Usually, at the beginning of a round, a noise would sound it off; be it an airhorn, a bell, or even a scream on some occasions, there was always a noise that accompanied the start of a new round of beastly devilry. However, this time that appeared to not be the case, for this time, the group found themselves able to venture out far from the ring of protection without being pulled back or set back by the large black hand of shadow that usually put them back. Soon, they began to question this oddity, and Spawn voiced his opinion, "What the karz is this? What happened to that airhorn and whatnot?" he asked, but nobody could give him an answer. "Well, maybe this is just another addition to the game," Aderia speculated, looking around at the large black rock formations, she swore some of them had been staring right at her...
"Whatever the reason, we know the round is started, now let's go before those little idiots ambush us," Celu said, stepping out of the ring that protected them every night. While everyone was walking forth into the battle zone, Aero asked a question, "Hey, does that ring even protect us? I mean, those beasts are never even around when we're supposedly 'protected', and we've never seen any proof that it CAN stop them," he said, and Kpik piped up with his solution to the problem; "I don't think it matters, those beasts aren't around, just like you said, and we haven't been ambushed so far," he said, and he was right, their nights were normally calm, and quiet.
"Meh, you're right, I guess it doesn't matter... but if we ever get ambushed in the night, and most of us lose a life, I'm never trusting the announcer again," Aero said, and Riglax looked over at him as if he were crazy, "You mean you actually trusted him at all?" the Toa of Crystal asked the Toa of stone, who shrugged, saying, "Not really, I trusted him enough to not let us die like some kind of rats in an experiment." The group moved on cautiously and stayed aware of their surroundings while progressing through the day long hike to the next ring of protection.
Most of them liked to think that they weren't doing this just to survive, but to escape, both reasons applied to the situation they were stuck in. After a few minutes of uninterrupted and rather peaceful walking, Kpik, who was walking in front, was shoved over by an invisible creature. All swords were drawn as Spawn blasted the Shrill off of Kpik, the beast had almost gotten a bite out of him. As the flaming Shrill ran off to die, Spawn formed a ring of fire around the group, and they watched as Shrills attempted to get by this fire, only to be burnt. Their screams of pain were like nothing else, even Shreiks couldn't hold a candle to how blood boiling that cry was, eventually, Spawn had had enough, and raised the ring of fire into a dome of fire, blasting it out in all directions.
As if on que, the six of them transformed all at once, the three that could fly leaped to the air, slashing down the Shrieks that had managed to come along unnoticed, and the three on the ground fought off any Shrills or Shredders that were lurking about or attacking full on.
Then, something extremely odd happened, as they continued to fight and kill their enemies, they noticed their numbers were not decreasing when they should have been, every time one was struck down, another would take its place. This soon became tiring to everyone, and they began to lash out more viciously than they probably should have, Celu was bashing through enemies left and right, using his power of air to suck oxygen from the lungs of his victims. Riglax was thrashing and smashing around, using his large head lined with razor sharp teeth to grind his enemies into useless jelly.
Spawn was leaping from rock to rock, using his claws and teeth to slash enemies open every time he saw one. Kpik would dive down and grab enemies, lifting back up into the air, and throwing them down to smash into whatever happened to be where they landed, he was also bringing fire and death from above, torching many enemies in one single breath. Aderia was using her tallons to rip and claw her way through enemies as she made sweeps down, usually killing about five each sweep.
And Aero was doing similar things, grabbing enemies and throwing them into more foes, slashing at them, ripping them up savagely, and killing them off in other various ways. As the group of six picked off the last remaining enemies, the all noticed how much carnage they had wreaked, dead bodies lie everywhere, black blood spilled across the stone ground, it was a true battle field now. Kpik, Aderia, and Aero landed, all transforming back into Toa form, and so did the other three; normally, after a battle, the group would check their wounds, for no battle was without them. Aero had a particularly nice slash along his arm, and both legs, something he guessed he got from Shredders, while Riglax had a large bite mark on his neck, a very unsightly feature which he attempted to hide.
The others had various wounds, nothing life threatening, but Riglax was worried about this bite of his... usually, they were healed overnight, just another odd advantage they had against the beasts, they never knew how or why they were healed, but they always woke up without an ounce of pain in their bodies. "Don't worry... it'll be better in the morning," Celu said, looking at the bite across Riglax's neck. In any normal situation, Riglax might be dead within the next few days without proper medical treatment, but because this was not normal, they paid the wound little to no attention.
The group continued on their way, Riglax scratching at his neck.
Razgriz yelled out, and thrust his hand onto the head of a Shrill, he let out an astounding ammount of power, frying the poor beast in seconds. Mangai was forced to turn away, as the beast had basically been cooked, and his head split, the Toa of Iron tried not to look at the sight, and instead looked around for Zarayna. "Zar? Where did you run off t-" he said, interrupted by a tapping on his shoulder. "I was cleaning up a mess back there," Zar said, glancing behind a particularly large rock. They waited for the noise that usually accompanied the end of a round, but the sound never came. Raz stretched, yawning as he did so. "I feel tired, let's just get to the next ring" he said, stepping over the enemy he just recently cooked; Mangai also made his way over the dead bodies littering the field, with Zar jumping over them as if they were large obstacles.
Mangai noticed Zar doing this, and turned to face the leaping assassin, "What are you doing? You're wasting energy," he said, and Zar came to a halt in front of him, standing over a dead body. "As you can see, I'm not breaking a sweat, nor am I panting, I'm moving just enough to launch myself from the ground and get over the bodies on the ground. And besides, why would you worry about my energy?" Zar asked, jumping over three more bodies.
Mangai sighed, and just continued to step over them, trying not to step on any bodies because he wished to keep his feet clean. He thought it strange that no noise had sounded off at the end of the round, but, no sound had signalled the beginning of the round, perhaps it was just another mental trick the announcer was playing on them. As they continued on through the field of black rock formations, none of them noticed the pure black being floating behind them soundlessly, many tentacles formed the 'legs' of this beast, with two long bladed arms stretching down on either side of the being.
It had no face that could be seen, just a black round shape for a head, and spikes similar to the rocks around them 'growing' out of the back of its head. It had a symbol on its back, a pure white A that seemed to be scratched onto its back. The beast floated down right behind Mangai, and reached out to grab him- but the beast was soon impaled by an arrow that came from nowhere.
The beast went out of focus, literally, and the arrow fell to the ground; with a scream similar to that of a Shriek, the Boss of the round swooped in to grab Mangai.
Kpik leaped to the side, and the beast passed him just by a few hairs, shooting back into the air; before any of them had time to react, it had turned around, and was already swooping back down to grab someone. This time, Aero wasn't as lucky as Kpik, and he was picked up by the large flying creature; the others bombarded it with elemental attacks, making it drop Aero before it almost... did something to him. It flew away, throwing its hand up into the air and turning around to face the Toa, it did not speak, but instead, it pointed to a large rock, and whispered a word in some other language. The word was harsh, came from the throat, and seemed primative; Kpik recognized the language as that of the beasts.
Meanwhile, the large rock that the creature had pointed to began to move on its own, even stranger, it began to change shape; after a few seconds, a tall obisidian warrior stood tall, swords equipped, the tall man of rock looked over at the Toa who stood 20 yards from him, all six of them in awe. It too had no facial features, just a round ball-like shape making up its head; it looked over at the thin flying creature, which had been pointing at the Toa for some time now, the rock-man nodded solemnly, and leaped off the ground, launching himself easily 30 feet into the air above everyone's heads.
He came down on top of the Toa, who realized he was coming for them, and scattered. However, they were still knocked about by the tremor the beast had caused once it landed, and whilst on the ground, Aero and Kpik both looked at the flying beast, and then to each other. With a nod, both of them stood up, and transformed into their Rahi form, flying above and around the stone beast that stood in their way.
Kpik went up higher and higher, attracting the attention of the flying beast, while Aero went for a dead-on attack on it. He dove right into his enemy, sending the beast sprawling towards the ground while he raised both tallons, flying downward toward the flying beast-who now was on the ground-Aero attempted to grab onto it with his tallons. Unfortunately, Aero never saw the large rock coming his way, and was knocked clean from the sky by a large ebony rock, thrown by the large man made of it. Kpik, still climbing in altitude, finally stopped once he believed he was high enough, and went straight down, heading for the flying beast who was now just getting up.
Opening his jaw, Kpik came down upon the unsuspecting foe, grabbing right onto its head, he swerved upward so as to not hit the ground or any rocks, and gripped on tightly to the beast's head in his mouth. He slowly felt it cracking, while the beast fought back with all its might, attempting to pry his mouth open, slashing at it with its balded arms, but Kpik just held on; he decided to cook his foe a bit, so he let loose a firey flame from deep within his throat, effectively baking the enemies in his grip.
While Kpik tossed the lifeless body away, the four others were in combat against the giant stone man, who was still fighting. Riglax was using his power over crystal to temporarily blind the creature while the others let loose all kinds of attacks, but eventually the giant rock man would tear the crystal head-cap off, and go into a blind rage of smashing and thrashing, sending hundreds of pounds of debris everywhere. Once the giant man came out of his rage, it was back to the same old plan, seal his head, and bombard him with all sorts of elemental attacks.
Aderia was using pressurized water to chip slowly at his ankle joint, hopefully she could immobilze him while the others continued the attacks. Riglax tried to keep the crystal seal on his head, Spawn was busy melting his left knee, and Celu was attempting to push him over with gale force winds being pushed at his torso.
Aero stirred slowly, and shook himself awake, he looked around, and spotted the giant stone man fighting against something, perhaps the others were killing him. He transformed quickly, taking off almost immediately after he did so, he scoured the area for a sign of life, maybe that beast had escaped while everyone else was fighting its monster. Aero instead found something he did not expect, he found Kpik, lying up against a rock, his face hidden from view, Aero landed, transofming back into a Toa in an instant.
"What's wrong? Something up with your face?" Aero asked, looking around the area, Kpik slowly removed his hands from his face, and Aero took a step back in shock, he only gapped as he looked at Kpik. That beast, the one that was flying, had really scarred his face up, it was bleeding, mutilated, it was obvious he was in tremendous pain, Aero took a step forward, "What... what happened?!" the Toa of stone inquired, looking down at Kpik's arm, he noticed that it was cut wide open, bleeding out to death was a possibility. "I have to seal your arm in stone, just for a little while, then Ads can clean it up, and Rig can put a cleaner seal on it," Aero said, putting his hands over Kpik's wound. His arm was instantly sealed in a stone cast about two inches thick, Aero decided not to seal his head, because he didn't know if there were any enemies lurking around the corner.
"I need to go help the others, stay here, I'll be back soon with the guys," Aero said, and Kpik slowly nodded, even though it was probably painful, and Aero nodded once, transforming, and taking off to the sky above. Kpik slumped against the rock nearest him, holding his casted arm with his other one, he had to stay awake... awake... he had to stay awake... But unconsciousness took him faster than lightning, and as he slowly drifted off into his to-be nightmare, he couldn't keep his eyes open long enough to see the beast that was reaching for him from above.
Kpik was slowly picked up from the ground by the beast that he had supposedly killed not long ago, if he were to look up and stare at the beast, he would not recognize it. It had a head with one side clearly missing, with the other half burnt to a crisp; its torso was also burnt, with pieces, layers of it peeling off from the incredible amount of heat and fire that had just recently cooked it. Emotionlessly, the beast held Kpik in both hands, flying away silently with the co-leader of the group of Toa.
Meanwhile(inHomalol), the others had sucsessfully downed the giant obsidian man; it had been no easy task, there was a lot of melted rock (now solidified on the ground), along with broken pieces of rock that were scattered about. The creature's body was still partially intact, with various joints broken off or detached; the group had killed it by taking its head clean off. Aero had been a huge help to the battle, and he had been the one who tore the head off of the creature with his powerful beak, tossing it away into the fields of black.
Aero landed on the ground, clearing a spot as he did; he transformed back into his Toa form, and looked around at the others, with a large grin on his face, he yelled out, "YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!" and he turned around, beating on the beast with his sword. "WE GOT YOU, WE SO GOT YOU, SUCKER!" he yelled, smashing further into the broken neck of the beast with a large stone fist that he had brought forth from the ground. Everybody else couldn't help but grin along with him, but nobody else continued to assault the dead body.
"Alright, alright, enough victory smashing," Celu said with a laugh, and Aero nodded, unable to wipe the grin from his face. "We did it, we so killed that thing. Now we're unstoppable, if we could beat THAT, we can take on anything," Aero said, hitting the beast one last time before sheathing his sword. While everyone took a break, recovering from the harsh battle, Spawn noticed something; Kpik was missing. "Hey, where's Kpik?" he asked aloud, and Aero literally facepalmed, "Augh, I got so caught up in the battle, I forgot I left him to.. recover," he said, and Spawn raised an eyebrow, "What do you mean? Is he alright?" Spawn asked, and Aero nodded, "Yeah, yeah, it's just... he got his face torn into by that flying thing, he's really messed up right now," Aero said, and immediately, Aderia transformed, and took off faster than any of them could think possible.
Everyone slowly followed their flying friend, Spawn glaring at Aero as the group moved out to find Kpik. Aderia flew through the air, searching the ground with her incredible Rahi eyesight, looking for any signs of a body; she flew for ten full minutes, circling the area again and again and again, but was forced to land after she could not find any sign of Kpik, not even bloodmarks. She landed atop a rock, and transformed into a Toa, jumping off onto the ground, she walked back until she met up with the group. "I couldn't find him anywhere, he's not anywhere near here, and there weren't any signs that someone left the area either," she said, and Aero closed his eyes, putting both hands on his face. Spawn looked at the Toa of stone, "You decided to leave him out here, all alone, while he was wounded and unable to fight?" Spawn asked, his tone getting louder and more furious with every passing second.
Aero paused, gapping, trying to find words that would calm the storm that would soon be Spawn, but no words came forth from his throat, and he closed his mouth, unable to answer the question. Spawn sighed, putting an angry fist on his forehead, "You should have stayed with him, we could have taken care of that other monster, and you could have watched out for Kpik. Because of you, he's now missing, and he's not anywhere in sight, and there aren't any darn signs of where he might have gone!!" Spawn yelled, but before it could go any further, Celu stepped in, ending whatever fight was about to happen.
"Hey! We can't start fighting, not now, what we need to do is spread out and find Kpik, wherever he might be. Something... something could have.. taken him, but we don't know, and we won't know until we start looking, and we can't work as a team to find him if we're fighting each other. I say we spread out, and try to locate him, maybe he got confused and went the wrong way, or maybe he continued on to the ring; there aren't any places to hide here, so he should be easy to find. Now come on, let's get going, no use standing around here," Celu said, transforming into his secondary form, and taking off running through the black field.
The others did the same, and Spawn glared at Aero until he transformed, and flew off into the sky in search of Kpik. Spawn could only hope that Kpik was alright, and that if he was in trouble, that he would be alright, he transformed, and also took off into the forest of black.
To be continued...So yaa, beastly chapter is beastly. I hope this sufices for the long wait.