(Interlude) In Which Park Sooyoung Wonders Who Let The Dogs Out

I fall, you and I collide
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“You know, this is actually easier than I expected,” Seungwan commented, nocking an arrow and sending it flying straight into a shadow creature’s forehead. The aberration dissolved in a cloud of black smoke and sparkles. “Maybe Joohyun’s training is paying off.”

She was right, or at least she seemed to be. Whether it was their newfound teamwork skills or just sheer dumb luck, this batch of shadow creatures were falling like dominos. Sooyoung remembered the last time they’d faced them, and how, bereft of a master controlling their actions, they were little more than cannon fodder. No, something about this whole ambush wasn’t right but it’s not like this was an appropriate time to bring it up. Monster slaying first, conversation second.

“No, they seem to be weaker than before,” Yeri dashed forward, her form nothing but a blur as she took out several shadow creatures with just two slashes of her dagger. She returned to their formation a second later, tilting her head quizzically.

“They still seem plenty scary to me!” BamBam dodged out of the way and narrowly avoided getting slashed across the face. Jisoo shook her head and waved her hands, muttering under her breath. A moment later a magical barrier appeared under her feet, before quickly spreading to encompass both her and her brother in a dome of pink energy.

“Hope you guys don’t mind, but we aren’t exactly suited for combat. I didn’t bring any weapons and tonight’s training kind of drained our reserves!”

Sooyoung took note of the information. In Joohyun’s absence, combat strategy fell to her, which meant it was her job to keep everyone safe. She scanned the battle before her, counting the remaining shadow creatures and observing her allies’ condition and position. Wonder how Joohyun got so good at this, there are so many factors at play here, even for a simple skirmish like this…

“Yeri, to me, we’re adjusting to cover the Hecate kids. Seungwan, I need ranged support as we move. Seulgi, help Mina and Tzuyu, but be careful. The last thing I need is for you to get hurt and your girlfriend to rip me a new one.”

Her friends moved without question, Yeri quickly darting to her side as they pushed through to the glowing pink dome, batting away creatures if they got too close to the Hecate kids. While this situation didn’t require Sooyoung to trigger her berserker rage, it could still end badly if the barrier fell and left her friends defenseless.

She heard the twang of a bowstring as Seungwan shot with a cool precision, sinking arrow after arrow into her quarry, drastically thinning their numbers. Seulgi meanwhile had arrived to help Mina and Tzuyu, unsheathing Joohyun’s axe and joining them in melee range.

Now this was a good skirmish, Sooyoung thought as she her spear forward and skewered a hapless shadow creature on its point, before pulling back and swinging it with a deadly force and clubbing a second creature with the of the weapon, sending it flying backwards. It disappeared in a familiar puff of darkness. The fight was intense enough to provide her with that delicious rush of adrenaline that she craved and yet she wasn’t feeling the soul-crushing fear that came with an actual battle. The best of both worlds.

“How’s everyone faring?” she asked, getting her answer fairly quickly as the body of a shadow creature whizzed past her and disintegrated in midair, the arrows that had pierced it clattering harmlessly to the ground. “I’ll take that as a good sign.”

The rest of the battle, if you could call it that, ended without much fanfare. The moment the last creature faded away, JIsoo let her barrier drop and fell to her knees, unharmed but clearly exhausted. Sooyoung made a mental note to go easy on her in class the next day. BamBam helped her to her feet and wrapped a supportive arm around his sibling.

“Everyone’s okay?” Seungwan asked, stowing her bow and walking over to them to pick up her arrows. “That really didn’t seem like much of a fight.”

“Speak for yourself,” Jisoo panted with a small smile. “I feel like I could sleep for a week.”

Seulgi patted her on the back, “A good night’s sleep is probably all you need, but we can drop you two off at the infirmary on the way back if you need it.”

Jisoo shook her head, “That’s kind of you guys but no. I’m not hurt and while Bammy here wasn’t exactly useful this round the both of us are pretty much drained. We’re not too far from home, I think we’ll just head back to our cabin and try to sleep.”

“Don’t worry about us, unnie,” Yeri assured the older girl. “We’ll take care of reporting this to Joohyun-unnie and you guys can go rest.”

“Thanks squirt,” BamBam winked at her. “Mina, Tzuyu, you coming? Athena and Hecate are right next to each other.”

After checking everyone over to make sure no one had gotten seriously injured, their party separated, with Mina, Tzuyu, Jisoo and BamBam making their way to the Hecate and Athena cabins and the rest of them heading for the Hades cabin.

Being the only (living, as far as Sooyoung was aware) child of Hades, Joohyun’s cabin made for the perfect headquarters for their little Great Prophecy group. Sure, the cabin was a little dark and edgy for Sooyoung’s taste, but ever since Seulgi had basically moved in the place had become a lot more homey. The five of them had spent more than one night curled up together in Joohyun’s giant bed going over battle strategies and playing card games.

As they approached though, they ran right into their leader, who looked to be on her way

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It's my birthday this week and I finally felt inspired enough to write a bit. Being featured is the best present an author could ask for. Enjoy, I still don't have a concrete update schedule :D
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