Chapter 40:

The Odd Aqueenian 6

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

"Fiona, Nonpareil, you are welcome to leave now," Colton said in the politest tone that he could muster. The two of them had stared at the guards for several minutes as they chatted and laughed with each other.

"They're not very impressive guards, huh?" Gwyn asked Fiona in a whisper that was deliberately loud enough for Colton to hear.

"The real guard is hidden behind the door; they are just here for show," Fiona whispered back in the same loud manner.

A vein on Colton's forehead popped.

"Even if they believed us, could we trust them to stop Dia?" Gwyn asked.

Fiona hummed to herself before answering.

"We probably shouldn't, but they're not totally incompetent."

"All right, you two, it's time to leave," Colton said with a sigh as he walked over to the duo and began to wave his hands to indicate that they should leave.

He didn't get very close to them when Dia came flying around the giant column. She started up at the top of the column and glided downward. Colton drew his sword and his fellow guards instantly shaped up.

Two of the guards drew their weapons. They were known as the sky twins, Maxon and Jaxon. Each had a similar light, faintly blue complexion and white, cloud eyes. Both were bald, and each wielded a heavy compound bow. Of the twins and Colton, none had a Needaimus attached to any of their limbs.

The last of the guards did have a Needaimus wrapped around his arm. His name was Lieutenant, and he was often teased for it as it did not reflect his actual rank. He had a jonquil yellow complexion and jet-black hair.

Dia crashed into Gwyn and Fiona, or more accurately, she outstretched her arms and used her momentum to knock them down. The two that had come to warn the guards fell, and Dia landed gracefully on her feet. She winked at Colton with a big, yellow eye. He shuddered and pointed his blade at the new opponent.

"There are no fans here," Dia said with a sigh and a shake of her head.

Colton responded with a charge at her; his blade pointed at her throat. The sky twins each fired off an arrow from their bows at the same time.

Dia effortlessly ducked under Colton's blade and grabbed him by the clothes. Before he could react, he was thrown onto his back. Then, she gracefully spun on her toes as the arrows harmlessly flew past her. She stopped her spin so that she faced the twins. Her wings suddenly grew outstretched, and the twins jumped back. They were promptly knocked to the ground as Dia quickly closed the gap between them.

Lieutenant sighed and closed his fist that the Needaimus was attached to. His hand began to glow a steady blue color, and he charged at the winged Aqueenian.

Dia was prepared and easily avoided the punch from Lieutenant. He was flipped over and thrown on his back before he even realized what had happened.

Dia sighed and shrugged.

"You're not going to stop me with this effort. It's hardly entertainment! Try calling someone who could be more of a challenge!" she chided at the guards, who all laid on the ground.

Before anything else could be done, Fiona flashed in front of Dia and threw a punch at her face. Dia quickly leaned back and let the fist sail past her head. At the same time, she reached out to grab Fiona, but the princess disappeared in an instant.

Gwyn was next to strike, and he broke into a sprint at Dia as he pushed himself off the ground.

Dia chuckled to herself slightly as he ran to her.

"We've already done this before!" she yelled out to Gwyn. "Not even the dumbest fan would bet on you!"

Gwyn ignored Dia and grabbed one of the twin's bows as he ran past. He reached Dia in no time and swung the heavy crossbow up in the air. She confidently stood her ground but put one arm up instinctively to defend herself. As Gwyn brought down the heavy weapon, it liquified. At the same time, he tried to grab her second arm that was not prepared to block his blow. He planned to put both hands by each other, but he could not hold her free arm with his bad left hand.

The liquid crossbow splashed around Dia's defending arm, then turned solid in an instant. Had both her arms been close by, they would have been bound like she was in cuffs. Instead, only one arm was encased. She frowned and kicked Gwyn back. Dia tried to shake the heavy, misshapen former bow off, but it was molded tightly to the shape of her arm.

"That bow was a family heirloom!" Maxon yelled out from the ground.

Dia glared at Gwyn for a moment, then her gaze softened, and she sighed. She stopped shaking her arm and shrugged.

"What a boring ability, or perhaps you have no sense of entertainment," he said. She flapped her wings and took to the air. Fiona flashed in front of Dia but was immediately batted away with the encased arm. Dia had swung it like it was a club.

"We need help," Colton coughed from the ground. Gwyn turned away from Dia to look at the guard. He had thought Colton was just talking out loud, but the guard was speaking into a device.

Looking away from Dia proved to be a bad idea, however. Dia plunged downward to Gwyn while doing a corkscrews spin in the air. Her encased hand smashed into Gwyn's side, and he was immediately thrown back.

Dia gracefully landed on her feet after the impact and looked to the door. As she had expected, the true guard emerged while phasing through the door. It was a Hobusian man. He was tall, for a Hobusian, and stood at the height of Gwyn.

His shoulders were so broad he might not have fit through some doorways, and his skin was an ashen grey. His eyes looked almost dark and sunken. The crown on his forehead split into three thin sections that curled over his head, and a bright red Needaimus lit up his arm. His muscles twitched as he prepared his strength for the fight.

The Hobusian looked around at all the fallen on the ground.

"You're a disgrace," he said in a deep and even tone voice.

Dia spun on her toes and threw her hands out in gesture at the Hobusian.

"What an honor! The strongest in the world, Platon, has come to greet me!"

Platon settled his gaze on Dia.

"A jewel with wings, that's a new one," he said, a voice that had a hint of a sneer.

Dia simply smiled. She grabbed the misshapen crossbow and pulled it off her arm with one simple motion.

"I have to thank you; I didn't know how I was going to get that off!" Dia chirped as she shook her previously encased arm.

Platon didn't say anything and simply charged at Dia. The ground shook under his heavy footsteps. Dia followed suit and charged forward. Gwyn and the others were merely watching from the sidelines. The two clashed together as American football players might. It appeared that Platon should easily knock Dia over, but instead, she began to push him back.

Platon tried to escape when it became clear the small and thin Aqueenian was overpowering him, but Dia only lifted him just above the ground and carried him through the air. They were on a collision course with the large door to the conference venue.

Platon gritted his teeth and prepared for impact. He figured they would collide with the door, and he could get the better of Dia afterward. He had not been cautious with her ability, but it seemed to give her some strength, as far as Platon could tell.

They did collide, then the giant metal door broke open like it had been made from cardboard, and they went through. The impact was strong enough to render the strongest Hobusian unconscious.

Dia threw Platon to the side and took to the air. The crowd in the venue all took their own time to register the threat.

Gwyn pushed himself up and ran to the now open door. He was greeted by a sight of Dia plunging her dagger into the chest of King Whitlock.