"Come and face me like true warriors! Do you think you have won when you blinded me?"
Ierne's thrashing of her surrounding lacked any rhythms to it, yet all were properly aimed towards where her enemies were. Despite being consumed by anger and hate and losing the function of her eyes, she still had her trained ears and some of her base instinct, allowing her to pinpoint the movement of the Cherry Heart guildmembers and guide her attacks. In particular, she was focused on the movements of the one she remembered as the inhuman-looking boy. Not that there were much dissimilarity between herself and him at this rate.
"Cowards! If you shall try granting death into this body, then face me head on!"
By taking control of this dreamscape for her last rampage, allowing her to hurt the trespassers, Ierne realized that she was simply a fake. A construct not even born from a buried memory, but from the malice of a scorned witch. A nightmare with the sole purpose to haunt someone. To tell a story that they didn't want to hear, even if such a story didn't exist in reality. In the end, she was fine with it. She was true to her design, becoming the tyrant that her creator wanted her to be. Her end would be near. She could feel that she was gradually losing her stamina as the exertion she forced herself into became more and more real. She decided to not go down without taking the rest with her.
She could feel one of her projectiles almost hitting Ro, and with it as her guide, she rushed with a sudden burst of speed towards that direction and slammed her sword right to the ground. However, there were no sounds of flesh being sliced, nor gasps of reacting to someone's death. Once again, after many of such tries, she missed her mark.
"Why don't you attack? All of you wanted to kill me, so just try it!"
Her words became more laced with frustration the more she missed her mark, yet she ended up smiling. Partaking in such a destructive act made her feel like this fake life of hers was more than what it was. The more she tore down the streets, the more buildings she demolished in her missed shots, she felt more and more alive. She didn't know a thing about the real Ierne, but she wondered whether she would feel the same too with her.
After all, one's worst nightmare would be something that was based from something in reality.
However, at that point, she lost track on where the rest of the group were until she ended up hearing some faint whispers. Ro ended up merely being a distraction rather than someone that genuinely attempted to combat her, and the rest were figuring out a plan by now. Preparing for another volley of projectiles, Ierne took aim, trying to empty her mind for a moment to pinpoint the exact location of the whisper-like sounds. However, before that could happen, she felt as if there were a rain of something clanging on her armor, ruining her focus with the sound they make.
“Prism Magic: Shining Storm!”
What little was unprotected on Ierne drew blood from the persistent rain of prisms, but her armor withstood the barrage without much issues. Such minimal flesh wound would not deter her. Her focus returning, she located where the attack name was declared, and brought her sword down.
At least, that was what she would have done.
Those seconds of distraction ended up being fatal. Just as Dmitri's storm started to cease, Mina had thrown Auburn's flask towards Ierne, whose instincts and remaining senses barely able to notice it until it was too late. The flask broke by the time she realized what happened, and the next second, Ierne was consumed in flames as the deafening sound of explosion consumed the area.
"Curse you all...the fate of these lands wouldn't change without..."
Those that were able to see as the fake king burned saw that her broken down body still produced a smile even as she uttered her last words. As more and more of Ierne burned to ash, the flames grew larger and larger from her loss of control of the dreamscape, and when the last of her armor dropped to the ground, the flames simply exploded, consuming the entire city within it.
However, rather than finding themselves on a similar fate to Ierne, they would find themselves on the same city of Taxus as the one Auburn and Dmitri visited before. Before them, a woman lay on the ground. Her hair was white and her attire was both regal and profane with several decorations harkening to foul magics. After their long search, they managed to find the witch that caused all these headaches. In the meantime, as the witch's control of his mind ceased to be, Myrdain slowly gained his vigor back, growing younger and younger from the state he was found by Dmitri, until he looked as young as when the guildmembers first met him. He rose up on his own and reached for the witch. Shaking his head at her sorry state now, without a word he made several gestures on the air, and wrapped the witch in a coffin-like construct made out of rose thorns. Who was that witch? Without that even getting any answers, everything ceased to be.
And then everything turned dark.
"Breakfast time would be up soon, but first, I would need to clarify on some things."
When the group regained their consciousness, it was already morning. They would find some bandages on their body, seemingly covering injuries that had since been healed, and that each of them were on a bed wearing plain white clothing. Their proper clothing and belongings were neatly folded on the side of their bed. The one greeting them was Myrdain himself rather than Jacques the head butler. On the distance, they could see Mira was busy playing with Myrdain's familiar, chasing it around as if it's a cat.
"First of all..." The next moment they would notice the existence of a neatly bundled something, wrapped completely with roses' thorns, a familiar sight for the guildmembers. Once he was sure that they noticed the bundle, Myrdain continued. "Her name is uh...Gerda. She's just a witch that manipulated her way into this household, pretending to be poor Mira's long dead mother. She targeted me because I ended up figuring her trick after giving her husband his dream order, and she proved to be quite more than what I expected. Once again, I couldn't thank you all enough for saving Mira and me." There were things that Myrdain seemed to be hesitant on saying, but he didn't waste time to continue talking.
"Second, she caused a wagon accident on your way here, allowing you to be in a vulnerable enough position for her to try taking control. She didn't want to kill you as that would raise suspicion about her activities here. Instead, she wanted the four of you to clear this quest in the way she wanted, so that no further attention would be paid by unwarranted parties here."
Jacques approached him at that time, whispering something to Myrdain. He smiled at it, and returned his attention to the four not long after. "Third and most important, breakfast is ready. Come, Jacques will escort you to the dining hall. The four of you deserved the best for what you've done."
And so, the quest officially ended by daytime, with the four guildmembers being escorted out after being given their rewards. Myrdain had doubled the promised monetary reward for letting things go way out of his control with the wagon incident and what it led to, and they were given one Dream Souls each, leaving the group with 4. He explained it as his own invention - a magical artifact allowing the dreamer to be fully aware in their own dream and affect and manipulate it to their own liking, activated just by hugging the soft ball-like strange object while going to sleep.
In the end, despite the setbacks, the quest was over without further incidents, and the group returned safely to the headquarters. They would feel that Myrdain was hiding an awful lot of things still regarding the incident, and about himself and the alleged witch. However, due to their fatigue, it might not be an immediate concern yet. And should the four of them try finding anything in the history of the different generations of Fraxinus, they would fail in finding any mentions of a king named Ierne. She was not the only female king through the kingdom's history, but none of them were her.
As the day on the guild continued on like normal, a strange fluffy creature locked its stare on the guild building before disappearing into the nearby bushes.