Chapter 263 – Childish Resistance
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Slack jawed, Fumiko had no words for moments.  Reality eventually slammed in the back of her head, pushing her forward.  “No way!  I killed you!”

The new version of Glykeria had an almost innocence in her eyes and nothing like the child-like innocence of the nine-year-old.  Unlike the other, which had an almost hidden murderous intent, she felt like she just wanted to be friends with Fumiko and was saddened knowing that she couldn’t.  She understood the reality, but hoped for something different.  It was the most complex version Fumiko met yet.

Her body didn’t want to move on her.  Her legs almost felt numb from the torture she put them through.  “Damn, how many are you?!  How many times do I have to kill you?”

Glykeria knelt down at Fumiko’s side.  She gazed up and down the length of her body.  “You never killed me, but if you want to think of it like I don’t mind.  This is just how my power works.”

“Tch…”  Fumiko felt cornered.  She knew that Glykeria could do anything to her she wanted, but refrained from it.  The new version made even less sense to her, though the others had very little logic to them either.  At the very least, they all seemed willing to fight.  This one felt like she restrained herself from doing so.  

What point was a pacifist?

After everything that happened, Fumiko actually felt the most afraid in those moments of being examined.  ‘I already tried to kill her several times, she may do the same to me.  But I don’t know if she plans to, I can’t read her at all.  She seems the most frightening of them all, that placid expression.’

Chapter 263 – Childish Resistance

Glykeria snapped her fingers; a doll appeared next to her.  The same theme of weapon continued for her, but it was different just like the others.  For this version of the woman, the doll was the size of about a human baby and had an unnervingly close appearance in the face of a real human.  It looked almost like a horror prop as it clearly wasn’t real, but if you didn’t stare long it could easily have passed for real.

“Paramonimos, if you will.”

“Yes, as you command, Mistress.”  The doll very politely bowed to the woman before floating away.  It circled around Fumiko and grabbed her up by the tatters of her clothes.  The weight of Fumiko’s body was too much for them to hold together.  Tears increased across the tunic until the doll grabbed her by the back of neck.  What was left of her tunic slid off her shoulders revealing her bra with only one strap still holding together.

Fumiko grimaced both from pain and embarrassment.  She could do nothing to stop the woman.  “What the hell do you want?”  Her lips quivered a little as she tried to hold up her resolve.

Looking up at Fumiko, the woman now adult, Fumiko still held the number one spot, Glykeria walked closer.  She bent over picking up the scraps that remained of the tunic.  Offering it back to her for her modesty, Fumiko refused her.  “You’re stubborn.  A strong and willful spirit.  However, it seems you’ve reached the limit your body will allow.  Please surrender now and this will all be over.”

“Surrender?”  Narrowing her eyes with suspicion, Fumiko had trouble believing it would be so simple.  It seemed more likely that she would be killed.  Especially with all of the havoc they caused throughout Atlantis.  “I find…that unlikely…  You plan to kill me.”

Poking her eyebrow up a little, the villain seemed a little surprised by the reaction.  “I don’t want to kill you.”

“I’m dead either way.  If not by you, but by someone else.  The blood on my hands is reason enough for someone to want to kill me.”

“That’s a rather sad outlook on your life.”  She actually seemed ready to cry for Fumiko.  “You have to believe that there is still a chance.  You can’t give up just because the situation seems grim.”

“Huh?  Aren’t I the enemy to you?  Should you really be saying such things?”

“We might be on opposite sides, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t reach for the same goal.”

Her face turned flat as her disbelief increased.  “I think you exceeded anyone I know for naivety.”  Fumiko stared at her, seeing a smile on her face.  “I wasn’t complimenting you.”

Fumiko reached behind herself and grabbed the doll, actually getting a grip on it thanks to its size.  She pushed her flames into it and ripped it off her neck.  The support it provided dropped her back down to the ground.  She tightened her hold on it hoping to either crush or burn it, but neither happened.  After a couple of seconds, she threw it back at the feet of Glykeria.

Slowly standing back on her feet, Fumiko worked up the most stoic expression she still had left in her.  Her body screamed louder than her voice could grant words.  The twitching in her face revealed the pain she tried to conceal.  “You want me to surrender, then come for me.  Earn your victory!”  Still a large unknown, she sort of hoped that the naivety would make her less of a threat as a fighter.

“I see.  You leave me no choice then.  While I did not start this, I will end it.  Rest assured of that.”

“Let’s see what you’ve got!”

“Para.”

“Yes, Mistress.”  The doll flew forward ramming its tiny fist deep inside Fumiko’s stomach.  It tossed her back through the air.  Blood sprayed in a trail of her wake.

Fumiko felt lightheaded immediately.  ‘Guess I was wrong…’  She ignored all her body’s complaining and threw the staff into the earth.  Multiple magic arrays expanded out over the area flooding everything in flames, a river of fire.  Fumiko landed in the fire that raced out to catch her, magic circles appeared on her feet and hands.

She turned her head up to the distance where the vile Glykera stood along with the doll.  Underneath Fumiko, the flames carried her along a wavy river back to her staff.  She snatched it back up, surfing with one hand running on the river and her feet.  ‘If my body doesn’t have any strength, my magic remains just as strong.  I haven’t exhausted that yet!’

Testing out the new doll, Fumiko fired off a quick succession of fireballs from her mobile position.  All she saw was the lone doll.  None of the others popped up as she had seen with the others.  ‘She’s likely going to show the others soon.  She’ll need them to compete with my magic.’  Yet, the doll deflected them with only its fists and even crushed the last one for good measure.

The display impressed Fumiko admittedly.  ‘So she only needs the one.  Is that it?’  Questioning the situation didn’t last for long.  The doll charged forward.  It easily crossed the distance in a single second that even Fumiko had a little trouble following it.  Waves of fire rose up along her flank to overwhelm it.  But it punched through completely unhindered.

Fumiko leapt back, switching the stream's direction to get her ahead of him.  It still connected with her, but she managed to dampen enough of the force that it only pushed her faster along the fire.  However, it kept up the chase.

Quick exchanges between the two sparked along the flame’s flow.  Fumiko clearly came out on the losing side of most of them, even though she managed to stay in the fight through careful maneuvering.  A battle of attrition remained attrition even if it looked like a stalemate.  She couldn’t keep up forever with the doll.  Even using her surfing technique to reduce the stress on her body, her arms couldn’t hold out.

A new plan needed to be created if she stood any chance of turning her fortune around.  ‘Damn…this is getting me nowhere and this doll is even more annoying than the hundreds I dealt with before.  It feels like it’s getting even faster even though I’m pretty sure it’s just my body that’s slowing down.’

Fire rose up in front of Fumiko.  It tried to push back the doll, but like before nothing happened.  None of her magic spells could do anything.  Even the metal vines failed to touch it.

Nothing reached.

‘I can’t compete with this doll…’  Fumiko glanced over in the distance at Glykeria.  They were far away, nearly out of sight.  The only idea she had left seemed like rehashing old ideas.  ‘If you have multiple lives, then I just need to keep burning until I exhaust all of your lives.’

She worked to guide their fight back to Glykeria.  Once she felt they were in range, she fired off a couple of spells at Glykeria to distract the doll.  It bought the feint, while Fumiko slid around behind.  ‘You’re just a normal human.  You don’t have the same reaction speed as your doll or me!’  She completely flooded Glykeria in her flames.

However, the flames suddenly went out as Glykeria slashed through them with her arm.  “Coming straight for me.  You’re quite predictable.”

“Is that so?!”  Fumiko threw out a fireball straight at Glykeria’s face.

A hand moved in to catch the spell and crushed it.  “I’m not so defenseless as you seem to think I am.”

“I see.”  Fumiko looked down at her metal hand.  ‘I need something different.’  Through the fight, she got a better feel of the new arm.  The flow of magic through it became easier to understand.  It responded to her will and command as she directed.

Magic circles flashed all over the shiny surface.  Out of her palm, the metal extruded until it became large enough for her to take hold.  The moment her hand gripped the unformed molten metal it jumped into the shape within her mind.

A scimitar grew out of the mass.  Carved through the length of the blade, magic imbued it with power.  It had a different purpose from her staff.  Red glowed in the lines that coursed through the metal.

Fumiko drew back the sword and swung it down at Glykeria.  It briefly flashed with flames before it stopped suddenly.  “What?!”  Bare handed, Glykeria had halted the blade she specifically crafted to cut her.  “The edge is supposed to be enhanced to be sharp enough to cut through anything!”

“I guess you failed then.”  The villain closed her fingers to grip the blade.  A quick twist snapped and crushed the blade.  Shards of metal rained down in front as though confetti.  It was completely worthless.  “This is where you fall.”  She rammed her fist into Fumiko, crushing her ribs and soaking her blood on her hand.

Gasping in surprise, Fumiko fell back.  Her body completely stopped functioning.  The flames disappeared returning her arm to normal and the metal dislocated from her arm.  Blood pooled up from the fist size wound in her abdomen.  ‘I lost…I’m sorry, Yuki…’  Her eyes closed slowly, losing sight of the world.

Glykeria materialized a new doll to rest on her hand.  “Tend to her.”  As ordered, it floated over beginning work on the countless injuries that Fumiko sustained during the fight.  She stared down at her bloodied fist with a look of disappointment.  “It didn’t need to end like this.  But I’ve completed my assignment.”

Paramonimos floated over to her right side.  “What is your next order, Mistress?”

“Nothing.  The others still have their battles to resolve.  We wait to see their conclusion.  Then we’ll act.”

“Understood, Mistress.”

She looked back at Fumiko’s unconscious body.  Then she glanced at her condition.  Glykeria let out a soft sigh.  Her countenance suddenly shifted with a neutral expression taking over.  “She pushed me this far.  But I never used my Field and my other self remained hidden.  I wonder if there’s someone out there that will force me to get serious.  All of these games only keep things so interesting…”

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