Chapter 13: "Round one! Fight!"




"Kakutou gokkodemo, hajimeru ka?" muttered Igatona, cracking his shoulders. It was completely unintelligible.

"Hora, ikkimase?" Tan'nein replied. Mabatsekker was slightly surprised to hear these quotes, but even more surprised as he recalled their true purpose.
Yes. These two weren't just plain fighters..

He was dumbfounded as Tan'nein's scytche started reaping. Strike after strike, she just kept attacking. Fortunately, Igatona was shielding Maba from the full brunt of the attack. Both were fully defensive as the winged woman kept her offense up. She kept relentlessly striking, until her rhythm slowed down noticeably. She was breathing heavily.

"Now!", shouted Igatona, landing a blow on Tan'nein's right shoulder. "Wha?" Mabatsekker went, noticing how Igatona's massive sword was deflected back from her merely robe-covered skin, now covered by a green aura. "She's got defensive magics, Maba. You're a wizard, do something!" Igatona told him while clashing his blade against Tan'nein's. "You think *he* can help you, Mr...?"

"Igatona of the Viper Generalissimo, Tan'nein of the Naga Majere!" Igatona returned. "Your style gives you away easily!"
"Impressive!" Tan'nein complied with a smirk.

"Magic.. Missile!" shouted Maba, having finished his casting. The green energy bolt leap from his sword, towards Tan'nein. Tan'nein didn't even bother giving it a notice, as it harmlessly dissipated upon contact. "Impressively swift.. but WEAK!" Tan'nein commented, and backhanded Igatona, combined with a knee-blow to the stomach, making the man fall down stunned.

She leapt in front of Maba, crashing down on him with the shaft of her scythe aligned with his neck. Maba wasn't fast enough, and now was lying down on the ground in a chokehold. He was at her mercy.

"Delicious-", she giggled. "But hey, that's why they pay me for this! Now, if you'll excuse me.." she was about to finish, but then..

"G-STRIKE!"

Igatona was up, and launched his arms open-plamed on the ground. A powerful stream of wind blew the woman from balance as her wings caught air, and the ground then freed the energy, slamming it into Tan'nein. Tan'nein's spell was distrupted, hinted by the sudden sparks from her aura. "Congratulations! You've just magaed to remove my shield! But I've still got the boy, Igatona."

"Congratulations indeed! Hold it right there!"

The whole fighting group turned to face the voice.

It was them, Maba recognized. It was the leader of the Cor Yemilb bandits, accompanied by the bandits who were left from the group they had imprisoned earlier. Maba wasn't in a position to point that out too loud.. for their crossbows were pointed at each of the three fighters.

"My my, what a *treat*!" Cor Yemilb, the leader started. "We were only going to free our friends, but now well get the Dermin twerp aswell! Peord, step aside!" he commanded.
"No! He's mine! Weren't you just supposed to bailt the rest of your ragtag band out of jail while I take care of this?" Tan'nein asked.

"Well.. since the boss told us you'd be going after Dermin, we decided'ta follow ya, to settle our little revenge on him!" the leader proudly presented. "But we knew you'd be a bit too hard to bend from the task with your sorcery and all, we decided to leave your spells to be dispelled by these guys, and now, we can finish YOU off too! The boss will be happy to hear we were able to get the twerp after you failed!" the leader laughed.

"Why I oughta!" Tan'nein shaked her fist towards Cor Yemilb, but didn't dare to risk anything else. Those crossbow bolts could rip her up easily, now that her shielding was gone.
"What do you want with her or Maba anyway!?" Igatona asked. The leader turned to him raised an eyebrow and raised his crossbow pistol. "None of your business" Cor said, and fired a bolt at Igatona. He proved to have incredibly fast reflexes, but the bolt still struck him in his left leg. He yelped in pain and ripped the bolt off in a rage.

"$"#%!!" Igatona went and knelt down. "Now sit down an' shaddup!" Cor commanded and started reloading. The bandit leader was feeling like this was the pinnacle of his career..

***

"What is going on down there!?" Kat shouted, running down the stairs as Gar leapt out of the bed with only his pants on. He grabbed his blade with his healthy arm, making a growl as he remembered he wouldn't be able to use it with full power. He then proceeded out of the room, towards the stairs. "Gar! Wait for me!" Kat ran after her, but was slowed down as her gown got in her way while running down the stairs.

Gar located the scene, and recognized the leader, as did the leader him, surpriging both at the same time.

"You!" Both realized, and Gar attempted a charge at the leader. The leader simply released a bolt at him, hitting him in his chest. Gar roared and took a few steps back to the doorway leading to the staircase in a low, pained crouch. "This keeps getting better and better!" Cor mused. Noise was heard from the staircase

"Gar, remember the wound, don't start a fi.. NO!" Kat yelped as she got down, and then saw Gar have another dart stuck to his person, bleeding away. "YOU! YOU BASTARD WOUNDED HIM AGAIN!" She raged at the bandit leader. "Why must I get distrupted by every single person around here!? KILL HER!" Cor gave the command. The bandits turned their crossbows at the catgirl and readied themselves to fire.. "Kat, NO!" Maba shouted from the top of his lungs..

"Sorry." one of the bandits managed to blurt out.

*TWANG!* went the crossbows. Kat-Chi cowered.
*THUNK!* went the bolts against flesh.

"Ghhk.." he went, coughing a bloody cough. "Tell her.. I loved.. her.." said Gar with the last ounce of his power and fell down lifelessly after covering Kat up with his own body. Kat went into a shock and could not move her eyes from Gar's face.

"Holy.." Igatona couldn't say more.
"My goodness.." Tan'nin gasped and closed her eyes.

"GAR! NO!" Maba could not take it and drove his body out of a surprised Tan'nein's grasp and towards the bandit group, screaming in a rage and started swinging his sword violently. The bandits were completely taken by surprise and one stab after another, they fell down to be punched and torn by Maba's hands, one after another. "HE.. WAS.. MY.. BEST.. FRIEND!!" He screamed, while slamming a bandit's head against the floor like a ragdoll.

The leader tried ran away from the bloodshed in inn, but Igatona, even though wounded, managed to cut his escape short, with Tannin holding him from behind. "Let me help you escape this life, bigtime! Cor, old boy, you've just made your last trip!" Tan'nein threatened, but Igatona signed her not to kill him. "How about something a bit worse, Peord? How about we.. cut off his legs and hang him upside-down from the stumps!?" Iga suggested. Tan'nein turned Cor's face to hers and she smiled the most evil smile you'll ever see at him. This was too much for Cor and he passed out cold from terror.

***

"Dermin. Calm down. You must calm down. Death won't bring your comrade back." Igatona tapped Maba on his shoulder. Maba was sitting on the torso of a bandit whose face was abused to the point of no recognition, messed up in blood. Maba was in a state of fear. Tears streamed down his cheeks. Rage wanted him to move and cave in another stabbed bandit's skull. His best friend was dead. His fiance was nearly killed. He didn't know what to do. Anger was the only thing that had calmed his emotions.

***

Kat-Chi recovered from her state of emotional distress. "Are you allright?" Tan'nein asked, holding Kat by her shoulders while kneeling in front of her. "An.. angel.. am I dead?"

"No. But your life was rescued by another's.." Tan'nein attempted to answer, but was then pushed aside by Kat who then remembered that Gar was shot down. She attempted to get up, but fumbled herself on the hemline of her gown and crept toward Gar on all fours. She placed her arms down on Gar's chest and attempted a last minute's healing spell, but the initial stress caused by the magic use earlier in the day took the best of her and she lost consciousness as the magic energy dissipated in the air...

Chapter 14