Tafel sat on the ground with wide eyes. Her face was pale and her mouth hung open. She tried to speak, but nothing came out as she stared at Yella’s figure underneath the translucent golden claw. Her stomach churned as Tina lifted her and retreated away from Vur.
Blood radiated outwards from Yella’s body and dispersed into the claw, tinging the golden aura black. It coalesced into a miniature fairy, which streamed through the dragon and swirled around Vur’s floating body before disappearing inside him. The dragon trembled as Vur’s eyes flickered open. He furrowed his eyebrows as he took in the scene in front of him. His feet dangled in the air and he looked down.
He frowned before his body plummeted to the ground and the dragon aura fell onto its belly. The aura started to shrink and its claws dug into the ground. It let out a roar and strained its neck away from Vur’s body as if it wanted to escape. A constant flow of information overwhelmed Vur’s senses as the aura condensed, leaving a trail of claw marks on the ground around him before vanishing. Vur turned his head towards Yella’s now desiccated corpse.
“Yella,” Vur said and his body trembled as he attempted to push himself off the ground. Vur managed to sit up before his body started convulsing. His hands flew to his head, grabbing his hair as blood started to leak from his nose. Inside Vur’s pupils, an image of a golden dragon head could be seen thrashing against his irises.
The Swirling Wind members glanced at each other and retreated backwards one step at a time, keeping their gaze fixed on Vur. Tina approached Mina and placed Tafel into her arms. Tears streamed down Mina’s cheeks as she hugged Tafel to her chest.
“What’s happening to him?” Tina asked, turning her head towards Lindyss.
Lindyss frowned as she walked towards Vur. “The fairy sacrificed her soul to save Vur’s,” Lindyss said as she stood over Yella’s body, staring into her empty eyes. She lowered her hand and closed Yella’s eyelids with her fingers. “He isn’t mature enough to handle the instincts of a dragon.”
Lindyss approached Vur’s convulsing body and lifted his chin with her hand, staring into his eyes. The dragon in his eyes seemed to sense her and stopped thrashing as it glared back at her. “Auntie…,” Vur whispered. “I’m scared.”
Lindyss stroked his hair and leaned forward. “Don’t worry,” Lindyss said as she tilted his head back. Her lips touched against Vur’s and his body shone with a golden light, which dimmed as time passed. The spectating demons let out little coughs and turned their heads. Lindyss pulled herself back and Vur’s chin drooped to his chest as Lindyss’ hand moved away. His eyes closed and Lindyss lowered him to the floor. Her body spasmed as she coughed out a mouthful of black blood and grimaced. She crossed her legs and sat down next to Vur. Two auras leaked from her body, one gold, one purple. They clashed and swirled against each other, neither side gaining an advantage.
Dustin stood next to Tina as the two of them stared at Lindyss and Vur. “What do we do?” Dustin asked. “Take them prisoner? Where’s Zollstock when you need him?”
“Zollstock’s dead,” Tina said, voice flat. “Chad killed him.”
“What!?” Dustin asked, his voice cracking. “You can’t be serious.”
Tina let out a sigh. “He lost a fight against that dragon boy. You know his ego,” Tina said as she rolled her eyes. “Zollstock questioned his strength, so he decided to show him how strong he actually was.”
Dustin’s eye twitched. “The royal family’s going to execute him,” he said as he glanced towards the airship in the sky. Purple crossed horns were painted on both sides.
Tina’s followed Dustin’s gaze. “I think it’s going to be the other way around,” she said and shook her head. “They were experimenting with live parasites from Fuselage.” Her eyes narrowed.
“The things that killed Josephine?” Dustin asked turning his head towards Tina.
Tina nodded. Dustin’s face hardened as he turned his gaze back towards the airship in the sky. It floated in the sky, unmoving. Then, as the two watched, the bow of the ship started to dip downwards.
“Took him long enough,” Tina muttered as the ship started to plummet. “He could’ve finished faster and helped us fight that dragon.”
“Chad boarded the ship?” Dustin asked with his eyebrow raised.
Tina grunted in affirmation. A low rumbling roar brought their attention back onto Lindyss. The golden aura was now circling around her foot, forced down by the purple aura. A miniature dragon head formed and dispersed repeatedly as a purple bat head chased after it, slowly eroding the golden aura. Lindyss’ breathing was shallow and her aura visibly diminished compared to the one before.
Metal clanked as an armed demon ran over to Dustin. The demon saluted and said, “We found a severed arm. My partner is keeping an eye on it. We did not engage as per orders.”
Dustin nodded. “Lead the way,” he said.
Tina raised an eyebrow, but her face darkened when she realized Lindyss was still missing an arm. She glanced at Delphina, who nodded back at her. The two followed Dustin and the armed demon.
“It’s right ahead,” the armed demon said. A scream rose into the air and the three following demons dashed forward, surpassing the armed demon in front of them. They arrived in time to see another armed demon clawing at his own face and multiple smaller worms burrowing into the ground. A sword, stained with green blood laid on the floor next to him.
“Damnit,” Tina said while growling. She raised her staff into the air and started to chant. Delphina grabbed Dustin and dragged him back.
“She’s using absolute zero,” Delphina said and bit her lip. “Let’s hope she finishes before any parasites escape.” Her eyes drifted to the multiple holes in the ground.
Dustin nodded and placed his hands to the ground. Lines of fire snaked from his fingers and dove into the holes left behind. Delphina clasped her hands together and a barrier formed around herself and Dustin.
Twenty seconds passed and Tina stopped chanting. She slammed the bottom of her staff against the ground. A blue sphere of light flashed through the area. Everything that the light touched stopped moving and a layer of ice formed on their surface. The armed demon who led the way arrived just in time for the blue light to wash over him.
“Shatter!” Tina shouted and slammed her staff against the floor. Cracks formed along the ice before it disintegrated. The two frozen demons disappeared into a myriad of ice crystals, leaving no trace behind. Buildings and trees disintegrated, turning into tiny puddles of water. The ground beneath her caved in, leaving behind a crater with no trace of the worms or any of their holes. Delphina’s barrier faded away and she glanced around.
“I think she got them all.”
Tears streamed down Rella and Bella’s cheeks as they sat underneath a dome of mist beneath a tree. “We should’ve stopped her,” Rella said in between sniffles. Bella nodded and sobbed harder.
Stella let out a sigh as she rubbed her children’s backs. Her body tensed and she frowned. She turned her body and slammed her fist against the ground. The ground split open and a worm leaking green blood flew up into the air, trapped by a purple bubble of mana. Stella waved her hand and the bubble flew towards her.
“What have we here?” Stella murmured.