Sunday, December 25, 2016

In That Moment of Suffering Chapter 54 – Ariel’s Appearance

Yeah... I can only apologize for the delays.





Chapter 54 – Ariel’s Appearance

The intensity of Ariel's hug causes Senna's body to creak in various places. If Senna's body wasn't so abnormally strong, she would have split directly in half from Ariel's vice grip hug.

{AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!} Iris mentally screams barely holding herself back from yelling out loud. However, every bit of Iris' scream is transmitted to Senna's mind.

Senna ignores Iris' distress focusing on dealing with the surprise of Ariel's appearance. She awkwardly raises her hands hesitatingly patting Ariel's back. "It's good to see you too Ariel." A surge of jealousy emanates from Iris' direction, but Senna continues to ignore it.

"You could put some more feeling into it." Ariel pouts before breaking into a melodious laugh. She finally starts to look around her surroundings and sees the mass of people gossiping about the two. "Ah! Were you hunting down monsters? Let me help."

Ariel steps into the center of the ring. "All of you monsters! Come out now!!" She loudly declares as a staff created from light magic forms in her hands. She slams the staff down onto the arena causing the staff to form into a large broadsword. A magic shockwave spreads from the base of the staff and explodes outwards passing over everyone in the audience.

The gossiping audience shuts their eyes letting out a cry as the shockwave creates a strong burst of wind. They begin to panic, but the only the sound of rushing wind fills theirs ears as the gales muffles out their voices. The monsters in disguise revert back to their original forms as the shockwave disrupts their transformation. As the winds die down, terror begins to set in as they notice the sudden emergence of the dangerous monsters strewn within the audience.

"Wahh!! Idiot! They're going to explode!" Senna cries out at Ariel's sudden strike. Senna quickly slams the ground with both hands. She precisely creates an <Earth Pillar> beneath every single monster within the coliseum. She had memorized the position of every monster, but had planned to only assist if one of them escaped detection. Senna mentally grumbles about the drastic change of events, but focuses on making sure no other accidents happen. All of the monsters are launched into the air with Senna’s immediate reaction.

Ariel lets out a chuckle as she leaps into the air. Magic continues to condense on her staff causing the magically created blade to become a towering weapon several tens of meters in length. She deftly performs a large horizontal slash bisecting every monster that Senna launched into the air. As the body parts separate, their cores release their last signal triggering a chain explosion.

Captain Lewis and the other guards blankly laugh seeing the source of their worries destroyed in an instant. All of the preparations they made to safely track down their targets were brought down with a few moves from the angel before them.

Ignoring the awe and worshiping gazes around her, Ariel turns to Senna. "All done."

"That was so reckless of you!! What would you have done if I didn’t lift those things into the air?!" Senna angrily scolds Ariel. Ariel silently responds with a simple smile. Senna instinctively shivers sensing the unspoken answer and the possible tragedy that also occurred. She averts her gaze with a sigh and looks at the panicking audience. Some of them are particularly grief stricken at seeing someone close to them die. Senna groans seeing the situation turn volatile. "Ugh... Ariel. Please help with the follow up." She quickly gives Ariel some directions.

Ariel nods facing the audience. She slams her staff down while releasing a powerful and threatening atmosphere from her body. The crowd quickly goes silent sensing the change in the atmosphere. "Be grateful! The ones next to you were not the people you knew, but monsters in disguise! Every one of them has been eliminated and is no longer a threat!"

The audience goes into an uproar hearing her words.

"Monsters in the city?! How is that possible?!"

"That can't be true!"

"It's a lie! That was my friend that died! She wasn't a monster!"

Various protests erupt from Ariel's declaration. The temperature drops as her expression hardens. "If you have a problem with it, then maybe you were in league with these monsters. If so, then I'm going to need to eliminate you before you trouble my friend." Ariel's threat is met with pure silence as everyone clamps their mouths shut.

"Okay. Let's go." Ariel turns to Senna with a bright smile.

"Go? Where to?" Senna racks her brain trying to remember if they promised each other something.

"On a date silly~" Ariel mirthfully responds.

"D-date...?" Senna momentarily blanks at the sudden word. The word echoes in her mind to the point that she accidentally transmits the thought across her mental connections.

In the viewing stand, Iris feels a strong jolt at the mention of a date.

"Just when..." Senna starts to protest, but it is quickly cut short. Without giving Senna a chance to continue protesting, Ariel sweeps Senna off her feet lifting her in a princess carry. She takes off at full speed disappearing into the horizon leaving only a streak of light.

Iris and Mika can only watch as they disappear into the distance. "DON'T LEAVEEEEE!!!!" Iris cries out resentfully as they disappear over the horizon. She looks at Mika, but Mika shakes her head unable to follow them.

{Sorry. Let's talk later.} Senna leaves behind the message for Iris and Mika.

"Hmph." Iris reluctantly falls back into her seat tightly crossing her arms. The King and Queen look at Iris, but don't comment on her un-princess-like behavior. Everyone on the viewing platform can feel Iris' simmering rage and frustration.

In the sky, Ariel continues to increase her speed creating a sonic boom or two. Senna tries to break away from Ariel's princess carry, but finds both of Ariel's arms tightly gripping her arm and back.

Senna bites her lip feeling extremely conflicted. The situation is extremely uncomfortable for her. She wants to break away, but that would likely hurt Ariel and bring forth undesirable consequences. In addition, the two don't have that close of a relationship to cling to one another in such a way. If anything, Senna has been intentionally keeping her distance because Ariel has an important position as the Goddess' daughter.

As Senna brews over the situation, Ariel softly lands in a mountain clearing. "We're here."

Senna swiftly jumps to her feet when Ariel puts her down. "Where is here?"

"There's a special altar in the area. If you present an offering there, then it would greatly help you. Don't you think it's the perfect place for a date?" Ariel points to a cave nearby.

"...Hey." Senna quietly stares at Ariel. "Did I really promise you a date? I've been replaying every conversation we ever had and I never remember promising a date."

Ariel's smile freezes. She falters for a moment creating a brief silence. The gears in her brain seem to run at their fastest pace groping for the proper response. "I-Isn't it fine? I wanted some alone time with you!" She squeezes out her response half shouting.

"You don't have to feel so panicked. I just wanted to ask to make sure I haven't forgotten such a promise." Senna replies with a simple smile.

"Geez. Don't embarrass me!" Ariel slaps Senna's shoulder with some force. The sound of Senna's shoulder bone snapping emanates from her body. Senna bitterly smiles without a word silently healing the damage.

{Senna! Where did you go?!} Iris voice echoes in Senna's head.

{Ah. Sorry. My friend forcibly dragged me away like that. I have to keep her company because of her status.} Senna replies a bit awkwardly. She tries to carefully phrase her words, but finds out how difficult it is to explain herself without stepping on a landmine. The difficulty of a husband accused of cheating appears in her mind.

{Hmph. Do what you want...} Irritated, Iris forcibly cuts off the connection.

At this point, Ariel grabs Senna's arm leading her into the cave. Senna sighs being forced to follow along. {Mika, please watch over Iris.} She depends on Mika until she can fully explain herself to Iris. However, she doesn't receive an immediately reply from Mika as usual. {...Mika? Are you angry too?} Left with no response, she inwardly groans realizing that she now has two people that she must appease upon her return.

As they continue walking, the walls of the cave glow with a purple luminescence. Senna quietly admires the spectacle while taking in the increased concentration of <Lightning Magic> emanating throughout the cave.

After several minutes of walking, Ariel silently lets go of Senna's arm. Two lizards drop down from the ceiling emanating electricity. She wields her staff with both hands pouring her magic into the weapon. The staff emanates a white light gradually condensing into a large great sword. Casually swinging her weapon, she bisects the two lizards horizontally allowing a plume of blood to erupt.

Ariel lets the magic disperse before continuing on. She grabs Senna's hand and pulls her along. Senna looks at the lizard corpses with an awkward expression. After some internal conflict, Senna decides to leave the corpses alone since Ariel has no indication of stopping.

The next encounter goes just as swiftly after Ariel cuts down some lightning bats that target them. "Ummm....... Should I help? It feels a bit weird to just watch." Senna offers feeling embarrassed at her lack of contributions.

"No. Please leave it to me." Ariel calmly rejects Senna's offer. She casually stands in front of Senna as if to say 'Let me show off my cool side.'

"O-ok. If you're sure." Senna's smile twitches, but she barely maintains her composure to avoid showing it in her voice.

They walk along the cave for some time before stopping for a meal. Senna pulls out two sandwiches prepared beforehand. She hands one to Ariel and prepares to eat the other.

Ariel pushes the sandwich in front of Senna. "Here. Aaahnn."

Senna stares at the sandwich with a reluctant look. "Is that really necessary?"

"Ugh. Please read the mood." Ariel hangs her head with her blonde bangs shielding her face. She grumbles about something, but it is too low to reach Senna's ears. "Here." Ariel recovers and continues to press the sandwich towards Senna.

"......Fine..." Senna reluctantly bites into the sandwich. She roughly chews the food with a stoic face. However, Ariel seems oblivious to Senna's discomfort. She leans forward with her eyes shut and her mouth wide open. Senna sighs and moves the sandwich to Ariel's mouth.

Senna maintains her calm expression while masking her inner worries. She starts simulating different plans to keep Ariel at a distance if she continues pushing. The thought of Remilia coming to thrash her for touching Ariel sends chills down her spine. Senna heaves another sigh. {No matter how much I try. I really can't live a casual life without worries.}

"Senna." Ariel calls out snapping Senna out of her thoughts.

"Huh?" Senna blinks and notices the sandwich pressed in front of her. "Ahh..." She takes a bite quietly chewing.

"Are you okay?" Ariel asks tilting her head.

"I'm fine. Moreover I should be the one asking that." Senna replies. "Don't you have a lot of work to deal with?"

"No problem. I properly got permission to come and finished everything I need to do. Plus I asked for a few others to cover me." Ariel chuckles.

"Mmm. I see." Senna nods at the explanation. She quietly continues to eat while feeding Ariel without any additional questions.

Later after the meal, Senna can only hang her head at the dead monster before her. At the end of the cave, they had run into the den of a Lightning Wyrm. The Wyrm descended from a Dragon and has a small portion of a Dragon's bloodline making it incredibly powerful. The Adventurer's Guild would grade it as a S+ monster because of its strength to easily wipe out the entire Erein Guild if they fought.

Ariel moved without hesitation initiating the first strike. Her magic sword sliced into the eye of the Wyrm enraging and awakening the sleeping Wyrm. The Wyrm let out a loud roar causing the cave to tremble. But it still reacted too slowly as Ariel continued her assault, a <Light Pillar> stabbed through the Wyrm's underbelly severely inflicting heavy damage. She swung her staff once again increasing the size of the magic sword decapitating it in an instant.

The Wyrm released a weak roar on its last breath as the head slammed into the ground. Blood spurt out of the neck as the body ground to a halt. The body fell forward with a final attempt to crush Ariel underneath it. Unfortunately, Ariel viciously retaliated as she slammed the vulnerable body with the flat part of the blade. The Wyrm's body slammed into the cavern wall with Ariel's strike causing the remaining blood to splurge out the remaining dregs of life.

"Now it's nice and quiet." Ariel happily smiles landing on the ground. “Come on. The next room is the altar.

Senna sighs seeing that she’s out of time. "And? Until when are you going to take on Ariel's appearance, Miss Imposter?"



Author’s Note
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Ok…Maybe not so happy with my hanging cliff and extra short chapter. I can only apologize since my cold really screwed up the past week. Sadly I couldn’t prepare anything better for the holidays. I can only offer this.

In more bad news, I’m planning to just relax this week and not do anything related to writing. My hands have been feeling a bit sore and I’ve been needing to decrease my writing time anyways. I need to catch up on all the stuff I’ve been neglecting in favor of my writing, so it works out for me anyways. I’ll probably release something 3 weeks from now.

Apologies again with the poor news at this holiday time.

6 comments:

  1. To be honest I wasn't expecting any thing from you this week because of the Holidays. Also it wouldn't have been a cliff if you just left out the last 5 paragraphs(stopping at the end of the feeding each other scene) and having those be the beginning of the next chapter.

    Look at me actually having writing advice for once.

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    1. The cliff was me just wanting it there. I didn't want to change that part. XD
      Thanks for reading!

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  2. Evil!!! Eeevil!!! Thanks for the cliff hanger :p corrections in other chat :D

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  3. I'm a bit late, but thanks for the chapter! I'll wait patiently!

    ReplyDelete