As Xuan eyed the apparent gunman, he burst into a laugh that had the deep rumble of a man thrice his size. “I’ve never had the honor--no, the pleasure--of meeting House Blackburn in real battle. And seeing as you’ve refused every chance at clemency, I hope--” He paused, perhaps to see if someone was going to shoot him again. “--I hope you won’t disappoint me. I haven’t had any good mayhem in a while, and I hate when my opponents die too quickly.”
That made Hector blink, along with everyone else in the room--including Melchor, Salvador, and even Dimas, the Seadevil’s own cousin.
They did not have long to be surprised, however.
Xuan and Duvoss chose that opportunity to converge. In an instant, the little Rainlord’s body disappeared within a column of white smoke, billowing up and out in a way unlike any smoke Hector had ever seen.
And chaos erupted. Gunfire rang out from all around, as did the piping reverberations of destruction users, and Hector decided that staying in one place was a bad idea.
‘Stay close to Asad,’ Garovel told him coolly.
Hector concurred. The lone Sandlord launched up to the second floor’s gallery amidst a flurry of bullets, explosions, and shattering quartz, and Hector followed.
Their first opponent, Hector recognized straight away. That was the face of Ismael Blackburn, Lord of Marshrock. The man’s file said his ability was potassium transfiguration, which now manifested in the violet flames leaping from Ismael’s body and shooting toward Asad like a volley of arrows.
Rather than stopping the flames with a wall, Asad doused them completely with a blanket of sand, allowing Hector to push closer with shield and materialized spear in hand.
Ismael severed a forearm and retreated, and Hector certainly did not need to be told why.
The shield took the explosion well, though the force still sent Hector flying. He grabbed the guardrail to catch himself, but it snapped right off and came with him, all the way to the other side of the chamber where his armored body left an impressive crack in the far wall.
For a second, he didn’t know where Garovel was, and then he realized that the reaper had somehow wriggled into his armor and latched onto his back. ‘Er--you okay in there?’
‘It’s actually quite cozy,’ said Garovel. ‘Wish I’d thought of this earlier. Careful on your right.’
Lord Salvador was there, dealing with three Blackburns all by himself.