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With each movement made, he would gasp for breath as he struggled to fight off even the feeling of losing consciousness, the ax in his arms shaking as if it would fall at any moment. The creature's eyes would shine every time it saw this, it always tried to rush in an make a swift kill, but at each critical moment, a thin thread that gave one a chilly feeling would strike it from behind the fat man.
The creature's eyes narrowed every time it saw this thread, it usually wouldn't pick up on its dangers, but because of a single moment of its previous carelessness, it had suffered a deep wound on its long snout. Like all other animals, even if non-intelligent it will learn through pain, it knew that it should avoid being hit.
Roar! With a savage cry, the creature lowered its body and raised its long tale with semi razor-sharp protrusions as it struck it towards the threads.
Ping! The sounds of metal colliding resounded as the creature's tail struck with the knife at the end of the treads, repelling them all together. As this happened, a black-haired young girl was seen, standing a few meters behind the fat man as she slowly reeled in her thread with a pale expression.
The creature wasted no time, as it rushed towards the duo once again, and their battle continued. Not too far away from this, in the shadows where the lights couldn't reach, two young men stood atop the water surface while observing in silence.
It didn't take long for one of them to speak as he broke the silence, "Do you think this will work?"
Evan looked at Rick, who had spoken just now before shifting his eyes away from Fatty Joe and Breya and fixing them on the two resting room. He then answered, "Though the visions from the rift have influenced them, they are far stronger than you think. They've even managed to battle against the panther and come out successful. Sometimes all it takes for anyone to adapt is a little bit more pressure than motivation."
Although Evan said this, he was in fact mostly referring to Layla, he knows just what kind of woman she was and how much she could handle due to her strong will. It was also another factor in who she was that made him incapable of losing to her charms.
If anything, the only person Evan was more concerned about was Emilia, as he didn't have much contact with her in her previous life. The little contact he had now, was only enough to know that she is a lot tougher than she seemed, especially when facing her brother and people she's comfortable around.
Yet, the current situation required more than the standard toughness any woman could bear; he could only leave it to fate.
Rick's eyes flashed as his thoughts at this time became filled with nothing but Emilia, he recalled when he saw her from that time, the small and adorable beauty that made him feel as if he should go all out to protect her. He didn't know if she would be able to cope with her current fears.
Currently, within one of the rooms, Emilia was already awake. She heard the chaotic fighting outside, but she couldn't bring herself to go out, as the vague images of the hell that Layla had scene popped up in her face.
Her arms grabbed her head as she trembled slightly while thinking, "I can't get it out of my head; how do I clear these thoughts? Must I continue to be like this?"
As Emilia said this, her arms trembled, she lifted her head and glanced outside of the room through the windows. There, she saw the blood-soaked body of her brother struggling against the vicious beast as if he was the firm rock that stood against the world's oceans.
With every swipe of the monstrous crocodile's tail, his fat body would move to bar its path, striking the ax against it as he fell back repeatedly. Occasionally, he would succumb to his injuries as he spat out bits of blood. Breya would also act at these critical times, waving her hand as her threads blocked the crocodile's charge.
Emilia felt her heart shake when she saw this; she remembered that when she was young and her father was busy, only her brother was there to play with her. When their mother died, only her brother had been the one to council her. Always there for her when she fell prey to bullying by Michael and his cronies.
As her eyes flashed with these thoughts, Emilia's seemed to have vaguely changed. She gritted her teeth as she forced her fear from the cruel visions away, trying her hardest to keep only the memories of her brother in her mind as she thought, "My brother was always there for me, I... I can't sit back and do nothing when he's in the face of danger. I must not allow myself to falter due to fear!"
Upon thinking this, her eyes became firm, she rose to her feet and rapidly took up a bow with and quiver with metallic bows that had strange tips. She then turned and faced the door while shouting in her mind, "Big Brother, I am coming!"
As Emilia made her big decision, in the room next to hers, the gorgeous Layla was still sleeping. Her eyes scrunched as if she saw a terrible dream.
In her mind, the scenes of countless devils slaughtering many innocents flashed repeatedly. Eventually, these devils had arrived on earth, they annihilated everything, until finally, they got the people most close to her.
"Noo!" Layla shouted as she watched as Evan was torn apart by a demon and eaten alive. She then saw a devil slaughter Rick and the others, followed by the gruesome death of all who she's ever been in contact with throughout her entire years of existence.
"I can't... stop this... stop this right now!" Layla cried out as her eyes dripped with tears. Yet, no matter her words, the chaos continued.
After a long while of endless slaughtering, the chaos had finally ended. The world turned to one of silence as finally, she saw a lone man. It was an elusive figure in a business suit who face remained shrouded by darkness, he stood there in the army of devils as he indifferently stared at Layla. It seemed as if he was one with the world, as every demon and devil that tore the world apart was a part of his whim.
Layla seeing this man trembled as she looked at him gravely. After a long while, her tears dried up as she clenched her fist tightly, and she asked weakly, "Father, why?"
Her question seemed as if it wasn't even related to the matters of this world but another, about an affair that transpired not so long ago.
"...." The figure in the shadows remained silent and indifferent to her questions for a moment, before he lifted his head to peer at the crimson heavens and replied, "Because you are... my burden..."
As the man said this, Layla's world turned dark as everything shattered. Soon, she had awoken from her dream with a pale expression on her face. Currently, her phone's alarm had gone off, as it seemed to have been the cause of her leaving the dream.
Layla stretched her arms over to the phone and turned it off, before she lifelessly stared at the ceiling, the last words of her father from two days ago then replayed in her mind like a recording tape.
"From this day we are no longer father and daughter, never appear before me again, because you are no more than a burden..."
Layla's tears ran dry as if she'd cried enough over this matter; she gritted her teeth upon even recalling today's failure where she couldn't also resist those visions. Visions which had now fallen into a part of her dreams.
Eventually, Layla recalled the words Evan had said to her when she asked him if she's a burden, as she remembered them, the look in her eyes grew even more determined.
She opened her mouth and spoke, "I... I won't let it be like this, even... even if I have to walk through hell, I will never..."
As Layla spoke, she rose to her feet and grabbed a knife that was resting atop the counter; it was a unique-looking knife made by the military, sold in one of the EarlingStar weapon stores. Though not high grade, it was still dangerous enough to deal serious damage.
Layla then turned and faced the door and took a step towards it roughly at the same time as Emilia in the other room as if in synchrony. After pausing at the doorway for a short moment, she opened it as she finished her previous words, "I will never be a burden again!"
Layla then left the room as the dark scene of the night's chaotic battle became visible to her eyes, as she stepped outside, the door next to hers open as Emilia walked out with a bow in her arms.
The two girls looked at each other with a look of understanding, as they somewhat even felt closer than before. The nodded and set their sights towards the boss-like crocodile that Fatty Joe was facing, but soon they heard Breya's voice.
"You two sure took long enough, shall we finish this thing?" Breya said with a smile on her face.
Layla and Emilia paused for a bit, but they soon replied in unison, "Let's do this!"
Breya smiled and nodded as she thought to herself, "They are ready..."
In the darkness, far away from the boat, Evan and Rick looked at this with varying expressions. Rick was surprised that Emilia who show such firmness, it seemed as if he was even more attracted to this side as his mind went blank.
Evan, on the other hand, nodded with a smile as he muttered, "It seems that operation Chrysalis was a success, for they have managed to overcome their fears. I am glad that they've learned the most important instinct, rousing their will to fight. Rick, let's head back, they should be wrapping this up."
Rick, who was a bit unfocused, finally awoken as he replied, "R-Right."
The two soon after vanished, as they headed towards the final battle in these dark swamps.