"Endlessly judging you."

This article One More Mission, with One New Burden?, is the sole property of Ashy and as such, please do not edit this article without my permission. If you wish to use or change this article in any beneficial way, please discuss with me...and be judged!

This article, One More Mission, with One New Burden?, is property of Zicoihno.

New Mission

One of the great things about the Military HQ's vast grounds was its' additional facilities for training. Outside of the training drill areas, there was a large fitness complex. There were duel arenas for 1 v 1 sparring among other things. It was to keep people fit in their free time. Inside the main exercise room, which was huge, were an array of weights and punching bags. Yet, it was a bad day for the punching bag that was paired with Azuki .

About a dozen people watched as she pounded the crap out of the punching bag with swift, timely kicks and punches. The attacks were graceful but fierce as a tiger. She was in a simple tank top and combat pants. But to be exact, this was about her 5th punching bag. The others were broken, and later removed by the maintenance crew. Azuki wasn't mad or anything like that, but she felt like hitting something; hard.

"What did the poor punching bag do to you?"

Azuki didn't bother to turn to her visitor, she just landed a new slew of punches. "What do you want, Ms. Sunshine?" She asked bluntly. She didn't care to deal with Megan right now. One day, and she already hated the girl. There was just something annoying about people who always have a big smile on their face, at least to Azuki, that is. The group of people could sense the tension between the two and backed away from the scene.

Azuki stopped her miniature onslaught and faced the blonde woman. "Once again, what do you want, ditz?" Azuki repeated, sighing. Megan's left eye twitched, " Smiling alot doesn't make me a ditz. I'm just a happy person. I'm sure you're smart enough to know that. " She remarked calmly. Azkui arched an eyebrow, "Being a smartass doesn't help you either. Now seriously, why are you talking to me? "

Megan crossed her arms against her chest and exhaled. "We're on the same team, get used to it, Besides I need to ask you about someone...." Megan trailed off, causing Azuki to tilt her head in question. Things we're getting interesting. "Come again? Who?" Azuki asked plainly. She was slightly enticed by this. Megan twirled her finger in her hair, "Tell me about this Richard guy...."

There was an awkward for a moment. Azuki looked straight at Megan, a devilish smirk crossed her face. "Oh. Is that it?" The words sent Megan in an internal flurry. "Stop being an ass! I'm just asking about him. Files only say so much. He's pretty talkative, but figured I'd ask one of his teammates. I just asked you since you're the quickest to find today, that's all!" Megan stuttered.

Azuki scratched her head, this was funny. "Anyone, huh? If it was just to learn more it'd have been better to ask Drake, his best friend. I can read you like a book, sunshine. " She said, chuckling softly. "And is that a blush?". Azuki laughed, this was too good to be true. Megan sighed. "Ok. Now can you just get one with it." She asked. Her tolerance for embarrassment was not high, not at all.

Suddenly two soldiers stepped before them.

"SENSHI has been ordered to the office of General Yotsuki."

Azuki simply retorted." Ah, thanks for that. Come on Megan, we can continue this chat later on. We have some work for us." Azuki sped off at high speeds, leaving Megan behind, sighing briefly she thought." Nothing of the sort shall happen to Richard and I, we're just....acquaintances." Gathering her breath, she headed off while, simply using two fingers, she saluted the two soldiers, with a wink that left their hearts craving for more.

Catching up with Azuki quite easily, she briefly was about to ask Azuki a question about Richard, but stopped as she knew the question would have an adverse effect upon herself, with Azuki's continuous taunting after all. She merely smiled mischievously, and asked Azuki." So, you and Drake...huh? Got anything going on yet? You that way?"

Azuki, flushed by this question, stuttered." O-of course not! How could you think of such things!" She exclaimed, before calming down slightly and telling her." Anyways, do you wanna know about Drake and I so that you can grasp onto Richard's weak points to"

Megan was baffled, she turned the entire conversation around in an instant! She simply flushed momentarily before moving onward, as Azuki smirked." Whoo boy." She commented to herself, moving faster as well.

By the time the ladies reached there, Drake, Richard, Jin and Elbert were there, outside the walls of Yotsuki's office, Richard caught on that Azuki and Megan were traveling together, and commented." Oh my? Have the two Devil Queens subsided their...rivalry?" Elbert, picking onto this, retorted with." Richard, AZUKI is the only Devil Queen here, Megan's just a...beast I could say?" The duo were purposefully picking on the two girls, just to get some sort of revenge, one would assume.

Suddenly everyone quickly turned to see Yotsuki appear from behind, with a small grin on his face. Drake cocked an eyebrow, "You came all the way out here, what a pleasant surprise." He said, smirking. "Well, walking is good exercise, no?" Yotsuki remarked, setting his eyes on the group before him. He looked over at Jin and Elbert. "You two aren't on this mission, you've been given guard duty." They instanly moaned in response.

Yotsuki shrugged, not his fault. "If you want to complain. Take it up with Oros...." He said, turning to the remaing four. "You guys are the ones setting off for a mission. " Elbert and Jin trudged off. Oros was one of the people you did not get into arguments with. It was best to suck it up and deal with it. They were soldiers anyhow, one has to adhere to orders accordingly.

Richard yawned, "So what's the mission, " He asked, " something exciting?" Azuki rolled her eyes, that's all he was worried about. "You guys are gonna be taking out a mercenary guild. A big one, but just in numbers." Yotsuki said plainly. He surveyed their expressions. "As they pose a threat some of the Military outposts, it's your job, as SENSHI, to handle them."

Richard grinned, "So what's the main objective?" He asked, getting straight to the point. Drake eyed Yotsuki. The General tipped his hat at them. "Wipe them out. Not kill, but make sure they are utterly defeated. The secondary objective is to destroy their assumed base of operations if possible. And Richard, if possible, figure out some of their 'contacts', eh." Drake and Richard looked at one another, and nodded at eachother.

"Pretty straightforward then. I see why there's no need for the entire squad to go. " Azuki said, crossing her arms. " Well, least we don't have to worry about blondie then."

Richard merely shrugged at this outcome, and looked towards Drake. Wondering why he didn't even mention a word, Richard poked his head comically, and asked him." Oy, lover-boy, you okay? Where has Azuki lead you this time eh?" Richard comically bantered, as Azuki hit his head in retaliation, blushing before telling him." Shut up Richard! Oy, Drake, tell him..." She submitted slightly, Richard just laughed, as Drake did along with them." Haha, sorry. I was just lost. Don't know why though." Megan merely chuckled, before telling Azuki." You seem to be quite the blusher when Drake's name is aroused, don't you think?" Megan seemed to have disregarded Azuki's other comment completely, either that, or didn't hear it.

" Well anyway, you three, we better get going." Richard took charge, knowing Drake would still be spacing off. Everyone commented that Richard and Drake had some sort of telepathic link between both of them, which was perhaps even stronger of a bond than Azuki had with Drake? Although of course, this was not romantic in any way. Richard merely told Yotsuki." Thanks Yotsuki-sensei." Richard, after his promotion in the military, seemed to regard Yotsuki, and by extension, the legend, Tina Amakusa as his masters, who taught him every step of the way.

Yotsuki merely nodded, before Richard took off, not to the mission, but to his home. The others, except for Megan, knew why he went, and they merely went along to their usual meeting place. Megan asked," Where is he going?" Drake merely replied, with a slight smirk." Oh, nowhere, he just needs to get his..costume." Azuki chuckled, and told Megan," You seem to be rather worried? Anything happen that day? Ehh?" Megan flushed once again, and merely told the duo." Shut up, let's get going." Megan walked off prudently, Drake and Azuki just walked behind her, while Yotsuki merely put his hat back on and walked down to his station, where he would sit and do whatever he does all the time.

"You don't even know where we're going."

The words stopped Megan in her tracks, and left her a bit embarassed. She looked over her shoulder to Drake, whom was waiting for some sort of retort. She put on a weak smile, " Maybe you should lead the way, Drake." She said softly. He shook his head walked past her. "Follow me." Drake beckoned, looking over his shoulder towards Megan and Azuki,

Azuki walked past Megan and grabbed her should, telling her to hurry up. They were headed to their usual meeting place for SENSHI. It was a hill on the outskirts of town, about a 10 min walk from Richard's home. Sole City may of been a huge bustling city, but right outside of it was natural beauty at its' finest. Azuki and Megan were walking on opposite sides of Drake, that way arguments were less likely. Less, that is.

Megan looked around, she'd walked around here many times before. On inside, Megan was happy to be part of something bigger then herself-- a team. Azuki may of been annoying as hell, but Drake seemed cool. Yotsuki had warned her that he had temper issues, but she couldn't see it. Jin was silent and somewhat young, but respectable. Elbert was likeable in her eyes too. Richard, she shook her head, that was another story.

Megan clapped her hands together. Azuki arched an eyebrow, here we go she thought. "So what's it like being, you know, a Vista? If you don't mind me asking, Drake?" Megan asked, smiling. " It's cool, I guess. Not something I like to go on about, so people mistake me as cocky or anything. " Drake remarked. He had his hands in his pockets.

Drake was proud of his heritage. But her father always told him to not emphasize on it, since many would get the wrong impression. Why do people assume so much? Not even his grandfather had the answer to that one. "I see. And so you're brothers with Sanjo Vista, right? Good lucks seem to run in the family." Megan said slyly. Drake rolled his eyes at the comment.

Azuki's left eyebrow twitched, "I could kill her right now." Luckily, Azuki the Devil kept her thoughts to herself. They approached the hill. As the walked up, there was no sign of Richard. Azuki wondered how hard it was for him to do this crap and get here, the delay was daunting to her.

It seemed that Richard appeared as Azuki commanded? Richard was running towards his comrades, albeit far more clumsily than he normally would. Finally reaching the three, he panted, and told them." Sorry, sorry. I sorta...had to run from fans." Richard, despite his secretive attitude, at times, was very famous throughout his town, especially with girls. Something he was particularly annoyed with, considering that Rihanna would usually be greatly annoyed at the attention.

" Finally here eh? So this is your Covert Operations attire?" Megan asked him, looking up and down to find Richard in a rather...appealing attire. Consisting of a black shirt he wore similarly in his academy days, albeit, unbuttoned for freedom of movement, thus revealing a lithe muscular figure. Along with this, he wore form-fitting light blue jeans and black, calf-high boots. Finishing the attire off, he wore black, arm-length gloves which are fingerless, and a large, beige coat over this, with it an effective hood. However, Richard had no pockets, and as such, he carried his blade on him.

Azuki looked at Megan briefly, whistling ever-so-slightly before remarking." Oh? What's wrong Megan? You're tranced?" Megan snapped out of it, and blushed, causing Richard to slightly blush as well, before chuckling." Well, we better head off, right?" Drake asked, slightly bewildered at the turn of events. Richard intervened, asking Azuki." Hey Azuki, you mind keeping my sword for me?" Megan then intervened, telling Richard." Hey Richard, don't worry, I'll keep them for ya'" Snatching his blade, she quickly used Requip to send them away. Azuki just chuckled before telling everyone." Well, let's go."

Mercenary Guilds Are a Dime a Dozen

Yotsuki had given them the general location where this mercenary guild operated. But, unfortunately, Intel didn't have the exact location. All that was known was they based themselves in a forest near a small town, they made sure to steer clear of that town as to keep from accumulating any new damage charges. Drake to the front flank, and Richard was at the rear. Azuki and Megan were on the left and right respectively. Richard crossed his hands behind his head as the walked through the shady forest.

All they needed to do was wait for some scouting members to show up, take'em out, wait for the calvary to arrive; man handle them. Mission accomplished, that was the plan. Simple, concise, and workable. "He sure looks pretty relaxed for a mission like this." Megan thought. Admittedly, she has not been in much real life combat-- at least not of this class. This mission would rank up as a SS-Class job in a guild.

But with 4 powerful mages, the mission wasn't daunting. As Drake put it, the enemy simply had decently skilled numbers. "Nervous, Megan?" Drake asked, grinning. Megan glared at Drake, she wasn't a fan of such swipes. "Well, if you're nervous and can wait for us at that town, whatever it's called. " Drake taunted, waving her off. Richard chuckled, Drake really knew how to get under people's skin for the fun of it. Azuki chuckled as well.

Megan bit her lip, seems like Drake was quite the smart alec. Well, you learn new things everyday. And this was her team from here on out? "Anyway, don't be afraid to use deadly force if need be. Mercenaries can be crafty at times, don't let your guard down." Drake added. Unlike Richard's lazy self, to Megan, Drake was a more focused and straight forward guy.

Megan's looked above her, the trees were quite tall in this forest. Not towering, but very high. There was a rustle in the bush that almost sent her in a flurry. "Calm down, Megan, it's just a raccoon." Richard said, hushing her. She was confident, but it looked like she had her nervous side to her. "Trust me, Blondie, we'll know when we have company." Azuki remarked quickly.

Megan flushed, before calming down again, and told Azuki, with a slightly conceited tone to her." Yeah, yeah, I know. I was just..testing your reaction!" Moving her head to the side, seemingly dismissing her comrades' presence, she, in her own inner world scolded herself." WHAT ARE YOU DOING MEGAN!? Calm down, and take things slowly, got it!"

Richard noticed Megan clenching her fist and punching a tree, causing a slight rustle in the woods, which caused Azuki and Drake no hindrance at all, as they merely peered towards Megan and sighed. Richard tapped her shoulder, as he told her." Megan, calm down. It's your first mission, of course you're nervous, and if you are, you can talk to us. It's not like you can't."

Megan, blushing as he looked at Richard's caring face, looked away, as she took her hand off of her, merely stuttering mildly." T-thanks." Although Drake didn't bother looking, Azuki chuckled as she noticed the two, remembering her old days with Drake as rivals.

A noise picked up, footsteps could be heard by the party. Richard immediately taking command, told Megan first," Megan, give me my blade!" A voice of superiority overcame her briefly, as she took his blade out of the pocked dimension and threw it to him. Catching it with a single hand, Richard told his comrades." Get in position guys...they're coming!"

Several figures descended from the trees above and surrounded SENSHI in a circular fashion. Drake's eyes shifted from side to side, seemed like they had been met with a squad scouts. They were all armed with a variety of weapons. Not Azuki, or any of the other three, were fazed by this. In one glance, Richard could tell these guys were more or less bottom of the barrel.

"Who are you, and what is your purpose" A tall man said stepping forward, he was clad in a monk-esque garb. Not really the ideal clothing of a mercenary, but that didn't matter. Richard looked over at Drake, the latter would handle this. "Two things to keep in mind. First, we are of the military and were deployed. Second, we're here to deal with a Mercenary guild. It's best you don't impede our path." Drake said calmly. It was obvious they were part of the guild, but it had to be confirmed.

The man's eye twitched at Drake's final words. Megan edged her foot, she could cut the tension with a knife. Azuki narrowed her eyes at another man tightening his grip on his battle ax. Obviously they had found the mercenary welcoming committee. "Any time now, Drake or Richard. Give us the damn signal" Azuki took notice of her closest opponents.

In an instant one of them dashed at Azuki, dual blades in each hand. She could tell this one was adept at the martial arts. Azuki dodged a series of quick slashes, and then rammed her right fist into his stomach. Blood splattered from his mouth. The others were hesitant to move in. Quickly, Azuki grabbed his arm and hurled him into a tree. "Hawk's Eye!" Suddenly her eyes glowed a light blue. A moving kaleidoscopic pattern appeared in each eye. "Eye Magic?" Megan commented to herself.

"Drake, there aren't any other for a few miles. But up ahead there's a make shift fort with dozens more there, that's what I can tell." Azuki said quickly as another man came in, but was met by a windmill kick. "Hawk's Eye, it gives Azuki piercing telescopic vision. It's time to let loose and handle the rest." Richard pondered, drawing his blade in a flash. Megan requipped a pair of elongated silver pistols. Drake smiled slyly, "Alright, people. Time to raise hell."

Richard smirked, and began to move at excessive speeds, with the others barely keeping up with him, as his blade flashed and lingered in the air. Strike upon strike from his sword, as gashes appeared in all who attempted to cut him. Drake merely groaned as he used a powerful punch on a middle-aged man that attempted to stab him, telling Richard." Oy, calm down, let us take some down!"

At this time, Megan's pistols were charging with pale blue energy, as she let loose a flurry of powerful energy spheres which exploded merely on contact, causing all of her enemies to be left scarred with the burns of their lust. In the meantime, Azuki merely equipped her Celestial Halberd, as she spun it round and round, slicing and dicing those who came by her, although not lethally of course.

Stopping mid-way, Richard scanned the area, merely waving his hand in the air to create a dense mist in the surrounding area. Then, Richard immediately told the team." There are several soldiers stationed here, I can tell that they're disoriented by my mist, can you hear their footsteps?" Richard asked the team, as Megan, Drake and Azuki could all hear small steps.

Azuki was bewildered, wondering," How could something as trivial as these guys pass through my Hawk's eye!?" Richard merely responded." They didn't pass through it, they weren't there at the time you used it. These guys have just been stationed here, just after your Hawk's eye was deactivated. You see, these mercenaries are quite the strategists, but, I'm no less."

Megan knew that Richard was smart, but THIS smart was completely out of her mind. She didn't blush this time however, and focused at the task at hand. She then proposed." Um..should I take them out with my long-ranged attacks, it'd be more efficient that way. One of you could tell me where and when to shoot?" Ready with her guns in hand, she waited for her orders. Surprisingly, Megan was quickly getting used to the idea of "listening", at the least, to Richard.

"Alright! We need split and dismantle these guys!" Drake shouted. He pointed in front of them. " Azuki and I will attack them head on. Richard, you and megan can attack from one of the side flanks. I leave that to you." They all nodded in agreement. They had taken care of the welcome party; now onto the main force. Richard and Megan took off to the side.

Drake figured that he'd attack them head on with Azuki, while Richard and Megan move in from either the left or right flank. Knowing that Megan used guns magic, she could pick off people in a heart beat as they closed in from the side. He may not compare to Richard, but Drake could be quite strategic. "Let's get moving, Drake." Azuki remarked. She requipped her halberd, and twirled it to her side.

"Right." He complied, nodding. They took off for the main force of the mercenaries. Azuki had reactivated her Hawk's Eye, she noted that they seemed to be readying to fight. Looks like they had someone watching the whole ordeal back there. "Azuki, I'm gonna be using that magic. So, sorry in advance if I clean up to many of them before you can. " Drake said, smiling haughtily. She smirked at the statement, things were about to get fun.

The fiery pair raced through the forest like wolves. Up ahead were dozens of mercenaries lying in wait, ready to pounce on their enemy. Knowing that Richard would handle one of the flanks, Drake could just worry about raising hell on his end with Azuki. Azuki zipped past Drake. Drake heard some shouting and hollers, it seems they knew they were coming.

In a clearing within the forest, dozens of men took their battle stances. Some armed and others unarmed. Most seemed nervous, it was no laughing matter to be dealing with the military. According to a scout that used the others as a diversion, their enemy was a unit called SENSHI. There were indiscriminate murmurs among them as they stood waiting, they had heard rumors of SENSHI and those rumors didn't give them any more faith.

"If any of you try to run away, I'll kill you with my own hands!" A large, middle aged man shouted, clenching his fist. They had their pride as mercenaries, and they would not lose to a bunch of young soldiers. A young woman walked past him, she had a vile look on her face. Her jet black hair and blood red eyes did not make her expression any less intense. The future of their guild was hanging on fending off their enemy and escaping....somehow. "Don't let their magic intim--"

Azuki emerged from the woods like a missle. She parried a sword that had came her way in mid-air. Two more men dashed at her, weapons in hand. She quickly pivoted to parry each attack. The clang of the blades of their weapons echoed throughout the forest. All surrounding enemies were thrown into a frenzy. The noise tipped Richard off that things had begun.

Richard's keen senses picked up on the action, signalling her to move out. They moved from the west and the east, quickly converging upon the large battlefield. Megan's eyes were determined, and upon reaching her destination, she immediately pulled her triggers, letting open two chains of a pure white, clutching onto two men, she threw them throughout the battlefield, causing many to be flown apart from one another and scream with pain and agony.

On the other side, Richard seemed to shrug off the torturous methods used by Megan, and closed his eyes. Momentarily, he gathered energy, chanting," Mary Immaculate, Star of the Morning. Chosen before the creation began, Destined to bring, through the Light of your Feathers, Satan's conquest, Purge through Iblis, it begins anew!" The words brought about the circling of magical energy, a dark feeling was brought about surrounding Richard. An orb of darkness crackles with the dark light it emits, a single wave of his palm caused the energy to fling onto the ground. Suddenly, the darkness released itself, absorbing much magical power immediately. A column of majestic darkness, the force buildup caused incapacitation upon several of the mercenaries.

The onlookers were amazed, Richard's spell was complete, and even SENSHI was amazed at it's power. Richard merely spoke the words,"Satanic Awakening" None of the SENSHI members had ever heard of this spell before, and even Drake, Richard's closest friend hadn't the slightest idea of this spell. Yet, it was here, Richard's power of darkness overwhelmed the enemy, yet it retreated as soon as it came.

Richard told Megan," what are you doing? Don't we have an enemy to defeat here? Don't pause because of a single spell goddammit!" Drake and the others were back on their feet in no time, maneuvering their enemy was like driving a straight road, flawlessly they defeated the flanks that came towards them, Megan with her marksmanship, Drake with his prodigious Ice-related magic, Azuki with her halberd and Richard with his blade, they made an absolutely decimating team.

A few men charged towards Drake, enraged. He sighed at the effort, as futile as it was. He weaved between them speedily, slamming his fists into each of them. They fell in pain as Drake came to hault. He looked around him, they had wiped out most of their forces. "Drake! More coming your way! " Azuki shouted as she slashed down another opponent. Drake's eyes shifted to the right as over a dozen enemies made their presence known.

He smirked in delight. "I'll take care of them in one go, " Drake thought. He clenched his feet as he whipped his head back a bit. Megan's eyes fell on Drake as she felt a surge in magical power. "Frost God's Bellow!" Drake blew out a massive wave of jet black ice. It enveloped his enemies in the blink of an eye. Their screams were short lived as they were violently frozen and launched through the thicket of trees.

In a wide spanning cone shape, there was a trail of black ice. A byproduct of Drake's attack. Megan gawked at the sight, it wasn't as spectacular as Richard's last spell but she was left with one question. "What the hell was that?" She asked herself, lowering her pistols. She felt a tap on the shoulder. She peered over her shoulder to see Azuki.

"I guess it wasn't in his file, huh? Drake's a God Slayer, well, an artificial one, " Azuki said, touching her finger to her lip in question. "Though he never told me how he pulled that off, or why the ice is black. Well, now you know, sunshine." Megan nodded in agreement, she knew now. She had some interesting comrades.

Azuki tilted her head in question as Drake walked towards them. Her Haldberd disappeared at her command. She raised her arms in question as if to ask what he was doing. "Well, if you let me talk first. Richard should be finishing up these clowns. I'll go after their leader, he seems to have fled like a coward, " Drake remarked. Azuki and Megan nodded in agreement with plan. Immediately, he took off through the trees.

It was ironic, sorely ironic. The same leader who had babbled to his men not to flee, had gone on and made a run for it. Cowardice is one thing, hypocritical cowardice is different story. Drake didn't like people like that, not one bit. During the battle, he had kept an eye on their leader's postion. He knew he was heading north, and that's all he needed to know.

Richard looked at Drake for a moment and had understood the situation. Being best friends with him for so many years had refined their...almost telepathic communication to mind-boggling levels. He looked at Megan, before telling her." Don't worry about Drake, he'll be fine. I want you to take care of these guys, I'm going to finish this thing big bang."

Richard had an almost demonic grin on his face that Megan feared slightly, before calming herself and moving along to his orders. She equipped her pistols and began to shoot, incapacitating those in her path with a single shot.

Richard moved along and backward, it seemed that he had already planned this out in advance, not surprising for one of his skill. He chanted the command," Dark Moment" The entire field became pitch black, as he then manipulated the magical power from afar, allowing his team complete vision. He told everyone telepathically, via his Hive Magic." Finish this off guys, I only have a bit of time. Drake and Azuki, finish it off with a big bang for some fun. Megan, move south, now!" Richard was serious yet at the same time had a humorous tone which was normally present in him.

Drake smirked, "A big bang, eh?". He cracked his knuckles in excitement. "Azuki, I'm gonna use a full power bellow. Not like that practice round a moment ago. You know what you need to do on your end, " Drake said, clenching his fist. It was now or never. "Hmph!" Azuki scoffed sharply. "Telling me what to do, " Azuki twirled her halberd in front of her. She swiped it forward as four large glowing balls appeared in a horizontal manner.

"It ends here!" Drake shouted. He huffed his chest and threw his head back once more. He had no interest in prolonging this battle any longer, and the cue by Richard made it clear that they needed to wrap things up. Everyone around could feel a sharp influx of magical power as if something huge was building up within Drake. Azuki quickly tightened the grip on her Halberd and swiped it forward fiercely again. Drake shot his head forward and released a fury like none other.

"Frost God's Bellow!"

"Orion's Belt!"

Drake unleashed a massive fury of black ice. It was like a concentrated swirling blizzard of noteworthy proportions. Like a ravaging monster from common folklore, it violently romped and enveloped the enemy in their entirety. Azuki shot forward four spheres of magical energy that exploded on impact. Together, the attacks created a massive explosion. The impact of the blast sent all the trees blowing in the opposite direction. The attack's deafening sound muttered the screams of its' victims.

Megan felt herself skidding backwards as the shockwave suddenly blew her back completely. She quickly flipped and pushed off a tree before smashing into it. Richard knelt behind a tree as he watched from afar. It was done. It was over. It was their victory. He shielded his face with his forearm. "I hope Megan's alright, those two really put things to rest. A nasty combination attack, that one is."

The smoke and dust cleared to reveal a mess of bodies littered on the ground. They were covered partly by black ice here and there. There area was deathly silent save for the hiss of the soft breeze.

Megan dropped onto the ground, stumbling as she reached on her feet. Gripping onto a tree, she held her balance, before remarking," Oh my, that was one big bang guys, excellent job!" Unusually, there was no sarcasm in her voice; in fact her opinion was genuine this time, much to Azuki's surprise, who replied,"Thanks I guess, though we've practiced that out for a while."

Richard leaped off the tree and got onto the ground, smirking before saying;" I'm sure you've been practicing a variety of things. Wouldn't you agree Drake?" Richard liked to make such comments, mainly to make those two feel uncomfortable. He awaited Drake's reply to his comment.

Drake rolled his eyes at the comment. "Coming from the guy almost looking cozy with Megan, " Drake taunted. Azuki let out a loud whistle as she looked at the aftermath of the attack. "Looks like it's time to head back." She turned as she heard footsteps approached. Megan made her way to her comrades as she stepped over bodies cautiously.

"Are we just gonna leave them here?" Megan asked, pointing her thumb back at the mess of bodies. Richard chuckled, "Don't worry, an airship is en route as we speak. They'll be taking care of these guys." Azuki's halberd immediately dissapated in a glimmer of light. Quickly, she nudged Richard.

"Right. So, how'd you like your first mission, Megan?" Richard asked, smiling. Megan knew she could say alot of things, but she figured she'd keep it short. She casually put her hands on hips. "This was an eventful day, I'll leave it at that. But it was fun, but more importantly, " She replied, arching an eyebrow, " is this all we have to do in terms of the mission itself?"

Richard noticed there was some explanation needed here. Since he knew Drake probably didn't feel like doing it, he should. "Well, after this is the mission debriefing. Also, there's a mission report. But, that's just Drake and I, " Richard said. "You mean just me, " Drake interjected. Richard arched an eyebrow in question. "No, you and me, man."

"Richard, you can't turn in a mission report a week late and act like you did something right!" Drake contested. Richard's smirk didn't falter at the accusation. " Eh, two days, one week, it's all the same to me, " Richard replied slyly. "You do it every bloody time! " Drake stopped himself, they have had this argument before. "You know what, forget it."

Azuki chuckled at the exchange, Richard's laziness knew no bounds at times. "Calm down, you two. We should start heading back, anyway."

Back to Base, Revelations and Irritations

At the front gate of Oros Richard's office, Jin waited with his casual, almost graceful expression upon his face before suddenly that turned to a grim frown, well, comically grin that is. Richard soon asked him," What's up Jin? Why are you so tense?" Jin made a small smile, before saying, " Welcome back everyone, Oros Sir seems to be quite annoyed. You should go and meet him right now."

Richard's expression went blank, he asked Jin." How mad?" Elbert intervened and said." Quite mad, you guys better be careful. Richard, especially you." Richard sighed a big sigh, before saying." Shall we go?" The others exchanged looks of curiosity. They didn't want to, but figured they'd just head in for their next scolding.

Drake and Richard waltzed in ahead of the others into the Commanders office. A small shiver went down their spines as they watched an irritated Oros tapping his fingers on the rounded cherry wood desk before him. The others filed into the office with haste. Azuki and Megan took a seat as the others remained standing. No one knew what to say first. Drake nudged Richard to say something, he quickly refused. Megan arched an eyebrow as she watched from the corner of her eye, it was like they could read each other's mind.

"Good job, SENSHI. You guys wiped them all out and incurred not one casualty. No bad at all."

Everyone save for Megan looked at their superior in question. A small smile cracked across Richard's face, it was nice to get some praise. His strategy was perfect and should be treated so. "At least, that's what you want me to say, isn't it?" Oros added, shaking his head. Their heads drooped in shame, they should of known. Megan was all but confused as things proceeded.

His eyes locked onto Richard's smug face like a the scope of a rifle. "You're most guilty pulling of spells that aren't even necessary, " Oros shouted, "Also, Drake and Azuki, you two aren't innocent either." Elbert laughingly shook his head, this was really getting too normal for them. Oros looked back over to Megan, whom was busy twiddling her thumbs. She figured she'd just stay quiet, which was was pretty hard for her.

"Listen, kid, don't let these troublemakers influence you too much. But I fear I've spoken too late," Oros said, leaning back in his chair.

" Are we done here Commander? I actually have some business with Yotsuki-san to take care of as well." Richard smugly commented, not even bothering to register the authority of the Commander before them. It seemed that Richard had laziness beyond beliefs of everyone in the world.

Megan herself felt a bit awkward around this casual atmosphere, she was always taught to respect her superiors, and these people were casual! It didn't make sense to her, and she whispered to Azuki." Are things normally like this over here?" She stuttered and hoped she wasn't caught by the commander before them.

Azuki forced out a soft laugh, lying was pointless. "Pretty much, though this is more Oros being nice, " Azuki whispered, smirking. Megan wasn't sure what to say, in the military, as anyone knows, speaking casually with superiors was taboo among other things. But she could see exceptions existed. A smile spread across her face, life was surely gonna get alot more interesting.

Azuki stood to her feet. "With all that said, we can head off now, right, Oros-dono?" She asked calmly. Oros let out a rough sigh. His eyes scanned the group before him. "Get out of here, there's nothing else left to say, " Oros said, pointing towards the door of his office, " dial down the nonsense. I'm getting tired of repeating myself." Drake smirked, long as the top brass were strict about this, arguments like this were inevitable.

"Anyway, I'm off for some grub. Azuki, you coming? Jin?" Drake asked. Azuki stepped past Drake, "Sounds fine to me, I'm starving." Jin shrugged at the proposal, not sure what to do.

Elbert hooked his arm around Jin's shoulders, telling him," Come on Jin! Let's go! I'm starving anyway!" Jin was always appalled to see Elbert's behavior, but merely let out a small smile and replied." Fine, you guys go, I'll follow along."

Richard sighed and merely walked away, waving to everyone whilst saying." I'll meet ya' there, so stay a bit late!" Drake merely responded with a small thumbs up as they got going their separate ways.

Megan was stuck in between, she didn't know whether to go home, or hang out with Drake, Azuki and the rest. However; because of the dilemma she faced of everyone despising her, she seemed to go with the latter.

Steadily, she approached Azuki and the rest, and asked." Mind if I join you guys?" Drake was slightly concerned by this, he pondered about why Megan would want to join them for an outing? Then he left his concern, and merely responded." What do you guys think?"

Nobody really minded Megan's company this one time, it seemed that slowly she began to prove her worth. Azuki was the one to talk this time, merely saying." Sure, she can join us." It was a tendency that nobody had the authority to argue with Azuki over certain things, including Drake himself. Everyone nodded and merely wandered on to Sole City.

In the meantime, Richard was heading towards his home to change into more casual clothes. These things suffocated him, and with Rihanna's insistence of him changing his clothes every damn time just irked him. He knocked on the door and merely entered casually as he normally did.

Rihanna was at the door, and stared at him thoroughly. He pondered about what was going on, and poked Rihanna on the head, pushing her back while asking, "What's up?" Rihanna's voice began to echo slightly," So...what's with you and that new Bimbo huh?" Richard laughed the comment away, shrugging Rihanna aside, he replied," Eh, she's too much like you for me to even bother liking her. So please, you can stop with the whole jealousy thing."

Rihanna was astounded as Richard swiftly went upstairs and closed the door to his room. He quickly changed clothes into a lavender dress shirt and a pair of pants before leaping down the window out of his room. He was sprinting towards Yotsuki's office, hoping he would make it in time.

Richard stepped before the door to Yotsuki's office, it was time. He wished he could of went out with the others, but it was time. Richard wondered how he and Megan could of gotten on even better terms, however, it was time. He opened the door to find Yotsuki behind his desk, alone. His expression seemed abnormally serious. Richard took a deep breath as he closed the door behind him. He made his way toward Yotsuki's desk.

"You look a little nervous."

The words caught Richard by surprise. "Eh? I'm fine, actually. Shall we begin?" Richard asked calmly. Yotsuki tossed a bound file to the end of the desk. "Your objective, as you know, is Fraus Lumen, " Yotsuki said, clasping his hands, " They are not ones we can deal with directly without losses. Which is why we play the game that's nearly as old as humanity itself, the spy game. " Richard chuckled softly, "With how you say it, it almost makes me tense."

"No jokes right now, " Yotsuki interjected sharply, "You're gonna be the main instrument into starting Fraus' downfall. SENSHI will come in later, but you have your part to play first." Yotsuki looked Richard in the eyes, he hoped Richard could handle this. Because with what was gonna happen, Richard's very mental fortitude could be tested.

Richard's very facial expression went exceptionally glum, far more than what would be expected of him. It seemed that he already knew what Yotsuki was hinting at, and Richard didn't like the sound of it." Are you suggesting that I...?" Richard didn't want to continue that sentence, it made him feel sick just thinking about it.

Standing up and slamming his fist on Yotsuki's desk, he begun to silently, but surely rage." You expect me to openly "betray" my friends in order to gain information on this guild! Do you realize what would happen to them when they figure this out?! They will break down! And my sister! What about her!?" Richard was as emotional as a young boy at this point, despite external appearances, Richard was as fragile as glass when it came down to his loved ones.

Yotsuki didn't bother to look into Richard's eyes, it would only make things worse. The boy's anger was its' boiling point. "You knew this would be a troublesome mission. Furthermore, you fight for Fiore. Fiore comes first, then comes your friends. Richard, you are a soldier. Duty is the priority, " Yotsuki said plainly. Richard clenched his teeth. It was the first time the obligation to duty was slapped in face.

Somehow, even as a member of the Covert division, he has never had to sacrifice anything. Yet, that was no longer true. Richard eyes trailed side to side as he fumbled through his thoughts. Richard had to remember that he had swore an oath, an oath that put his job over anything and everything. Part of him wanted to punch Yotsuki, the other part knew he needed to suck it up.

"This the dark part of a soldier's duty, " Yotsuki said softly, " No one likes talking about it.This is the part that doesn't get fanfares by civilians. As covert fighters, we don't get much praise as it stands. Richard, I know you love your friends, and even more so, your sister. But that's not what's most important. It is time, what will your next move be?" Yotsuki shot a glare at Richard suddenly. It was time to get down to business.

Richard had decided, he couldn't be a little baby anymore, he was a soldier, and more importantly a mage. He couldn't continually hide the fact that he was the sole person who could fulfill this portion of the mission. He looked Yotsuki in the eye, sat down on his chair and told him," I'm ready for this, what do I have to do first?"

"It's time to cut your ties."

Richard arched an eyebrow, he was in no mood for beating around the bush. Yotsuki cleared his throat for a moment. " You need to stage your betrayal in an obvious manner, " He said, folding his hands. "What did you have in mind? " Richard asked nervously. Things were about to get a little crazy. The remorse swelling up in Richard was beyond words.

"You're smart enough to know how to pull it off. Just don't do anything illogical. Don't seriously clash with Drake, that won't end well, " Yotsuki said sharply. Richard rolled his eyes at the second half of the comment. "I'm well aware, just make sure no other military personnel get in my way, " Richard replied. He slowly rubbed his hands to keep his composure. There was no turning back now.

"Also, kid. I don't know what you have going on with Megan, but don't let it ruin things, " Yotsuki remarked. Richard found Yotsuki's tone rather bothersome. Not because of the nature of it, but that it was coming from Yotsuki. His mission really was very dire. On the inside, he just wondered how he was gonna explain himself when the time came.

" Yes sir, I'll do precisely as needed, nothing more or less." Richard's tone went serious and grim, it seemed he had formulated the exact plan he'd need to conduct. As he was walking outside, he turned back and looked at Yotsuki for a moment. Richard, one more time with his signature smile, "Well, I'll be off Yotsuki-sensei! See ya later!" Richard disappeared without a trace, a strand of hair remaining behind and gracefully gliding onto Yotsuki's desk.

The wind blew softly, it knew the events that were about to occur and had been disheartened. Softly, purple hair blew alongside the winds, golden eyes looked onto the sun setting in the horizon, and two lips merely uttered.

" Sorry everyone, I'll see you guys later I guess..."

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