Chapter 17 – A
“You shoot her from afar, I’ll handle her from up close!” Miki told Lauress while a cool breeze from Eta’s harp shells her skin.
“Got it!” Lauress pulls the glowing bowstring and aims at Orica while Miki rushes forward.
Meanwhile, the plush doll in my arms starts bouncing. He keeps pointing at the caramel haired girl, as if telling me to join the rumble.
“N…No! I can’t. I don’t wanna hurt Orica!” I cried and hugged plush doll even tighter.
The caramel haired girl lashes her whip forth but Miki swiftly hops to the side and continues her charge. The twin pony tailed girl then hurls an ice javelin forward from the tip of her dagger while charging forward, but Orica simply lashes her whip at the javelin, shattering it to pieces. At the same time, Lauress shoots an arrow forward but Orica also swipes her whip at the shot, completely negating it.
“Damn! How did she do that!?” Lauress cried.
“So much for your accuracy!” Miki sighs and brandishes her daggers at Orica. Unlike Lauress, Orica did not try to dodge the incoming attacks. Instead, she blocks each swing by crossing her hands against Miki’s arm, preventing her from making a full slash. After blocking a couple of slashes, the caramel haired girl shoots her left fist straight at Miki’s abdomen then thrust a kick at her, pushing her away.
“So much for your speed!” Lauress sighs and shoots another arrow at Orica. Without even looking, the girl swings her whip and launches a huge balloon of water forward. The arrow hits the balloons and explodes, rendering it completely harmless.
“Hey, that’s not fair!”
“Dammit! Eta! Piscium!” Miki calls to her servants after getting up.
Piscium quickly rushes for Orica while Eta strums her harp and releases several ice spikes forward. The caramel haired girl counters by launching a huge water balloon at Piscium, halting his charge. After that, Sandalsuud quickly hovers in front of the Orica and takes full hit of all ice spikes in her stead.
“What!?” Lauress cried upon seeing the lady with white hair getting pierced by all of Eta’s ice spikes.
“No way.” Miki immediately turns back to see Orica, who simply stands there quietly like nothing happened. “Her beast took that much hit, yet she’s not flinching at all!?”
The ice spikes are then pushed out of Sandalsuud’s body, leaving her whole body completely unscathed.
“Now, it’s my turn!” Oscar smirked, pressing some buttons on his controller.
Without warning, the lady with white hair quickly hurls her jar at Piscium, who just recovered from Orica’s water balloon earlier.
“Oof!!!” Miki cried, holding her stomach – the same spot where the merman was hit. The jar then magically flies back to the lady’s hand like a boomerang.
“How about this!?” Lauress releases her glowing bowstring, but no arrow was shot. Instead, the energy arrows appear from thin air around Orica and fly at her from all directions. The lady with white hair immediately tosses her water jar towards Orica then disperses to water piling on the floor. The caramel haired girl catches the jar and holds it up with her left hand. Suddenly, water gushes out of the jar like a fountain curtain, blocking all of the arrows.
“What the??!!! Grrrrrr!!!! Kaus!!!!” The armored centaur raises both of his arms and continuously fires his gatling bolts at the caramel haired girl, but all of them was nullified by the water curtain as well. Water stops flowing out of the jar at the same time Kaus stops his barrage. Orica tosses the jar up into the air where it shoots a huge balloon of water towards Kaus, staggering him backward. While Lauress suffered from the reflected damage, Orica quickly approaches Lauress and lashes her whip at the blonde archer furiously.
“Gah! Dammit! You like getting close and personal, don’t you!?”
Lauress quickly hops away and pulls her bowstring, aiming for another shot. However, just before she could release the shot, Orica smacks her whip onto Lauress’s wrist and brushes her aim at Eta just before she releases the bowstring. The shot knocks the mermaid away, causing Miki who just recovered to stagger back as well. While being stunned, the jar hovering in the air shoots out another huge water balloon that shifts its shape into the lady with white hair at Miki. The lady then shoots her knee at Miki’s stomach, knocking her down to the ground again. After that, Orica kicks onto Lauress’s belly and strikes her whip forth, releasing strong water current that knocks the blonde archer away against the glass windows.
“Dammit! I’ll just shoot you instead!” Lauress points her bow at the scientist on the balcony up above, but suddenly, Orica’s whip lashes onto her wrist, brushing her aim at the armored centaur instead. Suffering the reflected damage, the blonde archer falls down to the floor crying.
“Hit…by my own shot…Geez…I feel stupid…” she cried while trying to get up one more time.
“Well…This calls for a more desperate measure!” Miki got up, gritting her teeth. She hurls an ice spear at Orica again. But like before, the caramel-haired girl swipes her whip and shatters the spear before it could even reach her. However, it appears that the spear was only a decoy. Miki has already charges in at Orica from her left side, where she is not holding her whip to lure her attention while Piscium leaps up behind her.
“Attacking from blind spot!? Don’t you see that I’m controlling the game from up here!?” Oscar laughed and pressed a couple of buttons on his controller.
The lady with white hair disperses herself into water and drops to the floor once again. The jar hovering in the air then shoots another balloon of water that shifts its shape to the white lady and intercepts Piscium’s charge.
Meanwhile, Orica quickly rolls away to the side before Miki could get too close to her. After that, she swings her whip for an attack, which Miki blocks and freezes the whip with her dagger.
“Keeping the distance? So you don’t like getting too close, huh?”
The twin pony tailed girl then brandishes her dagger and shoots five ice spikes forward. The caramel haired girl simply jumps up to the air and swings her bladeless grip, shooting a balloon of water at Eta.
“Argh!” Miki staggered. “Dammit. She knows that I have Ice Wall on myself so she targeted my beasts instead!?”
“Obviously, honey! I hope you don’t think having two Zodiac Beasts always make you advantageous!” Oscar mocked her.
As soon as Orica reaches the ground, she quickly rushes for the mermaid and rapidly strikes her whip at Eta three times in a row. The mermaid, who only has the job of supporting Miki in battle, becomes a vulnerable sitting duck for Orica’s attacks. Miki makes her way for the mermaid, hoping to intervene Orica’s attacks. But it was no use; the constant reflected pain penalizes her reflex. Before long, the twin pony tailed girl falls to her knees just after the mermaid was knocked down to the ground.
“Dammit.” Miki grits her teeth and turns to me. “Auria! Hold her down! Cast Thunder Flare on her!!!!”
“Just a sap is fine, Auria!” Lauress added while trying to get up, “I can shoot that bloody crown if she’s not constantly blocking my attacks! Trust my accuracy!”
“Oh geez! That spell didn’t even hurt! It just felt like having ants crawling up my arms! Just cast it!” Lauress yelled.
That’s…true. If we could hold her down just for a bit, then we should be able to take off her crown. All I have to do is chant the incantation for that spell again, and I can trust Lauress or Miki to do the rest.
That’s it. I…I should be able to do that much…
“Aw that’s cute. But your time is up!!!!” Oscar announced.
Suddenly, the lady with white hair transforms herself into water and merges with the outburst of water that gushes out from her jar. The water forms the shape of a huge transparent sea serpent before it rapidly slithers across the room, crashing into the mermaid, the merman, and Miki’s body as well.
“Auria, watch out!!!!” Lauress cried.
Suddenly, the armored centaur quickly runs in and pushes me away, letting the serpent sweeps him up instead. It rises up towards the ceiling of the dome before dropping itself back down against the floor like waterfall. Miki was smashed against the ground along with her servants and Kaus. Lauress made a sharp cry before she falls to the ground from the pain Kaus experienced. The mermaid, the merman, and the armored centaur all gradually turn transparent and disappeared. They have probably suffered too much damage.
“Damn you…Oscar…” Miki mutters before choking some water out of her mouth.
My body trembles when upon witnessing the two girls lying on the ground. They are a lot more skilled than me in combat, yet Orica was able to beat the two of them and their servants down without breaking a single sweat.
How would I even stand a chance?
“…Please tell me this is not true,” I whispered, tightly holding Anty, who has been extremely restless since the start of the fight. The shoulder-length caramel haired girl then shoots her lifeless eyes at me – her new target. She turns around and slowly waltzes towards me.
“Orica…please…listen to me!” I pleaded, but the girl just keeps walking forward. “Please. This past two days…I missed you so much! Now that I see you, I don’t want to have to fight you!”
The caramel haired girl continues her way as water starts flowing from the handle forming the whiplash again.
“Run, Auria! Get away from there dammit!” Miki yelled.
“…You are my only remaining family member. Please don’t make me fight you! I can’t go on if something ever happens to you! You are the only reason I’m struggling right now!”
I cried to her with all my heart…But she won’t listen. The girl lashes her whip forth without any hesitation. That moment, Anty kicks himself off my chest and blocks the lash with his invisible shield.
While the lash was negated, the plush doll bounced off to the side away from me.
“So…this is how it’s going to end, hm?”
I turn my teary eyes towards the shoulder-length caramel haired girl, who simply looks back at me with emotionless eyes.
“I can’t do it…”
All the strength in my legs are drained and my whole body falls down to my knees.
The last thing I saw before I closed my eyes in submission is the picture of Orica raising her whip.