Chapter 13 – O
Nat, Van, Lin, and Len spread out, fighting against all the blood hounds that roam the area. This was not only to prevent them from interfering our fight with Cebal, but it was also to keep them from running across the bridge into the main land and attack the port city, Australis.
Luckily, much like the Strikers, these hounds aren’t very durable, so Van and the others should be able to handle them just fine. The only troublesome part about them is their numbers.
Mom, Miss Frey, and I have already dismissed our Zodiac Beasts.
Although we gain more advantages in terms of numbers with our beasts, the disadvantages just made it not worth the risk. For one, Cebal, just like Priori, can inflict direct injury upon us through harming our Zodiac Beasts. Since our servants are big targets and Cebal is insanely fast (judging from how he could swoop down in a blink), it is a bad idea to let Regulus and Algethi out right now. Mom’s Spica seems fast, but she probably does not want to risk it.
In any case, our battle with Cebal has officially begun.
Mom rushes at Cebal and slashes him without hesitation. The Ophiucus Servant blocks mom’s slash and quickly counters with his. Fortunately, mom was able to block it in time, although it forced her to take a step back. At the same time, Miss Frey approaches Cebal using her rolling rowel of death technique.
I remember this attack while fighting against her. It was extremely intimidating and I was overwhelmed by her.
Cebal was able to parry Miss Frey’s attack, but that locked him in a defensive stance. Before Miss Frey’s attack ends, she flips back into the air and releases several energy beams onto that man like rain. Although he suffered some hits, the Ophiucus Servant was able to hops backward to prevent any more damage done on him. As he retreats, I toss an explosive fireball at him off guard, blowing him even further away. The explosion was a full hit as he was not anticipating it, and as a result, he seems to suffer from it substantially, even with his armor protecting him.
“… Haha… I should have known not to take a battle against three angels at once lightly.” The Ophicus servant chuckled and got back up standing, massaging his right shoulder with his left hand.
He could still stand after taking a full hit from that!?
“But enough warm up… let me show you my full splendor…!!!!”
Cebal unsheathes his second katana using his left hand. With two katanas on both of his hands, all of the sudden, an aura of energy bursts from his surroundings.
I could almost feel murderous intent emanating from him even though he is standing so far from me!
“Look out, Sophia! Cebal is known for his speed. Don’t let him get behind you!!!!” Miss Frey warns me while she assumes her stance.
The Ophiucus Servant smirks daringly before leaping straight for the blonde lady. He rapidly and repeatedly slashes her with his two katanas. Miss Frey has no choice but to remain on guard.
He is so fast!
I have always thought that Miss Frey is pretty fast herself, but Cebal’s speed is completely different. If you blink, you are almost guaranteed to suffer a hit.
Luckily, mom did not let Miss Frey handle the attack for too long. She hurls a wave of energy from the tip of her sword at the Ophiucus servant, forcing him to hop away. Even after he was already safe, Cebal still hops back a few more times, presumably trying to gain distance from us. After his fifth hop, he leaps into the air and brandishes both of his katana at the same time, releasing two energy waves downwards. As it touches the ground, the two waves burst into a wide explosion, blowing mom and Miss Frey who is in the vicinity away.
“Mom! Miss Frey!”
I called out to the two of them, but they seem to be safe as they were able to land back on the ground gracefully.
“This is not over yet!!!!” Miss Frey announced once she lands. She raises her scythe up and swings it down, releasing a fang-shaped energy wave at Cebal. The Ophiucus Servant hops to the side and charges at Miss Frey. However, mom intercepts his charge mid-way and clashes her blade against his. However, he clashed against her with only the blade on his right arm. The blade on is left is not locked and he is more than happy to lift it against her.
That moment, a sword of light flies down and strikes onto Cebal’s gauntlet, stopping his left arm from slashing mom. At the same time, mom pushes the Ophiucus servant away and swings her blade down, releasing another fang-shaped wave that pushes him away even further.
To reinforce mom’s attack, I continuously shoot several fireballs, following up her sword wave. Cebal has no choice but to keep parrying our attacks and get pushed away. After the barrage, I toss another explosion towards him, but it seems like he saw through me this time. Instead of parrying it, he smacks the fireball away, making it explodes elsewhere.
“Pitiful… What happened, Myria? Frey? Your skills have rust up from 20 years ago. You gave me much more of a fight back then,” Cebal taunted whilst twirling his blade leisurely.
“I guess it’s my age catching up with me,” mom muttered.
Oh come on, mom. You’re only 42!
“And I’ve been sleeping for a little too long. So I’m just getting warmed up!!!!” After her announcement, an aura of energy bursts from Miss Frey’s surroundings and her scythe’s blade emanates an eerie red glow.
This is it!
Miss Frey is serious now!
The blonde lady quickly rushes in at Cebal with her scythe. She swings it down against the ground, creating an eruption from the ground. Cebal quickly leaps into the air before the eruption could get him.
“Sophia! Zodiac Link!!!”
Mom yelled at me, while my attention was locked at Miss Frey’s assault.
I don’t know why, but for a split second, I could almost see Cebal being piqued mom’s order. However, there is no time to think about that.
“O… Oh. Okay!!”
My left hand quickly reaches for the pendant. Activating the link, mom and Miss Frey’s sight flashed in front of me. Miss Frey seems to be acquainted to the Zodiac Link before, so she does not seem so surprised at the sudden weird sensation that engulfs us upon establishing the link.
“Myria! My Extract Emotion is just a bait! Cebal will definitely head for me after the duration is out. Strike him down while I act as a decoy, okay!?”
Miss Frey’s voice echoed inside my ears.
That was such a dangerous plan, but we really do not have a choice right now. After all, mom told me that to use this technique successfully, I have to trust in everyone that I’ve linked with. And that is what I will do!
“I got it. I’m on standby!”
Mom replied briefly.
“Me too!” I replied back through telepathy.
Miss Frey continues her furious assault. None of her hits were able to go through Cebal’s parry at all, but I guess it doesn’t matter since she wasn’t hoping to land a hit with this anyway.
After a while, Miss Frey’s scythe stops glowing eerie red glow, and her power parameters return to normal.
“Hmph! So much for your power up!!!” Cebal brandishes both of his katana and releases two sword waves at the blonde lady. Miss Frey places her scythe forward to parry against the attack. Even though, she did not suffer a substantial damage, the blonde lady was still sent flying away against the walls.
“Haha!!! How’s that!?” Cebal laughed mockingly.
“Well? How’s this!?”
Before he could react, Cebal was flanked by mom and Spica. While the Ophiucus servant was busy handling Miss Frey’s attack, mom summoned Spica without him knowing. The two of them lift up their blades at the same time, launching Cebal into the air and throwing his stance off. After that, six swords of light shoot straight at Cebal and lock him airborne. Mom and Spica quickly jump up and raise their swords. At the same time, each of them unleashes a huge sword wave from both sides, crashing into Cebal who was locked in the middle at the same time.
The impact caused the Ophiucus Servant to fly away from the spot. His armor was evidently cracked and it seems like his defensive capability has substantially decreased.
“I’m not done yet!!!” Cebal grits his teeth and announces while in mid-air.
“Oh really?” Miss Frey smirked.
Before he knew it, the armored dragon was already flying above the area where the Ophiucus servant was blown away.
Yes, while he was being attacked by mom and Spica, Miss Frey summoned Algethi and let him charge up his special attack.
The armored dragon releases an energy ball from his mouth through the rotating ring, amplifying it into a globe of flames resembling the sun. Upon contact, the explosion sends Cebal against the ground where Regulus was standing firm and ready.
“Now!!!” I yelled, giving the king of the jungle a signal to strike. Regulus then unleashes his roar and blows Cebal away against the walls.
With Cebal constantly blocking our attacks, our best bet is to blow him up with extreme attacks altogether at once. The most crucial part of this combo is the set up. It was only because we linked our thoughts that we were exactly able to pull this off. With three Zodiac Beasts’ special attacks combined, the Ophiucus servant finally succumbs and lies down on the ground quietly.
“…Did we… Did we get him?” I asked curiously.
“Probably…,” mom said, breathing heavily from exhaustion.
“……Heh heh heh. That really was a great fun. I had so much fun,” Cebal muttered while getting up from the ground.
He is still able to stand after all that!?
“So… you used the Zodiac Link… huh?” the Ophiucus Servant asked while looking at me.
“Huh…? Uh… Yeah…”
Why is he asking me that?
Did he know something about that power?
“Hehehe… How did you get a hold of that pendant…?”
“Why…? Well, mom gave it to me…” I replied.
What’s with his question…?
“…… And do you know why this pendant existed?” Cebal turns towards mom after asking.
“Who knows?” Mom shrugged.
From what mom told me, a mysterious old lady gave this pendant to mom during the time she was running away from Nebula Corp. Mom wasn’t the one who made this pendant, so how would she know…?
“Haha… Oh man… Just like Priori said. You all really do not understand my master. You don’t even know why that pendant existed.” Cebal laughed before he fell down on the ground looking at the sky, “Well, this time… You win… Enjoy your momentary victory… while it still lasts… Because sooner or later… Athenia will fall… And there is no way you can stop it.”
After that, Cebal’s body slowly shatters and breaks down into a pile of dust, floating up to the sky. The blood hounds that were roaming the area all dispersed and turned into a pile of dust as well, just like when other spawns died.
With all the Ophiucus Spawns gone, all of us finally stand down.
“…So… That was it?” Van asked while breathing heavily. Nat and the twins also seem to be exhausted no less than us. Normally, I don’t think Nat is the type to get exhausted easily, but considering how she was heavily crippled from earlier, it probably took some toll on her.
“Yeah. With things out of the way, let’s just destroy that fragment and be on our way,” mom suggested and leads everyone ahead.
Everyone is probably exhausted by now, so they want to quickly wrap everything up and leave. As everyone rush inside the abandoned power plant, I turned towards where Cebal was lying on the ground earlier. My hand reaches for the pendant hanging on my neck and holds on to it tightly.
I don’t understand it.
The two of them said the same thing…
“You all really do not understand my master…”
I don’t understand it at all.
What is there that we do not understand about Ophiucus?