Chapter 15:

Indena Vs. Melpomene

Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose

Melpomene came hovering down on a broomstick. She had been just behind the rhino as it chased us. She set her sights straight on Yamin.

A rope of mana spawned out of her hand, wrapping around Yamin’s neck and lifting her up at the witch's command.

I tried to prime my mana cannon to fire at Melpomene, but that would have been a violation of the First Commandment. I couldn’t kill her because she was human.

I ran at them and instead tried to separate them from one another, but Melpomene slapped me away with a powerful backhand.

“Little One, stay out of this!”

“Negative! I won’t let anyone come to harm!”

I just had to defuse the situation, preferably before those inquisitors showed up. Otherwise, even Melpomene might end up being in danger by them.

Nobody needed to die here.

“Melpomene, church inquisitors are on their way here. You should leave before they arrive.” I said.

“Your trust in that godless institution is misplaced. You’ve made a grave mistake.”

She had no intention of heeding my warning. The only option we had left was to subdue her by force.

Indena dove at her and started to punch her. What terrible pain Indena must have been in, clenching her fists well her hands were still broken.

Melpomene dodged all of Indena’s attacks, anticipating where they’d strike before Indena even had a chance. She kept sidestepping until summoning a bull head out of thin air to strike Indena.

Indena went flying and hit the ground like a rock. The force of impact would have killed a normal person, but she still tossed and turned in pain.

“Stupid witch!” Indena growled. “Why do you even wanna’ kill Yamin?”

“One who revels in the fruit of knowledge could never possibly understand.” She replied.

“Oh yeah, wanna’ try me?”

Indena was still trying to get back up, brute forcing herself through her pain. I ran to her and primed my Lesser Heal magic.

“Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man! I’ll heal you up as fast as I can!” I recited as a pulse of healing light radiated around Indena.

Her wounds were starting to close up, but she was still in deep pain. Somehow she summoned the strength to stand again.

Fire exploded around her body, then it clung tightly and formed into flame armour.

“I’ll finish this!” Indena charged at Melpomene, much faster this time.

Her punches and kicks were like blurs. My eyes couldn’t keep up until I tightly focused on the fight. Melpomene couldn’t handle the swiftness of Indena’s attacks, and quickly jumped back to bring in her magical constructs.

Something that looked like a cheetah jumped on the scene, racing at Indena almost lightning fast. It caught Indena’s arm with a bite, and tugged on her. Another came in and did the same with her other arm.

Melpomene brought back that bull, in full form this time, letting it stampede at the vulnerable Indena.

“I hate cats!” Her hands erupted with flame and blasted open the heads of the cheetah, causing them to vanish into a haze of mana.

The bull was right on her now, so she grabbed it by the horns.

“And I hate cows too!”

She lifted up its head and used her fire magic to jet her hands into a twisting motion. The bulls head twisted and its neck snapped. It disappeared just after.

“Stupid cow! Now I got beef with that bitch.” Indena glared at Melpomene, who had already summoned a troop of chimps to leap at Indena from the treetops.

She didn’t have much trouble swatting them away with fire fists, but many of them would leap on her hair and start pulling it out. She’d be at their mercy if they kept playing dirty like that.

I summoned a stardust disk, something that resembled a sharp plate, then calculated a trajectory that would cut Indena’s hair short enough to protect from the chimps.

“Toss!” I announced as I threw it.

The disk cut right through Indena’s hair, just as I calculated. Now she had something close to a bob haircut.

“What the hell?!” She fell forwards, being released from the chimps grasp. “How did you…!” She torched the chimps, then got to her feet to face a variety of woodland spirit animals “I hate animals! I hate them all!”

It seemed like the angrier she got, the more she focused on the battle. Her stats reflected this, they were rising by the second. Could her fire magic have something to do with this strength enhancing rage?

That was irrelevant right now. Two giant vultures arrived to start attacking Yamin, who was lying on the ground, badly wounded.

I dove in and grabbed both the birds of prey by the beaks, then spun them around and threw them away from her. I charged up the mana cannon and fired a shot at both of them. They erupted and vanished away.

That bull was back. And he was charging right at us.

Marek leapt in and grabbed the bull in a headlock. He lifted the whole thing up into the air and piledrived it into the ground with all his strength!

“Every bone in my body is broken!” He shouted, passing out.

With healing magic, that could be fixed. He was exaggerating the damage, although his ribcage was in critical condition. I stabilized his wounds with my healing spell, also healing Yamin too.

Indena managed to fend off the animals, but now she was back in direct contact with Melpomene.

Her hands were glowing purple, she struck forth a fist, missing Indena by an inch. She attacked again a few more times, but Indena’s had the instincts to dodge every attack with ease.

In retaliation, Indena swung her hand up and struck Melpomene in the jaw.

Sacrificing a hit, Melpomene used the close proximity to press her glowing purple hands against Indena’s chest. The purple aura spread out across Indena’s body.

“What the hell is this?” She backed off, looking sluggish. “You got poison magic! I should have figured with those damn purple eyes.”

“My element may be poison, but I assure you it won’t be the last I have to offer.”

Indena was struggling to stay standing, it looked like she was about to fall asleep. She was breathing heavily, then she held back from throwing up.

I took a quick look at her stats, and everything was lowered. It also stated that she was sick. Was this poison enough to kill her? I worried about that.

“It’s gonna’ take a lot more than that to hold me back,” Indena smirked through her pain.

Indena jet back to Melpomene with an explosive speed.

Indena was up in her face again, just the right distance for close combat! She went in for a swing, Melpomene easily dodged it, but Indena’s other fist came around right after.

Indena hit her right in the jaw again! The witch staggered back, rubbing the blood off her lips.

By the look on her face, she was panicked about how close Indena was, but that panic quickly turned back to a serious glare.

Melpomene summoned a spirit bear between her and Indena, the bear quickly dove in for a few swipes. Its claws raked across the air, sending cutting waves to my ally.

But Indena used her fire magic to send a flare of flame outward to block the energy swipe, then she quickly followed it up by striking the bear with her fist in the stomach. Her punch sent a shockwave through the bear, it was so powerful!

Then she jetted up into the air and kicked the bear right in the jaw.

The bear wasn’t phased much. It went in for a grab of her, catching her mid air and attempting to crush her in its deathly grip.

But she sent out a repulse of fire, blasting out of the bear's clutches.

As she continued battling through this grizzly situation, Melpomene had slipped away and was heading for Yamin. But Indena was wise to her ways and made a plume of fire spawn out of the ground where the witch was.

“Not so fast!” Indena announced.

Melpomene was able to use her own magic to warp the fire away, but by that point Indena had freed herself from the clutches of the bear.

A spirit hawk dove at Indena, this time not aiming for her hands, but her heart.

I fired another two shots of my cannon, destroying the spirit hawk and the bear.

Now freed of any animal, Indena launched herself to Melpomene and started to wrestle with her. Indena clearly had the advantage, toting muscles that dwarfed the witch's scrawny figure.

Melpomene's arms twisted, nearly breaking. Then Indena sent out a volley of calculated punches that did a number on her. It looked like Indena stood a chance here.

“Fool!” Melpomene desperately growled as she failed to defend herself from Indena. “Don’t you realize you will be betrayed?”

“Who you callin’ a fool? You’re the one trying to kill us for no damn reason!”

“There is great evil in that one. I’m trying to protect all of you!”

“Funny way of showing it!”

Indena’s palms lit up with flame and she smacked it down on the witch’s face. Melpomene went down to her knees.

The spirit rhino returned, and it was about to stampede right into Indena!

I had to fire one good cannon shot at the rhino to destroy it. More power would be necessary to do enough damage.

The charging sequence began, going to about the same percentage I used against the Reaper. My body prompted me again that I’d have to shut down after using the cannon like this. I acknowledged the prompt, and the energy began pooling over my heart.

With my body already having used this once, it was able to finish charging a lot faster now. The cannon was ready to use in seconds.

A piercing screech hit the air, whistling as the beam primed to fire.

“Mana cannon firing in…”




“Firing mana cannon!!”


The shot hit the rhino! Mana burst out in a massive explosion that painted the whole area blue! Luckily, Indena’s fire aura protected her from the damage.

Regretfully, my body began to shut down quickly. I couldn’t go under until I saw the end of this fight, so I fought off my hibernation.

-Warning! Body under significant stress from combat mode + Mana Cannon over usage! Recovery period will be extended if shutdown is delayed-

-Predicted recovery period if shutdown is delayed : 1 week-

-Continue?- -(Yes)- -(No)-

Crud…one full week? That would be horrible. But I couldn’t deny that my body had already stressed itself beyond belief. I didn’t even know this much power was in me.

Now wasn’t the time to go to sleep though. I had to stay up and protect the others any way I could.

I chose yes.

Accepting my command, my body went into a state of shock. My sight started to blur and my body was twitching uncomfortably. A wave of nausea overcame me. Pain took me by surprise.

If only I could close my eyes…NO! Stay awake!

The smoke was starting to clear up. Both Indena and Melpomene were on the ground.

Indena was the first to rise up, moving over to Melpomene and hovering a fireball above her.

“This is over. Give up!” Indena ordered.


Melpomene pulled a hidden knife from her boot. Fear washed across her face as she gazed at the bladed weapon.

Indena tried to launch her fireball, but Melpomene simply absorbed the magical attack.

The knife was glowing purple, and had something that looked like wings for a crossguard.

She sliced the knife across her own palm. Blood swirled through the air, setting on fire with a violet colour.

"Blood magic!?" Indena shouted with shock.

Indena went to finish her, but the flaming blood formed a bubble around the witch that protected her.

“Dear spirits of life, I offer you this blood as a sacrifice for more power.” She began some incantation! “I am the poison witch, Melpomene, and I plead for the mana of this planet to take on the image I command!”

The glowing blood spun around until it all collected into a perfect sphere with Melpomene at the core. Mana energy started to evaporate out of the ground, then joined with the orb.

The blood magic orb left her and flew high up and warped until forming into a giant bird. It looked like a phoenix or something, but radiating purple flame.

Its aura was powerful, I could sense it even though it was all the way up in the sky. It was so strong that the poison energy was killing the environment.

“Oh no!” I shouted. “Indena!”

Indena was struggling to keep herself standing up. The poison was affecting her too. I think I was the only living thing here not being devastated by it.

The phoenix began to expand until it burst open in the sky. Clouds of purple began raining down poisonous drops of toxins on us all.

My Geiger counter was picking up nasty amounts of radiation flooding the atmosphere. Poison and radiation were going to make this place uninhabitable very quickly. My friends wouldn't last long, neither would nature at this rate. There was a city not far either.

I don't know what to do. There was too much pressure all at once for me to do anything! Even my mind was slipping away from all my overworking.

Trees were withering and everyone was starting to look extremely sick. I had mere seconds to think of a plan.

"Melpomene!" I shouted. "You have to stop! You'll kill everyone!"

"A small price to save this world from calamity!"

The only calamity here was her. If she didn't stop then this whole environment would be turned into a radioactive waste land.

Wait, maybe that was how I could stop her! She was a witch too in tune with nature to let it die like this. Maybe even willing to give her life to protect it. No way I couldn't reason with her to stop for the sake of the trees and animals.

My consciousness was fading fast. I didn't have much strength left in me, so I acted quickly.

"Look at what you're doing to nature!" I shouted, hoping it would connect with her. "It will take years to clean up this environmental disaster!"

She started looking around, her eyes were going a bit soft as she considered my words.

The toxins were filling the air, and polluting the soil. All the plants were withering quickly and turning to dust.

She gasped in disgust of her actions, then forced the rain of poison to cease falling, collecting it into a ball and absorbing it into her body.

Thank God it stopped, because I was out of strength to shout.

"What have I done?" She spoke in a distraught tone. "Was I given permission to cause such chaos?"

Her existential crisis gave me enough time to crawl over to her and force myself to stand. I had to keep fighting my shut down to give her a smile.

"We shouldn't destroy the World to save it." I uttered with a weak breath. "Let's find a way to stop the darkness together."

She kept looking at me, tears welling up in her eyes. With a tilt of her hat, she hid her face.

“There is no other way to save the World. The Evil One must die. But…you are right. Am I any better than her for causing such destruction?”

She caught me in her arms as I fell. Then she held me close to her and forced me to drink something.

It tasted yucky. Very bitter.

“Be still. This is something to ease your pain.”

Over the next few seconds, the twitching and burning in me faded away. Now I was just sleepy.

Some leafy plants grew out of the ground, they were soft and velvety. Melpomene placed me on one, like she was putting me on a bed.

She went around and did the same for the others. I was worried she’d try and kill Yamin, but she didn’t. She made all of them drink the same thing as me.

“Little One of Hyem.” She called out. “Know this. We are allies against the darkness, but I will stop the Evil One. You will need to decide who you stand with in the end. Either these foolish mortals, or me. Whoever you choose, that side shall win.”

With that, she collapsed to the ground herself.

My sensors were still active and they were picking up a weak pulse from her. But the pulse slowly faded away. My eyes crept open to see she was no longer there. Where’d she go?

I just wanted to sleep for a little while. But the moment my eyes shut, I heard the sound of a car rolling up.

My sight was failing me. All I saw were silhouettes of robed figures approaching. Seven of them? Maybe more, maybe less. Who cares?

One picked me up. Then I think they took me into a car.

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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