No, not yet! She couldn't die yet.
—Is... is it master's aura?
Charna — who stood at the edges of her death — felt a familiar presence of Magical Force, even though it didn't seem as exalted as before. There was no doubt about it; this majestic vibe belonged to her master, Yuma Takahashi — it could be sensed in that gloomy-rainy atmosphere, yet it was far from her current location.
About just a moment ago, she wasn't able to distinguish Yuma's presence out of all those priests. As his faithful servant, she could no more feel the emotions which had remained open for her; obviously, it meant their magical link was somehow broken. Consequently, there would be only two results for this: Yuma had broken the connection intentionally, or he simply had died. By putting the first consideration aside, the death of her master was absolute. But still, why was he nevertheless alive?
When she came to realize this roaring feeling inside her heart, caused by Yuma's presence, Charna's blurry and dim vision became clearer unlike earlier. Although that insignificant energy appeared so much minor and hardly identifiable, knowing who was in possession of this weak force would be enough for her soul to be enlivened once again. Nothing else mattered at that moment — only her master would have a place in her thoughts, and absolutely nothing else.
As time passed, this sensation grew strongly while the wicked heart of hers was beating much faster concurrently with that intense eagerness. By looking at the darkened sky — even with the existence of that heavy rain — she perceived the presence of Yuma, falling down and descending over the ground from the Heavens, getting close and closer to her position on that earthy world.
Moreover, another air along with her master's became evident by Charna's senses, but this one possessed a huge amount of energy with itself, an overwhelming force that was perceptible by anyone near that area; it had stuck to the negligible energy which she felt at the beginning.
Anyone would immediately identify the presence of that tremendous mass of energy instead of the unimportant and slight existence alongside it; notwithstanding, Charna had incredibly detected the inconsiderable vibe without even understanding that heavy pressure of air. This could be explained when one searched through her thoughts; no one sounded important for her except one person in this world, her summoner. Hence becoming that much exhilarated and astonished due to being aware of Yuma's aliveness, would clearly preclude her from figuring out about the other existent atmosphere.
It didn't matter how Yuma's aura became sensible in that air. The considerable distance between Charna and it also didn't seem important either. However, if she could contemplate for the reasoning behind this sudden change, she would come up with something like this while considering the other aura which was unbelievably massive:
"So Master must have broken our bond. It can explain why I couldn't sense him, but why should he do so? This insufferable holy aura is also too powerful; does it belong to the paladin? Both master's and this divineness are becoming closer, but why couldn't I notice it earlier? Even if the master had broken the magical link, I would still have been able to observe his energy from here. Wait... don't tell me that—"
When she peered upward at the picture of the sky — that was filled with the bodies of those priests — a bright sparkle abruptly caught her eyes, and attention withal. Her feelings about those two sources of force intensified immensely by the time that the golden shine lightened the atmosphere of the darkened cerulean shrine.
It wasn't a star; it definitely seemed like one, though with looking at that gorgeous brightness and viewing the continuous increase in its luminosity, anyone could say that this new dazzling shine should be much closer to the earth than the other normal stars in the Heavens. There also existed the fact that the presence of her master and that paladin were becoming more evident through her senses.
Notwithstanding the enormous black obstacle — the great numbers of the enemy — which had completely blocked the image of the sky, that light could be seen descending toward the earth, brightening everything in its way meantime.
As the gap between the shining illumination and the land declined over time, the brilliance would bother the eyes of the spectators even more than before. Therefore, its clear image couldn't still be observed even by looking at it precisely. Charna had a hard time seeing such a shiny scene; she was a diabolical being in the world after all, although she could still bear the lights that were coming from the light wizardry or black witchcraft. The divine shine of the Lord would, without doubt, trouble her eyes and body simultaneously.
Apparently, the changing radiance of light that was falling toward the earth, intended to land on a location nearby her.
The moment when the blinding sheen became sufficiently close to the ground, Charna understood the high speed that it had possessed, as her eyes could only catch a glimpse of it fleetingly. Even if she were in a vigorous condition without those wounds and scars, she wouldn't yet be able to see anything except a fast movement of a light ray, landing near that area of the city — right in along the street line which didn't have a quite sizable distance from Charna's spot.
By the time that the lightness had finally arrived on that spot, the terrain began cracking as the earth started to shake tremendously; therewith a striking blow forcibly sent everything near that place floating into the midair by a great severe push; the cars got driven away as the windows of the nearby buildings got broken, making a large room of that space full of the minuscule glass splinters, as they thereafter spread randomly in the air. It would be impossible to not get hit by them if one were in that position.
A stentorian sound filled the atmosphere in a very long range radius, forcing the thundering of the sky to fade because of its ear-splitting noise. The raindrops thereupon got scattered throughout the place in different random directions.
Subsequently, the vast clouds of dust and dirt rose from the landed location of that brightness, instantly getting spread in the space.
Charna tightened her eyes, trying to peer through the fog. She could sense the presence of her master and that paladin in there, though without a clear vision of it, it would still be impossible to know anything more than that.
She could no longer hear a sound or see anything except her destination. By putting pressure on those lanky legs, Charna stood up once again as she then started walking through the risen dust. She didn't care about the existence of the overhead enemies anymore; her attention was just on the faint aura which existed right there, inside of the mist.
The unendurable sense of pain on her elegant form didn't sound important at all; what actually mattered was exactly ahead of her at that time. Even though by decreasing the existing distance the holy pressure of paladin's spiritual force would raise greatly, it didn't stop her by any means; she only cared about the minor presence, which appeared unquestionably important for her.
The dirt moved out of her sight slowly, letting Charna have a clear image of what stood before her. As expected, the first thing which she observed was the bloody body of her master, fallen on the cracked terrain, bleeding exceedingly while being crushed under the paladin's feet. The weakness and frailty could easily be identified by looking at that impotent expression of his.
However, the golden effulgence of the paladin's armor surprisingly attracted her eyes toward its direction. Yuma had been defeated miserably by the man who stood directly in front of her at that moment.
She wanted to help her master, but what could she do in such a condition? Weakened and defeated, wounded and beaten, it wasn't possible to do anything; particularly, against a powerful person like that. Nonetheless, her responsibility toward her summoner, plus her pride didn't let Charna be unmoved. She didn't want to look like that — pathetically craven — in front of her master. It didn't seem clear whether Yuma was actually conscious or not right then, though she absolutely knew he is still alive by sensing that trivial magical force.
When Charna readied herself to thrust at the paladin who was covered in pure golden light, she understood something; her body would no longer follow her orders, not anymore. Perhaps, this disobedience was due to the long battle that she had against those priests; naturally, the strong will of hers would no more dominate her limited capabilities.
Or maybe her instincts had figured out something before her consciousness? Was it the unbearable pressure coming from the vigorous aura of that paladin? Since she wouldn't think about anything except Yuma, normally many things would come out to be incomprehensible for Charna.
Incidentally, the paladin didn't give her any kind of attention; like she wasn't there at all. Being ignored like that made something obvious: She wasn't worth enough to be considered as a notable enemy for that person.
The paladin raised the pressure on the fallen man by pressing his golden footgear against his chest even more forcefully than before, causing Yuma to vomit blood dreadfully. The look of infirmity on her master's face suddenly changed, as she noticed the appearance of agony through Yuma's expression, although he didn't moan or let out a sound of suffering; apparently, he no longer had the needed energy for that kind of reaction to the pain.
"Your name was Yuma Takahashi, right?" the paladin swaggered as he put a taunting smile on his slender visage, "Then, I shall remember you as a warrior who fought with dishonor... and died by my power."
Charna's eyes caught sight of a blinding light after hearing those words; it appeared near the paladin's right arm as it shaped a glorious spear afterward. She didn't care about the essence of this new weapon in the hand of the enemy since there were more important things to think about; she feared from the purpose of that razor-sharp edge, which had intended for the life of her master.
When the paladin directed his weapon toward Yuma's bloodstained face, it had only an inch of distance to reach its aim.
She had already reached her limit; it was totally impossible to move even a muscle because of the extreme physical fatigue. She couldn't even talk; both the paladin's inner force and her outer incapability were forcing her to remain exactly like that, astonished, fearful, and unable to do anything. Meanwhile, her master's spell could no longer keep her as conscious as before.
The moving raindrops forthwith became motionless, staying still around her hurt figure. Everything looked frozen as though the time itself had stopped, unwilling to let any change occur in that dark atmosphere.
While the paladin's shining weapon remained aimed at the exhausted body of Yuma Takahashi, an orotund voice could clearly be heard by her. It was plain for her to understand the source of this sound; that was her master's voice, deep, calm, and courageous. It would definitely soothe both her mind and body every time she heard it. However, it wasn't coming from that beaten human form over there since Yuma's mouth had remained closed completely; this soothing voice appeared much higher to be propagated through some mere air.
"Charna... I'm sorry..."
What she heard as the sound of her master, was a call in her mind. Thus, she could respond to it without having to use her fatigued tongue.
"There's no need for the master to apologize."
"Just look at me. What a miserable loser I am..."
"No! Master fought until the very last moment!"
Despite the fact that this communication happened through telepathy, yet those mental words contained so many emotions with themselves. If they were talking with each other by means of sheer sound waves, anger and discomfort would be sensed in her irritated tone.
"And I still lost."
"Not only against my enemy, but I also lost against my foolishness."
"Master did what he thought was right."
"Yet, it ended up like this..."
The conversation between the master and servant — that occurred by means of their magical force — was paused because of the hesitation which Charna made afterward. She didn't want her master's body to be in that condition, though more importantly, she certainly couldn't let her master be also defeated like that in such a conflict.
Even so, both of them knew what kind of destiny was waiting for them when they decided to start the battle, but she nevertheless accepted her fate as a glorious death alongside Yuma.
"I wish I could change the past, rather than stopping the present. Though, I still failed in making my future. I even ruined others' happiness. The worst... I'm the worst. However, you Charna, you can still live. You can still make your future and forget about the past. With my death, there's no one to stop your time."
"My future only has meaning with the presence of the master! There's no purpose in my life if the master is dead. Also, I think we both agreed to die together!"
"No, it's wrong. I'm a terrible father who can't protect his son; I didn't even say goodbye to him. Why do you want to die here, for such a person?
"I'd rather die with the glory than live without it."
"Charna, there's no glory in death. Why do you want to die gloriously?"
Even though Yuma had an answer for Charna's words until that moment, he utterly didn't know how to respond to what she said next: "Master is my glory; which is why I'd rather die with him than live without him."
She already knew what Yuma had planned; he had broken their bond, which meant she couldn't be summoned by him, not anymore. Additionally, the magical contract which they both had signed many years ago was then going to break consequently. When a wizard dies, the servant will be magically enforced to return to the Unholy Mountain straightaway.
There also existed another fact which she suddenly noticed by considering all those other points. When a magical bond breaks intentionally by the summoner, the servant and the master have a limited duration of time to bind again; after that time, the contract will automatically end, and thus the servant will be free. Yuma had precisely planned everything; either she was going to return to her home by the time that the aforementioned time was elapsed or straight by the death of her master.
Concisely, Yuma didn't intend to let her die too; he had decided to die alone.
"Master! Please don't do this to me."
"I'm sorry, I'm truly sorry."
"Aaron... please don't!"
"That name, it brings back so many memories. I thought I told you to call me Yuma though..."
"I beg you! How am I supposed to live without the master?"
"You were a loyal servant. We spent a lot of time together. Well, it's the time... I guess."
The inert drops began to rain and descend on the flooded land, as the paladin's inanimate body got enlivened therewith. The time was alive once again.
The surges of fear struck Charna as she could sense the touch of rain on her dead-tired birdish figure. What frightened her the most was the sight of that paladin, plus the words which he let out afterward. Nonetheless, she was still being ignored by the enemy, a truly shameful situation for her on the battlefield.
"Just as I promised you. I will gift a painless death to your family! So... rest in the hell!"
"You were a tough opponent, wizard; now..." the paladin said as he readied his aimed lance to strike Yuma's head with it, "Burn by my fire!"
When the sharp edges of that glittery spear reached Yuma's soft skin, not even a weak essence of that aura could be felt; the paladin's weapon had instantly torn that helpless face apart by the great push which he put into thrusting it.
The scene before her made her widened eyes tear. She wanted to moan, howl in anguish and split the gloomy air with piercing screams and cries, though all she could do was to force her eyes to water in tears.
The contract ended, exactly as the life of her master. Charna's body began to fade until those tears of hers could no more augment the depression of the atmosphere. She was going to return to the Unholy Mountain.
Still, Charna didn't know what to do with the intense pain which she had sealed deep in her heart.