Both of them profoundly glared at each other, trying to measure the other party’s determination. No one dared to yield.
Then, as if they had some kind of unspoken understanding or any kind of spiritual connection, they quickly distanced themselves from each other, starting to prepare themselves for the battle.
Yes, the battle has finally started.
Fenix growled, and at her command, the volcanic craters near Cassie quickly erupted a few blasts of magma.
Cassie casually raised a barrier and protected herself from the magma’s blasts. Even so, the heat around her constantly raised. At that time, she understood the meaning of “being knocked out.” She could certainly pass out due to the extreme heat.
Luckily for her, she could use ice magic to a good extent, so she quickly created some blocks of ice that were melted at a rapid rate by the blasts of magma and the heat around them. And thanks to that, she didn’t feel as hot as before.
As she focused on dodging the magma blasts, a giant shadow shielded her from the sky above. Cassie reflexively looked up in the air and noticed that Fenix was flying right above her. Gradually, Fenix began to fly lower and lower… and after a little bit of distance was formed between Cassie’s head and her body, Fenix suddenly hurled her tail, trying to hit Cassie using it.
Instead of dodging, Cassie only stopped her movements and grabbed strongly to her magic staff. The magic staff contained a special effect that could replenish her mana at a time and to enhance her magical power.
Even when the tail was hurling at a fast speed, Cassie could see the movement and prepared the barrier.
[Barrier? Hah! It will quickly be shattered to pieces with my tail!]
Cassie could hear Fenix snorting, but she paid no heed to her words and focused on her magic staff.
True to her words, Fenix’s tail managed to shatter Cassie’s magical barrier.
As it was about to proceed to Cassie, she swung her magic staff confidently and some strong sparks of thunder quickly clashed with Fenix’s fiery tail.[…!!]
“I can use [Thunder] to some degree, too!!”
Fenix was clearly startled, so she quickly withdrew her tail and rose up in the sky.[Hah. I was simply surprised. However, that weak thunder won’t hurt me the slightest bit.]
Fenix tried to flaunt her tail around to taunt Cassie, but something felt odd.
Why is it that her tail couldn’t move as agile as it used to be?
Looking at Fenix’s stiff tail movements, Cassie smirked. I got you!
“Yeah, my thunder magic isn’t that strong, but I made sure to learn a very useful thunder magic spell. That one… just now, I used it to paralyze your tail!”[Tch! Hmph, not bad!]
Fenix was now unable to use her tail to attack Cassie anymore, so she decided to take the next step.
It was quite hard trying to dodge any incoming magma blasts from the ground, let alone focusing herself to observe Fenix’s movement, so paralyzing her tail movement was a good idea for Cassie. Still, as she felt another intense wave of heat and the weird shape of the shadow on the ground, she quickly looked up.
Uh-oh, this phoenix was now summoning some small meteors from her flapped wings straight up aimed at her!!
Cassie quickly swung her magic staff around to create a few layers of ice to block the blasts from the ground as she quickly swung her magic staff above to form a horde of light balls. The light balls quickly flew to repel the meteors aimed at her. There were around three or more light balls directed at each meteor Fenix summoned.
Fortunately, the power of her light balls was almost at equal with the meteor, so the two forces clashed and disappeared—but the impact was strong enough that caused Cassie to stumble and fell down on her own ice field—while Fenix dodged the impact and rose up even higher.
The moment Cassie knelt down, she was surprised by the sudden rise of temperature and the extreme wave of heat she sensed. When she examined the sky closer, she could see Fenix’s mighty figure flying up in the sky, amidst all of the huge fireballs flying about in the sky! It was as if Fenix was flying in the middle of many suns!
The next moment after she managed to stand up, the fireballs quickly showered the grounds. Fenix only gave her a bit of leeway to stand up, but then mercilessly showered Cassie with Fenix’s fierce shower of fireballs.
Cassie frantically tried to dodge every fireball that she could while busily raising several layers of barrier. Normal [Life] barrier, [Ice] barrier, [Light] barrier… then she tried to cover and block some of the fireballs using her light balls and wind vortexes.
Some flames still managed to injure her, but Cassie continued to run away from Fenix’s reach. She hid behind a large rock and healed her own injuries with her [Life] magic.
Once she was done, she quickly cast another set of magical spells that utilized all three of her affinities. With her [Light] magic, she created five forms of light birds, infusing it with her [Light] and [Wind] magic. As the last ingredient, she infused the [Life] magic, bringing the five bird-formed lights to live as they obediently flew towards Fenix.
The light birds tried to hinder Fenix’s movements and obstruct Fenix from continuing her attacks on Cassie. Cassie jumped out from her hidden spot and roamed around the place.
[Hah, do you think these fickle artificial birds could defeat me?!]
As Fenix hurled at the two closest light birds, she quickly extinguished their life. Cassie quickly commanded the three remaining light birds to launch themselves towards Fenix, exerting all of the magical power that Cassie bestowed upon them and using it to injure Fenix.
Fenix growled in pain as two of the artificial birds attacked each of her wings and the remaining one attacked her neck.
Cassie continued to roam about the vicinity, scraping the ground with the bottom of her magic staff.
After that, Fenix recovered from the previous attacks and continued to summon her flames to rain down on Cassie, as Cassie continued her marathon around the ground, leaving the trails of her magic staff along the way while repelling Fenix’s attacks with her magic.
This went on for quite a while before Cassie stumbled on the same huge rock on her back, causing her unable to run anymore.
[You can only repel my attacks now. Aren’t you tired of running?]
Fenix smirked as she spawned more of her flames and meteors, ready to shower the ground once more.
At that time, Cassie smirked back.
“…and return to life!!”
With the last of her lines, the ground suddenly glowed—the ground in which she inscribed the trail of her magic staff.
Soon after, the ground and the stones began to shake about, rising themselves and forming a huge golem.
The golem shielded Cassie from all of Fenix’s attacks and raised its arms to punch Fenix.
Fenix skillfully protected her body from the punches by cladding herself in more layers of flame cloak.
Her focus shifted to attacking the golem with all her power while evading the golem’s arms that seemed about to punch her.
[Amusing. Let see how long you can hold out with that. Surely, you’re exhausted by now.]
Fenix seemed as if she was enjoying it, while Cassie’s breathing had become rougher as time passed by. Yes, even if her mana replenished thanks to the magic staff, but the rate in which she exhausted her mana was even greater.
She had to end this soon if she didn’t want to lose shamefully due to her mana exhaustion.
The last spur of her mana—she had to use it to finish Fenix off!!
Cassie controlled her breathing, stood straight and planted her magic staff on the ground, firmly grasping it with her hands. She closed her eyes and focused on murmuring some sorts of spells. She entrusted the guard to her golem.
After a while, she looked up at the sky and smiled contently. She then commanded the golem to change its way of fighting. The golem proceeded to focus on capturing the phoenix. Cassie knew that Fenix’s flame could even destroy the golem’s hands, so she had to be quick and precise with her timing.
[Are you planning to crush me with the golem’s hands? Hah!]
Fenix focused on escaping the golem’s arms while attacking it. However, Cassie poured more of her power into the golem, enhancing its sturdiness and speed, and WHAM! it managed to catch Fenix with one of its hands.
As Fenix was about to exert flame bursts from her own body to destroy the hand that captured her, Cassie quickly commanded the golem to fling Fenix’s body backward. Fenix’s body was hurled roughly according to Cassie’s command.
Fenix was taken aback by Cassie’s plan. She thought that Cassie wanted to crush her body in the golem’s hands, but then she was hurled roughly in the sky? Did Cassie plan on knocking her out with the rough tossing around? As if she would let that happen!
Fenix quickly stabilized her body and prepared herself to evade the golem’s attempt to grab and throw her again, when…
“NOW!! Divine Lightning, activate!!”
Cassie quickly shouted with all her power, and a loud rumble could be heard coming from above Fenix. Sure enough, the clouds near Fenix were darker than the rest of the clouds around the area.
Before Fenix could react, numerous white thunders rained her body, striking her wings, tail, and her everything fiercely. If it was an ordinary thunder, it won’t really hurt her. However, it was raining of divine lightning, which possessed more power than any normal thunder.
As Cassie watched her divine lightning striking Fenix mercilessly, she could feel that she was so exhausted that the golem she manipulated quickly crumbled back to the ground.
She was at her limit, and if the divine lighting didn’t manage to let her win the battle, it would result in her loss.
After her divine lighting subsided, Fenix’s figure could be seen floating.
Cassie was surprised to see that Fenix was still able to keep flying.
No way… Is it really her loss, this time?
Cassie wanted Fenix to be her Familiar very badly. She smiled bitterly before falling down to the ground, her breathing got rougher as she glanced over at the blue sky and at Fenix’s figure—but then, Fenix stopped flying and her body fell down to the ground with a loud thud, sending some tremors through the ground.
At that time, there were two figures of exhausted fighters lying on the wrecked battlefield. One was a human’s, while one was a phoenix’s. Cassie’s initially clean clothes and body were now tattered and sullied. And Fenix’s fine figure was also full of dirt and grounds.
However, the two of them didn’t say anything and stayed on the ground to charge their energy.
As Fenix recovered from the divine lightning, she stood up and commanded the lava to envelop her, recharging her power completely, while brushing the dirt off her body at the same time.
Cassie felt more energized, so she quickly sat down on the ground, wiped her face and observed Fenix as Fenix healed herself with the lava.
How nice, if only I could heal myself by drinking the lava!
When Cassie thought so, Fenix focused her eyes on Cassie and her body glowed slightly. At the same time, Cassie’s body started to glow as well, and she could feel her energy being replenished back at a higher rate.
“Fenix, this…?”[I am a phoenix, what do you expect? I have the power of healing, too.]
“T-thank you!” Cassie lightly bowed her head, and she stood up after feeling her body full of energy again. She dusted off the dirt from her clothes and approached Fenix.
She pondered about what Fenix think regarding the result of their battle.
Was it her loss? Or was it a tie?
[Human, you passed.]
Cassie blinked several times.
“What?” She reflexively blurted out.
[I acknowledge you as my master. Aren’t you happy?]
Cassie pinched her cheek. Oh, it hurts. So, this is not a dream.
“Really? I thought it was bad because I exhausted my mana back there!”[No, you still managed to summon the divine lightning that caused my loss. The victory’s yours.]
Cassie clenched both of her fists and slightly raised it up in the air. Yes!
[As I have promised you… How should I call you, again?]
Cassie smiled, but the corner of her lips twitched a bit.
“Cassiophelia. Feel free to call me anything you like. Ophelia, Cass, Cassie, anything.”[Cass then, it’s simple.]
[So, as I have promised before, Cass. I will be the sun in your sky. Now, concentrate your mana on one of your hand, and touch the jewel in the middle of my forehead.]
Cassie blinked several times, her jaws opened a bit.
Jewel… what jewel? I can’t see anything…
Just then, Fenix put her head down so that it was within Cassie’s reach. She closed her eyes and suddenly, the area between her eyes glowed and it exposed a transparent jewel.
The jewel’s sudden appearance caused Cassie’s jaws to be wide open, forming the shape of O and her eyes stared in disbelief at the jewel.
Cassie shook her head and quickly reached out her hand to touch the jewel. Then, she focused on pouring her mana there. As she poured her mana, she saw that the jewel turned golden. When she felt that she couldn’t pour anything again, she retracted her hand back.
[It’s a pleasure to meet you, Cass. I hope you can entertain me during your lifetime.]
“Likewise, I’m looking forward to your guidance!” Cassie bowed once more to Fenix.[You can talk to me by talking in your head from now on.]
Huh, really? That’s convenient…
As Cassie was about to voice her opinion, Fenix managed to hear it first and responded back.[Yes.]
“!!”[Alright now, you should get back to your group, right? I will escort you. You don’t have any trauma to flying, right?]
Cassie shook her head.
Well, I could try to fly using my magic if I want to, but it was not pleasant and it was very exhausting, anyway. …Wait, Fenix is going to let her hop on her back?!
Thus, that’s how Cassie returned gloriously to her comrades by riding on her new Familiar, Fenix. Cassie could see her comrades’ jaws dropping in their surprise, and she chuckled a bit at how they seemed like a group of koi fishes from above Fenix.
In the middle of their flight, Cassie questioned Fenix a lot of things. Her first question was to clarify the tale she heard, that phoenixes were reborn from the ashes of their predecessors. Then, she proceeded to ask about the volcano’s mystery as she realized she was tasked to solve it.
She then explained everything to her comrades and that explanation also solved the mystery of the volcano. Hundred years before, Fenix was just born—or reborn, to be precise. Her power wasn’t that huge and she didn’t have any memory of her past self. As she turned 100 years old, she regained her previous memory back and gradually conquered the volcano. A few decades later, her power was so overwhelming that it managed to trigger the inactive volcano’s activities back again.
Shortly after their return, Cassie gained the title of [The Sky Magician] as Fenix predicted before. It could be said that Cassie’s meeting with Fenix was the start of her glorious career, as she then became the Head of Royal Magician Court after the previous Head retired.
Fenix smiled haughtily.
[As expected of the chosen one!]
“Chosen one, by who?” Cassie asked.[Why, by this mighty me, of course!]
Fenix created a prideful pose, and Cassie couldn’t help but laugh at her Familiar.
Before they officially formed the contract, Fenix tried to put her down. But now… Look! Fenix is flaunting her achievements and proudly says as expected of the one she chose!