Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Cursed White Rose Chapter 21 – Attack



Sorry for the delay. Here's chapter 21. My pace has really slowed down a lot. I guess it's to be expected I can't go full force focusing only on writing before I start to get distracted again. Until I get things together, it's best to assume a chapter every two weeks. I can't promise more than that right now. Hopefully, I get things together and not game as much so I release more. Enough rambling I guess. Enjoy!

Edit: Added to the end of the chapter because of chapter flow issues. Just search for the '^' without the apostrophes.
***

Regis and Arlayna recover from their blank shock.

Regis: “What the hell was that!?”

Sara: “I used a spell to fix the damages?” Sara replies with a question, unsure of why they’re so shocked.

Arlayna: “Aren’t you a beginner? Why aren’t you passed out from exhaustion after casting two large scale spells like that!?”

Sara tilts her head. She casts a quick glance down towards her belt before looking at the others. Tsubaki and Yuki shake their head not understanding the situation. Slyph chimes in.

Slyph: “You’re a beginner, but used spells that need lots of magic. They’re surprised that your capacity is higher than expected. Also magicians conserve their magic for any problems that come up. Using magic like you did is abnormal.”

Regis and Arlayna both nod furiously at Slyph’s explanation. Sara tilts her head cutely.

Sara: “I didn’t know that. I thought this was normal?”

Regis/Arlayna: “IT’S NOTTTTT!!!” Their scream resounds through the forest scaring many nearby animals.

After settling down, they decide to prepare for lunch before continuing their conversation. The girls are taught about foraging for wild herbs. Arlayna shoots down a wild animal with wind magic procuring them some meat. The girls watch palely as the animal is skinned and cut up. As they sit around the fire eating the stew, they talk about the previous battle.

Arlayna: “You need to conserve your magic better. If you were suddenly attacked by something, you wouldn’t be able to battle at your best.”

Regis: “Beat them down with enough power to kill them and don’t waste it.”

Sara: “Even if you suddenly say that, I’ve never learned how to judge what the right amount is.”

Yuki: “Isn’t it because the only things you fought are that black Cyclops and Rose-san? You fought at full power both times to avoid being killed instantly.”

Regis: “Oi! Wait a second! What’s that about a black cyclops?” Regis drops his spoon as he cries out. Arlayna also stops eating, but avoids dropping her bowl and spoon.

Yuki: “Umm… Sara got attacked during her E rank exam. She fought against this black cyclops that suddenly appeared. What was the full name?”

Sara/Tsubaki: “Black Armor Cyclops.”

Yuki: “That’s it.”

Regis/Arlayna: “Wait a second!!!” The girls flinch at the sudden yell.

Yuki: "W-what?"

Regis/Arlayna: “What’s this about a Black Armor Cyclops?!”

Yuki: “It raided Sara’s exam and she had to fight it.” Yuki backs away as she points at Sara. “I-Is something wrong?” The two of them turn to Sara.

Regis/Arlayna: “You fought one?! And survived?!”

Sara ponders her answer before responding. “…I got lucky… And Rose saved me. That’s why she’s hurt.”

They relax hearing Sara’s answer. “That explains it.” They mutter to themselves. They talk over lunch and discuss the girls’ ranks and general knowledge.
After lunch, Regis and Arlayna have the girls demonstrate their skills. They teach them how to limit the power to what's necessary. They practice hunting various slimes and other monsters in the area. The girls quickly experience killing their first animal, which they do with much reluctance. Tsubaki kills an animal with extreme disdain. Yuki has an easier time because of her experience in cooking.

They spend a full day being introduced to the area and learning about some of the monsters living in the area and how to deal with them. During the night, they’re taught about making camp and alternating shifts to keep watch.

After spending two days in the field, they return to town. They redeem their rewards for the healing herbs they’ve gathered. Afterwards, they explore the town. Regis and Arlayna give a detailed explanation of what to find in towns. During their shopping excursions, the girls learn about good equipment to buy and how to avoid being scammed. They’re taught traits of con artists and thieves and how to avoid them, in addition to how to deal with them.

The girls arduously study what they’re taught and take in as much detail as possible. They keep quiet about their [Scan] ability being able to judge the quality of equipment and its appropriate selling price. They also know how protective Rose is to Sara and are constantly warned about dangerous people approaching them.

After spending two days learning about the town and how to adjust, they explore in a different field to encounter other monsters. The girls each gather significant experience working together and fighting real battles. On the seventh night, they relax around the fire preparing dinner.

Sara: “The last day! Tomorrow we head back home!”

Yuki: “We learned a lot from this week.”

Tsubaki: “We go back to intense training after this.”

Erutie: “Eru can’t wait. Rose onee-chan’s training is hard, but Eru gets really strong.”

Slyph: “……” Slyph doesn’t comment staring into the nearby forest. “Is that?”

Regis: “Don’t disappoint us. You learned from the best.”

Arlayna: “You girls are fast learners. I don’t think you’ll have any prob…”

Slyph: “It’s coming!” Slyph yells out disrupting the conversation.

A shadow flies out of the bushes flying in an arc over them. Sara sees the shadow and her eyes dilate. Except for Sara and Slyph, everyone else prepares their weapon. They swing their weapons as the shadow flies towards them.

Sara: “Wait! Don’t attack! It’s Rose!” Sara yells at the top of her lungs.

The others freeze barely stopping their attack before hitting Rose. Rose flies over them passing over their camping ground and lifelessly crashes into the ground. Sara scrambles over to Rose and releases an orb of light to brighten their surroundings. Sara freezes up looking at Rose as the others reach her side.

Blood flows from Rose’s forehead as she lies unconscious. Her dress is ripped in several places on her body as blood stains her damaged clothes. Blood leaks freely from the missing chucks of flesh on her right leg and abdomen.

Sara: “Rose! What happened!?” Sara lifts Rose’s upper body and starts shaking her.

Yuki: “Sara! Don’t shake her! You’ll make it worse!” Yuki intervenes and forces Sara to put Rose back on the ground. “Focus on healing Rose first.”

Sara: “R-right.” Sara tries to release her magic, but her mind is too shaken. The light from her hand flickers unstably.

Yuki slaps both of Sara’s cheeks. “Come on! Snap out of it! How strong is Rose?”

Sara: “…Incredibly strong.”

Yuki: “Can you imagine her dying?”

Sara: “…N-no.”  

Yuki: “Right? She’ll be fine, but you have to do your part to help her!”

Sara: “R-Right!” Her magic steadily flows out from her arms as she focuses on healing Rose.

As Sara and Yuki focus on Sara, Regis and Arlayna face away from them readying their weapons.

Regis: “Oi! Those not dealing with treatment, get ready for battle!” Sara, Yuki, and Slyph focus on the treatment ignoring Regis. Tsubaki and Erutie ready their weapons preparing to protect the others.

Arlayna’s ears twitch as the bushes begin to rustle. “It’s coming! There are six of them!!” They poise their weapons at Arlayna’s yell.

*GROWL*

Two loud growls sound off followed by four lower growls. Out of the bushes emerge two large black bears followed by four smaller black bears. From the occasionally flickering firelight, they see blue tattooed markings across the bears’ faces and bodies. Regis and Arlayna’s expressions become grim seeing the tattoos.

Regis: “FUCK!! A family of Ancient Bears!!”

Arlayna: “Why are they HERE?! They don’t live near here!!”

Regis: “The hell do I know?!”

Regis and Arlayna panic and start bickering with each other.

Tsubaki: “[Scan]” She tries to figure out why Regis and Arlayna have fallen into a panic. Erutie notices her plan and provides some of her magic power to support Tsubaki.

Name
???
Race
???
Gender
???
Age
???
Guild
???
Job
???
Partner
???
Rank
???
Stats
Strength
???
Defense
???
Agility
???
Dexterity
???
Stamina
???
Magic Capacity
???
Magic Attack
???
Magic Resistance
???
Magic Control
???
Element
???

Tsubaki clicks her tongue unconsciously remembering the lack of information from their rank difference. With her meager power as an E rank, fighting against them would be too overwhelming. Tsubaki looks behind her and sees Sara focused on healing Rose. Yuki and Slyph stand up and meets Tsubaki’s gaze. The two of them silently nod knowing what they have to do. Yuki and Slyph both prepare themselves to fight.

Tsubaki: “What do we do?”

Yuki: “Hold on as long as we can. And pray it works out.”

Tsubaki: “Copy Sara and target the eyes?”

Yuki: “Mmm…Only option I suppose.”

Tsubaki: “Wish I didn’t slack on magic spells now.”

Slyph: “You can aim at the nose too. That’s sensitive enough that it would help.”

Tsubaki: “Still have to get close.”

Regis: “Oi! What are you doing? We need to run!!”

Yuki: “Sara’s busy with treatment. We can’t.”

Regis: “The hell we can’t!! There are two Ancient bears!! It takes a group of five A ranked adventurers just to kill one! We can’t fight that many with just our group.”

Sara: “I don’t think we can run anyways.” Sara interjects walking up to Regis and Arlayna. “Rose told me we’re boxed in.”

Regis: “DAMN!!”

Arlayna: "No choice, but to fight then."

Sara goes up to them and whispers in their ears.

Regis: “Fuck. That’s really cruel.”

Arlayna: “…Agreed.”

Regis: “Tch. No choice, but to do it.”

The two of them charge at the adult bears. Sara does the opposite and backs away joining the others.

Yuki: “Wah!! Didn’t they say it was too strong to charge in like that?!”

Sara: “They’re drawing the adult’s attention. We’re dealing with the kids.”

Tsubaki: “Can we do it?”

Sara: “No choice, but to do it. We can’t escape from the area.”

Yuki: “Why does an attack have to happen now?!”

Regis strikes one adult bear with his ax before hurriedly retreating. Arlayna enchants her epee with wind before thrusting right at the other adult bear’s nose. They anger the adults and attempt to pounce on the two of them. The children turn to face Regis and Arlayna too following their parents.

Sara: “[Light Shot]!!” Sara releases eight piercing needles of light towards the 4 younger Ancient bears. The bears jump to the side dodging completely avoiding Sara’s attacks. They growl at Sara and start to charge at her. “Let’s get away from the parents.” Sara starts backing away at top speed.

Yuki: “What about Rose?!” The girls follow her running away from the bears.

Sara: “She’s back in the book already.” She turns around running at top speed looking for a safer location to fight.

Slyph: “Sara, is your magic going to be okay? Aren’t you tired from healing Rose?”

Sara: “Honestly no. I used up most of it fixing Rose. I can probably cast two more [Light Shot]s with the same power and number before running out.”

Yuki: “That’s really bad!! You’re our strongest fighter!”

Tsubaki: “What’s the plan? [Scan] doesn’t show anything except their ranks.”

Sara: “4 C ranks. All of them use Earth magic. They’re defense is B rank.” The five of them run through the forest bursting through brush and low hanging branches. They ignore the scuffs and tears focusing on the young bears chasing them.

Erutie: “Earth type means they can resist Eru’s spells.”

Tsubaki: “That’s bad! How do we fight them?!”

Slyph: “Tsubaki-san focuses on body enhancement spells, so you shouldn’t have many problems.”

Yuki: “Can we even damage C rank monsters though?!” Yuki yells looking at the young bears chasing them.

Sara: “No choice, but to do it. There! A clearing!! Get Ready!!”

Yuki: “We haven’t made a plan yet though!!”

Sara: “We’ll have to wing it! No time!!” Yuki and Tsubaki groan in response.

They reach and clearing and turn around to engage the bears. Yuki quickly starts chanting while Slyph supplies magic to amplify the spell.

Yuki: “[Wind Blast]!”

Yuki fires off one large orb of wind towards the group. The bears enter the clearing as Yuki prepares the spell. They stop pursuing the girls when the spell is released. The lead bear ends up too close to attempt to dodge Yuki’s attack and swats the wind orb as it flies towards them. Upon impact, the orb distorts and explodes release gale force winds. The bears turn their faces away from the explosion, with the wind buffeting their bodies. The strength of their fur withstands the cutting gales of wind preventing them from receiving any damage.

Tsubaki and Erutie charge forward towards two of the bears. They dodge the bursts of wind in their path as they each approach a bear. Tsubaki swings her katana down slashing at her bear’s nose. Erutie follows suit slamming her hammer into the target bear’s nose. With the distraction from Yuki’s [Wind Blast] the young bears are slow on the uptake. They receive the full brunt of the attacks.

Erutie’s bear is knocked upwards landing on it’s back. Tsubaki’s bear roars in anger at her. The ground shakes beneath her feet disrupting her footing. Tsubaki and Erutie try to exert control and stabilize the ground beneath them. The bear roars as it raises its paw in anger and swings it at Tsubaki. Being attacked with the same strategy, Tsubaki is unable to react to the attack. Erutie jumps towards Tsubaki shielding Tsubaki with her body. Erutie takes the full brunt of the attack as the claws strike her. Erutie and Tsubaki are knocked away before Tsubaki crashes into a tree. Despite the metal chainmail covering Erutie, several large gashes form on her back.

Sara: “[Light Shot]”

During Tsubaki and Erutie’s attack, Sara fires off six needles of [Light Shot] at the remaining two bears. Three of the needle shaped shots target each bear’s eyes and nose. Her attacks strike dead on target while the bears are still preoccupied with Yui’s [Wind Blast]. The needles embed themselves into the nose and eyes.

Sara: “[Wind Blast]”

Sara immediately follows up with six miniature [Wind Blast]s in front of each needle. She sets off the explosion propelling her [Light Shot] needles deeper into the bears directly piercing the brain. The two bears roar in pain for several moments before dropping to the ground dead.

Sara: “Two down!” Sara pants heavily seeing the bears die. The bear Erutie knocked over was disoriented from having its nose broken, but clearly watches the scene as its brethren die. It roars angrily causing the earth beneath it to move. The ground under it rises up pushing the bear upright. The ground rises up and shoots forward forming a column and stretching towards Sara.

Yuki: “Sara! Watch out!” Yuki cries out seeing the attack.

Sara jumps to the side rolling out of the way. She successfully evades the attack, but when she sets herself upright another column of earth closes in from point blank range. She attempts to jump back, but it’s too late as the column slams into her. The column picks Sara off the ground, blood dripping from her mouth, extending further into the distance before slamming into a large tree. The tree starts to crack as it begins falling over tilting towards Sara.

Yuki: “Sara! [Wind Blade]” Yuki releases the spell she was preparing towards the bear. As the blade of wind flies towards the bear, it crashes into a wall of earth that rises out from the ground. Her attempt to go help Sara is interrupted as the bear easily counters her attack. The tree completely collapses falling on top of Sara smashing both her and the column of earth.

Slyph: “Yuki! Run!” As Slyph yells out, three more walls of form around them and surround them. They look up to try and escape from above, but another large slab drops down from the sky boxing them in.

Tsubaki snaps out of her stupor and looks around hazily. Blood runs down the side of her face. Pain runs down her back preventing her from moving well. Erutie in her lap is completely knocked out. She sees Yuki right before she’s boxed in and Sara leg sticking out from under a tree. The bear she attacked stands in front of her paw poised to attack. Its eyes red with fury for the damage it received.

Tsubaki: “Game over I guess.” She shuts her eyes as the paw descends on her.

^Tsubaki waits for the end to come, but nothing happens. She reluctantly opens her eyes to see the bear frozen mid swipe.

“That’s good enough then.” (???)

Tsubaki turns to the voice and sees Rose levitating the knocked over tree slightly into the air. Sara crawls out from under the tree looking completely unharmed. Rose clicks her fingers making the four bears disappear. The earthen walls boxing in Yuki and Slyph also recede back into the ground.

“It’s over?” Erutie asks pushing herself off of Tsubaki’s lap. The wounds on Erutie’s back disappear as if they never happened. Both Erutie and Slyph both look over at Rose.

 “You’re okay!!” (Tsubaki)

Tsubaki tears up hugging Erutie.

“You beat them Rose?” Yuki’s head hangs down. “…Sorry, we’re always depending on you.”

“She didn’t beat them. It was completely fake to begin with.” (Slyph)

“…Ehh?” Yuki freezes up looking at Slyph. She turns towards Sara and Rose. Tsubaki also breaks the hug and looks at the two of them. Rose smiles with a mischievous grin. Sara turns away avoiding eye contact with them. Both Tsubaki and Yuki look at them confused, but Erutie and Slyph are calm looking at Rose with a fed up expression.

“Oi! You done here!!” (Regis) Regis and Arlayna emerge from the forest completely unscathed. Yuki and Tsubaki glance at them even more confused. “Crap. Bad timing.” They back away from the girls concealing themselves in the shadows.

Tsubaki’s frustration reaches her limit. “Someone explain!”

Everyone except Yuki and Rose avoids eye contact with her.

 “It was a test. Good job.” (Rose) Blank shock fills their expression. Tsubaki drops her head and starts trembling. Her long black hair hangs over her face covering her expression. Yuki looks over at Slyph.

“Since when?” (Yuki)

“Rose told us right before flying out of the bushes.” (Slyph)

“Same for Eru.” (Erutie)

Yuki turns to Sara.

“When I was healing her…” (Sara)

Yuki looks at Regis and Arlayna.

“Sara told us right before we charged at the bears.” (Arlayna)

Yuki looks back at Rose. “Everything? The whole fight was fake?” (Yuki)

“Yep. Pretty much.” (Rose)

Tsubaki’s head snaps up glaring at Rose.

“DON’T MAKE JOKES LIKE THAT!!!!!” (Tsubaki) Her scream resonates throughout the forest. Rose stands calmly there while the others cover their ears. Tsubaki glares angrily at Rose.

“Yuki, anything to add?” (Rose)

“No. Just that I feel the same.” (Yuki) She answers with a blank reply.

“Okay then. Master, please push me over there. I need to give them their reward.” (Rose)

“Okay.” (Sara)

Sara pushes Rose’s wheelchair over to them as Rose rewards them per their agreement. Yuki and Tsubaki sigh resting on the ground.

“I can’t believe she made a joke like that.” (Yuki)

“It’s not like she did it for fun.” (Slyph)

“She didn’t?” (Yuki)

“She told us it was an important test for the two of you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have agreed to playing along.” (Slyph)

“What did she test us on?” (Tsubaki)

“Eru doesn’t know.” (Erutie)

“I was not informed either. Rose-san promised to explain later.” (Slyph)

Rose finishes giving them their rewards. Regis drools staring at the gold in his bag. Arlayna swings her new weapon around happily.

“Thank you for all your help. We need to get going, so let’s part here.” (Rose)

“Oh. Will you girls be okay on your own?” (Regis)

“Yes. Let’s get ready to go.” Rose yells out to the others. The girls stop their discussion and obediently go back to the campsite to gather their things. “Everyone has their things?” (Rose)

“”Yes!”” (Girls)

“Then let’s go!” (Rose)

“Okay.” Sara opens up her computer. “Here it is. Return Home!” (Sara)

Sara presses the button on her computer. The six of them are enveloped in light before disappearing in a flash.

“They’re gone.” (Regis)

“They’re good kids…” (Arlayna)

“…but they’re a really weird group.” (Regis)

The two of them sigh before resting at their camp.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chapter. Also, noticed there was a line of really wierd text, looked like about 10 lines were pasted on top of the other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I did not notice that. First time I had such a weird issue transferring it from Microsoft Word to the site.

      Delete