Hilde briefly considered running out of the hidden room and taking cover among the addicts but these things… whatever they were would definitely chase her and the people out there didn’t deserve to get killed like that.
Her opponents were trying to flank her, the wheel going low and the bird man going high. Her only chance was to do the unexpected, keep them off balance. She just needed to hold out until Sakura returned.
She ran directly for the wheel and leapt over it, rolling aside as she landed. Its fire managed to singe her as she managed the manoeuvre, but she was okay. The bird came next, its talons scratching down at her.
She executed a simple jump kick, giving it a good shot to the groin, but earning some nasty scratches in exchange.
Not good, her protective pendant wasn’t going to stop burns or cuts and she could only maintain the fight for o long while taking hits like that.
She fired off the last rounds in her luger’s clip and hurriedly reloaded while evading another strike from the flying fiend. Maybe if she could trick them into hitting each other…
She moved between them. The wheel aimed its fire directly for her legs while the avian scratched for her head. She managed to get away from them but the attack pattern wasn’t lost on her. They were deliberately avoiding attacking her in any way that could harm the other. She’d have to literally grab the bird and use it as a shield just as the wheel attacked.
No chance in that happening. Even if she wasn’t tired and injured.
Her adrenaline surge was swiftly wearing down but she could hear the sound of footsteps coming towards them. She allowed herself a smirk.
“Does death hold such appeal to you?” the avian demanded.
That’s when Sakura came flying through the illusory wall. She swiftly dived into Hilde’s pocket.
The Veritas agents followed shortly after. They looked over the wreckage of the mystical laboratory, noticed Hilde and, more importantly, her opponents.
“Get the Wanyudo,” Amethyst said. “I’ll take the Tengu.”
“Yes, Dear,” Mica agreed.
The pair split. Mica reached down and grabbed what looked like a grenade from her belt. It exploded over the wanyudo, raining what looked like foam on top of it. The wheel hurriedly moved back, its inner face screeching in pain. Its wail sounded completely garish.
Mica chased after it, intent on finishing it off.
Amethyst moved toward the tengu. She had a pair of magnums. She opened fire. The monster took to the air, it moved like a blur. Hilde could only surmise that it couldn’t keep that speed up for very long. It dove towards the Veritas agent. She didn’t even flinch. She raised one of the weapons directly at it with almost inhuman reflexes and fired.
He was thrown back towards Hilde, stunned. How many normal bullets did it take to bring down a tengu, Hilde wondered. She raised her luger and fired as it came near. He didn’t get back up from that one.
Amethyst eyed her suspiciously for a moment before moving off to help her partner. The wanyudo’s draining magic didn’t seem to affect them. Some kind of technological shield, perhaps? It would have to be if Veritas truly didn’t use magic.
At this point, the wheel was covered with liquefied foam and its flames had grown weak. Mica drew a scimitar and sliced into it. Amethyst grabbed a blade of her own and the pair hacked into it until its flames had completely extinguished, its face vanishing.
The agents exchanged a quick glance and turned towards Hilde in unison. “Just what are you doing here?” Amethyst demanded.
“I was investigating those strange corpses,” Hilde answered. “I found out that every person had a strange VIP card and then I followed someone who had one down here. Then I kind of stumbled on the trick that hid this chamber. That’s when those things attacked me. I had no idea what they were.” It wasn’t entirely true, but it was close enough.
“How many times did you shoot the tengu?” Amethyst wondered.
Hilde shrugged. “I emptied my clip and reloaded. Not sure how many hit. But I’m curious. How did you two get down here? And you seemed to know what those things were and have a way to deal with them.”
“Amethyst,” Mica whispered. “Isn’t that enough? You know what we have to do.”
Amethyst looked at Hilde then back to Mica. She nodded. The next thing Hilde knew, she was down on the ground with Amethyst holding her wrists.
“Sorry about this,” Mica said. “But it’s better if you forget.” She shoved a pill down Hilde’s throat. Hilde lost consciousness.
She woke up in her hotel room. Her wounds were dressed and her memory was hazy. Sakura flew down, landing on her forehead and looking into her eyes.
“Are you okay?” Sakura asked.
“My head hurts,” Hilde answered. “What did they do to me?”
“To put it simply, they tried to erase your memories of last night,” Sakura answered. “Do you remember what happened?”
Hilde thought about it intensely. She remembered… going to the club…. loud music… a basement… drug-addled people & monsters? No, she shook her head. One of them she’d heard of before. Tengu. That was it. The other was… a wagon wheel…Yes, that had been it.
“Vaguely,” she answered.
Sakura nodded. “You should remember all of it given some time and thought. But hey, we solved the case.”
“A tengu, huh?” Hilde said. “I’ve seen them used in anime a few times.”
“I’ve never heard of hem before,” Sakura admitted. “I don’t think they’re usually seen in Europe.”
“Guess we’ll have to do some research later,” Hilde said. “The important thing is that we caught the culprit.”
“And got rid of the Veritas agents!” Sakjura declared. “I overheard them saying they were going to report the mission successful and return to base.”
“At least the innocent creatures around here will be safe,” Hilde said. “Everything’s worked out. We should go back too.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Sakura said. “Those women suspected that something was off about you. They let it go that time, but they could very well arrange to have you watched. We’ll have to be super careful.”