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21

Feng

As the fight continued, the odds turned into favor of the enemy. No matter how superior Engetsu was in Feng's view to those two, the fact that it was really two versus one until he could intervene directly meant that they were at disadvantage. What the "wielder" said didn't go unnoticed to him, though.

"Ah, I really feel for you. Even if I fundamentally disagree with you, I cannot help but lament your predicament. Are you really satisfied with a wielder who is a tool rather someone with their own convictions? No imagination, no passion. I'm sure there are sinners that are maybe not as efficient, but more entertaining." The monk tried to break their unity if he couldn't topple them. "But I guess I talk too much. The older one gets, the more verbose they become over time. Go ahead, attack me. I'll respond to the best of my ability."
22
Anastasia

She bade farewell to Paladin, collected her belongings and marched out of his apartment. Anastasia honestly felt a bit relieved that she was leaving the place. After all, the tension between the two was almost palpable, both were people with incorrigible and staunch views at their core. Her own attitude to religion was quite lassez-faire, so she would just nod and tolerate their opinions, but she didn't feel like she was a great mediator between Paladin and Ruler.

Anastasia didn't feel like heading to her home immediately. She was still wearing clothes she got from Paladin so it's not like she would need to get back to her place. "I propose we search district by district, as much as we can manage. I can't guarantee we will stumble into other people like you, but there is a non-zero chance that we could."
23
Lorenzo

The pirate whistled and waved his fingers upwards with a motion so fluid he seemed to be no different than the fire. In that moment, the flames split into dozens of birds that chased her along the walls, circling her from all sides in order to flank and surround her.
24
Suzuko

Well, he certainly didn't seem to be a fool. And in spite of his appearance he managed a surprising amount of eloquence of charm. She nodded along with his statements, but despite the relaxing nature of the room she never seemed to entirely let her guard down.

"I see. I can't say that I'm not sympathetic. There are forms of business that some wish to refrain from after all. But we should settle on some basics first then, hmm? List for me your qualifications, please." Straightening a slight slouch as she did so.

"Once that's done we can go out and have a field test of sorts. Full pay regardless of what actually comes of it. And then I'll be able to make an informed decision then."

Butler

He offered a curt nod, to the point but not growing lax in his poise at any instant. "Naturally."

"I should begin by saying I have the skills required of a bodyguard, even in this cesspool of supernatural dangers. Far from my only edge, and I would be dull indeed to put it on the spotlight after what I said, but relevant," he began, speaking evenly and uninterruptedly. "More pertinently, I can serve meals, clean, and even manage your schedule if necessary. I have no need for sleep, which turns out to be rather helpful in keeping up with work. I am qualified to drive most things from motorcycles to military trucks, and I can pilot smaller planes as well. I am not a mage, but I've studied the occult in some detail. All in all, I'm rather proud of my tea."
25
Marcus

Marcus gritted his teeth, his eyebrows descended forming a frustrated glare at Costin.  He had to do something.  Forest was down and his body was screaming at him, his lower half still immersed in pain, or at least the fear of it.  Even more importantly, he couldn't let that nut job harm his new vampire companion.

"Yeah..." he groaned, pushing himself back to his feet.  "This is easily the least fun ability I have ever copied."

His eyes darted side to side, looking for possible places he can take Forest if he gets her back.  Get her back?  Like he could ever do that.  He talked a big game, but when it comes down to it, he always loses.  Over and over, an endless cycle of try and fail. 

Staring at Costin, he took a step forward, rubbing his hair as he moved towards the girl.  With a sigh he said, "So, what will it take to let her go?"

I hate this.

"Do you want blood, my head, another round?  Hell, maybe I can give you something else?"

I want to fight her.  I want to beat her.  I want to be free from this feeling.  At least if I get my ass kicked, I wouldn't have to feel this... shame.



26
Irene

Indeed, the time for words was past, except for where taunts would bring one of them low. She launched off the ground like a crossbow, cracking the floor and letting the skeleton's onslaught scorch the place she had been standing on. The few people that openly lingered in the streets here mostly produced sounds of surprise or fright, and spread out like headless chickens once the carnage began.

"I would rather enjoy a symphonic orchestra!" Irene raged back, landing on the walls of the building she had planned to enter two stories up or so, digging her feet into cement and stone like a mountain climber and then accelerating. Using the perfect control of her muscles and balance to scale the structure like panther running vertically in a display of true inhuman power.

Once she crossed the edge to the top, her brutish strength would lay a simple trap, aiming to break 'Smokey' with raw power like a bowling ball would blow away a set of pins. She'd see if he was as frail as he looked.

If not, then that would just be the start of it, but she sincerely hoped she didn't have to fight two stubborn and overwhelming foes in one night. She was no longer used to being outmatched in raw statistics. Maybe the fire extinguisher would work better this time, however.
27
Lorenzo

The pirate sighed and rubbed the back of his head in annoyance. "Man, I was just trying to be nice. She asked me to deal with you, I guess she doesn't care if I bring you bad or alive, but just because I'm a corpse doesn't mean I'm a killer. That's all that was said, what else am I supposed to add to console a maiden's heart? Well, it's not like I had a say in any of this, so please don't think of me as some bad guy or something."

The pirate cocked his fist and a ball of unbelievably hot fire converged into his clenched hand. His eyes were a bit lacking, but it didn't mean his sight and intuition had gone off the window. He could tell she was as ready for this as he was.

"Hah! Then again, if you're not going to come quietly, I guess you are asking for it after all. But relax, if you do kick the bucket I'll make a toast in your honor nonetheless." He added with the same friendly tone as always.

"It's time to sing the most wonderful song..." The pirate grasped his head and the flames flickered with teeth grinning so widely you could almost make out his battle hungry face. "A song composed of your death screams!!"

And with a wave of his hand, infernal flames immediately lunged and licked the streets in front of the pirate, chasing the green haired girl down in order to scorch her to ashes.
28
Rin

"So that actor is typecast then," Rin said as Joe took her hand.

He looked a bit nervous, like he had when Sakura had appeared in front of him.  Rin blinked and looked around, making sure that there wasn't anyone around.  She frowned, tilted her head, and studied him.

"Are you okay?" Rin asked.


Forest

And the blond vampire fell limp and unconscious like a sack of potatoes.
29
Lorenzo

The pirate shrugged. "I hate to disappoint, but I suppose so. Bah, I guess this is the part where I dump you in a bag and laugh my merry way back to the headquarters, but..."

The pirate sighed and rubbed the back of his skull as if annoyed by something. "I'm just not feeling it. If it were up to me, I'd rather have a drink with you, a toast to a fine lady or something. But, hmmm, well I guess there's no point in bitching about it at this rate."

He hummed melodiously, putting a bony finger on his chin before resuming.

"Say, I don't suppose you'll be a good girl and come along nicely will ya? Bosslady says you have history with her, not that it's my business, but at the very least I'd like to not disappoint two ladies in one night."

Irene

The possibility that the one holding his leash was the same fiendish witch that had left the vampire and Julius in dire straits earlier that night blazed in her mind as a fire alarm rather than a wasp's buzz. And she certainly wanted nothing to do with the bitch other than to beat her down and throw her in bindings where her witchcraft couldn't drag anyone else into madness.

A burning, paradoxically living skeleton was the least of her worries. She didn't expect it to come to this so soon.

Irene sighed, addressing him with a casual wave of her hand. "I commend... appreciate bringing a close to your all-too-serious jests, but this leaves us at quite a conundrum then. I am not so inclined to accompany a stranger to meet someone I have barely any inkling of."

And she could hear the boy shuffling about still, with her wolfish senses. "If you really wish to bring an end to this farce and not show your inadequacy as a man, then kindly drop all attempts at subversion and tell me all that was said," she demanded.

The vampire's legs tensed imperceptibly, winding up like a catapult to leap, with none the wiser.
30
Costin

The vampire grinned viciously and met Forest's kick with her own, parrying her merciless blow with one of her own and using the momentum in order to perform a backflip and land at the edge of Forest's car on all fours. Her eyes were wild, like a dog's, yet as feral and bloodthirsty as she was she was anything but stupid. She could smell them getting closer, it was a waste to cut things short here, but she guessed it couldn't be helped.

"Phew, you look pretty good in red." She whistled while the branches of blood sprouting from her body receded back into her. Despite her overwhelming killing intent, she was anything but hostile sounding, but that casual friendliness of hers was just what made her words so terrifying.

It was like talking to a beast, or an insect that only pretended to understand human language but only cared about consuming others. In other words, a true monster.

She glanced back to the healing Marcus and smiled. Man, this was fun, these were just the things that got her all turned on. It was only because she didn't want to fight them that she'd hae to rush things, but hopefully it would be a learning experience for him. After all, he could copy other peoples abilities.

Such a rare blood would surely cleanse the muck and filth coursing through her veins, which is why she hoped he'g engrave this scene straight into his eye-sockets.

"HAH! JUST CRAWL BACK TO A HOLE AND DIE DIE DIE DIEEE!!!" She sneered all of a sudden and burst into motion to unleash a final charge and destroy her foe, devour its life and strengthen her own! But her form was full of openings, sloppy at best.

It was more like a mad animal lunging at her with her arm, as if trying to catch something on her face.

---!

And then the moon, the sky, the cars, the streets, the grass... the entire world turned red. Impossible, the vampire was only approaching, but she had yet to touch her. So why, how could she turn the whole world that Forest saw into a sea of red?

Because when she lunged at Forest, the blood that had splashed her face turned into a bomb, exposing the left side of her face gruesomely while her cerebral matter was barely contained in her open skull. Her blood had splashed her face already, she had set up this attack from the beginning. A simple explosion, much weaker than a grenade, but at point blank even someone like Forest would be incapacitated.

"See? My blood's pretty amazing, ain't it?" She asked Marcus with a cheeky grin as she grabbed Forest by the collar, preventing her from spilling any further..
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