Immediately, Zero could sense that there was something about the sword in front of him. An energy that he had never felt before that was causing his body to shiver slightly. Even the air in the area had gotten slightly colder.
Now, Oscar had picked it up and it was in his hands.
“I’m sorry to say that I’m not much of a swordsman.” Oscar stated. “Perhaps something like this would have been more suited in your hands, but this thing, it chooses its user. Those that it decides to reject, it decides to freeze, and with the way you are right now, if you attempted to touch the sword, I’m sure you would become nothing but a block of Ice.”
Holding his sword firmly, nothing had changed for Zero. He still needed to complete the task at hand, and if he was able to produce the strike he had done before again and again, there was a chance he could win this.
Zero ran forward brave and confident, looking out for any use of the earth ability, ready for anything to come his way, apart from Oscar himself, who was suddenly directly in front of him with the large sword.
He had it held above his head, and swung it down crashing right into Zero’s.
‘I’m using Qi to reinforce my strength. I knew beast weapons improved the user strength by a great deal, but I didn’t know it was by this much.’
Zero had no choice but to deflect the energy by skimming the sword and spinning to the side of Oscar, but with the power of the demon tier weapon, Oscar was a step ahead, already swinging it towards Zero again.
The sword barely was able to block as Zero was hit and skidded through the mud. Looking at his own weapon, it was now slightly frozen as well.
‘He doesn’t even need to be skillful with the sword, nor use his ability, because that weapon does everything for him. He is faster and stronger than me… and this… special property.’
“Now do you understand what I meant?” Oscar said. “I’m sorry but I hope you find peace.”
“Why!” Zero shouted. “If a weapon like that was in my hands, were in the hands of my people, we would have been able to protect more. Why didn’t the military give us this power!”
Once again Zero swung his weapon and a line of Qi came out, his attack was filled with anger and was stronger than the one before it, but with a swing of his own weapon, it had completely smashed and cut through the Qi attack, causing it to have no effect at all.
Before Zero could say anything else, Oscar used his enhanced self to run directly in front of Zero and slashed diagonally, breaking the sword in half and creating a deep cut on his body.
‘It didn’t go completely through, it didn’t feel like I was completely cutting flesh?’ Oscar thought. This was all because of the reinforced Qi that Zero was using. In a life and death situation he was able to summon it more than he imagined.
Still, the blood loss was great, the injury was bad, and he was unsure if he could recover. Most, if not all, of his Qi was used to stop the attack from slicing him in half. For the first time in the fight, Zero realised something, it was impossible for him to win.
With that said, there was no choice for him, with the broken part of the blade, he threw it towards Oscar who had blocked it. It gave him a few seconds but Zero was seen running away, trying to head back into the woods.
“I’m sorry, but as I said, I can’t let you live.” Oscar pointed the sword toward Zero, and the first ring started to light up. Out from the sword, a tunnel of ice shot out heading towards Zero.
Hearing the destruction it was causing, Zero attempted to step to the right, and the ice tunnel had skimmed past his hand, just brushing him ever so slightly. As that happened, the ice started to spread from his hand, growing quickly, now covering up to his elbow as he continued to run away in the distance.
“Should we keep chasing him sir!” the men asked.
“No, the important thing we need to do is clear the area until the ice melts and make sure no one touches it.” Oscar replied. “Besides, once someone has touched the ice it will grow and bind their entire body.”
Zero continued to run through the woods, but he was noticing that the ice was slowly covering his entire body. He was feeling faint and weak as his wound hadn’t healed up either.
In the end, it had covered his entire arm, and eventually Zero had collapsed to the ground, even before the ice had covered all of himself.
‘Is this it… is this how I die in the end? Not being able to do a single thing for the people I care about. I wasn’t even brave enough to take my own life.’ Zero started to sob in place.
Honestly, with how much his vision was fading, he wasn’t sure which one he would die of first, the blood loss or the ice, and in the end he had lost all of his vision.
As that had occurred though, a voice had reached out to him.
“A strong willed soul is a rarity among you humans.” The voice said. “It seems that you truly still do not want to come to this side.”
“Where am I… who are you, what is this voice, am I dead?” Zero asked.
“Dead… it is hard to say. I would say that your body has already died, but a part of you remains stuck on the plane of earth. However, no matter how hard you try to resist, after people die, they always will come to this side… and come to me.
“Tell me why do you resist so much?”
“Why… I… I want to see them.” Zero replied. “I want to see their faces again, I want to be with them. I’m their father, their teacher. I should have never died before them!!!”
“You wish to see people who are already dead… I see now, you don’t wish to be with them, you don’t really care about that, otherwise you would have taken your own life, but you wish for them to live on and live a fuller life.
“What if I told you I can help you?”
“Then I would say that you were just a delusion, something my brain has created in my final moments.”
“Even if you believe that is the case. What if there is a chance that this isn’t all made up? That everything I’m about to tell you is real, that I can bring them back to life, bring them back to earth.”
Zero was almost certain that this was a dream, a dream before his death, and he was just hearing things he wanted to hear, but there was a small spark that had been ignited, a ‘what if this was real’?
“Go on, humour me, tell me what you want?”
“I will save you first, but in return you will be a follower of mine. There are a number of things that I will need you to do, and as long as you complete them, I will bring them back for you.”
Zero started to laugh, of all the times to be offered such a thing.
“Where were you before, why are you only speaking to me now?”
“Because, I can only speak to those that are in your situation. Those that are practically dead already.”
“You sound like the devil.” Zero claimed.
“Haha, I have heard of this devil you humans speak of, but trust me, I go way beyond what you can imagine. The world isn’t as small as you think.”
“Fine!” Zero shouted. “I don’t care what you are, but I will do as you ask of me, and no matter what it takes, or how long it takes, I will bring them back. You better keep your part of the deal.”
“I never lie.”
These were the last words that Zero heard, and opening his eyes his vision had come back and a rush of strange energy was felt inside him. A burning sensation could be felt on his forehead.
Looking at his arm, the ice started to crack, breaking completely and falling to the ground. The wound on his chest was healing up. Not only that but something he hadn’t noticed until now, his heart was starting to beat.
“I… my body… it was really dead. That means I came back from the dead. That wasn’t a dream, a delusion… If that’s the case then it means the deal I made was real. I can really bring them back!”
Standing up on his two feet, that was when the real Zero was born.