Recognizing the magnitude of Bahamut's summoning, Carlo realized that the battle outgrew his capabilities. How did he know it was the King of Good Dragons himself? Well, one does not go around pirating, raiding, and generally being successful privateer without picking up a thing or two: rumors, old tales, and most importantly legends. RPGe's repertoire, including the tale of that magic lamp, was amongst them. The first entity that the magic lamp would summon, especially with such a great, looming presence couldn't be mistaken for anything else. Still, he was backed into a tight bunker with the only human-sized way out blocked by both a great beast and the demonic soldier. Said soldier who was glaring at him, and have shot, ineffectively, at both him and RPGe just before. Yes, doomguy wasn't the first to try stunning him with electricity. (1 runeskin rune used, stun inefficient) - "You miss a target literally in your hands and you have the gall to call us patheric? I'd ask if there is a soldier under that armor or just a little boy (or even little girl) with nice toys, but... you can answer this question to yourself." Carlo grabbed one of his last two voodoo dolls, transformed into a ghostly parrot, and flew through what he couldn't surpass as a human. With Blanc gone, Bahamut coming, he was no longer serving a purpose there. It was time to find the CPU and end this chapter at last. The Empress was gone for good, so it was time to check on with Vadim and celebrate the victory. With any luck, this could be the end of Celestia's Gate, Donut City would be liberated in the near future and his lost ship, the Maidenhood could be rescued from under the harbor's waters... Of course, he knew not what has transpired in the Basilicom so far.
The fates of both RPGe and Samuel were unknown from this point. The former made no attempts to flee the situation, standing there, unflinching, as a blue light began to shine from the large dragon's mouth.
Seconds later, it mattered not whether either of them tried to run on foot. The blue light became an explosion, blowing away several city blocks surrounding the destroyed bunker.
The shockwave scattered debris further into the city, tearing down walls, smashing windows, crushing roofs...
And blowing away Lowee's CPU as she was running home.
"...Shit!" She exclaimed, just barely managing a mid-air transformation in time to guard herself from stray debris.
"What the hell caused that explosion?!"
She had her back turned when Bahamut had been summoned, after all. There wasn't a trace of him after the blast.
"Damn it! That's a rain check on the trial then..."
There was a hint of disappointment in her voice, though it's not like anyone was around to hear it.
Ram frowned and puffed her cheeks. "Those jerks still have Blanc!"
Naturally, everyone present was ignorant of Blanc's rescue. "What if... They..." Rom started to say, trembling. She seemed on the verge of tears, thinking of the worst possibility.
Ram seemed to be holding back tears herself.
"It's okay." Histoire said, grabbing Rom's hand. "Blanc is strong. She'll be alright. I'm sure of it."
The twins both nodded.
"Y-Yeah... No way those dummies could beat Blanc! I bet she's already escaped!" Ram said with a slight sniffle.
How quickly her words would be vindicated. The massive explosion from Bahamut was visible from their location, although not close enough to feel any shockwaves or be at risk from debris.
A pillar of light could just barely be made out, too. Presumably from Blanc's transformation.
Bahamut's explosion was a bit more than Carlo's birdy form could handle, and happened too soon to be outrun. Ghostly or not, incorporeal and intangible or not, big, explosive magic spells that cause a shockwave through the air with a great deal of air movement can disrupt anything that flies.
So did he stumble, trying to use his ghostly wings, to glide, to beat, but to no avail. He had lost all sense of up and down, the world spun, flashed blue-ish white, and then everything was still, dull, and blurry. Just like the afterlife, the underworld.
But why did he hear Blanc's voice of all things? Wasn't he supposed to get his peace now? Wasn't the afterlife supposed to be free of anime shenanigans?
He reached for his flask... He's gone on far too long without a drink, and the only thing he could make out was a pair of thin legs that reminded him of Lowee's CPU, and some frills that looked like a goddess' processor set.
Ram sat down, scratching her chin. She was squinting awfully hard, probably trying as hard as she could to think.
"Grrr... What was that dumb place called..."
"Donut... City...." Rom said quietly, thinking back to the events on the Dreadnought, and everything afterwards.
The devastation the entire region suffered, all at the hands of Lowee's own technology. At the time, she didn't quite understand why, but she knew from that horrible feeling in the pit of her stomach. The fighting wasn't over, not by a long shot.
"Uh, not that I'm an expert here, but isn't that a CPU transforming over there?" Butts' voice broke the momentary silence.
There was a unified "Huh?" from the twins as they both looked towards pillar of light near the edge of the city, just barely visible against the explosive energy released by the black dragon.
"Come on, come on! Let's check it out!" Ram said, dragging Rom by the hand as she transformed to go investigate.
They wouldn't know it was their sister, but finding one of the other CPUs safe and sound was still something to be enthusiastic about.
"Tch." Butts stood lax, with her elbows raised. "Is that really the last line I'll get for the chapter? Eh, guess I'm better off than..."
What did she mean by this?
When she saw Carlo flying towards her, Blanc's first instinct was to get out of the way. She just watched as he kept falling closer and closer to the ground, thinking for an uncomfortably long amount of time. She was probably trying to decide if he was worth saving.
Luckily for Carlo, she knew she couldn't let more people die on her watch. She dove down and caught him by the leg, just a few feet from hitting the ground. "Tch. If you made it out, then..."
The sound of Ram, still dragging the now transformed Rom along with her, interrupting the CPU.
Ram tackled her big sister into a hug, with Rom following shortly. Of course, this might have caused Blanc to drop Carlo, like some lame slapstick in a bad children's movie. At least it was only a few feet, he'll probably be alright. "Rom...! Ram...!" One could practically hear the stress just melt away as Blanc spoke. Embracing her younger sisters, a soft, gentle smile grew on her face. Probably the first time she'd really felt any kind of happiness since before the disastrous meeting that started this whole mess.
A tearful reunion continued to play out from here. Sadly, this particular writer can't think of how to make it play out.
Not far from the scene, gazing over to the great explosion caused by the black dragon's appearance, a single figure stands in the rubble.
"Ha! What a hot mess she's made of this one! And I only just got here!"
The stranger rubs her forehead, more specifically the side with the eye that had been bandaged over. She seemed to be wincing in pain.
"Alright, alright... I'll let you play for a bit. Assuming you'll be good."
The air in the immediate vicinity became foul...
"Of course you won't. Whatever, I'll just put you in your place like always! In the meantime, let's see how much damage three us can do here..."
The mysterious figure's shrill laughter echoed through the nearby ruins...
The battle in Lowee's capital city is over, but Gamindustri isn't out of the woods just yet. Who is this mysterious stranger, and what are her motives? Who are the two others she alluded to, and what do they have in store for Gamindustri?
Something foul has been released into Gamindustri, other forces well at work behind the scenes...
And still, Celestia's Gate isn't out of the game just yet. What will they do now, without their patron goddess?
To be continued.
[img] and [spoiler] tags work in the shoutbox - feel free to use them but please do not abuse this feature. If posting pictures please limit the height to 100 pixels or so (use [img height=##] tag). -Reimilia Scarlet