200 How far I“ve come
Ellie kept staring at the giant green girl covered in vines sitting on a huge red orb who just continued to glare at her.
"Are you sure you wanna do this? You still have time to apologize and back down" Ellie reminded her from inside the diamond shell she created to stay safe from the vines.
Flora leaned her body forward while still sitting on her core and raised both hands while looking like one of her veins was about to pop.
"Every word you say makes me want to kill you even more..." Flore stated.
The mountain began to shake and from the ground, several creatures made of vines started to emerge like zombies. They looked like humanoid figures completely tangled up and armed with different weapons like swords, shields, spears, and hammers.
Ellie felt her heartbeat increasing but she still tried to remain calm by taking deep breaths. Her strategy of using mocking words has been working in her favor so far so she decided o keep the act for a little longer in order to avoid losing control.
"So you do have friends after all!! And here I was about to create a dating account for you so you wouldn't spend Friday nights by yourself!" she commented.
"Keep laughing, it will just make your demise taste even better!" Flora replied as she waved her hand as if commanding her plant army to charge after Ellie.
The young mage just lowered the rest of her diamond barrier and aimed it at the soldiers, proceeded by repeating her action from before and shooting them one by one as they approached her.
"Oh my God, I'm shooting zombies while fighting a giant monster... I'm a Resident Evil main character!!" Ellie shouted while continually piercing the plants with her diamonds.
However, she was so focused on them that she forgot to pay attention to the vines scattered around the area and ended up getting grabbed by her legs and raised towards the air.
She kept spinning in the middle of the sky while Flora's army started to raise their weapons to stab her and in an act of panic, she covered her entire skin with holy metal to survive their attacks.
The girl landed on the ground while still being attacked by all sides but none of them managed to land a single scratch on her.
"You guys had your turn, now let me try!" Ellie shouted as she punched the terrain and made several diamonds and silver blades appear and stab every single one of the plant soldiers.
However, for some reason, they didn't stop moving. Ellie took a closer look and realized that they actually were zombies as shown by the insides of the wrapping vines hiding decomposed bodies in it. These weren't plant soldiers, they were victims of the garden that Flora was moving using her power.
For a brief moment, Ellie realized that this wasn't just a game. If she messed up right there she could actually end up dead and joining Flora's personal army by the end of the day. This small moment of epiphany began to implant terror in her mind and finally made her lose her concentration.
Ellie couldn't keep it together anymore and for a split-second she gasped in pure horror at that thought, finally giving Flora the opening she needed.
Flora closed her fist and right below Ellie's feet, the mouth of a gigantic carnivorous plant appeared and tried to devour her.
Ellie tried to fight back by turning her arm into a blade and stabbing it, but the plant felt much stronger than before.
"Oh, no..." she whispered.
Her panic was, at last, giving power to the giant demon, and the more powerful she got, the more Ellie panicked, creating an infinite loop that spelled Elli's imminent defeat if this continued.
The mouth of the plant finally closed and succeeded to entrap Ellie in it. She was completely stuck inside of it and unable to move.
Her fright made her too confused to react. She didn't know which spell to use or how to respond. Try to cut her way out with silver metal? Try to defend herself with diamonds? Try to search for another solution with future sight?
"Come on!!! What was all that training for if I'm going to go down this easily!!??" Ellie shouted.
She began to remember about her fights with Lilith, Marcus, and Detra in the ring of time. During her time there, she realized what was most important for a warrior when standing on the battlefield. Something that would always bring her victory no matter how dire the situation was. Something that Ellie didn't even realize she had, but once she thought about it, she came to understand that she could never let it go again for the rest of her life.
The will to live.
Ellie never feared her own death no matter how dire a situation could be, but ever since she became a mage, she found out that situations could get way direr than she ever imagined.
It wasn't just her aunt that could die, it wasn't just her parents or her grandmother that could die, or her friends, or her allies. Ellie finally understood that she herself could die.
The girl then changed her hands into metal claws and shouted, "LET ME GO!!!" with all the power of her lungs and started to shred the plant from inside out.
Once she managed to get one of her hands free, she tried to touch the ground and made a giant spike diamond grow to stab the plant.
Her plan worked and she finally got out from inside the plant's mouth while covered in moss.
Ellie noticed more of them approaching and began to shout again, "stay back!!"
She raised more pillars to keep them away but no matter where she looked, more of Flora's agents continued to charge at her.
If it wasn't the vine zombies it would be either her blood-hungry plants, the vines that moved like snakes, or the wooden limbs that continued to come out from her tree.
Flora just smirked at her with her piercing red eyes, "this is the part where you realize you messed with the wrong girl!"
Ellie tried to slash them all off with her silver claws but they just kept coming and coming. She then realized that this would never end. These things were being controlled by Flora herself, and she had an enormous amount of energy to distribute among her army.
As long as she was still standing, her opponents would never stop.
Ellie finally began to lose the last remains of her temper and started to desperately shout once again, "I said... STAY BAAAAAAACK!!!"
The floral beings began to shiver for a moment. This wasn't just a scream, it was a roar, a beastly howl, so loud that could echo throughout the entire forest. Ellie was screaming with the ability she mirrored from Sphinx.
The sound was so powerful that it almost severed the connection between Flora and her army.
Ellie's voice finally gave in, and using the small window of opportunity she created, she built armor for her legs to increase her running speed and dashed across the area with her arms wide open in the shape of metal blades and proceeded to just slash everything in her path.
Flora watched her movement which made her look like a silver blur running on top of the grass.
Ellie just kept opening herself a path towards the giant woman and once she was close enough, she leaped as high as she could towards her and created a huge sword with her hand to slice her.
"Sweet dreams!!" Ellie shouted as she brought her blade down with full force and completely trashed Flora's body with several fast movements.
Ellie then landed on the ground and gazed at the remains of Flora falling and covering the grass. Ellie felt an immense sense of relief.
"Well... Huff... Huff... That wasn't so bad..." she commented. And just as she was about to finally go for the core, she found her entire body getting smacked by a giant green fist coming out of the ground.
"Guaahhhh!!!" she screamed as she rolled over the grass.
Once she finally stopped, Ellie stood up and tried to clean the blood from her mouth while staring at another Flora appearing and getting on top of the red orb just like before.
"What...!!??" Ellie gasped.
"Do you finally understand now?" Flora asked, "You are not getting out of this place alive..."
"How in the world?? I just turned you into shredded paper!! How are you back!!!??? I destroyed you!!"
"You didn't do jack to me... This isn't my real body, the orb is... That's kinda the reason why its called core..." Flora explained.
"So this is just a doll??"
"Yes, a really fun doll... Now, let's play some more!!" Flora shouted as she waved her hand and several other Floras began to sprout out of the floor, each one as massive as her.
"Oh, great..." Ellie whispered.
The army of Floras started to charge at her forcing Ellie to activate all of her spells in order to stay alive. Future sight to avoid their massive punches, holy metal to cut away from vines that tried to entrap her, and diamond shields to block attacks that were too fast to escape from.
"I wonder how long you can last... I can do this all day, just so you know..." Flora commented.
"We'll see about that... Once my friends get here, we will bring you down before you even notice it!! They should be here any minute now after hearing my scream!" Ellie replied.
"Oh, silly girl... Your friends are not coming..."
"The ring of time is covered in teleportation spells all over it... If they try to get closer to this mountain, they will just get sent back to the start of the garden... All the way back to the first ring..."
Flora began to feel Ellie's agony giving her strength. She finally had the girl right where she wanted.
"That's right, child... By the time they get here, there will be nothing left of you to save..." said one of the Floras that was right behind Ellie before throwing a punch at her.
"I can already imagine their faces once they see their little girl as one of my undead servants..." another Flora that was on Ellie's left added while kicking her.
"It will be sooooo delicious!!! Ahh... I can't wait... I can already taste their agony!!!" a third Flora completed while opening her hands and then clapping then together with Ellie in between them as if she was a fly.
The original Flora that was standing on top of the red orb finally spoke once again, "hate to break it to you kid... But you're on your own..."
Ellie just dropped on her knees after getting demolished by the giant army of demons.
"Now... How about you make this easier for the two of us, and just admit that you were way over your head?" Flora suggested.
Ellie just raised her face and smiled at the green lady, much to her confusion.
"So... This means I get all of you for myself??" Ellie whispered.
Ellie opened her palms and revealed a pair of mouths from then, proceeded by aiming at the ground below her.
"What are you doing!!??" Flora yelled.
"Seems like you have a lot of energy to spare... All over this place... You mind if I take some for me??"
Flora widened her eyes as she noticed the giants closer to Ellie slowly shrinking in size while Ellie continued to absorb her power.
The other Floras began to charge at Ellie, who in response just created her own personal army, several female figures made of blue diamonds, her golems, all wearing either a metal crossbow or a metal pair of gauntlets.
Ellie just took a moment to marvel at her personal army of Evlins before gazing at Flora again.