A few seconds later, three young ladies, triplets, went by the tree. They were all attractive girls, but with goat-like lower parts and cloven feet, resembling strong female beings gifted or cursed by some mythological nature. They appeared to be bickering over something. "I swear we're on the right track. The cause is simply sister. Don't you want things to be the same as they used to be?" "I'm not in the mood to debate, so let's just go back sister. Yes, I want to reconnect with nature, but the boss we're following appears to be deadly!" "Shut up, you two; all you do is butt heads! We decided to do this, and there is no harm in doing so. The bomb's purpose is to terrify people; no one will be injured."
Esper chirped as he prepared to leap down to a lower branch in the tree to have a better view of them, when two guys, who looked to be twins, came. Their infernal ancestors, however, had left a distinct impression on their looks. They possessed huge horns that were unusually straight and tall, like those of a gazelle. They possessed thick, four to five-foot-long tails that thrashed around when they moved. Their canine teeth were highly pointed, and their eyes were a solid black hue that was obscured by spectacles. They were dressed rather nicely in comparison to the women who appeared to be woodland dwellers. "We've been watching you two. Do you three idiots never pay attention to your surroundings. If you had, you would have saw a small foxen creature turn into a bird!" They raised their arms into the air, wicked scowls on their faces, and released little vials filled with liquids at Esper. They smashed the tree, and the liquids within combined with the air, generating a loud explosion, but before Esper could escape, he plummeted along with the remainder of the branch, and hit hard on the ground. "F****.." he stand up as quickly as he could after falling and turned to face the men who had just destroyed half the tree with their potion magic.
He had no option but to watch the five of them begin to cast magic at him once more. He probably wouldn't have been noticed or captured if he had gone away before shifting, but now that he had, they were out for blood. He'd overheard them conversing, and they weren't about to take any risks. With the knowledge that he was likewise outnumbered, Esper had just one option. He'd cast his Form of the Zodiac Braves to transform into Vaporeon as he began to turn into a white light. Within just the briefest of moments the white light would fall away revealing his new form from when he was a bird a moment ago. As Vaporeon he shared the physical traits with both aquatic and land animals. His body was now light blue with a dark blue marking around his head and a spiky ridge down his spine. He now had black eyes and a tiny black nose. There a white fin encircling his neck and three fins with cream-colored webbing on his head. One of these fins was on each side of his head similar to ears and one was directly on top of its head similar in appearance to a dorsal fin. His once fluffy furry tail was now a split tail fin that resembled that of a mermaids.
Esper didn't have the most powerfully hitting magic, but it was fast, extremely fast. It was one of his key abilities to be able to shift forms and employ form magic quickly and easily. He was aiming for the two twin guys who had noticed him, believing them to be the more dangerous threats. He'd open his mouth and unleash a powerful jet of water towards the closest one, casting Water Gun, as they grabbed for their magical explosives. He'd then use Quick Attack to make a lunging teleport to the other. He'd appear directly above his head, twist, and bring his aquatic tail down like a battering hammer, cracking his skull and knocking him out.
Now that he was standing standing on the back of one of the males the brother and the three women halted their magic. If they were to cast, they'd catch the unconscious one in the effects, even if it was restraining magic. "You have two choices. We can continue to fight and I'll be forced to use my more powerful magic on the 4 of you. Or you can give up now, turn yourselves in and live. I know what you think you're doing is right, but is it worth your lives? Or the life of this one I'm standing on?" Esper would reach a paw down to the neck of the infernal humanoid he was standing on and have his claws extended to form knives to show his seriousness in ending his life if he needed to.
Esper would be glad to see the three women hugging as the final man standing placed his potion back in his pocket. After some consideration, they first agreed to wait until the Rune Knights arrived. They had a cause to fight for, yet they were weak enough to realize that fighting Esper meant death. That is, until they reached an agreement. "I'll let you take your brother and flee if you tell me where the bomb is and where you're hiding. Failures and loose ends are frowned upon in organizations such as the one you plainly work for. You're probably being manipulated regardless. I'll let you go, but you must flee. Leave the city, the conflict, and never come back. It's a win-win situation for everyone."
The ladies and gentlemen would accept the deal and flee if the five of them were released. Giving Esper the information he requested, the first thing he would do is run over to the safe house and stand guard at the door for a bit, waiting for them to change their minds and retreat back to warn whomever was inside, but they never came which meant his gamble paid off. They also told him about their supervisors and their aspirations, or what they knew about them. He wasn't going to be a match for the boss from the sounds of it, and the boss's bodyguard was going to be difficult even if it was only one on one. He had to be astute in this situation. He pondered contacting the Rune Knights, but they would cause the bomb to go off too soon if a group arrived up in force and were spotted.