Chapter 262 – Childish Dreams
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The state of her body didn’t leave Fumiko much choice in listening to Yori’s explanation.  However, she found herself pushing her hand into the earth to get her body back up.  She couldn’t believe what she heard from him.  ‘If that’s true she’s been lying to us the entire time.  This was always her goal.’  Fumiko slammed her feet flat with the earth to straighten herself out.

Across the Field stood the teenage girl she faced.  The same self-hating expression held on her face.  ‘She knew we’d never approve of such a plan.  Yuki will be like the living dead, that’s no quality of life.  How can these people be so selfish to sacrifice people for their own well being?!’  The barbaric and vile solution tightened her hand.  ‘How many centuries have they been doing this?!  How many people have died because of their selfishness?!’

Tiny toys swarmed around her laying into her with their weapons.  Her body took the beating, but didn’t fall.  She clinched up her fist.  “I won’t allow this to continue any longer!” she shouted up to the sky.

Divine blue flames erupted from her arm snatching several of the evil toys out of the air to crush them.  She saw the absorbing type coming in wanting her fire, but she threw down a blast at the earth.  Clouds of smoke coughed up around them giving her enough of a distraction to wipe them out.

Panting heavily and bleeding from her head and body, she earned herself a little room from the tiny minions.  Any pain or fatigue in her body disappeared with the new rush of adrenaline.  “I’m going to change this twisted world!”

Chapter 262 – Childish Dreams

A new magic circle suddenly drew along Fumiko’s back.  Magic threads spun across her shoulder to her arm stump.  Flailing about at the end of her upper arm, the threads hung in the wind.  They slowly grew out in length.  The action finally caught Fumiko’s attention.  “What’s going on?  Why is it going to where my arm used to be?”

Unfortunately, Fumiko didn’t have much time to watch what her magic seemed to be doing on its own.  The villainous toys returned for more.  She jumped around to stay ahead of their movements, but they were swift.  It made it difficult to avoid everything.  Even her flame couldn’t be used as heavily as she would have liked.  The absorption toys hovered around spread with the hope of her using a fireball carelessly.

Using a small flame as a test, she went to strike down one of the myriad of dolls.  As expected, the neighboring toy went in for the flame.  The amount was small, but what it returned to her easily doubled in strength.  She was able to counter it with her own fire.  ‘Damn, they’re quick to move.  It’s as I figured.  My flame’s useless if I don’t deal with those things, but she can create as many as she wants.  I need something else.’

She glanced over at her stump again, hopeful that it created something useful.  However, threads continued to gather and spin together in the air.  It was pointless as she figured.  ‘Tch…stupid body still thinks there’s an arm there.’

Distracted, the toys took the chance to pile up for an attack.  Moving in waves, they pushed her back.  Fumiko tried to fight back with her fist, but burning them barely slowed them down.  And it left her with a wide opening that they charged through.  Strikes rained down over her body staggering her back. Through squinted eyes, she saw the next major blow coming.  ‘Dammit!  Give me something!  Anything to use!’

Magic arrays suddenly grew over the scarred end of her arm.  The circles pushed out into the air shrinking in size as they spaced out.  The threads tied down to the edges of the circles.  Rotating around the circles called out more threads growing and thickening.

Sacred light blew off the gathered magic.  Expanding quickly a form grew out of the blinding light.  Fumiko no longer knew what was happening.  She crossed her arm in front of her to try anything to block the next attack.  ‘This is gonna hurt…’

A metallic thud echoed around Fumiko followed by another.  “Huh?”  Opening her eyes, she found the light almost blinding her.  It was sunlight, she was certain.  Lowering her arms down, she saw what it was.  A metallic arm replaced her missing arm.

Flexing the metal hand, it responded to her commands.  It felt like an extension of her, though it had no feelings, no nerve endings.  A perfectly smooth and seamless form of metal.  It had more of an appearance of chrome with how shiny it was.

“Metal?  How is this magic?”  Flashes of the final fight against Simonides troops came to her.  She still remembered what happened.  The sight of metal stretched out everywhere under her feet.  Metal like on her arm.  “This is the same…as before…”  Just thinking about what happened made her arm shake.  “No!”  She clutched her metallic arm to calm herself.  “I can’t do this right now!  I don’t have that luxury!  Focus!”

The toys took a moment in pause for the new reveal of Fumiko’s arm.  It changed the situation, but only barely in their minds as they started to attack again.  Fumiko had a little protection now with an arm that was solid.  Even with it, little happened to push her forward.

She swung her new arm around to swat the toys out of the air.  It had enough force and hardness to smash them apart.  Not that doing so did much, they would be back in moments.

“Come on, if you give me this arm it’s got to do something more than just make me a little more functional!  I need something useful or else this is still pointless!”  Annoyed at the empty gesture by her magic, she slammed her hands together.  Unlike with other objects, the flame arm actually made physical contact with the metal arm.

Circles lit up all along both arms responding to something.  Fumiko stared down a little confused at what happened.  The light only seemed to be getting brighter as more symbols lit up over both arms.  Magic threads wove down her arms towards her hands.  “What now?”

Separating her hands in curiosity, she found something in a loose form spinning about between her palms.  Given air and room, it suddenly expanded to fill out the space.  It tried to hold into a sphere, but continued to bump and roll about misshapen.  The threads remained attached to it with a different set of arrays lighting up on her arm.  It triggered a different transformation in the molten material.

Almost immediately, it stretched out.  Extending to nearly the full length of Fumiko, it thinned out and smoothed, starting to reflect light on its surface.  The top end flatten and spread out creating a twisted and jagged form.  As the headpiece finished taking shape a ruby revealed itself from the retreating material.  It completed the look for the headpiece, carved out like a flame.

Once finished, Fumiko pulled it free from the threads taking it into her flame hand.  She didn’t understand it fully, but it made sense.  “What?  I can hold it?”  The moment her hand clamped down firmly on the shaft of the staff the entire length of the metal pole lit up with intricate carved lines creating tiny symbols and lines.

Fumiko could feel it pulsing with power.  The glow on the headpiece intensified, becoming its own light.  It all felt a little familiar to her, but significantly stronger.  “This staff, it’s different from the other, but I remember…”

The creation of it was different, but it felt like the same power was used in creating both.  Fumiko stared at her metal arm.  ‘Does this have the power to create weapons?  Is that the true power of this metal arm?’  Unlike the converted broom she had before, this seemed to respond completely to her magic.

She stared back at the evil toys all lined up wanting a piece of her.  They seemed willing to wait on her to finish what she worked on before attacking.  “Want a piece of me?” she declared, suddenly brimming with confidence.  She didn't know if she should be, but the power in the staff was almost a rush.  It didn’t feel like she could lose with it.

The first wave came in for her from multiple different sides.  She swiped her metal arm through to destroy a few.  Then she paused, calling on the magic in the arm.  She knew what else it should be able to do and with only toys around her it was safe to use.  An explosion of metal vines jumped out from her forearm piercing the flanking targets.

Twirling the staff around, flames spun off the ends wiping out those coming up in the following round.  She saw the absorbing type popping up hungry for her flame.  “Want to eat?  Taste this fire!”  Fumiko slammed the end of the staff into the ground calling out a large magic formula at the point of impact.  Massive flames erupted over their whole area.

She watched as they tried to suck it all in, but were overwhelmed by the volume of power.  Explosions went off one after another as they exceeded their limits.  Smoke blew out from all sides blanketing the area between the two girls.

Fumiko charged through the smoke, not waiting for any more toys.  She knew how quickly they popped back.  Taking the initiative to strike on Glykeria could seal the fight for her.  ‘I can win this now!  I can feel it!  This is what I needed!’  Swinging the staff, she threw out a massive wave of flames in front.  It acted more like water than fire with the way it tumbled end over end rushing for the young teenager.

Leaping a little, magic circles appeared on the soles of her feet.  She landed on top of the fire wave, readying it like a surfer owning the ocean.  Fumiko rode it in towards the true villain, still unmoved.

Popping up around the growing flames, toys reappeared with the taste for Fumiko.  Spinning around on the very top of the wave, she tossed out flames nearly the size of her body as if she was spitting.  It came with ease.  The path was clear.

Waves of flames overran Glykeria completely covering her.  Pops of smoke appeared, as it was likely toys attempting to mitigate the damage.  There was too much for them to stop.  The only certainty was burning quickly from all of the fire.  Fumiko made sure to add a final dose from her staff fully powered up to ensure the kill.

 

Fumiko jumped off to let the flames finish their course.  She watched from the sidelines to verify it was over.  “I can’t see how she’d survive that.  My magic is even more powerful than before.”

A voice cracked through the flames, but remained mostly drowned out.  It didn’t call to Fumiko until it became a little clearer.  “…terrible…  …hate…”  All she could hear were fragments, words, but clearly it was Glykeria.

“Can’t be…she’s still alive?!”

Something happened to her fire causing it to spread out and warp.  It pushed away from the evil Glykeria revealing a dark form.  At the center, the sadistic toy that belittled Glykeria appeared protecting her despite its size.

As the flame started to fade away, more of Glykeria appeared.  The fire affected her.  She lost all of her skin, turned to only a blood and muscle mass nearly unrecognizable from the girl before.  “I really hate this life.  And the world…”  Suddenly, it all wiped away as though changing out a dirty sheet for a clean one.  Her reappearance restored all of her youth.  “I hate this world!”  Hundreds of tiny toys appeared all around her blasting back the remains of the fire.

Fumiko clutched onto her staff for support as the gust coming off her dragged on her body.  She felt her body slipping a little, but it ended before it became worse.  “Damn…she’s still got this much left in her?!  And how is she regenerating her damage?”

“A mouthy arrogant bitch like you should be more concerned about your own health,” the main toy said, appearing in front of her.

“Eh?!”  She had no time to react before a heavy force struck her in the stomach.  Blood coughed up from her lips as she flew backwards.  “Damn…not again…”  Before she could even land, the toys gathered up around her and slammed her into the ground.  Their various assaults of the elements and weapons left her bruised, battered, cut and burned along with anything else to describe her condition.

In mere seconds, they did worse to her than everything up to that point.  It felt that way at least.  She couldn’t think of a point on her body that didn’t scream out in pain.  Blood soaked most of her clothes that remained hanging on her.  ‘Everything hurts…but I need to keep moving…Yuki’s in danger.  I still haven’t done anything for him…’

Fumiko slammed her metal arm heroically into the earth, pressing through it a little.  Hardening her determination, she grit her teeth through the pain to stand up.  Everything felt thick like standing in water.  ‘I can’t stop, not here!’

Her hand clamped down tightly on the staff.  Even with the power surging through her, the high she ran on had been soundly chopped down to size.  ‘I did cause her some damage even if she regenerated it.  So if I just do enough all at once, maybe I can kill her!’  Fumiko didn’t know how much longer her body could hold out against her insistence.  She kept pushing for more when it wanted none.  ‘All or nothing, if I can’t end it here…  No, I can’t think that.  I have to keep standing up!’

Focusing on getting her body moving, she used her flames to keep the vile toys off her.  Unfortunately, they seemed super charged now.  They were faster and stronger.  They could even take more of her fire.  Her advantage slipped away.  “…damn…it…”

Struggling with her body, she forced herself back up.  Unwilling to stop moving, Fumiko drew on everything she had.  ‘Speed…it’s the only thing I have…I’m not going to have enough strength for a second…’  She knew there was only one thing that she still excelled at against them.  ‘If I don’t want anymore pain, then just don’t…get HIT!’

Building up to a run, it felt like her legs were tearing themselves apart.  The muscles burned.  Blood dripped down her thighs.  “Faster!  Faster!”  She blasted fire behind her to force herself even harder.  It was the kick-start she needed.  Fumiko disappeared with her legs finally moving.

Appearing behind Glykeria, she rammed the staff’s headpiece straight into the villain’s heart.  “Die!  BITCH!”  Flames ignited sharply all around them completely engulfing the child before it could even react.  The toys came to a sudden stop all disappearing.  Blue flames blurred out her body turning light blue almost white.  Everything that was Glykeria incinerated leaving nothing behind.

Fumiko collapsed on the spot.  She breathed so hard that it felt like her lungs would crack her ribs.  “Finally!”

“Sometimes flames are necessary to allow something beautiful to grow in its place,” an unknown voice spoke.

Surprise and shock turned Fumiko’s head to the direction.  “No…can’t be…”  She watched in disbelief as a completely different woman appeared exactly in the same place that the evil had once stood.  Now a woman, she had long deep flowing green hair almost too perfect.  Any sign of the child disappeared, replaced with a matured woman at the start of her youth.  She was a full figured woman, almost the idealistic image.

She gazed down at Fumiko with almost kindness in her eyes as though she was looking for the positive in her.  “Though we must fight, I wish for a time in the future where we can walk hand in hand.”  Glykeria smiled at Fumiko.

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