Tondzaosha Police Station
“Well, what a nice little reunion this is,” Daisy called, her lips settling into a malicious grin.
Leoffa swirled around, moving away from Kruhl’s bleeding form and came to face the elder sorceress.
Daisy regarded Leoffa. Her enemy wore a different face from the one she was sporting when last they met. She was leaner, taller and bore a distinct resemblance to Van den Broeke. The sorceress understood the significance at once, but she did not speak, instead readying herself for the attack which was sure to come.
When they first came to this world, it had been Daisy who had healed the other from the wounds inflicted by Kruhl. At first, terrified by the strange new realm which they’d come to inhabit, they banded together, an uneasy alliance, but one which benefited them both. As they came to trust one another, Daisy found, much to her surprise, that Leoffa also had a talent for sorcery and so she trained her in the ways of magics.
Back when they awoke on this Earth her apprentice wore the face of a rather handsome youth, but dissatisfied with her male form, she experimented with her powers, altering herself to appear more feminine, eventually ridding herself of any residual masculinity. Daisy shuddered. Such a pity he’d been so interesting to look at. It appeared she’d again altered her form, but this time Daisy suspected it had more to do with manipulating the agent.
Each sorceress had their own talents. Daisy was better able to hop bodies than to alter her form. Though manipulating minds was a breeze, recreating Leoffa’s illusions took far more effort. There was some overlap, but there existed a clear divide between what abilities came naturally and a skill for them to learn and hone. Daisy knew a much broader range of spell works because of her experience, but that was not to say the other sorceress didn’t represent a threat.
Now that Leoffa possessed the magical sword, she’d gained an edge that Daisy would not abide. It was fortunate that she possessed the staff. She wouldn’t have stood a chance against the sword otherwise.
Daisy’s staff acted as a focus, a medium to channel magical energies and better control them. Without it, she could only perform the most basic of magics. She’d destroyed Leoffa’s staff in their last major confrontation all those years ago. The only focus which the other possessed was that of a simple amethyst crystal hung about her neck. It was nowhere near as potent as Daisy’s staff.
Leoffa held Waldere, the great sword’s surface stained with the blood of its former master. Daisy cursed herself. She had taken the weapon, thinking, in her arrogance, that only Kruhl could wield it. In her current form, the barbarian didn’t present much of a danger no matter how much she pounded her chest. Not once had the sorceress considered that Leoffa would successfully manipulate the once-king into handing it over to her. What a fool she’d been.
Now Leoffa wielded the combined might of the sword and her own innate magics. Daisy did not hesitate, raising her staff to hurl a bolt of energy at the sorceress. Lightning quick, the other woman raised her weapon and the blast sizzled into nothingness.
“Odalrik.” Leoffa’s lips curled into a sneer. “I was wondering when you would show your face.”
Daisy winced at the other woman’s use of her old name, but didn’t speak. Leoffa knew her opponent hated it.
Instead, she raised the staff, targeted her opponent’s spell haze, and sent a burst of magic coursing into the air all around them. Green bursts of energy swirled about, sweeping away Leoffa’s illusions before slinking toward her and oozing back into the staff.
The scene that resolved before her was more or less what she expected, but that wasn’t why she’d cleared the mist. Chief Avery, and two other members of the police force, no longer hindered by the haze, came rushing up beside their mistress, weapon’s drawn on the rival sorceress.
“What exactly did you think you’d accomplish, Leoffa?” Daisy scowled her voice taking on a rough edge. “Surrender and tell me where the crystal is and you may yet live.”
Leoffa’s answer, at first, seemed predictable, and Daisy’s disappointment was palatable. Her former apprentice lurched forward, sword drawn, and rushed Daisy. Chief Avery stepped forward, intersecting the younger woman, gun blazing. When the bullet’s hit, they zoomed through the sorceress, her image wobbled and quaivered before shattering into a thousand pieces and dissolving away into nothingness.
Daisy’s eyes grew wide. She jerked sideways and swirled around, at once realizing her mistake. It had been one of Leoffa’s illusions. Waldere’s blade sliced through the empty air in the space her head just vacated and she swung her staff out, striking Leoffa in her side. The other woman grunted and backed away, sword held ready.
Daisy didn’t give her another chance to attack. She hurled out a sizzling bolt of power, and though the blade caught the strike before it could land home, the accompanying gust of wind sent her tumbling back. Avery and her subordinates opened fire again, but Leoffa vanished before the bullets hit.
She reappeared a moment later, blade slicing through the chest of one of Avery’s men, splattering blood all over Daisy and a second man named Briggs before disappearing. Bone was no obstacle to the sword, other weapons might have had difficulty slicing through, but Waldere was a weapon of magic. It could pass through it as easily as butter. Stone, too.
Daisy barely even glanced at the dead man, before she scowled, lifted her staff and hurled a barrage of putrid green fire scouring out in a wide swath.
The attack hit Briggs, and he howled in agony, before he burned up in a tower of flame and disintegrated into ash. Avery’s quick wits spared her. She dove behind the sorceress and stayed out of reach of the inferno.
Daisy sent two full rotations of green fire around the room, before cutting it off. She planted her staff in the ground and casted her eyes about wildly. Leoffa knelt just off to one side, Waldere held blade down before her, clothes and hair were licked by the flames. Even her shoulder was aflame, but she didn’t seem to notice.
Her apprentice lurched to her feet, hand clasped about her throat. Three more Leoffa’s each identical from the last, stepped out from inside her and three more from each of those and another three from each of the newest batch.
There would be no telling which was the true Leoffa and which were illusions, but it mattered little to the sorceress. She sent out more spell fire, this time in a wave. Each of the illusory forms shattered and dissolved away until none remained.
“Dammit!” She cursed, the other sorceress was as slippery as an eel. She swung about, sending out random bursts of fire into the empty room, but it was to no avail. None of her attacks seemed to land home.
“LEOFFA!” She screamed out, slamming the butt of her staff into the ground. “Show yourself.”
To no one’s surprise, Leoffa did not comply and Daisy gritted her teeth, shrieking at the top of her lungs. A rush of energy coalesced within the gem of the staff and she released it into the wall, blasting a hole about a foot wide.
Cold steel touched her neck and Daisy froze, vainly attempting to swallow the lump in her throat.
“Don’t move.” Leoffa was so close she felt droplets of her spit speckle the back of her neck.
Daisy suffered no illusions that, given the chance, Leoffa would end her life, she’d threatened to do so on more than one occasion. Even were she to surrender there would be no bargaining, or deal making, just an execution. Daisy was too dangerous of an enemy to leave alive.
So, rather than surrender, she took the one course she believed that might give her a chance at survival. She lurched forward and rolled to the ground, infusing her staff with magical energies, before spinning back around to face her old pupil, fire already spewing out. She did not bother forming a protective barrier, Waldere would cut through it.
Leoffa’s weapon came arching down toward her, blade reflecting the florescent light of the station. Waldere moved through the air so quickly, that sorceress didn’t even feel it glide through her scalp, down her eye-socket and into her neck. Few swords could have cut through flesh with such ease, but few were imbued with as much power as the great blade.
Daisy’s victory cry became a gurgle as her spell fire hit home, sending the other woman reeling away. Leoffa panted, clutching at the charred flesh on her side, and turned back toward the other sorceress in time to see her lifeless form collapse face-forward. The blade still imbedded in her flesh, Waldere’s pommel hit the tiled floor with a metallic thud.
Chief Avery let out a high-pitched screech and clutched at her head as if she were in excruciating pain. She stood there for several long minutes before collapsing to her knees and wept into her hands.
Leoffa sneered at the pitiful display and retrieved Daisy’s staff. The gem in the center, once a brilliant green, had faded to black, a sure sign her enemy was dead. At last, she would have a staff of her ow. It had been so long.
A slow smile crept across her face as she leaned over to retrieve Waldere, yanking it from the other’s corpse with a violent jerk. Blood splattered her face, but it was not the first time, nor did she believe it would be the last. Daisy was at last dead, and she glanced over in Kruhl’s direction, the once-king soon would be too.
She glanced at Avery, who’d collapsed into a fetal position, and pressed her lips together in a thin line. Sooner or later the woman would either go mad, or she would come to her senses and return to she’d been in before Daisy had enthralled her. She rather liked the thought of the Chief reduced to a blithering madwoman, but if she recovered, she would be a threat.
Better to end her before that happened. She raised Waldere, intent on doing just that, but stopped when a voice spoke from the other side of the room.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
Leoffa spun around, blade and staff in hand, to find a figure standing in an open doorway, both fists balled at its side.