Chapter 31.2 – Feeling the pressure
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Ran slightly raised her chin, in provocation and smirked in his face. Sebas flew into a rage. Ran flung a couple of daggers and Sebas brushed them all aside in contempt.


“You want to hurt me with that kind of skill?” Sebas spat.


“As if I have the strength to...” Ran winked at him, stepped on the corpse at her feet and leapt high in the air in a somersault.


Sebas raised his sword when he noticed what had charged out from behind Ran. Sebas’ face lost all colours and his heart turned cold. That bitch! Hidden inside the cloud was an enormous boar monster. A fire type magical beast the size of a small truck. Ran had lured it with difficulties to finish Kat. It looked like Sebas had become the unlucky target.


“Hah!” Sebas shouted.


He didn’t have time to dodge and could only brace himself. He summoned all his strength and mana. However, something must have gone wrong; his mana was temporarily blocked and his arms had lost some strength. Sebas’ eyes were as wide as saucers. He had been played. The darts must have been poisoned. He took on the full-frontal charge of the monster with his sword. 


His sword shattered, pieces of shrapnel exploded all around embedding themselves deep into Sebas’ flesh. Blood splashed around and his arms broke under the impact. Even though his feet were rooted deep in the ground, Sebas was dragged backwards. He gritted his teeth. If it continued, he would be turned into a pile of mush flesh and blood. Sebas rose a broken arm and shouted in pain. In his palm, a short sword manifested itself.


“Aaargh!” Sebas wailed as he stabbed down on the beast’s head. The sword broke and could only stun the beast.


Its skin and hide were tough and scalding hot. Sebas’ chest had caved in and was bleeding profusely. He spat blood, his hand slid. Fortunately for Sebas, he’d managed to slice through a soft patch of skin and open an artery in the beast’s neck. The beast howled in suffering, trashed around and sent the butler flying with its tusk. Sebas dropped on the ground heavily. 


The boar was enraged and bleeding to death. In its frenzy, the beast rushed to the closest moving thing- Kat. Rikku had succeeded in staying alive so far, his lips curled as he watched the maid being struck by the maniacal boar.


Rikku wasn’t the only one still alive by pure fluke. Sebas was panting hard, was missing a leg and the remaining one was in shreds. His whole chest was in pieces and his arms, completely crippled-wrath and resentment burning his soul. 


“Ran, you bitch!” Sebas hissed. 


“Your mama never said you shouldn't talk behind people’s back?” A mocking voice sounded behind the butler. “Otherwise, you’ll get stabbed!”


Sebas turned his head around in fright, yet saw no one. All of a sudden, he felt something pierce through his chest. He lowered his gaze in shock and saw a delicate and thin arm. His eyes followed the arm and discovered the one attached to it. His eyes opened wide in terror. Ran’s warm smile shone before him. He felt cold all over. Ran’s arm twisted and grabbed unto the flesh and guts it found. Sebas wanted to scream but was too weak to do so.


For the first time, the butler really looked at her. Dust and blood couldn’t hide the coldness of her features. Her eyes were deep and mischievous. He saw the viciousness lurking in them. Her head was held high with confidence. Her long hair drifting around, swept by the wind. Her lips were curled into a demonic grin.


He was stunned. He wondered how they could have missed that. His body trembled and he breathed his last with eyes wide opened. Ran watched him slip away in silence. She absorbed as much blood and mana she could. Her eyes were downcast and her expression, aloof.


Kat, on the other hand, had succeeded in defeating the boar with her war hammer. However, the wounds she’d received were heavy. The beast had crashed on the ground. It twitched before dying. Kat breathed in relief before she felt a cold wind on her neck. She didn't have time to react. In a fierce sweep of a blade, Rikku decapitated the maid on the spot. Her head flew high in the sky and almost hit the absent-minded Ran as it plummeted down.


“Hey!” Ran yelled as she barely dodged the flying head.


Rikku offered her an awkward smile before falling on his knees. He was exhausted and almost lost a couple of lives. He tried to catch his breath, the best he could, in between mouthful of potions. Ran was also drinking without any moderation, switching from potion to whisky at each mouthful.


“Quick! We don't have much time!” Ran motioned toward the corpses on the ground.


Rikku nodded and put himself to work. In the meanwhile, Ran had already emptied all the blood from Sebas and was transferring it to her equipment. They had gained some stats, it should be barely enough to get her through this ordeal. 


As she looked at the inert corpse at her feet, an alluring and invasive thought crossed her mind. She made a tiny rictus and shook her head as if she wanted to get rid of it. 


“Let’s go!” Rikku returned to Ran’s side. “We still have to meet the others.”


Ran put the 3 corpses in her storage and wanted to use the war hammer. Alas, it was too heavy for her at the moment. She threw it in her storage, annoyed. Rikku wiped the blood and dust off his face and rushed forward followed by Ran. The campsite was in utter chaos. Almost everyone was dead or half-eaten. The hidden guards mentioned by Rikku’s maid didn’t even make an appearance. The ground was littered with dead bodies, broken things and lost limbs. Ran pursed her lips at the gory battlefield.


“Did you find Dorian?” Ran swung her hands and threw a blood needle into a beast’s eye.


“Yeah. Found Belle too.” Rikku sent a dagger flying which blew a hole in a vicious owl’s wing.


“Oh?” Ran sounded distracted.


“Wanna look for Nora?”


Ran harrumphed. “Tsk! I don’t have time to lose with-”




An explosion occurred on their side and the burning shockwaves startled them. Rikku hastily pulled out his shield to protect both of them. As the smoke dispersed itself, the pair raised their guard and took a look. The scene before their eyes was surprising.


“Speaking of the devil…”