Exhausted but flooded with relief, Ami lay on the cratered black basalt, feeling the sharp pebbles underneath her press into the bare skin of her back. In the state she was in, the stones were the least of her concerns. Her abdomen was a single black and blue bruise, lined with streaks of red blood trickling down her heaving chest from her wounded left hand that she was clutching against it. She didn't dare look down at the limb for fear of what she would see. The mess of blood, flesh, and bone splinters that had struck the Reaper like a high-velocity missile wasn't hurting all that much, which made the short-haired girl worry even more. She shifted her weight onto her right elbow as she rolled to the side so that she could see the black-winged master of ceremonies. Her broken left shin, jostled by the movement, sent a twinge of pain through her that made her gasp. Panting, she went through the extra effort required to sit up, never taking her gaze off of the dark-skinned figure, who was as bare-chested as she was. That would have normally been cause for terminal mortification, but Ami was in too much pain to care right now, even with the roaring of the crowd applauding her victory and reminding her of her exposed location.
The feeling of evil, oppressive power gathering in the special box holding the hooded priests and the dark angel was much more cause for alarm. With wide eyes, she watched a darting flame lick up from the huge brazier and consume the remaining incense within. The resulting smoke curled unnaturally in the air. Azzathra! Ami shivered as she felt the the hateful presence of the dark god, manifesting somewhere close behind the thin skein of reality. The black-robed priests all threw themselves onto their bellies, while the winged man only lowered his head and closed his eyes, nodding from time to time as if listening. Finally, the dark angel raised his voice. "SILENCE!"
The thunderous voice lashed through the Colosseum like a whip, putting a sudden end to the cheers and shouts as creatures ducked as if struck. The master of ceremonies smiled smugly as the drums fell silent too, and he threw his wings open theatrically. "As you all know, our Great Lord, Azzathra the Mighty Tyrant, traditionally rewards the winner by bestowing upon him some aspect of the loser's strength." His gaze focused on the small-looking girl lying on the basalt platform not far away.
Ami gulped, tasting coppery blood in her throat as her imagination conjured up visions of being turned into some grotesque, over-muscular parody of herself. Or, even worse, taking on the appearance of the reaper. She didn't want baldness or red skin! Horns or hoofed legs would be a disaster, too! She opened her mouth to protest, but was cut off when the master of ceremonies continued speaking in his booming voice.
"However, Lord Azzathra, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that such a gift would clearly be wasted on a Keeper of her ability." As usual, the listening monsters failed to register the sarcasm, but Ami picked up on it immediately, and waited for the other shoe to drop. "As she seems," the dark angel glowered at Ami directly for a moment, "able enough physically, she will receive some of the horned reaper's knowledge instead."
That didn't seem too bad, Ami thought, before remembering what had happened with Malleus' memories. She started when something black and rectangular shimmered into existence with a thunderclap. The dark angel snatched the book out of the air and tossed it toward the young Keeper with a careless flick of his wrist. If the implied insult of offering knowledge, rather than power, was too subtle to penetrate the thick skulls of the audience, the more crude one of the heavy tome bouncing off of Ami's forehead was not. "There, take it and go," the imposing figure ordered, crossing his arms.
The blue-haired girl needn't be told twice, and amidst the snickers of the crowd, she put her right hand on the cover of the volume, feeling the coldness of its brass beneath her fingertips. A moment later, her half-naked form melted into shadows that arced upwards before crossing the abyss separating the platform from the surrounding ranks. It descended like black lightning onto a cheering Cathy, who was sitting next to her elated companions.
"Sorry, Cathy. I just don't feel like being in my own body right now," Ami's voice rang out in the swordswoman's mind, who felt her muscles lock up for a moment before the young Keeper relinquished control.
"I can understand that," the warrior replied, sounding a bit taken aback by the situation, before she smiled widely and wiped her tears off of her cheeks "Congratulations on your victory! I knew you could do it!"
The others looked at the scar-faced blonde, noting how her eyes flashed red for a moment before returning to their usual dark blue colour.
"Mercury? You all right?" Jered asked, voicing the question on everyone's mind.
Cathy's eyes flashed back to red, and when she spoke, she formed her words with the gentler inflection of Sailor Mercury. "As well as I can be given the circumstances, yes. It helps that I'm not hurting right now, but we should get out of here. Jadeite, could you teleport us out of here, please?"
The dark general, who had been scowling at the mob of monsters jostling each other as they clogged the exist from the arena, shook his head. "We will have to leave the premises first. I can't detect where I am relative to the world while in this building," he commented. In a more encouraging tone, he added "Well fought."
"Indeed, Indeed. I'll be glad to leave too," Snyder added. For once, he was wearing nondescript black robes, rather than the white and red acolyte garb he preferred. Given the group's current location, this had been a wise decision on his part. Nevertheless, he still stood out the most out of any of Ami's team, due to the neatness of his bowl cut and his rigid, uneasy posture. In contrast, Jered had no trouble presenting himself as one of the shady-looking denizens of this place. Jadeite fit right in, cackling as he cleared a path for the group, smashing burly orcs into walls and shoving trolls aside. He wasn't making any friends, and a particularly offended pot-bellied monster came at him with a broken bottle in its lumpish hands, bounced off of the dark general's shields, crashed into the nearby seats, and slid over them, plummeting to the row below. Cathy herself remained unchallenged for the most part - glowing red eyes were bad news, everyone knew this.
"It would be best if I didn't return to either dungeon immediately," Ami thought out loud with the possessed swordswoman's voice, "I need to check whether that book is safe or not first."
"Sounds reasonable. I must say, I'm rather curious what's in it," the blonde said in her own mannerism, appearing to the onlookers as if she was talking to herself.
"Noted. I'll drop you off somewhere in the desert," Jadeite said, having to raise his voice to be heard over the noise of the crowd. The group descended the stairs into the dimly lit entrance hall, moving slowly through the hustle and bustle.
Ami had a lot of time to admire the architecture, even though it wasn't much to her taste. Too many carved skulls decorated the massive pillars of ebony stone that held up the cupola of the building. Aside from the decorations, the hall rather reminded her of a canopied rail platform, if one had been built with medieval construction techniques and materials. The smell of the sweaty crowd gathered under the vaulting roof, forming a haze in the air. However, a long row of alcoves along the left wall, filled with larger-than-life statues of warriors smashing and stabbing each other drew her attention. Particularly the last and newest one. "What is that?" she cried in Cathy's voice, eyes wide open and blazing red as she lifted one hand to cover her mouth.
"Keep moving!" the white-haired orc behind her grumbled, and she felt a push from behind. Taking over control from the stunned Keeper, Cathy walked on, while being treated to the strange sensation of her cheeks warming while experiencing none of the appropriate emotions. The last set of sculptures that had surprised the blue-haired girl so was one of the final moments of her battle with the Reaper, aptly chosen to provide maximum embarrassment to both combatants. It showed the horned demon doubling over with a comically exaggerated grimace of pain on his face, because the barely-dressed, slender girl dangling head-over from his grip punched him in the stomach. The artist clearly had taken some liberties, as Cathy didn't remember Mercury being so well-developed.
"Well..." Jered began, scratching his skin as his eyes lingered on the statue, "I think each of these statues displays the highlight of a past duel."
Ami felt a near-irresistible urge to elbow him in the ribs as she seized control of her host body once more and hid her face in her palms. "This is horrible," she blurted out, aware that whoever had created the sculpture had managed to capture a good likeness of her face, which meant that she would remain on display here for who knew how long.
"Ahem, well, taking the cultural difference into account could make you feel somewhat better about this," Snyder said, coughing into his hand as he made a point of not looking at the statue while walking toward the exit. "If you look around, you will notice that almost nobody is wearing more than that sculpture is, so they should not consider it anything out of the ordinary." True to his words, most of surrounding creatures were wearing loincloths and pieces of armour, revealing a large amount of leathery or bristly green and reddish skin in the process.
"Maybe you are right," Ami conceded, sounding unconvinced.
"Just put this place on your list of targets to hit when you take over the world, if it bothers you so much," Jadeite quipped cheerfully. Cathy's cheeks blushed as Ami, still in control of the blonde's body, heard the dark general's voice. With some relief and just a hint of secret disappointment, she noted that he didn't show more than passing interest for the work of art.
A black ellipse opened in thin air, depositing the two blonde figures who stepped through on top of an ash-grey dune. The sky was blue, rather than the poisonous green close to Ami's dungeon. Heat flickered in the air as possessed Cathy raised her arms, eyes flashing bright as a burst of blue sprang from her fingers, forming into an icy column that glittered in the sunlight and quickly turned into a copy of Keeper Mercury. A black shape hung briefly in the air between the swordswoman and the freshly-created, chainmail-wearing golem before the darkness flowed over the construct like a coat of tar and sank into its substance.
Ami, now animating the simulacrum, nodded at Cathy and Jered, who were standing next to each other and already starting to sweat from the suffocating temperatures. "Thank you, Jadeiete" the simulacrum gurgled with a smile and waved her hands in a complicated gesture. Two thick fur blankets flared into existence, coalescing from glowing motes of poor mana. "Please take the others immediately to the Arctic while I deal with Azzathra's tome and shut down the dungeon here."
"Aww, I kind of liked it here," Cathy replied as she took the fluffy covers from Mercury's outstretched arms, "it had its comforts. Yeah, I know," she drawled upon seeing the disapproving frown on the other girl's frozen features, "not safe any more. But I bet I'll miss the place until you have figured out how to make some comfortable rooms with your new dungeon heart."
"We can afford staying at an inn," Jadeite commented, stepping closer to the short-skirted blonde. With a nod to the possessed golem, he shimmered out of existence, taking Cathy with him.
"Mercury Power, Make Up!" the sculpture cried out and was engulfed in a flash of blue light that left her clad in Sailor Mercury's uniform. Curious about the book's content despite its origin, the statue summoned her visor and retrieved the black volume from Keeper storage. It dropped to the ground, burying itself halfway in the powdery sand. Ami consulted her scanner's readout. So far, the brass-bound tome read as not magical at all. Proceeding with caution, the young Keeper carefully leafed through the manual, committing each of its pages to her computer's memory. Once she had verified that she hadn't missed a page, she dropped the book to the ground and incinerated it with a lightning bolt. The paper burned to ash almost instantly, while the metal covers survived a bit longer, melting into rivulets that sank into the still-liquid glass that had formed around the impact point. Satisfied that this artefact of the dark gods would not be able to harm anyone, Ami turned her attention to the next task at hand. She could read her copy later.
"Attention, everyone. This is Keeper Mercury speaking," Ami's voice echoed through the heads of her creatures as she stood in front of a giant eyeball on a stalk, holding its glistening bottom in her icy hands like a ball. The magical device reinforced the telepathic projection so that even sleeping monsters were ripped out of their dreams by the Keeper's amplified voice. Around her, the crystal balls on the benches went out and split open, their curved surface parting like the petals of a flower as they flattened themselves on the bench they had been standing on. Moments later, the bench itself crumbled into its component parts, which clattered to the floor and turned into a blue-white mist that shot off in the direction of the dungeon heart. I am abandoning this dungeon for strategic reasons. All of you are entitled to your full salary for this month. Make sure to take it from the treasury set aside close to the portal when you leave. Thank you for your service."
Immediately, Ami could hear rushed footsteps reverberate through the stone down to her location, some made by clawed and some by soled feet. She let her gaze sweep over her dismantling command centre for the last time, pausing for a moment on the house-sized lifeless aquarium that had once contained colourful liquid golems used to form maps. They had all perished in Azzathras sabotage of her imps, and even as she watched, the glass panels forming the enormous basin cracked and came loose at the seams. A wave of water spilled out, flooding the room and washing the glass splinters away. Ami, bracing herself against the flow of the knee-deep tide, felt slight regret at destroying her first innovative room, but it was better than leaving it behind for enemies to salvage. She would rebuild, better and more efficiently! Eyes narrowing in determination, the blue-and-white uniformed ice sculpture disappeared from the darkening room that was crumbling all around her.
Mercury's slender figure reappeared, a mere shadow in front of the green light shining out of the dungeon heart's pit. The organic artefact's heartbeat went faster than usual, corresponding to its unusual level of activity. Clouds of glowing fog spiralled around the ground floor of the main chamber, forming three denser streams that flowed up the pyramid upon which the dungeon heart rested. They rushed into the pit above its pulsing, veined membrane, each torrent of reclaimed infrastructure entering through a different arch of the superstructure. At a steady rate, piles of gold crystallised around the artefact's outer wall as it consumed the rooms and traps it had created long ago. Just as fast as the precious metal appeared, Ami banished it into the desert, to a location as far out as the limited range of her Keeper powers allowed. She couldn't transport it to her new dungeon right now, but it was extremely improbable that someone would stumble over the treasure out there in the sandy wasteland before she could recover it. At the very least, the gold was less likely to be found there than here in her increasingly empty dungeon. In her mental view, traps shattered into their component pieces, doors dropped off their hinges, and furniture melted into azure mist, all of which rushed toward the dungeon heart. To someone unaware of what was happening, it might have looked as if a powerful storm was ripping objects from their position, smashing them into tiny pieces, and grinding them into dust that formed swirling clouds whipping in the winds.
Soon enough, Ami's concentrated work came to its logical conclusion, leaving a complex of nothing but empty tunnels and hollowed out rock behind, still lit by the magic of the dungeon heart. A few stragglers plodded through the tunnels, prompting the impatient ice senshi to pick them up and deposit them close to the portal personally. Now, she only needed to deactivate the dungeon heart, which would cause the ceiling to collapse on it. This would also also kill off the body she was wearing, but that was no big loss, because it would have gone inert due to a lack of mana to sustain it anyway. At least I'll have some time to plan what to do next while I travel all the distance to the Arctic in shadow form, Ami thought.
A pillar of ash-grey sand stabbed into the sky, carried upwards by a torrent of azure light fountaining out from between the dunes. It fought the sunlight for predominance for several seconds before faltering and dissipating, leaving only a curtain of curling dust behind, which dispersed slowly into the winds.
"Argh, my eyes! Plague and torments!" a raspy voice swore loudly, coming from the unlikely source of an imp, who had been watching the phenomenon from a few kilometres away. It was covering its bulbous eyes with both three-fingered hands, rubbing at the red-blazing orbs with their backs.
"Well, look at that," a second voice resounded from behind and above the imp, "Lord Azzathra will be displeased." The new voice was female, and a curvy shadow fell over the tiny greenish-brown creature in the sand.
"Thank you Alphel. I would never have figured that out without your help," the imp grumbled, still blinking to clear its eyes from the after-images of the blinding light.
The female, clad in little more than a few black leather belts that showed off the prodigious amounts of scar tissue covering every inch of her body, patted the creature's bald head with her her clawed gauntlets and cackled behind her face-concealing black hood. "And that, my dear Morrigan, is why I will collect his reward on Mercury's head, and not you! Oh ho ho ho- bawk! Bawk? BAWK!"
The imp scratched its chin, ignoring the chicken that had replaced the voluptuous woman and was now pecking at its heels. "I wonder where her other dungeon heart is. Oh well, saves me the expense of creating my own dungeon here." Morrigan heard an ominous crackling behind itself and saw its shadow in the sand darken. "Oh shi-"
"Bawk!" The chicken's red eyes blazed bright like miniature suns as they unleashed twin bolts of lightning at their diminutive target, who disappeared out of the path of the zig-zagging streams of electricity just in time. A rather less mobile sand dune took the brunt of the attack, and molten glass dripped down like blood from the pin-prick sized wound in its flank.
"Gee, Alphel, you always get so upset about things," the imp mocked its feathery foe from another hill of sand. "That temper of yours will be your undoing one day."
"Is this a private party, or can anyone join?" a male voice asked from above. The chicken looked up, cocking its head so that its crest fell over its right eye, and stared at the figure floating in the greenish sky, a black silhouette with red eyes against the disk of the sun.
"Another one? Damnation, is this the Keeper annual tea party or what?" Morrigan croaked, trying to place the newcomer. Something about the warlock's oily black hair rattled something familiar in its mind. "Arachne! What are you even doing here? You worship the Vermin Lord, not Master Azzathra!"
"Oh, I doubt dear Azzy will care very much who gets rid of the little bitch," Arachne commented, causing the hen to flap its wings in outrage. A moment later, the transformation spell wore of, leaving a curvy dark mistresses moving her arms up and down in its place.
"That doesn't answer the question of what you get out of it," Alphel drawled with disdain, puffing out the scarred chest of her borrowed body as she spoke.
"Revenge, of course," Arachne hissed, his voice dripping with malice. "That blue-haired whore has interfered with my plans twice, and I'm going to return the favour. However," the possessed warlock grinned smugly, "I am willing to let you two take the first stab at her. I know something that you don't, and it will get you burnt." The floating figure laughed, crossing his arms over the black and purple chest part of his high-collared robe.
"Nice posturing, almost believable," Morrigan commented. "However, this whole excursion has been a big waste of my valuable time." With no further fanfare, the imp disappeared into a rotating swirl of green motes.
"Eh. What it said," the scarred female agreed. She jumped off of the steep side of the dune with a running start, somersaulting once in the air before dropping into its shadow which rose to meet her, wrapping around her body and devouring her.
This left the crimson eyed warlock hovering alone above the lifeless wasteland. Arachne grinned widely. "Fools."
The black, formless shadow that was Ami raced over the ocean, unable to feel the wind rushing past her. In the distance, she could make out an elongated spot of white that gleamed like a pearl in the surrounding blueness. Her iceberg grew rapidly larger in her sight, and before she knew it, she was passing through the layers of snow and ice as if they didn't exist, until the spherical crystal of her dungeon heart filled up her field of vision. An instant later, she fell out the other side of the orb, corporeal once more. Immediately, she felt the rush of ice-cold air cause goosebumps on her vast amounts of exposed skin. With a clang of metal, her few pieces of armour impacted the floor, drowning out the softer thud of her bare flesh making contact with the freezing cold ground. All the pain of her injuries, suspended while she was possessing others, returned at the same time. The blue-haired girl let out an agonised scream when her ruined left hand smacked into the base of her dungeon heart, nearly drowning own the pangs coming from her broken shin, which was only somewhat stabilised by the Reaper greaves she was wearing. The sudden noise brought her companions running, who paused at the sight of the whimpering and underdressed girl.
"Don't just stand there and gawk! Jadeite, levitate her off of the freezing ground. Gently!" Cathy ordered, shaking the others out of their daze. "Jered, bring her some of the blankets! Snyder, she needs healing!"
Nodding, the acolyte approached the teenager, who was now floating stiffly in the air. He was wearing a fluffy mantle over his usual white-and-red robes, and blushed furiously as his gaze swept professionally over Ami's topless form. The girl was already remedying that problem herself by using her fabrication spell, which turned out to be far more difficult with only one hand. On the second try, a white strip of cloth wrapped around her torso, taking care of that distraction. Her cheeks turned deep red, forming a sharp contrast to the pallor of the rest of her face. This short moment had felt more embarrassing than all the time in the arena, partly because she wasn't in mortal danger right now, and partly because she knew everyone here. She wondered just how much attention Jadeite had paid, and blushed harder.
"Hold the leg still for a moment," Snyder requested as he removed Ami's metal greaves. She bit her teeth together and nodded, trembling slightly in the cold. "Hmm, the broken leg is easy enough to deal with, but you seem to also have some internal bruising, and the left hand," he winced at the sight of the bloody lump of flesh and went green in the face, "is completely beyond my abilities, sorry. I can stop the bleeding, but we will have to ask a fully-trained priest for help."
Ami nodded, resisting the urge to recoil at the touch of his holy healing magic. With a barely-suppressed shudder, she asked "Is that feasible without being found out as a Keeper? I'd really like to keep the hand, but I can't enter temples..."
"We can bring you to an inn and ask a healer to come to you, stating that you are too wounded to move," Jered brought up with almost no hesitation. "The real problem are the hair and the eyes, as well as an explanation for the origin of your injuries."
"Not much of a problem," Jadeite interrupted as he approached, his steps echoing across the icy chamber. "Allow me?" he asked, reaching for Ami with a white-gloved hand.
"All right," the senshi agreed, managing to not blush more as he touched her upper-arm. She felt a tingling sensation, and a strand of hair dangling in front of her eyes switched colour as the glamour took hold of it.
"Blonde?" she asked, crossing her eyes to see better.
"With blue eyes. You'll fit right in with the rest of us," the dark general said, pointing at himself and Cathy, who had a similar combinations of hair and eye colours.
"Family resemblance. Good thinking," Jered complimented. "We can say she got trapped in a rock slide - she has no cuts or stab wounds. Yes, that should work."
"Until she shies away from holy magic," the swordswoman pointed out one of the flaws in the plan.
"I could sleep through the treatment," Ami pointed out in a quiet tone of voice, "I wouldn't mind going to sleep and only waking up after everything stops hurting so much."
"Sounds like a plan," Jadeite confirmed, "let's not waste any time, then. Ready, Mercury?"
The fake blonde nodded, and she felt strong arms catch her as she slipped into unconsciousness, accompanied by pleasant dreams for a change.
Mouth-watering smells permeated the air in the tavern, emerging from the kitchen and snaking their way through the evening crowd sitting in groups at their tables, chatting, laughing, and enjoying their meals. Nobody was paying special attention to the trio of blondes sitting on one of the worn benches in the corner, with their backs to the white-painted walls. The brown-haired man sitting across from them at the table had an air of shiftiness around him that might have invited more suspicious glances and reassuring grips to the coin purse, had not an acolyte been sitting to his left. Thus, he probably wasn't up to no good.
The waitress approached the group of five with a tablet of beverages and winked at the handsome blond sitting at the very right as she leaned down, which earned her a sour glance from his teenage sister. Must be feeling cross from having her arm in that sling, the well-endowed woman pondered as she put the mugs down in front of the individuals. She pouted slightly when the target of her wink failed to take notice of her, and proceeded to the next table with an insulted swish of her dress.
Jered reached over and traced his finger across Ami's glass, getting some of the dark red liquid trickling past its edge onto his fingertip, which he took to his mouth and tasted. "Grape juice? Seriously? Come on, we are celebrating your victory! Live a little!" He took a hearty swig from his own tankard of frothy ale. "Ah, that hits the spot!"
"I'm too young to drink in my country," the teenager pointed out patiently, which drew a round of snickers from the table. "What?"
"Well, considering your current job..." Cathy chortled, her face flushed from half-emptying her own mug already.
Ami thought for a bit and joined in with a giggle. "Yes, I can see how this would be humorous."
"Now, I'm curious," Jadeite said, searching for a topic that would be safe for conversation in public while they waited for their meal, "did you already check your prize?"
A shadow flickered over the girl's face at the reminder, but she discretely pulled out her computer and shook her head. "I can have a look at it now, I suppose." She gazed at the display, occasionally hitting a button to turn a page. Typing one-handed was such a pain. Under her bandages, the fingers of her left hand were itching terribly as they healed.
"Well, what does it say?" Cathy asked, craning her neck to catch a glimpse of the screen. From the other side, Snyder was doing the same.
"Some of my opponent's knowledge, as advertised", Ami reported what she was seeing. "There's a lot about fighting techniques for a scythe. Oh, and the spell he was using to summon his equipment."
The swordswoman shook her head. "All right. So you got a spell that armours your shins and shoulders and removes protection everywhere else, and advanced techniques for an inefficient weapon that require the user to be larger and stronger than his opponent. Some gift."
"It clearly demonstrates the spirit in which it was given," Snyder pointed out. He was drinking wine in moderation, and put his glass down as he continued. "Useless at best, dangerous at worst."
"Oh, she might still find a use for that spell, if you know what I mean." Jered backed up his statement with a long look in Jadeite's direction and a knowing grin, which caused Ami to cough and blush furiously. Even the dark general threw him a disapproving glance. Fortunately for the green-dressed man, the arrival of steaming meals delayed retaliation for the moment.
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|Chapter 56: The Duel||Chapter 58: Trouble is Brewing|
- imp-keeper grabbing Ami's now abandoned desert dungeon heart should give him the same sensory range as Mercury
- She exploded that one. That was what the blinding light was. Could probably have been clearer, I used the same effect as when her ice ship went up.
- though if it occurs before the healing occurs that would mess the whole plan and afterwards would be easily avoided with a quick teleport. Having it happen during the healing would probably provide the most tense situation with Ami directly in contact with the priest
- Oh dear. I must improve the clarity of my writing. Um, the healing is over. I omitted the scene because Ami was unconscious for it and it went according to plan, and was therefore boring. So I went directly to the scene afterwards, only refering to what had happened with Ami's hand now being in a cast and itching while it healed.
- After all their fights I'm sure they have the idea in thier heads that evil people look evil or at least show it in thier attitude like the four generals did.
- Hmm, that would be against their experiences, I think. All the bad guys are good-looking until they reveal their true form.
- Or those vampires though considering the level of necromancy required for thier creation I don't know if Ami would be comfortable with that.
- The necromancy itself isn't so much the problem, the killing people part is. Anyway, some of the mentioned rooms [temple, assembly line, research room, ...] (or similar ones) will definitely be things she will want to have.
- A spell to create a set of equipment, that is *not* a fabrication spell? Does that mean it will not be dispelled with a certain kind of water? After all, if it could be easilly dispelled, that would probably be a well known Reaper vulnerability by now...
- Actually, that's how she survived the battle on top of the temple roof. Dissolving the Reaper's incoming scythe with the water.
- [using lifeforce as mana]
- Technically, she still has mana (due to being a senshi), the pool just isn't as deep as with other dungeon hearts. What she can't do is tap it for anything but personal spellcasting. Tapping what she has probably would require complex special equipment, or unpleasantness involving blood and/or sticking sharp and pointy objects into her flesh.
- No room parts [from organic dungeon hearts imported to new crystal dungeon heart], they would be incompatible. She could disassemble them for raw materials, which would be a big hassle, and the dungeon heart can make stuff anyway.
- She just needs a crystal ball to watch her own world, so no problem there.