Chapter 23:

Performance Tryout - Part 1


With their early lunch, or late breakfast, finished for, the two inquisitors and the local cop made their way back home.

They had very little to do for now either way and Karim was very against letting Anna roam around, so the call was standing by for now. The red-haired inquisitor had a different idea as she made her companions follow her to the courtyard instead.

“’Aight, you two. I don’t wanna do that, but we have a stealth mission in our hands and none of ya can do stealth.” Annabeth called out as the three females reached the courtyard of the condominium. “I need to find out what ya both can do, so we can plan this out, gotcha?”

“Wait! You don’t know what your inquisitor friend can do?!” Karim asked while pointing to Col. "Shouldn't she be your knight or something?"

“Well, fightin’ together and fightin’ against are different... I know how well she can fight, but I never saw Col in another situation.”

“I’m just Anna’s frontline because we’re kind of childhood friends and all too...” Col added with a disinterested expression before being cut by Anna.

“She had the hots for mah’ brother, ya see?” Anna pretended to whisper to Karim without ever lowering her voice at all. “We knew each other for a long time due to that.”

“This brat’s not wrong, but she’s not right too…”

Colette seemed bothered by her friend’s words, but she didn’t move to go against her claims. The reason wasn’t just the fact that she wasn’t wrong even, but Karim was unable to infer anything from her tone.

“You have a brother? And Colette is her girlfriend?!”

“I HAD a brother… That’s beyond the point though and I don’t wanna talk about it, ‘kay?”

“Oh, okay… Sorry…” The small girl apologized as she got the message, but the mood of the trio had fallen now. Although, even if she was the one most connected with the subject, Anna was somehow the one less affected by the dark mood.

“Anyway!” The redhead went on, possibly trying to lighten the mood a little. “I need to know ya skills ‘ere. I can stealth, I can snipe and I can probably win a one-on-one no matter what ya put against me.”

“I can vouch for all of those, by the way… Not that I’m happy with it.” Colette added to get some legitimacy to Anna’s words. “She’s abysmal in everything else though. Last time I saw she couldn’t even cook by herself.”

“Hey! I can fry eggs… Sometimes.”

“That seems very abysmal to me…” Karim commented with a hard-to-describe expression on her face. Hard to describe as it was though, there was no hint of distrust in it.

“Abysmal or not, it’s not the point, ‘kay?!" The flustered girl who knew little more than shooting things exclaimed before changing subjects. "Col, get your specialties out!”

“Me? I can punch things, isn’t that enough?”

“I know this much and it helps very little, 'kay? Maybe ya could seduce some retards... Yer veeeery experienced and all, so that may be an option.”

“Hey!” Col protested with an expression of outrage that fell in the next moment. “It’s true, but you shouldn’t go saying like this. And it’s not as if that was all I could do…”

“What more can you do then?”

“I can cook better than you?”

“This much is worth very little too… Ya even made sure to point it out earlier.”

“That’s it then. All saint candidates are one trick ponies anyway, so what can I do?”

The brunette gave shoulders as she answered without a care in the world, which was exactly what Anna feared all along.

“Let’s continue then… What ya have, shorty?” The redhead continued since she didn’t have much more to say. “Say that all ya have is some simple holy magic and we give up on this mission, gotcha? This or I’ll be workin’ alone at least.”

“I can cook properly,” Karim answered without thinking much, which made Col giggle and Anna almost pop a vein.

“I’m gonna pop ya ass, ‘kay?! Drop the damn joke already.”

“It’s not the answer you want, but the more I talk with you, the more I find my first thoughts about you stupid...” Karim added while remembering her first encounter with the inquisitor.

“Can we focus on the subject already? Ya gettin' me tired ‘ere...” Anna was holding her head and close to grabbing her revolver by this point, but she was holding back… For now, at least.

The two other girls noticed this detail though and quietly decided that they should focus on the situation a little. Risking a guns-blazing Anna right now was too much for them.

“You understand I can’t fully answer that, right?” The small blondie started with a more serious tone now. "You both are still foreigners and I'm a public worker here."

“Gimme as much as ya can and I’ll deal with it later. Workin' with no data is worse than riskin' some trouble later.”

“Got it.” Karim nodded in answer as she thought about what she could and couldn’t disclose. “You know I can use holy magic already, right?”

“Pretty much so. But I also say ya using dark magic a couple of times…”

“Oh! Double caster with holy and dark elements? That’s very rare. In fact, I never heard of a, you know, you people being able to do that.” Col noted, failing a little at the middle of her phrasing, but getting her point across well enough.

“I know, a spirit with holy magic is rare, especially a silah like me… I have it though and I can do some moderate magic even. Mostly support, but moderate still.”

“Silah? What is…”

“A witch, the spiritual kind. Created dark, can output the most magic of all spirits, usually have natural hexes, and can be as good seductresses as succubus sometimes... Weak to physical attacks though, so just pelt 'em full of silver and ya good.” Anna dropped some encyclopedia knowledge to her less book-savvy friend but then continued to the main subject. “Anyway, what type of support are we talkin' 'ere?”

“Recovery. Both types. And physical buffs to some degree. I can also purge REAL demons, although I never tried it against the top kinds.”

Purge was the strongest, and easiest, offensive spell of the holy class, but it would only work against creatures that were corrupted to a degree. Anna would argue that whatever spirit, and maybe even non-spirits, were corrupt at some level, but holy magic wouldn’t work that well on most.

Be as it was, chants and prayers were very powerful albeit the hardest kind of magic to use. It is said that at least two demon kings were killed by holy magic alone even.

“Seems like we have a good strike team here, eh? Tank, hunter, and caster with holy magic.” Colette concluded even if she was very far from the main objective. "Should we rampage a little?"

“Ya know we’re investigatin' still, ‘aight? A strike team is pretty much useless for now…” Anna countered with a bothered expression. “Somethin’ more, shorty?”

“Well..." The petite cop started to think for a little before continuing. "I’m, nominally, an assistant investigator and the main negotiator for criminal cases. Is that useful enough for you?”

“When a negotiator punches a foreigner less than half an hour after the first meetin', it gets very hard to trust ya…”

“That was…! That was wrong and I apologize, even if half of it was your own fault.”

“I’ll pretend we have a diplomat then. I’ll also take it that ya gonna supply us with insider information if needed be, ‘aight?” The redhead smirked while hunching a little towards her short companion.

They both stared at each other for a few moments as it was a little of a sensitive question that mattered a little too much for both sides. This time though, Anna and Karim weren’t even as close as hostile as they once were, so their stare contest broke safely.

“If I know it, then you’ll know too. As long as it’s relevant to the situation, of course…”

“Good enough.” Anna nodded in acceptance of the situation and then went to what mattered the most next. “And now, can ya both brawl fer a bit?”

Her weird question made the other two girls freeze in place, but the redhead’s tone was very much serious. So much so that Col was instantly fired up by her words.

It was time to see for sure how combat capable this team was.

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