To Dana’s elation, Nicole’s attack succeeded in freeing Astrelle from the Void’s clutches, but her celebration was short lived. The Void, having been deprived of its prey, now lashed out at Nicole, sending the crimson-haired Ars Magi hurtling back towards the ground at a frightening speed. Astrelle wasn’t out of the proverbial woods yet either, as she, too, was now plummeting like a rock, on her way to what promised to be a very unpleasant meeting with the pavement below.
“Dana! Get Astrelle!” Penny instructed. “I’ll get Nicole. Once I give the signal, give that thing everything you got! Ready?!”
“Ready!” Dana called back.
Springing into motion, she raced towards where it looked like Astrelle would land. Dana knew that just being underneath her wouldn’t really work, and so, in order to gain some altitude, she mentally commanded her various glowing energy stars to form a series of steps for her. Hoping they would be able to solidify enough to bear her (admittedly light) weight, Dana began jumping from star to star, each leap taking her closer to her goal. When she felt she was close enough, Dana launched herself off the final star and wrapped her small body around Astrelle in a tight embrace.
That was just step one, of course, as the two Ars Magi were still falling. Dana had managed to change their trajectory, though, and had also instructed her stars to form a single sloping shaft of light, which she and Astrelle could now slide down. Once they had safely reached the ground, Dana gave her gloomy companion a big grin.
“That was kinda fun, huh?” she asked with a giggle as she helped Astrelle to her feet. “Just rest here for a bit,” she instructed as she began heading over to where Penny had just completed her own rescue of Nicole. “I gotta go help Penny finish off our ugly friend!”
She had just about gotten into position, when Penny yelled, “DANA!! FIRE! DONNERSCHLAG!”
Simultaneously, the bespectacled Ars Magi blasted herself up, before brutally slamming her Gladius into the Void’s face, the charged up rocket hammer striking with such force as to cause a shockwave.
“Whoa!” Dana yelped as she was sent sprawling onto her back. “That’s some power!”
Not wasting a moment, the energetic Ars Magi drew her own Galdius and raised the gleaming weapon above her prone body, until it was pointing directly at the Void. It was a clear shot, and Dana knew she had to make it count. Summoning every last ounce of her magic, she channeled it all into her pistol, causing it to glow with barely contained power. This was it, this was her moment. With every fiber of her being, Dana Noel knew that this was when she would show everyone what she was truly capable of. The moment when she would pierce the darkness of this shattered world with her radiant light.
All at once, a shaft of blinding brilliance shot into the heavens, utterly consuming the Void and piercing the brooding clouds beyond, so that the vibrant blue sky was once again visible. As the beam finally began to dissipate, rays of soft sunlight fell upon Dana’s smiling face. She felt completely exhausted, but she had never been happier.
“Nice work, buddy,” she whispered to her Gladius. “And guess what? I think I finally figured out what to call you. From now on, your name is Shining Zenith!”
Hugging the pistol close to her chest, Dana closed her eyes and drifted off into blissful unconsciousness.