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Aleksei

[GS] Libra

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"So you have chosen death." The white-haired woman whispered under her breath. There was no fear nor anger on her face, only pity and grief. Sorrow for the god that will meet its fate sooner or later. Either by her hands or through Samael. 

Even as the god charged, she gently splayed an upraised hand before her. Floating atop her palm was the shining essence of one of Renovatio's gods, the titan god Cialo. The ground seemed to churn and surge in response to this orb's presence and soon enough the very earth itself rose to claim what it once owned. Soil and dirt and rock, all these converged and began to grow larger and larger until it was large enough to rival Libra's height. As the halberd came down, so too did and arm of earth rose to meet it.

Such a powerful collision was enough to send the Mistress flying backwards. Like a rag doll, her body was thrown to where Samael is. She might not have taken any damage physically but the metaphysical damage to her ego was earth-shattering. Lying there on the dirty forest floor, she spoke out loud hoping Samael would hear.

"Time to run. Let Cialo tire Libra out. We'll come back later."

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And so the trio weave their way through the thick treeline, the enraged roars of a god ringing loud in their ears. Soon enough, they come across a clearing with burned trees and craters of earth. Bodies lying still in death are strewn about the forest floor, and where there had once been huts and stone walls are now burned to ash.

“This might’ve been a village,” Ephah begins to mumble under her breath, but then Samael’s ears prick at the sudden shout coming from behind one of the trees. He whirls around, hands raised in preparation as he confronts the stranger.

“Who’s there?” Samael asks, peering closely at the base of the trunk. There’s a hint of trembling cloth sticking out through the grass, and he relaxes his stance enough to try and calm whoever is there. Whoever they are, they are clearly not hostile. “Come out; we won’t hurt you.”

It takes a few seconds, but then out from the hiding spot emerges a woman carrying a young boy, his left arm burned and mangled beyond recognition. Samael gasps at the sight, unbidden.

“Help! Please, help us!” The woman wrings her hands at them, face tear-streaked and dirty with soot and ash. “Please, are you—are you here to slay him? Libra?” Her voice wavers like a dying animal.

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Running away truly hurt her pride but the woman known as the Mistress cannot fight a losing battle. For now she reminded herself that this was more of a tactical retreat. Libra can't keep itself alive for long anyway. It will lose all its energy eventually. 

Upon entering the village and seeing the poor woman, the Mistress could not help but grunt. These so-called gods have done nothing but bring death and destruction wherever they appear. But that is also why she exists. To undo the damage that these gods have done.

Before anyone could react, the Mistress had pulled out Baeoi from its scabbard. In one quick stroke, the blade flashed and delivered a good clean vertical cut which ran through both the woman and the sick boy in one fell swoop.

"We don't have time for this. Let's go."

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The Mistress’ companions can’t help the stunned silence that befalls them in the wake of her cleaving of the boy and his mother with her sharpened sword. Strangely enough, there are no wounds visible on their bodies, no blood gushing out from deep and dangerous blade wounds. Between one breath and the next, they are suddenly made whole and hale again, the power of Baeoi stitching their injuries back together.

“I could’ve helped,” Samael mumbles to himself, but ultimately he manages to dredge up a wide smile for the two villagers as they thank the Mistress profusely, almost stumbling into the dirt with how eager they are.

“You have to share where you got that sword,” Ephah quips, raising an eyebrow at the sword in the white-haired woman’s grasp. The boy is inclined to agree.

And then the earth shakes once more, and the moment of levity is gone.

A pair of Zodiac Knight appear from the greenery, silver armor gleaming in the sun, and while one of them ushers the mother and her son away to whatever safety lies beyond the treeline, the other turns to them and gives a considering glance at the Mistress’ sword, Ephah’s blood gaze, Samael’s glowing necklace.

“We need all the hands we can get,” he murmurs, bowing in greeting to the group. “Can you fight with us?”

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