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    Lead out of Hell

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    Lead

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    Lead out of Hell

    Post by Lead on Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:31 am

    Lead flicked open his eyes, curling from a loud clang against the cage. The distant screaming and pleading would have given him no sleep, had he not let himself rest here for what felt like an eternity. The world, before his eyes, were white and blue. Behind the blanket of ice which he had cocooned himself in, were nothing but humanoid monsters using their flames and pitchforks against the guilty.

    It was another reminder that he was trapped in Hell. How he got here mattered little. All he cared at this point was surviving. The very thought flared the burns on his back. They tried to torment him with their pots of what seemed like lava, pouring thousands of those pots so as to get through his icy armour and eat away his flesh. Now they were partially healed. Again.

    In the hot wind, the cage swayed. There he dangled, between the crevices, with the same lava flowing below like a gentle river. Chains held this cage on four points. If one were to snap, it would be another many hours swimming in that river, just short from falling to the darkness that was death while he begged the cold, skeletal hands to let him die. Death was non-existent here. Only pain. It was then that Lead understood that those who fell to their wicked ways were doomed to such an ordeal.

    If so, why then, was it considered right to kill dragons?

    To survive. He kept telling himself. Actually, he wasn’t sure if he was just answering his own questions, or speaking to his guardian angel.

    To survive, is a reason to kill?

    Perhaps, the voice said.

    No, Lead huffed. His core began to warm, his temperature rising to melt this ice. In the same time, pain was freed and shot at his back and claws. Blood pooled below him, this cage having spikes all over their bars. He looked down at where some impaled where he stood, as if he had a choice. Then I don’t belong here. I don’t deserve to be here.

    But you are here. Because you kill.

    I kill… because I want to live. Lead uttered a low growl, tensing his muscles. The ice released his body, but kept him inside this ice prison of water. I am what I am. Is that a sin? Should it be my fault that they don’t understand me? A dragon of ice. If the world has a problem with that…

    In one breath, Lead gave a tremendous roar and sprung his wings apart. With purely his strength, he shattered the comforts of his icy prison and split the cage into pieces. How the broken bars collided against the walls of the crevice alarmed the guarding demons above him. Lead dropped his body temperature low again as his wings kept him from falling into the lava. As he looked up to those demons, mist crept in between and concealed Lead from them.

    There was shouting of raspy voices. Then it became orderly, and turned into commands. A huge bolt materialised from the mist and shot under Lead’s wings in a close miss, before disappearing behind him. More followed, blindly striking the fog, and Lead ducked behind the crevice. He rested his claws upon the rocks, only to feel them singe his soles and leave curling smoke. Lead howled and dropped back first. He quickly spun and levitated himself up again.

    “Did we get him?” One of the demons asked above.

    Lead flapped his wings with all his strength, ascending into the mist. When he saw the edge of the crevice, he dropped his temperature even further. Upon descending, the burning red floor turned black, then icy blue just before the touch of his claw. Lead walked away from the mist, the demons finally clear in his sights. A few stood on the same ground as he did, though most fled to the wall crossbows with flaming bolts, readying to pierce the dragon.

    “Fire!”

    Lead’s eyes snapped to one of the first bolts and simply tilted his head back, letting it whistle under his chin. Increasing his temperature, Lead sacrificed his mist-producing aura and charged at the demons in front of him. All he heard were screams as he slammed one of his claws against the head of a demon, breaking its neck and tossing it to its comrades. As he did, he brought his tail and finished off the rest of demons within his range.

    He reared onto his hind legs, dropping his temperature down again as he did so, and slammed his foreclaws. The ground shook upon impact, and quickly the rest of the floor turned to ice. The shockwave Lead delivered forced pillars of ice to shoot up and spread in all directions. Before any of the demons could react, they were sent flying into the air and came down, pierced by those pillars.

    A bolt shot into Lead’s shoulder and ate into his muscles. Lead hissed, suppressing any cries of pain and balancing himself from falling. Quickly he pulled the bolt out and looked up to the crossbows. Growling, Lead limped his way to the stairways ascending to their location. But before he could take a step, a small drop fell and melted the ice. Lead jumped back from the lava the demons were pouring from their vantage points. He looked around and saw the exits blocked the same way.

    Lead looked around, walking over the dead as he desperately looked for an escape. All the bolts were armed and ready, but none had yet fired.

    “Lead!”

    Another voice called. It was one that made his heart jolt. Lead looked up to see another demon. This time, one that looked more so like a human with horns grown from its head. The way it was dressed placed him somewhat in a rank higher than the lowly demons surrounding him.

    “What are you trying to do?”

    Lead didn’t respond to him. He spread his legs apart, lowering his temperature.

    “Don’t even bother,” that demon said. “There is nowhere you can run. You are trapped. Stand down!”

    Lead simply ignored him. After dropping his temperature drastically, his body began to emit another cloud of mist to cover him.

    “Shoot him!”

    He gathered all his energy into his chest, then brought it up his neck. As he did so, his maw began to feel cold, and he condensed that cold energy by chomping it. Doing so, he shot a thin beam of ice. The crossbow that he targeted instantly freeze, along with those who were near it. Another bolt ate into Lead’s side, and his cry escaped. Desperate, Lead whipped his tail in the direction of those bolts, and a wall of ice shot up, trapping any other bolts in mid air and shielding him from any more. Lead then shot another beam of ice at those crossbows, until all those counter-measures against him were completely destroyed.

    “Send the wyverns!” The high demon ordered. “Do not let him escape!”

    By that point, Lead had left another mist shrouding the entire room. He took advantage of that and beat his wings, ascending the room, hoping there would be an escape from this place above. As he flapped, the walls which the crossbows were latched on began to freeze. It was very soothing for Lead, as he was finally able to rest his claws against the walls and climb himself up some of the way.

    He made it to the next upper floor, with more of those imps standing in his way. This place was much grander, and Lead was rather impressed. There were many pools of lava, making this place a lot hotter than what he endured below. Just as the high demon promised, there were fiery smaller dragons heading towards Lead.

    As Lead charged towards the army of demons before him, he realised they were stronger. These ones could shoot fire from their spears. They did little Lead, as he just lowered his body temperature to match against these petty flames and they harmlessly brushed across his fur. He expelled another blast of his icy breath, only this time he didn’t condense it. The blast left him like a water jet and sprayed across the demons in front of him, quickly freezing them in place. He leapt over them and stretched his wings, soaring over and freezing the remaining demons to their backlines before meeting the wyverns and more crossbows aiming for him.

    One wyvern, bulky in size and with thorny scales, challenged him and gapped its maw, readying what looked like a breath of fire blazing from within its throat. Lead merely waited. When the jet of flames shot out, he ducked and manoeuvred around the jet, until he snatched the wyvern’s neck before it could cease. Lead merely tugged, and the scales pulled apart to reveal the pink flesh inside. With another yank, he tore a great portion of the wyvern’s neck and bathed himself in its blood. None of the wyverns took his warning, and one by one, effortlessly, Lead dispatched every one of them.

    The crossbows had little regard for the wyverns, and one had shot one of the beasts down. Lead folded his wings close and dropped his temperature dangerously low as he plummeted towards one of the crossbows. Desperately the demons fired one bolt, only to bounce off his snout, and Lead crashed into the weapon, crushing it under his weight and releasing his energy into an explosion of ice. He didn’t stop there, for he pounced onto the next crossbow and killed all those manning it.

    “Enough!” Screamed a muffled voice.

    Lead looked up to a small ledge. A large beast of some sort, standing on two legs, wearing very thick red armour like some sort of battle suit. It hopped down with a metallic clank, and the pieces of armour began to move on its own. Plates shifted and covered the rippling and scarred muscles of this giant beast, while one of its firsts ‘opened’ up to reveal a huge flamethrower. Examining him, there was no visible flesh Lead could exploit.

    “Juggernaut shall show dragon pain!”

    Finally, Lead said softly. I was getting bored.

    Before he could finish, Juggernaut charged forward, flames spewing from its back. The moment Lead realised, the beast sent its fist into Lead’s cheek. Immediately Lead felt flaring pain all over the underside of his wing and he howled. Fire. Lead rolled away, the scent of smoke filling his snout, but the Juggernaut had already closed the gap.

    Lead ducked its incoming fist and hissed as he squeezed his wing against the burn, letting it freeze over. The Juggernaut uttered a lot of audible grunts with each strike, almost like someone trying to pronounce vowels from behind a helmet. Lead was able to keep up with its movements and sidestepping away from the flamethrower.

    An opening.

    Lead thrust his claw into the side of Juggernaut with a low chime. Juggernaut rammed the back of its fist into Lead’s snout, without even a flinch.

    Fine! Lead hissed before concentrating on his claws, dropping the internal temperature within them until they were literally screeching below him and emitting fumes. The floor turned white and cracked beneath his weight. Keeping his core temperature up, Lead made swift strikes and continued to ‘punch’ the Juggernaut with his claws. As he did so, he was cooling this beast off and freezing the articulating joints of the armour. It made series of stressful grunts and Lead shoulder-charged it, causing it to stagger back.

    Freezing the limbs was not enough, for the Juggernaut noticed and simply shook its limbs free. As if angered, some of the armour opened up to reveal many blades and buzz saws, the sharp ends coated in flaming oil as Juggernaut approached Lead once more. Lead distanced himself a bit from Juugernaut, watching for and ducking any strikes, as well as jumping back from any more surprises. As he did so, his legs shifted back from this monster.

    Until his hindlegs found the edge, and he turned to see lava below. Lead gritted his fangs as he faced Juggernaut. He ducked its attempt to decapitate and chomped his fangs onto one of the buzz saw’s arm. Another buzz saw strayed too close and ate into his foreleg. With a heave, Lead pulled the arm off and struck Juggernaut with its own buzz saw. The Juggernaut screamed and stepped back. Before any of them could recover, Lead blasted the beast with another of his icy breath.

    The ice creaked and groaned as the Juggernaut tried to fight out, even trying to use the flamethrower, but the ice was too rigid. Lead charged forward and lunged both foreclaws into the chest. At first, nothing happened. Then the thick armour expanded a little, and a small crack revealed ice inside it. The Juggernaut cursed Lead with its final breath before it took its last step off the ledge and into the lava.

    The demons were fleeing, leaving behind the guilty in their chains as they frantically wriggled themselves from those bonds in vain. Some even resorted to breaking their own arms and legs, doing anything to escape. It was quite a nuisance. He looked at his foreleg, the deep cut spewing forth a lot of blood as they trickled down to his claw. Quickly the wound was sealed over in ice and Lead examined his surroundings. The alarms had been raised but no more demons were coming in his direction.

    Hell could not be any emptier.

    Lead made his way through this underworld, huffing and breathing. He kept his temperature low to combat this heat, but it took a toll on his ability to move his limbs. The room was not getting any cooler, and Lead proposed it would take forever for him to cool the place down if he tried. It was unbearable.

    Eventually, after many fights near lava streams and fighting an assortment of demons, Lead limped his way to a room, with nothing more than a wide stairwell leading to an inactive gate. This room was walled by a fall of lava, with the distant screaming of the guilty below. He made it to the top it seemed.

    After taking the first step, an ear-piercing scream dizzied him and he backed away from the room. The ground rumbled and another monster appeared. It was a large blue serpent, surrounded and swimming in water. Wherever it went, a floating path of water followed. Many fins covered its body, being more prominent as Lead followed the body up to its snake-like head. As he did so, the beast met him with its red eyes and screeched at him, snapping its wide mouth open.

    “This is as far as you will go.” A low and grumbling voice spoke. Lead squinted and saw who it was standing on this serpent. A larger demon, almost twice Lead’s size, only this time it had a bull’s head and an exposed muscular body. Next to this demon was a giant sword of black flames. Lead had heard rumours about this Demon King and his sword that can not only cut through anything but also incinerate anything caught in those black flames.

    The King leapt off the serpent and landed with a tremendous thud in front of the gate. When he drew his blade out, the entire steel was quickly blanketed in darkness. Lead merely cocked his head to the side as he examined the blade.

    “Even if you are able to create ice of all strengths, nothing can stand before my blade. Nothing can escape. And nothing…” The King swung his blade back, standing in a menacing and dominating pose, as if ready to make a mighty swing at Lead, “…can pass through it.”

    Lead smirked. So Hell has run out of demons to come after me, and decided to send their King after me. I should be honoured.

    “Lead, the ice dragon menace,” The King took slow steps down the stairs. “You were brought here because of your rage. Your anger for those above, who kill your brethren for sports. And how you exact your revenge by turning cities into blizzards.”

    I am charmed, Lead said, spreading his legs apart. Sorry, but this place bores me. Step aside, or you will end up like your little peasants.

    The King sniggered. “You let that rage blind you. That rage now defines you. Because you are unable to contain that rage, your place is here. This is your judgement.”

    Lead had taken the time to build another icy breath inside his maw. Quickly he spat it towards the King, but the latter had foreseen it and merely swung his blade, the icy mist dissipating before the flames.

    “Futile!” The King brought his blade around like it was just a stick and slammed the ground in front of him. Immediately black flames shot up in a line towards Lead.

    Lead sidestepped the flames, but even just being close to it was irritating his claws. He turned to face the King, only to notice he wasn’t there anymore. His ears perked, and as he turned around, black flames were inches from his eyes. Lead dodged it, but the blade had scarred him behind his eye. Even from a cut, the pain was unbearable. He could feel it eating its way inside him. Lead shook his head, bellowing, and trying to wipe the wound.

    As he did so, the King sent a knee into Lead’s chest, lifting him off his feet before sending him over the edge.

    “Know your place!” The King said, raising his hand.

    Just as Lead spread his wings, a red beam shot him in his wing arm, this coming from the serpent, and Lead howled, falling towards the lava.

    No, Lead said to himself. He quickly concentrated and dropped his entire body’s temperature, exceeding what would have been a sustainable limit. It won’t end this way! Another beam struck his back and he sped back down to the lower levels. Lead, feeling his consciousness fading, continued to lower his temperature. His claws were getting numb, and emitting enough mist to swallow the entire limbs. He reached the point where he had to push himself further. The more he did, the more stressful it became—like holding his breath.

    Just as he plunged into the lava river, he ‘exhaled’, and in a blink the lava turned blue. Lead crashed through it, now tough like concrete, and the river drowned him in the music of a low rumble, followed by cracking. He felt no pain, except for a bit of bruising on his shoulder as he stood back up on his claws. The lava froze over. No. The whole area was at ice’s mercy. Like locusts, the ice spread and ensnared the demons the moment they saw the danger.

    Lead could feel how cold he turned the lower levels of this place. Icy winds began to blow over his fur and everything became dead quiet. He looked up to see the Demon King dropping in. His landing sent a shockwave through the lava and crushed it under his weight. Lead merely cocked his head, bending his legs a little to keep his balance. The ice shifted and sunk a little, turned into nothing more than bits of ice in a large bowl.

    His ears perked.

    To his left, a loud snarl as another monster made its way down. It was green, almost Lead’s size, patterned with red stripes. It looked like a giant bull with claws instead of hooves. A behemoth.

    A second one appeared on his right, and with the Demon King they formed a triangle around Lead.

    Is that all you have, my king? Lead asked.

    “Far from it!” The Demon King pulled his blade far back and unleashed a huge swing. The black flames left the blade and formed another trail towards Lead.

    Lead step aside again, but raising his temperature to counter the Demon King’s attempt to kick him again. When He did the same trick, Lead was ready and chomped onto the thigh. Ice began to form over the leg and the king screamed in pain. Lead backed away and disappeared into the mist, only to meet a waiting claw and took it to his neck. He coughed and turned to face a behemoth.

    He blocked another attempted swing. It hurt. Lead’s bone vibrated and he retracted away, hissing. With little time to think, Lead dodged this behemoth’s pounce, but the second one found him and bit into his neck. Lead roared, feeling the razors bite into him. When the behemoth pinned him, Lead rolled and kicked it away. It quickly recovered and, with its ‘brother’ circled Lead.

    Lead stared at both of them, growling. He increased his temperature further, well beyond his norm. Very quickly his body stopped producing any mist, not that he needed them anymore with the whole area basically covered in it. There, he could feel his blood rushing through his body. He was now above the freezing point of water. It felt rather…stimulating.

    Before a behemoth behind him started round two with a charge, Lead dashed to the side, evading it completely. He charged through the dying mist until he found the Demon King, still searching in it. Lead quickly got behind him before he could notice, jumped and bit the back of his neck. He twisted his grip and snapped the bone before the scream could find its way up his mouth. The King dropped onto his knees, sword buried into the ice. He was still standing?

    Lead dodged the desperate sword swing and went for the two behemoths. He further increased his temperature, and as he did, the area blurred with every movement of his. He struck one of the behemoths by surprise, and then twice just before it finished turning. Lead continued the assault. This behemoth had very tough skin, but it didn’t worry him. Once he worn out this beast, Lead went for the exposed neck, twisting and turning it as he slowed down and went on top of it, and forced the behemoth down. Lead pressed a claw on its head, preventing it from retaliating as he dropped his body temperature again, doing it very quickly. His body went cold, and ice began to form where his fangs had sunk in the behemoth’s neck. The soft body began to turn very hard and stiff, and Lead waited longer, keeping it down…

    A claw loomed and struck him off. It was the last behemoth. As Lead stumbled, his rump hit a wall and he rebounded towards it. With a snarl, Lead clawed back at the behemoth, ignoring how much blood he was losing from his own neck. He was getting dizzy, but it didn’t faze him from wanting to rip this animal to shreds. The behemoth backed, and made a forward lunge, which Lead quickly dodged. He rammed his claw into the beast before it could recover and pressed its neck against the wall. Lead huffed, watching it squeal and claw the air. Without a thought, he gapped his maw and lunged it into the soft belly, then pulled the flesh. Blood spurt from the opening and coated his fur, and Lead continued. Piece by piece, organ by organ, bone by bone, he dug into the helpless behemoth, its cries only making this more sensational.

    When nothing but the spine was left inside, Lead pulled out and turned to focus on the last silhouette. The Demon King. Hissing and rumbling, Lead staggered towards him. He increased his temperature back up to water’s freezing point, and eyed that black-flamed blade.

    “Damn it!” The King cursed, limping forward. His neck was slightly crooked, eyes turning red as he glared back at Lead. “No mortal could ever kill the behemoths. Not even dragons. None could even have the power to overcome the fires of Hell with mere ice! What the hell are you?”

    Lead ignored his question, stopping at just enough distance to see the King’s features. Open the gate, if you want what’s left of your body preserved.

    “No…” The King growled. He stomped on his bad leg and roared. It was a different cry. This one rattled the loose ice and echoed across the entire realm. As he did so, the King’s eyes glowed entirely red and he seemed to have grown taller. “No! No, no no! No one must leave! No one must escape! No one will have a second chance!” He pulled his blade out. The flames went in all directions and melted most of the ice, reverting them back to lava.

    Lead dashed behind the King again, but he foreseen this and slashed him. The flames licked his underbelly and Lead howled. He clung onto a large chunk of ice, staining it with blood as the King went for a second swing. Lead jumped onto the crevice wall, still cold enough for him to hold on briefly, before rebounding to a higher ground. He stretched his wings and dashed around the King, forcing him to swing in every direction.

    Pathetic.

    Lead shot another breath at him, though it would be significantly weaker because of the high body temperature. The King saw and swung at it. Lead appeared behind him in the same time he finished, and pushed him off the ice and into the lava. He caught the air and rose high, from the shrieking below.

    I am a dragon of ice…

    Lead then lowered his temperature, his eye gleaming towards the King, still burning in the lava. He continued to drop his internal temperature, beyond his norm, beyond his limit, his body becoming stressed and numb. Soon his wings couldn’t keep him up, and Lead dove back down towards the King, dropping his temperature even further and tucking in his wings. The wind roared in his ears as he made his descent, the river approaching faster and faster. Lead lowered his temperature even further, further than he had been.

    If the world has a problem with that…

    Until he reached what was known as ‘Absolute Zero’. Under his own weight and push from his wings, Lead charged down towards the King, a transparent dome appearing before him, as if trying to stop him from going any further. When he saw this, Lead began to build energy into his chest. It felt strange compared to his previous icy breaths. This one was much more potent… chillier to him and felt as if it had completely froze his body. He brought it up to his maw, the energy being too large for him to compress. Lead held it in his maw as he continued his descent, trying to sustain his temperature as long as possible, at least until he joined the King in this collision…

    …then find me.

    Lead blasted the Demon king, inches before touching him. The world flashed white before him, and the screaming faded into the rumbling cries of the ice. Not just the lava or the floor, but all of this realm had surrendered to the permanent blizzard Lead cast…

    …and there would be nothing colder.

    After a minute of silence and stillness, Lead twitched his body. The ice cracked and gave way, and he rolled out of the huge ice dome he dropped onto the Demon King—or what was left of that ice statue. Even the blade’s flames were frozen, as if time had stopped. There were no more screaming. Only the thunderous winds and snow dominated this new Hell. Lead looked up. It no longer looked like the Hell it was a few minutes ago. Now, it was like an open deep cave within a tall mountain.

    Everyone within this realm were either buried in snow or frozen in ice, screaming, but with no one able to hear them.

    Lead snorted, fine clouds of mist escaping his nostrils as he treaded across the land he destroyed. Guess he had to find another way out.

    The world shall end in ice!


    _________________________________________________________

    You left me to rot... Let me return the favour.


      Current date/time is Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:05 am