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The nightlife of the city of Faunus is peaceful compared to most tourist spots, despite boasting they have over a million tourists yearly.

Perhaps this year is rather slow? She does hope so, since a peaceful night has always been a good night for her. She could see some people doing night walks either alone or with a companion like their partner or a pet. 

Along the way, the girl could swear she can detect the smell of her hometown’s signature food. The smell of burning charcoal and greasy oil; and the sound of something being grilled. While most associate it with barbeque, she knows this isn’t barbeque at all.

“Hello Missy, you want some Faunus’s local Satay?”

Unable to keep herself from salivating, she didn’t hesitate to buy enough for at least 3 men. Some customers who are buying the same snack can only stare at her for the amount.

‘This satay isn’t so bad at all, they even make it taste a bit on the sweet side.’

The girl continued to devour the satay, skipping a bit as the scenery feels nice enough for it.

‘Everything about this place is peaceful, isn’t it,’ she muses as she eats the 5th piece of the meat.

‘It probably has to do with the animals in the entire city. Animals don’t appreciate loud noises after all.’

Just as she thought about it, a gunshot echoes through the night sky.

Time paused for a moment.

Everyone who hears it stands in shock.

“What…” she breathlessly muttered before hearing another gunshot. ‘No… this is familiar…’

It’s less of a gun, but a laser-based firearm. 

ʂ̞̞͈ͣͫ̉́α͐҉̬͈̟͚̙͓̫̣ʋͦ̏ͦ̎҉͖͕̣͔͖̩ҽ̅҉͔̬̺͍̠ ͦͧ҉͕̣͍ƚ̶͇͙̭̩͓̀ԋ̨̝̦ͦͨҽ͚̜͔͗̂ͦ̚͘ͅɱ̒̈́҉͔̙̬̬̳ͅ

Xing Tian immediately dashes towards the source of the sound with no hesitation. The gut feeling she feels is telling her to witness what is happening.

And possibly save them.

Twisting and turning, everything's a blur as more laser-shots echo through the night sky.

“... on your left, Adam!”

Another shot is firing, this time something seems to scream in pain. But in the ears of Xing Tian…

It’s incomprehensible.

▂▂▃▃▄▄▅▅!”

When the Asian girl arrives at the scene, she immediately hides behind the corner and peeks out at the scene of chaos.

A squad of soldiers, all of them, wear a similar uniform as a SWAT team that is usually seen in movies. All of them wield a magnum with some modifications that give it a sci-fi look. The magnum has neon lights around the cylinder on each of its chambers. From the muzzle to through the barrel, a line of neon red runs through its metallic body.

“Reloading!” One soldier yelled out, opening the cylinder and allowing black bullets to fall off its chambers. Smoke comes out of the bullets as they fall to the ground. The chambers then quickly fill with blue bullets before the user clamps the cylinder shut.

“7 o’clock, 2 hostiles!”

Three shots are being fired from the same gun. This time, Xing Tian can see what they are fighting.

A horde of abominations, as if their existence is a mockery of reality itself. Nothing except one word can describe what these creatures are.

Glitches.

Everything surrounding them seems to become television statics, even the surrounding air is under the mercy of their abominable presence. However, from what she can tell at the very least is that these creatures are humanoid.

The ‘Glitches’ take damage whenever one of the laser-bullets hits them, which is followed up by stronger aggression from the creature as they scream, most likely in agony and anger.

The girl barely keeps herself from yelping as one soldier got hurt by the Glitches. The strength of the creatures is superhuman as the soldier flies in the air until it hits a wall, decimating it.

It has to be a miracle for the soldier not to suffer crippling injury or even survive from that hit.

“Number 3’s down!”

“Medic! Go get him!”

The frantic battle continues, and yet Xing Tian couldn’t leave here at all. She couldn’t feel the one thing that should’ve to grip her heart. 

The feeling of fear is not with her, only the fascination of the battle. The feelings of the combatants exude in the battle, the frantic commands of each individual.

It didn’t stir excitement, nor any fear for survival. She is just there, observing the battlefield.

“Hey! What are you doing here?!” One soldier, a female, calls out to Xing Tian, who realizes she is found. The soldier immediately turns back to the battle and shoots another Glitch, causing it to fizzle out of existence.

“Why are you standing there?!” The same soldier comes to the Asian girl’s side while continuing to shoot the creatures. 

“I just got curious and… I want to help.” While she can’t see the expression behind the soldier’s helmet, she can tell by the indecorous look on her face.

“You’ll just be-” another shot to the face of the creature; “A liability! Like right now!”

Just as she finishes, the ground shakes as something that looks like a tear slowly rips out in the middle of the entire field. All the fighters stop their battle, watching the tear slowly open itself up.

Eventually, when the tear becomes big enough, a monster slowly emerges from the hole. Every step it takes creates a tremor that makes some soldiers fall to the ground. 

A creature with a thousand faces on the thousands of muscular arms manifests, only two of them hold a claymore sized butcher knife. It has skin that looks like a multicolored static screen and a hulking foot shaping like an elephant’s foot. All the faces look like a demon from Japan, something similar to a Hannya mask.

On the chest of the creature spells out the words Ç̶̱̭̫̮̓̈̚͝ŗ̵̣̥͙̠̝̖͂̾͂̐e̶̪͇͉̙͔͙̤͑̑̎̓͒e̷̗̗̻̱͈̤͊̍͘̚ͅp̷̺͚̉̄̕͝͝ḙ̸̢̛̲̼̝̥͔́r̷̨̤͙̭̤̿̔̓̚͠ ̶̢̛͓͂̆̆͘0̵̛͕̼̩̯͓͙̑̓͝4̸̧̤̚͝.

“Oh… oh god not another Creeper!” One soldier scrambles in fear, trying to stay away from the monstrosity in front of him.

“Lambda, Nu, switch to Virus Killer! Beta, don’t pansy out!” The female soldier immediately barks orders, which allows the soldiers to push their fears down for now. Two of the other soldiers immediately retreat to a nearby van.

“Come with me you idiot, you’re safer in the van,” the now known commander takes Xing Tian’s wrist and pulls her towards where the van is, occasionally shoots any stray Glitches that come close to them.

Xing Tian willingly allows herself to be pulled. She turned around, only to see the battle take a more chaotic turn as the giant butchers some soldiers.

Turning away from the scene, Xing Tian merely bit her lips.

As soon as they are in the van, the Asian girl notices both Lambda and Nu opts for coilguns of their color, Lambda with white and Nu with cyan.

“We’re ready, madam!” Nu speaks to the commander, revealing the person is a male.

“Get to it, we need to take that monster down. I’ll be out soon.” With the command, the two soldiers left the van.

“You need to stay here, miss. It’s safer here,” seeing no sign of acknowledgment, the commander takes out a suitcase and removes the lock in it.

Xing Tian, curious about what it contains, takes a peek at the content.

The suitcase contains a large wristwatch with a rectangular slot on it.

The wristwatch is mostly black with the slot’s casing in white. The second item in the suitcase is a large, oceanic blue USB about the size of the wristwatch’s slot with a “D” letter on it.

The commander takes out the contents and simply tosses the suitcase somewhere.

Xing Tian notices the woman takes a deep breath, perhaps in nervousness, before looking like she is about to place the wristwatch which has no strap on herself.

“Incoming!” Both females look out to see the giant creature charge towards the van. Without a thought, both of them quickly lunge towards each other and cover each other’s heads with their arms.

Everything becomes chaotic for Xing Tian, with the loud crashes and the feeling of being tossed around like a rag doll. Even with her eyes close, she can feel everything in the van is flinging around her, narrowly missing her.

She grips the commander tighter as the spinning stops, only to crash into a wall and hearing the van slide on the road.

Both females release their grips before opening their eyes. The van has various dents in it and everything is messy as expected. Nothing is blocking the exit of the van, which both of them feel thankful for.

“Are you okay?” In her pained tone, Xing Tian notices the commander’s left arm has a large gash across it.

“Yeah, I got off lucky.”

Both of them hear a growl from the outside and know the monster is very near the van. Hissing in pain, the commander tries to push herself up with her only good arm.

For Xing Tian, she notices the wristwatch and the USB on the floor, trying to reach out to it to help the commander.

T̷̫̺͇̊ȁ̵̩̝͙͑k̵̫̲̱͚̎́̔̚é̵̛͈̳̻͊̕͝ ̷̫̈̐͝i̸̡̖̠̋̆͑̕ẗ̵͈̪́͜.

“Don’t put it on!”

The next thing Xing Tian notices is her holding on the wristwatch with the USB slotted in, hovering her left hand as if she is trying to put it on.

“I… I wasn’t trying to?”

A thump. The monster steps closer to them.

“Whatever it is, don’t put it on…” the commander sounds very desperate, as if wishing the girl will not make a mistake. “If you do… there is no turning back… so let me have it even if I don’t have a good arm.”

An image flashes over Xing Tian’s mind. A man standing in front of her with his arms wide open as if he’s defending her. Wounds litter over his body as the girl is helpless to the predicament the man finds himself in.

Another thump, the sound of the monster’s breath can be heard.

The woman raises her right arm to the girl, offering the girl to strap the watch on her wrist.

“No…”

‘I told myself once…’

The third thump. There is no time left.

“I can’t let you sacrifice yourself,” Xing Tian turns towards the monster. An odd feeling of calm washes over her as the monster comes closer.

‘If there is a chance, even if I feel no negative emotions towards it…’

“This time, I will make sure not another sacrifice is done!” With her declaration, she places the wristwatch on her wrist and a silver metallic band straps itself over her wrist.

[DNA LOCKED, MATERIALIZING DEFENDER SET]

A blue dome immediately surrounds the girl as her body becomes something like the Glitches. But it slowly morphs into a distinct form, showing something akin to a warrior’s armor. When the figure finishes the morphing process, the dome and the glitch texture disperse into motes and reveal an unfamiliar figure standing.

The unfamiliar figure has a white bodysuit, metal boots, and a pair of gauntlets that contrasted the surrounding darkness. Her silver kneecaps, ankle guards, elbow guard, shoulder pad, and chest plate shone brightly in the darkness, bringing new light into the alley. The chest plate has a blue tiger’s head pattern plaster on it. Finally, the figure has a silver tiger-like helmet with a black eye-like visor and a mouth guard that looks like a tiger’s open mouth.

The commander is looking at the unknown figure with shock, almost hoping that the current situation isn’t real. However, as electricity surged through the unknown figure’s body, the commander immediately realized that there could be only one thing left to do.

Shakily stood up with whatever strength left in her. She issued her last command before unconsciousness takes over her mind.

“All units! Assist Defender!”

The last chapter I will be publishing before going to the weekly publishing. Hope these three chapters will hook you into the story!
Anyway, see you all next week to see how the battle goes.

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