518 Berserk State
"R-RAMONNN!!!" She shouted.
No one else!
She couldn't let anyone else die!
That was the only thing in Coraline's mind as she sprinted towards Ramon as fast as her Elven legs could carry her.
"RAMON! You have to STOPPP!!"
Foolish... silly 'Miss Coraline.' Little... physically unfit 'Miss Coraline'...
What could she do, by herself? Ramon was a Metal-Rank adventurer, tried and tested in combat. She was... a paper-pusher who liked to study magic.
Why did she always insist on trying?
It's not like anyone ever wanted her help...
Tyrants ruled... criminals ran amok.
Injustice... happened, regardless of whether or not anyone realized it... regardless of whether anyone took a stand, against it.
Her world had fallen apart too many times while she stood by and watched.
She didn't want that-- not anymore.
She didn't want to quietly lose her job again... her paycheck withheld each week... false promises keeping her coming back.
Never again did she want a man she loved to... just vanish. Promising her the sun and the moon... a marriage and a move to the countryside... but ending with him never speaking to her again... just hoping that she'd... just forget.
She wanted to fight.
Even if it was stupid. Even if she was useless.
Even if there was no possible way she'd succeed.
She had to do something.
"GRRRRARRRRRRGH!!!" Ramon roared like a madman, raising his fists up to the sky. He was lost in his bloodlust. He was... unstoppable.
Coraline leaped up and grabbed at the tiefling's chainmail covered arm... a useless weight on the man's bicep.
Ramon shook, rotating his body... once-- and then again. Coraline lost her grip, and she rolled towards the edge of the deck.
The side of her ribs impacted the wood of the ship's railing, a shock of pain shooting throughout her entire body. It hurt... it hurt... so, so much... Wracked with pain, she struggled to breathe.
She stared at the grey clouds all around the ship... If she... if she fell off, that pain would stop. Everything would end.
And... maybe when she stopped falling... she'd find Felicity?
"I'LL KILL YOOUUUU, GOOOAAAAAT!!!"
Somehow, Elladan had gotten up. He hooked his legs onto Ramon's ankles, dropping the bigger man to the deck...
The half-elf half-flipped up, straddling the bigger man. With one hand wrapped around Ramon's thick neck, he raised his other to strike him.
One strike. Two. Again and again. There was hatred in those fists... and blood to cover them. Something had split-- either Elladan's hands or his former ally's bony face.
But Ramon... that man was impossibly strong. The tiefling Berserker pushed off of the deck with a single arm. It was all it took to reverse their positions, Ramon as the aggressor, Elladan as the battered victim.
Ramon turned his gaze up to the heavens... then snapped his neck downward, plowing his two ram-horns into Elladan's chest.
Bones broke. Coraline could hear the dull crunch, muted as it was by flesh.
Coraline crawled... dragging herself towards them... Her side ached terribly-- it was so hard to breathe... blood was welling up into her own mouth.
"R-ramon..." She begged... with all of her heart, "N-no! Ssstop... Please!"
Ramon drew his sword...
She had to stop him.
Ramon placed both hands on the hilt.
No... Please, no...
Ramon plunged the weapon into Elladan's stomach. The half-elf's leather armor was as good as parchment paper...
Tears fell hot down Coraline's cheeks. She... she was powerless to stop him.
Everything she'd done... everything was useless.
Ramon turned... his eyes bloodshot... his sword wet with the blood of yet another murder.
He stepped towards her...
Ramon was... invincible... unstoppable...
They... they were all going to die... and Coraline... she would be next.
She wanted to shut her eyes... even with everything that's happened, she was still afraid of death. It was going to hurt. Her whole body was hurting, already.
But... Coraline needed to see it. She needed to look death in the eyes.
She tried... She tried so very hard to save everyone she could.
...But she couldn't even save herself.
A blur of maroon red entered Coraline's vision.
She stared at Mister Lone's broad back as he'd dashed between her and the tiefling.
The bravest man she'd ever seen... swung his heavy fists, striking Ramon in the side, then in the face.
Those fists... staggered Ramon.
That... that was impossible! The tiefling was definitely in his ⌈Berserk⌋ state! Human fists were useless against that?!
Ramon swung his sword-- almost faster than Coraline could see. A scream caught in her throat. She didn't want to die-- but even more than that, she didn't want to see Lone sacrifice himself for her!
He had no reason to protect her! They didn't even know each other!
She had selfishly dragged him around, trying her best to help. He hadn't even complained once! He didn't deserve to die!
Lone stepped to the side, dodging the slash with impossible speed.
"⌈Whirl Strike!!⌋" Lone snatched one of Ramon's horns, then powered his knee into the man's gut... He reared his leg back, striking again in the same spot.
Realization struck Coraline's senses. Lone was using a Skill! He was a Metal-Ranker!
"GRAAAIIIEEEEE!" The tiefling roared turned to a high-pitched shriek as his body was sheathed in a burst of... supernatural green flames.
Coraline shielded her eyes, feeling the licks of its sweltering heat upon the back of her hands...
She heard a body hit the deck... and she heard it tumble and roll.
She looked to the side... it was Lone. The force of Mister Ramon's bloodline ability had knocked him back... and thankfully not off the ship.
But without her savior to protect her... Ramon walked slowly towards her.
Coraline stared at his feet... her eyes drifting up to the massive tiefling who towered over her.
Ramon lifted Olesya's arming sword to the sky.
Then... her ears twitched.
Clearer than anything she'd ever heard... something... snapped... It echoed in her mind.
What... what did it mean?
Lone... it was impossible... but that man... stood up. His eyes were bloodshot, he was gnashing his teeth... it was like all the mana in his body had become as berserk as the tiefling's?
He rushed back towards Ramon... and struck him in the side with his shoulder.
Behind the tiefling, the railing broke.
Ramon... and Olesya's sword... tumbled off of the Golden Eagle... and into the clouds.
...with Lone after him.