Young Writers Society


16+ Language Violence

Iceflame// Chapter 29: How Deviants Fight

by SalisRuinen


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.

Saya’s surprise from Tenji Line siding with Ulura Nightsong had hardly passed when more shock was added to the mix, preventing the pain from her wounds to overtake her completely. The source of that shock was the great burst of Flexoid that had formed near the remains of the observation tower, out of which fell the members of her son’s class. Even from this distance it was clear they were in a horrible state, guessing by the medium used for their teleportation that Tokura had sent them here.

And he had sent them to be saved. To be healed. To be protected. Given how busy Yuki, Iziya, Graid and Rose were with fighting the soldiers the young Nightsong had brought with her, the only one capable of doing these things was Saya. But she wasn’t even given time to think how to help the brats because Ulura and Tenji’s attention was still focused on ensuring her death.

To do that, Earthling Class #1’s homeroom teacher took out gray brass knuckles with red spikes on them from one of the pouches on his belt, putting them on his hands and attaching equipment of a similar type to his bare feet. At the same time the former Queen of Sunbird wrapped strings of green lasers around Saya’s wrists, ankles, throat and waist. 

As the lasers cut through Mrs. Summerbolt’s clothes and then her skin to make her bleed more, those strings were connected to two nearby trees so she could be stretched. Ukris’ daughter strolled toward the quartet fighting the soldiers then while Mr. Line got into his battle stance.

(Ulura) ‘-Hit her with full force, so she can die faster. I’ll go and finish off the others.’

(Tenji) ‘-I’ll be right with you, Ulura!’

The fiery mom was half-dead, had no idea how her son was doing, his classmates were about to die and Ulura Nightsong was on her way to kill the rest of her family. So many problems had piled up for her all at once. And there was only one solution to all of them. A solution she hadn’t used since before Hikaru was born.

The pummeling by the elastic whips Tenji had transformed his arms into started, due to his speed being able to quickly switch between hitting her face and hitting her torso. He did that so fast that it felt as if her whole being was battered at the same time. And all she could see between the streams of blood coming out from the wounds on her head was the sadistic teacher’s grin and Ulura walking further away behind him.

A moment later a blaze of bright yellow flames incinerated all of the black-haired beauty’s laser strings and burned the fists of her ally which forced him to return his upper limbs to their normal length with a mixture of pain and surprise on his face. Out of the flames in front of him came the head of the Summerbolt family who had undergone certain changes.

Firstly, her pupils had become yellow. Secondly, the entire sleeves of her tracksuit jacket were blasted into oblivion by the fire, the intensity of which was highest around her arms. As the sleeves burned away, the single lines of bright red symbols that had formed on the skin along the sides of Saya’s arms were revealed. Her opponent’s shock increased further as he saw how more flames focused on all the wounds on the woman’s body, turning blood-red and sealing each wound. He immediately took a step back while she stepped closer and closer to him, burning the entire upper layer of the ground with every step.

The heat exuded by the bright yellow flames must have caught Ulura’s attention as well because she stopped her advance to turn and look at the enemy she had defeated, that enemy glancing at the Earthling group in the mean time.

(Saya) ‘-Three minutes. They’ve got about three minutes before things turn truly critical for them.’

(Tenji) ‘-Wh-what is this? How are you sealing your wounds like that?! I wasn’t told about such an ability!’

Ulura ran past him then and right back at Saya with a face full of utter annoyance.

(Ulura) ‘-It’s probably some trick, Line! Don’t get scared by this hag now! What can a half-dead bitch like her do to us?!!’

(Saya) ‘-I can show you how deviants fight.’

She lunged at Ulura who now swung with the laser nails she had formed around her fingers again, creating sets of five beams in quick succession to cut up the violent nurse once and for all. Hikaru’s mother didn’t even bother to dodge that attack, flames forming around the new wounds to seal them in the same fashion as the ones she had sustained before.Just as the wounds were sealed, the two women reached the other, Ukris’ daughter being too shocked by how unfazed her adversary was by her attack to respond to the counterattack fast enough.

A number of orbs of bright yellow flames that looked like miniaturized versions of cosmic stars were smashed in the villainess with the same speed as the one with which her series of cutting beams had hit Saya. The sun-orbs threw her quite a few meters aside and set the grass around her on fire when she hit the ground, Tenji having regained his composure by that time and launching his elastic whips forward for another attack.

The fiery mom took the fists and then the kicks head-on as well, grabbing one of Mr. Line’s arms and one of his legs before he could retract them, pulling the torso those limbs were attached to closer to her. Eventually the two were close enough for the sadist to receive a headbutt, but he managed to evade that by elongating his neck, twisting it to use like a chain that had a mace at the end, his head acting as the mace.

Saya received a really hard hit to the side of the head by the enemy’s organic mace, blood bursting from her forehead, but being sucked back in and the wound – closed off with more blood-colored flames. Tenji’s neck returned to its normal length, his arms and legs lengthening in its place so he could wrap them around the lady on fire. While hurt by the new set of burns the contact with skin brought enough to squint his eyes, he managed to keep a tight grip on her. As the two rolled on the ground, his legs were stretched enough to closely wrap around her whole body while his arms were twisted around her neck in an attempt to choke her.

(Tenji) ‘-You may be able to heal any wound that bleeds, but how will you survive being choked, I wonder?!’

The homeroom teacher gave it his all to deprive his student’s mother from any air as soon as possible but wasn’t able to do it fast enough. A ray of Saya’s flames suddenly exploded from under the combatants, the burns her foe suffered from that attack being sufficient to force him to release her and crawl aside.

Ulura made her return just then, swinging wildly using only her index fingers with the highest possible speed while roaring in a fit of rage, evidently the burns from the sun-orb barrage having infuriated her. The swings and roars continued until she exhausted herself enough to stop doing both, Tenji standing next to her when she was finished.

The moment the last wide green laser beam disappeared, Mrs. Summerbolt was revealed again to astound the villainous duo once more. Her whole body was covered in blood-colored flames now, the pupils and irises having disappeared from her eyes that had burst in yellow light, the symbols on her arms being lit in the same color.

She held her hands together in a prayer-like fashion, closing her eyes and standing perfectly still as the two in front of her prepared to move again.

(Saya) ‘-Solaris Flame Deva: Half-Star Prayer.’

Within a second a hemisphere with a wide diameter that looked like half of a cosmic star formed around Ulura and Tenji. As both screaming monsters were consumed by the flames within, the final victor of this clash teleported in the midst of the other battle being fought nearby.

She blocked the pale green energy projectiles shot from the one of the soldiers’ miniguns and aimed at her younger brother, grabbing Graid by the neck before he could ask her anything and teleporting away. The two Summerbolts appeared in front of the remains of the observation tower next, judging by the reaction of Hikaru’s uncle, he clearly hadn’t noticed the brats had even been teleported there.

And he also hadn’t initially noticed what his sister looked like at the moment. Once he managed to take a look at both her and the students, he couldn’t decide which of those terrified him more. A normal reaction given that the last thing he had expected to see on that day were his sister in that form and so many mangled kids gathered in one place.

(Saya) ‘-The girls will be fine without you for a bit, Graid. I need your help to save these kids.’

(Graid) ‘-They … what about you?! You’ve activated Merutera’s Bloodless Covenant? Are you sure that’s …’

(Saya) ‘-Let’s discuss that after we’ve stabilized them, OK? You may not remember because it’s been a long time, but my flames heal only me. In order for them to have a healing effect on someone else, they need to be applied on them through a separate medium.’

(Graid) ‘-You want me to run my Daroid and Reloid through the brats?’

(Saya) ‘-And quickly, please. They’re running out of time.’

A blanket of scarlet and jungle-green energy spread across all the Earthlings right after that, solar flames being mixed with that cover, a combination of both devas passing through the hot heads’ skin. As the flames started circulating inside their bodies, the nurse could now fully understand the extent of the damage they had all suffered.

It was pretty severe, especially for some. That kept her very tense, but after a minute or so she could feel all of them were stabilized and took the biggest possible sigh of relief.

(Graid) ‘-They gonna be alright?’

Saya nodded to her little brother, having smiled as well now.

(Saya) ‘-They’re going to be just fine. We somehow managed it in time.’

(Graid) ‘-Great. (as happy as he looked after learning the good news, his sister could still sense a bit of worry in him, especially when their eyes met again) Don’t stay in that form a minute longer than necessary, then, OK?’

(Saya) ‘-Roger that. Now go and help those three to finish off the remaining bastards. We’ll question them after we find Hikaru and the other members of the class that are still missing.’

The ultrauncle darted back and cut in the nearby enemy ranks, the fiery mom noticing Exo who was lying closest to her had opened his eyes now, smiling at him with the hope that would calm the boy who was obviously stressed beyond words.

(Saya) ‘-Welcome back, kid.’

(Exo) ‘-I’m still alive?’

(Saya) ‘-Yep, quite alive. So are the others that were teleported here with you. Can you tell me what …’

Exo tried to get up without saying anything but Saya pushed him on the ground again, the techno-genius looking around frantically as if in search of something.

(Exo) ‘-If I’m not dead … then what I saw earlier … is Line-sensei here? On this field? Was he really … was he helping Ulura hurt you?’

Mrs. Summerbolt looked away for a moment, knowing she would still not be able to hide the sadness in her eyes. Maybe she just didn’t want to look at the young man’s face when she confirmed his suspicions.

(Saya) ‘-I’m sorry, Exo. I’m afraid it was him.’

She told herself she wouldn’t look at him at that exact moment, but she still did. His expression had turned into a mixture of surprise, disbelief and sorrow.

(Exo) ‘-B-but he … he … sensei … I don’t understand it. I don’t understand any of it!’

(Saya) ‘-I myself don’t know what exactly is happening here. What you need to focus on now, however, is to rest. And rest really well. (she put her hand on his shoulder) I promise you we’ll uncover this whole plot in no time.’

(Exo) ‘-Sensei was beating you until recently. I don’t see him around and yet you’re here. What … what did you do to him?’

(Saya) ‘-He and Ulura were in the way of me getting to you guys. I had to make sure he wouldn’t delay me until it’s too late to help and I hurting him was the only choice I had left. He’s definitely alive, though, so don’t worry. We’ll be able to ask him about his connection to the attack against us.’

Exo suddenly goggled his eyes as if due to a sudden realization, looking at his body before his gaze returned to the medic’s face.

(Exo) ‘-You’re healing me, right? You’re healing all of us?’

(Saya) ‘-Yes. And as I said, you don’t need to worry about any of the others. Even King will be fine once I …’

(Exo) ‘-I’m so sorry, Mrs. Summerbolt! I should’ve thanked you earlier! There was just so much going on that I couldn’t think straight and …’

The fiery mom patted his shoulder again.

(Saya) ‘-I told you to calm down, didn’t I? The calmer you are, the faster I’ll be able to heal you.’

(Exo) ‘-Still, I … thank you so much.’

(Saya) ‘-No need for that, Exo. You’re all good kids. I couldn’t forgive myself if I let you die right in front of my eyes. Especially over something none of us understands.’

(Exo) ‘-So your group was attacked by someone? (he moved his eyes away from her now, looking like he was in deep thought about something) That explains why none of you intervened earlier.’

(Saya) ‘-We couldn’t keep track of the Class Battle after Ulura and co. attacked us. Can you tell me what happened at the central field after Hikaru, Seiren and King left to face the Ares Trio?’

(Exo) ‘-We were close to defeating all the Martians in the big field area when Nepalo showed up with King whom he had already beaten. We tried holding him off until Tora got to the field and we made it just barely.’

(Saya) ‘-So Tokura teleported all of you back here after he found you?’

Exo responded to that question with a weak nod.

(Exo) ‘-He’s probably fighting Nepalo right now back at the field.’

(Saya) ‘-And you don’t know anything about what’s happened to Hikaru and Seiren after they left the big field?’

‘-They’ll soon be dead. Just like the rest of you.’

Saya recognized that voice, but still looked in the direction it came from, Exo doing the same.

The one speaking was Rale Nightsong, looking furious as he held his partially burned daughter in his arms, over a hundred more soldiers like the ones Yuki, Iziya, Graid and Rose were fighting standing behind him. Tenji Line was also back on his feet despite the newest burns he had suffered, joining the ranks of that group with an expression that was just as angry as that of Ukris’ husband.

(Saya) ‘-I would say I’m surprised to see you here, but that’d be a lie.’

(Rale) ‘-Then you won’t be surprised by what I’m about to do to you for hurting my daughter.’

(Saya) ‘-That was payback for whatever any of your thugs has done to my son.’

A smirk of pure evil lit Rale’s face now as he and his troops stopped walking.

(Rale) ‘-The difference between our children is my daughter is still alive. Your son, on the other hand … with the soldiers I’ve ordered to spread out through the park and kill any survivor they find … you might as well start mourning him right now.’


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Thu Dec 08, 2022 3:30 pm
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



Chapter 29 here we go!

This is a vast contrast from the previous chapter. Saya is clearly very full of emotion, and at the start of the chapter I couldn't help feel worried for her, both because she was clearly in very real danger but also because with all the action going on, I'm not convinced I know that all the characters she's concerned for are going to be ok.

I did however, love when she pulled out the full extent of her powers! It's clear that she was able to harness them because of the intense emotion she was feeling, which really cements her character as the caring but fiery (no pun intended) mother figure.

I'd assumed that Tenji and Ulura are now finished, which definitely serves Tenji right! I hope everyone was aware he was a traitor, and there's no question that Saya's done a good thing here. I could see it being twisted around to make her look like the traitor but hopefully that's not the case.

The ominous feel surrounding this form she's taken is also pretty interesting, especially the reaction she's getting from her brother. I assume it's dangerous to her somehow and I hope there aren't any lasting negative effects!

I think I was also surprised to see that both Ulura and Tenji seem to have survived this. It's making it really difficult to see an end to this fight, if everyone just keeps going around healing everyone else. To me, it makes the threat of Rale's soldiers killing everyone seem less scary, because everyone seems to survive. I'm not saying kill everyone off, but it gets a little harder to buy into the idea that there's real danger when everyone seems injured, but ultimately ok.

That means I'm not too worried about our main characters. I would have expected them to survive anyway I think, but I feel like I've lost some of the tension. I am, however, looking forward to seeing what they've been up to whilst everyone else has been battling!

Icy




SalisRuinen says...


Many thanks for the review!
About Saya's form in this chapter, it is quite dangerous and consequences will come for her later on. Under the circumstances, though, she's willing to accept that if she can protect everyone.
As for Ulura and Tenji's state, they're far from alright, but the humiliation of Saya beating them has angered them enough to keep on fighting despite the pain. And that being said, Ulura won't be doing much fighting from here on as she is less experienced with suffering such severe wounds.
You do have a point about me overusing healing as a way out for the wounded, though, so I'll have to find a way to fix that.



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Mon Oct 10, 2022 2:33 pm
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Liminality wrote a review...



Hi Salis!

First Impressions

Saya’s technique was really impressive! I think this chapter had a good balance between showing the characters’ capabilities and also the horror of the situation. It didn’t feel like the characters were wholly safe even with Saya’s victory over Ulura and Tenji, so the end of the chapter was somehow to be expected. The emotions definitely felt really intense in the events that played out, especially Exo’s disbelief about his sensei. Ulura and Tenji definitely come across as being vicious antagonists in this part, and I see Tenji’s epithet has even changed to “the sadist”.

Saya

I like how you built up Saya’s use of Merutera’s Bloodless Covenant. The atmosphere in the beginning of the chapter seemed really desperate, for instance with this line:

And he had sent them to be saved. To be healed. To be protected.

The fragments like “To be healed.” convey Saya’s horror at the situation that the kids had been thrust into, which shows her strength as she moves into a sense of resolution in defeating Ulura and Tenji.
A solution she hadn’t used since before Hikaru was born.

^This one was also a good one-liner at the end of a paragraph to set up a dramatic reveal. I hadn’t been expecting Saya to have a special technique, but I love it, and I love how it shows her experience.
(Ulura) ‘-It’s probably some trick, Line! Don’t get scared by this hag now! What can a half-dead bitch like her do to us?!!’
(Saya) ‘-I can show you how deviants fight.’

I also thought this dialogue was good because it showed a different, more intimidating side of Saya. The introduction of the Bloodless Covenant and Graid’s reaction to it also makes me think there might be a big cost to her using this ability. I also wonder if there’s some kind of history behind it.

Exo

At first, I thought it was kind of sad that Exo was so surprised about Saya healing them. I wonder what he had been expecting to happen? Maybe he thought they’d be abandoned in the middle of the fight?
Exo suddenly goggled his eyes as if due to a sudden realization, looking at his body before his gaze returned to the medic’s face.
(Exo) ‘-You’re healing me, right? You’re healing all of us?’

Then I re-read this section a bit and realized it’s probably more that he didn’t realise that they were being healed. I guess I hadn’t figured that out earlier because I thought the healing was already over and done with by this line:
That kept her very tense, but after a minute or so she could feel all of them were stabilized and took the biggest possible sigh of relief.


Plot Speculations and Overall Impressions

I thought this was a good ‘turn of the tides’ chapter and a way to spotlight Saya’s character. Now that the apparently main plotter behind this whole thing is here, I’m guessing there will be some kind of final confrontation soon. Rale comes across as intimidating here because of his sudden appearance, though I guess I haven’t read enough chapters with him in it to contextualise much about his character. I do think he’s wrong about the soldiers, though. My thought is Hikaru wouldn’t be killed by a mob of soldiers, given that he’s the main character (not that Rale would know that <.< ) so I’m not too concerned c: Additionally, I’m curious if Tenji will have to face-off his students in battle now that they’ve realized he’s betrayed them.

I think the dramatic tension of the fight scenes is definitely a strong point of your storytelling and that shows in this chapter. The interaction between opponents definitely leads up to a satisfying resolution of the battle, even though it’s temporary and I know it’s leading up to something bigger.

Hope some of this helps and feel free to ask for more feedback!
-Lim




SalisRuinen says...


Thank you very much for the review!
I'm glad you enjoyed this chapter to such an extent %u2013 it is after all a turning point in the Class Battle arc. About the special techniques - Saya isn't the only one who has one and each of these has a special history behind it, but for now I'll be showing only hers so as to not overburden the reader with information. Plus, as you'ver surmised from Graid's reaction to the Bloodless Covenant, such techniques come with a great risk and one cannot use them freely, but only under the most extreme circumstances. And there will be consequences for Saya as a result of what she's doing here %u2013 something she knows full well, but decides to do anyway because that's the kind of person she is.
Your guess about Exo's reaction upon rereading is correct. I tried to convey how confused he was by all that was happening around him when he opened his eyes to find that a Class Battle had turned into something far more terrible, that being mixed with being numb from all the wounds he had suffered that were yet to be fully healed at the time.
A note about Rale %u2013 he is actually not this arc's main antagonist. His wife, Ukris, is. I thought it best for the villains to enter the battle in a manner where each one is more dangerous than their predecessor: first we start with Ulura and Tenji (low class), then comes Rale (middle class) and finally Ukris (high class) will arrive for the closing act of this arc.
And lastly, concerning Tenji Line. I thought I'd give him more personality by calling him 'the sadist' due to the fighting style he employs %u2013 punching and kicking his opponents with the special equipment he's put on his knuckles and feet, so I hope that's in line with his personality. As for your theory about him facing off against his class %u2013 you're right, their fight is coming soon and during that fight not only abilities but ideologies will clash as well.




Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
— Charles Mingus