Nine Paths Of Asura Chapter 22

22 Survive
Lineir staring straight up into the horrifying ring of teeth actually didn't even try to escape. In fact he actually dodged back into the center of the shadow in the split second before the mouth crashed into the ground. As the dust settled, the False Water Serpent raised its head in a smug fashion jaws clamped tightly together. It began to slither its upper body back into the water, but soon began to writhe in annoyance! Anyone watching would be utterly confused as to what it was doing, it looked like it was shaking its head in frustration!

Shua Shua Shua

Lineir's bone scythes were out and he flailed around with them continuously in the mouth, random sporadic bursts of alternating darkness or lightning emitted on the edges, cutting into the tissue or shocking it. When the teeth had come down, Lineir had actually jumped up into the mouth to avoid being chomped! Inside, he had stabbed his sword into the side of the mouth, and had begun to violently slash around while holding onto the flat of the blade with his knees to avoid falling into the throat of the beast. With every strike, handfuls of caustic hot blood would gush out into his face stinging his eyes and he was pretty much drowning in noxious saliva. But he refused to die!

"I will not be made a meal, I am the survivor, I am the hunter, I am the consumer!" So saying, his bone scythes looking like fanged claws reaped great havoc on the inside of the mouth. However, this was just a trivial inconvenience to such a large beast. Indeed, while its mouth was relatively weak in terms of defenses, even Lineir's heaviest darkness imbued slashes barely left a half foot deep cut, to say nothing of the lightning sparks which didn't even make it feel a tingle. But Lineir would not quit. He was sick of being someone else's lunch.

"Kiddo, while I admire your spirit, there's no hope in cutting up the mouth, once it enters the water, you will drown regardless of whether or not it can swallow you!" Mei was despondent. She had rather grown accustomed to Lineir, and could be said to genuinely consider him as her one and only disciple. To lose him so soon before he could spread his wings and claws and ascend to the sky was too cruel. Simple mistakes in life could cause such great problems.

As if to emphasize how hopeless the situation was, the saliva in the water increased and Lineir was swung about to the point where he thought his head would explode and he would be flung off his sword into the dark belly of the beast. Still, he madly swung, one arm after the other slashing anything he could reach. He was now covered in red blood, baptized in fiery acidic spittle. Soon after, Mei's prediction came true and the mouth began to flood with water as the serpent entered the river. The water level rose slowly, the False Serpent didn't want to open its jaws completely, lest Lineir escape through its teeth. It made Lineir's escape simply impossible.

The water began to almost reach Lineir, and covered in so much slippery liquid, his knees could hold on no more and he slid off the sword towards the gullet of the beast. With superb reflexes, he grabbed the handle of the sword, still incomparably sharp and embedded into the mouth, and hung on for dear life. Taking one hand off, he viciously continued to slash, causing the False Water Serpent no small toothache. Furious, it began to roll as it swam, and the water inside its mouth swirled around buffeting Lineir's bruised and burned body. This did not deter Lineir, even as Mei cried,

"I'm sorry, I'll make sure to stop your heart and not let you die in agony to the acid in the belly."

The sword, actually slid out of the side of the mouth on one of those stomach turning rolls, and was awash with Lineir in the mouth. A great suction arose from the back, but he never gave up. Powerfully, he furiously managed to half swim, half kick his way to another section of the mouth, closer to the dark aperture of the throat, stabbed the sword in again, and began sawing away again, this fresh section yielding more and more blood. At this point, the water inside the mouth had turned a vile red.

The False Water Serpent at this point was simply astonished. Never before had anything ever had the tenacity to survive for this long in its mouth. Between beast and man, both of which the False Water Serpent had consumed countless amounts of, it had never known such stubbornness and tenacity and sheer willpower for survival as it found in this small youth today! However, the wounds it suffered, while painful, were barely scratches to it, and it decided to finally end this affair.

First it dove deep down to the river bed. Then it powerfully swam up using meter after meter of coiled muscle, opening its mouth on the ascent and allowing water to flood in at an insane rate to knock Lineir into its throat. There was absolutely no hope of escape. The serpent burst into the sky with its jaws wide open, leaping high up in a curving spiral, a spectacular sight in between the sandy shores, a rising serpent framed behind a glaring midday sun, and then snapped its jaws shut and swallowed.

Instantly as the False Water Serpent had ascended, Lineir was scoured clean off the walls of its throat. However, his tenacity was such, that he actually held onto the sword as it was yanked from the flesh and he tumbled around wildly in the mouth filled with whirling water. Around and around he went, and he sighed to himself and Mei,

"Perhaps my path really does end here...there is nothing more I can do to resist." So saying, he stopped struggling futilely to right himself and sank down as the water, which was actually soothing his burned skin, was flushed down. The mouth and throat rippled in one giant gulp. Into the dark opening of the throat Lineir was shuttled and he sighed,

"Don't stop my heart Mei, even if I beg for it as I am consumed. Even if I can survive for one more moment, that is my path." Then he was gone, the sword still clutched tightly in his hands.
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