Chapter 32 - Target Spotted

“There we go!” Stark shouted. “It’s about time! Phew, I can even feel the heat from here. Damn, I should have brought some marshmallows!” A smile unlike any Guile had seen from him ripped across his face. Until now, he only expressed disdain toward Guile, but in this moment, there wasn’t even the slightest form of malice from his expression.

Guile stood motionless, watching the fireball sizzle through the air, swelling toward Skell. The Skolorok dodged with a look of bewilderment—at least that’s what Guile perceived it to be. There wasn’t much room for judging character based on someone whose face was bone.


Skell patted his skull. “Well, that was not what I was expecting. Great, now we got an acid spitter and a fire breather in our team.”


“How did I…? I’ve never even heard of Gurdens being able to shoot fire.” He swallowed, relinquishing the heat churning in his throat. “It’s odd, the fire feels hot, but my throat is fine. Just a little warm.”


“That’s the magic of Parti.” Skell shrugged. “Not quite sure exactly how it works, but it possesses us, providing us with interesting results. I’ve yet to receive any special Parti Techniques… Chya swears they’re coming, but we’ll see. Still, I’m not sure that fire is enough to deal with me.” Skell stomped his hooves on the ground and ripped at the dirt as best he could.


“What are you doing?” Guile stepped closer, still feeling Stark’s desires flowing through him to fight. The feeling was still intense, but there was an inkling of pleasure surging through Guile as well.


Skell took for the sky, jumping up higher than Guile expected. With his tail facing the ground, Skell dove it straight into the now soft soil, causing the earth around to ripple and crack in formations like spider webs. The chasms opened wide enough that one of Guile’s feet fell through and he lost his balance. As he pushed himself back up, Skell rammed his horns into the side of Guile, knocking him over.


Guile gasped, panting. His eyes twitched as he tried not to focus on the pain. “Come on. Do you really have to hit me that hard?!” Guile shouted, but at the end of his plea, a fireball flung out of his mouth again.


Skell took the hit head on, the fire traveling into the eyeholes of his skull. He shrieked and waved his hooves, trying to air them out.


“Nice! Nice! We might be able to get complete our missions quicker with you along, Gurden!” Stark nodded its head. “We’ve never caught a Gurden before. I heard they could shoot fire, but not to this magnitude. The hair on my skin rises every time you breathe one out.”


“We came back from our mission just in time.” Chya walked to a tree stump and sat down. Guile eyed her, and she tied the plant on her head back behind her head. Retta the Acridove made her appearance on a tree branch, a bit further up from Chya. Guile hadn’t had much time to interact with Retta, though they had made up from their initial meeting of fighting one another. He’d came to be astonished and impressed by the many stories about her accomplishments.


“Sorry, Skell. You good?” Guile traipsed over to Skell, who had liquid draining from his eyeholes.


“No, yeah, I’m fine. Like I said before, don’t worry about any damage either of us take, as long as you don’t completely lose a body part, we’re fine.” Skell pulled himself together, yet walked in irregular lines and fumbled in and out of cracked ground. “Let’s finish this off, Guile. I’m going all out for this final one.”


If they could truly be healed, perhaps going through these mock battles could relieve some stress and bring feelings of enjoyment—though Stark had yet to use the healing ability of the Parti Tab on Guile yet. Now that Guile knew the feeling of the power that rested in him, with each fireball he spawned, it gave him a sense of euphoria. He had never felt so unstoppable in his entire life.


Guile took a deep breath. “I’ll try not to disappoint.”


Skell placed himself inside the crater he previously created, though this time he didn’t jump to crumble the land. Instead, his eyes glowed a blinding yellow and in the trickling fissures of the earth, the light oozed its way around Guile. Guile had no idea what to expect. This time he felt no rumble. Though, the longer he felt exposed to the light, his body grew heavier, as if he was being put to sleep.


Feeling the buildup from within his throat, Guile coughed out with extra force, but as soon as he saw the flames emit from his mouth, they dissipated, and he fell to the ground. His vision turned black.






Wings flapped overhead. “I spotted the Krulon. They were suspicious of me and followed me. We need to hurry!” Retta motioned with her wings as she returned to the group.



“Great work!” Skell shouted.


“I told you to be quiet!” Chya hissed.


While those two bickered, Guile and Retta already rushed full speed ahead, running and flying for several seconds before Skell and Chya realized they were left behind. Fireballs and splashes of acid flew toward the target. The Krulon dashed between trees, avoiding every projectile.


“Come on! They’re getting away!” Guile called out, already dashing out of the thick brush of trees. Retta took high into the sky and chased. Guile stopped momentarily to catch his breath. If only he could glide through the sky as effortlessly as Retta. Skell slapped Guile’s back, and he nodded. Skell jumped atop the Gurden’s back and they crossed out into the open field. Chya stood back, waving and shouting.


“Chya is so worthless.” Skell grabbed the tuft of fur on Guile’s neck. “Can’t believe we were sent with her. All she’s done is slowed us down. It’s all because she apparently gets every mission she goes on done.”


Guile said nothing, but felt the same way. What did Chya even think she could do to help with this mission? It’s not like this Krulon would be as willing to go along with a capture plan like Guile himself was back near Jalla. How stupid he was to even let himself get his friends captured. If he wanted to be a hero and get stronger so badly, why didn’t he just go himself? Guile knew the answer. He wanted them to all become a super powered team. Ready to take on any force in the future, but now, every single one of his friends were in unknown situations, most likely in just as bad a position as himself.


Was his position really that bad now though? Sure, it started off awful, but he could breathe fire now! This would have never happened if he wasn’t captured. Maybe all the rest feel somewhat similar… He hoped.


“Go that way Guile!” Skell pointed his hooves in front of Guile’s face. Retta and the Krulon were but specks in the distance.