97 The children we leave behind II
Evlin was bursting through the terrain using her raw magic to move like a rocket.
From a distance, it looked like she was ice-skating while dashing across the city thanks to her self-made rocket-boots.
As she passed through some buildings, demons and monsters would try and leap towards her to capture her while screaming "It's the crossbow girl!!! Get her!!!", but she was moving too fast for any of them to even touch her.
The demons instead ended up being caught by the one who was pursuing her, a young boy with silver hair tied by a ponytail with blades coming out of his arms. The kid would just see the demons in front of him and would proceed to slash the poor beasts as if they were made of paper.
"Stop running you coward!!!"
"But we're playing tag, and you're it!! What kind of tag doesn't have running?"
Evlin was doing her best to try and annoy Marcus while keeping him chasing her. She knew how strong he was in a fight, but at the end of the day, he was still just a kid. If she could manage to keep him angry his movements would get sloppy and he would start showing more openings.
"I said STOP RUNNING!!!"
Marcus created two metal crossbows with his arms and started to lunch a barrage of arrows at Evlin. She saw the objects flying at her and shot the ground to make a wall of diamonds.
Marcus recognized that move, it was the same wall Evlin created when they fought for the first time. He simply continued to rush towards the wall and started to spin his blade arms like a drill to pierce the wall, just like he did the first time.
But much to his surprise, the moment he made contact with the wall his attack was repelled and he was bounced back.
"Ouch!! What the hell??"
He landed on the snow and stared at the wall. There were cracks in it but it was still standing solid. He was confused as to why he didn't break it with his blades.
"Dang it... Did I use too much energy during my fight with Mia against that silly couple...?"
Marcus then felt the ground beneath starting to shake and before he noticed he was flying in the sky after being launched by a diamond fist that punched him upwards.
He tried to recompose himself while he was falling and tried to spot Evlin. But no matter how hard he tried, she was nowhere to be found.
He started to turn his whole body into metal and crashed in the ground with a huge impact and raising a massive pile of snow.
"Are you planning on hiding forever?"
The ground beneath Marcus started to shake again and four spikes made of diamond emerged and tried to stab him in all directions.
Marcus turned his arms into metal shields and blocked the spikes, but he could still feel the impact on his body.
He then understood, he wasn't weak, it was Evlin's earth magic that somehow was stronger. He looked carefully at the diamond rocks and could see that they had a faint aura of blessed energy surrounding it.
"That little cheater... She's using my father's metal against me!!"
The ground shook for the third time and several golems made of diamond that looked like Evlin started to come out and rushed towards Marcus.
The weapon kid started to focus his blessed energy on his arms and proceeded to destroy the golems. The moment the diamond dolls tried to touch him, he simply absorbed the power of his blessed energy back into his body and trashed them with his regular power.
"Come on out you coward!!! Face your death like an adult!!!"
For the fourth time the ground shook, except this time, there were no earth attacks. Evlin herself jumped out of the ground while aiming her crossbow at Marcus. She looked at him with a smile while sticking out her tongue.
"You really don't know jack about me if you think I'm an adult!"
Marcus got blasted by a huge bullet of diamond covered in raw magic surrounded by blessed energy.
He tried to absorb the blessed energy to lessen the impact but he still received damage from the rest of the attack.
He tried to go after Evlin but she quickly disappeared again.
"She's hiding in the ground?? How's she doing that??"
She emerged once again like a dolphin from the snow and aimed at him once more.
"The third power of earth magic... Georadar!!"
Marcus turned around and watched as Evlin released another triple magic bullet at him and blasted his body against a building.
Thanks to another new power discovered by exploring her affinity with earth magic, Evlin was now able to connect with the ground and see any object on a radius of forty feet, an idea that was suggested by Ashley when they first got lost in a forest when they were on their way towards the city of Emerald Dawn a long time ago. Thanks to that, just by being close to the ground, Evlin knew exactly where Marcus was all the time.
She continued to dive into the ground and showing up out of nowhere to blast him with hew magic bullet combo. Marcus was so distracted trying to absorb the blessed energy that he didn't have any time to block the remaining strength of the bullet.
Marcus gave up on trying to parry her attacks and simply used his speed to dodge it and rush towards her. Evlin tried to dive into the ground again but Marcus managed to impale her shoulder just as she was about to.
"I got you now!!"
Evlin then took this chance to turn her crossbow into a gauntlet while trying to fight her pain and blasted Marcus with recreation magic to turn him into a pigeon.
She used this opportunity to apply healing magic on her shoulder and close her wound. But while she was busy with that, the white bird started to cover itself in metal energy and turned back into the shape of a fourteen-year-old boy with silver hair tied up by a ponytail.
"I hate when you do that!!"
"Yeah, well, I'm also not the biggest fan of having a metal blade stuck in my shoulder, and yet, here we are!"
Marcus used his speed to get behind Evlin and slash her from the back, but using her georadar ability she managed to predict his movement and jumped into the air with her rocket-boots.
She realized she panicked and made a wrong move. Her comfort-zone was the ground, not the air. But she then calmed down after realizing that Marcus had no means of reaching her up there. She used this chance to take a deep breath and calm down from all the blood rushing to her head.
"Calm down... Just calm down... You can do this... You're doing great... This won't end like last time..."
But while she was taking her time flying in the sky, Marcus recreated his metal crossbows and started launching a barrage of metal arrows.
Evlin could only watch as the storm of metal came towards her. In the middle of the sky, she had nowhere to hide. She considered trying to run and dodge the arrows but there were too many and they were coming too fast.
She gave up on trying to dodge it and decided to shoot them instead.
She was too far away from the ground to gather sand grains to create her diamond bullets so she would need to rely on pure raw magic to blast the arrows.
She tried to blast all of the arrows but all she managed was to slightly change their trajectory. Some of them didn't stop thought and ended up slashing her skin.
"Aaaarghh!!! God, that still hurts so much!!"
She ended up lowering her flying height due to the pain and noticed Marcus leaping towards her with two blade-arms pointing at her.
She increased the power of her rocket boots and tried to dodge his attack, but the weapon-kid just barely managed to slash her leg.
Thanks to her wooden armor being fused with blessed metal she managed to not lose her leg in the attack, but Marcus used this chance to absorb the silver energy from her boots which ended up decreasing the power of her raw magic, making her fall on the snow.
She landed on the ground and couldn't feel Marcus anywhere with her georadar. Which meant that he was still falling. She turned around to look at the sky and indeed, here he came with his regular blades pointed at her. Or so she thought, but he quickly started to combine his two blades into one large spear as he continued to fall.
"You really like using blades huh? For a little kid, you don't have a lot of imagination."
She jumped out of the way using her boots to burst her to the side and watched as Marcus stabbed the ground.
"I am not... A kid!!!"
"Like hell you're not... Ever since I met you, all you ever do is whine and cry about how "Daddy never spent time with me" and about how "Mommy won't let me play with the other kids". If that's not a kid, then I don't know what is."
Marcus tried to slash Evlin again but his anger was telegraphing all of his movements. With the power of her boosted speed and her georadar, she could easily dodge him.
"You keep talking like you know me, but you don't know a thing about my life!!"
"No, but I can guess..."
"I said quiet!!!"
"I've met both your dad and your mom... Your dad looked like one of the coolest guys I've ever met while your mom looked like one of the worst. If you had to lose him and be stuck with her I can pretty much imagine how you grew up..."
"I bet you spent every day crying, hoping your dad would come back one day to rescue you from your crazy mom and give you the normal happy life any child deserves... But he never did, and that ended up breaking you..."
Marcus changed tactics and came back to trying to shoot Evlin with metal arrows but she simply blocked them with a wall.
"I know how it feels... I also lost someone I really cared about, and every day I wish to myself I could see her just one more time... I know it sucks Marcus, it sucks a lot... Being alone will never not suck..."
Marcus stopped shotting and empaled the ground. Suddenly, a wave of metal blades started to emerge from the snow and rush towards Evlin. She used her rocket boots to run away from the wave.
"But being sad doesn't give you the excuse to hurt other people! If you do, you will just keep being alone for the rest of your life, and no one will ever try to approach you ever again!"
"I'm not listening!!!!"
"Then I will start screaming and make you listen!!! WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS WRONG!!!!"
Evlin stopped running and stared at the wave of swords popping out of the ground coming at her.
"Stop acting like your pain gives you the right to hurt others!! Everyone feels pain!! Everyone suffers!! Everyone struggles every day to find a reason to keep on living!! Your pain doesn't make you special!!!"
Evlin raised her arms and waited for the wave to come at her.
"Your choices are what make you special!!! How you react to your pain is what defines who you are!! So make your choice and tell me Marcus... Do you wanna keep being your mother's tool forever? Or do you wanna make your father proud? WHO DO YOU WANT TO BE???"
The blades were one step away from stabbing Evlin in the face, but just as they were about to, they suddenly froze out of nowhere.
Evlin's heart was beating at an absurd pace while she looked at the sharp objects inches away from her nose and turned her eyes towards Marcus who was crying on the ground while holding his head.
"I just wanted to be with my dad..."
Evlin lowered down her arms, took a deep breath, and placed her crossbow on top of a rock nearby. She came towards Marcus and placed her hand on his back.
"I'm sorry Marcus... He's gone..."
Marcus looked at Evlin with tears coming out of his eyes and snot coming out of his nose. He started to cry even harder while hugging her with all his strength. Evlin looked at him, not as a tool, not as a weapon, not as a living sword that was told that his mission was to kill demons. She looked at him for what he was, a little boy that was hurt and all this time had no one he could cry on.
"I never got... To make a choice!! My whole life was decided for me the moment I came into this world!! I could never escape from my mother!! I was always told my destiny was just to be her tool!! I never wanted this life!! I never wanted any of this!!!"
"Why did I get this life?? Why did my father gave me this life!!?? Why???"
"Why... Did no one came to help me? I waited for so long for someone to save me!! But no one ever came!!! I don't want this life!! I don't want this destiny!!!"
Evlin stood up and extended her hand towards him.
"Ok... I'll change your destiny for you..."
"I told you... I've met your mother, and she doesn't scare me! I can say for sure, as long as I'm here, I won't let her touch you ever again!"
Marcus looked at Evlin with wide-open eyes filled with hope as if the shackles that were tying his body for his entire life were finally being broken.
"I give you my word... Will you trust me?"
"But... I tried to kill you... Many times!!"
"I stabbed your heart with an arrow and your friend's too!!"
"I said that I would cut your head and raised an army to kill you! And because of me, you got locked in the white void!"
Evlin started to think about all the things Marcus had done to her. Honestly, she knew that he was feeling lost due to the way his mother treated him and probably wasn't his fault that all these things happened, but the kid looked like he wouldn't stop blaming himself anytime soon.
"Remember what I said before? About how I never got a punch against you?"
"How about this? You let me punch you once, and we call it even?"
"Is that a no?"
"... F- Fine..."
"You sure? A punch from me is really going to hurt."
Marcus looked at Evlin, still unsure if he could trust her words. But the mere idea that someone could finally help him was making the kid lose all common sense and just trust in his wishful felling.
"You sure you can keep my mother away from me?"
"... Then fine... I can take one punch..."
"All right then, grit your teeth!"
Marcus proceeded to do so and Evlin closed her fist. It wasn't a magic cloaked fist since her crossbow was resting on a rock right now. This was a bare-handed fist, probably the first time Evlin ever punched someone without her gauntlets.
She smacked the kid in his face and sent him flying backwards.
The girl looked at the silver-haired boy who was now laying on the ground and that for some reason had a huge smile on his face.
Marcus looked at her with blood coming out of his nose while he wiped the tears off his eyes. For the first time in his life, he was given a choice of what he wanted to do. It was a weird choice, sure, either get punched in the face or spend the rest of his life as his mother's weapon. But it was still a choice, and finally being able to try and say himself what route he wanted his life to take, made him feel like a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders.