Not for Everyone (Part 2)

Roy swallowed past the panicked lump that was quickly forming in his throat. "N-now Miko, remember what happened last time you slashed an unarmed man…" He backpedalled towards the bar, keeping his table between him and his assailant.

Miko simply kicked the table, sending it careening to the right. Roy could vaguely hear Smilin' Pete's protests in the background as he kept his focus on the armored woman. Her eyes had narrowed dangerously. "Yes, I remember." She hissed. "I remember how you tricked me into betraying my liege lord. I will not let you humiliate me again! Die!"

"It's a bit late for - gah!" Roy cried as Miko lunged at him, sword first. He blocked the blade awkwardly with his chair and leapt back out of reach. He circled her, trying to keep from being pinned in a corner. "Miko, for once in your life - death, whatever - just stop and think for a moment! What will you gain by skewering me?"

"This is about justice, Greenhilt! It's a concept you have little grasp of!" Again she lunged forward, swinging her katana with both hands. Roy blocked one strike with the chair, dodged the second, and caught the third one on the shoulder. He hissed in pain. Okay, so he could be hurt in the afterlife.

"Roy's Archon!" He barked desperately. "I can't die again, can I?"

"Do you really want to find out?" The Archon asked nervously.

"Shut up and fight me, Greenhilt!" Miko demanded, taking another wild thrust. Roy jumped back and suddenly found himself against the bar.

He glanced at the bar, finding it a bit too high to jump. "I'm a bit busy taking total defense actions to - uh oh." Sensing that he was trapped, Miko was charging straight at him, sword raised above her head. About three steps away from him she suddenly vaulted into the air, bringing her sword down towards his head in a deadly arc.

Roy did the only thing he could think of at that moment. He tossed his chair to the side, and, in a maneuver that could be called equal parts inspiration and stupidity, dropped flat and rolled, such that Miko's swing - and then Miko herself - flew wildly over his head. He heard a thunk and the sound of shattering glassware as the katana embedded itself about a foot into the bar.

He picked himself up as fast as his armor would allow, quickly training his eyes on his opponent. He found her struggling vainly to pull her sword out of the bar, cursing under her breath. Roy grabbed his chair and looked at Pete, who nodded mutely. He shrugged, squared his stance, raised the chair up high, and brought it smashing down on the back of his attacker's head. He could barely contain a grin as Miko screamed in indignation and pain as the chair shattered into a million splinters over her skull.

"Oh yeah, that felt good." He gloated. "Roy's Archon, did you see that?"

"Roy, look out!" The Archon yelled.

Roy had just enough time to turn around and see Miko's rage-filled eyes as she leapt at him with her short sword (wakizashi? He wasn't sure if that was the correct term) extended. He sidestepped, but not fast enough, and was rewarded with a stinging cut to the side for his moment of indescretion.

"Where's your ancestral sword now, villain?" Miko snarled, shaking her head to dislodge a few of the wood chips in her hair.

"It's actually kind of a long story!" Roy replied, trying to sound optimistic. "If you'd like to put this fight on hold I could tell y-" She lunged at him again with a wordless snarl, and he literally dove under a table to avoid her. Once under it, he flipped it so that the tabletop faced her, putting another obstacle between them. "I guess that's a no?"

"I am not sure how you managed to get in here, Greenhilt, but rest assured, I am going to defeat you and bring you to the proper authorities. Your soul will end up where it belongs!" Miko declared, the very picture of righteous anger. She jumped over the upturned table and landed mere feet from the beleagured Roy.

"You WHAT?!" Roy yelled back, suddenly full of anger of his own. "You think I snuck into the Celestial Realm?"

"How else would a menace like you get in here?" Miko demanded. She jumped back as Roy flung a mug at her, then kicked a thrown chair out of her way. "You don't mean to tell me they just let you walk in!"

"You're insane!" Roy shot back. He grabbed a steak knife from an empty table with a half finished meal upon it. Evidently the patron who had been sitting there had been wise enough to flee. "You can't even comprehend that you might have been wrong, about anything!" He charged, swinging the knife in a viscious diagonal slash that caught nothing but air. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe they let me in?! Because I've lived a life of law and goodness?!" He continued to rant, slashing wildly, forcing Miko back. "That maybe I haven't gone around making a mockery of the forces of good while preaching that I work for them?!"

"Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!" Miko shrieked, launching a series of three quick attacks that left Roy with two new gashes to add to his growing collection. Roy considered himself the victor in the exchange, though. He'd managed to score a hit on her cheek with a dirty steak knife. He hoped she'd somehow get an infection from the wound.

"Talking's a free action, I'll say as much as I like!" Roy replied, feeling only slightly less angry than the now rabidly snarling Miko. He feinted low and then punched her in the mouth with his off hand, being sure to rake his fist over her wounded cheek. She stumbled back. "You're an arrogant bitch who's so out of touch with reality that it makes more sense to you that I somehow tricked the gods themselves into letting me play on their mountain rather than that I'm one of the good guys."

Miko charged wildly, swinging her blade overhead. Roy sidestepped, letting her run past, and gave her a wicked cut on her side for her trouble. "Try not to power attack for your entire base attack bonus next time." He growled. He expected another wild attack, but apparently some part of what he was saying was penetrating the thick wall of rage and pride that cut off the logic centers of Miko's brain. She was crouched low in a battle stance, clutching at the wound on her side with her free hand. She advanced on him cautiously.

Roy looked at his opponent. Maybe, just this once, he could talk his way through an encounter with Miko. If he was wrong, well, he still had a bunch of hit points left. He reversed his grip on the knife and slammed it into a table over another protest from Pete. Miko blinked at him in shock, hovering just out of his melee range, perhaps suspecting a trap. "You know what, Miko?" He said, letting go of his anger. "I'm done. I'm not playing your game any more. I didn't like butting heads with you in life and I like it even less in death. So go ahead. Arrest me or whatever it is you plan to do. Take me to your authorities so we can get this stupid business sorted out and I can go back to visiting my mom and my little brother."

Miko's eyes flickered over his face. "This is a trick." She said, sounding just the slightest bit unsure of herself.

"I don't care what you think. You've been nothing but wrong since we've met, and I finally see that there's no way I can convince you that I'm on the side of good. So I'm done having these schoolyard fights with you. Call the teacher. I don't care anymore." Very pointedly, Roy pulled out a chair and sat in it, folding his arms.

Miko's eyes flickered to her blade and then back to her defenseless opponent.

Roy rolled his eyes. "Go ahead, do it. Say you're on the side of justice and stab an unarmed man who's cooperating with you. Make yourself a hypocrite again."

Surprisingly, Miko chuckled. "Ah, I see what you're doing here, Greenhilt. This is all just another trick. You want me to lose my temper. You want me to stab you. I bet the bartender was in on it! It was all just an elaborate ruse!"

"Yes Miko, you've figured me out! I enjoy being run-through! How will I ever live out my masochistic fantasies now?"

"What's your game, Greenhilt? What does getting me to stab you accomplish for you?"

Roy practically groaned. "Nothing, you idiot! It'd get me dead! Again! Somehow! I-I-gah!" He trailed off into a number of choked, angry sounds, wringing his hands. "Were you always like this, or did they just forget to remove the stick from your ass along with the rest of your Paladin features?!"

Roy was not prepared for what happened next. Miko recoiled as if struck, dropping her weapon with a clatter. If he hadn't been stunned into motionlessness, he probably would have used that moment to get the sword away from her. Next, he watched as her face twisted into a horrible mask of grief and pain, and finally, she fell to her knees, pressing both hands over her face.

Roy would have laughed at anyone who told him a tale as outlandish as the scene that was playing out before him now. It was something he had never expected to see in either life or death. Miko Miyazaki was crying.

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