Tl note: Merry Christmas, everyone. It’s been a very long time since I last updated anything on this website, but well… let me tell you what happened in my life (if you’re not interested, you can just skip to the chapter).
2022 has been the best year of my life. I always thought about the long-run in everything I did, but in that year, I crumbled. I thought that I couldn’t keep living my whole life worrying about the future alone, because I missed everything else: the present; the past. I felt like my past was a muddy phantom weighing on me, and my present was like wind blowing on my face, leaving no trace of it behind if not in my memories. The future? An unreachable mirage. That’s why I decided, for only one year, to stop thinking about the future, and only living the present. Tasting it, remembering it, making that feeling last in my memory forever, as to fill something that was missing in myself for all my life.
That’s how I remembered love. I remembered happiness, joy, dreams; I met new persons I loved, took time to improve myself and step closer to my dreams, overcame so many fears and vanquished countless shadows of my past I could barely believe it. I overcame many traumas, and I managed to reach out a little more into myself, holding parts of me I thought I had lost forever… and yet they were still there.
Like a blessing, that year gifted me with every positiveness I ever lacked in my life: stability; happiness; love; money; friends; jobs… I had everything. I tasted “true happiness” for the very first time in my life. I was so happy I even told myself “I’m proud of you, sweetie”, but that only happened once. That was the only time I hadn’t lied to myself in years.
And yet, my heart screamed. I knew that nothing of that could last long, because dreams are doomed to fade away and only leave a bitter taste behind.
2023 kicked in like a nightmare. It’s been one of the worse years of my life. In a matter of months, everything had fallen apart. Money, friends, stability, happiness, love; everything crumbled down. Even the peace my family reached, which I had never knew before 2022, is just a memory now.
I hated what was happening, and I hated myself for suffering the unavoidable that much. I tried to run away, and only met stress, powerlessness, saddness, regrets, pain.
I thought to drop everything more than once. I thought I wasn’t cut for anything I was doing, because there is no way I can be anything good in my life. Nothing proves what I am. Only I can do, and I believe I am a failure under every single aspect I can think of.
Time came short. I had four jobs at once, and they literally wrung me dry of sanity, patience and self-esteem which I’ve never had in the first place. I failed to remember why I was trying that hard, why am I even trying to walk down the path I chosen for myself, why am I… myself. I wished to be somebody else. I wished I could just forget everything, leave everything behind and choose something different… but I failed to. Again.
I was drowning. Breathing was starting to feel suffocating, and my feelings were frozen. Apathy kicked in, and I knew that would be the worst foe I could face, because it knows everything about me. It knows me better than myself, and it knows how to strike, bind and crush me.
Again, I had nowhere to run. I had no money to ask for help, I had no one who knew how to help me, I had no time to heal myself because I was so damn filled with stuff to do that I was barely able to sleep. I endured it all, and just waited. Waited for a moment where I could allow myself to relax and heal.
Finally, that time has come. I’m trying my best to lighten my heart from all the burdens weighting on it. What weights more, is that I ended up doing a thing I loathe with all my soul: I gave my word to people, and failed to keep it.
When I noticed that, I understood I was going to shatter. I was going to lose myself. I was going to become someone I would never want to… and now I’m in the middle of this battle.

Releasing this chapter is the first step to heal for me. I wanted to do it so many months ago I forgot when was it that I first started to desire it, but now I’m finally keeping my word, and I feel better while I’m writing all of this.
It’s going to take me many years to fully recover from everything I went through this year, but I’ll try my best, step by step. As I’ve always done.
I hope I can accept my limits, and that the next year won’t be as merciless as this one.

I wish you all the best, and a happy new year. I hope next time I will bring only good news.


Divine beast – Part 3

Renunt village wasn’t located far from the mountains marking the region’s border.
If one put the distance from the top of the mountains and the road to the village together, it was about fifty kilometers. The flocks of fire dragons and the packs of monsters would take some time before their invasion would land the impact.
During that time, Kunon and her comrades readied the front line to fight them off.

“Divine Beasts sure are bad news… crossing Meld mountains with that many monsters sure is an incredible feat…”

Kunon spoke her thoughts aloud as she looked at the incoming wave of enemies. She was firmly grabbing at a treetop.
Meld mountains were a real natural barrier not only for their insane paths, deadly cliffs, countless cracks and holes that pitted the ground leading to sure death, but also because their magnetic field jammed so hard with magic power that it became unsteady and risky to use. Everyone with a good amount of magic power were sure to feel sick and if they tried to use magic for some reason, they risked to blow themselves up due to magic dysfunctions, leading them to sure death.
Thanks to that magnetic field, Meld mountains were repellent for monsters, which were like beasts with some magic inside them. Of course, some were brave enough to cross them anyway, but it was a small number.
And yet, the colossal monster clad in flames that was now towering over the top of mountain in the distance was defying conventional wisdom.

“Probably its size is so out of scale that it is unaffected by the magnetic field… it is also producing lava to clean the path for the smaller and middle class monsters… that’s quite the idea.”

Karin spoke from the magic tool, her voice mixed with deep sighs.
The red thing coming down from the mountain wasn’t just the sharp and hard skin of fire dragons or the countless monsters lit by the fiery light at their feet, but also the ground which was melting due to the Divine Beasts’ power and flowing down as lava, covering all the deadly cracks and holes that could’ve slowed the march of those minions down.

“Divine Beasts sure acquire the strangest of knowledge only by living so long.”

“Not like it matters once I kill it~!”

Kunon replied with a cheerful tone, then called out to Sigurd, who was waiting on the ground.

“Monster hunter old man! Did you get your role?”

“Old man…? I’m still in my mid-twenties…”

“I can’t care less! Just bring down five middle-class monsters and you’re good to go, okay?”

“No, I’m gonna slap that Divine Beast with you, Wolfie.”

Sigurd rose his huge shield-sword and pointed it to the monster he was glaring at.
Kunon let herself hung from the treetop and made an X mark with her arms.

“No way. Reminder that this is all your fault for failing to slay six fire dragons. How can you be so weak to let even only one of them flee, you small-fry?”

“Don’t give me that… I got a medal by killing five of them.”

He wasn’t proud of what he had just said. That was probably the amount of monsters he slayed everyday, but for Kunon and her comrades, middle-class monsters were “nothing special”.

“Aigle, Merino, you can ignore minor monsters. Just aim at the middle-class ones.”

“AS YOU COMMAND!!”

“Okaaay.”

The two of them replied with ease, their gazes fixated to the flocks in the distance.

“Aigle, your order?”

“MY ARROWS HAVE SACRED METAL AS HEADS AND JAIL ALLOYS AS SHAFTS! THEY’RE BIG LIKE ME, YOURS TRULY!!”

“And they cost a hundred gold coins each…”

“I CAN’T HOLD MYSELF TODAY, SO I’LL LEAVE THE PAYMENT FOR LATER!!”

“Order accepted… thank youuu…”

Merino waved her clinking khakkhara in front of her, then knocked it on the ground, and her surroundings shone with light.
That looked no different from magic, although demi-humans hardly had any magic in them.

“Components choice: sacred metal, jail alloy, arrow-shaped.”

She spoke in whispers. The light around her burst and a huge arrow came out from it.
It was thick like the torso of a man and longer than two meters with a shiny and needle-sharp metal tip.
That actually looked closer to a metal pole than some arrow, and yet Aigle grabbed and rose it with one hand.

“I WILL MAKE SURE TO SHOOT EVERY TARGET DOWN! WHAT I KEEP IN MY HEART IS AT STAKE AS WELL!!”

He nocked it on his huge bow, then flexed his extremely muscular arms to draw the string to its limit and aimed toward the incoming wave.
The more he pulled, the more the bow let out a screeching sound, but no matter how much it bent, it didn’t look like breaking.
Then, magic flowed into the bowstring and the arrow.
To activate the magic infused within that bow, one had to bend it to its limit, which was a feat for people with inhuman strength, and luckily that was exactly Aigle’s most evident characteristic.
The bird-man planted his feet deep into the ground and let out a roar to vent the strain he was going through, then loosened his grip.
The air and the ground shook as the arrow cut through space at an impossible speed, looking not that different from a huge bullet, leaving behind an ominous trail of light and quavering sound. Its goal was one middle-class fire dragon so far in the distance it looked like a small dot among the countless monsters, and it didn’t take much to reach it.
The next instant, nothing of the monster’s head was left, and the arrow – which looked no different from a light javelin – kept racing through the ground, where it landed with a huge boom.

“HAHAHA! LOOK AT MUSCLES’ WIN! THIS IS THE POWER TO EARN MY MONTHLY SALARY!!”

“You’ll keep giving a lot to me, you know that…?”

“I AM HOPING FOR A DISCOUNT SINCE I AM BUYING SO MANY AT ONCE!”

“No way… components cost a lot, and so does my inventory’s maintenance…”

Right after rejecting his request, Merino hurried to create a new arrow.
Then, Levin sprinted to the incoming wave.

“GREAT JOB, AIGLE!! MOW THEM DOWN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!”

“I DO NO WISH TO END UP PENNILESS FOR USING TOO MANY ARROWS, THOUGH!!”

“DONCHA WORRY, I’M GONNA HELP YA!!”

The flock of fire dragons had now a hole at the center. Levin wanted to enlarge it so much it became a crack and called someone from behind him.

“CHLORIS, MOVE UP!! WE FINALLY GOTTA RAMPAGE!!”

“I already told everyone I don’t wanna be in the front liiine!!”

She looked about to cry as she closed the distance from Levin and jumped on his back. The dragon-kin kicked the ground even harder and slammed his fists together. A light-blue flash gushed out from the impact.

“HAVE A TASTE OF THE ARMORED-DRAGON QUINTESSENCE!!”

He bellowed as he charged the enemy head-front. The ground he kicked cracked and turned over. Pebbles and stones rose in the air, and some looked like following him, then gathered over his body. They didn’t stop, almost as if they were trying to cover his whole body.
That was the armored-dragon drakonids’ ability—electricity.
They had an unique organ called “mood sack”, which allowed them to produce electricity and have it flow through their scales, making them as hard as steel.
That also created magnetism around them, attracting iron sand and other mixed rocks to themselves, which then could fill the space between their scales and add layers on them, making them insanely huge and crazy hard.
Levin’s frame quickly grew bigger than a tree, easily outclassing the huge bodies of the middle-class monsters. During that process, Chloris ran and jumped from one side to the other of that assembling giant with tears in her eyes, making sure not to get hit and hurt by rocks or pebbles.

“CHLORIIIS! WHERE THOSE SHRIMPS AT?!”

“They just spread out to dodge Aigle’s attack! They’re now at twelve, three and eleven o’ clock!”

“GUESS I’LL JUST RAM INTO THEM!”

“You don’t need me for thaaat!”

Chloris’ screams were drowned by the giant’s attack: he simply waved his arm, smacking a few middle-class fire dragons. Their huge frames and bodies were smashed to the ground, and the shock wave of the impact rose a huge lump of earth that crashed the unfortunate minor monsters caught under it.

“NICE FEEDBACK!! I FEEL SOMETHING BURNING!!”

“Well, you’re up against fire dragons, isn’t getting burned normal…?”

“SMALL FRIES CAN’T BURN ME, THOUGH!”

“Who cares, then! And restore your arm quickly, you just lost half of it!”

He followed her suggestion and more iron sand and pebbles flew his way, restoring his arm.
Levin was maneuvering that huge body from the inside, so he didn’t grasp what was going on around him. That’s why he needed Chloris’ sharp senses and suggestions to do his job properly.
Demi-humans were able to coordinate insanely if they put their minds to it. All it needed for them was to fill the distance they had between them.

“I see… now I get why my old man pulled the strings like this.”

Sigurd squinted his eyes as he looked at how the demi-humans were slaughtering their foes.
Demi-humans sure had as many strong points as flaws, that’s why combining them to fill each other’s weaknesses could make them insanely powerful… way more than humans. They could overcome magic too.

“Levin, move the brawl from the left to the middle of the battlefield. Aigle, shoot down the next line of middle-class monsters as soon as the armored giant moves away. Merino, keep producing arrows for middle-class monsters. Chloris, keep it up and also regularly report what the Divine Beast is doing.”

The demi-humans’ commander was issuing orders as she analytically observed the unfolding battle. Her every call countered the foes’ advance and broke their ranks.
She and her comrades were the perfect show of “unity”.

“Let’s see… which should I take upfront…”

“Well, Monster hunter, how about you take a few monsters?”

“Hah, you’re right! I’m not good at coming up with strategies anyway!”

Sigurd spun his huge shield-sword by its shield with one hand.

“Cutting, smashing, slugging, piercing, gouging and slaying! I love keeping it simple!”

“Well, that can’t be helped when you love killing~!”

“Hey, I know we’re birds of a feather, Wolfie!”

Kunon readied herself as she stared at the Divine Beast. Her mouth melted in a sweet and cheerful smile.

“I can’t help it. I’ll leave the bony fatso to you, Wolfie. Show me what you’re really made of.”

“You look down on others a bit too much, kiddo.”

“Of course I do. You guys suck and I’m the strongest.”

His self-esteem was unwavering, his eyes framing lights of insanity.
Kunon glared down on him and his gaze clashed with hers. None of them tried to avert it.

“See you later, Wolfie. Let’s kill each other once we’re done with this.”

“Nooo waaay! I never do boring stuff!”

She stuck out her tongue to where he was until that moment, but he was already gone. A bitter smile crept on her lips as she looked at his back dashing to the right side of the fire dragon’s flock. She could feel the blood-lust of a predator radiating from him.

“You keep saying I’m BS, but the Hero Seed is no different.”

A few seconds later, he was so far that no veteran runner could’ve covered that distance. He was even faster than almost every demi-human she knew.

Pushing him to a corner of her mind, she returned to focus on a much more serious matter. She spoke to her magic tool.

“Lang, are you where I told you?”

“I am on stand by with Lady Fairstadt at my side.”

“Gotcha. I’m on my way!”

Kunon spun a few times her black swords, staring at her target far above the midst of monsters. The boney dragon clad in flames gazed down on the battlefield, his muzzle looking like a crooked smile.

“Karin, I’m joining the fray. Follow me, please.”

“Roger. Slay that thing and you get to eat all the meat you want. My treat.”

“Yaaay~! Get ready, I’m gonna stuff myself full!”

The Hound answered with a carefree tone, her eyes like slits. She tightened her grip on the wolf-shaped hilt in her hand.

“I have some job for you, ‘Lunar touch’s answer.’”

She swiped a finger on the blade, leaving a bloody trail on its edge. The next moment, her sword rumbled and trembled. A seal engraved on the blackness turned into a deep color.

“Feed on my body and answer to my wishes. First, sever the distance from my goal.”

The crimson blood slowly dripped down the shaking blade.
Kunon leapt in the air and gently slashed in front of her. A soft song-like sound vibrated from her hand, and then the scene in front of her split and zoomed. The trees beneath her became shapeless lines as space distorted and her vision turned crimson red; the flocks of fire dragons flew far behind her, creeping in the sky like worms on the ground.
She landed in front of a flaming mountain. Huge white bones peeked out the flames, as a deep, rumbling voice sounded in her head.

“Eheh, that thing brings back a lot of mEmOrIeS.”

Kunon shut her eyes for a moment, dealing with the pain gnawing at her body, then rose her face and stood. Her goal was right in front of her, looking down from its unbelievable height.

“I would have never expected a relic from the Ancient Era to still be aRoUnD.”

She understood that the Divine Beast was talking to her. The space around them shook at every word it said.

“Wow! You sure know a lotta things! Living so long must come with knowledge, right?”

“Even the mindless would understand the origin of that pLaYtHiNg. You weak pseudo-humans would never manage to approach me without ‘Divine tools’ or some other cOnTrApTiOnS.”

Kunon pointed her sword at the blue and white light burning in the hollow sockets of the dragon, which was from a forgotten past along with her weapon, whose first keeper and the names of that time’s Heroes were now lost forever.
Magic tools didn’t exist back then, and yet people wished so much for power that they managed to create tools rivaling gods, now forgotten along with their creators and eras. However, a few relics were still around as proof of their time and legends.

“How nOsTaLgIc. I still remember those fools who called themselves hErOeS…”

Another deep shaking sounded in her mind. She understood the thing in front of her was laughing. The next moment its huge head was cut away from its neck, slowly falling down.

“I’m not here to waste my time talking about the past. After I kill you, I’m slaying all your fire dragons too.”

Kunon stared at the falling head, her eyes squinted into slits, fighting back the vertigo and muddiness in her blurred vision.

“InTeReStInG. You brainless pseudo-humans have yet to know the definition of ‘dEcOrUm’.”

New flames enveloped the falling head, making it look like dissolving into fire. The next moment, it reappeared on the massive neckbone, as if nothing had ever happened.
Kunon’s expression didn’t budge.

“You wield the Divine tool which sEvErS. You used it for beheading me and cutting through space to close our dIsTaNcE.”

“I don’t need to speak if you already figured everything out.”

She glared at it when it let out a loud laughter, its bones shaking.
Lunar touch’s answer, her sword, could severe everything its wielder wanted… at a price.

“Now, show me how you pay for its sErViCe.”

“It’s no biggie. Just a bit of pain.”

“I can see through your silly jokes, cLoWn. Those male heroes without the slightest hint of magic in them had little to pay, but you should suffer way more then tHeM.”

Divine tools provided inhuman powers to their wielders in exchange of something.
What they asked for could easily shorten one’s life, strip them of their consciousness or take way too much away from them. That was why Divine tools were disposed in the Ancient Era and were now replaced by magic tools. The latter were greatly safer to use and everyone could make use of them, so they were now a worldwide gift.
No human would risk that much, even if they knew about Divine tools.
No human would fight a Divine Beast, especially not while enduring pain that felt like one’s body was being torn to shreds.
And yet, Kunon chose a Divine weapon among the countless killing machines she knew how to use.

“You can bring yourself back to life, huh…? I sure am unlucky…”

She understood that the flames wrapping its colossal body were like a barrier.
Divine Beasts were monsters that, thanks to their long life, gathered huge amount of magic power and knowledge, which led them to discover a different path to magic than human’s.
They could use spells that no human could even dream to execute, like tacking one’s soul into their own decayed body or bringing one’s body back to life after a deadly attack as if nothing had ever happened. Those impossible tasks were as easy as snapping one’s fingers for Divine Beasts.

“Sheesh, every one of you Divine Beasts are so annoying…”

“You sound as if you already faced some of my kInDrEd. Congratulations for sUrViViNg. Now your life will end in fLaMeS.”

The colossal frame of the skeletal dragon moved slowly, creaking everywhere.

“Burn until no ashes are lEfT.”

Its mysterious murmur shook the air as it lightly shook its head. The next moment, flames sprouted from the earth, boiling it and burning everything they touched. Plants were carbonized in a few instants and the ground was left scorched.
The weakest lives were wiped out and returned to ashes before they knew.
All it took the Divine Beast was to pronounce Ancient Lyrics, which transcended man’s understanding and reached out to God’s very powers.
And yet, Kunon simply stood there as the ground under her feet melted, her black sword in her hand. She started coughing up blood.

“Hey you! You’re gonna burn my tail like this!”

She had no signs of burning on her body and appeared calm.
Lunar touch’s answer could sever everything, even the deadly heat wrapping around her.
The colossal monster cackled.

“Did you sever the heat? I knew it, Divine tools are very oBnOxIoUs.”

“How are we supposed to defend from your insane powers, otherwise?”

Kunon tried to distract herself from the waves of pain splashing on every part of her body, but failed to and frowned.
She kept receiving reports from her magic tool saying that those same flames reached down to her comrades’ battle, and that they were suffering quite some damage.

“Having your comrades not dying right away for this is proof of their sKiLlS. However, your lives will end some day, unlike mine, an eTeRnAl. Struggle all you want, mAgGoTs. You cannot escape your fate or the power of iMmOrTaLs.”

It let out a dark laugh, its bony head rattling.

“I go by the name of undying flaming corpse for a rEaSoN. For me, death is but a sCrAtCh.”

The Divine Beast looked down on the puny little creature in front of it from the height of its frightful power, and was answered by Kunon’s hearty laugh.

“Man, you Divine Beasts sure are funny! You all brag the same way at your killer!”

Her face distorted into a psycho’s smile, almost as if something inside of her had just shattered.

“You can’t get away from me. I gave none of you time to get how badly you’re getting rekt in your own domain, and yet you all keep bragging!”

She covered her face with one hand, pushing on it as to hold back her laughs, then rose it to meet her foe.

“We’re your killers. We’re your end.”

She started spinning her black swords, a golden insanity shining in her eyes, radiant like her crooked smile.

“If I remember correctly… the first one was Heaven Titan. Its body was taller than the clouds, and yet he died as soon as I bit his throat off. Then I minced Imperial Waterfall, which put up a good fight given that he was a sea snake as big as an island who fought in the water.”

She killed one each year, almost as following a routine, for the last eight years.
Or better: it became her and her demi-human comrades’ custom.

“You Divine Beasts are way too strong. No one can fight you and you aren’t afraid of death or pain. That’s exactly why we can bring you weaklings down. No one wants to die or suffer, that’s why we know how to find better ways to survive without going through what you have.”

She never stopped thinking about surviving. That’s how she managed to bring down those monsters. She never forgot about her fear of dying and suffering as her Divine tool unleashed hell in her body.
That was the only way for someone living in the bottom of the abyss to rise up.

“You have no way to win against someone who never had the comfort to wait.”

She taunted the Divine Beast, pointing her black sword to his bony head, a proud smile on her face. She was sure to win.
Her foe simply stared at her from its hollow eyes, then scoffed.

“You are the second being who dared to speak like that to me, Ostrinde1 the flaming cOrPsE!”

Its body rattled and clacked as it stomped the ground.

“Show me your sTrEnGtH, Divine Beast SlAyEr!”

Its wrath-filled roar shook the earth and split the sky, which ultramarine color quickly turned a to flaming shade of red, and its stars were covered by glowing embers.

“I order thee, in the name of the Undying flaming CoRpSe…”

Ostrinde let out a reverberating sound without its voice, somehow weaving words into it.

“Thou who sleep along the stars, bringer of the end, hellfire sUmMoNeR…”

The flames around its colossal body raged and wavered. Blazing gusts of air crashed on Kunon, as she listened to the monster’s ancient spell.

“Cast your lavic embrace on the living, melt down the whole WoRlD…”

Humans would never dream to reach such a powerful spell. That power was truly enough to wipe the whole world clean in one fell swoop.
Then, the monster’s sockets’ pale light wavered and expanded.

“Return to ashes, specks of dUsT!”

When it spelled the last word, all the flames that were melting the sky disappeared, and the night unfolded again its pale shadow on the battlefield. The monster looked like a simple colossal skeletal corpse with glowing eyes.

“Yeah, it’s a big shame, isn’t it?”

Kunon spun her black swords in her hand while laughing cheerfully.

“Cast your ancient spells all you want. No matter how strong they are, magic is still magic.”

She then stepped forward, approaching her target, as she suppressed new waves of vertigo and jiggling pain.

“You need law formulas to make magic work, and you needa make sure you got all the components and stuff. Ancient words are just a component, nothing more.”

Ostrinde was silent. It could speak no more. The eerie silence had completely choked all the sounds coming from its body, from the sound of burning flame – now extinguished – to the rattling of its bones.

“You canalize your magic by sound, don’t you? Since you lost all the flesh in your body, you cannot talk with your voice anymore, so you operate your body to create the sounds you need to create your law formulas.”

The only way to create sounds with a body of bones was to make them rattle, that’s why Kunon cut all sounds from it and its surroundings. That way, she took it away the chance to use magic.

“Well, not like you can hear my explanation… RIGHT?!”

She strained her body and swung her sword. The colossal frame of the skeletal dragon was cleaved in two, from its head to its tail, and slowly fell from both sides, ending up in total disarray once it smashed in the ground.

Then, a low grumble filled the air.

“You make me deal with very nasty sItUaTiOnS…”

The bones rattled in their chaotic puzzle and started to crawl to their original form, clacking and burning as flames welded them back together.

“Prevent me from speaking the ancient language all you wAnT, my body remains UnDeAd.”

“I bet it does~! You can recover as long as magic and formulas are within your body, so you cannot die as long as you have magic power left. You Divine Beasts sure are boring to deal with.”

She surely cut its chance to speak and cast magic, but the barrier of flames cladding its body was far from its limit.
The magic power Divine Beasts generated by their formulas was stored in their body.
The barrier wrapped around Ostrinde leaked some of its magic power, which, unlike magic, couldn’t be stopped or canceled.
With that, Divine Beasts managed to produce almost limitless magic power, keeping them on their feet as long as they had at least some left. If Kunon had to wait for the moment her foe would run out of it, she was almost sure to die in the attempt. And yet, the demi-humans had always managed to win against these monsters.
That was why they wouldn’t fall.

“LANG!”

Kunon shouted in her magic tool and water pillars sprouted from the ground surrounding Ostrinde.
Their number grew rapidly as geysers sprung high in the sky to cover the colossal skeletal frame.
Lang, as an aquatic-man, had the ability to manipulate water’s current, and by using it on the huge amount of underground water flowing below Renunt village, he managed to cage their foe in a prison of geyser-like pillars.
Ostrinde laughed.

“Do you really think to extinguish my flames with mere hot wAtEr?!”

Its bones rattled soundly as it mocked its opponent’s plan.
Then, flames so hot they started melting the ground sprouted from all around the monster. The geysers water rained upon them, but those flames looked impossible to extinguish.
Kunon smiled creepily.

“Yeah, I bet simple hot water won’t put your fire out…”

The barrier surrounding those flames was getting slowly consumed by the heavy rain. Every drop of water hitting Ostrinde consumed its defense like worms eating a corpse away, leaving many defenseless spots behind.

“… but Meld mountain, the one you just crossed, has a magnetic field that drives magic crazy.”

The water flowing underground Meld mountain was toxic due to that very peculiar magnetic field, but normally it would’ve never been able to erase someone’s magic power. However, the demi-humans had a person with them who could replicate any ability, even that of Meld Mountain’s magnetic field… Elsa Fairstadt.

“Each one of those geysers preserve the same insane power the water has down below this mountain’s heart. Trust me, you will never have enough strength to cancel each other out.”

Each spray of water looked like acid falling down its target, eroding and dissolving its barrier. Without it, the immortal status of their foe was going to fade away.

“This is ImPoSsIbLe… My flames cannot be eXtInGuIsHeD…!”

Ostrinde tried to flee from that prison, carefully evaluating its choices. If he were to take a direct hit from one of the geyser, he knew he wouldn’t go by unscathed, but he still had to force his way out of that mess. Receiving a lot of damage was still better than dying due to losing his immortal barrier.
Kunon looked at her colossal foe moving slowly to break free.

“I lied, by the way.”

She flashed a smile, then a thunderous rumble split the air as an explosion of white steam blew up the ground below Ostrinde, fiercely hitting him as the soil gave in.
The water was so hot it had boiled to the point its steam fractured the ground and blew it up, completely peeling the barrier off the monster.

“Those who fear death and pain chain themselves to doom… that’s why there’s no need to be afraid.”

Kunon’s swords soundlessly slashed the air with the most light of gestures, as if she was waving conductor’s sticks around, and the moster’s body chopped to pieces, following her motions.

“That’s also why you’re going to end here.”

The humongous skull fell on the ground, its pale light meeting the golden, twisted gaze of its butcher. Only insanity seeped out of the wolf’s eyes.
Facing her, a lost feeling crawled back to Ostrinde’s mind… the forgotten taste of dread. That atavic fear of death that all mortals experience.

“YOU FILTHY PSEUDO-HUMANS WILL NEVER BRING ME DOOOWN!”

Ostrinde uprooted that feeling by squeezing out all its voice and magic power, its hollow sockets locking on a thing flying in its direction. It was so tiny that it looked like a speck of dust compared to the Divine beast’s body.

“Run all you want, I won’t be the one slaying you.”

The bullet flying through the air had an extremely complex formula carved in its warhead, which was fired by the best sniper among all demi-humans.
Leaving a faint trail behind it, the bullet pierced through the hollow socket and activated, letting out all the fury of the lethal law formula written only to chop down and consume its target’s magic formulas.
Ostrinde felt all of its feelings getting gnawed at and demolished.

“You’re now falling to the pits of hell. But don’t worry…”

Its consciousness was fading as Kunon spoke to it.

“… our master is the only kind-hearted human who would reach out to the likes of us.”

Her tender smile, filled with affection, was the last thing Ostrinde saw before darkness prevailed on his consciousness.
The sky, now dispelled of the scarlet flames setting it ablaze, cooled back into the night.
Kunon slowly walked under the moonlight, fragments and whole bones shining silver around her. She didn’t need to dig much under them to find and collect the bullet that ended their fight. Then, she spoke through her magic tool.

“Divine Beast collected successfully. Great job, Karin.”

“You did great too. Bring Lang and Elsa back, okay?”

“Roger that. However, collecting such a monster was very tiring, so I was thinking about asking Lady Fairstadt’s urine as a reward, if possible.”

“There are plenty of stables in the village, go drink some horse’s piss or whatever.”

“I would have enjoyed a fine, pure woman’s golden juice better… but anything is fine, I guess.”

Right after he surrendered to his bad luck, their comrades started issuing many reports.

“LEVIN SPEAKING! I CRUSHED ALL THE MIDDLE-CLASS MONSTERS!”

“MMMHHH, AIGLE REPORTING! I COMPLETED MY MISSION AS WELL, WIPING OUT ALL THE MIDDLE-CLASS MONSTERS! HOWEVER, I USED MORE ARROWS THAN EXPECTED, SO I WIPED OUT MY MONEY POCKETS TOO!”

“Right… the guy who wields that huge sword has finished fighting too. He’s probably unscathed.”

“T-The troops near the village fulfilled their defensive task and they’re now switching to hunting down all the survivors!”

Kunon nodded slightly hearing all those positive reports.

“Mission complete—we won.”

All her comrades started to cheer and shout from the magic tool, the villagers’ voices mixing along with them as they cried out loud in gratitude.
The wolf looked up at the sky with a small smile on her lips.

“We’re done our part, now it’s your turn, Takumi… do your best, okay?”

Her soft words melted in the sky, as her thoughts raced over the capital where her master was risking his life.


1 Dunno if it’s a reference to “ortlinde” the valkyrie tbh

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