Hunting down dangerous killers? Seemed more like a job for the Rune Knights. Then again, it seemed it was wizarding guilds that were handling these duties more than the Knights were nowadays. Mythal had seen what the Rune Knight’s numbers had been when he last went to Era and they were not impressive. That was concerning, even for the God Slayer; they were meant to be the backbone of the magical enforcement, the ones that found out dark guild’s actions and took them down. He, himself, had been rescued from a far worse fate than this because of the actions of the Rune Knights. Maybe that’s why he was so willing to help do their duties when they couldn’t manage.
Apparently there was some Dragon Slayer who was known for his strength. He was nicknamed the Castle Killer because according to the stories, he had quite literally ripped a castle wall down while standing at its base. While Mythal was definitely stronger than most people, he didn’t quite believe that a single man could rend a wall made of packed concrete into nothing but a broken memory. Chances are the stories were embellished and this man was merely a very strong wizard – most Slayers were. It was also going to be the first time that Mythal met an actual Dragon Slayer; he’d met a comrade in Markus, who shared a near identical magic to his. Seeing the difference between his God Slaying power and Dragon Slaying power would certainly be interesting, if nothing else.
Rose Garden was a beautiful city that quite lived up to its wondrous name. It was a hub for travelers that wished to shop and experience all the exotic intricacies that resided in Fiore. People from all over gathered her for holidays or merely as day trips, almost like it was a city-wide amusement park. The reason it attracted so many people was because almost everything was blessed with magic. The lights, the buildings, the attractions even – apparently the food and drink were just as magical. He’d already made a mental note to try out these supposed sparkling beers before he hopped on the train and headed home. But first, he needed to find this supposed Castle Slayer.
While Rose Garden was certainly the kind of place that would attract lowlifes, they were very good about hiding themselves in plain sight. Though he could smell all sorts of people that probably weren’t the wealthiest, he couldn’t just assume that just because they smelled less than sanitary, they were bad people. Instead he decided to walk the streets, join in the crowd and see what he could see. As of late, it had become a lot easier for him to move with other humans, capable of stomaching his hatred to a dull roar long enough to move about them. Hell, he was even able to talk to them without much issue so long as they didn’t say anything extraordinarily stupid.
As he walked, he kept a keen eye to his surroundings. He passed all sorts of bright and glittery signs and attractions that called in all the kinds of customers it wanted to. What didn’t seem to be operating at full strength was the maze. Just outside the main strip was a hedge maze, one that wound and twisted all different directions to mess with its occupants. There was a sign outside of it that claimed the hedges had been enchanted with spells to move around, thus making the maze that much harder to solve. But there was a prize in the center that, if retrieved, gave the one lucky winner a bag of some pretty expensive chocolate. But there was a wooden ‘closed’ sign over the main attraction sign, though no reason was given for its sudden and odd closure. Mythal didn’t think anything of it the first time he passed it, though he did wonder why a maze would be closed. Maybe the enchantments ran dry and no one was around to put new ones on?
The next time he passed by it though, he noticed something. A man, walking out from another side road, slipped under the chain link barrier and headed into the maze. Normally that wouldn’t be odd – people that maintained the maze probably went in there all the time, even when it was closed. But this guy had been looking both ways to make sure no one was watching or following him. There was also the hefty scar that ran down the left side of his face. In the job posting, they had detailed a gang that worked with the Castle Killer as his entourage. They were menacing looking underlings and one of them had been described with a facial scar. What were the chances two people like that were in the same town?
For an amusement park, probably pretty high. But it was still worth investigating. Mythal waited for the man to disappear behind a hedge and then followed after him, walking the same lazy pace he always had. He stepped over the chain link fence and entered the maze, taking the same corner the thug had. Inside the maze, the outside world was remarkably dulled. Another spell that probably made it so people outside couldn’t help guide anyone moving through. A clever idea and helpful in the moment; all the scents from the crowds had been removed and he could follow the one that must have been the thug. Through the passageways he went, moving carefully but still not breaking his gait. Eventually this guy would lead him to the wanted man and, if he didn’t, well physical intimidation went a long way to getting answers.
As he rounded another corner, he found himself face to face with the five goons that must have been the posse. They weren’t prepared for someone to be following them; they had been chatting quietly and pointing at a map held between them. Mythal caught sight of several colored circles around different parts of the city – most likely places of high volume, high reward when it came to stealing. But the one he had followed saw him first, practically slapping the map out of sight as he whirled to face the man. “Hey! This attraction is closed.” He barked at the God Slayer.
Mythal pointed at himself and then looked behind him, playing it coy while also not really. “Me? I thought this was the tunnel of love. Figured with you five, you were all here for some canoodlin’ or whatever it is the kids do nowadays. Though one o’ you is the fifth wheel; you waiting for a partner? He wouldn’t happen to be named Castle Killer, would he?”
Well that did the trick. He wasn’t sure if it was the naming of the culprit or the insinuation of these five making kissy faces at one another but the weapons were out and they were charging. In here, the shadows were on every side of them and Mythal felt more at home than anywhere else. Easily he sidestepped the men as they slashed and swung and jabbed at him. He fluidly moved between their bodies, raining punches and knee strikes and kicks to them one after the other. He was a bit surprised when one of them charged at him with a rubber chicken, swinging the thing like a mace. As Mythal used his arm to redirect the attack, he was even more shocked when it practically tore a hole in the hedges around them. A disguised weapon – now that was clever.
But the last thug was easily dispatched as well, Mythal’s back fist bringing him down and setting him there for good. He glanced around at the bunch of bodies around him and grabbed the one that apparently had managed to stay awake. He dragged him to his knees by his shirt collar and planted him in front of him. “So let’s say, for argument’s sake, I’m lookin’ for Castle Killer. Where might he be?”
“Right here, bub,” was the answer from behind him. Mythal turned slowly to see what could only be described as a crocodile man. He was humanoid in shape, with two legs and two arms and a semi-human face. But rather than a nose, mouth and jaw he had a snout, which bore deadly rows of teeth. His flesh was scaly all over, sharp reptilian ridges running down his spine and over his arms. His hands had talons as black as the night, which clacked together as his fingers stretched to and fro. He stood easily at ten feet tall, his head capable of looking out over the hedges. “Castle Killer ain’t a good title for you, pal. Why not Human Gator?”
Mythal asked as he turned to face the man fully.
The imposing man snorted and smirked. “You talk big for such a puny man. I’m gonna enjoy chewing on your face.”“And I’ll be happy when you’re back in your prison swamp, scaly,”
Mythal shot back, his right arm becoming shrouded in magic.
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you that pissin’ off a Dragon Slayer is bad for your health?”“Some.”
Castle Killer snorted again and then set himself, his chest beginning to expand. The distinct sound of water sloshing around filled the immediate area as the half-man began to build his spell. Mythal held his ground, his feet firmly planted on the grassy surface.
“Water Dragon Slayer…” The first part of the enchantment started. “Roar!” He finished and as he did, his body pushed forward, his mouth opened and a torrent of water exploded out from his throat. The God Slayer only had a moment to disappear into his shadow before the water filled the path between the ferns, sweeping the unconscious thugs away.
Mythal appeared behind the monstrosity and slammed his hand into his neck. Castle Killer snarled as he fell forward a step, putting out a single leg to stop himself. He spun to swipe at Mythal, his claws at the ready. The God Slayer blocked it away with his reinforced arm and danced around the arm, slamming his elbow into the crocodile-man’s temple. Before Castle Killer could attack again, Mythal stepped in and delivered a punch into the man’s jaw, lifting him off his feet and sending him flying backwards. Through the ferns he tore, only slamming into the ground after he had been forcibly kicked from the maze. His clawed hands slammed into the ground, dragging trenches into the pavement where his fingers were. Snarling, he pulled himself back and charged, looking like he was going to run right through the holes his body had just created.
But instead he stopped at the edge of the maze, thrusting his hands into the ground. Mythal started to walk towards him but then felt the ground beneath him shift, like the entirety of the maze was rocking. Then it began to lift up and as he looked out, he realized that Castle Killer was quite literally lifting the entirety of the ground the maze was on out of the soil. “Okay, so maybe he is a bit on the strong side…”
he grumbled as he tried to lurch forward, in an attempt to make it out of the maze. But Castle Killer had pulled the entire maze from its roots and with one hefty push, sent it soaring up into the night sky.
Mythal struggled to keep his footing as the maze spun through the air. He decided against riding the spinning top and leapt off the soil, sending him out of the maze and into the open sky. Once there, his Sky Ring activated and his cape wrapped around him to turn him into crow once more. He twisted around and dove back towards the ground, his wings pressed up against his slim torso. Castle Killer was still staring up at the maze as it flew away, chuckling and grinning. It was the perfect opportunity for Mythal to fly down low to the ground and build up some speed. By the time that the crocodile-man realized a bird was flying at him, it was already too late. Mythal turned back into his normal form, his arm already stretched out. It slammed right into Castle Killer’s neck, the momentum and strength behind the God Killer lifting him up and sending him feet over head.
Mythal slammed his feet into the ground to stop moving forward and leapt back, back flipping through the air. As he came at the top of his arc, just above Castle Killer’s stunned and airborne body, he snapped at the man and released a beam of concentrated shadow magic right into his chest. Down he went, his body carving a hole in the concrete as it was forced downwards. As the attack faded, Castle Killer lay in a crater, smoke trailing off his unconscious body. Mythal sighed as he looked down at the faded man-beast, rubbing the back of his neck.“That’s comin’ out of my pay,”
he grumbled, as he took in the destruction of the property.
|Hargeon Port||Fairy Tail|