Volume 14, Chapter 50: Another Knight Fight
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Crossroads Terminals

Any idea of what we’re doing?” I inquired.

“Nope,” Zhang replied, shaking his head.

We sat in the lounge, waiting for our SUI contact. Zhang flipped through a manual when I arrived. Kind of strange considering his dislike of reading. I peeked at the cover, noticing our workplace logo in the upper corner.

“Did the manager ask you to review something?” I pointed at the manual.

“Yeah, she wanted me to learn how the new inventory thing works. Still trying to understand the first few pages,” Zhang revealed.

“Mind if I take a look?” I asked.

Zhang handed me the manual. I checked the front page, noticing Yukie’s name in the credits. She was just everywhere at our workplace. There were no reference pictures at all until the middle portion of the text. Pretty dry stuff, no wonder Zhang struggled.

“Yeah, I can see why. Good luck with that,” I said.

“I think you’re next,” Zhang revealed.

“Of course,” I said, sighing.

Five minutes later, Rev arrived, carrying a briefcase. He noticed me first, heading towards us. Zhang shoved the manual into his coat pocket, acknowledging him with a nod.

Hey guys, I have a little something here that needs to be stored somewhere safe,” Rev greeted.

Why do you need us again, Rev?” I questioned.

Uh, for protection, didn’t Tess brief you on what’s going on?” Rev stared at me in confusion.

Yeah, Tess told us we were assigned an escort mission, but I thought we would be getting someone that, well, couldn’t exactly fight. Rev, you’re more than capable of protecting yourself,” I explained.

Trust me, I’ll need your backup,” Rev assured us.

Alright, give us the details,” I inquired.

Rev placed the briefcase down and showed us his phone. A map contained large red dots that converged in one area. That was a lot of enemies.

How many are we talking about?” I asked.

Around thirty armed mercenaries. You see why the chief asked for Tess’ help. No way I’m able to bust through there even with the latest anti-hero technology,” Rev replied.

Fine, let’s just get this over with,” I said.

Crossroads: § E-9

You have a plan?” I asked, monitoring enemy movement through my binocular.

Deal with these guys first and take care of the rest. En, think you can do it?” Rev answered.

Yeah,” Zhang said.

Tomo, set up some distractions for him. I’ll figure out a route,” Rev directed.

I nodded and followed Zhang. We observed the situation from above, camping out at a nearby hill. A barricade was constructed ahead of us, five armed personnel standing behind it. Several armored trucks were parked to the side. I detected high levels of magic.

At least four people with high magic levels. Zhang, can you blackout their communications?” I questioned.

Want me to do it now?” Zhang answered.

Hold on, there’s something going on there,” I said.

A masked woman spoke with one of the people behind the barricade. The person nodded and she departed via a portal. There was a huge spike in magic level originating from the masked woman. Who the hell was she? I only witnessed such levels from Feng or Ace.

Here’s what I’m thinking. Jam their communications, take out the magic users first, and deal with the rest. Hopefully, we can steal one of their trucks too,” I directed.

Sounds good,” Zhang agreed.

He pulled on a pair of gloves, firing off a bright flash into the air, and we slid downward. I constructed a magic suppression field, assisting the man in his takedown. The dual elemental user converted his katana into its greatsword form, knocking out our startled targets.

They’re over here!” voices shouted out.

Four people, their hands glowing bright at first before fizzling out, charged at us. Zhang pulled them towards him and knocked everyone out with one swing. I swooped in, encasing all of them in ice. The hero fired off a steak of lightning, paralyzing those in its path. Enemies wearing tactical vests remained standing, unaffected by his attack.

Zhang, I’ll handle everyone on the left,” I shouted, ceasing the movement of my opponents.

I kneed my adversaries in the face before sending them flying into their vans with Shigetzu’s gravitational power. Zhang defeated the remaining enemies with his wires.

“Tess sent the right people,” Rev remarked, whistling at our handiwork.

Let’s get going! Whatever you have there must be super important,” I directed, pointing at a nearby van.

Pretty damn important. Let’s see if this one even still works,” Rev agreed, inspecting the engine.

Rev gave us a thumbs up and I climbed into the driver’s seat. Lucky us, the keys were in here. I stepped on the gas. The faster we finished, the better. After ten minutes of driving, I noticed a pulsating light ahead.

I stepped on the brakes, glancing back at Rev. What to do? It would be best to just hid him here while we took care of the threat up ahead. I couldn’t risk him going alone the rest of the way even if the pulsating light was our only remaining obstacle. I would have loved to teleport him straight to his destination, but that wasn’t an option at this point.

“Rev, I’ll hide you here. You have any anti-magic weapons on you?” I decided.

“Always, I’m part of the SIU. Besides, I have powers, even if they’re not natural,” Rev revealed.

“Great, I’ll set up a barrier around you. If something were to happen, rip this bookmark and it should send you back to the Crossroads, probably,” I said.

“Did you just say ‘probably’? You gotta tell me more, Tomo,” Rev questioned.

“Uh, don’t worry about it. It probably won’t come to that,” I dismissed his concerns.

Zhang and I exited the van, heading toward the light source. Once lose enough, I saw the masked woman from before, holding a glowing grimoire. She smiled at us, placing the grimoire down on the ground. She started clapping, nodding in approval.

“Well done, Miss Tomo and Mister En. But, I will get that briefcase, no matter what!” she shouted.

Crap! I flipped open my grimoire, ready to counter the binding field forming around me. Nodes appeared on the pages, highlighted by a multitude of colors. Thirty seconds in, five pages of my grimoire were ripped out, floating to the ground. Oh shit, what kind of top-tier magic was this? This would take awhile to crack.

Zhang’s Viewpoint

Yuki signaled at me with her left hand. The masked woman smirked at me. Really?

“Mister En, a pupil of the esteemed Kyoi Feng, who by the way, isn’t hot shit at all! And somehow the friend of Zhuyu Long. I just don’t get it. What makes you so special?” she asked.

I didn’t get her at all. I thought about what to do next since her magic was so damn high. The grimoire in her hand shook and a wispy armored knight emerged from it.

“We have a winner. I was planning to knock you out myself but this is better. Let’s see what makes you so damn special!” the woman yelled, vanishing from the area.

I accelerated backwards and hit an invisible wall. One of those kinds of battles, huh? I readied my sword and watched for any weaknesses.

“Nothing comes in, nothing goes out!” the knight bellowed, stabbing his sword into the ground.

The knight dashed towards me. I raised my sword to parry but felt my weapon yanked down. My opponent slashed my upper right shoulder, leaving a large red gash. I tested out my blade, no weird force on it this time.

“You are no match for me!” it bellowed out.

If my sword wasn’t working, then it was to switch. A glint from the knight caught my eye. Perfect! I tied a throwing knife to my wire and hurled it at the shiny spot.

“Aarghh!” it shouted.

Five spots in total, each one containing a jewel. Now down to four. I switched my katana into great sword mode, charging it up as I dashed toward the knight. I leaped into the air, ready to deliver a big blow. A large wall of ice appeared, shielding it from damage. My sword broke through its defenses and I swung upward, ready to strike another weak spot. A thicker ice wall appeared to stop my attack.

Your attacks are so futile. No amount of training from that bitch, Kyoi Feng, will help you now! How does it feel to have your attacks blocked by your very own friend’s powers?” the masked woman mocked.

Fuck that. I channeled flames into my sword, shattered the ice wall, and landed a solid hit on the knight’s chest piece. I yanked my blade back and jumped upward, wrapping my wire around the knight’s neck. I pivoted behind him, hoping to bring him down.

“Come on!” I muttered as the knight turned transparent.

I dodged his strikes, waiting for my opportunity. I slid towards him, stabbing my knife into another weak area. There was a crackle and the knight turned solid. He charged at me with a large shield, striking my chest. I dove underneath him, shooting my wire at his gauntlets, and accelerated. He dropped his shield and stomped the ground. I attached my wires to his shield and swung it at him.

The knight crossed his arms, blocking my attack. Great, this guy was a freaking tank, things bounced off of him like nothing. He kicked the ground and an axe popped up from the ground. With a loud roar, he cut through my wire. I repelled him with my electricity and wielded my great sword again.

Our weapons collided, but he pushed me back. I charged my blade, shoving his axe upward. He overpowered me and knocked me into the area boundaries. I lost my grip and dropped my weapon. The knight transformed his axe into a lance. He kicked his feet back and charged at me with the tip of his weapon.

I responded with a line of fire. A thick layer of smoke formed and I waited for the right timing. Once the tip of his lance pierced through the smoke, my flames wrapped around his weapon, trapping him in a vortex. I shot several lightning bolts at the lance tip, shocking the knight, and knocked him to the ground. I jumped into the air, ready to stab his chest piece. He suddenly sat upright. It wasn’t noticeable, but my attack damaged his armor. Dual blades appeared in his hands, blocking my air strike.

The knight slashed at me and I parried with my weapon. He grazed my left cheek before missing my stomach. I caught his right arm, went behind the knight, and swung my knee upward at his elbow. Thanks to the patch of electrical magic, I avoided injuring myself and disarmed him. He lunged at me with his remaining blade. I tapped my left foot, sending his fallen blade into my free hand, and blocked his attack.

“You!” it shouted.

I weaved to my right, pivoting to his backside again. Channeling my flame elemental, I sharpened my blade and jammed it into his left elbow. It pierced through his armor and flames burst out, enveloping his entire body. The knight dropped his blade, pounding his chest to extinguish the flames. I swooped in, grabbing the weapon, and stabbed his left gauntlet. Three jewels destroyed, two more to go.

Yuki’s Viewpoint

I peered at my grimoire to check the progress. Still a few more minutes before the masked woman’s barrier was broken.

“Miss Tomo, why are you still with them?” the masked woman communicated with me telepathically. “Giving me the silent treatment, so very like those so-called friends of yours. They’ve hidden so much and yet you continue putting your faith in them. It’s really sad. Join me, the true saviors of the world,” she continued on.

Yeah, I’ve heard that before. Okay, only one more minute. Time to make preparations.

Zhang’s Viewpoint

“Your journey ends here,” the knight declared, raising his left fist into the air.

Cracks appeared throughout his entire armor and pieces of it broke off onto the ground. A dull golden light covered his exposed body except for the headpiece. He pushed his visor up, revealing sharp red eyes. Before I could react, he grappled me from behind, tossing me backwards. He pointed at my weapon and it flew into his hands. The knight chopped down at me. I crossed my arms and blocked with green flames.

I rolled away and grabbed the knight’s dual blades. I infused them with my weakened flame magic and boosted my attack with my electrical elemental. Okay, only one chance to hit. I dodged his attacks and took a few hits on my arms. I sidestepped his charged swing and made my move. I baited him with a fake slide. I leaped upward and stabbed the dual blades into his eyes.

“Aaaahhh!” the knight screeched, dropping my greatsword.

I retrieved my greatsword and swung it like a baseball bat, shoving the dual blades deeper into his eyes. The knight combusted, blues flames eating away at his shimmering body, and it exploded. The knight collapsed, electricity coursing throughout its body. I collapsed onto one knee, my vision blurring. Ah crap. My electricity dissipated and the knight stood back up, stomping towards me. Before I blacked out, Yuki tackled it to the ground.

Yuki’s Viewpoint

My turn. Tearing a page out of my grimoire, I slapped it on the knight. A burst of light surrounded him and then it vanished.

“Miss Tomo, always making trouble for me. Fine, you win this time. Don’t think that you’ll always be so lucky. As for that pint-sized, so-called friend of Zhuyu Long, tell him that his performance didn’t impress me one bit. You’ll all have to do better once my full team is assembled. Every one of them is better. My offer still stands, Miss Tomo. When the time comes, I hope you’ll make the right decision!” the masked woman shook her finger at me.

I checked on Zhang. His breathing was stable and the gashes weren’t too deep. I ran over to the van and saw a note on the driver’s seat.

“Thanks for stalling. I managed to escape all the mayhem. Super glad that weird lady was so fixated on Mr. En. Don’t worry, I’ll report to Tess once I make my way to the destination,” I read out loud.

Rev was a fucking weirdo. If he was this competent, what was the point of us being here in the first place? Although, that masked lady was definitely annoying to deal with, so he made the right choice. I returned to Zhang and we headed back to the training facility. Time to see how Jacque and Shigetzu were doing.