The first of the three opponents launched themselves at the new and improved Ibuki with seemingly no plan or regard for their life. Perhaps it was the pressure that she was emitting, but Niko felt like the attackers were completely unfazed by it. Maybe they’d lost their minds or something? Even from where he was sitting, the foreigner could sense the sheer amount of bloodlust coming from his tall, intimidating housemate.
Ibuki effortlessly stepped back, evading the first attack with ease. The first foe stumbled a little after missing their attack, leaving themselves open to a heavy kick to ribs from Ibuki and Niko could’ve sworn he heard them break, even from where he was sitting.
“Too slow. Are you actually trying to hit me or what?” she taunted, staring down at her hunched over opponent. “Attacks like that aren’t gonna work anymore, y’know”
By this point, the remaining two foes had leapt into the battle to assist their own. One began chanting something in some sort of unknown language just as the other threw a couple more throwing knives in the Oni’s general direction, not damaging her, but distracting her, giving their injured comrade enough time to regroup with them.
“Huh. Seems like you guys some strategy at least” Ibuki remarked, ignoring the barrage of useless projectiles that came flying at her. “You’re not done yet, right? I’m pretty sure you lot are better than this, considering he sent you”
Seemingly, out of nowhere, glowing golden chains exploded from underneath Ibuki’s feet, quickly wrapping tightly around her body and constricting her movement.
“Oh? So you were chanting a Paralysis spell, huh?” the Oni pointed out, making eye contact with the hooded figure that had been chanting something earlier. “Fair enough, I didn’t know you could…”
She was cut off by a wicked kick to the face that forced her head to swing dangerously to the left. The foe that had delivered the kick in question then continued to relentlessly bombard Ibuki with a flurry of kicks and punches, which were surrounded in a faint red glow.
From the looks of it, it appeared that opponents had come up with a pretty effective strategy, in which one of them attacked and the other two continued to power up the first one’s attacks and maintain the Paralysis spell.
That was how Niko perceived it at least.
Despite her earlier demeanour, Ibuki’s confidence was now seemingly gone as she yelped in pain as each attack rained down on her body. Their earlier attacks were completely ineffective and weak, but now that they were strengthened with some sort of enchantment the attacks had really begun to have some weight behind them.
The Oni gasped for air as she was heavily winded by a blow to her stomach, leaving her hunched over. Her hair was then roughly grabbed as she was pulled up so that she was eye-level with her attacker, who was now holding a knife that was shimmering in the same red glow that their entire body was surrounded with.
Mustering just enough strength to curse them all in her native tongue and spit in her foe’s face, the Oni cried out as the blade of the knife promptly dug into her side.
It was funny.
Ibuki hadn’t even remotely expected to die when she got out of bed this morning, but that was just her being naïve. She already knew that Masahiro was in the middle of a war, but she had gotten too complacent just because there hadn’t been any recent attacks up until now. Maybe it was also because of Niko’s sudden appearance; having such a (relatively) normal human in her life had probably helped in lowering her guard.
Just as things were starting to go blurry, the Oni spotted a small rock being flung from behind her. In that very second every pair of eyes were on that rock, temporarily breaking any focus that Ibuki or the attackers had.
The chains shattered into fragments of tiny fragments of golden light as Ibuki’s familiar bloodlust swamped the area once again. A terrifying look in her eyes that could only be described as a mixture of excitement and anger. She’d seen the chance and grasped it with both hands. Though she’d be sure to thank Niko later for this favour he’d just done her.
Almost vanishing, Ibuki moved towards the opponent that was the farthest away with blinding speed, jabbing them in the gut with the bottom end of her weapon and then decapitating them with the blade in one swift motion. The foe seemingly evaporated into black smoke, leaving behind a small white piece of paper that had been cut out in the shape of a person.
“Familiars, huh? Figures.” The Oni muttered to herself as she ducked low, avoiding yet another punch that was aimed at her head. Swinging her family heirloom around so that its blade separated her opponent’s feet from their legs, she shot up just as they fell back to the ground. Raising her left foot up high, she brought it down on top of her opponent’s head with devastating force, leaving only a small crater in the concrete and a small paper cut-out behind.
After seeing its former comrades perish, the final hooded foe wisely decided to make a break for it. Turning tail and attempting quickly scale the wall in a futile attempt to reach the roof and escape, the familiar concentrated solely on its getaway, stupidly forgetting about the monster that was standing behind it.
Halfway up the wall, the familiar was briefly introduced to Druxgal on a much deeper level…
Watching as Ibuki’s weapon continued to pin the opponent to side of the wall in a crude and painful-looking manner, Niko sighed in relief as the familiar finally croaked and reverted back into its paper-like form. His legs still shaking from the excitement from when he had thrown that rock from earlier. He didn’t really imagine it working to the degree that it did, but all that mattered was that he and Ibuki had gotten out of the situation alive and in one piece.
“Hey, uh…Niko” Ibuki began, who had apparently reverted back to her usual self. By some miracle, it seemed that majority of wounds had healed themselves almost completely, leaving only a light bruise on her right cheek. “Seeing as we missed the train already; want to skip school with me?”
At this point, school was absolutely the last thing on the teenager’s mind as he nodded absent-mindely and joined his housemate as they made their way back to Masahiro for some much need rest and recuperation.