“Lord Ignus, now you’ll experience the wrath of the heavens.”

Blue fire emerged right behind me, forming a circular path. With just a flick of my hand, it formed into several smaller balls of fire and I looked at Ignus, who seemed bewildered with what I did. Maging ako ay hindi rin makapaniwala sa nangyayari pero ayaw kong biguin si Phoebe. Ayaw kong sayangin ang binigay nilang pagkakataon ni Arsen para sa labang ito.

“Seems like you managed to use your power, kid,” sabi ni Ignus habang nakatingin nang masama sa akin. “But you don’t deserve it.”

He once again pointed his broadsword at the sky and the clouds parted. As if there was a volcano above, huge, smoldering rocks plummeted from the sky after he chanted.

Claustra liven ador! I chanted but I was late. My fire disintegrated some of the rocks but several of them penetrated the firewall. I was thinking of another layer of wall when I heard someone chanting.
“Sensen barries amplus!”

After hearing that, a huge flatrock appeared below us, deflecting the shower of magma rocks, but upon observing, I realized it wasn’t a flatrock but a shell. A familiar face looked at me with such fervent determination.

“I’ll be your shadow.”

Her words reverberated through my head and I nodded at her. Without a second thought, I flicked my fingers and the fireballs behind me became alive.

“Is this your way of fighting, Lord Ignus?” I asked, ready to launch an attack.

He grinned and pointed his broadsword at me. “Why? Are you worried because you can’t defend those people below us? Now, I am going to ask you. Is that your way of fighting?”
Napatigil ako sa tanong niya pero bigla kong naalala ang mga huling salita na binitiwan ni Phoebe para sa akin. I shouldn’t get overwhelmed.

“Yes, and I will protect everyone. . .” Even if it means fighting alone or dying.

“Following the steps of the princess, I see.”

Just like what I did earlier, a circular path of fire formed behind him, but larger. He flapped his wings, adjusting his position, and all of a sudden, he disappeared from my sight. I immediately looked for him around but I was a second too late.

he yelled as he appeared behind me, thrusting his broadsword at my back but my fire enveloped me and lessen the momentum of it. His attack only grazed me but that was a close call. I moved away from him as my hands tremble.
Liven cornib! I chanted and blue flamed-wings materialized behind me. This isn’t the time to be afraid. I need to fight and defeat him if I want to save the world.

A lot of incantations linger inside my mind while I’m in my hybrid form. The only thing I can do for now is to chant the right one at the right time. Now that I’m lacking the offensive power, I need to have a weapon to channel it.

Bigla namang ngumiti si Ignus at muli niyang tinutok ang espada niya sa akin. Naghanda ako sa galaw niya at sa muli niyang pag-atake sa likuran ko pero bigla akong nagdalawang-isip dahil sa kilos ng apoy na nasa likuran niya. When he appeared behind me, his circle of fire was left behind, but now, it moves with him. Then that means . . .

Caleo gladius!

A blue sword came into my hand and I immediately found my stance as Ignus dashed in front of me. Our blades clashed, creating red and blue flames between us. I flew back as the flames started crackling, and I had to bit my tongue to keep myself from shouting. He yields his sword heavily and my wrist suffered from that clash. I willed my fire to enclose my wrist and in just a second, it came back to its previous form.
My sword disintegrated but I chanted another incantation right away.

Fax eura! 
The fire behind me started to move in a swirling motion. Turben,” I said as I place my right hand in front of me, and five whirlwinds of fire formed, attacking Ignus simultaneously.

The whirlwinds followed the movement of my fingers, and when they encircled Ignus, I closed my hand. He was engulfed by my fire and inside it, I heard his roar. Suddenly, my fire was cut and his broadsword came into view. But before he could get out, I closed my hand once more and trapped him inside the billow of fire.

Turben! The fire blazed more intensely as I clench my hand. For a second, I felt a burning sensation in my mouth, but it disappeared after a while. I looked at the pillar of fire in front of me and I saw red fire mixing with it. My hand twitched and its strength began to dwindle.
Mare ignis!”

No’ng narinig ko ang sinabi niya ay napatingin ako agad sa langit, at tama nga ang hinala ko. He did that again. Even though he’s still inside my fire, he managed to launch an attack.

Larger meteors began to fall from above, and this time, at a much faster speed. My mind went blank for a second. I need to protect the city from his attack but once I let go of my hand, Ignus will definitely use that chance to escape from my fire.
In the end, I chose them.
I opened my right hand and raised my left hand, simultaneously pointing at the direction of the meteors and keeping Ignus from escaping.

Kai feniks! I chanted and a blue phoenix came out of the fire surrounding Ignus. It immediately flew towards the meteors and collided with them, resulting in several explosions midair. The phoenix managed to melt almost all of the meteors before it vanished but some of them slipped away. I was about to chant an incantation but I suddenly felt dizzy. Just then, I saw Ignus coming out of the fire, and his red fire was already dominating the whirlwind of flames. But what caught me off-guard was his appearance. I knew that using his guardians makes him older but seeing the white strands of his hair and the lines along his face was still hard to believe.
“Don’t look at me like that, kid,” he said and I flinched. “You, too, is starting to run low on stamina.”

Napatigil ako sa sinabi niya dahil alam kong totoo ‘yon. I might have an immeasurable amount of power right now but my body isn’t trained yet to handle it. Phoebe said that she originally wanted to give this power to me once I am fully ready, but due to the Exorcists’ attacks, she didn’t have a choice.

“Using that kind of power isn’t a child’s play, you know.” He smirked at me and waved his broadsword. “You can’t fight me while protecting those weaklings.” With just a slash of his sword, a two dragon-shaped fire formed in front of him. “You have to choose one.”

After saying that, the dragons launched themselves on different direction—towards me and the city, just like what he did a few minutes ago. Without a second thought, I went for the second dragon.

“Just as expected.”

With Phoebe’s wings, I glided towards the dragon who wants to attack the Capital and chanted an incantation.

sal-ve! Carlos’ physical form materialized. Verscheiden sie viel hyva mich han! Prasidae fax! With a swish of my arm, Carlos’ hybrid form, a whip, came into my hand and it was covered with Phoebe’s blue flames. I threw it at the direction of the dragon and it coiled onto its neck. “Caleo gladius!” My blue sword appeared on my other hand and while holding on Carlos’ whip, I lunged towards the dragon. But before I could cut it down, I heard a hissing sound behind me. The other dragon is coming.
“Come,” I whispered even though I know that I can’t do anything about it anymore. Once I cut this dragon, the other one will burn me, and the only thing that I can do is to burn it together with me.
Caesa! The fire on my sword burst into flames and with a slash of it, the dragon in front of me disintegrated. Now, what’s left is—
“You’re really like your parents.” Suddenly, a shadow quickly passed by me, heading towards the dragon. “Sacrificing yourself for the sake of the people. I’m really proud to be their comrade and as your Master.”
“M-Master . . .” She turned around and smiled at me.
Chelys sejungo! she yelled. Her armor detached itself from her and formed into two large dome-shaped shells. Capto! The shells enclosed the remaining dragon, trapping it inside and after a few seconds, the dragon disappeared.
“Master!” Lumipad ako papunta sa kanya pero nag-iba ang expression niya.
“Leave the Capital to the Spirit Masters. Focus on Ignus. He’s trying to divide your attention because he knows that you’ll definitely prioritize the lives of the people. Don’t let him control you, Reika.”
“You do not belong here, Spirit Master,” biglang sabi ni Ignus kaya napatingin ako sa kanya. Lumingon naman si Master sa kanya at ngumiti.
“No. It’s you,” sabi niya habang nakatingin kay Ignus. “You do not belong here, Ignus.”

Nakita ko namang nagbago ang expression ni Ignus.

“Are those your final words?” Ignus suddenly disappeared from my line of sight.
“Reika.” Napatingin naman ako kay Master habang pinapakiramdaman si Ignus sa paligid.
“Master, you need to get out of here. Ignus—”
“I know,” she said while smiling. “As your Master, I want to help and protect you, so don’t lose this fight Reika.”

Just like a while ago, Tortos turned into a defensive wall, just behind Master. Hindi ko alam kung paano pero narealize ko kaagad kung anong balak niyang gawin.

“Master . . . Don’t do this. Tortos will die.”
“I know.” Pagkasabi niya no’n ay napatigil ako sa paghinga. Don’t tell me . . .
“No. No!”
“Reika!” sigaw niya sa akin.

Bigla na lang tumulo ang luha ko dahil alam kong kahit anong gawin ko ay hindi ko na mababago ang desisyon niya. What’s worse is, deep inside me, I know that this is the only way to catch him off-guard. I gripped my sword and bit my lip to the point that I can taste the blood on my mouth.

Ignis! Ignus appeared behind Master and Tortos’ wall disappeared.
“I’ll be your shadow . . .” Master whispered while Ignus and I simultaneously thrust our swords. She knew he’ll kill her guardian so she chose to take the blow. I cried as I watch his sword pierced her, wishing that the blue fire I desperately placed around her protects her. “ . . . so be my light.” That was the the last word I heard before she fell.

Fueled by anger and pain, I thrust my sword into his chest and both of us were engulfed by our own fires.

In the end, I couldn’t protect everyone.