AN: Well, it is now June the 8th (2 days to pre read) and my computer has wonky connection therefore no maple, and Aqua Road (correction, omega sector) just came out! F5 F5 F5!(that's the angry look).
But meh, I'll start and writ a chapter but it's been so long I hope I haven't lost it. But enough of that let's begin.
Disclaimer: I do not own love hina
Chapter 14: Interference
And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but
The truth in masquerade
Lord Byron 1788-1824: Don Juan (1819-24)
"Damn it" Yuki looked at her body "it's completely trashed! First Malachite then Volt!" She sighed and rested her head on Keitaro's shoulder "And they're pricey too…" She moved her head slightly and noted her partner's concerned look. "What's wrong?"
"It's that sniper, you think we're still being targeted?" He hopped off the roof and on to the next.
"I don't think we were his target." He raised an eyebrow "Think about it, both me and Volt were injured so we wouldn't be able to defend ourselves and you were the strongest, logically if we were the targets you would've been killed first but instead he or she took out Volt first. No, it was an assassination, no doubt about it."
"Hmm, you have a point."
"Is that why you've been putting so much SE into your barrier? Don't worry about it, I think we're in the clear." (But I'm still worried, who was that guy who pulled the trigger? Malachite's ally?) She mauled over the idea of an accomplice and it seemed rather strange as the Prophets which mainly composed of soul eaters worked alone, the only reason that they worked together was to avoid the SWP, if the SWP had never came to be she very much doubted that the Prophets would've existed either. And there was another factor, Malachite was a soul master, a very powerful one at that and even now she wondered why he was in the Prophets, soul masters are the bane of soul eaters, so why is he with them? And why did they take him? These questions had came to her before but now she was more interested in them than ever ("Maybe he is up to something….but what?")
"How are you're wounds?" Keitaro suddenly asked
"Oh?" She looked lifted her head up to look at him "I'm fine."
"I wish you'd stop doing dangerous things like that, we're meant to be partners and yet you're the one that always get hurt."
"Kei, that's the thing I don't want to see people I know get hurt."
"…" He stopped on a rooftop "It's just that… I don't know what I'd do if…" He didn't know what he was saying up to now he was acting on came to him
"What?" She nudged a little closer to him
"It's just that I…" He turned his head but stopped when he realized that their faces were only a hair's width away, he blushed when he felt Yuki's breath on his skin ("She is so…No! Narusegawa! I must remember! But…")
"My isn't this touching?"
"You!" Yuki knew who it was immediately
"Yo." Malachite waved cherry as ever.
"How do you do that?" Keitaro jumped.
"Shadow skills my friend, shadow skills." He casually replied "I take you got quite beaten up, eh?"
"You!" Yuki jumped off Keitaro's back but would've fallen if Keitaro had not caught her "You knew all of this was going to happen, didn't you?"
"Well, I was told from a source that the SWP was gonna make a move, if that's what you mean, but I had no idea it would turn out like this." He rubbed the top section of his mask.
"You expect me to believe that?" Yuki spat, Keitaro continued to hold her up but with her struggling about it was hard.
"Inspector, you're injured, please don't move about so much." He was genuinely concerned.
"Yuki-chan, he's right, stop moving." Keitaro held her closer.
"…" Yuki stared a hole into Malachite "Feh." She leaned on to Keitaro for support.
"Much better." the masked criminal folded his arms "You really gonna walk into the gate the way you are? People are gonna ask questions and if you told them you were at that place things might get messy. Think about it, the secret corps only act on the orders of your boss, that means it was no ordinary mission. They were trying to cover up something." That thought had crossed Yuki's mind but even now her faith in Yumiko was still strong and if asked she would've told the truth albeit she would've omitted Motoko and Keitaro's involvement but now after what Volt said she wasn't so sure. "What I'm saying is you need an alibi."
"Yuki-chan, he has a point."
"That's where I come in." Malachite jerked his thumb at himself. "Your body still got that bullet wound in your shoulder?"
"Of course, I don't heal that fast, not with a body anyway."
"Good, then say I ambushed you. It makes perfect sense as you and I are enemies." He plopped down on the floor.
"Why are you helping us?" She asked skeptically
"Cause, we might be enemies in your eyes but to me we're friends." He looked up to the night sky
"Then do me a favour and turn yourself in." She said plainly
"That I won't do, not yet anyway." She narrowed her eyes "There is still something I have to do and only when that is done will I finally rest either in hell or as a soul crystal." He removed his mask.
"!" Yuki was shocked to see him do so.
"What's wrong inspector? Ah, that's right, you've never seen me without my mask." He smiled brilliantly "If it's you inspector, I don't really care."
"What are you trying to pull?"
"I want you to trust me…" He lowered his head letting the rim of his hat to cover the top half of his face "Believe me, there is something happening… something that shouldn't" He sounded serious, then he turned slightly to Yuki "Inspector, I need your help."
"But we'll talk another time. Right now you need help immediately." He got up "Keitaro, what are you doing? Hurry and take inspector to the gate!"
"Oh!" He slung Yuki onto his back and took off but as he went past him Malachite's eyes met with Yuki's and something in her mind clicked.
"Have we met before?" She mouthed
"In a past life we have." He mouthed but unseen by the SWP officers.
"It seems Malachite is getting more and more bold." Kisaragi surveyed Yuki's human body and ticked something off on her clip board.
"Yeah" Yuki lied "At least my soul body is fixed up now, thanks."
"No trouble. It's because you're strong that you were able to withstand the rapid healing serum, if you were someone weaker, you would've have been over souled." She ticked something else off.
"Kisaragi" The doctor turned her attention to the inspector "You've been in the SWP since it started…what do you know about the Prophets?"
"Are you asking about the Prophets in general? Or someone in the Prophets?" Her intuition caught Yuki off guard.
"No, it's OK, I was just thinking too much."
"Hmm." The doctor put away her clip board "It will take me 7 days to repair your body and I can get you a spare body in 3 days."
"That quick?" She was surprised as her last body took almost twice as long to obtain.
"Inspector, you have any idea how often you damage your body?"
"Eh heh…. a lot?" She laughed nervously.
"Exactly." Kisaragi took out a piece of paper and gave it to Yuki "Because of your haphazard ways the SWP will no longer cover the expense of your body so this body will cost you."
"Aw, damn!" She took the paper and looked at it "My god! There goes my pay." She cries.
"More reason for you to take care of your body. Now go home and rest." She pointed to the door.
"Fine." She grumpily headed for the door muttering the cost of the greater good is never too expensive and should be covered in her rights.
"Tch, that child, reminds me of someone else."
-Spirit world, residential district-
"God, what a day!" Yuki plummeted to her bed "and is till have to work tomorrow too! I want a day off!" She buried her head into her pillow "Oh, that's right!" She reached into her pocket and brought out her telepathy card. ("Kei, you there?")
("Yeah, I am.") The reply came fast
("I didn't wake you did I?")
("No, I couldn't sleep anyway. So, what's going on? Are you ok?)
("Kisaragi patched me up, so I'm fine. How's your side?")
("Motoko-chan told me Narusegawa bought the story, although just, but we should be more careful from now on. I had to sneak in from the window.") He sounded as if he was doing something dirty
("hmm, I guess. I'll get my body in a few days so until then I'll be in the spirit world but I'll be in the living world for work as usual.") She sighed turning in her bed ("I wanted a day of too.") she pouted
("well, if it's only routine patrol I'll be fine by myself. And I got a message from Kisaragi she said not to push yourself and rest, she's already gave you a doctor's sick note.")
("great! Knew she'd do something right for once!") for the first time that night things were looking up for her
("But there's a bill attached to it.") her mood shattered ("Yuki-chan?")
("Good night, Kei.") she dishearteningly said
("oh, good night.") he seemed to be confused in her sudden change in mood
"I can see why people resort to crime…money does make the spirit world go round." She sighed one last time and drifted off to a restless sleep, the events of the day going through her mind, the sudden meeting with Malachite. "It is you…" She mouthed but who she was referring to was unknown.
-Next day, Hinata city-
"Erm, Motoko-chan, why are you following me?" Keitaro asked his hitch hiker on his board.
"Ah." She stopped looking at the scenery "I want to see what you do." she returned to looking at the streets below "I didn't know you could fly, Urashima."
"That's not the point, you're in your living body, people can't see me but they can see you." he looks round a little bit flustered "It might make things complicated."
"Then what am I to do?" She snapped at him
"Erm, get off?" He meekly suggested but that was met with a swift blow to the head "ow!"
"Urashima! When it comes to the spirit world I am by far more knowledgeable than you, though you may have somehow gained power I have knowledge and since Yuki-san is incapacitated I will assist you." She lectured him.
("Truth is, I'm not really sure how to handle my powers and I don't want to put her in harm's way. Things have already been dangerous, I don't think I'd be able to protect her if one of those soul eaters were to show up.") He scanned the area a bit more "There, a dying person." he flipped open his black book "that's him." he landed close by but in a place where no one would see him but in reality Motoko land. "Stay here whilst I send his soul off." Motoko kept silent as she watch her manager turned grim reaper send off a soul who just passed away in a car crash.
"I've never seen a sending before." She weaved through the crowd following him.
"Yeah." he looked over his shoulder "Hey, when I'm in my spirit form don't talk to me, people might think you're nuts talking to thin air."
"I agree, I suppose. But back in Kyoto it was perfectly normal for the Aoyama clansmen to talk to spirits." She informed him
"But this is near Tokyo, people these days aren't that spiritual anymore. He glided along her on his board.
"Hmph." She looked at his board "How do you fly with that?"
"Well, it's like putting SE into something and then controlling it."
"I see." she examined it a bit more ("It's seems like the basic principles of my Ki attacks but rather than offence he used it to levitate that board. I wasn't aware it could be done like that.") "Well, Urashima, where to now?"
"You're still coming?" He stopped mid glide
"Yes, I wish to see more of your work."
"Erm…I may have to report back to the spirit world and living people can't enter." He half lied.
"Very well then, I will leave. There are some things I need to do in town anyway." She nodded her head and went towards the shops.
"Phew." Keitaro breathed a sigh of relief "Let's see…" he glanced at his book "Hmm, there's another soul whose going to pass away soon but that'll be in about a few hours in the hospital. I can relax until then." He took out another book, this time it was one of the books Haruka gave him "Secrets of the flame technique…it looks so much like skills." he read the title "I was on chapter 9, how to manipulate one's spirit force…I wonder if my ancestors knew about skills?" he continued to read the book flipping through the pages among the crowd oblivious to his existence.
"Well, I'm glad you came." Kisaragi called over the waiter "I'll have a coffee and please take his orders too."
"Beer me." Malachite said
"Sorry sir, this café does not sell alcohol." The waiter apologized to him
"Oh, tea then."
"Thank you, your orders will be with you shortly." the waiter took his leave
"As you are aware, that weapon shipment will arrive tonight." she sees him nod
"Yeah, Prophets are gonna be there too. But without Volt things are gonna get rough, after all they paid a dead man and now he's dead dead! If you know what I mean." He has a look at the menu "It'll turn into some sort of auction I guess, Volt's second in command knows how to please his customers and will do anything to take his spot of power. I've already spread some rumours that it was him who assassinated Volt."
"Good, we could use some chaos among the criminal ranks." She thanked the waiter and waited for him to leave before continuing "Do you know what the Prophets wanted?"
"Sorry but they still keep me out of the loop, after all soul masters and soul eaters don't get along." He poured milk into his tea "But it'll be like the usual, crime lords gathering there, pick out their orders as well as a few odd pieces and leave, just like a shopping market." He drank his tea and was disgusted due to the bland taste "Blah, all this stuff in the spirit world tastes the same. Living world is much better."
"The food here is merely to sustain the soul, taste is not a factor."
("I bet, you and you're cooking and all.") He thinks to himself
"Will you be there though?" She continued
"Yeah, though I don't know what they want, it must be important because apart from me there's a hell lot of us going. Extra security I guess."
"That's what I was afraid of."
"If there were only a few of you then perhaps there might not have been a struggle but if there are as many of you as you say then it will definitely end in disaster."
"What do you mean?" He inquired.
"Due to recent failures in the performance of the SWP both Heaven and Hell are now beginning to interfere, as of this morning Hell's 15th squad of the special tactical attack team arrived in the spirit world." there was a brief moment of silence
"The 15th squad?" She nodded "Those guys are bloody hard core. They'd eat nails and gladly ask for seconds. Why are they here?"
"You must realise, souls are on the line. When soul eaters devour a soul that soul is lost for good, so rather than going to the Spirit world where they will be dealt with accordingly they go right into the belly of a beast. This causes an imbalance, these souls would've eventually been reborn and die again. The cycle continues but the soul eaters disrupt this cycle." she sips her coffee "Without souls the spirit world, heaven and hell will lose their population and their armies decrease."
"About that, I've been meaning to ask you. If these 3 forces work together why do they have their own separate armies?"
"Because their citizens are so blinded by the differences of each other, they believe that their actions are right and what the others are doing are wrong, differences in beliefs. I feel sorry for the leaders they try to unite the people but fail horribly. They only affect the ethereal plane but habits and beliefs gained in the living world do not fade, humans are stubborn like that." She stared into her cup. "But now the leaders of heaven and hell are losing power, this recent election of a self governing body is making sure of that but it's still young and the people aren't that arrogant, not yet anyway."
"This is why I hate politics, I died because of it and I'm not gonna let it kill me again." He flagged down the waiter and ordered a roast chicken, at least he hoped it tasted like chicken if it was a chicken that is. "So, what am I to do? From what I heard the head of the 15th squad is a soul master too, a very powerful one, I doubt I can handle him….and with the bounty on my head, I'm sure he won't let me go so easily."
"I have that taken care of. I've already arranged back up for you."
"You have?" She nods "I knew it was only a matter of time before heaven and hell would interfere."
"You had everything planed from the beginning? Am I your chess piece too?" He smiled glad that this woman was on his side
"You are my shinning dark knight." She replied
"That I like." the smell of the roast chicken waft it's way through the air. "hmm" the waiter arrived with his order "thanks" he dug in but stopped afterwards "doesn't taste like chicken" he mumbled "waste not want not" he continued to eat the chicken but not willingly.
"So tonight, I want you to act normal and go to the site. You will be ambushed, tried not to get killed." He gave her a thumbs up "sometimes I wonder about you." she got up and left.
The doors of Yumiko's office opened with some force as a large figure dressed in knight's armour walked in, walking up to Yumiko he towered over her.
"Captain Jacob McDowell."
"Ma'am" Jacob saluted
"May I ask why you refused the company of my men?"
"Frankly ma'am, they'd just get in the way of my men. The SWP have had their chance and it's because of these failures that we were called in." Yumiko silently cursed him "If you'll excuse me, my men have a mission to carry out, we shall be departing soon." he saluted once more and left.
"I bet you'd never encountered someone like Malachite before, this should be interesting" She smiled
-Later that night, Spirit world warehouse storage-
"Alright maggots, keep em coming." A humanoid called out to the group of creatures moving the crates "That's delicate merchandise!" the humanoid screeched
"whoa" Malachite whistles "that's some heavy duty weaponry." he looked at one of the open crates ("Heh, I don't know what Yumiko wanted but god if it's more impressive than what I've already seen…it must be big.")
"Heads up Malachite!" a bull like creature spoke to him
"I know, Farlen, I know. We're here to pick up our stuff." He looked at around the warehouse full of weapons and souls "But hell, this is some collection of people. Most of them a big time wanted criminals, some with bounties bigger than me."
"We're here to pick up the formula, as ordered by our priestess." he headed towards a well dressed man
"Formula? I thought we were picking up a crate of weapons or something." he was intrigued and decided to play along
"What uses do we, devourer of souls who have gained powers beyond that of human souls need weapons? No, what we're after is an artifact of the Void, forbidden technology that can enhance the power of souls exponentially. And then not even soul masters like you can handle us." he snorted at Malachite
"And to you too." he replied sarcastically ("But that does make sense…hmm, so they do dabble in forbidden technology…I might have to take the dealer in one piece, which may be hard.")
"Kelvin." Farlen greeted the man "My mistress sends her condolences to the loss of Volt."
"Tell her thank you but things like this happen all the time!" He smiled obviously not concerned that his boss was taken out not too long ago "You here for the order?" The bull creature nods "Payment?" Farlen nods to two creature by his side who steps up to the two with a brief case each.
"open it." Farlen commands and the creatures do so revealing wads of money
"Very good." Kelvin waves to someone and they come down with an iron chest. "What you want is in here, don't know why you want it but I lost a number of men to those monsters to get it."
"Raa…" Farlen knew what he was getting at but he needed to get the item back as soon as possible "I will have something extra sent to you."
"A bonus? Thank you so much!" Kelvin acted coyly
("I'll eat your soul another time") he begrudgingly took the chest "We leave men."
"Wait! I have something else on offer! I never found out who the buyer of item was since only Volt knew and no one has claimed to have ordered it will you be interested in buying it?" he put on his salesman pitch
("Must be Yumiko's last order!") Malachite thought
"I do not buy trash" Farlen told him and turned to leave
"What is it?" Malachite asked
"Malachite, we leave."
"We should take a look, this may aid our cause and our mistress." Farlen stopped to think for a moment before nodding
"Great!" he called for the same person as before and he came down with a piece of paper
"What is this?" Farlen looked at it
"Who knows." Kelvin shrugged
"Like I said I don't buy trash." Farlen ran out of patience with this man and wanted to leave
("I know what this is, I've seen something similar in Kisaragi and Edison's early research! It's…")
The ware house doors exploded open and smoke grenades were tossed into the building.
"This is a raid! Surrender at once or die!" A male voice shouted as armed men rushed in
"Like hell we will!" the people/creatures inside the building drew their own weapons and a battle between them insured.
"Damn!" Malachite ducked for cover "I need that paper!" He spotted Kelvin gunned down in the cross fire and the paper inches from his dead soul "Perfect" He concentrated SE into his barrier and made a run for his disappearing soul "Got it!" he rolled and snatched the piece of paper tucking it into his coat. "Now to get out of here" he looked for an exit
"Sir, there are too many of them! Is that Malachite?" One of the invading men asked
"It is!" Jacob noted and a gleam of joy shone in his eyes "Cover me boys!" He got up advanced towards Malachite, any bullets that flew too close to him melted in the air.
"Hargh!" A demented humanoid leapt at him with a knife only to be incinerated to ashes "Malachite, I assume?" The two men stared down at each other and the next thing he knew Malachite went out the building via the roof and landed with a horrible thud.
"Damn, what a punch!" Malachite got up just in time to see Jacob walk through the building wall "That isn't right." He said to himself when a piece of rubble smashed on Jacob's head but reacted as if nothing happened.
"Shall we dance lad?" He cracked his knuckles
"Fine by me!"
Farlen roared as he smashed his head against one of the STAT members killing him in the process, as more people tried to subdue him, he simply swatted them aside.
"Dam, he's good." One of the STAT members readied a grenade but suddenly collapsed to the floor. The other members collapsed too unaware of what happened.
"What on earth?" Farlen saw a man dressed like Malachite advance towards him "Who are you?"
"Your executioner, soul eater." He adjusted his goggles covering his eyes and grinned a sinister grin "Soul eaters like you shouldn't even be allowed in hell." He fired a shot from his gun to his left killing another soul eater that was in Farlen's group. "You ready?" Farlen's reply was a roar and a mad charge towards him "Pft." The man flipped over the raging bull and shot one of his horns off.
"Argh!" Farlen fell to the ground "Try this!" He dug his hands in to the ground and hurled a piece of earth at him, without effort he smashed the rock with a few shots
"Custom made hand guns. Enough to stop a tank and even more" He smirked
"I'll use my earth skills then, I'll…." A gun was jabbed at the back of his head
"Earth skills are powerful but slow…what happens if you run into a wind skill user, eh?" He pulls the trigger "You get screwed." he looked over his fading corpse
"Farlen!" A soul eater shouted but he too faded as a bullet went through him
"I hate all soul eaters." The man reloaded his gun and in a matter of seconds shot every criminal/soul eater in the building
The two fire soul masters stopped briefly from their fight both knew something was wrong.
"It's too quiet." Malachite said
"Agree." The two never took their eyes off each other. They were about to finish each other off quickly when someone interrupted them.
"Hey there!" The mysterious gunman stepped out of the hole in the wall made by Jacob earlier
"Zephyr!" Malachite shouted "Great, you're my back up, I need help!"
"About that" Zephyr appeared behind Malachite and held a gun to his head
"The hell?" Malachite couldn't free himself from his grip.
"Captain McDowell. Drop your weapons, otherwise I'll shoot him." Malachite's eyes widened
"What type of joke is this?"
"Go on." Jacob pointed his own gun at them "It'll save me a bullet."
"What type of cop are you!" Malachite screamed. The two looked on at each other neither giving ground.
"You haven't changed, Jacob."
"Nor have you…Edison."
End of chapter 14
AN: There I sat in front of the computer monitor for 6 hours to get this done, with only a break to eat. It's not much but I think it'll keep you lot happy….for now anyway and it's to bring up my skills again. Well, until next time (not soon mind you) bye!