The young woman leaned against the brick wall of the dilapidated building, her breathing raspy as she inhaled the pungent mixture of asphalt, rain, and the metallic odor of blood. Bending over, she took a deep breathe and wretched out the remaining of her flimsy dinner: thin soup and bread.
“Not so tough being a Patcher, now is it, laddybuck?” guffawed her companion. He handed her his canteen.
The woman grimaced, arching an eyebrow at him before taking a swill of water. “Don’t call me that, Pier. But I’ll admit I underestimated the power of Breakers…Halves. Whatever. Since when did they get so strong?”
“I’d like to know that myself. #PATCH has reported recently that there’s been an influx of ‘em running loose,” Pier muttered, rubbing the ginger stubble on his chin. Sighing, he patted his young companion. “Don’t worry about it too much—focus on recovering from this for now. I don’t want to be carrying you around because you get watery-legs at the sight of blood. But I’ll give you this: you are pretty good for a newbie.”
Alice smirked, wiping her stained rapier with a handkerchief and sheathing it back in her belt. “I better be. You trained me.”
“Tsk, tsk. Flattery won’t get you anywhere!”
“Really? Then why give me that compliment if you knew the answer?”