[Nameless Hero - Chapter 10]
*Warning, intense psychological trauma and intense gore is present within this chapter. For those who are weak to mental collapse or extreme instances of human gore, please be advised. Reading the [Hidden Story Page] will offer a summary of events once updated for the present arc. You. Have. Been. Warned.*
Gregory swung down, the full brunt of his finely trained body pressing downwards, the flames of rage fueling his strength. All that he was at that one moment, was pure rage, pure rage, with but a single chance for release. As if responding to this notion, his strength had increased almost twofold mid-swing, all for the sake of slaughtering the source of his rage.
The person who had led him by his nose…
Who had deceived him…
Who tempted him…
Who insulted him…
Who disgraced him…
Who taunted him…
Who damaged him…
The pain from his wound shooting an unrelenting level of pain throughout his body only served to ensure that the only driving force within his entire being during that one moment was his pure rage. A burning, black flame so hot that it burned black, black as the hellfire which burns for all eternity as it welcomes the souls of the damned. The depths of such anger could even drive lesser men into madness and depravity if it was baseless, but for Gregory, his ambition kept his mind from breaking down beyond the point of no return. Though, even he would normally be effected, surely so, if it weren’t for the fact that every last ounce of that rage had been turned into fuel for the sake of achieving a single goal.
His muscles burned unrelentingly as they followed their single command, to strike. In normal circumstances, the human body has natural inhibitors to prevent muscles from damaging themselves or going beyond their natural limitations. When injured, the body would naturally send signals and further limit what the body would be capable of doing to avoid further damage. This, however, does not apply to moments of intense moments of mental or physical duress, similar to a normal mother lifting several times her own weight to rescue her child.
This is not the only case though as it also can easily occur in times of intense emotional outburst. In the ancient world, there came a time of progress and expansion of the ancient empires. They pressed deep within the lands of barbarism to spread their influence and further their ever growing greed. Deep within these barbarian lands were clans who held special warriors, capable of losing themselves in an intense bloodlust that drove them to a frenzy beyond imagination. These warriors were known for their seemingly limitless strength, courage, and valor on the battlefield. Whenever the name of these warriors passed upon the ears of the civilized soldiers, pure terror took hold of their very hearts. The name of these warriors would be, the Berserkers.
When the human body enters a frenzied state, it no longer has the ability to logically perceive or analyze stimuli and returns to a primal state. In such a state, all physical and mental inhibitors are lost, allowing the body to behave without any hesitation or fear, so long as the driving emotion was sustained. For the berserker tribes, this was the lust for blood and carnage induced through drugs, spiritual chants, intoxication or even self harm. For Gregory, who had entered such a state, his strength had surpassed any other man within the Kingdom of Kremor, no, perhaps that of several to half a dozen. The sheer level of adrenaline coursing through his veins drove his energy levels to new heights, his ears rang with the sheer lucid release of the pressure this swing represented.
This swing represented his dreams, he had spent years courting the First Princess and now he was finally going to become her Prince. In a year’s time, he would see to the King’s death and take the throne. After the First Princess aged to a certain extent or he grew tired of her, he could certainly deal with her at any time, his authority would be assured and perhaps he’d move onto one of her younger sisters.
All he had to do was swing his sword, one, more, time.
Historians would talk about him, the noble commoner who forged his path into the Royal Palace, stole the heart of an ignorant Princess, and stole the throne out from beneath the foolish and complacent Royalty. The champion of the commoners who with but two strikes from his blade had captured a nation.
To state, the strike that the hero had landed actually dealt an extreme amount of damage. Gregory’s armor around the shoulder had greatly warped under the impact and an equal amount of damage had been dealt internally. Coupled with rather intense internal bleeding, Gregory’s collar bone had been virtually shattered with various ligaments and tissues being torn as the bone fragments made their way further down due to the force of the impact. In the future, it might very well be possible that Gregory would never be able to fully use his arm again due to such an injury, but at this very moment, it was still possible. With the sheer level of adrenaline and all mental inhibitors missing, Gregory’s arm was still free to be forced into action, regardless of the pain or damage it would cause. In truth, with the level of force Gregory was exerting, it might be even possible that the use of his arm might be threatened completely due to how he was propelling his body into action. In perhaps one minute, no, perhaps even just thirty seconds, Gregory would certainly lose all feeling within his arm as his brain would be sobered by the intense shock caused by the level of intense internal damage inflicted by the wound and his current movement.
But that would not interfere with this one, final swing. Gregory was letting down the strongest sword swing of his entire life, perhaps of any man within the Kingdom’s history thus far. The force behind it had long since reached the point where if it simply hit the floor, the single mass of solid stone that made up the floor would burst under the pressure, sending debris from the impact flying and a hole of perhaps a third of a meter in a sphere would be left in its place and defined cracks would jut out several meters from the impact site. If a stone column were to have been struck, surely the impact would cause the structure of it to be completely compromised, perhaps even completely cracking through. In both instances the blade would have been completely destroyed, but the damage would have been done.
This sword, fueled by many sources of the pure strength of the human body descended upon its destined target with a speed that could only be perceived by those easily limited to a single hand.
The target was a girl who was covered in blood across her torso as she laid on her back, just bracing herself up with her right arm. Her right arm held in an instinctual defense, her eyes winced in what seemed to be terror. She was going to be granted the final death that she deserved, splattered by a truly noble blade while in full terror and regret of her actions.
Just before the blade made impact, not but a millimeter from her flesh, the eyes of the woman opened. The two combatant’s eyes met in that instant as time froze still. It was the briefest of instances, but in that moment, the natural phenomena known to warriors occurred. Their minds linked and true strengths were shared to one another, everything laid to bare as they came to full terms with their respective opponent.
What laid in the eyes of the woman was not the fear of death. No… those were not the eyes of one who was about to die, they were that of a hungry hunter who had caught a rabbit in their trap.
It was, too late to regret.
The sword connected.
Gregory’s blade, that had such a great force guiding it such that it could have split stone, had broken over the girl’s arm…
Blood had certainly splattered from the wound onto the ground, but only to the amount that would come from a rather minor cut to one’s forearm. If one would feel their ulna, the bone on the same side of the arm as the pinky finger, one would understand just how shallow of a cut the sword had managed to achieve.
That was because, of course, the blade had failed to even put a single chip into the bone of the hero’s arm.
It should be noted that the average human bone, pound for pound, is stronger than steel. Many factors lead to the breakage of the human bones. While they are porous, this does not actually mean that these cause it to be more brittle and actually serves to increase the flexibility and strength of the bone, serving as a model to many engineering projects that use a complex steel frame network rather than a standard grid pattern. While the porous nature of bones serve the average human body well, this is not the case in the hero’s body as her ‘bones’ are certainly not normal. Her bones and skeletal structure are composed of a highly dense and robust compound structure composed from a single massed tissue that resided within her entire body. This special tissue, or perhaps it would be best to call it a mesh, forged a new skeletal structure out of this special dense compound as her original skeleton was removed. The mesh would grow her new bones in a complex network of twisting and interlocked membranes that formed a solid and dense skeletal structure that, while similar to that of a normal human, was certainly not so. Just three hair widths of this bone compound would be unbreakable by a fully grown male jumping upon it.
Normally the human body would never be able to function without the natural skeleton as the natural muscles and organs would require the exact skeleton that these structures had developed alongside. In fact, the compatibility issues resulting in the process that the hero had volunteered for had such a high fatality rate that the death rate alone was nearing the 99.9th percentile with only one survivor having been left physically incapable after the procedure and would never be able to properly function again.
In that sense, the hero’s body chemistry was a scientific marvel. What had to happen was for the body to naturally accept the mesh that had been inserted within the body and allow it to naturally form a new skeletal structure without disrupting the body’s equilibrium by even .001% during the entire process. If the skeleton had formed improperly or the mesh had mutated due to the body’s rejection, she would have surely died from complications. But she didn’t and was the first person to physically adapt the mesh.
The mesh had imbedded itself into her entire muscular structure as it wrapped itself around her skeleton. After the two week process in which she had been placed in a deep sleep to prevent her from experiencing the sheer pain that such a process would have induced. While remaining in such a sleep, her skeleton was slowly removed over the course of another week. The grueling operation had used the pinnacle of medical science to achieve something unprecedented and had replaced the hero’s entire body structure. While it is said entire, her skull was still only a partial compound as they had only carved down the skull rather than removing it. The risk was deemed far too great after they had found the first true host for the mesh out of nearly ten thousand volunteers.
Of course the hero had not known that the test she volunteered for could be fatal, but it was a program hidden from the government and suppressed any information leakage at great costs. The mesh supplemented and changed her muscular structure and body chemistry to adapt to the new environment that had been imposed unto it. From a great increase of natural cell reproduction to a stimulated increase in cellular energy development, her estimated lifespan was estimated to be well over two hundred years, perhaps even reaching three hundred, a new revolution into the fields of medical science. The mesh also developed a special hemo-globular compound that would rapidly divide and replace the various blood cells within the bloodstream such as the red and white blood cells. This was due to the loss of bone marrow as her current skeleton lacked such a thing. The mesh was also capable of producing a rather high quantity of stem cells which would be released in the occasion of an injury, greatly increasing recovery speed.
In short, if one were to simply take the hero’s ulna, which had taken Gregory’s blow, and attempted to break it under a weighted pressure placed onto an area of 2.5cm (~1in), it would take roughly 2.3 metric tonnes of weight to break it. Something that Gregory’s strike certainly could not muster. No, even if one were to think about chipping the bone, it would still require roughly between eight and nine hundred pounds of pressure to have been produced by the blade’s edge.
The blade let out a wild and loud snapping sound and the head of the blade was sent straight downwards as the rest of the blade remained rested on the hero’s arm as if it had been glued in place. The hero made no attempt to move out of the path of the broken sword edge as it passed through her left collar, slicing through her flesh and severing the wrapping on that side. The once graceful wrapping now remained fully dyed in the hero’s blood as it remained on her person, though only just. If much more damage were done, it would be presumed that the wrapping would fall from place, but since it was wrapped firmly several times around it would hold with the current damage. The scene that it kept hidden remaining protected as it was intended.
The gathering of nobles had at first risen to see the final act as the champion would triumph over their accused. But now those few who had not fallen back to their seats out of shock were those frozen from it, all mouths lie open as an unimaginable sight had presented itself.
Several seconds passed and the stillness of the room seemed like it would press on for an eternity, until the hero let out a sigh. Raising herself from her lowered position, putting her knees beneath her, the hero grabbed the remaining half of Gregory’s sword.
Coming to his senses, Gregory attempted to push his blade downwards, cutting the hero’s hand in the process, but to no avail as it seemed as if he were trying to push his sword through a stone wall. But… there was obviously blood coming from her hand, it was bleeding, so why wasn’t it cutting through…
These two events suddenly caused a chilling, mind numbing sobering sensation to run through Gregory’s mind. The burning fires of his rage instantly were snuffed out as he recounted the previous day, how the woman before him had treated a massive stone as if it were a hand weight. A sudden, impossible realisation stemmed from an impossible situation.
The sword was ripped from his hands, but not before Gregory himself yanked two feet off the ground by a now standing hero. As Gregory fell to the ground and landed on his back, he watched the hero take the sword and throw it downwards into the ground. The sword made a loud crash as it sunk into the stone to its hilt.
*Crick* *Crickarack* *Snap*
The hero took two steps and rolled both of her arms as she did so.
Then, she simply stared at Gregory, but… in her eyes, a spark… no… a flame had begun to burn… but… not a fire of rage or that of revenge… perhaps more like the wild destruction of nature, an imbalance caused by a disturbance within the natural balance of the world. Something… was very… very off.
Only Gregory, who was but perhaps two meters from the hero could see, the eyes of one slowly descending into the realm of madness. The wires of her mind slowly wearing away as every second passed. But… what was the cause of thi-
It was then that the answer hit Gregory harder than anything one could imagine, an instant of intense lucid comprehension. The answer had already been given to him, as well as anyone who had heard her tale.
She was an average citizen, classifiable as a peasant. If her stories were true, she was an average woman that lived a normal life, perhaps a little unusual in her habits and something done to her body, but average in all other senses. According to her stories, she had just five days prior been put through an unimaginable horror, forced to partake in all manners of unbelievable actions for her own survival. The death of what was claimed to be … hundreds of thousands… bodies laid in gore upon buildings, walls, and streets in the hundreds. Death raining from the sky as a visible substance akin to mist brought death upon those who met it closely. Beasts beyond Gregory’s very comprehension out for her life every second of the ordeal as she went without food, water or sleep for days. Survivors and panic, desperation, all to survive… Suddenly being thrown to another realm outside her mental bearings only to a day later be forced into another battle for survival…
Gregory, as a knight and soldier realized all too well what had happened. The strain on this woman’s mind, was simply too much to bear. Her mind was beyond strong to have survived this much wear, but… the moment he stood above her to finish her… no… perhaps even the strike to her head before that… regardless… that final, lone wire within her mind, finally snapped. Her mind was slowly edging into the darkness…
Gregory’s analysis took all but a moment, perhaps even that of just half a dozen seconds. It was at the end of this analysis that he realized one, final thing…
He was the cause, and she was right in front of him, with power beyond his knowledge. That person, was descending into madness right before him…
It was in that realization that Gregory began to feel something crawling up his spine, a complete, and utter freezing chill. He realized what it meant as he looked up, the hero’s face was mere inches in front of his own, her head half tilted as it looked into his eyes. Her eyes were blank, like that of a child looking inquisitively at a toy, but then…
Her arm rapidly moved to Gregory’s neck, pulling up from the ground with a single arm, hoisting him off the ground with his legs dangling.
A dark, depraved crescent smile slowly crawled across the hero’s face, though, it was not like those before. Those before felt as if they were veiled in a haze. This, this smile… was cold… it was dark and it lacked any sensation of life as if it were draining the very energy from Gregory. It was… void of anything… corrupted… twisted… lacking any real form… the depths of human nature only capable of a broken mind outside of any comprehensible understanding.
The hero then spoke with a hushed voice, but since the room was so silent that if a single grain were to be dropped, half of the men in the room would hear it.
“Hey Gregory…. I’m going to play with you for a bit ok?
Then i’m going to play a bit more until I get tired of it, then i’m just going to bite your head off, ok?
Much love ok?
Play nice my little Greeeeeeegoooorrrryyy.
Teee heee heeeahah. hee hee hee hee.”
As she said that, the hero pulled Gregory’s body in towards her, her face near his broken collar.
Then, without warning, she bit into his semi exposed shoulder, tearing the flesh away from the bone without a moment’s hesitation. For the next few seconds, Gregory looked at the hero in shock, but once he saw her chewing, his stomach lost itself and emptied over the hero’s arm.
As if pleased by the action, the hero smiles and flicks her wrist, changing her hold from Gregory’s neck to his armor. She then swings her arm over her head, sending Gregory with it.
He flies nearly a dozen meters before his legs skid across the ground and his back crashes into a column. His entire body paralyzed from the shock, but instantly comes to his senses after he notices he’s still within the hero’s gaze. But… he can’t move, pure fear had over taken him.
The hero had initially started walking over to Gregory, but then stopped and began making an ear to ear grin as she started looking around until her gaze found what it appeared that she was looking for. Following her gaze only made Gregory’s heart freeze, it was the hilt of his sword.
The hero began to lean forward and continued to do so as if she was falling over until a thud rang out and she bolted forward towards the hilt. Her body tumbling around in a rolling somersault, grabbing the hilt as she went by, then retching violently as her body was forcibly stopped by the embedded blade.
Yanking the hilt out from the stone, a small portion of the blade, perhaps four or five inches of it, remained attached.
The hero then started to hug the blade, blood running down as she did so, the blade cutting into her bicep as she nuzzled the hilt. Her eyes raised from the hilt towards Gregory once more after a few moments.
Gregory began to cry as she slowly walked ever closer, the nobles watching were filled with an ever growing dread, not daring to speak for fear of the monster that had been birthed before them.
All, except for one man, who rose from his seat.
[NH Chapter 10 - END]