Chapter 26:

Love & Plight

Azure Sins (Pure ver.)


Narration:Bookmark here

"...And then there was just us. One thing outside the walls has taught me is there are things beyond imagination out in the world, both good and bad. Miyaura is a brave person. When it comes to protecting someone she cares about there's nothing she won't do. She's thought of an idea that's really the best we have. Unleashing everything in one solid attack. Then there's our Demon Hunter expert Leiliana. You know, she came off as militaristic but I guess it's natural being a guild captain to which is even more impressive once I discovered she's around our age. After talking to her, she's just a regular girl like us when you can see it peek through her demeanor. There's a lot of them between us and that thing, using everything she has left she's going to clear as many of them as she can to make way for Miyaura. Then...there's me. Just scared out of my mind. Just trying to look well hiding it. I wasn't prepared for any of this but no one here has either. I want to run so bad but...from what everyone's shown me....you have to survive. Even If I'm weak, I won't sit still while everyone fights. Miyaura needs time to concentrate so until they're ready, I mustn't let anything get to me or her. If you want to live you have to fight for it!"Bookmark here

The three women stood, having had time to share the overall ideas with one another. Helping Aisellia form a plan and keeping the massive figure of darkness within their sights. At no prior notice, they all became alert and began looking around them having taken notice something was happening to the goblins. Their eyes rolled towards the back of their heads as they all clawed their flesh writhing in their pain, scaring their very flesh, and soon they became silent. Leiliana stepped in front of the two girls and faced the direction of the massive demon, twirling her spear and getting into a battle stance.Bookmark here

"They're making their move."Bookmark here

She said, prompting Aisellia and Miyaura to step up behind her and readied themselves. The bulking goblins ceased their convulsions and faced the girls once again. One after another each began to race towards the girls. Face to face with a horrifying charging force, therE being no going back. Aisellia's calm demeanor instantly broke, her shaking legs buckling slightly under her before she was able to stop herself from falling. Attempting to remain strong her face didn't portray her fear but her determination to survive instead although her body language displayed her fear along with the tears she couldn't hold back. A hand suddenly touched her shoulder causing her to quickly look sideways, seeing Miyaura standing beside her. Seeing Miyaura silently smiling at her. Her smile seeming to calm Aisellia down from her nervousness and allowing her a few seconds to reclaim herself. Once Aisellia became calm she returned a smile and a nod to ensure Miyaura she was alright now. Miyaura giggled, letting her hand slip from Aisellia's shoulder as she stepped forward until she was behind Leiliana.Bookmark here

"Ready?"Bookmark here

Leiliana called out, getting into a stance with the white and gold naginata gifted to her. The moonlight reflecting off its sleek surface. Inhaling deeply she closed her eyes and readied herself.Bookmark here

"Ready Captain!"Bookmark here

Both Aisellia and Miyaura yelled simultaneously. Aisellia drawing her firearms and Miyaura standing in stance with a fist drawn back... The combined snarls and unintelligible sounds were the only thing left that could be heard as the goblin forces charged from their north, east, and west forming an enclosing arc.Bookmark here

Leiliana jumped slightly, shifting her body forward until her body was horizontal, moving her spear, separately holding both ends having the polearm pressed against the soles of her feet. Once in position, to Aisellia, she seemed to be watching them in slow motion. Leiliana preparing herself according to their plan. On queue, Miyaura launched her fist forward aiming for the weapon itself. In Aisellia visual slow-motion, mentally preparing herself due to there being no going back.Bookmark here

(Angelo are unimaginably durable. The enemy approaches from multiple sides, Miyaura needs time to prepare what she has in mind. So Leiliana will pierce the front lines and buy us some time.)Bookmark here

Miyaura's fist quickly connected with the Angelo. Launching Leiliana forward at incredible speeds, aligning her spear with her body as she rapidly grew closer to the demon forces. Becoming much closer now, Leiliana pulled her body back before flinging herself forward at an angle, beginning a rapid multi-directional somersault. Simultaneously swinging and gliding her spear around her body, immediately breaking through enemies as a rapidly spinning orb. resulting in the seemingly impossible rate at which she swiftly rotated in every direction. As her velocity decreased, so did the amount of slashes she performed, her body slowly began descending closer to the ground, prompting the young hunter to turn and twist her body until her feet touched the ground surface once more. Coming to a sliding stop her eyes scanned then immediately shifted side to side, keeping watch of those surrounding her. Being anticipated, goblins raced, lunged, and threw themselves at the woman in front of them. Even as her eyes never ceased moving in one direction or another, her attention to detail betrayed her. Visually disgusted having noticed the lust in their eyes, tongues exposed, and those slowly approaching their chance, licking their faces in the delight of what dark torturous intentions. Leiliana could only let out a deep exhale calming her emotions.Bookmark here

The very disgust she felt deep down triggered a flashback in her mind. A young girl with short black hair would be running hand in hand with an older woman, around them the blazing fires torching the city.Bookmark here

"We have to escape Leiliana!" The older woman exclaimed as the passed collapsing homes and stores were no longer able to endure the flame.Bookmark here

Leiliana looked fearfully at the older woman yet as she did something else entered the woman's sight from the side of her eyes just as they passed an alleyway. Suddenly she flung Leiliana forward, turning around to see the woman as she fell backward. Only now able and look above the woman, seeing a gorilla-like demon come crashing down onto her, slamming its fists down brutally crushing her body.Bookmark here

"Mom!"Bookmark here

Leiliana cried out as the crashing attack caused the woman's blood to paint Leiliana's face and clothes as she fell. Her face could only express just how mortified she felt within, tears already pouring from her eyes. Just then she returned to the battle at hand, letting out a deep breath, calming her emotions.Bookmark here

Shadowed by the night sky and the shadows casting over her by goblins in all imaginable directions, left her in pitch-black darkness yet not a second later her bright green eyes pierced through the darkness alone.Bookmark here

"Sacred Arte: Divine Spear Form!"Bookmark here

As she spoke, the darkness surrounding her began to clear as she wielded naginata began giving off a bright glow of light.Bookmark here

Leiliana began twirling her weapon between her fingers, simultaneously rotating her spear and alternating between high and low stances during her continuous rapid rotation. Her attack flowed with elegance, twisting her weapon from her hands, turning her body as if it were a dance. Her spear flawlessly flowed from her forearms, allowing it to roll against her waist, sliding around the curves created by her hips to continuously keep the Angelo in motion. With every swing, spin, and twirl, the tip of the blade left behind a trace of light in its path traveled. Leiliana performed this attack with such speed, compared to goblins who appeared moving in slow motion in what was to be an instant. The thin light traces around her centered Leiliana inside a net-like orb of light.Bookmark here

"Dance of Heavenly Trigram!"Bookmark here

Shortly after the second passed, thin light trace appeared on the goblin bodies, the strange light markings stretching onto even those still beyond her range. Briefly, before the attack itself took effect, mutilating a large quantity of goblins surrounding her. The naginata's slicing light trails cut seamlessly through them, their blood failing to spill until seconds after they were killed.Bookmark here

"Heavenly Pierce!"Bookmark here

She yelled at the top of her lungs as other goblins continued to rush her, ignoring their slain brethren. Liliana took a step slightly breaking through the ground's surface, quickly lunging herself forward thrusting her weapon. The blade began glowing once again, unleashing a large air pressure as she ended her thrust creating a large shock wave that not only began blowing a great amount of them back but also slicking through their bodies as the air passed over them. Leiliana quickly twirled her spear back into one hand then expeditiously began dashing through the large passageway created by her last technique. Making haste forward Leiliana kept her focus and eyes forward and as she progressed the young captain effortlessly swung and spun her spear quickly killing those in her way along with those who attempted to jump her from the sides. Suddenly her eyes widened, what she saw prompting her to immediately throw her upper body backward and quickly lowered herself by bending her knees. Her back lowered closer to the ground and her legs outward as her inner knees touched the ground, the momentum from her speed she slid roughly along the ground just as two large clubs swung just above her face allowing her to slide right under the attack and being able to see the two bulked trowe goblins responsible with their weapons passing over her and striking any goblin within their swinging range. Although their attack failed she could see them immediately take chase after realizing they had missed. During her slide Leiliana looked down (forward), seeing yet another trowe waiting for her with its large club already raised high prepared to crush her. The young captain gritted her teach seeing this, having not to slide far from the other two just yet also giving chase left her in the center of their unintentional triangle formation around her.Bookmark here

"Tch!"Bookmark here

With great control of her body and her sliding gradually decreasing she used her bent legs, pushing her torso towards the sky immediately launching herself into mid-air and performing a backflip. Disrupting the demon's timing its weapon crashed into the ground where Leiliana would have been if she continued to slide forward yet once its club crashed and broke through the earth's surface all three were delayed, looking at the ground to not find a corpse and only in the briefest of their final second they were able to catch sight of her rising upward. In the direction, she moved Leiliana quickly passed over the weapon. Once upside down in her maneuver, she performed a wide horizontal swipe with her spear, creating a thin light trace across its neck, stopping its motion immediately. Her body turning upright again she raised her feet having the heels of her boots dig into the skin of the demon, using its chest as a landing platform to kick off sending it falling backward and sending her back to ground level but the two closely behind her wasted not a moment attempting to attack her off guard. Leiliana however did not give the advantage, quickly turning and adjusting the position of her weapon. Holding the pole against her lower back simultaneously lifting her feet from the ground soon turning her body horizontally just as one demon began thrusting its spiked club at her. Forcefully twisting her body, Leiliana's rapid rotation gave her the appearance resembling a spinning saw blade, quickly cutting along the weapon destroying it in a near-instant as her body continued moving upward. Her attack has the same effect and traveled up along its arm soon finding and splitting its skull, afterward landing on the ground behind it.Bookmark here

Landing safely on one knee she took a brief second to gaze at her weapon, awe-stricken by its capabilities in her hands against the demons. Such awe was quickly lost as the groans of the final large ones entered her ears leading her to look over her shoulder to see the creature had already swung once again. The captain's eyes widened seeing what seemed to be slow motion just how close the club was to her. Springing up from her kneeling position, she managed to lightly kick off the ground just enough. Captain Leiliana began arching her back, causing the fabric of her attire to squeeze her body more than it was, this motion allowing her to vault slightly over the club and without haste as her body turned while vaulting over the club allowing her to thrust her dominant hand forward as she began facing the demon. Naginata in hand, coupled with her turning motion, she launched it at the creature and quickly piercing through its throat.Bookmark here

Leiliana kept her eyes on the demon once while she touched the ground, immediately jumping onto the lower polearm herself. The sudden weight shifted the spear inside the creature causing it to gag and choke on its blood as the young captain gracefully landed on the pole's base. Running along with the Angelo until she was able to somersault over its head, grabbing and pulling the weapon fully through before she landed. Having her weapon once again in her possession. She knew she couldn't afford to take a break but the sight of now quickly swarming goblins stormed their way toward her. As she tightened her grip on her weapon a sharp pain shot throughout her body causing her grip to loosen, almost dropping her weapon and dropping to her knees before she was able to catch her body from failing her, her face revealing surprise and concern. Seeing her brief state of weakness seemed to boost the demon's intents now shoving, beating, and stomping over each other to get to her. Her eyelids began dropping as it appeared she had given everything she's had with her look of concern on her face before forming one revealing her desperation and anger as her eyes could see the foul creatures with their smiles and exposed tongues after eyeing her moment of weakness.Bookmark here

Her green eyes seeming to glow in the darkness again. Flipping her spear into her grip she shifted the weapon to her side as the goblin horde became even closer than a second ago.Bookmark here

"Haaaa!"Bookmark here

Leiliana yelled as she began to swing the weapon with great force, performing a spin she unleashed an expansive circular attack. The light trail left by the blade left such a circle around her, the initial attack slaughtering many including the large one she had killed seconds before. Soon the ring of light exploded causing an even larger range of damage from around her yet even she knew she had done quite a bit of damage but...Bookmark here

"I've killed so many but I can tell I haven't made too much of a dent. They should start soon so I must cut down more to make a path for Miyaura."Bookmark here

She thought, looking into the far distance at the massive looming figure of darkness.Bookmark here

Meanwhile...Bookmark here

Miyaura stood silently with her eyes closed and hands to her side, entering a state of clear focus. Behind her, Aisellia watched as her friend began deep inhaling and exhaling. Gently placing her hands onto her chest while doing so, with one hand gently resting over the other.Bookmark here

"Um...Miyaura?"Bookmark here

Aisellia said, her eyes catching sight of the goblins beginning their movement as Leiliana broke through their front lines. Although she had called her name, Miyaura didn't respond, more so simply putting herself into a deep trance-like state of focus.Bookmark here

"She's focusing, I don't think my voice is even reaching her. I don't know what crazy plan you have...but I trust you."Bookmark here

Having her Angelo in hand, Aisellia continued to watch their surroundings while Miyaura focused.Bookmark here

"Strange, we're right in front of them but they're charging for Leiliana...wait. Goblins are sins of lust but could that big one have done something to the rest? If that's the case then..."Bookmark here

Aiselllia moved just behind Miyaura, standing nearly back to back with her. Aisellia's eyes keep watch as she retrieved a small booklet from another holster-like pouch strapped to her thigh. Flipping through a few pages she stopped once she had landed on her desired page.Bookmark here

"That got to be it! It's Domination. A term used by slayers decades ago. Some demons, once grown in power, have the ability to forcibly dominate the mind and body of weaker demons to their will and dominated their instincts shifted them to their sin. Leiliana mentioned Pride, an innate desire to destroy the strong for a sense of useless fulfillment of superiority. She must have known they would come for her. She's the professional so she's already figured that out before we even separated."Bookmark here

Aisellia placed the booklet back where it belonged and glanced at their surroundings, seeing they were still in the clear. Turning around she began watching Miyaura, being surprised to notice the sweat dripping down her own face.Bookmark here

'W-what's this heat?"Bookmark here

Looking more closely she could see light burn marks beginning to form on Miyaura's skin as what began to feel like a burst of air began to flow under both of them, blowing their hair and skirts, waving in the winds.Bookmark here

"Miyaura! These burns..."Bookmark here

She said with a concerned tone to her voice seeing the burns slowly damaging Miyaura's skin. She placed her hand onto her shoulder, slowly pulling her hand back to her chest.Bookmark here

"W-what was that just now?"Bookmark here

She questioned, firmly gripping her Angelo as she began taking several steps back away from Miyaura.Bookmark here

"I know I'm not insane...at least not yet anyway. Everything is so unbelievable and keeps getting weirder, I know I heard someone just now."Bookmark here

(You're connection to her is strong as both of yours is to his. Her commitment is beyond what her body can naturally take. Attempting to find his soul inside of her, As in a Domination process, one's very life energy relies on the dominant. Few powerful demons in history have been capable of mass domination Yet in their case...she performed the ritual herself, placing herself to him in servitude. Due to his nature, instead of a parasitic bond, they only grow more powerful together.)Bookmark here

The voice in Aisellia's voice could be heard saying. As the voice spoke her eyes opened wide immediately but as the voice went on Aisellia expression began to calm down.Bookmark here

(It could make sense, whatever or whoever is in my head now sounds like they know a lot more than we do, Not even Remi or her notes held hints towards some of these things may even be possible. I'm encountering everything else for the first time too. I should calm down.)Bookmark here

She thought after hearing the voice speak.Bookmark here

"Is this thing Miyaura is trying something you told her?"Bookmark here

(Indeed. Through your friend, she searches her own heart for the flame of the connection she has with his soul, she may be able to tap into his great power. Only partially feeling her connection in his soul, she became a faint beacon of such that allowed me to speak to you temporarily, this connection won't hold for much longer.)Bookmark here

"So you know him. That answers one of my questions...One more question. When I'm thinking to myself can you hear those too?"Bookmark here

(Yes...I rather enjoyed every word of your monologue.)Bookmark here

"W-what?!"Bookmark here

Aisellia blurted out, confused and taken completely by surprise.Bookmark here

(Before now I hadn't known mentally connecting like this was possible. Since we're both learning today let's hold off on all of that. If that demon isn't stopped, it could be the harbinger of humanity's end. Orion nor any city in the free marches are capable of defending themselves against it.)Bookmark here

"Well, how do we stop it?!"Bookmark here

(I...don't know. Until now I believed he was dead but she reawakened my connection. As she uses mine to connect to him. I sense he is weaker than he was when we last separated. A power inside himself he can't access...and once he can, he will hesitate to use it.)Bookmark here

Aisellia listened, and at the grim perspective, he held around what he failed to remember even now. She couldn't resist the urge of knowing, her eyes looking over at Miyaura who's burn marks continued to appear on her skin. Now needing to know what it was that Miyaura braved to save her, and what Karna faced in himself, a force that seemed to be the only way Miyaura could see victory. Leading Aisellia to realize, both Miyaura and Leiliana had challenged a threat capable of such catastrophe.Bookmark here

(Miyaura is able to use her innate demon talents to sense the power of other demons. The Demon Hunter has years of refined skill, practice, and experience to master the hunter's method of sensing life energy in beings around them, to be a captain only triples that. They fight knowing the magnitude of the power of that demon is too grand, so much so it's beyond their spectrum of sensory.)Bookmark here

Aisellia's eyes widened from shock, looking into the massive over looming entity of darkness in the distance.Bookmark here

"I-it's energy is s-so overwhelming...their senses can't even register its power? When I met them, the priest's energy felt like a weight on my body. S-so even he and that demon were so weak compared to stronger demons, a regular human girl could feel it."Bookmark here

(Yes, but that regular human girl is still standing in this battle. It speaks of how much it sounds like she's grown since then. A weak human would have been crushed being near the center of so much Sin energy, like the Demon Hunter you can endure being there. All four of us were once regular girls in this world...but we committed to endure our pain and better ourselves...right?)Bookmark here

Aisellia quickly smiled and nodded. Memories of her in the capital came rushing back. The sight of her long friend Laura, then the nobles of the expedition crew, with Cana and Sheilia prominent in her mind. The memories played like a movie in her head, reviewing their conversations in the locker room, in the cart, and finally the deep conversation held in Elaine's room.Bookmark here

"You're right. We can't afford to be regular if we want to keep living, to keep smiling...if we want to change more than ourselves in this world."Bookmark here

Looking at Miyaura once again, she could see the air surrounding Miyaura's body begin distorting from the heat coming off her body. Her hair waving in the fluctuating heat around her with her hands still placed over her chest.Bookmark here

"If she's our best chance could there be some way I can help our chances?"Bookmark here

(No...wait, there might be a way to helping her find her place in his soul. Without his memories, it's far more difficult to find but she still holds her memories close to her heart. It's like jumping into a void blind but her endurance and stamina apparently doesn't yield. As it requires in many ways with him.)Bookmark here

The voice said, giggling through the final sentence.Bookmark here

"You sound strangely happy about what you may be insinuating..."Bookmark here

(Once you let him enjoy himself, it's actually pretty nice. Pretty good time killer too.)Bookmark here

Aisellia's cheeks became red as she was embarrassed and flustered at the thought.Bookmark here

"Like I would ever!"Bookmark here

(Lying won't work with me or Miyaura right now. After all, I was able to make a connection with you just as I did her. I'm only able to speak to you two through our connected feelings for him.)Bookmark here

"...."Bookmark here

Aisellia lowered her head attempting to hide her embarrassment.Bookmark here

"...I don't know if I truly do but...."Bookmark here

Looking up at the huge figure again she stared, tears starting to flow from her eyes.Bookmark here

"I can't help wanting him here next to me...I want him to protect me. I'm scared and I use him to keep me alive. It's just the only way to keep living in all this mess! He's a huge perv but he has to know what a selfish person I am! Because of him, for a while...I felt safe even though everything went to literal hell. The only value I've had to people until now..."Bookmark here

Aisellia reached her left hand across her stomach, placing it on her right hip. The right arm slid beneath her chest, cradling them in her forearm as the right hand gripped onto her left arm. Her eyes analyzing her body with sadness in her eyes.Bookmark here

"Yet somehow...he makes it seems like he likes me for me. Makes me feel smart, letting me be in control just because it's my thing. Even at home...no matter how smart I was, no matter what I did to prove I'm not a useless girl. That I could handle a position of power to help others...to those nobles...this body is the only thing of me worth anything to anyone..."Bookmark here

(Of course. Even though your body may play a likable part, he would only go the extra mile to protect someone he values in his heart and soul, killing those who threaten to make that impossible. That is why he sins. You were able to make your mark on him as it appears you've both made quite the impression on him and that's how you may be able to help now. It's a small chance but-)Bookmark here

"F-for us...?"Bookmark here

Aisellia repeated, lifting her head in surprise. She soon began wiping her tears, replacing her sad expression with a determined one looking bravely ahead.Bookmark here

"I'm ready, what do I do?"Bookmark here

(Good, I don't have much time left so let's get to this.)Bookmark here

-june-
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