Volume 5, Chapter 6-3: Battle of Archers

The battlefield shifted to one full of tall rocks and rugged terrain. Jen took cover behind a rock. She fired an arrow which exploded in the air. A bright light filled the battlefield. Jen carried much more in her arsenal than she let on. Ichaival hesitated and Jen took advantage. She notched another arrow and fired. It lodged into Ichaival’s right arm. He grunted, grasping at the projectile.

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Ichaival remained stationary. Wait, was he paralyzed? Ichaival removed the arrow from his arm using a portal, but remained afflicted. I was impressed by Jen’s strategy. She moved fast, wasting no time.

“He’s an idiot. He should have evaluated Jen’s movements before going ham,” Shan muttered, shaking his head.

“Jen’s arrows’ effect don’t last forever, right?” I guessed, watching Jen fire two arrows into the air.

“They have a time limit, but as you can see, it gives her the time to set up for devastating attacks. Felicity, Darryl will be unable to fulfill that promise of winning for you,” Shan smirked.

Felicity ignored him. Her eyes were glued on the battlefield, scribbling down words in her notebook. Ichaival was in a tough situation. How would he counteract the momentum building in Jen’s favor? Ichaival formed portals around him after the paralysis wore off. Such a strategy allowed him to repel any arrows Jen fired.

Ichaival moved toward one of his portals, transporting away. He arrived inches away from Jen. This might turn the tide. She lacked the weaponry to counter his blades. Yet she was ready, four arrows surrounding Ichaival and her. Ichaival fell right into her trap.

“Freakin….,” Ichaival said as the arrows released a foul, hazardous smoke.

Jen leaped back, firing three arrows, one after another. They struck him in the left and right arm. Ichaival created a portal in time, avoiding the third one. His movements turned slow and choppy. He hurled one of his blades at Jen, but it missed by a significant amount. Portals appeared behind Jen and blades flew at her. Finally a strong offensive maneuver by Ichaival, but would it work?

“He never learns, does he?” Shan commented, his eyes fixed on the rocks near her.

I saw the fletchings of several arrows struck into the rocks. Jen plucked her bow string and the same smoke from before seeped out. As before, Ichaival’s portals vanished. All of his blades dropped down to the ground with a loud clang.

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“Impressive. She finally mastered it,” Tess complimented.

Jen closed the distance between Ichaival and herself. How would this be advantageous? At this point, I knew magical bull would occur. Ichaival, realizing the danger, made a portal. Jen smiled at his actions and then pulled back on her bow string with a single arrow. The arrow started flashing and Ichaival panicked.

Jen released the arrow. Ichaival collapsed midway, trying to reach his portal. She beat him to it, diving into it instead and avoided the large explosion occurring seconds later. Ichaival, caught in the blast, wiggled around in horror. When the bright light finally subsided, Ichaival lay on the floor motionless. He finally coughed out blood. Tess raised her right arm in the air, declaring Jen the winner.

“Darryl, are you okay? Do you require any medical assistance?” Tess inquired.

“No. That was unexpected. Congrats, Jen,” Ichaival stood up, clutching his stomach.

“Someone else can use Ichaival’s portals?” I asked Shan.

“Yeah, should be possible if he already set the coordinates. He probably assumed Jen wouldn’t pull off something like that. I’m impressed by her aggressiveness,” Shan nodded, glancing over at Felicity.

Why did he keep looking over at her? Whatever, that wasn’t my concern. Tess shut down the artificial dimension, checking on Ichaival one more time for any injuries. Finding nothing wrong, she returned back upstairs.

“Jen, good job. You really surprised me there with your fake out,” Ichaival complimented, inspecting his legs.

“It was nothing. I just watched a lot of matches and thought that was the best way to beat you,” Jen shook her head, deflecting the praise heaped upon her.

“What an exciting match! I got a lot of good material! Darryl, you lost, and I was rooting for you too! It’s only fair you accept my previous offer for the movies,” Felicity decided.

That logic made no sense. Shan held back his laughter, chuckling as he turned around. Ichaival looked at Felicity with a blank look. Jen started packing up, placing her bow into a case.

“I guess it’s fine as long as I’m not busy,” Ichaival agreed.

“Man, you’re never busy. You were just playing that game with me last week. Kristoph was there too. Don’t lie,” Shan interjected.

“Hey, what are you doing?” Ichaival retorted.

They bantered for awhile while Felicity stood by with a smile. Even at a disadvantage in close combat, Jen found a way to win. Witnessing that with my own eyes, I knew I could do the same in the future.

“By the way, if you need help with physics, then ask Tomo. She’s been personally taught by Tess,” Shan brought up all of a sudden, pointing at me.

“What are you….? I can’t help Ichaival with anything physics related. Just because Tess taught me a few things doesn’t mean anything,” I protested, shaking my head.

“You know vectors, right? This guy doesn’t even know them so you’re already ahead!” Shan argued.

“That’s dumb. Go ask Zhuyu or something. He’ll be a lot more help. I can’t believe this,” I sighed, fed up with Shan’s antics and realized something.

This must be how Ichaival felt when Shan or Zhuyu teased him. Man, this feeling sucked. Ignoring them, I walked over to Jen.

“Jen, I have a few questions for you,” I approached the archer.

“I’m sorry, Tomo, but I have to be somewhere soon. Do you mind if I answer your questions another time?” Jen said, picking up her weapon case.

“Okay, sorry for bothering you then,” I said.

“No, I apologize for not being able to answer your questions right now,” Jen shook her head, exiting the training room.

Ichaival and Shan continued arguing. Guess I should go home. Felicity waved as I headed toward the doors. She ran up to me with a beaming smile.

“Yuki, are you leaving?” she asked, spinning a pen in her hand.

“Yeah, there’s nothing left for me to do. I can’t exactly fight, but it was great to see Jen and Ichaival fight. Really informative,” I replied.

“Seriously, Darryl should have won. He’s probably under too much pressure. I’m sure he’ll pull off a win next time,” Felicity agreed, nodding her head.

I headed back down to my car. Oh, that’s right. Time for that damn CD again. Sighing, I entered my car, enduring the mind numbing soundtrack yet again. Yukie was inside the garage when I pulled in.

“Yukie, are you working on something in here?” I checked the work table.

“Yes. I realized the size of what I wanted to work on required more advanced tools. As such, I relocated down here,” Yukie answered, taking off her safety goggles.

“What do you need a blowtorch for?” I pointed at it.

“For welding metal parts. The calculations were a bit off, but I managed to create it to my liking,” Yukie answered, cleaning the table.

I wouldn’t pry too much for now. If she wanted to show me, Yukie would reveal it eventually. Dad wore an apron, checking a pot on the stove, inside the kitchen. That was a very rare sight.

“Yuki, dinner’s almost ready. Your mom will be late for dinner, she has overtime. It’ll just be the three of us,” Dad said.

After dinner, I checked my backpack, making sure everything was ready for school tomorrow. All my books and journals looked good. Sighing, I slept early, in preparation for the start of winter quarter.

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