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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:14 AM #1
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> MakaiRanger99
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GARO: Seeds of Inga

(Audiobook version https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...sEGVjHa9XydeRx )
My name is Zaruba, and I am a Madou Ring. Though, this wasn’t always the case. I used to be a Horror. Unlike my former brethren, however, I held no ill-will towards humans. At least, that’s what I was told, I don’t remember how I came to be. What I do know is that it is my duty to support the Golden Knight, Garo. Now, I help him in his mission to protect humans from Horrors. And as long as evil lurks in the hearts of mankind, their souls will become stained in Inga, making them ripe for possession. There are those who say our fight is never-ending, but there was one human who believed otherwise. Listen now to that human’s tale, and the tale of a man who served as Garo, The Golden Knight…

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; March 16th, 2019 at 08:42 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:16 AM #2
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(Audio book version of Chapter 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfAydkHUFNc )



帽子
HAT


CHAPTER 1

“Do you hate them that much?” the voice echoed in the darkness. He heard it and strangely enough, he understood it, though he didn’t know why since it hadn’t sounded like any language he had ever heard before. Even stranger, it seemed like time had frozen. The riots, the fires, the tear-gas; all of it had been brought to a halt. Everyone had stopped moving, some in mid-air. He looked down, his skin seemed to be almost glowing, his arms whiter than normal. But the blood on his hands was bright.

“Wh-what?” he asked. “Who said that? What’s happening?”

“Do you hate them that much?” the voice said again, in the same unknown language that he somehow understood, but could not speak himself. “That woman is dead.”

He looked down. He was standing in the middle of the road, surrounded by protesters and counter-protesters, and a woman lay at his feet. She had been holding a sign like him, but it had enraged him and now she was dead. The blood seemed to shine like the blood on his hands, just like her hat. Everything that was colored red was bright. He thought it looked strange covering her dark-skinned cheek; a stark contrast. Everything else around him had become blurry, like a haze had been put over his eyes so that he could only focus on one thing: what he had done. His hands dropped to his sides.

“Yes,” he began. “I-I do. Her and...and everything she stood for.” He started to make fists, squeezing them as he spoke.

“I can give you the power to stop them,” the voice responded. “To stop them all. You would be invincible. You need only do one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“Accept me. Accept all I have to offer.” He was starting to understand what this was. What this thing was asking of him. But in that moment, he didn’t care.

“I...I accept you….Help me.”

He had used the end of his picket sign to kill this woman, and it was on the ground to his right. The blood at the tip seemed to disappear, as did all the color from the sign as it turned black. It was blacker than anything he had ever seen, the pure absence of light was an understatement. Then the blackness began to spread like a fog out of the sign and it surrounded him. The blackness enclosed around him and he felt it enter his mouth, his nose, his eyes, his ears. At first it felt good. Great, even. But soon that feeling faded and pain wracked his body. At was as if someone had poured gasoline down his throat and had now ignited his stomach with a flamethrower. The pain was unbearable and was only getting worse. Then he realized it wasn’t going to stop. It was never going to stop. All of this happened in an instant. His soul was trapped, and his body and mind were no longer his.

05:04

Jason yawned as he sat up in his bed. He reached over to the right of the bed to the nightstand and turned on the lamp. Zaruba had been placed underneath the lamp and he groaned as the light hit him.

“What time is it?” Zaruba asked, groggily. Jason picked up his phone from the nightstand.

“5:04. Can’t believe I slept that long,” he answered. “Better start waking up, we got another eventful day ahead.”

“Don’t let your guard down,” Zaruba warned. “It’s been my experience that the worst Horror incidents always occur after a lull in Horror attacks. Even if it has been a few months.”

“Hey,” Jason began, “I woke up before you.” Zaruba paused for a second.

“Fair point,” he said.

Within 15 minutes, Jason was dressed. He picked up Zaruba and put him on his left middle finger, then walked out of his room.

It took him a few minutes to get to the lobby from his room on the ninth floor. As usual, he never used the elevator. Especially early in the morning when he needed to get his adrenaline pumping. He walked by the receptionist when she called to him.

“Oh! Mr. King!” she said. He stopped and looked at her with one eyebrow raised, surprised she knew him. He didn’t recognize her. She probably just started, which might have explained why she seemed so nervous.

“Sorry,” she said. “You are Mr. King right? My manager said you’d be wearing a white trench coat so I just thought--”

“It’s fine,” he said as he walked back to the front desk. “I’m not in a hurry. What’s up?”

“Umm,” she reached below her desk and pulled out a red envelope. “This came for you. A woman delivered it a few minutes ago, said to make sure you got it as soon as possible. I was actually about to call you but here you are.” She handed him the envelope.

“Thanks.” he said. “Strange she would use you to give me this.”

“Seemed like she was in a hurry,” she responded. Jason thought about it for a moment.

Could it be? He wondered. If so, what is she doing here? Jason put those thoughts in the back of his head. It was time to focus.

“Well, looks like this day got a whole lot more interesting, thanks again.” Jason turned around and went back upstairs to his room.



As soon as Jason was in his room, he sat down on the couch and took out his Madou Lighter. He ignited the lighter and a used the green flame to burn the envelope. In an instant, the envelope disintegrated, but in its place appeared the words that had been written inside, floating in front of him. Jason looked at the words carefully, they were written in the ancient Makai language. It had been awhile since he received orders but once he understood the first few words, the rest were easy to read:


THE DEMON BEAST, SIDIOVAX, HAS APPEARED. IT WAS SPOTTED APPROXIMATELY THREE MILES EAST OF YOUR CURRENT POSITION. IT PREYS SPECIFICALLY ON ELDERLY HUMANS. ELIMINATE THIS HORROR IMMEDIATELY.


Not long after being read, as if the words knew he had finished, they disappeared into thin air.

“Sidiovax, huh?” Jason wondered aloud. But he was more curious as to who sent the orders. “Horrors always seem to have the weirdest names.”

“They could say the same thing about humans,” Zaruba said. Jason lifted his left hand to make eye contact with him. “If Horrors cared about what their food named each other.”

“This guy sound familiar to you?”

“I’ve heard of him, yes. As the orders say, he prefers elderly humans. He treats them like humans would of fine wine. The older his prey, the better. Chances are, he’ll kidnap some and torture them before eating them. Many Horrors treat torture as essential seasoning to their meals”

“Hostages,” Jason sighed. “And here I had to open my big mouth. Sounds like we’re gonna have to hold off on Gate-sealing till we take care of this.”

He grabbed his things and left the room, then the hotel. He stood outside the main entrance. The sun was just barely starting to rise. He hadn’t been sure if the Horror would still be active now despite it being technically early morning, but regardless, he began to sniff out the dark energy.

Jason had a special talent; he could actually smell darkness at great distances, but strangely enough, had a hard time finding the source as he got closer to it. This was what he needed Zaruba for. In short, Jason was needed to get to the general area the darkness was festering in, while Zaruba was able to zero in on a more precise location. Jason had been asked a few years ago, by some other knights, what darkness--or Inga as it’s also called-- smelled like. He described it as a rotting human corpse that had been completely coated in hot fudge. While at first it may smell sweet, upon further inspection, the true foulness of it would reveal itself. This helped in situations like this where he didn’t have an exact location, but knew which direction to head.

Unfortunately, it was going to take him a little while. Having to rely on his sense of smell, he couldn’t take his car. He was going to have to go on a run. And he hated running. Especially while holding a sword. It had been years, but Jason still felt like the sword was foreign to him. Jason began to head east, already picking up on the scent. As he ran, he began to reminisce. He missed the old days. The days when he had nothing but the Verden Gloves given to him by his mother to summon his armor and kill Horrors. But after the war, and the loss of his armor, Jason realized he shouldn’t complain, but rather be thankful he was able to protect people again.

Don’t let your guard down. Zaruba had told him this earlier and his words pierced through his memories. Now was not the time to harp on the past. It had been months since he fought a Horror. He needed to make sure he stayed focused, or he’d go down in history as the first Golden Knight to be eaten by a Horror.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; October 17th, 2018 at 06:25 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:20 AM #3
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(Audio book version of Chapter 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsRP...ature=youtu.be)

Chapter 2

As he got closer to the scene, he realized he wouldn’t need his nose for this anymore. The street had been blocked off; many people crowded in the road, standing behind yellow police tape. Police car lights were blinking through the dark, the red and blue reflecting off of the bystanders and nearby buildings. He saw protesters, both masked and unmasked, and other civilians, all of whom seemed to be shaken. Jason tried to get closer to see what happened. The masked protesters were yelling insults at the officers all at once, making it impossible to understand what they were saying. The unmasked protesters were yelling back at the masked ones. Some had their phones out trying to record the whole incident in the hopes of some kind of internet fame. Jason searched for someone to tell him what happened. He pushed his way through the crowd to the police tape and looked among the cops. Then, he saw a policeman he recognized.

“Officer!” he yelled. One of the officers looked at him. He was a dark-skinned man, taller than him, in his mid-thirties; at least ten years older than Jason. He had a scar down the right side of his cheek that ran up to the bottom of his eye. Jason motioned for him to step away from the scene for a minute. The officer said something to another cop and motioned for Jason to be allowed behind the yellow police tape they had set up. Others tried to come through but were prevented by the rest of the policemen and women. Now they were yelling at him, though what they were saying, he couldn’t make out. He walked over to the officer he recognized. He had been standing next to his car. The officer opened the passenger side to his car and motioned for Jason to get inside. Jason entered the car, followed by his friend and the two shut their doors. The sounds of the yelling had been muffled enough for them to talk.

“Jason,” he said with a grim smile. “I didn’t know you were in town.” The two of them shook hands. He offered a bottle of water to Jason, and Jason accepted it and thanked him.

“Good to see you too, Curtis,” Jason began. He took a sip of the water, then put the cap back on and looked out the windshield at the other officers holding back the crowd. “I was here to seal some Gates but I got orders about a Horror around here. My first Horror hunt in about three months.” Curtis looked closer at him.

“A white coat?” he asked. Curtis reached across Jason’s coat and pulled the left side out slightly, revealing his sheathed sword. “And the red scabbard! You’re the Golden Knight now? What happened?”

“Let’s grab breakfast or something after I find this thing, then we can talk about it,” Jason said.

“Yeah, for sure,” he responded before taking a sip of his coffee. “Well, people here say they saw one of the protesters kill a woman with the bottom of his sign after the two of them were arguing about something. But the worst part was after that, they said he was different, changed somehow, like the woman’s murder had drove him into a frenzy. Then he began to tear her body apart limb from limb with his bear hands, actually eating her. After everyone scattered, the man disappeared. That was a few hours ago. We got some calls about the incident and came here shortly after to investigate. A few of the people stayed nearby waiting for us to arrive so we could interview them. Then you showed up.”

Jason looked in the side view mirror at the detectives behind him, taking pictures of the supposed spot where the woman was murdered. The sign that was used as a weapon had been stained in blood at the bottom. But other than that, there wasn’t much more blood elsewhere. At least, none that he could see.

“Do your guys usually clean the area of blood this quickly after a crime?” Jason asked.

“They didn’t,” he responded. “Which leads me to believe what the people were saying is true.”

“Yeah,” Jason answered. “Horrors don’t usually leave any leftovers.” Jason took another sip of water. “No one saw where this guy might have disappeared to?”

“No one we interviewed,” Curtis responded.

“Well, I’d better get back to it then,” Jason responded. “You know, it's been awhile since I fought a Horror. I could be out of practice. Could always use a Makai Priest’s help.” Curtis looked at him, slightly annoyed.

“I ain’t going back, Jason,” he said. “I’m done with that life. I needed a normal job.” Jason looked around the car and back at him, then laughed.

“Good choice,” he said as he patted him on the shoulder. Then he opened the door, left the water in the cup holder, and left the car. As he exited back the way he came, he received many different looks from the protesters as they yelled at him. A few were taking videos of him. He couldn’t wait to see what conspiracies people would write in the comments section of the videos. As he began to leave the scene, he noticed some of the people were following him. At first he was walking, but as the crowd seemed to get more aggressive because of him ignoring their threats, he began to run.

He ran back the way he came on the sidewalk for about a half mile until he reached an alley. The crowd had fallen behind, but they were starting to catch up. Jason ran down the alley until he realized it was a dead end. No lights of any kind to show how narrow the alley was. It was very dark, but not dark enough to hide for long. He reached into his pocket to pull out a Madou tool he had been saving for just such an occasion. It was a silver ball about the size of a marble. He could hear the approaching mob. He took the tool and threw it onto the ground.

The ball made a tiny explosion as green smoke surrounded him. He breathed in the magic gas and in doing so, instantly made himself, Zaruba, his clothes, and sword invisible. Not just invisible, but intangible as well. At least to most things, such as people and weapons. It was specially designed not to allow him to suddenly fall through the floor or pass through thick walls. But he could pass through people and small vehicles if necessary. When the mob arrived, the smoke had nearly disappeared, with not enough left for it to affect any of the civilians in a similar way. He stood right in front of them, but was left unseen. Still though, he had to get out of there. The effect only lasted about 20 minutes, and it did not mask any sounds he made as he moved. The crowd used the lights on their phones to look for him, but to no avail. Jason quietly and quickly moved through the crowd back to the sidewalk and began to pick up the trail again. He began to run back to the scene of the crime.

When he arrived, he figured he had enough time left where he could investigate the spot the detectives were probing. He squatted down right next to a forensic analyst who was looking for fingerprints on the picket sign. Jason looked closely at the blood at the end of the picket sign. The analyst had the sign in one hand and was running some kind of scanning tool over it with the other hand. Jason held Zaruba up to the end of the sign. Then he began to communicate telepathically with Jason.

There’s a small trace of Horror saliva mixed in the blood, Zaruba said.

Sounds like Sidiovax wasn’t satisfied with just the victim, Jason responded.

That’s possible, Zaruba said. But unlikely. Jason stood up and ran as quietly as he could towards the scent. He believed the Horror had taken refuge in the out of business coffee shop up ahead. And just as Zaruba had warned earlier, he was pretty sure there were at least two hostages inside.

What do you mean? Jason asked as he ran.

If Sidiovax was lapping up the last bit of blood from the sign, there would probably be more saliva left. Zaruba explained. Or it could have just ate the sign. Why leave it to begin with?

Maybe it saw more elderly people to eat, Jason guessed.

Perhaps, Zaruba said. Regardless, something is unusual about this. This Horror could be planning a trap.


He arrived at the old coffee shop just in time for him to become visible again. The shop was tiny, a part of a small plaza with a few other stores and places to eat surrounding it. It was early enough that the businesses hadn’t opened yet. The shop had two windows and a glass door. He did his best to hide next to the door by pressing up against the wall of the store next to the coffee shop. Once hidden, he peaked in the door.

The lights were off. He saw a few tables with chairs that had been turned over and placed on top. This place went out of business recently so most of the former owner’s property was still inside. He looked at the counter where the register was, and at the glass display case where samples of the food were usually shown. The case was empty, of course, and the black board that used to have what he presumed was the menu written on it, had been erased. No sign of the Horror or its hostages though.

He stepped out of hiding and pulled on the door handle. It didn’t budge. But it didn’t seem to feel like it was locked either.

“Jason”, Zaruba began. Jason lifted Zaruba to make eye contact. “There’s a barrier in place. A relatively weak one. Your sword should be able to break through with enough force.”

“The Horror’s inside?” Jason asked.

“Probably, though I can’t be certain. If it is, its aura is being blocked by the barrier. But you can smell the darkness coming off of this place right?”

“Yeah. Horror or no Horror, this place needs to be investigated right now.”
Jason drew the Garo Ken from its sheath with his right hand. He took a step back, stored the sheath in his coat and grabbed the handle with both hands. He raised the sword, and slashed down diagonally to his left. When his sword made contact with the door, the barrier became visible, the various black symbols of power from the Makai appeared, then shattered like glass. The barrier was gone, with no damage to the door.

Jason pulled on the handle again. The door jiggled a bit but wouldn’t open. While the barrier was down, the door itself was locked. He used the bottom of his hilt to break the glass window of the door. He reached through the broken glass and unlocked the door. He slowly pulled the door open; its hinges slightly creaking. He held his sword out in front of his body with both hands as he began to step inside ever so carefully, his shoes crunching on the glass that lay in front of him.

“I’m detecting a Horror’s aura nearby,” Zaruba said.

Jason moved cautiously toward the counter where the register had been. He peeked over the counter and saw an elderly man and woman. They were beaten, tied up, and gagged. He could just barely see that the woman’s eyes were closed, but the man’s eyes were open. They were wide with fear. The man looked at him. Jason held one finger up to his lips, trying to keep him quiet. The man started to make muffled noises and kept looking up at the ceiling and back at Jason.

Jason looked up just in time to see a much younger man fall from the ceiling and pounce him. Jason fell on his back. The man sat on Jason’s stomach, making it difficult to breath and held his arms to the floor. The knees of the man squeezed up against the sides of Jason’s ribs. The man leaned forward and sniffed him.

“<Makai Knight>,” it said, speaking in the Makai tongue. “<I knew you would come. You are younger than what I normally choose to dine on. But I suppose you’ll make a fine appetizer.>” Then it looked at the counter before turning its head back to Jason. “<Before I get to the main course.>”

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; September 1st, 2018 at 08:26 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:20 AM #4
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(Audio Book Version of Chapter 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzok7Rwe65Q )

Chapter 3

Jason looked to his right. He had dropped his sword not too far from him. But he couldn’t lift his arms up. The Horror had pinned both his wrists to the ground. Jason bent his knees to the point where he could flatten his feet on the floor. He slid his left arm on the floor up beyond his head, the Horror still holding it. But this quick motion caught the Horror slightly off balance. That split-second the Horror needed to re-adjust itself was what Jason needed. He used his feet to give him the leverage to thrust his hips upwards. The Horror was caught by surprise and Jason was able to roll to his left, kicking the Horror hard in the stomach. The Horror slid from the impact into one of the tables a few feet away from him. Jason rolled to his right and picked up his sword, before standing up quickly. He held his sword with the tip pointing at a downward angle towards the Horror, his hands up near the right side of his head.

The Horror looked at him before contorting its formerly human body in impossible ways to stand up. Its head twitched to the side as it stared at him. It’s legs were spread wide as it stood with its knees bent. It’s arms were bent with its hands open and fingers curled inward like claws. It resembled an animal ready to pounce on its prey yet again. It’s face had been contorted with rage, its eyes without pupils glowed a sickly gray. The sun’s light was just starting to appear and he could see the Horror more clearly.

The man who had been possessed was caucasian, had short black hair that was dyed partially blue in the front, 5 foot 9 inches, and probably weighed around 150 pounds. The last thing he had been wearing was a red t-shirt with skinny jeans and a black bandana around his neck that most likely served to cover the bottom part of his face when he was protesting. The shirt had a logo of a yellow sickle and hammer, with some corny slogan printed under it.

“You must be Sidiovax,” Jason said. The Horror snarled.

“<Why are you interfering with my meal?>” Sidiovax asked.

“If you don’t know, you must be even dumber than you look.” Jason answered with a smirk.

“<I’m going to savor the taste of your organs,>” Sidiovax responded. It raised its head and let out a vicious screech, its bottom jaw splitting in three as it did so. Then, it ran towards him, galloping on all four limbs like a beast. Jason ran to meet it.

Sidiovax opened its left hand, its nails instantly growing to become claws, and it slashed upward at Jason. Jason dodged the first strike by stepping back quickly. Before Jason could strike, Sidovax’s other claw came from the right and nearly missed his head. Jason ducked and slashed side-ways across the Horror’s left shin, blood staining the wood floor. Jason straightened up just in time to see Sidiovax open its mouth, splitting its bottom jaw and spitting gray acid at his face. The acid came in spurts He leaned back to dodge the incoming liquid; the sizzling substance flying right over his face.

Jason pushed himself into the air, back flipping, and kicking Sidiovax in the jaw, the second spurt of acid splashing against the ceiling. He landed a foot away from the Horror just in time to see the liquid quickly dissolve part of the tile above Sidiovax, the acid dripping as it did so. The Horror rushed Jason, this time it’s right hand changed into what appeared to be a sickle, while the other changed into a hammer.

Sidiovax slashed overhead at Jason’s forehead. Jason held his sword with both hands and used it to block the sickle but as he did so, the hammer hit him in the stomach hard. Jason bent over slightly from the pain, the sickle coming closer to his forehead. Jason struggled to keep the weapon from piercing his skull and saw the hammer come to hit him again. Jason used his left hand to let go of his sword while the right kept holding it above his head. Then, he caught the hammer, the weapon slamming hard into his palm. Jason held onto the hammer and quickly turned his hand so that Zaruba was looking at Sidiovax’s face.

“Now, Zaruba!” Jason yelled. Zaruba opened his mouth and the green flame of Madou Fire was expelled into the Horror’s face. It’s weapons changed back to hands as it retreated and screamed while holding its face with both hands.
Jason used the opportunity to attack, as he ran forward and was able to thrust the Garo Ken straight into the Horror’s abdomen. The sword went clean through, piercing its body entirely. Sidiovax’s screams of pain turned into anger as it violently grabbed the blade using both hands, blood splashing outward. Jason shifted the blade--and in turn the Horror--to the left away from the counter to keep the blood from getting on the hostages. Having been trained to use Soul Metal, Horror Blood would not affect him, should any wind up getting on his skin. But for normal people, becoming stained in Horror blood was typically a death sentence, save for one instance that Jason knew of.

Sidiovax summoned all of its strength and removed the blade, throwing it and Jason against the wall. Jason’s back slammed hard into the brick wall behind him, still holding his sword in one hand. Sidiovax held it’s stomach as the hole in its body began to heal. Jason quickly pushed himself off the wall, his blade in both hands, ready for another attack. Sidiovax looked down at the wound, then back at him.

“<Perhaps it would be better to simply kill you, rather than eat you,>” Sidiovax said. “<Makai Knights seem to be more trouble than they’re worth.>”

“Hey now, this is no ordinary Makai Knight,” Zaruba said. Sidiovax raised one eyebrow.

“Huh? <What are you talking about?>” it asked.

“Did you not notice the white coat? The red scabbard?” Zaruba asked. Sidiovax squinted and leaned its head forward to see what Zaruba was talking about. Then it pulled its head back, its glowing gray eyes now wide with fear.

“<It can’t...it can’t be!>” Sidiovax exclaimed. Jason smiled.

“That’s it!” Jason said. “That’s what I wanted to see!”

“<Wh-wh-what?>” the Horror asked, shaking.

“The fear,” He answered. “That fear and realization that you’ve just picked a fight with the golden knight, Garo!” Jason then ran towards the Horror. Panic-stricken, Sidiovax raised its arms in the air and tore open what appeared to be a portal. Then it jumped upwards through it and the portal closed before Jason could reach it. He raised his hand to look at Zaruba.

“Can you track it?” he asked. “I’ve lost it’s scent.” Zaruba closed his eyes for a few seconds, then opened them.

“No, I can’t sense the Horror’s aura anymore,” Zaruba said. “Wherever it went, it’s miles from here now.”

Jason sighed and was about to put his sword away when he heard what sounded like a Horror’s screech. He raised his sword again and looked around.

“What is it?” Zaruba asked.

“The Horror,” Jason replied, “It’s still here.”

“No, it’s not,” Zaruba said.

“Yes it is. How could you not---THERE!” He saw a shadowy figure across the room, but it quickly disappeared. “You didn’t sense that?”

“No I didn’t,” Zaruba said. “Did it smell like the same Horror?”

“It--” Jason thought for a moment. There was no scent. Zaruba didn’t sense it. And just as soon as it appeared, it had vanished. Was it a hallucination? Perhaps something else besides a Horror? “I didn’t smell anything.”

“You should check on the hostages, Jason,” Zaruba told him. Jason looked again, but couldn’t see anything. He placed the Garo Ken in its sheath and walked over to the counter.
He hopped over the counter and removed the gag from the old man’s mouth.

“You alright?” he asked as he untied his hands.

“I don’t know,” the old man said. The man was in his 70s, wore a read hat, plaid long sleeve shirt, tucked into his jeans. His shirt had been torn in several spots and revealed some bruises on his sides. “I’ve never seen anything like that. And I was a cop for 35 years!”

“What about her?” Jason asked, “What did it do to you guys?”

“That’s my wife,” he said, looking at her. “When I was laying here, I still heard her breathing. But she needs medical attention right away!” The man’s hands were free and he began to untie his feet, while Jason began untying the woman’s hands. She was similar in age to the man, perhaps slightly older. She wore a dark green sweater and gray pants. There were bruises on both cheeks and on her left eye.

“Who are you anyway?” The man asked while he struggled with the rope around his ankles. “What was that thing?” Jason looked the man in the eye, then back at the rope.

“Unfortunately, I can’t really tell you that,” Jason said. “All you need to know is that I’m gonna make sure that thing doesn’t touch you guys ever again.” The man finished untying his feet. When Jason finished untying the woman’s hands, he noticed her eyes slowly open. She turned her head to look around.

“Ed…?” she said as she looked at the man.

“Marcy!” Ed said. “Relax, ok? This man is helping us. He saved us!” Marcy looked back at Jason, who had now started to untie her legs.

“You guys are gonna be alright, ok?” Jason said.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I’ll tell you later,” Ed answered. Jason finished with the rope and helped Ed and Marcy onto their feet. When they stood up, Jason saw a woman enter the shop. The light from the sun now filled the shop enough for Jason to see this woman’s face. He recognized her right away. A Makai Priestess he had known for a long time, before he held the title of Garo. He hadn’t spoken to her in years.

“Amanda,” Jason said. “What do you want?”

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; September 1st, 2018 at 08:26 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:21 AM #5
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(Audio Book Version of Chapter 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exTq...ature=youtu.be )

Chapter 4

Amanda looked at Jason, her eyes widened as she saw the two elderly hostages he was helping to their feet.

“This was Sidiovax?” she asked. Jason nodded as he helped the people around the counter. Ed was walking fine but Marcy was limping.

“They both need medical attention immediately,” Jason said. He walked Marcy to one of the tables that hadn’t been destroyed in the fight, and placed a chair onto the floor for her to sit in. Ed grabbed a chair and sat across from his wife. Jason walked near Ed and stood next to him. Amanda walked over to Marcy and took out her Madou Brush. She lightly blew on it, and the end of the brush began to glow purple. She knelt down next to Marcy and put her hand on her shoulder.

“Close your eyes,” she said. Marcy did so, and Amanda slowly rubbed the brush over her bruised eye. It began to glow, and as the glow faded, so too did the bruise. Marcy opened her eyes and felt her face. She didn’t know what to say. Then, Amanda stood up and stepped back from the couple. She raised her brush in the air, the bristles now glowing yellow, then she lowered it pointing it at the space between the couple. She thrust the brush forward slightly, and a yellow beam fired from it, splitting in two and striking Ed and Marcy in the forehead. The spell went into effect and they were both knocked unconscious, the memories of anything related to the Horror were lost.

“Thanks for the help,” Jason said. She stored her brush into her coat pocket. The style of her clothes fell in line with what most Makai Priestesses wore. She had black boots, shorts, and a shirt, covered in a dark-green coat not unlike those worn by Makai Knights. Her coat and shirt were decorated with many different Madou Tools. She was a few inches shorter than Jason and a year younger. She had dark skin, brown eyes, long hair tied in a pony tail, and one earring hanging from her left ear, and Jason guessed by its odd design that it too was a Madou Tool, most likely used for long range communication. “With that said, you mind telling me why you’re here?”

“We haven’t spoken in years and that’s what you want to say?” she asked. Jason stared at her in silence. Amanda sighed.

“I was working on something for The Senate when I spotted Sidiovax. It jumped through some portal, and I began tracking it. I thought I would need a Makai Knight’s help taking it down, and I knew you had been staying in this city for a while so that’s why I asked for you.” Jason raised one eyebrow in confusion.

“Asked for me?” he repeated. “You never--” but he stopped himself when he realized what she meant. “Those orders came from you?” She nodded. “Since when did you get the authority to give orders?”

“I would have told you, but we stopped talking to each other, remember? What about you?” she asked. “All of a sudden, you’ve become the Golden Knight?”

“Yeah well, some stuff happened and here we are,” Jason responded. “Rather than argue let’s try to stick to business here. I’ve gotta get this couple to a hospital, then find Sidiovax.”

“I’ll let Curtis know. He can take care of them,” she said. “But you didn’t seal Sidiovax?”

“No. It did that portal thing you mentioned,” he responded. “But you tracked it here. You could find it again right?”

“Yea I should be able to. Though it might be more difficult now with the sun coming up. Sidiovax will probably go into hiding until sunset. Its aura will be less potent until it’s active again.”

Jason thought for a moment. “I don’t like the idea of waiting for it to attack someone else. I say we work on finding it as soon as possible, whether its night or not.”

“Ok,” she agreed. “Let me call Curtis first.” She reached into her coat pocket and pulled out her phone, dialing Curtis’ number.

“Hey Curtis...Yea I just got here....Listen, there was a Horror incident at the closed down coffee shop in Oliver Plaza...It got away...Yea I’m with him now, we’re gonna have to track it down….There were two victims...They’re alive. But they need to get to a hospital. It looks like they have some broken bones I wasn’t able to heal. They’re both in their 70’s so hurry...To wake them up from the spell, just shake their right shoulders gently...Ok, thanks bro...Later.” Amanda ended the call and put her phone away. “He’s on his way, we should get going before he gets here and wakes them up.”

She held her brush up in her right hand. “Did you injure Sidiovax at any point?” she asked.

“Yea,” Jason responded. “I stabbed it.”

“Ok good,” she replied. “Show me your sword.” Jason drew his sword and held the blade horizontally. Amanda walked close to it and smiled. “Never thought I’d see the Garo Ken in real life,” she marveled. Then she placed the bristles of her brush on the blade and swiped it towards the tip. The blade glowed red for a few seconds before losing its glow, as if transferring that light to the brush. “With this spell, I can use the evil energy built up on the sword from your fight to track Sidiovax down. But like I said, this may be more difficult during the day.”

“Then let’s get moving,” Jason suggested. She looked at her brush, then at him and nodded. She held her brush in front of her, pointing it forward, and the two of them began to exit the coffee shop. But Jason stopped. “Wait,” he said as he put a hand on her shoulder. She looked at him. “You didn’t happen to see another Horror come in here before you, right?”

“Two Horrors in the same spot?” she asked. “That seems a little unusual. No, I didn’t. Did you?”

He moved his hand from her shoulder back to his side. “I thought I did, but Zaruba didn’t sense anything, nor did I.”

“Zaruba?” she asked. Jason held his hand up so that Zaruba was facing Amanda.

“I’m a bit surprised I wasn’t introduced,” Zaruba said. “My name is Zaruba. A Madou Ring.”

“Nice to meet you, Zaruba,” she said. She looked back at Jason. “Perhaps Sidiovax was creating an illusion or something?”

“Perhaps,” Jason said. “For now, let’s keep an eye out for two Horrors just in case.” The two walked out of the shop and began tracking the Horror down, Amanda in front following the trail she had picked up with her brush and Jason behind her.

“Jason,” She began to ask. She looked over her shoulder at him “”Kotraba...Is she…?”

“She’s gone,” Jason answered as he felt his left wrist where he used to wear his old Madou Tool. “Lost with the Emerald Armor.”

“Oh, Jesus,” She said. “I’m sorry I didn’t--”

“Let’s just stay focused,” He responded.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; September 1st, 2018 at 08:25 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:22 AM #6
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Audiobook version of Chapter 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHSLHuXVtrM

Chapter 5

It had been two hours since Sidiovax had escaped Jason’s attack. Jason and Amanda had been following the trail Sidiovax had left. Amanda’s brush would occasionally lose its glow if they started to head off course, but would regain it once they were back on the trail. Twice Amanda had tried to start a conversation with Jason, but he remained silent, only speaking if it was about their task at hand. It was clear bringing up his old Madou Tool had brought up some unwanted memories.

As they crossed the street and made it to the next sidewalk, there were a few bystanders who looked in amazement at them and their glowing brush. Jason kept them at bay, claiming they were cosplayers to some or that they were filming some movie to upload online to others. Some wanted to take pictures with them, but they declined. This didn’t stop others from trying to sneak selfies with them. As long as they didn’t interfere with the mission, Jason didn’t mind if pictures of them wound up online. It’s not as if anyone outside of the Makai Order would have recognized who or what they were. After some more travelling, eventually the brush began to glow brighter than they had seen yet. The two looked up to see a massive retirement home ahead of them. It’s white walls and angular design seemed to stick out among the city buildings surrounding it. There were at least four floors, and Jason guessed at least 200 rooms inside.

“Good Lord,” Jason began, “It’s like a grand buffet.” Amanda looked at him.

“Can you smell it?” she asked. Jason sniffed.

“Sidiovax is definitely inside,” he replied. Amanda looked back at the building.
“But it hasn’t attacked anyone yet.”

“It’s gonna try and blend in until nightfall,” She looked back at Jason, smiling and held up her brush. “We should do the same if we’re gonna find it before then.” Jason remembered one of their earlier missions they had together years ago. Amanda had always enjoyed coming up with creative disguises. Today, it made sense. Unlike the coffee shop, this place was bound to have a lot of people inside. There was no point in going in with weapons ready; they’d cause a panic and the Horror would find a way to escape in the confusion. This part of the hunt required subtlety.

“Let’s find someplace to put our disguises on,” Jason said. The two of them sneaked by the entrance. There were four massive pillars, a stairway, and a handicap ramp. Between the ramp and the stairs was a small area the two could fit in without being seen. They snuck into the crevice.

“Well?” she whispered. “What do you think?” Jason stuck his head out and looked through the window at the employees.

“Can you do custodians?” he asked. Amanda groaned. Jason looked back at her. “What’s wrong? Can’t do it?”

“No, I can,” she said. “I just--I wanted to pick something a little more fun like a chef or performer. Like someone who does all those Sinatra songs!”

“We’re trying to slip in unnoticed,” he said. “You really think the Horror won’t spot some glamorous fifties-style singer?” She sighed.

“Fine,” she said. “Point taken.” She held her brush in both hands. “Hold out your hands.”

Jason did so and Amanda painted a magic halo around his wrist--not so different than the halo he would draw with his sword when summoning his armor. The halo quickly moved from his wrist, up to his head, then down to his feet, expanding and contracting as it did so to match the different widths, and transforming his white coat, black pants and black undershirt into the gray uniform of the custodians he had spotted inside. Jason noticed his Garo Ken had also changed its appearance to look like a mop. Amanda painted another halo on the floor in front of her and stepped inside. It moved up to her head, changing her clothes as well.


The interior was large yet warm, with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, patterned rugs, leather couches and large screen tvs scattered about the lobby. The receptionist looked up from her computer at the front desk and noticed the custodians in disguise as they entered the building.

“Oh good,” She began. But the custodians ignored her as they tried to walk past her to get to the stairs. “Umm, excuse me?” she said louder. The two stopped. Jason walked to her. “I was trying to get a hold of someone for a while. Mr. Johnson had an accident in B-05.”

“Oh, alright, we’ll take care of it,” Jason said. He began to walk back to Amanda who had been wheeling a mop in a bucket.

“Hey,” she said. “I haven’t seen you guys before,”

“We just started,” Amanda replied. She held up her badge she had created that had been pinned to her shirt. “Wanna check them?”

“No it's fine,” she responded. “Just try to hurry please? Mr. Johnson can be irritable in the morning.” Amanda smiled.

“No problem, have a good one!” Amanda said. The two of them entered the elevator next to the front desk and hit the door close button. The doors closed. Jason raised his hand to look at Zaruba.

“Where to?” Jason asked.

“I’m sensing a Horror’s aura on the fourth floor,” Zaruba said. “No barriers ahead either.” Jason hit the fourth floor button and the elevator started to rise.

“I feel like we should let one of the custodians know about Mr. Johnson. Sounds like he might have been waiting a while,”

“Stay focused,” Jason snapped. “If you waste time with that, there may not be a Mr. Johnson to have any more accidents.”

“Right, right,” she said. The elevator stopped and the doors opened. The hallway was empty, all of the doors were closed. The pair stepped off the elevator and began looking around. Jason could smell the darkness strongly here. But there was something else too. Some other aura of some kind, but nothing he ever smelled before.

“Room D-07,” Zaruba told them.

“You sure,” Amanda asked. Jason looked at her.

“Let’s just say, right now,” Jason began, “I trust him more than I trust you.” Amanda stared back at him for a second, clearly hurt by what he said, but left it at that. Jason turned away from her and walked toward D-07. He leaned close to it to listen. He couldn’t hear anything from inside. But the darkness radiating from the door stunk to high heaven.

“We’re clear,” Amanda said as she looked around for any people nearby. Jason stepped back and used his right foot to kick the door down.

The room was small, dirty, and empty with Sidiovax laying on the floor in what would be the living room. Strangely enough, it hadn’t bothered to try and blend in by changing any of its clothes. At least, not yet. Sidiovax awoke and jumped at the sound of the door coming off its hinges and crashing to the floor. Jason entered the room, his uniform morphing back to its original appearance, the same happening to the Garo Ken.

“<You again?!>” Sidiovax exclaimed as it jumped to its feet. Amanda entered the room behind him thrust her brush upwards. As she did so, what looked like a door replaced the one that had been kicked down, and the walls began to glow yellow. “<Forget this,>” Sidiovax said, and raised its hands in the air. It tore open a portal, the same as last time, but this time when it tried to jump through, the portal disappeared, and it hit its head on the ceiling, falling back to the floor with a THUD, landing on its back. Amanda laughed.

“No way out this time!” she exclaimed, referring to the barrier she had created around the room.

“This isn’t going to go like it did before,” Jason said as he drew his sword. Sidiovax pushed itself off the floor onto its feet, its head hunched forward, hands with fingers open and bent like claws at its sides.

“<Then I’ll go down in history,>” it began. “<As the first Horror to consume a Golden Knight!>” It raised its arms crossed like an X in front of its face and once again, its hands were transformed into a hammer and sickle. This time however, its entire body changed. What was left of the human host was violently shed as the host’s skin and exploded onto the walls. Its face was a sickly black, gray eyes, a mouth that took up half its head, with hundreds of razor sharp teeth showing. Its body was unusually thin, with its ribs practically protruding from its chest. Its tail was 4 feet long, like that of a lower level Horror. Sidiovax raised its head, looked up at the ceiling, opened its mouth and let out a howl that shook the room, its bottom jaw splitting in four as it did so. The shockwave was enough for Amanda and Jason to hold up their hands to protect their faces as they themselves were slightly pushed back. Luckily, the barrier prevented anyone from seeing or hearing anything happening in the room. To them, it looked as though the door was still closed.

When the howl subsided, Jason lowered his hands, then raised his sword and used the tip to draw a large halo above him. The halo created a portal of white light that shone down over him. Then, the golden pieces of armor flew down from the portal and attached to his body, with the helmet being equipped last, and his sword changing shape into its much bigger, true form. The red hilt was replaced with one of black and gold, and the silver blade was now large with gold, black, and silver decorating both sides. A golden cross-guard now adorned the blade, with a red filled triangle in the center; the symbol of the golden knight. The armor added a few inches to Jason’s already tall figure, especially the helmet. Like all Makai Knights, the helmet resembled a wolf’s head, with teeth showing, somewhat of a long nose, and tall ears.The eyes on the helmet varied depending on who used the armor. For Jason, the eyes glowed a bold, violet color, which was rare among other Knights. Typically speaking, most knights would have green or silver eyes. Some might have blue as well. When the helmet had attached to his head, a timer could be seen in the bottom right corner of his vision. It started at 99.9 seconds, and instantly began to count down. Jason knew, once the timer hit 0, he’d have to return his armor back to the Makai, else risk it devouring him.

The Horror opened its mouth and spit its acid towards Garo. Garo stood his ground as the acid hit his armor and instantly evaporated. Confused, Sidiovax fired again. Garo began to walk forward towards Sidiovax, the acid being instantly vaporized as it made contact with the golden armor. Garo kept advancing, each foot-step made a clanging noise against the wooden floor. Sidiovax kept firing, but the same result happened each time. While the face on the helmets weren’t able to move in their normal state--and so unable to express any emotion other than what was heard in the knight’s voice--Sidiovax could feel the fury of Garo radiating off his unwavering eyes.

Sidiovax let out a cry and jumped forward. It used it’s sickle to try to attach to the armor, but the instant it connected, it screamed in pain as the armor burned it. While it didn’t pierce it, the sickle had gotten stuck on his left shoulder. Sidiovax, still writhing in pain, used its hammer to try to crush the knight’s face. Garo raised his sword with one hand to block the attack, shattering the hammer as it made contact with his arm. Garo grabbed the sickle with his other arm, and pulled it down across his body, the sickle breaking as it was separated from Sidiovax. Sidiovax staggered back, literally disarmed and writhing in pain. It made one last desperate attempt, opened its jaw and leaped towards Garo’s throat. The Golden Knight thrust the sword straight into Sidiovax’s mouth, the blade easily penetrating the Horror’s teeth and shooting right down its throat. Once the sword was inside the Horror, Garo pulled the sword up and back towards him, the blade cutting through the back of its throat and bisecting it’s skull. Sidiovax was silent as its body faded away, it’s spirit now sealed within the Garo Ken.

Jason used his mental command to send the armor back to the Makai, and the armor flew upwards, disappearing from the human realm. He put his sword back in its sheath and turned away from the remains of the Horror, heading back towards the entrance. Amanda had been standing near the doorway, arms folded across her chest.

“Nice work,” she said as she smiled. Jason looked at her, his face emotionless.

Her smile quickly faded. “Well...uh...I guess I’ll head back to the Senate for now. I’ll let them know---LOOK OUT!” She pointed behind him. Jason raised his sword behind him and over his head, blocking the attack. As for the attack itself, it came from the hand of a blonde haired woman who stood behind him where Sidiovax was destroyed. She was caucasian, about 5 feet 6 inches tall--much shorter than both Amanda and Jason. She wore clear high heels, a red dress and bright red lipstick. Her eyes were brown but there was something off about them. Her face was twisted with an expression of pure hatred. Her hand was open and cut from the blade. But the wound should have been much worse. There wasn’t nearly enough blood coming out of it. She took a step back, holding her hand close to her. Jason stepped away from the woman, moving to place himself between her and Amanda, his sword drawn. Amanda held her brush up near her head, ready to defend herself.

“Zaruba,” Jason began, “Another Horror?”

“I’m not detecting a Horror’s aura coming from her, Jason,” Zaruba responded. There was a brief pause, then he continued “In fact, I’m not detecting anything! Whatever she is, she isn’t human, but she may not be a Horror either!”

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; September 1st, 2018 at 08:25 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:23 AM #7
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(Audiobook version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUVd...c61VJi&index=7)

Chapter 6

Jason looked at his attacker. Her face contorted with hatred at the pain.

“Are you a Horror?” Jason asked. The woman looked at him.

“What do you think?” She asked, sarcastically. “Makai Knight scum!” Her bottom jaw split in several sections as she let out a screech. She ran forward and lept into the air, lunging at Jason to try to tackle him. Jason raised his sword and summoned his armor once again before she could land on him. The timer shown at the bottom of his HUD resumed where it had left off. He had 65.7 seconds left to use the golden armor. She landed with her knees atop of Garo’s shoulders, ready to use her newly transformed black claws to tear into his helmet. But as soon as her legs touched the armor, she screamed in pain as the Soul Metal burned her skin. She quickly pushed herself off of the armor and away from him.

She used the opportunity to transform into her true form. The dress she wore became scaly, her skin changed from white, to a dark green. Her high heels seemed to melt into her feet, which resembled something you would see on an alligator. Her skin grew many razor sharp scales in what seemed to be random directions. The woman’s face had been transformed too, her eyes now a milky gray, the red lipstick still there, only now it seemed a bit harder to see on her dark green skin. Her blonde hair had fallen out, and her scalp now showed several more dark green scales, each sharp enough to cut through steel.

This transformation took a mere half a second. Garo raised his sword and slashed downward toward her left shoulder. But the sword slid off of her body. Without hesitating, he slashed horizontally across her stomach, then at her left leg, but the sword was unable to pierce her scales. She laughed as she grabbed the sword by the blade with one hand, and ripped it out of his hands, throwing it behind her like a toy. She used her left claw to slash upwards towards his helmet. Garo leaned back with the claw missing his helmet, but the tips of the claw scratched his chest armor. She came back down with the claw, and Garo used his right arm to block the attack over his head. She used her other claw to slash across his abdomen, but he was able to block it with his free hand. He grabbed both her arms, pushed them together and down, away from her reptilian face, making her unable to block his headbutt right to her nose. She stumbled backwards for a second but charged again for another attack. Garo put his hands on-guard, ready to defend.

As they continued to fight, he thought of an idea. He took a second to look behind him. Amanda had been using her brush to draw some strange symbols in the air. Some of them, he recognized, but most were new. She had to be thinking the same thing he was, but he needed to be sure.

“Amanda,” he yelled as he struggled with the beast. She did not relent and continued pushing the offensive on him, making it difficult to talk and fight at the same time. “Do you have...a spell that can...detect weaknesses...in...a target?!”

“Working on it,” she said, not changing her gaze from the golden symbols she had drawn in the air. “And….done!” She raised her brush towards the ceiling and the symbols she had drawn flew into its bristles, lighting it in gold. She crossed her right foot over her left, turned around, lowered the brush, placed both feet on the floor, then raised her right leg with her knee bent, held the brush with her right hand, raised her left hand behind her, and thrust the forward towards Garo. “HA!” she exclaimed as the energy left her body and brush and flew directly into Zaruba. She dropped her arms and leg in exhaustion. “The info I gathered was sent to Zaruba.”

“I have it!” Zaruba said, as the hand he was being worn on made a fist and collided with the beast’s face. “Jason, this monster’s armor is resistant to standard Soul Metal. Regular attacks may hurt it, but will not be able to do any serious damage. However, it would appear weak against very hot flames. Such as the Madou Fire.” Garo kicked the monster in the chest, sending it flying back, its feet scraping against the floor, but it remained standing.

“Ok, great. So, what do you suggest?” Garo asked.

“An attack while using your Blazing Armament should be sufficient in landing a critical blow on the beast,” Zaruba told him.

“Then let’s do it!” Garo answered. Zaruba summoned the power of the Madou Flame and focused it into the golden armor. Garo made fists and pushed his arms out to the sides, igniting the power of the flame, its green fire now surrounding his armor. Garo ran towards the creature and jumped in the air. Still reeling a bit from the attack, she looked up just in time to see the flaming fist hit her right in the face. She screamed in agony as her armor was broken. But what happened next shocked him and Amanda. Before Garo could land another punch, the monster had fallen to the floor on his left. But the blonde woman was now in its place, her eyes opening to see another fist coming right for her. Garo stopped his fist an inch from her face. He froze. He wasn’t sure what was happening. He lowered his hand and looked to his left. The creature screamed and dissolved into dust, leaving behind a sand-like substance. He took a step back and returned his armor to the Makai with 10.5 seconds to spare.

The woman looked at him. Gone was the lipstick, the dress, the high heels, and the face of pure hatred. In fact she was now almost completely naked, wearing only her underwear and her bra.She looked beaten and broken, her eyes worn, her hair a frizzy mess. She began to cry as she covered her chest and fell to her knees.

“Zaruba,” Jason asked as he raised his hand to look at him. “What’s going on?”
“This is impossible!” Zaruba said. “But this woman is now completely human!” Jason’s eyes widened.

“What?!” both he and Amanda asked in surprise. Jason turned to see Amanda standing to his right. Then he looked back at the woman. “How can that be?” he asked, to Amanda or Zaruba, he wasn’t sure. “Everything we know about Horrors tells us that possession by a Horror kills the host!”

“You are correct,” Zaruba assured him. “Which makes this all the more troubling.”

END EPISODE 1

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Old February 11th, 2018, 10:24 AM #8
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This discovery was most troubling for all of us. But our battle is just beginning! Jason and Amanda will have to report this incident to the Senate. But what will happen to the human who has been freed? Was she ever truly a Horror? Does she remember any of it? And what will the Senate decide to do with her? Next time: Journey. Even a Madou Ring as old as I, has never encountered something like this before!

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Old February 20th, 2018, 08:17 PM #9
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Thanks to everyone who’s been reading this! I’m still kicking around a few ideas for what I want to do with episode 2 but I’m gonna be posting it soon. Any critiques or suggestions are much appreciated!
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Old February 21st, 2018, 04:38 PM #10
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Well done, sir.
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Old February 23rd, 2018, 10:07 PM #11
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TheOneRJS200 wrote: View Post

Well done, sir.
Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it! Episode 2 should be out soon
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Old March 10th, 2018, 08:53 PM #12
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Just a quick update! I'm about half-way done with Episode 2. I'm hoping everyone likes it. Would you guys prefer I continue just waiting to post the episodes until I finish them or post each chapter as I complete them? Currently I have 3 chapters of Episode 2 done and I could post them now or wait til I finish this episode.
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Old April 1st, 2018, 09:33 PM #13
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Working on an audio book version and have added Chapter 1. See above!
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Old April 7th, 2018, 08:32 PM #14
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Chapter 2 has been updated with the audio book version.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:15 PM #15
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GARO: Seeds of Inga Episode 2

(Audiobook version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPvR5T2NVs0)


JOURNEY

Chapter 1

12:10

The rain had started. It was a cold day, but not cold enough for snow. The wind had picked up since Jason, Amanda, and the former Horror-host had arrived at the Watchdog site. This location, however, was unique. Unlike most Watchdog sites, this one was a public building. Typically, Watchdog sites were only accessed through secret portals.

But this was different. This was also a church. The parking lot was almost completely empty, with the last of the people who attended mass now in their cars and leaving the area. The rain seemed loud against the windshield and windows.

Amanda had decided to stay in the car and keep an eye on the woman that had attacked them earlier. She had knocked her unconscious and had her restrained with a special spell that kept her wrists stuck together behind her back and her ankles stuck together as well. Amanda sat in the passenger seat of Jason’s car, with the woman lying in the back seat. On the way to the Watchdog site, they were able to stop at Amanda’s place and pickup one of her books. She also grabbed one of her bathrobes and had dressed the woman, since she was without any clothes except her underwear and bra.
Amanda was checking every page of her book for any information on Horrors that kept their hosts alive after possessing them. Perhaps there were one or two special cases that they may have overlooked or never heard of. But the only other types of Horrors she could find any information on were Madou Horrors.

Madou Horrors were soldiers created by the Horror named Zedom many years ago. Zedom was able to create special plants that could be injected into a host, turning them into a Madou Horror. The new Horror would then revere Zedom--or whomever injected them with the plant--as their master. What was worse was that unlike regular Horrors, Madou Horrors were born from any kind of host, regardless of whether they had darkness in their hearts or not. These plants, however, were discovered to have the perfect qualities in crafting Soul Metal. Once Zedom was sealed, various Makai Priests would perform a ceremony that used Zedom to create new plants which would then be made into Soul Metal. The Soul Metal could then be used to forge weapons and armor for Makai Knights. But Amanda wasn’t sure the woman was a Madou Horror. The only similarity they seemed to share was the fact that, based on what she heard from Jason, Madou Rings like Zaruba were unable to detect her. However, there was no record of a Madou Horror ever being freed.

Amanda decided to mark each page with any mention of Madou Horrors. While Amanda was pretty sure this woman wasn’t a Madou Horror, she wanted to make sure any information that could potentially help the situation could be referred to quickly. She turned her head and looked at the woman in the back seat to ensure her restraining spell was still active. The woman hadn’t moved in the last few hours since being knocked unconscious. Amanda wondered how long this woman had been possessed, if it even was possession. She was also concerned with what the Watchdog might want to do with her.


Jason sat in the church pew. The last mass of the day had just ended and everyone had already left. The church itself held 150-200 people. A stained glass portrait of Jesus was displayed at the front, and a small stone statue of Christ being crucified on the cross was hung from the ceiling. The wooden pews were old, but still in good condition. Jason looked up at the painting in front of him. He was thought about his last battle today and about the woman. He wondered if maybe she really was a Horror and there had been ways to free the hosts that the Makai Order hadn’t been aware of.

“The golden knight!” the voice came from behind. Jason turned to see Father Mitchell enter the church. He had just finished seeing out everyone who had attended mass. He wore a white robe with a red cross on the front. Though he only appeared to be about 75, Jason knew he was at least hundreds of years older than that. His skin was a pale white, and he had lost all of his hair. He walked down the aisle to where Jason sat. Jason stood up and shook his hand.

“Good to see you, Father,” Jason said. Jason sat back down and Father Mitchell took a seat next to him.

“It’s been a while,” he responded. “I suppose that’s a good thing. Less Horrors, right?”

“Actually, that’s why I’m here,” Jason began. “I encountered the Horror, Sidiovax, this morning. I received orders to hunt it, but they didn’t come from you.”

“I wasn’t aware of any Horrors in the city,” Father Mitchell responded.

“But a Makai Priestess from the Senate was,” Jason answered. “Amanda was the one who gave me the order to kill it. Since when do Makai Priests give orders to Knights? And how could you not know? I thought Watchdogs were supposed to be able to detect any Horrors that enter the city.” Father Mitchell let out a sigh and stood up.

“I wanted to tell you sooner,” he began. He walked up to the altar and pulled one of the chairs from the front and sat directly in front of Jason.

“Lately, it seems as though our powers have been...weakening,” he explained. Jason sat back and crossed his arms.

“Lately?” Jason repeated.

“As in, over the last year or so,” Father Mitchell clarified. Jason’s eyes widened. “The Senate was informed that the majority of the Watchdogs had begun to weaken. It wasn’t long after that the Senate Watchdogs also began to lose their power. To combat this, chosen Makai Priests began training to detect when Horrors appear through Gates and what attributes they might possess. Rest assured, Jason. If there were any Horrors I had missed, a Makai Priest would have informed you. Just as one did this morning.” Jason pondered for a moment.

“So...what does this mean for you? And the other Watchdogs?” Jason said. Father Mitchell sighed again and smiled sadly.

“I don’t know how much you were taught about us,” he began. “But we’ve lived a very long time. Much longer than you probably realize. But I think our time is finally coming to an end. As for me personally, I’ll continue to support you and the other knights when I’m able, but I’m going to spend the rest of my days spreading the word of the Lord.” Father Mitchell stood up from his chair and walked towards the altar.

“The way I see it,” he said. “In this way, I am still able to contribute to the fight against Horrors,” Jason smiled.

“Hmm. I guess you’re right about that,” he responded. Then his smile faded. “There’s something else you should know.” He leaned forward slightly, and put his hands on his knees as if he suddenly became very uncomfortable with what he had to say. “Right after I sealed Sidiovax away, I was attacked by another Horror that Zaruba didn’t sense.”

“That’s unusual,” Father Mitchell commented.

“What’s worse,” Jason continued. “Was that the Horror separated from its host. A young woman. And she’s still alive!”

“What?!” Father Mitchell exclaimed. “That’s not possible. Perhaps the Horror is trying to trick you. If it was able to mask its aura from both you and Zaruba, this could be another ability it had.”

“Perhaps,” Jason said. “But hasn’t there been a case in the past of a woman possessed by Messiah who lived?”

“You refer to Kaoru Saejima,” Father Mitchell responded. Long ago, there was a woman stained in Horror blood that managed to survive due to the help of that time’s Garo. As fate would have it, this same woman, as a young girl, was cursed by a Dark Knight to become a Gate through which the original Horror, Messiah (pronounced MESH-EE-YA), could enter the human world. The Dark Knight was promised he would fuse with the Horror. But of course, he was betrayed and killed. Messiah was eventually destroyed by the golden knight, and it was true that Kaoru managed to survive.

“I don’t think that was a similar case. Messiah took years to gather its power within Kaoru. According to reports, Messiah was able to take control of Kaoru’s body. But, it hadn’t fully manifested itself in the human world. Kouga Saejima defeated Messiah in the Makai before it could fully possess Kaoru.” Jason leaned back in his seat.

“Well, I don’t know what to think,” Jason said. “But we’ve got her restrained in my car outside.”

“‘We?’” Father Mitchell asked.

“The Makai Priestess who helped me take down Sidiovax. Amanda.”

“Where is she?”

“She’s keeping an eye on the host in the car while she goes through her books trying to find out anything that might help us figure out why this is happening.” Father Mitchell stroked his chin.

“I’m surprised. I didn’t think you trusted her anymore.”

“I don’t. I mean---” Jason let out a sigh. “I don’t know. I’m trying. I guess. I kind of don’t have a choice at the moment. The only other Makai Priest I know in the city is her brother, but he’s retired, so I guess he doesn’t count, does he? He’s probably too busy trying to clean up the mess Sidiovax left behind anyway.”

“Have you forgiven her?” Father Mitchell asked. Jason paused for a second and thought about it.

“No,” he answered. “But I’m working on it.” Father Mitchell put a hand his shoulder.

“I can’t tell you when you should do it. But, what I can say is that not only is it what the Lord wants us to do; it’s something that you’ll never feel bad about doing. But you may regret not forgiving her while you still can.”

“I’ll think about it,” Jason answered. “But for now, I’m not sure what we should do with the host. I was hoping you would know.”

“I think you should bring her to the Senate. Both of you. The Senate Watchdogs will want to hear what happened from everyone that was involved.”

“The nearest Senate building is over 500 miles west of here. How are we gonna get the host there? We can’t fly with an unconscious woman with us. And I don’t wanna drive and risk being searched at a state border.”

“Amanda can’t use some sort of spell to mask her appearance?” Father Mitchell asked.

“Maintaining both the restrainment spell and a spell to keep us hidden could be too much for her. And as much as I’d like for more help from other Makai Priests, I’d rather they not take time from their duties to help us if they don’t need to.”

“Hey Jason,” Zaruba said. Jason raised his hand to look at Zaruba. It was positioned in a way so that Father Mitchell could see him too. “There is a Madou Train station nearby. It could get us to the Senate building without interference from the human world.”

“I thought they were only used to travel to and from the Makai?” Jason asked.

“In certain cases, exceptions have been made,” Zaruba said. “Last I heard, Makai Priest Jake Burrows was in charge of America’s Madou Train.”

“I’ll contact him and have the train ready for you at the station.” Father Mitchell said looking at Jason. Then he looked at Zaruba. “Zaruba, will you be able to guide them to the station?”

“Leave it to me!” Zaruba said. “The station is 46 miles north of here. We’ll be there in no time.”

“Alright,” Jason said. “But we should stop at our hotels first so we can check out and get our things. This is gonna be a long trip.” Jason stood up. “Thanks for your help on this, Father.”

“The Lord will be watching over you, Golden Knight,” Father Mitchell responded. “You too, Zaruba. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure this district is protected while you’re gone. Even if I have to fight some Horrors myself.”

“You sure?” Jason asked. Father Mitchell laughed.

“Son, I assure you,” he began. “I may be getting older and weaker, but I’m not that weak yet.” Jason smiled and shook his hand.

“Well, I guess we’ll see, won’t we?” Jason responded. Jason turned and walked down the aisle towards the church exit.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; September 1st, 2018 at 08:24 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:16 PM #16
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(Audiobook version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rguAVH1DmTI )

Chapter 2

Jason returned to the car and entered. Amanda had still been looking through one of her books for any information that could help them. The former Horror host was still unconscious in the back seat. Jason sat in the driver’s seat, closed the door, fastened his seat belt and started the engine.

“Anything?” he asked as he pulled out of the church parking lot.

“The only thing I could find was information on Madou Horrors,” Amanda said. “They’re the only unconventional types of Horrors this book has any details on. And I don’t know if this applies to her. There was nothing about Madou Horrors separating from their hosts.”

“Hmm,” Jason wondered out loud as he began driving back to the hotel. “That’s what I figured.”

“What did the Watchdog say?” She asked.

“Father Mitchell believes we should get her to the nearest Senate building so that the Senate Watchdogs can decide what to do with her. This is something new. They’re gonna want to speak to both of us about this,” Jason said. “We’re going to my hotel so I can grab my things. Do you wanna stop off at your place to get anything? This could be a long trip.”

“Oh. Uh...No, it’s fine,” Amanda said, nervously.

“What is it?” Jason asked.

“Well, chances are, they may want to study her,” she began. “Imprison her, even. If she really is human, they would be holding an innocent person captive for who knows how long.”

“A Horror possessed her, Amanda,” Jason said. “It’s unlikely she’s what you’d call ‘innocent’.”

“But what if she was like the Madou Horrors?” She asked. “What if she had no inga for a regular Horror to attach to?” Jason looked at her for a moment, then back at the road.

“That’s not for us to worry about,” he said, despite being concerned for the woman. “She’s the Senate’s responsibility now.”

“In case you forgot, I’m a member of the Senate now,” Amanda replied. “I may not have been part of the Senate for very long, but it’s been long enough for me to know that with something like this, they could hold her for months, maybe even years.” She looked in the back seat at the woman. “And who knows how much time has already been taken from her.”

“What do you suggest, then?” he asked.

“I have a friend at a village who may be able to help,” she replied. “She specializes in studying Horror physiology. Only she won’t take months to look at her.”

“I don’t know if I wanna go behind the Senate’s back on this,” Jason responded. “Father Mitchell is one of the few Watchdogs I actually trust. If he thinks we should bring her there, I say we do it.” Before Amanda could argue with him, they heard a groan.

“Ugh…” the groan came from the woman in the back. Jason looked in his rear-view mirror to see her beginning to wake up.

“Aw, crap,” Jason said as he noticed her start to move. The woman began to open her eyes. She tried to lift her hand to rub her eyes but as she did so, she noticed her wrists were stuck together--a result of the restraining spell.

“What--What’s going on?” She asked as she struggled. Jason turned into a dead end neighborhood, parked the car on the right side of the road, and killed the engine.“Where am I? Who are you people? Why can’t I move my arms? Or my legs?"

“Hey-Hey-Hey! Calm down, ok?” Amanda said. She had turned and was looking at her. The woman had sat up and was panicked. “It’s alright, we’re not gonna hurt you.”

“What’s happening?!” she asked.

“Do you remember anything?” Amanda asked.

“What do you mean?”

“What’s the last thing you remember?” Jason asked, genuinely curious. The woman looked at him, terrified.

“I-I-I don’t--” she stuttered, but she could not finish her sentence. She dropped her head and began to sob quietly. Agitated, Jason drew his sword and pointed the blade at her throat, the tip of the blade touching the bottom of her chin. She gasped in fear. She had stopped sobbing, but the tears had still been rolling down her cheeks.

“Jason!” Amanda exclaimed.

“We don’t have time for this. I asked you a question!” Jason said in a low tone, ignoring Amanda. Amanda put her hand on his wrist.

“What are you doing?!” She asked.

“She could still be possessed,” he replied. “The Horror could be dormant inside her. Or maybe she’s an illusion created by the Horror.”

“Stop!” She begged. “This isn’t the way!” Jason looked at her.

“Jason…” Zaruba said. Jason looked back at the woman. He still couldn’t tell if she was acting or not. Regardless, he put his blade away. The woman was shaking. She began hitting her forehead on the window.

“Help!” she screamed. “Somebody help me!”

“Hey!” Amanda said as she pulled her away from the window. The woman struggled as she continued to yell. Amanda climbed into the back and held her as best as she could, with one hand covering her mouth. Jason looked around outside. Luckily, he couldn’t see anyone nearby, so it was unlikely anyone was hearing her. “Hey! Calm down! We’re not going to hurt you!” She kept struggling. “Listen. I’m going to let you go. But you can’t yell anymore, or I gotta knock you out again.” The woman stopped struggling. “Nod your head if you understand.” She nodded. Amanda removed her hand from her mouth.
“He was going to kill me!” she said, in a quieter voice than before.

“No, he wasn’t,” Amanda said. “He was just...anxious.” Jason rolled his eyes as he kept looking out the windshield and his mirrors, keeping an eye out for any bystanders. “Why don’t we start with something simple. I’m Amanda. And that’s Jason. And you are…?” The woman hesitated.

“Maya,” she replied. “I’m Maya.”

“Maya” Amanda began. “What’s the last thing you remember?” Maya paused for a moment.

“It was the 20th,” Maya began. “I had just finished the last of my Christmas shopping. I was approached by a man. We were talking about...something...I don’t know what. Then I woke up in that building with you people. Then I woke up here.”

“Christmas shopping?” Jason asked. “It’s a little early for that, isn’t it?” Jason was wondering if the woman was still possessed and making up a story. It was possible Maya had been trying to fool them, but didn’t fully understand when Christmas was, or even what it was.

“Not really,” Maya replied. Then she said “I mean--It’s December right?” Amanda looked at Jason through his mirror. Jason let out a sigh and shook his head.

“Maya,” Amanda began. “It’s September 15th.”

“What?” She asked in disbelief. “N-n-no that’s impossible.” she began shaking her head. “No...no...no.” Jason reached into his glove compartment and pulled out a newspaper. He handed it to Maya.

“Here,” he said. He was now kneeling on the seat with his back to the windshield so he could talk to the two of them in the back seat. “It’s from two days ago. Look at the date.” He held the paper to her face so she could see the date.

“Oh my God,” Maya exclaimed. “It-it-it’s been th-three years??!” Both Jason’s and Amanda’s eyes widened. There was a long silence. Jason put the paper back in the glove compartment.

“I...I’m not sure what to say,” Amanda replied.

“Maya,” Jason looked down at the floor. Then he looked back at her. He put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for threatening you. And I’m sorry this happened to you.” She took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“What is going on?” she asked. Jason removed his hand from her shoulder. Amanda thought carefully about how to answer that.

“You were...umm…” Amanda began. She looked at Jason who shrugged his shoulders. There was no point in trying to hide the truth or sugar coat it. Besides, chances are, they were going to have to erase her memory later anyway. “Uh...you were...possessed...by a demon beast. We call them Horrors.”

“Well,” Jason began. “If we’re being honest with you, we’re not entirely sure it was a Horror that possessed you. We’re not exactly certain what happened to you.”

“I don’t understand,” Maya said. Jason sighed.

“Typically, based on what we know about Horrors, when one possesses a human, it kills them. So...I know it doesn’t seem like it because you lost three years of your life, but you’re actually very lucky.” She looked at him, dumbfounded. “You’re lucky to be alive.”

“But like he said,” Amanda interrupted. “We’re not sure exactly what happened to you. So we’re going to take you to some people who can figure that out. They’ll make sure there aren’t any lingering effects.” Maya was silent for a moment.

“I just want to go home,” she pleaded. “I feel fine. Really!”

“You will go home,” Jason said. “We’ll take you home after it has been determined you’re not a danger to everyone else. But for now, we gotta---”

“Jason!” Zaruba interrupted. Jason lifted his hand to see him. “Do you smell that? There’s a Horror approaching. Fast!” Jason sniffed. The smell of darkness was faint, but it was getting stronger.

“What?” Maya asked, looking around the car. “Who said that?”

“Buckle up,” Jason instructed. Amanda undid the restraining spell and the two of them put their seatbelts on in the back of the car.

“How can there be a Horror here?” Amanda asked. “It’s broad daylight!” Jason started the engine, but before he could pull away, something slammed into the back of the car hard.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; March 16th, 2019 at 08:35 PM. Reason: Added audiobook version
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:17 PM #17
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Chapter 3

The impact caused Jason’s car to move forward towards a street light. Jason quickly turned the steering wheel to the left as fast as he could and just missed hitting the light. But the car was starting to slide. He shifted into neutral and began to turn the wheel, then back into drive and hit the breaks. The car was now facing their attacker.

It was another car, or at least it resembled a car. The vehicle looked like an old 1970’s style Camaro, except it was completely covered in black. Even the windows and windshield were pitch black. There was visible dark energy radiating from the vehicle. The only part of the car that wasn’t black were the headlights, which glowed red. There were a few dark red tentacles that protruded from the right and left sides of the vehicle, which Jason assumed were used for offensive attacks, and possibly for eating humans as well.

“What is that?” Maya asked.

“A Horror,” Amanda answered.

“That is the demon beast, Autrop,” Zaruba said. “This Horror possesses vehicles rather than humans. It’s tentacles are capable of leeching energy from both living organisms and machinery.”

Autrop had stopped where it hit them. Its tentacles were slowly moving as if preparing for an attack. Jason’s car had wound up 50 feet from the Horror and was facing it. Autrop hadn’t moved from its spot again. It began to make sounds like an engine followed by the screeches a typical Horror might make.
“Amanda,” Jason said. Amanda looked at him. “I need to get Autrop to a less populated area.”

“Understood,” Amanda said as she took out her Madou Brush. The bristles lit up and glowed a bright purple. Suddenly, a holographic map appeared in front of her face. “Start driving now. I’ll find a spot on the way.”

“Not yet. Get ready,” Jason said. “We’re doing the same maneuver we did back during our first mission together.” Amanda extended her left palm to the map, closed her fist, and the map imploded into nothing. She undid her seatbelt, opened the door to her left, and quickly climbed on top of the car. Jason lowered the window on the driver’s side so he could hear her. She readied a magnetization spell to keep herself attached. She bent down, spread her feet wide and placed her left palm on the roof of the car. The spell activated and her left palm and feet had become magnetized by her spell to the roof of the car. She used her right hand to point her brush behind their car.

“Ready!” Amanda said. Autrop had yet to move towards them, as if curious as to what they were planning. Jason hit the gas. The back tires began spinning on the road for a few seconds before the car took off. Jason was driving head first into the Horror. Amanda struggled to keep her brush straight as the car was moving. Maya didn’t scream. She simply sat quietly while staring out the windshield at the monster heading straight for them.

The hood of the car Autrop possessed lifted open, revealing hundreds of razor sharp teeth. The Horror began speeding towards him. Just as they were about to collide, Jason turned the steering wheel all the way to the right and hit the brakes. The car began to turn and slide towards Autrop. Jason waited until it was closer to turn the wheel to the left. The car began to drive around the Horror on it’s left side, just barely missing one of its energy-sucking tentacles. As it was about to straighten out, Amanda fired a large burst of green energy out of her brush, its light disappearing as quickly as it appeared. That burst was enough to boost the car forward and keep it from spinning out of control.

The whole maneuver took only a few seconds to pull off. And even longer for Autrop to realize what had just happened. Autrop’s tires began to screech as it turned around to face Jason’s fleeing car. Autrop activated some type of boost of it’s own; with purple fire exploding from the back of the car.

Amanda reached to the passenger-side window and knocked on the glass. Without stopping, Jason lowered the window using his driver-side controls. Amanda carefully worked her way across the roof and climbed back into the car through the passenger-side window, the rain making it difficult not to fall, even with her spell. Once inside, she sat in the passenger seat, raised the window, and put her seatbelt on. Then, she opened her left palm and the map she had previously created had reappeared.

“Ok, let’s see…” Amanda said.

“I know where we need to go,” Jason said. “The state park is close by. In this weather, it’s doubtful there will be many people there.” He ran a stop sign at an empty intersection. The Horror did the same a few seconds later as it chased them. “Can you find me a route that will avoid any major roads?” Amanda opened her palm and the holographic map appeared in front of her. She moved her hands down the roads on the map, the paths lighting up as she did so.

“Checking,” she answered. “Got it. Turn right at the next stop sign.” Jason did so, the tires screeching as he turned and nearly hit a car parked in front of a house. The road was narrow, with cars parked on both sides of the street making it difficult for two vehicles to head in opposite directions. Autrop followed Jason’s maneuver; though it cared little for the cars that were parked. Its tentacles began slashing wildly at the parked cars as it chased them.
“Not this stop sign, but at the next one, turn left,” Amanda told him. Jason looked in his mirror at the carnage Autrop was causing to get to them. It appeared as though the cars were empty, but he couldn’t be sure wreckage from the cars would go flying into the nearby houses.

“How much farther?” Jason asked.

“A mile and a half,” Amanda replied.

“This is getting too dangerous,” Jason said. “Zaruba, we need to do something about those tentacles.”

“As it is, the Garo Ken won’t be able to cut through them,” Zaruba said. “However, if it is powered up with the energy from Gouten, it should be strong enough to remove them.”

Gouten was a gold armored horse that Garo could ride. Gouten was fast enough to gallop not just along the roads, but also along the sides of walls and even upside down for a short time. When riding Gouten, the Garo Ken would become powered up and enlarge up to 5 times its normal size. This blade could be used to cut through even the toughest Horrors. But Gouten could only be summoned by the man who inherited the title of Garo once they had cut down one hundred Horrors. Even then, they had to pass a trial to earn the right to use it. Jason had passed the trial many months ago, but had yet to ride Gouten in battle.

“No better time than now to try it out I guess,” Jason said.

Jason turned left at the next stop sign, nearly hitting a man walking on the sidewalk. The man had stepped back just in time to see Jason pop the curb as he turned.

“Freaking psycho!” the man yelled at him, then looked both ways before he started to cross the street. Autrop was close behind. It noticed the man on the sidewalk. As he began to cross the street, Autrop stopped at the intersection looking at him. The man stopped as he stared at Autrop. It made the same screeching noise as before and it’s tentacles thrust forward at the man. The man screamed, tripped, and fell backwards as the tentacles hit the ground in front of him, cracking the cement. He got up and began to run down the street in Jason’s direction.

“Oh no,” Maya said, who was looking out the back windshield. “It’s chasing that guy!” Jason checked his mirror. He hit the brakes and turned the wheel so that the car was now facing the man and Autrop.

“Change of plans,” Jason said as he undid his seatbelt. “Maya, stay here. Amanda, I’m going after the Horror. Can you get Maya out of here?”

“Got it,” she told him. “Let’s meet at the state park after you cut Autrop down.” Jason looked at her. “You can trust me on this.” Jason paused for a moment. He remembered the last time she told him that. It was the last time they had seen each other. The man’s scream cut through Jason’s memories. The Horror had tried to run him over and was now circling back around.

“Fine,” Jason told her. “Don’t make me regret it. Again.” Amanda looked at him and nodded. She got into the driver’s seat. Jason shut the door. Amanda turned the car around and headed for the park. Jason ran towards the man and the Horror, and took out his sword with his left hand from inside his jacket. He drew the sword with his right hand hand while he ran forward.
The man was now running off the road and onto the front lawn of a nearby house. Autrop’s tires spun as it revved its engine and began to move. Jason was close enough now and leapt into the air, landing on his stomach on top of what would be the roof of the car Autrop had possessed. He dropped his scabbard, held on with one hand, and stabbed the Garo Ken into the top of Autrop, the blade cutting right through the steel. A loud roar erupted from the engine. Autrop began to drive in circles crashing into cars parked on the road, trying to throw Jason off of it. Its tentacles flailed and tried to strike Jason. Jason was holding on with two hands and dodging as many of the attacks as he could. One hit him in the back. The dark energy expelled from the tentacle into his body, sending an electric shock into his spine.

“AAARRGH!” he yelled in pain. His grip loosened. Autrop suddenly stopped spinning, and Jason flew off, his sword still in his hand cutting through the top of the car as he fell. He hit the road and rolled a few times before stopping. He propped himself up on his right elbow to see the Horror. Autrop was facing him now, exactly where he needed him. He could see the man running away now. He watched as he got into his car and started the engine. Jason smiled. The distraction had worked. He slowly stood up, still in pain from being shocked and thrown from a car. The hood of Autrop’s body opened to reveal its mouth and hundreds of razor sharp teeth. Jason raised his right arm and pointed the Garo Ken up towards the rainy sky. He drew a halo of white light with the blade, creating a portal. In an instant, the golden armor flew from the portal in pieces onto his body, with the helmet landing last. The Garo Ken changed as well, revealing its much larger, true form. On his HUD, he could see he had 45.3 seconds left, since he had gained back some time since he had stopped Maya earlier that morning. He would gain back time throughout the day, and the timer would fully reset at midnight.

“Gouten!” Garo called out. A portal was created above Autrop and Gouten fell through the portal, landing on the Horror, partially crushing it. It’s front two hooves slammed the hood with the teeth closed. Gouten galloped off of the Horror towards Garo. The Golden Knight jumped into the air, turned 180 degrees, and landed on Gouten’s saddle. Gouten turned to face the Horror. Garo held his sword at an angle downwards, and watched in awe as the sword grew.

“Wow,” he said. He held the sword up to his face. “I did not think it would get that big.” Surprisingly, it was easy to wield with one hand. Garo looked at Autrop. Autrop was enraged and headed right for him. Garo gripped the reins and cracked them hard. “Let’s go!” he yelled, and Gouten neighed loudly, lifted itself up on its back two hooves and moving its front two hooves in the air. “Whoa!” Garo exclaimed as he nearly fell off. This was his first time riding Gouten, but not his first time on a horse. Still, he didn’t know what to expect with Gouten. Gouten landed its front two hooves onto the road and began to gallop fast toward Autrop. Sparks were coming off of the road as the Soul Metal that comprised Gouten’s armor scraped the cement.

“Focus,” Zaruba warned. “Gouten will sense any indecisiveness.”

“Understood,” Garo said, though he was still terrified.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; August 13th, 2018 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Realized a small plot hole, fixed it!
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:18 PM #18
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Chapter 4

Gouten and Garo charged Autrop. Autrop screeched and lashed out with it’s many dark tentacles. The golden knight dodged two of them by moving right, then left. Then, he slashed one right down the middle as it approached his face. It split in half and was instantly vaporized by the heat of the Soul Metal. The Horror screamed in pain. It flung another series of tentacles at them. Garo maneuvered Gouten so that he could get slash the tentacles easier. Gouten bit one of the tentacles. Garo used the reins to pull him back, and Gouten stopped galloping, still holding on to the tentacle.

Autrop screeched again and began to try to pull it’s tentacle away from the armored horse. It’s tires began rolling in reverse and the engine of the possessed car could be heard revving loudly. Gouten bit tighter, its hooves scraping against the concrete as it was pulled closer. Autrop attempted to siphon energy from Gouten, but the golden horse was invulnerable to this attack.

Garo used this opportunity to get closer to Autrop. He stood on top of the horse. Gouten made a muffled neighing sound as if it knew what he was planning. Gouten lifted its body up rapidly, causing its back heels to come off the ground for a second. This motion launched Garo into the air. He flew at least twenty feet into the air towards Autrop. The Horror was too occupied with this armored horse to notice the golden knight land on the roof of the car it possessed. As he landed, Garo thrust his giant sword straight through the Horror. The car was cut clean in half and the Horror screamed as its soul was sealed away. The pieces of the car itself returned to their original colors; a yellow 1975 Camaro with black stripes. The hood no longer contained the many teeth of the Horror that had possessed it, and the headlights returned to being white instead of red. Garo was standing on the back half of the car as it collapsed after being cut in half. He jumped off the car onto the road. He looked at the time limit in his HUD. 20.6 seconds left.

“Think I can make it to the park?” Garo asked.

“We’re lucky no one was around to see your battle,” Zaruba answered. “It’s best if you don’t risk drawing attention to yourself.”

“Good point,” Garo replied. He looked at Gouten who had spit the tentacle out of its mouth after Autrop’s defeat. The tentacle had been moving on the road for a short while after Autrop was sealed, before finally disappearing as well. Gouten looked at him. “Gouten, return!” he commanded. A portal opened above the horse and Gouten disassembled itself as pieces of the armor flew into the portal, leaving nothing behind. Garo wondered if Gouten was nothing more than barely sentient armor. Then he removed his armor, the pieces leaving him in a similar way, with 5.7 seconds remaining. The Garo Ken returned to its smaller, weaker form. Jason placed the sword in his sheath and began to run towards the park to meet up with Amanda and Maya.


ELSEWHERE…


The lab was large and noisy. There were many cells along the white cement walls that held the test subjects. Some were occupied, others empty. Screams could be heard from the test subjects captive inside through the glass doors. The sound of different tools also rang throughout the room. The scientist was wearing a white lab coat and black pants. She had brown hair tied in a ponytail, a clipboard in her hand and was taking notes on each of the subjects. A man walked next to her, his hands clasped behind his back. He wore a business suit and tie, his black hair was combed back, and he had several visible scars down his left cheek.

“Sir, at this rate,” she began as they walked through the lab. “If I’m being completely honest, I just don’t think we’re going to be able to get enough subjects in time.”

“What do you suggest?” he asked. She had been looking at her clipboard which contained her handwritten notes and data on the test subjects.

“We push the time table back another 3 months,” she answered. The man let out a long sigh.

“I needn’t remind you how crucial our work is, nor what will happen if we fail.” he replied. “Besides, even if I wanted to, I don’t know if we can afford it. Subject D-47 went missing earlier this morning.” The two of them stopped walking. She looked up from her clipboard.

“What?” she asked. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I just did,” he said. “We don’t know exactly what happened, but we can only assume the worst.” She looked down at the floor in shock. He put a hand on her shoulder. “Hey, I need you focused, okay? I don’t think the board is going to agree on 3 months, but I might be able to convince them of two months instead. You’re going to have to make your case to them personally if you think it’s that serious.”

She took a deep breath and looked at him. “When can I speak to them?”

“I’ll set something up for tomorrow morning. Take this time to prepare.”





THE PARK…


The parking lot of the park was empty. The rain was still falling on the car. It had been a little while since they arrived. Maya looked out the window at the empty park and the rain as it seemed to fall harder than when they left. Amanda had started cleaning her Madou Brush with a cloth, wanting to be sure no dirt that might have gotten caught in the bristles would interfere with her spells.

“So that monster car thing,” Maya began. “That was a Horror?”

“Yes,” Amanda said. “Though it’s strange that it would attack us now. Horrors only act at nighttime. Usually.”

“I thought you said Horrors possess people?” Maya asked.

“They do,” Amanda answered while she wiped the handle of her brush. “But every once in a while, some possess objects. Cars. Clocks. Buildings. You name it.” There was silence for a moment.

“You and Jason,” She asked. “You hunt these things together.” Amanda stopped cleaning her brush. “Are you like…? You know…”

“No, we’re not a couple if that’s what you’re wondering.” Amanda answered. “We grew up together. We were partners for years. But we haven’t...well...spoken to each other in a while. It’s a long story.”

“What else are we gonna talk about?” Maya said. “Maybe I can help. Whatever it is that happened between you two, I’m sure it’s something that you guys can work out. Maybe you just need a little help from a friend?” Amanda tilted the rear-view mirror to see her.

“I’m not going to get into specifics but I’ll just tell you real quick,” she said. “We’re part of a secret order of Knights and Priests that specialize in hunting Horrors. We have people all around the world and have existed for thousands of years. Jason trained to be a Makai Knight since he was a boy, just like I trained to be a Makai Priest since I was a girl. But Jason wasn’t always meant to become Garo, the Golden Knight.” She closed her eyes for a moment and sighed. Then she opened them and looked at her “He used to be the Emerald Knight, Verki. It was my fault he lost his armor. Not just his armor, but one of his closest friends. Without his armor, he couldn’t protect people from Horrors anymore. He wasn’t like me, he couldn’t use magic spells. He still tried to fight Horrors, but he nearly got himself and an innocent family killed. I tried to apologize, to help him, but he pushed me away. He pushed everyone away and disappeared. I never saw him again until this morning. I heard he got so bad that he tried committing suicide.”

“Oh…” Maya replied. “Wow.” Maya thought for a moment. “So, how did he become the Golden Knight?”

“I don’t know,” Amanda said as she resumed cleaning her brush. “But I tend to think that was what may have saved him.” She looked in her mirror and saw Jason jogging towards the car. “He’s back. Don’t tell him anything I said, ok?” Maya nodded. Amanda got out of the car and moved to the passenger side so Jason could drive.

Jason entered the car, put his seat belt on, and shut the door.

“Did you kill it?” Maya asked.

“Autrop won’t be bothering us again,” Jason replied. “Now, Zaruba, let’s get to that Madou Train Station.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out the stand that Zaruba rested on when not being worn by Jason. The metal stand looked like a bust of a man with his arms crossed across his chest. Zaruba, resembling a skull, sat at the top of the stand. He placed the stand on the dashboard, and it instantly magnetized to the car. Zaruba was placed in the stand, facing out the windshield.

“Leave it to me,” Zaruba replied. “I’ll have us there in no time!” Jason started the engine and they exited the park.

“I’ve been meaning to ask,” Maya said. “What is ‘Zaruba’?” Jason drove the car onto the road and headed towards the highway.

“Zaruba is what’s called a ‘Madou Ring’,” Jason answered. “He is a pacified Horror spirit that has existed since the creation of the golden armor. Though, he’s been destroyed and repaired over the years which has caused him to lose his memories. But he is my partner. He can help me detect Horrors, shoot Madou Fire out of his mouth, and helps keep the power of the golden armor in control. He has other abilities I haven’t even seen yet.”

“Left at the light,” Zaruba said. Jason followed Zaruba’s directions.

“But right now, he’s more like a GPS,” Jason joked.

“And what is that word you keep using?” Maya asked.

“What word?”

“‘Madou’. What does that mean?”

“It’s Japanese. It’s like magic. We use Japanese terms such as ‘Makai’ and ‘Madou” because the Makai Order originated in Japan. And in case you’re wondering, ‘Makai’ essentially means underworld. It is the world where Horrors come from.”

“How close are we, Zaruba?” Amanda asked.

“The station is 40 miles from here,” Zaruba responded. But the traffic was starting to build up.

“This could be a long ride,” Jason replied.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; August 12th, 2018 at 02:41 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:20 PM #19
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Chapter 5

The traffic had gotten pretty bad, but after 90 minutes, they finally arrived. What they saw was not what any of them expected. They were at a regular train station. There were normal trains pulling in and out of the station and regular people boarding and exiting them. The rain had stopped and the sun was just starting to peek through the clouds. Jason pulled into the parking garage.

“You sure this is it?” Jason asked Zaruba.

“Without a doubt,” he responded. “Just head inside and follow my lead.” Jason parked the car and the three of them headed inside.

“Why wouldn’t this be it?” Maya asked. “This is a train station. Wouldn’t your magic train pull in here?”

“A Madou Train isn’t like these others,” Amanda started. “For one thing, it looks very different. And it’s capable of flight.”

The three of them entered the train station. It was a small room with a wooden floor, wooden panelling and benches on the walls. There was one ticket booth at the front of the room and three people standing online. There was a small hallway with a men’s room and a lady’s room on either side of the hallway.

Get inside a stall in the men’s room. Zaruba told Jason, telepathically. Tell them to do the same in the lady’s room. Each in a separate stall.

Jason whispered the instructions to them and they entered separate stalls in their respective restrooms. When Jason was in the stall, he was instructed to lift Zaruba to the wall the toilet was attached to. He did so, and suddenly, the wall began to glow yellow, and the toilet disappeared. Jason stepped into the portal and once he was through, the portal disappeared and the toilet reappeared. He was standing in a sky blue space, surrounded by clouds, not sure about where exactly he was. It was as if he were standing in the sky. In front of him, two rectangular yellow portals appeared and Amanda and Maya stepped through. The three of them looked around. They noticed the ground was soft and also covered in clouds.

“Good afternoon, folks!” A voice said. It was a man’s voice that sounded like it was coming through speakers, though no speakers could be seen. “The Madou Train will be arriving in approximately 2 minutes.”

Suddenly, they heard the sound of the train approaching. It sounded similar to what a normal train would sound like, but a bit lower in tone. They looked to their left to see the train rise up through the clouds and pull up in front of them. It was angular in design, and decorated with many dark colors such as blue, black, gray, and brown. Each car of the train looked ancient, as if the train were constructed hundreds of years ago. The train slowed down and stopped with the doors in front of the three of them opening.

“All aboard!” the voice called. They entered the first car.

The interior was not like that of a regular train. It looked more like a dining room to a mansion than a train. The white marble floor glistened. There were several crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. About 15 dining room tables were spread about the car, with 4 chairs to each table. There were windows on each side of the room, with red sofas attached to the brick walls. Jason, Amanda, and Maya looked around in bewilderment at the train. The door at the end of the room opened and a man stepped through.

He was in his late forties, had light tan skin, black eyes, and short thin hair that could just barely be seen under the blue circular hat he wore. He also wore black and blue robes that matched the design male Makai Priests wore. There was a brush hanging on his belt. Around his neck, he wore a necklace with a wooden block attached to it. The wooden block had a tuning-fork shaped object bulging out of it, which curved just enough to fit around a finger.
“Welcome, Golden Knight!” The man said. “I am Makai Priest, Jake Burrows. Father Mitchell informed me of your most...unusual situation. So I made sure to get a Madou Train ready for ya. I’m guessin’ that’s the lady o’ the hour, ain’t she?” Jake gestured at Maya.

“Uh, yea that’s Maya,” Jason replied, taken aback by Jake’s strange demeanor. Maya waved and smiled nervously.

“And this is Makai Priestess, Amanda Peterson.”

“Ah, yes,” Jake said as he approached them. “The new Senate Priestess. Congrats on your promotion!” He extended his hand to shake hers. She shook his hand.

“Thanks. And how did you know that?” she asked.

“Word travels fast in the Senate, darlin’,” he replied. “You’re gonna do great. I mean, look at me! Been part of the Senate 15 years now. Always dreamed of being a conductor on one of these babies ever since I was a tike. Studied my butt off and here I am. A Makai Priest and one of 40 of the only Madou Train Conductors in the world!”

“We should probably get going, Priest Burrows,” Jason said. Jake looked at him.

“Of course, of course,” he replied as he began backing up. “I’ve been told I talk a lot so thanks for keeping me on track. Ha! You get it? ‘Cause we’re on a…” Jason folded his arms and raised an eyebrow after hearing his pun.

“Alright, alright,” Jake said. “Have a seat, and I’ll get us on our way.” The three of them sat down at one of the tables near a window. Silver seatbelts suddenly appeared and fastened around their waists. Jake walked back through the sliding door he came out of before and the door slid shut. Then, his voice boomed through the train.

“Our destination is site X-45, the nearest Senate building,” Jake said. “Please remain seated until we reach an altitude of 50,000 feet. After that, feel free to move about the car and grab some grub from the Madou Kitchen at the front of the car.” Suddenly, another door appeared next to the one Jake had entered. It was a glass sliding door and Jason could see trays of different foods set up. “It is 4:30 pm. Our travel time will be about four hours, which puts us at our destination at 5:30 pm pacific time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, folks!”

They felt a jolt as the train’s engines started up. Jason looked out the window to see the clouds start to rush past them as they began to climb upwards. Soon, the clouds disappeared, and all that could be seen was the blue sky and the sun. Maya sat at the table, her legs shaking, terrified at the thought of what this Senate could be. Amanda had her arms folded and just looked out the window. She wished Jason had taken her advice on not going to the Senate. She wasn’t sure Maya would even survive.

She’s the Senate’s responsibility now. She remembered Jason’s words. He said it so nonchalantly, as if she were nothing more than a tool. He claimed he trusted Father Mitchell, but was that really the reason he didn’t want to listen to her? She wondered if he was doing this just to spite her. Or perhaps, the loss of his emerald armor all those years ago had taken more of a toll on him than she realized.

Last edited by MakaiRanger99; August 12th, 2018 at 02:44 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2018, 09:21 PM #20
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END EPISODE 2

Maya’s arrival at the Senate threatens to undermine the foundation of the Makai Order! What happens when broken faith creates a rogue Makai Knight, seeking justice by following his own rules? Next time: Hero. Be careful, Jason! This Knight might kill us all!
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