No one could help but glance back at the wide open space ahead of them, the shaking seemed to come from there. A heavy, dark mist grew from little wisps of dust, and a large, nightmarish outline grew from the fog, a screech pierced through the thick darkness as the outlines grew sharper. Now they could see the serpentine head and the blade like growths that resembled eyebrows, based on their position just over the eyes, and jagged edges protruded from the half moon wings. It was clear now that the screech and tremors were caused by a giant venomwing.
"So," Jessie paused nervously, "is that what was commanding the other little guys?"
"That would explain why they fought you all to the death," the resident expert of the demon world explained, "but you said something about the attacks you guys were using, and how you run out with every use!"
"Y-yeah...I'm all tuckered out right now, three Shooting Stars is all I can muster...we just need to catch our breath, but I somehow doubt that thing's gonna let us, though." the hero sighed.
"We could've steered around this thing if we'd only known!" Ray turned to head back under the deck, "Maybe there's still-"
"I think...it was pulling us here." black wings sprouted from the back of her shoulders, and she let out a slow but steady breath, "No, now I'm certain of it, there's a tainted breeze guiding us here, I can feel it in my wings."
"What's that thing it's sitting on?" Sarah pointed at the hazy shadow that looked like a spire with a wide, slightly curved base, "Some sort of giant egg?"
"Mhm...it must be the queen venomwing's egg." the white haired girl presumed, "If that's the case, then the creature before us must be Fellnyx, the Black Flame!"
"Well, what do we do? I have energy left, but it's not like I can do much good when I'm alone, that Ray of Hope only works if there's a Shooting Star or something to cover me, and I don't even know if that thing will avoid me completely or not!" Ray turned to his sister, who just smiled sheepishly and shrugged, "What's left to do...there must be something!"
"I'm going to do something, but I won't be able to fight much afterwards, so I'll be depending on you guys!" purple eyes closed and their owner darted out at the giant venomwing. As it swung it's wing at her, she spun through the air, her arms stretched down over her stomach, empty hands suddenly grasping her scythe, which she swung forward to catch the beast by the talons. She pushed back against the heavy wings, purple eyes narrowed as she forced the monster to retreat it's wing claw before she uprooted the talons attached to them, but it immediately struck back with it's other claw.
She ran from the claw, watched as it lowered onto her. She held her scythe tightly and leapt up to somersault, a trail of purple shot through the air behind her as the venom in the claws was suddenly free, and the soft clink that followed, along with the enraged cry, let her know she hit her mark. She let herself take a breather and slowly turned around, a glint of anger in her otherwise stoic gaze.
She outstretched her hand and took a deep breath, concentrated on the wing joints of the monster, and threw herself forward, her wings beating hard as she closed the gap, and when she was close enough, she performed a midair back flip, hooked her scythe through the wing and pinned it into the beast's shoulder, as the venomwing howled in pain and flexed it's muscles, the scythe sunk in deeper, "Thorns, take root...bloom rose!"
"Wow...she's taking that thing on by herself?!" Jessie asked, impressed with the skill and nerves on display.
"Well, she can fly and does have a weapon." Ray pointed out, "It's to be expected that she handles herself well in a fight, though I would think she'd be a bit rusty given her up until now dormant state."
"Her blade's not rusty, that's for sure!" Jessie added cheerfully, "Looks like she's gonna save our bacon!"
"Please don't let her be speaking too soon." Ray muttered quietly.
Sudden red lights exploding from the monster's shoulders arrested their gaze, a rose bush had grown in the wound, and not long after, the girl turned so the scythe was withdrawn and she was facing the airship, her movement threading a green vine through the torn membrane with the blade, "Organic Needlework!" she commanded, and a single rose bloomed on her side of the wing membrane after she pulled the vine taut, and then she leapt back to the airship as the monster went into a rampage.
"What did you do to it?!" Jacob cried, very impressed with the attack.
"I u-used a lot of...ma-mana..." she stumbled a bit and hunched forward. Jessie steadied her and when she was sure the slightest breeze wouldn't knock the girl down, she released her shoulders, "Thanks..." she whispered. She gave Jessie an appreciative nod, and then turned around, her fingers bent as she glared at the living nightmare, the thorns in the vine grew longer in response, "Careful...I limited her attacks to left claw alone, but a wounded beast is the most dangerous kind, and the Queen Venomwing is no exception! I'll pull her down, everyone ready to charge!"
A collective cry of support rose from the group, and the scythe wielder held up her blade again, "Fellnyx...fall before me! Thorn Lasso!" several vines shot out and wound around the scythe, and the girl pulled the weapon, forcing the monster to fall to onto the deck, "Put the poor creature down..." she muttered tiredly, laying on her knees, fingers wrapped loosely around the scythe's shaft.
"Will you be okay?" Jessie rested a comforting hand on the scythe wielder's shoulder as she knelt next to her, looking into dark purple eyes. When she got a slow nod she sighed and stood up.
Ray had exhausted the rest of his power on more pillars of flame, and Jacob to catch him when he fell back from the shock of the recoil.
Everyone else had gathered quietly around the large monster. Drawing her blade, Jessie completed the arc, with the dancer and mage stood on the extremes, she stood in the middle. This was their ultimate attack.
"Light of Celestia!" she cried, raising her blade, the others followed her lead, and a white light surrounded them individually, but soon reached out to the others until the glow around Jessie had blurred her form entirely, "Holy Strike!"
The others watched as the white light hit the monster and enveloped it, their eyes returning to the figure between them, she had only taken one step, and her posture showed that she had merely taken a step forward and swung her blade, she hadn't even touched the monster aside from the magic that set white flames over Fellnyx's body.
Jessie was startled by a rough hacking sound, and ran over to the scythe wielder, holding her hair up as the other clutched at the floor.
"M-my stomach!" she groaned, before throwing up on the deck.
"It's okay, i-it'll be...Ray, if she is a vampire..." Jessie looked pleadingly to her brother, who nodded and darted passed her, not needing any further instructions, he handed her a small gem.
"Be safe, Jessie, we'll arrive within an hour." he placed the icy blue crystal in her hands and stepped back.
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"Thank you so much!" she cried, clutching the magical item and giving it an influx of mana.
"Don't worry about it...we can gather some more funds and buy a new one, it's replaceable." he assured, swallowing as the odor of vomit pierced his nostrils. He turned away slowly as the crystal's cool glow wrapped around them, releasing its energy and sending them to the place it was magically linked to.
Jessie slowly stood up, pulled the sick girl to her feet, and grabbed a wide brimmed hat she won in a contest a while back from its place on the hat rack and set on the possibly vampiric girl's head, taking the dark blue one she had been wearing up until then, as it wouldn't shield her from the sun as well, and draped one of the men's bigger coats--she'd apologize later--over her shoulders and started outside, glad that her new teammate had something to keep the sunlight off her, just in case she'd burn up, if nothing else, the dark was preferable anyways.
"You might want to put your arm around me to put your weight on me. How are you feeling now?" Jessie asked, guiding her friend up the stairs to her their right.
"Like I'll be sick again...a-at least...not on the carpet..." the purple eyed girl groaned, clutching her stomach and Jessie's shoulder. She couldn't even keep her eyes open, she could only hold on until she hit her knees vomiting again. She managed to look up at Jessie as she stood up, tears in her eyes, "T-thank you...for the hat...by the way."
"You can keep the hat if you want, it looks good on you." Jessie stared ahead as she helped the nameless girl across a mostly empty square, apologizing quietly in case she walked close enough to someone they could smell her friend's breath.
They finally reached the steps of a large black and white building, the cathedral housing the Infinity Crystal and Sage Sable, and made it into the lobby, where the receptionist came forward to greet them anxiously, "Jessie, you're back...alone, who is this?!"
"Sick, we need the sage now, and I don't want to make her walk up those stares, and I definitely don't want her taking the atmos, her stomach doesn't need that now." Jessie explained, and the receptionist activated her communication device and called on the sage, adding that it was an emergency.
Jessie couldn't understand the sage and receptionist, as he preferred to speak in an ancient language when speaking with anyone from the ground floor, but the hero could tell from her tone, and distraught expression, that the sage was unconvinced.
Before the receptionist could apologize to the sage and end the conversation, Jessie's eyes narrowed into a steely gaze and scooped her friend up and headed for the stairs, marching up as quickly as she could without jostling the sweating, bewildered girl who was afraid she'd throw up again and make Jessie lose her balance, even if not, she'd likely ruin her adventurer's garb.
She knew she was at the top of the stairs when she could smell pungent herbs boiling in the sage's workshop, and roughly kicked the door a few times, enough that he'd have to get up and answer it.
"Little hooligans!" the door swung open to reveal a tall elderly man, who's eyes gleamed with untold wisdom. Shock replaced his grumpy grimace when he saw the young woman at the door, "Who's this, then, Jessie?"
"Same thing I told the receptionist, Sage, she's sick. I was hoping you could help us." Jessie proceeded to explain everything that had happened, and the old man chuckled.
"So, she has an upset stomach after a meal with garlic and hot sauce? Well, that'd suggest she had a bad case of heartburn, and didn't know how to handle it." he waved for them to enter the room, and up the stairs in the middle of the room, "So, why aren't your other friends here, are they resting at an inn?"
"No, we had to use our teleport stone, now we need to gather more funds and have another stone enchanted to our headquarters." Jessie sighed and set the young woman she'd been lugging around on her feet, "So, you have a tonic here that'll cure her?"
"Oh yes, that, please, over here." Sable stepped in front of an old chest, and produced a bottle, opening it slowly, "Come here, Foce."
The white haired girl stepped forward and gazed up tiredly at him when she realized what he called her, but before she could react, he slung the bottle up, the contents soaked her and she immediately cried out in pain. He took the moment that she was distracted, and pulled her by the arm, sent her careening to the cobblestone roof and he poured out the rest of the potion on her, his gaze on the enraged hero charging after him, "Stop hurting her if you won't help her!" he demanded, blade over her shoulder as she prepared to strike him.539Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡN63coMLeaF
He smirked and snapped his finger, he vanished behind her, leaving her to swipe at the bottle that remained floating in the air, while he remained still, hands clasped together as he patiently waited until his mana could be used again, while Jessie unwittingly shattered the bottle and, vainly attempting to avoid it, she lost her balance, stumbled for a moment, long enough that when she turned to attack the sage, his attack was already charged.
"Vampire Lord Foce, I end you!" he shouted, and threw a white ball of energy at the newly dubbed Foce, who lay on her side, curled up and hugging herself as she stared helplessly at Jessie.
"Not if I can help it!" the hero snarled, running in front of the blinding orb of energy and charging a quick blast of fire, but before she could release it he appeared next to her.
He was unable to attack for five seconds, she wasn't done charging a powerful enough blast to counter his attack, and he ended up slamming his open palms against her shoulder, running fast enough to knock her out of the path, and held her sword arm tightly enough to keep her from blocking his attack, "Let her burn with her demon horde!"539Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡiYEP7Lmc4G
"Jessie!" Foce weakly held up her hand, and gave her a sad smile as she clutched the brim of her new hat, holding the hero's gaze until the light hit her and sent her rolling across the floor, falling through the roof that had lay outside the arc of pillars, revealing that part to be a fake.539Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡwoC2LDAsfC
"You cannot hope to save her now, I've weakened her substantially, she can't do anything that requires much strength, it's over for her now!" the sage shouted, as the hero inevitably broke his grip, "She's a vampire, I'm doing the world a favor, now we can work on recovering the priestesses! Agh...there's still her friends, I suppose."539Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFHBdQPPzwW
He went back down to wait for the other heroes arrival. 539Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡNf7OtVlqiq