Novel The HEMA freak in Vhinhym (Chapter 5 up, sorry for the long wait!)

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by yywee, May 16, 2018.

  1. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    After having enjoyed the incredible Kalua’s sculpture, Harm suggested they should cut short through the narrow streets, of course to safe some time, with the idea to use her knowledge of the city to take them to their end destination.

    The thing he learned after that, was that Iki sucked at orientation. And she sucked a lot. So much, that at one time he was forced to pull out his smartphone, forgetting its depleted battery...

    -Uhhh, i’m sorry, Harm... – worryingly she said.

    -Don’t worry, Iki. It was me who suggested to cut short through here. We will managed it somehow. – he smiled to her. – If we walk in only one direction, we will end up somewhere with more open space, right?

    -Y-yes...

    -So, where should we walk then, Iki?

    -Weeeeeell... That way! – she chose randomly.

    -C’mon, let’s go, Iki.

    Not even after a minute, they hit a dead end.

    -I... S-sorry...

    Harm scratched his back. Then turned towards her and forced himself to smile a bit.

    -It’s alright. Just more opportunities to look around the city. And to spent a little more time with you.

    She blushed and stamped nervously with foot.

    -L-let’s go. – and turned.

    But then momentarily froze in place.

    -(Well, well, well, look who is it...)

    Iki’s eyes widened.

    -Do you know them, Iki? – Harm stood to her shoulder.

    She just shivered even more, covering herself almost entirely behind him.

    -(C’mon Iki, don’t play it that we don’t know each other). – the boy started to walk towards them.

    -(That other time you were not that shy around us, huh?...) – said another one...

    -(That’s close enough...) – Harm pushed the first boy roughly backwards with his palm on the chest.

    The boy staggered, but didn’t fall. The other ones momentarily rushed forwards, ready to jump at Harm, but the first boy raised his hands and stop them.

    -(No worries, nothing serious have happened...) – he just smiled slyly.

    Harm was looking at him with his expressionless face. He suddenly became so serious, that he probably was gonna be able to turn him into a stone with his eyes, just like some gorgon.

    -(Did you find new friends, Iki? And you decided to abandon your old ones, hm? That is not right, Iki... It is not right...)

    Iki covered even more behind him. Harm moved his fingers delicately, as if he war warming up his knuckles. Was he going to attack them? C’mon, even he didn’t stand a chance against three...

    These thoughts were still in her mind, when Harm suddenly grabbed her under his armpit and rushed forwards...

    Her vision blurred because of the sudden acceleration, she heard only a dull blow and how only a moment after that they pushed something aside...

    -(You fucking faggot...) – someone snorted.

    THUNDER!

    And sudden light, so bright, that her whole vision turned into a messy monotonous spot...

    They pushed another one!...

    -(Hold them, hold them!) – hissed another one.

    Something grabbed her leg...

    Harm suddenly turned sharply and after a moment another dull hit followed – another boy exhaled so heavily, as if all of his air exited its lungs.

    The hand clutched her leg so hard, that it made her scream – it even probably left a bruise – and realized it permanently...

    -RUN, IKI!!! – he heard Harm’s powerful voice almost in her ear...

    Then she flew.

    When the spot of her blurred vision disappeared, she was literally flying...

    She was only a meter in the air, with the ground approaching relentlessly fast, but somewhere in the gap between her instinctive thoughts, she somehow thought how scary this is...

    -RUN, RUN! – shouted again Harm, this time somewhere behind her.

    Before her consciousness manage to digest his words, her instincts took control over her movements, and using the accumulated agility and strength she had from the long training sessions, she landed skillfully on the ground, starting to run as much as she can...

    -Left, Iki! LEFT! – flew somewhere to her consciousness his voice and it the last possible moment she managed to turn sideways...

    But it was so in the last possible moment, that she slid on the concrete wall, grazing her shoulder and shirt...

    -(Fuck this...) – she snorted.

    The sudden thunder startled her, making her jump on place so much, that she almost stumbled and fell on her face. A moment later – something incredibly brightly flashed behind her – so much, that she momentarily turned her head backwards...

    So much colorful and hearty swearing followed, that if she was able to perceive them in that moment, she was going to blush all read.

    After a second, Harm jumped from the corned.

    And she crashed into something.

    She probably flew back half a meter, falling on her bottom.

    -IKIIII!!! – shouted Harm behind her.

    She turned backwards, she saw him how he was running with all his powers, trying to reach her at all cost...

    But in the next moment, something grabbed her and lifted her a meter in the air...

    -Not a step further, foreigner... – said one new voice – belonging to the person, who had seized her...

    -Iki! – he froze in place, but after all tried to reach with his hand to her...

    One of the early boys showed behind him...

    -HAAAAAAAARM! – screamed Iki with her whole throat, in a desperate attempt to warn him.

    ... and smacked him on the head with one plant – so hard, that it split on two, throwing splinters everywhere...

    And Harm tumbled in her legs like a bag of cement.


    -What is happening, will you tell me something at least?! – shouted Hion at his back for who knows which time already.

    Art didn’t give a fuck again...

    -ART!!!

    He turned left.

    Dead end.

    Suddenly, something grabbed his hand...

    He turned sharply, clenched his fist, ready to knock out the first thing that showed off before his face...

    -Wow, wow!

    Then he remembered, that Hion was actually with Him...

    He managed to stop in the very fast moment before marking him in a way, that she was going to remember for a life – he left just snarled, with widened eyes and pupils...

    -What’s wrong with you?! Is it my fault now?! – snarled back at him Hion.

    Art was about to move on again, but the president literally obstructed his way, pushed him hard onto the building and clenched his hand so hard, that she probably left him bruises.

    -TELL MI WHAT IS GOING ON?! – she screamed in his face.

    -Harm called me. Something is going on... – he replied hastily, looking around here and there, as if he was not seeing her at all...

    -HE CALLED YOU?! WHEN? ART!!! – she step on his shoe, so he could stop wiggling.

    -It is difficult for explanation, Hion, i don’t have time for this now, let’s hurry... – he said in one breath and tried to realize himself from her clench.

    -No, no, no, you are not going anywhere unless i don’t have answers... – she tried to resist it.

    But for Art it wasn’t difficult at all to overcome her womanly strength and after a second they were on the ground one over another – she below and with he over her, clenching her thighs with his and with a hands around her wrists.

    -Wanna play it rough, huh, Hion. – he leaned slightly over her face. From the side, it looked just like a scene from a movie, where the antagonist had caught tightly his victim and was readying to do to her something that wasn’t appropriate for showing in front of a little kids.

    -Get off me and die... – she snorted, trying to kick him in the balls.

    But she didn’t manage. Because he didn’t allow her.

    -Nooo, i don’t think so. Didn’t you understand that you don’t have a chance against someone stronger than you? Wasn’t the demonstration from yesterday not enough, huh? – he was putting his face closer and closer to her.

    -I said: fuck off... – she said through her teeth, with a disgust...

    Art puffed and abruptly got up.

    -Alright. I don’t have time to deal with you now anyways... – he also snorted.

    -At least call them first! – she get up after him and shouted at his back, while he was again starting to run.

    -I called! But he didn’t answer! And the tracking didn’t work! – he shouted back at her over his shoulder.

    Hion rushed behind him.

    -When was that?! Didn’t see you at all to do it!

    -That is not important now! We need to find them as fast as possible! Something is happening!

    -But what?!

    -I don’t know that, Hion. Even i don’t know...

    -What are your big ideas then?!

    -Maybe just one...

    Even with his back, he was able to see Hion’s bewildered face.

    Then, he took as much as a deep breath as he could in that moment, blinked for a short and concentrated all his will in one only think:

    „HAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRMMMMMMMMMM!!!...“


    He suddenly oppened his eyes, as if someone called him in his dream...

    „Wha...“ – he started to move.

    Bud he didn’t manage to do it much. Only it’s chair screeched on the floor. And he was going to fall back with it if someone didn’t truss him – but it trussed him so hardcore, that directly kicked him in the back and if it wasn’t only for the Harm’s quick reaction, he was going to fall on his face on the ground. And as his hands were tied behind his back, there was just no chance for him to protect himself...

    „WAIT A MINUTE?! WHY ARE MY HANDS TIED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

    He moved, trying to realize himself, but without particular success – they were too tight.

    A hand landed on his shoulder, strong as a pair of pliers.

    -Quit it, pal. – said some boy.

    Oh, yes!

    Just now he remembered it. He was one of these, which intercepted them.

    -Mhmm mmhmhmm... – started to talk Harm...

    „WHAT?!“

    ... but his word left his mouth incomprehensible...

    Because they had tied it also...

    -Mmmmhmhmmmhm... – he started again.

    In the front, he saw how Iki was arguing with one of the other boys, and quite energetically at that. But when they saw him, the two of them turned towards him.

    -Harm!

    -Mhmmmhm mmhmhmmmh... – he tried again.

    -(Man, this cunt irritates much so much, you know...)

    -(NO, WAIT!) – she suddenly turned towards him...

    To late.

    Because another heavy hit echoed. And Harm once again lost consciousness...


    -Damn it, damn it, damn it... – stopped at the next crossroad Art.

    -What’s now? If it so serious, let’s call the police!

    -I don’t now. I don’t think so...

    He continued to turn like a peg-top, unsure in himself in which direction to go. All he was receiving was so vague. Did they take some special precautions?

    -Art? – tried again Hion.

    And it suddenly hit him.

    He closed his eyes for a moment and focused his mind.

    Then he reached for his pant’s pocked and pulled out a leather pencil case big just enough to fit in it.

    -What is this?

    Art hurried to open it, but obviously the nerves were getting the best of him so much, that he spilled everything on the ground...

    -What, hundreds of demons... – began Hion.

    There were ordinary plastic zip lock bags with a names on them. There were MANY ordinary plastic zip lock bags with a names on them. So much, that it would probably take them half a minute to collect.

    -Fuck... Search for the one with „Harm“ on it! – he kneed and started hastily to grub the zip lock bags – these, which weren’t of use to him now were gathering in one hand.

    -As this... a hair? – Hion squatted next to him.

    -Hurry up, Hion and don’t get distracted! – he scolded her, with the impetus of a man trying to solve puzzle for time just like one of these old tv games in which you were able to win a solid monetary prize.

    -Alright, alright... – she snorted and started to search along with him.

    She saw many names. Victrish, Malvin, Ronson, his well know now by name cousin Sophie, Niei, Kae... Probably, as it was always happening in this situations, they were going to find it in the end...

    -HERE!!! – he suddenly shouted so enthusiastically, that she even jumped a bit on her place.

    Then he abruptly grabbed it from the ground and started to cram the rest in his pencilcase – he even grabbed these from her hand.

    From the plastic zip lock bag, Art pull out a long light blond strand of hair.

    -So it really is a hair. Why do you need it?

    Art didn’t reply, just winded it around his index finger.

    -C’mon, this way! – momentarily he said.

    All that was left for Hion to do was just to sigh deeply – suddenly, she felt so tired in her attempts of searching whatever answers it could be – and just decided to let the current carry her....


    He dreamed how he was flying.

    Flying? No, more like falling.

    He was falling, and moreover with incredible speed downwards the ground itself.

    But as if everything around him stood frozen and wasn’t moving at all.

    The World, its bright colours, the muted sounds...

    As if he dove in a bottomless ocean and the sun rays were reflecting unbelievable dancing shadows in his whole worldview.

    It was so calm and quiet...

    As if he was drifting in the space.

    As if he was living in a dream...

    But as he kept falling, the colours were losing its brightness and turning in a gray dark nuances, with the amplifying sound, resembling more the monotonous buzz of a furious, vengeful insects.

    If he close his eyes, should everything return to its normal? He was longing for it so much...

    He closed it.

    But instead, he continued to see and hear.

    How he was falling...

    How the insects were invading his consciousness more and more?

    Was he falling?

    No...

    He realized it just now.

    He was drifting weightless in the space, and the World was coming at him rapidly with all its might.

    He tried to move, but nothing happened. As if he didn’t have his body at all.

    When he opened his eyes, the bottomless pit of the ocean poped up straight at his face, engulfing him with the finess of a olympic diver...


    -PHHAAAAAAH...

    Harm quickly opened his eyes, suddenly startled by this strange dream...

    Why was he breathing so heavily? And what was this irritating feeling in his lungs and his nose? As if he had swallowed a ton of a pool water.

    And why he wasn’t able to keep his eyes opened? Every time when he tried to do it, something stung them and his eyelids were automatically closing.

    -Whaggloblg... – he tried to speak, but momentarily some liquid entered his mouth and he choked...

    -HARM! – he heard a familiar voice somewhere in the front.

    -Easy, easy, you are fine. – thumped him one hand on the back.

    What’s going on, for fuck sake, what’s happening.

    Why was he feeling... wetter than normally...

    Just now it hit him. About everything that had happened...

    And just know the sharp pain pierced its neck...

    -Akh... – he tried to raise his hand and touch the place.

    But didn’t manage to do it. Because he was tied up.

    „FOR FUCK SAKE!“...

    He tried to move, looking around. Only some metallic rattling was heard...

    -IKI!!!... – he saw how she was staying shivering, leaning on one of the concrete pillars. – Dafaq you want, let her go, for fuck sake!!! – he snarled at the first boy he saw.

    -Luk nhaw, mah men, you shad be moh conc’rned ‘bout you, nat her... – grabbed his hair one other boy and pulled his head backwards until their gazes met.

    Harm just snorted even more from the pain. He closed his eyes, trying to focus as much as he can...

    He felt how the energy rose inside him, from his pure essence...

    And died forever...

    „FOR FUCK SAKE, YOU!!!...“ – he started to slam down like a little kid internally...

    -Fucking hell, did you shove these iron chains out your asses?... – he opened eyes and exhaled heavily...

    The boy holding him for the hair just looked at him in question, tilting slightly his head...

    Harm jumped suddenly, together with the chair, landing his head straight at the boy’s under chin...

    -AKHKHKHKH, FUCK YOUR MOTHER!!!... – he fell on the ground, starting to spit and choke...

    -KIO, STOP!!! – rushed this boy, which were in front of him.

    Harm shrinked and closed his eyes, thinking that it was going to punch him straight in the phiz...

    But instead, nothing followed.

    When he opened his eyes, he saw how the boy was staying over him which a hand reached at something and when he turned his head back, the another boy’s shovel just a centimeters from his head...

    „Lol, that was close...“

    Then Harm realized the super convenient position he is in and tried to kick the first boy in the balls, but for his misfortune he discovered that and his legs were tied up to the chair. Also with iron (probably) chains.

    „This explains many things...“

    The boy, which was staying over Harm noticed that quite well and squatted in front of him, smiling slyly.

    He, unwilling to give up on his attempts, tried also to hit him with his head, but the boy just grabbed his neck and pushed him back at the chair’s backrest.

    -No, stop!!! – Iki tried to rush at them, but another boy hold her in place.

    -You created a lot of troubles for us today, you know... – began the boy in front of him.

    -My ears are still ringing... – said that with the shovel. – Let me smack him again...

    -Stay put, Kio. You are gonna make him unconsciousness again...

    -Just a light one. I promise...

    -Enough. Maybe afterwards. If he can hold on that much. – the boy smiled again.

    -Nooo! What are you going to do to him! Let him gooo! – tried to move Iki, but the boy which was holding her grabbed her in his arms, refusing to let her make a step. She started to kick and wiggle, tried to realize herself, but didn’t has a tiny bit of change against his power. – Noooo, let me gooo!!!

    -IKIIIIII!!! – tried to jump Harm and rush towards her, but the boy’s hand thighened even more around his neck, holding him firmly in place.

    In addition, the boy with the shovel pressed its handle at his chest, limiting even more his movements.

    -And now, foreigner, where should we start on? Upwards or downwards?

    -STOOOP!!!

    -Start of your ugly face... – the one thing he managed to do however was just to spit on his face.

    The boy as if froze for a second. Then he blinked for long and dashed at him so sharply, that Harm barely see it.

    The boy’s forehead landed on Harm’s nose so hard, that he blackened out for a while. A several seconds were need for him to get a hold of himself...

    -Phahaha, this was good, i admit it! You want more? – he looked at him with his bloody face.

    -Dumb freak. Let me hit him with the shovel, i beg you...

    -Enough, Kio... This is just going to turn much more longer and violent... – he stood up and turned to one of the another boys. – the one which Harm had hit in the jaw. – Natsu, you know where the metal pipes are... Go get some...

    -WHAT?! PLEASE, NOOOO!!! – started to wiggle Iki again. – PLEASE, STOOPPP!

    Natsu first looked at him, then back at Harm. And smiled broadly with his bloody teeth.

    -With pleasure. – and went into the one of the other rooms.

    The other boy just squatted before Harm and also smiled broadly.

    -Pha, you are just plain morons, boys. Once you have been through miss Tirith’s corrective session, some pipes will look like a paradise for you, guys.

    -We’ll see that, foreigner, we will see. Better start reciting all the prayers you know. – he continued to smile and stoop up. Then turned towards the room, when the other boy when. – Oi, Natsu, what’s taking you so long?

    No response.

    -Natsu?

    Suddenly, the boys looked at each other as if with a bit anxiety in their eyes. The boy with the shovel and the one which was not holding Iki made a step towards the room.

    But didn’t dare to make more than that...

    -Oi, Natsu, that isn’t funny at all! – said Kio.

    Harm closed his eyes and tried to focus...

    It was pointless again. He just couldn’t gather enough energy, the moment it started to rise, all the power were uselessly dissipating. As if he was trying to fill a glass without bottom.

    All the happening got him anxious too. But of course he wouldn’t admit it before some vhynehaimese... After all, he was proud montgisardean dumbass...

    -Phahaha, you can’t even go bring some pipe, what happens to torture someone, hahaha...

    The three boys turned towards him.

    -You!... – began the first, but Kio with the shovel suddenly interrupted him, starting to move towards Harm...

    -That’s it. I don’t care about you guys, anymore. I’m just gonna split this dumb head open...

    Harm, realizing that this time really is deep in shit, with a little jump started to move backwards...

    -You are just making this painful for you! – groaned Kio. – Nagato, come here and hold him! Don’t want to screw this up...

    No respond...

    -Oi, what are you wait... – Kio turned...

    Thump!

    Nagato’s body fall lifelessly on the rough concrete floor...

    -Wha... – the other boys were about to turn and look at him...

    As if something shone dimly in the space behind Iki and the boy which was holding her...

    „HUNDREDS OF DEMONS!”

    Two eyes shone in the room’s corner, where the darkness was almost nightly...

    -IKI, BEHIND YOUUUUU!!! – shouted with his whole throat Harm and so anxious intonation, that made everyone to forget Nagato and turn in her direction.

    It was too late...

    When the Android left his cover and it’s outlines became somewhat visible to the others, he was already swinging his quarterstaff at Iki and the boy.

    The only thing the boy managed to do, was turning in the last moment, covering her with his body.

    A terrible agonizing scream exited his mouth when the quarter staff crashed at his lower part of the back, falling together with Iki on the ground.

    -(Wha...) – the boy startled, still not realizing completely what’s going on.

    On the other hand, Kio was more quick-witted...

    -(You fucking rusted tin...) – snorted Kio, took his shovel in two hands and was about to attack him.

    -(NOO, WATCH OUT!!!) – screamed Harm at him.

    A second android jumped out of shadows, landing his teaser straight at Kio’s shoulder, not leaving him even a slightest chance to evade...

    The buzzing sound made even him to shiver...

    The boy dropped on the floor, wriggling from pain and cursing on all the languages he knew.

    -(You fucking nit... DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH DOES IT HURT, YOU FUCKING NITTAAAAGHHHRHHH!!!...)

    -(Wha... what is this, what’s is going on...) – said with a trembling voice Iki, trying to get the boy’s body off her, which was pinning her down to the ground...

    And she suddenly froze, when the cold android’s eyes turned towards her...

    -(IKI, NO!) – shouted Harm, moving in his chair. The chains didn’t let him to do it much...

    -(Citizen, for your safety...) – suddenly spoke the android.

    -(YOU FUCKING TINCAN!!!) – screamed the big boy and prepared to rush forwards. – (RINTARO, HELP ME!!!)

    The boy, which were laying over Iki tried to get up, but the android instantly pressed him down with his foot, blocking the two of them at the same time.

    -(STOP, STOP!!!) – shouted Harm again.

    Rintaro turned his hand and grabbed the android’s foot, only to receive a hit with the quarterstaff behind his neck.

    And laid down over Iki without moving anymore...

    -(I SAID TO STOP MOVING, YOU FUCKING MORONS!!!) – Harm was now screaming with all his throat.

    The two androids set their gazes on the big boy – the only one left standing on its feet.

    It froze on place.

    -Now listen to me very carefully. – began Harm on falklanish with a calm and collected voice. – First raise your hands as if you are surrendering...

    -(Wha...) – turned its head back.

    -DO IT!

    The boy obeyed his orders and slowly raised his hands over his head. No reaction from the androids – they were just continuing to watch him with their mechanical cold eyes.

    -Get next me. Slowly. Don’t make any unnecessary movements.

    It did it. Again no reaction from the androids...

    -Dafaq are you doing, you stupid morons. Just don’t move! – grunted Kio from the ground.

    -Saruta! (Untie me!) – Harm switched to montgisardean.

    But it seemed that it was too much for the boy’s brain capacity...

    -Wha... – it looked him in amazement.

    -C’mon, make that stupid brain work for a bit! Saruta! SARUTA EN! IT SO FUCKING CLOSE TO THE FALKLANISH SPEECH, YOU STUPID MORON! – Harm was getting more and more nervous, rattling a bit in his chair...

    „Saruta? Saruta en? Dafaq does he means? Close to Falklanish...”

    It suddenly hit him.

    „It’s Sartenno! (Untie me!) For fuck sake...”

    Cursing lowly, he kneed behind Harm and reached for the chains...

    -(GYOU, DON’T, YOU DAMN MORON!!!) – screamed again Kio from the ground.

    The cold blue android eyes set on the two of them – so eerie, that it send shivers down his spine.

    -(HURRY UP, HURRY UP!!!) – Harm started to hop a little on his chair.

    -(Citizen, immediately cease all activity, put your hands in the air and retreat back to the wall.) – said the one with the teaser.

    -(UNTIE ME, UNTIE MEEE!!!) – started to move on his chair even more.

    -(I’M HURRYING!!!)

    -(You have been warned.)

    „What”...

    Something was off.

    Harm momentarily turned his head right.

    And in the same moment a shot thundered – so loud and resounding in the closed spaced, that it ripped off their eardrums...

    And when the echo went off, only the screams of the boy which was trying to untie him left – it was laying on the concrete floor, wriggling from agony, holding his thigh with two hands.

    -(AAAAARGHRGHG, YOU FUCKING CUNT, YOU BROKE MY LEG!!!) – he squalled.

    -(YOU FUCKING TINCANS!!!) – moved Kio.

    -(Citizen, for you safety, don’t move.) – said again the one with the taser.

    -(I’M NOT, I’M NOT, YOU HEAR?!) – he put his palm on the ground so they could be seen from kilometers. – (I’M NOT!)

    The third gynoid entered the room from the dark.

    Holding Natsu on shoulder.

    And a rifle in hand...

    -(All intruders: neutralized.) – and she dropped him next to Kio.

    -(Intruders? Neutralized? WHAT THE FUCK YOU SAYING FOR FUCK SAKE?!) – he said agitated again.

    The boy, which was shot, was still wriggling on the floor and yelling from pain behind Harm.

    -(WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM, YOU FUCKING FAGGOTS?!)

    -(DON’T YOU SEE THAT HE IS WOUNDED! CALL AN AMBULANCE!!!)

    -(Calm down, this probably was only a rubber bullet. Otherwise, he would not have a leg anymore...) – рече Харм.

    -(WHY THAT’S EVEN MATTER NOW?!?!) – shouted the boy behind him.

    Harm didn’t mind it, if this was going to help him vent of the pain. But really, it wasn’t impossible to have a broken bone or two...

    -(What is this, what is happening, hundreds of demons...) – suddenly moved Iki below Rintaro.

    -(IKI, JUST DON’T MOVE!) – shouted at her Harm.

    -(Citizen, don’t move.) – said the one with the rifle.

    -(This is an emergency! Don’t you see there are wounded! Call an ambulance!) – she raised on her elbows...

    Harm’s heart stopped when the shot echoed in the room.

    And Iki’s agonizing scream made him collapse like a black hole...

    -(HOW COULD?! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO HER, YOU FUCKING...?!) – shouted the boy behind him.

    -(Stop ut, hundreds of demons!...) – yelled back ot him Kio, who was still laying on the floor, not daring to move.

    -(All intruders: neutralized. I’m awaiting additional orders... Understood.) – called the gynoid.

    -(What is happened? Whom is she talking?) – whisperred Harm to the boy behind him.

    -(WHO THE FUCK CARES... AAAAARGHRGHGGRH...) – he continued to wriggle.

    -(Can you try to untie me...)

    -(FORGET IT!)

    Harm sighed.

    -(Khm...) – he cleared his throat.

    All of them, which were in consciousness – and the three robots, turned towards him.

    -(I’m sorry for disturbing you, but me and the little miss over there were most unreasonable abducted, dragged and tied up here by force and subjected to violence, so would you be kind enough to contact the local police force and demand help? And to untie me up, if you please?)

    The androids and gynoid just looked at each other for few seconds. And returned to their old activities – to watch over them thoroughly so no one of them made any unnecessary movements.

    „DID THEY IGNORE ME?!“

    A serious blow to Harm’s ego – he had the feeling that one of these rubber bullets have pierced his heart.

    -Fucking faggot... – snorted the boy behind him.

    -Shat the fuck up, i’m the one who is still trying to get us out of here... – snarled through his teeth Harm.

    -Don’t even bother – these are MBX-1 – a police bots by Saburo Heavy Industries. It hurt my heart to say it, but we just don’t stand a chance... – said Kio.

    They looked at each other delicately – so much, so they don’t attract the bots attention – and bullets – on them.

    -Police bots? What do you mean police bots?! – suddenly said the boy, who covered Iki and was still half-laying over her.

    -The ones, they use in the police... – replied Kio annoyed.

    -Lol, no shit... – snorted the boy behind him.

    -Wasn’t this building supposed to be abandoned? – joined up and Nagato. – What are these cans doing here?!

    -Who knows... – replied to him Kio.

    -Khm, excuse me, but what is going to happen to us, now? – began Harm again.

    -Stop trying to be so polite to these fucking bot, hundreds of demons to fuck you... – snorted Kio.

    -Go jump off a building...

    The Gynoid turned towards him.

    -Will you tell us at least what are you waiting for? Can’t we go already? – didn’t give up Harm.

    -Oi, are you really this stupid? – growled at him Kio.

    -At least try to play for a bit with me!!!

    -Are you really thinking that you can confuse their algorithms just with words?!

    -It’s not like i did’t do it before...

    -Phahahhahaha, sure... – laughed the boy behind him.

    -As i said, these are Saburo Heavy Industries robots – not some bots, put together by your shady neighbor in his basement... – said Kio.

    -Phahaha, sure, that is why they shot without a reason at people and taser them ‘till they are half-dead, like some depraved cop from the third world... It seems that my neighbor in his basement can integrate better the bots software to their hardware, making them unprogrammable by unauthorized personnel and to write them better security...

    -Shut up... – snorted Kio.

    -No, you shut up dumbass and let me do the talk...

    -Faggot...

    Harm only snarled lowly and once again turned towards the bots.

    -Khm... – he cleared his throat.

    The three robots turned towards him, looking him with their cold, dim blue eyes. Harm only gulped and continued:

    -Excuse me that i’m disturbing you again, but my friend here, on the floor behind me, have a very rare medical condition and if he didn’t take his pills soon enough, he will have a seizure, from which he can lose his life. Or, which is even worse, to remain dumb until the end of his life.

    -Dumb faggot... – snorted the boy behind him.

    -Didn’t you tell them earlier, that you were abducted? Do you think them for that stupid? – said and Kio.

    Harm didn’t pay attention to them and continued:.

    -Can i ask you at least to bring him a class of water? And to provide first aid?

    The three robots (for nobody surprise) ignored him again and continued their guarding.

    -For fuck sake... – snorted Harm.

    Kio laughed out loud.

    -Of course it wouldn’t work! Are you that stupid...

    -Somebody seriously have reprogrammed them... No service bot will ever attack a person without reason, wound someone or refuse aid. Let alone not signaling when there is something shady...

    -THIS WHOLE STUFF THEY ARE DOING IS ENOUGH SHADY, ARE YOU MORON?! HOW DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO SIGNAL THE AUTHORITIES THEMSELVES... AAAAARRGHRGH!!! – yelled the boy behind him, still wriggling from pain.

    -And how did you come to be so proficient about bots... – added and Kio.

    -Mind your own business. The more important thing now is how do we get out of here...

    The three robots turned sharply towards him.

    „OH, FUCK!“

    The one with the taser began to move quickly towards him.

    -Oh shit, oh shit, alright, i’ll shut up, i’ll sh!... – started wriggling on his chair Harm.

    When the electroshock hit him, he felt how a huge invisible hand clenched his heard – and it was as hard as possible it can do it. But it didn’t just stop with that – all of his veins, arteries and capillaries turned into a needles and knives, starting to expand and shrink tens of times in second – and on top of that, all his muscles tried to move in all directions simultaniously. The pain was so paralyzing, that is sent black spots on his vision...

    When it stopped, to put it mildly, he didn’t know in which world he was...

    Several of the boys laughed quietly, trying not to attract the bot’s attention.

    -You totally deserved it, asshole... – whispered the boy behind him.

    -Are you still thinking that talk-bullshit-no-jutsu is gonna work? This isn’t some stupid movie or anime... – said the boy behind him.

    -Shut up, i told you i have done it before... – snorted Harm.

    All of his muscles were still numb. Although he was able to move them without a problem, just the memory of the pain were making him not to even think about it.

    -Phahaha, yeah, sure. And when you fell of the bed, what happened? – laughed Kio.

    -Your mother was below me...

    -You fucki...

    -Quit it! Wanna get shot?!... – hissed at him the boy behind him...

    -Hey, Iki?... – said the boy which was protecting her. – Iki!

    Harm’s heart tighten even more than when he was hit by the taser. His eye abruptly searched for her, praying internally for the words he had heard to be lie.

    But the view crushed all his hopes – and it was something, he was never going to forgive those, which did that to her.

    The poor girl, with disheveled hair and staring at the ground, was trembling from terror and pain – so much, that she didn’t even have strength left to say anything.

    -I think her hand is broken! – said Rintaro.

    -IKI! IKIIII!!! – shouted Harm, started to move on his chair, without caring about anything else anymore...

    -SHUT UP!!! – tried to stop him the first boy, but he also didn’t dare to move from his place.

    -IKIIIIIIII!!!

    -SHUT UUUUP!

    But what followed, surpassed even their wildest imagination...

    -(Two more intruders in the building.) – said the gynoid with the rifle and as if the three robots froze in place.

    -(Going...) – said the one with the quarterstaff and after a second he already disappeared in the darkness.

    Invisible hair clenched Harm’s throat.

    „WHAT? NO! NO, NO, NO!!!“

    -AAAAAAAARRTTT! AAAAAARRTTT, GET AWAY FROM HERE, THEY ARE ARMED, AAAAAARRRRRTTT!!! – he started to scream.

    -(Citizen, stay silent and stop moving!) – the gynoid pointed its rifle towards him.

    But Harm just didn’t care anymore...

    -AAAAAAAAAARRRRTTTTT...

    The rifle thundered.

    Harm’s desperate shouting turned onto a agonizing scream...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    Ahmya likes this.
  2. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    -Are you sure it’s this? – asked Hion when they looked over the corner at the abandoned building on the other end of the street.

    Art looked at his finger on which was wrapped the light blond stra...

    „WHAT?“

    He let it go. The black strand of hair graciously fell on the ground under the rhythm of the random air currents and the wind blow it away from them as soon as it gently touch it...

    „What is this?!“ – rubbed her eyes Hion.

    Was her mind playing jokes on her?

    Art just had tracked her with the end of his eye.

    -I’m ready to bet all the coulibiacs i’m about to eat this ear on this. For your information, this is one of my favorite dishes – and the years is still at its beginning.

    -Don’t start looking for a new dish soon...

    -Don’t worry, i’m not a picky-eater.

    The two, using whatever there was for cover, approached delicately the front entrance of the building’s outer brick wall.

    They took a look.

    Ten meters ahead, there was the building’s main entrance and the mild darkness that reigned beyond it was telling them unconsciousnessly that once they cross over it, there will be no going back. As if it was a hell which will bring all the world’s nightmares on them.

    -Let’s first look around before enter. Should we split up? – he suggested.

    -Enough bullshit, Art. There are just two of us and you know how this things end up on the movies...

    -I think our world is quite different, Hion.

    -Meaning it is even worse? Yes, i agree.

    -Pfff, alright. C’mon, let’s go...

    The building was a six-store condominium abandoned in its stage of constructing – on a places there were a casement and insulation put, on others not so much, but at all it was mostly unfinished walls and holes for windows, yawning like some monster’s pits. On the east there was a forest startning and at the front, between the outer wall and building, there was a concrete parking lot. The wall was at least two meters in heigth, surrounding the whole condominium, with the areas in between were covered with unmowed grasses and uncontrolably growing bushes.

    -Let me get in front, Hion. I’ll clear a way.

    -Ooh, how thoughful of you. Yeah, it will be a little difficult for with this short skirt...

    -Why, forgot to put panties today?

    -Wanna see? – she grabbed the ends of her skirt.

    -No, no, no, i was just joking!.. – he hurried to turn forwards and put palms on his periphery.

    -Heh, what it is, Art? You are quick to lose your nerve. – even with his back he could se her smug face.

    -No, we are just not married yet.

    -Married? Weren’t you, the falklanish, not caring about this at all?

    -Stop with the internet for today, Hion, please...

    She laughed.

    -Watch out.

    Art ducked just in time to dodge the suddenly appeared brand before his face.

    Hion bowed behind him and continued.

    -You know, Hion, it’s so cool that i can talk so freely with you. You are making me feel that i’m still back in Falkland.

    -To be honest, i think it’s cool too, Art. I have never imagined myself that i’ll be able to speak so freely with someone i know just for a few days, but it seems that this is exactly what my consciousness needed. I’m sick of all this seriousness and formality in the academy and in council... And this is so relaxing and unweighting now. You just don’t have the idea how much.

    -I see, president. I’m glad that i can be of some use to you. – he smiled.

    -Even with Reina and Akio i can’t loosen myself so much. Especially after i took the helm of the student council.

    -Hm, i think this could happen only between a boy and a girl, who are very good friends, but without the next step happening. Or with a brother/sister, or someone, with who you grew up. For example me and Sophie, or me and my big sis. I don’t think you can have the same kind of relationship between two girls or two boys. Just... it must be some kind of sex difference, so to say.

    -I see. But is it possible to be such a friendship between boy and girl without going to the next step? Wouldn’t one of the sides, considering the strong bond, starts desiring something more at some time?

    -Hmm, this is interesting question, Hion. I personally can’t tell, because Sophie and big sis are my relatives and they belong to a fully different category in my classification table, but as a boy i can assure you, especially when the hormones strikes you hard, that every male starts looking at his she-friends as sexual objects. I think it is somehow inevitable and natural, you can’t control it. And if some boy denies that – it’s a boy, who can’t be trusted. But, of course, whether you start taking actions or not is a different question. If it stays only in your head and didn’t do any harm, i think there is no problem with that.

    -Well, at least you are honest, no doubt about it. All this is making me think what is the future holding for the two of us...

    Art turned his head a little bit backwards, looking at her with his periphery.

    -And i like this straightforwardness in you, Hion. I think that these to qualities in us are necessary conditions for such kind of relationship to happens between two people of different sex.

    -You think so??

    -I’m almost hundred percent sure. Also, to have broad-minded sense of humor and, hmm, how to put it... to look at the life under certain angle.

    -To look at the life under certain angle?

    -Yes. For examples, when i asked you for the panties a while ago. If i did it with another girl, which i know for so long, my cheek was probably still going to burn from the slap...

    -And the other one, for bringing back the topic...

    Art laughed.

    -Well, you see? This is what i’m talking about.

    Hion smiled.

    He make his through the grasses to one window and threw a quick look in it.

    -What about Akio, Hion? You have heard me to talk about Soph and my sisters so much now. Tell me something about her. If you don’t mind it, of course.

    -Of course not. The problem is... Just, as if i have always considered her for a given and didn’t think at all how much of a support she is to me in everything.

    -This is a good start, Hion.

    -Hmmm, let’s see. She is two years younger than me. Her birthday is 11th of march.

    -Oooh, this is just after 3 days. What are you going to give her, Hion?

    -I’m still wondering. You see, Akio have never manifested a strong affection towards something, like me or the others from the club. Sometimes i have the feeling, that she is just all this because of me – because i love it and she didn’t want to be away from me. Instead of following her own dreams.

    -Hmmm, i see. – Art put his hand on the chin, deep in thought. – Then, why just don’t try to find out and surprise her nicely? Do you think we can do it, Hion?

    She looked him somewhat surprised.

    -Why is that enthusiasm to learn my sister’s innermost dreams, Art?

    -Why not? If it makes both of you happy. And i suppose your parents also.

    Hion stared at him for sometime quietly, while Art was still looking inside.

    -Just a floor and walls. Can’t see much else. – he said and moved from the window. – Didn’t you notice some interests in her? Some hobby? To try hide something when you were entering her room without knocking?

    -Nope, as i said she is just an ordinary girl, going through the typical stuff for someone at her age.

    -I see, i see. Well, as i said, i’ll be glad if i can help you somehow, Hion. I can ask even Sophie or big sis Kae for an advice, if you will...

    -Don’t worry. I’ll think of something interesting, i’m sure.

    The two of them again starter to walk through the grasses and the bushed, at places reaching even above their heads.

    -Damn, i love so much to walk through such weeds by some reason. As if i’m in some high fantasy.

    -Which is also some kind of horror, right? With all these insects and who knows what more, that can jump at you anymoment...

    -Are you scared, Hion, are you scared? – he smiled somehow smugly.

    -Shut up, if you don’t want me to shove my shoe up your ass...

    -Can’t see you living back several hundred millions years ago, when the insects were the dominant species...

    -Oh, yeah, good thing that that asteroid had a pretty good aim...

    -Hmmm, you are sounding me like the kind of people, which are ready the set the whole house on fire, because of some tiny spider.

    -Me, and Akio and my mother. I’m not alone. Good think that dad is still patient with us.

    Art smiled broadly.

    -I think it won’t be a good idea to get in through the main entrance. Let’s try through some windows. – he started to make way towards the wall.

    -I agree. But aren’t these a little bit too high, even on the first floor? And i think all i saw until now were closed.

    -This one isn’t.

    -It’s quite high.

    -Can you pull up?

    -I can. But i’m starting not to like this more and more.

    -Me too, but didn’t have much choice. C’mon, i’ll help you...

    -Are you going to do me ladd...

    Instead, Art gradded her at her thighs and lifted her in the air, so she could reach the window’s threshold.

    -For fuck sake, at least warn before hand...

    -You wasn’t going to agree if i did. C’mon, i won’t look up, i promise...

    -You just dare. – she grabbed the threshold.

    -Stop blabbing and hurry!... Do you know yourself how much you weight...

    -Fuck off, is this a way to talk to a women... – she kicked him in the chest and nose, while she was pulling agily up.

    After a second, she was inside.

    -And you, how are you goin... – she was just about to turn and look, when Art entered behind her... - Damn.

    He smiled innocently, scratching his nose and chin.

    -Let me be infront... – he said and went before she had the chance to reply him.

    Hion just sighed quietly and followed him...

    A few seconds were needed for they eyes to adapt to the darkness – there was nothing inside, only concrete walls. The stairway for the upper floor was at the far end of the room...

    -Let’s go...

    The two of them moved carefully, looking diligently in all directions.

    -Do you have any idea what are we doing?

    -Searching the building?

    -Genius!

    -Thanks! Mam is saying me the same.

    Hion snorted. They reached the stairway.

    -Let’s go up, Hion. There is nothing here... – he said and was about to go.

    -Wait! – suddenly grabbed his hand Hion, stopping him?

    He turned worryingly towards her.

    -What is it?

    -Just look. – she nodded.

    Art raised questiongly his eyebrows and turned.

    In the first moment, he didn’t see everything, but after a while, a dark spot materillized below the staircase.

    -Ooh! It’s the kind of place from movies and games when shit starts to happen when you enter! Are we going, Hion? – he took a step, pulling out his smartphone...

    Hion once again grabbed his hand, stopping him in place.

    -What is it now? – he turned and slightly iluminated at her direction.

    The dim light threw some dancing shadows on her face, making it look like she was underwater

    -Are you sure about this? – she asked quietly, with worry in her voice.

    Art put down his flashlight and looked her in full seriousness.

    -What do you mean? If you are scared...

    -How can you be so sure that they are even here? What is it that you don’t want ti tell me so much? Are you hiding something? And what was that with the hair earlier? And jumping from the school’s window? From such height, person definitely will brake a leg...

    Art just turned, still looking at her with his periphery.

    -Let’s hope there will be no need to learn everything today, Hion...

    And moved his gaze at the dark spot, readying his phone to iluminate everything.

    But instead, something shone right before his eyes, not even leaving him a chance for his brain to perceived it, let alone to react...

    The last thing he remembered, was the sound of dull hit and how his horizon spun while falling on the ground, before his view blacked out.


    -Oi!... – whispered at him Kio loudly. – Oi, foreigner!

    He moved. He had the feeling, that someone has beaten him with a shovel...

    -Oi, foreigenr! You alive?!

    He opened his eyes. And looked at the direction from which the voice came.

    Kio, still on the ground, was looking at him with worrying eyes.

    The pain... It was so strange. As if it was dulling everything, making him not feel a think.

    -You totally deserve it, stupid asshole... – snorted the boy behind him.

    Harm just snarled bitterly. But just by remembering the rubber bullets, he didn’t dare to reply him more at all...

    -Damn it... What are we going to do now?

    -Only if you haven’t tied me up with these iron chains, all of us were going to be out by now... – snorted bitterly Harm.

    -Shut the hell up, want more? – whispered loudly the boy behind him.

    Suddenly, a raising steps appeared somewhere from the side. All of them turned at its direction, but made it so delicately, not attracting even a pint of attention on themselves...

    On the door’s threshold some man appeared. He was wearing black leather jacked and so greasy smile, that it was possible to spread it on several toasts. He leaned next to the door’s wall, looking that them consequently with his small eyes.

    -Damn, damn, damn, what to do with you know, children? Don’t you know that this is private property? – he said.

    -What? – flinched the boy behind him. – Enough bullshit, old geezer, this is abondoned building, we are screwing up here for years without someone telling us a word about it...

    -It was. Didn’t you see the sign at the front?

    -What? There was no sign...

    -Ups, crap. We forgot to put it up. – he smiled greasily. – But this didn’t leave out the fact that you are intruders here.

    -Call the police then, to arrest us...

    The man smiled again.

    -I think we are mature enough to deal with this problem ourselves, don’t you think? Just wait for the other minibuses to come...

    The boy gulped soundly.

    The man turned towards the gynoid with the rifle.

    -Your orders remain the same.

    -Understood. – they replied to him in one voice.

    -And you, kids, start pray to all gods you know.

    And he turned, leaving the premises.

    Almost all of them gulped soundly.



    With the opening of his eyes, the dull pain pulsated on all his left side of the face.

    -Art?!

    It was so irritating and persistent, that it almost made him miss the fact that he was lying on something incredibly soft and nice.

    Hion’s face was the first thing to pop up before his eyes.

    Part of her hair was resting on his shoulder and chest, tickling him softly...

    -WHAT?! – he startled, trying to get up sharply, when his last memories invaded his head.

    But he didn’t manage. For some reason he lost balance and just fall off like a bag with potatoes.

    -Wha...

    By some mysterious circumstances, he wasn’t able to move his arms. Nor his legs...

    -It’s pointless, i have tried several times already... – she said.

    Just now he realized, that he was lying on her thighs. And his legs and arms were tied up with a rope...

    -Wha... What’s going on? – he looked around, with his mind still a little dizzy. Then he looked around, realizing they are in the trunk of something like a minivan. – What happened?

    She just sighed deeply.

    -And android hit you with this quarterstaff in the face. Then he apprehend me. Then he and two miserable excuses of a cunts tied us up and bring us here.

    -Hmm, that sound serious. Did they say anything more?

    -Yeah. That just they are waiting for the other buses to arrive...

    -Hmmm, definitely very very serious.

    -I won’t say anything more... – she looked at him annoyed...

    Art turned on his side, getting off her.

    -Not that i mind to stay more like this, Hion, but considering the situation, i don’t think they will lead us to some Michelin-class restaurant...

    -And how are we going to get away? Have more genius ideas?

    -Yes, but i’ll need your help...

    -I’m ready to do everything to get out of here and crack the heads open of these two faggots... – she snorted so bitterly, that Art thought she was going to spit...

    -Taglir... – he said so quietly, so she won’t be able to hear it...

    Just a low pop was heard, as if someone cut a tight rope with invisible knife.

    Art’s hands suddenly appeared in front, starting to untie his legs...

    -What... – she was in disbelief.

    -Shhh, quiet... – he scolded her immediately. – Tell nothing. – he whispered.

    -But how...

    -I said shut up, Hion! – he covered her mouth with one hand, while with the other started to untie her legs. – If they catch us right now, we are both doomed!

    After several seconds, he moved on her hands.

    -Have any ideas? How are we going to fight the android? – she whisperred?

    -I think it was Saburo’s bot. His sensors are in the head, on the shoulders and on both thighs. The problem is that they are behind several centimeters of bulletproof glass, but i’ll think of something.

    -Wha...

    Art suddenly thumped several times at the door with foot...

    After a second, from outside also thumped – much more insistently and angry than him.

    -SHAT DA FACK UP! – yelled the man at them.

    -YOU SHAD UP!!! – shouted Art from inside and continued to thump – this time even more than the man.

    -YOU’LL SEE NOW, YOUR MOTHER!!!...

    -Don’t move from here, Hion! – he said quickly and took a stance, as if was a predator preparing to dash at his next victim.

    The door’s handle clicked and started to open...

    With the speed of a snake, Art dashed forwards, pushing it as hard as he can with his shoulder...

    Considering the dirty swearing, that came from outside, she could said that it bring the desired result.

    After a moment Art was already outside – a new thumping and slamming followed, new bangs and flashes.

    Which were replaced by the ringing in her eyes and the decreasing echo

    And in the next moment – complete silence.

    She was able the hear the quickened rhythm of her heard inside her chest, as if it was timer counting down the imminent bomb explosion...

    She found herself affraid of what will happend next – all this uncertainty, which suddenly fall...

    -C’MON, HION!

    He startled when suddenly Art showed at the door – but at the same time felt so much relieved...

    -C’mon, c’mon! – he grabbed her hand and started to pull her.

    After a second, she was outside.

    -What... – the look of the knocked out man and the lying over him android startled her. – How...

    -That’s not importnant now! Let’s go get other, before someone else shows up!

    -But...

    He didn’t allow her to say anything more, instead he put the android’s quarterstaff in her hands and drag her with him towards the inside of the building.

    Just now she noticed that he was holding Falklanish war hammer in his other hand.


    -(Oi, i don’t like this!) – snorted Kio. – (I don’t like this at all!)

    -(Know what, i prefer to take whole magazine of rubber bullets than digging me somewhere for who knows what reason!) – said and Nagato, beginning to get up.

    The gynoid with the rifle momentarily turned towards him.

    -(Citizen! Stay on the ground!) – as if even her voice sounded nervous...

    Tack!

    Harm instinctively closed his eyes and turned head, remembering the pain from the rubber bullets.

    But something was strange. This didn’t sound like a shots. It was...

    When he turned towards the sound direction, the two android eyes were staring right at him.

    By some reason it made him wonder how were they still working on the wrecked android head, laying right before Iki and Rintaro...

    -Wha... – gasped several of them simultaniously.

    The gynoid raised his rifle, appearently still bewildered about the happening, when a dark shadow suddenly materialized behind him...

    And a loud slam echoed – as if someone hit a piece of steel with heavy hammer.

    -UNTINIE HARM IMMEDIATELY!!! – shouted an unfamilliar voice.

    And a new hit – her rifle flew out of her hand, landing next to the Iki and Rintaro...

    -O, shit! – he began to get up in attempt to grab it.

    But the android with the taser pushed sharply Kio, who also started to get up and also rushed...

    And managed to reach it before Rintaro.

    The taser put the boy back on his knees, unfortunately over Iki again and the robot grabbed the rifle...

    One shot.

    He manage to shoot only such, before Kio with the shovel, Hion with the quarterstaff, Harm with kicks and even fists and Art with his warhammer charge him, slamming him at all possible places...

    And they hit... And hit... And hit. Releasing all negative energy they accumulated from the unpleasant experienced today.

    Yup. They didn’t have intention to stop, even when the machine stopped moving. He totally deserved it...

    -AAART!!! – suddenly turned Harm, trying to rush in front of him...

    Art felt it...

    -WATCH OUT!!! – yelled Iki.

    But it was too late, he didn’t have time to do anything...

    Hion was blocking his path, he would need at least seconds to get in front of her...

    He saw how the newcome android at the door was already pointing his rifle at them.

    That’s why with one of his hands, he grabbed Hion’s neck and with the other touched the medallion below his shirt, yelling in loud voice:

    -POVA!

    The rifle bang’s merged with the Hion’s voluptuous moan as if from some erotic movie...

    The magical airshield started to flash furiously, as if they ended in some light show, when the rubber bullets started ricocheting from it...


    She felt how a needles emerged from all her nerves, piercing her whole body.

    She couldn’t describe it – feeling light as a feather, ready to fly at the first gust. Her head reeled. Her legs became soft, as if anytime now she was going to fall on the ground...

    -(HILMTER!)

    The huge montgisardean longbow materialized in Harm’s hand, together with several heavy war arrows with armor-piercing heads...

    The android saw him and tried to shot at him, but Art moved step aside, still holding up his airshield, covering him while he is ready to return fire...

    Hion moaned even louder...

    -I’m sorry. Just a little bit longer... – he whispered in her ear.

    The android’s magazine ran dry with a sudden rush of silence...

    „NOW!!!“

    He let go of Hion’s neck, which fall on the ground on her knees and raised his arm forwards...

    -FLAMLIR!

    The haze of compressed air enveloped the android, lighting him up like a kerosene torch.

    Not that he wasn’t going to withstand it...

    But first it was going to weaken his armor plates drastically...

    And secondly, it was going to confuse his sensors, making Harm’s attack undodgeble...



    Iki was staring with her widened eyes at all that was happening...

    How Art jumped before all of them, taking the bullets with his magical shield...

    „WAIT A MINUTE?! HOW IS HE ABLE TO DO SUCH THINGS?!“ – just now she realized what exactly she was seeing.

    How he sacrificed himself for Hion, so she didn’t feel the pain which Iki did...

    And how the android flamed up like a torch, when Art shouted something and Harm with the most perfect grace pulled his long montgisardean warbow...

    Iki was just looking at him with sucking eyes, melting from inside...

    -HAAAAARM!... – yelled Art, turning his head slightly backwards...

    But this wasn’t needed, because in the same moment his bow’s string twanged and one arrow with an increadible speed pierced android’s chest, throwing bits of crushed metal all over the place.

    The machine didn’t even stagger...

    -THE THIGHS, HARM! THE BATTERIES ARE IN THE THIGHS!!!

    -Understood! – he replied and loaded a new arrow.

    Art’s flames started to gradually die out.

    -DAMN IT, FLAMLIR! – he shouted again...

    The flame haze shell formed once again around the machine, when another one suddenly pushed it out of the way, dashing in the room...

    -Wha... – Art even didn’t manage to gasp, starting reflexively to back down...

    His incantation light up, hitting nothing...

    And the Harm’s second arrow bounced off its metal head not even leaving a scratch...

    -AAAAAAARRRRTTT! – screamed Harm and Hion in one voice...

    He only managed to turn a bit lift, so the taser hit him in the shoulder...


    The terrifying sound from the electroshock made all of them to shiver and these, which were hit earlier by it – to remember the piercing to the bone, agonizing pain...

    Two more people rushed in the room, charging at the first which their eyes saw – Art, now immobilized and paralyzed from the unspeakable pain...

    A loud metallic ring echoed and the android staggered a little. But it didn’t retreat.

    -What?! – all of them refused to believe what they saw...

    -YOUR FUCKING MOTHER!!! – suddenly cried Art furiously and once more hit him in the head with his warhammer...

    The android once again staggered, but didn’t fall back – and replied by tasering Art for a second time...

    But this didn’t paralyze him, nor stopped him – because Art smacked him a thirt time, indomitable by the pain...

    Was it that he didn’t feel such at all?

    No, it was impossible... As if he... was just used to it, it was just an annoying insect, which he could casually whip off with a hand swing...

    One of the men lashed his baton straight at Art’s temple... who saw him with his periphery and squatted sharply, making him hit the android directly in the face...

    Art on his side swinged the dull part of his warhammer, landing it right at the man’s ribs...

    The disgusting sound of breaking bones was going to make him shiver if the electroshock had not done the same...

    The man dropped his baton and fall on the ground, starting to wriggle and yell in agony, holding his damaged place...

    And Art turned sharply, dodging the attack of the second man. He didn’t need to do anything more because Hion took him from now on, starting to land a series of relentless hits on him with her android quarterstaff...

    The android tasered him for a third time...

    And once again all of them were extremely surprised how this didn’t effect him at all...

    Even under electroshock, only snorting and snarling, Art swinged again, and again, and again, until he made the machine start retreating. The boy with the shovel and one another with some metal pipe entered the fray, soon rendering him to a useless piece of scrap on the floor...

    Something shone in his eyes edge...

    -HARM, SOMEONE IS GETTING OUT!!! – shouted Art.

    He turned just in time to see how third man was making his way towards the stairway case...


    Harm stepped before all of them.

    One leg in front. The bow pointing at the ground... And pulling with all of his back’s strength...

    He was so heavnly, that Iki fall over him even more. It was a sight, she was never going to forget...

    -C’mon, super-heavy boy... Konsiglis!

    And realised.

    The arrow, at first glance much more slower than his previous ones, pierced the man’s right thigh like butter, who rolled over several times...

    Harm loaded a new arrow and pull...

    -(NO, NO, THAT’S ENOUGH! I WON’T MOVE, I PROMISE!!!) – shouted him the man from the other room.

    Nevertheless, Harm shot.

    But his arrow hit the plastic magazine of the burned android’s rifle, who with some not much coordinated movements, as if from the dawn of the robots, was trying to reload...

    Art suddenly startled, left the other two boys to finish the android with the taser and hastily approached the half-smoked one...

    And made sure he will never ever move again...

    When he turned towards them, it gave them such unpleasant chill, as if he was the most scarier thing for today...

    -LET’S GET OUT OF HERE! – he cried and without waiting anyone, rushed towards the stairway case.

    Only Harm had seen his eyes like this before – so blazing and angry, that were ably to incinerate a person just with a gaze.

    He didn’t put much more though in it – grabbed Iki for her nonwounded hand, lifting her up and rushed after his falklanish friend...


    No one could say how much or how long they ran. But when Art collapsed next to one falling apart vending machine, they found themselves in one dark backstreet, like the one the boys ambushed them earlier when he with Iki.

    Whether from the adrenaline from this whole situation (probably) or from the long tasering (not that probably), the shart pain just now pierced him like a dagger in the left ribs.

    So much, that he groaned, leaning his shoulder on the vending machine and put his hand over the place...

    -Art! – kneed Hion next to him.

    -I’m sorry, Hion... – his eyes trembled. – That bastard got me a little... – he smiled in agony and pain.

    Harm also squatted next to him.

    The two of them stayed like that for some time, staring at one another with their unmoving gazes, making the other to wait worryingly, expecting something...

    But Harm’s phiz suddenly twitched and he just laughed.

    -Don’t laugh at all, you!... – but Art also laughed, wheter from joy, whether from nerves, no one was able to tell at this stage and kicked him on the side of the knee.

    But instead, he was the one who groaned from pain, holding again at the wound.

    -Art!

    -I’m sorry. – he blinked with one eye. – But you know, you deserve one heavy punch in your sorry ass of a face because of the mess you embroiled, you know...

    -Yeah, sure! Wasn’t you the one to send me Iki’s photo?

    -Of course not!

    -Bullshit! Don’t deny it, i have evidence!

    -IT WAS MEL, NOT ME!!!

    Hion just looked at them with her widened eyes. And then she just puffed.

    -Why i’m not even a tiny bit surprised. This girl is even a bigger disaster machine from you.

    -Oh, you just haven’t seen anything from Harm yes. – said Art.

    He just smiled and turned towards Iki. And reached carefully for her wounded hand.

    She just moaned... But didn’t scream. These were some good new, at least....

    -It doesn’t seem broken, Iki. Does it hurt you?

    -Just a little.

    -Let me just catch a bit of breath and i’ll try doing something about the wound... – said Art, breathing like a boar.

    -I’m sorry. All of this happened because of me... – she said, moving her eyes on the ground.

    -Dafaq are you talking about, Iki?! – interrupted her Art.

    And Harm stepped in front of her, standing between her and the other boys.

    -And know... – he cracked his firsts knuckles. – I think someone else also need an ass kicking...

    Art got up, swinging threateningly his warhammer in front of him...

    -Wow, wow, wow, wait a bit, what da faq are you talking abot... – said the big boy.

    -Just start talking, before the thing get violent. I’m suddenly sick of anymore bullshiting around.

    The boy with the shovel just thumped it in his palm, making a step towards him.

    -Watch your shitty mouth, if you don’t want more...

    -JUST TRY IT!!!

    -HEY, ENOUGH!!!

    The voice suddenly startled them, making them turn toward its direction.

    It was Iki’s, who stepped at the center of the engagement.

    -Iki... – started the first boy.

    -I SAID ENOUGH! – thundered decisively her voice once again. – All of this is just one big misunderstanding!

    -Excuse me? What do you mean? – asked Art. – Weren’t you abducted?

    -NO! NO, NO AND NO!

    Harm looked stupidly Art, then Iki and then the big boy...

    -What, i really don’t understand, Iki...

    -The listen to me very carefully...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    Ahmya likes this.
  3. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    A little earlier...

    -(Damn you, Kio, why did you do this?! I just needed him as he was, alive and fresh...) – started Gyokuro.

    -(I told you he irritate me... Just can’t stand this sucker...) – he spit bitterly in Harm’s legs, leaning demonstratively on his shovel.

    -(Damn you the sucker that you are also...)

    -(Die.)

    Gyokuro just snarled and turned sharply towards Iki, grabbing her for her shoulders...

    -(What about you, Iki? Who are these you are gathering with?! Are you alright?! Did he do something to you?!) – he shook her nicely.

    So much, that she her head started reeling and she forgot to answer his question.

    -(Isn’t it obvious...) – began Kio again and rose his shovel...

    -(Wooo, wait damn you, why are you in such a hurry!...) – stopped him Natsu. – (Wanna kill him?...)

    -(Don’t give a fuck about this. Nor about him... Just look Iki. I feel so pity for her...)

    Gyokuro again turned towards her.

    -(Who’s that, Iki? What did he do to you, why are you with him?!)

    -(N-no, n-nothing, just h-hanging around w-with him...) – she started with trembling voice.

    -(YOU WERE HANGING AROUND WITH HIM?! WITH SOME COMPLETE STRANGER?!)

    -(Fuck, i didn’t expect such thing from you, Iki...) – threw Kio somewhat apathetic.

    -(No, no, y-you misunderstood! H-harm d-did nothing t-to me!)

    -(Harm?! HARM?! SINCE WHEN YOU ARE SO CLOSE WITH HIM TO START CALLING EACH OTHERS BY NAMES, IKI?!)

    -(Since you...) – snorted Kio...

    -(YOU SHUT UP!) – he sharply turned towards him, then back to her. – (And you, Iki! From where do you now him?! Did he do something to you?!)

    -(N-no! J-just from t-this morning, w-when he took m-me out of cla......)

    -(HE TOOK YOU?!) – goggled eyes Gyokuro. – (HE TOOK YOU OUT OF CLASS?!)

    -(N-no, i didn’t want to say it like this, he abduc...)

    -(HE ABDUCTED YOU?!) – now and he, and Natsu, and Kio exclaimed in one voice.

    -(I’m s-sorry, can’t r-remember much since he kissed me and i-i l-lost conscio...)

    -(HE KISSED YOU?!?!) – overhang the three above her.

    Iki just shivered, covered her face with palms and started to want for the ground to crack in two and engulf her to infinity.

    -(I see, all is clear now, Iki. Just leave the rest to us...) – said Gyokuro and turned towards Natsu. – (Go get us some metal pipes...)

    -(What?! NOOO!!!) – tried to stop him she by grabbing his hand with her two.

    -(Calm down, Iki.) – he gently released his hand. – (Now, after all that is going to happen to him, he wouldn't dare to get close to you at all...)


    All of them listened her with goggled eyes and dropped jaws.

    Art sat on the cold concrete ground, leaning his back on the wall.

    And laughed out loud. Long. From his heart.

    -No, no, no, just can’t believe it... – he wiped after his teared eyes.

    Harm turned towards Iki.

    -So this shitters are your friends, right?

    -Oi, who are you calling shi... – stepped Kio ahead, holding his shovel threateningly in hands.

    -Enough already! – Iki moved decisively between them, lifting her arms. Then turned towards Harm. – Yes, Harm. They are my friends. – then she turned towards them. – I’m sorry, i tried to tell you, but messed up everything. All of this happened because of my indecisiveness...

    Art just laughed. But this time immediately groaned from pain...

    -Don’t try to find fault in yourself, Iki. – he said. – If it wasn’t for the inborn stupidity of this crass here, nothing of this would have happened...

    Harm just laughed out loud.

    -Don’t laught, but come here, to smash you one in the face.

    For everybody’s amazement (but probably not for Art’s), Harm complied and kneed next to him.

    And for even their bigger surprise, the two just hug.

    Like long-life friends they were.

    -(I missed your ugly face, big boy...) – said Art on montgisardean.

    -I missed you too, daft kid... – replied Harm on falklan.

    Hion was just staring in disbelief, still unable to digest the sudden turn, threw upon her the recent events.


    After a while, they had Hion and Rintaro go to the closest pharmacy to buy some medical still to treat their wounds.

    The aftermath was as follows:

    From their side:

    Gyokuro – the boy, as big as Harm and in who Iki crashed while they were running away – Contusion and light internal hemorrhage. No broken things, fortunately. Also, tasered, with no long term effects.

    Natsu – the boy Harm managed to crush its jaw – several broken teeth, bruised mandible, slightly bitten tongue. Nothing, that the modern dentistry couldn’t handle in a matter of week. A slight bruised on the head by the android’s quarterstaff.

    Kio – the boy, who loved his shovel so much and even show it several times on Harm’s head – electroshocked. No long term harms.

    Nagato – slight concussion from the android’s quarterstaff. No long term harms.

    Rintaro – the boy, which protected Iki and received upon him all the fury of the android’s quarterstaff – tasered, when he tried to get the rifle from the ground and slight bruise at his back – no damage on his spine or nervous system.

    Art – a bullet in the ribs, when the service bot managed to get the rifle from the ground, before the four of them rendered it to a wreck. Contusion, small internal hemorrhage, bruises. No broken ribs. Several times electroshocked, no effect. Dizziness, hypoglycemia – low blood sugar because of the fact we haven’t eaten from this morning and the usage of magic.

    Harm – several wounds on his head from the hits with the plank and shovel by Kio. A little bruise on the face by Gyokuro’s fist. Three wounds from the rubber bullets – right shoulder, right biceps, right thigh. Again contusions, small internal hemorrhages – nothing broken. One time tasered. No long term effects. Just bad memory.

    Iki – wound on her hand from a rubber bullet – contusion, hemorrhage. Nothing broken. Time for recovery – two, three days.

    Hion – unharmed.

    On the „bad guys” side.

    Five wrecked robots. Four of them probably repairable (excluding the burned one).

    First man with broken nose and punched face, bruises and contusions on legs and torso.

    Second man, rendered unconsciousness by a hit in the head.

    Third man with a bruises and contusions all over his body.

    Fourth with broken ribs and pierced lungs – guaranteed stay in hospital at least two months.

    Fifth with an arrow at back thigh – guaranteed stay in hospital at least two weeks.

    Generally, a chaotic brawl like the naval battles at Grunvall and Harvall, were almost no one was left unscratched.

    After Hion and Rintaro returned, they treated their wounds as much as possible, then decided that it will be for the best to keep everything in secret – no other person from their side was going to learn about the events today...

    Art was more than happy with this decision – damn, he would be happy if somebody just could erase all of this from his memories.

    While Harm was attending Art’s wounds, Hion didn’t leave his side the whole time. As if she was a mother, trembling over her sick child. And is if something have changed in her. Looking somewhat more... humble. He could see it on her pensive, stared at the ground face.

    -Hey, are you alright?

    She replied nothing – she was too engulfed by her thoughts to do it.

    -Hion? – he touched gently her arm.

    She just turned and smiled slightly – just like a person, who didn’t hear the question, but was too polite not to offend the the other.

    -Thank you, Art. – she said quietly.

    Art didn’t reply anything and now his gaze flew somewhere at the empty space in front.

    -I really thank you... – she repeat. – If i have took all these bullets... Just don’t want to think what was going to happen to me...

    -Even without the shield, i would still have jumped for you, Hion...

    She just took delicately his hand, holding him gently.



    After they finished treating their wounds, they decided its to get back. Just like that, with no unnecessary messing around, with no unnecessary drama.

    Iki was walking next to Harm, Art and Rintaro on both sides of Hion, and the other four boys – behind them.

    -I had no idea that you are archer, Harm! You said nothing about it during our date today. – she started after a while.

    Gyokuro just snorted behind them. And spit bitterly on the ground.

    Harm just turned and took a quick look at him.

    -I’m sorry, Iki. Just didn’t find myself a way to tell you. – he smilled innocently.

    -And you, Art! I had no idea at all, that you can do... such things! – and she turned to him.

    He, just like Harm, smiled innocently.

    -It is a long story, Iki. Harm is also quite good, by the way.

    -We are not rushing for anywhere... – threw unambiguously Hion.

    -As i mentioned to you, my bigger sister, Kaeh, is studying at Saorise academy – the best magic university in the world. Even from a little girl she wanted to do magic related stuff and always and took the matter quite seriously, training everyday as far as i remember, but mam and dad didn’t have the opportunity to train with her because of their jobs and business trips. And you can guess – she started to took me for a punching bag. And believe me, she didn’t have even a shred of mercy. And, even before start liking sword-fighting, i started learning and training magic with her, just to be able to withstand her tempo and survive. – he giggled.

    -And when my little sisters started to grow up, they also got hooked and when Kae left, i was the one to train them, together with my cousin Sophie, who also had similar interests from a little girl, mostly because of her parents. And in the school, where i met Harm and the other, i learned, that some of them also have trained such stuff and the magic have always been an immutable part of our club, soo...

    -Woooow... – Iki was amazed. – As if here by some reason the magic isn’t so much popular, like in mainland Inden or Arnim.

    -Yeah, there is some truth in that... – said Hion.

    -And the taser? Did you block it with magic also? – asked Kio, who, for some reason, was still carrying his shovel around.

    -Ah, no. – turned Art towards him, smiling a bit. – Just one of my little sisters, Vik, have a habit to test the level of progress of her electric magic on me, most of the times completely unpredictable and with the time i forced myself to became mentally strong against the pain, so i can still move and counter her spells. It still hurt a damn, but not enough to paralyze me completely.

    -Woooow... – she exclaimed again.

    -Yeah, it is almost hard to believe. – said Gyokuro.

    -What about you, Iki... – turned Harm towards him, looking him with narrowed eyes. – How did it come to know... these?

    -Oh, this is a little... bizarre story. – she touched her index fingers one another several times consequently. – Well, last autumn there were three boys, which tried to peek in the women’s changing room and i shot them inadvertently?...

    -Yes?

    -Well, so...


    October, last year.

    Iki was walking on the narrow dark street, without having the slightest idea where she is...

    Which meant only one thing...

    She was lost again.

    Even with the smartphone and the map app, she was wandering for a half an hour now.

    „Damn, why didn’t i go with Hifu and nee-san?!“ – despaired her inner voice and was about to start crying any second now.

    „Should i call her? No, i’m feeling to embarrassed already, i’m doing it every week...“

    After all, she decided it is better to feel embarrassed, than wander which god knew how long at some unknown streets, on which who knows what kind of guys roved...

    She was just searing Ayuri’s phone number in her contacts, when crashed into something, dropping her phone and falling back on her bottom...

    -Ai, ai, ai... – she moaned slightly from the pain, rubbing her back.

    -Oi, watch wer’ ya going, huh...

    The voice paralyze her. When she raised her head – even more.

    The huge man, overhung over her like some stormy mountain, was staying just a feet infront – his shiny eyes on his shadowy background were making him look like some demon from the fairy tails.

    Iki was just to open her mouth and start screaming, when, instead of her, he did it.

    But gasping in disbelief.

    This parried all of the desperate Iki’s attempts still at the start.

    -But this is a girl! – said one another boy.

    -Oi, you said that someone shoot you, what is this, huh?!

    -Did we get the wrond person?!

    -No, no, no, this is it, i swear!

    Iki was just looking at the boys one after another, who also was looking at one another bewildered, obviously confused by the ridiculous situation.

    -You said, that SOMEONE had shot you, what’s this?! – one of the boys smacked behind the neck another one.

    -How can you let a mere girl to reck you like this, huh?! – smacked him and another one.

    -And how can you try peek her? And then hold a grudge for that?! – a third one also hit him.

    Iki recognized him just now – it was the boy, she shot several days ago when, together with two other, tried to peek in the women’s changing room.

    Suddenly for some reason she started to feel incredible awkward and uneasy...

    -E-e-everything i-is a-alright, r-really... – she started with her low, timid voice.

    A dull metallic cling was heard and the boy landed on his four in her feet.

    -Apologize to her right away. And just dare to do something to her again, i’ll hit you, but this time it won’t be with the dull part. – said another boy, putting his shovel on the shoulder.

    The boy looked at her – somewhat guilty, somewhat ashamed.

    Strange, but it made Iki feel the same.

    -R-really, e-everything i-is...

    -Quiet, young lady! This nation doesn’t need cowards, who attack defenseless women. – interrupted her the huge man. – And you! C’mon, apologize to her, won’t wait you thousand years!

    -I-i’m sorry... – mumble the boy, staring his eyes at the ground...

    -BOW DOWN ON YOUR FOREHEAD! AND LOOK AT HER EYES WHILE SPEAKING TO HER! – yelled another one, that even Iki jumped on place...

    -I’M SORRY THAT I TRIED TO PEEK IN THE GIRL’S CHANGING ROOM! IT WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN, I SWEAR! – he said loudly and clearly, touching the ground with his forehead.

    -Great! – grabbed the big boy its shirt and like a crane lifted him in the air. – NOW FUCK OFF. – and kicked him in his ass, making the boy fly somewhere ahead, in the dark street...

    Iki was still stunned at all of this.

    When the huge boy turned towards her, she wanted to evaporate out of this world.

    But he suddenly smiled broadly, helped her to get up and hugged her over the shoulder, as if she was his best pal.

    -What’s your name, young lady?! – he asked cheerfully.

    She was still refusing to believe it, lost thoughts and words.

    -Don’t worry, we won’t do you any harm! I have my word as a man!

    -Tsu... iki... hi... – she whisperred timidly.

    -Iki? IKI! That’s incredible name! I’m Gyokuro! And these are Kio, Natsu, Nagato and Rintaro!

    -Nice to meet you! – replied they one over another – who loudly and clearly, who not so much.

    -Well, Iki! Let’s make it up to you as a sign for our sincere apologies! – said Gyokuro and lead hear on the dark street.


    -In the morning however, i woke up with a terrible headache, remembering nothing... – finished Iki.

    Art just giggle uncontrollably. Iki looked him questionably, and Hion – somewhat judgingly.

    -Oh, really, Iki? – said Natsu.

    -I’m remembering, and too well at that... – added bitterly Kio.

    Iki turned towards him.

    -Will you tell me?

    -You sure you want to know?

    -Yes!

    Kio just sighed.


    Natsu was sitting next to her, hugging her over the shoulder in a manly way, while telling in a loud voice some story, which Iki in that moment didn’t listen at all, because she was too nervous and uneasy.

    Gyokuro and Nagato were sitting at the other side of the fire, which flames were throwing peculiar shadows on their faces and all over around.

    When Natsu reached the culmination of his story, only he started to laugh out loud, without caring that he didn’t provoke any reaction from them.

    Iki just smiled slightly – from courtesy, not to offend him...

    -That was lame. – threw Nagato.

    -Lame is your grandmoth... O, wait, this was true. – he replied and turned towards her. – Well, Iki, you liked it, right?!

    -Y-yes... – she said timidly.

    -See?!

    -She said it from courtesy and not to offend you.

    -Phaha, sure!

    Two shadows materialized from the dark, falling on the fire’s light.

    -Here... – Kio dropped the bag in the Nagato’s lap.

    He and Rintaro took the free places around the fireplace.

    -What did ya buy? – asked Nagato, starting to delve in it.

    -Ya blind?...

    -Oi, wait a second! – scold them Gyokuro right away. – Don’t you realize that we have a lady amongst us?

    The rest for suddenly shut up and startled.

    -Oh, sorry. – Nagato took the bag from his lap and handed it to Iki. – Forgive my improvidence.

    -Oh, no, really it is not necessary! – she raised her hand in front of her as if she was defending herself.

    -C’mon, don’t be shy, Iki. We owe you at least this as apology..

    -Really...

    -C’mon, Iki! – Nagato shoved the bag almost in her face.

    Iki reached indecisively inside, as if she was putting her hand in a basked full of cobras and blindly took the first thing she touched.

    -I... i really need to go. It is late, my parents will worry about me...

    -Don’t worry about that, Iki! – said loudly Natsu, yet again hugging her the manly way over the shoulder. – We will escort you back home if necessary, so nothing happens to you!

    -I... really...

    -C’mon, Iki! – Rintaro also thumped her back.

    -Oh, all right...

    -Nice! – he smiled dazzlingly and grabbed the bag from her hands.

    He also took something blindly and threw the bag at Kio.

    Iki, whether because she was so nervous or whether because of something else, opened the package of the thing she took blindly, poured half of its content in her handful and directly threw it in her mouth.

    -Hm, do you like drunken cherries that much, Iki? – asked casually Kio.

    -Mm? – she swallowed.

    Just now she realized what he asked her.


    -After that, everything went haywire... – started Natsu.

    -W-what? – blushed all red Iki. – W-was it that terrible?

    -Are you really not remembering anything?

    -I-i swear.

    -After you ate the drunken cherries, as if something switched in you. You started to yell some incoherent stuff and rage, then started to argue with Gyokuro about some air drag and kinetic equations. Soon you got tired of this and began to tell stories about how your predecessors were fire elementals and you can jump into the fire without getting burned. The five of us barely managed to hold you... Then you jumped on Gyokuro’s back, named him Selvador and started to kick him in the ribs, telling him to get you to Apolodorus, where your army was awaiting to conquer the world. And he needed just this much and started to run around, carrying out everything you ordered him...

    Iki was blushing more and more.

    -C’mon, it couldn’t have been that bad...

    -On the way, some cops stopped us, but you swear at them and quite colorfully at that... Then you ran away from them. We were also forced to do it. At least it was exciting... – said Kio.

    Iki started to tremble.

    -Then you stole several shopping karts from „Eufland“ and made Natsu and Nagato race themselves on one downhill...

    Iki’s eyes widened.

    -C’mon!

    Natsu just rolled up slightly his shirt, showing one quite solid scar on his flank.

    -Yeah, and after that we tried to plunder the drugstore and during the whole time you were yelling: „MEDIC RYAN, MEDIC RYAN!“ – he said.

    Iki didn’t know in which world she was anymore.

    -Yeah, then we ran from even more cops... – added Kio.

    -Oh, c’mon! It doesn’t sound that bad. – said Harm

    -Sounds like completely normal day in Falkland. – said and Art.

    -C’mon, man... Iki tried to get onto the gorilla’s cage and abduct her. – said Natsu.

    Art just goggled his eyes. Then he looked at Iki, who was just about to faint and started to laugh with his whole throat.

    -And then... – started Kio again.

    -Enough, enough already. – interrupted him Iki, hiding her face in palms. – This is enough, don’t want to know anything more.

    -Well, that’s a pity. The part around getting you back in your house was the most amusing. Really, too bad that you don’t remember anything.

    Iki just glued her gaze at the ground.

    -C’mon, that’s enough. – interfered decisively Hion. – Do you wanna rekt her?

    -C’mon, pres, don’t tell me that you wasn’t amuzed too... – said Natsu.

    -WHAT?!

    -HOW DO YOU KNOW?! – Art and Iki suddenly turned towards her...

    Hion just sighed deeply.

    But didn’t manage to say anything...

    Because the shadow materialized out of nowhere, pouncing relentlessly over Harm...


    -Oooh, you look quite sexy like that, president! – said cheerfully Rintaro.

    Hion just rubbed delicately her eyes, fixed once more her disheveled from the sleep hair and looked him bloodlustly. Understandable – if someone also got him up two o’clock in the morning like there was war happening outside, he was also going to look like that.

    -What is it, Rin, for calling me so urgently? Hope your reason is enough serious, otherwise...

    He just puffed, as if not quite encouraged.

    -You see, president, we’ve got some situation here...

    In the same moment, a furious war cry echoed, like in some Lightfort movie, making the two of them suddenly turned in its direction.

    The shopping cart whizzed past them with incredible speed, moving down the hill.

    Inside, Iki with a paper bag on her head was sitting on Gyokuro’s shoulder, who, standing up inside, was having an improvised flag made out of his shirt.

    Kio, Nagato and Natsu was running after them as long as their legs were holding up.

    -Waaaaait!

    Hion was just staring with goggled eyes and jaw to the ground.

    -Waaaaaaaaaaaaaait!!!

    She rubbed her eyes. Slapped her cheek. Bit her lip. Pinched her forearm...

    Then, she turned slowly, almost mechanically towards Rintaro, looking at him with the most stupefied face she was able to do at that moment:

    -Wha-wa-wha-wha...

    -Yup, that’s the situation, president... – he scratched nervously behind his back.

    Hion once again rubbed her eyes, turning back to follow the last moments of the dissappearing shopping cart down the hill and the three boys running after it...

    -This is why i called you...

    -WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER, HUNDREDS OF DEMONS?! – suddenly turned Hion, grabbing him for his shirt and overhang at him so much, that Rintaro wanted the ground to split open and engulf him.

    -N-nothing, i-i s-swear! – he said loudly, narrowing down as much as the physical laws allowed him. – Y-you h-have my honest word, president!!

    -OI, WHAT’S THIS MAYHEM TWO O’CLOCK IN DA MORNING?! – suddenly shouted someone from the second store of the house on the other side of the street. – GET DA FUCK OF HE’E, PEOPLE HEF WORK TOMORROW!!!

    -Dammit... – snorted Rintaro, grabbed her hand and the two ran down the street.

    -Hey, will you explain to me what is happening?!

    After several of tens of meters downhill, he stopped, turning towards her, still holding her hand.

    -Pff, look now, president... – he started, scratching again behind the neck nervously...

    Then he tell her everything that happened up until now.

    Hion initially was looking him just as he expected – with googled eyes and so opened mouth, that she could shallow whole Wellington...

    But then she laughed out loud – from her heart and with all her throat...

    -SHUT THE FUCK UP, PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SLEEP HERE!!! – yelled another one from the houses around.

    Rintaro once again grabbed her arm and ran as fast his legs were holding down the hill...

    They stopped at a crossroad, in the shadow of one fence.

    -So, as you understand by now, we need your help, president... Somehow we need to tame her down and get her back home before some big shit happens. You are the only person which i know that is acquaint to her, i don’t know whoever else might help me...

    She just puffed deeply.

    -Alright. I’ll do my upmost to support you.


    Ayuri literally showed up out of nowhere. So lightingly fast and suddenly, that no one managed to react in the first several seconds.

    She jumped over Harm, unknowingly how managed to force him down on the ground with her delicate physique and started to beat the crap out of him.

    So brutally and fiercely, that before the rest manage to interfere, she hit him at least ten times with her gentle fists...

    Art and Iki where the first to get a hold of themselves and digest the situation...

    He dashed quickly, grabbing Ayuri across her waist, literally lifting her in the air, away from Harm...

    -Get me down! GET OFF ME!!! – she started to twist like some captured animal...

    Whether accidentally (most likely), or whether purposefully, she jabbed him straight in the ribs, where Art had taken the rubber bullet, making him release his grasp.

    Which was more than enough for Ayuri to loose herself enough and dash again at Harm, ready to put him under her new ruthless storm of fists.

    But Iki literally put herself between the two of them, prepared to take all of her sister’s rage on herself...

    Ayuri’s fist hanged in the air...

    -IKI, GET AWAY FROM HIM NOW! – she said with her hoarse voice, filled with so much anger and fury, that Art felt how they were about to materialize in the air any moment now...

    -No! – resisted the girl.

    -I SAID GET AWAY!

    -NO! – she screamed, hugging him as tightly as possible. – I WON’T GET AWAY! HE WAS SO NICE AND GOOD WITH ME, WHY DO YOU WANT TO DO THIS TO HIM?!

    -Iki...

    -I LIKE HIM! AND I LIKE HIM MUCH...

    Ayuri’s pupils expanded so much and as if she froze in place. Art took advantage of that, grabbing her across her chest and waist, detaching her from Harm...

    -Calm down, Ayuri. – he whispered gently in her ear. – Just easy...

    As if her body relaxed.

    -You can put your hands of me, Art. – she said coldly.

    He momentarily complied. She just puffed and sat on the ground.

    -Harm? Harm?! – Iki griped him gently for his shirt and jogged him slightly.

    -I’m alright, Iki. – he smiled. – Don’t worry.

    And really, almost unbelievingly, there was not even a scratch on his face...

    -President, your hands... – gasped Art.

    And Ayuri’s knuckles were all chafed and bloody...

    -I’m fine... – she stood up, rubbed with her forearm her nose and started to walk slowly somewhere ahead.

    -Well, Iki, it seems i beat the first boss... – he laughed nervously.

    Iki just cried out loud and hugged him tightly.

    -You know, i also like you, Iki. And much at that...

    -No, i like you more! – she hugged him even tighter.

    Hion just puffed lowly, shaking her head slightly.

    Art turned towards her and when their eyes met each other, they just laughed mildly.

    Eventually, all of this was just going to remain an life-long lasting memory, which he even with a hand on his chest won’t be able to tell it’s „bad”.


    Hifumi was crying. Like as if she was a five-years old kid which one that had woken up and realized, that someone had stolen his tablet, smartphone and laptop...

    -Pff, won’t you shut up already, you are getting annoying... – puffed Rio, looking her under her eyebrows.

    Hifumi, turning a deaf ear for her complain, raised her voice even more.

    -Enough, they will throw us out because of you! Sis, do something!

    Ayuri, completely ignoring Rio’s begs, was continuing to stare her blazing gaze at Harm and Tsuikihi at the distance in front of them, next to the departing terminal.

    -Whoooo?! Whooo could have guess that she will be the first one of us to have a boyfriend, whoooooo?! Our little Iki! This is not faaaaair!!!

    Rioko puffed again – she was just too desperate from her little sister already to say her anything more...

    -At this rate i’ll die alone, i don’t want, i don’t want!... – and she suddenly turned towards Art, clenched his shoulders as if with pliers and stared her crazy eyes in him. – ART, PLEASE, INTRODUCE ME TO SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS, I DON’T WANT TO DIE ALONEEE!...

    -Calm down, you are just fifteen-years old... – puffed Rioko.

    -Forget it... – suddenly grabbed her shirt Ayuri, detaching her from him. – And you, Art, just dare to do something like this again...

    -But i told you, it wasn’t meeee... – he almost cried.

    Ayuri smacked him a nice slap.

    -Not even a word more...

    Then, she slaped and Hion, who up until this moment was deeply in thoughts about something, she startled, jumped in place and almost fell back.

    -W-what was that? – she touched her cheek, sincerely stupefied.

    -Nothing. Just to keep it in mind...

    Hion sighed.

    -Well, i’m ready to accept him as long Iki is happy. – She deserves it. – sighed and Ayuri.

    -Harm is a good man. I’m sure he will make her happy.

    -You bet. Otherwise, you will also fell victim around him...

    -Just how just you are...

    -You’ve seen nothing yet. – puffed Rioko and crossed arms below her chest.

    In this moment, the dispatcher’s voice echoed around, calling all passengers for „Flight 607” to Falkland.

    -She... she... she... KISSED HIM!!! – Hifumi grabbed Hion’s shoulders (because she was the first her eyes to catch), starting to shake her uncontrollably. – SHE KISSSSEEEED HIIIIM!!!

    Hion’s soul was almost about to left this world...

    -Argh, this faggot, he’ll see now... – rolled up sleeves Rio, trying to dash at him.

    -Enough, Rio. Leave them... – grabbed her across the waist Ayuri, holding her in place.

    -And it was only on the cheek... – added Art.

    -I’ll give you on only on the cheek, damn it!

    Ayuri just let her go, obviously tired from all this stuff, turned his back to them and started to slowly walk towards the exit.

    -Oi, where ya going now?! – asked Rioko.

    Her sister didn’t reply anything – she just waved with her hand, as if closing a passing page of her life.



    While after Harm was gone, Tsuikihi returned.

    Mildly put, she was shinning...

    Rioko and Hifumi were waiting for her – her bigger sister was looking at her somewhat half-indifferent, half-judgingly, and the eyes of the other one was shinning even more than Iki’s, as if she was some reporter about to stir up such sensation, that was going to skyrocket her at the peak of her career.

    -Well, what happened, what happened, what happened?! – took her shoulders Hifumi, shaking and her. – TELL ME EVERYTHING!

    Iki shivered even more than when she met Harm earlier today...

    Hifumi just hugged her over the shoulder and lead her towards the terminal’s exit.

    Rioko went casually after them.

    -You know, there is one place in Niigara, where they make incredible Kuezahashi. – began Hion. – If you are free sometime... I’ll buy. As a token of my gratitude for today.

    Art just smiled.

    -Of course, president. Wouldn’t refuse at all.

    She just smiled slightly.

    -C’mon, let’s get back home. It’s late already and it was a long day. I feel beaten like a goblin. – he started to walk slowly.

    She followed him quietly.


    As soon as she entered the room, Hion dropped her bag and fell on her knees, as if her legs suddenly went soft.

    -Sis? – rose Akio from the sofa, leave the book on the table next to it.

    Hion’s face trembles, as if just now she realized what exactly happened today.

    And blushed all red...

    -OMG, SUUUU, SIS GOT A BOYFRIEND!!! – she jumped out of her place, running towards the kitchen.

    And Hion just covered her face with her palm, not daring to even look...

    Her heart was beating like crazy...
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  4. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Another illustration of Sophie, this time in an uniform of Falklan Voltigeur. The character in the background is, well, a secret for now, because it will be too big of a spoiler if i tell you. ;P
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    „Flight 24“ of Falkland Air landed at Niigara’s international airport of „Fukuhaza” exactly at 8:44 o’clock in the morning. It was a regular flight, performed with one of the huge monsters Indstar-344 by the Indenean company Indstar Group CE, built in cooperation with the Vhynehaimese conglomerate Mokugawa Heavy Industries...

    -HEEEELLL NOOOO!!! – woke up with a scream Art, sitting abruptly in his bed.

    His rapid breathing filled the small room...

    After seconds, when he came to his senses and perceived the familiar setting around, sighed heavily and fall back on the bed.

    Just now he realized how sweaty he is.

    Suddenly, from the outside sharp steps appeared and after a second his door opened with thunder and clash...

    -AAART!

    He jumped of his bed right away.

    At the door’s threshold – Mel with apron and ladle in hand – overthrow her shadow on him with a silhouette of dark, outlined by the hallway’s lights.

    In the first moment, Art thought she looked more like some demon out of this dimension than high school girl.

    -Are you alright? What happened?! – she asked anxiously.

    Once again he sat on his bed.

    -Yes. Just a bad dream. – he rubbed his eyelids with fingers.

    -Damn that dream, man. For first time in my life i’m hearing someone screaming like that...

    Art looked at her again – this time his gaze stopped at her ladle.

    -Why didn’t awake me to help you? It’s also my turn today...

    -Don’t worry about that. It’s still 6:30 in the morning. By some reason i just awoke early and couldn’t sleep anymore. I told myself that i can manage all the work alone and left you to have more sleep.

    -Bullshit, you are the one that needs more sleep now. Just give me five minutes to get ready and i’ll come to help you...

    -Okey. – she smiled with the end of her lips and returned back down.

    Art put a new t-shirt and left the second floor on his toes, trying to awake no one. But the fact that surprised him the most was how he didn’t manage to awake none of the rest.

    Yet with him opening the kitchen’s door, the scent that invade his nose spirited away his soul in a world worthy of the imperial cuisine.

    -Mmm, it smells incredible. – he said.

    -Pfff, damn. Is that strong?

    Art looked at her in question. Then, when he noticed her outfit, even more, widening his eyes a bit.

    She was looking more like an molecular biologist or microelectronics process engineer, than a person casually doing breakfast in the morning...

    Hair, hidden below a hat and medical mask on her mouth, dark-blue double-breasted jacked, the same color as her hair, buttoned up her chin and black apron on top and even sanitary gloves.

    -Whatcha staring, asked you something...

    Art shook his head quickly, avoiding her gaze.

    -I’m sorry. Just... You look so serious as if you are about to make some scientific discovery that will change all our lives...

    Mel laughed out loud – and, he swear, this was the most pleasant and sincere laugh he had heard for a long time now.

    -Well, what to do. You know how sometimes people just insist doing the things in a way not seen as the most rational. – she replied.

    -Of course. Nothing wrong with that.

    -Well?

    Then he smelled the air several times.

    The aroma, in reality, wasn’t all that strong, tingling his nostrils mildly, but it was so gentle and nice, as if elating him and carrying him in some unknown world.

    -Nope. It is slightly sensible, but is very fond and humble. As if you are brewing the tea the right way.

    Mel laughed at his example.

    -So, this is good then.

    -Good?

    -In this case, the appearance of strong aroma means losing flavor. But it seems i’m managing it for now. – she laughed gently. – What did it smell to you?

    Art closed his eyes for several seconds and sniffed the air, trying to catch the aromas as much as possible.

    -I think i’m smelling something like coriander and rosemary.

    -Oh, very well, very well. What about thyme?

    Art smelled again.

    -No, i don’t think so. Even i’m sure i don’t smell thyme.

    -Oh, very well, very well. – she laughed gently.

    Art looked her somehow under eyebrows.

    -You didn’t put it, right?...

    She just confirmed it with her gentle giggle.

    -Troll...

    -Just kidding, i put, but not in the soup. Want to try it? – she handed to him one clear spoon.

    Art spooned some of the nicely smelling soup from the boiling pot, blew several times and slurped.

    He felt how his mouth and palate transferred to a restaurant not with three but with a three thousand Michelin stars, and his legs became so soft, that he find himself sitting on the floor.

    -Oi, you ok? Are you allergic or something?

    -No, just... – he shook his head. – If my mother could cook like this, right now i was going to ran towards the airport, no, i was not going to came here in the first place...

    Mel laughed again and passed him the handle of the ladle.

    -C’mon, get up.

    Art took it and get up – not that it was of much help after all.

    -Is your mother that bad of a cook?

    -Oh, no, even on the contrary, mam cooks incredibly. But this soup... I don’t know, as if there is something magical in it. Like you go to visit your grandma at village and she surprises you with your favorite dish...

    -And this soup is now even close to being finished. – she smiled broadly behind her mask.

    Art looked her with his widely-opened eyes.

    -I see now what Raon meant by waiting to see you cooking. Did all your dishes come like this every time?

    -Sort of.

    -C’mon now, don’t play it modest. I’m ready to bet that it is every time. Just looking the at the seriousness of your appearance and all your effort you are putting in...

    -He-he. You are flattering me.

    -Not without reasons. – Art took some more soup and try it once more. The pleasure was compatible with the conclusion of the story of the devil and the vilenian, which went out to drink. – Mmm, it’s good-like. Just can’t understand how the others didn’t force only you to cook by now.

    -Haha, you think they didn’t try before?

    -Looking at the status quo, their efforts were worthless i would say.

    She just smiled broadly. Through the mask it looked more like something from the horror movie but the risk of getting hit with the ladle in the head was quite significant if he happened to told her his sincere thoughts.

    -Not that if i mind, but if they didn’t learn how to cook, how are they going to get married?

    -Hm, true. What else are you doing? – his gaze stopped at the digital thermometer, magneted on the oven’s door, which metal-braided cable was entering in.

    Art leaned forward, reaching out to open it...

    -Don’t even dare!

    He suddenly startled, when Mel sharply put her ladle’s handle below his chin, as if she was holding some knife...

    He looked her astonished, just as well surprised.

    Then he moved his hands slowly away, as if in front of him stood not oven, but some unexploded aviation bomb from the World War.

    -And Hion says that i’m the one to get into the role too much.

    -Sorry, couldn’t resist it. – she giggled, that pointed at the thermometer’s display with the ladle’s handle. – You see, the temperature is still 47 degrees at 60 set. This means at least 20 more minutes.

    -I see. – he leaned forwards and looked through the heat-resistant glass. This time he was holding his hands away, on his back. – 90 degrees... This is the first time i’m see someone cooking chicken like this...

    -This is a method, which i found after a lots of experiments *cough surfing on the net *cough. Normally, i love chicken, but most of the people doesn’t know at all how to treat it properly and in the end i found myself left to have pleasure with some flip-flops. – she frowned slightly.

    -Wow, that sounded so wrong...

    Mel smacked him with the ladle in the shoulder.

    -Only dirty thoughts in your heads, damn it. – Mel went to the sink to wash it.

    -Your fault for saying it that way... How did you do that chicken? It surprising that it didn’t smell at all. When mam is doing some roast, usually all the kitchen is filled with heavenly smells...

    -Yeah, this method works like this. Otherwise, you brine it in salted water over the night, then roast it at 90 degrees until its internal temperature reaches 60. Then i’ll let it rest a bit, smother the skin with butter and roast it for ten to fifteen minutes.

    -Nice, it sounds ultra-professional.

    -He-he, thank you.

    -Can i help you with something?

    -Do the breakfast if you will, so i won’t crucify myself. I still need to make two-three things for our lunch.

    -Wow, that much?

    -Why not. I thing you’ll be pleased.

    -And considering your soup, we will probably want more.

    Mel laughed. Art opened the fridge and looked inside.

    -Hmm, let’s see...

    There was butter, chocolate, eggs. Great, no more excruciating time wondering about what to do, so he took them.

    -Wow, are you gonna make sweets?

    -Why not. It will be quick and easy, and at this i’m better. You don’t want to poison you with something salty, right?

    Mel laughed.

    -I fact, i don’t mind it. I even feel that will come well after all this. My head still feels light...

    Several seconds there was complete silence. He couldn’t understand what switched inside him...

    -Is just that?... Are you sure you don’t need... something else? – he asked somewhat cautiously, while removing the chocolate’s wrapping.

    Maybe only if he had asked with a slightly different tone, Mel wouldn’t perceive it in the way he right from the start said to himself wanted to avoid...

    She looked him with the end of her eye, while starting to chop some vegetables with the speed and precision of a kitchen robot. This, by some reason, made him imagine what she was capable of doing to a person if somebody gave her a sword – with all that rapid pace and sleight, so much, that he shivered.

    -What do you mean? – her voice changed – it became serious and arid, just like some oderonean gangster from the old movies, preparing to shoot someone, who had betrayed him.

    Art looked her continuously. Really, he had no intention at all to ignore her, considering his experience with his sisters till now, but apparently his reply was belated long enough for Mel to lose patience...

    She stopped chopping, closing her eyes and sighed long and deeply.

    -They’ve told you already, right? – she replied somewhat accepting the fact.

    -Wha...

    He didn’t even manage to finish it...

    Her face suddenly changed so drastically, as if some furious beast got into her skin and with an abrupt movement – so much, that even his trained vision and instinctive reactions didn’t manage to help that much in this case – she pressed something onto his throat...

    Something metal and cold...

    -Damn it, Mel... – he snorted.

    -Nice reactions by you. I’ll have this in mind if one day happen to fight you... – she put down her mask, smiling slyly.

    Then she grabbed with her hand the knife on blade which Art instinctively had pressed on the side of her torso, right above the kidney.

    And she started to squeeze it, trying to push it away from her...

    -Mel!...

    Her hand was starting to tremble more and more. Her face – becoming more and more grotesque.

    -MEL, STOP!

    -THEN LET IT GO! – she snarled at him furiously, prepared not to let go of it at all cost...

    Art momentarily complied and his knife remained in her iron grip.

    Then a victorious smile by her side.

    -You gave up quite easily.

    -I’m not about to laugh at all, you know...

    She put her knife of his throat. Of course, she was pressing it with its blunt side, but after all the feeling wasn’t pleasant at all.

    -You were going to overwhelm me quite easily if not given up. After all you are a boy and i was never going to do any harm to my savior.

    -You were going to get hurt. That’s why i stopped.

    -Nothing that the modern medicine couldn’t glue and heal for a day or two. Look at my hand for example, there isn’t even a scar anymore...

    -Enough, Mel! Don’t want to talk to you anymore... – he snorted, took the knife from her hand and started to crush the chocolate with more rage and violence than he wanted.

    Mel just smiled under nose, pressing herself slightly on him.

    -With a jagged knife it will be much more easier. – she said mockingly.

    Art just snorted, threw the knife into the sink and reached for the jagged from its stand.

    He got away from her and continued. Now a little bit more calmly.

    -Are you angry, hm, are you angry? – she pressed him again, not stopping to smile smugly.

    Art only jabbed her with the knife’s handle, just the get her away from him.

    -Ai, ai, ai, well well... – she started to chop the vegetables with her industrial speed and precision. – You are gonna cut your finger this way...

    Art snorted and put his thumb behind the rest of his fingers, while finishing crushing the last bits of the chocolate.

    -Can’t understand what’s your problem, really... Should have left you to bleed to dead the other day...

    -Hihihihi, i told you, because of this i would never hurt you in any way possible. – she smiled and once again she snuggled slightly onto him. This time Art didn’t back up. Somehow, despite all, this was vanquishing all his anger and fury, not allowing him to hold negative emotions towards her. Was this the effect of the warmth of his own blood?

    Mel suddenly stopped chopping. Once again she have became gravely serious.

    -How much exactly... do you know?

    Art also stopped chopping and turned towards her.

    -These boys, who attacked you the other day... What’s going on between you, Mel?

    -We are friends since child. They are one of the few people to stay with me in the difficult moments...

    -What? – Art frowned. – Didn’t look that way to me at all.

    -People can be strange sometimes. There is nothing infinite, you know. Yesterday friends are today’s enemies...

    -Shut the fuck up, don’t talk like some politician, please... You are making me seeing you in not a very good light...

    -Phahaha, if only this were your problem... Turn down the gas, your water is vigorously boiling. Your chocolate is gonna seize up...

    Art reached to comply her recommendation by directly turning it off.

    -Alright, i’m sorry for start asking. Really, it’s not my business... – he turned towards the stove, putting the chocolate in the bowl, which he had prepared for the water bath.

    Mel suddenly snuggled tightly into him, hugging him through the chest...

    -Mel?...

    -I’m sorry... I’m sorry for everything...

    Was she crying?...

    -Mel?

    -Please... Let me stay like this a bit more... I need you...

    Art didn’t know what else to do than comply. Really, what was happening here? What?

    With the time, her sobbing stopped and only the monotonous noise of the boiling water remained.

    Art was quiet. He didn’t want to spoil this moment for her. Something was telling him, that he was not going to forgive himself if he did it. Neither she.

    -Excuse me for a moment... – she suddenly let him go and left the kitchen.

    Art remained looking at the door almost stunned. Just this girl...

    He shook his head slightly and giggled quietly.

    Mel returned after a minute. A trace of her previous condition – not even a tiny bit left...

    -Took off your chocolate, you’ll overheat it!... – she began with her entry. – And don’t left it next to the pot, all the condensation will get inside!...

    -Aye, aye, chef. – he smiled broadly.

    -And wipe off the bowl’s bottom!

    Art just smiled even broadly. In the remaining time of their cooking, not even a trace was left from the gloomy mood earlier.


    -What, the fuck, is this? – looked him Ann under her eyebrows.

    Ren just poke it gently with her spoon, checking if it was not alive.

    It wasn’t for their relief. Neither was some exotic culinary masterpiece from Falkland’s high-life, on which every average person was looking as if with suspicion and distrust.

    Art didn’t know if he should feel flattered or offended by the fact they threw so much suspicious attention over one ordinary souffle...

    -Just ordinary lava cake. Haven’t tried one before?

    -You serious? Sweets for breakfast? – she looked him, even more under her eyebrows.

    -Just don’t pay any attention to her, just pretend she didn’t exist, that she is harmful ghost... – said Mel indifferently, sat next to her and started to eat hers sweetly sweetly.

    Ann just stared at her – not because of her heavy words, but because of the way she was enjoying her breakfast. Spoon, after spoon, after spoon...

    -In Oberland they eat pancakes with maple syrup, in Iteryn croissants with strawberry jam and in Aflven waffles with ganache. – replied Mio to her, who also sat on her chair and was about to try it.

    Ann looked her with dead-fish eyes.

    -As maybe you are aware by now, dear miss, we are neither in Oberland, nor in Iteryn or Alfven...

    -Stop it, damn it. A little bit variety from time to time isn’t bad. – she said and put her first bite in her mouth. – Mmm, it’s incredible, Art. I don’t mind doing these more regularly.

    He just smile in response.

    -When you get a hundred kilos above, i’ll ask you if you’ll think that way again... – snorted Ann.

    -The breakfast is the best part of the day for something sweet. You’ll have all day to spend your energy.

    -When all your teeth falls off i wonder how you’ll be able to breakfast at all. You’ll only be good for men, doing them blo...

    Mel hit her in the head with the spoon.

    -Aaaaaaaayuyiii!!!

    -Pfff, is she like this at every meal? – puffed Art.

    -Don’t ask... – snorted Nym and shove face on the table. The poor girl, by some reason she looked even more beaten than him and so much underslept, that he start wondering if there was a physically possible to sleep negative hours...

    He raised his eyebrows a bit and tried the souffle.

    After the first bite, all his worries disappeared. If his sisters liked it, so every person in this world will like it too, he hoped.

    Well, maybe, except Ann. Who by some reason had such a huge problem with the food, as if in her previous life she suffocated in the most stupidest way possible on some very important feast and the memories of that transferred in her current body...

    And finally overcome her fears and had her first try.

    Then her spoon left in her mouth...

    -Well, well, well... – smiled smugly Mel, pressing herself slightly onto her shoulder.

    The Ann’s pride broke, her souffle disappeared even faster than these, who started it before her.

    -Well, it seems you liked it, hm? – asked Art playfully.

    -I-i admit, i-it wasn’t bad. – she crossed her hands and turned her hand, raisin her chin proudly and closing eyes.

    Then she opened just one, looking him secretly.

    He just smiled.

    -Yesterday you were crying for him, when he was late and today you are playing it tsundere. Just decide you persona already, Ann... – mumbled though the table Nym.

    -And you, get up already, are you gonna go hungry to school... – took her for the hair Mio and raised her.

    -The sleep is more important than eating, didn’t you understand that already at this age... – she groaned and when Mio let her go, Nym once again shove face in the table...

    -Pfff.

    -Mel helped you doing them, right! There was just no other way! – said Ann.

    -Nope. Just some little recommendation, the recipe was all Art’s.

    Ann looked him as if not with admiration and worshiping.

    Then she looked her empty ramekin and her face drooped.

    -Meh, why not... – she reached for Nym’s plate...

    In response, she just received such precise hit with the spoon on the knuckles, that Art started wondering if Nym didn’t have eyes somewhere else on her head...

    -Aaaay! – Ann retracted her hands like she was scalded. – Old hag...

    -Shut the fuck up if you don’t want to poison your food next time...

    -Now you really sound like some old ha... aaaaaaayuii!

    Mel suddenly stood up, taking her empty ramekin and returned to the kitchen. After a moment she returned with the extra souffle, which Art had made on her recommendations, sat next to Ann which during the whole time she was looking with shiny eyes like some cat and took a tidbit with the spoon.

    He swore, Ann’s face in that moment was the complete personification of witnessing the greatest treachery man was capable of.

    But instead Mel just laughed and put the spoon into Ann’s mouth.

    And left it hanging in there.

    -I was sure you were gonna want second, so i told Art to made one. – she said.

    -Oooh, Mel! – jumped on her neck Ann, rubbing her check onto hers. From the side it was such a sweet view, that even Art’s breakfast became many times more sweeter. – You are the best and most incredible! Not like your wrinkled sister.

    -Die...

    When her gaze met his’, Mel smiled to him charmingly – like he never saw her to do it up until now...


    He became so paranoid, that the whole time he didn’t stop looking at every nook and cranny.

    His hand was continuously squeezing the backpack’s strip, just a few centimeters away from his medallion and on the other shoulder he was holding his swords, just like the landsknechts were carrying their zweihanders.

    Somehow he was becoming even more paranoid just by the though of putting them on his back and that it would take him entirety to draw them out if a need arise (gods forbid...).

    And the morning before they left for school, Mel didn’t put him at easy at all...

    -Oh, and Art... – she got close to his ear and squeezed his shoulder. Much harder than as if it was normal. – And if you let out something from this morning... i’ll kill you.

    Then she smiled charmingly, as if she was his loving wife for long years and get out, leaving him last to lock up the house.

    He sighed quietly and turned head delicately backwards.

    Mel, which was talking about something with Ren, noticed him, smiled the same way as she did this morning and waved at him.

    Art snorted, turned ahead and continued to anguish himself with his paranoia.

    What was going to happen today? Definitely something was going to happen, the regularity of the previous day was adamant!

    „Enough boy, you are delving too deep onto the probabilities theory...“ – said his internal voice.

    „But by now theory isn’t wrong at all... The first day bullshit happened, the second day bullshit happened, the third day bullshit happened, how can you expect now to be any different...” – he started to harrow himself internally.

    „No, no, no, no, everything have beginning and end, everything is relative, things always change, nothing is constant, this is basic universal law...“

    „But the universe is infinite, you know...“

    „But this is just by our perception...“

    Good thing that he was still just talking just in his mind. If he started doing it and out loudly... Well, then his paranoia was going to be complete and have a reason to seriously start worry...

    -Is everything all right?

    When he looked to the side, Mio smiled to him charmingly.

    -Whyf nt’be? – he lisped somewhat strangely.

    Just now he realized how intensively he was biting his thumb’s nail...

    He startled, hurried to get it away from his mouth, rubbed it off several times at the end of his shirt and once again grabbed his backpack strip. He decided that he is not feeling much comfortable like that, reached to touch his medallion (although he was feeling it’s thick nylon rope the whole time) and then returned his hand at its previous location.

    Mio just giggled gently.

    -I’m sorry. It seems i’m a little bit on my... toes, i guess. – he looked delicately at his gnawed thumb.

    Mio once more laughed.

    -Don’t worry. I’ll be close if something happens to you again today. – she winked at him.

    Art widened his eyes a bit.

    But of course. Mio was too smart for this. There was no need for her to ask what’s bugging his mind for her to understand.

    -How nice of you. Now i can stop stare paraoidly around. – he said and looked around.

    -Well, what’s the plan?

    -So, you will be my personal guard. Ren and Mel will took the vanguard, Ann – the right flank and Nym the left and we’ll need to thing of something about the rearguard. Also, we need to take care about the good reconnaissance on both our flanks and vanguard, to hire up locals, who knows the terrain, to provide good logistics...

    -Ohooo, you are quite familiar with the this stuff. – she smiled. – Just be careful for Ann not to learn, because you can’t shove her off after that...

    -Hmm, why?

    -Recently, she bought one military simulator and it just become some nightmare... – turned her eyes Mio. – Although she suck so heavily and everybody beats her to a pulp, this girl just refuse to get any better, nor to learn from her mistakes...

    -Phahaha, this sounds just like Liya. You know, now that you told me all this, i can’t wait to try her. I’ll even ask her myself.

    -Hehe, don’t tell that i didn’t warn you late.

    -I’m prepared to take that risk and make her, khm, for the common good, i mean.

    Mio smiled.

    -Ooooooi! – suddenly a familiar voice yelled some familiar.

    The two turned their heads to see how Rio was waving at them from the other side of the street. Art just by seeing the school’s entrance, started feeling sick...

    He didn’t like falling under the spotlights, but the events that happened over the last few days made it exactly opposite. As if he had become some social media star, he was constantly sensing everybody else’s gazes on his back and how everyone was whispering in his direction. He had now the feeling that somebody was deliberately following his very actions just to stir up the things even more...

    Well, at least they didn’t know what happened yesterday, he hoped...

    He puffed and slapped his forehead.

    Mio turned towards him, looking him with worry.

    -Art?

    Damn it, why did he have to remember this stuff just now. When thinking about it, it didn’t occur to him at all earlier that someone at sometime would want to make him pay for what eventually was his fault for yesterday...

    Akghk, damn it, just what he needed now – a reason to became even more paranoid...

    -Art!

    -What is it, Mio? – he raised his head, looking her irritated. – You are too lou... GHAAYAAHGYKHK, YOUR MOTHE...

    The sudden electroshock manage to took him completely off guard (HIS SISTER WAS BACK IN FALKLAND, RIGHT, HER MOTHER!), just there was no reason to expect it in the middle of the courtyard of his new school...

    Something kicked him so hard behind his knees, that it even managed to dull the pain from the electroshock and his horizon spun like centrifuge...

    -Stay back, auntie... – reached to him some very familiar voice, but in the same time too echoed because of his speed falling.

    Then he kissed with passion the concrete pavement. Just by some miracle he didn’t manage to smash his phiz...

    -What?! I’ll give you an auntie to you, you little!... – unknowingly why he imagined Mio wrapping sleeves up, preparing to dash at someone...

    Something flashed, he felt how all his body electrified and Mio groaned, hearing her fast retreating steps...

    „What?!“

    -You... – she began...

    But the voice which followed, give him shivers like nothing one else...

    -YOU GONNA HOOK UP OTHER WOMEN, HUH?!

    The froze...

    He was afraid to turn back...

    -Yo, take it easy, Aiv. And stop pulling his frowzy legs, you’ll get some plague!

    One more voice. Too familiar and warming up his heart...

    So much, that he was hoping not to hear it at least for the next six months...

    Just now he realized, that something was clenching up his legs in such iron grip, as if it was out of the professional wrestling...

    He tried to move...

    -Aaah, no! Not going off so easily this time! – something clutched his legs even more, so he couldn’t move them an inch...

    Really, he wasn’t imagining it! This was the voice of...

    He tried to turn, just to confirm it...

    He couldn’t. And just now he realized, that someone was sitting on his back.

    He only managed to turn his head and while doing it, two gentle hands landed on his shoulders.

    And his sister’s face pop up just a centimeters from his’.

    -Yo, bro. – she smiled charmingly and her big blue eyes shone like ocean against him.

    Art blinked, goggled and made everything that can be applied in a situation when you are surprised to a degree, bordering with the density of a black hole.

    So much, that he didn’t know what to say at all. And he, as maybe all of the people acknowledged to him knew, had always something to say in the different situations...

    He blinked several times against her, hoping this to be some kind of nightmare he was about to wake up from...

    -C’MON, WON’T YOU SAY SOMETHING, WHY DID WE TRAVEL ALL THE WAY HERE FROM FALKLAND FOR, YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I HATE TO FLY WITH FUCKING AIRPLANES!!!

    And in the next moment, something bite his calf so hard and twisting his ankle at the same time, that Art howled from pain, turning like a captured alligator...

    Something flew away...

    -Ai, ai, ai... – and he heard how somebody thumped a meter away from him. When he sat up, he saw how Avys was standing on the concrete pavement, making painful expression and rubbing her rear. Then she looked at him with a face as if from the opening phase of some erotic movie. – N-not like this in f-front of a-all, Art, it’s not r-right. I-i know you want to b-be rough w-with me, b-but please wait until tonight... – she imitated it like some top actress from the adult’s genre...

    Sophie just grabbed her for the uniform and literally lifted her in the air.

    -We still need to work on your behavior, little girl. – she said.

    -Hai... – cried Avys.

    His bigger cousin turned his eyes on him.

    -Hey, bro.

    Art goggled even more.

    -Sophie?!

    -And how long you’ll pretend that i don’t exist, huh?! – couldn’t hold it anymore Vik, who was staying the whole time on his chest...

    Art just stood up, ignoring her completely...

    -Ai! – she thumped on the grass next to the pavement...

    He continued to look at his cousin with widened eyes.

    But if they were here, that means!...


    Hion took the downstairs quickly, while her gaze the whole time was moving on the gathered crowd in the courtyard....

    -Hey, what is happening here again, for fuck sake?! – she passed by Reina, Hifumi and Rioko’s group.

    Rio just raised her arm before her chest, stopping her at place.

    The president looked her bewildered.

    -This time everything is alright, Hion. No need to do anything...



    A sigh of relief exited his chest. He felt how his body started burning with excitement, when he saw her little, blushed face showing warily behind Sophie’s back, still holding her shirt with her small tender arms just like some little kid.

    He felt such warmth and excitement, that his memory of when they got to pick them up from the maternity ward, together with his mother, clearly pop up before his eyes.

    -Big bro... – she said with her slender, slightly hoarse voice.

    -Krul. – his heart started burning even more and more...

    He swore, the the lump in his throat became huge rock, impossible to swallow...

    -AND AREN’T YOU HAPPY TO SEE ME, HUH?!

    The sharp pain, which he felt on the side of his knee automatically let out his mouth his agonizing scream...

    -You fucking little animal... – snorted Art, staggering...

    Vik helped him even more by jumping on his shoulders, poking his eyes with thumbs...

    This was more than enough to make him fly towards the concrete pavement...

    Aiv helped him even more, by jumping at his legs, blocking his attempts completely for achieving some kind of balance...

    He didn’t even manage to put his hands in front, falling straight on his face...

    -You little piece... – he snorted, feeling the pain in his cheek...

    -SHUT UP!!! – snarled Vik, tightening her grasp on his hands.

    Even he could move in this situation. Damn, why did he teach her all of these things...

    -Once i got free, you’ll see, you littl... GHYAAHGYKHKH, DAMN LITTLE PLAGUE!!!...

    Vik just bite him even harder on his neck and start pulling his hair with her free hand...

    Art tried to move his legs, but he couldn’t... Oh, yes, because Aiv had them blocked also.

    „Fuck my life...” – he thought, ready to give up completely.


    -Shouldn’t we help him? – asked Raon, who together with Ayuri and Akio pop up from somewhere.

    Hion just looked for several seconds Art’s agonizing attempts to get out of the clutch, not knowing whether to sympathize with his pain or laugh ‘till cry because of what two little girls managed to do to him...

    And while wondering, Reina overtook her:

    -Nope. Let him suffer in his misery.

    Hion, remembering Art’s words from yesterday, felt so ridiculous, that she couldn't hold it and started laughing out loud.

    Making all other around her to looked her amazed.


    -Hey, hey, Vik?... – he decided to completely change the tactics.

    -Whatcha want now, bro?

    -You know, i found a pastry shop, when they serve Kuezaha...

    -AND YOU HAVEN’T CALLED ME, HUH?! – she pulled his hair even harder and clutch thrust her teeth in his neck just like some vampire.

    -AND ME?! – bite his calf and Aiv.

    Art just howled even more from the pain...

    Alright, enough with the gently attempts, time to send them directly into the hospital...

    Sophie saved them (them, of course not him!), but showing up above him, grabbed them for their shirts and literally rip them off out of him, lifting them in the air.

    -What’s going on, bro, you’ve become softer. You’re here just from several days. Is living in Vhynehaim affects you that badly... – she said bitterly and looked around almost with disgust and contempt.

    But of course...

    Art stood up, rubbing delicately his back parts.

    And Sophie hugged him.


    -She... she... she... hugged him! – gasped Akio in disbelief.

    Hifumi already had got out her camera and was clicking them uncontrollably and her saliva was about to start running of her mouth...

    -I have heard that this is completely normal greeting among friends in Falkland. – replied Ayuri.

    -Among friends?

    -Just more like him we needed right now... – snorted Reina, rubbing her temple slightly, as if she had some super brutal headache.



    In the first moment, Art stood like he was stupefied.

    Then he also hugged her, shoving his face in her blonde hair.

    -I missed you, bro. It’s so boring without you. – she whispered in his ear.

    Art didn’t reply anything. Just enjoyed her hug, her warmth, her presence. He had so many things to talk about with her, so much to share. And now she was here.

    This suddenly startled him.

    He gently got away from her, still holding her shoulder, looking her with his widened eyes...

    „But how is that she is here?!“ – as if just now he realized who he was seeing...

    He didn’t anguish himself for long with these thoughts.

    Because Krul jumped at him, hugging him as hard with possible and Art once more found himself on the ground.

    With his little sister above him, squeezing him with her little hands as she much as she can...

    -Never ever again get away from me, never ever again do this! – she cried, shoving her face into his chest.

    And squeezing him even stronger...

    -Krul...

    She shoved her face even more. And start crying.

    -That’s right, never again do like this! – jumped over him and Avys, hugging him as hard as possible. – Otherwise i’m never talking to you ever again!

    Art in the first moment looked with slightly widened eyes, still wondering how to react.

    Then he just relaxed, closed his eyes and hugged him gently.

    -I’m also glad to see you, little sis’.


    -I had always felt there is something suspicious around him. And now i understand it completely – he is among the worst. Fucking pedo-lolicon. He surpassed even my expectations. – said Reina with such disgust, capable of poisoning all around her.

    -C’mon, there is no more than four-five years of difference between them... – said Ayuri.

    -And your mother and your father also have ten years of difference between them, but you are not saying anything, hm? – countered her and Hion.

    Reina just snorted, wanting to spit on the ground.

    -Yes, but who are they?

    -Isn’t it obvious, Rio...


    -B-but what are you doing here? – stood up Art.

    His little sister and little cousin were still staying hugged to him.

    Vik found some place between them and also hugged him.

    -You won’t electroshock me, right?

    -Nope, maybe some other time. – she looked him in the eyes, smiling charmingly.

    Then she shove her face into his chest. And started sniveling.

    -If you leave once more like that, i’m gonna throw at you such lighting, that even your parents won’t be able to recognize you... – she said gravely serious.

    Art just smiled and gently hugged the three of them.

    His gaze stopped on Sophie.

    She just smiled at him charmingly.



    -Just how i have the feeling, that today also he’ll miss his classes... – shook her head Hion.

    -I beg him just to dare... – said Akio.

    Reina was looking at him with such a stare for which Hion wanted not to land on her...

    The girl with the pretty blond hair turned towards them.

    -Don’t worry about this. We didn’t came here from Falkland to disturb your daily routine.

    -But sis, you said it, you have traveled 2000 kilometers from mainland Inden because of me... – somehow Art was for about to push it in the direction for skipping today also (he was just going to get Mio’s notes later...).

    -As i said, it won’t be necessary, bro...

    -But... – and it suddenly hit him. And his eyes widened. – Don’t tell me that...

    -That’s right, big bro! – smiled blindingly the girl with light blond hair with bluish ends. – Because from today on, you will be not the only one foreign transfer student here!...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    Ahmya likes this.
  6. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    -Forget it, there is no way.

    Avys’ jaw dropped. He sweared, a little more and it was going to crash on the principal’s desk and brake it.

    Elliver leaned back on his chair, crossing hands under his chest, and making himself look serious (although to Art it seemed there was a touch of flippancy too), closed his eyes, nodding slightly with his head, as if with a satisfaction from his unconditional refusal.

    -But, but, bu...

    -I’m sorry, young lady. – he leaned even more backwards until his chair stood up on two of its legs as if in a form of a perfect balance and interlaced fingers on his nape. – All the quotas for the foreign exchange student’s program for the current year are filled.

    Avys’s phiz distorted, ready to start crying any second now.

    -C’mon now, principal Elliver, there is no need of such absolutism.... – started to talk Vick with such uniform and greasy tone, as if she was some 60 year old politician, preparing to make next underground proposal to some not willing to deal with such things businessman. – We live in such uneasy times, if we all followed the rules, our lifes would have been so much difficult and bleak, don’t you think? – she also leaned like him, touching the ends of her fingers with one another.

    -Your thoughts, dear girl? – he frowned his eyebrows slightly.

    -What i’m trying to say, mister principal, is that under the appropiate conditions, everyone could turn a blind eye, you agree with me, right? – she leaned over his desk and her look was becoming more and more sly.

    Then she reached for her pocked, pulled out one wrinkled falklanish banknote and slowly slid it towards him.

    Elliver just looked her under his spectacles, sulked a bit, then he took a slight look at the camera in one of the ceilling corners and put his gaze in some neutral point, as if he didn’t witness the scene at all...

    Hion was just looking with dropped jaw...

    And Reina laughed out loud.

    Sophie just with a fast step approached Vick’s chair and blazed up her nape with one heavy smack...

    -Aaai! – cried his little sister.

    -Is that how i teached you, huh?! How many times i need to show you until you learn the right way, ya brain damaged or what? – she took the miserable banknote of two falklanish indo, which were barely enough for one chocolate and put it in her pocket.

    Now it was turn for Art’s jaw to drop, starring at her cousin in a stupor.

    And Reina just laughed out loud even more thunderously.

    -Damn it, big sis, i just got him! – cried Vick.

    Art just approached her chair and lifted her in the air.

    -It seems that we need to have some serious conversations here... – he said, while starring at Sophie.

    -But this have helped me so much times up until now! If you let me go, i’ll teach you all its secrets, i swear, and only at half a price! – threw out Vick.

    Art just goggled his eyes against her.

    -You little piec...

    The sudden burst of laugh startled them. So much, that they all shut up and turned toward its direction.

    It was the principal Eliver. He was sitting, again crossed arms under his chest and his shoulders were shaking a bit, when the unrestrained giggles were leaving his mouth.

    After a while, he let his arms rest on the desk and also leaned forwards, looking at Avys, who was still sitting at the chair against him, ready to start crying at any second now.

    -I’m sorry, young ladies, as i said, at this point this is impossible. All the quotas for the foreign exchange student’s program are filled...

    Avys’ and Krul’s eyes started tearing up.

    Principal Elliver smiled gently.

    -But that doesn’t mean, that we can’t enroll you like a regural students in the academy, right?

    The three little girls suddenly gasped of the sudden turn which the „negotiations” suprisingly took...

    -I knew it, for fuck sake... – suddenly snorted Reina somewhere behind him.

    Avys couldn’t hold it and in a sudden joyful wail she jumped over the desk directly on the pricipal Elliver’s neck, realising all the tears she had accumulated up until now.

    -Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!... – she started to recite, squeezing him as much as her fragile body was allowing it.

    -Not so fast, you damn plague. You thing that there will be no catch at all? – snorted Sophie.

    He saw how his little cousin suddenly froze, losing all her energetic nature, let go of the director Elliver and looked at her. Then she returned her gaze at him, raising her eyebrows at question.

    -Yes, unfortinatully, no matter how much i’m fascinated by your energetic and sunny personas, there is no way around some of the bureaucratic peculiarities, i’m affraid, ladies and gentlemen.

    Sophie just puffed quietly.

    -I knew i shouldn’t had played to your whistle...

    -What do you mean by that, mister principal? – asked Avys.

    -To be able to officially enroll you in your school, first you need to take successfully our exams – physical fitness and written tests.

    Sophie puffed, this time a little bit louder.

    -Just unnecessary headache. – she rubbed her temple with index fingers. – Should have stayed back in Falkland...

    -Calm down you, as if exams have been a problem for you anytime... – snorted Art.

    -It’s pain in the ass, bro. Just like you...

    Vick suddenly raised up, waving her fist in the air enthusiastically and with a smile on her face she said:

    -PHA! Nothing can stop us to be together with big bro! Let’s go get these exams!


    A few moments later...

    -WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS, WHAT ARE THESE THINGS, I’M SEEING THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, AT THIS POINT I WOULD NEVER HAVE SUCCESSFUL SCORE, I’LL BE SEPARATED AGAIN WITH BIG BRO, DON’T WANT, I DONT WAAANT!... – she threw the sample exams and jumped into his hug. – I DON’T WAAAAAAAAANT...

    Avys was just looking at the papers and for seconds her face have changed a whole range of different colors and expressions – from stupor to despair and horror, to will for crying, finished with white like a sheet color, muteness and signs of incoming fainting...

    -But... but... but... EVERYTHING IS ON VHYNEHAIMESE! AND THE MATHEMATICAL STUFF DIDN’T LOOK LIKE SOMETHING WE’VE STUDIED YET!!! AAAAAAART, I DON’T WANNA GET SEPARATED FROM YOUUUUUUU!!! – she jumped in his hug too.

    Reina just laughed – somewhat ominously and satisfactory.

    -Great. So there will be no need to deal with more like him. – she noded at Art.

    Sophie just stared at her – stony, expressionlessly, just like Hion was able to do it.

    Then she took some of the sample example sheets and started to review them.

    -Hm, this is gonna be easy, bro. No problems, i’m ready even now take the exams. – she slammed sheets on Hion’s desk, holding her palm on them.

    Reina and the president were looking at her as if just now they’ve realized the full potential of the enemy they have encountered. A little too late than they wanted.

    Sophie just smiled slyly against them.

    -(It seems an amazing year awaits us, don’t you thing?) – she said on the perfect vhynehaimese.


    -I still can’t believe it, Soph. That you got into their game... – whispered her Art.

    She just looked at Vick, who was holding Krul and Avys for hands and jumping joyfully several meters ahead, was looking around at her new school.

    -Damn it, don’t mention it, bro. After you left, back at home hell came down to earth. They didn’t stop whining and crying for you, turned the world on its head, constantly got into quarrels with auntie and uncle, they even almost got into a fight with them. If Avys didn’t tell everything to me, they were going to left the house in the middle of the night and fly alone, we barely managed to stopped them in the last moment. Uncle and auntie refused to let them go up until the last moment and barely agreed only after i tell them i’ll also go... After that Avys also started to cry all over the place, saying stuff that we won’t get anywhere without her. It was just plain nightmare... If you were there, you would have wanted to get back here...

    Art just raised silently his eyebrows.

    -I’m glad that you came. I missed you. I missed you much.

    She just gently touched his hand.

    -We missed you too. It was so boring without in back in Falkland.

    Vick, Krul, and Avys stopped at the corner and turned at them, waiting them.

    -Now that i think about it, i didn’t introduce them to you properly... – began Art, when they got close to them.

    -C’mon bro, when did you get so proficient in vhynehaimese traditions... – replied Sophie.

    -Three days ago...

    The two laughed.

    Hion and Reina just looked one another surprised. Art turned towards his sisters.

    -These are...

    -We can do it ourselves, bro! – raised her hand Vick, jumping lightly on her toes. – I’m Vicktriss Sol Augustus! Nice to meet you!

    -My name is Avys Bettenfeld! Yoroshiku! – she bowed slightly by vhynehaimese manner.

    -I-i’m Krulcifer Sol Augustus. N-nice to m-meet you! – she said shyly and holding the ends of her dress, did a graceful falklanish curtsy.

    -And these are... – began again Art.

    -We also can do it ourselves... – interrupted him Hion. – This is the student council vice-president, Hiigari Reina. – no reaction from her side, just her gloomy stare. – I’m the student council president, Hion Rei Sen. – she bowed to them.

    -Sophie Bettenfeld. – she put her hand almost in Hion’s face before she stood up.

    The president just get up, looking at his cousin surprised and as if a bit bewildered. Then she just reached out her own hand and shoke her’ slightly.

    Art started to get more and more nervous already... He knew that Soph had something like slight passive malice against Vhynehaim and its inhabitants because, well, the history they shared, which was completely normal, just like everyone had some prejudices against everyone on the continent, although in his old school this never escalated into something serious – just the usual tossing of memes and history humor, but after all... Sophie just loved her Falklan Period too much, which was most disgracefully thwarted with upmost care by the thorough vhynehaimese effort... He just hoped that she wasn’t going to decide to begin a new one...

    Although he didn’t have to be so much picky about this now, considering the things he was thinking the other day around in the break period.

    And knowing his affection toward his cousin, he knew that he was going to oblige every hoax she came up with...

    Sophie smiled a bit, as if she accepted this to be Falkland – Vhynehaim, 1:0.

    -Well, do you want you show you around the city? There are many beau...

    -Forget it! – grabbed him Reina for his shirt and literally started to drag him to their room.

    -NOOOO, BUT THEY’VE JUST CAME HERE ALL FROM FALKLAND, I JUST CAN’T ABANDON THEM JUST LIKE THAT!!!...

    -I’ll see you after your classes, bro! – waved at him Sophie.

    -Noooo, Vick, Av, help meee, noooo!...

    In respond, they also waved at him.

    Then they just disappeared behind the corner...

    He swore, never before someone have betrayed him in such a cruel way...

    -You can let go of me now, vice-prez... – he droop. Still didn’t dare to call her by name.

    Reina complied his request.

    -Did you love to ran out of your classes so much back in Falkland, Art?

    -Damn, you are making me look like i’m the biggest failure of the school system...

    -Of three school days, you missed two, you know...

    -Don’t be picky, as if it was my fault...

    -Meh, i don’t even care that much. But when the exams hit you like a truck, you are just cause additional trouble for the teachers.

    -Let me put your mind at rest then. I have never failed an exam before, nether skip classes.

    -Pffff, enough, you two already, you are arguing for nothing. I you like each other so much, just tell it directly and go lock yourselves in some of the bathrooms... – snorted Hion.

    Art frowned a bit, but that Reina laughed, made him change his face very quickly, looking at her surprised.

    -All right, i’m sorry. I know, overdid it. – began derisively the vice-prez. – I won’t make it on question anymore.

    -I would be good to stop taking him like a punching bag also. He may be a newcomer at our school, but i’m sure that he didn’t experience high-school for the first time.

    Reina just looked him flippantly and giggle lowly and gently. Art puffed.

    -I just can’t understand it, is this some typical for you sense of humor to take the newcomers as a punching bag?

    -Why, are you in Falkland always serious? – said Reina.

    -Oh, no, not of course. How could you even think it. Damn, if you are always serious, you won’t have it easy at all and you’ll end up demented. Why, is there such rumors around here for us?

    -C’mon, don’t tell me that you’ve never heard the rumors that the falklans don’t have sense of humor...

    -Yeah, also that the montgisardean humor is dense and stupid, that the official war cry of Iteryn is: „I surrender!”, that Alfven doesn’t have even one won war, that Ninderan is a country good only for passing through it when Falkland is attacking someone and the ferians sucks as soldiers. C’mon, vice-prez, don’t them me you still believe myths from the last century. If yes, next time when Harm come here, i’ll gather you together with him and if until the morning you haven’t ruptured your lungs of laughing, i’ll personally gather my luggage and fly away from here...

    -And you enough with these serious bets, nobody wants that from you... – interrupted him Reina. – Of course i don’t believe them. Just the stereotypes are super funny, don’t you think? – she raised her eyebrows a bit. – C’mon, now let’s go into our classes, we are 15 minutes late already...

    -Right, right...

    -Bye for now, Hion, i’ll see you in the break.

    The prez just waved at them over her back, while heading towards her classroom.

    -And you, listen to me very carefully. First, we knock, then we bow deeply, apologize clearly and sincere and sit down at our places the fastest way possible. Is that clear?

    -Of course, vice-prez. Do you think me for the biggest delinquent around here, just to get in without giving a fuck?

    -Who knows. And enough with that „vice-prez”. Just call me Reina. Or Hiigari-san, if you are feeling uncomfortable calling me by first name. I won’t eat you, nether blaze you just with my stare... – she snorted.

    Art just giggled quietly.

    -All right. Reina so be it. Just because i like the pleasing ring of its pronouncing..

    She just looked at him with half-opened eyelids, somewhat tired of his shit.

    She puffed and pressed the door’s handle. Art followed her as quietly as possible.

    And deciding to show how serious he can get, moved a step in front of her and was the first to bow deeply.

    -We are sorry that we are late and interrupted your classes, miss Nier. We humbly ask to for your excuse and your permission to stay.

    Even with his back, he was able to see Reina’s stupefied face. After a moment, he falt how she also bowed.

    -Of course you can stay, Art, Reina. Please, come one. – smiled at them the teacher.

    The two got up and headed for their places. Art just looked over his shoulder, catching a glimpse of the vice-prez – at her face there were still traces of disbelief and surprise.

    Art turned forwards, smirking under his nose somewhat smuggly.

    Falkland against Vhynehaim – 2:0...


    -Hey, is everything okay? – leaned towards his desk Mio, whispering lowly.

    Art did the same and was about to reply, when Reina bend her arm and pushed Mio back at her place. This also stopped Art’s attempt, who only whispered:

    -I’ll tell you after the class.

    Mio stared at him for several more seconds, then turned forward.

    He saw how Raon before him turned her head slightly, giving him a quick glance. And the slim smug smile was shining on her face.

    Art did the same, but with the moron Amemori, who it seems was sitting behind him – but without smiling smugly, of course. Then, he pulled out his tablet, opened the translater and hooked his eyes at the display.

    Miss Nier stood up before the board, interwining her fingers.

    -Now, that all of us are finally here... – Art, of course, said to himself, that she was surely referring only Amemori and was ready to start spitting blood rather than admitting that it was probably mostly referring him... – we can continue by start analyzing deeply one of most important periods in our history, and not only – the invasion of Emperor Vandergaard in Vhinhym.

    „Pfff, good thing that Sophie is not here...“ – he thought.

    He just imagined what would have happened once they reach the conclusion of this so tragic for the falklanish history conflict...

    -As maybe most of you probably know already, this is one of the pivotal moments in your history, that shaped the world to the what it is today. In the previous class, we took a look at the War of Liennese Succession, part of the Vandergaardean wars, which ended with the catastrophic defeat of Violenn and Myrina, consolidating the Falklanish hegemony in the continent for the period...

    -Pure luck... – threw somebody behind him.

    -Yeah, unfortunately... – said and the second one.

    Art turned back a bit. He was there were two of the other boys from the Amemori’s group...

    -Ooh, well, well. Mister falklanish took it personal it seems... – said the second one.

    Art decided to show him that he is above that kind of stuff and without taking it personally at all, he turned forwards again and said:

    -It was fully deserved. On that day Ernst screws up Cullie several times, at places quite brutally and Pixar fucks up the things even more by throwing the 18th corps directly at the Imperial Guard without any cavalry or artillery support. The only thing left for Reinford was to just hold his head and organize the retreat of the rest of his forces.

    -Are you meaning Kronstadt? – said the first one.

    Interesting. Art didn’t feel any hostility coming from him – just curiosity.

    -Isn’t it obvious? Everybody consider it the most important battle of the War of Liennese Succession.

    -If Sivallainen had attacked with the Liennese Heavy cavalry in that moment, 18th Corps was going to pierce with sure between...

    -Utter bullshit. Sivallainen’s cavalry was guarding the Violenn’s infantry rear, which had almost completely crushed the Falklan’s left flank. And if Sivallainen’s cavalry had retreated and left Violenn’s infantry rear unprotected, Boshikov’s heavy cavalry was just waiting for a move like this, to attack them in the back and save the left flank. And Cullie was scratching his ass the whole afternoon, not realizing how thinned the Falklan’s left flank actually was, and Ernst outplays him quite brutally by starting to retreat his unscratched right wing, making Cullie’s depleted forces to go after it and then to send his reserves at the right, and not at the left. And then Ernst forces massacre completely two of the Cullie’s brigades at the Kronstadt’s approaches. Exactly this mistake give Benz enough time to reinforce the Falklan’s left flank, which holds up the front until Reinford sound’s the retreat... – he continued to explain, as if professionally, without showing some annoyance by the personal attacks earlier.

    -But...

    -Just accept it. Our victory at Kronstadt is a result of many factors – the experience, which our generals had from the wars before that, the Civil war in Oderon which allowed many new tactics and strategies to be developed and tested, the purges in the Liennese and Myrinese High Commands which followed after the First Treaty of Starhenberg, the better falklanish equipment, discipline, training and logistics. I can list stuff ‘till tomorrow...

    -You just had luck that they gave up only after one battle, instead of fighting until the end like us... – snorted the second boy.

    -Phahahaha, yeah, sure, after just one battle... And you were intact here on your islands, while Inden for 20 years was devastated by wars, hunger, misery and famine. Food and the people aren’t infinite, and the bravery isn’t brave at all at empty stomach, you’ve heard that before, right?...

    -KHMHM. – suddenly coughed Reina.

    Art and the boy startled and turned forwards. He also coughed and said:

    -I’m sorry, miss Nier.

    She just smiled against him.

    -Don’t worry. I’m happy if my classes manages to ignite such ardent discussions between my students. The previous class we only mentioned the battle, but didn’t look at it in such details. And as i see you are quite familiar with you, why don’t you come here and tell us more about it?

    -Sure, of course. If the others don’t mind...

    -WE WAAAAAANT!!! – shouted momentarily in one voice Mio and Raon, together with some others (mostly girls, duh...).

    But of course...

    Art just puffed lowly, stood up and approached the board, taking the holographic marker from its stand.

    He took a quick glance at the room. Mio and Raon was smiling at him, Reina was looking him with her non giving fucks phiz, several of the other girls were looking at him almost gasped of curiousity, prepared to engulf even the biggest bullshit he threw at them, most of the boys, including Amemori and the ones from his company – maybe without that, with which he discussed the battle earlier, who was also looking with curiosity – were also staring at him with stony and indifferent faces.

    Art cleared up his throat, spun several times the marker in his hand and switched on the projector.

    The holographic map pop up in the empty space between the first row of desks and the board, showing satellite image of Mainland Inden. Art zoomed up the image, pick up the year to be 1835, whereby the countries boundaries changed and marked Falkland, Violenn, Myrina, Lienne and Alfven, which blinked several times, before starts shining in pale red.

    -After the death of the childless king Ren der Gras Von the IVth, his closest heirs were the Falklanish and Alfvenean Vincents from one side and the Myrinese Narvars from other. The succeeding of the Liennese crown was very serious matter, since the acquisition of the undivided Liennese Monarchy by whether side was inevitable going to threaten the Indenean balance of powers. As probably miss Nier explained to you very well the last period...

    -Yes, the one you skipped... – said Reina quietly.

    Art just screeched with teeth slightly and continued:

    -... the disputes over the separation of the Liennese crown, territories and the commercial rights lead to nowhere and in 14th of march, 1835 Falkland declares war on the coalition of Myrina, Lienne and Violenn. Emperor Vandergaard raised two field armies – totaling 500 000 men. First army, with field commander Ernst, invades at north, in Violenn, marching towards the capital Cervantes. The other one, commanded by Boshikov, heads up though the Falkland’s vassal state for the time Iteryn, marching directly towards the Lienne’s capital - Saorisse. In the meantime, in Lienne a fighting erupts between the Narvars and Vincents supporters – he was drawing on the holographic map.

    -Violenn assembles one field army under Reinford, that heads out south to intercept the advancing Falklanish Army, led by Ernst. Violenn assembles and a second one, but Alfven quickly makes sure not to be send against us by invading from the north and Monsvitz is forced to quickly march north to intercept it. Myrina organizes and sends two field army, led by Cullie and Pixar, the first of which heads out south, to support Reinford, and the second one heads out south-east, to intercept the marching towards Saorisse Boshikov’s forces.

    -Initially, Reinford refuses to give Ernst a general engagement, knowing very well the genius of the falklanish general from the previous wars and realizing that every direct confrontation with his army was going to be at least catastrophic for the Violenn’s forces. His initial strategy included through a series of non-decisive skirmishes to slow down the advance of the Falklanish army towards the capital Cervantes, hoping to unite with the coming from the north Cullie’s Myrinese army and then using his’ great numeral superiority to crush Ernst army. But this didn’t give the desired result, the Violenn’s forces are bled out and suffer more loses, that Reinford hoped and the reserves he receives to fill up his ranks were not only highly insufficient, but also young and badly trained, without any combat experience.

    -As a result, the Violennish’ government evacuates the capital and orders Reinford to continue his retreat north-east and unite with the Pixar’s Second Myrinese army to stop Boshikov’s advance at Saorisse. The First Myrinese army continued its march south towards Cervantes, with Cullie firmly resolved to give Ernst a general engagement.

    -Ernst, however, which forces were also thinned and bleed out by the series of the grueling battles, didn’t catch this at all and after leaving a small garrison at Cervantes, which he took without any resistance, turns east with the thoughts to catch up to Boshikov’s army. During the entire march, he was moving parallel to Reinford’s army, while from time to time the two armies make raids on one another with their light cavalry, which even more crushed the both parties morale and depletes their resources.

    -Cullie, realizing the gravity of the situation, ignores the Myrinese government’s orders, divides his army at two parts, with the one continues marching south to retake the capital Cervantes and the other half rushes towards Reinford’s army. Boshikov on his side, speeds up even more in attempt to outrun the Pixar’s army. And manages to do it, establishing his camp in Saorisse outskirts, preparing to siege it on the very next day. But by this his move, he exhaust his troops even more and in the next morning, when the Pixar’s Myrinese troops, backed up by the loyal to the Liennese Narvars forces, charge him frontally, he didn’t manage to resist their onrush and orders total retread towards the Liennese-Iterynean border.

    -He establishes in a valley, surrounded from everywhere by forest, 40 kilometers away from the capital Saorisse and hold position until Ernst, followed closely by Cullie and Reinford, arrives. Knowing that there is no more point to prolong it, nether there is more time, the forces of Lienne, Violenn and Myrina, now regrouped and gathered in one place decide to give Ernst and Boshikov a decisive engagement – Art zoomed the map even more and showed them the terrain. – As you can see, in the north part of this valley is the Hill 30, which east and south parts are only vertical rocks, impossible to be stormed. That is precisely why Ernst decides to position most of the falklanish artillery on it – thus increasing its range above this of the enemy artillery.

    -His center and reserves deploys at the south part of the hill’s basis, literally leaving them no way for retreat in the worst case scenario. Which, i’m sure, motivated even more the falklanish infantry to fight till the end that day.

    -South-west of the Hill 30, as you see, there is only one road, leading towards the Kronstadt, which is located at the west basis of the Hill 30, where the hill is not that sloped and together with its north and north-east parts, are the only places where it can me stormed. West of that road, the terrain was considerably swampy and muddy, which later will play significant role, as you’ll see.

    -South-east of Hill 30, in front of this forest region, Ernst deploys his left wing, from the hill right to the village of Kaene, as you can see here. – he was drawing all in detail. – The ratio of the combat capable forces was as follows: 178 thousand for Falkland and 144 thousand for Myrina, Violenn and Lienne.

    -The battle begins at 8 03 in the morning with the attack of the Liennese heavy cavalry, led by Sivallainen, which slams at the Benz’s left wing, south-east of the Hill 30.

    -Ernst counter attacks by ordering the falklanish artillery to open fire at Cullie’s Myrinese center, which by the way, is famous of being easily provoked, making him very susceptible for getting into traps.

    -That is what happened and here, Cullie quickly loses his nerves and orders the Myrinese artillery to be drove forwards and put Falklanish center and artillery into its range.

    -But for this to happens, Cullie also moved forwards his troops to provide it infantry support to guard it from counter attacks by falklanish infantry and cavalry, which only made the falklanish artillery more accurate, dealing even more casualties on the coalition forces after short, but heated strife with Reinford, Cullie agrees to retreat the Myrinese center, leaving it out of the falklanish artillery’s range.

    -Then, however, he orders a questionable advance on the left wing, consisted of Myrinese, Liennese and Violennish infantry troops against the Falkland’s right wing, which defended the approaches towards Kronstadt and Hill 30, guarding the so much valuable Falklanish artillery.

    -However, as you can see, this part of the terrain was very muddy and swampy, this slows down the advance and tires the coalition forces and the redirected fire of the falklanish artillery didn’t make their situation much easier.

    -When they get in range, the coalition force’s lines are thinned down and bled out, without almost any morale left. Seeing that, Cullie throws out all the reserves of the left wing to sustain the attack, making him totally vulnerable for future counter-attacks.

    -In the meantime, after Ernst seeing that and realizing that the Liennese are having it much better against the Falklan’s left wing – the first charge of the Sivallainen Heavy cavalry is repelled with heavy casualties from the falklanish side, the second charge is intercepted by Boshikov’s forces, who by the way, personally led his troops, but the third one, reinforce by several Violenn’s regiments of Reinford force him to retreat and the Falklanish left wing fall under even fierce coalition attack.

    -Ernst, realizing that the left’s wing retreat was imminent, reinforce it with some of the reserves and orders the right wing, which as i said, was almost intact by the coalition’s attacks, to begin tactically retreating backwards to Kronstadt’s outskirts.

    -Seeing that, Pixar took the bite and threw almost the whole 18th Corps against the Falklanish centre, to prevent it from sending reserves from there to any of the flanks. But as i mentioned already, the terrain was muddy, almost swampy, this tires down additionally the coalition forces, which for long minutes were under fire by the Falklan’s artillery on Hill 30.

    -Around that time, Ernst ambushes successfully Cullie’s forces at the Kronstadt’s outskirt and with a fierce counter-attack, reinforced by the Bioss’ light cavalry, routs the coalition’s troops. In the meantime Reinford, who personally led the third attack against the Falklan’s left wing, learns about the idiocies, that Cullie and Pixar have done and without any reserves left behind him to prevent the regrouping nearby Boshikov’s heavy cavalry charge them in their back, he sounds the general retreat for the whole right Coalition wing. This drags along and the demoralized 18th Corps, who didn’t have it easy at all against the Imperial Guard and the only thing that saves them from a complete massacre by the Boshikov’s heavy cavalry is the heavy cavalry of Sivallainen, who with the cost of huge casualties manages to hold off the falklanish troops long enough for the Lienne’s, Myrina’s and Violenn’s forces to retreat at distance, making Falkland give up on further more chasing. After this battle, there no other decisive one, although there are several others on a smaller case in Lienne, that totally force out Myrina’s and Violenn’s armies out of the country and the troops of Ernst and Boshikov, backed up by the Liennese Vincents, capture Saorisse and subsequently conquer the whole country for the rest of the Falklan Period.

    -Woow, so enthralling and detailed. Well, thank you for the precious lesson, Art. – said miss Nier.

    Mio and Raon started an applause, which several other girls from his class also joined (even Reina! о_О).

    -So, we can say that the star of the day was the Falklan’s artillery on Hill 30? – began the first boy, again with pure curiousity.

    Art looked him.

    -Not only. Boshikov’s heavy cavalry also plays incredible important role, beating off the second Sivallainen’s attack and allowing Benz to reinforce and hold off the Falklan’s left wing long enough for reaching the conclusion on the right.

    -I see. The actions in the outskirts of Kaene and the nearby forest in the left part of the left wing are incredibly interesting and engulfing. There are so many letters and stories on the net, i recommend you to search for them and read, if you have interest. Especially search for the story of Lieutenant Nilster...

    -Ooh, i now this one. The one in which he and his company holds on several farms at the end of the village during the whole battle, preventing the Sivallainen’s heavy cavalry to pass around and smash Benz’s left wing in the back. It really is incredibly interesting and enthralling, and with such details, that can make your hairs stand up. A think that there are Q3D simulations already finished about that. – said Art, turned off the 3D holographic map and returned the marker to its place. Then turned towards miss Nier, bowing slightly. – Thank you very much for this opportunity to present you to part of the Falkland’s history, miss Nier.

    -Of course, Art. After all, the exchange of experience and knowledge is one of the objects of the Foreign exchange students program.

    Art just smiled slightly and returned to his place.

    Mio and Raon raised to him their hands simultaneously.

    Art slapped the lightly and noiselessly. Reina just took a look at him delicately over her shoulder.

    He smiled somewhat victorious.

    After that he sighed deeply, but soundlessly and shove off his face onto the desk...

    „Pfff, Sophie was going to tell it with thousands of times more details.“ – he thought.

    But as he just though for her, better she not to be in one room with Vhynehaimese, when the topic was Falklan Period – just there was going to be hands and heads flying...

    When he raised his head a bit, he saw how Reina had turned and was looking at him with such bloodthirsty phiz, that a little bit more and a blood was going to start running out of her eyes.

    The chill, he experienced in that moment, made him shiver as never before...

    -GET-UP!... – moved her lips soundlessly.

    Art momentarily straightened up his back like a string on his deck, landing his gaze at miss Nier, who took the holographic marker and stood up before the board.

    -As Art mentioned to you earlier, the depleted financial and human resource in the mainland Inden by the Vandergaardean wars forces these countries, that were still resisting against Falkland – Myrina, Lienne and Violenn, to start search financing from outside sources. During that period, Oberland have problems with the elves from El’livian and they weren’t as rich as they are now, nether had as much as resources – most of which came from the State of Eastern Vynhemia, which was a Falklanish colony up until 1907. Issegem was not much of an option either and the only one, which the Falkland’s enemies could reach for help in that period, were us.

    -Seeing the opportunity once and for all the broke off the Falkland’s shadow and decrease its influence in Inden multiple times, the Tendou’s government from that time accept the Myrina’s and Violenn’s offers and joins indirectly in the campaign against Falkland by supporting financially the two Indenean countries and Vhinhym’s corsairs start actively raid military and merchant vessels in attempts to disrupt the commerce routs between Falkland and its colonies.

    -The things, however, as almost always, didn’t go exactly by plan and as you all now by know in the summer of 1836 whole mainland Inden is under the Falkland’s control – with us completely alone. Emperor Vandergaard begins the preparations for his campaign against us the same year.

    -But for his to realize his invasion against the main Vhinhym islands, he needed to ensure that Vhinhym’s Imperial Navy would be unable to disrupt the invasion flotilla and create a safe routes for the logistics after that.

    -Oooh, miss Nier, are we going to look up at the Naval Battle of Cape Kizuna in such details as the Battle of Kronstadt earlier? – began the first boy enthusiastically.

    Art threw him a quick gaze with his periphery.

    -Pha, just call up the falklanish on the board again, to jabber about that. These love so much to gab about their history, that even their dicks are getting hard... – said the second one.

    Art just rolled out his eyes of annoyance. The boy was still at such low level, that its provocation attempts couldn’t even breach the weakest of the barriers, in which he had wrap up his ego...

    He puffed quietly and leaned on his chin forward, so he couldn’t see it, even with his periphery...

    But instead of him, reacted Reina...

    -Oi, Kanon, shut up your dick-sucking mouth and let miss Nier to carry out her classes peacefully, unless you want to swept the floor with you...

    -There is always time after the classes, deputy...

    -H-hey, p-please, don’t a-argue... – began somewhat timidly miss Nier, raising her hands before her defensively.

    Art just puffed quietly again and stood up loudly, scraping the floor with the chair, attracting all the attention over himself.

    And he succeeded – the dispute between Kanon and Reina suddenly stopped and all gazes landed on him.

    -Alright, i’ll tell you everything i know. If you allow, miss Nier...

    The stuff he knew, of course, was an effect of the long hours spent with Sophie, who sometimes with days wouldn’t stop talking about some events, concerning the Falklan period, so much that everything was stuck indestructibly in his mind and even if he wanted, was probably was going to forget it. For fuck sake, even if somebody hit him in the head and he gets amnesia, was going to forgot everything else, but not this...

    He only hoped his memory to be faithful now...

    -O-of course not. Please, welcome yourself.

    Art took the holographic marker from her hand again and repeated the procedure with turning on the map.

    -The year is 1837. Falkland rules whole Inden, the only one left to be conquered is Vhynehaim...

    -Pffff, we know this already, make it quicker... – interrupted him Kanon.

    -Shut the fuck up if you don’t want to join Reina in ganging you up after school. – Art snorted.

    The boy frowned and was about to say something again when Amemori raised his hand, thumping him lightly in the chest. It just looked at him, frowned even more and leaned his torso over the desk, looking at Art blood-thirsty.

    He just smiled somewhat victorious and continued:

    -The war fleet, which emperor Vandergaard assemble to fight against the vhynehaimese is the follow: 57 ships of the line in total, from which 43 are falklanish and 14 Alfvenean.

    -Against it stood admiral Nazimo’s fleet with 52 ships of the line in total – 38 Vhynehaimese, 5 Violennish and 9 Montgisardean – these, which refused to surrender and continued to fight on vhynehaimese side...

    -Cite me all the ship’s names if you are so cheeky... – snorted Kanon again.

    Art just looked at him under his eyebrows, puffing quietly. If he wanted to play like this...

    He closed his eyes, pretending to be focusing, while searching for Sophie’s presence. Interesting, she was closer than he expected...

    „SOPHIE, FAST, THE NAMES OF ALL SHIPS FROM THE BATTLE OF CAPE KIZUNA” – he called her telepathically.

    Her echoed, as if passing through a pipe voice hit his head momentarily:

    „Falkland: Mainstein, Murdall, Isaac de Rivaaz, Sederblum...“

    Art took a deep breath a began:

    -Mainsten, Murdall, Isaac de Rivaaz, Sederblum, Venerian, Volta, Emlliver, Belshazaar, Pickte, Berecelius, Enkvist, Palmerie, Tionia, Reisenberg, Marinor, Nios der Gross, Karmelinx, Polysendius, Higellan, Rayntheon, Mainstrah, Hesingforst, Alvaerelle, Skyresh, Tarantis, Dellisandra, Kaeldorn, Mont Valtz Ostrell, Tehassiss, Landstar, Marcipall, Max von Sidov, Gradivus, Vrangell, Hiercon, Salamander, Lancifer, Ventessera, Duenevirre, Aissilea, Armara, Hiciss, Ambria, Utalai. Alfven: Kren Luksov, Van der Tan, Haderbralsh, Ooros, Kameria, Silvetryx, Alisienna, Sirandy, Tion, Avogard, Darmshtradt, Marba and Parillys.

    -Against them is the fleet of Vhynehaim, Montgisard and Violenn. Vhynehaim: Kiniro, Sakuramioka, Tagitsu, Yamimori, Hiigari, Yanugachi, Kohiryuimaki, Tengu, Raiden, Amemone, Okamura, Yoshigana, Hagiri, Chiyo, Renge, Kuriso, Miyoba, Honma, Kurosagi, Izuna, Hioka, Randen, Tokayo, Hirohara, Aguri, Akira, Hitagi, Tobishita, Kalua, Chise, Nashimura, Harugumo, Kiosovari, Mike, Moekava, Aibo, Takashie, Killy. Montgisard: Exeter, Mirya, Republique, Vagnev, Moriel, Van del Daro, Vicktor Sawyer, Krom de Fyom Pierre, Estebon de Tas. Violenn: Maria de Victor, Van der Bruque, Hichkov, Darra and Taranto...

    He stopped and exhale.

    He swora, he loved Sophie so much. She was always gonna play on his mind without any questions asked, without any doubts raised...

    Just like he was gonna do it also...

    When he raised his head, absolutely every soul in the room (yes, every one, including the Amemori’s group, Reina and even miss Nier) were looking at him with dropped jaws and goggled eyes.

    He just barely hold it not to smile smugly. Just because the satisfaction to beat him at his own game was indescribable. Kind of a showing dominance over his persona. To look at Art like some orc, just like Kanon was doing now...

    -Damn, these were just over a hundred names now!!! – he saw how Raon leaned towards Mio, whispering.

    -This is sick! – whispered another girl.

    -Just how much more things he knows if can go into such details?! – and a second one.

    -Pha! – said Kanon, leaning backwards and clenching hands on his nape. – You must be a complete loser with no life, to bother remembering such details...

    Art’s eyebrow twitched several times. He just decided that life imprisonment was totally worth it and was about to threw at him something that was going to ignite him like a gasoline torch, when Reina suddenly turned on her chair and said:

    -What, ya want even more info? How much cannons carried each one?...

    Art just started to blacken out...

    Water, please... About to pass out...

    „Hey, Soph?“

    „Yes?“

    „How much cannons carr...“

    „Go fuck yourself, bro...“

    He felt how Sophie raised a barrier between them, as if she didn’t want to be reached at all. And Art blackened out even more. He felt how his soul was leaving his body...

    -T-there is n-no need of such detail. – interfered miss Nier, once again raising her hands before her as if in a sign of defense.

    He swore, he wanted to start kissing her in front of the others, without caring that he was in another country...

    -Right right, don’t get so bitter. – replied Kanon to Reina casually. – I won’t interrupt him anymore, let him continue...

    Oh, shit!

    „And now?! I have no idea how the Battle of Cape Kizuna went, i’m not so familiar with the naval history, and not much interested in it at all, unlike the other, SOPHIE HEEEEEEEELP...“

    „Filthy peasant. Not knowing how one of our most glorious battles in our history went...“

    „What can i do Soph, my knowledge is focused mostly on the medieval and classical period, i’m so much interested in modern one...“ – he puffed in her mind.

    „Dirty filthy peasant. Die....“

    And once again break off...

    „SOPHIE, NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!“

    Art took a deep breath, making himself look like he was about to start talking the same enthralling way like his first story, but in fact in his mind something completely different was troubling his mind...

    „Was it 18th of June or 18th of July?“

    „24TH OF MAY, BRO! 24TH OF MAY! YOU OWE ME FUCKING HACHIS PERMENTIER!!! You filthy peasant...“

    He must opened his mouth, when the suddenly sound of the bell bestow upon him like a godly blessing. He swore, at this moment, we wanted to fall on his knees and start taking all the forces, spirits, aliens, mythical creatures and what not else more, existing in this universe...

    -Alright, students, you are free to go now. We will continue tomorrow morning, when, if Art is willing to do again, of course, can finish his story about the Naval Battle of Cape Kizuna in details. – she interlocked her fingers, firstly turning towards the class and then towards him.

    -O-of course. – he forcefully smiled, while internally shaking and wiggling like some five-years old kid, which parents refused to buy ice cream...

    „If i don’t force Sophie to tell it instead of me, my name not to be Artorious...“ – he thought.

    Art returned to his place, passing beside the people which decided by one or another reason not to stay in the room during the break. He was just searching something in his backpack, when felt someone presence beside him and began to turn towards it...

    -You dirty peasant... – whispered a voice in his ear...

    Art froze.

    When he raised his head, the only thing he did was following with his widened eyes Reina’s figure, leaving the room...
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Ahmya likes this.
  7. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    -Heeeeey, Aaaaart, teach me the Schielhau! – jumped Ren in his arms.

    Art looked her surprised.

    -Schielhau? I didn’t mention about it at all...

    Ren leaned backwards, still holding for his shoulders and pouted a bit:

    -I think that i showed you by now that i’m very interested in this stuff, you know. And also i’m literate, i can read...

    -Yeah, you have right. Sometimes i forget your enthusiasm.

    She smiled and let go of him.

    -Not so fast, you dirty plebeians...

    The sudden voice surprised him even more, so much that Art shivered.

    The two with Ren turned towards it.

    -Sophie?!

    His cousin was staying at the gymnasium’s entrance, dressed in her matte black tights, highlighting her goddess curves on the thighs and a white shirt with the stamp of Almion’s face, indecently bulged with that lovely bosom of hers.

    -You filthy peasant. – she said with accusing and monotonous voice, but Art knowing her from a toddler and growing up with her was able to recognize the irony in all her seriousness. Just like now. – We were all crying for you back in Falkland and you were here sweet-talking the young ladies and just lazying around...

    -Well, i can’t say anything in my defense...

    -Of course you can’t, you scumbag. I’ll mess you so bad, that you’ll turn gay... – she entered and headed for the benches.

    -Can’t we skip today?

    -No?! – she looked at him with so amazed phiz, as if he asked her to skip her breakfast today.

    -Really, i don’t feel well enough for your tempo today...

    -Brooooooo... – showed and Vick from somewhere, followed by Av and Krul, and jumped on his waist. – Don’t try to run away, broo. It’s always funny to see how Sophie rekts you every time.

    -Hah, you are so funny, pixy devil. – flicked her slightly on the forehead Art and started to walk just like she was hanging from his waist.

    He saw that Av and Krul sat on one of the benches.

    -Catch. – he threw his bag at Avys, who moaned quietly, when she took its weight over her...

    -Damn, your mo...

    Art flicked and her, slightly harder, on the forehead...

    -Ai, ai, ai, bad person...

    -And about that time, when...

    -NOOOOOO! – jumped sharply from her place Av, whereupon his bag flew somewhere and covered his mouth with her palms.

    - ...you wermhmkhh...

    Krul and Vick just looked them suspicious.

    -Right, right, just kidding. – he put down her hands, smiled slightly and get to pick up his bag. - Pfff...

    -S-should you train today? A-aren’t you still recovering? – Krul handed to him his sparring longsword.

    Art crouched before her and gently caressed her cheek.

    -Don’t worry, my little princess. I’m sure that you’ll protect me. As always. – he smiled and said.

    Then got up and turned towards Sophie, who just started to stretch out, gluing the gazes not only of the boys, but also of the girls, on herself with the erotic curves and sinful shapes her body was adopting.

    -Pfff, but i really donna want to fight against her...

    -Why not, is she that scary? – he heard Hion’s voice behind him.

    Art turned and looked at her – she just sat on the bench next to Av, starting to tighten and zip the equipment on herself.

    -Wanna be my substitute against her? I gladly accept, Hion. I’ll even add 300 yens...

    -Pha, keep them for yourself, Art. You can’t even buy a pack of cigarette’s filters for that much.

    Art looked her somewhat strangely.

    -Niceeee, now that was right on point example, prez... – showed and from somewhere Raon, stopping right next to them. Art just looked her. – Oooh, these are some nice sabers! – and reached for them...

    Before Art manages to stop her, the hand, that lander on her shoulder made her froze.- Raon just turned slowly, as if the death have knocked on her door...

    -Don’t even dare to lay down your hand on them... – said Sophie with such chill in her voice and such fire in her eyes, as if she was going to make Raon’s body go through all physical states...

    Hion and Raon looked her with slightly widened eyes.

    -Don’t take it too deep. She allows nobody to touch her sabers. Not even me. – he sniffled artificially.

    Sophie pushed her and got between her and her so precious sabers.

    -But they really look ultra cool, i’ve never seen such in person! – said Raon.

    -To bad for you...

    -Will you allow me to se...

    -Fuck no.

    -But...

    -Look, girl, your only way to see them up close will be in the moment before you bite the blade...

    -Hohoho, is this a challenge?

    Sophie turned towards her and stared at her continuously. Art, using the fact that his cousin was with her back towards him, started to move his lips soundlessly and wave energetically at Raon in attempts to take a hint before it gets too lat...

    -Sure. Just give me a while to warm up.

    He puffed quietly and Raon smiled consequently at both. Seriously, is this girl had any idea what she was getting into...

    Sophie leaned over her sabers, wondering which she should choose...

    „Just not the oderonean one, just not the oderonean one, just not the oderonean one, just NOT THE ODERONEAN ONE!...“ – he started praying in his mind.

    Sophie grabbed the montgisardean one. Art respired. He was beaten least from it.

    -C’mon, bro. – she unsheathed it and threw it at Avys. – And you! Look over them as if they are your eyes! And just dare to take them out, i’ll break your arms...

    -Right, right... – puffed Avys. – Stupid ugly whore...

    Sophie headed for the most empty part of the gymnasium.

    Art, continuing to sigh, unsheathed his training sword from the scabbard, which handed to Krul and was about to turn...

    -Ooooh, is there going to be a duel?! Can’t wait! – he heard Ann’s enthusiastic voice somewhere behind him.

    He turned and saw how she, Ayuri and Mio showed from the entrance and headed towards them.

    -Nope, just some sparring with Soph. – he replied and went to her reluctantly.

    -GOOOOOO AAAARRRRTTTT, YOU DA BEST!!! – shouted Ann behind him.

    -Whatcha settling down comfortably, huh, get up and start training, didn’t you hear what they told you... – scolded them Ayuri.

    -Meh, why so tense, big sis, let us watch some of it. Where else are you gonna see in these times two Falklan melee each other... – sat Rio next to Avys, stretched her feet and put her hand on the nape. – Oooh, damn, what a nice sabe...

    Avys just grabbed them and hugged them on her chest, like a baby...

    -But... – reached Rio.

    -No! – she moved several places away from her.

    -Little scrumpy gnome...

    Aiv hissed against her like a viper.

    Rioko just snorted and returned her gaze towards Sophie and Art. And in the next moment, her eyes widened.

    -Oi, are you serious going on without equipment?!

    Sophie took a look at her.

    -Yes?

    -But...

    -Calm down, blondie. As i said, we are just warming up. – she fluidly waved her saber several times in front of her.

    But Art knew very well what her warm ups looked like...

    After a moment, everyone was sitting around, making them the attraction of this training session.

    Art took the medallion off his neck, winding it around his wrist. Probably most of the people didn’t knew yet for his magical abilities and Hion and Tsuikihi didn’t look like the people to start talking to everyone about it, but right now he didn’t care about it at all. After all, now it was all about Sophie and what he wanted to hide from the others didn’t matter at all...

    He took Pflug. But the Bayern one, which didn’t require to sink down as much as possible...

    Sophie also took guard – left hand tightly close at the belly and hips, right – holding the saber’s handle half a hand span from her ear and with a blade parallel to the ground, pointing backwards.

    SHE DASHED!

    First swing! – Art displaced it...

    A step forwards and a little bit to the side...

    Second swing! – Art displaced it...

    Too slow...

    A step forwards and to the side...

    Her blade stopped a centimeter from his left hip.

    -What’s up, bro? Are you getting fat? – she retreated and once again raised her saber.

    -What you can do. The food here is incredible. – he took an oberhau.

    Sophie again dashed with a step forwards and a little bit to the side – Art counter attacked her immediately, displacing her sudden blow and repeated with a mutieren, stabbing her slightly in the breast, killing her inertia and pushing her back...

    -Ai, ai, ai, bro. Not only you have become clumsy, but a rough. How are you gonna get married if you are like that...

    -As if you felt something with Momo and Nomo...

    She puffed out her chest a bit, making her beauties receive even more tempting forms.

    -You are just envious that you don’t have ones to play with them whenever you want...

    -Pha, sure! I bet that you lose interest in fondling them at least few years ago! And if i want ones, i’ll just go to some plastic surgeon!...

    And he attacked her suddenly...

    Sophie tried to raise hurriedly her saber and blocked, but didn’t manage to accumulate enough energy and Art’s blade slid straight on it, stopping just centimeters before her neck.

    -It seems that you are also not in top shape. Did they got even bigger? Is your back starting to hurt? I think you need some additional exercises...

    Sophie just moved her neck several times and was about to took guard (Art was already retreated three meters away from her, knowing very well what was gonna follow), when suddenly Rioko got up from her place and shouted:

    -C’MON, WON’T YOU MOVE A BIT, I’M GONNA FALL ASLEEP!...

    Sophie just took down her saber and looked at her.

    -Hey, they told you that they are just warming up, and don’t you see that they are also without equipment... – said Ayuri.

    -Why? – began Sophie. – You don’t like my style?

    -Pha, fuck your style! Even my great-grandma morning gymnastics are more intensive than this thing of yours!...

    -Oh, really? Come and show me then something more dynamic......

    „OOOHH SHIIIIT!!!“ – though Art...

    -Hey, Soph...

    -Pha, you’ll wish that you have never said these words! – she waved her fist.

    -Soph... – Art tried again.

    She turned towards him.

    -Let’s have a slight break, bro. It seems some people have an acute need of ass-kicking...

    -But...

    -C’mon, do you know how long i have been waiting to hand a vhynehaimese ass back to them. Can’t wait to sweep the floor with her...

    -Pha, i know you very well know! You are from the people that are all bark and no bite! Just a big dick-eating mouth and hands in your ass!

    Sophie just stared her with her stony face.

    Art puffed and turned towards the benches. Getting close to Rio...

    -Equip yourself as better as possible. And try not to retreat when she begins. If you hit the wall, you are done for... – he said.

    And of a first time he saw a glimpse of doubt flashing in her bright eyes.

    But Rio overcome as fast as she was listening to the other people’s advises, and started to get her equipment out of her bag.

    -Pha, i didn’t see anything special in this one. I don’t know what you are so scared at all, and with these bumpers is clumsy as fuck, didn’t see? Even you had no problems at all against her...

    He saw how Sophie’s eyebrows and face twitched in a last desperate form of a self-control.

    -You know very well that underestimating the enemy is a very bad thing, sis...

    -Yeah, yeah, sure, someone said similar bullshit, i remember. But the history has shown us that one thing is for sure, big sis: we’re the best at kicking Falkland’s ass...

    „OH SHIT”!!! – Art as about to rush towards, in desperate attempts to stop the incoming storm, cause by his cousin...

    But instead, Sophie’s left eyebrow just twitched. And then she headed slowly towards the benched – so calmly, that Art momentarily froze in place. Wasn’t it because of the chilling aura, emanating from her?

    -You won against us just because Oberland poured tens of millions of tons in crude oil, coal and steel at you. Otherwise you were just going to keep sending 15-year old boys and girls to suicide against our tanks and ships and the only place now with a Vhinhym spoken, would have been the deepest pit of hell.

    Then she returned her montgisardean saber in its scabbard...

    And pulled out the oderonean one...

    „Shit......“

    Sophie got away from them, heading towards the empty dueling space, starting to wave it slowly and fluidly, just to now lose her warm up.

    Art got close to Rio, which still didn’t dare to move of her place, not losing his cousing out of site.

    -Just one piece of useful advice: The conclusion of the Falklan Period and the World War are taboo topics in front of her. Really, for you safe and soundness...

    She just turned her head and looked him stunned.

    -Oi, are you still sure you wanna duel her? This bitch is crazy, i can feel it! – Ann leaned towards them, whispering.

    -Pha, no way! – his previous spirit returned and she pulled out her iaito.

    And pridefully headed towards Sophie.

    Art sat down next to Ayuri and puffed.

    -Is she gonna beat her a lot?

    -I think yes.

    -For a doctor Noel visit?

    -Hope no.

    -Pfff... – puffed now and Ayuri. – But why not. Let her learn the hard way that that big mouth of hers is gonna get her ass kicked regularly.

    Art just leaned back.

    In the empty space before, around three meters in front of them, Rioko stood before Sophie, raising her iaito in a guard. But suddenly startled...

    -Oi, aren’t you going to equip yourself?!

    -Nope. I’m going to give you a slight advantage...

    -But...

    -Let’s put and a slight change also: this will be sparring with no rounds. Until one of us couldn’t stay on her feet anymore...

    -Rio, don... – began Art, starting to rise up.

    But the girl, as always, overtook him:

    -Pha, as you say, blondie! No rounds, no pauses, without a stop! – she smiled broadly through her mask and took a high guard.

    Art leaned backwards again and sighed.

    -For doctor Noel. 100 percent sure.

    Ayuri just raised her eyebrows without saying a word.

    -I’m com...... – began Rio and was about to rush...

    Instead, Sophie’s slash landed directly on her helmet – it was so sudden and fast, that only a few people in the gymnasium actually saw it.

    Rio staggered and swayed back, instinctively putting her blade between her and Sophie...

    Bug his cousin’s second blow deflected her opponents blade and a third one followed momentarily, hitting her straight in the temple, staggering her even more and forcing her to start retreating back...

    A fourth blow follower – straight on Rio’s shoulder.

    A fifth one – on her thigh...

    A six – in the armpit...

    Rio only now managed to put her Iaito before her and block the Sophie’s seventh slash.

    Which has once again deflected her sword aside...

    An eight one – directly at her head.

    A ninth – on her arms. Good that she had thick plastic protectors on the gloves, similar to the ones they used in HIMA...

    Tenth – Sophie entangled Rio’s blade in the twisted oderonean guard and pushed hers straight at her face – good thing that the helmet’s grid was small enough to stop it.

    Eleventh – she retracted her saber back, swung it powerfully over the head and smacked Rio’s temple once again.

    Rioko stroke blindly ahead, but Sophie with and elegant step moved sideways from her line of attack and hit her again on the temple...

    A thirteenth one – on the side of her knee. Rio staggered to the side, trying once again to put her iaito between them.

    Sophie just blocked it with her saber and kicked the girl so powerfully in the torso protector, that, he swear, she flew at least a couple of meters backwards.

    Five seconds... Just five seconds and Rioko was laying down on the floor, beaten like a goblin, not able (or not daring) to move at all.

    Of course, Sophie had the decency not to attack her anymore (not that she wouldn’t do it if the circumstances were different...) and instead retreated a meter back.

    Then she turned towards the benches, looking at the stupefied faces of the students of the Vhynehaimese academy one after another...

    She didn’t even lose a breath...

    -Anyone else?

    -Aaah, a just remembered that i have a date with the boyfriend tonight. – started Ren.

    -Haven’t breakfast this morning, don’t feel much energetic at all... – joined up and Ann.

    -My dog is in her period, i can’t...

    -The planets told me not to get too excited this week...

    -My unlucky color for today is blonde, don’t want to risk it...

    Sophie just lost interest and looked at Art. Yeah, now he hoped that they will understand why he hated the dueling against her and her sabers so much...

    Someones will do, yes, but it seemed...

    -It’s not over yet... – stood up lamely Rio, supporting on her sword. – Round two...

    -Well, well, a pure masochist in action... – Sophie turned towards her, smiling slightly.

    Rio untightened her helmet and threw it behind her...

    -Is this runt serious?! – whispered Raon to Hion.

    Then and the forearm protectors...

    -Don’t think, that this will reduce the power of my blows, blondie.

    -Pha, don’t think that i’m aiming for that, blondie number two... – she also threw away and her do. – It’s just needless weight.

    Rio took a high guard – against her Sophie took her usual one, with a saber’s guard on side of her head, blade parallel to the ground and her other hand on the belly.

    [​IMG]

    -I’m com!...

    -NO, IT’S ME THAT IS COMING! – shouted against her Sophie, quickly deflected her strike and lightingly fast counterattack, trying to land her saber on Rio’s temple.

    She did it, but stopped just a centimeter away from her temple.

    -Dead...

    -But... – Rio deflected her blade, but Sophie just nimbly swung it around and attacked the other one.

    Of course, once more she stopped just a centimeters away from it.

    -Dead х2...

    She deflected it hurriedly, but for the time she went for her next action, Sophie overtook her and stroke her armpit...

    -Dead х3...

    Rio tried once again to defend herself, but Sophie just slid her blade on her and „cut” her on the neck...

    -And bleeding to death...

    -FOR FUCK SAKE, RIO, RETREAT BACK! GET OUT OF HER RANGE!!! – shouted from the benches Ayuri.

    -Pha, you think i’m gonna let her, huh?!

    Rio listened to her sister and really began to retreat, but Sophie, obviously, didn’t allow her to do it but following her thightly on her tracks.

    -Oh, come one!!! – snapped the girl.

    -Dead х4... Dead х5... Dea...

    Rio managed to duck in the very last moment, dodging Sophie’s blade that whizzed over her head and abruptly swing her iaito diagonally, landing at his couisin’s armpit.

    -Doctor Noel. For sure... – said Art.

    -Pha! Dea... – began Rio.

    Sophie just swung sharply with the hand, holding the saber, landing it straight at her nose...

    This stopped the girl’s complacent exclamation right in its track, she dropped her sword and staggered backwards.

    Then she fall down like a bag of potatoes...

    -RIOOOO!!! – jumped off their places simultaneously Ayuri, Iki and Hifumi.

    -Ups...

    The girl just raised up until she sat on the floor, wiping off the blood, flowing out of her nose with a sleeve...

    -Foks...

    -You’re fine, blondie. Do you know how many times Art have broken mine nose also?...

    Rio and the rest looked unambiguously at him, who just shrugged innocently.

    -Yup, this is what happens when you don’t defend yourself after an attack. Let this serves you like a lesson for not forgetting the peculiarities of their systems... – said, as always, with her cold realism Hion.

    -Neither do get casually into grappling range. One can use not only its blade to overwhelm its opponent... – said and Art.

    -Right, right... – waved annoyed Rio with her hand and once again wiped off the blood with her sleeve. – Pff, fucks, as if i’m in my period...

    -Did i managed to break it? – ducked next to her Sophie, grabbing it with her fingers...

    -Aaaarghkhkhd!!! – the girl momentarily groaned.

    -You are fine. Just stop the bleeding and it will be like a knew one...

    -Fuck your calmness and composure, damn it...

    -Come, i’ll get you to doctor Noel. She’ll take care of you. – Ayuri helped her stood up, supporting her under armpit.

    While looking the whole time Sophie under her eyebrows.

    -Pfff, leave me alone, huh. It doesn’t worth the effort to get there... – Rio pushed her sister’s hand and headed for the benches, swaying a bit. – Fucks, i’m seeing stars. And the hit wasn’t even that strong! – she slam down on one of the benches and tilted her head backwards as much as she could.

    -Now you don’t feel it, but when the adrenaline is gone, you’ll see how heavy her arm actually is... – said Art and kneed before her.

    -What, has she broken your nose too?

    -Yeah. Lost the count already...

    -And you her’s? – she lifted her head and raised her eyebrows in question.

    -Pha, of course. You think i went easy on her just because she is a girl? Damn, you fight like a man, you get hit like a man. Simple.

    She looked him with slightly widened eyes. Then she just puffed and leaned her head backwards again...

    -Shut the fuck up, bro. – said Sophie. – No one is in mood for your gender-equal bullcrap...

    -Mind your business, damn you. – snorted Art, then turned once again to Rioko. – Come, i know one trick, that’s gonna relieve you from the pan. – and he placed his palm on her forehead.

    Rio just looked him in his eyes.

    -You are not gonna do something funny, right? – she frowned a bit.

    -Pf, of course not, don’t wanna get sued for sexual harassment. Your laws here on the topic are not funny at all.

    -At least they exist, unlike in Falkland... – she snorted.

    Art just giggled quietly and put his other hand on her still bleeding nose.

    When he took a glimpse to the side, he saw how Krul, Aiv and Vick was looking him one over another, with grumpy faces...

    -What? – he said.

    -It’s nothing, bro... – pouted Krul, avoiding his eyes.

    Art smiled a bit and directed his whole attention over Rio...

    Then he closed his eyes, focusing.

    The fast scan allowed him to localize the bigger lacerations on tissues and blood-carrying vessels. Something, he was adept in doing since he was a little boy, to be able to heal Sophie’s wounds, when he injured her unwillingly. And something he have learned from his bigger sister, when she was taking care of him, if he was injured at their brutal practicing for her preparation for Saorisse Magic Academy. And something he applied to his little sisters, when they were injured during their childish play...

    Rio just moaned because of the scan – not of a pain, but from the nervous stimulation, when the electric impulses he transmitted passed on them, to localize the lacerations and bleeding.

    -What was that... – she said quietly.

    -Shh, don’t speak, don’t think, don’t move...

    Even with his eyes closed, he was feeling how everybody’s gazes on his back were becoming more and more intensive and focused after every little change that was happening...

    The next steps was to accelerate the blood’s coagulation at her bigger wounds to stop the bleeding. This was achieved by speeding up the processes involving the Calcium ions, Prothrombin and Thromboplastin and then the reaction between the formed Thrombin and the the glycoprotein Fibronogen. The result was a complex cascade of fibrin strands, trapping the white and red blood cells inside.

    Of course, this charm could have been used and without knowing all the chemical bio-stuff behind it, just by learing the correct words from the thick magical volumes, that coded the electromagnetic processes, leading to its realization and many hours of practicing on its casting, just like, for example, a person didn’t need to know how to build violins just to play one, but his sister ensured he crams up all the science behind the processes, which, inevitably lead to increasing its efficiency many times – reducing the energy spent from the user and increasing the effects on the applied one.

    Rio just groan lowly from pain, her whole body went numb in a weak, single twitch...

    -Big sis! – gasped Hifumi somewhere from behind.

    -Don’t worry, everything is okay. – he said ambiguously – but it was regarding mainly Rio, than her sister.

    Considering the complex bio-structure of a human body, it was almost impossible for a simple human to diagnose every single injury down to the last cell, unless one didn’t have the appropriate medical hardware with a specialized parallel-computing multi-cored processor that to make all the necessary complex calculations extracted by the scanning data and then a decent graphics processing unit to output with high enough resolution all the damaged zones to a monitor, which the medical expert to threat. Firstly, there was no point, because in normal conditions, when the body started to heals up the damaged zones itself, logically the smallest ones were going to be fixed proportionally faster than the larger ones and secondly, for a person the heal up everything, he needed to have his specialized equipment with himself, to be in the place seconds after the accident (before the body heals up the smallest wounds) and to be very quick with all the preparations. That is why usually the smallest ones were ignored and left to the body to deal with them, while one focusing on fixing up larger and obviously more dangerous ones, by doing the general scanning and accelerating the chemical processes. And sometimes, if it was crucial, by sealing the stuff himself with magical plugs and barriers.

    The second scan Art did ascertain how much of the damage he had healed – not all of it, but the larger ones, with her causing her intense bleeding were now history. Now it only left for her body to fix up the rest.

    Also...

    The delicate electrical signals he send, stimulated the immune system to stop secreting the chemicals, reacting with the nociceptors, which created the sensation of pain. Something he have also learned from his bigger sister.

    Of course, once again this process was also not perfect, but after all...

    Rio suddenly opened her eyes, gasped and jumped back on her feet!...

    -The pain! The pain is almost gone! – she turned towards him with widened eyes.

    -C’mon, now, don’t get so excited. This is gonna raise your blood pressure and the blood vessels at your wounds will burst up again... – he scolded her.

    -H... how did you do it?! – suddenly pop up Hifumi next to him, looking him with eyes, filled with excitement.

    -Well, just a soft massage? You know how pressing different nervous and pressure points in the human bodies causes different hormones secretion and stuff... – he laughed with his eyes closed, scratching his nape, lying without a bit of shame.

    Well, what to do. He really didn’t want more people to learn about this stuff. Although it was somehow unavoidable...

    -Woaaaah, nice! Didn’t know you could do such stuff! The Falklanish medicine is incredible! – exclaimed and Akio, clenching her gentle fists before her.

    -Right, a soft massage... – looked him with her narrowed eyes Ayuri, so suspiciously, that it was obvious she didn’t believe him.

    Reina’s face was like: „Soft massage? You serious, bitch?”

    Hion was looking at him with her half-bored, half-expressionless eyes and Iki like he just became her biggest disappointment in her life.

    Well, what to do...

    Rio just puffed quietly and sat back down on the bench.

    -It seems i own you one. Damn, one will say as if you are magician...

    -That would have been great, right? – he laughed nervously, looking at Hion.

    The prez just rolled over her eyes. Sophie did the same behind her...

    -C’mon bro, get over here. I’ve just warmed up... – said his cousin.

    He took his longsword, swinging him several times around while walking, just to warms up tendons and joins and stood in front of her.

    -C’MON ART, AVENGE ME!!! – shouted Rioko from the benches.

    -Wow, won’t you change your saber? – he asked.

    -Nope, i know you love this one the most... – she smiled slyly and took a stance. – COME ON!

    -HERE I GO!...
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
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  8. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    So, i have finally managed to translate this scene to add the illustration
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Raon has joined the game.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Doctor Noel’s face twitched...

    -Are you for real? – she said, but Art very well recognized this kind of mood, where she wanted to scream at least: “YOU SERIOUS, BITCHES?!”

    Good thing that as a government employee, she was obliged to follow some kind of a forced politeness...

    Art just moved the napkin to his other nostril and Sophie scratched above her left eyebrow – usually, she was a right-handed and was doing it by habit there, but now it was a little split...

    -Without even a little piece of equipment?

    -I’m sorry, sensei, oi, oi, oi... – touched his cheek Art, groaning from pain.

    -Don’t worry about me. – Sophie stood up and got to the doctor’s cabinet, starting to look through the window. – Just tell me where are the Carvitol and the Pektocyn and i’ll glue myself alone. Is not like i haven’t done it before...

    -Sit-down...

    Sophie just turned, throwing her such a cold face that, he swears, even the hard-boiled doctor Noel chilled from it.

    -Nothing personal doc, but i hate unfamiliar people to touch me. So much, that feel disgust. And also i hate other people to clean up my mess. I said: i’ll do it myself. – Sophie took the medical glue and the anti-septic and returned to her place.

    Doctor Noel puffed deeply and stood up.

    -I don’t give a fuck about your personal feelings. – she grabbed them from her. – If you happen to die because of something, that happened on the school grounds, i’ll be hold responsible. And i won’t end in prison, because of runts like you...

    Sophie just looked her blood-thirsty.

    -Want me to sign you up some kind of document? – she reached to take the medicaments from the doctor’s hand.

    Noel just slapped her hand, clenched Sophie legs with hers and pulled her hair slightly, just to make her lift her face and enlighten it even better...

    Sophie just snorted and gnarled, but didn’t do anything more. The Doc opened the anti-septic, applying it to her wounded eyebrow.

    -Really, there is no real need for us to be here... – she didn’t give up. – We could have took care of ourselves with... COUGH, Chouhgth... – and in the next moment his cousin started to spit blood, messing Noel’s white lab coat...

    The Doc just looked at it more with boredom, than worry...

    Then she just sighed, rubbing her temples with fingers.

    -I swear, i want to quit...

    -I’m sorry, doc... – started Art.

    -Well, at least you didn’t create the next mess... And get that napkin out of your nose, you are just gonna make it bleed more!

    Art reached for it, but Noel grabbed it before him, throwing it aside and with her free hand took an aerosol from the cabinet next to the bed they were sitting. And without any warning, sprayed some onto his nose...

    -AAAAKHKHYHKHA!!! – he yelled from the sudden pain and the stinging was so intensive, that momentarily from his eyes tears started to fall.

    -Don’t be a pussy... – she said strictly and then sprayed some and in Sophie’s nostril.

    His cousin didn’t even flinch.

    -See? Even she is more a man than you are... – said the doctor.

    -That’s because you women have higher pain tolerance, doc... – pouted Art.

    -No, it’s just because you are a pussy, like the doc said... – replied ot him Sophie.

    Art snorted and seriously though to slam her in the nose, like she did to Rio, but probably wasn’t a good idea to injure someone before a doctor, more or less before a person like Noel, so let’s say this was what saved Sophie now...

    -You...

    -Enough of this, both of you!

    -Sorry, doc.

    -And you, get up, girl, you are ready. – Noel released Sophie from her thighs press.

    His cousin stood up, with a sigh of deep relief.

    -If you feel nauseous or continue to spit blood, call me right away, i’m i clear?

    -Yes, yes, doc... – she headed straight for the door, then turned towards him. – I’ll be going ahead, would you mind? Need to gather up my stuff.

    -Of course no, sis, go.

    When Sophie left, the Doc turned towards him, looking him with some strange kind of a smug face.

    -How did she manage to mess you like that? – she grabbed his chin, turning his chafed cheek towards her.

    -She is a monster, doc. I don’t wanna duel against her anymore. Can you help me? I’ll give you 300 yen... – he said with pretended seriousness.

    Noel just laughed out loud.

    -Why? I thought you like visiting me now and then.

    -Well, i really don’t mind, since your place is cozy and warm, and your hands are really soft and gentle, but being not beaten up is even better. I think.

    Doctor Noel looked him strangely for a moment. Then she lifted her hands and looked them too, turning between the palms and the back several times.

    Then she looked him again, this time suspiciously...

    -Are you trying to hit me on?

    -To hit you? Are you from the kind that’s secretly in the S&M, Doc?

    Noel just once again laughed out loud.

    -You are a funny guy, Art. – she sat next to him and rolled up his sleeve. – Maybe if i was 10 years younger, i would have fallen in love with you.

    -As they say, there is no age for the love, doc.

    -Yeah, sure... And you? Have you ever fall in love before, Art?

    -Well, i’m not sure. Let me thin...

    -No, you are not then.

    -Doc?

    -If you had ever fallen in love, you wouldn’t think it that much. So no. You haven’t truly fallen in love yet. If you care to consider my humble opinion, of course.

    -Well, if you say so, doc. – he smiled slightly.

    Then she began treating his forearm, where Sophie had hit him quite hard with her Oderonean saber. Fortunately, she did broke nothing...

    -And you, Doc? Have you... fallen in love?

    -Oh, of course i did. Or at least i like to think so. Wishful thinking you call it. – she giggled quietly, but Art very well noticed the minuscule flinch, caused by the enormous attempt her face not to obtain much more grave and ominous expression...

    Art felt as if he have unknowingly kicked the hornet’s nest and hastened to turn his head aside, avoiding her gaze.

    -I’m sorry...

    He felt how her touch became gentler and a long, silent sigh exited her mouth.

    -It’s ok, Art. It was me that started the topic. And after all, that was a long time ago.

    Somehow, Art felt it. As if she was trying to suppress the excruciating pain in her heart with the gentleness and warmness of her healing hands...

    It was awkwardly embarrassing, that he couldn’t look her in the eyes...

    -I was dating someone during the high-school. – she suddenly began. Art raised his head and looked her. – It was my first time falling in love, i was blinded and crazy, so to say and as a little and naive girl i had huge hopes and started making plans for our future. You know how it is with us girls, i suppose... Dreams, hopes, houses, cars, how much kids you are gonna have, even start thinking on their names... We’ve never argued with our another during our time dating, never raised voice one another, we’ve always had fun together and i was convinced that i’ve had found my soul-mate. Convinced that a happy and auspicious future await us.

    -Then something suddenly just happened. Just happens. Right before graduating, we both decided to pursue careers. There was no arguing about our break up, no unnecessary drama. Just cold and rational choices. Thinking about it now, it’s was just so bizarre and weird. Its just strange how sometimes one day you can make huge plans and have certain dreams and at the next decide to turn everything at 180... You’ll almost believe that there is destiny predetermined for each person...

    Art was silent, looking at her as if not with awe and admiration while telling her story. The doc was so focused on the treatment of his forearm, that she didn’t even move her eyes once from it. And that smile... That slight, hearty smile her lips were expressing, while she was talking about him...

    -What is he doing now, doc? – he asked.

    -He?

    -What?

    -What?!

    Art jaw just dropped, losing his words and speech for a moment, looking her stupefied.

    And Noel just started laughing out loud from the bottom of her heart.

    He swears, never before he have felt stupider in his life...

    Looking at her laughing face, Art once again avoided her gaze...

    -I’m sorry. – he blushed slightly.

    -No, it seems that i’m at fault here. I was too ambiguous, i guess. – she giggled gently.

    Art still avoiding her gaze, while Noel returned to treating his wound.

    -Well, it seems also that like age, there are and no boundaries, when love is considered. – he mumbled.

    -I guess.

    The silence during the next minute was getting so awkward and grave, and Art couldn’t resist it at the end...

    -Do you still love her, doc? – he asked quietly.

    -Yeah, i think so. You can say... – she mumbled. – Very often i found myself thinking about her. To often for comfort, i think... They say time heals everything, but this is just some utter nonsense. Just... Nothing passes with the time. The pain, the regret... The love... Everything remains the same. You just get used to live with it. I guess that is to truly love someone.

    -Then, why don’t you just call her, doc?

    -Ooh, we talked the last night. She is doing fine. – Noel smiled broadly.

    -Huh?! – Art stared at her.

    -What? You thought that after breaking up, we ceased talking to each other? Bullshit, Art. You thought that’s some cheap cliched love drama story for you?

    -Well, i...

    Noel giggled.

    -Of course not. – she smiled once again. – We never broke up our contacts, we never ceased talking to each other. We are still calling a few times in a month. We are even seeing each other from time to time.

    -Well, it’s nice that you remained friends after all, doc. Most people weren’t able to do it...

    -Yeah, it’s nice... I guess.

    -Sorry for asking too much.

    -It’s okay, Art. Sometimes is nice to share to someone. They say a trouble shared is a trouble halved. Maybe there is some truth in the folk’s sayings...

    And she went silent. But Art was still secretly looking at her face and how her timid smile was still shinning, making her look much more beautiful and charming. No wonder a person can fall in love with her so easily...

    -Your cheek is fine. You can go. – she thumped him slightly on the shoulder.

    Art, still deep in thought, suddenly startled and looked her bewildered in the first moment.

    Then he stood up.

    -Thank you, Doc. Really, once again i’m sorry for all the trouble...

    -It’s fine, it’s fine. Just get out. – she shoed him away with hand.

    But right before he open the door, she added:

    -I really don’t mind visiting me from time to time, Art. It is so nice talking with you.

    -I’ll do my best, doc. – he just smiled with the edge of his mouth and left.


    Outside, he momentarily fell under Hion’s grave stare.

    -What? – he snorted, avoiding her gaze.

    Avys and Vick momentarily jumped onto him, making him groan from the pain.

    -Big bro, are you alright? – said Krul, staying next to the president.

    -It doesn’t hurt, right, it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t hurt? – Vick looked upwards and intentionally began poking him into his right hip, where Sophie had smacked him with the saber...

    Art snorted and moved forwards, with Aiv and Vick still on his hip.

    -Don’t feel dealing with you now... Krytzy gretzel (stupid ugly hags)... – he finished whispering bitterly on Vilenian, while heading towards the gymnasium.

    -Hey, what was that?! – let go of him Avys, looking him with such blood-thirsty eyes as if she was gonna gnaw his throat.

    -You think i don’t know these words, huh?! You just called us dirty cunts!!! – wrapped her arms around his thighs and bit him in the ass...

    -ARGHGRGHGAHGRH, YOU LITTLE PIECE OF... – he literally grabbed her for the shirt and the neck, forcefully ripping her out of him and lifted her above his head...

    -Aghrg, no, no, WAIT, WAAIT!

    -BEGONE THOT!

    And tossed her directly towards Avys...

    His little cousin just goggled her eyes right before the impact...

    CRASH!!!

    Avys was knocked out momentarily, with her swirly eyes staring at the ceiling.

    -Ai, ai, ai... – thumped several times on her butt Vick...

    -AND NOW THE FINISHING MOVE!!!... – he took a stance, preparing to threw a spell after which even her mother would not be able to recognize her...

    -WHAAA, NOOOO, PLEASE!!!... – raised her hands before her Vick.

    Hion just grabbed him for the arm, turning him towards her.

    -That’s enough, Art. – she said, with more tiredness, than anger.

    -TOVARETTO (lighting strike)!!! – Vick suddenly jumped on his back, biting him in the neck.

    -ARGHHRHGHHAGHGAGH, YA FUCKING MOM!!!...

    -HHHSSSS!!!

    Hion just puffed, putting her palm on the face.

    -Why did more like you had to came here... – she sighed.

    The prez startled, when something suddenly pulled her sleeve. As she turned, her eyes met those of Krul’s and just when she was about to say something, a sharp shout echoed across the corridor:

    -PRESIDENT, TROUBLEEE AGAAAAAIN!!!

    All of them turned and saw how one boy was running towards them as fast as his legs were able to do it...

    But momentarily after he spotted the scene – Art once again with Vick lifted over his head, searching up until now for Avys so he could threw his little sister at her again, but panicky realized that she suddenly had disappeared from his gaze with her actually snuck behind him, about to bite him in the calves – froze in place...

    -What is it, Ney? – Hion took a step towards him.

    The boy, still stunned of what he had saw, turned timidly towards her.

    -Huge trouble again, president! – he said again, turning his eyes at her. – Some have blocked the entrance once again and refuse to let anyone out!!!

    -WHAT?! – Art also made a sharp step towards him.

    The boy shivered, as if he was going to hit him...

    Hion just lifted her hand before Art’s chest...

    -Calm down. Let’s go check what’s happening at first hand...

    At the entrance once again there was a bustle. They needed quite a few time to make their way to the front lines.

    -What’s happening, for fuck sake, doesn’t this school have back entrance... – he snorted...

    The people around turned towards him, giving him anxious stares.

    It was once again the same scene as the other day – two dozen of people had the front entrance surrounded with one boy staying before them. Its katana was leaning on his shoulder and in the courtyard many students stood like frozen, waiting in trill some conclusion...

    Most of the rest of their club were already here.

    Art heard how several people around him were whispering:

    -Oh my god, this is Ayamo Sekba!

    -Problem, problem!

    -Who would guess that he’ll personally show up here?!

    Art just stopped his gaze at one random girl, thinking:

    „Who, three hundred horses to fuck him, is that?!“

    He snorted.

    Then saw how Hion headed downstairs, directly towards that was Ayamo Sekba and his group and the rest of the students were making her way, following her with their worrying eyes.

    She stopped five meters from him.

    -What do you want, Ayamo? Get the fuck out of here, you and your shitty gang. – she said coldly, putting her hands on her hips.

    Sekba smiled smugly, took his sword before him and made a step forwards:

    -Why always so serious, Hion? It took parts of your beauty. Relax, relax...

    -Stop beating around the bush, you thot. Whatcha want? – she interrupted him.

    Sekba’s face became serious.

    -Oh, i think you know very well. – then he raised his katana, pointing it straight at Art. - Him.

    -Now i’m really gonna go and fuck his m... – snorted Art and wrapping up his sleeves, was about to rush down the stairs...

    But Reina put her hand on his chest and stopped him.

    -Have some more patience.

    -Are you not tired of gang him up the whole week? Don’t you see that you and your people suck and he is sweeping the floor with you?

    -C’mon, Hion, you know very well than i can’t leave things like that. The reputation of all of us is on the line after quite a few humiliating actions by several of my folks here... – he looked aside, especially at Amemori, who was staying aside, among the crowd.

    -I don’t give a goblin’s shit about the reputation of these cunts there. Just take your dick-smelling mouths off the courtyard and stop making troubles...

    -Troubles? Oh, no, Hion, i don’t think to give you any additional troubles now. Even on the contrary. What i’m suggesting is to clear up the things between us with a simple duel! In a honorable way, no more barbaric stunts and uncivilized shit. Here, before all! – he turned towards the crowd, as if was some politician, calling the people to vote for him.

    -Your people were beaten in the both ways already, why he should do it again?

    Sekba sighed.

    -It seems you just don’t get it, Hion. – Sekba scratched his nape. – And right now you don’t have the manpower to enforce your request on me. I’ll look like the bad guy again anyway, so let me put it bluntly. The foreigner move his ass down here voluntarily and we duel. Everyone is happy. We move our asses up there, beating everything that tries to stops us and then we beat and him until he is not able to walk. How does it sounds? What do you thing, foreigner? – he pointed his katana at him.

    Everyone pointed their gazes at him.

    -I wish to see you try the second way! – yelled Art.

    Sekba sighed once again. Longer and deeply. And Art saw how Sekba was about to do something, when Hion said:

    -Enough joking, Art. Just get your ass down here.

    -You sure, prez? I’m sick of duels for today...

    Hion just gave him her cold stare.

    Art just grated with teeth, swallowing his pride and replied:

    -All right! I’ll duel! Just give me several minutes to pick up my equipment from the gym!

    Sekba just smiled slyly.

    Art was just about to go, when an Arm grabbed his’.

    -You sure? – said quietly Ayuri. – Sekba is neither like Amemori nor anyone else, you have encountered so far.

    -I’m sorry if i sound cocky, president, but if you have met people like Niei, Ronson and Adam, there is nothing you can possible fear in this world. Even Sophie isn’t that much scare. – he pulled gently his hand and she let him go. – Well, wish me luck. – and disappeared in the crowd.

    Ayuri just sighed deeply.

    -Are you worried? – said Raon, smiling with the end of her lips.

    -No, i, just... Pfff, i don’t now, really. – she shook her head slightly. – Art is incredibly good, but Sekba... If he pull out his o katana or nodachi, which is going to happen with sure, the things can turn very easily...

    -Don’t underestimate Art, my dears. He also have tricks in his sleeves. – said Reina before them, without even turning.

    The two just stared at her back.

    -Hey, what’s going on here? Is Falkland attacking again? Where do i sign up for kicking vhinhym ass? – Sophie pop up from somewhere.

    Reina, Ayuri and Raon turned towards her...

    -Big trouble, big siiiiis, these wanna beat up big bro Art! – jumped on her hips Avys.

    -Let them beat him, why should i care about that? – she snorted, pushed her aside and went down stairs. – Tell him that i’ll see him at home! – she waved with hand over her back.

    -But...

    Everybody followed her with their gazes how she headed for the main entrance, without giving a fuck about what was happening around.

    When she passed by Sekba, as if the crowd gasped stupefied...

    -Yo, lass, where do you thing ya going? – he turned towards her.

    Several people blocked her way. Sophie just looked them consequently under her eyebrows, then she looked at him over her shoulder.

    -Will you tell to your henchmen to fuck off my way? I’ll miss the „Benz and Vorty” episode...

    -Lol, can’t you read the atmosphere at all, cutie?... – said someone from his gang and tried to put his hand on her shoulder...

    Sophie just followed it with her eyes and when it was just a centimeter from touching her, she punched him so hard in the nose, that the boy fall back like a bag of cement.

    The gasps, the exclamations of surprise, and even the inciting shouts merged echoing across the school yard.

    -Don’t even dare to breath in my direction, you pathetic semblance of a germ... – she said with such a disgust that was ready to spit on his face.

    Several people were just about to dash at her, when the Sekba’s sudden thunderous laugh stop them.

    -Calm down, calm down, boys! Taro completely deserved this! – he began cheerfully. – You know very well how conservative our laws are in that regard!

    Sophie just looked him with dead-fish eyes, then turned towards the boys, who had blocked her way.

    -Just fuck off...

    -You real... – stepped forwards one of them.

    Sophie punched and him so hard, sending him flying back to his gang...

    -Wha... – some other tried to exclaim, not even moving from his place...

    Sophie’s kicked and him in the face too with her toe, making him joining the other two on the ground...

    -C’mon, i don’t have time to beat you all one by one. JUST COME AT ONCE!

    -You haughty little bitch... – one of the boys drew out his katana, taking combat stance. – GET HER!

    And charged at her, momentarily followed by three others...

    In response, Sophie just took out one of her sabers and swung it before any of the boys had the chance to strike her...

    The following cannonry of slashes and clashes happened so fast, that only few people saw what exactly happened – the rest only realized it when the result was apparent, with the four boys moaning and groaning in agony on the floor.

    But some people experienced and something else. As if during the clash... something flashed for a moment around Sophie. As if the time just overextend...

    -What?

    -Wha... What happened?!

    -Did she just completely alone beat up seven people for mere seconds?! – the students in the school yard started exclaiming.

    Realizing what had happened several seconds later, the rest of Sekba’s gang retreated several steps back, not daring to stay in her way.

    Sophie turned towards him, pointing her saber straight at his throat.

    -Are you next, clown? Or are you gonna let your people be beaten one by one, while watching from the side? Nice ideal image of a leader you have.

    Sekba’s eyebrow twitched convulsively...

    -Free up the school yard... – he said coldly.

    -But Ayamo... – stepped one boy towards him...

    Sophie turned and fixed her eyes on him. That made the boy froze in place...

    -Harou... Bring me the nodachi.

    -Right away! – said one other boy and ran to him.

    Sophie followed and him with her gaze, then stopped it on Sekba.

    -So, we can use whatever weapon we want?

    -Yes.

    -No restrictions?

    -YES! C’MON, I WON’T WAIT YOU THE WHOLE DAY! – he swung his nodachi before her.

    Sophie just gave him the cold stare for a second...

    -Sure. – and then headed towards the staircase.

    Then she tossed her backpack at Avys, who took it grunting and looked her anxiously.

    -Big sis, don’t beat him too much, please. Don’t want you get into prison, don’t now what i’m gonna do without you... – she said with teared and worrisome eyes.

    -Learn how to be independent, you little bitch... – she snorted.

    And headed back to Sekba.

    During that time, his people had a square space in the schoolyard completely freed, surrounded by the crowd, waiting for the spectacle which was gonna make their day to begin.

    Sophie stopped ten meters away from Sekba.

    -Where is your weapon, bitch? – snorted Sekba.

    -I don’t need fucking swords to mess you up, cunt. – she snorted in reply, took out something from her pocket, holding hidden in her palm.

    And took a boxing stance.

    -If you hope that you lacking a weapons will make me hold back, you are mistaken. I’ll still beat you with no remorse.

    -Enough talk and fight.

    Sekba just looked at his people to the left and then the right. Then he fixed his gaze on her and took a Migi Gedan no Kamae – a stance similar to the Liennese left Plfug.

    And began to wait...

    Sophie just puffed quietly, putting the hand with the hidden activator to her mouth.

    -They’ll never learn. – she said lowly to herself and then whispered: – Temimiraya.

    The sudden gust of wind made all the people around to close their eyes, protecting them from the sudden explosion of dust and leaves, and forcing the girls to hold down their skirts...

    This was what make most of them miss the weak flash and the fact how the Falklanish rifled cap-lock musket „Lanziherr Model 1825, 17 mm” suddenly materialized in her hand, together with the leather bag on her hip.

    Starting to hum one of the falklanish battle marches, she half-cocked the hammer, making the percussion lock mechanism to cling metallic and reached for her bag.

    Most of the people just now recovered from the dust explosion and started to open their eyes and when they got the gist of the happening, they looked her, mildly put, in disbelief. Seriously, if there was someone to record their faces in that exact moment, it would have been the sensation of the century...

    Sophie took out of her leather bag one paper cartage, teared one of its ends with her mouth and poured its contents in the muzzle...

    -Wha-what is she doing?! – she heard some bewildered voice.

    -Wow, is this a musket?!

    -Are my eyes lying to me? Pinch me, please!

    -And she is loading it?! SHE IS LOADING IT!!!

    She quickly pulled out the ramrod out of it’s holder and started to ramming the bullet and propellant towards the muzzle’s rear...

    -AYAMO, QUICKLY, ATTACK HER, THIS BITCH IS CRAZY!!! – yelled some of his people.

    As if he startled, turning slightly towards him...

    Sophie was already reaching for the percussion cap...

    -QUICKLYYYY!!!

    Then he grabbed his nodachi with two hands and dashed towards her...

    And she swear – he was fast as a panther – he reached her for a blink of an eye...

    Slashing with a lighting speed!

    -You mo... – she didn’t even manage to snort, pulling out hastily her hand off the leather bag to support her musket, beating off his cut with the muzzle.

    Then, she just dashed forwards, not letting him have the precious milliseconds he needed to put his nodachi again back between her and him to protect himself...

    ... stabbing him with the bayonet straight in the chest.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
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  11. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    A very rare sight of the School Council President Hion not wearing twintails. It was probably top secret, but it's all leaked now.
    Also:
    "What are you staring at, you scrub?..."
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    As if the time froze in that moment.

    It became so quiet, that you could hear a pin, falling on the ground...

    The bloody bayonet shone under the gentle afternoon rays of the sun...

    Sekba staggered back...

    And then tumbled down.

    That was the moment, when many people started screaming with the whole of their lungs, as if the energy of their trembles was going to revitalize the wounds of the injured.

    Sophie, humming in choir with their screams, put the percussion cap on her musket and fully-cocked the hammer. Without hurrying for anywhere, with all the calmness of the world.

    She saw with the edge of her vision how several people dashed towards her – but to late and to slow.

    The barrel was already moving towards Sekba’s head. And her finger towards the trigger...

    Click!

    And in the same moment, as if something like a truck swooped her over, making her horizon spun like a centrifuge...

    BANGGG!!!

    Amidst the powerful shot, they’ve heard how the bullet bounced with a whiz from the concrete pavement and then the heinous sound it made from crushing onto somebody’s flesh...

    And with the quieting echoes of the bang, a new agonizing scream arose.

    -Dammit, Soph! – Art’s figure materialized before her gaze, holding with his hands her shoulder and clenching her hips with his knees. With the sky in the background, he looked like as if lost all of his colors...

    -AYAMOOO!!! – one of the girls of its gang rushed towards him, together with several other people.

    Art turned his head and saw how Amemori was on the ground, holding for his calf, wiggling back and forth, as if was stung by a swarm of wasps.

    -They totally deserve it. Even more. After all they’ve done to you... – she said quietly.

    -YOU!... – he snarled through his teeth, shaking her for the shoulders.

    Sophie just turned her head to the side, avoiding his gaze.

    -I would do it again. If it’s for you. Even if i have to kill someone... – she whispered even more quietly, that he was barely able to hear her.

    -Don’t... Don’t even dare to...

    -AYAMO! AYAMO!!! – kneed the girl next to him, placing her hands on his chest. And in a second, as if a faint, purple mist swirled around her wrists...

    -What...

    Was he seeing things?

    -AYAMOOOOO!!! – she wasn’t removing it from her, as if pushing more and more with the seconds passed.

    -DAMN YOU, BASTARDS!!! – several of his people turned their attention at Sophie and Art, about to charge them...

    -Fuck!!! – Art let go of Sophie, trying to get up while searing for his sword with eyes...

    He knew it flew several meter away when he pushed Sophie, that is why he was already instinctively reaching for his medallion...

    A sudden arm on his shoulder made him froze in place. He knew very well this warmth and feel...

    -Don’t.

    And all of the Sekba’s gang members, that were headed towards them, also froze in place.

    When Art timidly turned his head back, the huge revolver’s barrel were almost in his face.

    Pointing straight at the nearest of the Sekba’s gang boys. Who were not even daring to move a finger.

    He swear, never before he have saw such a grim expression on her face – as if a demon got under her skin.

    -Don’t even dare to make any step further if you don’t want me split your malfunctioning brains all over the place...

    What were those shivers? Was she really ready to kill them... for him?

    Art gulped soundly.

    -YOU STUPID UGLY WHORE! HOW COULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS?! HOW?! – yelled one of the boys, making a step before the rest...

    The revolver’s hammer clanged when Sophie fully-cocked it, pointing it straight at the boy’s head...

    In that moment, such a tremble passed through its body, paralyzing it in place.

    -Sophie, no!!! – Art put his palm over the muzzle.

    -Let go of it, bro. – said with such chill in her voice Sophie, giving him her demonic stare instead.

    -NO!!!

    -I made it... I MADE IT! – suddenly yelled the girl, that was kneeing over Ayamo, attracting all the attention over her. – I MANAGED TO STOP THE BLEEDING AND SEALED UP THE WOUND!

    An automatic sigh of relief exited his mouth.

    -He’s fine! He should wake up right after the shock is gone!

    Sophie sighed quietly so only he was ably to hear it...

    And switched the safety on, putting it in her pants.

    Everybody followed her with eyes, when she stood up and calmly got behind the girl, who was still treating Sekba’s wounds. Not daring to move even an inch.

    -You say its just the shock left, huh?

    The girl turned her head, looking up her tentatively.

    And in the next moment, Sophie kicked him so hard in the face that from the side looked like his head was going to fly away, making them gasp in disbelief and astonishment...

    -SEKBA!!! – several people exclaimed and were about to rush towards him, but Sophie’s cold stare froze them in place...

    ... with Sekba suddenly waking up and abruptly sitting in place, with a powerful sigh, exiting his mouth...

    Starting to panicky touch his chest.

    -AYAMO! – exclaimed the girl.

    -I... i’m fine. – he said, breathing heavily.

    -Don’t move or get too excited. Your wound will open. – she supported him with hands on chest and back.

    Then she turned her blazing gaze straight at Sophie. Who wasn’t giving a fuck about it at all.

    -YOU DAMN BITCH! HE WOULD HAVE DIED IF MEI WASN’T HERE!!! – the same boy tried to rush at her, but the others around him stopped him momentarily...

    In the first moment he tried to resist them, but when Sophie reached for her revolver, his head momentarily cooled off.

    -Yeah. It was really too bad that she was here. He wouldn’t have been missed by anyone... – she said, still staring at him.

    Then moved her gaze at Ayamo, who was looking her tentatively and with timid scorn.

    -You know, this Lanziherr is famous of being able to kill even elephants with it. – she squatted next to him, still holding the musket in her hand. – I have never hunted elephants before... but i know what kind of damage can do to an unarmored human. So, if you insist to learn, just dare, you or your lackeys approach big bro again. Then, nether she, nor the best magician doctor in the world won’t be able to safe you. – she got close to his face and her eyes were becoming even more and more crazy. – And this isn’t even the heaviest gun in my arsenal.

    The girl, they called Mei gulped soundly. Sekba was just still staring at her, with his unmoving face. Damn, he was quite a cool headed for a guy that was just stabbed in the chest, Art admitted.

    Sophie just thumbed him with the tips of her fingers several times on the cheek, smiling artificially and stood up, hanging the musket on her shoulder.

    No one dared to stop her or stood in her way, when she left the courtyard.


    -Soo... – began Nym, scratching delicately her nape. – Any ideas how 10 people can live in a household of 6?

    -Just go back to your hotel. No body asked you to came here. C’mon, sho, sho... – said Ann with grumpy face.

    -NO! – exclaimed Krul with her coarse voice and hugged Art through the hips. – I’m not spending a minute more away from big bro!

    -I’m fine with just this. – said Sophie, threw her bag at one of the armchairs and jumped on the sofa. – If someone dares to wakes me up, ima gonna punch him to death.

    -I’ll just take Art’s room! – Avys enthusiastically jumped on her toes, raising her hand. – He can go sleep outside, in the garden!

    -Only in your dreams, you blockhead. – he replied.

    -C’mon, i’ll give you some private lessons at night. And only at a half-price. – she winked him, putting her finger on her lips.

    -Keep your gonorrheic vagina out of my room, please. I don’t know what i’m going to say to doc Noel if she has to treat me and for this...

    Avys jaw dropped and her eyes goggled at its max...

    -WHAAAT?!

    -DAMN YOU BRAT, YOU TOO LOUD! KEEP IT DOWN, DAMN IT!!! – shouted Sophie from the sofa, turning on her belly.

    -B-but h-he c-called m-me g-g-go... – Avys eyes started tearing up.

    -GO SEE A DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS! And keep your dirty jokes after you turn 17. Everybody will start thinking you are just an ugly whore...

    Avys raised out a sudden weeping cry and run off to the garden.

    -Tss... – snorted Sophie and turned on her side.

    -And you... Get up and go take a shower. Or at least change your clothes...

    -Fuck off, bro. I’m 17, you can’t tell me what to do.

    -You think so? – he went behind the sofa...

    And suddenly pushed it so hard, that Sophie kissed the ground right away...

    -Fuck your mother... – she stood up momentarily, clinging and balancing on the edge of the sofa...

    -Haha, i got you now! – Art grabbed her and pushed her back on the flow, catching her in a tight lock.

    Sophie tried to move and jab him in the hips, but Art just moved a bit and locked her even more.

    -How long i have awaited to caught you like that, you little!...

    -Let go of my boobs, you pervy-android jerker... – she snorted through her struggling breathing.

    -NO!

    He felt below him how Sophie body relaxed, so he instinctively loosened his grip...

    -P-Please, onii-chan. If you violate me more, i-i won’t be able get married. – she turned her head a bit, looking him with her pleading, teared eyes.

    -W-whaa... – and even more.

    -HA! – Sophie’s body suddenly twisted, poking him with fingers in the eyes...

    -DAMN, YOU BI...

    And she freed herself from his grab, kicking him in the balls...

    -ART! – rushed towards him Mio.

    And he just began turning and wiggling on the floor, grunting and snorting, with one hand on his eyes and with the other on the loin.

    -Don’t make a big deal of this. He’s used to it. – said Sophie.

    -Damn it, you’ll leave him childless. – added Mel.

    -Volunteer then and save his line before that happens...

    Mel just gave her a cold stare, but Sophie totally ignored her by jumping back on the sofa.

    -Are you okay? – kneed Mio next to him, gently putting her hand on his back.

    -I-i’m fine. – he stood up lamely. – Dammit, i have never expected such a thing from you.

    -He-he. – Sophie smugly and proudly smiled.

    -Hm, why not? She is a girl, after all... – said Ann.

    -Damn, saying: „HUSBAND, BRING ME THE VODKA AND THE SALAD!”, while slamming her fists on the table sounds much more like her, than such underhanded tactics. Damn, you are evolving, brat.

    The charming smile continued to shine on her face, while closing her eyes, she pretended to have fallen asleep.

    -Well, at least it will be more and more fun from now on. – added somewhat tiredly Nym.

    -Yes! – enthusiastically jumped on her toes Ann. – Let’s have a welcoming party!

    -We've already had one several days ago... – snorted Mel.

    -And weren’t you against them living here in first place? – said and Ren.

    -Nah, forget it. – Ann crossed her arms below her chest. – If it’s for the party i’m ready to make some compromises. – and suddenly jumped at Mel’s back, hugging her across the shoulders. – Right, Mel?

    -Wha... You...

    -Damn it, you are too loud. Just let me sleep, i don’t care about parties or whatsoever. – snorted Sophie from the sofa.

    -Oh, c’mon you blockhead. If you just try her cooking even once, you won’t want to eat anyone else’s.

    -I doubt it... – she mumbled through the pillow.

    -C’mon! Just say your favorite thing and we will cook it! Right, Mel?

    -No.

    -Even more! Just tell us all your favorite dished and we’ll make them all to celebrate!

    -What... Ann, don’t! – Art reached for her, but it was already too late.

    The damage was already done...

    -Seriously?! – suddenly Avys’ head popped from behind the curtains, with sparky eyes on her face. – Then i want Margarette sauce braised Presley’s duck with honey sauted figs!

    -Wild Alfven boar Hachis Permentier. – mumbled Sophie.

    -Fillet mignon Wellington with fried red potatoes and Grana. – said casually Vick.

    -Foie Gras de Somme Mombeaur. – rubbed timidly her palms Krul.

    Mel was just standing before them, with crossed arms below her chest, looking them bored while the rest of the girls were starring just stunned.

    -And you, Art? What’s your favorite? – she moved her gaze at him.

    -There is no need, really...

    -I’m afraid i have to insist...

    Art puffed.

    -Okay. Vinlandean sturgeon spinach-bаcon coulibiac...

    Mel was still just looking him bored.

    -Only that? – she winked and turned her attention to Avys. – And for dessert?

    -Suure! – jumped on her toes his little cousin. – Venetian twin moon!

    -Tripple chocolate truffle mousse with drunk cherries! – Vick.

    -Go fuck yourselves and let me sleep...

    -A-astoria. – Krul.

    -I’ll be happy with just some vhynehaimese chocolate. 35%. – winked at her Art.

    -Okey.

    -You can do us all of this?! – sparkled the eyes of Avys even more.

    -Sure. There is nothing i can’t do...


    Instead, they just ordered some pizza and soda.

    Because right after that, Mel gently told them to go fuck themselves and went to lay down on the empty armchair, joining Sophie in her afternoon nap.

    Well, what can you do, it was apparent that they just overdid it a bit...

    -But that’s really my favorite dish! – complained once again Vick.

    -Go wake her up and make her do it then. – said Nym. – But you’ll probably lose and eye or a limb in the process. I’m not sure if there is a dish in the world that’s worth that price.

    His little sister just pouted, continuing to munch on her pizza quietly.

    -T-this is fine. I haven’t had pizza in a while. – replied Krul.

    -What so good about this shit. Just junk with no nutritional value at all. And this isn’t even that good. – said Ann, rotating slice in her hand, looking it suspicious.

    Nym just puffed. And then she suddenly grabbed it from her hand and shove it right in her mouth.

    -JUST EAT IT ALL UP, YOU PICKY GNOME! SOME NON-HUMANS IN ALAZAR ARE STILL DYING OF HUNGER BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!

    -Dkhon’thk ghiff ah damfgh bot suhmhk sthupidhk orhs or cat-gurlhs... (don’t give a damn about some stupid orcs or cat-girls...)

    Nym shove it even more in her mouth.

    -MMMM mMmmMM MMMMMM...

    -Hey, don’t fight on the table, please. – said Mio more annoyed, than concerned.

    The end result was that Ann ended gulping up the whole piece, choking so hard, with her live hanging on stake, while Nym reached for a new one.

    -You damn crazy bitch... – snorted Ann when her struggle for normal breaths ended.

    -Don’t swear on the table, damn it! – burned her nape with a swift slap Mio.

    Ann almost crushed her face in the table.

    -You damn... Arghh. – she didn’t finish and instead just snorted, grabbing one another slice of pizza, starting to munch it in a more restrained manner.

    -You see? Good girl. – smiled Nym slyly.

    -I just wished to be a little more tasteful. – said sorrowfully Ann. – Am i asking for too much?

    -Go see a doctor to fix your taste receptors...

    -Just put some pineapple on it if you want more taste. There is some left in the kitchen... – said Mio.

    Ann stared at her with a mix of disgust and astonishment.

    -Even i wouldn't do that. What kind of person is capable of such abomination?

    -I don’t now. Someone in Oberland... – shrugged Nym and reached for another piece. – OI, MEL, GET OVER HERE, THE PIZZA IS ALMOST OVER!!! – she suddenly yelled, making a few people on the table to jump startling on their chairs.

    In response, Mel, just turned on her other side.

    -I don’t know. What’s so bad about pineapple on the pizza? – asked casually Av.

    All except Ren looked her amazed. Making her shrink in her chair even more.

    -Well, some Oderonean Pizza master probably just had a stroke because someone on the other side of the world just thought about it... – said Mio.

    -OI, MEL! – turned Nym on her chair again. – What do you think about pineapple on a pizza?!

    -If you think it’s normal to put pineapple on a pizza, please, just go hang yourself on that tree in the garden... – Sophie replied instead.

    -It may usually sounds counter-instinctive to mix salt and sweet flavors in close to equal proportions, but some dishes, that include products, for example, like foie gras, duck meat or goat cheese, goes very well with sweet purees of sauces, because it puts nice mildness to their typically heavy nature. Unfortunately, mostly for some other people, the traditional Oderonean pizza is not among them.

    -Damn, instead of getting into pointless arguing, just ask someone who knows what’s she’s talking about... – snorted Ann.

    And took another slice.

    -Hey, Soph, i’m taking your slic...

    Suddenly something flashed and before the others realized it, Sophie and Art were one over another in the ground, with his cousin choking him hard...

    -Wha... – Mio was the first to get a grasp of the sudden events.

    Avys just sighed bored.

    Art jabbed Sophie in the ribs, making her loosen hip lock and released himself.

    -Leave me alone, you damn tramp. – he also replied bored, thumped his clothes and sat back on the chair.

    -Hey, make me a little space. – said Sophie, trying to sit next to him.

    -No.

    Instead, she just slammed hard on his thighs and knees.

    Art puffed like a steam locomotive.

    -Damn you, you know how much ya weight???

    -All of it probably...

    -You’ll break my legs...

    -What do you need them for?

    Art looked her bluntly.

    -To caress them and then shove them up your...

    Sophie just turned on his thighs, hugging him with one arm across the shoulder and with the other reached for a slice of pizza. No... She took two slices one over another and just started eating them simultaneously.

    -You’ll get fat, big sis. – said somewhat concerned Avys.

    -No, i won’t. – Sophie replied and reached for the bottle of soda. – I have taken all the father’s and mother’s good genes. Eyes, hair, metabolism, ass, boobs. There is nothing left for you. And one day i’ll probably take the house and all the money too.

    Avys eyes once again started tearing up.

    -Well, because of your boobs, i can’t see the table now... – replied Art, trying to turn his head in such a manner, that her beauties didn’t rub his face...

    -Who cares... – she stretched for a third slice, rubbing them in his face...

    He only snorted and the sound was like he did it through a pillow.

    -Oi, Ren, you not eating? – asked Ann.

    She just puffed, still looking at the pizza with plaintive gaze.

    -And what’s wrong with you now? Did you get infected by Ann? – said Nym.

    -No, just... That many carbohydrates, fats and calories this late...

    -I don’t see a problem doing it once in a while if you follow well-balanced diet regularly. Your body will take it as a shock and will increase your metabolism to burn the extra calories.

    -Damn, don’t go overly scientific over a slice of pizza. Chio will just help her to burn it out. Tomorrow night. – added casually Ann.

    -Yeah, that would be nice. – Ren was still somewhat down because of her internal dilemma. Then, it suddenly hit her: – WHAAA?! – and her face all turned red.

    Krul was looking agaze between their faces, still too innocent to understand the underhanded cues.

    -And then Art will help you in the morning also. – Mel suddenly popped at the table.

    -That’s enough. – Ren shove her face in the table, covering head with arms.

    Art just looked her in question, but Mel pretended that she didn’t notice him and like his cousin, she sat on Mio’s thighs...

    -Arghk, why me?! – she snorted.

    -Yours are the softest. – Mel replied and reached for the biggest slice of pizza left.

    -Begone. – Sophie just slapped her hand and grabbed it before her.

    Mel just snorted, deciding it’s probably not worth to gnaw her throat over a slice of pizza, so she took the second biggest left.

    Pha, infidel. If she was the one to do this to Sophie, his cousin would be probably burying her right now.

    -Morning arts, huh? – asked casually Sophie, but Art knew very well all her hidden dangerous tones.

    -I don’t want to even hear a word from the morning arts master on this topic... – he coldly turned his head.

    -You could at least teach her something useful. Like how to shoot, or hate men.

    -I’m sure if you strain that little brain for yours, you can come up with even more original stuff.

    -Like for example hating men while shooting them? Or vice versa.

    -Ha. Ha.

    Sophie poked him with her elbow in the cheek.

    -No, i’m serious. Why would you get up 6 o’clock in the morning just to learn some ass-boring HIMA? Damn it, man, life is short, shoot more.

    -Said the person, who swings sabers faster than the speed of light. – replied Ann.

    -There’s nothing special in that. You just need to exercise your arms very much, learn tricks how to move them faster and the correct set of movements, so you not to injure your joints, while training your eyes to adapt to the fast movements. Just like in the boxing.

    -But with sabers. – said Nym.

    -Yeah. And if you get fast enough, you don’t even need to remember how to block. Just slash and let the other guy do it.

    -Damn, i’m sure her neighbors love her. – added Mel.

    -You can’t even start to imagine it... – puffed Art and rested his cheek on Sophie’s shoulder.

    -You get used to it after several mornings. And if they don’t, the real estate agents are always happy to put up a new offer.

    -Damn, why i’m expecting that this will become common practice and here... – puffed Nym, massaging her temples.

    -I have a spare pair of earplugs. Wanna sell you? And only at a half-price. – said Avys.

    -Is she always such a dwarf? – looked at him Mel.

    Art shrugged.

    -Damn, just two more like her and they’ll create such a prosperous bank, that will put all others to shame. – added Nym.

    -I can offer you a workplace. No parental leave or health insurance though.

    -See?

    -I’m more interested in one other thing, though. – turned Ann towards her. – Where did you get that big-ass rifle? And where did you put it after that?!

    -Ann, don’t you think that topic is... – began Mio.

    -Nah, look, i don’t care about the events, concerning Sekba. She should have stabbed him and in the ass, if you ask me. The only thing i care about is the rifle! You get it? The boom-stick. The cling-thingy. The elven slayer...

    Sophie pulled out something out of her pocket.

    At first glance, it looked like a small electrical transformer with laminated steel core, but instead of copper winding, there were several rose crystals at its center.

    -What’s that? – Ann looked curiously in her palm.

    -It’s a Krupf-Bergen activator. Basically it’s a magic bound-caller.

    -WHAAAT?! – she and the other Vhynhaimese girls, without Mel, gasped in disbelief. – YOU ARE MAGICIAN? – exclaimed Ann.

    Sophie frowned a bit.

    -What’s that overreact? Didn’t Art told you already?

    -WHAT?! HE IS MAGICIAN TOO?! – all the girls gazes were now stared at him.

    Art just tried to hide behind Sophie as much as possible.

    -Why?! Why didn’t you tell me?! – Ann was ready to go on her fours on the table just to get into his lap.

    Now he avoided her sparkly eyes.

    -I just don’t like to talk about this stuff. – he mumbled.

    -But whyyy?! Magic’s so cool, man!

    -To think you would have such a secret. – added Nym.

    -Well, i had my suspicions from the very beginning. – said Mel casually, while lifting her soda glass with the manner of a montgisardean tea maniac lifting its cup.

    -WHAA? – all of the girls now directed their attention to her.

    Mel wasn’t moved at all.

    -Yeah. After the treatment, doc told me that i had a serious cut in the cephalic vein and should had lost more blood than i already had. So i supposed he did „something” to my wound then. In the beginning i was wondering, but the same day, when he talked with you, i saw a staff in the background of Sophie’s part of the screen and that’s when it hit me what it might be. That there must be something more to you than it was actually apparent.

    All the vhynehaimese girls, plus Vick, Krul and Aiv were watching her as if she was a Lightfort’s movie detective, that just started to reveal all the secrets behind the overly obvious plot, showing them how dumb they are.

    Then, they turned them towards Art, although he wasn’t involved in this scheme at all.

    -I’m sorry. I tried to stop it all, but i’m not that good in the precision-type medical magic. – he said.

    -Dafaq are you talking about, Art. If it wasn’t for you, i was gonna lay cold in some ditch right now. – replied Mel.

    -But you are getting better and better, bro. After all, you managed to fix Rio’s nose, that i rekt, completely. – said Sophie.

    -WHAT? You fixed it? – leaned towards him even more Ann.

    -Yeah. The wound area was relatively small and it was mostly bio-chemical related stuff, sooo... Mel’s wound was too large and i suck at plugging.

    -Well, if its for plugging, you can ask Mel to help you with that as a reward for saving her. – winked at him Nym.

    -Only if you participate too. – Mel was unmoved.

    -WHAAA?! – Nym abruptly turned towards her with her cheeks slightly blushed.

    -Hehe, straight back at you. – smugged Mio.

    Mel just pretend didn’t notice her big sister, still sipping from her glass with soda as she was on an audience with the queen.

    -Okay, enough with the 8-bit games and the vampire-related stuff. – Ann leaned back on her chair, closing eyes for a second and waved with hand. But then it suddenly returned to her previous position, with even more sparkiness in her eyes: – JUST SHOW ME SOMETHING ALREADY!

    Sophie just sighed, knowing that there will be no point in resisting against and waved with hand. In the first moment nothing happened and Ann just opened her mouth, ready to express her discontent, when a sudden glassy breaking made her jump on her chair. Most of them turned towards the sound direction just to see how one of the plates were missing from the raft. Laying in pieces on the floor.

    -Damn it, Soph, did you have to break it? – grumbled Art.

    -Yes. Just to know not bother me with shit another time...

    -Pha! I’m ready to sacrifice the whole house, girl!...

    -Crazy bitch...

    -C’mon, break something else with just that hand waving!...

    -You are gonna pay for them after that, Ann... – said Mio strictly.

    Ann’s face frowned.

    -Can you at least show me how the rose crystal work? Call up your rifle.

    -Ha-ha-h... – began Art.

    -Sure.

    -WHAT?!

    Sophie just turned towards him and gazed him questioningly.

    -What „what”?

    -I though you don’t let anyone touch your precious weapons.

    -That only applies about the sabers, bro. But rifles are cool, man. They shoot. Everybody should have one.

    Art just looked her dumbly...

    -Well? – Ann looked her questioningly.

    -You know you can’t call it up here. – he said. – Unless you don’t wanna break all the other glasses and plates.

    -Of course, bro. I’m not dumb.

    -She can’t called it up here? Why? – asked Ann.

    -What happens when something suddenly expands in a closed space? – said Sophie.

    -I’m not that smart, just save me the physic lessons... – she frowned.

    -It’s called explosion, you dummy... – flicked her gently at the forehead Mel.

    Ann just looked her blazingly and snarled.

    -That explains the air blast in the courtyard earlier... – said Mio.

    -Yeah. Usually the direct teleportation spells are not a good idea in a closed space. – added Art. – In the body teleportation skills usually there is enough implosion force to rip off a person's limb if they are less than a half-meter from you in a tight space. The magic bound caller are not that dangerous, but they are powerful enough to dust off the shelves.

    -Lol, that sounds serious.

    -Soooo... – began Ann and just by her tone, everybody knew what was she gonna ask next. – Wanna go outside?

    -Sure. Wanna shoot it a little?

    Ann’s eyes shone like a shooting stars.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
    Ahmya likes this.
  13. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    The powerful thunder echoed all over the field and the nearby forest.

    In a mere second, hundreds of wings clapped simultaneously, muting remainder of the musket’s bang, which had so vilely interrupted their restful peace. As if the sky blackened by the startled birds, while the huge cloud of smoke was gently swept away by the light gust of wind.

    Ann staggered and screamed a tone when the powerful rifle kicked her back – so much, that if Sophie didn’t support her, she was gonna fall on the ground.

    Nym, Avys and Vick just giggled.

    -Damn, my ears are ringing. – complained Ren.

    -OH, BOY! This thing sure is kicking hard! – exclaimed Ann, looking at Sophie with satisfaction.

    His cousin just smiled at her.

    -Of course it is. – Sophie reached simultaneously for the musket and the paper ammo in her leather bag.

    -Wait. Can i be the one to reloaded it?

    -Sure. You know how?

    -I think so... – she replied and fully-cocked the hammer.

    -No, no, no, no. First you need to half-cock it. That way you engage the safety-mechanism while reloading, otherwise you can blow up your face.

    -Oh, i see! – Ann pulled the trigger, making the hammer clang and then carefully half-cocked it.

    Sophie handed to her the paper round.

    -Now you put it in the barrel. With the lead out.

    -Of course. I’m not that dumb. – she did it and pulled out the ramrod.

    Then rammed it hard, as if taking revenge on the rifle for the earlier kicking.

    -Enough. That’s enough, Ann. – stopped her Sophie. – Now put the percussion cap.

    Ann returned the ramrod in its socket, took the cap from Soph and put it on the musket nipple.

    -Now carefully fully-cock it.

    She did it.

    -Can you hit that tree over there?

    -Of course i can! – and she just pointed the musket in its general direction, pulling the trigger right away...

    Without even aiming, without even taking a proper stance.

    Good thing that it was Sophie again, to not let her fall.

    -Dammit, girl. – she supported her, holding her gently on the shoulders.

    -Damn you, warn us before you shot. – complained again Ren, rubbing her ears.

    -Pfff, damn, this thing can’t hit a barn... – said Ann.

    -Of course you won’t be able to hit something with that type of posture and handling.

    Ann just looked at her as if his cousin had revealed her an Universe truth.

    -Here, let me show you. – she took the musket from her and started to loading it. It took her just 10 seconds to finish it. – Now take it. And don’t dare to shot before i tell you, you understood?

    -Yes, chief.

    -First, your feet should be shoulder-width apart and the line that your toes make should be at approximately 30 degrees from your target. Like this... Watch me, girl, don’t slide your finger towards the trigger!

    Ann jumped startled, when Sophie smacked her at the nape. Not a very good thing to do to a inept person, holding a rifle, but who cared about such trivial thing at this point.

    The girl just snorted, turned and looked her blazing.

    -Don’t look at my face, Ann! Look at my feet and hips! – said Sophie.

    -Ooh, i see now! – she replied and tried to copy it. – Is like this?

    Sophie just got behind her, placing one hand on her hips and the other on her elbow.

    Art gulped.

    If Harm, Frou and Bosworth were here, Harm would have probably whistle enthusiastically, Frou would raise up inciting shouts and Bosworth was just gonna make the next compromising clip on his phone.

    The scene was so steamy, that even he felt a certain warmth inside him stirring up...

    The sudden hit get him back to his senses...

    -Whaaa... – he turned...

    ... only to meet Mel’s grim gaze.

    -Wha... – Art was about to repeat, but when something shone in his periphery, he sharply turned...

    ... only fall under Sophie’s blazing stare...

    He just turned his head aside, avoiding both’s eyes.

    -That’s what you get for always going after the girls, bro... – mumbled Krul.

    -Whaaa?! Don’t make it sound like i’m man-whore, you brat!

    Krul just hid behind Avys, making faces at him.

    And Sophie resumed her explanation to Ann.

    -Now, keep your knees flexed, but not bend... Bend your torso slightly forwards, from the hips... Nice, girl. Now raise up your rifle... Align the front post sight with the rear peep sight... And aim at that three, while keeping the front and rear aligned...

    Ren covered her ears.

    -Don’t put too much force into pulling the trigger. Just do it gently... With only your finger...

    BANG!

    All of them saw how the bullet made a huge dust cloud at the tree’s base.

    -Pha, you missed again! – exclaimed Nym.

    -Don’t give a fuck about that! – said Ann and turned towards Sophie. – Damn, shooting is soo cool!

    -Of course it is. You see? This time you didn’t even stagger or move from your place.

    -Yeah! It all thanks to you, Soph!

    His cousin just smiled with the end of her lip.

    -Damn it, sis, you are turning her into a monster...

    -What ya complaining about? C’mon, get up and shoot too. Your senses will become dull otherwise...

    -My shoulder and back are stiff...

    Sophie just threw at him the second activatоr, that hit in his chest and fall in his lap.

    Art just puffed, grabbed it and got up. Making several steps aside from Mel...

    -Matin-Аnry. – he whispered.

    After the slight gust of wind (for which everybody was prepared by now) and light flash, the rifle materialized in his hand, together with whole bag of ammo in his feet.

    -WOOOW, so cool! – exclaimed Ann.

    Ren was just energetically clapping with her palms, as if it was a little child, who had witnessed something incredible for a first tim... Oh, wait...

    -Damn girl, how many rifles do you have? – asked Nym.

    -7... No, 9 if you include that hand-cannons. Plus several revolvers from the Falklan Period.

    The vhynehaimese girls (again without Mel) looked her with goggled eyes.

    -Just another day in Falkland... – said somewhat bored Avys.

    Art just kneed, opened the bag and took a handful of ammo.

    -And what kind of rifle is this?! – asked Ann.

    -It’s a 1839-model Shansless 11 mm lever-action rifle. – he replied while loading it. – Damn, you are right, Soph. I’ve almost forgot the feeling of that thing.

    And in the next moment, he raised it so suddenly, that Ren didn’t have the time to gasp, let alone to cover her ears...

    BANG!!!

    Hundreds of pieces exploded from the tree’s stem.

    -Wha, wait...

    BANG!!!... BANG!!!... BANG!!!...

    And more and more saw dust and pieces violently abandoned the safety of their wooden home...

    BANG!!!... BANG!!!...

    The resounding echo and the ringing in their ears for a long time have reminded them why it would have been a better idea to pick up Avys offer and buy those damn earplugs. And only at a half-price at that...

    -Damn you and your rifles... – snorted Ren, still rubbing her ears.

    -Wooow, nice! – exclaimed Ann, looking at the tree in the distance. – You hit them all!

    -I had no idea that apart from being a good swordsman, you are also and a good shooter, Art. – said Mio.

    -Well, that’s a side effect from living with a Falklan Period maniac. – he smiled, scratching his nape.

    To innocent of a image for a man, holding a smoking rifle. The rest looked at Sophie, who just smiled smugly.

    -Yeah. There was that moment last year, when for a period of several months, we went to shoot every week-end. Both Saturday and Sunday, with no exception...

    Mio and Ren looked them amazed.

    -Yeah. We deforested a small wood.

    -Damn, you are such anti-naturalists... – said Mel.

    -Well, we aimed mostly at rotten trees... – replied Art.

    -You know, that are dangerous for people...

    -Because they can fall on them...

    -And we also planted four cherries last week...

    Mel looked them somewhat strange.

    -Well, i wanted elven apples, but...

    -Cherries are so much better, bro...

    -No.

    -I’ll see if you think so next year, when after shooting, we take a break and go eat right off the tree...

    -Cherries need 4-5 years before they start giving fruit, you dummie.

    -And the elven apples 11, so shut up. And they are not even half-delicious...

    -Ok, enough with the botanic bullshit... – moved between them Ann. Then she turned towards Art, looking him her tempting shining eyes. – So... Can i try this boom stick now?

    -Sure. Give me the Lanziherr. – he took the musket and gave her the Shansless. – Soph, the ammo bag?

    -You remember how to reload it? – she handed it to him.

    -You joking, right? – he took it and pulled one paper ammo, half-cocking the hammer.

    Sophie just raised her eyebrows in a quiet consent.

    This time Ren had enough time to cover her ears in advance. Although, after the fierce cannonry, she didn’t miss the opportunity to complain again how loud are these rifles.

    -Damn... Who invented these things... – she snorted, looking unwittingly at Avys.

    The girl just smiled broadly, removing her plugs from the ears.

    -Tss... – Ren snorted again and avoided her gaze.

    -Loool! You see that?! I hit 3 of 10! – Ann turned at Sophie, jumping on her toes enthusiastically.

    Meanwhile, Art managed to hit 4 of 4 with the slow barrel loading one-shot musket.

    -Wow, you are really good, Art! – turned towards him Ann.

    He just smiled.

    -Easy, easy now, girl. Careful at what you are waving that gun... – warned Sophie.

    -This musket is awesome! I like it much more, than the other! ...

    -Sure. But it’s not a musket. It’s a lever-action rifle. It uses a lever, locat...

    -Who gives a damn about that now! Just load me another clip!

    -Damn, Ann. You are gonna bankrupt her. – said Mio. – How much ammo did you fire by now?

    -Naaah, don’t worry. I’ll just ask grandpa Max to send me another ammo box from Oberland. – replied Sophie.

    The girls looked her amazed, while Sophie took the Shansless and started loading it’s 10-round tube magazine.

    -Reeen, your eaaars!!! – exclaimed Art.

    -Wha... Wait, WAIT!!!...

    Cling...

    And then BANG!

    -That’s 5 of 5.

    -Seriously, i hate you... Whaa, STO!...

    Now it was Ann’s turn to start shooting her second clip, making Ren agonize even more in pain. In the end, the girl just gave up, wrapped her knees with hands and stared her empty gaze at the ground...

    -Loool, Soph, i’m getting better and better! That’s 7 of 10!

    -Of course you will, Ann. Wanna third clip?

    -YES!

    -Pff, should have brought my bow with me. – complained Nym. – Such a huge and nice field. It’s a shame...

    -Wanna go back and take it? It’s just 2 kilometers i think. – proposed Mio.

    -Nah, they will probably gonna fire all the ammo by then.

    Art turned towards them, leaning on the musket.

    -Wanna shoot a little then?

    -Who, me?! – replied the girls one over another.

    Then they looked at one another and giggled.

    -Please, after you. – said Nym to Mio, making her hand gesture.

    -B-b-but i have never shoot such thing before!

    -Don’t worry, there is nothing scary about it. C’mon, i’ll teach you now.

    Mio reluctantly complied and got close to him. Art was very careful with her, explaining the basis much more elaborate than when Sophie did it to Ann. The posture, the aiming, the trigger pulling, everything to the smallest detail...

    Despite that, Mio still missed her first shot.

    Because just when her finger was sliding towards the trigger, Ann started her third cannonry. The sudden bang startled Mio, making jump on her toes, pulling it sharply.

    -Iyaa... – she raised a voice, when the recoil staggered her back.

    Art grabbed her before she fall on the ground.

    -Got you.

    -T-thank you. – she looked him graciously.

    Art gulped.

    W-what was this? Why was his heart suddenly beating so fast? Where was that warmth coming from? Was Mio’s touch always so gentle and pleasant?

    He wanted hug her. We wanted to touch her even more. We wanted to never let go of her...

    Ann’s second bang startled him and made him come back to his senses, hastily letting go off Mio’s gentle shoulders from his grip.

    -Khm... – he avoided her gaze, starting to delve in the leather bag again.

    Mio just turned to the other side, hiding her slight blushing...

    Only to fall straight at Nym’s gaze.

    -He-he-he... – she smugged.

    -Shut up or i’ll shoot you in the face. – her lips moved soundlessly.

    -You’ll miss anyway...

    -No, no more misses. – replied Art, totally unawared of the context of their hidden replies.

    He handed the paper ammo and the percussion cap, supervising and carefully guiding the reload.

    This time, undisturbed by anything, she hit.

    Ann, who just had finished her third clip whistled.

    -Nice one, girl!

    -Poor tree... – threw somewhat bitterly Mel.

    -I promise to plant 3 cherries in his stead. – replied Sophie right away.

    -Elven apples.

    -Fuck you and your apples, bro. My side made more holes in it, so i decide.

    -But mines are bigger and deeper. Just like your...

    -Wanna duel for it? – she raised her eyebrows.

    -Pha, sure! Just call up two revolvers and let’s decide it the manly way!

    -Right away. – Sophie reached for her backpack...

    -Waaa... NOOO, NO SHOOTING BETWEEN YOU, PLEASE!!! – Ren suddenly woke up from her stupor and lightingly fast jumped off her place and stopped Sophie...

    -Ts... You are such joybreaker... – his cousin snorted.

    -Whaat? How can this bring you joy at all? – she was utterly amazed.

    -C’mon. Just once. I wanna hit her between the eyes so badly. Then bury her at some of her favorites cherry tree roots...

    Ren looked him stupefied.

    -B-b-b...

    -Damn, you sound like the dueling with revolvers is regular practice for you... – interrupted her Nym.

    -Nah, we tried it just once. – replied Sophie.

    Now both Nym and Ren looked her stunned.

    -What? But how just once? – asked Mio and because of the construct of her sentence (and in addition her surprised tone) it also could also be understood that she was disappointed by the small count, instead of being concerned for them.

    -Do i look like a joking person to you?

    -Actually, yes... – added Ann.

    Sophie just puffed and rolled up her left sleeve.

    On the biceps, one very distinctive round scar took their attention. Or just she thought so...

    -Wooow, look at that biceps! – began Ann.

    -That’s one nicely shaped arm, girl. – Nym.

    -How big it is? – Mel.

    -THAT’S NOT THE POINT NOW! LOOK! – Sophie raised her voice a bit.

    -Ooo, the wound!

    -Aah, yes! There is a wound! Look at that perfect circle. And the nuance...

    Sophie just snorted and put back her sleeve...

    -Debils... – and she turned towards the pink-haired girl. – ANN! Wanna shoot one more?

    -Sure! – she jumped enthusiastically on her toes.

    -Kk. But this is the last one. I have only 60 bullets on this, wanna save up some. You never know what you’ll need them for...

    -Sure. Then we can jump back on the musket-thingy again.

    -If you can take it from Mio...

    The two girls looked her just in the moment when Art gave her the loaded musket and she raised it, aiming at the tree...

    -I’ll save the last bullet for her...

    BANG!!!

    Mio missed.

    -He-he-he-he... – started to giggling Nym.

    -Arkghkg, damn you, Ann!!! – snorted Mio.

    -WHAT?! At what fault i’m now?!

    -Ts, nothing. – she turned and took the ammo from Art.

    -I would have skewered that tree by now with my bow... – said Nym.

    -That’s probably true. But how much you had to train before you are able to do it? Just a hint: Mio was able to fire only after a several minute instruction and to score a 50 yard hit in her second try. – explained Art.

    -Quite fair point. – added Ren.

    -In case you are wondering why earlier firearms, despite being slower for reload and much more short-distanced, replaced the bow from the battlefield. That’s overly obvious. Seriously bro, i don’t even now why you turned the topic in this direction. Wanna show how smart you are?

    -Fokh you...

    -Well, we completely missed the earlier firearms. The affinity is somewhat understandable. – replied Mio, raising her firearm and aiming.

    She missed again.

    After her, Ann began her forth cannonry...

    -Pfff, damn, only 4 out of 10 this time! – she snorted and returned the Shansless to Sophie.

    -You’ll get better and better, Ann. I’ll ask grandpa Max to send a 1000 ammo box next time. – she winked.

    Ann just goggled her eyes in the first moment, and raised a joyful high-pitch, jumping on her toes.

    -Damn, such barbarity, such savagery... – snorted Mel. – Its 21st century, ffs...

    Sophie just looked her examining.

    -Wanna take several sho...

    -No. – interrupted her Mel immediately.

    -You’ll like it, i promi...

    -No.

    -C’mon girl, what you afraid...

    -Hey, Soph. – grabbed her hand Nym. – That’s enough. – and looked her with such stern gaze, that Art felt petrifying...

    His cousin met her gaze, looking her with neutral face for several seconds...

    „Wha... What’s going on here? How did things came down to this?” – started to wonder Art and just a moment later Sophie broke her eye contact.

    -‘kay. Won’t insist. – she turned towards the pink-haired girls and began: – Hey, Ann...

    When suddenly...

    -(HEY KIDS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!?!)

    All of them suddenly froze. And not even all of them managed to turn towards the voice direction, when Avys suddenly shouted:

    -SHIT, ITS DA COPS!!! RUUUUUUNNN, KRUUULLL!!! – she grabbed her for the hand and dragged her along...

    -Wha... – his little sister was completely taken by surprise...

    -DAMN, RUN BOOOY!!! – Ann also went after them.

    -(Hey, don’t run!) – shouted the cop.

    -(FUCK YOU, MAN! YOU’LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE!!!) – yelled Ann, already ten meter away from them.

    „SHIT SHIT SHIT!!!”

    -(HEY, STOP RIGHT THERE!!!) – shouted and the second police officer, rushing towards them.

    -SOPH?! – he tried to catch a glimpse of her...

    He did it. She all also already ten meters away from him, accelerating in her legendary sprint...

    -FUCK YOU BITCH, STUMBLE AND BREAK YOUR LEG!!! – Art shouted after her and ran...

    -JUST RUN, YOU MORON!!! – she shouted back at him.

    -(HOLD ON RIGHT NOW!!!)

    -(FUCK YOU, I’LL NEVER SUBMIT TO THE VHYNEHAIMESE!!!)

    The only thing he remembered was how in a mere seconds every one was running as fast as their legs were holding up...

    -DON’T FOLLOW US! SPLIT, SPLIT! – shouted somebody.

    Because of the wind in his ears, he wasn’t sure which voice it was. But blindly complied.

    Straight between the trees and deep into the forest...

    Couldn’t say how long he ran. But at one time as if only his fastened breathing and grass-rustling steps remained...

    Looked over his shoulder. Nobody was following him.

    Despite that, he still ran for a few hundreds of meters more.

    In the end, he stopped at one tree, puffing like a bellows, trying to catch his breath...

    -You think we lost them?

    -WHATDAMN IT!?!?

    Art jumped startled, turning sharply and instinctively reaching for his medallion...

    When he saw her familiar face, a deep sigh exited his lungs.

    He leaned on the tree, resting one arm on his knee.

    -Damn it, Mel. You took my angels...

    She looked him somewhat surprised.

    -What? You didn’t notice me?

    -Yeah. I thought i ran alone the whole time. You are such a ninja...

    She just giggled.

    „Art? ART!” – called him telepathically Sophie.

    He focused his mind:

    „I hear you. Did you lost them?!”

    „Yeah. Mio and Nym are with me. I have contacted Av. Vick, Krul, Ren and Ann are with her. You got Mel?”

    „Yes, she is with me.”

    „Nice. We’ll wait some time here to make sure they are gone and leave then. Got battery on your phone?”

    „93 %“

    „I’m sending you a location.”

    Art smartphone rang.

    Mel looked at him.

    -We need to find the others... – she began.

    -Don’t worry about that. I’ve just talked with Sophie. They are fine.

    -You talked with her?! – she looked him amazed.

    -Yeah. She called me... telephatically.

    -Telephatically? – she raised her eyebrows a bit.

    -Y-yeah... Do you... know what is thi...

    -Of course i know, Art. Every person at least once in their lives wished to have such ability.

    -Well, i just though...

    -Don’t worry. I was just... a tad surprised, i guess. Although i shouldn’t be. I guess.

    -Well, it’s normal. I think.

    -So... Can you do it with normal people? This telephatic thing?

    „I can. But you won’t be able to answer me, of course.”

    Mel staggered a bit, holding for her ear.

    -Phew. As if some tube boomed in my head.

    -Yeah, it’s something like that. You get used to it eventually. – he smiled.

    -I see. So, are the others alright?

    -Yeah. They’ve lost the cops too. Sophie told me they’ll wait a bit before go back. I suggest we do the same. She have send me the meeting location.

    -I see. – she moved and looked around. – It’s a shame. I’ve never been in this forest before. – Mel turned to him. – Hey, wanna go for a short stroll?

    He only needed that much.

    -Sure.

    Art was about to move, when Mel suddenly grabbed his forearm.

    -No, no. – she pointed the other direction. – Let’s go deeper in the forest.

    Art just took a glimpse at both her face and the wood, shrugged and replied:

    -Let’s go.

    Mel followed him.

    The two of them spent several minutes just strolling slowly and looking around, without saying a thing.

    -It’s so quiet. And peaceful. Donna wan’t to leave it ever... – mumbled Mel behind him, suddenly breaking the nature’s ambience.

    Art looked her over his shoulder for a moment.

    -Yeah, it’s nice. Somehow it reminds me of the long summer days with Soph. We loved to explore the forests around Leichté from dusk till dawn. Finding springs, misterious paths, or sometimes even ruins. Hope we can do it again soon.

    -You two are quite close, hm.

    -I suppose so. We were literally inseparable from babies. My earliest memories are mostly with her.

    -That’s nice. It’s nice to have such person in your life. You realy must have missed her.

    -Yeah. I truly realized it when i got separated from her. How everything suddenly became toneless.. How the walls and ceiling were pressing upon you even in the biggest room. How not even the brightest company couldn’t heal your loneless... How my thoughs were always lingering towards her...

    -Probably... No, i guarantee you she felt the same way. It just... consumes you from inside. Day by day, hour by hour. Prevents you to breathe. Suffocate you. And at times pain is so unbearable, you just wanna stop, fall on your knees and cry.

    Art looked her. As if she wasn’t representing his feelings... but hers. As if she was talking... from personal experience.

    He continued to look her for some more time, without saying a word.

    -You ok? – she asked.

    Art shook his head a bit and stared at the way again.

    -Yeah. I just... Got a lost in my thoughts for a moment.

    -Well, i suppose it’s normal. Considering the nature of our conversation.

    Art giggled.

    -Lucky you are, Art. I hope i can also meet a person one day, for which i would travel thousand of kilometers just because i miss him.

    -You aren’t ready to that for Nym?

    -Pha, of course not! She got on my nerves so much, i don’t wanna see her for several months at least! I would even happily take vacation away from her. – she laughed cheerfully.

    Art also laughed.

    -Well, Sophie sometimes too really got on my nerves that i want to kill her. – he replied.

    -So much, that you really took it to heart?

    Art looked her strangely in the first moment. Then it hit him:

    -Oh, you mean the duel? Well, that’s quite an awkward story. – he scratched his nape.

    -No need to tell me if you don’t...

    -Naaah, it’s just so awkward and embarising to not be shared with the others.

    -Was it disputed between cherries and elven apple trees again?

    -Haha, close enough, but not quite.

    -?

    -Well, you see, there was a period in our lives when we were just doing stuff. Not for some purpose, but only to say we tried that at least once. Bungee, making sword, driving car, maille, you name it. You can guess the rest...

    One day we decided to try duel one another with Sophie’s Falkland Period revolvers.

    In the beggining we were very brave and courageous, but with the every step taken that disappeared with the speed of light. At the end of the valley, we were so stupified and cold-sweating, that when we turned to shot, she and me were so shaking, that we both missed. Right after that we decided that’s a very stupid thing, closed the case and decided we got enough taste of that.

    -Lol, i expected somethin...

    -Next week decided to try make fruit Barbara cake and got into argument whether we should do it with cherries or evlen aples. – he giggled. – By some reason we both became extremely aggravated and when we dueled again there was no remorse in our shooting. I hit her in the biceps, but she missed me again.

    Mel’s eyes widened.

    -You are so rutheless.

    -Whyyy??? I’m sure she also wanted to hit me. It was in her eyes. But she just missed.

    She just sighed quietly.

    -What happened after that?

    -She smashed the Elven apple Barbara cake in my face and didn’t talk to me for a whole week. But not because i shot her, but because she didn’t use her products. – he laughed. – Then our parents learned for both our duels and put call blocking spells on all Sophie’s gun crystals. Of course, right after that we reunited again and for the matter of next month we cracked them all.

    She also laughed.

    -You are just crazy. But that’s good. I think.

    -Yeah. Otherwise you can’t go easy through life.

    -I guess so. – she mumbled and lowered her voice even more: – I wish i was that clos...

    -OH, LOOK! – he suddenly exclaimed, startling her a bit. Then turned towards her. – THAT’S A MONTGISARDEAN YEW, MEL!!! – and rushed towards one tree.

    Mel just sighed and followed him.

    -Damn, Harm will orgasm just by seeing this...

    -Harm? Who is that?

    -My friend that abd... took Iki for a walk yesterday.

    -Oh, i remember. You never told us what exactly happened then.

    -Well, you see...

    The next five minutes he spent recounting everything from yesterday, finishing with him showing her his wound (by her insistence) on the left hip.

    -Damn, this is crazy... – she touched it extremely carefully with the tips of her fingers.

    His body twitched reflexively...

    -I... i’m sorry... – she put her hand back.

    -No, don’t worry. It didn’t hurt at all or anything... Just... your fingers are a little bit on the cold side.

    Mel looked them, as if instead they were dirty or something, and hid them behind her, blushing slightly...

    -I’m sorry...

    -No, really, it’s noth...

    -I’m sorry... – she repeated, avoiding his gaze. – This all happened because of me.

    -Mel...

    -If i hadn’t sent that photo none of this would have happened.... All i’m good for is stiring up troubles...

    -You couldn’t have known that Harm is such a blockhead and he’ll fly here the very next day. But look at the positive side now – they really liked each other and are dating now.

    -But...

    -C’mon, come here... – he made a step to her, getting her hands in his palms. – Let me warm up your hands.

    He felt how her body momentarily relaxed and Mel just closed her eyes.

    -Are you gonna use... one of your magics to accelerate it?

    -I can, but...

    „I just wanna hold you a little longer in my hands...”

    -... i’m not that good at the precision-type magic. Don’t wanna burn you accidently.

    -I see. – she mumbled and her body relaxed even more. He felt if there was a bed right now, she was just gonna lay down and not wake up the next ten hours...

    Instead, she just leaned her head on his shoulder.

    -And at what kind of magic is your best?

    -Hmm... The offensive fire magic, i think.

    -So you are something like a... fire mage then?

    -Well, i know and other types of magic, but yeah. You can say so.

    -Is there a magic you wield that is, you know... capable of killing someone?

    -Pha, probably even more than i can count on my fingers. There are many simple and yet dangerous spells, Mel. Even the basic magical sphere is capable of shredding a person to pieces.

    -What’s that?

    -It’s most basic and the least energy-consuming offensive spell. Most often in a combat you wouldn’t need more and you’ll try to preserve as much of your energy as possible, so it’s the prefered type for attacking someone. It’s usually a vacuumed space or compressed air that you put in a magical barrier sphere of air and accelerated towards your opponent. Well, you are familiar with this stuff, you can guess the result if you manage to crash it into or detonate it close to someone.

    -Yeah. How did you say it? „A person will fly in all directions.”

    -Something like that. – he giggled quietly.

    -I can’t believe something that you called an elementary magic can do that to a person. I can image what the other spells can do.

    -Yeah. There are some very nasty things that a person can do to a person...

    -And what’s the most scary spell you know?

    -I know? I think that must be Flamlir.

    -Flamlir?

    -Yeah. In its core is an offensive anti-vampiric spell. It’s thought to have been developed by the human mages during the Vampire World war.

    -I see... I know i’m probably asking for too much, but... can you show it to me?

    -Sure, why not. – she let go of her hands and turned to the side, searching for a nice empty space. – There! Look over there... FLAMLIR!

    Ten meters in front of them, the haze formed in midair, bursting in terrifying flames the next moment...

    -Lol, damn! – exclaimed Mel. – This looks really terrirying.

    -Yeah, it is. You’ll not want to be caught in that.

    -Is there a way to block it?

    -If you are non-magic person, you can only run and hope the spellcaster to suck at aiming. But if you are magic capable, they are specific series of enchantments, desined to interrupt or block spells. The Pova series.

    -Pova?

    -Yeah. It’s a series of 7 defensive spells. Pova is a thick temporary force field, usually used against heavy offensive casts, where the regural non-chanting barrier will not be able to absord the spell. Nova is even the heavier version of Pova and is generally used as an anti-demon spells shield. Yova is a curse barrier. Dova and Ova are interruption spells, the first being used during the enemy enchantment and the second after it. That’s what you’ll use to block Flamlir for example. Unfortunately, the book from which i studied had the descriptions and the formulas of only these 5, despite mentioning all 7. The other two’s are Sora and Nyon but i have no idea yet what are they doing.

    -I see. Damn, this is so cool. – then she suddenly raised her hand, pointing it at the empty space: – FLAMLIR!

    Nothing happened.

    -Damn...

    Art just giggled.

    -It’s not working like that, Mel.

    She turned towards him.

    -Tell me more!

    -Well, i don’t even know where to begin with...

    -How’s magic working?

    -Pfff... You know that our nervous system works with electric impulses, right?

    -Yes.

    -So, if you have a potential difference between two points, a voltage – an electric current passes between them?

    -And where you have a current flowing, a small magnetic field is created according to Ampere’s law and more specifically Ampere’s right-hand grip rule. I think i’m starting to get it.

    -Damn, you are so smart...

    -Don’t get out of topic, please. Focus and continue.

    -Aye aye. I guess then you also know how you can use smaller magnetic fields to control larger ones?

    -Yes.

    -Well, that’s basically the essence. We learn how to use our body electricity and electromagnetic field to control the surrounding energy or trigger cascadic events. You know, like an electric switch – with a very small current, you can control a huge currents passing through it...

    -Just name it. I know what a transistor is...

    -Ok, ok. Yeah, just like transistor then. Then we can use that energy and amplify it even more, using the various amulets, amplifying crystals or modern transformer cores.

    -Just like Sophie’s transformer rose crystal?

    -Basically yes, but its function is not only to amplify energy. It’s a complex programmer. It creates a quantum entanglement bond between her and the object and serve as something like a basic non-volatile memory, that stores the spell execution algorithm and formula. So you don’t need to repeat the whole enchanting and programing process everytime you call something.

    -Damn, that sounds something incredible hard to do.

    -Yeah, it is. It basically took us around 4 years of hard studying and work from the get go. And that is with bought from the magic shop caller transformer, that comes with its already writen specific formulas, execution algorithms and libraries. All we had to do was just read and read and read, program, compile and rearange all the blocks until they work.

    -Pff, i can imagine it. It sounds so much like programing.

    -Yeah, it something like this really. On the market already there are so much available hardware products, that you only need to shove your head in their documentation and program them to your specific needs. There is also stuff on the market that is completely magic independent – even if you are not a magic person, you can make it work – the hardware have all the elements for it – the amplifier, the encoder, the emitter, the program libraries, memory and the execution algorithms. You just need to now how to program it.

    -Damn, i had no idea that the magic is so advanced now...

    -Well, it’s just like any other branch. Electronics, industry, medicine...

    -Yeah. I guess... So, is there any hardware equipment that is capable of casting Flamlir without the user beging a magic capable person?

    -Yes, there is. But is exclusively restricted to army and police only. All of these offensive spell hardware items are banned for civilian use.

    -Oh, i see. Well, that a smart thing to do. I guess.

    -Yeah. I agree with you completely.

    -So basically, you need to became a magic person to be able to use offensive spells?

    -Basically yes. After you learn how to control your body electricity and fields, and transform it into the basic magic energy, you can start learning the different spells, that are consisted of different formulas, encodings and chants. Flamlir for example is typically comprised of two different components – The Air Compression spell and the Ether essence formula. First you compress the air around your target, to concentrate more oxidizer around it, then using the second formula, you fill it with set quantity of flammable material. This typically uses ethylene oxide or propylene oxide, since both are extremely flammable, yet very simple organic compounds that can very easily be synthesized up from the atmospheric gases using the Ether essence formula. Then all you need is a spark...

    -And the target is burning in agony. Damn, this just became even more and more scarier.

    -Yeah. I guess it wouldn’t be very nice to be on the receiving end.

    -So, theoretically, you can even make explosions like that?

    -Yes, you can, by increasing the ratio of the fuel involved. You basically use higher Ether essence formula to Air Compression spell ratio. But this is no longer Flamlir, since it’s coded in another spell chanting, called Basara.

    -I see. Can you cast it?

    -Yeah. Once you learn the basic Flamlir, you can very quickly learn all of its variants. There is also the improved Flamlir, where, in addition to the Air Compression spell and the Ether essence formula, you add the Pressurizor Separator spell, that separates and concentrates only the oxygen, making the cast even more flammable and capable of reaching higher temperatures. It’s basically for melting metal stuff and against objects, because the basic Flamlir work perfectly against flesh and its not worth to put the extra effort for the improved version in this case. Additionally, you can choose to not use the Ether essence, but some of the other Fuel Synthesizer essence spells.

    -I see. So it’s basically like a constructor blocks.

    -You can say so. Basically every chanthing have something encoded in it. Flamlir is for Air Compression spell and Ether essence formula, Pova is Air Compression spell and Particle Cementation formula, etc. Although if you are good enough, you can call the formulas just in your mind, without chanthing them, but usually the complex spells are easier to be cast out loud.

    -Damn, i almost want to became magician myself now...

    Art giggled.

    -Well, first you need to start doing some strength exercises to make your nervous system adapt to the increased load it will take. I can also give you the Roshtock’s volume. I have it here, it’s the best book for starters. Then i can also start showing you some stuff and give you some tips and tricks i have learned.

    -Wouldn’t you be overstreched a bit? I mean with all Ren’s training and your stuff...

    -Nah, i’ll manage it.

    -Damn, you are such an easy guy.

    -That didn’t sound right at all.

    -He-he-he. Don’t worry. That was just on impulse. Who didn’t want to be magician...

    -Yeah, it’s true. But i really mean it.

    -Well, i’ll consider your offer then. – she smiled slightly.

    Art responded the same way.

    -Soo, what so special about that tree? – she turned towards it.

    -Hm?

    -The Montgisardean yew?

    -Oooh, the tree, yes! It’s a tree that’s very good for making bows. And since Harm is always complaining how little yew there is left in Montgisard, somehow i’m always happening to notice it.

    -I see. Why’s that?

    -You see, the montgisardean longbows usually reach up to 180lbf and some orc long bows go even up to 400. There are no other folks that have ever made bows so powerful. To achieve such high draw weights, in the past, when these traditional bows were created and used, there was usually just one approach – just to tweak the diameter of the bow stave, since the modern composite materials and glues were no available then. But there is one problem. You see, when you draw the bow, the inner side of the bowstave is being compressed and the outer side is under tension. But the most woods are good at only one thing – tension or compression, so the more you are increasing the diameter of the bowstave, more chance to snap in half. From which follow that you can’t achieve very high draw weights.

    But the mongtisardean yew is a natural laminated tree. That means the inner side of the wood is consisted of heartwood, that is very resistent to compression and the outer sapwood is much better at tension. So with a single piece of wood, you can go much larger in diameter and therefore achieve very high draw weights.

    -I see. That’s incredible. Why don’t you cut him one branch then?

    -What? Isn’t it forbidden to do so?

    -No. At least i’m not aware of such laws.

    -Well, i guess he’ll be very happy if i took one, dry it out and send it to him... – he got close to the tree, starting to look for something suitable.

    -Look at this one!

    -No, it’s no good. There is notch in it, why means there is a high probability it will crack, when you draw it.

    -Oooh, i see.

    -Look this one. It’s much better.

    -Isn’t it a little bit too wry?

    -We can always moisture it up, then straighten it and dry it again.

    -Oooh, i see, i see. Damn, i don’t know nothing about bows... – she pouted a bit, but this just make her look even more charming.

    -Haha, don’t worry. I didn’t know anything either before meeting Harm.

    She smiled. And Art got lost in thought.

    -What it is?

    -I’m just wondering how we are gonna cut it...

    Mel aslo wondered, but only about for a second and then grabbed the branch with bare hands with the obvious attempt to break it.

    Even when she put her back and legs into the pulling, the branch barely moved.

    After ten seconds, she gave up, puffing soundlessly...

    -Pha, damn, how though is that thing?! – she looked him bewildered.

    -Ha-ha, very...

    -And how tough is your friend to be able to draw such things?

    -Well, his current longbow’s draw weight is at 200lbf. But he is training really hard to get it even up.

    -Wow... I can imagine if he hugs someone. With all of his strength.

    -Yeah. It feels like you are in a car accident. With 4 trucks smashing you from all directions.

    -He-he. I liked that. Also remind me to stay away from him next time he’s here.

    -Hah, sure.

    -Soo, any ideas how to cut it?

    -Well, i can call up my sharp type XVIIIb Bossouliè, but my heart is breaking just by the thought of it. This wood is tough and if i only slightly misalign the blade, i can damage it or even chip it.

    -Yeah, it’s a stupid idea to chop wood with sword. I agree.

    -Damn, too bad the rifle remained in Mio. Otherwise i was gonna shot it to death.

    -Don’t you have some spell that can cut it for example?

    -Damn, no. Аvys is the specialist at the air spells in our group. I just asked her to teach me a spell like that right before i left... – he snorted.

    -Then...

    -In theory i can try to construct one, but it may take some time...

    -Well, i don’t see a problem. We are not in hurry and it will be interesting for me to see the whole process, so...

    -All right. So, in theory... – he reached for his smartphone in his pocked. - ... i need two things. Do you know how the water cutting is implemented?

    -Yeah. Water jet at very high pressure, mixed with abrasive material like aluminium oxide or garnet.

    -Yeah. Which means i need, again, lol, the Air Compression spell, Water condensation essense and some Particle essence formula. Or it will be much easier just to find some sand, or something harder than wood.

    -Ooo, i got it! Why don’t you check your boots?

    -My boots? – he looked her sincerily amazed.

    -You were on the beach yesterday, right?

    -Yes? – his face frowned even more.

    -Damn you, you are such a block-head...

    -Whaaat?

    -Shh, shut up. – she squated and grabbed his feet. – Lift up your leg.

    -B-bu...

    -DO IT.

    Art momentarily complied.

    Mel untied his boot and took it off.

    -B-bu...

    -Don’t worry, i’ll hold you. – she wrapped his arm across her shoulders and turned the sole towards them. – Look!

    There was some sand from yesterday, caught in the grapples.

    He just felt plainly dumb, so much that his face turned the same way.

    -Damn. You are so quick witted and smart.

    -Pha, bullshit. It’s just common sense... – she returned his shoe to him.

    -Yeah, sure... – Art took it and put it back.

    Then he found one slim stick and began carefully removing the sand from the grappels, accumulating it on a pile over one leaf.

    -Will this be enough? – asked Mel.

    -I wish to think so. – he put the leaf to the side, cleared some space on the ground until the soil was visible and started drawing.

    First he made three concentric circles in another.

    -Do you know why it uses circles and not squares or rectangles for example? – he asked.

    -Because angles emit energy i guess? And in that case you want the circle to concentrate it?

    -Damn, you are really so smart...

    -No, these are just universal laws. Like how in the electronic’s printed circuit boards the right angles are not recommended, because they emit energy like antennas and how the stress is accumulated at the right angles of some mechanical details...

    -Seriously, how much stuff do you know??

    -Well, i just like to read a lot. – she smiled broadly.

    -That’s good i guess. – he replied and started writting something between the circles.

    -Is this arnymian?

    -Yeah. Most of the spell formulas are coded in it.

    -What did you wrote now?

    -The inner one is „Engesta Mahou Terresta”. The basic formula for energy amplifying. The outer ones are „Vacuma essenta” – the Air Compression spell and „Wasser Projecta” – Water condensation formula.

    -Oh, i see. Very interesting.

    He put the sand leaf right in the center.

    -What will you chant now?

    -Nothing. The circle formulas will replace the chanting. Usually, if you have the time to draw such, it’s a much better option, because you can go for more power and precission with your spell.

    -Oooh, i see, i see. Nice.

    -So... – he stood up and put his hand above the circle. – Now if i manage to control everything correctly, the spell should do just what i want... C’mon, get a step back.

    Mel complied and Art closed his eyes, focusing his mind and power into it.

    Just after a second, he removed his hand.

    Momentarily the circle’s outlines and scribings shone in bright red-whitish and the sand on the leaf started to dance under the sudden mild vibration that filled the surrounding space and air.

    Mel felt as if even her teeth started to chatter...

    Then a sudden WHIZ!

    And the yew’s branch fell on the ground in their feet.

    -Whaaa... – Mel exclaimed.

    -I made it somehow. – he turned towards her, smiling slightly.

    -Damn, i didn’t see a thing. This’ so much scary now...

    His smile widened a bit. Then he kneed over the branch and started to clear it up from all the small twigs and rods.

    While doing it, Mel experienced a sudden shiver, that went down through all her back. No, it wasn’t from the effects of the spell...

    -Hey, Art... – she turned to him.

    And froze. Just by seeing him she realized that she wasn’t the only one to experience this. He was just staying there, doing nothing, with his gaze engulf straight at her face.

    As... as if the white of his eyes were shinning...

    That was the moment when they both noticed that something clearly was not right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  14. patpay

    patpay Active Member

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    I will come back after v.3 finished. BTW, Raon picture was good.
     
  15. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    My favorite Sophies
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    Well, sorry for the long delay, but a lot of stuff happened lately. I hope the waiting was worth it. Enjoy!

    The sudden thrill made her stop and look over her shoulder...

    No, it was not only THAT...

    -Oi. When did it became so dark? – asked Nym.

    Sophie and Mio, still processing the essence of her question, stared at her.

    Then the sudden grasp of the realization hit them like a truck, making them start turning and looking around...

    „WHAT?!”

    -W-w-wha... what i-i-s t-this... – said Mio with a tremble in her voice.

    -Hey, hey, don’t panic! – grabbed her hand Nym, pulling her in her hug.

    Sophie just started to load her lever-action...

    -What are you doing?! – yelled at her Nym.

    -Shhh! – shuted her Sophie, looking cautiously around.

    „Art! AARRT!” – she called him telepathically.

    No response.

    „AAAAARRRRTTT!”

    -Shit! – when the last bullet entered the rifle’s tube, she took out her phone.

    No connection. No internet.

    -Damn... Oi! – she turned at Mio and Nym. – Y’a heff net or connection?

    -What? – was bewildered Nym in the first moment. Then she also pulled out her phone. – No, there’s not!

    -Shit... – she snorted quietly and got as tightly as possible next to them. Still looking cautiously in all directions.

    -Hey, why are you making such a big deal out of this? Maybe we just got carried away and didn’t notice it... – suggested Nym.

    Sophie just looked her. And the glitter with which her eyes were gleaming in the dusk made Nym forget all such thoughts...

    And the Mio’s shaking and panicking was becoming even worse...

    -Oi! Mio, get a hold of yourself! – tried to shake her for the shoulders Nym, but Sophie momentarily stopped her...

    -Don’t! Leave it!

    -But!...

    -Here, hold it for a second. – she handed the Shansless to Nym and crouched to Mio. – Oi, Mio. Mio!

    The girl just turned her face timidly until meeting Sophie’s eyes.

    -W-w-what’s g-going o-on... – she began with shaky voice. – What’s happening?!

    -Just look at my eyes and calm down, girl...

    -I CAN’T! I CAN’T CONTROL IT! I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON!

    The sudden slap made Nym jump on her toes.

    No, it wasn’t the slap...

    Sophie just gently put her palms on Mio’s cheeks, closing her face at an intimately distance...

    -Mio! Mio. – she calmly said. – Look at my eyes, Mio. Look. Follow my voice, girl... Listen... Listen. Inhale... Exhale... Inhale... Exhale... Just like that... Blank you mind and just follow my voice...

    Consequently, Mio’s trembling pared down with her breathing normalizing, leaning her head on Sophie’s shoulder.

    She looked at Nym.

    -Can you handle shooting it?

    -I’ve never shoot something before. – she replied.

    And just by the tremble on her face, Sophie realized she wanted to ask her and something else. Something that she wasn’t going to able to answer her anyway, but still gnawed her internally.

    The same thing that Sophie also began to ask herself in her mind. But right now there was no one to tell her the right answer.

    -Come here. – still holding Mio in her hug, Sophie reached for Shansless rifle and clicked one lever. – This is the safety. The white dot is safe, red dot – ready to fire. To aim, align the front post sight with the rear peep sight and just pull the trigger.

    -But...

    Nym suddenly paused and didn’t finish.

    But Sophie very well knew what she wanted to ask...

    Something like:

    „What i‘m supposed to shoot at in the first place?!”

    It was too obvious...

    And still the unknown answer to this question was what was scarring Sophie the most.

    -I don’t know. – she quietly replied. – Are you sure you can handle it, Nym?

    -Yes... – she mumbled, but suddenly straightened her back, clenching the rifle firmly in her palms. – YES!

    Sophie smirked slightly. Then she put her right hand away from Mio:

    -Eight-Eight-Eight!

    Nothing happened. And there was not even a sign that anything was supposed to happen...

    Sophie just snorted bitterly.

    -C’mon Mio. – she stood up, lifing the girl with her. – We are going back to the others.

    Nym was just staring continuously at Soph’s eyes – a gaze, that could meant only one thing.

    Then she tried to replied directly in her mind by telepathy.

    But it didn’t work. And as if something send electric impulses chaotically through her body, making her twitch and stagger...

    -Oi! Are you ok? – supported her momentarily Nym.

    -Yeah. – Sophie restored her balance and grabbed Mio’s hand. – Just open your eyes. And be careful... with that thing.

    While starting to move, Nym just took a glimpse at Mio’s face. And the view made an invisible hand clench her heart.

    Mio’s face was just... so pale. And her eyes... Her eyes have lost all their shine in them, staring blindly in some random point at the ground. They were so senseless and toneless, as if they... they belonged on a dead person.

    Nym gulped soundly and followed them hastily.

    -Aren’t we making... too much of a deal out of this? – she asked after a minute.

    Sophie just glimpsed at her over her shoulder.

    -The problem with these kind of situations is that we don’t know what to expect.

    -So, we are assuming automatically the worst-case scenario? Considering the nature of our world, i don’t think some shooty-thing will safe us.

    She just felt how Mio trembled and clenched her hand even harder.

    -Hey, that’s enough! – snorted Sophie at Nym. – I’m aware that this is extremely bizarre situation we know nothing of, but please, Nym, try to keep your head cool.

    -Alright, alright... – she sighed. – If we don’t know nothing, what are our options then?

    -I don’t know... Really, i don’t know... – she said quietly.

    Nym just looked her somewhat reprimanding.

    -During our magic studies with Art and big sis Kae, we’ve read about some similar events in forums and even old books, but... the info was always so ambiguous and unclear... As if it was almost written on a purpose not to be taken seriously. But there is one thing for sure. Something MUST HAVE HAPPENED. Something have triggered this event.

    -Something? Do you have enough info to be more specific?

    -No. Just something that have happened very recently. In the vicinity. Also, i’m ready to bet that the trigger was a magic event.

    -But we don’t know how to... escape?

    Mio squeezed her hand even more.

    Sophie just looked her unambiguously and said:

    -That’s too extreme of a opinion, don’t you think? Who said that we are trapped in the first place?

    Nym just stared at her for several seconds.

    -Fair enough.

    And continued to follow her silently.

    -Was this... our fault? – asked after a minute Nym.

    -Hardly to say. I did used magic to call up my rifle, but... There must have been and something else.

    -I see.

    And they continued to walk. And walked for long minutes in silence, scanning watchfully their vicinity. But there was nothing. Neither some mysterious danger, nor the so dreamt end of the forest.

    -Oi, shouldn’t we have left the forest already? We didn’t run that much...

    -That’s true, but...

    -Are you sure you didn’t mistake the direction?

    -Look, girl... – she shove her phone up to her face. – This whole time we have been moving south. Just toward the city direction.

    Sophie felt how Mio shivered...

    -Girl, are you okay?

    -Ye-yeah. – she replied timidly.

    But her eyes were still blank and dead...

    -Let’s walk a minute or a two more and see what will happen. – suggested Sophie.

    The two girls agreed silently.

    Twenty minutes later and kilometer and four hundred meters walked straightly south, according to Sophie’s phone, they were still in the thick of the forest.

    -Damn it, what’s going on, we should have got out already! – lost her nerves Nym, suddenly yelling. – Fuck this fucking forest!

    Mio clenched her hand even more...

    -Hey, stop it. You are scarring her...

    -And you, Mio! Stop being a lil’ pussy and get a hold of yourself! – she grabbed the girl’s other hand and shoulder and started pulling and shaking her...

    -Yaaa, noo! I don’t wanna, i don’t wanna! – Mio began to resist, searching once again Sophie chest and shoulders...

    -Oi, Nym, stop it! STOP! – raised her voice Art’s cousin.

    -You little bitch!... – her words passed through Nym’s ears...

    Sophie’s punch threw her a meter away from them, knocking her down on her butt on the ground.

    Mio hugged her tightly and softly, as if she was a scared little children.

    And Nym...

    -Whaa... What’s that? – as if she suddenly startled, beginning to look panicly at her surroundings.

    -Got a hold of yourself, girl? – asked Sophie.

    Nym looked her surprised.

    -Wha... what was that...

    -Probably the same that’s affecting Mio.

    -I... I’m sorry. As if my mind went blank the last minute.

    -I see. You ok now? – she gave her a hand.

    Nym took it and got up, but suddenly snorted from a pain.

    -Sorry. I messed up that pretty face.

    -Don’t worry, i won’t bitch over it. I guess i deserved it.

    -I’ll take care of your lip once we got out. Or if we find a way to get down the magic-blocking barrier.

    -I see. Thanks. – she picked up the Shansless from the ground. – Damn girl, you sure are punching hard. Oi, why don’t you punch and Mio? She may also get back to her senses...

    -Wha?! No, no! – she hugged Sophie even tightly.

    -Stop joking around or i’ll punch you again.

    -Alright, alright. – replied Nym somewhat aggravated. – So, the walking out didn’t help. Any other ideas?

    -Yeah. Remove the anomaly source and then walk out...

    Nym looked her bluntly.

    -You see, i have the feeling that you are as useful as that rock over there...

    -At least that rock is enough to split open your vhynehaimese skull...

    -Hey, don’t argue with each other now! We are in a quite difficult situation. – Mio suddenly got between the two.

    -Oi, Mio?! You okay now?! – Nym made a step toward her.

    -Ye... yeah. I think so... – the girl somewhat anxiously avoided her gaze.

    But now... there was so much shine and flames in it...

    With the same gaze she looked at Sophie.

    -Don’t you know some spell, that, you know, can bypass the anomaly magic-blocking barrier?

    -Pfff, it’s a difficult topic, girl. In theory i can try to decompose the blocking electro-magic waves with the magic Fourier transform and see the different frequencies that is made of, but for that i need to use my magic! And i can’t. The non-magic way is to have specialized magic-tech equipment to pick up the signal, then do the Fourier analysis and prepare a counter-blocking spell, but as you can guess we don’t have that too... Aaaaaghr, why i can’t contact auntie Sophie, she’ll know what i can do in this situation... – she howled half-desperate, half-angrily.

    -What? Auntie Sophie?! – looked her Nym amazed.

    -Yeah. Auntie Sophie is also a cousin of grandpa Max. Obviously, i’m named after her...

    -Damn. Just what we needed. Two of you...

    -Oi! Don’t dare to talk ill of auntie Sophie, or i’ll break your teeth!

    -Right right, i didn’t say anything ‘bout her...

    Sophie just snarled under her nose.

    -How’s that Fourier analysis done? – asked Mio.

    -Imagine that you have a function of a time, a signal, that is unknown and you don’t know what frequencies it is made from. According to the Fourier analysis, every periodic signal can be represented or approximated by the sums of simpler trigonometric functions – mostly sines and cosines. It’s basically a Riemann integral, which input is time and output frequency – a nasty bunch for every normal processor to calculate, that’s why it is most effective to have a DSP – a specialized digital signal processor, which architecture is specialized for doing tasks like Fourier, Bilinear, Z-transforms, filter design, etc... Basically we need something to pick up the surrounding signals, a special DSP to make all the calculations and then using the output, generate a counter-spell. This can be done the tech way – with the specialized equipment, or the magic way, with all its formulas, circles and algorithms. They can also be combined, but in our current situation both the variants are off.

    -Damn.

    -Shit... So you are saying that we may never exit this forest? – asked Nym.

    -C’mon, don’t be so fatalist... – replied Sophie.

    -Why don’t we try walking some other direction. We may be... – suggested Mio.

    -No point. I’m overly sure that we should have exited the forest already. – interrupted her Soph. – We didn’t run that much in.

    -May be there is some problem with your compass? Like the comms and net are blocked too?

    -No, look at the moss. You know the saying that it grows mostly on the north side of the trees. I also used that as additional navigation mean.

    -Yes, you are right. So, what are we do now?

    In response, Sophie looked her firmly.

    -If we have no other options, then i’ll just break the spell with sheer force...

    Then she took one branch from the ground and started drawing a series of complex circles with strange inscriptions in between.

    With her in the epicenter.

    She also got out her smartphone, putting it in one of the small circles inside the bigger ones, next no her.

    The other girls were just looking her with visible admiration and awe, as if momentarily forgot the unidentified situation there were in.

    -Oi, give me your smartphones also.

    Mio and Nym didn’t hesitate at all and handed them to her.

    Sophie put them in two other separate circles.

    Then went on her knees, placing her palm randomly over two of the phones. Although, she probably did it because of the circles, not the devices...

    -I’m ready to begin. No matter what, don’t dare to cross into the circle.

    -Understood.

    They saw how Sophie closed her eyes and her back and legs took so provocative pose, as if was trying to seduce them. They swear, if their situation wasn’t so dark and grim, she was probably going to succeed...

    Sophie’s body twitched... as if sudden and very powerful shiver went through it...

    The circles shone momentarily in bright whitish-red...

    Only to extinguish a second later.

    Completely...

    -NO, NO, NO, PLEASE NO!... – Sophie hands clenched the ground, plowing some soil and leaves between her fingers...

    -Soph! – Nym was about to rush towards it.

    -No, she said, no! – momentarily stopped her Mio.

    -But!...

    -Have faith!...

    -C’MON, DAMMIT, GET BACK YOU THOT! MORE! NEED MORE MAGIC ENERGY! MAHOU TERRESTA, MAHOU TERRESTA! (ENERGY AMPLIFYING)! ENGESTA, ENGESTA!!! SHIT!... – she started to chant.

    -Soph...

    Her body started to tremble... The arms, that were supporting her torso not to hit the ground, her hands, clenching the soil and leaves, her powerful thighs...

    -I’m losing it all... Vertex mahou terresta... (energy amplifying improved)... Vertex mahou... terresta... Vertex... mahou... terresta...

    Her words were becoming more and more sporadic, because of her increasingly heavy breathing... Big drops of sweat appeared on her face and arms...

    -Shit... It’s not... working... Mahou... Terr...

    And she felt on the ground, losing all balance on her fours...

    -SOOOPH! – rushed right away towards her Nym and Mio, supporting her in their arms.

    -I... i’m fine... – she grabbed Mio’s shoulder and rose up a bit.

    Her face was pale as ghost...

    -You... you o...

    -I said i’m fine. – she replied tiredly. – Shit, this is useless! Even with the circles can’t concentrate energy at all, the moment i try it, it’s dissipating right away. As if i’m trying to fill up a huge pipe... Just wasted my energy. Oi. Do you happen to have something sweet? But with sugar, not stevia! I need calories and glucose...

    -I think i have some orange candy... – Mio reached for her pockets and got out a yellow branded box.

    -Shit, i hate oranges... – Sophie took it and poured a solid amount directly in her mouth. – Thanks, Mio. – she mumbled and returned it to her.

    -Y-you are welcomed.

    Sophie got up, returned the cellphones to Mio and Nym, put back hers, kicked several times the outlines of the circles angrily and slowly headed in some random direction.

    -Let’s just walk for a bit... – she said subdued.

    Nym and Mio followed her silently.

    In the next minutes, Sophie was just walking ahead moody, kicking from time to time the leaves or the soil and mumbling something under her nose periodically, and her obvious internal burning feelings were directly transferred over the poor innocent candy...

    Clop. Clop. Clop. Clop.

    As if with the time she was just trying to break it harder and harder, making it disappear from the face of the earth.

    Cloping cloping cloping cloping....

    Then, it started tingling Nym’s nerves...

    ClopClopClopClop...

    -Oi, Soph, stop trying to crush the damn candy! You gonna break your teeth!

    The girl just turned and gazed her sincerely bewildered. In the surrounding darkness, her face was looking phantasmal pale and whitish.

    -Dafaq are you talking about? I swallowed them a few minutes ago.

    Clop. Clop. Clop. Clop.

    -I told you to... What?! – Nym suddenly stopped.

    While the three girls didn’t look away from one another’s unmoving faces, the clopping sound continued somewhere behind them.

    Clop clop clop clop...

    -Oi. – began first Sophie, very quietly, still not moving an inch. – What’s that?

    -No fucking idea. No fucking idea, man! You sure you not doing it? – replied in the same manner Nym.

    -Just look at my face! Did it look that’s coming from me?! – she angrily pointed herself.

    -Oi, Soph! – interrupted them Mio.

    But she didn’t mind the at all. Instead turned her head back, presumably towards the sound direction and focused her eyes.

    In the beginning it was so distant and so well merging with the nature’s ambiance, that every one barely notice it...

    Then:

    -W-w-what’s t-that?!?! – pointed Mio in the direction Sophie was looking at with a shaky voice.

    -Which?! What? – was in disbelief Nym.

    Clop clop clop clop...

    Then she saw it...

    -WHA-WHAT IS THAT?!?!

    And pointed the Shansless straight at it, with her finger moving on the trigger...

    -NO, WAIT, WAIT!... – Sophie barely managed to stop her.

    -B-but you said to sho...

    -Forget it! Now, look! And look carefully.

    Clop clop clop clop...

    The three girls focused their eyes in the distance.

    Sophie felt how Mio started to shake a bit...

    Nym was just staring with her widened gaze...

    The only thing they were seeing was a ghostly silhouette, barely distinguished in the dark background, moving between the trees. With one dot, shining in bright red, protruding all over it...

    The three girls just stayed there staring at it, as if paralyzed, not daring to move.

    -W-w-what i-is that?! – first whispered loudly Mio.

    -I don’t know. – replied Sophie.

    Then a little bit more of silence. And:

    -Let’s get close. – she grabbed the Shansless from Nym’s hands and started to move cautiously forward.

    -Wha?! Wait, wait! – Mio tried to stop her, but her hand grabbed only the thin air...

    The two girls didn’t have other choice but to follow her.

    With every step, they felt how their hearts were beating faster and faster. And the ever more stronger shivers and intensifying cold sweat, as if they were sign, telling them to run in the opposite direction...

    In the end, they stopped behind Sophie, who was kneeing next to one tree, and staring intensely somewhere forwards.

    Looked over her shoulder...

    And their hearts momentarily froze...

    Clop clop clop clop...

    The steady clatter of the horse’s hooves echoed in a rhythm with their loud heart beats...

    The abominated body of a draft horse, covered in blood marks and gore scars, with legs, covered with thick goat fur and ending with heavy iron shoes...

    Horse? No, that was too strong of a word. Half-horse was much more appropriate, with his upper part gradually disappearing in ghastly phantasm, making the red dot of its eyes as if hanging in the thin air...

    Mio slowly raised and pointed her finger toward its direction:

    -W-w-what-t i-is t-t-th-hhis... – a bit more and her teeth were gonna fall of from whole the shaking...

    -SHOT HIM, SOPH! SHOT HIM!!! – suddenly panicked Nym and started to pull out her rifle...

    -Wha?! STOP, YOU DAMN CRAZY BITCH!!! – she resisted her, but Nym was just strong and stupid enough... – FUCK, GET DOWN MIO!...

    But Mio was too stupefied to move...

    A shot echoed, booming through the forest.

    Several leaves started falling down, enchantingly dancing on the air flows...

    Good thing that she managed to point the barrel up somehow...

    -Dafaq are you doing, you idiots?! – as if the shot made Mio come back to her senses, turning sharply towards them.

    -Ask that moron here... – Sophie grabbed the rifle from Nym’s hand.

    -Oi... – the girl suddenly whispered, stared at some point behind their backs. – Oi, oi, oi! THAT THING IS STARING RIGHT AT US! – she put her hands on their shoulders, shaking them a bit.

    Sophie and Mio in the first moment looked her stunned.

    Then turned back. Slowly and cautiously...

    The two red dots pierced them down to their souls.

    So stunned and speechless they were, that just stared at them for who knows how many minutes...

    And with the time, they engulfed her more... And more... And more...

    Everything was ceasing to exist for her, with even the darkness disappearing, being slowly, but steadily replace by the vast ocean of redness.

    When suddenly something touched her hand, Sophie almost had a heart attack. Her reactions were so instinctive, that the metallic clacking sound momentarily broke the silence, when the lever action engaged the next round in the rifle’s chamber...

    Somewhat, Mio’s firm gaze soothe all her existence...

    -Oi, just shoot it! – whispered Nym. This time she didn’t dare to reach for her rifle.

    -Don’t even dare! – replied Mio.

    -What do we do then?! What’s even that thing, for first time i’m seeing something like that!!!

    -We too, obviously!...

    -Shoot it! – Nym turned towards Sophie.

    -Don’t shoot! Please! – Mio also did the same.

    Sophie was just staring bewildered in their faces one after another, unable to reach to a rational decision in this highly irrational situation...

    -Oi, Soph!!! – pushed her on the shoulder Nym.

    -DON’T! – begged her once again Mio, whispering loudly.

    Instead, Sophie just stood up.

    What she did next, gave them mini-heart attacks...

    -OI, YOU!!! – she shouted straight at the phantasm horse.

    -Wha-wha-wha-wha... – stuttered Mio.

    As if the two bright red eyes intensified their staring...

    But what amazed them most, was that just a few seconds later, the creature as if just lost interest in them and returned to its cloping gait.

    -Oi! Oi, oi, oi! Did it just ignored you?! – whispered loudly Nym.

    -No fucking idea, man! – replied Sophie in the same manner.

    -Just shoot it, then! That bastard! – suddenly said Mio with such bitterly malevolence, that surprised even them.

    -Weren’t you against shooting it?! – said Nym.

    -Doesn’t matter, just shoot it!

    And while Sophie was looking them one after another, not knowing what to do, the cloping come to a sudden end.

    The the girls turned...

    -Oi, it stopped again! And it’s staring right at us! – pointed it Nym.

    -Quickly, shoot him! – pushed her shoulder again Mio.

    Sophie just firmly respond to the creature’s stare with her own and stepped forward.

    -Let’s just follow it! – and it went forward.

    -Wha... Wait, waaait! – Mio grabbed her hand.

    But instead of stopping her, she just also followed her. Nym also stepped behind them timidly...

    Just a few steps in, the creature started moving again.

    -Oi, did it want us to follow it?! – whispered Nym.

    -No idea... – replied Mio.

    Sophie just looked them both and to give them even more chills, suddenly shouted:

    -OI, YOU! THE HORSE WITHOUT HEAD THAT ONLY YOUR EYES ARE SHINING! WANT US TO FOLLOW YOU?!

    -Wha-wha-what are you d-doing, you moron?! – whispered loudly Mio.

    The creature didn’t mind them at all...

    -It is seriously ignoring you... – whispered and Nym.

    -Just shoot the bastard already!!! – instigated her Mio.

    -Oi, what’s gotten into you?

    -Nothing... – she pouted a bit. And in the next moment suddenly shouted: – OI, DO YOU WANT US TO FOLLOW YOU?!

    The result was overly predictable – Mio was also completely ignored.

    -Arrr!... – she was ready to roll up her sleeve and go beat him.

    Sophie put up her hand on her chest, stopping them with Nym in place.

    -Hold on for a moment... – she didn’t move her gaze from the creature.

    After several seconds, the horse also stopped.

    And the red eyes landed back on them.

    -I think it really want us to follow it! – said Nym.

    Without saying a word, Sophie headed towards it again, momentarily followed by the other two girls.

    Not even a few steps in, and the creature resumed its march.

    -Could it be leading us into a trap?! – asked Nym after a minute.

    -A think if it wanted to kill us, it should have done it long time ago! Just look at that creature, we would have stand no chance at all! And i doubt that even if Sophie had her magic, that would have saved us at all! – replied Mio.

    -Sadly, i have to agree with you. – said Sophie.

    -But what if it wants to get us to some altar or shrine, you know, to sacrifice us?

    -I bet that it has the powers to render us unconsciousness and draws us whenever it wants...

    -But what if...

    -Look girl, right now i’m more willing to sacrifice you, if you don’t shut up... – replied Sophie irritated.

    Nym just looked her amazed and Mio giggled...

    -Crazy bitch... – she just mumbled under her noise, looked at the opposite direction and said nothing more.

    They continued to follow the creature for several more minutes through the thick forest.

    Now, when they had somewhat a clear objective in their minds and weren’t busy arguing with each other, started to notice some other things.

    First, how quiet it was. Beside the horse-without-head-that-only-its-eyes-shone clopping and their shoe’s rustling in the leaves, there were no other sounds. No insects, no birds, not even the static noise in the ears...

    Secondly, the surrounding ambiance. The trees, the bushes, the whole essence of the darkness...

    As if it was not from this world...

    The three girls the whole time walked intimately close to one another, with Mio and Nym clinging on both Sophie’s shoulders. They looked so timid and insecure from the side, as they were slaves, led towards the market. With Soph being the courageous big sister, trying to muster all her courage and bravery, to gave them the strength and will to survive in a world, where only horrors awaited them.

    That’s why, when Mio, obviously (although her internal emotions at that moment weren’t that much apparent) fed up enough, shouted out loud, they jumped in their toes, looking her bewildered:

    -IF YOU WANNA MAKE US WALK A BAJILLION KILOMETERS MORE, JUST CARRY US, FOR FUCK SAKE! IT’S JUST PLAIN RUDE TO MAKE US FOLLOW YOU WITHOUT SAYING A WORD AND THEN NOT EVEN OFFERING A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ALTHOUGH YOU CAN PICK US!!!

    Nym and Sophie stopped in place, looking her stupefied.

    Was that girl... for real?

    But for their HUGE surprise, the horse stopped!

    And even their petrifaction to be full, it laid down on its belly!

    -Wh-wha?!... – even Mio was lost for words...

    -There is no fucking way i’m getting on that thing! – pointed it Nym with her finger.

    As if the horse just intensified its stare...

    -No way! – she persisted like a donkey...

    -C’mon, we don’t have time for that... – grabbed her hand Sophie and started pulling her.

    -What? Nooo!!! – Nym tried to resist, but Mio grabbed her other one and helped Art’s cousin in dragging her next to the creature...

    When they stopped next to its gigantic back, the cold chills and shivers from earlier returned with full power.

    The energy that thing was emitting... was enormous. So much, that Sophie felt how a gross nauseous feeling started tingling her throat...

    And from up this close... The creature was titanic. Even laying down, it’s transparent, almost disappearing upper back was reaching up to their chins. And the head...

    No, that lack of it. There was no neck and head, just two hanging red dot eyes in the thin air...

    -I-i-i d-d-don’t like t-t-this... – stuttered Nym.

    Sophie slowly protracted her arm forwards...

    And touched it.

    The thing snorted, and wiggled its tummy.

    The feeling was so real and... warm. As if the body, despite the appearance, was made up from bones and flesh...

    -C’mon, i’ll help you. – Sophie made a ladder to Mio with her palms and after a second, the girl was up there, on the creature’s back.

    From the side, it look like she was hanging in the air.

    -C’mon! – Sophie made ladder and to Nym.

    The girl in the first moment hesitated, but Mio grabbed her arm and with Sophie’s help they managed to get her up.

    -Grab my hand! – Mio protracted it to her.

    Sophie put her lever-action rifle on her backed and climbed the creature’s back.

    When the horse got up, as if the whole world was in their feet.

    Clop. Clop. Clop. Clop. And it continued its march in the silent night.

    -Oi, where are you leading us? We knew already that you understand us, so don’t try to play it dumb! – asked Mio after a minute.

    -Even if it can understand us, i don’t think it is able to reply to us. – said Nym.

    The horse just snorted and the red eyes swayed left and right, as if it was swaying its head.

    -Dunno know, to try write it with its hoof on the ground or something, who knows...

    The horse snorted again – this time more continuously and gruntly, as if it got annoyed...

    -I think you are just making it irritated... – suggested Sophie.

    -Yeah, she is doing it to all of us everyday. No wonders she’s able to do it with a horse also ... – replied Nym.

    -Shut up... Dumb bitch... – she pouted and turned the other way.

    The horse once again snorted – this time it was two consecutive grunts, as if it was telling them to stop and not fight each other.

    -See? It is clearly understanding us!!! – Mio turned forward and leaned a bit to the side, as if it was trying to establish an eye contact. – Oi, you, the horse without head that only your eyes are shining! Say something!

    -Are you really expecting some horse to talk? And if it even can say something, by magical means, you saw that all magic is blocked! – said Nym.

    The horse only moved its body left and right, making them sway a little bit, as if they were on the deck of a ship.

    -I think if you continue this kind of conversation, it will throw all three of us in no matter of time... – intervened Sophie.

    As if the creature confirmed it with a single snort.

    -Oh, c’mon! – Mio didn’t give up. – It’s like meeting a stranger on the street, who ask you to follow him and don’t ask questions where are you going...

    -Well, i think our circumstances now and the type of stranger we’ve met, are kind of different to the point that render asking such a trivial questions pointless.

    The horse confirmed it with the single grunt.

    -Well, then ask it something smart! You can start off by asking him about this situation!

    Sophie looked her somewhat judgingly suspicious. Then turned forwards and leaned a bit to its neck.

    -Are you... the cause of this phenomena?

    The creature swayed its neck in a negative manner.

    -Then... do you know... who caused this?

    No reaction this time. As if...

    -Is this mean yes?... No?... You don’t know?...

    A single snort.

    -At least do you know how to lift the blocking barrier?

    A long, enthusiastic grunt.

    As if a huge burden fell of the girl’s shoulders.

    She heard how Mio and Nym clapped their hands.

    But Soph... Soph just had this uncertainty in her heart, that was tingling her magic sense more and more with every step. As if... This was just the beginning of everything...

    Such and other alarming thoughts were disturbing her mind, when they suddenly exited the forest.

    -Is that it?! Did we make it?! – enthusiastically raised her voice Mio.

    -Not so fast, look! – pointed at something Nym.

    Ahead, in the middle of the open field they entered, something like a ruins caught their eyes.

    As if from some ancient castle, the huge stones were scattered all over the place – mostly horizontal, some even vertical, making people wonder how the builder were able to raise them up. There we even some parts of the wall, almost completely intact, going up to ten meters.

    Shining in a mild while glow, like from some ghost movie.

    And the sky above it... So bright and lucid, that even the Galactic center was clearly visible. It reminded her so much of the nights they’ve spend outside during the long summer holidays...

    But one other thing rendered all the scenery’s beauty insignificant...

    -Oi, isn’t that?!... – Sophie suddenly straightened her back a bit more...

    And jumped off the horse...

    -Soph, wait! – tried to grab her hand Nym, but unsuccessfully.

    Mio jumped after her.

    -Guys, this is it! – Sophie stopped next to something resembling a sundial quite a lot. – I can recognize these runes and engraved circles! This is an Voril Amplifier!

    -Voril amplifier? What’s that? – asked Nym, who also get off the horse and got close to her.

    -It’s a specialized area of effect amplifying device! In the past, before the invention of the antennas, every city and town, and even some villages had at least one of these! It can be used for long range communications, for long range area of effect buffing or nerfing spells and even for opening a portals! Considering the role of these things, i’m sure it can output stronger enough signal to call up the others, or even to overjam the magic-blocking phenomena! I’ll just need some time to read these runes, properly reprogram it’s functions and use my magic energy to control its power-emitting functions!

    -Damn, i didn’t understand at least 9/10 of the things, but the rest sounds great! – replied Nym.

    -Thank you, horsie, this is what you wanted two show us, right? – Sophie looked the beast somewhat too enthusiastic for such a demonic creature.

    The red eyes blinked once.

    -I’ll right, let’s begin. – she took off her rifle and the leather ammobag and handed it to Nym...

    In that moment, the horse snorted gruntly and continuously, as if it was a sign of distress... or a warning.

    Sophie, frozen in place, looked it judgingly for several seconds. Then, she turned towards the girls.

    -Mio, i have a huge request of you.

    -I’m listening?

    -Give me the rest of your orange candy, please.

    The girl in the first moment looked her strangely, but then she complied and reached for her pocked.

    She handed the yellow branded box to Soph.

    -Thank you, Mio. I’m sorry for gulping all your candy but i feel i’ll need all the energy i can muster.

    -No, it’s nothing, don’t worry for such trivial stuff now.

    Sophie smiled somewhat sad.

    -Thank you. When we get back home, i promise, i’ll buy you three boxes of the best cherry candy that’s available.

    -Sorry to be imprudent, but oranges are my favorite. – she delicately scratched her tape.

    -Oh, girl, once you try the Lottboxo’s cherries, you’ll not want to see any other for years.

    Mio smiled. But instead, her smile was blinding. And charming.

    -Well, i’m going. If something happens, i’m counting on you.

    And entered the circle.

    Mio and Nym gulped soundly, as if just now they understood Sophie’s worries.

    -Oi, give that to me. – Mio grabbed the rifle and the leather ammo bag from Nym.

    The girls looked her somewhat anxiously.

    The horse snorted and shivered as if nervously.

    -Alright, i’m ready. Beginning! – she put all the remaining candy in her mouth.

    Then closed her eyes and extended her arms towards the complex series of circles and inscriptions, delved in the stone.

    Which momentarily began to glow in pale blue.

    The first minute nothing happened...

    They just watched how Sophie’s face was twitching from time to time, making as if painful grimaces. Her fingers were moving as if she was pressing invisible keys and her lips were moving soundlessly, in tact with the chanting in her mid...

    Then, she suddenly turned at them!

    -I got the gist of it! Fourier analysis is complete, i’m boosting the comms, net and main telepathic channels!

    -Nice! – replied the girls in one voice, with Nym reaching for her smartphone.

    „Art! ART!!! DO YOU HEAR ME?! RESPOND!!!” – called him Sophie telepathically.

    „Soph?! Finally! You all right?!”

    „Y-yeah...”

    But a sudden trill made Sophie’s body shiver even more...

    Prepare for it! IT IS COMING!

    The voice, that boomed in their heads, scared the angels out of them...

    And momentarily, the intensive light ray in the distance, as if falling from the sky like some mysterious UFO tractor beam, attracted all their attention to it, making them instantly forget the its words...

    „Shit, bro! Track me back and come fast! I need your help! Call up the others!”

    „Soph, what’s going on?!”

    „No time! Hurry up, please!”

    I’ll be there!

    -Wha-WHAT’S THIS?! – exclaimed Nym.

    Protect the girl!

    The voice once again boomed in their heads, throwing them into even more stupor.

    -Who-who is talking?! – she panically looked around.

    Out of the white ray of light, falling from the sky, fifty meters ahead, SOMETHING appeared.

    Its silhouette shone only for a split second from this distance in the ray and when the light disappeared, the ambiance was filled with omnipotent deadly intent...

    Even the non-magicians Mio and Nym were able to feel it – how their skin got goosebumps, how their fingers-tips and toes started itching, how their stomachs disrupted...

    How their minds were going blank and mad...

    And the two evil, bloody-dark red eyes, staring at them, becoming bigger and bigger...

    -MIO, SHOOT IT, FAST, I CAN’T PROTECT MYSELF NOW!!! – yelled Sophie to her.

    The clopping, this time fast and angrily, getting stronger and stronger...

    -W-W-WHAT’S THAT?!?! – somewhat Nym found a strength in herself to yell, but her body stood paralyzed.

    -MIO, SHOOT IT, MIOOOO!!!

    But the girl just stood, with her mind unable to control her body anymore...

    The only thing she was able to do was shake her legs and stare her eyes in madness and despair...

    -MIOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

    The shadow overhang, completely engulfing her existence...

    The claws, as big as her face, extended for her body...

    In the last moment, in the surrounding darkness, she was able to catch a glimpse of the grotesque face, filled with scars and gory wounds.

    It became even more hideous, when its lines disrupted upon opening its mouth, showing its rotten, yellow teeth...

    It smelled like something out of this world...

    And somewhere in the distance, Sophie’s voice was still reaching her ears, muted and silenced...

    The mountain goat, huge as the horse that carried them, rammed the beast so hard, as if a train smashed a truck, stuck on the rails, throwing it away from Mio and the other girls. It crushed it between its horns and one of the altar’s huge vertical standing stones so vigorously, that it managed to crack the rock in half, splitting sharp shrapnel in all directions.

    The loud bang and the agonizing scream of the beast as if dropped an ice bucked over Mio’s head.

    -Wh-w-what?! – the girl turned, several seconds late, at the cloud of dust, few meters left of her.

    -WHAT’S THIS?! – Mio, bewildered, also raised her voice.

    Focus! Defend the girl!“ – a red eyes flashed back at them in the dust cloud.

    -Wh-who is tal...

    A sudden sound of whirlwind behind them, made all the three girls turn back.

    There, between two random vertical stones, a red outlines of a magic circle suddenly glow up and a second later Art and Mel jumped forward out of it...

    Her cousin, holding the amulet in his palm, let it go again around his neck...

    -Soph!!!

    Mel fell on her four, almost throwing up.

    -Damn, that was scary... – she puffed. Then she raised her head... – LOL, DAFAQ IS THAT?!

    Out of the setting dust, like a volcano, the two creatures erupted. It was the grotesque creature this time that pushed back the goat, ramming it into another of the huge monoliths...

    And stabbed it lightingly fast several with its titanic scorpion tail...

    But the sting just sank onto the goat’s phantasmal body, meeting no matter and making a sound as if someone swung a paper fan in the air.

    -SHIT, SOPH, WHAT’S HAPPENING HERE?! – Art turned to her, looking her bewildered.

    -And what happened at all in the first place? Can’t understood anything, suddenly all went black and as if the whole dimension went weird! – added and Mel.

    This is the system’s defense reaction! Protect the girl!” – the telepathic voice once again boomed into their ears.

    Mio and Nym got it now. It was coming from the goat!

    Who suddenly jumped in place, hitting hard with its horns the beast in the throat.

    -System’s defense reaction?! – asked Mel.

    -Yeah! Triggering some kind of defense mechanism means that you are usually going on a right track in a very wrong way! Like while robbing a house triggering an alarm! – replied Sophie.

    -I see!

    -Bro! I’ve overjammed the comms and telepathy, but need more time to decipher the whole anomaly!

    -Understood, sis! I’ll do my upmost to protect you!

    Meanwhile, the beast recovered from the goat’s powerful headbump and rushed again in attack, slicing with its powerful claws.

    Yet again with no effect, the strike whizzed through the goat ghostly body, as if a man was sweeping with a hand through the air.

    -Nym, Mel, get behind that rock over there! – pushed them hurriedly Art in the direction. – Mio! I need your help!

    -S-sure!

    Art grabbed her hand and dragging her a few meters, made her knee next to one stone.

    The goat charged the beast, which, even with plowing its feet onto the ground, didn’t manage to stop its powerful headbump, as if it was a mighty tank, pushing its obstacle out of its way. Its tail and front legs were swinging furiously at the goat, but with no prevail – all its blows were striking a mist.

    BANG!

    The powerful shot made her jump on her feet. When she turned and looked him startled, Art was already ramming swiftly it’s muzzle-loader.

    -C’mon, Mio, be brave! Follow my command! – Art put the percussion cap and kneed, resting the rifle on the stone.

    Mio gulped and hesitantly imitated him.

    -Take aim, Mio! Take aim! – he aligned rifle’s signs...

    But Mio wasn’t that disciplined and when the beast eyes flashed at them, the pressure quickly got on her nerves...

    She fired and the recoil almost made her fall on her butt.

    Missed.

    -MIO! – Art lost his concentration for a second, but quickly recovered and aimed once again.

    SHOOT!

    He hit. But the beast didn’t even stagger.

    -OH, C’MON! – Art bitterly yelled, reaching for another round in its leather bag. – I’ve hit it 2 times already, how it is capable of killing elephants, when it can’t bring down even something as big as a draft horse?!

    -Of course it is! Don’t talk to me, i’m trying to focus!!! – yelled angrily back at him Soph.

    That’s a Nemean Manticore! These arms won’t be able to pierce its skin!” – boomed the goat’s voice into their heads.

    -Wha-what... – Art was completely taken by surprise in the first moment. But there was no time for staggering now. – Oi, Soph, call up your Guntwallz model 1831 hand cannon!

    Useless! Focus on protecting and supporting her while she finish the spell! I’ll keep it occupied!” – the goat’s eyes flashed at him.

    But Art decided to show its thickheading right now and grabbed the lever action from Mio’s hand...

    He fired once and hit.

    He fired twice and hit.

    He fired and a third time and hit.

    The manticore wasn’t even noticing it...

    It was its eyes, giving him its death stare, that froze him in place, as if an invisible hands clenched his whole body.

    The beast tail swung towards his direction.

    But why? It was at least fifteen meters away, there was no way of reaching him...

    Watch out, you stupid boy!!!

    Something hit him like a truck, making his horizon spun. A swift whizz caressed his hair and even before he fell on the ground, several stone-cracking sounds in rapid succession come behind him.

    He fell on the ground, with something very soft and warm over him and hair all over his face...

    -HOOLEY SHEEET, WHAT IS THIS?! – a very familiar voice echoed above him.

    -Oi, don’t swear, you little gnome!!! – replied to it Sophie.

    Art tried to got up, but instead two little arms grabbed his shirt and pushed away from him...

    -Do you want to get killed, stupid big bro?!

    -Krul...

    His little’s sister teared eyes made his heart melt...

    -Oi, oi, oi, don’t get too nice and cozy, you two. We’ve got work to do here. – Vick stood on the stone over them, waving her dimensional shard.

    Get down, you stupid little girl!” – the goat turned its head at her.

    The Manticore swung its tail at Vick...

    -POVA!

    The iron bolts ricocheted away from her air-shield, throwing sparks and flashes, which irritated their eyes in the darkness.

    -He-he, if it up to defenses, leave it to the defense-specialist in our group, goaty! – her lips bend in a broad smile. – Now, let’s get serious and make this creature’s life miserable! – she pointed her scepter at the beast.

    The two yellow magic circles appeared in her vicinity – one on the top of her dimensional shard and one a few meters in front of the first one. They spun and swirled the air around and the whole space filled with static energy and electric charges.

    The manticore sensed the danger and turned towards her, about to rush, but the goat entangled it with its front legs, not allowing it to move from its place. The beast rambled furiously with its tale and claws but with no avail.

    Meanwhile the circles were glowing more and more, spinning faster and faster and the charges louder and louder. He saw how his little legs and hands became shaky, how sweat drops showed on her forehead, cheeks and arms.

    The manticore were twisting and wiggling like a fish on the shore, furiously dashing and striking, but it seems the goat was taking no damage at all. What, hundreds of demons was this creature?

    Well, he was glad that at least it was on their side. He couldn’t even started to imagine how they were going to deal with it if that wasn’t the case...

    -Verritum axinia! – Art extend her hand at Vick and said with loud speech, outvoicing his sister’s spell.

    The green-glowing regenerating aura engulfed her delicate body and as if momentarily effected her existence – her back straightened, the shaking legs and hands stopped and it seems a nice cooling wave removed all her sweat and chilled her down.

    -Yo, thanks big bro! – she was already shouting – so loud and raucous her spell has become. – Just a little bit more...

    Art removed Krul from top of him and put her behind the stone, next to Mio. Behind them, at around five meters distance, all other girls were peeking from behind one fallen monolith, with shaky arms and shiny eyes, some of them still not able to perceive the happening.

    How could he blame them?

    First the darkness phenomenon.

    THEN THE FUCKING GOAT WITHOUT HEAD THAT ONLY HER EYES WERE SHINNING!

    And as huge as a fucking draft horse moreover!

    And on top of that, a Nemean Manticore. Not a regular one. A Nemean.

    Which skin was impossible to be pierced with a rifled musked, capable of killing elephants from a hundred yards.

    How was that even fair?

    Well, considering the trouble the Manticore had with its useless attacks against the mountain goat, he shouldn’t complain so much...

    But still..

    „Fuck you, Belevard, you and whole your family! Hope the plague drops you dead...”

    Art grunted and spit bitterly on the ground.

    Then he took the Shansless from the ground, leaned it on the stone and awaited...

    -NOW, GOATY, JUMP!!! – suddenly yelled Vick.

    And without even a second notice, the goat, using its powerful legs jumped at least ten meters from the manticore in a mere split second.

    And Vick, not giving a chance to the beast to dodge, yelled:

    -GARAN HANADRA!!!

    The bright yellow laser beam, emitted from the inner circle, engulfed the whole beast, blinding their eyes and in the moment the ionized channel was finished, a powerful lighting, so loud that almost made them deaf, struck the manticore.

    All of them felt the energy in the air, how the static charges made all their hair stood up and swept the leaves and branches. But what made them shivered to the depth of their skins, was the beast agonizing howl – it made their legs tremble, their voices numb and their eyes stare in awe and madness.

    -EAT THESE 15 MILLION VOLTS, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!! – raised her squeaky voice Vick.

    And then her spell finished with the sounds muffling and the light paling. Suddenly became so dark again and the only sounds left remained that of the grunting of a struggling beast...

    Wiggling and squirming, smoking and fuming, but refusing to fall down.

    On the other hand, his little sister’s legs suddenly trembled and she lost her balance...

    Falling back from the stone...

    -VIIIICK!!! – shouted Mel and jumped off her place.

    She was never gonna reach her in time.

    But Art catch her in his arms.

    -SHIT, HOW IS IT ABLE TO SURVIVE EVEN SUCH A SPELL?! – shouted and Ann behind them.

    -I-i’m sorry, b-big bro. – looked him Vick with her painful and tired face. – I screwed this up.

    -You did perfect, little princess. He is a beaten goblin... – he hugged her tightly.

    A sudden swoop, as if a powerful wind hit a huge sail, made all of them turn. Only to see how the manticore had extended its wings and with a swift jump it was already meters in the air, not leaving the goat a chance to react.

    The girl!!!“ – boomed its loud voice in their ears and they saw how it rushed towards the struggling Sophie.

    -OHH, NEIN, YOU DIDN’T, MISTER!!! – Avys lifted her hand towards the raising manticore and chanted: – PURRA ENFOMNI BELLI!!!

    The powerful gust of wind swept it away like a pesky insect, crushing it into one of the rock walls.

    And it didn’t move again...

    THE GIIIRRRLLL!!!“ – the goat whooshed beside them and its tailwind almost made them lose balance...

    -B-but... – Art was sincerely confused.

    -THERE IS A SECOND ONE!!! – suddenly shouted Mio next him.

    Art turned and his eyes widened in horror.

    DROP THE CHANT AND DEFEND YOURSELF, GIRL!

    -NO, I’M ALMOST READY!!!

    The second silhouette bestowed its shadow upon Sophie, so vile and horrifying, that made his whole body paralyzed from the terror...

    -SOOPH, NOOOO!!! – rushed towards her Mel.

    It swung its tail and the iron bolts flew...

    ...So much, that he wasn’t even able to raise a hand and defend her. His own flesh and blood...

    -SOPHIEEEEE!!!!!!

    The sound of pierced flesh broke a piece of his mind.

    Ren dropped down in Sophie’s feet.

    -Whaa...

    With iron bolts sticking out all of her body...

    -REEEEEEEEEENNNN!!!

    -What... What’s happening... – Art mind couldn’t bare it anymore...

    HOLD THE MAGIC FIELD! HOLD THE MAGIC FIELD!!!” – the goat rammed the second manticore...

    -REN! REN! REN! – Mel hugged her lifeless body, shaking it madly.

    SHIT!

    The first manticore erupted behind them and with one powerful slash tore Mio apart...

    When he saw how it lifted Krul in the air, pierced her little body on its tail, all of his reason were gone.

    -IYAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    He blurrly saw how Avys was sprinting toward them, shedding bloody tears.

    How the goat was struggling to keep the second manticore away from Sophie, but the beast swung its tail one more, piercing the girls with more bolts...

    How Mio’s body fall in his legs, mutilated and devastated, a sight stuck in his mind for all eternity...

    And how his little sisters body flew in the air like a tossed ragdoll by a small infant.

    REMEMBER! REMEMBER!

    He turn and the only thing left to see was the huge abyss of the monster’s maw, ready to engulf his whole existence...

    SUPRA TERRAE ARNYM-VESTA!

    Then all went dark...

    ... A sudden swoop, as if a powerful wind hit a huge sail, made all of them turn. Only to see how the manticore had extended its wings and with a swift jump it was already meters in the air...

    REMEMBER, KIDS”! – the goat’s voice boomed in their ears, while it whooshed beside them...

    -OHH, NEIN, YOU DIDN’T... WAIT, SHIT!!! – Avys suddenly turned and pointed her hand towards Sophie: – PURRA ENFOMNI MAGA!!!

    The powerful whirlwind swirled around Sophie, deflecting all of the second manticore iron bolts...

    The goat rammed it so hard, that plowed it several meters back, not leaving it even a chance to counter-attack.

    So confusing... And so distant... What just happened...

    The thousand thoughts made him just sit and stare in disbelief for a second. As if there were from a different life...

    -Aaarrt! – Mel shouted from behind.

    His stare turned firm. Only one look at Vick eyes, which he was still holding in his arms, made all its determination reach its up.

    He turned, freeing one of his arm while moving Vick over his shoulder and mustering all his concentration and will, pointed his hand at the heavily rising manticore:

    -EQUALIZE BASARA!

    The monster exploded. And it fell down, in pieces, each engulfed in flames, like a spectacle of lighting show. And unbelievably, its upper part, wriggling at twisting, continued to struggle in vain, scrabbling with its front legs in an desperate attempt to reach him...

    -SOOOPH!!! – Art shouted.

    -I’M READY! I’M READY! I’VE DECIPHERED THE SPELL BEHIND THE MAGIC BLOCKING ANOMALY!

    In a combined wail, the two manticores raised their desperate howls, realizing the tragic failure of their significant mission.

    But in the end, the immense power behind their mysterious guardian proved to be above all other else’s.

    -LOCKING ON! AAAAND... OFF!

    The manticores disappeared in a sudden puff of black mist.

    It suddenly became so quiet, that they were able to hear even their pulsing blood in the ears. And started to stare at one another silently, as if suddenly woke up from a very bizarre dream. And a invisible attraction made them all turn towards IT.

    The goat without head, that only its eyes where shining, transformed into a horse without head, that only its eyes where shining.

    -Wh-wh-whaa... – stuttered Ann.

    The horse bowed its „head”.

    From the bottom of my heart, i thank you, kids. My job here now has ended. Go now. Find my brother and raise the Captain. Use the Ship to Beat the Demon and break the dimensional spell! Regain control again! That’s the only way out! You have a friend that you can count on.

    -Wait, what!... – Sophie reached her hand for it.

    The ground started trembling.

    The darkness – to pale.

    The horse disappeared in a mild glow.

    And only the feel that he was falling in an bottomless pit remained.

    And the white light, that now was engulfing the whole horizon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  17. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    The ringing in his ears gradually muffled down, while his eyes recovered their focus, after the white light...

    Somebody screamed...

    When he turned to its direction, Mio was panicky touching whole her body, as if she have woke up from a nightmare in which she died.

    -Easy, easy, big sis, Mio. – Krul gently caressed her back with her little arm. – I understand you very well.

    -Dafaq was that... – Mel was sitting on her knees, looking at her palms, as if they were cursed, or plagued, or even worse.

    Ren was just trembling with her arms wrapped around the shoulders.

    -I feel like i’m having a terrible hangover... But i have never been drunk before to know the feeling. What the fuck is that... – Nym was holding half of her face with her palm, staring with her uncovered eye in some random point.

    -Does everyone... remember it? – asked Mel.

    -Yeah. I was pierced by that thing and lifted in the air. That’s as far i remember. – replied his little sister.

    She was... strangely cool-headed about this, bizarrely. Considering how Mio was still shaking in Krul’s arms and Ren was still shivering. How his legs were still trembling and he completely lost his mind, when he saw her death... Really, really strange.

    -Y-yeah. And i was slashed to pieces by that thing. – muttered Mio. – W-was it real? Or it was just a dream? It must have been a dream!

    -No, it was real. – replied Art. – All of it really happened. You know that the feeling was just too real to be in a dream. But the goat returned the time back.

    -RETURNED THE TIME BACK?! – goggled her eyes Nym. – WHAT?

    -Yeah. That’s the only explanation. – added Krul.

    -How that even possible? – asked Mio.

    -There is only thing known to have the ability to meddle with time. Kan Laon. – answered Art.

    -Kan Laon? You mean the elven Kan Laon artifacts? The same mentioned in the „Short Sagae of the Viking Nyork”? – joined and Mel.

    -Yeah, exactly the same.

    -But i thought it was only a saga myth!

    -Well, obviously it is not. – said Mio.

    -Yeah. The Short Sagae of the Viking Nyork is the first source to someone ever mention it, the artifact and its effects. The others are from a few hundred years later, when the elves use them to fight off the human invasion of Arnym. Then they suddenly disappeared for few more centuries until used again in the World War II crisis...

    -Wait wait wait wait... – abruptly turned towards them Ren, suddenly shaken off her stupor. – Can’t understand anything of this... – she grabbed her head with hands, shaking it a bit.

    -What dafaq is the World War II crisis? We have only one World War. If you don’t consider the Vampire one, but that’s a different story... – replied Nym.

    -You guys seriously haven’t heard of this?! It’s probably one of the most important events in our history!... – said Mel.

    -Yeah. It is also known as the „May Incident“ or the „Day the World Ended”. – began Art. – You see, Oberland and El’livian had always grinned teeth against each other. First, the Arnym conquest by humans, then several wars after Oberland is created in 1565, Two Civil Elven wars and then World War, followed by a Third Civil war. With El’livian always coming the greater loser. With Oberland being now a dominant world power and everyone thinking that El’livian had learned its lessons by now, no one ever believed in the first place that the leader Kai’Ryle would even dare to launch an attack and risk out a full-out nuclear war.

    But in the wee hours of May 24th, 2012, completely underestimated by all others, the first tactical nukes put Oberland’s might to its knee. You see, El’livian had never lost its resolve to regain its former territories, conquered by us, the humans and most importantly – avenge all the slaughtered elves. The whole invasion is planned really carefully and thoroughly, and kept in secret so well, that even the Oberland intelligence didn’t manage to get a full glance of the picture until it is too late.

    Internal saboteurs manage to blew up the main communication centers and create holes in the Oberland’s anti-missile shield. Using the gaps in the defenses, the El’livian Air Force devastate most of the Oberland Air bases and Naval ports with tactical nukes, before even the Oberland airplanes are in the air and ships have left their ports. The communication satellites are blown out of orbit, packs of hunter-killer submarines starts to sink one after another the so important Oberland Carrier groups and the ballistic missile submarines. The nuclear silos are bombed by a strategic nuclear weapons, together with the largest dams, power plants, civilian railways and road junctions, and civilian airfields, with even several nukes detonated above the Oberland’s airspace, rendering the electronics of most of the country useless. The El’livian Air Force scoured the Oberland airspace, destroying and bombing the remaining mobile ICBM launchers and elven tanks and infantry divisions flood the Trasimend Valley...

    It’s a complete and utter destruction, with almost 80 percent of the Oberland Armed Forces being fully obliterated in the first hour. The civilians casualties are tens of millions, the Oberland infrastructure is absolutely devastated and the country put to its knee.

    It is believed that the president Kollins and its crew were killed in their bunker by a direct hit of a strategic nuclear weapon, and with the most of the secretaries killed by the nuclear explosions, the country was left practically leaderless.

    This is when the shit really hits the fan.

    Upon learning the news about the sudden attack, a real havoc erupts back in Inden. Falkland, as being one of the closest allies to Oberland after the World War at the time, is the first to counter-attack by launching its nuclear ICBMs from silos and submarines. Against both El’livian and their very close dwarven ally Issegem, thinking amid the chaos that the attack was coming from both directions. In response, El’livian and Issegem also started launching against Falkland. Then Myrina... Lien... Violenn... In just 2 hours, two billion people are killed, with two more billion dead in the following months by hunger, decease and pollution. It was a total annihilation, that put an end to the modern civilization and turned the planet into a radioactive wasteland.

    -Damn... That sound too scary and nightmarish to be true... – wrapped her shoulders Nym.

    -But it is. I can’t believe you haven’t heard of this before...

    -Of course she isn’t. Playing games till morning and sleeping in class, she is getting dumber and dumber everyday... – said Mel.

    -Shut up, bitch... – gnarled Nym at her and turned to Art. – What happened after that? How the world came back to its normal?

    -The Fourth Prince of Falkland, Arthur Clark-Duncan, manages 20 years later to find one of the Kan Laon artifacts and return the time to 30 days before the El’livian attack. You see, the strange with these artifacts are that you remember everything until your death and all the survivors kept all their memories from the apocalypse world. You can imagine what happens after the Restoration Day... El’livian don’t repeat the attack again, the International Community wants the elves to be severely punished for the „Alternative World War II” and as a result of the huge international pressure, Kai’Ryle resigns, with El’livian entering a period of isolationism, which last until today...

    -Damn, shit. This deserve to be studied more. I think i’ll have a distraction for some future time...

    -First we need to get out of here... Dumbass. – snorted Mel.

    They looked around, as if just now realized the scenario upon them – in darkness, with the unfamiliar environment around them. And...

    -OI! Where are Soph and the rest?

    Mio’s voice pierced their hearts like spears.

    -What do you mean where? She was right behind...

    Art turned. There was nobody. Only endless pit of darkness and gloomy tree silhouettes...

    -Damn, i don’t like this... – he snorted.

    -Who are we missing? – asked Mel.

    -Let’s see. Avys. Ann. Vick. And Sophie.

    -They just won’t let us go so easily, would they... – shook her head a bit Ren. – I’m starting to develop some serious grudges against a certain unknown entity...

    -Not the only one to talk... – snorter Mel.

    -So, what are we doing? – asked Mio.

    -I’ll try call the others... – Art concentrated and searched for Sophie in his mind: „Sis! You read?”

    The response was instant.

    „I got you.”

    Great! So the magic barrier was really overjammed.

    „Where are you?”

    „No fucking idea.”

    Poker face...

    „Are Vick, Aiv and Ann with you?”

    „Yes. We are all fine, no need to worry. I’ll send you a location...”

    After several seconds, his phone ringed.”

    When he opened the app, Art wanted to start swearing and cursing in the most profound way he knew...

    -That’s 3000 miles away!!! – he shouted out loud.

    -What?! – the other girls turned to him.

    Art just screenshoted the map and sent it back to Sophie...

    „Shit...” – her response didn’t come late in his mind.

    „What are we doing?”

    „No idea. Just look around for some time, try to find some clues, we’ll do the same.”

    „Understood.”

    -What?! They are 3000 miles away?! – looked at its screen Ren.

    -Yeah. Basically we’ll just look around again and search for something.

    The girl sighed.

    -I’m really getting fed up of this shit. So much, that i wanna shoot something... Hey, can i carry this rifle?! – she reached for the Shansless laying on the ground next to Art’s feet.

    -I don’t think that’s a good idea... – said Mio.

    -It will be even worse idea to try take it from her now... – he replied.

    -Just try not to get anyone shot in the back... – puffed Mel. – So, any ideas?

    -Let’s scatter and look aroun...

    -Ah, no, no, no, no, no! – interrupted him Ren right away. – I’ve seen enough movies to know what happens when you separate each other! We are staying together!

    Mel and Art just sighed.

    -All right, you block-head. And stop waving that boomstick at us. You won’t be able to handle it if i happen to die because of you...

    Art looked around. Well, it was dark. With tree silhouettes surrounding them from all directions.

    He got close. With the distance shortened, the gloomy darkness took more distinct edges and that almost crushed his initial hopes.

    The bushes between the trees were so dense, that there was just no way to cross it. When he pressed onto them, the thorny branches and the fence of leaves pushed him back like a trampoline.

    -Shit, this is useless! – he heard how Mel complained several meters behind him.

    When Art turned, she was also struggling with the with the bushes and shrubs.

    Just like him, it was useless.

    -It seems this cave is our only option then... – said Krul.

    Suddenly, all of them turned to her.

    -Cave? What cave? – asked Mio, apparently confused.

    -This one here? Don’t you see it? – pointed at some random place in the ground his little sister.

    The others got close to her.

    -What’s this? Can’t see shit... – said Nym.

    -Look closely, girl. – Mio grabbed some of the grass and push it to the side.

    -Whaa? Still don’t get it...

    Krul put her arm ahead... and her hand disappeared in the darkness.

    -Whaaa...

    -Fuck it, there is no way i’m getting down there! – pointed it Ren.

    -Well, you’ll need to. This whole place is surrounded by the thick bushy forest. There is no way out. – finished her tour Mel.

    -Then just burn our way out. With your magic or what-else! – she turned at Art.

    -C’mon, don't be ridiculous. Why did you get that rifle for? – Mel took out her smartphone and turned on its flashlight. – I’m going first! – she sat on the edge for a second, lighting up everything down....

    -Whaa, wait!... – tried to stop her Ren.

    Then jumped.

    They heard how she thumped. For several seconds, there was complete silence, just the moving light down there.

    Art was the next to jump down, without waiting for her answer. A second light joined the first one, overlooking all possible directions.

    -You can come down! – shouted after a few more second he.

    Krul momentarily jumped down. Then Nym.

    -Oi, c’mon Ren, or we’ll leave you behind!

    -I-i-i told you, t-there is n-no w-w-way that i’m going t-there!

    -Everything will be fine, i promise!

    -C’mon, c’mon! – dragged her to the edge Mio and made her sit.

    -Don’t wannaaa!!!

    Art just grabbed her with his hands for the waist, lifting her a bit.

    -W-wha ya d-d-d-doing... – her face turned all red.

    And put her down, next to Nym.

    -T-thanks... – she mumbled.

    -You are welcomed, Ren. C’mon, Mio. I’ll help you too... – he got her for the waist too and dropped her down.

    -T-thanks.

    Her blushing was much more mild and restricted.

    -Let’s go. And be careful. – Art began to climb down the rocks, leading into the dark pit.

    Krul followed him without hesitation.

    -A-are you s-sure about t-that? – persisted again Ren.

    -C’mon, we don’t have a whole day. – grabbed her hand Mio and dragged her behind them.

    -B-b-but...

    Mel pushed her back gently, blocking the return way.

    -Just move.

    Ren puffed and followed Art and Krul.

    The arduous climb down gradually leveled up and after many dozens of stair-like rocks and stones. In the end, he was about to bet that they went down at least hundred meters underground. And the tunnel, although with no more stairs, it was still tilted downwards.

    -How did such an artifact landed here? Any ideas? – asked him Mel after a few minutes.

    She and Art were walking most front, lighting up the way ahead.

    -Well, there are two possible explanations, i think. During the World War, there is serious artifact exchange between Falkland and El’livian. Falkland was the main exporter of steel and oil for the El’livian, which the elves paid with gold, platinum and diamonds, but i’ve heard that sometimes, especially around the end of the war, when the El’livian economy is seriously crippled, they started paying with some rare artifacts and stuff. The other is during the Human Conquest of Arnym some of them to have been captured and send back to Inded. Its possible during some of these scenarios one of the Kan Laons to have ended on your islands.

    -Yeah. That makes perfect sense. Many routs pass through Vhinhym.

    -And what about the creature? – began Mio. – Do you think that its powers are due to... this Kan Laon?

    -Only the time changing capabilities. I’m not aware the Kan Laons to have some other abilities.

    -Well, that thing was basically like a freaking god! – whispered loudly Mio. – Manticores slashing claws, biting and piercing with their tails? No problem, my ghost body will just take it all. All dead? No problem, i’ll just return time back a bit. Too hot? I’ll just summon some ice cubes and half a dozen of beaches... Fuck it, man, we were really lucky that it got good intentions...

    -Yeah. And you, Art? Do you have idea what was that? Have you read about such creatures before? – asked him Mel.

    -Kind of. Based on what i saw, i guess it is some kind of dimensional creature. Only genies and electromagnetic entities with no physical bodies can yield such tremendous magical powers without using external amplifiers. Just because they don’t have material bodies to collapse from physical exhaustion. So i guess that’s the case here.

    -Is it possible this thing to possess some other artifacts? And that be the reason it is so powerful?

    -Well, it’s not out of the question also. With the correct set of artifacts, you can really reach almost god-like abilities.

    -Brrr... – shivered Ren behind them.

    -Isn’t the important part here that despite all its might and powers, it still needed Sophie’s magic to turn off the blocking anomaly? – asked Nym.

    -Yeah, that’s very bizarre... You know what the reason may be? – said Mel.

    Art thought for a second.

    -We still don’t know the origin of the phenomena and its relationship with the creature. The only thing i can think off is some kind of curse or personal-directed spell... – he replied.

    -So the reason of the phenomena and this creature... know each other? – asked Mel.

    -Don’t know. Ask it the next time...

    Mel just pouted a bit.

    Damn, there was some unique characteristic cuteness in her that way. So much, that a powerful heart-beat echoed throughout all his body...

    Art just gulped and moved his gaze ahead.

    -Sry... – he mumbled.

    -It’s fine.

    -Didn’t that thing said something about brother? – said Nym. – It said we should find its brother.

    -Yeah. I’ve heard it too. – replied Mio.

    -Pha, good look with that. It like some random guy on the street to stop you and say: „Go find my brother” and then leave without any additional info... – said Mio.

    -Well, i think you’ll agree with me that the course of the events tonight is quite abnormal for any normal common sense to have any weight... – replied her sister.

    -Damn, can’t argue with that...

    Art turned on his navigation for a second. It showed that they were somewhere in the middle of the Lien. With Sophie 5000 kilometers away from them, in southern Alazar.

    -Fuck, this shit is useless. – he turned it off and continued to light their path.

    Also tried to call Sophie, but there was no net and connection, which was normal, considering how deep they were, but the telepathic path was another story:

    „Oi, Soph, you there?”

    „Here, bro. Found something?”

    „Not particularly, just checking you. Got into some cave with the others.”

    „Nice. I’m just crossing the desert with some genie guiding me...”

    Art just laughed out loud with the others looking him amazed.

    -W-w-what w-w-was t-t-that?!?!?! – freaked out Ren.

    -Damn you, are you with all your mind? – snorted and Mio.

    -Khm, sorry, ladies. Sophie just told me she is crossing some desert, guided by a genie.

    Now Mel and Nym laughed out loud.

    -Genie? Please, ask her how Ann is handling it... – said Mio.

    Art in the first moment looked her surprised, but complied:

    „That’s nice, Soph. How’s Ann, by the way?”

    A few moments of silence...

    „Barely managed to stop her from shooting it. Then she tried to go for it with kicks and punches...”

    -Soph said that Ann tried to go for it with kicks and punches...

    The three girls began to laugh out loud even more, filling the narrow tunnels with echoing voices.

    -H-h-hey, s-stop t-that! – stuttered Ren. – What if something hear us?!

    -Something? What something? – asked Nym.

    -D-don’t k-know. L-like gob-blins or s-stuff...

    -Goblins?! PHAHAHAHAHAHA...

    -Please Ren, stop watching these stupid elven animes... You are getting your brain washed by the long ears... – reprimanded her Mel.

    -T-they a-are not stupid! Some of them are very deep and informative, unlike most of the modern Lightford movies!

    -Do you know how they reproduce then? The goblins?

    -W-w-w-wha...

    -They abduct young girls, ideally between 14 and 17, in their prime reproductive abilities, with the whole tribe then raping and impregnating them until semen starts leaking out of their...

    -WHAAA?! THAT’S NOT TRUE!!!

    Art saw behind her how Nym crouched rapidly, grabbing one random stone...

    -Then, after a few months, when the dozen fetuses are developed enough, they start eating the mother from inside, which dies in terrible agony and pain...

    The stone clopped in the wall!

    -WHAAAA?!?!?!? – Ren abruptly turned, snapping the rifle’s lever...

    Art just grabbed her hand, blocking her trigger finger.

    -That’s enough of you. – he took the Shansless from her, looking at Mel and Nym. – No need to worry, Ren. There are female goblins...

    -Phew... – she was about to relax...

    -The raping and the impregnating is a knocker’s job...

    The girl just googled her eyes in a rapid success of reality realization and hope’s breaking...

    And stared her gaze in the ground, without saying a word more.

    -Don’t worry, bis sis, Ren. Goblins and Knockers are only met in Alazar or Alerryn – there is no way for them to get here. – caressed her back Krul.

    -Well, there are some very famous cases of single goblin tribes finding their way in the most unexpected places... – began Mel...

    -That’s enough. – grabbed her hand Mio. – Look where you are walking instead, don’t want you to fall off and smash that pretty face.

    -If you find it that pretty, you can sit on it, girl...

    -WHAT?!

    -What?

    -Ts, damn lesbo... – snorted so bitterly Mio, that she was ready to spit on the ground.

    -Get a hold of your urges, brat... – snorted and Nym.

    -Right, right, missus hard-head...

    -You...

    -Oi! Oi, oi, oi! – suddenly interrupted them Ren, pointing something ahead.

    -What do you want now...

    -NOTHING! LOOK! – she waved her finger even more dynamically...

    Nym turned. And momentarily froze.

    -Oi! What’s this?!

    In front of them, a three new paths appeared. Suspiciously rounded and similar to each other, every one of it was a impermeable dark abyss and charmingly temping in its attempt to engulf them in their decision of choice.

    -What now? – whispered loudly Ren, as if still affected by Mel’s and Art’s talk about goblins. – What do we do now?!

    -Just chose a path and let’s go... – mumbled Mel, somewhat annoyed.

    -But which one?! – replied Mio.

    -Oh, i know! – said Ren. – Art is a magician! Let he decide!

    -WHA?! Why do you involve magic in this at all?! – he was utterly stupefied.

    -No idea, man... – replied Nym.

    -Let’s just go left... As if you can make a rational decision in this situation... – said Mel and was about to go, went Ren suddenly grabbed her hand.

    -Wait! I have seen this in movies and TVs before! – she crouched and took one stone from the ground. Then started scratching the wall dynamically, leaving huge whitish marks. – Done! This way if we happen to circle, we won’t get lost...

    Mel just slapped her forehead.

    -WHAT?!

    -Let’s go before my IQ hit the imaginary zone...

    Ren just snorted and followed her quietly.

    After the seemingly low entrance, at which they were forced to crouch to get in, the corridor once again became wide and high enough to wall straight.

    -All of this just makes no fucking sense, don’t you agree?! – suddenly began Mel after a minute in complete silence.

    -Damn, boy, here we go again... – snorted Nym.

    -Dafaq do you want, sis?! Don’t you see we are in an unusually bizarre situation and i have no idea what’s happening and why did it even come to this!

    -Well, i’m ready to bet that you did something and it’s your fault again...

    -Fok you...

    -Enough, girls! – Krul moved between them, grabbing each each for a hand. – Until we have more evidence, you can’t say if it is someone fault or not!

    -See? That’s a delicate way to agree with the righteousness of my hypothetical suggestion...

    -I hope a minotaur rapes you some day... – snorted Mel.

    Krul just goggled her eyes in stupor.

    -Oi, please, refrain from saying such stuff in front of her... – now Art moved between Mel and Krul, holding his little sister for the hand.

    -Alright, alright, snowflake...

    After one sudden right turn, they found themselves in another spacious area, this time with two-round entrances to choose.

    -What now? Right or left? – asked Mio.

    -Left of course... – was about to go Mel...

    ... when Ren suddenly grabbed her for the hand.

    -Wait! LOOK! SOMEONE IS JUST FUCKING WITH US!!!

    They looked at what she was pointing and just now they noticed the white scratches from the rock, laying on the ground...

    -Well, fuck. – Mel was not amused.

    Art looked carefully around the small cave.

    -Let’s go right this time! – pointed Mio.

    -No, it’s just psychological trick, Mio. Don’t let itself be fooled. Proceed left.

    -I know! Let’s Art decide again!

    -What? Why me again?!

    -C’mon, big bro. Bear some responsibility finally and don’t be a pussy...

    -WHAT?! Don’t swear and say it in a way suggesting the other way, you brat! – shooted first Art, making step towards her...

    Krul just hid behind Mel, making faces at him.

    Art snorted, grabbed reflexively Ren’s hand and took the left route.

    -Just stay with Mel in our back in open your eyes widely... – he continued to snort.

    -All right, big bro. Hey, can i use „Vollenta?”

    -Yeah, yeah, use whatever you want, just warn us if you notice something not on place...

    -Suuuure...

    -What is „Vollenta”? – asked Mio.

    -It’s a very... – began Krul.

    -You don’t wanna know... – interrupted her Art, still little irritated.

    Krul pouted. Mel just looked at her and her heart was about to melt of the cutie she was...

    -Oi, Art. I suggest you let go of Ren’s hand before she pass out, all hot and wet... – suddenly said Nym.

    -WHA?! – he turned his head back at her, utterly stupefied and when he perceived her words, he looked at his hand...

    It was clenching another one, small and warm, which gentleness and softness only now he noticed...

    When he looked up, Ren’s face was all red and blushed.

    -S-sorry... – he let go of it, avoiding her face. – No bad intentions...

    -I-it’s nothing. – she mumbled, rubbing her hand delicately.

    He looked back for some reason. Krul was still pouting, but this time was also ready to burn him with her gaze.

    -Ts, damn brat... – he snorted.

    Krul kicked him so hard in the ankle, that left him jumping on one leg and cursing like hell...

    -AGHGHKGK, FUCK YOUR MOTHER!...

    -That’s what you get for swearing, stupid big bro... – replied calmly Krul, still pouting a bit...

    Mel sighed.

    -YOU’LL SEE NOW!!!...

    Nym blocked his way.

    -Really? REALLY?! In a time and place like this? – as if she was utterly disappointed.

    -Yes, even if the world is about to end. – said Krul unmoved, crossed her hand below her chest and turned her head the other way around.

    Art only snorted but didn’t dare say anything more...

    Nym just frowned, and also turned her head away.

    When they turned the next corner, the body that suddenly appeared made Ren scream her whole lungs.

    Krul was so unmoved, as if she witnessed such sights everyday (or still affected by the argument earlier to care about this...).

    -W-w-w-what i-i-is t-t... – stuttered Nym.

    -Corpse obviously, you blind? – snorted Mel.

    Art kneed to it. Corpse was quite a generous word for this. More like a skeleton. With a sword sticking from between its ribs.

    -There are so many wrong things in this... – mumbled Mel.

    -Yeah. The 20th century World War-style helmet and body armor and the fact that he probably died by a stabbing from a 13th century type XVI sword are very dubious...

    -She. Look at the pelvis. That was a woman...

    As if all of them froze for a second. Nym face was clearly reading something of the sort: „A woman? But how a woman?!”

    -Look, there is a dog tag. These also doesn’t appear until the Second Elven Civil War.

    -Let’s see... Lawrence K. Martin. That’s probably the name... 33. 14. 3863?!?!

    -WHAT?! IS THAT THE YEAR?! – Nym was utterly stunned.

    -Probably. There are no other numbers that look like that. But seriously, 33rd day, 14th month, year 3863?!

    -But what if there are not in that sequence? – said Mel.

    -Get off. Don’t make our lives harder... – snorted Nym.

    -Enough! What it said onwards? – interrupted them Mio.

    -The next is probably the birth place. Brihhthophen/Erl... Were dafaq is that?! – said Art.

    -What? Isn’t this somewhere in Falkland?

    -No, there is no such place back home...

    -What about Oberland? Oberland is mostly Falklanish culture, right? – asked Mel.

    -I’m ready to bet that there ain’t no such place there too...

    -Just search it on the net then, instead of guessing!!!

    -Right, right... – Art snorted, unlocked his phone and began to type. – See, no results... – he turned the display at her.

    -Damn...

    -Why is then all written on Falklan? – asked Krul.

    Silence. Just gravely silence, with the girls looking at each other.

    -As i said, let’s not make our lives more difficult with unnecessary questions. – said Nym unmoved.

    -As if we have choice, you dumb ass... – replied her sister.

    -Whatever... Are there more things written?

    -Yes. 4+U. No idea what this is... 4008-6230-11. That’s probably some unit serial number. M.I.C. MUZE. That’s all.

    -Shit, things are just getting more and more dubious... – snorted Mel.

    -Obviously.

    -Nothing more to learn here. Let just salvage what we can and move on. – said Krul and kneed next to Art.

    Then she just took the helmet, dust it off a bit and put it on her head.

    -This sword is in a miraculously good condition... – Krul took and the weapon, rotating it around.

    Nym, Ren and Mio was just staring in her in disbelief.

    -What? – Krul frowned a bit.

    -Bu-bu-but...

    -It can be useful to us. You know, against the thing that probably stabbed her...

    A superficial shiver went through Ren’s body.

    -D-d-don’t s-s-ay s-s-such s-scary things...

    -Well, that’s the reality, big sis Ren. Whether you accept it or not is your problem. – Krul was just unmoved. – Want the body armor? I think it’s your size...

    -Don’t be ridiculous! These are deadman stuff!!!

    -So?

    Ren just stared her with a open mouth.

    -Enough of this. – interfered Mel and grabbed Ren’s hand. – It’s pointless to argue in such way right now. Let’s just keep moving.

    -I agree. Let’s go. – said Art, pointed his phone’s flashlight ahead and went off...

    Not even ten meters on, they found a rifle with several en-bloc clips laying around.

    -Damn... – snorted Mel.

    -This looks like an semi-automatic rifle. But i can’t recognize the model. – he kneed, left his Shansless on the ground and took it. – Its like its something out of this world...

    His words pierced Ren’s body with a new set of shivers...

    -Why don’t you try to search it on the net too? – suggested again Mel.

    -What’s even the point now... – he shook it several times to clear off the dust and engaged the operating rod.

    The bolt mechanism clanged and then retracted smoothly, as if the weapon was oiled the day before. It was empty of any bullets...

    Art took one of the en-bloc clips laying on the ground, dusted it off and loaded it. Then started collecting the other magazines.

    -Are we really taking and this?! – asked Mio.

    -Sure, why not? – he looked her a bit surprised by her question. – Krul, leave that sword and take the Shansless...

    -WHAT?! NO!!! I like it i don’t wanna!!!

    -C’mon, don’t be a donkey, you are the only person here, who can shot it accurately...

    -What?! – exclaimed Nym. – She can shoot?!

    -Pf, what do you expect from a bunch like them. These are all crazy, both in their minds and hearts... – snorted Mel. – C’mon, little girl. Give me that sword, i’ll watch over it for you...

    -Mel, are you sure?! – reach her with a hand Nym.

    -Why? What’s even that question? – Mel was somewhat surprised.

    But he saw it. He saw it how the moment she took the sword’s handle, an invisible trembled passed throughout her body, as if signaled the beginning of a serious internal struggle that was going to have serious repercussions on her conscious later on...

    -B-but...

    -Don’t sweat it over the small stuff, sis. Let’s go...

    A few more meters onward, they started finding ammo casings...

    A few more – another corpse. This time the skeleton was male.

    -I-i-is t-his a-a g-goblins d-d-d-doing?! You said that t-there are cases, w-w-which... – shivered Ren.

    -Pha, don’t be so childish, Ren. It’s obviously we have job with something much more scarier here... – said Mel.

    Ren’s face turned pale white...

    -The body armor and the helmet are the same. But once again, no ammo and rifle. No sword this time also... – Art reached for the dog tag. – Michael. B. Java. 16. 16. 3851. Marrylant/Enst. 3–B. 4008-4125-13. M.I.C. MUZE. Hmm, interesting...

    -Wanna hear the not so convenient summary? Corpses. Wearing full-body armor and helmets in a World War style, with rifles and combat bullets. Still killed by something with a fucking sword. Something that even didn’t bother getting it back afterwards...

    Ren’s legs started to shake...

    -L-l-let’s go back... – she mumbled.

    -Y-yeah. Maybe we should try some other cave? – agreed with her Mio.

    -No, we should keep going. All this smells like we are headed in a right direction... – argued Mel.

    -What will be the point of the right direction if we all end up like that?! – she pointed the corpse.

    -You are too noisy, keep it down, damn it! – whispered loudly Nym.

    -Mel is right. It seems taking risks in this situation is unavoidable. I think we should proceed forward. – supported her Art.

    -And we also have Krul and Co. magic team! There is nothing to fear, girls! – clenched her little fist his sister.

    When they turned at the next corner, Art almost crashed onto the Minotaur.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  18. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    -Oi, you, you are not the talkative type, huh, mister? – snorted Ann.

    Sophie just rolled her eyes in annoyance.

    The genie just looked her with his deep, blue eyes, full of mysticism and energy.

    Ann just frowned, as if ready to spit him in the face and turned her head the other side.

    -Do you have some grudges against genies or what? – snorted Sophie.

    -No, not at all. Grudges are like the genies – unnecessary...

    The genie once again looked her with his deep eyes, made is if by thousands of dancing sapphires.

    Soph... Soph was getting such nasty shivers by its stare, that was making her stomach upset. But Ann... Ann not only answered his gaze, but was already to set it ablaze with hers...

    -Person will say that you were killed by a genie your previous life...

    -Tss... – Ann snorted and again avoided his gaze.

    -My star sigh is also genie, you know...

    -Happy birthday...

    -That was the last Sunday, on 8th, four days ago.

    -Happy birthday again then...

    Sophie snorted.

    Now Avys rolled her eyes annoyed.

    -Will you two stop gnaw each other? Show some class by acting like a grown up persons, for fuck sake...

    -Don’t swear you little bitch, or i’ll bitch slap you... – frowned Sophie.

    Avys just snorted and spit before her leg. Then cursed them lowly and turned her head aside, not wanting to catch an eye of them...

    This whole thing... Were they taking it like it was a joke? Like their lives were not in danger? Did they not remember what happened with the goat and manticores earlier?

    -I... I get it now. – she mumbled with her dead-fish eyes.. – You are just total morons...

    -YOU!!!... – Sophie was really about to bitch-slap her, but Vick moved between them and pushed her back.

    -Enough, girls! Have some self-control and behave yourself! You are leaving bad impression at our guide. – then she leaned towards them and whispered: – What if he decide we are not worthy or something like that and just leave us alone to deal with this?!

    The three girls startled, as if not thinking of this possibility before.

    -To leave us? How to leave us?! – looked her Ann amazed.

    -You are just pulling things out of your ass... – snorted Avys...

    Sophie smacked her behind the neck.

    -Aaaai!!!

    -I told you, mind your tongue, brat...

    Avys just looked her with such a gaze, wanting to incinerate her in place.

    -I suggest we all shut up for a while and just walk. We all choose to trust the genie, so let’s do it till the end. – intervened Vick.

    Sophie and Avys just turned their backs to each other and continued to walk in complete silence.

    The genie seemed totally unmoved by all their arguing and talking. Just continued to hover a meter above the ground, leading them through the tomb’s stony corridors.

    Sophie looked around. The stone columns disappeared above in the dark, with walls so wide, that the phone’s light wasn’t powerful enough to reach either left or right. It was so grandiose and mighty, making them feel like a tiny bugs in a garden and evoked such emotions in them, as if all the history of their planet was stored in here.

    Right after they broke the phenomena and the white light devoured all their horizons, a new place awaited them. A nice and cozy oasis in the middle of the desert, with so many palms and green grass around it, they wanted just to lay down on it and forget all of this...

    Only if it wasn’t so cold...

    In their initial inspection, they found it all surrounded by the desert, with no habitable place in sight and no idea where to head on.

    It was Ann, who kicked one random glass bottle, suspiciously laying on the shore of the oasis and crushing it into the rock, that in a violet puff of smoke, summoned the genie.

    But there were no wishes or such – just a voice in their heads to follow it and with no further ado, it just headed in a random direction.

    The rest just had no choice, but to follow it momentarily – there was no even time for arguing.

    The following attempts to get some information out of it were completely fruitless.

    And here they were now – blindly following a genie, in a completely unknown tomb, with the very real possibility to became their own...

    -Oi, can’t you at least make me levitate like you? I’m too tired of all this walking and you are making wishes come true, so what’s the problem? Please? – said Ann.

    The blue eyes of the genie stared at her.

    Sophie rolled her eyes again.

    -Are you really going to waste your wish for something this stupid? – she was in disbelief.

    -I just don’t care anymore. And he didn’t say how many wishes he’ll make for us to come true, so what’s the problem...

    -Please, take this rifle and shoot yourse...

    BANG!!!

    Something ricochet on the floor, right next to Sophie, whizzing furiously in the back.

    The powerful echo loomed all over the mighty hall...

    -Wha... – Ann only managed to half-turn, when Sophie grabbed her and pushed her behind one of the columns...

    In that short amount of time, she saw with the edge of her eyes how something shady was moving in the distance, a vague silhouette, tall and huge as a truck...

    -SHIT, WHAT’S THAT?! – exclaimed Vick.

    Sophie just raised up her musket and fired back, no questions asked...

    -WAIT, WHAT IF THESE ARE THE OTHERS?! – outshouted the echoes Avys.

    In response, a semi-automatic salvo started to pulverize the edge of the column, louder and louder with each shot, throwing sharp stones and rubble all over them...

    -These definitely are not the Shanless’ bullets, girl. It’s something much more powerful... – she said and threw at her the musket and the bag. – Kassipeya!

    The revolver materialized in her hand...

    Aiv started reloading the musket...

    Sophie showed only her hand and blindly fired in a quick succession all the revolver’s bullets...

    Ann was sitting at the columns base, covering her ears and shoving her face in her knees...

    A magical sphere hit the column just a centimeters from Sophie’s hand and exploded so violently, that almost ruptured their eardrums. The shock-wave threw dust and large particles in her eyes, making her stagger and numbed her hand so much, that she dropped the revolver, which jumped several times into the corridor...

    -Fuck, shit!... – she was about to go for it, when Vick suddenly pushed her back, knocking her on the floor, covering her torso and head with her little body...

    The automatic shots made all the space go live.

    Bullets ricocheted everywhere, screaming from the floor, piercing the column and raising huge puffs of dust violently. Avys, which had reloaded the musket, attempted to showed it beside the column and return fire, but the flying hot lead and the whizzing stone shrapnel in all directions made her quickly abandon that notion of hers.

    For the first time in their lives, they felt how their lives hanged so much on a stake. How just a single stray bullet, whether accurately directed by the skill of the shooter, or the whim of the fate, could end their miserable existence in any moment. How they hugged the floor, with their bodies rolled in a fetal position, trembling in wait, thinking and thinking, and the thoughts of uncertainty were slowly taking over their minds, threatening to turn them mad...

    -Please don’t hit me, please don’t hit me, please don’t hit me... – started freaking out Ann...

    -CALM DOWN!

    -DON’T WANNA DIIIIEEE!!! – she tried to get up...

    But Sophie just pushed her not so gently back on the floor, covering her head and torso with her body...

    -LET GO OF ME, LET GO OF ME!!! – she felt how the girl was squirming and trying to fight her off, but with no avail...

    Just when the automatic shot ended with a sudden burst of loud reverberating echo, leaving them shiver in fear and empty eyes staring in random points, the genie jumped off the column.

    -SHIT, WHAT’S THAT?! – wafted a loud female voice to them.

    -QUICKLY, RELOAD, RELOAD!!! – and another one.

    -FLAMLIR!

    Just upon hearing these words, as if the barrier around Sophie’s mind, which her subconscious automatically lifted to protect it from going completely mad from the bullet-shock, broke like a glass mirror and she lifted her still full of craziness and glitter eyes.

    -OVA.

    The genie’s deep and booming voice resonated from all the columns and walls, filling them with vibrations and energy...

    The shell around the genie exploded spectacularly when the spell was interrupted, throwing sparks and flames in all directions...

    Sophie instinctively hunk down, closing her eyes...

    -THAT’S A FUCKING GENIE!!! – a very familiar voice echoed somewhere from the front...

    „WHAT?!”

    -YOU CAN’T FIGHT SOMETHING LIKE THIS, RUN!!!

    A meter before the genie, a huge orb of magical energy formed and when Sophie realized it and act, it threw it with a tremendous force towards the opposite end of the corridor...

    -WAIT!!!

    -NOVA!!!

    The thunder was so loud, that put the automatic fire from a moment before to shame. The energy, released from the clash, was so immense, that dusted off all the columns, joints, floor and walls, making the huge smoke screen puff on in a blink of an eye.

    Somebody screamed in pain, and the shivers from the terrifying howl merged with the vibrations from the blast, that when through their bodies down to the bone.

    -Wha...what’s that... – Ann was in total disbelief...

    -STOP! STOP! THESE ARE MY FRIENDS!!! – Sophie rushed at the genie.

    In the thin clouds of the settling dust, two dark eyes turned towards her.

    -Soph? SOPH!!! – a voice echoed from the other side of the corridor.

    Sophie turned. There, in the distance, one shady silhouette showed behind the column, contrasting in the murky atmosphere...

    And just when the dust had settled, her cousin’s figure showed, just meters from her...

    With the smoking machine gun in his arms...

    -Art!!! – exclaimed Sophie, making a step towards him...

    When Vick suddenly whizzed beside her, kicking him so hard outside the knee, that knocked him down on the floor, dropping the machine gun...

    -AAAAAAKGKHKHK, DAFAQ!!!...

    -YOU DAMN MORON, YOU ALMOST KILLED US! – she continued to kick him and thump over him...

    -YOU ALSO FIRED AT US, YOU SHIT!!! – he grabbed her for the leg and threw her at the nearest column.

    -Shit, what’s even happening anymore, i just don’t get it... – Ren hold her face in a palm.

    Her other was occupied with the Shansless...

    -You were the one to first fire at us, right? I’m 100 percent sure... – frowned Avys, threateningly holding her musket.

    -It’s not my fault, i thought you were one of these... things. I’m just sick of them...

    -These... things?

    Krul helped Art get up, thumping his clothes off the dust.

    -Yeah, these... things! Ghouls, or zombies, or walkers, or whatever! After exiting the labyrinth, they just won’t stop follow us!!! I’m so sick of all this running, that even from now i’m start feeling the pain in my legs that will come tomorrow!

    -Ghouls? Zombies? Walkers? Labyrinth? – raised her eyebrows Sophie. – Care to explain what happened?

    -Well, it was something like...


    A little earlier:

    -OMFG! – Art whispered loudly and suddenly came to an stop.

    Someone clashed onto his back...

    -Wh-wh-wh-wha... – stuttered Mio behind him...

    -Quickly! Get back very, very qui!...

    Ren’s scream send shivers down their spines and the paralysis pierced their bodies so violently, that they refused to move...

    -AGHRHKH, BRUH, WTF!...

    The Minotaur suddenly woke up, grunting and snorting from the rude interruption of its blissful slumber...

    Falling of the chair spectacularly, as if trained this move for years...

    -NOW’S OUR CHANCE, RUUUN!!!... – shouted Art.

    -ARWGH, BRRRHHRBRH... – the beast shook its head, laying on its four.

    But instead, Krul rushed in the other direction...

    -WHA...

    -Oi, are you okay, mister? – she kneed next to him, putting her small hand on its huge back...

    -KRUL!!!

    The contrast in the size was staggering. And the others just watched her in bewilderment, paralyzed down to their roots.

    The beast stood heavily, thumping its hooves and shoulders from the dust.

    -I’m sorry, mister, for so rudely interrupting your slumber. I hope you forgive us.

    The Minotaur looked down on her with its deep reddish eyes. It was so huge and massive, that even its biceps were bigger than her.

    Then suddenly laughed and his deep and coarse voice filled the hall with its reverberating echoes.

    -PHOHOHOHO, NO WORRIES, LITTLE MISSUS! SO GLAD TO HAVE NEW VISITORS AROUND! WAS ABOUT TO KICK THE BUCKET FROM BOREDOMNESS! COME, COME, I’LL SHOW YOU AROUND! – he put up its chair, picked the huge axe, that was leaning on the wall and went forwards...

    Krul followed him without hesitation...

    -W-WHAT ARE YOU DOING, KRUL?! – whispered loudly Art, making a step behind them. Not daring to do more...

    The two of them turned.

    -What? – looked him his little sister, frowning.

    Ren was just shaking uncontrollably next to him, with her jaw clanging so hard, that all her teeth were going to fall...

    The Minotaur just laughed out again.

    -PHAHOHO, BRUH, NO WORRIES, LITTLE MISSUS! IF THERE IS SOME TREAT AROUND, I’LL JUST LET IT TASTE MY AXE!!! – he waved it around.

    Nym’s jaw dropped.

    -Well, i think we missed an important detail about the context here... – sighed Mio.

    Mel just puffed...

    -Pfff, dying probably isn’t the worst that can happen anymore, so who cares...

    And went towards them...

    -LET’S GO MISSUS AND MISTER! WE HAVE A LONG JOURNEY BEFORE US!

    When Art was about to go, he felt how someone pinched him for the shirt.

    It was Ren, still shaking and trembling, unable to move...

    -C-can i hold y-y-your h-h-hand f-for a little b-bit? P-please...

    -Of course, Ren. – he gently took her hand into his palm.

    But the trembling didn’t stop. It was so cold and sweaty at the same time...

    -Don’t worry, Ren. I won’t allow any harm to come to you. To any of you. – he almost whispered in her ear.

    Strong words. For something that was completely out of his control...

    Ren just blinked and stared her gaze at Mel’s legs, walking a few meters in front of them, with Krul and the Minotaur.

    She gulped. Art was ready to bet how dry her throat probably was. Just like his‘...

    It was just a few dozens meters in, when the Minotaur loudly announced, that they now have entered the labyrinth.


    -This sounds totally absurd... – snorted Sophie.

    -You are the one to talk... – replied Ann, looking at the genie.

    -But wait, there is more...


    Mel looked back, at the darkness of the long corridor, which they left behind their backs.

    -You are kind of a strange bird... for a Minotaur.

    The beast looked her with its reddish eyes.

    -YOUR POINT, MISSUS?

    -Weren’t the Minotaur usually... guarding the labyrinth, killing and eating its trespassers? – she asked.

    Ren looked her with widened eyes.

    -W-why a-a-are you a-asking such things r-right now?! – she whispered loudly.

    -WELL, YOU SEE... – began the Minotaur, scratching delicately its nape. – I WAS DOING THAT IN THE BEGINNING, YOU SEE. BUT THEN, PEOPLE STARTED TO COME MORE AND MORE RARELY AND AN INCURABLE BOREDOMNESS SPROUT DEEP INSIDE ME. I’VE BECAME SAD AND EMPTY, AND THE DAYS PROTRACTED LONGER AND LONGER. THE URGE TO SHARE WITH SOMEBODY AND THE FEELING THAT YOU DON’T HAVE ANYONE YOU CAN TALK TO. SO INSTEAD I DECIDED I SHOULD START GUIDING THEM THROUGH THE LABYRINTH, WHICH I HAD LEARNED SO WELL IN MY HOURS OF POINTLESS WANDERING.

    Krul was watching him as if with admiration and awe.

    -AND THAT WAS A SUCCESSFUL LONG-TERM STRATEGY, YOU SEE! PEOPLE WERE SCARED AND SKEPTICAL IN THE BEGINNING, BUT WITH THE TIME I HAVE LEARNED SUCH GREAT STORIES ABOUT THEIR LIVES, YOU SEE! MY LIFE BEGAN TO TURN COLORFUL, I STARTED TO FIND A PURPOSE IN MY LIFE! SOME OF THEM EVEN LEFT ME GIFTS AND STUFF, YOU SEE! EARNING THEM THIS WAY IS MUCH MORE POSITIVE AND MEANINGFUL, THAN JUST EATING AND KILLING!

    -Well, couldn’t agree more with you... mister. – Mel’s eyes narrowed a bit.

    -PHO-HO-HO, ABSOLUTELY, BLUE-EYES MISSUS. AND YOU? WHERE DID YOU CAME FROM, WHAT’S YOUR STORY? IF YOU DON’T MIND TELLING ME, OF COURSE!

    -Of course we don’t mind, of course... – hurried to respond Nym.

    And Mel spent the next half an hour reminiscing about all the things, they’ve have endured. And she was doing it in a quite talkative and engrossing way, that even he felt himself engulfed in her sweet-talking. He never though that she was so good at that, which combined with her gentle and mild voice even more amplified the effects of her enthralling story.

    -HOO, THAT’S REALLY INTRIGUING. WELL, YOU SEE, THE TRUTH IS REALLY STRANGE THINGS BEGAN TO OCCUR LATELY. NOT THAT WEIRD STUFF DIDN’T HAPPEN AND BEFORE, BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I WITNESS SUCH THINGS. I CAN EVEN SMELL IT IN THE ATMOSPHERE RIGHT NOW!

    The girls just looked around, some of them a bit worried, some of them a bit concerned...

    -What do you mean by that? – asked Art.

    -NOT LONG AGO, PEOPLE WITH SIMILAR RIFLES THAT YOU ARE HOLDING RIGHT NOW, YOUNG BOY, ENTERED THE LABYRINTH. I EVEN THINK THAT’S THE SAME RIFLE...

    -Probably yeah. I found it shortly before we met you. The people it belonged are long dead...

    -OH, THAT’S UNFORTUNATE. SUCH AN INTERESTING STORY THEY’VE TOLD ME. ABOUT THEIR WORLD, SOMETHING ABOUT A HUGE WAR, A SHIP AND AN EXPERIMENT.

    -Huge war? Ship and an experiment?

    -YEAH! WAR SO HUGE, THAT ALL THE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD WERE FIGHTING AGAINST EACH OTHER! WITH TENS OF MILLIONS OF SOLDIERS FOR EACH SIDE ON THE BATTLEFIELD! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! EVEN I GOT SHIVERS JUST BY LISTENING TO THEM. ME, WHO SURVIVED COUNTLESS BATTLEFIELDS IN MY YOUTH! AND THEIR SHIPS! THEIR SHIPS WERE ALL MADE OF STEEL AND IRON, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! THEY’VE TOLD ME IT’S NOT, BUT IT’S PROBABLY ALL DARK MAGIC AND STUFF, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW THAT SHIPS ARE MADE OF WOOD AND TAR! AND THIS EXPERIMENT... THEY USED SO UNFAMILIAR WORDS TO ME, THAT I COULDN’T UNDERSTAND 90% OF THE THINGS!!! REALLY, IT’S REALLY UNFORTUNATE TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR FATE.

    -Yes, it is. Did they tell you where are they from?

    -OH, YES, I REMEMBER IT VERY WELL! THE PLACE THEY COME FROM THEY CALLED OBERLAND!

    Art just goggled his eyes against him.

    -Oberland? Are you sure about that, mister Minotaur? – he asked.

    -OH, YES, YES, BRUH! I MAY BE OLD, BUT MY MEMORY IS STILL VERY GOOD. THEY WERE SIX PEOPLE IN TOTAL, TWO WOMEN AND FOUR MEN, EACH CARRYING A WEAPON SIMILAR TO YOURS, EXCEPT ONE OF THE LADIES AND THE SAME HELMETS LIKE THE YOUNG MISSUS HERE. AND ONE OF THEM CARRIED SOME STRANGE BOX ON IT’S BACK. HE CALLED IT „FIELD RADIO” OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. HE EXPLAINED TO ME THAT IT IS USED TO COMMUNICATE AT LONG DISTANCES WITH OTHER PEOPLE, WITHOUT EVEN USING MAGIC! JUST LIKE TELEPATHY, CAN YOU IMAGINE IT?!

    Art just took a delicate look at Mel.

    -I see, that’s really very interesting. Can you remember the details for what they have told you about the experiment?

    -WELL, BRUH, NOT REALLY. I ONLY REMEMBER THEY NEED TO TAKE BACK THE CONTROL OF THEIR SHIP AND WERE SEARCHING FOR FUEL, MAGIC AND SOME KIND OF STABILIZER. THAT’S THE BEST I CAN GIVE YOU MISTER AND MISSUS’.

    -I see. Sounds intriguing. You mentioned these strange things that happened lately. Can you be more specific?

    -IT IS IN THE MAGIC PRESENCE AROUND. I HAVE NEVER FELT IT IN SUCH WAYS BEFORE, MISTER AND MISSUS’. THE FLUCTUATIONS, THE SUDDEN SPIKES AND FALLS. AS IF SOME ENTITY IS LURKING AROUND, IN THE DARKNESS. OI, COULD IT BE THAT THIS IS SOMEHOW RELATED TO YOUR SITUATION?

    -Well, this is what we are trying to find out now. – replied Art and his voice came out more nervously, than he wanted.

    -I SEE, I SEE. YOU BETTER BE VERY CAREFUL, THEN! I CAN ASSURE YOU – ONLY A VERY POWERFUL FOE IS ABLE OF DOING STUFF UP TO THESE HIGHS.

    -Thank you for the advises, mister Minotaur. We will be.

    -PHOHO, BE SURE, AND BE WARNED, I BEG YOU. SO THEN, WHAT YOUR WORLD LOOKS LIKE THEN, LITTLE MISTER AND MISSUS’?

    -Well... There are metal ships.

    The Minotaur goggled his eyes...

    -METAL SHIPS?! BUT HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!

    -Well, it is not so much about the material, rather than a thing, called buoyancy. It is an upward force, exerted by a fluid that opposes the weight of an immersed object. Or simply said, you know, when you put some object into water, the gravity will be pulling it down and the forces of buoyancy will counter it. Using that law, some folks even made a boat from a stone block, that floated.

    -STONE THAT FLOATED!

    -Well, it was just experiment, with no practical use...

    -BRRRHRH, YOU PEOPLE SURE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FOR THE LAST FEW MILLENNIUMS, BRHRH, YOU SEE. WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE?!

    -Well, we also have ai... flying machines. – began Krul.

    -FLYING MACHINES? OH, YOU MEAN HOT-AIR BALLOONS?

    -No, its... wait, you know about hot-air balloons?!

    -OF COURSE I KNOW! ONCE THERE WAS THAT ONE GUY... HOW WAS HIS NAME AGAIN... – the Minotaur thumped his head several times. – OH, YEAH! KAYVISS B. MORTISS. HE TOLD ME ABOUT THESE THINGS! AND THAT HE WAS ON A MISSION TO CIRC... CIRGUN... CARGUNAV... AKH, WHATEVER, TO MAKE THE FIRST NONSTOP FLIGHT AROUND THE PLANET BY A BALLOON! DID YOU KNOW THAT?! OUR WORLD IS ACTUALLY A SPHERE, FLOATING IN A EMPTY VOID!

    -Well, that’s quite a common knowledge in our time. –delicately scratched her nape Ren.

    -OH, YOU FOLKS SURE ARE SMART!

    -What’s was that guy that made the first successful circumnavigation by airballon? – whispered Nym to Mel.

    -Clovis Morwell or something like that. Can’t remember it specifically...

    -But you are sure it’s a different guy?

    -100 percent...

    -So whether the mino’s guy didn’t make it first... or more weird shit is happening again.

    -Yeah...

    -OH, WHAT’S THIS LITTLE DEVICE, MISSUS?! – the Minotaur pinched between his index finger and thumb Krul’s phone, waving it around in curiosity...

    -Oi, careful, careful, mister! It’s quite fragile if you drop it! – she reached for it.

    -OH, SORRY LITTLE MISSUS. – he returned it to her.

    Krul got it back in the safety of her arms.

    -Well, it’s main function is to... It’s like the field radio of the people you met before. But a lot smaller version.

    -OH, I SEE, I SEE! WAIT, WHAT’S THIS THAT’S MOVING?!?!?! – he pointed at the little display.

    -This is one of this device’s functions... It can capture...

    -LITTLE MISSUS, I’M AWARE OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THE BASIC TELEMETRY! EVEN IN OUR TIME WE WERE ABLE TO SEND SHORT RECORDINGS OR IMAGES OVER DISTANCE AND PROJECT THEM OVER SURFACES WITH THE MEANS OF MAGIC! I’M NOT SURPRISED ABOUT THE VIDEO! I MEAN WHAT’S THIS IN THE VIDEO!

    -Oh, i see! Well, that’s... one of the other of the flying machines we have. It’s called „aircraft”. – she turned her phone with the random video she picked to show him, at the Minotaur.

    -OOOH, INCREDIBLE, INCREDIBLE! TO HAVE MASTERED THE AIR IN SUCH WAYS, YOU ARE INCREDIBLE!

    -Know’s the basic principles of telemetry?! – leaned Nym to Mel and whispered.

    -How old is he after all?! – whispered and Mio.

    The Minotaur landed its stern gaze at her.

    So stern, that it almost made the two girls paralyzed down their roots.

    -OH, THE AGE? IT MUST BE AT LEAST 7000 HUMAN YEARS!

    -7000 HUMAN YEARS?! YOU ARE IMMORTAL?! – exclaimed Krul.

    -T-that’s... – began Ren.

    -OI! DID YOU WITNESSED THE VAMPIRE WORLD WAR?! – pushed her aside Mel and stared her curious-kiddy sparkly eyes at him.

    -Really? Really? That’s what you care most about? – frowned Nym.

    -OH, WELL, YOU SEE, THAT HAPPENED AFTER I WAS LOCKED HERE, YOU SEE. BUT I HAVE HEARD STORIES ABOUT IT AFTER THAT! BRHRH, THESE THING MAKES EVEN MY SKIN SHIVER! HOPE NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN!

    -Well, that’s sad. Sounds really like missed opportunity... – Mel became somewhat sad.

    Ren just looked her in bewilderment...

    When they turned at the next corner, something really strange occurred.

    As if they’ve entered some carefully arranged museum, with stuff on both sides of the walls. And what stuff it was, as if the items were a time capsules, recreating whole eons worth of knowledge...

    -Wow, that’s amazing!!! – rushed forwards Mel, kneeing next to a pile of books. – LOOK, THAT’S A PAPER BOOK! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?!

    -OH, THESE! THESE ARE THE THINGS MY VISITORS HAVE LEFT ME AS A GIFTS AND THE STUFF I’VE GATHERED AROUND, WHEN WANDERING AROUND THE CAVE SYSTEM. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT PLACES THIS PLACE HAVE!...

    -The colonizer of the Ryllo? Never heard of this book before! – completely ignored him Mel.

    -WELL, THEN YOU CAN HAVE IT, BLUE-EYES MISSUS.

    -Really?! Thank you mister Minotaur, i’ll cherish it with all my heart! – she lifted the booked very carefully, dusting it off gently.

    Art looked around. There were soo many stuff, that could put any museum to shame...

    -WELL, YOU ALL CAN ALSO HAVE SOME STUFF IF YOU LIKE IT! MOST OF THE THINGS ARE MADE FOR HUMANS AND I CAN’T USE THEM ANYWAYS, SO WHAT GOOD ARE THEY HERE FOR, RUSTING AND BREAKING DOWN?

    -Well, that’s a fair point, but from a human stand point it is rude to take something that was gifted to somebody. – explained Krul.

    They just saw how Mel’s eyes filled with tears.

    -WELL, THAT’S REALLY UNFORTUNATE. – the Minotaur scratched its nape.

    Damn, he even had a full-plate Maximilian armor! He wanted it so much... Only if he was able to carry it. And Krul didn’t open her big mouth...

    Muskets, swords, polearms, shields, rifles, A PIANO, a couch, car tires... As if a teacher asked its class to list 100 random items and the result was materialized in this corridor...

    And after the next corner, the labyrinth suddenly come to an end, transforming into a huge gallery with no end in sign.

    -WELL, IT SEEMS OUR JOURNEY HAVE COME TO AN END, GOOD MISSUS’ AND MISTER. YOUR STORY WAS REALLY DEEP AND INTERESTING. HOPE YOUR JOURNEY END SAFELY AND SOON.

    -We also thank you, mister, for escorting us through the labyrinth and keeping us safe. – bowed Mel.

    Art took out one vial from the Shansless’ ammo bag, giving it to the Minotaur.

    The beast took it between its thumb and index finger, looking it suspiciously.

    -That’s a gun lubricating oil, that we use on these rifles. I’m sorry that we can’t offer you bigger gift, but you can use it to oil your axe to prevent it from rusting.

    -PREVENT IT FROM RUSTING! OHH, THAT’S A GREAT GIFT, MISTER! – now the Minotaur eyes filled with admiration and cheer.

    -Well, of we go now. Thank you for all the great stories you shared with us. – said and Art, bowing slightly.

    -SAME, SAME! BE SAFE! BE CAREFUL – the Minotaur waved.

    All of them turned, facing the darkness, that was awaiting them ahead.

    Then went forward.

    Not even several steps in, Mel suddenly stopped and turned back at the Minotaur:

    -Oi, mister. Wanna come with us?

    -Whaa... – looked her amazed Ren.

    -SURE! – snarled the beast with its coarse voice.
     
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  19. yywee

    yywee Well-Known Member

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    15 pages for a month... That's a new record for me, i guess, lol. But with all the job, it is miraculous that i have stamina and will left to write and draw. Hope you enjoy it. The next one will be the last chapter of volume 3 (i hope, lol, like i hoped to finish it with the other 3 previous chapters).

    Ann looked at Mel with her narrowed, „i’m tired of your bullshit” eyes.

    The Minotaur stepped out timidly of the column’s shadow.

    -OMG, IT’S REAL!!! – exclaimed Vick.

    -AND SO HUGE! – joined her Avys, with her obvious radiating desire to touch his biceps.

    Sophie just looked the annoyed, then turn at his cousin:

    -And this machine gun? What happened after that?

    -Well, you see... – began Art, delicately scratching his nape...


    -How did you end up locked in here, mister? – asked Krul, several minutes after they have exited the labyrinth.

    -WELL, YOU SEE, WE, MINOTAURS ARE USUALLY VERY BELLIGERENT FOLKS. I REMEMBER DURING MY YOUTH THAT WE WERE CONTINUOUSLY AT WAR. JUST ENDLESS FIGHTING, RAIDING AND COMBAT WITH ALL THE OTHER GUYS. YOU SEE, MOST OF US WERE MOSTLY YOUNG FOLK, HOT-TEMPERED AND QUICK-FUSED, IMPATIENT TO GET INTO ACTION AND PROVE OURSELVES BEFORE THE ELDERS. SO EVERY TIME WE WERE TRYING TO OVERDO OURSELVES IN OUR „FEATS”.

    -YOU SEE, THERE WAS THAT ONE TRIBE, THAT WAS LIVING AT THE EDGE OF OUR LANDS. A MYSTERIOUS FOLKS, NASTY BUNCH, NOT EVEN THE SCARIEST MONSTERS DARED TO APPROACH THEM. OUR ELDERS WERE ALWAYS TELLING US NOT TO GET INVOLVED WITH THEM, AND THEY USED TO SCARE US WITH TALES ABOUT THEM WHEN WE’RE LITTLE ONES.

    -BUT, YOU SEE, AS MORE AND MORE WE WERE FIGHTING, AND MORE AND MORE SELF-CONFIDENT WE BECAME, THIS JUST STARTED TO SOUND MORE LIKE AN INVITATION TO US. SO ONE NIGHT, WITHOUT TELLING THE ELDERS, WE JUST WENT OUT AND RAIDED THEM.

    -WELL, WE DID QUITE A NASTY STUFF TO THEM...

    -No need to go into details, please... – hurried to interrupt him Art.

    -I KNOW, I KNOW, YOU SEE! DON’T WORRY, I WON’T SCARE THE LITTLE ONE ANYMORE...

    -As you see, i’m not that easily scared, mister... – pouted Krul.

    -RIGHT, RIGHT!

    -What happened after that? – asked Mel.

    -WELL, I THING WE GOT CURSED OR SOMETHING. ON OUR WAY BACK SOME OF US GOT SICK, THEN WE STARTED ARGUING LIKE CRAZY, EVEN STARTED FIGHTING AND KILLING EACH OTHER. I CAN SAY WITH SURE THAT WE WENT MAD. ONLY ONE-THIRD OF OUR NUMBERS RETURNED TO THE VILLAGE. BUT IT DIDN’T END THERE, OH NO... THE DISEASE WAS SPREADING... THE MADNESS... THE FIGHTING. I ONLY REMEMBER HOW MY MIND WAS GOING MORE AND MORE BLANK, AS IF SOMETHING WAS CONSUMING MY MIND. UNTIL I COMPLETELY LOST MY REASON AND AWARENESS. THE REST IS JUST FRAGMENTED MEMORIES OF ME WANDERING HERE.

    -THEN, ONE DAY I SUDDENLY WOKE UP! I CAN’T TELL YOU THE REASON, BUT MY MIND JUST RETURNED TO ME. THERE WAS NO MORE HUNGER AND THIRST, I WAS JUST IN THIS MAZE, NOT KNOWING HOW I ENDED HERE. WITH THE TIME I ALSO REALIZED I WAS NOT AGING, AS IF I HAVE BECOME IMMORTAL. WELL, THAT’S IT, YOU KNOW THE REST.

    -This really sound like a curse to me. – said Mel. – Who were these folks, that you raided?

    -I THING THEY CALLED THEIR KIND „ILSÉ”...

    -„ILSE”? ARE YOU SURE?! – suddenly exclaimed Mel, almost leaning over him.

    -What got you so excited suddenly? – asked Nym.

    Mel looked her amazed.

    -You really know nothing about our world, big sis. – said Mel, somewhat sad...

    -Enough, Mel, i also haven’t heard about this. Was this a nation or what? – intervened Mio.

    -No, no, look, you completely missed the point. Ilsé are another race.

    -Another race?

    -Yeah. Just like the humans, orcs, elves, dwarves... Minotaurs... – she quickly added.

    -THAT’S RIGHT, MISSUS! ANOTHER RACE. AND A NASTY BUNCH MOREOVER! YOU SHOULDN’T GET INVOLVED WITH THEM AT ALL COST!

    -Well, that’s somehow self-excluding. Ilsé went extinct during the Vampire World War.

    -WENT EXTINCT?! LOL, THESE ARE GREAT NEWS, FOLKS!

    -This can also explain why your curse faded away, mister. – joined and Krul. – I’m sorry to present it to you like this, but what you and your folks did was very, very stupid.

    -PHAHAHA, I KNOW, LITTLE MISSUS, I KNOW! BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO, WE WERE VERY AMBITIOUS IN OUR YOUTH AND, WHICH PROVED TO BE MORE DANGEROUS, VERY STUPID.

    Krul just giggled gently. Strange. That was very rare of her.

    -This race... What they looked like? – asked Mio.

    -OH, THEY LOOK LIKE ALMOST LIKE YOU, HUMANS. BUT THEIR EYES... THEIR EYES WERE ALWAYS FILLED WITH THAT SPECIFIC GLIMMER, FULL WITH PRIDE... ALMOST LIKE AN ELF. AND THEIR STRENGTH... THEY WERE STRONG LIKE ORCS, NO, LIKE OGRES, DESPITE THEIR SEEMINGLY FRAGILE FRAMES!

    -Wow, this sounds really interesting! – said Nym.

    -Yeah. These folks were also very adept in the magic arts. It is commonly believed that exactly Ilse were the one, who taught us the magic.

    Mio and Nym were just looking at him with the kind of admiration that little kids were looking their beloved big brothers.

    -That’s just common knowledge. Don’t know why you are reacting in such way... – Mel crossed her arms below her chest.

    -Well, we’re not spending all our days over the books. We have lives, you know... – snorted Nym.

    Mel just raised proudly her chin, turning her head a little bit to the side.

    When they turned at the next corner, a new body appeared. But this time...

    -Wait, isn’t this... – Art knee next to the body.

    But his interest wasn’t directed at it at all...

    -OMG, THAT’S A MACHINE GUN! – he lay down the semi-automatic rifle on the ground and took the new weapon in its hands. – Krul! Give the Shansless to Ren and come take this semi!

    -Really? Really? Are you going to take it? – Nym was in total disbelief.

    -Yes? – replied Art, quite surprised of that pointless question of her, while taking the ammo-bag also.

    Krul just obediently took the semi-auto and its ammo-bag, and gave the Shansless to Ren, no questions asked, no disobedience showed.

    Nym was just looking them amazed.

    -OI, YOU PEOPLE SURE ARE CARRYING A LOT OF THESE THINGS LATELY. WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THEM?

    -Well, their biggest advantage is that you can strike your opponents from very far away...

    -FROM VERY FAR AWAY? LIKE BOW?

    -Yeah. But it require just a fraction of the time to train a man to use them, than a bow.

    -OH, SERIOUSLY?

    -Absolutely. And they are much more powerful...

    -Just show him already... – snorted Mel, somewhat aggravated.

    Art just needed that much...

    He lifted the machine gun a bit in the air, pulled the charging handle and without any warning, fired a short burst.

    -OMG, I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO SHOT SUCH A THING!

    -ARKGH, DAMN IT, WAS THIS NECESSARY?! – Ren thumped several times with her leg on the ground, covered her ears with hands.

    -WOW, THAT WAS AMAZING YOUNG MISTER! – exclaimed the Minotaur, staring in the distance. – WHO COULD THOUGH THAT THESE LITTLE THINGS WERE ACTUALLY... SO LOUD!

    -Tss... – she snorted.

    Something thumped in front of them.

    The sudden sound made all of them shut up and turn in its direction...

    The second thump send shivers down their spines. They saw how something fall from the ceiling, crashing on the floor at the darkness in front of them.

    Then it got up, standing up next to the other silhouette, obscure in the darkness.

    A third one poped up next to the other two.

    -Oi, oi, oi! WHAT’S GOING ON?! – Ann pointed in in their general direction.

    THUNDER!!!

    The powerful gunshot merged with the metallic clang of a high-speed ricocheting object, and Krul’s head suddenly tilted backwards...

    With the girl falling back, like a bag of potatoes...

    -KRUUUUUUULLLL!!! – Art immediately rushed towards her, grabbing her in his hug.

    -Take cover, take cover!!! – Mel grabbed Ren’s hand and dashed behind the nearest column, furiously waving at the other girls.

    BANG!!!... BANG, BANG, BANG!!!

    More shots echoed, whizzing over their ears, ricocheting on the floor and piercing the stone columns.

    -I-i’m f-fine, big bro. – moved Krul somewhat sluggishly, with her eyes dizzy from the shock.

    BANG, BANG, BANG, BANG!!!

    A bullet hit the Minotaur in the head.

    The beast staggered back, his head shook a little bit from the shock...

    Then he snorted.

    -HO-HO-HO, THESE RIFLES OF YOURS SURE STINGS A BIT!

    And lifted its axe, charging like a mad.


    Sophie looked at the dent of Krul’s helmet.

    Then turned at Art, somewhat acquiescent.

    -You really are stupid, you know that?

    -Shat up... – he pouted a bit, avoiding her gaze.

    -Let’s just go on. I’m very sick of this place already...


    -ART, THERE ARE MORE BEHIND YOU!!!

    He grabbed Krul and jumped right behind the column, just when the bullets started to ricochet from the floor next to them.

    -Wha-what’s going on... – Ren was utterly perplexed of this situation.

    -STAY IN COVER! – shouted back at her Art and the girl hunk down even more.

    Meanwhile, from the front, a furious sequence of slashes, cracks, thuds and crashes echoed back to them. Art dared only for a fraction of a second look behind the column and for that time he saw how the minotaur was waving its axe amain, giving a hell to the vague dismal figures.

    But there was nothing coming from them – not even a scream, not even a terrifying howl of agony, accompanying the minotaur’s wildly blows. Only slashes and crashes, and the heinous cuts of flesh and breaking bones, that made their roots tremble...

    -C’MON, I’VE DEALED WITH THESE THINGS!!! – yelled them the minotaur from the front.

    Art was just about to grab Krul and rush forwards to him, when the new cannonry of shoots made him quickly step back behind the column. One bullet whizzed so close to his hair, that he felt its warmth and energy.

    -OI, DON’T STAY EXPOSED LIKE THIS, YOU WON’T GET LUCKY SECOND TIME!!! – he screamed at the minotaur.

    Unexpectedly, the beast listened to him and agily jumped behind the nearest column.

    -WHAT NOW THEN?! – he yelled back at him.

    Art looked at his face. A blood was still running from the wound, where the bulled hit him in the head, miraculously not cracking its skull. A much more fitting image of a minotaur now, he judged...

    Then looked at the semi-automatic rifle and the machine gun, lying on the floor, just two meters of him.

    -KRUL, COVER ME! – he suddenly yelled.

    And dashed forward.

    -Wait! – Ren tried to reach him with hand, but was too far away...

    -POVA!

    The gunshots merged with glassy cracking of his shield, throwing flashes and sparks in all directions.

    Krul half-showed behind the column, focusing with her eyes the shadowy silhouettes in the distance.

    Raising her gentle, innocent hand with not so much innocent intent...

    -MULTIPLE BASARA!

    The things just exploded.

    Simultaneously, with no extra drama and pieces of burning meat and smoking flesh flew in all directions, with the flashes making their eyes itching in the darkness.

    Art quickly grabbed the rifle, throwing it at Krul, who with a skillful move caught it, and took the machine gun next...

    -QUICKLY, LET’S MOVE! Krul, guard our rear, mister Mino, let’s take the front!

    -AYE! – they replied one over another.

    The minotaur jumped off the column, dashing forwards with a speed, unsuspecting for its side. Mel was the first one to follow him tightly on his track, without even showing a hint of hesitation.

    But the rest... They didn’t even dare to move from their safe places behind the columns...

    -C’mon! – he grabbed Ren’s hand and started pulling her not so gently...

    -POVA! – yelled Krul behind them.

    And in the next moment, the gunshot echoed thorough the corridor, cracking glassily in her shield.

    -Wh-what are these things?! – her voice trembled.

    -No idea, just run! – Art pulled her even faster, trying to get into the minotaur’s tempo.

    -Hey, mister, how far is the exit?! – shouted Nym.

    -POVA!

    More gunshots thundered from behind, muting the minotaur’s reply.

    When he turned his head a bit to the back, he saw how Krul stopped, turned and fired in a precise quick succession all the rifle’s ammo at the few vague silhouettes...

    With all of them dropping like a bags of cement...

    -C’MON KRUL, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO GET INTO GUNFIGHTS!

    -Yes, big bro! – she agility turned and fast as a doe catch up to them, while reloading it in the same time...

    -Mister, how far is the exit?! – asked again Nym.

    -I SAID NO IDEA!

    He felt the urge in the air, how all of them suddenly wanted to just stop in place and look him amazed.

    -What?! WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO IDEA?! – shouted Nym at him.

    -LADY, I HAVE WANDERED THIS PLACE FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND NEVER HAVE FOUND A SINGLE EXIT! THIS PLACE IS INESCAPABLE! NOT POSSIBLE!

    This time Nym really stopped in place. As if just something in her right on gave up.

    -Nym, nooo!!! – Art let go off Ren’s hand, turning towards Mel’s sister...

    One of the Things jumped out the column agilely, reaching with its maw and claws for Nym...

    Art instinctively extended his arm, ready to incinerate it on a reflex...

    BANG!!!

    The shot make him jump in place, momentarily losing his concentration and focused energy...

    The bullet pierced the monster, making him lose just a fraction of its flying momentum, enough to miss Nym just by centimeters, falling spectacularly on the ground, turning and rolling like a sensation on the net...

    The Shansless’s lever clanged. Art stopped in place, dropping his guard just for a second, looking back at Ren.

    The bullet case ringed on the floor. Ren’s eyes were in flames.

    -WATCH OUT!!! – raised her voice Mel, sending all shivers down their spines...

    Art turned just to see how the thing was about to overrun him, with its rotten teeth and sharp, yellow claws reaching for him. It was just a handspan away from him, so close that he saw its deep, black eyes...

    CRASH!

    Something shone in his periphery and the feeling was as if a truck passed just an inch beside him, blowing his clothes and hair...

    The minotaur whizzed beside him with such speed, as if it was really a huge heavy fast machine, crushing its axe onto the creature’s head...

    Splitting it into two parts, down to the crouch...

    -DON’T LOSE YOUR CONCENTRATION, MISTER! – he looked at Art with his red frenzy eyes.

    They looked at the two parts of the thing...

    -W-w-what is this... – trembled Mio.

    -Zombie! – pointed at the right one Nym...

    -No, this must be a ghoul! Zombies are...

    -Who gives a damn what is it?! Move! – Krul grabbed Art’s hand and started pulling him ahead.

    The minotaur pushed Nym’s and Mio’s backs, following them tightly on their steps.

    -Nice shot, Ren! I like you like that! – mumbled Art while passing her.

    The girl just clenched the rifle harder, lifting it a bit to hide her blushing.

    And followed them silently.

    The Minotaur looked over his shoulder.

    -MORE BEHIND US!

    -W-WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?!?! – Nym also looked over her shoulder.

    -Look ahead! There is something like a gateway! – yelled Mel.

    -NO! IT’S A DEAD ROOM! TURN LEFT AFTER TEN METERS!!!

    -ROGER!

    The corridor they entered was just an enlarged version of the previous one. With a columns, behind of which several of them would be able to hide and high, reaching tens of meters up.

    -YOU CONTINUE TO RUN STRAIGHT AHEAD! I’LL TRY TO SLOW THEM AT THE GATEWAY! – stopped the minotaur, turning his back to them.

    -Um, mister minotaur... I THINK WE’LL NEED YOU AHEAD!!! – yelled Art, pointing his machine gun ahead.

    Were, suddenly, hundred of eyes turned and starred at him.

    -LET’S GET BACK!!! – tried to pull him Mel, retreating back.

    -TOO LATE! THEY ARE COMING BEHIND TOO! – waved at them the minotaur.

    Krul just crouched and fired all her ammo in a rapid succession onto the approaching horde at the front.

    -Shit, soo many of them! They’ll overrun us! – she snorted and raised her hand. – MULTIPLE BASARA!!!

    Not even the explosions, not even the bullets had a slight chance to turn the tide in their favor.

    -Damn, i’ll pass out before manage to blow all of them!!!

    -Mister Mino, i have an idea! – Art turned at the minotaur.

    -EVERYTHING YOU SAY, YOUNG MISTER!!!

    -Put me on your shoulder!

    -RIGHT!

    He lifted him in the air as if it was as light as feather.

    -Nice! I’ll count on you to hold me in place, since i’ll need both my hands! Also, it may sting a bit!

    -JUST BRING IT ON!

    He put his hand on his tape...

    -POVA MORAYA VERTRIX!

    The huge shield around the minotaur and Art, reaching from column to column, flashed in the tight space in its peculiar glassy colors, buzzing with energy and magic.

    -OHOHOHO, THAT STINGS EVEN MORE THAT YOU RIFLES, MISTER!

    -AYE, AYE, SIR! KRUL, PROTECT THE OTHERS! AND YOU MINO: JUST RUUUN!!! – he cried.

    And its machine gun thundered at the horde.

    The minotaur charged ahead, crushing everything in it’s way, like some bloody steamroller.

    -LET’S GOOO!!! – he heard Krul’s thin voice high pitched glass between the machine gun clatter and in a second, her rifle also jointed the cannonry.

    They saw all the zombies faces from up and personal this time. Their rotten, grayish faces, filled with wounds, cavities and purulence, the ripped and tattered clothes, long lost their former bright colors. How they were pushed aside by the powerful airshield, crushing them between it and the columns, ripping apart bodies and limbs. The bullets were making holes as huge as tennisballs in them, tearing off necks, arms and legs.

    But the blood...

    There was not even a single drop of it. Only rotten flesh, dusty bones and ragged cloths...

    The tens of zombies turned into severals. Then into few. And into ones...

    The machine gun went silent with a sudden reverberating echo in the walls and columns around.

    And the shield cracked in a sudden interruption...

    -I-i’m sorry... Can’t... hold... it... more... – he puffed, breathing like some steam engine.

    The weight... He felt as if have just moved hundreds of bags with cement, while sprinting as fast as his legs where holding, leaving him in a cold sweat, with trembling, burning muscles and a dizzy head. With his gaze, blinking blacker and blacker every time...

    -Two more ahead! – suddenly pointed Mel at them.

    -YOU DID GREAT, MISTER! LET ME FINISH THE JOB! – howled the minotaur, putting Art down...

    And rushed forwards, waving its huge axe.

    Art fell on his knees, unable to stand and leaning on the machine gun...

    -C’mon, big bro! We need to move! – Krul supported him from the right side.

    -I’ll help too! – Mel joined and from the left, lifting him in place and start moving forward...

    -I-i’m sorry. I really might have gotten weaker, Krul. – he looked her somewhat guilty.

    -Bullshit, big bro. If i had put such spell, i would have passed out for sure!

    -Oi, don’t swear...

    -Shut up, big bro, and be grateful! You are all sweaty and gross...

    -Heh...

    -And stop smuging and such!

    The minotaur rushed back to them.

    -NO MORE AHEAD! YOU GO, I’LL HOLD THESE FOLLOWING US AND COME BACK LATER!

    -Right!

    -Krul, help me reload the machine gun!


    Sophie just looked him somewhat judgingly, or more like she wanted to curse him to death.

    -Let’s just keep moving...

    -But how?! The minotaur said that there is no exit!

    -Just think about it, Nym. We entered from one place. You entered from other. The thing you say is irrational.

    -IT’S TRUE, YOUNG MISSUS! I’VE WANDERED FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS AND NEVER MANAGED TO ESCAPE!

    -That’s because, maybe, you know, you were cursed and locked here, huh?

    -WELL, THAT’S NOT PRECISELY THE CASE...

    -Whatever! Let’s just move! – Sophie interrupted him and looked at the genie.

    He just returned to her insistent gaze with its ocean-blue sapphires.

    And proceed on its levitation way...

    -Oi, oi, oi, mister! That is where we came from! – pointed at his back Nym.

    The genie remained deaf about her remark.

    And she did not insist more – there was just no point, she felt.

    Just after several tens of meters, they have started to see the results of their previous fight...

    -Damn, what happened here?! AND WHAT ARE THESE?! – pointed Ann at one decimated corpse.

    -OI, OI, OI! THIS ONE MOVED!!! – pointed and Aiv at another one.

    She hadn’t finished her words, when a powerful lighting strike from the genie turned it into an ash. So powerful and loud, that it made all of them suddenly jump on their feet, rubbing their hands around the shoulders to send the unpleasant cold shivers away.

    -WOW!

    -DAMN, TEACH ME THAT, MISTER! – exclaimed Vick.

    -Don’t even dare... – snorted Art.

    The genie pay no attention to them, continuing his silent levitation trip.

    When just something glimmered in Art’s eyesight and he was about to turn and focus it, the genie already incinerated it by throwing another lighting...

    -Shit! How many of these they are?! – exclaimed Ann.

    The corpses became more and more frequent. First a few. Then several. Then dozens...

    -How did you do this?! As if a steam-roller passed through here! – looked him Sophie.

    -Enlarged continuous Pova. Around mister Mino. With me on its back. Sprinting.

    Sophie’s eyes widened.

    -Damn, wish to have witnessed it.

    -Yeah...

    -Shit, why are these still moving?! – Ann pointed at another one.

    -I told you these are zombies! You can only destroy them by damaging their brain! – said Nym.

    -Then just shoot them until they stop moving?! What are you waiting for?!

    Art was somehow willing to comply, readying his machine gun, when the genie’s stern gaze made all of them freeze in place. And he slowly continued forwards, towards the piles of incapacitated, some still crawling towards them, walkers...

    The purple haze around him faded almost completely...

    A slight, almost delicate breeze freshened the air in this so fusty and oppressing hall...

    His whole body energized, tickling his nerves down to the spine...

    -Multiple Flamlir.

    The sudden gusts of gasoline explosions blinded their eyes. The air in a sudden became so dry and torrid, that they felt the heat haze gently embracing their shoulders. The vapors irritated their eyes, the lungs started to burn savagely and their throaths suddenly turned feverish and arid...

    -Ecoma.

    From wall to wall, and roof to floor, the powerful shockwave dusted all the stone joins... together with the burning corpses, which in instant turned into an useless ash, blowing them with a tremendous force far ahead in corridor, not leaving a single remainder of a zombie in the nearby vicinity.

    Avys just remain looking with her jaw dropped.

    The purple haze whirled around the genie once again.

    And went forward.

    -Damn, such tremendous power! Even i’ve felt it! – whispered Nym to them after a second.

    -It blew all the corridor as it was nothing! – added and Mio.

    -Of course he is able to do such things. Just don’t forget: these creatures are capable of materializing wishes out of nowhere. You can imagine what power this requires. – said Sophie.

    The girls looked her with amazement, as if she was the source of this power.

    Fifty meters down in the corridor, the genie suddenly stopped. Then turned left and slowly approached one seemingly normal section of the wall. They didn’t see what he did, but when the stones slid with their typical scraping sound, it left them once again with dropped jaws and widened eyes.

    -B-B-BUT... I’VE HAVE WANDERED THIS LABYRINTH THOUSANDS OF YEARS, I HAVE PASSED NEXT TO THIS WALL HUNDREDS OF TIMES, I HAVE EVEN CHECKED EVERY STONE EVEN! HOW’S THAT POSSIBLE?! – exclaimed the minotaur.

    The genie casually entered the new gateway, showing thus how little he cares about the minotaur’s remark.

    Krul just thumped minotaur’s hand few times in a consolatory manner and followed the genie.

    When the last of them entered the new room, the door behind them closed. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling to hear the scraping sound, as if their way for retreat was intentionally cut off, considering they didn’t know what was awaiting them in front... But at least they had the genie and the mino, right?...

    This didn’t set their minds on ease much, as they proceed in the dark corridor. It was nothing compared to the wide rooms of the tomb, with the high ceilings and huge columns, looking more like just a tunnel, casually dug with pickaxes in the rock. The ground was uneven and bumpy, forcing them to watch not only their feet not to smash on their faces, but and for the sudden sharp edges, descending from the top, that were suddenly reaching for cutting some flesh.

    They walked like that for at least half an hour, he judged, when suddenly find themselves in before a huge double gateway, blocking their way. But instead of doors, a sea-blue energy was dancing hypnotically on its surface.

    -W-what’s this? – whispered Ren.

    -Another barrier! – answered right away Sophie, snorting bitterly.

    THAT’S RIGHT” – boomed a sudden voice in they heads, so powerful and trembling, that they knew right away which was it...

    All of them turned towards the genie.

    THIS HEFFMAN’S BARRIER PREVENT MY ELECTROMAGNETIC NATURE FROM PROCEEDING FORWARD. I NEED YOUR HELP. GO IN, FIND THE SOURCE AND DEACTIVATE IT. ONLY THEN I CAN ENTER AND BREAK THE DIMENSIONAL SPELL.”

    -B-but... – began Avys.

    NO MORE TALKS! IF WE RUN OUT OF TIME, WE’LL NEVER MAKE IT BACK HOME.

    This hit their minds with the reverberating ring of the realism’s brutality.

    „Never make it back home?”

    Art gulped soundly.

    Then turned towards the gate.

    -I’m going first!

    -Don’t be stupid, bro. I’m right beside you. Like always. – Sophie get next to him.

    -Not only you. – and Aiv.

    And Krul. And Vick.

    -A-are you s-sure?! – hesitated Ren.

    -C’mon. If you don’t trust them, trust me. – Mel hold her hand and got behind them.

    -Right! Let’s go home! – Ann grabbed Nym and Mio.

    On the other side, they found nothing spectacular. In fact, they don’t even feel something when they passed it. So much, that it was right to say, they were even disappointed. Just the same tiny spaces with rocks protruding everywhere like some claws, wanting to entangle them...

    -Oi, what’s this?! Where’s the deactivator?! Did this genie just tricked us?! Let’s go back and kick his ass! – Ann quickly fused up...

    -Wait, Ann! – stopped her Art. – Just look ahead. The corridor widens!

    -Let’s look around for a bit. – Sophie went forwards first.

    As far as they were going ahead, the corridor became wider and wider, just like a cone. The natural bumpy rock columns, from the ground to the low ceiling, so much, that they needed to crouch at places, created something like a natural labyrinth, treating to confuse their orientation even more.

    -Look! There is something glimmering in the distance! – suddenly pointed it Ann, looking at them.

    And rushed.

    -Ann, watch out! – tried to stop her Mel, but...

    DINNNGGGGG!!!

    Ann’s impetus was quickly put on hold, when she hit her head in the rocks.

    Falling on her knees...

    -Ann!!! – Nym got her in her hands, supporting her not to fall completely.

    -Damn, i’m seeing stars... – she swing a bit left and right.

    -Let me see. – Sophie also kneed to them, grabbing her face in her palms. – It’s just a bruise, you’ll live...

    -I-it hurt like hell, Sophie... – sobbed Ann, with her eyes tearing up.

    -This is what you get for always dashing in without thinking... – reprimanded her Mel.

    And raised her voice even more.

    -Come, come. – hugged her Sophie, gently thumping her on the back. – You’ll be fine.

    -Man up! – grabbed them both Mel, lifting them back on their foot. – The genie said to hurry.

    -This fucking rock! I’ll fucking blow it up! – Ann wrapped up her sleeves, with her eyes filled with fire and fury...

    -Wait! – stopped them Art, illuminating with the flashlight the place where Ann hit her head.

    -W-wha...

    The smooth surface shone metallically back at them.

    -This isn’t a rock! – he thumped it few times with fist. – It’s something metallic!

    -What?!

    -Let’s continue forward! I feel we are close!

    Not even half a minute in and they exited the natural labyrinth-like structure.

    The sight, mildly put, made all of them gasped in endless admiration.

    It... it was... as if a scenery out of some world-famous master artist’s painting.

    The place, they ended on, was a shore of a lake. But, this lake...

    As if they were on the shore of the ocean back in Hirai.

    It was huge, ginormous, titanic, that the other end of the underground gallery was at least 20 kilometers in the distance.

    And they were seeing it all. Despite all, everything was mysteriously lit, making it looks like a scenery on a full-moon night.

    They were so engulfed by this miraculous creation of the nature, that made them forgot a handful of stuff – their anxiety, the situation they were in, what happened recently, what did they came here for... And most importantly, because of that, they almost missed one very important detail.

    -Amazing... – Avys made several timid steps forward, looking down at the lake’s surface. – I-it’s so clear... I can see the bottom... The water is like crystal. – she turned at them...

    And suddenly froze.

    Just for a second, on her face so many expressions changed, that she qualified for a world renown actress...

    -T-t-th-thi-i... – she started trembling, trying to point something above their heads.

    -What? What suddenly got into you? – in the first moment, Sophie couldn’t grasp her mood. Neither any of them.

    -L-L-L-LOOOKK!!! – she waved her finger above their heads once again.

    Sophie looked up, but because of the angle, nothing seemed suspicious to her.

    Then she got next to her little sister.

    Then she turned and looked up.

    And then her jaw dropped.

    Bewildered by her reaction, the others hurried on her steps.

    When they turned, they were all lost for words and thoughts.

    So much, that they forgot about the glimmering gallery and the crystal lake.

    The thing, that made them lost all spoke and speech, was a huge ship, occupying this whole side of the lake’s shore. It was slightly tilted on her side, making her look like she was overhanging them, as if at any moment now she was going to roll over and engulf them like a some grotesque maw out of the old horror movies.

    -I-I-IT’S A SHIP!!! – pointed her shaky hand at her Mio.

    -I-is this the ship the goaty was talking about?! – said Avys.

    -SO IT IS TRUE THAT METAL SHIPS EXIST!!! – exclaimed the minotaur.

    -OMG, JUST LOOK AT IT! THIS THING IS HUGE!!! – Ann was no less exited.

    -Is the deactivator here? Is it on this ship?! – asked Nym.

    -I’m ready to bet on it! Let’s find a way to board it! – suggested Art.

    They proceed hesitantly forwards, following the beautifully curved starboard line of the ship.

    -B-but the railing is at least fifteen meters up! How we will do it?! – looked up Mio.

    -I don’t know, i’ll think of something...

    -Can’t you use some... magic or stuff? – asked Nym.

    -Yeah, you try to lift handful of people and a minotaur fifteen meters in the air. Just calculate how much energy you need to spend to do it by hand. The magic way of doing it is even more energy-consuming... – said Sophie, a little bit aggravated that she had to explain such elementary stuff to them...

    -Well, shit...

    -Just have mister minotaur toss us up, or something. It may work... – replied to her Mel ironically.

    -You can be the first to try it. I can also suggest to change direction of the throwing – as far in the lake as possible. – snorted Sophie.

    Mel just snorted in her turn, and turned her back to her.

    -Oi, look! – Aiv suddenly dashed for dozen of meters, then stopped in place, energetically pointing something at the hull.

    -Aiv, stay close to us! – reprimanded her Krul, following her quickly.

    -JUST LOOK AT IT ALREADY!!! – she waved her finger even more amain.

    They stopped next to her and turned.

    Nym gasped in a way, that sounded more like someone just made her an ultra-dirty offer.

    Ann rubbed her eyes, as if she was not believing the sighting, although this was probably the least miraculous thing they’ve saw today.

    -W-what’s this... – stuttered a bit Ann.

    -WHAT THING IS CAPABLE OF TEARING A METAL THIS THICK IN SUCH A WAY?! JUST LOOK AT HOW THICK SOME SHEETS ARE!!! IS THIS MAGIC?!

    Art looked it tentatively for few more seconds. He wasn’t a pro in this area, but one thought automatically pop in his mind, making him decisively say:

    -She was torpedoed!

    The rest looked him bewildered, while he started examining the huge hole right in the middle of the ship. It was at least six-seven meters in diameter, with most of the steel sheets on its periphery bend to being unrecognizable and burned, covered with soot. The internal deck structure was visible, with many ruptured pipes and steel plates, hanging cables and ventilation ducts, sticking out, being all rendered to a miserable resemblance of a useful machinery. As if they were made all of an aluminium foil, that have fallen into the hands of an curious infantile child for a day.

    -Torpedoed? – looked him Ann surprised.

    -Looks like it. – joined and Sophie. – Or naval mine.

    -Oi, this damaged area right there is just three meters up! – pointed it Aiv. – I think this is more bearable way to enter.

    -Yeah, but... – began hesitantly Art, looking at the minotaur. – I don’t think mister mino here will be able to move around the ship. You see, just the corridors and the doors won’t allow it.

    -OH, I SEE, I SEE. HOW INCONSIDERATE OF ME.

    -You go. I’ll stay on the shore with him and look around. – suggested Sophie.

    -I agree. I’ll also stay with her. – joined her Avys.

    -Right. Let’s continue then. Mister Mino?

    -HERE WE GO! – he grabbed him for the waist with his bulky hands and lifted him on his shoulders as if he was light as a feather.

    And still, the edge of the scattered inner deck came only to his forehead.

    Art threw the machine gun first and agilely pulled up.

    -C’mon, Mio! – he waved with his hand at her.

    The minotaur got and her over his shoulders, passing her to Art.

    -Careful, there are some sharp edges. – he got her in his hands, helping her climbing next to him.

    Then all other of them, except Sophie, Aiv and the Minotaur.

    -What do you see?! – yelled his cousin from below.

    Art illuminated the inside with his flashlight.

    -Well... as if a bomb fell here...

    Even from four meters up, he felt the malicious aura, that suddenly came from his cousin. He bet if she had a grenade, it was already going to fly in his direction...

    Nevertheless, he still looked thoroughly around. The first several meters everything was chaotic – broken, bent or ruptured, so much that they were forced to watch their steps for loose sheets on the floor, that would able to quickly send them on the bottom deck and duck their heads off the way the pointy sharp things, hanging from the ceiling or walls. The loose objects were everywhere, whether they be metal plates, fallen pipes or intertwined cables, as if were things, that a little kid scattered around the room’s floor.

    -Damn, how powerful was that torpedo... – complained Mel after several meters in, flashing around.

    Art looked around the labyrinth of pipes, covered in something like a padding and aluminum foil, multiple gauges, various vales, distribution boxes and many rows of cables, passing on the walls and ceiling.

    It took him several seconds to realize that what he see was the natural order of this place and not of a damaged one.

    -The boiler room. – he mumbled and the rest turned to him. – SOPH, I THINK WE ARE IN THE BOILER ROOM! – he suddenly shouted.

    -RIGHT! – echoed her voice from the outside. – WE’LL LOOK AROUND THE SHIP, YOU DO THE SAME. THEN COME TO THE DECK!

    -ROGER!

    The other thing, that attracted their attention, despite the complex and chaotic at first glance machinery, was that there were red and yellow labels everywhere...

    -That’s falklanish. – leaned over one of it Mel.

    -The same shit as the dog tags. – added Nym.

    -You shouldn’t be impressed at all by something this trifling at this point... – said Ann, as if not caring at all at this point already.

    -Should we move to the next one? Or we should search more here? – asked Mel.

    -I think we should search for the command center or the bridge. If there is something, it will be there. – suggested Art.

    -I agree. At least sounds logical. – Nym looked through the closest door. – Should we try this one?

    -Let’s go.

    Next was something like a corridor or a passage.

    On the ceiling, covering two-thirds of it, was running a huge bundle of cables by the look of which even the best electrician was gonna start sweating intensively. The other one-third was occupied by several heavily condensed large pipeline, dipping traces of liquids on the floor. Just an inches below the mesh of pipes and cables, a huge yellow rail, resembling a train-track, was passing over the corridor on a ceil support, disappearing somewhere upfront, obviously for moving some heavy parts and objects through the ship. On the wall there were multiple huge distribution boxes, lockers and even a rack with heavy duty fire extinguishers.

    -Tss, why is this so crammed and stuffed. I’m getting claustrophobic... – rubbed her shoulders Mio.

    She was definitely right. All this, on the mild light, coming from the old, barely glimmering bulbs, hanging from the ceil, was looking overly depressin...

    „WAIT A MINUTE!”

    -Oi... – suddenly stopped Art and Krul crashed onto his back. – The ship’s lights are on.

    Mel also crashed onto Nym’s back, when she suddenly came to a half.

    The confusion clearly hanged onto air, when they all exchanged confused stares and looked at the ceil.

    -OI! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?! – started to freak out Ann.

    -Let’s just hurry up to the deck. – suggested Mel.

    -Yeah, that nice idea, but do you know the way?! – looked her Nym.

    -Shouldn’t there be a map or something? – asked Mio.

    -Look, it says „FR. 117” on this wall! There is also an arrow on the floor, pointing back towards the boiling room! – pointed it Ann.

    -I have heard that on the military ships, on the left side, you move to the ship’s bow, and on the right side, you move to the ship’s aft. This is to prevent human-traffic jamming the crammed corridors during some emergency events and so. – explained Mel.

    -But of course... – snorted her sister.

    -Well, i don’t think someone will get mad with us if we break that rule right now. I say we should proceed forward this corridor. – pointed ahead Ann.

    Next one was obviously the crew’s berthing. On the left side of the room, there were multiple four-story bunks, hanging on chains from the ceiling, with two metal poles on the long side for additional support, with many white-painted lockers on the far-side of the wall. The floor was painted in some depressive brownish-red color, as if intentionally chosen to cover the blood...

    -This one says „FR. 116”. – pointed it Ann.

    -Damn, these beds look awkwardly comfy. Wanna go and lay on some... – said suddenly Mel with a tired look on her face, reminding them and how tired they all actually are.

    The next one was another passage...

    With a stairway, leading upwards!!!

    -Nice!!!

    Ann was about to rush up, when the Mel’s heavy arm landed on her shoulder, stopping her in place.

    -Not so fast, Ann.

    The girl looked her questionably.

    -Didn’t know the ship stairs protocol, Ann? The men go up first.

    -Why?

    Art sighed.

    -Because not to look up the girl’s asses... – he grabbed the railing and agilely climbed up, leaving Ann to look him with open mouth.

    -Wheeuw, that’s a nice ass, bro. – whistled Vick behind him.

    -Shut up... – smacked her Krul on the shoulder.

    Up there, there was another corridor with the similar setting. Pipes, cables, boxes... Turned on light bulbs...

    -It’s clear, come up! – he shouted at them.

    -This one says „ER. 116”. – pointed out Ann right away, when she got up.

    -Yeah, obviously the first letter is the deck and the digits are room or something. Let’s continue up.

    The upper passage said „DR. 116”. And there were three doors, leading out of it. Each of it with its own label:

    The one to the front said: „130-MM HANDLING ROOM NO. I AND R. S. AMMUNITION".

    The one to the back said: „ОRDNANCE STOREROOM".

    The third to the right sounded the most boring, but moved their heart strings the most:

    -The exit! – exclaimed Ann, dashing to the metal door. – How it did this thing open?!

    -Hey, it seems there is some interesting stuff in the ordnance room. Should we take a quick look before going on?

    All of them suddenly turned at her.

    Mel was staying next to the half-opened ordnance storeroom door, peeking delicately inside.

    Art got close to her and also look.

    At first glance, all he saw was just vague silhouettes and outlines of objects on the dim light in the room. But something in him triggered his curiosity so hard, that he instantly became ready not only to take a quick look, but to make and a prolonged trip inside...

    -Sure. Let’s check it out.

    He heard how Nym just sighed behind them, before he entered...

    On the left, there were some metal racks with rifles, ammoboxes, ballistic vests, steel bodyarmor plates and...

    -OH, HELMETS! – exclaimed Krul the moment she saw them. – Hey, bro, give me that one, with the two silver lines on it, i can’t reach it!

    Art just puffed and complied, with Krul throwing her old, dented one, that slammed heavy on the floor, replacing it with the new one. Then she took one of the olive-green ballistic vests, fastening it up around her delicate body.

    -Hey, bro, can i have that pistol too?!

    Art rolled out his eyes, took the gun, checked it quickly and gave it to her.

    -The safety is that lever here. C’mon, let’s hurry.

    -Sure, sure.

    The others were just looking them amazed.

    -Seriously, just how much of a scavenger you are? – looked her Mel, half-confused, half-disgusted.

    -You don’t wanna know... – Art grabbed his little sister’s hand, taking her forwards.

    On the next rack there we mainly boots, clothes, belts, knee-caps, gas masks and other cloth-stuff, monotonous and boring in they green-focused colors.

    On the right side, there were just shelves with steel ammo-boxes in various sizes...

    But right now something else was on Nym’s mind.

    -Damn, i keep wondering... What the fuck are these lightbulbs?! As if there is... some glowing metal inside the glass!

    -Heating metal to make light? That savage!!! Who knows how many power this wastes... – joined her and Ann.

    Mel thumped them both on the necks.

    -You are such block-heads, damn you. These are incandescent lights. Their production ended fifty years ago.

    -Tss, is there something you don’t know? – snorted Ann, looking her under her eyes.

    -What’s that glowing thing on the table then? – called her Vick from the other side of the room.

    Initially, Art didn’t pay attention to them, because he was too focused reading the safety instructions, printed on a label, hooked on the wall.

    Mel closed to them, intriguingly looking at the object on the huge metal table.

    Then, he reached one part, that was hand-written, obviously, afterwards...

    Only authorized personal is allowed to handle the fissile material...

    In that moment, his heart skipped a beat...

    „WHAT?!”

    -Oi, look at this silver ring! – Mio’s voice echoed in his mind, followed by a quick, metallic slide. – Damn, it’s heavy...

    -GUYS, GET AWAY FROM THAT TABLE, NOW! – he slapped Mio’s hands, who dropped the silver ring back on the metal table with a loud bang.

    -Heeey, what’s your proble... – she protested, but Art pushed her back with his left hand, while simultaneously pushing back and Mel, and Vick with his right.

    -Stay away! Don’t get any closer!

    -W-wha...

    He looked at the table.

    The brownish-red glowing little cylinder. The thick silver ring, that left a dent on the steel table. Various other silver hollow cylinders and spheres. Cables. Brass sleeves... Things, that suspiciously looked like detonators... The electronics packages...

    „SHIT!”

    Then he looked at the most far side of the room.

    There, on the dim light, he almost mistook the two objects for other tables...

    He lighten them up with his flashlight...

    The right one was a huge grey cylindrical object, at least four meters in length, at least one meter in diameter.

    The left one was black and elliptical, even greater, and in length, and in diameter.

    Mel’s eyes widened madly.

    The fin stabilizers on their tails explained them more that necessary...

    -Bombs! – exclaimed Ann.

    It was even worse, than she was imagining...

    -T-these are plutonium cores! – his voice trembled. – This ship... She’s carrying nuclear weapons!...
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
    Ahmya likes this.
  20. AMissingLinguist

    AMissingLinguist [Not Here][Blank Sect][Nuffian #N]

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    Have you thought of posting this story on RoyalRoad and ScribbleHub? I don't know if you want more readers or anything, since there would be a lot more websites you would need to update per chapter. :hmm::hmm::hmm: