Chapter 64 – Boss Fight


Jurmat licked his lips, staring at her, then me, then her again.

“My Lady, I cannot…” he began answering in a pleading voice.

I didn’t bother to wait for his words. When Trisiagga turned her angry scowl to scold him, I raised the crossbow and fired at her. She staggered backwards, shocked at the supersonic strike that hit her square in the chest. No doubt, she had expected anything that I fired with that weapon would fly at a speed she could dodge or deflect.

I did not waste the opportunity. I already had my bow slung so I could scoop up the spear by the time she unceremoniously fell onto her rump from the impact. Beating my wings furiously, I flew directly at my male dopplegänger while circulating mana, then whispered, “[Purify]”.

Everything he had done since reappearing had painted him terrified, but to his credit he took off facing me, not fleeing. My body howled with pain as I charged up the one attack that had proven most effective against him. I kept it inside my body, circulating and building up the charge, then poured it into the spear in preparation for the attack.

It was fortunate that I already had the spear aimed at him, because something strange happened at that moment. Rather than it coating the spear the way I coat my sword when fortifying it with Earth mana, the charge became a bolt which shot forward directly at him, striking him just as he took to the air. He let out a howl of pain beyond imagining and lost his wings, falling back to the ground.

I realized what had happened as information came back to me from all those futile magic lessons of the past. I turned the spear toward Trisiagga as I continued to fly forward, and circulated mana again, again converting it to purification. She was still on her rump, propped up by her hands, her mouth hanging open.

Her expression had completely changed since the last time I paid attention to her. Her eyes were now round as coins, and trained on me without blinking. Black blood flowed from a gaping wound high on her chest, just to the right of the sternum, where my crossbow bolt struck her. Her top was now missing, and the blood was beginning to coat one of her bare breasts.

“P… purification?” she shrieked. “Impossible!!”

She clearly knew. There’s no way a dhampir or vampire could function with purification mana inside them. It was as poisonous to them as it was to Bruna.

I released the mana into the spear again and it struck her like lightning. She let out a wailing howl. Once it ended, she first scrambled back on her hands and feet, then got herself upright and fled into the woods. Jurmat took off behind her, disappearing in the same direction.

I couldn’t follow. The two chimeras had broken loose from my command and charged my companions while I was busy. I had to protect them.

Ceria was holding up her staff one-handed and in the midst of a chant that I had heard Arken use before. “Grant a bow of worthy power / And arrows of purest might / Alike the huntress of the heavens / [Magic Arrow!]

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That spell was useless for hunting deer, since it pretty much carbonized them, but he had fired many of them against monsters and demonic beasts during our travels. It was his favorite offensive spell. And as she drew the bow, she surprised me again by layering on a second spell.

“[Guidance!]”

She let the arrow fly at the chimera on her left. I charged at the chimera on the right with the spear, but had to evade as the massive goat head parted its lips and let loose a fiery blast. But a rapid turn allowed me to come in behind the creature as I charged up purification mana again. I arrived before it could let loose as before, so I just rammed the spear into its back, nimbly dodging the snake tail as it tried to strike at me.

The beast let out a bellow and pounced at me as I passed, true to the nature of the tiger that gave it its body, but it was too slow to catch me. I wheeled to charge it once more, while drawing my sword, and juked it as it tried again to scorch me with its breath. Fortunately, a chimera breathes flame on a much smaller scale than a dragon. I could evade it and again come at it from the rear.

This time when the snake tail struck at me, I was able to take its head off with a slash, removing the chimera’s rear defense. I climbed sharply into the air, turned it into a wingover while the beast craned its neck to try to line up its breath on me again.

I wheeled again, just as it let loose another attack. It didn’t seem to understand it had to lead the target with a fast-moving opponent; the breath made my toes a little warm, but that was it. And when I did another tight reverse as it desperately spun to keep facing me, I again caused it to lose me, and I came in from the rear one more time.

As I dropped onto its back, I plunged the sword into it, then grasped the spear that was still stuck there.

The spear had fired bolts of purification at Trisiagga and Jurmat because the silverwood shaft acted just like a magic wand. Wands, scepters and staffs for magicians are always made of silverwood, because it’s one of the best conductors of mana there is. I used the same property to send a wave of purification into the core of the beast, while shrieking like a banshee as I felt it simultaneously punishing the vampire half of my body.

That feeling like I was being fried alive was really beginning to wear on me, but I could take it. I was beginning to accept that it was just my price for this powerful ability.

The beast let out a howl that sounded somehow both goatlike and tigerlike, and collapsed onto its belly. I kept the flow going until I suspected it was about to die, then yanked out both spear and sword.

True to its fire-element nature, the chimera burst into flames as it perished. I turned my eyes toward my companions in time to see Ceria falling to her knees, struggling to maintain a shield against the other chimera as it blasted flames at her and Bruna.

I dropped to my knees for accuracy while unslinging the crossbow and drawing the string back with my fingers again. Bruna was bracing Ceria’s back as she pushed back against the force of another flaming blast. Somehow my last magic bolt found its way into the flight groove without me fumbling it. I aimed and fired.

The bolt found its mark, right in the creature’s goaty head. The flaming breath ceased, but I didn’t trust it to be dead. I scooped up the spear and took to the air.

Bruna pushed her sister to the side and lunged forth with her glaive, swinging it in a vicious arc and hacking into the beast’s neck.

It staggered, and the glaive came out of Bruna’s hands, lodged in the neck bone of the chimera. She was pulling her dagger and getting ready to attack it with that when I used a vampire command on her.

“Bruna, down!!”

She hit the deck as I came in to hit the beast in the midsection with the spear. I used [Purify] again, just as I had done to its mate.

It keeled over onto its side. I noticed my pack lying perilously close to the beast and cursed, then dashed in to yank it out of danger. Bruna grabbed her glaive and did the same as the first flames began.

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- my thoughts:

You may recall that I also mentioned the dragon having carbonized itself upon dying. It's a standard element in this universe. If the critter breathes fire, it destroys itself with fire upon dying.

Check out my other novel: Tales of the ESDF

Special Announcement

The final chapter of Volume 2 will be posting at the end of July (as a locked chapter, to unlock about two weeks later.) Following that, I will be doing another afterword, which will include another Q&A.

Note that I will not be locking the afterword. I don't think that sort of thing is worth paying to read in advance, so I will post it open from the start.

I will probably harvest some questions by going through the chapter comments, and give more complete answers, but I will also take questions from readers. If you want to ask me something, I can either be DM'ed on Discord (look for me on the Creative Novels server, with the same ID, Fushigi) or you can post the question in the chapter comments. Use the note 'For the Q&A:' to show that you want the answer in there.

Please post your questions by July 25. I may take one that's late, but I would rather have time to think and give good answers!

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