Isekai For My Ex Chapter 66: Goodbye, My Friend
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"Erneis! Wake… up old... man, Erneis!" Being carried by Rara, Andrei's shock made him able to speak again, his voice hoarse due to the pain he had in his lungs, but seeing the knight lose his life, he knew he had to wake him up, he couldn't imagine that the old man would die.
"Wake up… what about Shri… I'm gonna tease Shri… I'm not gonna give him ice cream," tears flowed unchecked to his cheeks. With the little force, he got he lifted up his hand that was being held by Rara to get closer to the old man who was on Gideon's arms.
Andrei held his shoulders and shook him, "hey… hey… wake up… Erneis" then he saw Claire who was also laying on the cold floor, her bleeding had stopped but still, she closed her eyes unconcious, "you too Claire… what the hell are you doing you two… "
The two who saw him could only look away, Gideon who found the situation hopeless used his palms to close Erneis' eyes and laid him on the floor.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING GIDEON!" Andrei who wasn't in control of his emotions pushed Gideon away. Gideon didn't budge.
"Erneis is... dead," Gideon told him calmly, he understood what the young man was going through.
"No, don't lie to me… " Andrei shook Erneis once more.
"It's the truth, if you treasure him, stop shaking him and let him rest in peace," Gideon could only look away, he didn't want to Andrei's face in grief.
"NO! He-" but before Andrei could speak further, they all heard the beasts hysterical laughing. Flames burned in Andrei's heart as he heard it, he couldn't accept such a creature celebrating over someone's death, and moreover his friend's death. He was filled with grief and anger.
Meanwhile, Rara and Gideon were filled with fear and despair, knowing that Erneis lost his life, Claire was unconscious and badly wounded, Rara's leg was damaged, Gideon had canceled his phoenix, and Andrei's weapon that didn't work on it. Their hands tremble and their eyes water as they reached for their weapons.
To Runzulu who saw the only threat die, felt great pleasure at the sight of the hopelessness in front of her, she felt very satisfied with her work.
"I did cheat a little but this is what I wanted to see, FEAR!, ANGER!, DESPAIR!, HAHAHAHA!" She laughed hysterically, "this is what you get for humiliating me! Now, what should I do? Ahhhh… I should kill them one by one, by tearing their limbs, it would be a waste to just let them die easily- huh?"
But before she could continue thinking about what to do with them, the man holding the irregular weapon looked at him with anger as he muttered something.
"Oh… so the weakest one still hasn't lost its spirit after all, hasn't he realized that they're already done for? Should I flick him again?"
The young human gave something to the girl, and then the girl handed it to the healer, the human did something to his weapon and received something back from the healer.
"Ohhh… they're doing some of their tricks again, but that weapon won't work on me, but just in case, I have to make them unable to move before I play with them"
She went closer to the humans to attempt to play with them, but suddenly the human loaded his weapon and pulled the trigger.
She tried to use her unholy swords and claws to defend against it but it was too fast for her reaction speed.
"I missed huh? As usual, I'll absorb it!" The projectile went towards the beast's forehead, and just like usual he absorbed it the projectile with her flesh,
"Easy… Now to start with the heal- " before she could do heal it she felt something burning on her head.
"This is… Purifying flames? How?" The pains grew larger and larger until she could feel it in half of her head.
"This can't be!!! I was only hit by a projectile! It wasn't supposed to be this!" Using her regenerative control she searched for the projectile and used the flesh to take it out, but still the pain did not end. The projectile has already been ejected yet the pain was still on the location.
"WHAT???? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!!" She angrily screamed as she was blinded with flashing colorful spots and craved darkness, quiet and stillness. She felt the burning pain in her head that would throb so violently around her skull that as if it would crack open.
With all her senses taken away she couldn't do anything but crash her head into the walls and go berserk with her claws in an attempt to stop the pain or stop the caster, but the claws didn't find anything or would just crash into some metal or bricks.
It didn't hurt her physically but it hurt her soul directly. The purifying element was something that they were weak against, and now she's feeling it directly like flames engulfing her very soul.
Hearing the beast's hysterical laughing Andrei swore that he would definitely kill it, his mind was full of thoughts on how to kill it, but nothing came handy, even when he relied on his knowledge from the modern world.
While he was thinking Gideon spoke to him abruptly.
"Andrei, get Rara and Claire outside, the mission has failed, I can buy you time to escape, but there's no guarantee, I only have only a small amount of mana left for imbuing bricks with flames, but it's better than nothing, now go!"
Andrei knew that the situation was hopeless and they had to escape, but as he thought of Michaela, the warriors and his battalion outside fighting, and as he saw Claire lying unconscious while Rara tried to carry Claire on her back, he knew that it would be all or nothing.
He took in a deep breath to calm himself down, taking away unnecessary emotions that would affect his decisions and thoughts.
"They are fighting outside so we can take down this beast, but instead it outwitted us, taking down Erneis, and wounding Claire, Rara can only walk on one leg which makes it hard for her to fight with a greatsword.
And now Gideon is planning to sacrifice himself for us to escape, but in this situation, we won't make it even if we escape, that makes the whole sacrificing act useless, Gideon has only his imbuing magic for bricks that didn't work earlier, and now... wait… imbuing magic?… bricks… wait-"
Something came into his mind, he reached for his utility belt and felt the projectile bullets. He immediately asked Gideon.
"Gideon, can you imbue the purifying magic to these projectiles too?"
He showed the round metal balls to Gideon, as he did this Gideon caught up on what Andrei wanted to do, he smiled slightly at Andrei and nodded at him.
"Yes, this might work if we did it this way," he replied quietly.
Instead of running Andrei chose to fight, not because he was naive, but he wanted to take more chances in saving the majority.
If they fail the evil forces would be unstoppable, if they escape the chances of it succeeding is also low, he couldn't let more of the people important to him die, he couldn't let Ethareri become the next Kydus, he didn't want to abandon the town that welcomed him when he was lost in another world, and moreover, Erneis' grandchildren lived there. He knew that to the coalition forces this was the final resistance they can mount up against the evil force, it was everything they've got.
"I can't face the old man, even after death if I let little Shri and the other kids die," he thought to himself, "and I have to let Claire rest in a peaceful environment after everything is finished, or she'll beat the crap out of me if she knew I pulled back" he smiled bitterly looking at Claire who was still unconscious.
To find a breakthrough, Andrei chose to abandon his thinking that modern weapons would be much more effective as he saw his flintlock useless against the beast, and now he tried to integrate it with the rules of the world that he was in to use it to his advantage.
"They are weak to Gideon's purifying fire, they didn't deflect my bullets anymore with the black curtain, and Rara can strengthen these projectiles, I don't know if this will work but it's worth a shot."
With no time to waste, he relayed the plan to Gideon and Rara and passed on the bullets. From him to Rara, from Rara to Gideon and from Gideon to him.
Rara strengthened the projectiles.
Gideon imbued the bullets with his magic.
Andrei in a process readied his flintlock and loaded the magic-imbued bullets to his weapon while kneeling he placed himself in a comfortable position to a position that would enable him to nail the first bullet at the head of the beast which was a large target.
Noticing him, the beast continued it's hysterical laughter and went closer to them as if it would play with them before killing them.
To the beast, it looked like all of them fell in despair when Erneis died, but it was completely mistaken, Andrei had already a new idea as he aimed his gun towards the beast head, in his eyes were unwavering flames of his courage and hope.
"It's all or nothing!" he shouted as he pulled the trigger.
The bullet went outside the barrel in a fast speed, the beast didn't bother to put up the barrier that could cancel any magic remembering that the projectiles weren't any kind of magic, the two unholy swords that tried blocked it, failed miserably, due to it being faster than the normal reaction time could deflect, the bullet was by no means faster than the gale it encountered earlier due to the strengthening.
The bullet easily stuck itself in between the eyebrows of the beast, and went deeper and deeper, and with this Gideon stood up and pointed his wand towards the beast as he muttered his incantation.
[ Fire that scorches all creation, O' Pure Flames! Burn up and be Reborn! Phoenix! ]
But no phoenix appeared anywhere near Gideon, the answer was that he was rebirthing the phoenix on the bullet that went inside the beasts head. A small bird came out from the ball, burning the flesh of the beast and slowly cleaning it and the soul that inhabited it.
The beast was in a panic as it slowly felt the pain on its head growing steadily, it couldn't understand what was going, usually would just absorb the projectiles, but what it absorbed this time was a trojan horse that would lead to its demise.
The process was slow, it took time for Gideon to make the phoenix bigger, he was out of breath and was just pulling out the last of his mana, but for his emperor, for the princess, for the empire, and for the comrades he was fighting together he gave his all and maintained his focus.
The flesh of the beast threw out the projectile outside its body but the phoenix bird already manifested inside of it, the beast panicked as it was gradually becoming bigger and bigger as if bursting out of its head.
It smashed its head to the walls and went berserk trying to find the caster by using the extensions of its body.
Rara's flames in her heart didn't waver anymore, even though she was afraid at first, she was infected with Andrei's determination to protect, she herself had something at stake.
In the first place it was their kingdom that fell first. The death of the chief of knights of her ally hurt her deeply, even though the old knight gave his all protecting what he loved and believed in, it couldn't be denied that what he did also protected her and her people, giving them hope to see a better future for themselves and for Kydus, giving them a chance to rebuild their country.
Whenever a claw went towards Gideon or Andrei, Rara fended it off with her greatsword, even on one foot, the girl gave all the courage she could, as she thought of her father and her people and her allies while buying time for Gideon to enlarge the phoenix inside the beast's body and protecting Andrei who was already aiming, ready to pull the trigger for another round in case Gideon's phoenix was extinguished prematurely before it could kill the beast.
As if the three's prayer was answered, in a few seconds flames came out of the beasts' eyes, and at the same time holes gradually appeared on its body emitting flames from the phoenix that grew inside as if it was bursting.
And then it finally happened, the bet Andrei made had won, since the beast was hit on its head first, the purifying flames burnt the Runzulu inside of it, she couldn't find another body to transfer to as the body she inhabited lost its ability to sense anything. Her soul burned by the purifying flames of the phoenix, and the flesh of the beast was burst into pieces.
Becoming a beacon to their victory, a phoenix appeared in the place of the beast that was shattered to pieces, it made a shriek and disappeared. Gideon, became exhausted, and passed out on the floor himself, with zero mana he was in a state of mind down. But it wasn't a threatening condition as long as he rested or was given mana intakes.
Andrei, finally was able to look properly at Erneis who died peacefully, his eyes were closed and his mouth had a hint of a smile on it. But as he did this his adrenaline rush wore off, and finally, the pain that attacked his body and lungs came back, making him pass out before he landed on the cold floor Rara caught his head with her hands and placed it carefully on her knees.
The moment Andrei shut his eyes, memories of his interactions with Erneis came to his mind, the old man whom he met as a referee who warned him about losing his fingers,
the old man who went together with his plans,
the old man who went crazy about his inventions,
the old man who followed and helped him everywhere,
The old man who looked like an honorable knight at work yet looked like a skinny old retired man on breaks,
the old man who just wanted to make ice cream for his grandchildren,
And moreover, it was the old man who became a precious friend to him, in the world unfamiliar to him, where he was an irregularity.
As if the old man was saying goodbye, Andrei saw his visage on his dreams, he couldn't make out what he was saying but he was completely happy as he waved goodbye at him and walked away towards the blinding light that reflected and removed his bulky armor revealing his retired old man figured as he walked being pulled by children.
Seeing the old man's happiness on where he was going Andrei didn't attempt to hold him back and all he could do was a wave and say the words of farewell.
"Goodbye my friend"
And just like a miracle, the sun showed itself coloring the sky with hues of orange and blue and the dark clouds of the afternoon of Kydus gradually cleared up, the dark-elves who lost their high priestess that acted as a bridge between their worlds were taken out of the bodies they possessed unwillingly.
Bodies of the possessed soldiers all fell at the same time, without being able to break the firing line nor get through Michaela who was the single one in the vanguard.
To the dark elves this was a humiliating defeat, but for everyone in the coalition, victory felt like the warm light embracing them.
Initially, they thought that the dark elves would still be able to fight without their leader and that even if the surprise attack was a success, they would still have to fight for days, however seeing them all fall, indicated that the threat from the evil force was no more, and they would finally be able to return to their families or be able to rebuild their country.
Deep into the Kydus palace, there was a knight who fought for what he protected and treasured the most, and through his valiant actions, he defended his comrades who were able to find a way to win against the enemy even when the odds were stacked against them.
The knight died surrounded by his comrades whom even for a short time he became friends with, and with deep respect they laid him at the cold floor as they waited for the arrival of the victorious coalition forces.
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