After dispatching the trio of werewolves who lurked around the bend Minerva, Victoria, and Amberlin were debating their next move. They obviously needed to get to the top of the castle, but what was stopping them was not knowing what stood between them and Serena. They did not know whether they would be facing zombies, werewolves, vampires, or something new altogether and that was what was holding them up. Minerva had appointed herself leader and was advocating a fast-moving approach that involved plowing through the opposition before it could organize in sufficient numbers to stop the trio. Victoria could not help but to wonder where the same person who had stressed the importance of teamwork almost thirty minutes ago had gone.
Pushing through the opposition before it could muster its strength would be a good idea... if there were more than three of them. Victoria's firepower was a force multiplier because her Grenade Launcher could hit multiple targets at once with either explosive or Tear Gas rounds, but since Minerva seemed bent on prohibiting the Sabertooth mage from using it, that option was currently not available to the trio. Victoria's cynical view of the matter was that the prohibition was not about stealth, but about giving Minerva a chance to show off her skills to the outsider. Whatever. As long as Serena was rescued and she got paid for this.
"We need to get going and push through them while we can. We've already beaten back their first line of defense." Minerva urged the trio. Amberlin did not share the Knight's enthusiasm and advocated a more cautious approach to the rescue, one that was not lightning fast but would make sure the rescuers got there more or less intact. The pink-haired Cleric was struggling to hold her ground against her more forceful colleague, but she was making a good effort by employing logic.
"I don't think that we should be reckless, Minerva. There's only three of us. Besides, I'm pretty sure that the rest of the castle's inhabitants already know we're here. Whether they can smell us or see anything inside the castle when they want to, they know we're here. That's why I suggest that we stick together, clear out each floor as we go, and move as a team." Amberlin tried to make her case for an approach that did not involve plowing through the castle's defenders at breakneck speed. Minerva was not having it.
"Even if they can see us, if we move fast enough they won't be able to react to us fast enough for it to matter!" Minerva argued. Victoria did not like standing around while waiting for someone to finally make a decision. She wanted someone to decide what they did one way or another.
"But if we just charge in we won't have a clear way out if things go bad! We need to stick together and clear out each floor before moving on!" Amberlin argued. Again Minerva was not listening.
"We don't have all night to stand here and debate. I'm going ahead." Minerva said before rushing off down the hallway. Victoria clenched her teeth. She was really starting to dislike this Order Knight with the intensity of a burning sun.
"Damn it, I hate when she does that." Victoria complained.
"Me too." Amberlin said softly. Victoria could see that the smaller cleric felt like her opinion had been brushed aside by Minerva without it even getting a fair hearing. She also gave the impression that she felt like she had been thrown aside because she was not a Knight. The brunette tried her best to encourage Amberlin to keep going.
"C'mon Amberlin. If Minerva won't stick with you, then I will." Victoria assured the pink-haired cleric. More than once Victoria had experienced the feeling of being thrown aside and no one giving a damn about what she thought or how she felt. It was not a pleasant feeling.
"Thanks, Victoria. Let's catch up with Minerva while we still can." Amberlin said softly before hurrying off to follow the reckless Knight. Victoria hurried to catch up with the cleric, who could move fast despite her small size. Maybe Amberlin had to be fast to keep up with Minerva, who talked a big game but did not seem to value teamwork all that much.
-On the second floor-
Victoria and Amberlin hurried up the wooden stairs to find Minerva 100 meters away fighting a horde of zombies dressed in rotting maid and butler attire. They had gotten here just in time to save her from herself. Since she was still not allowed to use her guns, Victoria would just have to make do with her spells.
Ahead of them Minerva ducked and weaved through a gaggle of fifteen walking corpses while occasionally killing one with an attack that targeted the skull. Amberlin gasped and pointed right. The brunette saw a small group of seven walking corpses approaching from the hallway to their right. Victoria set down the dagger and focused gray magic into her hands, then pushed forward with them palms-out and used a Claymore Burst to riddle the zombies with steel ball bearings.
Three of them had fallen with holes punched through their foreheads, but the other four were still able to keep moving towards the pair. Amberlin stretched both arms out in front of her, closed her eyes, and muttered an incantation as a circle of golden light formed around her feet. She then opened them and pushed forward with both hands, firing a beam of holy light that enveloped and disintegrated the four remaining zombies.
"Nice." Victoria commented laconically. The pair then turned back to Minerva, who was still fighting the horde that had been whittled down to ten thanks to her speed and skill. There was no denying that Minerva was good, but she really needed to work on teamwork. Then again, Victoria herself could stand to improve her own teamwork. She tended to work alone because of her magic and her temperament, but working with Gaia, Itori, and Sarah had highlighted the benefits of working with at least one other person.
The brunette would have to think on her own time. Right now a new group of zombies was shuffling towards Minerva, who was too busy with the current batch to notice them. Amberlin pointed to them and Victoria took notice of the fifteen-strong group.
"Time to earn my pay." Victoria commented.
[Post Word Count: 1,074]
[Total Word Count: 5,724/12,500]