B5 — 38. A Lady of Hades

PoV:

1. Rachel (Our Plotting Lunar Hades Hare!)

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Rachel slowed her pace in the thick blizzard as she neared the closed-off area, spotting dozens of nervous knights standing around it; the fallen nephilim and teenage angel’s appearance had them unsure how to react, which Yseress had eaten up.

Ironically, it was Nia who smoothed things over, pointing to her ears and proudly proclaiming she was the infamous Rachel, who had been given jurisdiction over subjugating this gateway—just without so many big words—and had the guards running to a nearby donut shop to get them hot chocolate and pastries since ‘she was in charge.’

It did get a chuckle out of Rachel when the bunny straightened upon seeing her, pointing to the policemen in their cars, trying to remain warm.  “I told them to get some for you, too!  Being the boss is nice.”

“Except when you have to deal with the headaches,” Rachel mused, accepting the cup and flicking her ear.

“Ouch!  It’s your fault, fatass,” she cried, holding them down and causing the officer over this squadron to jog over to understand what was happening.  “You didn’t tell them about Big Sis or anyone else, so I had to figure something out!  Big Sis, help me out…”

Alexa gave her an apologetic smile, trying not to draw attention to herself; she really had changed a lot from the girl that used to have shouting matches with her.  Then again, her sister-in-law felt intimidated by her, so it made sense that Rachel drew out a more competitive side, and maybe she could draw on that facet.

“A girl needs to learn how to take care of herself, little gumdrop,” the nephilim mused, reaching over to flick her other ear.

“Ack!  Quit bullying me!”  she cried, eyes beginning to water.  “I did good.  Right, Alexa?”

“Eh-hehe…”

“You did,” Rachel chuckled, bending down to kiss the hand attempting to protect her vulnerable appendages.  “I just had to punish you for impersonating me, but it was great of you to try to take charge.”

“Didn’t have to flick my ear, though,” she mumbled, yet Rachel saw the small smile she tried to hide at being complimented.  “Uh-oh.”

Yseress held up her steaming styrofoam container in a rather chipper mood as the knight hesitated upon nearing them.  “I will say this, Mistress, your world does make excellent food.  Pastries, were they?”

“Yes,” she returned, moving to shake the man’s hand and offer a charming first impression.  “Sorry for the trouble some of my group caused, Chief Corporal.”

“Haha.  No problem.  It’s not every day we get to see angels…  The real thing.”

Yseress tilted her head with a dubious hum as Alexa shrugged, floating a meter off the ground.

“We’ll be off as soon as my pet bird arrives.”

Nia’s ears went back up, and she sipped at her hot chocolate before turning her gaze to the falling heavens.  “She’s almost here.  Umm, Rachel, by the way, was it planned that your meeting with Solomon was just outside of my hearing—how did he know?”

Rachel’s head tilted to the side at the girl’s casual question; it was a good point she hadn’t taken into consideration.  “Hmm.  We’ll figure it out later.”

Alexa cleared her throat, drawing everyone’s attention.  “I, eh, know it might be silly of me to ask, but… do you think he has some kind of appraisal ability, and he scoped you guys out the first time you met?”

“A useful trait,” Yseress whispered, licking her lips before centering on the Crystal.  “Can we go, Mistress?  I cannot wait to spread my new wings.”

The soldier gave her a silent nod, understanding the situation; Charlemagne had mentioned Mythic would be handling the conquest, so all there was to do was report that they were going to hand over to the officer’s superior.

Rachel motioned for her to go first, and the half-angel boldly stepped forward, vanishing in a flash of red light upon touching the object.  Alexa jumped—it was her first time seeing a Crystal in person—and Nia coaxed her through with the soldiers saluting; to them, this was a suicide mission due to the difficulty rating, which was beyond anything France had seen.

She took one last look around the outskirts of the city and countryside, blanketed white as the unnatural storm veiled whatever malicious parties had planned this night.  Scarlet and Nemesis were now on the hunt; she would have loved to stay to listen, but overall, this gateway did take precedence.

I hope you get the fight you’re looking for tonight, Nemesis…  We’ll see what we’re up against soon enough.

Her ears pulled back, Rachel’s focus went skyward, squinting while scanning the unassuming snow, and a few thoughts played in the back of her mind.

What if these Crystals are an attempt to distract us from what’s already happening on our planet?  These eldritch creatures are attempting to gain access to our world…  It has to be for a reason.  There’s something more happening beneath the surface than simply world domination.  Maybe Revilla’s goal wasn’t to destroy the universe but retrieve whatever these colossal entities want.

The Greater Seeds came to us depleted and only attached to specific individuals for a reason…  Is it self-preservation—a defense protocol to offer resistance to them?  Jaenona’s faction has the ability to completely alter them to suit their purpose, and I doubt they’re the origin.

These Seeds are like fragments of Existence itself, I suppose… adapting and expanding to the needs of the person it inhabits.  So many moving parts and factions make it hard to decide whose side I should be on… if any at all.

It didn’t matter in the end; her goal was simple—recover her mother—and if that meant playing every side or using them to build her strength, she’d do it.

Her brow set as Gisele swooped out of the sky to land on her shoulder; it was time to see what these higher-level gates had to offer.  The Azure Frost had utterly destroyed a planet, but it did require a ramping time and was only active when under sunlight.  This gateway was two levels higher, so Rachel was expecting a lot out of it.

Focus returning to the shimmering gate as she stroked her bird’s damp feathers, Rachel nodded to the soldiers and placed a hand on the gem’s smooth surface; the world she knew vanished, and Rachel laid eyes on an entirely alien world, ears straight in the air, analyzing the noises of the environment.

“Rachel…”  Nia hissed, hopping closer with a single bound as Alexa joined her.  “I don’t like this place!  The ground…”

Gisele instantly took flight to discover what lay above the impossibly high canopy; the trees were at least three times the size of the redwoods, showing fewer branches on the colossal trunks until reaching their top, which spread out in a way that left the world below encased in total darkness, had they not all been able to see without light.

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In the barren, flat landscape, the only things visible were the human-sized red gem nexus point and icy-bark trees, showing a milky substance swirling within that moved up from the ground; it was well below freezing, but the only one affected was Alexa, who shivered a little since her resistances weren’t as potent as everyone else’s.

“I hear it,” Rachel whispered, going to one knee while thick flakes three times the size on Earth floated down, somehow moving slower than they should.  Her hand sank into the fine powdery snow, discovering an impossibly thick layer of ice underneath it, causing tiny fracturing noises every second—in every direction.  “It’s challenging to hear anything beyond the shifting glacier we’re on.”

Yseress was floating in the air with her Hades Bun on her shoulder, seemingly ignoring them as she studied the ground with a fascinated smile; snow gathered on her unfurled wings, refusing to melt, and her sharp eyes drifted between various points.

A hoarse cough came from their angelic magical girl, holding onto Hayan for warmth.  “Umm, Fiona told me a bit, but, uh, what are we supposed to do?”

“Don’t you tire those little wings of yours, teeny,” Yseress snickered, finding a nickname that ruffled the thirteen-year-old woman’s feathers.  “This is my stage, and I will have my fun…  It isn’t what it seems, Rachel.  Hmm-hmm.  I wonder when you’ll discover the truth.”

“Bis Sis!  Don’t hold out on me,” Nia cried, bouncing up and down with Coral, mirroring her puffed-up cheeks.

Yseress closed two fingers together and slid them across her mouth in a secretive manner that made the bunny groan.

“Heh.  Do your thing, Yseress,” Rachel laughed, watching her breath crystalize as she spoke; their bodies naturally produced their general needs for nourishment, yet they’d never tested it long-term in such a hostile environment—despite the Crystal protecting them from diseases.  “Do you think I can take anything here?”

The nephilim crossed her arms, shifting to look to their left.  “Perhaps the prey, if you use your Hades Force and lure it into the open.  Nia can be the bait, and teeny can offer some support.”

“I guess we’ll do that while you… do whatever you’re going to do,” she muttered, glancing up at where Gisele had gone, yet she had disappeared in the haze; only a few places of the tops were visible—if they were even the ceiling at all.  “Can I trust you to keep the defensive point?”

Realizing Alexa likely had no clue about what was expected of these ventures, she added, “Oh.  Crystals have a central hub that warns the home planet of an attack, and once activated, depending on the size of the group that can enter, you can have one or many hub points that, if broken, triggers a Crystal Break, flipping the conquest.”

“Like a tower defense—a little… I guess,” she whispered.

“Hmm-hmm.”  Yseress summoned her black purse from flaming feathers to open it.  “Making me do all the work.   Come.  Come.  Yes, I know… it’s been some time since you’ve had something to eat, but who will be the lucky soul?”

Nia shuffled away as shriveled, demonic hands reached out, practically begging for freedom as Yseress selected one to exit.  “Oeldish, you have been a good boy.  Make sure things don’t go… the wrong way,” she said with a knowing gleam aimed in their direction.

“Eww…”  Alexa groaned, floating back.

“Bis Sis…  Why do you keep things… like this?”

The bony claws shoved the others away, contorting its body to exit; the figure was built like a man that had been robbed of all nutrients and demonized.  Yseress hovered down as the creature knelt before her, bald head lowered.

Her fingernail touched his forehead, likely transferring a portion of energy to him as shoulder-length, thick black locks grew, and the ravaged demon was transformed into a—quite naked—handsome, red-skinned man.

He spoke in Gaelic, to Rachel’s surprise—like Fiona, yet far older—and an intricate, golden crown materialized from black, electrified flames.  “My Lady, it is an honor to serve you again.  I will not fail you.”

“You never have in the fields of Hades,” Yseress giggled, gesturing to her bag; black arcs excited to enclose the man, fitting him in resplendent black and gold armor, ending in a large claymore.  “Make sure to repay what I have given you by the time I am done having my fun.”

Oeldish’s head lowered in acknowledgment.  “As you command, Lady Yseress.”

Nia’s mouth was slack, having not closed her eyes upon seeing his bare butt and back from behind.  “B-Big Sis…  You just summoned a man from your purse?!  How can I do that?  I want to do it; I want bag servants!”

“Maybe when you’re older,” Rachel said, rubbing her head.  “Let’s go.”

Leading the pack and allowing Rose to stick to her shoulder, Rachel swapped to her combat outfit, bandages, shorts, and semi-revealing corset top coming into place; it had been a while since she used it, and her demon-skin boots drew the attention of Oeldish.

She used Lunar Step to enter the sky, noticing Yseress slide her fingers over one of the tattoos on her collarbone, producing some kind of crimson liquid; a single drop caused the ice to bubble and steam, spreading out to melt a large hole for her to descend into the ground.

“Try not to get yourselves killed, Mistress.  The weak doggies make their nest in the mountains to your north.  I’d suggest only attracting one.”

Noted.  Have fun with… whatever you’re going to do down there.  Is that where the conquest point is?

“Oh.  Heh.  You’ll know what the ‘conquest’ is in the next two hours when I shake the nest.”

Haha.  You sound like you’re going to have fun.  It’s nice hearing you so happy and not sulking.

“Hmm.  Perhaps I have been a tad irritable.  Still, this should lighten my mood.”

Rachel figured the woman was still grieving and frustrated with her weakness in being unable to protect her previous ‘hated’ mistress, and, unbeknownst to her, a distant relative on her mother’s side.  She was the last child that loved the fallen goddess, and Izanami was willing to be imprisoned and tortured by her most despised enemy if that precious spark was kept alive.

She’d debated whether to tell Yseress about the connection, especially considering they’d gotten confirmation from Jaenona regarding her triple heritage—angelic, demonic, and deistic roots—yet it wasn’t her place to say, as well.

The nephilim and her servant vanished from view as Rachel made it higher, spotting the white blanket above them.  “Show me what you have, Alexa,” she ordered, directing her to make them an exit point.

“Okay!  Umm.  I’ve never actually used this, so…”

Rachel’s eyebrows lifted as Nia gasped; a glistening diamond blade materialized in her hands, illuminating with twinkling, multi-color light.  Hayan on her shoulder, pointing his ear in a way that screamed ‘charge!’—they shot through the falling flakes—and Alexa swung, releasing a radiant slash; it didn’t penetrate a millimeter.

“Eh?!  Ahhhck!”

Rachel landed on a branch Gisele had taken, crossing her arms and staring dully at her sister-in-law as she tried to flip around to stop herself—she’d apparently had total confidence in going through the sheet—but, instead, she body slammed the ice.

“Oof!  Lexi!”  Nia cried, darting after the stunned angel teen as her sword fell from her grip, and she dropped out of the sky.  “I got you!”

Gisele hid her face and shook her head, making a few tweeting noises.

Yeah, Rachel thought, knowing her sister-in-law probably had to work herself up like all of them; she needed to be power-leveled, as Fiona and Selvaria called it.

Maybe I should have had her do the Legend Quest with Cahira to boost her up.  Aww.  She’s going to be so embarrassed.  It’s my miscalculation, though.  I guess Mystickin aren’t just instantly powered up by resonating with our Seeds. 

She put on a strained smile as Nia returned with the teary-eyed woman, Hayan and Coral patting her head from both sides of the girl’s shoulder.

“I… I tried—ack…  Do I have any cuts or…  I’m bleeding,” she cried, noticing glowing white liquid that reminded Rachel of her own when enhanced by the moon.  “Is it going to leave a scar—no-ho-ho… I am useless, aren’t I?”

“No!  No!”  Nia protested.  “That ice is just… stupid thick!  Yeah!”  she said, putting her down with the buns and jumping up to demonstrate.   “See?  Ultra Lunar Punch!”

The rabbit’s fist sent a pulse of lunar force into the sheet, shattering large chunks that were blown to the side around them.

“Huh…”  Nia blinked, sparkling dust falling around them as she landed and looked up at the two-by-two-meter crater she’d created.  “Maybe… it’s resistant to magic?”

Rachel moved over to check on her sister-in-law as she hung her head, wings drooping and halo dimming.  “Hey,” she whispered, turning her in a circle to examine the angel.  “Did you hurt your wings or break any bones?  I don’t need my brother getting after me for abusing his wife.”

“Umm.  No, I don’t think so,” she mumbled, shivering a little and sniffing.  “I’m just… useless.  I’ve always been useless.”

“Not true,” Nia huffed, and the three buns agreed by bouncing over to cuddle the sniffling angel.  “You helped me a ton—you showed me so many awesome things—a-and we dress up together and everything!”

Rachel yawned and rolled around her neck; not knowing why the action came on, she frowned at the glittering powder falling over them.  “Let’s change spots…  Alexa, I think you having a sword is cool, and you haven’t even transformed into your first form, right?”

“You know?”  Alexa asked, rubbing away her diamond-like tears.  “I have to… to do a, umm…”

Her face turned red, and Rachel chuckled.  “I’m not a total heathen, Alexa; I’ve seen a few staple magical girl episodes.  You don’t have to be embarrassed to do your poses.  I’m sure Nia will do them with you.”

“Twin Burst Transformation!”  Nia squealed, jumping up and down with her squishy soldiers.  “Oh!  Oh!  Can you get a Feat that allows us to change with you?  Strengthen us with the power of cuteness and positivity?!”

Alexa drew in her bottom lip and shook her head.  “Mmmh.  I don’t think that’s how my powers work…  I can heal a little bit, I think,” she said, glowing hand passing over her shallow wounds; they were mended in sparkling light.

“That’s useful,” Rachel hummed.  “So, you’re a battle priestess of sorts?”

“Kind of like a magical girl paladin,” Nia hastily added.  “You just gotta do some leveling!  Oh.  Do you think she’ll grow if we kill the doggy Big Sis mentioned?”

“Certainly,” Rachel smiled, tapping her demonic heels against the trunk; black sparks shot out, sending deep fractures through the structure—once again, Hades Fire proved to be a potent disruptor.  “Okay.  I’m going to take it down, Nia and you distract it by, heh, being the sparkly butterflies you are.”

“Roger that!”  Nia grinned, responding before knowing the task; her ears flew straight up, still in her salute.  “Eh?!  Bait?  Why do I always have to shake my tail in front of the wolf?!”

Rachel lifted a hand as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.  “You’re a bunny…  You’re meant to be bait.”

The rabbit gang jumped in protest, crossing their ears, saying they could be the bait.

“Oh.  Fine,” Rachel snickered.  “You can all be the bait—”

Two thumps of a heart not their own caused a shiver to run through Rachel’s spine as two illuminated pale eyes appeared out of the thick haze, revealing a child-sized horned owl, its glide utterly silent due to its thick fur.  Its four long talons stiffened upon nearing, entering a frenzied spiral—she’d been too careless.

Hyper Mental Acceleration activated, Hades Fire erupted through her soul as she negated all atmospheric resistance through the aura, projecting her Infernal Force to teleport between Alexa and Nia.  Shoving them away from the orange flaming claws, Rachel knew she wasn’t fast enough to escape, even teleporting—it was a blur to her fastest mental processing abilities—yet, at that moment, a fountain of purple liquid erupted from the owl.

Oeldish’s black armor filled her vision, having moved faster than she could see, and the sounds of the battle below caught up a second later as everything came back into focus.

Nia and Alexa were petrified as they fell from the branch, only catching themselves halfway down to return, but Rachel was centered on the dark knight, tattered gray cloak billowing behind him, showing marks from the battle he’d had just before rescuing them; these were intelligent ambush hunters, and he’d reacted to their attack in an instant.

“Are you well, Lady Rachel?”  he calmly asked, black locks settling around his crown as the whirlwind he brought carried flakes against her cheeks and blew back her braid.  “I nearly failed to notice them.”

She swallowed, noticing even the gore had been redirected from touching her.  She felt the difference in ability; this man had fought on the 3rd Circle battlefields for Yseress.

“How many—are there more?”  she asked, trying to regain her composure; a single one would have likely killed her, and she had no doubt it had many more abilities it didn’t have the chance to get off.

“What was that?!”  Nia snarled, noticing the obliterated creature and glowing blue claymore of Oeldish.  “I didn’t hear a thing!”

Alexa joined them, rubbing her chest where Rachel had shoved her.  “Owls—ack… back on Earth have that ability.”

Oeldish placed his claymore on his shoulder, turning to stare below.  “Twenty in all, wielding powerful occultic magic of some kind within their blood.”

“Eek!”  Nia shied away from the rapidly freezing guts as he knelt down to break a piece off and hand it to her.  “Uh… thank you?”

“It should have many properties that can be used if brought to someone who can distill it.”

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“Oh!  Oh!  Yeah…  Uh, you guys get it,” the startled girl mumbled to the Rabbit Gang, who gladly gobbled it up.

Rachel was still processing the scope of such an attack; twenty of them would have ravaged all of France without much competition.  If that wasn’t bad enough, Oeldish turned, hand tightening on his weapon.

“More are coming.  I suggest you leave to the upper level to conduct your hunt; they seem aware of the condition to reverse our roles, as you explained, Lady Rachel.  I can track their warp through space, and none seem to wish to go above.”

He flickered and was gone, leaving a vacuum to be filled, and she realized he had probably copied their ability; Yseress’ personal guard was what came to her mind—he was no ordinary soldier, yet the nephilim treated him like one.

A rumble shook the ground, causing Nia and Alexa to hiss, but the challenge ebbing into Rachel’s chest made her smile; there was a lot more room for her to learn and grow.

“Let’s go!”

Jumping, Rachel flipped to kick the ceiling, Hades Fire melting through the dense ice like butter to send steaming water down on the disgruntled group below, Gisele side-winging it.

My contract with Yseress gives me access to Hades’ energy, but that’s going to be purified in time, which means I need to find my own connection to the Hades Moon; that also means I can use the Celestial Moon once she’s purified…  I need to adapt to these forces!

Breaking through the final sheet over thirty meters up, Rachel soared above the frosty canopy, spotting the waste; colossal horned giants roamed far in the distance, three times the size of Selvaria and hosting powerful builds.

Their low rumbles shook the treetops, causing the fractured ice that confused Nia and her hearing; they wielded hammers the size of skyscrapers, motioning to the stained glass heavens, far, far above them in the atmosphere.  It could probably cover the entire state of Florida.

They weren’t slow either, slapping one another on their muscular chests, thick fur covering specific parts of their bodies, bright white eyes centered on the column of colors radiating from the Crystal base on the horizon.

We can’t fight…

A loud scream made her wince and fall to the ground as fissures appeared in the canopy, a wet Alexa and Nia exiting her path with the Rabbit Gang and Gisele.

“What is that noise?!”  Nia cried, holding down her ears.  “Oh, boy…”

“Are you kidding me?!”

Steam billowed past the nearby mountain, revealing a head so massive that it filled the entire sky—they were on an enormous Dragon Turtle—and it now became apparent why Yseress had gone below; her goal was to take the soul of the very land this place rested on, and probably turn it against its on inhabitants through nightmarish torture or ritual.

Alexa forced a laugh.  “You… have to be kidding me.  What is that?!  How do we survive that?!”  she screamed as spikes the size of the giants formed above them to pepper the landscape, causing panic among the titanic’s hosts.

“We don’t!”  Rachel shot back.  “That’s Yseress’ job.  We’re going to the little puppy…”

Nia pointed at a pack of wolves, each one practically an office building with jagged blue spikes and thousands of razor-sharp teeth; they jumped into the air, spinning into balls of death while attempting to escape the turtle’s attacks, yet most didn’t get far since they seemed aimed at anything living on its back.

The black shards crushed them, sinking deep into the glaciers to cause more fissures and tremors.  The residents weren’t worried about the attacks; they were worried about setting off their land god, which Yseress had obviously done with whatever she did below.

“Our goal is to kill one of those!”  Rachel laughed.

Lunar step carried her away from the devastated landscape as rock, rivers, and flames of all colors broke along the turtle’s back; the hail wouldn’t stop, and the moment Rachel spotted a lone survivor, who was limping along to find cover, a beam of black lightning pierced the heavens from within the landscape, revealing Yseress, cloaked in baleful flames with a spear in hand.

An ax from one giant swung through the air to crush her, yet the nephilim batted it away with a wing to sink into another of the creatures, peeking out from behind a mountain hosting shrapnel from the turtle’s assault.

Yseress threw her weapon, causing a clap of thunder that followed its path, evaporating the giant’s head as she dodged ice clusters, which were forming from the turtle’s magic to imprison the elusive woman.

Crimson light lifted another giant into the air before he was crushed by the half-angel, likely to be served as a bite-sized snack such as what Yseress did to one of Wolfgang’s clones.

Victim after victim, the woman cleaved through mountains and monsters, each trying to stop her thrilled rampage, and by the time Rachel arrived at her single, wounded animal, the landscape had fallen silent—the pit fiend from Hades had moved onto another valley to play with the turtle and its occupants, yet she could still hear the rumbles.

Despite the show of force, Rachel’s mind went back to what Anthony said to her; Jaenona compared Empress Wu to Yseress, and if that was the case, how did she get this kind of power—what price was she trying to escape?  Strength like this didn’t happen in a month without selling your soul to something.

It also put into perspective the level of play between the four emperor factions of China; Wu was fighting on all sides, and she needed power like this to maintain that.  All in all, perhaps China wasn’t such a bad place for her to get stronger—all Mythickin had a base EXP bonus over Legendkin, who had access to the best training grounds via their quests—if the empress was so keen on her support, it would come with many conditions.

Entering the battle with the wolf, she had Nia take care of Alexa after the ridiculous bunny convinced the magical girl her powers would get even stronger if she beat the wolf in her base state—some anime BS, Rachel was sure.  Then again, given Mystickin’s unusual abilities, perhaps Alexa could get something like a base multiplier.

It didn’t last long due to the beast being injured, but Hayan went down first, jumping off Nia to shove Alexa out of the way, and Rose did the same for Nia when she was distracted by another rain of shards from the turtle.

Coral’s misfortune was on point, though, and between the bun and her curses, they managed to get the wolf’s barbed tail stuck in ice before Rachel found an opening to punch into its open wound to destroy it from the inside—icy hide too resistant and thick to puncture on their own—and after ten grueling minutes, it lay dead at their feet.

Rachel breathed a heavy sigh, and, as if waiting for them to finish, Yseress appeared high above them, bringing the colossal head swaying their way to release thousands of titanic beams upon them, causing Nia to scream.

“Big Sis!  What are you—oh!  Oh!  Oooh!”

“Oh ye of little faith,” the nephilim laughed, thoroughly enjoying herself as dread filled Rachel’s breast; her spear took on a sickly yellow color, devilish script lighting across her body and in the air around her.

“No-dugalra-sh-galrin.  Do-tag.  Mogith,” she chanted, opening rifts from the sky to rain meteors of ash, lava, and fire.

Her spear duplicated, taking on flaming wings of their own as she launched them at the enormous head, vaporizing it mid-neck; the conquest was over, burning black feathers replacing the snowfall as the apocalypse was summoned to this planet, Hades’ forces arrived to spread chaos in their wake.

Yseress giggled as Oeldish exited a nearby hole, carrying bags of crystalized owl blood to offer his mistress.  “Mmh.  Excellent work!  You may return to the bag,” she ordered, popping it out.

“Thank you for my reward, Lady Yseress,” he bowed, allowed to keep his current form; lightning took him inside the purse, causing the woman to moan with delight, savoring her victory.

“The smell of despair on the wind as the noxious gas of the 1st Circle fills the sky.  What a wonderful short night this has been.  Shall we return before the Crystal collapses and traps us here?”

Alexa’s face was white while watching the demons and devils fill the heavens.  “Did you…”

“Prepare a little special ritual below, using a fragment of this land’s essence to anchor a foothold for Hades?  Yes!  Yes, I did, you innocent little thing.  Hehe.  It won’t be just this planet that falls, but Hades’ forces will spread from this point across their universe!  Isn’t it wonderful?  I’m thinning the pack ever so little to distract my enemies.”

Rachel sighed; when Yseress was told to conquer, she didn’t hold back.  “Let’s go home and see what happened to Nemesis before we get dragged into the mess you’ve created.”


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