The noises approaching the White Masks were subtle, but no so subtle as to avoid complete concealment. Especially when tree branches were being broken by themselves, Lin being the first one to identify the fact they were under attack. It was only natural that the owner of the castle would have some form of security for what should have been private property. It was clear now their attackers were invisible to the human eye but this was rectified swiftly. Caprice's magic blasted the area Lin pointed to with a coating of flour. An inhuman hiss responded and the ground underfoot sifted with footfalls leaping away. However, one of the creatures wasn't quick enough and a good helping of flour marked its arm, long and gangly. The "floating" arm leapt up to a tree, ready to strike down with its fellow invisible siblings.
As the flour dusted the air in front of them, Lin managed to spot something it had revealed. It looked close to a long sickly branch but was clearly moving in a way that revealed it to be the arm of one of the advancing creatures. “Got ya!”
She muttered. Not wasting a moment, Lin clenched her fists and rushed forward towards the tree. Once she was close enough, she pulled her arm back, crouched down, and leapt into the air attempting to strike her opponent with a ferocious uppercut. With luck she would be the first to land a blow on the unknown enemy."Oh? So that's your game, huh?"
Maria said when she noticed the nature of the interlopers. She felt like something like this could happen, after all this was any mere motley old mansion. Nevertheless... facing this kind of thing after they barely stepped through the front gate? "The owner of this chateau must really like flashy things. It's not everyday that you see this many bloodnecks in a single place,"
she added before training her gun at an invisible target."Uh? What's..."
Sherry voice trailed off as she was about to ask what was it that fell in her hands before she noticed Maria's eyes burning bright with deep red color. And then, she looked back at her hands and realized that it was flask of the same liquid that Maria left at the tavern. "This is blood isn't it? I know you guys use it for magic over here but why did you give me that?""They aren't called bloodnecks for nothing, you know? If you use that, I mean drop it in your eyes, you'll understand,"
The Huntress said before throwing two more flasks, one for Lin and the other for Caprice.
The creatures of the night weren't used to humans having extraordinary abilities. Especially ones who, in this world of wasted dreams, resorted to speak with their fists than actual weapons. The "floating" arm in the tree slowly faded from sight, the flour on it flaking off like eroded dirt and the creature became invisible once again. But it didn't matter because Lin closed the distance between them in a rapid burst of speed. The monster couldn't jump away as her fist smashed into the invisible being's jaw by her uppercut. Although she couldn't see it, she'd feel the tear of bone and muscle by her punch.
Seconds later, a dull thud was heard as the now dead monster fell from its perch. It was still invisible, body unseen, but a dark pool of red now stained the ground, marking where it was. The rest of the monsters leapt atop the corpse likes flies, uncaring how close Lin was and completely ignoring her. Loud and squelching sounds of ripped flesh and gnashing teeth filled the air as the invisible weight of the dead monster was slowly reduced to more sparse bits and pieces.
By this time, Maria knew exactly what they were facing and reacted with passing each member of the White Masks a flash of blood. The Blood Necks, as Maria so named them, ignored the White Masks, giving them ample time to apply the red fluids to their eyes. What they'd see were mishapen and dark smudges in their sights now layered heavily in syrupy red. The shapes were all conjoined in one place up until one splattered by Maria's bullet. Then they leapt up and away yet again, attention focused back on the group. The sketchy dark shapes in their blood-stained eyes moved about like wild animals, lunging at the group now."So... If these guys are willing to ignore us to feast, why don't I just summon a bunch of corpses for them to eat- oh, and you shot them and they're attacking again. Oh well."
With another flick of a hand, Caprice sent a stream of red powder forward like a whip at eyelevel. This powder was as close as Caprice's cooking expertise could get to pepper spray, to hopefully blind the beasts as they lunged.“Doesn’t matter what these things are long as I can hit them!”
Lin stated while wiping some of the splattered blood from the creature off her cheek. With the beasts charging forward once more, Lin held her ground and waited for the right moment. Assuming Caprice’s improvised pepper spray disoriented the beasts, Lin would use the opportunity to close the gap and deliver a devastating roundhouse kick to the first bloodneck before it could retaliate.
Some of the Blood Necks were too slow, letting Caprice's red powdery pepper land home. Those that were hit halted in their tracks, pained growls coming from them as they clawed at their eyes to wipe the red off. Much like the flour, the red powder made the mishapen monsters visible but only for a few moments before they were invisible once again. However, thanks to Marie's flasks, all of the White Masks could still see the dark-shapes in their own blood-stained vision. It did well in assisting Lin's kick all the more, sending one Blood Neck hurling to the side as if it was hit by a truck. Even without being ripped apart, the wet thud it made on impact to a tree indicated the life was knocked out of it. Still, there were more to take care of and more who avoided the pepper, lunging at the group from a different angle."Hah!"
Sherry said as she punched one of the mishappen creatures as it tried to tackle and rake her down with its crooked claws. Different from Lin's strikes, hers didn't have much skill, but they still had enough power behind them, especially as her hand glowed with magic energy. "And now, that this!"
she followed through with a magic blast, hitting the same creature with a second attack while it was still in the air."I'm not so much into fighting, but I can do it if I need to,"
the redhead said to herself as she recovered from her attack before shooting another magical blast at the nearest creature.
Maria on the other hand, didn't waste time talking, acting with the cool style expected of a professional as she hit met the bloonecks' lunge with a swing of her case, sending a couple of them flying back before opening fire with her revolver, stopping only after she had unloaded all of her six shots at some unfortunate creatures.
After Caprice struck 'high' with the red powder, she then immediately struck low, sending a river of boiling grease along the ground to trip and slip any Blood Necks that made it past the others. She stepped to the side as one slid on the slippery trap right past her, only to sweep her hand back and lay down another layer to keep it slick, and to neatly sandwich the Blood Neck that had fallen for her trap in boiling several hundred degree grease.
Planting her feet after the successful roundhouse, Lin held position as Sherry and Maria assaulted the creatures with various ranged attacks. Charging now while her team used projectiles would put her at risk of friendly fire, not to mention the ground nearby was now covered in a boiling grease. Instead she watched the shadowy images of the Blood Necks as they approached. Once one was close enough to pounce on her, she immediately pulled her fist back and sent a straight punch into the creatures gaping maw.
Mindless and violent as they were, the creatures were near useless against competent hunters or those who weren't startled by an ambush. Even as their numbers dwindled by the many by the combined efforts of the four girls, they could not comprehend loss of defeat. Boiling oil, magic, and pure gunfire was enough of a deterrent for most creatures but the Blood Necks only saw more obstacles to try and get around. When they did, if they did, they'd be met only by Lin's furious fists. Soon enough, the dark forest floor grew still as the splattered and mangled corpses of the monsters sprinkled the area one by one. Little more than guard dogs, the White Masks had faced their first true challenge.
The ground still sizzled in many places thanks to Caprice's magic but the path to the front of the castle lay unguarded now. No doubt Maria would take the time to collect in some bounty, sorting through the invisible corpses for whatever may be of value, be it limbs, organs, or blood. She waved away the other girls with an assurance she wouldn't be long. When all was collected and done, the direction before them was clear. No doubt the castle's owner found joy in their perserverence, a paradox of her nature revealed only in her desire. The castle gates would soon be breached.