Chapter 37:

Face Off

Fantasy Life

Dallas wasted no time diving back under the water with Jun and Asa in tow. Once Kaguya and the others were back on dry ground she ordered, "After them!"

Once in the clear, Dallas leaped out of the river and ran Jun and Asa back towards the base. Hada and Jiba were in hot pursuit of them, his teammates close behind. To lure them away from Dallas, Matsume ran out and nicked the Cerberus in one of its three faces. A yelp was heard and Koto shouted, "Hey you can't do that to Lucky! Get back here!"

In the woods, Rei shouted, "Yoo-hoo!" Hibiki turned and saw her fire a round of paint from her gun. Hibiki's werewolf snatched him away before pursuing Rei into the forest. Kaguya looked around and saw Koto and Hibiki running off on their own but before she could say anything, a bang sounded and Kaguya stopped in her tracks before getting hit with bright yellow paint from Kaida.

"Oh, you're asking for it girl," Kaguya spat as she chased Kaida. "Tatum! Fly above and follow the kelpie back to their base!" At her command, the typhon spread his wings and took to the sky in search of Dallas.

Kaida stood in shock as she watched the giant creature fly overhead. She gathered her thoughts and began sprinting in the direction of the hill, being careful to stay as far away from Kaguya as possible without losing her. She had to stick to the plan.

Back on Dallas, Jun told Asa to go meet up with Rei. Using her cloth, she swung up to the trees and away from the river. Jun commanded Dallas to stop and stay near the river. Doing as told, Dallas came to a halt and backed up so his hind legs were in the river. As Hibiki and the werewolf were catching up, Yun pulled out his gun and prepared to shoot when he heard a shout from Hibiki.

"Jump now!" Hibiki grabbed his partner's back and his werewolf leaped into the air. Jun held his gun up to shoot but decided against the idea for there was a good chance that he would hit the werewolf. "Ha! Got you now!" Hibiki fired his gun at Jun. Before the paint pellets reached, Dallas cried out and a wave encircled the two, slowing the paint's projection.

When the werewolf landed in front of Dallas, Jun took stood and leapt over the creature's head. With his gun, he aimed it at Hibiki's back, knocking him off his creature's back. Hibiki hit the ground face first as Jun fell onto his back, knocking his breath out. Hibiki stood up, feeling the paint on his back. He walked over and held out a hand for Jun once he caught his breath. "You did good kid. I lost fair and square."

Kei continued through the woods, following Matsume as she led Hada and Jiba to one of Yun's traps. As they were running, Koto tripped a wire causing a net of vines to come up from under her feet. "Wha- What is this? Get me down, Lucky!" The Cerberus turned at the sound of her name and used a tree to bounce up to bite the vines.

"I don't think so!" Kei exclaimed as she prepared her gun. "I may not be good at sports but I won't let my team down. Go Matsume! Show them what we're working on!" Matsume let out a howl as her tail flashed a bright orange color. All nine tails burst into flames, which she used as a whip to knock Lucky back to the ground.

"No! Lucky!" Koto shouted. "I won't let you get away with hurting him like that!"

"Sorry, but this is where your journey ends." Kei fired the gun, hitting Koto with a neon green ball of paint in the chest.

Not far away, Rei continued to lead Hada and Jiba deeper into the forest. Ultimately, Hada had enough of cat and mouse and sent Jiba to cut Rei off. Jiba ran ahead and stopped just in front of Rei, causing her to bump into him. "Oh no!" Rei turned to see Hada aiming his gun at her.

"You're fast girl, but this is where you stop running."

Rei clenched her teeth, waiting for the painful feeling of the paint hitting her chest at close range. As Haba began to pull the trigger, he was stopped by a white cloth wrapped around his arm. With a firm tug, Asa pulled Haba's arm so the gun was pointed away from Rei. "Asa! You saved me!"

"Isn't the mummy supposed to be with that boy?" Haba asked, struggling to break free.

"Sorry to disappoint, but she's my mythical creature." Rei used this chance to ready her gun. But before she was ready to fire, Jiba lashed at the cloth, severing it from Haba's arm.

Recovering quickly, Haba aimed his gun at Rei and she mirrored him. Simultaneously, they both pulled the trigger, and both expected to get pushed back. Only Haba stumbled back as a bright blue splash of paint hit his stomach. In front of Rei, there were sheets of white cloth that acted as a shield against Hada's paint. Rei looked up and saw Asa in the tree above her, realizing she had put up a barrier last minute.

Asa came down from the tree to collect her cloth. Rei ran up and hugged her creature. "Asa you're the best!"

Haba scoffed. "Hm, you know Miss Nobuko will never accept this. She will hunt you and your friends down and avenge me."

"Ha! My best friend will see to her."

Kaida ran through the forest trying to remember where the trap was supposed to be. She noticed a light glistening off of the trip wire and jumped over it. Kaguya tripped the wire and a bamboo whip came out in front of her. Kaguya used her momentum to slide under the bamboo and continued after Kaida, who had stopped to prepare to shoot.

"What? The trap didn't work?" Kaida said fretfully.

"Silly girl," Kaguya laughed. "I'm too cunning to be taken down by something as simple as that. It was a good try though." Kaguya pulled her gun out and shot at Kaida, who barely escaped. "You're fast!"

Kaida said nothing and continued running to home base. Maybe, just maybe, she could meet up with the others, and Yami, at the hill.