223 The Terminal Beas
Leona was still inside of her fire ape avatar and brawling with the water hydra in the middle of the open grassy field.
Around her were Marcus and Gustav, running all over the place and finishing off all the remaining demons and red mages that were left.
Thanks to the ice spell that Detra used, most of their opponents had been dealt with, making their current job much easier.
"That's the last demon!!" Marcus declared while stabbing a humanoid creature that had the head of a lizard and four spider legs below its torso that just kept whispering "huuuman fooood..." before dying while trying to reach for the lad with its hand.
"What about the monsters?" Gustav asked as he continued to purify the red mages, "did we get them all?"
"All but one" Marcus replied while smiling at Eclipse, Daren's black giant lion, who was aiding them in dealing with the beasts now that it had been freed from Mia's control.
"So that just leaves..." Gustav was about to comment but he soon was interrupted by someone else's voice.
"BUUUURN!!!!" screamed Leona from inside her giant ape as she released a wave of flames covered with blessed energy all over the field.
Her fire kept spreading and simultaneously burned the staffs of the red mages and purified them with her blessing.
Several of the lost souls started to fly out their bodies and continued to circle the field aimlessly.
However, the biggest threat was still standing. The water hydra was shielding the two mages inside of it as well and blocking Leona's power from reaching them.
"Damn it!! I need more power!!" She complained while glaring at the nine-headed serpent that just would not go away.
"On it!!" Marcus shouted as he started to run towards her.
The fire mage saw her ally approaching and lowered the torso of her ape so she could get close to him. Marcus assumed his weapon form and fused with her staff again.
"Yes!!! This is what I needed!!!" Leona yelled as she felt the power increasing yet again inside of her.
Her fire ape started to scream and began to run towards the hydra, who just kept bombarding it with water blasts from its mouth.
Luckily, the gorilla was so strong right now that even nine beams of water weren't enough to take it down and he just collided with the beast.
The two massive creatures exploded in the impact and turned each other into a pile of steam that blinded the whole area.
Leona lost her avatar but she finally was able to reach for the two possessed mages and with a concentrated blast from her staff, shot the two with a holy fire that purified them.
"Guaaaahhh!!!" the two screamed.
Marcus returned to normal and helped Leona stand despite being completely exhausted right now. Gustav walked towards them and released a breath of relief over finally having been able to deal with that problem.
"Finally... It's over..." the blond man commented.
He looked around and realized that they really were out of options by that point. Most of their army was even more tired than Leona and could barely keep themselves awake. Everyone was completely drained from the long fight.
But Marcus still had a fighting spirit in his eyes, "sadly, it's not... We still have one thing to deal with..."
Leona and Gustav just looked at him, knowing exactly what he meant, "Mia..."
"Now that her army is defeated, we just need to bring her down so we can finish this!!" Marcus declared while raising his fist.
"Marcus, I don't know how to say this... but... There is no one left..." Gustav commented, "none of our men are able to fight anymore..."
"..." Marcus looked at what was left of his army and realized that Gustav was right. Many were wounded, on the verge of death, or with no will to fight any longer.
"Not everyone!" Leona declared, "I'm the leader of the followers of the East! I'll fight until the very end!"
Marcus smiled at her, "Thank you! I'm counting on you!"
Gustav was about to offer himself to fight as well but he spotted something that froze his blood as soon as the steam finally started to disappear. A huge tornado of darkness was swirling around a particular spot and covering the entire sky with a strange tone of red, making it look like the world was bleeding.
"What... Is this...?" Leona whispered.
Both Gustav and Marcus recognized that scene. It was the same thing that happened during the battle of the demon kingdom.
"This is bad..." Gustav mumbled.
Marcus followed the source of the tornado and felt a shiver crawl through his spine.
"Ellie!!!" he shouted while praying that she was safe.
The girl herself was just staring without knowing what to do while Mia continued to finish her chanting.
"When I speak... You will hear my call...
I order you to rise... And slay my foes..."
"What... What's going on...???" Ellie gasped.
[Ellie!!!] Gustav shouted in her mind, [don't let Mia finish that chanting!!]
"Wha- What!!?" the girl replied.
[Hurry!! You gotta stop her!!]
"Ah! Ok!! I'm on it!!" Ellie declared.
She began to rush towards Mia with a silver blade and tried to stab her, but the pressure of the wind of darkness just continued to blow her away.
"Ugh!!! I can't get closer!! Aaahhh!!" she screamed as the tornado started to blow her away.
Mia just ignored her and continued to chant, "come to me now... MY MYRIAD OF LOST SOULS!!!"
Suddenly, all of the spirits that had been expelled from the bodies of the red mages started to fly at high-speed and join themselves inside of Mia. They all continued to assemble with the rest of her chained up souls inside of the white void and proceeded to be chained themselves.
"Oh no..." Evlin whispered as she gazed at the number of souls skyrocketing. She then returned to her attempt to make contact with the outside world, "Gustav!! Gustav, can you hear me!!??"
The souls all kept whispering "the night shall fall... as we hear your call..." as they proceeded to join with the rest.
The tornado started to become even stronger and began to tear apart the ground Mia was standing on.
Her body began to transform itself.
Ellie stood up once again and watched as the girl kept growing until she was as big as a car. Her body was covered with a dark crimson fur, three lion tails started to appear behind her, six wings made of multi-colored fire took shape on her back, and her head was changed from that of a girl to that of a feline creature with eyes that were on fire.
The red beast just continued her chanting while her voice changed from that of a girl to that of a hundred beings talking at once.
"The night keeps rising... And my power grows..."
Her arms and legs became claws.
"You shall all bear witness... As my pain overflows..."
An armor made of diamonds started to cover her face and her shoulders, as well as her frontal paws. Her head looked like it had massive horns made of crystal.
"Let the scent of darkness... Spread throughout the air..."
Her body began to tangle itself with vines that kept crawling over her like serpents.
"Show the whole world what it means... TO BE IN TRUE DESPAIR!!!"
Mia aimed her face to the heavens and released a magic howl blast of terminal energy that opened a hole in the sky of darkness.
The light of the sun began to befall upon her as if to say this beast was a godly creature above anyone there present.
Ellie just stared at the red armored winged panther. Her body was shaking as her fear started to take over control of her being just from feeling the air pressure of that blast alone.
"I... I... I can do this... I... I can do this..." she muttered but barely believing in her own words.
She was about to raise her fists to fight her enemy but Mia just smashed her paw on the terrain and made the entire ground shake.
Ellie couldn't keep her balance and ended up falling like a little kid.
She was about to stand up but her future sight started to burn her eyes showing visions after visions of herself being killed if she tried to face that thing, desperately trying to find a future where she stayed alive.
"I... I... I can do this... I..."
Mia leaped towards the sky and showed her powerful wings for the whole world to see, followed by diving towards Ellie like a missile engulfed in terminal energy.
Ellie reacted by reflex and leaped out of the way using the power of her metal armor. Unfortunately, the impact of Mia's collision with the ground was so strong that Ellie was sent flying like a cannonball across the field.
"AAAAAAAHHHH!" she screamed as she kept soaring through the air.
Marcus appeared right behind her and managed to catch the girl in midair to stop her safely.
"Ellie!!! Ellie are you ok!!??" Marcus asked.
He was carrying the kid in his arms and could feel her shaking desperately like a baby that just got out of a cold bath. Leona and Gustav also came closer to try to help her but she looked like she had seen a ghost.
"I... I can't do this..." she whispered.
"Ellie? Ellie, come on!! Talk to me!!" Marcus kept shouting.
"I can't do this!! My future sight is not showing a future where I can win!! I can't fight that thing!! It's too much!! It's too much for me!!! I can't defeat Mia!!"
The beast started to roar once again and everyone began to drop on their knees from the agonizing noise.
Leona stared at the red panther with her eyes wide open, "that's Mia??? What happened to her??"
"She took the power of the souls we purified..." Marcus explained, "all of their agonies must be increasing her strength to absurd levels right now... she has turned into a demon leader..."
"Can... Can we beat this thing...?" Leona wondered while shivering a bit. For some reason, the being in front of her was scaring the fire mage much more than the water hydra or the diamond giant from before.
Marcus placed Ellie on the ground and glared at the creature while forming his usual dual arm-blades.
"Let's find out!!"
He charged at the beast with Leona right behind him after finally putting herself together and summoning her fire avatar once again.
Marcus started to unleash a wave of slashes over Mia's body while Leona was throwing a barrage of punches from her flaming ape as well.
The two just kept attacking and attacking using every last bit of energy they had with the hopes to take this monster down, but once they stopped to catch their breaths, Mia just stared at them and stabbed the duo with her several vines after changing the tips into spikes.
Marcus and Leona fell on the ground drenched in their own blood confused about how mere vines could pierce his holy metal or her blessed fire.
Gustav just rushed to the mirror mage's side.
"Ellie!! Ellie, wake up!! You gotta help us!!" he shouted while shaking the girl's body that was now frozen in fear.
But Ellie just kept hugging her head, "It's no use... I can't do it... I can't do it!!!"
"Ellie!!!" Gustav yelled, but he got no response.
Mia started to move closer with heavy steps that ignited the grass into terminal fire.
Marcus tried to stand up once again, so did Leona, but the demon queen just waved her six wings and pushed them away.
"I am the fire that will erase this world... I am the fear that will haunt your souls..." she spoke once again with the sound of several voices.
"Oh no..." Leona gasped as she spotted a huge amount of terminal energy gathering on Mia's jaws.
"I am the one that will bring the nightmare... I am the incarnation of pure despair!!!"
And as soon as she finished that, she released a massive blast of terminal energy using her magic howl that pulverized everything in front of her.
Evlin observed the scene from the white void and began to scream in terror for her niece's name, "Ellie!!!!"