171 To fight or to run
Ellie felt like time had stopped for her.
As soon as she saw Mia's face amongst the group of memory warriors something inside of her began to snap.
When she arrived in the magic world she couldn't bother to even feel any sense of wonder because she wouldn't stop worrying about her family's safety in the hands of Myriad.
But that slowly began to change as she kept following Detra as they advanced through Hana's magic garden and she kept getting more battle experience by defeating several monsters one after another and getting more and more prepared to her duel.
She was finally able to smile again as she felt things were finally working the way she wanted.
But that feeling suddenly vanished as soon as the ponytailed girl showed up once again, standing right in front of her, bringing back all the frustration she was keeping inside of her contained.
"Ellie, Stop!!" Lilith yelled, but the girl didn't listen.
Without even thinking twice, Ellie used her magic to create a pair of claws made of blue diamonds and rushed towards Mia with full intent to kill her in one move while losing herself in her own rage.
Mia's memory spotted Ellie charging at her and raised her palm towards the berserker girl, and as soon as her hand touched the diamonds, they all disappeared as the mirror magic was absorbed by the young warrior.
Ellie was right now with her fist being stopped by Mia, and while the two girls stared at each other, Ellie whispered a few words to the lost memory.
"I'll make you pay... For everything!!"
Mia's memory didn't respond, and instead, two of the warriors that were equipped with blades created by Marceus jumped out to slash Ellie into pieces.
Lilith moved as fast as she could and parried their blades with her own.
"Ellie!! We need to run!!"
"Run!!?? But... But...!!"
Before Ellie could respond, Mia grabbed the girl's arm even tighter so she couldn't escape and threw her against a tree.
Both Lilith and Detra gasped. They knew they were in a bad situation so they needed to find a way to get out of there and fast.
"Sword lady!! Use your speed and blessing to get us out of here!!" Detra shouted while coming over to check on Ellie.
Lilith followed her command and after pushing away the two warriors she was facing off, she began to speed herself towards Ellie and Detra, grabbed the two with each arm, and escaped as fast as she could.
The warriors began to give chase, making Detra start to panic.
Lilith ran as fast as she could. Her back was starting to send a great amount of pain to her entire body. The old wound caused by Mia when she got smacked against in the amusement park had just been reopened and making her feel like screaming. But she couldn't afford to surrender to her pain right now.
The warriors were about to reach for the three, but a figure appeared right before they were going to land their attack and blocked their swords.
Lilith looked back and noticed that Marcus had returned and was holding the two off on his own.
"Don't stop!!! Go!!"
Marcus observed as Lilith kept running carrying Detra and Ellie with her and after they were far enough he used his superior speed to follow them.
Detra noticed that the moment Marcus began his escape, the two sword users simply returned to their chase once more.
"Ellie!! We need a wall!!" Detra ordered.
Ellie did as she was told and raised several pillars of blue diamonds to keep the warriors away from Marcus and from themselves.
They finally managed to get away from the memory warriors after going back to the summoning ring.
"We can stop now!!" Detra explained.
"Are you sure??" Lilith questioned.
"Yes!! Memory warriors can't exist outside of the memory ring! We are safe here!"
Lilith finally halted and dropped the two people she was carrying on the ground. She immediately fell on her knees and began to take heavy breaths as a result of trying to run with so much weight while being so injured.
"Is everyone ok??" Marcus asked.
He approached Lilith and gave her a healing crystal which she used to make the pain go away and recover her stamina.
Right after that, she glared daggers at Detra and began to choke her with one hand while aiming her sword at her heart.
"What are you doing!??" Detra yelled. Marcus and Ellie were looking in shock as well.
"Me!!?? I should be asking that question!! Why didn't you tell us that we would be facing Evlin, Marceus, and freaking Mia of all things!!??"
"I told you!! The memory ring projetcs the strongest warriors that ever entered this place! Of course these three would have been projected."
"But why didn't you tell us that Mia would be here as well!!??"
"If I did, you would say it would be too dangerous and never allowed the young miss to enter this place!" Detra explained, trying very hard to breathe with Lilith's hand on her throat.
"You're right! This IS too dangerous. We are turning back right now!!" Lilith stated while dropping Detra on the ground who started gasping for air.
"What!!?" Ellie gasped, "We are going back??"
Lilith turned towards her and looked the girl in the eyes, "Ellie you saw what we are up against. It's too risky to try going further with this!"
"You always say that!! You always think that I'm too weak to do anything! We can't go back now! We have come so far already!! I'm still not strong enough to face Mia!"
"Ellie, please just once, listen to what I'm saying!! You can't possibly think we can take on these three on our own!"
Lilith and Ellie kept staring at each other trying to see who would give up first. Ellie had no intent on backing down now after finally feeling she was making some progress, and Lilith had no intention of risking her friend's niece's life on a fight she had no guarantee she could win.
"I say we can do this! If we work together and come up with a plan we can find a way to win!" Ellie stated.
"And I say you have no idea of what you're saying! The same way you had no idea of what you were doing when you tried to go after Mia on your own!"
Ellie felt her heart was crushed for a moment. She was already blaming herself for what happened, but hearing from someone else's words made her guilt grow even stronger.
"Oh yeah!? Well, maybe I wouldn't have gone alone if you guys hadn't been knocked out after one hit against Xadi!!" Ellie replied, trying to unleash her frustration back at Lilith.
Lilith felt insulted. After everything she did to help Evlin and Ellie, risking her own life and the life of her lover and her baby to stay by Evlin's side in her time of need, this little girl still felt the need to talk back to her.
Marcus and Detra kept looking at the two arguing unsure if they should intervene.
"We were knocked out because we were trying to save your aunt!!"
Lilith's patience was starting to vanish. She was tired of trying to please a kid that was clearly not showing any sign of respect towards her.
"Everything we did, we did in order to help you two!! But for whatever reason, you keep acting like an ungrateful baby who won't stop whining! And now, because of you, I lost Daren, I'm following orders from the woman who ruined my life, and I'm stuck in the middle of a forest covered with half a dozen different types of magic that can kill us if we let our guard down for even a second!! But all you care about is YOUR sense of guilt!!"
"I didn't ask for you to follow me!! I never asked anything for you!! All I asked was for you to just leave me alone and let me follow Detra!"
"You also didn't ask me to get you out of that burning building, should I just have let you die then?"
The two continued to argue for a little longer while Detra kept looking at the direction of the memory ring as she started to feel they would be there for a while. She agreed with Lilith that it would be difficult to beat all those memory warriors, but if they wanted to reach the ring of time, they needed to pass through there.
"MARCUS!!!" X 2
The lad almost had a heart attack when both Lilith and Ellie shouted his name at the same time.
"Wha- What...? What did I do?" Marcus asked while shivering a bit.
"Which side are you on?" x 2
"Should we keep going and try to face the memory ring?" Ellie asked.
"Or should we go back and try to find another way before things get too dangerous?" Lilith questioned.
"Uuuhh..." Marcus didn't know what to say.
He looked at his mother who just stared at him with an expression that said 'This should be interesting...'
He began to ponder about what was the right thing to say. If they advanced they would have to face off with Mia, Evlin, and Marceus. Not the real ones of course, but they all still had the same abilities as the original ones from what he could see.
Not only that, but there were also other memory warriors by their side to make things even harder. But if they gave up now, Ellie would not be strong enough to face the actual Mia and save the people she imprisoned.
The two ladies kept staring at him waiting for his response. He didn't want to upset Lilith who had pretty much become like an older sister for him. He also knew how scary she could be when she was angry.
At the same time, he was already on bad terms with Ellie, so not taking her side right now could make things even worse. He didn't know how scary SHE could be, and he would rather not find out.
Not going anywhere with his thoughts, he decided to look at the only other woman present, his mother. As much as he hated the idea, he would need to request for her help. She was a despicable person in his eyes, but he couldn't deny she was a good strategist. She had lived for many centuries after all, she was probably familiar with all forms of combat plans.
He just gazed at Detra who noticed he was staring at her, "Can we beat them? By ourselves?"
Lilith and Ellie shifted their gaze towards her as well who simply rested her chin on her hand while thinking about the answer.
"... I wonder..."