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    An unlikely rivalry


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    Lineage : The Eternal Hex
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    An unlikely rivalry Empty An unlikely rivalry

    Post by Kuro 22nd November 2019, 5:04 am

    Kuro Rakshasa B-Rank

    The already quiet footsteps were even more suppressed by the light drizzle, the small droplets making the dirt road rather muddy. Thankfully Kurome anticipated such weather, her outfit much less provocative than normal and instead oriented toward practicality and warding off the unpleasant elements. Although she still wasn’t looking forward to cleaning up the muddied boots once she was home.

    Perhaps she’d have one of her undead servants do it for her? She was used to utilizing them for combat, but surely they had more practical applications as well. Within these thoughts, she almost didn’t even notice the rain growing heavier, constantly beating down onto the black hood that shrouded her small form completely.

    Not only that, a strange fog settled down in the area as well. Torn out of her inner world by nothing, in particular, the feline girl turned her head to the side and noticed where she was. A smaller pumpkin patch, surrounded by a slightly rotten wooden fence. It was definitely run-down, but the squash seemed to be growing just fine.

    No one around to gather it all, however. Well, not like it was her care. But if nothing else, she could appreciate the darker atmosphere. There were even large flocks of crows flying all around. Pretty much the only kind of bird she could respect. Smarter than the rest, actually capable of impressive feats. The opposite of the bird brain analogy.

    That said, something felt… odd. Then again, maybe it was just the atmosphere. The girl learned of how wrong that statement was only a few seconds later when several of the crows suddenly swooped down in an attempt to assault the feline. But the attempt itself was quite a failure, thanks to the girl’s ward. Her body was naturally weak so she needed to protect it at all times.

    Her solution was a necrotic barrier that was active at almost all times, invisible to a naked eye unless she were to make it consciously visible. It was this barrier that completely stopped the crows that merely slammed into it as regular birds would occasionally smash into the windows of large buildings. In a way, it was a fairly amusing sight to behold.

    Especially given that the barrier was built to withstand several powerful spells. Few birds were of no issue whatsoever. So as they flew one after another, the girl could only sigh as they all eventually dropped dead into the mud after their frail bodies slammed into the invisible obstacle. But as overall uneventful this attack was, it moved beyond strange.

    No ordinary birds would attack a humanoid-like this. Magic was clearly at play. And since they attacked Kurome specifically, she had to ensure that she dealt with the problem and it would not follow her home. No loose ends, ever. Crouching down, she tried to hold her cloak up to not drag it in the mud as her other hand reached out to one of the corpses.

    But before any contact could be made, the creature twitched, making the woman leap backward in defense. She didn’t use her necromancy yet and it was clearly dead from the impact, so there was no reason for it to move. And looking around, she quickly realized that the other ones were the same. The twitching soon stopped, only to be replaced by their bodies turning into black goo.

    The sound it made was rather disgusting and audible even in the rainfall, the droplets not affecting the substance at all. It moved on its own and started grouping up in one spot, giving itself more solid shape. One that was still very much crow-like, but more humanoid and muscular. A strange thing to say the least, but Kurome could sense exactly what was going on.

    Necromancy… inferior to my own. I ought to eliminate the necromancer…” Her collected and cold nature allowed her to grasp the situation right away without any panic. Even as the undead monster charged at her, she didn’t even flinch. Instead, she gathered her own necromantic energy and released it with a commanding voice.

    Kneel!” The words resonated with magic and power as the crow’s eyes suddenly started glowing a mixture of green and blue, pulsating veins of magic of the same colors appearing all over its body. And sure enough, albeit with clear struggle, its body was forced into a kneeling state. The control was not perfect, but it seemed that Kuro’s necromancy did have an effect.

    Taking a few steps forward, a different figure manifested behind the girl. One of a tall grim reaper in armor, wielding a cold scythe. It didn’t hesitate at all, swinging the weapon with the intent to behead the re-animated creature. The only problem was that the beast’s neck was a bit too thick to be fully severed in one swing, merely making the head slump backward as it still hanged on a bit of skin at the backside of its neck.

    How useless… where is the necromancer?” Looking around, the girl tried to walk around the beast, only to feel a push against the barrier again, making her take several steps back and for the reaper to swing again. One of the crow’s claws clearly pressed against the shield with the intent to pierce it. Even in that state, it was operational.

    Well, not anymore. The scythe went through its appendage, removing it from the body and then piercing its body as well. Letting the blade rest in its black flesh until it started dissolving again, finally done for. But only to be replaced a few moments later with one of the scarecrows that were in the middle of the patch. Animated with the same goop, it took a hold of its scythe as well.

    So annoying… just drop dead…” Snapping her fingers, three dark portals appeared at the girl’s feet, each one of them spewing out a rotting black hound, their eyes glowing blood-red in the dim area. They didn’t even need a verbal command, their instincts leading them to charge at the scarecrow, wanting to tear it apart.

    It's wild and unpredictable swinging of the scythe might have been effective against a single enemy, as it managed to hit one of the hounds and cleaving it apart, but the other two swiftly went around and attack from the sides. Their razor-sharp canines sunk into the tattered clothing and hay, fiercely tearing the over-sized toy into pieces.

    And given how resilient the crow beast was, Kuro made sure to have the black dogs not stop until most of its body was completely gone. With that, the entire field seemed to become soundless for a moment, aside from the sound of falling rain. But obviously, the fight was still not done. The fog grew even thicker than before, completely surrounding the girl.

    From within it, a pair of flaming eyes appearing along with a ghastly cackled. “Finally…” The girl’s face change, red veins of magic dotting her cheeks and leading to her eyes. An ability that allowed her to see souls. And beings reanimated by necromancers normally did not have souls.

    Kurome’s own magic was an exception, of course. But the thing in front of her definitely did have a visible soul. Thus it was most likely the source of all the attacks on her person. And that made it her target. Surprisingly, unlike most summoners, it charged forward rather quickly. Its body released a dark wave of magic that temporarily forced Kuro back, but did not break through the barrier.

    Its claws, on the other hand, managed to make a dent. But that was about it. A small crack in the barrier that still stopped the wraith-like being, which was now in the range and unable to react in time. The scythe of her reaper swung down with unnatural weight, the sharp blade burying itself deep in the pumpkin head.

    And as it took its time to release an unpleasant screech, Kurome decided to finish this for good. Charging forward herself, she slammed her hand into the being’s chest along with her magic to create a lesser death mark. And with its activation, the being’s soul was forced out of its body, leaving it to slump down lifelessly as the scythe was pulled out.

    The punishment for attacking me… unprovoked, even! It will be the end of your existence!” Taking hold of the freed soul, she squeezed it hard and filled it with her own magic. A rather unpleasant scream-like sound echoed across the entire field for a second before the soul itself shattered, fizzling out and disappearing completely.

    The king of the pumpkin patch ceased to be in its entirety, all because it decided to attack a wandering necromancer who was passing by. Well… if it was any ordinary necromancer, then it would have probably won. But it was unlucky enough to encounter Kurome, the hateful cat yōkai. Taking a moment to ensure that it was over, she resumed her path back home, leaving all of this behind.

    Word Count: 1,506 / 1,500


    Props to Ivyleaf33

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