“We can’t kill it!” Kirito leaped, in and out in a blur that drew a slash of darkfire across its gut. “Not alone. And we can’t let it get away. I don’t know what will happen if some other party kills it!” Black hair ducked, as a razor claws slashed by. “Get to Klein, get him moving-”
“I’m up,” Klein croaked, grabbing his katana with shaking hands. Cleared his throat, and tried again. “What do I do?”
Kunimittz and Dynamm were drawing the monster’s attacks, while Harry and Kirito harried it. Dale was the heavy backup, herding it away from the edge of the safe zone. Issin had been hanging behind him, ready to heal, before his head jerked between Klein and the fight. Swearing, he headed for his leader.
Kirito switched out with Harry long enough for a breath. “You have to kill it!”
“What?” Issin yelped, getting there just in time to catch Klein before he tipped over. “You never said-!”
“I told you it was dangerous!” In and out and dodge; the Moonsword was focused as a burning lance of sunlight. “Klein! This is your curse-” He ducked under a swing of claws.
My curse. And I’ve got to fight it? Klein didn’t feel up to making faces at a Green Slime right now, much less killing… whatever the heck that thing was, what pit of hell had it slunk out of-
My curse. A demon weretiger. And the way he felt scraped raw inside… hell. It still had his armor. “That was in me?” Klein stammered.
“Kirito yanked it out of you,” Issin confirmed; hands almost fumbling the healing poultice, as if he still couldn’t believe it himself. “We didn’t have time for questions, he just cast and- what the hell are you doing?”
“Killing it,” Klein said grimly, raising his katana. He could read the attack pattern his guild had set up; four of them keeping the damned beast centered in the clearing, while Kirito slashed and taunted it in a narrow arc Klein could see, clear as if he’d painted lines on twig-strewn earth. “You going to help me, or not?”
“Don’t die,” Issin ordered. “Here. Take this.”
Revigor Draught. Like a jolt of pure caffeine wrapped in cherries and smoke. Oh, he was going to pay for this tomorrow….
But he had his footing, he had his sword, and the moment was now. “Switch!”