**Boom! Now you know why Akemi's belly has been growing slowly over the last few chapters...Here we go! The big battle is about to commence. This is told in the POV of Apsel**
The harsh winds whipped at my skin, giving the feeling I was falling more and more apart. My squinted eyes faced upwards, my cocoa coloured hair beating vigorously against the wind. Thunder crashed in the distance, and I was forced to the ground. A felt a boot on my back, causing me to cough and my stitches to burst, allowing crimson blood to seep into the earth. The heel twisted on my back, and I groaned in pain. A cold hand picked up my face, forcing my neck to curve awkwardly to meet their spider-webbed eyes. "Apsel, I know who you are now. Can't you see? It's better now. Come, join me. Join us." Mizuki whispered, her voice barely audible against the raging storm. "Never...I will never serve her!" I spat back, snapping my chin out of her hands. Sin burst out of her back. "Shall we?" She curved her body outwards, snaking it around Mizuki. "But of course, Sin." Sin became the falchion sword, and lightning cracked in the distance.
I shot up in my bed, adrenaline causing my heart to beat erratically. Sweat drenched my pajamas, and I fell back down in the bed. The adrenaline wore off, and I began to feel the sharp pain radiating from my stomach. I looked down at my bandages, and little splotches of blood dotted the normally white surface, so I wiggled out of the blankets to go change. I barely remembered that I was in Mizuki's old room, so I went to the bathroom that was connected to it. Switching on the light, I noticed that my chest had what appeared to be claw marks.
"Apsel! We're leaving in 10!" Liz called to me from outside the room.
"Y-Yeah, alright! Be right there!" I yelled back, hastily wrapping a new set of bandages over my stitches.
I threw on some blue jeans and a Final Fantasy shirt, and carefully made my way downstairs. By the door, Lady Akemi stood with a hand over her baby belly.
"My Lady? Are you coming with us today?" I asked curiously, flipping my hair and walking over to her.
"Why, of course. I couldn't miss the big launch of the siege my husband's been planning." She put on her trench-coat and feather hat.
"Siege? Siege on what?" I raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"Siege on Baba Yaga's Castle. He was going to wait, but 2 Academy students were found dead early this morning. Their bodies were dumped just outside the city, and he believes it was The Heretic Daughter and her brother, Mazoku. Now, they're not actually siblings, but you get the point." She opened the front door, and I nodded, pretending to understand.
I followed Lady Akemi out the door, leaving Liz behind to tend to the house and wait for Patty. We walked for a few minutes when footsteps approached from in front of us. It was my mother, Maka.
"Oh, Maka. I thought you were training over in uh... Sweden?" Lady Akemi asked, placing a hand on her lower back.
"There's been an emergency, a large madness wavelength is approaching the city. Lord Kid is ordering the siege in 20 minutes. Come on, Akemi. You too, Apsel. Go to Professor Stein's room immediately." My mother took lady Akemi by the wrist, and began to head for the Academy.
I ran ahead of my mother and Lady Akemi, rushing up the monstrous steps and heading straight for Professor Stein's class. The halls were nearly barren, despite it being 6:45, when they're are normally the busiest besides lunch time. I swung myself in the door to Class Crescent Moon, scaling the steps to my seat in the top right corner. I looked down, the whole class had a confused look on their faces, some seemed panicked or scared. There were 4 large boxes next to the television tower, which looked to contain tiny blue pills.
The TV's switched on, silencing the murmurs from the classroom. Lord Kid appeared on screen, his expression grim.
"As you all know, the execution has been ordered of The Heretic Daughter Mizuki," a picture of what she now looks like flashed next to Lord Kid. "now, there has been another development. 2 Academy students are dead after trying to attempt the bounty, and now a madness wavelength almost as violent and powerful as that of the first Kishin Asura's is radiating from Baba Yaga's Castle. As of right now, I am ordering the Siege on Baba Yaga's Castle. Everyone is to take 1 madness suppressant now, and bring 8 along for the battle." Lord Kid closed his eyes, re-opening them after he cleared his throat. "Apsel Hildbrand, report to the Death Room." The televisions shut off, and I rubbed my eyes.
"Everyone, please come and get your madness suppressants now. Apsel, head to the Death Room." Stein began distributing the pills, and I exited the classroom.
The Death Room was busier than it was normally, Katharina was discussing Akemi's baby, Willow was mapping out coordinates, Seymour was tending to Ludka who was still sitting in the black chair, cords taped to her head.
"Oi, Apsel. I hear ya surgery went well." Kier laid a hand on my shoulder, giving a reassuring grin.
"Y-Yeah, it did." I whispered, walking over to Lord Kid and Spirit, who were discussing battle tactics.
"It is highly likely that the Kishin responsible for this madness will be fighting alongside Mizuki today, Spirit. I am going to need to wield you." Lord Kid looked down at the floor, shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Are you kidding?! I haven't been wielded since Lord Death was still in power! I'm delighted, Lord Kid." Spirit laughed happily, doing a twirl.
"Uh, Lord Kid. What'd you need me for?" I cleared my throat, stepping closer.
"Well, since you know her well, you're our bargaining chip, so to speak. You'll be on the front lines alongside myself and Spirit, as well as Maka and Soul. You'll be wielding Ludka, once more." I heard a groan and coughing from nearby, taking note that Ludka had awoken from her medically induced sleep.
"Wh-What about your wife?" I scratched my head, taking another glance at Ludka.
"She'll be on the battlefield, just away from the intense combat. She's expecting, you know." Lord Kid smiled, which happened once in a blue moon.
I trailed on over to Ludka, who was sipping eagerly from a plastic cup of water. I smiled lightly at her, placing a hand on her arm for a brief moment. She set the cup down, brushing back her blonde bangs.
"Heya, Apsel. What'd I miss?" She asked, chuckling.
"Nothing much. Me + surgery, 2 dead students, a siege on Baba Yaga's that's happening here in like 5 minutes." I looked at my wrist, even though I didn't have a watch.
I sat there staring at her for a while, when a booming clap came from behind me.
"Everyone, the students are lining up outside the Academy, ready to head down those stairs and onward to Baba Yaga's Castle. Ready yourselves, and follow me out now." Lord Kid cracked his knuckles, and we all filed out behind him.
A dull pain from my stomach caused me to walk with a slight limp, but I pressed on. With every Academy student looking at me, I couldn't fail now. Ludka took her arm inside mine as we made it to the edge of the steps, facing Death City.
"Death Scythes, your respected forms, please." Lord Kid ordered. I felt Ludka transform into her halberd, my hand gripping the handle.
"Kid! Wait!" Heels clicked hastily on the stone ground.
"Akemi! What in the hell are you doing here?!" Lord Kid caught his wife as she slipped.
"I'm...I'm going w-with y-you." She was breathing heavily, putting both hands on her large baby bump.
I watched eagerly as Lord Death The Kid bit his lip, staring futilely into his wife's soul. He gave, sighing heavily and hugging his wife.
"You better hope to death that Asmund shows up." He closed his eyes, placing his face on her shoulder. Clearing his throat, he walked to the edge of the stairs once more.
"Students of DWMA, today, we battle in hell!" He raised a fist in the air, causing all the students to erupt in an uproar.
"Can you handle this, Apsel?" Ludka cast her face upon the end of the halberd.
"Trust me. No one can get through to her like I can. We're partners." I forced myself to believe all was not lost, as Ludka gave a warm smile, her face disappearing.
The forest leaves crunched beneath our careful feet. Most of the Academy students had been placed out in various squads all over the forest surrounding Baba Yaga's Castle. I was in Squad Death, the one containing all the Death Scythe's and Lady and Lord Kid. My grip tightened on Ludka's handle, and her face cast on the weapon again.
"Apsel, your soul is very unstable. We should rest." Her blue eyes were filled with concern.
"She's right, Apsel. How about you stay here with Akemi? We'll go further ahead onto the castle grounds, and I'll have Reginald send out a flare if trouble arises." Unable to refuse a direct order from Lord Kid, I submitted.
Ludka was back in her human form, helping Lady Akemi sit down on a nearby trunk. I hitched myself on a nearby tree, swinging up its branches until I was perched on the top. I decided to stay up here, should that signal flare come. I heard rustling below me, so I dipped my head below the leaves and glanced down. Ludka was situating herself next to Lady Akemi. Popping my head back up, my mind began to dwell on what could happen here today.
A few hours passed, and still no sign of a signal flare. I climbed further down in the tree, resting my body on a curved branch. I nestled myself down, letting the sunlight filter through the thick leaves. I heard Ludka and Akemi talking about her baby, and I slipped off into a deep slumber.
"Apsel! Come on, damn you! Wake up!" I was being violently shook by Ludka. Explosions were happening all around, and I awoke with a scream.
"What the hell is happening?! Where's Lady Akemi?!" My eyes panned around hurriedly, looking for her.
"She's off at the safe point. We need to go, now! The signal flare was sent out almost 10 minutes ago!" She helped me up from the ground, and instantly became the halberd.
My shoes dug into the earth, picking up speed with each step. I ignored the stabbing pain in my gut, pushing myself forward. I brought my arms to my face, shielding my eyes from the burst of sunlight shining down upon the clearing. I stared at Baba Yaga's Castle, a tower extending from the top, firing out beams of crimson and black mixed energy. No one was near me, which caused me to swerve around in search of a familiar face.
"Apsel, over here!" I heard Lord Kid call, and immediately went over to him.
"What's going on?!" I asked in a panic.
"They have a new weapon. Shooting beams of pure concentrated madness of the Kishin Mazoku. Several squads have been wiped out already..." Lord Kid slumped against a tree that was beside the bushes we were cloaked in.
"A-Akemi is safe, my Lord." Was all I could muster. He smiled, however, which brought ease.
Abruptly, the explosions stopped. Willow carefully brought apart the bush slightly, enough to get a glimpse at what was happening. She pushed the leaves back together and turned towards me, Ludka, Lord Kid, and Reginald.
"Come on, Willow. What did you see?" Reginald scooted closer to avoid talking so loudly.
"The gates have opened, although no one or nothing's emerged yet." She turned her head, her thin black hair swaying in its ponytail.
We sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity, when Ludka shot up from her sitting position, her eyes that same lavender I had seen a couple days ago. Everyone's eyes were pinned on Ludka, whose of which returned to blue. She relaxed her body, resting against the tree.
"Ludka, are you alright?" Lord Kid placed his hands upon her shoulders.
"There are two bodies heading our way. A weapon, a meister with some witch, and a Kishin." She repeated, almost like a robot.
"It's Mizuki and Mazoku." I said aloud, everyone now watching me.
"We should get ready. Willow, to me. Reginald, prepare your defensive attacks." Lord Kid stood, barely concealed by the brush in front of us.
Just by looking at Ludka, she knew what I wanted. The cool hilt of her halberd easing the tension in my clammy hands. Her soul...it's so relaxed... I smiled in relief, as we all got in stances, ready to attack.
"Get ready, here they come!" Ludka's electronic voice sounded inside the weapon.
Soon, the air was filled with maniacal laughter from a male and female, and metal gates closing behind them. The laughter slowly diminished, and a boisterous voice took over.
"Come out now, Lord Death The Kid. I know you're here. You've got three Death Scythes with you... oh! And a boy I met just a couple days ago. Why don't you come on over for a playdate?" It was Mizuki, and I could see the pain hearing those words caused Lord Kid.
"Well, Mizuki. When you put it that way, you imply that both us and them will be having fun." I recognized Mazoku's voice, and cringed at it.
"Indeed, Mazoku. You bring up a dashingly good argument. How about we start with the pregnant one? I hear she's off at the safety rese-"
"ENOUGH!" I charged out, my halberd pointed directly for Mizuki.
I ran directly into a bubble that surrounded Mizuki and Mazoku, sending my body stumbling onto the ground. Lord Kid with Willow in hand, and Reginald with his left arm as the flame sword, came bursting out of the bushes. Mizuki giggled wildly, as Mazoku chuckled a few times.
"You're just as pitiful as the day I first encountered you, Apsel. Tell me, how are those stitches doing?" The spiderweb pattern in Mizuki's eyes glowed brightly, and I felt a twisting pain in my torso.
I screamed horrendously, pulling up my shirt, I noticed my stitches were coming undone. Mizuki was doing this, and I had no defense against it. Lord Kid began spinning Willow's twin scythe form rapidly, picking up dirt around them.
"I've got this one, sister. Take care of the boy." The bubble that was surrounding the two burst, sending red sparks into the air.
I watched as Mazoku stood just 10ft in front of Lord Kid. The red and black striped sleeves that the Kishin wore extended into the air, shooting forward towards Lord Kid at an alarming speed, throwing his body into the ground. Willow was forced back into her human form, to which Mazoku redirected the sleeves for a second attack on her. Mizuki walked over to me, putting a hand on mine, the one that held Ludka.
"Oh, Apsel. Poor, poor, adopted little boy." She squeezed my hand, breaking all of my fingers simultaneously. I erupted in a glass-shattering scream, causing Reginald to run towards Mizuki.
Right before he placed the flame sword near her, a red sleeve came from the side, wrapping around his waist. With the other sleeve, Mazoku picked up Ludka and tossed her towards the entrance of the castle. Suspended in the air by the striped sleeve, Reginald attempted unsuccessfully to burn his way through, using his flame sword.
"Pitiful. You're a damned waste of air!" Mazoku threw Reginald against a tree, causing blood to trickle from his mouth.
"And now, for you." Mizuki sat down on the ground in front of me, her legs crisscrossed.
She erupted into a cry again, but not nearly as long as the last time. And this round, I knew what was happening. Mizuki stood, as Mazoku forced me to stand. The black blood coming out of Mizuki's back formed into the female known as the Demon Sword Sin. Her royal blue hair fell eerily onto her slender shoulders. Her neck extended even further, looking me directly in the eyes.
"Hey, my blood is black you know." Mizuki brought Sin's head back into her hands, running one down Sin's face.
"It's about time! I've been waiting for some killer action!" Sin cackled, morphing into her gold and black falchion sword form.
Mazoku hoisted me up with his sleeves, my heart in perfect stabbing range of Sin's blade. I heard Ludka yelling for me, but she was unable to stand. I closed my eyes, readying myself for the final blow. Instead, my ears were graced with a sharp shlink sound, followed by a gushy drip. I opened my eyes to find the blade made of obsidian with blue accents, firmly planted through Mazoku's torso.
"Mizuki Malthael Death, I've got a bone to pick with you." The blade was ripped from Mazoku's body, leaving black blood to drip from the open gash.
I was thrown over by Ludka, who crawled over to me. I was coughing horribly, attempting to catch lost breath. My head tilted up to find Lady Akemi, with Asmund in hand. Her burning stare sown to The Heretic Daughter and Kishin.
"Don't you pull that memory loss nonsense on me, Mizuki. You know damn well who I am even with your memory gone." Lady Akemi tightened her grip on Asmund's hilt.
"Ah, yes. My real mother." A devilish grin was plastered over Mizuki's face. She threw Sin's sword form in the air, allowing her body to absorb it.