Ch. 23: Proof of Leadership

Ch. 23: Proof of Leadership

A Chapter by Brenden Brown

Tara and Brenden both prove their team-leading prowess

Tara had just separated from Brenden, Seth, and Drew at a fork-in-the-road. She took the middle path. She went by herself because not only did she have her own light source, she was pretty well off on her own.
Tara ran forward to cover a large amount of ground in a short period of time. After some running, she encountered two Akuma in the distance. She responded by swinging her scythe in front of her, sending a heat wave at the two Akuma. However, she did not realize the Akuma were made entirely of rock. They absorbed the heat of the attack, causing them to glow red.
"Stoneskins," Tara grunted. She ran up to one and was about to hook it with her blade, but its arm morphed into a shield of stones before she hit it. The Stoneskin parried her scythe, causing her to stumble and fall to the ground.
They can do that? Tara thought to herself. Seth or Drew never mentioned anything about Akuma with abilities. Maybe they're getting stronger.
Before the Stoneskins were able to harm her, Tara pointed her scythe forward and Fiery Barraged, sending a powerful blast of fire at the two Akuma. The blast disintegrated the Stoneskins, but also sent Tara rapidly sliding backwards on her back.
"Ouch!" Tara's back was freezing from the ice floor of the cave. "C-cold!"
Tara stopped herself from sliding any more and got back up only to realize...
"Oh no..." Tara said aloud. "I'm melting the cave..."
In front of her was a huge puddle of water and the floor, ceiling, and walls were partway melted.
Tara was afraid of water.
Regardless, she trudged through the puddle, which was much deeper than she'd expected. She couldn't delay herself because of some silly fear. Her friends needed her. They relied on her to remain strong.
Recently, though, she'd felt so weak. It's as if she depended on John to feel strong, and when he died, it's as if she lost her strength.
"I must continue on," Tara muttered, wringing out her shirt. "John died for me to live, not for me to grieve, and the sooner we defeat this demon, the sooner I can tell John I love him..."
Tara continued forward yet again. She decided that sprinting towards her destination would both get her there faster, and would give adjacent ice less time to melt. She sprinted for a long while...

Over on the rightmost path of the three, Brenden had just started his path. He figured that staying behind for a few minutes would not only give him a chance to help friends in need, it would also allow him to spot any Akuma trying to be sneaky. He had chosen the rightmost path because in his head, it seemed like it would be the longest, and long distances were no problem for him thanks to his lightning element. He started running forward after about five minutes. While running, he thought about his friends and how far they had all come. Seth had become more mature and well-mannered, Anna didn't retaliate against violence nearly as much, Scarlett could control her temper better, Drew wasn't such a nag, Frank had gotten into great shape, and JT even became less shy. He felt so honored to lead such a diverse yet unified group of friends.
While thinking to himself, Brenden had not realized that he passed an Akuma while running at first, and then it dawned on him. He stopped and turned around. He had stopped so late that all he could see of the Akuma were two glowing yellow eyes.
"Did Akuma always have eyes that bright?" Brenden thought to himself, approaching the Akuma.
The Akuma screeched, as if trying to respond to Brenden's question.

© 2019 Brenden Brown

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Added on February 18, 2019
Last Updated on February 18, 2019


Brenden Brown
Brenden Brown

Buffalo, MO

I like to write and make music. Currently focusing on school and TSR. more..