Once, there had been a war between Farsas and Druuza.
One day, a country Northwest of Farsas, Druuza, had woken The Beast sleeping inside its magic lake and used it to invade its rival country. However, it hadn’t entirely been a consensus move; according to the remaining historical records, a group of magicians had willfully woken the abominable, gigantic magical weapon behind the King of Druuza’s back.
Actually, the control of The Beast hadn’t been perfect, and many Druuza nationals had also become its victims. The reverberation of its power had transformed the battlefield to a land shrouded in fog, where no plants could grow normally even now.
The Beast had caused more than a thousand casualties to both sides back then; its overwhelming power had brought desperation to everyone.
But in the end, it had been sealed deep underground by the witch accompanying the King of Farsas. Most of the magicians controlling The Beast had been killed by that witch, and those who had been able to escape her slaughter had been killed by Druuza’s soldiers for revenge.
And so, The Beast slept within the earth, and the fog-shrouded land acquired a superficial peace.
― Then… Nearly seventy years had passed.
“The final spell to break the seals, hurry! We don’t have time!”
The skeleton-like magician shouted as soon as he came back to the underground cave. Surprised, the young magician that was working on some magical device stood up.
“But the control hasn’t been completely configured yet…”
“It doesn’t matter! Begin the final spell! She found out!”
As the young magician took in the situation, he rushed into the depth of the cave, where The Beast’s seals were. Coughing heavily, the old man followed after him.
“We’ve come this far… Will it all end now…?”
He thought of his hometown, where he had been born and raised. That village now belonged to a country split from the former Druuza, one of the poorest ones. That was why he had to use The Beast’s power to reunite Druuza, save his hometown, and destroy Farsas.
That was why he would hold on to this life as long as possible, the life that should have been abandoned seventy years ago together with his Master and comrades.
Dragging his body, which wasn’t able to move that well anymore, he finally reached the place where the diagram was. Ten like-minded magicians had already gathered there.
The pale magic diagram stood out in the dark cave, so complicated it couldn’t possibly be man-made. It had been constructed by a witch seventy years ago. In the huge pit on the opposite side of the diagram, the closed eyes of The Beast could be seen.
The silver fur shone dully under the diagram’s light. The magic power of The Beast could be felt even from a distance and its built, as large as a small castle, reminded people of a mysterious terror.
Five of the magicians had already started the seal-breaking chant. The skeleton-like magician spoke to the one standing next to the pit and looking down into it:
“How long will it take?”
“About three days…”
“Three days… About the same time, it takes for Farsas’ army to arrive. We’ll make it somehow.”
As the other magician replied and raised his head, there was the sound of something light landing on the ground of the cave. He looked at the direction of the strange sound.
It was a freshly-severed head, all skin and bones.
He couldn’t utter a word; something cold fell on his nape. He died without realizing it.
The tragedy happened in an instant.
Behind the rock, the magician was chanting the spell with his eyes closed. Before he realized it, he couldn’t hear any other chanting besides his own. He raised his head to look at his comrades, and was horrified.
The corpses of his comrades scattered; they had been cruelly cut up. The floor of the cave had become a large pool of blood, and the severed heads had expressions of dismay and disorientation frozen on their faces. They did not know what happened.
Just as he realized the gruesome reality, the strong stink of blood belatedly assaulted him. ―But more importantly, what caught his eyes the most was the lone girl standing in the middle of the crimson pool. The sword she carried was drenched in blood, and when she noticed him, a smile appeared on her face.
“I missed one.”
Her cool voice made him paralyze with terror. His strength suddenly abandoned his body, he could not make a move, not to mention escaping.
The witch casually approached him and asked:
“What? Do you want to break the seals?”
He somehow managed to nod, while his mouth kept gaping open and shutting. The witch’s big dark eyes widened, and she laughed.
“Let’s break them then.”
She brandished her sword at the wall to get rid of the blood, then sheathed it. She turned to the diagram and raised a hand.
In the thick stench of blood, that figure was beautiful enough to make people tremble.
No one could touch The Beast when the seals were still active; Tinassha was no exception. She raised her right hand and unraveled the seals without chanting. The other magician stood by her side and turned pale as he stared at the scene.
Tinassha counted the lesser seals in her mind while unraveling them. The diagram constructed with seven lesser seals broke in the blink of an eye.
With this, the eyes of The Beast slowly opened.
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The group suddenly trembled as they passed the gate to Inuraid Fort, and everyone turned around in a panic. Sounds of earth’s tremors could be heard from the direction of the magic lake.
Doan asked with a shaking voice. But Oscar just stared sharply into the wasteland without answering.
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From the fumes of the explosion, Tinassha floated up into the sky and looked down at the scene.
The place had caved in due to the explosion happening after The Beast had woken up. The remaining magician, together with the other corpses, had probably slept under the ground now.
Tinassha flew around and called out to the dragon:
“Naak, it’ll be dangerous until everything is over, so come down.”
At its master’s command, the red form of the dragon disappeared into the cloud of dust and fog.
The dust cloud gradually cleared up.
In the center of the magic lake, a silver wolf raised its head and glowered at Tinassha. Set into its forehead was a large ruby and its eyes, as red as the gem, shone with hostility. It stood up and dashed to grab the petite witch. She smiled sweetly.
“It’s been seventy years. Did you sleep well?”
She said and raised her right hand; a light sphere appeared above the pale hand. It swelled up in the blink of an eye and began to discharge electricity with a grating sound. As if in response to that, The Beast howled. Its intensity shook the air, and simultaneously, a shock wave shot out of the enormous mouth. Tinassha leapt to the side to avoid it and, without a moment’s delay, fired the ball into the wolf’s open mouth. But just before it could hit, The Beast bowed down and received the ball with its forehead. The light sphere was sucked into its long silver fur and diffused while discharging electricity. Tinassha was amazed at the sight.
The shining beast tried to mow Tinassha down with its sharp claw; she dodged the attack with ease and dived under its leg. She pulled out a cylinder from the belt on her calf and flipped the small lid open with one finger; a shining red sphere tumbled out into her palm. She poured a magic design into the sphere.
The witch kicked the earth to avoid another attack of The Beast’s legs while throwing the sphere, now clad in a magic design, at one huge hind leg. As if having invisible blades, the sphere tore off the wolf’s silver fur and the flesh beneath while plunging deeper into the laceration.
The next moment, The Beast’s hind leg exploded.
It howled in anguish; its eyes, dyed bright red with rage, searched for the witch. It bared its fang and snapped at Tinassha; she warded it off while standing in the magic lake and setting up a barrier. She glanced at its wounded hind leg; the wound was closing, and new flesh was growing rapidly, with silver hair sprouting up on the red flesh.
“Very fast healing.”
The witch praised sarcastically and shook the cylinder to take out another red sphere. She took a turn in the air and shot the sphere at the other hind leg. The muffled sound of flesh being torn off reverberated in the area.
Many scholars claimed that, had the Blue Moon Witch not been by Regius’ side seventy years ago, The Beast would have come to the castle city.
A tough body that repelled magic, an inexhaustible stamina supplied by an enormous body, a physical strength strong enough to mow down a forest; humans couldn’t contend against its power, even with tens of thousands of troops. At that time, even the other countries observing the war had been troubled by the unanswerable question of how to deal with The Beast after Farsas had been ruined.
But their worries had ended up being unnecessary.
The King’s Witch had appeared on the battlefield, put The Beast to sleep after half a day of intense battle, and left Farsas.
She had saved probably not just Farsas but also a lot of other countries and their people. And thanks to that incident, everybody once again realized the might of a witch.
Tinassha used up all seven spheres while dodging The Beast’s attacks. But the wounds they had caused had all closed up in an instant, and the silver wolf now shook its fur as if nothing had ever happened.
On the other hand, Tinassha’s breathing had quickened after flying non-stop with no time to rest. She soared up high to avoid another attack, and looked down at The Beast from the height.
“I don’t mean to be this lackluster, but… I have no stamina, so it can’t be helped.”
Sweats were beading on her forehead and nape. Her black hair was sticking to her skin; she flipped it back and muttered self-deprecatingly:
“So, will it be a repeat of seventy years ago?”
She took a deep breath, and started chanting.
“Rise up. The prison is still within darkness. What you can see are just seven shackles.”
In response to the spell, the seven spheres embedded inside The Beast’s body shone up, their lights piercing the flesh to come out. The Beast howled in pain as lights beamed from its body.
“A peace without meaning is blind. Sleeping inside the cave of denial’s ignorance.”
One by one, magical threads came out from the seven spheres. They intertwined with each other and formed a huge design that bound The Beast. The Beast kicked its legs and tried to get away, but the stretchy net-like diagram wrapped around its large body, making it impossible to escape.
When the huge red design had completely captured The Beast, Tinassha stopped chanting and took a breather.
“Sorry, but please die this time. You won’t achieve anything existing here.”
The witch looked down at the silver wolf with plaintive eyes. ― Then, she began the chant to kill it.
“Recognize my will as your order, silent one who filled up the space. Without my words, you have no power. Define the light of disappearance…”
A giant diagram made from light appeared above her head. It slowly span while beginning to absorb magic from the magic lake. The light’s intensity increased in the blink of an eye; noticing it, The Beast raised its head. Its red eyes, which were burning with hatred, met the witch’s dark eyes. Its low growl shook the earth.
Murderous intent and hollowness, seemingly similar but carrying in reality opposite ideas were exchanged in that moment.
A few seconds that lasted an eternity.
The next instant, the wolf jumped up. It tore up the red net, and its huge jaw aimed for the Tinassha’s body. She clicked her tongue and took off her coat with her right hand, then used it to block the shining white fangs from her body. The black coat was pregnant with air and spread wide as if to protect its owner; the defense embedded in the cloth was activated.
But The Beast’s fangs broke through that defense for a moment. When its enormous white fangs closed in, there was no time to stop them; they pierced her abdomen deeply. Without warning, The Beast had ensnared the witch’s slender body.
Tinassha’s body arched in shock and pain. She somehow managed to not cry out in anguish, but the pain had made her head blank. The Beast opened its mouth as if to chew on her.
― If she fainted now, her magic construct would disappear.
When the jaw was wide open, she mustered all her strength and kicked at the fangs. The diagrams on the tips of her shoes lit up and broke the white fangs. Making use of the recoil, she flew backwards and escaped The Beast’s jaw. She pressed her left hand into her abdomen; blood had begun to spill profusely.
“This, is the end.”
Tinassha raised her right hand, and swung it downward in the direction of The Beast’s head.
Simultaneously, the light diagram swallowed The Beast’s body while spreading out big enough to cover the whole magic lake.
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