B1 — 25. Split

Fiona’s POV 2/3

Fiona followed Scarlet across the hall.  She reached out and turned the knob, but it caught; brow creasing, they both looked down.

“Seriously?  It’s locked.”  Fiona chuckled with exasperation.

Scarlet sighed, lips pursed to the side.  “Honestly though,” she glanced through the wall to their left.  “Hmm, they looked like they were trying to defend themselves. They have minor cuts.”  I can imagine why; the gang wasn’t gentle when they took over. 

Head shaking, Fiona moved closer as shadows developed Scarlet.  The room they entered was a little nicer than her condo; there were white tile floors along the front entrance that led to the front room and kitchen to their left.  The appliances were a little older than her’s, and the white walls weren’t to her taste, but the square feet seemed to be much bigger, and she liked their furniture. She assumed the bedrooms and bathrooms were to the right where the soft white carpet led.

Scarlet walked down the left side of the hall.  Humming, Fiona followed, glancing around the condo.  “Is there a reason you didn’t teleport us right to them?”

“Just conserves more energy to teleport short…”  She cut off as they entered the front room; there were three women and a teen boy and girl that were probably sixteen.

Both their eyes widened as they each picked up a knife beside them and plunged it into their stomachs.  “Hey!” Scarlet darted forward, but Fiona was too stunned. Why’d … what?

The women and teens looked at them with blank looks, pulling their knife out; red stains instantly appeared on their clothes, running down the large couch they sat on.

“I don’t … I can’t heal!”  Scarlet shouted, her blood pooling under the couch.

Fiona just hovered by the hall.  “They just—they stabbed themselves?”

Scarlet, groaned as she reached out, but quickly balled her fist.  “I just need to…”

The teen girl and boy lurched forward, jabbing their knives at Scarlet’s chest.  Crystalline spikes shot up through the couch to pierce their hearts, causing them to fall at Scarlet’s feet, blood spurting through the wounds.  The women didn’t twitch as blood continued to pool across their laps. They … why?

Scarlet dropped to her knees; her hands trembled as she touched their backs.  Her voice was thick, “No fair…”

Fiona snapped back to her senses.  I just … I froze again!  Darting forward, she circled around Scarlet.  Scarlet’s irises were to ocean blue, the corners of her forming blood portal separated to absorb back into her skin, falling down her cheeks in crimson tears to return to the portal.

Fiona grit her teeth.  I didn’t have her back at all!  I could have trapped them in a Wind Prison … there is something I can do.  Knowledge thing! How do I freeze them in a ball of ice? I combine Water Ball and Freeze?  Okay!

Calling on her magic, she flew to the three women, light and deep blue hew touching her glow as she hovered before them.  Holding out her hands, three balls of water quickly surrounded them, forcing her to retreat as they expanded. Blood began to taint the water; the moment they were entirely covered, she activated Freeze.  She felt three percent of her remained energy fade as the women and part of the couch turned into an ice block; cool mist frothed off its surface as her white aura returned.

She turned back to Scarlet, still staring at the teens with sad eyes.  “I’m sorry, Scarlet … I could have stopped them.”

Scarlet shook her head.  “No—you couldn’t. You’re still addled from the sugar.  No, this is Terrell or Relica’s fault—but it’s not fair—it’s not.  I’m scared—all the time. My blood attacks threats to me, and … I don’t have any control.  These people—it must be some kind of mind control ability.” She was silent for a moment, clearly trying to calm down.  “And they used it to force these kids to stab themselves—then attack whoever got close to help … it’s sick.” Fiona completely agreed but gave her space to refocus.

Taking a deep breath, Scarlet rose and looked at the three linked bubbles of ice, atmosphere cooling rapidly.  “Thanks for that, Fiona. I had no clue what to do—other than teleporting them; thanks for coming up with this.  Can you thaw them out later?”

Fiona frowned as she looked at the frozen women.  “I think so. I’ll need to be careful, but if Maria can heal them inside the ice and then their hypothermia—probably.  It was the best option I could think of.”

A green light surrounded Fiona as she used Levitate to move the dead teens onto the couch.  She expanded the spell to cover the couch, and it rose a few inches; the weight of the ice blocks was quickly draining her energy.  Scarlet nodded, and she lowered it through the portal until she felt the magic on the other side strike ground. She released it, green hues fading.

Scarlet glared at the portal.  “They made me kill teenagers.” Silence stretched for several seconds before she growled her frustration, “I hate this!”  Taking a deep breath, she sighed. “But, we should probably go back.”

“Eh, what?”

“You’re still addled…”

Fiona shook her head.  “I don’t want to be the reason they get away!”

“Hmm,” Scarlet looked down with a troubled expression as her blood returned to her.  “You sure? What if…”

“Yes!”  Fiona huffed.  “I may be addled, and who knows, maybe it’s because of that that I’m saying this … but there are people that need help.”  She muttered, mind returning to Erica’s condition and all the kids she’d seen killed.

Scarlet seemed conflicted for a moment, but nodded.  “Alright. I’m trusting you to have my back!”

Fiona nodded, and shadows enveloped them; they appeared on a large concrete patio.  Fiona quickly separated from Scarlet’s side, examining the space. They were on the second-floor patio of some kind of open event area that was surrounded by white rail guards and overlooked the beach.  Behind them was a hotel with two large pools, and there was a lot of greenery around the pool area, palm trees, shrubs, and ferns giving it a natural beachside atmosphere.

There was a large white patio covering above them and stairs to their left, right, and across from them, leading to a walkway toward the beach. Fancy beach chaises and folding beach chairs with towels were spaced around the area.  There was a large rollable cart that housed a lot of glass bottles across the patio with a dark-skinned man behind it, creating a cocktail.

Fiona got her first look at the group Scarlet was talking about.  Terrell, Daran, and Marcus sat together by the moveable bar. There was the man behind the bar and two Asian girls that sat in folding beach chairs to their right.  One of the Asians was some kind of cat Beastkin with black cat ears and a tail, while the other had Elven-like characteristics with blonde hair. A white-skinned man and woman were lying on the beach chaises to their left, and there were several children by each person, eyes just as vacant as the people they’d rescued.  However, the thing that caught Fiona’s attention was the strange creatures by the back right rail guard.

Several deformed creatures huddled against the railing in the back right corner of the patio.  They had grayish-brown leather-like skin and were hunched over, long, boney, jagged spikes lining their spines.  Their legs were bowed like an animal and had bones protruding at their joints, feet cleft hooves. Three bony fingers split their hands with the middle finger extending further than the others.  Their lopsided head was bald and marked with bulging blue veins, and their small red eyes were housed in hollowed sockets.

Their noses and jaws looked torn off, and jagged indented teeth were visible further in the cavity that shifted back and forth.  Bulging arms, back, and leg muscles flexed with power, but their core seemed malnourished, showing ribs.

Fiona couldn’t keep her eyes off them.  What the crap are those things?

Scarlet glared at the white-skinned woman as she stretched, rising to her feet.  “Relica, are you planning on having these kids hurt themselves if we move against you?”

Relica hummed thoughtfully as most of the gang stiffened, just noticing them.  “Perhaps,” she ran a hand through her long black hair, pulling her bangs back. “That sounds boring though.”  Is Scarlet asking me to protect all the kids?  If I make a prison around the gang then they could force the kids to hurt themselves, if I locked the kids in a prison then they could enter and hurt the kids, and if I put the kids in a shield then they could … wait, what was I thinking?  Crap! I just know it won’t work…

Fiona forced her eyes away from the creatures to examine Relica; she was at least five foot eight, had hazel eyes that showed an edge of anticipation, and she held moderate curves.  If someone called her beautiful, then it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. She wore a black one-shoulder top bikini with matching boyshort bottoms that accentuated her butt.

The cat Beastkin straightened, rising to her feet to lean against the rails.  “Relica, is this that Vampire and Fairy you mentioned?”

“Yes, Briana,” Relica said, placing her left hand against her hip, she put her right on a young boy’s shoulder.

Terrell took a deep breath, glaring at them.  “When did they get here?”

“They came out of the shadows,” the Asian Elf-woman hummed with interest.  “Kind of like Relica.”

Fiona was beginning to feel anxious.  How can I stop the kids from hearing?  I need … something like … Earth Prison!  It isn’t linked to my energy … so they could destroy it if they have strong enough abilities, but … but what?  Fart basket! How long until I’m not addled? Oh, only a minute? I just need to keep them talking then!

The man sitting next to Relica lifted his eyebrows.  “Well, what do you think, Relica? Think a Legendkin can stand against a Mythickin?  Marcus was saying they can damage his shield.”

“Isn’t that why Conner went ahead?”  Relica giggled. “He’s so impatient, but I admit that I’m curious.  Can I take on a mythical Vampire?” She pursed her lips to the side in question.

Scarlet hummed.  “You’re a Legendkin?”

“That sounds made-up,” Fiona huffed.  “Release the hostages and those … Scarlet, what are those again?”

Relica chuckled.  “My, my, Scarlet was it?  Your little Fairy friend seems to be quite jittery, and no more preposterous than a Mythickin, no?”

“What are you waiting for—Relica?”  Terrell fidgeted in his chair, but only he and his two sons seemed on edge; the other gang members seemed perfectly at ease as the Elf rose, stretching to stand beside the other woman against the rails.

“Oh, patience, Terrell, good things come with time…”

Fiona’s eyes darted to her left as shadows swallowed Scarlet, teleporting behind Relica.  However, when Scarlet appeared, Relica transformed into a dark umbra. Scarlet gasped as its jagged claws shot for her heart.  Her blood instantly intercepted, expanding into a wave that surrounded the umbra, folding to return around Scarlet’s body; the shadow was nowhere to be seen.

Relica appearing five feet behind Scarlet, tongue clicking with amusement as she accepted a cocktail from the man behind the bar.  “Oh, how cheeky,” she purred with delight. “So, assassin-like, to move through shadow.”

“Woah, Scarlet, what did she do?”

Scarlet turned to glare at Relica as her blood struck the white-skinned man beside her; the man’s eyes popped as the red crystallized spear pierced his head.  Yes!

However, he seemed to liquefy with his clothes, lips turning into a smile; the liquid slithered to reform by the two Asians.  He solidified into his previous form, leaning against the rail guard with a humorous chuckle. Terrell’s hands gripped his chair as Marcus’ shell surrounded them.  What’s up with these guys?  Why are they so calm? Scarlet just tried to kill him, and he’s smiling?

“You know, that blood actually hurts a lot,” the man hummed, still smiling.  “It struck my head and split, striking all over the place. If I didn’t have such high defensive abilities and regeneration that would have easily killed me.”

Fiona’s eyes widened as she felt a fog lift from her mind that she didn’t even feel was there.  That’s it!  I’m not addled anymore.  Her vision darted to the man.  So, he’s like liquid?  Then I can freeze or burn him, probably freeze; I don’t want to hurt the kids.  Can my Ice Spears chill? Sweet, it can as long as it stays embedded, but he might have an ability to counter it.  I just need to hold him down for a moment though. The issue is Marcus’ shield…

Scarlet didn’t turn away from Relica as she sipped her drink.  “You just swapped places with your shadow, but you only have one more, and it’s across the beach to our left, three-hundred meters away.  That won’t work twice, and I see your other men preparing a boat further up north…”

Daran cleared his throat.  “You don’t care what happens to the kids?”

Relica set her glass down with a sigh.  “Daran, we don’t need to ruin the fun. The only threat is the Vampire; the Fairy has frozen several times already.  We have everything under control.”

She licked her lips seductively as she turned back to Scarlet.  “My dear young Vampire, I have something to propose. Tell me something about yourself that I don’t know, and I’ll tell you what type of Legendkin I am—I am dying to tell you, but let’s make this fun.”

Scarlet was silent for a moment.  “You’re very chatty; you wouldn’t happen to be some legendary poet?”

Terrell growled lowly, clearly annoyed with how his gang was acting but kept silent.  I suppose he doesn’t have the best control over these members since they actually hold power.

The Asian Elf giggled.  “Relica, a poet?”

“No,” Relica said with a curious grin.  “That was a decent first guess; I mean, they’ve been seeing all these people that seem brainwashed—were you perhaps thinking about the Pied Piper of Hamelin?”  When Scarlet didn’t answer, she giggled. “No, I am not a Pied Piper; you haven’t seen an instrument, have you?”

The man behind the bar, began making another cocktail as if not interested in the conversation.  I can make two Ice Spears at once.  If I shield the kids, then use one spear to immobilize the water guy and another to attack Terrell, then they should teleport away or Marcus will condense his shield.

She examined the Asians.  Briana seemed a little shorter than Scarlet and wore a blue soft cross strap lattice bikini and held modest curves.  Her black hair was shoulder length, eyes feline yellow, and her amused smile showed fanged teeth.

The Elf seemed to be as tall as Rachel and had golden hair, gray eyes, high cheekbones, and perfect skin and facial features.  She wore a crimson Halter neck monokini, holding an hourglass figure. I think that’s my best bet.  Wait, do I have anything to bypass his shield?  I guess not. Briana probably won’t be too effective against me, but I’ll need to keep my shield up to be safe, and I don’t know what kind of abilities the Elf has.

“Come now,” Relica mused.  “I could be a poet, Hanna. Don’t be penurious.”

Scarlet took a deep breath and let it out slowly, tone dangerous.  “I’ll tell you that I love to draw; I could take up painting though, your blood might look magical.”

“Oh, an artist,” Relica pursed her lips, studying Scarlet closely.  “I wouldn’t have guessed; you put off that sociopathic vibe that makes me tingle with excitement!  It’s only fair, you answered my question. I take my legends from Medea; so, you could call me a Witch, Enchantress, Sorceress, or Demigod.  Any would suffice.” Her smile was charming.

Scarlet chuckled lightly, but it held no humor, causing Relica’s smile to fade.  Scarlet’s bought me a lot of time to sort out my thoughts.  I need to overpower them with brute force, completely throw them off guard.

The man hummed.  “I think she’s making fun of you.”

“Is that right?”  Relica asked with an annoyed frown.  “I’ve been nothing but courteous, have I not?”

Scarlet’s tone was ice.  “I’m a Mythickin Vespertine Reaper, the host for Scarlet, The Reaper of Blood, a true god.  How does a Demigod compare to the host of an actual deity?” Every gangster’s brow furrowed at her answer.  This is the perfect chance!

Fiona exploded with color as she activated her magic, energy draining rapidly.  Her wind shield encircled her as the patio began to quake, causing every confused face to deepen.

Terrell began to shout, “What the…”

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Dirt exploded from the ground, wrapping around the children in shells of hardened earth as Fiona held up her hands, six foot Frost Spears forming.  She launched the spear at the liquid man and Terrell seconds after the shields surrounded the kids.

Fiona turned toward the Asians, but hesitated; Briana was nowhere in sight.  Where…  Her eyes widened, Hanna had already hopped into the air, placing a foot on the rail guard.  She kicked into a backflip, bracing herself against a palm tree, she launched off, landing atop the patio cover.

Fiona’s vision went wild as a sharp blow struck her shield, sending her flying through the air.  Stretching her wings, she instantly stopped. Vision spinning, she saw Briana’s grinning face darting toward her, fingernails claws.  What?  When did she…

Briana seemed to blend into the background as she darted right, and another force struck her shield; it didn’t carry the same kinetic force, but she felt the hit to her energy.  Fiona flapped her wings, launching into the sky. She stopped fifteen feet above the patio, regaining her senses. What’s happening?

Hanna held a bow of light in her hands, glowing arrow pulled back.  Gritting her teeth, Fiona threw out a Wind Wall, shoving it at her; she released the arrow, but it dispersed against the wall.

Hanna’s eyes narrowed as her arrow vanished.  The wind slammed against her, and she was sent crashing into the patio floor.  She struck the concrete with a grunt, but was on her feet within seconds. Hanna’s a freaking super energy archer or some crap, and Briana can camouflage … don’t I have True Sight though?  Doesn’t that counter … oh, I guess it only works with illusions; she’s just blending into the background … crap.

Hanna jumped back up to the patio cover, firing another arrow.  Fiona tried to dodge, but somehow she predicted her trajectory; the arrow struck her shield, depleting more of her life force.  Crap!  What … no, I need to focus on the kids!

Beating her wings, she raced back down to the patio within a second; a gust of wind exploding below her as she stopped.  Terrell, Marcus, Daran, and the cocktail guy were gone, and so was one of the kids. They took a hostage!  Did they teleport … wait, is that blood on the chair?  Where’s Scarlet and … those creatures are running to the…

She was struck again, sending her crashing into a rail.  Her shield took the strikes, but her energy was draining faster than she liked.  Briana is actually pretty strong, but…  She pulled up more earth to surround the remaining kids while throwing another Wind Wall in front of her.  Hanna dropped down and pressed against the back rails to anchor herself against the force; however, Briana appeared five feet in front of her; spinning in the air, she pierced through the blast of wind.  No way!

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Briana broke the spin, entering a barrel roll to land beside her.  Darting back through the bars, she managed to miss a light arrow as she dropped into the brush; she released her magic, glow fading.  This is crazy!  They’re like pro at this!  What’s up with those moves?  I thought I was supposed to be an OP Fairy?

Hanna hummed, breathing deeply.  “Oh, that was so fun! Where did you go, Fairy?  I think you were somewhere around … here?”

Fiona tensed as a flash of light exploded six inches to her left, burrowing into a trunk.  The smell of burning wood lifted into her nostrils. How sharp are her eyes?  It’s the dead of night! Does she have night vision like us?  I guess she is an elf or something … she handles the sky and Briana the ground.  “That’s not fair!”  She muttered.

“Oh!  I just heard her over there; close to where you shot.”  Briana giggled. “She’s frustrated.” Briana has good hearing too?  Crap!

“Ugh,” the liquid man mumbled.  “Yo, Briana, mind pulling this crap out?  I can’t—get it out. Can’t—liquify, either…”

Hanna clicked her tongue.  “Seriously, Banner? You were taken out like two seconds into the fight!”

“Frost—c’mon, girl…”

Fiona tried to take a long quiet breath.  Alright, I just need to catch my bearings.  I’ve never fought someone in my life, but I can do this!  The kids are mostly safe; I bet Scarlet’s chasing after Relica, and those creatures are going to back her up.  C’mon Fiona, you’re a piranha on a warpath!

She slapped her cheeks again.  I can handle these guys!  One bite at a time.

Another light arrow shot beside her by four inches.  Oh my Gosh—I need to put up my Shield!

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