"So. A water spirit." Kirche said as she walked next to the two tiny bluenets. "Not sure if you guys remember but those weren't really harmed since the time of the founder. The only instance I know of, where those water mages down in Romania who supposedly collected all the water from a lake and move the spirit away that way."
"Doesn't matter. That is the task and we will do it."
Kirche waited for elaboration but as she didn't get any she decided to ask. "And how will we do it?"
"We kill it. Those are the orders." There was no emotion in her voice.
Again no further explanation came."So, you have no plan?"
"... I honestly expected you to be the type to have about 50 back plans." Kirche confessed with some worry making itself noticeable in her voice.
"I tried planning a few times. It never worked out. I go the objective. I fulfill the objective and I leave again. This is how it worked best so far." Tabitha's voice remained flat through the whole explanation.
"You did a few of those missions, right? Did you really improvise your way through all of them?" Kirche was by now seriously worried for her.
That made Thabitha think back. She faced quite a few very dangerous things and picked up a decent arsenal of spells and tricks. Often luck would help her where her skill wasn't enough, but she often had just no other choice. She talked to a knight a while back who commented that she fought like a blizzard on a summer day. She still wasn't quite sure what exactly he meant with that. "It works." She finally answered.
"That… ok." Kirche was a bit take aback with that. "So, we arrive and then just start blasting the water off?"
"It's worth a try, if it fails we can try again differently."
"I highly doubt that there is anything on this planet that stands a chance against me that isn't an Angeloid." Nymph said behind them.
"I beat you." Tabitha countered.
"Incorrect." Nymph argued. "You broke my connection to my old master. You didn't do any meaningful harm to me, and I sincerely doubt you could if what you were throwing around is a indication of what you can do."
Tabitha only frowned at that.
"Not like that helped you much!" Kirche shouted back at her.
Nymph stared at her with narrowed eyes, but with confusion instead of anger on her face. "Why do you need to assess dominance so badly? I am merely stating facts." She asked with actually interested.
"I.. that… because… shut up!" Kirche was flustered and had her arms crossed, opting to ignore her.
"No, really. That actually is something that bothers me about your kind." Nymph insisted. "Why?"
Any arguments where cut of by Tabitha. "We are here."
Before them, a massive lake was visible. Not too far away from the shore one could still she tips of abandoned houses and tree tops. This confirmed that the water spirit needed to be dealt with.
"Soooo, again. We are really just going to blast the water until something happens?" Kirche then spread her arms. "Because this is a massiv lake."
"Scanning." Nymph said as her eyes started to glow in various shapes. "Detected energy signature at the bottom of the lake." She announced a few moments later.
"Can you hit it from here?" Tabitha asked.
"Affirmation." Nymph said with a wicked smile. Then she opened her mouth and and for a brief moment there was only a flash of light visible. Then three was a hole in the water. After that, a boom was heard as the water filled the hole.
"Well, there is that I su..." Kirche started to say, but Nymph interrupted.
"Energy signature moved before the impact." She took a combat stance. "Energy signature is moving above hypersonic speed while inside the water. Contact!" At her last shout the water exploded outwards and shoot towards them.
"How dare you attack me, time cursed beings!" They had the water spirits attention.
Kirche was quick to react and throw a stream of fire at the incoming water projectiles. Upon contact the water quickly evaporated and formed a mist wall.
Nymph fired another blast from her mouth. With the snarl that was visible on her face afterwards it was obvious that she missed.
The next time, Tabitha tried. She used a temperature spell to freeze the lake in front of her. However the result of the spell was much stronger than she expected it to be.
As from the shore where she was standing on up to the very end of the lake on the other side a layer of ice covered the surface. Where there used to be turbulences of water there now only was one sold block of ice. Never before did her magic create such a strong effect.
She wanted to test how much she could freeze the lake. What she got as a result far outclassed even her best results and she didn't feel her Willpower depletion at all. The lake was frozen as far as she could see.
Nymph shivered suddenly. "Master, please warn me the next time you start draining my energy reserves! Sudden shifts in my generator output can lead to errors in my performance!"
"What?" Tabitha was too distracted to notice the ice break on multiple places and see more jets of water coming her way.
Those were again interrupted by fire. "Careful!" Kirche shouted, reminding Tabitha of the battle. Sudden discoveries could wait for now.
First the water spirit.
Again Tabitha decided to charge another freezing spell. "Nymph, tell me where to aim." she ordered.
"I highly doubt that you are able to hit this thing, master. Measurements indicate that the movement inside the water is near light speed." Tabitha didn't know how fast that was but decided that it probably was too much.
Her mind was racing as more whips of water shot out shattering the ice that was on the lake, trying to strike them down. As another water lance impacted against Tabitha's shield of ice she noticed something, the Water started to pudle by their feet but the Water spirit didn't use it to attack them. A theory formed in her head, now she only needed to test it.
"Prepare." This was the only warning she gave as the she charged another freezing spell, this time with much more power. Again a shiver ran through Nymph.
This time Tabitha focused and noticed how the energy flowed from the chain that connected her to Nymph into herself.
Her staff started to glow and she fired a focused beam into the lake. It was much more focused and saturated with magic than anything Tabitha ever saw. It reached the bottom of the lake and she dragged it straight through the lake, before releasing it.
A wall of ice of immense proportions shot from the bottom of the lake parting the thousands of tons of water to make space for the structure.
"Not quite sure how that was supposed to help." Kirche commented as she continued blocking water spear after water spear.
Tabitha didn't bother answering and instead observed the lake patiently. Her eyes widened a little as she found her experiment to be a success. The water spears only came from the left side of the lake.
Again she chanted and fired, this time cutting the left side of the lake in halve.
"Wait..." Kirche said with narrowed eyes as she to noticed that the spears now only came from the cut of section closer to them. "The spirit can only use water it is connected to."
Another beam and again, the section of water was cut in halve leaving the spirit with a substantially smaller about of water to work with. "Nymph, can you hit the spirit now?" Tabitha asked her.
"It's only a small patch of water left compared to what we started with, however be advice I only have about 3 shots left in be before I need to recharge. I am not made for extended combat situations." Nymph answered charging her shot.
"I will focus another Ice lance, the water spirit might try to escape once it realizes it is trapped. Kirche, no fire spells for now, they might melt the ice and just give the spirit more ammunition."
As soon as she finished speaking Nymph fired her Paradise song into the Water, this time the Spirit had no other direction to go but up. A huge amount of water shout out and shaped itself into countless limbs that started lashing out at them. Tabitha, as soon as she saw it in the air, froze the surface of the whole lake shut cutting the Spirit of.
The spirit, screaming in rage, charged at them trying to drown them under a mass of water. Nymph didn't even flinch but Kirche stopped caring about the no fire spells plan and blasted for everything she could. 'At least she didn't fire at the lake,' Tabitha thought chanting another ice lance. "Nymph, Kirche, get ready." She unleashed her spell and the whole water construct froze in place.
"Wow, this is..." Kirche was shocked by the amount of ice that was being thrown around since the start of the battle, each spell going way beyond anything she was used to.
"Master it's still moving!" Nymph shouted out in alarm as the ice started to crack. Nymph wasn't fast enough to charge the last paradise song and for the first time the trio saw the true body of the water spirit. It was a pearl, the size of a fist that was bleeding water as it floated around. It's speed outside of it was significantly reduced and Kirche managed to get a hit with her fireball.
The spirit shrieked in pain as its floating became violent and unstable trying to fly away.
Tabitha was about to charge another ice spell but Nymph interrupted her. "Master I won't have enough energy for a attack if you fire another one of those attack." Tabitha snarled and held back.
"Can you fly up to it and destroy it?" Nymph did some calculation in her head and then gave a affirmative nod. "Do it."
With that Nymph rushed after the escaping ball. Quickly she caught up and captured it in both hands. She pressed her palms together in an attempt to crush the pearl, but got no visible effects besides more pained screams. Nymph became visibly annoyed as efforts to destroy the damned thing didn't yield the results she wanted, and so she began to charge up another attack.
The movements of the spirit became even more spastic as it noticed what was about to happen but in the end it didn't help it as Nymph fired. What brute force didn't accomplish, a blinding beam of plasma definitely did as it was ripped apart, melted and crushed. As the beam stopped, there was only molten slag left of it.
"Mission accomplished." Nymph said with a smirk and self satisfaction.
Tabitha only nodded while Kirche shuddered. "Well that certainly was brutal." Both of them only gave her questioning looks. "Whatever. Ok, now what the heck was that super ice magic?"
"It seems that Master can use the imprinting connection to draw energy from my main reactor to fuel her attacks." Nymph explained.
"Shouldn't Louise be able to do the same thing?" Kirche asked curiously.
"My imprinting is the latest version which allows direct energy transfer." Nymph explained. "The older version that Alpha uses has no such functions. A flaw in the imprinting is suspected as the main reason for Alphas rampage."
"And the version you use is supposed to be flawless?" Kirche asked with a raised eyebrow.
"It am forced to not only act on the orders, but also the emotions of my master. That's why I can't hurt my master as pain translates to a direct order to stop and is only circumvented by very few high-ranking protocols."
"Riiight." Kirche said skeptically.
"We finished what we came for." Tabitha interrupted them as she had the pieces of the water spirit suspended in ice blocks behind her. "Let's leave."
"Yes master." Nymph said dutifully while Kirche only sighed.
Only a short chapter today, as always many hugs to my betas and whoever can find out the implication of this chapter gets a bottle of cheese.