Chapter 261 – Burning Freedom
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Yumi listened to everything Yori said.  Her hands lifted up to her mouth as each moment left her more shocked than the last.  “How can that be?!  All this time…”  Yumi turned her head towards the Capital, where Ayumi and Yuki had to be.  “…Ayumi…you planned all of this knowing that?  Ayumi…”  Yumi hung her head down, most of her face disappearing beneath the shadows.

Suddenly, a hand grabbed her ankle.  It snapped her out of her own world to stare below her.  Ourias stared up at her with fierce determination.  “I won’t lose…  I made a promise…”

A wind suddenly blew out from Yumi.  The area around her eyes turned dark as night.  Severe lines carved into her face.  An intensity not seen before shined from behind her eyes.  “You cannot stop me,” she uttered in a grave tone.  “Ayumi…  Not even hell itself will stand in my way!  AYUMI!”

Even faced with the other personality inside the girl, Ourias never saw such a murderous intent in her.  The sight actually chilled his spine a little and shook his determination.  She had the look of being willing to do anything.  ‘What happened suddenly?  Is it another personality in this girl?’

Staring down at Ourias, the lines around her eyes multiplied instantly.  “Let go,” Yumi demanded tersely.  It seemed she had trouble keeping control of her voice as she almost exploded again.  Only a second passed before she drew an arc with her finger.  Released from her hold, it severed Ourias right arm at the upper arm.  She ripped his arm free from her ankle with the use of her telekinesis and crushed it into nothingness.  “Don’t make me…TELL you AGAIN!”

Chapter 261 – Burning Freedom

Ourias staggered back with pain, fully waking all of his senses.  Adrenaline pumped through his body allowing him to stand.  The shortness of breath completely disappeared.  Ripples ran out from his feet a moment later.  Muttering words in a soft tone, a white material formed in the air to stretch over his wound.

Straightened out, Ourias had his composure back.  He knew what he had to do.  The image of his family sat at the back of his mind.  “I can’t allow you to pass.”

“Then you will DIE!” roared Yumi, casting out another arc aimed straight for his head.  It faded away to water after a response from him.  “Nothing in this world will stop me!”

Grinding his teeth together, she made it clear to him how much things escalated.  ‘Dammit, what’s going on with her?  Are you going to make me kill a child?’  He summoned up his attack for Yumi.  A mixture of his past types came out of the ground.  However, her power seemed to have increased as she wiped it all out without even wasting a second.  ‘I covered up for the flaw in my power, so she won’t be able to stop me this time, but with this sort of power I’m not going to make any progress.’

His invincible shield protected him from the next of Yumi’s attacks until he was able to nullify it.  The exchange continued with the stalemate.  ‘She’s increased her attack speed to try to keep me from using my words to destroy her attacks.  Even still, we’re not getting anywhere.  She’s faster than I can react, but nothing she does will reach me.’

Yumi took to the air, destroying the vines coming after her.  “I’m wasting time on this pointless fight.  My target lies in there.”  Her gaze went to the city wall.  She darted for it immediately, giving up the fight.  Stone shards rained on her along with metal columns, but she dealt with them quickly and never slowed down.

Still in sight, but far away, Yumi crashed into something before reaching her goal.  She pressed against it harder trying to force her away through, but she wasn’t strong enough.  Pulling back, she drew up particles into her palm and fired a point blank blast at the invisible wall.

Nothing.

“Damn you!”  Yumi tilted her head back over her shoulder to Ourias.  “That desperate to die are you?!”  She swiped her arm through the air to destroy the incoming attacks.

‘I’ve got her held down, but I need to bring her down.’  Ourias stared up at the girl.  The one that caused him so many troubles already.  He wasn’t fond of his job at times.  It was never the life he wished to have.  However, he couldn’t change his course.  “I’m ending this now.”

Questioningly, Yumi stared at Ourias.  She doubted he had anything to back up the claim.  But she waited to see what he did.  Anything created by him would be struck down all the same.  The untouchable situation wouldn’t change.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a metal column running for her like all of the rest.  She stretched out her hand to deal with it, but nothing happened.  “Huh?”  Yumi turned too late for it.  The flat end slammed into her hand and then shoulder, sending her flying.

Her body crashed into the barrier, which prevented her escape, before dropping to the ground dazed.  ‘What just happened?  My power…’  She stared at her hand summoning up the energy to confirm she still had it.  ‘It’s not gone, then what?’

Unfortunately, she didn’t have a minute or even a second to contemplate her condition.  Vines grew up from the earth to tie down her legs.  Once more using her hands to cut through the plants did nothing.  Her energy arcs broke apart upon impact.  ‘Again…’

The situation became very clear to her what he wanted.  She saw even more of his projectiles coming in.  Immediately, she threw up a barrier to prevent their progress.  While it fought with him, she worked to get her legs free.  However, he already dissolved her defenses.  ‘Damn, he’s persistent…’  She put another barrier out, which lasted the same amount of time.  It just was attrition at this point.  He would penetrate her defenses in time.

All she could do was put her hands up to attempt a defense.  Clearly, it wouldn’t be enough.  A metal column shot through to her head ramming it against the wall.  The heavy ringing of Yumi’s head crushed into the wall echoed throughout the interior.  Following the ringing even more flew in, smashing the column with each strike.

Blood splattered upwards across the wall.

“Yumi!” shouted Seiji, stuck inside with the others.  The moment Ourias put the Field back up they received the paralysis again.  He fought with his body to run to her.  ‘She’s not moving!  He didn’t…’  Seiji clinched his fists.  Sidelined, while his friend couldn’t fight back inflamed his blood.  “Bastard!  Let me go and I’ll show you a fight!”

A cough.

Attention shot over to Yumi again.  “I can…still fight…Seiji.”  Yumi’s voice wound through and underneath everything over her.  It came out low and quiet, almost muffled.

All of Ourias objects flew off into the far corners of the Field bouncing around a little before sticking themselves in the earth.  The vines unwrapped themselves around Yumi’s legs, but seem to be resisting against something.

“I’m still in this,” she declared, emerging from underneath everything.  Blood dripped over much of her face ruining her youthful appearance.  However, it didn’t stunt any of her determination.

Flexing her hands a little, they felt tight and stiff.  It was nothing she couldn’t work out.  “If you want to put me down for good, you’re going to have to do a lot better than invulnerable attacks.”

Ourias’ eyes narrowed with concern.  ‘I struck her directly in the head.  I did injure her, but it should have killed her or at least knocked her out.  She shouldn’t be standing still.’  Yumi defied his expectations and left him a little worried.  He didn’t know how much force he actually needed to kill her.

She started walking towards Ourias slowly.  The next attacks came after her.  Waving her hand, the attacks diverted off behind her pounding out a heavy hollow tone on the wall.  She kept moving forward.  “You can’t stop me.”  Her destination remained firmly planted in her mind.  The obstacle before her was just a small bump.

Pushing off the attacks with telekinesis, Yumi kept the march on towards Ourias.  When throwing wasn’t enough, she angled her barrier in sections to deflect them off.  Her path remained open.  Like a machete slashing through a thick jungle, she could see her path clearly.  It was always open.

Manipulating her barriers in pieces kept her safe when she finally stood in front of the only defense Ourias had.  “We meet again face to face.  I’m going to have to thank you for pounding my head into pudding back there.  I’m thinking a little straighter now.”  She lifted her hand up to the shield protecting him.

‘What are you planning?  You can’t break it.  I made it impossible for you.’ 

Energy gathered to her palm despite the impervious nature of the shield.  Slowly it built up constantly as though size would change anything.  The light of it expanded almost completely blocking her out of sight.

Ourias thinned his eyelids trying not to be blinded by the light.  ‘What’s she planning?  Even blinding me won’t change the shield.’  However, the ground under him started to rumble.  He only had a moment to look down before light exploded from under his feet.  It hit him square in the stomach, throwing him up into his own shield.

Surprise spread over his face.  ‘She was just distracting me from her real intention.  The shield doesn’t cover underneath me!’  Blood sprayed out of his mouth.  He fell back against the surface of the shield.  Once the ball of energy dissipated, Ourias slid down to the earth slumped over.

“You seem to be copying me.”  Yumi glared down at him.  Despite no longer being rage filled, her lethal edge never left.  It actually made her look even worse as she was no longer animal like, but wrapped up in a human shell, the shell of a teenage girl small and weak appearing.

Wiping away the blood from his mouth, Ourias forced himself back to his feet.  “Then forgive me for repeating you by saying, ‘I can still fight.’  So don’t think this over just yet.”  He brushed his stomach where the blast burned through his clothes.  It quickly repaired the visual damage to the cloth.  “You’ll regret not finishing it there.”

“No.  I know you’ve already fixed your shield to encompass a complete sphere around you.  But I’ll still win.”  The attacks became more difficult to deflect with her concentration focused away.  She pulled back floating away as Ourias’ strikes flew over her as though to block her path to him.

Dozens almost hundreds of pieces of her barrier materialized around her.  “My mind was more awake this time around.  So I actually remember pieces of things.”  Counting on the next round of attacks, she shot out a small blast down at her side.  Just before it came into range, beams from all sides bounced around off her scattered barriers creating a mesh of light.  The attacks smashed into the beams unable to advance.

Yumi cast her hand out dragging away everything cluttered up around Ourias’ shield.  As she timed out, he dealt with her beams.  However, she flew in over top of the column and pulled on the back end to turn it around.  The force off it sent it speeding towards Ourias’ shield.

A metal clang blew out from the impact.  It seemed like the shield vibrated from the ringing, but didn’t budge.  However, before the column fell down Yumi lifted up the end she pulled on with her bare hands.  Lifting above her head, she swung down on the shield creating another ringing.  The sound started to become deafening.  She swung repeatedly as if it was a bat.

Ourias held his hands over his ears, being at the center of the racket.  ‘Is she trying to kill my ears?  She knows she can’t break through like that.’  Then he realized.  ‘Concentration…focus…that’s it.’  It took him longer than he thought to remove it from his mind, but all of the ringing made it difficult on him.  His discipline and mastery came back to fight against him.  Maintaining everything was so simple for him that he didn’t need much attention for it, but he had to focus to drop it.  The pain finally started to ease up.  ‘I’ll have to be faster about wiping things.’

The next round came up for Yumi.  She dodged the attacks rather than blocking or deflecting them.  Her feet bounced around on their tops dancing around the air.  When she needed to block, she pulled up a layer of her barrier, then rotated in a new one immediately.  It pushed back just enough on the attack before it faded out that it could never make any progress and Ourias couldn’t nullify it in time.

‘Damn, she’s getting more clever with her powers.  Her speed is so fast that I can’t even finish a word before it’s pointless.  I can’t affect something that didn’t exist the moment before.’  The previous persona reminded him of his flaw.  Covering up for the other flaws was possible, but it was the one that he had no cover.

Worse for him, Yumi kept increasing the number that she stopped.  He could only stare.  Other feints did nothing to stop her.  The superhuman reaction and awareness made it difficult for him to get anything over her.

Crafting a completely invincible stone column, it rammed through everything straight for Yumi.  However, it stopped just in front of her.  “Huh?!”  He couldn’t see anything she was doing.  ‘How is she stopping it?’  Realization for him came a moment too late as she leapt up on the stone column.  ‘She must have made it too small for me to see behind the obstruction.’

Yumi ran along the length of the column and hopped up to the next attack trying to knock her off.  A barrage came after her to stop her advance.  She flipped herself around running upside down skipping around to keep her position difficult to pin down.  Finally, Yumi landed on top of the shield.  “Checkmate.”

Ourias stared up at Yumi, confused at her declaration.  “You can’t do anything.”

“Not true!  I learned a couple of things about my power from her.  This being one of them!”  She planted her palm against the top of the shield.  Suddenly beams projected everywhere around the Field to a center point at the top of the shield just inside. 

The energy passed through the shield unhindered gathering into a sphere at her command.  It finished before a stunned Ourias could react covering the entire interior in a blinding light.

Yumi knew it was over when she started to fall with the shield gone.  He laid unconscious at her feet.  “Like she said, your defense allows non-aggressive acts through.  I just had to alter the waveform of my energy into something that could pass through the shield.  Did you think all of those things I was doing was just me playing around?  I was testing it out and making the needed adjustments while I kept you distracted.  I knew I only had one shot at it.”

She turned away and started to walk off.  “Seiji have Nerine tend to any injuries he has.  I’m going after Ayumi.  I’ll save Yuki from her!” 

Seiji felt a little stunned from watching Yumi.  She became someone that he hardly even recognized anymore.  ‘Is this really the same girl I saw back at the tree when the fairy called us?’  Shaking off some of his slackjaw, he stood up helping Nerine and the others.  He looked over at Yumi just as she started to fly away.  “Be careful, Yumi!”

“Save that for Ayumi when I see her again!”  Being reminded of Ayumi and Yori’s truth triggered her emotions with renewed intensity.  She hardened the features in her face flying straight for the wall.  Nothing mattered to her anymore other than preventing Ayumi.  When she approached the city wall, a large hole punched through for her allowing her access to the Capital.

“I’m coming to save you, Yuki!”

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