THE RIFT'S DIVIDE - P.4
The monster swiped at Aiza, missing the pouflon by centimeters as she leapt away.
Great! The pouflon had planned to search the rift further, but this creature was a huge problem that barred it.
She had to get away. Surely if she continued onward she could find a clue to Klein's whereabouts.
But she had to be careful, and watch her magical output here. If she fainted here, it would literally spell doom.
The pouflon dashed a sharp left, attempting to zip by the monster. But Aiza's escape route was cut short. The monster launched their tail and slammed it in front of the pouflon.
She summoned her wings and attempted to leap over it-- but just as she scaled the long tail, she felt something grab her back leg.
Her vision met the ground, and she yelped.
It had grabbed her just as she took off, and then smashed her back down.
"Oye… How rude, you monster!" Aiza yelled, face scrunched in pain. She felt something break in her rib area but she ignored it.
The pouf slowed her breathing, making it consistent as she got ready to channel her magic.
She focused her magic energy on her legs, and just like before, they began to glow a soft, reddish-yellow light, powering up every cell within them.
The creature raised it's other free claw and struck at her. They clashed with Aiza's glowing hind hooves, inches away from her neck. She had blocked the claws barely in time, and a bead of sweat perspired on her forehead. With a huff, she kicked the creature away.
The force of the kick was so great it pushed the corrupted being back, letting go of the pouflon. It growled, landing its claws back onto ground, and then lunged back.
Aiza dug her front legs into the soil and kicked her hind legs at the monster, this time with more gusto.
"Leave me alone!"
Her hooves struck the thing's snout, and it caused the creature to jolt back in pain, wailing.
Aiza was about to run, but then heard the creature's agonized howls, and stopped herself.
She gazed back, and realized that it had not been a monster she was fighting.
The poor thing held its head. Patches of teal fur peeked out from under the shifting red and black tar on its body, and a flicker of orange glowed in it's red eyes-- A tiny sign of sentience.
The creature, formerly known as Hibiscus, was a poor vespire who used to be a friendly one. Perhaps if the two met in a different place, in a different time, then they might have become friends.
Alas... It had unfortunately succumbed, like many others who had entered the rift.
The corruption, a mysterious infection, begins to slowly take over any who touches the rift or come in contact with other infected beings. Personality and sanity fades away, and they are replaced with an aimless, hostile demeanor.
However, this disease could be cured, thanks to the sweat and tears of many mages of Bellacoste…
The cure was healing magic, and lots of it.
And unfortunately for Aiza, she didn't have that.
"Oh no. I'm so sorry." Aiza mustered.
She wracked her brain for anything she could do to help this vespire.
"Boy... I wish I could magically gain healing powers right about now." She said, somberly.
Was there a goddess or god out there that could help a sister out?
Hibiscus screeched, and lowered their claws, the orange flicker in their eyes fading back to red.
Oh dear. Guess not.
Aiza ran as fast as she could, her glowing legs moving at a high speed as Hibiscus tailed behind her.
She truly wished she could have helped this vespire out…
And what about other corrupted lons? What would she do if she found Klein out here?
This question burned in her mind while she raced ahead.
Swords and axes flung into the air as the vespire's hulking mass rushed through the field after the pouflon.
Aiza was beginning to feel tiredness catch up to her. Her side felt pain and her legs were losing its glow of power.
Her speed was dropping.
Her mind was beginning to get foggy.
She glanced around. The landscape hadn't changed, and there were no landmarks in sight.
She knew she couldn’t outrun the vespire at this rate, and with no place to hide in or to run to… The lon knew she would run out of magic and faint… She grimaced.
What was it the void said..? Her soul was like a black hole?
She sorely wished she didn’t have whatever that was, if it were true. If she had a little more magic, maybe she could reach a safer place… And maybe she would have been able to help out this vespire, and Klein, if she found him.
But this was reality.
And there seemed to be no escape.
Almost as if on cue, a familiar voice broke through the dire atmosphere.
"Sea kelp!! Over here!"
Instinctively and desperately, Aiza swerved towards the direction of the voice.
The next things that happened were a blur.
She saw Mithril on what looked like a wave of water, carrying him over the ground.
He made a motion with his arm, and a wave of water grabbed Aiza and pulled her into the torrent he was riding.
Then, her vision faded in and out.
Hibiscus was in the distance, thrown back by a flash of blue.
Mithril was above, and had a rope tied to his waist tightly.
He had tugged on it, and the world became a smudge as everything zipped by them.
The rainbow sky and colors she had been seeing since entering suddenly shifted to a dark blue, and she saw the familiar aqua stone of the rift temple again.
She could feel the hard cold floor, and then a splash of water as she felt herself being carried away.
Someone was talking to her.
But she couldn't make it out.
Strange… Her body now couldn't feel a thing, and she felt sleepy...
She looked down, lifting a hoof. To her horror, she saw the corruption begin to crawl up her arm. It had already consumed most of her body.
In a calm panic, she exclaimed, "I need healing! Go faster!!"
She heard the red blur she was riding on say something, but she couldn't make it out.
Her vision then went dark, as the corruption finally crawled across her face, and then her yellow eyes shifted to red.
This can't be good, she thought, as her consciousness slipped into darkness.
Just before her mind faded, she heard the void laugh at her again.
This time, it sounded like it came from within her.
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