157 Gambit of the fallen goddess
Detra stared at Mia while praying that her plan would work. It was the only card she had left by that point.
"This girl..." Detra said as she pointed at the fallen Ellie on the ground, "She can beat you!"
Mia took a deep breath and closed her eyes while processing that information with her arms crossed, very similar to how Evlin would often do, and tried to ponder about East's statement for a bit before looking at her like she was crazy.
"So Evlin was right... You did suffer brain damage..."
Detra felt really annoyed by that comment but she couldn't afford to be led by her emotions right now. She needed to focus on making sure her strategy worked out.
"I know what it looks like... But I've seen what she can do... If there is anyone who can stand a chance to finally giving you the end you desire so much, it's definitely her..." Detra explained.
Mia gave another look at Ellie and once again, felt no faith in Detra's words.
"I find that very, very hard to believe..." Mia admitted.
"Just hear me out..." Detra asked, "This child can use magic without a staff just like you! She inhaled the crossbow girl's staff after it was turned into ashes from the fire... Her whole body is basically a living staff! Which means she can access any spell she wants anytime she wants! "
"..." Mia didn't seem convinced.
"And not only that... She has the ability to copy the spells from the people around her! You saw how she used the diamond spells from the crossbow girl? Or how she could change her body into blessed metal like Marcus? She's probably the world's most powerful master of mirror magic, which surely can prove to be a great challenge even to you!"
"..." Mia still didn't seem impressed. Detra was starting to become nervous. The woman needed to find a way to sell the idea of Ellie being a worthy opponent or Mia would go after Hana instead.
"And... !!" the former goddess stated while raising her finger while dripping sweat from her face, "She even managed to copy your blessing as well!! She can also absorb magic with her bare hands, thanks to the ability she mirrored from you!!"
"..." Mia still didn't look all that amazed, but she did raise an eyebrow and began to rest her chin on her hand, "Is that so...?"
"Yes!! It is that so!!" Detra wanted to kill herself on the inside for using Evlin's favorite stupid line but quickly returned to the problem at hand, "So? What do you say? A girl that can use several different magic spells, all without the need of a mage staff, and, with the ability to absorb energy, making her able to keep fighting for long periods of time!! Sounds like a fun time??"
Mia just looked at Detra with very unimpressed eyes and shifted her gaze to Ellie. She then began to walk towards her direction and created a pair of claws made of diamonds with her hands.
"Wha- What are you doing...?" Detra asked.
"I'm going to find out if she really is such a big deal..." Mia answered.
"Waaaaiittt!!!" Detra realized that Mia was about to slash Ellie into pieces and jumped in front of her to stop the girl from being eviscerated.
"What...? You just said she would be a worthy challenge..."
"Can't you see that she's not ready yet?? She's not even awake right now!!" Detra shouted as she grabbed Ellie and shook her in front of Mia like a ragdoll while being careful not to drop Lance.
"Then what exactly do you propose...?"
This was it, the moment Detra was hoping for and the one she was placing all her bets on. If she could get time to prepare herself and turn Ellie into a weapon that could defeat Mia, they might just solve this whole problem once and for all.
"Let's make a deal!"
"... A deal...?"
"How about you give us... Two years...? Maybe three?" Detra suggested.
"Three years to train this girl... To make her into a real proper mage... She has the foundation inside of her but she still needs to be properly polished... Just give me a little bit of time... And I'll give you the opponent that can finally end you..."
Mia glared at Detra, "You want me to just sit around and wait for three years while you train this girl... All on the very, VERY, faint hope that she might be a challenge one day?"
"Well..." Detra started to become nervous.
"I'm tired of waiting and placing my hopes on others... I'm not wasting years of my life anymore just to be disappointed again..." Mia stated as she raised her fist and prepared to stab Ellie.
Detra began to panic, "Ah!! Ah!! What about your game!!??"
Mia froze on her attack and stared at Detra, "My game...??"
"Yes!! You gave Evlin two weeks to win your game!! The two weeks are not over yet!! We still have time to get at full power and find you!!" the blond woman said while shaking her whole body and trying to hide Ellie behind her.
"..." Mia stared at the two.
"Just give us two weeks... It's all I ask!!"
At that moment, Mia began to hear voices speaking inside her head.
[She's just wasting our time!! She knows nothing can stop you now and want to use this chance to run away!! Just kill her now!!] said Drya.
[Indeed!! We deserve only the greatest of opponents to face us!! A frail small child like this will hardly be a problem against our might!!] added North.
"..." Mia pondered about that. She had no doubts that she would not lose to Ellie. After all, the two got to fight not too long ago, and Ellie could barely touch her. How would this girl possibly beat her now that she had all of this power under her belt?
But, just as she was about to give up on the idea, another voice started to speak inside of her.
[Are you scared of my niece... Mia?] declared a third voice.
"!!!" Mia was caught off guard by the voice of the last person she added to her collection of souls, "You!!?"
[Me!] said Evlin inside Mia's mind.
"How are you still here?? You should have vanished along with the other souls I absorbed!!"
Detra was looking confused as Mia suddenly started talking with herself.
[Guess I must not be like other souls then...] Evlin answered.
[What? You can accept one annoying green brat with an inferiority complex and some random buff guy who keeps talking like he is in a Shakespearian play, but little old me is too much for you to handle? Guess you really were all talk as well...]
"..." Mia started to glare, but since Evlin was speaking inside her mind, it looked like she was glaring at the former goddess, which made Detra shiver nervously.
[Take the deal, Mia... You have nothing to lose...] Evlin stated.
"You just don't want me to kill your niece in front of you..." Mia responded.
[And you just don't want to admit that you are afraid you would lose to a nine-year-old...]
Mia felt something inside of her, some kind of sensation that she didn't recognize, "I don't feel fear... I don't feel anything!!"
[Then you have nothing to worry about!]
Detra kept looking at Mia. The woman in red just started to speak with herself out of nowhere and was completely ignoring her and Ellie.
Mia then finally looked directly at Detra and gave her final answer as she used her power of recreation to change back into her original form of a young girl with twin ponytails that was about half of Detra's size.
She was still wearing her red robe but her energy wings were completely gone. If it wasn't for her eyes constantly shifting color, one could confuse her for a regular girl.
She lifted her index and began to speak finally, "One week..."
Detra just stared at her in silence.
"You have seven days to prepare me my opponent... We will meet in one week on the location the demons were imprisoned in Wiltshire, England..." Mia declared, "Nothing more... Nothing less... If you're still not ready by then, I'll just go ahead with my original plan and go after Hana... I don't care how much damage our fight might cause or whatever..."
"..." Detra wasn't happy with these conditions, but she felt she shouldn't try to push her luck more than she already had. Mia probably didn't want to give too much time in case Detra decided to use this opportunity to destroy the demons while she waited.
"So what's your answer?"
"... Very well... One week... And I'll make the young miss into a mage worthy of facing you... Deal?" Detra said, finally accepting the less than desirable conditions.
"Deal..." Mia replied as she extended her hand. Detra got flashbacks of the time Evlin did the same gesture before throwing her into a portal like a bag of trash. Detra hoped the same thing wouldn't happen again.
The two finally shook hands and settled their agreement.
Mia gave Detra one last warning, "Don't disappoint me..."
The girl then opened a portal beneath her feet and disappeared after jumping inside of it, alongside all of her followers. Spirits, monsters, and possessed civilians, among which there were Evlin's family, Daren, Chloe, and some of the fire mages from Leona's group.
Detra watched as Mia's personal army followed her into the portal and vanished completely inside of it, a portal that showed the image of Stonehenge on the other side. Mia probably wanted to keep watch of it.
The gateway she had opened in the middle of the sky also started to slowly close until it disappeared completely.
Once they were all gone, Xadi decided to finally get out of the trash can Mia pushed him into and approached Detra while gazing at the surroundings.
The park had been completely trashed from the battle against Mia, more than half of the population of the city was gone, Evlin's friends were all knocked out on the ground after being demolished by the red mage, and Detra, still holding a baby on her arms and an unconscious Ellie as well, had just agreed to create a warrior that could stand up against Mia in the span of only seven days.
"So... We're doomed... Right...?" Xadi bluntly said.
"..." Detra just glared at him for a few seconds before stepping on his frog body, "No, we're not!!"
Leona and her teammate approached Detra as well while trying to not pass out from the pain and looked at Ellie, "Can she really do it...? Can she win against that thing?"
"She will... I will make sure of that!"