Brought to you by 263px
Chapter 15 - KohEdit
The monster roared triumphantly and was suddenly smacked by a huge bolt of spectral energy that knocked it tumbling twenty feet backwards. Lefko waved his hand and a wall of spectral energy cleared everyone out of the clearing. His eyes glowed with power behind his mask and his hands crackled with power as he materialized spectral samurai armor and a spectral katana each hand, "Why don't you pick on someone your own size?"
The monster suddenly shrunk into the form of a man whose face was shrouded in a deep hood, and suddenly a green mask appeared in the void where its face should be. The voice spoke in a voice that sent chills of recognition down Lefko's spine, "If you insist." It settled into a fighting stance, completely aware that it had just taken the form of Lefko's dead father. Its hands suddenly began to glow with green energy and Lefko's stomach churned as he realized this thing hadn't only stolen his father's form, it had his power too.
Suddenly Katrina and Gelio leapt from the trees, lashing out with powerful blasts of spectral energy that the shapeshifter seemed keen to avoid as they realized at the same time as Lefko that this was undoubtedly the being responsible for the disappearance of Lefko and Katrina's father Prasinos. The fiend ducked and dodged as the three masters attacked it, spectral weapons a blur.
What was more impressive than the fact that it was standing its ground against three of the most feared Spirit Callers in the world was that it was not only standing its ground, it was fighting on par with them, something only Prasinos had ever been able to do. Lefko cut loose an arc of spectral energy that would have brought down a mountainside. The shapeshifter not only leapt over it, it effortlessly blocked one of Gelio's most powerful kicks with one hand and threw one of its own kicks beneath Katrina's guard into her stomach mid air as the spectral wave passed beneath it.
Katrina was knocked to the edge of the clearing and immediately back on her feet again, charging back into the fray with spectral claws ready to strike as the shapeshifter matched Gelio kick for kick and managed to continue to dodge all of Lefko's devastating strikes. By the time they had traded forty more blows between the four of them, the tree that Katrina had been knocked clean through was only just starting its crashing descent towards the ground. To anyone watching, the furious melee was nothing more than a cyclone of green light.
A Terrible TruthEdit
Aang found Omen at the gate to the Spirit World, on her knees sobbing and hugging herself. Aang grabbed her, "Omen! What happened?" "It's all my fault!" She sobbed. Aang caught her shoulders, "What are you talking about?" "The monster, the Empire, all of it, you being captured, it's all my fault!" She sobbed. "What?" Aang exclaimed. "My past life," she cried, "I was the shapeshifter that kidnapped you!"
She put her hands to her head, tears flowing freely from her eyes as she stared at the ground in shock, "I killed Chara and stole her face just so I could get to you, and then I killed Flux and so many others! I tore the Empire apart. Now he's out there attacking everyone with all their power! It's all my fault..." Then she suddenly lurched back as she realized Aang was holding her, "Don't touch me!"
She collapsed back to her knees, "I don't want to steal your face too..." she wept. "Omen..." Aang said quietly, not wanting to believe what he was hearing. Suddenly a voice said, "You could not steal a face now if you wanted to child, the Face-Stealer has left you and merged once more with the faceless one. They are a phantom now, but dangerous nevertheless. You however have lost all the power he stole and gave to you when he fused with you at birth." Omen and Aang looked up and saw a man wearing the pelt of one of the Northern Vampiri's monstrous Devil-Bats like a hooded cape with a long spear in hand. "Emperor Kuruk..." Aang breathed in shocked recognition.
Kuruk nodded, "Yes, and now I shall go and do battle once again with the Face-Stealer. I have a score to settle with him." He hefted his spear and charged up the tunnel roaring, "KOOOOOOOOOOO-"
At The SurfaceEdit
The three Spirit Callers panted heavily as the shapeshifter returned to the form of Prasinos to mock them, "Oh, what's the matter little masked ones? Getting tired?" It chuckled and created a spectral katana in each hand, "I can do this all night." Suddenly a voice echoed from the tunnel's half sealed entrance, "-OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!!!!!" All present turned as a huge man illuminated entirely in grayscale hefting a spear burst from the tunnel, the wings of his Devil Bat skin cape flaring behind him as he leapt towards the shapeshifter, spear poised to strike. The shapeshifter leapt aside as the huge ghost landed.
The ghost swung and its spear became an arc of silvery light that actually managed to draw blood from the shapeshifter. The massive ghost spun and drove the butt of his spear into the shape shifter's forehead, sending it staggering backwards as the ghost stamped forward and swung its spear like a club, knocking the shapeshifter sideways and shattering its mask with an almighty crack.
The shapeshifter sprung back, changing form again only for the huge ghost to leap forward and stab it in the heart. The shapeshifter screamed and suddenly semi-tranparent forms began to split away from it, writhing as though struggling to break free of a huge cocoon. A figure in black was suddenly thrown from the shape-shifter's form. The figure rolled to its feet, silvery white hair combed back and green eyes glowing with rage as they fell back under the control of their true owner for the first time in over ten years.
He had aged certainly, but Prasinos Daimonas was immediately recognizable to his children and father, even if the only one he recognized immediately was his father. He pointed at the spirit as it continued to fight the immense ghost, "Stab it in the heart! Then it'll regurgitate those it has stolen!" As the creature knocked the huge ghost back and turned to flee, Prasinos pinwheeled his arms and a huge ridge of spectral energy rocketed forward, slamming the creature backwards and giving Lefko, Katrina and Gelio enough time to recover from the shock of seeing their missing father and leap upon the creature.
Lefko jammed a huge spectral blade up under where its ribcage should be and another form broke free of it. Katrina fell upon it from above, a spectral blade coming out of her heel and driving down into its heart. Another form broke free and then suddenly Gelio landed on it from behind and shoved a javelin of spectral energy through the top of its head and into its heart, sending another form flying out of it.
Then the ghost stabbed through its seemingly indestructible carapace and yet another form sprang clear of it. The creature managed to sling them off it, but those who had just been freed from it leapt upon it and thrust blades of their own into it. In less than two minutes nearly a dozen people had been freed. The creature suddenly managed to knock them all back with a swing of one of its massive arms, and in the brief reprieve said, "I'm not liking these odds. I'm out of here." So saying it suddenly leapt into the air and disappeared.
"Is it gone?" Katrina asked. "No," the immense ghost answered, "The Face-Stealer has merely retreated to report his return to our enemies. We have not seen the last of Koh and his ghostly host the Faceless One." The ghost suddenly thumped his spear on the ground, somehow it was solid enough to make the ground jump, "I am Kuruk Dark-Wing, he who was once Emperor! Our Empire has collapsed because of Koh's machinations. Free those he has captured whenever you can, and fight for reunification! Alone none of us could defeat Koh! Together we freed over a dozen of the souls lost to him and drove him from the battlefield! Unite your peoples as you united this night and destroy the accursed rebels Koh gave rise to! UNITE!"
He thumped his spear on the ground one more time and then disappeared as the freed souls and Spirit Callers cheered.
Back In The TunnelEdit
Omen jerked as the spirits whirled around her, the pain so great she could not even scream. A few moments later, they whirling silver energy dissipated and Omen dropped to the ground, Aang leaping forward to catch her. The spirits whirled away back into the Spirit World and Kuruk blazed past them from behind. In seconds only one remained.
Aang looked up at the ghost, "You're sure she will be alright?" Yang Chen nodded, "Of course we are sure Aang. She is one of us at heart, even if not by birth. She will be fine. Now go make us proud." So saying she blew away like a sand statue in a power fan and spiraled back into the Spirit World, the gate closing back behind her.
A moment later Omen opened her eyes, she smiled as Aang hugged her to him on the verge of weeping with joy, "Aang, I just had the strangest dream that I was talking to ghosts." She had completely forgotten what had passed between her and the Faceless One.