Chapter 7: Subjectively Evil
The roofs were porcelain red shingles, the walls made of smooth beige stone, and the cobblestone streets twisted and turned, taking the people who moved through the town to quaint shops where they could pick up goods at opened windows. Danson and Keigo had told her that all towns weren’t like these, but for the first town of Nuut Wereld that she saw, Kiara thought it was pretty great. She loved how it contrasted with the steel jungle she was used to seeing, and how even the featureless stone possessed a life that no building in her hometown had. She loved how people seemed to know each other and how an unspoken trust allowed shop owners to sell things as they did, but she hated how soon she had to leave it, as she chased after Danson and Keigo down a dirt road. Much to her disappoint, her stay in the quiet town had been brief as the battle the two engaged in forced them to run away. They had barely said anything when it was time to take off, merely letting her know that it was because of whom they were, and while they promised to help her find a way home when she told them more about herself, they told her it was important that she trusted them first.
Now she followed behind, taking as much of them in as she could, and while she wondered why it was she trusted them, she wondered more who exactly they were. Who was the tall elfin lad with dark brown hair, who had a flare for wearing blue and mastery of ice, and who was the boy with wild black hair, who had the ability to change his face and wasn’t afraid to use it for dastardly deeds. When the battle had ended and they had rushed back to their inn room, that was the last thing on her mind, but now that there was only trust to give, she wondered if it was worth giving. Suddenly the duo came to a stop, and Keigo’s arms reached into a leather rucksack where it pulled out a notebook. He took a moment to scribble something on it with a pencil, then slid it back into the pack as set his gaze down the road. Behind them, she could barely see anything, but that didn’t stop her curiosity from growing as Kiara tapped Danson’s back and he half looked over his shoulder.
“What’s going on?” She asked and with eyes telling many perilous tales, Danson turned to her.
“The wind of a grand battle is blowing.” He replied and moved aside so that Kiara could see what stopped them.
There her eyes fell upon a shining figure, a male who stood in the distance with short blond hair. In armor that clanked with each step, he moved, and as he stopped a few feet away, she could see short pointed ears and hesitation in big blue eyes. It was another elf that stood there in shining armor, with eyes moving from Danson to Keigo and then finally her. For a moment he stared, but turned his attention away, stinging Kiara with a bit of disregard but giving her no reason to break the silence.
“Danson the Diamond, Keigo the Many,” The boy repeated the names the boys had left her with and as if on cue they smiled. “By order of the Policing Division, I Lien Almatt, am here to take you two in, I ask that you come without resistance.” He said but the smile on their faces told both him and Kiara that that wouldn’t happen.
“Been a while Lien.” Danson said, and Kiara wondered for a minute, what the chances of the first two elves she met knowing each other were. “I’m surprised that the Policing Division actually sent you after us. I imagine that means that failure isn’t an option.” He said and Lien nodded, eyes still teeming with hesitation.
“Who is he?” Kiara asked Keigo who crossed his arms as his smirk faded away.
“Lien Almatt or perhaps better known as Lien the Hero. He’s a member of the Magic Council’s Policing Division, well known for his expert apprehension of criminals, and is always the person people hope for when they send for the council’s help.” He answered and all the questions Kiara had about the two, were answered as well as she slowly backed away.
“Then you two are criminals?” She murmured and hesitating themselves, Danson and Keigo nodded their heads.
“Danson and Keigo are both wanted for illegal use of magic and crimes against the magic council.” Lien answered and Keigo’s smirk managed to come back.
“Don’t let the word criminal scare you Kiara. We are only criminals by the Mainland’s definition, but a lot of people would call us heroes.” He said and Lien’s hesitation traded places with conviction.
“Then as a hero you should come quietly.” He pleaded and the boy in black shook his head.
“You know there’s no way we can do that.” He shrugged and Lien sighed as he drew a broadsword from over his back and pointed it their way. “You first Danson?” Keigo asked and Danson shook his head.
“Espada de gelo,” Danson swung his hand and formed an ice saber between his grasp.
With no more words to exchange, the elves were upon each other with only their blades keeping them apart. Lien quickly moved aside as he felt Danson’s weight push down, and thrust his sword out as his opponent stumbled forward. A quick block protected the ice mage from a tear into his side, but he found the fortitude of his crystal blade tested as Lien made a heavy swing around. Danson quickly moved in before Lien was on the offensive again, but found his blade could only stab air as the hero moved to the side. With a twirl, he brought the saber into the air, and as it came down Lien threw himself to his right and watch the ground where he stood freeze over. He ducked as Danson swung the blade around, and felt the cold of its freezing slash brush against him, as he narrowly escaped. Now he moved into Danson’s lapsed defense with a thrust toward his chest, but quickly the diamond knocked the blade aside and brought a frozen fist around. There was a brilliant flash of light as it crashed into Lien’s chest, but as the brilliance faded away, Danson stood aghast to see Lien unaffected.
“So the rumor about that armor is true?” He laughed as he made some distance between himself and the knight, but the fear that remained in his eyes told all participants that he didn’t know what to do.
Lien took the fear as a cue and jumped toward Danson with his blade held high, where it swung down with a mighty arc and released a streak of light. The diamond had managed to move as the blade came down, but as Lien landed and swung it around, Danson felt the light cut into his stomach and stumbled back as it made him gagged. The attack lasted mere seconds as it cut a line into the diamond’s body, but seconds were all that Lien needed as he charged toward his acquaintance and thrust his sword out. From where she stood, Kiara saw it lightly tear his side, but what she didn’t see Keigo had seen all of, and watched with baited breath as Danson fell to the ground.
“Kiara.” Keigo called her as his hand pulled a pill out of the rucksack. “If I fall and you decide to fight Lien there’s some things you need to know. First, his armor is a special armor that can block any magic. That’s why Danson’s ice punch didn’t work, but there are ways around it.” He said as he flicked the pill into his mouth, and as he continued talking Kiara could hear the snapping of bones. “Second, beware of that sword. All it takes is a little cut from it and you’ll be knocked out.” He finished, and as he spoke, she could hear a growl in his voice.
Keigo calling her name had turned her eyes toward him but the cracking of his bones, and the shifting of his form was what kept her gaze there. It was both horrifying and engrossing to watch Keigo’s transformation, to see his bare arms get covered with gold-black spotted fur, and see his trimmed nails jot out into long black claws. A long spotted tail erupted from Keigo’s back, and seemed to make him lurch forward where his ears turned furry and pointed, and his eyes became those of a cat. As a breath of air escaped from fanged teeth, Kiara realized the transformation was complete. Now the cheetah-like Keigo looked at Lien with his yellow and black eyes and the hero did the only thing he could as he lifted his sword up. The ground was slashed as Keigo took off, holding his hands behind him as he zipped down the dirt road. Lien’s sword came up, but before it even had a chance to block he felt the sword sharp claws drag across his armor, and pulled himself back as they created a light. A twist of air seemed to suck him in as Keigo turned around, but as he stopped and his claw came out, Lien kicked back and found himself against a tree. Once more Keigo moved, leaving only the tear in the ground to show that he did, and quickly Lien threw himself to his right as the claws slashed down. He spun with murderous intent in his blade as he cut out, but the all there was, when he turned, around was the scarred birch as Keigo moved through the air. He heard the boy step down behind him, and swung his blade over his head, blocking the claws the shot toward his neck, and being unaffected by the crashing of Keigo’s knee.
The second time the hero spun, a streak of light forced Keigo into the air, and as the hero’s blade came out to greet him, he grabbed his arm and struck his side. Keigo sprung back as he watched the light that nullified his hit fade away, and wondered as the blade’s tip was pointed toward him, if there was something he could do. For the seconds he was allowed, Keigo thought about his situation, but with nothing coming to mind he balled his fist and opened them, making light trail down his claws.
“Hunter’s fury!” He roared as he was off again and helplessly Lien raised his arms to guard his head as he felt the torrential tearing claws fall upon him from every angle they could.
Kiara stood back as she watched the display, trying her hardest to see Keigo who remain unperceivable and wondering how even with his speed, they hadn’t defeated Lien yet. The hero just remained unscathed, unable to move as Keigo bounced all around, but forever unscratched by the blade like claws that left nullifying lights in their wake. In a sense, it was a beautiful scene as Keigo’s attacks made a luminescent flower bloom from the blond boy’s form, but the beauty of the sight lost all grace to futility. Suddenly Kiara saw something jump off Lien’s body, and saw a way to win. She raised her hands as she prepared to call Keigo, but shrunk as she saw the boy come to a halt with Lien behind with his sword held up.
“I’m sorry Keigo.” The Hero said. “But I’ve already fought someone a lot faster than you.” He finished as he swung his blade down and tore both blood and energy from Keigo’s back.
Now both of her saviors were on the ground while Lien stood barely effected overhead, looking down onto the two he regretted battling but remembering that failure was not a choice. As he grabbed Danson’s hands and pulled them behind his back, he suddenly raised his arms as a cloud of dust ran over them. With his vision blocked he could hear someone running and prepared to strike them with his sword, but stopped as his armor released its brilliant light and the dust was blown away. The person who had ran into the cloud was the red eyed girl he barely knew enough to name, and now she stood with her right hand extended, sending a useless torrent of wind his way. He sighed at the outcome and brought his sword back, but before it could go forward he felt something cold pierce his stomach and felt his body freeze up. When he had pulled his sword back Kiara had stabbed a sword forward, and now in his armor that could block anything Danson’s sword was sticking out.
“How?” He murmured as the sword encased his body in ice.
“When Keigo was attacking you I noticed something. Your armor doesn’t just negate magic, it negates kinetic force too, that’s why none of his slashes had an effect, but when he used that hunter fury and kept hitting you I realized that he did some damage. It was because constantly hitting you had dulled his claws and changed his attack from slashing, to bludgeoning. Your armor can block anything, but it can’t block more than one thing at a time.” Kiara stood triumphantly, and while Lien seemed distraught that the only option he couldn’t take had occurred, a smile came across his face as he nodded his head.
“I commend you.” He said and made Kiara smile. “But no good can come from this.” He said as he moved his head to make her look over his shoulder, where she saw a group of people standing, blades and pitch forks in hand. “If you fight them, please don’t take their life, they’re under mind control.”He pleaded, and Kiara looked at the people and wondered if they’d force her to.
As they spotted her they began to charge and Kiara prepared to blow them away, but before they could even half the distance she saw four red lights arch up behind them and come crashing down. The people were scattered as the lights exploded, and as the explosion tossed up dust, she wondered who her third savior would be…
[Chapter 7 ends…]