I mentioned it briefly yesterday that one of the recurring plot points of Dirty Pair is that the heroines Kei and Yuri usually cause more damage to solve whatever problem they’re facing than the problem itself does.
With a groan, Kat pushes the bits of building that fell on her. She claws her way free from the rubble and pushes herself to her knees. She brushes herself off and coughs up dust.
“Ugh,” she moans.
She used to finding herself suddenly thrust into danger without having time for her brain to make sense of what’s happening before it’s done happening, but even Dunstana has never exploded anything.
The two female warriors — Kat realises she can’t remember their names; her head hurts too, and she wonders if that’s a bad sign — kicked down the door and picked a fight with a particularly scary-looking criminal.
Fight is the wrong word, though. The one from Yamatai swung her sword a few times. And then the Pelayan one cast an Explosion spell. And…
…Kat doesn’t remember much after that. Bright loud. Loud noise. Being sent flying. And…
Waking up under a pile of rubble. So, really, just another Wednesday for her. With maybe a few extra steps.
Kat looks around, surveying her smouldering surroundings. The Nail is no longer merely Hammered. It’s been blown to bits, had those bits blown to other, smaller bits, then had those scattered to the four winds.
There’s a gaping hole where the roof used to be and a great, black cloud of smoke rising to the sky through that empty space. Most of the floor is now a smouldering crater. The tables, stools, and the bar itself have been reduced to splinters by the force of the magical explosion.
The Nail is no stranger to becoming collateral damage, but she’s never seen it this bad before.
Amazingly, none of the patrons seem to be hurt beyond a few scrapes and bruises. Except for the two female warriors’ intended target, Axe the Blade. Dazed and groaning, the huge, burly bandit is being dragged off by the two warriors.
She’s going to get them for this. Nobody — not even the Mistress of the Way of the Sword and the Lady of Explosion Magic — can just saunter into town and blow up Katherine Hortensia Darkstone’s favourite pub.
Kat unsteadily rising to her feet and limps after them.
“Hey! Get back here!” she calls after the two female warriors. “I’m talking to you! Hey!”
The two warriors exchange a glance before turning to face Kat, dropping the dazed form of Axe the Blade to the ground.
“Ow,” he groans feebly.
“You blew up the Nail,” Kat tells them. “You owe me!”
“Yeah,” the Pelayan one says. “We get that a lot.”
“File your claim with the Porthaven Bureau of Civic Works,” the one from Yamatai adds. “They’ll add you to the list.”
“There’s a list?” Kat exclaims.
“What are we up to now? Something like five hundred outstanding claims for compensation?”
“We’d rather not talk about it.”
“Well,” the Pelayan warrior says. “So long. We’ll get to you when we get to you.”
The two female warriors turn away from Kat and continue dragging away their quarry.
“Come back!” Kat calls after them. “I’m not done yelling at you!”
Poor Kat. On the other hand, it takes a certain sort of luck to essentially be explosion-proof…
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