81 Take My Hand
Magnus tried to hold in his laughter seeing Lyngvi get owned by the priestess. At the same time, he himself wondered where she obtained her strength.
Lyngvi slowly got up and dusted the dirt off his shiny armor, "That certainly caught me by surprise. Have you been working on your body strength this whole time?"
Epsilon quickly summoned a new marionette. She had a bad feeling that they would have to face Lyngvi.
"What else am I supposed to do after you erased my data?" Lyria replied coldly.
Lyngvi extended his hand and offered it to her once more. "Come with me, Lyria."
"So persistent," Epsilon complained as she sat on the shoulder of her new marionette.
Long ago, Lyria dreamt of the celebrity Vi reaching out to her and whisking her away from her mundane everyday life. Now that it was actually happening, it didn't have the same charm as how she imagined it in her head. The Lyria from years ago would have been appalled at seeing her future self reject Lyngvi's hand again and again.
Lyria shook her head. "No, Vi. You should come with us. Leave the hackers behind."
Lyngvi stayed still and almost considered it. "I can't do that."
"Then I'm afraid we'll be on opposite sides." Her eyes were fierce and determined. It seemed that nothing would change her mind.
He sighed and gave up. "So be it."
The ground trembled as Lyngvi summoned his legendary blade, forged with the fires and metals of the deep. His hand didn't burn when he held the sword dripping with lava.
Even Magnus was worried. "Vi, calm down!"
"Don't worry. I have everything under control," Lyngvi replied. He was expressionless, almost heartless.
"You're clearly upset, even if your face doesn't show it."
"Capture them both."
Epsilon took it as a signal to defend themselves and decided that it was time to unleash her new abilities. A dark shadow flowed from her arm and enveloped her staff. The shadow extended and formed the silhouette of a large scythe with chains. Magnus and Lyngvi, having witnessed only a few abilities in the dark mage skill tree, assumed it was part of the original skills.
She knew the Magnus she was facing at that moment was much stronger than the one she fought at the Jupiter headquarters. She had to be careful or one wrong move could lead to defeat.
Lyngvi rushed towards Lyria. She had no choice but to use her new skill, Heaven's Sanctuary, surrounding herself with a shield that might've kept Lyngvi away.
"So you got some new skills, huh?" Lyngvi was impressed. He smashed through the barrier with an enhanced shield break.
Left with no choice but to engage in close range combat, Lyria took out the two elaborately decorated war fans she kept hidden under her garment in case of situations like these. She figured using steel fans would help with parrying swords. Plus, such graceful weapons were suitable for a gentlelady such as herself.
As they were locked in a fast-paced strike and parry cycle, it looked almost like they were doing a deadly dance of blades. Every time Lyngvi had an opening which Lyria tried to take advantage of, her attacks were always countered. She had to find a different strategy to defeat him.
Meanwhile, Epsilon was busy trying to strike Magnus with her chains and hopefully chain him in place. Magnus was aware of her strategy and made sure to always be on the move. He shot fast bolts at her, which she deflected with her scythe.
Epsilon was tempted to use skills from other skill trees, but she knew that this would lead to Magnus and Lyngvi doing the same as well. It would make the fight too unpredictable. She needed to find the right timing to use them and that was when they would be caught off guard.
"You look like you're giving more effort into fighting than usual, Epsilon. Could it be that I'm actually giving you a hard time?" Magnus smirked.
"Foolish Maggie. You're merely caught in your little delusion of grandeur and power."
Suddenly, Magnus jumped into the cursed space and onto the tree.
"Are you trying to die?" Epsilon asked.
"Not me, but your little tree." Magnus razed the cursed tree to the ground. Immediately, the protective space vanished.
Shit, Epsilon cursed in her head. She knew she couldn't rely on the Cursed Tree any longer.
Magnus jumped right in front of her and tried to grab her with a blazing hand. Epsilon managed to evade the surprise attack just in time and swung her scythe at him. He jumped back and landed below.
"Marionette, crush!" she commanded.
There's no way she would let Magnus defeat her. Anyone else was allowed to defeat her, but never Magnus.
Magnus evaded the fast punch of the marionette. He hurled large fireballs at the marionette to weaken it.
Epsilon was getting worried. Magnus was strong. Perhaps strong enough to defeat her at that moment. She hated to admit it. From the corner of her eye, she saw Lyria with her hands full fighting Lyngvi. The priestess was only defending. She knew why. Lyngvi didn't leave any room for an opening.
It was time she created one.
Lyngvi didn't stop with his attacks. He was impressed that Lyria had been able to keep up with him. He adored her even more. If only she accepted his hand.
"We were allies, Vi. You always came to our aid when we were in a pinch. We had such good memories together with everyone. Why did you kill Amelie at the bridge?" Lyria tried to talk to distract him.
"Everyone else was meant to die in Aries. If it wasn't in my hands, it would have been through other means," he replied.
Suddenly, Lyngvi stopped. Something was restraining his movements. When he looked down, he saw that his feet were in iron chains.
"Hey, Ling ling, you're a crusader, aren't you?" Epsilon asked as she played with the chains she was holding.
Lyria quickly struck him with her fan and Heaven's Light, which caused him temporary blindness.
"Then start acting like a defender of good!" Epsilon pulled the blinded Lyngvi to where she was using her chains.
Once Magnus saw this, he hurled a large fireball and finally caused the marionette to dissolve. Epsilon fell into his arms, making him turn red at the close contact. She quickly slapped him and got off.
From afar, Lyria was blasting Heaven's Light at Magnus like a laser gun.
"Vi! Get yourself free, dammit!" Magnus shouted as he was targeted with long range spells by the two girls.
"I'd appreciate some help, Maggie," Vi replied while still blinded and chained.
"Stop calling me Maggie! I blame you for this, Epsilon!"
Epsilon merely smirked.
After the blind status effect wore off, Lyngvi sighed. "I suppose we should team up as well then." He activated his ultimate attack Redemption. A large cross appeared in the sky, but unlike before, the cross was much bigger.
"Seriously? Are you planning to kill me as well?" Magnus frowned at the cross in the sky.
"Shield!" Lyria shouted.
She and Epsilon both cast protective shields immediately before the cross plunged itself at lightning speed into the ground and devastated the whole area.