The moon was high in the sky. Silver in its light. Shining upon the dead remains of beasts and men. The ground shook beneath them as they passed by the collapsed figure of the cyclops; its head a mess and its body buried under a rubble of stone. The walls of the mountain range shuddered but Claire, Alicia, and Via walked on without care.
"We're close," Alicia spoke as her nose sniffed, "I smell the scent of unique blood."
"Must be the so-called 'dragon' they were on about," Via replied.
"Let's pick up pace then, shall we?" Claire replied.
The three girls, thus, ran. Of course, they matched Via's speed, but they still blurred through their surroundings as they delved deeper into the mountain zone. Though the visibility lowered, it never quite became pitch black. When they turned a last corner, passing over a spillage of blood, they stopped in their tracks.
"Is that the corpse of a lesser dragon?" Via widened her eyes.
A creature laid before the entrance of a cave, dead with its head beside its body. It was small, but it resembled a dragon nonetheless. Its scales were bloody. It was missing an arm. And the remains of mangled wings stayed upon its back. Yet, the beast wasn't what rapt their attention the most.
"You really have the nerve to steal my kill, huh? Are you kill stealing? Really? Gonna PK me too?" A loud voice jested as two swords clashed.
". . .what is PK?" The other replied.
The two people were a blur but the girls could still make them out with a hint of focus.
One was a blonde-headed woman, hair spiked but tied into a short ponytail. She wore a jacket of black trimmed with red—the right arm long and the left missing—and a pair of shorts. On her back was a large sheath and her right eye was covered by an eyepatch.
The girl clashed a greatsword against another and Claire recognized the figure she was fighting. A short boy with black hair, cloaked with ghostly eyes.
"Vander. . ." She muttered.
The boy named Vander Slade had clearly grown stronger in the short time since she had last seen him. At the very least, he was currently fighting over the death of a lesser dragon. Both beings completely disregarding the corpsed remains of the beast the town's people had feared. It was almost comical.
Their mana lit their surroundings.
The girl's a fiery red and the boy's a dark shade of dull blue, mistful and illusionary as his flickering ethereal eyes which vanished and returned to reality.
They clashed and an entire mountain chain shook.
The girl moved her foot forward and swung.
The boy dodged and her blade found the ground, quaking the earth and ripping it apart.
"Lara De. Frag. . ." Via muttered as she took a step back.
Claire turned with puzzled eyes. "Hmm?"
"That's the Dragon Hunter. . ." Via grimaced, "Goddammit why did it have to be her?"
". . .is she particularly awful?" Claire asked.
Via narrowed her eyes.
"Awful? She asked a dragon to willingly give her its heart and then killed it when it said no. That boy doesn't know what he's getting into. . ." She recognized the male they had first met within Aclair's dungeon. "This isn't her full strength. She was born a half-dragon, a walking disaster."
Claire turned her attention back forward, eyes glazing a golden shine as she looked at the girl.
[You cannot peer into this being's Sacred Text. They either wield a flicker of divinity, own a skill which negates your inspection, or exist as an error.]
It was the first time she met someone her skill couldn't work on.
The girl laughed.
"Forget the lesser-dragon," She said as she swung her weapon, "This is the first time I'm actually seeing a competent greatsword user like myself. Man, it's a breath of fresh air."
A mountain wall exploded as Vander dodged and retaliated. In his grasp was a crude weapon. A weapon that looked as if it had been crafted from one iron block. A greatsword large enough to contend with that of his opponent's. He wondered why his master had given it to him, but now he knew why.
"Aww. . ." The girl huffed, "Why'd you dodge? Can't you just phase through it like you did with that dragon? Don't tell me you're looking down on me?"
Their weapons clashed and a crater was made within the earth. The shifting of their blades against one another sent shockwaves flying that ripped apart the ground. No, he grimaced as his arms quaked and his footing was forced one step back, it was only her attacks that were causing such destructive force. Essentially, he had been entirely on the defensive since this battle began.
"My master told me not to use that ability as an advantage. . ." Vander muttered. Ethereal eyes flickering.
"An advantage?" Lara Frag cocked her head. "Are you looking down on me or using me for practice?"
". . .huh. . .practice?"
The atmosphere exploded as her raging, crimson mana welled into the air. The image of a dragon's head, red, opened its jaws and roared into the night sky. Under the silver light of the moon, her skin peeled to reveal scales of red, and two horns grew from her head. Her teeth became jaws and her visible eye glazed gold—a slit of black thinning within it.
"That just pisses me off, you know?"
She swung her weapon.
There was a momentary spark.
Not from light.
A spark shattered the air through pure force as a blade crashed against the earth, tumbling the ecosystem of the land and quaking the chain of gargantuan rocks. There was a crashing. A tearing. A ripping. Then a mountain shattered and the land became barren as rocks blasted into nothing. The clouds that once covered the sky blown away.
"Oh?" She spoke, dragging her greatsword from the ground with one arm as she looked at the ethereal figure before her. "You actually dodged?"
Vander's body flickered in and out of reality as his breathing rushed, heart pounding and feet shaking. His back was before what should have been the wall of a mountain. If he hadn't pulled himself into ghost form at that moment, he would have died.
"Good." She dragged her weapon with one hand and placed its blade upon the shoulder of her jacket. Her eye stared down at him and he felt as if he faced a predator as she grinned, showing her sharp teeth. "Now we're serious."
He gripped his weapon tighter with both hands and glared.