ZA – Chapter Ophiucus 30 V

Chapter 30 – O


“Antares!!!!” the caramel haired girl called out to her servant at the top of her voice. Heeding her call, the mechanical scorpion emerges from underneath her, picking up his master and Sophia onto his back.
“Please. Viola… Please be safe!” the caramel haired girl cried and drove off on the mechanical scorpion away. As she leaves the scene, she tosses me one last healing spell, enveloping me in a soothing light that gets me back to my top shape.
“Oh dear. Yet another silly heroic act.” Fiore giggles mockingly. “You just never learn, do you? How different is it going to be from last time?”
“Well, it’s a lot different actually,” I taunted.
“And how might that be?” Fiore asked with one of her eye brow raised.
“You see, last time, I turned my back at you and run. But this time, I am going to kick your ass,” I replied.

That’s right.
Unlike last time where I left Zubenes to stall me some time, this time I am actively fighting her. I’ll make her pay for what she has done to Sophia!

Instead of feeling intimidated, Fiore simply sighs.
“Three of you together were barely able to get a hit on me. What exactly do you expect to achieve by coming at me alone?”
“Won’t know until I try!!!”
I smack my lance down with all my strength, unloading the sonic wave forward along with my frustration.
“Seriously, Viola. I don’t know whether you are stupid or retarded!!” the dark haired girl yelled and puts up her left claw. That moment, a cluster of dark fog resembling a dimensional portal emerges in front of her and the wave travels straight inside the cluster.

What just happened?
That was definitely not a shield-type attack.

While wondering about it, I could sense something incoming at me from behind. I quickly summon Zubenes’s shield behind me just in time to block an impact that rams straight at me from nowhere. That was my Sonic Boom, wasn’t it?
So it was the twin’s trajectory re-directing technique?
“Your senses are sharp.” Fiore snickers.
“Thank you for the compliment!”
I charge straight ahead at her. With that technique at her disposal, it is definitely a bad idea to use long range projectile attacks. It seems like my only choice is to really charge on ahead.
Without moving from where she is, Fiore swings her right claw and shoots forth a flock of fire bolts, exactly like the ones Sophia has been shooting. I briefly put up Zubenes’s shield to block it and immediately continue my way. After that Fiore launches another orb of energy towards me, but I block it with another shield like before. Although I am still completely unharmed, I could almost feel the intense electrical shock radiating in the air from the shot. That was Auria’s Lightning Fang.
She was purposely using Sophia’s and Auria’s attacks on me, perhaps to provoke me even more than before. Even though I was able to see through her intention, it’s just so hard not to fall into her trap.
“Damn you!!”
I swing my spear and hurl the first shield straight towards her. Fiore makes minimal effort to bend away from the trajectory then immediately dashes straight at me, launching a series of claw slashing attacks. I am forced to remain on offense, blocking her attacks using the remaining shield as well as my spear.
“… I’ve been wondering about this since earlier,” Fiore spoke up during the assault, “Those were your Zodiac Beast’s shields, weren’t they?”
“And if they are?!” I replied as I push her back away from me.
“I see. You can now summon your Zodiac Beast’s shield without actually materializing him?” the girl asked, giggling, “Were you really that afraid of me breaking your leg again?”

She saw right through me.
Yes, I was absolutely terrified by the Connected Harm and I trained Integrated Summoning for the sole purpose of fighting against that ability. The more I hear from her, the more I come to hate this girl standing in front of me.

“Well, who’d be stupid enough to let that happen twice!?”
After gaining some space, I toss one of the shields at Fiore, but the girl smacks it away. That shield, however, was a decoy. Right after I toss it, I set another shield in front and shoot a purple light ray following the first shield. Unfortunately, she was able to see through my feint and bends to the side, dodging the beam just in time.
“From the looks of it, it seems like attacking your shields would not have any effect on you.” The dark haired girl leisurely analyzes my ability as she keeps moving to the side, as if playing around with my painstakingly trained new skill.
“I didn’t come up with this technique for nothing!!!”
I lift my spear up and shoot one shield forward again. This time, I exerted slightly more strength, causing the shield to travel at a faster speed. As a result, it was able to catch Fiore in time, although she was able to block it. The impact causes her to stagger for a split moment, but that was enough for me to shoot another shield at her, forcing her stance to completely crack opened.

All right! Here’s my chance!

The moment her stance opened, I quickly dash in at her and launch my spear up for an upward slash. As if programmed before hand, my body simply continues to move on its own exactly like when I activated this stance against Rokishi.
The Violet Rage…
That’s what Rokishi called this move.
I briefly discussed this move with Frey once during our late night sparring session and she told me that this was a move that I invented 20 years ago. Utilizing the reflex and strength given to me by the Libra Angel, the Violet Rage is a dance of attack that unleashes a 9-hits combo on one target. It is extremely powerful and fast, and can easily decide a match when used at the right moment. Although I have already forgotten it, my body appears to recognize this skill’s pattern very well, and it helps me perform it without fail.

Unfortunately, Fiore recovers from her stagger much faster than I expected and she appears to see it coming before hand. She quickly blocks my double 360 degrees swing, and unlike Rokishi’s lousy guard, her block was firm and I couldn’t break her stance. But even so, my body continues to move as if it was programmed not to stop. My legs spring up again and I smack her with bottom of the lance’s blunt shaft, followed by a roundhouse kick – all of which she was able to block with her claws. After that, my body makes a quarter spin to move to her side. I thrust the lance tip thrice, hitting her claws, then lift the lance up for a launching strike. That last hit was supposed to launch her into the air, but it failed because she was still guarding my attack. Nevertheless, my body still hops up into the air and prepare for the final hit – a landing stab.
At the top of my jump height, I caught a glimpse of Fiore smirking straight back at me. It appears that the Violet Rage is without a disadvantage. After the landing stab, I will be completely defenseless and Fiore will definitely not hesitate to abuse that opening.
With that thought in mind, I apply some force into my body’s muscle and cancel off the automatic movements of Violet Rage in mid-air. Instead of landing with a stab, I quickly summon Zubenes’s shields at the tip of my spear and aim it at Fiore, changing her cocky smirk to a face startled in surprise.
She is only a couple of meters away from me and even if her guard is firm, a point-blank Cosmic Cannon should at least be able to do some serious damage to her!
Now, Fiore. Let’s see how you handle this!
I’m gonna blow you off the surface of Athenia!
I shoot the charged cannon shot off the tip of my spear and ride the recoil up into the air while the shot travels straight into Fiore’s face. The energy shot explodes as I land several meters away from her, puffing in exhaustion.

Unfortunately, the light that engulfs the area soon dissipates… and yet the girl in gothic dress is still standing right where she was. A good portion of her dress was burnt and torn, but no fatal wound appears on her body at all.
“…… Not bad. Not bad at all.” She chuckles, throwing. Healing spell onto herself.
“You’re kidding,” I whispered in disbelief.
Blocking an attack was one thing. But taking the Cosmic Cannon into the face meant nothing to her at all!?
Just how much power does she have in her!?
“Seriously, even with high powered Energy Shield and all other defensive techniques combined, the damage was still able to somewhat bypass my defense. That was a pretty terrifying power. And canceling a move mid-way and chaining into another attack… You are actually no less dangerous than that Scorpio girl.” Fiore chuckles some more.
… You’re lying.
This has to be a lie.
Even though we can manifest supernatural powers, aren’t our bodies supposed to be those of normal girls’?
Was the Ophiucus Angel’s power really that much different from us?

“Well then… Was that all you have in store?”
Her short question sent chills down my spine. To be frank, I’ve already played all the cards I have hidden in my sleeves.
The Violet Rage…
The Cosmic Cannon…
The Integrated Summoning…
All of my trump cards were played at the same time, yet I still could not bring her down.
“Well then, now it’s my turn!!!”
Dark fog gushes from underneath Fiore’s body and the tips of her claws radiate eerie red aura. Fiore lunges straight at me and unleashes a flurry of countless slash attacks. She is a lot faster than before and I have no choice but to block her relentless onslaught with Zubenes’s shields. Aside from the slashes, she also threw several other attacks at me.
Sophia’s Explosion.
Miki’s Ice Javelin.
The twins’ Fire Crackers.
And eventually, she even used Auria’s Thunder Reign.
After all those attacks, she does not seem to grow tired at all. On the other hand, even though I was able to defend against her attacks, my body weakens as time passes, and I’m gradually losing even the strength to stand.
That was stupid of me…
I really should have realized that I alone was no match for her. I was too arrogant to accept that fact. I was blinded by anger once again after I saw a friend being attacked.
“So I guess this is really the end!” Fiore clutches her claws together into a sledgehammer and smacks it down against the ground, causing an explosion that throws me back several meters onto the ground. I try to get up, but for some reason the strength on my body was completely drained.
“It was nice knowing you, Viola.” Fiore smirks as the tattoo on her forehead starts radiating an eerie glow. “Come to me! I summon you—-!!!!”

That moment before she could finish her summoning incantation, a mysterious figure swoops down from the air and forces Fiore to quickly hop back away from me.
“Sorry to interrupt,” the figure who swoops down earlier spoke up. It was the blond lady in black leather leotard, tapping her scythe on her shoulder.
“You sure have the nerve to get in between other people’s fight,” Fiore said, frowning.
“I don’t really like to get into the middle of other people’s fight, but I just can’t let you do as you please,” the blond lady muttered.
“… Frey,” I whispered.
“Glad you’re still alive, Viola,” Frey said, “I see you’ve destroyed the shuttle. But where are Sophia and Auria?”
“That bitch shot Sophia… so I asked Auria to get Sophia to safety… while I stall her some time,” I replied while trying to get up on my feet.
“You sure love to buy time for other people,” Frey muttered in a joking manner. But after that, her face becomes more serious than ever as she shoots her cold glare at Fiore. “So… You hurt Sophia?”
“What if I did?” Fiore sneered. “She’d be lucky if she can open her eyes again.”
“Is that so?” Frey spoke up with a cold voice. “You sure have the nerve to hurt my little sister. I hope you are pleased with yourself.”
“So what are you gonna do? Give me a payback like what that purple head tried to do?” Fiore taunted.
“… No, Frey. Don’t,” I whispered, “Don’t let her provoke you… You can’t fight her alone.”
Frey is powerful, but she seems to be the hot tempered type. If she really sees Sophia as her little sister, then chances are good that she has already been driven crazy inside her, even though her face is still stoic as ever.

However, that moment Frey said something completely outside of my expectation.
“Of course I’m not gonna fight her.”
“Huh?” I can’t help but uttered in surprise.
“I’ve already promised to Sophia that I will not let my emotions get the best of me again,” she said then turns to Fiore one more time, “You’re gonna need to do more than that to provoke me.”
“Oh really? Then what are you gonna do now? Run away like a frightened pussy cat?” Fiore laughs.
“Well yeah, I guess that’s one way you can put it,” Frey replied, shrugging.
Instead of provoking Frey, it appears to backfire Fiore horribly, and the one who lost temper first was none other than herself.
“And do you really think that I’ll let you get away!?”
Fiore swings her claw and tosses Sophia’s Explosion towards us. Frey swings her scythe down and unleashes a fang-shaped wave that cancels out the Explosion prematurely.
“Well, try to stop me if you can!”
After that, Frey releases another fang-shaped wave towards Fiore. The dark haired girl places her claw forward and suddenly several swords of light rain down from the sky, canceling off the attack.
However, it appears that the shadowy fang was just a feint. While Fiore was focused on it, the armored dragon swoops down from the sky, and uses the landing impact to push Fiore away from where she was standing. After that, he opens his mouth and shoots three big fiery orbs at Fiore, who has no choice but to defend herself from it.
Immediately after Algethi swoops down, Frey quickly puts my left arm onto her shoulder and hops onto the ring hovering behind Algethi’s back. As soon as we get on, the dragon flutters its wings and soars straight up into the air in a single thrust. Fiore tries to shoot us down with several energy arrows, but her aim was no match for Algethi’s speed.

After we made sure that we are safe from that girl, Frey starts talking first.
“Seems like you screwed up big time.”
“Yeah. Go on and laugh.” I sigh, folding my spear back to three parts.
“Nah. I don’t feel like doing that right now,” Frey muttered, “You were not that different from me back then, so I know how you feel.”
“You… 20 years ago?” I muttered, “You meant your real sister, huh?”
“Yeah. She was the previous Leo angel, but you already know that,” Frey replied, “Sophia was the one who woke me up from despair and rage. I adore her like my little sister. I am pissed off at that little bitch for shooting Sophia, but if I lose my mind again, I don’t think I’ll be saved again for the second time.”
“So you better learn how to control your temper too.” Frey chuckles in a way that almost sounds like she is making fun of me.
But then before I could say anything back to her, a strange sensation engulfs my body and a familiar voice echoes inside my ear.

“Everyone, can you hear me?”

“This voice… Auria?” I muttered and looked at the blond lady. She seems to understand what I wanted to ask her and simply gives me a nod back.
If Auria is contacting us using the Zodiac Link like this, then I guess it means that she is safe. That is good to know.
“Yup, I heard you loud and clear,” I replied, “But you’re using Zodiac Link? Where are you right now?”
Just as I was asking that question back to Auria, several other voices start speaking up at the same time with me. I cannot exactly make out what each voice was saying, but I could say for sure that it’s the voice of other Zodiac Angels.

“As of the moment, we’ve successfully destroyed Nebula Corp’s space shuttle… But…”

There was a slight pause in her voice.

“Sophia… Sophia is severely injured. I am taking Sophia to the hospital! Everyone, please retreat and meet up with me at Genubia Town to the south east of Great Constella. I will explain the mission results when we meet up there.”

“… Well, you heard her,” I said.
“Yeah. To Genubia it is,” Frey replied. But after a while, her face becomes bitter as she mutters her thoughts out loud. “…… I just doubt that Myria will be able to take this well.”
That’s true.
Sophia is her daughter after all.
I know exactly how it feels to lose a close family member…
… No.
We don’t know for sure yet if Sophia is dead. There is still hope. All we can do now is pray that she will be fine.


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