Vanessa is about to go on a mission to kill Osiris with her new guild. Will she be able to handle the scrutiny from her guild mates?
"Want to change your hair colour? Don't know what colour suits you better? Look no further! Various dyestuffs available here for a bargain price!"
The unmistakable shouts of merchants and blacksmiths trying hard to promote their items prove that I have returned to Prontera, the capital of the Kingdom of Rune-Midgard. As much as I want to purchase a slotted Pauldron, which is rather rare these days, my fatigue prevents me from doing so. Not to mention that I have some wares that I want to sell as well. I guess they'll have to wait. I grunted as I made my way to the Knight's Guild since I have just completed a mission that they have assigned me to. Why on earth did they send a Lord Knight to eradicate the Soldier Skeletons in Payon Dungeon when there are so many Knights loitering around?
"Hey, did you hear that there's a proclamation embroidered in gold thread posted on the notice board?" I overheard one swordsman talking to his friend.
"Really?! Is it the Fallen Angel Network...?"
"Yes! Let's go see!"
The words "Fallen Angel Network" made me forget all of my tiredness. I immediately mounted my trusted companion, the PecoPeco Elyse.
"C'mon girl, let's go to the notice board." I said, and she dashed to the location at once.
There was an incredible amount of people crowded in front of the board. It's no surprise, considering the fact that the Fallen Angel Network is a totally mysterious guild. The only thing that the others knew about the Fallen Angel Network was its name and the fact that they serve the almighty Odin indirectly through his messenger angel, Valkyrie. No one knew who were in the guild, neither do they know who is the guild leader - save for the members of the guild themselves.
"On the 16th of the 7th,
When the sun turns into the moon,
The Lord gives his word,
For the angels to come out and play."
"It doesn't make sense." A thief said.
"They never did make sense. Otherwise we would all know what they're trying to do, won't we?"
However, I knew perfectly what the message was trying to convey - because I am one of the members of the guild. "Lord Odin has ordered the Fallen Angels to gather on the 16th day of the 7th month at the hidden guild base at sundown." I muttered softly to myself.
Wait. The 16th day of the 7th month? That's... today! And there's barely any time left until sundown! I tugged at Elyse's feathers, urging her to rush home. I had to clean myself first before I attend the meeting, as I was covered in Familiar waste from the mission at Payon Dungeon.
"What? You're going out again? But you're barely home for an hour!" my mom, a retired Sniper lamented.
"Yeah, sorry! I have urgent matters to attend to!" I winced at my words a little as I hopped onto Elyse once again. I couldn't even tell my own mother that I had to turn up for a Fallen Angel Network meeting.
It took me quite some time to find the guild base. Although it was situated in the Central Palace of Prontera, there were so many hidden buttons I had to press to open the dungeon door on the floor in a dark corner of the palace. Thankfully I remembered to grab my initiation letter before I left the house.
"Good evening, my lady. My name is Camille. How may I help you?" a Kafra employee greeted me when I went in. So there are others who know about the guild base after all.
"Yes, could you direct me to the meeting room?"
"Very well, follow me."
The guild dungeon was dimly lit, with several candelabra decorating the walls. But when I reached the main room, I was stunned by the beauty of it. The room was lavishly decorated in gold, and red carpets lined the floors. There were lots of items obtained from the monsters, but I perceive that they didn't want to sell them so they turned them into decorative items instead.
"Here you are. Your seat is at the corner of the room. Please make yourself at home while waiting for the guild leader." She pointed courteously in the direction of my chair, and turned to leave.
The atmosphere in the room was rather unnerving. While there were more than 10 people in the room, it was so quiet that I suppose when a pin drops onto the floor there would be an echo. In less than 5 minutes, a High Wizard and a High Priestess appeared at the door. Without doubt that they are the guild leader and assistant guild leader of the Fallen Angel Network.
"Oh, I see that there's a new face in the room. But before we get to introductions, is everyone here?" the High Wizard shot a glance at the Professor standing at the side of the room.
"Almost everyone. Some have gone for individual quests with their other guild, and some others requested to rest."
"Very well. New one, can you please do a self-introduction?"
"Err, my name is Vanessa. As you can see, I'm a Lord Knight."
"Thank you. Welcome to the Fallen Angel Network, it seems that Valkyrie thinks that you're a suitable candidate for the guild membership. As you've heard, you're allowed to join other guilds or form your own guild in order to mask your identity as a member of this guild. My name is Nicholas, the guild leader of the Fallen Angel Network. To my left is Chloe, the assistant guild leader. This Professor here is Cheyenne, and she's the guild secretary. About the rest, I'll leave it for you to find out their identities on your own during the journey."
I smiled at them. They seem like great people. Looks like I'll be able to get along well with them.
"Elias, don't prank the newbie. Show yourself before I cast Sight." Nicholas suddenly roared, scaring me out of my wits. There was a soft mumble behind my back, and when I turned around, I saw a Stalker standing there, pouting his lips. I didn't even know he was in the room!
"Now, shall we proceed to the important matters at hand? Cheyenne, if you please."
With a wave of her staff, a stack of parchment on the table flew around and landed in everyone's hands neatly. Now that's a convenient spell.
"If you take a look at the parchment in your hands, it has details on the mission that Lord Odin ordered us to complete." Cheyenne said, as everyone turned their attention to the said piece of parchment. It seems that we're supposed to go to the Pyramids at the Sograt Desert to eliminate the fallen God of Agriculture, Osiris.
"Osiris was rumored to be found in the 4th floor of the Pyramids. He is an Undead monster, hence there are several elements that are very effective to be used against him. According to my calculations, the elements Holy and Fire will deal 200% damage on Osiris, while the Ghost element deals 175% damage on him. Another effective element is Water, which deals 150% damage, and the Neutral and Wind elements will only deal normal damage on Osiris. The other elements will not work against him, resulting in you dealing lower damages than usual on him." She explained clearly so that everyone would understand what we're dealing with. I was impressed with her wits and knowledge.
"Thank you, Cheyenne. Is that understood, ladies and gentlemen? If it is, please return home and prepare the weapons of the said elements. You only have to bring one elemental weapon, and another non-elemental weapon as it will be needed to kill the other monsters on our way to the Pyramids. Our attacking strategy will be discussed when we reach the entrance of the Pyramids, in case anyone forgets if I told you earlier. Please get enough rest today, and we shall meet at the Culvert entrance by sunrise. I will not wait for late-comers, understood? Dismissed."
I was psyched by the first mission with the Fallen Angel Network. I couldn't ask for more, since I'm already a part of the best guild you could ever find in the Rune-Midgard Kingdom.
The next morning, I was already up hours before the scheduled meeting time. I'm the kind of person who prepares at the last minute, because oddly, if I packed earlier, I'd definitely leave something behind. And that something would be really important for my journey or mission.
I donned my Full Plate Armor slowly, fearing that the clashing of the heavy metal plates would wake the entire neighbourhood up. While it offers a solid defense, personally I don't like it that much as its weight could easily halt a Priest's regeneration rate completely. I'd much rather have the lighter Meteor Plate, but it's so rare that the price kills my buying intention off. I quickly combed my blue hair in front of the mirror, and diligently put on my Angel Wing Ears - they fall off rather easily if I don't do so, much to my annoyance. I stuck a piece of Romantic Leaf in my mouth, grabbed my helm, manteau and greaves, and tip-toed to the weapon storage in the basement.
I tried hard to remember what Cheyenne said the previous night about the elemental weapons. Was never good with numbers at all. Then I remembered - the parchment that was given to us. I hurriedly went to grab it from my room, as there was not much time left till the designated meeting time.
"Crap!" I yelled in frustration. I realized that I didn't have any elemental two-handed swords, which is my forte. The best sword I have in my arsenal was my Zweihander, and if I needed a Holy sword, I'd have to use Excalibur which will definitely lower my attacking speed since I can't use that Two-Hand Quicken skill.
"Ah, bother. I'll just take them along." It's too late to do anything about it anyway. After checking my bag for food supplies and potions, I mounted Elyse, put on my greaves and rode towards the Culvert.
When I reached the rendezvous point, everyone else but Nicholas and Chloe looked at me like I was some sort of weird person. I blushed at the realisation that I was the last person to reach. Again. It was so embarrassing to be late on two concurrent occasions, even more so when I'm a newbie to the guild. There goes my first impression.
"Don't worry, you're just in time. It can't be helped that you're new and unfamiliar with our times." Chloe smiled reassuringly. That sure helped me relax a little.
"Now, since everyone's here, let's go. And Elias, how many times do I have to tell you to stop pranking the newbie?" Nicholas said, and Elias the Stalker appeared out of the thin air. Sometimes it makes me wonder how he knew where Elias was.
We marched towards the Ant Hell's direction immediately, but I felt that something wasn't right. Someone was missing from the group, but who...?
"Wait, where's Cheyenne?" I asked Nicholas when I finally realised it.
"Oh, we don't have to worry about her. The Sage guild asked for her assistance late last night, so she's gone to Yuno instead."
While I've warmed up with the two leaders at the top of the Fallen Angel Network, the atmosphere was still tense with the rest of the party. No one talked much, which made me feel really unwelcomed. These people should really learn some interpersonal skills, I thought. Meanwhile, I took the opportunity to check out Nicholas and Chloe's equipments, since they were walking in front of me.
Nicholas's headgear was the extremely rare Victory Wings - a hair ornament made from Valkyrie's feathers and precious gems - which shows that he's really trusted by Valkyrie. Not to mention that he was also wearing a Survivor's Manteau and Robe of Cast. What I never thought I'd ever live to see was the legendary Godly equipments that he also donned - Sleipnir, Brisingamen, and Megingjard. Truly loved by the Gods, indeed. Chloe, on the other hand, was wearing a Holy Robe, which is only bestowed upon the most adept of High Priests in the Rune-Midgard Kingdom. She also had the Helm of Angel and a pair of Sleipnir as well, plus the most beautiful garment ever, the Celestial Robe. Nothing less to be expected from the two most elite people of the best guild in Rune-Midgard.
That made me respect them even more.
The sudden transition in atmospheric temperature tells us that we've finally reached the Sograt Desert after walking for several hours. The harsh conditions of the desert threatened to kill off anyone who was too weak to survive there.
"Are you alright, Alexis?" I heard Chloe ask another High Priestess. She looked awfully pale.
"Ye... yeah, I'm fine... It's just that I can't really get used to the sudden change in conditions..." she replied weakly.
"C'mon, I'll let you ride on Elyse. It's better for you to catch some shut-eye." I offered.
"She's right. You should rest. You look awful."
"Okay, girl be good now. Let her ride on you, alright? She's not feeling well, so don't be mischievous." I whispered into Elyse's ear. She had the tendency to make another rider other than me to fall off her back on purpose. Well, I can't blame her. She has grown rather attached to me since the day I started being a Knight. Elyse replied with a soft honk.
After I helped Alexis onto Elyse, the party continued on our journey. Occasionally, some Desert Wolves and Scorpions attacked us, but they were defeated with ease. All of a sudden, an ear-piercing shriek of a falcon made us stop dead in our tracks. We all turned towards the Sniper, who was now listening intently to her falcon with a serious face.
"Is there something wrong, Stephy?" Nicholas asked.
"Yeah, we better move faster. Ramon spotted a Phreeoni nearby."
"Why should we? I say we go look for the Phreeoni. We can handle it with ease with our current party." a Paladin said. Somehow I didn't like the intonation of his words. It sounded so arrogant.
"Whether or not we can handle it is not the question here, Soren. Lord Odin has given the orders to us to eliminate Osiris as soon as possible. We can't be dilly-dallying here, wasting our time to kill another Boss." Nicholas retorted.
"Yeah, whatever." Soren kicked the sides of his Grand Peco, turned around, and moved on. What a horrible thing to do to your travelling companion, I thought.
Hours later, we spotted a Golem in the distance. We weren't too concerned with it, as it was a non-aggressive monster. Someone will come and kill it later as part of their training anyway. Nicholas suddenly stopped, and looked towards the sky. Then, he turned to us.
"Alright, listen up. We'll rest here for the night. I know it's hard to find something to light a fire, but I'm sure you're all seasoned adventurers so a cold night or two is nothing. You're free to do anything you want, but don't wander off too far from the camp."
"And Soren, don't go look for the Phreeoni. I know you're capable of killing it yourself, but this is not the time." The person mentioned shot a nasty look at the guild leader, dismounted from his Grand Peco, and walked away, kicking the sand as he did.
Meanwhile, I helped Alexis get down from Elyse. I shook my head in disgust at his behaviour. So much for being a member of the Legion, the most elite team of Paladins. I could tell from his armor, the Legion Plate Armor, as it was something that lots of Crusaders envied. Members of the Legion are initiated during their Crusader days, after a series of stringent tests and hard missions to prove their abilities. Paladins who weren't a part of the Legion when they were Crusaders, will never be able to join it no matter what.
"I'm sorry you had to see that scene. While the members of the Fallen Angel Network are among the best of the best, there seems to be a little problem with some of the member's attitudes." Chloe said to me.
"Oh, it's alright. I've seen worse." I smiled wryly. I took the saddle and harness off Elyse, and sat under a palm tree nearby. Elyse trotted over and sat next to me, nudging at my head softly, urging me to sleep on her soft, warm body. I gave in to her urging, and lay there as I observed the other members more closely.
There were 11 members in the party - Nicholas was the only High Wizard; two High Priestesses and Lord Knights including me; one Gypsy, Minstrel, Sniper, Stalker, Assassin Cross and Whitesmith. The other Lord Knight is a Spear Knight, unlike me who expertises in two-hand swords. I admit, there's a certain handicap for being a two-hand sword Knight, especially in the vitality department. Furthermore, there's only one elemental two-hand sword that can be found - the Schweizersabel of the Wind element. But that's the price I have to pay in exchange for a higher flee rate and faster attacking speed.
As expected, their gears are among the best for their respective classes, though it seems that Alexis wasn't as good as Chloe in her profession, evident from the Saint Robe she was wearing. However, I took an instant liking to her Drooping Cat headgear. What can I say? - I have a weakness for cute things. The Assassin Cross was the only person who really attracted me, not because his equipments were amazing, but due to the fact that he was wearing a Poker Face mask. And what's interesting was, he was wearing a Mr. Smile mask just moments ago...
Suddenly, a rustle next to me disturbed my train of thoughts. I was prepared to see Elias, the playful Stalker appearing in front of my eyes, laughing his head off, but the wide grin of Stephy greeted me instead.
"Sorry, did I scare you?"
"No, not at all. Is there something that you need from me?"
"Aww c'mon, must I look for you only when I have a request? I'm just here for a chat. You seem lonely sitting here all by yourself. May I sit?"
"Oh, sure, be my guest!" I shifted my position a little to make more space for Stephy.
"My name's Stephy. If I remember correctly, you're Vanessa right?"
"You'll have to excuse the other Fallen Angel Network members. Most of them are stiff around strangers, but they're a bunch of fun when they've warmed up to you." She explained.
"It's good to hear that. I had a nagging feeling that I'm unwelcomed by the rest."
"Oh, nonsense. They view this guild as their second family. Just give them some time; they'll talk to you eventually. Maybe they're just waiting for you to prove your abilities. I was treated the same way when I first joined. Want me to tell you who's who?"
"Sure, thanks. I appreciate it a lot."
"Okay, here goes. I think I don't have to introduce the other High Priestess, the Paladin and the Stalker, right?"
"Okay, so anyway. The Lord Knight's name is Tommy. I'm not sure whether you know him from the Knights Templar, but he may be out to spite you. He was the only Lord Knight in the guild until you joined, so he may feel a little bitter." She explained.
"Eh? How could there be only one Knight in the guild?" I was surprised at what she said. Knights are important as tankers after all.
"I'm not sure. Maybe Valkyrie couldn't find suitable candidates to join the Fallen Angel Network. The Gypsy is called Tia, and the Minstrel is Warren. There's a rumour circulating around the guild that they're a couple, since their duets are always in perfect harmony. But of course, they've always denied it. The Whitesmith's Jared, and also my younger brother."
"Brother?" I raised an eyebrow.
"Yeah, my brother. Our parents are both Snipers, but he didn't want to go down the same road as the rest of the family. So he chose to be a Whitesmith instead. Suits him pretty well, actually, since in his eyes money is oh-so-important. Despite being in different job classes, we're rather close as siblings." Stephy said, as she replied Jared's smile. It seems that he knew she was talking about him.
"As for the Assassin Cross, he's easily the weirdest person in the Fallen Angel Network. He's called Lawrence, but basically that's the only thing I know about him. I doubt anyone has heard his voice before, nor see his face, as he refuses to speak even to Nicholas and Chloe. His face is always hidden behind those masks that you see him wearing. I think he has the whole set of those masks. He conveys his emotions through those masks, so that we can understand. An atrociously weird fellow, I say. Anyway, I'll leave you to rest. I'm sure you're tired." She yawned.
"Thanks for introducing me to the guild members. Good night."
I kept turning in my sleep that night, thinking about those words that Stephy told me. A green-haired Assassin Cross whom no one knew how he looked or sounds like. His weird but mysterious side made me want to get to know him more. Even better yet, talk to me or take off his mask for me.
When dawn loomed, we started moving again. The desert wasn't as menacing in the morning as it was in the previous afternoon. In fact, I think it's pretty cooling. Alexis was feeling better, so she declined my offer to let her ride on Elyse. But I prefer walking when in a large group, as riding on Peco Pecos meant that I had to stop every now and then to wait for the rest. Soren and Tommy didn't seem to bother, however, as they rode on far ahead from the group, albeit separately. I grabbed the chance to talk to Lawrence.
"Hey, my name's Vanessa. I heard from Stephy that your name's Lawrence."
He turned his head over, and I thought he was going to talk. But instead, he switched his Poker Face with Mr. Smile in lightning speed. Darn, I didn't get to see his face. But anyway, being replied with a smiling face gives a positive sign... right?
"I also heard that you don't talk. Why is that?"
I was greeted with a Poker Face. It didn't take long for me to figure out that this wasn't going to work in a day or two. Nonetheless, Lawrence piqued my interest even more, and I was determined to make him take off his mask.
"Hey Van, don't push it too much, alright?" Stephy came over and whispered in my ears when I finally stopped trying to get him to talk.
"Why? I'm just interested in him."
"Well, just for you to know, he has an Annoyed Mask with him. When he puts that on, he'll ignore you for as long as he lives."
"Has it happened before?"
That short answer was enough to remind me that I probably shouldn't try too hard...
For days to come, I still tried to talk to Lawrence now and then, hiding my intentions well. My effort drew blanks, but it's okay. If I fail to do so on this mission, there's still more to come. I hope.
We finally arrived in the city of Morroc five days after we departed from Prontera. Nicholas gave us the orders to restock our supplies, and make sure that we have adequate healing potions. Then, we gathered at a secluded spot near the Pyramids to discuss the attacking tactics.
"Alright, I want you all to listen closely and remember everything before we enter. I'm not going to repeat this again, and I don't want anyone to mess up our formation. Is that clear?"
"Good. First of all, Tommy and Vanessa, since both of you have a stronger defense than most of us, you're both the tankers. Stick close together, and help each other out up front. If both of you screw up, we're all dead meat. Got it?"
"Yeah." Both of us replied in unison.
"She'd better not drag us down with her. She looks awfully weak." Soren intercepted. I immediately threw a nasty look at him. I hate masochistic men who think that they're better than women.
"Shut up Soren. You haven't even seen what she can do." Stephy backed me up.
"Quit the bickering and focus, damn it. Chloe, you're the main attacker for this mission, seeing that Osiris is an Undead monster. Don't use Turn Undead, however. You have not perfected that skill yet, right?"
"Nope. I'll use Sanctuary, which can heal Tommy and Vanessa at the same time."
"Good. The rest of us are the back-up attackers. Chloe has to focus on Osiris, but the slaves he summons, except for that Ancient Mummy, are not affected by Sanctuary. Stephy, as usual, Ankle Snare. I'm sure the others know the drill as well, right?"
"As for Alexis, Tia and Warren, you're all the supporting team. Since Chloe will be busy with Osiris, Alexis, you're in charge of the buffs and the supportive skills. I don't think healing the others will be a problem since Chloe's using Sanctuary. Tia and Warren, I don't have to tell you what to do. Just go out there and entertain us while we sweat it out. Oh, and on the way to the fourth floor of the Pyramids, there'll be plenty of aggressive monsters attacking us. I'm sure you know. Ignore those on the first and second floor, as I doubt they deal a lot of damage to all of us. On the third floor, round all the monsters up in the center. We'll kill them off together. Lawrence, you're in'charge of killing those annoying Mimics, since I've never seen any of your hits on Mimics miss. Okay, end of discussion. Let's move out."
I took a deep breath as we stepped into the darkness of the Pyramids. The adrenaline rush is too much for me to handle. I can't wait to see everyone in action. The entire party followed Nicholas closely as he navigated around the mazes of the Pyramids like it was nothing. I suppose he's been here so much that he'd memorised the twists and turns of the maze.
About an hour of walking later, we reached the third floor of the Pyramids. Maybe other people lured all the Mummies to the entrance, I don't know, but there was a large crowd of Mummies waiting to maul anyone who steps into their territory. As Nicholas said before, everyone rounded the Mummies up, and he cast a barrier around them using Ice Wall, momentarily trapping them so we won't have to waste our time dealing with the endless stream of Mummies - they kept spawning as soon as we killed one off.
"Let's go before the ice melts." He instructed.
Of course, these monsters are persistent. We had to get rid of Archer Skeletons and Drainlairs occasionally, but they didn't pose much of a problem. We never stopped fending off the aggressive monsters right up to the moment we disappeared through the stairway leading to the fourth floor - our ultimate destination.
The overwhelming stench of rotten bodies greeted us. Doubtless, Osiris is somewhere near, and his minions have infested the entire floor.
"Go and scout the floor, Ramon." Stephy set her falcon off.
"Good. Vanessa, you go upfront and lead the party. Tommy, you fall behind the party and watch our backs." Nicholas ordered.
"Why should I be the one following behind when she's the newbie here?" Tommy protested, just like Stephy told me he would.
"You know very well that we always get attacked from behind, don't you? Now do you want to do this or not?"
"Nicholas is right, Tommy. This is not the time to be arguing among ourselves." Chloe tried to break the shout war up.
This isn't what I expected to happen in such an elite guild. It really made me feel like I'm the culprit for all these arguments that have happened in the past few days ever since I stepped into the hidden guild base. But this isn't going to bring me down. Not at an important moment like this.
"Nicholas, Ramon found Osiris."
"Okay, time for action guys. Let's do this."
It didn't take long for us to find Osiris standing there with his minions by following Ramon. I drew out my Zweihander, and immediately casted Two-Hand Quicken and Aura Blade. My weapon emitted an orange glow. Tommy, on the other hand, drew out his Brionac - a spear that radiates with the warm, glowing light of pure holiness. In other words, the perfect weapon for this time's mission as it deals 5% more damage on Bosses. We rushed forward, with me casting Bowling Bash and him, Vital Strike.
Osiris roared when he saw us, promptly increased his walking speed and charged towards us. All of his hits left deep wounds on our bodies, splashing great amounts of blood on the floor, even with our thick armours on. As we were engaged in combat, a bright light appeared from beneath, and our wounds healed immediately - Chloe had started to be on the offense.
"Dear Lord, please rain your blessings upon these brave warriors who fight in your stead. BLESSING!" I heard Alexis shout from behind.
"ANGELUS!" another shout came, and the sound of church bells rang throughout the entire floor.
"MAGNIFICAT! KYRIE ELEISON!" Alexis kept casting a wide range of supportive spells.
"Father Lord, crucify the dark side of these lost children and guide them towards the light! SIGNUM CRUCIS!" with that shout, the damage that we dealt on Osiris became more effective.
In the distance, I could hear beautiful music being played by Warren, and Tia was dancing to the tune of his Guitar. "Harmonic Lick! Power Chord!" They yelled in perfect unison. No wonder they were rumored to be together.
"Guys, please don't be enticed by this kiss. And girls, here's a friendship kiss." Tia teased, as she blew a kiss at everyone.
"What's that for?" Elias asked among the commotion.
"Gypsy Kiss. It'll increase your spirit capacity and lower the spirit consumption by your skills, darling." She winked.
"Warren, cast Magical Strings on me and Chloe!" Nicholas shouted as he chanted the spell for Storm Gust. A snow blizzard rained down upon us, making the temperature fall to absolute zero. Oddly, while it feels cold, it didn't feel hard to breathe. However, Osiris and his slaves were immediately frozen on the spot.
"GLORIA DOMINI!" I heard Soren shout, as a huge foot fell from the sky, landing directly on Osiris. Obviously it was an attack by the holy God, which dealt enormous damage to the monsters.
Elias suddenly appeared behind Osiris, presumably to fully divest his armor, and also Back Stab him as well. Lawrence, who was currently wearing Poker Face, took out a bottle shaped like a skull, and emptied its contents on top of his Katar of Raging Blaze. The liquid which spilled on the floor made a hole on the spot. Now that's one bottle you don't want to mess with. Crescent beams in purple appeared from the end of his katar - he used Meteor Assault on Osiris. Stephy, on the other hand, was busy setting up traps near Osiris, being careful not to put it too near to Tommy and I. Then she stood far away, and shot a highly charged arrow at Osiris, hitting him right in the head - but it took more than that to kill Osiris. Her younger brother, Jaden, kept raining hammers and used lots of Zeny to attack Osiris through the skill Mammonite. Sometimes it really makes you wonder how much Zeny he has in those pockets of his.
I felt my body going weak after some time, so I whipped two bottles of Blue Potion from the pouch dangled at Elyse's sides, and drank them. My skills seriously drains my spirit too damned fast. Even Tia's Gypsy Kiss couldn't regenerate my spirit fast enough.
A green aura suddenly enveloped us. Shit, Quagmire. I know it wasn't from Nicholas, because he's an Ice and Wind element Wizard, and I felt that my body was getting heavier by the moment. My Two-Hand Quicken was cancelled off as well. Then without warning, huge fireballs of meteors rained down on us. I could feel that raging inferno surrounding us. One meteor landed near Elyse's feet - she jumped up and avoided it.
At that same moment, Osiris bashed me on my Helm, and I was knocked off Elyse's back. I was fully prepared to hit the solid ground beneath, but instead, I landed on a soft entity. I was surprised to see a handsome, unfamiliar face looking down at me. Wait, that green hair looks awfully familiar...
"Are you okay?" the person asked.
He smiled. I finally succeeded in getting that mask off him AND hear his voice at the same time - but this isn't the time to be happy. I have unfinished business with Osiris.
It seems that killing a monster with such a long life was taking a great toll on the party members, and also on Chloe's blue gemstones. It has been an hour since we launched our attack on Osiris, but he was nowhere near dead.
Another purple beam, and Tommy was knocked off his Peco Peco. But he didn't get up. I took a quick look at my tanking partner, and found his eyes shut tight. His chest wasn't heaving up and down. Is he... dead?
"Elias! Drag Tommy to the side! Now!" Nicholas saw what happened, and checked his pulse. It was bad news.
Everyone's battle spirit dimmed. I could see that everyone was exhausted, and couldn't hold on much further. Neither could I. I don't really want to use my ultimate skill, as I hated that bloodthirsty feeling. But I had no choice. Someone needs to end this as soon as possible before there's any further casualties. I concentrated my senses, while trying to remember what the Knight Instructor taught me during those lessons. An orange aura slowly emanated from my body. I feel immense power overcome me, bringing with it a hunger to kill. I just hope that my life would last longer than the time it takes to kill Osiris off, as my spirit and life regeneration has just been totally cut off with the initiation of Berserk, and I couldn't receive any heals from the High Priestesses either.
"Vanessa! Are you nuts?! You don't have to use that skill!" Soren yelled. He knew the gravity of the effects brought by Berserk.
"I have no choice! Osiris is almost dead, I can feel it! Just keep attacking!"
I kept using Bowling Bash, knocking Osiris backwards every time I did. Berserk's effects will wear off within 5 minutes. It needs to be finished before then. It seems that the rest of the party knew how much damage Berserk will do to my soul, as they stepped up their attacking frequency, throwing everything they had at Osiris.
Osiris finally died after an agonising two hours. I lost consciousness as soon as Berserk's effects wore off, falling off Elyse again. However, moments later, I felt a surge of power overcome me. I suppose Chloe healed my wounds. When I reopened my eyes, I saw Lawrence with his Mr. Smile mask. I wanted to giggle, but my wounds still hurt.
"Take that mask off..." I grinned.
"No way, not in front of them."
"Wait, did Lawrence just talk?" Jaden asked.
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did... I'll pry that off for... Ow...!" a sharp pain came from my ribs as I reached up to grab Lawrence's mask.
"Don't overdo it. C'mon, heal your spirit powers first." Lawrence said, as he ripped his mask off.
I sat up, and drank several bottles of Blue Potions. Slowly, I regained my strength.
"Wait, where's Tommy?" I asked, suddenly remembering the face that Nicholas showed when he checked Tommy's pulse earlier. They all pointed to a corner of the Pyramids, where Chloe was standing next to his lifeless body.
"Almighty Lord, please lend me Your holy powers, and allow me to bring this brave warrior back to life." Chloe clasped her hand tightly around her rosary, and said more inaudible chants.
"RESURRECTION!" She shouted, as a bright blue light from the Blue Gemstone that acted as a catalyst enveloped Tommy's body. Moments later, he opened his eyes slowly and tried to get up.
"Whoa, slow down there. The effects are still setting in, so it's better for you not to move too much for 20 minutes."
"Oh..." he groaned.
"Anyway, Vanessa, I really admire your guts back there. It takes a lot of courage to use Berserk. I've heard that the bloodthirsty effect will be permanent if you use too much of it, right...?" Alexis asked.
"Yeah... I wasn't really keen on the idea of learning it in the first place, but the instructor said it was essential."
"Hey Vanessa, I'm sorry for doubting your abilities back there." Soren said abashedly.
"Don't worry too much about it. It's normal for you to think that way since I'm new. Friends?" I held my hand out.
"Wha.... What happened just now....?" Tommy groaned again.
"Nothing." Everyone said together, and laughed as he shot us a clueless look.
I'm glad that this mission at the Pyramids brought me closer to the Fallen Angel Network, which has slowly turned into my second family. I have also found someone to love and treasure in the greatest guild in the history of the Kingdom of Rune-Midgard.