Chapter 39:

Azama - III


The half-demon charged forward.

At the same time, the mech's rotary cannon began to spin. The weapon whirred as dozens of bullets fired. Some missing, and others hitting right on target.

Ceylica raised her arms. She felt the heat at first. How the countless projectiles bore into her skin, feeling what an average person could perceive to be getting whacked by dozens of baseball bats at once. Ceylica had planned on just taking it, waiting until it depleted its ammunition, and then charging.

A tough force yanked at her left arm.


At that moment, the half-demon was tugged to the side. The armoured knight had pulled Ceylica behind a wall, and the others were present there as well. Without a word, Ceylica stared at her comrades.

“If you must gawk, do so thinking of my brilliance.”

There, she saw Tommy blooden a page of his book, cut thumb on paper.

Oblivious to his intention, she waited.

Tommy blew out his breath.

Ripping a page from the book, the then scarlet piece of paper was alight with a sigil.

"Come forth, Reapali the Second!"

It happened almost instantaneously. There was suddenly a giant floating blue jellyfish. Approximately the length of a Ceylica, with several Ceylica-long white tendrils coming from underneath.

"My honoured minion will serve as cannon fodder."

The boy made a command, and Reapeali the Second shot out from the cover. Flying through the air at a sprint's pace, it garnered the attention of the mech, who proceeded to unleash dozens of bullets into its thick, viscous, fluid of a body.

Though in truth, all it did was divert the machine gun fire. The mounted weapons operated independently of each other. Anything else was still fair game.

Renra looked from a point just right above the cover. On the mech's right shoulder, coming from its cannon, he saw an orb of glowing light, growing larger by the second.


The others heeded his word without question. Dropping onto the ground in varying positions, they made themselves as flat as possible.


A massive stream of blue shot out. Vaporising not only the cover, but the wall behind, the imprinting its existence with large circles, still seared with red-hot edges. The combatants looked at the destruction caused, savouring it with bated breath. Just as they thought it over, though, the machine gun whirred again.


Acknowledging Valefar's command, the ensemble dashed. Their footsteps were met with a lagging fury of bullets. They had reached another cover by then, however, and were given ample time.

Before the gatling gun shifted to them, they would make a plan and hopefully enact it.

"We need to take care of those ranged weapons!" Jaiga was saying. "Valefar, Ceylica, the both of you come with me. We'll dismantle it while Tommy and Renra provide cover!"

Renra struggled to form a response. "Provide cover?"

The paladin explained, resting her hand on the boy and smiling. "I believe in you."

"And the mech?" the vampire asked, still unclear on the matter.

"I'll bait out the weapon, and we shall see from there."

Valefar gazed at Jaiga with an almost forlorn droop of his lips.

Under less pressing circumstances, a better plan would have undoubtedly been conceived. Conveyed with much greater clarity and meaning. Alas, time was running short, and the machine gun was ever nearing.

Thus, Ceylica made a quick gesture of a nod and thumbs up.

"Let's go then!"

Shortly afterwards, the three students parted ways. Sprinting in separate directions towards the vague direction of the mech.

"Oh?" Azama's voice was imbued with amusement. "Well done!"

At the centre of the giant mech was Jaiga. She was faced forward with its sword and hence thought her its prime objective. From the direction of its swing, however, it was made apparent that was not the case.

The massive red sword arched in a diagonal to the mech's right.

It was going to crash into Ceylica.


But by rolling underneath it, she had avoided the attack. Unfortunately for her, the sword followed up.

It swung at Ceylica again. Only that time, in place of dodging, the half-demon caught onto it.


She was holding back the giant sword with her body alone.


There was no way she would last forever, though. Even then, Ceylica's body was pushed with every coming second, her feet gradually sliding out of position.

Valefar and Jaiga noticed. The energy that sprouted from such a realisation spurred them to even quicker speeds. Jaiga was the first to jump on the sword, given her approximate distance. And as such, was already running along it, attempting to close the distance to the weapons.

Alongside Jaiga a second later was Valefar, heading towards the same destination. That was a mistake. Their close proximity only served to the enemy's advantage. Surprising the two was a small box that came out of the mech’s stomach. Lined with ten or so holes filled with strange cylindrical shapes.

The combatants thought nothing of the matter. It'd been too late for reconsideration, they supposed. Even if dodging were possible, it would mean forsaking their position and restarting. It was with this logic in mind that they kept on running. But no matter what they thought, reality showed to be a cruel mistress. And as cruel mistresses do, reality committed to a subversion of interest.

Faster than they could react, ten missiles shot out. Eight of them missed, soured by close distance, hitting the distant wall. Two of them landed. One of which struck Valefar in the chest. And the other, impacting the sword of the very mech itself.

She felt her footing give way.

Jumping, Jaiga landed atop the mech's left arm, just in time to avoid getting thrown off.

The paladin then hoisted her spear. Ready as ever, she aimed for the laser cannon sat upon the mech's left shoulder.

"Vant." She inhaled. "Strung!"

Her spear accelerated to a blurring speed. Because of her innate strength, and the quality of the spear itself, the projectile had ploughed through the cannon completely, leaving a miniature explosion in its wake.

The paladin's head then swerved to meet the machine gun.


It was the first time Jaiga heard Valefar shout. She looked at him and understood why he had done so. He was lying on the ground. Clothes in tatters from the missile, decorated with patches of skin where cloth should be. At the same time, he was far from useless. Within his right hand was a spear, formed from the residue of his Resolve and blood.

Jaiga watched it avidly. And continued to do so when Valefar chucked it at her. Thud. She'd caught it. Her hand closed in on the spear, feeling its wet yet tangible body.

High regard and fervour mingled in Jaiga’s eyes. Beyond just being a spear, it was a union of vampiric power and paladinhood.

Motioning a gesture of thanks, the paladin raised her newfound weapon.

"Vant." She inhaled once more. "STRUNG!"

Then without further ado, she threw it again.

Against the cumulative Resolve of Jaiga and Valefar, the machine gun turret collapsed inwards, first pierced by the spear, then bursting in a spherical gleam of blood and bright orange.

Steward McOy
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