10 Fools of Damnation The Embrace that Smothers
(From the point of view of Violet Belladonna)
"What do we have to do now, Sir Roberto?" I asked as I placed a few more bandages around Damian's back. The other magicians, alchemists, and medical professionals all left a few minutes ago, so we are the only ones left here. Thankfully, potions made from herbs and organic materials work on Sir Damian's body, so his body recovered quite quicker than usual. However, the steadfast soldier kept insisting that he doesn't need the potions, but I bet he's just saying that because he hated the medicine's pungent smell and absolutely awful taste.
"Let me just finish this up for you, and you can go on ahead and leave the castle immediately." Sir Roberto heaved a sigh as a few more hissing noises came from wherever he is right now. "There are a lot of those monsters all over the Halavesta Jungle just outside of this place, but I'm sure it will be nothing compared to what you had to go through, Madame Belladonna."
"I hope it is." I gently laid Sir Damian on the bed with a smile before walking towards Sir Roberto, who stood behind a massive shelf, which hid his figure from us. "So, what exactly are you doing there, Sir Roberto?" I said as I peeked at what seemed like his workplace behind the shelf.
"Oh, well, I'm doing something with that razheema you bought with you earlier." He said as he focused on the machinery operating in front of him. "You said you got this from that monster who attacked you earlier?"
"Indeed, we did," I said as I looked in awe at what I am seeing around me: countless potions, mechanical instruments, and many things that I have not even laid my eyes on before. "is this your office, Sir Roberto?"
"I'm afraid not, Madame Belladonna, but when the king personally called for me to come here, he ordered some soldiers to move my entire office in this here place. Can you believe that man!?" Sir Roberto replied with a hearty laugh as he slowly took a blue metal sphere on his table and handed it to me. "Here. Take this with you, and you can leave." He said as he placed the blue sphere on my right hand along with five small violent orbs that looked like tinier versions of my now destroyed razheemas on my left hand. The blue metal had these little letters inscribed on it, which I could never comprehend no matter how much I looked at it with squinted eyes. Meanwhile, I could see what seemed like violet toxins playing inside of the five smaller orbs, giving it its intense purple color.
"What is this, Sir Roberto?" I asked as I looked at the enormous blue sphere on my hand. I couldn't even properly contain them on my palms because of how massive it was; I think it was bigger than my face.
"Remember that old rock you were dragging earlier? I believe you said you got it from the giantess you battled earlier, no?" Sir Roberto said as he knelt in front of his large wooden shelf. He then started rummaging on a drawer at the very bottom of the said shelf.
"Why, yes, Sir Roberto. I believe it was my opponent's weapon of choice." I hurriedly said as I placed the sphere and the smaller orbs on the table beside his shelf again.
Sir Roberto then looked up at me as he pulled a silver longsword out of the drawer at the bottom of his shelf. I then took a step back as he stood up with it. "Well, you're in luck. That has got to be the most powerful razheema I have ever seen in my whole damn life!" He said as he walked towards Sir Damian with an excited chuckle while wiping his sweat on his orange robe's collar. Orange, huh? Can't say I'm a fan of his fashion sense.
"What exactly do you mean by 'most powerful'?" I asked as I stood there beside his humongous shelf with a dumbfounded look on my face.
"Hey, Madame Belladonna, I believe that the king has some kind of sword..." Sir Roberto said while scratching the back of his head as he placed the silver longsword on the bed that I used earlier.
"You mean the Sword of Legends?" I whispered with an embarrassed voice.
Sir Roberto then grunted in defiance as his eyes rolled. "Yes. The sword of defiance. What a stupid name."
"It's in there." Sir Damian said as he pointed at his armor and weapon on the ground around him.
"Oh, great! Then the king managed to give you the sword, then!"
"No, uh..." I said as I cleared my throat while fidgeting as I gazed at Sir Roberto. "He didn't really, you know, gave it to us. We uh... We stole it. We ran away with it along with the princes because I thought it would be uh... relevant, I dunno."
"Huh." Sir Roberto said as he took the white sword sitting in its white scabbard on the floor. "Well, you did well on that. Without the prince, this sword will be useless, and without the sword, the princes will be nothing." He then held the sword tightly on his hands and attempted to take the blade off the sheath. However, funnily enough, no matter how hard Sir Roberto tried, he couldn't unsheathe the darn thing. "Watch." Sir Roberto said as he approached Prince John, who's sleeping soundly on his crib just like he was earlier while we were running away. Sir Roberto then gently lifted the prince's small hands and placed his palm on the scabbard.
"Hey, what are you—" I said as I hurriedly approached Sir Roberto but quickly stopped speaking when I saw the sword exude a beautiful emerald brilliance from within its scabbard.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Sir Roberto whispered as he gently moved the prince's hand away from the sword. "Forgive me for my impudence. I just..." He said with a sigh as he gave out an awkward chuckle. "I just wanted to see it for myself before I... before I die. The brilliance of the promised sword and how only the legendary hero could activate it—a connection so steadfast that the sword itself would not permit anyone to use it other than the one destiny chose. A light so dazzling that I..." Sir Roberto then started choking on his words as tears began to fall out of his eyes. "... I don't want to die yet. I wish to see my prince unsheathe this sword himself."
I then placed my hands around Sir Roberto's trembling shoulders. I know that I'm trying to keep it as easy as I can with a relaxed tone, but I know for a fact that none of us here forgets that war is still brewing wild outside of this very room.
"You won't die, Sir Roberto, not today. The empire will rise again, and so will you. I believe that." I said in a weak whisper as I patted Sir Roberto's back.
He sniffed as he wiped his tears on the back of his hands with a nod. "I believe you were curious about that metal sphere that I had just given you."
"I..." I stuttered as I saw the newfound determination in Sir Roberto's eyes. I nodded as I looked at his tear-filled gaze. "That's right."
"It's that razheema you got from that giantess you spoke of; it's the same damn thing with a heck of a lot of modifications that I personally added." He then walked towards his shelf again as he spoke. "I found out that the stone itself contains such an unbelievable amount of untapped energy that..." Sir Roberto sighed as he placed the blue metal before my very eyes as his face lit up like the brilliance of a thousand stars. "... this razheema gives its user an unprecedented amount of mana that I even I could not imagine how much it gives."
"Pardon?" I said with a stutter as Sir Roberto placed the orb gently on my hands.
"I coated the razheema with a blue tungsten casing to make it sturdier with or without your barriers." He then pointed at the area in between my eyes as he continued. "The tungsten I used there are ones that are personally given to me by the king's confidants as payment for my service today. I heard that they're imbued with some sort of ancient magic that I had never heard of before, which explains why it's filled with these unknown scriptures all over it, but I would happily give it to you just for the fact that you made me see such a wonderful razheema." He then took a step back as he waved his hands wide at me. "Now, activate your new weapon."
I looked at Sir Roberto with a dumbfounded gaze before closing my eyes and focusing all mana within me into the blue sphere in my hands. Like a lion rushing through a crimson forest, I could feel the magical energy in me rushing from within my heart towards all of the veins in my body as it gradually extended its arms towards the flowing magnitude of unwavering might contained in the ball on my hands. Like two lovers destined to meet, my magical energy clasped its fingers and held the razheema's hands tightly with an embrace that will never, ever end. I breathed the cold air around me as I slowly opened my eyes, revealing a white light spewing out of my eyelids.
"Sir Roberto... I... What is this?" I asked as I felt the devil shit's powers penetrate through the deep crevices of my own mana as my body tries its best to wrap itself around it like water and oil playing endlessly together, making me feel a soft texture running all over my heart. The devil shit's might clasped itself onto my core while my body entered inside of the blue sphere and gently wrapping its insides with the poison of my very own power. Both bounced off from one place to another, making me feel like I'm falling on an endless whirlpool in the vast array of light in the middle of the universe. One time I am feeling like I am swimming in milk, then when I let my guard down, I saw myself eating my own head body and puking it all up before eating the rest of my head off. All of such visions started appearing in my mind that I could hardly feel my body touching solid ground, making my fly into the endless skies that the razheema had shown me. After a while, the feeling itself vanished, and the light coming out of my eyes disappeared with it gradually. However, I could still feel the noticeable changes that happened through my magical power. "What the fuck was that?" I screamed while panting as I looked at Sir Roberto's excited gaze.
"That, my dear, is what happens when you suddenly imbue your body with a huge amount of magic energy. How does it feel?" Sir Roberto replied as he took the five violet orbs sitting on his table.
"I feel... wow... I feel like I had just eaten the best food I ever had but also so disgusted that I felt like I saw what was happening outside again." I replied while smiling while furrowing my eyebrows.
"Eh. Sounds about right! It gives you pleasure and disgust. That's what it feels like when your body welcomes this newfound might but also rejects its tremendous power." He then took three dark-green potions out of his shelf before approaching Sir Damian. When he walked past me, he placed the five small orbs on my hands again with a lazy look on his face. "Give it some time. You'll get used to it."
"What about these five orbs, Sir Roberto?" I said with an excited tone. "What do they do?"
"Oh, that?" He said as he forcefully made Sir Damian chug on all of the dark green potions on his hands, making the poor soldier flail uncontrollably on the bed. "Just some regular razheemas. Makes poison damage stronger, though, you'll like it; it's cute." Sir Roberto explained further as he opened another one of those dark-green potions.
"I can tell," I said with a light chuckle.
"No more, please!" Sir Damian begged, but Sir Roberto immediately shoved the potion into his mouth again forcefully with 0 effort.
"Anyway," He said as he looked at the potion gradually going down the injured soldier's stomach. "Once you leave this place, what will greet you is the Halavesta jungle right away." He then stepped away from Sir Damian, who's now coughing loudly with a tortured expression plastered all over his face. "Let me warn you, though. The whole place is filled with those damn hellhounds. I will be okay from here. " He then pointed his thumb on a wooden door on his left. "I'll go there. That one leads back to the battlefield." Then he pointed his other thumb to a metal door on his right side. "That one
"I see," I said as I looked at the metal door while Sir Damian prepared his armor while taking the silver longsword that Sir Roberto placed on my bed. I heaved a deep sigh before gulping my saliva. "All the best to you, Sir Roberto," I said, extending my hands towards him.
"You too, Miss Belladonna. Take good care of the princes, will ya? No need to do something about my little nephew there; he can take care of himself just fine!" He said with a chuckle as he grabbed my arms and shook it tightly.
I then carried the princes on my hands again as I allowed the blue metal sphere to fly beside my head while the other five violet orbs orbited around it swiftly.
I placed seven layers of strong barriers around the princes as Sir Roberto and Sir Damian tightly embraced each other while whispering words of farewell to each other. Usually, spells like this would be enough to deplete my mana down to its bare minimum, but even if I coat the princes with 14 more layers, I would still have enough mana to last for a century. If it weren't for the fact that eight layers of coated barriers will prevent air from entering through it, I would have given the princes 500 coats of it every second! Even if I do that, I am confident that I would still have enough mana until I die. What a frightening blessing this razheema has given me—not for me, of course, it's frightening for them. This devil shit alone must have been the reason why the enemies managed to penetrate our walls.
Fuck! I'm glad I stole it!
"Let's go, Madame Belladonna." Sir Damian said to me while Sir Roberto placed all sorts of mechanisms and potions inside of his huge leather bag.
I stood up with the princes around me as I walked into the metal door. Before I pulled it open, I turned my head towards Sir Roberto and nodded at him with a newfound fire in my eyes. When Sir Roberto flashed a thumbs-up on me with a huge grin, I pulled the door with all my might and—
It's not opening?
"Push it, Madame Violet."
I pushed the door as hard as I could after hearing what Sir Roberto had just said, and what welcomed me outside is the verdant scenery of the Halavesta jungle. I panted and gasped with my now flushed face as I heard the door close behind me with a thud. I looked at Sir Damian with a smile as he chuckled at me while scratching the back of his head.
"Hey, Sir Damian,"
"You said that magic wouldn't work on you, right?"
"That's right. All kinds of magic."
Without further ado, I wrapped my hands tightly around the princes as I allowed the blue sphere around me to dance all over me with its five small friends. Sir Damian followed behind me as I heard the clanking of his armor echoing throughout the stillness of the surroundings.
As we entered through the jungle, the cabin that connects the kingdom and the catacombs slowly left our sights, forcing us to face the trouble brewing before us.
With no warnings or any sound coming out of my lips whatsoever, a wave of violent mist spewed out of my blue sphere continuously, covering the entire jungle in a malevolent and dark fog of murderous air. Before I even knew it, because of the magical mist spewing out of my razheema, the hellhounds that were chasing us fell into the ground with violent rashes forming all over their darkened skin while bubbles form around their mouths. They hollered all over the wet soil of the jungle as their skin began to redden over their palpitating bodies. Since my razheemas are floating around me, it quickly spread the virus throughout the air with the greatest of ease. Unsurprisingly, Sir Damian continued to run beside me, unharmed and uncaring about the dying black mutts around us.
"What is this around us, Madame Belladonna?" Sir Damian asked while panting heavily, continuing to run as fast as he can.
"Poison magic. In a nutshell, I mixed the air around with my mana to imbue it with all sorts of deadly contagions that can kill any who breathes it in about ten minutes. Since you're unaffected by magic, you can only breathe regular air while your body rejects the mana I imbued in it. Treat it as me giving the world a big, big deadly hug! Seeing as how the mutt dies off easily, I see that they may not be as strong as they look." I then looked around to gaze at the towering trees around us and the wet soil below, which covers our feet with mud and whatever other shit this jungle has. "Oh, don't worry. This poison will not affect the trees and other plans. It's just affecting—"
Out of nowhere, while I was explaining away the entirety of this magic I had just cast, a hellhound suddenly lunges from out of the shadow with its blood curdling gnarls that sends all of the wild beasts around to shame. Luckily, Sir Damian saw this coming and lunged towards it, jumping high and slicing the darn demon dog upwards for its mouth to its spine. As he did so, two more mutts followed, but he managed to kill one of them quickly by dropping his sword down onto it from the air. Sir Damian then immediately stabbed the other mutt effortlessly with a thrust towards his back, not even looking at his prey. After doing so, he ran towards me again while wincing.
"Don't push yourself! You're still injured." I said with a shout as I moved closer towards him, protecting from any mutt that might have survived my poison. "They're not as weak as I thought then."
We quickly ran towards the port where a ship will be waiting for our use to escape towards Duibhne. I then heard more mutts coming towards us as I listened to the distant sound of hundreds of them howling in the distance. I clicked my tongue as I strengthened the poison I'm using, turning the air from violet to a dark and heavy red.
"How come you're not getting affected by this strong poison, Madame Belladonna?" Sir Damian hurriedly asked with a puzzled look on his face.
"Been eating and breathing poison since I was six. My body is pretty much immune to it. If I use anything stronger than this, I might have to cover my face with a barrier." I replied as I swung my blue sphere forward to hit a hellhound standing before us.
"Smart." Sir Damian uttered with a playful grin. He then sprinted forward once again with his sword pointing forward, lunging towards three mutts before us before skewering them all like a freshly heated kebab. He then forcefully pulled his sword out of the hounds' dying bodies before running forward.
"Look!" I screamed while pointing at the port in the distance. "We're almost there!"
As I said so, I heard the sound of explosions coming from behind us, but both of us didn't stop for a look. It sounded like it came from afar. I heard that Sir Roberto is also proficient in making bombs, so I'm sure that he must be fighting fiercely on the battlefield as well.
When we finally reached the port of Izrecael, what greeted us was the five corpses of what seemed like poor sailors who were waiting for us to arrive along with fifteen elite warriors of Izrecael.
"Oh shit!" I screamed as I looked at the scattered corpses all around the port. "Did I kill them?" I said with a wavering voice as I suddenly stopped my razheema from corrupting the air with poisonous air.
"Doesn't look like it." Sir Damian said while looking at one of the sailors on the ground. "They're already dead way before we even came here." He then pointed at one of the warriors separated from the others. "Look at that one. It has a lot of scratches and bite-marks. Since none of those hounds are attacking their corpses, I am guessing that those are summoned beasts who are only created to attack people till they, well, die, of course. Once they're dead, they will ignore them. They're like a bunch of idiots, Madame Belladonna, feral idiots created from a mixture of mud and mana to wreak havoc upon our land. That must have been why they can still harm me."
"I've heard about such wizardry before but never thought that they would actually be real. I'm guessing the previous owner of this devil's shit around me made this." I said with a sigh as I continued to spew the same red poison all around us. "Can you get us out of here, Sir Damian?"
"Yes. I know how to operate that ship." He said as he ran towards the lone cog floating on the bay. "Let's go!"
I ran towards the cog around us as I saw two mutts running towards me at a staggering pace. I then attempted to coat my arms with ten layers of barriers quickly but only managed to summon three layers before the mutts suddenly bit my arms—one arm for each mutt. While they were gnawing my hands as if they embedded their teeth on a juicy steak platter, I quickly moved razheema behind them and summoned thin needles of green poison at their asses.
"Come on, Madame Belladonna, let's go!" Sir Damian said after ripping a hound with his bare hands into pieces.
"Coming!" I yelled as a reply while seeing the mutt biting my arms melt like heated butter.
I left Izrecael, the land that I have grown to love with the strongest of all passions—never to return again.