Chapter 14: Between Walls
NOTE: This fic is based on the anime of Recca no Honou…I don't own RnH..(",)
Evening. Recca is outside re-sharpening his flame skills. He tries to re-concentrate and practice along with his loyal flame dragons and continuously confide in them his determination to wield strong power once again.
"The Soul Trap device is the stone that can bind a person's soul inside it. Within a battle, once the opponent has been caught off-guard by the user, the user casts over his soul onto the Soul Trap Device and, when the victim feels wearing out or tired, his soul will be bit by bit absorbed into the device. Once the device has absorbed his soul completely, the device will be destroyed in its own and release the trapped soul..."
"Which means death to the victim."
Recca gets angered remembering the pressure on Fuuko's capture. With this, he unconsciously casts the power of his own flame and it whirled around his body as if he's the living wild fire of a candle.
"It's very endearing how strong your desire can be even without you realizing how strong it is," Koku said from behind. Recca snaps back to reality and looks at him. "Of course it is! Fuuko's life is at stake here. If I never get to save her, I will definitely never forgive myself."
"Oh, regret," Koku gulped. "I think I can relate."
"Darn it! I will definitely kill that Kurei someday. This is just too much!" Recca enflamed once again and blew off his flame all over the place. He was surprised. Koku blew out the flames. "Kid. I don't think you should still need us one hundred percent like you say for you to win," he said. "Just saying,"
He disappeared in the shadows. Recca is still surprised with his withdraw of flame which burned the tree near him. He realizes one more thing to practice on before the match. His own flame.
"The flame is like a heartbeat where in it becomes strong when you find the purpose of its existence and stronger with determination," he remembers his mother once said.
Recca stares at his hand and as he remembers his sincere determination to save Fuuko, he flicks his palms and a strong fire casts around his hand. "Just like the heart, you should also learn to find composure to calm its wild nature into something diligent." He remembers again.
His flame doesn't have form unlike how Kurei has, or how he heard his father had, or even how any of the older flame masters used to have. But he is very confident that his flame is the stronger one, even with its indefinite form. He sharpens his flame casting skills so he could use his own flame to some advantage on his next match.
Feeling the commotion of a blasted flame, Kage and Tokiya went out, though different ways, to see for themselves. Tokiya was from outside the lawn, also practicing his skills, as he is not confident with Recca's ability to be decisive and smart with tricky battles such as this. Kage went out from the bedroom where Riiya is, who had just fallen asleep after worrying and asking her non-stop about his mother.
Kage can see how determine her son is and his flame is seeming stronger in ignition that it was before, but its obedience impresses her much more as the flame follows Recca's movements as if an air. She has confidence in her son much more than he would end up the victor in this battle.
"You and Yanagi are so different. I can tell even if I'm blind if the hand that held me is yours or hers. Yanagi is soft, gentle, kind, sincere, loving and caring. You are tough, strong, brave, independent, spontaneous."
"Yanagi will die without a strong wall, but you...you will live even if a wall falls on you. Yanagi needs a protector, she needs me. But me, I need someone who will stay by my side. Someone I will rest my head on after all the fight I go through; soft arms that will let me relax, but strong enough to make me feel safe that I can sleep and not force myself anymore to keep fighting."
Fuuko's tear drops from her eye though her face doesn't show any expression at all. "But who will care for me, Recca?" Fuuko thought.
Her fingers had gone numb; her face haven gone pale and her legs felt limp. It's not like she's feeling her blood drain, but rather, she's feeling sick. And, slowly, she's having double visions. "Is this what they call being delirious?" She thought. She breathes in and out hard but the amount of air she's breathing doesn't feel enough to make her feel alive.
Kurei appears from the shadows. He takes her hand and attaches a bangle-form replica of the God of Wind. He also touches her neck to take off the necklace she's wearing. More to Fuuko's surprise, she barely felt any of it. Kurei replaces her aquamarine pendant with a red one with a character inscribed, 'hatred'. "Can you see your new pendant?" Kurei said. "Actually, I'm just planning something bigger than this. One step to a bigger battle. The battle Recca and I started had gone a long hiatus. It's about time he awakens it back up to some extent. I'm not really expecting him to be able to recharge himself immediately back up to how strong he was during that time. At least seventy percent is good enough. Since I've got a lot more comrades and followers to help me practice him for him to reach his hundred percent."
He attaches the necklace back to her neck. "Isn't it a bit of a pleasure for you if you will be able to awaken his powers from its ten percent yesterday into seventy percent today?" he says while properly placing the pendant to center of the chain. "Because if it does, it definitely means he loves you." He lays the pendant on her skin, and whispers, "Known by night, blood by day."
Fuuko felt her strength recover. She felt much lighter than a second ago. She looks at Kurei wondering how it happened and looks down at her pendant, but she can't seem to see it. Her head feels light. As if dizzy or drunk. Everything feels very weird.
"Fuuko, this was not how cruel things would turn out if you didn't interrupt Kurei's plans," Raiha said. Somehow, Fuuko got really pissed with his voice, though she felt his words sounded significant. She began to cast out her wind and shattered the furniture alongside Raiha, and could also be him if he didn't dodge immediately. "Shut up, you cold-hearted faggot," she suddenly said. Raiha was surprised. So is Fuuko, though in her mind. She realizes her subconscious mind is now the one controlling her conscious state. She is completely out of control of her repressed emotions.
Raiha immediately went to Kurei's side to ask of what he's planning, but Kurei knows he will eventually ask so he just said, "Everyone has their own bit of hate on someone they are close to, but people forget that bit of hate because the amount of love they have for those people are greater in number. The necklace she's wearing will reverse the amount of love she has with the amount of hate she has. Since it's Recca and his gang will be there, that girl is enough to wipe out the whole team." Kurei looks at Raiha. "I think you know what I mean."
Raiha feels confused but flushed by the meaning of Fuuko's reaction with him. "About that," Kurei said. "Maybe she had something for you? But you shouldn't place hope in there, even one bit. That'll completely destroy you from there on."
Kurei stood from his seat and walked away.
"Oooh, finally." Kurei spoke as the Team Hokage enters the hall. "I've been waiting for so long."
Recca looks around for Kurei's trace. He finds him standing at a platform at the corner of a vast, dark stadium he could not describe. "So curious of how things work here? I'll stop your frustration."
The light switches on and reveals a wide, rectangular, cemented stadium; very common looking, no special characteristic that will make the sparring difficult between opponents. Recca gazes back to Kurei this time with much doubt in his eyes. He knows Kurei's background very much and this simple-looking stadium is something to be alarmed of if the perpetrator of the sparring involves Kurei.
Kurei smirks as he knows what Recca has been thinking. "No pressure, Recca," he said. "I'm definitely keeping my word. I'm giving you back your woman, but, of course, only if you're worth it. I'll see you again when you're done. Good luck." He turns and leaves with Raiha.
"What? What do you mean? Where's Fuuko?" Recca yelled. "Kurei!"
"Recca!" Ganko claimed. Recca turned to look at her. "There she is!" Koganei said.
Recca looks on to what they are pointing. It really is Fuuko and she's walking towards them with no signs of any injuries or irregularity in her condition.
"What is this?" Recca thought.
"She's okay!" Ganko cheers.
"I don't understand," Koganei said.
"This is definitely a trick." Tokiya said.
Recca, Tokiya and Koganei drives on their guard and so followed by Domon. Yanagi and Ganko are both confused but looked on to how the three are expecting Fuuko to be. As Fuuko slowly comes forth the bounds of the Hokage Team, she raises her head and her pendant sparkle in bright blood red.
"Something's…different?" Koganei said.
"That's definitely not hers anymore!" Tokiya said.
"Damn!" Recca claims.
"The Soul Endearing Device," Kagerou said. "That's definitely it. Since Fuuko is stuck with the Soul Trap Device, with her weak disposition, this device is definitely the only thing that can completely control her without having to encounter trouble with her resistance. The stone will charm out of her system any reversed of what's carved in the stone and replace it with that feeling."
"Knowing Kurei and this annoying plot, he definitely carved in something like 'hate' or 'anger'," Recca said.
Fuuko began freaking out and waves her hand into a form of a hurricane and blasted it into the team. Of course, the team had quickly found escape. The four remaining frontmen for the team place Yanagi, Shadow and Ganko to the safest corner they could find for them and began to face the angered Fuuko.
"Her power," Shadow claims. "It's twice as powerful as that of the God of Wind. How were they able to make a replica as that? If it's something they just made in this world, I can't guarantee anything to destroy it."
"Oh my," Yanagi said.
"Fuuko-chan," Ganko said looking on to Fuuko's face. She can't say whether it's the trick of the light, but Ganko can see in Fuuko's face a hurt expression. She looks like she's struggling very much and at the same time is sweating more than she normally does during fights. As if she's fighting although with a fever. "Kage-san, is there still a probability that Fuuko is still in the Soul Trap Device?"
"Yes. She definitely would have been unless the user itself will release her from it. Kurei wouldn't use the Soul Endearing Device with her alone since Fuuko has the ability to conquer her mind even if it were being controlled. If she is in the Soul Trap Device, she can be totally into the former without resistance."
"For how long can she take? Since we left her with him?" Ganko cried.
Shadow gets surprised and frowns. "I don't know. For Fuuko, she may be able to extend her ability to more than the twenty-four-hour record that it had been longest resisted by a victim in the past. But if we follow suit, from the time we last saw her, she only has less than half an hour left to remain in her human body."
Yanagi and Ganko are astonished. The Soul Trap was that serious. Yanagi began crying thinking about Riiya as he made Yanagi promise to bring his mother back to him so he could hug her and apologize for all the practical jokes he kept playing.
"Recca, do your best! Do it for Riiya! Save Fuuko!" Yanagi screams out loudly; echoing to the halls.
Recca heard it all right. Now, he could not focus the way he was just now. He stumbles and falls on his face. "Argh," he groaned. "Damn it. How does this annoying pendant works?"
Fuuko roared tremendous storms throughout the stage and at the same time twirls around it to get to her four male opponents. When they fall into the ground, she flips up ground air into sharp blades and when they reach the top, she calls for a rain of air needles.
Koganei and the others had gotten their own piercings and fine cuts; luckily, they are able to keep it from hitting through their vital organs.
Recca hopes to call Madoka, but his barrier will have to mean not moving anywhere else out of the barrier. He tried calling for Rui, but Fuuko isn't anywhere hesitant in anything and bursts in every illusions, giving them much damage. Special abilities would just make everything much difficult, only one-on-one round could give them favorable advantage, but face-to-face is the only closest they could come into her.
"Darn it," Recca enrages and explodes a vast smoke, covering everyone's eyes. "Recca, what are you doing?" Domon yelled. "Oh my," Koganei curls up his nose. "Stupid Hanabishi," Tokiya murmured.
Later on, they felt a harmful toss that throws them out of the arena. They groan as they try to calm up their angered nerves. They got surprised to see Madoka's barrier surrounding them.
Tokiya's eyes widen. "What the-"
"What the heck is this, Hanabishi!" Domon yelled.
Recca stood in the middle of the arena, between two torpedoes and in front of Fuuko. Fuuko is looking around. Recca isolated himself of the rest of Hokage team. She looks on to him and the wild winds she created around her disappeared.
She stares at Recca with her darkened, nerved eyes. Interpreting it with the devices she's attached to, she may be having a hard time dealing with it now. Recca could not get himself practically, but he's thinking it's a relief he didn't leave Yanagi to suffer instead.
"T...ake...care..." His eyes widen when began to speak. "R...iii...ya." Fuuko's eyes fall a tear. She falls into her knees. Recca gasps from within. "Fuu-"
Fuuko gets back on her feet, but while she does, a twin windstorm drilled through beside her. She flails her hand and the windstorm starts its dance with Recca.
From above, Shadow understood Fuuko was intending to fall into her death though tries to fight it.
Recca uses four dragons successively just to deflect her attack, till later that he's gotten right at her back. But it's been taking away, he could only run away from her and she's been exhausting all her strength.
"The Soul Trap Device will be much effective when the user is exhausting his energy while in the midst of its effect." He remembers his mother note of it.
"Argh!" Recca yelled and began to call for his dragons simultaneously in doubles, exhausting his own energy. But his aim can only deflect and run away from Fuuko not be able to get near her. Finally, at summon of three dragons and almost burning his own skin was he able to get to Fuuko; he rips Fuuko's necklace of her and shatters the pendant using the heat of his own flame.
Fuuko lies on the ground like a fish breathing its last bit of air. Recca fell on his knees and stared at her for a while. He quickly pulls himself to recover to get to her and tries to grip on his strength to bring her in his arms.
"Fuuko," Recca called over and over. She just stared at him as if he was death. Her eyes looked dark and bloodshot. Her face looks just as tired as her body feels. She closes her eyes and Recca alarms and shakes her. She gets to open her eyes again, but it just kept looking on only.
"You have to have gotten free by now," Recca cried.
"There's no use. She'd probably only had ten percent or less left of her soul intact with her body. She might be feeling she's just dreaming now." Shadow said. "It's already too late."
Yanagi began sobbing. Ganko could not believe her ears; her eyes began to fall tears. The barriers had been disabled. Koganei and Domon ran to Fuuko's side. Tokiya just looked on; looking anguish.
Fuuko stares at Recca. "What a strange dream," she thinks. "Why is he looking at me like this? Domon and Koganei...why are they crying? They looked like...we were in a battle. Did I lose this round? How annoying. So sometimes, winners can become losers in dreams, huh?"
"This place...this is where we first fought, right? Oh, it's a flashback. What an annoying dream. I won the fights we had here, you know," Fuuko thought.
Kurei, who watched everything from the back of the arena, is now on his way out of it with Raiha. "Impressive. At the most was seventy-five percent," he said. "Too bad. He was just there to show it to her. Not really to save her."
Recca could not resist the angering affection he has for her and he caresses her face with his palm. Right now, she looks smaller than he again. Like, he can muddle her anytime. Small and vulnerable; just as any other girls.
The hue of her eyes began to fade in color and this alarmed Recca. "Fuuko," he called desperately. "You've got to fight this. For Riiya, okay?" But she looked like she's continuing to follow the depths of her soul. Recca holds her tightly, cheek to cheek and up till she can start to feel again, but her body feels limp cold. Like, anytime she leaves her body, she'd freeze to such position.
"No," he murmurs. "No!"
A flame sparked through his left arm and across Fuuko's body. It was gentle yet strong in color. It engulfs Fuuko, and at the same time, Recca was there the whole time. The flame looks like it's trying to stir some kind of a technique. Recca loosens his grip but wove the thread of flame to and fro surrounding Fuuko's body. His eyes, they are still crying but they are blood red in color with a hint of orange and blue as if they are balls of flames themselves. Recca continue to thread along in circles. It started to shake the ground, stir the winds, and evaporate the water.
Meanwhile, outside, Kurei felt the strong aura Recca had been threading around. "What was that?" Raiha said. "Just someone looking for someone's wandering soul." Kurei said.
"It was a flame that traces the living form through each element and reconnects it to its natural form, as if destruction was never held. One of the most powerful and greatly wished flame of the Hokage team - the Flame of Restoration. Healing powers, immortality, divine strength – they are completely nothing compared to this kind of power. It was a power believed to be held on only by a god," Kurei thought. "The power I tried imitating when Kurenai was killed." He murmurs.
Raiha looked at Kurei wondering for what he was murmuring. "I said, maybe he wasn't there just to show off all along. He really is there to save her." Kurei said.
Back to the stadium, the rest of Hokage team is noticing what Recca has been doing as well. As they see the completely destroyed stadium form back bit by bit into its original form. The way it looked when they came an hour ago.
Shadow's eyes are in awe ten times as much as the youngsters had. Yanagi noticed it. "Oh, Recca. Oka would be so proud of you if he's seeing this – the Flame of Restoration." She thought and sobbed in joy. "You are definitely the one destined to end the Hokage's curse."
The seven dragons who never left Recca's side had seen the power he's been showing and they are all hands down at him. "Any traces can be threaded back to its form without fail," Nadare commented. "Greatly talented as he is." She added with a smile.
"A rewind button born as a human boy," Koku laughed. "But as they say, as he is able to restore, he can destroy."
"A complete destruction," Madoka said.
"The perfect end for the Hokage curse," Nadare said.
Recca continued spinning the threads of flame to and fro, back and forth till finally he seems to have found what he's been looking for. The flame calmly brings Fuuko's body back down and lays her gently on the ground. The soft-toned flame finally disappears revealing a living, healthy Fuuko. She stretches out as if she's had quite some rest.
Koganei and Domon could not believe their eyes, but cheered for it anyway. It was a time for celebration. Tokiya flicked a smile as well when he saw her move without a sign of faults. It was then he realizes, his wounds had been healed as well. He looks up at Recca, who is smiling as he is looking at Fuuko and then he falls on the ground.
"Recca-niichan!" Koganei claims.
Recca wakes up and finds himself inside his mother's room. He hasn't been there since a long while and staying there now sure felt something warm and special. It also made him feel that what happened was like a dream. Just some 5 days was enough to shake around everything he thought had become stable. Difference on 5 years before and after is that the little kids before are older teens now and there's a new kid to care for.
"Recca," Shadow called from behind.
"Kaa-chan," Recca fancily called. Being used to formal manners from almost 500 years ago, she found it offending. She slaps a hand across his head to get enough negative energies to bounce right through his head and throw him off his pace.
"Hahaue, such calling is more like trying to be closer to their parents, you know! It's a complete misunderstanding!" Recca said.
"Either way, I don't like it," Shadow said.
He sighs. "I saw how you saved Fuuko then," Kagerou is looking up at him with a smile. "I'm very proud of you."
Recca smiles back in acknowledgment though he could not say well exactly how it happened and if he can explain how he was able to do it and if he can do it again.
"Oka has his reasons for saying your shapeless form of flame is definitely the most perfect," she added. Recca smiles in relief. "Fuuko...she's been waiting a long while for you to wake," Shadow said. "Though, she only comes over when everyone's asleep."
"Except you, right?" Recca said. "Except me," Shadow laughs.
Recca slowly turned serious and asks his mother. "Where's she?"
"She always goes back to his house. Tokiya's house," she said. "He doesn't live with them anymore but he keeps going here to see Riiya. Riiya always comes to see you. Fuuko could only glance at your room whenever she picks him up at night."
"You talk like I've been out for a whole month!" Recca snickers. "Exactly," Shadow said. His jaw dropped. "Tidy up. You've got more than one corner in your body to scrub." She says as she leaves him to wonder of his consciousness.
"I was in a coma?"
When Recca took a bath, he lathered and washed and scrubbed and lathered and washed his entire body. After that, he brushed and flossed and brushed and flossed and brushed his teeth and used mouthwash twice. It was only this time in his entire life that he felt once isn't enough. He finally gets off the bath after an hour and a half. "Ah! That felt good. Whooo!" he cheers as he walks away from the bathroom.
All the time, the Hokage team is all present after being told of Recca's consciousness. They were all in awe. Recca could not speak as he himself is half-naked right now and only had boxer briefs to hide his personal things. "For a while," he excuses himself and zooms to the room to get into decent clothes.
They started to cheer for his good condition. "Let's celebrate, Recca!" they began to yell on and on.
"Let's get filthy drunk tonight!" Koganei claims. Domon hits his head. "So this is where you waste your youth, eh?"
"If you don't want to, Domon, go home and suck softdrinks!" Koganei claims. Domon gets surprised. "You-"
"We're going home once Riiya says his hi's and goodbye's," Fuuko said. "You can gulp down every bottle you buy, Koganei, because I and Domon are your only strongest drinking buddies."
"Don't worry, Koganei, even without these annoying brats. You still got me!" Recca claims.
They began to cheer and surround Recca, except for Fuuko. She just looked on; the way she would back in their teens alongside Tokiya.
Recca enjoyed the crowd and gave them comfort. They exchange their stories and the month ago felt like yesterday more and more for Recca. It was fun, in a way, now that it's over. He glances at Fuuko, who is busy taunting and teasing with Koganei and Domon.
Later on, Fuuko excuses herself to take Riiya home, which ended the celebration since Recca announced boldly he'll be taking her and Riiya home. Everyone understood what he meant and Riiya was proud to be his son now.
Recca looks at Fuuko but she won't look back at him, though she can feel the heavy stares he's been giving her. "Thank you for taking me back home alive," she spoke and batted her eyes for a second to confirm her conversation with him. "You're welcome," Recca replied with a smile.
Fuuko kept on walking while looking out to Riiya who is snipping dried leaves, skipping and playing around with the flying leaves. Recca pulls her arm lightly and kissed her lips. Then, he hugs her tightly. Fuuko is in a shock all the time.
She starts to form tears when he whispers those sweet three words she's been waiting so long to hear. "I'd always jump after you, Fuuko," Recca added. "Even in death."
Fuuko started sobbing. "Kage-san said you may not open your eyes. I was scared. She said if he didn't choose me, I might have been the one who may not open her eyes forever."
"When it's me and you who'd escape, I'd always choose you. Always." Recca said. Fuuko looks up at him and he kisses her again; only this time, longer.
"Let's make it work, Fuuko," he said. "Maybe this time, we could turn things the way they're supposed to be?"
Fuuko could not stop crying in joy; he kept wiping them off. She laughs while crying. Riiya just watches them with a smile from afar. He runs back and jumps onto them.
"Mom, you look uglier crying while laughing," Riiya said. Fuuko hits him on the head. "Hey, don't hit him like that!" Recca claims. "Then hit him like this?" Fuuko hits Recca's head harder. "Ow! Hey!" he yells.
Finally, THE END. Hope you liked it! I've been struggling so hard with this kind of ending and my noisy (and like to re-format computer kind of) family. There's just no way can a writer survive such environment. Anyway, so glad I've finally had it done. Thanks for the readers who looked forward to this fan-fiction. I still love FuukoxRecca fics even though it's kind of impossible for them (with accordance to the manga version of it.) LOVELOVE FuuRecca. More power. (",)