There was a crack upon the shield of the arena, it flickered in its faint blue, and its floor now held a gorge of a hole. Slicing a portion of it in two. Asta floated above his broken body, his real, snowball, figure shuddering as he shrunk before Via's lukewarm gaze. As the barrier was released, Claire reached out a hand. Water birthed and flew, gliding through the air forward. The shattered remains of ice floated into the air—the liquid spinning around them—and reformed with a snap of her finger.
"Thank you, miss!" Asta quickly jumped back within his new shell and picked up <Loki> and <Kura>, the two weapons which had fallen, melding them back into his renewed form. As long as Claire existed, without damaging his action body, he was an unkillable machine. The most anyone could do was knock him out of commission for a while.
Via tched and ran a hand through her hair as she stepped down from the arena, adventurers making way for her.
"Well, he's not bad," She said, stopping before the trio of Claire, Alicia, and Clara. "That's some golem you have there. It makes sense why he's so strong if you're really the Guardian of the Water Seed. If I'm not mistaken, those sorts of things were Igris Neihime's, the legendary battle water mage's?"
Claire looked at the girl for a moment. As always, she was smarter than she seemed. Knowledgeable.
"You're strong yourself." She smiled, eyeing the arena. "Don't you have what you wish?"
Via tched. "No one gets it, huh?"
The bunny sighed as Asta finally made his way to stand behind her.
"It's not my own power. All I can do is borrow the might of someone I've kissed before for a split moment, gaining the status required to execute it for that period. That's not real strength. That's not what I want."
She glanced at the crack she had made in the arena. As large as it was, it was not a result of her might, she thought. Even that, however, was a weaker version of what he would have been able to accomplish. She had eaten up fifteen percent of her mana and she couldn't say she even touched his toes.
"Imagine me dueling and fighting him with his own power? Even if I won, I wouldn't feel like I did. I wouldn't feel proud of that sort of victory."
She glanced back at them.
"Besides, even this power is a lesser version inherited from the bonding of my parents." She looked at Alicia with a smile. "Eh, Demon Lord, I'm sure you realize who I am now, don't you?"
The vampire remained silent for a moment, crimson eyes rolling over Via as if she were taking her in for the first time. A cream-colored jacket of that showed off her midriff and skirt and boots of the same tone. Via Goodwill stood there, her expression a bit tensed. Strained. Her memory was foggy but, the image of the girl in tandem with those which she had seen made her certain.
"The daughter of two sins," She muttered, "Lust. Gluttony. Am I right?"
"And I hate it," She said as she crossed her arms. "Those damn parents of mine just hopped and ran off to wherever without me. The only thing they ever gave me was inheriting their bloody motifs."
In this world, it was possible for a child to be born with skills similar to those of their parents'. In fact, it was the norm. Though she was the product of two sins, gaining an ability most would dream to have at merely the cost of a kiss, she did not feel happy.
She didn't want their hecking powers, she didn't want to have anything to do with people whom had abandoned her. So, it was rare for her to use the full extent of <Lover's Maws>. Though her chain could form any weapon, she stuck with short swords. Though she could kiss and borrow abilities she had seen, she stuck with binding her opponents and slicing them. Unless she was really annoyed, she fought with strength only she had.
Clearly, she and Claire had different opinions on power for, even as the Ice Queen disliked Michael and whatever other Gods resided up there, she still used the full extent of the powers she was given with no qualms to her heart. Claire placed a hand to her chin as she thought, 'What a strange girl. . .but we're not so different.'
Curiosity drove her and she asked a certain question. "Do you know the other sins? Like Pride, perhaps?"
"The other ones? Nope. Never had any interaction with em." Via laughed. "Pride, however. . .yes I knew he was the sin of pride. And he knew what I was."
"Oh?" Claire raised a brow. "And you let me kill him?"
The bunny shrugged.
"Why would I stick my head out for him? I'm not trying to destroy the world, now. Though I did help him test your partner over there at the end of our previous duel, my attack was all but useless against her. As a sin, he had a feeling that she was the Demon Lord."
Alicia looked at her with annoyance.
On the other hand, Asta sulked, "I lost. . ."
Shaking her head, Clara Stone glanced at Claire.
"Where will you be headed next?"
"Hmm? Tress," The Ice Queen replied.
"How fun," The receptionist smiled.
At that moment, everyone felt a sudden chill sweep over them.
"It just so happens there's a request for some rations to be delivered on the way. Clothes. Food. And the daily necessities fit for a struggling village," She said, "Won't you three take it?"