After failing to capture Oliver Ragna, the members of SENSHI immediately made their back to Military HQ. While some battles had been won, the war seemed lost. There was a sense of shame about them, they had failed the mission completely.Azuki didn't bother to mention or ask about the fight with Ragna to Drake or Richard. She was just happy that they were safe in the end. Still Ragna's words made Richard uneasy, and were all that was on his mind.
"A bodyguard mission? Seriously?" Drake protested. Despite the defeat, his temper would never change. He didnt like this "downgrade" of a misson one bit. Richard stayed silet, waiting for what else Yotsuki had to say about this all. Yotsuki let out a soft sight in response. "I can see your dad in you, you know." he said, putting both hands on his cane. "....But, you need to calm down. Part of being a soldier is taking orders in an orderly fashion."
The words stopped Drake in that moment. The young mage knew the man was right on the mark with that comment. "Alright, I'll calm down. So how important is this person, that they need a military unit like us to protect them?" Drake remarked, as he folded his arms across his chest. Suddenly Azuki cut in. "Before that..." she glanced at Drake to keep his patience. "....how are we supposed to deal with this Ragna stuff? We can't just let it be, obviously."
"Let me finish, and all shall be answered." Yotsuki replied with a sly smile. Jin narrowed his eyes towards their commanding officer in question. "You're gonna be protecting Lady Leonaa Hebar, daughter of Lord Henry Hebar..." Yotsuki said, looking at each of their faces. " As the name suggests, they're very important. Now, what's important is that the Hebar family has a pure blooded pedigree of mages since far back. Though Lord Hebar and his daughter are not actual mages, themselves."
Elbert scratched his head. "So what are you getting at?" Suddenly a female voice interjected from afar. "If you guys would let him finish, then you'd get it already. The connection between this and Ragna" the mature woman stated, walking over to them. "Layla-senpai?" Azuki remarked with a confused look on her face. Drake arched an eyebrow at that last comment. "Connetion?" he pondered.
Yotsuki cleared his throat to get their attention. "Yes, they've been threatened. His daughter has gotten one or 2 kidnapping threats as of late. The fact that she has a pure bloodline and Ragna is in the line of human experimentation means..." Yotsuki trailed off as his eyes fell upon Richard. Richard's eyes widened in shock, it was so obvious. "So that's what he meant!" Richard commented.
"So what exactly is the mission, sir? " Azuki asked. She wanted to get to the point of this all. Yotsuki looked straight at them. His eyes having a different look then usual, a determined look. "The mission: to protect Leonaa Hebar and take out Ragna once and for all." The words brought a rise out of them, a rise of confidence.
Drake clenched his fists. " I want to beat the shit out of that guy." he said, a determined smile crossing his face. Though Azuki wouldn't admit it, that smile had made her happy. Richard pounding his fist to his palm. " As the military we protect people, I'm up for this!" Richard said cheerfully. Elbert laughed at the sight, "Now this is what I want to see."
" Wait a moment people, you're not ready yet." Yotsuki said, lifting a finger. All of them had no idea what he was talking about. They were feeling confident and knew how to take this guy down. Now what did this guy have left to say? "Eh? What is it now, Yotsuki?" Drake asked in a annoyed tone.
"You all can't go to a party dressed like that now, can you?" Yotsuki mused.
"What party?!" They all asked in unison.
Not Your Typical Party
Apparently, this wasn't just any old party. This was the party for Lady Hebar's entrance into high society as a debutante. What that meant, Richard had only a vague idea of. He figured he'd ask Drake, a person who was used to these type of things. But Drake was currently steering clear of Azuki entirely. For this mission they had to pull out the stops, and that meant tuxedoes for the dudes and a dress for a Azuki-- a rather nice dress.
Honestly, if this hadn't been a mission, this would be one hilarious story to tell later on. But that wasn't important, their job was to protect Lady Hebar, the polite and soft spoken daughter of the overly talkative Lord Hebar. "And that's how...." Azuki stopped the elderly man in mid-sentence. "That's a lovely story, sir. But we really must, um, scan the area for, you know-- issues." Azuki remarked, pulling Richard by the shoulder and walking off.
"Alright, keep up the good work!" Lord Hebar shouted. "Issues?" Richard remarked slyly, walking next to Azuki. "Humor me. I couldn't take that guy anymore. He talks WAY too much." Azuki trailed off looking around the large ornately decorated ballroom of the Hebar estate. "These people really pull it out for parties. I wonder how expensive those dresses are." she remarked. Richard chuckled at the statement. " So even Azuki cares about fashion, eh?"
She rolled her eyes at that smart remark. "Anyway." she fixed her hair a bit, as she turned to Richard. " Everything seems to be going fine....for now. Where the hell is Drake, by the way? " Richard scratched his head alittle. "Oh he's doing "something". I'm sure he'll be around soon. " On the inside, Richard was laughing up a storm. Suddenly something interesting caught his eye.
"Azuki, I'll be off." Richard said. "Where are you going?" Azuki asked seriously. They were on a mission, things were supposed to be taken seriously. " The ladies are calling me, don't wait up." he said walking off, as he waved at Azuki. She exhaled softly, " That's not how things are to be done."
Richard smirked silently, as he went to the changing rooms to find a nice suit to wear, he really was bad at these things, Rihanna would always have to choose something for him to wear, cause as she described, his sense of fashion, was "worse than a monkey's." Richard sighed, as he said." Well, she always did say I looked good in black, so let's take this one." Richard said, pulling his hand out to take a black tuxedo, with a nice "edgy" look to it.
"Hmm... heck this will work." Richard said, putting it on, he looked at himself in the mirror, sighing as he said." Wow, I really can't tell how I look or not." He felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned around to look and Drake was there, wearing a formal suit, dressed up and whatnot." Wow, first time seeing my mate like this, phew, the girls are gonna be blown away, hahaha."
Drake said as he laughed casually, Richard laughed along with him, " Thanks for that mate, by the way, I think a certain blue-haired girl will be flying in the air today?" Richard laughed as he said that sentence and saw Drake blush slightly, he tapped his shoulder." Don't worry I'm just joking around with ya." Richard said, as he suddenly had a grim expression on his face for a moment.
" Remember what we're here for ok? But don't get too caught up in our goals or we'll be noticed eventually." Richard said, before leaving to the large hall, he said." So let's have some fun while we're at it ok?" Drake sighed as he thought to himself." I always wonder how he's so calm?" He went to the dance floor as well, following Richard who was leading the way.
The room filled with well dressed and well mannered young men and women. Drake knew how these things went and apparently so did Yotsuki, who had told him to withhold his surname in an attempt to keep himself anonymous. Richard had already walked over to a group of young women to see what he could get out of it. "Don't screw it up, Richard. "Drake thought to himself with a smile.
He let out a soft sigh as he made his way over to the refreshments area to get something to drink. He suddenly felt a light tap on his shoulder. "Eh?" He turned to see 2 young woman with big smiles on their faces. One had long reddish-brown hair and the other had short silver hair. They seemed excited about something. "Oh, can I help you ladies?" Drake asked in a bit akward fashion. The shorthaired girl pointed at her friend. " She wants to dance with you."
Drake sweat-dropped at the comment. "Well, that was blunt." The long haired girl turned away in embarrasment. "Listen, ladies. I'm flattered one of you would want to dance. But now is not the time...sorry." Drake said, making his away from them. Both stood there dumbfounded, that didn't go as expected. "Damn, this is not the funnest party. Oh crap, what am I to do."
Across the ballroom, Azuki leaned against a massive column and surveyed the whole party before her. She'd never seen such a lovely ballroom. Her parents owned a restaraunt for heavens sake. She felt a bit out of place, but didn't really care-- the mission was clear, and she did not plan to fail. She sipped some of the drink out the glass in her hand, not much fun to these high society things.
"I didn't picture the party like this, I wish Julia was here. Oh well. " Azuki pondered, swishing around the liquid in her cup in an attempt to avert her boredom. She had no plans to join the dancing at the center of the ballrooom. She was fine staying here, better for keeping a grasp on the situation if anything were to happen.
" I was never a fan of these things, myself." The words and the voice accompaning caused Azuki roll her eyes as she turned to face Drake. She leaned of the pillar. "What the hell do you want?" Azuki snapped. "Woah. Calm down, I just came to keep company with a fellow team mate...." Drake looked towards the other side of the room. " Elbert is currently taking full advantage of the free food, and as you can expect from Jin, he's just sitting there." he said, with a faint a smile.
Azuki didn't really care about that at the moment though. "You spent a good deal of your time avoiding me though." Azuki's words were cold at that last statement. Drake new he couldn't deny that, but it wasn't for the reasons she thought. Not to mention, they are on a mission.
Drake felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned to see a elderly lady with her finger in his face. "Young man, do dance with this lovely young lady, where are your manners?" Drake tried not to let out a wise crack after that statement. "No ma'am, it's alright, don't worry." Azuki contested, waving her hands to get the lady's attention. Drake could not avoid the old lady's glare any longer.
He stepped to the side and grabbed Azuki hand, and began to walk towards the dance floor with surprisingly no resistance. A blush spread on Azuki's face. The old lady let out a small laugh, mission accomplished. She turned to her right and winked. Waving her off, Richard went back to conversing with the group of ladies near him. "Now that was just too easy." he thought.
All Azuki could do was avert her eyes from Drake and Drake the same. What could make things worse. There was a slow song laying, and it was customary to follow the dancing form of everyone around you, the waltz. "The shit that happens in my life." Drake moaned internally. "Drake," Azuki murmured. "Oh now you want to talk to me." Drake taunted. She stamped her heel on his right foot.
He bit his lip and sucked in the pain. "My goodness, sorry....damn! What is it?" Draked asked, a hint of curiosity in his voice. They continued to sway gracefully with the music, people around taking notice and watching. "How long do you plan to carry on with this fighting stuff." The words brought a akward silence between the two.
"Pardon?" Drake remarked with an arched eyebrow.
While the lovely couple, well in Elbert's words anyway, were dancing and fighting as usual, Elbert had been chowing down on the food with a casual smile on his face, as he remarked." Wow, it's been a while since I've had this amount of food." Elbert said, before Jin tapped him on the shoulder.
" Hm? What happened Jin?" Elbert asked, as he pointed behind him, as many were waiting for food as Elbert had hogged it all." Oh! Very sorry everyone! Haha." Elbert said, moving out of the way, Jin dragged him along as they went to another corner of the party and Jin sighed." You do realise that we have a mission to do, we can't be so lazy."
Elbert patted Jin's shoulder as he said." Yeah yeah, I know that Jin. But if you stress out so much, how will the mission go?" Elbert said before moving off, "Now let's see if I can still pick up a few girls eh?" Elbert walked onto the dance floor, with his casual suit and his alluring smile, he approached a beautiful looking lady, and asked her.
" Hello there Madam, may I ask your hand in this dance?" He kneeled down and asked, the young woman around his age chuckled and replied." Why not, after all, standing here won't do me any good." She took his hand and they begun to waltz to the slow song that was playing. The crowd around them was surprised, as Elbert didn't know her status in this party, Jin just sighed.
Drake sighed as his eyes fell upon Elbert not realizing who he was dancing with. Azuki was still avoiding Drake's line of sight as they danced slowly on the dancefloor, surrounded by other "couples". "What the hell is Elbert doing. He better not screw up." Drake thought to himself. He suddenly felt a tug on his arm from Azuki. "Drake, don't you think things are going a bit too perfectly?" she asked, her tone was a serious as ever. Drake cocked an eyebrow a the question. " What makes you think that?"
Azuki pulled away from Drake, grabbed his hand and walked him over near a large window. "I'm just feeling a bit uneasy for some reason. I guess it's just me then." Azuki remarked folding her arms across her chest. The action kind of relieved Drake, since now her outfit wasn't that revealing. "I don't know, don't dismiss that feeling." Drake said as he put his hands into his pockets. Azuki waited for him to continue. "It's just that my mother used to tell me a woman's intuition is never wrong."
A sly smirk crossed Azuk's face, this could be fun. "So you actually listen to someone. Would of never thought." she taunted. Drake rolled his eyes in response. "We may be at a party, but I'm not gonna let you talk trash, you she-devil!" Drake replied, getting a bit pissed off. " Well, dumbass..." Azuki mused, putting her hands on her hips. "... I think we should just keep our wits about us." They locked glares for a moment, one couldn't tell if they were pissed off or just taking opprutunity to get a good look at one another at least once tonight. "Tch, troublesome woman." Drake said, turning away from Azuki. She walked forward and looped arms with him, a small blush on her face but a scowl no less. "It's your job to get me something to drink, or at least walk me there, jerk." Azuki said. Drake sighed, "You gotta be....whatever. Just this once, I guess."
"Lovely night, huh." Elbert said, as he twirled his dancing partner. "Yes, you're quite the dancer...um. What was your name again?" the young woman asked, her eyes full of excitment. "Elbert." he replied, looking around him. " Why is everyone looking at us." A faint smile crossed his face, the eyes on them were pretty awkward. "You don't know?" she asked suprised.
Elbert raised an eyebrow at the question, "Know what? Wait, what was your name?" Elbert asked. She chuckled at his surprise. "I'm Leonaa, Elbert." she said with a big smile as she continued to dance with him. Elbert sweatdropped as the truth was revealed. "I didn't even know the face of who I'm protecting, I'm an idiot." he thought in shame.
Leonna snapped Elbert out of it. "Don't worry about it, silly. I'm having so much fun with you." she reassured him. Elbert let off a weak laugh. "I guess, things are going great." They continued to waltz around the dance floor. Azumi and Drake observed as they tried to pretend like they weren't enjoying eachother's company.
The party was going great. No sign of Ragna from what Jin could see. Maybe, they had been of with their hunch with this.
The right side of the ballroom was blown asunder, launched people backwards from the impact,sparking flames on the side of the building. Screams rang out as people, on the right side of ballroom, struggled to their knees and found their friends to be dead or severely injured. Party goers broke down in tears as corpses laid their. Parents shielded the eyes of their children. A playful whistle echoed through the ballroom, as footsteps came from the source of the explosion.
As the flames roared, a figured emerged from them. A smug smirk on his face, whistling playfully, Ragna walked over the rubble into the ballrooom. He stepped over corpses, as if they were of no importance. He clapped his hands as he surveyed the crowm or what was left of it. "Oh no applause for the main event of the party?" Ragna taunted.
Azuki's eyes blazed with rage as she appeared suddent before the injured people closest to Ragna.
Panic on the Dancefloor
Richard's eyes widened with surprise and rage. Somehow finding an excellent hiding spot for his blade, he instantly moved towards Ragna's position, with no hesitation, he drew his sword with excellent timing and immense speed, his blade seemingly slicd completely through Ragna's torso. Although to no avail, as he had already set his eyes upon the young girl known as Leona, who Elbert currently had behind his back. Suddenly, Jin intervened his charge, blocking his assault with a wall of wind, delaying him for only a few moments.
" Azuki! Get Leona out of here!" Drake shouted, Azuki, without any of her usual complaints took Leona's arm and began to run from the party. Elbert swiftly clapped his hands together, creating a tremble in the ground as he told Elbert." Get everyone that's not Ragna or us on this side. Hurry up!" Elbert complied with his decision, and began to rally all the citizens towards the side Elbert was at. As the final boy crossed the border, Elbert chanted." Borderline!" Suddenly the ground beneath the two individuals started cracking, as it spplit in a broad jagged line, separating the two parties.
" Drake! Use an Ice Spell to cover the border!" Elbert shouted, as Drake already began to form an Ice Make Spell, as he chanted." Ice Make: Rampart!" As a large wall of ice created a barrier between Ragna and the citizens, Elbert and the others had all began to face Ragna, with determination in their eyes and a resolve to win.
Meanwhile, Azuki and Leona had gotten quite far away from the party, and were hustling through the streets, not caring what the citizens on the road had been thinking at the time." Please! Tell me what is going on!?" Azuki sighed, as Leona cried out her concern." Look Leona, we will have to tell you later. All I can say is that man is dangerous and is after you." Azuki with a grim look on her face hoped that her comrades were doing okay.
Azuki clenched her teeth, she wanted to be out there facing Ragna not protecting some helpless girl. But as duty calls, she needed to do what was asked of her. Tightening her grip on Leona's arm, they rushed even quicker through the halls of the estate to a safe place.
Jin tumbled back as Ragna's kick connected with his stomach. "Jin! Are you alright?!" Drake shouted rushing at Ragna. "Somehow, but yea I'm good." Jin replied, clutching his stomach. Not only was Ragna's speed impressive, but the force behind his kick was something else. Richard came rushing at Ragna, the opposite of Drake.
He shifted his eyes to see the incoming enemies on both sides. Suddenly both halted, catching Ragna by surprise. "What's this?" Ragna asked with an arched eyebrow. Suddenly from above came Elbert crashing down, the young soldier unleashed a hellfire of magically enhanced punches. All Ragna could do was block as some of the punches actually connected. "Damn, kid." he hissed.
Elbert suddenly pulled away and moved back towards Jin. In that moment Drake and Richard unleashed attacks without giving Ragna a moment's rest. " Ice Hell Rain!" Drake shouted, shooting his hands forward and unleashing a monstrous torrent of black ice. Black energy surging around him, Richard unleashed his own attack, "Melody of Darkness". A thunderous sound rang out towards Ragna. Those present covered their ears in pain.
The attacks collided with Ragna nearly point blank. A pillar of smoke erupted as the attack did its' worse, destroying its' immediate surroundings. Jin began breathe easier as he watched on. How much did that do for them? This was on all the fighters' minds. All four of them were silent, as they kept their glares on the location of Ragna.
They all twitched as they readied themselves. Blood splattered all over the ground as Ragna threw off his jacket and shirt. The wounds were evidence of how effective the combination was. Richard kept his eyes on Ragna, but his mind was moving along in the battle plan. " Charge him as a distraction for Elbert to ready himself to unleash an attack from above; then Drake and I follow up with two powerful spells. Looks my playbook is working." He thought. It was crude, but the plan got the job done and Ragna didn't expect it.
"So you want to have som fun!" Ragna shouted in hysterical tone. His eyes began to glow with green energy surging around. His muscles began to tighten up. Drake narrowed his eyes at his approaching enemy. This was a different Ragna, not calm but seemingly insane."Guys! Don't let up for a moment, fighting people that is dangerous everytime." Drake commanded. Jin swiped his sword forward, "Let's end this guys!". All of them nodded in agreement, but Ragna began to giggle.
" What is he planning?" Richard thought in haste, looking around him he noticed nothing but Ragna's presence, which was much stronger than before." Is this some form of Lost Magic? Enhancement? What could it be?" He thought for a moment, suddenly he heard Elbert's cry in pain as he was flown backward.
" Elbert!" Jin shouted, catching him mid-flight as he was sent backward and both were smashed into the wall." This power is something else!" Drake thought, getting ready for some intense combat, he remembered Layla's training and then their fight with Yotsuki." Damn it all. Not all of us are here. We have to work together as best as we can!"
As if Richard could hear Drake's thoughts he smirked." Oy, Jin, Elbert, is that all you've got? You won't get into the military like that will you?" Jin, Elbert, smirking in return comically said." You can't talk, look at you with all your random tatoos and all. I mean how uncool is that?" Jin agreed with him and said." Well guys, we've got some work to do." Brandishing swords and clenching fists the entire party was just about to begin.
Without hesitation, Ragna rocketed towards his opponents. Drake's eyes widened as he barely blocked Ragna kick. Whatever was happening, Ragna's physical capabilitis shot through the roof. Jin appeared to the right of Ragna suddenly, slashing the right side of his torso. Blood flew as Ragna pulled back. "He's faster, stronger, and more durable. I mean, before I'm sure my attack would of done more damage." Jin narrowed his eyes.
"Yet, he's gotten slower in terms of reaction time and seemingly dumber. Strange, why enhance your raw speed when it hurts your reaction time, that's a negative drawback if I ever saw one." Jin remarked. Richard stepped forward next to him. Ragna clutched his side in pain. "So, in a nutshell, he can't react to enemy counters like before. Strange." Richard scratched his head.
"Body enhancement tends to do that when one doesn't fit its' physical requirements." Ragna coughed out. Jin's slash had some serious damage. The bleeding wouldn't stop, he winced in pain once more. "Body Enhancement magic?" Drake questioned with a cocked eyebrow. Ragna took to his feet, ignoring the pain in his body. "Fortis Release, it's a magic that ehances the user's physical capablities 5 fold. But, in turn, one's reaction is cut notably if they fall short in the physical arena, one can experience mood swings, and one's ability to think and more so use tactics effectively are hurt in this transformation." Ragna's words brought confused stares from the four.
"Who the hell uses a magic that screws them over like that? " Drake snapped, readying himself to engage Ragna once more. "Given the power it gives me, I saw it as worth the risk. I haven't used it in a while though, but you....brats....ugh" Ragna grabbed his head. It was throbbing. Richard edged his foot, "Must be the mood swings. Well, the hysterical laugh from before makes sense now, " Richard said, peering over his shoulder to Elbert.
Ragna's muscles pulsated even more, and grew in the process. He didn't look like Ragna anymore. Drake kept his eyes on Ragna whose sanity was disappearing second by second. "Richard, Elbert, Jin!" He shouted, not bothering to look at them. They all chimed in. " Buy me time. I don't care how, but keep him at bay for at least five minutes. With how things are going, I'm gonna have to pull something out that I wasn't planning." He finished. Jin and Elbert nodded in agreement.
Richard cocked an eyebrow. "Are you going to use that?" He asked. Drake nodded in agreement. "He's too dangerous not to. I never used it in combat before, but there's a first time for everything, right? " Drake said, smiling. Richard nodded and turned his attention.to Ragna. Drake made his way behind the others, so Ragna could not engage him.
" You two! Follow me! Got it?" Richard ordered, Elbert and Jin immediately complied as Richard charged at Ragna, chanting." Shroud!" Suddenly, individual water particles in the air began to dissolve as mist began to spread from his being, engulfing every nook and cranny of the large hall they were in, Richard thought to himself." So, it's bodily enhancement, surely that means his senses have either faded or become more sensitive. Let's see what happens when I do this!"
Richard's right arm had been coated with darkness, the swirling energy was beating as if a heart, the pulse was able to be heard by his team-mates, he chanted." Melody of Darkness!" The darkness on his arm vibrated wildly as he covered his other hand with darkness before clapping both hands together. Creating an immense shockwave, he was able to blow Ragna away briefly, as he told Jin and Elbert." Trap him! Now!"
Both Elbert and Jin raised the output of their magical power to their maximum ability. Jin chanted," Dome of the Phoenix!" Amassing extremely potent flames onto his arms, he spread them out and launched them towards Ragna. The flames, taking on more fuel, grew in size as they burnt the area to a crisp with their potency." Fold!" Jin chanted, causing their properties to take upon a change as the forces creating the flames altered, allowing it to be almost glue-like in property as it stuck to every wall and object, creating a fierce broad barrier of intense flames.
" Those are some intense flames Jin!" Elbert said cheerfully before returning to his serious demeanor," Cage of Eternity!" Smashing his hands to the ground, tremors began to awaken, as the ground split in half, with a noticeable zig-zag pattern in the hole created. Suddenly, rising out of this bottomless pit was an enormous wall of earthen substance, latching onto every possible material found, encompassing half of the entire dance-floor.
" T-there...this should keep him at bay." Elbert said, panting. He also noticed that both Jin and Richard had exhausted themselves, and he looked at Drake, preparing something he had never seen before, as he remarked." This better work."
In mere minutes, an explosion erupted from the site of their combined spells. Ragna emerged from the ground, enraged more then ever. His body was beat up, but none of the injuries were serious. None of the flinched at his return, knowing well that the attack would only hold him for a bit. But a bit was all Drake needed.
Suddenly a purple light illuminated the ballroom, or what was left of it. Their senses tingled as they could feel magical power growing and becoming more concentrated from behind them. A cold sweat ran down Jin's face as he slowly turned around to see the product of their stalling. Energy surges ran through the room, and Elbert felt as if his body was getting heavy.
Richard smirked, unfazed by the sight. "Took you long enough. " He joked. Ragna's eyes widened in shock. "What the hell is that?" He muttered. That was the question on both Jin and Elbert's minds, as they could simply awe at whatever it was Drake had conjured up during those several minutes. Seeing Ragna's surprise, a sly smile crossed Drake's face.
At the same time, Azuki dashed through the hall of the mansion. Unlike the others, this spike in magical energy was strange and foreign to her. She wasn't sure what it was, but it only added to her worries. "I should of stayed with them, dammit" Ignoring Drake's orders, she had left Leonaa in a safe place. But ironically it wasnt' her idea
"I can't just leave you. We don't know if he has anymore underlings here." Azuk protested. Leonna sighed, "I don't knonw much about all this fighting stuff. But if he had other men, wouldn't they have attempted some attacks at different areas of the manor already? " She said. Azuki took a step back, the girl had a point. Had there been any others it's likely they would of been attacked or heard of another one.
Azuki crossed her arms across her chest. No matter what she did, she couldn't relax. "So what do want me to do?" She asked. "Go fight with your nakama." Leonaa retorted, quickly. The last word caught Azuki off guard. That's what they were now, wasn't it? Comrades, they first came in as people with like interests but now they were....friends. Even with Drake, or maybe more so. She shook her head, Azuki wasn't sure what to think with him.
She looked Leonaa, a small smile on her face. "You're pretty wise for a sheltered kid, you know that?" The words brougth a smile to the girl's face. " Mhm, don't underestimate me." Leonaa said, smiling. "Oh..but the mission. If I leave you, I'm breaking code" Azuki frowned. Leonaa exhaled violently, she couldn't believe this." I'm telling you to go. Besides, a good bodyguard listens to their client, no?" She remarked.
Azuki smirked at he comment. "Indeed, that's true. Well, I'll be back, don't you worry!" With that said, Azuki took off towards her comrades.
She shook her head. She was still surprised at Leonaa's mindset. Then she recalled how different Drake was from the typical noble, very different in a refreshing but annoying way. A way she couldn't help but like, if only all nobles were like Drake and Leonaa. She was quickly approaching the ballroom, the feeling had gotten even stronger, something big was about to happen.
"There's a reason why I held off on using this and those reasons surround me at this very moment." Drake said, taking a step forward. Ragna's eyes widened at the sight. Extended from his palm was a huge sphere of dense magical energy. It was purple in color and the energy surges pulsating from it were ferocious and wild. The ground benath the spehere had been flattened instantly and pushed down to form a mini crater.
"Vista Secret Art: Imperatoris Sphaerae! " Drake proclaimed, he narrowed his eyes at his one and only target. " There's a rule all Vistas learn when first learning the secret arts of our family. Never show this to any living person not of Vista blood or relation. Meaning, that if I am to use this, it is to wipe out my enemy. The next rule is that the enemy you use it on must die, it's kill or don't use it." Drake said, a whirring sound began coming from the spell.
Ragna cocked an eyebrow. "Yet your comrades stand before you. Or are those the reasons you meant, brat? " Drake chuckled at Ragna thinking he was still in control of the situation. " Yes and no. But there's another part to this. If we have to show it around others, then we must be able to trust them with our lives." The last statement caught his friends attention. Draked continued, " I've trusted my back to Richard since we first became best friends. But going through hell with the rest of these guys. I realize that I can trust them all with my life."
Upon those words, Azuki made her way into the ballroom to see her friends before a buffed Ragna; a massive spell formed at Drake's palm. '"It was him?!" She questioned to herself.
"Richard, Azuki, Elbert, and Jin. I trust them with my lives. And now I'm gonna finish this battles so we can live to fight another day....together." He said, panting. "I wouldn't have got this far without their strength anyway." Drake finished. Richard, Jin, and Elbert cleared the way as Drake dashed forward at Ragna. Azuki narrowed her eyes at the attack. "This feeling, does it use Gravity magic." She questioned internally.
"Well, fuck off, kid. I don't plan on losing here!" He shouted, charging at Drake. As he moved he realized the injuries were worse then imagined, and slowed down as he moved closer to Drake. The teamwork had really paid off. "Shit!" he cursed. In that moment, Drake smashed the ball into Ragna, he felt his bones shatter and dozens of small cuts opened on his body. He screamed in pain, but was soon unheard as he was launched through a series of walls. The air in his lungs disappeared as they collapsed, and his eyes began to close in suit.
"Damn, I lost." Ragna thought to himself, as he lay on the bare destroyed ground with injuries that were impossible to describe. He wasn't able to utter a word, and only lay in regret that children had defeated him despite his immense power.
Meanwhile, Richard chuckled, noting Azuki's presence as he said." So, you came here to see if your boyfriend was safe?" Azuki, reacting to this in her usual manner, ran up to Richard and hit him on the face with a punch, brusing him, as she shouted." WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU GUYS WERE DOING!?"
Jin, surprised at this outcome of events, asked." What do you mean? We were fighting as told weren't we?" Azuki, shocking as it was, nearly began to bawl into tears." Do you know how worried I was for all of you!? You men are all the same! Going off to fight for your lives without any warning at all!" Drake, smirking at this turnout, gestured to Richard as his injuries were so that he couldn't even speak properly.
Realising what he wanted to say, Richard told Azuki." So you really do care for us huh? Well, it seems we have all become more than friends haven't we? Especially a certain girl and boy." Jin and Elbert catching on immediately began to chuckle, as Richard did alongside them.
Drake cleared his throat as he rose to his feet to grab the others' attention. "Anyway, I think we can label this mission as a success, no? " His words brought smiles to their faces. It had been a long struggle over a short period of time, but the feeling of victory paid off. Now, Ragna was done and Leonaa was no longer threatened. Of course one could not forgot the mages' lives lost before anyone caught on to Ragna.
Richard looked around what was left of the ballroom; man was it a mess. Seemed that all the civilians had hightailed it out of the manor. A quarter of it was blown away, exposing it to the outside, well that Ragna's doing anyhow. "Damn, this is gonna cost alot to fix." Richard whistled. They all couldn't agree more, the place was trashed due to the battle.
"Father won't mind, since you saved us."
They all turned to see a smiling Leonaa. Unlike her somewhat oblivious male comrades, Azuki could see the relief in Leonaa's eyes. Azuki grabbed Elbert and Jin closer, with a big smile on her face. " We try our best!" She said, smiling. Leonaa chuckled at Jin and Elbert's faces, Azuki wasn't doing much good for their injured bodies. Suddenly Leonaa bowed her head. "Thank you so much!" she shouted.
They blinked, the gratitude came so suddenly. "Thank you for protecting the guests and I from Ragna. If there's anything you need, just ask." She finished. The girl looked up, in anticipation of their response. Drake scratched his head sheepishly, "Well, I'm kind of--" Before he could finish, Azuki's hand covered his mouth. "Nope, nothing we need, Leonaa. And you're welcome." Azuki remarked, turning back to Drake, gesturing him to drop it. She removed her hand.
Drake sighed softly, what an abrasive woman. "God you're so lucky we're on a mission, woman." He retorted. She arched an eyebrow at the threat. "Eh? And if we weren't? " She taunted. Drake clenched his teeth, no one could annoy him as well as this person. "While you two lovers are sorting things out. Reinforcements are coming to collect Ragna's body and bring us back to HQ." Richard interjected, stuffing a communication lacrima back into his pocket.
Drake and Azuki blushed, and immediately turned away from eachother. "Screw you, Richard." Azuki snapped. "Indeed, bastards, all of you." Drake added. Jin chuckled, this was entertaining. The mission had ended up as a success, though there were moments where death seemed like a possibility. But victory doesn't come to those that yield.
Goodbye For Now
"Mission completed, bags packed, stuffed myself with alot of food, and got to dance with a girl. I think this has been one great day!" Richard told himself, as he walked down the path towards his home, whistling in tandom with the birds. He loved the serene area that he lived in, away from noise, he was able to sleep peacefully at night, with the looming stars and sun providing the necessary light. Suddenly, a shadow appeared from his home, their eyes were red and fists were clenched.
"......RUN!" Richard attempted to run with all the strength he had, however, in only a second, a blond haired girl kicked him in the back, sending him flying towards a tree, smashing into it with such force that the tree itself broke." OW!!!!! Rihanna! THAT HURT!" Rihanna, from the angry woman she was before became a small girl once again, starting to weep as she clung onto Richard." Of course it hurt idiot! What would have happened if you didn't come back!? What would I have done!?"
Richard, chuckling at the outcome of events patted her head." So, you're not gonna mother me so much?" Richard inquired, Rihanna slapped him across the face, leaving a red swell on his cheek." Of course. Who DO you think I am?" Rihanna boasted with her usual demeanor leaving Richard to sigh in annoyance." Why? Oh Why?" He thought to himself, briefly thinking about his mother, as he opened his eyes again." Well, mother, let's go home shall we?"
Rihanna replied with her most superior tone possible." Let us go son!" After a brief pause, both began to laugh as Richard carried Rihanna on her back." Yaaaay! You haven't piggy-backed me in ages!" Richard replied, " Of course not. You're so heavy now I had to gain more strength." Rihanna laughed while hitting him, " Let's go already!" Richard then began to walk home, in his nice steady pace while Rihanna slept on his shoulder with a peaceful face.
"Azu-chan, wake up."
Azuki's eyes fluttered open to see her mom waving in her face, with a tray of drinks balanced on her other hand. She blinked, seemed she had fallen asleep daydreaming or something. " Huh? Mom?" She said, confused. Her mother sighed, "We have plenty of hands here. You need to go get some fresh air and relax. No more helping. " She said sternly.
Azuki frowned, she wanted to argue, but wasn't in the mood. Other things were on her mind, well, just one thing, to be exact. She felt her mom's palm on her forehead." You've seemed to out of it. Just go for a walk or something." Azuki scratched her head. "I've just had something on my mind, mom. But ok, if you say so." Azuki wasn't gonna argue. Her mom smiled, "I see, well you should deal with whatever....or whomever is on your mind." Her daughter scowled, Azuki's mom could read her like a book.
Upon her mother's advice, Azuki took to the town. Sporting a simple pair of fitted jeans and a tight t-shirt, she would normally be feeling relaxed as ever, but that wasn't the case. A couple passed by her, giggling with one another. A sigh left Azuki's mouth, much to her surprise at the sight. With the mission done and over, she was stuck on one thing.
That one thing was something that bothered her for a long time, but had gotten worse ever since the start of SENSHI. That one thing was a person and that person was Drake. "God, this is annoying. That bastard has some nerve clouding my thoughts." She cursed internally, forming a fist. She wondered if this is was that felt like.
At the same time, a young man passed through the streets of the city. Several kids playing tag ran past him, he smiled at the sight. They had it easy. No worries, no dangers, no stress, and no life issues in general. But with those irritations that maturity brought, one could reach new heights. Drake didn't know why he was here, no real reason, just walking around. The a guy with stuff on his mind.
Drake exhaled softly, taking a turn at a corner. He figured he'd head to a part of the city he hadn't been to since his childhood. Florentia bridge, a large walking bridge that stretched over a large canal at the central area near the city. With how busy life got, the last time he recalled being there was when he was 12. It was once the site of festivals, now it was ignored, Drake didn't know the reason as to why.
The bridge came in sight. And as expected, not any people to speak of. Except he vaguely saw a female figure on it. And blue hair. He shook his head, it couldn't be. " I really need to think of something else." He thought, beginning to walk up the bridge.
Footsteps caught Azuki's attention, as she snapped out her daydream. She turned to see who it was, only for a blush to cross her face upon who it was. She turned away quickly. "What is it, Drake." Azuki said sternly. He straightned up his jacket. " Well...thanks for the polite Hello." He taunted. Azuki didn't respond. She bit her lip, as if she was meaning to let something out.
Drake took a deep breath. "Azuki, this is gonna be weird, but I need to get something off my chest. " He said. He stopped at the sudden raising of her hand. "You don't know how much you annoy me." Azuki stated plainly. "Come, again?" Drake blinked, this wasn't going how it should be. Azuki clutched her fists.
"You annoy me so much with your smartass comments and your insults. Granted I enjoy seeing you get pissed off by me, but you really push my buttons. What's worse is your talent. I mean, sure there's talented people. But you're always one step ahead of me, and that always pissed me off. " Azuki took a deep breath, Drake was in disbelief. " You ANNOY me so much, but I love you anyway. I don't know why, but I fell for an idiot like you."
Drake didn't say anything, but walked towards Azuki. There was still blush on her face, and her weak expression, to boot. He never thought he'd see something like this, but he felt a bit weak at the kneeds himself for some odd reason. " I'd throw in a rant that would totally kick the ass of yours, but that'd be besides the point, wouldn't it?" Drake smiled. They were just inches away.
"Idiot." Azuki muttered. " So Azuki the Devil is yielding to an idiot like me? I'm honored." He said, inching closer to her face. "Drake, you idiot." Azuki's blush only worsened, as her heart was racing. Their lips met, before the word idiot could leave her mouth again. Like fireworks, something sparked. they slightly pulled away from eachother. Their eyes staring into one another's.
"I'm not yielding, idiot. You're gonna have to work for that." She said, playfully.
A whistle ran in the air, as suddenly Richard, Jin and Elbert jumped from a cover, as Drake and Azuki must have realised, they watched the entire miracle before them and just applauded." So, finally the love-birds met eh? Well, took you two LONG ENOUGH!" Richard exclaimed as Elbert continued on." Yep. After all you two have fought, you guys FINALLY realised that you were made for one another?"
Jin raised his hand, silencing the two commentators, and just said." Well, it's a good thing really. You guys have stopped arguing and moved forward onto a relationship. Good luck for the future is all I must say. Oh, and I have to add. Your kids are going to be shining with talent." Jin smirked and left without any warning, Elbert and Richard laughing the entire time.
Azuki felt a vein pop on her forehead. She unwrapped Drake's arms from around her and set her eyes on the troublemakers. "You punks!" She shouted, blushing. Richard crossed his arms across his chest. "Though thank god you both were planning to confess to eachother, because we may of had to take matters in our own hands. "Richard remarked, a sarcastic wink followed. Azuki was, first and foremost, happy that she and Drake loved one another. But the rage flooded in with these three.
Drake laughed, " Normally, I'd be pissed. But someone made my day. Consider yourselves lucky." Drake joked. Azuki turned back to Drake. "You can't just let them off like that, idiot!" She snapped. Drake glared at her. "I can do as I like, Azuki. Let it be." He contested. She exhaled in irritation, "Ugh, this is why I call you an idiot, Drake. " Despite what had just transpired, it seemed the two couldn't resist taking shots at eachother.
" Although....should I have let you two confess? It seems that you two are flirting already?" Richard said, laughing as Azuki ignored his remark." Ah, so are you two going to have...private meetings from now on?" Richard asked, this time Drake replied with a slight tone of humour." Of course. We're a couple, we're bound to do that stuff aren't we Azuki?"
" Hahaha. Of course, I'll leave you to your own business. But, when are you going to introduce her to your family? I mean, they know me all to well, but they still don't know about her. So, you think your mom will approve?" Richard asked, flicking his hand, as he said." Well, I better go anyway. See ya!" Richard said, moving out of the new couple's way, for now atleast, with Elbert following.
"So what would your mom think of me?" Azuki interjected, her eyes now set on Drake. He sighed. "I have an idea, and it's a fun one." Drake said. She arched an eyebrow, her interest was peaked. "I'm listening."
A few days later, Drake's plan came to fruition. It was simple and a great way to cap off the hectic weeks of the last month or so. So what better way to relax then throw a get-together with the team?
Azuki set down a bowl of some kind of rice dish. "Damn, Azuki. You're a good cook." Elbert said, stuffing rice into his mouth. "Well, growing up in a restaraunt does that to a person." She arched an eyebrow. "Wipe your mouth. Goodness, men are pigs." Azuki snapped, pointing at him. They were in one of the lounge rooms on the east wing of the Vista Manor.
Azuki sighed, this was actually pretty enjoyable. Aside from that, she couldn't believe how massive Drake's house was. If her mom seen this. Azuki suddenly haulted, she has yet to tell her mom about Drake. Well, the woman did joke at the expense of Azuki's desires. She rolled her eyes thinking about how her mom would overreact that she finally had a boyfriend and Drake, at that. She'd be so happy, but it'd be embarassing.
"Something on your mind, Azuki." Azuki turned around surprised to see Drake behind her, with a cup in his hand. "Uh, earth to crazy woman." He called, with a sly smile on his face. "Hey! This is a TEAM gathering, all pair activities are to be left another time!" Richard shouted, beckoning them to come back. Azuki groaned at Richard's snarky remarks, but he had a point.
"Oi, Richard. Don't make me call Rihanna on you. " Drake taunted. They exchanged glares. "That's a low one right there, Drake." The others looked at eachother question. "Rihanna?" Jin asked. Drake clapped his hands together. " Yep, His little sister, and she's pretty much his mom. It's hilarious." Drake said, grinning. Oh revenge was always sweet. Azuki chuckled, "Well, I wasn't expecting that." The others joined in laughter with her.
Richard sighed at the mention of Rihanna and remembered that if he didn't return home in an hour then she would....torture him to no end." Well, anyways, off this topic. Our mission really was...something huh?" Richard thought, Elbert agreed." Yeah, you're right. From the beginning we've been put into countless life-and-death situations right? Remember how we used to hate eachother so much? Especially that lovey-dovey couple over there."
Jin chuckled at the comment." You're right. I still remember how silent I was. Well, everything happens for a good reason right?" Azuki agreed." Yeah, I can finally tolerate you annoying pigs." Azuki said, noticing how much the boys were eating. Drake put his arm around her and she blushed momentarily." Well, well. It seems the one-and-only Azuki is FINALLY confirmed to be a girl. Now I can live happily." Richard stated as everyone laughed at Azuki's expense while he placed his arms around his head.
From afar, two heads peeked past the corner to spy on the ongoing get-together. These two nosey heads belong to none other then Drake's mom and sister. The black haired teenage girl smiled in delight. "How long ya think they'll be together, mom?" She whispered. "Siata ! Whoops." Ruzana covered her mouth for moment." Siata, be nice about his. My Drake-chan finally found a woman for himself." Ruzana whispered, smiling full of glee.
Siata squinted, to see her brother really was enjoying himself. "I think they'll do well, mom. He told me about her once, but that she was annoying. But I guess she'll keep him in line." Siata remarked, keeping herself hidden from Drake's eyes. "Rather insightful, I'm impressed." Ruzana couldn't deny that her daughter could have her moments. Siata grinned, "With that said, want to place a bet?" The words rolling off her tounge.
"Sia-chan." Ruzana intejected. Siata chuckled, "Alright, alright, I was just joking anyway." She said, shrugging.
Richard began to walk off, while Drake asked him." Hey, where you going?" Richard replied nonchalantly," Oh, I need to go to the bathroom. Be back in a moment." Richard began walking off to where the bathroom was located, smirking as he knew nobody could see him. Flashing off immediately, he appeared behind Siata and Ruzana in only a few moments." So here are the sister and mother eh? What are you women up to?"
"Oh we're just--" Ruzana quickly covered her daughter's mouth and put a smile on. "Oh Richard-chan, you know just checking how things are going." She said, nervously. Richard chuckled, realizing he had got the jump on them. "Well, I guess you're interested in Azuki, no?" Richard said, grinning. Ruzana sighed, he had caught on. Siata released herself from her mother's hold.
"Yep. What's the deal with this chick? Last I heard, he found her annoying." Siata straightened her shirt. Every now and then Drake would tell her about the infamous Azuki, so what had happened before her was a interesting change of pace. "I guess he's more like his father then I thought." Ruzana kept her attention on Richard. "Aside from that, how has this SENSHI thing gone?" She asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Richard smirked. "Great would be an understatement." He remarked.
" Oy Richard! How long are you gonna take!?" Drake exclaimed, Richard calmly smirked, as he told the two women." Well, I shall talk to you in private later on. I must go and enjoy our party right now." Richard left, casually as he flicked his hand reminiscent to a wave.
Jin noticed this, and although didn't know exactly what was going on, didn't bother to ask, as he had guessed it would be about Drake and Azuki, and more importantly, their approval." So Richard, took care of your business?" Jin asked, Richard, slightly bewildered by this question, replied." Um, is there any need to answer that question?" Jin replied, " Not really. All in good fun after all."
"We're a hell of a team, aren't we?" Drake said, laughing. He raised a glass. Azuki scooched up next to him. "Man we've changed alot. Jin couldn't talk. Elbert was too excited. Richard was about to fall asleep half the time. I had anger issues, I guess. And Azuki...." Drake trailed off at his new girlfriend's glare. "Could of been nicer." Drake turned his attention back to the others.
"Well, to SENSHI, guys!" Drake cheered. The others followed in suit. "To the top, we go!" Richard added, quickly. The cling their glasses together in a toast. A flurry of emotions spinning around. Drake smiled, they had grown quite a bit. He never thought he and Azuki would get together, but fate works in weird ways. He was glad to call this his team.
Richard leaned back on the sofa. New things laid ahead of them. Graduation and promotion into the Military wasn't afar off. Bigger challengea and bigger risks. He grinned at the thought, he had nothing to worry about. From now on they would rely on one another. Not your typical team, but a friends with bonds no threat could break.