Chapter 114:

Running The Ropes

A Terrible Evil Villain And Their Destiny

“Aaaahhh!” Kristel screamed out in fear as the ground around her exploded. She desperately ran from rock mound to rock mound, desperately trying get cover to no avail as she had a death grip on her sword. Every time she thought that she had a moment to rest a massive explosion that narrowly avoided ending her life told her otherwise.

I have to keep moving. She thought desperately. I need to keep moving. I have to stop the attacks. I need to stop them. I need to stop her. Kristel suddenly turned to look backwards, squinting her eyes from the rays of the sun.

But through squinted eyes Kristel saw her attacker with the sun shining off their back, Florence Marsh. Even with her vision impaired she saw those cold emotionless red scarlet eyes of Florence as she raised her firearm and fired.

“Aaahhh!” She cried out as she dropped to the ground. She felt the wind and heat from the blast as it soared over her.

She wasn’t given another moment to think however as Florence came flying in ready to stomp her into a puddle. Kristel needed to move. She needed to get up and run. But it was too late.

A massive crater appeared where Florence landed. Just a step away from a curled-up and quivering Kristel, Florence stood tall. Simply standing there she wordlessly and emotionlessly raised her weapon at her.

“Fight over!” Nico yelled out from inside of a bunker.

Exiting out of the heavily secured bunker was Nico and Bryson, who made their way over to the two. Florence in one swift motion holstered her firearm while Kristel tried her best to not cry.

“That sure was something. I really thought you were going to kill the girl.” Bryson said as he walked over to Kristel and knelt down next to her.

“I was being very controlled in our sparring.” Florence assured him.

“Could’ve fooled me.” Bryson said

“Hey don’t pass out on me.” Bryson said gently putting a hand on her back. Kristel looked up recognizing Bryson and gave him a small nod as she tried to get her breathing back in control.

“Stopped crying yet?” Bryson asked after giving her a moment to collect herself, “Get up then.” Bryson said pulling her up.

“S-sorry.” She said quietly.

“Make up for it by getting better.” Bryson said as he noticed her hair had become quite dishevelled and caked with dust after this dust-up between the two. He gently patted the top of her head and cast a simple cleaning spell that caused all the dust to fall out of her hair and smooth out.

“Hmm.” Bryson said admiring how he had improved on his spell and now it took far less effort to cast it. Then turning back to Florence he said, “Seriously though, it’s like you’re upset at her with something. Has she done anything to you that I’m not aware of?”

Florence simply stared at Bryson and the slightly blushing Kristel for a second before speaking, “No.”

“Alright then.” Bryson said before looking at Nico, “Reese, tell Kristel what she did wrong. Marsh with me.”


“While Kristel just ran around a bit, you actually used a bit of mana ruining the place. We’re going to the bunker to get you a mana potion.” Bryson said as he began to head back to the bunker.

Florence blinked in surprise, “I’m fine.” She said.

“Come with me, or do I have to drag you over by the hand?” Bryson said looking back at her.

Florence remained silent for a moment before moving up to a couple of steps behind Bryson, “… No.” She said slowly as they walked.

Nico took this opportunity to lecture Kristel, “Okay, first what you did right.” He began gently, “You managed to avoid several of Miss Florence’s attack. That is a good thing. You have shown that you’ve adapted to your power quickly.”

Kristel nodded her head but was already expecting what was coming next.

“Now, the bad part.” Nico said. Kristel winced a little, even prepared for the bad news it didn’t sting any less.

“You ran. You have a sword, she has a gun. You need to get close to her.” Nico said pointedly.

“I know.” Kristel said recalling the sparing session, the moment it commenced Kristel proceeded to run the opposite direction. She had completely forgotten her training at that moment.

“She was horrifying.” Was all she could say to excuse herself.

“You… aren’t wrong.” Nico admitted. It was like watching a demon attack from where Nico was watching, “But still, you ran. Which sealed your fate.”

Kristel simply nodded in response with her head dipped low.

“Still, even if you didn’t it was going to be a hard fight. She is a year older than you, has more experience and you can’t use any special abilities yet.” Nico said alleviating some of the pressure on her, “So we should focus on getting you an ability.”

“How do I do that?” Kristel asked. Special abilities, techniques, or talents were perhaps best described as spells for a warrior.

More than just the naturally enhanced abilities a fighter would have by unlocking their inner mana normally, these gave a fighter bonuses. It could vary from being a momentary extra boost of speed or strength or even allowing a fighter to use out their mana as if it were an offensive spell.

Florence with her firearm was more of the latter. The gun that she was using was simple wood and metal that lacked any real mechanism to allow it to fire anything. Instead, it had a few simple etchings to allow Florence to generate mana through it more easily. Though that was not her only ability, she had a few such as how she used her mana to help her identify healing properties of things.

“That’s for you to figure out.” Nico said, “I can give you methods that could help you learn. But what you learn is up to you.” He explained.

It wasn’t news to Kristel, she already knew that this was going to be the case. It was never certain what type of technique she would gain in her training or how many for that matter. All she knew for certain was that whatever technique she ends up learning would help her with her swordsmanship.

“Remember Kristel learning techniques is just as much mental as it is physical.” Nico said.

“I know.” Kristel said.

“So take this moment to sit and think. Think about what you need in order to improve your combat.” Nico said.

Kristel slowly closed her eyes and did her best to think inwardly and try and take hold of the mana swirling within her.

At the same time, Bryson and Florence were currently in the bunker, getting a few items.

“I’m glad we brought the healing potions.” Bryson said as he read the labels on the bottles he had before him.

“I told you I had the sparring completely under control.” Florence said, sounding almost offended of Bryson’s insinuation.

“I believe you. But like you said, it is important to be prepared.” Bryson said with a sly smile as he found what he was looking for, “Here.” He said tossing her a bottle.

“I don’t need it.” Florence said looking at the mana bottle.

“Just drink it, it’s not like we’re hemorrhaging money.” Bryson said.

“I’m fine. I doubt I’m even training with Kristel anymore today.”

“Aren’t you usually the overbearing one when it comes to health?”

“I’m not overbearing, I’m always doing my duty.” Florence said adamantly.

“Then drink the potion.”

“…” Florence stared at Bryson for a moment before uncorking the bottle and taking a sip, “That did help.” She admitted.

“There we go. Seriously, what’s wrong with you these past few days? You almost look like your displaying emotions.” Bryson asked jokingly.

“… Nothing.” Florence said corking the bottle and putting it into her bag.

“I hope not. I need someone to help keep me sane this next year having to deal with Kristel and Frost.” Bryson said as he grabbed another potion and put it into his inner jacket pocket.

“You would be fine without me.”

“I doubt it.” Bryson said turning back to Florence.

“Mmm. Could I ask you a question?”


“Why do you call Kristel by her first name?”

“Because she doesn’t have a last name.” Bryson replied before pausing to think, “Honestly it’s a bit weird that she doesn’t have one.”

“It isn’t uncommon for orphans not to have one.”

A call interrupted what Bryson was going to say next. Digging out his Communicator from his jacket pocket he read the number on the screen, it was his mother.

“Hello mother.”

“Hello Bryson dear how are you!” He heard his mother’s voice rang out.

“I’m fine mother.”

“Good, now have you finished training yet?”

Bryson looked out a window and saw that Kristel seemed to be meditating, “Yes mother.”

“Good, I want you to take Kristel, Florence and that Lottie girl to the city.”

“What why?”

“I think it will help with your training of Kristel.” She said.

“Do I have to?” Bryson said giving a small sigh.


“Fine.” Bryson said with a groan.

“Good, goodbye!” She said cheerfully before hanging up.

“Hmm.” Bryson grunted turning to Florence, “Well we’re going to the city.”