towards his body. I allow myself to plummet towards him, slashing as I drop, but I only scratch his arm.
He bellows, grinning, evidently enjoying his release of violent power and might onto another person. Then he claws at me, and I bound backwards, watching the tip of his finger-nails glint as they rush towards me through the air. I land out of reach of his attack, yet my back strikes a boulder, and I grunt, falling forward consequently. “Heh,” the beast laughs. He regards me for a moment, analyzing me with a pensive, excited gaze, and then charges.
I’ve fought plenty of Evil, including trolls. His blatantly offensive assault would probably intimidate most warriors. But the key is remaining focused. He draws back his arm for a punch, and right as he strikes I leap. His hand utterly destroys the boulder I was standing against, but I come away unscathed. I land with his giant body to my left, and now I charge him. He locates me through the midst of the rubble just in time to claw at me, and my blade and his nails collide. Then with his other hand he claws downwards. I raise my sword to parrying, but his attack his too strong. His nails rip through my right shoulder. I gasp with pain, staggering backwards. “Hah!” the monster says, standing erect, relaxing from his fighting position, “I thought more of you, Soul Bleeder.” He seems genuinely disappointed, even angry.
“Yeah,” I hear Peria say behind me, “I thought better of you too.”
We’ve been through this many times before.
I regard the monster, contemplating my strategy. “Still not going to go full force?” Peria asks, though I ignore him, “Why don’t you take it easy on yourself?”
“No,” I tell him, “Sacrifice without pain means nothing.”
“Still playing that card?” he says as I rush forward. The troll uppercuts. As his fist comes towards me, I react, jumping and stepping atop his fist. As it rises, I flip backwards, landing atop a boulder. Immediately, I lunge from the rock at him. He seems surprised for a moment, but then he swings sideways, batting me aside. I slam into the side of the cliff from which he jumped off of when this fight first began. I wince, pain shooting up my back. I can feel blood running down my torso, both from my shoulder wound and my soul.
“Things aren’t looking good,” Peria comments, appearing beside me once again, his lips close to my ear. “Would it really be so bad if you just released your full power on him?”
No, it wouldn’t be. Not actually. I could destroy this troll easily, if I wanted to. But I don’t allow myself to. I won’t. Because I’m a Soul Bleeder. And that means I sacrifice. I give.
If I protected every soul with the single slash of my sword, where would the sacrifice be in that? I will defeat every Evil we encounter using only the amount of power necessary. Because I’m a Soul Bleeder. For Elohim. And them.
I grip my sword and then charge the monster. Delighted by my persistence, he punches at me, his fist surging towards me with destructive potential and power. I dodge, and turn my blade sideways. His arm cuts itself on my sword, his skin sliding over top the edge. I keep on running, my sword beneath his skin, and I simultaneously shave off a piece of his arm.
He screams, rising upwards and stepping backwards, blood spurting from his wound. I continue running until I stand right under his legs. My blade flashes back and forth several times, and I twirl, giving momentum to my strikes. He cries out again, falling backwards, cursing me. I step away so that he doesn’t crush me, and his body slams onto the ground, cracking several of the boulders about.
There’s a moment of confusion, the ground both shaking and dust rising once again. He searches for me, unable to rise, both furious and fretful. When his eyes alight on me, he roars, “You!” And his claws reach for me. I plunge my sword into the palm of his hand, and push against him, trying avoid being forced away. We both grunt with effort, both of us wounded and unable to gain the upper hand. I know that I need to end it now. Blood gushes from my shoulder as he pushes harder, and I am sweating from the fighting beneath the hot sun.
I pull my sword free and dodge past his hand, which comes forward consequently. Then I charge him, lowering my stance as I run. He roars as he sees me come forward, his eyes narrowing with rage, and his cry rings in the air, as if he bellows slowly. I jump upwards, aiming my shot, and then I descend down towards his head. His claws are closing in on me from either side. I have an instant to kill him before he kills me. Time seems to slow.
My blade flashes downwards. And his arms drop with two loud thuds as life leaves his body.
I land on top his chest, and I pause, sighing, a wave of pain coursing through my body. I take a moment to breathe and register my wounds and slight fatigue. Then I hop off his torso to the ground. Then I notice Peria standing about twenty feet in front of me. I regard him for a moment, but then commence walking away after Josh and Elizabeth. And just before he vanishes into the air, I hear Peria call after me, “Until next time!”