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Hero, Don't Kill The Demon King! Chapter 1: Lives Not Yet Thrown Away

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Aside from an almost surprised chuckle from Lavinia, amusing in itself to the zombie since she'd felt the remark that triggered it had followed very clearly from the vampire's earlier teasing, the three of them had more or less put the conversation on hold, in favor of giving Agni's final matches the attention they deserved. The man's performance brooked no room for complaint... save maybe that he held off from displaying his skills with dark magic, sticking strictly to the knife. Jade hadn't expected him to clear the arena--but then again, she'd certainly not thought it possible to do so herself, and the revisions she was making to her originally held ideas about how far any of her new friends and acquaintances might manage was still slow to propagate. This bit of an upset was of course a welcome one, though, and the Hero's human protector was definitely owed praise for the accomplishment.

Rising to her feet and quickly (...well, all things being relative) moving towards the reception area, Jade stopped a moment as she was passing Lavinia, and reached out to give her shoulder a small squeeze. "You'll do great too, I'm sure."

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Marina was soaked into her writing for a round or so; she honestly hadn't been paying much attention until the announcer brought up Soft Snake. That was the final opponent. Agni made it to the end? Marina put down her pad and soon enough, she was out of her seat and leaning a bit, intensely watching Agni's final match. It was admittedly awesome to watch. She honestly didn't expect Agni to handle himself so well against a seemingly superior opponent.

And then it was done, "WOOOOOO!" Marina yelled as her voiced drowned amongst the crowd, proud of her protector for his accomplishment. Even if she felt a bit of bitterness in herself for not being able to get as far as him, she couldn't help her joy. Before saying anything, she had rushed ahead of Lavinia and Jade to go congratulate Agni.

"Agniiiiiii!" She was already calling out before she even left the lobby. Soon enough, she had caught up to Agni and pounced at him into a hug. Hooking on, she soon regretted that she almost knocked both of them over, but she was quick enough to catch both of them before crashing. She gave a laugh, "S-Sorry! You did awesome!" And she pulled away from the hug, her smile beaming, "I-I'm proud of you." She confidently announced.

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"Huh? What's goin' on?" Taliyah had caught up to the group now, noticing the tree still somewhat smoking. She was pretty darn confused. "What, wha... Uh, hi, Ayane. This is, Ren... I... Guess you two know each other pretty well?" Asami had been calling the girl princess, but... Had she really been royalty? I hope I haven't been rude.

"Is there such a need?" Who was this new one, now? Ren? She scowled and folded her arms, she wasn't taking anything from the princess, or one of her lackeys! "Her regret almost burned down the inn! Yes there's a reason!" Growling a bit, Asami grumbled to herself, "self righteous, stuck up, royal family nonsense..." With a huff, a groan, and a shake of her head, she sighed. "Whatever, whoever this Ren is, hug and make up, whatever you have to do, but DO NOT set another tree, a building, anything on fire. You understand me? I'm going to blow off some stress..." Asami brushed past them, heading towards the arena.

"Ah, wait! Asami... Ahh... Er, w-well... We, can tell her stuff later." Taliyah had walked up to Ayane and Ren, gently, carefully, reaching a claw out to Ayane's shoulder. "A-Are you okay...?"


"Well... She, looked like a tree! I ain't real smart, y'know? I hunt, I clean it, I cook it, I feed my family, I come here an' get plastered some nights. She had that there, uh... Bark! Right, bark? On her face, an' leaves hangin' out her hair. I'll be goin' up north fer huntin' lemme tell you what."

"Someone like that... Well, maybe not recent, but that there... What's her face... Naw, I can't remember." Brian shook his head, sighing. "Been too long, could be anyone. Can't remember the name of the person I'm thinkin' of anyway. Iffin yer thinkin' 'bout dealin' with this... We ain't the people t'ask fer more, I don't think. Oi, come on George, jus' drink somethin', yer shakin' all over now."

"Aye..." George took a big swig and mellowed out a bit, sighing hard. "Beats me why we got spooks floatin' about the woods, but this war's been hell on the country. Maybe somethin' happened. I don't know... Like Brian said, ye'd have t'find out fer yerself, but, be careful, ye hear? The dead ain't fer triflin'."


Brilliant was a way to put it. Agni has thoroughly dispatched the enemies in the arena with relative ease, up until the end, after his near blunder in the first round... When he looked towards them in the crowd, Lavinia found herself looking away. A faint red touched her cheeks, only being flinched out of it by Jade's sudden touch of her shoulder. "Yes! Yes. Of course... I'm sure I'll do well." Trying to calm herself down, she followed after Marina and Jade, glad to see their little hero taking the initiative. It kept some of the weight off of her.

"You did amazingly, Agni. Very good show." Keeping her compliments light, Lavinia cleared her throat a bit. "I hope that I don't disappoint now that you've set the bar so high." It would be difficult, especially near the end. Those last two fighters... She was slow, but strong. If she could pin them down...

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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Having not seen what had happened on account to him bowing his head, Ren only went with what he heard before looking up from the ground and towards Ayane.  At the sight of his headstrong cousin floundering and gaping like a koi fish out of water though, Ren's eyes suddenly widened before flailing his hands in front of him.

"A-Ah, are you okay Ayane?!" he asks frantically, his charismatic and cool headed demeanor evaporating to make way for a distressed older sibling.  Granted he was only her cousin, but their bond was strong enough to be considered brother and sister.  At least, that's what the others back home used to say before-

At the site of Taliyah reaching out for Ayane, he immediately made sure to make eye contact with the young girl before frantically shaking his head, hoping she'd leave the other alone before she got hurt in the process.  This was a delicate situation only he could diffuse...at least, he hoped he could diffuse it...

"Ayane, my dear cousin, please listen to me," he went back to looking at the oni princess, slowly making himself closer as he tried to catch her attention.  "I know what you're thinking.  Why am I here, why appear after everything that's happened.  Maybe even thinking this is a trap from that demon witch Ouka," he bit out the oni's name with as much venom as he could muster.  "I am willing to go through any interrogation you put me through, but just know that I am so, so sorry."  

Even as the fox left to de-stress from his sudden appearance and what it entailed, he paid little attention to her words and attitude as he solely focused on his only living relative.  "Princess, I...Know that, even after what we've gone through, what happens next, and what the future holds for us, I will be by your side.  I swear to you this, as your Guard...and your family."

His voice broke then, but his eyes didn't waver.  Even as more tears started to appear, he did not dare let them spill.

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"Wh--" Agni was taken by surprise at Marina's pounce, though quickly regained his balance, patting her on the head. "Goodness, I knew I'd be fine. I had ample time to prepare watching you." It was nice to see Marina content, still, it just hadn't been a realization that she'd cheer for his victory so much. Still, it was welcome. "I'm glad I could give a performance befit my mettle for your eyes, still." Courteously, Agni bowed for a moment, feigning the airs of a performance artist.

Lavinia came back soon, and surprised Agni with some more words of praise, as well as her own hinting that she'd partake next. "I'm sure you'll perform wonderfully, Lavinia." If Agni did so well, certainly Lavinia would deal with these men with ease. Although Agni did count himself lucky in a few situations. "I'll be watching as closely as I'm sure you watched mine." This was turning out to be a nice diversion for the group, if anything.

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Marina's mood admittedly has skyrocketed since dinner. It was honestly a fun time tonight, as much as she wasn't big on fighting. Admittedly, there was a small blush at his comment about her and the bow that followed. "You d-don't have to do that Agni, please it's embarrassing." She quietly chuckled. Seeing Lavinia and Jade following behind her.

So Lavinia was going next, then. Hearing the confident affirmation from Agni, Marina gave a nod. "Yeah, you'll do great, Lavinia. I believe in you!" Agni was right to a degree; if he handled the gauntlet perfectly find, Lavinia would be just as good. She turned her way to Jade; Marina had noticed how the two have been acting around one-another, "She'll be great, huh, Jade?" She asked, seeing how the zombie would react.

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This was really getting out of hand... Now there were two of them? Thankfully the arrival of the second oni seemed to almost calm Ayane down some, or at least stop her for a few seconds, but it certainly did not do that for Asami. She stormed off and Bladen, grateful for an excuse to get away from the fire setting oni, quickly chased after her. Managing to catch up, he settled into a calmer pace next o her and gave her a hesitant smile. "So... Arena time, huh? It should be good, getting some practice in, right? I'm looking forward to seeing you fight. Seems like most of the time we've been fighting together, you've been on one side of the fight and I've been on the other, so I haven't gotten to see much from you. I'll make sure to cheer you on from the stands, don't worry." Hopefully she would bite at the topic, move past the frustrations she clearly had with their newest group member. Members? It seemed likely the new one would join too, seeing how focused on her he had been. Trouble ahead, that's all he knew.

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He wanted to cry? Ayane sure wanted to. From the massive mixture of feelings, she wanted to break now more than ever. There was no mistake, this man was offering everything he could to calm Ayane down and earn her trust, even his own life in the process. Ayane's mind refused him for being real, but her heart told her different. It told her that this Ren was the genuine article. "...." Taliyah put her claw on the oni's shoulder, she didn't refuse it. But sadly it didn't remain there for very long. Ayane bit her lip a bit and grabbed Ren by the shoulder. She rose up and pulled him with her, then gave the poor cousin quite a dead stare. She held back her emotions as hard as she could, despite circumstances and her cousin offering himself she still had so many questions. Questions that had to be answered now before she opened up entirely to him. So...

"...may I borrow a room?" She looked at Taliyah next with the same dead stare.

Edited by TheRoon

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It was good to see Lavinia with some healthy color to her, that meant the moon was working its magic, and the vampire would be fighting in top form. Maybe the extra bit of red was also due to her recent meal, too? Which, certainly shouldn't hurt matters as far as fighting prowess was concerned. It was a bit of an embarrassing though, and honestly such a minor matter that Jade didn't feel it worthy of any sort of mention or question, simply smiling a bit, not exactly intended an apology for breaking the knight's concentration--her reply had seemed slightly off-balance, probably nerves--but if it served that purpose as well it was simply a bonus. Honestly, the expression on the zombie's face was really just because there were nothing but positive feelings in her right now.

Marina had acquired a sizable lead by the time they made it down to where Agni was waiting. To be fair, even with Jade's headstart, Lavinia had nearly passed her, so it wasn't as if the Hero had been sprinting or anything. Though, observing the flying tacklehug, and slight ensuing twirl about to catch their balance and prevent a disaster, was certainly mounting evidence that perhaps she had indeed, at least near the end. The zombie raised a hand to her mouth and stifled a giggle.

Approaching the human after the pair had separated, and he had bowed to his Hero, Jade held out a congratulatory hand for him to shake, if he chose. "Excellently done," the zombie praised, "Some of those moves looked risky as hell, but I supposed when you're a seasoned fighter, and have had the chance to observe your enemy, it's just the same kind of 'luck' as reading the markets, huh?" A quick wink and small pause were enough to accentuate the word, making it clear she was of the opinion that very little was actually left to chance, despite appearances to the contrary.

Marina's direct question did sound the death knell to Jade's attempts to keep Agni'a celebration and Lavinia's send-off from mixing, but the merchant did a pretty good job of keeping that from letting much wind out of her sails, and stayed mainly on course too. She couldn't ignore it, so simply answering, "You're right, of course. I was just reassuring her of such on our way here," she refrained from too much elaboration, before turning her attention back to Agni and awaiting his reply hungrily. "I suppose you're also feeling rather sore, like Ma... like Cianna was, but otherwise all right?" Jade added, thoughtfully.

Edited by Balcerzak

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"A ghost...?" That seemed more serious than a witch running around the countryside. More serious than Ithraxl? That would be for Marina to decide, as the leader of the group. If she was as sorry as she seemed, Xalrei was already expecting her to want to investigate; either out of guilt or wanting to help before an incident happened. On a personal level, the dragon wanted to help, though, in the end, she would have to follow Marina's choice. Hopefully she would choose right. But that was still in the future, no matter how short. Better to focus on the present.

"Maybe the library would be a good place to look? Erephis mentioned it earlier. Or maybe, at least, her friend would be a better person to ask about recent deaths?" Ghosts were mostly outside the realm of her understanding, aside from some common knowledge, as well her ability to 'handle' them. She assumed something like a ghost would be immune to typical attacks, probably needing special equipment... Hey, Requiem. Can you affect ghosts? Since you take soul energy or whatever.

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"Yes, of course. We will be quite careful... it wouldn't do to disturb things too much, with everything already amiss on it's own accord... but a little look into shouldn't hurt anything." Nessraya replied, tossing a small bit of coin on the table in front of the men with a wink.

"Get yourselves a round on me, boys~ I agree Xalrei, that is exactly where I wanted to head next~" The General added, taking the dragonewt by the hand as she began to float towards the exit of the bar. What an intriguing little find.

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It wasn't the same as sleep, no, Requiem didn't have the luxury of sound slumber anymore. It was better to describe the cursed sword's current state as a haze brought on by a combination of intense desire and the resulting torment of being a forgettable sidearm. It seemed that Xalrei was more likely to trip and impale herself on the blade than find a suitable sacrifice. Of course, just about anyone was a 'suitable,' even deer if it would redden up the place. Yes, even ghosts were suitable for Requiem, though nothing was ever that simple.

'You strike at flesh,' the blade gave off its faint crimson glow briefly, 'Thus, I strike at flesh. Find one who confronts spirits, then use this power. If you cannot, offer more. The more power consumed, the more power you will wield.'

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"Oh, er... S-Sorry..." Taliyah wasn't quite sure what to really do or say here, Asami was supposed to be the one handling this situation, and she'd just run off annoyed. Having taken her claw off Ayane's shoulder, she stood there and let the two talk, glancing awkwardly at Gabriela. She'd been silent... Did she not know how to handle this either? "Oh dear..." When she was finally asked if they could borrow a room, she squeaked. "Eep!" The stammering followed, trying to figure out an answer. "I, er, uh... I-I don't, I don't w, work for the inn, uhm... I, I don't know?" She really didn't, glancing between Ayane and the inn. "M-Maybe ask, the guy running it? He, he seems nice!"


"Er, sure, miss Nessraya. Hope that all helps! Iffin ye get rid of the ghost, we'd be mighty thankful. Lord knows them arena stuck ups won't give a damn without a hefty bag o' gold..."


"You're all going to make me blush. Really... I'll do my best, to be sure." Lavinia chuckled and couldn't help her cheeks reddening again, as praise and promise were laid on her in equal amounts. "Now, then... I'll be seeing you all from the arena." Turning with a gentle flap of her cape, Lavinia headed into the entrance area, and fitted herself with the arena's promised gear.

Their bow could have been better strung, but it would do. The arrows were top notch, at least. Her first opponent was that armored fellow who Agni had so much trouble against... The arena had fitted him with a throwing axe, suitable for a ranged opponent. She nocked an arrow, but by the time she'd went to release it, the axe was already coming her way! Perhaps Galahad had intended to throw her off, but even with the hefty metal colliding against her armor, her aim didn't falter.

"What!?"

"You're going to need more than that, little armored man!" Her arrow flew far and true, as they began to trade blows. Galahad was doing his best to dodge and toss, but to little avail. One axe stuck itself into her leg, still, not a flinch. "If this is all the arena has to offer..." It was over too soon, Lavinia blooded but standing perfectly fine, and Galahad little more than an iron pin cushion. The healers had frantically run out to attend to her, removing the axes from her body with worry, treating her wounds... Surprised at how quickly they'd closed.

"Thank you for the assistance... Apologies for the mess~"

They were moderately nervous at how calm she seemed... Most of them, until one of them sighed. "She's a vampire, boys. She's not feeling any of them... Phew. Alright, miss, just make sure not to lose your head... If that would even kill you."

"I haven't found out yet... and I don't plan on testing here. Worry not~"

They nodded and headed back, as her second opponent had readied himself. Shurikens, it seemed? They didn't even pierce her armor, clanging against it lightly, as two arrows dealt with him. "Rather simply so far..."


Asami still sighed, but it was nice Bladen wasn't talking about those onis anymore. "Yes, arena time... I'll put on a better show with you watching~" She wasn't exactly much of a direct fighter, but she did have light magic... So long as there weren't any surprise humans working there, this would be fine. "Haven't gotten to see much from me? Bladen, darling... You've seen plenty~ Already asking for more, this soon. Oohhh, really sends a chill up my spine... Perhaps I should've stayed longer, that morning we were camping~" Laying it on thick was putting her in a better mood, smiling and even chuckling a bit.

"Still, I'm not much for combat... I'll have to really finagle myself away from their combatants. Maybe I'll try spinning~ That's a good trick, right?" She did a little one, tail swishing towards Bladen, as she headed for the arena.

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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A room for two for Ayane and Ren? As long as no blood is spilled in the interrogation process, Gaby couldn't complain. They had a lot of family issues to solve. They've both been through a lot, that's clear. Gabriela went to Taliyah. She looked like she was going to explode of nervousness. it was time to come to the rescue. "You can borrow my room. I'll open it for you." Gaby looked down at Ren and even know, tears found their way into his eyes, barely being held back by sheer willforce. He looked miserable. Both he and Ayane. What Ouka has done.. it's unforgivable.

Edited by Michelaar

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Marina's mood was quite contagious. It even got Lavinia embarrassed, which was amusing. Jade was formal yet again, in an exchange that was just as welcome as the other's praise. "It definitely had to do with the heat of the moment. I can't say I'd have been as succesful if I hadn't taken the time to study their openings, or taken the first step, but in combat you learn that lesson first and foremost --not a moment's hesitation is allowed in battle." Agni took her hand to shake, enjoying the formality for what it was. It seemed like everybody was hoping for Lavinia to do well. "Time for me to return to my seat... wouldn't want to miss this, yes?"


Lavinia's style of combat... was like she was a living artillery. She paid no mind even to Galahad's axe as she pressed on entirely numb to the pain.

The undead sure had one advantage there.

"She could just outlast Galahad... I'm impressed." Agni studied Lavinia curiously, that kind of extreme combat style was just something he couldn't hope to emulate, but was perplexing to see in action. "Even if she doesn't bother to move away, her armor us poised to minimize the damage she's sustaining... they will have a hard time finding her weak spot." Agni mumbled to himself, content to leave it at that.

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She mostly listened to the other three talk before watching Lavinia turn and walk away. After that, Marina called out, "Good luck, Lavinia! You got it!" And soon enough, she made her way to the stands again, ready to watch.


Understandably, Marina wasn't as hyped up as she was with Jade and Agni. It was hard for her to do so. She knew Lavinia couldn't feel pain, but it didn't stop Marina from flinching when watching her vampire guardian taking hits like the ones she had been. For some reason, she also couldn't turn away; she didn't know if it was her mind trying to force her to get used to how Lavinia fought, or she simply couldn't look away anyway. A visible look of concern was on her face, but she had faith in Lavinia. She was tough that way.

"You got this," She quietly spoke, as her body hung over the railing, all too engrossed in the fight.

Edited by Silver Gallade

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Next appeared to be... A pistol. "How annoying..." She'd be getting herself some spare armor plates when they were finished here, no doubt about it. Even if she could buff out the dents from a solid weapon, or have Nessraya help in fixing cuts in the metal from bladed weapons... Bullet rounds were going to plow right through it, and leave some moderately impossible holes. "Time to deal with this quickly, then!"

Her first arrow struck its mark without fail, much as this werewolf was trying to dip around. It stopped him from squirming, but he still managed to fire back, leaving two rather annoying holes in her armor, and her. Another arrow struck his arm, and that seemed to hurt his aim enough for half of his next volley to miss... Pinned as he was, another arrow wasn't missing.

After the healers left once again, it was time for the arena's little hill, this, 'Puff Trouble'... A foolish name, really. Just as foolish a fighter it would seem, as he instead brandished a magical implement. Perhaps he thought that, since physical weaponry was doing nothing to her, something like this would fare better... He was wrong. Though it left cuts across her arms, legs and armor, it didn't bring her any pause, and he was far easier to hit than the werewolf had been. Another three arrows brought him to his knees, leaving this vampiric turret the victor once more.

A mage, was it? The fifth round had this... Incubi? He must have been. Still, he proved even less trouble. Less mobile than she was, and with a spell that did not sting, two would spell his end... Was this all they had to give? Surely not. Lavinia knew the next two were going to be cause for concern.

This zombie, he matched her advantage. Perhaps not as effectively as another vampire would have, but as her arrow collided with his leg, his step didn't falter, two rounds expertly piercing her left arm. Was he trying to shoot her wrist off? That was an effective method, but that wouldn't stand... Lavinia hadn't come this far to falter in the face of the last rounds. "Enough!"

A command that seemed to shock even her opponent, a brilliant blue surrounded her arrow, the bow cracking as the ammunition flew. Whether this Leon had been stunned by her shout, or the magic that followed, the arrow tore through his arm, tossing his gun aside. Healers rushed out towards him, and to her, as the crowd roared louder than before. This arena wasn't one for death, but they were both undead... Injuries like this were good for the show, and she wasn't about to let him attempt the same.

"Bring out your best! I want this arena's most challenging opponent!" A boast, perhaps to rile herself up... This Snake fellow... He would not be so simple.

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Marina's eyes were locked into the fighting. As fights went on, it became increasingly easier to watch; seeing Lavinia hold out like she was had been inspiring. Soon enough, the serious, worried look formed back into something more upbeat, excited to watch the fight go on. She started to understand a bit more how the guardian fought. Marina didn't like it, but it was what Lavinia could do to keep her safe.

This match between Lavinia and the zombie was something admittedly frightening. She could see too, the zombie could take advantage of Lavinia's practical immortality. Marina tensed up again. However, it proved to work in the favor of Lavinia, as she removed the arm of Leon Tennessee immediately. Her grip loosened, and her arms rose in the air as she cheered, "WOOOOOO! GO LAVINIA, GO!"

Soon enough, it'll be time for the last opponent. Jade and Agni handled Soft Snake mostly fine, Marina wouldn't normally doubt Lavinia's ability, but it was an individual much faster than she was. It was all up to how long Lavinia would last. A deep breath, and exhale.

"She's got it. She'll be fine," Marina calmly, quietly spoke to herself.

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Lavinia progressed slow and steady, her plan much like her combat style, relied on her enemies being unable to maim her as hard as accurate weapons could puncture them.

All things considered, it was pretty visual... even if Lavinia were of the undead, it was hard not to imagine the pain on her stead. "Undead... are quite something." Agni repeated his old thoughts, not averting his gaze despite everything. "Lavinia's style is quite opposite to mine, it's something to watch." It was quite a learning experience, but Agni couldn't help feel a bit sorry for Marina as well --she was certainly taking this the worst of them--.

"Worry not, Marina. Lavinia wouldn't take on a foe she couldn't handle here... she will probabpy feel quite hungry after these battles, however." It was an attempt to alleviate the hero's worries, if anything.

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The newly turned oni startled from his reverie as he felt his cousin's firm grip against his shoulder.  That immediately sobered him up, eyes still glistening with unshed tears but a lot more composed than before.  At the stare he was recieving, Ren couldn't help but swallow thickly before biting back a nervous chuckle.  Leave it to Ayane and her stare of doom to put him in an unsettling state.  True, he's faced fierce opponents, even those much stronger than even he or the princess, but no one could compare to her fiery temper.

Oh dear, I'm in danger.

Nodding at the request of the room and silently thanking and smiling at Gabriela when she offered her own, he waited to be showed to the room while still in his cousin's hold.

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Lavinia's light blush seemed to indicate she was getting a taste of her own compliment medicine, and that felt like a small victory to Jade. As for Agni, he didn't admit to feeling fatigue, though that didn't necessarily mean it wasn't there. Still, no reason to push the subject if he wasn't having any problems, and as they'd made their way back to the seats, the merchant didn't notice any.

Watching the vampire fight in the ring was something of a familiar sight to the zombie, though Marina's audible gasps and flinching made Jade realize that if it weren't for her use of the newly purchased shield, the Hero would likely have had some very different words for her. But, the logic behind the fighting style was sound. If the enemy's target wasn't vital, a tendon needed to move the muscles you'd be returning fire with, there was no point in dodging. Sometimes moving to interpose would throw the enemy off their guard too, and be well worth the effort to repair things later. A small look at her right hand, and the circular scars around her fingers brought a faint wisp of smile to the zombie's face. That time it had been a mistake, she needed fingers to pull a trigger after all, but it had paid off in the end with the enemy's confusion.

The axe wounds looked bad, but Jade knew the more troubling ones would be the bullets and the arrows. Those get stuck inside, after all. The merchant began silently thinking about another surgery session, this time with the shoe on the other foot, with Lavinia needing her help, and she couldn't help but look forward to that a little. Was it wrong of her? Maybe Marina would see it that way? Jade certainly didn't. She had a broad smile on her face, and barely stopped herself from humming when she realized she was starting in on a quiet little thing.

As Lavinia infused blue lightning, or something that looked close to it, into her arrow in this most recent fight, that was finally enough to shock and surprise her into a small gasp. Nothing quite like Marina's excited cheering, but surely a similar feeling. Of course the vampire was magical, Jade had known this. But she hadn't known the full extent of the tricks in her arsenal, and seeing a particularly showy one for the first time was a healthy source of wonderment. "What a finish," the merchant cooed softly, the 'did you see that,' dying on her lips after, when it was obvious that, yes, everybody had, and everybody was loving it.

She couldn't but shrug and smile, when Agni was wondering how much of an appetite the vampire was working up during the course of these silly little, fun-filled arena games. "Well, sure, I mean. I'm sure she'll be fine, she did have a bite just a little earlier. But, I bet she wouldn't turn you down if you offered? Is that what you're thinking? Are you planning on offering her your neck, Agni?"

A joke of course, but perfectly in the spirit of the enjoyment they were all having right now.

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It was now the final round of the arena... This Gorgon, calling himself "Soft Snake". Truly a silly name, but his skill was nothing to scoff at. She had seen as much with Jade's fight. Agni had gotten lucky, or was simply more skilled, and had managed to put him down swiftly... She would have to do the same, if she wanted a chance at winning. As soon as the announcer told them to begin, her arrow was nocked and ready to fire--

Fast! He wasn't content sitting back and throwing knives at her, he was already trying to close the distance! She fired, but, so close! It grazed his clothing, not slowing him down any... A set of knives met her after that, another arrow at the ready... It was no longer time to mess around. She enchanted it with the same power she'd used before, managing to strike him dead in the shoulder... But he remained standing. "Damn..." He was quite durable, even if his advance had been halted for a moment. Still, she would need a moment, as not a second later, to knives met her right hand, locking one of her fingers in place. As she struggled to get the implement free, he was only a few feet away, now...

She tore it out and readied and arrow. Let go. It struck him in the leg, but he was already leaping.

A shocked gasp ran through the crowd, as the knife he'd used in previous rounds connected with, and tore right through Lavinia's neck, her head toppling a few feet away.

Complete silence hit the crowd, as the healers panicked and made their way towards her still standing, though hunched over body... One of them had to dash away and lost his dinner, but... The first one to recognize she was a vampire, wasn't concerned. When her eyes met his, looking at him and then her body, he quickly picked her up and rushed the others still composed enough to help him heal her.

It took a moment... But when Lavinia stumbled back again, and looked up at the crowd, a wave of relief hit the onlookers, and they began to cheer once more.

"Let's hear it for Miss Lavinia Vasilia, not even decapitation can stop such a powerful vampire!"

Snake looked visibly troubled as he walked past her, offering an apologetic glance, but... She was alive.

"I, guess I learned something new, today..." What a violent arena... Surely that was just a spur of the moment. Why would he...? She didn't want to think on it longer, Marina was likely petrified by such a sight. Turning and heading towards the entrance, Lavinia found herself touching her neck, wondering if the healers had waited long enough for an unfortunate new scar to join her collection.

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It was a fight that Marina could tell would end horribly. Soft Snake was an individual too fast for Lavinia too handle. Her hands gripped the rails again even tighter. Any tighter, and Marina could single-handedly rip it off. This was a mistake! She-- Her thoughts were cut off as she saw something she never expected... As Lavinia's head toppled onto the arena floor. 

Everything felt slower all of a sudden, she couldn't tell what to feel; at least she hadn't until a sudden terrified scream flew from her lips. It went so loud, for so long, by the time it ended, she felt lightheaded. Either from that or still in shock from what had just happened. Soon enough, the announcer spoke of her still being alive, and Marina gave a sigh, gripping her head. She felt like she was going to already cry again. That's two nights in a row she's freaked out over Lavinia's potential death.

Maybe that was finally it. Time to call it for the day. She turned back to Agni and Jade, giving a small, nervous laugh, "I-uh... sorry. Let's go get her then." She smiled, trying to keep her mind away from the thoughts on the fight.

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"I, buh, huuuuu...." Whatever protests he'd been making were ruined by the twirl, tail flicking his way. "You... You cheat. This really isn't fair." He grumbled under his breath, following after her. "If your fighting style is anything like your flirting style, you'll make a mess out of all of them..." He was going to have to find a way to get the upper hand again... Though honestly, there was a part of him that was worried about all of this. She was just... Well fragile looking wasn't quite right, but she certainly didn't look like a trained fighter. And she'd be going up against some of the best. He just hoped that she was quick and smart enough to last out there...

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"My neck?! No, I was simply... worried for her sake. I don't think I can quite do that." Agni had expected an assumption as bold as Jade's, nearly jumping in his seat, startled. "Simply, I was thinking she'd need a meal again, once we returned to the inn." That was quite an awkward topic of conversation... though the merchant lady was probably just poking fun. Still, not something Agni was used to... ah, the next round was just to start.

Agni was confident Lavinia could handle her opponent as well as he did... but this 'snake' was too fast and got the jump on her. Unlike Agni's match, here Lavinia was struggling with an enemy that moved too close for comfort, using his speed to keep himself at an advantage. It was almost like seeing Agni himself in a match, really...

This was all fine, as Agni figured Lavinia's armor was tough enough to withstand as much punishment as possible... but not all of her was armored, and the duelist made full use of that, sending blad to her neck and creating a horrifying wound that... was far too graphic compared to anything else they'd seen that night. Everybody in the arena went silent. Agni could feel a grim chill take over his heart.

Agni stood from his seat before Lavinia spoke again, notifying the healers of her life... or, well, continuous undeath.

That was a scare, for certain. "Goodness, that woman..." An exasperated sigh escaped him, but Agni could not relax quite yet. It was a rather mortifying experience, and he looked paler than the magic could have done to him. "Let's go get her. Posthaste." He could not stutter his words in front of Marina, it did not feel right, but Agni was definitely too anxious to remain there.

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