180 The General, The Shark, The Siren
General Saigo carefully made his way up the dilapidated stairs that led to the city above. It had been a hectic journey for him so far, with strange, humanoid machines coming after him, no way to know where he needed to go, and no sign of his clan anywhere.
He had spent his time since waking trying to make his way up to the city above, and his progress had been slow. He was worried about his clan, the old and the young that could not protect themselves, and his grandson who he had only recently been reunited with.
As much as he missed them all, he still had to focus on the task ahead, climbing the broken stairs to reach the city. He was almost to the top, but the stairs he was on were falling apart. Up ahead he could see an entrance to the lower section of the city, so he kept carefully making his way towards his goal, checking each step and handhold before moving on. It was a long and painstaking process, but eventually he made it to the entrance.
He pushed open the doors and stepped inside closing it behind him. Only an instant later, his Eve vibrated in warning as he sensed something. His reflexes were those of a seasoned warrior, trained and honed by countless hours of conflict and training, and in that moment they saved his life.
He leapt away from the door just as two daggers sliced through where he had just been standing, sinking into the metal door and sticking there! Saigo already had spun around to face his attacker, only to be suddenly hit buy a loud, shrieking sound that sent sharp pain through his ears and blurred his vision.
His veteran experience kept him calm even through the pain as he identified two, possibly three opponents facing him, clearly intent on killing him. Typical that the first people that he ran into were trying to kill him.
In reaction to the auditory attack being sent against him, Saigo used his magic power to insulate his ears, deafening himself but eliminating the threat of the sound attack. His vision cleared up as well, letting him take stock of the situation.
He was cornered. Facing him was a woman dressed in a rather exposing outfit adorned with green and blue feathers, and a hunched man in red armor that sported a shark fin. They seemed to be discussing something as they slowly advanced towards him.
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They were strong, around Rank 5 which was one rank higher than Saigo was. Problematic for him to say the least. They had him cornered, and they had no mercy in their eyes, so the question was how he could get out of this situation.
"Well Serena? You plan on killing him or not?" Loxon, leader of the Sand Sharks demanded as he nervously gripped his daggers.
"You first Loxon," replied Serena, the leader of the Siren Vultures with a sideway glance towards her 'comrade'.
"There's no fuckin dirt here! What do you expect me to do?" Loxon retorted angrily.
"Shoot him in the back like all your other victims," Serena replied snidely.
Loxon spat in her direction as he glared at the old man they had cornered. How the hell had he gotten into this situation?! It had all started when that masked bitch had shown up in Sand Pit and fucked everything up!
It would have been perfect! He had finally acquired his long sought after bride, Athena, and everything had been ready for the wedding ceremony before the masked woman had attacked them and freed Athena.
And that was only the start! The next thing he knew, that coward Doris up and took off, leaving behind a power-vacuum that took a month to clean up, then the fucking goddamn Rellens showed up and hauled him and Serena along with their crews on this insane chase that led them into the wasteland with an armada after a single woman and a clan that was almost extinct!
Then, the armada gets obliterated by heaven's own wrath in the shape of some type of airship never seen before, and THEN, they were hauled into the sky by a goddamned flying city the size of an island!
The crazy Rellen had unleashed some sort of demon on the ship, and Loxon had witnessed the thing rip a crew member into mulch just before he had been yanked from the Kreppelin and into the city. Now he was stuck with Serena, who hated his guts, and he had no fucking clue how he would get out of this mess.
In truth, between him and Serena it had always been a tense alliance, each of them waiting to see who would try and backstab the other first. It was not reassuring that he had to team up with her, but this flying city was a nightmare for him. His innate talent required soil to work, so a metal city in the sky was quite literally his greatest weakness. He had to get out of this place, in one piece preferably.
One thing at a time though, they had this old man to deal with first. He was not one of Rellen's crew, and their own Kreppelins had been pulverized along with their crew, so he had to be one of the Asurai clan that was with the woman the Rellen bastard was hunting. That made him an enemy.
All Loxon had was his daggers and his crossbow, but Serena had some magic she could throw. Loxon decided that he did not want to get to close to this old man, something about how calm he was gave Loxon the creeps. Loxon put his daggers away so he could take out his crossbow, locking back the string with a pull and loading a bolt as he carefully watched the old man.
Once he was ready, he signaled Serena, who then made her move. She pulled out a trumpet, and with a powerful, magically enhanced breath screamed into it, sending a powerful sound wave towards the old man.
Loxon knew that Serena's innate talent was the ability to produce sound waves that when enhanced with magic and other tools could become a lethal weapon. The attack she just sent out would probably not kill someone above Rank 5, but it would disorient them long enough for Loxon to put a poisoned bolt into them. As for anyone below Rank 5? Either death or permanent brain damage would be the result of that attack.
As Serena's attack went out it warped the air, rippling like waves on water as the sound ripped towards her target. Meanwhile, Loxon took aim at the old man, watching for movement in case he tried to dodge the sound attack. That would be when he was most vulnerable, and Loxon would pin him with a bolt.
But strangely, the old man did not move. He was actually just standing there, looking completely calm as the powerful cone of sound swept towards him. Just as it reached him, the old man suddenly moved, bringing his hands up and out, then forward in a striking motion towards the sound ripples coming towards him.
It all happened in an instant, and there was a violent crack as the old man somehow reversed the sound attack and sent it directly back at Serena! Loxon fired his crossbow in reaction, missing the old man completely as Serena desperately tried to move out of the way of her own attack.
In the end, her own clothing prevented her from moving fast enough and she ended up taking her own attack head on, dropping her to the ground completely stunned and foaming at the mouth. Now Loxon was left facing the old man on his own with nobody to help him out, a situation that he did not want to be in!