Chapter 21:

Quietus

Azure Sins (Pure ver.)


Elanor's face told the extent of fear she felt seeing the demons form with tears already streaming down from her eyes. In her shock, Elanor attempted to take a step backward only falling on her rear in paralyzed with fear. Seeing his friend's traumatic fear hearing her call attention to the goblin, Shingen reached to his waist tightly gripping his blade ready to unsheathe it on the lesser demon species. Just as he began drawing his sword, a spear suddenly came from behind Shingen, swishing just past his head cutting off several hair strands in the process. The spear pierced into the goblins torso snatching its body away from its prey. The force from the weapon being thrown shredded the goblin and what remained of the mercenaries head in its split-second flight prior to piercing into the ground behind the two beings. The spear's force crushed a small portion of the ground where it made an impact with the demon obliterated before it could get stuck in what remained of the close ground around it. Aisellia, Shingen, Miyaura, and the remaining mercenary's eyes all lock on the spear stuck into the ground with awe, remaining silent as they all were surprised by the mysterious weapon.Bookmark here

"Aah!"Bookmark here

Miyaura suddenly screamed prompting everyone to turn their gaze towards her, seeing Miyaura on her knees, her face held to the ground. A white boot pressing on the back of her head. Miyaura was held in a submissive position as her arm was being pulled up and twisted behind her by another woman Aisellia had never seen before. The woman stood at average height having long black hair although as of now it was tied into a hair double bun style with strands of hair forming pigtails where they were not bound in the bun. She wore very light armor which covered her upper arms and torso while matching shin-high boots connected at her lower-outer thigh up to her waist connecting it with the armor on her upper body. It had an uncommon design being armor visibly light and fitted tightly along each curvature of her very well figured and proportioned body. Her armor however left her stomach and lower body exposed inside what of what covered her feet and outer thighs. However, it could be easily seen she wore a tight bodysuit under her armor to cover all exposed areas underneath.Bookmark here

(She's human but how is she this strong? I can't break free!)Bookmark here

Miyaura thought, gritting her teeth in an attempt to lift herself and free herself from the woman's hold.Bookmark here

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!"Bookmark here

Aisellia yelled in rage as she took a step closer to the woman attempting to confront her but Aisellia would be stopped by Shingen's arm lifting in front of her leading her to stop as Shingen locked eyes with the woman holding Miyaura down.Bookmark here

"Captain please release her, they are our allies. Without their help, I and Elanor might have been worse off seeing as how the enemy had an ambush set up."Bookmark here

The woman remained silent hearing Shingen's words, clearing up that she was Elanor and his Captain of the Demon Hunter Guild. The woman turned her head to see Elanor sitting on the ground trembling in fear. The traumatic state she was in had stopped her from fully acknowledging the demon was gone much less her presence. Her eyes shifted over to Aisellia who held a glare to pierce daggers into the woman.Bookmark here

"Miyamaru tell me, are both these girls human?"Bookmark here

"Aisellia here is definitely human. Until moments ago I thought Miyaura was too...but she killed a guy and destroyed a building with her bare hands. No human is capable of such feats outside of the Captains and Lieutenants ma'am."Bookmark here

"Hmm. If she's not human then what do you think she is?"Bookmark here

"Deimos ma'am. It only made sense. I have full confidence in your judgment but she isn't a threat. Someone of your skill and rank can sense demon energy so if you're sensing demon waves in her then it only confirms she's a demi-human."Bookmark here

Hearing Shingen's response the woman remained silent as she looked down at the struggling Miyaura then back up to meet eyes with Aisellia.Bookmark here

"You girl, you have no qualms about traveling with a violent...Deimos?"Bookmark here

Without hesitation, Aisellia nodded in response to the demon hunter captain's inquiry.Bookmark here

"Of course not! She's my friend and has given her all to protect me since we met! You might be stronger than me but I won't let you keep hurting her! Now get off please!"Bookmark here

The mysterious woman looked down to Miyaura once more, remaining silent as she thought.Bookmark here

"Hm...Curious one you are. Apologies then"Bookmark here

She said before releasing Miyaura's arm and lifting her foot from the girl's head.Bookmark here

"Please remember it was not luck that stopped me. I admire your strong will for this girl. Strength in various forms is something I respect. Unfortunately, we're running out of time. Miyamaru I have new orders for you and Martin."Bookmark here

A few moments later...Bookmark here

Aisellia stood in a small circle with Shingen and the hunter captain. Miyaura sat next to the now calm Elanor a short distance away. Elanor hugged her knees to her chest as she spoke to Miyaura, now past her panic, one could tell she was emotionally exhausted. Soon enough Elanor began opening up to speak to Miyaura who sat calmly next to her.Bookmark here

"I can't apologize enough for the captain's actions. If I were stronger I might have been able to stop her sooner..."Bookmark here

"It's alright, I'm not hurt and Aisellia's clearing things up. I'm more concerned about how you're doing right now."Bookmark here

Elanor remained silent for a second, look awfully depressed before releasing a deep sigh.Bookmark here

"It was a goblin. I can't seem to stop being so scared even now. I was the first to see it but...but I froze. I'm so pitiful, I'm a demon hunter who nearly dies from seeing goblins. Shingen is the fighter but even so, it's been so long since I've seen one face to face."Bookmark here

"You're far from pitiful in my eyes. It might have been just one but I can tell you've survived scarier, and you still follow your heart and being a hunter."Bookmark here

"Hm. Thanks, Miyaura."Bookmark here

Elanor said, a faint smile appearing on her face as she looked over to Miyaura who sat with a bright smile of her own. Elanor raised her head to see the others still speaking to each other in a small circle, taking in the situation for a moment before looking and meeting eyes with Miyaura once again.Bookmark here

"I turned twenty this year. When I turned seventeen I became a mercenary, looking for...I can't even tell you. A fun lifestyle maybe? I just wanted to be that mercenary people looked up to, form a group of really nice friends, and go on an adventure. One day I met a group of other new mercenaries, none of us could have had more than a few weeks of experience but we were all excited to live our dream. There was one quest open so we excitingly took it. I had done jobs by that point but it was my first quest."Bookmark here

Miyaura quietly listened in as Elanor appeared to tell a story of her past, bringing her chin to rest against her knees as she continued the story.Bookmark here

"We were to go to a village. The plan was to wait until nightfall and kill wolves who fed on their livestock. That night we went out but it wasn't wolves harassing and kidnapping those who stray too far from the village. We found a trail leading into a cave...but...they were already waiting on us right at the entrance outside."Bookmark here

Elanor could only look down to the ground at her feet as she went on. Miyaura gently placed a hand on her shoulder attempting to comfort her but just as her hand touched Elanor, Miyaura's eye color shifted to their pink color once again. Before her eyes, she would witness the story Elanor told in her vision as the words were spoken.Bookmark here

"...When a demon develops the desire, its form changes to reflect that desire. That desire twists them into an incarnate of the desire, resulting in their sin. Wrath, Pride, Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Envy, and Greed. Each sin has its weakest and most common lesser species born from that sinful energy. Goblins are one of the shared commons of lesser demons of lust and greed. That night all of my new friends...all I could do was watch them die as more and more goblins came from the shadows, threw me, and held me on the ground. in our party of five, the three guys were getting stabbed, throats slit, and brutalized until they died while I and the other girl could only scream and try to fight back. I knew at that moment we both knew it would be better to die than let them take us. When it came down to it, we were too scared to take our own lives then and there. The goblins tore our clothes from our bodies...together they were just too strong to fight back..."Bookmark here

Elanor paused her story to take a minute to rise to her feet, prompting Miyaura to join her as the two still stood a short distance away from the others to keep the conversation between them.Bookmark here

"There were a lot of them, eventually we lost our voices from screaming so much while they violated us for their entertainment, scarring our bodies with their long nails and vile intent. Demons can't easily reproduce. The stronger they are the less likely it can happen. But a goblin...goblins are born from goblins who use human women to reproduce. They'll use you over and over until their use for you is done, luckily I didn't have to experience it that far but feeling them use your body for... is the epitome of an unholy nightmare. That's when Shingen and a few rookie knights saved us, that was our first meeting and all I could do was lay there covered in...ugh! After we were saved, neither I nor the other girl was the same. After a few days, the trauma got to her and she killed herself. I can't say I didn't try myself but it was more of I was too weak too. Scared to live and too scared to die. Like most girls around the world who lived through something like that, I took up the temple as an initiative to become a sister and pray for everyone around the world."Bookmark here

"I'm sorry. It's so horrible to even think about."Bookmark here

Miyaura said, her eyes returning to their normal color and removing her hand and Elanor's shoulder as Elanor looked up from the ground back to Miyaura having a faint smile once again.Bookmark here

"Thank you, I appreciate it greatly. It's... been hard. After a year I met Shingen again who told me about his goal to join the Demon Hunter guild. I couldn't put my finger on it but something was very wrong with the temple I had joined, I became scared of even the priests so I ran. I ran away with Shingen who was on his way directly to the guild. So I ran away with him and he's been like my protector ever since. I can personally understand how Aisellia feels so close to you not just as her friend but also like a protector, someone you can rely on in your weakest moments. Shingen, captain, and my friends at the guild have helped me deal with my pain but I guess I'm not quite over it yet. But...one day I will be with people like Shingen, you, and Aisellia around to help me."
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Elanor finished saying with a slightly larger smile on her face. The two girls looked at each other until a waving hand entered their peripheral view prompting both to turn their heads seeing Shingen waving over at them, gesturing for them to come to where he and the others stood.Bookmark here

"Elanor I'm withdrawing my prior orders of engagement." The captain announced.Bookmark here

"Ready for new orders captain," Elanor stated, balling her hand into a fist and placing it over her chest in what looked like a formal salute acknowledging her superior.Bookmark here

Miyaura: "Did something happen at the other places?"Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "In short yes. While you two were resting a bit she briefed me and Shingen. It seems we weren't the only unit to be ambushed. From what it sounds like, we got lucky such a smaller group waited for us."Bookmark here

Shingen Miyamaru: "Other units were ambushed by more people than we were. Going by their skill level I'd say we dealt with common bandits instead of any ex-mercenaries."Bookmark here

Hunter Captain: "Here are your new orders. Elanor I want you to do one last maintenance and medical check on Shingen and yourself. Shingen I want you to take Elanor...and retreat."Bookmark here

Shingen Miyamaru: "Retreat?!"Bookmark here

Elanor Martin: "Are some of the other units retreating as well?"Bookmark here

Elanor and Shingen both questioned, visibly surprised by the sudden order of retreat, their confusion could easily be seen on their faces.Bookmark here

"No, they're continuing the mission but I'm sensing something is off about their attack. Not just their men are fighting but why would goblins be hiding in the shadows. Any normal demon would have attacked those men too. Similar things are being reported elsewhere, they aren't attacking both forces indiscriminately..."Bookmark here

The captain explained, leading Aisellia to ask her own question.Bookmark here

"No...it couldn't be...Do you suspect that somehow the demons are collaborating with the human cult?"Bookmark here

"Hm, You're very sharp. Those were my thoughts but it proves impossible for goblins to work beside humans. There must be something deeper going on here and the closer we get the less I like the feel of things."Bookmark here

Thinking on the matter Aisellia raised a finger to her chin going into thought when suddenly her eyes widened as she returned her gaze back towards the captain.Bookmark here

"The cult! At the briefing, it was said the cult behind all this had been involved with demons before. Have you ever heard of anyways a human could control demons you might know of?"Bookmark here

Hearing Aisellia's question the captain's own eyes widened, turning to look into the far distance the direction their forces were moving before she separated herself from her unit.Bookmark here

"Hm?! No...couldn't be...but I can't ignore the chance. I would have came to the conclusion far too late. I admit I can tell you're no fighter but your intellect must be part of the combo between you and your ally. May I ask your name?"Bookmark here

"I'm Aisellia Noel Rae."Bookmark here

"Hm, as expected your name sounds as noble as you look, yet I can't say I'm familiar with that family name nor any noble heading into battle themselves. I am Leilliana Cor, the eighth-division captain of the Demon Hunter guild. Pleased to make your acquaintance Miss Rae."Bookmark here

"The pleasure is mine. I want to note battle certainly isn't my specialty, but I wouldn't dare leave Miyaura to do something this scary on her own. We overcome obstacles together as a team." Aisellia said before the two extended their arms to shake each other's hand.Bookmark here

Leilliana Cor: "It would be a shame for a brilliant mind like yours to fall out in this mess. Shingen I put Miss Rae's safety in your hands retreating."Bookmark here

Aisellia Rae: "Me? You're way above my level of knowledge of the entire situation but if the assault on their base fails, Orion is done for and everyone in it."Bookmark here

"Indeed it would be done for. Which is why no matter what happens you and my subordinates will be safer than the battle closing in on us. It's a lot worse than anyone could expect. You gave me an idea about their tactics and if I'm correct...we all may be in danger."Bookmark here

"You're still going? Who knows exactly how dwindled down our forces will be by then. Not to mention more demons!"Bookmark here

"It's safe to say our forces are already close to being a fraction of its original size. Even I can't take on that many people and demons together, with their numbers one of them are bound to catch me off guard. Which is why I want to ask that you allow your ally there to accompany me."Bookmark here

"M-Me?!" Miyaura interjected questioning how she fits into the overall plan.Bookmark here

"Yes, being...proclaimed Demi, combined with the teamwork you showed with Shingen, I believe your strength and speed would be helpful out there. Other than me and Shingen, there were only a few mercenaries of great skill but for now, we may be the best chance we have."Bookmark here

"Hmm. So you were watching until the goblin got close to Elanor. Strategically it's your best shot. While the majority of their forces are busy with the bulk of ours, you two could shoot straight to their HQ while there are still gaps in their defenses from being spread out."Bookmark here

"Next to Shingen your ally-"Bookmark here

"Her name is Miyaura..."Bookmark here

"There's no last name to it, just Miyaura is fine." Miyaura confirmed for Leilliana, waving her hand around to dismiss the complications of her lack of a surname.Bookmark here

"Hm. Miyaura then, next to Shingen she seems to be the best to pair with to accomplish our goal. I'd rather keep as many of us as possible alive. It'll only be more dangerous from here on and we don't have much time left to move. So what do you say?"Bookmark here

"Hmm. Well, it's really not up to me. How do you feel about it Miyaura?"Bookmark here

"Well I can't say I'm a fan of being separated from Aisellia but if it keeps her safe, I'll do whatever it takes so they can retreat!"Bookmark here

"Then it's settled," Aisellia said walking over to Miyaura, promptly hugging her tightly.Bookmark here

"You stay safe out there and don't do anything risky. I need you safely back with me. Plus we wouldn't want to piss a certain guy off. So I'm releasing restriction level one while you're fighting. Just please be careful and stay safe."Bookmark here

Aisellia's words brought a joyful smile to Miyaura, who quickly embraced her friend tightly in their hug.Bookmark here

"Right! It's a promise! Our journey together will continue. I won't fail either of you. It's my first big job!"Bookmark here

Separating their bodies, Miyaura had her hands reach and hold onto Aisellia's hands.Bookmark here

"As long as your safe I know I can do this! It's my turn to protect you and our paradise!"Bookmark here

A minute later...Bookmark here

Miyaura would be standing next to Leilliana, watching as Shingen led the retreat of partner and Aisellia retreat back the way they came.Bookmark here

"Let's go. I only left my unit to make sure my subordinates were alright. None of us were expecting a simultaneous ambush."Bookmark here

Leilliana began walking away, prompting Miyaura to quickly follow behind her. The staring fraction of the walk remained silent until Miyaura offered a question to the Demon Hunter Captain.Bookmark here

"Shingen seemed really powerful and he's your subordinate, why did you pick me to join you?"Bookmark here

"The cult behind this attack on Orion...my guild may have come across them before but it's difficult to be sure. If their plans are like before...then this will be a battle Shingen cannot be prepared for at his current level."Bookmark here

"I see, so when we were ambushed we got lucky compared to other groups."Bookmark here

"Indeed, none of these mercenaries could have predicted the battle to come. These bandits, ex mercs, and organized crime minions may be nothing but sacrifices for a demon."Bookmark here

"They're sacrifices?!"Bookmark here

"Correct, a ritual of blood and death, using the hatred, despair, all negative emotions released in a large scale by something exactly like this battle. They may use the collective Sin energy to bring powerful demons to life."Bookmark here

"What?!"Bookmark here

"The surviving units have already gone ahead. The only hope we have is for me to take on whatever comes head-on and if things come to their worst, I'll need someone powerful enough to cover me if it's worse than I can expect."Bookmark here

"Powerful? We just met. I would think someone strong like you would have been able to find another Demi that could have been more helpful. Maybe if we find more A-class mercs it can help us!"Bookmark here

"If your average Deimos or merc was enough, Yes, I could have. Unlike my subordinates, captains have trained and endured many years to develop our skills in various ways. Never have I seen it...but I met a man once who spoke of meeting a demon who only wished to live in peace. That man was a legendary demon slayer who's now retired, formerly a captain himself. No one but the leader of the guild ever took his story seriously...Until I witnessed my subordinates work with a demon for myself moments ago."Bookmark here

Hearing her words Miyaura's eyes widened hearing the Captain's surprising revelation to her nature. Causing Miyaura to suddenly stop in her tracks with her fearful expression towards Leilliana.Bookmark here

"As well as protect and show such a bond of closeness with a human. On normal terms, I would have killed you immediately but...Shingen and Elanor vouched for you as they lack the skills to sense demons behind many years of training. It's too late to call for reinforcements and the situation seems to worsen by the second. As you could see even minor demons have all converged in this area from all the blood and negative energy. Even goblins waited until you were weakened to try to finish your unit off with similar minor demons showing up at the other ambush sites."Bookmark here

"So...after you've seen what the mercenaries could do, you still chose me?"Bookmark here

Miyaura questioned picking up her pace once again after seeing no hostility from the Demon Hunter.Bookmark here

"A critically decisive decision. If I did not take you, I would have been leading my subordinates to their early graves. Seeing how you and Aisellia protect each other in your ways...She would not be able to escape without their help as well. Alone I wouldn't be able to hold off what's heading for Orion, but if some of the enemies were occupied with a demon like yourself, together we may have a greater chance of victory and give them a greater chance to escape...from this point on, there is no escape for us..."Bookmark here

"But Miss I have a question. I can sense you're even stronger than me, but you're a captain which is the strongest in your guild. Are there many so young and skilled as you?"Bookmark here

"Hm...No, I'm the youngest of the captains. Some in the guild like Elanor and Shingen place me on a pedestal since everyone in the guild knows I'm the youngest to make captain in the history of the guild."Bookmark here

"Really? That's incredible! So much skill too! Hmm, I find you actually really beautiful! Although beauty and a great figure can be a hassle, having no intention but some just toss prejudice envy towards us physically gifted ladies and guys whose first words are about your body and it's somehow always in a creepy way."
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Leiliana's solid expression softened hearing Miyaura's words, seeming surprised such words came from the demon girl next to her. Noticing her surprise, she quickly returned to looking forward, reflecting on her own past occurrences that proved what the demon girl was saying was true, having felt what she was describing to her as a normal human girl would.Bookmark here

"...Unfortunately true."Bookmark here

"I and Aisellia always agree, being young and having quality assets has its benefits especially for the self-confidence once you own it, but we're having fun with our lives. It wasn't always like this but I'm glad it is now, hopefully, we can keep it that way. Oh! I just turned twenty-four this year how old are you?"Bookmark here

"I don't see how that's needed information...but I suppose it wouldn't hurt since we'll be fighting together. I'm twenty-two."Bookmark here

"Oh! We're practically the same age! Maybe we were meant to be allies!"Bookmark here

"That's quite the long shot..."Bookmark here

"It may be but Aisellia and Karna have taught me sometimes, things work out strangely. Maybe struggling for so long means you're just being prepared to be where you're meant to be!"Bookmark here

Miyaura said with a happy smile on her face. Her smile and words earning Leiliana's gaze once again.Bookmark here

Slowly ascending to a bird's eye view, one would be able to see the entirety of the city left in ruins they were in, and in the far distance north, a barren wasteland, its grounds covered with the many boots of marching combatants. A mile north from Miyaura and Leilliana a war ensued. The mighty forces of both sides clashing, a battle of blood and desperation for survival on the battlefield each side covered with their enemy's blood. Their war cries of the momentary victory mixed with the cries of the slain traveled far beyond the battle itself. Invisible to the naked eye, at every death, dark energy was siphoned from each corpse ominously.Bookmark here

Close to the battle lied the large ruins of a castle long forgotten. Its halls were covered in cobwebs and debris from its broken walls and inner contents. Underground below this castle were twelve cloaked men standing parallel to one another forming a circle, all could be heard chanting an indistinguishable language, a circle formed of the indistinguishable language circling a symbolic formula in its center at their feet. A dark and ominous energy would continue to be drawn into the circle's center focal point. Focusing to a point of a single man sitting there, the energy flowing into his body.Bookmark here

"Proceed to the next stage..."Bookmark here

Hearing the cloaked man's words, those surrounding him began yet another chant, causing the circular formula to turn red. Out on the battlefield, a red mist would begin to seep from the very skin of every corpse. Their eyes springing open once again but with no color but white could be seen in their eyes paired with their grey-ish skin resembling a corpse. The look of the allied mercenary force was horrified at each case of seeing their comrades return to life once again, only too late realizing the person was no longer alive themselves. The undead tearing allies and enemies alike apart, tearing flesh from bone with their teeth. Each corpse adding to the overall number of undead immediately after falling victim.Bookmark here

In the catacombs of the castle, a small figure stood on an elevated ground watching the humans from the shadows.Bookmark here

Shadow Voice: "Soon master will be able to cross the void into this world, and he will kill all puny humans."Bookmark here

On the battlefield, many fought for their lives against the undead. One mercenary avoiding injury and cutting down each that approached him. Slaying several he turned to face the direction the enemy had come from, seeing a sight that robbed this man of his will and hope, his grip loosening and dropping his weapon to the floor.Bookmark here

Mercenary: "W-we...we can't possibly survive this..."Bookmark here

In his sight was a surprising enemy force running their way, an army of small goblins, teamed up with their much larger counterparts Hob Goblins. Each stood higher than any man on their own and one could visibly tell they held not just height and weight superior to a human, but power as well. Once again to the catacombs, the short shadow figure stepped forward into the light, revealing themselves. It was a goblin itself, wearing shaman-like robes and holding a staff with a human skull adorned on its top. His intelligence speaking for itself at the display of his mastery of human language.Bookmark here

"Yes. Soon the anger, sorrow, and hatred of those cattle will release enough Sin, with this ritual a Dark Lord of the demon-kind shall be summoned and destroy all humans. This world will be owned by our demons and the humans will be nothing more than playthings and breeding stock for goblins everywhere...yes...soon...soon."Bookmark here

The goblin said overlooking the ritual below it, his red eyes piercing the darkness slightly shadowing his face.Bookmark here

-june-
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