The first flash was black: Aomidori had moved first.
Ic'enix barely dodged the blow, moving expertly out of the way. She spun on her right foot, swinging her own sword at Aomidori's head: a thin stream of blood came away from the latter's hand, as she had brought it up to block the sharp blade.
Anwil watched with bated breath as he and Wryx stood back, mesmerized. The small lobby, its wooden floorboards creaking under the constant shifting and removing of weight from the women, could barely contain the two fiery spirits.
"MOVE!" shouted Ic'enix at Wryx as she flipped backwards toward the back room. Aomidori slammed herself into Ic'enix, using one hand to block her sword and the other to slash a dagger into Ic'enix's arm. She staggered backwards, the blood falling in thick pools, but didn't break stride otherwise. She unsheathed another sword from her hip and leaped forward at Aomidori.
"USA!" Aomidori yelled at the young man, "Find Shii, now!"
Usa grinned, and stepped skillfully past the ongoing battle.
Wryx and Anwil were his only obstacle to the cellar.
"I won't slit your throat," he said lazily, "If you kindly let me pass."
Wryx took on an extremely determined face, the one Anwil had seen when the boy had been working on some big project to benefit the orphanage, or the children he helped care for. Anwil had always taken Wryx to be weak combat-wise, so he stepped forward to help him as Usa waited for an answer,
"No," said Wryx simply.
Usa's face contorted, and Wryx stepped forward, holding his fingers up. With a boom, a controlled flash shook the lobby, momentarily distracting Usa as Anwil swung a dagger into his chest. Usa didn't flinch: he only smiled, grabbed Wryx's shoulders, and swung him out of the way, and proceeded to do the same to Anwil.
Anwil caught Wryx, and said to him, "Go to Shii, now. I'll try and hold this guy back until you can get outside the city!"
Wryx sighed. "Is it just me, or are you somewhat nicer?" He retreated before Anwil could reply.
Anwil grabbed a chair and heaved it into Usa, but the man dodged and grabbed a short katana from his back. With a few swings, Anwil had been backed all the way back to the cellar. He heard children in adjoining rooms off the lobby, and realized that Wryx had locked all the doors to keep them safe. He had a moment of indigitation, still hating the kid, but his mind snapped back to the task at hand when Usa's blade cut him square across the face.
"Quar!" said a voice behind him. Jinokusa lunged from the back room: Anwil could see Wryx and Shi retreating out of the secret passage that Anwil used to smuggle weapons for his proteges during training. The hefty man grabbed his battlemace and whipped it across the way, and Usa fell in a heap of bloody black rags.
The axe had knocked him out, a shallow cut extending from his forehead to his chin.
"He must have thick skin," said Jinokusa. "Let's go, Quar."
"Wait," said Anwil. He could still hear the clanging of blades in the lobby. He raced forward, signaling to Ic'enix they were leaving. She saw him, but made no inclination she had heard. After a moment, he retreated as Aomidori thrust her dagger into Ic'enix, but she dodged and swung her own at the Liyau, who also managed to avoid it.
"At that rate," said Jinokusa, "It's just a matter of who will collapse from exhaustion first. Don't worry," he said to Anwil, "Ic'enix can take care of herself. She won't be able to kill Snowyl, but she'll be able to get away without being hurt too bad."
"I'm not worried," said Anwil curtly, "Let's go, before that psycho sees us."
Annoucement!: This story will have, at most, 10 chapters. (so, 30 parts)., and at least, 6 chapters (18 parts). I completed an illo for it of the characters so far so I will post that Saturday/Sunday. I won't post the first part of Chapter 4 until tomorrow or the next day.