Chapter 62: Fighting Magic with Magic
A hailstorm; Lightning,
Whipping winds, driving the hail
And fire all around.
~ Miyara Miwa
The five life-sized stone statues of faerie warriors, armed with large stone battle-axes. Although they moved fluidly, they still appeared to be solid stone. I looked in vain for a weak spot. Even their eyes were still merely stone carvings. With horror, I realized by two blades would do nothing but chatter against them. I would do them no damage while rendering myself useless as a samurai. My arrows would be of even less use against them. I looked around the room. It was primarily used as an office, so there were papers and flimsy camp-style furniture. In short, nothing I could possibly use effectively against five stone statues.
Ravena sighed and took out the Crystal of Air without my even asking her. She did not look happy to use it, but was still willing to do so.
The White Faerie sat down near Ravena, in the back of the room away from the statues, and likewise stared deeply into the Stone of Stones. I thought it would have the best effect against the stone statues, but I was not certain he'd be able to do anything. This was the first time he tried it.
Hosei began chanting something near the back of the room. I hoped he had something useful in mind.
Baku readied himself with his staff, although he had to know it would be little use. Still, he was ready to defend Ravena, the White Faerie, Sun, and Caramela. Ashe, also, set himself with his axes, ready to defend if necessary.
At the statues' first steps, Kyosuke immediately stepped back off the dais and bowed to them in apology. This did not stop them, however. He tried his clown-fighting technique when three of them attacked him, but it had no effect on them. For the next few seconds of battle, he avoided their attacks and battered himself against them heroically, but accomplish little but hurting himself greatly.
I merely dodged the blows of the statue that attacked me, keeping it occupied while Hosei, Ravena, and the White Faerie attempted to battle them with magic. Res Li was attacked by two, and he also kept them busy with judo, keeping them from hurting him while continually throwing one to the ground, and then the other. Baku tried a quick strike against one of Res Li's opponents, and confirmed that we could not hurt them that way.
Quickly, Ravena produced an Air Spirit, which picked up one of Kyosuke's statues and threw it against the wall. She then produced a second one. And then all hell broke loose. First, Hosei's spell went off and suddenly the floor beneath us was as slippery as ice, although it appeared normal.
At the same time, all we could see was thousands of sharp shards of rock flying through the room, as if something made of stone had exploded. The shards ripped into us, and the blood flew. Later, we pieced it all together: the White Faerie had tried something with the Stone of Stones and had failed, sending forth a storm of rock. A few of the statues were even affected, although not as greatly as us flesh folk.
When the first Air Spirit threw the statue against the wall, the statue was visibly damaged; chunks flew off and it crumbled in places. Ravena conjured a third Air Spirit and spent the next several seconds juggling the recalcitrant things. Near the White Faerie, she had been slashed by numerous shards of rock and was bleeding profusely. Ashe carefully bound her wounds as best he could while not distracting her concentration on the Crystal of Air.
Sun had also been badly slashed and was lying on the floor. Hosei picked him up and yelled, "The rocks that hit us are magical and might hurt them!" Baku, too, was on the floor.
Since the Air Spirits were dangerous to the statues, mine actually left me and attacked one of them. I tried to turn to help those who had fallen, but fell and had to pick myself up again. The Air Spirits, whether controlled by Ravena or not, battled the statues successfully. Ashe had forsaken his useless axes and used Caramela's Zoggin Rock to produce three massive fireballs which he threw at the three of the statues.
Ravena and Ashe continued their efforts with Air and Fire, and Hosei, too, produced his own fireball. Within a few seconds, the statues were all destroyed, either bashed into piles of stone or flamed into smoke and molten rock. I carefully moved the wounded into the far corner, as much out of harm's way as possible.
Ravena, having held on as long as she could, finally fainted dead away, leaving her Air Spirits uncontrolled. Ashe returned to himself, his eyes glowing red. The White Faerie still stared, enraptured, into the Stone of Stones as we began to sort ourselves out again.