Ever since we agreed to travel together, Ria used very little hurtful magic — at least when I was looking. I appreciated her choice to use mending magic instead whenever possible, although due its nature and her own inclination to use music and cunning instead of weapons and strengthening spells in combat she had to resort to hurtful spells whenever she had to do damage directly. After the first time, she explained that it was normal among angels who did not carry weapons or specialize in them.
A part of me, however, couldn’t help wondering what her limits with hurtful magic were. It was clear that the only thing limiting her was herself, so I couldn’t help wondering just how far she would go if pushed as far as possible.
One time, when she had made an unusually gross mess of some persistent ghouls who had ambushed us, I asked her about it. She only chuckled nervously and said that she had no idea. She added that she hoped that she would not find out either.
I hoped so too.
But as fate would have it, as my quest for mastering the Harmony Blade progressed, we found ourselves fighting against bigger and bigger monsters. This, in turn, forced Ria to use hurtful magic more and more both to protect herself and to cover me whenever I messed up.
Eventually, we got a largish city which was getting wrecked daily by a gargantuan beast called Harrower. We tracked it back into its lair and attempted to take it out by ambushing it.
The ambush failed. We had to face off Harrower at its sleeping chamber.
And Ria was pushed to the limits of her hurtful magic.
When I was about to get my head bitten off, a dark blast in front of Harrower’s foremost legs tossed us apart. I landed on my back and turned to look at Ria as soon as I had recovered from the blow.
What I saw was a pale-blond-haired fallen angel in the air, black feathered hair jewelry framing the upper half of her face and a black and golden battle dress with wide black feather pauldrons on her. Her eyes were yellow orbs like the full moon a week ago. I didn’t see any other angels around, so I could only think that it was Ria even though she looked so different.
“This ends now!” Ria announced, her voice deeper, darker and more confident than I’d ever heard from her. She spoke an incantation and shot a dark beam at Harrower’s heart.
The beast let out a deafening scream and collapsed as its insides burst into the grossest mess I had seen so far. I turned on my side and gagged at the horrific smell, although I ended up not vomiting.
The clack of hard-soled boots approached me and I looked up. Ria was coming towards me. I took into the sight of her in this… whatever this form was: thigh-high boots, the battle dress and feather pauldrons, arm-length gloves ending with spikes on at the elbows and fabric covering her thighs and forearms. Her earrings and the jewel holding her hair and feather hair jewelry together were golden, set with light orange stones that matched her cold eyes.
I was still as she approached. Her face betrayed no emotion whatsoever. I had no idea what was going on inside her head now.
In all honesty, in that moment I feared her. It felt like she might kill me now, something I had stopped fearing so long ago I had already forgotten the exact time frame.
This was the true power of a powerful fallen angel.
And I had no idea if it was with me or against me.