Chapter 6: Angel’s Dance
When he had heard the crackle of fire, Takeshi knew he should have realized something was up, but a while without sleep had caught up to him and made him lie back down. In the end, he regretted his decision as he looked down to the manacles that bound his hands, and thought back to a tearful evening when he was taken away before. This was just a part of the routine; he knew that he and Lloyd - who stood behind him - would be taken to where the forces set up camp, and after sifting through them, Lloyd would likely be killed. What had once been the things that’d tell people he was from another country, would be the things that marked him for death and as Lloyd silently trailed behind, Takeshi wonder if he could save him from that fate. In front of their line, a woman in a black form-fitting outfit called out orders, and to the side and back, a number of bandits stood armed. This was definitely not their first attack, as many stood with watchful eyes, holding their blades tight while watching for an unnecessary moves. They were careful as they guarded the line, but hadn’t noticed that Takeshi had tested the strength of the cuff, and although he knew he could break free, he wondered if that would make a difference. What he needed was a distraction, one that none of the captured men would give and as the school came into sight, he wondered if anyone could give it. Suddenly an arrow flew down and lodged into the back of a bandit, throwing him to the ground and calling his allies’ eyes up. In the spotlight of the moon, a girl stood on the midnight’s stage, holding a glowing bow in her left hand and pulling its string back with her right. She had the high ground as she looked onto the men from a roof, and it was clear in her green eyes, that that was all she needed.
“Let them go.” She ordered and a man turned to the woman who led the line.
“Or what? You’ll shoot us all?” The woman asked and the girl nodded with cold certainty.
“Bell…” One of the men murmured to their leader who sighed and flipped a brown ponytail behind her head. With a flick from her waist, a number of throwing knives were launched at the heroic girl, who jumped from the roof with reckless abandon and fired an arrow the woman’s way. Bell acrobatically flipped as the arrow zipped by, and in the moment she threw her form she heard the sound of iron shattering.
There was a grunt as Takeshi broke free and struck one of the men, then the sound of iron clashing as he swung the manacle around and broke through a bandit’s blade. He tossed a dropped key to Lloyd as the bandit fell, and as one by one the prisoners were free, he set his eyes upon Bell who rose with a sigh. With a flick of her arms, bladed bracers tore through the sleeves of her black wear, and with a kick of her leg, she shot toward him and thrust her blades out. Takeshi made a swift step to her side, and swung his leg back to trip her up, but found himself a victim of her acrobatic flips as she threw herself in the air and landed in front of him. Her blade came up in the moment of surprised, and blood danced into the air as she cut shallowly into his forehead, but the wound did nothing to hold Takeshi back, as he slammed his fist into her chest. She was dazed as his body came back in one movement and vulnerable when his body turned around, and delivered a roundhouse kick to her neck. The pain surged through it as his legged pulled away, but as Takeshi prepared to punch again, she quickly used his arm against him and balanced upon it as she delivered a swift kick to his face. Takeshi stumbled back as Bell landed and held her neck, but the battle didn’t seem ready to go on.
“I’ve fought many martial artists in my time, but that style. It’s vaguely different,” She commented and Takeshi nodded.
“It was developed by a man who wanted to get revenge against a monster for eating his child. Being blind he didn’t know what the monster looked like, so he developed his style to use any of the monsters traits against it.” Takeshi elaborated and Bell smirked.
“Adorable tale boy.” She said and Takeshi smiled.
“I’m glad you think so, it’s based on the effectiveness of my style.” He said and knocked her smile away.
Witty banter exchange the bell for round two was rang, and Takeshi and Bell charged toward each other and threw their arms out. Bell flipped over Takeshi as his fist was about to connect, and tore a wound into his back right as he began to turn around. As her blade came out, he grabbed hold of Bell’s hand, and reeled her in with one quick move, missing a strike to her neck. She kicked up as Takeshi’s fist crashed into her shoulder, and kicked away from him as she wrapped her body around his arm, then as he toppled back, a flick from the waist launched several throwing knives his way. Swift motions guarded vital veins, but still Takeshi was subject to pain as four knives lodged into his left arm, and Bell took that moment to move. As he endured the pain, she swung her blade up, adding another tear to his flesh but as she pulled her arm back, she heard a brutal crack, as Takeshi took it and pushed with extreme force. The pain hit her like a freight train and made her let out a roar, but that hardly brought things to an end as Takeshi’s leg swung up and came down. Now she buckled and hit the ground as pain surged up from a broken leg, but somehow as she lied there she smiled and stared at Takeshi with scorn.
“What are you waiting for, kill me?!” She roared and Takeshi shook his head.
“I don’t wield a weapon that strikes to kill; besides you’ll need to be alive for when the Court of Irra comes.” He replied and the smirk that Bell managed to gain quickly became a snarl.
“Don’t talk as if you won boy, you still have my boss to beat, and even if your girlfriend managed to get away from Arty… Well, let’s just say you’ll get to test how effective that style of yours is against a monster.” She barked and to her words, Takeshi turned and looked at the school.
“Then we’ll do that together.” He heard Sakuya’s voice as he turned to see Aeriane healing her.
“Yeah, we will.” He nodded as Aeriane casted his wounds away, and with Sakuya at his side, he headed toward the vandalized building…