Chapter 13 – V
The giant turtle keeps stepping forward, forcing me to keep a distance so I don’t get squashed. Although this monstrosity marches rather slowly, these turtle-like creatures have an attack that makes up for its speed. They spit slime-like gels that explode after five seconds of exposure to the air. I managed to dodge the gel with ease, but the other citizens running around me were not so lucky. After explosion, the stained skins literally melt as if a strong acid was poured on them. They fall to the ground, writhing in pain as the burn spreads along their bodies, only to fall prey to this monster’s merciless stomp. To make things worse, these turtles can spit the slime over six meters in distance.
With an enemy this big in size, I thought about summoning Zubenes for help. However, there are still many people running around here. They are already panicking enough from these monsters and they don’t need another iron giant to make them even more frightened. Plus, Nat told me to not be pampered by my Zodiac Beast. Damage on Zubenes will result in a direct damage at me too. If he gets caught by the gel, then it is very possible that it could burn my skin too.
Shaking the thought of summoning him away, I kneel down behind a car some distance away from the monster and try to analyze its movements. Aside from constantly spitting those explosive slimes and slowly marching forth, they don’t seem to have any other new attack. Their huge body looks intimidating, but who knows, maybe they could be just as frail as those monsters at the library.
Hiding here would not do me any good. So after taking a deep breath, I leap out of my barricade along with my lance and rush at the monstrosity full speed. The turtle spotted me running against the direction of the crowd and began spitting the explosive slimes.
Fortunately, everything turns into a slow motion once again. I occasionally bend to the side while constantly closing in at the turtle without fail. As I got closer to it, the turtle stops spitting the slime and attempts to stomp instead. Its humongous leg makes its movement even more obvious and easier to dodge, compared to the slimes. After that, I strike the lance at its whiffed stomp with all my might. While the turtle cried upon taking the damage, my attack however was probably nothing more than an ant’s bite to it. It felt as if my strike was rebounded off its skin. My legs quickly took a jump back, taking me away from danger zone as my mind began thinking about another approach. Right now, I really could use something that hits harder than a single lance strike.
As if my thoughts were miraculously answered, all of the sudden I felt a pulse emanating from the lance. The pulse was subtle much like how a tuning fork vibrates, minus the sound. It is difficult to describe, but I could feel some sort of energy emanating from this lance. My heart races as adrenaline rushes throughout my body. Something is trying to tell me to strike this weapon against the monster again.
These instinctive thoughts have yet failed me so far, so there is little reason for me to not trust it.
My hands tightly grip the lance as I leap out once more. The turtle raises its left leg, attempting to stomp its target, but it is horribly slow as usual. After dodging the whiffed stomp, I thrust the lance against its legs with all my might again. Surprisingly, unlike the previous strike, the energy vibrating within the lance earlier was released through the tip of the lance, resulting in a powerful blow that crumbles the leg of the giant turtle to sand.
The monster cried in shock as it falls to the ground, roaring in pain.
“Wow…” My jaws dropped down in awe as I jumped away from it.
Its vengeful vermillion eyes glared at me in anger before it spits some more slimes at me. Once again, my legs jumped away, bringing me out of the danger zone. With a much more powerful attack in my arsenal, the hope of defeating this monstrosity is no longer far from reach.
I approach the crippled turtle again, tightly gripping the lance. It spits a glob of slime, much bigger than the ones it normally spits. But the intimidating size is just about the only new thing to it. After a successful dodge, I jumped up and thrust the lance straight into its head, releasing that blast again. The attack blows up the monster’s head and the giant turtle falls to the ground. Its body gradually turned into sand-like sculpture like the other monsters in the library before crumbling down to a pile of dust.
That was tough and very nerve racking. My hands are still shaking, not sure whether it was from nervousness or from the lance’s psyched up pulse. It was as if the rest of my dominant powers are suddenly waking up all at once. A single strike blew that monster out of proportion without contest. With the ability to unleash this level of destruction, it is now obvious why the Nebula Corp wants this power.
While I am taking a deep breath, my eyes caught something moving from the corner. There is another gigantic turtle, peeking at me from the corner on the next block. When it realized that it was discovered, the turtle immediately turns its tail and runs. Something felt weird about this turtle. Of all the monsters I’ve fought earlier, they tend to be even more aggressive when they saw their comrades killed. This one however immediately runs away with its tail behind its leg. Out of curiosity, I decide to follow it. Despite its huge body, the monster surprisingly picks up its speed very fast. I keep on moving forward, following its trail without fail. After two more turns, I found myself standing in the city’s Central Square. However, the turtle is nowhere in sight.
Within the Central Square paved with gray limestone tiles, only a girl with long brown hair can be seen standing right in the middle. She is wearing a short pink dress extending down just about three inches above her knee, topped with a long sleeve indigo jacket covering down to her waist. Her long slim legs are covered with long black stocking stretching up to just below her dress and a pair of pink boots. The girl turns her head left and right, as if looking for someone or something. Her back is facing me so she did not notice me when I entered the Central Square. What caught my attention, however, is the item in her hand: a funny looking staff with the mace head carved in the shape of a cat’s paw. That definitely does not look like something you would be holding to defend yourself against hordes of abominations falling down from the sky. More importantly, why is she standing in the middle of the city when she is supposed to be running from the monsters that are attacking this city?
……Could it be that she…?
As I approached her in curiosity, yet another girl appears from the other side of the square, also running towards that girl in the center. This girl has long caramel hair extending down just above her hips and wears a simple white sleeveless dress covering down to some where slightly above her knees. Her two arms are holding a weird black-colored object, which I assumed to be some sort of doll. It has a big round head, around the size of a soccer ball, with white eyes. Her arms covered its body so it is impossible to describe. I only could see the part that appears to be its tail hanging down from her arms. What surprises me even more is how that thing is actually moving! It was nudging that girl before pointing at me, as if notifying her of my existence.
The girl in the middle of the square turned around when she heard our footsteps and looks at both of us in surprise. The first thing I noticed when I saw her face is her glittering green eyes, sparkling like an emerald.
She made a friendly smile. However, an awkward silence rapidly filled the atmosphere. All the citizens in this city are busy running around, trying to keep themselves alive. But here we are, the three of us, greeting a complete stranger in a city being attacked by army of monsters. That is definitely awkward worthy.
To prevent things from being any more awkward, my mind tries to come up with what I should say to both of them. But the caramel haired girl spoke up before I could.
“…D…Do you girls happen to be…Zodiac Angels?”
It would be a lie if I said I was not expecting them to be Zodiac Angels like me, but I was not expected to be asked first.
“Uh…Yeah. Well…since we are here in the middle of the city instead of running, I guess it’s obvious that we are not average girls,” the emerald-eyed girl laughed nervously, as if trying to shake away the awkwardness.
While my mind is thinking about an appropriate answer, a loud roar was heard from the other side of the square. The three of us turns toward the source of the roar and noticed three monsters standing there. One of them is the turtle that was running away from me earlier but I’ve never seen the two other monsters before. The first of the two has a head that looks very much like a bird except its beak is over a meter long. It has thin snake-like body that connects the head to the expansive feathery wings and fan-shaped tail. The other monster looks like the reverse of the monster type I encountered at the library. Instead of having a meat lump as its body, this creature has the upper body shaped like human and the lower part as a meat lump. Its head lacks hair and there is nothing on its face except for a mouth-like opening. Four razor sharp organs functioned as the legs for this abomination. A human-spider seems to be the best description for this abomination. The three of them glare at us bloodthirstily, while releasing threatening high-pitch screeches.
“Were you girls after one of those guys?” the girl with long brown hair asked the caramel haired girl and me while keeping her eyes on the three monsters. Her playful face immediately turns into a serious one.
“Sort of.” My right hand reaches for my lance and stretches it to full length as I reply to her.
“I was chasing the one with wings before arriving here,” said the caramel haired girl, “I wasn’t expecting to see other Zodiac Angels or more monsters here though.”
“The one with wings is called [Flyer],” said the girl with the staff, “As far as I know, they are known for being the megaphone of their team. Maybe it was the one who assembled the [Tanker] and the [Spider] here.”
“…Uh…wait? You named these things?” I looked at her with surprise.
Before she could give me any answer, the three monsters jumped onto one another. The human spider, called [Spider] according to that girl, climbs onto the shell of the turtle, a.k.a. [Tanker], and magically sinks the lower part of its body into the turtle’s shell. The winged monster, or the [Flyer], pressed itself against the human spider’s back and literally merged itself together. Four arm-like organs with one-meter long razor blades stretched out from the turtle’s shell, readying to attack. The merged abomination releases a high-pitch screech once again, as if declaring war.
“…Well, I could use some help in taking this thing down,” I muttered.
“Let’s save our introductions for later. Time to take care of these monsters!”
The girl with the staff swings her weapon, getting ready for battle.