The Goddess' Chosen Chapter 25: Battle at the baseball pitch (Horrors of the Alchemist)

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'I-Is that a Ghoul?'

Allisa studied the man standing before her. Though he bore some similarities to the ghouls she faced the other day, she could tell that this one was different. The main difference, despite being able to speak, was his movements. The creatures she faced were slow, the movements almost zombie like. This one, on the other hand, was quicker, and thanks to her experience in Avalon, she could tell that he was no armature.

'This is bad.' She looked around as the panic around her, with some of the others simply frozen in place with terror, such and Francesca and Bill while some ran. 'I'm obviously the only one here who can fight this guy. If I can lure him away I can-'

"What's going one!" Her attention was then drawn to the people who ran. The voice came from Tristan, who was banging frantically on something in mid-air at the fields side exit. "Why can't we get out?!"

'A barrier!' Allisa gritted her teeth hard. If there was a barrier, then her first idea was out of the question.

"Wh-Who are you?" Francesca muttered, terrified of what was going on. "What do you want with us?"

The man smiled again through his teeth. "Gamba. And I simply want to kill all of you."

"Wh-What?"

"You're Crazy!" Tristan shouted out.

"Crazy? I'm simply following human nature." Gamba said, raising his sword arm high. "All humans are killers. Killing is part of your nature."

"What's that suppose to mean!" Allisa said in a clear voice, stepping in the way of the others.

"What are doing?" Francesca said, puzzled to Allisa's action.

"This one's got spunk." Gamba then lowered his arm. "When you see a fly before you, what's your instinct regarding it?" Allisa clenched her fist. "You kill it. Squash out its life without even the slightest feeling of remorse. That is the true nature of you humans. Even in my past life, humans were nothing more than fly's to me."

'Past life?' Taking another step forwards, Allisa asked in a clear voice. "Are... are you a ghoul?"

Gamba fell silent as Allisa spoke. He then slowly lowered his sword. Everyone else looked at Allisa, confused on why she just asked what seemed like a silly question given their situation. Muttered giggles could then be herd from Gamba.

"Well well, You seem to know about us already." He said quietly. His smile then disappeared as he pointed his blade at Allisa. "But don't compare me to those vermin!" He then launched himself into the air, raising his blade high, bringing it down on Allisa with incredible force. A loud Clash came next ringing across the pitch. Everyone stained at Allisa in both aw and confusion.

"W-what the?" Francesca mouthed.

"A-A-Allisa?" Bill stuttered.

"Well now," Gamba smiled once again though his teeth. "That's interesting." His massive blade was being held in place by Allisa's sword, which she used both her hands just to keep the blade from slicing her in two. "Now where were you hiding such a weapon huh?"

Allisa's feet began to shake as she struggled to keep the blade from her. T-This guys strong. My arms feel like they've been turned to dust.

"You must be one of those Avalon guys Mother wants dead." Gamba then added more pressure to his sword, bringing his blade lower towards Allisa's head.

"M-Mother?" Allisa's arms felt like they would buckle very soon.

"You I can definitely kill." Gamba then leaned his head in closer to Allisa's face. "Let's have some fun shall we!" He then leaned back, withdrew his blade and kicked Allisa's right side hard enough to send her flying into the batter's box. Dust flew from the impact, obscuring Allisa from sight. "Oh, well that was boring," Gamba muttered disappointedly. He then turned to the others. "I hope you will be more entertaining then she was."

Francesca was paralyzed in place, unable to move. The others behind her were in a similar position. On the other side of the pitch, Tristan and the ones who ran frantically throw themselves against the invisible wall that was blocking their escape.

"What the hell is this?!" He said. "Why can't we get out?!"

"Oh, that was me." a new voice then came from the stands. High up were both Thatch and Frosh.

"More of them?" Francesca breathed, frightened by the newcomers.

"I set up a one-way barrier when we arrived," Frosh explained to Tristan. "You guys can't get out until I undo the barrier."

"Hey Gamba!" Thatch yelled. "We need three of them alive, remember!"

"But there just worthless scum. What difference would it make if kill all of them?" Gamba replied.

"Do that and mother will gut us!"

"That's if Sharly doesn't gut you first when you tell her about the lurkers," Frosh said.

"You tell her!! It was your fault!!"

"But I got here first, so you have to tell her."

Thatch then grabbed Frosh's head, which then exploded. "You really do love pissing me off." He growled. As the smoke settled, Frosh's head started to grow back.

"Wh- His head?" Francesca looked in horror at the disturbing scene. "What are these people?"

"So which one's do we need!" Gamba called out to Thatch and Frosh.

"I'll check," Frosh said, putting his hands to his eyes as though they were binoculars.

"It better not be any of the ones he just killed." Thatch said. "If they are we're done for."

"Ok," Frosh looked at the people gathered down below them. "The black head girl in the middle with the dress." He pointed at Francesca. "That really scrawny kid with glasses." He pointed at Bill. "And..... That big guy over there, with the short hair." He pointed at Tristan.

"Huh?" Tristan's body went numb after he realized Frosh was referring to him. "M-Me?" the others then started to distance themselves from the three.

"Hear that?" Thatch yelled to Gamba. "Thereof limits! Everyone else is yours!"

"Got it." Gamba acknowledged.

"Wh-whats going o-on?" Bill said dropping to the floor. "Wh-Why m-me?"

"Why do you want us? What did we do?" Francesca said taking a step back.

"Why are you complaining?" Gamba said as he took steps towards the group. "It just means you can live."

"Wait!"

Gamba halted his advance and looked towards the batter's box. "What? You're still alive?"

Allisa emerged from the batter's box, seemingly all right, despite some bruises, a small trail of blood that seeped from a burse on her head as well as some tears in her clothes. She clutched her sword as she walked from the wreck.

"Whoa. The blond chick survived." Frosh whistled.

"Seriously?" Thatch said in disbelief, staring hard at Allisa. "How the hell could she still be alive after that, let alone still be able to move?"

"Hey, I just realized." Frosh squinted as he examined Allisa. "That's one of the Avalon people from the other day."

"Huh!! That girl?!"

Allisa wiped away the blood from her face and then reached into her pocket. She then took out her garment crystal and changed into her Avalon clothes.

"Well well," Gamba said amused. "Seems your full of surprises."

Francesca couldn't believe her own eyes, feeling both confused and terrified on what was going on around her. What the hell's going on here? She then looked towards Allisa with confusion

Allisa held up her sword as she tried to get regain some kind of balance. Her entire body felt heavy upon impact, as though she had been run over by a train. She noticed the looks she was getting from her little magic trick, meaning she was in for a lot of explaining after the threat had passed. Closing her eyes briefly, she returned her gaze back to the opponent in front of her. 'Better worry about that later. Right now I've got bigger problems.'

"Well then!" Gamba drew Allisa's attention back on him. He took several swings before him before placing his right leg and arm back, lowering his body. "Let's get this started!!" He then launched himself at Allisa, swinging his blade out in a wide, ferocious arc. Just as Allisa braced herself for the coming strike, someone then rushed in front of her, drew a katana and blocked the strike, taking in the full force of the blow without so much as flinching.

"That's quite an interesting arm you got pal."

Allisa immediately recognized who it was by his voice alone, as well as the katana that was holding the oversized blade in place. "Yuki?"

Gamba then immediately withdrew and leaped back before Yuki could counterattack. "Well, well." He then stared at Yuki smiling. "You blocked that with that puny weapon. I can't tell you what an achievement that is."

Yuki grinned back at him as he rested his sword on his shoulders. "Size doesn't mean much when it comes to swords. In fact, it's the smaller swords that are the most deadly. Then again, I've never encountered someone with an actual sword attached to their arm."

Allisa took a sigh of relief. She knew she couldn't block a strike like that in her current state, and if she could, she would have been sent flying by the impact. "Thanks for the save." She said to Yuki, who then turned his head to her.

"Oh, when'd you get here?" He asked absentmindedly.

"Wha- What do you mean? Didn't you just come to save me?"

"Course not. Why the hell would I save you?"

"Then why did you save me?"

"Just saw some hopeless girl about to be sliced in half and it just so happened to be you."

Bam!!

Allisa turned her sword in her hand and hit Yuki on the head with the flat of the blade.

"Ahhrg!!" Yuki couched to the ground clutching his head. "What the hell was that for?!"

"For being a jerk."

Yuki then leaped back up rubbing his head. "I just saved your sorry ass! Bit more grateful you stupid bitch!"

"Who are you calling a Bitch you Ass?!"

"Sorry to break up this fascinating argument," Gamba interrupted, attracting the two's attention. "But I'm starting to get bored. And I hate to be ignored by my pray."

Yuki glared at Gamba, studying his weapon. "Hey." He addressed Allisa. "You stay out of this."

"Wha- your gonna fight him alone?"

"What kind of question is that?" Yuki smiled while resting his blade on his shoulder. "You know my pride demands I fight this guy one on one."

"Quite bold." Gamba swung out his blade. "But do you really think you can take me on all on your own."

"Who knows? I've been doing nothing but learning about worthless crap, so I'm just itching for some action."

Gamba grinned as he brought his blade to a halt. "I'm starting to like you." He then heaved his blade back and prepared to charge once again. In responses, Yuki held his sword in both hands and stood in a defensive stance. "Come on then! Let's HAVE SOME FUN!!!" He then launched himself at Yuki, slinging his blade out at Yuki.

Yuki stepped forwards, raising his blade high before bringing it down again. The two clashed blades hard, sending a loud metallic ring thought the pitch.

****



"Wow," Frosh said as he watched the battle between Yuki and Gamba heat up. "He's actually keeping up with Gamba. That guy's good."

"Never mind that." Thatch said sounding confused. "Where the hell did he come from? He definitely wasn't here before."

"Must've just arrived."

"Didn't you set up a barrier?!"

"Yeah, a one-way barrier so no one can escape."

"Then how'd did this guy get in?!"

"I told you, it's a one-way barrier to keep people in, not keep people out."

"So people can still come in!! Why'd you set up something like that?!"

Frosh looked back at the fighting below. "Didn't think anyone would be stupid enough to charge in." He then looked up at the sky as Thatch moved one of his hands close to his head. "Huh? Is that a meteor?"

"What?" Thatch then looked up and saw a fireball descending on them. "THE HELL!!!"

He and Frosh then quickly leaped out of the way as the fireball impacted the stands resulting in a large explosion. In the Air, Thatch semi-circle as he watched the flames on the stand blaze and move in a strange manner.

'What's with that fire? It's like it's alive?'

Suddenly, someone burst out of the flames and slammed their fist into Thatch's gut. The impact sent him flying towards the pitch. He managed to recover before he hit the ground. Upside down, he extended his left hand out to the ground and skidded across it until he slowed to the point where he lowered his body to the ground, skidding to a halt close to where Tristan and his group were.

"You one of these serial killers?" Max landed close by, dressed in his Avalon clothes, facing Thatch with fists at the ready.

"So what if I am?" Thatch retorted twitching the fingers in his right hand. "And who the hell are you?"

Max gritted his teeth as he faced Thatch. "I'm the guy who's gonna kick your ass!"

****



Frosh landed short ways from his original position, still having a good view of the carnage down below. "Oh, another guy." He then picked up his basket and rummaged inside. "Guess I should have used something else to keep people out too." He then pulled out an object from the basket. "Oh well. Can't be helped now."

"Chain!"

Chains then suddenly appeared around Frosh's body. "What the?" He tried to move his hands out but couldn't.

"I wouldn't bother. You won't get out of those." Melvin appeared a few steps below him, pointing his wand at Frosh.

"Cool. So you're a wizard at your age?" Frosh said admiring the chains wrapped around him.

Nel appeared behind him and held her dagger to his neck. "No tricks or I'll kill you."

Frosh turned his head towards Nel, facing her with his usual blank expression. "Can't move anyway. Guess you got me."

"You're pretty calm for someone who's just got captured," Melvin said feeling a little concerned by Frosh's nonchalant attitude.

"Something like this can't kill me." Frosh looked out on the playfield once again. "Besides. The real show's gonna start soon."

****




"Your gonna kick my ass huh?" Thatch grinned through his teeth as he got back on his feet. "You're one of those Avalon guys that wasted the dolls the other day." He twitched the fingers in his left hand before lifting his arm up. "Not sure what kind of ability you got there, but you still got nothing on me human."

Max clenched his posture as he examined Thatch's bizarre body. This guy's definetly not from this town.

"You!!" Tristan yelled pointing at Max. "I've got a score to settle with you!"

Max returned a blank look at Tristan. He then relaxed his arms as he tried to think. "....Um, who are you again?"

"You forgot me!!!" Tristan yelled back. "I'm that guy you slugged the first day of school!"

"I did?" Max then thought harder and then remembered. "Oh yeah! You're that jerk from the other day!" he pointed.

"Hey!" Thatch interrupted. "Forget about me!" He then launched himself and grabbed Max's right arm before he could react. "You punched me with this arm." He grinned as he held Max's arm up. "Hope you don't mind if I take it!"

Thatch then exploded his palm with a large and violent blast. While Thatch giggled, Max flared up his left hand and uppercut him.

"Wha...." As Thatch staggered back, Max swung another punch. He then followed up with a fiery Kick, sending Thatch flying back, but regaining his footing as he landed. 'The hell was that? I blew up his arm and he.... What?!' Thatch stared in shock at Max. The smoke on his right arm had cleared, revealing his explosion had done no damage at all. 'No way! That was at point blank! His arm should be a stump!'

Max grinned at Thatch. "What's with that puny firework? That kinda tickled." He then stood his legs apart. "Let me show you a real one!" Max took in a deep breath and roared out fire.

"His mouth?!" before the flames reached him, Thatch slammed both hands on the ground. There was then a massive explosion that unearthed a large amount of the ground while shielding him from Max's breath attack. 'What's with this kid? He can breathe fire as well as emit it from his body. Then there's how he took that last explosion without so much as a scratch.'

Max then burst through the smoke with a flaming fist. Thatch jumped back as it slammed into the ground. Max then released a flurry of fiery attacks on Thatch, both punching and kicking. Thatch was forced on the defensive, dodging and blocking several strikes.

Thatch then grinned as an opening presented itself. He then grabbed both of Max's arms and held him in place. 'This time, I'm giving it everything!' Both arms exploded with far more power than the first. Max even cringed as they went off. 'Alright! That had to have done something!'

Max then grinned back and Kneed Thatch hard in the chest, severely winding him. He quickly realized Max and leaped back, clutching his gut.

He then inspected Max, finding that his arms were slightly scorched where he grabbed him, but still unharmed. Again! This is ridicules! No normal human-?!!

Max then inspected his arms. "Man this guy's no joke. That one actually hurt a little." He then heard Thatch giggling to himself. "What's so funny?!"

"He he he.... I get it now." Thatch then raised his head and pointed at Max, a large sinister grin on his face. "You're no more human than I am!!"

"What?" Max gritted his teeth hard, anger building up in him.

"No normal human could have withstood a blast like! Along with that is your ridicules strength and that way you use fire."

Max cooled his anger down before replying. "I'm a salamander."

"And I'm supposed to know what that is?"

"Not really. But I know that your one of those ghoul things." Thatch then leaped forwards and punched Max's left side before exploding his fist, sending Max flying several meters back. "Ok... that hurt." Max groaned as he got back to his feet.

"Don't lump me in with Sharly's freaks!" Thatch spat. "I'm a Homunculus, got it!"

"Hemocal-What? What the hell's that?"

"You don't know?" Thatch grinned once again as he raised one of his arms. "Let's just say it's a step up from these humans."

Step up? Max took another look at Thatch's body, mostly drawn to his glowing hands. "Is it because you're a.... whatever, that your hands glow like that."

"Oh this?" Thatch lifted up one of his arms. "You're half right there. My body has been modified to the extent that I can withstand my own ability."

"Ability? You mean that exploding thing."

"Right." Thatch reached down and scooped up some dirt from the ground. "It's called Explosive touch." He then stuck his fist forwards before laying his palm flat. "Pretty straight forward. If my hands come into contact with anything," His hand then exploded. "I can blow it up."

Max then grinned. "That's all?" he then flared up his right fist. "Hate to tell ya, but fire attacks don't really work on me, specially those puny fireworks of yours."

Thatch then grinned back, stretching out both arms. "You ain't seen nothing yet kid. Besides, I have other tricks up my sleeve." He then charged Max again.

Max charged as well and threw his flaming fist at him. Thatch ducked and punched Max in the gut. His fist then exploded, sending Max flying across the field, skidding across the ground to a stop.

"Wha... What the?" Max struggled up. He looked at where he was punched. The area was slightly blackened by the blast. He used that explosion to enhance with his punch. I really felt that.

"True I can't simply blow you away." Thatch stood tall, holding up his fist he punched Max with. "But I can still clobber you!"

"Alright," Max took another stance and flared up both fists. "Go ahead and try!!"

****




Melvin looked on at the battle between Max and Thatch. "Whoa, That guy's ability is nuts." He said.

"Your guys not so bad if he can survive that long against Thatch." Frosh said. "He's still gonna lose though. Once Thatch gets like this, he'll tear that fire kid to bloody shreds."

"He'll win," Melvin said defiantly.

"Now talk! Where's the Alchemist?" Nel demanded, inching her dagger closer to Frosh's neck.

"Alchemist? Oh you mean Mother?" Frosh said. "I'm not telling."

"Talk!! Or I'll-" Nel was then noticed some of the chains starting to come undone. "MELVIN!!"

Melvin turned and saw that the chines were disappearing at an alarming rate. "What! That's not possible unless," He then noticed in Frosh's hand was a small rod with a blue light shining from it. "What's that In your Hand?!" Melvin said to him, holding up his wand.

"A sonic screwdriver. You know, from Doctor Who. Though slightly modified for my use."

Nel then plunged her dagger into Frosh's neck. "I warned you. No tricks." She then sliced through his throat completely. Blood spread from the wound briefly before stopping. The blood that had sprayed, including what was on Nel's dagger, evaporated quickly.

"That hurt you know."

Shocked, Nel quickly leaped back some distance from Frosh, seeing the wound on his neck had disappeared completely. "Impossible!"

"What the? No one can heal that fast." Melvin muttered.

"I can," Frosh said. Now free he reached down into his basket, putting back the device and brought out something that grew into a thinker metal tube that emitted a green beam. "Lightsaber."

"What now?" Nel put up her blades preparing to defend.

"That won't help." Frosh took a step forwards towards Nel, raising his blade.

Nel activated her Piercer eyes to examine the weapon. That weapons' just pure energy. I don't think my blades can block something like that.

"Ice Needle!" Melvin launched several ice needles at Frosh, which stuck into his left side. Frosh kept moving like nothing had happened. He struck down at Nel, who used Quickstep to dodge, burning through the bench below.

"Aw. I missed." He said.

Nel appeared behind him and ran him through with her short blade. Frosh lifted the lightsaber up to take another swing at Nel. She relished her grip on her short blade as he turned and swung at Nel, who leaped up, just narrowly avoiding the blade while slicing through Frosh's hand and the device before landing behind him. The device lost its beam and fell to the ground along with the part of Frosh's hand that was cut off.

As Nel looked at the device, she noticed something peculiar about what it was made of. It's... plastic? Same as some of the figures in Allisa's bedroom. That means... She then saw the part of Frosh's hand disintegrate. Frosh turned to Face Nel again. There she saw the part of his hand that was cut of, grow back. "That device was a toy correct?" Nel demanded.

"Yep." Frosh nodded and held out his basket. "This is my Magical Toy Box. Everything in it, I can make life-size and use."

"Lightning bolt!"

A lightning shot then passed right through Frosh, burrowing a hole into the stands above, as well as leaving a whole though Frosh. He then turned to Melvin, who held out his wand with smoke coming off it. "Hey. That could have killed someone." He said to him.

"But not you right?" Melvin said. He took a look at Nel who watched the hole in Frosh repaired itself. "You've had your throat cut, part of your hand was cut off, and that spell burnt a hole through you. On top of that, you don't seem to feel any kind of pain."

"Why do you say I don't feel pain?" Frosh asked. "You may not realize it but I'm crying on the inside."

"Those ice needles I stuck you with. You didn't even flinch in the slightest." He turned to Nel who nodded. "And that part of your hand grew back five seconds after it was cut off."

"Ok you got me," Frosh said casually. "I have an immortal body. You can t kill me, no matter what you do. You can cut my heart out, or even blow my head off, and I'll still live."

"So what are you exactly?" Nel said to him, drawing his attention. "You're not human, that much is clear. But you're not a ghoul either."

"Huh? He's not?" Melvin said confused.

"Whoa. You're really smart." Frosh parsed. "Your right. I'm none of those."

"Th-Then what are you?"

Frosh looked again at Melvin. "I'm a Homunculus."

Both Melvin and Nel stood in absolute shock.

"A... A Homunculus!" Melvin stuttered. "That's... That's impossible!"

"Not for mother. She created us." Frosh said.

I see. Nel turned her gaze quickly to the ongoing battles in the pitch. Her mind also wondered to the gas mask person she dealt with two nights ago. They're all Homunculi. In that case, this is far more dangerous than we thought at first. "So what are you after here?" Nel said. "I'm sure you didn't come out here just to pick a fight with us."

Frosh reached into his Toy box. "I'm not telling." He then brought out a toy laser pistol and pointed it at Nel.

"Fine." Melvin readied his wand. "Then we'll just force it out of you."

"You may be immortal." Nel raised her blades. "But It's still two on one."

Frosh let out a big sigh. "Two against one. What a pain."



*****

Tristan and his group ran up to Francesca who was watching Max and Thatch tearing up the field with their fight. "What's going on?" He asked. "Those are the new kids at school right? How are they doing that stuff?"

"How am I supposed to know!" Francesca yelled. She then turned to Allisa, who was also watching the fights around. "You know something, don't you! What the heck's going on? Is that a real sword? And what's with those clothes?"

Allisa remained silent.

"Answer me!!"

"I'll tell you later." She replied silently.

"Later?! Have you seen what's going on?! I'm not sure what kind of freaks your friends are, but these other guys are nuts! They'll be killed and-"

"They won't lose!"

Francesca was silenced by Allisa's outburst. Though she couldn't see her face, she saw that she was unconsciously clenching her sword hard.

"They'll win. You'll see." her gaze drifted from Max to Yuki in the other direction.

****



Yuki's sword clashed against Gamba. Gamba pushed back against Yuki and swung down. Yuki dodged to the right causing the blade to embed itself in the ground. Yuki was about to strike when Gamba shifted his body to face Yuki, heaved his sword from the ground to attack Yuki, sending part of the grounds flying towards him. Yuki blocked again, skidding across the ground by the force of the strike.

'Damn! This guy's strength's insane. He's also nimble despite that massive blade on his hand.'

"What's the matter?" Gamba lifted his sword up in the air, grinning at him. "What happened to all that confidence before?!"

Yuki grinned back. "You really do like to run your mouth pal."

Gamba grinned and stabbed his blade into the ground again. "Alright then!" He then charged Yuki once more with his blade still embedded in the ground, scaring it as he ran. He stopped short of Yuki and forced his blade out of the ground sending dirt flying at Yuki.

As Yuki staggered from the dirt, Gamba took another swing at Yuki. Unprepared, Yuki just managed to bring his blade down to bloke, but lost his footing and was forced to his right, knocking him down and tumbling towards a wall of the stands. Gamba walked slowly towards Yuki as he regained his footing and held out his sword.

'Crap! I got careless!'

Gamba suddenly lunged forward and swiped Yuki's sword out of his hands. Blood then shot out of a gash that opened on Yuki's chest. Yuki slowly looked down at the wound.

"Oh... Not good."

Gamba grinned and pulled his blade back before lunging forwards with his sword, impaling Yuki thought the chest, cracking the wall behind him as the blade dug into it, pinning him to the wall.

Allisa stared in horror as she witnessed Yuki being stabbed. "YUKI!!!!"

Hearing Allisa's cries Max turned his head. "Oh crap!"

While he was distracted Thatch leaped forward and placed both palms on Max's chest. "I wouldn't get distracted if I was you!!" His palms then blew, sending Max flying into the second batter's box.

****




"Oh no!" Melvin looked at the dust flying from the area below the stands where he saw Gamba charge something. Since there were no movements, he had an idea on what might happen.

"Go!" Nel said dodged a shot from Frosh's laser pistol. "I can take care of him." Frosh then let out another shot. Nel dodged again and leaped forwards while splitting Frosh's head with her short blade. "I'll be fine."

"Ok." Melvin then ran down to the exit of the stands.

"So he's leaving," Frosh said as the head wound repaired itself. "Oh well." He pointed his pistol at Nel once more.

****




Gamba smiled as he watched Yuki cough up blood. "You know what I love most about killing." He then leaned in close to Yuki, running his blade deeper into him. "The true nature of humans. Right at the moment of death emotions such as fear, anger, rage and sorrow begin to surface. It's there when a person's true nature is shown." He then leaned back once more. "What say we see your true nature? Collapsed to the floor, bleeding to death. Let's see the real you!"

Gamba laughed hard as he tugged on his arm. It didn't budge. Gamba stopped laughing and tugged again. Still nothing. What? He heaved again but he still couldn't free his blade from Yuki. What's going on? I can't move.

He then looked down on his blade and saw that Yuki had both hands on his blade. He- He's holding my sword in! Yuki then started to chuckle. He's laughing?!

He then looked up at Gamba with a large grin on his face. "Sorry.... But I don't plan to die just yet.... And definitely not to some low life thug like you."

Startled, Gamba tried to free his blade. Yuki kept his grip. Blood dripped from his palms from clutching the sharp blade. "Are you insane?! You can't do anything! Even if you keep me here, you'll eventually bleed to death!"

"I'm just stubborn... Plus, I would be shaming by honor... if I let it end here."

Allisa then came up at Gamba's right and cut off his arm. Gamba leaped back, clutching his what was left of his right arm. Allisa stood in front of Yuki, who freed himself from the wall and collapsed to the ground, Gamba's blade still embedded in him.

"You little..." Gamba cursed while clutching the stump in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

"Allisa!" Melvin ran up to her and stopped short when he saw Yuki on the floor. "Oh, Yuki!" He then ran up to Yuki and knelt beside him.

"Is he ok?" Allisa asked.

"He's alive for the moment, somehow." Melvin then held his hands over Yuki and started healing. "Still, This looks serious."

"Should we take that out?" Allisa gestured to the blade, which was still in Yuki.

"Probably not a good idea. At that size, he'll bleed to death quickly if we remove it." Melvin looked at Gamba. "Just keep that guy off me for now."

****




Thatch took a look over towards Gamba. "Looks like he's in trouble." The batter box then exploded in a large blaze that quickly rescinded, blowing the rubble away. "Man your relentless."

Max emerged from the rubble and straight towards the other side of the pitch where Yuki laid.

"Don't get me wrong, he put up a good fight." Thatch said to him grinning. "But in the end, he's just a human. He didn't have a chance with just a sword and nothing else."

Max glared at Thatch, clenching his fists tightly with rage.

"What's with the serious look all of a sudden?" Thatch said in a mocking voice. "Are you sad that we just killed one of your human friends huh?"

"You shut your mouth," Max growled. "There's no way that sword bastard would die to someone like that."

"What are you, blind? The guy's on the ground bleeding out. Seems dead to me."

"I said SHUT YOUR MOUTH!!!" Max flared up both hands as he faced Thatch.

"Now that's the look." Thatch grinned as he extended both hands, palms flat. "The look of a true beast."

****




Gamba gaze couldn't leave Yuki. He gritted his teeth hard as he stared him down. He smiled. He was about to die. He fought for his life. And he was smiling. How? I've never seen this before. How could he be smiling when faced with death?

"Not so threatening now that you have no weapon," Allisa said to him. Holding her sword out. Sorry for butting in Yuki, but I'm gonna have to take this guy down.

"White noise."

A high-pitched sound began to ring in Allisa's ear.

'Huh? What's that sound?'

She wanted to block it out, but for some reason, her arms wouldn't listen. Her vision then started to go. She then lost the feeling in her legs and flopped to the ground. All her strength was gone. She couldn't even move her fingers. All she could do was lay there as she slipped out of consciousness.

'What's going on? Why can't I move?'

Everyone all over the pitch started to collapse as a high-pitched sound rang across the area. Only Thatch, Frosh and Gamba. Thatch held his hands over his ears, pressing hard to block out the noise. "Damnit!! I really hate that!!" He yelled.

Gamba gritted his teeth as he could only block out one ear. "What is this?! It's horrible!!"

"That's Rubrik's white noise ability," Frosh said casually. Unlike the other two, he wasn't bothered by the sound. "Guess that means he's here."

"What?!" Gamba yelled to him as the sound started to dissipate. "What's White Noise?"

"One of his three abilities. He emits a high-frequency pitch that can affect the brain, instantly paralyzing anyone who hears it for a couple of hours."

Gamba looked around at the collapsed people. "Why are we unaffected?"

"Sharly tuned our ears so were not affected by his ability."

"It's still the most unpleasant thing in the world!!" Thatch yelled. "He could give us some warning when he uses it around us!"

Rubrik then suddenly appeared in the center of the pitch. "What do you think you're doing?" He looked around at the three. "Frosh. Open a portal."

"Ok." Frosh jumped down from the stands and rummaged through his toy box.

"We're leaving?!" Thatch protested pointing at the collapsed Max "What about them?!"

"Leave them. Just grab the sacrifices."

"Uh uh! You expect me to just let this kid walk away?!"

"You've drawn far too much attention to your selves," Rubrik said in a low voice. "We're leaving before anyone else arrives."

"Best do what he says," Frosh said as he walked to the center of the field. "You know how Rubrik gets when he's mad."

Thatch took a look at Max, clenching his fists hard. "Fine." He growled. He then walked towards Rubrik, who picked up the unconscious Francesca.

"Gamba." Rubrik addressed Gamba who stared at Yuki.

"Alright," Gamba replied. He took a last look at Yuki before turning to the others. Thatch arrived and picked up Tristan while Gamba heaved Bill with his one remaining hand.

"Frosh."

"Got it." Frosh then pulled out a strange pistol from his toy box and shot into the air. A portal soon opened shortly after. "This should take us directly to the lair."

"Should?" Thatch said slightly concerned.

"Well, this is the first time I used this. We could be disintegrated in there for all I know."

"Why say something like that?!"

"Let's go," Rubrik said.

"W-wait..."

Rubrik turned and saw Allisa struggling back to her feet.

"What the!" Thatch said. "It's hardly been a minute! How could she still move?!"

Rubrik glared at Allisa as she regained her footing. This girl... She could be trouble. He then passed Francesca to Thatch. "Go. I'll deal with her."

"Hey! How come you get to finish them off and not us?!"

"Because it will be far quicker if I dealt with this. And draw less attention."

"He's got you there," Frosh said.

"Fine." Thatch said reluctantly. "No point arguing with you." Then he, Frosh and Gamba walked into the portal, with Francesca, Tristan and Bill.

"I said wait!!" Allisa shouted. She tried to run but her feet still felt strange. And by the time they recovered, the portal closed, leaving her alone with Rubrik.

"You were affected by White Noise, yet you can still move."

Allisa stopped and raised her sword to Rubrik. "Where did you take them?!" she demanded.

"To mother."

"What do you want with them?!"

"That is none of your concern."

"Ok fine." Allisa then charged Rubrik, her sword beginning to glow. "I'll just force it out of you!" She lifted her blade high and brought it down on Rubrik, who lifted his left hand in response.

"Vibrate."

Rubrik caught Allisa's blade, making a loud crashing sound as though she had just hit metal. On his palm, not even a single drop of blood came from Allisa's strike. He, caught it? With his bare hand?

Rubrik then slammed his right palm into Allisa's chest hard. "Pulse." A strange force then passed through Allisa. When Rubrik released Her, she staggered back before dropping to her knees coughing up blood.

"Wha.... Wha-" She then flopped to the floor, still coughing. My chest! It feels like it's been torn apart.

Rubrik then approached her, looking over her with his cold eyes. "You're a mana user as well." He then stepped on her right hand. "Your mana is very impressive. In fact, I'd say your more powerful than even me." Allisa strained her head to look up at Rubrik. "However, there is a clear gap in terms of control."

"C-Control?"

Rubrik held up his left hand to her. "When two fighters use mana-based attacks, it's the greater one that wins out. The reason why I could block your attack so easily was because that attack was too weak." He then looked down at his foot. "Vibrate."

Allisa gritted her teeth with pain from her hand which Rubrik hand his foot over. When he removed his foot she saw that the skin on the back of her hand had been ripped off.

"Seems I overestimated you." Rubrik then started to walk away. "If by some chance you manage to survive that, don't come after us. If you do, I will cut your heart out."

Allisa tried to move, but the pain in her chest was too intense. All she could do was raise her bloodied hand up. Her vision began to go just as Rubrik disappeared.

'Damn it!'

Her hand then flopped back to the ground.

'Damn it!'
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