Starlight - Book 1 in the Starlight Trilogy

After an enjoyably peaceful year living and attending university in the east coast town of Kamogawa in Japan, Meg Momozono finds herself thrust into an exhilarating and terrifying adventure of magical girls, fairies, and gods. And the discovery that not everything can be easily explained by science...

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15. Chapter 15

  Three elementals were rampaging through the streets as Meg turned up with Emilia. Simple enough to deal with under normal circumstances, but there were several dozen people in the vicinity, unconscious and lying in awkward positions.

  Emilia therefore kept the creatures busy while Meg did what she could to drag people to safer locations; the sheer number of them seemed like it might cause problems simply because, unlike previous occasions, there were enough people to start becoming suspicious when they awoke…

  “Two more just turned up, Meg, hurry, please!” Emilia yelled as she took one of the elementals down, changing focus to a fire type that was charging her, dripping molten red-black sludge in its wake.

  “Nearly there…!” Meg murmured, dragging the last of the people off the road and onto the pavement. From here, she targeted an ice type that had just turned up.

  High above them, Nami observed, her crimson eyes flicking back and forth between the two girls who had been regularly getting in the way of her underlings. One of them she recognised as being from Ereth, but the other…

  She descended, walking on air until she hovered near rooftop level. Unlike earlier, when she had hair similar in colour to a summer tree’s leaves, it was now a lighter tone with yellow highlights and glowing in a way that seemed to shift between yellow and green, pulsating such that it was hard to even see the changes until they had already happened.

  Emilia smashed one of the creatures against the road surface using a gravity attack, then scanned for the next, only to have her gaze to come rest on something – someone – she had not expected.

  With roughly half of the elementals dealt with in the immediate area, Meg came to rest next to her partner. “Okay, we’re doing pretty well! Let’s… Emilia?” She followed the girl’s gaze up and into the eyes of Nami. “Another one?”

  Emilia could barely speak, frozen to the spot, as though held in an deathly embrace, all colour draining from her face. “Priestess…? Why are you…?”

  “You know her?” Meg asked, aghast.

  A silent nod was all her friend managed.

  Nami’s expression soured, staring at Meg. “I’m giving you precisely one chance to stop getting in our way. Otherwise you will face me. You do not want that.” She went to leave, but was stopped by Meg.

  “Can you at least tell us what you’re trying to accomplish? Maybe we don’t need to be enemies!”

  “You give yourself airs, young girl, thinking I would even consider you important enough to be an enemy. You are merely a nuisance,” Nami said, her tone utterly flat and devoid of emotion. “But if it stops you from interfering, fine. Our world lacks love, we are simply balancing that by borrowing some of yours. Now cease your incessant meddling!”

  Meg recoiled at the snappish order. Nami’s tone had been measured and emotionless until then, making the sudden change jarring and even a little frightening.

  Emilia’s face screwed up at this, replacing the shocked expression. “Lacks love? What the hell’s that supposed to mean? What’s happened since I left!?”

  Nami opened her mouth, but changed focus to something else before speaking. She scanned the horizon, said “Tear’s having trouble, is he?” and accelerated away, using currents of wind to speed herself along so fast that the girls couldn’t hope to chase her.

  “Wait! And… she’s gone,” Meg said with a sigh. “What do you suppose she meant by lacking love?”

  Emilia shrugged, a brooding look on her face. “Dunno. Sounds bad, though! Aaargh! I want to go home…!” she growled, clenching her fists.

  “I’d love to give you a hug and listen to everything you want to say, but we still have elementals to deal with, and that girl flew off towards Yasuko!” Meg exclaimed.

  Conceding that her partner had a point, Emilia put her thoughts and feelings to one side for now, and focused on the matter at hand…




  Moments earlier, Yasuko had arrived at a small convenience store several streets away from the main disturbance. Two elementals had appeared, one fire type, one that appeared to be earth-based, going by its rugged and brown – albeit with tubes and mechanical bits – appearance.

  She touched down, an azure pair of wings flickering at her waist, similar to the other two girls’, but with a snowy sparkling effect in place of the usual glow. Her powers seemed to go further than water and healing, so this was a good opportunity to see what was what.

  Unlike Meg who, while mature, lacked experience, Yasuko had been to several countries thanks to her parents moving around a lot. And that experience lent her a maturity and confidence her best friend had struggled to apply to her new powers, allowing Yasuko a degree of control over her emotions that Meg still worked hard to achieve.

  Flexing a hand, Yasuko visualised a ball of ice, nodding in satisfaction as particles of pure, icy coldness materialised in her palm. Tossing the ball up and down a couple of times, she lobbed it at the fire elemental and grinned as a hole the size of a bucket appeared in its chest, magma and steam erupting from the wound as the creature screamed.

  “Seems to work pretty well,” she commented, the grin widening to the point of potentially being classified as pure evil. “Now, let’s see if I can’t wrap this up before the girls arrive.”

  With a flourish, she raised the hand again, this time creating a sheet of ice above the fire elemental. Then… she reverted the ice to water, dropping it on the creature and dousing its fires, leaving little more than a walking heap of coal and oil. It attempted to move, creaking and crackling as its limbs gradually froze.

  Dodging an attack from the earth type, Yasuko darted forward and punched the other one in the stomach region. Cracks appeared, spreading out through the rapidly hardening shell of the elemental, at which point it shattered into pieces, bouncing around the street and coming to rest with comical little ‘plink!’ sounds.

  Facing the second elemental, Yasuko beamed. “I can think of so many uses for this power, haha…”

  For now, however, she figured it might be best not to get carried away. The other two had told her all about the dangers of running out of magic or visualising the wrong things, so Yasuko had promised to be careful… for now.

  “Earth, huh?” she muttered, sizing her opponent up.

  Ice or water? Ice could potentially freeze it, allowing her to break it like the fire type… but on the other hand, using water seemed reasonable. Recalling a farm she had once visited with the kids at her primary school, the earth there had been sodden, messy, broken down by a torrential downpour the previous evening.

  She nodded. “Water it is, then!”

  The elemental charged forward, leaving clumps of hard earth in its wake, some of them containing bits of shredded greenery, leaves, and flowers, as though the creature had just been uprooted from a garden plot.

  Yasuko ran rings around the lumbering giant, turning it round and around while simultaneously firing jets of water from her fingertips, gradually wetting its legs to the point where it struggled to walk. More jets struck its arms and chest until finally, with a rubble-like wail, it collapsed into a pile of little more than compost.

  Dusting her hands, Yasuko was about to call her friends to let them know she was done, when a blast of energy from the sky forced her to clumsily dodge. She landed near a shop front, looking about for the source of the attack.

  Standing on a roof as usual, Tear lowered his hand and glared. “As if two weren’t enough,” he growled. “Now we have three?”

  Yasuko jumped to the roof of a building on the opposite side of the street, balancing easily, and took in the features of the man facing her. Grey hair, gold eyes, stocky build. “So you’re the one who hurt my little Emicchi, huh?” she said, her tone perfectly calm and serene, like the ocean just before a raging storm.

  Tear gave her a disinterested look. “It appears you have no intention of stopping your interference, so it looks like I’ll have to deal with you so we can get on. Nothing personal.”

  Yasuko narrowed her eyes, the pleasant expression remaining and creating a disconcerting effect, the sort of smile you’d see on the face of a crocodile just before it eats you. Lifting a hand, she extended the index finger and spawned an icicle, some metre in length and shaped similarly to a lightning bolt.

  “So emotion affects magical power, huh?” she said, staring Tear in the eye. “Let me show you how much I love my friends.”

  He figured he should be able to dodge a physical attack like this, and steeled himself. He was wrong. The ice bolt left Yasuko’s finger and travelled at approximately the speed of light. Tear uttered a pained sound as the projectile pierced his shoulder, slamming him into a building in the next street over, pinning him in place.

  The next moment, Yasuko was there, her fists a whirling blaze of fury. “Naugh-ty-boys-de-serve-a-good-spank-ing!” she growled, each syllable punctuated with a heavy thump as she gave Tear the beating he so richly deserved after his treatment of Emilia.

  He attempted to unpin himself, with minimal success; Yasuko’s continued punches would be more bearable if she wasn’t also coating her fists in ice for added damage. He had now experienced what it felt like to have his face burned by Meg’s fire and Yasuko’s ice.

  As her captive continued struggling to free himself from the ice bolt, Yasuko relented for a moment. “Unlucky for you, I happen to be a black belt in karate. Perhaps next time you should think a little more carefully about who you attack, hmm?”

  “I merely do what I need to,” Tear managed to say. He summoned enough energy to blast his assailant away, smashing her into a shop front on the other side of the street. Blood dripped from his shoulder as he pulled the ice bolt out, splattering the pavement like a particularly gruesome form of graffiti.

  Yasuko pulled herself free from the wreckage and went to launch herself at Tear for another go—


  A voice from the sky halted Yasuko. She glanced up at the green-haired beauty hanging in the air nearby, her brain instantly calculating this girl’s hotness index. All roads led her to the conclusion that this forest green fairy of fabulousness was hotter than the blazing sun itself.

  “You’re with him, are you?” she said, pointing to Tear, who had by now managed to staunch the flow of blood with a bandage crafted from his own trousers.

  Nami regarded Yasuko coldly, her eyes flicking back and forth between the two combatants. Finally she appeared to reach a decision. “That’s enough for today, Tear, we collected a good amount.”

  Tear nodded. “Fine. Next time you won’t be so lucky,” he said in the direction of Yasuko.

  Grabbing her injured underling, Nami flew up into the sky and they disappeared, heading by a roundabout route to the warehouse to avoid giving its position away.

  A moment later Meg and Emilia arrived, dropping to the street and rushing over to their third member.

  Meg hugged her. “I’m glad you’re okay, Yacchan! After what he did to Emilia…”

  “Don’t you worry your pretty little head, Meg, I’m quite a good fighter, remember,” Yasuko replied.

  “You are?” Emilia said, surprised.

  “Indeed I am, won several tournaments when I was younger, plus some other things I don’t feel like talking about right now,” Yasuko said, keeping her cards close to her chest.

  This intrigued Meg, but she said nothing. They’d talked about all sorts in the year since she arrived, but some things aren’t there for casual conversation. Instead, she gave Yasuko a peck on the cheek and stepped back.

  She gazed at the sky in the direction Nami had headed. “Did you notice how similar her outfit was to ours?” Meg had seen the similarity immediately, other than the usual colour and mild stylistic differences; Nami’s outfit was close to identical to theirs, only in a forest green matching her untransformed hair’s colour.

  Emilia sighed. “No surprise there, considering who she is.”

  “That’s right, you know her, don’t you?” Meg exclaimed.

  “I thought I did. Not so sure now. She’s the Prime Priestess, Nami’el Nocturnis. The queen of Solnath, City of Darkness,” Emilia explained. “In your language, Solnath translates to… Starnight.”

  “As in… Starnight City?” Meg said. “That’s some coincidence!”

  “Yeah. I don’t believe in coincidence, there must be something more going on here,” Emilia muttered.

  “So this Nami girl is from your world? Well, guess that makes sense, going by her hair colour. Not exactly normal for Earth,” Yasuko said.

  “She’s pretty much the most important person on our planet!” Emilia stated, her expression dropping. “Why is she here on Earth? More to the point, what the hell is she doing, causing these problems!?”

  “Shall we come back to the mansion with you for now? Might help to talk about it,” Meg suggested.

  Emilia shook her head. “No, it’s okay, I’d like to talk to Lifa and Blue first, try and get my thoughts in order. Maybe tomorrow?”

  The other two agreed this sounded good, so they headed home, leaving Emilia to await Lifa’s arrival; the damage still needed repairing and the various unconscious people would be waking up soon.

  Then she headed home to try and think of a reason her priestess could be doing what she was.

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