After speaking their minds for quite some time, Lure asked Coven and Swiftly to report what had happened outside. Since Lumière’s room was her private space, they moved back to the reception hall and despite Huic’s functionalist mindset, Lavender, Sinistra’s most beloved odour, was streaming through the rooms, elevating the moot of everyone – hopefully.
“Apparently. Lord Huic had attacked the inner sanctum of the headquarters, causing a region-wide electric cut. A second villainous group has attacked in the meantime. The heroes believe that Lord Huic is working with this unidentified party,“ narrated Coven.
Lumière radiated with a halo, like a firefly in the darkness and threw her fists in the air, menacing an absent foe. “I knew it. Huic is scum. See Lure, he doesn’t have any noble intentions and is working with despicable villains who hurt innocent bystanders for their nefarious schemes.” She looked Lure in the eyes. “How do you want to defend Huic and his deeds?”
Lure grabbed her own left shoulder and pushed on it, increasing the pressure every second by a little bit and in the meantime squinted her eye.
“I-I don’t. Yet we do not know his motives.” She turned to Coven. “How do you know that Huic and that mysterious villainous organization are working together?”
Swiftly chimed in, “Easy. The villains’ attack started several seconds after the alleged coup by Lord Huic.”
“Alleged?” asked Lure.
Swiftly continued, “Well, the heroes claim that he did. Facts aren’t yet established.”
Lure brought the conversation back on track. “Ok, I got a problem. As I have understood, several heroes, including my fiancé and father, are still wandering around the city without emotions. So, I think it is clear that we must first contact them and then find a way to cure them."
Swiftly replied, “Stealing emotions is definitely in the realm of S-ranks. The task of finding and fighting an S-rank is … simply impossible for us."
Lure nodded, “Fine, we should only try to find my father and fiancé.”
“Hm, I doubt that’s possible either,” Coven said in a pondering position. She clacked with her fingers. “No, the heroes will already have found them and brought them in a shelter by the time we start our actions.”
Dejected, Lure replied, “Yes, probably.” The villainess fell back on a red sofa. “What about finding Sinistra. Can we move to Khalut? Is it safe?"
Coven glanced at her husband who shook his head and spoke. “We don’t know. Not enough data. Glory district is the epicentre of the recent fights. It’s rather big, as many foreigner villains were hired. No causalities so far because their task is mainly to hinder the heroes.”
“Does that mean that the theft of emotions isn’t the only task of the villains?”
“We think so, though their behaviour had been rather strange and disorganized as if their leader was absent.”
Bizarre, truly bizarre. What was this all about? Did Huic really try to harm several civilians and if he did, for what reasons? A hard shiver went down her spine, for she knew how precious her emotions were and what it meant to lose them. How would her father treat her if he was bereft of love – like a stranger? She feared it. This very thought drained her mental energy dry, threw her into an endless abyss of self-doubt as she was constantly asking herself if she had been a good daughter. Now, her father may not even recognize her anymore as his beloved.
“Ok. We’ll move out to find Sinistra. Lumière, you’ll join too.”
“We can’t do!” protested Coven, “She’s a hero we have captured, an act that is highly frowned upon by both villains and heroes alike.” She sprinted alongside the corridor, exhibiting her genuine fright.
Lumière chuckled, “I know that Lure has used her abilities on me. I’m not dumb. However, her comportment isn’t driven by malice, that’s why I certainly mean no harm to her.” She puffed her chest, demonstrating her noble conviction, one that cannot be faked.
Hesitating, Lure tried to formulate an answer, but stumbled, “Ah. Well…I… didn’t. No. Well. You see.”
Lumière shook her head, “I’ll help you. There is no enmity between us.”
“Thanks,” the young villainess replied, smiling and ignoring Swiftly who was facepalming himself to death.
Even if she backstabs me now, in the end, it will be worth it.
The air smelled of burnt tyres. Not the most pleasant smell, especially if paired with a view of chaotic streets. Alas, even the outer region of Glory district was fought over, and explosions and abilities were ravaging buildings, destroying the skyline. The villains and Lumière had appeared in a parking, not that far located from Khalut.
“Please come to me," said Lumière, turning to Lure. She hugged the villainess and whispered, “Nothing will happen to you,” pressing the teenager’s body against her chest. “Amplify, Nova.”
A shining tower of light burst towards the sky, informing, like a lighthouse, everyone of their location. Marvellous. What beauty –. Shit. After awakening out of her admiration, Lure realized she had fucked up. Or perhaps not, depending on how events will unfold.
“More superheroes will come and rescue us.” Lumière’s eyes radiated absolute confidence, a conviction that had been tested through time and time again. Petrified, Swiftly and Coven stood on the other side of the parking, seemingly realizing that their prediction had come true.
Suddenly, a lance-shaped object appeared out of Lumière’s stomach, missing Lure by a hair’s breadth. Blood splattered everywhere. The heroine still smiled at Lure and toppled, though was caught by the shocked villainess. The lance-shaped object withdrew and blood gushed madly out of her guts, forming a little red puddle on the ground. With a thud, a dark silhouette of a person was thrown into a car, as Swiftly rapidly counterattacked, honouring his name.
Coven flew with her demonic wings to Lure and created a squadron of ravens that circulated around the three of them.
“Can we save Lumière?”
“No, we can’t, absolutely not,” protested Coven. “She broke her word and signalled the heroes of our location. She’s an immense risk and rationality dictates the way of a villainess.” She scolded Lure, well-meaning and her reproachful glare looked similar to her father’s.
“I need her and I won’t let her die. Besides as long as we protect her from further damage, she will regenerate." B-ranked heroes were sturdy enough to survive multiple organ failures; A ranks could even survive without a heart for a period of time.
Afar Swiftly was still duelling with the crazed villains.
“Bloodfrenzy,” muttered Coven.
“Bloodfrenzy?” asked Lure.
“A curse of the soul. Victims lose their minds with time and will die in twenty-four hours. The realization of their inevitable demise further augments their torment and strength.”
Lure took a step backward while still holding Lumière in her arms. “How?”
The silver robbed woman replied, her gaze slightly melancholic. “Generally, this curse is accepted through a contract. If you don’t earnestly try to fulfil your tasks or if the initiator of the contract is mortally wounded or dead, the curse will outbreak.”
The sound of clashing abilities could be heard far away in the parking. Chaos. Coven continued standing near Lure, protecting the young villainess. On the other side, Swiftly was beating his opponent: rapidly dodging whenever he needed and counterattacking the crazed attacks were all he needed to gain the upper hand as his opponent had lost his mind.
Coven sent several ravens to quickly assist her husband. Elegantly, but beautifully, the animals plunged from the sky, dashing towards the maddened villain who was blown against several trees.
Swiftly reappeared, his blue-painted costume having several holes. “Oh by the holy cookie goddess, I hope that was the last one.” He leaned towards Coven.
His wife gave him a kiss and said, “Oh my little cookie.” Lure rolled her eyes, for a lovely-dovely talk in the face of danger was in her yes not appropriate.
“Search for my father or go to Khalut.”
“No, we should go back. It’s too risky.”
First, Lure put the panting Lumière down on the ground covered in grass, not far away from the parking, then she started pondering for a while. The adults seemed to be in distress being led by a teenager as they nervously spun their bodies and their heads turned to every possible corner.
"Coven, you go back with Lumière to the hideout whereas I and your husband search for Sinistra. And don’t chain her again.” She looked Coven deeply in the eyes and the latter clicked her tongue in disagreement.
Swiftly was Lure’s guaranteed escape option. His speed was phenomenal and she knew he could transport at least one person.
As Coven teleported with Lumière back to the hideout, Lure and Swiftly holding her struck off towards Khalut lest they could be attacked by further antagonistic forces.
On their way, they met several clashing heroes and villains entangled in a fight to the death. Madness. Energy waves surged and rippled through the most distant corners of Orion, another district engulfed in war. Lure could barely perceive anything in detail though since they rushed.
A flash of light. ‘Rumble’ An energy projectile missed Swiftly and Lure by a hairbreadth. Luckily the villain had an active reflex ability, further enabling him to dodge during high speed.
They flew over the Hudson River, though barely over the surface level, as he wasn’t too proficient in the air.
On the quays stood a mass of people, spectating the fireworks that happened on the other side of the river. The fearless body of convened humans behaved like a lurking snake waiting for its prey or as a laughing baboon catcalling the rich people for their misery while rejoicing at their own good fortune.
Both villains landed a little away from the crowd, near a warehouse.
“Where now?” The athletic villain did not need to catch his breath.
"My intuition tells me that she’s watching as well. No sensation can escape her.”
“What about her brother? Isn’t taking him near the riverbank too risky?” asked the thirty-plus-year-old man, scratching his head in front of the juvenile decision.
Removing dust from the blouse with her hand, she answered, “That’s who Sinistra is. Irresponsible to the core, yet caring for her loved ones.”
“Wasn’t she a leader of various groups?” He furrowed his brows.
“Audacity is a villainess’ best virtue. Remember, we strive to make the pointless meaningful in face of upwind, in the face of life itself. Besides she got Mindspeak, a good asset for every leader.
A point expanded in space, growing to a ball, then to a two-meter diameter sphere. Bowing with his head and his hat off, a familiar man with a white elegant coat-like uniform with black buttons appeared.
“Who does not thrive in chaos? Certainly, you don’t have to ask this question to a villain.”
Another violet bubble popped into existence, revealing a gagged and bound Sinistra and her brother.
“Surprise. No, don’t ask. Of course, I knew you would come here. And I am pleased to see your little, wondering face.”