The Bull of Heaven, Ishtar Ddraig's single most powerful and destructive Alpha-spell. This beast of near unmatched destructive power was mixture of every magical beast that she had contracted into a animus contract, her amour and it's weapons and every near ounce of her own Mana reservoirs to create a mountain sized amalgamation of living, breathing power.
Looking at it from the ground up Joan Ddraig could only feel awe and fear at the beast that seemed to have flesh of iron, it breathed out strong gusts of winds and it's decent from the clouds shook everything like an earthquake.
The person who the beast had been summoned to destroy didn't at all seem impressed or even slightly intimidated at the sight of the towering monster.
She simply appeared unimpressed " An interesting beast child, but if you're parents couldn't manage to beat me just now, then how will your parlor trick manage to accomplish that?".
This felt wrong to Joan, the beast that Ishtar had called forth was so immensely powerful that the very idea that someone would call it a parlor trick meant that they were either insane, extremely stupid or extremely powerful and the implications of the third option weren't looking good.
"Not even the best paladin would easily scoff at it " she thought.
Ishtar was laying on the ground barely showing any consciousness from the strain of having to provide the magical energy fueling the very existence of the bull of heaven that toward before them, it's very presence creating storm clouds that blanketed the entire capital.
"Maybe... m... may... maybe you... w... you would like... a... a... a... dem... demonstration" Ishtar who was sweating, panting and barely able to remain consciousness from every once of her magical energy being drained to the last drop, challenged with full defiance.
Before the woman could answer the bull began to make a sound that shook the entire city while it's two building sized eyes focused down upon them. Glowing like brightly like raging infernos.
"I shall murder your beast and then when i am done..." the woman began to say but her words were cut short as the bull and her vanished as if they were an illusion that had been cast to the wind.
"What just happened?" Joan asked looking around in confusion before she reached her sister and picked her up from the ground.
"The bull, i ordered it to teleport themselves outside of city as far as it could" Ishtar's words might have not been slurred anymore but her appearance was getting worse and worse like a woman strike by an illness that was a second away from ending her life.
"Good, such a fight would probably kill us just by being close and i need to get you to safety" Joan was glad that she didn't have witness the Titanic clash as she picked Ishtar up and acted as a support to help her sister stand.
"You don't need to. i can still fight" Ishtar was now drenched in sweat and her eyes could barely remain open, clearly the price of supporting the bull was truly higher than Joan had ever assumed.
"Oh, don't give me that!" she didn't mean to snap at her sister but the last thing she needed was for her sister to die out of a foolish sense of bravado "you can barely stand and that thing is draining you drier than a desert. I am going to get you to the healing room now so please relax and enjoy the ride".
"T... th... the healing room?" Ishtar asked before taking a moment to puke on the side unleashing a muck of unrecognisable half digested foods that Joan did not wish to see.
"Gross, gross, gross, gross, gross, gross," Joan whispered as she looked away while she dragged her sister out of the throne room as fast as possible so that she wouldn't have to see that sight any longer and lose control of her stomach "What was i saying... if you want to help, the healing chamber is filled to the brim with magical energy, you channel it through you, into your bull and give that old hag hell".
"That sounds like fun" Ishtar managed to give her sister a weak smile right before she fell into a fit of dry coughing.
"Glad you agree" Joan smiled as she slowly helped her sister through the rest of the palace that was shielded by hundreds of warding and many military men and women all bearing powerful weapons that would tear through even a Paladin.
"Your majesty" one of the soldier's called to her as she soon found herself swarmed hundreds with hundreds of questions.
She was continuously asked " Are you well, were are the King and Queen?".
"Disperse, i need to get my sister to the healing room immediately" she ordered them and they parted a way for her.
Joan had always had a way with leading or taking the lead with people. She had inherited her parents aura and most people where inclined to listen to her if she got into one of her fiery speeches.
"We have multiple wounded in throne room, have them removed and taken to healing rooms, now!" she ordered the troops with that fire in her voice.
"Of course princess, but you two at least need some guards with you" a knight suggested a bit nervously.
Joan would have argued had some one she knew well not stepped from the crowd. It was Siegfried and though his armour was chipped away in places he didn't have so much as a single scratch upon him, though Joan didn't know why she surprised by this.
"I shall aid in her assistance with two other knights I picked up on the way here" his steely eyes and deep voice moved the crowd into action.
"I see you've been in hell" she smiled a bit happy to see him still alive and functioning through this.
"I have had more close calls than you can imagine" Siegfried relaxed a little before turning his attention to Ishtar who was now looking like she was at death boors " I can't believe she used the damn bull, doesn't she remember how dangerous it is for her".
"Where are your other two or are you lying and you just wanted two cute girls all to yourself?" she gave a playful wink and watched as Siegfried melted into a stuttering mess.
"Don't worry i was just teasing you" she said as she playfully punched him in the shoulder and she would have started laughing had Ishtar's pained groans not returned her to matter at hand " We need to get her to the healing chamber now".
"Then let me call the help" Siegfried motion for the people he chose to come over but when they got into her eye view you could hear a pin drop.
The first was Thor StormCloud her brothers friend, she had never interacted with the man so she didn't have much of an opinion on him though by the way he carried himself, she could tell that he was a warrior.
The second person was someone she hated with such a passion that her hair turned to white hot flames from the thinly veiled venom coursing through her, Pyrrha Ulster or Troy or whatever the hell she wanted to call herself Joan didn't care. The elf stood besides Siegfried with her eyes to the floor to avoid facing Joan.
"What are you doing here?" the anger in her voice wasn't hidden, not that she bothered to " Siegfried, please tell me your joking".
"Joan please" he pleaded with her " We need to work with each other if we are to be victorious and these people brought powerful warriors with them who could match you're parents and many other's are no joke's... I know that you don't like Troy but she is a good knight to have by our side".
Joan took deep breaths to stop herself from letting Ishtar go and attacking the woman who had tormented her twin brother as a child " Fine, but don't talk to me, don't look at me and don't try to even touch me. My brother might be tolerant to your foul presences but i sure as hell won't be".
She didn't bother to look the elf in her eyes as she turned and carefully moved her sister through the corridor that had thankfully been spared from damage meaning she wouldn't have to spend time trying to avoid falling debris from the roof.
She could feel Pyrrha's presence behind her and it honest to Deus irritated her like sleeping with a wet blanket which had actually happened once. Joan had a temper that she could admit to herself even though she didn't think it was as overblown as everyone made it. She truly hated very few things and Pyrrha was on the top of the list of those things.
Joan and Christian were as close as twins would be in their childhood, so her friends were his friends and his friends were her friends. This meant that she become a sort of trio with Pyrrha and her shy brother and life was good, she viewed Pyrrha almost like another sister until after her mother's dark aspects attack.
Pyrrha become hostile to them and Joan had thought it was best for them to keep their space though this mainly because she was always in the hospital with Christian awaiting his recovery.
She never saw Pyrrha until the day at kingsorder academy for knights where she found her... no... their best friend verbally abusing Christian before a giant crowd of people who also contributed to making fun of her brother, the next thing that followed was a brawl that ended in broken ribs and cut lips for the parties involved and a long rivalry at kingsorder that had every sparing match between the two turn into violent brawl that needed the entire classes to break up.
She shook her head out of those thoughts as she approached a large metal door that was leaking large quantities of magical energy and she could feel it's electric touch washing over her skin in waves. As she approached it the large door automatically swung open as if sensing her and leading to a pink coloured room that was completely empty with only a pool at the centre that was filled with a green liquid that shimmered and shined with the occasional electric current running across it.
The liquid was pure concentrated mana that would speed up the healing process of a person if they were completely submerged within it.
She slowly and softly placed her sister into the liquid that returned her breathing to normal and colour to her pale flesh as she absorbed the mana into her body to replace the one being drained out of her by the Bull of Heaven. Even though Ishtar was completely submerged within the mana she had no fear of drowning as the mana.
"She's fine" Joan finally sat down and rested finally feeling her own strain and fatigue catching up with her.
"Joan?" Siegfried called her from outside the room where he stood guard with that woman though it most likely Pyrrha remained out there to avoid being alone with her.
"What?" she was exhausted and she wasn't feeling like getting up right now.
"We have guests" he answered " A rather unwanted guest might i add".
She just sighed getting off with a heavy sigh from her pained joints as her armour began to weigh on her for the first time " I swear when i am done, this person will have to be cleaned off the floor with a spatula".
She felt the touch of her flames and the warm sensation of the divine energy within her morph within her right hand to create a blade. Unlike many others, Joan had managed to prove herself worth of the touch of the divine, she had no need of weapons of blue steel as her divine blades could cut through even than that most difficult metal.
She walked out to the gate where she found Siegfried, Thor and Pyrrha in battle stances with weapons drawn as they faced down one figure.
The figure was a male fae. He was a tall built spaceman, standing at seven feet in height he was truly intimidating with his red full body armour that had scorpions engraved into it while a giant scorpion like tail waved back and forth behind him. The only thing that gave away his identity as a fae was his helmet, it was open in the facial area exposing his face for all to see.
"My dear Avalonian's, you have my greetings" he spoke as he bowed either genuinely respectful or mockingly " I must truly apologies for these rather unfortunate events. But it appears that we must face each other as foes upon this day and only one can walk away".
They could only look at the strange fellow in confusion. Joan could see Siegfried scratching his head as tried and failed to get a reading on the man.
" Who are you and what do you want!?" Joan demanded from him.
"Oh, forgive me on standing on ceremony here" he bowed once more" My name or rather my title is Scorpio and it appears that we are in great need of your sisters to aid in achieving a great peace so what choose you my lady, shall you join the effort for world peace".
A long silence followed as Joan digested the words of the man before she reached a better answer....
" I choose to send you to an early grave" with this declaration Joan erupted into a large pillar of flames.
Thousands of kilometers away from capital, at the the very age of the imperial lands a sight to truly behold was unfolding. Where they had been a large forest areas dotted with rivers lakes and mountain ranges was a barren hell scape dotted with nothing but scorched earth, newly formed lakes of molten rock and mountain sized craters all dug into the earth creating a truly hellish landscape that looked more akin to an alien world.
Such carnage was born at the hands of two beings so powerful they would be viewed as divine by some if they ever had the privilege of beholding their power without being consumed by it.
The woman stood in the a crater that once was a mountain, now lost after the Bull tried to destroy the her. The woman remained barely scratched with only the crater she stood in as sign that she had taken the full brunt of the bulls power.
The Bull looked straight at her it's eyes glaring her down with intent to utterly destroy her as commanded by its mistress.
"I am honestly and genuinely impressed child" the woman stated looked at the Bull as the very tapestry of reality around her began to distort and reshape into ten swords of varying size and design.
The Bull was connected to it's mistress Ishtar mentally who was now in partial control of it. It could feel a fresh and great flow of magical energy that Ishtar was directing to it from the healing chamber.
The woman made a flicking gesture with her hand and one of the swords which was the size of a skyscraper took off at the beast and it collided into the Bulls hide with enough force to push back the mountain sized titan by six thousand meters.
The sword had only managed to cut past the thick iron hide and slightly irritate the flesh within, but it failed to cause the bull harm.
The bull roared as from its mouth a beam of multi coloured energy shot forth. This energy mixture of all the power of her animus, her weapons and herself into a contraindicated power she had nicknamed the divine rampage.
The divine rampage was shot at the woman who raised her hand and a tranquil flow of water erupted from above her head flowing down to create a dome of water around her acting like a shield or bubble. The divine rampage hit with the force of a thousands hydrogen bombs at once but the woman's defence proved itself superior as it kept her untouched as as everything for hundreds of kilometres was rendered but ash and reality around her was bent and cracked by the shear magnitude of the bulls power.
This total destruction was both the effect of the destructive energy contained within the divine rampage and its reality erasing properties that made other large areas of land vanish from existence as if they were never ever there.
The shield dome soon dispersed onto the hot blackened earth leaving the woman exposed as she ascended into the air as if she had wings. She levitated higher and higher until she could look the bull in the eyes or one of its eyes to be more specific.
"You are truly a remarkable creation" she seemed impressed for the first time " And for your creator i can tell that legacy of the throne runs deep within you girl".
"So i shall grant you an image of my true strength as sign of my respect, Swords of Albion" the woman snapped her fingers and hundreds upon hundreds of blades rained from nothingness in the sky.
They descended like lightning bolts and struck both the earth and the Bull before they exploded into omnidirectional waves of energy that matched the Divine rampage in both destructive power and the it's effects on reality.
The Bull and Ishtar screamed in pain via their connection as the metal shell, the Bulls first defense was torn off it by the exploding swords that burnt it's flesh.
The Bull fled from the sword rain while the arrows of Agni flew from the its mouth and collided with many swords knocking them out of their intended path as well as the Bulls horns now morphed to resemble red great swords that it swung with its head into the air the horns/swords born from Eckesach cut a line through space above the Bull drawing many blades that would have hit it into the void before it escaped the deadly shower to safety.
Ishtar felt a deep feeling of relief as another one of her animus ability to regenerate began to regrow the patches of destroyed flesh.
"You have some tricks" the woman snapped her fingers as other swords materialised behind her and shot forward like artillery weapons " But i am most interested in ending this little game of ours".
"She is using both water magic and metal magic on account of those sword's. That's impossible, she isn't a Fae, she can't have two elemental magics".
The bull roared and from it's mouth another divine rampage shot forth and devoured the swords.
The woman grabbed a sword ftom the many levitating around her and it instantly morphed into a fiery red blade with lightning bolts running across it, the woman raised it into the air as she declared "Replolca-o-bob-cleddyf-knightly!".
Finished she threw the blade within the direction that the Bull and try as both it and it's master could to use the divine rampage it was overwhelmed by the power this woman had. Ishtar felt pain for one second as the spell and sword struck, but then she felt nothing as the bull was destroyed.
"A valiant effort, such a pity that she never stood a cha.." the woman stopped speaking and her eyes became wide as if she could feel something "light... so strong and powerful... how?".
That was the last thing Ishtar heard and saw as her consciousness returned to her body at the capital.
The quality of warriors Zodiac could produce was something Joan had looked down upon, after all she had fought and easily brutalized Ajax who showed skill no better than a newly graduated Aeris knight before she beat him black and blue.
So it would come as no surprise that she expected this Scorpio to fall rather easily if not easier than Ajax as she had three allies with her... she was wrong.
The man proved himself strong enough, fast enough and competent enough to hold off the four of them simultaneously.
"It's time's like this that i wish divine visions wasn't just an on and off again thing" she thought in annoyance as she jumped left avoiding Scorpio's lightning fast tail. The tail in question tore apart the concrete floor that it struck.
An electric sound crackled throughout the room as six large orange lightning bolts flew towards Scorpio who had moved out of the way long before they struck.
"Don't think that you can hit me with that, boy" Scorpio was looking at Thor who had sent the lightning against him " Your lighting bolts might be faster than me, but i can easily see you aim"
Thor's power in lightning elemental magic was impressive in Joan's opinion. Not in it's skill control because Joan had seen better but rather it's raw power that was proved by the lightning instantly turning the concrete it struck into a molten sludge.
With speeds that would appear instantaneous to even those who could surpass sound, Scorpio raced towards Thor.
Joan grabbed morphed her divine blade into a seven foot long spear. With a great deep breath she threw forward her spear whilst her eyes followed Scorpio like a hawk as the spear escaped from her hand a flew towards Scorpio.
The spear was close to touching Scorpio by an inch, but that never happened as the large fae with rather insane speeds, coordination and to put it in better words lack of joints twisted his body upwards in an unnatural angle, completely dodging the spear that should had been driven into his exposed face.
"How!?" Joan demanded never having seen such disturbing agility before.
She could feel her knuckles getting hotter and hotter as she felt mana running through her system as she called her elemental affinity of fire.
With a punching gesture a torrent of flames shot forward from her right fist. It instantly began increasing the temperature in the room as concrete was melted or blasted open by her flames that were racing towards Scorpio.
This unfortunately failed as a twister of ice and snow shot from Scorpios tail neutralising the flames upon impact.
"Oh... a flame user. This is interesting, facing a person who holds the opposite to my elemental affinity should prove most entertaining my lady" Scorpio said having stopped his charge towards Thor.
He was going to attack her had Siegfried not jumped in with Balmung swinging for flesh and blood. And watching the cold blooded display grew her fear and respect of this man.
Siegfried the invulnerable knight had failed to get close and land a meaningful blow against the scorpion warrior who kept knocking him away and away with his tail, not harming Siegfried of course but stopping Balmung from from ever getting close enough to cut Scorpio in half.
Pyrrha joined in on the assault and as much as she hated the woman, Joan had to admit that she was just as if not more skilled than herself. But even she had failed to drive her spear through his skull.
Thor's lightning crackled through the air once more as it struck Scorpio though all that accomplished was temporarily stunning Scorpio who proved his endurance by quickly recovering in time to knock Siegfried back.
She jumped into the fray with a new divine sword formed in hand and she aimed it for Scorpio but like with the others he proved too fast and his tail gave him too much reach.
Joan could feel her heart thundering and her anger growing as she raced forward to intercept Scorpio's tail as fast as she possibly could. She knew how important it was to his fighting and without it he could be beaten.
Scorpio noticed and made it seem like he wanted to retreated. Joan fell for the trick and as fast as she had lowered her guard to pursue him, he struck with blinding speed. She wasn't fast enough to dodge but thankfully Siegfried was as he jumped in front of Scorpios tails and though the pincer struck his throat it bounced off.
"Truly impressive, truly marvelous" the Zodiac jumped backwards by to avoid Siegfried closing the distance between them and attacking.
"Your Alpha-spell is something truly impressive. I have never seen anything like it" Scorpio eyed Siegfried with great interest.
Joan had taken to morphing her sword into a spear. She would have better luck with a range weapon against him.
"Your ability my boy, you wouldn't happen to tell me what it is?" Scorpio's genuine interest reminded Joan of a child.
"Why should i explain my power to my enemy?" Siegfried asked whilst his hands tightened around Balmung "What kind of fool do you take me for Scorpio".
"He is about to attack?" Joan saw it and she also readied herself for the dash to Scorpio.
"Come now, your no fun" Scorpios eyes darted along their little formation "I wonder what's taking the lady so long?".
The lady, did he mean the woman who was currently being trounced by the Bull of Heaven or at least that's what Joan was hoping was currently happening.
"What lady?" she demanded as her holy spear got brighter from more of the divine energy she pumped within it.
"Oh, i've said too much" his answer was so dragged out and over dramatic that Joan rolled her eyes at the shear ham within it "But then again it's not like you Avalonian savages could understand what is truly going on".
"Excuse me" Jeanne could feel her frustration and fatigue feed the flames of anger that both metaphorically and literally rolled over her body as Scorpio uncharacteristically began insulting them.
"Such a temper" Scorpios smile grew as he noticed that his words had struck a nerve in her.
"Enough" she was close to using her most powerful offensive Alpha-spell vieux-marché to completely obliterate the scorpion knight.
But she couldn't, such a attack would risk injuring her allies and even Ishtar who was still in no shape to defend herself from such a powerful attack.
"You know this reminds me of what Juno said about your brother. Is it true that he squeals like a pi... ".
A spear flew by Scorpio's cheek managing to cut the exposed section of his face and knock his helmet off as his cheek was coloured in blood.
"Don't you dare make a mockery of his name!" Pyrrha's voice echoed across the room as the elvish spear woman charged Scorpio with nothing but a dagger as her spear was embedded into a wall behind him.
"She is angry, Why does she care about this?".
Joan was dumbfounded by Pyrrha's zealous rage that dwarfed even her own in its uncontrolled outburst.
She watched the elf slide past Scorpios tail before she grabbed her spear that had been embedded in the wall behind him and threw it again at Scorpio who jumped away to avoid it but was met with Thor's hammer to the face and knocking him to the floor.
But that wasn't enough for Scorpio rose back up again as quickly as he crushed into the ground. Joan wasn't going to grant him this reprieve and so she charged forward.
Her sword now filled to the brim with holy fire clashed with Scorpios tail in a battle for supremacy. The sword proved itself grater and knocked away Scorpios tail that was partially melted.
"You dog, that hurt!" the enraged fae roared in pain and for the first time his calm and collected demeanor was shattered.
Joan wondering if that tail was connected to him in a biological sense seeing how his face twisted in pain, that was a spine shivering thought.
She didn't have long to think about it as Siegfried tackled Scorpio to the ground so hard that the floor cracked beneath them.
Siegfried was once again pushed away by Scorpio who left himself open for attack from her. Soon her blade was hammering away at Scorpios armour with wild swings that caved in whatever parts of his armor she it.
Scorpio slammed what was left of his tail into her gut nearly ripping through her armour though all that happened was that she was knocked flat onto her back with the wind knocked out of her.
Scorpio received no reprieve as a bombardment of lightning from Thor struck his body with enough intensity to fill the room with a orange bright light and the loud sound of electrons surging. The bolts succeeded in burying Scorpio into the concrete floor from the shear kinetic force generated.
Scorpio was once again rising up although a little dazed this time. but Joan wouldn't allow him to regain his advantage.
She dug into her deep magical reservoirs calling forth all she had left into her Alpha-spell....
The air around Scorpio hazed as white flaming ropes materialised from thin air and bound Scorpios arms and feet, effectively immobilising him.
Scorpios struggling against the ropes was stopped via a rather brutal boot to the face courtesy of Pyrrha who looked like a beast incensed as her boot was coated in blue fae blood after she stomped him the face once more.
The force of the blow knocked Scorpio flat upon his back groaning in pain whilst Joan moved in with her sword drawn and ready to do what had to be done.
She raised her blade high in the air with the intent to behead him when the roof caved in and left the skies exposed as that woman descended.
"Your beast served as an interesting challenge girl. Now surrender your sister so we maybe on our way".
"You people!" Joan was trembling in rage as fire enveloped her very being once more as the thought of what these people cost her began to pile up and like an overloaded dam it burst open " You took my brother and now you want to take my sister!".
She rushed forward her mind having lost all reason except to slay the root of her problems before her.
Her sword swing was meant to sever the woman's head as she intended to do with Scorpio.
She failed as she was flung back by a force so powerful it cracked four of her ribs from the impact regardless of her armour. She landed on the ground coughing out a lot of blood while her head spun and the world was filled with black dots.
"Joan!" she heard Siegfried call but it was all a blur from the ground, she saw him, Thor and Pyrrha stood valiantly between her and the woman.
She watched the woman knock them all aside like children with a simple swiping gesture while she casually strolled towards her " A truly valiant effort girl, bravo, you have fire in you just like your mother and father once had so long ago ".
"My lady" Scorpio looked at her with such admiration and worship it sickened Joan.
" A lot of our troops are captured or dead, we should just take her... i know that the oldest is the most efficient for the ritual to work but we are currently surrounded and we might lose them all".
"Very well... come on girl" the woman seemed reluctant but she leaned forward and grabbed Joan by the back of her neck and hoisted her into the air as if she was a doll "Rejoice you are going to become a king".
Joan struggled fruitlessly against the woman's grip as the floor beneath them became a black oily liquid. The woman began to sink into it very slowly.
" That's a gateway through the realm of darkness " Joan felt her heart tighten as she tried even harder to break free of the grip but nothing was achieved as her strength proved itself worthless against the woman.
"My lady, what's wrong?" Scorpio asked noticing both her and the woman's sudden fascination with the skies.
Joan on the other hand had the biggest smile on her face as she watched the large battle ship flying straight downwards at aimed for the woman who looked shocked at the driver visible from the air, it was Ishtar and she was screaming like a lunatic.
"That's my sister you...".
The carrier collided with them and Joan felt herself being dragged into the portal with the carrier following through while the woman still held on to her.
"Nimue!" a voice enraged and thundering called from the portals internal void " You let my daughter go now!".
She felt the grip loosen as she watched her mother who was like a golden ghost, she grab the woman and tore her off Joan before they both vanished into the darkness of the portal leaving Joan to loss all consciousness with last image burned into her mind was the ship Ishtar had driven into them descending into the darkness with some bodies around her.
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I am a 21 year old law school student at the National Institute of Public Administration. My dream is to one day publish my story phantom ddriag and hopefully get a show made from it.
I also have a youtube account that hundels web fiction content, here is the link https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCFz-mHywXBJnLF8uyofcLAw/videos