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"If you sully my divine work, I will have to do the same to mine own hands by wringing your neck, mortal!"

This article, "ToTT: Dual Heart (Ch. 9)", is property of Mrs Sting Eucliffe, so please, hands off this file unless given explicit permission to edit. Thank you.

Alakitacia Arc

Chapter 9

July 18th 1:22pm

The group was getting closer to the castle belonging to Serpent's Cross, but just 100ft from the structure, a woman walked out of the castle and stopped around 50ft away. The group stopped, with a tension-riddled atmosphere flowing between them. "And where do you think you're going, mutts?", Jessica said with a venomous tone. Her gaze lingered on Hayden especially. "It's a shame...you're cute, but I've been assigned to kill you. Too bad.", she said as her hands sparked. In a flash of light, she, Hayden, Brianna and Josh were all gone from the area.

"Hayden?!", Sif exclaimed in surprise when her vision recovered from the clash. "Brianna and Josh, they're gone too!", she said as she got a tad flustered. "That little...if she hurts any of them...", Sif said quietly, before turning to Eugene and the group. "We have to keep moving forward.", she said powerfully, looking down at Kai, and then Alexander. "Don't worry, those two won't get a scratch if Hayden's there. He went berserk on a Wyvern just because its attacked knocked me back a bit. So imagine if that woman tried to hurt either of them.", she said, with a giggle in her voice. But it was not one of confidence, as the kids in front of her thought. It was nervousness. Eugene and Alexander seemed to be aware of that, as their faces were rather stiff as they looked at her.


Hayden, Brianna and Josh stumbled when they reappeared in an entirely different area, with the purple-haired woman not even 30 feet from them. She had a smug smile on her face. "Where have you taken us?!", Hayden yelled angrily at their opponent from Serpent's Cross.


The remaining group was running as fast as they could towards the castle, only to be cut off by some sort of glowing red force field. It was humming eerily, with a few sparks of electricity running along it like veins every now and then.

Suddenly, a pained yell from behind Sif and Eugene. Violet had been hit by a small throwing knife of some sort. Seconds later, the young girl was stumbling, before falling to the ground, luckily just unconscious. Another one hit Kai and Akabane, sending them too to dreamland. More were thrown at Sif, Eugene, Alexander and Brooke. Luckily, Alexander warped the one thrown at him away, Brooke managed to lean out of its path, and Eugene and Sif both deflected theirs with their swords. "Who the hell is hiding out there?! Stop being a pussy and show yourself!!", Alexander barked, obviously pissed off.

Almost out of thin air, a white-haired man with a mask covering most of his face, dressed in attire similar to that of some form of Ninja appeared. His cheeks were risen. He was obviously smiling, but in his eyes, or eye for that matter, there was only darkness and misery.

"To think, we'd be up against a shinobi." Eugene said as Violet, Kai, and Akabane poofed into smoke and once it cleared, it was revealed that the kunais had hit blocks of wood rather than the children. Violet had all of a sudden appeared in her mother's arms, unharmed but still unconscious. Kai and Akabane had also appeared on the ground next to Alex in a similar manner. "Looks like a fight in my element." He said this in a rather calm manner despite the situation. A random image then flashed through his mind. "Alex, teleport the unconscious ones out of here for the time being into a Territory space." He said to his future nephew. He then turned to face their foe. "Now then, let's begin the fight Hunter Ikari!" At this, the foe became intrigued and internally surprised.

"This is interesting, you are not of Alakitacia nor have we met before. How do you already know my name? Not that I care or anything." The white haired man said in response.

Eugene looked like he was about to answer but then hesitated. "Actually, I don't really know why myself. The name just came to me. How do I know your name?" He asked himself with curiosity but then regained his battle stance as he knew this was the battlefield now. At this time, Hunter created a field of mist, hindering the group's vision and even his presence vanished. "Keep your wits about you. He uses illusions to fool us into possibly hitting each other. It'll even fool Ezra's eyes. I remember when he said that he found him troublesome in the past." He then paused and had a look of confusion on his face. Wait a minute, none of us have fought him, how do I know this? He thought before shaking his head. "Oh never mind, let's just do this. Stay close and try not to get separated." He edged towards the others slightly as he said this.

While Eugene was busy talking, Hunter took the opportunity. With the gesture of a hand, four individual bolts of lightning were summoned down upon the group of Wizards in front of him, ripping through the air with a booming crack.

Reacting quickly, Eugene summoned a wall of electric-proof plants to block the incoming attack. After the attack was neutralized, he summoned several cacti on the wall and they fired at machine gun speed at Hunter. Eugene was just testing the waters here.

Hunter sprinted along, avoiding each fired plant-bullet by the cacti, seemingly with ease. His speed was incredible, but nowhere near Hayden's. After escaping the aim of the cacti, Hunter leaped high into the air, with his hands held out to the side. Flipping himself to face down, he thrust both hands to face the wall and those within its compound. "Hell Prominence!", he casted as he released a beam of fire that impacted the wall and exploded with such force that it ripped apart the ground around the group for dozens and dozens of meters.

In response, Eugene calmly used both ice magic and fortification magic to reinforce the wall, keeping it in place. He also used fortification magic to stop the ground ripping apart. After securing it, he took out his oxygen mask that he normally used for certain situations, this one appearing like the mouthpiece of scuba equipment with a filter and hurriedly put it in Sif's mouth. After giving her the expression to just trust him, he turned to Brooke who already put in her own, something Eugene was betting on her having. Brooke took out what appeared to be a spare and put it in Alex's mouth. Keeping around a spare oxygen mask, I should talk to Ren about that. Eugene thought to himself as he only carried one on his person before snapping out of it and coming back to the task at hand. He began to activate his magic and soon he filled the area with a type of gas or pollen that would create a certain effect when inhaled.

It would be then Hunter would feel a very strong sensation in his bowels. It was almost like they were melting. At the same time, he would feel woozy in the head and become less coordinated. He was also beginning to smell bad due to the first effect.

Hunter attempted to stand strong, but he dropped to one knee, his arms hugging his stomach. Hunter let out numerous noises of pain at varying volumes as he eventually collapsed. "Damn...you...", he growled between his pained groans. "You have...no idea what you've done, do you?", he said, as he began to laugh, even though he was still in pain from the inside. The doors of the castle suddenly slammed open.

Hunter gasped, obviously somewhat fearful of what is about to come. A tall, masculine figure with a hooded cloak exited the archway and calmly approached the group. Hunter attempted to stand and leave, only to be punched into the ground by the figure in one swift movement. He wasn't dead, but he certainly wasn't in fighting condition anymore, laying there unconscious.

"Pathetic. Be lucky I let you live for your failures, worm.", he said to the unconscious Hunter. The man removed his cloak, revealing a mop of brown hair with golden bangs, and a burgundy trenchcoat flowing gracefully. "I am Cyrus, King of the Tainted Heavens. It is a pleasure to meet you. Lets hope your blood doesn't stain my nice coat.", he said as a silver-golden light shimmered around his eyelines. Even just by standing in this man's presence, it was obvious the power he possessed was overwhelming, even Sif looked a little wary. But at the same time, his Magic didn't feel...'normal'.

"Now we've got more to deal with." Eugene said with a bit of annoyance as he kept up his AoE type technique that had disabled his last opponent. He had the feeling he needed any edge he could get. However, he remained calm despite feeling the power from this man. "Let's see what you've got then." He got himself in a ready position to defend and/or counter.

Cyrus arched his back, as if ready to charge. His body blurred for half a second, and a yell came from behind Eugene and Sif. Brooke had just been uppercutted into the air. He launched tendrils of dark light towards Sif and Eugene, and then lunged towards Alex with light around his fingertips like claws, most likely to stab the boy. Alex managed to place-switch with Cyrus, ending up with Alex punching Cyrus instead, with little effect. Sif attempted to block the tendrils fired at her by using the flat side of her sword.

An image flashed through Eugene's mind of the tendril attack piercing through and breaking a sword and without hesitation, he picked up Sif and summoned a plant to propel them into the air and almost immediately after that, they could see the plant getting destroyed below them. Eugene then summoned plants to break both theirs as well as Brooke's fall, allowing them to land safely. Eugene gently put Sif down and then summoned thorned vines to wrap around Cyrus. He knew they probably wouldn't do much themselves but then he activated Fortification magic on it harden it.

Cyrus didn't even seem to be trying to struggle. He simply let out an airy chuckle. He inhaled. "Tell me, Dragon Slayer, what's the most excruciating sound you've ever heard...?", he spoke coyly. He lurched his head forth and began roaring so loud that it caused the whole group incredible amounts of pain, making it near-unbearably excruciating for the likes of Eugene, a Dragon Slayer, whose senses are highly enhanced.

Eugene covered his ears in pain but it wasn't enough to really block out the attack of sound. He couldn't think straight because of the noise which would really hinder his ability to think of a solution. It seemed his body though was already instinctively moving for that solution. He summoned several little plants which began to shriek themselves and soon, the pain began to die down. He had summoned a plant that would create a sound wave to cancel out Cyrus's. "Is that all you've got?" He said with a smile.

"Cockiness gets you killed, little Dragon.", Cyrus said with a strong, bold voice. He simply flexed his muscles, and the Fortification-enhanced plant-trap around Cyrus was shattered. He brushed down the sleeves of his coat, getting fractions of the vegetation off. Suddenly, a blinding light of incredible brilliance began to emit from Cyrus, and obscured him from the views of Eugene, Sif, Brooke and Alexander.

Immediately after Cyrus had started producing so much light, smoke bombs were detonated all around, hindering the light or at least dimming it, allowing Eugene to grab his allies and get out of there and was able to get behind a self made structure. "Great, what else can this guy do?" Eugene said in annoyance as he began to formulate a plan. "The gas I have should still be affecting him, even if only a little. Next is the frontal assault... He has that powerful darkness magic and that sight hindering light magic." He then took out his other sword. He was going to have to rely on an all attack pattern. "I'll attack him head on. If he uses that light thing again, I'm the only one who can fight normally with my eyes closed. Sif, I'm counting on you to watch my back. Alex will be support fire, attacking from afar while me and Sif take him on at close range. Also, I want you to stay with Brooke. She's still a bit too dazed to do anything for now. Got it everyone?"

They all nodded in agreement. Alex teleported himself and Brooke up onto a distant cliff's edge, while Eugene and Sif moved back into view of the battle, both with their signature swords drawn. Cyrus smirked. He raised his hand, which began to glow with a brilliant purple light. "Here it comes!", Sif called as she held her sword horizontally, ready to meet the attack with it. Brooke managed to get herself to together, and was watching her parents in action, with a face full of anticipation.

"Photon Cannon!", Cyrus casted, as a huge beam of humming purple light was launched from his palm towards the two sword-wielders. Instead of avoiding it, the pair met it head on. After an initial explosion, it was revealed that they had in fact split the beam with their swords, protecting them from harm.

Taking the opportunity, Alexander raised his hand, and multiple Territory orbs formed in front of Cyrus and immediately exploded with violent force that shattered the ground under them, sending the tall man sliding back a few feet, but his arms were in front of his face. This was Eugene and Sif's chance to make their first attack.

"Let's do this Sif!" Eugene exclaimed as he focused. Synchro mode he thought to himself as he began to ready himself to synchronize movements with Sif. He then used his blue sword and swung it. At the same time, he activated his ice magic and combined with the sword, it increased its power exponentially and launched a powerful ice blast at Cyrus, temporarily blocking his line of sight. He then slashed at Cyrus's exposed area. "Sif, switch in!" He shouted. At the same time, he got ready to assist.

Sif skidded around Eugene and sprinted, and lunged forth with her sword out in front. "Velocity Fury!", she casted as she disappeared as a blur. She was striking the man from all directions at blinding speed, until...

An explosion occured, causing a smokescreen. When it cleared, Cyrus was holding Sif by her throat, clearly choking the girl. She was forced to drop her sword. Eugene moved to help, only to have her thrown into him, sending both of them flying backwards along the ground, earning a few grunts of impact and some pain from the two. Cyrus raised his glowing arms, and just before he did anything, a razor wind-like attack narrowly missed him. Brooke. And then more spacial orbs proceeded to explode around him. Alex. Alex proceeded to launch a beam of the spacial matter next, ticking off Cyrus.

The older male pointed a finger, and launched a pencil-thin beam of dark light towards the Territory beam. It split the beam with little effort, and it started expanding. When the beam cut through the Territory enough, it became a physical arrow of light that was barreling towards Alexander and Brooke. "Shit. Move!!", Alex boomed out as he shoved his cousin to the ground.

When Brooke looked back up, it was almost like slow motion for her. The arrow had ripped through Alexander's body! Having struck just below his rib cage, no major organs had been afflicted, but he still wouldn't last long without immediate help. Brooke turned to face Cyrus from her and Alex's perch, and saw the look of terror and shock on both Sif and Eugene's faces.

"You...You bast--", Sif started to shriek at Cyrus, only to be interrupted by dozens of similar arrows used on Alex slicing across various parts of her and Eugene's bodies, with them starting to lose control of their movements ever so slowly.

"You've got a lot of nerve, hurting my nephew like that." Eugene said in a darkened tone of voice as he stood between the arrows and Sif. Even doing this, he was barely able to do as he was losing his ability to move. It was then a memory flashed into his head. I've now got his pattern memorized. If I could only move! Eugene thought to himself. He knew what to do but he couldn't do it.

Sif tried to move as well, but she could barely even lift her head. Both she and Eugene were kicked along the ground when he got close enough.

"It's no use. Anyone hit by this spell has not lived past the next five minutes.", Cyrus chuckled as a long golden sword made of solid light formed in his hands. He approached Sif's weakened body first, and stomped onto her stomach, while laughing. When Cyrus raised his sword, Eugene flinched slightly. Cyrus looked at Eugene. "I've always wanted dragon scale armour...but your skin will have to do, I guess.", Cyrus said begrudgingly as he began to swing the giant sword downwards to kill Sif.

"No!!", Eugene cried out as the sword seemed to hit Sif, creating quite a forceful explosion upon impact. However...

When the smoke cleared, everyone in the area, even Cyrus himself, also gasped quietly in surprise. Brianna was there, and she had blocked Cyrus' sword with her own! "I don't think so. Now Josh!", she yelled as an electrical current flowed to the tip of her blade, and jumped out. Josh manifested and unleashed a burst of lightning in Cyrus' face, knocking him back a few feet. Both kids immediately began moving Sif and Eugene away, as if in a hurry for some reason. They seemed nervous. And then something glinted in the sky. A glowing trail of black light was falling towards the ground...towards Cyrus!

Sif focused her eyes on the incoming object, and inside the energy...was Hayden! He was holding Jessica Dove's face in his hand. "RRAAAGGGH!! YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS, YOU FUCKING SON OF A BITCH, HRRAARRGGH!!!", Hayden roared almost in a frightening manner, amplified by his Werewolf howl, as he smashed Jessica right into Cyrus, amplified by the force of his Magic, sending both of them flying back. He leaped through the smoke cloud and grabbed Cyrus' throat, and flipped his body over the man's in order to launch him even further. Hayden skidded to a stop, as his silvery aura flowed around his body, his face twisted with anger. Cyrus groaned. He had actually been injured! Cyrus' distraction and subsequent injured had resulted in the numbness wearing off in Eugene and Sif, and they slowly began to get their movement back!

"Good work Wolf." Eugene said as he moved his body experimentally. "Brianna, what's going on with Hayden?" He asked his student who was dragging him. "He normally has anger issues but he's angrier than usual." He began observing the scenario. It was plain to Eugene at least that he was in a lot of pain. "What happened in that fight?"

"Well...see for yourself.", she gestured at young Josh, who seemed to have suffered a large gash in his side, and then she gestured to her own body, with an open wound, seemingly from a throwing knife of some sort, visible on her leg. "And to add insult to injury--", she was interrupted by Hayden coughing, blood dripping from his mouth as he collapsed down to one knee, his hands clamped against his mouth.

"She infected him with an extreme virus that derives from Magical Barrier Particles...it's an Anti-Magic virus.", she said as she ran to her weakening dad. "It would kill a normal human in just five minutes, but luckily my father's wolf abilities are blocking off the more advanced aspects of the infection, but the rest is still causing him internal damage. He's getting weaker by the second.", Brianna continued. She was right. Eugene could feel Hayden's Magic Power starting to fade. "Eugene...all of the members of this guild wield forms of Black Magic. Jessica told us...", she said with a defeated tone in her voice. "Hang in there, dad.", she said as she helped Hayden get to a safer spot.

"It seems this wench is good for something after all.", Cyrus spat as he lifted the unconscious Jessica and threw her into one of the castle walls, cracking it a bit.

"Give these to him." Eugene said as he placed a small container of pills as well as a vial of some sort of liquid into Brianna's hands. "The pills will refill his magic power and recover his strength. It'll buy us enough time until we can properly get rid of that infection. I can already smell that he's also lost a good deal of blood. The liquid medicine will help him for that. Also, Josh, try and stop Alex's bleeding." He then stood and faced Cyrus. "You caught us off guard earlier with that. I'm not going to let that happen again." He had an expression on his face that just said that he had figured Cyrus out somehow. Sif, Brooke and Brianna stood behind him, their swords at the ready. The latter of those three were in a similar stance as Eugene which made sense because he was their teacher who taught them Kofuna Shizen Ryu but it still looked a bit odd.

"Kofuna Shizen Ryu: Cyclone!" They all shouted at once as they slashed the air, creating blades of air pressure that were sent flying at Cyrus. "Move in!" Eugene shouted and the group charged in. With a certain flurry of speed that was greater than before, he slashed at Cyrus, seemingly knowing where and how he was going to counter and getting around it easily.

Sif hung back and let the trio initiate the attack they knew. She went over to assist Josh with caring for her injured nephew, tearing off her sleeves to use as gause to wrap around the area that was damaged. She turned her attention to Hayden, who now seemed to be sleeping peacefully after he had taken those pills...or he had passed out already from the lost of Magic Power. Either way, he'd be fine. Sif shuffled over and stroked her finger against his cheek, smiling warmly without even realizing she was doing it. After leaving Hayden with a kiss on his forehead, she turned back to the gravely injured Alex. "How is his bleeding now, Josh?", the woman asked, wondering after she had given the boy make-shift gause to use.

"It's slowing down, but we can't move him properly until he is healed, and we need your brother to do that.", he said defeatedly. Zuno popped out of Josh's shirt and made a concerned squeak, nudging the boy in order to try and cheer him up.

Sif looked over her shoulder to see Brooke getting thrown to the ground, and Brianna getting knocked into Eugene. Cyrus, however, did seem ever so slightly damaged from their combination attack. Sif clenched her fist around her sword handle, and stood. She marched straight in Cyrus' direction, with her blade reflecting sunlight as it began to shimmer with Magic Power. Waiting for Eugene and the girls to move to a safe distance, Sif sprinted forwards, her sword held out to the side. She twisted her wrist to point her sword's blade to Cyrus, and it began glowing red. Sif began to yell, "Demon Blade...", as her sword starting surging with the red energy, "Crimson Blossom!!!", she continued as she launched forth with the incredible Sword Magic spell. Cyrus met the blade with his arm, but the mighty spell knocked him backwards a few meters, as well as Sif. Her feet dug into the ground as she managed to stop herself sliding.

"What is wrong with me?" Eugene asked himself as he helped his student up after she had crashed into him. With his reflexes, the crash shouldn't have happened like that. It should have been easy enough to catch Brianna who was sent flying by Cyrus rather than let her be knocked into him. It was because at that exact moment, he was distracted by something he saw in the corner of his vision. He saw Sif stroke Hayden's face and then kiss him on the forehead. Even if the odd and unfamiliar feeling he got from seeing it distracted him for merely a second or two, it was enough to prevent him from reacting in time. Eugene wondered what was going on with himself but he knew he didn't have time and would figure it out later...maybe anyway. Sif was rushing towards their direction with a powerful spell aimed at Cyrus anyway so they had to jump back.

Both Sif and Cyrus clashed. Eugene knew this was one of Sif's more powerful attacks yet Cyrus was able to block it although he did get knocked back. Sif too was also knocked back and had to dig her feet into the ground to stop herself. The moment she stopped though, Eugene was able to see that something was wrong with Sif's body at a first glance. Cyrus wasn't just blocking, he turned the impact into oscillating waves that temporarily paralyzed Sif's body. Cyrus smiled at this chance as he charged at Sif with his sword made of light. Moving on instinct, Eugene charged towards the scene himself. He got between Sif and Cyrus as he drew his blade to parry the attack. In this position, it would have been simple for Cyrus to attack again but he couldn't move. "You bastard, you copied my move!" He exclaimed while Eugene grinned as he realized that the Dragon Slayer had used a similar technique to paralyze Cyrus's body. At the same time, Eugene tapped certain points on Sif's body, freeing her from the paralysis. "Don't you look down on me!!" Cyrus shouted as he still had control over his light blade even if he couldn't move his body. From the sword came beams of light that pierced through Eugene's arms, his shoulders, the right side of his chest, and his legs.

"What lousy *pant* aim, you didn't *pant* hit any vital points even at this distance." Eugene said with a grin despite the fact he was panting and coughing up some blood. "With that sort of precise magic you need to aim with your eyes to pinpoint where to hit. Against someone like me who can redirect a person's senses, it's your worst match."

"I'll finish with you later." Cyrus said as he released the blades that impaled parts of Eugene, causing him to fall over. To that, Eugene's grin grew slightly bigger.

It also means you need visual confirmation on a person. Eugene thought to himself. By getting in front of Sif and blocking her from sight, he had to focus on me. As you can't move your body, the only way you could get me away was to release the blades. But in that moment, Sif would have had the time to charge up for the next attack to take you down before you could even start to unleash your next attack. As my partner, I completely trust her to have done so. He then smiled when he saw Cyrus's expression as his vision fell on Sif before falling semi-unconscious for a bit due to blood loss.

"Brooke...Brianna...Eugene...", Sif said with a near-whimpering tone as she saw all of her group just collapse to the ground. Brooke and Brianna were being held down by light constructs, with hovering blades around them, ready to strike them down at any moment. "Hayden and Alex...", she continued, as Cyrus' bellowing cackle echoed in the background. Sif turned to face him with a gleam of absolute bloodlust in her eyes. "That's it!! You bastards have hurt far too many of the people I love!! For that...you'll pay..", she hissed at the man as her body began to shine brilliantly. She flew through the air towards Cyrus like, well, a "Meteor!", Sif yelled as she casted the Heavenly Body spell. Cyrus moved to block it, but was somehow cancelled from the power of the spell. Cyrus' face turned into one of utter shock as he came to a realization.

"No...is she..?!", Cyrus began to stutter before being cut off by another hit from Sif's Meteor spell. She moved into a flip, kicking him further through the air.

Sif raised her glowing hands, as the aura around her began to pulsate at a wild rate. "Time to end this!", Sif said as her clothing began to turn to light. "SECOND ORIGIN, RELEASE!!", she yelled in raw fury as the aura began spiraling around her body like ribbons. "REQUIP! ARMOUR OF THE FIRST!!!", she continued as a highly intimidating armor formed itself onto her body. When the armor fully manifested, it was letting off such tremendous waves of power that the ground, which was at least fifty feet below her now, actually shattered.

Sifarmour1(MSE)

Sif's trump card

"There's a secret I've been keeping from everyone, even Hayden. My brother and I share an Organic Link. His remark about getting stronger to protect me? It's literal. Me being in danger or hurt increases his power almost ten fold on a slow day. The stronger he gets, I get. And this armour I'm wearing links us to the maximum, allowing me to borrow a fraction of his power, which you will get a taste for right now!!", she yelled as she pointed the humongous scepter the armor had given her, which had a head that looked almost demonic upon first glance, at Cyrus and the inner 'mouth' area was beginning to form an orange orb that resembled fire. "RAGNAROK!!", she casted as the orb fired an absolutely gargantuan beam of raw, forceful energy at Cyrus. The size of the beam completely engulfed the sky. However, Sif's statement of just a fraction of borrowed power rang true, the beam began to shrink. "It's not working...!", Sif thought to herself in panic, as Cyrus attempted to resist the beam, but he was still being pushed back. The ground for at least a mile had shattered completely, rocking everyone in the group around a bit. "Is this it? Is this where we fall..?", she thought, in defeat, until...

Something blurred past Sif just as the beam faded. It crashed into Cyrus as if a planet had just fallen on him, for the falling object had sent him hurdling to the ground, even a few meters down into it. Only this was no object. It was Ezra! "Damn you...", he cursed as he dropped himself onto Cyrus chest, earning a cough from the man. "You were an Avian this whole time weren't you?!", he said as he raised Cyrus by his collar and proceeded to smash him back into the ground. Cyrus did nothing but laugh, causing Ezra to snap. He threw Cyrus high into the air, and Requipped a rather bulky cannon that mounted his right arm, like a power glove. "Endgame!", Ezra casted as the cannon charged power so great it rattled everything around, even the very air itself. A beam ripped out of the cannon and grew to a size that almost diminished the attack Sif just used. The beam engulfed Cyrus entirely, turning him into what looked like a silhouette among fire. Cyrus roared in agony. He was actually being hurt! When the attack ended, a charred Cyrus just fell to the ground like a sack of bricks. When it was done, Ezra looked up at Sif, who had an expression of joy and relief on her face, in comparison to Ezra's grim one. He knew this wasn't over yet. There was still the guild's master, whom had been described as leagues above even Cyrus. "Sif, check on Eugene and the girls, I saw Alex and Hayden's conditions.", Ezra said as he sprinted towards where they were laying, as Sif sent her Armour away and went over and landed with Eugene, Brooke and Brianna. The girls were sitting up, their injuries were minor. Eugene seemed to still be a tad dazed from the blood loss.

Sif rested Eugene's head on her lap, as she rested her hands just above his forehead, in the air. A chilly green mist began to shakily emit from her palms, and coat Eugene's body.

"Healing Magic?", Brianna asked inquisitively, to which Sif responded with a nod and a positive 'Mhm'-like sound.

Eugene could barely move due to blood loss and was dazed at the same time. He began falling in and out of consciousness and wasn't entirely aware of what was currently going on but he did feel a soft sensation at the back of his head and a cooling sensation covering his body. My body feels so light now. He thought to himself as he was being healed. He slowly opened his eyes and saw above his face Sif who was apparently healing him. It seemed that she had healing magic. As he began to become fully conscious again, he felt pain spike through his head, causing his face to grimace a little. "Owww, maybe that wasn't exactly the smartest move to do. I got myself hurt and I can't really move much for now." Eugene said with a bit of a pained grin and slight joking tone as he felt the full pain his body suffered from injuries although it was lessening in effect thanks to Sif healing him. He then faced Sif. "You okay Sif? How are the others doing?" He asked more worried about the injuries of others before himself. "Anyway, what you did back there was awesome! I didn't know you could do all that." Eugene said with a grin. "I'll definitely have to make sure I don't make you angry." He said this in a teasing tone.

Sif giggled, which turned into a laugh. "So do you finally take me seriously now?", she asked, still giggling through her sentence as she continued to heal Eugene. She looked over her shoulder, and saw an already-awake Hayden bouncing around, and an already-healed Alex hugging his dad and then acting all awkward because of it. "I do have Healing Magic but it's the beginning stages, it's why Ezra told me to look after you instead, since your injuries were minor compared to those two goofballs up there.", she said, motioning Eugene to look that way too, with the main sight being Hayden and Alex already having a mini argument and being scared silent by Ezra.

Sif, Eugene, Brianna and Brooke began making their way back over to the others. When they got closer, Brianna suddenly darted forward and almost tackled Alex to hug him. "You dummy, how did you let yourself get hurt like that?", she chuckled, trying to be stern but ending up smiling with joyful tears sitting on the corners of her eyes.

"Bree..", Alex went to speak as he raised his arms to hug her back, only to be interrupted by an ominous church bell chiming from the castle in the distance.

"Everybody, stand guard, we still have one more opponent...and they could be anywhere by now.", Ezra said as he warned his family and friends around him. He finished healing the last of the group's injuries, which were the various scratches on Sif's body, before he stood to look at the castle, a look of concern on his face. "I can feel an incredibly unholy source of power from within that castle's walls...So listen up, I can't promise that we'll make it out of this final battle unscathed.", Ezra deduced as his fists tightened slightly.

"To be honest, you don't give me much of a challenge whenever we spar." Eugene teased a little as he continued to lay there. "I'm kidding, I've always taken you seriously. I wouldn't have thought of you as my trusted partner if I didn't. It's just that now, you give me more of a reason to take you seriously." He said with a small smile. After they were all healed, they gathered around as they got ready to head for the castle, Ezra giving them a warning.

"There's no need to state the obvious is there?" Eugene said with a small smile. "We all knew that from the start. We just need to do what we need to do. Nothing much else to it." At this point, the ones that fell asleep woke up and had to be filled in on what happened. After a bit they were ready.

Then, to interrupt them, an almost deafening, eerie droning sound echoed across the landscape. The walls on the front of the castle suddenly shifted, allowing cannons as big as buildings to emerge. They fired dozens and dozens of gigantic capsules into the air, all of which crashed into the ground. When they opened, soldier after soldier clambered out, eventually climbing into the high hundreds, even thousands. There were all sorts of beings in the army; humans, demonic-looking humanoids, giants, even various types of animals. One particularly bulky human at the front let out a war cry, and the entire army began charging, splitting off to surround the group of Wizards.

"Be on your guard, here they come.", Ezra said quietly to the group, with Sif noticing a hint of an expression she did not like at all in his eyes.

- - - CHAPTER END - - -

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