Chapter 23:

A New Familia

Azure Sins (Pure ver.)

Once the last pair of feet passed over his body, Shingen pressed his palms onto the ground. Attempting to stand yet he struggles to do so with his shaking arms. In the distance, Elanor's screams entered his ears. Using sheer willpower, Shingen yelled desperately, pushing his limits and forcing himself to his feet. Only half of the uniform was torn off from the attack, his body bruised and bloody in several places.

(I only have one shot, it's taboo for someone of my rank but I'll unleash it!)

In the distance. Elanor lied nearly motionless being beat by the goblins, her body bruised, blood running down her face with eyes seeming devoid of life and will. Suddenly a tight grip around her ankle brought her from this state from the pain, screaming out once again soon finding herself being lifted into the air. A trow goblin bringing her close to its face. Staring the beast in the eyes panic greatly took over her, being face to face with a larger version of her trauma, evident by the tears that poured from her eyes. In a desperate attempt at freedom, she reached into her boot, retrieving a dagger, and swung at its face, driving the dagger into the beast's eye. prompting the trow goblin to unleash a painful growl at her futile attempt to free herself.

"No no please no no please no!!"

Aisellia turned to see the giant creature, holding Elanor elevated above the crowd making her now easy to spot. Quickly she aimed at the large demon, however as she pulled the trigger a sharp pain coursed through her side. A goblin jamming a make-shift dagger into her side during her distraction as the shot was fired. The shot redirected from her aim being thrown off in the last instant yet the bullet still found a mark, striking the shoulder of the large demon and blowing it off brutally, causing it to drop Elanor with the arm that was formerly attached. Her vision became blurry, falling sideways onto her rear. Refocusing her vision she looked to where the pain was originated. Going into a state of shock seeing the jagged dagger protruding from her side and blood flowing onto her clothes.

"W-what? I-its my blood!"

She muttered with a fearful expression overtaking her face. She attempted to take hold of the dagger but even that sent excruciating pain through her body. Just the simple touch forced a great volume of tears in her eyes and unleashing a horrid and painful scream.

"Aaaah! I can't I can't! This pain! I can't take it!! Just what is this hell! I hate it here! Please I just want to go home!"

She cried, her tearful screams mixed in with her sobbing.

(I just wanted to see the world! I just wanted to help people smile. No one can smile having to live like this. I'm just not strong like everyone else! You are all wrong I'm not special at all...I'm so scared...I'm scared!)

Elanor flopped to the ground now free from the demon's grip. Yet the goblins made haste, grabbing onto her, and began to excitedly tear remaining garments from her body piece by piece. This sent Elanor into a panicking frenzy, having a flashback of the time that traumatized her as a result of goblins originally.


Just at the end of her sentence, the large trow goblin stomped her body into the dirt, sinking its foot into the ground indentation left as a result.

Shingen now stood, panting heavily, his body weak from the damage done to it. Still, he stood using both hands to hold the weight of his sword, pointing in the direction of the goblin horde. From the distance he could hear Elanor's cries, remembering everything she had gone through and what the goblins were aiming to do now.

"No! I won't let you suffer through your fears ever again!!" He yelled angrily.

(Angelo are just demon-hunting weapons but there are ancient Angelo called relics. Highly skilled demon slayer could summon great power by using their own life force to fuel the attack. I'm sorry captain...I'm sorry Master. I must save her with everything I got.)

Shingen took in a deep breath, during his exhale the chill on his breath could be seen, being cold enough to see his breath exiting his lips.

"Cyan Rose! RELEASE!"

On command a burst of air released from Shingen's body, instantly visually the air and ground around him, traveling across the ground underneath everyone's feet, erecting a large quantity of ice spikes as it traveled, piercing, freezing, and mutilating individual and goblin groups almost instantly. Aisellia could only watch and look at her surroundings as the threat they were facing came to a sudden icy end. The trow goblins body pierced from multiple angles giving it no chance of survival like its much smaller underlings.

Shingen stood holding his blade, attempting to catch his breath. Half of his face and torso were covered by ice due to the attack he had used. With little strength left he could no longer hold his weapon up, letting his hands drop to his side while attempting to keep himself on his feet. Aisellia leaned on her un-injured side seeing the frozen and killed, her eyes focusing on the completely frozen trow goblin.

"I-I'm not the only one scared. Everyone's scared...and that's why they fight no matter what! AAAGH!!"

Aisellia screamed ending her sentence in reaction to the pain of pulling the dagger from her side and raising it to her feet. Keeping her eyes aggressively on the large goblin. Angrily throwing the dagger at the demon, the blade piercing into its head causing the rest of its body to shatter.

(I must get to Elanor!!)

Aisellia held her hand over her injury to keep pressure on it as the ice spikes slowly crystallized into pieces, fading into the air above. With the ice spikes clearing her visual path she could see Shingen nearly directly ahead of the way he was facing, dragging a leg behind him staggering in his walking. Looking in the direction he was heading her eyes quickly began to tear up. Seeing the body of Elanor lying motionless in a foot-shaped imprint on the ground. With haste Aisellia painfully staggered her way over to Elanor, making it there immediately after Shingen. Both quickly dropping to their knees by the female demon hunter's side. Tears fell from the eyes of both Aisellia and Shingen, seeing her beaten & bloody body. A crying Shingen took Elanor's hand into both of his arms.

"I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry I couldn't help you Elanor. I've failed to save you!"

Suddenly he opened his eyes, feeling a gentle hand place on his cheek. Although she couldn't move due to her broken bones, she was able to lift the only part of her not badly damaged. Her eyes shifting over and looking into Shingen's once she had placed his hand on her cheek.

"You...didn' me. I...was high spirited and became..ugh...a mercenary... Then my innocence was taken away by...those ugly things. I felt so dirty on the inside, like filth you can't get rid of. I thought I could never be happy. But after you saved me...My...My life with you was a better life than I've had in my years. You've always treated me like a princess...and...I could always count on you to protect me."

Listening to Elanor's words Aisellia could no longer hold her urge to sob behind her already heavily flowing tears. As she spoke, Elanor began shedding her tears yet she smiled at Shingen through her pain.

"I had fun...with you. You made me feel clean again whenever we're the bad things never happened at all I'm glad I got to live"

With her final words, her hand dropped to the ground leaving Shingen in a state of shock and tears.

"Elanor...AAAAAAAH!" Shingen's painful cries echoed in the air, easily overpowering the sounds of Aisellia's crying into her hands as he began slamming his fists on the ground.

Several Moments later...

Having moments to collect themselves Aisellia and Shingen sat near Elanor's body, having placed her cape over her body for respect. Aisellia could be seen wrapping a bandage around Shingen's arm, having one of her small bags next to her lying empty. From their appearances, Aisellia had tended to their wounds.

"You're new to all this extreme violence but it seems you have experience in medicine..."

Shingen said breaking their long silence, catching Aisellia by surprise but she welcomed the conversation noticing they had been silent for a while.

"Yes, back home my family deals in various types of medical studies and items. I used to...visit the less fortunate areas and help at their clinics. So I've had practice."

"Hm. They are lucky to have you. I remember you mentioned you hired that guy to help you get home? What's the name of your city? I might know the place."

"Yeah. It's um...It's far North. Before I met them...honestly I've never stepped foot outside the safety of my city. I was ignorant of how the world really works and how much pain is out there. Miyaura and Karna saved me, and opened my eyes to some things."

"Hm. Wherever your home is, if you lived so long it sounds like a nice and safe place. I hope you get there. In many places in the world, people can't be lucky..."

Shingen responded with a sorrow-filled expression on his face, his eyes shifting over to Elanor as he spoke.

"I...I've learned that's true. But sometimes you get lucky, the chance to find people with who you can create great memories with. The good times and fun you may find might surprise you. And you never know just how much pain you could ease from someone. I...I think that can be worth being proud of. Making that difference to someone who even though they may suffer, made the difference...for them. Everyone has their own personality and ways, even...experiences good and bad. Not everyone can be friends and sometimes personalities just don't match. So I think the fact someone is able to do that for someone specifically means more than words could really explain."

Hearing her words Shingen shifted his eyes over to Aisellia, seeing not only she had already finished bandaging him, but also the incredibly saddened look in her eyes. Looking to Elanor once more in the end.

"Sounds like you've been saved yourself. I think I understand why you and she are so close. She outdoes me physically but it looks like your wisdom surpasses my own...Thank you. Given what they're possibly fighting now, she's ready to risk herself for you to be safe. I'm sure that's why she went to greater dangers to keep you safe. It might be none of my business but are you sure about that guy?"

"Karna? He's just as protective of me as Miyaura. At first, he protected us out of a deal but I think he does it because he likes it now."

Aisellia said before closing her eyes and thinking about their journey together so far.

"He has a disregard for personal space and a trouble maker. his own unique way he's really grateful for us...just being us. Quite honestly I think he's enjoying life with us. Like I said sometimes even doing nothing for someone, can still mean the world to someone else. Being there when no one else would..."

"Hm. You sure it's just him? Sounds like you enjoy having him around in ways other than someone only guarding you on your way home. Maybe he's done just that very thing for you two."

"Huh? I....guess it goes for all three of us."

"Looks that way. You're a brilliant woman Aisellia. So much so a prodigy demon hunter like the captain praised your intellect and she doesn't even praise her subordinates for completing missions and jobs heh heh."

Shingen chuckled going through his memories with Elanor, reminiscing of her cheerful spirit and smile when they were together.

"I think you're right heh. You know you're quite the romantic Aisellia. I still have Eleanor with me inside of my heart."

"I'm sure of it. I've been watching and learning from a few people. I want to live a life making fun and happy memories for myself and with others. If the day comes where I don't survive, I want to live on in the memories I was able to share with the very people in them. Until then it'll be hard but...if we're smart, help, and protect each other it could be filled with so many emotions and memories we can only have because we're alive."

Aisellia slowly rose to her feet and dusted off her attire. She leaned forward slightly to extend a helping hand to Shingen. Looking up at her, his eyes widened slightly as he looked at her, Shingen silently gazed in awe by her eyes and kindness, the evening sun shining behind her figure seeming to give her a gentle aura of light outlining. Tears began involuntarily flowing from Shingen's eyes yet he wore a smile happily as he took her hand and assistance, helping him to his feet.

"So let's survive and save as many as we can!"

"No Shingen, let's save everyone. Not just now but wherever our paths take us."

"Agreed. If we're going to save Orion seems we've eliminated part of the assault group. Who knows if there were others."

"You're right, with the ones that ambushed everyone then these. It's too clever and they likely have most of them fighting where Miyaura went to so no one would notice. They had time to set up traps for us so if they wanted Orion, wouldn't it make more sense to surprise attack with the entire horde?"

"Orion isn't the largest city around but it's one of the most flourishing cities housing a Guild Hall in the south. Its walls, defenses, the city guard, and any possible number of mercenaries so they would certainly lose numbers."

"They have human AND goblin forces, one way or the other someone's going to be casualties for the other. But wait, it's a cult behind this right?"

"Yes although it makes little sense as to why a cult would want a war and to kill tens of thousands of men, women, and children. Do you think the cult has conflicting leaders? After all, I can't imagine a demon submitting to human commands much less communicate."

"If you're sure then..."

Aisellia looked down to her feet, focusing her thoughts, attempting to find a connection that could help them against their enemies.

(The majority public isn't knowledgeable of demons but Elanor said the demon hunters go through a long training course so they have to know something. I just can't reveal how much I know thanks to Remi. I'm sorry Shingen but we don't have time for you wonder what I know if they could be thought of as secrets to your Guild would put her at risk.)

Raising her head she looked into Shingen's eyes with a determined expression.

"Is it possible there is a demon with cognitive intelligence? A demon controlling demons sounds more plausible so assuming all of this is correct the cult could be working with a demon with intelligence."

"Yes, it's certainly possible. I'll share this knowledge with you...I feel you'll continue to save everyone with more information. As a demon's threat level increases, they will become closer to a pure embodiment of chaos and destruction but there are some who grow in power and intelligence or just intellect alone. The more powerful a demon, the greater these factors generally become."

"Bandits, criminals, and ex mercs wouldn't be enough to take on a horde of demons which means they could have killed them at any time. They're waiting for something..."

"Waiting could mean planning and a demon couldn't be planning for anything good. What confuses me is that they're somehow cooperating but have yet to attack together. No...the demons wouldn't cooperate with humans only use them. Here we dealt with only goblins, in the ambush earlier. They specifically waited until one or the other group died."

"They were waiting if they were only in the same area cooperating...because they were told to! They are far from being clever enough. Goblins are brutal and savage monsters, much less plan a marching militia to march on Orion."

"I guess we can agree they're planning something."

"Planning...planning. With an ambush, you plan and wait to do critical damage. They worked together only in the ambush so..."

Aisellia shockingly raised her head, looking into the distance the Guild forces had marched.

"Bigger quantity, bigger plans. They may be planning a bigger trap! Miyaura is over there! Leilliana felt threatened by the possibilities! Something bad is coming!"

"This just keeps getting worse! Tch! Alright, I saw a C Series motorbike in the ruined town, it wasn't in the best condition but I can try to get it to work. We need to get to captain and Miyaura as soon as possible-Ughn!"

Shingen said before falling to his knees in pain, coughing up blood on the ground beside him.

"You're way too injured to fight Shingen, if you go you might..."

"The price of a hunter to save what I want to say-Hmgn!"

He said once again before holding himself in pain.

"In all honesty...I haven't felt this close to death in're right. As I am now I'd be more in their way than I was before these injuries."

"It may be fine to push your body, but please don't push your mind or heart...I think you should go back to Orion and alert everyone. If the worst happens it would be best they are as prepared as they can get."

"Huh? So if I go back I hope you aren't planning on going to that battle."

"Of course! If it's that dangerous I need to help Miyaura, She needs me...and I need her. We might be able to do something."

"No no, If you go you'll-"

"There's no way I'd let Miyaura go through anything terrible alone ever again. Because she's been alone she's traumatized, hell I may be or everyone just might be. Just me."

She said smiling at Shingen, her enthusiasm causing him to smirk on his own.

"I guess even if I disagreed I couldn't do anything to physically stop you in this condition. I'll put all my faith into Miyaura, Captain, and you Aisellia. The bikes close so I'll get it running for you. I can't fight, but I can still carry Elanor home, she deserves a proper burial."

"Thank you, I think she deserves an extraordinary burial..."

"Mmm, you know how to ride one of those?"

"A little, we have something like these where I'm from."

5 Minutes Prior To Battle...

Aisellia could be seen riding a motorbike which by its appearance had far better days and a lot more paint. Her hands gripped the handlebars as she speeds through a visibly empty wasteland on her way towards the massive battle. Aisellisa took a deep breath as she began to visualize an event during her training with Angelia. The two weapons were seen standing at Angelia's firing range. Both women appearing shocked, with Aisellia's back pressed against Angelia. The older woman was surprised enough to let her cigarette fall from her mouth.

"W-what was that?! That was no bullet!"

"That's the power channeled through the weapon. It looks like you have an impressively powerful spirit and will. You're a special girl Aisellia, looks like destiny always works in humorous ways haha! This weapon can channel life force into a bullet that'll shred demons apart."

"W-what about that though?!"

In front of the two women was a path of scorched earth.

"As I said, you're not your average girl. Just avoid doing it, you'll feel better with rest but using that has critical drawbacks on your body. It's a weapon I prepared for Karna but I liked it so I kept it instead. Be cautious with it. The fact you can use it other than like a regular gun makes you special, but it can be dangerously draining."