'Time and Again'

Nicole sat in the wooden chair the Moblins graciously supplied her. She was alone, with not even hope at her side. She had already cried herself out after being escorted away by the gang that held her custody, and lacked the energy to continue in her tears. Her father's death, these strange men after her to do to her only God knew, abandoned by someone she believed she could trust; it was as if she were paying penance for the comfortable lifestyle she had known for practically all of her life. She was now facing a hell she did not understand how she became a part of.

Even too frightened to fidget, Nicole did not turn when she heard the single door to the room she was being kept in open. The large man smirked, when he noticed she didn't even give his entrance any attention. The girl was a wreck; probably completely shut herself down from the rest of the world. Good, that just meant she would put up very little fuss when they got rid of her.

"Hey, toots," the Moblin King greeted in a tone that was snide, contemptuous, and sarcastic all at once. He moved to sit at the old but large decrepit desk that was located in the room, propping his feet upon it's worn surface. "Why the long face?"

At the lack of response, he guffawed, before opening one of drawers in his desk, and taking out a pack of cigarettes, "Don't worry, you won't have to pout for too long."

"What are you going to do to me?" Nicole asked, quietly while lacking any concern for herself, just simply sounding curious for intellectual reasons.

The Moblin King frowned, realizing the girl was already broken, which would take the fun out of his taunting. With an irritated expression, he lit his cigarette, took a drag, and blew the smoke in her direction. "Someone wanted you gone, so we're gonna make you disappear. You don't have to worry past that."

"Who? Who wants me gone? What have I done to this person?" Nicole almost pleaded, wanting to make sense of all the misfortune she was experiencing.

"Heck if I know. I'm just being paid a butt load of money to do it," the large man replied, way too casually for Nicole's tastes.

"For money, I see."

The Moblin King watched the girl withdraw into herself, and figured she wouldn't be anymore interesting conversation. He could just simply get rid of her now, but he figured a cute little thing like her, who knows what could happen in the next few minutes. Sans the reason he had graciously requested his underlings give him a bit of privacy. He eyed her intently, while taking purposeful drags from his cig, as she refused to meet his glaze. As his grin began to deepen around the cancer stick in his mouth, his cell-phone rang.

Swearing to himself, he quickly stood up to remove it from the pockets of his too-tight pants, "Yeah..."

Nicole noticed how the man suddenly changed his demeanor, "Wha... yeah, Mr. McDorf, ah..." The Moblin King's eyes flashed over to Nicole, who still wasn't paying him any attention, "Yeah... she is, we were just going to... y-you do?"

The leader of the gang's shock wore off quickly, replaced with an angry frown, "Sure, none of us have harmed her... 'aight, we're waiting..." The Moblin King hung up his cell phone, "McDork..." With angry steps, the Moblin King left the large storage room he was holding Nicole in, "Just make yourself comfortable, looks like you gotta new lease on life."

"McDorf?" Nicole whispered to herself, as the door shut.

The multitudes of warehouses that the Moblins used at their headquarters were already intimidating without it being nighttime. Abandoned some time ago when the company owning it went bankrupt from competitors, only a few necessity lights were functional, more for the police to be able to patrol the area, not that they were inclined to. The area remained a blind-spot to the eyes of the law, as it was decided it was just too much of a risk.

The gang that controlled the area had grown massive in a short time, proving to be a veritable army. Because of such, any action taken against them would amount to a large street war that the city just couldn't afford. Nobody knew where they were getting the funding for their ranks, but it made the situation all that more impossible to deal with. Thus, they were largely ignored, and left to their own devices, so long as they didn't create mass trouble that just couldn't be overlooked. Fortunately, for such huge gang, they remained relatively peaceful.

That didn't mean they hadn't earned their keep of enemies; most usually disappeared, while others gave up in their attempts to curb their ranks, as the effort was just too vast to contend with. There were a few that held a truce with them that would only be broken at the leisure of one or the other, far often than not, it was the Moblins that decided it was within their best interests. This time, the one that made the decision was dressed in blue jeans and green, creeping within the shadows.

Seph stalked along the wall, hiding from the dim light that cast down upon the security gate entrance. The gang members that were guarding it were more occupied with a four-way brawl on a videogame system inside the security guard hovel than with actually watching the entrance; after all, who would be stupid enough to try to get IN?

Seph easily snuck past the entrance, going under the blockade bar. On the other side, there were multitudes of warehouses which used to provide storage for a good portion of the city. Now many of them were considered condemned; going so long without any funding to keep them maintenance.

Even if he was somewhat familiar with the area, Seph wasn't sure where he needed to be. It was assured that the self proclaimed Moblin King probably was holding her captive somewhere around his personal quarters. The green clad intruder recalled without fondness that the guy was an obnoxious womanizer, and Seph swore that if he even laid a hand on Nicole, he would ensure that he wouldn't be able to appreciate a woman again.

Surveying the area, Seph noted the overlooking office of the warehouses that was situated on the roof of one of the larger buildings. To get to it, he would have to meander through a veritable maze of warehouses, and across a few tops where he saw catwalks connecting the roofs of the buildings. Tracing the path back to near his location, he headed for the closest warehouse that would possibly gain him access above street level.

Staying with the shadows, Seph kept his ears open for any members of the Moblins. The place would easily be crawling with them, as it was their base of operations, and all of them should know him on sight, particularly since they had something to guard against him. His vigilance paid off, as he ducked into an alley, hiding behind a dumpster as two Moblins strolled by, unaware of his presence.

Seph waited several moments to ensure they were gone, before quickly scurrying to the first door he saw into the warehouse. Carefully, he attempted to open the door, and found it locked. Of course, that would just be his luck. Eyeing the door, he noticed the type of key it required. He didn't see what would typically make this warehouse special, except for where it would allow him to access, and he doubted the Moblins allowed themselves to remain inaccessible to any part of their home.

Someone around may have a key to enter it; it was just a matter of finding the right person. Looking around, Seph decided to head towards one of the close by warehouses where he saw the lights on, he would just ask politely if someone could grant him access, presuming there wasn't too many of them around.

Creeping to a window, he looked inside, finding only two gang members within. It looked like some sort of gym, supplied with large punching bags for them to wail on at their leisure, as well as multitudes of free weights and some other exercise equipment. In the center of it all was a large boxing arena.

After ensuring that there were only two in there, Seph quietly approached the door, and almost sighed when finding it unlocked. Entering, he casually strolled in, as if he belonged there. The two Moblins working out inside gave a dismissive glance, expecting it to be another member of their gang, before they both did a double take at the intruder.

"Hey, mind if I work out with you guys?" Seph asked, cheerfully.

"It's Seph, getim!" One of them commanded, before they both rushed after him. Seph quickly slid his escrima stick from his sleeve, anticipating the fight that was about to ensue. The first one that reached him was the guy who had been practicing against the punching bag. His gloved padded hands struck out quickly in an attempt to lay a haymaker on the intruder. Seph proved to be just that much faster, as he darted to the side, and then rolled to continue moving.

The second member had went and retrieved a weapon; one of the bars used for bench pressing free weights. As Seph came to standing, he was forced to duck quickly, lest he be caught dead on by the swinging of the forty-five pound bar.

Finding the momentum difficult to arrest, the second Moblin pivoted farther than he wanted, providing Seph with an excellent shot to the side of his face. As he staggered back, Seph turned to find the other guy almost on top of him, ready to tackle him to the ground. Darting to the side just before he was pushed to the floor, Seph backed away, and darted behind one of the heavy punching bags. The bag provided a little protection against the weight lifting bar swung at him, but the force pushed it into the green clad young man, knocking him sideways.

Rolling with the blow he received from the bag, Seph quickly leapt over one of the weight lifting benches, just in time to evade a downward swing from a heavy bar. Immediately, Seph turned back, leapt over both the bar and the broken bench, holding his weapon high for a powerful downward strike. A telling blow was landed against the Moblin's temple, as he spun, and fell unconscious to the ground. Still preoccupied that he disposed of one of them, Seph was caught unawares by a fist to the side of his ribs that sent him sliding against the floor. It wasn't seriously impeding, but the punch did hurt.

Quickly scampering to his feet, Seph darted back, and again to evade a heavy jab and follow up cross. As the boxer was getting his footing back, Seph went on the offensive, catching his opponent with a horizontal slash to his right cheek, a second swing to his left jaw, before Seph continued all the way into a second back strike with the stick, catching the fighter on the side of his head, knocking him to the ground.

The boxer slowly began to scramble to his feet, just in time to see Seph airborne above him, and felt the heavy tempered raton stick connect with his forehead, dribbling the back of his head against the concrete floor.

Seph sighed; glad he was finished with the two faster than he had anticipated and with little damage. A quick search over both of the men earned him a key, and after making sure they were securely tied up so they couldn't alert any more of their ranks, Seph started back for the warehouse that had been his intended destination.

She sat at her large marble desk; her elbows propped up on its jade center, while her hands covered her face. "Victor, forgive me for failing you," She whispered, before straightening up.

Her hands parted from her youthful and dusky oriental face that was marred with streaks from lost tears, so that she could smooth back her flowing snow white hair, and she stood up with a deep sigh. She had tied hard to salvage her friend's company from McDorf, but it seemed as if the Scottish man knew her moves before she could make them, or knew what prizes she was trying to gain before she could make a move. She would have suspected that she had a spy within her own corporate circle, but much of the things he bested her at she had not even told a soul of her intent. Actually, what she had realized, was that he knew exactly what they both wanted, and knew exactly when she would need it. That told her that McDorf's direct opposition was no mere business rivalry; he also believed in the treasure they all were searching for.

It was frustrating, but she was trained better to give into her anger. She could grieve over her failure, but she also knew she couldn't for long. Victor's death and the buyout of his company happened almost a month ago. No, what she currently grieved for was over the knowledge she had just received.

Nicole, her god-daughter, has disappeared.

Hopefully, the ancestors would give her fortune, and the worst hadn't come of the blonde girl that she had watched grow up from infantry, and treated as much as the child she wished to have herself. On that hope, she was waiting for the preparations to be made; preparations that would allow her to personally search out the girl, and bring her back to safety.

More than just her maternal instincts pushed the desperation of the whole situation. There was much Nicole needed to learn, a great deal that needed to be explained to her over what she and Nicole's father have been working and looking for since they began their association.

Victor told Sui Lee, that if anything were to happen to him, that Nicole, with her pure heart, inherit the fabled 'Golden Power'. Since swearing her word, Sui Lee Chen would give her very last breath to see his wish fulfilled.

Seph quietly inserted the key, and twisted gently until he heard the sound of the lock's tumblers act. Looking around before he entered, Seph quickly closed the door behind him as to not alert any of the Moblins to any suspicions. The young man scurried against the walls, keeping in the dark as much as possible, and looking above and around him to see if there were any stairways that would allow him to the top of the building. Alas, all he could spy was a walkway that lead from another building that was outside the other side of the warehouse he was currently in.

He took a quick moment to look around, hoping he may find a better weapon to arm himself with, after a quick cursory glance around him; he was disappointed to find nothing more than boxes. Almost tempted to break a few apart to find out what was in them, Seph refrained from the act, concerned about making too much noise.

Finally to the end of the warehouse, he used the key that he had acquired from the earlier Moblin duo to let himself out. Just as he was exiting, he found the glaring light of a flashlight grace his face, causing him to curse lightly, and hope he wasn't actually spotted.

"Hey, who's there?" a gruff voice demanded, before the patrolling Moblin brought his flashlight back where he had thought he heard the door opened to one of the unused buildings. Finding nothing in his beam, he made to investigate further, and growled when he found the door ajar. He was pretty sure the door was locked, so something was up, "Alright, who's screwing around, We ain't got time for this!" Looking around, and still finding no one, he headed inside the empty warehouse building to find if anyone was hiding within.

Seph pulled himself tighter into the wall, hoping the gang member didn't grow suspicious of the fact that the door didn't land against the stopper, instead hitting against a hiding intruder. With surprising stealth, the Moblin crept into the dark warehouse, noting all the easy spots there were to hide within. Unfortunately, he didn't consider anyone could be hiding next to the door.

Without even giving the slightest warning, Seph whacked the unsuspecting Moblin in the back of the head, causing him to tumble, and lose his flashlight. Before he could gain his bearings, the green-clad intruder dove for the electric torch, and quickly switched it off.

With a stream of curses, the gang member looked around furiously for whoever hit him, and pulled out the chain he used as a weapon. Swinging it around menacingly, he waited for whoever hit him to make themselves known, so that he could give his appreciation to being blind sided.

Suddenly, he heard someone running behind him, and turned to swing. His chain connected with nothing, but he was assured that someone was there. Cautiously, he slowly turned, before suddenly striking out with the chain, attempting to see if anyone was trying to sneak up on him.


The Moblin quickly turned to the voice, readying the chain, before a bright light flashed into his eyes, temporarily blinding him. With a cry, he covered his eyes, allowing the intruder the opportunity to bludgeon the gang member on the brow, causing him to reel back. Realizing he wasn't ready to fall yet, Seph spun behind the Moblin, braced himself, and directed a heavy swing to the base of the gang member's skull.

"Close," Seph whispered to himself, before heading back out the building. He made his way to the side, where he knew the fire escape would be that would allow him access to the upper level, and quickly climbed it before someone else discovered him. The door to it was unlocked, allowing him to enter without the key, and he found himself before the catwalk he had seen earlier. He deftly made his way across, and found the exit on the opposite end.

Outside was a rail less balcony, and the open area that was in the center of the warehouses. Looking around, Seph realized the whole area was arranged in a crescent shape; a moon with it's back facing against the river harbor. Looking closely at the buildings, Seph saw one set of warehouses with more lighting than the others on the other side of where he was at. Knowing no other option, he decided it would be best to head towards them.

Turning to the building next to the one he was on, he was relieved to find that he could easily clear the gap between the balcony he was on and the roof.

Unbeknownst to him, a pair of violet eyes tracked the familiar figure across the roof, barely able to make out his green ensemble in the vague light the moon and roof lights allowed. Estimating where Seph's journey would take him, his observer made a path to intercept.

McDorf couldn't fight the grin that was plastered upon his face. At first, he had wanted the girl disposed of like her father, before realized something.

No, she was still very important in the grand scheme of things. His knowledge of legends was spotty, with what little he could find remained vague as was his own recollection. If he were to kill her, she may take with her that precious token of power that he had so fiercely strove for over so long.

The elevator door opened, allowing first his first bodyguard to step out, then himself, followed by his second and third bodyguard. They weren't particularly necessary, he knew, but they were excellent to keep around for intimidation purposes. All three were part of his own specially trained 'Darknaught' squadron; even if he was capable of taking care of himself, they ensured he wouldn't have to get his hands dirty.

Back to the matter at hand; that fool's daughter, Nicole if he recalled, most likely knew who he was by now. After all, he had been methodically running her father's business into a wall, before squashing it, so it would lead him to believe she at least thought to find out the identity of the one who set out to destroy her father's vast company.

Of course, she only knew the name, not the face behind it. It was amusing, as he was able to get so close to her, close enough to end her life as he pleased and she looked at him as if he were a concerned face.

McDorf's bodyguards only glanced towards their employer, as he roared out in laughter. "The dear girl," he thought to himself, "it was a shame for her father to leave her in such naivety."

He sobered up, as they were exiting the building which happened to be the branch of his company located within the city he was currently in, "Let us be hasty, who knows what that gang of dogs may do with her, if left for too long"

Seph found himself fortunate. He had encountered little in the way of opposition, and had gained a flashlight and a little cash from those he had managed to defeat on top of it. True, he disliked stealing from them, but he knew where he could put it to better use than what these idiots would. Taking a quick inventory, he nodded at the fact that he already had enough to feed the kids he looked over for at least a couple of weeks.

Pushing aside his vague sense of guilt, Seph made his way into the skyline of the warehouse he was currently atop of. He landed with only a slight amount of noise on the platform he saw below it, having used his flashlight to spy into the dark building. No more than a few moments after landing, the lights switched on, startling almost to falling off.

"Long time no see." Seph's eyes went wide, as he recognized the voice. Not her, not her of all people!

With a sickly grin, he looked below, and groaned at the sight of the unfortunately familiar girl. It was a small favor for him that she wasn't surrounded by dozens of her fellow gang members, but that was because he knew full well she had a serious grudge against him. "Hey... Jasmine... how's your training been going?"

Her face immediately darkened, as if Seph said the exact wrong thing to say. She held her arms straight out to her sides, allowing two escrima sticks to fall out of her leather jacket sleeves, and into her waiting hands. "Why don't you come down and find out? It's been a while since we've been able to have a match. Ever since you got me kicked out of Tuhon Karunrungan's instruction, that is"

Seph closed his eyes, sighing, "I had nothing to do with that, and I wished it would have been different, I really do."

Jasmine's face tightened, and the blond youth awaited the obvious rebuke. Truthfully, Seph wished things had been different between them. The girl down below was his rival in the school they would train at. Where as Jasmine's parents had enrolled her into the school, because the martial arts form was part of her nationality's heritage, Seph begged to be taught, in return for whatever labor services the master of the form required. Tuhon Karunrungan was impressed with the blonde's eagerness, and accepted the offer.

Neither Seph nor Jasmine at first had much to do with each other apart from being peers in their style, but eventually, Seph's eagerness was granting him an advantage over the other girl. Karunrungan noticed this, and his attention began to shift towards who was quickly becoming a prized and valuable student. Jasmine hadn't any intention of becoming the best, but concerned herself over how her parents would react. To think, an outsider besting her at the fighting style that her family practically worshipped as some religion!

Jasmine snorted, waving the memory off, "Who cares, you did me a favor anyways. I never wanted to be in that cruddy school anyhow."

Seph had made his way to the service ladder, and descended to meet Jasmine on the ground level, "Then, what do you want?" The blonde youth approached his once time rival, and flinched when she flipped her wrist, allowing a flat wooden stick the length of her arm, cut almost like a straight sword.

"You're trespassing," Jasmine responded, simply, though the grinning expression on her face stated how simple it was.

"I don't want this fight; I'm just looking for someone, alright?" Seph pleaded, yet drawing his rattan stick and holding it at ready.

"Hmm, bringing you in will get me some brownie points," Jasmine mused out loud, before she slowly began to creep towards the one she had decided was the bane of her existence, "not that I won't have fun while doing it." With that, she launched at Seph, aiming to crack his skull open with the edge of her stick.

"Hey!" The blonde quickly darted to the side, understanding that he wasn't going to get out of the warehouse until one of them was unconscious... or worse. He didn't want the latter for either of them, so it was best he finish this as quick as possible.

Recovering from his roll, Seph quickly stood to meet Jasmine's second charge. She slashed at him in an x pattern, forcing Seph on the defensive; a position their instructor insisted they never fall into. Realizing the wisdom of Karunrungan's teachings, Seph forcibly batted the heavier flat stick away with his light rattan one, and torqued it back into Jasmine's shoulder.

From the way the girl gritted her teeth, she assuredly felt it, but was far from defeated, "Is that all you got?"

The wild horizontal slash almost caught Seph, if not for the deft backwards somersault after he connected with his strike. The stick was obviously somewhat heavy for her, as she momentarily fought to regain balance.

For several moments, they both regarded one another, swinging their weapons around to keep them moving and warding off the other from attacking. Suddenly, Jasmine burst into motion, zigzagging at Seph. Instinctively, the blond youth parried the strike aimed for his shoulder, before realizing how close-quartered he was. She had darted to his blindside, the side without a weapon, and smacked the edge of her flat stick against his ribs.

"AH!" If he hadn't begun diving out of the way when she struck, Seph was sure that would have broken ribs. Forcing himself to concentrate past the pain, Seph darted in as she was turning, smacked her weapon away again, and slammed his into her arm.

Jasmine grunted from the pain, before turning another wild horizontal swing towards Seph, "JUST GO DOWN!"

Instead of following her advice, Seph somersaulted over her, before turning, and slamming a more controlled, but not nearly as powerful horizontal slash to her back. The blow was strong enough to send her sliding on the floor, gritting in serious pain. That was one of the reasons Tuhon Karunrungan expelled her; her temperament led her to losing control, especially when she had made a grievous mistake.

Every connect Seph made, Jasmine let loose with one of her wild swings...

"You'll PAY for that!" Jasmine growled, suddenly rushing him much faster than she had before. He was forced to retreat, as she quickly let loose three swings in repetition that were near impossible for him to parry. Before he could retaliate, she darted to his side, before attempting to slash at him three times. Seph was tightly pressed, deciding to utilize a risky maneuver.

Jasmine once again changed positions around him, beginning another volley of three, starting with a diagonal slash. Seph anticipated it, and parried it, barely forcing it to clear over his head. Quickly drawing his weapon to the ribs on his right side, the green clad fighter swung it across, slamming it into Jasmine's ribs once again.

The blow was enough to send her sliding, but not enough to knock her down. "RRRRAAAAAAHHHHH!" Jasmine screamed, attempting to retaliate with another wild swing. Instead of moving out of her range, Seph ducked it. The gang member's eyes went wide, when she realized her mistake.

Seph launched himself upwards in a spin, slashing his rattan weapon across her chest with enough force to send Jasmine flying backwards. She soared in an arc several feet away, before landing in a stacked pile of empty wooden crates.

Seph landed, and rushed to ensure she was alright; even if she was conscious, he doubted she would be in any condition to fight. He didn't want to leave her in too bad a condition, though. He nearly sighed in relief, when he noticed her unconscious, peaceful face, and carefully carried her out of the pile, laying her on the ground. The air was warm, so he removed her jacket. As he did so, he found another key Jasmine had been carrying on her, and pocketed it. Finally, he bunched her jacket, and put it under her head to keep it elevated.

After ascending back up the service ladder, Seph exited through the roof of the warehouse he had been in. The tip of the moon was just a few buildings away; unfortunately, the next roof didn't have a rooftop bridge, nor was it close enough to jump to. Re-entering the building he had just fought Jasmine, he quietly crept to the exit the exit that was closer to his destination. A cursory glance told him that Jasmine was still out; causing him a twinge of regret.

Her key unlocked the door, allowing him to exit. Looking around, he saw the building that was next to the tallest one that he knew Nicole was being held. Seph was pretty positive that attempting to enter that one directly would lead to some serious problems, so the stealthier route was taken.

Once again, Jasmine's key proved useful, unlocking the door before him. "She must have had a skeleton key for the warehouse," he mused to himself, opening the door. As soon as he entered, he knew he was in deep.

The lights were out, but the snores around him informed Seph he stumbled into their bunking quarters. With a quick prayer that no one would wake, he tip-toed through the barely visible path of makeshift beds, slowly making his way to the service ladder that lead to the roof.

"Hey, guys, we have an intruder on the prem..."

Seph's eyes went wide, as the lights came on, and twelve Moblins suddenly shot up awake. It was only an instant before all eyes focused on the out of place green clad young man.

"...esis..." the Moblin that just entered to inform the other gang menbers finished, before taking out his chain, "Heh, I guess we found him, guys"

"What the heck is all that racket?" The Moblin King growled, tossing down his magazine, and moving towards the door, "You stay put; I'm gonna go bust some sense into some rowdy morons." With that, he collected his spear from beside the door, and exited, slamming it behind him.
Seph just barely managed to escape the near free-for all that had ensued. At once, the Moblins had rushed him, managing to get in each other's way, and tagging each other almost as many times as they were intending to hit him. Eventually, hostility among one another rose, and while Seph was still persona non grata, everyone else became fair game.

In the chaos, he surprisingly managed to ascend the service ladder, and make it to the walkway that lead into the next building. The quiet corridor lead to several flights of stairs, reaching the top. As quietly yet as quickly as he could, Seph made his way towards the stairs, before he heard angry footsteps descending.

Quickly, he dove under the first flight of stairs, remaining as silent as possible to avoid detection. In the sparse light available, Seph saw the ringleader storming into the direction he had just come from.

Once he heard the door shut, Seph stood up from his hiding place, glaring to where his nemesis had disappeared to. Without any preamble, he quickly ascended the stairs. On the top floor, he saw several doors, and knew he was short for time. Quickly, he had begun to check each door, hoping not to disturb any one who may have been hiding inside. It didn't take him long, before hearing the whimpering behind the door all the way at the end of the hall.

"Figures, it would be the last door," Seph groused to himself, rushing down the hall, and entering. "Hey, Princess."

At the voice, Nicole looked up, before her eyes went extremely wide, "Seph!"

Making a shushing motion, the green clad youth made his way to Nicole, and began untying her from the chair, "Just give me a sec, and I'll have you out of here. We're gonna have to hurry before-"


He was already in motion before he heard the warning, diving backwards away from the spear's path before he was impaled.

"Figured that was your handiwork down there," the Moblin King groused, storming into the room.

"Moblin King," Seph groaned, as he circled away from Nicole to keep her out of the way of the obviously oncoming fight.

"Didn't think you to be the bleeding heart type," Moblin King snorted, "Figured you would care more about those brats than interfering with us."

Seph frowned, "You're not going to touch a single one of those kids, you hear me?"

"Hmph," The Moblin King had circled the room, until he retrieved his spear from the wall, "I don't think you'll be around to do anything about it!" Suddenly, with a speed that surpassed Seph's estimation of the large man, The Moblin King attempted to plow down the green garbed orphan with the tip of his spear. With barely any time to react, Seph dove to the side, and turned to find the Moblin King having rammed his spear into the wall that was behind him.

Seeing the opportunity, the caretaker of the Kariko orphans dashed after the stuck gang boss. Seph leapt into the air, shouting an incoherent battle cry as he raised his rattan stick above his head in a two handed grip, ready to cave in the thick skull of the Moblin King. His window to retaliate immediately shut down, as the Moblin King finally managed to remove his weapon from the wall, and blindly spun to slash at his airborne opponent.

"AH!" Seph felt his ribs bruise, complimented by the whiplash sensation, as his body suddenly shifted directions in the air.

"Huh, serves you right, little punk," the gang leader scoffed, as he strode cockily over to his sprawled rival, "I think I'll throw you out the window, just to finally be rid of you."

Seph rolled back to standing, a bit shaken from the blow and bruised, but otherwise fine. He thought it would be best to not attempt a head on attack, figuring his rattan stick was no match for the aluminum spear. Of course, his opponent seemed to realize his advantage, as he used its full length to swipe at the green clothed fighter.

Seph somersaulted backwards from the swing, and zigzagged towards the Moblin King as he was still recovering from his missed swing. The gang leader finally arrested the momentum, and attempted a vertical strike right down upon Seph, only to have it dodged. It still proved no avail to the smaller fighter, as the Moblin King suddenly swung it in a wide circle around him, aiming to clip Seph at any part of the radius.

Fortunately, Seph proved nimble enough to leap out of range, and skipped away to assess the situation. That reach was proving wayyyy to big an issue to take on. He wasn't given more time to consider the problem, as the Moblin King once again rushed at Seph in an attempt to pin him at the head of the spear. Still proving slightly faster, the green clad fighter rolled out of the way, once again taking the Moblin King by surprise. Before he could cease his forward rush, Seph was already upon him, and just as the spear was once again embedded into the wall, the Moblin King's head slumped forward from the strong impact of durable wood against the base of his skull.


"SEPH!" Nicole screamed when she saw the wild swing, and the way Seph's shirt tore in its path. She feared the blow did grievous damage, but she held her breath in hope.

"Whoa!" Seph gasped out, as he just barely managed to evade the wide slash made at him. As it was, he still managed to have his abdomen nicked, tearing his shirt. With a grunt, Seph landed, bracing his feet into the ground to cease his backwards slide. Before he could even get his bearings, he was forced to frantically evade the mad swings of the Moblin King, which started to come faster and faster. So intent on ensuring he didn't get pounded, Seph failed to notice himself back against one of the walls. Finding his foe trapped, the Moblin King roared, as he made a heavy horizontal slash that cut through the wall, exposing the outside to view.

Seph recovered from his roll that carried him under the powerful swing, and turned to find the Moblin King slightly winded from his temper tantrum. Not letting the opportunity slide, Seph made no battle cry, as he slammed his weapon into the gang leader's head, causing him to stumble to his knees.

Not wanting to get caught in another temper tantrum, Seph back hand sprang, and then somersaulted away to a safe distance, awaiting the next move of the gang leader. Much to Seph's relief and concern, the Moblin King rose to his feet, staring balefully at his opponent. "You'll pay for that, Seph," He said simply, as he cautiously approached the smaller fighter.

Seph suddenly dashed at the Moblin King, weaving in a zigzag pattern in an attempt to keep the enraged gang leader from focusing on him. It worked, as the Moblin King mistimed his downward vertical swing, crushing only the floorboards. Seph had begun a counter maneuver, just as he was about to face impact, by rolling to the side at the last minute, and launching into a backhand spin, viciously connecting with his stick against the Moblin King's head.


Seph didn't even get a chance to evade, having to recover from his own extensively powerful move, and failing to do so before the Moblin King did. The green clad fighter was slammed face first into the wall on the far side of the room, as his back roared with the pain of a metal rod being swung into it, and his chest throbbed from the hard impact of the wall against it. Seph slid down the wall to kneeling, attempting to shake the cobwebs from his head, and barely aware of his surroundings.

"Seph, LOOK OUT!"

The Moblin King grinned, as he felt his spear bury up to his hands, "Seph-kabob!" That's when he felt the tap on his shoulder. With a sickly grin, the Moblin King turned, to find Seph favoring him with a hooded gaze, while wound up in an obviously intending to be very powerful backhand. "Ah, about the Seph-kabob thing..."

Seph didn't allow him to finish, as he allowed a potent rising diagonal slash to rip through the air, soundly connecting with the Moblin King's chin, and snapping his head back. For a moment, the toughest member of the Moblins teetered, before slowly fading backwards. Gravity and unconsciousness fully overtook him, as he fell backwards, flat onto the floor.

Seph stayed prepared, in case it was a ruse, but relaxed after deciding the fallen leader of the Moblins wasn't that good an actor. Groaning at his injuries, he made his way over to Nicole, and began to untie her, "Are you okay?"

"Y-yes," the blonde young woman replied, shakily, "I didn't think you would actually come back for me... and I would have understood."

Seph blinked, before sighing, "Ah, leaving a princess like you with these thugs would have weighed on my conscience too much." Nicole couldn't see his smirk, as he worked on the knots around her hands, "Besides, the kids wouldn't shut up about it until I did do something."

"But aren't you afraid they might do something to them?" Nicole enquired, feeling her well-being was not worth that of a single one of the children.

"They're safe right now, but we can't go back to Kokiri for a while, if ever."

"I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble. I would have been best if you had simply let me be."

Seph moved to face Nicole, "Hey, it's not your fault. Whatever these goons wanted with you, it wasn't good, and I really couldn't have sat back and let it happen."

For several moments, Nicole stared at Seph, marveled by his comforting words, and the proximity of his soft, kind, effeminate face. Seph noticed her focus, and cleared his throat as he turned away, nervously, "Anyways, it's best we get out of here before Mr. Moblin wakes back up, or his goons show up."

As he stood up, he grimaced, clutching his bruised side; an action easily noticed by Nicole. "Oh, you're hurt! Let me help."

"I-it's fine, I'm alright," the blonde young man replied, suddenly more nervous at her attention. He unfortunately was injured enough for it to impede his movement without adrenaline surging through him as it did during his battle with the Moblin King, and Nicole was able to gently prod the underside of his ribs.

She paused, before shifting the hole in his shirt caused by the head of the Moblin King's spear, "You're bandaged already. You were fighting while you were already hurt!"

"It's nothing, okay," Seph insisted, bracing himself against the pain, and pulling away from her.

Hurt from his sudden defensiveness, Nicole turned away from Seph; her eyes falling upon the Moblin King's unconscious form, "Wha... what?" She suddenly rushed towards the downed gang leader, finding something that had fallen out of his pocket, "He couldn't possibly afford this!"

"What is it?" Seph enquired, spying the heart shaped box in her hands with the word 'Vita-life' on it.

"A Vita-life supplementary package. It was something my father was funding. It's supposed to enhance the body's healing and endurance by radically restoring anti-oxidants throughout your system, while forcibly purging cellular waste, and continue to do so at the increased level indefinitely. The end result is supposed to be quite amazing, plus it can also work by multiple installments, continually increasing a person's vitality."

"Huh, sounds cool," Seph replied, not really understanding a word that had been said, "But if it does all that, why didn't he just take it himself?"

"He probably didn't know how it was supposed to be taken," Nicole said, chuckling, "Here, open wide..."

"Wha-MM! Seph immediately clamped his mouth down upon the inch sized capsule, one of the four that had been in the container.

"Chew it, and I'll give you the next one. These capsules have to each be taken in the proper order, or it won't work." Cautiously, Seph began to chew, before deciding the taste wasn't all that bad; a rather sweet taste, in fact. Nicole smiled softly, before handing her savior the next capsule. It was but a small way of giving her thanks for his help, especially with the trouble she had caused him.

"Hey, I am feeling better!" Seph noticed, not even feeling the sting in his ribs and back anymore, "I feel like I could just sprint for miles!"

"That's good," Nicole stated with a smirk, "We should get out of here, quickly then." The green clad young man nodded, before taking a key off of the Moblin King's desk, and ushering Nicole out the door.
Author's notes: Sorry this took so long, but format for posting fics make the notion of working on large chapter fics EXTREMELY unappealing -