There’s nothing Tetsuko can’t cut in this world
Now that Tetsuko could cut them, the worshipers were on the defensive.
“Don’t stop!” Faela shouted to Anna, moving her sword so fast the metal was nothing more than a blur.
Despite the difference in skills, the girl kept up with her master. Whenever one of the worshipers found an opening, she protected Faela with her katana. Though their brutal strength was terrifying, the swordswoman was used to facing stronger opponents. Instead of blocking, she redirected the blows away, keeping them alive.
Thanks to that, Faela could completely focus on attacking and her sword was the same.
The dust Celeste goes out way too fast! If I lose my concentration for a moment, I’ll lose my sharp edge and we’re screwed!
Because of it, the soul in the sword had to shut herself to her surroundings. There was only her and her metal body. There was only her edge and how to get sharper.
As their wounds accumulated, though none of them was deep enough, the worshipers realized they would lose even though they were stronger. When they had the chance, they leapt backwards, putting a huge distance between them, lading on the shallow lake overflowing with the dust Celeste.
Though the woman looked livid, the man took a deep breath and let go of his anger. He regained his calm and looked at the swordswomen with respect.
“I don’t know what’s in that sword but I underestimated it. But above that, I underestimated you two. A mistake I cannot afford anymore,” he said in a low, almost respectful voice. He placed a hand on his companion’s shoulder, flashing a gentle smile when she looked at him. “We may not be worthy like the Grand Priest, but offering our lives is the only option.”
“W-we’re not ready,” she said, the fear crossing her eyes, erasing her rage. “It’d be a disgrace to the True Gods.”
“I know. And I hope They will understand and forgive us for offering such incomplete vessels. But it’s the only way. For the Truth.”
The woman bit her lips, frowning as she tried to find a reply. When she found none, she closed her eyes and breathed slowly. “You’re right. Hope They forgive us,” she said in a calm, almost enlightened voice.
Faela and Anna weren’t waiting nor giving them time to talk. As the worshipers had their conversation, the swordswomen had been running towards them. However, they were still too far to stop as the worshipers knelt and dove their heads in the water.
When the ripples stopped, they could see the bubbles popping on the surface. Then it also stopped. Even though they needed air, they didn’t take their heads out of the water. They refused to breathe, and then their bodies shook.
Before Faela and Anna reached them, they remained completely still. They had drowned in the shallow lake.
Don’t stop, Tetsuko shouted when the swordswomen slowed down. Something is wrong with their Celeste! Kill them!
Neither Faela nor Anna needed a reason. They listened to the soul in the sword and ran faster. However, it was too late. They might not feel it but Tetsuko could.
The worshipers had died but instead of the Celeste leaving their bodies like all the other living creatures, something was changing inside them. The evil and ancient energy was filling the void, was turning them, in the same way the animals and people turned when infected by the tainted blood.
But instead of mutating everything, it focused on the limbs. While the Celeste changed the man’s good arm, the woman’s leg was turning. In a matter of instants, the arm and the leg became monstrous, huge, and deformed.
Tetsuko almost lost her concentration for a moment. It’s the same as the Grand Priest’s transformation.
When they rose, however, they were different from the woman who was the leader of the worshipers. Their eyes were black and yellow, the same as those who were turned and not converted. The mark of the demon was on their pupils as well.
Tetsuko didn’t have time to warn. Before the swordswomen could reach them, the woman used her monstrous leg to kick the ground, giving herself an unbelievable speed. In the blink of an eye, she was before them, trying to punch through them.
Faela rushed in front of Anna and managed to block with Tetsuko. But even with her sharpened edge, they were sent hurling back several meters, rolling on the ground.
They barely had time to get up. The man had punched the ground, tore off a huge chunk of the rock floor and threw at them.
They rolled out of the way just in time; the boulder crash against the wall and burst into smithereens, leaving a huge crater behind, the dust blocking their view.
“Shit,” Faela muttered, coughing and standing up.
By the time she prepared Tetsuko, the woman worshiper was already before her, her leg drawn back for a kick.
She threw herself on the ground. But even in that situation, as the leg that could have ripped her head with one blow passed above her, she didn’t waste the chance and stabbed it.
The tip of the blade broke the skin and pierced the flesh. But it wasn’t enough. Especially with that speed. The wind made by the attack blew the dust from the boulder.
Anna tried to attack, but it was the same as nothing. When she dodged the kick, it was by a hairsbreadth.
They can’t control it. They’ve lost their souls to the gods they worship. It’s not like the Grand Priest.
Faela had no time to answer. The bald worshiper had picked up another boulder, but instead of throwing, he fractured it and then threw it. The flying pieces left thousands of holes on the wall.
The swordswomen managed to dodge, and to their luck, the attack had made the woman worshiper jump away from her.
They’re not working together anymore. They only think of killing us. It doesn’t matter if they get each other, Tetsuko projected her thoughts, the strain on her soul from thinking and using the dust Celeste at the same time exhausting her. I can’t let this get to me. Not now.
Because of their lack of teamwork, Faela was managing to dodge the attacks, striking whenever there was an opening, even if her attacks barely hurt the monstrous leg.
Anna, on the other hand, was having too much trouble. She was already past her limit and if her master hadn’t pushed her out of the way a couple times, she would be dead by now. Though frustrated, she realized she was getting in the way.
“I’ll go get the soldiers!” she shouted, racing to the exit. Before she could get out, another boulder came flying. She jumped out of the way, but her arm was hit by the debris and she let go of her katana. She looked at it for an instant, but when another boulder came, she had to let it go.
Even though Faela could completely focus on fighting and not trying to save her disciple, things didn’t get any easier.
“My luck only got worse since I met you,” she whispered to her sword.
And yet you never thought of getting rid of me, the soul in the sword projected her thoughts to her wielder.
“That’s because I’m an idiot. That’s why I’m still here!” Faela shouted, dodging another kick and attacking when she had the chance.
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