The battle outside of Emel’s sphere of force was raging on, with Grolog after Grolog swarming the transformed Million. She could see out of the corner of her eye monsters going flying, only to get back up again. Not that she was really paying attention in any case. Her free hand was bundling her companion’s toga into her rucksack even as she mentally prepared for the coming fight.
A few of their attackers were slamming their weapons and clawed hands against her shield. Concentrating on the power of her staff, the sphere shrunk closer and closer over time, luring them into range. They were now a foot away, close enough to see the fury and zeal in their eyes. Their mouths split into jagged smiles as they came near the mage.
Emel simply smiled back. Hefting her staff up, the top touched the upper edge of her shield and started to hum with power. Some of the cleverer Grologs looked up at that point, only to see the flash of lightning streaking down. Its arcs flashed across the shield, supercharging it to the point of shattering in a blast of arcane power, sending her attackers flying.
“Woo! Go Master!” Million shouted out joyously, even as she swung one Grolog by the foot into several others.
Permitting herself a small smile, her hand dipped into her bandoleer for one of her spell powders. Clenched tightly in her fist, raw power crackled around it as she activated the spell contained within. Streams of dirt and rubble whipped past her body to form a floating shield of seven small boulders, hovering at chest height.
The once-stunned Grologs drew closer, some even smouldering from where the lightning had struck them. Coming too close, one of her orbiting rocks flung out to strike true, sending the blue beast hurtling back.
She wasn’t idle though during the counter attack of her spell. Her staff thrummed with power as bolts of elemental force lashed out. Sizzling orbs of fire burned their way through skin and bone to down one Grolog. Shards of ice nailed another to an inoffensive pine tree. A bolt of lightning lashed out to send one creature spinning through the air to land, twitching slightly on ground far from where he once was.
“Incoming!” Million called, keeping an eye out on her master even in the midst of her own brawl.
Emel turned in time to see her last boulder had departed, and that a rather burly Grolog was charging at her. Dropping down into a crouch, her staff came up. Ensnaring her attacker with an aura of force, she flung him back towards Million. Not a few moments later did the Grolog fly back the other way to impact forcefully with a chunky outcropping of stone. She couldn’t help but wince at the sound.
Turning to face Million, she caught the demon just finishing up her last two foes. Crouched down, she pinned both Grologs to the floor with her armoured hands as golden fire surged forth to incinerate them. Numerous cuts and wounds lined her arms, but they were already starting to fade even as she watched.
“They’re just flesh wounds, I heal quick.” Million promised, flashing a smile as she rose to her feet, giving a twirl with her tail whipping quickly through the air. “What do you think? I need some more practice in transforming myself, but it seemed to work well.”
“It’s… powerful looking.” She replied, looking over her before adding somewhat sheepishly. “If a little… revealing.”
“Thanks!” She beamed, hopping over to lift Emel up. Holding her at arms length, Million turned and tilted her as she checked for any injuries. “Can’t see a scratch on you.”
“Thanks you you, Million. You were incredible.” Emel smiled, before shuddering as she caught sight of all the fallen Grologs dissolving, their bodies bubbling and sizzling away into nothingness. Million set her down gently, positioning herself in Emel’s line of sight.
“It was nothing.” She replied, before glancing about the area. “We should get moving. They’ll know we took down this lot, and the entrance shouldn’t be too far from here.”
“I can find it.” Emel replied, reaching into her bandoleer again. Removing another wrap of powder, she closed her fist around it and willed her power through her fist. A sickly blue-green light began to seep through her fingers, before with a flourish she sent a jittering ball of light into the sky to circle around the area.
“Impressive…” Million said, looking up at the orb before turning back to Emel. Her eyes were infused with the same glow. “Any sign?”
She nodded, placing the tip of her staff on the ground as she started to draw power through it. The ruby orb’s light had faded from her earlier casting, so she was taking the opportunity to recharge it. “There’s a chasm ahead to the North-East. The ruins in the area and the general feel of it make me pretty sure it’s where we need to be. From what I can see inside, the Grologs have to climb up to get to the surface. If they can use the Baton to open doors underneath the area…”
“They’ll be a massive rise in the amount of patrols and raiding parties they do.” Million replied. As Emel finished charging her staff, the demon easily scooped her off her feet.
“I’m fine, I don’t need to be carried.” The mage said as she blinked the magic away from her eyes.
“We’ll get there quicker if I do, and charging your staff up does make your posture sag a little. Humour me, okay?” She smiled, starting to take easy leaps and strides across the landscape as they headed towards the chasm. Emel could spot some signs of a malignant presence in the area as they approached, from the waning colour of the pine needles close to the chasm, and the flecks of black ash on the trunks. The air had a stagnant fragrance to it that, combined with the effect the Grologs presence had on the plant life, gave the place an unhealthy feel.
The closer they got, the more Emel wished they could leave so that she could take a long, hot bath to cleanse herself of the taint of this place. As she bounced slightly while being carried, her mind wandered… even with her demonic heritage showing like this, Million only felt warm. There was no sickly sensation like this place was giving her. It was another enigma about the demon she’d been forced to travel with.
Coming to a stop by the chasm, Million set her back down on the ground and peered into the void below. “I know this much for sure: Getting down’s going to be a hell of a lot quicker than getting back up.”
Stepping a little closer to look down, Emel sized up the area. “I can get us back out again easily, but we’re going to need some light down there. As for heading down… how did you plan to get down?”
“I was going to jump in. You?” Million replied, stretching her legs a little. “Should be easy.”
“Got a spell that should give me a nice, graceful descent.” She replied, before taking out one of her potion vials from her belt. “But first we need to light it up down there.”
Slipping the cork out of the bottle, she covered the bore with her thumb and started to charge the contents. It didn’t take much power for the mixture to come alight with a fluctuating blue glow that licked the sides of the bottle. It was a simple matter to coax the swirling mass of liquid out. A swing of the arm flung it down into the chasm, sparkling away as droplets span out to splatter against the wall. Where they landed, a soft light began to glow, illuminating the chasm.
It was certainly very impressive, with broken entrances to tunnels and old mines dotted around on various ledges, a glisten here and ripple there of water reflecting back up from the base of the place. The burst of applause that came from Million brought a laugh to Emel’s lips. Taking one of her wraps of powder from her bandoleer, she started to charge it even as she glanced to Million on her right.
“If you start falling, I’ll swoop in and save you.” Million winked, stepping close to the edge. “Keep your staff to hand though… I can see a few Grologs down there.”
Gulping, Emel joined the demon at the edge. “I’ve gone mad, haven’t I? I’m about to leap into a deep chasm with a demon at my side and a horde of monsters down below defending their one thousand year old hive after stealing a magic artefact.”
“Mad?” Million laughed, stretching her arms up to the sky. “This is living!”
And with that she leapt in gracefully, giggling all the while as she started to fall.
Releasing the power in her hand, Emel leapt forth with faint wings flaring on her back, screaming in terror as she started her descent into the chasm.