Well Valerie's idea to break the spear worked somewhat, but unfortunately it only hindered herself. With her opponent managing to predict her moves, and the nullification field hinderung her electric magic, she truely felt overwhelemed. So she ended up using the arm blade with the spear piece stuck in it as a shield, but it could only do so much when Reaver managed to stab through her armor.
The condition of the area caught the mech's eye. They were running out of time.
Then she remembered her fight with Sirkkeli. But they were running out of time, and
she didn't have the mana for another lightning sword. Maybe she could break the shield?? "Ugh, this is stupid..."
The android sighed internally. She bashed her arm blade against Reaver's shield in attempt to get some distance, and with a distorted voice she called out,P̵a̷r̴l̷e̷y̴!̴
Hopefully he knew pirate jargon.
Reaver, for the most part stood silent, as he eyed the battlefield condition. Things were crumbling as they spoke, and it was at the most exciting he had been in a while. Justine had unfortunately exploded into lightning, but well, it was on her own. He had been dragged here against his will, and it had soured his temper.
Who he was kidding, this awesome battlefield was proving to be a most dull affair. Reaver looked at the fighter.
She did not look the shrewd sort of person, and the choice of words amused him somewhat. His reaction was to rein in his monstrous transformation, his face growing a disgusting ghoul-like flesh to give him a proper voice, not the disturbing wail he produced earlier.
"Be quick." He said, still keeping his guard up. "Huh. That worked."
Valerie tapped the side of her helmet, causing it to retract. Half her face seemed normal, but the other half was still a mess of wires and metal. Looked like she was holding back as well. "A̴s̴ ̶m̵u̶c̴h̸ ̸a̷s̸ ̷I̸'̶d̸ ̵l̵o̷v̸e̸ ̶t̴o̷ ̷c̵o̸n̴t̷i̵n̷u̶e̵ ̸f̷i̷g̴h̸t̴i̷n̶g̶,̴ ̵w̶e̷'̸r̸e̵ ̶b̷o̵t̴h̵ ̷s̸c̵r̷e̷w̸e̷d̷ ̷i̸f̸ ̶w̴e̶ ̵d̶o̵n̷'̵t̸ ̶g̸e̶t̷ ̶o̴u̴t̵t̸a̸ ̷h̷e̵r̵e̷.̸"
Her blades retracted back to her normal arms as well, one holding the piece of the spear she took, and the other with her katana. "T̴h̴o̷u̵g̴h̵ ̶I̴ ̵g̸o̶t̸t̴a̸ ̴s̶a̵y̶,̸ ̸y̶o̵u̶'̶r̷e̴ ̸q̸u̷i̴t̷e̶ ̶i̷m̴p̵r̴e̸s̵s̶i̶v̸e̸.̶"
Valerie grinned, tossing Reaver the piece back.
"A servant of Odin does not fear Ragnarok." Reaver stated bluntly. "But if I were to fall in this dull affair, both me and my master would be sorely disappointed." Reaver added as a matter of fact, catching the spear piece on his hand."Seems like nobody is getting their plans done today." He added. "I shall not strike an unwilling opponent in this condition. Nothing would be gained." He chatted back.
"I appreciate the compliment, you are a cut above most." Reaver said. A compliment must be paid with a compliment. If he had gotten annoyed, she had done something somewhat right in her fighting. "Warrior, my name is Reaver." "W̵h̸a̴t̶ ̶c̷a̵n̴ ̷I̸ ̸s̴a̶y̶,̴ ̸f̵r̶i̴e̶n̵d̷ ̴o̶r̸ ̴f̶o̴e̶,̸ I respect a fair challenge."
At that point, the android's face returned to normal. She held out a hand for him to shake. "Valerie. A pleasure to make your aquaintance, Reaver."
Reaver sheathed his weapon, and tucked away both shield and spear, but he did not take Valerie's hand, instead lowering himself to a bowing motion and kissing her hand in greeting.
"Well met. And farewell. May the tides of battle bring glory to you and woe to your foes. We will meet again." Reaver's words were a sharp contrast with the ghoulish berserker of before, but he was corteous to those who somewhat respected honor in battle. With that being said. "Godspeed, we should tarry no longer.""Likewise."
Valerie nodded to him in respect, then walked off to Dan's portal.
"Well then. Now I need proof of this mess. Lady Visceral's corpse is no good huh." Reaver pondered, before beginning to madly dash in the collapsing dimension at the last moment... opposite of the portal opened by Dan.
Reaver fled as fast as he could now that the scuffle died out. He figured Odin could not be mad that he would retreat because the battlefield was literally gone. Not much fighting could get done in a gap between dimensions with no substance after all.
He barely had time to register the presence of Cradle members and Justine being used by that big-honcho-which-was-like-Veronica-but-not-quite as a footstool before getting swallowed. Why did Veronica even start Cradle? That was a pity. He could have been the footstool of such lady. But that was beside the point. At least no more interference.
Yet, something had been left unattended, and Reaver swooped in at the last second.
Reaver himself mentally thought as he got within distance of the frozen servant and catapulted himself and her outside the crumbling dimension. Waste not. Besides… he would feel sympathy for the maid.
After all, he too, had been abandoned and betrayed in the past. After making sure the place he ended up in the Overcity was safe for the time being, he frantically rang with his phone.
“There’s been a situation which interfered with my current mission.” He bluntly said to the Mint.
Reaver could smell the scent of Al’s cigar as he picked up the phone and answered. “Really now? I wouldn’t have guessed.” He didn’t sound pleased. “Now, you’ll have ten seconds to explain the fact you jumped on the gig, or you’ll find yourself jumping from the top of Burj Khalifa.”
Reaver seemed nonplussed. “Visceral.” He said the word, spitting as if it was a mild venom. “Teleported me against my will. Right into the middle of a wild melee. It would have been an interesting date and we would have kissed and made out amidst the blood of the enemies, if not for the fact I DID not ask for it and mucked everyhing up.” He added. “Also, she’s dead. When her supposed allies turned on her, Kinda exploded. Then that sexy bitch that kinda had a Veronica air to it, took her body. Probably to use as a body pillow.”
“They also left little Sonia crumbling in that dimension to rot.” Reaver added. “Well… finders keepers.”
Al sighed as he took in the news with a puff of smoke. “Never shoulda given that broad a finger...” Reaver heard his chair subtly squeak as he shifted on it. “Well, at least she got what was coming to her.” Then he heard Veronica’s name, and he seemed more interested. “So she was there...Hold up.” It seemed he realized something. “You got Visceral’s gal with you?”
“Yep. Cradle’s timestopped her. She’ll return to normal. And…she might need friendly help. After all, betrayed by everyone else, and left powerless to help her master…” He carefully chose to whisper the following words, unsure on when the time stop would fade.
Al gave a light chuckle. “You know Reaver, you can sometimes get on my nerves. Big time. But somehow, you manage to make things work. Arrange things so that the maid will be motivated to...Partake of our services, and I’ll let your fuckup pass.” He paused, as he took in a deep breath. “Next time, I won’t be so nice, capische?” Then, he ended the call.
A couple of seconds after it did, Sonia’s stasis had ended, and the maid’s eyes widened, quickly turning around with her throwing knives at the ready.“What? Where?”
The moment she spotted Reaver, she squinted.“Where have you taken me? Where is Lady Justine?”
Reaver breathed deep, as he pocketed his phone, before fashioning a crude seat out of his barriers for her to sit down, as he indicated. “This is going to be… a bit tough to swallow. Have a seat first, my lady.”
Sonia seemed outraged by the gesture. “A seat? The insolence!”
She teleported above Reaver, and stomped down on him, grinding her heel into his back. “You’re going to tell me this instant where she is, or you will regret it!”
Most people would be alarmed at this gesture, because of the forcefulness of the move. Not Reaver now. He did enjoy being under a pretty lady’s heel. This almost felt like a reward on his own. No, it was a sort of reward. “She’s… dead. Unless you can survive getting dogpiled and burnt into a crisp by the combined effort of several people with a killing blow on top of it.”
He gasped, with ragged breath. Probably not due to Sonia’s heel on his back, or maybe because of it. Who knows.
“Add that the dimension crumbled with the antimagic field. And… unfortunately my teleporting options are rather limited. So this is the Overcity.”
Sonia stepped off Reaver, in complete shock about what Reaver had told her. She wanted to deny it, and claim that he was a lying dog. But she knew of his relationship with her mistress; he wouldn’t lie about something like this. “N-No...”
She took a few steps back, despair and grief in her expression. “Lady Justine...I...I failed to protect you...”
She dropped to her knees, her hands on her face; she softly sobbed as sorrow overcame her. “She was my mistress, my light in this world...What will I do now? Lady Justine...”
Reaver sighed, as he took to himself to rise and dust his armor off. He had been using healing to heal his face from the originally scarred ghoulish mess that it was to his pretty boy persona. “I’m sorry about your loss.” He said. He would miss the lady, she was a pro when it came to the boot. But there was a fierce competition in Penrose. Well, there would be new fishes in the sea. This Sonia wasn’t half bad actually.
He knelt besides her, and tried to get her in a seated position so she could mourn a little more.
Sonia, now too saddened to care any longer for the intrusion, accepted Reaver’s assistance, and sat down on the barrier chair, having summoned a napkin to dry her tears like a proper lady.“She was destined for greatness. And now she is gone...”
After a moment of calming down, she lifted her teary eyes to Reaver. “And speaking of...Why did you save me? I thought you only cared for Lady Justine.”
“You’re part of Lady Justine. There’s no Justine without Sonia.” He said, as he began to elaborate. “And If I could save her I would. I do not fear battle, nor oblivion. But by the time everyone reacted, she was a crispy corpse. She was beyond my help… I cannot help the dead.” Reaver added. If I could I would’ve brought that wench in chains with a ribbon on top to Al as a present.
He thought to himself.
“And I know how it feels to be abandoned. I also know how it feels to be betrayed, and being left to rot.” Reaver said.
Sonia nodded as she contemplated Reaver’s words. Gradually, her fists tightened on her knees.“...This won’t be forgiven. Lady Justine’s legacy won’t be swept aside like some peasant’s refuse.”
She visibly shook. “I’ll make her murderers suffer, make them regret having spilled her noble blood!”
She stood up. “I will avenge her.”Good
Reaver thought to himself. “Are you sure about this? You could just try to make peace and live on.”
The moment Reaver said that, he could feel the cold edge of one of her throwing knives pressing against her neck, mere inches away from slitting it.“Peace? Live on?”
She was angry, yet she managed to compose herself. “I had no life until Justine gave one to me. She gave her hand to me, and granted me purpose. And after her passing, I am supposed to merely accept it?”
She drew her knife away in frustration. “No, there is no other way. I must avenge her, or I will not have this so-called peace. I know it is what she would have wanted.”Oh boy, this girl’s a keeper!
Reaver thought, when Sonia displayed a knife to his neck.
“The path of revenge is a harsh one, Lady Sonia. You cannot blame me for trying.” Reaver said. “With that being said… you’re not alone in this. There are people who are willing to help you, and your crusade.” He then smirked, as he produced a Black Coin. “This will give you power to enact your retribution… but be warned though, It is a poisoned chalice. Accepting it means becoming part of a loan… organization.”
Sonia’s eyebrows furrowed when Reaver mentioned possible assistance, followed by suspicion when he displayed the item that would grant it. “...The Ebon Mint. Lady Justine had an interest in making business with them.”
She looked down at the throwing knife on her palm, and closed it around the blade, causing a trickle of blood to seep. She had a determined look on her face “...Very well. I will sacrifice my life if I must, for Lady Justine’s sake.”
She took the Black Coin, and stared intently at it.“They will pay.”
“Of course they will. The Ebon Mint makes sure everyone pays
Umukamui stared at the mirror in a certain store, getting a good look at her Kamy persona. There was a certain etiquette she had to follow, when visiting some other patron’s abode. The puchuu was one that liked to blend in. And a tropical resort required a swimsuit
“Hm. It should suffice.” said Kamy, in her deep woman voice as she spun around. Now where was that annoying dolphin emotion eater?
Umukamui, using his network of information, quickly learned of the ways the Lesser Force could be contacted, and arranged for a meeting. The dopey dolphin’s voice could be heard through the magical voice channel Umukamui formed with his powers. “Hello there! You must be one of those Puchuu I’ve heard about. What’s up?”
“Hello… Lord Dan. It seems you are currently tending to the wounds of one my charges. I would like to debrief her in person and see her current state, if you would be so kind.” Umukamui stated in a neutral voice. He was even more annoying than the Beckoners and Shoggy together already. If such a thing was possible.
The dolphin squeaked in surprise. “Oh! You’re talking about the girls who just arrived from the big battle! You must be very worried to call on me like this...Okay then! I’ll open up an entrance for you.” It didn’t take long for a bluish rift to open up, emanating warmth and light atypical for the local weather.
“What a waste of magical energy. Such extravagance.” Kamy muttered under her breath as she stepped in, and shuffling through the crowd, he then walked towards Lily, who was currently being given aid.
Ever since Lily arrived, she was in a slight daze, watching with a tired but happy expression as Mariette and her friends survived the collapse of the dimension. She saw MDP, Connie, and Mia, and slightly waved to them too.“Hi. Glad to see you all made it,”
she greeted, only to be met by immediate derision and contempt by the likes of Ronja and Josefin; it seemed the sunny and fun atmosphere didn’t lessen their animosity for their betrayal, and that small bit of hope was dashed as Lily endured the verbal abuse. She could only count her blessings that they were prevented from fighting in this radiant world, otherwise the girls would have likely started a scuffle. But most disheartening was to see Mariette’s disappointment in her. Yet, Lily did not regret what she had done; Alicia would have very likely killed Mariette had Lily not intervened before she had the chance.
Dan was also not spared from their anger, especially once they discovered that a certain artifact of theirs had disappeared. “Now now, I know you’re concerned, but let’s calm down first, and we’ll talk things through once everyone’s ok…!” He tried speaking up, but his words were hardly heard in the clamor. He then tried to offer the girls a box of chocolate cookies. “How about a Snackers?”
Lily sighed and looked up at Ronja with a sad face.“I tried to help her...”
She weakly protested the accusations of betrayal, and then winced as her headache stung again, causing her to close her eyes and hold the bag of ice harder against her head. She had more to say, but for now she needed a moment to think.“Oof...”
That was when she was approached by Umukamui. “Lily,” she said, flicking a hair through her hair. The amount of magical glamour this place had was a higher level than Kamy was used to.
Lily looked up while holding her bag of ice, seemingly a bit confused. “Um...Hello there?”
It seemed she didn’t recognize the beautiful woman greeting her, until she blinked.“Wait...Is that you, Mister Umu?”
“Miss Kamy for now.” Umukamui said. “I trust you’ve had a rough encounter, I take it?” She added, looking at the otherwise irate Mariette’s minions that were around.
Lily bit her lip, and blushed from her fumble. “S-Sorry. I’m still getting used to how you change, tee hee~”
She giggled a bit, followed by a wince.
She nodded at the question. “Yeah, it didn’t go so well. But, I did see Sakura.”
She was silent for a moment. “She fought against Justine. I think she won, but I’m not sure. She made this crazy explosion, just like that. She’s really amazing....”
“Hm.” Kamy silently nodded. “I am aware. Good thing she did. A pity that she didn’t manage to take her other hit with her. Truly a pity.” Kamy said. “Well, I guess that since Justine was like this, I think i should consider you off the hook given your blunder.” She adopted a more grave tone.
Lily gulped. “Um, about that...”
She averted her eyes, like a child who knew they had done something they regretted. “It’s not what you think. I really did try to help Mariette, but...She needs real help. I know she wouldn’t willingly endanger other girls like that on her own. She is somehow controlled by her Patron. I talked to a friend who said they could help, and I...”
Tears formed in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I didn’t think things through.”
“It’s okay.” Kamy said, as she … somewhat awkwardly brought Lily into a hug. “No use in crying over spilled milk. Rest and recover.” She paused, caressing her face… and delivering a mental communication. “And next time, go all the way… and execute that Horror girl on the spot, just like Sakura did. It would have been a favour for all of us. But now there’s too many people watching this.”
She put a facsimile of a smile as she pulled apart.
“I can’t be too harsh, considering this was your first outing with me. But do please wise up.”
Lily placed a hand on her mouth to stifle her gasp, shocked by Umu’s order. “But-”
She first spoke, but then continued listening. Finally, she nodded, having accepted the scolding.“Yes, Miste-I mean, Miss Kamy.”
That was when Dan approached Kamy, having taken a moment between attending to the wounded girls and trying to placate the loud crowd of Mariette’s girls. “Hi there. So you’re Lily’s Patron, right? What a lucky girl she is to have such a nice Puchuu watching over her!” Lily giggled awkwardly in response. The dolphin took Kamy’s hand and shook it with his fins. “Now I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m a bit busy with all these injuries these girls have. However, if you want a drink, a sandwich, anything, don’t be shy, alright?”
“I’m flattered.” Kamy said. Do I need to put a hit on this fool? He seems like he could be a liability in the foreseeable future.
The Puchuu said, as she made good on that offer, and took a mild refreshment, while staring at the beach, concocting how to approach the next part of his debriefing.And I lost my pet teleporter too. That’s a substantial decrease in mobility.
Lily also accepted a drink as Dan was passing them away. She stared at the green Mountain Dan-logo on the can she got, and popped it open with a sigh.I was just doing things like I always did. Ixion was kind of hands-free like that. But now I can’t think any longer like that. Mister Umu is relying on me.
She took a look at the back of the can, and inadvertently giggled; “Do The Dan” was written as a slogan, with a dancing Dan next to it. Yeah...I’ll do better next time.
Dina barely had time to undo her transformation and flee towards the portal that Dan had created. She was beyond exhausted, and her limbs felt like lead. She was a diplomat,
¿diplocat?, not a fighter. She rushed through the portal, her clothes being transformed into her gaudy swimsuit
once more. The Sanctuary token was glowing ominously.
“...Will this ever end?” She felt faint, and about to give up. But she steeled her poise, and kept walking as if the events had done nothing to affect her mood nor her walking. She then used her last healing magic that she had, to extend her Ruler’s aura and at least make everyone’s wounds a little lighter. Gracefully, she took a seat by some drinks, and decided to catch a breath for a moment, as she picked one of the cans.
“Mountain Dan. Ugh. Revolting.” She said… as she then called her master. “Master Dan?”
Dan rushed over to Dina, prioritizing her over the crowd thanks to her affiliation with the Patron.
“Dina! You look hurt!” He drew a bandage roll from the table and wrapped it around the injuries she had sustained. “Don’t worry, you just gotta rest for a moment, and you’ll be good as new.”
“I’m sorry. I cannot. I am aware my powers would be a boon in this situation, but… I must ask of you. Can I take leave?” Dina eyed the Dolphin. “A friend needs me to keep her crown.” She said, as she tried to drink the Mountain Dan, only to become a sputtering mess, since drinking from the can in cat style was not really possible, and her cat part recoiled at the fizzy sweetness of the drink. Still, mustering her resolve, she poured it in a nearby glass…
And continued drinking it cat style.
Dan grimaced, but nodded. “I understand. Just make sure not to take any unnecessary risks.” He then noticed the trouble Dina had with the consumption of the soft drink, having formed a cartoonish drop of sweat on his brow. “Uhh, I’ll get you a bowl.”
Soon enough a bowl fit for a pet was placed on the counter of the hotel lobby, filled to the brim with sparkling blue water. “This water from the fountain is also enchanted to restore your mana. I think you’ll enjoy it more than the soda.”
A cat bowl. Really. Had this been on another moment, Dina would have flipped the bowl on Dan, but she endured the humiliation to get the much needed refreshment of her magical energy. She drank her as fast as she could, and set it aside.
“Tell everyone I’m off to Sanctuary, Master.” She said as she got up, mustering strength even more. “I see Mariette is safe… but she’s quite distraught. I wish I could tend to her worries, but I have worries of my own, and there’s a lot of people surrounding her already.” She added as she began to walk, taking a small moment to go by Helga.
Dan nodded, looking a bit worried for her. “Okay then. Best of luck!”
Helga noticed Dina, and waved over to her with a slight smile. “Thanks for the help out there, Dina. Appreciate it.”
“Please do tell her when she wakes up that I am sorry. I was just jealous… of her vitality.” Dina said, brushing the thanks from Helga. “And do tell her I am thankful for her assistance. I would do it in person… but I must go now. To another battle.” Dina said, unfazed, as she began to walk away.
It was then when she found herself hugging her own swimsuit form, breathing heavily. She had staved it off for long, but she was so tired, her true feelings were surfacing. She squatted, panting, her tail’s hair erect in an obvious fit of panic. “Just endure it, Dina… endure it a little longer. You won’t die.” She said to herself, now completely oblivious at the world surrounding her. She just needed to get up and be done with it.
Helga blinked, and then looked back at Su. “I’ll let her know. But man, already to another fight? That’s rough. If it’s just a few monsters I can come help you.”
Dina was still trying to rein her panic attack in, breathing heavily. She could not be seen as ungraceful as this, even if she wanted to crawl under a bed and let the storm pass. She had to endure. “S….Sanc...t.ry.” She pieced together, in a shake voice. “S..Som...ing… happ.. Penny”.
She bit her lip as she finally managed to stand up, clenching the coin in her hands.
This wasn’t a moment to be terrified of her own death. Plenty of people were looking up to her. ”Need...to...go. Possibly very dangerous.” She finally stammered as she managed to control her panic fit, and breathed deep.
Helga now looked openly concerned, and stood up. “Hey Dina, everything alright? You’re looking a bit pale there.” She reached a hand out towards her.
“Just a little tummy ache due to the drink.” Dina lied through her teeth, as she began to walk away. “Thanks. Farewell, I will see you later.” She said as she finally took in strides to create a portal to Sanctuary.“Wait.”
Su was standing, if a bit worse for wear. Her head was wrapped tightly in bandages. A large gauze no smaller than a pillow had been bandaged to the side of her head. She almost looked like a mummy, with just a single visible. Eye. “Actually, you look busy.”
she sighed. “Perhaps in time we can catch up. But I have a proposal for you.”
Su lifted the jade pendant that was hanging around her neck. Were it not for this protective amulet, there was a possibility she wouldn’t be awake right now. It might have even saved her life. “So don’t do anything too brash.”
She looked to Helga. “Where’s Mariette? I need to speak with her.”Editor’s note: totally digging the Rei look there.
Dina’s head almost spinned like an owl, eyes surprised. “You...were awake, miss Su?” Dina said, unsure of this situation. But, still riding on the impetus she had found, she then refrained from entering the portal just yet. “I can’t promise anything. They look up to me. I am a girl of a silver tongue, but If one does not back up words with deeds… they lose any meaning.” Dina confessed, her teeth slightly gritted.
“Mariette...I see. Yes, perhaps your comforting touch might be needed. Wish I could work some grandmother’s magic...but… Lives are at stake.”“It’s fine.”
Su forced a smile. “I’m something of a mother to her. Grandma can leave this to the next generation.”
“Yes, that much is evident...in plain display.” Dina said. A little bit of levity. Her tail was a little less tense and was still upright, but relaxed. “I will see you again, mamochka.” With that, she steeled her resolve, and ran through the portal, trying to find the state of Sanctuary.
Helga looked on as Dina disappeared, and twirled the tip of one of her hair drills around her index finger, looking unsure what to think. “Huh...She seemed to get a bit better.” She then smiled at Su, and gently took her hand. “Mariette’s over there. It seems there’s some kind of disagreement between her girls and the dolphin. Come, I’ll help you walk to her.”