Both Kai and I stood up and walked to the building. Instead of sneaking in we were going to enter boldly. We were going in unafraid and larger than life. To challenge them we needed to show off our strength up to a point. Also, it would be interesting to have a girl beat them, the irony was just too good to ignore.
We jumped over the fence around the building and walked to the front door. Either they hadn't heard the jump or they'd not responded on it on purpose. They probably were ready to trap me, but they probably weren't ready for a grand entrance.
For a moment we stood still in front of the front entrance, the double doors. It wasn't ominous anymore, in fact it was a place I wanted to barge in as loudly as I could, proving myself.
"Are you ready for this, Amy?"
I nodded. "I'll have to be."
Kai looked at me. "At least you're smiling."
I blushed. "Only a little..."
We went in through the front door, throwing it open loudly and walking in. Metal doors, lots of noise.
The ones sitting around the fire jumped up, ready to fight until they saw me walking in. They appeared more surprised by Kai's presence than anything. Interesting, they'd been expecting me, obviously, but not Kai. They did know him though, they weren't looking at him as if they didn't know what he was.
They knew him.
They despised him.
But they weren't expecting him.
For some reason they knew I wasn't here to fight, they just stood there, eight of them (where was the ninth?) in a circle around a fire. They hadn't been sitting that way, but as soon as they'd jumped up it happened almost automatically.
"What do you want?" One looking a little more intelligent than the others. Was he the leader?
"A duel, tomorrow at midnight, for leadership."
His expression, together with the others, changed to an angry scorn. "Never! You are not worthy to ask any of us for a duel."
I was ready for this though. "So, you think you'll lose?"
They turned silent for a moment until the intelligent (relatively speaking) one spoke again. "A girl can never be our leader."
I shrugged. "So you admit I'm stronger?"
It was a dangerous game to play, it surprised me they hadn't bitten already. But they would, I could see it in their eyes. They didn't want to fight me because they thought they'd lose, but they didn't want to be faced with running away either. It was only a matter of time until...
I looked at Kai. "Somewhere large, no one nearby to hear the screams?"
Kai looked thoughtful. "There's an old factory in the industrial district. It's mostly empty inside, it should be large enough for the fight and the audience."
They frowned. "Audience?"
I nodded. "All my friends, Kai, Khuna and Valerie will be witness to this duel. You may choose among you who will fight me, but I expect you all there."
He nodded. "When?"
"Midnight tomorrow." Nice and dramatic, how could they not go for it...
He grinned. "Alright, be sure to wear something else tomorrow though."
"It'd be a shame to get blood all over your nice white clothes." The others laughed softly, as if the joke wasn't obvious and expected.
I shrugged. "I know, I hope your fighter doesn't bleed too much."
They glared at me, but Kai and I just turned around and left the building as if we owned it. They wouldn't dare attack us. The gauntlet had been thrown, now it was their turn, their honor they had to defend. And Kai was right, they weren't able to resist.
A better plan.