Image Source: DarkAkelarre
Mandrake’s scribblings: …. Okay… This mandrake may have underestimated the task that is presented in front of it. Over a week over due! This mandrake sincerely apologizes! This mandrake has not anticipate so many things to take over its time and have grossly underestimated the calamity called the writer’s block!. Well, chapter 10 is finally out and it is a doosy. This mandrake had put the title as “The Battle’s Climax” and seem to have put itself into a corner. The scenes were not climaxy, so this mandrake had suffered the writer’s block for a while. But fear not! This mandrake has done a lot of fragmented writing and has written summarized content for over 10 random chapters! In fact, chapter 11 is halfway complete due to this fragmented writing! Fwoo fwoo! Maybe this chapter will be faster and get the series back on schedule? This mandrake certainly hopes so! Enjoy chapter 10!
Anne swears out of frustration. She has just witnessed the enemy’s missile strike on Rosetta. The surveillance footage has shown the massive spell failing and revealing the massive forest hydra within. Given her situation, there is nothing she can do to aid Rosetta. Anne slams both hands against her head in anger.
Anne: [Goddammit. I didn’t do enough…]
Anne has not been silently watching the battle. Since the operation started, she has actively participated in the operation as a saboteur, delaying radio responses of the troops to delay their calls for support. She has tried to interfere with the satellite reconnaissance to prevent information gathering but her efforts were thwarted.
Anne: [Coiner. That old shitbag should die already.]
Elias Coiner. He is one of the founders of the organization and one of the traitors who attacked Rosetta and his allies 23 years ago. His magic is technological infiltration and detection. Using the 4000 satellites in orbit around Earth, including many of the 3000 satellites that were ‘decommissioned’ and abandoned as space debris, he scours the Earth in search for any leads on Rosetta.
Anne: [To think that he will play ‘squatter’ in those satellites. Not only that…]
In spite of Elias’s interference with the satellites, he is not the main cause of her anguish. The source of her anguish is in fact her foiled attempts to disable the US Destroyer and its magic missiles. She has infiltrated the ship and disabled it with none of the crew noticing. When the ship is to continue with its patrol route after the operation, they will be in for a devastating revelation. Anne has worked her way to the missiles and discovered the magic stored inside. However, after much effort to disable one missile, she was suddenly forced away from the ship. A huge blast of energy broke off her connection and undid some of her work in sabotaging the ship. That blast of energy. From it, Anne has sensed mana driving it. Only one conclusion can be drawn from that.
Anne: [There is an enemy agent armed with magic on the ship.]
Anne has placed her focus on the new enemy. It is vital to identify the agent’s magic, for knowing this information will prevent any ally from being blindsided by an unknown magic.
Anne: [The magic burnt my connection. It’s not an EMP when the ship is still intact after that. So it’s barrier magic?]
Anne notes the magic’s nature and braces herself once more.
Anne: [I wish I had runes installed on that ship. No matter. You’ll get your battle of wits, punk.]
Anne swirls the massive pools of mana around her. Once more, she will attempt to sabotage the operation. Her primary targets, the two missiles in flight towards the battlefield. Without the interference of the enemy agent, Anne is confident that she can take those missiles down. Anne locks on the missiles and prepares her angle of attack.
Treant (Z): “Krassha! Khak! Ksha! Kha!”
The zombified treant is soaring at high speed into the air. It flies in a big arc towards one of the hydra heads. Nearing its prey, the treant flails its limbs wide and slams into the side of the hydra head.
-Thrsh Krash Fwsh-
Upon landing on the hydra’s head, the treant suddenly deforms. Its body is spread apart as the red plant mass spreads out as thinly as possible. Covering as much area as it can, the plant mass activated its magic to invade the hydra.
The hydra head twists and turns to shake off the parasite. It slams its head on the ground sending shockwaves through the loose earth.
The hydra drags its head across the ground, gouging it and tossing debris everywhere.
Alan: “KH-HAHAHAHA!! YOU CAN’T SCRAPE ME OFF THAT EASILY!”
At the moment when the hydra head has stopped moving and is about to raise its head, the giant treant jumps on top of its head. The hydra head rises, Alan the treant braces to unleash his magic. Suddenly, before he can make his move a large shadow descends upon him.
Another hydra head has swooped over to aid its brethren and slams Alan off the hydra head. Alan flew off and crashed into the ground, creating a gaping hole. Yet, despite that devastating attack, Alan crawled out of the hole without losing any of his tenacity.
– KRKRSSH THOOM-
A different hydra head sweeps the earth, and smashes Alan in full force. Alan’s massive body is sent whizzing through the air. He crashes into the ground, bouncing a few times before stopping well over 400 meters away. Nevertheless, the hydra did not let it end there.
Two more hydra heads attacked Alan, one head slamming into him before moving for the other to deliver a similar crushing blow. Not letting Alan gain any ground, the hydra heads give no breaks in crushing him. His body battered and bruised, Alan is merely frustrated by the fact.
Alan: “COME ON!! YOU CAN’T STOP ALL OF ME!! I’LL-”
At 500 meters in the air, the helicopter hovers over the hydra forest. The hydra heads in the middle snaps and snarls at the helicopter. The helicopter crew watches the forest carefully, anticipating the sweeping jet blast that endangered them before. Agent Johannes on the other hand is furious. The captain from the US Destroyer has just reported to him that the two missiles that were launched mere minutes ago have gone missing.
Johannes: “You lost contact with the missiles?! What the fuck happened?! You said that the missiles are fine!”
Captain: “We’ve already checked them! They were fully operational on the way towards Vietnam! We’ve lost contact with them near the shoreline!”
Johannes: “You’re telling me some Vietnamese fishermen took down two state of the art American missiles flying at 550 miles per hour?! What the fuck!”
Captain: “With all due respect, SIR, we aren’t- Hey! WHAT-”
Johannes hears some background chatter about the captain arguing.
Johannes: “Captain?! Captain!”
Johannes calls for the captain, but another man’s voice has answered his call.
Agent: “Agent Scarl. The captain away to cool off.”
Johannes: “What is he- Who are you?!”
Agent: “I am an agent on orders from the Director. I’m here to assist you in your operation.”
Johannes: “A-An Agent? Do you know what has happened to the missiles?
Agent: “No I do not. But I have reason to believe that the missiles were intercepted mid-flight.”
Johannes: “Another one of Rosetta’s allies?”
Agent: “Yes. The culprit’s identity is classified from non-organization people, but I do believe that you will recognize who is responsible. She has remotely disabled one of your missiles.”
Johannes: “… I understand. Looks like I do not have the firepower I need.”
Agent: “I have failed in protecting the missiles and I am truly sorry. I understand that you are still able to use the last missile?”
Johannes: “Yes. Are you able to protect this missile in flight?”
Agent: “… Yes, I can, but it requires some preparation. You have to seek out other measures before it’s ready.”
Johannes: “Alright. Notify me when you’re done.”
Johannes turns off the receiver and looks down on the forest below. The area ruined by the first missile strike has been covered up in protective vegetation. The hydra heads have moved across it and are staring down the helicopter. The chance has been ruined. Johannes lost his second strike against Rosetta. He lies back on his seat and punches the compartment wall in anger.
Johannes: [That Tech Witch…] “FUCK!”
Co-pilot: “Sir, I’ve received a transmission from Agent Strauss.”
Johannes: “Patch me through. Hello, Indiana. This is Johannes.”
Indiana: “What’s happening on the battlefield? I see that Rosetta’s spell has been taken down.”
Johannes: “Yes. It’s thanks to your information. The missiles have struck down Rosetta’s spell and quite possibly injure Rosetta.”
Indiana: “That’s great news. Are you able to confirm the current state of Rosetta?”
Johannes: “Unfortunately, I cannot. Nature magic is immediately casted to protect him. My second missile strike was compromised. I’ve lost two missiles mid-flight.”
Indiana: “Damn. Someone interfered?”
Johannes: “Yes. One of Rosetta’s close allies. I’m currently working with an agent under the Director to launch the last missile.”
Indiana: “Oh? Another agent? Anyway, I got some advice from Agent Gibson. ‘If you do not take down Rosetta immediately, give up on Rosetta.”
Johannes: “Excuse me?!”
Indiana: “’Give up on Rosetta. If he is compromised, he will escape immediately.’”
Those words bite through Johannes’s heart. Gibson’s words hold ground. Rosetta would have escaped after the spell was destroyed. He will tunnel deep into the ground far from anyone’s reach. Anger and frustration flares inside Johannes. The mission to capture Rosetta has failed.
Johannes: [If only those two missiles made it here…]
Johannes: “Yeah, sorry. Mission failed, huh? I still think we should keep going. If Rosetta is truly gone, then must be some things he left behind we can use.”
Indiana: “Agreed. Agent Gibson suggested something similar.”
Johannes: “What is his message?”
Indiana: “There’s no need for it. You got the gist of it.”
Johannes: “I see…”
Now that there Rosetta has most likely escaped, the magic forest will have no reason to rampage. Since it is the contrary, it means that Rosetta have left something behind. Johannes leers down at the rampaging forest.
Johannes: “This monster need to be taken care of quickly.”
A hydra head flails about in agony. Its body is mottled with blood red masses which devours the plant mass that makes up its body. A similar situation can be discerned from the other hydra heads. The ground is now covered in the red plant mass, constantly moving and slithering like a sea of snakes. The taunts from Alan has ceased long ago. Alan has taken a new form to devour the hydra. Instead of relying on the treants to take the hydra down, he broke down the large treant bodies into simple plant matter that will latch on to the hydra upon contact. After that, taking down is a simple matter of predation by Alan’s parasitic magic.
The hydra head falls to the ground and thrashes around. The red mass has devoured a significant part of its neck to the point that the hydra head could no longer support its weight any longer.
The huge jet blast erupted from the middle of the forest. It blasts through the hydra heads and struck the base of the collapsed hydra head. The high pressure blast and the flying stakes shreds through the plant matter and severed the hydra head from the base. The severed hydra head writhes and twitches as the red mass turns alive and spreads faster than before.
Another jet blast erupts and another ailing hydra head is severed. The massive and heavy body falls to the ground, causing another tremor and shaking up dust and debris into the air.
-pht slf fst sw fst-
Silent from the noise of the chaos, a storm of bullets cuts through the air in an arranged formation. They bend and curve around the snarling hydra heads and descend upon their destination. The protective plant mass where the jet blast erupted from. The bullets punch through the plant mass and scatter in many directions. They lose none of their speed as Johannes magic propels them continuously to destroy whatever is hiding in the plant mass.
The protective plant mass explodes. A high pressure blast rips through the mass and scatters it instantly. Moments later, a large body flies out from the ruins. Basking in the sunlight, the creature flies above the forest to reveal its true form. A giant body and tail well over fifty meters long. An incredible wingspan over two hundred meters. A giant head with a long neck extending over twenty meters. A creature entirely made of plants and earth. But its appearance can only warrants Johannes’s response:
The dragon faces the helicopter’s direction and draws back his head. Catching on its intention, Johannes yells at the pilot.
Johannes: “DOWN! GET US DOWN NOW!”
Its powerful breath takes the form of the jet and sweeps the sky. The helicopter nosedives towards the snarling hydra heads, avoiding the dragon’s breath. It swerves to regain balance and flies away from the dragon. The dragon flaps its massive wings and circles the forest under siege by Alan’s parasitic magic.
The dragon’s breath tears through the frontlines, the red mass from the base of the hydra. The dragon forces its breath at the hydra heads. It shears off more infected hydra heads, sparing the main body from an agonizing death. Flying on a path of retreat, Johannes spits in vexation at the turn of events.
Johannes: [Shit. I stirred the hornet’s nest. I need that missile now!] “Get back in there! Get back in there and shoot that thing down!”
Pilot: “Sir, it’s a flying dragon! High altitudes will not work like before! We should call for reinforceme-”
Johannes: “Damn that to hell! It will tear those choppers down on sight! I’m the one keeping this bird in the air against that thing! So fly this helicopter or I will take it over!”
A loud noise rumbles through the air, drowning the sounds of battle. The co-pilot shouts something at Johannes but the loud noise deadens his voice. Nonetheless, Johannes understands his intentions and glances down at the frontlines. The ground near the forest begins to crack and ripple. The loud noise comes from the earth as it rips itself apart. Moreover, another scene unfolds amidst the chaos. In the red twisting sea of Alan’s parasitic mass, the severed hydra heads begin to show signs of life. One… Two… Three… Four… Five… With their body complete taken over by Alan’s magic, they slowly rise up and pointed their maws at the forest hydra.
The dragon’s roar can barely be heard cut through the loud earthquakes and its breath strikes the red hydra heads head on. The hydra heads flail back from the force but are lightly injured from the attack and returned with furious animosity. However, those moments of distraction are ample time for the forest hydra.
The earth rises. In fact, a whole stretch of land a kilometer long and 200 meters across rises from its position. Facing this unbelievable spectacle is the red sea of Alan’s parasitic mass. The land mass rises higher and higher before it broke off into a tilt. Underneath the massive land mass are roughly twenty hydra heads lifting its titanic weight. Johannes can only gape at the scale of land mass now tilted vertically, poised to crush the red parasitic mass.
Hydra (Z): “GRUUUUUU!!”
Alan’s red hydra can do nothing to stop the attack as it smashes its head against the land mass in futile attempt. Johannes’s helicopter rises high into the air in order to gain altitude to avoid the air blast from the land mass crashing down. The forest hydra gives its last push and send the land mass over its tipping point.
-GROOOOUUU THOOOOOM KRASSSSHOOOM-
It is as if a megaton bomb has exploded. The land mass falls over and crashes down on the red mass. The sound shreds through the air as loud as if it can be heard from across the country. The air blast hits the surroundings like a typhoon sending dust and debris everywhere, blanketing the area in a giant greyish cloud. When it is all over the dead silence takes over.
– Bata Bata Bata-
The engines of the helicopter can finally be heard as it becomes a tiny speck hovering high above a giant cloud on the ground. The occupants of the vehicle peers down at the surreal scene, their senses and beliefs shattered and scattered.
Gunner: “My… God…”
Co-pilot: “This is insane…”
Johannes: “It’s not over. Keeping running evasive maneuvers!”
-Fsh Wsh Shuu-
Clumps of dirt and rock fly in the direction of the helicopter. The helicopter swerves around to avoid them. As the clouds slowly clears, the forest hydra is revealed, scraping debris from the ground and flinging it at the helicopter.
Johannes: [Pesky things. Looks like Alan is out of the battle for now. The main problem is… That.]
Under the helicopter, the dragon circles the forest hydra, its sight set on the helicopter. The dragon spreads it wings to stall in midair and rears its head.
Co-Pilot: “That thing is gonna roar!”
The helicopter dives out of the air as the blast rushes through the space where they were before.
Johannes: “Get close to the dragon!”
The pilot whips his head back in disbelief.
Johannes: “Fly in close distance to the dragon! This is an animal we’re talking about! If we make sharp turns around this thing, its blast attack will not reach us!”
The pilot, against his own instincts, pulls the helicopter around towards the dragon’s direction. The dragon rears its head once more and unleashes its breath.
The helicopter flies to one side of the dragon, out of the reach of the blast. The gunner mans the gun turret and fires.
-Dakkoom Dakkoom Dakkoom-
Bullets storm through the air and bends to Johannes’s command. The bullets whip across one of the dragon’s wings, shearing off bits of bark.
-Suu Sfprak Trsk Dsh Krak-
Johannes: [Hitting the body directly is a waste. Break the wings!]
Johannes bends the bullets once more; this time, they expend their energy on hitting the dragon’s wings head on. The bullets punch through the wings perforating and tearing its membrane.
The dragon stumbles in the air due to its injured wing. It growls in anger and twists its body to face the helicopter. The helicopter dives down and get around the dragon’s back.
-Dakkoom Dakkoom Dakkoom-
Johannes takes hold on the fired bullets and drive them into the base of the dragon’s wing.
-Srak Krsk Trask Prsk Dsk-
Bark and splinters fly into the air. The base of the dragon’s right wing broke. Losing it main structural support the wings swings around aimlessly.
The dragon falls from the sky. Its body tumbles and twists in the air as its left wing flaps repeatedly to gain control. With tenacity and vigor, it fires its breath in an effort to take down the helicopter. The helicopter raises its altitude and veers away from the breath’s range. Johannes watches the dragon fall down into the shade of the forest below.
Johannes: “What the…”
Johannes wonders what is casting a huge shadow over the forest but his second glance catches a significant change in the forest. The hydra heads have all disappeared. What remains is a giant coil made of plant mass. The coil unravels and its end stretched upwards into the sky. An incredible length. Possibly long enough to reach…
Johannes: “Get us up higher!”
The helicopter jerks upwards and being to ascend higher into the sky. The giant body has a diameter of 200 meters but its height stretches well over 1500 meters. The tip of the body is blunt and flat. Flying at almost 2000 meters in the air, the helicopter has reach its maximum height.
Pilot: “We’re at the height limit. But I think we’re out of reach.”
Gunner: “There’s no fucking way we’re going to take down that!”
Johannes: “We’re not.”
Johannes: “We’re not the cavalry! The real cavalry is currently burrowing through a billion tons of rock and earth! We distract these monsters! At best, we take down the dragon! Now, be on guard! There’s more to this thing!”
Everyone watches the giant green pillar swaying in the wind as the helicopter completes a circle around it.
The pillar attacks first. A green hydra heads with girths of 6 meters shot out from the top of the pillar. They lunge at the helicopter, covering huge distances to reach it. The helicopter rears back to avoid them. The heads hiss and snarl at the helicopter before the they fall down due to their overstretched necks. Johannes watches them as they fell against the pillar and assimilate into it.
Johannes: [So this is their plan.]
Another group of hydra heads erupts from the pillars top once more. 500… 600… They stretched their reach to snap at the helicopter. A tall creature with squirming tentacles at its top. Its form is like the marine animal, hydra which grows over a centimeter long.
In the battle up high in the sky, unbeknownst to anyone, a sinister creature plots its comeback. From an under an ungodly amount of rock and soil, Alan has burrowed through the cracks and loose soil and broke free of its earthly prison. From many, many openings, the red mass pushes through. The red turbulent sea returns one more in full form.
-Srsh Krsh Drrskask-
The red mass swirled together. Twisting. Turning. Churning. It forms together into a giant mass and stretches its form. 400… 500… 600… The body stretches further into a tail. The head forms into a reptilian head. Alan’s form. A giant serpent.
The giant serpent lunges at the green pillar. At breakneck speed, it strikes the green pillar, staggering its precarious posture. Not losing any of its momentum, the serpent wraps its body around the greed pillar and climbs up its body. At the other end of the serpent, the tail bursts into many tentacles that pierces the side of the green pillar. The red mass then devours the plant matter, replacing it, growing over it. The serpent steadily climbs up the green pillar leaving red carnage in its trail.
-KRSSHHHOOM KRAKSSSSSSH FSHHHHHRAAAKSSH-
The massive green pillar twists and flails in agony. Its attacks on the helicopters has stopped and the helicopter’s crew are watching the surreal scene before them.
Johannes: “Haaaaaa… Rest easy boys… The battle is won. Good job, everyone.”
Johannes claps his hands together for the helicopter crew. Finally grasping on the situation, they begin to whoop and cheer.
Pilot: “THAT WAS FUCKING CRAZY!”
Co-pilot: “WE DID IT! WE DID IT! YEAAA!”
As the helicopter crew celebrates, Johannes senses flare up.
Another ally has joined the battle even after the battle is nearly won. Flying at 550 miles per hour at high altitude, the last ballistic missile is approaching the battlefield after its long delay.
Johannes: [You’re so fucking late… Hmm?]
As his senses reconnects with the missile, he noticed its battered state. Its outer shell looks burnt with black soot covering its side which has an impressive rainbow color due to the metal changing color from the heat. Sparks dance around missile, its origin not from the missile but from the air around it.
Johannes: [That must be what’s left of the barrier. I see. You had your own battles too, huh?]
Johannes raises his arms to the direction of the missile and concentrates.
Johannes: [I wonder if I can still…]
A subtle response. The missile swerves slight but maintains its trajectory.
Johannes: [At this rate, it will just fly past the battlefield.] “Hrngh!”
Johannes concentrates more. Pooling his mana at his palms and releasing them as pulses in the direction of the missile. The missile pitch and yaw violently before fixing its flight course and turning back to the battlefield. It flies upwards into the air straight up the sky.
Johannes: [There. I’ll send it back to the sea so the destroyer can-]
Johannes turns in surprise at the direction of the giant pillar. The dragon has recovered its wing and fired its breath at the red serpent. The serpent recoils from the force, stopping its ascent up the pillar.
Pilot: “Oh, shit!
Gunner: “That dragon’s not dead!”
Co-pilot: “God damn it! Are we going to deal with that thing?!”
Johannes’s answer silences the helicopter crew. Johannes cast a cold look at the dragon firing its breath once more at Alan.
Johannes: “We’re done. This thing is dead.”
The missile descends towards the dragon at full speed. Against a creature which fly with its wings, the outcome is inevitable.
The missile strikes the dragon’s side and explodes. The dragon growls in pain and lost its energy. Its wings fail and the dragon falls.
Right into the jaws of the serpent. The serpent crushed the dragon’s side before smashing it against the side of the green pillar. The green pillar shakes and tumbles. With its lower body taken over by Alan’s red mass, the pillar loses it support and falls down.
-KRSSSHH KRST TSSK-
The body crumples on itself as the massive creature falls straight down to the ground.
-KSHTHOOOM BOOM THOOOM-
The fall shakes the earth one last time and another cloud of dust as and debris burst into the air.
“Look at that! Damn, that is one heck of a show!”
“The scouts have probably shat themselves from watching that close!”
Everyone is elated that the enemy is declared dead. Many of the troopers are celebrating and congratulating one another. Other look solemn at the chain of events, still in disbelief that such a thing existed in the world. Overall, the mood has a cheery note. Cheers and music begins to drown the atmosphere.
The image on her side disappears from her view. Even though the live feed is gone, everything is still recorded on the off chance a new development occurs. Anne’s posture slumps in mid air. Her gaze fixed of the scouts’ live feed of the battlefield.
Anne: [What a horrid sight.]
The live feed shows a menacing red mass which towers over the scouts, twitching and twisting like worms.
Anne: [Looks like our loss. Rosetta is deep in the Earth’s crust and…]
Anne clasps her hands together and stretched her body.
Anne: [In the end, we only found out that she is not in South East Asia] “Fwaah…”
The lights around Anne flicker brighter. Her work is not over. Anne brushes the live feeds into recording state and immerses herself in her information network. The search for girl carries on.
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