Diana thought that the last time Brian had gotten into a bad situation he would just find a new and less dangerous set of friends to hang out with, but apparently he was still hanging out with them and still taking dares from them. He had even admitted that there was no reward for completing this dare. What was bringing him out here despite the inconvenience and the danger?
"Do you still have your iLac?" Diana asked Brian in a cheeky reference to the last job she had undertaken on his behalf. Brian laughed and smiled.
"I still have it. In fact I'll show you the selfies I've taken so far. Lemme just get it out of my pocket and I'll show you." Brian said to her and shifted his shotgun over to his left hand, fishing the orange iLac out of his left pocket, and navigating the camera menu with one hand to show her the selfies he had taken so far. Diana kept an eye on the path that led deeper into the cemetery as he found his gallery and showed her the first of the selfies.
"Here's the first one, which was taken just inside the cemetery gate." He said to Diana. The blonde took her eyes off of the path and glanced at the screen of the iLac to see that the first picture was indeed taken just inside the cemetery gate. He flipped to another picture and showed her that one too.
"Here's another view of the cemetery after I had to kill some zombies to make the area safe. Well, as safe as you can get in Silent Cemetery." Brian added. Diana peered at the screen again and she saw that his words were true. Her eyes went to the path beside them and he flipped to a third picture.
"Here's me standing on that path with the lanterns after I killed those zombies and zombie dogs. That fight was kinda scary, mostly because I didn't expect the zombie dogs to be able to run so fast. I mean, they're zombies, but they run almost as fast as a human, if not faster." Brian gave commentary as Diana looked at the image and saw a glowing lantern over Brian's right shoulder. Diana hoped that his encounter with the zombie dogs would teach the young man to not take any more dares to go into zombie-infested territory, but she doubted that it would. If he had taken bets it would make a little more sense because he stood to gain money or something else from it, but taking dares for bragging rights was not very smart. He then brought the iLac down, turned himself right, and took another selfie in this part of the cemetery.
Diana looked towards the path straight ahead and saw a pack of five zombie dogs walking towards them.
"Zombie dogs on the path, fifteen meters away." Diana said to Brian and pointed at them with her left hand. The youth hurriedly put his iLac away and shifted his shotgun to his right hand as the pack charged at him. Diana quickly aimed and fired a burst of rounds that knocked down one of the dogs but did not kill it. She had fired less-than-lethal rounds at it, rounds that were less than useless against the undead. Having no time to load the assault rifle with lethal rounds, Diana silently slung Saint Sinner Valentine onto her right shoulder and brought out her Suppressed Submachine Gun.
Brian killed one with a shotgun blast that turned a zombie dog's head to mush but had to retreat as the other four continued running at him. Diana raised her new weapon, aimed at a dog in mid-run, and fired a Three-Round Burst at its head. Two of them struck the side of its head and a third hit it in the throat, bringing it down for good. Two of the dogs saw her and split off from Brian to go after her, but Diana was ready for them. She aimed and fired a Three-Round Burst at the head of one of them, killing it when it got to within three meters of her. The second closed to within a meter before Diana took a step forward with her left foot and kicked it in the face with her right boot.
The dog yelped and landed on its back. Diana quickly aimed downward and fired a Three-Round Burst at its head while it rolled over onto its feet and tried to stand up. It was dead, but while she was busy the last dog had gotten to within biting range of Brian and lunged at his right shin. Diana heard Brian scream as the dog grabbed the leg of his blue jeans and began pulling violently, keeping the youth from running away. Diana heard the howling of more dogs in the distance.
"KILL IT! KILL IT! KILL IT BEFORE THE REST OF THOSE DOGS GET HERE!" Brian pleaded in fear. Diana hustled over to within a meter of the pair, took aimed at its head, and fired a Three-Round Burst that hit it and killed it, freeing Brian from its grip. The youth sighed in relief and bent down to check his pants leg. The fingers of his left hand ran over the material and poked through a tear in the front of the leg.
"Oh man. I'm glad that it only bit my jeans and not my flesh!" Brian sighed in relief a second time after telling his rescuer the extent of the damage his pants had taken. Diana put away her Suppressed Submachine Gun, brought out Saint Sinner Valentine a second time, and made certain to switch to lethal munitions before the rest of the dogs got here.
"Are you finished taking selfies for those friends of yours or would you like to stick around and take some more?" Diana asked Brian in a cutting tone. She had not intended to be so blunt, but the words came out before she could think them through. Brian shook his head.
"No, lady. I'm done here. Let's go back to Magnolia Town!" He answered and made for the gate that led back to the path lit by lanterns. Diana followed him through the gate and hurried before she got left behind to face the dogs alone.
-On the path, twenty meters away-
"Man, coming here on a dare was a really bad idea!" Brian said to Diana as they walked briskly down the path lit by lanterns. This time he huntress remained silent and kept any cutting remarks to herself.
"I shoulda just taken a bet instead, but no. I was so stupid. I wanted to prove to them that I was a brave mage even though I'm just a C-Rank who really has no business being out here!" Brian berated himself. Again Diana remained silent as the pair covered another three meters. Brian looked at Diana and reacted with shock, presumably to her magic signature.
"Man, you're really powerful. Like Wizard Saint powerful. What are you doing taking jobs like this? Why aren't you out slaying dragons or wiping out bandit gangs?" Brian asked her as they continued down the path. Diana glanced behind her for any zombie dogs before answering the question.
"I take search and rescue missions because they are rewarding in ways that go beyond just money." Diana replied in a half-truth. While she took search and rescue missions in order to save lives instead of take them, she also took those missions because she wanted to try and redeem herself for all the people who did not deserve to die by her hand. At this rate she would have to save at least fifty-plus people, but she was willing to try.
"Oh, I see. Anyway, let's get outta here. This is gonna be the last dare that I take from those guys!" Brian promised. Diana hoped that he was being sincere, but she was not going to hold her breath. Together the pair continued down the path to the cemetery exit while glancing behind them for signs of pursuing zombie dogs.
[Post Word Count: 1,360]
[Total Word Count: 2,578/2,500]