Chapter Nineteen: Melee

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Riku and Vlad could see movement within seconds of their landing.
"Can you guys hear me?' Leo's voice asked in their ears. If he wasn't already alert, Riku would have jumped high enough to return to the jet.

"Leo? Where did you come from?" he asked.

"Kira set up earpieces on the way here. You didn't notice?" Vlad spoke as he watched the approaching movement. Riku took a second to reflect on when he was able to keep up with Kira's stealth. He then spotted movement in a building.

"This jet has a few camera settings. The thermal detects one target in the building you're looking at, Riku."
Riku turned to Vlad.
"I'll take this one." Riku said as he sprinted towards the building. Over the sound of his feet hitting the deck of the fortress, he heard Leo mention something about that building being a barrack and several other targets coming from another direction, although Riku couldn't make out the second part. He running jumped through the window, kicking the glass in and landing on what he recognized as a training mat. He looked up and recognized the room as a training room. The room was plain brown with white training mats covering the floor. The far end of the room was covered by a mirror which reflected the room. Riku then spotted a single teen facing the mirror, seemly ensnared in his own reflection. The teen wore brown leather armor which covered his body, causing Riku to think he had entered a video game for half a second. On the teen's back were three scabbards with hilts sticking out of each of them. As Riku took a step towards the teen, he turned and pulled a sword from his back.

"If you have a weapon, draw it!" he called out in an offensively bad japanese accent as he took a fighting pose. Riku looked around the room. On either side of the door Riku had completely ignored were two long quarterstaffs. Riku picked one up and looked at it's height. It was his exact height, like most quarterstaffs, at six feet in length. He spun it around in his hand. A completely standard quarterstaff. He wondered how well it could cut when combined with his power.

"You can drop the accent." Riku said as he walked to the center of the room, letting his authentic Japanese accent show. "It just makes you sound like a racist without skill."
The teen cleared his throat and faced Riku.

"I can assure you, I have skill." he said in a more natural American accent. He reached his left hand behind him and drew a second sword. Riku quickly skimmed each weapon. The sword he held in his left hand was a straight, single edged backsword. Unusually, the edge was dark green. His other sword was a yellow-edged kopis. Both looked more lightweight than for their specific types of swords.

"Before this starts, why were you using a Japanese accent?" Riku asked. "The kopis is a greek sword and all backswords are European. Your racism makes less sense than regular racism."

"Because..." he paused. "Why do I do that,,," he mused. He then looked Riku in the eyes.

"I'm the swordsman under Gideon's leadership!" He shouted as he pointed his backsword at Riku. "My name is Duncan Ebon and my blade will find your throat."
He charged forward, his blade aimed to kill at its first strike.

"Well then, I'm the edge master of the Axis Squad." Riku retorted. He met Duncan in the center of the room, hitting the backsword upwards with the quarterstaff and kicking Duncan in the stomach, causing him to stumble.

"My name is Tamahari Riku and I'm the one who's going to take your swords away."

Duncan recovered quickly and brought his Kopis down against Riku's staff. Riku knocked up upwards like the backsword. While Riku's staff was raised, Duncan lunged again, with the same strike towards Riku's throat. Riku brought his right back to him and chopped his hand against the sword, directing it to Riku's left. He leapt back and regained his grip on the staff. For a second, a confused face dominated Duncan's face. He looked at his backsword, then Riku's hand.

"When the blade pierces a person, it's supposed to kill. That's it's power..."
Riku smiled, then showed his hand.
"When you can make your hand as sharp as you'd like, you can deflect blade's all you like."
Duncan cleared his face of confusion and raised his Kopis.
"You can block blades with your hand. Well, then block this!" he said as he rushed Riku again and struck to Riku's left. Instinctively, Riku put his hand out to reflect the strike. As the blade hit and bounced back, Riku felt as if a thousand pins had been stabbed into his hand and salt was being poured into the wound.

"Aggh." Riku cried out as he lept back and wrapped his hand around the staff, even if he wasn't able to keep it steady. Duncan laughed as he strolled closer to Riku.

"Algolic never fails me." he said, pointing towards Riku with the kopis. "He touches flesh, he causes pain. It's not an instant kill like my Diabolik lover over here." he spun the backsword for effect. "But he does what he needs to."
Riku fought the pain still screaming in his hand and gripped his staff. The pain was spreading throughout his hand. He bit his tongue, trying to ignore the pain, but it felt like the pain of amputating the hand would be lesser than him keeping the hand as it was. With the pain in his hand, he could suddenly see how easy it could be to kill a person, especially the person who could cause that type of pain so easily. He tightened his grip and pointed one end at Duncan.

"Time to take things seriously."
Simultaneously, the two charged. Duncan slashed, Algolic aimed low, Diabolik aimed higher. Riku brought his staff vertical, blocking both of the swords. He pushed both blades back, hopped back, and brought his staff straight and lunged forward with it, stabbing into Duncan's leg. He forced it in further, causing Duncan to cry, or more specifically growl, out in pain. As Riku pulled the staff out, Duncan pulled Diabolik back and sent it towards Riku's head. Riku evaded the strike and rolled under the strike and behind Duncan. As he stood, he twirled around and slashed behind Duncan's knees. Duncan fell to his knees, dropping his swords and onto his hands. Riku dropped the quarterstaff, walked over to Duncan, and picked up his swords. He examined the swords.

"Odd for a sword to possess such powers." Riku said. He looked at the swords. He realized that his previous guess was completely correct. Both swords were unnaturally lightweight. He then looked to Duncan, trying desperately to stand.

"Did you somehow put the powers into your swords?' Riku asked as he swung the swords against the air. They were definitely sharp, cutting through the air twice as fast as the quarterstaff had. Riku heard the sound of Duncan falling forward against the mat.

"Yeah." he said. "Gideon called it the power of the War King. I think the only reason that he showed me how to put my powers in these swords is that he was threatened by what I could do with it."

Riku swung the swords a few more times, getting a feel for them.

"Just stay put. I can promise your safety if you stay here are surrender to whoever comes to secure the fortress."
Riku began walking towards the door with intent to actually use it this time as opposed to jumping through the window like a spaz.

"How about another deal."
Duncan said. Riku turned around in time to see Duncan with a third sword in his hands, stabbing into Riku's chest and sending him into the wall, his blood spilling out onto the floor.

"I kill you, get promoted, and get lessons on how to speak with a Japanese accent."

Riku handed hard against the wall, broken glass crunching under his feet. Duncan stepped forward as he wiped Riku's blood off the sword.

"Genocidic's power will keep me up long enough to kill you.'

He pulled the long broadsword back, ready to thrust it through Riku's chest. With Riku's position against the wall, he knew he wouldn't survive the strike. Riku already taste blood and the way his teeth bit into his tongue didn't help. His eyes quickly skimmed the position. Duncan was preparing a strike, but he left himself wide open. He dropped the kopis to the ground and pushed himself off of the wall with his remaining strength. He held out the backsword Duncan had called Diabolik towards him and thrust it into his chest. 


Immediately, Duncan dropped his longsword and fell into the glass covered mat. Riku didn't have to check his pulse to know that he was dead. He dropped the sword and fell forward onto his knees. He immediately threw up onto the mat, a mix of blood and vomit covering the floor, mixing with his blood that was spilt previously. As he wiped off his mouth and pushed himself back into a standing position, he couldn't tell if he threw up from the pain of being impaled or the realization that he had just taken a life. He turned and stumbled towards the wall. He lied against the wall as his eyes closed, not knowing if he would be able to open them again.

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