Mages and Dragons in a New Land? They Obviously Haven't Seen a Modern War Man! Book 2
Warning : This chapter has scenes of extreme violence, mutilation, abuse etc., that most of you won't like. Hence the adult flag.
So read if you don't mind
As Pandora gave herself to Shizuko. Memories from her past flooded in.
‘Morax… even though you were the least Demon-like, you did still save me, you took me in. I should’ve listened to you… Those humans made me hate this cursed place. They took away everything from me; my family, friends… I hated them until I woke up… I realise now why I was put in my current position… Yours kids showed me that. Even through her struggle, Shizuko had her sisters, her mother…’
She laughed to herself. “Can’t believe you are making me say this after all these years, Morax… You win! And thanks for everything…father.”
“It’s your turn now, Shizuko!” Pandora urged.
“Go beat him to bits!” Aquaria joined in.
Shizuko laughed as she looked at Valak’s enraged face. Both the power of a Spirit and a Demon gushed through her system. The tattoo of the Water Lily, symbolising her contract with Aquaria glowed. Her black hair had streaks of navy blue on it. Her eyes were slits, one pitch black and the other, sea green. With the newfound power, she looked her enemy in the eyes.
With closed eyes, she expanded her aura around her. The smell grew stronger. The smell of the sea and… the smell of blood.
“Even with the power of a Demon and a Spirit, you are no match for me!”
Valak snapped his fingers, summoning a huge dark-scaled dragon. The dragon had a smell of rotten corpses, stirring some bad memories inside Shizuko’s head. She grit her teeth angrily.
Regum Domini - Scylla
Water began to well up in the space from nowhere. The winds grew stronger and wilder until the puddle became a lake, the lake an ocean and in the ocean, a whirlpool formed.
“Attack!” Valak shouted. The dragon blew out dark coloured flames directed toward Shizuko. But that didn’t matter. A portal sucked that in and another one directed it back at the dragon. The flame hit its tail and the tail quickly rotted and dissolved. The dragon was confused while it began to lose its balance. It spread its wings and flew awkwardly toward Shizuko to which Shizuko charged head on.
In the battle in the sky, Shizuko unleashed several punches. The dragon regretted not dodging seeing that its scales were quickly being torn off. Shizuko was just too strong. Without hesitation, she tore apart the claw that came at her and held the dragon by its long neck, flinging it at Valak within the next second.
'What power!” Valak shouted, shattering the dragon with a snap of his fingers. Shizuko swiftly came at him, holding him by the neck. Valak tried to free himself but he was only losing breath. Shizuko plunged into the whirlpool. The pressure grew so intense that even she was starting to feel uncomfortable, even with her having the ability to stay down there. She left Valak in the centre of the whirlpool and swam to the surface. The girl imagined the water molecules converging, the liquid slowly becoming solid as Valak squirmed inside due to the extreme amount of pressure. He had reached his limit and that was what she wanted. Moments later, the water was cold and solid ice.
‘Alright….’ she thought, That’s it for the final stretch...’
But suddenly, a bang was heard. Valak broke through, his expression showing his exhaustion, his breath heavy, his body shivering.
“Ha..ha!” he laughed, albeit the coldness weighing him down, “I’ll admit it. You’ve… won! But you can’t escape-”
The now familiar aura of Aquaria oozed out. A smile crossed her face as she approached him, her chest puffed out. She slapped his face. Hard. And she then kicked him down.
alligabunt te vincula maris in aeternum
Shackles bound the devil to the ground. Valak blundered while trying to escape captivity, the chains getting tighter and his screams getting fainter, lost among the sounds of the collapsing realm.
The angry look returned on Shizuko’s face. But this time, she spoke calmer, “You killed my sister. Die inside your consciousness. But I guess even you helped me with my growth, and hey! I’m not nervous anymore.”
She sighed and nonchalantly waved her hand. A portal appeared before her.
‘Where does this lead?’ Shizuko thought.
‘Wherever you need it to..’ Pandora replied, ‘Just voice out your thoughts.’
She looked again at Valak dead in the eyes and grinned warmly.
“Be sure to enjoy it there! Your last moments are supposed to be happy. I’d hate to see you screaming your ass off.”
‘She…’ Pandora was at a loss for words. She burst into laughter, ‘Pfft! Looks like she can cuss too if you lead her far enough.’
‘Creepy…’ Aquaria commented, ‘I’ll try not to piss her off.’
“Outside the realm, then.” Shizuko said.
She stepped into the portal as the realm crashed down on the silent, now pathetic-looking Demon.
The land she stared at was all white. Fragments of what was there appeared and disappeared as if they were watching some sort of glitch. Shizuko watched quietly as the distorted world fixed itself, the cool, calm air ruffling her hair.
"It's over… huh." Shizuko said, staring forward. She brushed her hair away from her long ears.
"You did good, Shizuko." Pandora said.
"Yes…" Aquaria approved, "You fought extremely well for your first time. How are you feeling?"
"I feel… tired." Shizuko lay down on the grassy hill where she stood.
"That's to be expected." Pandora responded laughing, "Did you expect yourself to master it at the get go?"
"N-no!" the girl exclaimed, diverting her eyes away. Her face was beet red and her ears fluttered.
"Pfft! At least try to hide it. You suck at lying."
"Well, let's divert from that topic shall we? It's over." Aquaria said suggestively.
"Alright alright!" Pandora said, "Sorry… I guess. If you are tired, why not have a chat here? I made it pretty cozy!"
"You are being oddly hospitable for a person that's been taunting me my whole life."
Moments passed with no response. An awkward silence fell over the scene…
"Sorry. I went too far." Shizuko said.
'What's wrong with me?!' she thought, 'I shouldn't have said it like that. Now she will be sad. Did I make her cry? Oh no!'
Pandora cleared her throat.
"I'm not crying, girl! I don't mind. It's the truth anyway..."
The pain in her voice suggested otherwise. It sounded like she was choking back tears. Shizuko sensed this and slapped herself on the face.
"What do you think you're doing?" Aquaria exclaimed.
"A-ah! I'm fine, I'm fine." Shizuko responded.
With the usual warm smile, she descended into her consciousness.
"What did you want to talk about?" Shizuko asked.
"Sit down first." Pandora snapped her fingers, shedding light to a group of thrones. One was red, the second black and the last one sea blue. All three of them appeared to have come out of thin air.
Pandora went on forward and sat on the black throne. Aquaria materialised on the blue one leaving Shizuko with the red one.
"This one's a bit small…" Pandora commented. She snapped her fingers and the throne grew in size until it satisfied her.
Shizuko now faced Pandora. This time, she had a pretty much normal appearance. She wore a black skirt that matched the black slits in her eyes. Where her ears were supposed to be were two horns. But one was just a stump. It was broken. A scar ran across her otherwise pretty face.
The look on her face suggested that much. As much as Pandora tried to hide it, her eyes were red and puffy. Shizuko even noticed her lips quiver a little.
"Looks like you had it rough." Aquaris said.
"You could put it that way if you want." Pandora responded in a monotonous fashion, not looking them in the eyes.
"I wanted to come clean with you guys. I'm sure you must have a lot of questions."
"Come clean?" Shizuko asked, "Why?"
"I just… I don't want to hide things from you both. I want to come clean. I've gone through a lot. I've misunderstood a lot. I've put you through a lot, Shizuko and as the spirit under her, your minds are linked, Aquaria. It must've been stressful. It must've hurt."
‘Pandora…’ Shizuko thought silently. As unexpected as the change was, she smiled and listened. But she also noticed Aquaria’s cloudy expression and started to worry. She knew exactly what was in her head too…
Pandora snapped her fingers changing the scene before the trio.
I am a Demon
A familiar-looking girl ran hastily. Her eyes were wide and she was drenched in sweat and blood. She ran past trees, past the bushes, past everything, ignoring how dirty the ground underneath her was, ignoring how wet she got from the rain that poured down.
Ignoring the underlying grief she felt and the blood that she was losing.
She heard her heartbeat, her breath growing heavier and heavier with each passing moment. She heard her pursuers’ footsteps and saw that they were catching up steadily. She looked forward, teary eyed.
“There she is! Get the girl.” a gruff voice shouted.
I am a monster…
The girl ran and ran and continued running. She looked forward, seeing a light… But to her disappointment, it was another beast.
The big man held her by the hair. The girl struggled against his powerful grip. She was feeling tired, she lost a lot of blood so it was expected. Her struggle was pointless.
“You Demon. Your kind are the worst!” the man shouted. He slapped her and pushed her into the hard ground. He started kicking like there was no tomorrow, ignoring the pleading expression of the innocent child. “You take and take and take! And take and take and take and TAKE!”
The people behind her saw what was going on and cheered. They dropped everything and joined in. The girl got hit on so many places. She cried, she bled. But no one seemed to care.
What did I do wrong? I always wondered. Was it because I was born this way?
But her frail voice was interrupted by a woman who grabbed one of her horns.
“Let this remind you of your place!”
The woman mercilessly tore off her horn causing the girl to bleed and wail. Pain shot out from her entire body. She tried to push the people away but her will only grew weaker. The woman raised the horn and struck the girl’s face. The sharp tip dug into the girl’s face. She thrust it deeper as the girl’s screams intensified. Instead of feeling sorry for her, their eyes looked maniacal, emotionless, chaotic, psychotic…evil.
The girl wailed and pleaded as the woman dragged the horn across the side of her head. A large deep wound appeared as a result. Almost immediately, the girl felt cold, nauseous and light headed. She felt the warm blood trickle like a stream; slowly…steadily but surely, forming a puddle beneath her. Her will grew weaker, her strength faded.
I am a Demon.
I was supposed to die that day. But…
As everything began to blur before her. She felt the woods close up around her, getting darker and more sinister. But then, everything stopped. The people stopped thor abusive kicks and shots. Their eyes weren’t on the girl anymore. Their angry expressions, their scorful yet lifeless eyes. They turned on… each other.
“H-huh….?” the girl finally spoke, grunting. The pain was almost blinding but what she saw next couldn’t have possibly been a hallucination.
The woman attacked the men with the horn in one hand… Stabbing and stabbing and stabbing one of them. The others’ faces, which for a moment registered shock, had the same look on their faces. They all began to attack each other, leaving the girl to spectate as the flurry of bashing took place. The woman attacked the others using the horn, mutilating them without even a second glance; gouging out their eyes, kicking them like crazy, until only pieces of their organs were left.
The woman stood alone. The once glassy look in her eyes was replaced by an expression of shock. Her eyes widened as she looked at the blood on her hands.
“Ahhhh!” the sound of her shrill scream echoed as she processed what was going on. Her grip over the horn flowy loosened as she eyed the brutality, “What did I…”
Her eyes drifted back to the girl. She grit her teeth in rage and frustration.
“You! You did this. You monster. You-”
But nothing came out of her lips. With another emotionless expression, she brought the horn to her throat.
Her lifeless corpse fell on top of the girl as the girl drifted to unconsciousness.
He saved me…
The scene shifted and they returned to reality. Pandora had a look of sorrow as she took a deep breath. Aquaria and Shizuko sat, still listening but grieving.
‘I didn’t know anything…’ Shizuko thought, ‘And I hated her too.’
“Your father… Morax.” she continued, “You know. You are just like him.”
“Huh?” Shizuko responded, dragged back to the present.
“Peace-loving idiots…” she responded softly as if she was pouting.
Shizuko heard something snap inside her and grit her teeth.
“It’s better than-”
But she stopped herself and bit her tongue.
“But that peace-loving idiot saved me…” She shifted the scene showing a dark-haired, pale skinned man. The girl sat next to him nervously as he healed an opened wound. But Shizuko was surprised to notice one more person beside him. Those features, that smile… She wasn’t mistaken.
“Is that…mother?” she asked, baffled, “You met her?”
Her mother surprisingly sat on the other side, feeding her with a spoon.
“Little girl…” she said, “If you don’t eat, you won’t grow big. Don’t you want to be very strong?~”
But the girl averted her eyes and stayed quiet. Her mother pouted.
“No fair!” she said, “You act so nice to Morax here but why not me? I’m hurt.”
“I am...Not…hungry” the girl said shyly.
“Pfft! Maybe she doesn’t like you, Hikari.” Morax teased with a laugh. The girl’s expression changed with the sound of her rumbling stomach. She looked back at Hikari who had a sly grin on her face.
“See? You are hungry after all!” she exclaimed, “I worked hard on the stew and the bread is nice and fluffy and soft but warm and crispy when you eat it… It’s good, I promise. Don't be afraid… Say aah~”
The girl slowly eyed the woman who waited for her to respond. Well, she was a little hungry. She looked back at Morax who just finished healing her wound. He nodded reassuringly.
“Aah~” The girl opened her mouth and Hikari fed the stew. The girl’s eyes instantly lit up and a smile crossed her face.
“Like it?” Hikari asked. The girl nodded and pointed to the spoon, finally smiling.
“Give me a taste too…” Morax pleaded.
“Finee~” Hikari took a spoonful and stuffed it into Morax’s open mouth.
Moments later, his eyes lit up. “This tastes amazing!”
“It’s my recipe!” she responded proudly, puffing her chest.
I thought I was finally safe but that day happened…
The room was dark. An earthly smell enveloped the room whilst the sounds of lightning and thunder were heard. The house was eerie and silent. Dark haunting silhouettes were departing from the house while others stood towering over something. They looked at a body… The body of the girl.
I died. The came to take everything from me again. But I guess the Heavens didn’t let me rest that easy.
The scene shifted to something Shizuko knew very well.
“I was born here…” Shizuko blurted out. Pandora nodded.
I died.. But, I was saved again.
The scene dissolved and they faced reality yet again.
“And my saviour, Shiro Shizuko, was you…”
“Me?” Shizuko asked, confused.
“Yes. My conscience entered into you. It…accepted me. I was happy…but afraid. I was accepted once. I was accepted again. Just like Morax took me in, your conscience did too. But at that time, I was insecure. I didn’t want to die again. So I had decided to use you since back then…”
“To get revenge?” Aquaria asked. Pandora responded with a nod, her face grim.
“I was weak back then…a useless, soft dumbass. So I used someone for my benefit instead of stepping out of my shell… And here I am lecturing you about being nice and forgiving. Ironic, isn’t it…?”
Pandora looked down, fidgeting with her hands. She was unable to face them. Her side of the story was over. But she knew the consequences and was ready to face them
‘I knew it…’ she thought, ‘As I thought, I really am-’
Even before she could finish it, she was greeted by a warm embrace. Shizuko and Aquaria's arms took Pandora in. The teary eyed duo clearly didn't care about that.
"All that… and I didn't know.." Shizuko muttered, "I’m sorry. I'm very very sorry… Thank you, Pandora. You are no monster. You were just misunderstood. I don’t blame you and never will. I’m sorry for the way I treated you.”
“I should be apologising here!” Pandora retorted but then she laughed it off.
" To be very frank.." Aquaria began, "I'd shared Shizuko's distaste for you too. I was suspicious and wanted you out of her quickly for her safety and her safety alone. The reason I chose her was that I saw myself in her. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to be useful but seeing that you were a greater help… Even though you were considered a treat to her… I
It made me jealous… I'm the weak one here. In a way, you helped her. I can see that… I just wish I could do something."
“Both of you…" Shizuko muttered, "Pandora. What you did was wrong but I feel like I would've done the same thing even if my heart says otherwise… Aquaria. Just someone wanting to be there for me is enough. You don’t have to say or do anything. Guys, I myself am very pathetic… I’m grateful that you both still want to stay with me even now… Thank you both and I’m sorry.”
Aquaria smiled with tears of joy, “Dummy! I’ll do that even if you don’t want me to!”
"You let me stay after all I've done to you." Pandora said, "I owe you my everything."
The three let go of their embrace.
"We will serve you well!" the two said in unison.
Shizuko grinned, happy that they were able to talk it out and happy she was able to listen.
"I won't let you down!" she exclaimed.
Facing the bright sky outside her mind, she walked as the wind continued to rush past her hair.
To the bright light.
To a bright future.