The hundred Blood swords looked menacing as each of them were pointing towards Arthur. Just ten of the flying swords had been enough to decimate a large group of Dalki, and now the Punisher was facing ten times that number all on his own.
However, despite the situation, Arthur didn’t show any signs of hesitation, still willing to go in.
“I have confidence that I will win this fight. I promised myself that I would not fall until I made sure that everyone on my list has been dealt with.”
Bryce laughed at this comment.
“We’re not so different. Unfortunately, unlike you, I’m not an Original so I wasn’t blessed with an immortal body. Why do you think, given my age, I have willingly stayed awake after all this time? I won’t lie to you, Arthur, each day my body is in pain, begging me to take the rest it deserves. However, I haven’t allowed it to! Just like you, the only thing that keeps me moving forward is my desire to get my revenge on ALL OF YOU PUNISHERS!!!”
The hundred Blood swords were unleashed. Arthur looked like a small dot in comparison, as he ran toward them. It looked like a human who was about to be showered on by rain. It would be impossible to block every single one of them even with his shadow.
“I learned something interesting watching that boy, these wings are fancy and nice, but they’re not practical enough.” Arthur spoke, as both the wings on his back started to form in his left hand. Instead of holding the swords with both hands, he had switched to solely his predominant one.
Meanwhile his shadow looked to have almost condensed into a shield made of shadows. Although Arthur could move his shadow faster than other people with the said ability, against hundred swords he knew his shadow wouldn’t be able to move fast enough which was why he opted to hold it in place.
As the swords came forward, the Punisher was able to move his hand blocking each of the strikes, controlling the shadow expanding it bit by bit even in its shield form, while also hitting away the swords. Arthur also wasn’t holding back as he used the sword’s powers to blast away as many as the Blood swords as possible.
It was an amazing sight to behold, something worthy of being immortalised into a painting. The ancient vampire blocked dozens of them, yet he was unable to fend them all off. Still, being as skilled as he was, he made sure to limit it so that the majority that breached his defenses only managed to give him surface wounds or bounce off against his armour.
“Even if you had a thousand swords, I would still get through them all!” Arthur declared, as he recklessly started to move forward towards Bryce. Standing still, he had managed to avoid major injuries, but on the move such a task wasn’t that easy. The closer he got to the Vampire King the deeper the cuts he received from the Blood swords. However, he didn’t care, making sure to avoid just the ones that would be fatal.
“Idiotic.” Bryce scoffed, as he formed ten more Blood swords, sending them Arthur’s way, hoping to finish him off before he could close the distance completely. Arthur continued to attack and continued to use the explosive powers of the sword. He no longer had the ability of the twelfth family, as it had been a while since he had hit Bryce, but he was still fast enough to deal with all the attacks.
‘How is he still able to use his Blood weapon’s powers?’ Bryce tried to figure out what he might have overlooked. The King had been certain that he would have had a great advantage over the Punisher in this fight. Absolute blood control should have meant that as long as his opponent was a vampire that it should be near impossible for them to use Blood powers or Blood weapons, making it so that he would only have to deal with the other’s shadow ability and physical abilities, yet somehow Arthur was still able to activate his weapon.
‘The only thing I can think of is that damned armour. It must have some type of ability that still allows him to use his weapon. Well no matter, it seems he is still having trouble with-‘
Bryce stopped his thought there, as he noticed that even with the increased number of swords, Arthur was inching his way forward. He continued to swing his sword at the blood swords, narrowly avoiding attacks and blocking them with his shield.
To Arthur his current situation was reminiscent to the olden days when he had participated directly on the battlefield where a fatal blow could come from anywhere. It had been a long time since he had been reminded of when he had still been human.
It was then unexpectedly, when Arthur had come within ten meters of Bryce, he decided to hurl his sword in the air, throwing it like a spear.
The Blood swords tried to stop it, but the sword went through them destroying them as they went past. While Arthur had dropped his Shadow shield allowing it to protect him for a few seconds.
‘Any tricks with the shadow I know won’t work on this man. Neither the Shadow path, nor the Shadow jump redirect, but he knows nothing about what I have been through!’
It was then that Bryce had to make a quick decision, half of the swords he decided to drop to the ground in order to create a wall of blood that would stop the sword. As the sword hit the wall it was stopped in its tracks, but to Arthur this didn’t matter. He had never expected for things to finish this easily. He pulled on something that looked almost invisible and the sword started to come back towards him.
At first, Bryce thought that it might have been blood control, but soon realised that this was the ability of the thirteenth family. The sword was attached to a piece of string, allowing for it to come back to Arthur’s hand, but it never did return.
Now that the number of Blood swords had lessened, Arthur began his attack, swinging the sword from outward in a different direction. It was now Bryce’s turn to go on the defensive, preventing his enemy from killing him.
“You know, when I was but a small boy, I actually looked up to your kind. However, you have proven that you have no shame!” Bryce stated. “You killed an innocent man. I won’t deny my own crime, but my grandfather had never attacked your people. He would never do anything like that! You say you punish people for their crimes, but who was supposed to punish you? Why didn’t you deserve to be punished for killing an innocent man?!”
The two were still fighting while in the middle of conversing, Arthur blocking parts of the flying sword with his shadow shield while swinging his sword with his other hand, and similarly Bryce was blocking attacks with his blood while also controlling the swords.
“Is that the reason why you started your expedition?!” Arthur questioned him. “I may have been the one who dealt out the punishment, but it was still the council who decided against your grandfather. I was not the single person who had decided for or against the decision!”
“That may be true, but it doesn’t change that you were the very person that didn’t try to look deeper into the truth! At the end of the day, you were the very person who killed him in front of everyone! I don’t care if history remembers me as a tyrant, as long as nobody else will have to go through the pain I did!” Bryce shouted.
“That is pathetic!” Arthur denounced his actions. “If you did all of that because someone innocent got punished, why did you go after them? Why did you go after the others? Even now, I haven’t chosen to blame the whole vampire settlement, yet instead of going after me personally, you went after the people I cared about! Just because you couldn’t find me, you took out your petty revenge on innocent people! How does this make you any better than me then?!”
Each one delivering more power into their strikes and the pulses of energy sent form each one had even moved the rubble around them further and further away off to the side, but finally there was something that was soon to turn the tide.
‘Arthur, he is far stronger than I imagined. If I was just a vampire leader I would have never been able to get my revenge. I became King to overpower him, yet that still doesn’t seem to have been enough, but it seems like the Gods are on my side. Because even they want me to win this battle!’
“Your Majesty! I have arrived!” Kyle shouted and the three vehicles were there just outside the inner castle area.
It was time for Bryce to use the crystal. Pulling it out, it was filled with black shadows, all of the Shadow power he himself had gathered, and he was now going to use Arthur’s own power against him.
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