Chapter 88:

Fiona on the Second Floor

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Fiona ran down a hallway with Flora hot on her heels. The calico Bentulousian warrior could close the gap between them, but the light sapphire blue princess would continue to zap out of arms reach before she was grabbed. They continued the game of cat and mouse until Fiona finally exited the hallway into the central stairwell.

Sounds of battle echoed from the higher floor as Fiona zapped onto the stairs and began to run up them. Flora leaped into the air and reached through the railing in an attempt to grab the princess. Her furry hand came short, and Fiona continued to run up. Flora gritted her teeth and flipped over the railing in a manner similar to a gymnast.

She’s really persistent. Sun echoed in Fiona’s mind.

“You're telling me,” Fiona replied. She sprinted to the second floor. As she came close, she could see Harlan’s yellow-green form tightly holding to Icarus. The two flew up in the air, in a corkscrew manner, and crashed through a domed glass section.

On the second floor. A battle between the miners and bandits was in full swing. The bandit's numbers were small, and the miners were full of passion. They slowly were advancing on the floor and pushing the bandits back. Fiona shook off her curiosity about Harlan’s fight and continued onto the second floor. She ran behind her miner allies as Flora charged from the stairwell after her. Some of the Aqueenian miners that saw Fiona leading Flora away cheered for their princess, and they began to push on the bandits harder.

Bentulousian fur-covered any bulging veins but had it not, Flora’s face would have been a sight to see. The miner assault was close to taking the reserve troops on the second floor, and the pesky Aqueenian princess had just motivated the troops further. The calico warrior had considered stopping to dispatch the weaker miners, but she shook off the thoughts as the princess was the higher priority. She planned to catch Fiona and use her as an example to demotivate the troops.

Fiona ran away from the battle as Flora pursued. They weaved through a network of hallways that each led to large, open conference rooms. The second floor was primarily made for meetings and conventions to be booked.

Fiona ducked into one of the conference rooms and quickly spun around to face the door. The room had three curved double door entrances along the wall and some round windows opposite to that. If it were used for a meeting, tables and chairs would have been set up. Instead, they were neatly folded and stacked off to the side wall.

Flora came in and let out a deep breath.

“Are you done running?” she asked Fiona.

Fiona didn’t answer but disappeared in a flash of blue light. She reappeared in a similarly colored flash in the air by Flora’s head. The calico warrior didn’t have a chance to duck as the princess swiped a leg into the back of her head. The blow was weak, but the location was optimal, and Flora grunted and took a step forward from the impact.

The calico Bentulousian quickly kept her balance by sliding her feet along the floor. She reached back and grabbed Fiona’s leg before the princess could retreat. With a swift movement, Flora would be able to swing the princess’s body like it was a club and throw her anywhere in the room.

Fiona was about to zap away when Flora let go and stepped away. The princess gracefully landed on the floor and took a couple of steps back. Fiona’s large purple eyes were narrow as she watched her opponent closely.

“I bet you’re wondering why I gave up an easy attack,” Flora said with a sly smile.

“Maybe, but I won’t look a gift nagtora in the mouth. Especially if it was from an opponent’s mistake,” Fiona replied as she began to circle the Bentulousian opponent slowly.

Flora made a wicked smile.

“It was intentional little princess. Now you are in my debt; why don’t you stand still a moment to repay.”

Fiona suddenly froze, and her eyes grew very wide. She shuddered, but she was unable to move from her spot. Flora didn’t waste any time as she charged across the floor at the princess, her form lowered, and her arm came back as she readied to strike.

Fiona tried to teleport away, but she could only make a flash of light without disappearing. Moments later, Flora’s fist made a heavy blow into Fiona’s stomach. The princess was thrown across the room and smashed, through the stacked-up tables and chairs, into the wall behind her.

Fiona held her stomach and let out a gasp as she tried to keep conscience.

Flora stood up straight and laughed.

“You really have no experience, it seems. You have no caution in revealing your own ability and no concern for finding out my own. That is why you lost here today.” Flora began to walk to Fiona slowly. The light blue princess's face appeared even bluer as she struggled to steady her breath from the stomach blow. She began to feel dizzy and shook her head as if to shake the feeling away.

Fiona looked around her area at all the tables and chairs. She tried to move them the same way she had accidentally moved Adan earlier, but her ability did not react.

“Lady Fiona!” A trio of familiar voices rang out in unison. Flora sighed as she turned to see the Princess Fiona Fan Club charge in through the door. They gripped their pickaxes tightly at the sight of their knocked-down princess.

“What now?” Flora muttered as the trio charged to her. She spun in a circle, whipping each of the three fan club members in the face with her tail. They fell to the floor instantly.

“I’m sorry, Lady Fiona, we failed you!” one shouted.

Fiona shook her head and pushed herself up. She took a deep breath before returning to a normal rhythm.

“That was enough to give me time to recover,” she lied.

“Lady Fiona!” the trio shouted from the floor with tears in their eyes. Fiona charged at Flora. The Bentulousian warrior sighed.

“You don’t know when to stop,” she muttered as she grabbed Fiona’s arm mid-punch.

“Uh,” Fiona managed to say before she was thrown through one of the glass windows.

The princess began to plummet down the building’s side to a series of spikes set up on the ground. She zapped back up in the room and appeared behind Flora.

Fiona put her fists up as she stood between the calico warrior and the Princess Fiona Fan Club.

“Little princess, you wish to die here today, don’t you?” Flora asked as her face twisted with enough rage to show through the fur.

The blue princess gulped as she clenched her fists tighter and stared at the giant before her.