Rage of the Red Dragon
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"I'll show you what happens when you cross the line."

This article, Making A First Impression, is the sole property of Ripcord, and as such this article cannot be mentioned, used, or even edited, without permission. Thank you for your cooperation.

Barely off the Boat

It was a fair day in Merow City, one of the many port towns located in the country of Bantia. a brisk wind had blown most of the clouds away that morning, making for a very sunny day by lunchtime, and business for the city went on as usual. A ferry had just arrived at one of the docks, bringing both people and goods from out of the country.

Stepping off the massive gangway was a young boy in his mid teens with spiky silver hair, who stretched his arms above his head the second he hit the dock. "Alright I'm back on solid ground again!" The boy shouted as he cheered for happiness. With his hands still in the air he yelled loudly so everyone can hear him. "People of Banita, Hino Sontara has finally arrived!" People in the area stared at him for a moment, some were laughing while others just thought he was a weird kid. They eventually moved on and continued what they were doing.

After all that three other people walked off the ship behind Hino. "Geez we just got here and he's already starting a commotion." A young man said wearing a black, unzipped jacket with a red shirt underneath and wearing a red tongue. He picked up one of his bags and threw it over his shoulder as he watched.

"Now now Reed. Just be grateful we're finally here, its a lot better then being on the same boat with someone like him." A tall, dark skinned woman, with long purple hair replied, standing in between the two. She wore an orange top robe with long, black stretch pants.

"Hmph if you ask me he's caused enough trouble already. The ride here was hard enough." A young girl about the same height as Hino said as she was tying her long blond hair into a pony tail. She wore a purple colored blouse with a skirt and had some bandages wrapped around her thighs.

A small, dim grey cat walked in and squeezed himself threw between Reed and the tall women from behind. "Thats our Hino, never a dull moment." The cat said in a not so proud tone.

The tall women grabbed her bags and began walking away. "Come on, lets try to find another boat that'll take us to our destination." She said calling her teammates. Reed and the blonde girl followed her.

The cat called out to Hino who was still cheering for being on dry land. "Hey Hino everyone is leaving without you!"

The shouting broke his cheering as he hurried to catch up with his teammates. "Hey wait for me!" He shouted while putting on his book bag.

Despite their hopeful intentions, the group soon became helplessly lost in an unfamiliar city. A combination of nearly identical shopping stalls and an almost constant crowd of people made it almost impossible to catch anyone's attention. Only fifteen minuets had passed since they had stepped off the boat, but their lack of progress had begun to drain on their patience.

As they walked threw the city Hino began to lose his patience. "Ugh how long is this gonna take." He complained while walking like he is exhausted.

"it might go faster if you would stop complaining!" The blonde girl said in anger.

Hino then remembered about something. "Why isn't Zanto with us as well? Is that coward scared to ride the boat?" He said with an evil grin on his face.

The dim grey cat walking along beside him reminded him. "He was sent somewhere else on another assignment apparently his skills were perfect for that job."

"Anyways Hino, your in no condition to be calling him a coward of being afraid to ride the boat. If I'm not mistaken, you haven't been able to leave the bathroom since we got on it!" The blonde girl interrupted angrily pointing at Hino.

Hino ran up to her in anger. "Shut up Kana. At least I've got on the boat instead of running away like that frosty!" He yelled as if he didn't hear what they cat told him.

Kana turned to him and butted heads with him also in anger. "Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't you crying like a baby begging to get off." She said purposely trying to insult Hino.

"That wasn't me that was... Reed." Hino hesitated trying to get the blame towards someone else.

"You are such a lier!" She yelled and the two began insulting each other back and forth. They were to busy arguing they didn't notice the tall women approaching in annoyance.

She grabbed both their ears and yanked on them as hard as she could. "Ow ow ow ow ow." They both whined until she let go of their ears which got them to stop arguing.

"Listen up we're here on an important job. We don't have time for your childish actions so cant you wait until we find a boat to get us their?" The women said in an annoyance tone.

"Yes Esca." They said in harmony, both rubbing on their ears with teary eyes from the pain. They all continued on in search of transportation across the ocean waters.

After another half hour of fruitless searching however, the group decided to rest near a fountain. Wondering around in the hot sun for almost an hour had made them all thirsty, so in hearing the running water, they decided to stop for drinks and reflect.

"I don't get it. we asked almost every sailor in the city but not one of them will get us to where we want to go." Hino said in exhaustion as he feels cooler for just sitting near the fountain.

"This doesn't mean we should give up. We've came to far to do that we have no choice but to keep searching." Esca said trying to get everyone motivated. "Now lets go." She said getting ready to move on.

Everyone got up as well getting ready continue when Hino heard something close by and looked towards it. Standing in the shade of one of the corner street stalls was a girl absentmindedly rocking back and forth on her heels watching people pass her by. She appeared to be around Hino's age, sporting a long sleeved dress and knee length pants, and had her bright red hair tied into pigtails. Soon knelt down to pet a small dog with a barking at her feet, creating the ruckus that had attracted Hino's attention in the first place, and had to readjust her glasses to deal with the sun's glair. Hino stared at the girl and his face began to blush, when he then noticed a man walking up to her.

"Let's move." He growled, barely looking at her. He wore a long black coat, reaching just past his knees with a hood bobbing near the back of his neck. An eye patch covered one of his eyes, and a long scar traced down the opposite cheek. He was much older than she was, and began to raise his voice when the girl was slow to respond. "C'mon, c'mon. Hop to it kid."

Slowly, the girl scooped the dog off the ground and clutched it against her chest, sheepishly trailing along behind him.

Hino didn't like how the man treated her and he got the idea he wasn't any friends of hers. He grew concerned and kept a close eye on them. While his team mates look at Hino wondering what he's looking at.

The two of them made their way around the fountain, with the girl slowly trailing farther and farther behind the man. Noticing this, he stopped abruptly, almost causing the girl to walk into him. She glanced up at him, and he rested a hand back and began pushing her along faster. "C'mon, we just finish this one thing then you get to go home, alright?" She nodded sheepishly, then continued to follow along behind him.

Hino was surprised. "Guys that guy is doing something to that girl!" He said pointing at them as the others looked over. "We have to do something."

The others looked over and was not convinced. "Hino just cause you see two people walking around minding their own business doesn't mean its bad. I bet their just doing some father daughter bonding." Esca said. "Besides we cant get distracted, we have to stay focused."

"AHHH!" They suddenly heard a scream, and they all spun away from the fight spotting the man now holding the girl by the arm. The dog ran circles around them while the man yanked her to her feet.

"See, he's up to something bad." Hino declared. "Im going over there to save her." He said as he prepared himself.

Kana caught him just before he could leave. "Oh please, that can mean anything. You just want to show off cause you think that girl is cute." She said accusing him.

Hino blushed as he was speechless for a moment. He then shook his head and yelled. "That is not true, i just think we should help her." He said in anger.

Kana yelled back. "Thats the stupidest excuse you could have come up with, what makes you think she could ever fall for a lame brain like you?" She said purposely trying to insult him again. The two butted heads as they exchanged insults to each other

Esca stood there annoyed. "Ok listen up." She got groups attention. "We just traveled to another country for this request which means it must be important. We have to focus on that, If the man was actually doing something bad to her we all would have done something but thats not enough to go on."

Reed spoke up as well. "And if we were to go fighting I'm sure we'll gain the attention of this countries Magic Council just like back home." He added.

"Thats a good point as well Reed, sorry Hino but we cant go fighting people think are suspicious to us. I hope you understand." Esca said as she saw Hino being convinced.

"Yea your right." He said looking down. He was convinced by them.

"Great now lets go." Esca said with a cheerful attitude. They started walking until Esca remembered. "Oh wait I forgot my bag." She turned around and noticed Hino missing. "Wait, wheres Hino?" She said in surprised.

Kana looked over to the girl and the man. "He's over there!" She said pointing in that direction as Esca and Reed looked over

Hino was found running towards the two. "Hey you! Get away from her!" He shouted as he used his incredible speed to grab the girl and leap away to a safe distance before the man had time to do anything. HIno was caring the girl with the man behind acting as a wall between the two.

The dog who had been walking with them was the first to notice, beginning to bark the second Hino lifted the girl off her feet. "What's your problem?" the man said with a grin, glancing back just in time to see Hino in mid air with the girl in her arms. "What the-?"

Hino came down on the roof of a nearby stall, and the dazed girl looked up at him. "Huh?"

While still holding her Hino glared behind at the man. Only for a shot to wiz past his ear within a second. Hino flinched away in surprise, looking back down again to see the man with a long revolver pointed right at him. "Punk, you better-."

"Help me!" The girl cried suddenly, kicking and flailing in Hino's arms. One of said flails ended with her elbow swinging into Hino's nose, causing him to drop her instantly.

Hino then fell back and grabbed his nose. "Hey that hurt! I was only trying to save you from that one eyed-." Hino was interrupted by another shot, the sound of the gun going off alerted him to duck as the bullet scrapped threw his shirt. Hino then turned towards the man. His body then released static electricity. "I'll get him off your back for ya." He said to the girl as he jumped off the edge of the roof to the ground and ran towards the man at incredible speed.

"Ugh what the hell is he thinking! That moron is gonna get himself arrested if he keeps this up." Kana shouted. holding her hands on her head.

"Not if that guy shoots him first." The dim grey cat added worriedly.

"What should we do?" Reed asked Esca hoping she knew a way to stop them.

"Common lets see if we can do something about this." Esca said while running towards the fight with the others behind her.

Hino clashed with the thuggish man again, who used the long barrel of his gun to brush aside an electrified hand swipe. He backstopped a few times, gaining a bit of distance, then levelled his gun at Hino again and squeezed the trigger.

The second the gun went off Hino moved to the side while still running towards him at the same incredible speed almost closing the distance.

In that time, the a blue light began to glow from the thug's gun, and he quickly fired again. This one zoomed past Hino's ear, almost intently, bounced of a pair of stands on either side of the street an came flying straight back at Hino's back.

Just before the shot could hit him from behind Hino jumped into the air to get a good punch unknowingly the bullet was coming back at him. Lightning engulfed his entire right hand and forms the shape of a fang. "Lightning Dragon Piercing Fang!"

The thug caught the tip of Hino's with the underside of his gun, using both hands to stop the boy cold. Instead of counterattacking however, he mumbled. "Lightning Dragon? You can't be serious..."

The thug was then surrounded by Hino's friends ready to fight while Esca stands back thinking as she looks at the man.

The man shoved Hino away, taking a moment to take in the situation. Most of the townsfolk had long since fled, fearing getting sucked into a fight between mages, but the redhead remained watching hidden behind "Whole group of ya then?" He said, drawing a second gun from his coat, steadying his vision on the girl one last time. "Best run along, now."

He suddenly drew the hammers back on both guns, and the girl jumped up and dashed away with her dog following closely behind her.

Hino looks back to see the girl running away and goes after her to see if she's ok, leaving the others to fight them. The dim grey cat grows wings out of his back andflys after Hino. "Hey Hino wait for me."

"Hurry up Spirit." Hino called out as he was running.

"Hey, hey, you stay put!" The man yelled. He took a step forward training his guns on Hino, when Esca stepped up to block him. Hino and the redhead where gone before he had a chance to reposition himself, and with a sigh he rested the ends of his guns up on his shoulders. "You assholes are pickin' a real bad fight right now." Despite his tired smile, there was still a fair bit of malice in his voice.

"I don't know about what happened before but i won't let you lay a finger on our comrade." Esca said in a serious tone but didn't sound like she was angry. As she said that dark, red magic energy flowed out of her body that looks to be fire.

"Hey Esca I got this." Reed said stepping in-between them. "I'll heat things up for ya buddy." He said as he cupped his hands together as fire was spewing out. "by the way we didn't get your name." He asked the man.

"That's cause I didn't give it, jackass." He spat. "You three want to protect your dumbass friend, then you should've ran after him. Because this is our territory. And I've got a bit of a sore spot for kidnappers."

"Kidnappers? your the one attacking innocent kids you one eyed cyclops." Reed said referring to both the girl and Hino. "Fire-Make: Dual Sword." He said as two swords made of fire appears in his hands. Reed charged at the man to to attack.

"A one eyes man with specialty of guns magic? I know I've heard of someone like that but who was it." Esca thought to herself as she watched, trying to remember who he is.

Though only seconds had passed since he'd started after the girl, the two of them where already several blocks away. Crowds of people, looking on and wondering what the gunshots they'd heard was about, didn't slow her down one bit, And Hino was beginning to have trouble keeping up. He didn't want to use his magic to catch up with her, not wanting to scare here any more than she must be already, but by god could she run fast.

"Isa!" She suddenly called, running straight at a woman with long white hair looking over a bookstand. "Isa, help me!"

The woman turned just in time for the redhead to throw herself at her, almost tackling her to the ground. "Carra?" She caught herself before hitting the ground, quickly kneeling down to the girl's level. "What's wrong, honey?"

"Someone's chasing me." She huffed, small tears welling up in her eyes. "They attacked Peltin."

Isa looked up just as Hino skidded around a corner, looking more out of breath than Carra. Since Hino didn't see Carra run to her for help he came to the conclusion that she was the thugs partner who is after her. He then ran to her. "Hey, you leave her alone. I won't let you hurt her!" He shouted as he came charging at incredible speed with a fist engulfed in lightning.

"Him, it's him!" Carra cried, jumping behind Isa.

Isa, likewise, stood up and summoned a trio of books with a wave of her hand. "3 Spell Formation - Barrier!" All three books shot opened, projecting a yellow wall of magic just in time to stop Hino's charge cold. Carra clung to her waist, while Isa kept a reassuring hand on her shoulder. Her tired red eyes glanced between the two kids, before she looked up at Hino from behind her sheild. "What do you mean, hurt her?"

Hino got back up. "I'm warning you." He then charged at her again. "Let her go!" He shouted as lighting engulfed his fist again into the shape of a fang. "Lightning Dragon Piercing Fang!" He attacked the barrier in the center but was then repealed back and fell. Isa could notice a small tiny crack on her barrier.

Watching Hino jump back to his feet again, apparently undeterred by his two failed attempts, Isa knelt down abruptly. "Wait, wait, hold on a second." Hino paused for a moment, and Isa held up Carra's arm and rolled back her sleeve to reveal a bright green guild mark on her forearm. "Look, we're both in the same guild, ok? I'm not going to hurt her, so just tell me what's going on."

Hino stood there looking confused not knowing what just happened. "Hey Hino did you find her yet?" Spirit finally caught up to him and stopped next to his shoulder as he noticed Isa standing with the Carra. "Hey who's she?" He asked Hino.

"I don't know, twin sisters maybe." Hino responded to Spirits question guessing if he's right.

"Hino, your such an idiot..." Spirit sighed in annoyance.

Isa suddenly thought of something, and turned back to Carra again. "Wait, where's Peltin?" She didn't say anything, but the continued volley of gunshots in the distance was all the answer she needed. "Uh-oh..."

Reed attempted to slash at the man several times with his dual swords, but the man kept evading each and every one he threw.

Peltin sidestepped yet another sword strike, firing at the ground right where Reed's foot was about to land. Reed stumbled slightly, and Peltin backstopped to avoid his clumsy follow up attack. With a bit of distance between them and a bright orange glow emanating from the end of his gun, Peltin raised his arm and pulled the trigger again, sending a volley of yellow magic blasts at Reed. "Scatter Shot!"

Reed got his balance back as he cupped his hands together "Fire Make-!"

Esca then remembered as she looked at the fight with a surprised face.

"Scattered Arrows!" a large amount of flaming arrows were fired from his hands. The two attacks were about to collide until a tower of dark red flames appeared between them. The two attacks were canceled out by the sudden appearance of the flaming tower.

Not waiting for a follow up, and using the clash as a distraction, Peltin sped off down the street Hino and Carra had headed. He'd spent too long dealing with them already, and he wasn't about to wait and find out of Carra had gotten away.

A tower of dark red flames appeared in front of the man he was running towards just like what stopped his attacks. "Tower Wall!" Esca's voice shouted.

Peltin looked back at Esca, who was standing there with a serious expression.

"Please wait I believe this is a misunderstanding. The One Eyes Death." She said referring to him by his nickname.

Peltin grunted again, pointing one of his pistols at Esca. "Lady, I'm half a second from blowing a hole in ya." He growled. "Back down!"

Esca didn't flinch and kept glaring. "The girl isn't in danger, the attack was just from our fool of a teammate who misunderstood the situation. Please forgive him." She said doubting if he'll accept her apology judging by his reputation.

"Yeah, I'll believe that when I see it." He snorted.

Just as he was about to squeeze the trigger however, a voice echoed down the street. "Peltin, wait!" He through the flames just in time to see Isa running towards them, leading Carra along by the hand. "Stop fighting. She's fine, see?" She pulled Carra up beside her who, other than the puffy eyes and looking out of breath, was unharmed.

Peltin quickly fired three shots at the base of Esca's barrier, creating a gap just large enough for him to jump through. Carra ran and hugged him around the waist the second she could, and Peltin rested his hands on her shoulders for comfort. "For the record; I could have done that at any time." He said grinning back at Esca.

"Will you stop that?" Isa huffed.

Peltin rolled his eyes, but knelt down to Carra's level. "You alright?"

She sniffed, but nodded her head none the less. "I was just scared..."

Hino was standing a few feet behind isa with Spirit on his shoulder, watching them together as he grew sad for a moment. Kana then approached him. "Way to go, you turned a normal day into a disaster, typical lizard."

Kana's snappy comment got Hino angry. "At least i wasn't watching from the sidelines like a coward you stupid witch!" Hino yelled at her in anger,

"Why should i get involved in your mess! We told you to stay away from them, but no. Someone had to play the hero to impress some chick! You over grown reptile!" She yelled back in anger. The two butted heads and traded insults at each other and eventually start brawling against each other with dust surrounding them, all anyone could see was their arms and face coming out and going back in. Esca came behind them and yanked on both their ear. "OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW!" They said at the same time.

"Enough you've already cause enough trouble so stop your childish behavior." Esca demanded when she let go of their ears.

"Yes ma'am" They both said rubbing on their ears with eyes tearing up.

"Wait a second..." Isa mumbled, taking a quick headcount. "Carra, where's Chico?"

Not a second after the words passed her lips, did Hino howl out in pain "OWWWWW OW OW OW OW OW". He darted forword, jumping up and down and holding his behind, where the dog Carra had been playing with before this whole ordeal had firmly chomped down on. "SOME ONE GET THIS CRAZY DOG OFF OF ME!" He screamed in pain.

Kana pointed and laughed at him. "Thats what you get for trying to show off you loser."

"Chico, down." Carra called, probably the loudest thing they'd heard her say. The dog instantly dropped to the ground and ran into Carra's arms.

Isa giggled as Hino came to a rest, but then looked back at her companions. "C'mon, we should tell the master what happened." She glanced up at Esca, who was currently pinching the bridge of her nose in annoyance. "And... I'm really sorry, but I think you guys should come too."

"The hell are you sorry for? They came at us." Peltin snorted.

"And your the one who shot up the street." Isa huffed. "Didn't Davin tell you not to do that? even if you got into a fight?" Peltin began grumbling under his breath, but Isa began leading Carra away by the hand. "C'mon, it's this way."

"My apologies but we must be going, we can't afford to be sidetracked again. Also I'd hate to disrupt your guild with our intrusion." Esca responded.

"Esca with what just happened I think it might be best if we agree to their terms." Reed informed her.

Esca took a huge sigh, grabbed her bags and began following the other wizards with her team following after her. "Im Esca, Esca Merle the leader of this team, this Reed, Kana, and you've met Hino, and Spirit." She said pointing to each one, trying to start a conversation on the way and to get to know who they were.

"My name's Isa." She said with a small smile. "That's Carra and... I guess you've already met Peltin." The dog in Carra's arms barked, apparently realising that it had been overlooked. "Oh, and this is Chico." She spun around and continued to lead them, apparently not up for talking right now. All the while. Carra stood, right beside her, making sure she had her eye on Hino the whole time.

Next Chapter - Poor Vision

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