A few seconds after Evlin announced she would try to hold on Marcus on her own, the rest of the team was focusing on gathering all the silver metal they could while the weapon-kid was busy with her.
Daren joined the rest with his body full of deep wounds and scars. Auren rushed to his side and started to rewind his body and eliminating all the damage.
They could see the battle from a distance and it seemed like Evlin was in deep trouble. Ashley wanted to run towards her but Gustav stopped her before she could.
"The faster we secure the metal, the faster we can get out of here!!"
"R- Right! Sorry!!"
After gathering all the pieces, Gustav attempted to send a telepathic message to Evlin, letting her know it was time to go. However, she seemed to want to try holding Marcus for a little longer.
[Just go now!! The second he sees me trying to leave he will catch on and stop us!! Run while he is distracted!!]
Her teammates tried to argue with her but she refused to listen. The last thing they saw was the sight of Evlin screaming as Marcus pierced her leg with a silver arrow.
Ashley watched at her sister's suffering with horror in her eyes.
"He's going to kill her!! We need to help her!!"
"Leave it to me!!"
Ria opened a wind-scar behind the group and tried to persuade them to leave her behind.
"I'll stay here to escape with Evlin!! You guys go now!!"
Auren wasn't too pleased with that idea.
"But what if he kills you both!"
"I'll try to talk with Mia! She might let us leave if we are lucky!"
Ria started to run towards the battle and the group reluctantly jumped inside the wind-scar.
They suddenly found themselves at a beach. There was nothing but sand and water as far as the eyes could see. Gustav was looking a little lost.
"Where did she take us...??"
"Who cares!! What are we going to do?? They are by themselves against that freak of nature!!"
"Ashley calm down... We need to trust Ria and Evlin..."
"But you saw what that kid did!! He took on all three of you without breaking a sweat!!"
"... She's right... We need a plan... We need to- Ugh..."
Auren started to seem to be in a lot of pain suddenly and fell on his knees. Gustav tried to approach him carefully.
"Auren!!? What's wrong??"
"Something about the wounds on Daren and Lilith... They felt weird when I tried to fix them..."
"Weird... Weird how?"
"I tried to rewind them... But it felt like the wounds were fighting back, trying to remain open..."
Daren and Lilith tried to examine their own bodies paying attention to the places the injuries used to be. Whatever it is that Marcus was made of, it wasn't natural.
"Auren, try to rest for now... Save your strength for when Evlin comes and you need to heal her..."
"Right... Right... Ok..."
As the conversation stopped they realized a wind-scar opening close by showing Evlin being hugged by Ria while the two were being pushed away by a blast from Evlin's raw energy magic. They crossed the scar like a missile and landed on the sand raising a pile of smoke.
"They made it!!!"
The group started to rush towards their side when a voice came out from the other side of the scar.
"I'm not letting it end like this!!"
They could see Marcus aiming his arms and changing into some kind of weapon. It seemed like Evlin knew what he was trying to do because her expression suddenly became overrun with panic.
"Ria!! Close the scar now!!!"
She tried to scream but before anyone could react, a pair of small metallic objects had managed to pass through the scar as well. The portal finally closed and all they could see was the sight of the two girls bearing a metal arrow coming out of their chests.
"Seems like they escaped..."
Mia was approaching an extremely enraged Marcus while he turned his hands back to normal.
"Doesn't matter... I can find them again... I can and will find them as many times as I need..."
"Seems like they really pissed you off huh...?"
"I never felt like this before... It's so weird... I didn't know I could feel so much anger towards someone..."
"Yeah... I never knew you could make such a face..."
Marcus turned his hand into a metallic shield and looked at his reflection. He was glaring like a demon who was about to start a massacre.
"This... This is me...??"
Mia came closer while playing with her ponytails and joined him in the reflection.
"There, looks better now right?"
"You are not alone anymore Marcus... Your father may have left you and your mother may not be around much either... But I'll be by your side at all times!"
"No problem... Now drop this stupid glare and return to the Marcus that I know and love!"
"Right... You're right... Sorry for losing my cool..."
Marcus took a deep breath and tried to calm down a little. Just why was he so angry at these people he had just met? Because they threatened his mother? No, she might be his family but He never truly showed signs of affection towards her. If anything his mother kinda scared him a little bit.
Was it the fact they wanted to involve themselves with demons? Also no. Killing demons was Marcus's mission but he still didn't truly hate them enough to justify that reaction.
He then realized. It was his dad. The way these people kept talking about his father like they knew everything about him. His father Marceus was the first person Marcus ever met and was the one he respected the most in the entire world.
He dreaded the fact that such a lovely man could never be around to be his family. And now he had finally met his father's true family, making Marcus feel like his existence was fake as if their bond with Marceus was stronger than his. The fake son meeting the real family. The son that was left behind and the family that was loved.
"You want to try and go after them...?"
"You heard what my sister's friends were saying right? They are going to the demon kingdom... Why don't we go there as well and take the opportunity the clean up the place?"
"... Yeah... That's a good idea... Let's get rid of all our nuisances in one go..."
"And while we are at it, let's take the chance to get married as well!"
"... Huh... Let's leave this discussion for another day..."
"Everyone!! Help me take these arrows off of them!!"
Ria and Evlin were in a grave state. Auren needed to apply his rewinding ability on them but he needed to remove the arrows first. The metal was deeply engraved inside their hearts and both were losing strength at a terrifying pace.
"Careful!! Be very careful!!"
Lilith was holding Ashley who couldn't stop crying while Gustav and Auren tried to remove the arrows. Daren wanted to help too but he was still extremely weak from the fight.
"It's not coming off!! There is something wrong with these arrows!! What do we do!!??"
Auren was starting to panic. If the arrows were not removed Auren couldn't fix their wounds. At this rate, they were going to die.
Daren came up with an idea.
"Gustav! Use your telepathy!! Tell Evlin to use her magic to transform the arrows into something else!!"
[Evlin!!! Evlin!! Can you hear me???]
[We need you to remove the arrows with your magic!! It's the only way to save you!!]
[Evlin please!!! Wake up!!!]
"She's not responding... Everyone, help me out!!"
Gustave expanded the telepathic range and all the members of the team started to scream inside Evlin's mind.
[Evlin wake up!! You need to use your magic or you will die!!!]
[Sis, please open your eyes!!! You still haven't gone home yet!! Your mother and your sister are waiting!!]
[Evlin!! You need to live!! We can't do this without you!!]
[Ria is dying too!! She needs your magic to save her!!]
[Evlin!! Come on!!! Wake up!!!]
[EVLINNNN!!!!] X 5
"She's not responding..."
"What's the state on Ria??"
Auren returned to Ria's side with tears on his eyes and held her hand.
"She... Has no pulse..."
"!!!" x 4
The whole group went silent. A sense of dread took over the atmosphere and filled everyone with a feeling of despair.
A crying Ashley grabbed Evlin by her collar, took a deep breath, and started to scream on her ear.
"WAKE UP YOU COWARD!!!"
"!!!" x 4
"Are you really giving up after we came this far?? What the hell was all that talk about being a family of survivors? What was all that talk about taking any challenge head-on?? What was all that talk about going home and becoming a teacher?? About seeing your family?? About taking me with you????"
"..." x 4
"Not only were you a coward but you were also a liar??? You really going to let a piece of junk stop you after all this!!?? You were supposed to be our leader!! You need to take care of us!!"
Ashley grabbed both of Evlin's hand and made them hold the arrow on her chest.
"Ria is going to die if you don't save her!! And you too!! So stop lazing around and open your goddamn eyes!!!"
A small spark of energy started to come out of Evlin's gauntlets and the arrow started to change into a small ball of metal, falling on the sand.
"She... She did it!!! Auren!! Quick!!!"
Auren rushed towards Evlin like a truck and started to rewind the injuries on her body. The feeling was similar to what happened to Lilith and Daren. He could feel the wounds fighting back against his power. His whole body was starting to feel much heavier and his breathing was becoming harder to perform.
The injuries from Marcus's attacks were slowly starting to disappear but as Evlin started to become better, Auren started to feel worse. It was almost as if rewinding this level of damage was taking a heavy toll on his body.
Gustav noticed that something was wrong with him.
"Auren... Your nose! You're bleeding!"
Auren didn't care. He was the only one who could save Evlin, and she was the only one who could save Ria. He decided to try even harder and used all his strength to rewind Evlin back to normal.
Evlin finally opened her eyes and started to shake herself uncontrollably. She was taking deep breaths as if she was suffocating. Ashley wanted to scream with joy and hug her but she held herself back.
"Sis!! Hurry and remove the arrow on Ria too!"
"Wh- Wha...?? Ria...? Oh my God!!!"
She turned around to look at Ria's condition and almost fainted from looking at the piece of metal sticking out of her. She rushed to turn the arrow into a ball of metal again and Auren hurried to rewind her wound again.
Gustav seemed really worried.
"I need to focus!! Don't distract me!!"
"I'll help as well!"
Evlin came closer and tried to apply healing magic. She and Gustav were using all their strength to try and make Ria wake up from her sleep.
"She's not breathing!! And her heart is stopped!!"
"Keep going!! Don't stop!!"
They kept rewinding and healing her body but she still showed no reaction. Maybe it was too late. Maybe their powers couldn't bring people back from the dead. Maybe the injuries caused by divine weapons were too strong for Evlin and Auren to fix with their worn-out bodies.
"No... No! It can't end like this!! Ria please wake up!!! You can't leave me!!!"
Auren started to cry while holding Ria.
"Ria please!! I love you!! Please you can't die!!! I need you!!! You are everything to me!!! Please wake up!!!"
The entire group was holding a crying look of defeat. If Evlin couldn't save her and Auren couldn't save her, what else could be done? Auren started to scream towards the sky.
"Someone please save her!!!!"
As if hearing Auren's call, a pillar of energy raised from the ground behind the group like a cylindric tower of light.
The team turned around towards the pillar and observed as the energy started to dissipate revealing a humanoid figure from inside of it.
Lilith owned a look of shock as if she recognized who that was. A small black-haired girl wearing a white dress floating above the sand.
"Me... I heard someone calling for help... Can I try?"