Chapter 18:

Night threat

BRO: Battle Royale Online

Under the flash of scarlet light, Rin blinked several times, not understanding what was going on, a high-pitched whistle piercing her eardrums. Her panicked eyes met mine. I leaped to my feet and dived on top of my partner, dragging her under the cover of the collapsed wall. We hit the concrete hard and an electric shock went through my thigh. I stifled the groan of pain that tried to escape my lips. Snatching Rin from her stupor, I put my valid hand on her shoulder and gave her a big shake.

"We are under attack!"

To begin the assault by throwing a grenade, our opponent must not be skilled in assassinations but rather in indiscriminate destruction. I paused for a few seconds to think. Virion? No, this was not his style. We might still be on his territory, but he would never have attacked us like that, not after what had happened. Khrushchev then? No, he was a sniper, not some kind of barbaric artificer. If it wasn't either of them, then who was it? Who dared to come hunting on the territory of these two elite players?

A second bang echoed, even closer this time. The sky filled with light, revealing the shaking profile of my partner, before disappearing into darkness again. The walls of our shelter trembled, and a few stones escaped from the already weakened low wall.

I was now sure we had been spotted. The enemy was not firing at random, but specifically targeting this house. He must have been throwing his grenades from the roof of one of the buildings across the street, and with each throw, his shot would become more and more accurate. We had to move. A third bang echoed, lighting up the sky. The low wall shook dangerously, it would not hold for long.

I struggled to my feet and prepared to flee. Another thought crossed my mind:

Could it be that he was just throwing grenades in front of our shelter to force us out?

I shook my head in frustration. In any case, we had no choice. Our adversary knew where we were hiding. Staying here was useless: if a grenade landed at our feet, we were finished. So I might as well give it my best shot and try to run away while we had the time, even if it meant playing into our opponent's hands.

As I took my decision, I approached my partner's ear and whispered my plan to her, "At the next detonation we run and get out over the collapsed wall. With a bit of luck, the other will aim at the door and not the opening in the wall. But I still can't run with my leg, so you'll have to help me. Will you?"

A bang rang out and the whole building was violently shaken. It was the closest one. Rin, who was about to nod her head in approval, was caught off guard. I stood up hastily despite my injured leg and arm and turned to my dazed partner.

"What are you doing? Run!"

To make up for her moment of inattention, Rin reacted quickly and jumped to her feet. She put an arm behind my shoulders, not without causing me to whimper in pain when she touched my injured arm.

We leaped over the collapsed wall and landed in the street.

The moon was not yet out, only the stars were twinkling in the sky. As we continued to run, I noticed movement in the corner of my eye on the roof of the building facing our shelter, a figure silhouetted against the sky.

Immediately, I gave my instructions to Rin, "Turn right! We need to get as far away as possible!"

Rin nodded, and we pivoted as one. Only, my thigh was throbbing more and more: I wasn't going to last much longer. We had just started running, but already my bruised body was screaming at me to stop. I was afraid that if I ran any further, the wound would reopen.

A new intersection appeared before us.

"Turn left! We have to zigzag as much as possible to avoid giving him a clear line of sight!"

Rin nodded and dashed into the alleyway that opened up to the side, dragging me along with her.

Suddenly, there was a crash of broken stone.

Did he just jump? Tell me he didn't jump off the roof where I saw him! Is he crazy? Doesn't he care about losing life points?

The slim hope on which our escape was based off had shattered. I had hoped to get a head start by the time our opponent came down the stairs to street level, but a noise like that could only mean one thing: he had jumped straight into the street. And we had almost no lead. Despite the two hundred and some meters that now separated us from our opponent, I felt trapped. With my leg in such a state, we would never be able to escape. Our advance was destined to be reduced to dust.

Passing a thin gap between two derelict buildings, barely wide enough for a person to squeeze through, I stopped abruptly. Rin, who was holding me up firmly, nearly crashed to the ground and dragged me down with her.

She turned towards me, ready to protest, when I exclaimed, "There! It's perfect!"

After explaining my plan in a few words to my partner, who was staring at me, probably thinking I had gone mad, I slipped into the narrow alley and disappeared into the darkness.


A shadow rushed between the buildings as the moon was beginning to rise in the sky. With its favorite grenade launcher in its hands, it was on the hunt. The wind blew in its ears as it gritted its teeth to silence the pain rising from its legs. It was a good thing it'd improved its strength and stamina, otherwise, it'd never have been able to jump off the roof of a multi-story building and get away unscathed. It would have preferred to avoid losing life points like that, but it didn't have the choice: if it wanted to catch up with its prey, it couldn't waste a second. A carnivorous smile appeared on its face. This night was perfect for hunting.

As the shadow accelerated again to catch up with its opponents, it rushed down a perpendicular alley. Suddenly, its prey appeared a few seconds in front of it, before turning again. It hesitated for a second but held back from slowing down. One of them was obviously injured. The way he was limping, there was no way they could outrun the shadow that was chasing them. But then what was that uneasy feeling that had come over it when it had seen the profile of its prey veering off into another street? It didn't seem to come from the wounded man who was trying to flee despite his limp leg, slowing down his partner... So did it come from the other figure whose profile it had glimpsed for a brief moment, illuminated by the nascent moonbeams?

The shadow thought for a few moments before pushing these thoughts away. It couldn't let such details ruin its hunt. Abruptly, it pivoted and dashed into the alleyway that had just opened up on its left, following its adversaries.

Surprised, the shadow slowed down immediately afterward. A small figure was huddled in the middle of the street. Hidden in the gloom, the girl was almost invisible. Only the glint of the weapon she held out betrayed her presence. On the other hand, the man who seemed to be her partner was nowhere to be seen. Wounded as he was, he must have hidden in a building until the fight was over.

The shadow did not move, then slowly drew its second weapon: a heavy machine gun. At a distance of more than twenty meters, the two shadows stared at each other. Then gradually the moon rose in the sky, revealing the face of its prey to the hunter. Two frightened blue eyes were focused on it. The shadow flinched.

Was it possible?

It ostensibly lowered its weapon and took a few steps closer. The girl facing it fired instantly. But the bullet missed its target by several meters.

Still hidden in the darkness, the shadow opened its mouth as if to say something, but its opponent did not give it the time and fired again.

"Go away! If you come any closer I will not hesitate to shoot you down!"

Her tone seemed determined, but her trembling hands betrayed the turmoil she was feeling. The shadow shook its head. What a newbie! A bang echoed and a whistle passed just above its ear. The bullet had not passed far. A little too close, in fact. Without delay, the shadow took off. It ducked and sprinted, skimming the ground as if to provide as little surface area as possible. With each new detonation, the shadow dodged with suppleness, leaping to one side or the other after having guessed the trajectory of the bullet. Against an opponent of this caliber, the pink-haired girl had no chance.

Just as it was about to pounce on its prey, it suddenly noticed out of the corner of its eye a narrow alleyway open up on its left, barely big enough to squeeze through. How had it missed it? Its gaze directly plunged into the darkness of the gap, looking for the slightest danger. A metallic glint stopped caught its eyes. Just above it, a cruel smile appeared in the shadows. A trap!

By the time it noticed the person hidden in the shadows, it was already too late. A man dressed in black emerged from the alley and threw himself at it, a knife brandished in one hand. He collapsed on top of the shadow and slammed it to the ground. Its back hit the concrete with force and it let out a high-pitched groan. Exposed on the flagstones of the alley, their profiles were now illuminated by the dim light of the moon. The shadow instantaneously recognized the opponent who was pressing his knife against its throat: Mordred!

It snarled. Mordred! What could he be doing here, teaming up with the other girl? The shadow spat on the ground and glared at its opponent, who seemed stunned by the sight of its red hair.

A small, surprised voice echoed in the street, "Miko?"


I hiccuped in surprise: Milena Starlust! My nemesis glared at me from my knee. Her eyes screaming at me that the second I pulled my knife away, she would slaughter me without hesitation.

Beside me, Rin remained speechless. She must not have realized yet that her friend was there and had just tried to kill us. Milena struggled slightly, and the edge of my weapon gently penetrated her flesh. A thin stream of blood flowed. Hastily, my partner rushed towards me and pushed my blade away from her friend's neck. She glared at me and then hurried to get her friend up.

"Miko, what are you doing here? I thought you were waiting for me in the beginners' area?"

Milena answered sarcastically, "Well, I was there! I waited for you for ages! But when I saw your name on the list of participants in the tournament, I rushed to sign up just before they closed the registration! You could have warned me!"

"Sorry…" Rin replied sheepishly. "To tell you the truth, I didn't do it on purpose…"

Milena's eyes widened and she burst into a crystalline laugh.

"You didn't do it on purpose! I don't believe it! From the beginning, I've been wondering what could have gone through your mind to join the tournament without telling me, but I thought it couldn't be a mistake: she's stupid, but not that stupid!"

Rin flushed slightly, then tried to defend herself as best as she could against her friend's accusations. As their argument escalated, I discreetly positioned myself between Milena and her machine gun, which had been thrown away when I had tackled her to the ground. I tightened my grip on my knife with my only good hand.

Seeing me out of the corner of her eye, Milena immediately turned and shouted at me, "What do you think you're doing? Do you want me to kill you?"

As usual, our relationship was very bad. But Rin intervened right away.

"Miko! I forbid you to talk to him like that! If I'm still alive, it is only thanks to him!"

Milena spat on the floor.

"Why are you defending him? Did something happen between the two of you?"

Despite the darkness, I was willing to bet that Rin had just blushed slightly. Milena widened her eyes in astonishment and then turned to me, her face distorted by a murderous look.

"It’s decided, I'm going to kill you."

Rin rushed between her and me.

"No! Miko, I won't let you do anything to him!"

Faced with her friend's pleading face, my nemesis' expression softened a little.

Still, she decided to throw her venom at me one last time before turning away, "If I ever find out that you've tried to do anything to her, you can say goodbye to your manhood."

Even though I knew I was innocent, I couldn't help but swallow uncomfortably. Milena clicked her tongue, then turned back to her friend and scolded her, raising her finger to her face.

"And what's with your look? Why didn't you change your face? Are you mad? Aren't you afraid of being recognized?"

Faced with this shower of questions and admonitions, Rin pouted.

"I… I thought you'd find me easier if I kept the same face, so I just changed the hair color."

"Except that's not only stupid, it's also dangerous!"

She raised her hand as if to hit my partner.

Without hesitation, I intervened, "Hey, don't hurt Rin!"

She threw me a wicked look and then scolded my partner.

"Oh, because you even gave him your real name?"

Embarrassed, Rin remained silent. Milena shook her head.

"At this point, I'm afraid I can't do anything for you…"

Facing the storm that had descended on our group, neither of us ventured to speak.

Suddenly, Rin dared say something, "Miko…"

Her friend cut her off instantly.

"Here, I am Milena Starlust. The nice Miko you know doesn't exist anymore, okay?"

My partner nodded slowly. The Milena she knew in the real world was quite different from the more extreme one we were seeing here. To me, this Milena was exactly as I knew her: as violent as she was unbearable.

Then, in a voice that could not be challenged, Milena addressed us, "We have to move, we've been in the open for too long. Follow me, I'll take you to my hideout."

I swallowed. I really didn't want to stay any longer with this crazy girl with hair as red as the explosions of her grenades. And above all, I didn't want to accompany her to her hideout. Without waiting for us to answer, Milena left first. Immediately after, Rin followed her, a discreet smile floating on her lips. Despite everything, she seemed happy to have found her friend. I shook my head.

Well, it looks like I have no choice...

At the pace of my injured leg, I rushed behind the two young women, for better or for worse.

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