Crimson Silent Mist Part 4 Final
Granny Hina stands outside a wooden balcony overlooking the Aoyoma Residence.
Her old gray hair flaps in front of her old wise face along with the wind.
The moon shining down on her.
The red moon.
Footsteps close in from behind her.
"You guys done?"
Granny Hina looks around to see Tsuruko gently gliding herself beside the old woman.
Granny Hina smiles: "Yes. Her training is complete for today. Motoko should be sleeping in her room."
"How did it go?"
"Like I predicted……she has potential. Her powers could one day exceed even your own."
"I already knew that….She is my sister…..and her sense of justice and nobility is excellent."
"You must have a lot of faith in her."
"But why so hard on her?"
"Heh, I can't afford to be soft on her. This is how I teach all my students. I must keep the same style to my own kin as well."
"True. True…" Granny Hina glances over at Tsuruko. "But Motoko is not the only reason why you have come to me…..is it?"
The wise swordswoman glances over. "So, you feel it too…."
Granny Hina slowly nods. "Yes, but I can not really pinpoint the source…but…"
"It's familiar isn't it?"
"Correct." Granny Hina anxiously looks around. "It feels like the time when Tenshi…."
The old grandma's eyes widen.
A look of disbelief on her face.
Tsuruko curses under her breath.
Seta conveniently reveals himself from inside the house.
The shining red moon now lights him as he speaks: "She's been released again…..hasn't she…"
Granny Hina turns around. "Gather everyone and warn Mana and Haruka. We have a problem tonight."
Seta smirks. "We don't need to warn Haruka, she knows something is up…..the seal on her magic has been removed partially."
Granny Hina smiles. "She always knows when something is up."
Doctor Himura sighs. "You don't like to talk during long rides don't you…"
Mana just continues to lean on her arm. Staring at the forest scenery outside the car window.
A forest scenery blurring by.
"Bah, it's useless. Nothing will get you to talk. Your just here to escort me to Seta aren't you."
"That is correct."
"Wow, now you talk."
"We just need your assistance on some things."
"For instance… Asuna…."
"Well…." He sighs bit. "It all goes back…."
"Back to where?"
"Seta knows…but it all goes back to Tenshi. And…his request."
"Yes, but lets get back to the basics shall we." He says as he makes a sharp turn. "I am indeed a doctor but I was always a researcher at heart. That is how I met Seta. We were called upon to investigate a tomb, a mummy's tomb. They needed Seta's experience in navigation and fighting because evil traps were laid before us to prevent us from going in."
"What were you needed for."
"Yes. The tomb was situated in a very hard to reach place where the inner sanctums and halls were filled with water. It was impossible to just go in there with Diving suits because we would get lost easy, we didn't have enough air, and we would be too big. So they called me in."
"…is it that sand you use?"
The Doctor looks at her for a second and focuses.
Out of no where a pile of grainy specs start emerging from the doctor's pockets. In unison they all magically move in the air, stopping just by their noses and they all fall down on the dashboard of the car.
"Close but its not sand. They needed me because of my expertise. This is not sand, but something called Nanomachines. Little nano sized machines that I built way back then. These little buggers you see here are very, aggressive as you have seen. The ones they needed me were Nanomachines that would go inside the men and actually let them breath water as if it were air. So the excavation was a lot easier with me around…because….well….I am the only one that can control them."
"So, Tenshi needed you because you can manipulate and build Nanomachines."
"I'll explain when we ge-…"
Himura stops talking.
He stares forward. Wide eyed.
"Doctor?" Mana stares ahead of herself as well.
Only to see red.
A thick heavy smog of red unraveled the surrounding area.
Choking it with its crimson hue making it impossible to even see four feet ahead.
Then she feels it.
"Get out." HImura meekly utters.
Mana looks on with confusion.
Himura looks straight at her. With eyes of a dead man.
"She is only after me. I can feel it. She might not kill you if your not with me! You must get out of the car. NOW!"
Himura lets one arm off the wheel and points his appendage towards Mana. Palm out.
Mana's eyes harden as she instinctively reaches for her weapons until -SHHHHHHHHHHHHH- a torrent of Nanomachines plunge out of Himura's sleeves and pounds straight at her defenseless chest with such force that it rips through her seatbelt. Sending her flying through the car door -BAM-CRRRIPP- and eventually out of the car where her body falls rolling like a rag doll into the grassy floor of the forest.
Himura looks back forward.
Only to see a shadowy crimson figure literally -CRUNCH!- land on his hood grinding the car to a sudden halt.
He didn't even blink until --crack-SLINKKKKK-- a sword impales itself through the windshield.
And into his abdomen.
Himura gasps, grabs the sword stuck in his gut in fear and looks at his killer.
Just a smoky figure lurches in front of him.
Staring with yellow eyes behind the red smog.
"Heh…." He struggles. Death embracing him. "So you are a lady…a gorgeous one in fact…"
Chao stands alone in a dark security room.
Her face serious but confident.
Just like always.
She looks on at the many television screens in front of her. Reading, scanning, observing all the text scrolling from every screen. Her eyes follow and her brain comprehends with abnormal intellect as she mumbles softly within her self.
"Everything is coming together. Time to start the second part of this operation…"
A screen turns on revealing a man in black cloth uniform and armor. Weapons in hand, specifically a dagger, and a microphone hovering over his mouth and attached to his ear while a visor covers his eyes.
"Chao-san, my team is standing by at rally point B and are now observing the target. But please advise that target has an escort with him. A rather tall grown woman, who seem to be between the ages of 30 and 40. She seems to be walking with the target and heading towards the market district. But are in the part of town that is abandoned partly due to our blockades and the general area's population. A perfect ambush spot. What are your orders?"
Chao doesn't even bother to look at the screen.
"Tell your men to go in. Use lethal force as much as possible…."
"Bu-but ma'am, are we not suppose to capture the target. Lethal force is-"
Chao finally looks at the screen. Glaring at the soldier. "I said use as much lethal force as possible…Do you have a problem with that…"
The soldier flinches. "N-No ma'am! We will follow your direct order immediately."
"Good. Get the lady first then go for the subject."
And the screen dims to black.
But a new screen emerges with a live camera feed at one side and informative text on the other.
Chao stares at the camera feed of two people walking in the dark.
"You managed to survive our bomb, now lets see if you really are the person we truly need…." Chao grins. "Keitaro Urashima."
The camera feed pans in closer to reveal Keitaro's face. Yawning peacefully as he walks beside his Aunt.
"Lets start gathering data again…shall we?"
Like a dagger through his back a chill ran up Keitaro's back.
He clutches himself.
He breaths in.
He breaths out.
Slowly he could see the cloudy vapors of his warm breath escape from his being.
Disappearing into the autumn night sky.
"It…just got colder…"
His eyes catch his Aunt Haruka.
Her slender body walks confidently like usual in front of him.
Even though she is wearing her normal black sweater, short tan pants, and cute white apron she seems unaffected by tonight's cold grasp.
As if, like usual, nothing ever effects her.
Haruka turns around.
She instantly notices Keitaro's discomfort.
His unusual shivering.
Her eyes squint for a second.
"We are almost there Keitaro."
"Where exactly is 'there' Haruka."
"It's the shop I get all my tea equipment and ingredients from."
"I see." Keitaro looks around at the dark alley way they were walking in.
Everything seems strangely unfamiliar.
He looks up to see the stars…..and the obvious red moon.
He stares. Then goes back to looking forward.
"You should know where we are Keitaro."
Haruka only turns back once more as she goes around the corner.
"You of all people should already know your own future Keitaro…" She speaks actually smirking as the two converge out from the alley way…
….and into a very familiar street.
Keitaro stares blankly ahead of himself.
There across the street, in a gated land, rests a building he has been reaching for years.
A building where its wings span continually in his peripheral vision
While the middle section spires above to the sky as if scraping the heavens themselves.
And glinting along with the moonlight was the building's prominent clock face.
Reflecting the ever changing time unto the young man's eyes.
Forever reminding Keitaro the long years that passed like a dream ever since he made that promise.
The promise to reach an unreachable stage.
"Wh-when did we get here…We only walked for like….five minutes. But it takes fifteen minutes on train to get here."
"I have my ways. Lets get going though. The shop is only a few meters ahead." Haruka states as she continues walking.
Keitaro follows. But doesn't stop staring at the University.
Which leads to him -Bump- lightly crashing unto Haruka's firm back.
"Ack." Keitaro stammers as he stumbles back. "S-sorry Haruka…" He immediately says.
"Didn't I tell you the shop was only a few meters ahead." Haruka jokes.
With a few brisk like steps she enters the shop. "Would you like to come in…or just stay outside."
"I'll just stay outside for now."
"Suit yourself. Freeze your butt out here. I might take a while."
"Go ahead. How long can buying tea take."
"Never mind. Don't answer that question. If its you, it might take a week."
"You just answered your own question."
Keitaro sighs. "Just go."
With that reply Haruka enters the shop.
Shutting the door behind her.
Keitaro shivers a bit more before sitting down against the wall besides the shop door.
His eyes staring at Toudai.
Focusing on the clock's mesmerizing seconds hand.
Another moment passes.
His eyelids start to get heavy.
The chills go away.
His mind clears.
And thus he drifts…drifts………………….and drifts…………
A cute little girl running.
Leading a boy through the court yards of Hinata-sou.
The boy smiles as the two stop on the sand box.
Enjoying their youth.
But a set of words ring into the boy's head.
A set of words that define a part of his soul.
"It's a promise…..both of us will go to Toudai."
And then the girl vanishes. As if forgotten like a dream.
The boy…Keitaro…Replies softly into the nothingness:
An older Keitaro studies alone in his bleak room.
Failure is imminent.
The red darkness around him spreads.
Years pass. Three years. And not a single progress.
A ronin is his title.
His mind full of doubt.
And a promise is left unattended.
He stumbles. He stutters. He has no confidence.
But the doors of his dark room open slightly.
A curious light shines from the crack of the door.
He stands and walks over.
With one swift hand he slowly slides the door open.
And in one fell swoop. The light blinds him. But revitalizes him.
He musters all his strength and walks into the light.
Like a shot from a gun, memories pop into his mind.
Repelling the feeling of doubt.
Blurring in and out like mad.
As if baptized by it. Cleansing him.
Memories of Eve. Her silent demeanor. A rough stumbling greeting. Her first words to him through the help of technology.
Memories of Suu. Her constant smile. Her eating habits. Her inventions flying towards him relentlessly. Her unconscious mumbling for her Onii-san as she sleeps peacefully beside him.
Memories of Makie. Her strong enduring will. Her scared face as Keitaro battles her father along side Haruka. Her new life about to start as she is inducted into the dorm family.
Memories of Shinobu. Her innocence. Her genuine smile under the moon that matches her blue kimono during the date at the beach festival. Her playful giggle and blush as she skips back into the summer tea shack, calling him "Keitaro-onii-chan" for the first time ever.
Memories of Mistune. Her undeniable care for the other girls behind her flirtatious attitude. Her younger version of her self crying, yelling the word 'why' on top of him on the bottom of a staircase, as he holds her protectively.
Memories of Motoko. Her unwavering discipline and mind as sharp as her swordsmanship. Her shocked face as Keitaro unknowingly parrying one of her mortal strikes towards him. Her first experience wearing actual girl clothes, and actually adopting it. Her cool attitude as she prepares for the worst from Durante's turtle menace.
Memories of Mutsumi. Her carefree clumsiness. Her consciousness fleeting as she teeters from the edge of a boat. Her warm lips contacting his giving him taste like a sweet lemon, a first kiss
Memories of Naru. Her stubborn resolve. Her pure skin fully revealed in front of him right when they first met. Her flushed face turning even more red before her fists launch themselves at him. Her cute face beaming as she hooks one arm around his own, heading towards the Hinata-sou……home.
Memories of Sara. Her tomboyish foolery. Her tear filled face looks up at him as the two of them stand close to a playground. Her face back to her normal smirking pose as she leaves the airport with him, happy.
Finally….Memories of Sakura and Asuna. Their innocent faces. Their warm bodies hugging his as the two sleep with their new father for the first time. Their infectious giggling grasping unto Keitaro's own face as the three of them splash water at each other within a vast blue crystal like lake. Their distant smiles as the two wave back at him, heading towards a bright new future at their new school with the others.
The light leaves him. The Memories fade behind him.
And the massive building that is Toudai reveals itself in front of him.
He looks behind himself.
All the girls stand behind him. Watching him. Supporting him.
Asuna walks up. Clasps her own hand to his left arm.
Sakura walks up. Clasps her own hand to his right arm.
Sara walks up and pats him strongly on the back. Smiling.
Keitaro couldn't help but smile altogether.
He looks back at Toudai.
A little girl stands beneath the tall building.
She extends a small hand out to him.
"It's a promise…."
With that Keitaro takes one significant step forward towards her….
"You know what…?"
Keitaro jolts awake.
"Who, what, where, Huh?!"
"AA-Ack!" Keitaro yelps. A huge pain stinging the back of his head.
He looks up to see Haruka hovering over him. Her right hand clenching a rather small plastic bag.
"You done?" He asks, rubbing his head.
"Yes, I'm done my shopping. How about you? Done dreaming?"
"I think so. Considering you hit me in the head and all."
"What else did I have to do? I tried nudging you but it seemed like…you had a nice dream…."
"A dream eh?"
"Was it a nice one?"
"Yes….It was a very nice dream. But this isn't the first time."
Keitaro shakes his head, stands upright, and breaths in. "I've had it before." And he breaths out.
Haruka raises an eyebrow.
"I sure did. And its always so….refreshing."
"Heh. I wonder what the dream could be about. But lets start heading home for now."
With that Haruka twists around and starts heading home.
But at the corner of her eye she sees dark figures dashing.
But she ignore it for now.
She glances over at Keitaro who seems to still be staring at the university.
Her nephew turns to her.
"Head to the train station. You can go home first. I still have some things to do."
"What? Why? I came here because you asked me too? I should at least escort you back."
Haruka just stares at him. Already knowing his kindness and his predictable response.
"Well because I asked you to come. I can also say when its good enough. You can start heading home."
"Keitaro. I think I can handle myself. Alright?"
Keitaro pauses. Shivers. And finally concedes.
"Be careful Haruka."
"I will. Just go home…" Haruka replies as she sees her nephew turn around and start heading back.
Keitaro turns around. Curious.
"Tell me one thing…..What are you doing?"
"You'll find out….about everything…if you stay with me."
"Tcha. You're joking right."
Haruka shrugs and looks at him…almost sincerely. "Maybe."
Keitaro looks at her weirdly. Gets confused. And shakes his head. "Bah. Now your just messing with my head!!" He turns back around and struts off. "Good night Haruka!"
Seconds past before he finally turns the corner.
Out of Haruka's sight.
Or was it the other way around…
"I can see you guys you know…"
Out of the darkness.
Out from the shadows.
Away from the red moonlight
Men in loose black ninja like robes.
Red tipped daggers tightly gripped unto their hands and their eyes hidden behind a dark unrevealing visor.
"Isn't it cold wearing all that?"
"I see…Well…..who wants some hot tea? It'll warm you up?"
None of them speak.
But all of them lunge at the twenty something woman.
"Didn't think so."
She smirks, extends a hand out, and clenches her hand hard.
Fire bursts in every which way.
Crisping the air around her to immeasurable temperatures.
Forcing the black figures back a couple yards.
Haruka looks at her own hand.
With her other hand she reaches into her pockets.
Takes out a cigarette, places it in her mouth and with the snap of her fingers.
Its instantly lit.
"Then I guess I'll just warm everyone up a different way."
---------End of Chapter 61------------