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Thursday, March 22, 2007 Mind Games Part 2

To depict a necromancess (female necromancer)
Tentative image from:

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As Robert swipes his sword to attack the person who whispered in his right ear, his eyes are soon met with the glowing snake eyes on the Viper Cane. Again, a whisper comes in his ears,
‘Don’t attack this helpless old woman. Attack them! Your friends are deserting you, sacrificing you so they can escape. Kill them, now!’
Normally, Robert would think this whisper is absurd. But as the words are imbued with the hypnotic wave from the snake eyes, Robert’s mind is easily bent, no matter how strong his willpower is. Under hypnotism, Robert’s eyes stare blankly as he says,
‘Kill the hunters. They are evil. KILL… ALL!!!’
Carolyn and Iris are startled. They are too late, Robert is charmed now. As Iris is about to cast Omninervatr to free her friends from the magic, suddenly her body is not moving anymore. Iris cannot move her body, her hands, her legs and her head at all. She’s petrified!
‘If you can’t hurt them physically, hurt them mentally, some say,’ says Zal’fira in triumph.
Carolyn is in danger now. Robert is attacking his own partner, Andreas Marvellini like a blind boar. Thank goodness he’s under a spell, because if he’s not, Andreas would be dead by now from Robert’s sophisticated moves. And Carol’s other comrades are down: Iris is petrified, and Chris is put into a deep sleep. And now it’s her turn, facing the necromancess one by one.
Zal’fira shows her broadest, most evil smile ever, saying, ‘Finally, it’s your turn, little girl. Say good-bye to your sanity! Charrcerebron!’
Nothing comes out from Zal’fira’s hand, but an impact sends Carolyn flying. She falls on the floor and lies down there, unmoving. It’s only a matter of time before Robert kills Andreas and loses his mind completely. Robert’s party has been wiped out by Zal’fira!
The necromancess laughs aloud and walks away as though this is only her daily sport. Then she approaches a sealed case, still intact after all that burning from Algaban. With her glowing hands she reaches to the case to remove the magical seal from it, but she still fails. She grunts disappointedly.
‘Argh! Goddammit, that’s impossible! I got the Viper Cane, why can’t I get another one?’
‘... that’s because only Viper Cane chose you and not the rest of the arsenal...’
‘What?’ says Zal’fira, greatly surprised.
‘You should’ve learnt now that not all of your enemies can be manipulated.’
It’s Carolyn. She walks right behind Zal’fira, pointing her trident to the necromancess’ back.
‘My, my, so you’re wearing an extra protection for your mind. Splendid. Absolutely clever.’
‘I just found that out just now. So, eat this! Severagnios!’
Carolyn casts Firestorm, hurling high-speed, haphazardly spinning fire blasts to finish Zal’fira off. Zal’fira quickly counterattacks with Dark Banishment, a spell of concentrated dark spirit aura that blocks the Firestorm from (almost) all angles and attacks the enemy as well, sending Carolyn falling several paces back. Several bolts of Firestorm also get unblocked and hit Zal’fira with a great force in four places, throwing her backwards too.
Being younger and quicker to restore her stamina, Carolyn gets up quickly and thrusts with her trident, but hits nothing but air. Apparently, Zal’fira is just restored too and dodged this attack. And then she swings her Viper Cane to hit Carol in retaliation. The pink-haired sorceress blocks the cane with her trident. To her immediate shock, the Viper Cane elongates! The snake-like portion on the top of the cane slithers and the snake head bites Carolyn’s left arm. Carol shrieks in pain. Her face turns bluish pale – she is poisoned! The shock makes Carol’s reflexes increase in a final burst, and she hits Zal’fira’s head with her trident, knocking her enemy down.
Zal’fira’s head is aching, but not severely hurt. She taunts Carol instead. ‘Haha, trying to get physical with me, eh? All you get is... my poison. Mind you, it works very-very slowly, torturing its victim bit by bit to death.’
Tending to her unfinished business again, Zal’fira sees Robert and Andreas still fighting with each other in front of the Adair’s Arsenal cases. Greatly irritated, Zalfira scolds, ‘Geroff my way, you maggots!’ and with a swing of her Viper Cane breaks Andreas and Robert apart, throwing them to different directions.
Robert falls and hits a case, still holding his kiliji. He’s very much confused now, and the headache is killing him. Zal’fira says, ‘Urggh! Enough playing with you! I’m finishing you off now! See you in hell!’
Zal’fira is about to cast another Dark Banishment to finish the confused Robert off, but suddenly the case Robert is leaning on reacts. Suddenly the top of the case is engulfed in fire, cracks and breaks by itself! A fiery-red blade saber (a broadsword) with a dragon’s head carved on its hilt flings out from the broken case, and thrusts the ground in front of Robert. Shards of evil energy already hit Robert, but the saber instinctively engulfs itself in fire, forming a Fire Wall to block and deflect the remaining dark energy shards like a legion of skeletal warriors being repelled.
After the Dark Banishment spell is all finished and repelled, a fire bolt in a tiny dragon form comes out from the sword, flies towards Robert and goes into his mouth. Fire engulfs and covers Robert at once, and as Robert’s elemental inner strength is also fire, he doesn’t get burnt. Instead, the fire rejuvenates and purges all dark energy in his body, and clears his mind. The Confusion Charm in Robert’s mind is dispelled. Robert stands up, and although he is staggering a bit, it’s because he is adapting to his new strength.
W-what happened just now? This sword... it saved my life!
With that thought Robert reaches and holds the handle of the sword, takes it off from the ground and lifts it, making a stance. He holds his father’s kiliji in his left hand and instinctively puts it back in its scabbard on his back.
Zal’fira is too astonished to see all this that she didn’t launch another attack. She says, ‘Impossible... the sword – chose him! And it refused me, its natural ally!’
Now Robert looks very radiant and energetic, as though nothing can stop him anymore. But he needs to stay focus. Zal’fira is not to be underestimated, and she can still manipulate his brain again. Robert thinks hard on repelling the mind-twisting spells.
‘Let’s match between two Adair’s Weapons! You might be stronger, but can you dodge this? Charrcerebron!’
Again, an invisible force launches straight into Robert’s mind from Zal’fira’s hand, but at the same time, instinctively, Robert roars at the top of his voice, a Dragon’s Roar. The sound wave, naturally, travels slower than light, but as Zal’fira’s Mind Twist (Charrcerebron) spell utilizes sound wave too, Robert’s roar counters that spell and also disrupts Zal’fira’s concentration. The impact of the roar pushes the necromancess five steps back, and she gathers herself again after Robert stops, staring at Robert with disbelief.
‘Me? The most powerful necromage in the world, outwitted by a mere swordsman? How about we get physical, handsome? Vare Nekraal’me Mephistopeles!’
From the looks of it, Zal’fira is obviously putting her most desperate effort in this ultimate necromancy spell, Scourge of the Dead. A black, shadowy skull-like orb appears in front of her as she points Viper Cane to Robert, and the orb sucks all evil energy and spirits from the remains of Zal’fira’s undead army and the areas surrounding her, as though the Black Hole in the universe. The orb becomes bigger and bigger, and it’s about to be launched otherwise it will explode in its place. But Zal’fira doesn’t want to stop. She goes on sucking the dark energy quickly until there’s no more.
Robert doesn’t strike Zal’fira just yet. He chooses to gather some more fire energy and prepares a counterattack. Flashes of all his skills appear in his mind, and suddenly a solution comes to him. He makes a stance and is ready to counter any spell, ceaselessly gathering fire energy from the ground into his new sword.
And Zal’fira strikes! She launches the gigantic skull orb towards Robert in great speed. It’s so big, it’s impossible to avoid it even if you’re an elf, you have wings or you’re the fastest creature in all Eternia. Instead of avoiding it, Robert blocks and counters it with a superb combo of the eighteen Dragon Sword styles he knows: Regrets of the Dragon. The combo strikes and blocks on all angles and all possible attacking variants: the nine directions and nine variables including a finishing direct blow containing the accumulated energy from the seventeen previous variants, going into full contact against the enemy for total destruction.
The Regrets of the Dragon combo shatters the skull orb from Zal’fira’s Scourge of the Dead spell. The orb breaks with an explosion, and the impact between both finishing moves sends Robert and Zal’fira flying. They both are also hit by fire and dark energy shards from the impact, and due to the immense energy generated, Robert’s Omnigalatr protection field is breached at last. There are dark marks instead of bruises on Robert’s body, and the blood that comes from Robert’s wounds is black like oil, not red.
Zal’fira is also hurt badly from the impact, but only from the fire energy. She is now on all fours, vomitting black blood. Seeing Zal’fira is still alive, Robert tries to get up to finish her off. But alas! His strength is failing him. He falls midway, unable to get up again. His body is twitching and shivering all over.
Adding to Robert’s dismay, he sees Zal’fira is already up and about, although she is still weak because of her wounds. Robert can’t move at all, practically defenseless. He can only raise his hands feebly, trying to block Zal’fira’s next attack that will bring him sure death.
Zal’fira walks slowly in triumph, pointing her Viper Cane at Robert. The snake-head tip of the cane begins to stretch out and elongate. Its fangs are bare, ready to inject venom into Robert so he will meet a slow and excruciating demise like Carolyn. Before the cane can get close, Robert hears someone chanting,
The next second, Robert sees countless bolts of lightning come down, surrounding Zal’fira like a circular, gigantic electric cage.

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Zal’fira screams as though she never experienced this much pain before. Her body is electrocuted with extreme voltage (ten thousand volts in our modern electrical measurements), twisting and bending abnormally. She loses control of her nerves completely. The Wrath of the Skies electric zone keeps on hurting her like that until her eyes become all white and her black robe is torn all over, and almost all her hair is gone.
But suddenly, the spell stops in an instant. Only then Robert turns his head and sees the caster collapsing to the ground. It’s Carolyn! Yeah, you may guessed that from the incantation, but you might not believe how come a poisoned, near-death, weakened to the bone girl can still cast her most powerful spell, summoning her guardian spirit, Aegis? It went like this: Of course she can! She received an antidote, mandrake extract potion from Andreas who only sustained minor injuries from Robert’s berserk.
And one more thing, it’s her magic necklace of luck. The side effect maybe a bit frustrating: any wound she is suffering instead of a fatal fate will be more difficult and slower to heal. In case of poisoning, the effect of the poison will be much slower than normal, and even mandrake extract, the general antidote can only slows the poison down more, not neutralizing it.

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