Chapter 08 – O
Although my eyes are closed, I could still vaguely see the morning sunlight shone on my closed eyelids. The sun has risen and a new day has started. It’s probably still early in the morning, so I decide to continue my sleep a little longer until mom comes up to wake me. I flip my body onto the other side, curling on the lion’s body and embracing his warmth.
While I was trying to sleep last night, all of the sudden Regulus emerges out of nowhere and offers to become my personal pillow. As I lie down on him, the lion with golden mane curls up and hugs me, protecting me from the coldness of the night. Under his presence, I couldn’t feel any more safe and secure. As a result, last night I slept so deep that I didn’t even dream.
However, my personal nap time was suddenly interrupted when a loud explosive noise emerges from somewhere, followed by a loud familiar cursing voice.
“Argh! Dang it! I lost again!”
I opened up my eyes and looked around sleepily.
“…What the heck is going on?” I muttered as I got up standing. The lion felt that I was awake, so he got up on his feet as well. Surprisingly, a sleepy head like me was the only one able to wake up from the noise. Everyone else is still sleeping on the mat near the camp fire.
…Everyone… But Viola, Nat, and Van…
Where are they?
Thinking about it, doesn’t that voice belong to Nat?
After washing my face at the river nearby, I move out of the shades along with Regulus towards the source of the yell earlier.
On the small grassy plain below the hill where we camped under the huge oak tree, I saw the three girls loitering around the area.
“When the heck did you get so strong!?” The red haired angel grumbled as the purple haired girl helped her up from the ground.
“I’ll chalk up your lost with recklessness like usual,” the green haired angel who was observing everything from nearby spoke up.
“I wasn’t reckless, dammit! Don’t you see how she moved!? Her reflex was completely different from the last time we spar!” the red haired angel cried some more.
“Well, I can’t stay behind you forever.” The purple haired girl laughed carefreely.
“Hey guys. What’s going on?” I called to the three of them while walking down the hill.
“Oh. Good morning, Sophia,” the purple haired angel greeted me with a smile, “Nat and I were having a sparring match. It’s a pretty cool morning, so Nat and I figured that we’ll have a sparring match for a bit.”
“And she wiped the floor with me six times in a row! Can you believe that!?” Nat screamed frustratingly.
“Wow. You are really good,” I said.
I’m actually not that surprised though. I saw her movements at Grand Central and even connected my thoughts with her before. That was enough for me to know how agile she is.
“…Hey. I know. Why don’t you try sparring with Viola too, Sophia?” Van suggested, “That way we’ll know if Nat was really reckless or not.”
“What!? No way!!” I cried. “Why would I wanna fight her?”
“Well, why not? I could use a good practice.” Viola giggled. “Besides, we haven’t fought anything this past few days. Might as well use this chance to hone our skills with a friendly match. Wouldn’t want to get sloppy by the time we have a real fight with the Nebula Corp, right?”
“Well… yeah. But… I don’t know. Should I?” I shrugged.
“Come on, Sophia. Can’t hurt to have a friendly match. Better use this chance to improve our skills,” the purple haired angel suggested.
My mind quickly recalls my battle with Miss Frey. I dare not say that I’ve won that battle. If I were to fight an opponent like that again in the future, who knows how the battle would turn out?
This might really be a good chance to hone my skills and prepare for the upcoming battles.
“…Okay then. Go easy on me, okay?” I said and pull out my staff.
“Sure. Give me all you got!” The purple haired angel twirls her spear and assumes her battle stance. Seeing so, Nat and Van moved away from the vicinity, so they don’t get caught in the fray.
The lion with golden mane also stands firm and prepare himself for battle.
“It’s okay, Regulus. This is just a friendly match. I want you to observe this time,” I told him and pat his mane. Hearing so, the lion stands down and slowly vanishes to thin air.
“Here I go!”
After the announcement, the purple haired angel charges straight at me with high speed.
I think she’s even faster than back at Grand Central!
Viola slams her spear down, releasing a wave of energy forward. I quickly hop to the side and shoot four fireballs at her. However, Viola simply smacks all of them away with her shaft and continues her charge. At close range, she swipes her spear rapidly several times, forcing me to remain on defense. While my body is able to evade her attack, there is hardly an opening to get a good counter back at her. Just like Miss Frey, Viola heavily favors fighting up close. Perhaps I should use the same approach and maintain a distance between her and me.
Thinking so, I immediately applied the same tactic like my battle with Miss Frey to move away from Viola. First, my legs quickly hop out of her attack range, so I have a good space to react. Then I spring into the air and constantly shoot the fireballs at her in mid-air, using the recoil to carry myself away from her attack range. Viola remains at the same spot, trying to block all the shots. Once I get a good distance from her, I stand my ground and constantly shoot the fire balls at her, forcing her to stay in defense away from me.
“Hah. A keep-away tactic? Viola is so in trouble.” I heard Van’s voice speaking.
Wow, we are even getting commentary for this fight?
It seems like my guess was correct. Viola doesn’t seem to have a long-range poke to counter me. With that in mind, I keep alternating my shot speed, so that she would not be able to catch a rhythm in my attacks. The purple haired girl’s face clearly shows that she is frustrated because she has no choice but to keep parrying my shots. Once she gets off guard, I quickly throw an explosive fireball at her, blasting her away from her stance. Unlike in the past, I have somewhat more control over the concentration of my power, so that blast didn’t cover Viola in the sea of flames and completely burn her.
“Woah!!!” Nat cried upon seeing Viola blown away into the air. But then the purple haired angel performs a flip in the air and lands down gracefully.
“Wow. That’s not bad at all.” Viola laughed. “I really let my guard down.”
“W… Well, thanks for the compliment, I guess.” I laughed nervously.
“In that case, I probably don’t have to hold back anymore?”
Wait… So she was already holding back earlier!?
“Here I go!”
The purple haired angel charges at me again… Actually, lunge is the better verb. In just a second, she completely closes the gap between her and me. After that, she swipes her spear to the front. Even though I could block the swipe, a blast of energy still blows up from around her, sending my body into the air. The purple haired angel then followed me into the air and continues swinging her spear at me. There is not much I can do to counter at point-blank, so all I did was try my best not to get slashed.
Viola smacks her spear downwards onto my staff, blowing me back to the ground. She follows me down, but I quickly use this chance to roll away safely before she thrusts her spear at me. After that I quickly get back up and shoot some fire balls at her. Like before, Viola brushes the balls away and continues her assault.
From her current speed, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep a distance from her any more. Luckily, Viola is extremely focused in closing the space between her and me. She still doesn’t know that I have a close range attack as well.
With this in mind, I might still be able to turn the tables around. But I have only one chance to do this.
While Viola is charging forward at me, I point my staff at her and let it pulls me towards her. As the curtain of flames engulfs my body, Viola stops her charge on track in surprise and quickly puts up her spear to block my fiery tackle. However, the impact was stronger than she expected, and after crashing into her, her guard was completely wide open.
Now’s my chance!
I immediately swing my staff at her abdomen, hoping to close this fight. However, the purple haired girl saw right through it and twists her right wrist, turning the shaft of her staff down to block my swing.
In a single stroke, the purple haired girl shakes the staff off my grip and counters with a roundhouse kick, sending me down to the ground in a single blow.
“Aow… That hurts…” I muttered while lying down on the ground.
“Hey, don’t frown. You’re pretty good!” Viola laughed and helped me up from the ground.
“But I couldn’t even get a close hit on you!” I mumbled, rubbing the area where she kicked me after I got up.
“That last hit was still pretty close though,” Viola said, “And wow, you got some range variety. I really wasn’t expecting you to make that last charge.”
“Eh. That was a bad idea though. I’m still not so good at close range. I just thought I’d be able to flip the table if I could catch you off guard.” I shrugged.
“Well, that concludes one thing,” Van spoke up while walking towards us, “You can’t beat Viola simply by overpowering her like what Nat did a week ago anymore.”
“Seriously, man! When the heck did you get so strong!? You haven’t told me about that spear too!” Nat cried.
…Oh yeah. If I remember correctly, her spear was pure white in color. But now, the shaft is a gradient of blue to white, and the blade is violet crystal. It looks completely different from the one she had when we met at Grand Central.
“Not gonna tell,” she giggled and walked away with a smile.
“Hey. What’s her problem?” Nat frowned.
Speaking of which, I suddenly realized that there is something I haven’t asked her yet.
It’s about Viola’s true identity.
Mom told me that 20 years ago, there was another purple haired angel named ‘Viola’. She told me that that ‘Viola’ is most-likely dead, since she stayed behind for mom and Miss Frey to escape.
But if you think about it, what kind of coincidence is it for two purple haired Zodiac Angels named ‘Viola’ to exist then and now?
The Viola I fought earlier and the Viola from 20 years ago, the two of them have to be related together somehow…
For a short chapter, I had lots of fun writing it.
Some times, writing a random scene within the story is a lot more relaxing as it doesn’t involve tying up lots of stuffs with the main plot and I don’t have to worry too much about plot holes.
Anyhow, next chapter will be a long and very important one. I hope you guys stay tuned for it ^^