Episode 116 The Never Ending Frost
Deep inside Aodh Tower, in the midst of the darkness, the rumble of the thunder outside, a bright iridescence outshines everything else. The frail, yet strangely beautiful bodies of Ayame, Ivy, and Lily, the Three Phonemes, are pinned to the wall by magical placeholders. Each girl is unconscious, lost in a deep, impenetrable sleep.
Only one person stands in the highest floor of the tower, watching the three girls slumber. A mat of dark hair obscures the pair of cold, black eyes of Lord Kimura. His faithful Blue Screamer is at his side, sheathed. A hollow silence reigns supreme in the brightly lit room.
The only sound is a consistent whirring emitted by the iridescent bulb that is providing the entire tower with light at the center of the room. The girls, in their slumber, are each situated so as to form a point in a half-circle around the hearth-like mount in which the bulb is encased.
Lord Kimura steps triumphantly onto the long flight of steps leading up to the glowing hearth. His footsteps ring loudly, the echoes bouncing off the walls, accompanying his eerie, elongated shadow on the long journey up towards the hearth.
Innumerable steps fly past Lord Kimuras feet, and still, he is only halfway up the stairs, ascending towards the highest place in the world, the place where the Three Phonemes are gathered around the glowing light.
Lord Kimura arrives upon the apex of the platform at long last, and stands eye to eye with the Three Phonemes. He watches each individually, watching their chests rise and fall as they absorb their last breaths in the world.
He turns to his sword, which seems to murmur a soft protest, as if cognizant that its duty as its masters weapon may be coming to an end after so long a time.
Lord Kimura draws his beautiful Blue Screamer, noting its intricately carved edges, made of the purest of sapphire ore, in the fiery light. Kimura breathes in the humid air of the place. It is truly a shame, Lord Kimura whispers to his sword, I must sacrifice you to these flames in order to draw the Maple Heros Sword. I hope you shall understand.
He places a gloved hand upon the swords fine edge, stroking it gingerly for just a moment. The next, he flings it into the iridescent light in the hearth, which flickers greedily, eager to devour such a fine offering. But the sword never reaches the hearth.
It recoils back, and out of nowhere, a mage unfurls his presence in the room, stepping haughtily between Lord Kimura and the Three Phonemes. And so you have come here at last, the mage hisses angrily.
Lord Kimura smiles slyly, staring directly into the masked face, which is obscured by the visage of a white, pearly skull with dark, lidless eye sockets for eyes. And I certainly expected you to come as well, Lord Kimura answers smoothly. Ice.
So indeed you are still familiar with my name, Ice exclaims sardonically. I might have begun to think that youd forgotten my name, seeing as you have entirely abandoned our noble cause for your own selfish desires.
Lord Kimura sneers, watching Ice with bitter, yet cautious eyes. The Fatalists are nothing to me anymore. I may have once called myself one of you, but I have moved on
Disobeying our orders shall not earn you the rewards you seek, Ice interjects sternly, nor will securing the Three Phonemes for yourself to revitalize your dream of reviving the dead. You were a fool to bring those two here, right into the Fatalists nest.
A twisted, grotesque grin spreads across Lord Kimuras face. What shall we do, then? The first one to cast his weapon into the Soul-Burning Flames here shall draw the Maple Heros Sword. It shall all be over then.
I will not allow you to take the sword, Ice retorts bluntly.
Nor will I, Kimura answers, that same, maniacal grin contorting his facial features.
In a moment, Ice reveals his Blue Marine, and a river of streaming torrents of lightning crash and fall upon Lord Kimura. A blue light engulfs the latter, and he leaps agilely away from the crushing blow.
Lord Kimura lands some feet away, his feet sliding slightly upon the platforms smooth surface. He is already breathing heavily as he watches Ice with hatred unlike any other.
Hiding behind your numerous buffs as always, Ice comments, we created a monster when we carelessly allowed you to absorb the powers of every single class.
Utilizing the enhanced speed of Haste, Lord Kimura sails through the air, landing a calculated blow across Ices side. Blood splashes out freely from the wound, but not before a cool blast of ice bites into Lord Kimuras exposed body.
Kimura collapses to his knees momentarily, his body shocked by the freezing temperatures of Ices frozen mist. At once, he swivels on his feet, leaping high into the air to avoid a devastating blast of lightning from Ices staff.
Lord Kimura lands upon a shelf created by an enormous window looking out into the night outside. From below, Ice charges up another Thunder Spear, and hurls it recklessly towards his enemy.
Lord Kimura leaves his feet, and comes hurtling right at Ice with remarkable speed. He raises his Blue Screamer. Coma: Sword!
The blow crashes upon the empty space where Ice had stood previously, as the mage teleports behind Lord Kimura. Ice hurriedly weaves a monstrous bow and arrow in his hands, and fires the Magic Composition directly at Kimuras exposed back.
The attack appears to slice through Lord Kimuras back in devastating slow motion. The charged arrow engulfs Lord Kimura, exploding right out of his heart.
But the next moment, Lord Kimura dazzles even Ice with a quick response attack. He turns and flies straight at Ice almost immediately after getting hit, cutting through the mage with an instantaneous Assaulter even as blood flows out of his chest wound.
A trail of blood on the floor signifies Kimuras path past Ice. A green light surrounds Lord Kimuras wound, washing it clean of blood and closing it up immediately. Invincible shall dull any wound you place on me, Ice, Lord Kimura sneers, you should know better than to hold back like that.
Indeed, Ice hisses in a low growl, directing a flow of electric current with his hand. It zeroes in on Kimura from behind, winding like a ribbon and curling into a direct straight line.
Lord Kimura notices the attack coming from behind at the last moment; he darts forward, but the lightning is too fast for him. It explodes in a furious shower of sparks around Kimura. For a moment, he is frozen in midair as the lightning shocks his entire body.
The next moment, however, Lord Kimura breaks out of the spell of the lightning, zooming head on towards Ice. He swings his sword, and a flow of sparks cascades out of his own blade as well.
Ice blocks the attack with his forearm, allowing the lightning strike to collide with his arm, heavily fortified by a brick wall of frozen ice. The attack bounces off the ice and dissipates into thin air.
The two continue to trade blows without relent. Lord Kimura unleashes a rushing burst of flame channeled through his sword. Ice counters the attack with a blast of ice from his own staff, canceling the exchange of spells.
The red and blue lights from the two attacks collapse upon each other and explode, showering the battle arena with colorful flowers of smoke.
The two competitors stare at each other from opposite ends of the highest floor in the tower. Ice breaks the silence of the standoff first. Allow me to ask you one question, Ice states haughtily, raising one finger for Kimura.
Kimura remains silent, and Ice continues onward. Do you honestly believe that all your actions up until now will earn you what you want?
What did you say?! Lord Kimura howls back, his face contorting with a strange mixture of pain and sadness.
A condescending air enters Ices voice upon sight of the look on Lord Kimuras face. Ah, apparently you have, Ice says softly. Then allow me to make another statement. Nothing you have done at this point will steer you any closer to your goals. The one you seek is long gone, dead. She will not return. You have merely been a tool in our divine plans.
If even possible, Lord Kimuras face twists into an even more grotesque sight. However, not a single word or sound escapes his lips, save for a strangled gasp that may be an attempt to speak.
Yes, thats right, Ice continues, humans are nothing more than tools to be used in order to purchase some sort of result, like currency. And as much as we have endowed you with our powers, you are human. You loved, and sought to love. Nothing you say or do will change your fate. It is already predetermined. Your purpose in existing has already been exhausted. Now, quit being a nuisance and perish!
Yes, Lord Kimura utters through clenched teeth, prompting Ice to look up in faint surprise. If all youve just said is true, then ILL JUST DRAG YOU DOWN TO HELL WITH ME!
Hmph, Ice observes, what a self-centered retort.
Lord Kimura thrusts his sword at Ice, but the latter grabs the formers wrist, and throws him to the ground. Ice stares down the dejected Lord Kimura. Stand! he orders.
Ice kicks Kimura in the ribs, and when he does not rise, he kicks him again, this time knocking him into the air like a soccer ball.
Remember forever, Lord Kimura, Ice says, as Lord Kimura rises and falls in the air in almost slow motion, you cannot change who you are, your purpose in existing, and most of all, your fate. Contemplate that in heaven or hell, wherever you may end up.
His final speech surrendered, Ice charges up a bristling blast of ice and lightning in the palm of his hand. He fires the endgame blow, intending to obliterate Lord Kimura away.
Yet at the last second, Lord Kimura unleashes his final attack, combining every single skill in his arsenal with the intent of bringing down Ice with him.
And so, at the site of the destruction of the Three Phonemes, the two foes destroy each other.