"Well?" Ryo asked again. "Everybody has a lot of explaining to do."
The girls looked at Royda while the Warlords looked at Anubis. Nobody knew what to tell the Ronins so they looked towards the people of authority. Anubis was busy tending to Mia. She had let her new powers go out of control and was trying to recover from it. That left Royda, who just stood there looking at them.
"Don't you all look at me," she said. "This is exactly why I didn't want to come. Everything is complicated now."
"Then why doesn't everybody sit down so you could explain?" Cye asked. He could tell she didn't like that suggestion.
"Everybody can sit down but I'm not. We're wasting time by doing this." She turned to leave.
"Wait a minute!" Kento ran up to her and grabbed her wrist.
The girls didn't see that coming. There was a pause the second his hand touched her. Royda shook the hand off and turned on the person. A look of surprise was on her face then when she recognized who it was that touched her, anger clouded over it. She pulled back a fist, ready to hit him. Before she could, Kishin ran between them.
"Royda!" she shouted as she closed her eyes and waited. She didn't have to wait long.
She hit her. Kishin fell back to Kento and everybody was stunned. Everything happened in less than a second! Before they knew what was going on, Royda has hit Kishin. Kento caught her and looked up at Royda with anger in his eyes.
"What the hell did you do that for?" Kento asked as everybody else started to move.
Royda didn't answer and turned to leave again. Everybody gathered around Kishin and the girls didn't act any differently. They looked over her and made sure she was okay. None of them even looked up to their leader.
"Aren't you going to say anything to her?" Kento asked Mira. "You are her sister." The youngest girl looked at him.
"Leave her alone, Kento," Mira pleaded. "Just leave her alone."
"Is that what everybody thinks we should do?" Kento looked around. "Leave her alone?! Are you guys that afraid of her?" Nobody was answering him.
"Listen to her, Kento," Anubis said. He had an arm around Mia's waist and supported her. "Royda needs to be alone right now."
"Really? And why is that?" He looked around again and nobody met his eyes except for Anubis. "She's not that dangerous. She hit her own friend and you guys aren't saying anything? If Ryo had hit any of you, I'd want to find out why. She just can't up and leave her unconscious here. And what I don't understand is why you girls didn't say a word to her."
"Why does it bother you so much, anyway?" Kala asked. She made sure that the right side of Kishin's face wasn't showing. "This is our problem."
"Hello?! I'm the Warrior of Justice!! Meaning, I seek out justice. And when she walked out of this room leaving Kishin down, that was it. I'm going to go give her a piece of my mind." He stalked out of the door.
"Kento!! Wait!!" Mira shouted. She turned to look at Kala and Reva. "He's going to be dead if we don't stop him!!"
"What?!" Ryo blurted out.
Her eyes were closed in total concentration. Her breathing was deep and long. The last couple of seconds played out in her mind, slower than what they really were. Every detail she remembered, down to the look in his eyes.
That was meant for you, Hardrock, she thought. Kishin wasn't suppose to be there!! Out of line brat!! Who told you to stand between us? Who told you?!
Nobody, Kishin answered in her head. I did it because I didn't want you to hit him.
And made me hit you instead.
They would have been on you if you hit him.
I expected that.
Is that why you didn't pull that punch?
Royda didn't answer. She severed the link between them and got up from the steps. As she reached the ground, she didn't even notice that Kento had burst from the door.
"Hey!" Kento shouted down to her.
"Leave me alone, Hardrock!" she shouted back.
"Why does everybody say that?!" He ran down the stairs to catch up to her. He was about to put a hand on her shoulder when she turned to him.
"What don't you understand about what I said?"
"I could care less what you said. There's a girl in there that happens to be your friend that you just decked. Aren't you going to apologize?"
"If you don't leave me alone so I can think clearly, I won't be able to do that."
"Too bad. This is as good a time as any. I've got a lot to discuss with you."
"Which I don't have the patience to listen to." She turned away from him.
"Oh yes, you are." He reached out and grabbed her wrist again. Again, she pulled her hand back and turned on him.
Don't do it Royda, Kishin told her.
"Touch me again Hardrock and I will hit you. Kishin's not here this time to take it for you."
"I didn't ask for her to take it for me in the first place." He slowly walked around her, looking her over. "I don't know why everybody's so afraid of you. Those girls. The Warlords. Even Cye. I, for one, don't see it."
"You don't want to." She looked straight into his eyes as he stood in front of her again.
"There you go again! This might work for those girls but it won't on me. You're all talk and everybody around you tries to shield you. Talk about a big coward." A flash of anger went through her eyes.
"Are you quite finished?" She gritted her teeth.
"No, I'm not."
"Well I am." Once again, she turned to leave. She prayed that he wasn't foolish enough to stop her after her warning but she was wrong. "That's it!"
She grabbed his wrist, turned around, and kicked his side. He fell to his knees, his arms around his side. Shakily, he got up and back-handed her across the face. Her head turned but she didn't back away. A look of horror fell on his face as he realized what he had done.
"Oh my God," he said, forgetting about his side for a moment. He couldn't see her face with her head turned that way.
She brought a hand up to her lips and brushed something away. Her hand came into his view and he could see a bit of red on her knuckles. He had hit her harder than he thought.
"Nice hit Hardrock," she said, head still turned. "You've just got yourself a fight."
"I don't want to fight you." He stepped back and winced at the sharp pain on his side.
"Too bad." Her head turned to look at him, eyes dangerously thin. "Don't think that I'm going to pull punches either. I could care less for your chivalry so you better be prepared to fight me!"
She threw a punch at him then another kick. He blocked them and his arms stung at how hard she hit. He backed up after every hit. She didn't care what he did. He was like a punching bag to her.
"Do something, Hardrock. I'm backing up my claim to fame, why not you? You're supposed to be the strongest of the Ronins. Talk about weakness."
With that remark, he pushed her back and his face was contorted to that of anger. She had crossed the line and he wasn't going to let her make a punching bag out of him. Even if she was a girl.
He came at her with a punch and she avoided that. Seeing an opening, she struck and he staggered back again. The fight went on like that, an exchange of blows here and there with some kicks and punches actually connecting. When they finally jumped away from each other, both were covered with dust and blood.
Without a word, the just stood there, looked at each other. They didn't notice that everybody was coming out of the castle and could have cared less for them. Right now, both their concerns were to pummel each other to the ground.
They came running at each other, arm pulled back, fist clenched. They didn't hear the others shouting at them. All they could see what each other.
"Royda!! Kento!!" Mia shouted along with everybody else. They all had half a mind to go between them but remembered what happened to Kishin.
Energy started to gather around the group watching the fight. They all turned and found Mira concentrating on a glowing orb in front of her. The two combatants didn't seem to notice that either. The two jumped in the air, ready to clash when the youngest girl released the power. As they landed, a stone wall came between them and their punches connected with its rough surface.
Everybody stopped and was silent.
Both of their knuckles were at the same place only on opposite
sides of the wall. The rest of the Ronins as well as Reva and
Kala had ran up to where the two had landed. They could see the
stone crack around their clenched fists and crumbled to the ground.
Both were still starring each other down.