Wish Fulfillment System Chapter 105 | WFS 105
Even though Titania was already a bit faster than most novice Level 6 adventurers, Isaac had no problems whatsoever keeping up with her. On the contrary, he was vastly surpassing her.
Before she could move far from her initial position, he had already arrived in front of her and given her a strong kick, straight into the center of gravity of her body's monster half. If he had simply aimed to topple her, then this would have been a pretty suboptimal move, but he honestly just wanted to show this Demi Spirit that there was a vast, unbridgeable gap between their stats.
A guttural groan mixed with a pained shriek escaped Titania's lips as she was violently flung backwards. She flew through the air and crashed through a huge number of trees, for close to fifty meters. Only then did her body finally land and she got a chance to get up on her 'feet' again. Her expression, which had already been abnormally joyful before, became even more unnatural as abject annoyance, pain and a bit of hatred got mixed within. With fury burning in her golden eyes, she stared at the calmly smirking Isaac and opened her mouth to chant. Ever since she had targeted 'Aria', she had been acc.u.mulating her mana and gotten into a combat-ready mental state.
"Pierce, spear of lightning. Your envoy beseeches you, Tonitrus."
Unhurriedly listening to her, Isaac raised an eyebrow in surprise. Contrary to any other mage that he had met before, this woman could actually chant multiple lines of her chant at once. This might have been due to the nature of the multiple voices that made up her actual voice. It was certainly extraordinary.
'Interesting, this essentially cuts the chanting time in half. If she could chant even more lines simultaneously, then this ability would be even more outstanding. The drawbacks of wasting time on chanting certainly get alleviated substantially this way.'
He had to give her praise where it was due. Nonetheless, the smirk on his lips didn't fade. With little more than a simple thought, he used some of his mana to mess up the flow of Titania's Magic, causing the mana that it was made up of to go haywire.
"Incarnate of thun--- W-What!?"
Accompanied by a look of shock, the mana that had been coursing through the air in front of her suddenly went out of control and her chanting got interrupted. The mana started to react in ways that she hadn't intended, and ultimately, it blew up like a powder keg of pure energy.
After the screaming had subsided and the dust had settled, what greeted Isaac was the slightly battered visage of the baffled Titania. It was written all over her face that she simply couldn't believe what had happened. Luckily, she didn't blank out for long and quickly recovered from her stupor. She was still in a combat scenario, and even though her opponent only calmly stood still, he had positioned himself in between her and her prey.
Yet again, she started to chant, but this time, she paid very close attention to her surroundings, especially the male in front of her. She was reasonably certain that he was the one responsible for what had just occurred, but to make doubly sure and to exclude the possibility of her Magic being to one at fault, she had chosen to use another one of her Magics to cast this time.
"Freeze over as though the eternal permafrost, untold blades. Your envoy beseeches you, Undine."
It wasn't only Titania who was more focused this time, however - Isaac was as well. Although he had interrupted many Magics while fighting monsters before, he didn't often manage to make them sizzle out without a problem. Although the mana explosion from before could indeed damage his enemies a little, and could be useful sometimes, he also wanted to grow capable of dispelling a Magic without causing any harm. Only if he could perfectly control the outcome could he truly claim that he had mastered this ability, after all.
Titania's unconventional chanting had surprised him previously, which was why he hadn't perfectly controlled the mana which he had used to mess up her Magic's mana flow. This time, though, as he was more familiar with her increased chanting speed, he succeeded in stopping it quietly.
All the mana that Titania had controlled just moments before now silently dissipated into the surroundings, because she had no way to recycle it like he did. The mana that she used to cast her Magics would be used up, no matter whether she succeeded or failed.
Yet again, the Demi Spirit's words ended abruptly and she stared ahead blankly. She had already mentally prepared herself for an explosion of some kind, but nothing happened. Even after blinking a few times, there were no changes. Ultimately, she shot a very wary gaze at Isaac, unsure of whether he had truly intervened with her chanting.
"You what have you done!?"
In response to her accusatory question, Isaac innocently tilted his head, but the mocking expression on his face clearly gave away that he was somehow responsible for what had occurred. Even more anger welled up inside Titania's heart, and the look she gave him became several degrees more hostile and vicious.
She was deeply aware that she stood no chance whatsoever against this person in a physical fight - their earlier collision had made this painfully clear. His physical stats were undoubtedly much, much higher than hers. Only Magic could give her an edge, a possible advantage.
'So you can mess up my long chants, can't you!? Then watch this!'
After a deep breath, she decided to use the Magic with the shortest chant that she had in her repertoire. So what if he could interrupt her when she took a long time? She would simply finish her chant before he could do anything!
"Rage, wrath of heaven."
Right when these words left her lips, her entire body got clad in golden arcs of electricity that both shielded her like an armour and would zap her enemies if they got close. This added element would make all of her attacks more destructive, by a fair margin. That wasn't all that there was to this card of hers, but simply the fact that she had managed to succeed in chanting a Magic gave her a lot of confidence. A smug smile played across her lips as she looked straight into Isaac's eyes, expecting to see a hint of panic therein.
She was fated to be disappointed. While Isaac could indeed not prevent her from finishing her chant this time, that didn't mean that he couldn't deal with her Magic. Most monsters that he had fought against didn't use any chants, and while there also were periods when they would acc.u.mulate their mana, sometimes, when there were massive groups of them, they actually succeeded in using their Magics. So, of course, Isaac had developed countermeasures against this.
In fact, these were based on the same principle. Instead of messing with the mana flow during the chant, he simply had to mess with it afterwards. This was even multiple times easier than trying to prevent a Magic from being cast. It was far less complicated to throw a wrench into a finished and running machine whose workings you could clearly observe than into a not-yet-shaped whirlpool of relative uncertainty.
Shaking his head slightly as if out of pity, Isaac decided to spice things up a little and to mess with his opponent's mentality even more. Right at the moment when he inserted some of his mana into the electric enchant type Magic and defused it, he snapped the fingers of his right hand.
Flabbergasted yet again, Titania stared at her body worriedly. She had just prepared to employ a wide area attack based upon her Caelum Veil, the Magic which she had just activated, but before she even got a chance, it had already disappeared.
The way that she looked at Isaac now was complicated. On the one hand, she was legitimately scared, because she had never encountered such a situation before. But at the same time, her prey was so close! She couldn't give up now. The hatred and annoyance in her eyes grew in intensity, and she rapidly retreated into the distance while chanting. Maybe this Magic dispelling ability had a distance limitation?
"Flash, rays of light. Tear through the darkness. Your envoy beseeches you, Lux. Incarnate of light, Queen of luminosity."
Even while she was backing away, Isaac was following her at the same speed, never more than fifty meters away. She had somewhat expected this, but even by the time that her chant had finished, he had yet to do anything at all, which didn't make any sense to her.
'Does he intend to take an attack type Magic head on!? Oh well, be my guest.'
Usually, the name of a Magic didn't actually need to be spoken at the end of its chant, as it would still activate successfully. Still, ending a chant by uttering its Magic's name did increase the effectiveness of the result somewhat. It was almost imperceptible, but there was a difference. In situations where the mage didn't have a lot of time, they usually forewent this final part of the chant, but when there was an opportunity, why not take it?
An entirely white blast of light that was as thick as a tree trunk rapidly shot towards Isaac. Its output was a bit weaker than the strongest of lasers used in industrial laser cutting back in his old world, and even though his Endurance stat could grant him incredible resilience, he would still get hurt quite badly by this attack should it actually hit him. After all, usually, laser beams would be focused on a very small spot to achieve such incredible output, but every single part of this massive beam would be able to cut most metals apart easily! If it could be focused even further, the strength of this attack would be far, far more ghastly.
Confronted with this, Isaac didn't falter and casually snapped his fingers again. Careful as always, he had already prepared himself before the attack was even sent his way. Before it could cross even half of the distance, the mana of the light beam suddenly dispersed, leaving him entirely unharmed. Admittedly, if he had only reacted after the Magic had been activated, then he wouldn't have been quick enough to do much. Light did, after all, move at an extremely fast speed. Although this beam's speed couldn't even be compared to the speed of light that had been determined in his old world, it was still far faster than him. He wouldn't even have been able to get out of the way. And even if he could have succeeded in shifting his position slightly, the caster of the Magic could always alter the trajectory with a simple thought.
When even her fastest attack failed to do any damage, Titania halted in her tracks, completely speechless. What kind of monstrous freak was this person!? His superior stats could be explained, as she hadn't been feeding for long. But this ability to make each and every one of her Magics useless it was simply despair-inducing. She still had a few which she could attempt to chant, but what was even the point?
Even though she was extremely sullen, she still refused to give up.
"Run wild, darkness. Devour the light in night's peace. Your en---"
"M.o.a.n, mighty earth. Rise, rise, rise. Husk of the earth. Sheet of iron. Hammer of---"
"Arise, flames. Rage---"
'This is this is so unfair!!'
Even after she had unsuccessfully chanted all of her remaining Magics, Titania tearfully refused to surrender and continued to attempt to chant her previously used Magics again. But every single time, what interrupted her was that cursed sound. 'Snap.' The snapping of fingers, it would probably haunt her nightmares. That was, if she was even capable of dreaming. Even when she arrived at her shortest chant Magic a second time, she didn't get a chance to successfully cast the electric enchant type Magic again. Snap. Only the first syllable had left her lips when her mana dissipated into the world.
By now, her face had paled a fair amount, and she knew that she had almost no mana left. Her thoughts had become hazy, and should she attempt to chant another Magic at this point, then she would simply pass out. That was something that she absolutely couldn't allow to happen, no matter what!
Suddenly, the young man who had thoroughly frightened her took one step forward. To her horror, he slowly and calmly walked closer, step by step. His provocative smirk from before had been replaced by a tranquil smile that seemed detached from worldly affairs.
Titania started to tremble, and her body told her to flee, to run away as far as she could. Still, she couldn't do anything but shiver uncontrollably and stare directly at the approaching Isaac in despair. She knew that she couldn't escape from him, because he was far faster than her. He most likely had more stamina than her as well. She couldn't fight him with her body, and her Magic was utterly useless as well. Even should she get the opportunity to successfully chant her most powerful Magics, it would be pointless. Yes, her mana could recover, enabling her to cast more Magics. But so what? She still wouldn't be able to harm this person. It was as if she was looking at a steep and unclimbable mountain that she had already failed to scale countless times. By now, her spirit was broken, and she couldn't even work up the courage to try again.
Like a scared child, her body flopped to the floor and she hugged the part of her monster half that was about where a human's knees would be.
As if he was amused by the sight, Isaac smirked very slightly, but his expression had returned to the same tranquility as before by the time that he arrived right in front of Titania. Although her monster half was gigantic, due to her currently collapsed posture, they were practically on eye level.
"Do you give up? You might live if you cease all resistance."
Isaac's words caused the green woman to shudder, as her heartbeat quickened due to entirely unromantic reasons. Still, even in this state, she managed to turn her head slightly to glance into the distance, at the golden haired girl that she wanted to devour. But when she saw that 'Aria' had already subdued Revis without a hitch, she lowered her head and balled her fists. This wasn't a sign of unwillingness or forced compliance, rather, it was an attempt to calm herself down, to resist the terror brought about by this incomprehensible 'monster' in front of her.
"... Yes. Please spare me! I don't want to die like this."
After nodding at her reply, Isaac added a few more words of clarification.
"That decision is up to Ais, not me. Oh, Ais is the one who you call 'Aria'. In any case, I promise that I won't harm you if you abide by our agreement. As for attacking Ais I would highly advise against doing so. I'm far, far weaker than her, after all."
His explanation utterly destroyed what was left of Titania's fighting spirit, as well as her last hope. She knew that from this moment forward, she would be entirely at the mercy of these two humans. Not even the one that Revis called her master could possibly save her.
Satisfied with her behaviour, Isaac looked in Ais' direction and gave her a reassuring nod. He had spectated her short 'battle' during his scuffle with the Demi Spirit as well, so he knew about all developments on her end. This nod was simply a signal to notify her that everything was wrapped up. Revis' current mental state was blatantly apparent, so he determined that he wouldn't have to be much on edge. Of course, he wouldn't let his guard down, but at least he wouldn't need to spare too much of his focus.
The monster half of Titania was surprisingly well suited to seat people. It was tens of meters long, and although it was just the massive stem of a plant that happened to look like a dress, with various roots that were basically leaf-topped tentacles below, it had similarities to the horse half of a centaur. When Isaac had first sat down on her monster half's back without even giving her a warning, Titania had shuddered in fear, but hadn't made any attempts to stop him. Moments later, the happily beaming Ais joined him and grasped his hand happily.
She had dragged the mostly unresponsive Revis with her and dropped her in front of their new Demi Spirit turned sofa. It was a little bit uncomfortable for the seat in question to turn her humanoid half's body around and face her captors, but she managed somehow. Titania was surprisingly flexible - but maybe that was to be expected, she was basically a plant, after all.
After the two lovebirds had found a comfortable seating position, Ais' expression hardened again, and her grip on Isaac's hand tightened. With an unforgiving glint in her eyes, she looked straight at Revis and began her interrogation.
"You said that Titania is a Demi Spirit. But what exactly are Demi Spirits?"
With an expressionless face, the red haired woman thought for a few seconds, then she opened her lips and uttered a reply. While Revis had indeed submitted to her two enemies, she wouldn't say anything that could implicate her master - after all, she was loyal to them. Still, if the information could be gained by simple research, or wasn't too important, then she wouldn't hesitate to share it to save her own skin.
"They are what is born when a monster gets contaminated by a Jewel Fetus. Think of them as a fusion of some sort of Spirit and a monster."
With a glance at her sofa, Ais nodded, then she refocused on her prisoner. Meanwhile, Titania was simply trying her hardest to be as immovable and cosy as possible - maybe she could earn herself a ticket to guaranteed survival this way.
"And what is a Jewel Fetus?"
This question left Revis observably conflicted, but she ultimately still nodded her head slightly.
"To be honest, I don't exactly know what they are. I can only assume that they are a kind of Spirit, or a form that a Spirit can take. After all, why else would the result of them contaminating a monster be called a Demi Spirit? As for why I don't know more, I never asked about what they are. I don't need to know the details to do my job."
Noticing the displeasure on both of the listeners' faces, Revis hastily added another sentence.
"One of them is on this floor, a few kilometers from here."
For a moment, Ais wasn't sure how to continue. Should she have her prisoner get the item - or rather, the being - in question, or should she proceed questioning her? Ultimately, she chose the latter. After all, the former could be achieved at any time. There was no need to interrupt what she was currently in the middle of.
"We will have a look at it later. Now, who is the one that is giving you your orders?"
For the first time, a look of defiance appeared on Revis' face and she spat out her words aggressively.
"I won't tell you."
Upon seeing the frown on Ais' face, Revis' expression turned even more serious.
"Do your worst. Torture me, **** me, kill me, whatever. I won't tell you."
Before Ais could respond, Isaac increased the pressure on her hand slightly - he had given her a signal. She nodded at him and let him go, looking forward to what he was about to do. The saintly smile on his face made both of their prisoners' faces turn even more ashen than before, to a degree where one had to wonder if there was even any blood left in the respective veins, but she found it endearing instead.
For a few minutes, Isaac stabbed Revis with long, metal needles in certain spots. When she showed no reaction whatsoever, he cut her with blades of wind, and even though she should have felt some pain, she didn't react much at all. A bit later, he finally finished his preliminary research.
"Her body is quite dissimilar to a human's. The position of her nociceptors is different, and even the pain that she does feel when they get directly stimulated is noticeably less. This can be attributed to two factors. First, the very weak pain signal that gets sent to her brain. And second, her mental pain resistance. She has long grown used to physical suffering, so it would be nigh impossible to break her with it. All in all, torturing her this way is meaningless."
Via the system, Isaac sent Ais a few more words that the sofa and the specimen didn't need to hear.
'It's possible to read her memories, but that would cost quite a hefty sum of AP - and there is only a finite amount of those. We can figure out who she serves in other ways, so there is no need to waste the points, it will just require a bit of patience.'
A deep breath later, Ais gave Isaac an appreciative nod. He returned to her side, making the sofa shiver slightly when he sat down again. Revis' body, which had quite a few wounds after the superficial research, was already healing at a remarkable speed.
"Fine, we will just figure out your master's identity another way. I assume that you are the one in control of all of the monsters on this floor. In other words, you are their tamer?"
Back to being dead-eyed and expressionless, Revis nodded her head, waiting for Ais' next words, which promptly followed.
"After we are done here, provide Isaac with a few specimens from each species. He prides himself somewhat of a research enthusiast, so this will make things a little bit more convenient for him."
Once her last sentence had been spoken, Ais felt Isaac gently stroke her hand with his thumb, his eyes full of gratitude, so she blushed slightly. These lovey-dovey shenanigans made Revis' left eyelid twitch a little, but the captured woman stayed silent.
Right when Ais was about to ask another question, she noticed Revis' eyes opening widely in shock.
"What is going on?"
Before the prisoner could give her an answer, Isaac also raised an eyebrow in surprise.
"What is he doing here?"
It had been about half an hour since the throbbing in Finn's thumb had ceased entirely, yet he hadn't stopped charging ahead, sometimes even straight through the bodies of the monsters that attempted to barr his path. As if they were made out of paper mch, they were blown apart without being able to offer up much of a resistance - they didn't even slow him down.
Still, due to the change in the situation, Finn couldn't help but frown slightly.
'I can't be sure whether they died or successfully made it through the danger. Of course, the latter is far more likely, but I'm still worried. Should they be wounded or in need of protection, I hope that I'll arrive in time!'
Always the responsible Captain, Finn had a few of the highest quality Potions and Elixirs in a small pouch that he carried with him at all times. One never knew when they would be necessary, after all.
Finally, the staircase to the 59th floor, the one that his party had found earlier today, came into view. Without any hesitation, he ran straight down. With his speed, it only took him a little less than a minute to arrive at the bottom, and just like Ais and Isaac, he was greeted by a scenery very unlike what he had expected.
"A jungle? Here!? This"
For a moment, he was rendered speechless and slowed down, but he didn't forget to check his range of perception for anyone that he recognized. Barely a second later, a slight smile stole itself on his lips. Only a couple of kilometers away, he could feel two familiar presences.
This method of detection was, in essence, a very inferior version of Isaac's Eyes of Hermes, one that almost every adventurer could make use of to varying degrees. Heck, even people from Isaac's old world could potentially learn to detect presences and grow proficient in distinguishing between people that they could only observe in this manner. Someone's presence would be determined to be in a certain direction, and a certain distance away, and thoughts along the lines of 'It feels like this is person X' would come to mind. Needless to say, it was a mostly unreliable method of detection, but due to the improved senses that adventurers of higher Levels were blessed with, it became their bread and butter when no visuals or sounds could be made out.
Finn also noticed a couple of other presences next to Ais and Isaac, and even some monsters scattered about, but he didn't worry about those. Not wasting any more time, he ran towards the two members of his familia with a relieved smile on his face.
'Thank goodness, they're still alive!'
When he made it out of the jungle and could finally see the situation clearly, he suddenly became speechless.
'What are you two doing, sitting on a monster in such a relaxed manner? That isn't a lounge chair! Wait is that even a monster? It looks like a plant, but also like a woman. And that expression... it seems remarkably sentient. Speaking of sentient beings, who is that roughed up red haired woman on the ground? Thankfully, Ais and Isaac are both in perfect health, but what in damnation happened here!?'
As Finn's mind was bombarded with a flood of questions that threatened to overwhelm him, and while he was quietly assessing this absurd situation, a mischievous smile stole itself on Isaac's face.
"What are you doing down here, Captain? Well, no matter, have a seat."