So whaddya think about this?
Lucy rolled her eyes as Candra pointed out for the fifth time, "Of all the people to get stuck with for the rest of eternity, the person I have to fight beside against peril and danger until every universe and dimension dies out, I get you!!"
"The feeling's mutual," she snapped back. "But we have to cope. And right now, we need to make it out of this alive. So stop whining and let's get out there and fight." She twitched her fingers on her chackrams, then changed her mind and drew her sword. This would be a frontal assault.
Candra sighed and drew her scimitar, rolling her shoulders to loosen them.
"How many outdoor guards did you say there are?"
"Twelve," Candra replied. Since hers were the darker clothes, she'd been the one to scope out the entrance to the old small castle so they could make their plans. "Not sure how many are inside, of course. So don't mess anything up, o sun child of destiny."
Lu let out a long-suffering sigh, then her face set in grim lines. "Alright. Fine. I'm not even going to argue. We need to focus on fighting them, not each other."
Candra nodded, and the two of them leaped out from behind the tree, screaming battle cries, and charged towards the stone-brick structure.
The guards yelped and started calling orders at each other, holding up shields and drawing weapons.
The girls smashed into them at top speed and immediately dispatched of two of the men, calling out warnings to each other when another soldier was about to dismember them with a well-aimed strike.
"LEFT," Lucy yelled, and Candra dodged smoothly, the club slamming down right next to her and sending its wielder off-balance. She gave a quick stab and swung at the next man.
"BELOW," Candra warned, and Lucia jumped, seeing a sword slash the air under her feet. She flicked a chackram behind her and heard a strangled yelp, and the sound of someone falling over.
She took in a breath to say thanks but it turned into "DUCK!!" as a spear came soaring over their heads. They both jumped out of the way, but Lu screamed as one of the men grabbed her by the neck and drew back his sword for a killing blow.
A scythe swung around and tore into his side and he cried out, releasing Lucia and his sword and falling hard. Lucia had no time to breathe before another blade was arcing down towards her. She blocked with her sword and drove the rim of her shield into the man, hearing him whuff as the air left his lungs and a crackle as some of his bones broke.
For a moment, she was able to look around, which she was grateful for because it was certain death to never turn around in a melee. A rush of triumph hit her. They were winning! Candra had dispatched of most of the remaining guards. One man approached her while the last was coming at Candra, who crouched, holding her shield up defensively. He charged her, and she waited until he was almost on top of her to explosively stand up and slam the shield into him with the full force of her rising. He didn't even have a chance to cry out. He just fell back, unconscious or dead.
Meanwhile, Lucy simply flicked another chackram and felled her enemy midstride.
"Think we made enough noise to draw out anybody who was inside," Candra huffed, breathing hard and wiping sweat from her forehead. "Maybe there isn't any fighting force inside."
"Possible, but we still need to be careful," Lucia nodded.
"Duh! I'm just trying to be optimistic. I thought the sun child of destiny was the one who was always supposed to be optimistic but you don't seem to be filling the bill lately."
Lucy put her hand to her forehead and let out a very long sigh. "Okay. Let's just go inside and get the thing. What even are we trying to get out of here?"
"I have no idea, but we were both drawn to it, so I assume it's something we need."
"Well you're simply little miss sunshine!"
"Aren't you EVER going to get tired of making up puns like that??"
"Never!" Candra chirped back, and Lucia silently vowed revenge before starting to walk inside the fortress. She kept her ears open, listening for breathing, for footsteps, anything, but she heard nothing but rustling movement behind her.
The hair on the back of her neck rose as she realized that was way too heavy to be Candra. She whirled on her heal, taking a breath to shout a warning, but it turned into a pure scream as she realized she was way too late. One of the men wasn't really dead - he'd simply fallen over during the confusion. Now he was aiming a quick stab right at Candra's heart from behind her field of vision.
Candra saw Lucia's expression and a bolt of pure terror ran through her, and she whirled, raising her small shield. The sword went straight through the tiny thing and scored through her arm, jolting flaming pain through her. She screamed, tears blinding her, and she fell backwards.
Lucia charged at the man, blindly swinging her sword, feeling it meet the soft resistance of flesh and slice through time and time again as she hacked mindlessly. When the rage faded, she was dripping with sweat, and a mangled form lay at her feet. She turned back to Candra, who'd managed to take off her shield and was trying to stop the bleeding, whimpering and sobbing. Lucy ran to her, falling to her knees, and pulled out her water canteen, washing both ends of the wound, which brought on a wave of pained moans. She tore a few strips of fabric from her clothes, wrapping Candra's arm tightly, and for the first time, hugged her.
"You'll be okay, Candra, you're going to be alright."
Candra started sobbing hard and buried her face into Lucy, who stroked her hair and murmured soothingly, feeling her mother instincts kicking in. She impulsively pressed her lips to the top of Candra's head, surprised by the flare of affection that sprang up in her. She didn't know it, but the deep bond created by sharing danger had rooted itself in both of their hearts. It had been doing so for some time through their various mishaps, slowly and quietly, but the real threat of death had dug in to a new level, and brought the connection to the forefront.
In that moment, their paths took a new course. The draw to the castle faded, because this is what had been needed. The friendship was rooted. Their destiny was set. They had a long way to go, but now the preparation had finally truly begun.