149 A hole in the hear
Evlin was inside a classroom filled with girls in school uniform who, just like her, were all around the age of eight or nine, in the middle of one of her lessons from catholic school.
They were all being lectured by an old nun who was writing on the board the topic of today. She was drawing a vertical line in the middle of the board with the words "true" written on one side, and "false", written in the other
"Ok everyone, how many of you studied the ten commandments?" the nun asked with a bright smile on her face.
One of Evlin's classmates raised her hand to ask a question, "Is that the one about the guy who liked to walk around carrying two tablets made of rock?"
The nun just scratched her chin with a now faint smile, "That's... One way of putting it, I think..."
"Yeah, I've been meaning to ask... Why didn't he just used paper? Wasn't it hard to move with two pieces of rock of the size of a notebook?"
"Uuhh... Let's just say, his faith gave him the strength to carry the tablets with ease!"
"Wait... Faith gives you super-strength!!??"
"Oh dear..." the nun whispered while trying to think of the best way to respond to that.
Evlin knew very little about the commandments. Apparently they were some kind of rules that God Himself wrote for mankind in order to teach them the secret to be a good person and get into heaven or something. She wondered how hard it could be to follow these rules. She was feeling really confident as she always was good at obeying her mother's instructions.
The nun then started to rip apart a piece of paper into twenty parts and handed it out to each of the girls in the class.
"Now everyone, each of these has a commandment written on it. Ten of these are real, and ten of them are fake. I want you all to try and guess which are the real ones and place it on the board on the correct spot."
Evlin saw her friends standing up and placing the pieces of paper they got on the board. One side had really obvious fake commandments such as never stay up until late at night, you shall never call others with ugly names, you shall not covet...
"Right... As if 'covet' wasn't a made-up word..." Evlin smirked.
The nun then approached and asked if the commandment on her hand was real or fake. Evlin was so interested in looking at the list that she forgot to even analyze her own paper.
"Oh! Pfftt. That's easy." Evlin said.
She then walked towards the board full of confidence and placed her paper in the "true" section.
"Very good Evlin!" the nun commented with her usual bright smile.
"Thanks, sister!" Evlin responded after taking a quick look at the paper that had in it the words 'Thou shalt not kill'.
Evlin then affirmed that at least this one, she would definitely never have to worry about, "Oh yeah, I'm totally going to heaven!"
She then looked up and realized that one of the commandments in the 'true' section said 'Thou shalt not steal' followed by gazing at her pocket and inside of it, the chocolate bar she took from her sister's bag, "Oh, dang it!"
Back at the present, Evlin was staring at Mia with complete disbelief of what she just heard. Ellie and Detra stared in shock as well, Detra more than anyone present.
The voice that came out from Mia's mouth belonged not to that of a little girl but to one of the four gods that ruled the other world.
Evlin was trying to find the right words to describe how she was feeling but it looked like her confusion was her most prominent emotion at that moment.
"Mia... What the hell did you do??" Evlin asked, trying to confirm that what she heard wasn't just her brain malfunctioning from all her recent stress.
Mia's body started to glow, and suddenly the image of a very muscular blond man wearing a white robe formed itself behind her as if it was some kind of ghost, as well as the projection of a green girl with vines in the place where her hair should be, making it look like she had dreadlocks.
Drya, the dryad, and North, the north god, were projecting themselves by Mia's side.
"This is the moment I've been waiting for so long, Evlin, the human..." responded North with his arms crossed.
"The moment WE have all been waiting for!" said Drya next, "The moment the one who defeated the demon leader and the one who obtained the power of blessings and curses clash with each other!"
"And now..." Mia finished, "We can finally find out what your resolve will be!"
Evlin was unsure of how to respond. She was aware that Mia had some kind of ability related to absorbing energy, and had obtained the power of the demon dryad, but she definitely didn't expect the girl to also include the god of the north on her shopping list.
"You're all that's left stick-girl!" Drya shouted, calling Evlin's attention, "Once you're in here as well, our little girl will be the most powerful champion in two worlds!"
"Truly!!" North joined the speech while raising his fist, "It will be a magnificent sight to behold!!"
Evlin glared at the god, "North! You freaking idiot!! I can't believe you let Mia absorb you just so she could beat me!"
"Let her??" North reacted, showing he was insulted with Evlin's assumption, "Do not be foolish, recreation mage! If I find myself in this position today, it is only due to this young child proving to be the superior one and surpassing me in a challenge of power!"
"What...?" Evlin gasped, "Mia defeated you?"
"Indeed! I was bested in a battle of wills and wits!" North confirmed, showing he was holding no remorse whatsoever, and if anything, looking rather proud of his champion, "Now! Resume your dispute!! Show to the whole world who will be the one true queen!" North's image then disappeared and entered Mia's body again.
"I can't wait for you to be our roommate, stick-girl!" Drya spoke next, "I just want you to know that I will be getting the good bed!"
The dryad disappeared as well, leaving only Evlin and Mia alone again in a staring match. Evlin took a look at the portal open in the middle of the sky and could feel the magic from the other world flowing into her body. She could also spot a few spirits and monsters lurking into her world.
"Breath in..." Mia whispered, "This is all for you!"
Evlin assumed a battle stance, waiting for Mia to attack at any moment after hearing those words. She was determined to not let her guard down for even a second against this girl.
"The portal will leak the air of the other world... Take your time to get your magic back and let's proceed once you are ready..."
"Why would you give me a handicap? Don't you want to win?" Evlin asked, wondering what Mia was planning.
"If all I wanted was to win I would just have placed a bomb on your house and blow you up into kingdom come while you watched tv..." Mia answered while taking a few steps around Evlin, "I want to face you at your peak! That's what I've been trying to do this whole time! How many times do I have to repeat that?"
"But why?? Why is it so important for us to fight?? Why did you do all this for? Why threaten my family? Why send all these monsters? Why try to make me become a mage again?? Why are you so desperate to pick a fight with me??" Evlin questioned, trying to find the meaning in this entire quest that Mia started.
Mia herself just stared at Evlin and once more created her pair of arm blades, "I wanna see if you can end me!"
The girl then leaped to cut Evlin with her blades using a vertical slash movement. Evlin responded with a shield of diamonds on her right arm and blocking the attack.
"Ever since I was twelve, I have never been able to meet someone who could stop me! I searched for years and years... Looking for someone... Anyone! With the power that could rival or surpass mine!"
Mia created her vine whip again and grabbed Evlin by the stomach, proceeded by smashing her against the ground, "Guaahhhh!!!"
"But no one ever even came close to reach me! I thought the living weapon would be able to do it, but by the time I got to him, he was already dead, leaving nothing but his worthless son behind."
Mia stabbed the ground and several spikes appeared trying to stab Evlin. The golden mage then surrounded herself with even more diamonds to block the attack again.
"He also was nothing that I couldn't handle... So instead of making him my enemy, I decided to become his partner... Thinking his dumbass quest for world peace would allow me to face some strong opponents... Which ended up leading me to YOUR silly group!"
The girl created her whips again and started to wrap Evlin inside her diamond shell like a cocoon, followed by constantly crashing it against several of the amusement park's broken rides.
"But even you guys were nothing but a bunch of useless idiots!! Marcus just bodied all of you by himself without breaking a sweat!! I even started to lose hope! Thinking I was doomed to never meet a challenge worthy of my full power!!"
Evlin's shell finally gave in from the non-stop attacks and was forced open, revealing the woman inside. Mia used her free hand to get Evlin out of her shell and tied her up against a pole.
"But then... You did the impossible..." Mia returned her body to normal and slowly walked towards Evlin with a wide smirk, "You reached a new power... A power so strong that was able to rival anything or anyone!! A power that could finally face me at my best... I felt like my long, long journey was finally about to end!!"
Suddenly, Mia dropped her smile and stared at Evlin with cold emotionless eyes.
"And then you just had to ruin it..."
Mia raised her hands and pulled Evlin with an absurd speed towards herself by extending her arms and retracting them back, "Whooaaaa!!"
"You decided to go home!!!! And lost your power!! The power that could rival me!!" Mia whispered while holding Evlin with her fists.
"God, I'm so sick of people trying to tell me how I should live my life..." Evlin reacted, followed by shredding Mia's vines with her claws to free herself and smashing the kid against the ground.
"Why won't you people just understand that I don't want power?? I didn't become a mage because I wanted to, I became because I had to!! All I ever wanted was to be a teacher and help kids in need!! Why is that so hard for everyone to accept??"
"A teacher...? Help kids...? What...? You wanted to be some kind of hero to a group of useless shrimps?" the girl asked with Drya's voice while producing several spikes with her hair to stab Evlin, forcing her to let the girl go. Mia then began to speak with her normal voice, "A teacher can't ease my desire!! A teacher can't fulfill my hunger for a challenge!! A teacher can't end me!!!"
Evlin placed some distance between them and applied healing magic on herself, "That sounds like a YOU problem..."
Mia continued to stare at Evlin without making an expression. She then started smiling again out of nowhere, "It seems like you still don't get the position you are in..."
Mia then snapped her finger and a group of individuals appeared right behind her.
"Ah!!" said Ellie, who was simply watching the whole thing from afar. Evlin had no idea who these figures were but Ellie was fully aware of their identity. Two adults wearing red robes and carrying a mage staff each.
The two finally pulled their hoods and revealed their faces to Evlin, making her gasp in return.
"Ash...? Carlos...?" Evlin muttered. She felt time was freezing for a moment after finally reuniting with her kidnapped family members. The feeling of relief was increasing inside of her after witnessing the two.
Mia then raised her blades again and pointed at their necks, "This is your last chance... Evlin... Take me down right now... Or you will be getting their heads as your birthday present!"
"Wraaaaghhh!!!" Evlin instantly leaped towards Mia and started to choke her with her claws, pulling her away from the mages. Seeing Mia threatening her family once more was enough to make the woman lose all reason and return to her berserker state.
But at that moment, Evlin looked at what she was doing and realized that she was losing herself and suffocating an actual kid, and for a split-second, she hesitated.
Mia then used this chance to stab Evlin's arms, succeeding in making the woman release her due to the immense pain. The girl did not stop and stabbed Evlin's legs next, "Aaaaaahhhh!!!"
Evlin applied healing magic while changing her armor into a helmet in the form of a beast and proceeded to use her magic howl on Mia one more time.
"Ughh!!!" Mia was pushed back and forced to cover her ears, giving Evlin time to heal herself. Mia also took this chance to heal her injuries thanks to her cursed energy closing her wounds.
Evlin and Mia felt that this would never end. Both of them had the ability to erase their own injuries but neither had enough power to finish the other for good. This fight could go on forever.
"Stop this nonsense, Mia!! This joke has gone on for long enough!!"
"It's not a joke you idiot!! This is my entire life's goal we are talking about!!" Mia shouted. A third figure in a red robe then appeared right behind her, a woman who seemed much older than Evlin by about twenty years wearing glasses.
"Mom!!" Evlin gasped.
The woman was looking just like her sister and her brother-in-law. A pair of wide-open red-glowing eyes staring at nothing as if she was a zombie and carrying a mage staff with her.
Evlin wanted to rush to her mother's side and hug her with all her strength, but Mia called her attention.
"This is your last chance... End me... Or I'll take everything you love from you!!"
Mia turned her arms into vines again and began to wrap them around Evlin's mother in an attempt to choke her.
"Stop! Stop!! I get it!! I'll fight you as much as you want!! Just let her go!!" Evlin begged, trying not to make any sudden moves.
"I'm done fighting!!! I want results, and I want them now!! Can you end me or not??"
Mia continued to strangle Evlin's mother as the recreation mage noticed tears appearing on the pony-tailed girl's still emotionless eyes.
"Mia, please!! I'll do whatever you want!!"
"I WANT YOU TO END ME!!"
Evlin's mother started to gasp for air, but as her mind was being controlled by Mia, she didn't try to resit, and simply let the vines continue to tighten up her neck.
"Stop it!!" Evlin shouted as she finally formed her crossbow again aimed at Mia, "Stop it now!!!"
Evlin shoot Mia with a blast of raw energy, but the girl just swallowed it with her hands.
"This will not work on us, Evlin, the human..." spoke North's voice, "The blessing I gave my champion will absorb any kind of energy attack! You will need to try harder!"
Ellie saw the scene and tried to rush at Mia. Detra tried to stop her but Ellie's parents were faster and locked the kid against the ground using their staffs.
"Mom!! Dad!! Let me go!! She's going to kill grandma!!!" Ellie begged, trying to fight against the two to free herself but to no success. The two possessed mages didn't react and simply stared blankly at Ellie. She had no energy left to fight by this point, and even if she did, she knew she couldn't win against her parents.
"No one is going to make this decision for you crossbow mage..." Drya's voice stated, "This will not be another problem that you can just run away from!!"
Evlin's mother had finally stopped breathing and was about to lose her consciousness. Evlin just kept holding her crossbow aimed at Mia. Raw magic wouldn't work, and she didn't have enough stamina to cast a large earth spell, but if she tried to shoot her with a diamond bullet, she could finish the girl off and save her mother. However, she still wasn't sure if she could cross this line. Her hand wouldn't stop shaking.
"Make the choice!" Mia ordered with North's voice.
Evlin's whole body was now trembling.
Her heartbeat was accelerating, her breathing getting heavier, and her mind was a mess thinking about choosing between killing Mia or letting her mother die. What would her choice be in the end?
She had no reason to feel bad about Mia, so what did she have to lose? Mia was a monster, a cruel being that tried to turn Evlin's life into a living hell, tried to hurt everyone around her, tried to kill Ellie, and her whole family. That's what Evlin always would tell herself, so why change that now?
And yet, for some reason... Killing her just didn't seem right, but she couldn't explain why.
"Make the choice!!" Mia shouted even louder, this time with Drya's voice.
She started to hold her crossbow with both hands to help restrain her shaking. Mia noticed that she was starting to gain the resolve to make her final decision. Her niece noticed as well, Detra and Xadi too. Everyone was looking at Evlin waiting for her response.
"MAKE THE CHOICE!!!" Mia finally screamed with her own voice as Evlin's mother lost her consciousness.
Evlin closed her eyes for a few moments... Took a deep breath... And using her geo-radar, shot Mia straight through the heart with a diamond bullet, using all the remaining magic she had left.
The only noise in the air after that was the sound of the bullet passing through Mia's body.
Evlin opened her now crying eyes to see the fruits of her action and gazed at Mia bleeding from her mouth with a wide grin stamped on her face.
The girl fell on the ground while releasing Evlin's mother as well.
Before her life completely vanished, she looked at Evlin who had a face of absolute horror and whispered her final words with Drya's voice, "Some hero you are!"