Hunt 29: Out of Control
Emil and Blair have parted ways. Blair goes off on her own going straight down to the lower deck leaving Emil alone to fight the guard in the lower tween deck.
Standing firm on his fighting pose, Emil focuses his sight on the enemy anticipating the man’s next move. Drops of sweat form on his forehead, while his enemy maintains his composure. Emil put his right hand forward and gestures for the enemy to come at him.
“Kids shouldn’t be too cocky,” Raya clicks his tongue. “Even if we are both reveils, the difference between me who grew up in a harsh environment is far greater than someone who had been sheltered all his life.” He brags with a smug face.
“Is that so?” Emil smiles slightly then he uses strengthening magic on his gloves. He runs full speed towards Raya. “Let’s see how great your difference is!”
Emil throws a full force right straight at Raya but he evades by jumping backwards putting two feet distance between them. While Emil regains his form, Raya pulls a metal pipe he has behind him. For a moment Emil wonders what kind of attack his enemy would pull using a metal pipe. It does not seem to fit to the opponent’s image. After the split second pause, he then follows up his attack by a left straight. Raya evades by slightly slanting his body to the left. He then casts a spell on the metal pipe turning it into a sharp sword.
“That glow… magic circles?” Emil saliently observes the movements of the enemy. “Object transformation magic?..” He grins.
Raya swings the sword with all his might, aiming for Emil’s body. In this situation Emil does not have enough time to dodge. Even though the sharp edge of the sword approaches his body quickly, Emil did not back down. He expects that Raya would have something up his sleeve the moment he attacks. He raises his arms higher leaving his stomach area bare and easy prey to that sharpened blade. He lets his opponent land a slash. A loud ‘clang’ resounds as pieces of metal shatters; falling like flickering bits of silver ember on the floor. Emil grins mockingly at his opponent before giving him another left straight directly hitting his nose. The impact pushes Raya back but not enough to make him fall while Emil moves a step back to keep his stance.
“Do you feel the difference now?” Emil brags with the same mocking smile.
Raya wipes the blood dripping from his broken nose. “I warned you not to get too cocky!” He growls while pulling three thin metal scraps he hid in his back pockets. He then casts a spell on each turning them into sharp edged blades. “I don’t know what kinds of tricks you’re pulling, but I cannot lose! Not to a brat!” He says while throwing three blades consecutively in a flash, aiming for his opponent’s head.
Emil easily dodges all three and then he immediately poses for a counter attack. However, Raya reacts quickly pulling another two of those blades. He throws them at him. Emil is caught in the enemy’s trap with not enough time to evade. Again, he did not budge; the blades hit his shirt’s hardened surface. The blades rebound back plummeting down.
“What the hell is with that shirt of yours?!!” Raya growls while trying to pull more blades from the small belt bag he has on his back. “I’m not going to lose. I’m finally getting out of those lawless slums.”
Emil can read how shaken his opponent is. He believes that now is a good opportunity.
“Just some normal cheap fabric,” Emil answers while clenching his right fist. He then leaps towards his opponent aiming for his face.
This time Raya is able to dodge by slightly moving to the right, however Emil follows up by crossing his leg with Raya’s, tripping him backwards. He falls down hard. His back slams with a loud thud on the floor. The impact of the fall on the back of his head stuns him for a moment. Emil then, before the enemy gets back up, quickly drops a punch on the stomach; forcefully without mercy.
Raya instantly passes out. His eyes turn white.
“I don’t have time to listen to your backstory.” He stares at his palm. “This might sound harsh, but I’ve grown tired of watching the same stories in those slums over and over again.” He clenches his hand before looking around. “For now, I have an idiot that I have to look after.”
Before catching up with Blair, he first looks around to find a small room. He drags the unconscious man into the room and then throws him inside. He also breaks the door knob to make sure that the enemy is properly locked inside. He hurries down the deck wearing a worried expression on his face. He runs across the deck, down the staircases, without giving any thought into being discreet anymore. Cold sweat runs down his body. He wants to find Blair as soon as possible, before anything bad happens.
Two men armed with guns carefully trudge closer. Meanwhile, Azalea and Tristan are hiding behind the stack of boxes that contains armor piercing bullets while figuring out how to respond in their current situation. A sweat drops from Tristan’s cheeks as his breathing quivers. His heart pounds faster every time he hears the steps’ echoing closer and closer. The dimly lit open place gives them little option to choose from, and that escalates his anxiety. Behind those boxes, by his left side, Azalea stands keeping track of the enemy’s movement. She is slightly peeking at the side; she reminds him of a tiger carefully observing its prey. The feeling of uneasiness he has and that sense of sharpness he perceives as he fixes his eyes at her just does not add up.
“We’ll have to knock them down,” Azalea says in soft voice with an obvious air of alertness around her. “It won’t be easy, we might get injured.”
“I-injured?! We might as well end up dead.” Tristan screams quietly with quaking voice. He clenches his trembling hands and gulps. “I’m just letting you know, I have zero combat ability.”
“Well, I did expect something like that,” she answers calmly; it sounds quite insulting. “There are just two enemies, since they are using some regular guns that must mean that both are ubliss. I could handle this quite fine, you stay hidden here.”
“How could she say all of that when we can barely see them?”
Azalea is about to go when Tristan pulls her right arm. “Are you crazy? That’s too risky, can’t you just use some spell to knock them down?”
“My attack spells are very powerful. It’s hard to explain now, but if I use even a simple fireball at this state, that stability of my mana might go berserk and do more damage than what I initially intended.” She explains. Tristan is not letting go of her hand while he is trying to digest what she just said. “At most, using defensive spell twice is the safest choice but I’m not as strong or skilled as Blair in physical combat either.” Her tone sounds pretty serious. “My knowledge on illusion magic is limited. I cannot use it on an enemy that can’t look into my eyes. So here’s the plan, I’ll just charge in and somehow knock them down.”
“They’ll shoot you!” He flaps his hands while still suppressing his voice. “You don’t have any decent plan at all. Use some spell that doesn’t explode or something!”
“I might end up killing them, though.” She frees herself of his hold and then she sneaks another peek at the enemy. “Must I use ice magic? Freeze? They’re ubliss without any defense against magic. Freezing them might end up in some permanent damages… unless they have a healer among them.”
“She talks like it’s a normal thing.” He thinks while sneaking a glance at their enemy as well. “Am I actually the kind of person who would let someone else take the burden of hurting others while I hide like a coward behind?..”
The men gesture at each other before splitting up.
“Don’t worry,” her soft voice rings. “I’m a demon hunter; I won’t die just like that.”
Tristan again grabs her left arm with both hands in an attempt to make her stay. “Wait, I’ll handle the fighting, you keep up with the defense.”
“What’s with the dumb suggestion?” She places her other hand on top of Tristan’s arm looking directly into his eyes. “If you can’t even defend yourself then forget about putting your own life at risk. You don’t need to protect me.”
“I’m returning those words back at you.” He refutes though at the same time he feels intimidated by her cold eyes directly looking at him.
“My self-healing is pretty awesome.”
“E-even if you can heal yourself--”
“I can heal myself, that’s the point.” Azalea is starting to take pressure from the incoming enemy while they are still the arguing with messy plan in mind. “Tristan,” she calls and then a tense short pause followed. “My mana is unstable. If the gem breaks, I might not be able to call on healing spells for others.”
“A-azalea…” Tristan gulps as if hesitating to continue. “If there’s anything common between you and Blair, it’s that you both have the tendency to be reckless and go overboard every now and then. You charge head on knowing full well the consequences, taking for granted what others feel.” He recalls Blair’s suspension at the beginning of classes and Azalea’s sudden running off a while ago. “Listen, I might not have any excessive talent like you, but I don’t want to die either. Let’s work this out; the two of us.”
She lets out a deep sigh while looking at the gems on her hand. It appears that she has calmed down. “This is not the time to argue. Okay, one of them is most likely to show up in this direction,” she points at her left.
Tristan then let go of her and focuses his senses in the surrounding.
“The other will be positioning himself at the opposite side. I’ll cast a protection spell on you then you knock down the first person to appear. This protection spell that can absorb physical damage will last for ten seconds at most. Be careful of the impact since it will still hurt.”
The footsteps have been silent for a while. Tristan cannot figure out where the enemies are. When Tristan is about to turn to the other side, one of the enemies appears by Azalea’s left side. The gunman is about four feet away and is pointing the gun at them. Tristan responds quickly, running towards the man with all his might while Azalea immediately casts the protection spell. The man without any second thoughts pulls the trigger and fires a shot at Tristan. A gunshot echoes. By reflex and with a bit of luck he was able to dodge and then he counters with a hook punch to the man’s stomach. He grunts as the pain drains the strength from his knees making him fall groveling on the floor. Tristan takes the gun away from him and then moves a few steps back to distance himself. However that man’s partner suddenly shows himself from the other side like how Azalea has predicted. He aims his gun at Azalea who is standing unguarded by the boxes’ side. At a moment’s notice, Tristan directs the gun that he just took away at the enemy to threaten him.
They pause for a second fixing their eyes at each other, carefully taking note of what each one’s next move will be. The room is dark and they can barely see each other’s silhouette. Tristan’s uneasiness grows as his grip tightens on the gun he holds. His index finger is twitching while he is unable to decide when to pull the trigger. Azalea fixes her glare at the enemy, intimidating and provoking him. It seems to have taken effect, the man quietly stands with his gun pointed at her, grappling with his mind whether he should shot or back away. Meanwhile Tristan decides to watch Azalea’s movements instead. He has a vague feeling that she may pull off something uncalled for. When he feels like she is about to make a move, he prepares himself to pull the trigger. Azalea draws the enemy’s attention by making a small spark which made the enemy panic. This is the chance that Tristan is anticipating so he swiftly fires a shot, unsure of where it will hit. The gunshot resounds loudly followed by something metallic falling on the floor. The bullet hits the enemy’s gun causing him to lose his grip.
“Don’t move!” Tristan shouts; smoke oozes out of the muzzle of his gun still pointed at the enemy. “As you can see, I am very skilled at handling guns so you better surrender before something worse happens to you.”
Azalea then picks up the gun on the ground then turns her sight to the other man on the ground. “Oh, look what else do we have here?” She says menacingly while staring at the handcuffs hanged on the enemy’s waist. “We can use this.”
They cuff both men in one of the metal bars found near the entrance of the deck. The two does not appear to be very knowledgeable of the full operations of their organization. Nevertheless, Azalea intends to squeeze out some information from them.
“Tristan,” Azalea calls softly. “You said you have zero combat ability, you should have told me you are very talented with guns.”
“I’m not,” Tristan murmurs back. “I just learned a bit of self-defense and I know a little about guns. I used them a few times before… i-in a firing rink, of course.” He averts his eyes looking down the floor.
“You hit right at the gun and avoided injuring the man, you know.”
“It was dark. I couldn’t really see what I’m aiming at. I was hoping to shoot his shoulder or arm however it just so happens to hit the gun.”
Azalea pauses in astonishment. “You’ve got some awesome luck. Though, I do feel like we just turned into some idiot duo for a moment there.” Then she turns back to the enemies showing her sharp threatening eyes and menacing smirk. A drop of sweat rolls from their forehead coursing down to their cheeks and then falling off from their chins. “We have a few questions for you.”
“We know nothing,” one man quickly answers.
Azalea looks at them; her expression is menacing. She lightly pats the man’s head while keeping her business smile on. “Do you know what’s convenient about learning healing magic?” She grins ominously. “Like I can stab you fifty times and then heal you just before you die. Then we can go repeat the process over and over again until you finally fess up.”
Few meters behind, Tristan stands listening to their conversation. “Maybe I should stop her from going overboard with this act.” He mumbles; his low-toned voice is trembling. “I feel like I’m going to get indigestion.” He walks closer extending his arm to tap Azalea’s back.
The moment Tristan got close enough; she feels a change in the air around them. Azalea quickly turns around before Tristan can land his palm. In that split second, Azalea kicks his leg making him fall face down.
“W-what was th-?!!” Tristan is unable to finish his sentence while lifting his head.
A bright light flashes for a moment. It would have hit him has he not been forcefully tripped to fall. The one who is receiving the full burn of the attack is Azalea who remains standing though she is pushed back a few steps. Blood drips from the right side of her face.
Despite the dim lighting, Azalea is able to tell that a new enemy has appeared. From the dark area where the attack came from she can feel someone’s presence. The figure stood still as if it is observing them.
She knows that her mastery of defensive spells are low, however this degree of power that could break through her magic barrier is not to be underestimated. The suppressant gems on her arms and neck seems to have started to break apart. Once they totally break, she will not be able to control her mana which will result in erratic and more destructive offense spells. Who knows what she would hit and destroy? Healing or recovery spells requires high level of control and focus, and once her mana goes berserk, those types of spells will no longer be available. She cannot let anyone get injured no matter what.
“A-azalea?..” Tristan’s worried voice rings. He stays laying on his stomach to avoid getting randomly hit just in case.
Azalea is not answering. “There’s no doubt that attack is from a ki master,” she tells herself while touching the cut on her right eye. “A slashing attack from a distance. The enemy has a weapon, most probably a sword.”
The thought of finishing this new enemy plagues her mind. The person must be really skilled, unlike those regular thugs. He is a real threat.
She removes her hand from the injured area. “Fuck-!” She grumbles while looking at her bloodied hand mixed with few strands of hair. The pretentious smile on her face is gone. She lifts her head looking forward. The light in her remaining eye disappears and is then replaced by an unfathomable abyss. “You’ve hurt my bangs.”
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The Bewitched Demon Hunter
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