Jayar watched them run off, not only surprised at Lily's energetic revival, but amused by Rasmus' inability to keep up. "Those two are really strange," he remarked cheerfully to Brick. "But they're good kids, I think. Certainly not connected to them anyway."
He sighed and lay back, thinking sour thoughts. It wasn't his fault, they had no right! He hadn't really done anything wrong, that guy had just been a sour, humorless grape.
Shaking his head, he made himself relax. Oh well, he was safe and free here. They'd be idiots if they followed him into Infinite anyway, he could sic Brick on them. The other players might not be so thrilled, but he was happy here,. He was safe in a pretty cool world. He was...free.
No more cells. Just open skies...and freedom.
"Well, here's something fallen from the path."
He glanced over towards the voice, then started. Perhaps one of the strangest people he'd seen yet crouched nearby, surveying him appraisingly. His dark skin was covered in black splotches, red vein-like things running through them. This man looked quite sick. Then his head tilted so that his bangs uncovered his eye, and Jayar gasped. The eye was one of the most messed-up things he;d seen yet.
"Who the heck are you?" he demanded, sitting bolt upright.
"Cautious one, this one is," the stranger said, completely ignoring the question. He frowned. "Might be difficult, this one..." Then he perked up. "Or maybe very easy, this one?"
What was this guy's problem? "Well, excuse me," Jayar said, rising quickly. "I gotta place to go to so I don't have time to-"
"I riddle!" the stranger suddenly declared, grinning widely in such a way that his face looked almost demonic. Jayar shuddered. "Answer the riddle before you go! What is tall and white and red all over?"
That was a contradiction, wasn't it? How could something be white and red all over? "I have no clue," he sighed. "What's the answer?"
The odd man's grin widened, and he started skipping around in a circle. Losing patience, Jayar said, "Are you going to tell me or not?"
The stranger smirked, then suddenly lunged forward, his clawed hand raised to strike. Jayar dodged back but couldn't avoid the attack entirely, taking a deep gouge in his shoulder. He cried out, face scrunched up in pain, as the man dug his claws even deeper in. Blood gushed out through his fingers, staining the white jacket.
"The answer is you!" the stranger said in a mad half-laugh. Jayar stared at him in horror; a player-killer, that was what he was facing now. Shouting, Jayar broke away, yanking his whip out.
"Brick, get him!" he shouted, struggling to pull a healing drought from his bag. Brick lunged at the man, who neatly leaped over the tiger creature. Jayar backed away quickly, fumbling for the stopper. Brick leapt onto the stranger's back, bringing him down, and started trying to tear him apart. The stranger responded by lunging straight up, clawing directly through Brick's stomach.
"Cripes," Jayar whispered, staring as the stranger climbed out the bloody hole he made. Quickly drinking the potion, he readied himself. "This guy is really good..."
The stranger wasted no time, instantly lunging at Jayar. Jayar already had another animal out, a bird-like creature that dove at the stranger's face. Jayar attacked while the bird went for the man's eyes. Grinning, the stranger raised a black-coated hand and clamped it around the bird's head. The bird made a muffled screech and struggled, beating him with its wings and raking his arm with its claws. The man merely grinned through it, leading Jayar to question his sanity. Then he noticed something.
The black from the hand was spreading, from his hand to the bird's head, and down its body. The bird's strikes were frantic, frenzied; it was clearly panicked. So was Jayar, who watched with horror as it seemed almost to...disintegrate before his eyes. The black shrouded it, and it broke down into nothing, till the stranger held nothing, at all. Suddenly feeling sick, Jayar backed away. "You- you've the virus!" he gasped, remembering that little piece of information he'd heard somewhere.
The stranger smirked, his ruined eye rolling strangely in his head. He rushed Jayar again, who backed away as he frantically struck at the man. He grabbed the end of the whip which coiled around his wrist. Jayar instantly released it, turning to run, only to be knocked to the ground.
"Clumsy clumsy," the stranger said, sitting on him. "Super clumsy. Stupid Stupid...Now you die."
Jayar gasped as the man's claws tore at him. Planting his hands on the ground, he pushed himself up, which was hard; he wasn't that heavy, but he was awkwardly placed. Grunting with exertion, he rolled over, knocking the stranger off and rolling away. Scrambling to his feet, he staggered back as the stranger tried to rise, then paused. Jayar stared, then realized he was somehow stuck, his foot caught in a gopher hole or something. He grinned, then whirled around to run.
He stopped dead, gasping, as he ran into the curved blade of a scythe. Another guy, this one with purple hair and dark clothes, watched him collapse, choking.
"That didn't go well."
"Ah, young master! Stupid gophers..." the stranger struggled to get his foot free.
The second one shook his head, then pulled the blade free and, swinging it around a couple times, struck the ground with the butt of the staff. This knocked some of the dirt loose, and the virus one pulled his foot free. "Many thanks, young master," he said fawningly, grinning.
"Just finish it. Your games make me sick." The scythe vanished, and the second man turned away. "You're lucky I came along. You know what He'd do if you messed up again."
"Aww young master is cruel but correct."
Jayar had already slipped into the realm where one does not feel pain. When his essence was taken from him, he didn't even notice. Until...the pain began again, in earnest.
His screams vanished into the nether...