||The Battle Tower [7th Floor] | Midday||
Even hobbled with one leg not on the ground thanks to holding Arry, Xiao made short footwork of the run as the group fled from the site of the cave-in. It was not usually in his style to flee at the sight of danger, far too used to standing hit ground in the face of adversaries and fighting them back tooth and nail. No matter how much of his own blood spilled on the land, he always came out of it in the end eventually. But with this group, Xiao was in the dark. He didn't know how many of them could fight, he didn't even know what kind of abilities they had when it came to fighting. At this stage, it would be a hinderance to stay and fight with all the odds stacked against him.
So, he had to choose to flee. Xiao's stubby claws gripped at the floor as he ran, pushing him forward with newfound vigor. They had to get somewhere safe, at least. If they were to fight, the ones who couldn't needed to be put somewhere safe first. What will we do if they corner us in one of the rooms?
His eyes darted back and forth, lookign for something, anything
to use as he ran. Nothing jumped out at him and Xiao cursed under his breath, a growl pulling from the depths of the togeren's chest.
He almost missed Cinder's hurried bark of, "in here!"
As they ran, his wings flaring and legs stiffening to skid around the corner and into the room the others had ducked into. Breath heavy and nose flaring as he huffed out sharp breaths, Xiao's jaws parted slightly to suck in more greedy gulps of air, his golden eyes darting over the group to take a headcount. Good, they were all there it seemed. Carefully placing Arry back down on the ground, Xiao reared onto two legs, with his tail down to balance himself as his wings tucked in tight to his back and hips so that he didn't use up as much space in the smaller room.
The togeren craned his head around to look back out where they'd just run from, gritting his teeth and lips pulling back slightly in a tense snarling frown. His short furred hackles rose and he kept his wits about him, not trusting those others to not follow after them. The feeling of stress, fear and anger wa heavy in the air like a blanket, crawling up Xiao's body and gripping him by the throat like a vice. He swallowed hard as if that would alleviate it, wincing slightly when it seemed to make that tight feeling worse. Fuck,
he thought, how long until they get here? Are they chasing us? What will we do if we are forced to fight?
His sentiments of confusion at the situation were shared at least. "What.. what the hell?!"
He turned his head back to Cinder as the quilava gasped out, pupils thinning slightly with a low hum. Faux was the one who ordered the hasty retreat, perhaps she had more information on why such a rapid sprint was warranted? He seatched the room for the vulpix, pausing once his eyes fell on her pacing form. Agitated... something was up, but he didn't feel like he had the right to ask, he was new here and didn't want to be seen as prying into her business. Still, the duel type's eyes followed Faux as she paced, head cocked slightly to listen to the others as well."We shouldn't be here."
Briefly his eyes switched to Melanie and Etincelle, before snapping back to Faux as the low growl started from the vulpix. She knew something... did she recognise the pokemon that had fallen from above? Cinder breached the topic for him at least, calling the fox's name with concern, "Faux?"
He watched as the vulpix planted into a sit, carefully lowering himself down to all fours so that he could follow suit as well, his tail wrapped neatly around his feet. Eyes squinting slightly in the dark, Xiao's gaze fixated on Faux, listening intently. He needed to know all the information he could get right now, clearly she had the most intel right now. "That was her,"
a pause, and Xiao's brows furrowed. Her
? Someone they'd run into before? Going by Faux's body language, it wasn't a pleasurable meeting the last time they'd seen these other pokemon."That's the bitch that murdered Rosko."
Ah. A murder? Xiao sighed, clicing his eyes and looking away. He opened them again to look out the doorway, keeping lookout down the hall. Murder, death, it was all something Xiao had dealt with before far too often than he wanted to admit. However... most others weren't so used to such brutality. He let out a long breath through his nose, feeling the tension in the room ramp up after Faux's words."We have to go back!"
Flicking his gaze sharply back into the room towards the group, Xiao kept his head tilted away, his nose pointed at the doorway as he watched Etin leap to his feet from the corner of his vision, mouth pulling into a more tense frown. "We cant let her get away with it!"
Of course, they wanted revenge. Xiao didn't know Rosko, he didn't have the attachment these others seemingly had to him and he couldn't pull his own judgement on the situation from that. So he fell back on what was usually what kept him going; his job. He was to be used as a weapon, and if that bladed edge was pointed to something or someone else in the name of revenge? He wouldn't complain.
A weapon was meant to do it's job without complaint, and he was loyal to his orders even to the fault of his own benefit. You don't need to benefit. You were tasked for something and that means you're expected to do it without hesitation.
He thought, finally tilting his head back towards the group to listen more intently. "Rosko would never stand for that!"
The dead had no further wishes in the land of the living, it was up to those left behind to hold their legacy. The thought of former comrades and former pokemon that once worked side by side with Xiao came to mmind and he sighed.
They no longer had wishes of their own, so it was up to Xiao to shoulder their burdens along with his own. That at least, Xiao could understand. Fine. If they wanted revenge for Rosko's murder, Xiao would help. "This Rosko, you all must have respected him I take it?"
Respect, maybe... but close bonds and ties these days often went much deeper than just respect
. Then again, both her and the charizard seem to be lacking respect on a fundemental level. I can't expect much from them.
He thought, tail twitching and flicking as he watched in silence. "If that houndoom is a killer, then we should stop her before she kills someone else. Faux, Cinder, it's your call on what we do."
Putting the call on their shoulders. Could they do it? Could they call the death or injury of another pokemon and leave them to the whims of this cruel, twisted world? Xiao's frown deepened and he clenched his teeth hard enough to hear them creak. Lives were easy to take for one who had silenced the breath of another, they became fleeting and as delicate as a flower crushed underfoot. But often people became caught up int the beauty of the petals and cannot bear to cut the weed, even if it was choking the garden and killing that which lay around it.This houndoom has already killed. She won't hesitate to do it again, so there needs to be no hesitation from us either. Can I trust this group to go through with it?
He listened intently to the group stew over the thought of getting revenge, his own thoughts kept silent for now. He'd add his input later, if he was asked for it, of it the time called for it. Too many voices on a topic lead to mob mentality most times. "As much as I detest harming other living pokemon, I won't let a killer get away with killing others for sport."
So he would become that which he detests, because another life was taken? Another life was still going to be taken, no matter the reason. Killing someone doesn't decrease the number of murderers within the globe, it only removes another living soul.
But perhaps that was his own way of looking at it. But you're already a murderer. You've killed before. And you'll do it again, without mercy and without hesitation
He thought at himself, brows furrowing. But at least I'm used to feeling blood stain my skin. These sins will never be washed away, will never heal. At least it stops someone else from feeling this sin of being the reason another healthy, living creature has exited this world."Where would we be able to hide these to keep them safe?"
The supplies. He watched as Mathias set about finding somewhere out of reach to hide them, wings shuffling a little as he adjusted his stance where he sat. "There, that houndoom won't be able to get to it over there. What about Arry though?"
The child... he'd need to hide. Watching someone else die was not something such a young life needed to see. Xiao sighed, looking back outside with a narrowed glare."I would assume he would need to be put somewhere out of the line of fire."
Xiao stated, watching the hall they'd run from, "are you firm on the idea of getting revenge? I cannot speak for the wishes of dead as I did not know them... but I doubt it will be easy to take down that crew in such close quarters here. It would not be wise to fight indoors here."
He voiced, looking at the tight hallways. It would become a bottleneck, far too easy for anyone to get injured in the crossfire, or for friendly fire to take out their own group. This was not an ideal place for a battle.