"Remember, little brother, don't make promises you cannot keep."

Sadow's young eyes widened as he tilted his head curiously "What do you mean, Akihiro?" His older brother smiled back at him and explained "If you make a promise to someone, you are supposed to keep it, no matter what." Sadow asked "Why?" Akihiro burst out into laughter, greatly annoying his younger brother "Stop laughing! It was a serious question!" Akihiro wiped away a tear and answered "It's just the way it is, brother. Promises are made to be held dear. It's a form of trust. And, in some cases, a form of punishment." Sadow asked again, whiningly "Punishment? You're not making any sense, brother!" Akihiro smiled and looked out at the great blue sky before them. He lay next to his brother in front of a healthy tree on a grassy hill. What a beautiful day. "You'll understand one day, dear brother. I'm sure, one day, you'll understand..."

Slow Ride Into Town

Sadow trudged his way into the small town. Looking around, he noticed people lazily enjoying their lives, noticing him as a black zit on the beautiful face of their lifestyle. Scowling at him, they were returned with a cold glare. He made his way over to a local tavern where a commosion had been made.

A man sitting at the bar, his white hair obscuring his eyes, calmly asked for another drink. What he failed to grasp was everyone was ticked off at his actions, knocking out the dealer at a nearby card table. The bartender repeatedly tried to force the man to leave, and every time would get the same answer. "One more beer please".

Sadow entered and sat next to the white-haired indivual, noting how similar he looked to his kin. "Cheshire Brandy, please." The bartender poured him a glass of a honey-coloured liquid while gazing annoyedly at the other white-haired individual.

"You got a problem kid? I know I look good and all but still." The man glanced over at Sadow, wondering why he was under such scrutiny. "Not my fault the dealer didn't check the flop before calling by bluff. He legally cheated me out of 1000 Gil."

Sadow muttered "Piss off." And took another sip of his drink.

"Would you mind saying that again? Just because you act all high and mighty doesn't make you a real big deal." the man was getting annoyed with Sadow, but still refused to move unless given another beer. "Or, are you a coward?" he added with a sly grin.

Sadow stirred slightly by the accusation. "A coward, you say...? I dare you to say that again." Sadow's hand gripped the handle of his blade.

"I'll do you one better. How about i spell it for ya? C-O-W-A-R-D. Tell ya what, head to this address and ask for Shade. we'll settle this there." The man left, leaving a note on the table, and payement for his beer, much to the relief of the bartender. "I'd stay the Hell away from him. That man is crazy, but he does have a good aim. But I won't hold you back if you want to fight him.

Sadow didn't want to be distracted off course, but the idea of him being accused of cowardice is one hefty insult. He would take the challenge.


Sadow made it to the designated adress and looked around for Shade.

"Hello again. I do hope the bartender told you about my good aim. But of course, once a man's pride is wounded, the only restitution is a duel based soley on regaining that pride." The man said, walking right behind Sadow. "As you know my name, I need not introduce myself. However, I'll need your name. Just so we are aquanted before our match."

Sadow's eyelids faltered gently "...My name." Sadow answered sternly "Yatsumaru Sadow."

"Well then Sadow.To prove I'm not a heartless man, do you have anyone who can carry on you family name? I won't kill the sole carrier of a surname. It just doesn't sit right with me." Shade said, reaching for his revolver, Lucy.

Sadow smirked darkly and answered in a cold hush "Well, there is one person..."

"Very well. Name your terms. Do we just fight to the death, or until one of us passes out? And any restrictions on spells or whatnot. Stuff like that." Shade cocked his revolver, and leveled it at Sadow's head.

Sadow smirked "Nah. Let this be a good old-fashioned brawl." At that, Sadow drew his sword while staring at Shade.

"Very well. May the better man win." With that, Shade opened fire, shooting only once to test Sadow's reflexes.

Sadow guarded the impact of the bullet and rushed toward Shade with his sword held firmly forward.

Shade ran in, and thankful that Lucy was made from some really hard metal, prepaired to use the gun as a melee weapon. His eyes betrayed no emotions, but he was enjoying himself. i hope this guy lasts for a while. Most other people would be dead before too long.

Sadow slammed his blade against his opponent's gun, and pushed forward to knock him to the ground.

Shade landed flat on his back. As he pushed himself back up, he mumbled something about being the most unlucky gambler in the whole world. "Anyway, If that's the worst you've got, I'll win this easy."

Sadow ignored his taunting and charged forth against, digging his sword into the ground and making it rise to cut Shade in an upward motion.

Shade backed up just enough to avoid serious harm, but a few of his jacket straps were cut in the process. "Good swing. But..." Shade's sentence was cut short as a thin trail of blood dropped from his forehead and down his nose. "On second thought, that was a VERY good swing."

Sadow's facial expression didn't change and he followed it up with a downward chop.

The sword glanced on Shade's shoulder armor, sending sparks flying, and a grating sound echoed throughout the area. He aimed his gun once again, and was about to fire, but instead, jabbed the barrel foreword. "Any last words, Sadow?"

Sadow smirked "Zap." At that, he poised his index finger to Shade's torso and sent out a streak of red electricity, burning a hole through him.

"Normal mages don't use red energy, so what are you?" Shade asked, using a Phoenix Down to keep from dying. "You also owe me a new shirt." He took aim and fired three shots, although he didn't know his friend had switched the bullets with rubber training rounds.

Sadow took the brunt of all three shots but was only bruised by them. He smirked "I am the Boogeyman." At that, he charged toward Shade once again.

"Ok. That's about the most awkward thing you could have ever said. I only got two shots left. Here, enjoy them." Shade pulled the trigger once more. "And then there was one."

Sadow guarded both the rubber bullets and slammed the handle of his blade onto Shade's head.

"Ouch, you friggin prat." Before he could even counter the attack, Shade staggered for a sec, and fell to the ground as though he were dead. Only faint noises betrayed his life was still around.

The few people in the area started cheering, surprised that this stranger outfought the best gunman in town, and without more than a few bruses no less.

Sadow looked down at him coldly and stated "I am no coward." At that, he sheathed his sword and turned to leave.

Shade forced himself to wake up, and gazed at his foe. "Before you leave, I just want to say, I'm sorry for calling you a coward. I was a fool who was just ticked off. And to make it up to you, I want you to know, if you need anything, don't hesitate to find me." He stood up, dusted off his jacket, turned away, rubbing his head. That really friggin hurts.

Sadow scoffed and continued walking "Help from an insect like him...? To hell with that."

Terrifying Trio

Marching toward the small town was a group of three. One had large, black horns on his head and orange hair. The shortest one at the center had goat horns that curved around his cheeks as well as similar orange hair and slitted, yellow eyes with a black jumpsuit and chin-high collar. The last of them had long, flowing black hair, pointed ears, and three sets of wings. Each strided toward the main entrance and began looking around.

The bartender walked out of the tavern to see if he could be of assistance. "Excuse me, sirs, but are you looking for anything? If I may provide any information, I'd be happy to." Although he was slightly scared of the trio, he didn't really care. They were strangers in a foreign town, and it was his duty to help people who need it.

The one with long black hair smiled at him warmly, though sarcasm and chilling threat gave way in his tone "We are looking for someone. A man of rather tall height with white hair that flows down to his lower back and sea-blue eyes. He should be wearing black. Have you seen or heard of such a description?"

"Yeah. He royally pissed off the town sharpshooter, and from the cheering that I heard, he won. He went towards the arena complex a few blocks that way." the bartender pointed south. "Will that be all, sirs?"

The black-haired man smirked "Indeed it will." At that, the short one at the center appeared behind him and impaled him through the chest with his bare hand.


Disturbance on the Field

Sadow walked up to the large arena, the entertainment colliseum for nearby villages. Unimpressed, Sadow proceeded up to the front gate, where he was blocked by a pair of armed guards "Halt! Where's your pass?" Sadow grimaced then, with swift movements, knocked them out of his way with two hard kicks. Their heavy armour prevented them from getting back up, thus Sadow proceeded into the arena.

Shade made his way back to the bar, intent on buying a drink. However when he arrived he found the bartender dead as a door nail. "Who the hell could spear through the sturnum so easy? A wound like that would have killed the poor guy in seconds." Shade mused to himself, before taking off to his home about a yard away. Lucy isn't gonna stop anything that strong, so I guess I may need to use 'It'. He entered his house without much sound, and dug through his gun stash before pulling out pistol ammo, and what could best be described as a rifle. Shade dashed out the door again and off to the arena, and prayed that no one was hurt.

Sadow entered the arena to find many opponent's locked in battle, most of them untalented farmboys wanting to make a name for themselves. Sadow unsheathed his blade and marched toward them, the tip digging into the ground as he walked. One of them noticed him, and the rest followed suit, raising brows questioningly. They mumbled to each other "Who's that guy...? Where'd he come from? How'd he get in here...?" With swift strokes, Sadow disarmed each of them and turned to the rich spectator's "I shall claim the prize money for this battle." A fat, bearded man gave a toast to him and sipped his wine. "Very well, young warrior! But perhaps, since this has ended so quickly, you would be interested in facing... different opponents?" Sadow raised a brow inquisitively.

Shade made it to the arena, thankful it was still standing. He ran past the two guards, apologizing that he didn't have a pass. Where the Hell is he? I find it odd that he shows up, and people start dying for no reason. He thought to himself as he saw everyone crowding in the main area. He pushed through the crowd to try and get a better view, amid cries of "Watch it, we all want to see this too, ya' know?" and many variations.

Sadow rode atop a large beast, a feline with spikey-tendrils on it's head and a barbed tail. It roared ferociously as Sadow impaled it's head with his sword. He jumped off and readied to attack a large, crab-like beast. The crowd roared in entertainment, and the fat Baron smiled and sipped his wine.

Shade wasn't one to enjoy mindless slaughter, but found Sadow's horrific display quite entertaining. I just hope he doesn't get cleaved by the crab thing's pincer things.

Sadow blocked one of it's heavy pincers but was sent hurtling into a wall. His back slammed into the stone, knocking the air out of him for a moment. He clammed to the ground as the beast inched closer to him. As it was raising one of it's pincers to snap him in half, he quickly summoned his sword to his hand and impaled the creatures' small mouth, the blade exiting out of the armoured skull.

Shade stood there, looking around for anyone suspicious, but the crowd was too dense to see through or over. I'll have to wait 'till the crowd thins out a little before I look for whoever it is I should be looking for. He thought while memories of the bartender swam in his mind.

Sadow held the corpse of the large crab down with his foot and pulled out the blade, blood spurting out as he did so with a gurgling noise. The large Baron rose and clapped his hands with the audience "Marvelous! Truly marvelous! We have ourselves a winner, here, folks! Not only have you bested all of our contestants at once, but you have braved the deadly beasts that have scourged our lands for a while before being captured! You truly are a warrior worthy of this arena!" Sadow looked apathetically at him and simply asked "Where is my prize money...?" The Baron smiled and clapped for his scrawny assistant to usher in a chest filled with gil.

"Now THAT is what I call money." Shade clambered onto the stage, much to everyone's frustration. "Hey Sad-sack, how many zeros do you think are there? My guess, ten, minimum. But then again, that begs a second question. Is it real?"

Sadow looked comically annoyed at him "Hands off, shorty. I didn't see you kill anything to get this."

"When your done killing things, I need to talk with you. Unless of course, you don't give a rat's ass about whoever it is following you killing everyone here. After our match, I went to get a beer, but the bartender's dead. Kinda funny, you show up, and people start dying." Shade rambled, emotion taking over. "Ahem, sorry about that."

Sadow smirked darkly "Happens alot. How did he die?"

"A hand through the sturnum. Not many people are strong enough to do that. Know anyone who could?" Shade asked, slightly nervous.

Sadow's eyes widened slightly "A hand... through the sturnum...? The only person I know who prefers that kind of-" Before he could finish, a clawed hand burst from the ground toward his sturnum. He backed away and drew his sword quickly.

"This is the guy, I take it? If it is him, I'll help you. Hell, anyone who messes with you messes with me. It's my code of honor I guess." Shade mumbled the last bit, unholstering Lucy. "Don't worry, this time, the bullet's are real."

Rising from the ground was the short, red-haired Demon. It exclaimed in a raspy, choaked voice "Sadow Yatsumaru... We have come to take you..."

"And just who are you to decree this man's fate? Answer now, and get shot, or remain quiet and get shot. Your call." Shade took aim, ready to shoot as soon as the chance arrived.

Soon after he had said this, his own shadow sprouted a tentacle and coiled itself around Shade's firing arm. The man with long, black hair entered the arena and smirked at him "Salutations... I am Halphas. My partner over there's name is Barbas. And he is Avnas." He points to the final Demon standing at the top of the arena with his daggers poised for the Baron's neck.


"So, you three are the ones who killed the bartender huh? You sadistic shits. If I could shoot right now, I would. Oh, wait. I can." Shade grabbed the gun he dubbed "It", and although it was slightly stupid to shoot that gun near someone who doesn't need to die, he fired the rifle at the one called Avnas. "Eat lead you prick!"

Avnas was hit straight in the head and fell back, bleeding profusely. The blood had spattered all over the Baron's face, and he ran after a high-pitched scream. Halphas frowned and the shadow tentacle he had wrapped around Shade's arm speared through his wrist, leaking blood onto the sandy ground in retaliation.

"Shit! You lucky bastards. Using magic that normal men would never dream of. I may as well try the spell I though up." Shade began charging fire magic into Lucy. "Dragon bullet, Fira." he shouted, sending a massive burst of fire aimed for Halphas, but instead it turned around and sped for the shadow tentacle lodged in Shade's waist. To his amazement, the magical construct didn't burn. "What kind of magic could resist the fury of the spell I just launched. What the Hell are you?"

Halphas smirked proudly "We are Legion, for we are many." At this, Avnas rose with blood trickling down an open bullet-wound on his forehead. His maniacal grin and twitching eyes showcased his monstrocity.

"Ok, that's just fucking wrong. I killed your sorry ass once. Let's see how you like dying again." Shade fired "It" at Avnas again, creeped out beyond all reason. "This time, stay dead."

Avnas was knocked back by the high-velocity bullet, and fell on his back once again. Halphas smirked "It's no use, boy. We are unnable to be killed by such weak rounds as those."

"Well. I'm getting raped here. I can't use that spell again for a whole hour, and my guns can't do anything to you. Or, I could do this. Dragon Bullet, Aero!" Using wind magic, Shade magnified the speed and rotation of Lucy's next shot, aimed right for Halphas' skull.

Quickly, a shadow tentacle escaped Halphas' shadow and whipped the bullet out of the way, Halphas' smirk unchanging. Barbas, in the meantime, charged toward Sadow, who whirled around once he got close and impaled him through the stomach.

"I still got two shots. The only one I can't control is the Aero spell. So try Dragon Bullet Blizzra!" This time Shade charged "It" with magic, and fired a frozen shell directly at Barbas. "I do hope that stings. from the bottom of my heart, I do."

The bullet pierced the back of Barbas' skull and exited through his cheek, which leaked blood and his body, from the wound and down, began to freeze. He muttered "You... b-bastard..." Sadow pulled Cerberus out of the Demon's back, and the ice statue leaked blood from the wound he created.

"I got one more magic shot. It's for the shitbag who won't die. Dragon Bullet Thundraga!" Using "It" as the coduit of magic, Shade fired a literal storm at Avnas. "You are not gonna pull your sorry ass out of this one, cause this one is gonna bring the house down. No pun intended."

The bullet lodged itself into Avnas' chest and immediately discharged a large amount of static elecricity that lit up the arena. The stone walls cracked and crumbled before the might of the powerful magic round. When the dust had settled only ruins surrounded them, and Avnas was standing before them with a large hole in his chest.

"When your nerves are totally fried, you'll die. Till then, you woun't be walking much, so don't bother." Shade grinned as he turned back to Halphas. "Do you mind letting me go, or do you also seek death?"

Halphas grimaced "You were foolish to challenge us this night, boy. But tell me, what is the name of my next victim?"

"You can call me Shade. Now get your sorry ass out of my town. If I even so much as smell your horrid stench, you may want to pray to whatever God you hold that I don't kill you."

Halphas smirked at this "Very well. We'll leave. But know that if the man before you stays, we shall return. And in greater numbers." At this, Halphas melted into shadows. Barbas' ice prison cracked and finally burst. He gripped his wound in pain and took off for flight. Avnas was nowhere to be seen as everyone's attention was diverted to Barbas.


Shade flexed his arm, glad to be rid of the shadow that bound it. "So, what in God's name are we up against? More Boogeymen?"

Sadow sheathed his sword without looking at Shade "You could say that."

"Second question. Why are they after you? This time, no bullcrap, am I clear?" Shade was getting angry, but he couldn't blame Sadow if those things were after him.

Sadow walked past him "Long story."

"Well, as you can see, we got time. I want to know why those guys showed up and wanted you dead. Start talking." Shade holstered his rifle, an act of peace. "You wanna talk, or do you want me to make you?"

Sadow kept walking "It's not important."

"Fine, but I guess I should tell you I lied back there. I still have one more Dragon Bullet left. And if I'm correct, one shot is all I need. So talk. All I want to know is exactly what I'm up against because of you. You heard what that guy said. After you, it's gonna be me. And even then, the town is next. If I knew what the hell they were, and why, I could fight them and protect the ones who protected me once before. Please Sadow, tell me how to kill them!" Shade started feeling like he crossed a line, but the ones he cared for were now in danger, ergo, he didn't care.

Sadow stopped in place and smirked "They are called Demons."

"Next, you'll tell me that the Grinch really did steal Christmas. Ok, how does one kill those suckers en masse? You heard that I can only fire one of each Dragon Bullet every hour. I swear, tell me how, and I'll not ask anything else."

Sadow answered sternly "Aim a Holy round to the head or the heart. They'll burn like the sun."

"Again, kinda need to know how to kill a large number at once. I can handle small groups like what we slaughtered just now, but upwards of six or so is out of my reach."

Sadow smirked back at him "Get more guns, then. Ciao." At this, he walked off toward an inn in the town.

Shade walked back home with a sour mood. Although Sadow spoke the truth, there was only so much he could do, short of leaving the town to lure the demons away. But then he wondered if the demons attacked regardless of where he was, could everyone find a way to hide? In his own mind, he saw the town burning and the people dead. Shade walked to his room, and began packing. "At dawn's first light, I'll leave and pray my plan works."

Dawning of the Darkness

Sadow sipped his brew that he stole from the now unoccupied bar. At sunrise, he was sure some might show up to retake him. He'd use the village as a distraction while he dispatched with the rest. Though, he knew he could use the help of the gunslinger from before. While it was true, he could exterminate Demons, him against multiple ones would be a slaughter.

Shade decided to grab a drink just because he knew it would be his last for a while. I only have a hundred Gil, which should hold over till the next town. He walked to the bar and sat down next to Sadow. "Just so you're aware, normal bullets won't kill demons. You saw that. I had to use all of my magic shots to just wound them. I can't stay here, or more innocent people will get hurt, so, still think you don't need a little help?"

Sadow didn't look at him and kept sipping his drink "I heard a small band of resistance fighters comprised of all the guys I fought at the arena are preparing for the fight. Since I can't resist a good scrap against their kind, I'll be staying too."

"You're gonna stay? Ok, but you know the demons won't stop hunting us because we nearly killed three of them. We're putting everyone in danger. Sorry, but I'm just scared. How many more people have to die because of just me? Not to burden you with, forget I said anything."

Sadow smirked and sipped his drink "To be fairly honest, they're just after me. You're just an inconvenience."

"So, not to pry or anything, why are they after you?" Shade wondered, as he grabbed a bottle and sipped the contents.

Sadow answered bluntly "I have a curse."

"A curse? Quite interesting. Is that how you have their magic? My arm still hurts from that thing crushing it." Shade moved his right arm, which still had red lines where the shadow coiled around it.

Sadow nodded and continued to sip his drink. Upon finishing it, he poured himself another glass with the bottle next to it.

"Is there a way to end this curse? I mean, every curse can be broken. Or is this different?" Shade took one last solid gulp out of the bottle and poured the remains into a flask for later.

Sadow shrugged and took a final sip of his drink as well. "Time for me to warn the others what they're dealing with. Are you staying, or going?"

"That depends. Which would make everyone safer? If leaving will be best, I'll do it, but it'll be hard." Shade stood up and started to head out the door, but deciding to be kind to the bartender's wife, and out of some guilt, left his small pouch of Gil on the doorstep. "Rest in peace sir" he whispered, turning away from the bar.

Sadow walked out "Tch... I'm staying, so the people will already be in danger." At this, he turned to head over to the corner where the resistance group was waiting.

"Then I guess I may want to stay as well. I mean, if my home is under attack and I can't divert the danger, what else can I do?"

Sadow smirked "Follow me then."

Shade followed without saying a word, but still felt like his mind was in a haze. I wonder who this guy really is.

Don't make a promise, if you can't keep it.

Sadow had explained, in vivid detail, what the group was up against. "A Demonic strike force. One single Demon is able to bring down a city as large as a providence. And there will be six of them attacking us tonight. I was, easily, able to dispatch each of you in the past night. Which means you few are what's in between those ravaging monsters and your families. You'd better damn sure be willing to give up your very souls in this fight, because if not... Everyone you love is doomed. There will be no easy way out of this. There will be no shortcuts. And there will certainly not be any retreats once you've signed on. Any signs of cowardice will lead to my friend here shooting you himself." He gestured to Shade though regretted using the word 'friend'. One of the warriors asked nervously "Is there anything you can do to help us fight them...?" Sadow smirked coldly and nodded "I can, temporarily, enhance you all with the power of my bloodline. But in doing so, I am entrusting you each with a fragment of my power for this one night. If I so much as suspect the mere thought of betrayal with it, not only will I burn you alive, but I will burn your houses and families down first, in front of you. Many of you will question what I have just said, and ponder if you can trust me. Indeed, I am one of them, thus I easily can just kill you all and skip town. However, it is up to you now to decide whether or not you can trust me. Alright?"

"Sounds like a plan. Let's just hope that the three from last night don't tell the ones that will show up about what I did, or it's weakness." Shade nodded at Sadow, shocked at the man's use of the word friend, but still felt it was a kind gesture nontheless.

Sadow nodded and proceeded to cut off his hair with his sword and distributed it in locks to each. "Coil the hair around your finger, like a ring, and bind it." They did so and Sadow slit his palm with his sword. Letting the blood drop on the ground, he formed a Pentagram and had each member stand in it. "Vrak'ta, unskelaust, enstentrut... Gorolipst grappa!" At this, each of the members of the resistance band gained white hair and blue eyes, similarly to Sadow, and wore rings of silver in the place of the ones made of Sadow's hair. Each of them had a sword similar to Cerberus.

"Holy frickity giggity! It's a brick wall of Sadows. Those demon's just may want to quit while they still can." Shade grinned.

Sadow pointed over the the horizon "Don't count your chickens before they hatch, shorty..." As he said this, six figures appeared at the horizon. As they began to get closer, the entire corner of the horizon itself was blocked out by the silhouettes of figures. There were clearly many more Demons then they let on.

"Oh God, we are so Mega Ultra fucked now, are we not? I mean, so many demons...But, I think we may have a slight prayer." Shade unhostered his rifle, ready to shoot when given his chance.

Sadow grinned, his eyes glowing red with blood lust "Time to hunt, boys! Kyahahaaa!" At this, Sadow unsheathed his sword and charged forth to battle. The rest of the men stood trembling, not believing the man was so eager to end his life against these monsters.

"Do you retards want do die? Remember, I have permission to shoot you. NOW MOVE!" Shade barked, looking back only to get his point across. He quickly took aim on one of the horned skulls marching to their own doom, and fired, seeing the demon's body fall like a deflated balloon. "That's one down. Another who knows how many to go."

They quickly rid themselves of their fear and charged along with Sadow. The Demons next to the one who was just killed didn't even look at the corpse, and eagerly awaited Halphas' signal to charge. He sipped blood from a wine glass "Hold..." Barbas croaked "Come on, Halphas! Come on!" Halphas repeated "Hold..."

Shade began charging a Dragon Bullet. "Fira." he wispered as the spell was ready, sending an explosive fireball bullet flying into a mass of demons. How is he gonna dodge this time? he thought, remembering how the demons were able do recover from or dodge his shots.

"Avnas~" Halphas turned to him with a dreary look "Yes." At this, Avnas summed a large wall of stone that allowed the Dragon Bullet to collide into it, creating a massive explosion. At this, Halphas raised his arm and lowered it "ATTAAAACK!" The army of Demons charged forth in a frenzy.

"Oh for the love of my mother's lover! That one never does what I need it to, when I need it." Shade shouted in anger. "Guess I could always vent on some Demon scum." he said, pulling the trigger as fast as his gun could go, sending a hailstorm of bullets directly at the now advancing Demon ranks.

The bullets killed several of the Demons due to them being of lesser blood than Halphas and his comrades. One of the rounds blew off the leg of a Demon footsoldier, who went tumbling forward ahead of the pack. As he tried to crawl, he was soon trampled on by his comrades, his skull being squashed under foot like a pumpkin. Sadow quickly beheaded one of them and proceeded to chop off the arm of another.

Shade quickly reloaded, but before he pulled the trigger, he charged his Aero Dragon Bullet, which added a pierceing effect to the shot, allowing it to tear clean through quite a few Demons before stopping.

The fiery bullet blasted holes clean through the torso of an entire line of Demon footsoldiers, striking fear in the hearts of the Monster-Army. The bullet was about to hit Halphas when it was repelled by a hard kick by Barbas. "Hmph, little twerp..."

For the love of... "You're one lucky bastard Halphas, but that luck's gonna run out soon." Shade said, letting a stream of normal bullets fly.

The bullets dropped a couple more Demonic soldiers, however two managed to flank Shade. They snuck up behind him, raising their axes, and prepared to decapitate him. Meanwhile, Sadow impaled one of them and knocked their wounded body into a crowd of it's comrades.

Suddenly, a pink scythe slashed the demon in half. It travled through a slew of demon bodies and headed for Halphas.

Halphas' eyes widened as the weapon charged forth at him. He repelled it with a quick slash from his shadow. "What?!"

"Dear Lord. What the Hell was that?" Shade said, reloading "It".

The scythe twisted around and flew to a cliff above the battlefield. "Ka ya ya ya" the scythe was caught by a pinked haired warrior.

Sadow shishkabobbed several Demons and turned to the source of the laughter "More vermin?"

"I doubt it. He could have offed me in seconds if he had wanted to. The fact I can say that makes me think he's good." Shade had to yell over the din of the demon armor and weapons.

"Hardly vermin, dear." The man appeared and whispered in sadows ear "Want me to save you from the Demons?"

Shade quickly unholstered Lucy and yelled at the newcomer. "I thank you for saving my life, but I'm afraid I need you to stand aside, cause in case you can't tell, this is a fucking warzone. How much you value your life is up to you, but I really don't want an innocent human to die today."

Sadow snickered in disgust and replied "Go kill some then, if you wish to save these people. I'm simply here for the fun of the fight." He then turned and sliced three Demons' heads clean off.

"Fun? Alright, my little psychopath, I will." The man left sadow and walked to an enormous group of demons. "Your ugly, go away." The man grabbed his scythe and gave a mighty slash. The balde unleashed a might pink shock wave that tore the Demons to dust.

Sadow was a bit impressed by the display, but didn't lose his focus. He continued to hack his way through the bodies of his adversaries. Meanwhile, one of the defense soldier's was knocked to the ground by the blunt end of a Demonic soldier's axe. It snarled and raised it high to decapitate him.

The demon sliced off the mans head and the pink warrior only batted an eyelash. The man ran foward and killed the demon in a flash, he then reached down to the soilders pocket and pulled out a money bag. "Lovely, no?"

"Interesting, to say the least." Shade said, firing a single bullet above the new guy's head.

Sadow noticed some animosity between the newcomer and Shade. Before he could advise them to keep their attention on the battle, Barbas has already swooped down in front of him and impaled his stomach with his arm. He coughed up blood as Barbas pulled his blood-covered arm out of Sadow's body. "That's for all the trouble you've given us so far, prey."

Doom Desire

The man looked Shade dead in the eyes. "My kind of man." The man slammed his scythe into the ground and a number counter appeared over everyones head, with the counter quickly going down.

"Uh, pardon my French, but what the hell is with the numbers?" Shade asked, his own number dropping rapidly.

"Doom. When that number hits zero you die. But the stronger you are the longer it takes for doom to work." This was evidenced by the mans Shades and Sadows enormous numbers.

Sadow's eyes widened and he began swinging in vain at his numbers to dismiss them.

"I really don't want to die today. I kinda like this meger thing called life." Shade said, actually trying to run away from his number.

"Calm down! You two have at least an hour before you die, they however." The man turned his attention to the battle field where lesser Demons were dropping like flies. "Their counters were like 5 seconds. Ha!"

Barbas laughed loudly as Sadow's count dropped exceedingly due to the wound he inflicted on him.

"Shit! Sadow, are you ok? Come on, don't die against these scumbags." Shade aimed Lucy at Barbas, and gladly fired six shots directly at the Demon.

All at once the counters vanished as the man drew back his spell. "Well I think that did its job." The stranger looked around to see almost all of the Demons dead.

The six shots bounced off of Barbas as he ignited into flames, being revealed in his released form. He laughed out in a metallic voice "Fool! You really think your petty bullets can damage my armour?!"
Barbas Release

Barbas in his Released Form.

Shade stood there, stunned at the transformation. "I got one that can, and you know it." he gloated, sending an electric spell into Lucy. "Dragon Bullet Thunraga." A glowing blullet erupted from the barrel, surrounded by electric discharge.

The man grabbed Sadow and began to heal him. He then looked at Shade and smiled. "I love how he handles a gun."

Sadow raised a brow, comically shaken by the stranger's words "...Are you homo?" Meanwhile, the thunder-bullet slammed into Barbas, sending him flying into a mountain.

The man looked at Sadow confused. "Are you surprised?"

Sadow nodded "A little bit." The hole in the mountain in which Barbas had entered lit up, a jet of flame shooting out. When it finished, the ground crackled with flames that had stayed. Barbas walked out of the mountain side, glaring at Shade "Now I am pissed."

A pink flash blinded Barbas as one of his flaming horns flew off his head. "There, there." The man grabbed the now smoldering horn and smiled. "I love to collect."

Barbas, within the time-frame it took the man to utter the word "collect", he had already sent a wave of hot flame toward him. The wave was so large it encompassed the trio's vision, forming a wall.

"Hmmm I'm not good with fire." The man considered his options and vanished in a puff of rose petals.

An entire row of purple, glowing daggers flied toward Barbas, encircling him. They enclosed in on him, stabbing against his armour and making a loud clank sound. He formed a hand-sign and they each exploded into small bursts of purple flame, knocking him about but otherwise leaving him unnaffected.

With Barbas staggered Mahara moved. The ground shook and trees bursted out all around Barbas, suddenly barbas was trapped in a forest of pink trees. "I would take this time to leave." He said nonchalantly.