177 Two living weapons
Marcus was desperately doing the best he could to avoid being sliced by a blast from the wind mage's wave of attacks while the battle between both living weapons continued.
He was not doing a good job.
Thanks to the help of the memory of Marceus, the mage had received a massive boost in its power and all of his wind spells were much deadlier than before.
Marcus tried to charge at his opponent with both arms turned into blades, but the mage simply waved his staff that had been fused with Marceus and pushed the lad back with a gale storm.
Marcus couldn't even get close to the mage at this rate, and the more he tried, the more he continued to lose his cool, leading him to be unable to think clearly.
He was thrown against a large rock, that much like the rest of the forest, was also drenched in blue, and felt his shoulder dislocating from the impact.
The mage used the air to increase his speed and dashed at the lad. He raised his staff and using his magic, created a blade made of wind that made his weapon look like a scythe.
Marcus noticed the incoming attack and did the best he could to move out of the way. He looked back as he noticed the mage slicing the boulder in half and everything after in a radius of ten miles. Marcus wasn't sure if he could take that attack and survive even if he covered himself with holy metal, but he was in no rush to find out.
"Your friends might have escaped me... But you won't be so lucky..." the mage stated.
"My friends...?" Marcus questioned.
The mage waved his staff and Marcus was launched into the air. He then made another gesture with his weapon and the course of the wind changed, making Marcus drop from the sky and colliding with the ground like a missile.
"The two that were engaging with my memory warriors..." the mage continued, "the little one with mirror powers managed to freeze them... But I can take a guess and assume you don't have any power like that, do you?"
Marcus tried to stand up, but his whole body was covered in injuries, "Can't say that I do..." he replied before coughing some blood.
The mage moved his staff sideways making the wind throw Marcus to the left and smacking him against a tree.
"But it also seems like they have abandoned you... They all escaped in the first chance they had..."
"Ugh..." Marcus tried to stand once again, "good for them..."
The mage tilted his face, "you're not upset?"
"From being left behind...? As if..." Marcus declared after finally managing to raise himself successfully, "I deserve way worse from all the things I've done..."
"I spent a huge chunk of my life hating people and blaming them for things that were never their fault... I caused a lot of pain and suffering just to make myself feel better...", Marcus admitted while flashing back to the day he entered Evlin's dream with a group of demon slayers and declared that he would take her head.
He then spitted some blood and wiped a bit from his mouth before giving a wide grin.
He honestly didn't mind if his group did in fact abandoned him. In fact, part of him wishes that they would do so. Being surrounded by so much kindness and affection from these people after all the crimes he committed made his shame and guilt sting even worse inside of him.
It would be easier if they mistreated him more so he wouldn't feel so bad about his past actions, is what he felt.
"Getting left behind by my friends and beat up to death by a projection of my own father after betraying everything he stood for is the perfect punishment a piece of trash like me deserves..."
The mage simply continued to stare at the lad covered in injuries, "So be it... Let me help you ease your pain by sending you to a place where you can finally rest in peace..."
The mage's staff began to spin in his had and a small tornado began to take shape, making Marcus be slowly drawn into the magician's clutches.
Marcus tried to react, but he was almost out of stamina. He tried as hard as he could to face off the mage, but all of his wind speels made it impossible for him to get close enough to land an attack. And now that he was finally getting into range, there was no power left to strike back.
The man grabbed Marcus by the throat and aimed his staff at his heart while changing the shape of its tip into that of a spear.
"Any last words, human...?"
"Your forest sucks, and so do you..." Marcus whispered.
The memory warrior just stared at him disappointed, "You are about to draw your final breath... Do you have no regrets with you?"
Marcus had tons of regrets actually. He regretted not being able to do more to atone for his sins, he regreeted never being man enough to stand up to his mother, regretted not being able to save Evlin or admit his feelings, never being able to become friends with Ellie, not being able to rescue Daren.
But most of all, he regretted never being able to make his father proud.
It was only after fighting against a fake version of him that the lad realized that this is what he always wanted deep inside, to turn into someone his father could look at and say "That's my boy!" while giving a wide grin and a corny thumbs up like the absolute dork that he was.
"There is no way I don't have regrets... But in the end... I'm still dying as I am now... and not like the blind moron I used to be... That's good enough for me..." Marcus confessed while closing his eyes and waiting for the worst.
"So be it!"
The mage raised his arm to prepare his staff to empale Marcus, but before he could do so, he felt something latching onto his weapon.
He turned around and saw a woman with long black hair tied up in a ponytail holding his staff trying to snatch it out from his hands with everything she had.
"Lilith!! What are you doing here!!!??" Marcus yelled.
"Saving my friend!! What does it look like??" she responded.
The mage simply raised Marcus and smacked Lilith using the lad as a human bat.
The two began to roll on the ground after the impact. The mage watched as they tried to stand up with barely any strength left while looking at each other.
"Why didn't you run??" Marcus asked.
"I did run... I guess I'm just bad with directions..." Lilith responded while trying to smile a bit.
The memory warrior stared at the two as he began to cast another wind spell to finish the them off, "this is perfect... I can get rid of two intruders at the same time this way!"
He proceeded to launch a gigantic blast of wind at the two. Lilith reacted by staring at Marcus and grabbing his hand.
"Let's do this!!" she shouted.
"On it!!" he replied.
Marcus immediately turned into a sword for Lilith and after boosting her speed, the two managed to move out of the attack's range.
She stopped running after getting behind the mage and trying to slice his head off with one swing, but her blade was instantly repelled by some kind of wind shield that was covering the man's entire body and pushing back anything that tried to get close.
"You two are no match for me!" he declared.
The mage then aimed his staff at them and unleashed an air bullet that stroke Lilith's shoulder with the power of a cannonball.
[Lilith!!!] Marcus yelled.
The mage repeated his gesture and released even more bullets. Lilith used her future sight to predict where the attacks would land, but they were all coming so fast that she had to stare at numerous different futures until she found one where she dodged them all completely.
She was so busy looking that she almost forgot to actually dodge the bullets, and by the time she did so, only a few of them ended up being possible to avoid.
Lilith felt both her left leg and her lower arm being grazed by the attacks and a small piece of the skin of her stomach being ripped off as well.
Another bullet was coming right at her, but Marcus changed shape into that of a massive shield and took the hit himself.
The impact was so strong that the two ended up being knocked against a tree.
Lilith fell on her knees still doing her best not to drop Marcus. She assumed she would put up a better fight but she was way more exhausted than she expected.
Marcus himself was also not looking so good. If this was any other opponent it might not have been such a problem, but they were facing someone that was being aided by the living weapon himself, the same power as Marcus, and the only kind of power that could harm him.
"Damn... I didn't even last five seconds... Sorry, Marcus..."
[Lilith... Let's try to escape!! Maybe we can outrun him!]
"Sounds good to me... Sadly, I can barely stand by this point though..."
[What!? But then...]
The mage charged another attack. He was now spinning his staff at immense speed and making the wind around it sharper than before, able to slice anything next to it like butter. The weapon kept gaining more speed as it continued to spin. The two realized that he was planning to launch that at them.
Lilith hoped she would have been able to save Marcus, but the best she could do was stay by his side while the two witnessed their end. She had no strength left to fight anymore.
At this moment, she felt the sadness inside of Marcus. The regret he was feeling for making his friend die in an attempt to save him.
"Ellie cried for me..."
[... Wha- What...?]
"I thought she didn't like me... But when I told her that I was going to help you... She looked genuinely sad about seeing me go..." Lilith said with a smile, "I guess in the end... I wasn't so bad with kids after all... Even if it was just a little..."
Lilith then tried to stand up one more time, and after taking a deep breath, stared right into the mage with her sword in hands, ready to take on his attack.
"Let's go out swinging! Shall we?"
[You got it!!]
The two began to muster all the remaining strength they had left to make one final attempt against the wind mage, but before they could start, the mage turned around and launched his attack in another direction.
Lilith and Marcus just stared as his spinning staff continued to fly over the woods and chopping everything around it.
[Did- Did he miss???]
"No... He's aiming at something else!" Lilith responded.
The two took a closer look and spotted a girl with black hair coming out of the woods and going straight into the spinning staff's path.
"Eh!?" the girl reacted as she heard her name being called. She raised her head and spotted the weapon coming right at her like a wind chainsaw.
Lilith and Marcus had no idea what Ellie was doing there, but they knew she wouldn't be able to survive that attack.
"Ellie!!! Change into metal!! Hurry!!!" Lilith shouted.
She then began to desperately run towards the girl while trying to ignore all the pain in her body by sending as much strength into her legs as she could.
The mage just watched as Lilith tried to race his staff to see who would reach Ellie first while the girl herself barely managed to react in time while trying to transform her body.
Then, in a split second, Ellie managed to successfully complete her transformation, and right before the scythe managed to reach her, Lilith grabbed the girl in her weapon form and felt her speed receiving an immense boost in power provided by both Ellie and Marcus and dodged out of the way.
The mage used his wind magic to recover his staff and stared at Lilith.
She was now wielding two living weapons, Marcus in her left hand as a silver sword, and Ellie on her right hand as a silver crossbow.