16 The Glory of a Warrioress
That one hour had already elapsed, though there was no trace of her master Yuma. She could no longer stand straight as her breath was coming in pants. While gasping heavily for breath, Charna prepared those lengthy black wings of hers as she forcefully flapped them therewith, sending the nearby priests flying immediately by creating a strong blow in the air.
The burns on the left side of her face would be regarded as slight compared with that huge and severe vertical scar on the right side of her injured visage. However, those wounds couldn't just be abridged in her brief face; every single inch of that half-human, half-bird body included serious harm — caused by the prayers and the weapons which were wielded by those priests at that moment.
Charna was almost empty of energy, still, she didn't intend to give up on fighting. Surrendering would bring nothing but dishonor and disgrace upon herself as a warrioress, as well as shaming the name of "Sirin", a race which was well-known in the Unholy Mountain as honorable and reputable warriors in the battlefield. Additionally, fleeing from the battle while her master is trying his best against that paladin would lead to nothing except ignominy for Charna.
Incidentally, that red piece of clothing which had covered her chest couldn't be seen any more; it probably had been burned too by the priests' glowing and destructive attacks. Therefore, those two seductive breasts were completely visible for anyone to catch a glimpse of it. That said, it didn't seem Charna would care about it even the slightest. There appeared no sign of embarrassment on her expression because of this nudity; it seemed so insignificant for her to even think about it. The only way which she would get embarrassed and ashamed was either due to a defeat or an escape from the foe; a mere apparent skin of her body couldn't be a concern for Charna.
Notwithstanding all of those deep wounds and injuries that each of them could kill a normal human being alone, Charna's pride as a warrioress and her beauty as a female hadn't utterly vanished yet. She had to bear the pain as a true warrior and continue to fight until there would be absolutely no strength remained in her.
A grating outcry of rage acquainted her of an attack from behind. As a result, she turned around and formed a defensive posture; nonetheless, the priests could attack from every side since she had been completely surrounded by them.
"Kill the beast!"
"Don't give it time!"
Charna could no longer continue as well as before; therefore, she decided to keep her energy just for defending those charges while meantime waiting for her master to come.
The enemies had various types of weapons, but the type which was wielded by most of them was the spear. As a great quantity of the priests started to rush at her to decrease the existent distance, another group including a considerable amount of individuals still stood back.
"[Night's Star]" "[Light]" "[Redirect]" "[Repentance Blaze]" "[Thorough Shine]" "[Blessing of Heaven]" "[Circle of Resistence]" "[Capacity Growth]" "[Holy Range]" "[Light]" "[Gifted Fire]" "[Divine Effort]" "[Blaze Sight]"
They were using several types of prayers for strengthening the charging priests — who were becoming closer to her over time — while causing a picturesque scene due to those colorful flashes of the light that had begun to move speedily toward a specific direction, her location.
The priests were decreasing the gap between themselves and Charna as the lights of the support could be seen coming one after another. It didn't take a while for them to reach her as they thrust forward instantly.
Avoiding all of these foes at the same time would be impossible; there was no way to evade those whole prayers either. However, she could still escape from one simple thing, the reality. Hence, Charna was able to fight without fear and stay, although the physical limits of her body would definitely stop the inner will of her.
"[Magic Shield]" she screamed aloud, creating a lucid range of energy around herself to block the forthcoming attacks.
It came out to be neither effective against the onslaught of the nearby priests nor powerful enough to handle the destructive prayers caused by all those spiritual forces. Consequently, Charna had no choice but to use all of her remaining strength to answer their attacks by an offensive.
An unexpected tremendous flare instantaneously entered the priests' range of vision as it thereupon streaked through the air outstandingly, sending a substantial amount of them flying by its power.
She shouldn't have possessed such a great remaining power since Charna had been fighting unceasingly until then, thus anyone would surely get surprised by the massive damage which this offense forced the priests to handle.
Her struggles against that large quantity of the enemies were truly commendable, though it appeared completely useless as no perceivable or significant change could be observed. No matter how much she tried, the black crows of the sky wouldn't disappear from her sight.
In place of a fallen leaf, another leaf would fill the empty space of it momentarily. The dropped bodies of the priests would consecutively be replaced by more uncompromising soldiers of the zealotry. Any attempt for clearing the image of the thunderstorm off this fanaticism didn't seem sufficient as though even the world itself was unwilling to be modified by the light of Sun; the chained Heavens extremely feared from the alternation which the sunrise would bring subsequently.
The blood over her skin and the wounds beneath it had concealed the human elegance of her upper body as the appearance of the other parts which looked birdish. Although the clouds would send innumerable drops of rain from the sky and drench everything in the way toward the ground, the weight of the gore on Charna's shoulders was much more sensible than the pressure of the raindrops which had continuously hit her during that time; even an enormous flood couldn't wash the blood on her figure and make it clean from the redness of those deadly scars and inflammations. The only liquid that could be identified by looking at her was a sanguine and conspicuous fluid, flowing steadily on her semi-human form. While Charna couldn't be called a human, her blood nevertheless appeared unadulterated red.
Her will would never break as a brave Sirin, yet, something else was also helping her to stay and continue to fight. By every touch of the rain, she could also touch and sense a great amount of power along with the motive to stand in the battle.
She had been with her master for a long time; accordingly, she had a thorough knowledge of Yuma's abilities and spells. Charna knew that this uprising of the strength inside of her is because of nothing but this rain, a special spell which could be used by him.
Thanks to her master, she could stand up to the priests' attacks and their thrusts by remaining under that rain; even so, it didn't seem as effective as before. It would be clear to get that Yuma was being defeated by that paladin, thus weakening the effects of this long-range spell. Without considering that, this could also be understood by Charna who was emotionally bound to Yuma with a strong magical bond.
Incidentally, she absolutely didn't like getting wet; the water would be the last thing which Charna wanted to feel on her skin, even though she had no choice but to get used to this situation since her master's specialty was at the wizardry of the water element.
The strength which the droplets would give her could no longer best those deadly wounds as the presence of her master was concomitantly becoming unidentifiable by Charna's senses. Because of the fatigue and exhaustion, she didn't have enough energy to lift her wings by using the large muscles beneath them, thereby leaving no choice for her but to struggle under the descent of the rain from the Heavens and the charges from the priests.
Fighting in the sky was no more possible for her. Hence, she began to gradually come down and get close to the ground. As the weighty drops of the rain were descending upon her shoulders and body, Charna meanwhile was trying her best to give attention to all those foes around her since being inattentive would lead to nothing but a sudden and unexpected attack from the enemy which would thereafter end up with immediate death of hers.
When Charna alighted on the earth, the birdish soles of her feet couldn't still sense the surface of the ground; the street seemed enormously flooded as the level of the water's surface would continue to remain constant by the passage of time, notwithstanding it hadn't reached above her ankles.
Moving one's feet in that huge amount of water on the street would be truly difficult, but fortunately, this quantity of it could still be endured since no massive surges of water would be generated in such an extent. Nonetheless, it would still be a great deal for a normal human to handle.
In her current condition, she had no choice but to fight on the ground, which was why she preferred to not face another problem simultaneously; even for her, it would be burdensome to get under an enormous water wave caused by her master's spell, this rain. Charna was a birdlike creature, after all; as a result, she would naturally and instinctively hate getting soaked like that. However, it wasn't the right time to care about those matters. She had to fight without even the slightest bit of hesitation, in absolutely any situation.
Some of the priests followed her as they grounded on the nearby spots; the others got close to her from the top while their forms had shadowed her figure overhead. The splash sound which the landed priests made by descending on the ground and rushing at her, plus the stentorian war cry coming from the above enemies, warned Charna of another thrust from the adversary.
"Everyone attack at once!"
The long aerial battle had then changed with ground warfare; she could easily understand the imminent danger from the enemy, so she thereupon readied herself for another clash of spell and spear. Using massive spells would be useless as it had no considerable effect on the enemy's total strength, and would waste her residual magical force withal.
Hereupon Charna used a special spell of hers — Sirins' — to solidify her soft wings, making those two sizable wings as hard as steel. It was more like a "skill" than a spell, so it didn't take a lot of magical force from her. This skill would be really useful for demonic beasts like Sirins; they lacked the physical power in melee combats, thus having an ability like this would certainly help them in the close battles; she had to concurrently defend the attacking prayers nonetheless — by either avoiding them promptly or using defensive spells.
Being injured and exhausted didn't give her so many options to choose among, yet, she had enough remaining might to stand right then. As the first waves of the priests got close to her, from both the ground and the air, her nearby surroundings contained nothing but the presence of the enemy.
Now that their formation had become compressed, Charna could use this chance to get rid of them in one single blow by using those solidified and sharp wings. She struck forward by swinging her wings around, hitting all those priests who had besieged her while inflicting a large and deep scar on their bodies. Still, Charna failed to finish them off in one strike, so she tried to attack again.
Notwithstanding, just focusing on the offense would leave her with so much of openings in the defense. This was why she had to kill as much as she was capable to make her onslaughts as efficient as possible, spending less energy in overall — compared with fighting against all of them distinctly — while lessening the chance of getting attacked by the surviving ones.
Even with this strategy, the fact that her capabilities had become weakened because of the limited stamina and those wounds, would prevent Charna to fight with the same outstanding efficiency against them like before.
The blood of the priests reddened the flowing water on the street as she was speedily striking everything which existed around herself. Luckily, when her muscles became fatigued and tired, the assailants began to withdraw at the same time.
"It's no use... all pull back!"
By the time that the thundering priests started to draw back and leave her vision by becoming dispersed all around that space, a new group of them appeared in that gap. They comprehended that a close-range fight would, without doubt, be disadvantageous in that circumstance; consequently, the only way to fight was to use the long-range prayers and stop any further and unnecessary damage while simultaneously keeping their descents on their enemy, Charna.
Unlike before that each of them had used different types of prayers against her, this time, all of them were uttering the same words coordinately with an unpretentious and soft tone.
"And modify our wants according to the will of the divinity. If it be possible, let it happen, and if not, enlighten us by your might. Show us the blessing of your magnanimity; nevertheless, not as we will, but as you will."
Those words reached the Heavens as the magnificent and divine help of the deity reigned over the sky and Earth by launching a glaring refulgence all around that wet and gloomy atmosphere, sanctifying it with the shining light — descended from the ascendency.
"[The Rain of Blessing]"
Since the priests had assembled their forces altogether, the outcome of this prayer was much more striking and stronger than before, very very stronger; it would be as expected because the association of the spirituality coming from such a countless group of individuals would certainly be immense.
Charna had no other choice; she used the residue of her magical force entirely to defend the falling beams of that inevitable massive force. The holy pressure of the Lord's light would exceedingly hurt her since she was a demonic being; her skin would burn by the blaze of God's will, caused by the prayers of those men.
She let out a sound of affliction, squealing while covering herself with those vast wings. If she still had control over herself, Charna would unquestionably stay quiet; letting out a voice like that had nothing except shame for her as a warrioress.
Nevertheless, she didn't squirm around even with that intense burning pain. It wasn't like her body didn't intend to do so, the divine presence of the energy, up against her shoulders and figure, wouldn't let her move a muscle; all she could do was to scream in agony.
The holy existent elements of this world were considered as the most lethal and dangerous opposites against the Unholy creatures. Enduring this situation seemed unconditionally impossible for her; even by the passing of time, the severity of it wouldn't become lower; the weight on her form didn't weaken by the slightest.
However, even in that harsh condition, her screams sounded womanish, yet sharp and piercing, loud and long, containing nothing but pain and suffering. It was truly a shame and disgrace for her — to think she, as a brave Sirin, can make a sound like that; her pride had already been broken by undergoing this intolerable ache.
The downhill of that golden radiance — approaching the ground from the superior world — looked astonishingly blinding and effulgent, as one would expect of help given by the Heavens, truly befitting of the deity.
But nothing could be absolute in the imperfect world of men, not even the blessings of God. By the time that the rays of brightness began to vanish from the air, the black-and-white scene of the streets and modern buildings along with the lugubrious sight of the rain ruled over the space once again.
Wounded and weary, alone and injured under the rain of sorrow, she could no more stand up on her lanky birdish feet as those soaked gloomy hairs had come in her eyesight, covering her face with their long size. Even though the pain wasn't as intense as before, and there existed no pressure from the holiness, she looked so exhausted and damaged to keep herself straight; therefore, Charna could not help falling down, not anymore.
As her sore back touched the flooded ground, almost half of her figure was under the continuous water. The color of the earth had become red by the blood once more, though this time, it didn't belong to the priests'; she appeared to be the one who was bleeding steadily, filling the streams of the fallen drops with her gore.
The sight of her surroundings became dim and faint; the light left that lightless-godless vision as she was crawling toward the sidewalk — that had less congestion of water. Even in the last moments of her life, her instincts despised the feeling of getting wet.
The only thing that would delay her death — even though by a little — was the presence of those raindrops, touching her aching skin while giving her an insignificant amount of energy to still stay alive; her master's spell, notwithstanding her horrible condition, helped Charna to have the required magical force to remain conscious.
The extreme weakness prevented her to hear the excited call of the victory from the overhead priests. Her expression didn't show any specific emotion, nothing except infirmity and frailty that were caused by her own defeat.
Still, even by considering the fact that she had lost, Charna was happy that she was going to die in her master's way; she was pleased that she fought until the very last moment and didn't pull away from the battlefield. The upcoming death of hers would definitely be graced by the glory of fighting as a loyal servant of Yuma, her master.
Charna didn't fear from death; she could feel the peace while lying on the stony paths of the sidewalk. Her ears could no longer hear the sound of the rain as though she had become deaf completely. The only obstacle between Charna and her destiny was the time.
What many people would consider as a gate to the Heaven and Hell, she saw it as a glory, a glorious end in a fighting life as a Sirin. The last thing she wanted was to be alive when her purpose — her summoner — wasn't there anymore. So dying with whatever she had would be the best choice after all.
The devoted attendant of Yuma Takahashi waited for the fate which she knew from first, as she understood the absolute absence of her master's presence at the same time.