Vangelis rubbed his hands together with the excitement pouring from his face. He looked far too eager for a fight. The rest seemed uneasy, but hungry as well. "It's about time we got this started. We've wasted enough time already." Vangelis walked the rest of the distance to tower over Yuki. His head tilted down to stare at him with the ravenous, toothy grin. "Yuki Hayashi…"
Reacting a little to the new mood, Yuki flexed his hands and stretched them out. "There we go! I'm feeling the intensity now!" He took a step out from the group to reaffirm his standoff with Vangelis. His eyes scanned the group behind Vangelis to get a better look at those in their path.
The remaining four soldiers were divided into two men and two women, with similar appearing ages in their twenties. Yuki knew better than to make any more of a judgment. They all had tense and anxious expressions as if they wanted to fight, but had something that left fear inside. However, they all looked strong enough, at least physically. Yuki, also, knew better than to judge on physical appearance, knowing that they were all wearing the white uniform of people using the Kasou-ryoku.
However, the numbers bothered Yuki a little. He focused back on Vangelis. "It seems you out number us by one. How this going to work?"
"We were expecting a larger group, but since you've split up there's nothing we can do about changes." Vangelis roughly rotated his arm to point with his thumb at Iole. "She's not going to be fighting anyway, so we're even."
"That does even things up. I'm guessing we split up into pairs and fight apart from each other. If my impression of you is right, you've already got in mind who you want to pair off with."
A small laugh came up from Vangelis pleased by Yuki's insight. "I knew there was a reason I liked you."
Saki appeared in front of Yuki, interrupting the conversation. A stern and annoyed expression filled her face. "What do you think you're doing, Yuki! Don't agree to this! I can finish this easily myself and we can keep going!"
Narrowing his eyes a little at Saki's shouting, Vangelis interjected into her protest. "That's rather arrogant little miss."
Yuki caught her before she turned her glare upon Vangelis. "They might be the enemy, but they are wanting to fight with us. You should respect the honor of two people wishing to test their strength."
A slap echoed across the field as Saki's hand returned back to her side. "Does he look like he wants an honorable fight?! This isn't a dojo or one of your street brawls! These aren't teenagers looking to punch out their frustrations! These are soldiers under orders! And we aren't here to indulge your desires for a fight!"
"I understand your wish to test yourself, Yuki," added Ayumi. "However, I agree with Saki as well. We should end this quickly and keep moving on."
Snickering more through his smirk, Vangelis enjoyed watching them fight. However, he could not hold himself back from inserting himself back into the conversation. "That naivety of yours is going to be fun to crush," he mocked. He gestured out with his arm to point in a taunting manner at Saki. "You've got a good head on your shoulders, little miss. You see reality better than your friend does over there. However, don't think you can defeat us alone. That arrogance will be your undoing." He took several steps back almost giving her an opening as a taunt.
Saki pulled away from Yuki and stepped forward to face Vangelis. Anger started to build up in her body. "It's not arrogance if it is true." Finishing her words, Saki suddenly disappeared from everyone's sight. A moment later, an ear piercing noise ripped through the area nearly bringing everyone to their knees (minus Haruo).
It did not take long for Yuki to know what happened. He strained his eyes to focus through the pain in his head. Saki stood less than a meter away from Vangelis pounding with her fists at an invisible surface. She disappeared repeatedly trying to find ways around it, but then suddenly came to a halt. Her body collapsed to the ground gasping in pain for air. "Saki!" shouted Yuki, as he broke free from the ground. A ripple expanded from his feet as he ran towards her.
Arriving at Saki, she already looked in better shape than a moment before. She still panted heavily as though out of breath, but no longer looked to be in severe pain. Yuki knelt down to lift her up to his side to get a clearer idea of what happened. He glanced at her and then over at Vangelis, who remained unmoved during the entire outburst. 'He must have done something with his field…' Seconds continued to pass improving Saki's condition until she pushed him off her. "You alright?"
"I'm fine…" She glared over at the Atlantean, his bloodthirsty smirk only enraged her more. At Yuki's insistence, she withdrew back to their side while she finished recovering. 'What was that? It felt like there was no oxygen in the air, as though I was being suffocated…' Saki widened her eyes in surprise as her mind realized what happened. It turned her expression into anger turned upon herself for her impulsive act.
Vangelis remained casual about the entire affair, as though asphyxiating Saki was no more different than walking. It brought a cold chill to the air that even with all of his violence-loving grinning never carried. "So it was just arrogance," he remarked, still taunting Saki.
Saki felt a tight hold clasp around her wrist. It did not hurt, but she turned up to see Yuki. "…Yuki…" The fun loving brawler in Yuki completely disappeared. A dark, serious shape cut through his face to remove any sign of softness. 'He's different now, but I can't tell if it is for good or bad…'
Chapter 177 – Polite Violence
The last two minutes replayed through Vangelis' mind, absorbing what he learned from his provocation. It turned out better than he expected, but left him with new theories. 'She still had her speed or whatever it is, but succumbed to my field effects. Which means her power wasn't active. Only two options remain, she using real devices to simulate her power or she different from us and can use her power without needing a field active. This must be the strange feeling he spoke about.'
Simonides turned back, halting in step. A grave expression grew into the edges of his face to impart the seriousness of his words. 'I said before don't be cocky, but don't underestimate them.'
Remaining casually playful about the mood, Vangelis hardly gave a reaction to him. 'Worrying about me now, Captain?'
The Captain turned away to resume his walk away from him. He finished his words as he parted company. 'There's something different about them. Don't assume them to be like any other MP you've seen.'
'…hrmph…' Vangelis watched the Captain disappear from sight. He already stopped to keep their conversation going several times. He waited until he was completely gone before turning away. 'They're all the same. Nothing will surprise me other than the level of their childish naivety. I'll crush everything about them!'
After witnessing the acts by Saki, he felt he had to admit a little to the Captain. It was bothersome, but Vangelis could see what had him so concerned about their intruders. 'If they fight without fields this will actually be even easier though. However, mine, Yuki Hayashi, he is normal.' Glancing back at Yuki, he picked up in the seething desires coming from him. 'He looks ready to fight…' Ignoring the fact, Vangelis continued to speak casually to Yuki. "Now that it's settled. Let's get things started."
Yuki walked out to meet Vangelis, staring him down away from the rest of his friends. Only centimeters stood between the two of them. The proximity did nothing to affect either of them. "I don't care what sort of plan you have set up anymore. The two of us are fighting."
Spinning around violently at their feet, Yuki's field clashed with Vangelis' field. It seemed to mirror the resolve of them in their unwillingness to back down or show a sign of weakness.
Vangelis gave him a smirk, pleased with the situation. "I'll be looking forward to it." He motioned over to his team to bring them forward. 'Plans change…the only one we have nothing on is the bulky kid that's said nothing.' His eyes scanned the three others in Yuki's group quickly making judgments from his information. "Chariton, you'll fight Ismene. Kallias, you take the little miss. Ligeia, you've got the last one, the silent one back there."
"Right," confirmed Ligeia. She took a step out and strolled over to Haruo. His size did little to impress or intimidate her. She actually came out marginally taller than him, by a few centimeters.
Kallias strode out taking wide steps with each pace as though stretching himself. "Yeah, this should keep me from getting bored." He had the confidence built up from Vangelis display of shutting Saki down. So he made full use of his height different to create an imposing figure. Unfortunately, Saki seemed only more angered by him.
Cracking his neck a little, Chariton bounced out on his feet. A little bit of sweat dripped down his face as he approached Eudokia. "Hello, it's been a while, Eudokia Ismene." He worked up a nervous grin to mask his unsettledness.
She easily picked up his fear. "Chariton, surprised you're still at the South Gate, with how much you bounce around postings. You'll regret not transferring yet." A wicked smile painted over her lips with a darkened shadow cast over her eyes.
Saki was not willing to let the fighting devolve into something as simple as breaking off to fight, while they all pretended there was something noble or honorable. She immediately struck out at Kallias to end the fight, but found a jet of water pressing against her fist rather than his face. A moment later, the water sprayed around her hand drenching her utterly. The cold water did little for her emotions. She charged through the water expecting to find Kallias on the other side, but only found it empty. 'Where the hell did he go?' Her eyes darted around trying to see through the blurred vision of water dripping off her eyebrows.
Working down his laughter, Kallias' voice wormed through the area. "I figured you'd probably act first. This is the first chance I've had in a very long time for something interesting. I'm not about to let you spoil it by trying to end things quickly." Water collapsed back into the ground revealing Kallias to Saki. His appearance changed with a skintight black suit covering him leaving only his hands, feet and head exposed.
Foiled twice annoyed Saki. It was the first time since she had her powers granted to her that she did not end the conflict with a single strike. She hated it. Everything she was given was supposed to allow her to create the path she desired. 'Water won't be enough to stop me. I'll put an end to this pointless fighting myself!'
Saki first step splashed water under her foot before she disappeared from sight. Water divided from her path and then exploded as a wall water came in front of her. 'So thick…can't…' Taken by surprise, she tripped unable to keep her balance at the speeds. Saki appeared sliding over the thin layer of water before falling out of the field and kicking up dirt from her speeding body.
A dirt cloud covered up Saki's path, but Kallias did not remain in wait for long. The cloud ripped apart from a powerful force passing through leaving only trails as the sign of what left. However, he already had things setup for Saki's return. Water rose from the ground to enough of a height to trip her. It broke her out of her speed and dropped her down into the wide puddle of water. For Saki, the water did not allow her to slide away again. A bubble of water scooped her up imprisoning her within it.
Kallias motioned to the others with the situation secured. "I'll be departing now." He walked away from the group keeping the ball with Saki inside floating in the air nearby him. Her futile efforts to punch at the water did little more than make holes that immediately sealed back up before she could act.
With things calmed down, everyone stared off at their respective partners for the coming fight. Haruo made no words. He simply walked away from the area as though leaving the fight. Ligeia felt a little slighted by his lack of a reaction, but followed him anyway. Chariton motioned at Ayumi and they walked off to get out of range of Yuki.
Yuki glanced around at his friends keeping their positions in his mind. He held off on activating his power until he was certain that they were beyond his range, which meant a long wait. His eyes stared back at Vangelis, the image of Saki in his mind ignited fire in his muscles. Both of his hands tightened into fists.
"Stay wake, kid!" called Vangelis already appearing on his left. He only granted Yuki enough time to see him before a blast suddenly enveloped him.
In their part of the field, Chariton and Eudokia squared off. Eudokia revealed her field first, with the snow field and her simple sword and chain-attached chakram. Stretching again, Chariton did not appear to be taking things too seriously and the hints of fear disappeared from him. After he finished, he fixed his sights on her. An eyebrow rose for him as he caught sight of her. "I don't remember you using a snow field or wearing something so foreign before."
Eudokia narrowed her eyes at Chariton. Her hand tightened around the hilt of the sword. "I don't remember anything about you. And I don't expect to after this fight." She threw out the chakram as he activated his power.
The ripple through the earth revealed massive mushrooms, floating trees and upside down flowers with their roots exposed, as though reverse planted. Chariton stepped out from around the large trunk of a mushroom with the chakram caught on a wooden pole. As he stepped out more, it was revealed to be an ordinary broom in his hands. "Hopefully, I leave a little more of a lasting impression on you."
Ligeia stood opposite of the silent wall, Haruo. She still waited for him to actually do anything besides stand around. An annoyed vein popped on her forehead. "Are you going to do anything?!" Silence persisted for him. Ripples burst from her feet as her response to his inaction. "Fine then! Just die where you stand!" Metallic pieces gathered in a pyramid emitting a bright light moments before a wide beam erupted from them. Light washed over Haruo completely engulfing him.
To be continued…