… Safe to say, his little mind game wasn’t received well. It was pretty obvious that Mai was a very impressionable child, and that leading any children into open warfare was nothing short of braindead. He was likely the only one who saw Mai as more of an anomalous entity than a child, and while he thought ‘hey, who could blame me after all the shit I’ve had to deal with’, he kept his mouth shut and his face sweating with regret… he hadn’t been scolded this harshly ever since his mum found that ‘femdom category’ box behind his drawer with certain themes not suitable for the reader of this post to witness in any way or fashion.
Now, he too would’ve aimed his focus at the battlefield if not for the chilling grip on his shoulder and the infuriated look on Luna’s face and voice, which drained away all color from the star mage’s face. Being Mai’s mother figure, he too figured that she would be mad, but fucking hell, her threat was inhuman. “O-Okay, okay, okay, I got it, I got it! Hell, Luna, sleep is overrated, anyway,” he almost sobbed out in fear. She was hitting on one of his phobias, really… it felt like being marked by glowing iron on his shoulder, head and groin. With vibrating skin, he nodded back and watched as Luna rebuked Mai for having snuck on the car with them all the way to the border, to which he then found himself drowning in his own thoughts.
I guess that joke wasn’t worth it, not one bit, he thought as he slowly lowered his face to glance at his groin, protectively guarding it with his hands while the three women just ventured out with their summons to meet Pergrande’s forces. Gaia’s gimmick with summoning cards did remind him of their first mission together… Luna’s way of Summoning Magic as well as Itori’s were new to him. He didn’t have any Summoning Spells himself, so he sufficed with his own body as a weapon as he leapt off the car while eyeing Mai off the corner of his eyes. Good, she stayed at the car… for now, at least. She would most likely try to shoot him in the back with one of her GOD SLAYER SPELLS- c-clearly, he wasn’t the only person in the area who acknowledged the destructive level of strength that Mai possessed to the fullest, regardless of her being a literal minor or not?! He didn’t just have to watch for his nuts to meet the sharp edges of Luna’s scissors – he now also had to watch for his fucking life! This was maddening!
The arcane muscles in his legs pumped wider with the channeling of magic, allowing him to dash forward at mach speed to catch up with the others. Maybe, if he just darted away as quickly as possible, then Mai would forget about him and stay put in the distance, away from the roaring battlefield. His magic was too simple compared to everyone else; Luna’s Nature Magic was, in his vision, an all-you-can-eat buffet of primordial spells for all categories of combat, while Itori was just too bloody awesome to be limited to kitsunebi. Gaia’s summons were versatile – and the one with the ram skull made him feel weird, for she gave off the same vibes as Itsu. Ahh, lovely Itsu…
Well, he had a beating to lay out! The wall of fire did melt a couple bullets that were meant for Imai’s skull, in which he poured more mana into his muscles until the bluish auras burst out of his skin.
His Heavenly Body Magic was activated, turning his entire form into a blue meteor that darted across the land like a laser. His sprint dug up earth with every step that he took, running to unpredictable trajectories with lines of dust and falling rocks in his way. The bullets now coming his way were fired from slightly confused recruits who couldn’t see exactly where Imai’s body was in that huge blink of light that blinked everywhere. Despite the physical track that Imai’s charge left, they didn’t predict his approach towards them until it was already too late and he found himself right in front of them with a clenched fist ready to plant straight through their helmets. He quickly assumed those headgear to be weak spots on their sturdy armors, and with his speed, he could knock out and fill the six recruits’ eyes and face with shards from the wind shields of their own helmets before dashing off. His own fists were bleeding a little as well, but when rushing himself up this much, he barely noticed the pain and felt even more ready to face the other Pergrande soldiers.
… Shit, a lot was happening in the field. Firstly, Imai glared at his hands as it looked like 3D effects were coating him. He touched his hands to see what the visual effect was about, noticing that they weren’t bleeding anymore. His small distraction led to a face-off with an Army Officer who approached him up front, to which Imai leapt out of the way of his bullets that never even reached him in the first place, all because of a sudden induction of electric forces bending the metal away with its new, magnetic force followed by dots in the air from the electric bolts that Imai could’ve sworn he saw just a moment ago. His eyes widened in utter, fucking disbelief – Itori hadn’t used Lightning Magic before, had she? W-What about Luna, did she- NO! NOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
He mentally screamed at the top of his lungs, turning to the right and pushing his mobility to the upmost goddamn limit, heeding to the blonde, little P E S T who ignored Luna’s warnings and approached the enemies all on her own. What was she thinking?! What was he thinking?!? He was panicking wildly, sweating, almost gasping in fear and worry at the mere sight that was quickly blocked away by incoming Officers aiming their rifles at him.
His roar could almost be heard all over the battlefield, his voice cracking mid-roaring during his stampede. The Officers were taken aback by the fury visualized in his face, but they emptied their ammo on him anyway. He used his advance to lower his body and slide on his sneakers to dodge most of the bullets, leaping up in the air and flipping about to dodge some aimed for both his feet and head, and that was when he closed the distance between him and the ten Officers who drew their knives at him at full force.
Most of the knives actually did stab deep into his shoulders, belly and chest. For a brief nanosecond, the frontal Officers could consider him executed, but Imai’s furious gaze was far from dead.
”B A S T A R D S!”
He swung both fists at them all. With about a couple hundred punches per second, he pulverized most of their bones and sent all ten of them flying each of his sides. Some landed near the other women as well, either out of commission or expired, and Imai finally caught up to a charging Mai which instinctively caused him to jolt his hip to the side to side-jump as a means of evasion. “M-Mai! MAI! Go back to Gaia immediately-“
The scene in front of him told lots of Mai’s own accomplishments against Pergrande’s Imperial Guards – one of them lied unconscious on the ground, while Officers swarmed Imai and cut him away from Mai. This wasn’t funny; his crown jewels were on the line! “I will turn your bones to dust if you don’t leave-“
A deafening bellow travelled through most of the other Officers, catching the attention of the others while Mai pouted at her only ally in what looked like a mile’s radius – significantly closer to the other Sabertooth Mages than he thought, but it still felt as if they were locked off from the rest of the world by these soldiers.
If Mai looked closer at Imai, she would notice that he was… somewhat transparent on round spots on his chest, belly and shoulders. It looked like he was made of glass, and that someone had shot cannon holes through him, but he didn’t notice it himself.
“Damn it, Mai, I’m taking you back to Gaia – even if I have to die a hundred times on the way-“
He almost choked in his own words and spit as another Paladin appeared behind Mai in less than the blink of an eye. The sword was lifted, aiming down at her head – instead, the Paladin met a sudden surprise as his chest was hit by an arrow with a huge drill at the tip. This non-magical attack caught them by surprise as the Paladin fell to the ground in shock, alerting the other Paladins and Officers nearby of the wizards’ use of non-magical weapons.
Unfortunately, it didn’t do the Paladin in just yet. Imai would have to make use of his fists, but the Paladin looked fatigued already… ohhhhhhhhhh! This spell, this aura that surrounded all of them – that was Itori’s spell! This could give him an opening to pick up Mai by her waist and charge straight back at Gaia’s location, finding himself pursued by enemies still…
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! Gaia does not need marksmen on her ass right now! I’m glad that they’re focusing solely on us who can defend ourselves, but you fuckers are making everything so goddamn difficult for me to protect my right to reproduce!!! I got a cursed future and a little kid to defend- why are you even shooting and aiming your weaponry at an 8-year old?!?! This is utter shit cramps, I gotta shake them off of me before I reach Gaia…
Ooooooooooooh, why, Mai, why’d you ignore Luna’s command and jump into battle? Now you were with Imai, and Luna would likely witness that and single him out as the black sheep-
Fucking hell, he had no future! He was holding an illegal weapon in his arms, and Officers kept shooting at him. He shook his furious fist towards them, smashing away five Officers and getting shot even more on his torso and legs, keeping Mai from harm’s way at all cost and ignoring his own wounds in hope that Itori’s spell brought his vitality and regeneration up to date, when he noticed that parts of his body were invisible!
“HUWAAAH! What’s happening to me?!” he panicked with only Mai around to actually listen to his panicking voice, “Is this Itori’s magic? It looks like… wait, the bullets did this to me?! How?!”
It was lucky of him to take down the remaining Officers, for their bullets appeared to make him invisible. Who knew, maybe it was a bi-product of their bullets reacting to Itori’s over-arching magic and her Spirit Shrine… magic often worked like chemicals, no? Like causing solid waste on the bottom of a tube to dissolve in the solution via a chemical complex formation.
A hiss in the wind alerted him of an attack from behind when he felt the sharp pain of a sword cutting his back up! The sword, however, was unmanned, but two, cloaked figures had approached them behind two swordsmen. The sword that hit Imai, though, came from the defeated Paladin earlier – the one who got humiliated by a little child.
He gritted his teeth, not wanting to grunt in pain in front of a child. Yeah, the invisible effects on his body were worrying, but at least he didn’t bleed?
“D-Damn it, stand still, Mai…” he whispered to her as he put her down right behind him, before he moved both arms up to point at the sky. The approaching soldiers halted, spotting nothing up in the air to react to. That was his opening! Right next to his foot, a purplish orb of light had manifested – he kicked that orb at the group like a professional football player, hoping to keep the element of surprise…
The orb dissolved, however. Right as it made contact with one of the cloaked, hooded pair.
T-This must be that anti-magic shit they were on about, he hunched. He still had no clue about his own condition, but even in the face of such levels of danger, he figured that another spell could do the trick. It didn’t look like they had any armor on their heads, those two hoodies…
Pointing at the ground, he summoned eight blue magic circles that stretched out to form the constellation of Orion. Nothing artistic happened, however, but a flash of light crashing down from above, coating the enemies in powerful Heavenly Body Magic of Imai’s most offensive fashion. He used this opportunity to pick up Mai once more and regroup with Gaia…
Imperial Army Recruit (weak) 0/30
Imperial Army Officer (normal) 10/48
Imperial Guard (strong) 7/10
Imperial Paladin - Private (boss) 6/6