Detective Abarca and the Destiny Cards - Part 13

Submitted by Nel on Tue, 12/27/2016 - 18:38

As Berardo spoke the heroes began to help their Dreamers to their feet and he received hesitant nods from everybody involved.
“Is everybody at full crystals? All heroes fully awakened?”
There were more nods. Berardo was now up to 8 crystals, 5 of which were currently used to keep Horizon and Rose fully awakened. He was already beginning to understand what other Dreamers had mentioned about controlling too many crystals. He had to practice a bit to get 8 working correctly and could imagine how much world it would be controlling more than that. It made Cockatrice’s control of 20 crystals all the more intimidating.
“Me, Demon, and Horizon are taking the front. Rose, Diane, and Blade take the back. If anybody has any spells they want to activate they should do it now.”
“Activate, Shield of the Morning” said Berardo granting Horizon the shield.
“Activate, Frozen Mail” said Diane Simon. However Berardo found her spell unusual. Normally the spells were cast on heroes however she had cast the spell on herself. The mists caused by the armor bellowed around her. She really did intent to fight herself not just leave everything up to her hero. Berardo still had his gun but that kind of weapon was mostly useless against heroes.
Berardo considered that. Maybe he should try to get a weapon spell that worked for him. Right now the only equip spell that he has was still the Shield of the Morning. However because of his recent encounters with a bunch of different Destiny Burst players he had acquired a reasonable amount of spendable crystals. He could probably afford one of the vastly cheaper (compared to hero packs) spell pack with what he had pretty soon.
Demon of Forgotten Soot also did something unusual. Her hands shifted from normal human looking hands to black claws, long and sharp. Berardo remembers that Patrick had said that she was a 3 crystal assault like Rose.
With everybody ready Berardo cracked open the door to the hallway and looked outside. The hallway was clear for now. He motioned everybody and the moved out. They walked down toward the stairs in the middle of the building.
Horizon was up front because she could spot dangers quickly and react to protect anybody with the Shield of the Morning. As they approached the stairs Horizon help up her hand pausing the party. She then silently snuck up to get a look. A moment later she was back.
“In the lobby of the school. There are some of the shadow monsters. They are something summon using spells and not a real hero. Still there are five of them down there. It could be dangerous to assault them.”
“Do you think that you and Demon could beat them?”
“Yes, but if a hero interfered then things could quickly become risky.”
Demon of Forgotten Soot then said, “Then we just need to beat them before they could interfere.” Then before Berardo could object she went running toward the stairway. Berardo only got to share a short glance with Horizon before they nodded and began running after her.
As the got to the stairway, Berardo called, “Activate, Speed Boost, broad area.” A trick that he had learned. Spell cards were reasonably flexible if you had experience with them. You could empower them or share them with more heroes. At came at a cost however, unstandard usage was alway inefficient in some way, using extra crystals, working for less time, being less effective, or just raising the cooldown. With experience you could control what was effected but Berardo was still a rookie.
With that boost the two of them went over the balcony is fractions of a section. Berardo tried to run to catch up to them. He realized that he probably could have included himself in the spell but had neglected to do that. Something he would have to remember next time.
There was a flash of light from down the stairs, surely the Shield of the Morning. Then Berardo was at the stairs looking down. The two of them were fighting light clockwork. Demon of Fogotten Soot was overpowering the shadowy monsters one after another. While she was not necessarily working with Horizon that wasn’t needed.
Horizon was capable of watching the entire battle and being exactly where she was needed. She didn’t even land a single blow on any of the monsters but that wasn’t needed. With her there none of the monsters that Demon wasn’t fighting ever got close to her. Horizon brilliantly blocked and distracted them until Demon had finished off the one she was fighting. The Horizon shifted position, leaving one of them to available to fight Demon.
One by one the monsters fell. By the time Berardo’s speed boost spell had ended all of them had dissolved into the dark smoke that they had been made from. Horizon looked up at Berardo and said, “Everything is clear here.”
Berardo almost sighed in relief that things had been so easy however he stopped before he had even began the motion. Instead he used that air to scream out, “Behind you!”
The two of them whirled around like synchronized swimmers. Two heroes had just burst through the front doors of the school and were rushing the Demon and Horizon. One of them Berardo recognized as Hunter Stained with Blood, the knife thrower. The other one he didn’t know, a woman covered in bandages.
The warning had almost come too late but there was a large flash of light and suddenly the battle was in full force. Horizon covered Demon, blocking the knives with the shield while Demon fought the bandaged woman one and one.
Out of the woman’s bandages came snakes. Hissing and reaching toward Demon however she sliced them into pieces with her claws as the they got near. The two teams were even matched. Horizon and Demon just needed to hold on long enough for Berardo’s spell to go off cooldown then he would be able to help them and the battle would be over.
However it was not Berardo’s voice that called out the spell, “Activate, Restriction Suppression” came a raspy voice from the doorway outside. Then Berardo saw him for the first time.
Cockatrice. Thick heavy robes covered his form preventing any identifying features from being noticed. He wore a metal mask like a bird or a lizard, the appearance of a Cockatrice. The air behind him where Berardo would normally see crystals was hazy and indistinct but Berardo could tell that he was controlling an incredible amount of crystals at that moment.
And with the casting of that spell the battle was suddenly not in Berardo’s favor. Demon could not longer keep up with the unyielding assault of the snake woman and Berardo could feel the shaking of the spell for the shield. It would not last much longer and would soon shatter under the attack of the knives.
Berardo was about to call a retreat when a form passed him and leaped over the railing of the balcony. He turned and it was Diane moving in perfect silence. She was clad in her icy blue mail and held on of Blade’s swords.
Something about her arrive was unnoticed by Cockatrice. Berardo later suspected that it was because she was a human and not a hero. He had underestimated her and had thought that no human would be able to do what she did. Frankly Berardo had trouble believing it as she joined in the battle.
The snake woman didn’t even see the sword before it was lunged into her back. She screamed and fell. Hunter Stained with Blood, seeing her fall pulled back to Cockatrice and then the two of them were gone, outside into the darkness.
Berardo tried to call out for Diane to stop however had already attacked the woman again sending the sword deep to her chest. The woman gurgled and then she disappeared, a card fluttering down to the ground. He was afraid that she would attack that two however her assault was finished. She reached out with her hand and grabbed the card.
Then she looked up at Berardo and said, “Sorry it took me so long. It took me a moment to realize that the rear shadow beast attack was a diversion.”
Only with that did Berardo look back to see back down the hallway. The group was still there where he had left them but beyond that there was only fire and a woman holding a flaming sword, Rose of Unyielding Flames. Embers fell around her as the last of the shadow monster felling in the flames.
In training Berardo had seen her really unleash and at times he was even afraid of her. She had seemed overwhelming and unstoppable. One of the reason that he preferred working with Horizon was that Rose seemed like an uncontrollable weapon. Not that he was worried that she would act wrong but he felt like he was unneeded.
Even now she was Kathie Picozzi’s hero and not Berarodo’s hero. Berardo sometimes wondered how Cockatrice could have beaten Kathie with Rose by her side. Her knew the answer was overwhelming her with heroes but sometimes she seemed undefeatable.
Mentally he said through the communication spell, “Good job. We have also pushed back Cockatrice here too. We should use this moment to break through the barrier before Cockatrice has time to regroup.”
“Good.” She said through the link. Then an instant later fire was gone except for a few smoldering bits.
“Alright everybody!” Yelled Berardo. “Everything is good for the moment. We need to move quickly while we have the advantage. Everybody had better be prepared to run.
Then they ran. Through the front door of the school and toward the black barrier that was keeping them from the outside. It would only be a few minutes of running before they could get it it and then they would all be free.
Berardo hoped that Cockatrice would be enough concerned by the lose that he would be forced to let them all go.
That hope was what made the trap so effective. It was the last stretch just before the exit when the ground turned to gray solid ooze. All of them were forced to stop suddenly as they were fastened to the ground by that ooze.
Berardo felt the panic. It had all been part of Cockatrice’s plan. Make an attempted attack which would fail but give the people hope, enough hope to rush without thinking. Berardo glanced around desperately hoping that one of the members had managed to avoid getting stuck, but it was fruitless. All of them where here.
Then he saw them. Cockatrice and his heroes. That was when Berardo’s veins turned to ice. They had expected four or five heroes. If it had been six or seven he would have been disturbed but considered it possible.
Eleven. There were eleven heroes that he was controlling at the same time. The amount of crystals he was controlling was staggering. Berardo felt the hope drip away from him, how could he possibly hope to compete against a foe like that.
It was Horizon that saved him. She had been trapped just like him but she laughed. That sound caught him, broke Berardo free from his prison of fear. He looked over at her and she continued to laugh. What could possibly cause her to laugh at a point like this.
She looked around as her companions continuing to laugh. “Don’t you see. Its a trick, a fake. He had no many heroes but none of them are awakened. All of them are powerless, just an illusion to frighten us.”
That…. That couldn’t be thought Berardo then he looked. It was dark and hard to see but she was right. There were lots of heroes true but unawakened heroes took barely any crystals to keep around. Sure, he was still spending 20+ crystals keeping everything up but Berardo could see it, Cockatrice’s limit.
He pulled out a card and called the spell, “Activate, Hole, wide area.”