Sunday, February 14, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 29 - Fiery Escape


 Happy Valentines Day!

In this chapter, Senna shifts from one language to another. So I colored the second language in a Dark Red. It's only an add-on and doesn't affect much of the overall reading experience. Also, I might have missed coloring something. I chose such a dark color that I can barely tell the difference between the two. My red/green color vision is on the weak side.

Chapter 29 - Fiery Escape

As Senna free falls down the magma pit, she quickly stores away the broken chains and cuffs. Using <Earth Magic>, layers of pillars form catching the ore pillars Senna smashed. Layers of earth pillars form in the lower half of the opening acting as a net. Senna punches and kicks the walls making the upper half of the opening collapse without damaging the lower half. Boulders of earth and rock collapse over the fall and plunge down towards Senna. Senna continues to free fall past the earthen net as the boulders become caught behind her.

Finished with the issue above, Senna turns her [Magic Body] skill to the maximum while forming a <Barrier> to cover the perimeter of her body. “Then if you don’t mind!” Senna invokes <Fire> and <Earth> magic to control the magma below.

“HAHAHAH!!! EXCELLENT!!” The fire elemental laughs.

You have obtained the [Fire Elemental’s Blessing]. Blaze has taken a liking to your desire to burn through things to follow your desired path. Keep in mind that irritating Blaze will cause him to retract his Blessing.

Your ability to use <Fire Magic> requires a quarter of the normal MP cost. On rare occasions, Blaze may come herself to amplify your spell’s potency.

The use of her magical power decreases visibly as the blessing takes effect. The magma collects into a giant orb floating in the air. A part of the orb cools and hardens forming a patch of rock. Senna gracefully lands on the rock patch as the orb continues to transform. The orb reshapes itself forming arms, legs, and a long neck. Sharp claws form at the ends of the arms and legs. The arms and legs easily surpass any of Senna’s limbs with the thickness of the arms reaching half a meter in width and the thickness of the legs reaching a meter. Large wings span over ten meters as they harden near Senna. The neck extends six meters into the air as a dragon head forms. As the chest of the dragon is shaped, the body hardens solidifying its shape.

{Phew. It worked.} Senna gives a sigh of relief that the magma dragon formed so smoothly. {Even with all the barriers and blessing, my body is still suffering from burns. Better get out quickly. Too bad I have to limit the size, but it’s impossible with my current situation.} She casts <High Heal> to deal with her most life threatening wounds, but <Light Magic> has less of an effect on burns compared to <Water Magic>. {Too bad it’s impossible to use any <Water Magic> with all this heat.}

A fireball suddenly forms in front of Senna. It motions to Senna as it jumps onto the head of the dragon entering it. The magma dragon gives a loud roar as it flaps its wings. “I’m counting on you, Blaze! I’ll deal with the obstacles, so fly at full speed!” Senna yells patting dragon’s back. She winces quickly separating her hand. She shakes her hand ignoring the scalding pain from her burns.

“That’s what I like to hear!” Blaze gives Senna a quick look before flying towards the sealed hole. As they approach the opening, Senna starts storing all of the rocks and boulders making them disappear instantly.

They break through the plugged hole with little noise. As they fly up Senna hears the conversation above. “I have to agree. She prevented any information from leaking by escaping and sealing her mouth shut.” Gulver sighs.

Senna grins and decides to answer as they rise above the magma pit. “Well escaped isn’t really the right word!”

“ROOOOAAAAARRRRRRR!!!” Blaze roars after spotting the demons causing the entire room to shake. The demons pale at the sudden sight of the dragon under Senna’s control.

{He’s really into it.} Senna chuckles. Blaze tilts his head back as he takes a large breath. {Time to get started.} She extracts wind and heat collected in her [Storage] to increase the potency of her attack. Then Mater and the soldiers would burn to ash. Senna disregarded Gulver since he wouldn’t die from the attack and would most likely dodge either way. She did a quick glance around and notices a non-hostile presence mixed in among the demons. She meets Eline’s gaze and sees Eline staring back in fear.

Status
Name
Eline Ser
Level
76
Race
Demon
Age
97 years old
Description
Childhood friend and lover of Gulver. They grew up in the same home after she lost her parents. Despite treating each like siblings, they quickly acknowledged a relationship with one another when they came of age. She’s kind to people that treat her well, but also very protective when it comes to Gulver.

“Shit!” Senna curses as she grabs Blaze’s head. She forcefully turns his head changing his aim, ignoring the smell of burnt meat and stinging pain from the palms of her hands. Blaze’s <Fire Breath> is released to the side towards the wall. The stream of fire mixes with the collected heat and wind transforming the dark red flames into pale blue flames. The flames strike the earthen walls immediately melting it. The surrounding rock collapses as a lit cavern emerges connecting to the open volcano top above.

“Oi! What was that for?!” Blaze turns his head to look at Senna.

Senna notices his annoyance for raining on his fun, but can’t do much about it. Sighing, she slaps his back. “Change of plans! We’re getting out of here first!”

“We haven’t done anything yet!” Blaze complains.

“If you don’t want to leave is your call, but I’m dispelling it if you plan to stay.” Senna whispers.

“Damn. Fine.” Blaze relents and starts flapping his wings. Senna looks again at Eline before giving a long sigh. As they set off, a spear flies at Senna. She tilts her body back dodging the spear and glancing at the annoyed Mater. As the spear passes over Blazes molten body, the metallic spear melts into a puddle. Senna sticks out her tongue taunting Mater.

“Trash! How dare you?!” Mater yells grabbing another spear. He throws it at the departing two, but Blaze’s tail intercepts it easily smashing the spear before it melts. “ARGHHHH!!! After her!!!” Mater yells rousing the guards to follow him up to ground level. An unnoticeable black speck flies into the distance at Senna.

Gulver lowers his arm and sighs seeing Senna escape. He turns to look at Eline. “Are you okay, Eline?”

“I’m fine brother.” Eline takes the chance to hug Gulver.

“But really? What was that?” Gulver mutters.

“I think she held back because of me.” Eline answers.

“Because of you?” Gulver asks.

“Yes! She gave Mater a really disgusted look, but she stopped when she made eye contact with me. She had a really reluctant look before she escaped.” Eline explains.

“Even so, you’ve never spoken. I don’t understand why she would hold back for that reason.” Gulver comments.

“Because I’m too cute to hurt?” Eline innocently asks. Gulver laughs and ruffles her hair.

“Come on. Let’s get out of this place.” Gulver waves.

“Coming!” Eline clings to Gulver’s arm as they fly out of the room.

***

“What was that for?!” Blaze complains as they fly out of the volcano.

“Sorry, but I’m not going to attack a bystander.” Senna answers. She glances back at the castle and sees a few demons already pursuing them. Some pursue by basic flight and others on mounts. “Come on! Let’s move.”

Blaze grumbles but follows Senna’s orders. “Why do you even care? She’s on the demon’s side anyways.” He asks as they fly. The howling wind muffles his voice to the point that she almost misses his question.

“She has no hostility towards me. I’m not going to kill her just because she’s in the way. Normally, I’ll specifically strike down Mater and be done with it, but my hands are tied with the abilities I can use in that situation. Gulver is too dangerous to just ignore.” Senna explains yelling her response back.

“Che. How boring.” Blaze answers.

“If you want to rescind your blessing, then I’m fine with it. I ruined your fun after all.” Senna replies.

“Don’t be stupid. I can’t do that! That would hurt my pride. I finally find someone interesting enough to give a blessing and you expect me to take it back in less than an hour?! What were the others say?!” Blaze yells.

“It was just an offer. Forget it. Let’s deal with the guys behind us!” Senna glances at the demons pursuing them.

“Right!” Blaze turns around taking a deep breath and releases a stream of fire. Senna manipulates the flames shaping the stream of flames into a moving wall of fire. The wall continues to increase in size as Blaze feeds it more fire. Senna bombards the wall with a large number of <Wind Shot> orbs. Some of them disappear into the fire wall, while others pass through becoming picking up the flames. The flames on the <Wind Shots> spread through the orb becoming a ball of fire, but the wind further feeds the flames changing them from red to pale blue flames.

“Okay. Let’s move before the troublesome one comes!” Senna yells. As an afterthought, she feeds the fire wall with extra magical power to prevent it from dispersing too quickly as they turn to leave.

“Damn her!” One of the demons curses as he is forced to dodge the impending Fire wall.

“That’s why I said we shouldn’t chase her!” Another demon soldier yells. “She’s too dangerous for us!”

“So you expect noble demons of the Ro family to back down because of a strong human!” A demon riding a large hawk yells at them.

The demon soldiers all aptly escape out of range of the fire wall. However, five blue fire orbs that pass through the flame wall target some of the demons. The soldiers react quickly enough to dodge the fireballs. Some are barely able to avoid the attack at the last second. However, as the fireball passes by, they explode over the nearby demons. The unlucky demons are bombarded with the force of the explosion and the overwhelming heat of the blue flames. Their wings quickly burn up causing the demons to plummet out of the sky, crash landing on some mountains below.

The unscathed demons spot Senna in the distance and resume pursuit leaving their comrades to fend for themselves. As they pass over the fire wall, over a hundred <Fireballs> emerge from behind the wall and begin bombarding the pursuing demons.

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” One of the soldiers hastily dodges.

“I told you!” The panicking demon soldier yells as fireballs strike his wings. The strength of the fireballs is weaker compared to the blue flame fireballs, but the constant bombardment of fireballs destroy the skin on his wings and affect his ability to fly. He crash lands on a nearby mountaintop with minor injuries.

“Damn human!” The demon atop the hawk curses. They dodge the fireballs by a hair’s breath. The sheer number of fireballs flying in every direction, with a few select ones homing in on them, keeps their attention away from the unlucky demons that are forced to crash land. The demon ducks as a fireball shoots over his head. Unfortunately, the hawk abruptly stops in place furiously flapping its wings to immediately brake. The distracted demon reacts too late and is shot forward crashing into an invisible <Barrier>. Fireballs suddenly converge scorching the demon as he starts to fall downward. The hawk dives down catching its rider before he hits the ground. It looks into the sky and sees more fireballs emerge from the wall and float above its body waiting for it to fly into the air, so that the fireballs can incinerate its feathers. The hawk is forced to stay grounded to protect itself from becoming a roasted bird.

“Shit! What the hell is this?!” An angry demon commander yells as he watches his subordinates drop like flies. The crackle of electricity reaches his ears. When he looks forward, he quickly evades as a <Lightning Cross Piercer> shoots towards him. He avoids taking the full brunt of the attack, but his wings make contact sending a strong pulse of lightning through his body stunning him. He falls unconscious crashes headfirst into a tree burying himself in sap.

“Got them!” Senna cheers seeing most of the pursuers being disabled.

“I still think you should have used more fatal means.” Blaze complains.

“If I could, I would.” Senna retorts. {The majority of my magic is going towards the barrier around my body. If not, I would have already become a flaming ball of ash…} She complains in her heart. They continue to fly at top speed for some time before Senna speaks up. “Can you shoot a ball of fire into the air?”

“Who do you take me for?” Blaze yells. He rears his head as he throws a large fireball into the air.

“Great!” Senna takes the fireball under her control making it hang in the air. She sets up a delay in the spell for it to detonate before flying off again. Within minutes, the fireball explodes creating a large blinding explosion. The flaming light blinds the surroundings disabling all sight for a time. The majority of the demons have been grounded preventing them from pursuing her. However, a few of them have a keen enough sight to spot their departing figure in the distance as they escape. Mater eventually comes with reinforcements and chase after Senna when they hear the news.

***

In a desert valley not far from the explosion, Senna gives a sigh of relief. “I’m glad they fell for it.” She had set up a delay for the fireball to blind the area after exploding. Immediately after that, she created an illusion of her and Blaze flying off into the distance. In the meantime, she made Blaze dive down into a cave and hide.

She lies against the cave wall feeling exhausted. “Thanks again for the help.” Senna looks at Blaze who has returned to being a floating ball of fire. She had stored away the magma dragon body away to avoid blowing their cover forcing Blaze to revert into a more compact form.

“…” Blaze silently burns without responding to Senna.

“I’m sorry for stopping you from causing any destruction. The offer still stands if you wish to rescind your blessing.” Senna speaks up.

“Don’t joke with me?! I told you my answer. I’m not rescinding it!” Blaze scoffs. His body increases in size as he angrily responds.

“Then…” Senna forms a large orb of magic in her hand. “…This is all I can offer you as an apology. Please take it.”

“Mmm. Fine.” Blaze bites into the orb. “…R-Rye.” His body explodes creating a short flash disappearing with the mass of magic.

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..” Senna releases a long sigh as she relaxes her body. She starts healing the fresh burns covering her entire body. Some of her old scars start to heal, but Senna stops when her body starts to shake. “That’s the limit…Hah…” She spits out another sigh after finishing her treatment. Senna gets dressed in a new seat of clothes and armor to cover her body.

“Finally a break.” Senna curls up and starts to cry. {I can’t believe so many people died because of me. It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault!} She wails without restraint as those thoughts run through her mind. Crying until her tears dry up, she falls asleep exhausted.

When she wakes up an hour later, Senna composes herself as she thinks about her plans. {I can’t just head home. They’re after me, so the number of people that die will only rise. I don’t even know if I can even kill Mater with Gulver guarding him. What to do?} She tilts her head back and stares at the ceiling.

{Why do they even want me? I guess I should start from there.} Senna stands up and brushes off her leather armor. She pushes back the thought of how many people died because of her and how to make reparations to the back of her mind.

Senna stretches out her hand and catches a fireball flying her way. She clenches it causing the fireball to disperse before turning to the attacker.

“*Chirp**Chirp* I won’t let you hurt Mom!” The attacker yells.

You have learned the <Phoenix Language> - <Avian Variant>. In addition to regular birds, you can now understand the language of the mythical bird, the Phoenix.

Senna looks at the fifteen centimeter tall bird glaring at her. Its red feathers are puffed outwards trying to make itself look more intimidating. On its head is a single pale blue feather. One of its eyes is a blazing orange, while the other is a calm icy blue. {A phoenix? But it looks quite different from what the books say.}

Status
Name
Mika
Level
10
Race
Fire/Ice Phoenix
Age
1 year old
HP
140
MP
120
Strength
20
Endurance
10
Agility
45
Dexterity
30
Intelligence
28
Wisdom
20
Luck
4


Skills
Fire Magic Lv. 3
Water Magic Lv. 2
Magic Power Lv. 2
Magic Manipulation Lv. 2
Incantation Omission Lv. 2
Presence Detection Lv. 2
Hawk Eyes Lv. 4
Survival Lv. 3
Description
Born from the union between an ice phoenix and fire phoenix, she is a rare hybrid specimen formed from opposing elements. Due to her unique heritage, she can use both fire and water based magic at will. Her hybrid nature makes both races see her as an abomination of nature.

Senna unconsciously whistles at the unique phoenix before her. In response to Senna’s whistle, Mika fires another fireball from her beak. “I won’t let you hurt Mom!”

Senna easily catches the fireball again, but this time takes control of the flames and eats it. Mika shivers seeing her attack is completely useless. Senna calmly looks back at Mika. “Sag-*cough* Aaaa… Sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Senna tries speaking in the same language, but meets with a bit of some resistance at first. When she figures out how to speak the same language, she apologizes to Mika. “I’m just trying to treat my wounds before leaving. What’s wrong with your mother, kid?”

“I’m not a kid! My Mom named me, Mika!” Mika’s feathers puff up again angry at Senna calling her a kid.

“Okay. Mika. Nice to meet you. My name is Senna. Is your mom hurt or something? I can try healing her if you want?” Senna offers.

“…Really?!” Mika’s eyes’ sparkle at the offer, but it quickly fades as she glares at Senna. “I don’t trust you. You’re just going to hurt mom like all the others.”

“I don’t have any other intentions. I was just offering to help.” Senna scratches her head. “Do you want me to swear on the Goddess that I mean no harm?”

“… No. Swear on the Ruler of Fire.” Mika demands.

“Ruler of Fire? You mean Blaze?” Senna asks.

“Huh? Who’s that?” Mika tilts her head.

“No. Never mind.” Senna shakes her head. She holds up one hand while placing the other hand over her heart. “I swear on the Ruler of Fire that I mean no harm to Mika or her mother.” A red magic circle forms around Senna with Senna’s pledge written in another language within the circle, which she identified as the Elemental Language. When the light fades, Senna puts her hands down and looks at Mika.

Mika’s wariness wanes as her feathers relax. “Okay. Please help my mom.” Mika hops along the ground leading Senna deeper into the cave. Senna quickly follows her along.

“Do you want to hop on my shoulder? You’re going to get tired like that.” Senna offers with a bright smile.

Mika glares at Senna. “I’m not a child!”

“I didn’t say you were.” Senna refutes kindly. “I just wanted to help. It’s probably hard to fly in a low cave like this. I don’t think it will be very good for your claws either.”

“Muuu…Fine!” Mika yells flapping her wings. She unsteadily flies up to Senna’s shoulder ignoring Senna’s outstretched arm. Senna suppresses a giggle at the rejection for help.

Senna proceeds deeper into the cave following Mika’s directions. She creates a <Light> orb illuminating the way as they move. Climbing down another level, Senna follows the cave as it turns back in the direction she came from. {Well that explains why Mika didn’t attack me earlier. This cave is pretty deep and curves quite oddly. It should have taken quite a bit of time to travel from here to the entrance.}

“There.” Mika points down a side passage. As they reach the end of the passage, Mika hops off Senna’s shoulder and hops over to a mass on the ground. “Mom. I’m back. I brought some help.”

As her <Light> illuminates the area, Senna pales at the sight. {Uwah…} A gray corpse lies in the center of the alcove. Most of the feathers have fallen off the body as the smell of rotting flesh permeates through the room. Most of the feathers and some of the flesh are burnt black from excessive exposure to fire. Maggots protrude from the eye socket consuming the flesh. One of the wings lie detached away from the body. The body’s blood has long since dried up. {Why?}

Fire Phoenix Corpse
A rare corpse of the immortal Phoenix. Due to the destruction of its soul, it is impossible for this Phoenix to revive from its ashes. It is normally impossible to ever find a Phoenix’s corpse, but the destruction caused by other Phoenixes has brought about this unique situation.

“I’m sorry.” Senna shakes her head. “It’s not possible to help your mom.”

“NO!!! YOU’RE LYING!!! MOM’S JUST FINE!!! SHE’LL WAKE UP AGAIN!!!” Mika yells at Senna.

“STOP IT!!!” Senna scolds.

“NOOOO!!!!” Mika screams flying over to her mother’s corpse.

 “You have to accept it! Your mother passed away. It’s not possible for her to come back. I’m sure that she was worried about you. But what have you been doing?! Mourning your loss is fine! But you can’t stay here forever because you think your mom can still come back! You need to go out there and find a way to be happy, so that you can hold your head up high and make your mom proud!!” As Senna scolds Mika, Senna is forced to repress her own tears. Her words have an unpleasant resonance with many of her own qualities. She honestly wants to stop thinking about everything and escape to the darkness.


“…” Mika stops screaming starting at Senna resentfully.

“Look at her! Stop turning your eyes away and look at her! Do you think your mom would be happy that things got to this state?!” Senna reprimands her.

Mika reluctantly looks at her mother’s body. The sight of the rotting flesh and worms on her mother’s corpse finally starts to register with her. Unable to hold back, she breaks down crying. “WAHHHHH!!!” Tears shine and drip down her beak as she cries. Senna shuts her eyes and patiently waits for Mika to calm down.

After releasing all of her tears, Senna finally speaks up. “I can’t heal your Mom, but I can help you give her a proper burial. Is that fine?”

“Un.” Mika nods reluctantly.

“Good. This cave is too tough to dig normally, so…” Senna silently creates a grave beneath the corpse. She notices Mika’s tears haven’t been absorbed into the ground.

Phoenix Tears
A rare substance with immense regenerative powers. Known to be able to heal the most deadly of wounds and bring back people from the verge of death.

Senna stares briefly, but represses her desire. She picks up the tears and pours them over the corpse. “I have never personally spoken to you, but I have a great amount of respect for you. Your devotion to protect your child is something I cannot imagine...... I wish you the best of luck.” {Hopefully that was appropriate enough. Can a destroyed soul even pass on to the afterlife?} Senna turns to look at Mika.

“Goodbye Mom.” Mika resolutely stares at her Mom’s corpse before releasing a <Fireball>. The phoenix corpse immediately catches fire with her flames.

“Wah! What are you doing?!” Senna cries out.

Mika looks at Senna. “Mom always lights a fire when she goes to bed.”

Senna sighs retracting her magic for a <Water> spell. {No choice, but to go along with it. Fire in an enclosed cave is really stupid, but I’ll just feed in fresh air to deal with it.} Senna gathers an ample amount of magic and casts her own <Fire> to the spell.

Her fire touches the burning corpse and the reaction is immediate. The flames bulge unnaturally and burn far too strongly even with Senna’s addition. Senna’s eyes widen, but she immediately starts moving. She grabs Mika, but as she turns the flames explode sealing off the exit. She mentally curses as she crouches over Mika protecting her. She forms a <Barrier> and releases some collected seawater from her [Storage].

Unfortunately, the flames are as unnatural as its movements. The flames pass through Senna’s barrier as if it were air. They strike at her from the side knocking her away from Mika. Senna slams into the wall head first. The disorientation cuts any more seawater from flowing into the cave releasing only enough to line the floor. Senna shakes her head preparing to strike back, but the flames pierce directly into her body and attack her magic core first. The attack is light, but is similar to a strike to a person’s solar plexus, completely disorienting Senna. Senna’s vision flashes red before she passes out.

The flames turn to Mika forming the shape of a phoenix. “Mom?... Mom!” Mika recognizes her mother’s shape in the flames and runs up to hug her. The flames become solid as it catches Mika. The two hug for a moment before Mika looks up at her mother’s figure. “Mom, I missed you.”

The flames don’t respond as it looks at the unconscious Senna. Mika follows its line of sight and hurriedly explains. “She wasn’t trying to hurt me! Senna was helping me bury you because we thought you died!” The flames turn back to Mika and lower its head.

After a moment, Mika falls to the ground as the flames start to lose their substance. The flames move towards Mika entering her body. Her body glows red as she suddenly matures. Her wings extend as her body expands outwards. Her talons thicken as it increases in size. The neck extends as the head reforms to a more mature look. The small, fifteen centimeter tall phoenix chick is replaced with a slightly more mature looking, half a meter tall phoenix that is near adulthood.

Mika looks at her body, but stops to start looking for her mother. Tears form when Mika realizes she lost her mother again. {Take care of yourself, my child.} A voice rings out in Mika’s mind with an accompanying wind. When the last wisp of flame fade and burn out, there is nothing left in the corpse’s former place.

“Bye, bye. Mommy.” Mika uses her wing to wipe her remaining tears. Mika looks at Senna and flies over. She ascends into the air much faster than before, approaching dangerously close to the ceiling. She stops flapping and tries to stabilize her flight. Awkwardly floating and circling the alcove, Mika tries to safely land. After circling the over twenty times, she lands farther away than she started. She hops over choosing to avoid flying for now. She lightly pecks Senna’s hand. “Hey. Are you okay?” She pecks Senna again, but receives no response.

At that moment, the ceiling explodes directly over the empty grave. Mika’s feather’s puff up as she raises her vigilance. “Who are you?!”


Author’s Note
Thank you to my friend Cat for suggesting I use Mika for the name. It took awhile for me to find a name that was cute and could have some semblance of the Fire and Water element in the name. Mika is apparently formed from the Water and Fire Kanji in Japanese.

Apologies for the cliff. Next chapter should be relatively cliff free.

4 comments:

  1. So I'm pretty sure you copy and paste the "You have obtained so-and-so's blessing", and that is definitely what I would do, but it makes all the gender pronouns go weird in it. For instance I still am not sure on Sol's apparent gender.

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    Replies
    1. Lol! Yep. I missed that. :P Thanks! Sol is female.

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  2. though its two days late, thanks for the chapter and looking forward to more as usual :D also looks like the phoenix just met either Blaze or an angel who is upset over the hurt/unconscious Senna

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! No worries about being late. I think lots of people have been away for Lunar New Year/President's day weekend since this chapter had half of the normal views compared to everything else.

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