Fantaschiel!! The Legendary Rom-Com without Romance or Comedy in it
Dezechiel finally manages to get all the way to the abandoned church. This is where Lysterinn should be!
With a few quick swipes, he clears out the enemies in the surrounding plaza, then opens the heavy wooden door, peeking inside.
There, he instantly notices Lysterinn sleeping on the altar. And next to her is…?
He’s a little reluctant to enter though… I mean, the pews are filled to the brim with puppets. The same puppets he’s been killing for the past hour or so.
On second thought, maybe he can fetch Lysterinn later…
“Ah, a guest?”
Hmm. That was a really cute female voice from the inside.
On third thought, maybe he SHOULD enter after all.
He takes a daring step through the door. The wooden doll army doesn't react. Maybe these ones are out of commission?
From behind the altar, the figure of a younger girl in a long black headdress emerges.
The token nun character?!?
“Ah, welcome mister…” she tilts her head in question, her blue eyes piercing straight into the angel’s soul.
“Oh, uh, Dezechiel,” he answers a little late.
“Dezechiel! What a wonderful name! My name is Mary! You’re the first visitor we’ve had in a while! May I give you a tour?”
A cheerful expression decorating her face, her eyes gleam with utter joy of finally having someone enter this shithole of a place. The girl ecstatically hops from one foot to the other, waiting for the inevitable ’yes’ answer.
Wait. Wait just one second.
Dezechiel quickly browses through the album of his recent interactions with women. It’s engraved into his brain at this point- truth is, he spends at least thirty minutes before sleep reminiscing about them.
Fantastasia acting nice? She fucked something up.
Lysterinn acting nice? Manipulated by Hans von Erdbeerkuchen.
Nekketsu Hen acting nice? Wanted to kill him to avenge her brother.
He begins to piece together a pattern- however, seeing how it paints him in a very bad light, he decides to ignore the red flags. Even though there’s more red flags than in a Soviet military parade.
But then, a solitary brain cell decides to take action.
“Uhm, why’s that girl over there tied up on the altar?”
Indeed- a question literally anyone above the IQ of 40 would ask. Mary turns around with a rigid smile, trying her best not to break her composure.
“Ah, she wanted to be that way.”
“Hmm, is that so?” Dezechiel takes another step forward, accepting the absurd statement as fact.
WAIT. She wanted to be that way? She specifically asked to be tied up and placed on an altar??? The implications of this are MASSIVE.
Sinning in thought is also sinning. If we read back a few pages, that’s what Dezechiel was originally banished from Eden for. He definitely hasn’t gone through much character growth since then. In fact, I’d go as far as to say he has gone through character regression.
The angel freezes in place, pondering the what-ifs and what-nots of this situation.
Mary turns around, the playful smirk wiped from her face. “I thought it wouldn’t work… but Master Lederkuchen said you’re more oblivious than a rock.”
Dezechiel finally comes to. Eh? What wouldn’t work? And why is she angry at him? What did he do again?
“I guess there’s no point in continuing with this charade… so we might as well go at it, huh?”
Go at it? Before he has any time to misinterpret that statement, the up until now peaceful nun almost takes his head off with a roundhouse kick.
“Eeeeh? What’s going on here?” Deze, as clueless as ever, is once again grasping at straws with that pigeon brain of his.
“No point playing dumb with me now. I can tell. You noticed I’m a puppet right away, didn’t you?”
He did? He has a slight suspicion he didn’t!!
Well, whatever may or may not be the case, one thing’s for certain- these moves she’s pulling on him are real as fuck.
He doesn’t even have time to think between the flurry of hits. There’s no end to them.
After a lengthy exchange, Dezechiel manages to stumble all the way back to the massive wooden door. To his, but to nobody else’s surprise, it has been locked.
Mary pauses the attacks for a second. She lifts her hands, as if conducting an orchestra, then drops them down in an instant.
The puppets begin clapping in unison, cackling in what might just be the most atrocious sound known to man right after rubbing styrofoam.
“Sing for me, my lovely zealots of destruction!” she laughs out, wearing a smile in line with her twisted nature.
Right about now, Dezechiel really wants to cover his ears. The problem is, he has no time to. Another flurry of attacks comes his way, this time, faster, stronger and more precise.
The nun begins letting off a light glow. Rule of thumb- if a character, or their body part, starts glowing in a fictional setting, it probably spells trouble.
The angel struggles to fight back, partially because of the level of the attacker and quite possibly also the fact that he has his qualms about hurting women.
One could beg the question ’Didn’t he hurt Fantastasia about every other chapter throughout this series?’, but this just goes to show he doesn’t exactly think of her as a girl.
“Right about now, Sefure should be bringing that demon friend of yours to Master Lederkuchen,” Mary taunts him while almost breaking his arm with a right hook, “and you still hold back against me? How insufferable!”
Oh shit. He knew someone by the name of Sefure Netori would turn out to be a dodgy character, but he really didn’t think he’d be dodgy in this exact manner.
Well, given it’s Fantastasia, she’ll probably manage.
Buuut maybe he should put at least a little bit of effort in. Dezechiel unsheathes his blade, instantly slashing at the attacking nun’s wrists. Sadly, the sharp edge simply bounces off the hard surface.
Worth a try. But no wonder it wouldn’t even graze her if she’s getting powered up by all these cackling puppets.
While leaping to the side to evade a hit, he decapitates one of the marionettes. Its head topples to the floor, the maniacal laughter slowly dying out.
A second later, he is flung across the room by a kick he blocked.
“Hey, did you know,” Mary talks while caressing the chin of one of the wooden dolls, “that these things actually have a soul? Ever since hell has frozen over, the sinners were left in a state of limbo with nowhere to pass on- and Master Lederkuchen just so happens to be an expert at forging vessels for them to enter!”
Hey, that’s kind of distasteful. You shouldn’t really mingle with the spirits of the dead, should you now?
“So anytime you kill one of these puppets,” she chimes in a delighted tone, then removes the head of the doll next to her with the flick of her fingers, “you’re actually killing a real person!”
The girl roars with laughter, syncing it almost perfectly with the cackling choir.
Dezechiel grits his teeth. He likes some level of depravity, especially in regards to his bedroom preferences, but this is a tad bit beyond where he draws the line.
“Puppets are the perfect lifeform- they don’t need food, water or compassion! They should rightfully take humanity’s place as the superior species!”
Eh? When did this turn into a world domination plot?
The crazy girl smiles. “And me, Mary Doll, being the most perfect puppet to ever exist… I’ll be the one to rule them all under Master Lederkuchen’s orders!”
She finishes her monologue, then looks at Dezechiel, who’s standing silently in the corner of the church.
“So, what are you going to do to stop ME, the incarnation of all perfection?” she challenges him.
Deze’s blade heats up. He leaps forth and executes a single slash.
Bad news, he utterly whiffs it. The cut went way over the girl’s head. So over, it’s not even funny.
Mary Doll roars with laughter once again.
“KhaKHAkhaKHAkha, is that the best you’ve got… huh?”
The girl’s body topples to the floor like a house of cards. Similarly, all of the surrounding puppets fall down as well, remaining motionless. The cackling choir has officially been silenced.
“You know, I’m kind of a puppet myself,” Dezechiel explains while standing over her. “Just a tool to do God’s bidding. So, I know. Just how useless you become once your strings are cut.”
He massages his upper back with his left hand. The nun, lying motionless on the floor, can’t even move her lips to respond.
“An angel without wings is as good as a puppet without strings,” the brown-haired swordsman looks down with an uncharacteristically sorrowful expression. “I know that better than anyone.”
All that needs to be said has been said. It’s time for him to leave.
Or so he thought. The door to the church busts open. One last surprise in store for the lonesome angel.
At the entrance stands the man from before- Sefure Netori. He brandishes the claws growing out of his monstrous hands.
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise the only ones to stay alive in the forsaken city of Buddhapest were two monsters. Hans von Lederkuchen, a puppeteer who opted to become a puppet himself to attain immortality, and a bloodsucking monster who fears the daylight and feeds on the living.
The vampire, the last obstacle in the swordsman's way, licks the back of his hand. “Well then, Dezechiel, do you have what it takes?”
In the middle of Buddhapest stands a park. Right in the center, there used to be a massive statue of the town’s patron- Buddha. With the lively river flowing by, it was one of the most picturesque places you could get drunk at.
However, the plants have long since wilted. The river now cries, overflowing with curses. Housing hundreds of thousands if not millions of sinful souls, it has become so toxic that the nearby land won’t be usable even thousands of years after the spirits are exorcized.
In the middle of the withered park stands a large pedestal. The one that the statue of Buddha used to occupy. Now, it houses a single orb floating in the middle.
Even though Fantastasia has already broken it, the marionettes still remain standing. After all, the true core, the true mastermind behind all of this, is the man standing opposite of her, Hans von Lederkuchen. HE is the one controlling all the puppets.
Tens of thousands of wooden dolls have gathered around to watch the showdown, all gazing at the two fighters about to take each other on.
“Just so you know,” Fantastasia finally breaks the silence, “I’m not getting bribed by your cake again. I’m a bit further from 50 kilos than I’d like to admit.”
The scheming baker chuckles. “Ahhh, what a shame. I’ve even prepared a lava cake for this wonderful occasion!”
The sweet-toothed demon girl wants to say something, but bites her tongue. She’s way too easy when it comes to sweets.
“Well, whatever,” Hans waves his hand, “we’ll leave it for your repast.”
The ground around Fan-Fan begins to take on a light blue shade, beautiful crystals of ice forming in the cracks.
“Without further ado, shall we begin?”