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Kayla wobbled forward as she tried to head to meet up with Lacey, but her car sickness still had a firm grip on her. Everything in front of her became faded as a dizzy spell came over her.

“Hey, take it easy,” Dante said. His arms holding her as she lost her balance. Even in her current state, those big, toned arms of his were so comforting. Honestly, maybe it was because she was sick, but Kayla felt like she wouldn’t mind being held by him, that is until someone else spoke.

“Kayla, don’t you think you should rest instead,” Marilyn said.

As she heard the voice, Kayla immediately snapped back to her senses and shrugged off Dante’s hands.

“I told you I’m fine!” she shouted as she tried to hide her embarrassment, “Just hurry up and cast something to keep me focused.”

“If you insist…” Marilyn sighed as she began to channel her magic, “Still…” Marilyn whispered to her as she casted the spell, “I’ve never seen you make such a cute expression before.” A smile appeared on her face as she said that.

Kayla’s eyes immediately glared at the girl next to her as she heard those words.

“Don’t worry, I know how you feel,” she blushed a little as she spoke, “just him touching you is enough to make you feel so hot inside, right.”

“Shut up!” Kayla shouted as her cheeks turned red as well, “It’s not like that!”

“What’s up, something happen?” Dante turned around as he heard her shouts.

“No! it’s nothing so let’s get going.”

“Ah! Wait the spell isn’t done yet!” Marilyn told her.

“Don’t need it anymore. I feel better, so let’s just go!” Kayla proclaimed despite the concerns of the two.

While they were about to try and talk some sense into Kayla before she could wobble off and get herself into more problems the sound of numerous footsteps entered Dante’s ears.

“Hold up, somethings coming, and multiple of them, around four maybe,” Dante said as he cupped his hands around his ears.

“It could be Lacey with some others from the village,” Marilyn said.

“There’s more, another three, coming at our nine 0’clock.” As he said that, both Marilyn and Kayla looked at each other before returning to Dante with a puzzled look.

“nine… o’clock?” they both asked in confusion.

“I mean our left,” he clarified.

“Why didn’t you just say so?” Kayla complained.

“Force of habit, anyway get ready!” As he spoke the shuffling of leaves and the steps became audible to both women. However, what appeared from the surrounding forest, left all three completely surprised.

“What the hell are these things,” Dante was the first to ask, as the scaled women appeared from their front and side.

“I don’t know… I’ve never seen these things before,” Marilyn said.

“Same.”

“Well are they hostile or not?” as if to answer Dante’s question they extended their claws and gave a vile hiss to the three.

“I’m willing to say they’re not friendly…” Marilyn said as she stepped back closer to her allies.

“Really, what was your first clue?” Kayla said.

“Get ready, looks like they’re not the talking type!”

Everyone prepared themselves as the enemies came closer. Kayla grabbed her sword, while Marilyn’s hands glowed as pink as her hair as she readied her magic. Dante thought back to his gin, however, he only had so many bullets to spare so he decided to reserved just in case and instead raised his fist towards his opponents.

“You two handle the three to the right, I’ll take on those four,” Dante told the two beside him.

“Huh? You’re going to fight all of them yourself?” Kayla questioned him, “you don’t even have a bloody weapon.”

“These are more than enough, trust me,” he showed off his fist as he spoke.

“It’s alright Kayla, he can more than handle them,” Marilyn followed up as she saw her friends doubt to Dante’s claims.

“Fine, but you better not get yourself killed,”

“Then let’s get started shall we!”

Dante sprinted towards the four scaled women in front of him leaving a trail of dust in his wake. In his swift dash gripped the face of one of his enemies, and as he carried its body past all the others, he slammed its head right into a tree’s trunk. Combined with a loud thud and cracking sound also sounded out. Dante slowly removed his hand from the monstrous face of the scaled woman, who slid down to the ground and left a trail of deep red on the tree’s bark.

The remaining three couldn’t even react to Dante’s insane speed. Before they knew it, one of their own was already defeated in the blink of an eye. As Marilyn and Kayla fought off the other three they glanced at Dante.

I knew he was strong from when we fought, but that was incredible! Kayla couldn’t help but think that as she saw a blur on the corner of her eye and quickly swung her sword. She blocked the incoming attack and soon followed up with a counter as she thrust her blade into the scaled woman’s shoulder. However, as she did a sudden burp came out of her and while it distracted her another enemy moved in to attack from her right. Merde! She cursed in her head as she saw the incoming attack.

“Shield!” Marilyn cast her magic and a transparent, barrier appeared just in time to block the scale woman’s attack.

“That was unexpected you good Marilyn, you have my thanks,” Kayla smirked as she followed up with an attack of her own as the barrier faded. Her opponent screeched from her monstrous mouth filled with sharp teeth, as the sword sliced into the flesh of her face.

“Hm?” Kayla soon observed that as the creature stepped back a bit from the attack, its cries lowered and as it uncovered its face it was already in the process of healing. That wasn’t the only one too. The first one she injured in the shoulder was almost recovered as she glanced at it.

“These merdes recover bloody fast!” she cursed out as she regrouped with Marilyn.

“Merdes?!” Dante asked as he held two enemies in his grasp before slamming them on the ground simultaneously.

“She means excrements, sorry Kayla can be a bit foul-mouthed sometimes,” Marilyn explained.

“Shut it!” Kayla interjected, “Anyway, do you have a spell that could damage them enough so they can’t recover?”

“I do, but those types of spells take a while to cast,”

“Don’t worry, I’ll buy you time, just let me know when you’re ready!” She said as she went back to face the enemies. Though a slight dizzy spell took her as sweat covered her face. While she said she was feeling better, she still wasn’t up for a fight. Just need to hold on until Marilyn’s ready.

Meanwhile, Dante continued to press the two enemies in his hands against the ground. However, a sudden slashing and tearing sound caught his attention.

“Hey, not the shirt I only have so many to spare!” He shouted as she looked behind him to see the third Scaled woman slashing his back. While her claws only caused an annoying screeching sound as it hit his back, it did rip up his shirt leaving his back exposed. He soon let go of the two below him and grabbed the one behind him. He firmly gripped its wrist and with a single squeeze a crack sounded out as the scaled woman screamed out. While he did Dante took the initiative and punched it right in its neck which sent it flying and as it slid on the ground, blood squirted from its mouth as it twitched for a bit before just laying still.

“Guess they can’t heal serious injuries,” as he said that one of the remaining ones tried to bite his shoulder from behind. Yet, all its sharp teeth shattered as it collided with his tan skin. “The last thing that tried that didn’t have a happy ending,” Dante said to his enemy as he swiftly turned around and grabbed hold of its neck. The scaled woman struggled in his grasp, but as the pressure increased around its throat it motions soon ceased. Dante soon let go and its body fell with a thud to the forest floor.

Seeing all its other kin being easily beaten, the remaining one soon turned to run away.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Dante said as he grabbed a stone from the ground and with a strong swing of his arm sent it flying at the retreating enemy. A loud sound could be heard as it blasted through its skull sending blood and the insides of its head flying out as well before it collapsed onto the ground. Better go help them next. He thought as he turned around and headed to his two female allies.

Sweat continued to pour from Kayla’s face as she dashed and dodged about the three scaled women who tried to attack her. Anytime today Marilyn! She thought as she staggered a bit and almost got sliced. By the Triune, that was close!

“Kayla, I’m ready!” Marilyn finally shouted at her.

“Do it!” Kayla immediately replied.

“But-”

“Just do it!”

With that final shout, Marilyn reluctantly released her spell. A wave of icy wind that left a frozen path in its wake went straight toward the grouped-up enemies as well as Kayla.

I won’t make it- as she thought that, a firm hand pulled her out of the way as the icy magical attack flew by. Kayla could feel the chills against her skin as it narrowly passed.

The three enemies stood encased in ice, which soon cracked up and crumbled to tiny pieces along with the enemies frozen inside it.

Kayla soon turned to see who grabbed her, but her face soon flustered as Dante entered her eyes.

‘Th-thanks…” she mumbled out as she pulled away from him.

“No problem…”

Marilyn sighed out in relief as the enemies were all defeated and the fighting was finally over, while Kayla tried to step back from Dante in order to hide the expression she was making, but she soon staggered a bit as her fatigue caught up to her.

“Watch ou-!” Dante tried to hold her but she immediately drew her sword at him.

“Don’t come near me,” she said with a serious gaze.

“I was just trying to help.”

“No need, I’m good.”

“But-” as he tried to speak, she immediately cut him off.

“I said I’m good!” she exclaimed once more and with that Dante slowly stepped back.

Marilyn could only shake her head as she saw the scene before her. She really isn’t honest with herself. She thought. Suddenly more steps entered Dante’s ears.

“We have more coming from in front.”

“More?!” Marilyn shouted out.

“It sounds to be just one.” Dante clarified as he tried to focus on the sound of the steps.

“Then it shouldn’t be a problem,” Kayla said as she collected herself.

Everyone took their positions as the steps came closer, but their guards soon fell as a familiar image appeared before them. In the distance Lacey approach with what looked like someone in her arms. Who is that was the question everyone now had in their mind, as Lacey returned with the young girl.

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About the author

Jude-Deus

Bio: I’m a man born with a disease known as author syndrome. An incurable sickness that compels me to write, even if it isn’t a mindblowing masterpiece. Because seeing people read what I write and seeing them express how it makes them think and feel, whether good or bad makes me feel fulfilled. That’s the kind of disease I have, so I do hope you’ll bear with me and enjoy all that this amateur author has to offer.

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