Arc 2: Chapter 27: The Foolishness of a Brave, The Courage of a Fool

Night had fallen. The lords of the night had grown stronger, as well as more vigilant. At a time like this, if someone’s purpose was to attack a battalion of theirs, even the strongest of factions would make sure to have at least as many soldiers on their side as much as there are Vampires in the battalion.

But, even so, two people aimed to attack a battalion of the Vampire Kingdom by themselves.

“Is that a rabbit?”

It was truly a fool’s courage that was there in both their wills.

“Yeah, it looks like one. But, isn’t it giving off a different aura … like it’s a … a …”

And those fools did not know the meaning of caution of subtlety at all.

“It’s a spiri-“

The speaker’s leg was no longer where it was supposed to be, but it was there, lying, just a little away from his hand. And a thick red liquid was dripping down from a hole that had appeared in the leg’s place. Actually, ‘dripping’ might not be the right term. A more accurate way to say it would be ‘rushing out’.

“That damn rabbit!”

The second Vampire who had spotted the Rabbit-like Spirit looked at the bizarre sight in front of him, the sight of a pale human-like figure whose veins were becoming visible and eyes were growing the same color as that of the liquid coming from his leg.

Soon enough, that Vampire found himself in a similar state, with the only difference being that the misplaced part of his body was his hand, which he was planning to use to attack the Rabbit-like Spirit.

“T-that thing …”

However, that obviously wasn’t enough to kill two of the lords of the night.

“What!!!”

A hole through their chest that left a burning pain as if it was caused by a flying fireball, however, was enough to do the job, as half of their hearts had been dislodged with that hole.

The two fell down, knowing they won’t survive for more than 10 seconds. But, in those 10 seconds,

“[AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCKKKK!!!]”

An ultrasound screech was sent by them to their allies some distance away.

The Rabbit-like Spirit, having heard that screech, turned its head back to look at his friend, to ask for what it should do, but the girl it was looking for wasn’t there. So, whatever happened, the Spirit had to make its own decisions.

“What happened!?”

From a little distance away, a voice of a different Vampire came, but as he saw the scene just as soon as he asked that, he didn’t need a reply to his question.

“We are under attack!!!”

The Rabbit-like Spirit did all in its power to dispatch the Vampire before he could yell out those words, but even it wasn’t fast enough. That said, it did at least run through that Vampire’s heart just as he finished yelling.

Now, with the message sent to them, the battalion turned to the side the screech and the shout came from. The Spirit was present on the battlefield all alone. It wouldn’t have taken long for it to get overwhelmed like that. 

So, the numbers had to be increased.

However, with barely any trees or vines nearby, Jin, the mole-like spirit specializing in controlling vegetation would be useless. The most capable warrior then, would definitely be Sagzear, the spirit of a Vampire child. 

But, instead of him, the Spirit-user had left the rabbit a different card to play, something that would only work once, but for that particular situation, could be even better than having Sagzear there.

“W-what the hell is that!?”

Darkness oozed from the ground where three Vampire corpses were just put to rest a few moments ago.

Just sensing, just sensing the maliciousness in that aura, and just seeing what that darkness came from, the Vampires froze in their tracks.

“This … this is inhumane!”

One of them said. How ironic it was for humanity’s natural predators to talk about humanity, no one was there to comment on it.

So, with no words said in welcome but only given frozen faces full of astonishment, the three Corpses rose up, as if nothing had ever happened to them in the first place. But, there was one thing different about them. And to anyone who really understood what it was, they would say,

“What a bothersome ability!”

With a borderline bored expression, a Vampire standing a little ahead of others said so.

The Rabbit-like Spirit turned its head in that direction and started running straight for that Vampire, prepared to attack him. 

“Hah! What a bother indeed!”

Said the Vampire about to be attacked, and then, the Rabbit-like Spirit stopped in its tracks and jumped away, landing back on the ground, then jumping away again and repeating those steps until it was far away from that Vampire. 

In just a single moment, it had sensed what it was up against and made the decision to retreat.

“Ha! I don’t know who you people are but you picked the wrong day to attack this battalion.”

Said the man who looked to be leader of the battalion, and he said so with a confident smile. Seeing that, the previously frozen Vampires also calmed down, revealing that they were only taken by surprise and not by fear.

There was no need to fear, none at all. After all, one of the four Great Generals was there with them. 

Achlyz, the Vampire General of Silence, was with them.

Achlyz: “Well, I don’t really feel like this is as big of a problem as it should be for me to need to get involved. You guys deal with it.”

Said the Vampire General of Silence. 

And, as the most skilled of all of the Vampires present there appraised the problem as not being anything big, they were rejuvenated even more, knowing that if something did go wrong, Achlyz could easily take care of it.

However,

“That sure is a haughty attitude!”

Came the voice of a woman from among their ranks, and as soon as it did, half a dozen Vampires attacked Achlyz.

Achlyz, quickly stepping away from them, realized what was going on.

Achlyz: “Mind control, huh? I thought we were only against a Spirit-user, but it seems a Psychic is also involved.”

“Glad you noticed.”

Saying so, the woman who had disguised herself and gotten in the middle of the Vampires’ ranks teleported away.

Confused as to what she intends to do, Achlyz checked his surroundings. But, as his gaze fell backwards and he saw two Vampires who should have been corpses standing there with lifeless eyes, he realized he had fallen into her trap already.

Achlyz: “That darkness from earlier, it was coming from them, wasn’t it?”

“Indeed. It seems the Spirit-users can temporarily force contracts too if they have a certain skill level. Surely, you would have heard of it, the ability called Necromancy.”

Out of nowhere, the answer came in a voice that was ringing all around.

Achlyz: “Tsk!”

While he had already realized that Necromancy was in effect, this was still the first time in decades that he had seen this skill, and the first time in his life that this skill was able to take control of something as potent as a Vampire.

Clicking his tongue, the Vampire General jumped away to escape from whatever kind of attack was coming his way, but as is the case with all things in their purest form, the spirits of the Vampires were way faster than the Vampires were, and Achlyz couldn’t escape so easily.

He was caught in mid-air by one while the other delivered a blow to his stomach, making Achlyz realize just how much more powerful these Spirits were, even with only a temporarily and forced contract binding them.

As the other Vampires see that all happen in front of them, merely within half a minute or so, they all prepare themselves for fighting the two Vampire corpses binding Achlyz as well as the one standing next to the Rabbit-like Spirit, awaiting orders.

“Group up on them!”

Said the battalion leader. Obviously, with their numbers, a simple strategy like grouping up should work just fine. It’s not like these Vampires were THAT powerful or anything, they were just an enhanced, or rather, purer version of who they were when living.

But,

Achlyz: “Don’t!”

The order was denied by the only one in a higher position than the one who gave that order.

Achlyz: “Go after that Psychic woman!”

He shouted.

“Oh! Is that how you are going to play this?”

She said in an amused tone, and giggled as she saw the Great General struggle to break free of the zombified Vampire’s grips.

The Vampires, including the battalion leader, decided to do as their superior told them to and hunt down the ‘Psychic woman’, Angela Holystone. The only problem was that none of them knew where she was.

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Having sent her Rabbit-like Spirit to the battlefield and allied it with the ability to summon the Spirits of the Vampires it kills, Sona still had three more Spirits left to use. However, aside from Sagzear, the other two won’t be much direct help in a battle.

Jin, the mole-spirit, was at a big disadvantage because of the lack of trees in the vicinity, and her other Spirit was no good at fighting. 

She wondered as she ran towards the battalion’s base while keeping her distance from the majority of the battalion, maybe it would have been better if she had summoned the tiger’s Spirit before this battle. The reason why she didn’t do so was that there was no guarantee what kind of Spirit it would be, and if it turned out to be a rebellious one, it would only cause problems rather than help them and may just become dead weight in a battle like this.

However, whether it would have worked out or not, there was no point in thinking about it then. What she needed to focus on was the battle happening there.

Angela: “I have the Vampires focused on me and your Spirits. How are things on your end?”

She asked Sona telepathically, so Sona replied to her by answering her within her mind.

Sona: “I am almost at their base.”

The place this battalion was being kept at was a line of sheds near the docks of a city not that far away from where Halogen Dietrich’s church was. Since it was night and the docks weren’t very lively, the commotion being caused there had low chances of being discovered. 

However, that was not to say that there weren’t any chances of them getting discovered.

In fact, the most efficient way to overwhelm the Vampires was by getting them discovered, as that would have likely led to Halogen Dietrich coming there to exterminate them, and the fear of that happening would lead to the Vampires running away, running away from that base, and running away from the battle they were engaged in then.

“Hey, who the hell is that!?”

“Stop right there!”

Noticing the Vampires who had sighted her, she quickly summoned Sagzear, who rushed to dismantle the said Vampires.

Sona: “Almost there!”

Knowing that the base wasn’t that far away, Sona rushed towards it, completely trusting Sagzear to stop anyone who attacked her.

She ran towards it as fast as she could but also as far from the actual battle as she could be.

The Vampires keep attacking her and Sagzear keeps doing its job. However, both the Vampire-Spirit and the Spirit-user were aware of how their numbers were starting to become hard to handle.

They could only expect that things weren’t getting so problematic on the other side too.

*******************************

Landing back on the ground, finally finding the footing he was longing for, Achlyz used his incredible leg strength to slam the Vampire holding him from behind into the ground, and used the momentum to jump away before the other one had a chance to attack.

Achlyz: “You didn’t think these two would keep me occupied forever, did you?”

No response came back, none that all of them could hear at least. But Angela, who saw that, did click her tongue. 

She was under no delusion of being able to hold Achlyz back forever with just those two Half-Spirits but she still expected them to keep him occupied for a little longer.

Angela: “Shit! Just having him here was unexpected enough, now he surpasses my expectations too!”

Without having her voice resonated in the mind of all Vampires, she whined while keeping an eye on the battlefield from a little distance away after having made herself ‘hard to spot’ by the use of Photokinesis.

She noticed the Rabbit-like Spirit and the remaining Half-Spirit Vampire stopping those who were coming towards her by attacking and distracting them but the Vampires were starting to notice that and were growing suspicious if it was trying to not let them go in that particular direction.

Angela: “Dammit! We might not be able to take all these bastards down!”

Their original plan was to take down the entire battalion but, with the realization of having underestimated them dawning on her, Angela was beginning to realize that they may need to call off this attack and escape. And of course, Angela herself had to make the decision when was the right time to do so as she was the one tasked with keeping the Vampires occupied and monitoring the majority of them.

If only Sona would be able to get to their base and destroy their resources, even after escaping, they could still be able to claim that this attack was a success. Furthermore, damage like that can lead to people getting suspicious of these Vampires, who were acting like humans to hide their base, and the battalion may be needed to relocate, which could be considered another win for the two.

But, escaping right at that moment, when Sona hadn’t even gotten to the base would leave them with nothing to feel proud about.

Hence, Angela still wasn’t willing to back away. Not just yet.

*******************************

Finally, at last, Sona was able to reach the base, having run past all the Vampires chasing her. Immediately as she entered the base, she summoned Kite, a Spirit of a fire fox, and ordered it to do one thing.

Sona: “Ignite everything here!”

The special ability of this spirit was to be able to ignite and cause an explosion of non-living things.

It couldn’t hurt a single Vampire and there wasn’t much time to use objects around as bombs so it wasn’t any good in battling at a time like this, but for a task like this, Kite was the perfect Spirit. All it needed was a little time.

Unfortunately,

“That’s far enough!”

As she looked back, Sona saw the battalion leader standing there with 20 other Vampires. In search for Angela, they had all ended up there and found Sona. The worst possible scenario that could play out was playing out.

Sona: “Kite! Do what I told you to!”

Even so, the Spirit-user’s mind wasn’t full of thoughts of running away or whining at that moment.

Sona: “Sagzear!”

She had complete faith in the Spirits she had spent so many years with and was very well aware of just how terrifying each one of them could be. By no means was she backing down, running away or begging for mercy.

Sona: “Attack!”

Even if the odds weren’t in her favor, she was going to fight. After all, if she couldn’t even face these guys, how could she take her revenge on the dragon that supposedly destroyed her village?

*******************************

Because she had kept the telepathic link ongoing to not miss any updates from her partner, Angela immediately comes to know of the situation with Sona.

Angela: “Shit!”

It seemed that no matter how close to their goal they were getting, things were just becoming more and more dire.

And just as she was wondering what she should do, one of the Vampire corpses being controlled by Sona’s necromancy flew right across her ears, accompanied by a terrifyingly chilling voice from a distance.

Achlyz: “Found you!”

As the gaze of the Vampire General of Silence fell upon her, she realized something and, she shouted with her telepathy,

Angela: “Sona! We have to retreat!”

Sona: “Not yet! We are almost-“

Angela: “Now’s not the time for that. We have to run away.”

She was more aware of the threat posed by the hulking figure reflecting in her eyes than she was aware about anything else. She could tell, she would die if she faced him. 

Sona: “No, Angela, we don’t. If you are that much of a chicken, feel free to run away by yourself. I am not backing down after coming this far.”

Yet, the Spirit-user had no intention of listening to her.

Angela: “Tsk!”

Clicking her tongue, terrified of the Vampire General looking at her with cold and hostile eyes, Angela backed away, questioning what she should do.

If she were alone, she would have fled without a doubt. But, in a situation like that where a 15-year-old Spirit-user who was in a worse predicament said that she won’t run, can a 23-year-old Psychic really call herself competent if she decided to run away?

What would be the point of this whole thing if she decided to retreat by herself now?

Would she ever be able to prove her worth if this disgrace is added to her list of achievements.

Yet,

Angela: “We … we are going to die!”

The fear was all too real as well. The fact that she was no match for the Vampire General of Silence was all too real as well. The fact that she would die with just one slip up was all too real as well.

So, was it better to be courageous or was it better to be alive?

Was it better to be a coward or was better to die?

The answer would differ from person to person but for Angela Holystone, it was simple.

Angela: “Then, I’m sorry, Sona!”

She said, and immediately decided to cut off the telepathic link with her.

Achlyz: “You seem to have given up. Can’t say  am blame you for that though.”

Angela: “Tsk!”

Achlyz: “Still, if you have enough sense to know that you stand no chance of winning here, you should also have had enough sense to know how foolish it was to attack this place with just a Psychic and a Spirit-user.”

She didn’t know it. 

She realized it just then, she truly didn’t know what it would take to complete such a mission. 

She may have been the one to suggest it, but she had no idea what she was talking about. 

Sona, on the other hand, knew it well. She knew it far too well. And she came prepared with that in her mind. That is why she was willing to stay while Angela had lost the will to do so.

And that’s, truly,

Achlyz: “Pathetic!”

But even knowing that, the Psychic chose to live.

*******************************

Blood dripping from the opened vessels in her hands, her leg shaking because of exhaustion from both physical and mental stress, lower parts of her hair dyed red with blood from her forehead, Sona still somehow was able to stand.

Sagzear, who had taken five times the amount of damage that she had, was on the verge of returning back to the void it was summoned from. If that happened, she wouldn’t be able to re-summon it in time.

Sona: “Kite, how much more time will you need?”

She asked, and even though she couldn’t speak fox, she could understand Kite enough to know what he said as an answer.

Sona: “I see.”

For Kite to be able to blow everything up, it would need to keep everything in the state where everything was about to reach the point it would blow up on, essentially holding all the multiple triggers until every last thing reaches that pressure point, and then releasing it all at once.

Sona realized why this would be time-consuming.

Sona: “It doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to last that much longer though. How much can you blow up now?”

The answer came – 70%.

Hearing so, even knowing that 70% wasn’t that much of a success, the Spirit-user smiled.

Sona: “And can those 70% permanently damage the 30% remaining when blown up?”

A simple nod came.

Sona: “Well, I guess we’ll go with that then.”

She smirked.

The Vampires were still fighting Sagzear and the few who got past it and were being held back by herself and whatever she could pick up that she could use as a weapon.

Hence, she knew what she should do. She should run away.

This wasn’t the same as Angela, who ran away because she was scared of the loss and didn’t even try to struggle against it, this was the running away of someone who struggled as much as they could and got to a satisfying, albeit not complete, result. This was a tactical retreat based on the knowledge that she could not go on any longer and not cowardice based on the fear of it.

Sona: “Sagzear, now!”

She shouted. 

And just as she did, Sagzear grabbed her and Kite and, by punching a hole through the walls, ran away as fast as it could. Her Rabbit-like Spirit had used the spectacular arm strength of the Half-Spirit Vampire with it to be thrown into the air right at that moment and so was caught by Sona in mid-air. 

And as that helped put her biggest worry to rest, she breathed a sigh of relief even as many Vampires chased behind her.

And that was the official end of the one and only incident that connected Sona Pectus and Angela Holystone, the one and only incident that connected these two wild cards in the war that was still 5 years away.

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