“Horera! Are you alright?!” Audrey dropped her spellbook and ran to Horera.

Nadine moved to cover both of them and watched the forest for any further signs of movement. These plant-daemons moved through the ground way too fluidly to get as close as they had without her noticing them. Nadine had never fought a daemon before, and it was frustrating to discover how little effect her arrows seemed to have on them.

“Yap.” Horera shook herself out after standing back up. “Horera okay. Audrey okay?”

As Audrey nodded to Horera and retrieved her spellbook, Nadine considered their assets. Horera’s guisarme seemed a little more effective than Nadine’s arrows, but really their best weapon seemed to be Audrey’s fire spell. And then even after a direct hit, Horera didn’t look like she’d really been hurt so much as had the wind knocked out of her.

“We should go back!” Audrey turned seriously to Nadine, “This is too dangerous!”

“I think they’re protecting something.” Nadine shook her head, “Maybe a way between worlds. We should keep going, just carefully.”

“Yap! Horera not scared.” Horera nodded “Plants not bad as dead and bad priest.”

“Well I don’t like fighting at all.” Audrey brushed some leaves off her spellbook. “I have to do enough of it in Fantasia, I don’t want to have to fight here too.”

“Just a little further?” Nadine coaxed. She could tell Audrey was just as worried about her and Horera as herself. “I’m pretty sure if we work together we can handle anything this place can throw at us.”

After glancing at Horera and Nadine, Audrey finally gave in with a sigh.

“Now, Horera,” Nadine turned to the dogling, “If you didn’t follow through with a strike, do you think you could trip the plant-daemons more quickly when we run into more of them?”

“Horera not trip. Guisarme-san trip.” Horera held up her weapon.

“Right, so if Guisarme-san just trips them, and doesn’t hit them afterward—could he trip them faster?”

Horera looked at her weapon for a moment, then nodded to Nadine. “Yap. Horera think so.”

Soon enough they reached an aisle of trees with nearly a dozen of the daemons down its length. And without Horera barking this time, the daemons didn’t seem to have noticed them yet.

“So here’s the plan,” Nadine smiled to the others, “Horera—and Guisarme-san—take the front and just move down the line tripping all of them. I’ll pin them to the ground with arrows, since any amount of damage seems to slow their movement through the dirt, and also cover Audrey. Then Audrey will just incinerate the lot of them with her magic.”

It went off beautifully, Horera pretty much dancing down the line uprooting the daemons with her spinning guisarme—kicking, or in one case biting, any that got too close. Given better range, Nadine was able to put her arrows where they could do the most good without having to worry about defending herself at the same time—and finally Audrey’s magical fire was as powerful as any pre-Reclamation personal arm Nadine had ever heard of. It was really good having friends. Actually, it made Nadine hope JC would stay with her even after they reached Metropolis.






4 Responses

  1. Elsie says:

    Who is the leader of the group??

  2. Elsie says:

    Eh- I’m on Team Horera!!

  3. Andy says:

    I’m enjoying the fact that the story thus far takes place primarily in the dream world, but there’s references to what’s going on outside of it. I appreciate the tactical thinking, though I don’t really understand how not following up with another strike would speed up the tripping… Oh, wait, no, I get it, it’s not the individual tripping, it’s the amount of time between her tripping the first and last daemon. Wasn’t clear at first, but I got it.

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