Chapter 52: Change of Plans

Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 22

Yuki didn’t know if she should admire Saya even more after what she had done, or be more worried for her. First she had stolen and injected herself with two syringes to enter the same overdrive mode as the enemy and now she had used two more while still under the effect of the first pair. All of this to save the same group of hot heads she had saved during the last act of the Class Battle along with many others. The cost of gaining the power necessary to save lives was a further change in her appearance in the present that made her look even less human.

Pale green cracks now scarred her skin with smoke coming out of them, her hair being illuminated in pale green as well and starting to float in the air above her shoulders. The last bit of the transformation was probably the most disturbing, Hikaru’s mother becoming leaner, abnormally hunched and taking a stance where her arms and legs stood further apart from each other than they were supposed to. It was almost as if she herself was becoming a corpse that was now only a vessel for its deva to use to wreak havoc all over.

The opponent she was fighting – the silver-haired dark-skinned villain leading the whole deviant force on the beach – looked just as astounded by the violent nurse’s metamorphosis, this providing her with the perfect opportunity to use her yet again increased output against him. Many more solar flames burst forth around her, cladding her in a cloak that rivaled Hikaru’s white lightning cloak in thickness and just like it, the concentration of so much of the fiery mom’s deva in one place leading to it changing its color to the lightest hues of yellow. Unlike her son’s special form, however, her cloak had a pale green color mixed in it as well due to the source of her overdrive, out of the union of the two colors forming hundreds of clones of Mrs. Summerbolt.

They swarmed on her adversary who started unleashing pulses of silvery white energy at them in an attempt to weaken the copies, but soon enough realizing that alone could not hold them all. Thus, he resorted to teleporting aside by creating a sphere of his deva around him, several clones having also fallen within its range.

Yuki knew full well that running from Saya would not end the fight, looking around to see where the undead soldier had reappeared, as expected, the real violent nurse having already caught up with him. She had probably managed to trace him by following the energy signature of her clones that were with him, the lieutenant colonel’s special type of teleportation that had worked in his favor during its previous use seeming to have ensured his demise now.

He broke apart the clones around him without delay by bombarding them with multiple energy spheroids reminiscent of bullets, but by the time he had dealt with them, his chin was hammered by Saya’s uppercut. Hikaru’s mother directed one of her hands toward where Yuki and the others were lying, all the flaming clones there being teleported to her side within a second. The copies quickly merged together to form a sphere around the two combatants, while the villain started to shape spheroids that were now the size of shells the sphere taking a resemblance to a cosmic star, half of it being pastel yellow, the other – pale green.

The violent nurse shouted so loud with a voice distorted by the overuse of power she was putting her body through that even from the distance that separated them, Yuki could clearly hear what she said before her foe’s technique could fully activate.

(Saya) ‘SOLARIS FLAME DEVA: FULL-STAR PRAYER!!!!’

The sun-sphere exploded with such force that the whole beach was shook, including the ground under the girl with white hair that was observing the fight, the initial amount of light emitted by the blast being so great that she was forced to shut her eyes so as to not be blinded. When the heat spread in the air started dissipating, the tremors stopped and the blinding light disappeared, Yuki could finally open her eyes again to assess the damage that had been done.

A wide hole that would probably have a hemisphere shape if seen up close had appeared where ground zero for Saya’ technique was located, the sand there being set ablaze while tiny flames still floated here and there in the sky above as well. The crooked viktor of the battle to the death stood in the center of the hole, looking down at something which Miss Iceflame guessed was whatever remained of the lieutenant colonel’s body.

The inspection of the corpse didn’t last long, Hikaru’s mother coming out of the hole soon enough with the thick cloak around her slowly starting to lessen in density and crumble as her flames returned to their normal color. But even like that, as she drew closer to where Yuki and co. lied, the baby doll couldn’t help but feel fear in her bones. She had only ever felt such an emotion when looking at someone’s appearance once before – when she had fought Ukris Nightsong in her succubus form during the Class Battle.

(Yuki) ‘Is this it? Is this what war makes of people? Or is this just what a mother would do to protect her son?’

While the amnesiac asked her question without knowing who it was addressed to, Saya came out of a burst of her flames right in front of the eight youngsters. Her eyes moved across all the members of the group before returning to Yuki as Hikaru was not conscious enough to respond to anything his mother would say.

(Saya) ‘This is me protecting my children, Yu, don’t worry. Despite of this look, I haven’t gone crazy or anything.’

(Yuki) ‘How did you know what I asked? Do your senses sharpen as well when you become like this?’

(Saya) ‘No. I just guessed what’s going through your mind by the look on your face and considering the things you’ve seen since the start of this battle.’

She put a hand on her son’s forehead, this act making her smile just a little, but enough to make her look like her normal self again in Yuki’s eyes. Then she looked back at the ice maiden and gave her a hand, only rigid solemnity being visible on her face.

(Saya) ‘The others aren’t up to it, so it’s going to have to be you.’

(Yuki) ‘What do you mean?’

(Saya) ‘I don’t have much time of the overdrive left. When its effect is done, I’ll be all but helpless for around 8 minutes and so will Iziya and Zoran by the look of things. While I still have a more free use of my power, I must heal all eight of you or you won’t be able to defend yourselves against the next enemy that comes along.’

(Yuki) ‘And you want to use my deva as a medium for the healing? But I thought that only works with active type devas. My ice …’

(Saya) ‘Is not of the standard type or you wouldn’t be able to teleport with it. Don’t worry about freezing any of the others. My flames will cancel out the freezing effect of your ice. I only need something to channel my deva through. Anything will do as long as I can patch you up.’

Yuki nodded and took a deep breath, deciding to trust Saya as she always had by taking her hand, putting her other hand on Hikaru’s chest, picturing in her mind how she would cover him and her other friends in a thin layer of ice. What manifested in reality was much different, though.

The solar flames that had flowed from the mother to her unofficial daughter had mixed with her ice deva so perfectly that instead of frost, what came out of her hand was fire. But that fire had taken on the light blue color of the baby doll’s ice and had a cool, refreshing feel to it as sheets of this elemental mix spread around and enveloped all seven hot heads. And she herself felt flames of the same type course through her body, easing every bit of pain and exhaustion that had been accumulated during the battle.

It was more magical than Yuki had imagined and by the look on Saya’s face, she was no less bewildered by this result, regaining her composure soon enough to focus on using her flames to heal everyone.

(Yuki) ‘This … how did it happen?’

(Saya) ‘Even I don’t know if I’m being honest, Yu. Usually only when two fire devas unite, the result is again fire. But to have fire and ice make cool flames goes against everything I thought I knew about devas.’

Something fell on Miss Iceflame’s shoulder, feeling only a bit hot at first, but then becoming unbearable as if she was being burned. While trying to keep her concentration to provide Mrs. Summerbolt with the needed medium to heal everyone as fast as possible, she did look to see what had caused her this pain. It was a feather made of phoenix flames, realizing who had created it making Yuki look for Zoran on the beach battlefield just next to her.

He and Iziya had taken on the same appearance as Saya, meaning they had injected themselves with additional syringes, too, currently uniting his fire and her wind in multiple minityphoons full of fiery feathers that swirled in all directions. Their typhoons moved with such speed that the feathers contained within were no longer confined to their bounds but instead were thrown all around. The sheets of cool flames covering the violent nurse’s seven patients protected them all from coming in contact with the feathers and Saya herself was immune to their effect because of her increased output, so it was really only Yuki that was exposed to her homeroom teacher’s creations.

And the little amout of pain she felt from one feather touching her by accident was nothing compared to the suffering brough upon all the undead around, many of which had resorted to using more of their syringes. Even that led to no avail, though, as by the time the drug they injected themselves with started working, the winds had shredded them and the feathers had directly melted away whatever bloody remains of their bodies were left. The harbingers of all this destruction moved through the mayhem they caused, none of the desperate attacks aimed at them whether by the usage of clones, structures, totem manifestations or something else seeming to affect them. Their crooked silhouettes with eyes and hair drowned in pale green light that mixed with the blue of her winds and the red and orange of his flames jumped or teleported from one target to the next, some enemies being ripped to pieces by a single swing of their hand. And every time more and more typhoons spread and more and more feathers rained from above, until finally the slaughter seized with their last victim’s death.

With the end of the battle came a silence amid which stood the two warriors whose own bodies were covered in their prey’ blood and partially engulfed in the smoke still coming out of the cracks on their skin. Similar to Saya, the two looked at the corpses left in the wake of their rampage, Yuki thinking that perhaps there was more to this action than simply assuring all foes are slain.

After she had seen what all the old Summerbolts and now Zoran can do in combat, they definitely had plenty of experience. But whatever fighting they had seen in the past that they had not shared details of, that had happened long ago. Years, maybe decades had passed since they had taken someone’s life and in the present they had killed hundreds inside of an hour, even if they were undead. With the heat of battle having lost its hold over them, they were probably only now realizing what they had done and were trying to come to terms with that. If one could come to terms with such a thing.

(Yuki) ‘So this is what war is? Half the time you’re in a killing frenzy and the other half you have to heal the wounds you’ve suffered during that frenzy?’

(Saya) ‘If one were to simplify the matter, Yu, I’d say that’s it, yeah.’

The fiery mom didn’t even flinch when saying that and her lack of emotion was what really scared the newest member of the Summerbolt family who now wondered if one day she would become as indifferent to murder as Saya. But seeing how the baby doll looked at her, some emotion did surface on the old warrior’s face: guilt.

(Saya) ‘I am sorry, Yu. I never wanted you, Hikaru or any of the others to experience such horrors. But I realize now that we old dogs don’t have the strength needed to keep you from them any longer. What I did here … a time may come all too soon when you will be forced to do the same, whether you’re ready for it or not.’

(Yuki) ‘But isn’t there another way?’

Iziya and Zoran appeared next to the leader of their trio, that moment coinciding with her finally returning to her usual appearance and Hikaru waking up. Soon after all the veterans were back to normal and all the hot heads had opened their eyes, the eleven heroes being reunited for the first type since the start of the battle. Furthermore, against all odds all of them were alive, this being the sole source of happiness for Yuki in the midst of the nightmare she found herself in.

(King) ‘Thanks for saving our asses again, Mrs. Summerbolt.’

(Saya) ‘I’m afraid neither I, nor Iziya and Zoran will be able to do anything much from here on, though, King. Sorry about that.’

(Iziya) ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, Saya, cuz I feel just …’

Yuki didn’t even need to look at Hikaru’s aunt as she heard a tud on the sand to her right, meaning she had keeled over, looking over at Zoran that now stood between the two sisters, he alone managing to remain on his feet out of the three.

(Zoran) ‘I’d like to pretend we weren’t even fazed by all we just went through, but I’m afraid I’m too exhausted to even do that.’

Saya herself faltered just after the former headmaster’ confession, her hand losing contact withYuki’s which led to the abolition of the sheets of cool flames covering the youngsters. Another hand grabbed the fiery mom by the shoulder so that she wouldn’t fall down, the one responsible for that being Hikaru, Mrs. Summerbolt and her son looking at the other now with grumpy smiles.

(Hikaru) ‘You overdid it again, didn’t you?’

(Saya) ‘You overdid it first, boy. I saw you from the sky.’

(Hikaru) ‘And you decided to follow my lead? What a genius move that was.’

(Saya) ‘Damn … I had prepared a whole speech about what a mistake you’ve made by joining the fight I was going to give when I got to you, but I guess … I guess I’ll have to postpone the scolding a bit.’

(Hikaru) ‘Since you’ve broken our agreement to never go too far with your powers after the Class Battle, let’s just call it even, OK?’

Seeing as how the older of the Summerbolt sisters was supported now, Yuki went over to Iziya to prevent her from falling flat on the ground while King prevented Zoran from meeting the same fate when he lost his balance, all the youngsters having got up.

(Iziya) ‘We’re not quite even, yet, Hikaru. I can hear on the wind that many more bastards are coming for us. Seems we’ve gone and pissed them off, so they’re gonna hit us even harder.’

Being so worried about the state of the three old dogs, Yuki hadn’t realized that about as many ordinari soldiers as the number of undead deviants they had just defeated along with plenty of ground vehicles, including more bronze-spade-type humvees, were indeed advancing down the beach. Hikaru had already noticed them, but had not said anything yet, only seeming to observe their approach with an expression more lifeless than stone.

(Tokura) ‘This time some of us will have to guard the old dogs while the rest handle the enemy forces. So who’s going to do what?’

(Vega) ‘As a matter of fact, I was just thinking of going through whatever remains of the bars on the beach to get me some more drinks. Anyone care to join me as I get rid of the undead shits in the way? Oh, and that question is rhetorical as far as you’re concerned, Exo.’

(Exo) ‘I don’t plan on dying over your stupid booze, but I’ll come along to keep you safe.’

(Hikaru) ‘No. No more of that. We can’t just keep throwing ourselves at the enemy or we’ll end up dead if not in this, then in the next battle. It’s far too early for that.’

(Seiren) ‘We knew we could die the moment we entered this battle, Summerbolt. You’re telling me you’re suddenly afraid now?’

(Hikaru) ‘That’s not it!’

The mad genius paused for a moment during which he looked at the face of each of his comrades. When Yuki did the same, she saw that in spite of what they had experienced, their resolve seemed unwavering in the present.

(Hikaru) ‘We need to use our brains when we fight, too. There’ll be plenty of people who’ll die in this war right from the start for us to add more numbers to their ranks.’

(Reimei) ‘Are you suggesting we retreat?’

(Hikaru) ‘We’re not done fighting, Mei. But we are done fighting alone.’

The mad genius’ gaze now turned in the direction opposite to the beach, toward the city of Deckstoru, his determination seeming to only grow as he looked at his home.

(Hikaru) ‘I am sure many others will want to defend our city, too. If we can find them and band together, we’ll last longer compared to fighting alone. Until we can use the full extent of our devas, we need to counter the enemy’s strength with our numbers. Even when they power up, they’ll be no match for our real secret weapon – the united madness of Deckstoru.’


Submitted: September 22, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Salis Ruinen. All rights reserved.

Chapters