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    The Last Spell

    Shane Stern
    Shane Stern

    Lineage : Super Soldier
    Posts : 789
    Guild : Rune Knights
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 623,530

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Plus Ultra
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    The Last Spell Empty The Last Spell

    Post by Shane Stern 9th April 2019, 12:47 am

    B-rank Free Form

    It was late at night, the moon in the middle of the dark night sky, giving light through a small window in the bare room. A very light and translucent curtain, more decorative than functional, fluttered softly in the wind, a light breeze keeping the room cool. A chair was positioned right next to where the moonlight shone upon, in the shadows. Sitting on that chair was a silver-haired mage, a Sky Demon Slayer. Shane Stern.

    Shane, with a look of exhaustion, watched the slumbering blue-haired female as he sat in the chair by her beside. It wasn’t a peaceful rest for her, as she kept twitching every now and then, her expression scrunched up. Nightmares. The silver-haired mage thought about it for a few seconds and extended his hand to hold her left hand, gripping it in a soft yet reassuring grip. The fitful sleep continued on for a few more minutes, until the expression on Selene’s face softened, finally easing into a more serene slumber.

    As he watched her neutral expression, Shane wondered how different she looked compared to when she was awake. He could even imagine himself falling for her as he observed her. In contrast to her current state, Selene was a hardboiled Sky Demon Slayer. The two of them were both Demon Slayers of the same element, disciples of the Goddess of the Hunt, High Lady Adrasteia. A true Sky Demon Slayer herself, Adrasteia commanded an all-female group of highly trained and proficient of Sky Demon Slayers, which she called the Valkyries.

    Third strongest among the Valkyries, Selene had always held some level of distrust for Shane, a latter addition to the team as an honorary member. He was the sole member of the Valkyries that was a male, and also the last male to allowed entry. Seeking greater strength, Shane had sought out the High Lady’s tutelage and in return for his original magic, he had been taught the Sky Demon Slayer magic. And during the test to see if he had really mastered the magic, Shane had defeated Selene in direct combat.

    As he thought about how far he had come, Shane slowly dozed off, Selene’s hand still in his as his head drooped and his eyes closed.

    Daylight hit them in four hours, with Selene being the first to wake. Her waking up wasn’t lazy or relaxed in any manner. Eyes snapping wide upon, the female Demon Slayer immediately sat upright and looked at her surroundings. She looked down at her clothes, finding herself armor-less, dressed only in her undershirt and leggings. Her head turned around swiftly, and quickly found her disassembled armor to one corner of the room, placed upon a three-seater.

    Her sudden movement had roused Shane, her male counterpart opening his eyes blearily, slowly coming into focus to see Selene’s lavender eyes fixing him with a piercing gaze. The two of them exchanged a glance before looking down to the bedside. A tinge of red crept up onto Selene’s pale cheeks as she quickly withdrew her hand, her eyes wide as she kept it trained on the sheets covering her lower body. Shane, trying his best to make the situation less awkward, stood up from his chair and walked over to a small table and poured a glass of water before returning to Selene’s bedside. He handed it over to her, with a cheerful, “Good morning!”

    Selene lifted her head up and nodded stiffly, not adjusting well. She took a gulp before setting it down by her bedside table. And everything hit her all at once. Once again riled up, the blue-haired Demon Slayer went into her female warrior mode and looked at Shane in the eye again.
    “How long was I out?” was the first question she asked.

    “Few hours. After you summoned me, I saw you heavily injured and brought you over to the village. We are in the village doctor’s house right now,” Shane answered. He adjusted himself in his seat. “Tell me, what actually happened? How did you even summon me? Where’s the rest?”

    Selene clutched Shane’s hand again, this time in a very strong grip. “The Lady. She’s been captured along with the rest of the Valkyrie! It’s that demon, he set it up! We were trapped! The High Lady gave me the power to summon you!”

    He patted Selene’s hand that was gripping his wrist with a vice-like grip, trying to calm her down. “You need to give me more details. Take your time.”

    Taking in a deep breath, Selene closed her eyes for a few seconds before opening them again, looking back at Shane.

    “We were tipped off that there was a Wind Demon in the area of Ares Mountains. The High Lady led us towards Ares Mountains. Our informant told us that the Demon was currently injured and nursing his wounds in an abandoned castle. However, when we finally arrived, the entire abandoned castle was lit up and an ancient seal in the ground pulsed to life, creating a barrier around the entire castle. Apparently we had walked right into a trap. A Demon, not a Sky Demon but an Ocean Demon, ambushed us. We tried to escape but was stopped by a God Slayer, a Flame God Slayer.”

    “And that’s when you managed to escape and summon me? How did you summon me? What about Krystal and Angel? Why did they even want to capture the High Lady?” Shane asked after a moment of thought. He had just completed a job, still dressed in his combat garb when he had been unwittingly summoned towards Selene, a very physically demanding form of movement that had resulted in him almost vomiting the moment his feet were back on solid ground. However, when he had arrived, he had managed to hold it back, the first thing he saw was Selene, backed up against a tree in a sitting position. Her eyes were fluttering between consciousness and unconsciousness, her body covered in blood.

    Shane had immediately picked up and made his way to the nearest village he could find, a grueling ten mile walk with a fully armored girl in his arms before he found one. It was lucky the village doctor had been kind enough to treat Selene in the dead of the night and allowed to take one patient room.

    Selene’s expression sank and she dropped her head again, looking at her sheets. Her voice was strangled when it came out.

    “Krystal and Angel… were killed by the Flame God Slayer. The High Lady, despite captured in the barrier, was still able to exert her powers before being completely contained and tried to open up a way for us to escape. Krystal and Angel tried to fight off the Flame God Slayer and Ocean Demon but they were completely overwhelmed. The High Lady managed to transfer the summoning spell to me. It’s an exclusive spell that only she could use, to summon us through the Demon Hunter seal. She hoped that I would be able to summon you, hoping that you would be able to do something. They wanted the High Lady for her powers, to perform a ritual on the full moon three days from now.”

    Shane leant back into his chair, causing it to emit a squeaking sound in protest of his sudden movement. Krystal and Angel had been the two strongest Valkyries after Adrasteia, and they had been killed by a Flame God Slayer and an Ocean Demon. He believed that his Sky Demon Slayers would be somewhat effective against an Ocean Demon, but he had never fought a God Slayer before. And would his power even come close to matching theirs in combat? The silver-haired mage brought up his right hand, fingers on his brows as he tried to think.

    They had three days, good enough for Selene to recover. He wanted to come up with a plan but he was drawing a blank. Would there be any way they could sneak into the castle undetected? With the two strongest Valkyries dead and Selene injured, they might think that there was no one else to interrupt their plans and let their guard down. Selene looked at Shane intently as the silver-haired mage was lost in his thoughts. And then suddenly Shane dropped his hand and looked at her with a reassuring smile.

    “Anyway there’s still three days till the full moon. Rest first and let your wounds recover. I’ll go get food,” he said before rising out of his chair and walked out of the room.

    Over the next three days, in preparation for their attack on the castle where Adrasteia was being held along with the Valkyries, Shane and Selene were both busy with their both preparations. Selene, knowing a fair measure of healing magic, had cast it at a slow and steady rate on her body, speeding up the regeneration of her wounds. By the second day, she had regained full mobility and were doing work out to straighten out her knotted muscles. She did all of it in her full armor, getting herself in the proper state of mind.

    Although not admitting it, Shane could see that Krystal and Angel’s death, the two main pillars of the Valkyries who acted as the Vice Commanders, had shaken her. Shane himself was also a little affected, every once in a while, thinking how the two of them would succeed in what the two had failed to accomplish. However, he pushed it all out of his mind as he prepared himself for the upcoming battle as well. It would very well push him to the limits of his mastery of his Sky Dragon Slayer magic.

    On the final night, five hours before midnight, the two Demon Slayers were standing at the door of the castle where their master was trapped. Shane and Selene, exchanged a look with each other. The two of them nodded and then as lightly as a breeze, Selene disappeared. Shane was left standing at the front gates to the castle alone. It was all part of the plan. The silver-haired mage would storm the castle, bearing massive risks while Selene would sneak off into the castle and try to rescue the Mistress while Shane was causing chaos.

    It was the only way, Shane continued to tell himself since only Selene knew the way to the containment chamber. With a deep breath, Shane extended his right arm to the side and with a sudden drop in temperature, ice began to form around his arm, layer over layer until it was a gigantic gauntlet. Effortlessly pulling it back, the Sky Demon Slayer then lunged and punched forward into the great castle doors. The wooden planks arranged vertically to make up the door didn’t even stand a chance, their integrity already weakened by years of exposure to rain and sun.

    The entire door blew apart from the force of the punch, creating an explosion of broken planks and chips as Shane walked through the door.

    “That ought to get their attention,” Shane muttered to himself, just a second before a torrent of water shot in his direction. “Burst!”

    Shane blasted off to one side of the open courtyard, just as the scalding stream of water hit where he stood, the pressure behind it so immense that a crater was created upon impact. His eyes widened a little at the show of strength, remembering that this could only come from the Ocean Demon. And sure enough, he presented himself shortly after.

    “You ant! Explain yourself!” the demon roared gutturally, as he appeared on a seething blob of water. The Ocean Demon was a merman, upper half demon and bottom half fish. He had no legs, and instead of slithering on the ground with his lower body like a snake, he floated on a mass of water. His upper body was immensely muscular, the skull of a large snake used as a shoulder guard on his left while his right, free of any protective armor, held a rusted spear shaft with a glowing spearhead in orange hues.

    The entirety of the Ocean Demon was mottled grey with specks of blue. His head was bald, with two glowing eyes the same color as his spear and with two horns on his head. From the broken stub on the left side of his head, Shane could guess that there were originally three, two on each sides and one in the middle. Now there was only the right and middle horn left.

    “I’m a Demon Slayer, and I heard there was a demon holing up here,” Shane replied. “I’m here to rid this place of the pest.”

    The Ocean Demon snarled at being called a pest, revealing rows of crooked and dirty sharp teeth. Without warning, the Ocean Demon aimed his spear at Shane and fired off another blast of water in the latter’s direction as he roared, “You call me pest?!”
    Already prepared, Shane threw himself to the side and out of the water’s path…

    … to be thrown back against the stone walls by a blast of flames, the impact cracking even the stone walls behind him. Shocked, Shane dropped to one knee, head looking to where the blast of fire had come from. What he saw was a human, clad entirely in fire. His features were obscured by the twisting shadows of the flames and the flames itself but one thing Shane could see for sure was the arrogant smirk on the man’s face. The Flame God Slayer that Selene had mentioned.

    He was now caught between a rock and hard place, but at least Shane knew his plan had worked. At least he got their attention while Selene was free to locate Adrasteia.

    “Who’s this, Jue?” the young voice of the Flame God Slayer asked nonchalantly, walking on the ground beside the Ocean Demon.

    “He says he’s a Demon Slayer,” Jue growled in return, his eyes still locked on Shane. By then, Shane had already dusted himself off and stood up.

    “So there’s a human here too?” Shane asked, pretending he hadn’t known about the God Slayer’s existence. “Are the two of you collaborating on something bad?”

    The Flame God Slayer laughed wildly and then eyed Shane.

    “You really are at the wrong place and the wrong time, fellow Slayer,” the Flame God Slayer replied, and then to the Ocean Demon, “Kill him and be done with it please.”

    “Gladly,” Shane replied instead, catching the Ocean Demon off guard, as he lunged forward, wind began to trail around his right arm. The moment he was within the Ocean Demon’s striking range, Shane leapt up into the air before swinging his right arm, sending out three claws of wind, slicing through the air unhindered towards the Ocean Demon. The latter snorted and returned with a similar attack of his, swiping above him with his claws as a wave of water followed the path. The cutting wind blades actually cut through the water but the energy from it had already been dispersed.

    Spinning his spear, the Ocean Demon thrust forward with it, the spearhead barely touching Shane but the latter was completely thrown up into the air from the blast of water that ensued. It hit like a hammer, knocking the breath out of him as he tumbled skyward. Three balls of water appeared around Jue, speeding off towards Shane mere seconds later, colliding with him one after another, juggling him in the air. Disoriented, the Sky Demon Slayer dropped out of the air, head first. But it wasn’t that easy to take him down.

    He held out his left palm and shot out a burst of wind from it, immediately arresting his fall as he neared the ground and just as easily flipped upright. The moment he touched the ground, Shane was dashing forward again, right hand extended to one side creating five shurikens of ice with a sweep of his hand and sending them flying forward with another. The other arm was amassing a great amount of ice before sweeping forward, sending a spiraling disc of ice to attack the Ocean Demon from his right side.

    While the Ocean Demon was busy fending off the simultaneous attacks on both sides, Shane stamped on the ground particularly hard. He watched while the Ocean Demon managed to deflect the five ice shurikens with his spear while blasting out a gush of water from his mouth with a roar, not expecting a third attack to have been launched a few seconds later.

    Without warning, the Ocean Demon was thrust up into the air, thrown upwards by the colossal spike of ice that jutted from the ground beneath him. The giant ice spike, with many smaller spikes branching off it, struck the Demon squarely in his tail, unobstructed by the mass of water carrying him, as it drew blood. A massive amount of it. Blood spilled to the ground as if rain, and the Ocean Demon stayed where he was, pierced through the tail and now hanging off the spike by the tail.

    The Ocean Demon raged in pain, as five hounds of white ice rushed from the base of the ice spike and ran vertically upwards, charging into the Ocean Demon one after another. The third one managed to knock the Ocean Demon off the tip of the ice spike into the air with its charge, with the fourth and fifth one leaping off the pinnacle of the spike and ramming into the Demon in the air. The Flame God Slayer having neared the inner castle turned around to watch his partner in crime soaring through the air and crashing heavily into the ground, half of his body coated in a layer of ice.

    His eyes, wide with shock, watched the Ocean Demon’s struggling form and then shifted it to Shane. Who, at the moment, was walking calmly towards the Ocean Demon with a spear made out of ice in his hand. Without a shred of mercy, Shane held the spear up in the air, spearhead aimed down and stabbed it downwards with so much strength that it pierced into the ground and keeping the Ocean Demon in place.

    An otherworldly scream tore through the air as blood pooled around the Ocean Demon, before crusting over in ice. Shane knelt down beside the Ocean Demon and whispered to him. “I hope you enjoy this.”

    When he was done, Shane stood back up, conjuring a large broadsword of ice in his right hand. The Flame God Slayer watched silently as the silver-haired mage put his left hand to the hilt, held the broadsword high above his head and let it drop to the ground. The sword shattered the moment it hit the ground, but not before accomplishing its task. The two-horned head of the Ocean Demon rolled away, completely disconnected from its body, a stream of blood between it and its body.

    And then Shane was blown off his feet again by a stream of flames, the width of the stream enough to engulf him entirely. Shane was thrown the entire length of the courtyard, once again slamming into the stone walls. A strangled shout of pain left his mouth as he slid to the ground, head down. He was huffing and panting, body trembling from the pain. This was the second time he had been shot down with flames, minor burns beginning to take form on his skin. He put his hand to the back of his head and it came back wet. He didn’t have to see it to know it was blood.

    He held his head up to see the Flame God Slayer walking towards him. He held black flames in his hands, moving forward with a purposeful stride and a determined look in his eyes. Startled, Shane picked himself up, posture straight.

    “An Ice Demon Slayer huh?” the Flame God Slayer said scornfully before throwing two balls of black flames towards Shane. “I will melt it all!”

    Affording a smirk, Shane dashed forward, diving low as the twin balls of flames missed by him millimeters and suddenly sped up. He had used Burst, rocketing himself forward with a blast of wind to his back and chained it into his Sky Demon’s Swallow Slash: Storm, both arms crossed in front of his chest when he finally came to a sliding stop behind the Flame God Slayer. The Flame God Slayer, a black-haired young man around the age of mid-twenties, was caught stock still by Shane’s sudden acceleration, leaving him victim to a sudden burst of cutting wind blades all around him.

    "Sorry, I'm a Sky Demon Slayer."

    Drops of blood spilled around him, as he stumbled forward from the sudden multi-directional assault. One particular wind blade had cut him across the left cheek, leaving a deep wound. The Flame God Slayer turned around slowly to face Shane, who was already preparing his next move. But whatever he had prepared would pale in comparison to what the Flame God Slayer did next. With a powerful roar, twin wings of flames erupted from his back, still the same sinister black hue.

    “You shall suffer my wrath,” he growled in a guttural voice, and the next second he was beside Shane. A series of explosive punches riddled his abdomen, a few cracking sounds audible over the explosions. The final blow sent Shane flying away again, this time ending with a roll on the ground before he twisted himself to land on his knees. Blood was dripping out of his mouth, and his vision blurred. Every breath felt like a knife to his sides, a result of the three broken ribs. Two on the left and one on the right.

    Breathing laboriously through his mouth, the silver-haired mage stood back up with difficulty, only to be knocked off his feet by a titanic quake that shook the entire castle. The entire castle was ripped apart, completely destroyed as two winged figures rocketed out of the ruins. Both of them were a blur, one white and one yellow. The two figures continued colliding against one another, and with each collision, thunder would rumble and hurricanes would form. It was truly a battle of god-like proportions.

    “Well done, Selene.”

    Shane smiled despite his injuries, easily guessing who the white blur was. Selene’s rescue operation had been a success while his ass had been kicked up down left and right. His relief was cut short as another blaze flew towards him, to which Shane rolled back and swiped his hand at the air before him. Three balls of winds appeared in a horizontal line before his face and expanded into a large transparent shield against the black flames.

    “Not enough!” the God Slayer screamed as he charged forward. When he was less than ten meters in front of Shane, the latter waved both arms upwards, palms up. The wind responded by circling around the God Slayer and shot him upwards with a blast, temporarily displacing him while Shane prepared his next spell. He held his left arm up, fist tight as six arrows of wind came into existence, releasing themselves towards the God Slayer as though let loose from a bow.

    Six arrows of wind impacted themselves into the God Slayer one after another, throwing him out of the air. It was more than enough to stun the guy. Shane moved quickly and leapt up into the air, wanting to finish the fight early. He came back down with Mountain Breaker, an axe-kick reinforced with a great mass of wind around his striking leg. His black-haired opponent caught the attack with his left arm and howled in pain as Shane’s heel broke his forearm.

    A hasty blast of black flames from his opponent’s mouth, shielded by the second wind sphere, carried enough force to knock Shane into the air allowing him to right himself and land on his feet. He winced as he landed. The God Slayer had got back on his feet and was again charging at him. He was berserker, and his fierceness further augmented by the black flames of his command. As he approached, not one but seven projectiles of black flames, trailing smoke behind them flew in his direction as well.

    Shane heaved a large breath and began molding the wind around him with his arms, preparing to use his barrier of wind when each of the seven projectiles were completely shot down. Surprised, Shane looked to where the attacks had come from, and was glad to see the Valkyries arrive. Selene, slightly injured, limped to his side, watching the remaining Valkyries take over the fight with the Flame God Slayer.

    “You look a little beat up, Vice Commander,” the blue-haired girl said with a smirk, despite her own injuries. With Krystal and Angel gone, the two of them were unofficially bumped up to take the two vacant leading positions.

    “You look well too, Vice Commander,” Shane replied jokingly. But his expression turned serious when he watched the ensuing fight between the Flame God Slayer and the rest of the Valkyries. With their number advantage, they were slowly tightening the net on the Flame God Slayer leaving him with lesser and lesser space to maneuver until he completely buckled under the onslaught of their attacks. Shane watched on, as one of the members, Erin, brandished a sword and with a single, decisive thrust, stabbed through the Flame God Slayer’s chest.

    The black-haired mage’s expression stiffened as the cold steel ran entirely through his chest, exiting through his back. And he locked gazes with Shane, eyes burning with hatred before his legs lost strength and he buckled, hidden from view by the figures of the Valkyries surrounding him. What was finally the disastrous situation finally coming to a close was suddenly disrupted as a loud voice, thunder-like, rumbled high above them.

    “Even if I die, I shall bring your minions down with me, Adrasteia!”

    Shane turned his head up to watch a bolt of lightning, taking the form of an eastern dragon, descending upon them with its maw wide open. It was huge, and could easily engulf the entire courtyard. The silver-haired mage’s eyes then flicked towards the other approaching figure, a white-winged goddess dressed in red armor racing the lightning dragon through the air. But it was obvious she was losing the race. Her expression was one of dread and horror.

    Gulping, Shane closed his eyes and dragged up an old memory of Adrasteia. In it, she was fighting against a dragon. The dragon’s attack was pitiful to say the least against the Goddess of the Hunt. Every attack was sliced apart with the wind she commanded. And it remained that way, the dragon being slowly overwhelmed until it finally decided for an all or nothing blow. Mustering all of the magical power it had, the dragon, a Shadow Dragon, had cast an all-out attack on Adrasteia that would completely ravage the entire area around them.

    And channeling her own deep recesses of power, the High Lady had amassed so much wind that Shane felt the air go thin, and utterly dispersed the very magical energy in the Shadow Dragon’s final attack with a gust of god-like proportions.

    When Shane’s eyes opened again, every single stream of wind was in his control, his magic power snaking wildly across the entire castle grounds, grasping every bit of air that his magic could reach. A cough came and with it blood, as he stumbled backwards, still on his feet. This was a magic beyond what he could control, a spell of desperation, enabled only by his unwillingness to die and the desire to protect his fellow disciples. His eyes were completely bloodshot, the pressure of maintaining the spell, requiring every ounce of concentration he could muster.

    And with an inhumane roar, the silver-haired mage would swing his arms upwards, twin coiling streams of wind, equal in size to the lightning dragon descending upon them, ascended into the sky and clashed with the lightning dragon head on. The recoil of the spell hit him hard as Shane crumpled to the ground, the spiraling streams of wind merging to take on the form of a large dragon rearing its head.

    The resulting clash of magic power threw the entire courtyard into disarray, the pressure so massive that not a single one of the ground were left standing. And as quickly as how it began, the two ‘dragons’ completely canceled out each other. Even Adrasteia had been blown off, being the closest to the point of collision, albeit managing to stabilize herself and flying back up to end the Lightning Demon Slayer after a quick glance towards the ground.

    Shane woke up to find many faces looking down at him. His head was wrecked with a very terrible headache. Every breath was like being stabbed with multiple knives at the same time, and trying to move his arms almost caused him to black out. Somebody propped him up, supporting his back into a sitting position. And he saw the state of his arms. As the conduit for the magic cast, the strain of holding the entire spell intact and then the recoil had torn his arms apart from the inside out.

    The amount of blood told him all he needed to know but two Valkyries were already casting their healing magic on his arms. He could see his wounds visibly closing up, leaving only scars and then scabs. The two of them played the role of field medics during normal hunts, and were highly proficient, repairing his arms to a state as good as new.

    But those were only for his external wounds. His broken ribs would remain untreated until they could get to a hospital.

    “Shane Stern,” the authoritative voice of the High Lady said as she came into view. As usual, it was an impassive expression. “Did you know what you just accomplished?”

    Wearily, Shane replied, “I just saved everyone.”

    “And cost yourself the Sky Demon Slayer magic while doing so,” Adrasteia said as she shook her head, and for once, Shane saw the crack in her expression. It was frustration. The rest of the Valkyries, together with Shane, were confused by her words.

    “Mistress, what do you mean?” Selene asked from behind Shane. She was the one propping him up.

    “That spell Shane used, while impressive, was way above his magical capabilities. Our magic grows with us, according to the state of our body. With that one move, Shane completely banked out on his Sky Demon Slayer magic’s essence, going beyond what would be possible and fueled only by adrenaline and desperation. That one move, was your last move as a Sky Dragon Slayer. I can no longer sense the Demon Slayer magic in you.”

    The other Valkyries, Selene included, gasped in shock, some of them clutching their chests and some cupping their hands over their mouths. But Shane was indifferent as he looked at Adrasteia. He opened his mouth to speak.

    “Then so be it. It was great while it lasted, but at least we accomplished what we came here to do.”

    “While we mourn for Krystal and Angel, you and Selene are now officially the new Vice Commanders of the Valkyries. And for what it’s worth, Shane, even without your Sky Demon Slayer magic, you will still hold that post. I won’t remove the tattoo, and we shall call upon you as one of us whenever the need arises.”

    “I appreciate that,” Shane said with a nod. As a final surprise, Adrasteia summoned a katana out of nowhere and passed it to the Shane with a knowing look on her face. “Take this. You will love it.”

    [5295 words]


      Current date/time is 27th May 2023, 7:59 pm