“Weakened body release… what’re you on about…? What’s goin’ on…?!”
“Can’t grasp it, can you? We have been doing battle while my stats were greatly reduced. I have yet to show you more than one percent of my power.”
I thrust my right hand forward and raise a finger.
“I have been fighting you in a weakened state for two reasons. The first was to force you to use the soul stealing spell so that I might better understand its function. I already had an inkling that you’d need some time to steal a soul with that crest, ever since I saw you taking that woman’s soul away. I simply wanted to be sure.”
I follow this up by raising another finger, my middle one this time.
“The second reason is as follows. I wanted to see how well you would hold out against me with only one percent of my true strength. I was rather eager to see just how much of a challenge you’d be, but I can safely say that my anticipations were not met. You are just as Uriel was; utterly trivial.”
“…Kuh… Kuhuh… Hahahahaaah!”
Gabriel starts laughing, but I can see the perspiration dripping down his face.
“Not even one percent, huh? Jus’ stop tryin’, High King. Like I’d ever fall fer a bluff like that!”
“Hmph. Well then, why don’t you come and see for yourself whether or not I’m bluffing?”
“Ya can count on that! Crescent Moon Slash!”
This is the third time he’s used that spell. I don’t stray from my position by an inch and just take his attack head-on.
Gabri’s features become heavily strained and with good reason, considering that I don’t even show the slightest tremor when his spell hits me.
“That only took away one point of health. I wonder how many times you’ll have to repeat the process to bring me down to nil.”
“Ya little…! Incantation: Moonlight Cannon!”
The beam of light Gabri shoots out my way makes direct contact. I should’ve known that it wouldn’t be enough to get me to budge.
“What’s the matter? Is this all you’re capable of?”
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“Incantation: Moonlight Cannon! Incantation: Moonlight Cannon! Incantation: Moonlight Cannon!”
Likely desperate, Gabri bombards me with one Moonlight Cannon after another. His struggles are, of course, completely without effect.
“Mercy me, I feel like a father entertaining his child. Come on, why not use a different spell? Daddy’s getting bored.”
Gabri’s breathing is getting more uneven by the minute. Some time later, he finally stops firing his Moonlight Cannon and lowers his arms, letting them hang limply by his side.
“This don’t make no sense… Why ain’t it workin’…?!”
“Do you finally understand? The gap between the two of us might as well span the distance between heaven and earth.”
Even when out of breath, Gabri doesn’t stop glaring at me. It doesn’t look like he’s quite ready to surrender.
“I suppose it’s my turn. Incantation: High Conquest Orb!”
I face Gabri and let the orb fly. He crosses his arms in front of his chest in turn, but I can’t tell if he’s doing it to protect himself or not.
Gabri’s screams of agony resound throughout our surroundings. My High Conquest Orb lands on his left arm, the skin of which begins to dissolve as if doused in pure magma.
“My… My arm…!”
“This is the true power of the High Conquest Orb. Quite different from what I showed you earlier, isn’t it?”
Things wouldn’t have turned out this way if he’d just decided to dodge. Maybe he didn’t think the second orb would be so bad, seeing how well he handled the first one.
“I doubt you’ll have it in you to make proper use of that arm. Then again, you should count yourself lucky that your arm wasn’t blown to bits.”
“Shut your damn mouth already!”
Gabri speeds towards me, his right arm extended with more effort than necessary. I sigh a little at the sight.
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“Why continue this useless struggle? Incantation: Grand Cremation!”
A titanic vortex of flame engulfs his body.
He lets out another agonized roar and continues to writhe in pain until the flames disappear. I look at him impassively, not saying a word.
“You… piece of…!”
Swaying, Gabri rises to his feet once the fire’s gone, his right arm supporting his left. I’m surprised he has any fight left in him by this point.
“I will ask again. Why are the Seven Angels of the Stars collecting human souls? What is their goal? If you tell me, I’ll gladly let you live a bit longer.”
“Wanna say that again…? Ya think you’re winnin’ just ‘cause ya crushed one o’ my arms…?! Trust me, this ain’t nothin’…!”
He doesn’t want to answer. Of course he doesn’t. Well then, there’s really no reason to keep him alive any longer.
“Why’re ya even on the human’s side…?! Since when does a High King give a shit ‘bout humans, huh…?!”
“Why would I answer your questions if you’re not willing to answer mine? Really, you ask for too much.”
I have to admit; he’s much more resilient than I thought he’d be. It might take a few more minutes before I can officially declare him unable to fight. It’s going to be a real pain if someone gets curious enough to sniff around and see what’s making so much noise.
That’s only if I choose to fight normally, of course. I have my methods of turning the span of this fight from minutes into seconds.
“I think we’ve played house for long enough. Well-behaved children should be in bed by now.”
I snap my fingers.
“Incantation: Death Sentence.”
The scope of my vision goes pitch black for just a second, and almost immediately darkness begins eating away at Gabri’s body.
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“W-What is this?! What’d ya do?!”
“Death Sentence is a spell which grants death to its victims. You’re finished.”
“…What? Stop messin’ with me! Ain’t no way a spell like that could even exist!”
“Is the truth too much for you? Oh, I can’t really blame you for that. That reminds me. This is the same spell I used to end Uriel.”
“His reaction was about the same. You can ask him yourself when you get to the other side; I’m sure he’ll be kind enough to elucidate the issue.”
The darkness has already crawled its way up to his neck.
“This can’t be happenin’… Not to me… Not to one of the Angels of the Seven Stars…!”
“Unlike your Soul Absorption spell, this one does not have the power to take away the soul. It’ll even take another ten seconds for it to fully take effect. I assure you, it’s a much weaker spell than your Soul Absorption.”
Gabri’s teeth audibly grind against each other before he chooses to race towards me.
“…You’re out of time.”
The Death Sentence finally takes effect. His final attempts to fight back don’t even have the time to reach me as his life comes to an end and he falls to the ground beneath him. That’s when his body finally disappears like the flame of a flickering candle.
Something doesn’t feel right to me. When Uriel and the lesser angels died, I personally saw their bodies turn into dust and be dispersed by the wind. But the way Gabri just died doesn’t fit in with any of what I saw. It doesn’t make sense to assume that he’s the exception here, either. That can only mean…
“…He used some kind of duplicate.”
The man I just killed hadn’t been the real Gabri. He must have been a clone or something similar, conjured up by one of the real Gabri’s spells. The real article is somewhere else.
Damn it all; this isn’t a good way for this fight to end. Although, I can only imagine how much MP creating a clone as powerful as that must have cost him. I highly doubt that he can just create as many as he wants. Maybe this isn’t a total waste after all.
That’s when I feel someone’s presence behind me. I spin around quickly, and the only thing my eyes still catch sight of is the lone shadow that closes in on me.