"She's been enthralled!" Yumi warns.
Everyone splits into every direction to surround Selene. Faster than she was before, she grabs me and chucks me into the club. I catch myself in flight, my head just inches away from smacking the back wall.
Hitomi engages with her in close quarters. Their blows send ripples of energy across the room. The rest of us look for an opening to help, but going in now would be getting in Hitomi's way.
It's like watching a no holds barred mixed martial arts fight, but there is no referee to stop the slugfest. Hitomi is putting up a fight, but it's clear who the better brawler is. Selene who has gone to war and has killed before in her world is stronger, more agile. She lays into Hitomi with an uppercut that sends her flying into the ceiling.
A black portal opens up underneath Selene. Hitomi launches out of it and tackles her into a corner. Selene clasps her hands together and smashes down, but a barrier blocks the blow before it makes contact. Yumi casts a spell that envelopes Hitomi in soft green light.
"You're a few battles too short to be facing me," Selene says.
She drives a knee into Hitomi's gut, a blind spot in the barrier. Hitomi reels back in pain and a blast of wind sends her tumbling away.
"Mio, Hana!" I call out.
They land to my side and together we conjure a barrage of fireballs that explode at Selene's location. The whole club is engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds.
"Where was the firepower you had yesterday?" A cigarette is flung at us from the smoke and explodes in our face. Yumi manages to conjure a barrier in front of us just in time, but Selene shoots out from the smoke, shattering the barrier and knocking each of us away.
Warm energy fills my body, and a green glow surrounds the three of us. Selene vanishes and appears next to Yumi.
"That's no fun." Selene blasts Yumi out of the club.
I charge at Selene, tackling her out into the streets. Smoke is billowing out of the building, and soon firetrucks will be sounding the siren to this location. I fly into the sky and goad Selene.
"I didn't want the fight to end too fast. You looked like you couldn't take it last time," I taunt her.
Selene falls for the bait and flies after me into the sky. I have to keep my distance from her. If I get into a fist fight like Hitomi, I'll get taken out in no time. As long as I can—
"Too slow!" Selene appears in front of me. Her foot comes down like a guillotine on my head, nearly knocking the lights out of me. I manage to regain my composure, but she appears behind me and punches me into the air.
She's too fast. It's like she's teleporting. If that's the case, then…
As soon as Selene appears on top of me, I already have a massive fireblast waiting. Her eyes widen in surprise as it explodes between the both of us. Selene and I are sent flying away from each other. My own magic hit like a truck, but being caught in my own blast was the only way to put distance between us.
"Saeko!" Mio is flying towards Selene, the other three are right behind her.
Selene is still recovering from the blast and doesn't see the black portal opening up behind her. Hitomi comes out of it putting Selene in a chokehold. Mio comes up from under to grab her legs.
"Time for the main magical girls to show the big bad what we're made of!" Hana splits off from them and flies to me.
"Do it, Saeko!" Hitomi shouts.
"Pour everything you got!" Mio calls out. Both of them are struggling to keep the flailing Selene in place. They can only mean one thing.
"What? But I can't—"
I notice their bodies are engulfed in green energy. Yumi nods at me, sweat beading all over her face. She is pouring every ounce of protective magic on Mio and Hitomi.
I trust them.
Focusing on my hands and aura, I push everything into my palms. The sexual energy I drained from Kana earlier is transforming into pure magic. This massive sun— no, this blue star that I've conjured is only half the size, but I can feel that it is nearly twice as powerful. Hana is seemingly able to mimic my spell despite not being a greater succubus. Was this her power all along?
"What should we name it? Spirit bomb?" Hana asks over the two roaring infernos in front of us.
"Now's really not the time for me to play the straight man!"
"When are you getting a chance like this again?" She pleads.
"GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!" Hitomi and Mio complain, impatience written all over their face.
I swallow my dignity despite how embarrassing this is. "Fine! Spirit—"
"Magical flare cannon!" Hana screams at the top of her lungs over me.
Our blue infernos consume Selene whole. I'm terrified that Hitomi and Mio, having been caught in the blast, are sure to sustain fatal injuries. However, another black portal opens up between me and Hana. Hitomi is carrying Mio on her back as they come out of it.
Yumi joins us from below, and together we remain on the offensive. It was the most powerful blast yet. Nothing like the black beam that Beatrice cast, but with Hana's contribution we can certainly rival it.
As the smoke clears, a silhouette remains in the middle of the cloud. Selene reaches into her pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes, but it crumbles into ash in her hand. A quiet chuckle can be heard before she begins to fall.
She nods and disappears into a portal, only to reappear under Selene to catch her before she hits ground. The rest of us follow after Hitomi, landing on the asphalt with sirens blaring in the distance.
"How's she looking?" I ask Yumi.
Yumi has a hand over Selene's chest, just above the heart. "Vitals are weak, but she'll live."
"Too bad she ain't dead," Mio remarks. I can tell she is fighting the urge to finish Selene off. "I'm holding back for you, not for her."
I bend down to inspect Selene's charred body. Her breath comes out shallow and haggard. There's no benchmark to know how strong of a blast she took, but for her to survive something like that is a testament to her fortitude.
"I'm not the only one who saw it, right? She was definitely charmed. Is it possible to do that to a greater succubus?" I ask the others.
"It's not impossible…" Yumi begins, rubbing her chin. "But to overwhelm the aura of another greater succubus requires a large amount of power."
"Like having the sword?"
When I put that thought out there, the others fall silent.
"What do we do now? Are we still going to the shrine you guys mentioned about?" Hana asks.
"Whatever we're doing, gotta make it quick because we've got company in a minute," Mio reminds us of the sirens that are getting much closer.
With the Coliseum up in flames, it's sure to attract more attention than just the fire department. What I find strange is the lack of people on this side of the city. Did Selene have anything to do with this? Or maybe…
"No, we're going to finish this today. Mio, let's confront your sister together. The longer we keep delaying is just giving Beatrice more time, and we've given her enough." As I say that, Mio perks up.
"What do we do about her?" Hitomi asks about the unconscious Selene.
I prop Selene up against a utility pole. "Leave her. It would be a pain if she comes to consciousness when we're battling Beatrice."
As we're about to leave the scene, we hear a loud thud. Mio shakes her hand after having punched Selene square across the jaw.
"Yeowch— my bad. I needed to get that out of my system," she says.
We fly in the direction of Fukuo Shrine, an abandoned temple in the dense forest of Tsukiji. It has gone into disrepair in recent years, and no one has looked after it since the last caretaker passed away. An independent shrine that falls out of the jurisdiction of the Association of Shinto Shrines, even the city of Tsukiji has left it to be reclaimed by the forest.
In our approach, I feel the familiar presence of Beatrice and dozens of lesser succubus. Hitomi was right in her assumption, it seems this is where they were operating. Beatrice has grown bold, she doesn't even hide her aura anymore. Though, if she truly believed her victory is secure, I suppose she'd feel no need to hide it.
As we get closer, Mio flies up to me with a worried look on her face. "You guys spared Selene. Fine. But, Bea… there's nothing about her to redeem."
"Even though she's your sister?" I ask. I've fought with Hatsumi countless times. Yelled at her, ignored her, avoided her— all of it, but at the end of the day, I love my sister. If anyone asked if I could ever hate my sister— that answer will and forever be 'no.'
Mio shakes her head. "If Bea was anything like Hatsumi— and damn, do I still wanna fuck your sister— then maybe I'd consider her worth saving. She's just not like that at all. You need to trust me on this."
"I told you on the ferris wheel that I needed to trust you more. I meant that."
I can't remember if it's ever happened, but Mio is taken by surprise and blushes. It's cute seeing her hide what is clearly a smile with the back of her hand. "What's with you? Getting me in the mood before a big fight?"
"Eh? Th-That wasn't my intention!"
Mio tackles me in midair, sending us tumbling. The feeling of being with her is so surreal.
However, that warmth slips away, replaced with the dreadful sensation of a second aura that we all feel at once. Beatrice sits on the roof of the temple shrine, watching us and leaving herself vulnerable. We remain in flight just above her, not willing to give up the height advantage.
"Give up, Beatrice. There's no way you can beat all five of us even if you have an army of lesser succubus," I keep an eye out for where the Blade could be, but my instincts are screaming that it must be inside the temple she's sitting on.
Beatrice ignores me and throws a sad look to Mio. "My dearest little sister. How I enjoyed watching you play pretend human at school. I just want to keep you in a little room again so I can watch you forever~"
Mio shudders. "I don't know how you survived last time, Bea. You can bet your tail we're finishing the job."
"Kahaha… ahahahaha!" Beatrice's laughter makes me wince in pain. She wipes a tear from her eye and steadies herself from almost falling. "I'll forgive you for that. After all, that's what sisters do. We quarrel for a bit, but in the end, we still love each other."
Beatrice gets to her feet and kicks a tile off the roof. The sensation that I felt earlier is growing stronger, thicker in the air.
"You're right. Five versus one isn't fair, so I'll just have to even it up by introducing one more." She claps her hands twice and a shadowy figure emerges from the temple.
My heart sinks.
Clad in a black outfit that leaves nothing to the imagination, long black hair reaching just past the waist, with the same adoring eyes that watches over me with nothing but love, is none other than Hatsumi. Two sharp horns and a tail can only mean one thing. And in her hands— the Blade of the First Temptress.
Beatrice laughs. "I can just feel the sisterly love in the air!"
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