Although the giant had initially been attacking the Dongxian scholar, as soon as it had forced her to create some reasonable level of distance with it, the creature now turned its attention to face Medeia, apparently abandoning its former opponent. That caused Suzhen to contemplate a possibility: it was very likely that this giant creature was being operated from a distance by the mad wizard. Initially, when Suzhen had had her little share of tangoing against the monstrous giant, she had almost thought the wizard himself had been shrouded in a coat of corruption, and had come to fight by himself, an idea sponsored by the fact that it had spoken in a similar voice to the one she had heard the wizard use when she first set her eyes on him, as well as the weird face on its chest, and its sentient responses to her attacks and taking damage. However, Suzhen began to suspect that despite these things, it seemed to show less intelligence than she expected something with the wizard’s mind in it to exhibit. Someone, or something of average human level intelligence would not abandon an opponent just because the opponent was out of reach, especially seeing as the giant most likely had other means to attack enemies far beyond its physical range, like the strange green fire it had thrown at her.
Medeia had quickly gone on the offensive, taking off the creature’s leg with a single swing. Suzhen, for the umpteenth time, begrudgingly admired the strength of the raven haired woman, as she watched the giant collapse to the earth, from her perch in the tree branches. However, the giant was not down and out, as its severed leg exploded into many spikes, each black spear of doom seeking to shred holes into whatever it impacted. Suzhen opened Chou Shan to the fullest, and crouched behind the parasol shade, and the spikes hurtling towards her were turned harmlessly by the unconventional shield. Normally, Suzhen would have leaped in to assist Medeia, but the movements of the dark angel seemed to suggest to the Dongxian that Medeia wanted her to watch and be impressed. Medeia had unfurled her wings and taken flight to avoid the spikes, and was now using the feathery appendages to impressively avoid the attacks of the giant, whose severed limb had regrown again, even as it tried, and failed, to score a hit against its airborne opponent.
And then a statue of pure gold burst forth from the ground. Suzhen knew Medeia had the ability to control gold, although to what degree the Dongxian scholar could not say, so she knew that this heretofore unseen spell was the doing of the Errings Rising mage. Interestingly, the giant turned towards the trophy and made for it, but as it had just gotten within touching range, the statue exploded into a shower of gold which coated the giant, encasing and entombing it in the molten yellow liquid. The more the creature struggled, the more every square inch of it was covered by the liquid gold, until the giant was a statue of gold itself. Suzhen dropped from her spot in the trees, as Medeia tapped the immobilized giant, and though it was covered in gold, the creature shattered like window glass, every piece of it raining down amidst chunks of solid gold. That was more or less a transmutation spell then, not just a simple immobilization spell. The Dongxian turned to look at Medeia as the dark angel came to stand beside her, trying to make it obvious that she was pretending not to notice Medeia’s naughty look. ”Well, I’m sure I’m not the only person who--” she began, suddenly stopping as she noticed something that should not have been. The solidified gold pieces seemed to be being absorbed by the pieces of the monster, and everything began to liquefy once more, creating a large puddle of some sickening deep brown color, the black having obviously been colored by the gold that had been used to shatter it. Suzhen discovered that her expression mirrored Medeia’s disgusted one. Then she sensed a surge of magic power and noticed that Medeia had transformed, her hair, eyes and wings all being the same purple color now. That Medeia had not tapped into this power to fight Suzhen back then on Crescent Island made the Luminous Rose mage suddenly feel she needed a drink of water. ”Wow, you’re wearing even less now…” was all she could venture, her confidence daunted by the dark angel. But she knew that she couldn’t decide to run away or give up, despite Medeia being much stronger than she was. At all costs, she would still make sure Medeia did not get the scepter. She had to, because who knew what wicked designs the dark angel would put the artifact to, if it was left in Medeia’s grasp?
As the dark corrupted gold coalesced into multiple smaller giants, Medeia assured Suzhen that she would not target the Dongxian as they faced the giants. And sadly, Suzhen had to agree with Medeia that the old mad wizard was most likely beyond any helping. ”I’m relieved that I won’t have to be looking over my shoulder for now,” Suzhen replied, as the giants began running at them, ”and I agree with you that there’s no point now in pulling punches. So, the best thing to do is strike this tree at its roots!” So saying, Suzhen charged at the already running giants, and in a graceful but deadly dance which involved spinning, flipping and slashing flurries of her long sword, she was behind the giants now, three of them missing limbs, although said appendages simply melted back into their bodies, and they seemed to have suffered no particular damage. But Suzhen kept running. Using her psychic sense and whatever little light existed, she found her way into the large hole Medeia had made in the giant stone building in which the wizard was hiding. Her sense told her that three of the giants seemed to be coming after her, but she was faster than they were, and unless she was stopped, she would not fear them catching up to her. Just inside the hole was a flight of stairs which tunneled downwards into the earth, and Suzhen took them as swiftly as she could. The stairs led below ground level, where they expanded into an open space, filled with glowing lights. In the center of the space sat an old form, thin and almost skeletal; the mad wizard. His eyes were black sunken pits in which glowed little flames of unholy green fire, and those manic eyes came to rest on Suzhen. In his lap lay a beautiful golden scepter, a glowing gem affixed to it matching the color of the wizard’s flaming eyes.
She sped towards him, sword drawn, but he did not move. When she was almost striking distance, the Dongxian thrust her sword, aiming for his neck, but she suddenly found herself flung back by an invisible shield, flying back towards the charging giants. Using her knowledge of Yoza Shinken, Suzhen inexplicably changed direction in the air, performing a jump in midair to sail safely over the heads of the creatures which vainly tried to grasp her. She had noticed something. When she had thrust at the wizard, dust moved by her foot passed the range of her sword, which meant that while the sword was blocked, the dust was not. So the wizard’s shield was most likely activated at will. A sneak attack would have to do. Fortunately, her Shinken: Shinryuu Bougai would be able to get her to reach the mad wizard. She charged again, thrusting at the first giant. As her sword touched the creature’s chest, she was gone, reappearing without a sound behind the wizard. Too late did he realize his danger, but he did not turn, before the sharp sound of cracking bone exploded from where Suzhen’s half-opened hand, positioned in a “Leopard Fist”, smashed into the back of his neck. Instantly, the glow radiating from the scepter and from his eyes went off, and the giants charging at her evaporated into nothing.
Remebering that the dissolved giants meant that Medeia would be free, and in her powerful angel form, Suzhen quickly reached out and grabbed the scepter. The power that filled her mind was incredible….