Cruxis stood by the side of the Umie Xunchu watching for any approaching threats. The many guest mingling and chatting with her made it have a low rumble of discussion background noise as the Paladin shut his eyes to try and block it out.
His focus was shattered as a familiar voice broke through his veil.
"Xunchu! I've been looking all over for you!" Said Prince Kranoc reaching out to hold her hand among the crowd.
Cruxis took a few steps over to interpose between them and he spoke, "Hey milord, sorry about stealing her, but there was a problem and-"
"I don't wanna hear it. She is my fiancé and we need to be together for this event!" Shouted the prince, gathering the attention of all the nearby nobles. Cruxis glanced around to notice the growing tension in the room and held his tongue before speaking carefully.
"Lord, I am to guard this ball and was just... guarding Xunchu, nothing odd about that right?"
"Secondly I'm your prince! You need to make sure that-!" Xunchu takes a step up to the Prince and says, "Now now, how about the 3 of us head outside for some air and Cruxis can explain everything, huh Kranoc?"
The prince's rage subsides as Xunchu grasps onto him and Cruxis looks about as the nobles begin to go back to chatting privately, likely about the foreign prince's outburst. It would probably be a good idea to remove the three of them from the awkward atmosphere.
They make their way through the crowd out to the empty balcony and the couple lean over the wooden rail as Cruxis keeps his eyes on the door in case anyone approaches. After a few moments of the two of them whispering behind him Cruxis hears the sound of Xunchu scream and the sound of someone falling over the rail.
The paladin turns to see Kranoc's shocked silhouette as he says, "What the!? Someone just yanked her off!?" Cruxis rushes forward and looks over the edge. As he sprints he shouts,
"Damnit Kranoc, she has assassins after her! Just get out of my-!" Cruxis looks over the edge to see... Prince Kranoc at the bottom of a 15 foot fall groaning on the grass bellow. The prince's voice comes from behind the paladin and says in a sinister tone, "You don't say?"
Cruxis is suddenly shoved over the rail and he twists his body about to snatch onto the edge with his right hand. The prince on the balcony hops up to balance himself on the edge of the rail as his arms begin to morph into claws.
The doppelganger lifts his claws and begins to bring it down to slice at Cruxis' face. The paladin kicked off the bottom edge of the rail and slammed his forehead into the being's nose. This forced him back and Cruxis managed to barely balance himself on the rail. Cruxis hopped down and drew his blade and shield and spoke,
"Where is Xunchu? Speak and I will spare you!"
"Hehehe. Maybe you shouldn't get into shouting matches when you need to be guarding someone."
Cruxis grits his teeth and the doppelganger leaps off of his hands and kicks against the paladin's shield. Cruxis takes a swipe at the fake prince, but misses and re-assumes his defensive stance. The doppelganger sweeps low but finds himself at the end of a sword pointed straight ahead.
In the other world the one known as Dave crosses his arms and speaks, "These guys are chumps!? I expect more out of enemies this late in the game." As he rolls 3 times and says, "25, 19, and 16."
The one known as Jones who became frustrated says, "The first two hit. Also you guys are Level 12, the stuff on your level could wipe a town single handedly. Besides the boss fight last session was the combat climax. This is a role play one." By the time Jones finishe,s Dave has finished rolling for damage and speaks," 18 damage, is he bloody?"
Back in Lidan the doppelganger holds his chest as he now has a gaping wound and shoulder bruise. He breaths heavy as Cruxis mocks, "Ha, looks like I wont even break a sweat." The Doppelganger chuckles lightly as he reaches into his pocket, which now seemed to have a scroll in it.
The doppelganger produced the scroll and shouted, "Summon Monster 8, Hamatula Devil." From the paper a portal manifests and from it erupts a humanoid lizard-like creature covered in spikes with a menacing smile.
Cruxis' eyes go wide as he quickly flanks around the new devil and slashes the doppelganger in twain, he then looks back at the devil and his face goes pale as it remains.
In the other realm Dave's eyes are as wide as Cruxis' as he says, "Why is he still there!? The caster died!" Meanwhile Jones gains a smug smile and he leans back saying, Who knows, maybe if you make an arcana check on your turn I can tell you, but right now its the devil's turn."
The barbed devil leaps at the paladin and sweeps both his arms about to clasp onto Cruxis, then once the fiend wraps around Cruxi's waist the paladin is punctured by dozens of the devil's barbs. Cruxis coughs up a bit of blood and shakes the devil off of him only for it to try and hold onto him again.
Cruxis raises his shield and and holds it back as he activates his smite and stabs at the evil being. With a solid thrust to the devil and a flash of the paladin's red crimson smite the devil's barbs extend and stab at the paladin's sword arm. The devil rears back in pain before it begins to slink about stalking the paladin.
Cruxis searches his memory for how this devil is remaining in the material plan, but he can't seem to find a good answer. His thought is interrupted as the devil dashes at him in another attempt to give him a deadly hug. The paladin swipes to keep the creature at bay, but when he accidentally scraps the devil the barbs extend and wound him more.
Cruxis used lay on hands to fix a fair amount of the damage and defended himself with his shield to keep the creature at bay. He continued to heal as best he could while avoiding attacking the devil. Once he had regained enough health he let loose and swung over and over taking more and more hits in retaliation.
The devil tried to throw as much damage back, but he was forced off his feet as Cruxis continued to take more and more damage. Eventually Cruxis went down and just as the devil believe he had won Cruxis in his falling state shouted, "Hero's Defiance!"
Cruxis' wounds knitted together just enough to allow him to make one more strike and cleave the devil in two before it exploded into a cloud of ash and was taken away by the wind. He breathed heavy as turned back to the ball room.
He looked to see the main chandelier was falling from the high ceiling toward the floor about to crush and shatter glass all over all the guests. He wondered to himself, "WHAT HAPPENED!!!"