Chapter 57:

Bloody Moon - Part 4


“Gave up on bein’ a cannon, winged demon?” The redhead mocked as it was the only way to keep her mind clear at the moment. “Ya sure ‘bout crossing that twice, though? Not lookin’ good fer ya. Although yer new looks seem more proper fer the work…”

The creature trying to both crush her bones and burn them to a crisp while also rising in the sky ignored her words, though. It had crossed the barrier twice using only brute strength and was very damaged due to that, but it didn't seem to affect him at all.

In summary, even if she was sure that this one was the same ifrit from before, he was very different from before. For one, his size was a good half meter bigger in each axis, with most of it being muscles. And over that, he had a much more focused and angrier complexion, very different from the sleepy outlook from earlier.

It was a bit unexpected that he would be this angry considering the situation, but maybe this mission of his was that important. His boss seemed scary enough to avail some anger caused by the fear of having to deal with it, at least. Anger and raw power could only take him so far, though.

Brute-forcing a way in and then an out of a barrier wasn’t something someone should even do, even if it was the fastest way. Even with the overall disadvantage in the situation, Anna was fine for now.


“No answer…? Cof! That’s no fun...” The redhead forced herself to say again while squirming under the grapple to somehow reach her sidearm. "Guess I'll only do mah' thing then..."

It was ‘for now’ for a reason, of course. Annabeth’s healing was at its maximum, for the situation, and her natural resistance to magic made the flames less effective, but she wasn’t in a good spot.

Flying wasn’t exactly a realm she had much experience in, she could barely focus when this high, and the physical part of the damage was kind of another weakness to the inquisitor.

The good side was that she knew this much was coming, although not sure why she knew that, and was prepared for it. A straightforward attack like this one would never hit if the red-haired inquisitor hadn’t let it, that much was a fact.

The only reason why she was here was the feeling in the back of her head saying it was the best path.

Still, as the height increased and the protection glyphs on Anna’s body started to fail, the ifrit didn’t react at all. He only kept staring in anger at the inquisitor until they were high enough, and then, it changed orientations and started to speed up downwards.

“Wa-wa-wait! D-don’t go suiciding with me, mate!” Anna screamed as the barrier or golden energy got closer and closer. Her worries weren’t the barrier, though, it would likely take the ifrit down at such speed and not harm her at all, but the floor below it would solve the problem.

The quiet ifrit, the self-destructive fighting style, and how it was somehow the best option, none of it made sense.

Actually, even if it had some sense, Annabeth wouldn’t be able to get it right now. Too high, too fast, too high, too few weapons, and TOO FUCKING HIGH. Even the original idea that she had about all this didn’t make any sense anymore, and she lacked any other for now.

On the bright side, it was so bad that she somehow could start moving by instinct alone.

“Lemme fuckin’ go!”

And with a shot loaded with all the panic she could put on it, the girl and the winged demon got split from each other. Now, she wasn’t accelerating that fast anymore.

The whole fall thing was still a problem, though.

Instinct was, luckily, still a thing, so Annabeth’s creaking body somehow found it to aim her gun at herself and start to cast spells on her bullets. Whoever asked later would know that the inquisitor had no idea of what she was casting, but it was sure to be some mix of barriers and defensive spells. Anything that could help in this situation.

“Hells, hells, hells, hells, hells!” And just as the mess of an inquisitor crossed the kitsune’s barrier for the second time, the walls of the temple’s tower got in her sights. “HELLS!!!”

In a moment, she crashed a hole in the wall and shook the whole battlefield, even if few would pay attention to it. And inside Minako’s room, Anna was bouncing on the wooden floor and then through the paper walls as this much was the best she could manage.

Eventually, she stopped, though. After hitting some kind of stand and with something that looked like a spear stabbed by her side, but stopped nonetheless.

Her body was still in one piece and still shining, barely, so that was fine. She only needed to wait for it to recover enough and then it was a matter of getting back into the game.

For now, she could look around and think a little.

“This place is a li’l...” Anna’s inaudible voice started as she looked at the many stands filled with weapons and weird trinkets, all covered in chains. “A reliquary room? So the ominous feelin’ was all the cursed things inside ‘ere, eh?”

Not a good place to be, but she lacked an option right now. Some pieces around there called attention, though. Some big jewels with pure catalysts, pagan totems, and, more eye-catching than all of them, a jet-black greatsword stuck in a stone.

Anna didn’t even need her eye, which she couldn’t use right now, to know that all these pieces were packed with energy. It was sure to be the corrupted kind natural from cursed items, but energy still. Maybe she could even use it later...

But before she could think much about it, a loud banging noise echoed in the broken room. It was from something very strong going against something not that solid, which was easy to logic through.

It could very well be something new, but the inquisitor could feel that the ifrit was back.

“Looks like they strengthened the barrier, but how long it’ll work… Can ya go a li’l faster there, body? I wanna move on already.” Anna complained while forcing her battered body to start moving again even if not fully recovered. “I still’ve work to do ‘ere…”

The bashing was starting to make cracking noises due to the barrier reaching its limits, so Anna hurried up and got ready to fight. Forcing her body up and then going for her weapon, which was when she finally noticed the state of her revolver...

Maybe it was only the impact or maybe the panic rapid-fire helped too, but the six-shooter was now little more than a bent mass of pieces.

Some smaller pieces were missing and most of it was out of shape, so it was safe to say that there was no saving for it. And for a while, she could only stare at what remained of her favorite gun.

“Ain’t sure if I’m sadder or angrier… I guess I’m goin’ other level now.” She concluded eventually, setting the remains of her weapon on a corner and then turning to the arsenal of cursed items. “And what’ll do the trick ‘ere?”

The expressionless inquisitor looked around the room, resting her eyes over the massive and ominous sword that seemed to call her, and then ignoring it completely for a more fitting piece of equipment. She would need a dagger to use this one, though.

“Mah’ instructors would hate it, but I don’t care right now...” She decided while breaking the chains of her new gun and taking the first small blade in her path as she would need it to open some cartridges. “Let’s stash this old thing full of new powder. I only need one shot either way…”

Many would later say that a demon king itself had appeared on that battlefield and that it was lucky the whole place wasn't leveled out by the strike that soon appeared. But first, an old smoothbore would have to receive some very new powder.

And a maniacally smiling red-haired girl would be sure to avenge her little toy.