Blood That Flows

Revolution Twenty-Two

I own nothing.

I completely forgot to update, life got busy last month.


Hours later, Nove found herself in the hotel room that she was sharing with Nila. She was just grateful that there were three spare rooms available. If this was some sort of trashy and cheap novel or piece of fiction, she honestly would have expected something along the lines of a honeymoon suite as the only room available. After making sure that the car was secure, Nove had skipped out on a bath, stating she just wanted to go to bed.

But that had been awhile ago and she was still no closer to getting to sleep. "Urgh, this sucks."

"I could find a few music files to play." Jail spoke up from the dresser. "I think I could find something here..."

"Don't bother." Nove grumbled as she threw her arm over her eyes to try and get some rest. "Most of the stuff is rock, pop music or a variant of it."

"What about this stuff?" Jail held a file in his hand and opened it up. "Huh, unnamed music, I wonder..."

Nove groaned as she heard the music coming out of her device. "Okay, I think I'm going to need to talk to Yuuno if I get home about his device hacking into other devices and leaving cheesy porn music behind."

"And just how do you know that it's porn music?" Uno raised an eyebrow as Nove stiffened before her face turned as red as her hair. "My sweet, innocent little sister, leave her alone for a little bit and she's lookiing at porn." Uno wiped a fake tear from her eyes. "They grow up so fast these days, don't they?"

Nove groaned and thumped her head on the bed several times. Sometimes she wondered if Uno's teasing was natural or exaggerated from the programming. "Tell me something, doc, will we make it?"

Jail was silent for several minutes as he thought about the question. "Will we survive, be sane or in one piece?"

"Yes." Nove lifted her arm to look at him. "I lost Rio, Corona was kidnapped... I don't... How can..."

"I don't know, Nove." Jail shook his head. "I honestly don't know. Even if you could get away, I don't know how long it would be for, you and the others caught this Mazoku's attention, and you have other things to worry about too." He sighed as Nove groaned and rolled over to face away from him. Jail was about to speak up when there was a knocking on the door. "Come in!"

"Nila, you didn't need to knock, it's not like I have anything you haven't seen before." Nove muttered as she looked at the wall and tried to find a way to get her mind to relax.

"Maybe, but I don't think you'd want me to see you without clothes on." A male voice spoke up and Nove rolled over and sat up, staring as Lyos walked into her room. "Nila kind of forced me to come in here. So, you seemed pretty distracted when we were eating." At least that's what Nila had told him, he barely noticed, though, if he thought back on it, she had been rather quiet the last few days.

"I'm just..." Nove put her hand to her head and rubbed it. "I don't know."

"Oh?" Lyos put his sword up against the wall and walked over to the bed when she motioned for him to sit near her. "Something getting to you?"

"I don't..." Nove groaned and slapped her forehead. "I'm so fucking sick of this! I'm scared that something bad happened to Corona, I had to watch Rio die in front of me, I'm trying to keep from freaking out and I have to keep Vivio, Einhart, Arashi and Ixy alive, but I've done a bang up job of that, haven't I?" Nove was punctuating each point with various arm thrusts and snarls. "Look at me. I was supposed to be able to fight against Mazoku, I was trained to do so, and I can't do a goddammed thing! What's the point?! Now there's an assassin after all of us, some weird cat person and knowing my luck, the next time we get into a fight, another one of those kids are going to get mangled and then I'll probably just..."

"Calm down." Lyos grabbed her shoulder and she looked at him, anger and confusion in her eyes. "You've done well so far, most people would have been dead already. I've actually done some bodyguard missions in the past that ended up with a lot more people dead than what you've had so far."

"I'm just..." Nove hugged herself. "Scared, okay?" Lyos looked at her in shock as she laughed to herself. "Yeah, look at me, big, bad Nove, someone who fought the Ace of Aces head on is scared of what's happening." The redhead trembled while laughing. "Isn't it funny? I mean, I committed terrorism on Mid-Childa, I helped attack several people, I was even part of an attack that ended up with my sister getting kidnapped and one of her superior officers getting hurt, but this..."

Lyos was silent as he looked at her trembling and fighting the urge to cry. "More than what you're used to?" Nove nodded and sniffled. Lyos awkwardly placed an arm around her shoulder and was surprised when Nove turned and pressed herself against him. "Even around here, dealing with Mazoku can be harsh." He was glad that there was that truce going on right now. Mazoku mostly just caused mischief and grief right now, though he had no doubt if any rumor of Shabranigdo being able to return again that most of those same Mazoku would turn vicious and start civil wars or attack major kingdoms again just because they could.

Nove trembled and looked up at him. "You handle it well, don't you?"

Lyos shrugged, he didn't think he handled much well. "I try my best."

"Better than me, I bet." Nove grumbled softly. What more could she do? It wasn't like she had access to stuff like that Dragon Slave that Pokota could use. She looked at Lyos and bit her lips as he said her name. "Lyos..." She surprised him by pulling him down on top of her. "Just shut up, please? I..."

"Are you sure?" Nove blushed hard but nodded. "Alright then."

(–)

The next morning...

Vivio looked at Nove in confusion as the redhead got the car started. "...Is it me, or does Nove seem more relaxed than usual?"

Sitting next to her, Arashi shook his head. "No, seems that way to me too." Ixpellia, on Arashi's other side, nodded. Between the way Nove was acting and the look that was on Lyos' face, she had a pretty good idea as to what happened last night.

Behind them, Nila just smirked as the car roared to life. 'I love it when a plan comes together.'

"Alright, let's go!" Nove proclaimed as the car started to take off. After last night, she did feel a lot better.

"So, just a straight shot South from here should take us to the Coastal Alliance states." Lyos pointed out as they pulled out of the village and onto the main road.

Nove nodded, glad to get the show on the road again.

(–)

Near the Northern boarder of the Coastal Alliance states, the Duchess narrowed her eyes as she ordered the tanks and her troops to stop. Moving any further North could be seen as an act of aggression and she didn't need to deal with that. "We'll wait here." There was a rocky outcropping just to the North, but otherwise everything was flat around them. "Move the panzer tanks apart, animal tanks get into spear formation, troops, be ready to move on anyone who comes this way."

"Yes ma'am!"

"I will not fail like those fools did." The Duchess muttered darkly as she turned to wait.

(-)

"Dammit..." Nove grumbled as she pulled the car off the road and parked it. "Everyone get out."

"Huh?" Arashi blinked as he, Vivio and Ixpellia were jostled awake. Some people might think they were sleeping too much, but if there wasn't anything to distract them, they might as well sleep. "What's going on?"

"Seems we got a blockade ahead." Nove answered as she got the car to turn off. Getting out of the car, she stretched and groaned as she felt her muscles stretch with the motion. "I'm not in the mood to let the car get destroyed by what's ahead anyway."

Lyos pulled his sword out of the backseat and shouldered it. "And what are we facing?"

"Looks like two large tanks, some of those weird animal tanks from before and a bunch of soldiers." Nove shook her head and rubbed her eyes. "Anyway..."

"More magic tanks?" Pokota grimaced, wondering why his country had to have that technology in the first place. "Shouldn't be too hard, but what about those new ones?"

"I'm calling them tanks, but they're more like heavily armored boxes on treads." Everyone looked at her in confusion. "You'll see when we get there."

(–)

Corona let out a burp as she finished the food that remained in the village. "That was good, a bit bland, but then again, everything exploded!" She giggled as she looked around the remains of the small village. "Oh wow!" Her eyes lit up as she saw a large green gem in the middle of the room. As she got closer, she realized it wasn't just green, but it had a yellow tint, making it seem like the colors blended together perfectly. "So pretty..."

A sudden image of Rio flashed through her head and she suddenly grabbed her head and took a step back, groaning in pain. "No..." Tears welled up in her eyes as she realized what she was thinking of. "No... NO!" Screaming in pain and suffering, Corona started grabbing random objects and throwing them around. "NO!"

Trembling with rage as she walked out of the remains of the house, she looked at Balmung. "Zanny, Zenny, Balmung! Get on Jörmungandr!"

[b]"What now?"[/b] The wolf Zannafar grumbled as he followed Corona and the Hydra Zannafar towards the mountain sized Golem.

Corona grinned as her eyes glowed scarlet. "They're all going to pay." Her voice was crazed as Balmung lifted her up and flew upwards towards the chest while the Zannafars ascended towards the upper parts of the knees.

(–)

Gram chuckled as he watched Corona. "Her development is coming along nicely, wouldn't you say, Pawra?"

"Mraw?" The catgirl Mazoku tilted her head. "I guess, I mean, if she was being groomed to be turned into a Mazoku, she's doing okay..."

Gram chuckled at the catgirl. "She's a young child, who has pure Black magic poured into her, plus..." He grinned as he held up a ring that matched the one that Corona was wearing. "My own personal twist."

"Oooh!" Pawra jumped up while clapping, her tail swished behind her in excitement. "Can we... Can we keep this one before breaking her?"

"I wonder how she'll react when she realizes that she killed her former friends for nothing." The comment was casual, but the sheer malice in the room was anything but.

"Master Gram, do you need that..." Pawra trailed off as Gram shook his head and smirked while leaning forward. "So, then why?"

"It amuses me, that's all."

(–)

Back at the Coastal Alliance boarder...

"You weren't kidding when you said that it was a giant armored box." Lyos muttered as he and Nove looked over the rocky outcropping to see the battlefield. The non-animal tanks looked like two square boxes stacked on top of one another, except for the front, which reminded Lyos of an exaggerated arrowhead for some reason. "What's with those weird wheels?"

"Treads." Nove frowned as she took a closer look. "This is just absurd."

"Looks like you're right, Nove." Uno spoke up as Nove and Lyos slid back to sit against the rock. "The technology is too similar to ours."

Nove nodded, while it was nice to see technological advancement, this was way too fast in her opinion. "So, I've never been much for planning how to fight this situation, any suggestions?"

"Blow them all up!" Vivio, in her adult mode, thrust her fist into the air. "That way they can't fight back."

"I agree." Nila nodded to the blonde and then looked at the group. "Blowing them up would be the quickest way." She looked at Pokota and a thought came to her. "In fact, Pokota, how about you blow them up from here?"

Pokota grinned and flew over to the rocky outcropping, revealing himself to the Duchess below. "Hey you!" Behind him, Nove slapped her forehead. "For robbing Taforashia, I'm going to make you pay!"

Down below, the Duchess frowned, she knew he was yelling, but she couldn't hear what he was saying. "Get into formation everyone!" She snapped her fan closed and narrowed her eyes as she saw the rabbit doing something. "Magic Tanks, defensive grid, now!"

"Ma'am!"

"Let's see what you've got, rabbit."

Up on the ridge, Pokota grinned as he chanted. 'This will smash them but good.' He thought to himself.

"Darkness Beyond Twilight,

Crimson Beyond Blood That Flows,

Buried in the Stream of Time,

Is Where Your Power Grows.

I Pledge Myself to Darkness

Against the Foes that Stand

Against the Might Gift Bestowed

In my Unworthy Hand.

Let the fools who stand before us be destroyed

By the Power You and I possess!"

Pokota was chuckling as he thrust his rabbit ears forward, a red sphere of total destruction rushing outwards from his ear-palms as he did so. "DRAGON SLAVE!"

Watching the red sphere of destruction descend on her, the Duchess merely closed her eyes before pointing her fan at one of the tanks. "Increase the defenses, now!"

"Ma'am!"

"Activate the diffusion... Now!" A small smirk came to her face as her soldiers complied with their order. She resisted the urge to laugh, though just barely, this would be... Fun.

Pokota watched in shock as his Dragon Slave slammed into some sort of wall and exploded violently. "WHAT?!" There was no way, nothing could withstand a Dragon Slave, nothing! Even fortified cities exploded when hit with a Dragon Slave, how could something stop it out here in the middle of nowhere?

"Well that's... Disheartening." Lyos muttered, he had seen it, he couldn't believe it. "What the hell?" He openly gawked as the explosion faded and the dirt and dust cleared to reveal a completely unhurt Duchess. "That's total bullshit!"

"So... Who's up for surrendering?" Pokota turned to look at the others as he asked that question.

Jail, meanwhile, was frowning as he looked at the barrier. One of the things he did like about being a program at that moment was the ability to see through things like explosions and zoom in on what he was interested in. "Vivio, dear," the blonde looked down at Nove's foot where Jail's hologram was, "would you go ahead and fire a magic stream at the lady down there?"

"What good would that do?" Vivio asked and looked back at the woman between the tanks as she was turning away to say something to her troops. "Even the Dragon Slave didn't do anything."

"I know, that's why I want you to fire a beam into it, I need to take another look and explosion doesn't last long enough for me to know what happened." Jail looked up and smirked at the girl. "Unless you want to just give up and hope they don't kill us."

Growling, Vivio held up her hand and a multi-colored orb formed in the palm of her hand. "Fine! Sacred Cluster!" Thrusting her palm forward, she watched as the orb shattered into fragments, each one soaring towards the barrier, shattering as it connected with it. "You happy?"

"Interesting..." Jail muttered as he continued to watch the barrage. "Diffusion and absorbtion, I see now."

"Huh?" Nove looked down at him. "What do you see?"

Jail chuckled at the confused looks he was getting. "Well, she's following the laws of thermodynamics, energy, especially that of magic, just can't go away, the shield that's surrounding her seems to disperse magical energy as it gets close, similar to an AMF, but anything that doesn't just scatter hits a barrier that seems to absorb energy and send it somewhere, probably those two tanks to the side."

"AMF?" Lyos scratched his head. "But, how does that work? Even major protection spells can't fully stop a Dragon Slave."

"Well, think of the diffusion that happens as a thick forest and arrows are shot into the forest, trying to hit someone that ran in. Most of them aren't going to get through, but some can. The barrier, however, is like a magnet, pulling the arrows away from the target. In this case, the spell just crashes because it runs out of energy."

"But even an AMF can't stop a really strong spell." Nove pointed out, "But wait, the AMS did, but that was massively amplified by a Unison Device."

Jail chuckled at the question, "yes, but what if the energy that was powering the spells was sent to the Gadget Drones to further power the AMF?" Nove's eyes widened as she realized what he was talking about. "Besides, I'm not surprised this happened."

"How are you not?" Nila frowned as the troops started to move forward. "They come."

Jail smirked at the Sorceress. "Simple, the magi-tech cars and trucks that people use to travel use the same principle, just on a smaller scale."

"Well..." Lyos muttered as he unsheathed his sword, "that's just fun."


Sorry about the delay, haven't been in a mood to write nearly as much as I'd like to, plus I found some interesting anime and light novels to enjoy.