~ Chapter 79: Zoreya versus The Darkness ~
[Shanteya's point of view]
Our current situation was... awful to say the least.
When we stepped on the battlefield prepared to fight against The Darkness, we all believed that we had all it took to defeat it and somehow or someway free Illsy from under his grasps, but the reality was a bit different from what we expected.
Illsyore was a Dungeon Lord. His body was that of a humanoid Dungeon. The Darkness was a gathering of memories and thoughts of the Dungeons constituting his body. In other words, we were not seen as wives from our point of view, but rather that of a Dungeon's. As for how they saw us... well, we were just tools used for mating, and they could do whatever they desired with us, while slaves were nothing but simple expendable pawns.
This didn't mean that we ended up abused or sexually assaulted by The Darkness, what it meant was that as soon as we appeared in front of him, in order to avoid any hassle or battle against us, he immediately absorbed us. That was it... no big confrontation, no elaborate speeches, no nothing. Just a simple: Ah! You are here. Absorb.
As a former assassin, I felt terrible about having forgotten about this peculiar ability of Illsy's. He hadn't used it on us for such a long time that it simply... slipped my mind. Nanya and Ayuseya weren't doing any better regarding this little detail either. Just like me, they also forgot about it. Or more specifically, Nanya didn't even believe she would be absorbed against her will. Apparently it wasn't something a Dungeon was supposed to be able to do.
I knew that we weren't perfect, and just like anyone else, we could make mistakes of the most ridiculous kind even in the most crucial of times, but I never expected it to happen to us. Now, all four of us ended up trapped in Illsy's Inner Mind.
With our arms and legs wrapped all the way up to our elbows and knees in the dark substance that made out this place, we were unable to move or cast magic. All we could do was talk and look around us.
The good part about all of this was that we were not that far away from our beloved Illsyore. Unlike us, he was floating in front of a portal of sorts that showed the outside world. From my angle, I couldn't really see anything, but Nanya could, since she was a bit farther to my left.
What mattered for us right now was that Illsy was here. We could see him, we could feel his presence, we knew it was him, but we also realized that something was definitely wrong with him. Although he looked the same as he did before his body was taken over by The Darkness, and a warm light covered his current aspect, there were strange black chains shackling his arms, legs, and neck. What was very weird was the fact that those chains were stretching out around him, then connected to his back, right between his shoulder blades.
The darkness of this place couldn't even come near to just like it couldn't completely cover us...
“I really don't get it... Why doesn't he look at us? Why can't he hear us when we call him?” Nanya asked in frustration.
Indeed, ever since we were absorbed by The Darkness almost a week ago, we all tried to catch his attention one way or another, but it was as though we were invisible to him. We couldn't release our Magic Energy either, so we were pretty much useless in here.
“Maybe it's like Ayuseya said, and The Darkness interferes somehow. If it was me, I would not have hesitated to do so.” I said and then let out a sigh.
“Even so... we must keep trying and trying... There's nothing else we can do... Maybe something will change... maybe a miracle will happen.” Ayuseya said in a low tone of voice.
In this situation, I hated being right, but that was the truth.
If The Darkness could control everything in here, then it was very likely that it could also control the sound of voices... worse even, it could change what Illsy heard. Of this, I was most afraid...
[Illsyore's point of view]
Shanteya, Ayuseya, Nanya, and even Tamara... they were all here, inside this vast darkness. They had been captured with ease, but then again, as my wives, it was very unlikely that they would have been able to fight against my physical self. The laws that governed Dungeons were quite different from those normally known by them.
Even so, the moment they entered, these words came out of their mouths. At the very least, I thought that they weren't going to be like this. To hear Nanya shout 'you monster' and Ayuseya 'murderer' was pretty terrible, but hearing Shanteya tell me how much she regretted becoming my wife was an unrecoverable blow.
I simply wished to just disappear... to vanish, but these chains kept me in place, kept me staring at the outside world.
Ah~ The Darkness was terrible... Why didn't it just let me go? Why did it kept on torturing me like this? I didn't know... I didn't... but I wanted it all to stop. I wanted to apologize to my wives. I wanted to beg for forgiveness for all the suffering I had caused... and then die, so I could leave this place in peace...
But instead of this, I was going to get to see another tragedy... Zoreya now stood before The Darkness, carrying Melkuth's Shield, wielding in one hand a long sword, and holding a determined look in her eyes.
I didn't want to see her die for nothing... I was a lost cause, and I didn't wish to see her suffer as well, so I prayed to her god or whoever listened to stop this nonsense and help her.
[Zoreya's point of view]
Chasing after The Darkness was no easy feat. That monster was capable of traversing long distances in the blink of an eye. It was clear that before coming out he withheld a LOT of Illsyore's true power. At best, I would say that he never displayed more than 30% of his full potential. That being said, I began to worry about my upcoming confrontation.
Alas, I had the blessing of Melkuth, the God of War. There was no way I would think that I would lose in front of The Darkness or anyone else for that matter.
Two days after I left the Temple of War and after witnessing the devastation, destruction, and slaughter The Darkness brought upon the innocents of this world, I finally stood face to face with this living calamity.
My shield was ready. My heart was steady. My arm was strong. My weapon was sharp. My resolution was firm. My god, Melkuth, was with me, and I had nothing to lose anymore... It was now or never...
“Illsyore! I've come to help you!” I shouted at the top of my lungs.
“Help me? Oh, but why?” The Darkness spoke.
I glared at this monster who took over the body of the man I yearned for.
“Aren't you a bit too... serious if you want to help little ol' me?” he grinned to the tip of his ears, but that one jade-green eyes of his was crying.
“I said Illsyore, not you... The Darkness.” I stated clearly.
Immediately, he changed his expression from a mocking smile to a serious one.
“Oh? How interesting. Can you do anything to stop... this?” as he said so, he lifted his hand up to the left.
In that direction was the city of Tuer. One of the most modest settlements in the Tesuar Kingdom and also a place where only humble craftsmen and Beginner Ranked adventurers gathered. Even so, in that place, at that time, several Master Rank and above adventurers were in the midst of preparing a full-on against The Darkness.
It happened in but a moment, but a powerful beam of red light flew out of his hand and struck the outer wall of the city, going through all of its Magic Enchantments like they were nothing. With a slight movement of his wrist, the whole city was cut in half by this beam of light.
I could only imagine the devastation, the destruction, the pain, the suffering, and death all the people in that city were currently experiencing, but The Darkness didn't stop there... No, several spears of liquid fire formed and were cast at that location. When they touched the crumbling buildings, they released a torrent of fire, burning and melting anything that stood in its way.
From the distance I was at, I was unable to do a thing. No, even if I had tried, I would have been able to reach or stop it time. The city and its population of several thousands of citizens... vanished.
“You will pay for this.” I squinted my eyes at him.
“What? HAHAHA!” he burst into a loud laughter.
I took the opening and jumped at him, slashing my sword at his chest. He dodged it and flew to the left.
Yes, he flew with Wind Magic, he didn't jump.
“Pathetic Apostle of a pathetic god, who do you think can stop me?” he asked with a mocking laughter.
“Illsyore.” I replied immediately.
“What? Are you mad? That piece of waste can't do anything against me!” he shouted back.
I wonder about that... I thought as I gazed up at his jade-green eye, which was crying and looking at me confused.
Was Illsyore listening to all of this? Was he hearing my words?
Maybe, but there was a chance The Darkness could be manipulating him to witness only what he wanted, therefore, I had to get my message through without our common enemy noticing.
“Really? Why do you think so?” I replied with a question.
“Because he is a pathetic coward! A weakling! A nothing!” he shouted back.
“Is he?” I tilted my head to the left. “When I traveled with you, Illsyore, I never saw you as a weakling... but instead as someone with monstrous strength. You acted like a monster during that time I was with you, didn't you? In the village, in the forest, in the city, everywhere we went, you acted like a monster, didn't you?” I asked.
A question to which I hoped to stir Illsyore's true memories, those of a kindhearted human.
“Hahaha! See! Even this whore is mocking you!” shouted The Darkness.
“I'm mocking you Illsy because I care for you...” I told him, and my cheeks turned red.
“What? Hahaha! Did you hear that?! She's twisted!” The Darkness laughed, but now I understood that he was indeed hearing me.
However, what this monster didn't know was that Illsyore, the human with a heart, had stopped crying.
“You asked me to kill you, but I didn't... That was only because I was selfish and wanted you.” I said, omitting some words and praying the whole message got through.
“What?” The Darkness put on a frown “What foolishness do you speak off? Ah~ It matters not... I'll just kill you.” he smirked and pointed his left palm towards me.
The beam fired, but as I got ready to stop the attack from hitting me... something happened. He missed.
“What?” he looked at his hand confused.
On his arm, I noticed that several of the dark streaks covering it had turned white, and his hand was shaking.
“Bah! Foolishness!” The Darkness said and simply shook his hand to get rid of the change.
The jade-green eye closed for a moment as if it suffered from something.
In that moment, I jumped at him with full force, slamming my shield into his chest and shouting at the top of my lungs. “ILLSY!”
The jade-green eye opened and looked straight at me.
“Fight.” I told him with a firm look in my eyes.
“Get off of me!” shouted The Darkness as he tossed me to the left as if I was nothing, but I stopped myself from taking a nasty fall and landed on my feet.
Looking up at him, he was groaning and holding his head for a moment.
“Idiotic...” he grumbled then shook his head.
With an annoyed look on his face, The Darkness jumped at me, but he was met with the repulsive wave of my shield. He was sent flying back several tens of meters. After he recovered, he aimed his palm at me again and let loose one of those terrifying beams of light. It was met with my shield, in which I poured Melkuth's Divine Energy.
“Ugh!” I groaned as I felt myself being pushed back, but the shield was properly dispersing the beam that earlier annihilated a whole city.
“I will kill you!” shouted The Darkness.
While I used my strength to keep the beam at bay, I focused Magic Energy in my sword and with the tip of it, I launched several spears of ice at him. The skill's name was [Jagged Ice Spear].
Noticing the attack, he stopped the beam and jumped out of the way. The ground froze over where the spears landed. Magic cast by those of my rank were quite fierce as they were, but mine were also infused with Melkuth's Divine Energy, allowing them to easily shred through Magic Armor. The downside was that I could only replenish it through my pious prayer as an Apostle. Meaning that after this battle, all of Melkuth's blessing and Divine Energy would be gone from my body... As a result, I would die.
Even so, this simple attack wasn't a waste. If I didn't infuse it, The Darkness wouldn't have budged a single millimeter, but like this, I was granted enough time to cast a [Reflective Barrier] on myself and rush towards him with my sword covered in a thin [Slash Barrier].
“Why you...” he shot an [Infernal Glacier] at me, but thanks to my barrier, it was sent flying into nearby hills.
Powerful explosions were heard to my left and right as I aimed my sword to cut his chest.
He stopped the sword with both hands before it touched him, but in doing so, his Magic Armor weakened considerably.
“[Radiating Wave of Light]” I said and activated the skill.
My body emanated a powerful blinding light, forcing him to close his eyes. In that moment, I changed the [Slash Barrier] on my sword with a [Shockwave Release]. Just as the name says, it sent a powerful shock wave towards him. Unable to defend from it, The Darkness was sent crushing into the ground, creating a huge crater around himself.
I applied another [Shockwave Release], but this time without a dampening effect on myself. This resulted into sending me flying towards him. Using a [Slash Barrier] on the sword, I aimed it at his chest, but in that split second, he managed to move to the side. It was just enough to avoid himself getting pierced, but it still caused a nasty cut on his left arm. His muscles were cut all the way to the bone, causing him to bleed intensely.
“ARGH! You injured me, you shikak!” he shouted at me, insulting me, but I cared not.
“Fight against it, Illsyore!” I took this moment of his confusion to send another message to the one trapped inside of him.
“You'll die before he will even think about raising a finger against me!” he shouted.
I didn't believe him and released another shock wave towards him, pushing back a little. He blocked the attack with one hand, but that was all I needed as I lifted my hand up.
“You know, I'm not a Supreme for nothing.” I told him with a smirk.
In that moment, I released my Supreme Skill.
“[Barrier of Annulment]!” I shouted and the spell I had stored up inside of me was released.
A large purple dome was created all around us. It was large enough to cover even the entirety of the capital of Aunnar Kingdom, but this had a very special property to it. As long as you were inside it, you couldn't get out until I was dead. At the same time, neither of us could use Magic Armor, Spells, Magic Enchantments, Curses, anything related to Magic Energy outside the body, including some Buffs and Boosts. If you tried, the Magic Energy was simply absorbed by the barrier and strengthened further.
Brute force, plain armor, and sharp weapons ruled over magic inside this dome.
That was why I wore heavy plate armor, and with my Shield of Melkuth, which was immune to this effect because it didn't use Magic Energy, I became an unstoppable force.
I often believed myself to be nearly invincible in this place, however, I failed to notice one thing about Illsyore's body...
“What did you do?!” shouted The Darkness as it released a beam attack on me.
It was far weaker than the one before, lacking the Magic Energy Enhancement property from before, but it was still fearful.
Indeed, his beams were not a Magic Spell...
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
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