Chapter 32 – A Pestering Idiot
In front of them, Nora and 2 other otherworlders were fighting against a boar type of beast. They were obviously in a fight they were about to lose. Nora was panting hard, her hair was messy and she was bleeding. Kirito beside her wasn’t in a better state either. He was fighting for his life. In his eyes, they could see the terror of one placed in front of death. He must have realised that this Isekai wasn’t such a paradise after all. The life of a Hero was to fight to the death. There was a girl behind them who was trying her best with some healing spells. However, it was just the beginning of the journey, no one had any real firepower nor battle worthy spells.
Kirito tried to dodge the boar’s charge yet he still got bumped pretty badly. In his desperate attempt, something, rather someone entered the field of vision.
“HELP! PLEASE HELP!”
He had seen Rikku and Ran. Rikku sneered; as if they had time for that. Ran harrumphed in contempt. She was petty to the bones. She had already been merciful enough so far, why should she burden herself with others? Nora lifted her eyes, saw Ran and her world turned red. Even though she was in a dire spot, she still had the leisure to abhor and entertain vengeance.
She noticed that the duo didn’t have any intention of helping them. Her expression was grim and her eyes were alight with hate and madness, if they don’t come, then I’ll go to them! Nora’s lip curled in viciousness. She threw a flaming arrow at the boar to get its attention, enraged it and rushed to the pair with the boar hard on her heels.
“That bitch actually dared to scheme against me!” Ran gritted her teeth.
Nora made a risky move: she used the snout of the beast as a stepping stone and jumped up high. All of a sudden, a fire fist locked onto Ran. Ran’s face turned cold. She had used the same trick earlier. She knew well enough that she couldn’t take a blow from that beast. She couldn’t meet the beast head-on, Nora on the other hand…
Ran jumped to meet the fist. Nora was taken aback. However, it didn’t matter much to her as long as Ran died. Nora was so caught up in her narrow little world that she didn’t notice the change of attitude and aura in Ran.
Up in the air, Ran twisted her body to evade the fist by a hairbreadth while tossing a short-sword at Nora. For the second time, Nora was taken by surprise and couldn’t defend it. The sword pierced through her left leg. Furthermore, a crimson whip snaked around her neck and pulled her down. Ran made use of the twist of her body to strike the beast at the back of its head while Rikku slashed at its front legs. The beast tumbled and rolled over several meters. Ran landed on one knee while Nora crashed on the ground and spat a mouthful of blood.
Kirito gaped. How? How could Ran be this skilled and experienced? If it were him, he would have fallen for the trick and most likely died. He was frozen still for a moment, unable to shake off his incredulity.
Ran stood up, walked to Nora and stared down at her. Her hand still held the whip tightly. Nora had kept on rubbing her the wrong way. Something about her, her fiery temper and recklessness was an eyesore for Ran.
Nora wheezed and stared back. “You slut!” Her hands were grasping her throat, trying their best to untie the whip.
Ran’s face was cold and indifferent and her gaze sharp. She lifted the whip and Nora followed by the throat. Ran pulled her onto her knees and ignored the painful scream. Then, in a smooth and determined sweep of her leg, kneed Nora straight in the gut. Nora jolted backwards and collapsed on the ground. Her breath caught in her chest and her innards were definitely bleeding within. She gagged and almost choked on her own blood. She had never felt a pain like this before. She had never thought that Ran would be this strong. She was about to swear some more when she felt a finger pinching her chin and lifting her face up.
Her eyes met Ran’s and she broke into goosebumps. The girl in front of her was too different from her memories. She remembered a Ran who was timid, useless and easy to bully. Now, the Ran in front of her resembled a demon. A vicious and bloodthirsty demon. Nora didn’t have much time to compare the 2 Rans when a fist came crashing down her face. The force wasn’t great, but skillful. Her jaw broke and she lost a couple of teeth. She had barely touched the ground when a kick sent her flying. Ran clicked her tongue and the whip dissolved itself. They couldn’t say she wasn’t merciful. Nora fell unconscious and barely kept her life.
The whole scene didn’t last long and Rikku didn’t even make a move to interfere. He was unmoved by the whole situation. One reaps what one sows, after all. He turned around and resumed his run. Ran followed swiftly behind without sparing the trio so much as a glance. Kirito watched them leave and looked back at Nora.
“Kirito-kun…” A small voice called. “…we have to run away before it’s too late.”
Kirito nodded, picked up Nora and left together with the healer girl.
Rikku and Ran met with the carriage nearby.
Parvian exited the carriage “You’re here!” He breathed out in relief.
Dorian was sitting in the driver’s seat and stated, “We’re good to go.”
Parvian jumped beside him, his bow and arrows in hand. Ran took out a potion, drank it bottoms up and unceremoniously tossed it aside.
Rikku eyed her. “You’re alright?”
Something didn’t feel right, Ran had been drinking potion upon potion and even he didn’t dare drink that much in case it backfired. Moreover, something in her eyes felt wrong.
“Should be.” 2 blood orbs appeared in Ran’s hand. The orbs spun, wrapped themselves around her hands and wrists and turned into gauntlets.
“Hey!” Rikku didn’t have a good feeling.
Ran glanced at him and tilted her head to the side. There was something odd, something amiss in her eyes.
She offered Rikku a small smile, Rikku frowned. The smile was delicate and a bit carefree. What really puzzled him was the sincerity behind it. The smile was genuine. One of her rare and truly genuine smile was in the midst of blood and death. He had a really bad feeling, as if the world beneath her gaze didn’t mean anything.
“I’ll open a path. Stay sharp!” Ran lowered her gaze and turned around.