" A necromancer shouted just before Leona silenced him with a stab through the chest. She quickly and neatly withdrew the sword and backpedaled to avoid the rush of men reaching to grab her, then performed a two-handed downward power chop that lodged Shoki's blade in his head. She quickly kicked the dead man off the sword and stepped back to avoid another grapple but was hit with a bolt of black magic that hit and deadened her left shoulder.
Unable to cast spells with her left hand, Leona was forced to retreat from the eleven or so remaining necromancers. She quickly turned around and sprinted to make good her escape before she could be surrounded. Diana immediately swooped in to cover Leona's retreat and cut three men in half at the waist with her greatsword before they could react to the knight's attack. While the knight dealt with them Leona took a breath and refocused on the fight in front of her, then spotted two men with violet hands raised towards Amberlin. They were going to shoot her to stop the sealing spell!
Leona jumped in front of Amberlin and absorbed the two bolts of dark magic with her body, feeling numb but otherwise still able to fight. Leona turned to the men and used a Zephyr Dash to close with them and cut off the head of one man as he raised his hands to shield himself. The other fired a bolt of violet magic at close range, but Leona ducked under the shot and stabbed the man through the chest as she popped back up to a standing position. With those two dead Leona turned to Diana and saw the Knight cleave another man in half as he attempted to shoot her at point-blank range with a bolt of violet magic. Five more robed men remained, but their fighting spirit was flagging.
"They really want us dead. We cannot stop them!
" One of them shouted in despair.
"Fear not, brother. We still have one last trick up our sleeves.
" A second man comforted his fellow. Leona did not like how that sounded. The first speaker turned to him.
"Yes, brother. We must use it lest our work be ruined!
" He said. The five surviving men immediately bolted for the door that Leona and Amanda had used to enter the room, catching Leona and Diana by surprise. By the time Leona could bring herself to give chase the door was already shut. The Wizard Saint took four jogging steps before Diana stopped her with a verbal command.
"Let them go! We must protect the clerics!
" Diana commanded, reminding Leona of their true objective. Leona wanted to stop the necromancers before they could play their ace in the hole, but Diana was right. They had
to protect the clerics or all of this would be for nothing. Leona turned around and took up a defensive position in front of Amberlin while the pink-haired cleric continued chanting. The pale blue cube of ectoplasm continued to pound against the golden disc that held shut the portal and the disc grew thicker as a column of golden light began to surround the portal.
That was an encouraging sign, but the pair needed to prepare for the necromancer's counterattack. Leona took advantage of the breathing space to bring out a couple of summons to put between them and the robed men. Guardian Lion and Sky Champion Rafale were perfect for this situation. Leona wiped Shoki off on the robe of a dead necromancer and sheathed it. She had regained just enough feeling in her left hand to raise it, so Leona channeled magic into her hands and raised them above her head.
" Leona called out. A few moments later he appeared to the right of Leona and looked towards Diana.
"Is she my opponent?
" Guardian Lion asked. Diana took a step back and readied her greatsword.
"No, she's on our side. The enemies will be here soon enough. Once they're here I'll let you know.
" Leona told the metallic lion, who stood down for the time being. Diana followed suit. The Wizard Saint then turned her attention to summoning Sky Champion Rafale. She channeled magic into her hands again and raised them above her head.
"Sky Champion Rafale!
" Leona called out. Moments later the green-clad summon appeared in front of Leona.
"What do you need from me?
" Sky Champion Rafale asked Leona.
"We're about to have a lot of enemies head our way and I need you to buy us as much time as you possibly can!
" Leona informed him. She wondered what "last trick" the necromancers had to use against Leona and the Order mages. She soon heard screaming followed by deep laughter coming down the hall from the other side of the door and was startled. Whatever it was heralded the ace in the hole the necromancers were about to use on the mages.
" Diana warned Leona. Leona's left hand had regained enough feeling to be useful, so she drew Shoki with her right hand and kept her left hand free to use a spell. She had only a few moments to prepare because the door separating them from the hallway showed a vertical split in the middle of it, then a diagonal split. Another diagonal split crossed the first diagonal split, then the door collapsed and a hazy form with blood red eyes rushed into the room.
"What is that?!
" Leona asked as the form passed through Guardian Lion and rushed towards her at human running speed. When it reached her it took solid form and screamed, startling Leona and giving her barely enough time to raise Shoki to block before the scythe in its hands was swung at her neck. Leona blocked the blade and tried to retaliate with a downward power chop, but it turned incorporeal and her attack did nothing.
"I can't harm it!
" Leona shouted. Diana hurried to Leona's aid as the spirit screamed again and lashed out with its scythe. Leona blocked it and Diana jumped in with a downward chop, but again the spirit eluded harm by turning incorporeal at the last moment.
"Damn! It's a Death Spirit!
" Diana told Leona what they were facing.
"A... Death Spirit?
" Leona asked.
"It's like the Grim Reaper, but not quite the Grim Reaper. It's an inferior copy of the real thing, but it's still deadly to humans. It can only be summoned by the summoner giving up their life for vengeance, but in exchange the Death Spirit will hunt a target of the summoner's choosing until it's killed or the target's killed!
" Diana answered as Leona ducked under a scythe swing. Leona popped back up to attack, but instead the creature darted backwards for three meters and turned corporeal for a brief moment, throwing a spectral skull at the Wizard Saint. It hit her left shoulder and Leona felt the left side of her body go cold. Leona collapsed to her right knee.
" Diana shouted. The Death Spirit darted right towards Leona in its incorporeal form. Moments later it arrived at Leona's right side and turned corporeal, preparing to bring its scythe down on her neck and take the Wizard Saint's head.
- Death Spirit:
[Post Word Count: 1,212]
[Total Word Count: 8,296/8,000]