Tatsumi ga Kiru!
Arc I: Chapter 1
"Durge of the Dragon King"
Tatsumi had never felt himself in so much pain in all of his life.
"You failed, boy..." the demon who had him by the throat spoke, his voice cold and emotionless. The young man turned warrior doubted the monster could feel any sort of emotion. "Everything you wished to protect, burned before your very eyes."
Tatsumi gasped for air desperately, the grip on his throat tightening. His vision was obscured, seeing all of his comrades, dead all around him.
Akame laid unmoving, her stomach impaled with her own blade. Leone had lost both of her arms, blood falling from her mouth. Mein's Pumpkin was impaled through her skull, hanging on a shattered slab standing upright. Najenda was a bloody mess, barely recognizable. Esdeath was impaled with her own ice blades, looking like a porcupine with her body on the side.
Everyone from Night Raid was dead and torn apart. Everyone from the Jaegers was dead and obliterated.
"Why do you continue to struggle, young one?" the monster asked curiously, tilting it's head. "All of life is abhorrent. It is diseased, no longer able to sustain itself... I am granting humanity the salvation it has longed for. The humans whom I have judged have accepted their fate... so why do you and those who have fallen before you resist so fiercely?"
Tatsumi glared, struggling with all of his might. His struggle would be futile at such a point. He had no strength left. His comrades were all dead and broken, torn apart with such terrifying ease. No matter what they had tried, and no matter what they had done, the demon had destroyed them. It had broken their wills. It had shattered their resolve.
It had crushed their hopes.
Incursio's blade hung limply in his hand. The blade was cracked, fragments scattered across the battlefield. Even now, the once proud blade entrusted to him by his teacher, Bulat, was crumbling away into dust. The armor was utterly destroyed. The Imperial Arms had been crushed beyond recognition by the monster that had brought the very world to it's knees.
What could he do? Death held him within his grasp. There was no escape for him. He had been driven by rage and anger. Fury overwhelmed his despair. Hatred had overcome his grief. All he wanted was this creature's head on a platter before him, it's death swift, brutal, and merciless. Yet, it was all worthless. His power could do nothing. It was insignificant. Pitiful. Laughable.
"There is no shame in admitting defeat, young one." the monster said to him. "Allow death to embrace you. There is nothing for you to fear... You shall no longer feel anything."
Tatsumi felt the last remnants of his strength waning. Incursio was slipping out of his hand. His eyes were beginning to fee heavy, darkness slowly beginning to embrace him. His arms, which tried to resist the monster, were now as heavy as lead.
'Everyone... I...' Tatsumi could feel himself slipping away. His thoughts were becoming murky. The demon just stared at him, no expression reflected at all in its being.
'I'm sorry... I... I couldn't...'
It was over. There was no way he could win. Hah, what was he thinking? He was doomed from the start. If his friends couldn't defeat it, what made him think he could do what they could not? Even Esdeath and Najenda, the strongest out of everyone he knew, had been obliterated.
The monster would have what it desired: the end of all life.
Tatsumi had lost... He had failed.
And that was a bad thing, because... what?
...Was it really that bad to die? Of not being able to avenge his comrades?
Wait.. was was this... all about...?
He couldn't... remember all that... well...
Don't give up, Tatsumi!
Life roared its proud being. Green eyes snapped open, and strength burned in his body. "Damn... yooooouuuuu!"
Snapping his legs up, he slammed his feet into the demon's chest, releasing it's grasp on him. Incursio burned in his hand, the cracks blazing within a fury of absolute flames.
'Aniki...!' Tatsumi growled as he leaped back, aiming the tip of the Imperial Arms at the monster in front of him. 'I'm sorry... for being so weak... If I was stronger, I could have...!'
Hey, newbie! You give up, I'm gonna riddle you full of holes, you understand?!
The ground was torn apart by the torrent of absolute power. The dragon reared its head, a might howl screaming across the ruins that had once been the den of deceit and agony for those chained by darkness. Power corallated his being, embracing him and welcoming him within it's grasp. Armor clad his being. War had made him stronger, it had robbed him of all weakness. What had once been pure white armor was now steel gray. What had once been a brilliant white cap was a tattered cloak fitting a wandering hero. What had once been a steel face of a knight had become the mimic of a dragon's snarl, armored teeth acting as a faceplate, yet still retaining the yellow piercing gaze. What had once been a crimson spear was now a bloody blade, equally as tall as it's previous master.
'Mein...' Tatsumi glared at the monster, who now looked confused by his newfound strength. 'Heh, guess I still am a newbie, huh? Even after all this time... I never really did learn? Sorry about that... If I had been stronger...!'
Come on, man! Don't you dare let this son of a bitch win! Show 'em what it means to face Night Raid!
"Life continues to burn brightly within you, young one..." the monster observed, stretching its arms out. Darkness danced around his palms, becoming blades of the purest black. "I see... So then, this is the determination that has sowed humanity's fate. So be it. I shall bring an end to this abomination you desperately cling to with every fiber of your being."
"Just try it, you bastard!" Tatsumi dared him, twirling the blade of the beast king around in his hand before aiming it's tip at the demon. "Come on! Show me what you got!"
'Sorry, Lubbock...' The warrior charged, the blade being driven behind him and tearing the ground apart. The monster leaped into action, soaring into the air with brilliant pinions of eternal shadows, it's eyes burning with the most sinister shade of violet. 'I wasn't able to protect Leone, or the boss... But, I swear... If I am gonna die, I'll at least take this motherfucker with me straight into hell!'
Tatsumi... Please... Don't lose hope!
The blades clashed. The world shuddered. The sky was torn apart, the clouds rend asunder. Power clashed, one who embodied all of life and it's defiance, and one who embraced and walked hand in hand with all of death's glory. Tatsumi placed his strength before him, blowing the monster away. He fell back to Earth, cracking the ground beneath him before he swung his blade, destorying everything around him from just the swing alone.
The demon deflected the attack with it's wings and then descended like a fallen angel coming down to Earth. It swung its blades down upon the warrior, who blocked it. A crater was formed beneath them from the presence of two great powers clashing. The very ground was being torn asunder, the corpses threatening to be tossed aside from the shockwave.
'Sheele...' Tatsumi and the monster repelled each other, parting ways for a moment before clashing once again. With each strike, the world came to a brink of death. With each parry, life was ebbed away. With each stab, the world became pierced. With each slash, the world became separate. The battle could only be described as a duel between gods, of an angel of death and a warrior king. 'I'm sorry that I couldn't save you... Maybe if I went to find you and Mein... No, it's too late to make excuses. At the very least... I can finish this! Once and for all!'
You're aren't alone, Tatsumi! We've got your back! Now thrash this bastard and give 'em the beating of the century!
"You will fall." the demon told him sadly. "All of life shall fall. The more you struggle, the more despair shall welcome you. Forfeit all to death. It shall ease your pain."
Tatsumi gave no response. Instead, he answered with a swing, a crimson shock wave obliterating everything in it's path. The monster brought up it's blades, it's body being pushed away. The warrior did not relent. He did not concede to this point. He poised his blade, and with a loud battle cry, charged forward. Crimson strength poured from the tip of the blade, becoming a wayward spear. Not even the wings of death could defend against this power. And thus, bloody red will met eternal black acceptance.
'Leone...' Tatsumi gritted his teeth as he felt his body becoming torn apart from the sheer pressure of his Imperial Arms. Incursio was beginning to rob him of his strength. It would not be long before all of his will would disappear, and with it, the strength to defy death. 'I wish I could have kept my promise to you about that date... Looks like we never really get the chance to really get to know one another better, even back when you brought me to Night Raid...'
Tatsumi... Don't die, no matter what. Defeat him!
"You gain strength from those around you." the demon said as it avoided having it's head lopped off. "You're desire to live stems from the bonds you have created. Yet, look around you, young one..." Incursio unleashed it's wrath upon it, swinging its blade down. Black blades met bloody edge. "You are utterly alone... You are weak."
Tatsumi gritted his teeth as he was suddenly tossed into the air, his body being twirled around before he came crashing back down to Earth like a comet. Blood erupted from his mouth, staining the mask of the helmet. His muscles ached. His body burned. Every part of him wanted it to end. It wanted to give up. But he would not allow himself to give up. It was not in his nature to give up. If he died, he would be betraying everyone that cared about him, everyone that placed their hopes in him. He would not lose, not here. He had a promise to keep!
'Akane...' Tatsumi threw himself back, avoiding being impaled by a jet black spike. His body twirled around, a hand slamming into the ground and lifting himself off the ground, slamming his feet into the Earth and his blade ready to defeat the enemy. 'I might not be able to keep my promise... If I die... I'm really sorry. Please, forgive me.'
Tatsumi, always remember this: So long as you are Night Raid, we are with you. Now, fight! Show me you're everything Bulat believed you to be!
Tatsumi let out a defiant scream as he leaped forward, his blade following behind him and power coursing. The demon brought up it's wings to deflect but felt its eyes widen in shock when the warrior released his grasp on the bloody blade. With a grin beneath the fanged mask, he ducked beneath the plumes and slammed his fist into the demon's face, knocking it back and dispersing the wings. The blade Tatsumi wielded also dispersed, having served it's purpose. He did not deter in the slightest, slamming his knee into the monster's abdomen and then following up by grabbing it by the collar, and throwing it quite a ways.
The demon crashed into a giant structure made of ruin. It collapsed atop the death accepting beast, a giant amount of dust blowing against Tatsumi. However, slowly, it's demented visage stood before him once again, its cloak now in tatters. The aura of death had been erased, but the apathetic emotion still remained. "You are not the first to defy against the will of the gods..." the demon spoke with reverence, as if finding Tatsumi's power worthy of respect. "However... you are truly what represents life. It is a shame, truly. If only there had been more like you, young one, then perhaps the Purge could have been prevented." Sadness etched into it's face. "It is too late, now..."
'Boss...' Tatsumi glared at his opponent, feeling whatever strength he had left go straight into Incursio. This would be it, the grand finale... the big bang. It was time to go for broke. 'I knew what I was getting myself into, but I never really understood it fully until all those years ago... This is the path for people like us, the path of carnage that will open the doors to change.'
Even now, you won't give up... Tatsumi, you really are something else. Don't lose hope, no matter what. Win! Show him what true strength is! The strength you showed me!
"Incursio..." Tatsumi whispered, his hand directly in front of his face. The talons clenched together, curling into a trembling fist. The yellow piercing glare became a furious, lively red blaze. "Let's do this... One last time!" The warrior raised his open palm to the skies. The world began to tremble as power was unleashed, the cape fluttering behind him wildly. "Awaken... Imperius!"
The dragon's might was unleashed. Black steel encased the gray armor. The cape was torn away in favor of jet black dragon-like wings. The helmet was torn away, revealing messy brown hair and glaring green eyes. Molars became as sharp as daggers. Pinpricks became crossed slits across a beautiful blazing green fury. The armor clung to his body, becoming iron-clad boots and sharp deadly gauntlets. A mask formed along the bottom half of his face, similar to the mask once worn previously, resembling the snarling growl of the king of beasts, Tyrant. It was more finely defined, more powerfully formed.
'Esdeath...' Tatsumi felt a sad smile become hidden beneath the mask. 'It's a shame, you know? I never really got to express my feelings to you, but you were always able to express yours to me... Man, it should be a crime to have so many girls fall in love with me, especially someone as beautiful as you, and then leave them behind.'
The demon spread its brilliant wings, and its blades emerging with absolute power. "So, you shall continue to resist the natural order, and call upon even greater power, at the expense of your own life..." the demon noted, a smile finding it's way to it's face. "Truly superb... what is your name, young one?"
"Tatsumi... Truly, a name worthy of one who embodies all of life." the monster praised him. "Now then... let us finish this! It is the path of your choosing!"
And so two great powers clashed for a final time. The brilliance of the dragon burned brightly against the everlasting and immortal darkness of despair.
The world shuddered and shook against their might.
And so the Dragon Emperor roared one final time, as the curtain drawn to a close.
The rest... was silence.
-Viva la Vida: END-