While his former ‘friends’ were planning his demise, Michael was casually riding a snowmobile through the Antarctic tundra. It wasn’t until three hours into his leisurely ‘drive’ that he finally muttered “Oh yeah, I should probably look at a map or something… I have no fucking clue where I’m going and it all just looks like generic frozen wasteland to me? Aren’t there supposed to be like, penguins and polar bears or something?”
He slowed to a stop and pulled out his magical tablet, grumbling “Ugh, why do I feel so gassy? Holy cuntsauce, I might have to shit! No, no, that’s not possible… I’m just imagining things. Okay~, so I’m basically in the coldest place on Earth? Well, it is pretty nippy, even with this gear on. Hmm~, let’s see~… Should I head towards the beach or go to one of these ‘domes’?”
A shadowy raven materialized on his left shoulder and flew up into the air, while complaining “Hmph, this place isn’t that bad… A little too bright for my tastes, but at least it isn’t a fucking rainforest! Seriously, why do ya love jungles so damn much?!”
Michael snickered, muttering “I’m obviously a summer person… I’d prefer a nice tropical island though. Of course, a big problem with living on the ocean is that one crazy storm or earthquake and you’re pretty screwed. Hehehe~, I mean, remember what happened the last and only time we went to the beach?”
“Miguel, that was because you neglected my warning… When we return to Arcana, I would like to show you the Crimson Shore. We went there to play several concerts when I was in my third decade…” Talia’s voice emanated from the frosted-over orange, red and white flower-bracelet on his left wrist. Even though it was extraordinarily cold, the magical ‘device’ could still function as a physical ‘body’ for the half-Dryadic High-Elven Huntress.
Then there was the adorable bright-blue kitten that was laying on the snow-mobile’s dashboard, who was fairly comfortable even in such frigid weather. Although, that had more to do with her current ‘avatar’, the ‘Chilly Meow-Meow Exploder’. It was a biological weapon that dealt ‘Frost’ damage, so it obviously had a decent amount of resistance to subzero temperatures.
The little Nephilim sighed, explaining “Tali, you have to realize that if the two of us really went to the ‘Crimson Shore’ or whatever, it’s something that’s going to happen in the future for us.”
“Arf-arf-arf~! Grrr~, raou~!” A bright-green fox, the size of a tiger, was running around the snowmobile excitedly. She rolled around on the ground, then tackled Michael off of the vehicle, onto the extremely hard ice. Fortunately, his armor was unreasonably durable and even a rocket-propelled grenade would have had a hard time piercing it.
“Oi, Inari, calm your tiny doggy tits!” He was only the size of a child, so the vixen seemed gigantic as she ‘played’ with him. Unlike the others, who needed a Soulbound item to use as an avatar or medium, she was ‘different’.
Essentially, the fox asexually reproduced a clone of herself within her own Soul Realm. It wasn’t nearly as powerful as her ‘original’ body, but the single-tailed vixen was still extremely happy to finally go on a ‘trip’ with her Companions again.
The fiery had several bronze, serpentine dragons slithering around within the fabric, as a deep, raspy feminine voice whispered “Hey Mike, stop fooling around… Do you ‘feel’ that? There’s something really big coming this way…”
Inari jumped off of Michael and ran a few dozen meters away, up to the top of a snowy mound of ice. Then she growled angrily at the northern distance, where she saw an enormous wooly mammoth.
Every step caused cracks to form in the permafrost and its thick fur was neon-red, so it was fairly difficult to miss. Arcs of purple lightning shot off of its gargantuan tusks and its eyes were totally pitch-black.
After wiping the snow off of his body, Michael sat back down on his comfortable leather seat and drove the vehicle up the hill. Once he could get a good view of the charging monstrosity, he snickered, muttering “Damn, that thing has to be at least fifty-meters tall… Hmmm, why is it coming this way? Is it suicidal?”
Sarah swooped down and landed on the top of his helmet, “Nah~, it’s actually running from something else. Kinda looks like… I don’t know, rockets or something?”
He concentrated mana into his already impressive crimson eyes and yelled “What the fuck?! Those aren’t missiles! They’re goddamn penguins! Shitballs! They saw us!” Rather than exploding, the rocket-propelled ‘flightless’ birds would dive into the mammoth’s thick hide and start drilling their way through its body. Once they reached the meat, they would use their metallic beaks to pick and tear, while also draining its blood like leeches.
As the colossal beast finally fell down and skid across the ground, most of the tiny monsters began ripping it to shreds. However, at least a few thousand of them landed on the snow, slid for a hundred meters, until a jet of burning gas erupted from their backsides. Then they soared through the air and aimed for the distant bright-green Dire Fox, and the glowing beacon of mana that was shaped like a little boy in armor and a fiery robe.
Talia scoffed “Miguel, allow me to take control over your body and I shall make quick work of these foul beasts!”
The little kitten giggled, asking “Nyah~, why don’t you just use my super-awesome pew-pew gun?”
He snickered, wondering “Elly, you’ve been awfully quiet lately… What’s wrong with you anyway?”
A muffled voice grumbled “What’s the point? It doesn’t matter whether we help or save people… You’re still planning to destroy the entire world and kill every single living thing on it, so who cares about a bunch of stupid… adorable, daw~, no, you can’t kill them~! Michael~, please don’t hurt the cute little penguins!” There was a beautiful white dove that fluttered out of his fiery robe and landed on the dashboard, next to Jasmine.
Elina was actually using her ‘Vestments of the Angelic Oracle’, which had the ability to transform into small birds. It wasn’t all that strange for magical equipment to have ‘odd’, hidden special features. Sometimes the wearer could even create new abilities for the gear, assuming that the item was at least ‘Epic’.
The obsidian raven yelled “Hahahaha~! Now I definitely have ta murder these stupid twats!” as it flapped its wings and soared through the ominous green sky. However, before she had the chance to do anything, a colossal maw erupted from the ground.
That bronze-scaled creature appeared like a dragon at first, but it didn’t take long for Michael to shout “It’s a sea lion! No wait, wouldn’t it be an ‘Earth Lion’?! Actually, why the fuck are they even called lions in the first place?! They totally look more like otters!”
As that two-hundred meter long magical super-beast erupted from the frozen-solid soil, it inhaled deeply and sucked thousands of the relatively tiny penguins into its mouth. After swallowing them, released deafening roars as it crashed down onto the ground.
Inari howled loud enough to cut through that thunderous noise, but the gargantuan animal didn’t even seem to care. It immediately began using its bladed flippers to drag its body towards the partially devoured mammoth. Then it lunged down and started inhaling the penguins, while munching on the colossal hunk of elephant meat.
Fiery crimson blood sprayed everywhere, actually heating up the entire area, as Elina screamed “No~! Why~?! It’s so sad~!”
Jasmine licked her paws and rubbed her neck against the crying, golden-eyed dove, asking “Nyah~, do you want me to go kill the big meanie for you Elly?”
However, she hurriedly yelled “No! Don’t hurt her! She’s so cute~! Just look at those fluffy whiskers~!”
Talia scolded “Elina, you should not feel so attached to every single beast or vermin that we encounter! Even if you find their aesthetic appearance to be pleasing, we cannot allow ourselves to die simply because you do not wish for us to harm these infuriating creatures. Aside from that, on the matter of destroying this world… I do not find our task to be a pleasant one either, but we must accomplish our mission. The longer we stay on this planet, the more difficult our departure will become.”
Alice suggested “Well, when the time comes, we might be able to bring a few people along with us in our Soul Realms… I can’t promise that it’ll work, but if there’s someone that you really don’t want to die, we could just do it that way. Although, there isn’t much of a point, cause as long as we have their souls… Mike can pretty much bring them back to life, right?”
Ignoring the gigantic Earth Sea Lion, Michael turned the snowmobile around and started driving to the south. He snickered, “Yeah, ‘death’ isn’t really a permanent thing… I mean, I’ve died like thirty times or something like that. Each of you have also been killed before too, so you should understand that this is more like a ‘Rapture’ than total annihilation. Ah, on the other hand, if Arcana doesn’t like them for whatever reason, she might decide not to allow them into her universe and then they’d basically be dead to us. Who knows, it might even be possible to obliterate souls… But don’t worry, I won’t perma-murder anyone you guys care about, hehehe~. Sarah might try to though, cause she’s an evil bitch, and JJ could do it ‘accidentally’ since she’s catshit crazy. But ‘I’ definitely won’t!”