Elpida whispered the plan behind a cupped hand, her words shrouded by rainstorm static, with Ilyusha’s back toward the left-hand stairwell.
She doubted that the revenant sniper up in her tangled nest of broken steel and shattered concrete could lip-read through the walls, but Elpida wasn’t going to take that risk. So she pressed the edge of her hand to Ilyusha’s bloodstained hair, and breathed into her ear.
Speed was essential — as were accuracy and visual acuity. One mistake would ruin the plan, and likely end up with both of them splattered across the stairs by an explosive spider-drone. They would lose the element of surprise the moment they moved; the sniper could see through walls.
But if they did it right, the sniper would have to relocate.
Elpida’s breath tickled the tiny hairs on Ilyusha’s neck: “If we move fast enough we can flank her before she can properly readjust. We may be able to force her into a sub-optimal position, then exploit the opening. That depends on the layout of the top floor; if it’s wide open like down here, we have to keep moving fast, to get above her. If it’s close-quarters, we can hunt her. But we must move faster than she expects.”
It’s how she would have cornered Asp, if she’d ever had need to.
Ilyusha’s face was still smeared with blood from her shallow head wound. Grey eyes shined amid sticky crimson, no trace of concussion left. She squinted and gestured with those eyes, indicating the stairwell — the opposite stairwell, on the right, with steps made of wood, and no sniper watching from the apex.
Ilyusha said, “Obvious trap?”
“Yes. That’s the point. She’s likely expecting us to take that stairwell. It’s our only option to nullify her high-ground advantage and flank her through the middle of the structure. It’s probably full of the explosive drones — not just to kill us, but to slow us down, to give her time to relocate. She wants to make us crawl.”
Ilyusha’s lips peeled back from her teeth. She hissed.
Elpida whispered: “But we’re not going to crawl; we’re going to stand tall, and sprint.”
Ilyusha’s angry sneer transformed into a grin. Her exposed red claws clinked against her rotary shotgun and tapped on the heat-damaged surface of the ballistic shield.
“Stand tall!” she barked. “Love it.”
Elpida nodded. “Illy, this is going to be very dangerous. I’m asking you to sprint through a mobile minefield. I’ll take point, with the shield, but if you—”
“I go up front!” Ilyusha snapped. She lifted the shield and tucked it in close. “You’re too big!”
Elpida wanted to argue, but Ilyusha had a point: Elpida was too tall to fit comfortably behind the shield without crouching, which might slow them down. And Ilyusha clearly wanted this: her eyes burned like lightning-lit storm clouds; her petite frame was full of muscular tension, ready to explode upward; her lips peeled back in a toothy grin, framed by drying blood; she was wagging her black-and-red bionic tail.
Ilyusha was the only one of Elpida’s new comrades who she could trust for this task. Even Pira, battle-hardened and experienced, would show too much caution. She needed reckless abandon married to unmatched skill.
She needed Howl.
Ilyusha must have mistaken Elpida’s guilt and grief for hesitation. The heavily augmented girl suddenly hissed: “I can do it! Elps! Take me!”
Elpida’s heart lurched. She swallowed a cough, which made her stomach muscles scream.
The ghost of her most beloved had somehow stolen inside the body of this girl from another era; Elpida did not believe that literally, she knew that she was projecting, seeing what she wanted to see. She was grasping for comfort at an echo inside her own mind.
But here was one last charge alongside Howl, if only in surrogate.
Elpida whispered: “All right. You take point. Shield up. I trust you, Illy. Are you certain you can spot and neutralise those bomb drones?”
Ilyusha nodded. “Fuck yeah I can!”
“Okay.” Elpida made sure her own sniper rifle was strapped securely across her back, then unslung her submachine gun again. “Are you ready?”
“Yeah!” Ilyusha levelled her shotgun and tucked the shield in tight. She bounced one leg up and down on the ball of her foot, vibrating with energy. Elpida reached over with one hand and pulled Ilyusha’s double hoods up, covering her head with the armoured fabric. Ilyusha playfully twisted her head and snapped her teeth at Elpida’s hand. Elpida tried not to think about that; Ilyusha was not Howl.
Elpida hissed, “On three, we break for the stairwell. Move as fast as you can, I’ll match your pace.”
“Joking! Let’s go! Let’s go fuck her up!”
Elpida nodded. “All right. One.”
Ilyusha bounced in time with the count. Her eyes were glued to the stairwell.
Elpida flexed both hands on her submachine gun. Ilyusha rocked forward on the balls of her feet.
They launched from a standing start, slammed through the doorway together, and hit the stairs running.
Ilyusha was perfect — shield in tight, eyes up and roving, shotgun light and muzzle mobile, head swivelling in all directions as she flew up the wooden steps. She was so quick and graceful on her bionic legs. She twisted on the spot with ease, even carrying that bulletproof shield and weighed down by two layers of armoured coat. With each sinuous motion she anchored herself by digging her bionic claws into the wooden stairs, chewing into the material as she leapt and kicked. She covered every corner — and Elpida’s back — in a ceaseless rising whirlwind of motion. Elpida was impressed; she knew Ilyusha was good, she’d witnessed these skills from the moment they’d stalked out of the resurrection chamber together. But to operate like this under such pressure, to execute a difficult plan with no practice, was more than Elpida expected from anybody not of her cadre.
The wooden stairwell was a windowless vertical corridor, identical to its matching plastic and metal twin on the other side, but lacking a tangle of ruins at the top. The steps and railings were made of wood, but the walls were polished brick covered with a layer of clear lacquer. The steps climbed toward double-doors at regular intervals; eight floors, capped with a roof.
Elpida’s wounds were screaming by the time they hit the first landing; her bruised stomach muscles were stiffening and her chest felt like ground glass. She coughed hard, spat dark blood onto the wooden floor, and forced her legs to leap the steps three at a time, sticking close to Ilyusha’s heels.
The first explosive drone showed itself seconds later: a brown smudge dropped from the brick wall on their left.
Elpida shouted, bringing her submachine gun up: “Left! Ten o’clock—”
Ilyusha was quick. She twitched round before Elpida had finished shouting, then blasted the drone and half the wall with a storm of lead pellets from her shotgun. The drone detonated with a meaty crump. Ilyusha whooped, filling the stairwell with echoes. Elpida closed her eyes as brick dust and tiny pieces of shrapnel rained downward.
“Keep moving!” she shouted, already hurling herself up the steps. “Eyes up! Go!”
When the shock wave passed, Elpida opened her eyes; Ilyusha hadn’t even broken her stride. Leaping three or four steps at a time, her face still blood-slick with crimson, grey eyes like a raging storm, grin a white slash in a red face.
Howl’s ghost; an unfair thought, which Elpida did not have time to address.
The sniper threw a dozen more explosive drones at them in the forty one seconds it took to sprint to the top floor; perhaps the devices were automatic, Elpida couldn’t tell. Ilyusha shot them out of the air, blasted them against the walls or the underside of the stairs, and once lifted her shotgun to detonate one of the drones which was wedged low against a step, hiding like a landmine. She scored ten kills, whooping and cheering, bionic feet tearing into the wood to anchor herself against the recoil of her weapon; Elpida scored two, despite the relatively poor accuracy of her submachine gun against such small targets. Ilyusha tanked the explosive backwash on the shield, hurtling forward without pause, cackling at the top of her lungs.
Forty one seconds. They hit the top of the stairwell, a small landing with an open doorway.
Ilyusha was panting through clenched teeth, shield up, eyes darting back and forth for more drones. Elpida was heaving with the pain in her belly and chest, drooling blood.
The doorway led into a jumble of abandoned office space: cubicles, partition walls, support pillars, low desks with swivel chairs and personal terminals. All was draped with dust and shadows.
Eight floors up was higher than the revenant sniper’s position on the opposite side of the building. If Elpida had timed this right, the sniper would still be scrambling to catch up with them, trying to get into a new position to hold them off at range. But a tangle of office space was not a good place to hold an opponent at arm’s length. This was close-quarters work. Shield and shotgun would shine.
Elpida spat to clear her throat. “Perfect. Illy, well done. Good girl. Good.”
Ilyusha’s face lit up with ecstasy. She shouted into the depths of the ruined building: “I’m a good girl, bitch! You fucking hear that!?”
Elpida grunted: “Hold one second. No sense rushing the door. She might have more drones. We go in, straight—”
“Ha!” Ilyusha barked, twisted on the spot with her claws anchoring her feet to the ground, and mashed her bloody lips against Elpida’s mouth.
The kiss was over in a heartbeat. Ilyusha tore away, grinning madly, and plunged forward into the maze of cubicles.
Elpida wasted a precious second on shock. She could taste Ilyusha’s blood, smeared across her lips.
Then she dived into the shadows, following the clicking claws. “Illy! Wait!”
The top floor of the building was all one big room: open-plan, grey-on-grey, divided into small cubicles and a few open areas. The partitions were just shorter than Elpida’s sight-line; they wouldn’t block or deflect a shot from the sniper’s chemical propellant, solid-slug rifle, but they would foul her accuracy. One end of the building, far away to the right, had collapsed into a tangle of concrete and steel; rain drummed on the breached ruins, admitting a trickle of light to draw long grey shadows across the room. The air smelled of petrochemicals and plastic.
Elpida quickly caught up with Ilyusha, right on her heels. Ilyusha grinned back at her, blood smeared in a new way over her lower face.
“Straight for the door!” Elpida hissed as they kept low, behind the partitions. “Catch her as she’s coming in. Watch for more drones, we’re exposed here, we—”
A metallic voice suddenly screeched from the other end of the room, muffled by the partitions and the rain-static in the air: “I see you right there, corpse-shitter! And your little fuck-toy friend, too! Come get me, if you caaaaan!”
The sniper was already up here.
But she hadn’t taken a shot — she’d goaded them, again.
Ilyusha gritted her teeth and raised her head to howl an insult across the maze of cubicle partitions: “I’m gonna take you apart, bitch!”
Elpida hissed, “She’s not set up! Illy, go!”
Elpida’s heart ached all the more when Ilyusha didn’t need a reminder of the plan. The heavily augmented girl twisted on the spot and scurried off to the left, her tail bouncing as she vanished deeper into the maze of partition walls.
Elpida went right. She stayed low, moving fast, submachine gun covering corners.
Splitting up was dangerous, and not only because of the explosive drones: with no short-range comms there was a very real risk of her and Ilyusha shooting each other in confusion. Even the cadre was not immune to the fog of battle.
But the sniper could see them anyway; there was no reason to stay quiet.
Elpida called out, as planned: “Illy!”
Ilyusha shouted back. “Here!” Her voice floated over the partitions. They weren’t too far apart.
“Bitch is close!”
Elpida stopped at the corner of a cubicle and projected her voice deeper into the room: “Hey, zombie! Not gonna shoot me?”
Rainstorm static drummed on the roof, spattering on the concrete and steel at the far end of the room. The revenant sniper did not reply.
The tactic was simple — Ilyusha went one way, Elpida went the other: a pincer movement. Even a very skilled sniper could not keep two opponents at bay at the same time, not in a close-quarters environment with her sight-lines complicated by all these partition walls and pillars, even if she could see through solid matter. Asp, with her perfect technique, would have retreated; this sniper was more bold and less skilled. Whoever she chose not to engage would be able to rush her. Hopefully Ilyusha, with her shield for protection.
But the sniper wasn’t shooting.
Had Elpida completely misunderstood her capabilities? In Kagami’s auspex visor, the revenant’s physical form had been difficult to make out, a jumble of limbs and torso and other parts. Had she fled from the close-quarter confrontation? Or had Elpida made a mistake?
Elpida drew her combat knife from within her coat, holding it in her left hand and bracing her submachine gun on her wrist. She peered around the edge of the cubicle, into a wider space with low benches and deep shadows.
Beneath the omnipresent chemical smell of the rainwater, she caught wind of something else — woody and meaty, like mushrooms.
She called out: “Illy! Sound off!”
“Elpi!” Ilyusha cackled back. She was muffled by the rain-static, further away now, scuttling between pillars and walls as they both looped toward their target.
“I can smell the cunt right here!”
Elpida kept moving. She shot into the open space and paused behind a stout pillar; a clock and an ancient calender were mounted on the white plaster. She raised her voice again. “Come on, zombie! Take a shot already!”
Shadows lay thick inside the cubicles on either side. Rainwater static washed away the sound of her own heartbeat.
Elpida smelled mushrooms again. Stronger. Closer.
“Illy!” she called out. “Illy, abort!”
“What?!” Ilyusha’s shout was all but drowned by the rain.
Elpida ducked left and right, checking around the sides of the pillar. Empty cubicles penned her on all sides: a dozen hiding places for explosive drones or unbreathing zombies. Long shadows loomed in the weak light creeping in through the fallen section of roof. She flexed her hands on her submachine gun and combat knife.
“Abort!” she repeated. “Back to the door! Now!”
“Fuck that!” Ilyusha shouted back.
Elpida had made a mistake; this was a trap.
She had begun this duel by asking herself what one of her own cadre would be capable of: she had compared the revenant sniper against Asp. One of her beloved sisters, Asp, so willowy and graceful, so slow to move and so fast to strike. Asp, with her almond-shaped eyes and long fingers and low, whispery voice. Elpida had compared this sniper with Asp, and found the revenant wanting. How could she not? Her cadre was perfect, the best at what they did. Any tactic which would overcome Asp would surely overcome her inferior.
Get up close and personal. Neutralise her range. Shock her into close quarters combat, where all her skills meant nothing.
But these zombies were not Elpida’s cadre. This was not the green. This was not Telokopolis
“Ilyusha!” she shouted one more time. “Back to the door, right now!”
Elpida burst from behind the pillar, making no effort to stay low, hurrying back along the route she’d taken through the maze of cubicles. She turned quickly as she strode, trying to cover every angle with the muzzle of her weapon, flicking it back and forth between the cubicle openings she raced past. If she could catch back up with Ilyusha they might be able to extract themselves. Analysis of failure was for later. She had to move, stay alert, pull out before—
Crump went an explosion on the far side of the office space. Partitions and shrapnel flew into the air.
“Illy!” Elpida shouted.
A giant spider draped all in black slid out of a cubicle, right on top of her.
Elpida jerked back, finger tightening on the trigger of her weapon; but the spider reached out with three arms, flicker-quick. Pale papery hands grabbed her wrist and elbow, forcing her aim up and to the side with monstrous strength. The third hand got a grip on her trigger finger and snapped the bones backward with an audible crack. Elpida hissed blood through gritted teeth. Painblockers compensated; training took over. Elpida stabbed forward and upward with her combat knife, aiming at the white skin of an exposed throat.
Three more hands caught her thrust. Her knife scored a glancing blow along a naked forearm. Red blood slid from an open wound.
A metallic voice hissed, amused: “Go on corpse-fucker, turn me to shit! Try it!”
Elpida had only a second to realise what she was grappling with: it was the sniper from the battle at the tomb fortifications, the one who had shot at the Silico construct.
She was gigantic: nine feet of loose black robes were wrapped around a hunchbacked frame, topped by a moon-like face and a sheet of lank, white-blonde hair. Her mouth and chin were covered by a metal mask painted with sharp black teeth. Her eyes were dark red, without pupils or irises, bionic lenses flexing and adjusting beneath layers of bio-plastic. Spindly, pale, papery limbs jutted out at odd angles from inside her robes, lacking muscle mass despite her incredible strength — six, then eight, then a dozen limbs. She reeked of that woody, meaty, fungal stench.
Elpida grunted: “I’m not—”
Three pale arms raised a smooth grey oblong with a wide opening at one end. Elpida had never seen a weapon like it before.
The gigantic spider-sniper jammed it under Elpida’s chin, and hissed, voice like metal on metal: “Back to hell, sludge-scum!”
She pulled the trigger.
A pulse of heat passed through Elpida’s face and scalp and—
The sniper’s dark red bionic eyes blinked twice. Before Elpida could kick and struggle, the gravitic weapon was removed from under her chin and the sniper let go of her arms. The giant stepped back, massive and dark in the cramped spaces between the cubicles. Elpida dropped her knife and transferred her submachine gun to her left hand, ignoring the pain from the broken bones in her right index finger. She raised the gun, finger on the trigger.
The sniper was murmuring: “But you look just like—”
Ilyusha came crashing directly through the cubicle partitions.
A whirlwind of claw and shield and lashing tail burst through the flimsy walls and slammed into the sniper, bowling her over in a cloud of black. Spindly limbs went everywhere, reaching for weapons, righting the sniper, trying to deflect the stabbing spike of Ilyusha’s tail.
Ilyusha screamed. “Fucking got you, cunt!”
“Howl,” Elpida breathed.
Ilyusha slammed her ballistic shield into the sniper’s front as the revenant tried to rise, knocking her down into a tangle of broken partitions. One bone-thin pale arm raised a bulky handgun, but Ilyusha’s tail knocked it aside. Ilyusha planted a clawed foot into the black robes, shoved her shotgun in the sniper’s moon-like face, and-
The gigantic hunchbacked sniper had raised one arm between herself and Ilyusha, as if to ward off the killing shot. A set of symbols were burned or tattooed into the mushroom-pale flesh: a row of nine stylised black skulls, some of which had little crosses for eyes or limp tongues hanging from slack jaws. Each skull was struck through with a thick line. At the head of the row was a symbol Elpida recognised, a diagonal line intersected by a crescent: the same symbol which Ilyusha had daubed on the front of her torn t-shirt, with a stick of green camo paint, back in the gravekeeper’s armoury. The same symbol was still visible on Ilyusha’s t-shirt now, through the open front of her double layer of armoured coats.
Ilyusha stared at the symbols. She bared her teeth in frustration, looked back up at the sniper’s deep red eyes, and jerked her shotgun forward.
The gigantic sniper woman said: “You won’t.” Her metallic voice was scratchy with pain. “Mistake. Same side. Come on.”
“Bitch!” Ilyusha screamed.
A metal snort came from beneath the mask. Pale eyebrows flexed above deep red bionic orbs. “No harm done.”
Elpida said: “Illy, is this woman—”
“Fucking stupid cunt!” Ilyusha screamed again. Then she lowered her shotgun and stepped off the sniper.
Elpida kept the giant covered with her submachine gun as the huge woman flowed to her feet — though she could have concealed anything beneath those robes, feet or otherwise. She filled the space, massive and dark, limbs all suddenly tucking back inside her robes.
“No sudden movements,” Elpida said. “You’re going to answer my questions.”
But then Ilyusha reached out with the tip of her shotgun — and gently lowered Elpida’s own weapon.
Ilyusha, sulky and bitter and gritting her teeth, shook her head.
Elpida asked: “We’re letting her go?”
Ilyusha hissed a wordless noise of humiliated frustration.
The sniper ignored Elpida, addressing Ilyusha: “Thought your clever friend here was a Necromancer, comrade. My mistake. Big sorry. Whoops.” Her metal voice did not sound apologetic. She sounded amused.
“Retard fuckhead,” Ilyusha growled. “Should fucking shoot you.”
Elpida said, “Illy, do you know this woman?”
“Serin,” said the giant sniper. “I’ve heard your names. You shout a lot.”
Elpida spoke quickly. “Serin. Fine. Why did you think I was a Necromancer? You mentioned my skin. Explain. Now.”
Serin’s moon-like face, cupped by the metal mask, turned to look at Elpida with dark light burning inside those red machine-eyes. “Seen a corpse-fucker with your skin and hair, once. And all that metal in your head. Never seen that elsewhere. Other metal. Other heads. Not that metal.”
“A Necromancer who looked like me? What was her name? What other—”
“Too long ago.”
“Too long for memory, fresh meat. She got away, from another. Not me. Long time. Didn’t have means then. But worth a shot, at you. No harm, no foul, right?”
“You broke my finger.” Elpida raised her right hand. Her index finger would need to be set, or at least snapped back into position. The pain throbbed down her wrist in sharp waves. She allowed that pain to carry away her disappointment at the lack of information.
But a Necromancer, with her skin and her hair? That could only mean one thing.
Serin shrugged, bony plates adjusting beneath her black robes. “It’ll fix right easy. You’ve got all that raw blue. Which you should drink up, by the way. Not everybody with peepers like mine is hunting big game. Plenty of crows out there looking for an easy score.”
“And you’re not?” Elpida demanded. “You’ve just spent an hour trying to kill us.”
Serin produced her strange grey oblong weapon again — the source of the gravitic signature Kagami had seen in the auspex visor. It seemed to suck in the faint light filtering into the office space from the section of fallen roof. She showed it to them — but mostly to Ilyusha.
“Just luring you close,” said Serin. “For this. But it doesn’t work on zombies. Only corpse-rapists, and worse.”
Ilyusha hissed: “Moron shit eater dick face.”
Elpida shook her head. “Ilyusha, we’re letting this woman go? I need to understand.”
Ilyusha snorted. “Hunting reptiles. Not gonna eat us. Just fucking stupid.”
“Reptiles? I don’t understand.”
Serin raised her tattooed arm again, showing off those crossed-out black skulls. “I hunt the death cult. Mostly.”
Elpida nodded. “I’ve seen that symbol before, a black skull, painted on the chest of a suit of power-armour.”
The sniper’s pale eyebrows shot upward. “Where? A friend?”
“Shot her,” Ilyusha snapped, pointing at Elpida. “With a coilgun. Boom! Fucked. Elpi’s cool, she’s one of us. Fuck off!”
“Huh,” Serin grunted. “Well done, fresh meat who isn’t a Necromancer. Hold onto your little comrade there, she’ll teach you how not to become a monster.”
Ilyusha snorted: “Fuck you, retard. Use your eyes next time.”
“Thank you, little comrade.”
Elpida was having trouble keeping up with this. Her wounds and bruises ached. There were undercurrents of allegiance and identification here that she did not yet know. But the fight was over. The fight had been mistaken in the first place, the product of an overzealous hunter.
She said, “So this was a case of mistaken identity? All this violence was for nothing?”
Serin shrugged again. Too many joints moved beneath her robes, massive shapes hidden in the black. She reeked of fungal spores and mushroom flesh. “Fun, wasn’t it?”
Ilyusha said, “Boring shit. You shoot like you’re blind. Cunt.”
Elpida couldn’t see any other way to end this. Her mind was already joining the dots — the skull symbols, the matching insignia she’d seen on that pale leather flag during the fight to escape the tomb pyramid, and Ilyusha’s apparent yet offended allegiance with this woman. She said, “You promise to leave us alone now? Illy, can we trust her to go? This isn’t a trap or a trick?”
Serin answered first: “No reason to hunt you more. You’re no Necromancer. Oopsie.”
Ilyusha looked like she wanted to rip the sniper’s face off, but she hissed in frustration. “Our side. Don’t shoot, I guess. Fuck-head.”
Elpida locked eyes with Serin for a long moment, then said, “Who needs enemies when you have allies like these.”
The deep red bionic eyes scrunched up at the corners: a grin, hidden behind the metal mask.
That scratching voice hissed over the rain static: “I’m not your ally, fresh meat. But if you keep killing death’s heads, you’re on the right track. Watch your shadows, I’ll be around.”
And with that the spindly giant turned and flowed away, vanishing amid the tangle of cubicles and shadows. She showed no fear of being shot in the back. Ilyusha spat on the ground as she left, but there was little anger in the gesture. Elpida grimaced at her own broken finger. She tried to catch Ilyusha’s flat grey eyes.
“Illy, none of that was your fault.”
“I need an explanation, intel, anything. I realise why we didn’t kill that woman — she confirmed I’m not a Necromancer. But, death’s heads? Her tattoos? That symbol on your t-shirt? Please. If we have potential allies here, that’s a good thing. But I need to know.”
Ilyusha avoided her gaze, embarrassed or ashamed. Her shotgun pointed at the floor. Her tail hung limp.
“Even the good are made bloodthirsty,” she said — and it was that other voice, that voice she had used to plead for continued kindness, when her clawed hand had touched Elpida’s face.
Elpida reached over and took her shoulder, gently.
Ilyusha’s head snapped up, eyes burning bright once again. Her tail flicked the air. She pulled a sardonic grin. “Stupid shit. S’go back to the others, yeah?”
Elpida nodded. “I’m with you, Illy.”
I’m with Ilyusha on this one. That revenant was very irresponsible. Then again, there’s worse things than zombies walking these wastes; perhaps hunting them makes one paranoid. Do you think this has brought Ilyusha and Elpida closer together? Or is Illy too mortified by the actions of her ‘ally’?
If you want more Necroepilogos right away, there is a tier for it on my patreon:
Right now this only offers a single chapter ahead, about 4k words. Please, do feel free to wait until there’s plenty more to read! I’m still trying to somehow put out more chapters ahead, maybe soon! If I can get to two, or three, that would be great, so I’m trying!
There’s also a TopWebFiction entry, for voting. Voting makes the story go up the rankings, which helps more people see it!
Thank you for reading! This arc has been a blast, I’ve enjoyed it so much. Next week, it’s onto arc 5, and something very, very different … you’ll see!
ILLY I LOVE YOU OH MY GODS GOOD GIRL GOOD GOOD GIRL
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I want to let you know this is one of the best comments I have even gotten. Thank you! Yes. Ilyusha is a very good girl.
Ahhh, the fragile connections and alliances of an an end world era. Hehehe, definitely don’t want Elpida and the others.
Thank you for the chapter.
Connections and alliances, indeed! And poor Elpida turns out to be a little out of her depth. She’s still got a lot to learn, even if she’s very skilled.
And you are very welcome for the chapter! Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!
Thank you for replying.
Ah yes, morality in the apocalypse. Is it made easier or harder by the lack of true death I wonder. Regardless, thanks for the chapter!
Morality is harder than ever to grasp in a world of resurrection, nanomachies, and fleeting comfort. Ilyusha seems to feel strongly about it, in any case.
And you’re very welcome indeed! Glad you enjoyed it!