Chrono Continuum Chapter 15
Engaging the Enemy
"I can't believe we're being stuck with this," she complained. It was beneath Clairdena, after all, to be sent after two such lowlifes. Drissom, wisely, wasn't complaining. He knew that the Almighty One could be listening in. If there was one thing Drissom knew about, it was sucking up. Although he liked to think of it as "pleasing your superiors," even if he didn't believe they were superior. Power was still and always would be the key in such matters. And as long as someone else had more of it than he did, his talents would be put to good use.
And besides, he was glad he'd gotten the assignment he had. He was glad that Ledune had been given the amphibian to deal with. And on the other hand, he was going to meet a twenty-nine year old. Or at least that was how old she looked. You could rarely tell with Travelers. True, he had been told to kill her, but if he tried to enjoy himself a little on this mission, who could blame him? Other than the Traveler herself, of course.
Clairdena had different things on her mind. As usual, her mind was set purely on the battle at hand. She had been told that while the knight was good, he wasn't as good as the amphibian. Still, underestimation killed. She was still upset that the job of hunting someone down had been given to her, but she might as well do it right. They stopped their separate thought for the most part when they rose the hill. Below them was a small cottage. They were quite sure that the prey hadn't left yet. That was good. Drissom drew and loaded his triple-bolted crossbow, and Clairdena clenched her hands in fists, cracking every knuckle in each finger. And they began to descend.
When Glenn awoke, Lucca was once again already up and about, preparing for their trek. He still had no clue as to what her plans were, but he had a feeling that any arguments made by him would be out-talked easily. He sighed, and went to the pantry. Lucca had already packed up the majority of the food, but there was a stale loaf of bread there that Glenn had thus far ignored. He shrugged and broke off a chunk. After taking a bite, he found that the crust was so hard that he'd have to suck on it to get it down his throat. Not one to waste time on something such as that when there was work to be done, he spit the crust out the window and reached inside the bread, pulling out some of the white soft part. It satisfied for the moment. Upon coming out of the pantry, he saw that Lucca had already pack up all of the supplies necessary, and merely waited for him to finish. He sighed. He realized that at least until Lucca was gone, he wasn't really going to be the leader of his life.
Lucca smiled cheerfully as Glenn exited the pantry, excited as she always was when one of her plans was being executed. And there was a very low chance of them getting blown up by one of her inventions with this plan, so there wasn't quite so much pressure. Glenn smiled, although not as cheerfully, and looked surprised that she had packed almost half of the equipment in her pack. He looked to be about to protest, but she assured him with a curt wave of her hand that she could handle it. Glenn shrugged, taking her at her word. He picked up his equipment, and they walked out of the door. Almost immediately, however, Glenn's eyes snapped wide open, and he glanced to his left and right. He dropped his equipment to the ground unceremoniously and drew the Masamune, searching the landscape.
Lucca didn't have the warrior's intuition that Glenn had, but she sensed something slightly magical, and it wasn't the Masamune. She dropped her pack and drew her Wondershot in one fluid motion, checking the energy levels by instinct, unused for years. As Glenn searched the land, Lucca squinted her eyes, causing her magically-honed vision to come into full use and focus instantly on the source of her search. A man and a woman, still too far away to be seen even by her temporarily boosted vision, were walking toward them. She felt an aura of danger surrounding the two. Somehow sensing that they had been spotted, they cast off what looked to be their traveling equipment, and stopped walking. They were obviously prepared for a fight.
Lucca grabbed Frog's shoulder and turned to him. He didn't even flinch at her touch and listened for what she had to say. She picked up her pack and directed, "Glenn, pick up your stuff. They're in our way and will intercept us if we try to avoid them." Glenn looked around to see whom she was speaking of. "Trust me, Glenn, they're there. Keep out the Masamune." Glenn picked up his pack, and followed as she walked forward. The duo was in sight several minutes later, and the two pairs were soon close enough to talk easily. They examined eachother.
The man had short black hair, all swept back from the forehead, so that his vision would not be impeded. He was fit, but not a warrior, and wore light armor that was a deep midnight blue. His most imposing pose was struck, holding his odd crossbow in both hands, looking as if he liked shoot flies from between their wings with it. He had a continual smirk, as if the world wasn't worth caring about. The woman, however, had long hair reaching to her knees, as red as blood. She was fiercely muscular, and wore heavy silver armor. One length of chain was wrapped individually around each wrist. The armor was obviously custom made, as it covered every shape in her form as if the metal had been melted and poured onto her body. She appeared unarmed. She could have been considered pretty, but for the look of contempt she gave the two. Her pose was as threatening, but not so forced. She merely stood with her arms folded across her chest, an impenetrable wall of strength.
The two groups stood a moment, appraising each other. Until the mysterious man burst out in laughter, barely managing to stay upright. He dropped his crossbow. The woman looked to him with a frown. He looked up at her, expecting her to see the joke. When he saw that she didn't, he started vaguely gesturing at Glenn.
"Clair... hah, hah... Clairdena, can't you... he, he... can't you see his hair's green, and... and... oh, and I told Ledune that his hair was good for one with... ha, ha, heh... green hair, but I was wrong! This guy has green hair, and it looks halfway decent. I mean..." And he dissolved into laughter, bending over at the waist. The woman, Clairdena, shook her head in disgust, and swung her hand out. It smacked him directly in the ear, and he immediately stopped laughing and reached up, to cover the area. He scowled up at her, and she waited impatiently for him to stand up. He snatched his dropped crossbow off of the ground and stood straight. Lucca and Glenn glanced at eachother. These two, or at least the man, probably did not fight often. They dropped their packs as one. Still, Dalton proved that looks can be deceiving, Lucca thought to herself. She glanced again at Clairdena. That woman was definitely a fighter. Finally, said woman spoke.
"I am Clairdena, and this is Drissom, both of us of the Kingdom." Glenn tensed at that. She turned to Lucca. "You, Traveler, have done something to make the Almighty One very angry for him to send us after you. It is an honor for us to serve for such a cause, is it not, Drissom?" Drissom looked surprised.
"But weren't you just complaining about being stuck with such a worthless missio... Yes, yes we are... I mean, it is." Clairdena sighed, shaking her head. She was obviously in charge. She returned ot speaking, "Well, you both must no know of your doom. Being of the Kingdom, we know much of magic, and we know even more, being... Hellbound." Glenn's eyes nearly popped out of his head. To have such harbingers of doom sent against to specific people was unthinkable. These people were sent to decimate armies. And even if they failed, a Hellbound had never yet died, but had returned, far stronger than at the time of their defeat. Glenn could see that Lucca wasn't alarmed, but didn't know if it was simply because she didn't know what she was up against, or if she knew what she was facing, but wasn't worried. Either way, Glenn wished he felt as confident as she did.
Drissom and Clairdena had expected a very different reaction. Perhaps surrender, or flight, or maybe resigned bravery, but they hadn't expected Lucca's confidence or Glenn's steadfastness (I think that's a word). They glanced at eachother, wondering if perhaps there was a reason Hellbound had been assigned to these two. They shook it off, knowing that no human could withstand a Hellbound. They turned as one to face the weaklings, but were caught completely off guard by what Lucca said.
"Come on then. We've got things to do." Clairdena was shocked, and Drissom replied, "Bite me." At that point Glenn came in with, "I would not wish so foul a taste on any lady." Drissom was slow to catch on, but started chuckling when he did, then laughing, then howling with laughter, until Clairdena yelled his name, and he soon stopped, wiping tears from his eyes. She stepped forward, "Alright, enough of this. Let's have it out. Drissom, I'll take the knight." And she began to walk off to the side, Glenn following after a shrug from Lucca. Lucca turned to Drissom. He smiled, not his normal smirk, but something else entirely.
"And I'll take the little lady." They stood, at four corners of the unseen ring. Waiting. And then, at an unseen signal, they all charged.
Win and Live. Lose and die. Rule of life. No change rule.
Ayla, Chrono Trigger
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