"I say that I wouldn't mind seeing these ruins, but listen more carefully when people speak to you from now on." Roxy stood up. "The town was boring, but it has the essentials. When do you want to head out?"

Remeck was confused, but merely shrugged. Listen more carefully? Roxanne was hard enough to keep up with. The way she spoke didn't measure out. It was as if she expected you to know what was running through her head.

"We can leave whenever you like, I'll just need to grab a few things first." he said. "But I'll have you promise that we can spend the night if it gets too late to head out."

"Your mission." Roxy replied. "I won't promise anything."

Remeck sighed. This woman was quite the oddball.

So, after Remeck swung by the barracks to grab some stuff, they set back out for the town.

On foot, and at the pace Roxy walked, it had taken them thirteen hours to get to Balamb Gardens.

Back then, it seemed as though there had been no end to all that walking. The adrenaline Remeck had used during the encounter with that Ochu must've drained him afterwards.

This time, Roxy had gotten more rest and was more alert then before.

She stopped suddenly, causing Remeck to crash into her. "Don't move!" she snapped in a hushed tone. "There's something near."

"What's going on?" Remeck demanded in a whisper, but there wasn't a need.

As the five-foot-tall, green-skinned creatures approached, their enormous ear picking up every sound, Remeck's question was immediately answered.

"Goblinoids." He and Roxy both spat the word out in disgust.

"Do you see any behind us?" Roxy whipped the sheath off her back and yanked the katana out of it.

Remeck turned around, also reaching for a weapon, and pulled out. . .his work gloves. Was this for real?!"

"How many?" Roxy demanded.

"Three." Remeck replied without missing a beat. "Got anything I can borrow for this?"

"Well, you could play the damsel in distress." Roxy replied, her voice dripping with irony. "Take these. On my right." she held out a pair of knives. "These things suck at combat, so there shouldn't be a problem."

"Thanks." Remeck replied. "How many on your end?"

"I count four. I don't know what they want, but I have no problem giving 'em some hell if you don't mind."

"Seven can even slow the best of us down." Remeck said carefully.

"Good thing I trained among the best." Roxy replied.

This woman was quite confident in herself. But, Remeck supposed,  it was within reason. Roxanne didn't seem to be lying about her abilities.

"On my go, or yours?" he asked half-sarcastically.

"On four."

"Four?!" Remeck exclaimed, causing the goblinoids to jump. "Isn't is usually three?"

"Just go with it."

The goblinoids seemed antsy. Whatever they wanted, they would try to get soon.

"Alright, one."



The goblinoids loomed in closer, and, just as Roxanne called out four, she and Remeck struck the first two goblins they could see.

Remeck killed the first, stopping the disproportionate fist with one blade and slicing the creature's wrist, barely dodging the punch thrown for him. Still hoping that Roxy had good reason to be so confident, He ducked low and then sprung, forcing the second blade into the creature's heart.

Roxanne also struck, blocking the dull edge of a wooden club and whipping her sword around to slice off the tops of the second goblinoid's huge ears. The creature cried out in pain and tired to strike at her a second time.

Roxy blocked the hit, but the force of the club was quite strong for a creature almost two heads shorter then she.

Remeck whipped around and stabbed a fatal blow to the goblin, and Roxy forced her katana free. One goblinoid, who appeared to be smarter then the others, was attempting to take a shot at Remeck's knees. "Watch your back!" Roxy exclaimed, forcing herself forward.

She dashed around Remeck and beheaded the goblinoid, turning to slash the chest of the one nearby. While blood gushed freely from it's wound, the fourth goblinoid still moved to attack her.

"Are there still more?" Remeck asked as he felt Roxanne bump against his backpack.

"There should be three." Roxy said. "One's wounded. Stubborn. They must have put the weak ones in first. Smart, I suppose, but stupid."

"You're telling me." Remeck replied. "Think we can finish this?"

"Sure, just keep doing what you're doing." Roxy let out a grunt as the wounded goblinoid tried to pound her with it's fists. "It works well enough."

"I'll keep that in mind." Remeck saw a fist coming, and blocked it with the first thing he could think of -  his arm.

The goblinoid, short as it was, packed quite a mean punch. Remeck could swear he heard a bone crack, and felt the pain, but didn't bother trying to register it. There were still two more left, plus one wounded.

Hearing the cry, Roxy shifted her vision and saw one of her knives land beside her foot. Picking it up, she forced the blade inside the wounded goblinoid's heart and twisted. The creature let out a shriek and then crumpled.

"Remeck!" she thrust the knife back into his hand. "Focus!"

Roxanne leveled her katana, ready for the next move. Remeck took up a stance as well. There was one left for each of them. Could they get through it?

The last two goblinoids appeared to be the smartest. One held a club of wood, the other had gargantuan fists that didn't seem all that natural even for a goblinoid.

The one with the club made to strike at Roxanne, who jumped back. Remeck ducked, but popped back up just in time to see the second goblinoid's fist swinging again and hitting his injured arm.

This time, even Roxy heard bones crack. But as she stepped forward to defend her companion, the knife fell from Remeck's hand, blade down, into the toe of her boot.

Roxy let out a gasp of pain and felt her vision waver. The goblinoids grinned, showing uneven, yellowed teeth. One swung, and Roxy barely managed to defend the blow. She would have the finish this with a knife in her foot or die here.

Maybe seven was too many, for one person.

But not two?

Roxy whipped down and sliced at the knees of both goblinoids, then jumped backwards and pulled out a small pipe from one of the pockets of her pants.

Forcing the tip of her katana into the ground (and trying to ignore the pain in her foot), Roxy held up the pipe and began to play a tune slowly, then faster.

Remeck felt the pain in his arm numbing as he heard the sweet music, but didn't question it. The goblinoids seemed confused by it, so he stepped back and grabbed Roxy's katana. It wasn't a spear or longsword, but it would have to do.

In one swift motion, he severed the head of the goblinoid with the unnaturally large fists, then quickly finished off the last one.

When he turned to see if Roxanne was alright,  he saw her falling over. As she hit the ground, a small reed instrument (was it a pipe?) roll from her limp hand. One of the knives she had given him was embedded in the toe of her boot.

The End

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