“Where’s Sparkle Red when you need her?” The yellow magical girl, Ellie, said with an annoyed tone as she stared back to the massive wyvern flying high in the sky. Staring at her in shock and confusion, Shelly felt a mix of confusion, relief and annoyance.
Confusion as to what the girl was doing there wearing those clothes while flying so nonchalantly when she should have been just a normal girl who’s friend of her sister. Relief at seeing that, despite having been thoroughly smashed against the building besides her, she only looked to be out of breath for a moment. And annoyance for not having even thought that something like this could be the case.
It took the Leviathan a moment to notice that the yellow girl still hadn’t seen her standing there. She still managed to recover from her shock before Ellie noticed her, but when she started to move away, she noticed as the girl’s eyes widened slightly and she lowered her gaze back to the leviathan.
“Oh?” She stared at Shelly for a moment in surprise before finally frowning in annoyance. Shelly felt slightly irritated at being under the receiving end of that gaze. “I didn’t think there’d be a minion today.”
“M-Minion?” Shelly said in a low voice with a confused tone.
“Hmm… What do I do what do I do… ” She said in a tired tone. “I shouldn’t let minions roam around, but they need me up there…” She made a complex expression that was somewhere in being an annoyed and a tired one.
While she did feel annoyed at the girl’s words, and wanted nothing more than to take some answers from her, she also was woefully aware that the girl had just crashed through a metal and concrete ceiling towards another building where the damage was even more intense and all it did was leave her annoyed. Said girl had also assumed her to be an enemy that, if she were to be honest, she wasn’t exactly wrong.
While she did have the thought about just outright calling the girl out, she decided against it once she thought that a girl saying that she was the elder brother of her friend was more than a little bit suspicious.
Deciding that playing along was her best shot at avoiding a conflict and managing to survive to finish her job, she swallowed her pride at being called a minion and lowered her head.
“T-that’s right! I’m just a lowly minion.” She said while trying to put on her best intimidated voice. “Such a powerful one like yourself should not bother thyself with me.” She said respectfully while stepping back.
“Eeeh… But it’s not like I can just let a darkling like you roaming around freely though.” She said as if in shock, and Shelly couldn’t help but want to click her tongue.
“Then I’ll just go away and not bother you anymore. What do you say? Win win!” She said in her best ‘smart idea’ voice.
“Hmm… Nah. Smart minions like you are too troublesome to leave for later.” The yellow girl said in a dismissal tone. Her smart idea didn’t work.
Almost at the same time the yellow girl said that, she also waved her hand around, causing particles of yellow to form and gather around her staff’s gem. Quickly understanding what was about to happen, Shelly widened her eyes in shock and fear.
“Thunder and lightning, heed my call!” She started saying, much to Shelly’s surprise, as she pointed the staff towards her. “Lend me thy power and smite my foes! Yellow blaster!”
By the time she finished her chanting, the gem in her staff shone brightly and lightning jumped out from it towards the leviathan. Or the place where Shelly had been just one second ago.
“…Heh?” Ellie let out a silly voice when she noticed that Shelly was perfectly intact, a good one meter to the side of where the lightning had struck. “Huh? What? How?”
“Goddamit! That could have hurt someone!” Shelly complained out in a loud voice as she saw the charred spot on the concrete ceiling. “Be careful where you shoot those things!”
“Huh? What? How come?” The girl looked towards her staff, and then back towards Shelly. “Is my staff broken?” She asked confused before shaking her head. “Muh. I must have missed…” She said annoyed before pointing the staff at Shelly again. “Thunder and lightning, heed my call! Lend me thy power and smite my foes! Yellow blaster!”
Once again the lightning struck at the ground, a moderate distance from where Shelly had been standing.
“…WHY WON’T YOU GET HIT YOU STUPID MINION?” She shouted angrily while making a motion of stomping the ground despite being flying a fair distance above it. “A minion shouldn’t be able to avoid that!”
“Let’s not mention the speed problem here… “ Shelly said, because she really didn’t want to once again stop to think of how she could see the lightning flying towards her with ease. “But you do reckon that you spend a whole second or two just talking and pointing towards where you are going to shoot?”
Ellie simply stared at her in confusion, as if the very words that the leviathan had said were completely foreign to her.
“…Huh?” She tilted her head to the side confused while using her free hand to hold her chin. “But… But I have to cast the magic. Then you get hit and disappear. That’s how minions works, right?”
“Why should I just wait to get blasted into oblivion?” Shelly replied angrily while making a mental note of having a serious talk with that girl next time she appeared.
“That’s… Huhh… Well…” The magical girl held onto her head confused as she tried to think, but finally gave up while screaming in frustration. “Mooou! I’m a Mahou-Shoujo and you are a monster! I magic you and you disappear! That’s how it is!” She cried angrily before turning back to Shelly with an infuriated look. “If you are cheating your way around, I’ll just hit everything until you can’t run away!” She flew back and away from the building before spreading her arms in a grandiose manner. “Gods of thunder, lightning and storms. Show us thy might and fury, rain down your power upon these foolish ones who dare defy thee. Bring forth the rage of a thousand gods and demons… Eh?”
One didn’t need to be a master magician to notice that the spell that Ellie had been casting this time was on an entirely different scale from previously. Of course, Shelly was one of those non-magicians who could easily see through that. Even if it wasn’t for the grandiose way the girl had started to chant her spell, the pitch black thunder clouds that had formed above the duo was a dead give-away about what was to happen.
Not really feeling like waiting to see what’d happen, the leviathan decided that it was safer to bail out from this one rooftop towards the other. An action that was very clear that the magical girl wasn’t expecting, as she suddenly stopped her chanting as the Leviathan decided that she was, indeed, strong enough to resist a fall from that height.
Jumping over the side of the building in a surprisingly casual manner while holding the hood over her head, Shelly started to both curse and thank her luck for everything that had been happening that day. The thanking was mostly because she had a body good enough to survive the day itself.
“Note to self. Terminal velocity does not seem to be fatal.” She made a casual comment to herself as she landed on the ground, cracking the stone walkway slightly as she made a roll to absorb the not so strong impact.
Giving one glance back to the magical girl who was still staring at her confused, Shelly used her crouched position to help her kick the ground as she dashed away at blinding speed, leaving only a flabbergasted yellow magical girl behind her.
“Luffa!” She called out loudly for her companion that had disappeared earlier once she found herself in an alleyway. Hearing her call, she saw a small cloud flying serpent appearing from the rooftops. “You are fine. Great.” She said in relief. “You go on ahead and return to the shop. I know where the last syphon goes.” The cloud creature looked surprised for a moment before making an hesitant nod. Watching worriedly as the creature flew away, Shelly quickly looked back to the sky, where a frown of annoyance formed in her face as she saw a small yellow creature flying towards her.
“MINIOOOOOON!” The yellow magical girl shouted angrily as she extended her staff towards her. “YOU SHOULDN’T RUN AWAY WHEN I AM CASTING!” She shouted furiously.
“DIDN’T YOU SAY YOU HAD NO TIME TO WASTE WITH A MINION?” Shelly shouted back.
“THAT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE!” Ellie shouted back as she extended her staff forward, towards Shelly. “YOU SHOULD JUST GET HIT ALREADY!” She said as dozens and more dozens of small black clouds formed behind her.
Shellly’s face paled as she ran forward, understanding what that massive parade of black spots would mean.
A second later, Shelly noticed a very important thing about Ellie.
She was a horrible shot.
Seriously bad shot.
Despite the lightning strikes numbering at around twenty or so every second, not a single one reached her as she dashed forward. Not even close.
Even with her height advantage, being able to pinpoint Shelly’s location with ease from above, and massive firepower, Ellie’s lightning always struck a wide spread out area behind the leviathan.
“Stop running already!” The magical girl shouted angrily as she started another unforgiving salvo.
Shelly simply pressed on with a slightly awkward expression as she started to understand the situation a bit more. Ellie seemed to know about her bad precision since she spread her shots over a wide area, only needing to direct her attack over a general area instead of precisely towards Shelly. Much akin to how a shotgun worked.
However, on her dependance of her large area-of-effect spells, she forgot to learn a very important thing about long-range attacks. That she had to lead on the shot to make sure it hit moving targets.
Shelly, being as fast as she was, would more often than not manage to leave the area of effect of the girl’s attack’s way before they even started. Something that was very clear that the yellow magical girl had no experience with, as she only became more and more frustrated with each volley.
“…Waahh…” Shelly said in exasperation to no one in particular.
Since her cover was pretty much blown, Shelly decided that there was no need to stick to the alleyways anymore, so she bolted over a corner towards the main street, where she felt like she’d be able to run even more unimpeded at the wider area.
“TAKE THAAAAAAT!” A sudden shout made her change her focus to the front once again, only to see a streak of blue approaching her at a frightening speed.
Reacting more out of instinct of her years training martial arts than anything else, Shelly suddenly ducked under the massive hammerhead that had been heading straight towards her at the same time she grabbed one of the hands holding the weapon and turned around so that she had her back towards the new assailant.
By the time she had noticed what was happening, she had already thrown the blue girl over her shoulder into a collision course with the yellow one.
From the looks of it, neither of them understood what had happened either, as they could only make a silly face as their body collided mid-flight and their bodies rolled around like a pair of balloons who’d just got hit by something..
“Whoops.” Shelly said awkwardly as she watched the two girls untangle themselves.
“You fucking bastard!” The new girl shouted angrily as she turned back to the leviathan while grasping her hammer. “Who the hell do you think you are, punk?”
“…Who the hell are YOU?” Shellly asked back in surprise.
The girl before her wore something that reminded her of a blue sailor uniform. With thigh-high socks and a frilly skirt, the shirt had an elite school feel to it, as the blue cloth was embroidered in a silver lining and had a two-tone layout, with the chest and shoulders having a darker blue and the stomach being slightly lighter. A ribbon was tied to her neck in a double layer manner, giving it a more refined look.
The girl herself had a short hair with only long bangs falling on each side of the her face. Being noticeable shorter than Ellie, she also looked very cute in her outfit despite her strangely furious expression.
However, if Shelly simply pictured her with a brown hair, it was very easy to recognize this blue girl as Priscilla, Shauna’s shy friend who could barely talk with Michael out of embarrassment.
Thus, it was no wonder that the Leviathan was so thoroughly confused on how could such a quiet and calm girl be spount such vulgarities while looking so furious and fierce.
It was clear that Shelly’s confusion wasn’t properly convened, though.
“Haah?” Pris said angrily like a gangster who was threatening someone. “Isn’t it obvious?”
“Pr… Blue! What are you doing here?” Ellie asked confused.
“Yah were taking too long, so green asked me to come and see yah.” She said bluntly before turning back to Shelly, who had just begun to try and sneak away. “Just blast this damn minion already and let’s get back there!”
“I… I’ve been trying to do that! But this minion is too fast!” Ellie said frustrated before pouting. “She just won’t let me hit her!”
“That’s just a bloody minion! Just smash it already!” Blue said angrily as she grasped her hammer. “Here, let me show you! HAAAAAA!” She suddenly flew towards Shelly while holding her hammer behind her, preparing for a swing.
A very wide and easy to read swing. One which Shelly easily managed to sidestep and avoid.
“A smart one, huh?” Pris said in disgust as she twisted her waist around and pulled out an advancing horizontal strike.
Once again, Shelly avoided the attack easily by just by starting backpedalling. One after another the strikes came in wide and powerful arcs that would end up creating craters or blasting away walls while being followed by curses and swearings full of anger and annoyance.
While making a mental note to wash the girl’s mouth with soap later, Shelly easily avoided each and any attack coming at her with quick movements.
“Do you want help blue?” Ellie asked after half a minute of frustrated swearings.
“Don’t… Need… FOR FUCK’S SAKE! STAND STILL ALREADY!” Pris exploded in anger as she raised her hammer up high and smashed it powerfully on the ground.
“Woah!” Shelly exclaimed as the sudden crater made her lose her balance for a moment.
“Great! Now I’ll…” Blue said while shining her teeths in victory, only to make a silly expression as she noticed that her hammer had become stuck on the ground. “…Dang it.” She said.
Pris wasn’t the only one to notice her predicament, though. And while as a magical girl she was already vastly faster than any living human when it came to speed and power, Shelly was also on a similar standing. Before the blue girl could manage to remove the hammer from the ground, the leviathan suddenly approached the weapon and gave it an overhead axe kick. The kick being so powerful that the hammer sunk even more in the ground with a loud sound akin to an explosion.
Both magical girls stared in confusion at the Leviathan as they tried to understand her actions. In this moment of confusion, Shelly quickly turned back and darted away from the location before either girl could react.
“You littl…” Blue started shouting angrily, only to suddenly stop as she noticed that her hammer had become even more stuck on the ground than before. “T-this… Ugh… C-Come out…”
“Ah! She’s running away!” Ellie said while watching Shelly disappear in a cloud of pulverized concrete from her sudden dash.
“Oi! Yellow! Help me here!” Blue shouted angrily as she tried pulling out the hammer.
Shelly looked back towards the two girls who were trying to pull off the hammer from the ground. Feeling surprised that her plan actually had worked, she wondered how long the hammer would hold on, or how long it would take for the two to notice they could just destroy the ground to remove the hammer.
Taking this brief moment of peace to get a better hang of her position and the route she’d have to take. If she followed along the street she was on, she wouldn’t be able to reach the last building she had to put the syphon on. However, there should be a major crossing just after the bridge that she’d be able to take. If her memory didn’t fail her, she’d end up at the doorstep of the building, and with some luck, she wouldn’t be stopped by a magical girl.
Sadly, luck wasn’t on her side as she heard the sound of water gushing forth from underground like a massive water spout. Looking back, she saw as the hammer was flying into the air from the sudden pressure and Pris flew after it.
Making a mental note that, if Ellie had lightning magic, Pris had water magic, Shelly hastened her steps even further once she felt that they were already making chase once again.
Exactly as she expected, lightning started to fall behind her as Ellie kept missing her aim. Luckily, Pris was only a bit faster than her when it came to running a straight line, so she still had time to think up of something, assuming from her attempt earlier that she couldn’t cast magic as easily as Ellie.
As her mind wandered about a possible escape plan, she reached the bridge that marked the halfway point of her path just as the blue magical girl started getting a bit too close for her comfort.
For a moment, she launched a glance towards the medium-sized river that flowed underneath it, and for a brief moment, she thought that she could also swim upstream to reach the building she had to go to.
“Oi! What are you doing?” Shelly was snapped back to the real world by the confused shout from Pris.
“Huh?” Shelly asked confused as she looked around her, only to become extremely furious. “SERIOUSLY? AGAIN?” She shouted just as she felt her body hitting the water.
The water resistance finally managed to rip away the cloak that had been surprisingly resilient, thinking of everything that had happened to her that day. For a moment she considered going back for it, but quickly gave up the idea once her eyes landed on the duo who were flying right above the surface.
She wondered why they hadn’t attacked yet, seeing how they clearly had a good angle for that, and instead just kept staring at her from where they stood. Giving a glance back to them from where she stood, she decided that she’d rather take the opening she got and decided that she might as well do this now that she had already done it.
Turning back against the stream, she propelled herself forward, and for the first time since she had been transformed, she simply swam as fast as she could.
And at this moment, she finally understood that Leviathans are first and foremost aquatic creatures. The speed that she traversed through underwater left her time spent running to shame. The magical girls who earlier could oh so easily keep up with her now had no hope but to just watch in awe and amazement as the leviathan simply disappeared through the river like a rocket leaving earth.
“D-Did you see that?” Sparkle yellow asked in shock.
“What the bloody hell is she?” Sparkle blue said back.
In the blink of an eye, Shelly had arrived at the closest point that the river got to the last building. With one last moment of hesitation, she propelled herself out from the water in one single jump.
“Such a shame…” She muttered under her breath as she began casting the drying spell. Only to stop as she noticed her words. Making a grumble of frustration, she discounted her annoyance on a nearby wall using her head until a hole appeared on it. “I really… Really need to stop doing this.” Saying that, she sighed and darted away while drying herself mid-run. At least she had managed to miss the magical girls, she thought.
“There’s a magical girl standing right behind me, isn’t there?” She said out loud with a tone of annoyance and disbelief.
“…Smart…” A low and slightly husky voice came from behind her. One that, as expected, she knew all too well.
Shelly briefly considered between dodging or turning back to see what was behind her. The sound of a tensed up string being released made her decide on dodging first. Just in time as she saw the a bolt of something crossing the place where she had been standing just a second earlier until it stopped at a far away wall, where it exploded into a boom of thorny roots..
Shelly looked at the arrow for a moment before turning back towards the magical girl who stood behind her.
Different from the other two who went for a cute look, this one had more of a cool look to herself. Wearing a tinted green medieval-looking clothes, she wore a cloak with a hood and dress-like linen-looking clothes. With a simple button-up shirt and a skirt that went a bit higher than her knees, complemented by a long boots that wouldn’t be weird to see in some fashion-sensible mountain trekker. In her hand, an engraved wooden longbow was being notched once again. As if matching the theme, the girl had a long strand of green hair draping over her shoulder as her jade-colored eyes stared at Shelly.
“Ugh. Why am I not surprised.” Shelly said while facepalming herself at the sight of another of her younger sister’s friends, Kathy. This one was the oldest of the group, and usually the quietest of them, though not for shyness like Pris, and more as it being her personality. However, noticing something, Shelly raised an eyebrow worried. “…Are you alright?” She asked as she noticed a thin stream of blood dripping from the girl’s nose.
“…Bold… Nice.” She said while giving Shelly a sudden thumbs up.
The unexpected situation left the Leviathan so confused and shocked that she spent almost a whole three seconds staring at the girl processing her words. By the time she finally understood the meaning and noticed the way she had been staring at her, Shelly blushed redder than a tomato and tried to cover her body with her hands, to not much avail since her actual clothes didn’t really help much there.
“What the hell?” Shelly shouted angrily.
“Sorry… Thanks for the view.” Kathy said with an apologetic tone while giving a brief nod. Shelly could only stare at her in shock and confusion at the unexpected side of the girl she had thought she knew. Still, the air around her suddenly changed as she put on a more serious expression and cleaned up the blood that had leaked from her nose and once again pulled back the bowstring, an arrow of pure light forming on the string. “Sadly… You are still a danger.” She said coldly.
“Haah… Do any of you ever think about talking before fighting?” Shelly complained.
Kathy didn’t reply as she let go of the bow, the string straightening up as it let loose the arrow. While it wasn’t as fast as Ellie’s strike, the precision was miles above the thunder-wielding girl.
“Say… Don’t you have a dragon to worry about or something?” Shelly said, trying to change the girl’s focus to something other than her.
“You are more dangerous…” She replied coldly while letting out another arrow.
“…Sorry. You got the wrong person.” Shelly waved away while pointing out the the sky and stepping aside from the way of the arrow.. “There, dragon. Here, random girl. Can we notice the difference in power?”
“You are bloody kidding me, aren’t yah?” An angry and both disturbingly familiar and unfamiliar shout echoed. “How the hell is that dragon more dangerous than you?” Pris said as she arrived breathing heavily.
“Huuh… Because it’s a massive dragon with huge firepower that’s flying above the buildings?” Shelly said as if it was obvious.
“Do you really think we’d believe you when you have that much power oozing from your body?” Ellie agreed as she flew behind Pris. Shelly made a mental note of not staying around talking next time she decides to run away. However, something in their words caught her attention.
“Wait, what do you mean?” Shelly asked confused.
“Look, I have no idea how you managed to hide it for so long, but with that much magic inside you, you are a lot more dangerous than that dragon!” Pris complained as she readied her hammer.
“Huh? Hiding? What…” Shelly started asking confused before finally understanding. “…It was the cloak, wasn’t it?” She face-palmed.
“…Say…” Ellie suddenly said with a curious voice. “Now that I see you without that thing, don’t you kind of look like a…”
“DON’T SAY IT!” Shelly shouted frustrated, already knowing her next words. “I didn’t get dressed like this because I wanted, you know!” She said in a mix of anger, frustration and sadness.
“…Huh? What do you mean?” Pris asked confused by the leviathans words.
“I’m saying that I didn’t get to choose what this bloody excuse for a uniform was.” Shelly said as the scars from her not-so-distant past threatened to open up once again. “Why couldn’t I just get some normal clothes? Why did it have to be this? Why?” The more the Leviathan spoke, the more pitiful her voice sounded, and even the magical girls seemed to notice her unhappiness with the situation.
“…You look good.” Kathy suddenly said as if trying to cheer up the girl.
“…Green, that doesn’t really help coming from you.” Pris said coldly while looking at the green girl who was once again giving a deadpan stare towards the Leviathan. “Even don’t-wanna-be magical-girl there agrees.”
Shelly’s reaction was all that they needed to see, as she had a purely disturbed expression.
Then, much to everyone’s surprise, Ellie flew down back to the ground then gently put her hand on Shelly’s shoulder. An action that would otherwise be quite moving was somewhat distorted by the sheer intensity of the shine in her eyes.
“I understand. I thoroughly understand now!” She said while looking up to the taller Shelly with her excited eyes.
“Huh?” “What?” Shelly and Priss asked confused while Kathy simply tilted her head.
“I was wrong about you. You aren’t some minion. Nor are you some kind of powerful monster.” The yellow girl said while shaking her head while sporting a sorrowful look. “You are one of us, Sparkle Black.”
At that moment, Shelly felt like she had heard something cracking.
“How could I not have noticed it before! It was so clear!” Ellie said while shaking her head before turning her eyes up to Shelly. “You might not be human, but you are a magical girl. Just like us!” She said with the ardent fervor of a blind devout.
At that moment, Shelly felt like something had snapped inside of her.