Darkness Falls Chapter 4

By Gemini83

Cloud and the others battled on and on.

“Damn!” he cursed, “How many more of these guys do I have to cut in half?”

“Look on the bright side Cloud.” shouted his wife, smashing even more werebeasts, “At least you’re alive to kill them!”

“Yeah, great Tiff, thanks a lot,” laughed Cloud sarcastically.

“C’mon kids!” shouted Barret, “Quit yer’ gripin’!”

Then came an ear-splitting explosion, which momentarily blinded everyone. The Reavers were also disoriented, and backed away, fearful of another counterattack. Even more bone-chilling was the screaming. The members of Avalanche slowly turned, to see Aeris shouting in fear and agony, the wanderer lying in a pool of his own blood. He didn’t seem to be moving.

“Shit,” muttered Cid.

Several Reavers, sensing opportunity, leaped into the air, only to be cut to pieces by a huge shuriken.

“Not on my watch fellas’,” grinned Yuffie.

A few more ran at the group, only to be blown away by powerful gun blasts from Vincent and Barret. Vincent’s glowing eyes held the monsters at bay, for they sensed danger concealed in his body, danger better left alone. The two sides seemed to be at an impasse. That was when the five shrouds walked forward...

‘Am I dead?’ the wanderer was surrounded by darkness.

‘No, my child, you have much to do yet.’ said a comforting voice.

‘Sensei, is that you?’

‘You...have always been my favorite student. I loved you like a son. I know you are tired, but your friends need you. Awaken!’

‘No...sensei, don’t leave again...!’

‘You don’t need me anymore, my son, you know all you need to know. You are now the master, let me die. Look into yourself to find strength. Look into the past, and I will always be there to guide you...’

He woke with a start, but could not open his eyes. The wanderer felt pain throughout his body. He sensed that many of the Reavers had been decimated, but the shrouded men were still alive, and were coming closer.

Aeris had been watching her friend for any sign of life. At first, she thought he was dead. His helmet still covered most of his face, but she noticed his eyelids twitch, and his mouth grimace. Then she saw that the Reavers and the shrouds were coming closer.

‘This can‘t be,’ she thought, ‘if only...’

She received a shock when the wanderers eyes opened. She could see his eyes glowed with power. Energy flowed from his very being, as the wanderer quickly raised himself to his feet. With a roar of anger, he let forth an enormous blaze of energy, one that surrounded the entire area. The light could be seen for miles around. The shrouds managed to shield themselves from the blast, but the Reavers were not so lucky. What was left of the abominations were vaporized in an instant.

The wanderer stopped concentrating, the glowing stopped, and Aeris could see his eyes again. He guided her back to the others once more.

“Thank you for holding them off, I’ll take care of the rest.” he turned towards the shades, drawing his sword. The flames rose high into the air, feeding off the dead bodies of the Reavers. The strange figures slowly walked towards each other, looking for weaknesses.

The battle began instantly, no words exchanged, no quarter asked or given. The wanderer’s sword was a blur of light and sound as he blocked and attacked the five shades. He parried a thrust, spinning around to kick another shade. Another attacked him, punching the wanderer in the chest, but he back-flipped, kicking the attacker. The wanderer fought like a demon. However, no matter how fast he attacked, it didn’t seem to be enough; neither side held the upper hand for long.

The wanderer hit the ground with his fist, causing shockwaves of energy to lash out at those around him. The shrouds jumped back, forming a group around each other. The wanderer stood up again. Bringing his sword to bear, he simply waited, daring the shrouds to attack him.

One of the shadowed men raged forth, running towards the wanderer. The wanderer, ready for battle, also ran towards his enemy. When they neared, the shroud swung his sword at the wanderer’s exposed throat in a perfect killing blow.

The wanderer merely ducked beneath the attack. Charging his sword with energy, he brought his sword up in a cross slash. The attack cut the shroud in half, and it fell to the floor, broken and bleeding.

A second shadow charged. The wanderer ran up to meet him. This time, the shroud took no chances, and aimed his sword at his enemy’s stomach, intending to run him through. The wanderer merely pivoted on one foot, side stepping the attack. When the shroud was behind him, the wanderer thrust his sword backwards, and through the attacker’s neck. With a quick jerking motion, the wanderer neatly beheaded the second attacker, which fell to the ground, dead.

However, a third shadow had already begun his attack, letting loose an energy blast at the dark warrior. The attack was deflected by a single sword slash. Enraged, the third shadow leapt into the air, bringing his energies to bare on the defiant warrior. The wanderer jumped into the air as well. Both enemies slashed at each other once before landing on the ground again. They just stood where they were, still and silent. Then, a stream of blood burst from the wanderer’s side. The third shroud laughed. However, he soon fell to the ground in a bloody heap, the look of shock clear on his dead face.

The traveler looked at the two remaining shadows, waiting for an attack. The leader and a single minion were left. The minion stepped forward, charging up his energies. He fired a powerful blast...at Tifa.

Cloud shouted his denial, standing in front of her, ready to take the full force of the blast. Aeris leapt forward, pushing Cloud and Tifa out of the way. But she tripped on a rock, and was caught in the fireball’s path.

Caught completely unawares, the wanderer knew he could not sent a deflecting attack in time. Instead, he merely ran into the path of the blast. Standing a few feet in front of Aeris and the others. He prepared himself from the blast, crossing his arms in front of his chest and head. The members of Avalanche cried out in dismay. The impact of the fireball momentarily blinded them all.

When Aeris opened her eyes, she saw the tip of a blade, a scant few centimeters from her face. The fourth shadow had used the fireball as a diversion, and while everyone was blinded, the shroud ran his blade through the right side of his enemy’s chest.

The wanderer had immediately reacted, clamping the blade close to his body by bringing his right arm tightly against his side. It hurt like hell, but he managed to ignore the pain.

The fourth shroud was confused. He had planned to skewer both the wanderer and the Cetra behind him. However, the warrior was still standing, an immovable wall. The shroud tried to pull out his sword, but found that it was lodged firmly into the wanderer’s body. This further confused the shroud.

The traveler merely grinned, and spun on one foot. The force of the turn broke the blade in two, and the wanderer used that same momentum to kick the shadow back several feet. The shroud landed hard on the ground, dazed and disoriented. He got back to his feet, but had no weapon with which to attack, so he charged at his enemy once again.

The wanderer ran forward with his sword, and sliced downward. He cut the fourth shadow in half before it could attack. The shroud slumped over and fell dead. The wanderer merely stood there. He pulled the broken remains of his enemy’s blade from his chest, and threw it to the ground. Then he brought his sword back up again, ready for battle.

The members of Avalanche watched this display with no small amount of surprise.

“Shit!” yelled Cid, “This guy’s a machine!”

Aeris stood speechless, wondering what kind of character this new found friend was. Cloud merely nodded, respecting the fighting prowess of a fellow warrior.

The traveler glared at the final shadow, who sneered back.

“You may have killed them, but you are no match for me. Especially in that weakened condition.” He then shouted something in a language that Cloud and the others could not understand. The voice sounded guttural, like a wild animal.

The traveler merely smiled. “It seems all you can do is talk. You are overconfident.”

“Let’s see,” returned the shadow, “Now, DIE!!!”

The two figures ran at each other, slashing and attacking at each other with charged swords. Energy sparks flew from their battle. They moved so fast, Cloud could just barely make out their movements. All anyone else could see was a blur.

“Damn!” shouted Barret, “How can they be so fast?”

“Who is he?” asked Tifa, turning to Aeris.

“Don’t ask me,” replied the healer, “I just met him.”

Meanwhile, the two figures fought on, spinning and thrusting their weapons at each other. Then the wanderer brought his sword down hard. The shroud somehow managed to block it. The two glared at each other through locked swords.

“You are not the weakling I take you for,” sneered the shadow.

The wanderer replied in a strange language. Something he said enraged the shroud, for it yelled angrily, slashing wildly at the warrior.

He did not even bother to block the attack. Instead, the wanderer merely dodged all of the blows. However, the shroud was cunning and treacherous. He brought out a hidden dagger, stabbing the wanderer between the ribs. The others gasped as they saw this. It seemed their new friend had been dealt a lethal blow.

The pain running through the wanderer’s mind was unbearable, but somehow he managed to block it out. He then kicked the shadow in the stomach, sending the villain flying through the air. The wanderer drew the dagger from his side, throwing it to the ground. He then shook his blade, clearing it of blood, before sheathing it. The shadow landed hard on the cold battle ground, but got back up.

Spitting blood, the shadow cursed at the wanderer in that same strange language.

The warrior jumped into the air, bringing out his sword again. Grasping his weapon with both hands, the wanderer faced his sword downward, charging it with more energy. He thrust at the shadow with his sword, sending energy waves lashing wildly about. However, at the last moment, the shrouded man moved back. The wanderer missed, and his sword embedded itself in the ground. Like lightning, the shadow thrust his sword into the wanderer’s chest...

...Only to have it stopped. The wanderer trapped the sword between his two palms. The blood coming from his hands didn’t even seem to faze the warrior. In a fluid motion, he let one hand go, swatting the hilt of the sword from his enemy’s hands. Using the same hand, the wanderer turned the sword around. He impaled the surprised shadow on its own blade.

The shadow stepped back, unable to conceive how he had been stricken through the chest by his own sword. Blood flowed down to the ground in streamlets. He yelled his rage, preparing to attack the wanderer again. However, the wanderer used the momentary confusion to grab his own sword. He ran at the shadow, slashing upward, decapitating the villain.

The dead man’s screams echoed through the air, and lighting filled the sky. The wanderer stepped back and lowered his sword. He raised his hands to the sky, as if he were praying to the stars. The lighting grew stronger, swirls of energy coalesced around the wanderer.

“What’s happening?” screamed Aeris above the shriek of the wind.

“I don’t know,” answered Vincent, “but I sense energy flowing into him.”

“No kidding,” said Cloud, looking at the wanderer, “whatever it is, it seems to be directed right at him.”

Lighting crackled through the air, striking the wanderer. Energy rose up from the body of the five dead shadows, and shot into the traveler’s body. He shouted in pain and raised his sword. The energy seemed to circle about the weapon as well. He fell to his knees as power flowed through him.

Then, just as soon as it had come, the blinding light was gone. The traveler raised himself, and walked with shaky steps towards the members of Avalanche. They watched him carefully, wary of any signs of danger. The strange warrior staggered a few more steps before collapsing to the ground. Aeris, Cloud and the others ran up to him. The wanderer forced himself to his knees. He reached beneath his chin; and removed the helmet that had been hiding his face for all this time, allowing a few small strands of raven black hair to fall across his face. The traveler took deep breaths, as if able to breathe properly again. Soon, however, he began to spit blood. Wiping his face with a cloth from his belt, the wanderer managed to raise himself on one foot before falling again. Aeris caught him in midair, slowly lowering him to the ground. Cloud and the others surrounded the two.

“Will he be alright?” asked Cloud.

To everyone’s surprise, the wanderer answered, “I’ll be fine.”

Cloud inspected the man closely for the first time. His face was set in a grimace. He had deep, searching eyes, the sort of eyes that seemed to carry pain and knowledge. Cloud felt certain misgivings about the ferocious warrior, but those eyes seemed to convey honesty and friendship. They mirrored his own...

The others examined the fallen warrior. Red could see the wounds through the breaks in his armor and clothing. Despite all the blood, the figure was what many humans would call “handsome.”

The wanderer looked at Red, “You’ve done well, Nanaki.”

Red was not one to be easily surprised, but his eyes grew wide in astonishment.

“How do you know my name...?”

The traveler smiled, “I have my ways...” he coughed up more blood.

Aeris looked at her new friend’s face for the first time, holding his head in her lap. She concentrated her energies, trying to heal the wounds, but he would still need medical attention.

“Cloud,” said Aeris, “we need to get him to a doctor.”

Cloud nodded, then turned to Cid.

Cid nodded, then got out his communicator. “Shera...this is Cid...come in.”

“Cid!” came Shera’s voice through the receiver, “We saw more explosions, and broke our patrol of the surrounding areas. We’re already flying your way. What’s going on?”

“Everything’s fine,” answered Cid, “but we need to get out of here fast. How quickly can you be here?”

“We’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“Good, I’ll see you then. Take care.”

“You too. Highwind out...”

“They’ll be here shortly,” voiced Cid.

Aeris turned back to the wanderer.

“I’ll be fine,” he said, “I need no medical attention.”

Aeris started to protest, but she could already see that the bleeding was beginning to stop. She had thought it was due to her spells, but his body was healing faster than should have been possible, even with the help of materia. Already, some of his minor cuts were gone.

“How...?” asked Aeris.

“Like I said,” he continued, “I’m okay. I heal quickly. Just get me to a place where I can rest. I feel tired.”

Aeris nodded, she knew nothing of this man, and had not had time to ask him anything before. So, she asked a question, one she had not even thought of until now.

“Do you have a name?”

The stranger laughed slightly, but stopped when he began to cough again.

“My name,” he breathed, “is Knight.”

She now had a name to go with this strange man. She gripped his hand, trying to comfort him. Knight briefly smiled before finally falling unconscious.

Aeris looked up as she heard a roar. She saw the familiar shape of the Highwind above her.

Tifa put a hand on Aeris’s shoulder. “Time to go home.”


Author’s Note: All right! Now that we have a name for our new hero, what do you think of him? Don’t worry, the others will get some fight coverage. By now, you’ve all probably figured out that this is mainly from Knight’s point of view. Rants? Raves? You know what to do! No major flames please, this is my first time writing a fan fic!


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