Costante and Karizma
Karizma stared down the beast across a dark and leafy field, her green eyes filled with disgust and determination. The centipede reared its head, poisoned claws biting at the air. ‘Ahahahaha!’
it seemed to say, ‘You’re finished, Karizma! Against my poison and my armor, your soft and girlish body is useless! Trash like you should just accept your place at the bottom of the food chain, and be eaten by those greater than yourselves!’
It reared even higher, repeating its earlier cackle while looming an entire five centimeters off the ground.You’re wrong, centipede!
Karizma clenched her fist and set her jaw. There’s a power greater than flesh and blood… The power of the heart! So long as Archer-san believes in me, I’ll never lose!‘Oho?’
The centipede flicked its antennae in amusement. ‘So you would still resist, even now… Then die, insolent mammal!!
Lowering its head, it skittered towards her, shockwaves rippling about its segmented body as it accelerated to its maximum velocity. ‘This is my ultimate attack! Eat the full power of my Centi-Charge!!’
It roared towards her, certain doom on dozens of legs, but Karizma only dug her heels in and stood her ground. With my feelings as my only guide… For the sake of the planet itself!
She raised one foot, her muscles straining to their absolute limit. Angelozzi Secret Technique… Karizma STOMP!!
Her shoe came crashing down and smashed the evil arthropod with a mighty SPLAT.
Two more SPLATs closely followed, as the moment of impact was recaptured twice from different angles. At the end of it all a tiny crater was left in the dirt, the centipede’s corpse lying flattened beneath the exhausted yet victorious mage.I won…
It had been a close thing, but in the end the power of her faith and her bonds with her friends had let her push past her limit. Now that the main threat had been dealt with, she could go and help Archer with his fight!
Without warning, everyone else on the scene would witness a bush instantly triple in side, then triple again, expanding swiftly outward to engulf the entire end of the bridge. At first glance it might have seemed like some sort of explosive plant growth, but even a moment of observation would reveal the trick. The patterns in the leaves repeated over and over: it wasn’t a larger bush but rather the same
bush, a series of overlapping mirror images forming a dense field of cover. The entire process was silent but for a small rustle, the sound of Karizma emerging from her bug-infested den in favor of her new magical concealment. Though the illusions wouldn’t offer much in the way of actual protection, they’d keep her just as well-hidden as the real plant would. Even her magical energy wasn’t easy to pinpoint, so long as she remained within the confines of her own spell.”So we’re fighting, then?"
she sent to Archer. "If she’s going to support him, then it’s only fair that I support you too. Even though I’m still young, my magecraft isn’t weak, you know?”
Her confident grin was practically audible.“Aligning lenses. I’m assuming you don’t want me to kill her?”
Costante sounded a little uncertain, but he’d clearly been keeping up with the situation. High above the town, his reflective crystals broke out of their observation alignment, leaving only the bridge in his field of view as they slowly shifted into a more dangerous formation. Taking out the enemy Master was probably within his capabilities, but he wanted to avoid that kind of business if he could help it… Unless she tries to harm my sister, that is.
Minamoto no Raikou
Raikou kept herself composed, and inclined her head with a pleased look while Akari familiarized herself with the ruse. “The shrine? A place such as that is a likely spot… Let’s go there together, then.”
She smiled briefly down at her Master’s cat as well, though this time it was more out of politeness than genuine affection. The creature’s name had brought forth a pang of jealousy from within her, and she wondered whether the pet had been named after that Onna-Bugeisha
who rose to fame a century or so after Raikou’s own death. To think that Akari might hold such admiration for another woman…
Oh, but it was only a pet. The real Tomoe Gozen was unlikely to appear in this era, and if she did,
then Raikou would show her who the superior warrior was between them. Calming herself, she gently reached down and let the cat rub its furry face against her hand. “Farewell, little Tomoe.”
Then, with that formality done with, she immediately hurried off to join Akari. “Now now dear, slow down! It’s not good for children to be running around after dark… And you wouldn’t want your poor mother to get left behind, would you?”
She fussed and worried all the way out of the house, though as soon as they were in the open her voice quickly quieted down. Enemies might be lurking anywhere, and thus it was important to stay alert and be ready to cut down anyone who came buzzing near her Master.
It was a pleasant enough little stroll to begin with. Even in this modern era, this kind of town was not too unfamiliar, and she passed the time by asking Akari a few innocent questions about her life here. The closer they came to the shrine, however, the more the Oni slayer’s old instincts began to prickle at the back of her mind, warning her that something was afoot. Her hand rested on the hilt of the Doujigiri Yasutsuna,
and she checked again and again that Akari was staying within arm’s reach. “You were right, Master,”
she said, with an irritated frown, “the air here stinks of insects. But do not worry: I will sever them cleanly as soon as they appear.”