Chapter 117:

Flipside: Scortched Temple - Part 3


"You are saying that the main base is under attack and we’re out of reach from communication, right?” Karim asked the fairies that ferried them down before starting the hurried briefing of what Alya had ordered them to do.

As a side note, these weren’t the same marines that brought them to the island, they were the second squad that came later. The other ones were still patrolling the surroundings while waiting.

“That’s exactly it, ma’am. We should hurry too, or reaching the Hive will be impossible…”

The small soldiers all seemed quite hurried due to the fact that their transport was going further away each second. But they still needed to follow orders and wait for the 'guests' to leave. Something that would be different if they hadn’t found Karim and her group and could leave without a worry. Or that wouldn’t need such hurry if there wasn’t another limiting factor to the time everyone else had.

One of Annabeth’s seals was still broken and her eye, even if somewhat weaker than usual, was still draining energy from the surroundings. Karim lacked the weird estimative skills her partner had, but she could still guess that they wouldn’t last more than two hours like this.

If she was better at seeing spiritual energy, though, she would notice that even half this much was hard.

And the worst of this, without this continuous drain, she was sure that the gunslinger lying on the ground would be unable to show her true power. A power that she was sure they would need in a battle that was big enough to threaten that massive sea fortress.

Still, until then, she was more of a problem than a perk, and Karim knew that. In fact, if it wasn't for the fact that they still needed to do something here, she would be leaving already. But they still had to do what they came here to do.

Also, they had to ‘prepare’ Colette before leaving.

There was also the problem with the potential fallen angel added to the group, but he was currently standing around in silence. It didn’t even seem that he was paying attention to the conversation, instead looking around in a pensive way.


“Talk…” The weakened inquisitor leaning by the side of the building they just left spoke in between her heavy breaths.

“What more do we need here? I’m guessing this one was a bust again, but if there’s something we can still do…”

“Blow it up.”


“This building… blow it…” Anna went on, pointing to the wall behind her as she slowly recovered herself with time. “Don’t ask, just do it.”

“Ma’am, I don’t think this’s a good idea…” The second squad’s captain directed herself to Karim again, trying to rush the permission to leave this place already. “We don’t have time to demolish something this big.”

“These small girls are funny, Anna.” Colette joined in the conversation with a smirk. “I don’t need more than five minutes to take this fucking place down, especially if I get some help from my fox friend here.”

Colette’s boast made the non-members of the group turn silent as they couldn’t see how some human girl would undo the construction on the island. Even if they had spirits specialized in destruction here, it would still be a huge effort to destroy something this big.

It was very unlikely that these fairies really knew the capabilities of a high-class kitsune and a proper inquisitor, though. Even Karim was unsure of how far these two could go if she was honest.

And if it was about Annabeth, then it was even worse.


“They probably can manage... It’s weird, but we’re a very capable group when the matter is blowing things up.” The blondie acting as the spokesperson of the team tried to explain the situation with a hint of exasperation on her face. “Hurry up on that, you two. I’ll take Annabeth and Michael away first.”

“Got it.”

“I’ll melt this place down!”

The demolition duo confirmed their orders and readied their own weapons. Just the usual gauntlets and the fox fires, even if the first was glowing abnormally this time and the former was having all wisps compressed. They didn’t seem like very effective fighting skills for Karim, but they needed raw power and not fighting power right now, so it was fine.

“The corners first, Col… And don’t forget… the magical words, fox.” Annabeth forced herself up as she gave advice to the two girls leaving the group and then supported herself on the closest fairy for now. “Let’s move on… I’ve a theory, but it’s fer later…”

If all went well, a sleeping Colette and Minako would reach them in some five minutes, and then the problem would be this attack. It was hard to know how much they could affect a naval battle, and a big one too, but any help was still better than none.

The only liability was that their biggest firepower was out-of-commission and causing damage to their allies.

It was even easy to see on the colorful fairies’ complexions that they were getting tired due to the energy drain. Karim would love it if they could stay away until Annabeth’s seals were back and she was able to move freely again, but that wasn’t an option anymore.

The petite cop had a way to solve this problem, and five minutes to do so without drawing unwanted attention. She only needed to get to the ship and the makeshift temple there. And of course, she could never let her partner notice what was the plan.

Just the fact that Annabeth couldn’t manage to think well right now was already a huge advantage. One that would work even better if the redhead would faint due to the travel and let her go through the process without being able to fight back.

Either way, as she watched the black-haired kitsune and the brunette brawler mow down a whole corner of the temple, Karim turned to the second airborne squad.

“Tell the other squad to support Colette and Minako here, and let’s return to the ship, okay? It’ll be dangerous if we lose more time.”

“Yes, ma’am!” The pink fairy saluted, and turned to her subordinates, starting to relay the orders and organize the situation. A process that didn’t take more than a minute, which was almost the same as what Annabeth took to drug herself. Something that Karim only noticed too late again.

“Do you need to do that all the time, Annabeth? This can’t be healthy…”

“Ay ay…” The hazy-eyed inquisitor nodded in agreement, maybe to both phrases even. It didn’t seem like she would change at all, though. She was even in the arms of the two fairies assigned to carry her by now, so it wasn’t as if she was really paying attention too.

“What exactly are you all?” Michael finally spoke after his analysis of the whole situation. “I mean, the weapons are futuristic and I believe it has something to do with the military, but there’s a clear lack of… Professionalism? Not the right word, but it shall work.”

“Can I be honest with you, Michael?” Karim turned her head with the usual expression she used when giving up.

“I don’t really know how to answer that.”