Chapter 21:

More Than Average

Adventures of Zeleon

In the Komodron territory, a sandstorm raged amongst the desert land. This is a weekly occurrence that they've adapted to, easily catching their prey with the camouflage of the shifting winds blowing the sand about. Visitors and trespassers are warned, during these sandstorms all will be captured and brought in regardless of their status.

A commotion brewed underground as this very occurrence took place. Leon jumped in to try to help keep the potential trespasser under control, only to find that Charlotte had dropped by merely to visit. The Elder shooed everyone away to greet her.

"Ahh, the Vampire Queen herself. What brings you to the underground today?"

"I'm interested in watching Leon fight, I've never personally seen him properly. There've been rumors that he was down here."

"Rumors? No...there's no way someone leaked that. Unless she spoke with Courtney at some point? Maybe. Possibly. Still doesn't explain why she's so fascinated with me."

The Elder smiled softly at Charlotte, wondering himself how she knew. But it wasn't a big deal, the two have known each other since he was young, dating back over a century.

"Ah! You're just in time then. Leon was about to face our best young fighter!"

He couldn't hide his excitement at the outcome. Even with his age, the thrill of watching two people try to outwit each other in combat always got him giddy.

"Really? Salandra yes? That should be intriguing. May I speak with Leon beforehand? It will be brief."

"She asked...his permission? That seems pretty out of character for her."

"Ahhh, of course, of course." The Elder pointed to the hesitant Leon, making a drip of sweat run along his face.

"Thank you. I'll sit next to you when the match starts." She smiled genuinely and waved slightly before her focus was on Leon as the crowd had dispersed. When she stared him down it was like they were the only two in existence from Leon's perspective.


Charlotte's demeanor changed from light-hearted to being much more focused, her gaze felt like it could pierce through Leon's body. She walked into him within inches from his face. "Well. I'm glad you kept your word."


Leon was visibly confused on what exactly she meant.

"Well. You told my daughter I wanted to meet, as you promised."

"Charlotte's expression isn't really reflecting the enthusiasm she had. It must've not been pretty, no...there's no way it went well. If Courtney was honest like I've told her to be then….somehow this is going to fall on me, her tone says it all. that why Courtney needed to see me that night? The Vampire territory spans fairly close to here, and she seemed distressed…"

"Your expression isn't what I'd imagined after you seemed so happy to see her again."

She pulled his hand and drug him along to a less crowded spot instead of responding to him. Her hand was ice cold, something that Leon couldn't bear as he shivered a bit. He hated when Courtney would grab him out of the blue with skin to skin contact because she'd feel like a bucket of ice to the touch. Thankfully, Charlotte didn't go far, but her response was bone chilling in it's own way.

"She hates me. She despises what we are, she doesn't ever want to see me! I don't know how to deal with this Leon, for some reason..her interest is with you! I want to know why."

"I want to respond with, 'I could ask you the same question.' But I won't. Her interest in me, I couldn't give a good answer. Maybe...because I'm refreshing for her? I'm not a vampire, or a wolf, or a stuffy councilman. Maybe? Grahhhhh! This is frustrating!"

Leon's inner turmoil sat behind a face of calm confusion. He forced himself to hide his feelings as he dared not show his hand while she's in a state. "Um, maybe because I'm unlike other people? I couldn't tell you myself." Just then, Leon came up with an excellent excuse. "...Maybe I remind her of her fiancée in some way?"

Leon's ingenuity saved him from the pain of the conversation. Charlotte pondered the thought as she looked up at him investigating his face closely before making a resolution.

"That's possible. Her memories have a certain fondness for the kind of person he was. A hard headed, honest and sometimes dense individual. You certainly carry those qualities."

He sighed at her response but was relieved she accepted his answer anyways.

She patted his shoulder as she walked away. "I'm looking forward to your match today. I'd like to see how much you've improved."

With those words, she went off. Leon was left to prepare himself to break the 17 win streak of Salandra.


Several hours passed before the match was officially about to start. The arena was packed, everyone anticipating the rare clash of a Komodron warrior versus another from a different race.

Leon entered first. He looked up and around him, taking in the raucous atmosphere of the crowd around him. He smiled a bit, he couldn't help but feel a bit flattered by the fact everyone was cheering for him. He was wearing the custom made armor that was made for him previously, that even he found himself comfortable in.

Salandra entered next, her armor was painted red which along with her blue coloration gave her a more intimidating look than usual. Her weapon, a half crescent blade, was in her grasp as she looked into Leon's eyes with a charged intensity. "Are you prepared for this Leon of Earth? I refuse to hold back. As it would do both you and this crowd a dishonor. Now draw your weapon."

She got in her stance, holding her weapon with one hand as she dipped to hold a lower base. Leon drew the broadsword from his hip, using both hands as he kicked his right foot back, staying mostly upright. The crowd had fallen to silence, waiting for the Elder to give the word.

"Competitors, are you ready?!"

He could hardly hold back the excitement in his voice as he spoke. Salandra simply nodded. Leon took a different approach.

Let's fucking rock and roll!"

Leon's voice carried with an echo in the silence, a soft chuckle from the crowd could be heard. Salandra only shook her head at his antics. The Elder refocused himself trying not to laugh. "Then with that….let the match begin!"

At the go, Salandra was actually first to move, charging at Leon with full force keeping her low base. Leon held himself to a few moments before she struck, moving swiftly to his right forcing a miss.

"She went for a fast end hmm? Let's see if she keeps the same energy."

Leon ran back to the center of the arena, looking back to see she was tailing him. He smiled as he realized she was trying to finish him fast. He purposefully ran to the wall backing himself into a corner on purpose. Salandra stopped anticipating a trap.

"You're stopping the chase now? You have me cornered like you wanted."

Salandra growled at him, knowing he was baiting her. But her lapse gave him the opening he needed, he quickly covered the eight feet of distance, making the first clash of the match between their blades. Leon leaned into the deadlock to attempt to push her back, but the curvature of her blade made his roll off, leaving him open.

With a quick slash she attacked his right side, he blocked without damage with the armor along his forearm. He jumped back putting distance between them again as the crowd made its presence known. Charlotte sat pouting as she seemed disinterested. "He's got instincts, and plays mind games. But, he's average at best."

Leon took a deep breath to calm himself after that near loss he suffered. "I should've been more weary about that."

"Well Leon? Are you going to show something or will I need to make this a slaughter?!" Salandra charged him, soon after sparks flew with the clashes of their blades. Leon was backpedaling the entire time, frantically defending each and every strike.

"What the hell was I thinking?"

Salandra had the look of a monster, coming after Leon repeatedly as he continued backpedaling until he was back against a wall again. He moved at the last moment as the Komodron's blade crashed and dug into the wall. Leon's nerves spiked as he moved away from her.

After redirecting her line of sight to hone in on Leon again. What Leon was unaware of, was that in all 17 of her consecutive wins lasted under ten minutes. Her style was ruthless aggression above all else. Pouring every bit of her being, her emotion into this style. It's already been five minutes since go, and she was ready to finish him off decisively.

She let out a roar, making the crowd around them silence for a moment. They knew the end was near as she charged being close to the ground, she was nearly on all fours as both her claws in her free hand and her blade in the other drug across the dirt ground.

It looked like a cloud of dirt coming at Leon like a train. He reacted by running to his left, but she veered, making the impact come as a sideswipe finish if he kept moving.

He pumped the brakes on himself, however. The crowd had a collective gasp, as this surefire move that's been an automatic victory, completely whiffed. The aggressive hunter would soon be the hunted, as Leon cracked her armored head with the hilt of his blade unapologetically.

This shot had her dazed as he went all out offensive. He spin kicked her directly in the small of her back as she finally began to defend herself too little too late. She got her blade out in front of her, but Leon sidestepped and used his big swing to smash it downwards out of the way before pinning her to the wall as his blade pressed into the armor on her chest so firmly that it actually cracked in multiple places.

Still. She didn't quit. She refused to lose to the human from Earth. She bit onto his shoulder making him jerk back and pulled the shoulder pad straight off of him, now leaving a target to gouge.

"Damn it! I thought I actually had her there!"

"Where did that come from? I actually had to do something so gross and desperate...and missed that attack?!"

The crowd roared, they seemed to be astounded by the show being put on by both Salandra and Leon. Charlotte actually had her eyes widened by Leon's aggressive and calculated display. Varius however, was unusually quiet. He sat observing both of them closely.

Salandra got herself off the wall and charged at Leon again, but with more confidence, he came at her as they attacked each other with their blades sending a myriad of sparks with every collision that seemed to get heavier.

"Will you just quit already, Leon?! I'm not losing to you!"

"I'm not going back on my words, so stop telling me to quit! I need this win!"

Leon let a slash go past his right side, leading with his blade in his off left hand, he showed his comfort in wielding it. He pinned her blade down firmly into the dirt, only releasing it after sweeping her foot from behind. He took her down and stood on top of her pushing his blade tip to her exposed neck.

The crowd cheered for him. That was it. In combat that would've been her last breath. Salandra laid under his feet, visibly upset at her own complacency. He took his foot off her, sheathing his blade into the sheath at his hip. He took what felt like his first breath in a while, giving her a hand to help her up.

She accepted it begrudgingly. The sting from her first loss in a while was hard to swallow. "I...underestimated you. I'm sorry."

"You didn't really. I nearly screwed myself over from the jump. Don't feel bad, consider it a bad draw. I'm still incredibly bad at this. I just had a good feel for your aggressive style because I'm better on the offensive as well."

Salandra knew he was trying to help her, but it ultimately didn't help a lot as she walked out of the arena.

"Now in four days it will be Leon against our second in command, Varius!"

The Elder announced it aloud, as Varius stood up looking at Leon down below. Leon's next clash would only be bigger, and harder than the one he'd just had.

"Looks like he can hold his own after all, but only barely. Varius will most likely overwhelm him. It's truly sad. Courtney and Serena are pinning hopes on an average specimen."

Through it all. Charlotte left with a bitter taste in her mouth, the Elder noticed this but simply let her go, thinking better than to bother her in such a mood.

Before Charlotte took her leave to above ground, she punched a wall with frustration covering her face. Was it jealousy or just embarrassment? It could only be guessed, for she'd never admit feelings like this to anyone.