Image source: alexiuss
Mandrake’s scribblings: This mandrake is shit in battle choreography. Enjoy the chapter!
A large explosion tears through the building. Smoke and debris falls out from the building down to the Chinese forces below.
Soldier: “What the hell?!”
Bao: “WATCH OUT ABOVE! GET BACK! GETBACK!”
Large debris crashes into the ground in front of them. Police officer Bao waves his arms and shouts at the alarmed soldiers and officers.
The tanks at the back reverse into the grass lawn, tearing and gouging the grass apart. The transport vehicles and police car follow suit, careful to avoid the rush of the soldiers and police. As soon as the chaos subsided, all attention is focused on the top floors of the building.
Bao remerge from his cover behind the police car and stomps the ground in anger.
Bao: “What the hell is that?”
The silhouette of the magician Rosetta in the dust cloud is a solid black under the light from the machine. He looks behind to check on the Chinese agents. There are no sign of them. Only a giant hole where the floor has caved in.
Rosetta: “Tch.” [Escaped.]
He turns towards the machine and pulses mana through his eyes. He sees the machine up close. Its thick grey armor. The menacing weapon canisters on its back. The letters R,A, and G printed on its side and the name ‘SAMAEL’ written under them in black marker.
Rosetta: “A machine… Golem?”
-Brrrr Dakkoom Dakkoom Dakkoom-
The machine SAMAEL revs its machine gun and shoots Rosetta. The bullets tears through the concrete and strikes the magician. He lifts his arm to shield his ram skull from the storm of bullets.
Rosetta extends his arm at the golem. Before it can reach it, the jets on the golem’s front fire and propel the machine backwards out the hole. As it disappears from view, Rosetta releases a pulse from his body.
He intends to detect the golem’s presence but receives a different signal instead. Down at the lower floors of the building, armed soldiers are storming the building. They are climbing up the floors while tending to the confused and panicked men. He can sense them clearly, yet his intend target shows a different story. Rosetta races after the golem.
Rosetta: [No response. It escaped mana based detection? Is it because of the ru-]
Upon emerging from the hole, an explosive shell strikes him followed by a hail of bullets. The Chinese forces spots Rosetta from below and begins to unload their ammunition at his direction. He ignored their attacks and puts power into his legs.
Crushing the floor beneath him, he leaps out of the building. He cuts through the air, faster than the Chinese forces can aim with their weapons.
Rosetta: [Things has escalated. Gibson’s forces are now the biggest threat. Should I engage them and gauge their strength for Anne and the others? Or should I escape before they could act?]
As he ponders that thought, something appears in his senses. Up above on the roof of the building he just leapt from, a presence like the golem before.
Rosetta: [Looks like I’m just given the former option.]
The silhouette of the machine flashes for a moment and a missile cut through the air straight at him.
Rosetta: [This one has much more power!]
His arm whips around, increasing its length as it swung. His claws struck against a nearby building and tears of a chunk of concrete.
His arm retracts almost instantaneously and flings the concrete straight at the missile’s flight path. The missile tip crumples upon striking it.
The explosion shakes the entire city block. The windows of nearby buildings shatter and pour broken glass onto the streets. Rosetta is caught by the shockwave and thrown to the ground. Landing on his feet, he focuses his sight on his attacker.
He catches a glimpse as the golem speeds out of view but that is enough. The golem has a different shape. It has a slimmer design and carries far larger weapon canisters on its back. Scribbled on its side below the ‘R.A.G’ label are letters that spell ‘RAMIEL’.
Rosetta: [A different golem?! Curse those stealth runes! Where is the-]
Rosetta turns in surprise to face the large machine speeding at him. He recognizes it as the first golem he encountered. The golem SAMAEL easily ploughs through the road dividers with its speed. He leaps sideways to avoid its charge.
Just as he leaps out of its way, a large clawed arm extended from its side. The claw slams into him and tighten its grip on his body. Almost immediately, Rosetta is slammed into the road.
The SAMAEL’s charge did not stop. The road wrinkles and cracks as the magician is pushed through it. Rosetta retaliates by swinging his arm at its cockpit.
When he struck the golem, he sensed something within. Or rather, without.
Rosetta: [No pilot?!]
SAMAEL lifts his body up from the road. Its jets blast at full power and the massive machine’s speed skyrockets. The golem streaks through the road, its entire mass already floating from the thrust of the jets. Just as it reached its top speed, it swings Rosetta back down into the road.
The claw is pushed back from the sheer force .The front of the golem takes the charge and rams the magician’s body head on.
Finally, a breakthrough. In the torrent of broken concrete and gouged earth, black spheres fly out. Rosetta’s defenses have been overcome. He has taken enough force for these spheres to be ripped from his body.
The blow pulled both of them to an abrupt stop. Rosetta is crushed against a mass of earth and asphalt built up from the tearing the road.
He hears an ominous hum coming from the golem. Sensing a large amount of energy built up in the machine, Rosetta smashes his fists on the front of the golem to knock it out of the way.
It happens in a fraction of a second. The air snaps and a loud explosive sound reverberates through the city blocks. Everything in front of the golem is blown away.
Rosetta is forced flying backwards. His large body is torn apart as a hole in his middle opens up and expands, tearing open his right flank. Scattered among the storm of dust and debris, black spheres of varying sizes, torn from his body when the deadly projectile of pure tungsten passed through it.
The projectile punches through a far building and buries itself in its concrete foundation. Soon after that, Rosetta crashes among the debris several meters away from the golem.
Rosetta: “Hegk-Kegh-“ [That was… A railgun! Damn! A lot of them have been torn off me!]
He lifts himself up with his functional left arm. The torn half of his body begins to reform itself, merging and smoothening out what’s left of it. In a moment, his body returns to form and he stares at the black mana spheres around him.
Rosetta: [Got to gather them before-]
SAMAEL left no time for him to act. The golem displays its burst of speed and rams the magician head on. Rosetta was prepared for it, his feet dug deep into the road as he takes the charge directly. Billows of smoke rise up from the golem’s tires as they spin in place, hopelessly pushing against Rosetta’s awesome strength.
Rosetta: “I’m not moving from here.”
SAMAEL’s jets fire up once more and the force pushing Rosetta multiplies. Rosetta digs his feet deeper into the ground. Black runes creep out from his feet across the rubble.
The asphalt surrounding both the magician and the golem begins to break and fracture. The road smashes the sides of the golem, pinning it on both sides. The golem tilts and sinks as the tire lost traction from the asphalt breaking into gravel. The giant machine before him has lost a lot of its momentum. Rosetta eases up and straightens his back. However, after doing so, his senses picks up on another threat.
A missile dives on him from above and exploded. With his foothold destroyed, the magician is easily picked up by SAMAEL. Firing its jets once more, it speeds off with Rosetta in its clutches, away from the mana spheres.
The machine speeds down the road with Rosetta in tow. The mana sphere’s lay motionless, its flickering runes suspending it a tiny distance from the ground.
The ground rumbles as another giant machine pulls to a stop among the scattered spheres. It is a R.A.G golem with the name ‘SERAPH’ scribbled under its tag. It has a sleeker design and carries a large and long contraption on its side.
With the golem SERAPH’s cockpit, Clementine heaves a nervous sigh. She deploys the golem’s arm and begins collecting the mana spheres off the ground. As she focuses on the task at hand, her attention occasionally switch to the other two golems under control. SAMAEL is fighting to keep the magician in its grasp as it pummels him through the road. RAMIEL is following its flank a good distance away, its missiles armed and locked on target.
Clementine: [He’s still under control.]
Yet despite that thought of reassurance, she has not calmed down. Her mind strays to watch the two golems’ situation and begs a question.
Clementine: [Why is he holding back?]
Her question is well reasoned. Rosetta, the source of all magic capable of any magic with an incredible range of scale, is being beaten and dragged around aimlessly. His power and ability is way beyond what her golems can achieve. Yet, she has control of the battle thus far.
Clementine: [He can’t be stingy about mana. That because he has lost much more mana than if he actually fought with magic. Is he incapable of using the magic? Then how did he manage that magic in Vietnam?… !!] “Gii..! Haa..”
She realizes that she has held her breath since coming out to collect the mana spheres. Taking in a deep breath, she arranges her thoughts to finalize a conclusion.
Clementine: [He releases mana when he is struck hard enough. Gun fire won’t do. Stronger impacts like the SAMAEL’s railgun and maybe RAMIEL’s missiles can do the trick. In any case, I should stay vigilant. He is still capable of magic. I shou-]
The loud noise sounded like an explosion. It seems far away but the she felt the earth quake as it happened.
She focuses on her golem SAMAEL. The feed from its cameras is obstructed by earth and rubble. The camera watching above showed the night sky. Her heart race into a panic.
Clementine: [SAMAEL has been done in!]
She switches over to RAMIEL. The camera feed shows Rosetta is moving at an incredible speed towards her.
Clementine: [The guns!]
Missiles will not work on him unless it is a direct hit. Pelting him with gunfire will serve as a distraction, no matter how small.
-Dakoom Dakoom Dakoom-
RAMIEL’s gunfire sounds off in the distance. SERAPH turns around and accelerates its escape. Clementine glances at the scattered mana spheres as she passes before focusing forward on her retreat.
RAMIEL’s camera feed jots as a shell has struck its flank. Gunfire pelts its armor with its bullets harmlessly deflected by the rune armor. The Chinese forces has caught up with the commotion and fired at the nearest target in the vicinity.
Clementine: “Curse these Chinese!”
She has no time to lament the actions of troublesome party. Clementine puts power into the defensive runes on her golem. Immediately after that, she feels a strange sensation akin to getting pushed into a giant bubble. A pulse of mana.
Rosetta: “There you are.”
Clementine looks above to see Rosetta flying towards her. SERAPH extends its armor forwards before Rosetta brings his fist down on the golem
-BOOOM BAM BAM BAM-
The fist strikes the armor with a deafening bang. The golem sinks a few feet into the road but manages to withstand the enormous impact. The fist slides down the armor and twists its force into forward momentum. In the next moment, the golem is sent flying backwards. It topples repeatedly before landing upright a good distance away.
She feels like her stomach have been twisted. Facing the enemy before her, she deploys SERAPH’s weapon. An arm protrudes from the side of the golem and unfolds a lance weapon with an unusual shape. Similar to two giant blades parallel to each other fused to a metal shaft, the weapon is heavily marked with runes.
Rosetta strikes first with a heavy fist thrown directly at SERAPH. The golem lunges forward with its lance weapon pointed forward. The weapon shines with a blinding light, obscuring everything from sight.
-BOOOM BAM BAM BAM-
The light dissipates as soon as it is deployed. SERAPH is seen rolling and tumbling before it reorients itself and reverses in retreat. Clementine stares down her enemy, determined face forward and a little shaken.
The magician is a little worse for wear. His arm is torn into ribbons and a sizable cut is present on his side. The number of black spheres in the vicinity has increased by a significant number. Clementine’s heart skips a beat. SERAPH’s weapon worked well against him. The sight gives her confidence in her strength. With her new found tenacity, she prepares her next attack.
RAG: “Warning. Lightning Lance is on a cooling cycle. Equipment damage-“
She swipes the warning notification from the RAG system away. She has no time to wait for the weapon to cool down as her opponent has enacted his next move.
A pulse spreads out from him. Clementine senses it as a mana pulse. The black spheres begin flying towards him and merge into his body upon contact. SERAPH’s body jolts as the sphere’s stored inside responds to his spell as well.
Clementine: [This is not the end!]
Clementine capitalizes on that moment and springs her trap. Speeding towards Rosetta from behind, SAMAEL rams the magician’s newly reform body. Sending both of them in the air, the golem grabs Rosetta with its arms and barrels him straight into the road.
SERAPH rushes forward with its weapon raring to erupt. As the weapon brightly lights up, Rosetta raises his hand to meet it. Unlike before, the lance is stopped by the hand. Unable to react to the blocked attack, Clementine sees something from the corner of her eye. Runes. Tens of thousands of black rune slides across the shattered road like dancing shadows. Spreading out like a ripple, with the magician at its center. At that moment, she realized.
Clementine: [His magic. It’s…]
As her eyes face forward, she catches a glimpse of it. A black dot on a pure white screen. A small black sphere released from Rosetta’s hand falling towards the ground.
-KRAASH KRSH BAAM-
A fraction of a second, the asphalt and concrete smash together and merge. The light of SERAPH’s weapon dies out and a giant silhouette can be seen on her screen.
Clementine braces as the giant head of a serpent catches SERAPH in its maw and smashes it into the road.
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