It was unfortunate that she had to ruin such a lovely piece of architecture but as Bastila sprinted through the castle, it was something that she would just have to accept. The signs of holiness that were all around her though were items that she was glad to be rid. She had never focused too much on her dislike of the angelic, instead honing in squarely on her former husband and his band of men. Her fear of him had turned to hatred over the years and even now as she roared onwards, every face she saw seemed to be his. One day, it would actually be his and she knew, as the blonde expected that he did too, they would not both survive the encounter. He had stalked her for far too long and what was worse was that had extended to Sakura too. She had hoped beyond hope that he would simply forget all about them but it had been just a false one. There would be no escape, unless he was put down for good. Bastila would not dirty her daughters hands with such a task, no, it would be hers. Perhaps then, the pair would be free at last to begin their new lives, away from him and his foul influence.
She could still feel the gaze of the black cat following her, still bemused by just what it was doing following her but the statuesque blonde could not help but feel a protectiveness over it. If it was going to track her throughout the castle then she mused that it was her task to defend it from harm. Bastila had always had a fondness for felines and the one following her did look awfully similar to one that she had kept as a child. Hers had been such a little bundle of joy though and liked nothing better than to jump into Bastila’s arms whenever it could. That was something that her new friend seemed far more reluctant to do but given the blue grey eyed woman’s appearance and mood, it was not hard to see why. She was anything but friendly and loving at the moment.
A door would suddenly burst open from her right and a group of armoured guards would burst out towards her, wielding weapons of various types. Perhaps if she had been finally right, Bastila may have given them the chance to speak but not today. Bursting into ash all of a sudden, she would suddenly disappear for a second, causing the guards to suddenly form a circle around each other, only for her to suddenly appear above them, causing a large burst of flame to ensnare her flames below. That certainly caused the warriors to break formation, rolling around as they tried to put out the fire. Bastila did not waste a moment though and began to engage them, her talons hardy enough to clash against the weapons of the guards without taking any real damage. Her phoenix form provided her with all the defences she needed and as the poor men and women desperately tried a way through, they struggled to put any real dent in her. It was as though they were using toy weapons against her and she batted them away as such.
As time passed, they began to panic and lose composure, resulting in them beginning to make mistakes. The phoenix was able to start to carve through their well trained formations, striking more and more of them with her powerful strikes. Leaping into the air, she would then beat her wings, sending a large burst of flames down towards them, scorching and burning through their armour. It was not a pretty sight at all and the cries of the guards could be heard throughout the castle as they fell to the floor. It was difficult to tell how many she killed during the battle and the more she killed, the more it eroded their confidence. They were bathed in the flames of her ancient powers and had no real answer for it. The bodies soon piled up although there would be little left of them and by the time the fight came to an end, there was again simply ash. If she were to guess, there were about twenty of the brave fools who had perished. They had given their lives in order to protect their angelic masters but what Bastila found rather sad was that not one of those masters had decided to actually try and defend them from the mage. Clearly, they were not all that concerned about their patrons and so with that in mind, she would return to her hunt, leaving the charred ash behind her.
She had been given a good brief into what awaited her and as the blonde moved on, her mind quickly recalled the next stage of complications that she would be forced to face. Apparently a group of bird-like creatures, a rather fitting foe for her and as her eyes turned towards the large stained glass windows on her left, she saw an almost human sized dove staring straight back at her. It was at least seven feet in height and remembering her mission, Bastila would dart straight towards the window and crash through it, slamming hard into the bird and unleashing a barrage of powerful talon strikes. The bird fired back using its own impressive claws, surrounded by powerful gusts of wind that battered against Bastila’s flames. It was magical in nature no doubt and as both flying creatures headed towards the ground, each struggling for control, blasts of flame and wind could be felt in the area around them.
Just as they were about to hit the earth, Bastila was able to roll the bird over and force it to the ground first, causing it to take the brunt of the crash, even if it did knock the wind out of her too. Rolling over, she would be momentarily staggered although compared to the flattened bird, she had been rather lucky. Its wings were badly damaged and as it struggled and cooed desperately to return to the sky, Bastila momentarily felt sorry for the creature but with a shake of the head, she would roll once more over to the bird and put it out of its misery, another opponent defeated. It was proving to be quite a long, drawn out battle and as the woman returned to her feet, she was curious about just how her stamina would hold out. Her missions had been generally short and this was probably one of the longest ones that she had taken part in so far. Still, she was not ready to be retired just yet and as a rallying cry of cooing came from above, a smile would cross her features although it would be hidden by her mask.
Another half a dozen of the birds were floating above her, seemingly ready for battle and after remaining still for a moment to catch her breath, Bastila would once more leap back into the sky, tearing towards her foes. They would counter by flapping their wings quickly in order to send a barrage of razor sharp blades of wind towards her, forcing her to have to barrel roll out of the way in order to avoid taking any damage. They were clever creatures and positioned themselves well, making it quite difficult for Bastila to get inside their guard. She would prod and poke against them with her more basic abilities but they kept in shape, forcing her to continue flying around the group. In the end, she was forced to tap into something rather more powerful and began to spin around in a circle, unleashing a devastating wave of fire that did break through their defences. Most avoided it but by doing so, they left two of the doves to receive the full blast of the attack, charring them almost to the bond and causing them to fall from the sky, crashing to the ground below.
The remaining four squawked with fright at the damage done and simply dived down towards her, the fear clouding their apparent intelligence and leaving themselves open for her to deliver a powerful jet of flame from her mouth, striking the lead one firmly and causing his wings to catch alight. He would flap desperately to keep himself in the air but there was little he could truly do and he soon fell to meet his fellow doves on the ground, another one having bit the dust quite literally. Now that she had scored a few kills, it was not as difficult and Bastila was able to get in up close and personal and continue with her more desired approach for the day, as physically as possible. The doves left were clearly not as effective from that range and while the mage battered one of them with her flaming talons, the other two rather foolishly fired a pair of wind attacks in order to try and get her off of their ally. Not a smart move by any means and Bastila simply moved behind the dove she was fighting, allowing the blasts to hit it instead, taking it out of commission too.
The last two simply tried to escape, flapping as fast as possible away from the approaching phoenix but Bastila was having none of it. They could not be allowed to flee and so with a swipe of her hands, she would cause a prison of flame to envelop the pair, watching as it then filled completely with fire, burning the two to a crisp. Their shrieks made her ears bleed but she watched without the slightest movement. The whole affair took about thirty seconds but by the time the flames dispersed, there was nothing of the doves left. Another wave defeated and as Bastila briefly pondered to herself, she mused that it would no doubt soon be time to finally face one of the angels themselves.
Rising up and re-entering the window that she had crashed out of before, the takeover mage would once again continue with her mission. As she progressed through the castle, she would occasionally come up against another bystander or two, striking them swiftly and killing them cleanly. She was not interested in torturing her foes and as the corridors became littered with bodies once again, a far stronger magical aura caused her to pause. There was indeed another magic caster approaching her and as Bastila reached the end of what seemed like the hundredth corridor and entered a large hall. A winged figure was waiting for her.
She looked rather sweet to be honest. A young, pink haired young angel who wore a matching dress, as well as wielding a large yellow staff. The look on her face though was anything but sweet though. No, her blue eyes were blazing with anger although it did little to make Bastila pause. This was no doubt one of the so called council that she had been warned about and as the flames began to dance around the Hidden Blade mages again as she prepared for her next battle, the angel would speak.
“You have made a grave error by attacking our castle, masked warrior,” she hissed, “We do not take kindly to anyone attempting to invade our land and will defend it with all of our might. You have killed many innocents in order to reach this hall and I will make you pay for doing so. I do not know why you have come and I do not care. You have made the biggest mistake of your life by making enemies of us and it is my solemn duty to teach you that lesson. I am Maya, a member of the angelic council.”
“Considering that you have allowed your believers to suffer without even bothering to help them says a great deal,” Bastila countered, “You have proven your cowardice by doing such a thing and I think you are a disgrace for acting in such a way. I believed in your kind once. I was suffering and prayed to your kind on a daily basis but you ignored me, as you ignore all those who believe in you. You say one thing and do another which makes me not believe a word that you say. I am here to end this castle of yours and to send your council into disarray. Your life, however, is not one that I have been ordered to end. You are to watch as this castle is destroyed and then you will relay a message to those of the outside world. That is what your fate is, angel. Like it or not.”
There were no more words spoken and the two ancient beings would engage in battle. Maya would raise her staff and unleash a flurry of magical stars that darted towards the phoenix. They travelled quickly and Bastila was forced to create a fire shield in front of her, defending her from harm and protecting her. In response, the blonde would then disappear and reappear beside the angel, causing a blast of flame to burst from her new position. Maya was swift though and managed to avoid it, jumping upwards and creating a planet shaped orb in her hands and then launching it at Bastila. Dodging quickly to her left, the blue grey eyed mage would then leap up and deliver a powerful blaze kick, catching the angel in the chest and hurling her backwards. Not a single moment was wasted and the phoenix would then surround herself with flame and charge towards her foe, catching her in the stomach and launching her backwards, crashing against a large pillar and stunning her for a moment. Taking advantage, Bastila would then open up with a barrage of punches and claw strikes, attempting to knock the angel out but Maya was tougher than she looked and countered with a strong kick, knocking the mage backwards.
Angered by the damage she had taken, Maya scrambled back up to her feet and began to perform a dance-like movement, resulting in a group of shooting stars to appear above Bastila’s position, before raining down an enormous strike of moonlight. Gasping from the force of the attack, Bastila would wrap her wings around her, before releasing her powerful flame like aura in a fiery burst to negate the angels’s attack. It had certainly been effective though and the phoenix mage had to shake her head for a moment in order to get the cobwebs out. Maya on the other hand would take the offensive, her staff glowing with galaxy magic as she delivered a mighty strike with it. All Bastila could do was grasp the weapon with her talon, causing a massive explosion of energy as the two powers met. The attack was strong enough to send them both hurling backwards and tumbling to the ground in a heap.
Time was short and Bastila was just a little quicker on the draw, rolling over onto her front and unleashing one final scorching plume of flame from her mouth which struck the angel hard, knocking Maya down for the count. The battle finally over, Bastila would slowly wander over to the gasping angel before she withdrew a collar from her outfit and attached it to the angel’s neck. The item swiftly cut off the angel’s magical power and left her unable to do much of anything as the collar then burst to life, wrapping ropes around the pink haired girl and immobilising her.
“As I said, your part in this is to survive and inform others of what had happened here,” Bastila said simply to the girl, “Now, stop struggling and let us continue, shall we?”
Without another word, she would hoist the girl up in a fireman’s carry and proceeded to leave the hall by way of a back door and continued on her way. Maya would continue to kick and throw the occasional insult towards her but she Bastila simply ignored her for the most part although she did spank the helpless girl on the backside to humiliate her once or twice, as a parent might do to their child. One thing was for certain, Maya would not forget her encounter with Bastila and given how much there was left for the mage to do, it would no doubt become an even more painful experience for the angel by the end. As it was, the blonde haired phoenix would snag the bottles that the girl had attached to her dress and drank them as they moved, restoring her health and magical power. She had no doubt that she would need all her strength from the fights that were still before her and each one would be harder than the last.
Strangely enough, the small black cat would still be there too, having come out of hiding once the fight was over, still following the mage as it had since the start. It did not meow or anything like that but simply followed, as though it had a message for Bastila or something like that. There was no fear in its eyes though, simply determination, similar to the look that Bastila had on her face, hidden by the outfit. She had already proved her mettle against one angel and now it was time to take on another. Bastila could already feel the same sensation as before, warning her of the arrival of another holy being. Maya began to struggle harder as she realised what was happening, knowing that one of her allies was near. It would do her little good though as Bastila was easily able to keep her in her clutches although her phoenix form was well under her control as to not burn the girl with its flames. Oh, Maya would feel toasty but she would experience no pain from it. She had already taken enough damage from it. No, she was just a helpless passenger now.
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