Chapter 30:

Teamwork

BRO: Battle Royale Online


My eyes widened in surprise.

Rin!

What was she doing there?

She approached me with a radiant smile. When she reached the crossroads, her eyes widened as she noticed the two men pointing their guns at me. Immediately, her smile faded. The two men in question looked at her with a stunned expression. Her entrance seemed almost unreal. As the three of us stared at her, unnerved by her nonchalant arrival, she drew her pistol and pointed it straight at Virion. All trace of mirth had disappeared from her face, whose now frowning eyebrows expressed only disgust.

She addressed the blue-haired man in a snarling tone, "Virion!"

The call of his name snapped him out of his thoughts and he graced the newcomer with a big smile.

"The newbie! So you did survive?"

"Surprised? Perhaps you would have preferred me to give up? I'm going to make you regret everything you've done to us."

She tightened her grip on her weapon, her finger tensed on the trigger. Immediately, Virion turned his light machine gun towards her, facing away from me. I took the opportunity and raised my rifle towards him. Behind me, Khrushchev's deep voice rang out:

"Oh, what do you think you're doing?"

I didn't need to turn around to know that he was threatening me with his sniper rifle. Even though I was being held at gunpoint, I couldn't let Virion threaten my partner like that. Only, at this distance, the sniper rifle was at a disadvantage. Perhaps I had time to kill Virion before the other one would shoot me. It was worth the risk. As I was coldly calculating my chances of survival, Virion arched an eyebrow and pointed his gun towards me. Nothing escaped him. Rin blinked, being ignored again. She grunted before pointing her pistol at Khrushchev behind my back. He hesitated for a few seconds, then turned to hold Rin at gunpoint.

My brain went into overdrive to reassess the situation. At close range like this, I doubted I could beat Virion. His weapon was faster and more powerful than my rifle, and his speed would probably outstrip mine. In the best case, we would both die and Khrushchev would kill Rin next. I couldn't let that happen. I sighed and turned to face the sniper. He flinched, but immediately recovered and pointed his rifle at me.

Good, no one is threatening Rin anymore.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her make round eyes before pointing her gun at Virion. He glared at her but didn't turn away from me. Well, I had managed to protect Rin, but now I needed a new plan...

Suddenly, Rin gave me a fearless look.

"Mordred, I'll take care of Virion. You can count on me for revenge."

Immediately, the dark blue-haired man burst into a forced laugh before spitting his venom.

"You? Don't make me laugh! You barely knew how to hold a gun when we met!"

Rin's face tensed as she squeezed the trigger of her pistol. A bang echoed and the slabs exploded at Virion's feet. The man did not even flinch.

Without breaking his mocking smile, he said, "You see? You can't even aim! The last time was just a fluke. You'll never hit me twice!"

My partner winced, and a cold rage seized her. Virion must have noticed the change in her because his smile faded. Slowly, Rin readjusted her aim and pulled the trigger. The shot went off, and Virion fell to the ground in a flash. The bullet flew over his head before crashing into the brick façade behind him. Time seemed to stand still as no one reacted. Almost in slow motion, a superior smile appeared on my partner's face. Virion's blood ran cold.

As he stood up, he pointed his gun at the girl who had just fired, and shouted, "How dare you!"

He had turned away from me. Perfect. With his attention completely focused on Rin, I took the opportunity to dive to my left.

Before my shoulder hit the ground, I crushed my trigger and a shower of bullets rained down on Khrushchev. He also fired, but with a second's delay, missed his target entirely. I slumped to the ground and jumped back to seek the cover of a car in the street behind me. The sniper let out a cry of pain before dropping to one knee. In the heat of the moment, I had not taken the time to aim properly but it seemed that at least one bullet had hit him. As I ran towards the nearest shelter, an old car of an indescribable color with rusty bodywork, Virion turned towards me. In a flash, he pulled his trigger and a torrent of steel rained on me.

I shouted, "Rin!"

Immediately, another bang echoed, and the shots I was taking stopped at once. I turned for a second to see Virion crouched on the ground after dodging my partner's blow, while she faced him with a petty smile.

"Don't forget I am your opponent!"

Our enemy turned around and showered my partner with a rain of steel. I saw her dive backward, looking for the cover of a car, just the way I did.

Without taking time to check if she was safe, I slipped behind the rusty vehicle and held my breath. I heard Virion's grumbling, she had escaped him.

Before the confrontation resumed, I calmed my mind to take stock of the situation. I was crouched behind a car on the North street. On the other side of the intersection, Rin had opted for the same strategy on the South street. I peered through the broken window of my shelter, looking for Khrushchev on the East street. Only his legs visible under an old van betrayed his presence. He too had taken cover. An angry voice came from my right. In the West street Virion was ranting. He had lost the advantage.

Suddenly, the bangs went off again and a din of screaming metal and shattering glass rang out. On top of it all, a female voice screamed.

Rin!

I glanced in her direction and discovered exactly what I had feared. Virion, using the advantage of his weapon, was advancing straight towards my partner, riddling her shelter with bullets. Soon, some of his shots began to pierce the shelter, and the sound of breaking stone was added to the clatter. Rin didn't have much longer to live. Faced with this barrage of bullets, she had no choice but to stand still. Condemned to wait for Virion to reach her or for a bullet to pass through the bodywork and hit her. Sure of himself, a victorious smile appeared on our opponent's face. I had to act. Quickly.

Virion's mocking voice rose again, "So what? Where is your fighting spirit? I thought you were going to take care of me! Was that a joke?"

Then, with a frankly disappointed look, he almost muttered these last words, "I expected better from you... It's boring."

Raising his voice again, he hailed my partner once more, "Well, it looks like this is the end of the line for you. I hope you'll entertain me better next time!"

The shooting stopped, he had arrived right in front of her.

Checking that Khrushchev would not interfere, I chose this moment to leap out of my hiding place.

I shouted, "Virion! This is where the real fight is!"

As soon as he saw me, his vicious smile widened even more.

"Now that's what I'm talking about! A worthy opponent!"

Then he turned to my hesitant partner, "Watch and learn, girl."

Immediately, I showered him with a torrent of bullets. I had to get him away from Rin. He dove backward and ran behind a small car in fairly good condition. My bullets ricocheted off the bodywork and I stopped shooting. Apart from wasting bullets, I was not going to get anywhere.

Silence fell on our group. As the only survivors of the tournament, this tranquility seemed almost unreal.

Suddenly, Virion exclaimed, "Khrushchev! Finish the girl! Even in your state, you should succeed without difficulty! I'll take care of the other one!"

The sniper accepted at once and got up slowly.

I shouted back, "Rin! Run! Get away from here as fast as you can! I would be better off without you, so don't hesitate! And above all: don't die!"

I was almost screaming these last words. After a few seconds of silence, my partner's voice came out.

"Catch this!" she shouted as a metallic flash drew a bell in the air.

With a crystalline jingle, a hunting knife bounced off the ground.

Orso's knife!

It had landed in the middle of the crossroads, too far away to retrieve it safely. I immediately added it to the plan that was forming in my mind.

Without wasting another second, Rin took off running, leaving the crossroads of the confrontation in her back. Reaching the end of the street, she turned and shouted with her hands as a megaphone.

"I forbid you to die here! Win, Mordred!"

Faced with her glowing face, I smiled gently. As Khrushchev rushed after her, she turned and disappeared behind a corner. My smile faded. I was worried about my partner, but I could no longer afford to protect her. My final duel was approaching. Whether Rin or Khrushchev survived, I would have no trouble triumphing over them. But to get there, I had to first take down the enemy in front of me.

Virion…

We both knew that the winner of the tournament would be decided right here and now. I silently thanked Rin for giving me this opportunity. Thanks to her, the situation had changed completely. I was no longer cornered alone against two superior opponents, but against a single one. I had my chances. She had rushed into danger despite my prohibition, but for once it had paid off. Only, now she had to fight. Fortunately, I had managed to wound Khrushchev. This way their duel would be more or less fair. Better still, I was convinced that Rin had the advantage. Even without experience, against an injured and slowed-down opponent, her agility could be decisive.

"Mordred…"

Virion's sinister voice brought me back to reality. I had to forget about Rin. At that very moment, only my fight mattered.

"How much longer are you going to ignore me!"

I looked up to find my opponent completely exposed, only a few meters away from me. The duel had begun. He pulled his trigger and his light machine gun spat out a deadly burst that tore into the side of my shelter. Immediately, the metal gave way and the bullets went through it without difficulty. I leaped into the open and dashed straight for the knife that lay in the middle of the crossroads. Virion turned in my direction and the rain of steel followed me. Without stopping, I reached an arm out in his direction and pulled my trigger. The bullets flew towards my target, but having aimed one-handed in the rush, Virion barely moved to dodge them.

As low as I could, I reached out with my free hand and grabbed the knife on the ground. As I swung around to face my enemy, the bullets whizzed past my ears, carving scarlet furrows wherever they touched me. But thanks to my extraordinary speed and superhuman reflexes, I dodged the otherwise deadly bullets.

I plunged my sharp gaze into the haughty eyes of my opponent and dashed straight towards him. With no way to take cover in this situation, I had no choice but to confront him head-on.

As a bullet grazed the top of my skull, pulling out hair in the process, I flattened myself against the ground. Immediately, Virion rectified his fire and lowered his weapon to follow my movements. With a leap to the side, I stepped out of his path and held my rifle out again towards my opponent. Despite the short distance between us, Virion had time to duck and then chose to lunge at me in turn. Less than two meters separated us. To gain a bit of range, he dropped one hand from his weapon and raised it with the other towards my head. He pulled the trigger and the bullets flew.

In extremis, I shifted my face and kicked the ground with all my might.

With a grunt, I hit my opponent's body hard and knocked him to the ground.

I crouched hastily on his chest and pointed my rifle at his skull. This was the second time we had been in this situation. But this time I wasn't going to waste my chance. Immediately, I squinted and pulled my trigger, ready to see my enemy's head blow off.