The convergence of events were rather fortunate for Rurik. One less factor, or one second longer, and he might've cashed it all in at that very moment. As it was... well it still wasn't a pleasant outcome.
Poor D'artagnan would share in this outcome unfortunately. The big man's fist crashed down on the shield. It did not reflect it like it normally would have. It just sort of dispersed the energy... all of it... in every direction.
Rurik felt himself get flattened to the ground, all the air in his lungs fleeing. D'artagnan wouldn't have fared much better in his direction, though it would have been marginally better than the direct hit Rurik received.
The cultist himself? He took a step back as the force of his own attack rebounded into him, if only partially. He looked around at the strange field they stood in, then back at the boy who'd intercepted his attack. Somehow he was alive. How? He didn't understand what exactly had just happened, but he knew it was yet another, infuriating obstacle.
He also saw that he had some sort of... circle drawn onto his chest. It didn't seem to be doing anything, though, so he wasn't worried. A moment later though and he heard an accelerating whirring noise. This was followed by bullets once again harmlessly pinging off of his body. It was as useless as the last time and this time there were far fewer bullets, but it was
getting on his nerves.
To further aggravate him, the boy with the energy shield was getting back up. At least the strange machine girl seemed hesitant to keep shooting while he was in the way. It made it easier to think."What... that it...?"
Rurik panted. "Come on... I don't need... more than one arm... for you..."
He clenched his unbroken hand into a fist. The cultist scoffed and stepped forward, raising his own fist as if to just smack Rurik away. At that moment Rurik burst forward and slammed his fist into the cultist, landing a surprise attack first.
The man didn't budge."Oh..."
Rurik swallowed hard. And then the big man's fist did indeed land. Rurik spun around, twice, and staggered back. It... had hurt less than expected but he was still seeing stars. He fired a short barrage of bolts, but they pinged harmlessly off the man as he marched forward unperturbed. Rurik burst to the side, though he nearly fell over from the sudden movement, his head still swimming.
Even so, he did his best to focus and blasted the man at close range, but it was like water washing over rock. Maybe in 100 years it'd actually have done damage. The big man turned and slammed Rurik across the jaw again. Again Rurik spun about, but before he could stagger away, he was grabbed by his hair and thrown back onto the ground at the man's foot before said foot then stomped down on his chest.
"Pathetic. You're no fighter, you're a wild animal that's learned to play with fire!" He could hear bullets whizzing past him again, the girl trying to stop him, but it was in vain. Half of her shots weren't even connecting in her panic."Say... that... to my... face..."
Rurik choked out, ever defiant. And then, with a grunt, the man obliged, grabbing him by the shirt collar and hoisting him into the air, face-to-face with him. His other hand was lifted, ready to pulverize Rurik's face one more time. Strange field or not, he'd make sure this one was done."Can't... believe... that worked..."
Rurik coughed and lifted his hand. WAP!
he slapped it weakly against the big man's mask. If anything... it just made the cultist clench his fist tighter.BOOM!
And suddenly the cultist was rocked back as his mask seemed to detonate. He was thrown back, clear of the strange energy field, sliding to a stop on his back. He lay there for just a moment, but then sat straight up. His mask was slowly knitting itself back together with red, demonic energy, though one could see the fury in his eyes before the mask once more obscured them.
Rurik also landed sitting up, looking at the cultist as he once more rose, shrugging off the attack he'd just taken."I am... 110%... done."
Rurik groaned and flopped onto his back. That was it. If they died, they died. He was just so tired. Life had hurt way less when he'd avoided anything resembling heroics. He should probably regret it or something.
"Enough!" a voice rang out, "You'll lay not one more hand on these children!" Gloria dashed to stand between the man and the energy field and the students within. She'd been tossed about by all the big attacks, but finally she'd regained her feet.
A flash of light and Alto seemingly materialized at her side, light-blade brandished in the shape of a claymore. King flew over next to her right, his beam saber humming away dangerously. The Mephisto's troop had certainly bought time if nothing else. If Rurik had had any reason to think they'd accomplish something, he might have felt relieved.
"Oh... I will do far more than that!" He didn't care anymore. The veil could collapse in on him if it had to! He'd reduce everything before him to ash! The burning lightning encircled his whole body. It began to be hard to even see him, the whole world seeming to distort around him, as if existence itself was trying to run away.
But then a portal split open next to him.
"My... lord?" It was another masked man, the one that had "fled" from Andreim. "You seem worse for wear. I can't imagine it was these... children?"
"Mind your own business!" the big man growled.
"My lord, please, you're quite disheveled and the veil here is becoming rather stiff. You've left your mark, I believe it is time we go on our way. No doubt we've drawn much attention to this location."
". . ."
"All goes well, do not worry."
"Very well." The lightning faded from his body even as he stared at Gloria and the group behind her. "It seems fate has not yet caught up to you." With that he turned on his heel and stepped through the portal. The other man seemed to smirk at them even behind the mask and followed suit, the portal closing behind them.
For the time being -- it was finally over.