~ Chapter 19: A battle of fire and ice (Part 1) ~
Looking at the strange fire tornado in front of me, I felt an immense pressure emanating from it. The Phoenix was certainly not your typical rooster, but at the same time, I highly doubted it was a bird similar to what mankind imagined. It was placed right between me and the dragonesses, effectively blocking my sight. There was only me and the Great Phoenix there. The bugs and trees around me didn’t count.
Still, something was way off.
The text of the skill said I was going to summon a Lightning Phoenix, while what I was looking at was a fire tornado. Last I checked, fire wasn’t the same as lightning, they were two, very different elements.
“Hm, you have a strange aura around you.” the Phoenix said, squinting those crystal eyes at me.
“Yeah, sorry… I might have stepped in something back there.” I laughed awkwardly and looked at the sole of my left foot.
“Mortal, do not joke with me!” the voice thundered around me.
“Yes, miss!” I nodded.
“Well, being able to summon one such as ME and actually forming a contract with me are two, VERY different things.” she explained.
“How so?” I asked furrowing my brow.
“The Phoenix is a mighty species that lives up in the skies, controlling the elements while being sheltered by the gods! Mortals like you have no right to summon us! For such an insult, I should burn you alive and send your soul to the bellows of this world where dark necromancers can feast on it until you vanish completely!” she threatened me.
“I would prefer you don’t do that… I bruise easily.” I smiled.
“Well, you do have a peculiar aura around you… It’s like all the gods of luck offered their blessings to you.” she said.
“I am sort of lucky…” I nodded.
“Sort of lucky? With that aura, even if I were to throw you in a battle between two gods of war, you would still come out unscratched!” she laughed.
“I see, well… I am in a battle right now. What do I have to do for that contract of yours?” I asked her.
“You do not seem to understand what an honor it is to even SEE me. If other mortals were in your position, they wouldn’t hesitate to grovel on the ground and praised me to the high heavens for simply bestowing them with the gracious opportunity of being in MY presence!” she declared with a high-and-mighty tone of voice.
“Is that a yes or a no? If you are of no use, then I can try to summon a Phoenix that can actually do something.” I said with a shrug.
Acting all humble and groveling on the ground in front of someone who was called out by a skill called [Lightning Chicken!] didn’t sound very praiseworthy to me.
“What?! What sort of mortal would dare to walk away from one such as ME?” she asked surprised.
“Plenty actually…” I nodded.
“Suit yourself… Let’s see now. How do I turn off this spell again?” I wondered while scratching the back of my head.
“Wait! Wait! Wait!” the chicken spoke.
“What?” I asked with a raised eyebrow.
“You are a very daring mortal, aren’t you? Maybe you really don’t understand how MIGHTY I really am! Even a dragon would tremble before me!” she told me.
“I’m friends with dragons and three of them are battling behind you.” I pointed out.
“What?” the tornado then turned around and looked at the struggling Kataryna, Kleo, and Seryanna. “I am in the Dragon Kingdom?” she asked surprised.
“Yes. Now, you can go. I’ll summon another Phoenix.” I said shooing her off.
“Wait!” she turned back at me “Ahem! About the contract, I think we can do something about it.” she spoke with a different tone of voice, a more… humble one?
“I’m listening.” I raised an eyebrow.
“Well, you have a very interesting aura, as I said. If you wish something good to happen to me, I’ll lend you my help. There are two wishes I request of you. Do so, and I will form the contract with you.” she declared.
“What sort of wishes?” I asked raising an eyebrow.
If she’s asking for world domination or world destruction, she’s out! I thought.
“They are very simple. First of all, wish for me to grow and evolve faster than any other Phoenix out there without actually going through the process of being reborn from own ashes.”
“Alright, and the next one?” I asked.
“Wish for me to win the Tournament of the Sacred Flame.”
“What’s that?” I asked furrowing my brow.
“It’s something that concerns only Phoenixes. A mortal like you has nothing to gain from it.” she told me.
“Alright… Well, it doesn’t sound so bad.” I shrugged, then I took a deep breath and said “I wish for… erm… what’s your name again?” I asked.
“My name is offered as part of the contract. Until you accept and fulfill your end of the bargain, I’m afraid I can’t give it.” she told me.
“OK, fair enough.” I scratched my head. “I wish for the one before me to grow and evolve much faster than any other Phoenix in existence without her needing to go through the process of being reborn from her own ashes or suffering any sort of backlash as a result of the process of her growth and evolution. I also wish for her to win the Tournament of the Sacred Flame without dying or suffering grave injuries.” I finished the two wishes, to which I added a few modifications of my own.
If I were to form a contract with this lightning chicken, then I had to make sure I didn’t summon her injured when I needed her. Those two wishes could hold a genuine death flag for her if applied incorrectly. The way she put it, she could end up winning the tournament, but maybe only with a sacrificial move of some kind.
“Not exactly as I said them, but very good nonetheless.” she said.
“They are better this way, trust me. So, what about your end of the bargain?” I asked.
“Of course! My name is Jophiel Thunderash! I am an Apprentice Phoenix with potential for three elements: fire, lightning, and light! From hence forth, I shall also be your familiar. Every time you summon me with that spell, I shall appear, but my will remains my own! If I do not approve of your desire, I will not listen to it!” she declared proudly.
The name was familiar to me. Thunderash was basically formed from the English words ‘thunder’ and ‘ash’ put together, but Jophiel was the name of the archangel of beauty. The name actually translated as the Beauty of God. As for why I knew this, praise the games with interesting lore to read! Thinking about that, I couldn’t help but imagine a stunning beauty wearing a thin silk garment, seductive and enchanting.
Nope! I have Seryanna! But looking and not touching is considered fair game! I shook my head to get the sexy image out of my head.
“Then I shall reveal myself to you~!” the voice was a bit seductive this time.
The fire tornado quickly diminished in strength until it vanished completely. In its stead, there was only a floating sphere of light of about 20 centimeters in diameter and at about 1 meter off the ground. Once the flames subsided, the sphere was lowered to the ground and then glowed brightly, forcing me to cover my eyes.
“What’s that?” asked Kataryna surprised.
“Did Alkelios do something?” Kleo asked.
“Ugh…” Seryanna tried to bear the light, but even she covered her eyes with her hand.
When it was over, I rubbed my eyes and looked down. I blinked surprised when I saw the so-called Phoenix standing before me. To be honest, I was expecting to see a gorgeous, sexy beauty, but what I was offered instead was a bird.
“I really summoned a stew?” I rubbed my eyes again, thinking that maybe I wasn’t seeing right.
“How rude!” the bird flew and pecked me on the head.
“Ouch! Cut it off! I just thought that you would be in human shape.” I complained.
The Phoenix sat on my head and threatened me with her beak.
“Why should I reveal my human shape to you? We have just formed a contract! Besides, you don’t have enough Magic Energy to keep me here in human form. This is the best you can do, so deal with it!” she then made a nest on top of my head and looked ahead proudly.
I felt like I really summoned a chicken… Well, it had a big, flowing tail similar to the long-tailed widowbird, the head of a golden pheasant, the wings of a hawk, and the general colors were a mix of bright red and gold. She was a beautiful bird that would certainly make any bird watcher simply gawk at her.
“So, I’m too weak to summon you in another form, I see…” I said while trying to keep my head still.
If I moved, her claws could end up leaving some nasty marks on my scalp.
“Of course! Now, what do you wish me to do?” she asked and then groomed some of her feathers.
“I’m sort of in a life-and-death battle? So, I need your help to defeat that dragoness.” I pointed at Kataryna.
“Hm?” Jophiel looked at her target. “She’s very strong. I can’t defeat her in this form.” she declared bluntly.
“I need you to help. Attack her with all of you’ve got!” I said.
“Very well. I will listen to this silly request of yours.” she nodded and then jumped off my head.
“Ouch! The claws! Watch the claws!” I complained as I felt my scalp sting.
“You big baby!” she scorned and then flew up in the sky.
I wish we can defeat Kataryna. I thought as I clenched my fists and stepped forward.
“To summon a Phoenix, impressive.” the dragoness said.
“I’m surprised you stood still and took our beating for so long.” Kleo remarked with a forced smile.
“I merely wished to see if that legendary beast would listen to him or not… but to think he is a human, interesting.” she said and then looked at me.
“A what now?” Kleo asked furrowing her brow.
When our eyes met, the silver-scaled dragoness licked the tip of her lips, and I got a chill running down my back.
“You will not touch Alkelios!” shouted Seryanna and moved between me and her.
“Hou? And what is he to you? A slave?” she asked.
“Alkelios is not my slave! He is…” before the dragoness could finish her words, Kleo replied.
“He’s my sister’s bed sharing buddy!” she grinned.
“KLEO!” shouted Seryanna.
“But you did sleep together, what’s the big deal?” she shrugged.
I could only blush foolishly.
Why doesn’t this feel like an actual life-and-death battle? I wondered.
“[Fire of the Abyss] [Hellstorm Tornado] [Sparks of the Gods]” Jophiel shouted as she came flying down from the sky.
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