You've reached a large arena, in which stands an enormous crowd. Loud murmurs fill the air, and they are apparently praising someone, some of the voices growing more excited as they said so.
Those outfits were stunning!
We've gotta see the next show!
You pass through the crowd and the voices seem to grow increasingly louder. It appears that they are near whomever they were just talking about, and the further you went, the more apparent this became.
Loud shrieks fill the air as a tall robot walks out and onto the stage, his arms stretched into the air. His face seems emotionless, but he is clearly beaming with pride.
I thank you all for seeing me this fine day! he announces, I shall see you again in the near future!
He gives a deep bow and leaves the area, to which the crowd finally departs as well, and you become curious about who this guy was.
You leave the arena and immediately catch a glimpse of him heading toward what appeared to be a giant building, then quickly follow in persuit.
You take no time in calling to him, and he stops, allowing you to catch up, before turning toward you.
Hm, I don't recall seeing you during my show. he says, eying you curiously, But no matter. What is it?
Unsure how to actually ask about him, you do what you can to speak, but despite his rather calm demeanor, he was rather intimidating. His eyes were staring at you, possibly studying you, and you noticed sharp claws on his hands' fingers. His claws flexed slightly, causing them to shimmer in whatever light there was in the dark kingdom, and his arms are holding various outfits, of which appeared to be ripped in the center - something you didn't want to see him do to anything soon.
Heh, I guess I intimidate you a little. he speaks again, It's no surprise. I was once the proud leader of the kingdom's army, and I showed no mercy in combat. That alone granted me my title - as well as the current role of the kingdom's guardian.
He motioned with one hand, gesturing for you to follow him, and you do, entering the large building and watching as he set the outfits aside before walking up to a control panel and turning it on.
Here. he gestured again, and backed away so you could approach the screen, Here are some important things you may need to know about me. Normally I don't show this to strangers, but it's been a while since I've had company - much less a newcomer.
||| SOLDIER DATABANK |||
Rank: Commander / Head Leader (retired)
Alias: The Commander, Lord Xac, Wacky Xacy (you could barely manage to read this one as it had scratches all over it), Xac Attack! (stage name), Xacy Wacky, My Super Soldier, My Superstar (last 3 by Fuzo)
Gender: Male (he/him)
Race: Battle Mech (Alpha Class)
Orientation: Straight Ace
Status: Married to Fuzo (newlywed)
Weapons: Claws, Flames, Classified Weaponry
Abilities: Flight, swift speed, keen senses, memorizing tactics, calculated movement, super strength, Dar--CLASSIFIED
Likes: Power, fighting, winning, meat, strong weapons, perfection, loyal soldiers, serving Lord Xero, his modeling career, his wife: Fuzo, being alone with Fuzo, making new outfits, entertaining others with his shows, giving autographs
Dislikes: Weaklings, joking around during serious situations, fancy occasions (unless with Fuzo), slackers, those who don't listen, whining, crying, scaring Fuzo with his anger, seeing Fuzo hurt, his shows being bashed, his outfits being stolen (even moreso when "tried on", when they clearly won't fit!)
Spigian - VICTORY - ELIMINATED
Gatoryan - VICTORY - CONQUERED
Dagnon - VICTORY - CONQUERED
Aquazin - VICTORY - CONQUERED | UPDATE: ELIMINATED
Forish - VICTORY - ELIMINATED
Pyrech - VICTORY - CONQUERED
Light Kingdom - CLASSIFIED
Light Kingdom - CLASSIFIED
Light Kingdom - CLASSIFIED
Light Kingdom - VICTORY - ELIMINATED
Space - CLASSIFIED
You look back at Xac and notice him gazing at his claws, admiring their shine in the room's light. He then glances at one outfit and chuckles before setting it aside and noticing you're done reading his info.
Heh, I see you're still interested in me. he comes back to the control panel and scrolls a bit more, Here, you'll see a few forms I've took over time -- Including my form in the military. Do keep that one in particular classified. It's not worth the risk.
NOTE: Ref is super huge; Drag/drop or open in new tab to see full size. Also, if you decide to draw him, please keep everything Neo safe! No graphic violence or swearing -- As a soldier, he was known for scraping his claws against things to intimidate others or studying other worlds before engaging in combat. He can also be modeling, depending on what timeline in his story you want to go for. He mostly wears open and loose clothing, such as sleeveless jackets and tank tops. He will not wear anything that reflects poorly on him as an individual, including feminine and gaudy clothing. His reputation as a soldier is still very important to him.
Alternatively, pics of him and Fuzo are highly sought after. Nothing that will break Neo rules, however, including pics that are too romantic! They are known for looking and talking cute.
Fuzo and Xac are an ace couple and will not be seeing doing anything unsafe for Neo. Please don't draw them doing anything that would break Neo rules; They are known for cuddling, talking, and looking cute, or sharing meals together (steak is their fave). Her names for Xac are "Xacy Wacky" and "My Super Soldier", while Xac refers to her as "My Ultimo". They do not use words like "boo", "babe", or "hon/honey"; They will use "my love", however.
Military Form (Past):
Modeling Form (Current):
Used for both OC and Neo designs.
Xac scrolled further, once again noticing that you're finished, and seems to change in demeanor as he reaches various profiles.
This next section is about those I've met so far. From my allies to my foes, you'll find out about them here. Appearances from worlds I've conquered or destroyed do not show here.
My Lord is the most powerful ruler to ever live. He's the mighty God of Darkness and I am honored to be in control of his army. I am more than willing to let him crush me if I let him down - But I don't plan on doing so.
Destructo was the original leader for the army after Lord Xero gave it to him, but he decided he no longer wanted to be a soldier and thus handed complete control to me. While I see this as a cowardly move, I refuse to take this lightly and do what I can to keep the army going.
Hmph...I don't talk about him. What he did to not only myself, but our kingdom as well...I hate him. I don't care if he claims to be "aiming for redemption"...He'll never redeem himself to me. He's nothing but pathetic demon filth and he has no right to live in his own kingdom, much less across from ours!
Ricki is one of our greatest foes, and I encounter him more times than I can count. Our fights always end in a victory for me, but it doesn't last long. His beloved is a god like Lord Xero and always comes in to save the day. Ugh, disgusting...
Electro is the King of his own kingdom, but even more importantly, someone who has to be destroyed immediately. Lord Xero wants his power to become an even greater god, and when that happens, the whole universe will have no choice but to serve him. I've fought Electro and had some near wins - a few times, I actually won - but of course, with him being a divine being and myself...Not a divine being...Things never go as planned. I hate this light loving filth...
The one Ricki and Electro both served. I've never heard of him, but according to Lord Xero, the two engaged in combat a few times before the darkness was able to prevail. Apparently this being had been given the powers of Light before Electro, and during their last battle, gave Electro those powers before being completely destroyed. He knew he wasn't going to make it, heh.
This thing? Never heard of it. Apparently it had a connection to the original God of Darkness and now seeks the destruction of all affiliated with him. Of course, since Lord Xero is the current reigning god, Void wants him too. I liked it better when we were fighting mortal creatures...
Two guardians of the Void, one who can build armor for itself and the other devours planets. When fused with their ruler, they become even more powerful. They appear to be immortal like Void, but at the same time, I witnessed them being defeated in one way or another, along with their ruler. Perhaps they only have so much power left...I'll have to study them...
Them...I don't speak of them. I refuse to remember that horrible abomination...I don't want to recall his true self. Terrible demons, both of them...
Fuzo, my one and only. I love her more than anything and anyone else in the world. Even the defeat of my greatest foe can't compare to how much I enjoy her. She's the only one I truly love, the one I will always protect. When I'm alone, I always think about her, and when she's not around, I feel lower than the dirt underneath my boots. I never want to leave her side, and I don't want her to leave mine. Everything I do is for her and her alone...And I never knew I'd ask that once sickening - but now most difficult question:
Will you marry me?
Nor did I expect her to reply...Yes.
Honor and Respect:
Xac turns off the control panel and the databank vanishes. He walks toward another door, of which was hidden in a dark area furthr back in the room, and pushes a few more buttons before it opens. He turns and gestures toward you as a signal to follow him before taking you down a long hallway, in which had all sorts of artwork done in his image.
My battles made me well known in many worlds. Not only am I known here, but worlds I've conquered also do what they can to honor myself and my great Lord.
By Fuzo-By others
Lesson Learned: Don't call me Wacky Xacy!
Lesson Learned: Lord Destructo is big. Big deal.
Lesson Learned: I'm BACK FROM RETIREMENT!
Lesson Learned: The army now belongs to ME AND ME ALONE!
Lesson Learned: I HATE THIS ARMY! And pancakes...
Lesson Learned: This "wacky" nonsense has gone FAR ENOUGH!!
(digital/colored version of the above)
Lesson Learned: Do more with Fuzo.
Lesson Learned: I love Fuzo (and she's easily startled by my claws scratching her armor).
Lesson Learned: Alternate story about how Fuzo and I met.
Lesson Learned: Fuzo loves me for myself (and clearly imagined me with muscles...)
Lesson Learned: I think Fuzo's the reason behind all this...
Lesson Learned: Fuzo recognizes my talent~
Lesson Learned: You can't sneak past me~
Lesson Learned: If that fool starts rambling again I'M GONNA PUNCH HIM IN THE FACE!!!
Lesson Learned: Team Riptide's a bunch of obnoxious...Never mind...
This world was hideous - though, to be fair, that was probably the point. Disguising the planet as a barren wasteland was a clever way of hiding your species.
Not clever enough, though.
Commander Xac took half a step forward, tore what looked like a grotesque mixture of slime and a cobweb off his foot, and continued. Nothing but dusty red plain could be seen for miles around in every direction. He walked for a while before abruptly pausing and looking down at the bleak earth below him, where he saw the faint outline of a trapdoor enclosing where he stood. He stomped his foot down near the center of the entrance, causing a loud creak and sending a stifling amount of dust into the air. The second stomp, even more forceful than the first, flung the trapdoor open, and the Commander landed in a dimly-lit tunnel, standing a couple dozen feet away from a troop of large spiders, sporting upright torsos and heads and long, gleaming polearms.
Commander Xac took no time in analyzing them. They were much larger than the common household spider but still fairly small, around five feet tall on average. They had compact bodies and short but dexterous-looking limbs, seemingly suited for very quick, puzzling movement patterns and rapid attacks in combat... and yet, they were equipped with weapons that required open space and lunging movements, rather than, say, daggers.
Clearly they had used up all their brain cells in their stealth efforts and left none over for actual combat strategy.
Finished with his analysis, Commander Xac began to slowly approach the troop, lifting his arms up and scraping his claws against the walls as he did so. The arachnid "warriors" backed up a little, eyes widening in panic, before literally shaking off their nerves and charging towards him. He easily dodged their reckless and sloppy attacks, snapping a few of their weapons in half as he did so, spinning around and slamming his hand into the side of one's head as he plunged his claws into another. As the troop began to turn around, he carefully waded in, quickly striking a warrior before stepping out of the way of an attack, repeating that simple yet effective movement over and over again, in a sort of brutal, bloody dance. Soon, he was surrounded by the corpses of the arachnids, and as he looked up towards the next wave of opponents to come, they promptly dropped their weapons and fled into the tunnel - with Commander Xac immediately charging after them, rapidly closing in.
"Four times the legs and you still can't outrun me!" The Commander pounced on the nearest spider, driving his claws deep into the helpless thing's abdomen. "Pathetic!"
He ran down each and every one of the creatures, leaving only one alive so it could bring him its leader - and all he needed to do was threaten its life. Such unseemly, traitorous creatures.
Commander Xac rapped his claws against his arms as the chosen survivor of his merciless attack returned, followed by a spider much larger than average, looking to be around seven feet tall, donning a thick cape that trailed on the ground behind it. It cleared its throat as it approached, twiddling several pairs of thumbs nervously.
"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Director Tr-"
The smaller arachnid let out a horrified squeal as the Commander decapitated the Director with one quick, clean sweep of his claws.
"Rotten, formal piece of filth," Commander Xac muttered.
As the spider began to sob uncontrollably, burying itself in the corpse of its former leader, Commander Xac held out his right arm, willing the panel on it to pop open. Once it did, he was met with a holographic image of none other than the Dark Lord Xero himself.
"I assume it is done?" The sound of his voice seemed to make the trembling spider wail even louder.
"It is done, my Lord. I've taken out their leader, and they were atrociously weak to begin with. It will be easy to exterminate the rest of them."
"Good work, Commander. Finish them off before I send anyone else."
"It will be done, my Lord."
The Commander closed the panel and silenced the weeping spider with a single stomp.
By lyrelore on Flight Rising (also inspired the Spigian planet)
Xac notices that you were staring at what appeared to be photos of himself in different outfits. His gaze becames filled with great pride as you took a few moments to study each one.
When I retired from the army by my lord's orders, I soon found a new career. However, if it weren't for my wife, I wouldn't had kept going. The start was rough, but I enjoy what I do more now than ever.
As you switched back to the various photos, you noticed what appeared to be a calendar concept. The title was "Working Soldiers", yet only Xac's pictures were near it.
Funny story about this... Xac glanced up at the calendar and sighed, ...Lord Xero would claim that my army would be included, yet...They have not. It was rather stressful at the time, but now, I'm proud to have this dedicated to myself. I...Have to admit...I never expected to have such a drastic change happen to me. Heh...
He leans back and before you could react, a long, sleeveless jacket appeared over his body. The jacket was opened to show his front, and you noticed light puffs of smoke flying from his mouth as he chuckled with pride.
Just so you know... Xac turned toward you and his once fearful stare was replaced with what appeared to be a look of excitement, I am open for suggestions. Some of my outfits were sponsored by others, and they're some of my best work. Heh...Perhaps you should get in contact with my provider and I'll use your idea in my next show. Obviously, you will get credit for the idea. Alternatively, you can always find me in public from time to time.
His eyes glinted at this and you nearly swore it was his version of winking, but didn't question it and admired all the outfits shown so far.
Military Star - the one that started it all; Sponsored by Oatmeal
Take a picture, it'll last longer.
The Secret Outfit
A Different Kind of Fusion
Waiting by the Fireplace
The Icy King's Return
Heavily Armed - sponsored by Shade*
The Party Must Go On...
Rest in Pieces, Boneheads.
Sparkle Punk Isn't Dead!
Care for a Duel?!
Have a Holiday...Something...
Just call me...CLAWZ.
I can be your Angel or Devil...(whatever that means)
Waiting Under the Stars
Sit Back and Enjoy.
Shall we Dance?
Just Another Day at Work~
Hail the Fashion King!
We SAW, we BLAZEd, we CONQUERED!
Honoring the Captain
(pseudo-outfit) RipPEDtide Revenge
MAD as a CATTER!
The Tide is Kind to NO ONE! (AKA: The REAL RipPEDtide! Okay, I made one, now leave me alone!)
A slightly...Calmer Tide...(I was bored, I can show the same outfit again; In fact, I think I'll save it for those bad days)
Third Tide's the Charm(er)? (OKAY, I ADMIT IT! I AM ATTACHED TO THIS STUPID OUTFIT!!)
Easter Bunny King
Another Holiday Wish for My Fans + A Gift for Me
(promotional poster + BattleBots plug) The Fight You Don't Wanna Miss!
Just a Little Bit of Flare
(NOTE: Will be digitalized soon! Originals will be posted under generic art when this happens)
Channeling the Inner Darkness
*Sponsored = Suggested or inspired by. No payment was made.
Real Life outfits?
Heh...Y'know, I'm not the only one who enjoys creating outfits. Xac chuckles, Remember my mentioning of Fuzo? Well...She likes to make her own versions of my outfits. I admit...I admire her dedication more than ever when she tries to replicate something I made. Sometimes, I think she puts in...Even more effort.
His eyes turn pink as he says this, and he chuckles softly before regaining his composure.
You can see her works here. he gestures toward a few hangers on the wall, on which hung various creations very similar to his own outfits, Just...Don't touch them. I don't want her work ruined.
(incomplete; Painting is a WIP)
Complete - Pre-Wash + test wear
Complete - After Wash (I guess Riptide was more than RIPPED)
Free to use, pay with your heart! - XAM slogan
Xac gestures toward a shelf, of which seemed to had appeared out of nowhere, and smiles at the many souveneirs that sat neatly in place.
Due to my ongoing success, we've began to market some souveniers. However, since it's difficult to ship out of the kingdom, it's unknown how others will be able to receive them unless they visit in person. We're hoping to find a way to make them more accessible, but it may take time.
On the shelf, you could see various articles of clothing, including t-shirts and tank tops - some of which resembled former outfits of his own, and other items such as autographed photos, and even the occasional plush. At the sight of the plushes, Xac chuckled and smiled, his eyes once again glinting.
Those are our most famous products. They're scarcely found in stock, and therefore have to be handed out with extra precautions. Luckily they're meant to resist most damage, just like myself, so not many beings could even leave a single rip with ease.
He suddenly stood up, and his outfit changed. You recognized this outfit right away, and knew after latest moments that this was one of the most powerful shows he ever managed to put on.
Due to how difficult it is for us to actually release these into public, we have some strict rules on who gets one and how they're handled. If a single rule is broken, drastic measures will be taken...And trust me, you won't like it.
Do not remove the tags! - Let others know where you found your quality merch!
Don't claim you made them! - Xac will find you and have your merch taken away. This could punish innocent bystanders as well (in other words, I will remove them from my image host). Don't ruin the fun for others! This also includes using as NFTs or AI generated "inspiration"!
Free to Use, Not to Gain Profit! - Don't use for personal gain. Again, Xac will find you and take them away, then blacklist you from his shows. He has guards who see everything, so don't test him. This also goes back to NFTs or cryptocurrency!
Suggestions? Send them to our studio and we will gladly consider your idea!
Soft, comfortable, and easy to wash, this t-shirt will remind you of your first sight of the infamous Xac and his outfits. Default color is a light grey, but if given any popular requests, we will customize the base color for you!
A t-shirt replicating one of Xac's most popular formal outfits. While it's not really intended for formal occasions, its stunning likeness to a suit is rather impressive.
(Xac tank top)
(Xac poster 1: casual)
(Xac poster 2: fancy)
(Xac poster 3: autographed + stage name)
(Xac autographed sheet)
(Xac autographed photo)
(Xac plush - original)
(Xac plush - fancy)
Xac took you out of the room and went back to the control panel, his outfit vanishing completely. He stood there for a moment, tapping a claw against the side of it, before turning toward you. His demeanor suddenly changed and his voice was strangely soft as he spoke.
Before I show you this, I must know: Are you able to keep a secret? From anyone?
This question startled you and you didn't know how to react. You had the feeling that what he was going to show you was perhaps...Something he shouldn't.
Xac continued to stare you down and he leaned back toward the control panel, clearly wanting you to see what he's going to show you next, but didn't press any buttons.
Yes. I want to show you something...Some of my collected data. But it's from my military work, and I can't take the risk if you're unable to keep them to yourself.
His claws slid close to the buttons, almost pressing some of them, but it was obvious he was toying with you right now. And you knew he wanted an honest answer, not a coverup just to see what he wanted you to see.
I... you tried to answer, but you just weren't sure if you could be this honest. These worlds are unheard of, and surely they held great creatures and new cities in them...How could you resist?
Xac chuckled and laid a hand back before pressing a few buttons with his claws. More data popped up and you tried to read them with him still standing there, but he didn't budge. Despite the formerly pleasent engagement you were having, Xac was acting really different - as if he suddenly no longer cared for idle chatter and had an ulterior motive.
You're quite amusing. he straightened up and went up to you, I'll test out my theory about your kind - Yes, I did my own studies about you. If you can read any of this and not tell a soul, I'll actually be wrong. But if I'm right...I'll have to find you and eliminate you. If that happens...Then your whole world will have to be destroyed. And if you try anything foolish, I'll know...And you'll have these to answer to!
You jump back as Xac flashes his claws in your face and taps them together, then nod quickly, swearing to not tell anyone.
Xac chuckles again and steps aside, allowing you to read what he's recorded.
| Training I ||| Training II ||| STATUS: Victory ||| RANK: Commander |
| Spigian ||| Gatoryan ||| Dagnon ||| Aquazin ||| Forish ||| Pyrech ||| Light Kingdom |
| Strength ||| World Conquered ||| Improvement ||| New Career |
Training Log I
I am given the task to practice my techniques. I am going to become a mighty soldier for the Dark Lord, and if I prove myself, I could gain a promotion. I must make him proud.
I stand in front of a large machine. This machine was intended to fire beams at anything that moved, and these beams were supposed to be dodged or blocked.
I wasted no time and charged ahead. Bright beams fired in my direction, and I dodged most of them, swinging away others with ease.
However, the closer I got, the more difficult it became. Beams shot against my armor, and I barely managed to remain up.
This wasn't good enough. I had to improve.
Day 2: Next challenge, taking out a protective barrier. Sounded strange, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.
Noticed right away that there was a keypad for figuring out the deactivation code. This was too easy, and I knew that wasn't going to work. I had to find another way in or around.
Turns out the barrier was only a front cover, and the back of the building was exposed. There were a lot of security devices, however, and I knew this wouldn't be this simple.
I snuck around one of the devices, and quickly ripped into it with my claws, tearing it free from the building. Some of the others seemed to react to nearby sounds and I took them out quickly.
As soon as they were all gone, I broke through the building's roof and deactivated the barrier by breaking the control panel inside.
Mission was a success. Tiny as it was, it would only make me stronger.
Day 3: Working with various weapons? This had me written all over it. Defending against them? Bring it.
First weapon was a blaster, controlled by one of my lord's soldiers. I had previous experience with these, so dodging and reflecting wasn't difficult. I was also growing faster and memorized the patterns of each attack.
The challenge? Knock away or deactivate the weapons.
The difficulty? Too simple. The soldier was disarmed quickly and the next round began.
The next soldier wielded a couple of bladed weapons, and I used my claws to engage in combat.
The longer this continued, the more knowledge regarding their tactics I gained. I lured the soldier near a cluster of metal and rocks, before letting him swing and dodging at the last minute, causing him to get his blade stuck. I then disarmed the other weapon and used it to stick him in place.
The third test was against an airborne soldier. While I hadn't tried flying, my desire to prove myself was so strong, I wasn't going to give up.
As soon as the soldier took off, I felt a pair of metal wings shoot from my back, and followed behind.
He was fast, and had experience with flying through obstacles while also firing at me with hidden rocket launchers from within his wings.
Despite this, I used my knowledge from the blaster challenge and was able to repeat the process while still airborne. I was able to study the directions from which the rockets came and knocked one into his wing while he turned away.
The impact damaged his wing and I quickly raced toward him and threw him against a building before hurling him toward the ground, ending the fight.
Final fight? It was against the strongest class of soldier in the army: The Scorpio. These guys had sturdy armor, large claws, and burrowed underground to sneak attack. I had to clear my senses and focus on the area underneath, listen for the sounds of their claws rotating...
...Before they crashed less than a mere inch away from me.
This tactic was tougher to figure out -- This one soldier had various forms of sneaking up and attacking in general. From striking from behind with his tail to burrowing underground and reaching out with one claw, he knew how to overwhelm foes.
But not me.
The everlasting fight helped me finally memorize these moves, and the next time he went underground, I focused with all my might, allowing a powerful energy to surge through my entire body, before slamming my hands against the ground and unleashing a giant shockwave that sent the soldier flying from underneath.
Another hand slam from my claws, and I disabled his arms, before aiming at his tail and snapping it in half, disabling the stinger.
This was the most difficult challenge yet. But I admit...I really enjoyed it.
My Lord offered me a break day. However, I refused to take it. I did many tests that day, including the very first one against the blasting machine.
I took it head on, dodging effortlessly and reflecting many blasts toward it. I could see the damage caused and dug my claws deep into it, ripping through the metal with ease, before tearing it into strips.
The result was more than satisfying; From seeing the damage left over, to the sounds of my claws scraping against it as they ripped it apart. I enjoyed this success, and I wanted more.
I wanted more challenges, and I knew I was destined to keep taking them. I craved these battles, with weapons flaring and massive destruction. I lived on battles and tactics alone, and I wasn't going to let anything stand in my way of a grand promotion.
As the day passed by, I knew I was going to make myself known. I was going to show my might to everyone I saw, no matter who they were. I was going to train myself as long as I must.
I was going to get that promotion, one way or another.
Training Log II
My Lord is impressed with my improvement, and even more so at how swiftly they've occurred. He said he knew I was meant to be more powerful than the other soldiers, but was unsure by how much.
Due to these successes, he gave me a few upgrades, all related to the soldiers in his army. I gained a large scorpion like tail, complete with an electrocuting stinger, and another pair of wings to go with the ones I already had. Along with that, the armor was made sturdier and the armor on my body was also vastly improved. The previous damage was no more, and I could tell that I would only grow from there.
This day was a day of pampering, and while I wanted to continue my training, I admit, having some time to relax wasn't so bad. Besides the changes in armor and improvements to equipment, I had my claws polished and sharpened, and was given a strangely soothing massage. After that, I was given time to rest before the next few challenges, of which were said to lead to the greatest challenge of all.
Day 21: Despite the relaxation from before, I got up eager to conquer more challenges.
It didn't take long to find out what I was going to do, as once the door opened and I went outside, I saw a creature racing around, terrorizing the area ahead of me. However, as soon as I stepped ahead a few more feet, it stopped and turned toward me.
The creature took no time in readying an attack and charged at me with amazing speed, snapping a pair of jaws and sending what appeared to be acidic saliva along the ground. I barely got a chance to study it before leaping aside and quickly jumping onto its body, noticing thin spines aligning its back, seething with toxic liquid.
The creature screeched in response and curled into a ball, then rolled forward, with me trapped between its body, surrounded by the spines. I noticed that some the spines were starting to sink into its body while others were becoming loose and aiming in my direction.
The loose spines gave me an idea. While the creature continued on, I gave its body a harsh jab, leaping back as a few of them shot into the area.
This stopped the creature and it let out another loud scream, before uncurling and thrashing its body around. I took this as an opportunity to turn its flailing against it and dodged more spikes before grabbing its tail, noting the giant stingers, of which had an even more toxic substance bubbling near their tips.
The creature turned around and lunged right away, jaws wide open, and I thrust its stingers forward, removing my hand quickly as it chomped down on them.
I watched as the poison quickly took effect, and the once shell-like body of the creature began to shrivel. The effect was so powerful, the creature's many skinny legs began to fall off and it curled up in a defeated position, letting out a final, soft shriek before crumbling into pieces.
Creature determined: Stingepede. An insectoid creature with deadly poison. The poison could penetrate most protection and effects take part instantly. However, they are weak against their own poison. Defeated in 20 minutes.
Day 22: This fight happened early in the morning, but I was prepared. My senses honed in on a light flapping sound, and I went outside, noticing a huge silhouette in the sky.
I did what I could to study my target, but as soon as my gaze reached it, it vanished into the darkness. This was going to be difficult.
A sudden sonic boom shot from the sky and toward an area further away, before a pair of glowing runes shone above. This was my chance.
I took off and hid behind buildings, watching the runes carefully. A loud scream sounded, before another sonic boom shot across the area, followed by more runes appearing in the sky.
Then it hit me. The more this creature attacked, the more it revealed itself. What happened when it was all visible, I had no idea, but I needed to stop it before that happened, just in case.
I flew closer, noticing that the runes were aligning what appeared to be a pair of wings and parts of the creature's stomach. They glowed intensely with an electric blue aura and I saw them sparking slightly.
Another shriek, followed by a third attack. But this time, it was toward me. I managed to dodge just in time, and watched as the creature flew away -- Revealing a rune shaped like a bullseye on its wing.
I knew what had to be done, and as I followed behind, I finally got the chance to study it completely, despite not being fully visible.
It appears that the creature has to be completely visible to take damage from attacks. The more it struck, the more runes that would light up...And when they turned red, that's when it's time to take it out.
However, it also travels at lightning speed when this occurs, so one has to be fast while chasing it, and calculating when aiming for its weak spots: Two wings, and the back of its head. It's strength is also vastly increased and if it turns toward you while in pursuit, this could be your last fight.
Half of the runes were already visible. However, we were flying above the kingdom, and I wasn't going to let anything crush it. I had to lire it further away, and after my studying, I knew how.
My claws sparked with tiny jolts of energy and I aimed them at the creature, allowing it to show any interest. Once it did, I raced toward a group of large mountains with it following behind.
My senses came into great effect at this point, as a large blast shot above my head and shattered the top of a mountain into rubble. I swung at the many pieces, creating more sparks with my claws, and calculated that the other wing was now visible.
Another blast, and I flew to the side, figuring that now, either its head or tail was visible. This next attack could be it...
Before I knew it, the creature was in front of me...And it was glowing red. I barely had a moment to react before it opened its mouth and shrieked into my face.
This was it.
I gave its snout a swift swipe from my claws, to which it backed away, and used all my energy to fly over it and fired rockets from my wings toward it.
It's reaction was faster than I expected. I only managed to hit one target, and it was on its back. Meaning that it can still fly...
...Or maybe not.
Another loud scream escaped its mouth and the creature began to climb the nearest mountain. Despite its claws digging into the stone, it was still very fast. I knew I had to stop it -- Even moreso when I saw a ball of light forming in its mouth.
I took aim and fired at one wing, hoping that any of the rockets would hit their target. One was close, but it was swung away by the creatures tail. I tried again, and the same thing happened.
This thing must have eyes on the back of its head.
And guess what? It did. The back of its ears had what appeared to be glowing lights, but in reality, they were eyes. Smaller lights followed my every move, and I knew this was going to be close.
I won't give up.
I dug one hand's claws into the mountain and ripped them through, creating massive sparks in attempt to stop the creature from continuing upward. The plan didn't seem to work at first, but I noticed that it was whimpering in pain from the sounds coming from them.
This was my chance.
I flew past the creature with my claws still scraping the mountain, and aimed down with my wings, then quickly shot out almost every rocket inside. If this didn't work, it was going to get worse.
The rockets slammed into its wings, causing it to barely hang on to the mountain, before I leaped onto its neck and jabbed the back of its head, taking out the extra eyes in the process. I gave it a final kick in the face, knocking it free from the mountain, and flew to the side as the ball of light shot from its mouth, along with a roar of defeat.
Creature defeated: Sparkbat. Remains invisible until it attacks, and is unable to take damage until it's fully visible. Attacks with sonic booms and has an ultimate attack formed out of light energy. Most dangerous when glowing red.
Day 23: The defeat of the Sparkbat spread amongst the kingdom, and I was greeted by a group of unknown beings. They seemed similar to the citizens, but at the same time, studies told me otherwise.
One of them ran up to me and shoved a plate full of meat into my arms. According to my studies, this meat was considered the best in the universe...However, no mere citizen should have their hands anywhere near it since only certain beings know how to prepare it. Yet, this looked perfect...
No, I won't fall for this!
I threw the plate down, to which the "citizen" began to cry. They then turned into a small puff of smoke and faded.
They're not really from here.
Despite my thinking this, some of these citizens were indeed real, and I had to figure out who was who. Glad I had my scanners...
Another ran up to me and I saw her quickly reaching for my hands. I backed away with a loud yell, and she also turned into a puff of smoke before leaving. However, this one vanished in pink smoke, while the other was orange.
This is when it hit me. They were the strongest desires imaginable to both mortal and our kind...And if they succeeded with their temptations, one would be consumed by that desire and act on it, losing themselves in the process.
I noted down which ones I took out. I had five more, and they would only get tougher from there.
After passing through a crowd, another came up to me, donned in various pieces of gold and covered in jewels. He said that he could make me rich if I took on his offer...
I gave one of the gold pieces a quick scratch of my claw, and he shattered into pieces before vanishing. Go figure, that gold was fake.
I walked toward a building, of which was a famous spa amongst our kind, and before I could react, someone was massaging my shoulders and filing my claws.
This felt good, but I knew I had to stop it. I swung their hands away from me and turned around, staring a strange looking creature in the eyes.
Unlike the others, this one didn't fall back, and began to polish my armor. I took notice of some missing limbs from the previous attempts and struck again, before it hissed and vanished.
If only I could've had a real spa day...After that last fight.
I shook my head and continued for a moment, before I saw what appeared to be images of the army's head leader on a screen nearby.
As much as I knew this was just another of those temptations, I couldn't help but watch. He stood by my lord's side, gazing upon the kingdom with a stare so proud, anyone who saw him knew he was the happiest machine in the world. He then went into the castle and sat on a throne next to my lord's, and was handed a plate of perfectly cooked meat while someone fluffed his hair from behind.
He was perfect.
My lord sat beside him, and I heard them speaking to each other. Their voices were calm and relaxed as they joked about their enemies, the army...
The servant behind even began to laugh, claiming that I would "never have what they do", and teasing about how our rulers had dark powers while I had none...That I could never be as powerful as they were.
Suddenly, the screen began to transform and I noticed two green eyes looking at me, before it began to mock me as well. I glared at it, hating it's high pitched voice ringing through my head, and gave it a hard punch, shattering its center. This stopped it from laughing, before it also crumbled to the ground and vanished.
That was five. And I knew the last two would be the hardest...
...Because they were what made me who I am.
It seemed like a while since the last encounter, and I began to wonder when I'd be struck next.
Right when I thought this, a huge flame erupted ahead of me, and within that flame...
...Was a dark figure shaped just like me.
The figure raised one hand, and I saw shadowy claws similar to mine, before it thrust them into the ground and scratched a circle around itself. It then glared at me with glowing, red eyes and gestured for me to come closer with its other hands claws.
I had a feeling that I was about to fight this fusion of desires...My "inner demons". While I had no idea how I was going to manage, I knew I had to give it my all.
The being, of whom suddenly declared itself "Dark Xac", swung a hand to the side, revealing various trophies from within the flames, along with what appeared to be awards from my lord, including "Head Leader" and even "Supreme Overlord", the latter of which had me questioning my real motives. I just wanted a promotion...What does "Supreme Overlord" refer to..?
Dark Xac apparently read my thoughts, as he showed another image, of which was of me sitting in a throne above the kingdom, with everyone bowing before me...Including my lord.
No! This isn't what I wanted!
This image, despite being fabricated, seemed so real. I could hear them chanting my name, I could see their faces pressed against the ground...And I could feel the power radiating from within.
Without thinking, my claws extended and I could feel myself grinning at the view. My thoughts began to be consumed with desires for this event -- I wanted to see everyone bowing before me, I wanted to be worshipped by the world, to be seen as their great ruler...
A low chuckle filled the air and I felt more power coursing throughout my entire body. I then felt a claw running down my shoulder and toward my arm.
Dark Xac spoke again, and despite my wanting to fight back, something about him immobilized me. His claws continued down from my arms and toward my waist as his face was close to the back of my neck.
These two simple words echoed in my head and his claws gripped my body, piercing through my armor. I could feel them seething throughout my chest and suddenly realized what he was trying to do.
He was trying to take over my mind.
His claws sunk in further, as if he realized what I was thinking, and I could feel myself growing tense as I tried to fight back.
"Let me...Help you."
His voice was intense and I could feel him growing closer.
A sudden burst of energy shot throughout my body, and I barely had a chance to fight it...But I did.
The energy all flew back into Dark Xac and he released me with a loud yell of rage. I turned toward him swiftly and saw him glaring at me with his claws dug into the ground, breathing heavily.
I took advantage of this and charged at him before swiping at his face. This had no effect on him, however, and he lunged back with another yell.
His attack was so fast, I couldn't dodge it. He thrust his claws into one side of my chest and I saw deep marks left over.
Before I could react, the marks began to spark, then suddenly caught fire. The flames hurt, but luckily remained where the scratches remained, giving me another chance to attack.
"You claim to be strong, but look at you!"
Another quick jab, and it struck my stomach, of which also caught on fire.
My arm is struck and I can barely keep up with his movements.
I fall onto the ground as my leg is struck and try to figure out how to beat him.
"You're nothing! Nothing but a stupid, sniveling coward!"
A harsh blow to the head knocks me down and I hear him walking up to me before laying a foot on my chest.
"You'll never get what you want! You'll always be what you are now..."
I felt him bending over, before he finished menacingly,
"...A useless soldier."
After he said this, I remembered my goal. The image I saw was not what I wanted, not by a long shot. The praise, the worship, the title...They meant nothing.
All I wanted was one thing: A promotion.
If I could make my lord proud, good. If I had someone congratulating me on my work, fine. But they meant nothing compared to my real desire.
These thoughts gave me a new source of power, and it was stronger than what Dark Xac ever had. I dug my claws into the ground and focused with all my might, then fired a huge beam from my chest toward him.
The impact sent him flying toward the flames and I stood up, then swiped at the flames that covered my body, extinguishing them with ease and covering the marks with my own. I grinned at Dark Xac, of whom stared back in shock, before raising my hands and flashing my claws.
"Not so pathetic now, am I?"
Dark Xac barely had a chance to react before I fired another beam from my claws. The beam struck his chest and I noticed that it went all the way through his shady body.
I didn't dare give him a chance to move and fired more beams, of which formed into the shape of lightning bolts. The bolts coursed throughout his body and I saw it splitting into strings of shadows before only his head remained.
"You'll never get what you want! Not without me!"
Despite my being one attack away from victory, something about this struck me.
What if he's right..?
I began to lower my hands, and caught sight of a sly smirk on Dark Xac's face.
No. He's lying. I will accomplish my goal!
Dark Xac noticed my change in emotion and began to speak, but I fired a final beam at him, of which caused him to vanish, along with the flames.
The toughest challenge? Fighting the Temptors. They are fueled by the desires of living beings, and their greatest weaknesses become their strongest foes. Mine? Pride and Wrath. Yes, I admit it.
Day 24: This was a day of recovery. The battle against Dark Xac wore me out both physically and mentally. The images remained in my mind, and this was the first night I couldn't get any sleep.
I felt myself being drained of energy, and it was miserable. I was a part of the greatest army in existence, ruled by the almighty God of Darkness...Yet I felt like garbage, like I was no longer worth his time.
The servant sent by my lord did what he could to restore my energy, He connected me to a device in order to regenerate, but even that didn't help. I could only lay on my back and stare at the ceiling, wondering if I was wasting my time.
I can't feel like this.
This thought echoed in my head, and I tried to focus on it, but every time I did, the images of myself being praised by the kingdom came back into view.
The servant noticed my position and asked me if I needed anything. For some reason, this gave me an idea.
As terrifying as it was...
...I wanted my mind wiped.
I wanted those images out of my head, I wanted to forget those voices, to remove the fight from my memories.
I wanted to forget everything.
Despite this thought lingering in my mind, I didn't answer when he repeated his question. I could barely speak and instead gave him a light wave of my hand, ordering him to leave.
He was hesitant, but obeyed and left me alone. However, I heard him contacting my lord and asking him to come see me.
This made me feel worse. I didn't want him to see me like this, I didn't want him to see me in such a pathetic state. Someone of his stature doesn't deserve someone like me...
I turned over, my back facing the door, and tried to remind myself that I'm not weak...I'm not like this...
The door suddenly opened and I could feel my lord's presence. Despite his gentle voice, I still felt tense. Even when he's showing compassion, he was still intimidating.
He spoke to me for a while, informing of how these tests were meant to be grueling, but didn't expect them to bring me down so much.
At this, I could only admit the truth: It wasn't all of the tests, it was just the last one...The last encounter in particular.
I told him everything, from the vision, to the demonic version of myself, even how I almost reacted on the emotions felt due to the temptation. By the time I was finished, I expected him to terminate me out of anger...
...But he didn't.
Instead, he said something I didn't expect to hear:
"That's how you passed. That's why...You're so tired."
He then told me that the encounter may linger for a while, but I couldn't let it haunt me or change me. The inner demons are gone, but not forgotten. This fight will continue when I least expect it, but I couldn't back down.
And a memory wipe? Out of the question.
This was a lifelong test, and removing memories of it was equivalent to running away from a challenge -- Something a soldier never does in his army.
As much as I wanted to forget, I wanted to prove myself more. I wasn't a coward, I was a soldier...
And that promotion was so close, I could taste it...And it tasted good.
He then told me that I needed sleep more than anything at this time, and took me to a capsule, in which I was to be connected and re energized. At this rate, I knew he was right and let him hook me up before starting the process.
The sensations were soothing and I was asleep almost instantly -- Which was strange since I couldn't even think about sleeping earlier.
However, what I didn't know...Was that this was leading to another test...And this time, it was all inside my head.
This dream was intense. So intense, I could barely do anything but shudder in my sleep.
I stand alone in a dark area, and for once, my scanners weren't working. The area was silent, yet I knew something was happening.
A faint sound fills the air, and I recognized it right away. It was the sound...Of claws on metal.
While I was completely used to this sound, something about it gave me chills, and I felt myself growing tense as it grew louder. I turned around slightly and saw bright, red sparks running down both sides -- Four on each side at waist length -- as a pair of glowing eyes stared at me.
The sparks grew closer, and a deep chuckle could be heard. I recognized this right away. It was him...
Before I knew it, he was in my face, and I could see his mouth forming into a smirk. His claws ran against the sides of what I realized were walls and toward the floor, sending out the most horrible screech.
I stared into his eyes, unable to speak, and he kept his gaze fixed into mine as he continued toward me, causing me to back away from him.
He remained silent, and all I heard was his claws continuing to scratch the hard ground, along with a few soft chuckles as he continued toward me. I didn't know what he planned to do, but I had to escape...Or fight back if I could.
Another chuckle, I began to feel like he was leading me toward something.
I tried to glance back, but another swipe from his claws stopped me short.
A wide grin formed on his face and suddenly, I could see more of him...More than what I saw during our first encounter.
His armor was almost pitch black, and created out of shadows. Bright, red markings flickered on his chest and glowed with a flame-like aura.
More of his face came into view and I saw an exact replica of my own structure, except his head was surrounded by shadowy smoke. His mouth was outlined with a red zigzag on his lower jaw, showcasing his sharp teeth. Unlike the markings on his chest, this marking didn't appear to be shadows, or even an aura; It was purely armor.
I glanced down at his claws, and while they were shrouded in shadows, I could see their form. They were long, sharp, and clearly made out of a strange material similar to metal. However, while my claws created orange-and-yellow sparks, his were always a bright red -- no matter what they touched.
Is he really related to me?
Dark Xac nodded in response, reading my thoughts, then replied.
"I am...To an extent. I lived in your kingdom for longer than you can imagine."
Suddenly, the area behind me grew hot, and I knew I had to find a way around. While I am usually resistant to fire and heat, I knew that this source was different.
This was his energy.
Dark Xac noticed my nervousness and the grin grew even wider, the outline of his mouth becoming unnervingly long, before his face was shrouded in darkness. Despite the lack of visibility, this made him even more terrifying than the abnormally wide grin.
My back touches something, and a burning sensation courses through my armor. I try to hide my pain, but the look on Dark Xac's face told me everything.
He knew. He knew of my pain. He knew of my fear.
He knew I was struggling to escape him.
He presses me against the heat, and I can feel flames scorching my armor...His flames. They were more intense than anything I've ever felt, and the pain was excruciating.
Dark Xac chuckles and lays his hands on each side of me, pressing his body against mine before I began to sink further into the flames.
The closer he got, the more I felt the urge to fight back. Yet, something kept telling me that I wouldn't stand a chance...That this darkness would fully consume me...
A sudden chill could be felt, despite the raging flames, and I noticed that it was from ahead...It was coming from him.
"Tell me...How does it feel?"
His breath was a mixture of hot and cold as it brushed against my face, and I couldn't help but flinch.
"The pain...The agony...The fear...It hurts, doesn't it?"
I am fully consumed by the flames, with him still in front of me, and I notice that I can move.
"You won't prevail. You're still weak."
I try to drown out what is being said, and soon, the searing flames are barely affecting me.
"Only I can give you..."
I raise my hands to my chest, focusing on what I had been through: The training, the victories, the losses...The soldiers I worked with, their comments, our first meeting...
...And the pledge I took, to serve my lord...To remain loyal to him until the end.
"...What you really..."
A source of power could be felt coursing throughout my body.
Sharp blades shot from my back, and they take aim.
The blades fire at Dark Xac, and I swing my arms to the side with a loud yell, firing out a large beam of energy, along with what appeared to be various projectiles.
The attack strikes him multiple times, and the flames suddenly vanished...
...And I wake up just as suddenly as I fell asleep.
The sight I came back to surprised me.
The chamber was shattered, and the room laid in shambles, with pieces of missiles and metal scattered around. Tiny sparks could be seen from within broken machinery, and torn wires laid on the floor.
The cords inside the chamber were torn apart, and I stepped out carefully, gazing at the damage...
Until the door opened and my lord entered the room.
Despite the mess, he was grinning proudly at me, before giving me my most desired announcement:
"You passed your final test. Now, we prepare for your promotion."
I did it?
All I can do is stare at him, questioning his motives. He did like to play with emotions.
He continues to grin, and the look on his face tells me everything.
I did it. I achieved my goal. I got my promotion.
Despite my excitement, I didn't dare show any sign of childish behavior...That will be later.
My lord stands straight and salutes me, to which I do the same. He then takes my shoulder and walks me outside before leading me down the kingdom and toward the spa in which I saw one of the Temptors.
"No one has ever passed the final test. For this reason, you are getting more than a single promotion."
I jumped at this and stopped, before he urged me to continue toward the doors.
When we reached the doors, he then added,
"You will become...Commander of my army. You will be the second-in command, after the head leader: Destructo."
This surprised me more than anything. I knew these tests would be tough. I knew they would be grueling, intense...
But I never expected this high of a promotion.
All I could do at this rate was fall on the ground before him, barely able to speak, yet, praise him and his greatness. I wasn't going to let him down ever after this -- And if I did, he would have every right to crush me underneath his boots.
He stood me up with a light chuckle, before opening the doors and revealing a large area with various hallways that led to different rooms.
Many machines stood in place, awaiting their customers, and bowed before our lord at the very sight of him.
We went up to one, and spoke up, mentioning my grand achievement, as well as the order, "Give him only the best, and anything he wants.", to which they nodded in response before giving him a final bow as he left me with them.
Despite hearing all this, I still couldn't believe it was happening.
I was going to become the army's commander...And work alongside the other king of our world: Lord Destructo.
I've only heard about his strength; Destructo was a superweapon who could destroy multiple planets in one blow. Despite his pretty boy appearance, he was still feared by those who crossed his path. He was tall like Lord Xero, and could also grow at will...But he could also become bulkier, and his armor impossible to damage. Even the most powerful weapon was said to be unable to scratch him.
The machine gestured for me to follow them, and I snapped out of my thoughts as I was led to a pool of dark liquid. They watched as I got in and bent down to add something for more comfort.
The pool began to bubble and large, purple globs began to form around the center. I sank my body in deeper and laid my arms out, gripping the sides with my claws.
"I hope you enjoy. The bubbles will soothe any tension, and if you want, we can change the temperature to suit your liking."
I glanced up and replied, "It's perfect just the way it is. But I could use a drink...Something special."
They gave a light bow and left, to which I leaned back with a content sigh.
It finally paid off...
I glanced around the room, noticing how elegant it was with its dim lighting and fancy decor. I then caught sight of a faint glow in the pool and couldn't help but reach with one hand and dip my claws into it.
Of course, the glow was just another light.
But it didn't matter. It was a sight I didn't know I needed...Something beautiful to admire when I wasn't busy in the dirty battlefield.
"I could get used to this."
I smiled and leaned back again, letting the liquid soothe me, before the employee from before returned with a large plate and tall glass of dark purple liquid with a lighter purple color mixed into it.
"I brought your drink, Commander." They bend down and hand me the drink, and I noticed tiny specks of metal spread on top, "It's our most expensive item, and only a select few can afford one. But for you, it's free of charge as long as you continue doing your wonderful work."
I took a sip and knew right away what was in it...And it was delicious.
It was a special recipe created by the finest drink makers, but inspired by Lord Xero himself.
Due to this, they call it the "Flowing Darkness", due to the blend that appears to shape into a sea of darkness, and the shards represent Lord Xero's destructive power - how he can crush an entire planet with one hand.
They watch as I take another sip, and set the plate down before asking, "Do you require anything else? I'm ready to do what you request of me."
I ran a claw against the top of the glass before setting it down and replying.
"Yes. If you don't mind, my claws could use some work." I held up one hand and flicked my claws lightly, "Do you think you could sharpen and polish them?"
"Of course. What color would you like them?" they answered before chuckling at his joke -- to which I couldn't help but give a slightly unamused stare, "Forgive me. We like to joke around Lord Destructo sometimes. I will get started right away."
They pulled out a thick piece of metal and began to file my claws, enjoying every moment. I watched as they finished one claw and gave it a light kiss, to which I jumped in alarm.
"O-Oh, I...Apologies if I startled you with that." They started on the next claw and I saw a look of embarrassment on their face, "We show our greatest leaders the most respect we can while they're here. Lord Xero gets the most, of course, but also, so does Lord Destructo and now, we have you, Commander."
The more they referred to me as my title, the more I realized it sounded wonderful. It was perfect, and suited me more than anything.
I glanced up at them, noticing how they still seemed ashamed of what they did, and chuckled.
"You don't have to do that for me. I'm not as powerful as our great rulers. They deserve more than I ever could." I turned my head toward them slightly and gave a tiny smile, "After all, I am just a soldier. They are our kings, and deserve all the respect in the world."
They looked at me slightly and noticed my face, then smiled back.
"But you're not just a soldier. You are the mighty Commander of the greatest army in existence, and I am sure Lord Destructo will enjoy having you in his ranks."
I glanced down at my hand, noticing that the third claw was done, then asked, "You seem to know a lot about Lord Destructo. What's he like?"
A light chuckle sounds in reply, but otherwise, there's silence. Aside from the sounds of my claws being filed and the bubbling liquid, the room was quiet.
I glanced at them and wanted to ask again, but the seemingly amused smile on their face made me decide against it.
"Don't worry, he's a powerful leader. Has incredible strength, tactical knowledge." They finished the last claw on one hand before backing away and suddenly becoming hesitant, "He's just...Not into fighting."
I couldn't believe what I just heard. Lord Destructo, the mighty king who rules alongside Lord Xero...Who leads our army...
This couldn't be right. The army is supposed to be filled with brave soldiers, all of whom swore to protect and serve our lord and kingdom. Anyone who turned traitor or showed weakness would be terminated.
I remember being told this when I was created and given my challenge. Every last word still remained in my memory banks, along with the oath we took.
I swear as a soldier of this army to protect our kingdom at all costs. I will serve our lord in every way possible, and I will defend him with my life if I must. If I fail, I give up my duty as a soldier and life as a citizen of this kingdom, and I give our lord permission to do what he wants with me from then on out.
Surely even he had to take that same oath while joining the army. Lord Xero didn't play favorites, and treated each soldier as an equal -- provided they followed through with their tasks...
Then I remembered...
It was Destructo who suddenly became our second king, after years of Lord Xero ruling alone. And before then, he had seen his true power.
He must've found something special about him.
That destructive power was no joke, and from what I've seen, it truly made sense that they forged a bond. The two could wipe out an entire galaxy if they combined their strength.
After thinking all this, I shrugged away the thoughts that lingered in the very back of my mind.
Lord Destructo? A coward? Heh, what a foolish thing to say!
I motioned for the employee to come back and continue working on my claws, then carefully picked up the glass that remained nearby and took another sip.
"I've never had anything like this." I muttered, "I've only heard of this delicacy, but actually being able to see it and taste it...It's better than I imagined -- And I was already giving it such great praise."
I finished the drink and set the glass down, then leaned back again, sighing with content. I could feel them lifting my other hand and working on my claws, allowing me to relax in the mostly quiet room.
Time passed and my claws were finally finished. I raised my hands and admired their sharpness, then flexed my fingers, causing them to sparkle in the dim light.
"Are they done to your standards?" The machine spoke from behind, "I can always do more if they require it."
I tapped my claws together and answered, "They're perfect. I hadn't seen them this sharp in...No, I've never seen them so sharp, so well done. I will have to remember this."
I heard them backing away slightly as I finally stood up, letting the liquid fall down my body. Even that was a good sensation, I never would've guessed.
"Anything else I can do for you? You still have a while yet until you need to return." they asked, "Perhaps a massage is in order? After all, the formula in the pool can only soothe so much."
I chuckled and got out carefully, then nodded.
"That's exactly what I was going to see about." I stretched out my arms, still admiring the work done to my claws, "Where shall we go?"
They motioned with one arm and I followed them back into the main area, before heading down a hallway that then led into another room, in which laid many places to get a massage.
I started to head toward one of the tables, before they called, "Oh, we have a special place for you!"
I turned toward their voice, and saw what appeared to be a couch, but without the head rest and arms. The cushions were plump and soft, and the entire thing appeared to be brand new. Either that, or hardly anyone used it.
Another machine stood next to the couch and he gestured for me to position myself. I climbed on top and instantly relaxed at the softness of the materials.
"I will be taking care of you at this time." he spoke, "If there's anything you need, please feel free to inform me and I will do my best."
I glanced toward the first employee and they gave a low bow, before saying, "It was an honor to serve you, Commander. I hope you return." and leaving us alone.
The machine nearby raised his arms, and I watched as one hand was replaced with a tool for polishing armor. I knew I was in for a good time.
"I must congratulate you on your splendid work." he said, massaging my shoulders with two other hands, "Working with the army is rewarding enough, but to actually lead them...What a great honor!"
I chuckled and replied, "I have to admit that the tests can wear you down if you're not ready. But they do help you come up with new tactics while under pressure."
"Almost like our tests." His third arm began to polish my shoulders and a soothing sensation was felt, "My siblings and I all had to take tests to see who would be best for the job. As you can tell, X was the best with poolside service and taking care of claws, nails, and the like. Y is the expert when it gets to food prep, so you don't usually see him. And then we have 1 and 2 who are greeters and customer service."
Despite his introduction to the rest of his family, I couldn't quite figure out where he could stand. I opened my mouth to ask, but he knew what I was going to say.
"Ah, yes. I am Z, the - hopeful - massage expert." He chuckled nervously and continued further toward my back, "I admit, I don't like to talk about myself. I try to let my job do that for me, but sometimes...I get a little nervous and people complained about pain and scratched armor later."
He stopped for a moment and I noticed right away he was anxious about what could happen. His fourth hand tapped his polishing brush lightly as he stared down at the floor.
"I...Also never worked on any of our leaders before." his voice was soft and seemingly ashamed as he said this, "You're the very first one, Commander...And if I let you down...That could be the end for my job -- And maybe even more."
I lifted one hand and laid it on his shoulder gently, to which he turned back toward me, then replied.
"You won't let me down. I'm sure of it. Besides, I've fought venomous insects, Sparkbats, and a demon...I think I can handle this."
After I said this, I hoped I was right...
...Because Z was looking very excited...
...And that polishing tool was spinning so wildly, his whole body was shaking.
He seemed to notice this and turned it down a few notches, before continuing his work. His hands were strong, and yet not causing any pain as they pressed down on my back, and the brush was relaxing as it trailed behind.
"How does it feel so far?"
I sighed with content and gave the furniture a light scratch of my claws to symbolize my comfort.
His voice sounded joyful, yet something seemed wrong. I gave him another signal to stop so he could take a moment, to which he did.
"F-Forgive me. I...I just..."
I sat up and watched as he faced away from me, clearly ashamed to be seen this way, and let him say what he wanted.
"L-Lord Xero...Wouldn't want me to say this, but...I accidentally did something to Lord Destructo that...Caused him great pain."
I tilted my head at this, remembering how again, Destructo was a superweapon who was nearly invincible against mighty weapons.
How could a tiny massage hurt him so terribly?
"I was told that I...Used too much force." Z continued, "This was his first time to have a massage, and my first time in service with someone of his magnitude. I was so excited, that I did everything...In full power."
I didn't know what to say to this. Full power? On a newcomer?
Guess I've been there during my training as a soldier.
"When Lord Xero heard about this, he refused to let himself or Destructo anywhere near me, and hired their own personal assistant for that particular service. Now, I am...Inconsistent with my abilities...And in a way, given a second chance with you." Z turned slightly and I saw a nervous, yet determined glimpse in his eye, "I want to prove that I'm not the failure they see me as, that I know how to do my job...And that's why I want to please you more than anyone."
I watched as he faced me and gave him a firm nod, to which he grinned back. I laid back down and heard him restarting his tool, noticing right away that it sounded the way it should be.
"Let's do this."
Z took a deep breath and continued where he left off, until a while later, he was finished...
...And it was perfect.
I let him help me up and gave him an approving smile, then heard someone yelling from outside the hallway.
I knew right away who it was, and glanced at Z, of whom began to tremble.
As soon as this was said, Xero came barging into the room, with one of the greeters trailing behind, begging for him to calm down.
"YOU!" Xero pointed at Z, of whom cowered behind me in response, "Get away from him!"
Z scrambled to the side as quickly as he could, and I knew right away what made him so angry.
"M-My lord..! I-It's fine! He already did it, and it worked!" I struggled to calm him down and it seemed to have little to no effect, "I...I'm not hurt, I promise!"
Xero continued to glare and raised his hands, his claws sparkling in the dim light, then grabbed my shoulders and turned me around sharply, gazing at my armor to ensure I didn't have any damage.
After a moment, he finally released me, heaving a heavy sigh of relief,before turning toward Z, of whom fell on his knees as soon as their gazes met, his head bowed low.
"You...Actually did a good job." He went up to Z and stopped in front of him, "In fact, this has been the best I've seen out of you. Keep it up."
Z raised his head sharply at this, and Xero gave him a smile, to which he sobbed happily and kissed Xero's boots.
"Thank you, my lord! I will!"
Xero signaled for him to rise, before saying, "It's time we head back. Give yourself a break and enjoy some time off."
Z gave a final bow, before bidding us farewell, and Xero led me out the room and into the kingdom.
We passed through the kingdom and anyone who saw us either bowed or saluted, depending on whose side they were on. I walked alongside Xero, wondering where he was taking me, and he stopped me in front of a huge building.
"This is where you shall be staying from now on." He gestured toward the door and let me go inside, "I made sure it had everything you needed for not only your battle strategies, but also to relax and pamper yourself."
I gazed around the area and every sight gave me more joy than the last.
A long couch similar to the one at the spa laid near one side of the wall, and a large, metal throne sat in the center, with a control panel a few feet away. Above that, a huge screen laid in place. It was turned off at this point, but I knew that I was going to have so many studies listed in the future.
A capsule similar to the one I had my dream test in also sat in a corner. Long cords were attached to it's inside and also connected to the wall.
Further back, there was a huge board made for noting down strategies. On it, I saw the words, "Welcome, Commander" written in big letters.
"Well?" Xero spoke up from behind, "How does it look?"
I turned around and grinned before replying, "It's perfect, my lord. I am not worth such generosity, and I will do everything I can to ensure your time wasn't wasted."
Xero smiled and headed toward the door. I followed behind, unsure of what he wanted me to do, before he said these final words:
"Stay here and get some sleep. Tomorrow is your banquet, and I want you in top shape when you receive your promotion."
I opened my mouth to speak, but he bid me farewell and left.
I stared at the closed door silently, wondering about what this banquet could be like, but came up with no set result.
After moments of pondering some more, I shrugged, figuring it would be a "visitors dress formally while the soldiers come in their battle armor" type occasion.
I took no time positioning myself on the couch, but longer to start dozing off.
That's when everyone will know...Who I am.
I wake up to the sound of a tiny alarm and sit up slowly, noticing a flashing light coming from the screen.
I stretch out my arms and flex my claws, grabbing the air with them before standing up and walking over to the control panel.
A small icon flickered on the screen, and a soft sound can be heard until I powered everything on and tapped it, to which a giant message popped up.
"Preparations are nearly complete for your glorious occasion! We are adding the finishing touches and will be ready in a few moments.
There is something you didn't see while touring your new room; There is a hidden hallway that leads to another room, and in there, someone is waiting to get you suited up for the banquet. Go see them, and come to the castle when you're finished. Your troops are already awaiting your arrival. Give them a good impression!
- Lord Xero"
I reread the message to make sure I didn't miss anything, then turned around, surprised that I missed any hidden pathways.
However, that wasn't even what confused me the most...
What did he mean by "suited up"?
He had those two words heavily emphasized as if they were supposed to mean something.
Was I going to get new armor?
I scanned the walls for any hidden doors, then found it. It was actually very well hidden. Must be in case there was an intruder...
I went down the hallway and entered a rather large room. In this room, there was a bed and beside that bed...
...Was a skinny machine clearly eager to see me, and hanging from her arm...
...Was a suit.
THIS was what he meant by "suited up"! He wanted me to wear a suit -- an article of clothing that restricted one's movements in more ways than one!
Not good if you're a soldier.
Even worse if you're like me and require the ability to move your body when you really need it...And hate dressing up.
"There you are!" the machine waved me over with her loose arm, "Come here, we need to get you ready!"
I didn't budge. Something about this one piece of clothing had me stiff.
I fought monsters, trained against powerful weapons, and even had a life threatening fight within a horrible dream that I dare not speak of again...
...But THIS here seemed to be an even harder test than all of those combined!
"I think I'll take the demon."
The machine heard this and stretched out her arm, reaching me despite our distance, and somehow dragged me all the way into the room.
Maybe SHE'S the demon.
I glanced down at the suit again and shook my head in disgust.
"Why can't I just go like this?"
She heard this as well and replied in a rather amused tone, "Lord Xero wants everyone dressed up. After all, this is a very important celebration, and he didn't want anyone looking out of place."
"Out of place?" I repeated, "We'll look out of place wearing these! I'm getting a promotion in the army, not going to a dance!"
She giggled in reply and something about that reaction gave me a sinking feeling...
"There's going to be a dance, isn't there..?"
She looked up and smiled in reply, and I knew she was saying yes.
I canNOT go to a dance!
I tried to get away from the machine, but she held me with her loose hand while trying to put the suit on with the other.
"Come now, Commander! A battle is just like a dance! You practice your moves and get better in due time!" she tried to calm me down, but I wasn't going to have any of it.
."'A battle is like a dance', my arm!" I shouted, "No one is trying to hurt you in a dance -- Unless it's a dance with SWORDS!"
I finally managed to escape from her grip and backed away, breathing heavily. She stared at me, still amused how this was so hard for me to do, and inched toward me, trying to coax me like I was a child.
The more I avoided her, the more annoying she became. Her baby talk turned into the most infuriating "nickname" I ever heard, and I hated it.
"Come on, Xacy, put on your suit! You gotta look good for the Ball!"
The more she called me that name, the more I just wanted to shut her up. Her "Xacy" soon became "Xacy being wacky" and I just couldn't deal with it anymore...
"ALL RIGHT!" I shouted, stomping up to her, "Put the stupid thing on! Just shut up and stop calling me that stupid name!"
Despite the anger shown toward her, she put the suit on and buttoned it. The thing was so tight, if I made one wrong move, I'd rip right through it.
She smiled at me and cooed, "Good Xacy. See? It's not so bad! Now, come, and let's go see your troops!"
I growled as she gave me a pat on the head before leading me out of the room and considered setting her on fire...
But she was just doing her job...Following orders...
Just wish I was warned in advance about all this...Even a simple "everyone comes in formal attire" would've worked, so I could at least remind myself...Maybe get used to wearing clothes..!
I sighed as she stopped in front of another doorway and watched as the door opened, revealing a long line of soldiers standing in position. This line went all the way to Lord Xero's castle and I noticed that they were also wearing fancy suits.
The machine gave me a push, signaling for me to keep moving, then closed the door behind me. I noticed she stayed back and suddenly began to calm down a bit.
The soldiers saluted me as I continued down the pathway and I kept my gaze ahead, my usual demeanor finally returning, and by the time I was almost to the castle, I began to forget I was wearing a suit.
It actually began to feel more like a uniform.
I reach the door leading into a hallway in the castle, and a guard opens it, revealing another guard who then takes me into the center of the castle, in which laid the most glorious sight...
Lord Xero's throne room.
We stopped for a moment and he checked something in his armor before taking us down another hallway. As we continued, I could hear something happening in the area ahead.
Voices began to sound as we stopped before a door, and the guard again did something with his armor before suddenly, the area was silent.
That's when it hit me.
He was contacting Lord Xero.
For some reason, I began to feel nervous again. I felt myself growing tense and glanced down at the suit...
Then recalled what was going to happen.
Before I could react, the door opened and loud cheers filled the air, along with thunderous applause.
I looked around the room and noticed all sorts of foods and beverages aligned on various tables. The room was lit in many different shades of red, and groups of citizens, guards, and the soldiers from before gathered around to congratulate me on my promotion.
I saw an area higher up, and in that area were our two rulers:
Lord Xero and Lord Destructo.
Xero glanced at me and flicked a finger, to which I vanished and emerged beside him. His mouth was formed into a wide grin and his crimson red fangs sparkled in the light.
"You finally made it." he said, "I was starting to worry about you."
I didn't dare inform about my issues with the suit and glanced away, trying to hide my nervousness about the whole deal.
"I already know."
Xero's voice makes me jump and I didn't dare turn around, in case he was mocking me.
"I didn't want to worry you. I knew this would've been the most difficult thing, even after all your tests. But whether or not you did it willfully...You still proved your worth."
I knew that he wasn't mocking me and glanced back toward him...And noticed something different.
Instead of wearing his usual, spiked jacket or nothing over his chest...
...Lord Xero was wearing...A suit.
This was no ordinary suit; It was classy, donned with delicate decorations and covered all of his upper body. The back of it was like a tailcoat and stopped behind his knees. The sleeves were neatly done and covered his arms, tucked in near his wrists so he could use his hands freely. On one side of his chest was the kingdom's emblem, of which glistened with a metallic silver coating.
"Yes. Even I dressed up for the occasion." Xero chuckled, noticing my stare, "We all did. Did you really think you'd be the only one who had to look good?"
Try "thought I'd just come as myself"...
Despite this thought, I looked back down at the groups, of whom were talking, eating, and drinking as they awaited the main event, and couldn't help but smile a tiny smile.
This banquet isn't really "me"...But it was for me...
...And I have to admit, I'm kind of enjoying the atmosphere.
I hear Xero walking up to me and glance back up at him, noticing his prideful stare, before he shot a beam into the lights, turning them into a dark aura.
The crowds grow quiet at this and he makes an announcement.
"Citizens of the kingdom, thank you for attending this glorious occasion! As you may know, we have some of the hardest working citizens -- from the chefs, to the spa employees, to our troops and guards! We are here to celebrate our latest soldier, who just earned his Grand Promotion to one of the highest honors anyone could have: Commander of our great army!"
Loud cheers sounded in reply and Xero gestures toward me with one arm, finishing, "Congratulations...Commander Xac!!"
A bright, red light shines on me and I turn toward Xero as more applause fills the room. He gives me a salute and I salute him back, before giving a light bow, trying to not rip the suit.
Xero then steps aside and Destructo walks up to me, his eyes glowing with pride. He holds out one hand and a few jolts of energy shoot from his claws and toward my own, before he also gives me a salute.
"It's a great honor to have you, Commander." he speaks, "I look forward to seeing your progress."
"It's an honor to work under your leadership, my lord." I reply, "I won't let you down."
Destructo smiles and steps aside, before Xero booms, "Let the celebration begin!"
Suddenly, more lights came and lit up the room, filling it with various shades of reds, purples, and oranges. Loud music filled the air and I watched as some of the guests began to dance along.
I watched as Xero went up to Destructo and said something, before brushing a hand against his hair and leaving. Destructo watched him, then noticed me looking at him and chuckled.
"Heh...We'll be down there in a little bit." He went up to the railing and leaned on it, "I...I love dancing. And I always want to improve when I can."
This startled me. I glanced at him and saw him gazing below, his eyes filled with admiration.
Then I remembered what was said by X at the spa:
He doesn't like to fight.
I tried to keep this out of my head as I asked him something.
"What else do you enjoy doing?"
Destructo glanced at me, then chuckled and looked back down at the area below.
"Mostly hang around Lord Xero." He chuckled again and laid a hand under his chin, "But when I'm alone, I...I enjoy relaxing, getting my hair done...My claws polished...Just being pampered. Otherwise, I normally stay with him..."
He sighs softly and I wait for him to say more, but he never does.
I decided at this time that I just had to ask him...Even if what I heard was true.
"What about military work? Do you enjoy working with the army? Do you...Like engaging in combat?"
As I finished, I noticed my tone was way sharper than intended, and figured I messed up.
However, Destructo replied, and at first, he sounded fine, but I knew he was growing more nervous the more he spoke.
"I...Do enjoy being with the soldiers. They're always ready to show me their talent...And I love knowing that they've improved."
I hear another sigh, before he says what I'd fear he'd say...
"As for actual combat...I hate it. I hate fighting, I hate the battlefields...I hate...Getting dirty."
My claws extended at this, and I retract them quickly, hoping he didn't see.
It's true. He hates fighting. He hates the energy, the hard work...The rush you feel when charging into battle...
He was merely a pretty boy who showcased power when he really had to.
He's not a real soldier.
"I've took part in some fights, but I...I didn't enjoy them." Destructo continued, to which I could barely look at him due to my hatred toward what has been said, "Everyone says that I should enjoy the destruction of our foes, that I should relish the screams of fear...But I hate them. I hated all of them...Every moment...Every sight...Every sound...I will never have to deal with them again."
Somehow, I felt like my creation was now more than just Lord Xero seeking out more soldiers. He wanted to give Destructo what he wanted...But he needed to ensure this soldier was able to become as strong as Destructo...If not stronger.
And that soldier...Was me.
I had to surpass expectations. I had to prove that I could do what Destructo could...No. I had to prove...
...That I could do more.
I wasn't going to turn back. I wasn't going to show weakness...I wasn't going to hold back...
Destructo's voice sounded and despite the anger I felt before, I looked at him and saw him smiling down at the room's center.
I followed his stare and saw that Xero stood in the middle of everything, holding one arm out and aiming it in Destructo's direction. He smiled up at him and gave his fingers a light flick, gesturing for him to join in.
Destructo grinned and leaped from where he stood and landed gracefully in front of Xero. Despite his heavy size, his boots touched the floor so lightly, you'd think he was a spirit.
A light tune filled the air and the two began to dance. I couldn't believe that even the great Dark Lord knew some moves, much less could be as graceful as the timid superweapon...
Suddenly, the music changed and Xero's whole demeanor changed. His moves were faster and filled with energy, and even Destructo's dancing style changed to a more energetic form.
The crowd cheered as Destructo spun around wildly in place, before taking Xero's hand and spinning him. I could see the joy on everyone's faces the longer this continued, and despite the energy...
...I couldn't bring myself to enjoy it.
I glanced down at the floor and extended my claws, then scratched a circle around myself. I remained in place, feeling various emotions at once.
I was happy I had a promotion, proud of my work, eager to prove myself...
...Yet angry that my head leader was a coward, and his beloved fine with that.
I was annoyed that I went through all this hard work, only to find out that I was merely under a sap's control...I hated how the head leader was supposed to be seen as a brave, powerful warrior, but in reality is just a pitiful coward...I was scared what would happen if I questioned Lord Xero about Destructo's true purpose...As well as my own.
I just wanted to leave.
I just wanted this party to end...
I wanted to take off this stupid suit and start my real job.
My claws grab one sleeve and I glared down at it, but before I could budge, Xero emerged next to me with a drink and plate of meat.
"That was fun." He sighed, before noticing my stance, "I..."
Destructo landed next to him and chuckled gleefully, before noticing what he was looking at.
"Wh-What's--" he began, but Xero hushed him and placed the food on the railing, then took him aside.
"I think we...Overdid it." He said, "I can tell...He hates it. He was only happy during the announcement."
I could tell that they were trying to make sure I didn't hear. I gripped the sleeve tighter, to which my claws began to rip right through it, and considered trying to sneak out.
"I thought it was perfect." Destructo spoke, "After all, we never had an occasion such as this happen before. Doesn't it deserve something of this magnitude in order to celebrate?"
Not for me, pretty boy...
I glared down at the floor, noticing the circle I dug into it, and remembered all my struggles before coming this far...
Real struggles, that involved things a real soldier does.
Practicing using weapons, defending against those same weapons, fighting outer worldly creatures, and even fighting your own inner darkness.
Things you clearly didn't do.
My claws ripped through more material and I let the pieces fall onto the floor.
"He's not like us. He is serious about his work, and isn't into gatherings like this."
"He just needs...To lighten up..."
No, I don't. YOU need to stop being such a coward!
Without thinking, I ripped the sleeve completely off, before leaving the room and the party behind, not caring if anyone realized I was gone.
I raced down the hallways, tearing off the other sleeve, then finally reached the door leading out. I exited the castle and ripped the rest of the suit off my body before heading toward the outskirts to be alone.
I stand before a large mountain, breathing heavily with my claws extemded. My head will filled with everything that just happened at the gathering, and the more they lingered, the angrier I became.
"Someone gets it...But not you."
I swung at the mountain, ripping out a huge chunk of rocks.
"How you became the army's head leader, I'll never know."
I swung again, digging in deeper.
"So you are a powerful weapon...So what?!"
Shards of obsidian can be seen sparkling from within.
"If you can't fight, what's the point?!"
My anger is so intense, I want to tear this mountain completely apart.
The cuts are deeper, and now, only obsidian can be seen.
Pieces of obsidian scatter all across the ground.
"You're a coward!"
The mountain begins to crumble, and my claws begin to spark with energy.
"You're nothing but a stupid, lazy sap! You are NOTHING!!"
A final blow, and the mountain tumbles to the ground, scattering thick dust everywhere.
I glare around the area, breathing heavier than before, and suddenly let out a huge flame, lighting the remaining rocks on fire.
The sight of the fire began to calm me down and I gave one of the pieces a kick before leaving them behind.
I noticed that the kingdom was still mostly empty and decided to head back to my new home.
When I went inside and reached the main room, the machine from before screamed and embraced me asking, "How'd it go?"
Knowing she meant the celebration, I glared at her and ripped her head off, before answering, "THAT'S how it went."
I threw the head aside and went into the bedroom, not wanting to be disturbed anymore. When I reached it, I saw a screen on the wall, showcasing a message from who I could only assume was that machine...And it was.
How did I know?
The board literally said one thing on it, and I hated it...
I dug my claws deep into the screen and scratched it with so much force, the whole device ripped apart and shattered.
I went up to the bed and laid down on it, turning my back toward the entrance, and tried to remind myself that despite the fact that my superior in the army was a sap, and apparently, it's "suitable" to wear dress clothes to a military promotion-related celebration according to the same sap, that I was going to lead this army...Hopefully into combat.
I shuddered at what else could go wrong, then tried to relax and maybe fall asleep...
But that didn't happen.
As soon as I began to doze off, I heard someone entering the outside room before suddenly coming into the bedroom and stopping beside my bed.
And of course, it was him...The sap.
"I...I guess I...Let you down."
I snorted in reply. "Let me down" was putting it lightly.
Try "you disgraced me".
"Dishonored" would fit just as well.
"I should've listened to him. Lord Xero told me that this would've been too much for you. But I...I wanted to do something special. Something...Different."
If I could roll my eyes, they'd be near the back of my head right now.
"Special for me? Or special for you?"
I didn't care about my response at this time. He clearly didn't know squat about me. He never saw me working my hardest to surpass expectations, he never saw the challenges I took in order to become stronger...
And he never saw my toughest fight, against a threat that could've become not only my downfall...But his as well.
The lack of response told me everything: He was afraid to answer because he knew he'd either be lying, or he would be admitting that yes, it was for himself and his desires.
"That's what I thought."
He tried to come up with reasons why the gathering was a good idea; From "it was a way to meet other citizens" to "getting a chance to do something with the soldiers", he tried everything.
But the worst one of them all?
"I thought you'd like a formal occasion, along with a dance."
I turned and sat up at this, then stood up. How could he be so stupid?!
"Dancing is for the weak. It doesn't help make you stronger, only battles can improve one's abilities."
He tried to speak again, but I wasn't finished. I was going to tell him how I felt, and if it hurt his little feelings, so be it.
"As for these stupid formal occasions, I'm not like you. I enjoy getting dirty, and I enjoy tough battles. I don't care how I look going into combat, and neither does the enemy. If I'm going to be a soldier, I'm going to look like one, whether it be dirt on my armor or battle scars. If I polish my armor, fine. But no one will care about how you look when they're trying to bring you down."
I saw him looking down at the floor as I said this and saw his eyes changing colors.
"You clearly don't know what I've gone through to earn this position." I turned away as he began to sniffle softly, "Everything I did, every battle I fought...I didn't do them for some silly dress up party. I did it to prove my strength and worth to Lord Xero. And yet...It didn't seem to matter to you. Because I got this - A sappy, little 'formal occasion' that only you would enjoy...Something that has nothing to do with me."
At this point, Destructo was sobbing softly, and I still didn't care.
So he's not only a sap, but a crybaby as well.
Some head leader.
"I...I wish I knew." He whimpered, "I-If I had known...I...I would've..."
"So you knew nothing about what I was doing." I cut in as he struggled to come up with things to say, "Go figure. It's clear that it doesn't matter to you. Why should it, when you get to lounge around all day? Why should my hard work become known to you? Why should you care that there may be a new soldier to look after? Obviously you don't want to deal with the hard stuff anymore, so why don't you just leave all the leading to someone who can handle it?!"
As I finished, I turned back around sharply, breathing heavily with rage, and noticed Destructo's face.
His eyes were staring straight into mine, and I could tell he was feeling many emotions at once. He was clearly hurt by what I had said, but seemed more disappointed with himself after I expressed my distaste toward what he did.
I expected him to have an outburst, either out of anger or pain, but...He didn't.
He sniffles softly and takes a few breaths, but never shows a hint of anger. His claws grip his pants tight and he stands up slowly, heaving a heavy - yet - shaky sigh.
"I promise...I do care." He went up to the destroyed screen and looked down at it, "I...I enjoyed hearing about your progress, and loved how proud Lord Xero was of you. I may not like the thought of engaging in combat, but knowing how much you worked to prove yourself gave me joy. You may not know this but...I had the idea of trying out a new class of soldier...And I am glad...That our first attempt was a success."
Despite the surprising news about myself being the first soldier of a new class, I still found it hard to believe what he was saying.
"I...I should've contacted you more." Destructo's voice began to sound less shaky and I glanced at him, my anger starting to fade, "I should've...Gotten to know you. If I had known...I-I wouldn't have...Failed you like this."
I turned toward him, relaxing more the longer he spoke. I admit, I was somewhat enjoying his nervous tone...I wish he'd grovel.
"I promise, I won't do it again." Destructo turns toward me and his eyes are back to their yellow hue, yet I saw a hint of determination in them, "If there's something I can do to make it up to you, let me know."
At this, I couldn't help but smirk. I knew exactly what he could do.
"If you really want to do something for me...You will show me your might...In combat." I chuckled, scraping my claws together, "Prove to me that you are worth a second of my time, and not the coward you appear to be."
Destructo shuddered and didn't reply. Whether it was due to the sounds of my claws scraping each other or the thought of a fight, I didn't know -- but I also didn't care. This was what he had to do if he wanted to make up for his mistake...And I wasn't going to accept anything else.
After a moment of us staring at each other, Destructo finally nodded.
"I knew you'd say that." He crossed his arms with a grin, despite the reaction seconds ago, "But I should warn you that I'm not the 'lazy pretty boy' you claim me to be. I accept your challenge!"
I chuckled and left the room, allowing my claws to extend and scratch the floor as I left, and headed outside...
...And was greeted by the army, but this time in nothing but their battle armor.
They saluted me as I passed by and followed me to where I knew our battle would begin. I felt my claws continuing to dig through the ground and chuckled as I drew closer to my destination.
We finally arrive in a barren field outside the kingdom, and the soldiers head in one direction while I continued forward. I kept my gaze ahead, and caught sight of two shady figures in the distance...
Lord Xero and Destructo.
As he caught sight of me, Xero gave Destructo a confident grin and flew toward a tall pillar that stood further away. He then raised his hands and more pillars rose from the ground, along with a stage underneath our feet, creating an arena.
I smirked at Destructo and ran my claws across the metal floor, creating bright sparks and sending out a loud screech.
He shuddered again, but otherwise, his gaze was filled with determination as he took hold of his jacket and flung it off his body, to which Xero brought it up to himself in order to avoid it getting ruined.
"Your move, Pretty Boy." I chuckled as the soldiers began to cheer.
Destructo didn't respond and took a few heavy breaths, trying to prepare for our battle. He didn't move at first, but I began to notice that a couple of cannons were rising from his back.
I stayed in place for a moment, then heard the light sounds of the cannons charging for a shot, and prepared myself.
A bright beam fired out of the cannons and I dodged them, then charged at Destructo, creating more sparks with my claws, and gave him a quick swing, striking his arm as he used it to protect himself.
"Come. Where's that destructive power?" I said, "Where's the mighty weapon I've heard so much about?!"
Destructo kept his arm raised as I swiped at him multiple times in several places, then lowered it quickly and turned his head toward me. I noticed right away that his mouth was open and a bright glow could be seen behind his lower jaw.
Another beam shot from his mouth and crashed into me, but I recovered quickly and noticed slight burns on my armor.
I couldn't help but grin at the sight. This is what I was made to do. This is why I worked so hard...
This is what it's like to be a soldier.
The longer we fought, the more eager I became to prove myself. Not just to my lord and Destructo, but to everyone else who crosses my path. I wanted to show what I've learned and what it took for me to keep going. I wanted everyone to know what I'm made of...
It seems like hours have passed, and Destructo is looking worn out. His left over weapons are smoking from overuse and he's shaking slightly as he struggles to stay alert. His armor, strong as it is, was covered in scratches and burns from my flamethrower. His hair was messed up and I knew he'd need a lot of work to clean it and redo it...Something I found amusing.
While I wasn't physically tired, I, too, was needing work.
My armor had burns covering many places, including my limbs, and I had dirt all over my claws. My flamethrower was limited to smoke screens and I felt my claws growing dull.
"You...You really are...Worth your title." He tries to stand, but is hardly able to due to the scratches left on his legs, "I...I'm proud...To had taken part in this...This great battle."
These words brought me more joy than anything that's taken place after my promotion. I actually gave him a battle that he enjoyed.
Perhaps he's not such a sappy coward after all.
"Fighting you...Has been my greatest honor." I replied, "Truly. Knowing your strength...It gives me great pleasure to be working underneath you."
Destructo gave me a smile, and I saw his eyes glistening with pride...
...Before he thrust his hands into the ground, causing a huge shockwave that slammed into me with a powerful impact.
I couldn't recover from this and laid on the ground in defeat. But, it didn't matter. I knew now that Destructo was not what he appeared to be. While yes, he was timid, a neat freak, and cared about his looks...
He was a soldier, whether he admits it or not.
And it was due to this fight I became even stronger. I wanted to challenge him again and again, and sometimes we would indeed have a rematch.
I'd win some, and he'd win others.
And the longer I continued, the more of his strategies I picked up...Just as he did with me.
This was our purpose: To memorize and study enemy tactics, and find out ways to counter them. I admit, he was good at his job.
Soon, I began to take up more jobs. Finding new worlds, conquering them, or destroying them if Lord Xero deemed it useless...I enjoyed every moment thinking of which we'd target next...
...All I had to do was wait for him to give the word.
And once he did, that's when we did what we did best.
Every world will know us and our great power...
...As well as how I brought us to victory.
A dusty, barren planet filled with arachnids who believed they were capable of protecting themselves.
The land was covered in dirt...So much dirt, that it looked like nothing else existed. Even the sky seemed like it was filled with dust; It was colored with many hues of oranges and browns.
It was quiet, until I could hear the slight sounds of skittering legs underneath. I knew then they were underground dwellers. I had to find how they accomplished this -- And I did. They made a trap door.
The trap door was easy to break through. Perhaps it was my incredible power or maybe it was just getting so run down because these cowards never ventured back out.
It was dimly lit, and the whole area was a tunnel filled with these giant spiders. These spiders were larger than average and could carry things in their hands. Their weapons of choice? Anything with a long pole. Spears, forks, anything that needed a long reach in order to strike -- If one was right in front of it. The hallways didn't give them near enough room to move around. Such fools.
Fighting talent? What fighting talent? These weapons they had were useless and broke in an instant. These spiders clearly had more intelligence when it got to hiding themselves than with battle tactics. And once one group was crushed, the others decided to flee. Go figure.
Wiping them out was simple, and that's putting it nicely. The sole survivor took me to their leader, but even he wasn't impressive. So he was big. So what?
Needless to say this world was worse than bad. It was a waste of time, and I should've crushed it from the outside -- Or better yet, from my base. Traveling so far just for that measly engagement was pathetic.
Spigian Soldiers - A bunch of pathetic wimps. Lacked any sort of tactical knowledge. Easily wiped them out with a single blow.
Mi-Ni - The sole survivor, who took me to their leader. I question his loyalty toward his kind. Crushed immediately after seeing their leader.
Director Trench - A nervous, formal wreck. The biggest of their kind...The biggest pain. Wiped him out with a single swipe.
Despite being populated by alligator like creatures, most of the planet consisted of villages and dirt.
This world already impressed me more than the first one due to the large amount of homes and citizens. Was it hard to invade? Not even close. In fact, there wasn't a hint of technology in any villages we went into. We were "stopped" by two guards, but that was it.
My being impressed went from 100% to -99 in 5 seconds.
Just a bunch of dark ages type nonsense. The older males fought with spears, some of the "stronger" (HA!) ones used swords or clubs, and everyone else stayed in their homes until things were safe. Guess what? Things never got safe.
Lord Xero came into this world with us, and he was impressed...With how easily we defeated legions of these beings. We all had higher expectations, but it was just another of those planets.
He sent us out to finish the job, and we did. According to a couple of soldiers, Lord Xero engaged in combat against the main village's guardian: A three headed beast known as the Gatorous. What I heard from him:
It was big and tasted delicious.
No, I didn't get a taste. But I tasted victory when Lord Xero stormed the castle and ordered us to eliminate the rest of them.
I still want some of that meat...
Gatorgor Soldiers - Had the capability to fight, but not against us. They were unable to fend off our mechanical superiority.
Gatorgor Citizens - "Run and hide" was their objective. Instead, they ran and died.
Gatorous - A large, three-headed beast with what could've had massive power...If it weren't fighting Lord Xero.
Other encounters were made, but not by me personally. Due to them meeting Lord Xero, I could not study them.
Literally all mountains and rocky hills. The creatures here were all covered in stone armor and could forge their own weapons.
This place...Was actually tricky to pinpoint an invading area. The main area was literally IN a giant mountain. Due to this, I went alone. No matter, less idiots to get in my way.
The surrounding areas were a labyrinth of long tunnels, lit by only torches at first. My thoughts instantly went to the spiders and I considered leaving and destroying it from the outside...
Suddenly, the torches stopped and lamps hung around to continue the path...Maybe there's hope for this place.
As I began to reach the end of a tunnel, I heard something like crumbling rocks. Go figure, once I looked up, small stones began to fall right where I was heading.
Not this time.
I made it through the exit before the rocks fell and blocked the pathway back. Great.
The further I went, the more of these -- now seemingly scheduled -- rock slides occurred. I then realized that they were alarms being set off and traps to keep others from escaping.
Good luck trapping me.
Finally, I reach the main area. The largest mountain was there, surrounded by many smaller mountains - most of which had signs over their entrances saying things like "Rocksmith" and "Supply Store" on them.
I suppose they're more civilized than those dumb gators.
Admittedly, I was curious about the Rocksmith in particular. I knew they had to have superbly designed weapons in store, right?
The idiot only had rocks. Rocks, stones, and pebbles. And the "weapons" were basically staves shaped from them. While some were sharp, they weren't sharp enough to even dent my armor.
I know...Because he threw one at me.
I asked him about other materials available, and all he could say was...
We only have rocks.
During my research, I read how there was literally clusters of hard gems inside their walls, and to prove my point, broke through the wall of his shop and pulled out some of said gems.
He wasn't impressed.
Also, for "destroying his property", he threatened me with his so-called "Skullcrusher" - literally tiny pebbles that formed into a huge club with one big rock on top - and tried to strike me with it.
Guess whose skull really got crushed.
The commotion didn't stop there. An alarm louder and more violent than the others sounded and some creatures clad in stony armor came to see what's happening.
And these guys had GEMS on their armor!
Go figure, the Rocksmith was just that. He worked with rocks.
These guardians have an advanced weaponsmaster, whose shop was buried deep underground, and apparently they build the "good stuff".
Too bad their armor was still useless against my steel.
These guardians could fight and work together, I'll give them that.
After their surrender, I contacted and informed Lord Xero on their unique weapons. He was interested in learning more, and we had a "talk" with the planet's ruler and the remaining weaponsmaster - who introduced himself as the Gemsmith. Very creative...
After a while, the Gemsmith and leader pledged themselves to Lord Xero and forged even better weapons, weapons out of dark stones that can only be found when a planet is corrupted by darkness: Apocalyx. These stones are said to have the most destructive energy out of Dark Materials, and if one were to be struck by one...They're done for.
Rocksmith - Arrogant fool who refused to upgrade his "weapons". He'd need to upgrade designs as well anyway...Who uses clubs anymore?!
Gemold Guardians - The "elite soldiers" on this planet. Had better equipment than what the Rocksmith could provide and could work as a team. However, they were easily overwhelmed by my not taking damage from their feeble attempts to strike me.
King Stone II - Rather intelligent for someone with a head made out of rocks. Swore himself to us after a little conversation (that may or may not had involved a few instances of claws digging into him, about to rip his body apart) and introduced us to the "best" weapons creator they have. His body may be a bit smaller now.
Gemsmith - The "Best of the Best" in their view. Weapons were definitely upgraded, but still dull. Now works for us and has near superior weapons due to powerful materials.
All of it is water! Somehow, we never engaged in battle, but the most powerful warriors were underwater creatures - namely sharks. Their leader was known as The Kraken.
Blue. Blue as far as the eye can see. The whole planet was...BLUE.
And no, I will not break into song.
No cities, no land, nothing. Just sky and water.
And it was blue.
This was Spider City all over again, and I was beginning to hate it. I just wanted a challenge...A challenge I could enjoy.
This was not it.
But I had to do it. This was for Lord Xero, after all. Plus it was a test to see if I'd last underwater.
I remembered having a few alterations made for this planet, and put them to good use. I also had a special vehicle I could use if needed, but at the same time, I wanted to take this head on.
My "head on" challenge almost didn't last as I had to get used to being underwater and this planet's inhabitants were all...Go figure...Aquatic creatures, meaning the whole ocean was a giant cluster of cities. And with that, combined with my lack of practice, meant every move risked me banging into something.
This was already getting on my nerves.
Eventually, the "buildings" started to get smaller and less cluttered, so I had room to maneuver around everything. At the same time, I was already feeling more confident in my abilities.
Just not ready to take on a sudden group of sea dwellers armed with massive cannons.
However, if I didn't fight now, they'd take me out.
Somehow, when I swung at them, they backed away. Perhaps they noticed I wasn't like them? Of course they did! I was the only one there who didn't have fins, gills, or tentacles! The closest I had was a giant pair of waterproof fins on my back and smaller ones on my arms.
Even my usual scorpion like tail was turned into something more aquatic. I felt like an idiot.
Despite this, they seemed impressed with these attachments and wanted to know more. Something was fishy, and it wasn't me.
They took me into an outskirts of a palace, and up to a "building" that looked like a mixture of coral and debree from who-knows-what.
Nice place...If you like colorful garbage piles.
The inside was strangely more like the inside of a building you'd find in our world, only a super bright blue with lights reflecting off every single thing. There was a long table in the middle and tools organized on the wall nearby.
This couldn't be a lab.
Someone else comes out, and is introduced as Doctor Claude Skampi, the planet's most brilliant scientist.
This was a lab.
Doctor Skampi was immediately fascinated with my equipment and wanted me to show how it worked. Of course, if I took off anything, something could go haywire in my system. Try again, fool.
He was persistent for someone who was at least five times smaller than me, I'll give him that.
After what seemed like the 50th "no", he decided to instead show me one of his creations. I at first didn't care. I just wanted to get out of here...
But his creation was worth every agonizing moment.
Skampi came out in an armored suit that could hold more than a million of himself inside if it had to, and it was impressive. Of course, it was blue, but it had dark gold trimmings around the shoulders and waist, and bulky limbs - the complete opposite of the one inside.
This guy - annoying as he was - could become a great asset. We had some weapon builders...But not in our world. The Gemsmith remained in his planet, while corrupted by darkness, and became a dark being in the process. It was something that needed to happen to make sure our contract wasn't broken.
I knew I had to recruit him and tried to think of a tactic to bring him to our side without alarming the soldiers who greeted me. As it turned out, they left.
Either they were cowards, or they had a distraction.
As it turned out, it was a distraction, as all of the sudden, the lab was being surrounded. I had no time to think and straight out offered Skampi a job with us.
Surprisingly, he accepted.
It turns out that Skampi wanted to leave this planet for a long time. Everyone always picked at him for his size.
Well, he is an actual shrimp.
This suit was actually his secret weapon, and he was going to use it in order to get revenge on the planet once he tested it on this nearby kingdom.
He wanted to prove that science exists even underwater, and that anything could work with the right design. However, they saw him as a fool, and that's why his lab was in the outskirts. While some came to him for minor tools, such as spears, eventually, more advanced technology was made -- some of which were those cannons I was threatened with moments ago.
The weapons were proving worthwhile and Skampi was being accepted as an intelligent and dedicated scientist amongst the citizens...
...Until the ruler of all found out.
The Kraken, as they call him, was a tyrant, and deemed science a bunch of "land dweller dribble".
Quality description, sir. Who taught you your vocabulary? A piece of coral?
Due to his overpowering rule, everyone had to ditch anything that he deemed "too big", including the weak spears previously used before upgrading to cannons.
One: He was extremely large himself, standing around 12 stories tall.
Two: Apparently a cannon the size of one's head isn't "too big"!
These restrictions were heavily enforced, and people began to start vanishing without a trace, before returning out of nowhere and ridiculing Skampi...
After previously purchasing from him before.
However, this wasn't confirmed by the king of the nearby kingdom. He always claimed that the Kraken was wise and knew what was right for everyone.
Of course, he was just a coward sucking up to his overlord.
Skampi built a few devices that looked just like the living creatures surrounding the Kraken's castle, and they did just what they needed to do.
They found that the Kraken was not only enforcing the rules, but also threatening other rulers to not inform of anything.
Of course, those devices were immediately destroyed when the Kraken realized they were watching him, nor actual living creatures.
Obviously, that didn't fare well with Skampi.
He saw the ones obeying orders as cowards, and the Kraken nothing but a monster. And the more they began to reject him (again), the angrier he became...Until he threatened to show them "his true potential" someday.
And someday is now.
The lab was starting to be broken into, and that's when Skampi made his move. He allowed me inside his suit (trusting someone he just met? Rather naive for someone so "brilliant") and broke through the window before -- perhaps surprisingly -- Blowing it up.
He was ready to destroy that wretched place. I would be too, considering how much of an eyesore the outside was...
That finished off the guards, and while Skampi wanted his revenge done personally, I informed that the planet wasn't going to last long anyway.
And it didn't.
I swear, if I see any more blue..!
Aqua Soldiers - Bunch of sea creatures; Namely two sharks, an octopus, and some large fish creature. Tried to intimidate me, but were intimidated themselves.
Doctor Claude Skampi - A "brilliant" scientist. Actually wanted revenge on the planet's overlord for ridiculing not only himself, but his father, of whom was also a shrimp of science. Very passionate about building for himself and destroying others who mock him. Now works in Lord Xero's kingdom as a weapons creator.
The Kraken - The one who controls even the individual kings in the planet. Didn't encounter him personally, but Skampi showed me data on him. Literally a giant squid with long teeth and bright eyes. In other words: A monster. Was actually average size before Skampi's father accidentally gave him a growth potion instead of medicine to cure his sickness. Yet, he was still angry.
Professor Sebastian Skampi - Skampi's father. Was actually the head medic and weaponsmaster for the Kraken. Had little to no time to spend with his son due to his job and the Kraken's impatient nature. After giving a growth potion instead of medicine, he was to be supervised at all times. Eventually rebelled against the Kraken but was eaten alive. Guess Skampi deleted everything...
Nature. Nature everywhere. It was disgustingly colorful. Filled with leafy creatures who wouldn't stop pestering me. I should've destroyed it from the outside...And I never want to see the color green again.
Another place where it was somewhat tricky to invade, but due to researching a little bit on the main area, I was prepared.
I had a tank, courtesy of Lord Xero himself.
What, did you expect me to say Skampi? No. He's still getting used to being out of his element. Sound familiar?
The tank worked for a while, and it seemed like this world was going to be easy...
Of course it wasn't.
Somehow, something got stuck underneath the tank and was holding it in place, and then the window was splattered by some colorful substance that reeked of flowers!
My new toy. Ruined.
This was nonsense. All I wanted was to come into some strange world, conquer it in my lord's name, and leave. WHY was this so hard?!
I got out and noticed right away that there were some giant flower lizard creatures spitting nectar at the tank, making it impossible to stay around due to the stench. Underneath, large roots held the tank in place and I saw that the treads were already smashed.
My tank...Destroyed by trees. And this came from the almighty Lord Xero. Someone hates me.
After setting the plant creatures on fire, they panicked, and that's when I struck them down. Guess they didn't expect a live machine in front of them...Much less one with the capability to fight.
I sliced the roots in half, and despite their grip loosening on the tank, I knew it wasn't going to continue working.
Even worse, the nectar apparently caused a malfunction and...
These nature freaks were going to pay. Dearly.
I continued on, tearing down trees with a single swing from my claws. They took my tank, I take their home. End of story.
I could hear other creatures hiding from me -- just as they should -- and I set more trees on fire. They weren't going to hide for long.
The further I went, the more colorful the forest became...
And it was sickening.
The plants were marked in various hues of blues (UGH!), yellows, and pinks, some brighter than others. It looked like a paint job gone wrong and I hated it. Maybe that's why they destroyed my tank; It had a way cleaner job than this!
The creatures here were just as colorful, and...So kind?! The first one I saw tried to put a flower necklace around my neck!
Did they NOT see me set the place on fire?!
Apparently, these forests were similar to the mountain tunnels: All lead to this one place, and this was where the Big Guy was in charge...
Except, this planet was ruled by a queen.
And not just any queen...
...But a giant, brightly colored flower with a smell so sweet it could make you gag. And yes, she had arms and a face.
I should mention her "guardian" is a giant, all-consuming plant as well.
The Queen was actually very similar to the Kraken, except her attitude was the complete opposite. While the Kraken was a terrifying monster, the Queen -- who introduced herself as Flora (creative much?) - was sickeningly kind and just wanted to...Talk her head off.
"We don't have technology here! You're impressive and strong looking! Where did you come from? Who do you work with? What's your life like?"
ENOUGH already, Your Smelliness! I canNOT stand your constant chatter!
Despite my demanding her to shut up, she kept going. And everyone else was content with that.
Not for long.
After ripping the petals off the nearest flower creature, she finally stopped. The continuous talking then turned to non stop staring.
This was one annoying flower.
As I dropped what remained of the flower creature to the ground, she finally realized that I wasn't there to listen to her rambling, nor "admire the beautiful scenery" like she wanted. No, I wanted to do the opposite...
I wanted to destroy it.
She sends the guardian after me, and while it looked powerful, it was unsurprisingly slow. With its giant head and large body, plus short stubby legs...It wasn't going anywhere.
Glad I could just set it ablaze and go from there.
The others also didn't stand a chance. Some fled, others pleaded for me to spare this place...
But I was still avenging my tank.
The Queen was defenseless. The whole area surrounding us was on fire, and she was stuck inside the ground. She could only watch in horror as I ripped everything around her apart before stopping beside her long-reaching stem.
She tried to beg me to put out the flames, but oh...Here's a spoiler alert: I CAN'T! She had the audacity to ask a soldier in the God of Darkness' army to stop the same destructive forces he brought!? I didn't even respond and just chopped down that idiotic mess.
After I got back, Lord Xero informed me of something, and it surprised me.
I had my tank back. Brand new and improved.
I took great pleasure in destroying that blasted forest from inside.
Because yes, now it has a giant cannon...
...And a single blast could destroy an entire planet from where it stood...
...No matter where it was.
Nectre - Wretched flower lizards who DESTROYED MY TANK!!! Spitting freaking nectar on it and making it EXPLODE! Set them on fire! Crush them all!!
Petal Pixie - Giggly pink bundles of filth. One tried to greet me as a friend...Despite the forest burning from behind me. What an idiot.
Queen Flora - How annoying can one get?! She's bright, happy, and stinks like garbage! Do not let her start talking or she will never stop! Actually, I stopped her. She's been cut down. You're welcome.
Gnasher - The Queen's Guard...Plant. Bulky and slow, easy to take out. The thing clearly had too much sun and water over time. It's breath smelled like dirt.
Literal perfection: A giant volcano surrounded by technology. The beings here were also machines and were impressed with my soldiers. They tried to steal at least one...
Despite the intense heat, entering wasn't hard at all. My soldiers and I were made with armor resistant to such things, so we didn't break a sweat.
The entire kingdom surrounded a towering volcano, and there were tons of machines at work, creating various devices. I admit I was impressed...
...Until one of them tried to steal a soldier from right in front of my face.
And to make things worse, the idiot didn't even notice the long arm reaching for him!
Let's just say that he's been...Decommissioned from services after we got back.
The one handling the machine may or may not also be missing in action. Did he really think I wasn't paying attention?!
The further we went, the larger the devices became...And more attempts to steal my soldiers were made. One even tried to grab me!
Do these creatures have to take every piece of metal they find?!
After ripping the limbs off one of their devices, the worker yelled at me, saying that it was his job...To take every piece of metal they see.
I wasn't going to deal with this, much less put my whole army - some of which were too stupid to understand that the enemy planet's toys weren't our playthings (yet) - so I sent them back, except for the only one I knew I could rely on. Honestly, the whole lot was just plain stupid, except for this ONE soldier. Why is it always ME who gets stuck with incompetent fools?!
Due to these ongoing attempts at soldier-napping, I ordered the one left behind to dig underground. Being a Scorpio model, he was perfect for these kinds of sneak attacks; His claws were able to drill into the ground - yes, even the outside of a volcano - and we no longer had problems getting around the metal hungry freaks...
...Until we resurfaced...Inside the volcano.
And go figure, the king was there.
And not just any king...
...But the loudest, most irritating hothead I ever saw.
His first words were literally "You idiots! You ruined my perfectly good magma floor!!"
And my army says I'M loud and hot headed!
It didn't stop there. One of his workers came in and said they didn't have enough material for something because "some intruder is destroying their machines and keeping the metal to himself".
He said this...While I was literally right in front of him.
I think he needs a smaller helmet.
In response, the king had his helmet removed and his body smashed against the wall.
Well, good, now you can fix your "perfectly good magma floor".
After that, the king realized that oh, I'M the intruder! What a brainless oaf.
He needs his helmet REMOVED!
How does he alarm everyone of this?
And when I say "yell", I mean "throws a tantrum".
Literally just stands there, stomping and shouting, "Someone get this guy outta here! He ruined everything! My floor is ruined, my walls are ruined, my armor is scratched! Get him out!!"
"Everything?" No, I just ripped off a few parts from YOUR machines that tried to steal MY soldiers -- All of whom were still ALIVE.
If you don't want someone ruining your floors, build your castle in the sky. Of course, then he'd gripe about ceiling damage...If he added one.
Your walls are fine. See those remains of rocks and magma? Use them to rebuild.
I didn't touch you. But since you planted the idea in my mind...
How about a scratch here and across your face? Better?
And for someone who is covered in metal, he didn't like the sounds of my claws scraping his armor. Guess he shouldn't had spoke.
He just grew more and more obnoxious the longer we stayed there, and eventually, it just became amusing. Surely even I wasn't this annoying...
His yelling soon turned into throwing things around and breaking even his own property, and moments after, the walls began to shake.
Did he notice?
What do you think?!
The volcano began to erupt, and that's when King Hot-Meathead finally realized he was causing more damage in five minutes than I ever did during my thirty minutes of being on his planet.
How many times I said "idiot" in this one planet, I lost count, but it's a big number.
I sent my remaining soldier back quickly, before deciding that this meltdown went far enough. I dug into the king - he was also made of magma, more materials to fix his floors if it weren't too late! - and threw him inside the lava. I did bring his armor as a meal.
Trophies? Ha! Those go to Lord Xero.
As the lava wiped out the remaining machines, I figured there wouldn't be much left, but decided to see what Lord Xero would think.
I admit to being surprised when he said to keep the planet alive...Even if everything else was basically dead. I could tell by then he had plans for the planet, though, and now I know what they are.
But you will never find out.
What I will say is that the armor tasted delicious. Bonus it was already fresh off of the volcanic hothead.
Maybe I'll go back and search for scraps...
Molten Workers - Simply "just doing their job"...If by that, you mean, "attempting to steal someone else's army". Even then, they did not do their job.
King Duran - I deem you "King of the Meatheads". Didn't even realize he was destroying his own darn castle! My army now compares me to this idiot...Until I silence them with a single swipe of my claws. Just like Hothead, they fear the sounds of my claws scraping their armor.
DATA: Light Kingdom
UGH. Too BRIGHT! Lives up to its name and title of the "Keeper of the Light". Was the home of the God of Light, before becoming the home of THOSE idiots.
It took a lot of research to figure out a way to invade.
The realm was rather heavily guarded, and many creatures inhabited the kingdom, including servants who previously worked for the God of Light.
I had to be extremely careful, not only for my own sake, but for the sake of Lord Xero and his kingdom. If a being of Light finds out that I came from the Dark Kingdom, they'd surely inform their ruler and suggest a counterattack.
After asking for suggestions from Lord Xero, he came up with a few methods.
One, emerge from behind the buildings that surrounded the castle.
Two, try to walk in casually from the outskirts and act like I'm gathering information.
...Simply crash the kingdom, crush everything in sight, and engage the ruler in combat.
As much as I really loved the thought of fighting and destroying everything in sight, I couldn't take that risk. Not right away.
Lord Xero knew that this was going to be my greatest challenge and gave me a few tidbits on how to take it head on.
As much as I appreciated his tips, I couldn't help but wonder...
How did he know so much about this realm of light?
He noticed my stare, and suddenly appeared nervous, something that I've never seen before.
Despite the awkward silence, he released me with these final words:
"Go. Do what you can. If you make it back, I will tell you what you want to know."
Despite his uncertainty toward the turnout, I was motivated by the opportunity to learn something I would never get a chance to otherwise.
I left him, ready to see this world with my own eyes. I was going to attempt the first two suggestions before going all out...
...Starting with a casual appearance but ending in a potential sneak attack.
I created a portal leading into this new world...The world who poses the greatest threat to ours...And raced through, preparing for whatever may occur.
I arrived in the outskirts and nearly lost control of myself. The light was so bright, if I were anything but a mighty Battle Mech, my eyes would've melted from the severity.
I'm definitely not in my home world...
I took a moment to recover, then continued forward. I didn't get far, however, until a small orb of light with glowing wings fluttered around my head.
The light flew in front of my face and for some reason, I could smell something sweet. It took a moment, but I realized that the scent was coming from it.
The light flickered at this and the scent changed, but it was still disgustingly sweet. It flew around me again, and I could smell various scents at once, each more horrible than the first.
"Disgusting piece of filth."
I swatted at the light, catching it between my claws, and crushed it in my grip. When I uncurled my fingers, I noticed that there was another scent, but this time, it smelled rather good.
"NOW it smells like something other than fruit!"
I sighed and continued down the path, noticing more creatures watching me. However, these creatures were cowering in fear, and some were staring at my hand in particular.
I knew I had to do something before I reached the kingdom.
I raised my hand and removed the scent from it, enjoying the familiar flavor of meat on my claws.
How that thing had all these scents, I didn't know...But I was going to find out when I return back to my kingdom.
I finished cleaning off the scent and couldn't help but grin at the taste I just experienced.
It didn't just taste like meat, but the rarest, most perfectly cooked meat one could ever have...
...And it was delicious.
I wanted more...So much more...But that's not what I came here for.
And to make things worse, those creatures were all still watching me, and some looked ready to scream.
I turned toward them, and they cowered in fear, eyes wide with panic.
Despite my enjoying their terror, I had to convince them that they weren't in any trouble.
The things I do for the sake of our kingdom...
"I'm not going to hurt you. I'm just here...For a little visit." I tried to remain calm as I spoke, and the more I stood there, the more fear I could sense from them. One of them seemed to be urging another to head somewhere, and I knew right away where that would be...
Before the creature could run off, I leaped in front of it, blocking its path.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." I raised one hand and flexed my claws, "While I don't intend to hurt anyone, I could...Lose control. If that happens...Someone could get hurt! And I doubt any of you want to feel these, now, would you?"
I flashed my claws in the creature's face and it backed away, shaking its head quickly. The others, too, backed away before fleeing in the opposite direction from the kingdom.
"That's better." I muttered, despite now standing alone, "Let's see if I can make it without any more interruptions."
I moved forward again and soon, I could see the outskirts of the kingdom ahead...And it was gigantic.
Just like our kingdom, there were many houses aligning a long, wide path, and taller buildings stood amongst them.
However, there were a ton of other places as well, such as a wide field with a flowing river, and further down, what appeared to be a school.
In fact, there were so many new things here, I was starting to note them down faster than anything I ever wanted to study. This realm was filled with nature and things to do...
...While in our world, we have very little.
While we had a spa and some mountains, as well as the place where I train the army, there wasn't much else. We had our fair share of restaurants, but this realm of light had a wide selection; From sweets to fruit, to even special kinds of meat...They had everything.
We must make it ours.
I took down a final note before walking around the aisles of buildings, careful to not look suspicious. Of course, being an outsider already made that difficult.
I noticed many various beings walking around, unaware of my presence. I heard someone talking and stopped short, then hid behind a building as I listened in.
"It sounds like our king is getting ready for another occasion. He said something about finally starting that project he's been working on."
I laid one hand on the building nearby as they continued, until they said something surprising.
"Do you think Lord Electro will be running it himself?"
"No. I heard the one to run it will be Lord Ricki himself!"
My claws dig into the building and rip through it as I ducked behind it entirely.
I knew both of these names, and I hated both of them.
Ricki was the one who Lord Xero used to control until being set free. Electro was the one who helped, along with other beings from their home world, all of whom perished when we attacked and destroyed it.
And just like Lord Xero and Destructo, these two had an unbreakable bond. In fact, that's what saved Ricki from being fused with Lord Xero for the rest of his life.
The beings spoke again, and they apparently heard the sounds of my claws scraping the building. I could hear them inching closer and quickly retreated back to my world, eager to inform of what I've found so far.
I stand before my lord, waiting for him to finish reading my notes. He continues reading for a moment, then finally stops before turning toward me.
"They've grown since his rule." He mutters before looking at his partner, of whom was standing further behind, "We're going to have a little talk. Destructo, why don't you take a walk, maybe go spend some time by yourself for a bit? I'll find you when we're done."
I glanced back at Destructo as he nodded with a smile and left.
My lord spoke again, and I turned back toward him, noticing him walking to his throne, before sitting in it and gesturing toward the screen ahead of himself.
"I am true to my word. I will show you what I know about the kingdom." He gave his fingers a flick, and the screen switched to what seemed to be visions of the realm, "I will also tell you a secret that only myself and Destructo know: I used to live in that exact same kingdom."
I jumped at this and turned toward him in shock.
The Dark Lord...The one I serve...Came from the Kingdom of Light?!
He lowered his head, seemingly ashamed about this, then sighed and said softly, "I don't want others to know about this part of my past, and because of this, I removed it from my memory and stored them in the databank. It's also because of this I must request you to not tell anyone about this. If the kingdom knew that I used to be a warrior of light, they'd surely betray me."
I knew he was embarrassed about the past and gave a firm nod.
"I promise, no one shall find out." I replied, "If you want, I will remove everything from my own memory...And wipe it out completely."
He looked up and could tell that I meant every word. I saw his shameful face turn into a look of determination and he spoke again.
"No. Use these to learn more about the kingdom. I also want you to learn more about me...How I became who I am now, and what occurred during my life. I just expect you to keep what you see hidden from everyone else."
I began to reply, but he flicked a claw in the screen's direction, starting up a vision from his past.
"Watch them. They'll tell you more than I ever could."
I faced the screen again, anxious to see what he wants me to see, yet, eager to find out about the one I pledged my loyalty to.
Flashes of light filled the air and I notice my lord racing through the air.
However, he was the complete opposite of who he was now.
His armor was a bright golden-yellow and his body was covered by a long, white jacket with long sleeves that covered the entirety of his hands. Only the tips of his claws stuck out, and I could tell they were significantly less sharp than they are now.
His eyes were a bright yellow and his hair was almost pure white with hints of creamy yellow and silver streaks. His entire demeanor was filled with compassion and love, yet I could sense something going on.
Despite the bright colors and flowing, white wings flowing behind himself, he seemed eager to prove himself. I watched as a spear emerged in one hand and he thrust it down, striking a target that sat on the ground.
"Wonderful! Simply wonderful!" A brightly glowing orb of light shone a few feet away and I figured that he was in a higher position, "Your abilities are always growing better, Hero!"
A loud screech sounded from behind and I knew it was my lord's claws scraping against his throne. I turned to ask him if he needed me to stop, but he gave a light wave of his hand, signaling for me to keep watching.
My lord bowed before the orb and replied, "Thank you, my king. I want to do everything I can to protect your glorious kingdom. I will only continue to grow stronger."
"Strength comes in many forms, Hero." The orb took him down a path, in which other beings were busy working, "While you have the capability to fight, you can't forget to keep a focused mind as well. Don't let emotions conquer your actions...They could lead you down the path of darkness."
They entered a tall building and I didn't recognize it from my visit, before my lord replied again.
"Of course. My deepest apologies." He glanced down at the floor and saw a slight reflection of himself in the material, "I wouldn't forgive myself if I betrayed you, Li-Kah."
The room suddenly grew cold for a moment, before the vision changed to what appeared to be of my lord standing alone, his gaze facing something underneath.
"You...You never gave me a chance." He muttered, "Why did you hurt me? Why...Did you try to terminate me?"
He looked up slightly and I saw tears in his eyes, along with a pitiful face I've never seen him make all my life.
"Just because they told you to, you thought you had to destroy the one being who gave you so much joy?!" His gaze became filled with anger and I watched the tears become a fiery aura, "You thought what they wanted was more important than me! I could've done more, but you wouldn't let me! If only you could see me now...Know my true power! Perhaps I should...Give you a little taste!"
Another spear formed in his hand and he flung it down, grinning as it formed into a bolt of electricity.
The bolt struck and I heard a loud crash, followed by him laughing at what he just did.
And then I realized...
...He was targeting the mortal world.
He threw down another spear and I began to realize that he could conjur up these with light energy. Soon, he was throwing down so many, all that could really be seen were flashes of lightning...All of them aiming in the same general direction.
"This isn't the extent of my power!" He shouted, raising one hand and pulling back the sleeve so harshly, I was impressed it didn't rip right off, "Let's see how you enjoy this little treat!"
A huge orb of lightning formed in the palm of his hand before firing down, raining giant bolts in all sorts of directions.
He laughed again and prepared another attack, but a loud, "HERO!!" filled the air and he stopped quickly, faking innocence.
"What are you doing up so late?" Li-Kah came up to him and noticed the lightning storm he had created, "Now is not the time for these storms. You need your rest."
Just like him, I was surprised that Li-Kah didn't even notice the maliciousness in his attacks. Then again, I couldn't tell if the storm was only aimed in the same direction or if it was striking wherever.
My lord smirked as he followed behind the God of Light, and I saw a glint in his eye that spoke more than his words previously did. He was in pain due to these mortals, and he was going to make them pay...
The images changed again, and my lord spoke from behind.
"This one...May be the most important of them all. This is how...I was sent here."
His voice was dark as he said this, and I felt myself growing tense as the vision started.
While it seemed like a normal training routine, I could feel my lord's power and hatred radiating within. He worked with a few soldiers, all of whom referred to him as "High General", before suddenly stopping and turning away from them.
"Why'd you stop?"
"Did we...Do something wrong..?"
He didn't reply. I watched as he looked down at his hands and rolled his fingers into fists, his grip tightening on the spear he held.
The spear broke in his grip and he glared down at his arm, uncurling his fingers and grabbing a hold of his sleeve.
"This...I don't need this."
His claws rip through the material before he tears it off completely.
"I don't need them."
He grabs the other sleeve and rips it off as well.
"I only need one thing..."
He turns toward the soldiers, of whom are staring fearfully, and extends his claws, of which were suddenly sharper than before.
"...And that thing is...Revenge!"
Before the soldiers could react, he lunged at them and gripped their faces before slamming them onto the ground.
Another soldier tried to calm him from afar, but a bolt of lightning knocked him out.
"This world no longer has a meaning for me!" He raises his hands and even larger, brighter bolts began to form around his claws, "I will take them out, one by one, and crush everything they so loved! No one can stop me!"
He swung his hands down and the lightning shot from his claws toward the area below, before a thundering yell filled the air.
This time, my lord kept attacking. He began to laugh and flung a bolt toward a bright glow, of whom I knew right away was Li-Kah, but it was absorbed and shot back toward him, stopping him.
He looked up at the light, a malicious grin on his face, and his voice grew dark as he spoke.
"Well, well...The almighty Li-Kah emerges before me once more!" He chuckled, "What is it this time? Is my storm too noisy for you?!"
Li-Kah stopped in front of him and inside that intense glow, I could sense an even more intense anger. Bright, orange flames flickered within the orb and he replied, his voice back to normal volume.
"What is going on? Why are you acting like this?!" His anger was more like a scolding parent and I couldn't help but think he was rather pathetic for a Divine Being, "This anger...This rage...Why are you letting it control you?"
My lord laughed in reply and flicked his claws as he answered.
"Oh, did you truly believe I'd act on your little advice?!" His mouth formed into a wide grin and he inched toward Li-Kah slowly, "You thought I'd forgive them for what they did?! You thought I'd leave them alone?! How naive! Every ounce of work I did, every moment spent training with your pathetic army...Everything led up to this moment, the moment I would have my revenge! Now, I'll crush them, destroy them...Give them the same pain they gave me! They'll know what it feels like...To be betrayed!!"
A blazing fire surrounded my lord, and Li-Kah hovered above him, blocking his only escape route. I watched as my lord gazed up at him, his grin turning into a scowl as he realized that he was cornered, and couldn't break free.
"You didn't only betray them, Hero. You betrayed me." Despite the softness of his voice, I knew that something was about to happen, and it wasn't going to be good, "You've forsaken the oath you took, you turned your back on your own troops, and you are only using your power to hurt those who trust us. You disgraced me, and I can't describe how disappointed I am with you."
"Hmph, I couldn't care less." My lord scoffed, "So I lied about serving you. Well guess what? I didn't want your help anyway! What could I achieve working beside you?! What power could I really achieve...From a sap?"
There was silence, before beams of light shot down and surrounded my lord, and Li-Kah spoke one last time.
"It's because of this you no longer belong in the Kingdom of Light. I am stripping you of your powers so you can no longer harm anyone."
Despite the previous confidence shown before, my lord could be heard yelling in anger as his power was taken away, before being completely shrouded in light.
Li-Kah fired a final beam, of which teleported my lord out of the realm of light...
...And brought him to the Kingdom of Darkness, our current home, and where he reigns supreme.
The visions come to a finish and I hear my lord walking toward me. I stayed still, reflecting on all that's just been revealed to me, and lowered my head.
Suddenly, I felt a chill and knew he was right behind me. I still couldn't bring myself to move, or even speak.
"Every time I see this sight, I want that world gone."
I finally stepped aside and let him walk up to the screen. He pushes a button, seemingly rewinding what we just saw, and he listens to the final words spoken before he enters our world.
"The way he casts me aside...Just like those fools before him..."
He rewinds the vision multiple times, and I see him growing angrier the longer he views it. Yet, I don't dare question why he not watch it anymore.
"The way he claims to be 'disappointed' in me...How I 'disgraced' him...How I 'betrayed' him...Such a pathetic waste!"
Another rewind, but this time, he pauses it before any words can be said.
"This...This pitiful god...Has ruined my life for the last time!"
He raised his hand and dug his claws into the screen before scraping them down, and I notice hints of black shadows in the left over marks.
"Now, all we have to do...Is crush his little world!"
The shadows began to creep along the screen, and I heard more loud scraping sounds as they streaked across the image that remained...Surrounding the faint vision of himself within themselves.
I never knew my lord has such power, and I've been serving him for a while now. Every fight I've seen, every foe he's crushed, none of them had this kind of power used against them...Even the worlds we've conquered didn't require such a power...
"We will have to take some...Extra special care of this one." My lord spoke, his rage turning into smugness, "Everything you've showed me so far...They must be studied thoroughly. We want their destruction executed with such power, that no one will question us...That everyone will fear us, and cower at the very mentioning of us. They will know who we are...They will know...Who I am."
I knew that this was going to be the greatest task of all and bowed as I replied.
"Yes, My Lord. I will do everything in my power to ensure their destruction is a success. I want them to bow before you as you crush them underneath your almighty boots, and proclaim your might to all who hear. Your revenge is something I want to take part in, and I would be more than honored to serve my purpose."
He turns toward me and I notice a smile on his face. He nods as a signal to rise and releases me with these final words.
"I know you will, Commander. I know you will."
Weak! Pathetic! Useless!
You're not worth my time!
Your strength is lacking, your weapons are dull!
Your posture is pathetic, your gaze filled with fear!
You'll never impress me!
Straighten that body, sharpen your blade!
Look me in the eyes and give me a yell!
Strike me if you can, let me feel your rage!
Come at me with all your might, I want to know your strength!
Your powers will never grow!
Your fight will never end!
If you give up, I will crush you!
If you cower, I will end you!
Are you ready for your greatest challenge?!
Come at me with everything you've got!
The battle is over.
I walk amongst the ruins, taking notice of the remains of my foes.
Their bodies are motionless and I can finally tell my lord the good news.
A soldier comes up to me and salutes as he announces, "Commander, the castle is emptied of all remaining citizens. We have claimed it as our own."
A silent nod from me, and he steps aside as I head toward the castle, listening to the crackling flames that surrounded me.
As soon as I reached the castle, I knocked down the doors and instantly took notice of my army standing beside a large throne, holding the former rulers by the necks. I signaled for them to release the bodies, to which they were thrown aside, before going up to the throne and sitting in it.
"Sir, do you have any more orders for us?" one soldier asks.
I look up and replied, "No. Leave me be so I can contact Lord Xero."
At the sound of my lord's name, they glanced at each other, then quickly left the room.
I made sure they were out of range before opening my communicator and pushing a few buttons, to which a hologram of my lord emerged before me. His claws scraped together as he caught sight of the throne I was sitting in.
"I take it you conquered the kingdom?" he asked.
I nodded with a low bow, then replied, "Yes, my lord. They tried to fight back, but we crushed them rather swiftly. Now, this world belongs to you."
Xero chuckled and I saw a grin forming on his face.
"You've done well, Commander, as always. Return to my castle, and I shall reward you and your troops."
I bowed again with a final, "Yes, Lord Xero", before turning off my communicator and standing up. I turned toward the throne and scraped a claw against one of its arms, marking it with Xero's signature, before heading out the castle and signaling my troops to head back.
I feel their stares as I lean back in my chair and pick up a piece, holding it carefully with my claws.
"You want some?" I ask them, smirking as they continued to stare.
Some of the soldiers nod, inching closer. The more experienced ones stayed in place, knowing what they had to do.
I chuckled and let one grow close enough to nearly touch the piece in my grip, then quickly ate it, to which he stared in shock.
"Then you have to work for it." I got my face close to his, to which he shuddered nervously, "If you're so desperate for a meal...Prove you're worth getting one.
He squeaked in reply and ran back to his position. The others continued to stare, begging for a scrap to eat, before I gave them a fierce glare, sending them back as well.
"Just so you know...The meat is fresh." I took another piece and ate it, "And it's so...Delicious. If I were you, I'd hurry and get back to work...Or it may be gone by the time you're done!"
I laughed and ate another piece, to which they began their training again, then flung my legs over one of the chair's arms and carefully positioned the plate on my stomach.
They'll never prove themselves to me. They're pathetic...All of them. They're not worth my time.
I ate another piece and watched each soldier as they did what they could to improve themselves.
"Heh...That fool can't even aim." I muttered as I saw one of the Blaster Class soldiers struggling to hit a target.
My gaze switched to a Slasher, who could barely swing his bladed arms around, and shook my head.
I then switched to a Flyer, who was just becoming airborne.
"Oh, he's promising..."
His control over his wings was lost and he crashed onto the ground.
"...When it gets to failing."
I sighed and ate another piece of meat before turning toward the group that was said to be the strongest of all...
I watched as they began to dig underground, before some would complain of the ground being too hard (baloney), and others went so far down, I figured they reached another world by now.
I finished eating and flung my legs back toward the front of the chair, then stood up.
"Stop! All of you!"
They obeyed and halted at the sound of my voice, then faced me, noticing my position.
I went up to the Blaster, then stopped next to him and raised one arm toward the target he kept missing. A sudden hidden cannon popped from my armor and fired a single shot, striking the center.
"That's how you hit a target."
Before he could react, I went up to the Slasher and extended my claws, then spun in a quick circle and gave both arms a hard swing, striking a nearby rock used for practice and slicing it in half.
"That's how you swing your blades."
I went to the Flyer, my claws returning to normal length, and unleashed six pairs of wings, before giving them a hard flap and starting up their boosters, thus lifting me into the air above him.
"That's how you fly!"
I landed beside the Scorpios and rotated my claws, then thrust them into the ground and dug deep with them as if they were drills, before reappearing on the other side of him.
"And that's how you dig!"
By the time I was done demonstrating, my voice was loud with rage and I went back to my chair. I sat in it and folded my hands together, then ordered, "Now, it's your turn. Do it."
They nodded in reply and began to work...
...And repeated the same mistakes they did before.
I couldn't believe this. After my demonstration, they still didn't understand.
They're all idiots. Useless, pathetic idiots.
I hated them.
I flung my hands down and dug my claws into the chair's arms, once again silencing them -- But this time, it was the earsplitting screech from my claws scraping metal that made them stop.
"You're all pathetic!"
I stood up sharply and stormed toward the center of the group, my claws extended once again. They stared at me with terrified expressions as my claws began to spark with energy.
"I gave you a clear demonstration, something even a simpleton would understand, and this is what I get in return?!"
One soldier tried to speak, but I fired a cluster of red sparks toward him, causing him to fall onto the ground in a dead heap.
"You're worthless! Brainless, stupid idiots! How did I get stuck with you?! How did you get this far?!"
Another spoke up, and even his "reason" irked me...
"We're in training! We're not even soldiers yet!"
Another flare of sparks, and he explodes.
"Hmph...Well, he was in training." I mutter, blowing smoke from my claws, "Anyone else have an excuse?!"
They shook their heads in response, then a third spoke up.
"Please, sir, give us another chance! We don't mean to anger you!"
I turned and went toward him, then grabbed his chin and held on tight.
"Then why do you?" I growled, "Why do you do this to me? Why is it so hard to understand how to do your jobs right?"
He shuddered and gazed into my eyes. Despite his fear, I could sense a hint of determination in his stare.
"Just like you said...We're fools." his voice was shaky and full of terror, until he added, "But we refuse to give up. We will do what we can to please you. We want to make you proud!"
This change of tone gave me a slight speck of hope...At least for this one. I released his chin and turned him toward a target, knowing that despite the lack of visible weapons, he was a Blaster class...Or, he will be if he proves himself.
"Prove it." I said.
He nods and raises one arm, to which a blaster appeared from his wrist and covered his hand, then fires at the target, hitting it not exactly in the center, but close enough to remain alive.
"Hm. Not bad."
He turns toward me, grinning wide at my comment, and I look down at him.
"Get that goofy look off your face."
His seriousness returns and I continue to stare at him, before speaking again.
"Get those other idiots to do the same...If not better."
He nods with a quick salute, before I walk away and stand in front of the various groups and making an announcement.
"I will give you one last chance to prove your worth! Those who pass will stay. Those who fail..."
I ran a claw across my neck, and it sparked with energy as a threatening sign of what's to come.
"...Will be eliminated on the spot."
The soldiers shout out in unison, accepting their challenge, and I went back to the chair before sitting in it once again.
And while some failed to prove themselves...
...Most of them actually succeeded...
...Some even surpassed my expectations.
And it was because of those I was proud to be head leader of the army...
...Despite the agony they tend to bring me every so often.
Deleted to avoid prying eyes.
Xac turns off the control panel and looks out a nearby window, seemingly noticing something. He then turned toward you and his stare is back to its relaxed state - however, he seemed concerned about something.
The kingdom is getting close to a rather dangerous event. It's not good for you to be here, and if the citizens saw you, there could be problems. I have some soldiers with a transport, and they'll help you leave before things get crazy.
Something about this seemed intriguing, but if even the normally calm and collected Xac informs of potential danger, you knew it was best to leave.
It's a shame you couldn't watch one of my shows, but...I'll send a personal invitation - or better yet, a virtual recording. Xac motions for you to prepare to leave and you catch sight of something nearing the building, Now quickly...The soldiers are here, and don't let anyone see you. This is the first time one of your kind ever ventured into our world, and while it's quite surprising you survived our climate, I suppose it could be because you were with me the whole time. Perhaps I have more research to do myself...
Another quick motion, and you're led out of the building and up to a darkened area nearby.
A few soldiers are waiting outside, with a huge aircraft in between them, and you knew that this was your way home. Perhaps it was due to the interesting settings, or maybe the clearly infamous Commander, you were definitely fascinated by this world...
But you didn't tell a soul.
True to his word, you did recieve a message, and a recording from Xac's latest show, but the best thing?
There laid an autographed photo of Xac in his most famous outfit, along with a way to return to his realm should you desire.
Lord Xero found out about your arrival. He just kept it to himself to prevent chaos during the XEROKING Festival. However, he requested me to bring you back for the occasional visit, and therefore I created this to transport you from your realm to ours. Keep it close, and more importantly keep it safe. If it breaks, your world would be exposed to Lord Xero's powers -- and it would without a doubt crumble.