Writer note 13/05/2021: Hello everyone, friendly Dodo writer here.

As those who follow me on other social media sites might know, lately I've been devoting myself to other artistic endeavors, hence my mostly lacking presence here in Fanfiction. But when one of my favorite characters was announced for the upcoming KOF game, I recalled having this little story of sorts stored up among my side projects. Figured it could be a good time to publish it, and if enough people like it, I might go ahead and publish the other chapters too.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the reading. Have a good day and stay safe out there.


A soft chill travelled through the air, accompanied by the sound of the breeze as the wind blew across the fields. Within these, many farms and old houses resided on the fields surrounding a relatively small village.

Composed mostly of houses, a few shops, a clinic and even a small marketplace on the large central plaza, Cerbalia was not big enough to be called a town nor small enough to be known as a hamlet. Though ever-so increasing in number and most of their sources of income coming from jobs in the cities a few miles away, the people of Cerbalia did not want for much as theirs was a peaceful and quiet place to live in. Many of them even hardly worried about the world outside of their little haven, though this was not always the case.

Among the youth, many held a thirst for adventure or patriotism, a desire for a more exciting life outside the peace and quiet of Cerbalia and a chance to prove themselves through service in the ranks of the regular army. With this mentality many were quick to enlist themselves, sometimes doing so right after graduating from high school. Today was one such day.

"Alright! I'll be on my way now!" Said the confident youth with a military duffle bag on his back "Take care, y'all!"

The youth waved at the friends and family who came to send him off and wish him good luck, his friends holding a banner with his name in it. Roberto Stefano.

Meanwhile, from a distance, another youth watched the whole thing taking place in silence. A skinnier and far less physically imposing young man, watching as the soon-to-become soldier got up on the truck and went his way. The farewell party then slowly disbanded and left the bus station. Likewise, the young man faced forward once more and went along his way.

He walked along the cobblestone street while carrying an old wooden box, his mind still pondering about what he just witnessed.

The men and women who left for the army were sent off with great hopes and expectations, and those who made it back alive were warmly received as heroes. Although fate did not smile upon all of them, as some would come back gravely injured or simply never come back at all.

He never quite understood why they did it, why they traded the safety and peace of the village for the chaotic and constant threat of death and horrifying mutilation.

The question kept bouncing around within his mind but he was quick to dismiss it as he arrived at his family's antique shop. He then opened the door and got inside before closing it behind him with a ring of the bell above it, dozens of old pieces of furniture and outdated contraptions sat around the place.

Upon walking towards the counter he saw his father, a middle-aged man with grey-ish hair already starting to grow thin on the scalp, greeting him with a smile as he eyed the box which the young man was carrying.

"About time. I was wondering what took you so long, Mike" Said the middle-aged man with his arms crossed.

"It's a long road, you know? Like...A looooong road from here to the city" Replied Mike while putting the box on the counter "Didn't exactly help that I had to carry this thing on a bicycle either"

"Yeah, well. It's not like I'm letting you use the truck after what happened last time..."

"How was I supposed to know I put the car in reverse!?" Quickly argued the young man with both hands gesturing his confusion and frustration "Seriously, how is anyone supposed to figure those things out!? There's like seven gears but only four directions!"

Mike's father was quick to dismiss his son's attempts at justifying his lack of driving skills and instead focused on opening the wooden box, revealing an old telephone dial that was stored inside.

Upon gently taking it out of the wooden container the middle-aged man carefully analyzed it before putting it down on the counter.

"Hm...Definitely a few decades old, maybe from 50 or 60 years ago I'd say" He stated "Not old enough to sell as an antique, but I know someone who makes good money selling vintages like this one. I bet he'll be willing to buy this for a reasonable price"

Mike's father took a pensive moment of thinking before taking the old telephone and putting it under the counter with a few other vintage items.

"Thanks for bringing it here, Mike"

"Sure, no problem" Replied the young man "Anything else you need?"

"Ah, now that you mention it. Mind doing one last delivery for the day?" Mentioned the middle-aged man "A package arrived this morning. It's for mister Victor Suri"

"That old guy. He's still buying you vintage army stuff?" Asked Mike while sweat dropping "I'm amazed he even has room for anything else in that tiny house at this point..."

Victor Suri, a war veteran born in Cerbalia who spent most of his life serving in the regular army before eventually retiring and coming back a few years ago.

"I know he can seem a bit off every now and again, but he pays top dollar for this old military equipment. And he even pays in advance too"

Mike's father went to the back of the shop as he spoke and remained there for a short moment before eventually coming back with a wooden box, though this one was a tad larger than the telephone's box.

"I'd go do the delivery myself but these old legs of mine are not what they used to be" Stated the middle-aged man "So? Would you do it for me?"

"Alright, I'll do it" Said Mike with certain reluctance before taking the box from the counter "Uwah!? Heavy!"

"Yup. These old-school army radios are some pretty heavy stuff"

Mike struggled to keep a good hold of the heavy box before finally gaining some proper balance with it and turning around towards the door, which his father so kindly opened for him.

"Have a safe trip. Also, remember to be back by dinnertime"

Slowly but steadily Mike walked out of his family's store and headed out to the old cottage just outside the village's limit which Victor called home and where he lived for as long as Mike could remember. His house was located on a small hill close to the woods, which granted him both solitude and a fair distance from everyone else, which seemed to be exactly what he wanted.

Though returning soldiers and veterans usually received a warm treatment most of the villagers were inclined towards keeping their distance from Victor due to his rather surly behavior, which many assumed was a result of him going senile from old age. Mike knew this was not the case, as he often delivered packages of vintage military gear and used those recurring visits to engage in conversation with the old man.

Though he was indeed one to display a sour and unfriendly disposition, Mike couldn't help but feel like Victor was a lonely person, even if the old veteran himself didn't seem to mind it all that much. Perhaps this was what made him feel a bit of empathy for the old timer as he himself was not exactly one to spend much time with others.

With that said, it didn't make the walk there any easier on him. Especially the upwards slope leading to his house.

"Old man...If you have the buck to pay for this sort of retro stuff, then you should spend it on an electric staircase or something!" Said Mike to himself while panting as he hunched forward, resting the box on his back.

By the time he reached the veteran's front door, Mike was already sweating as he knocked on it.

"Hey, Old man! It's Mike! I brought that new radio you bought" He called out before looking at the box "Actually, it's an old radio but you get the idea!"

A short moment of silence took place before Mike heard the sound of a series of locks being undone followed by the creaking of the door slowly opening, a slim opening through which an elderly man gazed at him with piercing eyes that eventually diverted to the box laying down next to him.

"Wait a minute" Said the old veteran as he closed the door, followed by the sound of even more locks before it finally opened fully "Get in, quick..."

Picking the box back up again, Mike walked into the house where he witnessed the vast collection of vintage military gear and tech Victor gathered over the years. Surprisingly well ordered and spread around the place at that considering the house was not all that big.

One could even say he had a miniature military base of his own in his living room.

"Let me see it..."

Eagerly Victor opened the box after Mike put it down on a table and looked at the radio inside, analizing it in a very similar way to which his father did with the telephone earlier before looking back at the young man.

"Looks good...Hopefully still works"

"Work? Are you gonna use it for something?" Asked Mike with a piqued curiosity.

"None of your business, sonny"

"(Figures he'd say that)" Thought the young man while sweat dropping before looking at the large collection around them "Hey, old man...I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but don't you think it's getting kind of cramped around here?"

"What about it?"

"I'm just saying, why not move in to live in the village?" Suggested Mike "You've got the buck to pay for all of this stuff, bet you could get a bigger house to fit all of it in and still have some room to spare"

Victor merely scoffed at Mike's suggestion without even looking at him.

"Bah! I'm better off here" He replied "That bunch of riff-raff treat me like I'm an old coot gone senile. I'd rather stay up here and keep them off of my back"

"Don't you ever get lonely up here, though?"

"Better off alone than with bad company, Sonny" Replied the old man.

"Yeah...I guess..." Said Mike while scratching the back of his head with a lowered gaze "Well, in that case I guess I'll be on my way then"

Mike always attempted to engage in conversation but usually failed about as spectacularily as he did just now, though deep down he felt the old veteran was slowly warming up to him.

Though he wished to try and talk more with Victor Mike had other places he wished to go to before sundown, and so gave the old veteran his regards before leaving.

After a short trip back home to inform his father about the delivery being made he took his old sketchbook along with a bottle of water and made a trip to the forest. The walk through was quiet and generally peaceful. The wind blowing along, the singing of birds, the running water and the crunching of leaves and sticks under his feet as he walked, all of these sounds combined in an almost symphonical harmony.

Beyond their peaceful ambience there was little else to say in terms of natural wonder when it came to the forests around Cerbalia, but there was one thing of particular interest residing within it. An old shrine of sorts built by his family back when they moved to live in Cerbalia, with "shrine" being more of a name given to it by his parents when in reality the so called shrine was hardly anything more than a small pile of rocks gathered around a much larger one with the words "Livenstella's priestess" eteched onto the stone surface. It had a couple of candles which his father replaced with new ones every now and again along with a small flowerbed surrounding the main stone which he made sure to water daily as well. This was something he did consistently ever since Mike could remember but the duty quickly fell onto him as he visited it on an almost daily basis for a few years now.

Upon finally reaching their family's little monument Mike kneeled down in front of it to check the candles, they were commonly placed on the ground with little to no harm as local wildlife seemed uninterested in disturbing them. The flowers were growing just fine as well, a flowerbed composed of Pink Carnations and Purple Hyacinths planted by his parents over the years.

Taking hold of the old watering can left by the rocks, Mike poured the bottle of water into it and then proceeded to water the small garden as he always did in an almost automatic way. Once the duty was done, he sat down by a tree nearby and looked at his surroundings, the shrine was located deep on a hill within the forest to keep it secret from the rest of the village, making it a somewhat tedious trip but also gave the chance for plenty of nice views to enjoy during the earlier or later hours of the day. Many of which made for excellent drawing material as well.

With his sketchbook and pencil on hand Mike began to sketch, letting time flow by as he focused on recreating the visage of the village onto the paper. Minutes became hours and by the time he came to realize it, the sun was almost completely hidden behind the horizon.

"(Better head home soon. Mom and Dad will worry if I don't get there before night arrives)" He tought to himself before closing the sketchbook and getting up on his feet.

The walk back was about the same as before with the only difference being the much darker surroundings. Mike was generally confident he could still make his way back to the village without any major issues but accidentally tripped on his way down the hill and dropped his sketchbook, which fell down the side of the path

"Oh no!" He exclaimed as got back up on his feet and looked at the direcction it fell from.

Unfortunately it was far too dark for him to see clearly, and with the progressively vanishing sunlight visibility was only getting worse.

Eventually Mike was forced to go back home as he feared the darkness would make it impossible to find his way back.

After getting back he had dinner with his parents, though his mind was far too focused on his sketchbook to pay any attention to the food.

"Mike, are you okay?" Questioned his mother "You seem really distracted today"

"Ah, I'm sorry. I'm just a little tired, that's all"

Both of his parents looked at each other before looking at him again.

"Mike" Said his father "Son, I've been meaning to ask you this for a while now but...What exactly are you planning to do? For the future, I mean"

"The future?"

"It's been almost two years since you graduated highschool" He continued "Don't get me wrong, I appreciate you helping me out in the shop but don't you want to, I don't know, go to college or maybe get a job in the city?"

Mike took a moment to think while fiddling with his fork before answering

"I don't know, really" He replied with his chin resting on one hand "College isn't really my thing. The city's cool and all but I'm not interested in moving there either"

"If it's a job then he can just stay here and take over the family business" Said his mother while piercing a piece of food with her fork "The city's full of dangerous people, not to mention that with the constant war between the regular army and the rebels you never know which city's gonna turn into the next warzone. It's a lot safer here in this village"

"He can't stay cooped up in this village forever, Margaret..." Said Mike's father "There's a whole world out there to see"

"Yeah, a world caught up in the middle of a war!" Snarled back the mother "If you really think there's so much to see out there then go see it yourself! My son is staying here where it's safe!"

Mike's parents kept going back and forth, getting more and more caught up on an argument in which he seemingly lost any right to pitch in his own two cents.

knowing they would most definitely keep going at it for at least an hour or so more he proceeded to take a shower before heading to bed with the idea of searching for his sketchbook tomorrow, but the more he tried to force himself into sleep the more he kept thinking about it. The idea of a wild animal happening upon it and ripping it appart or sudden rain making the paper turn soggy and unusable kept lingering in his mind before he finally caved in and decided to go search now.

As his parents slept soundly he snuck out with a flashlight in hand and headed for the forest. Just like he imagined everything was pitch black but the light of his flashlight was more than enough for him to get a more or less clear view of his surrounding. Though unlike the day, the forest during nighttime was eerily silent and made him feel extremely uneasy.

"(Let's see...I think it was somewhere around here...)" He tought while looking around.

Pushing his way through the bushes surrounding the path he slowly walked down the slope, after what felt like hours of searching he finally found it upon pushing a bush aside. The cover was a little dirty from mud and leaves but the drawings and blank pages inside were unharmed much to his relief.

"(Thank goodness, I was really worried for a moment there)" He thought with a sigh of relief.

As he held the book in his hands, Mike quietly looked at it before suddenly recalling his parent's arguing.

"(My future, huh?)" He pondered "(It's not like I haven't thought about it myself, It's just...)"

Lacking interest in a more adventurous life on the world outside but also not all that interested in the complacent life within the village either, Mike felt stuck in a constant loop. His true issue wasn't an inability to come up with an answer, but rather that he simply had no interest in forming said answer.

This train of thought was cut short after the sudden sound of branches cracking in the distance caught his attention. Upon turning around again he saw what looked like two flashlight beams from the other side of a row of trees slowly approaching his way. An ominous feeling quickly spread through his body and caused him to turn off his own flashlight before hiding inside a bush.

After they got a few feet closer Mike's ears caught wind of two male voices speaking.

"Hey, you sure it came from here?" Said one of the two men.

"I'm telling you, I saw a light coming from this way" Said the second one, his voice a tad rougher.

"Maybe it's one of our guys? I mean, the closest army base is miles away from this forest"

"Maybe...Still, better safe than sorry"

The two men ketp approaching Mike's direcction and looked around the area. As his eyes got more accustomed to the dark, the young man was able to notice they were dressed in military fatigues and carrying what looked like rifles. But it was the band on their arms what truly clued him as to the true identity of these unknown individuals.

"(Rebel soldier!? But why!?)" He thought with a shocked expression "(This is the middle of nowhere!)"

"Did you find anything?"

"No, nothing over here" Replied the second soldier "What about you?"

"Nothing...Are you sure you saw something?"

"Maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me again" Said the second soldier "Come on, let's head back to base"

"Ugh, I hate night patrol shifts"

"Yeah, tell me about it..."

Both men eventually turned around and went back the same way they came. Mike saw this as an opportunity to run away but the moment he took a step a branch broke underneath.

His blood froze and his heart went up into his throat as he heard both soldier turn around once more, this time with their weapons aimed.

"Who's there!?" Questioned one of the soldiers "You better come out or we'll shoot!"

"Wa-Wait!"

With no other choice, Mike came out of the bush with his hands in the air.

Both men then approached him with their rifles raised.

"Who the hell are you!? What are you doing here!?"

"I-I'm a local from the village on the other side of the hill. I lost my sketchbook earlier during a walk around the area and came to look for it"

"Sounds fishy..."

"I'm not lying, I swear!" He replied while lightly shaking the book in one of his hand "Here, see?"

Both soldiers looked at each other before one got closer and took the sketchbook from his hand to look at it.

"Alright, I guess you're not lying" He said before putting the sketchbook in one of his pockets "Now come on, you're coming with us"

"Bu-But I-!"

Before Mike could even properly respond the soldier hit him in the gut with the stock of his rifle, the impact strong enough to push all the air out of him and put him on his knees.

"I'm not asking you, I'm ordering you!" Said the soldier before taking aim at him with his rifle "Now get up and move!"

The young man coughed a few times before eventually getting back up on his feet and doing as he was told.

He was then forced to walk in front of one of the soldiers while following another one with both hands tied in front of him before they eventually came upon a large encampment full of soldiers. At the very least he could count about thirty of them or so.

"(So many!)" He thought while breaking a cold sweat "(Why are there so many rebel soldiers? How long have they even been here?)"

The sheer amount of rebel soldiers initially caught Mike by surprise, but he was quick to snap out of it and look at the surrounding area. This unfortunately caused him to receive another blow, this time on the back.

"Keep your eyes forward! This is no tourist spot!"

Mike could feel the piercing gaze of the soldiers within the base as he walked by, gazes similar to those of Victor but coated in much stronger animosity.

After a moment or two they reached a tent on the center, one of the two soldiers went into it and shortly afterwards came out with a middle-aged man dressed in an officer's uniform. On one hand he was holding Mike's sketchbook.

The officer took a good look at him before speaking up.

"So you're a local from the area?" He said with a notable uninterested look in his eyes while analizing his face carefully "Say...How old are you, exactly?"

"Ni-Nineteen..."

"I see. Such a shame" Commented the Officer before looking at the soldier "Take him to the other tent and "dispose" of him...Quietly. Last thing we need right now is to attract unwanted attention"

"Yes sir!"

"(Eh?)" Thought Mike with a blank stare.

Everything around him suddenly collapsed as he heard those words. His heart sped up and his face went even paler than usual. He could feel himself shiver from head to toe, yet no words would come out of his mouth.

"Come on, move it!"

As he felt the touch of the soldier's hand on his arm his body and mind suddenly awakened, causing him to quickly step back from him and toss his whole body forward, the impact strong enough to make the soldier stumble and fall to the floor. The second soldier attempted to tackle him but Mike quickly tossed a desperate kick, making him fall back as well and crash against the officer.

Without even thinking for a second he turned around and ran away through the base and back into the forest. One of the soldiers who was currently armed aimed his rifle and pulled the triger, but the bullet missed Mike by inches and hit the three close-by instead.

"You fools, don't shoot guns! You'll alert the whole valley of our presence!" Exclaimed the officer while pushing the soldier away and getting back up "Hurry up and catch him! If our location is discovered the whole operation will fail!"

The whole base became a ruckus as a group of soldiers quickly chased after the young man, who was running as fast as his legs could carry him.

He couldn't if he was going the right way or even any way at all, his mind was completely clouded by fear and the sound of his own heartbeat ringing on them, all he knew was that he had to keep running. No matter how much his legs ached or how much his lungs burned up from overexertion, the moment he stopped, the moment he got caught would be the moment he'd die, he'd die without knowing why, a death without any meaning, without any reason to be.

"(I'm gonna die...I don't wanna die! I don't wanna die!)"

Step after step, the strain on his body got worse but his mind completely ignored it and focused solely on the sounds of the soldier's voices. He could still hear them behind him, chasing after him to kill him.

He kept running and running before eventually tripping and falling on his face.

"Ouch!"

Mike took a few deep breaths before lifting up his head and looking forward. His eyes had to strain themselves a little against the darkness, but it'd be impossible for him to not recognize what laid in front him.

"That's...The shrine of the priestess?" He thought while looking at his family's shrine.

Without realizing it, he ended up running uphill towards the spot he was so instinctively used to seek out for sketching in contemplating peace and quiet. Yet it might very well become the place of his demise right now, as upon turning around he saw the group of soldiers finally caught up with him.

"Finally got you..." Said one of them while pulling out a knife "I'll do you a favor and make it quick, so you better not scream"

"N...No..."

The young man craweld backwards, attempting to get away yet it was in vain. His strained legs could no longer move, he couldn't even speak from the sheer fear he felt. The only thing he could feel was the pounding on his chest along with the sudden wetness and warmth coming from his pants.

With one hand on his neck, the soldier soldier slowly approached the blade to Mike's neck in preparation to cut it open with one clear slash.

"Sorry kiddo. You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time!"

"I could say the same about all of you..."

"Huh?"

A female voice echoed in the air before a sudden gust passed by. Just for a split second Mike could have sworn he saw a glint of something similar to a silvery-blue blade from behind the soldier's head before he suddenly dropped down on the floor.

As his fellow soldiers and the young man looked at him, they saw a deep cut on his neck. Someone literally just sliced off his throat in a split second.

"Wha-!?"

The group of rebels quickly looked around in a panic before the same blue-ish glint from before emerged from the darkness, heading straight in a circular pattern towards another soldier and striking him on the chest before a series of blows took him down for good.

This process repeated itself a couple of times, the sword-like sickle of light emerging from the darkness and striking the soldiers before a series of punches and kicks took them down. Mike could faintly see the silhouette of a person dashing through the darkness as it moved from one soldier to the others, dispatching them with such insane speed and precision that his eyes could hardly keep up. This same speed made it nearly impossible for him to see who or what this silhouette was.

Once the last soldier fell, the unknown assailant turned to face Mike and lifted up one hand to its ear.

"Reporting in. I took down a squad of rebels, they seemed to be chasing a hostage. Most likely a local from the area"

As she spoke Mike clearly realized it was a female voice.

She remained silent for a few seconds before finally speaking once more.

"Roger that..."

After lowering her hand the woman silently approached him and lifted up the same hand she used to strike down that entire squad.

"Wa-wait! Stop!"

Upon fearing he'd end up suffering the same fate Mike quickly tried to put his arms in front of him as a last ditch form of protection yet upon hearing the slashing sound he felt no pain at all.

He kept his eyes closed for a few seconds before finally opening them in confusion and looking at the figure again, which simply stood there while looking at him. He then realized the restrains on his arms were cut off.

At the same time the sun was slowly beginning to rise from the horizon. The star's intense light bathing the forest and revealing his surroundings.

The trees, the skies, the dead bodies of the soldiers and most importantly, the woman who took them out.

She had white skin, long blue hair tied up on a ponytail and wore what looked like green military shorts and a jacket along with yellow earrings. Her piercing blue eyes had a mixture of calmness yet also an intensity unlike anything he had seen ever before in his life. Looking into them was almost like staring at a lion in the face, or in this case a lioness. A vicious and unrelentless beast yet also filled a sense of dignity and strength worthy of admiration.

But beyond these powerful eyes and strength there was something else, something which left the young man baffled.

"(She's...She's beautiful...)" He thought, this being the only thing that his mind could process at the moment.

Just looking at her caused Mike to suddenly feel at ease. He could still feel his heart pounding, but no longer out of fear. It was a strangely nostalgic yet also unkown sensation at the same time, one which felt puzzling yet he didn't seem to care all too much about at the moment.

"Are you injured?" Questioned the woman.

"I-I...I...Erm..." Replied Mike, stuttering on his own words.

The woman looked at him, her stoic expression made it nearly impossible for him to figure out wheter she was confused or simply unamused at his lack of response. Her eyebrows rose as she took notice of the cut on his neck, however.

Without any warning she kneeled down in front of him and took a much closer look. The sudden proximity caused Mike's eye to widen like plates, her face now being so much closer to his caused him to turn red like a tomato though she hardly seemed to notice it. Or perhaps she did and simply didn't care.

"There's some bleeding, but it doesn't look fatal" She said while looking at the wound "It should heal by itself within a few days"

After her analysis was done the woman got back up on her feet and placed one hand on her ear again.

"Reporting in. Hostage has been freed, he showed minor injuries but nothing life-threatening. Resuming mission..."

She looked at him one more time before facing the other direction and walking away. This was the moment when Mike finally managed to react.

"Wa-Wait...!"

He tried calling out but this went by unheard by the woman, who inmediately dashed off into the forest right towards the direcction of rebel camp.

Mike remained there, baffled at what just happened for a moment or two before finally getting back up. Without even realizing it himself he began to head in the same direction as her, straight back towards the rebel base.

On the way there his mind began to be plagued again by the fear of death, yet this did not stop him from going. All he could think of was that blue-haired woman.

Even if she was able to take down those few soldiers, there was no way she could deal with the dozens still within the rebel camp. But he was soon proven very, very wrong.

"Wha-"

The base once filled with armed rebel soldiers was now a complete wreck. Many of the boxes and pieces of gear were either scattered around or shattered to pieces and the corpses of dead rebels littered the area, and this only increased in numbers as he ventured deeper into the now decimated base.

"No way...She took them all out?"

After reaching the center of the camp and finding the officer's tent, he went inside and saw him lying dead on the floor. Judging by his expression he saw her coming but hardly had a chance to fight back.

Next to him laid his sketchbook, partly into the growing stain of blood coming out of the body.

He kneeled down to get it, and then looked at the blood stains on the cover with certain disgust before attempting to clean it up a piece of cloth he found lying over the table.

After recovering his sketchbook and getting up, he heard the sounds of fighting outside of the tent and quickly headed out. Following the noises he ran into a group of rebels armed with knives charging at a trio, one of them was the woman from before while the two others were two bulky men, one wearing a bandana who kept sending people flying merely by punching them while the other wore a cap and sunglasses, this one seemed more inclined to toss and grapple whatever unlucky enemy got caught by him.

Before long the entire group of rebels was down for the count and only the trio remained.

"I think that was the last of them" Said the man with sunglasses.

"What a waste of time!" Commented the man with the bandana after clicking his tongue "Since they were the rebels I figured we'd get a good fight out of it but they were all a bunch of whimps"

"Mission complete. Returning to base" Reported the woman before her eyes caught sight of Mike

"Hm? What's wrong?" Asked the bandana man before turning his head and seeing the young man "Ah! There was still one left!?"

"(Oh boy...I have a bad feeling about this)" Thought Mike while sweat dropping.

"No, that's not a soldier. He's the hostage I spotted earlier"

"Now that you mention it, he's not wearing an uniform" Commented the man with one hand on his chin before walking towards Mike "Hey, buddy. The heck you doing here? This ain't no amusement park"

"I...I..."

Upon standing close to each other, the difference in body size was like putting a peeble right in front of a boulder. Just the act of having him within arm's reach was intimidating by itself, but fortunately he seemed to back off about as quickly as arrived upon seeing the young man presented no threat.

"Well, whatever. Just make sure to buzz off before the regular army shows up to do clean-up"

"Alright, let's go back to base and report" Said the man wearing sunglasses.

The trio nodded to each other before walking away.

As they took more and more distance, Mike's eyes remained focused on the woman. He couldn't just sit still and do nothing. At the very least there was one thing he wished to know.

"He-Hey! Wait a minute!" He called out, trying to speak as steadily and firmly as he could.

"What? What do you want?"

The young man took a deep breath before taking a step forward and speaking out.

"I just...Wanted to know your name"

"Mine?" Asked the bandana man while pointing at himself with a raised eyebrow.

"No. Hers" Replied Mike, this time pointing at her.

Both men looked at the blue-haired woman, who didn't seem to show much of a reaction at the question before speaking up.

"Leona"

"Are you from the army?"

"No. We're from the Ikari warriors" Replied the bandana man this time "And that's about all you get to know"

With that blunt statement from the bandana man the trio then walked away once more and left Mike alone in the now destroyed base. With the name he was just given to ponder about.