The realm that materialized into view appeared relatively the same as the Glamoured Human World albeit the tainted color scheme hues of black or red, an occasional dark violet here and there. The air stank of death, rot and stale bread; the soft gentle breeze not really helping as it mixed the nasty combination together under their noses. The streets were considerably vacant, for what few privileged inhabitants that dwelled in the First Level of the Underworld kept inside their forsaken abodes as much as possible.
"Such a jolly joy coming here," exhaled Atrineas slowly, shifting his white hoodie to slacken more on his dense shoulders.
Emilie took a deep breath and treaded lightly down the street, "Let's get this done quickly and we can leave, okay?"
Henze was stoned-faced and didn't seem like he had anything to say at all. His eyes were too busy darting back and forth from shadow to shadow. Out of the three he was the most apprehensive, the smallest bit of movement in any environment could set him off. Emilie was alert, but not paranoid. Atrineas always seemed to keep his cool in the Underworld; even if he was the slightest bit on edge, he never cared to show it. It almost seemed as if he was comfortable being there, every time. He unzipped the hoodie's front and jammed his hands into the pockets casually, following right behind his sister.
According to the Radar on their phones, there was a dispute between two Demon Lords just a mile or so away from where the Hybrids had Traveled. Like most disputes or wars between Darksiders, or even Lightsiders for that matter, the residue of high energy levels result in a form of radiation that pierced through the veil of Glamour and into the Human World. Not always, but usually. For example, the famous hurricane Katrina way back in 2005 AD was actually the result of three powerful Demon Lords going at it over a slave woman that they all wanted for themselves. The Industrial Revolution during 1750 PA (post apocalypse) to 1800 PA was thanks to the two Faerie kingdoms in a near fifty-year war with each other. In present day similar situations, the alerted Hybrids will show up to quickly solve the conflict by whatever means necessary; be it peacefully or with death and destruction.
"Emilie…" Atrineas stared at his surroundings with little amusement, "Do we have any special info on these guys or are we going in on this blindfolded?"
His sister stared ahead, her irises became a swirling mix of white and black as she used her Ability in attempts to gather information. She shook her head in dismay after a moment.
"The usual," Henze choked as his gaze jolted from his sister to the right, thinking that he spotted a stray hellhound pass in between shadows.
"Nothing we can't handle in the end," Atrineas shrugged, whipping out a deathstick and lighting it.
The three Hybrids continued walking down the streets with a purposed gait, heading for a tall building that loomed over the city. Emilie could feel the energy tremors of the dispute from within. Her gaze on the building was cut short as a shadow slammed itself into her core from out of nowhere.
"Emilie!" Henze exclaimed, shoving himself into the blurred creature and knocking it off her body. His beefy arms were entangled with what turned out to be a hellhound as they rolled along the tainted asphalt of the street.
Atrineas turned around slowly, not seeming to fully gather what was going on at the moment as he took a relaxed drag from his cigarette. His sister picked herself off the street, brushing off her jeans and pink "Princess" T-shirt. Her hands quickly met the bloody paw prints on her chest, causing her to twist her face in disgust. Atrineas took a moment to look her over to ensure her wellbeing, and after verifying the blood belonging to the hellhound he then focused his gaze on Henze and the creature.
"Awe... really?" he smirked with amusement.
Henze wrestled with the bloody creature, its snapping jaws ravenously attempting to remove chunks from his face. He had his hands firm on the hellhound's neck while holding it a few inches at bay. The hellhound snarled with anger and began to kick and scratch at his body, tearing holes and gashes in his shirt and jeans.
Rolling his eyes, Atrineas walked over and picked up Henze's backpack that had been tossed aside during the savior's leap to save his sister, "Yo dude. You going to mess around with that thing all day or can we get moving along?"
The hellhound took a daring snap at Henze's face, which he barely avoided by twisting his head to the left. With an irritated grunt the Hybrid shoved the canine off his chest, throwing it into the midriff of a tree in a nearby yard. Yelping in pain, the hellhound smacked hard into the ground, twitching slightly before getting back up. Henze cursed something about hating animals under his breath before charging straight for the creature. Seeming to gain energy from nowhere, it leaped at the Hybrid with incredible speed. But he was prepared, grabbing it around the neck in midair and spinning it around his body two times before throwing it at the tree once more. The tree shattered upon impact, collapsing down upon the hellhound just seconds after it had landed. A loud yelp of pain shot from its maw and the hellhound breathed no more.
"Could've been cleaner, but I guess that works," Atrineas shrugged and handed Henze his backpack.
The older Hybrid's poor clothes now had slashes and blood from the hellhound splattered all over. He groaned inwardly, remembering he'd just bought his shirt just yesterday. After a moment of recollection and inventory of the handful of wounds, the three set forth to the building once more.
"This... is just disgusting..." Emilie kept saying over and over again as they walked, constantly glancing down at the two bloody paw prints on her shirt.
"You can change when we get back, sis’," smirked Atrineas, still surveying his surroundings casually in between puffs.
"Easy for you to say, you're just a dumb dude with no fashion sense."
"As if you're going to need fashion in the Underworld?"
Henze broke up the bickering, "We're here guys..."
The trio stopped at the base of the building. The front was completely boarded up along with most of the windows. Those that weren’t became occasional entrance and exits for bats and other small night flight creatures. Something exploded from within, shaking the windows and boards causing a few bats to fly away in fear.
"Looks like we've found them," Atrineas flicked his finished death stick away as he stared up towards the top of the building.
Another explosion erupted, this time a window blasting apart to a figure flying out and then into the ground with a small puff of dirt. It appeared to be a man clad in just a rusty-blood colored leather overcoat. His long and oily black hair was tussled from fighting, his eyes ablaze with fury to match his dark red skin. Two long horns in the front and one in the back jutted out like deadly curved spears, the points glistening with freshly drawn blood. He cursed in Archaic as he leaped into the air and back through the window from whence he was thrown.
"Must be one of them," Emilie mumbled as she watched.
"Well let's get to it then, shall we?" Atrineas cracked his knuckles, slipping off his white hoodie and tying it around his waist.
Both of the male Hybrid's bodies began emanating a soft white glow, beginning to Shift into their respective Arch Angel forms. Two pairs of white-feathered wings sprout from Atrineas' back, tearing his white shirt off his body to expose his swimmer's build; his wingspan of only fifteen feet wasn't as impressive as his brother's twenty. A small row of grey scales surfaced alongside the hairline of his temples. Henze pulled off his backpack just as his own two pairs of wings shot out of his back, ripping off what was left of his shirt, then tossed it back over his right shoulder. Atrineas' hair shimmered into a light bluish gray color with one thin dark blue highlight on the right side of his bangs. To differ from his younger brother, Henze's hair had a dark red highlight and reddish grey elsewhere, but it was just as long.
Atrineas crouched to leap, but a firm, slender hand slapped down on his shoulder. Emilie speake gently but it was obvious she was slightly irritated, "Mind carrying me up there? I didn't bring the appropriate attire to Shift."
"Should have come prepared!" he snorted in jest, leaping up towards the broken window.
"He's right, you know," Henze stepped forward and grabbed his sister around the waist and shot into the air right behind Atrineas, "But I'll carry you."
The three Hybrids flew in through the broken window and landed inside. Atrineas ducked as a body flew at him and hit the wall on the other side. The Demon Lord from earlier hoisted a large table high above his head and hurled it at the body in the wall. Henze put his sister down quickly and dashed over, slamming his forearms into the table and shattering it completely.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! What's going on?" Emilie trotted to the middle of the room, holding up her hands to both of the Demon Lords.
"This bitch, Karthox, here says this land belongs to him!" cursed the one with three horns, aiming a fireball at the hole in the wall.
It was Atrineas that stepped in this time. He caught the fireball in his right hand and slapped his left on top of it. The fire screamed in a loud pop. He turned and glared at his older brother, who was helping Karthox out of the crumbling wall. Karthox didn't look much different than the other Demon Lord with the exception that he had short hair with no horns and bone spikes along his block.
"Ya? Well I was here before you got here, fucker!" Karthox spat back, attempting to dash at the other Demon Lord only to be held back by Henze's steady arms.
"Xander always gets first, bitch!" the three-horned one cursed, jerking to dash at Karthox but hesitant of Emilie’s glare.
The female Hybrid folded her arms and turned to keep both Demon Lords in her vision, "Well do you two realize that your fighting has created an illness in the Human World just above? Thanks to you they now have a new virus strand running amuck!"
"Like they care about humans, Emilie?" Atrineas rolled his eyes and examined his fingers idly.
"Not the point," she shot back, focusing her attention on Xander, "Now, is this some territorial dispute?"
Emilie fired a death glare at her younger brother, who was still examining his fingers with lackadaisical interest.
"I got here first!" Karthox cursed, struggling in Henze's hold.
"No, I did, fucker!" Xander shot back, dashing at the other Demon Lord.
For the first time in years, Emilie used her Abilities in an offensive manner. Her hand shot up to face the Demon Lord, who slammed into an invisible barrier the pushed him back with a jerk. Taking a few steps forward her hand curling to cup, lifting Xander several feet up with just her mind.
"That's enough potty talk out of you, both of you," Emilie exhaled, keeping her gaze on the Demon Lord in her mental grasp.
Henze's jaw dropped in shock, having not seen his sister use her Abilities in this manner in so long. Karthox seized this moment and broke free of the Hybrid's clutches, dashing for his opponent and hurling a wave of hellfire at him. Atrineas sprinted to meet him with a well-placed sidekick to his hip, unable to stop the hellfire. Emilie let go of the other Demon Lord just in time to drop herself to the floor, the hellfire missing her by mere inches. Xander's eyes widened in shock as he fell, only to find himself face first with flames. The attack hit dead on, sending him flying into a wall to create a hole of his own.
Karthox fell to the ground, but nimbly spun back up to his feet. A sharp pain in his waist caused him to stumble slightly as he tried to head for Xander, his right leg giving out beneath him.
"What'd you do to me?!" he cursed at Atrineas.
"I just fractured the nerve that controls your leg," he shrugged matter-of-factly, "You can use it if you want, but it'll hurt like a mother."
Emilie slowly picked herself off the floor, shaking her head to regain her bearings, "Why... why today.. .must I make friends with the floor...?"
Xander pulled himself out of the hole he made in the wall, glaring at the female Hybrid, "That hurt! I could've stopped that!"
The Demon Lord hurled himself at her, his hands open like claws in attack. Henze regained his senses, bringing his hands out and slapping them together hard to aim a sonic boom at Xander. Karthox took a painful daring move, shoving Atrineas into the sonic boom and sending him and the attack towards another wall. Xander collided with Emilie, both now engaging in a fierce clawing, blocking, and kicking battle.
Atrineas shook off the pieces of the wall that fell on him upon impact, facing Karthox. Henze knew how much his brother hated when his Abilities were used against him, whether by accident or not. Seeing the fire behind Atrineas' eyes Henze stepped back a bit to avert all attention towards the Demon Lord responsible.
"Big... mistake..." Atrineas exhaled through his teeth.
His hands suddenly erupted into dark blue flames. Archaic symbols flickered to life in the same color, lacing around his arms and bare chest. Karthox took a step back, falling on his right leg to the ground and crying out in pain. The Hybrid took a few steps forward, drawing his hands back in preparation.
"Never should’ve done that…"
The orbs of blue fire flared double in size and Atrineas hurled them at the Demon Lord. It happened so quickly that there seemed to be no scream of pain as Karthox was slammed through a window, his body catching fire upon impact and becoming a flying ball of blue flame. The fire quickly subsided, only dust remained that sprinkled down to the ground.
"Atrineas!" Emilie screeched as she hurled Xander at her brother.
Henze dashed forward, catching the Demon Lord in midair and slamming him into the floor creating a small crater, then ran to kneel at Emilie's side. Atrineas glared down upon the Demon Lord at his feet.
"P-Please... have mercy!" Xander held his hands up in defense, his fingers dripping with Emilie's blood.
"Law number three of the Hybrid..." Atrineas raised his hands slowly, "A Hybrid must never show mercy, for there is no mercy in chaos."
The shimmering blue Archaic symbols on his body flashed, his hands erupting in flame once again. Xander pleaded once again, but to no avail. Atrineas released the fire upon the Demon Lord. Xander cried out in pain, but the Hybrid continued without hesitation. Within a few seconds nothing remained but a pile of ash. Atrineas took a deep breath, calming himself and the Archaic symbols slowly disintegrated into his skin.
"Ugh... once again, the floor... is my best friend..." Emilie groaned as Henze helped her to her feet.
"You're hurt pretty bad, Emi," he noted as he examined the many gashes that slowly leaked precious Hybrid blood.
"Just... let's Travel to my place and you can patch me up, okay Hen?"
He nodded and looked over at his younger brother, "You comin', bro?"
Atrineas shook his head slowly, not breaking his gaze from the pile of ash at his feet, "No. I'll just go back to my place..."
Without warning the Traveling Archaic Circle appeared beneath his feet and he vanished in a cloud of smoke. Henze glanced at Emilie, both looking at each other with awkward curiosity for their younger sibling.