Chapter 329 Execution
The bloodburst blow sent the geist hurtling down to the ground head first, a huge dent in its ashen skull. It had sunken in its forehead eye to avoid damage, but now it was exposed, its skull roofing smashed inward into pieces.
With the skull fully exposed, it was possible to see than that the eye was the only fleshy part in the entire head, residing in the hollow of its skull chamber. Countless green vines kept the eye tethered within the skull.
The eye start to look less and less like an eye and more like a brain.
Valera watched as her severed legs fell down. Strands of bright red flesh reached out from both halves of her body, tying together to re-attach the halves of her body without issue.
The more she reverted, the more her regenerative abilities grew as a vampire. And the Etal bloodline of vampires, as the fiercest fighters among them all, had among the best regeneration in the entire species.
Nothing less of absolute eradication or holy damage could overcome said regeneration.
Another pair of wings erupted from Valera's lower back. A tail covered in spikes like a brutal torturer's weapon grew out from her exoskeleton.
The only emotion she felt now was rage. Pure, blinding, hot, seething rage. Everything that caused her rage boiled within her, bubbling out from the depths of her dark memories in a scorching swell.
She remembered her father's death.
The eradication of her entire bloodline.
The death of the princess she had loved as a sister.
The constant hunts against her, the way they looked at her like an object, a bounty to take.
And, when she grew too strong, too feared for mere bounty hunters, when she made her own attacks against those that had taken everything from her, the way they looked at her like a deranged demon when they were the ones to force that life on her.
The boss geist looked up at Valera with its eye, and Valera looked back down with her claws upraised. She had long since dematerialized her shield for she knew she did not have the wits to use any martial arts skills.
She could not even properly see, really. Her exoskeleton flesh covered her eyes, returning her physical form ever closer to ancient True Vampires of the night who, in eternal dark, never had the need to evolve eyesight.
The geist could tell Valera's target clearly: it's eye.
In response, the geist rooted its stinger into the ground.
The barren wasteland earth turned into a lush forest in an instant. Fully grown trees, giant thorns, toxic flowers, powerful vines, poisonous spores, fungal growths, and countless other flora emerged in an entire ecosystem turned into colossal battering ram.
Valera roared as she met the avalanche of plant life head on. She clenched her claws together into fists and punched down as fast as possible.
With machine gun speed, her blows, each of them charged with bloodburst, blew apart the incoming forest chunk by chunk.
She punched faster than the forest could grow, and slowly but surely, she made her way down, closer and closer to that eye she would rip and tear apart.
Her memories of the past faded away. They no longer gave her as much rage as they used to. Instead, the image of her master appeared in her mind. Her master, hurt, broken, dead.
That gave her more rage.
The rage to sustain her Reversion further. She punched with even more vigor, growing another pair of arms with her exoskeleton to double her efforts.
Eventually, she broke past the forest to see the eye gazing at her, right in front of her. She unloaded a mighty punch upon it, sending it flying back into its skull cavity.
Surprisingly, the eye was durable enough to withstand that punch, though it leaked white tinted blood from tears the bloodburst explosion caused.
Valera landed inside the skull, the claws on all four of her arms unsheathed, ready to tear soft flesh instead of punching.
In response, the eye's shining white pupil dilated, illuminating Valera in a spotlight of rot. She took struggling steps forward, her blood armor turning black and rotting away and regenerating in near equal speeds.
The light had a 'weight' to it that made it harder to move in the closer one was to it.
On top of that, the closer she got, the more severe the rot became until, right in front of the eye, it overpowered her regeneration. Patches in her exoskeleton became visible, and underneath, chunks of her flesh started to decay.
Valera, moving slowly, sunk her claws into the eye. Warm blood squirted outwards as she reached in deeper and deeper. The exoskeleton covering her eyes rotted away, and she was left staring into pure, blinding white light.
There, she was again confronted with the image of Aldrich's death. Him lying on her lap not in restful sleep, but in true death. But this time, she did not feel anger.
She felt fear.
Without the rage to sustain her reversion, Valera reeled from the lost power and regenerative boosts, stepping back, her body breaking apart in every direction.
Was she…going to lose?
But then it ended.
The eye's pupil turned up before dimming into a dull grey.
The light disappeared.
Aldrich landed beside Valera within the boss geist's skull. His right fist was clenched, blood pooling down from it from the heart he had crushed.
Valera's constant attacks built up a debuff called [Goredrinker's Mark] which gradualyl increased the threshold of execution effects.
This included [Heart in My Hand], which allowed Aldrich to instantly kill the boss geist once its eye -its 'core' as it was - was damaged enough.
"Are you alright?" said Aldrich, sending his mist over to Valera's half-decayed body. She had lost both her legs and an arm from the boss geist. With the mist, she quickly recovered, recovering her full form in seconds.
"I…I am fine," said Valera. She blinked, looking at her hands questioningly, as if they had betrayed her.
Aldrich knew something was wrong. She was on track to killing the boss geist solo, but her Reversion had stopped mid-way. "Did the boss have a way to disable your reversion?"
"No…I don't know." Valera clenched her fists and sighed. Then, she smiled. "Do not worry about me, master. It was a simple mistake, but I will not make it again.
For now, let us bask in the glory of our victory.
Another strong one among our ranks is always a cause for celebration."
Valera motioned to the boss geist's eye.
From the eye, Aldrich could see that a Soul floated above.