Some mild, vague spoilers up to episode 22 of the anime
We are searching for the place where the soul descends
For how long, if the deep darkness changes with the light
The will changes its colors
-Matantei Loki Ragnarok OP
I never thought it would be like this.
I never thought everything would end up being so complicated.
My name is Asagi Rumina. I'm fifteen years old, blood type A, a freshman in Jounetsu High School in Tokyo. I'm good at all sorts of sports, but not so hot on academic things. I pass my subjects, though, with the help of my best friend Ginnosuke. I've known him since we were in kindergarten, when I saved him from a bunch of schoolyard bullies and he saved me from the teacher after I beat up the bullies.
I suppose that instead of saying sports, I should say I'm good at fighting. I know a bunch of styles, but my specialty's kendo, 'cos my insane old grandfather's been training me in our family style ever since I could walk. When I say training, I mean being ambushed at any hour of the day by things like sharpened bamboo stakes, battering rams, poisoned food, and various missiles. My grandfather's weird like that, but it does sharpen the reflexes wonderful.
As you can see, my life is something short of normal. I didn't mind it so much when I was younger. I liked being strong and tough and known as a 'King of Fighters'. But being feared and constantly challenged and not having any friends besides Ginnosuke started to wear on me, and by the time I entered high school I was determined to change.
I had it all planned out, you see. I would totally shun my violent ways, 'cos girls seem to go for the sweet, pacifistic, artsy-fartsy type. I would become popular. People would no longer seek me out and challenge me to duels. Best of all, I would get a girlfriend. She would be lovely, like someone out of the movies, but modest and kind to everyone, totally perfect in every way. She would hold my hand, and make me lunches, and we would have long talks while staring at the sunset.
It would be like a dream come true.
Of course I totally blew my chances for such a rose-colored high school life when, on the first day of classes no less, I beat up the reigning bully-group at Jounetsu. I did it for the sake of a girl being harassed by them, but instead of being a hero, I just ended up being feared and lumped into the 'dangerous gangster' category again.
It didn't seem to matter so much, though, because that very same day I met Ruri. She was all those things I'd dreamed about – gentle, and sweet, and delicately beautiful – like a pale sakura blossom just about to fall into the wind. Did I just write that?
Also, she's saved my life a couple of times. She comes from a secret city under Tokyo, see – they call it Tokyo Underground. It's ruled by this big mysterious organization called Company. And this place seems to be filled with people with weird powers. Like Ruri has this really rare power, the power of life, and so all these people from Company kept coming to take her back, and called her 'Inochi no Miko' instead of by her real name. So far I've seen people who control elements like fire and lightning, people who are half-animal, and even normal people there wield things like ice-guns and stuff.
The first time someone showed up to take Ruri back to Company, I was just charged at him. Despite seeing him create fires in his hand out of nothing, I thought that it would just be like any other fight with teenage punks. Just like before, like I could win. So he stabbed me through the chest and killed me. Right through the chest, literally – Ginnosuke told me later it was the worst moment of his life, seeing me impaled with a blade sticking out of my back.
I remember the pain.
I remember feeling my life spill out onto the grass, seeing a pool of red spread around me and knowing it was my own blood.
I remember closing my eyes, and knowing I wouldn't be opening them again.
But then Ruri saved me. She called upon her power of Life, and healed me back from the edge of death. I woke up, feeling just fine and it was like I'd never been stabbed. Better than fine, in fact – it took me some time to figure it out, but apparently my healing awakened some latent powers within me. Powers like the people Underground have.
Now I control the wind.
Despite that, despite my new strength, I couldn't keep Ruri safe. We beat back the fire-controller then, but looking back now, it was more that he retreated than was really defeated or anything. And then two water-controllers from Company showed up about a week after that and just took Ruri anyway. I couldn't protect her. I couldn't save her.
So I set off into the Underground to bring her back. Just like a questing hero in the stories, right? I even had a new sword, this really cool katana that's apparently been passed through my family for generations, and a special technique that my grandfather trained me in. I guess the old man is pretty useful at times. And with that I thought I could take on whatever Underground had to throw at me.
Of course it wasn't like that. I had some really tough battles, some that I won only with difficulty or it was a draw or the fight was ended before anyone could really win. Never was it as easy as I thought it would be.
I've changed a lot since I came down here. It's only been days, but I feel like it's been months. I thought Underground was just full of elemental fighters like the ones who came to take Ruri, but there's normal people here too, people who are just trying to have ordinary, everyday lives. And I've seen how hard it can be for them sometimes, and they still go on. I've seen that Company isn't just the villain who's kidnapped Ruri – it's the source of light and hope to these people too.
I think seeing all that's changed me. And I guess it's for the better, mostly.
I haven't mentioned Chelsea Rolect at all yet, have I? I must have forgotten. It's not because I'm avoiding the subject or anything.
She's Ruri's…bodyguard, I guess you could call her. But those two have more of a sister-sister relationship, with Chelsea being the devoted, protective older sister determined to shield her imoto from the perils of the world. Which would be difficult, seeing how many people are out to get Ruri, but she manages it pretty well. She's the one who brought Ruri out of the Underground in the first place. When Ruri was taken back by Pyron and Taylor, the two water-controllers, she was pretty destroyed by it. We both were, and we managed to find solace in the training my slightly sadistic grandfather put us through, and in our shared determination to rescue Ruri.
What's she like, aside from devoted to Ruri? I don't think she's Japanese. Aside from her obviously foreign name, she's also taller than most Japanese females, with gray eyes and long blond hair. I call her 'Blondie' a lot because of that, which irritates her something fierce.
Irritating her is maybe something not so smart to do, because she's a very good fighter. She's a gravity-controller, something pretty rare apparently, and she really knows how to use her powers for maximum effect. She's tough and determined, the type of person who can take a hit and return it with one that's ten times as powerful. She's violent and loud, too, and prideful, and stubborn, and…
She can be kind. Except for Ruri, though, she'll try to hide it. And she's fiercely loyal. She hates to show weakness of any kind, but she slips sometimes. I've seen her near tears because of worry. I've seen her laugh and be amused. I've carried her on my back and she fell asleep and I spent way too much time wondering if that meant she trusted me or she was really just that tired. Sometimes I wonder if her temper is really that short or she's just pretending to mask being hurt or embarrassed or…something.
And that's what worries me. I've said that Ruri is like my dream-girl, and she is. She's perfect. She's more than perfect. I'd love to have her for my girlfriend. Not Chelsea. Chelsea's not my type. She's too loud, and too violent. She doesn't even need me, the way Ruri does. I need to protect Ruri. I need to show her my world, which she doesn't know at all. Chelsea doesn't need anyone's protection. Chelsea needs no guide – if she doesn't know it, she'll find it out for herself.
Which is why I should know more about Ruri than I do about Chelsea. Which is why Chelsea isn't the one I should be giving nicknames to and teasing and being more comfortable with. Which is why I shouldn't be giving Chelsea presents like shell-earrings or noticing how good she looks after a dip in the hot springs, with her skin all flushed and her hair sleek against her back...
NO! It's only natural, I mean I haven't seen Ruri in so long and I've been traveling and training and fighting all this time with Chelsea so of course I know her more than Ruri but it'll be different once I can spend more time with Ruri. It will.
Ruri…we're coming to rescue you.
AN: Whee! A fic. I've finally posted one. And this may be the first Tokyo Underground fanfic on the Net. Wow, I've never done that before. I've also finished this in one day. Rare! I've been watching Tokyo Underground lately. I love the animation, and the character designs. But I do not like the Ruri/Rumina pairing, for the first few eps I was sure that it was actually going to be Rumina/Chelsea. Then my hopes were destroyed for a while, but then there were Rumina/Chelsea hints in the later eps, and my faith in Rumina's ability to pick girls was partially restored.
I find this pairing much cuter, and ever more plausible, than Rumina/Ruri. This is the same way I feel about Recca/Yanagi versus Recca/Fuuko, besides which Recca and Fuuko are childhood friends! It's too bad that there were no hints in the anime, aside from the ep where Fuuko got her Fuujin armlet…
Okay, I've totally veered off from the subject. I wrote this in first-person view, though maybe not perfectly so. Writing an introspective piece for someone for whom introspection is OOC is hard! Although I will argue that Rumina is not a dumb jock, and does have occasions of deep thought. I don't know if Rumina's blood type is A, and I don't know the name of his high school.
I'm only up to episode 22 of the anime, haven't seen the end. And I've watched the ep with Rumina/Chelsea hints more often than any other, just because it's so cute. Hehehehe. Kourin is so kawaii, and he hit the nail on the head. 'Are you guys lovers?' Methinks Rumina doth protest too much.