Chapter 86: The King of Serpents

A/N: Hello everyone! My semester has ended and I managed to complete this three days into my holidays! R & R please!

Summary: Previously, Vannessa & Micaiah encountered five mages in the Haunted Glade, on their way to Chestervania Reservoir. The group were caught by a Basilisk, the King of Serpents borne of darkness of the souls and human despair.

"It's coming…!" the pink-haired girl answered frantically as she moved to stand before them, together with Micaiah. "A Basilisk…" she trailed off, as the gigantic snake emerged into the almost dying light of the ember remains of the fire.

"A what?" Gabby, the only other female mage spoke up, staring at her incredulously.

Vannessa silenced them with an abrupt gesture as her eyes turned into pools of liquid blackness. A basilisk was the king of all serpents, borne of darkness of the souls and human despair. These creatures were hardly mythical in Vannessa's humble opinion; she had witnessed one in close combat against Acheron, but of course, the Dark Dragon triumphed with its opponent ripped to shreds. It was a gruesome memory, something which she would remember for all of eternity. Never in her life, had she thought about facing one. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on ends and a shiver of fear crept up her spine. "Whatever you do, don't stare into its eyes or its reflection…and stay absolutely still and don't make any sudden movements," she said in a harsh tone. There was no way they could run from the monster; Vannessa knew…once it catches its victim's trail, it will pursue it relentlessly. The only way was to stay and face it head on until the battle pronounces the victor. She had no choice. "Run as far as you can while I keep the basilisk distracted…it hasn't caught on your scent with the exception of Micaiah's and mine…" Vannessa continued, still keeping her eyes fixed on the darkness before her, anticipating the creature's appearance.

"But where are we going to run?" Gabby shrieked, looking terrified.

Vannessa was about to answer when it revealed its presence to the others soon enough. The basilisk reared its head back to study its potential prey.

Damn it…!

It was already much too late for that. The Dark Dragon Slayer gritted her teeth as beads of perspiration formed on her forehead. Her gaze was fixed in concentration on the basilisk's shadow before her; with the darkness of the night all around them, she could only depend on the weak light of the fire to guide her movements. "Don't make any sudden movements," she hissed. Her eyes narrowed sharply when the serpent's shadow quivered slightly. It was preparing itself to strike at them. She had to keep its focus solely on her and Micaiah while she let the others escape to safety first.

Silently, her wings sprouted from her shoulder blades as she called upon the assault magic that boosted her speed substantially. "Dance of Hell…" she breathed softly just as the girl disappeared from everyone's line of sight. Promptly, the wolf yelled at the other mages to flee. "Get going, now!" she snarled and sprinted forward, her claws and fangs extended. She aimed for the lower-part of its body with bloodthirsty intent to tear its flesh apart.

In mid-air, Vannessa deliberately aimed her swords at its neck while tenaciously avoiding its eyes, narrowingly avoiding its massive jaws in the process. The swords bounced backwards from the impact; the creature's scales were tough to pierce, indeed. She had to move in and add more strength behind the swords but it would risk her getting brutally wounded by its fangs or worse…killed by its venom. Her vision of the enemy was severely limited with the monster's ability to render its victims immobile and petrified. She cursed under her breath as she had yet another close call. Her magically enhanced speed was hardly going to last for long. There was only one way left for her to fell the Basilisk; the same attack that she used on Ultear but to do that…she needed Micaiah in order to undergo the Fallen Phase Transformation. It was her last resort. With the remains of her last attack, she went into a perilous dive to reach her best friend.

Micaiah could sense her wielder's urgency and promptly transformed herself into the Teufel Stab. The Dragon Slayer could feel the serpent's breath behind her. She pushed herself forward and extended her hand out for the staff. Her fingers closed around it and she did a neat curve while airborne and flew upwards just as the monstrous head struck the ground. In that instant as she hovered above the serpent, her speed boost dissipated only to be replaced by Micaiah's magic. "Fallen Phase Transformation…Demon Wings of Horror." In response, the massive raven-like wings sprouted out from between her shoulder blades replaced her usual ones while another pair of a smaller size, materialized at the back of her ankles. By now, the Basilisk was already preparing itself to launch another attack at the girl.

"Underneath where the eternal moon shines, there only will be the one amongst the damned. A soul to which no other shall ever hope to dominate, I call upon the darkest of the darkness: Dark Ageis!" she vocalized the words in an expressionless voice. A shadowy stream of darkness shot out from her body and propelled itself straight at the serpent's elongated body which was soon followed by other similar dark magic-infused torrents. Through the contact bridge created by her magic attack, she felt the monster trashing about to evade the oncoming onslaught but it was unsuccessful. She stood her ground while keeping her eyes fixed on the serpent's shadow. It would not be long now before the monster was under her control. She withdrew the scimitar from within the folds of her robe and moved in for the kill just as the creature became motionless. Her silvered-colored eyes narrowed as they focused on its exposed neck. She made a neat slice through the thick, slippery flesh while putting her entire body weight behind the strike. The blade cut through its thick neck, severing its head. Unsupported by its body, the head fell and dropped floppily to the ground; the body grew rigid and slumped lifelessly in a messy bloodied heap beside it.

The Dragon Slayer landed onto the ground maladroitly and dropped to her knees, her vision becoming blurry. She breathed hard, trying to regain her composure but her valiant attempt was for naught. She was growing numb; it was apparent that undergoing the Fallen Phase Transformation before she had fully recover her magical strength was an elevated risk that she least expected…the mage had thought that her body was conditioned enough to take the strain Micaiah's magic had on her but ostensibly, that was not the case here at all. She barely even lasted five minutes into the transformation. Without saying another word, Micaiah separated herself from her wielder and reappeared beside the girl in her wolf form.

"It seems we overestimated your magic output slightly…you haven't recovered enough from the previous battle with Ultear," the wolf remarked, looking anxious as she half-tugged and half-dragged the Dragon Slayer onto her back.

Vannessa lifted one arm feebly and covered the upper part of her face with it; a weak smile broke out upon her lips. "But at least, we defeated that thing with our combined strength…" she answered hoarsely.

The wolf turned her head slightly and gave the girl a toothy grin. "That we did!" she agreed happily as she started padding off in the direction where the other mages had ran off to.