Lakshman vs. Ash

There was a stunned silent for a brief moment between them as Lagron turned to look at the Demon Titan in surprise while Lakshman stared at the demon with a serious expression on his face.

“I’m sorry. Can you repeat that because I could’ve sword I thought I heard you say ‘kill me,’” said Lakshman slowly grimly.

“That’s right. I did,” replied Ash in a matter-of-fact voice that alarmed Lakshman. “I want you to try and kill me, not an arbiter attempt, but really try to kill me. Only then I’ll come to trust you.”

“What?!” Lakshman exclaimed in shock by the words he just listened to before he said, “You want me to kill you so that I gain your trust? Why? There’s absolutely no reason for me to cause you any harm, or put you in any danger! We’re allies for world’s sake!”

“Yes and that’s why I want to see the kind of allies I am partnering up with,” replied Ash smoothly without the slightest trace of fear in her voice. “Only those capable of killing their allies in the worst-cast-scenario are the ones that I am willing to trust.”

“Oh? You mean someone like me who’d kill his ally without a thought?” Lagron asked boastingly with a smirk on his face.

Ash turned to face him and said, “No. You’re the same. Weak.”

Her last word sparked a sudden burst of anger from him and he unfolded his arms and glared fiercely at her as he said, “Oh? I’m weak?! Why don’t you come here and tell me how weak I am dammit!”

“Sure,” replied Ash in an emotionless voice.

Both of them began to move forward when Lakshman suddenly got in between them with his arms throw to either side to stop them as he shouted, “Enough of this! Both of you! Stand down!”

“Stand down? Me?!” Lagron exclaimed loudly as he glared at her over his shoulders. “She’s the one that started this!”

“You let yourself into this,” replied Ash curtly.

“Damn it all!” Lagron shouted in rage and he moved forward to cross his rival to attack her.

Lakshman suddenly grabbed him by the shoulders and shoved him forcibly back while wincing due to his left arm hurting a little. As his rival staggered backwards, Lakshman glared at him angrily and shouted in a powerful voice, “Lagron! Calm! Down!”

The Dragon Titan realised his rival was really angry, not at him, but how the situation had transpired. Realising he was at fault, Lagron simply turned away to glare into the distance while folding his arms again. Lakshman sighed and turned to face Sevedant with an imploring look on his face.

“Sevedant, say something,” he said as he urged the Death Titan to stop his pupil.

The Death Titan remained silent for a moment before he turned to face his pupil and said, “Stop this. No reason. He is ally. Trust him.”

Ash shook her wrapped head and replied, “No, Sevedant. I will judge him by my own instincts.”

Lakshman quickly understood, by that reply, that Sevedant could not persuade her as the Death Titan turned to him and said in an emotionless voice, “Tried. Hard to convince. Show her.”

“Show her?!” Lakshman exclaimed incredulously as he looked at them both in surprise. “Are you serious? She’s crazy! She wants me to try and kill her, but I don’t want to! Besides, she’s an ally! I can’t fight a teammate!”

“Mmm? So the issue here is that I’m your ally?” Ash asked and he turned to look at her suspiciously. “This should make it easier for you to fight me.”

She raised her hands and began to unwrapped the bindings around her face and they quickly came lose. As the wrappings fell off her face and hit the ground, they finally got a look at her face, which surprised both Lakshman and Lagron.

The Demon Titan, Ash, was a very pretty woman that looked very young and youthful in the face as she looked in their direction. Her hair was black and it fell all the way down to her waist behind her back, which made her look even prettier. She had her eyes closed, but the moment she opened her eyes, they saw something shiny and shocking as a chain reaction of events happened very quickly.

Lakshman’s eyes widened in shock and his eyes quickly turned red as they semi-transformed into the Phoenix Eyes. Lagron also widened his eyes in shock and felt his body going stiff from just looking into her eyes. He unfolded his arms and looked down at himself to see that his arms and legs were quickly turning into stone.

He lifted his head and looked at her in shock as he said, “Petrification!”

The effects of petrification quickly overwhelmed his entire body and turned him into a standing statue with a frozen surprised expression on his face. Lakshman turned to his rival in surprise and was shocked to see that the Dragon Titan had turned into stone with a still expression on his face.

“Lagron!” he shouted in shock.

“Mmm. The Dragon Titan couldn’t withstand against my eyes,” said Ash in a simple voice before turning to look at Lakshman, who stared at her in shock. “I see. You managed to escape the effects of my eyes with the semi-activated Phoenix Eyes. Good.”

She suddenly turned sharply to look at the Dragon Titan and aimed her finger at him as she said, “Death Ray.”

A small light burst out from her finger and soared straight at the frozen form of Lagron. Lakshman widened his eyes in shock and he quickly moved to intercept it as he managed to divert it away by smashing it with his arm.

“What the hell are you doing?!” he exclaimed in shock.

“Mmm? I’m your enemy now,” she said calmly as if she was stating a weather report. “Fight me.”

She suddenly charged towards him at high speed and pulled her other arm out from under her cloak, which radiated in energy. As she reached him and swung it down at him, he quickly formed an energy blade out of thin air and brought it up to defend himself against her assault. He was a little startled to find that she was really strong and that her arms were also covered in wrappings for unknown reason.

All of a sudden, her hair appeared to move on its own accord and it folded itself around his arm before swinging and throwing him several meters away much to his surprise. As he flew away, she swung her arms around and fired off a lethal purple energy wave at him in an attempt to kill him. He was surprised, but he quickly managed to rotate himself to land on his feet before activating a technique of his own.

“Elemental Coated Armour!”

With the radiating energy surrounding, he used the energy arm to smack the purple wave into the air, where it flew into the air harmlessly. A moment later, Ash appeared materialised in front of him and attempted to jab him with her energy arm, but he used his other energy arm to grab her arm and hurl her several meters away.

She landed gracefully on her feet and straightened up to smile sweetly at him as she said, “Interesting. What technique is that?”

“Elemental Coated Armour,” said Lakshman with a serious look on his face.

“Oh. I see. It looks interesting,” she said and she aimed her hand at him before she said, “Quagmire.”

In an instant, a magic circle appeared underneath his feet before the ground began to give way and he was surprised to find himself falling quickly downward into a large sand. As he hit the sand and began sinking into it, Ash appeared in front of him and he stared into her eyes, which suddenly flashed and made him close his eyes quickly. A moment later, he opened his eyes and suddenly found himself chained by the arms, legs and neck against a stake.

“What the?!” he exclaimed in shock as he realised he could not move a muscle.

“How does it feel knowing you can’t do anything?” said a sudden voice and he looked in front of him to see Ash hovering in mid-air as lava overflowed beneath them.

“Where am I? What is this place?” he asked while taking a look around his surroundings.

“This is hell and you’re about to be judged guilty,” she said humorously.

He stared at her angrily and said, “I was in the middle of fighting the Quagmire technique you used on me. So, how did I end up here of all places?”

“Didn’t you hear me?” she asked with a cheeky smile and he stared at her with a serious look on his face.

“That’s not funny,” he said slowly in a strong voice. “You flashed something at my eyes and that’s why I closed my eyes. What did you do?”

She smiled and suddenly looked twisted, causing her pretty face to look horrible as she said, “This!”

She aimed her hand at him and activated her magic, causing him to feel a powerful sensation that made him feel a lot of pain. He suddenly felt as if he was being forced to tear apart, but nothing was happening to his body as it remained chained to the stake. When the sensation stopped, he felt very tired and slowly panted from the pain he experienced.

“Again!” she said and once again before activating her magic.

He felt the same sensation as before and he experienced an intense pain that he could not understand why it was happening. The place he was at, why he was pinned to the stake and how he was experiencing the pain left him feeling very confused. Once the sensation stopped, he leaned forward and breathed deeply from tiredness of the pain sapping his energy.

“Mmm. Is this all you can do? I’m disappointed. I was expecting more of a fight from the Phoenix Titan, but I guess this is the best you can do. What a waste?” she asked while looking disappointed.

While she sighed, he moaned a little and thought, “Damn…! What the hell is going on? This whole place and the technique she’s using. They don’t make any sense at all!”

He wearily opened his eyes and looked at the ground for a moment before something about it struck a chord in his mind. Something about the overflowing lava, being chained to a stake and attacked by a strange method made him realise something. Even the atmosphere here felt weird and he finally connected all of it, which made him associate it with a technique he knew about.

“Spirit Prison,” he thought to himself with a determined look on his face. “It has to be! It’s a technique that puts the target’s spirit in an illusionary world surrounded by lava and pinned to a stake. The attacker then uses an extrasensory type attack to make the victim feel as if they were being torn apart, but not really. This has to be it!”

 He finally made the discovery just as Ash said, “Okay. I’ll put you out of your misery since you’re disappointing.”

Lakshman looked at her and noticed that she summoned numerous amount of red needles that were aiming threatening at him. Just as she launched them at him, he shouted, “Spirit Circuit!”

As feeling entered into his body, he activated his powers and with sheer grit, destroyed the stake and the chains pinning him there. He turned his attention towards the charging black needles and aimed his hand at them before shouting, “Maga Distrab!”

In an instant, an invisible force whooshed away at them and smashed into all of the needles, causing them to shatter into pieces like breaking glass and disappear. Then, while Ash was confused, Lakshman put his hands together in front of him and began surging with wild power before shouting, “Spirit Burst!”

He started to glow with power before it spread everywhere and caused everything to whiten and became unable to see anything. The next moment, he felt something hard pressing against him and he opened his eyes to find that he was neck deep into the sand that was quickly sucking him up. He struggled for a few seconds in surprise as his face went below the sand and his hands waved in the air.

At that moment, he began to surge with wild power and aimed to fly upward, causing the sand to burst outward and go everywhere as he soared high into the air at high speed. Ash, who had returned to the present, watched him soar into the air in surprise and watched him land several meters away from her. She looked down at her sand and saw that it was damaged and she stopped it with a wave of her hand before turning to face him.

“That was close,” he said with a smile towards her. “Now, if you please, release Lagron from petrification.”

“No. You still haven’t proved to me that you can kill your allies,” said Ash with a serious look on her face.

Lakshman narrowed his eyes sharply and asked, “Why?! Why do you think like that?! What’s your reason for thinking that you can only trust those capable of killing their allies?!”

A grim expression came over Ash’s face as she stared at him for a moment in silence before she asked, “Do you know about the Demon Emperor, Halquza who was the one that launched an invasion plan against your kingdom. I believe, from what Sevedant had informed me, you were the one that finished him off.”

Lakshman blinked at her in surprise before he replied, “Yeah. That was a long time ago though.”

“Long time ago, but not so long ago for me,” said Ash and she looked somewhat sad as she stared at the ground. “My parents were killed my parents and attempted to kill me, but they secured my life at the last moments of their lives by casting a barrier in the house we lived. Not waiting for the barrier to break, I escaped through a backway secret exit that dad had built for us, in-case, we were under attack by the humans.”

“After that, I met various others and I mistakenly believed them to be my allies from how friendly they were, but they turned out to be the Demon Emperor’s allies. As they cornered me and were about to take my life for the reward that he told them he would give, the Sevedant came. I wasn’t sure if he was my ally even though he said he was and I told him to kill all these people and he did it instantly without any hesitation.”

Lakshman widened his eyes momentarily before he looked sternly at her as he said, “That’s Sevedant! He would kill without a second thought!”

“Are you saying you’re different?” Ash asked through narrowed eyebrows in anger. “Is it because you have a conscious? You feel feelings? You experience emotions?”

Lakshman became annoyed by the aregument and said firmly, “Listen. You faced some really difficult times, the way you’re thinking right now is wrong. No one kills for the sake of killing, unless it’s for a good or bad valid reasons like; if they have no options, if they are truly wicked, or to save someone else!”

“Sevedant could see that you were surrounded by villains out to get you and that’s why he terminated them! I’m sure that even he doesn’t enjoy killing, even if it was justified!” Lakshman finished as he stared seriously at her, although, he did wonder if Sevedant really felt any emotions about killing.

“Even so! I believe my way is correct and so far, I don’t believe you can do that even if you say that!” she said with a serious expression on her face while he looked grimly back at her. She pointed a finger at him and said, “I will never trust a man like you, who argues with words instead of proving with actions!”

He stared at her for a moment in silence before he sighed and thought, “I need to use my old self again, otherwise, I’ll never get through to this woman!”

The Phoenix Titan momentarily closed his eyes and sighed deeply before flashing open, which caused him to instantly surged with power and caused the wind to blow quickly around them and buffeted the Demon Titan.

“Fine. Here’s what you’re asking for,” he said before vanishing and reappearing in front of her much to her surprise.

She attempted to charge her arm with energy and jab at him, but he did not give her the time as he quickly pulled his fist back and punched her in the face. The impact was so strong that she was propelled into the air, but she did not go far as he quickly grabbed her by one of her legs and swung her around before slamming her onto the ground.

Ash groaned from the impact of being slammed onto the ground before she felt herself being lifted into the air as Lakshman hurled her away. As he did that, he charged a large amount of energy into his other hand and fired it after her in an attempt to seriously injure her. She managed was a little banged up to recover quickly and was unable to react to the incoming attack, but her hair did as it suddenly increased in length and completely surrounded her like a defensive shell.

The energy wave soared forward and smashed into it, causing the shell to be pushed several meters through the air before the attack exploded. For a few seconds, the shell flew through the air before crash landing before it released the person it was shielding from the attack. Lakshman, who had seen the hair recede into the scalp of the Demon Titan, narrowed his eyes suspiciously as he wondered what it was.

The Demon Titan moaned as little, but she quickly regained her feet and glared at him fiercely as he hair seemed to surround her, giving her a very demented look. That soon changed as the hair quickly transformed into small snake like figures that were hissing at him as angrily as her. This made Lakshman blinked at her in surprise as he finally recognised what clan she was from.

“Oh. So, she’s from the Serpentia Demon Clan,” he said slowly with a serious look on his face.

The hair, that had transformed into multiple snakes, hissed at him fiercely before opening their mouths wide and gathering energy inside their mouth. In the next moment, they launched a dazzling multiple of death rays at him and as soon as they reached him, he moved his arms rapidly at high speed to block and divert the rays away from him.

After succeeding several times, several grazed him on the cheek and arm, making him decide to go on the frontal attack. So, he quickly moved both of his arms forward and gathered a large amount of energy before releasing it on the go, causing the rays to divert as they were unable to penetrate through it. So, she dodged it as she soared high into the air to dodge the attack.

At that moment, as she stopped to hover in mid-air, she heard a technique being shouted out loud in slow progression of increasing its power.

“Pho-nik-ala-chala—!”

She looked around wildly to see where he was, finally spotting him hovering just behind her the whole time. Instantly, the hair moved forward and attempted to strike him, but he vanished on the spot and she lost track of him once more. As she could not pinpoint his location, she heard him from above shout the last word of the attack name as he completed the attack.

“—ra!”

Ash looked up just in time for the energy wave to soar down and strike her in the chest and carry her on. With eyes widened, her hair immediately moved in order to protect her form the blast, but there was no hope as the attack was already striking her at the centre of her chest. Still, the hair did its best to extended its length and surround her the best that it could so minimise the damage as much as possible.

There was a violent explosion from the impact against the ground that caused a wild blowing wind to be released as well as the powerful shock waves, buffeting everyone nearby. The ground also shook violently from the explosion for several seconds before it settled down as smoke spread everywhere. It soon cleared to reveal a shell of hair as it receded back to show that Ash was bleeding from multiple wounds on her body.

She groaned and looked up just in time to see Lakshman soared down towards her at high speed with his fist pulled back. Widening her eyes in shock, she quickly pushed herself to the side just as he plummeted down and struck the ground with his fist, causing the ground to cave in deeply before another explosion occurred.

As the smoke slowly spread everywhere, she soared high into the air in order to escape his immediate assault. Still, he sensed her location and soared after her, causing her to look in his direction and flash her eyes in order to use the Spirit Prison on him once more. This time, she intended to complete the task she had delayed previously, but soon realised the spell was not affecting him for some reason.

It soon made sense as he drew closer, she saw that he had his eyes closed in order to counter the use of the technique. He had noticed the flash appearing in his way and instantly closed his eyes while using Elemental Sense to guide him towards her as he flew at high speed.

“What?!” she exclaimed with a shocked look on her face.

Just then, he reached her and instantly grabbed her by the face before hurling her forcefully towards the ground again. This time, she did not crash as she used her flight ability to slow down the decent and land with her feet getting dragged on the ground. At the same time, he descended towards the ground and landed while staring at her with a menacing look on his face.

“Phoenix Fury!” he shouted furiously.

In an instant, he was surrounded by wild flames that took the shape of a phoenix spreading its wings wide. A moment later, he kicked off the ground and soared towards her with a clear intent to destroy her for good. Sensing this, she momentarily pondered about what to do as she realised that he was serious in his attempt to kill her.

“He’s dangerous. I need to kill him,” she thought firmly with a grim look on her face.

So, as he soared towards her at high speed and scorching the grassy floor with the furiously burning flames that surrounded him, Ash raised her right hand and aimed at him. She opened her palms and began to activate her magic by muttering three different words.

“Rock. Paper. Scissors.”

The moment she finished saying the words, her black eyes turned purple and the round pupil in her eye extended upward and became a vertical pupil. As her hair soon began to hover around her, it gave her a very wicked outlook that could stun most of the professional warriors into feeling afraid of her.

Lakshman was within meters of reaching her when a magic circle appeared to catch him in his midriff. He noticed this and did not understand what was going on, but did not want to wait and find out, so he increased his speed towards her. At that exact moment, Ash slowly clenched her fist in order to activate the spell just as he reached her.

Suddenly, the Death Titan appeared between them and held his scythe in the air before striking the ground in between them. This caused the wind to blow wildly and buffeted both Lakshman and Ash, sending them hurling through the air backwards before landing on their feet. As the dust cleared, they saw Sevedant standing between them as if he was there to interfere in their battle.

He turned towards his pupil and said, “Stop. This is enough. Going overboard.”

“Sevedant! I was just about to finish him off! He’s a dangerous person!” she said sharply with a furious glance at Lakshman.

As he glared at her, Sevedant turned completely to her to block him from her sight before he said, “Calm down. Realise. You attacked first. He fought back. Blame yourself. Not him. Your fault. Not his. Understand. Recognise. Learn. Develop. Change for better. Not like this.”

She blinked at him with a crestfallen look on her face as she was utterly defeated by his words. Feeling utter despair, she collapsed on the ground and stared at her hands gloomily without a word.

As Sevedant turned towards the Phoenix Titan, Lakshman sighed deeply and powered down as he said, “Thanks, Sevedant. You helped me out, but I would appreciate it if you stopped it in from the beginning.”

“Sorry,” apologised Sevedant sincerely as he reached Lakshman and stopped in front of him. “Wanted to see your power. Your improvement. Your development. Your strength. Your power. Watched. Understood. Impressed.”

Lakshman smiled wryly and said, “Thanks, but I still got a long way to go in order to battle the Calamity Titan in two years.”

“Indeed,” replied Sevedant in agreement.

Lakshman nodded back at him before looking over his side and when he saw her gloomily collapsed on the ground, he asked, “Will she be alright?”

For the first time since he arrived, Sevedant sighed from behind the mask and said, “She’ll be fine. It’s always the same. Attack this. Attack that. Prove trustworthiness. Quite annoying. Really tiring.”

“I can imagine,” said Lakshman as a grin formed on his face just from listening to him. He suddenly remembered something he was forgetting and he said, “I feel like I’m forgetting something.”

“You mean that?” Sevedant asked and he pointed at something with his skeleton hand from under his cloak.

Lakshman turned in the pointing direction and saw the petrified form of Lagron still frozen solid like a statue. He widened his eyes in surprise and said, “Oh! That’s what I was forgetting. I wondered why it was so quiet; it’s because of that.”

“Peaceful,” said Sevedant quietly and caused Lakshman to unintentionally chuckle.

“Can you ask your pupil to release him please?” he requested honestly after recovering. “I’m sure he’s mad in there.”

“Sure,” agreed Sevedant before slowly walking away towards his pupil.

Lakshman watched him go and sighed wearily before looking up at the sky as he muttered, “What was the Emperor of the World thinking when he formed our group? The Nine Pillars of Power are full of really strange people with strange attitude and behaviour. Now, as their leader, I’m stuck with the responsibility of handling all of that. Ugh…!”

He groaned at the daunting task he faced along with the task of training to get stronger within two years.

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