Pumpkin King

Chapter 61

Lorelai was taken aback by the little girl's words. Her immediate thought was to call out for help. But she smothered the urge. She hadn't been in the guild very long, the only real mission she ever had was done with help from the others. Even though it was supposed to be her job. Her revenge.

But now none of the people she relied upon were with her. It was her turn to take the initiative. Azusa was still new, she was standing in the shoes Lorelai herself had been standing in. She would look to her for guidance. Even if their opponent was just a little girl…who wanted to kill them.

She studied Angel intently. The girl didn't even blink. She stood as still as a statue. People usually moved even when they were standing still. Breathing, shifting weight, unconscious movements. Not her. She might as well have been a piece of the background.

But her eyes weren't focused on Lorelai, she noticed. She was staring blankly to her left, where Azusa was. Angel lifted a hand and pointed at her. "Where….where did the other one go?" She asked in confusion.

Lorelai blinked. What did she mean 'other one'? The only ones there were her and Azusa. She turned to ask the younger girl, but she wasn't there. She turned in a full circle, trying to find her, but she was nowhere to be found.

She rounded back to Angel and glared at her. "What did you do with Azusa?" She demanded.

Angel shook her head. "I have done nothing with her." She explained calmly. Far too calmly for such a little girl. It sent a chill down Lorelai's spine, but she wouldn't let it show. "She was next to you when she simply vanished."

"Don't play around with me, kid." She hissed in sudden anger. She wasn't going to let Azusa get hurt because she hadn't been paying attention.

Then she felt a tug on her skirt followed by a scared whisper. "Um…I'm right here."

With a yelp, Lorelai turned to look at the speaker, but no one was there. "Uh…"

She heard a rustle of cloth and then two purple eyes blinked at her. Right in front of her. With no body.

She screamed.

"P…P…Please don't be scared." Azusa stuttered, her eyes filled with worry. "This is normal. For me. It just sort of happens when I'm scared."

Lorelai's heart slowed down from frantic to somewhere close to a steady heartbeat. "Okay. It's just you. I thought something was about to attack me."

"Slaughter and create a blood path, Meiko."

Azusa's eyes widened as she saw something over Lorelai's shoulder. She didn't think. On pure reflex, she grabbed the invisible girl and jumped as far as she could away from where they were.

No sooner had she done so that she heard something strike into the ground where they had been standing. It hit with such force that she could hear the stone floor shatter from the impact.

The two girls skidded across the floor on their stomachs. Neither stayed in that position for more than a moment before they both rolled in different directions. Not even a second later, there was another crushing sound as they barely dodged another blow.

Lorelai rolled to her feet and kept moving, trying to get her bearings. She almost stumbled and fell when she saw what they had been running away from. Angel was still standing in the same spot. But above her head were three orbs of what appeared to be some sort of deep red liquid. She refused to believe it was blood. Both because a girl that little couldn't take that much blood from her own body and still be alive and because the thought that a kid her age would 'acquire' the blood from someone else…that was just too morbid to think of.

Glancing behind her, she saw crystalized lances of the substance piercing the floor where she had dodged them. It looked like red lightning had struck and solidified on impact. Scanning the room, she didn't see any signs of Azusa, not even her purple eyes. She sighed in relief. She must have put her blindfold back on. If she couldn't be seen, she couldn't be targeted.

She flashed back to Angel and jumped aside just in time to avoid another red lance as it shot out from one of the orbs above Angel.

"Why do you insist on interfering?" Angel asked, shooting another lance. "Surely you know that a guild as small as yours can't stand against a Dark Guild like papa's."

Lorelai growled as she ran away from the attack. She didn't have enough time to counterattack. Besides, she didn't want to hurt a child. Even if that child was trying to kill her. But she couldn't keep up this game of cat and mouse much longer. She was torn between survival and going against her morals.

Then she had an idea. Azusa could stop her. She could lock her in stone and then they wouldn't even need to fight her! Then shame filled her stomach. Azusa would never do something like that. She didn't like petrifying people and she didn't know how to reverse the process yet.

She ducked and jumped forward to avoid the next strike, diving towards Angel, her brain almost steaming trying to figure out a plan. She could try restraining her, but she wasn't sure if that would stop her from attacking.

She got so caught up in her thoughts that she didn't notice another lance coming straight at her. Her eyes widened, knowing she didn't have time to move out of the way. Before she could stop it, a scream escaped her mouth.

But then the pillar of red veered off course, crashing into the ground to the far right of Lorelai. Her heart was practically in her throat as she looked at Angel and found her struggling and kicking against something. Lorelai could vaguely see something covering her eyes and a gleam of purple behind the small girl. "Azusa!" She shouted happily. But then more and more of Azusa's body become visible again. And then her purple eyes slowly changed from purple to red.

With a sudden sense of danger, Lorelai ducked out of her line of sight shouting, "Watch where you're looking!"

Azusa squeaked and shut her eyes tight. Seeing her chance, Angel stomped on the older girl's foot, making her scream and loosen her grip.

Angel wasted no time in ducking away from her captor. She tried to run, but she found her path blocked by an irritated Lorelai. She reached out to hold the girl when the ground under her feet started to rumble.

Lorelai looked down just as what looked like spiky roots erupted from the floor and wrapped around her, digging into her skin and holding her in place. She screamed in pain as the thorns tore at her clothes and bit into her, drawing blood.

Azusa was tying her blindfold back into place when she heard the scream. "Lorelai!" She started for her friend when a voice commanded, "Take another step and I snap her head off."

Azusa froze as footsteps echoed from a dark corridor at the far end of the room. Neither of the girls had even noticed the exit was there, so intent as they were on Angel after they fell. The footsteps grew louder until a figure emerged from the doorway, seething anger coming off her in waves. Her tube top and short shorts were tight enough on her that both girls would have blushed in embarrassment at being seen wearing them. Her dark green hair was pulled back into a tail. Her eyes were wide with hate.

Angel frowned as she stepped away from the captured Lorelai. "Rose. Why are you here? Papa asked me to deal with them."

Rose's glare turned to the Angel, none of the anger fading. "I don't care what your psychotic dad says. He sent my Wave to get killed by these monsters." She practically shook with anger and sadness. Unshed tears made her eyes shine. "To me, he's just as guilty as the Ripper." She brushed her tears away with her arm. "Now get out of my way. I'm the one that's going to kill these murderers!"

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