Chapter 159:

Final Moments in the Fountain Fight

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

In the fountain square, Ripple and Kako’s characters faced off in a fierce battle. The orange Zenotote continued to throw blades at the writer’s Needaimus, but every attack was deflected by a team of the elf, Mina, and an Aqueenian archer from another of Kako’s fantasy stories.

Ripple gritted his sharp teeth as he glared at the two archers. He had assumed he could ignore her summoned aid as they would disappear once he felled the Needaimus, but that was proving difficult. The Zenotote found that Kako was very familiar with who she needed to summon in the situation as each character was skilled in archery to a fantastical degree.

Ripple flicked his own Needaimus-covered tail several times until he realized and reoriented his body language.

Two new swords appeared in his hands, and he smirked.

“I say, for a supposed writer, you know your way around a fight,” Ripple said as he carefully eyed Kako’s movements. Nothing she did betrayed her thoughts.

“All writers know their way around a fight!” she replied gleefully.

Ripple shook his head.

“I highly doubt that.”

“Take it as you will,” Kako said with a shrug.

Ripple had his eyes carefully trained on her to look for an opening. The two archer characters aimed drawn bows at the Zenotote. Kako, on the other hand, looked up at the nearby building where Rheba had been thrown off.

Thorir jumped from the top of the building, which was at least five stories tall, and cracked the ground as he crashed into it. The Netzian slid some of his voltage yellow hair under his hands as it was the only thing disrupted by the fall. He fiddled with it a moment while the fighting opponents tried not to become so distracted to create an opening for attack.

“Ripple!” Thorir finally shouted once his hair was fixed, “You lied to me about Bentulousian warriors! She was hardly a fierce fighting force!”

“She was a low ranking one at best, and it looks like you still had some struggles. I doubt you would fair well against a Goliath, and I don’t remember filling you with the hope of her giving you a good battle,” Ripple spat with no attempt to hide his annoyance.

Thorir crossed his arms.

“So, you think one of their Goliath’s would best me,” he chuckled, “Fantastic! Let’s kill this sorry person and go find one!”

“I’ll agree with you on killing this pesky interferer.”

Kako frowned. She was hoping to avoid bringing too much attention to their fight. As it dragged on, citizens of Nun began to crowd around the periphery of the fountain with a greater love for entertainment than their own personal safety. As the crowd recorded the show on video, the writer was concerned about her magical prowess becoming widely known.

Before Thorir or Ripple made another move, a loud crash echoed from the building Gwyn had gone into.

“Ha, sounds like Nighthawk is having fun!” Thorir laughed. Ripple rolled his eyes but couldn’t hide a smirk as he thought of the Nonpareil being vanquished.

The opponents did not know what was happening in the building, but Kako knew magic to keep tabs on someone she touched. She had placed the spell on Gwyn and trembled as she thought of how much pain he had to endure.

“This isn’t the right direction,” she muttered under her breath. Her opponents couldn’t hear what she said and didn’t care. Both Kako’s archer characters shivered.

Thorir charged at Kako with sparks dancing around his fists. The archers let their arrows loose, but Ripple quickly intercepted and sliced them out of the air.

“No hard feelings!” Thorir shouted as he got close to Kako, his fist flew out to her, but it didn’t connect. She quickly sidestepped the attack.

Before Thorir could turn around, purple energy burst from the ground and wrapped around him like ropes. He moved like he was being pulled down but resisted hitting the ground by brute strength alone.

“I’m sorry, but I think we should end this quickly,” Kako said with malice in her voice.

“The spell of binding!” Thorir grunted, “You’re pretty skilled. It’ll be fun to take you down!” he finished as he used every ounce of his strength to keep from having his face hit the tiles that made up the ground.

Kako ignored his comments and turned to the building where Gwyn had been bested. Nighthawk held the Nonpareil’s ankle in one hand and Rheba’s in another. The giant Needaimus drug their unconscious and injured bodies behind him as it left the building.

“Oh no!” Mina shouted as she turned to see the defeated duo. She was distracted only for a moment, but it was long enough for Ripple to close the gap between himself and her. He quickly slashed the elf in half, and her body disappeared. The Aqueenian archer couldn’t run away in time as the orange Zenotote made a quick follow-up attack.

“Stupid character flaws,” Kako muttered as she took in the whole situation. Nighthawk let go of the defeated foes and walked across the fountain square, Ripple turned to her with a wicked grin, and Thorir was beginning to snap some of the magical bindings with his raw strength. “I suppose you did well; I guess I will have to use 10% of my power!” Kako yelled out to the trio of opponents with a smirk. She had always wanted to say something along those lines.

With a wave of her hand, a group of five warriors leaped from behind the crowd to her side. Some might have seen the warriors appear out of thin air, but Kako didn’t have time to be concerned. The trio of opponents squinted at the odd clothes as they landed next to her.

The team each wore matching full-body outfits with helmets that covered their faces. Each outfit was a different color, and they made grandiose poses.

Some in the crowd cheered as they recognized the characters from a show called the Netzian Five, which had been popular in the past.

“Foul villains, your end has come!” the masked man in red shouted.

Ripple shook his head. He quickly ran to Thorir and cut the spell bindings. Thorir stood tall and shouted with triumph. Kako frowned; swords normally shouldn’t cut a spell like that, but she guessed Needaimus-created ones didn’t have the same rules.

The opponents collected together and faced the five heroes.

“She has a pesky ability with that Needaimus,” Ripple informed the other two.

“So, we just take that out first, then her, and then we fight some stronger opponents!” Thorir said as he punched a fist into his palm.

“Focus on the opponent at hand,” Nighthawk grunted.

“I’m sorry to tell you three,” Kako said with a shake of her head, “but his story continuing is more important than your own. You will be felled here if you don’t retreat. We won’t hold anything back.”

“My lady,” the warrior dressed in blue said, “you don’t mean for us to….”

“Don’t hold anything back!”

The team didn’t ask again; they quickly moved their wrists in a flashy manner and pressed a button. In a flash, they disappeared, and five flying machines appeared in the sky. Before any reactions could be made, the machines combined into a larger machine with a humanoid form that began to hover above the fountain square. Kako gritted her teeth; she didn’t want to show off such a large and attention-grabbing display but rescuing the unconscious Gwyn was more important to her.

Thorir laughed.

“Ha, I’ve never bested a metal colossus!”

Ripple put his clawed hand on the Netzian’s shoulder.

“We’re falling back. We already incapacitated who we wanted. She’s annoying, but we can’t afford to waste time trying to defeat… that thing.”

“But…” Thorir protested.

Nighthawk reached out and put his metal hand on the Netzian’s other shoulder. Thorir grunted but obliged. They quickly fled the fountain square.

Kako let out a sigh of relief. Other than a massive threat, she wasn’t sure how effective the giant machine would be in such a small space. The combined robot saluted her and flew into the sky, where it dissolved away out of the crowd's view. Kako sighed at how much magical power she wasted for what became just a show. The crowd cheered and began to dissipate, believing the whole thing was an act, as the writer ran to the injured two.

“Guess you two need a hospital,” she muttered as she saw how badly they were; Gwyn, in particular, was breathing unsteadily.