Avelyn let go of her axe, dropping it on top of an injured soldier. The impact caused a sudden, short-lived gasp of air followed by a bloody gurgle. She looked behind her into the hallway, across the ground were the bodies of both soldiers and scholars, only half of which had been caused by her.
Mandilyn held her glaive above her shoulder, only having used it for when the drake-girl left some behind in her blood-lust. The drake-girl retrieved her axe and grunted as it stuck momentarily in the soldier beneath its blade.
“You have to be satisfied at least a little bit now,” Mandilyn cringed, stepping over the decapitated corpses of a soldier and an accidental scholar casualty.
“Not at all,” Avelyn grunted. “Not until I see Arslan,” she added.
Mandilyn sighed, “You’re gonna work on that fighting attitude you have.” The bunny-girl then noticed something on the ground, a blood trail one that wasn’t caused by Avelyn’s murderous rampage. “Hang on,” she announced. “I got something over here.” The trail led down a separate corridor that went to the west wing of the building, towards the lab that they were familiar with.
The two girls went down the hall, following the trail, Avelyn of course leading. The hall was devoid of any signs of soldiers or other scholars, or perhaps they were apart of the many fires. Either way, the girls weren’t exploring the disappearance of people or combatants. Eventually, they followed the trail to the front of the lab.
Standing just a couple feet away from them was a girl who was wearing a soldier’s red armor, except she had a large portion of her backside covered in metallic looking scales. Even her hair seemed to be made from the same material. She held a very familiar container, one that was labeled: ‘Cockatrice.’
“Hey!” Mandilyn yelled at the end of the hall. “That belongs to us!”
The girl in returned snickered, turning to them fully. She began tossing the container in between her two hands, “Don’t care, mine now!” she shouted back.
However, her answer didn’t matter to Avelyn who was already charging with her axe in swinging position.
“Oh?” The armored girl said in surprise. “You’re gonna take it back by force?”
Once Avelyn got in strike range, she swung then answered her question, “No. I’m just going to kill you, then Buck-tooth’ll take it from your corpse.”
The girl chuckled softly, then curled into a giant ball. The axe, upon hitting the ball, bounced off violently, sending it into the wall beside Mandilyn. The sudden action surprised both Mandilyn and Avelyn. For once, something was able to withstand Avelyn’s attack. The ball uncurled, and the scaled girl slammed her head into Avelyn’s face, sending the drake-girl a few steps back with blood running down her forehead. Then she got on all fours and jumped at the girl, transforming into the ball again, hitting her with a full frontal attack. The drake-girl’s defense was not suited to defend against a material that was hard; it opened more wounds and sent her to her back. The momentum kept her going as she slid a couple more feet. Mandilyn ran to Avelyn’s side, a stream of blood running down the battered girl’s nose.
“What the hell are you?!” said a very surprised Mandilyn.
The girl continued to laugh, “A pangolin! And trust me, lass. You will never penetrate my scales.”
Mandilyn readied her stance for combat, but she heard a voice in her head echo, it was Arslan’s. Mandilyn felt a minor warning about how she should choose her battles, especially if she was outclassed by an opponent that was a direct counter to her. Mandilyn dropped her stance and stepped to the side.
The pangolin-girl walked past her and winked. “Thanks, lass. You’re a lot smarter than your friend.” With those final words, she vanished behind the walls.
Mandilyn, filled with the rage of knowing that she couldn’t do anything, threw her weapon at the ground and kicked a wall as hard as she could. After her fit, she tended to Avelyn, who seemed to still be concussed. Mandilyn snapped her fingers in front of the girl and even tried slapping her, but nothing could fully get her attention. Mandilyn groaned and decided to check what was going on in the room.
Inside looked normal aside from the undeniable fact that the room was ransacked, it seemed the pangolin-girl wasn’t interested in doing anything more than grabbing the cockatrice materials and leaving. Then, coughing at the side of the room caught the bunny-girl’s attention. “M-Mandilyn,” The voice said weakly.
Looking over, she recognized the person; it was Bernard. His hair was a mess, and he struggled to keep his intestines on the inside. The blood all around the floor told her enough information, The pangolin girl made him take her down here, she tortured him, cutting him if he disobeyed her.
Mandilyn got down to his level before she could say anything. He handed her a book that was on the floor next to him, “Give to A-Arslan,” he stuttered. She took the book from his weak hands as he spoke his last breaths. Unfortunately, Arslan was missing. He coughed up blood and began laughing, “W-we were naive.”
“Yeah?” Mandilyn said with a sort of disinterest.
“Y-yeah,” he said, coughing up more blood. “We thought we were safe here. How stupid, this was all just a trap from the beginning.”
Mandilyn’s ears perked up as he began talking about the current events. The bunny-girl asked, “Who set it up?”
Bernard started to cough even harder; he struggled to keep his guts inside. Mandilyn got closer to his face; he was no longer looking at her, but through her, he had the stare of a man who was already seeing the light of heaven. She lightly tapped on his face, “Bernard, tell me, who set this up?”
For a second, he was very unresponsive, but his head turned toward her, and he spoke his last words, “Arden.” Just like that the life faded from his eyes, he let go of his stomach, and his organs spilled out from his body. She placed his remains on the nearest table, then walked out of the room. Avelyn was still trying to collect herself, but was more or less able to function.
“C’ mon Avelyn,” Mandilyn commanded. “I want Arden and that girl’s head on my glaive.”
Avelyn laughed, “That’s the predator I’ve been looking for!”