B4 — 23. The Supreme Leader of Hearts


1. Rachel Park (Our Lunar Hare!)

Recap:  Code Red!  Sound the alarms!  Maria and the twins got yeeted and hopefully not deleted!  Armand, the demon lord in charge of this nightmare inducing place is standing before them and set his swarm of demonic insects on the gang … Everything’s falling apart.  How will Rachel deal with this cascade of misfortune?  Well, time to think, bulk up, and rise to the challenge … This is how heroes are born!

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The actions of everything around Rachel were slowed as she utilized Mental Acceleration IV to scan the evolving battlefield.

Tens of thousands of people hung in the air, fueling the sacrificial magic that would bring Abraxas to their world; she had no clue who the demon was, but considering the number of lives required to open up a gate for him to come to their world, he was bad news.

Scarlet was the only one that could weaken and fracture it; without her, it would be impossible for them to stop the summoning, and she would have had to seriously consider killing the city’s innocent citizens to prevent an even greater catastrophe.

Asher teleported to the center of it, looking up at the abyss above with a smile.  Lunar Pride reared its ugly head, realizing he thought she wasn’t even worth considering a real opponent, yet he’d already constructed the perfect event to keep them occupied just in case, putting Maria in danger.

In truth, she could abandon the twins; they’d accepted their fate when entering, but she couldn’t lose Maria for dozens of reasons—one being she was among her tiny circle of friends, not to mention the world-ending device she currently was holding at bay with her hair.  She didn’t know what Wolfgang would do to her, and that alone scared her.

Emotional Detachment II helped keep her emotions in check as she examined their options, but time quickly ran out; she couldn’t think fast enough.

A sea of wasp-like demons rose from the infernal city, converging on their location, large beetle jaws snapping on their heads.  However, the one thing that caused her gut to churn was the muscular blue-skinned demon blocking their path; he was quick and had incredible reaction speed from what she’d seen.  The creature didn’t even seem to be taking them all that seriously.

Getting ready to dash forward, Rachel’s eyes widened as he threw back his arm, sapphire flames erupting around his frame as he laughed.


“Already on it!”  she shouted, wind flying around them as they pushed forward.

She launched her two ice spears at the demon, yet they evaporated on contact with the flames swept around them, carried by the wind.  Grace had barely taken two steps in the time it took him to launch his attack and dash forward, ax cutting through Fiona’s barrier like it wasn’t even there with a wicked grin.

“Rachel!  Duck!  Duck!  Duck!”  Nia screamed, biting her imaginary nails.

Watching his muscles twitch, Rachel instinctually used Predict Motion III as he suddenly matched her speed; her eyes widened in shock as the image of his ax edge cut through the top half of her head—he’d been hiding his speed.

Glad she’d put so many points into Lunar Surge, Lunar Reserve, and Lunar Pool, Rachel increased her own speed, spinning while ducking under the swing to land another roundhouse kick against his chest with all the force she could produce given her positioning.  His flames were blasted apart from the sheer kinetic energy her movement generated.

The stress of his own forward motion struck her back leg, but she managed to maintain her stance, angling him into a rise; he shot into the sky at an accelerated pace, still smiling.

Spirally over thirty feet back through the air, Rachel’s lips tightened; he hadn’t even released his grip on his ax.

He’s playing with us—it’s a game to him … I’m the one being tested to see how far he has to hold back in order to have fun.  If only the moon wasn’t blocked by the lighting barrier.  I’m operating on a handicap.  This plan isn’t going to work with him wasting our time.

Four streaking red bullet trails hit the demon’s body from Grace’s rifle, but not one damaged the creature; in fact, he covered his eye while spinning in the air.

Rachel activated Rapid Mental Acceleration IV with the Flush Moon Lunar Energy coursing through her veins; the advanced form of the Skill would only last for eight seconds at its current Grade and Rank, unlike its predecessor that she could hold for a full minute now.

 Wenet’s Light isn’t worth losing my enhanced base Stats from Lunar Surge III.  It wouldn’t even activate Overpowered II since my Lunar Pool would be below 100%, but the Coral Moon’s effects could be useful … Not worth it without knowing all its effects.  I need to separate my Lunar Pool into different tanks to use Wenet’s Light more effectively.

Taking in all the information she could in their swiftly changing situation, Rachel realized just how bad of a position they were in.

Thousands of winged, underground, and land-traveling demonic insects were closing in on them from all sides; the huge, mysterious four-legged body inside the city had stopped, turning its head to face their direction.

Nia’s voice trembled a little.  “Can you guys fight all of those things and still get to Maria in time?  I’m scared for you guys—he’s so creepy, talking to Maria like she’s a prize—why’s he think she’ll be calmly strapped to a chair?!  Wait!  Is that dude still smiling?!”

We need to adapt.

A grimace fell across Rachel’s face while watching the demon hit the ground, blue flames leaving a trail on the green grass.  He slammed his ax into the soil, ripping it up to come to a stop.

Fiona sent a large glob of water at the demon, followed by an ice spear; mist exploded around the area as it instantly vaporized, and her shard disappeared inside.

Holding out her hand to stop the other’s advance, she yelled, “Coral, Gisele, Hayan, Rose, handle the fodder for me—Scarlet, get everyone else and Blood Portal them to the city—find Maria underground.  It should be easy with your eyes!”

“Shoot, sorry!”  Fiona growled.  “Wait, what?!  You want to take that thing on yourself?”

Her pets instantly changed course on her order, jumping past the blue demon to handle the fodder.  “I’ll be fine; I have my crew with me, and Nia’s got my back.”

“Always here to cover your big butt!”  Nia cheered.

She kept her gaze fixated on the demon as he exited the mist without a scratch, blue flames pushing the fog away while flipping his ax around in a playful manner.  All of them paused when he stopped and cracked his neck.  “He-he-he.  Toga-rashu, go’au’ma-ka’usa ra!”  He beat his left arm with a smug grin.

“Mhm,” Rachel huffed.  “You guys need to get to Maria and the twins; we don’t have time to discuss this, and I’m pretty sure this guy’s fine with just facing me—just be careful, and don’t fight anything—find and rescue them and retreat to a safe location.  I’ll find you, but this guy’s too fast for any of you to handle—I can’t protect you.”

Scarlet’s brow set.  “No, but I think I can do…”

“Get going!”  Rachel yelled, running forward to meet the demon as he leaped toward Scarlet.  “Maria needs you more than I do!”

Nia was ready for battle but was a little confused.  “They can help, though?”

She side-stepped his forward thrust, spinning to strike his side, but he set his stand, blocking it with his forearm. Circling back to flip over another slash, she brought her fist down on his arm, forcing it down, yet he didn’t let go.  Landing, she shot back to avoid a grab; if she was going to win, it would be with technique and patience to wear him down.

I don’t know what he can do, and he’s smart enough to go after them if he can’t hit me.  This is the best plan.

“You can’t lie to me,” Nia sighed.  “Well, not all the time…”

Emotional Detachment was holding in the monster within her that hungered to be set free; her appetite for the rush of battle was erupting inside her heart.

It’s going to break my emotional box soon … And there’s something I think we need to do to get back into this game.

“Oh?  Wait, you’re hiding it from me!  Hmm?  I wanna know!”

Give me a second—I’m still thinking about everything we need to do to open the cage.

“I can help!”

I want it to be a surprise.

“Eh … this guy’s getting better at predicting you, though; that got some hair.”

Scarlet’s fangs bit into her lower lip, still trying to regain her senses while in the eye of the spiritual storm.  “Okay, we’ll get Maria back!”

Rachel used one hand to flip back into a backhand spring as Scarlet threw a few Blood Crescents at the demon while Fiona and Benedict went through her gateway.

Just before flying inside, Fiona turned back.  “We will save Maria!”  she yelled, and her dust flipped to red with her scary eyes.

“Fiona’s gone hulk mode!  Is that…”

Warpath, Rachel replied.  Fiona’s no longer scared of anything; she’ll burn anything to get to Maria.  Scarlet gave us a second to breathe, but…

“Scarlet?!  No, what is she doing?!”

Benedict looked quite frightened but followed.

Rachel was still retreating from the demon’s last attack as Scarlet vanished in shadows to appear behind him, fangs bared to sink into his neck.

The demon’s foot slid back, and in a fluid motion, his elbow smashed into Scarlet’s stunned face before laughing and spinning to slam the edge of his ax into the girl’s side.


What remained of Scarlet’s blood congealed around the area to block the attack, yet her body curved as it bypassed the defense, and Rachel heard a crack from her ribs.  She was flung ten meters away, tumbling across the crass and through a bone pillar that collapsed on top of her.

Her Blood Portal broke, returning to her body to close around the wound and protect her.

Changing directions on a dime, Rachel rushed to engage him, preventing him from pursuing Scarlet.  Fist meeting his shoulder, she sent him stumbling to the left before spinning to trip the creature, but he lept back to avoid the attack.

“Scarlet!”  Relica shouted, running to her side.  “You can’t fight this thing; make another portal so we can go—he’s playing us!”

Running forward to grab the side of his ax and enter a power struggle with the demon, Rachel’s jaw tightened upon feeling the raw strength he executed pressing down on her.  “Is that all you’ve got?”  she laughed, trying to taunt him.

His ugly smile widened, pressing his weight on top of her.

She suppressed a grunt, her arms starting to tremble.

“You can’t match him like this!  We’re speed punchers!”

I’m … buying time!  She growled, shifting her pressure up to spin into a throw, using her hips and his force to toss the demon several feet away; he was back on his feet in an instant.

Scarlet struggled up with a low whimper.  “It—why do I hurt?”

Out of the corner of her eye, Rachel could see the left side of her shirt was destroyed, and her blood was trying to separate the blue flames that had latched onto her body.  Sapphire embers were embedded into her skin that her blood was trying to dig out after smothering the fire.

The Demon pounded his chest again.  “Hoto’roda-emigosh, sharu…”  His ax rose to defend his face before five red bullets struck his eyes, and one hit him in the chin, lowering it for another to strike the side of his eye.

“It hit!”

A little.

“No way … Did it only make it a little red?”

He grunted, rushing Grace as Jim sped into a galop.  “I’ll stay to support ya, Rachel—Jim’s got speed, too!  Come at me, ya cracked leather purse—I’ll make some boots outta ya!  Oh, shoot—he’s a quick one!  C’mon, Jim!  Little faster!  Little faster!”

Hmm … they have good Speed, Agility, and Quickness Stats, but Jim lacks the Agility to quickly change directions.  He’ll eventually corner them … Grace can be a short distraction, though.

“Don’t let her die!  I like her!”

I won’t, she grunted.  Running over to where the Vespertine Reaper and Sorceress were, she threw the bones off the girl.  We just need to see how Scarlet’s doing.

“Oh, yeah!  Scarlet Abyss is hurt!  Where’s … Oh, no, Maria’s captured!  We can’t heal her!  What do we do?!”  She started to panic, running in circles in her mind.  “Everything’s falling apart!  What can I do?  What can I do?”

Trust Fiona to rescue her, Nia.

“Oh-oh, yeah!”

Shhh … I’m thinking.

“Right!  Right!  Shut up, Nia!  Shut up!  Oh, no!”


Wolfgang released a loud hum, tapping the side of Maria’s bed as one of the creatures with him brought in a happy child, speaking Spanish.  Excitement bubbled up in his voice upon seeing the other twin captives.

“Yes … a new game, Paulino.  It seems we have uninvited guests here … Friends of yours, Maria?”

“So creepy!  How does he know her name?”  Nia cringed.

“So, we will need to move locations—Asher has informed me that they have many sensory abilities, so we will be moving to a more secure location.  Please, be patient and trust the process,” he said, stroking her hair.  “You are the most important link—I need you.”

Rachel could practically hear Maria screaming and crying inside; she was tough, but the Unicorn was in an impossible position.

He snapped his fingers and made a few gestures before swapping to German.

Something slid into place, and she lost track of all sound in the area.

They have some kind of dampening field—I’m guessing they’re going to use some type of burrowed, underground network.

“How do we find her then?!  She can’t talk!  She can’t move!  She’s probably wondering where we are!  I wanna help her!”

Scarlet won’t have an issue.

“She won’t?”


“Look, Grace is so brave!”

Rachel ignored her panicked denier’s thoughts, focusing on what they needed to do; Nia was just frantic because she felt useless.

Grace’s bullets seemed to only annoy the demon, unable to penetrate his tough hide; they were trying to lead him to the barrier.  When he got close, she jumped off, and when he swapped to strike her, she teleported back to Jim, having bought him time to run the opposite way.

Smart girl.

Making it to Scarlet’s side, she knelt down to study her wounds; her reaper abilities were the one edge they had that could foil Asher’s plans, and having her out of commission wasn’t an option with the odds stacked against them.

Gisele, Hayan, Rose, and Coral were already taking out the giant demonic insects emerging around the area.  Her Lunar Phoenix handled the air while her three rabbit blobs took out the initial wave of the swarm that was gathering.

“How bad is it?”

Scarlet’s fangs tightened against her lips.  “I … I haven’t felt pain since that labyrinth thing slammed me into the ground—this is so much worse.”

“Hmm.  I think I heard your ribs crack; your bones are probably important to you—you need to get to Maria.”

Relica groaned, running her fingers through her hair while looking between the demon and the ritual, popping her tongue in an annoyed fashion.

“Heh—right, heal me and save her,” Scarlet said in a bitter tone.  “I just—I wanted to help…”

Her ears darted to the left as she heard the massive beast suddenly shift course—right for Fiona and Benedict.

Fiona flew a bit higher into the air, talking to Benedict.  “Where did they go?  Should we go back to get them?  Maybe we should go back; they aren’t showing up, or I could just burn this whole city down!”

“Woah!  Woah!  I think we should wait a little longer!”

Rachel’s lips pulled in.  “Scarlet … Can you still fight?”

“Y-Yeah!  Of course!”

“Wolfgang knows we’re going after Maria, and he’s moving locations.  You need to go after her as soon as possible—I think there’s an underground network the demons created for him.”

“I—I’m so sorry!”  Scarlet cried, blood coming from her eyes.  “I messed up…”

Relica hissed.  “Yes.  Yes, you did.  That demon is actually from another dimension.  His name is Xazzos, and he is not a part of our System.  I’ve seen him cleave entire buildings in half!  We.  Need.  To.  Go!”  she yelled.

Rachel kept close track of Grace as she used little tricks with her guns, Jim, and a lasso to evade and throw Xazzos off, but he was catching onto her games.  It was when a blue chain formed inside his free hand, dragging behind the demon as he ran after Jim, that Rachel grew concerned; the flames from it blacked the grass without setting it ablaze.

“Fiona’s confused, trying to figure out what she should do, and something big is heading their way—massive.  Go get them and run—find Maria!”

“O-Okay…”  Scarlet whispered, struggling to her feet while holding her side; the embers were now burning their way into the soil after her blood pushed them out of her skin.

Relica hesitated after hearing Rachel’s statement, staring at the bloody gateway.  “Something big … How big?”

It was becoming difficult for Emotional Detachment to govern her raging chest.  “Very big … Why?”

“Well … hmm … Armand?  We’re safer here,” Relica mumbled, biting her thumb.  “I can’t … eh?”

Done with the whole situation, Rachel put her hand on Relica’s shoulder and shoved her inside, talking to Scarlet.  “Don’t fight!  Just find Maria; Armand has probably killed thousands of people!”

Scarlet nodded and jumped through without another word, setting her brow while fighting through her pain; the portal swirled into nothingness.

“Rachel!  Grace’s rope is burning; he’s going to kill her!  Save her!  Please, I like Grace!”

She’s more versatile than I thought.  Still… 

“Eh—Rachel?”  Grace nervously chuckled, visibly sweating as she dismissed her rope and summoned it back, looping it around Jim’s saddle and lassoing the chain with the other end to try and enter a strength contest with a laughing Xazzos.  “Don’t know how much we’ve got left here!  Would rather not be evaporated milk!”

Rachel did one last sweep of the area, ears having to filter out the buzzing sounds of an insect army; her pets were doing their best, but it wouldn’t be long before large groups came and overwhelmed them.

It’s good Grace stayed behind; she can help handle the swarm.  We need to level if we’re going to get through this.  Still, it’s winnable—I know it is.

“Grace is running out of time, Rachel!”

She turned back with a small smile brightening her lips; Jim was slowly being pulled closer and closer to the happy demon.  They were trapped in his sandbox, and if they ran, he could just hunt them down, which would be even more fun—she could tell exactly what he thought because it wasn’t that far off from her own mindset.  He was giving them a chance to show him everything they had to have a more enjoyable time.

Grace had bought enough time, and Rachel activated Rapid Mental Acceleration again, thinking through exactly what had crossed her heart before Scarlet was injured.

I’ve been selective on what I put my Skill Points into, Nia, and only leveled things in conjunction with my Grades to not waste them on Skills I rarely use.  I’ve primarily relied on my Base Stats, a full Lunar Pool, sensory abilities, and Stat multipliers.

“Okay?”  Nia quivered, watching Xazzos slowly pull the burning rope attached to Jim closer and closer.  “Why aren’t we going?!”

A new path has opened to us, Nia, and I’m just running through everything I’ve learned about this System, making sure I haven’t missed anything.  Two advancements will pull us through this Cuba mission, and I can only do one while in this barrier.

Nia’s mouth dropped open, hands closing in around her chest as she jumped up and down, finally catching on as they spoke in Rachel’s accelerated brain.  “Is … Is it time?!”

It’s time, Nia.  Rachel smiled, excitement bubbling through her veins.  She took a deep breath before letting go of Emotional Detachment; the flood of hot fire filled her mind and tightened her chest.  We both have Skill Points leftover from the Legend’s Quest; when you were on Scarlet, and the Crystal Break gave us more … It’s time for you to have your own body.

“Yes!  Yes!  YES!  I can help you, and—Oh.  My.  Goodness!  I’ll be the cutest, edgiest little girl!  I’ll be a little girl—so awesome—so cool!  I can save Grace, too!”

Rachel giggled.  The cutest, slightly-edgiest bunny girl in existence!

“How?  How?!  Tell me, Lunar Abyss!  I asked, but it won’t give it to me!”

I need to use my Skill Points to bond to you, meaning you can’t be worn by anyone else.  I need to bind you to the Rabbit Gang and Gisele—you are their commander, after all, and in order for this to work, we have to make a downside to this transformation—a condition.  If you have a body, you cannot be inside your ‘previous’ body, Nia.  You must relinquish all control over your threads, leaving it paralyzed—you cannot micromanage it while in your new body.

“What?!  No!  That’s … I don’t know if I can do that!  I-I’m Living Denire!”

 That’s not all; you must sacrifice your ‘original’ body to create this new form—I can’t use it ever again, and it is something important to you.

“Mmh … No, he’s laughing at her!  Okay!  Okay!  Let’s do this!  You’re the Lunar Hare, and I’m the Lunar Bunny!  Let the abyss rise!  The Secret Society of Denier takes the stage!”

We’ll be the twin battle legends, Nia!  The rabbit and hare!

“Forget battle legends!  He-he-he!  We are the twin goddesses of war!  Raise your ears to the heavens and consume the sun!  It’s written in my fables of in-inequiem-or-somethin’, and your bones, Lunar Abyss!  I’m raising the flag; this is our kingdom!”

The greatest, huh?  The Twin War Goddesses sounds pretty nice, actually.  The one they can’t control.

“The Secret Society of Denier has turned into The Secret Society of Goddesses!”

A fire raged in Rachel’s breast.

Lunar Goddesses—Let’s go!

Rachel’s heel dug into the soil, compressing it as she fed power into her legs, Rapid Mental Acceleration returning to its previous stage upon running its course; the wind whistled past her ears while they funneled their desires together and Nia’s unique spirit intertwined with hers as the seed inside Rachel grew roots to wrap around the little denier girl.

Xazzos jerked the rope as it came into range, throwing a screaming Grace into the air with Jim; the horse vanished in red light, but the brown-haired girl hit the ground hard, tumbling across the grass to land in a crumpled heap, sweat slicking her face as her hat fell off.


The demon’s ax pulled back to cut Grace in half as she coughed on the ground, chest frantically searching for air while trying to get to her feet.  However, he noticed Rachel closing in at a reckless speed, causing him to turn the weapon on her with the intent to kill.

“I’m wishing so hard!”  Nia squealed.  “Let’s flatten this guy!”

Laughing while sliding under the demon’s ax and between his legs, shimmering light of coral, pink, and silver rose out of Rachel’s aura to solidify into a little girl that soared above the edge as Rachel went under.

Nia’s black and red heels settled on the Xazzos chest while the wind her motion generated dispersed his flames; the shocked demon’s right hand lurched out to grab the small girl, but it was too late.

The girl spoke aloud for the first time with a smug grin.  “The greatest you’ve ever seen!  Nia, the Supreme Leader of Hearts arrives!”  Using his chest as a platform, she kicked him into the red electric wall nearby.

Rachel nimbly adjusted her position to tackle a stunned Grace into the ground as Nia sent him flying overhead.

Xazzos’s back hit the field, causing his body to convulse as the energy ripped through his frame before ejecting him back; for the first time, he released his ax.  The soil exploded as he struck the wet ground, fingers twitching.

Flipping into a half-twist tuck, Nia landed with a wicked laugh.  The fourteen-year-old girl had a mix of orange, pink, and silver-colored hair that matched her eyes, puffy tail, and ears.

Nia’s outfit seemed to take inspiration from Alice in Wonderland’s Queen of Hearts, and of course, it had the Scarlet flair.  Black and red-themed, thigh-high boots encrusted with heart gems, a short, frilly, lace dress, and various accessories adorning her arms and head, Nia was a sight to behold.

Pointing a smug finger at Xazzos, recovering in the dirt, Nia proclaimed her glory.  “I’m out of your league!  Fu-fu-fu!  You better retreat.  Call me a queen!  Call me a goddess!  You better believe!”

A low growl rumbled in Xazzos’s throat as he spat blue blood on the ground, pulling himself out of the earth to level an intense stare at the sparkling bunny girl.  “Sog-ua…”

Nia interrupted him with a laugh, taking a step forward and directing her left hand to the sky, the other on her hip.  “This is my kingdom!  My domain!  You can’t take it from the Supreme Leader of Hearts!  My abyssal threads are of fate, peasant!  You can’t take it from me, I’m the greatest you’ve ever seen!  I rise like the red moon!  I walk through the flames!  You can’t handle the heat; the true legend is me!  Look to the end of time, and what you see is mine!  Mua-ha-ha-ha!”

Grace shakily got to her feet after untangling herself.  “Eh … Rachel, who’s the kid?  What is happening?”

Asking the System for the time limit on the skill, Rachel was a little shocked to receive the answer.  Thirty minutes … way longer than I thought.  Perfect.

She folded her arms and gave Xazzos a smirk while moving to stand beside Nia.  “You’ve heard Nia; this is our domain.  Go help Gisele and the others.”

“Eh … okay?”  Grace mumbled, breathing out a long sigh and shaking her head.  “I’ll just be over here … doing pew-pew stuff—you two, do you.”

“Fu-fu-fu,” Nia leered at Xazzos; the demon was trying to recover, red marks and blue blood lacerating his back from where he struck the barrier.  “Look, Lunar Abyss, he’s already trembling before our combined power!”

Rachel rolled her eyes with a small smile.  “Are you ready to go, Supreme Leader of Hearts?”

Nia’s cute smile turned sinister.  “He’s already dead; he just doesn’t know it yet!”

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