“T-Terra!” The battle seemed to slow as I collapsed at the point where Terra had been.
A powerful skill had struck Shao while she was concentrated on sending the spell, and she ended up coughing up blood, turning away from me to deflect the threat. However, I barely noticed as I looked down at the little bit of remains of Terra. The girls nearby had red-rimmed eyes, but they were all busy and couldn’t afford to rush over to me.
Two feet landed softly by my side. I looked up to see Prince Aberis standing there.
“There is a chance we can save all these people, her included.” He declared.
My eyes shot up. I hadn’t shed a single tear, but my eyes were red and my body shook. Aberis had a sympathetic expression on his face.
“How?” I demanded.
“Isn’t it obvious? This dungeon is only temporary. The reason that souls can’t be resurrected in a dungeon is that they’re trapped in the dungeon and the corroded and dissolved by miasma. There are stories of people who died while fighting the final boss of a dungeon being able to be resurrected because simply not enough time passed for the miasma to damage their soul permanently. If we defeat the demon lord, we end this dungeon, and then everyone who died, we can resurrect them!”
His words came crashing home and I felt a surge of hope. We had once managed to resurrect a man in a dungeon, but Lord Karr was a special exception. His soul was protected by the creator of the dungeon, a powerful fairy queen. Then again, this entire dungeon was a special exception. It stood to reason that if the dungeon was destroyed quickly, then the souls trapped in it would have time to be consumed.
I nodded my head. “Okay… what’s the plan?”
“Did you do what you needed to do?” Prince Aberis demanded.
“Shao is my slave. She seems to be able to ignore a Slave Master, but I should be able to at least slow her down.”
“So… you are a Slave Master after all…” Prince Aberis spoke, partially to himself.
“Do we really want to have that conversation right now?” I demanded.
“Haha… well, I won’t pry into your secrets. After all, we’re brothers. I’ll use my strongest attacks. You try to get her distracted.”
The pair of us broke apart, and my eyes narrowed and focused on the woman still on the stage. She had taken some damage after the attacks of the soldiers. A few had given their lives to damage her. It was impossible to tell, however, how powerful she was. There was nothing like a HP bar. By her appearance, she was probably about half-dead, but for all I knew, it was only a sliver.
“Level Cap!” I cried out.
As soon as I attempted to drop her level, I felt a resistance pushing back against my will. It was a mountain not dissimilar to the one when I tried to take over her slave mark. Fortunately, it was much less oppressive, and I was able to move.
“Men, attack!” The Prince ordered.
The only ones remaining were 3 elite guards and one adventurer. To their credit, they still bravely charged her. The adventurer was a mage and kept his distance. Shao shot me a look, her body hunched over like she had received some horrific blow. She let out a scream and then through a whip of miasma. It was about to take out the closest elite guard. Suddenly, it was cut to shreds in midair, various wind blades slicing through where it had been.
“Master! Keep going, I’ll help!” Celeste declared. “Tempest!”
The guards broke their charge, backing up as Celeste began to use a powerful spell. A giant vortex spun around her, filled with innumerable wind blades. The men narrowly avoided getting swallowed by that maelstrom with Celeste at the center, but Shao wasn’t so lucky. She let out a shriek as her body fell into the whirlwind, moving for the first time since she had started her attack on the city.
Her screams and bellows could be heard as she was sliced over and over again by one of Celeste’s most powerful spells. Celeste herself floated to the top of the maelstrom and could be seen on top of it. Her face was white and she was panting. It was clear she was using every ounce of mana she had to extend the spell as long as it would go. As for the demon lord, it was unclear whether she was alive or dead within the tempest, but the damage she took was substantial.
Just as the men started to prepare attacks to finish her off once the tempest broke, a resounding scream exploded from the tempest. More dark miasma exploded out from the tempest and it started to flicker and weaken. It was almost like Shao had taken over her spell, turning the whirlwind of death into a maelstrom of dark miasma.
“Celeste! Run!” I yelled at her.
She abandoned the spell but had barely turned when a hand exploded from the black, rotating tempest below and grabbed her. She was in her small fairy size at the moment, and even though Shao’s hand was small, it was enough to grab Celeste’s entire body. She gave a gasp.
“Master!” She managed to get out those last words.
The hand pulled back down, dragging Celeste into the swirling darkness below.