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LordCowCow

Overlap [IC/PG-16/Accepting]

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"Wait, I-"

Before the shifter's protest could fully escape their lips, Melissa had already gone slack in their arms. With resignation, their body began to reform, creating a harness to hold the unconscious girl. The rest of their body followed suit, head turning about on their shoulders so that Melissa hugged their neck from behind, rather than from the front. They couldn't do much with her in this state, especially with that thing of hers out and about. Would moving too far away disable it or hurt her? After all, it was a fairly common idea that a soul and a body being too far apart was a bad idea. As the situation began to get to them, Fen's actions caught their notice. The sharks seemed to follow her motions... Maybe, just maybe, they could do the same?

Flying down to the edge of the Ophan's area, Devin instinctively tightened Melissa's harness... Then began to fly quickly with a great flap. As they did, their hands began to shift, their fingers becoming like vines that reached to the ground, trailing across the sand. If the sharks could sense movement or vibration, then something like this was bound to grab their attention, right? With the occasional flick of their wrist to give the motion a more lifelike quality, Devin looked back up to the Ophan, giving it a nod.

"I-I'm not sure if you can hear me, Melissa... but I'll lure them. I don't wanna risk hurting you or abandoning your... summon, so I trust you can take them out!"

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Lord, what are human beings that you care for them,
    mere mortals that you think of them?
They are like a breath;
    their days are like a fleeting shadow.
Part your heavens, Lord, and come down;
    touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
Send forth lightning and scatter the enemy;
    shoot your arrows and rout them.
-Psalm 144:3-6 (NIV)


She could hear Devin, and, in that instant, Melissa realized just what a huge ask she had put upon the shifter by wanting to help as soon as possible, not even considering what saddling someone with 110-ish pounds of dead weight might do to someone. They managed alright, fortunately, though Melissa tried hard not to think about just what Devin was encasing her body with. Or how, for that matter. She tried to think instead on how best to make it up to them. There was probably an apology involved, at the very least.
The plan -- such as there is one -- is working. Stragglers come flooding in from wherever they can, and many who are not are exiting the arena, which is perhaps even better. Despite the ophan’s order, many of them are still afraid; she can see through the ophan’s many eyes a mixture of fear and awe on the faces of many of them. It is mostly the former.

True to its word, the ophan begins warding off any sharks in pursuit. It is not perfect; with non-combatants in the way, it is difficult to line up the same sorts of shots it had with the initial few sharks. It does manage to clip a few, though, with glancing blows to at least keep them at bay. The closer these people get to the center of the ophan’s circle, though, the better the angle it has on their pursuers, and the easier the shot.

She notices something else. Some of those running towards the ophan are injured -- cuts and scrapes mostly, she assumes from the initial panic. But whenever the ophan is not attempting to shoot down another pursuant shark, these wounds become a little bit lighter, a little bit more on the mend. It is the ophan’s light -- she knows this, somehow. Perhaps, she thinks, she knows because the ophan is more a part of her than she realized.

Then there is the shifter. Their shape has changed slightly, and are now flying low to the ground, dragging vine-like tendrils behind them. Their head turns, looking up at the ophan and giving a knowing sort of nod. Between that and the shifter’s explanation, no further words are necessary. A shark leaps out of the ground after the tendrils, the angel strikes it down without hesitation, and she hopes that is assent enough.


It was starting to get a little hot. Like, most of her sensations were muted because of her situation, but even she could notice the temperature change. She wanted to attribute the feeling to how tightly Devin was holding onto her; she was completely enveloped, so of course she’d feel a little stuffy. But it was more than that. It wasn’t the stuffy held-too-close sort of heat, and with it came a sense of dread. This wasn’t over. Not yet.

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Well the others seemed busy doing crazy stuff to the sharks. And the people of Prana were busy running away in terror. It was looking more and more likely no one had seen his particularly cool antics and this much had Aduain all the more ready to do a bit more. But it was hard to be too angry about it when he saw the display of bizarre hatsus from the rest of his fellow shark-fighters. Controlling ice nen wasn't anything too unheard of but the boy couldn't help but appreciate it all the same. Then healer plant man decided his nen was balloons now and that much had the fish boy ready to do flips and clap except for the fact that there were still sharks to deal with that wanted to eat people. From behind the shark packs he took careful note of how the school was swimming together, or not together in this case. Splitting them up would have been a smart idea for those with the power to fight them to undertake, but as a group of scared citizens fled in the opposite direction of Melissa's protection, they were taking some few sharks after them as well. That wouldn't do.

Aduain concentrated his nen into his feet as he needed to stop lazing about behind the sharks. With the sudden burst of speed and a few well placed hops he soon found himself running alongside the small group of citizens who hadn't gone with the others. This was a bit awkward as he didn't have his nice hat Mauvache had given him on, but as most of them didnt' have their hats either he figured they wouldn't hold his lack of etiquette against him so long as he dealt with the things trying to eat them. It was time to communicate.

"Hey folks, your Hunter has arrived! I need ya to keep running just a lil more!" he tried to get their attention. But they weren't intent on friendly conversation at the moment. Fleeing from giant fish as they were, the arrival of the young fish wasn't immediately comforting. Some seemed even more panicked that this shark could fly. While he appreciated being called a shark this wasn't the time for compliments. And being lumped in with these ground sharks wasn't amazingly appealing either. "I'm gonna get 'em to follow me, try to get somewhere higher up!" he shouted to whatever effect he could have on the terrorized people. Action was gonna be necessary first. Aduain slowed his pace a bit to be the closest to the sharks. But this alone wasn't enough to make all three of them want him over the pack of people up ahead. He was smaller than most of them, wouldn't make for much of a meal. But not to be deterred, the hunter began hopping and kicking at the ground as he continued his run. The nen in his feet made for heavy impacts that sounded like a much larger piece of prey. Mostly submerged as they were, the sharks could only really go off these vibrations and after enough kicks they were all intent on following the fish.

Seeing his plan working, Aduain slowly started veering off course to see if they would follow. Sure enough he had three bites. Well it was more like three bites to avoid. The sharks were all after him and slowly beginning to surface to prepare to attack. But what mattered was they weren't heading the same direction as the people anymore. Aduain slowed himself to nearly a stop to bait an approach and all three took it at once, diving into the air too late to realize the presence of the others. The trio of sharks crashed into each other and all flopped about on the ground for a moment. Aduain had already jumped well over the point of collision and after a few spins in midair to show off he landed onto the back of the middle shark. Once again he planted his trident into the beast's back and started shooting off nen geysers at its gills to get it to move roughly where he liked. The geysers had to increase in quantity and frequency to keep the attention of the two the boy wasn't immediately atop but it seemed to be working. Shark surfing round two was underway, this time the boy led a trio of them along the surface back toward the main pack.

"Woohoo!" Aduain shouted as he drove his pack of sharks. If they could get all the sharks back together surely someone had something at their disposal to knock a large number of them out at once. "Come on, I've seen better waves in puddles!" he taunted the sharks. Not that they understood of course but the boy was hoping to drive them to swim a bit faster to catch up to the pack of balloons. That seemed like the place to be. So caught up in shark surfing with the wind on him was Aduain that he barely noticed the increasing temperature in the area.

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With the combination of Fen, Devin, and Aduain distracting and gathering the sharks as well as the ophan and Trevor dealing with the sharks that were gathered the numbers thinned greatly. Thankfully the majority of the sharks were now drawn to the most active of the people moving about. Which mean that those sharks that remained went directly for Trevor, Aduian, and Fen instead of attacking the bunched up civilians.

Those civilians who had run away now started to realize that the group were there to help. Though due to the sharks now between them and the larger group protected by the ophan they seemed to be too fearful to try and join up. So instead they gathered in two, smaller, groups on the other side of the parking lot. Not moving for fear of attracting the sharks.

The heat from before was growing intense. It was a dry heat and, despite that the sun wasn't shining, they all felt as though a sun was beating down on them. An oppressive and aggressive sun that seemed the kind that prevented life from flourishing.

And then, near the entrance of the building across the lot, smoke began to rise from the concrete. The ground itself started to splinter and crack and suddenly a roaring flame emerged from under the ground.

The flames towered high, twelve feet into the air, before it started to take a form.

It was vaguely human-shaped. Instead of muscle and skin the creature was almost entirely made of flame. Though they could see pieces of what looked to be a skeleton inside of the fire. It let out a loud, hollow-sounding, roar after it formed.

Then the thing spoke. With a voice that crackled like the flames that made up its form. "What is this? Who..." It let out another hollow roar and the flames increased in intensity. "The Council! Is this their doing? Is this how they plan on getting rid of me? I won't have it! You! You minions of the Council! You will regret your foolishness!"

It moved forward slightly and raised its arms as it advanced.

A noise could be heard then. A whirring sound. An engine perhaps. And then music. Loud, blaring, music sounded moments before the car was seen.

It was flying at high speed towards the fire elemental. Too straight and steady a path to be anything but intentional. And then a figure dove from the driver's seat as the car continued sailing towards the elemental.

The woman who had jumped from the car rolled and popped up with practice ease.

Across her back was one gun. And in her hands was yet another.

As she landed the car crashed into the creature that had appeared. The girl muttered "boom" and the car exploded as if on command. The creature let out another roar and the girl gave the group a wave. "Hey kids! You guys must be the new blood eh? Exciting first day ain't it? You can call me Salvo; I was in the area so I figured I'd drive by."

When she landed one of the sharks had detached from the others and went in her direction. As it dove out of the ground Salvo turned and fired something from the weapon she held which entered the shark's mouth. Calmly side-stepping the animal Salvo avoided a similar fate as the shark went past her and burrowed into the ground. There was a moment of nothing and then Salvo smirked and an explosion occurred under the ground and a plume of dirt and blood came from the hole the shark had made.

Looking again at the group, still as calm as can be, she continued speaking like nothing had happened. "Dunno if I can do much more about the big guy but these guppies don't seem like much. So how bout it, kids, let's rock!"

Spoiler

Some info on the elemental to make things easier. It can move, but slowly, by dragging its lower body across the lot. Beyond melee attacks it can also launch large darts of flames at will.

Note the car did harm it (basically it's not invulnerable to physical attacks) though not as much as would be expected from being hit by a car.

Whatever you decide to do if you interact with the elemental or Salvo lemme know.

Also don't forget there are still some sharks in the "water" but feel free to have Salvo help out with that.

 

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The ophan’s focus is still on the sharks, both those chasing the shifter and those who were more concerned with the noncombatants under its care, but her focus is on the flame. It is relieving, actually, to know where the heat was coming from. The dread she was feeling before is lifted, and her fear response is deadened by both her physical state -- whatever this is     -- and her location -- still wrapped in the shifter’s embrace. 

Also drawing her attention, of course, is the newcomer, a woman appearing out of a now-wrecked automobile who greets everyone with a friendly enough tone that one might almost forget the weapons she bears, one in each hand. The woman wields these weapons with practiced efficiency, like they are a part of her, immediately dispatching one of the sharks.

But the woman also claims to be unable to do much against the flame, and that draws her attention back to it. She would like to do more than simply watch the ophan turn its gaze that way, especially if the fire the ophan produces only bears a superficial resemblance to the holy. Normal fire seems like it would prove ineffective.

She tries to observe the ophan firing away at sharks, trying to discern the exact properties of its concentrated light, but suddenly, while watching an errant shot only graze its intended target, she realizes exactly what can be done. And yet, in her current state, communication without the flame hearing is impossible, which only leaves one option…

The ophan lingers in the air, doing nothing for a moment, before it flickers out.


Melissa gasped for air, as was seemingly the norm for every time she woke up from her stupor. That didn’t surprise her anymore. What did surprise her was how whatever Devin had wrapped her in did not feel entirely unpleasant. It was something she could get used to, even (though, given how her body and consciousness had separated, perhaps the body already had). But she couldn’t stay like this for long; she was operating on borrowed time and she knew it. The longer her angel was gone the more likely something (avoidably) bad was going to happen. A shark attack, somebody panicking, or even both!

Devin!” She really hoped they could hear her (she’d been able to hear them, right?). “This is probably a bit reckless, but…” And she laid out the idea as best she could. Thankfully, in the conversion from thought to speech, the plan came out mercifully short, maybe a few sentences at most, and Melissa counted her blessings on that front.

“I… I can try,” Devin said. They said more, but Melissa could barely hear it, the only audible part being at the end when they said, “Hold on tight!”

She wasn’t sure how well she would be able to do that, but she did make sure to mutter a prayer and think holding-on-y thoughts as she let herself slip back into unconsciousness.


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
-Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

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Now THIS seemed more like he was used to. This here definitely seemed like an Undecided, but whatever this flame creature was...it was here now and it was now their newest target.

"What is this? Who...The Council! Is this their doing? Is this how they plan on getting rid of me? I won't have it! You! You minions of the Council! You will regret your foolishness!"

Hmph...out of the frying pan and into the literal inferno... Trevor thought, tossing his hat back on his head as he was preparing a method of his next movements...but that's when the cavalry arrived. A car crashed into the elemental, with a young girl with quite the armory of guns at her disposal unloaded at the creature. Needless to say, this girl definitely surprised and astounded him.

"Hey kids! You guys must be the new blood eh? Exciting first day ain't it? You can call me Salvo; I was in the area so I figured I'd drive by. Dunno if I can do much more about the big guy but these guppies don't seem like much. So how bout it, kids, let's rock!"

Trevor adjusted his hat slightly at seeing this display of an assault against the sand sharks and now this elemental. Honestly...he took this as a challenge. And as a sorcerer's apprentice, he needed to rise to the occasion just to prove his mettle. With an adjustment of his tie, he snapped his fingers and his grimoire floated up beside him. "You have my thanks, my dear." he said with a simple nod, a small smile forming as he walked past her slightly. "I will have to say that was an impressive entrance to say the least."

The Cabanomicon began to glow as it flipped it's pages again. While it glowed, the ring with the blue gem on his left ring finger began to also glow, both objects glowing in unison with one another. "Now, I believe it's time to deal with the big guy here..." the sorcerer smirked under his hat. The grimoire landed in his opened right hand, as he held out his left hand with the blue gemmed ring glowing brighter. "Utilizing the blessings of the elements themselves...time for my strongest Ice Spell I possess...BLIZZAGA!!!" Once more the book and the ring began to glow in unison and before Trevor's left hand appeared a large shard of ice and it was immediately launched right into the direction of the fire elemental.

The shard hit the intended target Trevor had: the elemental's chest. The mixture of the ice shard hitting the fires caused it to billow and steam, but alas...the shard didn't hit the bony area that he was hoping for. However, this did leave that area bare of the flames, though he hypothesized that over time the flames would return to that area. Trevor didn't have much time to think as he saw the elemental launching fiery darts in his direction. "AERORA!!!" he shouted, doing his best to dodge out of the way as the same windy shield that protected him prior returned and whipped around him once more, protecting him from the general brunt of the attack.

As he got back to a place where he could steadily catch his breath, he noticed the grimoire opening up and on a blank page sat a few words: "Now who's cutting it too close?". Trevor simply rolled his eyes at this. "Oh NOW you want to start communicating. Been here for a while and you just now start to be all chatty again. Could've picked a better time." he groaned.

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Devin grit their teeth as they felt Melissa go limp once again, pulling to a stop in place as they took a deep breath. Just keep her safe. Follow the plan. That's all they needed to do. They could do it. Of course they could. After all, they were...

As the shifter tried to gain more control of themselves, the shifting set in. More speed. More power. More lures. And so it began, their hair grew longer and crystalline, their ethereal wings began to take on a form of flesh and bone, filling in as they became leathery dragon wings, and a tail grew out, dragging down to the ground below, tip flicking absently. With only that much happening, Devin could feel their mind splitting a bit. This wasn't the right form. What if they acted out? What if they didn't take care of Melissa? What kind of hero would do that? But now wasn't the time. With a flap of their new, powerful wings, they took off, flying erratically to attract the sharks as much as possible with their dragging tail. They locked eyes on the elemental as the part of them holding Melissa began to grow diamond-like scales, hoping it would keep the girl a bit cooler.

All they had to do was lure the sharks. The others could handle the behemoth after the sharks were out of the question, especially with that new girl appearing. Devin flew straight at the elemental after they decided enough sharks were pursuing them, and everything seemed to be going well...

But, isn't that boring?

The voice caught Devin off guard, their head feeling more like splitting than before. They didn't have to be cowards. They could prove how strong they were. Who the true hero was. Their face shifted a bit, becoming more pale and feminine as they approached the elemental, a confident, but calm, smile on their face. Charging straight at the point that Trevor had weakened, their arm suddenly shifting into scaled dragon claws, just in time to slice at the area free of flames.

"Why, we don't need any help, Miss Salvo," a more refined, deliberate voice escaped Devin's lips, "I have this all under control. I am a chosen one, after all!"

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At first the sharks went for Devin. Following the impact of the draggin' dragon tail and searching for the source of it. They followed along behind Devin for a time but, as the shapeshifter took off and went for the fire elemental the sharks seemed to grow confused. Having not expected their 'prey' to move off so quickly they circled for a few moments before going off in different directions in search of their next meal.

While the elemental was stopped in its slow advance by the sudden impact of the magical attack and the more physical impact of Devin. The draconic claws made impact with the bone that was under the elemental's flame. They proved to be surprisingly durable for bone but with a few strikes some cracks formed and a rib broke off entirely.

"I have this all under control. I am a chosen one, after all!"

"Reeaaaoooooo!" the elemental made an inhuman, angered, noise. "You say Chosen? Ah.. Ahhhhhh! You are a puppet. Of the council!" It let out a screech as it brought its flaming arms up. With one skeletal hand it went to grab at Devin's arm and the creature brought its other hand down from up high. If it connected it would strike at the strange psuedo-backpack where Melissa was currently occupying. Even before impact they both could feel the intense heat that came off of the creature's body.

Spoiler

Just as a note. Anyone who moves on the ground in their post will attract a shark their way. I'll give a more solid number and say there's 3 or 4 to deal with atm (Salvo will have taken care of one or two besides this)

 

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"Reeaaaoooooo!" the elemental made an inhuman, angered, noise. "You say Chosen? Ah.. Ahhhhhh! You are a puppet. Of the council!"

"Mm? I cannot say I have heard of any council... But a leader cannot allow any harm to come to their fellow chosen ones! Miss Salvo, perhaps I can use your assistance, after all. Catch!"

The shifter spoke, ejecting Melissa's unconscious body from their back. Once the girl began to fall, the dragon-humanoid body shifted more, blue metal plates appearing over their body as the heat approached. Forming a suit not unlike sentai, albeit with dragon horns poking out the top and crystalline hair still flowing behind, the shifter pulled clapped their hands together... And steam came pouring out of the joints of the suit and mask, the pressure from the sudden expulsion blowing away the flames coating the elemental's bony hand.

"It is absurd that I would lose to the first foe," the feminine voice came out, still as calm as before, "Especially when I have been granted even more power than before!"

Of course, the elemental's onslaught continued, but the shifter met it head on, slamming their armored right claw up into it with all of their force, smiling softly the whole while. Why, victory was a foregone conclusion here. She was a chosen one, after all.

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It took him the longest but even Aduain took note of the increased temperature when its source finally manifested itself. It was at this point the hunter began to think maybe hatsu wasn't the explanation to everything he was seeing in this strange place that Prana was. At the least he'd never even heard of a hatsu that might turn someone into a giant flaming skeleton. That didn't stop the idea from putting a smile on his face. His own control of nen was pretty good but if he could eventually do things like what he was seeing here then there was still a lot of room for him to grow. Getting caught up in the moment nearly cost the boy his stubby tail as one of the three sharks in the immediate area of the elemental decided to try and snap at him. The fish reacted in time to avoid the injury but that didn't spare his back side from sliding contact with the fairly rough shark skin.

"No one taught you how to kiss huh?" Aduain asked to continue his pointless taunting of the sharks who didn't understand him. The others were moving into action to fight the new fiery monster, an effort the hunter really wanted to join in on. But he didn't get to being a hunter by ignoring problems to look for some glory. Left alone the sharks might start going after the citizens again, or even bite one of the fighters butts like this one had just tried to. At least this new girl Salvo was pretty on top of things as she'd already taken care of a few of the stragglers. The fish landed on his own two feet as the trio of sharks circled at a distance around him. He doubted he'd get a repeat of the three crashing into each other to try and eat him so it was finally time to focus a bit. Aduain closed his eyes briefly as he centered himself mentally. With a deep breath his eyes shot open with a gust of wind surrounding him as his nen flared explosively. One of the sharks leapt from the circle as the others maintained the perimeter. Before it could reach his position the shark was violently sent upward several feet higher than the apex of its jump. Visible underneath it was Aduain who had reached the spot before any of the beasts could see him move. The boy had kicked the shark squarely in the stomach.

"I'll be the only flying fish today thanks!" The hunter called out as he touched down quickly to the ground only to immediately jump to now be above the still airborne shark. With a flourish of unnecessary twirls with his trident Aduain's nen filled the ends of his weapon as he thrust it into the top of the monster's head, the impact sending the duo down together. When the shark hit cement the trident's momentum continued, handily skewering its brain. Before the corpse could even fully decrompress from the impact Aduain was pole vaulting off his target to the ground below. The circling sharks had moved and no sooner had he touched down than did the floor break beneath him as the second shark's fin broke through. He stumbled forward only to get a hearty slap to the face from the tail of the shark as it dived deeper down. After some tumbling the boy settled, the floppy tentacles taking the longest to settle. He stood quickly to see the third shark surfaced and charging, all of its teeth on display. Another quick leap and he was out of harm's way for the moment but again a surprise awaited him on landing. The shark that had dove down now was coming straight up to meet the hunter. Its mouth wide open and ready to close around the boy.

The shark found its meal but would have only a moment to enjoy its catch as a hole in its lower abdomen ripped open. On the ground with shark guts spilling out around him stood Aduain the hunter, who had chosen a path more immediately fatal to the ambitious shark. Shark three was back on the move still on the surface and charging him. One more pulse of nen and the fish stood his ground, a hand extended. The shark made contact and pushed Aduain only a few feet before being ground to a halt. It flopped about in place unable to move. There was only a smirk on the hunter's face to meet it.

"You're not gonna liiiike this~" the fish teased as two small geysers appeared in front of the shark's face. Small high pressure jets of his water nen shot into the sharks eyes, blinding it and throwing it into a rage. Aduain leapt away to let it thrash about for a bit before holding his trident over shoulder and taking aim. He threw it with force enough to make it whistle through the air as it lodged itself into the blinded shark's head, killing it quickly. The boy looked over his targets, confirming each had stopped moving before sighing as his nen calmed down. The fish wiped at his head despite his lack of sweat glands, glad he hadn't had to use more of his nen given what was still left to fight.

"Hope they saved some for me." He voiced his thoughts allowed as he turned back to the elemental.

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Fen was glad to see Trevor move in to action and lift the sharks into the air, striking them with magical balloon looking spheres before felling them. The resulting shock of their fall, as well as the following aid from Aduain, seemed to get the attention of the other sharks around them and away from the fleeing civilians. The girl was in one part relieved for no longer having to worry about the safety of the people, but in another way was concerned about now being swarmed by a bunch of land sharks. This problem was only made worse as she felt the heat continue to rise around her, only for her to turn and realize where this source of heat was coming from. 

Eyes going wide, Fen had realized that she was against perhaps one of the worst foes that she could've been against. A towering skeletal creature encased entirely fire had made his way over, seeming to be quite enraged at them and some "council," which she wasn't quite sure if that's what Mauvache was or not. The girl's confusion only continued to magnify as Devin seemed to transform into someone else entirely, somebody much more draconic and speaking in an entirely different tone, as they charged at the fire elemental. This was all topped off by a woman named Salvo crashing a mini train car and blowing up some sharks with weapons and presumably powers of her own. There was a lot for the girl to take in, but for now she had to mostly deal with sharks around her. 

Thankfully, Aduain had sprung into action and started to fight some of them off, which was good as Fen noticed Devin making a second round and go to strike at the fire elemental. As they did, though, Fen noticed a familiar female being tossed off the draconic person's back. Seeing Melissa move through the air like a ball, Fen knew that someone needed to help her out, and with everyone else being preoccupied by the fighting the young ice mage decided to spring into action. The girl started running forward, conjuring a disk of ice with her magic before tossing it towards the ground. Jumping forward, the girl landed on it and started to slide forward and quickly across the road. As she lined herself up with the falling Melissa, Fen jumped off her disk and put her arms at either side, ready to catch the girl. At this point, though, Fen realized Melissa wasn't that much smaller than her. And she herself wasn't all that strong to begin with. As such, as the projectile church girl landed into Fen, the latter girl was knocked off her feet and sent backwards. Falling backward onto the ground, Fen simply let out and, "ow, ow, ow..." Before looking up at the girl on top of her asking, "are uh, are you alright?" 

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Salvo turned from the smoking carcass of a shark at the sound of her name being called. As she thought of how she should go about 'catching" the girl, wondering if there was anything on Melissa's person she could use to halt her decent, she saw one of the other girls take off to break the fall.

She smirked. "Looks like you've all got each other's back already, impressive! I remember when I first got here..." Her words were interrupted by the elemental letting out a pained sound as the steam struck it. "Ah no time for stories now I guess! Put a pin in that one!" She then moved towards the large group of civilians. Most of them seemed relieved to see her, many of them recognizing her, though they also seemed to not want to get too close.

Likely out of desire to stay out of any blast zone the girl might create.

She kept an eye on the elemental and made sure she was loaded up in case the thing got past the others and went for the unarmed civilians.

Though as it stood it seemed the being had its work cut out for them.

Its one arm did manage to bring down towards where Melissa was held but the attack, now that Melissa wasn't in the way, resulted in little more than a heavy thump on the back.

Its other arm, flames flickering around the elbow and trying to reform, met head on with Devin's fist. The hand splintered and shattered, seemingly weakened by being exposed to the air. Though the elemental still tried to push past this and, moving its broken arm away from Devin's fist, jabbed the point of the arm bone at their face. All the while the other arm, still flaming, tried to grasp at Devin and pull them closer to its flaming body.

Almost like an afterthought, proving the projectile attack was something it did naturally and without need to cast like a spell, darts of flames rose up from the creature and flung itself at any of the others that approached.

If anyone were paying attention they'd notice that, after Devin shattered the hand, the fire around the arm and wrist became more unstable. Instead of covering the skeletal body in that area it would flicker and undulate away from it as though trying to find its lost appendage.

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The first thing she notices is that her plan didn’t work -- when the shifter pulled up and out of the way, the sharks immediately lost interest, leaving the flame entirely untouched. The second thing she notices is that she is no longer attached to the shifter and is, in fact, falling. It is a disorienting feeling, actually. Other times her body has moved while in this state, it was a motion motivated by someone else, whether that was her own cherub or the shifter taking flight. This, though, this is different. It is a sensation akin to motion sickness, like the movement she sees and the movement she feels are not quite lining up.

Almost reflexively, her consciousness retreats deeper into her own head, dredging up old memories to drown the feeling out. For a brief moment, she is back at Blue Yonder, sitting in the stands as Hitomu and Elizabeth do battle. To her left are Jun and Yusuji, digging into the food she had just brought down from concessions. Kyouko had just left, she remembers that, and to her right…

Gabby.

She didn’t say “Gabby” at the time, back then she was still trying to adhere to the full “Gabriela von Draculesti” moniker, but there was always a spark, wasn’t there? Something had to keep bringing the two of them together, right? She remembers moments guiding her through campus, of eating together, and, in her vision’s final turn, dancing together under the stars.

She realizes that this is perhaps her life flashing before her eyes, but she still does not feel fear. She only hopes that she is remembered fondly by those she is leaving behind.


They will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
-Psalm 91:12 (NIV)

Melissa’s collision with Fen woke her back up immediately, but unlike her previous returns-to-reality, this one hurt. Like, even more than the bruising pain that one would expect from a collision of two hundred-something pound girls, she also experienced what could only be described as a splitting headache that refused to go away. Instead of gasping for air, Melissa woke up screaming and clutching the sides of her head.

Apologies, Melissa. The voices in her head tried to reassure her, but really what they were doing was making the headache worse. This was not a planned awakening. Most of Melissa was willing to forgive the voices, actually. How was anyone supposed to know that would happen, anyway? The additional comment of Perhaps in the future we should avoid such impacts felt snide enough to be less forgivable, but she still managed well enough as she staggered to her feet.

Her vision was pretty blurry too. She barely even noticed Fen until she said, “Are you alright?” though focusing on Fen did help her regain a little bit of focus.

Melissa held out her hand to help Fen up. “I’m, well, I’m not dead,” she said, trying to make it sound like a lighthearted joke. “Thank you.” 

Once situated and after making sure Fen was also as alright as one could be after a collision like that, Melissa found her gaze drawn towards the group of stragglers still left in the mall. “We should probably check on them?” she said, definitely as more of a question than a suggestion. “Make sure they’re safe from whatever this is or anything else that might show up?

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The shifter smiled at the success of her actions from behind the mask she had made, acting as if she took a hit from the creature's bone, unaware. Upon closer inspection, it was clear that she had removed the mask and caught the bone between her teeth, holding that same smile. With a hard crunch through the bone, the rest of the armor covering her form shifted back into normal, leaving strange hexagonal-patterned holes on her shoulders, forehead, elbows, and knees, the rest of her form back to the humanoid-dragon from before.

"Come now, I won't have to call upon each of my allies here, will I?" 

The holes suddenly roared to life, small cyclones swirling out of them, creating a tempestuous, wild wind around the shifter as the elemental's hand approached... and blowing the flames away, though cinders remained as it grabbed at her. However, the girl remained calm, flapping her wings to just barely fly out of the grasp of her enemy, before looking around... And finding what she needed.

"Mage boy!" the shifter called out, looking to Trevor, "It seems this body cannot efficiently manage attack and defense as one, as of now. So, I ask that you assist me, fellow chosen one!"

Spinning quickly in response to another grasp, the girl slammed her tail, now coated in silver scales, not unlike those of a fish, into the elemental's hand. She used the momentum to fall towards the ground before pulling up, flying close to the elemental's body as she produced wind and temporarily ripping the flames from the body of her enemy, before flying up to look the creature in the eyes, that same smile never wiped away. As she spoke, she only exuded absolute confidence.

"I am Shannon Almaz, the savior of this world and any other. I cannot fall to a brute such as you."

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Grabbing Melissa's hand as she stood back up the girl nodded saying, "yeah. Not dead is uh, is good." Fen then looked around to see that there were still some civilians standing around that Salvo seemed to be going to regroup with. Then she looked to dragon Devin - who now seemed to be calling themselves Shannon? - fighting the fire elemental skeleton. As the torrent of flame raged out of the beasts body, Fen knew that she was very ill suited to fight such a foe. It wouldn't be easy for her to get close and maintaining her weapons around a being of flame would be difficult too. Furthermore, her raged options were precise but not super powerful either, so she didn't know if she would be able to actually provide much support from where she was. Well, if the flames around its body parts were quelled then she would probably be able to strike, but for now she looked back to Melissa. 

"Yeah, sounds good." Running over to the crowd of people, following behind Salvo the girl called out saying, "um, don't worry. We're here to help." Reassuring as she was trying to be Fen's voice did not convey much confidence. Yet still, she scanned around, staying mindful for any stray sharks or flames. Looking to Salvo the girl asked, "is there uh, any more enemies coming?" The girl didn't usually associate sharks and fire elementals together, so she was unsure what else to expect from such an attack.

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"is there uh, any more enemies coming?"

Salvo hefted her grenade launcher, wielding it with much less care than she probably should, and looked over at Fen. Eyeing the girl up and down she said "You mean besides Smokey's worst nightmare over there?" She looked around and shrugged, her gun bouncing a bit as she did. "Doesn't really look like it. Seems that fish guy managed to clear out the last of them."

Salvo turned her attention then to Melissa. Her expression softened as she looked at the girl. "I see you found a straggler, didn't see you there missy, come on join the rest you're safe now. I've seen bigger than that guy trust me." she winked.

Then she hesitated. Looking closer at the girl, and more specifically the outfit, there was a spark of familiarity in Salvo's eyes. If Melissa were to look she'd notice the young woman wearing a necklace with a cross on it.

"Can't say I expected to see something like that again. Then again people here have all sorts of fashion suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. You be sure to be careful alright? We can handle this, me and....uh...who are you?" She asked Fen.

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Once Trevor finished arguing with his grimoire, the onslaught of attacks continued and it surprised the young sorcerer, so much so that he found himself being snapped out of what trance and observation he had going on...by the changeling.

"Mage boy! It seems this body cannot efficiently manage attack and defense as one, as of now. So, I ask that you assist me, fellow chosen one!"

The young sorcerer simply stared at the changeling, who now had the form of a dragon, before simply smirking once more. The last time he had ever felt this excited and full of energy was with his previous compatriots in the Ever. And yet, these strangers in this strange multiverse have brought the same feeling of energy and excitement to him...perhaps this truly was him alive now. Perhaps this was his heart finally registering with these feelings that he had been longing for ever since the day he entered the Ever

"Unfortunately I don't have anything in the range of the weakness for fire..." Trevor called back to the shifter, before his blue gemmed ring began to glow once more. "Regardless, I shall do my absolute best in assisting you, shifter."

He looked over at his grimoire, watching the book's blank pages appear with now new wordings on it's pages: "Truly a losing battle if all you can do is weaken with ice magic...do you have any other plan of action, Masters?"

"You know me by now...I have no plan at first...I'm simply a gear in the plans laid by another." Trevor said, moving forward holding his left hand up near his face some. "As a sorcerer...apprentice or not, my job is to act as a support to those who need it. Whether that be on the front lines or in the back...I'll make sure I keep to those traditions that Balthazar instilled within me...and those that Merlin put within your pages."

The words on the pages faded before new ones appeared: "Forever such a strange individual...I've mentioned to you before that no one before you has had the attitude you posses. Truly a strange individual."

"Heh, less talking..." Trevor said, watching the Cabanomicon now flipping it's pages back towards the Offensive Spells. "Now then..." he slowly held his left hand out in front of him, the grimoire floating beneath his hand. "Blizzara!!!" With that, the blue gemmed ring and the grimoire began to glow in tandem with one another before unleashing a flurry of ice based projectiles in the direction of the fire elemental. "This will whittle him down as much as it can...just need to keep this up."

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Hearing the news that all of the sharks were done for as well there was likely nothing else coming to join the fight brought some peace to the young ice mage. More so that the people were now safe then everything else. "Ah well, that's good to hear. And uh, well, I'm Fen - Fen Yi." The girl introduced herself, before looking to Melissa, "and she's not really a uh, straggler, she's uh..." Though Fen was about to clear up the whole thing she cut herself off, as her attention was drawn by the sounds of combat. Looking towards the fire elemental, it had seemed that its arms had been engulfed entirely in flame once more, though wasn't quite as shapely around the broken and cracked hand bones of the skeletal creature. The rest of it was still on fire as well, though upon taking Trevor's Blizzara to the torso the flames seemed to be extinguished once more. The elemental, still frustrated at Devin? Shannon? Fen wasn't quite sure which but the name didn't matter to the elemental as it still wished to attack her. However, rather than try to strike at the shifter with its flaming arms opted to go and launch more flaming darts at them. 

Fen looked to Melissa saying, "well, if there's nothing to do here then we should probably..." The girl was then reminded that her opponent was again made of fire. "Well, there's not much reason in getting closer but..." After pondering for a moment, Fen figured out what to do and looked to Salvo saying, "I shouldn't stay around here if I'm going to help, but thank you for all your help uh, Miss."

"That's what I'm here for, Fen." Salvo said with a smirk. "And not like I'm all done helping if you need some."

"Oh, that's true. Right. Well, um, then I look forward to working with you more. For now, though, uh.." The girl looked at Melissa and Salvo for a moment, before starting to awkwardly shuffle about and then start to run away from the crowd of people. Conjuring a bow of ice, the girl wanted to get as far away from the civilians as she could, not wanting to get them wrapped up in any counter attack the elemental might've had. Coming to a halt, the girl looked intently at the exposed torso of the creature. Conjuring three arrows of ice, the girl rested one on her foot before tossing another into the air.

Then with rapid speed and great precision, the girl fired the first arrow in her hand, catching the second one as it got to optimal firing height and shooting that as well, only to then kick the final arrow into the air, catching that as well and shooting it. One after the arrow, with very little delay between them, the arrows soared towards the creature, all three of them striking true against the creature's hardened bone. Each one caused more chips to fly off of the bone, now causing the already damage torso to begin to crack. With her attack successful, Fen stood her ground and waited to see how it would react as well as for any other openings to strike at. 

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“You be sure to be careful, alright?” Salvo said. “We can handle this.” There was warmth in her words but the distant sort of warmth, like looking at fire through a thick sheet of glass. It was clear she didn’t think of Melissa as an equal. Honestly, though, that was fine by Melissa. She wasn’t the one with guns and a car and, you know, confidence, so while Fen leapt to Melissa’s defense (a defense that was cut off partway through, which surely didn’t help), Melissa was content to nod and avoid any further.

It was only when Fen left, breaking free from the crowd to rejoin the fray, that Melissa realized her mistake. Now she was, well, she wasn’t alone in the technical sense, but she was once again away from any sort of familiar, which was really the worst kind of loneliness in a final analysis. Her only reprieve was, because of the battle and all, she probably wouldn’t be expected to make small talk, so she counted her blessings where she could.

At the same time, she did feel like she still had to do something. With so many people already involved in fighting the flame elemental, maybe she wasn’t needed there, but that didn’t mean she could just stand by and watch.

Melissa turned her attention back to the crowd, still all huddled together where she (or her angel, it didn’t really feel like she herself had done it, did it?) had gathered them. She tried to at least focus on being friendly; she told herself a warm, reassuring “everything’s going to be okay” smile would do to start. Every so often, though, the hairs on the back of her neck went stood on end, and, out of the corner of her eye, she could swear she could see Salvo giving her a sidelong glance. If she turned her head more to confirm it, though, Salvo was already looking back towards the fight.

It took a few such occurrences for Melissa to finally spot the † hanging off of Salvo’s neck, and a few more moments after that for her to finally put everything together. More good news, then, that she didn’t have to worry about being talked down to quite as much. Even better, as she went back to Salvo’s side, she hardly felt lonely at all now.


For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.
-Matthew 12:50 (NIV)

Same hat,” Melissa joked, pulling out her own crucifix necklace from under her clothes, flashing it to the woman. She’d also realized what exactly it was she could do now. She pointed in the opposite direction of the flame and said, “Um, if the sharks are gone, does that mean- is there a way to get away from here this way?

Salvo looked at the necklace and gave a short laugh. “Guess I got egg on my face don’t I?” Following Melissa's hand she nodded. “Yeah, I think it’d be safe to get these guys out of here.” She shrugged. “They’ll miss the climax but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.”

Okay, well, Melissa was pretty sure no normal person would be upset “missing the climax” as Salvo put it, especially if it turned into an “explosive ending” or “fiery finale” -- she certainly wouldn’t mind! -- but she was glad to at least have a direction. She returned to the crowd and took a deep breath. After muttering a quick prayer and summoning memories of old school emergency drills as best she could, she began to speak:

Hey everyone, um, so, fortunately, we should be able to evacuate now- no, no, don’t start running, take it from me, if you start running aimlessly, you’ll easily work yourself into a panic and we’ll be back to where we started. Just walk -- walking quickly is okay, that’s fine -- and once we’re out of here, then we can spread out and start running if we must.” She smiled, a real smile this time. “The only other thing, I guess, is if you must look back, instead of focusing on all that, just look at me. I’ll be right behind you.

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As the dragon formerly known as Devin looked into the creature's eyes, or rather the empty sockets in the thing's skull, they would get a sense of madness from the elemental. Somehow, despite not having actual eyes to show emotion, they could feel the insanity that gripped the creature.

Soon the skeletal beast was much more focused on the projectile attacks that struck its body. It let out a keening noise as the bones of the torso that the draconic hero hadn't already broken started to crack and were on the verge of shattering. The flames that had been dispersed seemed to be trying desperately to recover the exposed bone but the cracks appeared to make it difficult for the fire to find a hold.

Still the flames around the skull, arms, and the trailing spine still seemed to be going strong. Perhaps due to desperation the elemental looked past the one in front of it and instead looked upon the last person to attack.

Fen could practically feel the burning intensity of the creature's eyeless stare as it raised an arm in her direction. Suddenly the flames covering it shot out and a column of flame, much larger than the darts it shot out previously, erupted out and towards the archer.

The fire seemed to have been all the flame covering that arm for it was now completely free of flames for the time being. However for Fen what mattered most was the roaring flame that was rapidly approaching her. Moving more swiftly than she could hope to simply dodge.

---

“The only other thing, I guess, is if you must look back, instead of focusing on all that, just look at me. I’ll be right behind you.

Many in the crowd seemed uncertain, not fully convinced by the girl's words, but as they looked to Salvo they seemed to feel more trusting. Salvo stood facing the elemental with one gun over her shoulder and her back towards Melissa. When Melissa spoke up Salvo waved back at them and said "Go on get." Which seemed to give those on the edge the push to start moving.

One boy, likely no more than ten, didn't move back and instead stepped over towards Melissa. "Uhh, lady? Where did the big circle thing go? Weren't they gonna keep us safe? Are you hiding them under that weird dress?"

Spoiler

So to clarify for those attacking the elemental just because this is the only attack it did in my post doesn't mean it can't attack again. Basically if you're at a distance and confront if it still will fire off darts and if you're close it has the other arm it'll strike with.

 

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But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
-2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV)


The last time Melissa had given instructions to a whole bunch of people cowering from fantastical monsters, they’d boiled down to “stand right here and think good thoughts” so maybe it wasn’t a surprise that this suggestion was, as a whole, taken a bit flatly. That didn’t mean it didn’t hurt, like, obviously it stung, but it was still expected. Salvo eventually helped, encouraging at least a few people to start, and Melissa hoped that might lead to a more popular approval from the rest.

One, though, a young child, broke from the crowd the wrong way, instead heading towards Melissa, a bevy of questions on their mind. “Where’d the big circle thing go? Weren’t they gonna keep us safe? Are you hiding them under that weird dress?”

The questions very nearly took Melissa out of whatever self-assured state she had managed to work herself into. She couldn’t explain anything to this small child, not when she could barely explain it to herself, and she certainly wasn’t about to improvise a weird sort of lie, like “the big wheel thing needs to see children being good otherwise they’ll be trapped in purgatory forever”. Asking the voices in her head also felt like it would take too long to appear natural, too.

Her silence was probably really only a second or two, even if it felt like forever. On instinct, Melissa just went into whatever related theology she could remember. “Well, the wheel thing is called an ‘ophan,’” she said. “Traditionally, they’re the wheels to God’s chariot, so maybe God needs it elsewhere? That doesn’t mean He left you alone, of course. The ophan disappeared, but you do have me. Sometimes you need a spinning wheel of fire, sometimes you just need someone like me. Or you, someday.

The kid looked confused for a moment before their eyes brightened and they said, “Did the Great Dragon send it?”

Melissa hesitated, like, physically blinked away the question. Of course a new place would have a new religion, Melissa thought. She made a note to ask Mauvache about that after they were finished, in addition to all the other questions she wanted to ask Mauvache should she have the opportunity. It was probably at the top, though. “Similar, I suppose,” she said, brushing aside the question posed to her. “But we should keep moving. I don’t think any of us wants to be in a situation where the ophan -- or, uh, any other angel, really -- needs to come back.

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As the fire elemental had seemed none too pleased by Fen's attack, the girl watched as it pointed its arm towards her. Feeling the seething hatred in the beasts eyes, it didn't take much to figure out that she was about to be his next target and so the girl got herself ready to move. The flames shot out at her in a massive column, far too wide for her to simply jump and avoid, and so the only other thing that she could think to do was take the attack head on. Dropping her bow, the girl started to channel ice magic through her hands and ducked. Placing her hands forward, a wall of ice quickly formed in front of her, and the girl placed her hands on the wall to continue funneling it with magical energy to keep it sustained. 

Fen knew that she was a bit in over her head, though, the moment the flames crashed against the ice wall. Though the construct managed to hold, in spite of Fen's best efforts it was visibly melting and the girl was certainly starting to sweat a bit. So, rather than wait for her barrier to be destroyed, Fen simply put in one last pulse of magic before pushing her hands off the wall and diving to the side. The wall shattered and melted almost immediately, though it had provided enough time and had quelled enough of the initial flame that Fen had been able to get out of the way of massive fireball. Sweating still as she felt a massive burst of heat wash over her, the girl didn't want to think about what would've happened if she had stayed put. And so rather than think on that, the girl moved onto the next part of the fight. From her roll, the girl swiftly got back to her feet, albeit somewhat crouching, and summoned her bow once more. Conjuring one arrow after the next, the girl quickly launched a volley of them towards the now naked arm of the flame elemental. The arrows landed, letting out a loud cracking noise as each hit until finally the skeletal arm broke apart fully. With its right arm down, and the rest of its body not too well off, the girl continued to focus on the flaming foe and await another opening. 

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The shifter raised her brow as the elemental ignored her, instead assaulting Fen.

"Where are you looking? The hero is before you, yet you target someone else? You are a wretched beast."

With a scoff, her body shifted once more, plating itself as her wings seemed to slide back in, causing her to free fall. Using the momentum, she faced straight down, watching the earth itself come ever closer, the chrome and black plating covering her body just enough to form a shell... Before pulling up a mere moment before hitting the ground. As she flew back into the sky, high above the fight, her legs had been replaced by a long, flowing tail with the same plating as the rest of her body, and wings that looked like a single sheet of green plexiglass jut from her back, arcing towards the sky and glowing ever so slightly.

"Helldive Slasher!"

Letting herself fall into free fall again, Shannon began to spin from high in the sky, creating a slip stream around her body as she aimed for the Elemental's chest... And hitting her mark true, breaking through the brittle bones in an instant before pulling back up into the sky, her spinning slowly coming to a halt as she looked back down on the foe she had torn through. The flames seemed to grasp at the shattered bones, trying to pull it together again. It served that foolish creature right. But, something was wrong. A fit of coughing took the shifter by storm, blood coating her hand as she did. Why? Why was this small amount enough to cause this? She... she had mastery of her form! It didn't matter that these abilities were new, it...!

Her body started to return to a more human form as she found herself falling for the third time, trying to contain her coughing. She was the hero! She was Shannon Almaz! The savior! Why was she... having... so much trouble...?

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Aduain had been on his way to join the fight against the flaming bones when a cry reached his ears. Turning to meet it the fish saw far off someone being chased by one of the few straggler sharks. Hardly one to leave someone to be eaten the boy hopped off to intervene, taking an extra high jump as he got closer. He landed on top of the shark with enough force to shut its mouth prematurely and spare the soul the loss of limb. The trident was soon to follow as the hunter plunged it into the brain of the beast causing it to stop moving fairly quickly. Looking at it this shark seemed a bit scrappier than the others. Maybe younger or else just not as strong or impressive. Despite the danger being averted Aduain could still hear the person he'd rescued screaming and so he hopped down off the shark to see a very well dressed man cowering on the ground. Perhaps he'd tripped or simply given up, either way he was safe now but didn't seem to realize it.

"Hey-" Aduain started only for another shrill shriek to interrupt him.

"No, don't eat me! I'm too rich and important!" he yelled at the sight of yet another fish creature.

"I'm not-" the hunter tried again, a bit off put and uncertain how to approach this. More screams cut him off of course.

"I can't die to a stupid fish, you're supposed to eat fish not the other way around! Isn't there someone I can pay to spare me?!" he shouted as if Aduain had some master nearby that would accept the bribe in exchange for his life. Nevermind that if he stood he'd be taller than the fish he was currenly afraid of.

"Look, I'm here to-" Aduain started again, clearly frustrated, only to get cut off again. But these screams didn't get to carry as the fish slapped the man's face, his irritation kept him from pulling his nen entirely from the attack and in a moment the man was unsonscious on the ground with a bruise already forming on his cheek.

"Wait... wait wait wait! I was supposed to save you not kill you!" the boy started clearly concerned. This felt like a rookie hunter mistake to make. He shook the man who awoke in a fright and began looking around. There was less screaming this time.

"W-what are you?" the man asked nervously and apparently had forgotten the previous attempts at an exchange.

"...Just a hunter here to help. That uh... shark got ya pretty good there." Aduain started, blaming his actions on the dead shark. "Best get moving, it's not exactly safe here yet." Still clearly confused the self-important man didn't need to be told again and off he went.


With detour complete Aduain turned his attention back to the flaming skull which at this point wasn't as on fire or in one piece as it had been on arrival. The others had been doing quite the number on it. And a dragon had appeared which was almost beyond belief until the boy saw its shape changing as it began to fall. That had to be the shapeshifter that had arrived with them then. With nen flaring the boy leapt off at high speed to join the others and the first order of business was to open a geyser underneat the falling shifter. This geyser he made an effort to make gentler. Strong enough to slow their fall but not so strong as they normally were lest it hurt them.

The skeleton was the next target of a geyser, this one decidedly not gentle. With his nen taking on the properties of water, the explosion of nen underneath its still flaming left arm soon saw the flames on that body part extinguished. The skeleton launched darts of fire at the fish in retaliation who began hopping about, avoiding the projectiles with a wide smile on his face. He was trying to only just barely dodge them and nearly scorched his back for the maneuver. With one last big vault jump using his trident Aduain took to the air and dove in at an angle, his flipper like foot extended. A fierce nen-powered kick landed on the now flameless arm, an audible crack sounding yet it held for the time being. Damage to the bones and broken hand aside, the skeleton still tried to attack the fish with the arm which Aduain found himself unable to dodge in his current position. A solid blow to the abdomen sent Aduain twirling through the air before he landed with the grace of a drunken cat. He shook his head a bit to get readjusted before looking to the others engaging the monster. And while he hadn't seen every detail of the fight, Aduain was pretty sure two of them had ice hatsus and that had him forming a plan.

"Hey, ice guys!" he called to Fen and Trevor. "Gonna need a lot more here!" the fish smirked as the beginnings of several more nen geysers began forming about the skeleton and at his own feet.

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