Towa winced when their gazes met.
“Don’t.” The tanned elf cut her off with a glare. “You’re already in deep shit. What were you thinking?”
“I’m sorry. But I couldn’t stand the thought of… someone like her walking around freely, facing no consequences for her actions after what she did...”
“She arrived earlier, and made a beeline straight towards Shirogane.” Rushia explained.
“And found her.” Flare grumbled. “Let me guess, you threw the first punch?”
“Y-Yes, ma’am.” Towa looked down at her feet, ashamed. “I just didn’t manage to land it, that’s all.”
Tears beaded at the girl’s eyes, and she once again looked like the teenager she was supposed to be. Not a warrior, and certainly not a Lady. She was just a kid. Flare closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose before letting out an exasperated sigh.
“Just get some sleep.” Flare turned to face Marine. “I’ll get her out of your hair when the medics are done with her. I’d consider it a favor if this stays here.”
“Sure.” Marine nodded. “But I must insist you stay until the storm passes. It’s not safe to pass through the turbulence, especially with a craft that small.”
“Fair enough. I appreciate the—” Flare paused when they walked out into the corridor. “—shit.”
Standing there and talking to Rushia was none other than Shirogane Noel. She towered over the smaller officer, but still listened to her all the same. They noticed each other and Noel greeted Flare with a somewhat friendly wave.
“Well, look who it is. Shiranui-san, have you come to collect your crazy little kouhai? Her blasphemous demon magic gave me quite the workout.”
Flare’s eyes narrowed.
“Lady Shiranui…” Marine warned, then glanced at Noel. “That will be all, Sergeant Shirogane.”
“No. It’s alright, Captain. All we’re doing is talking.” Flare said calmly, her expression neutral. “How many times did you hit the kid back there?”
“As many as it took to put her down. Could have done it quicker, but by then the Mana Diffusion Field was turned on so I had to use my bare hands.” The knight shrugged, armored shoulders rising and falling. “Made it a little easier though, since she’s so small. Either way, your girl just ain’t right in the head.”
“Look. She came up to me and started screaming about a murderer and demihuman death camps or some shit. All kinds of nonsense.” Noel explained casually. “I said I didn’t know anything about death camps; on my world we just made them dig a pit and line up along the side, and she went—”
Noel’s sentence was cut off when Flare’s hands glowed with fae magic and smashed her into the ceiling, breaking the overhead fluorescent lights in a shower of glass shards and golden sparks. She followed up by slamming her into the floor with another wave of telekinetic force, the pristine tiles cracking under the weight of her power.
“Not bad.” Noel spat.
There was a flash of brilliant blue and Flare was hurled through the wall of the medical wing, landing on the courtyard to the shock of the nearby Holos. A few girls who were playing basketball stopped and stared, mouths agape at what was happening.
Noel stepped through the hole in the wall, eyes blazing with fury while Flare attempted to regain her bearings. That blue light, combined with the ringing in her ears and the concussion she now possessed…
Magic. Human magic.
Flare’s theory was confirmed when Noel’s palms crackled with mana, sapphire lightning climbing up her arms. Magical flux coalesced into a massive zweihander that scraped across the ground, the pale girl wielding it with one hand.
A sharp whine filled the air, and all of a sudden the greatsword in Noel’s grip flickered and dissipated. So did the magic from Flare’s hands - someone turned on the mana diffusion field.
“Again?” Noel snarled, cracking her knuckles. “Guess we’re doing this old-school, just like I did with the demon dyke.”
Flare dodged the first punch, sending her own into the taller girl’s jaw. But Noel wasn’t just taller; she was stronger, tougher, bulkier too. Stars exploded across the elf’s vision when a brutal left hook followed by a headbutt crashed into her face, sending her reeling back in pain. That, combined with her concussion from the point-blank explosion earlier floored her. She wasn’t a close-range fighter, more used to relying on her powerful ranged magic.
“Is that what she is? Your little carpet-muncher? Is that why you came all this way?” Noel snarled, lifting up a dazed Flare by the collar. “I bet she licks real good, doesn’t she? You heretical, knife-eared slut.”