Methinks that the process that Kuroka goes through with Shirone is gonna be hot as fuck... provided that you even show it off, of course. Ireallyhopeyoudo
Anything you recognise isn't mine.
Also, all of these fights take place at roughly the same time.
"Woah!" Isane cried, dodging a sudden blast of white fire that came at her from her right, and quickly creating a temporary barrier to block the next blast of fire that came her way as she turned to face it and its creator, which turned out to be the woman with spiky ash-blonde hair. She had what looked like flamethrowers, coloured brown and silver, mounted on her wrists: flamethrowers that looked like they were charging up another shot of fire, forcing Isane into a defensive stance to block the fire and keep it from burning her.
Though, when the fire came, she found that she didn't really have to do anything in order to defend herself. As her barrier came up a fraction of a second too late, and a small portion of the fire landed on her skin, the Red Dragon Empress found that it didn't burn as painfully as she thought it would. The part of her hand that was caught in the flames certainly felt hot, to the point of being slightly unpleasant, but it didn't hurt to the point that it took away from her focus on defending herself against the sudden attack.
Instantly summoning the Boosted Gear on one arm, Isane began charging up energy to counterattack, as the woman stepped even closer to Isane and sent more white flames her way.
'That has to be a Sacred Gear.' Isane thought to herself, quickly moving her arm out of the way of a little bit of flame that made it past her barrier (though it wouldn't have been too bad if she got hit by that flame, she still would vastly prefer to not be hit at all), while her power continued charging up past the third Boost. 'No way I can come away with so little damage after being hit by WHITE fire, even if it was that small an amount.'
As Isane hit her fifth Boost of power, she left the barrier that she had created (which was slowly beginning to crack) up and jumped up above it, spreading her Nephalem wings and firing shots of energy down at her opponent, rapid-fire-style.
The girl was forced to stop firing at the barrier that Isane had created, and roll out of the way of her rapid-fire shots. She attempted to fire from point-blank range at Isane as she landed on the ground, right next to the girl, but Isane dodged and threw a punch at her stomach, which her opponent caught and attempted to fry. Isane saw this coming, however, and focused a quick lightning-spell through her hand, sending an electric charge through her opponent's body that forced her to let go and let out a hiss of pain.
"Of course, a Devil would pull a move like that." The blonde woman snarled, pointing her flamethrowers at Isane. "Dirty bastards like you are why the world's so horrible!"
Isane didn't reply as white fire spewed out of the woman's flamethrowers, right at her. Blocking the attack again, she took the opportunity to enter Balance Breaker under cover of the fire that had almost enveloped her, thereby fully protecting her from said fire. As it cleared, her opponent only seemed to become angrier at the sight of Isane in her armour.
"You're gonna hide behind that armour while you fight me?" the woman shouted. "Fucking coward!"
Isane ignored the woman's attempt to taunt her and dashed towards her, promoting to Knight in the process. However, by the time she reached her flamethrower-wielding opponent, she was gone, with a simple look upward telling Isane where she had gone.
Both of the woman's flamethrowers seemed to be glowing with power as she flew up into the air with surprising speed, sending fire downwards as she did so. As Isane watched, the thrower on the woman's right hand stopped glowing as she used the one on her left hand to propel herself to her right (Isane's left), away from her opponent and towards Georg, who was fighting Gondul and Rosseweisse, but closer to them in that direction was-
"Asia!" Isane shouted, blasting off after the flying fire-wielding woman, and catching up with her within fractions of a second. Isane flew up above the woman and performed a mid-air spin-kick, knocking her down to the ground before she could get within six feet of Asia, while she landed between them. "You're running away from me and going after someone who wasn't even attacking you? Who's the coward again?" she called to the flamethrower-wielder, the sudden adrenaline that came with getting into a fight seemingly firing (funnily enough) her up.
"Like you have any reason to talk!" The woman shouted back, pointing her flamethrowers at Isane instead of Asia and beginning to fire rapid-fire blasts of what looked like solidified fire at her. However, the attempts to hurt Isane simply bounced off her Balance Breaker armour as she turned around, in order to make sure Asia was fully protected from the assault that was going on behind her.
Asia silently nodded, before her eyes widened as something seemed to happen behind Isane. Upon reflex, Isane cast a large barrier behind herself before turning around and seeing what her opponent was doing.
She had propelled herself into the air with her flamethrowers (both of which were glowing intensely), and had gone about fifty feet into the air before changing course and beginning to propel herself downwards at Isane and Asia, spinning as she did so in order to create spirals of white flames around her.
Realising that that amount of fire in the garden that they were fighting in could turn out very, VERY badly, Isane turned to Asia, transferring a little bit of her power into the barrier she created in order to keep herself and Asia (mostly Asia) protected.
Asia seemed to have realised the same thing as Isane, who had begun Boosting again. Isane could see her Promoting to Bishop as she weaved a powerful water spell that Elsha had taught her, and sending it up into the air, over the barrier that Isane had created and towards their flying, fire-spewing opponent.
["Transfer!"] Ddraig called, as Isane pointed her gauntlet at the little ball of water that Asia had conjured up and sent up above the barrier. When the power that Isane had built up made contact with the aforementioned ball of water, it expanded into an enormous wave of water that crashed onto the woman, her flamethrowers and her flames, severely dampening the former and completely extinguishing the latter, leaving Isane's blonde wet opponent to harmlessly bash against Isane's barrier and land on the ground, seemingly beaten.
Isane silently disengaged the barrier that separated her and Asia from their opponent as she walked forward, not disengaging her armour in case she came at her with a surprise attack of any kind. However, it seemed that the woman who had attacked her, who had come at her with extreme amounts of piss and vinegar before, had burned out pretty quickly, judging by how hard she was panting as she lay on the ground, drenched from the powered-up spell that Asia had sent her way.
"You alright?" Isane asked of the woman. Though her voice was soft, it could still be heard over the sounds of all the other battles that were going on around her. Asia stepped forward as well, having summoned Twilight Healing onto her fingers. She could see a bruise on the woman's head, and her natural instincts as a compassionate person were yelling at her to go over to the woman and heal her, with all that was holding her back being Isane, still in her armour, holding one of her arms slightly up.
However small it was, it was enough of a gesture that encouraged Asia to stay a safe distance away. And given how much she trusted Isane (her being her first friend just added on top of the fact that she was, overall, a lovely person), Asia stopped, holding herself back.
"Shut up!" the ash-blonde woman yelled, trying to get up in order to face Isane and Asia again, but stumbling and falling back on the ground. "Don't drag this out any longer than you have to! If you're going to kill me, do it!"
"And why would I do that?" Isane asked, remaining still but still preparing to fire off an attack at a millisecond's notice, in case the woman tried to attack again. "I've already beaten you, no need to keep fighting. As long as you surrender. Though it doesn't look like you're in any position to do anything EXCEPT surrender, to be honest." She added. Her last remark seemed to make the woman even angrier, as she stood up (in spite of her evident injuries) and began charging up a powerful attack from both of her flame-throwers.
"Stop talking down to me like that, you filthy bastard Devil!" the ash-blonde woman yelled. "I'll defeat you- kill you- and liberate everyone that you've tempted into evil! I, Jennifer Hikipa, swear it!"
Or, at least, that's what she would have said, if Isane hadn't fired a quick bolt of demonic energy straight at Jennifer's head, knocking her unconscious before she could even get two words out.
"Heal her up, if you want, Asia." Isane spoke to her fellow Pawn, disengaging her Balance Breaker armour around her head, revealing it to Asia. "Then we'll just need to find somewhere to keep her. Somewhere out of the way."
"By the main gates?" Asia suggested. "Back where we came in?"
"Hmm, that could work." Isane replied, re-engaging her armour, and picking Jennifer up with one arm. "Sit tight for just a second, okay?" Upon receiving Asia's nod as an answer, Isane lifted off to the edge of the border of the castle that everyone was fighting in, and laid Jennifer down. She summoned her familiar, a Stymphalian Bird (Rias had taken her to get her Familiar a couple of weeks before this whole Kyoto trip had even begun... or more importantly to Isane, a couple of days after Roxas had taken her virginity), to guard Jennifer's unconscious body in case any of the battles going on came close to her, and flew back to the battle going on, making sure to dodge a missile that flew dangerously close to her as she did so.
After opening a number of magic-circles and sending a volley of demonic bullets down at Yasaka's giant fox-form, Imogen was forced to suddenly dive close to the ground to avoid a stream of blue fox-fire that Yasaka blew her way. The Belial Heiress came back up, weaving right and left as Yasaka fired more, smaller, streams of flame down at her, even swinging a couple of her tails Imogen's way.
All of her attempted attacks missed as Imogen reached the point that she was level with Yasaka's head, and fired a powerful sleeping spell directly at the large kitsune's face from close range.
"Come on, please, go to sleep." Imogen muttered, as the spell hit her large opponent directly between her eyes. "Don't make me have to hurt you, Yasaka."
Yasaka's eyes glazed over, and within a couple of seconds of Imogen's spell hitting her, her whole body relaxed. Imogen took a breath.
'Maybe this was easier than I-' Imogen began to think, before one of Yasaka's tails suddenly swung at her out of nowhere, forcing her to suddenly dodge out of the way again. 'Of COURSE, it wasn't that easy. It's never that fucking easy!'
As another stream of flame came centimetres away from impacting Imogen and her armour, the Belial Heiress flew backwards, putting some distance between herself and the frenzied Yasaka (whose eyes were still glazed, a sign that she was either unconscious or brainwashed (Imogen was personally betting on the latter), and yet moved with as much agility and ferocity as if she was completely awake and had downed enough coffee to energize the population of Tokyo.
Yasaka then jumped towards Imogen, swiping at her with her front two clawed paws, which got her with enough force to partially crack her Balance Breaker armour, which was quickly repaired as Imogen span around in the air for a couple of seconds, catching and righting herself in mid-air. She also noticed noticing Yasaka landing on a tree and straight-up crushing it, with the same amount of visible effort as snapping a twig would have taken for a regular person.
Frowning underneath her armour, Imogen extended her left hand towards Yasaka, opened said left hand and summoned a black, tar-like substance. She swung her hand and sent it towards Yasaka before flying upwards in order to dodge the next stream of fox-fire that she sent her way. From her position, higher than Yasaka could easily reach, Imogen looked over at where the stream of fire headed, and widened her eyes as it landed on a patch of grass close to where the purple-haired armoured woman was swinging an axe at Nero, and began rapidly spreading.
'Shit.' Imogen thought, quickly summoning a Stray Devil with a fish-like appearance that she had killed a few months ago. Ordering it to use its water-based powers to put out, or at the very least curb the spread of, the fire, she turned back to Yasaka, who seemed to have channelled her fox-fire into her tails, and was now beginning to swing them at Imogen. The fire coming off her tails seemed to act like whips, flicking towards Imogen and her armour at unexpected angles and making it hard for her to dodge all of it effectively while still at a close enough range to attack effectively.
The young Belial knew that, if it was just regular fire that Yasaka was throwing her way, she could have tanked it no problem and returned in kind. Yet however, fox-fire's supernatural properties presented potential problems that Imogen, bluntly, didn't have the fucking time to deal with.
As the black tar-like substance that Imogen had summoned around Yasaka earlier began to settle around her body, quickly hardening as it did so, the fox-fire that she had summoned began to dwindle and disappear. Imogen could also see Yasaka, presumably, attempting to summon more fox-fire to fling at Imogen, but it wasn't coming.
'Good. Delete Field's working.' Imogen thought, as Yasaka let out a long, loud scream of frustration, and launched herself at Imogen again, swinging at the armoured woman with her clawed paws. Imogen dodged out of the way, extended her right armoured hand towards Yasaka and summoned what looked like black smoke.
After Imogen dodged another dive-attack from Yasaka, the black smoke settled on her body and began to spread around. Yasaka didn't seem to notice it until she tried to dive at Imogen again, but didn't leap as far as she seemed to think that she would, causing her to trip over herself and fall over. The Belial Heiress would have laughed at the sight of Shadow Prison working so well if the situation at hand wasn't so serious.
Yasaka let out another scream, and tried to expel more fox-fire from her mouth at Imogen, but, like before, it didn't come.
"Alright." Imogen muttered to herself, focusing hard to keep the effects of Delete Field and Shadow Prison working on Yasaka, while also paying attention to the Stray Devil she had summoned a moment ago. She opened her hands again, and small, cute black chameleon-like creatures with violet eyes and deformed faces appeared, one in each of Imogen's hands. "Let's get this done quickly."
The two chameleon-like creatures in Imogen's hands opened their mouths, and pale blue-coloured lines flew from said mouths, heading towards Yasaka. The lines quickly attached to Yasaka's head, and began glowing a golden colour as they began to sap Yasaka's power out of her. The chameleons also glowed gold as the sapped power began to scatter.
'Come on, Absorption Line.' Imogen thought, under her armour as she hovered in front of Yasaka, holding her hands (with the power-sapping chameleons in them). 'Sap enough of Yasaka's power to get her out of that form, then-' Suddenly, the Absorption Lines were broken, and the solidified liquid of Delete Field and the dark aura of Shadow Prison suddenly faded away, undoing all (or at least most of) the work that Imogen had done to get Yasaka where she was, allowing the kitsune to leap at Imogen, the inside of her mouth glowing with fox-fire.
"What the-?!" Imogen widened her eyes and tried to get out of Yasaka's way, but was too slow as Yasaka pounced on her, sending her armoured form down to the ground and engulfing her with a point-blank stream of fox-fire as she held her there.
"OH, COME THE FUCK ON!" Imogen screamed, through the pain of being engulfed by the fox-fire. Feeling some of her power being drained from her in turn for the few seconds she remained engulfed, before she got a shield between herself and the stream of fire in order to protect herself for long enough to get out of there, the Belial Heiress rose back into the air, spinning around in the air and kicking one of Yasaka's giant paws as she tried to pounce at her again. "Really? Going for an overkill attack like that from that kind of range? Dick move, Yasaka!"
Yasaka let out a scream in reply, and prepared to fire another stream of fox-fire at Imogen out of her mouth, while imbuing her tails with the same fox-fire.
"Alright." Imogen replied, cracking her knuckles beneath her armour. "No more Mrs. Nice Girl."
As Yasaka swung her tails towards Imogen again, Imogen pointed her twin Absorption Lines towards one of the tails, and the lines shot out, wrapping themselves around the tail that was closest towards her. Imogen then flew around to Yasaka's back and began pulling backwards, with full intention to drag Yasaka away from the cluster of battles going on so she could subdue her easier. Less chance of the giant freaking nine-tailed fox endangering everyone if it had been pulled away.
After Imogen had pulled Yasaka about half a dozen feet away, the young Belial encountered resistance in the form of Yasaka beginning to pull back against her own pulling, creating a pseudo-tug-of-war between the pair of them. Twisting her head around, Yasaka let out a scream of protest and expelled a stream of fox-fire from her mouth at close-range, but Imogen was prepared for her this time, dodging out of the way.
"Flame me once, shame on you, Yasaka." Imogen snarked, under her breath. "Flame me twice, I need to train more with Vergil." She then proceeded to yank harder on Yasaka's tail, dragging her further and further backwards, bit by bit. "Sorry about this, by the way." The black-armoured woman remarked, as she gained more and more leverage over Yasaka, the more she pulled. "But it's gotta be done.
Yasaka let out another scream of protest, firing more powerful streams of fox-fire at Imogen from her mouth: all of which were expertly dodged as Imogen pulled harder and harder on Yasaka, even raising herself up, with the rationale that it would be easier to lift Yasaka up than pull Yasaka backwards along the ground.
Imogen's idea worked: though it took considerable effort, she was able to lift Kyoto's Queen off the ground and into the air, and it only took a quick spin and a timed release of her Absorption Lines to send the giant fox flying into the air, where she had next to no control over her own movement. Hoping, in the back of her mind, that Yasaka would forgive her for what she was about to do once it was all over, Imogen flew up to above Yasaka's body, which had reached its highest point after her throw, raised her armoured leg, and brought it down upon the kitsune's head, infusing a good amount of her mixed demonic/dragonic energies into the axe-kick as she did so.
The scream that Yasaka had let out a second before Imogen landed her kick became a low whimper, as she was sent spinning around and around, over and over, as she flew downwards into the ground with a crash that visibly shook the entire area for a few seconds, and moved no more.
Imogen inwardly cheered as she followed, slowly descending to the ground, exiting her Balance Breaker and bringing out her Absorption Lines, quickly attaching them to the unconscious Yasaka's head. As before, Imogen began to sap the kitsune's power, scattering it as she did so.
Yasaka let out a low moan in her unconscious state, writhing around slightly as her power left her. The powerful blue aura that had formed around her when she first transformed into her giant fox-form appeared around her again, before slowly fading away, along with Yasaka's giant fox-form as a whole: she shrunk and shrunk over the course of a quarter of a minute, until her human (and far sexier) form lay on the ground, in the crater that had been formed by her fox-form being axe-kicked into the ground by Imogen, unconscious.
"Alright, good." Imogen said, out loud, detaching the Absorption Lines from Yasaka's body, walking over to her, and kneeling down. A quick check of her pulse and an even quicker look over her body told her that she was very much alive, and mostly unharmed, with the only things remotely physically wrong with her were that she was unconscious, and that a bruise was beginning to form on her head.
Imogen took a breath to calm herself as she used magic to quickly heal up Yasaka's head, while thinking of a possible way to wake her.
'Sap that half-Dragon's power with your fox-fire.' Georg gave a mental order to the brainwashed Yasaka, who he was mentally controlling. He quickly glanced upwards and behind him, smirking slightly as Yasaka sent a stream of fox-fire in the direction of Imogen Belial, who was forced to dive down, close to the ground, in order to dodge it. Luckily for him, Imogen didn't seem to notice him standing close to the giant nine-tailed fox as she reached the bottom point of her dive, before she flew back up.
After giving the mental command for Yasaka to continue firing down at Imogen as she came back up, Georg turned around and, by reflex, conjured up a magical shield to block a pair of attacks that came his way, from Gondul and Rosseweisse, who were standing in front of him in combat-stances and preparing more magic attacks.
"The second-strongest Valkyrie..." Georg muttered. "And her granddaughter, huh?"
After forcing Yasaka to wake up from a sleeping spell that Imogen had fired at her and swing at her with her tails, Georg took a step back, created another, stronger shield to block the bolts of magical energy fired at him by Gondul and Rosseweisse, and momentarily hid behind it as Yasaka, under his command, fired another stream of fox-fire at Imogen. He was forced to jump out of the way of a spear of ice that pierced his barrier, fired at him by Rosseweisse.
Georg directed a fire spell to quickly melt the ice, repaired the magical barrier, quickly imbibed said repaired battier with anti-magic, warped the barrier in order to wrap it around himself, and turned back to Yasaka. He mentally ordered her to jump at Imogen so she could close the distance between them, and also directed her to channel her fox-fire into her tails in order to give her more chances to attack Imogen, and hopefully sap her power, or at least interfere with her in some other way.
However, Georg noticed the black tar-like substance that he recognised as Delete Field, being fired upon Yasaka and beginning to settle around her. The descendent of Johann Georg Faust gritted his teeth as Yasaka's fox-fire was suppressed, causing her to let out a scream of frustration and leap at Imogen, with Georg noticing the Belial Heiress responding by summoning what looked like dark-coloured smoke, which Georg recognised as Shadow Prison.
"No, no, no!" Georg hissed, fully turning his focus away from Rosseweisse and Gondul, who were trying to break through his barrier, and turning on Yasaka, who had begun to slow down and stop moving mid-dive, causing her to fall over. As Yasaka was hit with a pair of Absorption Lines, Georg began to gather a white light around himself, which he then focused into his hands. After opening the barrier around himself to give himself an opening, he swung his hands sideways and created a cutting wave of powerful magic, sending both waves right at Imogen's Absorption Lines.
Georg gathered more of the same white magical light around himself, which he then sent towards the liquid of Delete Field and the dark aura of Shadow Prison, causing both to fade away and restore Yasaka back to her normal, brainwashed self.
'Now that you're back to normal,' Georg mentally spoke to Yasaka, as he noticed the giant fox give a little shake. 'Crush the bitch. Fry the shit out of her.'
Yasaka obeyed, and pounced towards Imogen. Georg would have smirked at the sight of what was about to happen between the half-Dragon and the kitsune next, if the sound of the barrier that he had erected cracking and breaking behind him didn't jolt him to the point that he turned around to see Gondul and Rosseweisse powering up magical attacks to fire at him.
Georg was barely able to pull up a magical shield in time to block the attacks fired at him by Gondul and Rosseweisse. The attack from Rosseweisse, which hit his newly-constructed shield first, severely cracked it, while the neck attack from Gondul destroyed it completely, with such force that Georg was send stumbling backwards.
He quickly conjured up a powerful fire spell and sent it in the direction of the two Valkyries. Rosseweisse dodged to the side and returned in kind with a powerful lightning spell that could very well have fried a regular human (which Georg very much was NOT, but that's beside the point) alive, had Georg not, by reflex, opened up his hand and summoned the fog of Dimension Lost, swallowing the spell in order to not let it do any damage to him.
The Dimension Lost wielder could not, however, stop a powerful explosion spell, courtesy of Gondul, from impacting his back, forcing him to stumble forwards and almost lose his footing, a splitting pain in his back. Had Georg, as a Magician, not trained himself to be resistant to magical attacks (as all Magicians do), he was certain that he would have been blown to smithereens by the spell from Gondul, at the very least.
Georg swung around and extended his hand towards Gondul, sending the swirling purple smoke of Dimension Lost towards her and attempting to trap her inside it, if only for a moment, so he could focus on taking down the weaker Valkyrie, and possibly getting back to directing Yasaka (who he had basically placed on autopilot for the time being), to attack Imogen.
As the purple mist settled around Gondul, Georg looked around to where Yasaka: to his horror, the kitsune had been completely knocked out by Imogen, who had just exited her Balance Breaker armour. Attempts to order Yasaka to wake up and kill Imogen were met with nothing in the way of reply.
Georg then looked around again as the purple mist of Dimension Lost, that had settled around Gondul, began to move around and shake a little for a few seconds, before it burst forward, with Gondul emerging from it, almost completely unharmed. She gave Georg a dirty look as she readied another spell, with Rosseweisse landing beside her and readying a spell of her own.
"Shit." Georg muttered. "For Cao Cao's sake, I can't die here. Gotta retreat!"
As Gondul and Rosseweisse fired off their spells (a powerful binding spell and an ice-spell, respectively), Georg disappeared in a swirl of purple mist, and was gone from the battlefield, leaving a pair of frustrated Valkyries behind.
Achilles' eyes followed the movement of the descendent of Cu Chulainn, one of his Rooks, as the blue-haired spear-wielder dashed over to assist Scathach in her two-on-one battle against Cao Cao and Connla. He briefly considered going over to help Scathach and his fellow peerage member, since Cao Cao was the main threat that they had to take down, but his thoughts were interrupted by a powerful explosion going off very close to where he was standing.
The green-haired Devil was forced to roll to the side of where he heard the explosion coming from, and jumped to his feet to see Heracles (who had a powerful gold-coloured aura coming off of his body, which was what his Sacred Gear (Variant Detonation) took the form of), and the guy with neat brown hair that was wearing Greek armour, who seemed to have summoned a shield that had the head of a woman with snakes for hair imprinted on it, which he was holding in one hand (a Xiphos, a Greek shortsword, was in his other hand).
"Damn it!" Heracles, who was already in a combat stance, shouted. "Missed!"
"Yeah, you missed alright." Achilles replied, summoning his own spear, Diatrekhōn Astēr Lonkhē, out of a pocket-dimension and beginning to twirl it in one hand. "You're welcome to try again though, if you like."
Even Achilles was surprised by how much that little jab seemed to get at Heracles, who pointed at him angrily as the aura around him glowed even more intensely.
"Don't mock me so casually, you fucking loser!" Heracles shouted. "You're not even a full Devil, so you wouldn't be worth fighting if you weren't a descendent of a hero like Per and I are!"
The now-named 'Per' looked angrily over at Heracles, giving him an ugly look.
"I told you, don't call me 'Per'!" he shouted. "It's Perseus! You got that, Heracles?!"
"Oh, so you're a descendent of Perseus." Achilles replied, continuing to twirl his spear in one hand as he looked over at Perseus. "I should've figured that out earlier. Greek armour, Xiphos, Medusa on the shield. Damn, I'm not at my analytical best today, am I?"
That, for some reason, seemed to touch a nerve for Perseus, as a beam of greyish energy was fired out of the eyes of the Medusa on his shield. A beam that Achilles noticed, and simply stepped out of the way of. He noticed the beam flying past him and hitting the trunk of a tree, encasing said trunk in stone.
'Okay.' Achilles thought, jumping up into the air and dodging another beam fired at him by Perseus' Sacred Gear, Aegis Mineralization. 'Gotta avoid that.' He landed on the ground right in front of Perseus, and raised the handle of his spear to block his sword-swing, and guide it away from him. The green-haired Devil then stepped back to put enough distance between himself and Perseus to thrust his spear forward. It scored a direct hit on Perseus' armour, but didn't go much further than a couple of centimetres into said armour.
Achilles was then forced to let go of his spear and roll out of the way of another beam fired by Perseus' shield. Once the beam finished firing and he got back to his feet, he jumped towards Perseus, got his spear out of the armour that he wore with a solid yank, and swung it to deflect a missile fired at him by Heracles in the same, fluid motion.
"That's pretty different from the aura that was gathering around you." Achilles remarked at Heracles, backing up so both Perseus and Heracles were in his line of sight (the descendent of the almost-invincible hero was 101% confident that he could take both of his fellow hero-descendants on at the same time, but that didn't stop him from not wanting to fall to the ever-annoying tactic of being attacked from behind). "Lemme guess: either you've got two vastly different weapons, or the one you're using is a Sacred Gear of some sort and those missiles are a Balance Breaker."
"You're smart, for a piece of filth." Heracles spat in reply, as more missile-like objects appeared around his shoulders, calves and forearms, with two larger missiles forming around his hands. "Yet Per and I will still easily defeat you, and prove that we're the better hero descendants by far!"
"You know, if you have to go two-on-one against me to prove that you're the best," Achilles shrugged, shifting back into a combat stance with a smirk, and ignoring the ugly look that formed on Perseus' face at Heracles' continued use of his (presumed) nickname. "Then, somehow, I don't think you'd be the better descendants, even in the extremely low chance that you'd beat me."
Heracles and Perseus' looks of anger only became angrier, prompting another smirk from Achilles as he prepared for whatever attack that they'd send his way.
"I mean, that's my-" Achilles added. He was interrupted by Perseus firing another beam out of his shield, which he jumped out of the way of, before landing back on the ground. "Take on it, at least." he finished, as another missile was fired at him by Heracles. He channelled some of his demonic power into the edge of his spear, lifted it up as the missile approached him, and swung it down as fast and as hard as he could once the missile reached him, slicing it into two equal pieces of missile that flew to either side of him, exploding behind him but doing no damage to Achilles.
"Come on, you can do better than that!" Achilles remarked. "Or can you actually not? Is that why you're so insistent on fighting me two-on-one?"
"Shut up, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!" Heracles yelled, growing another missile around his right hand and firing it, and the one on his left hand, at Achilles, with Perseus firing several more beams at him, in rapid-fire succession. Letting out a short giggle, Achilles jumped up into the air, completely dodging the missile fired from Heracles' left hand (the lower one) and slicing through the one fired from his right hand (the top one). After Achilles landed on the ground and conjured up a magic-circle shield to block the petrification-beams that Perseus fired out of his shield, Heracles began firing off the smaller missile-like objects, towards Achilles.
The first few missiles impacted Achilles' magic shield, but the impact and explosions from the next few began to crack it, with the last few breaking it entirely. Grinning, Heracles created more missiles and fired them at where he figured Achilles was, not stopping for a second even when the super-quick production and firing-off of missiles began to tire him out slightly.
It took a solid fifteen seconds of rapid-firing missiles directly on Achilles' location before Heracles finally laid off it, panting as he began creating more missiles, with intention to fire them off all at once. However, just before the descendent of one of Zeus' many, MANY sons began firing off his next volley of missiles, Achilles came out of the cloud of smoke and dust that had been kicked up by the previous volley of explosions, ducking low in order to dodge the volley of missiles that were now being fired.
Heracles let out a shout of surprise and tried to aim his missiles at where Achilles was coming, but the green-haired Astaroth sent a volley of daggers created from demonic power at Heracles's arms, forcing him to move them away in order to not get hit, giving Achilles the second he needed to make his way behind Heracles and slash his spear at the back of the man's legs, where his armour didn't protect him.
The scream of pain that Achilles heard from Heracles was enough to tell him that he had hit his mark, which he quickly followed up on by imbibing his spear with his demonic power (making it glow in a green light), and thrusting it through Heracles' back, piercing the man's armour and impaling him through the heart. Heracles had only half a second or so between Achilles slashing up the back of his knees and when he stabbed him in the back to try and reach behind him to grab Achilles, to try and do SOMETHING to prevent his impending death, but he was too slow to stop Diatrekhōn Astēr Lonkhē from piercing his heart: a mistake that he wouldn't even know that he'd made, considering how quickly he died once his heart was pierced, and later impaled.
Perseus let out a shout of horror at the sight of his fellow Hero Faction member being impaled and killed right in front of him, and turned Aegis Mineralization on Achilles in an attempt to turn him to stone. However, noticing this, Achilles used his spear (which was still in Heracles' body) as leverage to swing Heracles into the way of the beam that was fired out of Perseus' shield. The beam impacted Heracles' corpse, turning it to stone as Achilles threw Heracles' body out of his way, summoning a sword made out of demonic power.
Perseus let out another cry of horror as he saw the green-haired Devil rapidly approaching, and swung his sword at Achilles. However, his attack was deftly parried by the half-Devil, giving said half-Devil the chance to pull his spear out of Heracles' back, and thrust it into Perseus' unprotected throat, showering blood over both it and Achilles' face (to a lesser extent). After a second or two of the spear being embedded in the Hero Faction member's throat, he ripped the spear back, causing even more blood and gore to shower all over Perseus' own clothing and armour, as well as the ground. Achilles saw Perseus' eyes widen to an unnatural extent, dropping both his sword and shield and clawing at his own throat.
A quiet gurgling sound came out of his mouth as he attempted to speak, before he silently fell over, dead.
"I guess I'm the superior descendant after all." Achilles remarked, shaking his spear a little bit to clear it of the blood that had now stained it, as best he could. "Ahh, damn it, I should've led with that."
The atmosphere within the basement of Kali Belladonna's house was... tense.
On one side of the room, which was dark except for several candles lit on the floor, Dr. Strange stood, as still and as silent as a statue, intently watching the floor... or more specifically, the ritual going on on the floor, as well as the man that the ritual was being done on.
On the other side of the room, Sun Wukong was sat in an armchair that he had conjured up for himself. Outwardly, he looked significantly more relaxed than the Sorcerer Supreme, given that he was leaning back in the armchair (which, incidentally, was even bigger than he was) and smoking a pipe, but he was just as tense on the inside as the Sorcerer Supreme he sat opposite of.
And in the middle of the room, in the middle of a magic-circle which was glowing softly as demonic power flowed through it, lay the half-naked, unconscious form of Roxas Gremory, who was glowing softly just like the magic-circle as the demonic power that flowed into the circle then flowed into him.
Wukong looked up as Strange moved, for the first time in an hour, to check his watch.
"Fifteen minutes." he mumbled, before going back to the still-as-a-statue position that he had been keeping before.
"Come again?" Wukong asked, taking his pipe out of his mouth.
"Fifteen minutes." Strange repeated. "The ritual-" he inclined his head towards Roxas' unmoving form. "should be complete within fifteen minutes. By the way, do you have to smoke that thing in here?"
"Helps me relax." he replied. "Something you could do with." he added, with a chuckle. Though his chuckles quickly ceased when Strange fixed him with a glare. "Fine, fine, I get it."
After taking an extra-long puff, Wukong tossed his pipe into a magic-circle and looked at Roxas' body for a couple of seconds, before waving his hand to conjure up a small chart, which detailed the balances of Roxas' twin life-forces. Thanks to the ritual that Gondul and Rosseweisse had devised, Roxas' twin life-forces looked to be a lot more balanced than when he had checked them yesterday, after Roxas had been stabbed by the True Longinus.
"Ritual seems to be going well, though." Wukong replied. "Better than I figured it would. We owe Gondul a drink for getting something like this done this quickly. If only because certain people would have thrown a fit over Roxas getting injured so critically during what's apparently meant to be a leisurely school trip for him and the brats he brought with him." he finished, with another chuckle.
"How did you know that?" Strange asked, not looking up from Roxas' body.
"I asked the host of Ddraig before Raven summoned everyone to the hotel that she and the brats were staying at." Wukong replied, simply. "She seemed pretty worried about Roxas, which is... odd." he shrugged. "Though things seem to be getting odder and odder, lately."
"Agreed." Strange replied, still not looking up from Roxas' body.
"And speaking of Roxas," Wukong looked over at Strange. "I've been curious for a while, Stephen. How did you and Roxas meet?"
Strange looked up from Roxas' body, and fixed Wukong with another stare for a couple of seconds. A silence was strung out between the two SSPCH members, before Strange broke it with a single one-word question.
"Like I said. I'm curious." he replied. "All I recall you telling anyone, including me, so far is that you and our Nephalonic friend over here didn't get on too well at first, but formed the SSPCH soon after some altercation between the pair of you. I think there's more to that story than you're letting on."
"Well, you'd be right." Strange replied. "And I haven't told anyone because it isn't anyone else's business except mine and Roxas'." his eyes flicked back to the Nephalem on the ground, before he looked back at Wukong. "But, since you asked so nicely," he continued, a slight trace of sarcasm entering his voice at that point. "I suppose I can tell you."
Strange conjured up a chair of his own and sat down in it, looking across the room at Wukong for a couple of seconds, before he began.
"It was six and a half years ago, when Roxas and I met." Strange spoke. "Was just a little town, a couple of dozen miles outside of New York City. I'd caught word of a Stray Devil that had hidden out over there, and travelled there to investigate, and take out the Stray before it took out any humans. Turns out that Roxas had gotten there first, and had already begun a battle with the Stray in question."
"Was it a particularly powerful Stray Devil?" Wukong asked
"I wouldn't know, I never got to fight it myself." Strange replied. "Though, for reasons that will become clear later, I doubt it was strong enough to have caused any major problems. Not like that dark Nekoshou that Roxas snapped up and proved the innocence of."
"I see." Wukong replied, sitting back in his chair and nodding. Strange took this as an invitation to continue, which he did.
"By the time I got to the town that I heard the Stray Devil was at, Roxas was already fighting the Stray. Though I'd say 'massacring' would be a more apt term. With literally zero regard for anything going on around him, either. I can recall him throwing the thing into a wall, and it flying through said wall, the populated building that that wall belonged to, and about six more buildings behind that first building. And that was just one throw."
"Damn." Wukong replied. "I mean, I'd get it if the town was abandoned, or evacuated, but populated?"
"Yeah." Strange replied. "I can only assume he didn't care. Not at the time, anyway." he sighed. "Anyway, I did my best to reverse the damage that Roxas was causing in his fight against the Stray Devil, bringing back those who were killed in the crossfire and evacuating those who weren't, as well as those that I had brought back. I'm certain that, had I not shown up when I did, Roxas' fight with the Stray would have completely destroyed the town. The death toll would have probably been something from the high-hundreds to the low-thousands, and the supernatural would have ended up being exposed to humanity."
"Something that I'm sure you let Roxas know as soon as you had the chance, once the fighting had stopped." Wukong replied. "Out of range of any innocent people, of course."
"Naturally." Strange replied. "Once Roxas had finished pounding the Stray into a thin, pinkish paste, and once I had fixed the town he had so brilliantly destroyed, and erased the memories of those he affected, I confronted him, and told him the exact conclusion that I told you that I had come to."
"And a fight broke out from that?" Wukong asked. "Who threw the first punch?"
"Strictly speaking, me." Strange replied. "And that was because, after I figured that Roxas wasn't truly sorry for the destruction and death he had caused, as sorry as he is now, I made the call to take him into custody, for safety's sake."
"And how did that go?" Wukong asked, his crinkled old mouth forming a smile of amusement. "The Sorcerer Supreme vs. the first Nephalem in over a millennium. Must have been a great fight."
"I'm sure I would think the same, had I come out on top in the end." Strange replied. "To cut short a long story that, I'm sure, would have made for an excellent anime fight, I didn't come out the victor in our bout. I came close, but Roxas' overwhelming attack power managed to break through my defences and techniques, and I was on the back foot, which only got worse and worse. If he hadn't taken interest in this-" Strange gestured to the artefact that hung around his neck. "I don't feel much shame in admitting that I could very well have been killed."
"How convenient." Wukong replied. "What's so important about that trinket around your neck, anyway? I've never seen you without it, but I've never seen you use it."
"Not important." Strange answered, swiftly. "Anyway, after our collective will to fight backed off, we began talking about a good few things. Including about my idea of forming a team, or society, if you will, dedicated to preventing the knowledge of the supernatural from getting out to humanity. Roxas, after talking with him and hearing a few of his ideas, like inviting representatives from other Pantheons into this, came to agree, and... well..."
"And I know the rest." Wukong replied. "I, Gondul, Scathach, Sir Integra and Nick Fury became the founding seven members of the SSPCH, alongside you and Roxas, its Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively."
"That you did." Strange replied. "And, so far, I'd probably say that it's a success. More representatives from both human countries and supernatural pantheons/factions has led to a more co-operated effort by everyone to keep the existence of the supernatural world out of the hands of non-supernatural humans. The united Christian Pantheon finally stepping in has really helped, too, thanks to Roxas finally coming out to them about us."
"Indeed." Wukong nodded, his eyes flicking over to Roxas... who was stirring.
Strange noticed this, and immediately checked his watch.
"The ritual should be finished." he stated, immediately shifting into business-mode. "Check his life-forces."
Wukong obliged, and narrowed his eyes as he looked at them.
"They're good." he remarked. "Roxas is stable."
Strange waved his hands, and the magic-circle underneath Roxas disappeared, as Roxas continued to stir, and slowly open his eyes.
"Roxas?" Strange asked, kneeling down as Roxas began to move to sit up. "Are you alright?"
"I've... felt better." Roxas replied, yawning and stretching. He tried to get to his feet, but stumbled slightly, clutching his back. "Ahh."
"What's wrong?" Wukong spoke up, immediately pulling up Roxas' life-forces again. "Your life-forces are stable, Roxas."
"Yeah, thanks." Roxas answered, holding a hand up in gratitude. "Just. Back. Ahh, that doesn't feel great. Give me a second."
Roxas proceeded to massage the lower portion of his back with one hand, stretching with the other, and massaged his lower back with the hand he had just stretched with while using the other hand to stretch, for a moment or two each.
"Ahh." Roxas sighed, once his little wake-up routine was over with. "That's better." he waved one hand and summoned an As I Lay Dying t-shirt, a pair of jeans, socks and shoes onto himself, before looking between Strange and Wukong.
"So." he spoke, shifting into business mode himself. "How long has it been?"
"Since we began the ritual on you..." Wukong made to answer, but paused. Strange answered for him.
"Right." Roxas replied, nodding. "And the Bergin situation...?"
"Raven and the group she assembled advanced on Nijo Castle about half an hour ago." Strange replied. "It's likely that they've engaged Cao Cao and whatever forces he has, already."
"Well, what the hell are we waiting for?" Roxas asked, stretching that little bit more, as he looked between Strange and Wukong. Summoning Clarent Galatine to his hand with a flick of his wrist, the regular easygoing smirk that Roxas was so known for returned, with the little addition of a battle-hungry glint in his eye.
"Let's go get that son of a bitch."
Kiba, Irina and Xenovia
Kiba, Xenovia and Irina all got into combat-stances as they looked at Siegfried, who seemed to be grinning at the sight of them.
"I didn't get to test my true potential out against the three of you." he remarked to the two Nephalem and one Angel. "Let's both go all-out, okay? Balance Break!"
To Kiba, Xenovia and Irina's surprise, four silver arms popped out of Siegfried's back (as opposed to just one back when they fought on the Togetsukyo Bridge), each of them wielding a Demon Sword. In his left hand was Gram, in his right was Balmung, and his two left silver arms held the Demon Sword he had pulled out on the bridge (Nothung) and a long, double-edged sword that was coloured all-black, from grip-handle to blade, with four diamond-shaped patterns (coloured green) on the centre and a bat-winged shaped cross-guard: The Demon Sword Tyrfing.
His two right silver arms held a light-sword (a mass-produced version that Irina herself remembered wielding before she was given the Holy Container required to wield Excalibur Mimic), and a sword that looked to be the most demonic-looking out of all the Demon Swords that Siegfried wielded.
The hilt appeared to be similar to that of a demon's wings on the right side, a horn-like addition pointed downwards, and the blade was jagged and black, also having three reddish diamond-shaped jewels embedded inside of the blade near its base. Three protrusions were along the edge, with a portion of the blade pointing upward in front of the three protrusions, and having a curved tip: The Demon Sword Dáinsleif.
With those six swords, Siegfried got into a battle-stance. He looked like an Asura with his six arms and battle-hungry grin.
"Let's go!" Siegfried shouted, rushing towards Kiba, Xenovia and Irina. However, before he could reach them, Kiba stabbed the sword he was using (the Sword of Betrayer) into the ground, and sprouted up a wall of huge, thick swords between the Knights, Ace and Siegfried.
"Alright, that should keep him busy for a while." Kiba muttered, focusing all that he could into creating more and more swords to fuel his wall. "Xenovia, Irina, I've got a plan. Or at least the beginnings of one."
"Well, we're all ears!" Irina replied, tensely looking over at the wall, which even just after Kiba had sprouted up the wall of Demon Swords, was beginning to shake a little. It seemed Siegfried was doing all he could on the other side to break down the wall. "What's the plan, Kiba?"
"We've all got different powersets, let's use them to our advantage." Kiba replied. "I can create swords, so I'll hang back and send them at him from a distance. From as many angles as possible. Xenovia, you don't have to worry about the effects of Demon Swords as much as Irina does, so you keep him focused on you, and do anything in your power to keep him away from myself and Irina. While Irina, you can create halos to restrain people, right?"
"Yup!" Irina answered, conjuring a small one and twirling it around her finger to demonstrate.
"Right. Do that." Kiba replied. "As many as you can. From as many angles as possible. Try and bind those silver arms of Siegfried's together. Even if it slows him down for a second-"
"A second is all we need." Xenovia and Irina replied, at the same time. The two former Humans looked at each other and let out giggles, before Kiba spread his wings and used them to fly backwards, as the wall of Demon Swords he had created began to shake even harder than before.
"Exactly! Let's go!" the blond Knight shouted, as the wall finally broke, with Siegfried jumping through it, a battle-hungry grin similar to the one worn by a certain other white-haired Exorcist (Kiba had to wonder if they were related, somehow) on his face. Almost instantly, he began creating regular-looking swords (which, when they were created out of thin air instead of the ground, seemed to form out of solid air. Xenovia was somewhat reminded of whenever Roxas summoned Clarent Galatine to himself from the tattoo on his arm) and began firing them at Siegfried from long-range, just as he said he would.
"Yeah!" Xenovia and Irina both chorused in unison (again). Irina took to the air and began conjuring up halos of light, as Kiba suggested she do (the Reincarnated Angel knew damn well that Kiba must have had a few seconds, at most, to come up with the plan that he had, but any plan was better than no plan, in her opinion), and throwing them at Siegfried, while Xenovia remained on the ground and met Siegfried's first swing (from Gram) head-on, pushing his sword back and swinging at the white-haired former Exorcist with Durandal.
Siegfried parried the slash, and returned with simultaneous slashes at Xenovia's neck with Tyrfing and his light-sword, which Xenovia dodged with a back-flip. After landing on the ground, she focused her Holy-Demonic aura into the blade she had naturally inherited at 16 years old, and swung it to send a wave of powerful destructive energy at Siegfried, who was forced to slide under the energy-wave in order to dodge it. After he jumped back to his feet, he thrust Tyrfing forward in a jabbing motion, sending what looked like an arrow of destructive energy of his own (one that looked purely Demonic, rather than the mixed Holy-Demonic wave that his blue-haired opponent had sent) at Xenovia, who shielded herself with Durandal and swung upwards to meet Siegfried's next swing, this one from Dáinsleif.
"You're more prepared than before." Siegfried remarked, a grin on his face as he swiped at Xenovia's head with Balmung. "That's good, Xenovia. We can fight at our respective full strengths, without-!" his little speech was cut off by a light-halo, thrown by Irina from behind, catching two of his silver arms (the ones holding Nothung and Tyrfing) and binding them together) "The fu- shit!"
Siegfried and Xenovia were both forced to back away from each other, as a sword fired by Kiba from Siegfried's right (Xenovia's left) came flying between the pair of them. It was noticably closer to Siegfried, missing his face by centimetres, but Xenovia still felt the reflexive urge to back up. Ignoring Kiba's shouted apology, Roxas' sole Knight rushed towards Siegfried while focusing an intense amount of Holy aura into Durandal, thinking that if she overpowered the Demonic auras in Nothung and Tyrfing, then she could damage the swords... or better yet, destroy them entirely, which would provide her, Irina and Kiba with an IMMENSE advantage in the present fight.
Siegfried, however, seemed to have guessed what Xenovia was planning, as he jumped backwards again, putting more distance between himself and Xenovia. He used Dáinsleif to break the light-halo that Irina had thrown around the arms holding Nothung and Tyrfing, and threw the two Demon Swords up into the air as Xenovia came slashing at his left side, leaving herself open and unprotected from slashes courtesy of Dáinsleif and his light-sword.
Though they certainly didn't cut her back as deeply as they could have, it certainly feel good for Xenovia to be slashed in the back by a Demon Sword and a light-sword at the same time. She hissed from the pain and jumped back, as Siegfried caught Nothung and Tyrfing with a laugh, and rushed at her again, swinging Gram to destroy a couple of swords fired at him by Kiba, swinging Dáinsleif to destroy another light-halo thrown at him by Irina, and using both swords to swing at Xenovia from the side and above at the same time.
'Damn it!' Xenovia thought to herself, jumping to the left and throwing all her weight into pushing Gram away from her while dodging Dáinsleif entirely, and jumping up into the air after that. 'Come on,' she encouraged herself. 'It's like you and Irina said, one second is all you need.'
Flipping over an ice-pillar created by Dáinsleif and sliding down a majority of it before using it as a springboard to jump off of and attack Siegfried with a fast, stabbing attack, Xenovia felt a familiar, encouraging warmth coming over her as she felt the wounds in her back closing, and her whole body feeling as good as she was before the present battle had begun. No... better than before.
Inwardly thanking Asia for both her Balance Breaker and her perfect timing, Xenovia landed beside Siegfried and span around, slashing at his head faster than she remembered herself capable of. Siegfried, seemingly caught off-guard by this, quickly Tyrfing to block her swing, though his defence was overpowered. The former Exorcist found himself forced onto the defensive as Xenovia kept coming, slashing harder and harder, faster and faster, and forcing Siegfried more and more into a defensive, sub-optimal position.
Xenovia didn't notice, but as she continued laying down the thick and fast blows on Siegfried, Irina and Kiba (who were also being enhanced by Asia's Balance Breaker) converged on her position, continuing to throw/fire their respective attacks at the former Exorcist, and focusing the power of their attacks into one position, in hopes that Siegfried's already-lowered defenses would crack even faster than they (hopefully) would had Xenovia alone been the one to continue the attack.
Siegfried was panicking now: the kids that he had so handily beaten one-and-a-bit days ago during the battle on the Togetsukyo Bridge were holding his own against him... no, they were beating him. Granted, they had to have been more prepared than that first fight (considering that this WAS their second fight, and the way that they, and everyone else, just strolled into Nijo Castle gave off the air that they were more prepared than when he, Cao Cao and the rest of the Hero Faction had ambushed them, the Red Dragon Empress, the little blonde nun that Diodora Astaroth had such a obsession with that it went way past disgusting and into the repulsive, the two Youkai girls and Roxas Gremory himself), and they seemed to be working in a more unified manner than their first fight, but... it was still hard for Siegfried, one of many test-tube beings created as descendents to the Dragon-slaying Norse hero Sigurd, to accept.
Luckily for everyone involved, Siegfried wouldn't have to worry about the possibility of losing any further, as another light-halo thrown by Irina made its mark, and bound the two arms holding Dáinsleif and the light-sword together. As she did so, she transformed Excalibur Mimic into a lasso, and threw it towards the two silver arms holding Nothung and Tyrfing. She made her mark perfectly, and bound the two arms together just as she had done with the light-halo.
"Kiba! Xenovia!" Irina shouted.
"On it!" both Knights, knowing what had to be done, called in return, and dashed forward as Irina took the strain of Siegfried trying to wrestle his way out of his current predicament.
Kiba created a Demon Sword with an especially sharp cutting power, and swung it at Siegfried's two left silver arms (the ones holding Nothung and Tyrfing), and swung down, slicing through both arms and cutting them off, with the REAL arm holding Gram following half a second later. Siegfried screamed in pain as his left arm left his body and landed on the ground, with said severed limb still holding onto Gram, with the same fate befalling the two silver arms holding Nothung and Tyrfing.
Xenovia, as she had done before, focused as much of her aura into Durandal as she felt she physically could, and swung at the (restrained) silver arms holding Dáinsleif and the light-sword, with Durandal hitting its mark with ease. However, as Durandal hit Siegfried's arms, something... unintended, happened. Rather than cut through the arms, as Kiba's blade had done, Durandal let out a powerful blast of destructive energy that BLEW UP Siegfried's entire right side: the silver arms, his real right arm, fuck, even the Demon Swords (Dáinsleif and Balmung) that he was holding were reduced to shards of demonically-charged metal, rather than anything resembling swords.
Siegfried's pained screams inreased fivefold in volume. The dismembered Exorcist only had three seconds to take in the fact that he had been beaten by, as far he was concerned, a trio of kids, before Kiba created another, simpler, sword, and stabbed Siegfried through the head with it, killing him.
There was a silence for a few seconds, as Kiba, Xenovia and Irina panted, coming down from their respective rushes of adrenaline, for a moment or two, before Irina spoke up.
"Xenovia, what was that? What you did with Durandal, I've never seen you do that before!"
"I don't know, Irina!" Xenovia replied to her best friend. "I certainly didn't intend to do that. Maybe Durandal wanted it to happen?"
She looked down at her blade, before realising something else that was different: Durandal seemed to have changed in appearance. The blue inner portion of the blade had turned a dark silver, and the golden outer edge of the blade had also turned silver, but a far lighter shade.
"What...?" Xenovia murmured, blinking in surprise. Irina joined her best friend in marvelling at what had become of the 1300-year-old Holy Sword, while Kiba noticed the three non-destroyed Demon Swords (Gram, Nothung and Tyrfing)... beginning to glow.
Tifa, Undyne and Alphys
The young Hero Faction member with greyish-white hair and dressed in a suit, Marsillo (descendent of Marsilio Ficino, an Italian scholar/Catholic priest/philosopher from the 15th century), was surprised to see three of the five members of Imogen's peerage that had accompanied their King to Nijo Castle (Tifa Lockhart, Undyne and Alphys) approaching him.
'Rook in prostitute-tier clothing.' he looked over at Tifa. 'Developed muscles, no visible weapons, probably a brawler.' His grey-blue eyes flicked over to Undyne. 'Humanoid fish. Chaotic energy surrounding it, probably also a fighter of some kind. Doubt it's a brawler.' His eyes then flicked over to Alphys. 'Lizard girl. Doesn't look like a fighter like the other two. Probably uses magic. Or some other form of power that I can't read.'
Before any of Imogen's peerage members could make the first move, Marsillo quickly waved his hands to create an illusion of five copies of himself (with the creation being masked by a puff of smoke that he also created via magic). The multiple Marsillo's (with the real one among them) dashed out of the smoke after a couple of seconds, with two of each targeting a peerage member.
"Shit!" Undyne cried, conjuring a spear out of nowhere and thrusting it through the head of a clone, which disintegrated. "He's using illusion-clones!" Using her Knight speed, she dashed over to her girlfriend Alphys, scooped her up and dashed a fair distance backwards as Alphys pulled a gadget of some kind out of her dress, pointed it at the closest Marsillo to her, and pressed a button, causing a bolt of energy to be fired out of the device, hit the Marsillo in the head, where it was instantly disintegrated.
"Th-that one's not real, either." Alphys muttered, pointing the device at the next-nearest Marsillo (which, along with the other three, were targeting Tifa), pressing the button and firing another bolt of energy at the Marsillo she was aiming at. As with the other one, the Marsillo was instantly disintegrated, revealing that it was not the real Marsillo. Undyne cursed under her breath as Alphys fired another bolt of energy at the next-nearest Marsillo to her. She made her mark, again, but this time, the Marsillo she hit did not disintegrate.
Instead, he stumbled, and fired off the magical attack that he seemed to be charging up. Before he could even confirm whether or not it had hit Tifa, he turned on Undyne and Alphys (the latter of whom had been set down by the former), and summoned what looked like a clock that was attached to his left wrist. He rested his right hand on what Undyne and Alphys could both only assume was his Sacred Gear, and Undyne and Alphys both felt the sensation of being forced to slow down...
Though that sensation only lasted a couple of seconds as Tifa, who had dodged the magical attack that Marsillo had fired off at her, deliver a quick, solid punch to the back of his head, which was powerful to the point that Marsillo fell unconscious so quickly that he didn't even get to cry out in pain, before he dropped to the floor and moved no more.
"THAT was a Hero Faction member?" Undyne spoke, incredulously. "Damn, that was disappointing. I've faced Stray Devils more threatening than that guy! We must be getting good!"
"Or he was just bad." Tifa offered another possible explanation. "Anyway, let's get this guy somewhere secure."
Undyne and Alphys both nodded, with Tifa picking the unconscious Marsillo up, draping her over her shoulders, and walking away from the battles that were going on behind her. Undyne and Alphys followed.
Shirou and Karna
The two Chinese-looking men, one with tied-up blue hair and the other with untied green hair, looked at each other, and then at the two servants of Achilles Astaroth that had walked up to them, in their own combat-stances.
Shirou Emiya, Achilles' Pawn, the teenager with auburn hair that had summoned a pair of swords, and Karna, Achilles' Queen, the descendent of the Hindu hero of the same name who had pulled out a spear, looked carefully at the two Chinese men, who had both drawn bows: Yi (descendent of Hou Yi, the mythical Chinese archer), the blue-haired man, pulled out a green bow, while Fen (descendent of Feng Meng, apprentice of Hou Yi), the green-haired man, pulled out a blue bow, with both Hero Faction members getting into combat-stances themselves.
"Which one are you going to copy, Shirou?" Karna asked of Achilles' Pawn, who looked over at him, a neutral look on his face.
"Already copied both." Shirou replied. "But I doubt a pair of bows will do much good against archers." He readied his swords, and took a slow breath. "Let's go."
Yi and Fen immediately began firing arrows from their bows, that homed in on Shirou and Karna. Pawn and Queen split up, allowing both sets of arrows to home in on them seperately. The larger blue arrows, fired by Fen, flew at Karna, while the smaller (and more numerous) green arrows, fired by Yi, flew at Shirou.
After getting a reasonably safe distance away, Shirou coated his twin swords in demonic power and used them to slice through the green arrows fired at him, dissipating them without issue. He could see Karna letting out a blast of power from his spear, easily destroying all the blue arrows that homed in on him, without any visible effort. Looking up, Shirou noticed Yi beginning to quickly back away and to the right of Shirou, quickly and constantly firing arrows at him as he did so.
"Oh, no you don't." Shirou muttered, beginning to chase Yi, slashing at the arrows that came his way and ducking at the occasional one that was fired at him by Fen (who was mostly pre-occupied with fighting Karna). "You don't get away that easily."
Raising his swords in an 'x' motion and using magic to create a shield in front of himself, Shirou increased his running speed to full-tilt level, powering through all the arrows that Yi fired at him and Promoting himself to Knight as he did so.
It didn't take him very long to reach Yi, where after letting down his shield and dodging the archer's next volley of arrows, Shirou slashed at the HF member's mid-section with one of his swords, surprised that said HF member managed to dodge out of the way (even if it was such a close dodge that part of his suit-jacket was cut off). Yi was not so lucky with Shirou's next slash, aimed at his chest, which he still managed to dodge away from without being killed, but he didn't come out of it completely unscathed: Yi found himself bleeding with a long, not-very-deep cut across his upper chest.
Hissing in pain from the cut, Yi jumped backwards and, instead of aiming at Shirou, aimed his bow skyward, and fired a much larger arrow up into the air. Shirou made to rush in and finish Yi, or at the very least knock him out, right there and then, but was impeded from doing so by another powerful blue arrow fired his way from the left by Fen, with the distinct sound of a spear piercing flesh and a scream of pain instantly following a second or so later.
Both Shirou and Yi looked over to their left/right, and both widened their eyes at the sight of Fen, who had dropped his blue bow, with blood seeping from the stab-wound in his lower chest area, courtesy of a stab from the spear that Karna carried. This eye-widening and staring only lasted for a couple of seconds, as the technique that Yi had pulled off finally took effect, in the form of hundreds of smaller green arrows coming down around Shirou, forcing him to back up. Thanks to the speed granted by his Knight promotion, he was able to pull back out of the arrow-rain's area of effect, escaping unscatched as the rain of arrows came to an end.
"You going to give up?" Karna asked of Yi, in a neutral tone. "Just like this one?" he gestured to Fen, who was still on the business end of the spear that he still held in his hand. Yi, in a rare moment of sanity for a Hero Faction member, laid down his green bow and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.
'...That was easy.' Shirou thought to himself, sending his two swords back to a pocket-dimension of his with a subconscious thought. Karna did the same with his own spear, and after making sure that Fen was laid down in a comfortable position, extended one hand towards the green-haired man and began focusing healing magic onto his stab-wound.
No need to allow someone to die after they had willingly surrendered, after all.
It was safe to say that Scathach and Chulainn weren't having the easiest time of it against Cao Cao.
After he used one of the seven orbs that he had summoned with his True Longinus, after calling out 'Polar Night Longinus Chakravartin', to summon autonomous warrior-like drone-beings that began attacking Scathach and Chulainn, he used four more to fire attacks at Scathach and Chulainn while they were busy with the warrior-beings, while also firing shots of light out of his True Longinus at the two fighters when he could.
Scathach jumped over a group of four or so drones, twirling her spear in the shape of a rune in the air. After landing behind the group of drones that rushed towards where she was before, she used magic to activate the rune that she had drawn in mid-air, triggering a powerful explosion that destroyed the drones. The purple-haired queen then swivelled around, coating her spear in raw magical energy and swinging it through the air, cutting through three more drones and destroying them.
Using the momentum gained by her swing, Scathach span around, roundhouse-kicking another of the drones so hard that it was split in two, spinning around again in mid-air to kick another drone so hard that its entire top half exploded, and after landing on the ground, thrust her spear through another two drones and focused enough magical energy through her spear, Gae Bolg, to destroy the drones that she had impaled after letting the energy out with a pulse.
Scathach took the free second she had to look up, and saw Cao Cao standing several dozen feet away. Her view of him was clear and unobscured for a single second before another pair of drones got in her way, which were destroyed by a magic-infused kick. However, the appearance of those two drones, and her taking a couple of seconds to get rid of them, were long enough for Cao Cao to send one of the seven orbs that he had conjured up (a technique that Scathach could only guess was a Balance Breaker of his) towards her with such speed that she was forced to raise Gae Bolg in order to try and deflect it away from her.
Yet as she swung her spear towards the orb, the orb suddenly changed course, moving above Gae Bolg as Scathach swung it at the orb. The orb then travelled downwards and made contact with Gae Bolg, which then caused a loud crack to sound. As the orb travelled back towards Cao Cao and then towards Chulainn, Scathach looked down at her spear and realised something quite unpleasant.
Whatever power that the orb had stored inside it was strong enough to have left a sizeable crack in her beloved spear, with numerous smaller cracks spreading out across Gae Bolg's handle and making it look more like a cheap toy that was about to break than a spear that had slain Gods and Beasts alike.
As she heard several drones approaching from behind, Scathach made the quick decision to open a pocket-dimension, throw Gae Bolg into it (where it could be magically repaired), and spin around to take on the drones hand-to-hand. Grabbing one by its arm, she managed to swing it around and use it as a flail of sorts against the nearest drones to her, knocking them down and giving her some space. After she cast a quick explosion-spell to destroy the downed drones, she turned around and dashed forward, coating her body in light-purple Touki (which she was able to activate through years and years of dedicated training, helped along by the God-Class power that Morrigan had granted her so long ago).
Her speed, attack and defence increased, Scathach dashed straight for Cao Cao, her powerful aura and magic being enough to blast aside all the drones that stood in her direct path, as well as most of the other ones that were just standing around. She reached Cao Cao and drew back her fist, sure that she could end the fight there and then, but just as her fist was about to strike Cao Cao's face, the True Longinus wielder turned around and slashed at her face, forcing Scathach to abort the attack and roll under Cao Cao in order to dodge the attack. After jumping back to her feet and turning around, Cao Cao looked over at the drones that Scathach had blown aside, and sighed.
"You were worth the months of training, truly you were." he remarked sarcastically, to no-one in particular, before looking over at Scathach, who had the same calm, neutral expression on her face that she usually did, though there was a battle-hardened edge in her eyes that she could see in Cao Cao's as well.
"I guess I'll get serious, too." Cao Cao remarked, summoning all the orbs back to himself and dispelling them, along with the drones that had all moved onto attacking Chulainn. Gripping his Longinus tightly and closing his eyes, he called out "True Longinus Götterdämmerung!"
Scathach widened her eyes as an immense amount of Holy energy began to radiate from Cao Cao and his True Longinus. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Chulainn, who had been sent flying by the outpouring of energy from Cao Cao. Truth be told, the amount of energy that Cao Cao was radiating right now made even her shudder slightly, but Scathach still stood firm.
As the holy energy continued to radiate from Cao Cao, she saw his hair turning white. As the wielder of the Ultimate Longinus got into a combat-stance, Scathach saw the opening to her pocket-dimension appear beside her, with a fully-repaired Gae Bolg rising out of it.
'Perfect timing.' she thought, grasping the spear and pulling it out of her pocket-dimension, getting into a combat-stance of her own and re-activating her Touki, coating it all over both her body and over Gae Bolg.
"Alright, Queen of Dun Scaith..." Cao Cao remarked, his voice having a more echo-y quality to it than before he activated what could only be assumed to his Balance Breaker. "Here I-!" Cao Cao's declaration died in his throat as he noticed something happening behind Scathach, who also heard the sound of a transportation-circle opening right behind her. Before the circle was fully opened, several bullets of light and darkness, fired out of a pair of guns, flew past Scathach's head and right at Cao Cao, with the speed of... well, bullets.
"The hell?!" Cao Cao shouted, twirling his spear to deflect the bullets away from himself and jumping backwards. "What- you?!"
"Yes, yes, I know, Bergin." Scathach heard the voice of a certain Nephalem sounding from right behind her, as Roxas Gremory stepped forward, stopping just to the right of her. She could see him de-summoning Luce and Ombra, and summoning Clarent Galatine to himself. "Contrary to the belief of those who think Gods are the be-all and end-all of everything supernatural, I'm hard to kill."
Cao Cao gritted his teeth so hard that it looked like they might break as he looked to Scathach's left, and saw Sun Wukong stepping up and stopping beside her, covering himself and his staff in a layer of Touki, with Dr. Strange bringing up the rear. He said nothing, opting instead to float off towards Imogen, who was holding an unconscious Yasaka in her arms.
"Bergin." Wukong, an uncharacteristically hard look on his face. "I'll give you one warning, only one. Surrender."
Cao Cao didn't reply. On the contrary, he got back into the battle-stance that he had gotten into only a moment earlier, with the Holy aura around him intensifying.
"Oh well, I tried." Wukong remarked to himself, as he extended his staff behind Scathach's back and used it to tap Roxas on the shoulder, over-rejuvenating him with enough Senjutsu that he was able to summon silver Touki onto himself, just as Scathach and Wukong had done. "Guess I'll have to put my former student in his place."
"As long as I can still have a fair shot at him." Scathach replied. "I started this fight, I'd very much like to finish it."
"You'll both have to get in line." Roxas remarked to the pair of them, switching to a one-handed grip with Clarent Galatine, and summoning some of his Power of Twilight with the other hand.
And that's Chapter forty-fucking-nine of Nephalem finished! The first half of the Battle of Kyoto is covered, with the Hero Faction members mostly taken care of. Next chapter (the fiftieth chapter. Fucking hell, I never figured I'd still be going strong at 50 chapters) will cover the battles with the New Round Table, so I hope you're all ready for that. Because I'm sure those battles will be just as good as most of these were!
Also, Roxas is back! Fully recovered from the shit Cao Cao did to him, and ready to kick some holy ass alongside DxD's Best Boomer and Fate's Best Girl.
By the way, the lemon series poll is still up. Anyone who hasn't already, please go vote on it. The results are pretty damn close (especially at the top), so every vote counts!
Anyway, I really hope you enjoyed this chapter! Whether you did or you didn't, please leave a review and let me know, because I really do love hearing feedback of all kinds. If you fancy letting me know about some possible ideas you might hae for later in the story, or just have questions for me (because I'll be happy to answer them), let me know in a review, drop me a PM or hit me up on Discord (name for it is on my profile)... preferably the latter, because fuck this site's PM system.
Next Time: Vs. New Round Table, You Say Run
Preview of Next Chapter:
"H-hello Indra." Georg spoke, his eyes widening still further.