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Cause [2.2.4]

The two blades met with a clang. A whirling figure unleashed a tirade of blows, whilst the other one absorbed them with all the calmness of a cliff absorbing the ocean’s waves. Rana gave an animalistic howl.

“YES, Cassie! Show me… YOUR FIRE!”

Focussing as hard as she could, Cassie continued to block the incoming strikes, and reply back when she had the chance with small jabs and swipes. She held her ground without hesitation, and with many strikes, her blade was already prepared to block before the attack came out; her future vision was aiding her massively.

Eventually, Rana disarmed the smaller girl, sending the blade into the air, landing next to Geoffrey with a clang.

“Oh… sorry.” Cassie murmured.

“Don’t be.” Rana replied, showing a rare grin. “That was the best you’ve performed since you arrived. I think you’re really starting to pick it up now. That balance between seeing future attacks and blocking present attacks… you’re getting there.”

“Thank you. I’ve been in careful thought all night about it.” Cassie replied, going to pick up her sword.

“Wasn’t she good, Geoffrey? That was a great fight!” Rana shouted, a little more loudly than was necessary – Geoffrey, snoozing quietly at the top of the stairs leading up to the roof, jerked up.

“Hm, what?” he mumbled, opening his eyes to watch the scene. “Oh, yeah, it was great. Sorry, babe, I’m hella tired.”

“I’ve told you before, we’re not ‘babe’. And you need to stop being tired very soon; you’re up next.” Rana admonished.

Geoffrey sighed, and heaved his body upright with a playful ‘oh-if-I-must’ attitude. The moment his fingers closed around his bilocated knife, however, a glint appeared in his eyes and he turned to face Rana with confidence.

“You ready?” Rana asked. Geoffrey nodded, and behind Rana, a second Geoffrey nodded and winked at Cassie.

“Begin.” Rana said. Her eyes saw Cassie briefly smirk at something on the far side of the rooftop, and knew it would be the clone. With a lazy flick of her sword, she blocked the strike from behind her without looking, then swung full-force at Geoffrey, who had charged. He was knocked aside with ease, and twisted violently to avoid falling over.

“Dear me,” Rana muttered, following up her assault and forcing Geoffrey to step backwards, trying to block her strikes. “This is disappointing.”

“What do you mean?” Geoffrey responded, breathing heavily, already tired out. He lunged, and his clone leapt into the fray, both of them meeting Rana’s blade. She delivered a sharp kick to the clone, and continued slashing with both power and speed, leaving Geoffrey with little room to dodge or block.

The battle began to even out as Geoffrey began to focus. With a careful approach, he was able to push Rana’s assault back, and his clone’s random strikes kept her on her toes. With relative ease, however, Rana eventually disarmed the boy, leaving him staring at his kitchen knife with a dumbfounded look on his face.

“You’ve done better.” Rana said.

“No shit.” Geoffrey murmured. “Uh, that was not my best work.”

“Do you know why?”

Cassie and Geoffrey looked at her in silence, and she shrugged.

“Geoffrey. You’re experiencing the same problem as Cassie was earlier; relying on your power more than your skill. You thought that by beginning the battle with a surprise attack, you could easily win. The moment I blocked that surprise attack, you were left without a battle plan, and it took you a long while to recover.”

“Well, fuck, when you put it like that, yeah…” Geoffrey said. He bent down and picked up his knife, and his clone vanished.

“You must make sure not to rely too heavily on having your clone. The King is powerful – fighting two of you will not be as much of an advantage as you think it is.” Rana said. She took a deep breath.

“Are you alright?” Cassie asked.

“You’ve tired me out already. Hah… even my own routine wasn’t this tough. Right, let’s… do some exercises.”

“Oh, god, for a minute I thought you were gonna suggest getting some food.” Geoffrey said.

Cassie stood up and walked over to the rooftop, where Rana was beginning to stretch her arms. She gave Geoffrey a placid smile and joined in.

“We had breakfast less than an hour ago, Geoffrey. Come on, let’s exercise.”

Several floors below, a Voidian in a hoodie was lounging on the sofa, staring idly at the viewport as several scantily-clad girls danced in a nightclub. He was barely watching, however, and was seconds away from falling asleep.

Wondering where Rana and the others had got to, Saiph heaved himself from the sofa and traipsed over to the front door. He opened it with a sigh, and stepped out into the blazing Void daytime; just a few hours until the lights would fade and plunge Void back into comfortable darkness.

A movement down below alerted his eyes. He turned to face the street below, but saw nothing. Yet he felt eyes on him, and shivered involuntarily. Feeling nervous, Saiph stepped back inside and closed the door. It brought a momentary sense of relief.

His mind ill at ease, Saiph did the only thing he could think of, and messaged Alcor.

 

Hey homeslice. You round? Sa

Dude, could use someone to chat toooooo Sa

Al SAIPH! What is up with your good self? Anything your pal Alcor can help with?

I just Sa

It’s probably nothin I just looked outside and felt someone watchin me, you know? Sa

Al Watching you? You aren’t on any kind of Official observation! So it’s not us!

Oh good it’s not the police, how comforting Sa

Al Seriously, though, Saiph! If it’s making you PANIC so dramatically like this, it’s obviously something SERIOUS!

I don’t think it is tbh Sa

Al Anything else you wish to ask of me?

Eh, nah Sa

How’s training the kids going? Sa

Al EXCITINGLY! The young man, Zack, showed an impressive display of power!

Al Of course, he was in a bad mood and was unable to control it, but it still suggested a degree of PSYCHIC STRENGTH!

Yeesh. That must’ve been fun. His powers must be increasing in such proximity to reverse psychics. Sa

I mean Sa

Hot damn, brah, that’s some dope-ass psychic shit Sa

Al And today is a new day! So we shall be doing more training as we reach the farthest parts of the Reaches!

Coolio, lemme know how your travels go Sa

Literally tbh. I don’t want anyone to get lost, so I’ll assume the worst if I don’t hear from anyone Sa

Al Don’t worry, Saiph! I’ll keep in touch – speak to you soon!

 

With his strange turn feeling a little less troublesome after a conversation with Alcor, Saiph turned back to the viewport and picked up the remote, idly wondering what to watch next that would grab his attention for a while longer.

Cause [2.2.3]
Cause [2.2.5]

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