Book Four : Forsaken, Chapter 3- The Brawl
The Black Thorn wandered the streets of her next target. She heard a rather despicable ruler was in this village, but that would not be for much longer. The streets seemed unnaturally bare. In the distance, she heard a commotion and saw where the inhabitants had been drawn. A dense crowd of people, pressed shoulder to shoulder. Cheers and awe resounded from the hoard of spectators.
"This is rather nice," she thought. "I won't have much attention drawn to myself. Less questioning eyes will make this go much smoother." As began to avoid the swarm of people, their persistent cries and shouts got the best of her curiosity. She pressed herself through whatever small gaps she could find in the sea of flesh, wedging her small frame through colliding limbs. Pushing through, the spectacle finally came within view. In the middle of the packed gathering was a wide, open field. Three people stood far in the middle, two of which stood near one another, each with a fearsome beast at their command, ravaged from battle. The last figure, a worn and tired looking man, had nothing to his aid. The earth around them was scarred and razed. They were not standing distant to the on-lookers, it was the watchers who kept at a safe length.
The ring gazed eagerly at a conflict, apparently, involving rising gang members. She could recognize their insignia. Rumors of their rises had reached her ear. Several factions had taken claim to the unclaimed territories since the fall of Rocket, but they were not her concern. Her focus was on larger sources of evil. What made the circumstance so bizarre was that the pair of combatants marks that she had heard belonged to rivaling parties. Whomever this third man was, he must had done some terrible deed against the two to unite them beyond their own hatreds. At two against one, it was no surprise that the odd man out looked so worried. With no summoned beast to defend himself, his demise was inevitable. For as overwhelming as their victory seemed, the two seemed worried. The man, hooded in red, cried out to his smoking, shelled monster. It responded to his call, the blaze within its armor surging, as it charged at the lone man and leapt into the air.
"Looks like the end of him," she thought. "At least he gave them a tough fight, it seems." Turning, Rei desired not to see any more death than that she created. The rest of the crowd stayed intend on watching the battle. The people uproared with shock and amazement as a heavy thud was all she heard. "And so it ends," she told herself, but the sounds of battle continued. It was then learned why this fight, in particular, had drawn such numbers.
The stranger had met the full force of the Torkoal, his fist crashing into its belly mid-air. Crashing to the ground, before the beast could recover its sense, the man had it grappled by the neck and hurtled it back to the his opponents. This man was not out of viable fighters or even losing the battle. He was fighting it himself.
"Dammit," the female of the pair, garbed in blue, cursed as her Milotic was crushed beneath the flung monster. "You call that an attack, Billy?"
"Shut it, Kid," the hooded man replied. "If you would have helped out instead of just sittin' there like a git, we might have gotten him already!" His eyes, taken off the battle for just a moment, found that time to be too long. The torn coat figure was in full sprint towards the pile of monsters, fist raised, screaming a battle cry, the sun gleaming in the lens of his glasses...
The sparsely filled streets heeded no warning to the events that would occur that day. A figure, draped in a deep, crimson cloak, drifted through these roads, the people forming a bubble of vacancy in his path. They knew who he was and what he stood for but were not willing to risk inciting his ire. He was William Green, a young and rising member in his association. They had given him the task of claiming a small town in their name, a daunting task, but one they felt he could handle. He was one of their most promising recruits. News that their rival gang was seeking to control the same territory did not alarm him. He knew he would be able to handle it. Trekking further into the city, his welcome was laid out. A young girl sat in the market square, reclining on some boxes of produce, munching on an apple. Decked out in blue and stripes, she acted as though his abnormal choice of garb did not catch her attention. William knew better.
"This is who they sent?" He was outraged. "A little girl? I'm insulted. I thought I'd at least get a bit of a work out." The woman hopped from the boxes, discarding the fruit.
"Aww, somebody sounds a little cocky," she taunted. "Do you not wanna beat up a lil' girlie like me?" She pitched her voice as though she were talking to a baby.
"Listen here, Kid," he explained, rolling his eyes, "you can either leave now with your dignity and life, or-" Tired of his words, she snatched up an orb from her belt.
"Let's just get this over with, shall we?" From the start of their meeting, the area surround the square had begun to drain out of all by-standers. Everyone retreated to their homes or a very safe distance, not wishing to stop the conflict or be in any way involved. Everyone left, all but one man. The sole person slowly paced through the wide open space, dragging his feet. A long, shredded coat skimmed the ground with each step, fraying its aged edges even more. His head hung low, covered by greasy, long, dark hairs, thin and sickly. Blood soaked bandages were wrapped about his body, some old, some new. The ensuing battle was halted as the wanderer walked directly between the two, paying no notice to the events around himself, babbling things beneath his breath.
"What exactly do you think you're doing?" William shouted at the passer-by. "Do you want to get yourself killed?" After a few short steps, the man paused in his shuffle.
"It wouldn't be the first..." His words enraged William.
"Do you think I'm joking? I think you need to be learned something awful," he suggested, fumbling for a vessel latched to his side, "and I have just the teacher for you!" A large, gray wolf arose as the sphere struck the earth. A point was all it needed to jump into action. "Now then, that taken care of, let's-" A sharp whimper cut his words short. Seeking the source, he saw his magnificent beast crumpled in a ball, writhing in pain, next to the man with his arm extended straight outward. The adversary burst into laughter.
"Hah! Your stupid lil' pup couldn't even handle some crazy old guy?" she teased. "I'll show you how it's done right!" Not wanting to waste one of her prime choices on dispatching some lunatic, she sent out her sharp-toothed fish. At her word, the full jawed monster sprang forth at the man, his arm, extended in the same position as before. The fierce savage latched onto his hand, its fangs seeking deep. Blood ran down its lips. The man never flinched. Lifting his head upwards for the first time, he glanced over at Kid. His stare changed her smug look into fear. Raising his arm, his fist smashed into the ground with the Carvanha in-between. The earth shook just a little. Slowly, the tension in its jaws released, and his hand was free.
"Bloody hell!" Kid protested as the turn in laughter went to William. Nothing about this made sense. People could not fight monster, that is why monsters had to be tamed in the first place. Even the lowliest of vermin gave a normal person difficulty, but this stranger was taking on those who were powerful and trained with ease.
"Well?" The man asked them an empty question, pushing the hair away from his face, revealing his pale skinned face and blue lips, like that of a dead man. Slowly, his back straightened, bringing forth his true height. Tearing off a loose strap that was caught in a passing breeze, he covered his open wound. "Are you gonna let me get away with that?" The commotion, and mild seismic activity, had gotten some attention. People began to collect in the alleys, watching from the shadows. William and Kid knew they were falling under judging eyes and that they had an image to maintain.
"Of course not," William replied, pulling his cloak away to expose the supply of monsters he had brought with him. "We're just getting started." Jack smiled most foully...
"I wish I wasn't so haughty," William said in retrospect as he laid flat on his back, sore and beaten.
"I wish I didn't lose," commented Kid, in the same situation. The battle had happened so fast, they were still figuring out what had transpired. Aside from taking a severe pummelings from a man single-handedly, not much else stuck in there minds. "Who was that?" she questioned, trying to lift herself from the ground. "I didn't pay that much attention to him. Did he have an emblem? Is he affiliated?"
"Not that I saw," William grunted, dragging his body upright. "A weapon like that would make a powerful addition to my team..." Kid burst out laughing, which quickly ceased due to her bruised sides.
"Him," she inquired, "join you? He just utterly crushed you with his bare hands!"
"Oh, so he'd join up with your kind, then?" He mocked her, "You obviously performed so much better!"
"No, you fool. He's bigger than us," Kid clarified. "He's bigger than all of us, all of them." Struggling to her feet, she torn off her insignia.
"What? What are you doing?" William stammered as he watched her remove any article with the mark.
"I align myself with only the strongest," she told. "Rocket was strong. I thought they could give me true strength, but they fell. I thought had found a new family here, but they are no better. I am still nothing. I don't think anyone, anything, could stop that man." With uneasy steps, she hobbled off.
"Wait, where are you going? That's... that's," William stuttered out, "that's where he went."
"I know." As she faltered onward, William tore his hood and cloak off in rage. Forcing himself to his feet, he followed Kid in her path to true power.