Was it a waste of 2.5 chapters to write about Rita?
I didn't like it at all
3.87% 3.87% of votes
I don't think we needed her extensive backstory
17.68% 17.68% of votes
It was OK
33.7% 33.7% of votes
I really enjoyed it
32.04% 32.04% of votes
Stop it, it's you who are crying, not me!
12.71% 12.71% of votes
Total: 181 vote(s)

A note from Omi Nya

By the look of things, a lot of people missed chapter 18/1, going straight to chapter 18/2
Be sure you've seen 18/1. They were posted at the same time.

"No!" Rita's cry echoed inside the gate.

Tomecraft: Calamity Thunderbolt!

Echidna rolled down from the roof, struck by thunder. It was not enough to kill a twice evolved Beast, but it would buy her some time. Rita moved closer to TanYan, who was on his knees and breathed heavily.

"Flames of Gehenna!"

Rita blocked the path with a giant firewall, although it won't stand for long, it would buy her a few seconds.

"Dummy..." TanYan spat out some blood, "why are you screaming?"

Around a dozen spikes stuck out of his body, making him a wannabe hedgehog. He grunted and began to pull them out one by one, while Rita chanted spells:

"Tomecraft: Greater Balm!"

"Tomecraft: Greater Disinfect!"

"Hon, you are worrying too much," he coughed out some more blood, "I'm fine. Your regeneration is helping already."

"Stupid iron can. It's not like I'm worried about you. It's just that the Commander asked me to bring you back!" She turned around, electrocuting few Beasts that got past the wall.

"Yes-yes. Thank you so much for your hospitality." He slowly rose to his feet and picked up his weapons. The wounds on TanYan's body were almost healed by that moment, although his armor was full of holes.

A little over a minute passed, they needed to hold on longer.

The effect of the wall almost ended, and more Beasts rushed into the gate's tunnel.

"Flames of Gehenna!"

Rita saw that TanYan was not completely ready and decided to buy some more time. She also needed more Mana.

"Fountain of Eternal Youth!"

TanYan began to refresh his spells when a pack of fire-resistant beasts broke through.

"Tomecraft: Calamity Chain Lightning!"

Rita was forced to stop her channeling to wipe out the beasts. It was thanks to his years of training and fighting that the first thing TanYan did was to restart his lantern.

Meter sized spiders crawled the walls of the tunnel.

"Tomecraft: Calamity Firebird!" - "Tomecraft: Calamity Firebird!" - "Tomecraft: Calamity Firebird!"

There were a lot of them and, although they were weak, they spat a strong web that could immobilize even a Knight.

"Out of Mana!" Rita backed away and began her channeling.

TanYan gripped his sword and began to throw attacking spells:

"Reality Slash!" - "Reality Slash!"

The hits left huge holes in the tunnel, and they also cleared out all the spiders.

"Maybe we can collapse the tunnel?" He asked Rita after seeing the damage his spells made to the walls.

"And what's next? They'll crawl around or break through anyway, but we'd lose our only choke point." Rita was not amused by his bright idea, as usual.

Instinctively TanYan covered himself with the shield, and a moment later it violently shook from a heavy impact. Few spikes dropped to the ground smashed from the contact with his shield.

"Rita, we need to take it down, cover me!" He quickly moved the shield to his back and took the sword with both hands. Rita stood in front of him and chanted her spells:

"Tomecraft: Calamity Wave of Force!"

"Tomecraft: Calamity Fire Rain!"

When the closest Beasts were pushed back, and the rest distracted and halted by the Fire Rain, she dropped her book on the floor again and used another unique spell:

"Tower of Flesh!"

The bodies of the Beasts glowed blue and were pulled to Rita's position. They quickly assembled into a giant pile of meat and bones, covering Rita and TanYan from the attacks. As the bodies belonged to the Wavespawn, they were sturdy and durable. They were quickly chomped by the Echidna's attack, as twice evolved beast out of lantern's reach was an enormous threat, but there were more corpses around to replace the damaged ones.

"Low on Mana!" Rita shouted as the Tower ate away her Mana pool.

"Almost done!"

TanYan's sword glowed with red, and the color rose in intensity with each passing second. After a few more seconds he was finally ready to add the last part of the spell:

"Shooting Star: Alpha!"

The first red circle appeared at the tip of the sword. The moment Rite heard that she dropped the Tower and went behind TanYan to replenish her Mana.

"Shooting Star: Omega!"

The second circle appeared in front of the first one, even bigger and brighter.

"Shooting Star!"

A red beam shot out of the sword and pierced the Echidna. It fell down to the ground with a huge round hole in its body. The power of this spell was unrivaled, but it took a lot of time and Mana to prepare it.

As TanYan tried to retrieve his shield, a Beast jumped on him and bit his leg. He discarded the idea about his shield and gripped the sword with both hands, cutting the Beast. His Mana was low, so he couldn't use any spells and resorted to cutting and slashing.

As the first Beast was done for, another Wavespawn sunk its teeth into his shoulder to spill more Noble blood.

"Tomecraft: Calamity Chain Lightning!"

"Tomecraft: Calamity Wave of Force!"

"Tomecraft: Greater Balm!"

"Tomecraft: Greater Disinfect!"

"Shillen Elder!"

Rita's barrage of spells cleared the closest pack of Beasts and quickly tended to TanYan's needs before she went to replenish his Mana.

"That's my girl!" He cheered up and took out his shield, then refreshed few of his spells.

The shield was important not only as his own cover but as another defensive wall to protect the lantern he gripped in the same hand. His lantern was small but potent, tailored and adjusted to his style of combat.

"Rita, you can take a breath now, I'll hold for-"

As he was finishing his phrase, a huge beam of lava shot out of the Hellhound’s maw. Hellhound was a twice evolved Wavespawn, and it stood outside of the lantern's range, so its full-powered attack instantly melted TanYan's shield, lantern, and his left arm. He fell to the ground and tried to cover his wound as his scream echoed inside the tunnel.

"Ice Maiden!"

An icy cage appeared around the Hellhound, and numerous frozen spikes impaled the Beast. It was not yet dead but was damaged enough to leave the battle for some time. Other Beasts rushed into the gate.

"Tomecraft: Calamity Wave of Force!"

"Tomecraft: Calamity Fire Rain!"

"Flames of Gehenna!"

"Lord of Vermillion!"

The beasts were pushed back, and the entrance to the tunnel was now covered with the Fire Wall. On top of that lightning struck the same spot twice a second.

While Rita ran to TanYan, she also downed two Mana potions as her own Mana pool was now depleted.

"Stay still! I'll patch you up!" She blurted out with a trembling voice.

"I knew... you were worried... about me, Ri." TanYan muttered in a low voice. His breathing was frequent and very short. "I'm sorry... I..."

"Don't talk!" Rita opened her tome and pointed at TanYan:

"Tomecraft: Restoration!"

A green circle appeared around his left side and spawned dozens of bandages.

"I'll take it from here. You sleep." She said and wanted to stand up, but TanYan grabbed her hand and said:

"I love you, Ri..."

"I love you too, brave idiot." As his hand fell to the ground, Rita stood up.

The first Beast managed to overcome her deathtrap of fire and lightning and rushed towards her. She pushed it and everyone behind it with another Wave of Force before channeling her Mana restoration spell.

She already had her Mana pool back by the time they returned. Rita pondered for a moment an idea to just keep pushing them again and again, but decided against it. The Wave of Force doesn't kill. Instead, it simply pushes away. The Beasts would pile up if she stopped killing them, and the moment she makes any mistake would be her last. So she chose an aggressive approach.

Every four or five spells she pushed them back with another Wave of Force to recover some Mana back. She also downed her last two Mana potions.

Another batch of Wavespawn was pushed back when a spider fell on her from the ceiling. It sunk its fangs into her left shoulder and Rita collapsed to the ground under its weight.

"Avatar of Fire!"

Her body was instantly set on fire, burning the spider. It was one of her last-resort defense tricks, for it burned both enemies and friends alike, including herself. She bit her charred lip to not to scream, the remnants of her burnt clothes fell down.

Next thing that happened was both lucky and unlucky for her. She saw a Hellhound took aim at her, prepared to spit out another beam of lava.

"Avatar of Water!"

The spell covered her body with a thick layer of water that would partially protect her from fire attacks. The good part about this situation was that aside from protection, Avatar of Water also provided restorative effects, the more Mana used, the better these effects were.

"Simon's Ice Fortress!"

She surrounded herself with Ice Walls and began to channel Mana. A moment later she heard a roar, and the frontal wall began to melt. When the Hellhound was out of breath, the wall gave out. Some of the lava made it inside the Fortress and burned Rita's hands, although her Avatar lessened the impact greatly. She also was lucky that her book was still on the ground.

As the wall melted away, few Beasts jumped at her. One of them bit her leg, another tried to push her down with its weight, but her back hit the wall of the Fortress, and she managed to stay on her feet.

"Avatar of Fire!"

Her mostly healed skin and barely regrown hair burned out again as she screamed in pain.

"Lesser Balm!"

She had no time to pick up her tome, for the Beasts were there again, so she used what she could from her non-Tomecraft arsenal.

"Gore Festival!"

It was the spell she hated the most. It was a variation of her Tower of Flesh, but more gruesome and taxing. Dead bodies of the Beasts around her glowed blue and flew towards her. They piled around her, creating a cocoon of flesh. With a sickening sound the bones of their bodies turned into spikes and protruded outwards, creating a spiked mound around Rita. As a finishing touch of the spell, this dreadful mound began to spin around Rita, creating a well-defended slaughterhouse.

She hated her own invention, it sickened her, but it was so effective that she couldn't forgo its usage. Howling and wailing filled the tunnel as the Wavespawn kept rushing her to be slaughtered by the spikes.

While the spell was tremendously effective, it had two flaws. The first was its Mana cost, as its support ate away her Mana pool at a concerning rate. She also couldn't replenish her Mana as the spell required all her four Mana layers to channel it.

The second flaw was even scarier. The bodies of the Beast, while sturdy and durable, were not eternal and unbreakable. Unlike her Tower of Flesh spell, she could not replenish broken parts with new bodies because all her four Mana layers were occupied with the channeling of the spell itself.

It was her last line of defense that could only buy her some time. But it was the dead end. She couldn't cast. She also covered TanYan with this spell, which made her immobile.

Cracks and gaps began to appear here and there in her Gore Festival. Someone's fang broke through and slashed her naked belly before disappearing in a whirlwind of spikes and bones. A spider's leg grazed her cheek from above before meeting the same fate.

Another part of her defense melted away under an acid splash. More gaps appeared all over the place, and more fangs, teeth, paws, claws, and horns struck her.

It was like Rita was in a small cage, surrounded by a horde of hungry lions. They reached in with their paws, they slashed and grabbed, pulled everything they could touch.

She was all bruised, bleeding heavily, and on top of that, her body hadn't been healed after the Avatar of Fire, so she was also scorched and burnt. Her Mana pool was almost empty, too.

Her already feeble defense began to crumble apart. She was horrified.

She was not scared of death, for she already died once.

It was unfair, she studied so hard, she practiced so much, and it was still not enough. Inability to find the right answer to the problem scared her.

She was afraid of her powerlessness.

She was scared of her own shortcomings.

"Ultrasonic Arrow!"

"Intimidating Roar!"

"Greater Chain Lightning!"

Rita was woken up from her stupor by the sudden rush of magic. She saw people rushing to her side.

"Rita! They are almost ready! C'mon, run!" The warrior with a two-handed axe stood in front of her, protecting from the Wavespawn.

She looked at him, confused. The last three minutes were so intense that she forgot why she was here in the first place.

Somebody's hands pulled her up, and now she was standing on her feet again.

"We need to leave, now!" A girl said to her in a tense voice.

"Wait! Take TanYan, too!" Rita almost yelled, remembering what was most important to her.

The warrior turned around after smashing another Beast:

"Where is he?"

"Right here, I was healing his-" As Rita looked down, she saw an empty, bare stone, only splashes of blood and the sword. "No! He was here just a moment ago! I'm sure he is somewhere here under the Beasts!"

The warrior held her shoulders while both magician and archer were pushing back the Wavespawn:

"Rita, he is not here. I can feel the life force, and it's only the four of us."

"No! I'm sure he is somewhere here! He is hurt!" She tried to run, but the warrior held her tight. "Let me go! Let me!"

"Rita, we are leaving. We are out of time." He said in a distressed tone.

She tried to kick him in the knee to run away.

"I'm not leaving him! I can't lose him, too!" She screamed with all her strength.

"Sorry, Rita, I am so sorry..." The warrior said before punching her in the gut. She bent forward from immense pain, and he grabbed her naked, bloodied and charred body and ran to the harbor.

A note from Omi Nya

This concludes Rita's story. I hope it was a worthwhile departure from the main storyline, and you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you for reading.
I will try to briefly mention a few things I decided to cut down from this part (or they just begged to be explained):

1. Rita is strong. She has lots of unique spells crafted by her. But she uses her tome anyway because it gives her a variety of spells, and also access to a calamity tier magic. It also takes a lot of time and effort to progress them from a lesser- to a greater- and calamity- tier.

2. A strength of different tiers of spells:
Lesser tier - a gunshot.
Major tier - a grenade.
Greater tier - RPG/tank shot
Calamity tier - heavy rocket missile
Although, effects vary from spell to spell, and they also usually well concentrated for better effectiveness. I.e., firebird spell that Rita used to kill spiders, it is more about the heat and potency to burn through resistance, than it is about the rough scale of the explosion.

3. Why wasn't Rita so cool when she fought the wolf with Orisa? Because she left the Military nine years ago and never fought again.

Now, to a spell section (not all spells will be listed here, of course):
Infinite Regeneration - constantly heals wounds (without disinfecting them). Lasts around two minutes, for a healing spell, it is an insanely long time, thus the name.
Empower - unique to the vas Kavenfenn bloodline spell that empowers any following spell. At its peak (depending on the user's power) it doubles the effects.
Living Legend - self-buff that increases all owner's stats, the more powerful the owner, the bigger is the increase. Main focus of the spell, however, is Vitality/Toughness/Stamina. It greatly helped TanYan survives the spikes.
Dueling Ground - area spell that automatically taunts the Wavespawn to attack the user.
Balm - painkiller spell.
Shillen Elder - an improved, Sealcasting variant of the common Mana transfer spell. Normal Mana transfer is tremendously ineffective, it loses around 80% of the Mana transferred. Rita managed to lower this number to a measly 10-20%.

About the author

Omi Nya

Bio: Game designer with 8 years of a working experience. I enjoy Isekai stories, sarcasm and happy endings.

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