There were truths to Lee’s thoughts, the girl that he once knew was no longer there… or well, at least the carefree semblance had long since passed. Alicia had diversified herself over the years, splintering herself into fragments… shades, memories that created their own personalities, their own goals and lives, true memories that when Alicia would eventually find herself whole again… she would learn them. Until that day, however, it was simply to not be. Whatever that girl on the beach had done, had participated in, and somehow ensnared Lee, this Alicia had no thoughts on the matter. No, Alicia saw Lee as a tool, a weapon that could be used, and a scary accurate one. A creature had shown up to her side, on her left flank was Lee and that blast went off and the creature shattered into sharded plasma that soon dispersed away, falling like uncared ink on pavement. A grin spread her lips, her pale-sheen glancing the moonlight off of her, and laughter bubbled away.
A heave of the greatsword in her hands, nothing more crystallized aether forged into meteor, she slammed the tip down into the pavement and leaned on the pommel. Once her laughter ceased, she grinned. “Seven more? Nah… I am pretty sure I will die in the next two or three, but that isn’t something you need to worry about, okay?” She heard the boots on the pavement more than saw them, but she spun to the on-coming group of people. Her head hung back, and she looked to Lee then. “It seems my intel could be mistaken… or—“
Just as Alicia was about to get to the juicy bits of her life, her past, and well, the current enemy they were about to shove ten feet of fucking steel into… an eruption split their frames. Alicia’s feet fleeted away as the bile erupted around them, and the sinful void beings clawed their ways to the tops of the earth. Seven of them rose from the ground, their bodies covered in moss, thickets of branches curled as armor around their oozing flesh, and upon their heads sat cracked and severed crowns. A guttural cry escaped an unhinged jaw, and the first of the armored corrosions barreled its way toward Alicia. From the earth sprouted roots that coiled around its massive arm, the edges protruding and spikes gleamed as carbon razored into sharps sickles that exposed at the end.
With a sweeping stroke the beast slammed its crescent blade toward Alicia’s shoulder, and she dodged just as swiftly as the attack came. Alicia never had a liking for poisonous, odious, and foul-breathed beasts… and especially disliked those created and earthened-bound as they were, as she liked to put it: tough, her blade stroke backwards and rode the sickled crescent to the root; son of a, her massive blade tore through the barked armor just as easy as it had been made; bitches! She heaved with the rest of her body, lifting her foot off the ground and the weapon shaved away the beast’s shoulder to the ankle, sending defilement and gaseous odours over her thin cloak, burning at armor that didn’t give.
A panted breath found its way from her lips, and she cursed to herself. Damn it, I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. A screech turned her to the left, and she was shoved by another of the vicious beasts. This one lankier than its barreled body companion, and it loped with the grace of the shadows outside of the gates. Alicia pushed herself off the ground, and looked to the hobbled shadow, its eyes nearly ten-fold all blinked back, a smile an empty yawn into darkness, the creature hobbled closer with outstretched phantasmal arms that swayed and sliced through its fallen companion as if butter. An immediate thought came to Alicia in that moment, and she readied herself, poising her heavy blade in a horizontal frontward direction, breathing shaking her focus as her eyes gazed down the thin edging of her weapon.
The lanking creature continued toward her, hieing faster and faster, its massive claws tearing into the earth as it bounded with animalistic ferocity. The air rent by the creature’s arms, and finally within a few paces, Alicia took a deep breath as the creature’s arms rose upward, reading for a staking strike to her position did she make her move. In an instant, the earth was crushed at her place but Alicia was nowhere to be found, instead she turned her body to the left, tresses of black shaved as she turned her blade upward, driving forward and slamming it home. The weapon rent blackness apart, slamming to the hilt as the creature let out a defeated and gurgled yelp of pain.
Alicia would love to say she got out of the beast’s slumping form unscathed, but the weight shouldered her to a knee, and the blackened thorn beast finally fell to the side. Panted breaths passing her lips as she struggled to a stand, white knuckled fists clenching the hilt of her weapon as she used it to force her feet firm into the earth and look upward as another pile of blackened ash began to circle and form. A hiss of pain left Alicia as she looked for Lee in all of this, hoping he was not too busy with dealing with his own battles, and she hefted the weapon upward, waiting for the next battle to come.
Seven battles… Seven… battles. I can do this.
The veiling shadows began to harden, forming into a towering and sickening pit as the smell of charnel permeated the area, the opened grounds of Last Chance’s inner city began to spiderweb, rockened sludge bursting through the cobblestones a moment later. Alicia let out an exhausted scream and launched herself toward the gathering mass. A whistling sound caught her attention just before she collided into the frothing earth, and she kicked backwards and ducked. Aether exploded around her as white hot earth sizzled with light. Arrows of light pummeled into the ground, each one sending out pulse-waves in every direction. Frothing black screamed and hissed and fell into despair.
Alicia sought out Lee once more, this time making movement to his side, but found herself standing with a blade two inches from her throat. A man stood in her way, a coat of blue riding off his back as his eyes spoke of grey steel. She heard him mumble something but could not quite make it out, her teeth grit as she forced the world to focus. Ears stiill ringing from the blasts only moment ago, she caught several more forms began to arrive. Their bodies all covered in the same blackened uniforms, capes of varying colour sitting off their bodies as they surrounded the two of them.
“Drop your sword!” This time she did not mistake it, the sound felt like a command, running through her bones and sizzling its way up to her brain. The fire pulsed in her veins as she resisted every moment, her jaw clamped shut as the command came again. “I said DROP YOUR—”
“Enough, Sarael!” Another voice, this one beloned to the man who had lovingly kept the point of his blade to her throat, whether he was a smart man or a dumb one. The itch to bring her weapon up and kill them all turned very tempting in that moment. To feel their guts splayed over her weapon, their bodies cleaved in twain, to feel their hot blood running over her body as… as… she screamed.
“GET. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD!” Alicia snarled.
The man’s blade whipped away from her neck and he was on the robed man in the back, whom she was guessing was Sarael. The bladed man stalked to him and growled, “Villainous or not, we do not kill those we need!” Alicia watched Sarael mumble something she could not hear, and she looked around for Lee. If she could just get to him and use her magic, they could be out of here in a moment… But gods, she felt herself tapped out.
But the moment was gone as the bladed man made his way back over to her, this time he seemed more casual and less threatened by her. He offered a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, but the silver hair that curled over his forehead did little to conceal the tense features. He’s waiting for me to do something, she realized. Control yourself. A deep breath and she offered a smile, one that she always gave.
“Ah, it is no worries! It never is! I would like to thank you, actually! You saved me and my comrade there!” She would make a pointed motion with her index finger to the four uniformed men all sporting navy coloured capes, she was guessing they were magia concealment by the way they carried no weapons except for a few relics on their wrists. Her eyes wandered over the others, counting nearly twenty three in total… She could not fight her way out of this if she tried. A sigh left her, “May I a—”
“You may not, little spirit bitch. Who summoned you here?” A female voice spoke this time, belonging to a slender woman of the group. Dangling straits of red surrounded her skeletal features. Alicia noted the gauntlets she wore, they pulsed crimson and blue, and she was guessing aether control. The woman crossed her arms, stepping forward as she clearly boasted a bit of confidence to get so close to an enemy. “And what are you doing with Genesarian personnel? You think we did not run any checks the moment you two entered our sphere of influence?”
“That’s enough, Rasp. I will take it from here,” the silver haired man said once more, he gave a warm but lying smile. “The name is Darion, and we need your help.”