BRO: Battle Royale Online
Her mind was racing as she drew her pistol with a trembling hand. Why was Virion there? Had he followed them? But he had said he would let them escape! So he had lied? Rin nodded silently, of course he had lied! That was just like him!
Suddenly, the obnoxious voice from the street began again, "I know you're there, come out of hiding…"
Placed against the stone wall, Rin hardly dared to breathe. The sound of footsteps was getting dangerously close. Holding her breath, she stretched out her gun in front of her. Then suddenly, a face with dark blue hair appeared before her.
"So here you are!"
Rin stepped back in reflex. The man's face was right in front of her gun. Her finger trembled on the trigger. She had to shoot! If she didn't shoot now while she had the chance, she would seal both of their fate. She gasped loudly. Virion, noticing her opponent's confusion, raised the corners of his lips in a cruel smile.
That smile! Rin hated that buffoonish look on his face that treated you like a toy he could break for the sheer pleasure of it.
Rin couldn't take it anymore. She closed her eyes, and with all her willpower, pulled the trigger. A simple click sounded.
"What a shame! You forgot to cock your gun!"
His voice became even more contemptuous, addressing her as if she was a small child, unable to understand what he was saying. Then, without adding anything, he stepped over the collapsed wall and invited himself into the house.
Rin's eyes widened. She had had her chance, and she had blown it. It was no use saying she wanted to progress if she failed like this.
Virion put her hand on Rin's weapon and gently pushed it down.
"Come on, be a good girl and put that away, it could be dangerous."
Stunned, Rin let him do it. The man then rested his hand on his weapon, a beautiful and obviously rare light machine gun, the barrel of which was pointed at the table behind her. Rin flinched, Mordred was sleeping behind that table! Panicked, she made a gesture in that direction before stopping, her companion's legs were no longer sticking out. That could only mean one thing: he was awake. She felt relieved, he was going to get them out of this, she was sure.
Suddenly, a bang sounded right next to her head. Rin gasped, as a shrill sound whistled in her ears. Her eyes followed the direction of the smoking gun. Her gaze fell on a hole. It was dug right into the middle of the upright table, spraying splinters of wood all over the room. However, the table had not been completely pierced by the shot, and the bullet was now firmly embedded in the dense wood.
The man with the snake-like smile continued in a falsely compassionate tone, "I warned you, Mordred. You leave me no choice now…"
His cruel smile, which contrasted so much with his cheesy tone, made Rin want to throw up. The man was a devious monster. And now he was claiming that it was their fault that he was forced to kill them when he had purposely followed them!
"Come on, come out of your hiding place now, the joke has gone on long enough," he said in a cold tone.
Suddenly, a shot rang out and another bullet lodged in the table. The man hissed.
"Hey! This table is solid! I wonder how many shots it will take me to get through it!"
He fired again. Then again. And again. Suddenly, he crushed the trigger of his gun, and a deluge of metal fell on the old wooden table.
The man shouted to cover the sound of the bullets, "Hello, Mordred! Where are you?"
Rin froze at the scene. Her partner could only be in one place. And that place couldn't hold much longer.
Slowly, Rin stood up, ready to throw herself at her opponent. When suddenly, an ominous crack sounded. The table was about to give way. A small cloud of plaster floated behind the table. A bullet had passed through it. It was the first, but more were bound to follow if she didn't act quickly. She had to protect Mordred.
Rin tightened her grip on her weapon, and tensed up: in a second, she would leap at her opponent.
Instantly, the shooting stopped. Rin slowly raised her head fatally, knowing full well what she would find. Her eyes met those, glowing with cruelty, of the one called Virion. And right before her eyes, the smoking mouth of his weapon seemed to threaten her.
The man exclaimed in a falsely surprised tone where only amusement was not feigned.
"What are you trying to do here?"
Then his smile faded, and his other side took over.
In a razor-sharp voice, he resumed, "I warned you too, didn't I? If our paths ever crossed again, I had to kill you right away. Maybe I waited too long after all... I'm really too kind."
Returning to his character, the man placed the barrel of his weapon on the girl's head.
"Farewell, and may you never set foot in this game again."
Suddenly a voice emerged from behind the table.
"Wait! I'm right here! Don't shoot!"
Together, the eyes of the executioner and his victim focused on the origin of the voice. Behind the wooden deck, drops of blood were falling at regular intervals. At once the man's smile widened, and he turned away from his victim.
In a flash, he raised his rifle and fired at the table. The bullet pierced the supplicated wood. A howl of pain erupted from the makeshift shelter.
With the voice of a deranged child, the man exclaimed, "Found you!"
It did not take another bullet for the table to collapse with a thud. Behind it, a tormented figure appeared. Rin stifled a hiccup of surprise. Crouching down to display as little surface area as possible, Mordred stood there, holding his leg, the wound of which seemed to have reopened. In addition to the wound with the red soaked bandage, there were two other scarlet stains on his black clothes. One was on his arm, which was dripping lazily, and the other on his side, which he was pressing with the hand of his good arm.
Rin paled, then dashed towards her partner under the amused eye of their opponent. She stepped over the remains of the table and knelt hastily in front of her injured comrade, before grabbing the bloody hand that was pressing on the wound in his side. Mordred was panting, obviously badly hurt. He shook his head as if to invite her to come closer, then whispered a few words in her ear.
"Please help me win."
His voice was weak, but Rin could clearly make out those four words. They hit her like a bomb. In the last two days, they were everything she had ever wanted to hear. Immediately, an unreal calm came over her. She too had a role to play.
Brandishing her pistol, she pointed it straight at the sadist who served as their opponent.
The latter exclaimed, "Oh, come on! And what are you going to do with your toy? You're shaking so much that you won't be able to touch anything!"
Her concentration shattered. Against her will, Rin was still shaking. Every time she raised her weapon to aim at a man, her fingers twitched and her hands shook with tremors.
The man moved closer, and immediately Rin fired. The bullet ripped a cloud of plaster off the wall behind his target. He flinched but quickly recovered.
"Hmpf… What was I saying... No beginner could ever compete with me, let alone a woman!"
Rin saw red. Immediately, she pulled the trigger of her weapon several times, each pressure causing a detonation that echoed between the stone walls.
Virion barely moved, merely ducking when the gun was aimed at his head or shifting slightly when the bullet seemed to go straight. In the end, none of the bullets hit their target, all ended up in an explosion of plaster and concrete.
Her opponent burst out laughing, before announcing in an icy tone, "Well, we're done laughing, it's getting boring."
With these words, he turned away from the girl who was threatening him with her weapon and turned instead to the man on the ground.
"Count yourself lucky, Mordred! You can consider that it is the winner of this tournament who put you out of your misery!"
Virion raised his weapon, ready to fire. Rin could not let this execution take place. Her whole body was screaming at her: she had to act. Suddenly, time seemed to slow down before her eyes, and her troubled mind was overwhelmed with a chilling determination. In this slow-motion world, she raised her weapon straight at her opponent.
Sensing the radical change that had taken place in her, the man's face was tinged for the first time with genuine surprise. He had felt it: if he didn't move, he was dead. Abandoning his plan, Virion dashed for the exit. Rin lowered her pistol and fired. The man let out a scream before putting his hand to his thigh, a single hole in its center. Immediately after, time resumed.
Virion swore as he stepped over the collapsed wall again. He took one last look at a Mordred too weak to move, and despite the pain, smiled.
"Enjoy your last moments while you bleed to death, Mordred!"
Then turning to the one who had shot him, he said in a contemptuous voice, "As for you, pray that you never cross my path again."
In reply, Rin pointed her gun at him. Her hand was shaking again. Noting this detail, Virion hesitated for a second but then decided to move away. He would rather not take any risks. After walking about ten meters down the road, he turned around.
"You’re a very strange team! But I must admit that you are full of surprises!"
Then staring at Rin, who was trying her best to keep herself from shaking, he said, "Even if Mordred is going to die, I count on you not to die before we meet again! I hope you'll be entertaining once again!"
With a vicious laugh, Virion disappeared behind the corner of the wall. He had emphasized his last sentence strongly. Rin shivered. That was all they were in the end for him: entertainment. They might be in a game, but she still considered that there were limits to be respected. The kind of perverse amusement this man was getting from behaving like this disgusted Rin to no end.
Once her opponent had left, she collapsed to the ground. Through choppy breathing, she tried to calm her trembling body. She had survived. She had shot. She had wanted to kill a man. All these thoughts raced through her head as she slid limply against the wall.
Suddenly, a groan woke her from her stupor. Mordred! She rushed to his side. She couldn't let him die!
With tears in her eyes, she whimpered, "What shall I do? I beg you, tell me what I must do to save you!"
The tension in her voice was palpable, threatening to break at every moment. The man on the ground gently placed his bloody hand on hers.
"It’s okay... It's okay, I'll be all right. He didn't hit anything vital."
His voice was weak but his tone was reassuring.
"Look, I'm barely hurt."
With that, he raised the hand that pressed his wound, revealing his side. Seeing the amount of blood that stained the wound, Rin hiccuped and backed away. Then, regaining her composure, she bent down to examine the wound. As he had said, the bullet had barely touched him. It had merely made a groove in the flesh, not even really penetrating the body.
Surprised, Rin exclaimed, "But, all this blood!"
"It's coming from my thigh... With all the running we did earlier and the way I had to contort myself here, the wound reopened. I smeared some of its blood on the other wounds."
As if to verify his words, Rin looked down at her partner's injured leg. The bandage was soaked with blood, and a thin vermilion stream was slowly dripping onto the ground. Reassured, Rin let out a long sigh. They'd made it.
"My arm, however, is ruined... Until it's healed I can't use it."
"And it's my sword arm! I can't shoot in this state!"
Frustrated by his condition, his face twisted into a grimace of bitterness.
Slowly, he tried to sit up and groaned through clenched teeth. Immediately, Rin put her arm behind his back.
"Wait! I'll help you, don't push too hard!"
They moved away from the remains of the table and carefully leaned against a wall. Mordred sighed.
"Even if I should get away with it, it hurts like hell…"
He tried to get up but immediately a searing pain ripped through his thigh. He fell heavily against the wall.
"I can hardly move, this is ridiculous…"
Seeing his look of spite mixed with irony, Rin slammed the edge of her hand on her partner's skull. The latter let out a small exclamation, before throwing her an incensed look. He stopped dead in his tracks when his eyes met his partner's angry, tear-filled ones.
"What’s with the defeatist tone? Do you think I saved you to see you like this? No! I'm going to fix you, and when you're better, we're going to win this tournament and make that Virion regret everything he did to us! And I expect to hear you thank me for everything I did then!"
She almost shouted these last words. Shocked, Mordred looked at her with big round eyes. Wasn't she changing?
Then sheepishly he muttered a reply, "There’s no need to wait, you know, I can thank you right now."
With a mischievous smile, Rin placed a finger on her comrade's lips.
"Tut tut, say no more. I'll settle for one time, you'll just have to make sure it counts!"
Once again, Mordred stared at her in surprise. Then a smile played on his lips in turn.
"So that means our team will last a little longer! Doesn't it, partner?"
At once, the girl's cheeky smile turned into a genuine flash of kindness.
"Of course! I'm going to be with you all the way to the end, so don't hesitate to lean on me, partner!"
Outside, night had already fallen, and Rin, with a worried look on her face, was still working on my wounds. With ointment and clean bandages, my wounds were now all carefully treated. They probably wouldn't close overnight, but if the hole in the hand of the woman who had just saved my life had closed overnight, then I was confident that I would be healed tomorrow or the day after.
Since it was already late and we probably wouldn't find any other usable shelter soon enough, we decided to spend the night here, after pushing the debris from the table a little to the side. We were still in Virion's territory, but I was sure he would leave us alone for the night. After all, he too had been injured in the confrontation.
Thinking back to the way my partner had faced him bravely, it was with a new look that I stared at the one standing awake beside me. Noticing my gaze, she urged me to go to bed. She was right: sleep greatly accelerated the body's recovery rate. With insistence, she stared at me with her blue eyes. I gave in and slowly closed my eyes in search of sleep. Soon, I was sinking into a dreamless slumber.
Suddenly, I woke up. A huge rumble had sounded. In front of me, Rin was already on her feet, staring at the darkness of the street through the opening in the wall. At once, her profile lit up and her pupils widened in fear. Just behind her, a fireball rose into the night sky.