191 Let it snow
Detra was glaring at the two projections of the forest who were taking the shape of a young Evlin and Mia armed and ready to attack her group.
On her side, she had Ellie using the ability she mirrored from Marcus to become a living crossbow and the duo of Marcus and Lilith, who were in their fused form, giving Lilith both her ability to see using Marcus' eyes and long strings of silver hair above her head.
The ring of fear had been merged with the ring of memories thanks to Evlin's earth magic, but now it was also snowing and dissipating the red fog, courtesy of Detra's recently remembred ice magic.
"So which one do you want?" Lilith asked while forming a silver sword in her hand.
Detra thought about her options, taking on a young version of Evlin or Mia wielding Marceus.
"The ponytail brat can absorb my magic... And I haven't fought in a long time, so the young and less experienced version of the crossbow girl would probably fit me more... But... Well..."
"But I already tried fighting with Mia before, and got my ass kicked..." Lilith finished.
"... You said it, not me..." Detra reminded her.
Lilith glared at Detra for a bit, "I'll hold off Mia for a while... You finish Evlin and come help me as soon as you can!"
[Really??] Ellie shouted, showing frustration [I'm fighting my aunt again?? Why can't I just try to go after Mia at least once?]
"... Young miss, please behave... You will get your chance..." Detra promised.
Mia assumed her battle stance, and before anyone could react, completely vanished into thin air. Lilith used her future vision to predict her move, and using Marcus to boost her speed, dashed towards Detra and blocked a powerful attempt at cutting the woman's neck from the twelve-year old-old.
Detra barely reacted while feeling her hair waving from the wind pressure created by the impact of the two swords colliding.
She then released a smile, which raised Lilith's confusion.
"What!?" Lilith asked while still trying to hold off Mia.
"Nothing... It's just... I never thought I would see the day where you would protect me... The world must really be about to end..." Detra explained.
"Oh, shut up..."
Lilith pushed Mia away from Detra and for a split-second, she thought she heard something. It was very soft, but she could swear she heard Detra whispering the words "thank you..."
"Marcus! Ready to fight your dad and your old partner?" Lilith asked, feeling her competitive spirit rising.
[As ready as I'll ever be, I guess... Let's do it!!]
Lilith and Mia clashed one more time, unleashing several waves of wind pressure throughout the area and making the falling snow move around as if it was running away from their ferocity.
Meanwhile, Detra continued to stare at the image of a young Evlin.
"For so many years I dreamed of the day where I could beat you to a pulp... I almost want to thank you for this opportunity..." Detra admitted.
"Anytime..." the forest replied. She then aimed her crossbow at Detra and released a huge blast of raw energy.
Detra aimed her crossbow as well and released a huge blast of ice magic boosted by the power of Ellie's silver metal.
The two energies collided and an explosion was created forcing both women to be pushed back by the force of their own spells.
[Whoa...] Ellie whispered inside Detra's mind.
"Do remember that I can hear everything you say or think... If you have nothing important to add, then try to keep it to yourself, and don't distract me!!" Detra announced.
[... ... ... I just said 'whoa'...]
"Didn't ask, don't care, now shut up!" Detra declared while noticing Evlin's memory coming at her with a pair of wooden gauntlets from the smoke of the explosion.
Detra tried to take aim once more, but Evlin punched the ground and used her earth magic to create a small earthquake that made Detra lose her balance.
The woman was about to fall, but Ellie turned herself into a magic staff, which Detra noticed and used to impale the ground and keep herself standing.
She then took a closer look at the staff, "this... this is..."
[It's the first thing that popped into my head... not sure why... something wrong?] Ellie explained.
It was her old magic staff, or rather, her mother's magic staff that she inherited, the same one that Detra used in battles during her time as an ice magician. Detra assumed that Ellie must have taken this appearance by accident from having their minds connected.
"It's nothing... Let's just hurry up and kill your aunt..."
[... Uuuuhh... Could you please rephrase that?]
"No, I refuse..."
Detra noticed Evlin approaching and before the girl could fuse her fist with Detra's face, the woman created a barrier made of ice to protect herself. However, Evlin didn't stop and just smacked her defense with a full blow of her wooden gauntlet.
Detra managed to dodge at the last moment thanks to Ellie boosting her agility and used this chance to freeze Evlin's feet.
Before the crossbow mage could free herself, Detra turned Ellie into a metal gauntlet, followed by covering her with ice magic and smacking the memory of Evlin with everything she had.
"Ugh!!!" Evlin whispered while being launched backwards.
Detra began to breathe heavily while enjoying her action, "goddamn, that was so therapeutic!!! I really needed that..."
[... You really hate my aunt that much...??] Ellie commented, feeling a tad annoyed at how much Detra was enjoying this.
"I couldn't care less about your aunt right now..." Detra mentioned while changing Ellie into a metallic claw and covering it with ice once again, "I just hate demons that take the appearance of humans..."
[Demons...?] Ellie questioned.
Detra rushed towards the fallen Evlin and tried to pierce her heart, but the girl just shot the terrain with earth and modeling magic to create several stone golems of herself that began to fight Detra all at once.
"This entire forest... It's one huge demon... A plant demon, very similar to a dryad, but much, much stronger..." Detra explained while crushing the copies of Evlin made of stone.
[Wait... The whole forest??]
"Exactly... And right now, nothing would give me more pleasure than just seeing this entire place burning into ashes!!"
Evlin took this opportunity to shoot Detra with several bullets of raw magic while the woman was occupied with the golems. Detra saw the incoming attack and quickly turned Ellie into a shield to block it.
"Young miss, can you absorb it??"
[I'll... I'll try!!]
Ellie tried to use the ability she copied from the real Mia to take on Evlin's magic bullets. They weren't as big as the previous discharge of energy so the girl managed to devour all of them with ease this time.
[I did it!!]
"Don't stop!! Keep going!!" Detra shouted. The woman then began to move Ellie in her shield form closer to the golems, and every time they touched, Ellie would just absorb the earth magic that was moving them and make the dolls crumble into a pile of sand.
[This is awesome!!! I feel like I have so much power right now!!]
"Then let's put it to good use!!"
Detra began to charge all the energy Ellie absorbed and converted it into ice magic to create a gigantic icicle, much bigger than anything she ever created before. The spell just kept growing by the moment, from the size of a car to the size of a house, just floating above Detra's hand as she continued to use the power Ellie was giving her.
Detra glared at the memory of Evlin.
"This is for mocking my daughter's death..." Detra declared.
The woman then launched her spell at Evlin who tried to shoot the ground to raise several rock pillars to block it. The ice didn't stop and kept approaching the crossbow mage at a crazy speed.
Evlin then tried to simply shoot the icicle with the biggest blast of raw magic she could release, and to Detra's surprise, it actually managed to stop the spell. Not only that, the blast was in fact making the icicle fly towards Detra, and with much more power now that it was being pushed by Evlin's energy as well.
Ellie began to tremble in Detra's hand. She saw the frozen object coming at them and began to worry about being crushed.
Detra on the other hand just continued to glare at the fake Evlin.
"First you use my daughter to try and hurt me... Now you try to use my own spell against me?? How much do you plan to insult me before you are satisfied???"
Detra turned Ellie into a gauntlet and just raised her arm towards the icicle.
[Detra!!!??? What are you doing???] Ellie shouted in a panic.
"Taking back what's mine!!"
Detra then began to focus. The same way Evlin could use her earth magic to move rocks around with the power of geokinesis, Detra could manipulate the movement of the ice with the power of cryokinesis.
The giant icicle stopped in the middle of the air once again and found itself stuck in the middle of a tug of war.
On one side, the forest using the memory of Evlin to shoot at it with all the energy it could provide, and on the other, Detra trying to send it back using her own control over all ice and the power Ellie could give her.
The two sides continued at this, giving everything they had until the other gave up, but the more time passed, the harder it was for the icicle to stay together. It finally reached a point where the ice was completely shattered into pieces from not being able to sustain the pressure.
Evlin thought this would be a good chance to catch Detra off guard, but she then realized that the woman was smiling at her.
One look at her surroundings was all it took to find out why. The entire air was filled with small pieces of ice fragments being kept afloat under Detra's command.
"Good luck blocking this one!" Detra whispered while winking at her enemy.
She snapped her fingers and a rain of ice shards began to fall on top of the memory of Evlin, completely and utterly trashing her from all possible sides.
Detra imagined that this might not be a sight Ellie would want to see, so she placed her silver gauntlet behind her back to spare her of such a scene.
Once the attack was finally over, the woman gazed at the image of Evlin's memory vanishing completely, showing that they had won.
"... ... ... Good job..."
[... You're welcome!]