The previous Sassy Saturday post can be read here: Her Majesty’s Ordercraft Security and Compliance Team
The context for this post: An S-class monster (think "kaiju" like Godzilla) has attacked Roalt in the middle of the night and Eric runs out to make sure his friends are ok. Then one of them makes a heroic appearance.
Fireballs fell from the sky and peppered the road all around them. The only place of safety was the small circle created by Eric's barrier.
“Pay! Definitely pay!”
“Then keep your mouth closed and hold on!”
The Tazul shook itself and spread a hailstorm of scales all over the city. Each one was bigger than a human and heavier than an orc. I can't dodge all those! Eric looked for any kind of cover. The Arsenal Lodge was just up ahead. It was built like a fortress. He pushed himself faster as the scales fell; one to his left, one to his right, one in front that he swerved around only to find himself running straight into a fourth!
Boom! A leg of steel kicked it just hard enough to divert its path away from his head and into a cart behind him, which shattered instantly. The knightly figure landed and fist bumped itself. Eric was about to thank them when it grabbed his arm and pulled him inside the Arsenal Lodge.
“Stop gawking, Dimwit!”
The forge was undamaged in every way. Although the scales fell all around it, none of them so much as scratched the glass. Ax Arsenal himself was playing chess with his son at the register counter. Both of them were decked out in the best equipment he had in stock.
“Stay here,” he said without looking away from the game. “You'll be safe.”
“There's an S class outside!” Eric shouted.
“I have faith in my merchandise.”
“But it’s –”
“I have faith in my merchandise.”
“But thoow! Did you have to do that with a gauntlet?”
“You would have splattered without me, idiot!”
“I was worried about you! Where's Nolien?”
Tiza opened a compartment above her pteruges and pulled out a scry. “Where else would he be?” Eric rushed back out the door, but she grabbed his tunic collar before he could build momentum. “Slow down, Leroy Jenkins. You need more than orc toenails if you're going out there.”
Eric appraised his armor and realized that he wasn't as quick as he thought. The armor, as tough as human bone, was chipped in places, cracked in others, and all over scorched by the fire. Reluctantly, he decided to wait while Tiza picked out replacements. She walked the aisles and picked up the highest quality and most expensive armor off the shelves.
“By the way, what's that thing on your arm?”
Eric lifted his arm and the kid rose with it like a leech.
“A thief I found on the way here.”
Tiza set the armor on the ground and nonchalantly began to disarm him.
“Hold still. This won't take long.”
After taking off the ruined armor, she snapped, laced, and buckled the new armor in place. She was remarkably efficient. It was the same practiced movement as a squire. Didn't ladies in the Grisly Tales do this for their knights...? Tiza’s more like a knight herself…
“Done!” She looked over her shoulder at the blacksmith and his son. “You don't mind, right?”
Ax moved a piece. “No. Go ahead. Bring them back when you're dead…done.” His son fidgeted. “I meant ‘done.’”
“Okaayyy.” Tiza placed the frozen-with-fear thief off to the side and secured him by bending a spear about his waist. “On that cheery note, let's go!”
The two mercenaries ran outside with Tiza taking point. Eric followed Tiza as she led the way to the Heleti General Hospital in Healer Town where they would find Nolien. She brushed aside fire and debris alike in her mighty armor. It not only protected her from attack but also amplified her mana reserves and focused her power. Eric wore the same set and it made him think he could wrestle a Cecri or blow away a xethras.
As they ran down the street, they spotted civilians threatened by the monster’s rampage. There was a man pinned in place by a fallen cart and children trapped in a corner by a meteor’s flame. The two shared a glance and went to work.
Tiza grabbed the wrecked cart and hoisted it over her head. The man crawled out from underneath and Tiza tossed it down an alley. Then she hoisted the man himself onto her shoulders. All the while, she told him that it was Tiza Sprial, Dragon’s Lair warrior, that was saving him.
Looming Shadow, and the rest of the Journey to Chaos series, is available for purchase at Amazon
To learn more about the heroines of Journey to Chaos, visit the Tvtropes character sheet.