Chapter 193:

A Turn in the Fight

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Fiona and Evron stared at each other for a moment, her in the driver's seat and Evron steps away from the Ali’s hood. A little further back Odell wiped some sweat from under his broken crown.

In a flash, the blue princess teleported out of the vehakul and next to the injured prince.

“Odell! What happened?” she shouted. Odell stared at the dinged and scratched Ali for a moment. He closed his eyes while turning away and answered Fiona after a deep breath.

“Tough opponent; he teleports people away by touching them.”

“It’s one thing after another; it wasn’t supposed to be this annoying; they weren’t supposed to make it this far…” the bleached blue Zenotoe muttered under his breath. Even if Fiona and Odell wanted to respond, they could not make out enough of what he said.

As he ground his teeth back and forth, Evron charged at Fiona. She locked onto him as he tapped her. In a flash, the blue princess was gone.

“Fiona!” Odell cried out. Liv held a hand to her mouth in shock as she stepped out of the van with her gun ready. Felix shook his head from inside.

Evron laughed, turned to Odell, and stretched out his clawed hand to finish the job. There was no way for him to be prepared for a kick in the back of his scaly head as Fiona reappeared—her purple eyes fierce as she glared at her new opponent. In a flash of red light, Odell was moved across the room, far away from anyone else. Evron turned around and gnashed his teeth while pressing a hand to the sore spot on his head. He quickly zapped the blue princess away again, but she reappeared in a blue flash to kick him in the shin.

As he tried to touch Fiona again, she zapped behind him and kicked him in the back. Evron stumbled forward and rubbed where she had landed a blow. He let out a cry of laughter.

“A teleporter! Well, that is lovely.”

Fiona reappeared behind Evron, but he disappeared as she tried for another blow. She began to look around for him, but he reappeared and tapped her shoulder before she realized. The blue princess vanished again but returned in a flash of light the next moment.

Fiona quickly zapped to Odell’s side before Evron could react; he glared at her as he ground his teeth. Liv tried to fire a laser shot at him, but the bleached blue Zenotote leaned to one side to avoid it as he walked in the blue princess's direction.

“Odell, what’s the deal with him? He keeps teleporting me all over the place! You wouldn’t believe where that last one was too!” she said.

“I think when he teleports people quickly, it is to a random location. He is probably hoping he’ll get lucky if he keeps sending you away, be careful.”

“It’s a little weird to hear you be so cautious.”

“He also seems to have a tendency to lose it… I don’t know, but he will almost become another person if you get him angry enough.”

“Oh! I’m pretty good at that!”

Fiona flashed away from Odell without another word. The Hobusian prince leaned on his hammer and sighed. He felt the jagged edge of his broken crown; it would have to be filed, which would reflect poorly on his family. Hobusian practice was to never file one’s crown, as it was a sign of loss and defeat. The grey prince reached a decision after a few moments of thought. When he returned home, he would ask his father to put him in more training. The thought bothered him, but he didn’t like the idea of losing again.

With his decision made and the battle entrusted to Fiona. Odell’s exhaustion coaxed his eyes shut, they grew heavy, and he slumped to the floor. Within seconds, he was falling over, out cold. His Needaimus, Cal, popped off his arm and attempted to break the prince's fall to his head smacking the floor. His body made a thump, and the hammer made a clang as both hit the lobby floor. Only Rym noticed Odell passing out, and she quickly left Lucchi’s side to ensure he was okay.

Fiona and Evron began a wild dance as they traded blows. The blue princess would constantly disappear and reappear, sometimes by her ability and sometimes by her opponents. She would sometimes get in blows, and Evron, after a while, started to mix strikes in with his teleporting touch. What was clear to Liv and Felix as they got out of the Ali was that the fight was not something they could readily jump into.

A similar conclusion was reached by Thorir, who had run in to join the fight. He shook his head. To the yellow-haired Netzian, it was clear that Evron would come out on top. Fiona had a momentary upper hand due to the slippery nature of her ability, but she did not have the wealth of fighting experience that the bleached Zenotote had to simply trade blows.

Instead, Thorir turned to the duo of Nun agents. He made a sound that was somewhere between a sigh and a whimper.

“Weaklings… are there no strong fighters anywhere?” he muttered.

Liv aimed her gun at the bulky Netzian and fired several shots. He dodged with a lazy sidestep. Felix stepped forward and pointed his knife.

“Careful, he seems dangerous,” the Hobusian agent warned.

“You say that about many people, but you might be right this time.”

“If you two back down, I won’t have to smash your heads in. It’s not a bad deal,” Thorir offered. He had no interest in wasting time-fighting the two.

As he slowly began to walk toward his opponents, Liv fired another shot. It burned a black mark onto Thorir’s arm, but he showed no reaction to indicate pain. Felix charged forward and swiped at Thorir’s stomach. The bulky Netzian was almost twice the height of the Hobusian agent, and as he looked down at his opponent, his eyes were filled with sadness. It was a solemn look as if Thorir had to kill a tiny, helpless animal instead of a trained agent.

Without hesitation, he drove Felix to the ground with a single downward punch. No electrification, only his brute strength, was required for the foe. The Hobusian agent’s crown was shattered as he was flattened to the floor; he was easily rendered unconscious. Tears flew from Liv’s eyes as she madly fired three shots at Thorir, but none fazed the bulky Netzian.

Fiona zapped away from her fight into the air above to look at the whole scene. She had watched Felix get taken down, and it was clear she needed an idea if she hoped to win. Liv disappeared in a flash of light and reappeared next to Odell. Both the Netzian agent and Rym jumped in shock from the sudden movement. Seconds later, Thorir’s fist shattered the floor where Liv had just stood. Fiona appeared by Odell as well.

“Hey, Odell!” she cried out, but the prince was too beaten to wake up. Fiona turned to Rym. She thought about asking the blue-pink Zenotote for help but decided against it at the last minute— the detective assistant’s eyes quivered as she held back tears. The Aqueenian princess turned and stared at Evron across the room. He spat as Thorir approached him, and Sabia shakily walked through the entrance.

“You need help squashing that bug?” the bulky Netzian asked.

“No,” Evron snapped, “but apparently, you did on the way here.”

Thorir frowned but kept his mouth shut. Sabia rolled her eyes and joined the other two.

“While you chit-chat, they can come up with a plan,” she sighed while pushing down the feeling of her racing heart and shaky legs. Jumping off that vehakul took at least three years of my life, she added in thought while glaring at the oblivious Thorir.

“There is nothing for them to do, just watch from the sidelines like good….” Evron stopped his sentence short and closed his eyes for a moment. After a few deep breaths, he turned with a grunt to Fiona. “Apologies, I am letting my anger run out to my allies when it should be focused on that biaskylo.” His teeth crunched from grinding as he spoke.

Sabia rolled her eyes and headed over to lean on the wall. Thorir stood a moment before grunting and joining the green Aqueenian.

Fiona let out a sigh of relief. She, for the moment, only needed to focus on Evron, but she could tell she wouldn’t get anywhere by simply trading blows. Running would have been the most straightforward plan, but Fiona wasn’t sure she could get everyone away quickly enough. She had to fight to protect them.

At that moment, she took proper notice of the hammer Odell had been using. She had been so focused on his injuries and the fight at hand that the large chunk of metal evaded her attention, and she wondered how she possibly missed it. Her first thought was to pick it up and try it, but considering how heavy it looked, she knew that wouldn’t happen.

Then another idea came to the blue princess. She pondered it but quickly decided it was best not to hesitate. If Evron was paying attention to the Ali, he would have noticed a flash of blue light there as Fiona disappeared similarly.

She reappeared near the ceiling, and at the same time, the large Gatling gun appeared next to her. As she fell, the crank of the weapon creaked as it spun. Several laser shots were fired, but Fiona had to disappear and reappear at the top again before getting to close to the ground. She trained the gun at Evron as she hastily spun as fast as possible. He could do nothing as a burst of laser shots bellowed out of the gun and ripped through his torso.

The attack only lasted a second, long enough fro Fiona to get multiple shots in before she had to teleport again or hit the ground. She zapped back by Odell, and the gun boomed as it landed on the floor next to her.

Evron had at least ten holes in his chest, but no green ooze of Zenotote blood came from them. Instead, sparks burst out. He stumbled back and held his hand over the center of his chest. A cough brought up oily phlegm. His eyes were like knifes stabbing Fiona, but his legs were too shaky to charge in a blind rage. With no outlet for his fury, he began to violently claw at his arms—tearing scales off in the process.

A laugh caught the attention of the room. Nero rested on his scythe next to the lobby's staircase like he was about to fall over.

“Oh, how the great Evron falls!” he chuckled before tossing the unconscious Hal to the side. Fiona’s purple eyes grew wide at the sight of the armless Netzian; Rym held her clawed hands above her mouth. Across the room, Sabia closed her eyes and looked away from the injured boy.

No one had much time to contemplate. Fiona zapped in front of Nero; her purple eyes were almost ablaze with fury, but she was swatted away like a fly. She bounced across the floor several times before crashing into the outer wall.

“Hold on, Hal,” she whispered as she slowly began to stand back up.

“Just great,” the masked man muttered. “The two I was warned not to kill are making it very hard.” He spun his scythe so that is formed back into the shape of a violin and began to play a sad, slow song while walking to Evron.

“Nero,” the bleached Zenotote coughed as sparks flew from his chest. His breath was heavy as he came out of his enraged state, but the bleached blue Zenotote’s body felt weaker. He involuntarily fell to one knee as Nero came close. Even accidentally, making it seem like he had bowed to the masked man, made Evron’s stomach turn.

“It’s nice to see our leader losing to… let’s see… some kids, some useless agents, and oh, is that a private detective agency over there?” Nero spoke with a sneer. “Now, while I would love to kill this whole crowd, and you do know how I enjoy that, I am a realist, and as such, I know once your backup battery shuts down, we won’t be able to teleport.”

“What are you getting at?” Evron shot back as he shakily pushed himself up to his feet.

Nero sighed. He looked to Thorir and Sabia and shook his head while throwing his hands up.

“R-e-t-r-e-a-t. You ought to make the command while you are still conscience. We are wasting enough time here already. Have you forgotten the reasons we were in Nun in the first place? Why I heard several reports of our safehouses being raided but not even one word of the mayor’s death yet!”

Evron silently tapped Nero’s shoulder.

“You have fifteen minutes to play; burn some of that energy off before we get back to the commander.”

Nero made a broad smile under his cracked mask.

“I take back what I said! You might be an okay guy!” his violin unfolded back into a scythe as he turned to his new opponents.

Evron stumbled across the room and tapped Thorir next, then Sabia, before finishing on himself. They all disappeared in the order tapped. Thorir sighed and had a whisper of ‘no good fights’ before getting cut off. Sabia did her best to look at the ground but couldn’t help but move her eyes to look at the injured Hal before vanishing. Evron pulled out his sparking chest, revealing a large oval hole in the center. He tossed the sparking contraption to the side and coughed.

“Probably has three minutes,” the bleached blue Zenotote said before vanishing.

Nero turned to the remaining opponents. Liv and Rym backed up at the sight of his fearsome smile, or what of it that they could see. Fiona pressed a hand against a wall and used it as support while breathing heavily. The others remained unconscious, blissfully unaware of all that had gone on.