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Golden Sun: Nightmare of Alchemy

Chapter Two: Azrael

There was a blinding flash of light and a roar of thunder. Sheets of electric sparks came crashing down around the Tuaparang soldiers in an explosion of sight and sound.

Takeru's heart pounded in his chest as he watched the Tuaparang soldiers cry out and collapse in the blink of an eye.

The Tuaparang commander's concentration on Takeru was broken by the noise, and the darkness swarming around him dissipated with a hot angry sigh. Takeru teetered forward but caught himself and managed to stay upright.

"Excuse me, but I believe you've made a mistake," said a deep, calm voice.

There was another flash of lightning and the last of the Tuaparang, save for their leader, crumbled beneath the blow. In the lightning flash, Takeru could see the dim silhouette of a tall man wearing a ragged, billowing cape.

Then the light subsided and Takeru could observe the man fully. His long hair was dark brown, almost black, and although much of it was drawn into a ponytail, the rest of it hung like a cloak of shadow over his face. His eyes were vivid emerald green with flecks of earthy-brown around the edges, and they were focused intently on the Tuaparang commander. He wore a light tunic, leather pants, and carried a sword at his waist. His stature was dignified, precise, practiced; he had almost militant intensity.

"That man is clearly injured and exhausted. Surely you realize that the act of fighting him at his most helpless is indefensible," said the caped man. "On the other hand, you may find that I am a more suitable opponent. My name is Azrael, and it is a pleasure to be at your service."

The Tuaparang commander ran her eyes over Azrael's body from head to toe. He was lean and wiry, but the thick, ropy muscles of his bare arms hinted at raw physical strength.

"The pleasure is all mine," she purred. "My name is Diamond. If we had met under different circumstances, you might have seen the other side of me..."

She put a hand on her hip and grinned at Azrael.

"But since we met here and now, I think I have to kill you," she said, and she winked as the claws slid out from concealment in her sleeves.

"Good luck," Azrael said with a knowing smile.

Before Diamond had closed half the distance between them, she stumbled, let out a surprised moan, and collapsed in a heap.

"Now that we've taken care of that, we need to get you out of here as quickly as possible," Azrael said as he took strides towards Takeru.

"What did you...?" Takeru gestured faintly at Diamond.

"I didn't kill her, I just put her to sleep," Azrael said. "Watch her chest for a moment. If you haven't already, anyway. She's still breathing. That's another reason we need to go now."

"Thanks," said Takeru, as he gradually came to his senses.

"Can you walk?"

Takeru opened his mouth to say something else, but at that moment the psynergy vortex drained him of the last of his waking strength. He felt his mouth go dry and his eyelids sink until he was smothered in darkness and everything slipped away...

Continue to Chapter Three.