Chapter 54:

Bloody Moon - Part 1


Anna was done for. She knew it was impossible to trust demons. Expecting anything decent to come from that suspicious weirdo was the worst choice in her immediate past.

Not only that stupid gift was a teleport directly inside where she didn’t want to be, but it also was in the highest spot in the whole city. It was too high, she was still unbound, it was too high, people could die, and it was way too high.

Now the inquisitor hated teleport too. She never used one of such spells before, but she was sure no good would come from something so unholy. Teleport was evil and no one would be convincing Annabeth of the opposite anytime soon.

Still, for anyone other than the redhead, her arrival was an incredible happening.

A gallant figure in red with a single golden shining eye and hueing black tattoos arriving to help them. Even the bloodstains helped with the whole image, even if it was very far from the real situation.

It would be fun to see their reaction if any found out how close to panicking she was.

Annabeth had to somehow keep up though. Half of it was because the temple’s forces were losing and another half because it was somewhat her fault.

“I’m in a stable platform. This place won’t fall. Aim and fire at will.” Anna mumbled to herself as she tried to stabilize her feet on the roof of the building and aim down at the statues. No time to understand why statues were fighting or how, she just had to fire. “Run away from ‘em, lads! I’m coverin’ ya.”

Five bullets in the magazine and twelve statues moving. A third of them were heavily damaged by Karim, who couldn’t move still, and the other six were fighting the shrine maidens, so she could ignore these too. Only the priests needed immediate help.

She had more than enough then.

First, getting Karim out of danger. Taking all statues close to her would take too long, so opening a window for her to move away would be the best. Another shrapnel bullet, but with homing spells on them would do the work.

And as imprinted, the gun fired and a stream of golden pellets bombarded the area surrounding the petite cop. It damaged the moving parts of the statues as much as Anna could, and she hoped it would be enough.

There was no time to wait to be sure if it was all fine, though. The weakened priests had to be saved next.

Most of them were sluggish or straight-up fainted on the ground, so only a few were still engaged, but these were in very serious danger. And so, due to their incapacitated companions, any priest who was able to move was engaging the statues directly.

Many of them were already wounded and some were close to dying, but they weren’t retreating. It was a scary amount of zeal to see and somewhat stupid too, even if Anna considered it quite the honorable display.

Saving them was now a matter of showing respect.

The first one on sight, a birdman carrying a staff, had no time to bash the few spearmen trying to fight it as its head turned to dust by a simple explosive bullet. A good display that simple spells were sometimes the best ones.

Next, there was a bearded stone man trying to hammer a small group of very tired priests, but it too was blown to smithereens in the best way Anna could. Some of the statue’s pieces seemed to hit the spearmen on the ground, but they should be alive still.

The only problem was that her arm was burning by now. Using this much spiritual energy this fast and with a single chain off was putting a much bigger burden than usual on the redhead’s body. She could feel her veins threatening to pop any moment now even if she knew this much was only the first warning.

She only had to worry when the burning pain spread, and her organs started to break.

For now, all she had to worry about was getting her partner away from danger, or at least finding out if she was able to move. How she would manage the situation if the answer to this second question was negative would be harder to guess. Annabeth could think about it after managing to get an answer, though.

She was alive, and Anna could still feel her quite strongly. In fact, it seemed that the small girl was preparing something even, but the lack of response was still worrying. But showing worry and asking upfront wasn’t in the redhead’s style.

A little of positive encouragement would do the trick then.

“Shorty!” She shouted to the small girl that seemed to be too tired to move and then fired another wide area shot to buy her some time. “Don’t stay there wetting your panties!”

Disrespectful and unnecessary were the only words that could define Anna’s shout, but they were the best words she could think to get a fast reaction.

An angry person had a much bigger chance of forgetting everything to answer than someone who was just tired.

“GO TO HELL, ANNABETH!!!” Was the answer that calmed all worries on the inquisitor’s mind. More than that, those were the words that came with a full barrage of holy lightning that finished off the remaining statues around Karim. “And thanks… for the help…”

And after an unexpected display of power, she tumbled to the floor.

Most of the temple's workers that were around didn't get that surprised since they saw what had happened earlier, but it was unexpected to Anna. For one, what was the point of having a sword if she could do this? If it wasn't for the fact that there were still threats around, Anna would ask her that.

Either way, a few more shots, and the battle would be over, so the redhead should focus on that first. Her focus ended up being unnecessary, though, since, the moment she pulled the bolt again, all statues were destroyed in fast succession.

One by one, the stone goliaths were hit by blue flames and molten until there was no movement there anymore. And at the middle door from which the attacks had originated, the authority of the temple herself appeared.

As the orbs of fox flame vanished around Minako, she signaled to the other kitsunes around her to move on. On her orders, the other shrine maidens rushed to the courtyards with as many moving weapons as they could and started to rescue the wounded.

"Ya could've appeared a li'l earlier, fox!" Anna shouted from the rooftop while slowly lowering her body. "We've to deal with the gate now."

"Don't worry about that. We should have enough time to rest a little bit..." The fox princess spoke while calmly heading into the courtyard.

"And why ya think so, dammit?!"


But before Minako could answer anything, the answer itself appeared from the main gate.

“They’re retreating!” Col's voice echoed from the stairs as she approached in full sprint. It seemed that the first clash was over, and everyone could calm down a little now. And calming down was terrible for the red-haired girl trying to not think. "Hells... Guess ya got it right again, fox lady." Anna sighed in relief as she closed her shining eye and started to remember where she was. "N-now, if you could..."

“I’m not sure why and I bet they're still waiting down there, but they’re retreating.” Colette interrupted her friend as she passed through the temple’s gate while looking around. And the moment she did so, though, her first reaction was to look up in confusion. "How the fuck you got there, Anna?!"

"I bet ya can't guess..."

"Even I can't guess right now." Minako butted in and answered with some scraps of paper already in her hands. "Do you want some help?"

"I don't..." The gunslinger started to answer with her eyes aimed at the night sky, but then clicked her tongue in annoyance. "I'll graciously accept yer offer."