Chapter 27:

The Hero Versus Adamant

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

Hoshi knew Reyna was oblivious, but the situation was a lot more dangerous than it seemed. Adamant had perfect control over her Power, and knew exactly how to weaponize it. Just at a glance, Hoshi could tell it was a mostly defensive Power, but she knew how to use it offensively, and that was what made her dangerous.Bookmark here

Multiple times now, Hoshi had seen near-futures where Reyna had been severely injured, or he had been hit and taken out of commission. Each time, he had done his best to intervene and had succeeded, but it was only a matter of time. He was starting to get tired, and his intermittent use of his Power was beginning to take its toll. His limit of constant use was five minutes, but when he only used it for seconds at a time, he could stretch that to fifteen. Even then, he knew it was impossible to dodge every swipe, and he was growing tired by the minute.Bookmark here

And now, Adamant was…surprised at being hurt? Hoshi was a little confused, but Flare seemed to take it in stride. “You like that, huh?” Flare glared. “I bet you’ll like this too!” She propelled herself forward and boosted her punch as flames burst from her elbow. I quickly followed through and timed a kick to intercept a swipe that would have cut through Flare’s side.Bookmark here

“Don’t get too close!” Hoshi yelled, and let himself move with his Power. Hoshi let it guide him and he swayed from side to side as strike after strike barely missed. “You’re good!” Adamant said happily. “I’m glad I get to fight you, you see!”Bookmark here

“The pleasure is certainly all yours!” Hoshi exclaimed before palm-striking her right in the chest and causing an audible crack. Adamant gasped, and then was engulfed in a torrent of blazing blue fire. As if the heat were finally getting to her, Adamant screamed even more, and when Flare’s torrent stopped, Hoshi saw Adamant fall to her knees with a hand on her chest.Bookmark here

“That…I actually felt that heat, you see,” whispered Adamant. She whined as she struggled back to her feet and huffed. “It actually…” I watched as she gulped and shook her head. “I won’t let you get past me!” She smiled again, but this time, I can tell something has changed. She isn’t enjoying it anymore. What appears to be something akin to fear now dances as shadows behind her confident grin. She brings her arms up in a cross and her aura changes into one of desperation.Bookmark here

Suddenly, a spear of pain stabs through his skull and Hoshi saw hundreds of different versions of Adamant screaming and attacking out in defiance, trying to fight back with no restraint anymore. As dangerous as any animal backed into a corner, Hoshi realized what was happening, and saw Flare’s foreshadow bursting forward only to get mauled by Adamant, and both toppling to the ground below.Bookmark here

“Flare! Stop!” Hoshi immediately threw his hand and sighed with relief as Flare stuttered and turned to glare at him.Bookmark here

“Hello? We’re in the middle of a battle here?!”Bookmark here

“Not right now!” Hoshi yelled sharply, which seemed to surprise Flare enough for her flames to die down a little. Hoshi then turned to the gasping Adamant, who seemed to be protecting the bright red burn on her chest.Bookmark here

“O-Oh?” Adamant said weakly. “Are you ready to surrender? You’re the first people to ever make me feel something, you see. N-no one else has come close to injuring me.” Her resulting grin was more a grimace than anything. “I w-wonder why you two succeeded.”Bookmark here

“You’ll be in a greater world of hurt after this,” Flare growled.Bookmark here

“Flare! Shut up!” Hoshi hissed. He returned his gaze to Adamant. “Hey. Please. We don’t want to hurt you anymore. You told us you were just hired. You can step away from this. We’re just trying to learn some more—“Bookmark here

“No!” Adamant yelled. “I-I refuse! I’ve never failed before, you see. I won’t do it now! Not after—“ Adamant bit her lip as if to stop herself from talking. She then shook her head and trembled. “I don’t care if you can get past my Power. You won’t take this away from me!”Bookmark here

“Then we’ll make it look like we beat you,” Hoshi said resolutely.Bookmark here

Hoshi could hear Flare shouting at him for being a hypocrite, but his only focus was on Adamant as he burst forward and rushed her. Again, his eyes burst with possibility upon possibility as Adamant began to move, before one set of possibility fracture from the rest and solidified. He then followed his own foreshadow and saw it fracture into as many lines as Adamant’s and he growled as he forced the future he wanted to see. His Power responded, and the future became real. His perception picked back up and he found himself ducking underneath Adamant’s clawed punch, and struck Adamant’s jaw with all of his weight. He then stepped behind Adamant and let her trip before flipping her over, kneeling on her arms, and pushing down on her head.Bookmark here

“NO!” Adamant yelled. “Get off me! Get off me! I need to beat you! I need to protect them! I told them I would do it, you see! I can’t fail again!”Bookmark here

“Stay down!” Hoshi cried. “Stop struggling! You’ll only make this worse for yourself!”Bookmark here

“NO!” Adamant screamed. “NO! Help! Someone, please—!”Bookmark here

Hoshi felt his world tip as he was shoved off of Adamant and watched Reyna punch Adamant in the head. Hard. That seemed to daze Adamant enough for Reyna to slam her hand next to Adamant’s face and it ignited. After a moment, Hoshi watched Adamant begin to gasp for air before passing out.Bookmark here

“H-hey,” Hoshi said worriedly. He recovered and returned to Adamant’s side, checking her. “What did you do?”Bookmark here

Flare had been frowning, but that frown deepened as she walked to the edge of the rooftop. “I burned the oxygen next to her away, and she passed out. She should be breathing just fine now.”Bookmark here

“What—“Bookmark here

“And don’t do that to a girl!” Flare snarled. “You saw how desperate she was pinned down! No girl wants to feel so helpless, idiot!”Bookmark here

Hoshi recoiled, stunned. “W-whoa, sorry.”Bookmark here

“Tch.” Flare clicked her tongue and scoffed before she finally returned her attention to the warehouses below. “Well. Our fight definitely attracted some attention. They’re already rushing their way up here, and that superior guy is standing there watching me.” Hoshi couldn’t see her face, but he could tell she was somehow even angrier than she was before fighting Adamant.Bookmark here

“Flare…?”Bookmark here

Hoshi froze at the calm expression and cold fire that burned in Flare’s eyes. “I’m going to show them what it means to really piss me off.Bookmark here

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