174 Chapter 171 Destroying Nikmesh
It took them a month to finally destroy the last arena. Stella watched as Joseph seemed to shake as he changed the death mana over to life mana. He had changed. She worried about him, as the link between them told her of his struggle with the rage that seemed to have rooted in his mind. Joe had grown silent, not joking as much as he had, trying to distance himself from this new Joseph.
"It's time," he said, turning to her. His eyes had mostly returned to normal, but there was still a ring of black around the outside edges. She took his hand, giving it a squeeze and a smile of encouragement. There wasn't much she could do for him; she had already checked with the system.
Closing his eyes for a moment, Stella could feel him trying to hold back on the rage that was threatening to spill out. He was just so angry, and she wasn't sure why.
She swallowed the moment of nausea from the teleport, and floated free of him, to give him space to cast his spells.
Below them was a massive arena, similar to all the smaller ones they had been destroying, but in the center of this one, instead of tortured people, there was a massive alter. She could see a misty form taking shape on the pillar, and knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was Nikmesh, trying to manifest himself.
The scream of four huge building sized rocks vibrated her teeth as Joseph cast four SKYFALL spells in quick succession. She raced to get behind him, knowing that they would hit with the force of 80-90 tons of TNT each.
"You have two minutes before they hit, Stella. They're coming from orbit. Kill those demon worshippers."
She didn't hesitate, trusting Joseph completely. She stepped through his shadow, and stepped out of the closest demon worshippers shadow, using her shadow-jump technique. Slicing his throat, she had moved through his shadow to the next guy before the blood could spray.
Things became very chaotic after she killed the first three. Joseph started throwing fireballs at them as they tried to flee, or started chanting to cast a spell. She paused to avoid a fireball, before jumping to the next guy, when the leader caught her eye. He looked like the elder that had led the council that cursed Sylva.
"Joseph," she said, appearing out of his shadow, "The leader looks like someone I used to know, named Sophus."
"Doesn't matter, there isn't time to deal with him. Kill him before the Skyfall's hit."
Every time she got near him, Sophus moved. She gave up on him, focusing on killing the lesser members of his little party. She went for the next guy, noticing Sophus again out of the corner of her eye, when she felt Joseph teleport her back to him. The time wasn't up, what was going on?
She looked down at a circle that had suddenly appeared, close to where she had been. Was that a summon? She wasn't sure.
A man stepped forward, out of the circle and looked around, before spying them.
Sophus was watching from the wall he clung to like some demonic cockroach.
"Ah! I've been reincarnated into my favorite galge!" the guy cried in delight.
"What?" asked Stella, glancing at Joseph in confusion.
"Don't worry, Stella," said the guy. "I know you're not human, but that's ok. You don't need to be ashamed. I'm going to grab the elven princess first, then the fire witch. I'll come back for you in a bit."
"What is he talking about?" asked Stella, noting the flames growing in Joseph's eyes.
"I'm going to go the harem route, so I'll have to collect you last. I have it on good authority that you are especially enthusiastic once you're tamed…"
DUAL BURNING DEATH.
Sophus cackled, "Nikmesh is a god of wrath. Be consumed by your anger and become his vessel!"
Stella jerked in surprise at his words. The whole summoning had been a trick to fuel the rage that had been in Joseph's head for the past month!
Joseph grabbed at his head, and Stella could feel something clawing at his mind through the link. There was no way in hell she was going to lose him to some damn evil god!
Rushing over to him, she grabbed both his cheeks and kissed him.
The clawing and rage dissipated and she backed away, watching him blink in surprise.
"Uhh…" he managed.
"Time's up," she said.
"What?" he asked, still dazed.
"The Skyfall?" she said, turning his head up.
"Shavist!" he cried, stunning Sophus with a quick spell.
Stella watched him turn back into the Joseph she knew, as he began to cast his magical spells. The god Nikmesh was pulled into this realm, appearing on his alter in the middle of the arena, cackling as he stood up. He had a solid body, but before he could do much more, Joseph stunned him, too, then grabbed her around the waist and teleported them out of the valley.
She glanced back over her shoulder, as the mountain they had just been beside, disappeared in a cloud of destruction.
"Did you really kiss me?" he asked, turning her face back gently to see her.
"I didn't want to lose you to that god," she said, with a small smile. It hadn't been so bad, kissing him. Maybe she should do that more often? No, it would spoil him.
"Yeah, NURKONG is a dick."
"Joseph!" she cried in surprise. "I've never heard you swear before."
"I know, I shouldn't have said that; my mom raised me better than that."
(JOSEPH AURUM AND STELLA AURUM HAVE KILLED A LESSER GOD OF WRATH WHILE BEING MORTALS.)
'Did you really have to tell everyone that we did that? And using his last name for mine?!' complained Stella as Joseph pulled her closer to him.
"Do I taste vanilla?" he asked with a smile.
"What?" she asked, embarrassed. She didn't eat that many cookies!
"Or is it oranges?"
"Was it really that bad?" she asked, realizing he was trying to distract himself from what had just happened. That was the only reason he normally flirted like this. She knew a time would come when they could flirt without something horrible happening, but it wasn't now.
Joseph was quiet for a moment, looking over the top of her head at the destruction he had caused.
"I could feel him clawing at my mind. He wasn't just trying to take it over, he was trying to gain information and tear my mind up in the process…there were a lot of memories I had pushed away, that he dug up…"
"I think it is high time for a break. I think we should go back to the castle and not tell anyone, for at least a week. Just relax; you can study your magic again, and I can read a book and practice my fighting techniques."
He looked at her for a moment.
"I'm tired, Stella. Mental exhaustion. Oh, and the system just granted me dual-casting. As in, I can now cast four spells at once, with Joe's help of course."
"That's great. I'm proud of you," she said, taking his hand from the small of her back and smiling at him.
"I had to try," he said with a guilty grin.
Flashing her fangs, she said, "And I am going to make you cookies when we get back."
"You know I love you, right?"