Episode 8: Overcoming Numbers
Outside of the castle, within the grounds inside the large square-shaped wall, the Burn Troop members who Dante has been fighting currently are engulfed in bewilderment by the young man's survival of their combined fireball attack. Not just that, they are equally taken back by Dante's last statement as they seem to be unable to make a move while the blonde sincerely smirks with his eyes shut and chimes, "I'm waiting!"
That sets off the twenty-five Burn Troop personnel as their arms are once again taken over by flames, and instead of launching a long-range attack, they decide to rush Dante all at the same time while letting out a fierce war-cry. This causes Dante to open his eyes with a profoundly, joyful expression taking form as the "D" on his Sealing Glove shines its red color again before the green-eyed gentleman utters out, "Accelerate."
With that, Dante becomes nothing but a blur as he advances forward and swiftly slips by each one of the charging Burn Troop members while barely laying his right hand upon somewhere on their bodies, one after the other. As a result, the Burn Troop members abruptly cease their charge with Dante stopping behind them without making eye contact since he's facing the opposite direction and holds onto the ground via his right hand to keep his balance after moving so fast while saying in a kind of disappointed voice, "I guess that really is all you guys can amount to. Even in terms of entertainment."
After hearing Dante's comment, the Burn Troop frantically veer their attention to Dante's back while watching him straighten his posture before the blonde states with a happy grin, "Though... It was still fun. Plus, I figured out something else I can do with my gloves." The "D" on Dante's Sealing Glove then shines even more while lowered to his side as he calmly says, "So thanks... And Seal."
As soon as that was said, all twenty-five Burn Troop personnel are surprised to see a small, circular seal glow from their person and promptly feel like they're being drained of strength prior to collapsing onto the ground with each letting out a distraught groan or grunt. Following that, Dante peers behind himself with a carefree attitude while his Sealing Glove stops shining yet another time as he hears numerous footsteps arrive from in front of him. Soon, the blonde sees the other Burn Troop members who had went to attack the remaining two artillery towers, which they were successful, however had no other choice than to return to the only entrance into the giant wall.
The second swarm of Burn Troop personnel are instantly baffled at the sight of their companions having been beaten and then display vast discontent towards the one clearly responsible. After that, as if taunting the Burn Troop, Dante motions them to launch whatever offense they please via his right hand. "Let's go. You guys are real lucky. I just finished warming up with the first half. It's your turn now." He chuckles.
Having not liked how Dante spoke, the second group of the Burn Troop quickly send off a shower of fire right at their enemy. This allowed Dante's excitement to resurface as he becomes a blur again while avoiding every single stream of fire without making any attempts in rushing the Burn Troop like he just did before. Frustration promptly plagues the many individuals in front of the blonde as they decide to do the exact thing their comrades had recently tried and sprint towards Dante, which left the young man a little amazed but couldn't help smiling at what he was witnessing. Then, Dante accelerates towards them while easily passing the continuous shower of fire with his left hand clenched into a fist and cheerfully declares, "If you're going straight at me, then you better be sure to take what I dish out!"
Right after that, a Burn Troop member, who's ready to strike Dante with a fiery right punch, is about two meters away from reaching him. Concurrently, Dante has his left hand poised to launch a hit, however, isn't where anyone would have thought as the green-eyed person punches the ground in front of the Burn Troop member and himself, which results in it breaking apart with countless, huge mounds rapidly expanding throughout. This leaves every Burn Troop personnel that's standing speechless before they are sent into the air via an artificially-created mound and let out a horrified yell until crashing either onto the ground, a different mound or a small building due to the trajectory.
Dante softly laughs after watching what occurred to each Burn Troop individual while fixing his demeanor, tilts his head back and confidently shouts with both hands cupped around his mouth, "Told you! Don't start something you can't finish!" He closes his eyes while still shouting after lowering his head to face forward. "Especially against me!"
Back in the dinning room, King Trost stands motionless between Yuki and Bel after having been stabbed by the Burn Troop's leader via a machete. Meanwhile, Yuki's overwhelmed with sorrow as blood continues to be on the pink-haired girl's face while staring at the machete's tip that happens to be pointing at her. After a few seconds go by, Bel pulls out his machete from the king's torso with no concern over how that would effect King Trost and briefly laughs in a sinister manner. The pinkish-haired man then falls backwards while his eyes roll to the back of his head as Yuki desperately caught her father so he wouldn't hit the floor. Having done that, Yuki gets down onto her knees for her to get a better hold on King Trost while tightly grasping his being as she screams out with tears overrunning her face, "Daddy! Are you alright, daddy?! Please tell me you're alright, daddy!"
King Trost barely manages to open his eyes to look at Yuki with a strained look and grins. "It's been so long since you've called me that. I'm glad a bit of my kind, pure-hearted Yuki is still there." He then coughs up blood onto his chest while closing his eyes again due to passing out from the pain.
Seeing that makes Yuki panic as she focuses on her father's wound and thinks, "No! He'll bleed to death!" She quickly gestures her right hand to the side after determination takes form while thinking, "I won't lose you too, daddy!" A medium-sized wand of clear, light blue ice with vague Latin lettering running across its side then takes form within Yuki's right hand as she makes it touch the king's entry wound and freezes it shut. After doing that, Yuki pulls King Trost's back off the floor so she can reach the exit wound, switches her wand to the other hand and hastily freezes it as well with her eyes peering behind her father to be sure the wound was completely sealed.
In the meantime, Bel's a bit impressed by what he just saw while commenting, "What an interesting bloodline. A Barrier Spellcaster for a father and an Ice Spellcaster for a daughter." He chuckles in a stuck-up way. "Too bad you're both so weak. We could have a lot of uses for your powers." The blonde-haired man shrugs with his eyes closed while keeping a firm grip on his machete via his right hand. "But what can you do?"
Yuki glares at Bel with intense anger radiating as she maintains her grip on King Trost. "Shut up! As if you have any right to talk when those guys you lead are much weaker! I'm a Class C Minus Spellcaster and they're Class D!"
Astonishment arises from within Bel as his jaw drops a little before realization takes over while the Burn Troop leader slaps his forehead with his left hand. "You're actually right! Since I got this power up from Devil's Circuit, I forgot my guys, and even myself, are normally weak." A sly smirk then appears as he gets closer to Yuki so he can have his face right in front of hers. "But that was then... And this is now. I'm a Class B Plus that can kill you without breaking a sweat."
Fear resonates inside Yuki's eyes until she takes in a deep breath to muster up her courage and aims her Ice Wand at Bel after leaning away from him with her other hand not letting go of King Trost. "Go to hell! Frozen Shard!"
That being said, the tip of the pink-haired girl's wand momentarily glows a faint, blue color prior to releasing a thin, diamond-shaped, spike of ice right at Bel's face, which forced a gasp out of him due to it being enough to do some damage. Fortunately for him though, the muscular man was able to dodge the shard by weaving his head to the left and then arrogantly states, "You have to do better than that!"
Yuki smiles with confidence emanating as she continues to aim her Ice Wand at Bel. "Okay then! Frozen Shard Flurry!" A barrage of ice shards then swiftly come out from Yuki's wand as they rapidly advance towards Bel's face again.
Annoyance appears on Bel's person as he has no choice but to leap backwards while evading every Frozen Shard with impeccable maneuvering from such a tall man. "Still need a lot more, you bratty princess!"
Yuki gets very serious as she rises to her feet after stopping her Frozen Shard Flurry's onslaught and gently lying King Trost's back on the floor while grabbing onto her wand now with both hands. "How about this?! Grand Frozen Shard!" A big ice shard of about the size of Bel' midsection pops out of the blue-eyed girl's wand, which causes her arms to recoil backwards from intense force, and heads right towards the Burn Troop leader.
Bel isn't threatened by that new attack though and plants his feet onto the floor while standing near the room's other end. Afterwards, the brown-eyed man waits for the fairly large shard of ice while bulging his muscles in preparation, and right before making contact with the icicle, Bel almost immediately slams both of his masculine hands on opposite sides of it. This results in the Grand Frozen Shard's tip just being inches away from Bel's chest and then says in a boasting tone, "You're shit out of luck, princess."
A dumbfounded look appears on Yuki's face as both her arms are currently lowered in front of the pink-haired teen. "How... How did that not work? I used a lot of magic in that attack."
While Yuki dwells in her failed attempt, Bel laughs again as the Grand Frozen Shard in his grasp gradually starts to melt away into steam while dripping a good amount of water on the floor. "Don't tell me you forgot already?! I'm a Heat Spellcaster! Anything I've once come into contact with will burn up by my desire for its temperature to go up!" He motions at the only exit of the room with his head. "That's why the doorknob was burning hot!" As he said that last part, the large ice shard completely melts away before Bel puts both hands down to his sides and slightly cocks his head to the left. "You're done for! And everyone knows that heat beats ice!"
Yuki begins to uncontrollably shake as hopelessness overwhelms her being and thinks with tears flowing down her face once more, "Are... We really... Going to die?" She then recalls again the death of her mother and sisters as her lips quiver while glancing to her left to look at her unconscious father. Having done that, Yuki's face turns pale as numerous thoughts cross her mind of the past while thinking, "I... Don't want to..." She frantically returns her attention to Bel and yells out, "I don't want to die!"
Then, without really thinking, Yuki rushes at Bel despite wearing heels while wailing in desperation and aims her Ice Wand to the blonde-haired man. This action greatly amuses Bel as he momentarily cracks his left hand's fingers while thinking, "She must be planning to freeze me with it directly, just like she did to the king's wounds." He arrogantly chuckles while saying out loud, "That, like everything else you tried, won't work." Bel then effortlessly caught Yuki's wand that was so close to colliding with the man's chest via his left hand and condescendingly asks, "You see?"
Yuki doesn't get discourage by what just occurred since contact was still made either way and tries to freeze Bel's hand to at least immobilize it. Sadly for her, nothing happens to the dark-skinned man's hand, which profoundly baffles Yuki as she asks in a stutter, "W-What...? I-It isn't doing anything?"
Bel chuckles while tightly holding onto Yuki's wand. "Of course it isn't. If I can raise the temperature of things I touch, don't you think I can raise my own body temperature?!" He cracks his neck by torquing it to the right with a creepy grin. "Now I gotta' admit that I could only bring it up to 200 degrees, but with how much magic I have now... I can put it at 500 degrees!"
Yuki's overcome with horror prior to trying to pull her wand away from Bel's grasp, however, isn't successful as she barely can hold her stability due to the lack of her heels' grip. Not long after that, Bel straightens his head while putting away his machete by strapping it on his back, closes his right hand into a fist, and without any warning, lands a devastating blow to Yuki's stomach. This results in Yuki being lifted off the floor quite a bit since she's so small in size while gagging from how powerful the blow was. Immediately following that, the blue-eyed teen is tossed backwards by Bel as she loses her hold on her wand, falls flat on her back with her eyes shut as her tiara has fallen off her head from the impact of hitting the floor and lets out a disgruntled groan.
Bel gazes down on Yuki while raising his left hand next to his face and twirls the Ice Wand between his rugged fingers. "And now I got your tiny little wand. So you're 100% fucked, princess."
Yuki strains herself to sit up after struggling for a few seconds in open her eyes, and once she does, horror drowns the pink-haired girl's expression as she yells out with her left hand on the floor for balance, "Give that back!" She quickly gets to her feet, although a bit unsteadily thanks to her heels and faces Bel while reaching out at him via her right hand. "Please, I need you to give me back my wand immediately!"
A skeptical look surfaces as Bel slants his head to the left while no longer twirling the Ice Wand. "Is that right? You aren't in any position to be barking orders at me." His left hand's temperature then begins to increase as heat can be seen expelling out from it a little at the time. "I'll have to teach you that royalty don't always get what they want. This world is messed up for even you." He laughs with his head tilted back and eyes closed as Yuki's wand slowly seems to be affected by the heat.
Yuki takes a few steps forward after retracting her right hand to be together with her other hand while placed over the girl's chest and desperately shouts out, "No, don't!"
Bel's skepticism doesn't falter as he resets his focus onto Yuki and speaks in a patronizing tone, "What's wrong?! Are you afraid that I might break it?!" The blonde-haired man chuckles while bent forward a little. "Come on! It's not something to get worked up so much! Or would you prefer if I break your daddy some more?!" He smiles in a psychotic way.
Yuki frantically shakes her head with her eyes shut. "It's not that! If you break my wand, something terrible will happen!" She then reverts her attention onto Bel with fear resonating in her eyes. "So, please... I beg you... Don't do it!"
Bel ignores Yuki's cry while applying more pressure and heat onto Yuki's wand without losing his psychotic smile, however, a bit of amazement soon establishes itself after looking at the wand. "Not bad! It's actually holding up pretty well for something made out of ice...! And I'm even peaking near 250 degrees!" He veers his attention back to Yuki. "I guess I gotta' try harder!"
Yuki desperately screams with tears forming, "NO!"
At the exact moment Yuki let out her plea, the heat from Bel's left hand spikes right before abruptly breaking the pink-haired individual's wand in half with a strong clench and then tauntingly says, "There we go! Took long enough!" He faintly laughs in a malicious manner.
In response, Yuki's eyes widen from shock as she watches the two halves that her wand has been broken into fall to the ground while making a mild chiming sound. Simultaneously, something seems to snap in the teen's mind as her eyes grow cold before dropping her head and arms down with her body suddenly slouching forward at the same time. This causes Bel to slant his head to the right out of confusion while saying with an inconsiderate and teasing tone after gesturing his left hand a bit, "What?! Are you going to fall to pieces just because I broke your puny wand?! You're just like all of those spoiled, royal brats!"
Yuki retorts to Bel's statement without lifting her head as she speaks with a tone that doesn't sound quite like her since it's a little deeper and baneful. "Me? Fall to pieces? No..." Her eyes then lock onto Bel with emotion nowhere in sight. "But you will."
Bel's confusion increases a little just before an unexpected gust of wind expels from Yuki's person and promptly begins generating snow to the point of becoming an indoor blizzard. Immediately following that, different regions of the dining room start to freeze in an alarming rate as the blonde-haired man covers his face due to the fierce snowstorm while greatly bewildered by its appearance. A few seconds later, Bel checks his surroundings as he sees that all of the dead bodies in the room have completely froze and is left speechless until reverting his focus onto where Yuki's standing with frustration surfacing. "What is this?!" Surprise then takes form on Bel's person as he gradually sees a clear view of Yuki despite the intense blizzard, however, can't recognize her too well due to an unprecedented physical change.
Yuki now stands at the same height as Ilya, which is a significant change since they were about five inches different in terms of stature, while her body's bust has gotten big enough to cause the dress' chest area to tear on the sides due to it not having been constructed for that size and is now even a litte larger than Ilya's breasts. Because of this drastic change, Bel's unable to utter a single word as Yuki takes notice that the indoor snowstorm she created is affecting her unconscious father after having turned her head to the left to look behind herself. Not long after that, the pink-haired individual abruptly makes it stop by apathetically flinging her hair behind her since it was vigorously fluttering from the powerful blizzard and then places her right hand on her hip as she sets a serious gaze onto Bel.
Ilya crumbles to her knees after the mirror that had collided into the hazel-eyed girl's back levitated backwards while straightening itself into a vertical angle to reflect Ilya's back. Meanwhile, the white-haired teen can't seem to take her eyes off the ceiling due to the excruciating pain that's coursing through her entire being and thinks, "I... I can't move..." She then carefully rests her eyes upon the mirror in front of her without moving her head as Quinton's heard laughing again, which forces an agitated expression out of Ilya.
Having laughed for several moments, Quinton unexpectedly comes out from one of the mirrors towards Ilya's right, which kind of surprised the hazel-eyed girl since she had thought he was located in the mirror in front of her due to how the velvet-haired man's voice seemed to echo from it. Because of seeing Ilya's reaction to his appearance, an amused grin arises before Quinton speaks while steadily walking towards the teen. "I like that look on your face. It shows that you don't get what I'm capable of."
Ilya's body quivers as she desperately tries to move due to Quinton's gradual advancement towards her and talks with a strained tone. "Then, why don't you tell me."
Quinton stops while standing about four meters from Ilya and gives her a skeptical look "What for? So that you can buy time to get your strength back." He shuts his eyes while chuckling a little. "Okay, I will." The pompadour-wearing individual then opens his eyes with a demented smile. "But first, a little insurance policy!"
With that, a mirror that's in front of Ilya while levitating right above the floor gets into a horizontal angle as the one behind her ascends quite a bit. After that, the mirror in front flies towards Ilya with great agility and instantly rams so hard into her chest that it sends the white-haired beauty flying backwards while her golden staff lies where she was kneeling. Concurrently, as Ilya's sent soaring, the mirror that had ascended happens to be right above the floating hazel-eyed girl, and at the perfect moment, crashes down onto her gut with enough force to break itself while leaving another pain-filled composition on Ilya's person after having her back relentlessly hitting the floor.
Quinton cocks his head to the left. "That should do it." He then continues towards Ilya after straightening his head, gets on top of her while making sure to pin the hazel-eyed girl's arms with both of his and leans towards her with bad intentions in mind as he says in a whisper, "Now, I'll let you in on my Spellcaster power as a little form of foreplay before we get to the fun stuff." The velvet-haired man lets out a sinister chuckle while Ilya grimaces at Quinton being on her with both eyes shut. In addition, the teenage beauty turns her head to the right, so that she would prevent any possibility of the pompadour-wearing man trying something funny as he speaks into her ear. "As you noticed, I can create mirrors that I can enter and exit freely, although there's actually a time limit since I was never able to do that before getting help from Devil's Circuit. The same rule kind of applies when I put someone else in there, except it doesn't last nowhere near as long."
Ilya slowly peers at Quinton out of the corner of her eyes without moving her head. "That's why you only brought me in once just to bring me here."
Quinton nods his head while running his right hand's index finger across Ilya's left cheek. "Exactly. Before gaining this boost up, I could only make one small mirror appear into my hands to reflect an attack at a time, but now... I can do so much more, even though there are still a few restrictions. Especially for my style since I'm not too into hand to hand fighting, however, at least I can bluntly use my mirrors now." He then combs his hair with his right hand after sitting upright on Ilya's stomach. "That way, I don't mess up my hair."
Ilya gives Quinton an exasperated glare. "So, you're nothing but a coward then."
Quinton's eyes narrow with seriousness resonating while keeping his right hand on his hair. "What?"
Ilya smirks while making direct eye contact with Quinton. "You hide behind the safety of your mirrors and never fight head on. I know someone who probably wouldn't like you as an opponent."
Quinton responds with an arrogant smile. "Oh, really?! Like I give a damn!" He swiftly leans towards Ilya while replanting his right hand to pin her left arm. "It's my so-called cowardly style that's gonna' let me fuck your brains out!"
Ilya becomes quiet as she recalls the precarious situation the hazel-eyed beauty encountered with Gunta and how she was saved by Dante. Because of that, Ilya felt disappointed in herself for being in a similar position again until mustering up determination while mildly giggling. "Think again. Burst!" Her body then generates a golden outline prior to expelling out and blasting Quinton's crotch. This results in a loud yell from Quinton as he hastily stumbles towards his left while tightly gripping onto his privates and frantically rolls around the floor. Not long after that, Ilya manages to rise to her feet with her eyes locked onto Quinton while happily grinning. "That must really hurt, doesn't it?" She giggles again.
Quinton glares at Ilya while lying on his side. "You sneaky bitch! I thought you could only use that weird power with that staff!"
Ilya turns away from Quinton while cautiously walking towards her gold staff as some pain remains on her person. "Did someone tell you that or did you just assume after only seeing me attack once?" The white-haired teen reaches her staff, gradually bends forward to pick it up and then veers her focus to Quinton after turning back around with confidence overflowing. "Because that, and you underestimating me, was where you completely messed up. My staff does help me harness my power better, but that doesn't mean I can't use any of my spells without its help."
Urgency quickly plagues Quinton's being as he groans a little from the pain and barely manages to get to his feet while continually holding his package. After that, Quinton sees that there's a levitating mirror behind him, and without hesitating, runs back into the safety of it's dimensional space. Then, the pompadour-haired individual reverts his focus to Ilya while catching his breath and thinks, "Alright, no more fucking around! This bitch is dead!"
Ilya stands face to face with the mirror Quinton entered while holding her staff via both hands lowered together in front of herself. "Another cowardly move."
Quinton grits his teeth before yelling out with anger in his voice, "Shut up, you bitch!" Several more mirrors appear as a total of twelve currently surround Ilya and are reflecting the hazel-eyed girl's image. "Get ready to die!"
Just as those words were uttered, Ilya closes her eyes while taking a deep breath after putting her head down. Simultaneously, the two rings on Ilya's gold staff begin to rotate around the blue gem again as the teen shouts with all her might, "Burst Explosion!" With that, a gold outline wraps around Ilya's entire body before an immense blast radiates all over the place, which caused the white-haired beauty's dress to flutter quite a bit, and immediately crashes into all twelve mirrors while easily destroying them without giving any the chance to absorb it like Burst Stream was.
Quinton's baffled by what transpired as he stays within the dimensional space while no longer able to see Ilya since he was only able through his mirrors and softly says to himself, "Impossible! How did she-?!" He's then interrupted by him suddenly being expelled out of the dimensional space, harshly hits the floor and lies on his stomach with his eyes shut while showing a decent amount of displeasure on his face. "What the hell?!"
Ilya looks at Quinton with a hint of astonishment until deciding to head toward him. "You're just like that fat guy. You have no idea what you can or can't do with Devil Circuit's power increase. Apparently, if the mirror you entered is destroyed, you get kicked out of your little hiding place." She gently laughs. "Now you have no place to hide and you're running low on magic. I can sense it."
Quinton painstakingly tries to lift himself off the floor as his hair has gotten very messy from falling onto the floor and rolling around earlier while gazing at Ilya with his anger resurfacing. "Don't be so quick to decide that! I'm still in better physical condition than you!" He gets up and then rushes at Ilya in the attempt to bring her down with both arms stretched out while letting out a war-cry.
Ilya scoffs while watching Quinton charge at her and says in a cold tone, "You keep on underestimating me just because I'm a girl..." She then swiftly pulls her staff to her left side, and with the opposite end while standing sideways via her right foot forward, mercilessly hits Quinton right on his still injured crotch. "Well, let's see how you like being one." This leads to a stunned expression taking form on Quinton's being as he's bent over with his jaw wide open. Not long after that, the velvet-haired man drops to his knees while grasping onto his privates again once Ilya had removed her staff from them and passes out before slamming his forehead on the floor with his ass hanging up in the air.
Then, Ilya pulls away from Quinton, rests the butt of her staff on the floor while holding it with her right hand as the two gold rings are mounted on the staff's gem and momentarily stares at the pompadour-wearing man. After doing that, the teenage beauty lets out a sharp sigh while turning away from Quinton's unconscious body and starts walking towards the exit as she says with exhaustion noted in her voice, "I have to hurry.... I left... Yuki... And the king... Unprotected. I... Promised... Dante I would... Take care of them." She then stumbles a bit forward, which forced her to stop her advancement as she's heavily breathing and barely keeps herself on her feet with the help of her staff. Following that, Ilya tries to continue towards the exit, but is unable to after taking three more steps, suddenly faints as she drops her staff and falls to her left side while facing towards the doorway.
Having defeated the Burn Troop not too long ago, Dante abruptly shifts his attention towards the castle while standing sideways via his right foot forward and softly says with both hands lowered to opposite sides of his person, "Why do I feel like someone's calling for help? Is it Ilya...? Or maybe-"
Right when Dante was about to finish that sentence, both the green-eyed person and everything around him seem to suddenly stop in their tracks, even the descending snow while in mid-air. A few seconds later, footsteps can be resounding from just out of Dante's range of hearing people's thoughts as Clock casually walks pass through the multiple artificial mounds, heads towards the blonde-haired young man's left and speaks while seeming to be quite impressed. "Well, that was some performance. To be able to take on a hundred guys all by yourself..." He stops not too far from Dante. "You must be some kind of monster." The Asian man then peers down at Dante's Power Glove as curiosity takes shape on his being. "Or maybe it's all thanks to those gloves of yours. One has destructive strength and the other can create seals. Both are very dangerous."
After saying that, Clock tilts his head to the left to get a better look at the Power Glove. "However, from what I saw, this isn't your run of the mill Power Glove. It might be something special that the boss would definitely take interest in." He straightens his head's posture before extending out his right hand and reaches for Dante's Power Glove until an unexpected light shines from it, which caused concern to arise onto Clock's person.
Soon afterwards, Dante's eyes lock with Clock's and nonchalantly asks while showing a small amount of confusion as everything around them resumes, "Where did you come from?" Then, the green-eyed individual takes into account what Clock's trying to do and hurriedly leaps backwards after his eyes widen a little out of surprise, so he can create some distance. "Wow! That was close!"
In the meantime, Clock's overcome with disbelief as his narrowed eyes are glued onto Dante and thinks, "What the...?!" He then scans the area around him with an upright composition while thinking, "How is it that my Time Halt ended so fast?!"
Dante briefly watches Clock until a content smirk takes form while standing about ten meters away. "I see. So you're a Time Manipulation Spellcaster. Were you far from me when you stopped time?"
Clock's surprised due to the fact that Dante knew what Spellcaster power he had, but is quickly distracted by that because of the blonde's question. "If you need to know, I wasn't too far. Just far enough to watch without being noticed."
Dante chuckles as he thinks, "That explains why I didn't hear his thoughts, but I doubt he's figured out that I can hear what people are thinking." He then says out loud to Clock with a carefree demeanor, "So, you used your power to get the jump on me and try to take my Breaker, huh? But for some odd reason you didn't do it when I was fighting and your power ended up deactivating without you knowing the reason. I'm actually very curious why also."
Shock overtakes Clock's person while thinking, "How does he know that too?!" The black haired man soon contemplates to himself without taking his eyes off Dante. "This kid must have some sort of special ability despite not having any magic within him. That would explain how he evaded the Burn Troop so easily. Almost as if he could..." Realization rapidly engulfs Clock as he thinks, "Read people's minds."
Dante cheerfully smiles with his eyes shut while contentedly yelling out, "You guessed it!" He opens his eyes to calmly set his attention back onto Clock. "And pretty quick, if I may add. Most people take a really long time to figure that out." Determination then establishes itself on the green-eyed young man's being. "Congratulations. Now here's your prize. Accelerate." Dante becomes a blur and hurriedly appears right in front of Clock while almost coming into contact with the Asian's abdomen via his Sealing Glove. "It's me sealing away your power!"
Desperation can be seen on Clock's face as he lets out a distraught gasp before managing to utter out right as Dante's hand was about to touch him, "Time Reduction!" In the instance those words were spoken, Dante nearly came to a complete stop while still reaching out for Clock, however, in a very slow manner. Simultaneously, the black-haired man uses this opportunity to take a quick step back via his left foot, and with his other leg, lands what seemed to be an intense roundhouse kick to Dante's left cheek, although it didn't really force the green-eyed individual's head to torque. The reason for that soon became clear after Clock planted his right foot down onto the snowy ground while facing towards Dante and firmly says, "Time Return."
As a result, Dante staggers towards his right while feeling a profound amount of pain as he's a bit confused by what just happened to him. After that, the young man gently touches his injured cheek with the back of his right hand as he's turned away from Clock while slightly bent forward. Not even a second later, Dante hears Clock's thoughts, finds out what exactly occurred, mildly turns his head to the left so he can see the dark-eyed man and can't help but to happily grin. "Not only can you stop time, you can even slow a person's time down to avoid using too much magic. That's what you were originally capable of before using Devil's Circuit, right?"
Yet again, Clock's overwhelmed with shock until remembering the fact Dante can hear his thoughts and then yells out of frustration, "That's a really annoying ability! Time Rise!" He then practically vanishes without much of a trace, except the small dust of snow that was made where Clock once stood.
That caught Dante by surprise, however, is able to regain his bearings while snapping his head to the right just as Clock appears there with a left hook aimed at the blonde's other cheek. Fortunately for him though, Dante immediately reacted well thanks to hearing Clock's thoughts, sharply weaves backwards and dodges the punch with a cheerful attitude. "Pretty good! You can even increase your own time to move very fast!" The green-eyed person then pivots with his right foot and tries to hit a reverse, spin kick onto Clock's face. In response, Clock manages to lift both arms up in the form of a Cross Block and fends off Dante's kick while pushed back a little due to the strength put into the attack.
Having been pushed back to about several meters away from his opponent, Clock glares at Dante through his guard with his teeth gritted as he thinks while ignoring the young man's statement, "He sure is fast without moving his legs!" He then diverts his gaze to look at Dante's shoes while thinking with suspicion displayed, "Could those be a Sacred Item like the gloves, but increases his general speed?"
Dante answers Clock's mental question while fully directing his attention towards the Asian, who's standing between Dante and the castle. "Not quite. Unless I'm moving my legs, my Accelerator doesn't do anything."
Agitation arises onto Clock's expression because of Dante protruding into his mind and then says with a somber voice after lowering his arms, "That means you're able to evade attacks because of that mind reading of yours."
Dante shrugs. "Sometimes." He widens his stance with determination reforming. "But it's not like I'll always rely on it and play it safe. There are countless times that I prefer being straightforward, despite the risks. I'll give you an example right now." Dante then accelerates again and promptly finds himself just seconds away from planting a harsh, right knee into Clock's gut while lightly floating above the ground.
Clock retorts without hesitating. "Oh no, you don't! Time Reduction!" Even though Clock had managed to cast out his spell before contact was made, some momentum remained behind Dante's strike and nailed the dark-haired man's stomach, which left a dumbfounded and pained look on his face. Right after that, Clock falls backwards while rolling on the floor a lot until gripping onto the snow in order to cease himself and snaps his head up due to it having been down for a moment.
Meanwhile, Dante had been freed from the Time Reduction Spell with his right hand on his waist and says in a smart ass way after tilting his head to the left, "And there you have your example, and why it can be better than playing it safe." He closes his eyes while letting out a content chuckle and straightens his head's posture.
Clock's greatly enraged by Dante's words while clenching both hands into fists. "You damn bastard! I'll show you!" As he said that last part, the Asian man raises both arms above his head while prepared to cast another spell, however, is cut off by Dante, who instantaneously closed the gap with both of their faces just inches away from each other. This bewilders Clock to no end as he knows already that trying to slow down Dante's time won't do him any favors, so he quickly decides on his only possible route at this moment and mumbles, "Time Rise."
With that, Clock creates some distance from Dante by leaping backwards with speed that matches the green-eyed young man as Dante swiftly gives chase to the dark-haired individual. Once he sees that, Clock tries to out maneuver Dante by zig-zagging around the entire open space belonging to the castle backwards while launching several strikes at Dante with both hands. Sadly for Clock, Dante easily evades the assault with subtle movements while continuing his chase. At the same time, panic comes forth from within Clock's person due to Dante making attempts to grab a hold of the Asian with right jabs to place a seal every time the blonde gets close and thinks, "Damn pesky gloves! It's ridiculous that I have to worry about them touching me! If only I hadn't failed in getting them the second time I used Time Halt, I wouldn't be having so much trouble!"
Dante briefly laughs out of amusement. "Maybe you should pay mind to where you're going, in addition, to being so focused on avoiding me and complaining about past misfortunes."
Confusion resonates from Clock due to not understanding why Dante said that until looking behind himself without stopping and finds himself about to collide his back into the wall belonging to a burning artillery tower that's to the left side from Dante's point of view. After doing that, the Asian desperately tries to dash to the side so he wouldn't hit the wall, but Dante doesn't allow him as he hastily draws back his right arm and snatches Clock by the throat while driving him onto the tower's wall with relentless force. This causes Clock to let out a distressful gag with his eyes shut while cocking his head back before gradually glaring at Dante through his right eye.
Dante proudly smiles while maintaining his grip on Clock with an outstretched arm. "You see? I warned you."
Clock's desperation doesn't stop as he knows that he's in a precarious position while thinking, "God, damn it! I'm screwed...! Unless...!"
Dante immediately hears what Clock's thinking and is baffled to the point of concern showing as he thinks, "Crap, that's not good!"
After finishing that thought, Dante begins to say the word "Seal" in order to prevent what he's concerned about, but is unable to as Clock states with a horsed voice because of the pressure Dante's applying onto his neck while his eyes briefly light up, "Time Halt..." Then, time stops again as Dante was in the middle of speaking while Clock faintly lets a sigh of relief escape his mouth. "I did it." He slowly lifts up his right hand while grimacing a little because of some pain surging from his body after being rammed into the wall and grabs a hold of Dante's wrist to loosen his grip. Unfortunately, having ceased time resulted in Dante's grasp being basically impossible to move in his current state and mutters with anger dwelling inside, "I really can't get a break with this kid." He then removes his right hand from his enemy's wrist and extends it out towards Dante's neck. "I'll just kill him then."
Just as he said that, Clock's only an inch short from reaching Dante's neck with his finger tips, but odly enough can't make it, even though his arms are maybe the same length as Dante's and causes shock to take form. "Why can't I-" It then dawns on the black-haired man, that before he halted time, Dante managed to pull his head back far enough to barely be out of Clock's range while still keeping a tight hold on his opponent's neck. A distraught expression instantly follows as Clock tries to grasp Dante's neck with both hands now, however, is unsuccessful and starts to panic. "No! This can't be happening! It just can't-!"
Suddenly, Clock harshly coughs out a small amount of blood that spills on Dante's wrist before overrun with horror at the sight of it and thinks in a mental scream, "NO! I'M DONE FOR!" He then recalls the words of an unknown man resound in his head, giving him a warning of how he can only stop time twice at most with the assistance of Devil's Circuit before his body experiences agonizing effects that concludes to it malfunctioning to the point of possible death.
Not long after that, a bright light shines from Dante's Breaker, which gains Clock's attention for an instant, as time resumes once more while the blonde gentleman says with a strict tone in continuation of what he was going to, "Seal!"
Clock hurriedly sets his sights onto Dante as the Sealing Glove momentarily glows before placing a seal on the Asian man's neck where his throat is located. At the same time, blood spurts out from Clock's mouth again, which leaves Dante a bit astonished, and pulls away from the black-haired individual by taking a few steps back while gazing at his Sealing Glove that's kind of drenched in blood. Following that, Clock gradually grabs his neck with both hands while despair appears as he intently stares at the snow below him. Afterwards, the Asian attempts to utter a word, but seems to be unable and decides to separates himself from the wall while trying to walk pass Dante.
Dante plainly watches him as he can hear numerous thoughts passing through Clock's head and discovers everything involving how he escaped the man's spells, plus Clock's current condition. Because of this, the green-eyed individual looks at his Power Glove and thinks, "So that's how it is. When it comes to a Spellcaster power that seems to conflict with God's, my Breaker cancels it out as a defense mechanism to protect me." He joyfully smiles while softly saying to himself, "That'll come in handy." Dante soon redirects his attention to Clock, who had just fallen to the ground while coughing out even more blood. "Just for your information, the seal I put on you was to restrain you from talking, but you were a tiny bit quicker than me." The blonde shakes his head in disappointment with his eyes closed. "Thanks to that, I'll be more careful in choosing when to hold back." He opens his eyes again with sincerity brimming. "So, thank you for that."
Clock glances at Dante out of the corner of his eyes while lying on the snow as all he can do is think with immense anger overflowing. "What in the hell are you to be thanking me like that, you bastard?!" A thought then crosses his mind as his breathing gets worse. "Hold on! You're from Velkry, aren't you?! You have to be since they're the only allies this country has left!"
Curiosity takes shape on Dante's face. "Well, kind of. I'm working for them to be accepted."
Clock unexpectedly laughs as the seal Dante placed on him dissipates due to it only being a temporary one, which allows the Asian to say the following out loud but with a strained voice. "Then you just doomed them." He coughs for a moment with his right eye shut. "If I remember right, they have a Treaty with the Einsburn Family. They aren't permitted to interfere with any of them or their allies. If they do, they're all dead."
Dante slants his head to the left. "You're saying Enshin has an agreement with the Einsburns?"
Clock barely manages to shake his head with a confident look showing. "No, but our boss has done business with the Trailblaze Organization. That's practically the same thing."
Dante restrains himself from laughing at Clock's words after fixing his head's positioning. "Well, if you say so..." He then turns away from Clock as he begins walking away with both hands now in his pockets. "But let me fill you in on something." The blonde abruptly stops without looking at Clock. "I was told beforehand that if any allies of the Einsburns or Trailblaze... Or even they themselves were to mount an attack on this country, we who were sent from Velkry are ordered to abandon them."
Clock blankly stares at Dante without saying a single thing.
Dante peers behind himself with a nonchalant demeanor. "But that's not how I roll."
Shock rapidly overwhelms Clock's expression while stuttering as he fruitlessly tries to lift himself off the ground, "B-B-But-"
Dante cuts Clock off after turning his attention away to focus on the castle and nonchalantly removes both of his gloves. "I already made up my mind about two things within this past week. And I'll be damned if I don't follow through in either of them, no matter what the consequences might be." He resumes his advancement towards the castle as he puts away his gloves via his back pockets. "Well, this is goodbye."
Clock watches Dante leave with disbelief radiating as an image of Enshin flashes through the man's mind and mumbles while the light in his eyes vanish, "You two... Are so..." His head drops onto the snow-covered ground with the rest of his body as Clock dies from the negative effects of his Spellcaster power.