148 The broken mage
Evlin was swinging her claws at Mia in an attempt to slash the young-looking girl with extreme ferocity in her eyes.
"Miss me!! Miss me again! Over here!!" Mia taunted in a constant attempt to make Evlin drown even more on her own rage.
"Wraaaaghhh!!!" Evlin kept trying to attack her like a mad beast but Mia was just too agile for her, even with the power of her healing magic boosting her speed and agility, "Stand still so I can punch you!!"
Evlin finally gave up on trying to grab her and punched the ground with all her strength to create several pillars of diamonds to try and stab the pony-tailed child. Just like before, Mia continued to dodge it with her superior reflexes by continuously backflipping away from Evlin and her diamonds.
"You will have to do better than that if you want to save your stick-momma!!" the girl said as she avoided one of Evlin's attacks in the last second by jumping on a carousel ride.
Evlin tried to slash her again but Mia simply used the fake horses as shields, making it look like Evlin was a wild monster eviscerating a series of farm animals.
"Ooww... Poor horsies... Shame on you stick-girl... You used to be such an animal-lover... Look how much you have fallen!" Mia said while dangling her index left and right as if she was a mother scolding her child's misbehavior.
"SHUT UP!!!!" Evlin screamed. Not just a normal scream, but a yell powered by Sphinx's incredibly strong voice. Mia started to cover her ears from the loud noise while kneeling down and finally gave Evlin an opening to be attacked. Evlin raised her arms which were covered with her wooden gauntlets and released a huge blast of raw magic that pushed Mia away from the ride.
"Ugh!!" the girl said as she was caught by surprise from Evlin's attack. Evlin then exited the ride, and making use of her herculean strength, carried it with both hands, proceeded by smashing Mia with it the moment she landed on the ground.
Evlin waited as she observed the wreckage that she had buried Mia under. Her geo-radar was telling her that Mia was still buried, but she could feel something moving below the soil.
Using her golden wings, the mage tried to gain altitude by leaping towards the sky to enter a flying motion, but while she was in the process of doing so, her legs were suddenly grabbed by vines that were coming out of the ground.
Mia emerged from the destroyed ride and smiled at Evlin, "You want to leave already? But just when we were becoming more intimate! Why not get a little closer!!"
Evlin then felt the vines pulling her towards the ground and smashing her body against it, "Guahhh!!!"
"Aunt Evie!!" Ellie shouted. She tried to rush towards Evlin's side to help her, but Detra grabbed hold of her hand.
"Don't!! It's not safe!!" Detra begged.
"She's right Ellie!!" Evlin affirmed as she tore the vines with her claws, "Stay there and don't interfere!"
Ellie obeyed reluctantly and watched as her aunt covered her arms with gauntlets made of diamonds and charged at Mia once again.
Mia saw the golden-winged being coming at her direction and leaped as far as she could into the sky, successfully dodging Evlin again. She then extended her vines to latch onto Evlin's arms and pulled herself towards the woman with immense speed.
The second she did so thought, Evlin modeled her wooden armor to turn into a helmet for her head in the shape of a beast, followed by opening her mouth and combining her blast of raw magic with Sphinx's powerful howl to create a magic roar that simultaneously obstructed Mia's attack and completely blasted her even further towards the heavens.
"Whoa!" Mia whispered as she received the full impact of the blast. For any other person, this attack would have proven to be extremely damaging, but due to Mia's inability to feel pain, as well as her cursed energy being able to fix her body from receiving someone else's suffering, she was good as new in a matter of seconds.
Evlin, wanting to make use of the fact Mia was so far away from the ground, flapped her wings and went after her to try and finish the girl off for good.
"Huh!? You coming after me again? Do you have a crush on me or something?" Mia mocked while making a pair of leaf blades with her arms.
The girl tried to stab Evlin, but the mage easily blocked her attack by making a shield of diamonds in midair.
Evlin then grabbed Mia with her claws and glared at her, "I finally have you now!!"
Ellie was in shock from seeing this fight. The difference between her attempt at facing Mia and her aunt's attempt was like heaven and earth. She was finally watching the crossbow mage at her peak with all the magic power she heard so much from her tales.
But just as the girl was about to declare her aunt's victory, she noticed a grin forming on Mia's face.
"Is that so?", Mia said back at her, proceeded by shifting her head to the side and making her turning her entire hair into several spikes that stabbed Evlin's entire body.
"Grruaahhhhh!!!" Evlin howled as the pain entered her body, making her release Mia by accident.
Mia latched onto the entrance of another ride and pulled herself to the ground. She then looked up and watched as Evlin was dropping at great speed. Mia stabbed the ground and a storm of leaf blades started to emerge, aimed right at Evlin.
The woman realized that the ground had turned into a death trap and tried to fly again to move out of the way. Mia tried to grab her leg with her vines but Evlin simply started to spin around to shred it to pieces.
She landed on a safe spot and stared at Mia without moving to catch her breath.
"What a fight..." Xadi whispered below Ellie, contemplating the fight with awe.
"Yeah..." Ellie nodded. She had just realized that she never had truly seen her aunt in action before. In the fight against the crystal spider, she was completely powerless and had to rely on Marcus to do most of the work.
Against Xadi in his wooden form, she simply leaped out of the building and engaged him before anyone could follow her.
And even during the duel with the fire mages, her aunt ordered to remove herself from the location so she wouldn't be harmed.
This fight with Mia was the first time Ellie ever got to truly see the crossbow mage in action, and just like she always imagined, she was amazing.
"I never knew my aunt's fights looked like this..." Ellie whispered.
"They don't..." Detra corrected her, while trying to keep Lance quiet.
Ellie just looked at her in confusion, "What?"
"I've seen your aunt's combat style many times... Her strategy usually relies on keeping her distance and only relying on close-ranged attacks when she is out of options or to finish the opponent quickly... But this...?" Detra described as she stared at Evlin heavily breathing as if she had been running a marathon, "She keeps going for close combat like a wild beast... That's not her usual style..."
"Re- Really??" Ellie asked while in disbelief.
"Her nickname is the crossbow girl, young miss... How many times have you seen her using her crossbow so far?"
Ellie finally realized what Detra was trying to say. Evlin wasn't fighting with her brains, she was just charging at Mia like a crazy woman, trying to end the fight in one move. Almost as if she was so terrified of Mia's existence that she just wanted to end it as soon as possible.
"But- She's still winning, right? She will be ok... Right?" Ellie asked, looking at Detra hoping she could give an answer she could rely on.
"I don't know... Your aunt does have a habit of making the impossible happen so... Maybe everything will work out?" Detra said, trying to calm Ellie down, but deep inside, she knew, the Evlin she was looking at right now was not the same Evlin that defeated the demon leader many years ago.
Mia started to approach the golden woman who was still in the process of catching her breath.
"What's wrong? Out of magic already?" Mia wondered.
"Why don't you come closer and find out?" Evlin said while making the claws on her gauntlets become even sharper.
"Tempting! But you know... It would be a real shame if you run out of juice right now..." Mia commented as she raised her arms upwards, "So let's try to make this last as much as we can ok?"
"...?" Evlin didn't know what Mia meant, but then she looked at where the girl was pointing and saw that some kind of light was forming itself up in the sky, "What in the world...?"
"Which one?" Mia replied, questioning her question.
The light started to grow, suddenly looking like some kind of circle, and inside of it, the image of another land could be seen.
"Mia...?? What is this??" Evlin asked while trying to understand what was happening.
Detra was at a loss as well, not because she didn't know what was going on, but because she didn't know how it was possible, "This is... A portal to another world..."
Ellie and Xadi looked as well, both unsure of how to respond. The portal in the middle of the sky was showing what appeared to be another world, a world that Evlin recognized from the geography, the way people were dressed, and the appearance of the animals, or rather, its creatures.
"It's the other world!! You can open a portal to the other world??" Evlin said as she shifted her gaze from the portal towards Mia, as the kid was leaping towards her to kick her in the stomach, "Kuuuhhh!!"
Mia looked at Evlin rolling in the ground while hugging her belly, "How did you think I got here in the first place, genius??"
The girl formed her leaf blades again and jumped to try and stab Evlin, but the woman used her earth power to dive into the ground.
"How did you think I got access to so many white crystals and spirits??" Mia continued as she spotted Evlin jumping out of the ground to try and grab her, but easily dodging it in the last second.
Mia's hair then suddenly started to gro and wrap itself around Evlin to smack her on the terrain with full force, "Graahhhh!!!"
"How did you think I managed to keep myself always full of energy while still living in this place?"
Mia started to move her hair left and right while smashing Evlin continuously.
"Stop it!!" Ellie yelled at the sight of her aunt being tormented but was once again held back by Detra who was still mesmerized by the sudden appearance of the portal.
"Mia... How did you get this kind of power...?" Detra demanded.
Mia turned around and looked right at the former goddess.
"It's not Mia anymore... It's Myriad!" she replied, not with her former voice, but with another female voice.
"The dryad?" Detra said, recognizing that the voice belonged to Dria, who Mia had absorbed into herself, "How could the dryad have done this?"
"Not just the dryad..." Mia answered. She then started to speak one more time, but with a male voice this time, "A myriad is a collection... A collection of many things... Even souls..."
Evlin and Detra were completely frozen. They knew who that voice belonged to. One of the most powerful beings from the other world, one of the four blessed deities that gained their powers from the prayers of humans.
"North...?" Evlin said, with a weak voice.
Mia turned towards her and gave her reply, "It's been a long time... Evlin, the human!"