As the sun began to rise over the Geth region, the floating palace in the sky moved. The people below couldn’t be sure exactly where it was going, only that it was not simply vanishing as it did before. Some watched in awe, while others simply tried to follow, wanting to see what was happening themselves.
Those who followed were naturally those confident that they could survive these harsh woods where the enemies of the world had taken residence, namely those heroic troops most fit for battle. For hours, they ran or flew to chase the citadel, until finally it stopped above the horizon. Just as they began to wonder what was happening, massive lines of light began to trace themselves out below the base off the citadel itself. And then… the world was bathed in a flash of light.
Deafening roars resounding from the landscape, as if the earth itself had cried out in pain. Soon, those on the ground were able to feel the tremors caused by the blast, while those in the air found themselves blown about by a powerful wind. Beast scattered in all directions from the blast, but this… this was only the beginning.
Beneath the citadel, a wound had been carved into the ground, a circular crater a kilometer wide. Anything that had been there previously had simply been erased. Just past the edge of the crater were several beasts frozen in fear, black liquid dripping off their bodies. Some appeared to be wolves, others birds, but some… some looked like people. Felyn, lycan, ursa, and kitsune with darkened skins, their eyes pitch black.
“You should be running~.” A voice suddenly spoke from behind them, and the creatures slowly turned to see a small black-haired person standing behind them, a kitsune wielding a large scythe accompanying her. “Though, it’s too late now.” The smaller figure said as she stretched out her hands. “I am the core of my oath.”
Golden light stretched out from her body, encompassing the area as the various tainted creatures tried to flee. This golden light surrounded them, and they soon found that the sky had turned to stone. Their entire world had shifted, each entity being isolated within a dimly lit room. “Now…” The voice spoke out again. “You all just wait your turn.”
Far away on the other side of the crater, a more chaotic battle was taking place. Three figures fought against the creatures who had been out of the range of the blast, while nearly a dozen more formed a perimeter to ensure that none could escape.
These three figures were an elf, and two humans, one male and the other female. The elf stood at the center of the battle, one hand holding a golden book towards the sky as she chanted. “Krol’hyn naemari! Boleer, hark! Boleer, maj sesharin fin, kris nectra!”
However, at the same time, a whisper erupted from the surroundings, as if being spoken by each and every tainted creature at once. “Lor kral farst.” Just as the runes began to take shape around the elf’s body, they were just as quickly shattered, causing her a brief moment of shock.
Thankfully, the chant seemed to have no effect on the diagram being released above her head. Pillars of crackling lightning shot out, arcing and striking several beasts, before splitting and attacking many more in a chain of thunderous blasts.
The human female closed her eyes briefly, gathering her strength. When she opened them, one eye had turned pitch black, with the other being a milky white. Slowly, she lifted a delicate hand, held within was an ornately crafted pen. Where the pen pointed, monsters simply collapsed, their bodies melting.
Soon, she began writing within the air, every brush of the pen leaving a bubbling black line. As it was written, so it came to pass, a dome of black energy rising up from the ground just beyond the perimeter established by the other figures. “None shall escape.” She said softly, bringing her hands close to her chest. “Thousand lights above a burning field, twist and erupt, six suns mark the heavens.”
More black energy leaked out from her pen, pouring out in a line as they took shape between her hands. The darkness created by the dome’s appearance vanished away as a burning ball of flame appeared within her hand. “Shatter the heavens to burn away all sin.” With the woman’s final chant, the ball of flame within her hand broke apart, scattering to become hundreds of sparks that floated through the air like fireflies.
These sparks seemed to simply allow the wind to carry them, each one landing on a different creature. When they did, that creature erupted into a pillar of white light, unearthly screams echoing through the forest. Others tried to run, finding themselves face to face with even more adversaries before they even reached the wall.
Alright, Leowynn, now it’s our turn. I thought inwardly, standing guard near Irena and Kirishna as they released their attacks. For this part of the plan, my role had been to simply defend the two of them, ensuring that the monsters couldn’t charge forward.
However, it seemed like that role was entirely unneeded. Although it was unexpected, the creatures had all frozen in place when Kirishna called out her runic spell, as if they were unable to move while they countered it. I know that she said it was common for Keepers to have defenses against this, but even these guys!?
Honestly, I was more concerned about the fact that I was unable to understand the words that the monsters had spoken. If they were a runic language, it was definitely a different one than what I had purchased.
As I thought about that, I felt Leowynn’s spirit filling my body. Manifest the Sky of the Lion!
With her chant, the black dome that Irena had created suddenly seemed to gain dots of light throughout it, making it feel more like a night’s sky. Next, my fists became wrapped in flame, and I charged out and into the hordes of monsters.
The initial blast from the citadel had been focused on their most concentrated point, so we only had to deal with the stragglers now. Even so, I did not want to take any chances. Leowynn pushed more and more energy into the flames, turning them from orange to blue, and then a blinding white. Whenever I struck one of the tainted creatures, their bodies hissed at the contact, melting away.
It was only now that I was able to realize the true form of my enemy. And it wasn’t something that I had even properly considered until now. The smallest, most inconspicuous things had turned into the most dangerous opponents. Slimes.
That’s right, each of these creatures was truly a slime, mimicking the form of something that they had consumed. That’s why they were able to adapt so easily, because they could study the energy fluctuations of attacks, and were intelligent enough to alter their own makeup to develop an immunity. As for their weakness to magic? That was likely simply a matter of magic being too complex for them to properly analyze.
Either way, these slimes were melted away every time my hands struck out at them, never losing their shape until they had sustained critical damage. I dove into them, one group after another, leaving a pungent mass of quivering goo after a few quick swipes of my hands. Soon, they began to avoid me, backing away from one another to not allow me to target groups.
Others seemed to get another idea, turning to face the now unguarded girls still releasing their attacks on the surroundings. They had left this side for me to deal with, meaning that neither Irena’s flames nor Kirishna’s lightning touched the area around me. And this gave those monsters the chance to attack them.
Stretching out my hands, I switched from one constellation to another. The flames attached to my hands lashed out, flying through the air as if they were giant serpents. Each one seemed to have a mind of its own, targeting various enemies and consuming them as they passed, but never letting anything close to the two girls.
In the distance, I could hear the clashes between the other incarnations and the creatures which had fled to escape from the encirclement, but I did not have the attention to spare for them. Just from looking at the few I had seen in battle, I knew that the incarnations would be powerful enough to handle themselves.
As the battle raged on, it was only a matter of time before the number of slime-creatures dwindled more and more, the battlefield shrinking until the outcome became clear. Only after I was able to confirm that there were no more enemies within the dome did Irena get rid of it, and we were able to see the other dome in the distance, an equally massive one made of stone glowing with a faint golden light.
Aurivy’s dungeon, if I had to guess… I thought to myself, before extending my world sight to take a look. I had left her and Tsubaki alone to cover the other side of the crater, as Aurivy’s dungeon creation ability made her far better at controlling the battlefield than any of the rest of us, though it caused her attack power to lag behind.
Sure enough, I saw hundreds of isolated stone rooms within the stone dome. Some appeared empty, while others had monsters clawing at the walls in an attempt to escape. In one, I saw Tsubaki exterminating a lone monster with ease, before a path opened up to an adjacent room.
The only downside was Aurivy herself, trapped within the center of the dungeon. I could see her health bar above her head, gradually shrinking as she fueled her domain with her own life force. At this rate, she would be killing herself long before Tsubaki finished cleaning up the individual rooms.
I checked my own energy reserves, before nodding my head and rushing over. Since rune magic doesn’t work… “Kirishna, the book!” I called back towards the elven incarnation, who blinked in surprise. Moments, later, she seemed to understand, holding the book up once again. It flew from her grasp, soaring through the air and into my hand.
Let me see, how does this work again… I had gotten a brief introduction to everyone’s divine relic and knight’s blades before the battle so that I could assign them to different posts. If I recalled, the book functioned by injecting mana into it, and focusing on the spell components I wanted.
It only took me less than a minute to arrive outside the dome, before I amplified my voice with my ki. “Aurivy, drop it!”
After saying that, I held the book facing forward, and focused. “I am the one who stands above the heavens. My word is the law of the universe. Monsters of another world, creatures from beyond the veil, shatter and fall, crumple to dust. The spears of twisted space call for black blood.”
Behind my back, I saw the illumination from a large spell diagram, one I had no doubt reached the third tier. And just as the stone walls of Aurivy’s dungeon vanished into golden light, the illumination from behind me turned black. Lines of darkness trailed out of the spell, targeting the various remaining monsters within the dome. Whenever one was struck, it would be sucked into the line, its body warping and shrinking until it vanished entirely.
Such a large and powerful spell naturally came with an equally absurd cost, and I felt Leowynn immediately shift away from the Sky of the Lion in order to manifest the Temple constellation. Like this, she was able to reinforce my ability to cast magic, ensuring that my reserves held out until they were no longer needed.
Of course, Tsubaki did not remain idle during this time, dancing between the lines of darkness to kill any monsters that she could. Briefly, a corner of her skirt seemed to touch a line, and I was afraid that she might get drawn in. However, she simply caused that part of his skirt to shatter, the fragmented energy being pulled into the darkness while she continued to slaughter her way through.
By the time the monsters that Aurivy had trapped were all slain by the two of us, I was left panting for breath. My energy was all but exhausted, and I knew that I would need to have a proper rest before I could battle again. However, something happened to make all the tension within my body fade away, such that I actually fainted on the spot.
Looks like that was the last of them. A voice spoke directly into my mind, the voice of Terra.