Feasting big fight
Huffing with her hands on her knees, Rio’s chest rose and fell at a rapid pace, the blue bra she borrowed from Daisuke’s girlfriend visible through her pink, sweat-soaked t-shirt. Need to get out of here.
Four members of her former pack looking to collect her debt lay sprawled across the open dirt field around her. Cars and trucks zipped by, barring the way into the neighborhood full of large houses across the street. Daisuke shook his head then handed her his most-treasured possession: an emerald pendant that had belonged to his mother. Why? While the sweet smell of cut grass filled the air, a relaxing breeze tangoed with her singed hair.
“Across the street.” Towards the beautiful grass. “Come on.” She grabbed him by the wrist and dragged him back onto the sidewalk. Her belly rumbled as the tight shorts the vet had given her bit into her waist. “I —”
A hand wrapped in a translucent stinger shot through Daisuke’s chest, and blood splattered onto her face.
Rio blinked. “What?” Her mind fuzzed as the stinger jerked backwards.
Daisuke crashed into the ground, face first. Dust filled the air around him. A crimson puddle soaked his unmoving corpse.
Her eyes bulged. “No.” A rasp hung in her voice. First her brother. Now her best friend? “No!”
In front of her, a tall man stood there with translucent Chinese Hornets — each only the size of a small teacup poodle — flying around his third and fourth socket. His glowing green hair drew attention to the sharp spikes decorating the black, leather mask that hid his face. Always wearing a gray, pin-striped suit without a tie. The Triad’s greatest assassin. The Hornet. “Now that the Untalented fool is out of the way —”
Rio screamed then swallowed her last four animals: An elephant, a badger and two gorillas. The gorillas rested in her third and fourth socket while the badger settled in her fifth socket. She pushed the elephant into her sixth socket — her right leg. Each of the toy poodle-sized spirits — twice as large as his — danced around her body, remaining close to their socket. Linked to it.
“The zoo?” The Hornet tugged at the black glove around his left hand, armored-suit clinking. “I guess that is where —”
Pushing off with the elephant’s strength, she shot forward like a bullet, power-enhanced daggers in hand. “You bastard!”
He rolled to the left before shuffling back to the sidewalk, the highway behind him.
She twisted and used the badger’s balance to correct her course without slowing.
Rip! One of her daggers tore through his right arm, armored suit jacket and all. He howled then gritted his teeth before swallowing five more Chinese Hornets, filling each of his seven sockets.
She threw herself backwards, righting herself as she landed.
Stinger-covered hands crushed the concrete where she had just been.
Planting her right foot, she tensed her muscles.
Blood dripped from the Hornet’s right arm, painting the unmarred section of the sidewalk red as he sauntered forward. His lips peeled back into a snarl. Translucent wings grew from his back, attached to his second socket. Flap-flap-flap-flap. His feet rose off the ground.
Stupid! Why didn’t I store any birds? She gritted her teeth and flared her sixth socket.
The elephant spirit expanded until it stood as tall as the three-story house directly across the street.
A gasp shot from the Hornet’s mouth, and he froze in place.
Rio sprang off the ground. Twirling in midair, Rio cocked her foot back and kicked him in the chest.
Translucent armor encased his body as he flew across the street, smashing into a big truck. The truck folded around his body, and both tumbled into the three-story house, destroying it. Several cars slid to a stop. A few drivers even got from their cars for a brief moment. But as soon as their minds justified what they just saw as normal — a weakness of the Untalented — they got back in their cars and drove off.
She touched down and leaped over the screeching traffic.
After landing with the badger’s deft skill, she spun.
The Hornet emerged from the wreckage, cracks racing across his translucent armor. Blood covered the front windshield of the truck. Or what remained of it.
Her boot caught him in the face and sent him crashing through a shed and four more houses. Rage crushed her grief, and her vision narrowed. The final house collapsed around him, nothing but splinters and dust.
She shot into the sky, driving her right foot into his middle as she landed.
Blood rolled down the Hornet’s chin, and his translucent armor shattered along with the house’s foundation. Snap! The mental sound echoed through her mind as the four spirits Crafted into the armor died. A weakness of Crafting. Water sprayed up from the broken pipes, and a hissing sound joined it. The stink of gas filled the area.
Were there no people in these houses? Maybe they were at the PTA bazar. Either way, they were lucky not to be home.
“You!” Rio stomped on his right arm, grinding the bone into dust. “I’ll —”
He flared his three remaining hornets. Each expanded to the size of a small moving-truck. Translucent stingers grew from his chest. Centimeter by centimeter, they extended out from his body, acidic poison dripping from their tips and melting the stone beneath him.
She scrambled backwards and into the rice field, using the last of the elephant’s power.
The now massive stingers rippled with power as they reached a height with her. His bloodshot eyes trembled.
Spitting, she sheathed her daggers. “Is that all you can do? Craft with your stupid hornets!” She clenched her fists until her knuckles turned white. “It won’t save you.”
“Save me?” He staggered to his feet, right arm limp. Left arm moving slowly. A grin split his face. “Do you actually believe you can kill me?” He cackled while he kicked his left leg out towards her. Six translucent stingers zipped across the rice field.
She dove into the high stalks of rice then tumbled to her knees. The soft mud caked her chest and legs.
Above her, the Hornet pointed two stinger-wrapped feet in her direction. All seven of his sockets were full.
How many spirit-orbs does this bastard have? She scurried forward on hands and knees then pushed herself into a somersault, gorilla-enhanced muscles throwing her several meters into the air.
The Hornet appeared right in front of her, left leg cocked.
She flinched, flipping slowly towards death.
His foot shot forward.
The stink of burning potatoes filled the air.
Each of Rio’s breaths chilled. Her heart fluttered, and she glanced to the left.
A few blocks away, a man stood there with his hand extended. Blue energy shot from his hand. Ice wrapped around the Hornet’s legs then encased his body.
Rio crashed into the frozen assassin. Both tumbled to the ground.
The Hornet vibrated, his Crafted armor protecting him to a degree. How long could a Chef’s ice hold him?
A Fat Ass … . Her eyes went wide. She stood then bolted in the opposite direction of the ice-man. Revenge could wait. She —
The man flashed past her, his youthful face conflicting with his gray hair.
She flared her fifth socket, a three-story badger eclipsing her body. I just —
The man’s hand shot out and grabbed her by the throat, stopping her dead in her tracks.
“No … .” Her voice wheezed the word as she reached out to flare her gorillas.
“I could snap your neck before you had a chance, Heathen.” His cold tone sent icy fingers down the backs of her thighs.
She shivered. “W-what do y-you want, F-Fat Ass?” Her badger vanished.
“Go to sleep, and dream of the day when our kinds rule once more.” His grip tightened, and the light sprinted away from her vision.
The world spun as her muscles slacked. Her body went cold. The darkness took her.