Siofon is about to lose her mind upon hearing the Demon Princess's words. Nobody dares to move, not even myself backwards for Suzuki and I are seeing the insanity being portrayed on Siofon's host's face.
"K...k...kill you...someday?", Siofon stutters, her right hand holding her forehead. She gives out the loudest maniacal laughter I've ever heard so far. Then, she questions her; her voice indicating her sanity has slipped out of her mind completely.
"So you're just one of those rare powerful demons with a death wish huh!?? No... YOU'RE A SUICIDAL MANIAC!! THAT'S FOR SURE! TO THINK YOU WOULD BETRAY YOUR OWN KIND..."
"You're really a hypocrite, Siofon," the monotonic Demon Princess replies. In the end, you're a weak and useless General. If Elise was able to resist and defy your control, you would've been killed easily by her."
"Why you! Fine! You ask for it! Behold my full power!"
Siofon then grabs something from the right pocket of her skirt. A big, shiny blue marble. What surprises me is that she puts that marble in between her teeth, breaking it with ease. Now what terrifies me is that her Ice Magic is suddenly activated at full blast. When I mean full blast, the snow storm, flowing around her host's body, seems to be the heaviest pressure I've felt so far. This snow storm is way worse than the one along my journey to the Demon Lord's castle.
"ABSOLUTE ZERO TEMPEST!" Siofon cries out her attack formation's name maniacally.
We witness Siofon's power upgrade in the form of dark blue smoke from that crushed marble. It surrounds her host's body, the girl's skin, arms, legs and face become the color of ice and snow. All the wind gust has made the girl's school uniform mostly tattered at the shoulder parts. As of her appearance now, Siofon's host really looks like an Ice Demon ready to attack at maximum power.
"Ne...Nelly! That girl's body is starting..."
"...to crack. Yeah, Sensei. That marble seems to contain too much Dark Aura. It might destroy this temporary dimension."
I give a surprised look. I'm so anxious that I haven't realized I've walked forward until I'm right next to Demon Princess here.
"Wha-what?! If that's the case, I've to...ouch!"
"You're still badly hurt, Plank. Leave this to me. Speaking of hurt, Sensei, it's best you leave."
"Willow, whisk her away."
The next thing I notice is Suzuki's silvery note begins to glow bright. It then grows so big to engulf...no. In fact, it's wrapping around Suzuki until it completely vanishes with her inside of it.
"Wha...what was that?" I ask Purple Lady. I sound more concerned about Suzuki than our current position. "In fact, did you call it 'Will..."
"Ha! How stupid of you to not escape with that ponytail lady!!" Siofon exclaims, her tone resonating her confidence in killing us.
"So doing a murder-suicide attack is the smartest thing you can come up with, Siofon?", the Demon Princess asks sarcastically.
"So what if I am!? I'm a Spectre! Regardless of the pain I'm feeling now, I'll still survive from this icy storm. Hey! At least I'm doing this girl a grand favor of ending her life! Did you know she hates her father doing misdeeds behind her back? To think she resents him and yet she can't hate him completely...this is what I love pathetic humans having conflicted emotions!! Because of that aspect, Elise was able to be my greatest work I can ever..."
In spite of the snowstorm's blustery, I hear a sudden loud slash. It's the Demon Princess using my sword in a flash. Somehow that sound has made Siofon's icy blue eyes become dim. I watch her looking shocked as she stares at her host's left arm. Though it's still intact, something tells me that it's NOT A PHYSICAL CUT she has received from the purple woman beside me.
"Plank, activate your Fire Magic as a 'warm-up function' right now," she whispers to me. Oddly enough, I obey her command to do it because I feel it's necessary. Looking at Siofon at this moment tells me so for she's about to explode with rage; and to express that, the snowstorm around her is at its maximum power.
"Hold on tight, Plank!"
The Demon Princess grabs my waist with her left hand. Before I can ask her "What the heck you're doing?!" question, I hear Siofon screaming...
"DON'T GET COCKY, YOU BRAT!!!!!!"
The next moment I feel like I'm on a high-speed travel through space and time. And after that swift moment, we've landed on regular ground of grass and soil. It can't be...
I manage to push the Purple Lady's hand, getting it off from my waist. I quickly turn around to see the girl's body's condition. I've a bad feeling that she has cut her into many parts… Huh? Her body isn't cut at all…
"Hey, woman. I thought I've heard at least three slashes from my sword…"
"Oh. You're able to hear those? No wonder Siofon wanted to eat you alive."
"Nelly! Francis! What happened?"
I turn to the front to see Suzuki coming out of an invisible void. I assume that the silvery note acts like a gate to another dimension just like Purple Lady's mechanized mirror.
"Is that girl alright? I mean, if her body is unconscious, then Siofon…"
Then, we hear someone screaming while grumbling in a childish high-pitched voice.
"Ah...AH!!!! Why did this happen?!!"
All of us see a tiny, bluish ghost who looks around the same size as the Demon Princess's ghost helper Willow. Its hands and legs and stomach are separated from its body. We walk several steps forward towards the ghost until we're able to get a clear close-up of its ghostly face looking familiar; it really has similar features with Willow's.
"You brat!!", the ghost replies in agony. "How dare...you...cut me like this!!"
Cut...wait a minute...
"Wha...Woman, is this Siofon?" I ask while glancing at the side of the Demon Princess' stoic look.
"Yes. Her true form looks more pathetic than I would've imagined, Plank. Anyways, Siofon, any last words you wanna say before you disappear completely?"
"Last words? Ha! As if I'm pathetic enough to say my last words to brats like you!! I swear someday, my family...no. First, my comrades will come and destroy every one of you and this fake world you're in once we rule Branshire!!!"
"Fake world, huh? As for Branshire, your leader won't be doing anything stupid to make her move on any villagers living there."
"Wha...what the heck you're sayin…"
"Those last words of yours sound dignified. No hypocrisy in it. Well then. Willow, you may have her."
Then, a swirly small-sized shape appears in front of us. A tiny black ghost with a silver outline and white-dotted eyes...wait! It's Willow. To think I never expect to see her again in this otherworld…
"What? Haha... you're using that wimpy ghost to kill me…" Siofon says with hesitation being heard in her squeaky voice.
"Oh. No, Willow won't kill you. She'll convert you into great energy that'll be useful for future precautions."
"Convert… what are you saying, Purple…"
"Willow is a Soul Converter; a rare soul being able to purify any spirit, engulfed in Dark Aura, inside her stomach. Spectres are quite rare. Now that you're here, she'll be able to not eat any spirit for one...no. At least five years' worth of energy."
"N-n-no...wait a moment…" Siofon stutters, her icy blue eyes showing her desperate fear to us. The three of us witness Siofon getting sucked by Willow's sudden big mouth and teeth. It happens so fast that I don't think I was able to feel any satisfaction of seeing Siofon being gone for good.
"Is...she...gone?" says a young girl's voice.
All of us turn around to see Elise being able to talk to us. Her being alive is the first thing that has made me run towards her first; Her real face looks like any innocent maiden I might encounter in my world. From my own point of view, I can see her long, slightly curly hazel hair and emerald eyes. I also see her Eis-Golem's body form glowing skyish. Purple Lady and Suzuki quickly get themselves beside her. I then kneel to her left side, clasping her left hand that seems to be losing heat.
"Elise, you're alive," I say these words calmly. "I'll take you to a nearby…"
"Mister Hero, it's okay," Elise replies. "I'm ready to disappear."
I know I must be making a shocked face in front of her as she shows me her smile looking like she's at peace for good.
"Don't say that, Elise," I exclaim, my voice trembling a bit with the sound of fear of losing her. "Don't you want to see your family once more? Your brother...Hugh."
"Ah...so you did see him in my mind, Mister Hero."
"Not exactly. I couldn't see his face behind that door…just heard you calling his name. Elise, we must get you healed…"
"That can't happen, Plank. The Limbus Core has done so much physical damage on her body. Fortunately, my blood is able to purify your soul on time, Elise."
"Hey, Purple Lady," I growl my words as I stand up facing her right in the face. "Now's not the time to say ridiculous stuff! Use your ghost to heal!...Or maybe make contact with her family…"
"No!," exclaims Elise who almost made a panicked look at me. "Please don't...I don't want my family to know...t-t-that...I killed...people…I felt horrible flashbacks of my icy hands squashing them till their blood covered…"
Elise breaks down in tears. I realise my stupidity of demanding communication with her family. Before I can say anything calming, the Demon Princess has something in her right hand. I wonder where my sword is, but I finally spot it being laid down on the ground. Willow is glowing brighter than the last time I saw her. Her tiny hands hover above my sword, but right now, my full attention is on Purple Lady's item being placed in Elise's glowing right blockish hand.
"This is…", Elise mutters, her voice indicating her confusion on the received item in her hand. I see a metallic gray flower, its six-circled centre being gold-colored.
"Hugh just made it the day before I've left Branshire," the Demon Princess explains with a soothing voice I've ever hear from a being like her.
"This flower...an Edelweiss…"
"Yes, Elise. It's your favourite flower. Your birthday gift from him. This hairpin was all he could afford with a few Gold Barts he earned at the shoemaking shop."
"Really...," Elise answers back, her tears still flowing down and yet she smiles genuinely. She says "Thank you" a few times just when her body suddenly glows in a bluish-white light.
"Elise," says the Demon Princess. "I'll tell your little brother that you died helping us to defeat the seventh Demon General. But, if he insists on knowing the truth, I'll tell him I killed you. Is that okay? Since you don't want him to know what you've done…"
Though her suggestion of what kind of truth she should tell sounds unreasonable to me, and yet I see Elise nodding her head a few times. Her tears are still flowing. Elise then faces me, tilting her head to her right side. The blue light is glowing brighter around her. I still manage to make eye contact with her.
"Mister Hero, if you can, tell Hugh and Mom and Ella that I did what I could to find myself a cure."
"A cure...wait," I mutter. "Does that mean the reason you ran away in the first place…"
"Yes. I was finding another doctor, maybe one who's outside of my hometown. I thought it was the only way for me to survive for the sake of my family.
Unfortunately, I got caught back then...the rest of the story... you've seen it, right, Mister Hero?"
I see her body, starting with their feet, slowly scattering and flying away in the forms of glowing leaves.
"Elise! You can't…"
"Can you tell them I've always thought about them until my last breath? And that I died with no regrets, Mister Hero? Though my only regret is not saying goodbye…"
Her face finally is scattering away, her final teardrop managed to be seen by the three of us. Alas, Elise has moved on, her soul literally being scattered in this otherworld she wasn't from.
Something has changed inside of me. I don't know whether it's either my heart or my mind or both of them. One thing I know is that I wasn't able to save an innocent girl from an impending death.
- Richie Kim
Bio: A simple person living a simple life but dreams of getting her first story be known to the world even if that story seems frivolous and ridiculous sometimes. I'm also a little enthusiastic related to most anime series but as long as character development and reasonable story pacing is properly told. Hence one of the main reasons my first story is an isekai genre.