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Lightning and Darkness

Juno slowly openned her eyes. She felt a stinging pain in her head, and could barely move her body. It was then she realized she was still strapped from hit to toe and couldn't move "Dammit! Really?!" Juno flailed around, trying to free herself.

"Hey, what's that?" A random person approached Juno, along with another. She was apparantly inside of an alley way.

"Is that a...giant wor-...?".

"Fuck it!" Juno immediately unleashed large charges of electricity from her being, ripping apart her restraints, and shocking the people who approached her, causing them to run away, as well as cause damage to the area around her "Gah!" Juno quickly stood up, dusting herself, and re-adjusting her tie and suit properly. She coughed, clearing her throat "Right, where am I?" Juno looked around, walking out of the alley, and seeing she was inside a rundown looking town.

"Oh, here you are." Rhea said, waving to Juno "I saw a bunch of lightning sparking everywhere. Thought I'd check it out, and I find you." Rhea walked over to Juno, seeing the mild destruction she left in the alley "Huh, not bad. So, you use Lightning Magic? Haven't met one of those in a while.".

"Your damn right I do!" Juno put on a prideful grin, as if to show off "I mastered not only Lightning Magic, but the famous Lightning-Make as well! And have since been improving steadily! And...!".

"My name is Rhea Euryale." Rhea cut Juno short, extending her hand to her "We haven't gotten to introduce one another, have we?".

"Oh, right, I apologize." Juno shook Rhea's hand "My name is Juno Sango, I am Amon's mother." Rhea's eye twitched, she knew exactly who Amon was from the short amount of time she spent on the ship.

"Well, how nice. Meanwhile, I am Ira's mother." Rhea almost sounded as if she was competitive for the title of "mother".

"Is that so, eh?" Juno also knew who Ira was. She was able of telling when Rhea called out to Amon. Suddenly, the grips of the two women tightened against one another's hand "I assume that means you raised him since infancy?".

"Why no. I actually met him at the age of 10." Rhea replied, confident and rather cocky in her reply.

"Ha! I raised him 'till he was 14!" This did become competitive rather quickly "Besides! If you really were his mother, why did he never mention you?!".

Rhea was dead silent. She didn't have a proper reply for Juno. She let go of Juno's hand, lowering the brim of her hat to cover her eyes, and looked away as well "Let's...just say I'm a bad mother then." Juno couldn't help but feel guilty all of a sudden.

"W-...Wait, I didn't mean t-....!".

"Oh, how mean." Juno quickly felt a chill run down her spine. The same heinous voice from around 10 years ago, of the one who took her left arm off, and seperated her from Amon. "You pushed the wrong button." Marx patted Juno's left shoulder, as a means of taunting her "But it is quite entertaining seeing you two fight for the boy's affection while he's not even here! Hahaha!".

Juno's expression became petrified, but she quickly switched to an angered expression, she turned around, emanting lightning from her right arm. As she turned, she delivered a wide slash of electricity. The lightning cut through the buildings, leaving slashes on the walls. However, Juno missed her target.

"How terrifying." Marx casually walked behind Juno, heading towards Rhea "Rhea, do you know who I am?".

Rhea had no real reaction to this man, simply remaining calm and stoic faced "No. Are you the local clown?".

"Oh, hilarious. Truly a classic joke." Marx chuckled, as Juno turned to face his back. Marx was now standing inbetween these two women.

Rhea slowly reached to the back of her waist, underneath her cloak, trying to grab her revolver pistol "Hmm? Where is it?".

"Looking for this?" Marx waved Rhea's revolver infront of her, holding it by its nuzzle "A classic. I haven't seen many use this in...a while." Rhea's face quickly lit up with rage towards Marx "But, I do wonder, why carry such an old model? That can be broken...so...easily?".

"Give it back." Rhea's tone was filled with hate and malice towards Marx "Give it back before I...!".

"Here." Marx tossed the gun back to Rhea, who caught it. His tone changed, infact his demeanor changed altogether, sounding much more calm, and less...sinister "I came here to talk either way with you. Both of you." Marx turned to face Juno, staring at her stump "Ha...You lived through after all. Lovely.".

"What...do you want?" Juno asked Marx, clearly on edge, and not the least bit calm around this man.

"I am here to help you find Amon." This was the first time Marx ever referred to Amon by name. No "boy", simply Amon. "I don't have much time, but, I know where he is." Marx said to the two women.

"You do?!" Rhea quickly grabbed Marx by his shirt's collar with her arm, pulling him towards her "Where is he?!".

"Haha...You're worried sick...Good." Marx grabs Rhea's arm, pulling her off "Means you really do see him as your son." Marx released Rhea's arm, looking through his pocket "I am almost out of time, but here." Marx pulled a single red card from his pocket, one with his own mask embedded on it, handing it over to Juno "I cannot speak with you all the time, but I will direct you to him." Marx said, turning around.

"Wait." Juno called out to Marx, stopping him "Why are you helping us?".

"..." Marx giggled, turning around to glare at Juno "I require the boy to grow stronger...He is the one who will become most useful for me." Through his mask, Marx's eyes seemed...tired "I am not doing this for you, but for me. Because, I need that boy to live." With a snap of his fingers, Marx vanished, teleporting away.

"...Well, that was fuckin' weird." Rhea said, picking her nose, acting as if nothing major happened. "Anyway..." Rhea turned to Juno, looking at the red card "You think he's telling the truth?".

Juno immediately burnt the card, channeling lightning on her palm, intense enough to burn the card, tossing it on the ground, and walking away "I don't trust a monster.".

"..." Rhea calmly walked towards Juno, being aware she is upset "What did he do?".

"...Heh. What did he do?" Juno clutched her left shoulder, putting on a forced smile "I used to have both arms...back when I first met Amon. I raised him, after seeing this one boy fighting off against slave traders alone." Juno seemed to clearly remember her first meeting with Amon "It's not uncommon, y'know. In Bosco, kids become slaves all the time. I always watched people getting dragged by chains. It wasn't uncommon for them to fight back either. But, I never seen a child with such ferocious eyes fighting back a full group of adults.".

"Wait, he actually won?!".

"No. Infact, he would've probably gotten his arm broken if I didn't intervene. I bought him off them, and it was since then that I raised him for the next four years." Juno's expression quickly changed to dismay, remembering the following "And then Marx came. He took my arm, and wanted Amon too, but I managed to stall him long enough for Amon to run. I lost consciousness from blood loss, and woke up a few months later. And then...I never found Amon...until I picked up the paper...and read the news.".

"...I see." Rhea suddenly patted Juno on the back, giving the purple haired woman a warm smile "You did good. I guess I don't mind sharing the title of mother with you." Juno looked at Rhea with surprise, and quickly smiled back "But, of course, we all know who the legible mother is." Rhea pointed at herself with her thumb, rather arrogantly as well, wrapping her arm around Juno's right shoulder.

Juno smiled towards Rhea, and wrapped her right arm around Rhea's left shoulder, as the two began walking "Let's go find our boy! No force will stop us!" Juno declared, as the two began marching forward.

"And I know just where to look." And by that, Rhea meant a bar. Quite nearby as well, kicking the door open and walking in, grining as she looked around to see the employees and customers look at them after barging in, but quickly returning to their buisness "Ah, I love the smell of musk in the...whatever hour this is.".

"Why a bar? How is a bar filled with drunkards going to help us find our son?" Juno asked Rhea, in disbelief of her intentions.

"Oh, just go get yourself a drink. I'll take care of everything." Rhea told Juno, patting her on the back, pushing her forward "I'll pay for everything too." She said, before walking off, without saying anything further or listening to Juno.

"Ah..." Juno looked around, seeing the bartender at his place. She walked over and sat down "Ahem, excuse me, my kind sir, I would like a...uhh..." It should be noted she never touched alcohol before, mainly due to always being busy, and her favorite drink being energy drinks.

"First beer?" The bartender asked Juno, being able of seeing right through her.

"Yeah, actually..." Juno laughed awkwardly, rubbing the back of her head in embarrassement.

"Here." The bartender gave Juno a small cup of alcohol "This isn't especially strong. Good for beginners. I'll even let you have it on the house, since it's your first time." The bartender said, rather kindly as well.

"Oh, thank you, sir!" Juno thanked the bartender. She couldn't refuse the drink now that this man so generously gave it to her. Juno grabbed the cup, bracing herself for her very first alcohol drink.

Meanwhile, Rhea walked up to a man, sitting down next to him on his table, casually relaxing "So, mister, how hammered are you?" Rhea asked the man, turning to face him.

"...Do I have a hammer stuck in my head?".

"Hammered as a goddamn nail." Rhea quickly left the seat, looking for someone sober. She patted a woman on her shoulder from behind to get her attention "Excuse me, mind telling me where I am?".

"A...bar?".

"Ohohoho, very funny. Seriously, where is this town, city, whatever that I am in right now?" Rhea asked again, soudning irritated.

"...A...bar...town?".

"...I am going to kill something." Rhea mumbled, walking away "Usually the wise guys are in the bars. Where the Hell are the wise guys?".

"You're in Stella." A man answered Rhea, catching her attention. Rhea faced the man, appearing old and drunk "Not the most...grand places in the world, but unlike Bosco, we don't need to carry people in chains to get our earnings.".

"..." Rhea looked at this man. He seemed...familiar "Thanks, mister...?".

"Ah, just call me...Uhh...Let's go with Kiki, eh?" Not a very fitting name for this man.

"Thanks then...Kiki." Rhea felt awkward calling an elderly man such a hilarious four letter name. Rhea walked in the bar. It was rather big from the inside, compared to the outside view. She looked for Juno, since she found the info she needed for now "Hey, Juno? Where'd ya go?".

"Woohoo~!" Suddenly, Juno tackled Rhea from behind, getting a firm grip on her from behind, like a child trying to get a piggy back right "Let's go, my steed! Off to the Demon Lo-...blergh...".

"...Oh my god, you're drunk already?" Rhea looked at the bartender immediately after this realization.

The bartender held a single empty cup, shrugging towards Rhea "She couldn't handle her alcohol at all." The bartender said.

"Oh, dammit!" Rhea quickly made sure Juno remained on her back, adjusting the woman on her back and running outside "Quick! Hotel! Room! Toilet to vomit into!" Rhea ran across town trying to find an inn to stay for the night.

"I am the man of tomorrow!" Juno stood on the hotel inn bed, proudly standing and shouting. It didn't take Rhea long to look for an inn, but it did take her one to be accepted into one, because of a drunk Juno. She had to go to another town, a few hours away, before being allowed into an inn at last.

"You're not a man! You are a woman!" Rhea said to Juno, rubbing her forehead in aggravation. She took off her hat and cape, putting them down to calm down, revealing the black attire she wore under it, a leather bodysuit. "Good god, this was a bad idea. I should get me a map...".

"Present~" Marx suddenly appeared, entering through the window, sitting down on the open window and glaring at the two women in amusement. He held a wrapped up piece of paper in his hand "Here's a map out of Stella, and to where the boy is headed to." Marx stood up, sounding pleased with himself.

"Oh, you again." Rhea sat down on the bed next to Juno's, rather calm facing this jester "Sorry 'bout yer card. Juno wasn't very open for your help.".

"Hahaha. I expected as much." Marx extended his hand to Rhea, with the intent on handing her the map "Once again, I will be out of time s-...".

Suddenly, without warning, Juno punched Marx's face, dead in the center. Still drunk, the drunk wobbled back, letting out a "hic" before adjusting her stance, albeit wobbly "Hold it riiiiight there." Juno said to Marx, who didn't budge from her attack, but rubbed his mask "I ain't done with y' yet, you...big...red sack of...fashion copying bastard!" Juno referred to the fact Marx wore a suit red in color, and very reminiscient to her own, albeit more decorated "That be copyright! And I ain't...takin' that!".

"...Oh my god, she's drunk." Marx seemed leginimately surprised by this. But, it quickly changed to laughter, chuckling madly at this sight "Oh, this is priceless! Hahahaha! Ah!" Suddenly Marx's eyes widened in shock, seen visibly through his mask, but his eyes returned to normal, infact they looked quite sinister, and focused "Well..." Marx adjusted the brim of his hat, raising it up with his index finger "My time is up. So...come on, ladies. Show me you are worth being the boy's mothers." Marx challenged the two, sounding confident.

"What? What's with this sudden change in mood?" Rhea asked Marx, confused of his sudden change in demeanor and motives.

"Hehe, a test then!" Marx crumbled the map in his palm, putting it in his shirt's pocket "Steal the map, and I will leave. Fail...and you die.".

"Enough talk!" With a flash of lightning, Juno delivered a lightning-imbued kick to Marx's chest, sending him flying out of the room, and right down to the night skies, falling on the streets, leaving a visible wound on his chest. Juno landed back down, using a blast of lightning to cushion her fall. Still drunk, she took a fighting stance, extending her right arm forward, wobbly.

"Hahaha." Marx stood up, dusting himself "Lightning speed...lightning imbued attacks...Lightning-based combat, eh? This should be fun!" A powerful gust of wind emitted from Marx's being, as he charged at Juno in blinding speed, closing the distance between them in seconds. Juno quickly moved to the left, avoiding Marx's punch. However, the sheer wind pressure gathered by Marx's punch shot forward, shooting like a bullet, tearing through multiple buildings. "Hehe.".

"Shit!" Rhea quickly ran down the stairs to reach the fight before it could get any worse than it already is.

"Aaaah!!!" Marx roared, as he and Juno were seconds away from clashing.

"Show me yo' moves!" Juno and Marx clashed fists. Marx's strikes moving at incredible speed, yet miraculously, Juno managed to keep up with his barrage of attacks with but a single arm, using it mainly to block his fists. Their movements were basically on par in terms of speed, it appeared as if neither was getting an edge on the other.

"Ha!" Suddenly, Marx managed to slip his fist by Juno's defenses, his open palm now infront of her face "Longinus." Marx uttered, as a sphere of energy quickly formed in his hand. However, he was quickly interrupted by Rhea, tackling him out of the way, causing him to misfire the sphere. The sphere struck a building, erupting into a large explosion, erasing the building from the area. Marx quickly regained his composure, staring at the two women "Heh. That was rude.".

Rhea gritted her teeth in frustration "What the hell's your deal?! One second you're all like, lemme help, then the next you're going all commando!" Rhea was clearly irritated with Marx.

"Ah, I have an excuse." Marx said, coughing to clear his throat "It starts with..." Suddenly, Marx shoot forward like a bullet, intending on grabbing Rhea's fast, as wind gathered around his hand. However, a large black arm potruding out of seemingly nothingness, crashing into Marx, and smashing him into a wall. It was an arm forged by darkness. "Hahaha...Darkness Magic...And a powerful one at that." Marx stood back up, dusting himself "Heh...20% it is.".

"Hmm?" Rhea seemed confused at Marx's words. However, she wasted no time and quickly summoned a pitch black broadsword, possessing while runes on the blade itself. Once she grabbed the sword's hilt, black markings appeared on Rhea's body, most prominently the markings surrounded her eyes "Vehemence!" Rhea declared, clutching the sword's hilt with her hand and lifting it with one arm, placing it over her shoulder.

"Heh, a blade forged from Black Blood..." Marx began chuckling madly, pointing at Rhea "Where did you get that, eh?".

"A gift. From someone." Rhea said, pointing Vehemence at Marx.

"Cryptic." Marx hand openned into an open palm.

"Juno, sober up. I'll need your help." Rhea said to Juno, who looked at her "I can tell he's not even being serious.".

"...M'ka-...~" Suddenly, Juno was interrupted as she was knocked into the hotel by Marx, who appeared next to her in seconds, smacking her into the building with a single hand. It wasn't any form of teleportation, it was pure raw speed. This man...is no human.

Marx cocked his arm back, preparing to punch Rhea.

"Shit...!" Rhea quickly placed Vehemence before her, using it to shield herself with the very little time she had. Marx punch connected in incredible speed. Rhea could've sworn she heard the very air break, as if Marx's own fist broke the sound barrier. The moment the fist connected with Vehemence, Rhea was sent flying back. However, she kept her footing, as she hit the wall of a building.

Before she could take a moment to recover, Marx was already before her, ready to strike again. However, a thunder bolt pierced right through his chest from behind. It was Juno, with an arm formed from lightning. Her forehead was bleeding, dripping down her face, and she looked very angry. "Who...do you think...!" Juno's lightning spread around Marx's body, paralyzing him momentarily "I...am...?!".

"HA!" Marx let out a laugh before being struck by an enormous bolt of lightning.

"Tenrai!" Juno declared, as the lightning shocking Marx increased in their intensity. And something changed about the lightning, it changed from its yellow color, and became white. Rhea quickly got a distance away from the lightning, as it spread to an even wider radius. "Hekireki!" With that command, lightning turned into spheres, surrounding the large cloud of electricity shocking Marx.

"Hahaha..." Despite his situation, Marx still laughed. He could feel his flesh being burnt by the intense lightning shocking every fiber of his being. But, he felt nothing bad. "Beautiful.".

Juno pulled out her left, lightning-made arm, and as drawn by magnets, the spheres also drew near to Marx, all of them clashing together, hitting one point, Marx. Once they clashed, they erupted into a white flash. The large burst of electricity caused a blackout in the entire city, leaving it in pitch black darkness. But, the light soon returned in a span of a few seconds, recovering from the shock.

Masked Demon

"Did...did we get him...?" Rhea asked, still keeping her guard up. Marx suddenly appeared behind her, his entire upperbody seemingly scorched by that last attack. She quickly turned around, blocking Marx's attack with Vehemence's blade. Marx's entire arm was surrounded by rapidly moving wind. It looked as if it would easily tear Rhea to shreds if it touched her.

Juno leaped behind Marx, preparing to punch him with her lightning fist "Tenrai!" Once again, Juno's lightning forming her arm turned white in color, appearing much more intense than before "Raiken!" Marx released one more gust of wind at Rhea, blowing her away momentarily. He turned around, catching Juno's fist with his bare hands. The moment Juno's fist collided with his hand, it cleanly pierced through it, a hole going through his hand. However, he kept a firm grip regardless. Infact, his grip merely tightened, until it eventually dispelled Juno's entire lightning arm.

Juno's eyes widened in shock and horror at the same time. It was as if her only weapon was destroyed, and with such ease. However, she quickly regained her composure, reforming a new lightning arm. "Tenr-...!" Juno was quickly interrupted by Marx, who grabbed her shirt, pulling her towards him, and kneeing her in the stomach, causing her to cough blood.

"Aaaah...Shut up." Marx said.

Rhea leaped behind Marx, preparing to slice him with Vehemence. Marx quickly tossed Juno away, placing his hands next to each other to block Rhea's attack, stopping the blade with his arms. "Haha! Nice tr-...!" Marx silenced when he saw Rhea pointing her revoler at his face, point blank.

"Thanks." Rhea said, smiling, firing a point blank bullet, going right through Marx's mask's eyehole, and out his head. It seemed like Marx was killed. Marx fell on the floor, as blood continued to flow from his head. Rhea let out a sigh of relief, as Vehemence vanished.

"We...did it..." Juno said, standing back up, clutching her stomach in pain. "We actually...did it?".

"Yeah...It...took a while, but we wo-...".

"HAHAHAHAHA!!!" The two women quickly looked in terror at Marx, who stood back up, laughing like a maniac. Blood dripped from his left eyehole, staining his mask "Hahahaha!!! You...You actually thought you won?! Hahaha!!!" Marx was having an absolute blast with that thought. The thought that he, of all people, lost "Good job! You told me the best joke ever!".

"You..." Juno gritted her teeth, appearing both horrified, but also furious "What the fuck are you?!".

Marx suddenly became silent. He turned to face Juno, causing her to shiver "Are you afraid of me? I wouldn't blame you. A moment of hope came to you...and then vanished." Marx began walking slowly towards Juno "I will say this only once, because I will not repeat myself..." Juno froze up in fear, she couldn't move. This monster before her, this masked demon, has made her shiver "I cannot be defeated. No matter how hard you try.".

"Get out of the way, Juno!" Rhea's voice suddenly snapped Juno back to reality. She quickly turned her body into lightning, escaping from Marx, and appearing next to Rhea in seconds. When Marx turned around, Rhea pointed Vehemence at him, as a black sphere gathered at the tip of the blade. Eternano was being rapidly and quickly absorbed into this sphere. Darkness from the very skies seemingly drew towards this tiny sphere. It was one of the ultimate Darknss Magic attacks to exist. And one of Rhea's most powerful. "Giga Impact!" Rhea declared, firing an enormous beam of black energy at Marx.

The sheer power of Giga Impact shook the earth. The town feeling a tremor. Even the windows in the near vicinity shattered from the pressure it emitted. A large dark cloud surrounded the city for a moment. The explosion dissipating into a large black mushroom cloud-esque form. It left a crater at its wake, and almost the entire city awake.

Rhea gasped for air, trying to stay standing, using Vehemence to stay up. Using Giga Impact cost quite the amount of power from her. It was preferably a last resort attack "I...I hit him...right?" Suddenly, Rhea was kicked, sending her entire body flying upwards by Marx. Before she would even given the chance to land, Marx grabbed her leg, smashing her into the ground hard enough to crack the ground, and knock her out.

Marx's entire body was different. It was covered in a black substance. Only his mask remained visible. The white, smiling mask of a clown stood out, compared to his entire body covered in this black substance. He turned around, facing Juno "Hehehe...afraid?".

Juno gritted her teeth and stood back up, ready to continue fighting.

"Good girl." Marx said, extending his arm forward "Come. I'll use 30%." Suddenly, a spark of lightning appeared behind Marx, as Juno quickly turned her body into lightning, using the incredible speed of lightning to get behind him in seconds, ready to attack him in that same instance.

"Tenrai!" Juno's entire body was surrounded by lightning, as if her cells were being converted to pure lightning. It was different than her Lightning Body spell. Somehow, it felt...more organic. "Kongou!".

"Svarga." With that one word, an enormous quantity of magic power unleashed from Marx's being. A large, blue explosion erupted from where he stood, towering over the building, and even dwarfing the height the explosion of Giga Impact reached. It was a destructive attack, and it was all just Marx releasing his magic power at its fullest. It was his aura used not for intimidation, but for destruction.

As the dust cleared, Marx stood over Juno and Rhea unconscious, along a large portion of the city destroyed because of his aura "Hehehe...You there?" Marx said, as if talking to himself "No...Good." Marx walked over to the two women, as the black substance began vanishing from his body. He carried the two women on his shoulders, and began walking away. Marx's hat fell down from the sky, safely landing on his head, not damaged in the least "I apologize greatly for this. But, I had no choice. I have bought time for now." Marx said, walking away from the destruction from this battle "But, please...get to Amon before he does.".

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