Chapter 22:

Deadly Revelations

Azure Sins (Pure ver.)


A barren wasteland, vast in size and currently where a large-scale battle took place between the Guilds forces and the Bandit Coalition. The sounds of clashing steel and war cries filled the air, the collective sounds .being able to be heard even a great distance away. Guild Faction mercenaries engaged their enemies giving it they're all in a clash of swords both large and small, Pikes, Axes, Bows, and much more diverse weaponry. Many brave and courageous mercenaries stepped into and fell in this battle, giving their hearts and strength for varying reasons. Some for the thrill of battle, others for the sake of the people at risk, yet most for money, power, and glory. Beginning the mission with high hopes, their seemingly simple task quickly fell to ruin, the enemy setting up multiple ambushes on the allied forces. The Bandit Coalition's forces were formed of individual bandits, thieves, and murders, some even belonging to larger bandit groups and former mercenaries blacklisted by the Master Guild.Bookmark here

At the center of the large-scale clash, one particular mercenary weaved his enemy's strikes confidently before attempting to thrusting his blade through the bandit's chest. Seeing the opening he needed the mercenary lunged forward, only his strike to come up shortstop, his foot being stuck, something preventing him from moving forward. With a distraught expression on his face, he quickly looked down to his stuck foot only to be mortified by what he saw. Beginning a yell of terror, seeing a decaying hand protruding from the ground and having a powerful grip on his foot. Sadly the mercenary's cries were quickly silenced as his opponent cleaved his neck with his large ax, splattering a mass of blood onto the ground and everyone nearby. The bandit grinned excitedly and confident claiming his kill but his smile immediately warped his expression to horrific pain. Looking down, multiple green clawed hands rose through the surface of the ground, several already having his leg in their grasps, literally clawing at his body tearing flesh. More and more were dragged to the ground, having their flesh bitten and torn by a large number of goblins attacking any living being they saw with their makeshift knives and daggers. On the sides of the battle forces of the Goblin, kind engaged the humans in a pincer attack. The common smaller goblins weaving between humans' legs, finding a target to pierce with their frail wooden spears. Towering greatly over the humans in and easily an outweighing mass was trow goblins clutching large blunt weapons in hand, each swing crushing the skulls and bones of their victims proving even heavy armor futile.Bookmark here

An older man watched horrifically as the sudden goblin attack took everyone off their guard, seeing his allies being crushed one after another by a trow goblin. Enough was enough, seeing the creature had turned its back to him, the young mercenary steeled himself and charged for the large demon with his two-handed large sword in hand. Unseen to the naked eye of both lifeforms on the battlefield, a dark mist was siphoned from their corpses merging into the air. Traveling north beyond enemy forces, making way revealing the dark halls of a massive ruins of a castle.Bookmark here

Inside the Castle Catacombs...Bookmark here

Inside the dark catacombs, the goblin shaman stood at a broken balcony's edge overseeing the twelve cloaked men standing forming a circle. Those present 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. At the room's center over one hundred chained humans and demi-humans stood chained around their neck, wrists, and ankles. All visually having been deprived of food and necessities for an extraordinary amount of time.Bookmark here

"This ritual was all from her knowledge. It took decades for her to materialize and be born into this world through a host. This first we summoned. This one will be the end of humanity. Since the first time I came across these humans, their society held a page of inscription, for generations none could read or understand its contents until I arrived. Once a clueless goblin I became a much smarter greater demon after those many generations for this moment."Bookmark here

The goblin Shaman said extended his hand out towards the cultist at the center of the seal. The black mist filled the room and spread through the air, being inhaled by each of the enslaved sacrifices, the air becoming quickly like a toxin to their lungs. Leading the crowd to fearfully pull back, individually starting to have difficulty breathing before clenching at their bodies in pain. Many fell to the floor in crippling pain, gasping desperately for air.Bookmark here

"??? ?????? ????!!"Bookmark here

The shaman yelled out in an unintelligible language that immediately triggered a reaction in the victims of the mist, their pain, and screams reaching the epitome of their pain tolerance as a black liquid poured from their eyes, ears, and lips. The black liquid dripped from their bodies, once the person ceased living, the black blood made its way dashing into the center cultist's body sitting in the circle. His body beginning to shake and convulse on his knees. Muscle mass steadily increasing in size, the skin stretching its limits as his size physically grew. Expanding until it was stretched beyond its limits causing the skin and muscle tearing in a bloody mess surrounding him. Through the gaps of torn skin and flesh, a dark entity could be seen as if being born inside of the human cultist. A large splatter of flesh and blood covered those around him as the dark entity's form visually could not be contained by the human's flesh.Bookmark here

"So the one hundred thirty-five souls were enough for it to make a temporary connection to this side, but it appears the physical body was far too weak for its body to have a catalyst. This is fine, I've already made preparations, soon all of those deaths will provide enough souls for it to overpower such barriers."Bookmark here

30 Minutes Prior To Battle...Bookmark here

Aisellia and Elanor could be seen being led by Shingen back in the direction of Orion.Bookmark here

"Hey...do you think they'll be alright?"Bookmark here

Aisellia asked the two hunters. Elanor looked over to her side, seeing the extremely concerned expression Aisellia's face held while thinking about the safety of her friend and their ally.Bookmark here

"The captain said she had a bad feeling which doesn't normally mean anything bad, she's quite powerful. She's actually already becoming a legend in the guild and has taken down plenty of demons on her own." Elanor began to say.Bookmark here

"She must have seen how useless I was even against a goblin. I'm just a medic of the guild medical corps but even that must have been shameful to see, no wonder with a new mercenary and myself she saw it better for Shingen to lead us back to safety."Bookmark here

Elanor attempted to raise Aisellia spirits but it did little. Leading Elanor to sigh at the revelation of how bad her goblin fright must have looked to someone of her captain's position.Bookmark here

"Normally she could handle things alone? Hmm, but she seemed pretty earnest to take Miyaura with her. Despite her confidence in her abilities for assistance, isn't that odd?" Aisellia questioned the hunters once again.Bookmark here

"It really is...At the moment's notice, she had Shingen take us back instead of Miyaura."Bookmark here

Elanor responded. A short silence remained between them for a few seconds. Aisellia's eyes wandered towards Shingen, seeing him clutching his fist with great intensity. Nudging Elanor to witness it for herself before Shingen's voice broke the silence on his own.Bookmark here

"It seems I've underestimated Miyaura, The captain knows for sure her skill must greatly exceed mine. I'm still too weak to make a difference."Bookmark here

"Huh? Please elaborate." Elanor said. Both the young man's fists were clenched tightly, attempting to avoiding looking at the two girls as he spoke again.Bookmark here

"It's just confusing. I train every day yet after watching Miyaura fight once, she deemed Miyaura's fighting alone was more capable."Bookmark here

"Miyaura is different, I've seen you take quite a bit of damage in our days but she possibly has incredible endurance," Elanor answered in response to Shingen.Bookmark here

"Aisellia..." Shingen began to say. "If you don't mind...How high would you gauge Miyaura's abilities seeing what I and the other mercenaries could do? Please I need your honest opinion. I must know just how far I am."Bookmark here

"Shingen...honestly it's simply impressive. She already had great potential but she was trained by a friend and our ally Karna. She's been taught how to use that power to fight. With even holding back, she has substantially greater endurance, stamina, speed, and strength than a normal person."Bookmark here

"What?" Elanor questioned. While a sudden expression of shock overcame Shingen.Bookmark here

"Someone strong like the captain...potential can be gauged by her eyes but her heightened sense for energy. Hm. You would think it impossible. But I've heard of a man like that, A Demi-Human who discovered how to use their power. Capable of frightening skill and power."Bookmark here

Shingen said, looking over his shoulder at the girls.Bookmark here

"He was an opponent of my master once, I've been told he was a powerful and intelligent being. My master was the first one of his kind to become Grand Knight. Before he took me in, he was once a greatly known Demon Slayer. When they started dying out, he became a knight and used his great power to protect them. Any being considered powerful by someone like that is a threat to truly be feared."Bookmark here

"Or any ally to be truly cherished."Bookmark here

Elanor said, speaking of the opposite of the fear Shingen declared. Without hesitation Elanor brought a question to Aisellia.Bookmark here

"So Miyaura uses physical Artes then?"Bookmark here

"Arte?"Bookmark here

Aisellia questioned, looking rather confused by Elanor's terminology.Bookmark here

"Hm, So no one in your group knows then? Since you are unaware I assume it hasn't came up in conversation?"Bookmark here

"No, not at all. I'd be displeased to look idiotic but-"Bookmark here

"Oh no it's fine! Most people don't know but as Hunters that information is given to us during training and only so many Mercenaries or members of guilds know the details of an Arte. I'd be happy to share this information with you Aisellia, honestly I couldn't do anything before...so I can at least do this."Bookmark here

Elanor said as she folded her arms and returned her gaze forward.Bookmark here

"Artes are created, fueled, and utilized by the human spirit. A long time ago, before the slayers, there was nothing a simple human could do against the demons. We were simply a species for demons to have their own personal buffet. Until a man and a woman discovered the power of the human soul within, learning how to use that power to combat the demons. Myths suggest that the Angels blessed mankind with powerful spirits to defend themselves but that's just a Childs tale. From the couple of actual history, they traveled across Reia, teaching different people, tribes, families, and so forth that they had grown to trust. Over time these people learned unique ways to channel that spirit energy, creating new techniques which to this day we refer to as Arte. There are common artes we learn at the academy, with the right training and potential anyone can perform them. These are Basic Artes, such as focusing your spirit to temporarily increase a physical attribute such as your strength or speed for an edge in battle."Bookmark here

"That might explain what the captain saw in Miyaura, I would have taken her over myself as well El."Bookmark here

"Hm? You think she could tell Miyaura had to be using artes?"Bookmark here

"Im not only sure of that, but after watching her fight and this conversation, I'm sure now. Even though she just became a mercenary, she is able to use what I've continued to train until this day to learn. Total Concentration Breathing?"Bookmark here

"Total Concentration...breathing?"Bookmark here

Aisellia asked, interjecting herself into their conversation. With a smile, Eleanor turned, facing Aisellia with a smile as she responded.Bookmark here

"A very high classed basic Arte. It may be basic but it's quite rare for anyone to be capable of using it. it's an ability each captain of the Demon Hunters have mastered to perfection. Being more specific, a perfected version is actually one of the requirements to become a captain. You wouldn't even be considered for Lieutenant if you can't perform it. by controlling ones spiritual energy they are able to channel that energy through their body all at once, controlling its flow through breathing. You know before how I said a basic arte can help improve a single physical attribute? Total Concentration breathing enhances all of them at once and not only that, it doubles the power of enhancement, double of what a basic Arte could do alone."Bookmark here

"Total Concentration Breathing Huh?"Bookmark here

Aisellia said, raising her hand, rubbing the bottom of her chin while she was in thought.Bookmark here

"Elanor, I'm sorry to keep asking you things..."Bookmark here

"It's quite alright, because of my division I'm usually explaining plenty of things through the day, atleast this is something I want to share with you. You have a great team Aisellia so I know what I share with you will help you all in the long run. SO! Back to the Arte types. Martial Artes, creating by ancient tribes after being taught by the first slayer couple, That allows the user to create defensive and offensive physical techniques using their own spirit to invigorate their body. Unlike basic Artes, Martial Artes also improve ones stamina and endurance as well. Increasing those limits the more they train their bodies. These however take years to learn and are passed down from teacher to student. Some are open for public knowledge while others are held in secret, only to be known to those families it's been passed down through generations. The final type is Sacred Artes. If anything in this world was enough for me to believe there is a god, Sacred Artes are the proof to the world. Clerics, Priests, Paladins, anyone not simply a follower of The Temple, are able to perform these Artes of Light. Healing, curse removal, Evil spirit purging, barriers and more...Are Artes only members of The Temple can use or more like permitted to learn. In short they are like small Miracles in our world and although most Sacred Artes are supportive or defensive, they do massive damage to demons from simply coming into contact with the light. Captain is a woman of many talents. Normally a Captain focuses on mastering one type of Arte to its extreme limits, Captain Leiliana wasn't trained by the guild nor The Temple yet she's a Master of both Martial Artes and Sacred Artes. The thing is...sacred artes are powerful but they are forbidden to anyone not high enough within the Temple's order but for good reason. They are extremely draining on the spirit to use, so much so, people can die from using a Sacred Arte. According to the Temple, they are blessings that shouldn't be taken lightly. Even to learn healing Artes you have to undergo years of cleric training..."Bookmark here

The ongoing battle...Bookmark here

Mercenaries and bandits clashed with each other and also against the goblin forces around them. Panic racing through their minds and hearts as they began fighting anyone and anything to survive the battle they were trapped in, being attacked from any direction they could possibly expect. A large shadow of a trow goblin towered over a small human group, his large shadow darkening the area enough, getting their attention. Unfortunately not quick enough to save one from the demon grabbing the bandit's arm, crushing his bones audibly with its forceful grip. It raised the man into the air and repeatedly slamming his body onto the ground then using it to swing at and clear many mercenaries and bandits from around itself. Suddenly a spear would sly through the air at an incredible velocity, its bladed tip finding its way and piercing through the trow goblins head. The blade passed through the demon's head causing it to release the now mangled corpse and stumble on its large feet.Bookmark here

From above, Leiliana descended, her feet vertical to each other as she gracefully landed on the polearm, opposite side of its blade. The sudden drop in weight on one side causes the blade to tear upward breaking free forcefully from the beast's head while Leiliana and the pole-end moved downward with her landing. The spear rapidly rotated in the air as Leiliana landed, swiftly spinning in a circle and raising her hands to defend herself. Stopping her spin a bandit came charging at her swinging his sword in hand. In stance, Leiliana dodged the blade allowing its thrusting strike to pass just past her head, simultaneously her hands lifted, her right hand gripping onto the man's wrist pulling his forward off balance. Leiliana released his wrist and using the same hand to deliver a punch to the man's face immediately jerking his body completely backward into a crowd. At different angles, goblins leaped into the air aiming to catch Leiliana from several directions. Seeing the creature over her shoulder just as she knocked back the bandit, she raised her right hand to the air, catching her spear and performing a swift rotating swing of her weapon faster than the creatures or those around her could see, slicing the goblins in half.Bookmark here

(They're already slaughtering everyone on this side, crushing anyone their way. I and Miyaura could sense the demon's presence so we could read the pincer attack, Goblins are mixed in deep into our lines but I can still see the line of their forces. They're pushing towards the center from the sides instead of an all-out attack!)Bookmark here

Leiliana began a dash towards the collective goblin forces.Bookmark here

"EVERY HUMAN STILL ALIVE!" She yelled loudly rushing towards the enemy lines and passed mercenaries in combat.Bookmark here

"Retreat before it's too late! Or Fight back! Die fighting alongside me protecting your home and loved ones!"Bookmark here

She yelled once again, swinging her spear around herself slicing goblins and saving those on her allied side from the demon's attacks.Bookmark here

The east side of the battle...Bookmark here

Miyaura could be seen mid-air delivering a spinning kick to a trow goblins head, crucially dis-forming its skull resulting in a powerful killing blow knocking it off its feet and sideways a short distance away. Keeping the flow of motion as she touched down on the ground. Miyaura used her previous airborne attack to spin on her toes, turning to face what was behind her with her fist already pulled back to strike, delivering a powerful punch to a goblin attempting to attack her back once again delivering a killing blow on impact as its body was sent into the crowd of goblins and corpses filling the area. She appeared to dance on the battlefield, keeping her flow-motion of rotation once again seeing yet another that had leaped into the air and was descending from the air to attack. To the creatures surprise Miyaura quickly reached upward grabbing onto its wrists then pulling its body towards her at a downward angle, spinning to increase the power of the throw she twisted her torso soon followed by her lower body and viciously plunged the creature into the ground itself passed where she stood, sending its torso into the dirt beneath them ending its life.Bookmark here

'Graghaaauu!"Bookmark here

Miyaura could hear the voice yell behind her before looking over her shoulder to see a large trow goblin, its arm already horizontally swinging with its massive club aiming to end Miyaura with a single blow. Lightly jumping off of her toes she spun around lunging for the demon's head while dodging its attack. Suddenly a smaller goblin came in between her and her target, quickly having Miyaura deliver a sudden sky-bound kick to the goblins torso sending it soaring into the air. Still, in mid-air, her eyes widened, catching sight of the large trow goblin attempting to catch her on a backswing after its initial miss. Just as the attack grew incredibly close she swung her elevated leg downward with enough force to cause her body to flip forward, just barely being missed by the oversized club passing right under her head once she was upside down.Bookmark here

"Aaagh!"Bookmark here

Miyaura screamed with intensity as her body began returning upright from her flip. However, she would use her momentum to deliver a powerful heel drop atop the demon's head, shattering its skull and neck having its head sink into his body between its clavicle. The downward force of the attack made the creature's feet break through the ground and released a burst of wind outward to their surroundings. The wind pressure blowing away smaller goblins who stood nearby.Bookmark here

(I can barely see any people left on this side, they must've been slaughtered. I just have to not let any of these things reach the center of this battle.) Miyaura thought to herself as she continued to dodge, punch and kick the demons around her.Bookmark here

Close to the Abandoned Town...Bookmark here

The slashing from a single blade quickly cut apart several lesser demons, each with their varying monstrous appearances. Blood and bodies of these demons fell to the ground and the blade's wielder could be seen, it was Shingen although his expression was far from peaceful. His face holding an expression of deep aggression and focus. Slaying the demons around him, he quickly turned to face behind him while the opportunity presented itself.Bookmark here

(This is impossible! It HAS to be worse where Captain and Miyaura went. Orion isn't prepared for this! Aisellia said it when she spoke to the captain but I thought there was little chance it could be true.)Bookmark here

Hearing the gargling growls of goblins approaching him, Shingen quickly rotated, swinging his sword in a circle following his motion slashing those around him before he turned to yell.Bookmark here

"Come on! I've cleared a path!"Bookmark here

A short distance away Aisellia and Elanor could be seen running in Shingen's direction. They were surrounded by a small force yet still much greater than their own numbers yet Shingen had cut his way through a small amount of them, clearing the girls a path but they all knew it wouldn't stay clear for long. During their sprint, however, Elanor would stumble over a rock causing her to drop her shield held by her left hand as she began falling towards the ground. Quickly Aisellia reached out and took hold of Elanor's hand, pulling her up and forward to stay moving forward. Elanor flailed her limbs attempting to stop herself from falling again, with Aisellia's help she managed to regain her balance and the two continued running. Unfortunately with their slip up, the path Shingen had made quickly started closing ahead of them. Goblins quickly closed off their path prompting them to come to a harsh stop. One of the goblins that blocked their way wasted no time lunging its small dagger towards the girls. Unleashing a frightful scream, Elanor lunged her sword forward, piercing through the chest of the creature but its small knife managed to cut her hand forcing the release of her weapon, retracting her hand in pain. Both girls watched the demon's body fall to the ground but lacked the moment to catch their breaths for in their eyes they could see more rushing towards them.Bookmark here

"NO ELANOR!"Bookmark here

Shingen cried out, trapped in continuous battle by the demon's relentless intent to kill them all. Unable to see them any longer Shingen slashed his way in their direction. His eyes widened as a loud sound entered his ears from where they were. One explosive crash after another entered his ears while he fought through what demons separated them.Bookmark here

(Somehow the goblins split off before the ambush sites and marching for Orion, If they didn't attack us, Orion would be in trouble with so much of its mercenary force gone!)Bookmark here

Once in view, he stood shocked, seeing Elanor behind Aisellia, who stood with her gun drawn. One-shot firing what looked to be a glowing bullet yet once it came into contact with their bodies it unleashed a small shock-wave of a small explosive force, blowing a large hole in their bodies with each shot.Bookmark here

"I'll cover you Elanor! We have to get to him! Hurry!"Bookmark here

Aisellia commanded a fearful Elanor. Steeling her heart Elanor sprinted to Shingen while he continued to cut down the few blocking her path from him. Cutting down the last demon between them, Shingen could see a tearful Elanor reach out for him. In the brief second of their revived hopes, that hope was quickly shattered.Bookmark here

"Huh?" Shingen said Stretching his arm towards Elanor but in that confused second, his vision blurry and seeing his partner move just beyond his reaching grasp having rapidly increasing distance between them. Aisellia made her way to catch up to Elanor, firing her gun rapidly at the demons, bullets firing from the barrels. Closing in behind them turning her head quickly to see Elanor reaching out for Shingen yet her own eyes widened, seeing behind the demon hunter a trowe goblin towering over him from behind already swinging its massive club horizontally at Shingen. Unfortunately, before any words could be spoken the massive club crashed into Shingen's side, the size of the weapon larger than the hunter's torso. Carried by the demons sheer force swept Shingen from the ground into a sideways high-velocity flight path. His body mowing down a large quantity of the goblins until his body rolled to a stop along the ground. Aisellia and Elanor both froze, the two being shaken by what they had witnessed. Suddenly a goblin hand gripped tightly onto Aisellia's long hair from behind and forcefully pulled her back causing her to stumble backward.Bookmark here

"S-sh-shi-Shin-Shin-!"Bookmark here

That was all Elanor could muster to say as Aisellia snapped out of her disbelief from being pulled so hard, falling to the ground yet quickly aiming and firing her weapon killing her attacker. A fearful look came to her as she quickly began scrambling to her feet towards Eleanor. Able to run once again the noblewoman caught sight of the other woman standing, paralyzed by fear as she stared up into the eyes of the large goblin prompting Aisellia to instinctively begin firing at the many demons beginning to circle the motionless girl.Bookmark here

"Fuck fuck fuck! Move Eleanor!"Bookmark here

Just as she finished her statement, Aisellia could hear the fearful screams of Elanor, seeing goblins clawing at her skin and clothes to quickly and forcibly pull her onto the ground.Bookmark here

"ELANOR!"Bookmark here

Aisellia screamed, placing her focus on the metal sight of her weapon, she pulled the trigger, able to kill goblins attacking her but more only filled their space as they beat and stomped Elanor, using their nails to tear pieces of her uniform from her body. Elanor repeatedly screamed at the top of her lungs full capacity, attempting to kick and scream her way to freedom although her efforts were proving futile against the combined goblin strength holding her down. Aisellia continued to fire her weapon into the group but her sight was quickly blocked by the multitude of goblins intending to further separate them.Bookmark here

"Please No!"Bookmark here

Aisellia cried. Knowing they were closing in on herself she began rotating her body to shoot goblins running and leaping out her.Bookmark here

(Please don't let them die! I don't want to die!)Bookmark here

Aisellia could be seen acrobatically ducking and dodging leaping goblins, releasing shots from her firearm, blowing them apart before they could touch the ground once again. A result of her training with Angelia, not only teaching her how to shoot but also how to remain agile as well. A short distance away Shingen lied on the ground, his vision blurry but his body was able to still feel goblins stomping over his body on their way towards the girls.Bookmark here

(I've got...to hurry!)Bookmark here

-june-
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