In addition to being fast, Silo’s main advantage was that he had two weapons. For all that much of his fine control was lost with his new weapons, it was easy to cover for that when you possessed the ability to thrust a second time with an independent spear a split second after your first attack was easily blocked.
A thin wound was scored across Helen’s cheek, even as the flames of fury in her heart grew from small embers back to the reaching fingers of flame they had been for the Skarch fight.
Fine then. I’ll stop playing fucking nice.
Helen thought furiously.
She stomped her foot, smashing the low building on which they were fighting. It was only two stories off the ground, but without a firm base…
Helen conjured three Maw of the Hellfins that chomped toward Silo from different angles while he fell.
“Hahah! This is exactly right. In battle, anything is fine. If you cannot win, shift the battle! Keep shifting until you find an opening!” Silo brayed like a village idiot. But he twisted around midair and ripped her blood images to pieces with his spears.
Which, of course, opened him up to her direct charge.
Helen’s thrust took Silo in the chest. His body was catapulted across the block, smashing into another wooden building. After a creaking groan, the building collapsed on top of Silo.
But Helen frowned and looked at her spear. Rather than skewering him, she had impacted him. There was… an armor. A natural armor. It seemed like the bones of his ribs had extended and hardened into something like an exoskeleton. Although it was a direct hit, Helen suspected that she would need to land another in the same spot in order to put him out of his misery.
When Silo popped up out of the wreckage, he was coughing. Big, hacking coughs that had him drooling black sludge. He flashed his yellowed teeth at Helen and smiled as he staggered out of the ruins of the building. “Yes… yes…we are the same, you and I.”
“You sound like my mother…” Helen muttered as she raised her spear. Then she paused. As an experiment, Helen did her best to paste a very disapproving face of her mother on Silo’s body. Instantly, there was a surging response from the black flames of rage in her chest.
“Now… feeel this…” Silo wheezed. “Momentum of Tragedy!”
A dark cloud seemed to gather around Silo. His body cast a longer shadow than should be possible, considering the still dim light of the late hour. Very rapidly, he accelerated toward Helen. His steps echoed with a hint of his gathering momentum.
Helen’s spear flashed out. Bloodwalker, Master of Tides surged around her. Very nice of Silo to not even attempt to destroy her Tides of Blood Domain. With it, her powers were many times greater. And with the Master of Tides, she quickly drew currents around her to improve her movements and restrict his.
But Silo just continued to laugh and rush forward.
Helen exploded forward. Her spear was a stampede of rhinoceros. Her vicious attack pierced forward toward Silo’s sickly chest, who was wearing her mother’s disapproving face. At the last second, the black flames in her chest exploded. From some deep corner of herself, Helen increased the speed of her attack. The adjustment that Silo had made proved insufficient in the face of the last second surge.
She arrived at Silo far before he could bring his attacks around to bear. Her spear smashed into Silo’s chest with enough concussive force to jar even Helen. The strange bone armor that had grown to cover his chest shattered. Black blood spurted outward in sad, steaming bursts. Helen’s spear slid into his innards, ripping through the spongy muscle of the diaphragm.
Helen’s eyes narrowed imperceptibly. Such a blow would likely kill him eventually, as it prevented Silo from breathing. But for now…
With wicked eyes, Silo raised both of the harpoon-like arms he now possessed.
“One thing you must never forget,” Randidly had said to Helen before he had left. “Is that others can use the same tricks you did to beat someone. Often they will. I’ve done it quite a bit. It feels… poetic to beat someone with their own move. Of course, it’s ultimately a terrible idea.”
“How does it feel?!!?” Silo screeched with glee as he endured the blow to strike at Helen.
Of course, she was prepared.
Helen completely let go of her spear. Her two hands snaked out to grab Silo’s attacks. The point wasn’t to block them with her hands, but only to avoid the worst of the damage. With the aid of the Tides of Blood Domain and her Hellfin Reaper Skills, Helen was fucking fast. But she realized it would be just short of being enough to escape unscathed.
Her right hand flashed out and seized the attack of Silo’s left arm. The ridge of sharp bone along the side of the spear cut deeply into her hand, but Helen endured and pushed that blow to the side.
Unfortunately, Silo adjusted the angle of attack on the other arm. Gritting her teeth, Helen could only put her hand in the way of the thrust. The powerful spear ripped through the center of her hand. The pain was excruciating. And as it pushed deeper, the wound spread upwards across her palm, until the two sides of the hand were connected only by thin strings of flesh.
But afterward, the thrust smashed into her shoulder and deflected upward; too much of the momentum had been robbed from it when it had impacted her hand.
“Fuck-” Helen said as she gripped with her right hand and curled her lower body up off the ground into a tightly wound spring.
Her legs exploded outward. Her heavy, steel greaved feet smashed directly into Silo’s face. For all that the rest of his body was covered in armor, his nose broke easily in a spray of black blood. Barely able to stand, he reeled backward.
Helen used her right hand on his spear to jerk him back upward. Even though he was barely conscious, having spears attached at his elbow made it pretty simple to manipulate his body. After tapping her feet against the ground, Helen leaped up once more.
Helen kicked the butt of her spear, shooting the entire weapon through the hole she had made in his chest. She had kicked hard to be sure it would pierce through his back, but it looked like the design of the natural bone armor was to prevent outside attacks; her spear pierced easily through his back from within.
Finally, she let Silo collapse and frowned at his gurgling belch. Heaving a relieved breath, Helen looked at her left hand. Already the flesh around the wound was inflamed and twitched. Some of the black goop that Silo used as blood has splashed on her wound, and it sizzled painfully. The edges were red and inflamed. Luckily, a river of energy was coming to her from Randidly to heal the fucking thing.
Honestly, the fact that he didn’t even need to be near for her to steal his energy… Truly too convenient.
Wincing, Helen looked over at Silo’s wriggling figure. He was attempting to sit up. Helen’s eyes hardened.
What the fuck was this prick thinking? Attacking during a Wight attack? It was like he didn’t fucking care about what was happening around him.
There was a split second of hesitation, but then Helen’s resolved firmed. If he truly was so mad that he couldn’t realize what he was doing, it was her duty to put him down. After walking over to pick up her spear, she approached Silo.
“Helen-” Silo struggled to speak.
Helen brought the spear down on his neck, severing it from his body. “Just sleep. You don’t deserve to be heard any longer.”
Dying is strange,
Silo reflected as he stared at the clouded sky.
After his head was severed from his body, he felt everything growing more clear. Hazy memories sharpened into focus. His vision, which had shifted to being mostly based upon movement, one more returned in all of its colorful glory. All of the emotions that had been suppressed by the energy of the stone surged to the surface. As his blood trickled out of the stump of his neck, Silo began to cry.
Perhaps strangest of all, Silo still maintained sensation in his body. He could feel it failing. Portions of his organs twitched and swelling. Even though the nerve endings were severed. It shouldn’t be possible. Yet Silo felt it all.
Including as the… thing in his stomach began to move.
As it began to stir, Silo shivered. His uncles had given him a ring. Why hadn’t he realized something was wrong when rather than shrinking, the stone had grown to the size of an amulet?
The stone shivered in his withered stomach. Eight legs stretched out from it, slowly picking the stone up. It skittered around his stomach, climbing up his esophagus.
“…why am I not dying…?” Silo whispered.
BECAUSE YOU ARE NOW WIGHT
, the rumbling answer came. As Silo watched with horrible fascination, his body from the shoulders down stood above him. It seemed like some terrible, shambling thing as it staggered closer. Because it didn’t have hands, it could only spear him through the mouth in order to lift him up.
NOW STAND, PUPPET. THERE IS MUCH TO DO.