The two’s collision was so heavy that it sent a ripple out in every direction tearing at the air.
The clash echoed out and slammed into the nearby mountain, causing a large amount of snow and ice to rip away from the mountainside, an avalanche ensued.
As the two wrestled one another, a river of snow rammed into them and buried them both, while continuing down the slope unimpeded. Shin could see that Sam was still struggling with his movement and gave him a shoulder to lean on as they dashed away rapidly. Asuna as well grabbed Nunully up and raced alongside Kimi, avoiding an early burial in the snow.
Kazuki had only now healed his back and managed to stagger to his feet and get out of the way of the rushing white death. The village below wasn’t quite as lucky. Thankfully the villagers saw this coming from the distance and managed to evacuate from their village in time but in the end, the village was crushed and buried beneath at least 20 feet of snow.
Kazuki and the others regrouped with one another.
“Is everyone ok?”
“We seem to be…”
Asuna’s eyed widened before she shouted in realization.
“Where’s Mei! Oh my god don’t tell me.”
Asuna dropped Nunully in the snow and began screaming at the top of her lungs. Fear and concern in every shout.
The ground nearby trembled, The surface of the snow began to fall away as something large rose up. Mei’s beak popped out of the snow and wiggled about. Asuna and the others felt relief and rushed over. Before they got to Mei’s side though, Mei continued to rise up.
The snow exploded away and Mei was nearly 50 feet in the air. The shock this brought, not because she was in the air but instead because she was being held by her neck. Zetsu’s gripped her unconscious limp body by the neck and grinned. As soon as he appeared his eye glowed bright and he shot several soul attacks out one after another.
There was no warning or time to shout. Kazuki slammed his eyes shut. As soon as he did he heard something fall nearby.
He didn’t need his eyes to see what had happened. At least two of his friends had fallen.
Zetsu climbed fully out of the snow and laughed. With Mei still in his mouth, he was still easily able to speak.
“Hah, you ants actually thought you could beat me. Now three of you have fallen. If I simply lay down I can crush them beneath my body. Now here’s what’s going to happen. With my food killed, you all will gather the remaining villagers for me. You will bring them to my cave and then you will serve me for the rest of your days. This will be done or I will kill your friends here and now. Answer if you understand, worms.”
Zetsu made a demand from out of nowhere. With Mei in his grasp and two others incapacitated, Kazuki and the rest were suddenly placed in a difficult situation. Hearing his proposal though, rage flashed in Kazuki’s mind. Remembering the state those other villagers were in. How they were more akin to living corpses as they devoured bugs unconsciously, while excrement ran down their legs into a pile below them. Thinking about the way their souls were tortured in that state, a true living hell could not describe it better.
Kazuki clasped his hands into fist and squeezed so hard that his nails dug into his own flesh and trails of blood began to leak from his palms.
Kazuki slowly opened his eyes and glared hatefully at Zetsu. Zetsu towered above him, his eye full of confusion as to why Kazuki looked at him so.
“You are the one who ruined my meals. You are the one who took them from me. Hmpf, you will get me more of those villagers do you understand, otherwise…”
Zetsu bit down on Mei’s neck. Even though her feathers were like metal, Zetsu’s teeth still pierced through them and drew a long line of blood from her.
Kazuki built up power in his body. Three words escaped his lips.
“I’ll kill you.”
Zetsu tilted his large head as though he didn’t understand.
(Is there something wrong with this mortals head? He’ll kill me, hahaha.)
As soon as these thoughts appeared in Zetsu’s head, Kazuki vanished from where he stood. The very next instant he was only a few feet away from Zetsu’s face. A hand cranked back behind him. Kazuki flashed ancient hand sign after ancient hand sign. He couldn’t create a golf-sized ball of blue flame in this small time frame but he could make a smaller one. Smaller, much smaller then he’s ever made before. Time was of the essence, literally. Smaller than a grape, smaller than a pebble, even smaller.
With a hand as straight as a ruler, Kazuki thrust out his arm like a deadly spear. His target was, of course, Zetsu’s one good eye.
Zetsu stared at Kazuki mockingly.
(Does this boy really believe I will not kill this dumb bird. Fine, I shall make an example of her.)
Zetsu leaned slightly to the side to avoid Kazuki’s attack, at the same time he put power into his jaw and prepared to crush Mei.
Just as he was about to kill Mei, the ground beneath him exploded forth and Retsu shot up from below and wrapped himself around Zetsu like a snake.
Zetsu’s eye widened.
With this new restraint, Kazuki’s strike was back on target. Zetsu thrashed his body about in defiance and moved his head once more. Kazuki was just about to fly past his head and miss when a wall of ice appeared at his side.
Kazuki had no time to look back for Nunully but inside his thoughts were different.
(Thank you Nunully.)
Kazuki kicked off the newfound wall and his aim became true. Zetsu roared within his mind.
He slammed his eyelid shut as fast as possible. His eyelid, like the rest of his segmented body, was as hard as metal. Zetsu had confidence in this. So, although at first he felt a sense of panic, as soon as his eyelid slammed shut he regained his former calm.
(Once he finishes his strike, I’ll counter. I’ll tilt my head and release this dumb bird and at the same time, I’ll rip him to shreds. With Retsu growing weaker and another of their team within my grasp, they’ll be no more outbursts and they’ll be forced to submit and do my bidding.)
Although he still held Mei in his mouth, a huge grin stretched across his face as he thought about what would happen next. These thoughts though quickly crumbled. As soon as Kazuki’s straight hand came into contact with Zetsu’s eyelid, he immediately felt something wasn’t right.
(I have to make my flame smaller, smaller and smaller. Keeping the high temperature and making my flame so thin its barely visible until, yes, until it’s like this.)
As Kazuki’s hand came forward, at the very edge of the fingertip on his middle finger, a tiny needle-like blue flame stretched out 2 inches. Kazuki’s flame didn’t have to penetrate Zetsu’s eyelid, instead, it found its way between the small insignificant gap where both eyelids met. Within such a small space, Kazuki’s needle passed through and buried itself into Zetsu’s eye.
Zetsu mouth opened fully and he dropped Mei. Following that, a bestial roar erupted from him as waves of agony pulsed from his eye to his brain.
“MY EYE, YOU FUCKING RUINED MY EYE!”
Kazuki wasn’t finished. He had thrown his hand so fast that his fingers slammed into Zetsu’s metal like eyelid. Kazuki had just finished healing himself moments ago and now, he crushed all of the fingers on his right hand against Zetsu’s eyelid. A flood of pain shot up his arm but still, Kazuki bore it. Kazuki’s flame was still going, with it, Kazuki slid his hand back and forth, causing the blue needle flame in Zetsu’s eye to slice back and forth shredding his eye as though it were string cheese.
Zetsu felt a pain like no other and his movements echoed that sentiment. His body became wild and unruly and it took everything in Retsu’s being to hold him but he alone was clearly not enough. Zetsu flailed about and rolled around on the ground tangling himself up with Retsu and threatening to crush the others around them.
Asuna grabbed Kimi and Shin who had fallen unconscious and got them out of there. Sam as well grabbed Mei’s large bird body and dragged her along behind him. Kazuki’s right hand was crushed but still, he hopped away and scooped up Nunully, retreating further away. After they put the others at a safe distance, Kazuki, Asuna, Sam, and Nunully reentered the fray. Nunully stood at the edge of the fight and made several spears of condensed ice.
Seeing this a simple idea formed in Kazuki’s head.
“Nunully, make more stakes as you did before. Sam, can you still swing that hammer?”
Sam gripped his Warhammer between his hands and nodded.
Kazuki looked over at Asuna.
“Asuna, how good are you with your locking ability.”
Asuna snorted confidentially.
“Hmpf, good enough.”
“Good, here’s what we’re gonna do.”