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[X] He’d sneak attack the other youkai to finish this quickly.
[♫ still on]
It wasn’t the easiest thing to hide an attack under the school of magic Patchouli had taught him, ruled by incantations, but it wasn’t the time to be put off by difficulty either. If this was a youkai of darkness, then he would pierce them with light—perhaps something that would burn, for good measure.
For now, he’d distract Suika to slow her down. He pulled his clothing from her grasp (tearing all three layers out from his side because she would not let go, thus leaving an awful hole), got behind her, and while speaking his next spell put his hands into the front of her shirt, through her torn sleeves.
Feeling his hands on her chest, the oni instantly diminished the heat that had been surrounding her and she screamed at him, “GEN!? WH-WH-WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?”
He didn’t answer, of course: he was still incanting.
The youkai who sought to attack him was also stunned by his boldness. “Wahh! Human! Isn’t that too much!?” she cried, floating before them with her arms out to her sides.
“Nun lasu la teron malfortiĝi. Fosu profunde.”
“G-Gen, let go! A-A-And stop whispering in my ear...!” Though her body had gone cold, Suika’s breathing had plainly heated up.
Looking stern, the human grabbing her continued to quickly bid the elements without any pause. The youkai before them stopped looking flustered; realizing that now was a perfect opportunity to bite into the young man.
She went ahead. He let go. Suika put her hands over her chest. One of his books opened, glowing orange. She surrounded herself in darkness. He calculated his aim before the shadows swallowed her completely.
And a hole opened up beneath him, dropping him at once. Suika, noticing his fall, hid the back and underside of her skirt with both her hands. The belligerent youkai snapped her jaws at open air, and realizing the human had disappeared she let light illuminate her again, checking for him. The falling Gen rapidly spoke a second spell, knowing his aim was true.
“Sunder! Tooth of Heaven!” he yelled, and between the palms before his stomach a hot light manifested. However, an unfortunate thing happened before the tree of evil’s bane could sprout from it.
His side suffered a twinge from where he’d been struck in the morning. He winced, and his magic missed.
Aboveground Suika leapt away from the hole Gen had made, surprised at the potent, silvery spell that was now erupting from it. It probably wouldn’t hurt her, but from only looking she could tell it was a kind of magic designed very specifically to harm most any youkai.
“Guess that pervert’s okay, then...” she spoke under her breath, taking her hands from her butt and slouching back into a fighting stance. “... Hn?” she grunted.
Something was different.
The youkai before them had definitely been struck, and obviously badly. On the mirrored branches of Gen’s spell were red and viscid streaks, with just a bit of glistening, gooey white. Suika noted no brain matter, so the youkai shouldn’t have gone temporarily insane or anything. She’d stopped, however: fully stopped, without even the slightest twitch. She was like a colorful figure, stuck to a bizarre tree in a bizarre way: by her head—her face, with her arms wide and her backside jutted behind like she was sitting in the air.
“Huh...” said the youkai, but she continued to not move.
Suika looked at her back, feeling a glance of something both familiar and peculiar. She lifted her gaze slowly to where the damage had been done. Where the magic had speared and torn the small youkai’s cranium asunder were some floating, crimson, bits of religious paper.
How hadn’t she noticed before?
[ ♫: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPBt-sMkYU8 ]
[妖魔夜行 - Scarlet Inferno (PHOENIX Project)]
“Ohh... ” the girl moaned as she gently parted from the lance. Strands from the inside of her skull clung to the bright and jagged pillar, glinting scarlet. Smoke and shadow seeped out of the cavernous wound.
The ribbon in her hair was never cloth: it was in actuality a Shinto seal.
The trace Suika had felt was familiar was the unrefined and primordial power of the night.
The youkai gave a shout: “Ah...! Isn’t this nice!?” And darkness rushed out around her, quickly consuming all light that could be, from the earth to the sky.
“Tch!” Suika spat, and she leapt away from a rapidly expanding swirl of the oldest element. She stopped her retreat, however, when a pang of concern shot through her heart. “Ahh, crap,” she muttered, and she jumped into the blind, intending to slip under the youkai before her.
“Hey, Ongi,” said the youkai from somewhere in the dark, “and human; I wanna thank you. That’s really been such a pain~.”
“To thank you, I should tell you my name.”
Suika felt around for the edge of the hole Gen had made, and saw that the shining spire was fading and splintering in front of her. She spun over the pit spread-eagle and called on her inborn ability.
A pair of eyes glowed above her.
The shadows parted, but not as much as the oni had wished for. Between what manifested as ink-stratus clouds, she saw the blond child’s three-fourths face grinning at her. She felt in her stomach the curdled and instantly recognizable feeling of black magic, running her through. From the girl’s arm was a jet-colored spike, stabbed directly into and out the oni’s core.
The youkai narrowed her eyes blissfully and hissed: “It’s Rumia...”
Ancient blood crawled down the spike, down to the tip where it fell in a heavy drop. In a moment, it struck the human below on his cheek, and he assumed it was some of the unburned stuff from inside the youkai he’d attacked. With his hand on his side and his gaze aimed up, he saw at once that that wasn’t the case.
He steeled his mind, and began to ready another spell.
Above, Rumia looked to her left as her eye and skull slowly regenerated, looking at her shadows stuck in the air. She noted to the oni she was spearing: “Eeeehhh? When that seal was off before, there wasn’t aaaanyone who could hold back my darkness. Ongi are...” she trailed off, meeting Suika’s eyes and showing her fangs in an open smile, “... kinda strong, huh?”
Suika gripped the youkai’s upper arm, made a fist, said, “Oi,” and smashed her knuckles against the right side of Rumia’s smug face.
With the wallop, Rumia was blasted into the woods, sand and dust rippling from the force and speed before she exploded somewhere within, presumably having hit a thicker tree or a boulder after smashing through smaller sorts. But, she did not go with her arm, which Suika had held by her nails. The arm was torn off and left as a bloody weapon stuck in the oni’s belly.
The elder youkai went to the side of the artificial hole in the earth and loosened the arm by moving some of the mass of her body that was around it away. She pulled it out, held it in her hand, and looked at the hole going through her with a frown.
It was then that Gen scrambled out of his pit, falling toward Suika the instant he saw her. His eyes were wide and pupils narrowed. He held his hands out near the new opening on Suika, gaping and obvious there.
“Su-Sui... Sui, ah—!”
Suika saw that he wasn’t able to talk. She looked at him sideways while taking a knee and still frowning.
She pointed to where she’d been impaled, and Gen watched as her body and clothing smoothly reformed. Suika gripped her stomach, and then her gourd.
“Listen here, boy:” Suika began, taking a second to bite the stopper off her gourd’s mouth (she then spit it out), “an oni’s not gonna get taken down by something that pathetic.” She then drank with her head back, holding the arm over where she’d been hurt and swallowing everything presently inside the infinite container. When she was done, she made to look at his worried face more directly, addressing him again, “More importantly, you. Did you get hurt at all there?”
Gen had to gather his thoughts before shaking his head. Suika threw the arm on the ground, the spike shape of it returning to a white-sleeved, bloodstained, child’s limb. She then pushed her hand down over Gen’s hat and head, bowing him. “Then quit freaking out now,” she said, pointing at him with her sake-holding left. “Get it together. That fight isn’t done.”
The arm in front of them turned into shadows and lost its form. The forest out ahead of them burst suddenly with a blaring, discordant sound and waves of black energy, like half a hundred malignant geysers had gone off all at once within the wood. Suika stood to her max height, and Gen followed suit beside her.
“Sorry,” she said, keeping her eye on the bleak miasma now oozing out of nature. “I got really carried away.”
Gen looked at her and held his gaze, then straightened up to stare into the building shadow. “Am I going to have to expect that a lot from you?” he asked.
“Yeah, you went and courted an oni,” she said.
“Hmph,” he huffed. He then smirked, saying, “Let’s see some of that passion in bed tonight.”
Suika’s grimace deepened, and she answered, “... I’m going to beat you the hell up in bed tonight.”
The shadows swirled in a conic shape, pointed towards Heaven. At the tip was a cross, shining red at its center.
“Well then, I ought to tell you that I hit that seal in her hair because you hit me this morning,” Gen mentioned, opening a few of his grimoires. “Hm... it was a seal, right?”
“You know why I hit you!” Suika snapped.
The sky filled with orbs of white, some half-hidden by lingering darkness.
Gen donned a soft smile and told her, “... I just can’t help myself,” before flying off to the right, his whipping coat catching her eye before slipping out her view.
“...” Suika quietly grit her teeth, not wanting to admit to herself that she felt the same. Not here. Wasn’t this serious?
She stayed put, and waited for the unsealed youkai to come to her.
Rumia drew up her darkness out of the Forest of Magic, and with it came a low hum of power, vibrating the teeth and skin. She threw her arms out ahead of her and cast it as a pall over her opponent. Suika drew a fist back, and uppercut the sky. The air thumped, and shook. With this, in the next second, the darkness split in half, then all fell away in wisps.
“Dealing with this is nothing,” Suika declared matter-of-factly, still holding her fist in place.
“Is that so~?” asked Rumia, who Suika realized was now beside her and lurching out of a stream of shadow that was falling down to the ground. Suika looked rather annoyed, and quickly grabbed the girl’s face.
“You’ve gotta...!” Suika began, lifting her arm up and tugging Rumia out of the shadow. “Respect your elders!” she shouted, and slammed the uppity youkai down with a fair fraction of her strength. The earth shook like the plates below had shifted and the girl made a crater. She bounced, and crashed back down into dirt like a ragdoll. Rumia immediately began to disperse into shade, and Suika hopped over her body, aiming a clawed hand at the child. Her shape was thus retained, and she in place along with it. She forced her head to the side to see what Suika was doing, in time to see the oni dropping her elbow against her spine.
“Gh—! Ah—Oooowww!!” the youkai yelled, for with that impact her back had broken and the ground beneath her too, fracturing like a fault. She dragged her fingers forward, not caring about the soil accumulating in her nails, and realized she didn’t feel her legs. She looked behind herself to see that her back being “broken” meant that it had broken the upper half from the bottom. Suika knelt beside her and lifted her hands to continue. Rumia looked where the oni’s shadow was being cast, and melted into it.
From the cracks in the earth, darkness flowed like a flood of water—like a wild and wrathful black fountain. Suika began to push it aside with her own power, but this Rumia had gotten either smart, or desperate. Darkness was coming almost randomly in waves, obscuring her vision as the youkai took potshots. It wasn’t a simple matter to gather or dismiss it, because it wasn’t centralized at all. If she gathered it all at once into a sphere to be disposed of, Rumia made sure to hold some shadow away for another round. She pounded the oni with the bullets she’d gathered earlier in the sky, cut at her with her power, and generally acted a nuisance: one Suika had to (angrily) admit, was formidable.
The field brightened.
In the sky, before the moon, her lover was weaving light thoroughly and beautifully. From his hands, white color was drawn out almost like the waves of old block paintings. She didn’t stop to appreciate; she pushed her hand into a nearby puddle of shadow, willing Rumia to her grasp, then yanking her out again. At this point, Suika acknowledged that the child was indeed, at the least, battle smart.
Rumia became the absence of light for a split second, enough that Suika couldn’t grab her. She hid in Suika’s shadow again, and when the oni tried to draw the youkai from the black behind her it slipped to the shadows under her feet, then to the pit nearby, out and into the woods. Suika concentrated and jerked the “shadow” out of the forest in a show of fantastic and dark wonder that gave Gen above pause, only for the youkai to dive out of the resulting void-avalanche into a crack underfoot. Gen concentrated again and maintained his light, which now danced slowly like strings in water. He was no longer able to see what was happening clearly, and so didn’t notice that Rumia had impaled Suika again: through her spine now.
The youkai spiraled out of the wound looking only two-dimensional, and she split the spike of darkness running Suika through in twain to lock her in place. From there she entered the black of the sky, and unbeknownst to Gen came for him directly.
Suika was meanwhile regularly whipped against the eyes with blindness, not even knowing what the youkai’s new target was.
Rumia swam carefully to her prey, not wanting to alert him. His light was decent, but the kind of shadow she controlled wasn’t something light could easily dash away—not if she wished that it didn’t.
It had been long since she’d had a taste of power.
It’d been fairly long since she’d had a taste of human.
She neared the side of her target, his exposed, waiting belly. She opened her mouth, and kept it open frozen as a gohei struck fast against her face.