XXXVII. The Heat of Battle

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The four young Gifted apprehensively stood still, watching as the two Gods got up from where they landed by the trees. Both noticed them, but returned their attention to each other.

"You're making children fight for you?" Bolt asked, "And here I thought you couldn't stoop any lower."
"They volunteered," Ryū corrected, "You will be stopped soon enough, Takeshi."
"We'll just see about that."

Their conversation was cut short, for Bolt noticed an ice beam hurling straight towards him. He teleported out of the way as it hit a tree behind where he once stood, teleporting a few feet behind Ryū. He noticed Lena with her hand outstretched, and couldn't help but snicker.

"Did you really think you could just freeze me and all would be well and done?" he asked.
Lena didn't reply, she just glared.
Bolt then noticed his frozen Gifted surrounding them.
The four Gifted saw him give a small smile, and then turned to the sound of lightning crashing down on their frozen opponents, including Jace. The lightning broke the ice apart, setting them free.
"They'll keep you from annoying me," Bolt sneered, only to lean back as a fireball suddenly rushed past him.

Ryū then came running at him with flaming fists, swinging punches left and right. Bolt swiftly moved side to side, dodging each one, before finally kneeing Ryū in the gut. Ryū backed up, one hand over his stomach.

Lena, Janice, and the twins however, were dealing with four lightning Gifted at once.
Dai had made an ice shield and ran at one of them, blocking his lightning attacks and eventually rammed into him, knocking him down.
Dai then fired an ice beam and froze the Gifted to the ground.
Lena was dodging lightning attacks sent by Jace, and firing ice beams right back at him.
Jace dodged them by barrel rolling underneath them and sending a short zap of lightning at Lena's feet.
It hit her ankle, the sharp tingle throwing her off balance.
Jace used this opportunity to throw a lightning bolt from the ground, hitting her in the center of the torso.
This knocked her to the ground, groaning at the pain.

Jace stood up and slowly walked over to her, standing over her, with lightning crackling in his hands.
Lena just looked up at him, fear and sadness overtaking her.
"I'm sorry," she said, and hurriedly grabbed his ankle, freezing him over.
Once it was done, she took a moment to recover as the others incapacitated the other lightning Gifted once again.

However, the ground suddenly rocked, knocking Lena and the others to the ground. She looked over to see Bolt had slammed Ryū into the ground, forming a small crater. Ryū then grabbed his arms and flew upwards, pulling him with them.

The four Gifted rejoined together, watching the two Gods soar up into the sky.
"We need to help him!" Kai said.
"Are you stupid? We'd die against The Bolt!" Janice countered.
"If we keep our distance and our wits about us, we can definitely help," Dai suggested, "That guy needs to go back to wherever he came from, otherwise this'll never end well."
"Let's do it, then," Lena said, "Two of us can fly, after all."
"Also," Kai said, staring down at Janice, "Call me stupid again, and see what happens."
Janice looked back at him for a moment, then crossed her arms, looking away.

"It's settled then," Dai said, "Lena, mind carrying me? I don't think you and Janice would make a good pair."
Lena rolled her eyes, cracking a small smile, "Yes, yes."
She sprouted her water wings, and lifted Dai up under the arms, carrying him upwards to where Bolt and Ryū were going at it.
Kai then reluctantly offered his back for Janice to hold onto him piggyback style. Once she grabbed on, he used his fire to lift himself up and soar after them.

🌊

Meanwhile, Luke, Aria, and Melany were heading towards the New Haven campus from the side, seeing that it was still standing.
"At least New Haven looks fine," Luke said optimistically.
"Yeah! Maybe all the lightning Gifted didn't make it over here yet," Aria said.
"I doubt it," Melany countered, "There were people over here during the tournament, and I don't know if Ms. Danford got the word to the faculty over here."
"She had to have," Aria replied, "It's not like this isn't an emergency."

Just then, they saw Raina get thrown over the building, catching herself midair with her fire, and then going back over it, as well as a few Gifted running from the sides of the building.
"Looks like Raina found something," Luke said.
"Let's get over there," Melany suggested, and the three started running over to the campus.
They ran past all the running Gifted, around the building, only to see Raina and a few other Gifted fighting off what looked like most of the enslaved lightning Gifted.

"About time you guys showed up!" Raina shouted angrily, as she socked a lightning Gifted in the jaw.
None of the three said anything, they just took to action.

Melany formed vine whips to grapple two lightning Gifted and pull them over to her. Once close enough, she jumped up and hit them both with a jump spinning kick.
Luke made a war hammer out of stone and started using it to fend off a few lightning Gifted.
Aria made wave after wave, sweeping each lightning Gifted she hit off their feet.

They noticed some of the faculty were helping fight off the Gifted, including Jack North and Brendan Sterling.
"There's too many of them!" North shouted as he froze another Gifted.
"We can't let them destroy New Haven!" Sterling retorted, "Keep giving it all you got!"

Raina then jumped forward and blew fire breath at the Gifted, forcing them to take a step back.
"This is hard, considering we obviously can't kill them," Raina said, "Freezing them seems to work."
"Not all of us are ice Gifted, though," Luke added, having ran up during the conversation.
"We'll figure it out," North said as he fired another ice beam, "Defend New Haven the best you can!"

Luke then felt a presence on his back, and noticed Aria had her back to him.
"Mind if I watch your back?" she asked.
"Not at all," Luke smiled, and the two kept fending off the lightning Gifted together.

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