- -The Bramble Wood,
Very Near Jocelynn's Inn,
Early Morning, 1 DSTR- -

This was not supposed to happen. None of this was. With each member of his squad down, Ponce could feel the courage within him wane, and it was replaced with pure rage.

The ghoul was fast, it's speed and relative closeness visibly rattled Wren. It dined on Toldir. There was a sickening crack of what Ponce thought, but didn't want to belive was bone. After hering such a thing, something within him snapped. For a moment, all he saw was red. And then he noticed the ghoul's exposed back.

Wren stood in front of him, looking as if he was just about ready to turn tail and run. He turned towards Ponce, and his opened mouth to speak, but Ponce spoke first.

"Move," He said, his voice booming. Wren obeyed, and Ponce stepped foward, out of the brush. He moved toward the ghoul, it was occupied with its meal to such an extent, Ponce could have offed him then and there, but that wasn't what he wanted. And when he thought about what
he did want, a part of him was frightened by what it.

'It does not deserve a quick death.'

"Muere lentamente." He said, turning his blade in his left hand.

The ghoul turned, but did so, too late. Far too late.

He drew the sword back, arm shaking with the rage boiling inside of him. As the ghoul turned his face, Ponce swung, and made sure to do so with every inch of his being, the flat side of his blade connected with the ghoul's face. The ghoul spun, his body turning with the attack. The ghoul fell to his knees, but Ponce was far from done.

It was a strange feeling, but Ponce could feel the anger within him, as if it was an actual form of matter, and he wanted to release every ounce of it upon the ghoul.

He raised his hand, channeling the fury within him like blood through his veins and to his figertips. He felt the heat accumulate, and just when it was almost too hot to bear, he released it. Energy in the form of lightning shot from his hands, and the bolts dug into the ghouls flesh. It's body began to convulse and contort as the violent current pulsed through him. He was defenseless, and that was the way Ponce had wanted it. It was the way he had wanted it.

For a moment, he no longer knew where he was. Sound no longer reached his ears, and he hadn't even noticed. Whatever switch that went off in his mind, was now off again. The anger began to wane, just as coruage had, and now he was empty. He looked down at the ghoul that lay before him. He could see the pain in his eyes, the pain Ponce himself had inflicted. The bloodthirst and the hunger seemed to have faded.

'Él mató. He deserved it. Él mató.'

"Ponce...did you just..."

His eyes widened with alarm.

He heard Wren, he turned to face him, and instantly looked to the ground. He only saw horror in Wren's face. He thought about the emptiness he felt. It scared him, and it scared Wren just as much.

"Wren, I..."

Ponce stepped foward, Wren stepped backward.

"No. What are you, Ponce? You're one of them?"

Ponce wanted to fire back, but he couldn't. His mouth was semi-opened and stayed that way.

"So you're a-what-a wizard? A damn warlock? I see now, I was right."

The hurt in Ponce's face turned into perplexion. He found the strength to speak.

"Right about what?"

Wren smiled a dirty, impure smile.

"You know, I cant say I ever did like you. What we came here for was simple. But your stupidity knows no bounds, does it, warlock?"

Ponce's grip around his sword tightened. Somehow, he felt he knew were this was going, but he alowed Wren to continue with his pitiful little speech.

"Don't you see? We've gone awol. All because someone convinced us that we could get away with it. Leaving our posts without the Cpatain's consent. But, you know, I'm not quite sure i like that story, I've come up with a much better one. "Ponce de Gezzadro was a traitor, on the run after sending his entire squad into a sorcerer's trap." I belive that one sounds much better."

Ponce stared at Wren, now he only felt disgust for the man.

"You...are inicuo, wicked, mi amigo."

Wren laughed, easing away just a little bit more.

"Ponce, what you think doesn't matter, becuase once that wizard finds you, you'll know exactly why we hate your kind. You are the wicked ones. And now you're going to pay for what you are."

Ponce looked at the groumd once more, knuckles white at this point.

"No. Te equivocas. You are wrong. I thought that the ghoul deserved pain and sorrow for slaughtering my "friends", But now, I see, it is you who should suffer."

He pointed his blade at Wren, halting him. He cared not about the ghoul. He cared not about the wizard. It was then that he dicided this bastard would pay for the chaos he had caused.

"Cabrón! You wont leave these woods! You killed Toldir, you killed Kel, and now, I'm going to kill you."

Wren chukled, not hesitant to unsheathe his blade.

"Is that right. After I'm done with you, maybe I'll get a reward."

Even in thier current situation, Wren was far to cocky to avoid a potential fight. Wren was, after all, the superior swordsman, but now Ponce's greatest weapon had returned, his rage. And now, the fear his anger carried with it was gone.

"Rrgh, cállate y sangra! Shut up and bleed, pig!"

Ponce, enraged, swung first, aboandoning his old rule of "read and react", he had no time, justice would be served now. Thier blades clashed, sparks flew, but it bothered Ponce not. He let out a growl, pushing down on Wren's blade, before spinning ferociously and unexpectedly, catching his opponet with a right back hand. Wren's smile never faded, and it was that wretched smile that allowed Ponce to persist. Ponce, again, drove in. This time Wren ducked backwards, narrowly avoiding Ponce's blade. He then swiped horizontally at the mage-knight. Ponce felt the blood, pain woyld have to wait. Using Wrens post-swung arm to his advantage, Ponce grabbed with his right, stepping in close to deliver a firce headbutt. Wren took a step back, concentration scarred , but not quite depleted.

This was unlike Ponce, this destructiveness was much unlike him. It was then, he saw the blind fury in his eyes. The fury of a man whom might spit in death's face.

Blood trickled down Ponce's face, but still he persisted, he no longer needed Wren's smile.

Ponce slashed low, his goal Wren gut, but Wren was fast, his trained blade stopped Ponce's. Now the struggle was one purely of brute force, the two pushed against each other, natural forces collided in the ultimate battle of life and death. Wren managed to get his blade under Ponce's at just the right angle, and thrusted upward, effectively staggering the mage-knight. He attemped to capitalize, thrusting foward, but Ponce's blade found it's way in front of him once more, and the sudded clash of metal caused Wren's blade to ricochet. The mage-knight lurched foward, his fist connected with Wren's face, and the other kinght twisted with the punch. Ponce once again swung his arm, wildly this tine, and Wren cought a face-full of wrist and elbow. His hand loosened it's grip on his sword, and slowly, but surely, he toppled over like a falling tower. There was a solid thud, and a cloud of dying leaves and darkened dirt as his body hit the ground. His face was severly bruised, what with all of the trauma Ponce had inflicted upon him.

Ponce fell to his knees, gripping his blade with both hands. He looked down at Wren, and noticed even now, his smug smile persisted.

"'re just like them..."

Ponce was fuming. He, after all of this, he didn't want to waht his mind was telling him to do. "Cállate..."

"...all of you...savages..."

He wasn't right, he was different. Wren was the savage, he was a psychopath.

"¡No, cállate!"

"...and when...he'll pay..."

And that was the final straw.


Ponce raised his blade high up, before thrusting downward. He could almost feel tears as he pressed. He looked down at the lunatic, far beyond fuming.

Wren's eyes were open wide. Blood began to flow to, and eventually out of his mouth. With watever fading strength remained, he looked at Ponce.

"...dont...look at that...cabarun."

Ponce lowered his head, and rolled over onto his back. He turned to Wren, he was now completely still, staring up at where Ponce had been.

"Cábron, you didn't even say it right."

Ponce stared up at the sky along with him, breathing heavily due to the extreme exertion he had just faced.

"God damn it, this day was...horrible."

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