Alexandria and Terra sat on the back porch. It had been about a week and a half since the two had been united. However, today, Terra seemed, fidgety.
Alexandria: Everything alright Terra?
Terra: Huh? Yeah, everything is fine.
Terra seemed to give off a vibe like she didn't want to be here. Terra then turned back to Alexandria.
Terra: Hey, Alex.
Terra: Why don't we go out into the forest and go find some forest animals?
Alexandria: That's sounds like fun, but...
Alexandria was still a bit nervous about the last time she had been in the forest. Kei saved her from an animal that was intent on making her the meal of the day. Terra leads Alexandria out into the forest.
Terra: (I have to get her away from this.)
Terra drags her into the forest, while Kei prepares to do some of his own training. He retrieves a sword from a secret compartment and then walks into the backyard. He walks out on to the back porch and notices Terra and Alexandria aren't there.
Kei: (Huh? Guess they went somewhere. Oh well, its Alexandria's day off anyway.)
Kei takes his sword and walks over to a pillar of wood. He precisely cuts into the wood creating three equally-sized, thick coin-shaped pieces of wood.
Kei: Good, the sword hasn't dulled.
???: That's good, wouldn't want to give you an excuse.
Kei is surprised at the voice. He turns around to see a man standing there. He wore a white collared shirt with the sleeve ripped off on the right side. He wore black jeans with the legging ripped off the left side. His black boots had splotches of red on the heels. He had military-cut blonde hair. His green eyes stared at Kei. Kei could immediately sense the man's bloodlust.
Kei: Who are you?
???: What, no hello? My, you beastkin sure are rude.
Michel: The name's Michel. I'm responsible for that piece of trash you're taking care of right now.
Kei: So you're the one who did that to Aria.
Michel: Yep. What a bitch. My blood-stained boots are worth more then her.
Kei: Then why'd you leave her on our doorstep?
Michel: Ah. See, that's the whole thing. I intended to kill her, however, someone interrupted that.
Michel: But it doesn't matter. Aria is no longer a part of our group. She's just another worthless-
Kei: Shut up.
Michel: Oh, I'm sorry, did I strike a nerve? Too damn bad.
Kei: (He's a psychopath, that's for sure.)
Michel: See, everyone, beastkins and humans, they're all worthless pawns. When they're no longer useful, you put them down like the dogs they are.
Kei: You're the one who needs to be put down.
Kei didn't like that crack. There was no hiding that.
Michel: Oh right, you're a dog beastkin? You a hunting dog?
Kei growls at him.
Michel: Easy Fido.
Kei: Why don't you go back to where you came from.
Michel: See that's the problem, I'm number nineteen.
Kei: You're from 'The Branch', aren't you.
Michel: Yes, I am.
Michel draws duel swords. They curve just a bit at the ends.
Kei: You're a damn psychopath.
Michel: Tell me something I don't know.
Kei: You're a duel sword user, are you?
Michel: Actually there's much more to their appearance.
Michel: Why not? I'll tell you. Arma Instabiles: Deleo
Kei: A Nox Nyctores!
Michel: Bingo, you half-wit!
Kei: (Son of a-...this weapon won't be able to do much against a Nox...)
Michel: Are you interested in how I acquired this?
Kei: At the cost of human souls.
Michel: So you know something about them.
Kei: (So then the Nox has stolen something from him, his sanity and remorse. He doesn't care who he hurts.)
Michel: So do you like them, Kei? I'm going to enjoy running you through with them.
Kei: (At least Alexandria and Terra aren't here.)
Saori, Shigure, and Athena come on to the back porch hearing the commotion.
Kei: STAY THERE.
Kei couldn't yell the words loud enough. He had no intention of dragging any of the three of them in.
Michel: Well now! Three women, what a lucky man you are!
Kei: Shut up!
Michel: When I kill you, I'll make sure to use them properly.
Kei can't take anymore of his insults. He charges in and tries to strike. Michel easily deflects. Kei quickly thrusts multiple times, but Michel is quick enough to avoid his strikes.
Kei: (I can't get a bead on him, he's too quick!)
Michel then moves forward and strikes him. A cut appears on his right arm. The wound deep enough to allow blood to appear on to his skin.
Michel breaks out into a sadistic laugh.
Michel: Oh man, I love watching people bleed! Before long, you'll have a crimson mask!
Kei: (This is not going to end well.)
Athena: (This is very bad. We knew eventually he'd come against a Nox Nyctores facing someone from the library. But if we get involved, we'll blow our cover.)
Saori: (Athena, come up with a plan fast. We gotta do something.)
Kei and Michel's sword clash again and again. Despite Kei's attempts to fight him on equal ground. It seemed as though every time he'd match him, the other sword would escape the confrontation and strike him. Before long, Kei had a good number of cuts on his body.
Michel: How sad, this is the dog beastkin that's been giving us trouble?
Michel: I guess its true when they say its not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. You still want to go Fido?
Kei: I'm going to make you eat those words.
Michel: Don't count on it fido.
Kei charges back in and tries to strike at Michel, but each attempt just earns him another cut. Each strike of his blade ends up getting him hurt. Kei takes notice of something else.
Kei: You're purposefully not giving me deep wounds.
A crooked smile shows up on his face.
Michel: Damn, you figured it out.
Kei: You sadistic sonuva...
Michel: Now now, there are ladies present.
Kei: Shut up you psychopath.
Michel: Not having fun anymore Fido?
Kei: Is this all that is to you? Fun?
Michel: Its true, I do like to play around with my prey before I kill them. Did the same with Aria.
Kei: Shut your damn mouth.
Michel: Make me, fido.
Kei charges back in.
Saori: (Simply baiting him now.)
Athena: (Tch. Someone like this being a part of 'The Branch', they really used everyone they could, didn't they?)
Shigure: (Please, be careful, Kei.)
Meanwhile, out in the forest, Terra keeps leading Alexandria around.
Alexandria: Terra, don't you think we should go back?
Terra: Come on Alex, its your day off! We should have fun.
Alexandria: Yeah, okay, but if we keep going like this we'll...
At that point, Alexandria took notice of the fact she had no idea where they were.
Alexandria: No its fine.
Alexandria begins to study her surroundings.
Alexandria: (We're not in the place I was last time, so I have no idea where we are.)
Terra: I just wanted to spend some time with you Alex.
Alexandria: Don't worry, Terra, its fine.
Terra: (I've got her away from there at least.)
Alexandria: Why'd you want to come into the forest anyway, Terra?
Terra: Huh? Well, um, no reason in particular, just to spend some time with you.
Alexandria: Couldn't we have done that at the house.
Terra: We could've, but we don't want to bother Kei and the others...
Alexandria: I really don't think they would've minded, Terra.
Terra: But this'll be fun too! We can go adventuring!
Alexandria: But at the same time, we're lost Terra. We need to figure out a way to get back to my home.
Terra: Or we could go camping!
Alexandria: (That's odd. She really doesn't want to go back?)
Terra: I mean camping can be fun!
Alexandria: Terra, we don't have anything on us but our clothes. We'd need equipment.
Terra: Oh, right.
Alexandria: Are you okay, Terra? You're acting kind of funny.
Terra: No, I'm fine!
Alexandria: If you say so.
Terra: (I can't let her catch on. I've got to keep her as far away from the house as possible.)
Alexandria: (Terra is acting pretty odd. Wonder if she hit her head or something.)
The two continue onward into the forest. Alexandria seemingly unaware of what was happening back at her home. With each step further, the two find themselves completely unaware of their surroundings. Terra had dragged them out there, but it seemed like neither of them had any way of figuring it out. Neither Alexandria nor Terra had any idea of where they were going. The situation at the house wasn't getting any better. Kei was struggling holding his own against Michel and it didn't look like Kei was going to win.