Dirty, Rotten Thievery – Part 3

A night-time jungle scene fills warmly with the hot air and dancing shadows cast by a hundred fires.

“Ha ha!” a giant, semi-human salamander exclaims with a triumphant wriggle, “I, The Great and Powerful Glub, shall now COOK and EAT this Chaos-Minion!” he exclaims, his wide jaws causing small, excited gusts of air upon the crowd below him.

In the center of the drum beats, and the dancing, and the feasting, the lizard-man tribe responds with a great, uproarious cheer. They’re so surprised that Glub captured a minion from Chaos himself; what a badass!

“All hail The Great Glub!” one shouts.

“Glub is so grand!” another yells, putting more firewood into the inordinately-large pot’s blaze.

“Chaos didn’t know what hit him!” A final one exclaims, rotating the long and unwieldy spit wheel to rotate none other than Cooking Minion, who’s keeping himself quiet due to the sheer irony of his situation.

The ping of an ancient rune hums blue next to an attendant.

“Hmm, my Great Sliminess?” the white-scaled lizard man starts.

Glub looks down and over. “What is it, dearest and wisest seer of mine?”

“It appears as though we have a sharp increase in the overall magical saturation. It’s possible we have someone trying to get into our dimension, and it appears as though they’re trying to manifest nearby.”

Glub laughs and shrugs as he uses his prehensile tail to pick up a huge leg of dinosaur meat. “Bah! That’s stupid. I’m Glub! What are they gonna do? See me and run?”

He says this to an uproarious cheer the very same moment a snide smirk crosses Cooking Minion’s face – it’s almost as if he’s expecting something.

The attendant stamps his foot huffily. “You always do this, sir! It could be serious! They could be inside the dimension any minute!

Glub rolls his eyes much to the humor of the crowd, all certain that his aide is just overreacting as usual. “Come on, man. It’s probably just some explorer trying to map out this dimension or something. Besides, it’d take ’em like a half hour to even show up at the city gates. You’re always so s-”

And at this very moment, Chaos slams down, bare-fisted, into Glub’s wide skull. Like a baseball bat hitting an egg, whatever order Glub’s brain, skull, nerves and muscles were in before the hit, it’s all reduced to an incomprehensible scramble – it was as if he were hit directly by a meteor to the face.

Not a single soul registers what’s going on except for Cooking Minion, just smiling with that smug little curl at the side of his jaws.

“Those who enable tyrants deserve to die!” Chaos shouts before leaping forward, ramming shoulder-first into the massive pot of boiling water. It spills and forms a tidal wave across the lizard people, screaming for their lives as the flood of agony and death overtakes them.

At the tipped rim of the pot, Chaos snaps his minion from his chained spot.

“Huh, a little overboard, don’cha think?” Cooking Minion asks, still bound up in hyper-enchanted chains.

Chaos’ expression is wild and cruel with pleasure as he watches the squirming, boiling masses writhe under him. “It’s always an honor to remove evil from the world.”

“I mean, I don’t think they could have really eaten me,”  he says.

Chaos leans back with a poised uncertainty. “Eat? I thought they were going to give you an unsolicited bath?”

“…What?

Chaos smiles. “Well, I just know I’d hate to have someone force a bath upon me. What a terrible thing to happen, you know?”

Cooking Minion stares dully over at his overlord with a look of pure stupefaction. “Ya’ know what, that’s great, sir. You know exactly what’s going on around here. Thank you for saving me.”

Chaos grins and nods proudly. “It is the least I can do for my greatest cook.”

“You don’t have Kingdom Slayer on ya’, I’m guessing?”

Chaos tilts his head a bit to the side. “My sword?… no, I gave it to Greed, why?”

Cooking Minion’s expression is wide with a mixture of disappointment and yet fulfilled expectation, as if he had already known.

“You seriously need to get that back, like right now, sir,” he explains.

Chaos squints. “Now why’s th-”

The overlord is having a little trouble hearing himself speak over all the weeping and shouting from the tribe of lizard people. “Could you all be quiet, please?” Chaos asks.

Surprisingly, they mostly quiet down, as despite how much pain many of them are in, they know it’s better to suffer in silence than to incur his wrath a second time.

Chaos nods his head. “Thank you,” he says before looking back to Cooking Minion. “Now, as you were saying.”

“Sir, we don’t know how it works, but Kingdom Slayer is what keeps your head together. You lost it for a week once and you spiraled out of control.”

Chaos hums. “Well I don’t remember any of that. I’m not sure how true it could be if-”

“We were finding jam in the drawers in Central Tower for like a whole month after that, and don’t tell me you forgot about the time you went on a ‘pro sports’ stint? You were doing both.”

Chaos glances aside. On the other hand, he doesn’t remember if he remembers in the first place. “Is that so?”

Cooking Minion shudders. “I can still hear the scraping of that snowboard as you used that gateway to The Jelly Dimension as propellant… It was a lot to deal with, sir. Please, for all our sakes promise me you’ll get your sword back as soon as you possibly can.

The Ultimate Destroyer ponders it for a moment, and then brings himself to a nod. “For you, I will take it back. While I may not need that thing to do the right thing, I understand that your fear compels you to rely on it – I know you say this with the best intentions, so I will lay your fears to rest. I will have it back soon,” he says with another, confirming nod. He tears a portal and, tearing through Cooking Minion’s chains with a single flex, presents the way to him.

“Thanks, sir,” Cooking Minion says.

“Whahohohohoho!” a floating demon-queen laughs with an appropriately-poised, “final boss” form of air. “It appears as though your master is not quite so observant after all, hmm?” she asks with a superior tone as the bat wings at her waist flutter with easy, dramatic flourishes.

Raid Minion, his fur cloak and broadsword forced strictly into his back from his chains, scoffs as he dangles in the air from her gravity magic. “You’ve made a wager that will cost you your life, underling,” he claims, his killer gaze and shredded antennae providing him a deadly grace despite his obvious predicament.

The demon, a lithe yet well-developed horned female of what appears to be only adolescent age, gives a haughty scoff at his words.

Poor fool~” she says teasingly. “No one can save you now. You will become my strongest, most loyal warrior. You’ll do anything for me – it is the nature of my kind and yours, you know.” She looks over to the long rows of exceptionally beefy men, all in some fetishistic garb ranging from burly firefighters to swimsuit models. “Isn’t that right, my pets?”

“I WILL DO ANYTHING FOR QUEEN ALSAON!” they all proclaim at once with a worrisome level of synchronicity.

She smiles with such a punchably smug cuteness that Raid Minion could swear that she doesn’t even understand Chaos now has her on his list- in fact, he can feel him tearing through The Verses to rescue him right now.

“Intimidated yet?” she asks, leaning forward in her floating state to show off an even more scandalous view of her body to the minion.

Raid Minion’s expression is terse, yet pitying – she simply does not get it.

“I suppose you will at least die like an overlord – full of your own blood and ambition. Raidmaster will destroy you so immediately that your ancestors will not even feel your passing. Their line’s break will be as a thin dream to them.”

She looses a prattling, alluring hum, moving close to his face. “Oh? Do you really think your master could simply step into this keep without my knowing? I’ve set a thousand magic barriers over this castle. He’s not going in… and you are not going out. I’m afraid you simply don’t have a chance, now then…” she channels an insidious sensumancy fitting of such a demon, immediately filling the air with an unnaturally-strong carnal urge.

The men at her aide’s side begin breathing heavily as they feel her overwhelming naughtiness overtake them.

She leans closer to Raid Minion’s wide, sharp jaws, just a centimeter from a kiss. “Now, tell me you love m-

Raid Minion lunges forward, biting off her nose with his exceptional Etheriae strength.

Her retainers all gasp at the display, but none of them lift a finger – they know well she can handle herself.

The moment utterly ruined, she lunges back in pain, but still a smile on her face as she heals herself with a quick spell.

“You… really have some nerve. But that’s okay: the funnest ones to break are the ones that struggle the most,” she says, changing the polarity of her magic in her palm to something that would be considered far less pleasant. “Perhaps pain will persuade you more evenly,” she muses.

Raid Minion spits out her old nose and leans forward with a readied demeanor. “The one with nerve is you. To even bite at The Raidmaster’s heel – he’ll greet you to the night without mercy.”

Her face restored to perfection, it shifts slowly with a cruel sadism. “We’ll see how confident you are about your ‘master’ when you’re burning on the inside! Behold the pow- uh?”

That’s the last thing Demon-Queen Alsaon says before a slim thread of azure light cuts through the air from somewhere unseen.

Instantly a firm, wide bridge of ice forms from an unknown source and outward, ending precisely at Alsaon’s neck.

Without even understanding the method of her opponent, let alone the context of a fight, the bridge expands violently and sharply through her neck and face, shearing her body into thick, bloody quarters. The force of the attack propels her body parts through the air, flailing comically into her buff and quite-horrified minions.

From the ceiling of the wide hall, Chaos slides down his murderous bridge of ice with perfect poise. Not even posing for balance, he maintains an easy and relaxed stand all the while he slides down. At the end of it he slides off, landing on the remnants of the demon queen: yet another low-life that dared bear fangs to the one lord of their multi-dimensional forest.

He casts an expectant glare to the men, who immediately begin scattering.

“Those who turn to evil to gratify their perversions of the flesh should not live in the world where just souls struggle to stay upright.”

In a merciless blast, the ice bridge shatters and juts out in all directions, filling the room with fired bolts of fatal ice and mowing through the costumed crowds.

The remaining swimsuit models, cops, and billionaire sadists all clear out from the hall, leaving only Chaos, Raid Minion and dozens of bodies.

“Raidmaster, I do believe all of those men weren’t actually there of their own free will,” he explains tersely.

Chaos rends the chains holding his minion like the stem of a dandelion and then sets him lightly upon the ground. “Oh… oh really?”

“I mean, I suppose they were, but you know how humans can get after being dominated long enough. They were not unfixable, I am certain. I don’t think you understand what you’ve done.”

“I am certain I do. Humans are foolish, laughable things. Their passing means little to me.”

“Agreed, but does that make it right that you, an ascended creature, should do away with them as if they weren’t even worth your interest?”

The Overlord hums. “Removed weak wills from the world? Why would I spare justice to evil, while turning a blind eye to the bricks that lay to its pyramid? They were just as evil as their queen.”

Raid Minion shrugs. “I do not care, Raidmaster, my lord, I simply did not take you for the kind that kills so indiscriminately when you can manage it. You tend to be a little more gentle, especially when you simply drop in on a dimension we know nothing about.”

Chaos shrugs back. “Even I do not know of my ways at times, dear cookling. Besides, I feel a bit displeased. The hand of judgement is steady, firm, and yet wavers-”

“Raid Minion,” his underling corrects. “I am Raid Minion.”

Chaos leans back with a hint of surprise on his night-black face. “Oh… are you certain?”

Raid Minion’s expression slants in suspicion. “My lord, you are in possession of your fight-relic, aren’t you?”

The High Overlord of Immeasurable Cruelty and Rainbows turns his head and presses his finger to his jaws with a foppish grace. “Now… well now that you mention it… I don’t know if I do have Kingdom Slayer.”

Raid Minion, despite the significant difference in stature, grasps the overlord to initiate direct eye contact. “My lord, you must retrieve the blade, it preserves your mind.”

Chaos waves off dismissively. “I have never felt better.” He tears a portal and begins leading Raid Minion in with his hand. “Worry not, dearest Raid Minion, I’ll have it back by the end of today.”

Raid Minion does not fuss, and simply steps through the gate with a single, warning glance behind his shoulder.

The High Overlord’s expression shifts into one with a rare hint of worry. “I… do believe I’ll have it back,” he mutters to himself before heading to his next destination.

“Now we’ll see what her kind is really made of,” Vahn’Asocc, Headmaster of The Scientorium speaks, his masked bird-head replete with brass and leather honoring his position among his fellow scientists.

“Well, this must be that thing humans refer to as ‘ironic’,” Offworld Minion notes, her exceptionally strange antennae flinching at the thought of her being the one being disected for once.

One of the scientists, an elegant crane-sort, casts a graceful eye to the headmaster. “Do you think we’ll be able to extract the ether, sir?”

Vahn’Asocc, preparing his various enchanted cutting tools, gives a short nod. “My hypothesis is that once the signature of the creature passes on, the ether will no longer magnetize and will then return to its neutral state.”

“And as such, the clock of its half-life begins,” a tall owl man adds.

Vahn’Asocc nods once more. “It’s to be expected. We’ll start with extracting from various areas along the body, as well as control samples.”

“I don’t suppose you’re planning on terminating me, are you?” Offworld Minion asks, her tall, once space-alien eyes striking a unique flair among the majority of Chaos’ minions.

Vahn’Asocc ignores her, and instead prepares a heavily-managraphed scalpel, liable to cut through her ethermass body with sufficient effort.

“We will start with the eyes and then make our way-”

“Sir, a large mana signature coales- Va’hai’s sea,” a robin curses.

“What?”

“It’s already here. The invader’s coalescence was instant, almost as if the signature simply teleported to-”

Vahn’Asocc places the scalpel aside. “Everyone exit the room. It’s me he wants.”

At the headmaster’s word everyone starts out of the lecture hall complete with arcane scientific equipment. Most of the students and faculty are without a single clue as to what the threat is, let alone how it could have intersected with their dimension so quickly, but they trust the headmaster.

As the last one, a toucan, navigates his beak through the door, the door is shut from inside by Chaos.

“Your fellows must be so thrilled to believe they’ll get away with their lives,” The High Overlord says, charging a sick spell capable of burning through every room and hall of the facility.

Vahn’Asocc falls to his knees without an air of pretention.

“We only do what we do to understand the ways of the higher realms, my lord. They were but bystanders. It was me who kidnapped your charge.”

Chaos looks over to Offworld Minion, entirely unafraid, but clearly displeased at her predicament upon the examination table.

“You meant to kill those who trust in me for your science?” Chaos asks, stepping forward and immediately making the height difference between himself and Vahn’Asocc abruptly clear, “For what reason are you so committed to spreading misery?”

“Knowledge will save us, God-Slayer. To understand you is to preserve ourselves.”

“But not my own, eh?”

“You don’t understa-”

Chaos slams his foot down, looking more like the flicker of a butterfly’s wings than a moving person. “How dare you assume your knowledge to be superior to my life.”

Despite most of his left leg destroyed by that single strike, Vahn’Asocc holds onto his nerve. “Some things are worth sacrificing for others. It is the simple imperative of civilizations to struggle in order to understa-”

Chaos smashes the scholar’s other leg, the profane twisting of human and avian flesh cracking like both sticks and stones. “And you believe that this includes those that do not volunteer? Will you kill her and build a statue for her, is that worth her life?”

“In my understanding, yes. She’ll gi-”

Chaos grins, and at once Vahn’Asocc knows he won’t make it out. “She will die… but I suppose I am not one with the right to pose such insolent hypocrisies. After all, I am quite curious what your insides look like.”

Vahn’Asocc sighs, and that’s truly all there is to it.

With a maverick slam of his compressed ether-bound leg, Chaos smashes the headmaster into pieces, and then even more into a splattered confusion of gore.

“Oh my, Director; what a very human way of handling that,” Offworld Minion says with a mild, purely observant tone, as if she were still up in her space ship viewing him all those years ago.

Chaos shakes his foot from the mess that was once the headmaster and turns to free her. “If it is human in that it is a required violence, then I’ll allow myself to take that label. Are you hurt?”

She shakes her head. “My body is unharmed… but my mind…” an awkward white flush overcomes her. “I cannot find the words for being the subject, rather than the observer,” she says in a way that would make most people uncomfortable, as if she were a blushing bride, watched as she steps down the aisle by her friends and family.

The High Overlord grins as he frees her the moment he ushers her up into his arms. “Rest assured, I’ll let no harm come to you, so long as I draw breath in this realm or any other. Worry not about being a sacrifice on their altar of ignorance. They do not need to know anything to be proper creatures.”

She smiles. “They were so much like me before I encountered you, I think.”

The two share a quick embrace. “Now, onto the next.”

She raises a brow. “Many of us have been captured, I assume?”

“Yes. Greed’s spread his filthy plans to all who would hear. He truly means my destruction, even if it’s through harming my own.” He looks out of the observation room’s grand window, exquisitely stained with tan and blue glass panes as it overlooks the prairies below. “This time, I will kill him.”

Her eyes slim in a perceptive sort of way expected of an observation team captain among her homeworld. “This is not the first time you have said that, Director. He has outwitted you many times.”

Chaos’ expression flinches. “Nonsense, my love. You must have been having wild underling dreams again!”

She inspects him. “You do not even have your font, do you?”

“My… font?”

“Kingdom Slayer, my lord. You draw mana from it to suppress your memory loss.”

The Overlord places her gently to her feet as he squints in thought. “A… suppression… of memory loss?”

Offworld Minion gives a curt hum. “It’s progressing more rapidly than usual, Director. Do you at least know where it is?”

Chaos places a hand against his forehead in thought.

“I do believe I… perhaps I had given it to someone? A gift, maybe.”

Her expression flickers with concern. “Where did you get our locations, if I might ask?”

His eyes sharpen, but less so with intensity and more so in what could be compared to a senile bewilderment. “I was… I believe I was reading and found them in a book… maybe on one of those refrigerator contraptions? There were a quite a lot of people there…”

With an intelligence that has only matured over the years,  Offworld Minion’s posture changes with a put-off, but poised shock befitting of an observer. “Director. If you have given it to Greed, he has almost absolutely alerted Order about your vulnerability.”

Chaos scoffs proudly, cluelessly. “Order? That rascally fool? How am I to see her as a fret when-”

th-reat, director, form the ‘th’ with your tongue, not your jaws,” she explains. “We need to get out of here, and you need to find Greed immediately.”

Chaos squints an eye, wonderfully charismatic, but entirely improper for a situation like this. “Oh? Whatever for?”

“Your mind is going to continually degenerate until you take on mana. Your minionry cannot do it because we’re all etheriae like you. Everyone is terrified of you and wouldn’t do so willingly unless you were to threaten them. The simple way is to get Kingdom Slayer, draw raw mana from it, and that should set you straight.”

Chaos’ expression mixes with awe as he tears a slow portal back to Towerne. “Now… now how does that work, I wonder? Perhaps it is simply one of the great myster-”

“Because your ether is set to do that, Director. I know you don’t remember this right now because you’re currently under its effect, but your memory loss is inherent to your etherbind. Whoever, be it you or someone else, did not want you remembering things like most life forms do-” she takes up her old master’s hand and begins leading him through the portal like a willful child to an old grandfather. “You must draw raw mana, as the more you use magic without The Kingdom Slayer, the more your ether will enact its purpose upon you.”

Chaos steps through alongside her into the kaleidoscope of majesty that is the spaces between realms.

“But… for what reason? Who would do such a thing?”

“We don’t know. You were the first of us all. Perhaps it is a curse you had to accept to gain your power, perhaps you’re an experiment, perhaps you simply wanted to forget something,” she explains as they span through the other end into Towerne’s central plaza, still blasted from the fight against Overlord Torment. “Oh,” is all she says.

Using methods not unlike the overlords, Order was able to brute-force coalesce her way into the now unprotected and inconspicuous mana signature of Towerne.

She’s not even wearing her armor. In a sundress of the sort she’d wear around her mid-day tea, all she has on her is Monument’s dimensional sheath, its single, runic handle sticking out and ready for the draw around her hips.

“Why… you look familiar,” Chaos notes with a curious tone and a pleasant smile.

Order’s eyes, displaying a mixed blue and gold, form what looks to be a gaze on par with an ocean sunrise.

“Please, spare him,” Offworld Minion starts, winning an immediate scoff from Chaos.

“Who… spare me?” he chuckles. “Why, who could ever even dream of-”

“The time’s come at last, I suppose,” Order says to herself with a dry tone.

In a blink, she’s at him. Closing the distance faster than Torment could ever dream of, Order’s beyond-master-level grasp of alteration magic propels her muscles to levels of strength that would humiliate a dragon. Without her armor she’s faster, and without the expectation of The Kingdom Slayer, she knows she’ll win immediately at close range.

Chaos raises one fist to smash into her face, and the other to strike up a spell, but for some inexplicable reason, the words of the spell he was thinking of escape him.

He scarcely dodges a cut to the chest, and utilizes the momentum of his evasion to attack.

It was a feint, and he knows he should have seen it coming.

Order half-assed the swing, deciding instead to take on the element of a maniac and grasp the blade itself with her hand.

The solar power of the blade resolves with her cursed flesh, and begins burning her, but she knows this is the way to hit him when he’s in this state.

Using the handle in her right hand and the actual blade in her left, she directs all the weight to where he would, as always, use his momentum to hit at her. Despite all his intelligence and knowledge of thousands of magics, he is still predictable to her so long as he’s outside of his head.

With a movement that Offworld Minion can hardly register, Order bunts Chaos in the face with her epic weapon, sending him solidly to the ground with a thud and a wide gash from her Starlendic blade. Not only is his face spewing ether-infusia, but his reaction time is still slow. Order follows up with a jagged kick into his neck, shredding her heel on his non-euclidean physical structure. It’s like kicking into a compressed pile of razor blades. She doesn’t give even the slightest damn, however; and raises her blade again, this time for his chest.

She finds Offworld Minion straddling him, her gaze direct, calm, but urgent. Chaos’ expression has shifted as well, from surprised and loose, to intense, grinning, and interested – it’s like he cares about the fight now.

“Get out of my way,” Order says, her voice on the verge of emotional collapse, despite her body showing no signs of weakness.

Offworld Minion addresses Order’s words with a gentle, slow nod, but she does not move. “Please, if you kill him, let our blood mix together. It would be an honor to fall with one’s purpose for living.”

Order’s eyes, blue and gold with grim, fatalist focus, mix in hue and shift with emotion.

“Get… that’s not how it’s supposed to be,” Order snips.

“Get away from dad, stupid fat lady!” a minion yells from behind Hot Dog Minion’s stand.

“Yeah, no bully!” another screams from a window over at the bakery.

All the minions in hiding peek up and fire distinct, disgusted gazes at her.

As dozens upon dozens of shouts and jeers soar her way, she looks back to Offworld Minion, over Chaos, both of whom look perfectly ready to go a round.

Order feels like she could win, but now, she remembers.

“It’s…” she lowers her sword just an inch over her shoulder, the sun ray’s intensity burning her. “It’s something I forget often… you continue to live in your own little world out here.”

She looks about. “You’ve… changed quite a bit around here.”

Chaos grins with a readied violence. “Perhaps I could use your blood to improve the decorum to a more natural taste?” he asks. “What’s stopping you? Afraid you’ll do something you’ll regret?”

Order withdraws her sword and closes away its light. She steps aside from Chaos, allowing him to recover alongside his minion. “I’m only regrets now,” she says with a gentle twinge of morbidity. “You… maybe I overreacted. What’s your side of the story?”

Chaos squints for a moment as if still attempting to place who she is. The gash in his face makes it difficult to take the conversation entirely seriously, and Order knows well that the wound she made won’t be healing for a half hour at least, owning its source to a magic weapon, after all.

“My side? I do not even know who you are. What is go-”

She takes a short breath before starting in a quickened, almost reciting tone. “Order, you might remember Ranalie better. Leader of The Royal Knights-”

“Oh, I don’t like them!

She nods. “After Redemption, who you chose not to rescue during our fight with Ohkiij.”

“Oh, another name of something I don’t like,” he says with an impressed tone. “That man was horrible!”

She nods again. “I’ve been hunting you for hundreds of years because it’s still my job, but I’ve pretty much quit without telling anyone, considering you don’t do anything that is… until today. What the fuck were you thinking, shooting that lightning into Whihelmish?!”

Chaos smiles. “It was that cur… erm… Gore… Gorement?

She sighs. “Torment, I assume. That would make sense, I’ll buy it, but why did it come out of a portal from nowhere? Only you can do that.”

The High Overlord of Unbelievable Destruction and Bloodshed crosses his arms huffily. “I can’t say I remember. Perhaps I never did it. Perhaps you are simply projecting your own insecurities upon me. I feel insulted.

“Insulted?! My chat stone has been going nuts for the past two hours. People have been reporting you slaughtering random lords and government officials across the verse! Like… what’s his name…” She looks aside in thought. “The damn… lizard dud-”

“Glub?” Chaos asks, surprisingly on call with that one.

She points in confirmation. “Glub! Yeah. You killed Glub! Like what is wrong with you? I’m not saying these losers didn’t have it coming, but you’re getting everyone on my ass right now to go get you, and I don’t really have a reason not to when your tower’s a damn beacon of mana – I can’t really have an excuse. Anyone doing coalescence could find it if they knew where to look. You’ve got like a… a hot tub… tower thing. It’s ridiculous! Tell me just how the hell did Greed…” she slows herself, her brow furrowing with intrigue. “How... did Greed get your coordinates in the first place… and then why would you just rampage around killing… when you don’t even…” Her eyes shift to a burning red. “Him!

Offworld Minion nods to the pissed knightess. “I can confirm that he is the instigator of this entire matter. From what I gathered before I was kidnapped, he had one of his men break into Towerne somehow and steal our main power source, the same we use to power all our concealment enchantments… along with the Hot Tub Tower, of course,” she explains, ending with a short smile.

Order’s face is frozen in dumbfounded fury. “That… bastard. He used me like a tool! He sent everyone and their grandmother here to prey on your minions and loot your estate… this was all his plan the whole time. He wanted me to kill you…” she turns aside again in thought, leaving a curious Offworld Minion to watch aside a vacantly-grinning Chaos, who’s just enjoying the show. “He couldn’t have actually expected me to win, however… he must want Towerne… There must be something he’s looking for.

She crosses her arms, and Chaos briefly wonders if he shouldn’t call for some tea.

“Is all well, my dear?” Chaos asks with a genteel smile. It’s as if she hadn’t just cut down his face.

She shakes her head. “I… we need to go take care of this… I can’t believe that… if it was him this time… how many other times would he have just flung the blame on you? How many murders, massacres, and disasters?!” She looses a long, disgusted hiss. “It’s been long enough. I thought I could coexist with you, but he told me I was wrong… now I see it’s him that’s getting in the way.” Finally, she turns to look directly at him.

“Chaos, you are te-” she stops herself. He’s never lied to anyone as long as she’s known him for all these thousands of years. “N-nevermind. Just tear a portal to Greed.”

“Sir, wait,” Offworld Minion starts, doing her best to do an appropriately human-like gesture and get his attention by grasping his hand.

He looks over to her. “My little star dweller?”

“I have a bad feeling about this, Director. I think Greed is expecting you, and if you’re not able to ambush him, he may kill the ones under his control.”

Chaos hums in thought, but Order simply speaks up.

“We’ll be able to handle that. He wouldn’t dare cross both of us. Open a portal.”

The Dimensional Master gives a slow, reaffirming look to Offworld Minion before swiping his hand through the air.

Nothing happens.

Order gives Chaos a wry glance as he smiles back.

“Practice swing,” he says, winning a short, scoff from her.

With another swing he successfully tears through the fabric of reality, opening the way for the both of them.

“Promise me you’ll be okay,” Offworld Minion adds.

Order steps through first, and Chaos looks behind to address her.

“I will never die so long as I have an example to make,” he says, giving her a quick pat before disappearing into the rift.

She sighs.

“I certainly hope so, Director.”

Order emerges from the cut-out void, a wide, pristine beachscape before her.

She’s already being held up with spell-rifles, among the few credible threats against a knight of her caliber.

Presented clearly is a surprising scene, with her held up by a set of guards with armor she never thought she’d see again, and overlords Greed and Lust speaking to one of their officials.

“The Eternum?” Order mutters, the very moment Chaos arrives.

“And, as promised,”  Greed starts with a gentle wave of the hand, “a weaponless Chaos.”

Unlike usual law enforcement techniques, that would suggest prompt action the moment a target is unarmed, all the tall, semi-astral operatives take their time ensuring the maximum care.

“What the hell is this?!” Order snaps at Greed, who just smiles at her.

“Get on the floor,” the eternae, a minion in service to none other than Overlord Eternity, says with a short point of the rifle.

Chaos laughs. “The only one being worthy of the floor is y-”

Fire!” the eternae shouts to its fellows, opening fire as its levitating plate armor attempts to keep up with the core of its being.

Like a lucid bolt Chaos smashes through the front one, striking the core and scattering its being to the astral plane. Despite his injury, and despite his damage, Chaos performs well in a crowd of the uninitiated, Order thinks. She was only able to guess that single hit, but it was all she could do to think through that much.

In only ten seconds the group of twenty has been reduced to fifteen, and then ten, and then five.

Just when Chaos rears up to finish the fight on his terms, the sound of a pistol hammer clicks from nearby.

He looks over to see Overlord Greed, straight-barreling a magitech pistol against the head of Sock Minion’s little noggin.

“Stop,” Greed says with a superior smile.

Chaos stops, and dodges in-place as one of the guards takes a shot at him.

“What is the meaning of this?” Chaos asks, his gaze growing with a wild fury, his antennae poised up to detect any movement in the air, his heart ablaze with righteous indignation.

“My insurance policy needs to be used, clearly. Did you really think it would be as simple as showing up, killing everyone here, and rescuing your little bastards?”

Hey!” Sock Minion bleats.

“Feeling’s mutual,” Pet Sitting Minion snips in disgust.

Greed leans back with an insulting, breezy confidence, the gun barrel still firmly against the tiny minion’s head. “Now, either I kill him, and however else many I can, or you cooperate.”

Chaos’ gaze is wide, unhinged, and in rapid thought.

“It’s just one of them,” Greed says with a trembling breath, despite how untouchable it appears. “You know, I’m sure you could probably kill me the second after I pulled the trigger, but are you really so sure of your abilities right now? Is it really worth risking?”

Sock Minion’s gaze gains an unexpectedly critical air. “It’s okay. Kill this guy and live for us both,” he says.

“Yeah,” Pet Sitting Minion says. “He’s good to go, send ’em and get the rest of us out of here.”

Chaos looks aside. “I… I cannot do that.”

Greed laughs, in what seems to be a joke that only he finds funny. “Really?… Really?!” he starts mockingly, “I knew it! You’re weak, soft, Chaos. No one needs an ‘overlord’ that cannot even see the forest for the trees! It simply isn’t a good-faith investment on everyone else’s part, you understand… you do understand that, don’t you?” he says, keeping his aim on the minion firm. He’s certain that if he shifts it even a little, Chaos will be provided an opening, and that could mean instant death. Greed continues as one of the eternae pulls out a chat stone and begins talking to someone.

“Look at you. Normally, you could just use magic to make the weapon fail, but now you don’t even remember how to cast it?” Greed challenges smugly. “If you cast something else, or if you were slow, I’d pull the trigger. There’s nothing you can do!” He glances for only a semi-second over to the eternae. “Are you almost ready?”

The eternae captain pulls away from its chat stone. “The other side’s pushing through as fast as it can, should be about a minute, with your barriers” he responds with a vaporous tone.

Everyone can see gentle, glowing lights appear dreary and miraculous around Chaos’ position – a force summon. Normally this would require spell circle and an immense amount of reagents, but the souls of The Eternum are those with the greatest resources in all The Verses.

Greed smiles as he sees the faint starlight of magic appearing around his foe. “I knew you’d come here first, because I didn’t tell you where the Planar Sphere was,” he says, winning a flinch from Order. The Sphere must really be nearby – it would make sense that that’s what Chaos was using for Towerne’s power source. “Your time has come, Chaos. I’m going to ruin you, slaughter everyone you love, and then take a shit on your corpse. All of this was a risk only a suicidal madman would take, but luckily I’m just that kind of guy nowadays. You’ve pushed me too fucking hard, Chaos, and I’m through with it all. I don’t know what they’re going to do with you, but you can rest assured that all your precious little minions will be having a great time being hunted down and shot like animals… anything to say? Cat got your tongue?”

Chaos seethes with anger, and for the first time Greed sees The High Overlord’s face when he legitimately wants someone destroyed, not simply out of moral precedent, but from emotion.

“No?” Greed asks smugly as the coalescing stars near the apex of their light. “Let me give you a little more to complain about, then,” he says, jerking the trigger.

Chaos dives forward, but the hammer never reaches the pistol, as if someone else had cast a halting magic upon the mechanism. As the coalescence locks onto Chaos and the eternae rush to stop him, The High Overlord’s granted a fair 0.2 seconds of free reign over his target. All it takes is one hit to Davinci a light bodied overlord like Greed.

“I’ll be back soon,” Chaos says, hoisted up into the air by some unknown power, his body already phasing out of existence. “Don’t lose faith. The hand of justice will not be stopped-

At that, there’s a flash, and Chaos, alongside the etheriae agents, all disappear.

All that’s left is a group of aghast minions, a barely-alive Greed, and Order, lowering her hand from her caster’s stance.

“You deserve more than that,” she says simply as Greed’s on-call healers, guards, and Overlord Lust rush over from nearby.

Greed cannot speak due to most of his neck and chest missing, but he has just enough breath to sputter out a single bloodied expletive before his healers get to him. The blood is still in his brain, and in the seconds it takes to pour out, help arrives.

The sanamancers make short work of the injuries, flooding his body in a flush of healing light to repair him to his original state.

“A few seconds more and you would have been gone, sir,” the head one says, helping him back up to his feet. All the blood on his suit is now back on into his veins, but the tears are quite permanent.

“Little bitch, that was you that stopped the shot wasn’t i-”

Greed’s silenced by the filling sound of Monument being drawn. By this time Greed is quite privy to Order’s little secret, but it’s clear to him that she’ll burn herself to a crisp to protect the unified kingdoms of her world.

He rears back, not even his security detail moving in.

“Give them to me,” Order commands with a cool tone, devoid of arrogance or irritation: as cold and gentle as endless, fatal ice.

“Give you what, dear?”

“The Planar Sphere and Kingdom Slayer. You’d just misuse power like that.”

Greed shares a short glance to Lust, who steps back with its hands up – no way in hell is it going to try for her, even the two of them wouldn’t stand a chance. After all, there’s only one person in history known to be able to stand toe-to-toe against Chaos, and she’s right in front of them.

Greed reiterates his grip on his pistol, but lowers it. “You’ve made a terrible mistake, young lady.”

Order leans forward – she’s hardly five feet high, but she’s by far the largest presence there. “I don’t care if you tell them. Tell all of them, pull out as much blackmail as you want.” A flicker of emotion passes her like a bolt of solid disgust. “If Chaos isn’t around, there’s no office I need to hold. There’s nothing I have to ‘defend against’, so I’d be happy to cut myself out of the public eye.”

Greed scowls. “Death’s not good enough for you. I’m going to drag your reputation so low through the dirt that Chaos’ll look like a model citizen.”

“…It’s about time,” Order says, arching her blade for another strike.

“Kill her,” Greed says.

The elite troop of assassins only so much as raise their enchanted weaponry before Order cleaves through them. The star-powered blade of Monument arcs through them like light through a window, sharper and hotter than any sword fresh from a king’s smithy. Singed bodies fly through the air like half-blown fireworks in the very same moment she advances to the two overlords.

In the only moment available, Lust tears out a spell slip that costs more than a country and activates it.

A critical forced coalescence crackles through the universe and tears the two overlords out of the realm. The effect is so rough and crude that the dimensional fabric is bent violently from the instant alteration.

Order freezes mid swing and immediately withdraws her sword into her sheath. The sunlight on the beach feels terrible too, but it’s nothing in comparison to Monument’s light.

She shoots a single gaze to the rest of the overlord’s retainers, who are already on their way off in a mad dash to safety. Order steps over to the set of five shocked minions, still attempting to process the scene.

“Did they just…”

“But why didn’t he…” Socks and Equestrian Minions both mutter on top of each other’s words as Order shears their chains with a single wrenching of the hands.

Combat Minion stands up calmly while the others field behind him for safety – with the exception of Pet Sitting Minion, who is ready to embrace death and bloodshed at any time.

“You’re letting us go?” Combat Minion asks with a sleek, distrusting gaze.

Order sighs – she may as well explain herself. “You’re not the ones causing problems this time… I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t for a long time.”

“But what do you gain from it? You could kill us, or throw us in prison.”

Order looks out to the ocean, radiant and empty in this realm’s morning time. “I lost our insurance policy.”

Combat Minion squints with intrigue; he immediately understands now why Order’s been so slow to hunt them all these years.

– To be Continued –

One thought on “Dirty, Rotten Thievery – Part 3

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