The parasite possessing Shelly seemed somewhat confused by the display that prohibited them from thrice striking the duo; both for the appearance of such a thing, but also the feel of it, as their limbs bounced away from it. That it did not act at all like fire should have seemed to completely throw off and bewilder them; several seconds necessary for the parasite to realise and understand that this was yet another example of that thing which flummoxed their kind so: magic.
Realising this, and realising that the two atop the pillar had not moved from their perch, Shelly's body lurched about in according to the whims of its master, trying to find something on which it could find sufficient purchase. The building from which she had pulled a support beam was partially collapsed, and so its innards exposed. The body leapt upwards to the first floor - or second, depending on parlance - and after a second to rest upon the floor, leapt again, straight upward, to clear through the roof, arms raised to shield only the body of the parasite itself from harm; Shelly's own face was left to endure the cuts and splinters that swiped across it, drawing thin trails of blood from the pulsating arteries and veins.
It saw the dragon of crystal approach Dauner, in act of trust that seemed less than conventional. With an arm almost breaking as to twist in the fashion required of it, Shelly's hand whipped out to grab a number of the roof tiles that her eruption had rendered free from the building proper. Then, they were swung towards the two young men, with such speed at such a short range in the hopes that even they might struggle to properly respond to such projectiles. Or at least, they would be distracted enough as Shelly's body rushed them at a similarly swift, if crude, pace. This time however, rather than attempt to assail them from the side, Shelly's other hand was thrust forward from her body; from a moment, looking as though she might be reaching for Dauner, desperate to find his hand. What it was actually trying to do was find his face, so that it might clench tight those insanely strong fingers around it, and attempt either to crush it, or to at least fling them away from their battle partner in the form of Gozen. Neither was mutually exclusive really, and at the very least, if they were to try that pillar of fire trick again to go even higher up, then her hand would be perfectly position to grab the rise with them.
All the while, Shelly's face maintained that manic grin, blood seeping down to her chin. Yet in places it was... distilled, as it ran, as if by water. Though the winds began to howl, there was yet to be any rain...
It was a wonder that so much could happen in so little time.
Jason's advance was well out of Peldun's reach as the automaton even began to turn, the hero of old ready to thrust forward both hands towards his target. She too advanced against him, answering how she thought him to perceive with a loud, triumphant rebuke. A rebuke she unleashed as much physically as verbally, seeming to strike her clenched fist square across his jaw. But even she would realised that the impact was shallow, with the ancient adventurer's body twisting - deliberately at that - with the outward force of the blow allowing it to regain a small modicum of distance, and land cleanly, if with a bit of spin to steady itself.
"...Good." Jason complimented her, even as his body rose to extend the brawl. "That is precisely what is worth commending about you."
A foot rose, and stamped down, just as Emile made his shots. The man's own general precision would seem his undoing, as the cobblestone was struck five times, and then the warrior's mighty palm went up to strike the resulting fragments - fracturing upon faultlines the shots seemed to have created - towards the sharpshooter.
"As I said to the boy, it is greater if one has risen to nobility through challenging their origins." Jason made clear, as his hands were raised before him, and his feet dug in, bracing him against Caeceila's subsequent rush. It was clear that in other circumstances, that would have been enough to hold her, repelling her with an equal force. As it was, it merely kept from Jason from being pressed beneath her, the heels of his feet uprooting more and more stones as they passed.
"You can be a monster. You can be unnatural. You can be a 'bloody-minded bitch'." He said to her, though there was the sense the last term somewhat confused him. "But if you fight to save others... and you should succeed in doing so... then the one thing you truly are...!"
There was a break in Jason's stance, all of his body's posture suddenly turning weak. As she had intended, Caeceila was able to toss the Lion towards the building, where there was a crash, and a great deal of debris kicked up by the impact. When it had settled, there was only Jason, lying on a bed of broken housing, laughing softly.
The bled-out remnants of an enrele parasite slumped to the floor beneath him, over half its bodily fluids having leaked out through a single hole, courtesy of the lump of squished metal that swirled about the lifeless sack.
"Ah... freedom at last... my body is my own again..." Jason breathed the air as though it were the finest elixir, though that quickly faded into a frustrated realisation. "And of course... it should be that my mind... actually needs to remember how to move it all. I imagine my recovery should be... easier than anyone else's. But... not soon enough... for the fight that is coming..."
His eyes, able to move as he and he alone desired them, looked up at the skies above, where even within the fog of the Spectral District, one could seen the currents shift.
"I believe the other lady... said something of the loci favouring the enrele...? It does no such thing... and that is precisely what Aleth seeks to change." Jason weakly began to explain, now that there was a moment's peace, in the calm before the storm. "It learned, through a warning against it, that it was developing a will beyond its self. One that could influence the fundamental laws... of the continent. Make the realm favourable to those like it. But... it wanted the means to do this... consciously. To forge its underlying, disparate existence... into one great mass and knowingly break our land over its knee. And I... I was the unfortunate hope for one who could give it such a means. Old Man Ptolemy came to me... thinking he would be safe... from the land that abandoned him and his kind... but I was already turned..."
In all this, he... seemed not to suffer, whether through the fact it seemed difficult for him to feel much of anything, through being the subject of another, or perhaps even that the one called to judge him did not see him to deserve it; not in this state.
"...Who is she speaking to...?" Argi muttered to himself, having witnessed the sudden shift in the elder sister's demeanour, and her subsequent interrogation towards Jason - though almost as if not him specifically - before he was pushed away by Caeceila, without answer. Peldun had half begun to turn to follow the ordeal, but in doing so, the eyes of its master instead saw the scene of the other set of sisters being assaulted, and realised the more immediate issue therein.
"Hold on!" He spat out in Terric, the automaton pacing across the ground in an attempt to reach the two. Yet there was a distance, and Peldun was only so fast; before he could get to them, Argi watched the situation unfold in... several fashions that he did not readily expect. First, some bubble of black energy sprung up around the pair, but Argi had been able to count enough to know it had to have encompassed at least two of those that were trying to attack the pair. So he continued onward, only to then see the air grow red hot as fire sprung from above, and rained down on all; the barrier than had divided two from three dissipated, but only so that the two priestesses might escape to the second storey of a nearby building, under their own power.
Somewhat dumbfounded, Argi looked at the result of their work; not even ashes for the two that had been stuck within the barrier. For a moment, Argi considered it cruel, but necessary; both for the safety of the sisters where he and the others had overlooked it, but also because there was no knowledge to him if they would have been able to easily or safely separate the victims from their parasites without further risk. For the the other three, two were struck down, isolated parts of their body incinerated to a result that would be best left without description. The third... was seemingly quite lucky. Though he had lost a hand to the same area of effect, the rest of his body seemed to have been oddly shielded. His back was scorched, to be sure, but not to the perhaps expected extent: More as if he had suffered boiling water to the now exposed skin, than been set aflame. It took a moment for Argi to realise what was absent in this picture, with the man's very, very faint breathing, apparent more by the shifting of his chest than by any sound, then making realisation into revelation. But it was a revelation he could not wait and think upon, for... something brushed across the fringes of his mind, and made him turn sharply and suddenly towards it. It was a sensation that held its 'gaze' upon him, and for a passing moment, the young man felt on him a scorn with such weight as to be crushing. Peldun disappeared all at once as Argi's will to fight receded, knowing the source yet unable to see it; feeling one core to which there was what seemed a hundred million eyes, from beast to men to... more.
This. This was what the elder sister had referred to.
Only when the 'gaze' shifted from him did Argi even remember to breathe, clasping his chest, his face pale, and every breath a desperate one. He could not see nor feel what was to follow, though almost all the others around him might. Emile, not so, nor did he take the interest of the gaze. Instead, it first moved to the holy women, seeing in them something akin, in more than one way. Aya at least would possess the presence with which to held firm against its hostility, though even she might be taken aback at its sheer scale and scope, something she would be suited to even begin comprehending. This was a will not merely here, in Dougton, though it was where it was most concentrated. It was the nexus of a web weaved all across the continent, from the Barnstable Coast to the Plateau of Zuhl. From Aligoria to Anima. Places of which Aya had not yet seen or traversed, yet she could peer ever so slightly at the myriad, million windows in this newly coalesced being. The gaze shifted again, now to the elder sister - the Mistress - and was made curious; in its first passing it had only loosely recognised her in some fashion. In this second look, it began to understand the nature of this recognition, and this familiarity. It wanted to know how many there were. How many akin to itself. But then too, did it to come to understand a distinction. That in the Mistress, there was essence without body. Power without true medium. These were different from it. For it had body without essence; a medium without power. Both were to be given to it now.
Last to draw its attention, for the moment at least, was the one who seemed to even comprehend its place in space, and not merely in... the will of all things. She was akin to it, in many a way; not of this place. Her distinctions were not physical or in distance, as such were for it. She was from beyond the veil. A veil that it had not even realised to be, before this moment. So too was she capable of an exerting an influence on the flowers of power...
There was a push. Perhaps it had sensed her doubt, and so wished to affirm all that she feared. Power was coming to it now. A power that would be beyond any creature of conscious thought that stood upon the dirt and the stone of the Fractured Continent. Power with which it would change the law. Power channelled through form that could wield and comprehend it, unlike the 'simple' flesh to which it had previously belonged. The brethren that had broken away from it would be brought back to the fold. Those that resisted still, would be subsumed. All would be one, and the one would be...
A L E T H
With that glimpse, the gaze was drawn back. It knew what it needed to. The end was nigh.
"...M-Mister Angel!" A voice suddenly called out to the man who sat in fear upon the stone.
Turning his head, his eyes went wide as he recognised them. "T-The kids from... the church?"
"I-It's bad!" One of the youngest, perhaps no more then seven, flung themselves against the terrified man's chest, equal if not greater in their fear. "T-The a-angel it... it's gone! A-And everyone is..."
Swords scraped across the ground in plentiful number, or otherwise hung loosely in the grips of those that wielded them; their number swelled in the streets surrounding the group. All save one route, leading to - by the reckoning of any map, though Argi would not realise such - the Magistrate's Estate and the open square that preceded it. Argi looked around, at once awed and afeared at what he beheld; there was a loose sound of battle in the distance, suggesting not all in the city were as yet gone, but... there was certainly a sense that the number within Aleth's thrall was not few at all. To make matters worse, a roar came from above, moments before a squadron of rider dragons would swoop down upon each of the Wyrm's Bane. A few passed by with an opening of their maw, letting great plumes of fire flow upon the Spectral District, though stopping just short of the massed crowds. The remainder of the rider dragons, making a total of six, sought to clutch at the companions with their claws; an action that would at once see them crushed in the beast's mighty grip, but also aimed towards the possessed throngs, so they might be able to swing their swords at the would-be heroes. Others would not wait at all, whether running at, or climbing towards as required, each of the still independently sapient so as to swipe at them with their swords.
"M-MISTER!" The children screamed, tears streaming down their faces. "Y-You promised!"
There was a pause, and then Argi's grip tightened hard around his empty sword hilt, and he yelled out once more, for a third and final time in this great ordeal:
Even as that blinding, green light filled the scene, Peldun's mighty weapon was already swung, the broad flat of the blade perfect with with to sweep aside the nearest of the horde, their own swords insignificant before the automaton's own.
"AYA!" He yelled up to the priestess, knowing she could do with things with her mind of which of which he could scarcely imagine, and thus perfect for the task he was somewhat forcibly assigning her, tossing each of the children in her direction. "Look after them!" With that, he swept aside another number of the possessed, though he had to slap a few away with a swing of his other hand. "LIZ!" He yelled to her, and trusted her to know the answer for the question, "What do?!"
At least one of the Rider Dragons came around again at that moment, latching to the ancient automaton's back. There was some difficulty in any effort to crush it, but its weight did not seem enough to prevent the Rider Dragon from beating its wings fiercely, beginning to lift it from the ground. Though Peldun's blade was swung up at it, many times the beast's neck was long enough to rear back out of the blade's reach.