Chapter 26:

The Villain Versus Adamant

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

A swirl of confusing emotions ran through Reyna as she tried to comprehend what was happening.Bookmark here

First, she had wanted to go down there and reclaim every single stuffed bear she could see. Secondly, she wanted to beat everyone up who she couldn’t convince to back off, and find out what they were doing. And finally, she wanted to burn the whole place to the ground after getting everyone out. To Reyna, it was a perfectly reasonable sequence of events, and she felt she was doing a fantastic job reigning in her own desire to just turn everything into ash.Bookmark here

Then Check came in to ruin her day even further and tell her to stop. Where he came from, how he knew Reyna was there, and why he was there were all questions that crossed her mind, but the only thought she could focus on in the heat of the moment was why he was trying to stop her. Reyna could see it in his eyes, that he saw the same thing she did: They were doing shady things that needed to be stopped. Bookmark here

So she argued with him. Told him of her own resolution after meeting Rina. And when she was about to jump down…A new player entered the scene.Bookmark here

Reyna knew she let herself go a bit more when she was in her Flare persona. After all, she was technically someone completely different, and it was better to throw people off by using a completely different personality. But her anger was real. It was always real. And seeing someone else prepared to stop her really ruffled Reyna’s feathers. Bookmark here

Check was one thing: She knew he had good intentions. That he only wanted to help. Reyna appreciated that. She really did. But it still irked her to no end that he would butt in like it was his business. And now, a woman crouched before them, ready to attack, while she was stewing with building rage. When the woman called her an insect, she couldn’t help but scoff and take her own stance. Bookmark here

“Who the hell do you think you are, huh?” Reyna snarled. “Don’t think I’ll let you live just because you had the precious honour of revealing yourself to me.”Bookmark here

“Flare!” Check hissed beside her. She could feel his judgmental glare, but she couldn’t care less.Bookmark here

“What?!” snapped Reyna, her hair rising with the flames that now ensconced her body. “If she’s dead, then all the better. She works for the Moon Ravens anyway, right? Who cares if she dies.”Bookmark here

“As ruthless as ever, Flare, though this isn’t your usual brand of violence, is it?” The woman smiles. “I like to call myself Adamant. Why? That’s a secret, you see. And while it’s true that I am working for the Moon Ravens, it’s nothing personal. I’m only being hired, you see.” In an instant, she moved from her crouch and into a lunge at Reyna with a feral laugh. “And now I’ll have some fun!”Bookmark here

“Like hell!” Reyna blasted to the side and slashed some fire at her passing form. She laughed and patted her flaming clothes.Bookmark here

“Once they saw you save the day,” Adamant explained, “They knew you would come. So they gave me some very nice clothes, you see.” She smiled widely. “Don’t hold back now. I’m sure they already know you’re up here. And I am completely vulnerable, aren’t I?”Bookmark here

“Be careful, Flare!” Check suddenly shouted. “She’s not—“Bookmark here

“Stay out of this!” Reyna yelled, and clapped her hands together with a concussive blast of fire. Adamant stood there and was washed in flames, and all Reyna could hear was her infuriating laugh. The flames then died, and Reyna stared as Adamant seemed to gleam with hard edges before reverting back to normal. “Oh, right. I have a Power too, you see. Did I forget to mention that?” She brought her hands up, formed them into claws, and showed her long nails. “I can make any part of my body as sturdy as rock. Your Power is nothing against mine!” She smiled.Bookmark here

Reyna grit her teeth. “Rock can still melt, asshole!” Reyna felt a shift in her temperature and the ground around her began to turn red. “Just die!” She thrust her arms out and blasted flames at Adamant. She dodged forward before coming up to slash at Reyna’s arms.Bookmark here

A voice suddenly called from beside her. “FLARE!” Check yelled and double-kicked Adamant away from Reyna, who recoiled at the same moment. “Be careful! She’s as fast as a trained martial artist, with a near-perfect guard!”Bookmark here

“It won’t matter if she ends up a pile of slag!” Reyna said. “And I said stay out of this! I can take a few hits!”Bookmark here

Check shook his head. “Not if you’re bleeding out on the ground, idiot. You could’ve lost an arm, there!”Bookmark here

“You don’t know that,” said Reyna. “I was doing just fine without you.”Bookmark here

“I’m not so sure about that,” Check said sharply. “You need me right now!”Bookmark here

“Like hell—Whoa!” She was suddenly shoved to the side and she twisted to see Check dodging strike after strike from Adamant. As she righted herself, Check side-flipped and parried a swipe before crossing down on Adamant’s neck. Adamant grinned in confidence before it crumbled as her perfect guard seemed to shatter, and she screamed. Check used her shock to jump away from her reach and back to Reyna’s side.Bookmark here

“You alright?” asked Check as he huffed. Reyna could only stare at him in shock.Bookmark here

“How did you do that?”Bookmark here

“It’s like you said,” Check said. “Rocks can still melt. They also have their weak points.” Check rolled shoulders and took a stance. “If I get close enough, it’s easy enough to see where her Power might fracture.”Bookmark here

“You’re a lot scarier than I realize,” observed Reyna.Bookmark here

Check laughed weakly. “I wouldn’t be able to get by as number one if I couldn’t take down people who seem stronger than I am.”Bookmark here

They returned their attention to the fight at hand and watched Adamant’s care-free attitude return—but her eyes gleamed with something else. “Heh, haha!” She laughed. “I haven’t been hurt in a long time, you see! You’re very funny, Check! No wonder you’re number one!” She grinned madly and took one more stance. “Now, give me all you’ve got!Bookmark here

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