Chapter Four, Page Eight, The City of Locked DoorsMature

Noir beckoned Adrian to hasten her stride, "Hurry up kid, I think its best that we leave this district."

"Yes, sir."

They left the Academy grounds promptly but it was to no avail, Grim had already set a trio of his lackeys to pursue them on top of their escort. Noir gave no indication that he saw them and, instead, chose to lead the party somewhere more advantageous. He walked through the Grim District without haste, gradually leading them both nearer to the Doll District and to the less occupied regions of Umbras. Their escort voiced no reprimands to his chosen path, confirming that they were at least aware of, if not fully involved, in the ambush. All the while, Noir carried the box he had discovered in the Academy through the ground underfoot.

The red guards made their move when they had arrived within a half dozen blocks of the Doll district. Their escorting sergeant called out from behind them in a soft, passive voice, "Would you tarry for a moment, Sir."

Noir glanced back at his request and acquiesced with a nod. He faced the sergeant, gently maneuvering Adrian so that she stood behind him, "When I give the word you run as hard as you can to the Doll District."

She glanced past their escort to the other three red guards, "You want me to get help?"

"No, this rabble can't hurt me, but they can hurt you." Noir returned his attention to the sergeant and stepped forward, opening his arms as if to demonstrate his innocence, "Is there something wrong?"

The sergeant nodded as the other three red guards drew alongside him, "I'm afraid so." Seeming almost apologetic, he drew his pistol and clicked the Winder into its slot. It started up with a whirr, tightening the gears, "You insulted Proctor Grim and assailed one of our compatriots, these are unpardonable acts of violence." The other guards began drawing their pistols and charging them with Winders.

The idiocy is strong in this one.


Noir stepped forward again, lowering his arms, "In the pursuit of good sportsmanship I am going to give you one warning: go."

The sergeant shook his head with a little smirk, any semblance of remorse eradicated as if it had never been, and, detaching the Winder, secured it back into its slot on his bandolier, "No can do, Sir, the Proctor wants you dead. Moreover, why would we run? There's seven of us and only two of you; even if you are an Adept, that won't protect you from our bullets."

Noir glanced down the line as one after another the red guards leveled their weapons on him, "You're wrong on one, maybe two accounts; firstly, the boy won't be a part of this, and the second is your gross overestimation of how threatening you bullets are. Besides, I don't plan on using Shadowmancy"

The Sergeant lowered his pistol, the hammer fully extended, "Oh well, that's something of a shame for you, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth."

Noir glanced back at the Undertaker girl, "Go." She spun on a heel and fled, her form becoming spectral even as the red guards fired their weapons. The hammers fell with a loud crack, spitting out their Shadow-Steel rounds with lethal accuracy. Noir lurched back as the bullets struck him; one in the throat, five in the torso, and the last on his brow, and then straightened again with a clatter of Shadow-Steel bullets falling to the ground. He stepped forward, rubbing his throat with a look of irritation, "Normally I'm not one for showing off, but I think this situation justifies it; we don't want Grim to just keep sending one-bit guards, do we?"

The Sergeant stared at him in horror for a moment and then snapped the Winder back into his pistol with a curse. The other guards followed suit, falling back as they charged their weapons and stuffed new bullets down the barrel. Noir followed them, betraying not even a hint of violence as he subconsciously repaired his Shadow-Silk shirt. The red guards readied their guns and shot again to the same effect.

The sergeant spun on his heel with a curse, calling for the retreat. Yet, even as they began their flight, Noir pulled the recumbent shadows from their perches and blocked off the exit, remembering at the last moment to wave his hand as he did so. The sergeant spun back to him, flinging his gun aside with a heavy, "I thought you weren't going to use Shadowmancy."

Noir shrugged and made a conceding motion with his hand, "I half-lied." 

The End

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