Clair and Raki watched from the top of the cliff, as Helen, Clair's reluctant companion, soared down the side of the mountain and landed in the lake below.
She had her weapon drawn and seemingly rushed the man bathing naked in a near waterfall.
"Take this, yoma scum!" Helen roared, charging through the shallow lake in a few steps and swinging her sword at the blonde man's neck.
"Hm?" the blonde man said, seeing the armoured girl rushing him. He stood naked with the waterfall pouring water on him, covering his waist down from view.
"Hello," he waved slowly with his left hand, a look of nonchalant on his face.
The young woman's huge sword stopped less than an inch from the left side of the man's neck. If she hadn't stopped, it might have cut through his neck and his left forearm that was waving.
"Hm?" He said, slowly looking at the girl's sword and then the wielder in front of him.
Clair and Raki watched with anticipation from the top of the cliff wall.
As if his brain was processing all that took place, the tall blonde suddenly yelled. "Wha- what are you doing? Whats with the sword?! Are you here to KILL ME?"
Helen smirked, grunting as she lowered her weapon and took a step back. "See? This guy is harmless as could be. Plus he's an idiot."
Clair frowned. Raki looked over at her in time to see she wasn't satisfied.
Clair, #47, grabbed Raki in her arms and leaped off the cliff, leaving the green grass and woods behind as they descended beside the rocky wall face and plummeted towards the lake and bay below.
Landing in the water, Clair held Raki and gently set him down.
Clair walked towards the naked man.
"Whoa! Another cute girl," the tall blonde man said, blushing and scratching the back of his head as Clair approached.
"Hello, sorry for us interrupting you," Clair said, moving towards him and subtly forcing Helen away from him to make room for her. "My friend and I wish to speak with you, when you're not busy."
"I can always make time for a cute lady," the male replied with a big, shameless smile.
Clair stayed a few feet from him, studying him.
In a dark cavern, somewhere underground
"Milord, the Proto Dragon is approaching the time to give birth. Soon its spawn will be ready for your devices," a lanky, green creature said. He looked like a skinny reptilian humanoid with long arms and legs, crawling on all fours. The creature had a mask over the top half of his face that went into a hooded cape. Only his purple eyes, were shown through the holes in the mask.
A figure sitting on a throne in the vast cave looked at the minion. "Very well"
Fully dressed, Vash sat on top of a small boulder, a few meters from the lake.
The blonde young man was wearing black, fitting pants, boots and a black tank top.
Clair and Raki were standing nearby on the soft yellow ground of the lake's shore. Helen was leaning over the edge of the shore, gazing at her own reflection in the water.
Helen knew what she was looking at. A killer, a human monster that slayed monsters. That was what she was. A step away from being a demon.
However, this blonde man. He was no demon!
Trudging heavily towards Clair, with the speed and power of lightning, Helen barely restrained herself from grabbing the lower rank Clair's shirt as she spat, "What are you doing wasting our time? I just proved he's not a threat! Any yoma would have protected himself from getting killed, or attacked me and run away! This guy was defenseless!"
Clair kept her composure as the young woman yelled at her. Keeping her composure was practically Clair's specialty.
"He did protect himself," Clair said calmly.
"Huh? Helen asked, looking at #47 worried that she might actually be going crazy.
"He waved at you when you were going to attack him," Clair explained. "Look at his arm"
Vash looked surprised, then looked down at his arm in unison with the enraged Helen.
Vash's left arm, all the way up to the shoulder, was covered in a metal, bionic arm that looked like it was the farthest thing possible from being organic.
"So what?" Helen asked. "He has a creepy arm." Then it hit her. Did he use that arm to block my sword?
Helen jumped back, now regarding the tall man that was sitting lazily on a giant rock in front of them completely different. "Shit! Who are you?"
The blonde male just smiled with a dorky face. "I told you! I was just saying hi. Im flatter you guys think so much me. Seriously, I was just saying hello. Dont get me wrong, I know its hard not to mistake me for a genius... But I think you girls are overdoing it."
A butterfly swam through the air, fluttering its wings as Raki watched it fly by.
Clair glanced at Raki, then looked at the man again.
"Level with me," Clair stated, looking into Vash's eyes. "I know you're an Awakened Being. But you show no desire to harm the people around you, not even bounty hunters, from what I've heard. Why is that?"
Vash looked back at her.
For the first time, he looked serious. His eyes covered in shadow, he grinned. "You really want to know about me?"
Raki and Helen jumped, looking surprised by the sudden chill in the atmosphere.
Clair stared at him.
"Then I guess I'll be candid with you..." The man breathed slowly.
Standing, the tall man towered over Clair.
Clair winced, frozen for a moment by his presence.
Helen reached for the hilt of her sword, in a wide stance, ready to dodge.
The blonde man raised his arm, revealing what he had in his hand - a finger pointing at Clair!
With his finger in her face, Vash declared. "You're the cutest girl I've seen all day!"
Time seemed to freeze. And the background scenery went completely white.
Clair looked surprised, her eyebrows lifting and her lips parted.
Helen took a minute, trying to understand what was going on, then clenched her fist and started to growl
Raki ran at Vash, starting to punch him in the ribs and then bite his human arm. "Get away, you freak! Clair doesn't like you!" Raki growled, biting into Vash's arm.
"Ow! Ow! Not my good arm!" Vash exclaimed, trying to shake the teenage boy off.
Helen then came up behind him and knocked Vash in the head with her fist. Vash collapsed like a crumbling wall.
"You imbecile..." Helen growled, her face red. "Look, I knocked him out. Lets tie him up somewhere so we can interrogate him."
"Yeah!" Raki agreed, sticking his out at the fallen male, who was currently at a smaller height than him.
Clair just stood there as the two dragged him off.
She looked at his red coat that was beside the rock he had been sitting on.