Doremi woke up to a new loop. It was clearly in a European Medieval setting but nonetheless contained features from a fantasy world. She gave a slightly aggravated sigh.
"Dungeons and Dragons loop number I don't-give-a-" she thought, indignantly. Truth to be told, she was getting rather tired of this particular crossover. "Hathor either must think I love D&D or she just wants to mess with me... Oh well, I may as well see what quest Jou-sama wants me and the others to do."
Even though the D&D loops she had been through weren't as bad as she made them out to be, it was always something similar: Go on a Quest, rescue princesses or defeat terrible villains, sometimes both. It was getting repetitive and she was starting to get annoyed. Rubbing salt in the wound was the fact that her friends weren't Awake when D&D crossover loops happened...
She grabbed her Scissor Blade but left her sack, having decided on a self-imposed challenge. She then got dressed and headed out the door to the Queen's castle. She even wondered if anyone else was going to be Awake this loop…
After a few complications (Mostly she had forgotten a symbol she could enter to the castle in the backpack), she managed to pass the main door, and find the queen's chamber.
The large chamber that held the Queen was as large as the throne room she normally had when it was just her castle in Majo Kai and just as decorated and amazing. Doremi entered and found it to be dull since she had seen it so many times. To her astonishment, Hazuki, Aiko, Onpu, Momoko, and Pop were already there.
"You're late again, big sister!" Pop, a young swordswoman with magical power, chided, playfully, "Do I need to cast a few spells to make sure you're early?"
"Very funny, Pop-chan," Doremi said. She quickly gagged when she remembered that this setting didn't really use Japanese honorifics and pronouns. She was already getting a number of odd looks. "S-sorry!"
"It's okay, Doremi," Hazuki, a priestess this time, replied, "We don't mind." Armor could be discerned under her robes, as most priestesses were fully capable of casting magic despite heavy armor.
"You've always been a bit quirky, Doremi," Aiko, a ranger with a powerful composite longbow, remarked. "And that's why we love ya!"
Onpu, a rogue, turned to face the red-haired girl. "None of us would be together if it weren't for you," she stated, "I would've just been another cold thief and possibly a murderer-for-hire had you not shown me the light."
Momoko, an item-crafter with a level of spellcasting and a huge ability to destroy magical items and a large hammer for her forge, got up from her forge and pushed a symbol that caused it to turn into a cube. "And I would never have become as successful at item crafting had you not been there to cheer me on!" she added, "You're really awesome!"
At that time, Doremi chose to look herself over. She was wearing a robe of some sort, so she must be a spellcaster. However, it wasn't religious like Hazuki's and it wasn't regal like a wizard's. Then her memories started flowing in and she realized what she was supposed to be: A Sorceress. Makes sense, given that it may as well be the closest thing to a Witch this world had to offer...and she had lost count how many times she was this class.
She knew what this quest was...
"Are you ready, everyone?" Jou-sama inquired. She had been sitting patiently while watching the heartwarming-yet-cliché scene before her. Everyone nodded and prepared themselves. "As you all know by now, Hana has been abducted. Whoever did this made sure to do so in a way that would leave her magic useless.
"I cannot go and save her myself for fear of being subjected to whatever this was. But you girls have accomplished more in the last few years than I ever did in my time. Therefore, I believe you girls are the most qualified to save her."
"You don't need to tell us twice!" Doremi half-shout, determined, "Hana… is our adopted daughter and we will stop at nothing to save her from this kidnapper!"
'Okay', Doremi thought, 'That was cliché. But this is the first D&D loop where we have to go and save Hana-chan. Still, I'm not going to let anyone do anything to her. That I promise!'
"We'll leave as soon as we're ready," Onpu stated, "Everyone?"
"Yeah!" the group shouted.
"Good luck to all of you," Jou-sama ushered. The group began their leave right as the Queen gestured the other Witches and Wizards to leave as well. "Doremi? Can I have a word with you? Alone?"
Doremi nodded and allowed her friends to leave. "Uh, Jou-sama?"
"I'm Awake this loop, Doremi-chan."
"Oh! Sorry, Yuki-sama!"
Yuki removed the veil from her face. "Uhm, between you and me, how many times have we looped into a D&D crossover?"
Doremi's heart sank. "I gave up counting after the seventieth loop."
With that, Yuki dismissed Doremi, wishing her luck. She was going to need it, with her fellow Ojamajos clearly not Awake this loop and herself on a self-imposed challenge…
Doremi saw the other girls waiting for her. "Doremi! What did the queen asked?" Her siser asked.
Doremi used one of the lines she used in that loop where she hooked into D&D and talked with the DM alone. "Nothing, just giving me tips for the quest."
"Oh. Alright." Pop turned to the others. "What now?"
"Now, we prepare ourselves. Only bring the necesary things, and sharp your weapons and skills: We don't need to lose a chance to defeat a monster only beccause we don't have energy." Doremi said. Being in all those loops had given her some insight and leadership skills.
It hadn't taken long to prepare. It was still fresh in the morning and the group had set up camp near the outskirts of town. Doremi and Pop were busy mediating to regain their spell slots. Hazuki and Aiko were in prayer so their patrons can grant the two their spells; a deity and nature, respectively. Onpu and Momoko were busy going over the information Jou-sama had provided them with.
Jou-sama had her wizards and clerics cast several Divination spells so as to find Hana's location. They did, but only briefly before she just vanished. They were able to discern her last known location as being close to an ancient, mostly-underground stronghold. Thankfully, it wasn't far, only a half-day's walk from the town.
Unfortunately, all magical attempts to map out the interior were met with failure, even when Jou-sama herself, who was easily the most powerful Sorceress in the kingdom, made her own attempts. For Hana-chan to be kidnapped so easily when she also happened to be a quite-powerful Sorceress herself was alarming. Their meeting with Jou-sama when she summoned them only served to drive the point home. As of right now, their resolve to save Hana was strong.
Doremi and Pop came out of their meditation just as Hazuki and Aiko finished their prayer. All four now had spells, the latter two of whom hoping that their provided selection would help out. Onpu and Momoko briefed them on the plans; they then wasted no time in packing up their supplies and equipment and heading out.
"Alright, minna-I mean girls!" Doremi said, praying to Hathor for the girls not to start annoying her again. "Let's start moving!"
With that, she picked a road, and started walking through it.
"Uh, Doremi?" Onpu stopped her. "It's the other way."
The Anchor Ojamajo sweatdropped. "Oh, Right! I knew it!"
"Doubt it." Pop muttered.
It was well into the afternoon when the party made it to the stronghold. It wasn't that imposing, being little more than a simple outpost with a set of stairs going down. It barely seemed worth hiding in…
"The kidnapper… went here?" Pop asked, incredulously.
"Don't forget," Onpu warned, "This stronghold is mostly underground. I guess the unimposing look is to fool unsuspecting people into leaving this place alone."
Aiko looked at the ground and began feeling around. "Yeah," she said, "Someone was definitely here. Quite recently too. Seemed to carrying something around…and- Oh my-!"
"Wh-what is it?" Momoko asked.
"Someone was being dragged and putting up quite a struggle for some ways…and then the struggling just abruptly stops…right here!" The blue-haired girl pointed directly at a patch of ground. It was hard to discern without Aiko pointing out each bit of disturbed ground. "Hana wasn't making herself easy for that kidnapper…so he must've knocked her out!"
"So there's a chance Hana-cha- That she is still alive?" Doremi asked.
"You don't kidnap people just to kill them someplace far away," Onpu stated, "Especially someone like Hana. No, someone wants her for some reason. And I think this stronghold is part of that reason…"
"Then we go in, get the bastard, and save Hana, right?" Doremi surmised.
"Um, shouldn't we, uh," Hazuki stammered, "cast a few spells to…to…buff ourselves?"
The group unanimously nodded at Hazuki's suggestion. Doremi used Mass Bear's Endurance to empower the group's stamina. She then used Bull's Strength twice to empower Aiko and Pop. Hazuki used Fox's cunning and Owl's Wisdom to empower herself and Pop (again), used Cat's grace to make Onpu more slippery, and used Eagle's Splendor to improve Doremi's charisma and her spells with it. Momoko declined any enhancement spells.
When the group finished preparing, they entered the stronghold and descended down the stairs…
And dodged a giant ball of fire that awaited for them in the fifth step.
Doremi started worrying. When she was a DM once, she had done the same thing to her players. The setting wasn't the same, but it also had a subterrean fortress.
It could be a casuality... But if this loop was something like what she did... They would be in serious trouble.
"Let's continue, and avoid each fifth step." Doremi said. "It looks like they are tricked."
The other girls nodded, not knowing how Doremi discovered that, but understanding that wasn't the moment to ask questions.
The interior was incredibly dark. Clearly, no one had seen fit to use any illumination. Either that, or the residents didn't need illumination. Regardless, Hazuki applied a few Light spells to poles so they could be used as makeshift torches.
"Sorry," Hazuki peeped, "It's just that-!"
Onpu shushed the glasses-wearing girl. "Keep it down," Onpu whispered, "We don't want anything-!"
In moments, the door behind them was closed violently just when they had made it a few dozen yards in. Hazuki quickly jumped when she heard it and the group spun around. The door had been closed by a couple of small, lizard-like humanoid creatures. Within seconds, they had locked and barred the door and then vanished into tunnels that had been extremely well hidden…and then the entire corridor burst into flame.
"YAAAHHHHH!" Hazuki screeched.
"OH MY GOD!" Momoko screamed.
"Guys! We gotta move!" Aiko shouted, "NOW!"
In an instant, the group began to speed down the corridor. Fire damage was assured, so they had to move quickly. Unfortunately, they came across a locked door. Onpu took the handle while the others tried their hardest to ward off the flames. Not helping them was the fact that crossbow bolts as well as steel-tipped arrows were being shot from out of murder holes, all of which were clearly aimed at the girls.
Doremi and Onpu had recognized the creatures locking and barring the door: Kobolds, reptilian beings related to dragons. They are cowardly and sadistic and are infamous for setting cruel and dangerous traps throughout their lairs. This was clearly one of them.
For now, Onpu had to brave the flames and barrage of attacks to unlock the door. Not only that, but she had to check for traps that would most certainly trigger when she did get it open. She found one but checked again, finding another and no more than that. She then wasted as little time as possible disabling them before moving on to the door.
Meanwhile, warding off the flames was proving to be a hopeless battle. Hazuki already had to cast a Mass Cure Moderate Wounds spell to keep them from getting hurt further and it was taking everything Doremi, Aiko, Momoko, and Pop had to deflect the kobolds' attacks. To their fortune, Onpu managed to get the door open without a hitch, but the extra time she had to spend still caused more damage to the party than they would've liked.
Their troubles were only beginning.
Not only were the kobolds still referring to the murder holes for attacks, but now they were in the hallways and at a distance. Several were throwing Alchemist's Fires and oil bottles at the group from over piles of flaming debris. Others had shields, were wearing metal armor, and using long metal poles to push the flaming piles toward the party. And still others were hurling spears –the Kobolds' favored weapons- right into them.
"Just goes from bad to worse, doesn't it?" Pop deadpanned, her voice shaking.
"We gotta find another way!" Momoko cried out.
The party backtracked at Momoko's suggestion and found a side passage. They scrambled through it only to be ambushed by more Kobolds. These ones were moving rapidly and shooting them with more crossbow bolts and overall using guerilla tactics.
"I'm gonna blast them!" Doremi shouted.
"Doremi, wait!" Onpu called. Doremi turned to the purple-haired rogue. "If you do that in these narrow corridors, then we'll get blasted too! Use something smaller!"
Doremi grumbled and decided to use Magic Missile. That spell hadn't failed yet, but all of the missiles only hit one target…and there were a lot of them. Nonetheless, the odango-haired Sorceress cast her spell…and barely heard a similar spell being chanted from behind the walls. Her Magic Missiles launched but were blocked by a lone Magic Missile coming from one of the murder holes.
"I've been counterspelled…" Doremi muttered, 'Hell of a time for a self-imposed challenge…'
Things were getting out of hand even more than they already had. Hazuki was barely able to keep pace with everyone else and had run out of granted Mass Cure Moderate Wound spells. She still had a few Mass Cure Light Wounds spells left, but those were never going to cut it with all the damage these Kobolds were inflicting. Pop was trying to be useful, but her lack of offensive ranged spells along with the fact that the Kobolds were out of range of her sword caused her to resign herself to being a living wall. Onpu was having too much trouble. Sure, she had managed to shoot a few Kobolds with her own crossbow, but there were too many of them. Aiko was having similar problems, though she was more successful. Momoko was busy helping Hazuki with to keeping everyone healthy and occasionally getting a bolt off herself.
Things ultimately remained the same: The party had to move quickly and escape these Kobolds by any means necessary. Yet every time they did, they would simply run into more Kobolds. Onpu and Hazuki put two and two together and discerned that the Kobolds had honeycombed the entire area with smaller tunnels for themselves to quickly and effortlessly catch them at every possible turn.
As it stands, the party was going to lose this battle. Rubbing salt on the not-so-metaphorical wounds was that the Kobolds themselves were just ordinary Kobolds aside from their extreme ruthlessness, tenacity, and cunning. At this point, their only hope for escape was-
"Guys!" Aiko called, "I see something up ahead!" She pointed toward a small chamber further down the passage. The floor had what seemed to be a long shaft leading down. "I think it's a way out of this death trap!"
"Are you insane?!" Pop yelled, deflecting a few bolts and spears off her shield, "Who knows what could be down there!"
"Right now, anything's better than these Kobolds!" Onpu countered, "Come on!"
"I'll hold them off!" Doremi called. While her fellows made their way forward, Doremi cast another spell. Within moments of completing the movements and phrase, a thin wall appeared both along the sides and blocking the passage; it blocked all shots coming towards it with ease, for it was a Wall of Force. "You guys gotta hurry. My spell won't last long!"
"We're working as fast as we can!" Momoko called, hammering in a spike with which she was to tie a rope to.
Despite Doremi's quick thinking, shots were still finding their marks. Murder holes in the ceiling were still uncovered, allowing the Kobolds to continue shooting bolts and throwing spears at them. Pop was still defending with her shield, but she was already at her limit and Doremi could do little about it.
Thankfully, the girls finished setting the spikes and tying off the ropes and were now prepared to climb down. As they did so, Doremi's Wall of Force faded, allowing numerous Kobolds to close in and continue throwing spears, axes, bolts, and flaming oil bottles at the group. Momoko made her way over to forward and threw an infusion of her own into them.
It exploded violently, knocking several of them down. She then turned to get back to the shaft only to find herself unable to move. She looked down at the ground and then at Doremi, who had made it to the shaft. Aiko was there too and was making sure everyone got down safely.
"Guys," Momoko said, grimly, "I…I don't think I can follow."
"Momoko, that's crazy!" Aiko shouted, "We're not leaving without you!"
"I'm stuck!" The citrine-haired girl tried to lift her feet. They appeared to be glued to the ground. Doremi recognized it as Stick Floor, a staple of most Kobold Sorcerers. "Just go on without me!"
"We're not leaving you behind!" Aiko shouted, rushing to get Momoko.
Doremi took this time to cast Dispel Magic and get rid of the Sticky Floor and free Momoko. She was just in time, for numerous Kobolds were continuing the pursuit and resumed their attacks. Aiko and Momoko quickly got down the shaft while Doremi provided as much cover as she could. She began climbing down, but the Kobolds were practically on top of her. A bit more quick thinking on her part later and she cast a Fireball spell to again knock them down.
It bought her just enough time to escape down the shaft with the others. The group made it down without too much trouble. No sooner than they did, they had little choice but to get out of the room they found themselves in as the Kobolds above continued throwing weapons down at them.
"That…was horrible!" Momoko cried, burying her face in her hands, "I thought we were done for!"
Aiko embraced Momoko. "We survived," she said, comforting, "I think that's what counts."
Pop was sitting by herself in a corner. Her blade was leaning against the wall while she was in a depressed state. "I could've done something," she griped, "I know I could have! I just know I could have!"
Doremi walked up to her younger sibling. "You did do something," she said, comforting, "You made helped keep our injuries to a minimum. That should count for something, right?"
"Except I never got to take down any of those damned Kobolds… Were too far for my blade!"
"You still made a difference," Onpu replied, "If you hadn't have deflected some of those bolts and spears, Hazuki would have fallen a while ago."
"That's right," Hazuki added, "We all played an important part in all of this! Doremi freed Momoko and Aiko when they were trapped and managed to get a few spells off. Onpu and Aiko took a few of them down. You defended and even took little damage yourself!"
"Don't forget that you were the one keeping us healthy," Aiko reminded. Hazuki beamed at that.
"And who knows?" Doremi continued, "Maybe the Kobolds up there really are the worst things here!"
The pink Sorceress' comment caused Onpu to droop. "We still have to leave through there, y'know..." she said, glumly.
"And we'll be ready for them!"
The party exited the chamber and continued deeper into the dungeon. These corridors were perfectly square and exactly ten feet wide unlike the previous floor. They all seemed to be the same. In addition, they were surprisingly clean; not a trace of refuse or even remains of previous intruders could be found or even seen in the lighting the girls had. It gave them a feeling of unease.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Aiko muttered, "No one simply cleans up an old dungeon like this."
"Why are you complaining?" Pop asked, "It's not like we have to walk through any filth, right?"
"Aiko has a point," Onpu replied, "The, ugh… last floor was full of refuse and is now littered with the remains of hundreds of bolts, arrows, spears, and… just about everything else that can be thrown!"
Aiko turned toward Momoko. "Uh, Momoko?" she asked, "Can I borrow your hammer?"
"I…prefer to use it for item-making," Momoko replied, handing the hammer over, "But it is a decent weapon in its own right. Why do you ask?"
"I need to test something out." Suddenly, Aiko froze and then gestured everyone to be quiet. A slurping noise could be heard…and it was approaching from up ahead. "Hear that?"
"Yeah…" Pop replied, "I don't like the sound of it."
Aiko swung the hammer into the wall. She repeated it a few times until pieces of it came off. She picked some of the rubble and looked forward again.
"Time to test something out."
With that, she threw a piece of rubble forward. It…didn't hit the ground. Instead, a sound like a thick splash was heard and the piece was suspended in midair…and slowly approaching. Hazuki focused the light from her Light-enhanced torch; the girls saw a distortion in the light, particularly around where the piece of rubble was.
"IT'S A GELATINOUS CUBE!" Aiko yelled, "Just keep your distance and we'll beat it!"
"Well that wasn't so bad," Doremi remarked, "We barely took any damage!"
Pop stood up, a cheerful look in her eyes. "I can't believe I got that killing blow off!" she chortled.
"Easy now," Aiko warned, "These corridors were built for Cubes. And considering the size of this place, I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the only one here…"
The girls took their time in this level of the dungeon. They would need to in order to avoid walking right into another Cube and getting engulfed until freed or digested. That, and the Cubes were little more than a joke to the party; they were unintelligent, predictable, and easily out-paced.
After dealing with at least two more, the girls happened upon a larger passage…and a giant Gelatinous Cube walling it off.
"Any idea how long this one will take?" Doremi asked, sarcastically.
"I give it two minutes," Pop deadpanned, "Then we'll be on our way to the next floor."
Doremi sighed in her mind. The hardest things she did were over, but she knew the loop would keep the hardest part for the end.
The dungeon had been much easier than expected. The monsters roaming the halls were standard creatures that would normally be found in dungeons such as Carrion Crawlers, Monstrous Vermin, and certain undead. Very few even came approached the hectic rush that was the first level.
Level three was just as easy, having nothing but traps and other random monsters.
Level four got a little hairy when they ran into Fiendish Giant Spiders and other demonic Monstrous Vermin. Hazuki was nearly killed, as was Pop and Aiko, but were saved just in time by Momoko. They defeated the monsters, but by now were just about out of spells and supplies. A consolation in the form of a shaft that led deep much deeper into dungeon than the last one was accidently uncovered by one of the Fiendish Monstrous Spiders.
As such, the girls pounded more spikes into the floor and tied off more ropes so as to climb down. It reached far past the next level and even beyond the level after that one before they would land several more levels down. It was a long climb but hopefully well worth the wait, seeing as they wouldn't have to fight so many extra monsters now.
"This chamber looks secure," Onpu surmised, "Doremi? Can you set up a barricade to keep any wandering monsters out?"
"I think I can," Doremi replied, "At least, I hope I have enough strength for it. Do we need a Wall of Stone? Wall of Iron?"
"Either would be fine," Aiko replied.
"Though you should try to make sure a Wall of Iron would tip over through the hallway and not on us," Pop added, "Better any random monsters than us."
"I'll keep that in mind," Doremi replied, smiling.
On those words, the group decided to set up camp in the chamber. Aiko and Pop had the first watch, followed by Onpu and Momoko, and then Doremi and Hazuki. This way, each of them would get eight hours of rest therefore regain some of their strength and especially their spells. Momoko even set to work making new Infusions and helping to heal off everyone's wounds before they set out again.
It was a long night, but it was at least peaceful.
When morning came, Doremi and Pop again went into meditation to regain their spells. Aiko and Hazuki began their prayer so that their respective patrons will grant them their spells. Onpu and Momoko guarded the Wall of Iron Doremi set up the previous night and waited for the signal. The hour passed and everyone regained their spells for the day before packing up their supplies.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Pop asked, "I mean, knocking over a Wall of Iron isn't really good for silence."
"I can't really dismiss it," Doremi replied, "It was either this or a Wall of Stone…and I don't think anyone here can cast Transmute Rock to Mud, right?" She received a few grumbles upon that comment. "Sorry, everyone…"
"Let's just push it down then," Aiko suggested.
The other agreed and quickly began applying their strength. It was hard, but between the six of them, they were able to get it to wobble…and the entire thing fell away from the girls. The massive and terribly loud clang that resulted would alert anything further into the dungeon of the girls' presence.
"You sure you couldn't have used anything else?" Onpu remarked.
"Hey!" Doremi griped, "I'm not a Wizard, and I only know so many spells!"
On those words, the party began treading down the corridor and into this floor of the dungeon. To their surprise, it was lit by Everburning Torches and lacked any other passage. There were no corners to turn around and no hidden alcoves. All that was there was a straight path leading directly to a large door.
"Careful, everyone," Onpu warned, "No doubt this is where the kidnaper is…and no doubt they're aware of our presence."
The group took the warning in stride and quickly began preparing for an upcoming battle. Everyone repeated the spells they used before they first entered the dungeon. Doremi added several Stoneskin spells for good measure while Hazuki used Eagle's Splendor to empower Doremi's spells. When all was said and done, the party entered through the door.
Inside was a circular room about sixty feet across with one other door on the other side. Its only real decoration was a runic circle carved into the floor and radiating outward. Other than that, it seemed relatively bland. Sitting next to the door was a man in gold armor; he was looking through a book through glasses until he looked up and noticed the group.
"Didn't you mothers ever tell you 'Never go into a stranger's dungeon'?" he asked, mockingly, "Or did she encourage you to lose your lives?"
"We're not here for your lecture!" Doremi shouted, "We know Hana is here! Where is she?!"
The man put away his book and drew a Spiked Chain. "I've been a little bored lately. Perhaps you kids will provide me with some entertainment?"
Hazuki took a long, hard look at the man before brandishing her divine focus. "I KNOW who you are!" she shouted, angrily. This elicited a surprised and amused response from the man. "You're the man who abused my mother when she was young. You stole her innocence, left her in tears and in a shell until my father came along. You're that horrible man she told me about! You are…Yoichi Sakuragi!"
'Yoichi?!' Doremi thought. She thought that the kidnapper was someone she knew in baseline, but she thought it would be the Wizard King or some witch or wizard.
The man, Yoichi, gave a chuckle and smiled. "I see my reputation precedes me," he said, amused, "I'm even surprised the offspring of one of my victims has sought me out! I suppose I can tell you what I have in store for your 'princess', eh kids?"
"You might want to cut the crap and start taking us more seriously," Onpu warned, "It's six of us against you!"
"I'd give up now if I were you," Momoko added.
"Now tell us what you're planning!" Aiko ordered.
Yoichi smirked. "Ok!" he replied, sarcastically, "Since you so graciously insisted! See, a while back, I ran into some hell spawn by the side of the road. He and I made a deal and I managed to get it changed around to a degree: If I provide someone valuable enough, I can gain powerful spellcasting for myself."
"And…what happens to whoever you're using?" Doremi asked, cautious.
"They get dragged off the hell." Yoichi smirked again and winked at the now-furious Doremi. "What did you expect? Them hell spawn –or Devils, I should say- come from the Nine Hells. And I'll become powerful enough to attain as much glory as I could ever want! And your 'princess' will lose her spellcasting over to me, making me a Gestalt with the unrivaled martial prowess of a Warblade and the power of a would-be mighty Sorcerer!"
"You're…YOU'RE INSANE!" Doremi shouted. And she knew Insane. After some loops wih Evil Dictator Yuki, she knew.
"Not to mention stupid," Pop added under her breath.
"Believe what you want," Yoichi replied, nonchalantly, "But I personally don't give a damn. However, you six are cutting it a little close: In about five or so minutes, my contact will be here and then I can hand her off for some more power. Of course, you six could…sweeten the deal."
"Over our dead bodies!" Momoko yelled, brandishing her hammer and an Infusion.
With that, the fight began. Before anyone could act, Yoichi's shield levitated on its own and he quickly rushed into the thick of the group. Suddenly, he whirled around, his spiked chain striking Aiko, Onpu, and Pop despite their defenses. It wasn't the Whirlwind Attack feat since he was striking too many times; it as something that made Doremi realize just how powerful he had become.
Doremi's defensive spell worked and had successfully prevented them from taking too much damage, but they still took a lot from that attack alone. But now it was their turn to attack. Doremi, who was at a safe distance, fired five Magic Missiles at him; they struck true, as they always did, but it was going to take much more than that to take this man down.
Pop drew her sword and carefully stepped forward to get an attack off. Suddenly, despite her caution, Yoichi swung with his spiked chain, striking the young girl, hard. She survived thanks to her armor, but she wasn't in good shape. Regardless, she managed to swing with her sword, blowing past his floating shield and stabbing him in the gut.
Onpu, who was within five feet of Yoichi, drew her rapier and drove it into his side. To her horror, his shield blocked it, nearly causing her to lose her balance. She then tried to withdraw, maintaining her caution that would only allow her to move five feet away; once again, Yoichi caught it and struck hard regardless of her caution and nearly felled her.
Hazuki wasted no time in casting a Mass Cure Moderate Wounds spell on Pop, Aiko, and Onpu, healing some of their injuries and hopefully delaying their fall long enough to pull through. She then retreated to a safer distance.
Momoko put her Infusion back in, not wanting to hit Onpu, Pop, or Aiko with its blast. Instead, she opted to draw a Tanglefoot Bag and throw it at Yoichi. It struck right at his feet, quickly entangling him and anchoring him in place.
Aiko decided against moving and instead fired two arrows courtesy of her composite longbow. To her shock, Yoichi's armor rebounded the arrows and sent them right back at her. She had no time to dodge…and she suffered several injuries of her own.
Doremi recognized Yoichi's stance from a previous loop and identified it as Thicket of Blades. Very few Warblades are able to learn it, but Yoichi had clearly taken the right steps and was making excellent use of it with his spiked chain. She had also recognized his maneuver as Adamantine Hurricane, a higher level maneuver that only powerful Martial Adepts could perform; it allowed them to attack anyone within their reach just like Whirlwind Attack –a common trick used by several martial classes- but exceeded the latter by being able to strike multiple times.
She then knew that the first round was coming to a close. 'With how much damage he just inflicted', Doremi thought, bitterly, 'We might not last the five minutes…'
How shocking…the party managed to survive for almost the five minutes due to clever thinking on everyone's part. Unfortunately, things weren't getting any better for the girls. Aiko, Onpu, Momoko, and Pop were down and slowly bleeding to death while Doremi and Hazuki were scrambling to keep their distance from the increasingly manic Warblade.
Throughout the battle, the group had managed to keep him from doing too much damage only for him to pull one maneuver after another. Doremi managed to trap him in a roughly-square chamber made from Walls of Stone; Yoichi effortlessly broke out using Elder Mountain Hammer. Pop hindered him using Halt, but he countered using Iron Heart Surge…which in turn only made him stronger. Hazuki shot him with a Slashing Darkness spell…and he again countered it by using his Wall of Blades maneuver.
Yoichi alternated between using his spiked chain and his greatsword. At the same time, whenever he changed his weapon, she changed his stance. When using his spiked chain, he used thicket of blades, and when he used his greatsword, he used Stance of Alacrity. One was as problematic as the other; Thicket of Blades plus his spiked chain made moving near him impossible while Stance of Alacrity made it harder to hurt him. Finally, just when everyone thought he had run out of maneuvers, he regains them all in a heartbeat, even taking advantage of the distance to quickly change which ones he had at the ready.
His tactic took their toll on the girls. One by one, they were knocked down until only Doremi and Hazuki were left. Doremi was the only one able to deal any real damage to him due to her having Magic Missile and Fireball while Hazuki was frantically trying to heal their friends. They didn't have that long until his contact arrived and he was still walking as if he wasn't injured.
"All tired out, huh?" Yoichi taunted, "I gotta say, you gave me a hell of a run for my money. But, that's what I get for taking on a bigger-than-usual group. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!" On that note, he quickly swung his blade downward, attempting to behead the downed Aiko. Hazuki, who was close enough, swung with her Heavy Mace and actually managed to get a hit off, stopping his attempted coup de grace. "Why you little-!"
"Hazuki!" Doremi shouted. She quickly used her last first-level slot for one final Magic Missile, conjuring five more. They hit again, but he still hardly seemed fazed. "What is with this guy?!"
Hazuki took a five foot step away and quickly cast her last Cure Critical Wounds spell on Aiko, restoring her to at least a good health. She then moved away herself.
Yoichi was not amused. He was getting tired of Doremi's Magic Missiles and Fireball constantly hitting him from afar. That wasn't fun in his opinion, and he was intent on rectifying that. When he got his next action, he decided to bound right for her, sword at the ready to skewer her alive.
To his shock, Doremi had parried the blow…with a sword shaped like a giant pair of scissors. "WHAT?!" Yoichi gasped, angrily.
"You're not the only one here with a powerful sword, Yoichi!" Doremi replied.
He chuckled. "A Sorceress…with an odd sword? I think that will make a fine trophy!"
'If only this son of a- knew…' Doremi thought, grinning internally.
Both began exchanging one blow after another. Some were parried, others landed, and the rest missed completely. This went on for roughly twelve seconds, but it was clear Yoichi was getting the lead due to his armor, animated shield, and higher level and Doremi's lack of thereof. Hazuki was taking advantage of the time by using her magic to heal everyone as best as she could. Momoko helped too after she was healed.
Just then, Yoichi knocked Doremi to the ground and had her at his mercy. "Any last words, little girl?" he asked, mockingly and with a sadistic grin plaster on his face. He was about to strike before the words could leave Doremi's mouth when the circle underneath everyone's feet began to glow. Doremi took advantage of the distraction and got out of range of his sword. "Well look who failed to kill me when she had the chance!"
Everyone looked on in horror as the ring glowed a bright and menacing red. A large portal, one that clearly led to the Nine Hells of Baator, appeared in the very center. Moments later, a large red fiend cloaked only by its large wings appeared: A Pit Fiend.
Yoichi approached it. "Ah, you're right on time! I have the offering just as promised!" he said, excitedly, albeit with a hint of nervousness in his voice. "Just distract these intruders while I go retrieve her!"
The Pit Fiend laughed, making the Warblade tremble slightly. "When was that ever part of our deal?" it asked, taking glee in the mortal's fear. "I don't see the one you promised me anywhere. Shall I just take you to Hell instead?"
Yoichi backed up. "She's in that room beyond that door!" he shouted quickly, pointing at the other door in the room. He then quickly made his way toward it, only for Doremi to cast a Wall of Force to keep it sealed. "Hey! Dismiss this now!"
Doremi shook her head. "If you want Hana, then you'll have to go through me first!"
"And not just her!" Onpu shouted, walking up to the red-headed Sorceress, "Hana is not your bargaining chip! And we will not let her be used that way!"
"If you want to try anything," Pop said, darkly, "then by all means try. You're NOT taking Hana away again!"
"I've spent yesterday and this morning fighting hard to save her from you," Hazuki added, determined, "If I have to keep fighting, then so be it!"
"As much as I would love to hear the rest of your common speeches," Yoichi began, interrupting Aiko and Momoko, "I have to say I'm getting rather late with my deal. You will dismiss that Wall of Force you set up or I'm going to go to Hell! Which is it? Let me go to Hell, or save me. Your pick, but I'd go with the latter if I were you!"
The Pit Fiend's laughter interrupted any and all attempts by the girls to continue the argument. "How amusing! These mortals could serve nicely in as a court of jesters! But…I find it tiresome." It turned to Yoichi. "You very clearly do not have anything worth the trade. So I think I'll be taking you back to my humble abode!"
"You can't do this!" Yoichi shouted, "That wasn't part of our deal!"
The Pit Fiend waved its finger in a "tsh tsk" manner. "Read the fine print."
The now-panicking Warblade immediately tried to fight the Pit Fiend off and back out of the deal, but his wounds were more severe than he let on. His own attacks failed to even remotely hurt the thing as it uttered a single word of power. Then and there, he dropped his weapon, stunned by the spell-like ability. The Pit Fiend then took the opportunity to grab him him and lifted him by the skull. With a loud scream and a crack of bones, Yoichi's skull was crushed in the Baatezu's grip; his corpse fell to the floor while his soul remained stuck in the fiend's grasp.
"I would love to stay and offer a few deals, but I have other things to attend to," the Pit Fiend said to the now-shocked girls, "We'll meet again soon."
With that, the powerful devil vanished back into the portal from whence it came, dragging the screaming soul of Yoichi Sakuragi with it. The portal closed soon after, leaving no trace of its presence.
At this point, Doremi dismissed the Wall of Force protecting the door. At the same time, she pocketed the Scissor Blade back, just in case. "Everyone…" she began, and then looked at Yoichi's corpse, "We just barely made it, didn't we?"
"Tell me about it," Aiko replied, "It was almost as bad as those kobolds!"
"Ten gold pieces says he's gonna become a Lemure," Onpu blurted out.
"Onpu!" Momoko chastised.
"What? I was just joking!"
Doremi shook her head. "In any case," she started up, "Yoichi's been defeated and this dungeon is pretty much just here for show now. We need to get Hana out of this place ASAP!"
The group nodded and quickly opened the formerly-protected door. Inside was a smaller room with a bed. Chained to the bed was a young girl with very long, blonde hair and a silvery-white gown with streaks of pink and pastel yellows mixed in. She wore a black bracelet on her left wrist. She looked up and smiled as hope and happiness rushed back to her eyes.
"Guys…?" she began, "GUYS!" Hana immediately leapt to her feet and attempted to glomp Doremi. Her chains stopped and nearly tripped her for her troubles. "Aah! Uh, Sorry?"
"Don't worry, Hana," Doremi assured, "We'll have you out in no time at all!"
Onpu quickly got to work, picking the locks on her shackles and easily unlocking them. In less than half a minute, Hana was free from her prison and now giving Doremi a hug.
"You're late," she said, teasingly.
"Better late than never," Doremi replied.
"Even though in this case almost got Hana dragged off to the Nine Hells?" added Pop.
Doremi grinned sheepishly. This kind of quest was really intense…
"Uhm, guys?" Hana began, backing from Doremi, "I…I'm sorry. I tried teleporting out, but my magic! It's-!"
"What's wrong?" Onpu asked.
Hana showed the black bracelet to the group and explained what it seemed to do. It was trapping her in a personal-range Antimagic field, suppressing her spellcasting and any magic items she may have had and keeping her from effectively fighting back. She even demonstrated by trying to cast Bull's Strength on Doremi, which failed due to the item. What was worse was the fact that it seemed fused to her wrist; she tried everything but couldn't remove it.
Momoko used her Identify ability to get a red read on the bracelet's powers and learned much about it. She told everyone that the item does indeed trap the wearer in an Antimagic Field that has a range of personal, confirming Hana's fears. She then revealed that removing the item required a Remove Curse spell; Doremi and Pop didn't know the how to cast the spell and Aiko could never cast it without going into another class, forcing everyone to stare at Hazuki and hope that she happened to have the spell prepared. Unfortunately, Hazuki didn't, and many hopes were dashed.
"Couldn't you just Rend it, Momoko?" Pop suggested.
Momoko shook her head. "Whoever made this item must've had a special hate for Artificers," she surmised, "If I Rend it, then the item will destroy Hana's arm. And even if she did receive healing from even a Cure Minor Wounds orison, she would still be short one arm. And none of us can cast Regenerate either!"
"Don't forget," Aiko warned, "We still have to leave the way we came in. And I'm NOT eager to repeat the horror that is the first floor…"
"We could just camp out down here for another eight hours," Pop suggested, "We'll get our spells back and recover somewhat from the fight against Yoichi."
"And then I can request Remove Curse from my patron!" Hazuki finished, "But…Hana, you've been-!"
"As long as everyone's here, one more day won't be bad," Hana assured. She held Doremi's hand. "I'll know you're all here. I'm helpless by myself with this thing on, and you being here gives me comfort. I can afford to stay a little longer if it means I'll be free of this bracelet and be with all of you."
"So it's decided then," Doremi began, "We'll stay here and recover so we can free Hana."
"And when I'm free," Hana added, "I can Teleport us all out of here!"
"Are you sure you're strong enough for that?" Onpu warned, "Even powerful Sorcerers have limits on how many people they can Teleport. Plus, Doremi can't cast it and Hazuki doesn't have the Travel Domain. So either way, at least one or some of us is going to have to fight their way out."
"Then if I can't Teleport us all out, then I'll fight with you!"
Suddenly, a sharp rumble shook the room. Shocked, the girls left the room and into the chamber outside only to find its floor giving way to a pool of acid below. Ordinarily, it wouldn't have been so bad, but the aid was slowly but surely rising. Time was of the essence.
"Hana!" Doremi called, "Do you know any way we can get out of here fast?"
"There's an elevator that'll take us to floor one over there!" Hana replied, pointing at a seemingly blank wall. "It's concealed, so someone will have to reveal it!"
"Leave that to me!" Onpu said, determined. She effortlessly made her way over the crumbling floor and toward the wall section pointed out by Hana and, sure enough, there was a secret door hidden within it. She opened it up and ushered everyone to her position. One by one, the group made it until the whole party was accounted for. By then, the acid was covering what was left of the floor and pouring down the short shaft below the elevator. Onpu punched a button and it quickly zoomed upward. "Ok, we only have a few minutes to plan how we're going to get past those kobolds in our condition."
"There is no way," Hana warned, dejectedly, "They have every corridor honeycombed with small tunnels for them to hide and attack. And that's before we get into the traps they've set!"
"I disarmed two of them and that was it," Onpu replied, "But…"
"We can't rule out more traps," Hazuki warned, "But, maybe we can talk to them?"
"Yeah, maybe," Aiko replied, "Anyone know Draconic?" The shakes she received made her heart sink. "Then we better hope some of them speak Common."
"Um-m, g-g-guys?" Pop began, shuddering. She was looking down through and opening in the elevator. "We better step on it! The acid is rising fast!"
The group looked through other openings and, sure enough, the acid was there below them. It was rising quickly, easily keeping up with the elevator. The elevator wasn't rising too fast in its own right, but it was just barely faster than the acid. But the acid rising faster than anticipated still left the girls fearful.
"Are there any other passages the acid could rise into?" Momoko asked.
"This is a dungeon, Momoko," Pop replied, "And elevators are typically connected to multiple floors, so I'm sure the acid will drift into one of them!"
"Can we stop debating long enough to figure out how to get this thing to go any faster?!" Doremi chided.
The rest of the group nodded and quickly got to work. At once, Onpu, Aiko, Momoko, Pop, and Hazuki were all but useless in the endeavor due to their lack of mechanical skills. Hana was just as useless due to her magic being sealed and Doremi was low on spells. She wanted to cast Haste on the elevator to see if the spell would make it rise faster but feared that it wouldn't work. She knew the spell only targeted creatures (including constructs) and that was it. That was when she began to debate about where the acid came from in the first place. With a simple thought, she cast Dispel Magic on the acid below. To everyone's astonishment, the acid greatly slowed its rising; it had all but ceased when the spell finished working.
"It's magical in nature," Doremi surmised, "Someone set up a contingency spell to release the acid in case something happened there!"
"Well keep dispelling it!" Aiko said, "The slower that acid rises, the better our chances!"
"Why?" Onpu asked.
"Because I need all the spells I can get on the first floor! And I only have so many spells left!"
The group wisely decided to count their blessings and wait it out. The acid resumed rising quickly enough but remained well below their sight. About half an hour later, the elevator came to a complete stop, signifying their arrival.
"Let's hope these Kobolds are willing to talk," Onpu said, grimly.
Several long spears came in with an audible sharpness. All were held in place and trained on the throats of the girls. Holding them in place was, of course, the Kobolds.
"Uhh, y-you're not s-still mad at us f-for k-k-killing a few of your friends and g-getting away right?" Pop said, shakily. The spear trained to her throat inched closer. "Thought so…"
"Pokukris!" the Kobold ordered.
"Do any of you speak Common?" Doremi asked.
Several of the Kobolds parted and made way for another of their kind. She also wielded a long spear and was clearly their leader, wearing more refined robes and being better equipped. Her scaly skin was about the same as the other Kobolds: brownish with a hint of mud red. But unlike the others, her skin had numerous blue spots; she even sported wings folded tightly against her back.
"I speak clearly," the leader said, "You have nerve to come back this way."
Doremi quickly realized exactly what she was: A Dragonwrought Kobold with wings. From the look of things, she was a Sorcerer and a strong one at that.
"I'm going to cut to the chase. Acid is flooding the dungeon below and is rising. This floor will be flooded soon too! We have to get out of here!"
"You humans intrude into Kobold maze, force us into obedience, and then kill some of us. We should simply throw you into the stewpot!"
"Doremi?" Hazuki peeped. Doremi nodded and withdrew, allowing the cleric to speak her mind. "Was the man who forced you to aid him a Warblade?"
"Human Warblade arrived and forced us to serve him. You are affiliated, are you not?"
"That man kidnapped Hana –that's her right there- and we came here to rescue her!" Momoko blurted, pointing to Hana. The Kobold leader looked carefully at the blonde-haired girl with a level of curiosity. "We didn't mean to cause any problems!"
"Human Warblade was seen carrying a human woman here. This is that woman?"
"Um, Miss kobold?" Hana began, "I'm sorry for what happened earlier, but there really is acid rising! Please!"
The Kobold leader looked long and hard at the young Sorceress. Then, she turned to one of her fellows. "Gariss!" she called, "Ocuirvhir!"
The Kobold who was levering his spear at Momoko's throat nodded and, keeping the spear trained on the girl, investigated the elevator shaft. His eyes went wide. "Munthrek renthisj vis! Uvelucal lleisgaric !"
Upon hearing those words, the leader went over there herself to take a look. She returned afterward and gestured her fellows to lower their weapons. "We will leave the dungeon and allow you to go unhindered."
The Kobolds left on those words, vanishing into their tunnels. The girls counted their blessings; they weren't going to be harassed and nearly killed by them…again. However, a new worry arose: Their lack of knowledge on the layout of this floor. It may not have been that long ago when they first set foot in here, but any details were drowned out by the constant and frantic running and the Kobolds' ruthless assault.
The girls threw caution to the wind and hastily went down the corridors. Hazuki had one last Light spell in reserve and used it to again make the stone from earlier into a makeshift torch. She led the way, but the light only went so far.
They were just in time too, for acid started overflowing from the shaft and began to slowly but surely flood the dungeon. Doremi had no more fifth- and sixth-level slots left and so couldn't cast any Walls of Stone/Iron spells to at least slow it down. Acid quickly began dissolving everyone's boots and burning their heels, slowing their trek. Doremi used Dispel Magic to slow it down some more, but it would only be a temporary solution as the acid eventually just kept flowing back for more. Within several minutes, Doremi had run out of third-level slots necessary for Dispel Magic.
To everyone's fortune, the exit was up ahead. Unfortunately, it was still locked and barred from when the Kobolds trapped them earlier.
"Should've known those lizard-dragon-things would pull this!" Aiko grunted, wincing from the acid. She was carrying Hana right now, for the acid had left her unable to walk quickly enough. "Onpu! Think you can get this door open!"
"I'll try!" Onpu replied.
With that, the purple-haired Rogue went to work. It as a simple enough job for her, but the barred door was proving problematic. Pop and Momoko aided her with that and, together, finally opened the door. They wasted no time in getting out of the dungeon and back outside.
"Oww~!" Doremi groaned, wincing from the acid burns, "I'm going to feel that tomorrow…!"
"You and everyone else!" Pop deadpanned, rubbing her feet and what remained of her boot.
"Are you sure we can make it in this condition?" Momoko asked, "I think I have a few healing Infusions left, but I don't think it's going to cut it here!"
"There aren't enough for all of us," Onpu warned, "Aiko, Pop, Doremi, and you should take them and help carry us back…"
"But why not Hana?" Doremi griped.
"I'll b-b-be fine, D-Doremi," Hana replied, teeth chattering from the pain, "It's not like these wounds are-?"
"Don't jinx it, Hana."
"I see you humans escaped," came the voice of the Kobold leader. She and her fellows were wearing dark goggles and were speaking to them from above beside the stronghold. "We will meet again."
"Wait!" Doremi called, attracting her attention once more, "Maybe our kingdom and your tribe can form an alliance?"
"Why do you propose this?"
"Because we each have something the other wants?"
The Kobold leader shook her head. "We do not trust your kingdom right yet. One of your own committed atrocities against us. You saving us does not quell anything." She took another stern look at the red-haired Sorceress. "We return to our mine now. May the Great Eternal Wheel keep watch over us."
With those final words, the Kobolds left. Doremi stood there, perplexed at what their leader had said. Hazuki explained a few of the deities Kobolds worshipped, particularly Kurtalmak. She then explained who the Great Eternal Wheel was: Io. Unfortunately, the brunette cleric had little idea of what Io-worshipping Kobolds were like. Still, if they were willing to let them go, then they were at least a bit more trustworthy than most.
The group decided to heal Pop, Aiko, Onpu, and Doremi using Momoko's healing Infusions. Aiko carried Momoko, Onpu carried Hazuki, and Doremi and Pop teamed up to carry Hana. It was going to be a long walk back to the kingdom…
"Famed heroes!" Jou-sama called out. It had been roughly a day since the girls returned with Hana in tow; she had been freed from the black bracelet that once sealed her magic. However, the item itself was being kept for study with a number of Remove Curse spells handy in case someone got it stuck to their wrist. "You have all done well in returning Hana to the Kingdom! For this, you shall be richly rewarded!"
Doremi stepped forward. "Jou-sama?" she began, "What's going to happen next?"
Jou-sama smiled at Doremi. "I…don't really know! Maybe give you some steak?"
That offer made Doremi drool dreamily, much to everyone else's confusion.
"Steak?" Pop spoke up, "Sister likes steak? Are you okay?"
Doremi grinned sheepishly. Her memories of this time loop stated that she had a notorious dislike for steak. She guessed someone working Yggdrasil was trying to be a colossal troll…
Doremi Matzukaze, Tenma Matsukaze's sister In-Loop, sighed. The first time she was in Raimon's world, she replaced a girl 11 years before the events. True, she had "helped" to defend the world from some weird soccer teams. Aliens, armies, angels, demons, time travelers, the big deal.
It was way better than travelling through time to save soccer using the powers of 12 (for some reason the soccer was been played by 12 players this loop) famous people from history in order to save soccer from people from the future.
Though, Mixi-Maxing with the real Baba Yaga was a really interesting feeling. And her Avatar, Total Time Witch, was really strong. Not to mention her Soul, a Dog(Again, why always a dog?), which Tenma taught her how to use it.
Also, she managed to steal the Mixi-Max Gun.
'I wonder how Hazuki would look with Apple Bloom's Aura... And how will I look with Yuki's...'
Oyajide ran for his life.
His loyalty at the king notwhistanding, he couldn't believe he accepted this risky mission.
He discovered that the baby he was trying to kidnap was from the Ojamajos.
He was scared of one of them, a pink-haired girl. He had seen how she made horrible experiments with little animals and magic.
What's worse, the other girls were scared of her, even her older sister. That was why they decided to become full-edged witches, except for her sister, who seemed to want to like her.
He tried to escape...
But Sakura Harukaze can't be escaped forever.
Doremi hated this kind of Loops. She called them "Hard-Mode Loops". Loops when everything and everyone seemed harder.
It started when she discovered Majo Rika. For some reason, the curse this loop turned the witch an uncontrolled beast until her apprentice passed 3 exams. Then there was Onpu's frenemy thing. She really wanted to kill them this time, and Majo Ruka was controlling her. The curse this time was to feel all pain she had done, and almost killed her.
Then, it was time for first taking care of Hana. She was Awake, and it was good, because the exams were really threatening, even for baseline grown-ups. And then Ojayide. He was stronger, and deadlier. And the FLAT-4 were as psycho as a baseline Hinamizawa resident.
She almost died while she recovered the flower that healed Hana. This time, the curse was too strong to save her by using flowers from other loops. She had to use both sides of the Scissor Blade only to survive, and not even with thier full power she could escape without an scratch.
Right now, she was in an epty field, practicing with her Ki, Chakra, Reiatsu and the Decapitation Mode of her two Scissor Blades. If the things she had done were bad enough, then the final batle against Majo Tourbillon would be really hard.
She would be ready.
Doremi screamed, as she sent 100 and 1 Pings directed to Yuki.
This time the ghost in the graveyard was a great and powerful red Oni. Not even Hazuki, who had replaced Rei/Sailor Mars in one Loop, and her charms could stop him.
When Yuki appeared in a flash of light, the two girls were fighting against the big monster.
"Yuki-sama! Thank the tree you're here!" Hazuki said, while dodging the big fist the ccreature sent to her.
"...'Thank the tree'?" Yuki asked, while taking her witch stone.
"It's something a lot of loopers use instead of god." Doremi said, as she parried with the Oni with her Scissor Blade. "I prefer Kami, it suits better for me."
"Alright. Let me care of this." Yuki said, as her stone started glowing a white color. The Oni was encapsuled on a musical force field, and so did Yuki's left hand.
That's when Doremi recognized the Oni.
In a flash of melodious light, the red monster had disappeared.
And Yuki's hand had become a monster's claw.
"Wow... That's what you had to do to trap him in other loops?"
"Basically." Yuki said, retieving a guantlet from her Subspace Pocket. "I haen't been able to talk with him or making him a friend."
"Maybe when you're replacing Naruto-san or Ryuko-chan." Hazuki said, picking her sealing artifacts.
"I hope. I'm getting short of magical stones."
The Anchor for the Ojamajo Loops looked at the Majo-kai.
It looked like an ENORMOUS Witch Barrier. The Witches were weird Witch/witch hybrids, even Majo Rika(who looked like if someone smashed a frog and Andy Warhol's work into one humanoid being).
Not to mention she had found that one of her classmates had been replaced by the Demon of the Puella Magi "Loop" itself, Homura Akemi.
Right now, she was in a "Kyubey Hunt" with her, as she was the only one Awake (Maybe Yuki was Awake too, but she hadn't been able to send the Ping, so she was blind in that thing). It seemed like the Incubator had Awoken earlier and corrupted he entire Majo-Kai. Howeer, due to he magic nature of the place, the witches were still sentient, so it was only a Kyubey Hunt instead of a Witch Hunt(No pun intended).
"So, how's being a god?" Doremi asked, after impalling the Incubator from behind.
"You're asking from the wrong Looper." Homura said, killing three more Kyubeys. "I Descended, that means I'm a demon."
"Oh, sorry." A beat, where the only thing that was heard were gunshots directed to Incubators. "But how does it feel?"
"Not very different to Awakening. Just a little more of pressure in your whole body. I don't recommend it to anyone."
"Oh, I see."
Aiko hated the loop where she was now.
"Why do I always have to be a man when I visit this Loop?!" She/he said, as he finally moved the final block to ascend to the next row.
"Hell if I know, but it's always conforting to be helped by someone else!" Vincent said, a few rows below him/her.
"Is that sarcasm?"
"... I DON'T KNOW ANYMORE!"
"Daddy...DADDY!" he baby/chainsaw/eldricth thing shouted, as Vincent dodged the chainsaw at he last moment.
"...We'll better leave this conversation in the waking world." Aiko said wisely.
"JUST OPEN THAT DAMN DOOR!"
"ON IT! ON IT!"
"What are you gonna do? Save your Daughter? Or save yourseles, humans?"
The Ojamajos looked at each other...
And Doremi smirked.
"We choose both!" She shouted, showing a backpack with two guns strapped at it, one with a plus sign, and another with a minus sign. She shot at a blank space with the minus gun, showing a auburn-haired woman. Then she shot the other side at Aiko. The minus side stopped slowing and the plus side increased it's power. Aiko shouted, before the ray disappeared, and showed her new form. Her now airburn hair reached her waist, and her blue eyes were now aquamarine.
"Oh yeah! Mixi-Trans, Tear!" She shouted.
"Aiko, I trust you on the flower, ok?" Doremi said.
Aiko nodded. "Of course!"
In a blink, she disappeared and reappeared again. In her hands, she had the flower.
"W-Wha?!" The voice of Majo Tourbillon said, as the girls disappeared from the Cursed Forest.
"I Am Thou, Thou Art I... You have the power to overcome your fears... I shall help you.. My name is Kemono no joo..."The creature who looked like a queen oni said, before turning into a card.
"'Beast Queen'? Sounds good." Yu said. "Do you have a monster inside of you?"
Yuki Narukami smiled. "A little Oni trapped usually in my hand. Is a good guy once you know him."
"Onis are usually cool." Was Yu's answer.
7.1- Kadaj5 asked me to say this loop was based in a magazine he read. Now, I can add, it sounds a lot interesting. Too bad I don't play DnD.
7.2- The world of Inazuma Eleven. Usually mostly normal ... But let's be honest, the second part of the world is really weird. Awesome, but weird.
7.3- Sakura Haruno, the most dangerous good Looper out there. Sakura Syndrome, the term created by her insanity. Oyajide, poor guy who will feel the Mad scientist/psycho woman's wrath.
7.4- When hard life gives you lemons... It gives them to you in the face. And only the liquid. And mostly in your eyes.
7.5- Haing an Oni trapped inside of your hand is hard, even more when it escapes from it.
7.6- Working with a Demon. Better than it sounds.
7.7- Because when you have to escape from an ass with eyes in an almost weekly basis, you can be sure you'll be using sarcasm a lot.
7.8- Ah, the uses of a Mixi-Max gun. Not apt for some people, but really useful for a lot of Loopers.
7.9- ... I got nothing. What? I can't think on a good punchline for every Loop!