In front of the gas planet soared the albatross. Its yellow-black eyes latched on the girl on the ground, trying to bring her friend back to life. Full of greed and sacrifice. A desire to protect, to converse, to exchange for miracles. The albatross smiled.
Ragna pressed against her friend’s chest, and Altera rasped.
It can’t be…
Ragna turned around. Her eyes widened. She smiled and cried, and laughter escaped her lips.
Altera started to cough and flung up herself up. She gasped for air. Water and puke hurled down from her mouth and stained her dress. Immediately she turned around, crouched, and vomited. She emptied her stomach and lungs, and brown liquid mixed with water, food, and blood fell on the ice.
Once she couldn’t throw up anymore, Altera sat down, and Ragna rushed to her. She threw her arms around Altera and clung her to her chest. Water and vomit pressed against her. Blood and tears soaked her face. Cuts burned on her skin, sour stenches poked her eyes, her arms wished to fall apart, and her muscles had become numb. Exhaustion nagged at her consciousness, but Ragna didn’t care. At that moment, she would never let Altera go from her.
A crash erupted nearby, and Eric staggered to them. Heavy breaths accompanied his steps, but he had made it out of his prison alive. When Eric reached them, a smile hushed over his face. He dropped on his knees and hugged the two as well.
Half an hour had passed. The Mana in the atmosphere didn't heal their wounds, but it allowed the three to reclaim parts of their stamina.
The ground tremored, and all three turned around. Mimir’s body had risen from the opening Altera had created when she had crashed through the ice. The mask hovered above the neck, and a third pair of arms had grown out of his back.
Ragna glanced at Altera. “Can you fight?”
“I don’t think I can fly or run. My body still hurts, but I can use my runes.”
“Stay on stand-bye and give us support.”
Mimir threw his arms against the ice. The ground trembled again, and cracks started to build on the surface.
“We gotta do something.” Blood expanded from Eric’s body. “If he continues, we will fall into the water and drown.”
Ragna smiled. “I think I got an idea.”
At her feet appeared an ice sphere. With each second that passed, a new layer latched into it, and the ball grew until it had reached the size of a boulder.
“Eric, use your blood.”
What do you…? Oh…” Eric smirked. “Roger.”
He increased the amount of blood that had expanded from his body and coiled it around the boulder. Eric encircled the construct multiple times, lifted it into the sky, and catapulted it against Mimir.
“I think…I think I can help.” Altera widened her arms. A sphere appeared in front of her as well and grew to a boulder. She activated the Fehu rune and threw the construct at Mimir as well.
The mask looked at the boulder, and the giant stopped its punches. He lifted his arms, and as he caught the projectiles with his palms, he wrapped his fingers around them. They spun in his hands, but Mimir stopped their momentum. And like a pitcher, he moved his arms and threw the boulders back at them.
In an instant, Ragna had dissolved her sphere. It disappeared, and Altera activated the Fehu rune anew. Her ice construct stopped for a second and spun around before she threw it back at Mimir. He caught the boulder again and threw it at Altera when a shadow covered him. The mask looked to the side. If he had the ability, he would raise his eyes.
A tsunami was towering over the giant and about to submerge him. His body, he positioned against the wave. Mimir held up his arms to a cross and let the masses fall over him. He didn't flinch as he withstood the onslaught.
Out of the water rose the mask and the body when an ice boulder crashed into Mimir. It splintered, and cracks drew above the "face's" surface.
“How can we get rid of that damn mask?” Ragna looked at Altera. “Without your wings, we’re pretty much screwed.”
“There’s a way, but I need some distraction to buy time.” Eric scratched his temple. “Course, that’s easier said than done. That thing’s frickin huge. We would need a giant on our own.”
Altera smiled. “I think…” She coughed. “I can solve that….problem…Just execute…your plan…and I’ll give you time.”
“Okeydokey.” Eric aimed his gun’s muzzle at the giant and fired. The bullet flew across the ice, expanding into a net. Mimir’s mask glowed, and the light shot through Eric’s construct. Most of the blood evaporated. The remains that survived the attack scattered, and their droplets landed all over the battlefield. Some hit the frozen lake, others Mimir’s mask or his arms.
Mimir threw another punch against the ground when a force blocked the attack and prevented it from connecting. The mask looked down. An ice construct parried his punch with its arm. The creature Altera had created with her ice resembled a humanoid being and reached Mimir’s height.
“How amusing. You wish to stop a fire with another fire? Very well. Have at you and let us engage in this act of simplistic brute force.”
The frozen golem threw a punch itself, and Mimir blocked with his two left arms, pushing him several steps back from the force of the attack.
“For a life of artificial origin without a mind, I have to compliment your strength.”
Mimir countered with his third left arm. His fist crashed into the golem and punched a hole through its face. He followed with his right hook, penetrating his opponent’s abdomen. In the golem's center, the azure sky became visible. New ice started to grow from the holes and regenerated the construct.
And the golem boxed against Mimir’s chest. Mimir would counter; the construct would block. It would attack; Mimir would parry. The two giants would exchange blow after blow. Even after Mimir decided to charge his beams, the golem would regenerate. And the construct would be unable to damage Mimir’s body.
“I believe this is enough.”
Mimir attacked with his lower fists. The ice construct formed his arm into a cross position and blocked the attack. At the same time, Mimir's upper arms grabbed those of the golem and forced them apart. He trapped them in his hold and, with the remaining limbs, started to punch. Mimir’s attack became a barrage of comets that mashed into his opponent. Beat by beat, the ice cracked, and his fist punctured through it until he had reduced it to a mass of ice unable to move, and powder spewed in the atmosphere like a mist.