“Celeste, ground him.” We ordered.
Celeste created a wind flow that tampered with Aberis’s wings. With her concentrating on making his time in the air miserable, he had no choice but to remain grounded.
“Terra, Carmine, restrain his movements.”
Terra began to crack the ground under him, causing the earth to become soft. He started to sink into the ground. He was able to keep fighting, but it was like he was fighting on sand. Carmine appeared on one side, and Terra on the other, creating shields not made to protect themselves, but to box him in.
“Salicia, Lydia… keep him in place. Bernice, lock his movements.”
Salicia lifted her hand, causing streams of darkness to rise and try to bind him. Meanwhile, Lydia went in close, tying up his movements. From a distance, Bernice sniped his hands, forcing him to divert some of the attention away from fighting Lydia’s rapid close movements. At this point, he was no longer able to move, being forced to confront Lydia. He let out an enraged noise.
Meanwhile, we accessed the stores, causing our blessings to glow as we changed things up. It was time to go all out. The sky darkened, and the pair of us attacked in a pincer style.
“Miki! Lock down his soul!”
Even though he was in a dungeon, he was far too tricky, and only under Miki’s management could we ensure that he would die. Her body started to glow, and all nine glorious fox tails exploded out like a rainbow. When Aberis saw this, his eyes went wide for a moment, and for the first time since we had attacked him, he started to feel a bit of fear. He immediately went all out, trying to take down Miki. However, the attack was already launched.
“Final Blow!” both of us shouted.
Both of us launched one of our strongest attacks, both hitting consecutively. He let out a screech and exploded with power just as both attacks landed. The impact was so explosive that it knocked down everyone still standing on the battlefield. Even the remaining giants stumbled to their knees. Our entire party was tossed back. Miki flew back, but she was caught and righted by Celeste so she could continue to focus on restraining his soul.
The group of us slowly stood up. We were both extremely weak, so we healed each other, quickly recovering a lot of the strength we had sacrificed for that blow. Both attacks had landed successfully. That had to be a devastating attack. However, as the dust cleared and we surveyed the land, Demon Lord Aberis was still standing there. He was panting now, and his clothing was disordered, but that was the extent of it.
“Did you think things would end any other way?”
“Everyone! Lock him down!”
Everyone raced at him, repeating the same actions as before. This time, he looked upward and laughed.
“You think you can defeat me that way? You fool!”
The meteor my female half had summoned right before the attack was only about twenty seconds from hitting. If we could keep him at this point, it should be enough to wipe him out. It was our final plan to take him out. If Meteor couldn’t bring him down, then we didn’t know what could.
He threw his hands up, and a massive beam not dissimilar to what Salicia used, but many levels stronger, exploded out and up. It struck the meteor. There was resistance for a second, but then the meteor began to break away until it became nothing but ashes.
Demon Lord Aberis had defeated our strongest attacks. However, we couldn’t give up just yet. As he was taking care of the meteor, Terra attacked, using the full weight of the golem to slam down on him. He caught her hands just as he finished disintegrating the meteor. There was a booming sound as they collided, but Aberis managed to hold back the golem. His feet sunk into the loose ground, but he otherwise held her back.
“Attack!” Lydia led the charge.
A dark shield suddenly formed around them, and as everyone’s attacks landed, they were deflected. Cracks started to form on Terra’s golem. They rose from her arms and started spreading across her body. He suddenly spun, throwing Terra toward several of the other girls, forcing them to dive away. The shield dissipated and he exploded out. His direction was Miki!
“You’ll die first!” He shouted, his voice sounding crazed.
“No!” The girls cried out.
The fastest one, and closest to Miki, was Celeste. She let out a cry, and then her wind-like body started to spin. Her body erupted with power, and she flew at Aberis like a spear.
“Out of my way!” He slashed down with his blade.
It cut through Celeste, but her body still slammed into him. The Demon Lord was blown back twenty feet. He landed, kneeling slightly. He spat out blood, his clothing torn in several spots. Celeste’s body tried to reform, but it seemed like it just couldn’t do it.
“I’m sorry… Master… that’s all I have…” Celeste’s weak voice could be heard.
Fairies were made out of mana. Once they consumed all mana, it was the same as death. Celeste had put everything into that one attack, even her life. Although her soul would live on, her body slowly faded away. All of the girls looked at the Demon Lord, conviction forming in their expressions. The Demon Lord raced forward again.
“Protect Miki!” Lydia cried out.
Terra and Carmine jumped in front of her while the others launched attacks on Aberis. He sneered at them like they were nothing. Lydia attacked first, using a sword attack I had never seen before. It seemed to be extremely powerful, and she plunged at Lord Aberis. She struck him, but he struck out at the same time. It wasn’t until she suddenly stumbled away, holding her stomach, that what he had struck with was revealed.
It was the malacrum dagger. He had stabbed Lydia with it. This was a soul reaving dagger. While Celeste and Shao could be reincarnated when the time came, if Lydia died to this dagger, then her death would be permanent. The black infection began to spread from her wound, and she collapsed to the ground. The girls all let out shouts and began to race at him. They were wary of his dagger now, so Salicia and Bernice kept her distance, and Terra and Carmine were much more difficult to cut through.
“We have to end this now.” Deedee spoke up.
“You mean… that?” I cried out.
“It looks like… you’ll have to carry on from here.” Deedee declared. “I’m going for it! Go, try to help Lydia.”
I pulled out the sword and handed it to her. As the bright sword shone in the darkened sky, Aberis grinned.
As Deedee went to fight the Demon Lord Aberis, I went to Lydia’s side. The battle had already fallen far outside my expectations. All of our careful planning had been cut through by him one after another. Now, there was only one more option we had. I kneeled next to Lydia, healing before I even got there. I feared the worst, that she was already dead, but to my surprise, her condition was okay.
Even more surprising, as I healed her, the dark attribute quickly dissipated. From what I had heard, Deedee had been lightly scrapped by the dagger and had nearly died. Lydia had no strong affinities against miasma, and her wound was many times worse, but I had a feeling like she’d pull through. It made no sense.
Just as I was about to open my mouth, a dagger fell next to my side. I looked over to it, only to see the malacrum dagger. My eyes slowly rose to see Calypso standing there.
“She’ll be fine. I only imbued that dagger with a little bit of my miasmic attribute. It makes a good copy, but it ultimately lacks the punch of a malacrum dagger. Don’t get me wrong, it is a soul-reaving dagger. A fatal strike would kill someone’s soul permanently. Your girl here probably has some soul damage, but a wound like that, and a White Mage like you, she’ll be fine.”
“You… tricked the Demon Lord Aberis?”
“Hmph… I’m very good. Even he can’t see through my tricks.”
“Is that why you got captured?”
“Well, it’s not like I was planning to get captured.” She snorted. “I had thought if I could stab him with the malacrum knife, he’d die. I succeeded, by the way. The assassination worked perfectly. I was going to replace him, and his armies would have become my own. It didn’t work. He’s resistant to it. It hurt him a little, but he didn’t get sick like you. I think it’s because his soul is only half mana.”
“Mmm… he’s managed to somehow keep his soul in a state half mana, half miasma. It makes him resistant to both weapons, but perhaps if you strike simultaneously.”
I nodded slowly, and then I looked up at her. “Join us.”
“Me?” She asked in an amused voice. “Why? So, I can become one of your slaves? Do you want me in your harem, Deek?”
“No, it’s just… to defeat him…” I blushed.
She laughed softly. “It took me enough effort to destroy one Slave bond. I don’t plan to jump into another. If you weren’t distracting him so well, I never would have managed. Don’t make a mistake though, I’m just repaying the favor and helping you accomplish what I want. We aren’t allies. I’m also not convinced you can win. If you all fail, then I still have a chance to eventually get my revenge.”
“So, you’re leaving like that?”
“Don’t say you’re growing attached to me.” She smirked. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll leave her behind.”
She gestured to a woman who was lying unconscious on the floor.
“Siti? Why?” I asked suspiciously.
“Don’t worry, she has been freed from her restraints. I don’t have any desire to spy on you.” Calypso chuckled. “My reasoning for giving her up is rather simple. She’s not gay.”
I blinked, “What?”
Calypso gave an innocent shrug. “She doesn’t like women. Believe me or not, but I don’t like forcing women against their will. I prefer to taste a confused woman and unlock their true hidden desires. Deedee… for example, would have been a fun girl to taste. She really likes women.”
Her eyes fell on my other half, who was currently preparing for a final attack while the remaining party desperately held the Demon Lord Aberis down.
“It’s too bad I’ll never get to taste her. Perhaps, I’ll just have to eat you instead.” Her last words sounded right next to my ear.
I spun back to look at her, but she had somehow disappeared. Calypso had left the battlefield, but she had given me a key to victory. I had Aberis’s knife!