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Bandit Attacks [Houren]

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#1Houren Vanadis 

Bandit Attacks [Houren] Empty on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:01 am

Houren Vanadis
The current Lord of Marigold Town was the most popular man in the entire town, that was an undisputed fact. Everybody loved him, thought he was an absolutely amazing guy, and it wasn't as though he needed to hide behind anyone either. He was a former mage, someone who had traveled around the continent with nothing but the clothes on his back and whatever magic he had an affinity for. Judging by his hair, Houren would have guessed red, but he wasn't in a position to ask the Lord of a whole town to showcase his magic, and if he had challenged the man to a spar, then Lord Marigold's entire household guard likely would have wanted a piece of the Fairy Tail mage first. It would have caused trouble for Houren's guildmaster too, and that was one thing that he absolutely could not allow. The one person that Lord Marigold wasn't popular with was probably his daughter, and that was something that Houren knew all about, having helped the young Rosalia escape from the mansion for a day. It seemed like she hadn't told her father at all about who she had employed for the deed, and the four guards that he had duped seemed to have kept mum as well, as Lord Marigold did not seem angry at all when he met Houren and was more than willing to hire him for this job.

Marigold Town was not known for having a large populace of bandits, and because of that, the people were just that much more shocked when a group of bandits did show up. The people were afraid, Lord Marigold had said, and he wanted Houren to do something about it. "But you must realize that they are not weak. If you underestimate them, then you may become their next victim. Shopkeepers don't want to be robbed, so they have tried to resist, only to be maimed or even killed. Even so, do you wish to take the job of downing these bandits on behalf of my people?" the Lord Marigold's language sure was flowery, but it wasn't really that hard to understand at all. It just showed Houren that this man was worried about him, that perhaps he was not the first mage to accept the task, and he was afraid that he would not be the last either. It wasn't in the nature of a mage raised by Fairy Tail to turn away just because the enemy was strong though; in fact, the stronger the enemy, the more pumped up you were supposed to get. Sure, the spars back in Magnolia weren't a matter of life or death, but Houren didn't run away. Not then, not now, not ever, if he could help it. He bowed in front of the Lord, as respectfully as he could and began to speak. "Your city and your citizens have played host to me for these past few days. I am indebted to them, so how can I sit by idly while they suffer at the hands of these bandits?" it wasn't as decorative as Lord Marigold's speech, but the passion was there and it seemed like the town's lord could feel it too. He merely nodded, thanked Houren for what he was about to do, and wished him the best of luck.

Still, there was some obvious reluctance in Lord Syllas' voice, perhaps he was a former adversary of these bandits and he knew exactly what they were capable of? If that was the case, then Houren had reason to be wary. He had never fought the Lord of Marigold himself, but if rumor were to be believed, the man, now in his 30s, was an exceptionally formidable mage. It wasn't as though he was an old man either, if anything, he was in his prime, yet he felt the need to call for another mage to do the job of clearing out these bandits? They must have been strong indeed, but still Houren exuded the confidence that people so often associated with those from Fairy Tail. He didn't believe for a second that he would lose, at least not to some baddies who found pleasure in committing heists and stealing from others. Besides, what good could come from being pessimistic about his chances of defeating the bandit? If he fought the fight believing that he was going to lose, then obviously that would come to pass and he'd find himself on the losing end! It was better to be confident, not to believe that the opponent was weak, but that you were strong.

By the time Houren left the Syllas mansion, it was already dark, just about prime time for crimes. He headed out onto the streets and began to look around at the stores, to see which one would be broken into next. To the average onlooker, he probably seemed like a bandit himself, looking for an easy place to heist, but the store owners had already been informed about him, they knew that he was patrolling tonight and that he was on their side. The Fairy Tail mage was hiding in the dark when he heard some voices in the distance, and he knew immediately that these were the bandits that he had been sent to catch. After all, with all the talk of bandits and criminals roaming around town, what sane citizen, if not a vigilante, would be outside at this hour? He smelled them as well, and they reeked. He couldn't possibly believe that they were good people.

"Look guys, this is a jeweler's. Don't you have a girl back home, Barlan? This is a good place," a nasally voice chortled happily, but his obnoxious laugh was canceled out by the happy agreements of his fellow bandits. Suddenly, their good time was cut short by a stern, raspy voice; it was not a vigilante but another bandit who was telling them to be quiet because their happiness and laughter was starting to get on his nerves. He didn't seem to be the ring leader, but was probably the strongest, so strong that the rest of them didn't want to rub him the wrong way, the laughter immediately died out and one of the bandits, from Houren's ears, probably the one that suggested the jewelers' murmured a weak sorry.

"Hold your sorry for later. Is that a rat I hear?" the voice with the stern, raspy tone turned to face towards Houren general direction, but there shouldn't have been any way for him to have seen him; he was very well hidden, after all. "When you've been on the field for as long as I have, you learn not to trust your eyes. I can hear you, rat. Your beating, the rapid beating of your heart. Why don't you come on out?" his voice wasn't angry, but rather, he was actually mocking Houren, taunting him so that he would reveal himself. But could it have been a bluff? Houren, even as a Dragon Slayer, wouldn't have been able to hear a person's heartbeat from this far away. Could you really become so skilled just by having experience, or was he just doing this to cover his bases? If nobody comes out, he doesn't look stupid because his companions are all afraid of him, and if somebody comes out, with the numbers game, they'd just make easy work of the intruder.

Houren held his breath, knowing full well that he would need to make a split decision. He was a large guy, was there anybody who would want to pick a fight with him dead at night? He decided that he'd attack, that just by coming out and charging, he would be able to scare some of them away, at least. If they were all strong, then why be thieves that stole at the dead of night? Why didn't they just do their crimes in the broad daylight, if they were so strong?

"I hope you don't regret saying that," Houren's voice was just as intimidating, and slowly, he stepped out of shadows and began to charge at the group of bandits, causing much of them to scatter around. The largest of the group, and the one that seemed to have the stern, raspy voice did not bulge a muscle though as he use his elbow to completely knock the wind out of Houren. Another hit forced the Fairy Tail mage to be thrown back. The only shining grace about being shown up like this was that the other bandits had already run away, and didn't seem like they had any intention to come back. This was going to be a one on one fight, but Houren was at a complete disadvantage; this guy was, at the very least, much stronger than he was. The man grabbed Houren by the neck and raised him forward so that the Fairy Tail mage's feet were dangling around, but failing to find their footing on the ground. The man, who was the aforementioned Barlan, smirked and cleared his throat by spitting on the ground.

"You're a brave one, aren't you? Well, not that bravery counts for anything in the world today," Barlan laughed as he tightened his grip around Houren's neck. "If you had been dealing with petty criminals like the guys I was with, then you'd probably have been paid and on your way home already. But I'm not like them," he seemed to be having a good time, as though a heist just wasn't complete without someone barging in and attempting to stop you.

Suddenly, his smile died and his expression became very serious. "I hope you don't hate me, kid, or think any less of me because I was associating with them. I need the money, because there's something I want to buy. Once I have it, I'll be able to take my revenge on that bastard. You'll wish me luck, won't you?" he threw Houren to one side and began to head towards the jewelers' shop. "One more heist and I'll finally have enough. It's my time to shine," at this point, he was already talking to himself, having completely disregarded Houren as a threat.

Suddenly, and without warning, the lamps that illuminated the streets burst, and the flames that were contained within dissipated into some unknown area. This surprised Barlan as he now found himself in complete darkness, and while his hearing was definitely above average, he was now too shocked to make good use of it; not to mention the fact that his eyes were now completely useless. "What the...?" before he say anymore, he felt a pain in his stomach, and then his face, and then his back, and his face again, and the back of his head. He could taste the tangy sting of his own blood by the time he realized that he was being repeatedly beaten by someone, or something; attacks that he would normally have been able to absorb, but without his vision, and his nose broken, he had no idea how to block or what to do. Instead he could only take the hits, and soon enough blacked out, hearing only the Fairy Tail mage's hurried panting as he lost consciousness.

Houren fell not long after, but fortunately, some men carrying torches appeared and he recognized them as the guards. They applied some first aid to his body, and he was good for now. Fortunately, Barlan had taken it easy on him, writing him fairly early into the fighting and not finishing him off when he should have; that would prove to be his mistake. Consuming one's element and recovering vigor was a Dragon Slayer's forte and he had managed to muster up the strength to defeat the bandit. Unlike Houren however, Barlan did not receive any first aid and was immediately taken for questioning, leaving Houren alone in the dark streets with nothing but his payment as company.

But that was all he needed.

2000/2000

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