"This is all your fault Bakaito!" Aoko shrieked as she dodged the zombie that had just lunged for her.
"I'm sorry, but how??" Kaito spluttered, vaulting one zombie and using their heads as step stones while they groaned beneath him.
"You insisted we go exploring!" Aoko vehemently whacked one zombie with her tree branch and kicked another zombie between the legs. She hadn't expected that to work the first time she'd tried it but apparently some things transcended death. "If we'd just stayed at the campsite, this wouldn't have happened!"
"Could be worse!" Kaito called from the tree branch he'd climbed and was now perched on, throwing small spheres that exploded into some very sticky putty. "We could have gotten stuck with Hakuba."
Aoko growled as she whacked another zombie, then ducked when gore splattered over her. "True," she huffed, turning to see Akako literally blasting group after group of zombies away, all the while keeping Keiko, who looked rather green, close to her. "I don't think Hakuba-kun would have been much help here."
"Not unless he talked them to death!" Kaito grinned viciously as he dropped several more spheres that that released a mist over the group of mostly immobile zombies. Aoko felt her stomach turn as a couple of the zombies tried to break free but instead only lost limbs to the rapidly hardening putty. She really didn't want to know why her best friend had something like that on him, what kind of trick he'd need something like that for...
Oh, come on! she thought with a groan when he pulled out a gas mask. He's not even trying to be discreet! She fumbled when he appeared beside her in a slight puff of smoke, almost whacking him on instinct.
"Make your way back to Keiko and Akako," he told her, dodging a zombie before Aoko whacked it. This continued, Kaito feinting to lure the shambling undead in before Aoko delivered a beating with the branch that Akako had spelled not to break. "I'll try to hold them off."
"Bakaito!" Aoko spat, taking off a zombie's head this time with how hard she hit. "With what? Some sort of sleeping gas?" He looked surprised she deduced that and her anger at the situation flared, because did he really think she was that stupid? "You don't even know if it'll work! Besides," she turned to him with a wry grin, "what would Hakuba-kun say?"
"If he hasn't been turned into a zombie already," Kaito retorted, but returned her grin. "Oi, Akako!" he called. "You able to do an airtight bubble?"
The witch (and hadn't that come as a surprise, but then there'd always been something different about her) didn't pause as she laid waste to three more zombies, the stench of burning, rotten flesh pungent in the night air. "I assume you only have one mask?"
"Two," Kaito called back. Aoko looked over at him in surprise before a groaning zombie lurched at her and she had to smack it off. "If you can cover you and Keiko, me and Aoko will be free to move around."
"Why do you have two gas masks?" Keiko piped up, her voice wavering.
"Why does Kaito have anything?" Aoko replied before he could chime in with something completely unbelievable. "Probably a magic trick, and Aoko doesn't want to find out what kind." She directed the last bit at Kaito, not bothering to actually look at him because he was already distracting her.
"If we stick close together I could protect all of us," Akako suggested.
"I'm not even sure if this'll work," Kaito admitted, fitting the mask over his face before fishing a second one out of somewhere. "If it doesn't work on them it will work on us and that would be bad."
Aoko beat off the closest zombies and then ran to the tree Kaito perched in. It took a little finagling since she still had her weapon, but he got her up into the tree so he could help her put the other mask on. "So, how are we doing this?" she asked, voice muffled in a strange echo-y way by the gas mask and she was pointedly not thinking about how well it fit her.
"Once Akako's got her bubble up, I let off a couple of these and we all get the hell out of Dodge." Kaito shook a couple of things in his hand Aoko was sure she was better off not seeing.
"Towards the campsite?"
Kaito shook his head. "We've got no way of knowing how many of these things are between us and the site. Better off trying to get somewhere more defensible." He snapped his fingers and Aoko was mildly surprised nothing happened. "What about that house we passed on our way in?"
Aoko nodded. "Sounds good to me. Keiko, Akako-chan!" she shouted. "We're going to go to that house we passed earlier!"
"Understood," Akako replied, her voiced carrying clearly to them. A moment later a shimmering red sphere surrounded Akako and Keiko.
Now or never, Aoko thought determinedly before jumping down from the tree.