Chapter 23Mature

Lee laid against the slab of rock in the crop of boulders he had stopped in for the night on his way to Valhalla. He watched the fire he’d built from some dead trees he’d found roar. His motorcycle was parked in some bushes a few hundred yards away. He wasn’t taking any chances; he was still in the lawless country. He thought of his little apartment in Valhalla and grinned. It’d been a while since he’d been back there. He’d been on the road on a string of jobs and missions. He pulled out his revolvers from their holsters and his ammunition box from his supplies. He opened the box to reveal several small, rounded cartridges.  He started to fill up each open chambers in the cylinders with the unique bullets made of congealed salamander oil. It was a delicate process, as too much force would cause them to ignite. He’d had more than his fair share of burns from the accidents. Once all four chambers in each gun had been loaded and sealed, Lee looked at the two remaining bullets in his box. “Damn, I really need to resupply on my ammo,” he thought to himself, putting the box away. Suddenly he heard a twig snap behind the boulder he was leaning against. Lee jumped up and whipped around, his guns ready in his hands. No way would an animal that prowls at night make a noise like that. “Whoever’s there, you can come out now,” he said coolly. After a couple moments silence. He heard a low chuckle, no a giggle. A deep, manly, and strangely threatening giggle. A short man carrying a mean looking hatchet stepped out from the rocks on Lee’s left, obviously some sort of bandit. He had a huge smirk on his face.

“Finally found you, you stupid sellsword,” he sneered.

“Time to get some payback,” another voice chimed in on his right. A rough looking female emerged in the clearing, wielding two daggers. She too had a vicious look on her face. “You are so getting fucked,” she said rudely. “And not in the good way.”

“Now, now Lillain, Derang; don’t get too riled up now,” a third voice said directly in front of Lee. “We can’t simply rush this; we must savor the moment.” Another man, this time, tall and dark haired, armed with his own pistol, strolled into the clearing from around the boulder where Lee had been resting against. He seemed to be the leader of the trio. He flashed a cordial smile at Lee. “Well, well, it’s nice to see you so soon, Mr. Shavanza.” Lee started at the three in confusion.

“Uh, have we met before or something?”

“Oh come now, do be so coy, Mr. Shavanza,” the leader said.

“No seriously, who the hell are you guys?” Lee asked.

“Come on,” Lillain said skeptically. “You’re kidding right?”

“Actually, I’m not.” Lee replied. “I don’t have a clue who you people are. Are you some sort of cult?”

“We just met two days ago!” Derang exclaimed.

“Nope, not ringing any bells. The only person I met the day before last was Katrina Delorn, the daughter of Lord Ivon Delorn, the bigwig nobleman in this area. She’d been having an issue with some bandits when I met her. Anyway, she’s the only one I got acquainted with that day.” “Well her and those perfect, juicy, red lips of hers,” Lee thought to himself. He grinned as he recalled the experience.

“That was us you idiot!” Lillain screamed. Lee’s face took on a look of oh-so-innocent shock.

“Seriously? I must have just forgotten. Oh how time flies.”

“It was two days ago,” the leader said. His face no longer seemed quite so amused. Lee grinned sheepishly.

“Sorry about that, I just have this really bad tendency to forget unimportant details really quickly. I especially have the hardest time recalling worthless trash that I walked all over on. It’ll slip my mind, just like that.” His face hardened, and his grin was replaced with a glare that meant business. “Now what the hell do you guys want with me?” The leader bandit dropped the friendly pretense.

“We’re here for a little revenge, Mr. Shavanza, or as you’re more apt to be called in the underworld, “The Spitfire Shooter.” Lee raised an eyebrow at the mention of his nickname but made no comment. The bandit leader continued his monologue. “You see, you took away our source of income as well as heavily injured half of my esteemed crew, and the rest of us want recompense for that.”

“And what’s a guy like me to do to pay you back?” Lee asked. The leader smiled again, this time with a very malicious edge in his smirk.

“You’ve had quite the bounty put on your head, Mr. Shavanza, by someone who is very wealthy, connected, and quite ticked at you for interfering in their business. I believe you know whom I’m speaking of. You really shouldn’t have crossed that man.” Lee kept a disinterested look out, but inside his mind was racing.

“Didn’t expect that to happen. I must have pissed the old bastard off big time when I did that job. I knew he wasn’t going to let me accidentally starting that slave revolution go that easily,” he thought. “And what does that have to do with paying you back?” he asked aloud.

“Well you are going to provide us with a corpse for which to claim the bounty of course,” the leader replied.

“Oh really? I’m in for it now then; the three thugs remaining from the group I already thrashed are going to kill me!” Lee said in a mocking falsetto.

“But that’s where you’re slightly mistaken, Mr. Shavanza.” The leader clapped his hands twice. Immediately roars erupted around lee as more bandits armed with savage looking weaponry emerged in the boulder outcrop.

“We’ve called up a few friends of ours,” Lillain said with a victorious smirk plastered on her face. Lee glanced around at the bandits, doing a quick headcount.

“Fifteen of them total, huh?” he thought. “And only eight shots.” Despite the odds, Lee couldn’t help but smile a little. “I guess this is not going to be a cakewalk this time.” “If you think a dozen extra worthless lay-a-bouts who are too stupid to handle a real job is enough to take me on, then you obviously still don’t have a clue who you’re dealing with,” he said. The leader shrugged.

“Oh I think we do. You must be pretty low on ammunition if you’re going back to your home base in Valhalla. Not enough to take us all on. And we’ve also taken out your bike too.” Lee’s eyes widened at this. “Yes, we found where you hid it in those bushes and confiscated it. Wouldn’t want you to escape now would we? And this is checkmate.” The rest of the bandits laughed heartily. Lee looked down at the ground, feeling anger rise within him. Derang’s grating laugh could be heard above the others.

“Look at this guy! Once I’m through with him, I think I’m gonna go back for that noble bitch. Then I’m going to keep fucking her until she snaps. Then I’ll kill her and put her out of her misery.” Derang started to giggle again in his usual creepy manner, but he along with the other bandits soon stopped and stared at Lee, who had begun to chuckle uncontrollably, which soon turned into uproarious laughter.

“What the hell?” Derang said in confusion. “We’re about to kill you and all you can do is laugh?” Lee wiped the tears from his eyes as he calmed himself down. He turned to face the speaker. “It’s just really funny that’s all.”

“What’s funny?”

“Do you really want to know?” Lee challenged.

“Well duh!” the baritone bandit said. “Why the fuck do you think I’m asking?” Lee shrugged.

“Alright then, you see, I was planning on just knocking you all out like I did to your friends a couple days ago, but now…” Lee suddenly rushed forward towards the bandit in a burst of speed. Using the butt of the revolver in his right hand he slammed it into the man’s temple, knocking him to the ground. He spun around and with other gun, blasted the man in the face point blank with a fireball. The man screamed in unholy agony as the explosive liquid burned at his face. He fell to the ground writhing in untold pain for a bit before becoming still. All of the bandits stared at their dead comrade. Most of his face had been burnt clean off, revealing the bone underneath. Lee looked at them all with a hardened glare. There was no mirth on his face anymore. “Normally I don’t like to kill those who aren’t worth it. But I’ve decided that you’re all not worth being allowed to live any longer.” Without waiting for their response, Lee rushed forward. The bandit leader recovered first.

“Don’t just stand there; take him down!” He yelled. The other bandits woke from their stupor and all charged at the enemy. Lee switched his grip on his left revolver, holding it at the joint of the grip and the barrel and pressing the release button underneath. Flicking his wrist downward, he allowed the round blade hidden within the gun to fall through, curving around until it was almost touching the tip of the barrel. He used the blade to block an overhead cut from one of the bandit’s swords before kicking the man’s knee in. He spun around and shot twice at the two bandits coming up behind him, catching them in their throats. Turning back around, Lee barely sidestepped to avoid an incoming knife thrown by Lillian.

“There’s my second target,” he thought. He revealed the hidden blade on his right revolver as well and proceeded to rush towards the female bandit, dodging or blocking the attacks thrown at him. As he was about to reach the lone lady of the Roux Hex, he sheathed the blade on his left revolver and switched back to the traditional grip. He blocked another knife from Lillian and entered into close range combat with her.

“Die, you asshole!” she said jabbing at Lee with the knives in her hands, one at his heart, and one at his head. Lee blocked the first with his right revolver’s blade, but could only try to move his head to dodge the second. He felt the edge slice through his cheek, leaving a long cut in its wake. He ignored the flash of pain and proceeded to sweep Lillian with his long legs, knocking her off her feet. As she was falling, he pointed his left revolver in her open mouth and fired. Lillian’s scream was cut off as the fireball destroyed her throat from the inside. Lee turned around and fired his last two shots in his left gun at the bandits nearest to him, catching them in their legs. Switching the gun into its bladed state, he ran past them and slit their throats as they fell. Suddenly a bullet whizzed past his head and thudded into the rock next to him, forcing him to stop. Lee turned around to face the remaining eight bandits, the former leader of the Roux Hex at the head of them, his own gun pointed at Lee.

“Most impressive, Mr. Shavanza, but I’m afraid this is the end of the line now,” he said smugly. Now drop your guns.” Lee stared into his eyes with indifference.

“If you really wanted to see my guns, all you needed to do was ask, you know,” he said3. “Here.” Suddenly he flung his left revolver as a makeshift chakram, flicking it at the leader’s hand. As it was in flight, he quickly sheathed his right revolver’s blade and fired a shot at his campfire while dashing forward toward his final target. The thrown revolver knocked the pistol out of the leader’s hand, while the fireball, upon contact with the fire, caused a small explosion that enveloped three bandits who were standing too close to it, causing major second and third-degree burns. Before anyone else could react, Lee reached the leader and knocked him down with a shoulder check. He stopped him from getting up using his foot to literally stomp the man into submission.

“What are you all doing?” he said struggling. “Get him now!” The four remaining uninjured bandits ignored him in favor of staring in terror at Lee, who besides the cut given by Lillain, hadn’t suffered any real damage. He looked at the scared bandits and pointed his gun at each of them, still stomping on the leader bandit.

“Anyone else want to attack me?” he asked. The bandits shook their head furiously.

“ Good. Now where did you guys put my motorcycle?” he asked calmly.

“We left right where it was, we were trying to psyche you out,” one of them blurted out.

“We didn’t do anything to it,” another added hastily. Lee nodded.

“Thanks. Now get out of my sight.” The remaining bandits didn’t wait to hear it again, running away from the fire without regards to their fallen comrades. Lee returned his attention to the leader. “And then there was one. I guess I was a little more trouble than you thought I’d be. A couple things I thought I’d enlighten you on. One, it’s a bad idea to not do thorough research on your enemy. Two, my nickname is not ‘Spitfire Shooter.’ It’s the ‘Spitfire Salamander.’ And three…” Lee pointed the gun at the leader’s heart. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew, or it may come and bite you back. A good lesson to think about when you wake up in hell after this dirt nap. Now, sweet dreams.” Without waiting to hear a reply. Lee shot the bandit and walked off, leaving him to die.

The End

51 comments about this story Feed