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2. Explosions

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Beau’s fist connected with a bandit’s face with a satisfying crack,  their shriek filing the clearing the Mighty Nein had chosen to rest in. He landed with a hard thud in the dirt and was immediately silenced by a well-aimed crossbow bolt from Nott as she darted behind another tree. 

The surprisingly adept group of bandits had snuck up on the group as they had rested for the night, during Caduceus and Beau’s watch. They had all been woken up by Caduceus letting out a deep-throated below, furious that one of the bandits had knocked over and broken his favorite teapot. 

 

The Mighty Nein was used to their sleep being interrupted by bandits and those generally stupid enough to think they could take them on. So while they were pretty pissed off that their sleep was interrupted, they figured this would be a simple case of ‘kick some ass and get back to sleep’.

It turned out to not be that simple, as one of the bandits had the foresight to bring a mage with them. 

 

Beau had thrown herself straight into the fight, enjoying the chance to just beat the shit out of some idiot, given that Caleb didn’t sleep long enough to regain all of his spell slots, she did try to remain close enough to him to defend him if one of the bandits got close enough.  

Unfortunately she been too distracted kicking in the teeth of one particularly stubborn bandit to notice another one sneaking up behind her, a dagger dripping with a sickly green liquid clutched in his hand.

“Beauregard!!” She heard Caleb call, and turned just in time to parry the dagger with her staff, but she still lost her balance, tipping over and landing quite hard on her ass right in a patch of mud. 

 

The bandit look very pissed off that she’s dodged his dagger, and began to advance again. There’s another shout from the direction Caleb was just in, a demanding shout in Zenmian, and whatever he’s saying it sounds absolutely furious.  

A split second after that, there’s a strange hum filling the air, and right after that the bandit seems to explode into flames. Beau is thrown backwards once more the force of the explosion, but by some miracle she manages to avoid getting hit by the flames. 

 

When her hearing fades back in, she’s being held to someone’s chest and there’s frantic crying reaching her ears. 

“Caleb?” She muttered, reaching a hand up to feel the familiar scruffy beard.

“Schiesse, Beauregard es tut mir led, Jester’s coming to heal you now.” He’s...crying?

“Geez Caleb, I’m fine.” She pushes herself up to a sitting position, ignoring the dull ache from fresh bruises as she turns to face him.

“Look, I’m not burnt at all see!” She holds out her hands, palms up and he begins frantically inspecting them for any sign his fireball managed to hit her.

 

“Schiesse.” He mutters. “I thought..I thought I’d hit you too.” He seems to crumple then, and even Beau’s tough rock of a heart gives at the sight. “Hey.”

She leans against his shoulder, watching as the last of the bandits are easily dispatched by the rest of the Mighty Nein.

 

“We’re ok.” She mutters, feeling him taking shuddering breaths. “Ja, we’re ok.”