Chapter Twenty-Three: Mal
The shit hit the fan pretty fucking fast after that. Now Mal stood facing off against a phoenix, who looked mighty pissed off. Mal wondered if it had something to do with the man he'd accidentally knocked into a wall. He hadn't meant to hit him quite that hard, but with everything that had happened recently Mal's anger and annoyance at the situation got the better of him.
Feathers sprouted on the man in front of him, flames started to lick along his skin. The phoenix lunged at Mal. Mal easily dodged and defended himself, managing to land a strike or two. The phoenix wasn't trained, that much was obvious to Mal.
Mal had never been so thankful for being a dragon ranger. His special leathers protected him from the flames. They barely even registered as a threat to him. When you'd had fireballs spat at you from pissed off dragons a little flame on someone's skin was nothing.
The phoenix seemed to be getting more and more frustrated at the fact his flames weren't doing anything to Mal. Mal could feel the heat of the fire, hell, little pieces of paper on the nearby benches were going up in flames due to the little licks of flame. He waited, falling back on his training, waiting for his opponent to come to him, taking in every detail of what was happening around him as he did so.
Kaden was standing guard over the satyr Mal had knocked into a wall, Edwige by his side. Over on the other side of the room there seemed to be a four way brawl taking place. Mal really needed to deal with this feathered fiend so he could go and help Nootau and Aegeus out. Nootau wasn't well and this certainly wasn't helping the situation.
The phoenix stepped into his space again, taking a swing at Mal. Mal easily ducked it and sidestepped, batting the man away. The phoenix screamed in frustration and threw himself at Mal. Not expecting the move Mal and the phoenix crashed to the floor as they continued to fight.
* * * * *
"Bloody men!" Edwige swore. Why were they always trying to see who's dicks were bigger? Why couldn't they just talk instead of reverting to fist fights?
She was worried about Nootau; he was too injured to be in a fight, but Edwige wouldn't be much help to him. Thankfully Aegeus had gone to their third's aid. Now if he could just shake loose of the damn banshee that was plaguing him.
Edwige glanced at the unconscious man on the floor. Kaden had taken up residence guarding over the man. There was no way Kaden could join Mal in the fight, Mal's leathers might be flame retardant, but Kaden's fur certainly wasn't.
These men did not look like they worked here, they weren't guards, they weren't in lab coats. So who were they? And where had they come from? It was too impossible to believe that another group of people had infiltrated the castle on the same night as they had. Edwige wanted answers, but until things calmed down that wasn't going to happen.
Making up her mind Edwige grabbed her backpack and carefully made her way to Kaden and the unconscious man. She would tend to his wounds as she couldn't have the man dying on her watch.
Kaden growled at her as she approached, then seemed to realise who she was and stopped. Edwige reached out and patted the wolf, thanking him for his vigilance.
She placed her pack down and started rummaging through it, pulling out what she thought she may need. The man seemed to have a cut on his head where he'd met the wall. She picked up her supplies and went about cleaning the wound and looking for any others she could find.
Behind them Mal and the Phoenix rolled around on the ground exchanging blows. The heat from the Phoenix really was intense, Edwige didn't know how Mal could stand to be that close to it.
"You got my back while I do this?" Edwige asked of Kaden.
Kaden bobbed his head, then turned his attention to the fights taking place. His body stiff, as if he was ready to pounce at a moment's notice. She was confident Kaden would keep her safe so Edwige got to work.
* * * * *
Aegeus couldn’t believe their bad luck. He had nothing against Banshees in general. But if the guy opened his mouth here they were in a great deal of trouble. Aegeus tightened his hold on the banshee's arm when the man tried to pull away.
"Get the fuck off me," the banshee spat at Aegeus.
Aegeus would have ignored him, except he saw the goblin throttling Nootau. Aegeus flung the banshee to the side and made a dash for his love. Nootau lay dazed and bleeding under the onslaught of an enraged goblin.
Aegeus grabbed the goblin's arm as he pulled back to swing again and pulled him backward. Not hard enough to do any damage, but enough to dislodge him from where he sat.
Nootau groaned in pain, Aegeus looked on in horror as blood soaked the clothes he wore, his stitches torn through.
"What the fuck?" The goblin said as he stood and went to rush right back to the fight.
"You want him, you go through me," Aegeus said.
"Fine by me. He's a fucking skinwalker, an unregistered, corrupted fucking skinwalker. I saw what he shifted back from. He deserves to die for what he's done." The goblin spat them.
Nootau had just managed to get his feet under him, his hand clasped tightly to his abdomen, protecting it when the goblin launched himself at them again.
"Tibo, for fucks sake!" The banshee swore as he followed his friend into the fray.
Fists swung, some connected, others missing by miles. Hair was yanked and claws that masqueraded as nails scratched divots in skin. None of them were trained fighters. Aegeus thought the only one amongst the lot with any training was Mal, and he had his hands full right now with a fucking phoenix who was on fire.
Aegeus did his best to protect Nootau, just as the banshee seemed to be helping and protecting the goblin. He didn't know how much longer he could keep this up. Something needed to change and it needed to change now.