Take Up the Cross – Chapter 79: Battle to the Undeath – Act 2

The creature strikes Kol before their vanguard can even raise her halberd.



Her polearm flies away when pulled by cold claws.

Ground flies up as two forces roll, savaging each other with keratin shears now.

The difference in height exhibits a wild white dog assaulting a bloody tiger. Ghoulish nightmare rips and tears at the metallic tick clinging to her, while the clinging insect ever tries to mount her back to open it up.


Flashes of silver reflect the fires around them as they fly, peppering only the flesh of Lycia.




Those expert missiles from Still present a challenge for the skulker, because she shies away in pain with every toss; yet, for her sacrifice, the blond-haired thrasher only has to roll her body on the ground to free herself from the burning of her skin that the weapons cause.


“Kol, not done with you!?”

To this complaint, Lycia grips the ground with her feet and slams her back to it, crushing the knight with the blow.

“GEH!? Ah!”

Finally stunning Kol enough to keep her motionless, a long arm reaches behind and grabs her head, ripping off and slamming Kol into the ground.


In her defenseless moment, Lycia screams when two, white-shining blades dig into her breasts and stomach from behind.



Still’s normal short-swords bleed with an aura of furious compassion while twisting, before they’re sawed back out. While usually fast enough to dice and run, the agile trickster instead loses a sword when a flurry of red slashes chases her ducking body.


Quick turquoise beams cage off Lycia while Still regains distance.



“Regrouping be practical and required, Kol!”



Rather than retreat as Neesiette calls for, Kol runs over and picks up her halberd to launch another charge.


(You weren’t fast enough before, why do you think you will be now!?)


Even with Kol’s aura finally pulling strands of fear from Lycia after her earlier antics…


The squatting ghoul only anticipates the stupid charge, waving a hand enticingly to madden the kobold further.






An ungainly thrust meets only open air.

The jumping fiend flings a black cord out from her tool panel. It sings while flying, quickly wrapping around Kol’s arm and binding her to her own weapon.


“HAH! Stupid, like spiders! Kol, wins against this every time!”


To that pronouncement, the maddened Lycia’s cheshire grin goes wider. Adris follows the wire back to her tool holder, where he discovers it loops around at least one vial in view.


(No, this isn’t like the spiders!)


“Kol! Cut it off, don’t—!”




Ripping with all her might, Kol yanks at the airborne Lycia to pull her back to earth.




When Lycia merely lets go, that tension transfers.

The cord rips away while bringing with it a tearing selection of vials, bottles, and pouches that are attached to its length.




Before anyone can intervene, the cord reels like a winch toward Kol’s arm. A dozen different alchemical and medicinal concoctions pepper her armor, dousing her in stinging smoke, suffocating stenches, chilling cold, and any number of pure poisons while the proud warrior begins hacking.


Multicolored vapors of death force even Still away when she runs up to cast the contents of vials at the smoking kobold.


(Not even she can brush that off!)


With Kol lost in a still ongoing explosion of different chemicals, Lycia turns toward Adris’ next hope with a gleam in her eyes.


The catty skulker whips her arms back before the show begins, unleashing multiple thrown objects.




Vials, pouches, balls of multi-colors, and dirks of all kinds fly with volleys.

Taking advantage of the damage dealt by glowing stabs, this peppering of Lycia cannot be halted, even by raised claws.

“aLl ThIs, CoPyCaT!? … hEx RoT, tOo!? DeSpErAtE wItCh!”

Like Kol, Lycia bursts into caustic slime, clouds of glittering dust, inextinguishable flames, or other visual manifestations of sorcerous power.




Still brandishes her blade, which begins to wind with bluish-black streams.

Desperate to jump in to finish the job…




(Still isn’t Kol or Neesiette!)


Those glowing golden eyes become the entire world to Still, who flinches and twitches in place as death descends with a pounce.



A bell-like voice demands action, sending turquoise out that springs up around Still and blocks out all light. Its energy dazes Lycia when she rebounds off of it, as the impromptu cube reveals nothing within it upon bursting.




From Adris shadow, a Still rolls out and then grabs up Neesiette.


“Kol be—!”

“Leave her! Only I am the target when the ghoul has lost it!”




Blue angel and masked plotter both depart flat out, heading toward a new area of the gardens as the hunter behind them chases with four limbs scraping the ground.

Their vanguard is left lying face down in the dirt, seemingly unconscious as she continues to melt.


(Shit! No Kol!)




Running over a thick patch of leaves left over old stone paths, they choose to fight in an area untouched by the previous battle. More ceremonial than the rest, the terraces here connect by ramparts and slopes of dirt and stone, making the area like a labyrinth of spaces dedicated to the open center.


“Power of the Second Age given form! Much beyond our capabilities be it to destroy such a foe even with the plan one specified!”

“We can defeat her! Hold fast! Kol will be back!”

{Not after being hit with all of that!}


Absent Kol, no force left can balk a Lycia who can outfight Still and outflank Neesiette.


(Not even Brainfry will shut her down with that much concentration!)




Dirks fly without sparing for ammunition as vibrating beams aid to pin her down, but Lycia needs only to fling herself in a direction to escape them. With villainous agility and strength, this new area becomes the perfect hunting ground for her as she transfers from different elevations to line up a deadly jump.


“Come on then, Lycia! I’m right here!”


Clapping his chest, Adris edges Neesiette out of the way as he strides forward confidently.


“Adris! Engage not by oneself! … Still!?”



Throwing up a waving goodbye, Still rushes off at top speed to hide among the outcroppings.




A long night sees a brief lull in its wild fighting.

While overwhelming her at the start…


(As predicted, not even the cross can bring them to easy victory over Lycia once she gets serious.)


The monstrous fighter eyes him expectantly while entering the area, salivating openly as she gets curious.

To her terrifying visage, Adris grins while backing toward the center of the detritus on the ground.


“I’m still waiting for that kiss.”

“… hAhAhAhA, bRo… YoU… jUsT dOn’T… qUiT!?


Raspy speech is all she can manage as she looks around cautiously before dropping down. Loping up unopposed on long legs, all of her senses are stuck on searching for a trap.


(I’d expect one, too! We really do think alike…)


The distance shortens, a calculation running to completion in Adris’ mind as he makes mental note of the feel of something in his pocket.


“I’ve never had a woman want me anywhere near as much as you do.”



Rather than appealing to her, that statement brings sharp claws to raise.

Nothing about her aims to seduce him.


“The moment I saw you, I knew your allure was different. It was truly difficult not to fall for you.”

Useless appeals from him, however, don’t even faze her.


(We’re long past talking this out. Not that we could, even from the beginning.)




The moment he wasn’t her slave, he would have to be made one.




“Again, I must thank you. Everything I’ve had after leaving the Castillo is solely because I believed in you.”

“Comforting” words produce the opposite effect, causing her face to gain wrinkles as her frustration elevates.

“You’re… the first person on Zennia I found that was worth trusting. No matter what bad blood is between us, it’s been a profitable relationship.”

wHaT yOu’Ve DoNe Is… YoU… yOu… YOUUUUUUUUU!


Something between them, not admitted even now, drives the betrayal seeping from her core.


(Why are you so obsessed with me? It’s not just as parts or research.)


“I’ve been dying to taste your lips again this whole time!”



(Come for me!)


“Kiss me, Sis!”

“… __________AAAAAAA——————HHHHHHHH!!!!




All reason vanishes as she crouches to pounce, anger pulsing in her striated skin.




Just as Still and Neesiette rush back onto the scene, weapons raised and preparing for the counterattack.






Rather than pounce, the crazed Lycia rips into the ground while grinning happily.

Thin strands of silver cause her hand to burst into flames for a moment before they snap.


A winding curve of the substance marks the edge of something once hidden by dead foliage.



{Shit! Run for real! Adris!?}




“… You…!”





Her limps whip wide, scything a purple, decaying wind through the area that causes Adris to choke.


A hidden symbol of gleaming silver is revealed by the effect, before Lycia moans with more intellect returning to her.





Anger enough to kill with just words hardens within her heart.


A final betrayal sends her whole body vibrating.



“Adris! Flee! Seal be destroyed! No force may surmount what grows!”


(I know!)


YOU THINK I’M AN IDIOT!? I can smell the taste of silver from a mile away! The scent of Zsinj is fresh with that pathetic stabber’s strikes, too!























“If you can, then do it! I’m waiting for you, Sis!”

A raised cross can no longer menace her, no matter how it subtly rings.

Only that winning smile of his, long practiced and sustained through hardship, sends the right signal.




(Vanity! Authority! A sense of total commitment and ownership! But, also…!)


A woman who showed hesitation on the topic of mystical power. While others can use it, she has never revealed the capability.

Even a wave of death only appears to be an extension of her true nature.


(‘Tools are inferior’? Not to me, but to you certainly! Yet, you try! You fight back against that separation of competence. You are…)


Very familiar.


(While she must make due with what others consider to be banal gadgets lacking in sophistication, to her they mean…)




Those panels shaking at her hips are the sum of her life.


(Everything that gives her purpose and what she seeks notoriety with, even if others scoff. With that scoffing, she loses more and more surety of her place.)


Adris’ gut sinks at that psychological assessment, feeling too close to something.


(So, if you demand that I be less than you in order to feed your ego, then…!)


“No matter how impressive you are with your tools, Lycia Vehrose, you’re not an existence that can surpass me! Maybe if it were Heleton with his golden sands or Tishia with her phoenix fire, I might sweat about that…


but… you?



Adris can only smirk as he nakedly inspects the killer in front of him with a discerning sense of taste.



The woman shudders at the disrespect given by her once prey.

All her fury and storm earns only a laugh.


“Just like all the rest, you will fall in line.”




With his bragging finished, red eyes burn bright in Adris’ mind as he pulls every last drop of fleetness from the boots he won on his own.


(If that doesn’t do it, I don’t know what else I can say!)


A bunny hops with the wind in his hair, aiming for a depression in the ground where dirty water has gathered.








Something breaks behind that feminine scream.


That thing behind him tears up the ground while accepting both beams and blades to hit its body, caring nothing for the damage from Adris’ still fighting teammates.






A hidden snap sparks on his hip when he slaps it, causing him to feel a wave of false aura rush away.




Adris leaps for “freedom”, but he is instead grabbed by the leg and smashed into the puddle he was jumping over.

Brown water enters his nose to choke on, but his smile never leaves his face.


“PHA! GAH!? Hahaha, Big Sis’ face… when I saw you for the first time again was the best!”

A bratty-sounding boy is lifted upside down, reveling in the attention of a kind, older woman snarling at him.


(You must want to torment me!)


“You were so happy to see me! To be honest, I was, too! Did it hurt to discover me, finding I’d made companions that weren’t you?”

Pointing in the direction of his escaping comrades, the ghoul’s pissed attention turns toward them.

“Are you going to let them escape?”


{Fuck you!}

“… Adris…”

The rudest gesture Still knows flips at him as Neesiette loses emotion, before the two vanish once more into new shadows to rehide.


(Will you let anyone escape your anger at me? You can’t!)




“Confidentially, as long as they’re safe, I don’t really care about—




He splashes once more, coughing into the water permanently when Lycia’s foot rests on top of him, pushing his soaked body further into the depths of the puddle. With his head barely above the waterline at the side, the sinking ground tastes awful to his tongue.




nObOdY… eScApEs… you’ve got nowhere to run, except to gurgle to death, you Vigorless, freakshow child!

As purple smoke and light swirls around Lycia, that all-consuming hunger from the cistern room now returns to gather to her form.


And with you… this entire garden dies now.




(… GOOD! DO IT!)


The absoluteness of death flows around her body, drawn from the hidden stars above and amplified by her own unbeating, tragic heart. It readies to seek out all life, with a palm turning over as she languidly aims it at the ground near them.


Where this duskiness of hers escapes to and washes over, the life of plants on the soil around them extinguishes with the evaporation of soundless, screaming skeletal images.

The cross Adris can never part with rings violently as his flesh rejects the necrotic lure.






All life has to end, lying thing.

Except for ghouls and greed, of course. They…








“[Oh perfect freedom which sways with the wind, carried skyward as you float on dreams]!”




Right before the words finish, Lycia becomes paralyzed as an invisible mass rises up to entomb the both of them.


“… AAAH…

The foot stomping on Adris spasms, with the water around it beginning to boil without heat.

Adris’ spine tingles with the feeling of absolute divinity, while Lycia’s gathering power begins to evaporate.




(SHIT! She’s powerful!)


A conveniently forgotten elf is the likely source of the spiring emerald tower of light in the distance, her timid voice screeching from behind a terrace.

No presence of life or existence can be felt, even to Adris.


(My last Ghost Pass was put to good use!)




“[Pellaeon of the Dancing Fancy, true lord of ancient Myth Mandostesse and uncrowned king of the forests],”


A shrill voice cries supplications at the top of her lungs.

To answer the increasing desperation, the earth begins to shiver.





(It’s too late to run!)




Dirty water begins to crystallize, turning deep green and wrapping up her legs.

Her pale flesh grows even paler, before it illuminates with a hue that matches what grows within the water.


“[… bless this plain water which is beneath our notice with your mirth and beauty. So that all which is unclean may scatter to the winds]!


Please, save Adris, Great Wind!”




Soil flies skyward with a burst of radiance.

The deep earth pulses in every revealed channel flowing through the terraced gardens.


Curling up slopes, consecrated water joins with other pools to rush in an image-forming circuit. When it completes, the rumbling of the earth becomes an all-consuming clash of tectonic forces.


That circuit centers in the water Adris drowns in.








The ghoul’s body turns into a pillar of light as she flails, unable to extricate herself from the puddle. Revealed to be a channel of water when constructed supports collapse, muddy water becomes instantly clear as consecrating power courses through it.


(Good job, Stalker!)


A withering flower could be viewed from above, writ across the surface during a night turned into day. The deep earth merges with the water, gaining even more complexity to the effect as earth submits to the sparkling blue.




It grows terribly angry.


(The… the water is alive!?)




Holy tendrils wrap around Adris as well, ejecting him from the puddle at an elf’s behest.


Spitting up water onto the ground, Adris is blinded on one side by the sheer luminescence. Even with the cross raised to block it, he can feel his face burning like it has been exposed to the torchlike sun for hours.


(Fuck! That’s powerful! I’m gonna die to god’s light!?)


A glowing, skeletal hand of energy whips for him, only to miss when he barely kicks away.






A moment later, the burning light pales, changing to a turquoise color.

Chancing to look through this opaque barrier, his opponent still dances like a body riding a bolt of lightning.




An unending scream that is proof of her very soul being seared to nothing can be heard, even over the deafening thrum of the radiance.


Gold, red, and blue are sent skyward like ashes, with her body constantly vanishing and being replaced as the miracle of Vigor becomes her only salvation.




That salvation is almost enough.


A burning pillar finally frees itself… and begins trudging out of the center of the seal while still screaming bloody murder.




Meltisha’s notes spoke that the very center of the effect was the strongest point, with anything outside being exponentially less lethal.

That’s proved when more of Lycia begins reforming than is left falling to the ground as fire.


(Why are “bloodstained ghoul destroying” symbols so fucking picky!)


As Adris cannot even approach the constantly disintegrating and reforming, half-skeletal and half-flesh body of Lycia, he cannot hold her where she needs to remain.

The light also rejects the cross, not even allowing it to close as darkness lashes back.




“Stop her from getting out!”


That cry meets no aid.


Neesiette cannot stop her, as her sole barrier keeps Adris from burning alive.

Still cannot possibly exist inside of this seal without suffering the same fate as Lycia.








That second pillar of radiance in the distance screams at the top of its lungs, a crying voice supplicating further.


“Fuck! LYCIA—!






The half-reformed Lycia stares at her aggressor, crushing on the corroded white-wolf helmet in her grip that refuses to deform.

A small girl in turn holds the other by the waist, crushing the ghoul back with as much force as she receives.


“Kol… didn’t say shitty ghoul could leave.




The unstoppable white kobold grunts and groans, her knees bending as the armor she wears roars while in the singing, divine light.


The slender waist of the ghoul Lycia, gripped tight enough to squeeze her guts out, transfers the force necessary.




Clawed feet unwillingly depart the ground.


Rushing back and slamming her into the center of the seal, Kol mounts the blazing, fallen star pinned to Zennia’s earth.








Golden eyes explode into rays of green light, before her entire body becomes a supernova.


Kol and Adris go up with this living explosion.







When the smoke of the explosion clears to falling pieces of dirt and steam everywhere, a coughing boy lays on the ground and takes in what’s left of their final arena.


A large depression at the seal’s center reveals two creatures.

One is still clad in blackish-gray armor, huffing as she catches her breath.


The second is face down in the dirt, with water from the trenches filling in the hole as her blond hair floats in it.

Little remains of her clothing, only what’s left of her leather panels and flared pants. Her panties long since vanished into smoke. Flesh still intact is charred black, with the meager Vigor active flaking off and trying to heal her.


(Vigor… preserves even that much… harm…?)




A beautiful woman who had once saved him ends up reduced to the same state he was a moment ago.


(… Did we do it? I won’t let this be in vain… I have to…)


The plot he concocted requires him to act, but he’s too dizzy to jump into it.




“… no matter the outcome, one’s actions cannot be considered just, Adris.”


Small legs carry a girl to his side, before she sits on him.


(Too cruel!)


Her look staring down at him is one of quiet fury, with lips pursed and eyes half-lidded at the one who misled them.

Adris can’t help but arrogantly grin as he quietly explains the best plot he’s had in years.


“All of you have to sincerely believe that we were done for. Only Still is capable of truly selling the illusion. Only when… the ghoul believed that she had the upper hand would she expose the pinnacle of her evil nature for Ave to assault.


That was… the perfect way to smite her.”


(“The power of the divine on the undead is in proportion to the quantity of evil and death clinging to them.” A surefire victory required her perfect form.)




“Boss… Kol… Kol… NOT AGREE.”


Anger laces the champion’s words, an emotion Adris hasn’t felt at this level since the Castillo.


“Could you have beaten her as you are?”

“WHY NOT!? Kol… kak!”


Outraged at first, the kobold then starts a coughing fit.

Numerous score marks and substances cling to her armor. Whatever Lycia’s sneaky tactic contained as chemicals and reagants, they’re capable of affecting the strongest body on the team.


(Not good. If we hadn’t won this way, could we have…? No, have we won?)


Though having never beaten a Beast of Conquest before, the red barrier that obscures the sky has yet to drop.


(… What… if…)







“… Y-o-u w-a-n-t-e-d…


to know who…




the real me… is Lil’ Bro…?”

That breathless moan is still sweet to his ears, even if it means…





“GAH!? YOU— HUK!?”


A gasping kobold’s leg becomes skyborne, with the armored warrior twirling over a half-naked, half-charred beauty before being buried into the ground to a debris plume.




“… Be possible… how… this?”

Even Neesiette loses speech when looking at the once-defeated creature, lifting her rod from the distance to act.

But, finding she can’t.




Despite little being left of her, the one called…


(Lycia Vehrose… is not a normal member of the Wondrous Works. Or servant of the Alchemaster. Or… just a mad fighter believing in carnage and eros…!)




“… If you…

really want to know what the Second Age was like, then only that can…


… say what I am, Little Brother.”


There’s a hint of sadness in her voice at the end.

But the rest is perfectly content, because all that’s left is hatred for a black-masked pretender from another world.




(Run. I have to…)


Reaching her black hand toward the heavens, Lycia’s cheshire smile of white points causes Adris to realize that he wasn’t the only one with a trump.




“Only it can… show you who the real me is.”




A screeching halt brings the world to its end when she squeezes her hand.

Adris’ heart stops with this clenching, too.


(Only… darkness can reveal what we truly are and can be.)


From her hand, black cracks impossibly fill the sky, with it splitting further like ice breaking as the pieces of black night begin to fall to shatter.




All color fades from the world before the boy can even scream.

All that is left are black, white, and the colors of people stuck within it.





Where she points an elongated finger at shows a round sphere of darkness,




hanging in a sky of pure white and black stars.




“… Pothos (LONGING).”


A bell-like voice, one belonging to a girl whose name he can’t remember right now, turns to simple words what that omen overhead means in a way nobody can possibly understand.

Just like an imp, the name means nothing and everything, as all-explaining and all-obscuring as the listener wishes it to be.




Raising his hand toward this sphere, the boy blinks at the reddish-white feathers sticking out from his flesh. That stuff of life he calls his body warps with blackness underneath the thin, tanned skin, making him wonder at what truly makes up the innards.


(What was I… the whole time?)




Standing before him, at the center of a beautiful white and black, terraced garden of floating plants made of crystal, is…




The fetching playfulness is gone entirely.


Instead of a risqué outfit catering to her own exquisite sexual tastes, a very combat oriented servant’s uniform clings tightly to reveal flesh in a way designed by another.


Shorter and simpler than the ones worn by the rest inside of that demonic mansion, it is more a leotard, a blue strapped bodice, and mini-length shorts with thigh-high boots.

The anonymity peculiar to it doesn’t fit her, for it looks like what a soldier would wear if they were in the employ of a sex-mad tyrant.


Right down to the blue beret on her head reading “Γ : τκθʹ” in golden letters and the bare section over her breasts being the same shape as the Alchemaster’s symbol.




Tilting her head as golden eyes and a fine face passively take in the boy and the other figures around, she pulls on her fitted gloves to check the tightness before squeezing her hands.


“Hello for the first time, from… the true…”


A servile bow cancels the rest of her words before golden winds flow toward her, leaving a whirlwind of power to fill her sturdy body.

It channels itself to the glowing chains buried within her flesh, which travel up to her neck where an elaborate collar is tattooed in gold.




“Goodbye, Brother.”




… The boy feels desperately alone, for each figure around him is facing horrors of its own while basking in the light of the black moon.


Under the light of Pothos, dark things have come out to play.

As surprised as the boy is, they whisper as they watch what unfolds.

Each is indeterminate except when viewed, being only distorted darkness that awaits recognition.




(The Alchemaster is… a being of darkness? So her creatures can exist here?)




On a stage ripped from the past, this ancient land awakens to become a being from the Second Age’s playground.


That creature’s face twists painfully, emotion fleeting as tremors take her control over her muscles.

Thoughts of fraternity drain from her face.

Rather than a Big Sister, only a perfect killer remains.


Everything vanishes except for a slight grin as she, in a commonplace tone absent strong interest…




“Target Sighted, Great Mistress.

Battle Routine, Set.







Name: Adris fehl Dain, “Boss”, “Starr”
Titles: Lycia’s Little Brother, True False God, Slayer
Race: Xin’El, Emperor’s Child (Human)
Sex: Male
Age: ?? – Young


Occupation: Crossbearer; “Star of Ruin, Cast Down from the Sky Upon a Dying World”, Slayer of Petripolis
Discipline: [Rule in Dark]



[Tool Savant] – “Adris is a tool-collecting-and-utilizing fanatic. Most men would consider him disgusting for loving tools more than his own partner. Has so many tools that it can be said to be his true power. What does he do when he has no tools left? He seeks to acquire more, obviously!”


[Rule in Dark – Wave of Darkness] – “Making victory possible? No, no, no. That thing isn’t that kind! There’s more than that!”


[Brainfry] – “You’re still with me, right buddy? Yeah, you’re still there.”


[Refuse to Kneel] – “Ah, even the Alchemaster can’t make me submit! This is the one that’s saved me all those times!?”


[Tongue of Air and Darkness] – “What’s the difference between this and the old one? Why ‘air’?”


[Conceptual Refusal] – “How the fuck does dominating people’s minds turn into a weird statement like this!?”


[Obscuring Sonjil] – “Man, this thing has gotten pretty strong on Zennia. At first only creating an area of fog, it can now cover a direction? Is something wrong…?”


[Marital Arts – Self-taught] – “Hoh, even if it’s dangerous to use, it feels good to prove to myself that the body is still as willing as the mind! Even if I can’t call it aura, something is inside me now!”


[Verisimilitude] – “Stop giving weird names to what I do! But if my imaginative truths are more believable now, I’m not gonna complain.”


[A WONDERFUL CURSE] – “If that old corpse wasn’t already dead, I’d definitely kill him!”




[“Rabbit Boots”] – “Providing increased agility while moving as a passive boon, they also allow actively to bound great distances with surprising grace. What do they cost though, I wonder?”


[“Metallic Bracer”] – “I can punch Kol into a wall with this!? But it hurts like shit!”


Disposition: Resilient / Adaptable / Sinner
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: Black
Hair: Black, with strands of White
Skin: Tanned



Rantil Value – “Even after all of that, Master is still an idiot!”


Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

Dexterity – D

Agility – C

Intelligence – D

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – D


“If you want more, stop being mean to Rantil!”



Cethran Value – “Much the same as before, but isn’t the way you look at others a bit more dashing, now? Forced to open yourself to the world, perhaps the gentleman may grow? That is likely impossible, isn’t it, Adris?”

“Don’t you think a plan can be too withheld from the people carrying it out?”


“Isn’t it time you should return to discovering who you are? Why not do that by discovering who she is?”



“A boy who is a bit out of place as far as features, he descended from the top of the Castillo to the bottom by pluck, luck, and outrageous lying. Reborn into the world of Zennia, what can be said other than ‘he’s still exactly the same, but different’?”

“Why he, or anyone, would want a bloodstained ghoul to hit their true form is beyond the grasp of the sane.”


“Reddish-white feathers don’t seem out of place given what he’s been drinking.”



“Didn’t anticipate something going wrong? Or did…?”



Name: “Kol” fehl Dain, “Pink”
Titles: Idiot, “Tyrant Knight”
Race: Kobold
Sex: Female
Age: ???


Occupation: Delver, Frontliner
Discipline: Tyrant Squire




[Invisible Edge] – “Axe goes through everything?”


[Full Contact] – “Wanna go!? Kol, let fists talk!”


[“Ride on Dread“] – “THE WORLD, BELONG KOL! KAKAKA!






[“Dreadful Armor”] – “This is where Kol will live and die. When Kol roars, armor roars, too!”


[Halberd of the Whirlwind] – “GET OVER HERE!”


Disposition: Straightforward / Confrontational / Respectful
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Pink
Hair: White
Skin: Tanned



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Strength – C-?!?

Vitality – C-?!?

Dexterity – E

Agility – F

Intelligence – F

Mentality – C




Cethran Value – “Are you attracted to rampaging metal? Though in your case, you appreciate the voice, don’t you? Do you long to see more? If she reminds you of a certain someone, then…?”

“Why not just hide with her in the hole?”

“Who is the linchpin in this battle?”


“Didn’t you finally lie to her… openly?”



“Brash and forthright, a warrior wielding an axe with two hands forsakes protection to deliver only harm. Contrary to this impression, she also seems interested in a straight up fight. If her words are any indication, she offers little thought to her actions.”

“Always for a false god.”

“Both Still and Lycia draw equal ire. Is it a smell thing?”


“Unrelenting, unforgiving, and totally pissed.”



“Has finally found something to piss her off.”



Name: Still, “Cyrene Stillwater”
Titles: Puddle
Race: Undead?
Sex: Female
Age: Young Lady?


Occupation: Delver, Trickster/Outfighter
Discipline: Accursed Avenger




[“Reprisal Strike”] – {You had it coming, deciding you could oppose me and walk away from it.}


[“Surprising Agility”] – {Is it honestly surprising by now? Walls are just another surface~!}


[Nectar] – {How does my suffering taste, spawn ofcursed blood”!?}


[Delusional Movement] – {How did you forget that shadows are also a doorway, Adris?}


[Undead Fortitude?] – {Do you think that what has no life cares about your pathetic strikes?}


Disposition: Playful / Sadistic / Skulking
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: ???
Hair: ???
Skin: ???



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

Dexterity – C

Agility – C

Intelligence – C

Mentality – D

Charisma – E




Cethran Value – “Do you really think it’s not obvious? What she possesses is what you’ve missed all your life, yes? Breasts and curves… are these not a new fruit for you to taste?”

“Aren’t you counting too much on one person? Do you fear falling again?”

“Your shadow now has a passenger, doesn’t it?”


“Are you getting comfy with her popping out of there?”



“A mute girl who says much with gestures, she also has more going on than she seems to. Though not outwardly aggressive, there’s an atmosphere of danger about her. Opposite of Kol, hers is subtle… Yet, she also can protect others. Given to acrobatics, it matches with her dark, but flamboyant, colors.”

“Despite being seen, no one notices the difference between Cyrene and Shanty?”

“Though still important, she is being underplayed in this struggle, but for what reason?”


“In on the plan when all others aren’t, she is also the only one that can control her reaction enough to sell it.”



“Just not invulnerable to damage. A glass cannon kind of fighter.”



Name: Neesiette vera Luna
Titles: “Moon”
Race: Lunamata
Sex: Female
Age: ???

Occupation: Delver, Mystic
Discipline: ???



[Rod of Force] – “In what way would it be changed? As designed, so shall it function, correct?”


[Rod of Respelling] – “A lady be every ready to instruct regarding what be in error.”


[“Brings An End” – Ponderous] – “[Ponderous was the end, for the unfair passage of time finally brought even earth to its conclusion]…”


Disposition: Impassive / Calculating / Curious
Alignment: Ordered

Eyes: Pale Violet
Hair: Amber
Skin: Pale White



Rantil Value –

Strength – F

Vitality – F

Dexterity – D

Agility – E

Intelligence – B

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – C




Cethran Value – “First imps, and now short girls? This is certainly becoming a pattern, isn’t it? Though you might not fare badly with a girl as beautiful as this, yes? Though she’s a little perfect, doesn’t she seem oddly demure?”

“Who can see the conclusion to calling someone a name that burns them up inside?”


“Wouldn’t you like to see her doing more? Should she read from the book again?”



“An otherworldly existence, she wears clothing that doesn’t fit with the Castillo. With mannerisms quite distinct from all others, even the girls she travels with seem incomparable to her uniqueness. Yet, she definitely seems to be in charge…?”

“While Neesiette has few talents at the moment, perhaps she’s only hiding them in reserve?”


“Though no longer the team’s leader, she still voices orders just the same.”



“Neesiette is getting a lot more emotional these days. I wonder who is the cause?”



Name: Lycia Vehrose
Titles: Beast of Conquest
Race: Blood-Stained Ghoul
Sex: Female
Age: ?? (Old Lady)

Occupation: Wondrous Works Researcher; Tool Creator; Total Monster
Discipline: Battle Pressure – Mad Ghoul



[Shooting Stars] – “A strange, wooden box with holes in the end produces a stream of missile-like light, which explodes with enormous force on the chosen target. I, of course, want it desperately. Hooray for aura tools.”

[Pocket Belmont] – “A spiked chain that flies with great force to strike out, before returning. It explodes with flame on impact, destroying whatever is around its point of release. Is this love? Am I in love?”

[Doom Rollers] – “Please make way for one of my favorite tools! Or, rather: don’t.”

[Heart Taking] – “Hey, won’t you give yourself to me~? Completely and absolutely.”



Disposition: Sultry / Intelligent / Vicious |-| Insane
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Green, Speckled Gold
Hair: Blond
Skin: Deathly White



Rantil Value –

Strength – C (?)

Vitality – C (?)

Agility – C (?)




Cethran Value – “Perhaps you have a fascination for that which seems human, but whose qualities deviate far from it when inspected? Even if she’s your ideal figure, Adris, won’t it be a problem if she decides to eat you up?”

“Are you ready for what it means to learn what someone truly is?”


“How alike did you think she was?”



“A woman whose first instinct is to not trust you, and to trust only in herself. A fairly good perspective and outlook on life, in a blue abyss filled with lunatics. The obvious question is: how sane can she be if she willingly lives there?”

“This is the real Lycia. No matter how she plays around, she doesn’t accept any sort of compromise.”


“And with the truth being revealed, one discovers that it is always a form of one’s own darkness.”



“The first Golden Freezer joke gets you executed.”





POTHOS – “The true moon of Zennia.”




Chapter 78         Table of Contents          Chapter 80