Iris parted ways with everyone and continued to head out alone, into the incredibly dangerous ‘Viridian Hell’, while the three treasure-hunting veterans decided to go with the tank and return to Beatrix and Luke’s base of operations. However, while all of that nonsense was happening, thirty miles to the north, a violent storm was still raging.
There were a few buildings, surrounded by a chain-link fence and some simple watch-towers. The central structure was a huge brick house, but while gunshots and chaos were occurring inside, an extraordinary amount of undead beasts and humanoids were charging across the rotting fields to the south.
Even though the guards were getting reports about Michael’s killing spree and the few zombies that were in the ‘bar’, there was no way that they could spare the time and manpower required to help. The woman within the gatehouse was bitten by a shadowy mosquito and within moments, she had horrible, black, festering boils all over her neck and face. In less than a minute, her throat had closed up and she suffocated to death; of course, she immediately ‘resurrected’ as one of the necrotic monstrosities.
A dense black smog wafted around in the violent storm, spreading from the south, counterclockwise, along with the winds. As hundreds of zombified bulls, boars, horses and humans smashed into the southernmost side of the chain-link fence, that central house suddenly exploded.
There was a serpentine dragon, made entirely out of condensed ‘Fire’ aura, which soared up into the skies. It flew around and started devouring not just the putrid smoke, but also absorbed the electrical energy from the lightning and continued up into clouds. Although it was nighttime, for at least ten miles in every direction, it was as bright as day.
Meanwhile, a naked man started climbing out of the building’s wreckage, complaining “For fuck’s sake Alice! Why would you do that?! We definitely almost died!”
The voice in his head snickered, casually explaining “Nah~, as long as it isn’t ‘too’ ridiculous, it’d be difficult for our body to be damaged or destroyed by heat; at least, while I’m in control… I wouldn’t suggest that you jump into any volcanoes while I’m not around though, that’d be a little dangerous.”
Michael shouted “No shit it’d be dangerous! Why would I even do that?! Grah~! No, now that you mention it, it’s probably gonna happen soon! Are you happy now?! You volcano jinxed us! Ah! Fuck, we’re in Kansas, right? Ain’t that pretty damn close to Yellowstone?! Nope, I don’t wanna be anywhere near North America when that shit ejaculates!”
Alice asked “Why don’t you use ‘my’ gear? Not that I have much equipment, but still, it’s better than nothing… Besides, I know how you love Tanking.” Right after she mentioned it, a pair of incredibly heavy golden shackles appeared around his ankles and bronze, draconic gauntlets swiftly encased his hands.
Then it seemed like his entire body burst into flames, but once the blaze died down, he was wearing a silk-like, crimson mage’s robe. The sleeves were down to his wrists and there was room for a bit of ‘cleavage’ around the neck, though it just slightly exposed his bulging pectoral muscles.
As Michael attempted to take a few steps, his bare-feet were sinking down into the muddy ground; the rain was still pouring down around him and there were a decent amount of vehicles in the way, so he didn’t quite notice the giant horde of hungry undead abominations in the distance. However, he did see his ‘mana-link’ to Talia’s transparent straight-sword, leading him to the northwest.
He stopped trying to walk and asked “Hey Ally, don’t get me wrong, these ankle-bracelets are cute and all, but could you… maybe, like, teach me how to ‘activate’ them? Don’t they normally adhere to the shape of your giant dragon-feet?”
“It really isn’t that complicated Mike… Oh wait, actually, it might be; you can usually just think about them ‘activating’ and it happens. Hmmm~, interesting, perhaps this is because we’re in a universe without the ‘System’? Maybe you could try channeling Earth mana into the gauntlets and boots; as for the robe, I don’t think it actually has an ‘activation’… At least, I’ve never done so before.” As she was speaking, Michael frowned, trying to pump his aura into the equipment, but failing miserably.
After a few seconds, he grumbled “Oi, why don’t you just do it yourself? You’re the master of the four ‘Elements’, right? Even in the other world, I only ever knew how to use Chaos, Light and Arcane magic… and I was never really that good at any of them.”
Alice giggled as both of the man’s pupils became serpentine and his irises turned a reflective, luminescent light-brown. Then his short black hair ignited and transformed into incredibly long, wavy crimson locks.
‘He’ smirked, as the bronze gauntlets melted into a malleable viscous liquid, which was then manually ‘manipulated’ into a thick, flexible coating for his entire arms and shoulders: The hands were more like vicious claws though. Once that was dealt with, he did something similar to the golden shackles, using them to cover his lower-legs.
“Do you have any fucking idea how much effort was put into that goddamn haircut? Ugh, well, it’s not like I did it myself, but still… Why the hell did you turn me into a ginger?” The dragon-girl gave Michael control over his body again and he started trudging through the mud, heading towards an inconspicuous hole in the ground.
It was totally flooded with water and he had no idea how deep it actually was, so he asked “Umm~, hey Ally~, do you think you could like… do the thing? With the dirt and stuff?”
She sighed, complaining “Mike, even if you can’t use Earth or Water Manipulation, you should at least be able to comprehend basic Telekinesis… You were always so amazing at it since the moment I met you. Just release your aura from your body and concentrate on ‘moving’ or ‘lifting’ things. I’m sure that once you do it the first time, it should all come back to you.”
“Uh, okay then~, so how do I ‘release my aura’? Do I need to jerk-off or will it work if I just piss a little bit?” With the way that Sarah ‘drained’ his mana, it was a reasonable question. Of course, after the disembodied dragoness in his mind started laughing at him, he told her “Yeah, that was a joke, obviously I know how to ‘release my aura’… I mean, it’s probably super-simple, like breathing or getting angry. I remember in high school, I used to be able to scare the shit outta kids by focusing my ‘killing intent’ onto them. Or maybe that was just because I was fucking crazy and liked to hurt people? Well, whatever, it ain’t like they didn’t deserve it…”
Michael reached out both of his bronze-covered claw-like hands and yelled “Muhuahahaha~! Come to me~! Go~ magic stuff~! Invisible sword of noisy awesomeness, I call thee~! Oi, get the fuck up here you bitch! Ah~?! I think I felt something?!”
“Mike, stop! What are you doing?! Why would you pump out that much mana?!” Even the normally relaxed dragon-girl was starting to freak out by the ridiculous amount of power that was being drained from their conjoined souls.
However, right when she felt as if her consciousness was receding, she noticed that after expelling millions of mana-points worth of ‘Earth’ aura into the ground, the ‘reverse’ started happening. As if she was taking in a deep breath, she felt like her ‘soul’ was being filled by an extraordinarily large amount of mana.
The Nephilim first sent out a huge pulse, but it acted like a magnet and hundreds of tons of mud were sucked towards his palms. Everything instantly traveled into his Soul Realm; however, unlike the guns or ‘Butter’, the dirt, water, plants and animals he was ‘inhaling’, were being converted into pure mana. The insects and worms, grass or other living organisms he ‘consumed’ didn’t even have souls for the most part, so they weren’t able to put up any kind of resistance as they were ‘recycled’.
Inside of the fifty-meter wide crater, Michael was at least several stories underground, when he finally reached down and grasped the nearly invisible short-sword. Holding the three-foot long, elegant and magical weapon in his right, gauntlet-covered hand, he let out a relieved sigh.
Then it transformed into a grey cloud of smoke and was sucked into his nostrils. He coughed violently a few times, and asked “Ally, are you still there?”
Alice giggled happily and said “Woah~, dude… I’m so~ fucking wasted right now, hehehe~. You should give me another hit of that shit~…”
“Of course you are… Goddamn it, did you really get high off of some mud? Anyway, now that I’ve finally recovered that sword, it’s time to head back to Linda’s house~!” However, as soon as he reached the top of the rapidly flooding crater and saw the seemingly endless hordes of undead monstrosities that were charging towards him, he turned around and yelled “Nope~! Fuck that shit! I ain’t getting anywhere near those nasty cunt-bags! Guess we’re goin north!”