Chapter 03 – O
“What the heck was that sound?!” Nat got up and walked to the balcony where Auria and I are.
“Looks like we have trouble, guys.” I called to everyone else in the room. They quickly move to the balcony, surprised at what they see swirling in the sky.
“That black fog… Just like at Grand Central!” Sarin remarked.
“Um… What happened at Grand Central, sis?” Orica asked her sister who is standing right next to me.
“When we were at the city, that same dark cloud appears on the sky and several monsters fall down from it,” Auria explained.
“What!? Are you serious?!” Orica cried.
“Trust me. Your sis wasn’t lying. Many of us here saw the onslaught,” I reassured her.
That aside, why are the Ophiucus servants attacking this town now?
Are they trying to pass their ‘announcement’ here too?
“I’m gonna go take a closer look,” I told everyone.
“What the!? Why would you want to go into the monsters’ nest!?” Lauress cried.
“There’s a high chance that Ophiucus’s messenger is here like at Grand Central. They are probably going to make their announcement and massacre this town,” I said, “…And unlike Grand Central, this is just a small town. If we don’t do something, the monsters will massacre the entire town.”
“Viola has a point. This is a scholar town with no military forces on standby. By the time they can call for help, the town would probably have been wiped out,” Van said, nodding in agreement.
“Let’s divide into two teams. One team goes in and controls the situation, and the other helps evacuate the townspeople,” Auria suggested.
“That’s not a bad idea. I’m fast so I’ll be on the notify team,” Van said.
“Then I’m joining the attack team!” Nat volunteered eagerly.
“Ugh…I’m gonna go knock the doors and protect the residents then. I’m not really in the mood to fight right now,” Lauress said.
“I’m going with you, Viola,” Auria said with a determined look.
“You sure? I thought you said you are not fit for the front line?” I asked.
“Oh, you sure are in for a surprise.” A voice spoke up from behind me. It was Miki, that dark haired girl with twin pony tails, who had been sitting at the couch without speaking a word for the whole time.
What does she mean by that?
“Then sis, I’ll—.”
“No, Orica. You go help Lauress and Vanessa evacuate the residents.” Auria stops her sister. “You’ve never fought these monsters before, so I don’t think you should go in there. I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. I have Viola with me.”
“…Okay… if you say so…” The shoulder length caramel haired girl seems a little reluctant but obeys her sister nevertheless.
“Then I’m joining the attack team,” Sarin said, “I’m not that fast in running around. Maybe I’ll be of more use in the battlefield.”
“Okay. Are we all set?” I asked and make a brief headcount. It appears that the dark haired girl is the only one who hasn’t volunteered to any job so far. As a result, everyone turns their attention at her, waiting for her response.
“Miki…” Auria muttered the girl’s name, as if urging her to make a decision.
“I’ll be with the notify team,” Miki replied, “I move fast, so I’m better suited for the duty.”
“You sure?” Auria asked.
“What? You think I don’t know how to knock a door?” She chuckled. “You worry about yourself.”
She is such a prick…
“All right. I’m counting on you,” Auria said.
Surprisingly, she was not offended by Miki’s attitude at all. If it were me, I would have smacked her. But now is really not the time to get into a fight among ourselves.
“Okay, let’s move out!”
I lead everyone out of the room and move out of the entrance of the inn. From there, Lauress, Van, Orica, and Miki split up and head to different direction to evacuate the residents. On the other hand, Auria, Nat, and Sarin follow me closely as I head towards the center of the city where the dark fog is hovering in the sky. While running forward, many residents step out of their houses, looking at the dark fog curiously.
“Leave the village now! Do not go near that fog! The monsters from Grand Central are coming!!!!” I heard Van’s voice yelling across the neighborhood. It appears that she is running on the road parallel to the one I am on. The residents are confused by Van’s warning and start chattering. Some keeps looking at the fog while others seem to notice something wrong and goes inside the house to start packing.
Taking one last turn at the block, the four of us finally reach the town square. However, there are no signs of cracks or impact from any objects fallen onto the ground yet.
“Looks like the monsters are not here yet,” Sarin muttered.
“They can be here at any moment. Don’t let your guard down,” I said.
“…Oh boy. The fun is about to begin,” Nat said, chuckling while she looks up at the sky.
After waiting for a while, weird objects expectedly start to rain down from the black fog as we expected. Like back at Grand Central, those objects appear to be weird pulsating lump of meat. Once it lands on the ground, the lumps shift their shape and transform into a four-legged abomination with glowing crimson eyes. Lengthy sharp fangs and claws extend out from the beast’s mouth and paws, giving this creature the appearance of hideous blood thirsting hound.
“I wonder what Sophia is going to call these monsters,” I muttered and pull out the three-part spear strapped on the back of my hip. Once it extends to its full length, the glowing purple crystal blade emerges from the tip of the spear.
“Woah, Viola! Where did you get that spear!?” Nat cried.
“…That spear…? That wasn’t the one you had when we met at Grand Central,” Auria said.
Well, yes, this wasn’t the same white spear I had back when I first manifested my powers. After I defeated Rokishi and took back my powers from him yesterday, the white spear transforms its shape to this purple spear. Perhaps it has undergone a transformation because I got my lost power back?
“It’s a long story and I’m not a hundred percent sure about it either. I’ll tell you guys about it later! Here they come!”
The hounds roar and quickly turn their attention at us – their closest targets. The four of us then splits off to different directions of the town square to take care of the monsters.
As one of the hounds lunges at me, a familiar sensation engulfs my body and everything within my sight once again moves at a slow motion. The strange part is everything seems to move even slower than when I first experience this. My legs hop to the side, easily evading the incoming lunge, and swing the spear down, instantly cutting the hound into two. The body of the dead hound falls to the ground and turns into dust, just like the other monsters at Grand Central.
The spear is so light.
It is several times lighter than the white spear.
Three more hound approaches me, two on the left and one on the right. They seem to move a lot faster than the Strikers that attacked Grand Central, but somehow I was able to see through their movements as if I already know where they are going to attack beforehand.
I take a step backward and swing my spear at the abdomen of the hound on my right, then hurls it at one of the two hounds leaping at me from the left. The last hound continues its way and lunges at me with his mouth wide open for a bite. I bend to the side and slash the monster, cutting the hound’s body into two. After that, I swing my spear downward, releasing the energy blast at the previous two hounds, bursting them to mere dusts as well.
After that, five more hounds leap onto me from above. Before it could get too close, my arms twirl the spear and release a wave of energy burst around me, blowing all of those hounds away at once.
The power released from the spear is also significantly more powerful!
This weapon… It has undergone a complete overhaul in its power!
“Viola! Look!” Auria called to me from behind. Turning around, she points me to look up at the sky where a huge lump of meat can be seen falling down from there. As it lands, the lump quickly transforms into a monster three times bigger than the ones that have been raining down until now. Moreover, the monster is not standing on all four, but rather it is standing with its two hind legs. Its front legs are shaped like human hands, making this monster more of a werewolf than a normal hound.
“…I guess this is the honcho,” I muttered with my eyes locked at the monster.
The giant bloodhound rises up and observes its surrounding. It seems to notice that many of its friends have been defeated due to the pile of dusts lying around the square. As a result, it growls at us angrily.
“…That’s one big doggy,” Sarin muttered, walking towards me.
“Oh oh! Viola! I got this one!” Nat hops in front of me and excitedly glares at the huge hound.
“You sure you can take care of it?” I asked out of concern.
“Hey hey. I said I got this one!” Nat smiles confidently.
The huge werewolf howls and charges towards the red haired girl, who daringly walks forward a few steps. It raises its fist up into the air and throws a straight jab at Nat. That moment, flame emerges on Nat’s right fist as she shoves it straight against at the werewolf’s.
Apparently, Nat’s punch was several times stronger than the monster as the impact from her punch travels through the monster’s arms, evidently cracking every single bone up to its shoulder. The monster quickly withdraws its arm and cries out loudly in pain. Its fingers are cracked and twisted from taking from Nat’s punch.
“…Huh…You’re one tough doggy,” Nat muttered, shaking her fist.
The flame that was on her fist has already dispersed, revealing a white armguard on her hand.
“Nat…? That gauntlet…?”
I’ve never seen it before. So far, Nat wore only a leather glove when fighting.
“Oh…? This? This is my Zodiac Weapon! I guess I never showed it to you, huh? Well, I haven’t really met any big guy worthy of doubling my strength for, so I rarely used it.” The red haired girl then gave me her signature cheeky smile.
But then that moment, the giant werewolf howls and rushes in at Nat again. This time it lifts up its left fist. However, the silver haired girl quickly charges forward along with her axe. She lifts it up and slams it against the monster’s punch, stopping it on track.
“You are way too careless, Nat,” Sarin spoke up. The girl then makes a 180 degrees turn and swings her axe forward, blowing the monster meters away.
“Nah. I’m just letting you have the pleasure of finishing him off.” The red haired girl laughed boastfully.
“Yeah, right.” Sarin shakes her head and places the axe’s blade down against the floor. She doesn’t seem to be panting even at the slightest after dragging and swinging that heavy looking giant axe.
The caramel haired girl seems to be overwhelmed by their brute strength. But then again, I remember her destroying the monster at Grand Central in a single spell too, so I could be wrong.
However, that moment, the hound rolls to the side and quickly stands up on all four. It glares straight at us, implying just how pissed off it is right now.
“He just won’t go down without a good fight, doesn’t he!?” I put Auria behind me and stand in front of her while looking at the monster.
“Viola! Can you hear me!?”
That moment, before I could do anything else, a weird sensation engulfs my body and a familiar voice suddenly spoke to me in my ears.
“Sophia?” Auria spoke up and quickly looked around. Apparently, she heard Sophia’s voice just like I do.
“Get away from that monster! Now!”
“Why? What’s wrong!? And where the heck are you!?” I asked her out loud while looking around to see where she is.
“Just get away from there! Tell your friends too!”
How did she know that I’m with my friends?
Just where is she right now?
“Viola! Up there!” Auria nudges me and points up to the sky. Looking up, my eyes widen as I saw the emerald eyed girl diving down from the starry sky with her staff in her hand.
“Nat! Sarin! Get away from the monster now!!!!” I yelled at the two of them. They were a little confused but in the end they quickly hop away from the monster’s vicinity.
Sophia announced out loud as soon as Nat and Sarin withdrew and swings her staff forward. A ball of flame falls down from the sky and the moment it touches the monster, the ball explodes into a huge fiery globe, completely disintegrating the monster in a blink of an eye.
The emerald eyed girl embraces the recoil and flips back away from the explosion area in mid-air before landing on the ground gracefully.
…That… was some crazy stunt…
“Sorry to keep you waiting!!” she said swinging her staff to the side, looking at the remaining bloodhounds that quickly turn their attention towards her due to the explosion.
“How…Why…were you up there?” Auria looks at Sophia with her jaws dropped to the floor.
“Forget that for now, girls! Let’s take care of the rest of the monsters first!” she said.
Easy for you to say after you make that grand entrance…
For those who forgot about Viola’s new spear, you can see its database entry again here.