THIRD ROUND ENTRY. FAVORITE ROUND YET.
Seriously, this one was so much fun. I really liked making it a catfight. BUT NOW MY BRAIN IS BROKEN, SO. ON WITH THE STORY. SORRY IT'S SO LONG.
(ALSO, the music playing is THIS
Lily gaped as she realized who she would be fighting. The woman she was to fight--now called Thexlade--had once been known as Ethelda, a witch from her homeworld who, among other things, had frequently and famously seduced men. She grimaced at the thought-she had even ensnared Thomas. And as apologetic as the man had been, begging her forgiveness even after she willingly gave it, the thought of what Ethelda had done still made her blood boil. Her hands had been cemented into fists since she had heard the matchups.
Marrilyn did not have to tell Lily twice that it was her turn. She swiftly made her way to the ring, stepping on to the now-familiar platform and gazing across the stadium to find Thexlade. To Lily's surprise, a low, imposing sort of music suddenly filled the stadium, ringing darkly around the arena. It seemed to usher in the violet-haired woman who was finally making her way on to the stage, blue-and-black dress flashing in the dim, clouded light. The music built, louder and louder, as the masked figure took her place, hands on hips, staring right back at Lily with the two, floating creatures that accompanied her. She was almost certain the woman was smirking behind that mask, and she couldn't help but want to wipe that smirk from her face.
"Alright, dearie, let's get this over with~" The former witch called casually. "I have much more important things to do than play with some little pigeon." The two little creatures giggled. "I do admit that it is truly delightful that we have been slated to fight, though~ I can't wait to, as they say, wipe the floor with you
." The hidden, sickening grin on her face was audible as she spoke. Lily's face burned.
"I do not intend to lay down at your feet, Ethelda
," she replied curtly, nails digging into her palms. "And this will certainly not be 'delightful'."
Thexlade slumped a little. "Oh please, Ethelda is long gone-I'd much prefer you use Thexlade, if you must
"I do not care what you prefer. My quarrel is with Ethelda, the streetwalker
who slept with my husband." The words left her mouth before she could even think of them-it felt as though she was operating on pure fury. Thexlade did not seem any more inclined to be cordial than Lily did.
"Streetwalker, hmm? Well Thomas
certainly seemed to enjoy what I did~" A puce-colored trail of smoke began to trickle into the ring, floating around the violet-haired woman until it collected into a cloud behind her. "Let's see what you
think of it." The cloud suddenly disappeared, a massive perfume bottle in its place. The woman gripped the cord attached to it, then she flourished a hand and a bright pink cloud floated into the air around her. She seemed to twirl it around her finger for a moment.
Lily's mind suddenly shut out everything-the music that was still drifting around the stadium, the calls from the audience, everything except the fight at hand. Thoughts raced through her brain-Thexlade had summoned a perfume bottle and had brought out some kind of smoke, possibly perfume. If her Nobody power was using perfume, or something like that, there was some chance that smelling it would do something nasty to her, and Lily did not want to take chances.
Thexlade swept her hand forward, the cloud darting toward Lily. She swung her hand in a similar motion, and a gust of wind blew the cloud right out of the ring, the pink smoke dissipating into nothing. She balled her hands into fists again and gave Thexlade a challenging look.
The woman seemed to examine her for a moment, the small creatures floating around agitatedly. "Mmm~ So you aren't so pathetic as you look. And it seems you have some brains behind that pretty face~"
"You can't trick me so easily. I seem to recall you being rumored to sell perfumes, Ethelda."
Thexlade chuckled, hand daintily held at mouth level. "Oh dearie, a few spells won't keep you away from my scents, not by any stretch of imagination. But it's adorable that you're trying so hard."
Lily felt indignation rise in her throat. They were both only one move into this battle and already the witch's comments were grating on her. She simply could not allow her to win. Not after calling her adorable, and not after what she did to Thomas.
"Eh? What's that flush? Am I, as they say, grinding your gears
? Come, let me still your thoughts~" With another flourish of her hand, Thexlade pulled a cloud of green perfume from her bottle and took a step forward, delicate hand slashing forward, perfume darting toward Lily like a viper.
Another gust of wind shot out from around Lily, obliterating the green cloud, and with another arm swing, a small, focused burst of water broke against the witch's face. With a tinkering crash, the woman's mask toppled to the ground and shattered. She turned her eyeless face toward Lily, an irate twist to her mouth.
The violet-haired woman did not give her a moment to gloat-she swung her bottle around and darted forward. Lily gasped-she did not expect the woman would be able to move that massive weapon so effectively-and quickly summoned a strong burst of wind to deflect the bottle that seemed so suddenly upon her, swung over Thexlade's shoulder. The bottle was forced back, but the woman did not relent. She swung again from another direction, another and another, each attack pushed back by gusts and each followed again by a bottle swing.
Lily quickly began to wonder how much longer the woman could keep swinging that bottle-she bounded back from every block, swinging as if it was a simple feat. She slammed the bottle backwards one more time, expecting the same brief halt before being bombarded again. However, with an elegant pirouette, Thexlade spun with the bottle, the momentum from being pushed away serving to spin her, and the blow came right back at Lily. It smacked into her outstretched arm, and she gasped as pain quickly radiated up the rest of her arm. She gasped again as she felt a sharp smack across her face-Thexlade's free hand was quick, too.
"That's for slapping me earlier, you little toad," the woman quipped triumphantly, and Lily turned back to her just in time to see the puce-colored cloud washing over her. Abruptly, her vision became hazy and blurred. The imposing music from earlier seemed to suddenly gush in from every side, harsh and grating, and the noise of the crowd roared in her ears. Her head was spinning, she stumbled back. What in the world had the witch done to her? She couldn't even focus on where she was anymore, much less where Thexlade was. She only barely heard the shifting of fabric and clacking of heels beneath the din that seemed a fitting song for the mess of colors and shapes she saw.
A powerful force slammed into her back and she was thrown to the floor, sliding to a halt a few feet away from where she just stood. She groaned, the world seemingly askew and her back throbbing. Slowly she tried to push herself up, but the way her vision twisted and pitched made her slump right back. She vaguely heard the clacking of heels again, and she shook her head, trying to rid herself of whatever Thexlade had caused. It began to fade just as the clacking stopped, and Lily managed to flip herself over to see where her opponent was.
Even with the residual bit of blurred vision, Lily could still see the violet haired woman standing over her, heeled foot raised above her, ready to slam it down upon the prone woman. She squeaked and threw herself into another roll, this time away from Thexlade. She heard a sharp crack behind her as the heel met the stone floor, and she couldn't help but wince. The confusion in her mind finally seemed to clear as she shakily got to her feet. Thexlade made what could have been a frustrated expression.
"Aren't you a lucky little thing?" she said, cocking an eyebrow. "That Jimson Weed wore off just in time for you to get away." The bottle, which had evidently disappeared while Lily was otherwise occupied, appeared behind her again in another puff of puce smoke and she gripped its cord coldly. "I can't promise you'll be so fortunate this time." A smirk grew on her red lips again, and she reached back to the bottle. Lily was sure she meant to summon something else, and after...whatever
it was she had just done... She quickly shot a sharp blast of water at the woman's hand, knocking it away. Thexlade gave her a flat, eyeless glare, then reached for it again. She knocked it away once more. The woman smirked sourly, wet hand now landing on her hip.
"You're not going to make this easy, are you?"
"I believe I informed you that I would not lose to the likes of you," Lily replied, confidence coming back into her voice. If she had to resort to such petty assaults on the woman, she would do so. However, she suspected she would need to employ a stronger hand, especially as Thexlade's grin turned just that much more vicious.
"Good~ Then my poor conscience doesn't have to suffer~" Without a moment's hesitation, she pulled at the bottle behind her, darting closer to Lily and heaving it over her head and down upon Lily's. She gasped and whipped both of her hands up, a powerful gust knocking the bottle right back where it came from. But as it slammed against the stone floor, the violet-haired woman's hands left the bottle and a lavender cloud flashed forward, enveloping Lily before she could think twice. A wave of calm seemed to slide across her, eyelids heavy, limbs tired and slow to respond-yet her mind still ran at a mile a minute. What had the perfume done this time?
The bottle disappeared again as Thexlade walked toward Lily, thoughtfully tapping her chin with her long nails. "Hmm. Hm hm hmm~ What to do with you now~" She quickly looked her over as Lily strained to make her arms move, her legs, something
. It was as if they had been drenched in glue-she could hardly do more than feebly raise her hands as the woman drew closer. "Oh don't bother, dearie," Thexlade pushed her hands aside as if they were nothing, then she slipped a finger under Lily's chin and looked intently at her face, turning it this way and that. "Mm~ Mirror mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all...I daresay I know what Thomas would say." The witch winked one empty eye as the little floating creatures tittered. Even as slowed as her body seemed to be, a flush rose in Lily's face. How dare that strumpet
assume such a thing? The witch only seemed to take pleasure in the response, however. "But just to be safe, let's just do a bit of makeover work on that pretty complexion of yours~ I wouldn't want any competition, you know." And with that, her hand dropped away from her chin, only to be replaced by another sharp smack, the force of which knocked Lily straight back to the floor.
Once again, Lily painstakingly pushed herself back up, the perfume finally wearing off enough for her limbs to cooperate. She turned her head toward the woman, who seemed to be smirking down at her fallen opponent, and she held out a hand, carefully-very carefully-casting a small fire spell. Flames blossomed on the edge of Thexlade's dress, and she suddenly shrieked, quickly stamping at the flames. Lily took the moment to get to get to her feet, shaking off the last effects of the perfume, but suddenly her vision was flooded with the small creatures, which darted at her, shrieking.
"LEAVE MISTRESS ALONE, MISS! LEAVE HER ALONE!" they called out in unison. Lily jumped back, startled. Without thinking, she flipped both hands forward, small spurts of water pushing the small things back to Thexlade.
"Siru-Diru!!" The former witch suddenly seemed lost, whipping her head from side to side as if looking for the two creatures, even though they were both next to her. Lily paused for a moment. Were those two her eyes? Perhaps that was why she had none in her sockets... Still, she couldn't be sure without testing it somehow, and, she realized, she was running too low on energy to test it with a spell. She had been using lower level magic to conserve power, but she had already begun to push her limits. She needed a way to finish the fight quickly, or else she would be useless.
Thexlade, on the other hand, seemed raring to go again. She swiftly turned her head back to Lily, seeming to have her sight back. She hiked up her skirt and ran forward, hand outstretched. In another puff of smoke, the giant bottle reappeared in her hand, and she began to swing it once more. This time, however, Lily could not fall back on her spells, and so she began to take steps backwards, hoping she was not already too close to the edge.
"Ooh~" the woman suddenly cooed, the bottle swinging over her head and scraping against the ground as it barely missed smacking into Lily's arm again. "My my, but you do look tired~ Maybe our little pigeon
is starting to run out of spells~ It'll be curious
to see what you'll do when you don't have your little spells to hide behind," she taunted, bottle swinging dangerously close to Lily once again. She took a few more hesitant steps back, leaning away from the onslaught.
"You're one to talk," Lily managed to snap back in between glancing backwards and trying not to get whacked with that awful weapon. "You're a witch, you hide behind magic and trickery every day!" She was met with a harsh laugh bubbling from the woman's throat.
"Oho, but you're
not a witch~ To call a little slip of a thing like you a witch
would be an insult to the profession. No no, you're just a stage magician, dealing in cheap parlor tricks." Another swing of the bottle and Lily gasped, just barely managing to step back in time. The fury in her veins wanted her to screech a response, but she could hardly concentrate on keeping herself out of harm's way, much less bothering to retort.
She glanced backwards quickly, a feeling that she was dangerously close to the edge fluttering in her stomach. Her face drained of color as she saw the scant three-or-so-feet between her boots and the edge of the ring. She wouldn't be able to back up much longer.
Suddenly one of Thexlade's attacks connected, a force like a freight train colliding with Lily's side, and she was thrown roughly to the ground, slamming against the stone floor and skidding helplessly across the ring, just barely stopping short of the very corner of the ring. She groaned and winced, pain blurring her vision, making her just want to lay there. She wondered what state her arm was in-she feared trying to move it too much. She heard the familiar clacking of heels approach her, practically hearing the smirk on the violet-haired woman's face. She shakily pushed herself up on her uninjured elbow, trying to clear her mind and think of something before Thexlade could finish the job.
"This is the end of the line, pigeon~" The ruby smile on her lips seemed almost cruel as she gazed down at Lily. "Let it go on the record that the better woman won today-just like she did that delightful, steamy night, wouldn't you agree~" That was all the incentive Lily needed. She managed to shove herself up onto her knees, allowing her to wave her hand in a swift, broad arc. Water slammed into the two little "eye" creatures-she hoped she was right about them really being Thexlade's eyes-and they tumbled awkwardly beneath the force. Thexlade cried out in teeth-gritting frustration.
"Wh-what have you done, you little rat!?" She took a hesitant step back. So far Lily seemed to be right-the woman was, at the very least, affected by the assault on the creatures. She shakily got to her feet-that was the last spell she could cast, and she once again felt the familiar lightness in her head, that same worn out dizziness, as she stood.
"I told you already. I will not lose to the likes of you." She fought to keep her voice level, to keep herself from falling over. She wasn't sure how much longer Thexlade would be incapacitated. "And for your information, you are wrong, Ethelda
," she said with surprising confidence, ignoring the indignant grimace on the woman's face. "The better woman hasn't won-yet
And before Thexlade could even open her mouth to respond, Lily pulled her usable arm back as best she could and punched the woman in the face with all the strength she had left. It wasn't strong enough to knock her out, not "by any stretch of the imagination", but the former witch stumbled, crossing the remaining few feet between where she had stood and that unforgiving edge of the platform, and fell to the ground like a slain giant--just outside the ring.
Lily felt a wave of relief sweep over her as the noise of the crowd began to filter back into her awareness, as the loud and imposing music that had been playing faded away with the witch's defeat. She had won-she hurt all over, and she had worn herself down to nothing again, but she had defended both her own good name and
Thomas'. She turned a little and watched Thexlade slowly rise to her hands and knees, her strange little companions frantically asking her if she was alright. The violet-haired woman gave Lily a brief, dirty look as she reassured the talkative little things-an act that Lily answered with the broadest, most proud smile she could manage. And that was the last thing Lily remembered before she blacked out.
Thexlade, Siru, and Diru belong to *Scary-Scarecrow
Lily, Thomas, and Marrilyn belong to me