What's new
Frozen in Carbonite

Welcome to FiC! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

The Warrior of the Orange Scarf (Isekai)

Newcomer 1

Bradley Q.

Well-known member
As the rising sun peeked out of the remaining clouds in the sky, casting it's rays down into the meadow, Estamel's eyes slid open.

Feeling groggy, she put her left arm against the ground as she sat up. Feeling the moisture in the grass, she looked over at her clothes. She had been wearing her work attire- a white coat, buttoned undershirt, business shoes, and a belt- and now her entire left side as well as her sleeves were showing grass stains. This was going to be embarrassing to explain

"Dammit", Estamel muttered to herself, "why did I lie down in the middle of a goddamn field wearing this?"

And as she tried to look back and see what had led to this ridiculous mistake, she found… nothing. She couldn't remember putting on the suit, going out on a hike, or lying down to rest in the grass. Come to think of it, why was she out here at all? She didn't recall this being one of her off days.

Estamel stood up, trying to get a grasp of her surroundings. The field she was in was dotted with small shrubs and bushes, and was gently sloping in the direction her eyes had been facing, with a small brook at the end. In the opposite direction there was a road of sorts, with forests lining the two remaining sides. In the direction of the brooks, she could make out a… mountain? That didn't seem right, there were no mountains anywhere near her home.

She reached down into her coat pocket to check her phone, but found nothing there. "The fuck?" she said aloud. Anxiously, she checked her other pockets, but they too were empty aside from an old receipt, a pen, and a plastic candy wrapper she had forgotten to throw out. The ground around her had nothing, and when she looked to her wrist, hoping her digital watch could ping it, she found the watch was missing too.

This is bad. This is really bad.
Focus, Estamel, focus. If you got yourself into this you can get yourself out. What happened to you the day before?

Her memory was still a haze. She was having trouble remembering anything about herself or her life, for some reason. But slowly, some things started to come back. She could recall something happening at work- she couldn't recall what, but the sadness the idea carried was telling- and leaving early. She had spent the rest of the day lying at her computer and occasionally trying to call someone- my parents? A friend?- who never responded. That evening, she had went to a dive bar, and started drinking… Jesus Christ.

Did I seriously pass out drunk in a bar and get dumped out here?

Except… that didn't seem right, because she was still wearing her work clothes, especially the lab coat. And if someone had stolen her things and dropped her off as their idea of a prank, why would they drive her so far away from town?
Nervousness starting to take hold, Estamel looked and felt over her suit. There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary… until she ran through her hair and felt something fuzzy on the left side of her head. She shrieked and grabbed it, thinking it was an animal, but when she did she could feel her own fingers applying pressure. Tapping on it, she not only felt the pressure, but could notice the hearing on her left side change, as well as the wind direction seeming to shift. She pulled up her right hand, and felt the same odd object on her right side as well. Perplexed, she felt down her back… and noticed something else seemingly anchored just below her belt on her jeans.

After a couple seconds of disbelief, she turned and ran down the slope to the river, where she looked down at her own reflection.

"What the hell…"
On top of her head, there was a pair of cat ears poking up through her short black hair. To make things even weirder, these weren't just 'normal' cat ears: they had long tufts on the end, like those on a bobcat or caracal. Turning sideways, she saw that wasn't all: there was also a black tail about five inches long poking out at the base of her spine. Estamel first thought that the tail and ears were fake and glued on, but a couple tugs and pinches quickly proved that these were indeed part of her- whatever that meant.

Am I hallucinating? Or is this a dream of some sorts?

She tried to reach back her memories, but as she tried she realized something was wrong. She was having trouble remembering anything about herself. Her home, friends and family, and just about everything pertaining to her life before waking up felt like an odd blur. And even though she could recall general things about the world, she still felt an air of obscurity over it, like a book with random words and sentences redacted.

"Hello?" She shouted. "Is anyone out there?"

Silence. Wherever she was, nobody was close by.

Estamel decided to take a sip from the brook. She wasn't feeling particularly thirsty or hungover- on the contrary, she actually felt the most rested she had in a while- but she knew that wherever she was going, she'd probably be walking for a while. She made her way up to the road, which looked like a typical two-lane street.

Now… which way to go? With the sun rising there, it looks like this road is running roughly north-south.

After a couple seconds, she unceremoniously decided to go north. It was unlikely to matter- there was bound to be something down either direction, and every minute spent agonizing over where to go was a minute better spent getting home.


Not long after Estamel got going, she started to wish she had more comfortable clothes. While the white coat wasn't bad, the button-down shirt didn't offer much insulation or absorb sweat, and the jeans felt like they constrained her movement too much. The road was winding, and fallen branches seemed to be a common appearance. Driving here wouldn't be fun.

Wary of becoming worn out, she looked in the woods to her sides for a walking stick. Surprisingly, she was able to find a decent fallen branch right away, with just the right height for her and a perfect notch to hold onto. She walked for what felt like about five miles before it snapped.
Grumbling, she considered whether she should go back into the forest for another stick. Her old one had been helpful, but if it's replacement was going to break like the other one than it wasn't worth it.

Estamel tried to think of the last time she had been hiking, and remembered that she had brought a pre-built stick for the occasion. It had been made out of some sort of carbon fiber, and had a rubber cap on the bottom with a nice handle on the top. What I wouldn't do to have that thing right now, she thought, and then noticed an odd tingling sensation in her hands.
Looking down, some odd sort of white vapor seemed to have gathered, dissipating almost the second she looked at it.
Wait a sec.
Estamel held her hands out like she was holding onto a pole. She brought back the thought of wanting a real walking stick, right now at this second. The white smoke returned- and this time she doubled down on the thought, trying to hold the idea of the stick in her mind.
The smoke expanded, suddenly took the form of a long straight pole, and then seemingly dissipated outwards. In her hands, there was now a long walking stick. It wasnt actually a replica of the one she had earlier at all- it was black, with the rod feeling like some sort of metal rather than fiber, and the specific design seemed different- but it was still just about exactly what she needed. The sheer surprise of the stick appearing was enough that she tossed it away and left backwards.
After a couple seconds away from her, the roof seemingly turned back into mist and went away.

Curiosity overwhelming her, she repeated the same steps as before and was rewarded with a new stick, exactly identical to the one she had made earlier. Instead of throwing it away, she focused on the idea of not needing the stick. It turned into mist and it anymore and wanting something else. The stick turned into mist and went away again, although this time the mist almost seemed to retract into her palms. Then, having an idea, she tried to focus on her smartphone, and got… nothing. The mist started to gather in her hands but wouldn't take shape. She then tried to create a flare gun, and then a two-way radio, both times failing. She then tried to make a survival knife, which did work.

Okay. So after… whatever happened to me, I can make tools out of thin air, but only simple ones.
Am I just going completely nuts right now?

Behind her, she heard a branch crack, the obvious sound of a creature trying to stay quiet while sneaking in the woods behind her. Jolted, she whirled around, only to find a small deer behind her. The deer gave her a nervous stare, but proceeded on it's way afterwards.

She summoned back her walking stick, and proceeded on her way. As she had hoped, this stick was even better than the branch she had found earlier. Moving steadily, she started to think things over.

Waking up in a field with no idea how she had got there was strange. Getting a set of caracal ears and tail was absolutely bizarre. But this new ability meant that she could violate the law of conservation of mass on command.
And yet… that wasn't even the only weird thing. She had yet to see a single car on this road. Sure, if this was some backcountry passageway , it wouldn't be surprising for traffic to be sparse. But it still seemed weird to have nobody out here.

Estamel glanced up at the sun. Based on its current position, it was at least past noon, meaning that she had been traveling for at least a couple hours. But she didn't really feel tired, although she was starting to wish she had a snack. Why?

"I'll figure out what all this craziness is when I get out of this nowhere. Until then, I'll just keep moving."


Not long after, the lone pathfinder spotted a crossroads in the distance. At first she was unexpired, but upon spotting a cluster of buildings she unsummoned her stick and surged forward. Once she arrived though, she was now faced with a new level of confusion.
There was four structures at the intersection- a gas station, some sort of restaurant, what looked like a rest stop, and a sad heap of rubble with no discernible function. The three standing buildings had no lights on and showed clear signs of not only disrepair but also forced entry. To top things off, their shelves were completely empty, at least from the outside looking in. The sign on the restaurant had fallen down, but a display towered over the station: RAVEN GAS
Outside one, a sign was placed:

"...cleared for what?" she muttered aloud. Sure, they could be unstable or have rusty metal left behind, but wasn't that just an obvious risk of going into an abandoned building?

She walked up to the gas station, and peeked through the windows into the building. The shelves seemed to have been picked clean of anything edible. There was a few things she could see remaining, though- a couple small bottles of hand sanitizer on a shelf, a pack of matches that had fallen to the floor, and what looked like a whistle left behind. All good stuff to have, she thought.

The front door of the shop was left ajar, and a quick tug revealed that it was still able to open. As she started pulling, nervousness started to grow on her. That sign said not to go in- what could be back there?

But there was useful supplies she could already see inside, and there could be even more accessible further in. And while she had previously been sure that getting home would be as simple as getting to the nearest rest stop, the feeling that she might be a while away from any respite was starting to grow on her.

Taking a deep breath to calm herself, Estamel pulled the door open.

There didn't seem to be much in the store other than what she had saw. She stepped carefully, trying not to stir up noise even though she knew in her mind that there was no reason to do so. She stuffed the matches, whistle, a packet of sanitary wipes, and hand sanitizer into her pockets, which frankly didn't leave room for much else. The bathrooms were locked, which wasn't really the worst problem- if she really needed to, she could just summon a shovel to dig a latrine in the woods.

She was considering leaving when she caught a glimpse of something in the back. A door marked Employees Only was sitting ajar. Cautiously, she made her way down the hallway, and slowly cracked the door open.

Inside was what appeared to be a storeroom/record-keeping room of sorts. It had a few stacks of cardboard boxes, with one on the top opened. There was a table in the back with an assortment of papers. A number of drawers were next to it. A sizable trashcan was near the back. An odd smell seemed to permeate the room. It seemed organic but she couldn't put her finger on it.
Estamel noticed that there was some sort of mechanical contraption behind the trashcan. It looked like it was folded up somehow, although whatever it was seemed a mystery. She tried opening the door further, and found it was pushing against something. She have the door a shove, and heard a couple things tumbling.
Who couldn't keep the goddamn doorway clear of crap?

She pushed the door open all the way. She strode through, turned to look at the door corned, and her irritated expression was wiped clean.

Piled up against the doorframe were a trio of human corpses. They had been rotting for a long while, their skin having become tight and withered. As one topped over, she noticed their mouth was hanging open, with a couple of their teeth having fallen out. Screaming, she stumbled backwards.
The contraption behind the trash can unfolded and lept, landing in the center of the room on four legs. It was a dog-like robot, with a head of sensors in the front and some sort of module on a swivel on it's back. Estamel saw dark red stains on it's front paws.

The module traversed to point at her. With a speed that she had never known in her life, Estamel lept and rolled to the side, the bullet shot from the bot's cannon passing my so close she could also feel it.
The machine lept- but not for her. It jumped up and bounced against the door, slamming it shut and closing off her only route of escape. I'm not going to be able to run away. Shit!
I'm not dying today.

Having landed right next to the desk, Estamel grabbed the chair and hurled it the bot as hard as it could. It hit the machine directly, with both chair and bot sailing into the wall. It got back onto it's feet in a second, but she could tell it was hurt. It's gun had been partly broken off it's mount and one of it's legs looked out of commission.

But still the machine kept moving. It turned to face her, and a trio of crawlike knives extended on each of it's front paws. As it started preparing for a leap, Estamel felt time slowing down.

The fuck can I do?! I don't have a weapon or-
Realization dawned on her at just the last second. She put her hands over her head, almost looking like she was going to surrender. Hopefully that was what the robot would think.

The robot lept upwards, arcing across the room, its front paws extended forwards to kebab the target.
Estamel didn't even see the weapon that had materialized in her grasp. It was only as the black bladed saber swung forward into the path of the bot that she saw what she had just brought into existence.

The blade struck the mechanical murderer right at it's head, bifurcating down to the misection and sending components flying loose. Defeated, it fell to the ground, it's legs curling up in a matter resembling rigor mortis.
Estamel felt a sudden rush flow through her, even as she sat down. For a few seconds, it felt like some sort of strange energy had poured into her veins. Then it went away, and she was left trying to figure out what had just happened.

"How the hell did I DO that?!" she shouted.
She had never been a slouch- that she could recall- but she had never been capable of this level of strength or quick reflexes. I've changed somehow. Not sure what to think about this, she turned her attention to the rest of the room.
There was a duffel bag shoved under the desk that had slid out when she threw the chair. Pulling it out, she found it had a map, compass, flask, some basic medical objects, and a bunch of snacks.The sorts of things you'd expect from someone trying to survive in the middle of nowhere. There was what looked like a logbook on the table. She stuffed it into the bag, thinking to read it later.
The cardboard boxes contained stacks of chips. They had expiration dates listed: 5/3/934, 9/3/934, 16/3/934. Curious, Estamel checked the dates on the snacks in the duffel bag. 12/10/934, 4/10/934, and a couple others with the same 10/934 digits.

"This isn't any dating system I've heard of… but the ones brought in from this guy are definitely fresher, and it looks like they each cluster around the two last numbers, so I'm guessing those are months of some sort, and the ones this guy brought in look to be at least seven months fresher." And I don't even know how fresh they are… but I need to eat, and they're my best bet.
There was a gallon container of gas there, which was completely useless for her now.

Well… not quite. There was one thing she needed it for now.


Flames danced out of the windows of the store, smoke forming a column high into the sky. The gas station didn't seem to have had much gas left, but the building was still just flammable enough to work.

Not much of a funeral pyre, but it was the best that was possible.

Estamel had swept through the convenience store twice, looking for anything else she could use. She had found a second bag pushed behind the cabinets, this one containing a one-person tent. Otherwise, there didn't seem to be anything left behind. A reluctant examination of the bodies showed one of them had some sort of smartphone, but it wouldn't turn on. Another had a wallet. Wary of touching these objects, she used a ziploc bag to pick them up and hold them. Once she was sure there was nothing she could find of use, she poured gasoline through the building and lit it up with a match.

The trekker was now at a crossroads, literally and figuratively. She went through the other two buildings, shouting and stomping at each corner to try and lure out any other robots lurking. While there were no surprises lurking for her, there seemed to be nothing of use either. There was one good thing about the crossroads she hadn't noticed at first, though: the clearing meant that she could see the terrain on her sides much better.

It was now apparent she was in the midst of a mountain range running north-south, with the intersection only a short walk from the base of a ridge to the east. The ridge was far from untouched- a number of small buildings and a road were plainly visible. The west ridge was much farther away.

"What to do, what to do…" Estamel muttered, unfolding the map from the duffel bag.

The map seemed like it was intended for this region- it showed a mountainous area, with highways and towns indicated. However, the two streets at the intersection- Ezmack Street and Piper way- must've been too minor to include, meaning she couldn't find her own position.
She still had a good deal of daylight left, which left her with a couple options.
"First, I could go North. Pros- no obstacles I can see, looks simple. Cons- nothing I know is there for sure.
"Second, I can go West. Pros- same as north, nothing to worry about. Cons- same as north"
"Third, I can go east and head into the mountains. Pros- it's the only place I see buildings and it might offer a chance to orient my map. Cons- gonna be tiring, and it could possibly be dangerous."

A third benefit of going east hung in the back of her mind- the possibility of the view giving a hint as to what had happened here. While she didn't want to consider it, the situation with the dog-bot suggested that things had gone wrong with not only her but the place she had been dumped in.

East it is, she decided.

The eastern road proved fruitful quickly. As she was nearing the base, she came to a bridge across a stream, giving her an opportunity to fill up the hydroflask. The road met with the base of the mountain and started heading up it on the left side, with a turn to the right in a spiraling path apparent.

As the wind blew over her, she noticed she felt different than when she had been hiking before. It was a small change, but it seemed like she had just a little more energy in her stride than before, even when she was carrying a couple bags. Weird, but could just be excitement.

The first house she came across was built on a steep ledge, with a big portion on stilts. It looked dilapidated, with a fallen branch poking through the roof and the exposed wood rotting. Still, it was worth checking out. She walked up to the front door and gave it a knock, with predictably no response. Then she gave the door the strongest kick she could. The rotten wood along the lock gave way and it swung open.
Unlike the crossroad buildings, this place looked like it was abandoned in a hurry. The front room was connected to the kitchen, which had a whole load of dishes in the sink. There was an old fashioned radio at the back of the living room. Maybe I can turn it on? She considered. It was unlikely to work, but would be great if it could. As she walked forward, she heard an odd creaking sound from the floor.

"Looks worth a-" she muttered right before the floor gave out below her. She shrieked, reaching out to the beam on the ceiling before closing her eyes in fear.

And… there she stayed for about two seconds. Surprised, she opened her eyes to find herself clutching a handful of ribbons coiled around the beam. Those weren't there before. The hole in the floor wasn't actually anything to worry about- it was only a few feet drop from the ground to her position. She let go of the ribbons and landed on her feet.

Looking up at the ribbon bundle, she tried the same 'dismissing' action she had done with her tools. It worked, with the ribbons dissipating away. However, she wanted to try something new now.
In one hand, she summoned the sabre she had used against the dog-bot. She held out her other hand at a pillar and tried to imitate the same feeling she had when she threw the ribbons earlier. A span of white-colored ribbons shot out from a glowing line at her wrist. went out and coiled around the pillar. She let go of the ribbons, dismissed them, and then tried to summon a second sword- but that failed.

Interesting. She had figured out earlier that she couldn't summon two tools at once. It seemed this ribbon-wielding ability was separate, though.
If I can do this now… why wasn't I able to use it against the dog-bot? I could've stopped it from slamming the door.

What's causing all this, anyways?

An experiment? Maybe she had came into work hungover the day after she went out drinking, and her boss was so mad they decided to use her as an involuntary test subject for some secret, grossly unethical project taking place behind closed doors. It would explain why she was in her lab attire, at least. But really, all it did was slap the excuse of 'secret experimentation' onto a set of phenomenon that no known process could explain.

Whatever it was, she didn't want to wait around thinking under an unsteady building. She made her way out, climbed up a pair of steps, and got back onto the road.

The road winded as it went up the slope, but it seemed free of debris, unlike the path she had taken earlier. As she went up, the roads had a fence running along the edge. The fence didn't seem impressive- just some oddly pointed steel poles sticking about shoulder-high with wires running through holes horizontally, but she was having

There was no buildings on the side of the road, but there was some large clearing with structures near the top, including a skeletal steel tower. That looked like the most promising option. She was getting close to the top when she encountered the convoy and roadblock.

At the point where the road started winding to the right and the fence stopped, she saw several trucks painted in dark green- military colors. They were stopped in front of a fallen tree, with doors hanging open and nobody visible around. Curious, she moved closer, and noticed a pleasant familiar smell from one of the vehicles. Looking closer, she spotted a half-eaten chocolate bar on one of the seats. Picking it up and looking closer, she could even see the tiniest trace of saliva on the bar.

These weren't from a while ago- this convoy must've stopped here hours ago. They're probably not far off!

"Hello?" She shouted. "I'm Estamel! I'm looking for help to get out of here!" Nobody called back, even after she repeated her cry a couple times.

The tree was pretty small. A bunch of soldiers could've probably moved it, and even if they couldn't the base was a short walk. It made no sense that they would just leave the doors open either way. At the edge of the road, there were boot-prints visible in the dirt. Estamel examined the prints- they all seemed to come from the same sort of shoe, except for a couple pairs. Then, down a trail of sorts, the unmistakable shape of a spent brass cartridge caught her eye.
Not good.
Either the soldiers had encountered something dangerous, killed it, and made their way down to scan for more, or…
Thud. Thud. Crack.

Estamel heard something in the woods, moving slowly. She had been accustomed to noticing animals- her new ears gave her quite the hearing. But these steps were… different. They had the same soft sounds apparent from a creature trying to step quietly, but they seemed less frequent and louder each time. Like it was two legs instead of four.

"That's weird," she said nonchalantly. She stepped over the tree and kept going up the road, pretending not to notice while she listened closely. The footsteps were coming from down the game trail- she wanted to be above her stalker.

Thud. Crack. Thud. The sound was at least where the trail turned, the stalker had definitely seen her by now. It wasn't slowing down to line up a shot or pounce, though.
"Hello? Who are you?" A voice called out. Estamel turned around, to see a young woman about her age standing at the roadside. She was wearing a raincoat of sorts and a skirt. "I was traveling with a convoy after the alert went out about the Semilin storm, but our car turned over. There's a whole bunch of people down the trail- they need help now." She walked forward with a limp that would be convincing if she had shown it while stalking.
"I… don't know who I am. I've been suffering this crazy strange amnesia and I have no idea what's happening to me. I just want to find home."
"Wow, that sounds bad" the girl responded. "If you're not hurt though, can you help me with the people in the truck? A bunch can't move without help." As she fake-limped, Estamel caught a glimpse of her shoe soles. The pattern on them was identical to the odd footprints in the dirt.

"All right, that's enough playing around. What the hell did you do to the soldiers?" She shouted, banishing the feigned vulnerability from her voice. At the same time, she summoned her sword and held it up in front of her. The girl appeared surprised, but then a nervous grin spread across her face, exposing sharp triangular teeth.

"Why, isn't this a funny situation. Two killers meet at a bend in the road, a siddim and a bramble-witch. The siddim asks 'why did you kill those people?'
Estamel guessed the 'siddim' was her, but was still confused. "I haven't killed a single person in my life. What are you saying?"
The blond-haired thing barked out a laugh, her posture relaxing. "Wait… you must be from the storm! You're brand new- haven't got your first blood yet at all. I never thought I'd get an opportunity like this in my life."
Just like when she woke up, Estamel found herself retracing the steps that brought her where she was now.
I've been clinging to the idea that this is just some normal place the whole time. I gained two magic abilities, saw my ears change and a fucking tail appear on my ass, but I rationalized it as being some strange technology at play. I saw documents written in English that had a dating system no English-speaking country uses. But I still thought that I would just have to find 'help' somewhere.
I fought the dog-bot and won, but rather than realizing there was threats I didn't understand, I got overconfident and decided to into territory I knew nothing about.
I saw something bad happened here, but I didn't leave. Even when I noticed a stalker I didn't try to run away immediately.

And now she was up against an opponent who knew her limits better than herself, and believed she was easy prey.
She checked her sides. On her left was the fence, on the right there was a wall left by excavating into the mountain. Retreating wasn't an option.

"This will be the best day of my life", said the ghoul, and then darkness swept over the roadway.


Estamel couldn't see more than seven feet away, and her vision up close was still dimm. For a second she thought she was already dead, but then the sound of the ghoul running towards her caught her attention. She lept to the right, a set of massive clawed fingers passing close by her face. The witch slipped past before she could land a hit with her sword.
"Mmmm, you're fast. Or do you have some way of telling where I am before I get close?" came the mocking voice from just out of her reach. Another clawed hand lashed out at her legs from the right, coming within inches. Then the ghoul, seemingly having moved back in front of her, went for her stomach. She jumped, but the claws caught her coat and shirt, ripping holes as she pulled away.

"You're feisty. Maybe I shouldn't just go for the throat now? I've never heard a siddim cry before."

Estamel swore while she stood in place, but in truth she didn't really care what the witch was babbling about. She listened closely as the enemy pranced around her. She's fast, too… need to have my sword in position when she comes around.
The witch made a full circle, and the next swipe came at almost the same path. Once again, she pulled back just enough to avoid claws hitting her skin, but then lunged forward with her sword just above the witch's arm. She stuck something, and was rewarded with a cry of shock. The ghoul scampered further away, about twice her visibility radius.
"Oh, look who thinks they just scored some massive victory. How do you think you'll finish me off?"
"I don't know. Would you be so kind as to tell me how?"
A chuckle came out from the darkness. "Well, truth be told I'm not talking to you to rile you up. I'm just playing with my food. Unfortunately… so was my slashing there. You're a strong unblooded siddim, but still unblooded. No defense against what's coming now."

Estamel heard the sound of the witch rummaging through a bag. Then there was a whistling sound, and she ducked just fast enough to avoid a spray of small darts coming at her eyes.

"Those darts are a personal favorite of mine. Just one will render you unable to move while it feels like fire is pouring into your veins. I'll be able to drag you back home then."

Another whistling sound, and a new quartet of darts flew over her shoulder. Then another shot went out from behind her. And then again from her right. Estamel kept swinging out of the way, but she was getting tired. She had spent the entire day hiking, and her newfound agility only went so far. She tried to chase after the ghoul, but her opponent was always at least fourteen feet away, and she couldn't approach and dodge at the same time.

I could snare her in ribbons… but I don't know if I can reach that far, or tell where she is. Dammit.

Then another burst came by, and she dodged too far, her legs went through the wire fencing. Her upper body slammed against the pavement. She tried to get her hands on the ground and pull herself out, but she knew it was too late.
A hail of dots went right down to her stomach, about to inject her. Just when they made contact, a red glow shone at their location and they bounced off.

"WHAT?!" screamed the ghoul in disbelief, as Esty yanked out of the fence. "Ohhh… you lied. Didn't know why I didn't think about that." For the first time, her assailant actually seemed disappointed in her.
"Lied about what?"
"Oh, I forget you don't actually know anything about your abilities. The tazel, that shield that saved you from your foolishness? Siddim only get that after their first kill."
"But I haven't killed anyone."
"Denial won't help you. You're just like me, even if you try to tell yourself otherwise."

"Wait…" she stammered. "Does a 'kill' need to be a living thing? Because I destroyed some sort of combat robot earlier today."

Her answer was another salvo of darts. These ones seemed lazily aimed, only having to move her head slightly to dodge.

"In the end it won't matter. A one-kill siddim's tazel can barely take a whole handgun magazine at once. I just need to smack you around with my claws a little, and then you're defenseless. You haven't shown a unique spell, so either yours is useless or you don't know how to control it."

The right hand of claws came faster than before, but Estamel anticipated it and swung to the side. Instead of retreating, the ghoul swung with her left hand, which was caught by the sword. The right claws whacked against the sword, trying to yank it out of her hands. Big mistake. She pulled her arms back as the same time as her duelist, yanking the ghoul off her feet and close enough that the two could almost kiss, and delivered a kick right into her stomach.

In her arrogance, the ghoul had given away far too much information. According to her, a tazel could 'barely' survive an entire handgun's worth of fire- far more force than a blowgun dart of any kind. Now that she had been alerted to it, she could actually feel the tazel's presence- while her fall had used up a bit of it, it still felt strong. Additionally, she hadn't heard any clacking noises when the monster used the blowgun, so she was almost certainly holding it with normal hands and not steel claws.

The claws slipped free of the sabre, and there was a painful thud as her opponent hit the ground. As she walked forward, she heard shuffling and an inhale. Rather than get ready to dodge, she sprinted forward. The darts ricoched off her harmlessly, and the ghoul- trying to reload another salvo- came fully within her vision. Her saber slashed across it's chest, prompting a scream and a leap backwards.

The lone swordswoman walked to the left, so she was now between the fence and the creature. "How does that feel?" she jeered. "You talk so much about suffering, I hope you aren't completely new to feeling it." No response came back. "Why, you really-"

She knew her taunts were juvenile, the sort of snappy dialogue that only suggested overconfidence. But that was the point- the worst thing that could happen right now would be the ghoul running away and making a plan to break her tazel, and she needed to sound like the sort of arrogant fool that could be brought down right now. So when the ghoul lept into the air screaming, she already had her sabre above her head. The ghoul was looking overjoyed- after all, it just needed to block the sword with one hand and slap her with the other.

From Estamel's wrists two streams of ribbons burst loose. They wrapped around the ghoul's elongated fingers on both hands, and as she dismissed the sword and grabbed the ribbons they constricted like a noose. She then jumped back against the fence with the ghoul in tow, their combined momentum sending it over the fence. She then let go.

There was a smack, a howl of pain and anger, and then the light poured into the road once again.

Notes: I first came up with the basic idea for this story a long while ago, and I'm quite excited to finally be putting it into words. This is my first time posting to CrW, so please leave feedback for areas where I can improve.
Top Bottom