The same power.
Although Xander believed they could get out of this situation by talking, Layla didn’t think the same. After all, she had worked closest to Laxmus for a while and knew she was already a prime suspect, not to mention that Laxmus was the type of person to act first.
Seeing the dead research worker in the lab was enough proof of that. Either way, they would have to fight until Layla could prove she didn’t take the Nest crystal, which was impossible because she had done.
So she took out the strange black short sword, and its marking began to pulse. It seemed synced with the horns on her head, as they would pulsate in red, on and off. For a second, Layla gritted her teeth and squinted hard but quickly opened her eyes and regained her composure, balancing herself.
“Oh, what is this!” A voice resounded in Layla’s head, almost as if someone was shouting in her ear.
At the same time, she also heard heart-wrenching screams of people. Concentrating, she focused hard to suppress the other sounds so she could listen to the sword talking to her.
“We just went through a tough fight not too long ago where you needed to use me, and now you need to use me again. I mean, you should try and fight for yourself for…” The sword stopped when it noticed the opponent in front of it.
“Please tell me it’s not true.” The sword said. “Tell me you aren’t going up against him? Aren’t you two on the same side?”
“Never have been. I need you to help me, really help me this time.”
“I am determined and promise that everything will not be the same as last time. I know the two of you get your power from the same source, so I want to know if there will be any trouble between you?” Layla asked.
At the same time, Laxmus was thinking along similar lines.
“I see… so you won’t step in, will you? So you still allow her to use her power, and you still allow me to use mine?”
“Is this your way of us proving to you which one is more worthy?” Laxmus asked, but there was no reply.
Which usually, Laxmus took as a yes.
“Very well, I don’t know why you are doing this, but it seems you wish to disturb what I have created!”
Laxmus didn’t hold back as his body immediately started to transform, and unlike when he entered the arena, his whole body was changing this time.
His entire body was growing with muscle making him almost twice the size he was. His skin turned from pale to an almost pure black while white lines of energy pulsated where his veins would be visible.
His ears became as large as an elephant but were pointed sharp like bats. His mouth also became bigger, revealing an enormous set of sharp fangs. Next were his eyes, which were now completely red, and there was no white in them, and finally, a set of wings extended out of his back, looking exactly like that of bats.
It was a horrifying image, similar to what Laxmus looked like when he last transformed. Then, the radiating energy around him made him look like someone who didn’t belong to this world, not the vampires, humans or any other known species.
When the transformation was complete, a wave of energy escaped from Laxmus’s body, causing the nearby vampires in the room’s to get thrown back.
“Get behind me!” Layla ordered Xander.
Lifting her sword, she spun it, and a purple fog came out. When the energy reached them, it swooped around the two of them and continued.
“I’m going to advise you again. Will you reconsider this fight? I will help you as you have been feeding me well, and you seem to be one of the most mentally strongest people who has ever owned me.”
“But even I’m not sure if we can win together.” The sword claimed.
The wave of energy they had just felt wasn’t from an attack or anything like that. It was simply from Laxmus’s transformation and using all the celestial energy he had at his disposal. Reaching behind her, Layla had pulled out the nest crystal and threw it straight behind her to Xander.
“Take it, and run away. Find someone who can use it, maybe even go to Logan Green, but get away from here, and don’t come back until you have some way of stopping this guy!” Layla order.
Hearing those words, Xander was angry because Layla had already somewhat given up. She was simply saying she couldn’t beat him and could only buy some time.
“When… when did it turn out like this? You protecting me instead of me protecting you.” Xander thought while running out of the lab. He wouldn’t let Layla’s sacrifice be in vain. He knew it wouldn’t matter if he stayed back because if she couldn’t deal with Laxmus, he wouldn’t be the latter’s match either. This was why he decided through his head instead of his heart.
Exiting the entire building, Xander could see several vampires and squad leaders heading toward the lab. It made him grit his teeth harder as he saw what mess Layla would have to try and get out of.
However, they weren’t the main concern. Jumping up, Xander landed on one of the building’s rooftops and started to run across the town, avoiding as many people as possible.
“I shouldn’t worry too much. Not everyone in the Red Vampires is aligned with Laxmus. There will definitely be someone willing to help Layla as well. Maybe I can do something.”
As Xander thought this, his worst fears came to light, as he could see a figure with a hood in front of him in the distance. Then, looking to his left, right, and behind him, he found himself surrounded by three more, a total of four and all wearing hoods covering their face.
“Xander, we will give you a chance as another fellow guardian. Please give yourself in, and don’t let this turn ugly.” One of the Guardians called out in a male voice.
“You guys know nothing!” Xander shouted back. “Don’t you know what type of person Laxmus is? Didn’t some of you used to follow Quinn?”
“He would have never used the red crystal to turn everyone into vampires, and that might not even be Laxmus’s end goal in the first place. How can you trust someone like him?!”
Xander’s whole body had turned into a mist, but it was impossible to cover the vast area that all Guardians were covering. They were standing too far apart. Still, out of the mist, red aura lines came out, like a single blade towards the others.
Some of the guardians avoided this, while one or two of them had used their shadow to stop the attack, with one physically grabbing the red aura and throwing it out to the side, hitting one of the buildings.
“This is going to be a tough fight with four of them. I can’t use my shadow because I’m low on it, and Vincent is inside the space.”
“The only good thing is that while he’s in there, his wound and state don’t downgrade because of the slow flow of time.”
“Still, fighting against one of them would be hard enough, never mind four, and they know my mist ability well, having fought side by side for years.”
When Xander thought things couldn’t get worse, it looked like another nodded vampire had arrived in a black robe. So there were now five guardians that he had to face.
“Oh right, and the longer this fight goes on, the more guardians and maybe even more people will get involved.”
“Don’t any of you care about Layla?!” Xander shouted, hoping to convince some of them.
“She is a leader of the Red Vampires as well. Surely some of you follow her more and not Laxmus. The two are in a stalemate at the moment.”
Trying to convince one of the guardians to switch was the only thing Xander could think of, even though he knew it was unlikely. The Guardians always respected Laxmus more, unlike the regular Red Vampires, because he was the one that had given them their shadow powers.
The five kept their distance. Then, simultaneously they raised hands and started swinging away, producing multiple red slashes of aura towards the mist. There were so many attacks that at least one was bound to hit Xander, and he also knew this.
Trying to survive, he remained in the fog, releasing his own bloody aura, striking and breaking them when the two forces collided, but it seems that he’ll soon be finished, as he will not be able to stop all of them.
Just then, leaping from the ground, two figures entered the mist, and suddenly, more aura appeared out of it. And it turned out that the new auras were just as powerful as the Guardians attacks. So at that moment, all the Guardians decided to stop their attacks to see what was happening.
The mist from Xander slowly dissipated. Now, standing by his side were a man and a woman. The man had show hair, while the woman had dark brown hair that went up to her shoulders and a hair band holding it.
“We will help you.” The female said.
“June… Kev… what are you…” Xander was speechless.
“You have always told us that you’re training us for this very day. So here we are. Don’t worry, Dad.” The male vampire replied.