Piercing Through

Pierce

"Ms. Pierce, we have a little problem!" the red-haired, teenage assistant yelled from the top of the stairs. Looking below her, the assistant could see her employer working hard on a new weapon. The fire lightly waved as the muscular woman hammered at the straight sword, her black, threaded gloves protecting her hands.

"Ms. Pierce!" the assistant called again.

"Oh, Yurisa. We have another order?" Ms. Pierce asked.

"Well, it's an order, but the client is the problem."

"If they're the problem, then it can only be one person."

"Yeah, it's him."

"Alright, I'll deal with him."

The working woman sighed, stood, and undid her bun, letting her orange hair fall past her shoulders. Sweat still dripping down to her black tank top, Pierce trudged up the concrete stairs with Yurisa behind her. Once they were in the purchasing area, the woman met eyes with the problem client, her brown eyes glaring as he grinned.

"Robiiiin! It's so nice to see you. How's my favorite blacksmith doing?" the man greeted.

"Get off my property, Lincoln. I'm not making you a weapon."

"Didn't I just call you my favorite blacksmith? Don't be like that." The lanky man sauntered over to the cashier counter and rubbed his scarred palm on the smooth wood. "You can make a good weapon when you want to. How about helping me out before I change my mind about you?"

The nasty man gave off an air that made Yurisa tremble.

"You can try to be intimidating, but it won't work on me," Robin stated, her crossed arm pose unwavering.

"Fine. I guess you don't really care about this shop." With a dark green aura around his palm, Lincoln broke the countertop a bit, turning the wood from smooth to rigid. Before he could do anymore damage, Robin quickly clenched his wrist and raised it off her counter.

"Break anything else, and I'll kill you," Robin threatened.

"What's a point of a shop if you don't do what the customer asks? You may have built this shop from the ground up, but I'll take it away in seconds. Just make me my dream weapon," Lincoln demanded.

"Drop dead."

"Hehe, I'll drop you and this shop."

At that point, orange aura surged around Robin and pushed against Lincoln's green. The two intensely stared at each other which made Yurisa shake even more.

"I-I believe in you, M-Ms. Pierce," the assistant struggled to spit out.

"I hope you don't let your fangirl down, Pierce. What would happen if you lost your shop and her?" Lincoln said lowly. Due to his remark, Robin stopped her aura and released the man. "You've finally learned your place, huh?"

However, the man wasn't expecting the woman to quickly grab his wrist again and sock him in his right cheek, sending him flying back into the shop's heavy door. When Lincoln looked back up, Robin was already past the counter and dealing another blow to his face. The impact of the second punch broke the door and sent Lincoln sliding on it like a luge sled until hitting a tree.

"You may have a talent, but you've pissed me off too much today. I'll take away everything you've gained over the years along with your life," Lincoln growled as he stood.

"You know better than anyone, Lincoln, that I won't and can't let you do that. I've worked too hard to go from nothing to something, and I'll do whatever to keep it. You have to die."

Both fighters' auras streamed from them again.

"Stop!" an old, manly voice shouted. To Robin's right, a casually-dressed senior with graying hair and similar chest hair popping out his shirt came walking towards them.

"Mayor Sod," Robin said.

"There will be no killing on my watch. You two are too precious for that."

"Go drop dead, old man. We're busy here." Lincoln waved the mayor away as he talked.

"Lincoln, what do you need a weapon for so bad, and why does Robin have to make a special one?" Sod asked.

"For my own needs. Now back off." While Mayor Sod sighed at the man, Lincoln leapt towards Robin, making her get ready again. Luckily, Sod shoulder charged the man to stop him. After flipping in the air, Lincoln stared at the two. "You're a real annoying old man."

"Stop acting like you don't know us. Can't you just talk to us, Lincoln?" Sod asked.

"Hmph, If you're going to make it this annoying, I'll go somewhere else for that weapon. This isn't worth it." Lincoln stomped the ground before walking away.

"I'm sorry I couldn't keep a better eye on him, Robin. I'll pay for whatever damages he did," Sod said.

"Since he's your son, I'll take the offer, but I was seriously going to kill him if he kept going."

"I know you would have, but I'll try my best to avoid that scenario. I should be following him now actually. I will see you later, Robin."

"Later, Mayor Sod."

With that, the senior went jogging off.

"Oh my god. I'm so glad it's over," Yurisa said from the doorless doorframe.

"Hopefully, he won't be back ever, but maybe he will if he can't find that weapon."

"I have no idea, but I do know you really handled him, Ms. Pierce. When did you become so strong?"

"After work, I train my muscles every day, and eventually my aura came in to make me stronger. Lincoln wasn't expecting it since he thought he was the strongest in town."

"Wow. I'm sorry for not doing much in the conflict."

"It's fine. Lincoln's just a tough bully. Come on. Let's finish up our current orders."

Yurisa and Lincoln

"Yurisa, there's a finished order!" Ms. Pierce yelled out.

Her red-haired assistant came through the open door a second later.

"It's a delivery, right?" she asked.

"Yeah, it is. The address is on it like usual." Robin sheathed the newly made longsword and wrapped it in a warm cloth before handing it to her assistant.

"Ugh, it's pretty heavy," Yurisa commented as she carried the weapon with both hands. "But I'll get it there as fast as I can."

"I'm sure you will. Now get going," Pierce ordered.

In an excited hurry, Yurisa hurried back up stairs and out of the shop.

"Okay, the address is 1005 Smanson Street. It's not that far from here. Should be easy."

The assistant hummed with a smile as she walked the rock-studded streets. Some civilians were enjoying their sunny day as they played with their children or just chatted with friends. Coming up on the customer's house, Yurisa stopped herself before bumping into someone.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," she said before seeing who it was.

"Oh, it's no problem, shorty," Lincoln said with an evil grin.

After knowing it was Lincoln, the teen shook in place a little with a disgusted look, holding onto the protected blade.

"I see you have a special package there. Why not give it to me? I am a paying customer after all," the man said.

"Y-You can't have this, Lincoln. It's for an actual paying customer. Now, back away." Yurisa did her best to stare down the man, but she couldn't stop shaking.

"Trying to be strong for Pierce, huh? Well, you don't have to do that. I'll take the delivery from here."

Lincoln reached out for the weapon, but Yurisa quickly stepped back and turned around to protect it.

"You're not getting it! Just go away!"

"Alright, I guess you want me to get rough then."

With his green aura around his right hand, Lincoln went for a heavy slam to Yurisa's back. When he impacted, Yurisa let out a yelp as her entire body shook, causing her to release the product as she fell to the ground.

"Instead of trying to be brave, you could have given it to me with no consequences. Maybe I should just stop trying to be nice all the time."

Lincoln picked the longsword off the ground with one hand and unwrapped the cloth before tossing it aside. The man then unsheathed the blade to examine it.

"Well, it's not ideal, but I can still use this. Thanks, Yurry."

"Lincoln, what did you do to that girl?" a random, big-boned man questioned as he approached.

"None of your business. I have somewhere to be."

Instead of questioning the man any further, the stranger waited for Lincoln to walk away before helping Yurisa up.

"Are you okay? What did he do to you?" the man asked.

"He struck my back, but I'm okay now." After seeing the cloth on the road, the assistant picked it up.

"He stole a weapon from you. Do you want to call the authorities or Mayor Sod?"

Yurisa was silent as she watched Lincoln walk away.

"No, don't call them. It'll be fine. I promise," she replied.

"If it's no big deal, then we'll leave it be. If he does come back though, make sure you run away."

"I will. Thank you."

Yurisa stayed still, cloth still in hand, as the friendly man strolled off. Once he was out of sight, Yurisa bolted down the street in Lincoln's direction.

"I don't want to be a burden on Ms. Pierce or anyone else, always needing their strength. I'm going to be strong and get that sword back," she thought as she ran.

Once Lincoln was in sight, the girl slowed down and stalked the man as he strolled out of town.

"Where could he be heading with that sword? It doesn't look like he's trying to hurt anyone with it," the stalker thought.

Continuing his stroll, Lincoln led his follower to a downward slope that had a cave at the bottom. The man unsheathed the sword as he strolled in and threw the protection away, making Yurisa scoop it up as she followed.

"I've never been this far out of town. Even if I was though, I wouldn't be in such a dark cave," Yurisa muttered.

Her hand tracing the cold walls, the assistant trailed behind her target. However, entrance still in sight, the girl bumped into something. A torch lit up, but Lincoln was between the girl and the light source.

"L-Lincoln! Wha-"

The man slapped his hand against the girl's mouth and held it shut.

"Shut the hell up and get out of here."

After being pushed, Yurisa fell on her butt with the sheath and cloth still in hand. Instead of listening, the girl watched as Lincoln took a couple more steps forward and shined the torch light on a giant creature's sleeping face. From small, dim light, they could only see gray scales on the creature's long snout.

"W-W-Why is that here?!" she quietly panicked.

"This may not do it, but it's all I can get."

After throwing the torch into the air, Lincoln raised the blade and brought it down onto the creature's snout. Sadly, the blade snapped against its scales and woke the monster, its emerald eyes flickering open.

"Damn. Still nothing."

Knowing his mistake, the man spun and sprinted to the exit. Now awake, the creature yawned. Yurisa, too scared to move, quivered and watched as fire shot from the creature's mouth, covering the entire cave. So, Lincoln picked her up and sprinted away. After jumping from the downslope to flat land, Lincoln escaped the scorching flames.

"This thing is starting to piss me off," Lincoln mumbled to himself.

"W-W-W-What was creature that doing there?!" Yurisa shouted, fumbling her words. "And why did you know about it?"

"You're a dumbass for following me." Lincoln dropped the girl and began to walk off. "You can fight that thing if you want your sword back."

"Was that why you needed a special weapon this whole time?" Yurisa asked.

Instead of answering, the man walk off and left the assistant behind.

"Was he really not going to hurt anyone and just attack that monster? Can Ms. Pierce make a weapon to beat that thing? I have to tel her."

The Beast

"You followed Lincoln?!" Once Yurisa, Robin's assistant, informed her boss of what happened to her and the delivery, the muscular woman jumped up from her anvil.

"I know you're a little angry, but I wanted to get the sword back and show that you could rely on me more. I'm sorry," the girl pouted.

"I'm angry because you could've gotten hurt. You should have just told me about it. I'll just make another for the customer."

"What about the creature I told you about? Can you make a weapon to slay it?"

"Even if I could, I don't think I should. If that idiot Lincoln hasn't angered it yet, we should leave it where it is. It hasn't come to attack the town yet."

"But if it did attack?"

"Then I'll try my best to make a good weapon. Until then, we leave it be."

"Okay." The girl sighed. "Again, I'm very sorry."

"It's not a big deal, Yurisa." Robin hugged her assistant, the girl's head in the woman's bosom. "I already need you as is. Don't worry about doing more than you already do."

"Thank you, Ms. Pierce, for hiring and caring for me."

"You're welcome. Now, let's get back to work."

"Right."

Yurisa happily jogged upstairs.

"Um, Ms. Pierce?" she said.

"Yeah? Is Lincoln back?"

"No, it's something else."

Robin rushed up to see what assistant saw. To her surprise, civilians were running past her shop in a panic, their screams being muffled by the building.

"I'm thinking of the worst possibility right now," Yurisa said.

"Yurisa, come with me just in case."

"Yes, ma'am."

The cries got louder once the women exited the shop. After looking to their left, the two immediately spotted the cave creature Yurisa met, the being flying towards the town with its gray scaled wings. The scarred, rough monster crawled out of its cave and flew high into the air, still a bit from the town.

"Is that the creature, Yurisa?" Robin asked.

"Y-Yes, it is. It must have gotten tired of Lincoln's attempts."

"Alright, this may be worse than I thought, but we have to do what we can."

"Would you be able to make a weapon in time?"

"Maybe I won't have to."

A little confused, Yurisa followed her boss back into the shop.

"What do you mean?" she asked as they stepped into the back.

"I made a weapon, a straight sword, out of the hardest ore I could find and kept quiet about it. Hopefully, we won't have to use it today."

From underneath the stairs, Robin opened a secret compartment and pulled out the silver-handled sword.

"Yurisa, could you carry this for me? I don't want to startle the thing if it isn't targeting us, but you better run if it does attack."

"What about you, ma'am? You're going to fight it alone?"

"I'll do the best I can to keep it away or kill it if I have to, but we'll see what happens. Let's go."

Finally heading towards the beast, the women ran through the less crowed street.

"Robin!" Mayor Sod called out, stopping the two. "What are you doing heading towards the beast?"

"I'm going to see what happens. If it attacks, then I'll fight it, but I hope it's just passing through."

"I love your determination for this town, but we can't lose you yet if something goes wrong. I think it's best for us to flee. We've never seen a monster like this in years."

"Sorry, sir, but I disagree. Losing this town means more lost homes since the last creature attacked. I don't think you'll change my mind on this."

Sod sighed.

"Don't worry, Mayor. I'm sure Ms. Pierce will find a way," Yurisa encouraged.

"Well, it's not like I'll use force to stop you. Oh, before you go, have you seen Lincoln? I lost sight of him again, but he wouldn't run from a beast no matter the size."

"If he shows up to fight the beast, I'll help him out, but I haven't seen him. In fact, that thing might be looking for him. I heard he was the one who angered it."

"Oh, no. Not even I know what he was trying to do. I'm sorry that I couldn't do anything about him."

At that point, the beast roared as it grew closer.

"I pray for your safety, as well as Lincoln's. Do what you can, but try to care for your own life as well."

"I've survived people, creatures, and many trials in between, all while caring for myself along with others. I'll do what I can."

With that, Sod ran in the opposite direction, placing his faith in Robin. The blacksmith then ran off with her assistant. As she did, she noticed the monster fast approaching, so she quickly climbed onto a one story, flat-roofed building.

"Stay close, Yurisa!" Robin instructed.

A little shocked, the teen watched her boss freerun from roof to roof, but she soon began to follow again. A second later, Robin could see the creature slowing down. The beast lowered itself and stopped right above the outskirts before sitting on its hind legs. Its big, emerald eyes stared at the running Robin, its head as big as a house. After getting a bit closer, Pierce stopped and stared at the pudgy giant while Yurisa hid nearby.

"It actually stopped. Is it looking for something or is it smart?" Robin thought.

"You stay out of this, Pierce!" a familiar voice shouted. Out of the corner of her eye, Pierce saw Lincoln jump from a building towards the beast. "You had your chance to make a weapon. You better not touch it."

"Lincoln, don't anger it yet! It's not attacking."

"Then I'll take the advantage."

While in the air, Lincoln pulled something from his coat and brought it down onto the creature's snout. However, there was no affect, no impact. The beast just waved its head and sent the man flying, landing next to Robin afterwards.

"God damn it! Even this didn't work," Lincoln complained while throwing the gray object down.

"Lincoln, is that the creature's scale?" Robin asked.

"Yeah, but it doesn't matter now. It didn't do anything."

"Then you know better to not attack it again. Even with your stupid attempts, it hasn't attacked yet."

"If you really care about this town, then you'll kill that thing. I'm not going to let it do what it wants."

"Is that why you needed a weapon the whole time? You were trying to protect the town?"

"I don't care what you call it. I just want this thing dead."

Lincoln prepared himself to make another reckless attack. Too focused on the sturdy creature, he didn't notice Robin drill her aura-filled fist into his stomach. After he coughed up spit, she dealt another blow to neck, knocking him out.

"You may have had good intentions, but you should have gone about it a different way," she said.

"Very impressive," a voice echoed in Robin's head.

"Who said that?"

"The thing in front of you."

So, Pierce glanced up at the beast, its eyes dead set on the woman.

"So you really are smart," she said.

"Yes, I am."

"If you came because of this man, I'm sorry. He doesn't know how to solve things calmly."

"Yes, I approached because of him, but not to slaughter. This man interested me so I crawled out of my hole. Now, I'm looking at a new interest."

"Is everything alright, Ms. Pierce? Are you talking to that thing?" Yurisa asked herself, the sword still in hand.

"A new interest?" Robin questioned.

"I'm talking about you, obviously."

"You think I'm interesting just from looking?"

"Yes, just from looking. That's why that man also interested me, but you're actions just now furthers my interest. For now, I'll go back to my hole, but I will occasionally be back to watch your progress. Your past has been a hard one, but your future could be very prosperous."

Making Robin's clothes and ponytail wave goodbye, the creature flapped away and left the town.

"M-Ms. Pierce? Is everything okay?" Yurisa called out.

"Yeah… I guess so."

What's up? Thank you so much if you've paid and made it this far. If you want, please leave a review. I'm trying to get better as I go

About the Author

King Bicy is a novelist who specializes in fantasy, action, and adventure. He is earning his Bachelor in Creative Writing. His short story, The Hitchhiker, is published by the Scarlet Leaf Review. On top of those accomplishments, he has self-published a novel called Zearings on the website .

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