112 My aunt loves me
The woman with a look of absolute loss on her face heard her name being called by one of her friends as she watched a creature made entirely of crystals charging at her flipping cars and trucks like a bulldozer.
She was completely unprepared to deal with this kind of situation when she woke up today and now she needed to wake up again before the creature reached and squashed her.
She heard her niece calling her name as well and finally returned to reality.
"Sphinx!! Let's move!!"
Evlin gave the signal towards her griffin and they started to create some distance between themselves and the approaching monster.
Evlin, Ellie, and Marcus were trying their best to not fall off Sphinx's back as they started to get chased around the streets.
Marcus and Ellie stared at the crystal giant with spider legs right behind them trying to make sense of the situation.
"Aunt Evie, what is that??"
"An absorbing crystal possessed by a spirit!"
"... ... What does that even mean???"
"KINDA BUSY RIGHT NOW ELLIE!! I'll explain later!!!"
Evlin was trying her best to focus on trying to lead the creature away from innocents as she kept giving commands to Sphinx, but no matter where they went the giant wouldn't stop following them.
As always, people on the streets would look around trying to understand what was going on. Evlin was getting used to that feeling by now.
Daren and Lilith were trying to follow right behind them but they weren't fast enough to keep up. Marcus started to scream at Evlin to warn her of the approaching danger.
"Evlin!! He's getting closer!!"
"Marcus did Sphinx ever got over his fear of flying as well??"
"We tried to fly many times but he still doesn't seem to like it."
"Then we're doing this the hard way! Sphinx, climb the building!!"
The golden beast heard the command and just as their follower tried to launch a car on top of them he leaped towards a building and started to climb it by crushing the walls with its claws.
Usually both Sphinx and Evlin would have a hard time dealing with high places, but the idea of keeping their friends safe was completely clouding their fear right now.
"Everyone hold on tight!!"
All three individuals tried their best not to fall off as they kept being carried by the griffin. The crystal giant stared as its prey began to get farther and farther away and once again tried to throw piles of cars at the group in an attempt to make them fall off.
Marcus saw the approaching flying vehicles and jumped off from his featherly ride. Evlin realized what the boy had done and began to scream desperately.
"Marcus!!! Are you crazy???"
"You two keep going!! I'll hold him off!"
The lad with silver hair then turned both his arms into metal blades and split the cars into pieces while in mid-air.
Both Evlin and the creature were in shock from seeing that performance but Marcus wasn't done yet. He locked eyes with the creature and fused his arms into a giant silver spear while flying towards him like a rocket and proceeded to stab it on its torso.
The creature started to scream in pain showing that the boy's attack was extremely effective. Marcus decided to keep going and changed his leg into a huge scythe. The weapon kid tried to slash the monster again but the crystal giant simply dodged it and grabbed the young man.
He proceeded to smash Marcus against the ground using all his weight.
"I'm a spirit, you idiot... This isn't my body, so I can't feel pain!!"
Marcus took his chance while the possessed crystal was holding him down to turn his arms into blades and began to destroy the giant hand that was holding him down.
"Pain or no pain, I still can tear you apart!!"
"I don't have time to play with you kid... My business is with that woman up there."
The monster raised his arm that was now taking the shape of a massive mace and tried to squash Marcus. The boy responded to that by making a metal shield with his hands to parry the incoming attack and moving himself out of the way.
"That woman up there saved me and gave me a new chance in life when nobody else would... She is my hero! If you want to get to her, you'll need to deal with me first!!"
Marcus stabbed the ground and a huge sword came out beneath the crystal monster splitting it in half completely.
"I am the living weapon... There is nothing in this or any world that my blades cannot cut."
The creature began to fall apart after receiving Marcus's attack making the lad feel a sense of victory. He almost waved at Evlin who was now on top of the building to show that the problem was dealt with, but the minute he looked up he saw the woman yelling something at him.
"Marcus!!! Look out!!!"
The young man could barely react as a massive fist made of crystals smacked him from behind.
He was sent flying across the street and turned his hand into a blade to stab the ground to stop his body from moving at such speed. He raised his face and noticed that the crystal monster was forming itself once again.
"You can cut me as much as you want little boy... I'll just keep reforming myself until you fall down."
"Then I'll just have to slash you into pieces so small that you can never reform yourself again."
"You're welcome to try!!"
Marcus and the crystal monster started a battle of attrition, trying to see who would give up first. Marcus continued slashing the creature into pieces while the creature kept reforming itself.
Evlin and Ellie watched the battle with concern.
"This is bad... Marcus won't win at this rate..."
"Huh?? Why not, aunt Evie?"
"There is no magic in this world... If he keeps using his power like this he will soon run out of blessed energy."
And just as Evlin said, Marcus started to notice his blades getting weaker the more he used them. Marcus's champion body had the power to convert the raw energy he absorbed from his world's atmosphere into blessed energy which would in turn unlock his shape-shifting abilities. But the more he fought the more he continued to burn out his blessed energy.
He started to run out of ways to block the crystal monster's attacks and began to get smacked around by its heavy fists.
Ellie watched the scene in horror while covering her mouth.
"Aunt Evie we need to help!!"
Evlin agreed, but what could she possibly do? She had no power right now. If she tried to get down there and help Marcus she would just turn into another target that would need to be rescued as well. But if she just stayed there hiding like a coward Marcus was going to die. The boy was finally free from his life chained up to his cruel mother and now he was fighting to protect her, Evlin couldn't let him die like this.
"Ellie, stay here, I'll try to help him with Sphinx!"
Evlin grabbed her niece and placed her on top of the building.
"Aunt Evie, wait!!!"
The girl tried to scream but the woman was already descending on her griffin to aid her friend. She noticed that Daren and his group had finally managed to catch up as well.
Marcus was doing his best to block his enemy's attacks but he was seconds away from becoming part of the pavement as the monster was about to flatten him with a massive mace made of crystals.
However, Sphinx pounced on top of the monster to obstruct his aim while Daren's lion grabbed Marcus and moved him to a safe place.
Evlin continued to ride her pet griffin as Sphinx started to tap-dance on the monster's face. While the creature was distracted Marcus was reunited with Daren and Lilith and they all started to access the situation while Evlin kept buying them some time.
"Marcus, are you ok??"
"I'll live... Thanks for the save Daren... I don't know what happened back there... My blades just began to stop working for some reason..."
Lilith then approached him to check his wounds.
"It's this world. We need to be careful with how much energy we use in here otherwise we will have no power to fight."
Daren started to look concerned as he absorbed the situation.
"We need a plan... Sphinx won't be able to deal with that thing by himself."
Daren hoped onto his black lion to give support to Evlin and Sphinx. The two feline creatures started to attack the monster while doing their best to avoid his attacks. They would leap into the walls of the buildings around them and use it as stepping-stones to jump on its face trying to bring him down, but the giant was too strong and barely felt their attacks. The most they were doing was annoying him.
The huge possessed crystal finally got tired of playing games and decided to switch targets after realizing he was getting nowhere trying to catch the two overgrown cats who would just not stay put.
He saw Lilith trying to take care of Marcus while holding Lance on her arms and began to charge at them. Daren watched the scene and became filled with despair.
"Stop!!! Stay away from them!!"
He charged at the monster with his lion but that was exactly what he wanted. The crystal giant used this chance to smack the two with one of his spider legs and locked them against the ground.
Lilith wanted to rescue the father of her son but she couldn't charge with her baby in hand nor leave an injured Marcus alone.
The monster then proceeded to turn his arm into a crystal hammer and placed it right above Daren's head ready to squash him. He then began to yell towards his initial target.
"This is your last chance crossbow mage!! Face me yourself or watch your friends perish!"
Evlin was frozen. Daren was locked beneath the monster and was about to be killed by him, Marcus was so beat up that he could barely stand, and Lilith couldn't do anything without putting Lance in danger. Evlin herself had few options. She had no crossbow, no magic, her whole body was covered in pain because of the beating she received from Mia at the restaurant, and all her friends were going to be killed just because they were trying to help her.
This was supposed to be her mess to clean up but everyone she loved ended up getting involved and were now in danger as well. She had no choice but to surrender herself and hope it would be enough to make the monster leave them alone.
"Stop!! Stop!! I get it... I'll face you myself..."
She leaped off from Sphinx and started to walk towards the crystal monster with her injured body.
"You wanted to fight me right?"
The monster glared at her as if finally realizing who he was chasing all this time.
"Now that I look at you... You don't look that powerful... Are you really the crossbow mage?"
Evlin didn't know why Mia sent this guy after her nor how she expected Evlin to deal with him. She said she wanted Evlin to be her new opponent so maybe this was meant to be a test? Well, if that was the case, Evlin had failed big time. She had no idea how she was supposed to beat this freak without her magic.
Even so, if she was going to die right in front of her niece, she wanted to at least try to look cool one last time.
The woman took a deep breath and began to yell.
"That's right stone-head!! I'm the amazing crossbow magician!! The queen of recreation! Professional face-puncher! And the world's best teacher!! If you want to get to my friends or family, you will need to deal with me!!"
Ellie recognized that speech. It was the same kind of speech her hero, the crossbow girl gave when she defeated the demon leader in the battle of the southern kingdom. But in the story she heard, she had all the power in the world on her hands and was basically invincible. Right now, she was so weak and hurt that a small breeze could take her down. What was Evlin trying to tell to Ellie?
The girl then realized her aunt looking at her with a big smile on her face while continuing her speech.
"I may not have any magic on me right now, but I'm still the one who decides how I live or die. And if I am to die today, I'm dying with pride in who I am! So give me your best shot!!"
Ellie began to cry. Her aunt just announced that she was going to die. This wasn't the angry aunt who would not stop glaring at everyone around her with eyes filled with killing intent, the scared aunt who was shaking at the sight of a small ponytail girl, or the psychotic aunt who she met on her nightmare that destroyed the whole city.
This was her beloved aunt. Her aunt Evlin. Her hero and the one she looked up to the most. Ellie loved her more than anything in this world and she was not ready to see her go yet.
The scream of the little girl could be heard all the way from the top of the building as the creature began to raise his arm in an attempt to squash the former mage. Evlin gave the little girl one final look and whispered a few words to her as the pile of crystals approached her.
"I love you!"
She screamed at the sight of a pile of smoke being raised as the crystal fist dropped on top of her aunt.