The Other Me
Chapter Fifteen: Four Days in the Making
By: Sci-Fi Raptor
Disclaimer: See Chapter Four
I see so many flames in the future. I'll just keep the excuses to myself...
FF has this new traffic tracker thing. I was really surprised that people are still reading TOM and TSTBTPB. I kinda sat there laughing for a while, wondering why people still read this crap. Maybe I'm just really depressed again... I decided that I should finally roll out this chapter. Give you poor folk some closure...
Its been a while since I worked on this project. I had some flags to keep this chapter in line with the story, but its been so long, that I may have missed some details (cause I totally forgot them). Looking at this chapter, I'm a little worried about what people might think because I was personally offended by it after not having read it in such a long time...
Obviously, I've come across some spare time, so I think that I can actually get to the final chapter soon. Hopefully before 2009...
Hey, Obama's the new president! (Please be distracted...)
All elements for TOM have now been introduced. No one new should show up in the final chapter.
MIA HQ, top secret kth dimensional pocket universe
MIA Director Salah al Din kept switching focus from one photon burst to another, not sure if it should have been astonished or furious. Inside, it was both, but the astonishment of the discovery kept it from tearing kth space apart with its considerable abilities. It had been four whole days since the last Made-Mind had been found, but that had been so long ago, most in the multiverse had forgotten about it and regarded it as a myth.
Four whole days… the director thought, still amazed that the Made-Mind had suddenly appeared. In the universe that the current Made-Mind existed in, which coincidentally happened to be the same universe that the last one had been found, it had been nearly 1400 "years" of localized space-time. Sending a tendril to the pulsing neutrino next to it, Din sapped its tremendous white hot electromagnetic energy to calm down… The director of the SIA would be coming soon and it would have to do its best to prevent itself from popping a black hole into the SIA director's essence.
Speak of the devil… the director thought coolly, as the above mentioned entity existed into the pocket universe that was Din's office.
"Sapping neutrinos is bad for your health, comrade director Din," the SIA director transmitted, an edge suggesting that he was holding something back.
"Not sapping it would be bad for yours, comrade," the MIA entity bristled. Its patience had already worn out from many encounters with the cunning SIA director's foreplay, so Din simply existed one of the photon bursts into the SIA director's focus, before he could start yet another scheme. Din knew the director would recognize the entity encoded within the burst, but it wanted to see how he would react to it. As expected, he feigned ignorance.
"A plain, if not youthful example of a human," the SIA director chided, "but I doubt that you would waste both your time and mine just to show me a picture…"
Din did not even dignify the SIA director's accusation with a response. Instead, it simply existed the second photon burst into the director's focus.
The result was immediate.
The SIA director tried to hide his slip up, but both entities knew it was too late. Instead, the SIA director took a moment to collect himself before he spoke. "Is this-" he started, but was cut off by Din.
"Yes…" it transmitted coldly, "that is a spirit scan of the same individual… It positively identifies the existence of the first Made-Mind to awaken in the last 4 days!" it chided, than added with an edge of resentment, "And no more games." It summoned one more photon burst and existed it to the SIA director's focus. Engraved upon it was the picture of a younger version of the man in the first two photon bursts, with two SIA agents hovering over him in his sleep.
"Well, I suppose the cat is out of the bag," the SIA director said calmly. With the repetition of a man seasoned in the arts of navigating through the cloudy sea of politics, he added, "But I can assure you that my taskforce has the situation under control…"
"HE'S ABOUT TO UNDERGO TIME-SHIFT!!!" Din transmitted. The message had such raw intensity, it escaped the confines of Din's office's pocket universe and actually reverberated within the pocket universe the contained the highly secret MIA headquarters.
"Oh my god…" the SIA director transmitted, all pretenses and excuses evaporated. Without even taking his leave, the SIA blinked out of existence, back to the spirit world. He knew that the situation would soon spiral out of control and no words or explanations would contain the damage he and his agents had done.
But Din did not care. Its message had been received and fully realized, so it and the entities under its charge could hopefully contain the firestorm that was soon to come. However, it could take little solace in the fact that agent Kassquit and Kiki were on the ground, trying their best to contain the inevitable shock the multiverse would undergo when the Time-Shift event would occur. He summoned two more photon bursts.
Engraved in one was the picture of a small hot springs turtle. In the other was a recent intelligence snapshot of a human running around in a burning forest. Din sent another tendril to the neutrino, resigned. You damn bastard… it thought sadly, you just had to take the easy way out.
The crisp morning air was cool against her skin. As she faced the sun, her face was deathly calm. Her Katana was held purposefully in her hands, waiting for the best opportunity to strike. Her pose was as solid as stone, but allowed her to move like silk. Small white puffs escaped through her lips as the extra water her body expelled to dissipate the energy of her elevated body temperature froze instantly. And though her white hakama and red gi kept her looking modest, the overall effect could only be described as… sexy. She was doing her normal morning routine and was up to the point where she would slice snowflakes from the air with her Katana.
At least to the untrained eye.
Sure, cutting snowflakes floating in the air was no easy feat, but it was just a stepping-stone for the actual exercise. Closing her eyes, Motoko visualized where all of the flakes were. Her keen senses were able to triangulate all of their positions just by the way they disturbed the air around them and the gentle wafts they made.
And she saw her enemies. Faster than a blink of an eye, her sword struck at them all, giving the impression that she had suddenly grown one hundred arms, each carrying its own deadly Katana.
Each of the flakes was just a representation for a Yokai she could one day face. With the skill that was only attributable to a professional killer, Motoko kept on slashing at all of the unholy beasts until all of them were destroyed. When she opened her eyes, she was pleasantly surprised with a cloud of powdered ice before her, each crystal reflecting the sun's rays in a dazzling display. A lazy wind picked up in the air and the cloud slowly caressed Motoko's body, sending a pleasant chilly sensation running about the exposed parts of her body.
But it was still quite a workout. She let herself catch her breath before she started her workout of one hundred slashes in the air with a stick with a weight on the far end. Though she was small, Motoko was as strong as a Kodiak.
She stopped her movements when she could sense someone coming up to join her. She sheathed her blade and made herself a little more presentable. As she drank some water, she found that it was Naru who had decided to join her today. Though Motoko was fine dressed in her normal attire in the inch thick snow, Naru was sporting a fluffy brown sweater and thick sweatpants.
"Naru-sempai," Motoko said, kneeling on sheet she had put on the snow covered floor, in the proper posture of respect for someone who was older. She left her Katana against her side as an expression of amiability. "To what do I owe the honor of having you join me this morning?"
It was obvious that Naru was not a morning person by how tired she looked. She spent a few moments watching the white puffs that exhaled from her mouth before she seemed to collect her thoughts. She kneeled in front of Motoko as all women did under the strict code of Bushido when addressing people.
"I was hoping you would let me train with you, Motoko-chan," Naru said, looking at her knees. Motoko looked at her in surprise.
Naru was a soft person when it came down to it. True, she could send any unlucky male into LEO, but that was only an ability that came to her in moments of white-hot anger. She was no fighter and had the finesse of a pre-teen trainee slipping down a slippery slope with buckets of water on her shoulders. If Naru wanted to train, it would be serious work.
But it was dull be to out here every morning, alone.
And besides, the best way to learn something was to teach another. Her face turning serious, Motoko said, "It will be hard work, and you will have to wake up at 4AM every morning." A smile brightened the older woman's face, making Motoko reminisce for a moment how they used to tag team on a certain pervert.
Naru brought her back to the present when she said, "Thank you very much. I really appreciate it."
"Now, sempai, why have you become interested in training with me?" Motoko asked, genuinely curious. As far as she knew, there really wasn't anything that Naru could gain. There were less tedious ways in which to stay in shape, and she was pretty sure that Naru had only a passing interest with kendo.
"I know that I get angry very easily," she said, looking away from Motoko with an ashamed expression on her face. "I want to start dating again, but I want to learn to control my temper first," she continued, "learn how to become disciplined."
Motoko's thoughts turned sour. She knew what Naru really meant. She was going to try to court Keitaro but she wanted control of her temper before she started. Motoko didn't know why, but it infuriated her. After all this time, all she could think about was Urashima. Motoko had always thought that Naru would have been happy once he left. She had thought that Naru only bothered to spend time with him just to help him study for the entrance exams for Todai. But here Naru was, groveling before Motoko to help her train so that she could bring him back.
She was just so pathetic.
Motoko's stoic mask didn't betray what was brewing inside. Such petty idiocies were below her. All she knew was that she had a new disciple and that she would train her properly.
"It will be a hard journey, and much will be expected," Motoko finally said.
"I'll try my hardest," Naru said, sighing internally because Motoko hadn't flat out rejected her like Naru thought she would. She would soon have to look forward to a future sigh.
"Trying your hardest is not enough," Motoko said sharply. "You will be expected to do your best, and then some. This is not some stupid modern exercising program. You are now a wad of dough. When you are finished, you will be as hard as the steel that makes my blade," Motoko said. And to make her point more dramatic, she pulled out her Katana from where it stood and neatly chopped a falling snow flake right from in front of Naru's nose, causing her to reel back in surprise. Before the hydrogen bond-bonded water molecules in the snowflake nary had a chance to be torn apart, the Katana was back in its housing, safe from the corrosive crystals that were now blanketing the city.
"I will see you tomorrow at 4:30 sharp," Motoko said as she got up. She walked up to Naru to give her a hand. "But for now, would you like to join me for a dip in the spring?"
Naru just nodded, amazed at how quickly Motoko had moved. The blade was so fast that the tip made vortexes in the air that traced her lightning quick movements. The two went downstairs and soaked in the spring, enjoying each other's company and taking pleasure in the contrast of the cold snowflakes of the winter and the warm spring's rejuvenating waters.
MIA, Special Services: Classified Historical Archives
Special Agent Kiki, MIA: What did you think of Keitaro when you first met him?
Motoko: I had thought him a vile male from the first time I had met him.
Kiki: Do you still feel that way?
Motoko: That he is a male, yes. But I do not think he is vile anymore. He has proven himself to be an honorable warrior.
Kiki: If you could meet him again, what would you do?
Motoko: I suppose I would ask him for a rematch, but only a friendly one. His fighting style is very unique.
Kiki: Anything else?
Motoko: I suppose… that I should apologize to him. No one deserves to be treated with the disrespect that he had when he was manager.
Kiki: Would you think of him as a friend?
Motoko: If he would have me, certainly. But I doubt that he will speak to me again after my disgraceful behavior after our last battle.
Kiki: This is off the record, so you don't have to answer. How do you feel about him?
Motoko: I… I think I may have once loved him, but I have since given up.
Mimi: What would you say if I told you that he loved you too?
Motoko: That… I would be so happy for such an honor; because I would truly be the person I really am, and not hide behind my Samurai heritage.
Ren did not come to class the next day either. Shinobu was worried now. Ren had not come to school for two whole days and no one knew where she was. Her friends and she asked her teacher about it, but the teacher didn't know anything either.
They were all really worried now and anxiously waited for the day to end. Maybe if they went to her house again, they would see her this time? Shinobu had her doubts. It looked as if no one had ever even lived in the house; it was bare and empty yesterday. The lunch hour finally rolled around and though it was brisk, the group decided to eat outside in the front where there was a light layer of snow.
"I don't believe you," one of Shinobu's friends said. "You're telling me that her house was empty?"
"That just doesn't make sense, Shinobu," another added. "I mean, how could they move so quickly?"
"But…" Shinobu insisted, "I know that she lived there. I've seen her go to her house before and there were always cars, motorcycles and people there. But it was empty yesterday…"
"I don't know," the first said. "It just seems so weird…"
Just as she said that, a car pulled up to the school. Shinobu recognized that car. It was the car that used to pick up her Sempai back when he used to live at the Hinata-Sou.
"Awa?" Shinobu said, suddenly standing up. Her friends were all caught by surprise and many food items fell.
"Shinobu?" the second asked in surprise.
"That's the car that Sempai used to ride in," Shinobu said excitedly. Even without thinking about it, she started going up to it, her friends far behind.
Did Sempai come to see me? Shinobu thought excitedly. It had been so long since she had seen him and it surprised her how much she missed him.
The driver's door opened up and revealed the gaijin Russki that had become her Sempai's new friend. Shinobu's heart almost jumped out of her and she ran even faster.
Sempai is here! she thought excitedly. The Russki went to the other side of the Veyron and opened the passenger side door.
"Rin?" Shinobu said, stopping in surprise. Sitting in the passenger seat was a despondent looking Ren, sporting a fluffy pink sweater. To say Shinobu hadn't expected to see her in the least would have been an understatement.
"Rin!" Shinobu exclaimed happily when she realized that her friend was okay. She ran up to Ren and gave her a hug. By then, her friends had caught up to her and all thoughts of her beloved sempai were gone.
"Rin, what happened?" the first friend said.
"Yeah, we've been worried…" the second added.
"Oh my gosh, what happened to you!" Shinobu yelped when she saw a large scar on Ren's left calve, one that was not there the last time they met. Ren looked away, but the Russki answered for her.
"She got in an accident while we were moving her things yesterday," Yuri said coolly. "We kept her out of school till she was ready to come back."
"Oh…" Shinobu said. Yuri went into the driver's seat again and left the girls standing together on the sidewalk; it did not even occur to Shinobu to inquire about her beloved sempai's state until the Veyron was already passing the school's exit.
"You should have told us you were moving, Rin," Shinobu said as the group went back to their lunch table. "We were so worried."
"I didn't really know," Ren said sadly. "It just happened without anyone telling me…"
The girls kept quiet, not sure how to respond. They finished their lunches while Ren kept quiet, sadly gazing at a point on the table. The other girls ate quietly. When the bell rang, the first three girls moved to clean up their garbage and go to class. But Ren kept sitting there, not really noticing.
"You guys go ahead," Shinobu said to the two friends, her assertive fire blazing for some reason. "I'll see what's wrong…" They looked at Ren with worried expressions, but nodded in agreement. Shinobu sat next to Ren and said, "Did something happen?"
Ren did not know exactly what had happened, where she was, or why she was there. She remembered the nightmare from before she passed out, but she blocked it out as soon as it came back to her. She sat up in the bed she had awoken in and tried to take stock of things, her old instincts kicking in. She looked around to see if she could recognize where she was, but to no avail. Though the room was similar to the one in Yuri's house, she found that she was in the guest room of a stranger's house. Though the furniture was not the proper Chinese variety she was still accustomed to, it was still elaborate for a mere Nippon-jin's home.
"Ah, I see that you're awake," exclaimed an unfamiliar voice. Ren tracked the voice and looked to where the bathroom would have been. Standing under the doorframe was an unfamiliar girl sporting a warm smile. White towel in hand, she walked up to Ren's bed and pushed down on her chest, saying, "It's too early for you to get up yet; you need your rest."
"But-" Ren was about to protest, but a sharp pain from her calve made her relent.
"It's really just a scratch," the stranger started, removing Ren's sheets to show the offending leg and the injury she had gotten. "It seems that when those bad snipers were gunning for you, our hero was a bit slower than he thought he was," the stranger continued, obviously referring to the man that Ren had come to… love?
She felt her cheeks flush warmly.
"My name is Sakura, by the way," the stranger turn acquaintance said, bowing formally. "Nice to meet you Ren."
The fact that the total stranger knew her name should have sent alarming flags in her mind as to why this person knew it, but Ren was a bit… distracted…
"Ow!" Ren complained when she felt another sudden sharp pain on her calf. She looked to the wound and saw that the woman henceforth known to her as Sakura had applied an alcohol pad on the wound without her knowledge and was already wrapping it with gauze.
"Sorry about that," Sakura said, sporting a mischievous, toothy grin. She looked back at the dressing that she was working on, and said, "I remember being a kid and having the same thing happen too." She looked up at Ren with a warm smile and chuckled, "minus the whole sniper thing," and went back to dressing. "It's a lot worse when you see it coming," she said, sounding distant for a moment, "at least when you don't know its coming, the pain is the only thing you feel." She paused a moment, when suddenly she pulled on the gauze, hard. Ren stifled the gasp that would have come out when she saw Sakura suddenly stand. The wound was dressed.
"Sorry about that too," Sakura sweetly apologized. "I just wanted to make sure it was on tight so that it wouldn't fall off when you started walking."
The news to which Ren responded by sporting a smile worthy of her age and jumping off of the bed and quickly testing the leg. True to Sakura's words, the dressing did not slip off and it barely hurt anymore. Forgetting the thank you, Ren simply ran up to the older woman and gave her a tight hug, though she could only reach up to her waist.
"You don't talk much, do you?" Sakura giggled, hugging her back.
"Thank you, big sister!" Ren finally said, smiling ear to ear. She had never thought that there were actually people that cared about others anymore. Maybe, finally, she could move forward from the horrible experience she had had since she had left China.
Bursting with a new energy, Ren bolted out of the room, eager to find the man whose name she did not know. The first person to treat her as if she were a human being and not merchandise to be bartered or sold. The man that she thought she… no, she was sure that she loved.
Ren just continued to stare at the point. "Rin?" Shinobu asked again when she noticed that Ren started sniffing. Before she knew it, Ren was embracing her desperately; bawling like a woman whose husband had just died.
They had kept her from Ren the whole of the day before. But she would not let those thugs keep her from the man she loved. It had taken her a day to find him in the monster of a mansion that the woman she knew as Sakura lived in and she had had to disable a few thugs along the way, but she had finally found him. Though she had been so driven to find him up till now, she suddenly felt apprehensive.
Did he still remember her? Did he care for her?
No, that did not matter. She would stay by his side as they had been all this time, regardless. All she wanted now was to see him. As she finally found the internal strength to open the door, she had a sudden apprehensive feeling. What she saw inside made her gasp in horror; she almost threw up.
Inside, the man whose name she did not know was tied to a large stone table, completely naked. His wrists were bound to two corners and ankles to two others, but since the table was half as long as he was, he was forced into a kneeling position. And as bad as that might have seemed, the picture got worse. He was covered head to toe with burns, bruises, welts, gashes and all other signs of torture that Ren could think of.
She took a step back, mortified by what she saw and the memories that surfaced as a result, stepping so hard on her wounded leg that the gauze fell off, slowly uncoiling to show an almost completely healed wound.
"I see that you two share the same amazing healing ability," a voice said from the shadows. Ren looked to her left and saw Sakura walking up to her, the same warm smile on her face the first time Ren had seen her, but Ren could actually sense the malice behind it this time. The sweater she wore had bloodstains consistent with someone who was well versed in the arts of torturing people.
"W-what did you do to him?!" Ren accused, images of girls her past captors had made examples of flashing through her mind.
"Do to him?" Sakura said thoughtfully, as if she was actually mulling it over in her head. After a few moments, she finally said, "All I did was make love to my one and only…" as if it were the most obvious thing in the word.
"Y-you call that making love?!" Ren said reproachfully, almost throwing up when she glanced his way once more. Without saying another word, she moved to emancipate the one man who had saved her, but Sakura had somehow moved to block her from going into the room, a scowl in possession of her features.
"And what do you think you're doing?" Sakura said in a steely voice.
"I'm getting us the hell out of here!" Ren replied, using the slang she had picked up from China before her abduction. She tried to force her way past Sakura, but the older woman put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed with an iron clad grip.
"You need to rest," Sakura said, sounding all the devil Ren had thought her to be. "Otherwise your injury won't heal properly," she added, as the force from her grip dislocated Ren's shoulder. Ren would not yelp in pain, but it hurt so much that she had no choice except to do what the woman wanted. She escorted Ren to another floor, into a room where she was surprised to find Yuri lounging, reading a book written in a language that she had never seen.
"I found her next to a stairwell, her shoulder dislocated," Sakura announced to the Russki, who merely moved his eyes up from his reading material to regard the two. "Be a dear and make sure she stays out of trouble," Sakura said, after painfully relocating Ren's shoulder. Yuri merely nodded as Sakura left.
Ren was about to go out and follow her, but Yuri suddenly said, "I wouldn't."
Reb stopped and turned to look at him, but he continued to read his book. But before she moved to leave the room again, Yuri added, "If you step out of this room, next time she sees you, she'll kill you."
And to her eternal shame, she listened.
"Ren…" Shinobu said softly, trying to console her friend. She did not know what had upset the young girl so much, but God help her, she would stay by her side the whole time.
I know Sempai would… the girl thought, slowly brushing her hand through the other girl's hair. She whispered words of comfort into her friend's ear as a new coat of light snow wafted down from the heavens, moving with the wind as if children at play.
Tsuruko had finally noticed its ki signature two days ago. It was massive and scared her from even where she stood. She scrambled to find it but arrived at the battle field too late. What was once a forest was now in ashes and cratered like a snow covered moon…
It had been more than two months since Akira's assault. And in that time, a bad situation turned desperate.
The fact that the meeting was secret spoke volumes as to how desperate times had become. Seated in front of the heavy cedar wood meeting table before the man known only as "Sensei" in the underworld were the last loyal bosses of the shattered old Yakuza. The last time Sensei could remember such trouble was back during the gaijinn's occupation, where not only did the pacifist traitors of the country make movement nearly impossible, but the occupying Americans themselves were in direct competition with what would one day become the modern day Yakuza. Sensei had courage and charisma to keep them alive then, but the current threat was seemingly much worse.
This boss' meeting, one of the few such ever called, would finalize a desperate move to destroy the man dreadfully known to them as Koishi Urahara. It would involve the hijacking of a secret US nuclear submarine, and the demolition of an estate owned by one of the very members present, plotting the destroy it!
Curses on his name! Sensei thought, glaring at Sakura's father, causing the feeble man to cower. Had he kept a leash on that damn daughter of his, our situation would not be half as dire.
Though blaming everything on Sakura's father was a convenient thing to brood on, the problem inevitably rested solely on the actions of Koishi Urahara. His meddling was ripping the established Yakuza apart on all fronts. Most problematic was the alarming rate of turnover to his side. The very fact that the largest portion of the traitors were his very own victims defied all logic. Then there was the matter of turning age old allies against the establishment. Russian, Chinese, and even Columbian cartels now demanded insurance on all deals, even those that used to be as commonplace as a handshake.
And then there were the political actions. Sensei did not know how he was doing it, but Koishi had by some means caused not only the Chinese government, who were already on rough ground with the Japanese, but still had a cool relationship with so far, but also the Russian government to bear ill will to the Japanese government. His brazen international actions not only threatened the potential nuclear juggernaut of the combined former communist 'allies,' but also the American retaliation, as per its nuclear umbrella, under which Japan was protected by. Only a madman, or an idiot, would risk a nuclear winter over…
What? What does that monster want? What are his motives?
The increased volume of the murmurings of the Bosses broke Sensei's line of thought, and brought him back to more pressing matter; namely, the assassination of one Koishi Urahara.
"If you would brief everyone, Reyega-san…" Sensei said loudly, effectively starting the meeting.
"Thank you, Sensei," Reyega replied, bowing in respect. He then continued on by detailing the plot to hijack a secret American nuclear submarine, stationed near Tokyo, with a complement of conventional missiles. He then continued on about how the operation would utilize the American war machine to make a strike on the current residence of Koishi Urahara, namely, the estate owned by Sakura's father. At his own mention, the man hung his head in shame.
"A team from the northern branch will standby at the mansion to coordinate the strike and confirm the kill-"
A sudden loud noise took everyone by surprise. And then another. All the bosses looked at the only pair of reinforced heavy doors that gave entry to the meeting room in apprehension. Surely, the commotion outside was just some idiot Yakuza grunts being stupid.
The face of every man in the room went a ghostly white when the doors shattered.
"No…" a dark voice boomed from behind the dust as if reading their very thoughts. The dust started to settle when a soft, sharp noise could he heard.
"Ugh!" one of the Bosses suddenly cried. All turned to him and were horrified to find him grasping his throat, what seemed to be a ninja throwing knife impaled through his wind pipe. His eyes started popping out, as he clawed at his throat, and then through the air, desperately
trying to breath. With every heartbeat, his blood gushed out like
jets of crimson
flying everywhere until his head just landed on the old table, covered with an ever larger pool of his own blood, with a resounding thud.
"Hahahaha!!!" a maniacal laugh followed the squishy thud. All the
scared, horrified, mortified
eyes in the room turned back to the doorway, where stood a familiar woman clad in a revealing red bikini, laughing as if she were boasting something. Behind her stood the monster known as Koishi Urahara, eyes dilated as if he were in a cave, smiling
as if he were watching something interesting on TV.
Throwing the last of her knives at the closest victims, Sakura readied herself to unleash the very Katana that Sensei had once given her. Jumping from where she stood to the middle of the table with the dexterity of one who had mastered the art of killing, she turned around in a full, swift, circle with the Katana extended, ripping apart the chests of six slow, fat Bosses. Their bosoms separated with a sickening crackle, as their severed hearts sprayed the mad woman with a river of crimson. As if a carefree child, Sakura took a moment to bask in the living red rain that fell on her, while the other bosses pulled out their guns, or ran with their tails between their legs.
Their bullets bounced away harmlessly, as Sakura was very adept at defending herself, her movements betrayed by the flash of her katana as she moved with the speed of a trained assassin! Those who tried to leave the room were met by the eerie stare of the one they knew as Koishi Urahara. His cold,
piercing eyes made them all overcome with such horror that they simply turned away, the specter of Sakura seemingly less terrifying than his otherworldly stare.
Blinking, Sakura's focus went straight into one individual; the old man that she knew as Reyega. Smiling with the thought of her imminent revenge, the old man froze, sensing her radiating killer intent.
"Re-ye-ga…" she said in a low,
feral mutter. The old man slowly turned to face her blood lusting eyes, as she slowly,
walked up to him. To him, the overall effect was almost like watching Jesus walk through water, as his executioner approached.
But instead of the holy Jesus, there was the hell-spawn known as Sakura. And instead of walking on water, her bare feet walked on the dirtied crimson liquid of the fallen, pummeled by what seemed like a dying rain of life from her most recent victims.
She had a dark, predatory look in her eyes, as she maliciously dragged her Katana along the floor. As the crimson rain stopped, since her victims blood pressure had normalized with the atmosphere, Sakura's eyes shone greedily with her killer intent Reyega would face his death honorably, not like the cowards around him who were either trying to run, or miserably trying to take aim at their attacker. He intended to die like a samurai, as his father and grandfather had.
Sakura intended to enjoy this as much as time allowed.
Next on her list was Sensei. Though most of the old men were cowering, waiting for their impending deaths, some were still willing to put up a fight. Not that it mattered.
Sakura was very adept at deflecting bullets, and she just tore up anyone who dared to come into her killing field. Like the other cowards, Sensei just curled up next to a wall, hands covering his ears. From his trembling, it was obvious that the old man was scared beyond belief, which was surprising, considering that he was supposed to have taken part of much worse bloodbaths in his prime. No longer interested in disintegrating him limb by limb, organ by organ, as she had with Reyega, Sakura just chopped his head off to go on to the next old man.
She coughed a little when blood from his jugular jumped into her mouth, taking her by surprise. But the taste of the liquid seemed to waken some inner demon within. A demon that wanted more
blood and she jumped to the next victim, her deathly edge blazing. This feeling
of a new kind of blood lust seemed to increase her body's abilities. She soared through the air from one victim to another, her striking pose like that of a bird of prey. Her blade tore through the human flesh like a hot knife through butter, as she ripped her victims apart like a greedy wolf. The screams of horror, and their pleas of mercy sounded like music to her. And best of all, was the blood.
The crimson fluid rained down like a monsoon, covering everyone and every inch of her body. Its warmth against her skin, and that slick feeling as it rolled down just felt so…
new that she just did not want it to stop. She hacked and chopped and sliced and tore, until all that were left were twitching corpses, still pumping the last bit of life into the air.
But the joy she felt! She felt like a kid again, dancing in the bloody rain. She danced and twirled until it finally stopped, the bodies now completely lifeless, their futile attempts at defending themselves marked only by the spent shell casings, halved bullets, and mangled guns.
Sakura, taken over by some overwhelming feeling of euphoria, jumped into a puddle of red, rolling around it like some kind of mangy mutt. She got handfuls of the stuff and covered her body with it, as if she wanted to soak it all in. What was not covered by her red bikini was now covered in the blood of her
enemies. She laughed and giggled, so consumed with contentment, that she did not come back to reality until the blood had turned cold, and stale.
Her wits about her again, she slowly got back to her feet and collected her Katana. Noting with a frown as to how soiled the once polished metal looked, she rubbed it along her breast, relishing the feeling of the instrument of death against her body. She walked back to the door, dripping dirty blood as she walked in a very sexy manner, where Keitaro stood. The whole time, he had been gazing at her
intently, seemingly sharing in her joy as the old Yakuza were vanquished, one by one. Miraculously, he was completely clean, as if some kind of force kept the blood away from him.
As for Sakura's humiliated father, he had also drawn his gun. But instead of pointing it at his daughter, he pointed it at his own head.
Her predatory eyes left no doubt as to her intent, as she lunged at her quarry. Her Katana stowed away in Keitaro's guts, she quickly assaulted his lips, her blood lust turning horny. As he responded back, mouth full of blood from the attack, Sakura just lost herself to some kind of animal buried deep within her.
But that animal was now very much in the open, fangs screaming for more blood.
She had taken him right next to the bloodbath, and now he was sleeping, seemingly exhausted by Sakura's animal drive, and the bloody Katana that gored him with every pleasurable squirm. Though she wanted to just stay in his arms, the blood that covered her now caked into some ugly brown crust, there was business to be done.
The special assault team made up of the Black Ninja Stars had finished "sweeping" the building of all loyal Yakuza left (that is killing all that opposed Sakura's bid for power). The assault had been bloody, but the carnage that Sakura had left behind was enough to make even the strongest among them buckle with terror. Sakura looked up to the team leader, who cringed in fear. Luckily, his ninja gear hid his face, so Sakura could only just smell his fear.
Smiling a feral smile, she stood up, and to their horror revealed a Keitaro gored by her Katana. Though their first reaction was to kill anyone that dare touch Keitaro, the sight of Sakura standing over him just scared them enough to make them hesitate.
Not paying their reactions much mind, Sakura pulled her Katana out of its Keitaro sheath, and grabbed its inanimate version from a nearby frozen ninja who had been tasked with carrying it. After cleaning the deathly instrument with her breast again, which made her give a shallow moan, she tucked it away into its rightful home and roughly shoved it into the nearest minion's hands.
Then, watched by the circle of confused, disoriented,
ninjas, Sakura started taking Keitaro once more, as he magically stirred back to life. Some of the ninjas just stood there, trying their best not to throw up. Others ran far away, the horrible image before them, burned into their mind's eye.
It had been a good day, Sakura felt. Her enemies destroyed, her greatest love between her legs, and the whole of the dark underworld almost totally under her control.
She screamed with pleasure.
The Hinata-Sou's newest manager, Amalla Su, had been one of the more interesting people that Kitsune had met. Collected like Haruka, but just as playful and teasing as Kitsune, the two had quickly become drinking partners. Their similar personalities were so compatible, but with the way the foreign woman acted around her, Kitsune was starting to worry if maybe something more would develop.
Not that it mattered right now. The two, joined by Haruka, were enjoying each others company in the hot springs, downing some warm sake as they conversed on women folk gossip.
"At the same time?" Haruka said in wonder, her poker face distorted from the little tidbit Amalla had mentioned in regards to Molmolian marriage tradition for the royal family.
"It is seen as necessary to ensure a full stock of heirs," Amalla elaborated, giving Kitsune one of those winks that, honestly, made her real uncomfortable. The woman's innuendos had started to make the resident fox sympathize with the men that she had taken advantage of before, as of late…
"Huh…" Haruka grunted, "Good thing Seta isn't royalty." Otherwise, auto insurance would become a real headache.
"Mew?" Tama chirped from within the ample bosom of Amalla. Amalla had become the de facto protector of the turtle during Keitaro's absence, making Su's eternal nemesis (and prospective food) all but impervious to attack.
"Naughty turtle!" Amalla giggled, and put it on its normal perch, atop her silver hair.
"Mew?" Tama chirped again, as if ignorant to its little offense. Kitsune giggled too, but stopped when she noticed that look on the other woman's eyes. Being the fox she was, being preyed upon surely did not settle well with her.
Trying to focus attention to something else, Kitsune strategically said "You guys saw the news last night?"
"About the murder?" Haruka asked.
"More like massacre," Amalla said in a dark tone. All were quiet, the atmosphere suddenly awkward.
'Boom!' The three were suddenly showered by raining spring water as a certain Molmolian princess started her attack.
"I'm finally gonna eat you today!" Su screamed from above at a certain panicky turtle, letting fly more of her patent pending Turtle-Buster Bombs®.
"Su, you maniac!" Kitsune cried under the unrelenting assault, doing her best to save the expensive sake she had just bought, a reward to herself to keeping her drinking moderate and under control for so long. Her efforts were to no avail, however, as a stray bomb happened to land smack dab in the middle of her precious containers.
"No!" Kitsune cried as a cloud of pink appeared before her. Though she wallowed in self pity, her sadness turned to anger as it was all directed at a certain tanned hell maker. Su!!!
Haruka calmly pulled out her gun, aiming smack dab at the fuel tank of the latest of Su's Mecha Tamas, while Amalla ran around like a headless chicken, hugging Tama-chan protectively inside her voluptuous bosom, while the said turtle frantically moved its flippers, trying to fly away and escape, inadvertently tickling the foreign woman and making her lose concentration.
Two sharp cracks, and a loud boom was heard, as Harukas bullets aimed true. Seconds later, Su landed into Kitsune's waiting arms, as the Mecha Tama sailed past the Hinata's grounds. It ended up landing near a pair of glasses wielding dorks, who were on their way to ask a certain kendo-ist and gunslinger out again, but the explosion that landed in front of them made them decide that today was a bad day.
"Yay, you caught Su!" Su cheered, having been caught in Kitsune's arms bridal style. She instinctively started rubbing her cheek against the older woman's as a sign of affection.
"Su…" Kitsune muttered darkly, the unstable look in her eye crazy enough to make even a monkey like Su cower. The puppy dog eyes that came upon the monkey's face as a self-preservation mechanism would not cause the foxy woman to relent, no matter how Su looked.
Amalla only laughed at Su's face while Kitsune gave her a most vigorous noogie. Su turned to look at Haruka for help, but the look on the older woman's face clearly said, "You're on you own kid." For all her toughness, not even she wanted to get into Kitsune's crosshairs right now.
Once Kitsune ran out of steam, which incidentally happened to be radiating from Su's hair, she just plopped down into the springs next to Haruka, looking very, very tired. In the least, she was grateful to Su that the energetic young girl had steered the older women's conversation clear of the awkward atmosphere before. The price however, Kitsune lamented, looking at the now annihilated sake bottles, was very steep.
Haruka gave her a sympathizing look, and settled down with taking a smoke. Su had run into Amalla's sisterly embrace, while Tama-chan escaped the older woman's clutches and settled for the relatively safety that was Kitsune's head.
Recently the Hinata-Sou seemed to return to a sense of normalcy. That heavy atmosphere seemed to melt away with the snow, as spring had finally arrived.
Though it was only a strange feeling in the back of her mind, Haruka could sense a change in the air. As if the old social norms that tied everyone together had changed. That a new kind of life had emerged.
That the girls had finally started to move on.
Whatever this change was, Haruka had this strange feeling that it may have been irreversible. Whether or not that was a good thing was something that only time could reveal. But there was that nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach, telling her that something was not the way it should be. That someone was not the way he or she was meant to be.
Haruka, however, shook away such thoughts, after taking a drag of her cigarette. Such thoughts really amounted to nothing, as they accomplished nothing. All she wanted to do was remember this time, this scene that had been vacant from the Hinata-Sou for so long. Haruka's lips curled into a subtle smile.
Everyone seemed happy.
The rest of the Hinata-Sou's residents decided to show up, mostly curious of all the noise coming from the springs. Amalla had taken a position in front of a faucet where she was cleaning her younger sister, both sitting on a stool. Sarah took that moment to make fun of her accomplice, when Shinobu took her by surprise as she replicated the same thing on her. Su and Sarah sat indignantly side by side, as they were forcibly being washed, while Amalla and Shinobu smiled to each other, loving the sisterly moment. Naru, Mutsumi and Motoko settled down next to the two adults already sitting in the spring, Naru trying to comfort the resident fox when she noticed the ravaged bottles nearby.
In an objective manner, Haruka noted how the girls really were growing. Su and Sarah had a very close friendship, even while they went to different schools. Amalla balanced her duties as manager, and her duties to her country very well. Though they did not really know it, Su and Shinobu had been quickly filling into their womanly curves since they both turned sixteen. Shinobu, in particular, had been developing a certain beauty to her, though it may have been more in regards to how she carried herself. From what Haruka had gleaned over the months, many school boys had confessed their love to the two. For some reason, however, the two high schoolers had always rejected them, for what Haruka could only imagine were their own personal reasons.
Motoko had probably changed to most out of everyone, though not too much for the better. Her newfound obsession with the sword made her very unsocial. But in her own merit, she had been winning competition after competition. There were also rumors that she was considering going to Todai when she graduated, since she had received a full scholarship to the school based on her kendo.
Mitsune had turned into the literary butterfly recently, exchanging the bottle for the pen. From what Haruka had heard from some of her customers, her writings were relatively popular, and were deeper than the foxy woman ever let on about herself. Mutsumi fit very well into her new college life. Though she was still as klutzy as ever, her legions of fan boys had kept her safe (and kept each other from ever taking advantage of her when she was unconscious).
Naru… Naru was changed. Though the hardest parts were now over, the girl was still slow to recover. From Haruka knew she and Keitaro had been avoiding each other in school for some time, so it had been easier for the girl to recover. But the training she was getting from Motoko was still unsettling. It was not as if Haruka was worried that the girl was going to use it on someone. She was just worried that Naru was running away.
Haruka cut her recollections there, however. Instead, she chose to bask in the warmth of the patched family that now surrounded her. All the older girls (barring Amalla) had settled down in the springs and were simply enjoying each others company (Kitsune swallowed her sulk with some of the watermelon that Mutsumi had brought), while Amalla and Shinobu, had started washing Su and Sarah's hair.
For a second the scene hit Haruka with a brick solid wall of déjà vu. So familiar…
Her thoughts floated to Keitaro, when some words accidentally escaped her lips, "…just like Kanako…"
What followed abruptly brought her back to reality.
MIA, Special Services: Classified Historical Archives
Special Agent Kiki, MIA: Before the incident, how would you describe your nephew?
Haruka: Total idiot.
Kiki: …no hesitation…
Haruka: He was really clumsy. He was also too nice for his own good. But… I guess that's one reason why all the girls were drawn to him.
Kiki: Intelligence shows that he looked up to you.
Haruka: Heh… go figure.
Kiki: Do you find that strange?
Haruka: Well… I guess I've been too cold to the boy. I figured I was really just an aunt to him.
Kiki: His diary shows that he felt very affectionate about you.
Kiki: In a big sister sort of way.
Haruka: Phew… you know with him, I sometimes wondered.
Kiki: What do you mean, exactly?
Haruka: Well, a virgin in a house full of jail bait and firecrackers? I figured he'd be a man within a month or so.
Haruka: But I guess that's not totally fair. They were really cold to him in the beginning.
Kiki: His diary also hints that he thought of them all as family. Analysis also shows that all the girls felt some kind of affection for him after his acquisition of managerial status.
Haruka: (smile) Yeah, he'd do that to you…
Su sighed in resignation as the midday bell rung for lunch. There was nothing wrong in lunch-y perspective, as Shinobu had actually made her most favorite of dishes for lunch today: ripe banana. But what made today's lunch seem lackluster was that she would not have any mechanical companions to play (translated: wreak havoc) with while she ate. The Molmolian Princess decided that she would go bug Shinobu and her group, as Sarah had ditched school to visit something called a "Mayan Temple" (which sounded like it would be really tasty with bananas, but Sarah would not tell Su what a "Mayan Temple" was, nor if it was tasty or not) with Seta and Su's own friends were still recovering at their homes from the medium-ly spiced curry she had brought in a week ago for a potluck.
She bounced down the halls at a relatively conservative pace (triple marathon running speed) until she spied her quarry out a window. A great smile formed on her face as she opened the window.
"Shinomu!" Su bellowed with joy as she leaped for the group from the third floor, while everyone that saw her looked on in horror.
"Amalla!" Shinobu cried in horror as she saw said girl sailing from the third floor and falling towards the scrambling group. Sure, Su had done some insane things, but there was no way she should have been able to survive a fall from that height. One of the girls in her group already had a cell phone out, calling for an ambulance.
"Woo hoo!" Su cried like a monkey, suddenly thrusting an arm out to catch a conveniently placed branch on a tree that Shinobu's group had no noticed till then for whatever strange reason. She used the branch like a spring, letting go of it when it looked like it was about to break. She landed surprisingly lightly on her feet, however, and bowed to her unwitting audience as some simply waived the act as another of Su's games, while others questioned why there was a tree there to begin with. However, these thoughts were dispelled by a sudden feeling that asking such questions might unravel some fabric of their universe.
"Amalla-san!" Shinobu cried, highly upset. "What were you thinking!" She paused for a moment and appended, "Just don't do something like that again!"
"Hai hai~" she said cheerfully, taking a position among the reassembled group and munched on one of her bananas.
The following awkward silence was only disturbed by Su's inhalation of food and quiet munching of lunch, until Ren blurted out, "What manner of devil are you?"
Shinobu gasped, not only because she had never seen someone ask such an insulting question so directly, but also because Ren had started talking again. She kept looking between her old and new friend until Su stopped munching on bananas and said, "What's a devil? Is it tasty?"
Shinobu, among the others present, sweat dropped.
"No Su…" Shinobu started, but continued talking, thinking that it would be better to keep Su from saying something actually disturbing. "Su's from another country called Mol Mol. She's really smart and she's really good with machines."
"Yeah!" Su suddenly added, on her feet and pumping her right arm in the air. "Su can do anything with computers too!" She then started explaining how she had broken into the Japanese Ministry's secured computer network and left them a 'present.'
"So you claim that you can manipulate any of the bedeviled boxes into submitting to your will?" Ren asked, suddenly serious.
"Yup!" Su exclaimed and held her right arm outstretched with a V formed by two fingers.
The strange smirk on Ren's smile worried Shinobu, but the girl suddenly become social moments later. As lunch neared to a close, she was glad to see that the recluse Ren finally seemed able to make friends again, and with the way she was talking to Su about something called a "Super Computer," Shinobu was sure that the two would become very close friends.
The darkness was all Keitaro could see. It was not so much the kind of darkness that resulted from the absence of light, but that heavy feeling one gets when all the senses are dulled. When one is in a state of nothingness, completely cut off from the world; from all sense of reality. It was similar to that dark world he had slipped into so many times… but it was also different. Keitaro did not know how long he had been there, floating this time for all he knew. There was no sense of time; seconds could turn to minutes, could warp to years.
He welcomed it at first; it was the first time that he truly felt that there was no one out to get him; that if he let down his guard, even if for a second, nothing bad would happen. He relished the calm and quiet; he felt safe. No one to protect; no one to care for. All this fighting that he had been doing
had been wearing him out more than he ever imagined it all. All the bloodshed,
all the pain, the agony,
all the fucking shit that he had been going through had worn him down mentally by so much, he was not sure if he could hold his grip on reality.
"Who's there?" Keitaro shouted suddenly, furious that someone would dare intrude upon this refuge that he had finally found. He could not see, hear, feel, taste or touch the intruder, but he could finally sense that there was someone
started setting in and Keitaro started panicking when nothing answered back. "I know you're there!" his voice shouted angrily. But everything thing felt weird,
like something was messing with his head.
Like something is in your head.
No… the ex-ronin thought after that last thought. He felt disembodied, as if his own voice was coming from somewhere else. "Where are you?!" his voice shouted again, but it was almost as if he were yelling to himself. What's going on? the ex-landlord thought, the signs of an imminent panic attack becoming apparent. He
clutched his chest, trying desperately to keep his heart from jumping out. This feeling of panic became so intense, he could imagine as all his glands let loose a torrent of hormones, awakening the slumbering potential of every single cell that made up the fiber of his being
and gave him superhuman strength, sharper reactions and- and…
Apparently increased mental faculties?
Yeah! Yeah, that was it! The thing with the facilities…
Exactly who are you talking to?
"YOU!" Keitaro screamed! His voice carried such intensity, he could swear he saw the darkness ripple.
Interesting… (But how do you see a ripple when everything is black?)
What was that about? I don't know… he thought, and tried again. "YOU!" he screamed again, actually managing to be able to muster the same intensity.
I did not see that coming…
He took a proverbial step back. Yes, the blackness *apparently* seemed to ripple again,
That wasn't too hard, now was it child?
but there was a small slit
that seemed to show him a glimpse of an outside world. A flash of red or orange?
Ursai! he thought with annoyance. This revelation was more urgent than arguing with- with…
Look not at me…
Whatever! "Ursai!" he yelled again, seeing if it would cause a different reaction. And
Boy oh boy… we will need to converse later it seems…
was there a reaction! Keitaro lost his perceptions.
Consciousness, I think its called…
All Keitaro could feel was pain. He did not know why he was in pain, nor could he explain why it was all he could feel. Screaming with agony, his body slowly booted up the rest of his cognitive functions, letting him take agonizing stock of his state.
The first thing he realized when his sense of touch came back was that he was tied up, completely immobilized, on his knees, head down, and ass up. The second thing he soon realized after that was that his eyelids were just covered; he had not lost his sense of sight. His sense of smell picked up a vast array of odors, the most distinctive of which was the burning of flesh. This brought him to the last point that his cognitive processes surmised after compiling all the evidence his senses had told it.
Simply put, someone had set a fire into his ass.
"Someone help me!" Keitaro finally screamed, though the gag that was stuffed in his mouth made it very unintelligible.
"Hmm? What was that?" someone said from behind, the thing in his behind shifting. Keitaro started wriggling in protest to the violation of his right to not be violated. Thankfully, the offending thing, henceforth known as the whatever-it-was, was removed. Keitaro could hear the body that the voice belonged walk up to him and remove his blindfold.
Keitaro's eyes bugged out immediately.
It was not the manner of dress that the person wore (or did not wear) that made him freak out, but the manner in which she wore them and looked at him with caring. Before him stood a handsomely gorgeous orange haired young woman wearing an outfit that would have even made Kitsune blush. Her fiery locks went down past her shoulders, though some of them went down the front and were matted down from the sweltering heat in the room, tantalizingly framing her generous blooming bosom. His eyes shifted lower, though the perverted part of him wanted to keep them focused on the younger, perky pair before him. He was pleasantly surprised with the optimal hourglass that stood before him, though he was surprised to find that the woman was actually built like a lean athlete. Head out of the gutter… Keitaro thought to himself as his eyes drifted lower than the waist. Her legs were those of a professional sprinter, capable of accelerating her to maximum speed in no time. Perfect for getting away from dangerous situations.
"Hello?" the now familiar voice said. "Eyes up here, pervert…"
To his surprise, the redheaded woman was not the pissed off Naru he had thought he had momentarily heard, but that same woman from the alley. But she was not cowering with fear this time, no; there was an indescribable, strange, yet comfortable aura surrounding her, a sultry smirk plastered on her face. The reddish, gold-flecked eyes that stared back at him were still the same as those of the terrified girl that he remembered from what seemed so long ago, but they now held an affectionate playful glint on them. And understanding came upon them as Keitaro managed to convey that he would at least like the gag removed.
Naturally, the blood curling screamed that followed explained exactly how he felt about this whole ridiculous situation.
"Su?" a raven hair goddess questioned, too distracted by the aforementioned Molmolian to continue her training regime. Though she could normally tune out the tanned teen, the extra katas she was undertaking put quite a toll on her body and concentration.
"Hai!" the younger woman exclaimed, discreetly filing away in her head that Motoko did look beautiful with her hair matted all over her from the strains of practice. The biting winter air, however, was taking advantage of Motoko's sudden inaction and left her shivering with only her sweat-soaked hakama and gi covering her.
(Annoyance) "What are you doing?"
(Ecstatic) "An experiment!"
(Shudder) "Why here?"
(Gizmos going off in the background) "I'm looking for energy fluctuations from higher dimensions, and trying to pinpoint them with the spy satellite that your sister let me play with!"
(Resign) "But why?"
(Confusion) "To help find the banana that Motoko and her Sister are looking for…"
(More confusion) "Banana…?"
(Acknowledgement) "Yeah, the one that blew up the mountain place and everything was like 'Boom!' and 'Ka-blooey!' "
(Slit eyed suspicion) "You mean the demon…"
MIA, Special Services: Classified Historical Archives
Colonel Kassquit, SRDF: Release please, my eye bud.
Su: Ooo... your eyesockets are just like a chameleon!
Sarah: And his tail coils too!
Sound of people being restrained
Kassquit: Then, now, return we to objective, my. All the time beat Keitaro, why?
Su: Cause he's a really fun banana! I had hit him, punch him, shoot him blow him up... continues list of things she can do in the background
Sarah: Cause he's such a stupid idiot ronin! Its just really easy to pick on him!
Kassquit: Towards him, hostile intentions have you?
Sarah: Not really. He was just easy to bully.
Su: … and set him on fire. I loved him like my own younger brother! He was my most favorite-ist toy.
Kassquit: How feel, you, when leave, him?
Sarah: I thought it was pretty cool. I heard he caused a hella lot of trouble.
Su: Su was confused. Keitaro never got mad like that before.
Kassquit: If see him again, what do, would you?
Sarah: Artifact to the head.
Su: Su would hold onto him. Su wouldn't let go. Su doesn't want Keitaro to leave again...
Of all the nerve… How dare she? Someone like Kaolla? How could she? Surely the search for the mysterious demon thing was not going so badly as to require the assistant of the resident monk- er… mad- er… Molmolian. (Yeah…)
"Sister!" Motoko exclaimed sharply, before realizing that she was not regarding her elder and superior in the proper manner and went to the floor on her knees. "Sorry… for the intrusion," she started again, humbly. Not even Amalla, Su's own older sister was willing to step in the way. All she did was shrug and say "As long as it keeps her busy and things don't blow up…", then take Sarah and her albino reptile (which had taken to liking the mischievous blonde American) on a walk.
"Motoko-han?" Tsuroko questioned, her full attention focused on her dear younger sister. Though the informal intrusion had given the older woman the flutter of hope that her younger sister had thawed while training her new apprentice, the butterfly was sliced metaphorically by the blade of the metaphorical Bushido once Motoko sat down in a proper manner.
"There is a matter with which I wish to speak to you," the younger woman explained, straining not to bluntly ask her why the hell she asked a mere child, a child who was still pure of the dark shadow world (well… sort of), to aid in the fight against the demon scum that Shinmei Ryu had dealt with for centuries.
"Kaolla-kun," Tsuroko said knowingly, causing Motoko's right brow to twitch.
Sister's manner of speech has grown so callous since she met that pervert of a ma-
She destroyed that line of thinking before she finished it. It had not really been that long since she had learned the error of her ways, and she would not allow herself to make those unfounded assumptions, No matter how flustered I am…
"Yes," Motoko acknowledged, but Tsuroko cut her off before she could continue.
"It is not the type of demon we thought it to be…" she said gravely, her face slightly tired, taking Motoko by surprise. The only time that she had ever exposed herself, shown that she was as fragile and vulnerable as any other woman, was when their father had died.
"But surly the services of Su" and all that entails she added mentally, "are not necessary to merely find a simple… (uh)"
"Abomination," Tsuroko completed for her dear sister, though the acid and hate in her voice made even the proud Motoko Aoyama, heir to the Shinmei Ryu cringe in fear. Whatever this abomination was, Tsuroko was taking it as seriously as…
"Motoko-han," the older woman suddenly said cheerfully, breaking the sister's train of thought. "Would you care to partake in some tea?"
Huh? the little girl thought, dumbstruck. Gone was the battle hardened warrior that Motoko had grown to fear and respect, replaced by the soft housewife that she had grown to despise.
"Tea?" the elder insisted, pouring some into a cup that magically appeared with a steaming pot. But we didn't even discuss the original problem at hand! she thought with an awkward look on her face. It was as if some great, magnificent[, handsome] force had conspired to conveniently end a problematic discussion that could have seriously caused the "story" (What story?!) to deviate from a predetermined "plot" (Ane-ue!!!).
"Mou…" Sakura whined, gingerly adding the balm to the infernal wound that Keitaro had apparently suffered by her hands. Exactly when did her Keitaro get so whimpy? One second, they were going at it just like Sakura dreamed they would when she had spied on him obliterating that undead rat-like creature; the next, he was screaming like a girl… "If you were really in pain, you should have just said so…"
"Gagged!" Keitaro repeated, starting to think that the woman behind him had a serious case of tunnel vision. Seriously! What the hell is going on, and why the hell is this happening to me? "Ow!" Keitaro yelped when Sakura accidentally rubbed a tender spot too quickly.
"Mo…" Sakura whined again, "wimp…" After an excruciating healing session (I thought I was immortal and etc!), Keitaro slowly started walking around, trying to find the right set of movements that would cause the least agitation to his poop-hole. Whimpering like a child with its first painful wound, Keitaro finally found the optimal range of movements.
"Well, thanks for the help," Keitaro started as usual, but then memories started catching up as to why he was thanking her, "I think… But I should really get going now…"
He walked to the door that led to the gigantic hallway that led to the ridiculous reception room that was joined to the magnificent front lawn outside by a meticulously decorated pair of large mahogany doors. But just as he was about to slip into *relative* safety, a pair of serpentine arms slithered around his waist, slowly pulling him into the embrace of a soft, warm body. Though he wanted to continue walking, the fresh wound hurt too much for him to summon the power necessary to skedaddle, though the pain was starting to numb as it used to.
"Where are you going?" the voice that was part of the mesh that the arms belonged to whispered into his right ear, caressing it with its sultry breath. Though Keitaro did want to leave, his brain was slightly busy processing all the hormones that were kicking in to think clearly enough to answer her. Taking Keitaro's silence as consent, even though it was just hormonal shock, one of the arms moved down to his fly, and slipped inside, swallowing the prize.
The fact that the "prize" was still tender broke Keitaro out of his trauma and he shoved the woman away with his elbows, the horrible memories of her violations nary an hour ago still burned into his brain (and nether regions). It was really only a reaction, but Keitaro turned back to see if the woman was hurt, and was horrified to find that he had somehow busted her lip. Before he could say anything however, the woman brushed the broken skin with her tongue, looking as if she was savoring the flavor, before she said with hungry eyes, "I knew you liked it rough."
Before Keitaro could make sense of what the red haired woman said, or why her eyes had a predatory glint in them, the woman jumped from her place on the ground, latched onto Keitaro, and caused them to both tumble down. And with animal like frenzy and the efficiency of someone who had done it many times before, Sakura tore through the shell of fabric that stood between her mouth and the savory nut that was inside…
February, Spring Semester
Tokyo University, Lecture Hall
Micro Economics 101
It's all Keitaro used to think about, whenever he had free time while studying for Todai. He had an impressive collection of magazines and other erotic media that he kept well hidden from his parents.
He had always imagined, well fantasized, what it would be like the first time he ever did it. He had always thought that his first would be his promise girl. He had always hoped that it would be the pinnacle of his life. He had always longed for the tender emotions he and his lover would share… the trust… the love…
How cruel reality was.
Keitaro let out a sigh, utterly not paying attention to the lecturer. Though the class was nearly packed, there was a distinctive ring of empty seating around him. It was an open secret who he was associated with, and no one wanted to die a virgin.
But that meant that no one was willing to talk to Keitaro either, except his loyal thugs and self proclaimed girlfriend.
Keitaro sighed again. Just why the hell a girl like her would be interested in a guy like him had had him stumped. Not that he really thought much about it. Ever since he had self-righteously left the Hinata-Sou, Keitaro did not really do much of anything. His memory of the last few months were hazy at best, and he could not really recall doing anything of significance.
He slept a lot. Sometimes it would seem like a few days, or even a week had passed while he slept, but it did not really faze him. At this point in his life, he was just really waiting to die. Not in the sense that he wanted to kill himself, but more in the sense that he did not know why he was alive. There was just no more purpose in his life. He had gotten into Todai, but for what? He was sure that the whole 'promise girl' stuff was just some sad figment of his imagination. Probably something his mind dreamed up because he was soo lonely as a child.
He never slept well anymore. All his dreams were just nightmares. Either some evil mirror image of himself would taunt him, he would think back to life in the Hinata-Sou, or visions of horrible, horrible things would plague him. Murders, extortions, bribery, adultery, and lot and lots of other horrible things that he could never imagine doing. In the least, he was never the one to do the acts; he just gave the orders.
He would always wake up screaming, whenever he woke up from a dream. If not from the terrible images that haunted him in his sleep, then the nightmare that he woke up in.
He always seemed to wake up from some kind of trance in the middle of having "sex" with this random woman who just seemed impossible to get rid of. She was always there, always hounding after him, always being needy, and always trying to get him horny.
But unlike a certain foxy character, Sakura would actually follow through. And it would be a blatant lie if he did not admit that he was at least a little bit grateful for her intentions. Keitaro had finally fulfilled that lifelong desire to lose his virginity, but he was not happy… at least not like he had dreamed he would be. He was not really sad or anything. Mostly terrified though. But he just seemed to be passing by time while living his life now.
He had no purpose.
He accidentally knocked down one of his pencils while droning on and on about how unassuming his life had become. He reached down to grab it, but it was just out of reach. He repositioned himself to get closer, but it was just past his fingertips. He started willing it to come closer, in a vain attempt to get it.
But it was not vain.
As if it had a life of its own, the pencil actually rolled towards him.
His first reaction was to pull his hand back, as if the pencil were molten lead. The pencil stood perfectly still at that point, as if happy to resume being inanimate.
Normally Keitaro would scream. He would be jumping around like a jumbling idiot, announcing for all the world to see an animated inanimate object being perfectly inanimate. Then people would laugh at him and he would end up hanging his head in shame. But that is not what he did. Instead, he considered for a moment what he had just seen. At first, we was trying to rationalize what had happened. Maybe there was a sudden gust on the floor? His rationalizations did not really convince him, so he took the next logical step.
He must have been insane!
Seriously though; it made sense! All those strange nightmares must have had him hallucinating. And he really did have a hard time telling the difference between dream and reality. It was an inevitable safety mechanism to deal with all the insane things that he was not really sure actually happened. So, for all that he knew, he might as well be dreaming right now! Any second now, a US Navy SEALS units, or maybe the Marines would come bursting in the classroom any minute, guns blazing, leading to a miniature war that would leave half of Todai smoking in ruins!
He was afraid, really. He was just trying to find an excuse. The fact of the matter was, Keitaro was very comfortable with what he thought he just saw. He was not comfortable because his life in general made little sense, no. He was comfortable, because it seemed a natural thing.
He tried again.
He really did start accepting the fact that what was happening was actually happening. If not consciously, then subconsciously. Finding his newfound ability highly amusing, Keitaro brought the pencil up to his table and did some other stuff, taking care to hide what he did with his arms and some notebooks. Sure, everyone around him would pretend to no see what he was doing. But for some reason, he had the feeling that something really bad would happen if this ability was discovered. So, in secret, he kept himself amused, until the class finally ended.
He waited a bit, waiting for the last stragglers to leave the class before he himself finally moved. Eagerly waiting outside for him was his fiery, self-proclaimed girlfriend, Sakura. Without even saying anything, she link arms with him and started dragging him around. She seemed to be excited about something or other, and at some point, they ended up in a recreational part of the campus. The area was full of couples hanging out, eating lunch together, fucking behind bushes…
Keitaro had been around this crazy broad long enough to know what she was plotting, but played her game. In all honesty, he had nothing better to do. Besides, he always did wonder what it felt like in public… Sakura kept prattling on and on about something that Keitaro was sure he would be better off not listening to or knowing about.
Just as they reached a bench, Sakura's cell phone conveniently starting to ring. She checked to see who it came from and cursed under her breath, saying "I'm sorry, love, but I really need to take this." She answered the phone with an irritated tone, and hung up quickly. With a pissed of look. She quickly hid it, thinking Keitaro did not notice. "I'm really sorry love, but I need to take care of something really quickly," she said, giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "Just wait for me on that bench for a while," she said as she started walking off in some direction. "I'll be back really soon, I promise!"
Keitaro just stood there speechless. From the look on her face, he had some inkling as to what she was about to do, and decided that sitting down on the bench was a really good idea.
Sakura was taking her time, leaving Keitaro a rare chance to sit by himself and think. He avoided thinking about what he normally thought of, that being suicide, pain, abandonment, etc; the normal. Instead, he opted to reminisce about his childhood. Back then, at least, he could honestly say that he was happy. But whether it was the time he spent playing older brother with Kanako, playing with his parents in their bakery or getting bossed around by Harauka-obasan that he thought about, the happiest moments that he remembered were the memories he had made with his promise girl, and the memories he had made in the Hinata-sou.
The revelation was very shocking. The promise girl thing, was a given, but living in the Hinata-sou? All he had been thinking about about that place was all the bullying, harassment and torture. But given that he was dissociated from the place, he realized that he honestly missed it. Sure, he went through ordeals that would kill most men. But there were some moments.
Of course, Shinobu always doted over him. And though most people would rightfully assume that Su was out to kill him, she was just playing with him in her own way. Same with Sarah. Mutsumi had always been a close friend and confidant, however much she put him into mistaken situations. Mitsune, however much she sexually harassed him, was the only person to really treat him like and adult. Motoko had always tried to push him into becoming a better man. And Naru...
A feeling he hadn't felt in a long time suddenly popped up.
"Kei..." a voice called out. Keitaro looked up a bit slowly. He first recognized that while Sakura had left him alone, it had already become sundown. The next thing he noticed standing in front of him, was the last thing he expected.
The new form of address visible made her recoil in pain, but she didn't try to run away or anything. Taking a quick moment to collect herself, she finally replied, "I'm glad you're still willing to talk to me..."
The two kept quiet for a while, neither knowing what to say. Finally, Keitaro said, "Would you like to take a seat?"
Naru hesitated. She didn't really know what to do. It seemed that Keitaro had finally cooled off in the months since he had left the dorms. The hate and hardness that had terrified her was no longer there. He just looked... tired.
"I..." Naru started. Her mouth closed when she couldn't continue. She fretted and worried, trying to say with her mouth, what she had practiced millions of times with her mind. It had taken a while for her to catch him, even if she had stumbled upon him totally by accident today.
"I'm sorry," she finally said after a few minutes of agonizing silence. They were both looking straight, at the sunset, so she had no idea as to what his reaction was. She braced for the worst.
After hearing nothing for some time, she turned her head to sneak a peek and was absolutely unprepared for what she saw.
He was smiling. And not some evil smile, or some victorious smile. It was just that gentle smile of his that she and the Hinata-honeys missed so much. His face still looked tired, but Keitaro was starting to look his age, and not the age his new beard hinted towards. Naru continued to ogle him until he finally stirred.
"I forgive you." he said simply. There was nothing forced or subversive about the statement. He simply meant what he said.
"Kei-" Naru started, but Keitaro continued.
"I've forgiven all of you. It might just be that I just needed some space, you know?"
Naru was left speechless.
"I think... that its time we all moved on." Keitaro said, regret plain in his voice. "I just hope that you girls can all forgive me."
Naru froze. Keitaro wanted their forgiveness? All that went through her mind was how much she, and the girls, missed him. How they had nothing to forgive. That all they wanted was for him to be happy again.
Keitaro stood up. Naru took her cue and got up as well.
"Friends?" Keitaro asked, as they both stood facing each other. Naru's mouth opened, but words would not come out. Neurons fired, and she held her hand out to shake. Instead, a goofy smile appeared on his face and before Naru knew it, he had enveloped her in a gentle hug.
She could sense his hesitance. He must have thought that Naru would punch him automatically. But she kept her control. Motoko's training had done her wonders. When she could think again, she moved to return the hug, but was stopped before she could move her arms.
"You BITCH!" a very angry voice screamed. Keitaro suddenly let go of Naru, and moved her behind him protectively.
"You whore!" the woman continued, clearly trying to strangle Naru, but Keitaro kept her out of harms way.
"Sakura, calm down." Keitaro said. He told her how Naru was just a friend and that he wasn't cheating on her, like Sakura was jealously assuming. Defusing the situation, Keitaro bid Naru goodbye, while Sakura held onto his arm, glaring daggers at her.
Jesus Christ, that could have ended so fucking badly, Keitaro thought, his mind acting like a normal person's. Having a problem to focus on did wonders in suppressing one's inner demons.
But, he did have to be proud of himself. He had finally let go of the biggest demon in his heart. He could finally start moving on with his life.
When Shinobu found Naru, the first thing she thought was that someone had attacked her. But while she consoled the sobbing ex-ronin, she slowly cajoled what happened to her. It turned out that Naru had actually met Keitaro. And not only had she met her, she told her that he forgave them all. When Shinobu, completely ecstatic about the news asked why Naru was crying, Naru told her that it was because he forgave them.
In the end, she felt that she didn't deserve his forgiveness. That she didn't suffer enough to atone for her sins. It took Shinobu some time to calm down her sempai...
Yurislovak Ivanovich Kerensky, son of a detective, and now the right hand man of the man known to authorities and the underworld as Koishi Urahara, took a drag from his cigarette. When he heard the high pitched scream, he kept on dragging until his lungs were at full capacity. He let the smoke out slowly, relishing the warm feeling it left inside and looked up from the book that he had started reading the other day. In front of him stood Ren, every fiber of every muscle straining not to run outside and find the… woman… who had stolen the one person that cared for her. Though it really was not a concern of his, or even a responsibility, Yuri thought that the girl was seriously contemplating some kind of stupid action.
Internally he chuckled, imagining the pint sized little Chinese whore darting out of the room they were in, fighting her way through the thirty-odd Yakuza that were on order to kill anyone, or anything that dared to venture into the wing of the mansion wing that was essentially Sakura's room. After the girl with a death wish miraculously made it through the hardened soldiers, she would have to face up to the automatic digital sentries that jealously guarded the wing with stolen secret military hardware, driven by a stolen AI construct made by a renown quantum physicist who had conveniently turned up dead a few days after he had foolishly installed it. After that, there was the simple matter of avoiding military androids toting two .45 caliber chain guns each that patrolled the halls (stolen from the Americans, along with their Abrams and prototype Comanches, which their higher-ups had thought to have been scrapped with the termination of the project. Amazing what a few forged documents could do…), genetically enhanced guard dogs, and finally, the harem of eunuchs that were Sakura's person security detail.
If she actually survived that first little obstacle, she would have to deal with Sakura herself, a prospect that even the now veteran Yuri cringed at. Though Sakura specialized in the arts of manipulation, give her a dull knife and you'd wished that you were still sucking on mommy's breast milk. And then, if she somehow made it past Sakura, the stupid Chinese whore would have to deal with Koishi himself, and if Yuri knew Koishi, many child molestation laws would be broken… Just exactly what Ren saw in Koishi, Yuri would never understand, but he had to at least respect her ferocity. There had only been two times he had seen such ferocity. The first time, was at the height of the War, as the Enemy were finally being driven back to the breach, their orbiting mass accelerators be damned. The second time, was when Koishi had negotiated for the mysterious Time-Shif-
Shit! he thought, throwing his book aside. As soon as the startled yelp reverberated through the hallway to their room, he saw the foolish child bolt out of the room. Though Yuri had no real reason to save this child, watch over and protect it for as long as he had, he ran after it, every muscle fiber burning from the strain of trying to catch up with a much nimbler and faster prey.
Was it guilt that drove him? It would be normal for anyone to feel guilty about keeping a child under house arrest and watch it feel so much misery.
It could have been pity. Who would possibly envy the kind of life that the child had lived? Born in China, she was begotten to a father that would sooner sell her to slavers than suffer the harsh hardship of being a poor parent in a communist state. Her resilience on the trip from Japan's regional neighbor to the slave houses in Osaka was remarkable, but there was something… wrong about her. Even after going through her file, if one could even call it that, something seemed amiss… something Yuri simply could not point a finger at.
But further speculation would have to wait till later, since the bandwidth of his brain was currently focused on finding that damn Chinese whore and keeping her from killing herself. He looked to his right, and then left and was amazed to see that somehow she had actually subdued the guards that were waiting in the hall, and in the few moments it had taken him to step out no less. Yuri smiled… she really was as ferocious as they could get. He bolted down the hallway, following the trail of dazed or unconscious Yakuza soldiers, carefully listening for the telling sound of another soft thud.
Thirty, a high school student thought in her head. Before her stood the limp form of another Yakuza soldier, the last one she would have to deal with before the actual hard stuff. Not that it would be impossible. Ren was very patient and had learned the strategic layout of the mansion, from the actual floor plans to the monster of a security detail. Being friends with Shinobu had the perk of getting one of her friends to write a super virus that killed the mansion's AI the night before, and now all Ren would have to do was walk past the security system, disable with gun toting security drones and finally strangle that bitch Sakura.
With relish, Ren stepped on the Yukuza's hand as she walked past, imagining all the ways she would murder that bitch.
She stepped up warily to where the virtual security zone started. If the virus had propagated properly, the security system would be deactivated and it would be a walk through the park. But if that foreign devil got it wrong, I won't even be alive long enough to regret this, she thought as she took a careful step forward. When her foot did not instantly vaporize, Ren continued walking into the security zone fully, confident that she would be able to make it to her love.
No one could tell by just looking at her, but Ren was a fighter. She had to be to survive as long as she had, and as a result of the insane hell she had lived through for so much of her life, her body was a machined honed into the arts of killing. Of course, the bondage and starvation she suffered under slaver conditions had had much of a detrimental effect, but she had been getting plenty of exercise during the small respite she had had while under her beloved's charge and was slowly regaining her peak performance. She had always had average reflexes, but they suddenly stopped her right foot from landing on the ground, almost causing her to trip and fall. Though she was not consciously aware of it, her brain had detected an anomaly from slight atmospheric variations. An instant after she started righting herself from tripping, the floor where her foot would have landed suddenly exploded. Another reflex made her left knee twitch and she jumped to her right, rolling on the ground as a trail of more explosions followed her. She stole a glance farther along the corridor to see what the hell was going on and was scared shitless by the sight of a three meter high, .45 caliber gun toting 2 ton spider-looking robot.
She hated spiders, she recalled as the end of her roll gave her cover behind a wall.
At first she thought that one of the other Houses had finally made a move to take over her father's territory via assassination. But security cameras only showed that it was only the Chinese whore causing the commotion. It was actually entertaining, watching her jump this way and that, trying to get the Spiderz to shoot each other without sacrificing herself in the process. She had one scrape when she accidentally landed too close to a Spiderz and almost had a 10cm hole blown into her abdomen, but to Sakura's consternation, the little Chinese whore ducked in time, causing the Spiderz to tear the hole into a wall instead.
Not that it would matter; Sakura knew the results even before that bitch knocked out the first rent-a-guard. The Spiderz would continue tiring out the little wombat until she had no energy left and go for the kill. Sure, the Spiderz looked like walking turrets, but stupid they were not. The late professor had actually included strategic algorithms that even the IDF would envy within the Spiderz, making them theoretically capable of controlling an actual army. In fact, they were so effective, many technical details involving some Yakuza operations were planned out by the Spiderz.
There! She could see it now, that cockroach's strength almost completely evaporated. The girl stood panting for a second, as the Spiderz finally gave up their charade. Both monsters bore their fangs at their prey, while she helplessly lay witness to her fate.
Even Keitaro, though he lay sleeping beside her, gave an amused giggle, as if he too relished the scene unfolding. Just looking at his calm, angelic sleeping face made her want to hold him again. She lay back down in bed, resting her head on his chest so that she could at least watch the massacre on the monitor while still caressing her beloved.
Poor girl. No human could possibly survive such goliaths… Sakura licked her lips in anticipation.
It was not humanly possible.
He stood before the scene, mouth agape, his fallen cigarette long forgotten. What the hell is she? he thought in disbelief. Before him stood the husks of the former Spiderz, numerous holes caused by their own .45 caliber weapons fire scarring their frames.
Sounds of barking and small arms fire brought him back to reality, firing up the neurological pathways to his legs and sent him running to where the action was. With no doubt, he knew what he was going to find when he got there, but seeing the corpses of the naked, bloodied eunuchs and their K9 comrades littering the hallway still made him want to vomit.
What kind of monster was she? Something truly was wrong with her, that much he was sure of. But none of that mattered, he realized in a split second.
Without him noticing, a Katana wielding Eunuch neatly split his body in two from behind, in its last bout of life.
Sakura took a fleeting glance back at her greatest love, snoring gently as if nothing were going on, before she refocused on the problem at hand. She had not been paying too much attention when the Spiderz had finally bared their fangs, assuming that the end was inevitable, so she did not see exactly how the little Chinese runt had managed to destroy the Spiderz. Normally, she would just rewind the security tape just because she was curious as to how the little bitch had managed to kill off the Spiderz, but the destruction of the Spiderz had caused, what she quickly deduced to be, a power surge or maybe even an EMP discharge. One that had the unfortunate effect of disabling all computing hardware within a reasonable distance of the battle; which unfortunately meant that the mainframe super-computer that controlled the CCTV circuits in the mansion was down, taking the video with it.
Blinded (in the sense that all her cameras were gone; the red emergency lights were glowing) and facing an enemy with some unknown advantage, Sakura quickly changed into her assassin's gear, ready for anything that the little bitch could humanly throw at her. She knew rug rat's target, so it was only a matter of time before she came upon her. Donned in the jet black overalls, and sporting enough weaponry to take down a small army, Sakura left her room, locking the door behind her so that the little runt could not make her way in if she somehow snuck past her. Though Sakura really doubted it had such abilities, the fact remained that the Chinese whore had somehow taken down the Spiderz and Sakura was not willing to take her lightly.
The smell of blood made her excited. She ran down to hall, thinking that she would be faced with a savage battle between her elite eunuchs and the K9 companions. But to her shock,
all she saw was her guardians dead on the floor.
Sakura was suddenly wary, sensing a trap. She cautiously went through the graveyard illuminated in red, inspecting the lifeless bodies that lay on the floor. She stopped when she saw the two halves of a Russian man's body on the floor, a look of shock frozen onto it.
"Who is this?" Sakura wondered, not recognizing the Russian in the least.
She continued, paying the unknown man no heed, as if she had never met him before in her life.
But there was no trap. None of the bodies suddenly flew into the air, trying to attack her. Sakura was dumbfounded. Did the whore just turn back in cowardice? No… who would stop after going so far? Even if Sakura made a most formidable opponent, she had seen the determination in that brat's eyes.
Something was up.
Normal lights suddenly turned on, as backup systems finally activated. Sakura, thinking that maybe the Chinese girl had given her the slip, ran back to her room. Thanking Satan, she found that the doors were still locked close. Just to be sure though, she went back inside.
That nothing exploded in her face, or attempted to slit her jugular made her a little more comfortable, though just a little. Every sense in her extremely hot body, covered in the skin tight, black assassin's gear, screamed that something was wrong. And she found out what when she looked at her bed.
Keitaro was gone.
Tsuroko felt bad, hiding things like this from her baby sister. She truly was becoming of age to learn the more secretive natures of the Aoyama clan, Tsuroko gave her little sister that much. But if she could not even identify the burden of the near invisible would that she carried, she could not be anywhere near ready to learn of the other realms that existed in all existence.
While the babe slept, Tsuroko gently applied the balm to the wounded leg. Being otherworldly, the medicine quickly did its work, earning a soft sigh of pleasure from the sleeping younger sister.
Sleep well, Tsuroko thought tenderly, stroking some hair off of her smiling sister's face.
She frowned a little, thinking about what was to come. Aoyama intelligence had finally pinpointed the lair of the beast. Unsurprisingly, the location was the HQ of the newly reformed Yakuza. Reconnaissance of the building proved difficult, as the Black Ninja Stars protected it well. There were only two choices in terms of eliminating the beast. A full frontal attack, or to wait it out and let itself show.
Though Tsuroko had originally thought it best to wait, she had since changed her mind. With the massacre of the old Yakuza, she had thought that the monster could be tamed. Maybe even become a champion for good. But it seemed that it was just using the massacre as a means of consolidating its power.
The monster seemed to have some large plans in mind as well, as the new Yakuza's activities had increased tension among the world's greatest powers, threatening to spill over into all-out global war.
Which would be good for Yakuza, as war was only good for business. But Tsuroko could only think that the monster had some other, darker intention. Simple war would never satiate a being like itself.
Her cell phone vibrated.
"Moshi moshi," she whispered discreetly, leaving Motoko alone in her room.
"The beast stirs within the lair," the other side said cryptically, hanging up without waiting. Tsuroko took the cue to leave the Hinata-Sou.
"Something is happening," she whispered to herself as she bounded past the mansion.
As the life blood of a certain deceased Russian drained from his body, wisps of smoke started bubbling from the crimson fluid. The bubbling liquid quickly started boiling as the liquid started to evaporate to nothing, disappearing to quickly that the floor betrayed no signs of blood spilled from the former 2nd hand man. The dead flesh started to ripple too, until the body started popping like a piece of meat left in the microwave for too long. Bits of flesh flew in all directions, but disappeared into nothingness before they could leave any marks of evidence. Flesh liquefied and melted as it to disappeared to the netherworld as the blood had, only moments ago, until all that was left was the bone. But the bone, too, started showing signs of this impossible phenomenon as it became completely desiccated, all flesh and fluid stripped out by some unknown force or agent. The bone, dry as sand, started crumbling, as its fibrous constituents lost their internal bonding and the bones broke down into a fine white dust, which also suddenly disappeared.
In moments, the only hint of the existence of the human known as "Yurislovak Ivanovich Kerensky" was an empty spot in a sea of corpses.
"Find that little bitch!" Sakura screamed into her radio, summoning every foot soldier and ninja at her disposal. She did not know how the little runt had disappeared, but she had some how made away with one of the cars in the garage and drove away unnoticed.
But the only reason Sakura cared at all, was because, that little wombat had made away with her man!
"And when you find her," she screamed into the electronic device in her right hand, while her left hand grabbed a nearby grunt's windpipe. "KILL HER!" she screamed, crushing said grunt's windpipe.
Again, the darkness. Why did it always have to be dark?
All senses of time and space seemed meaningless.
Transcend time and space, something countered.
What the hell are you! Keitaro thought sharply in annoyance. Yes, he was used to being pushed around. It was just business as usual for most men in Japan. But after all he'd been through since he left the dorms, he figured that he would finally get some respect. Dammit, he was the leader of a new, more powerful Yakuza!
Some leader…, the same something droned.
Ursai! Keitaro retorted back, only to be met by silence. A pitch black that seemed to swallow him whole. But the black started to ripple again, as if his anger was somehow taking form.
Yes, let the anger grow!, a new something encouraged, though Keitaro could only scowl at it. Yes, it was the "voice" of his other self.
The other him.
Long time no see, friend, the reflection in the black sneered, the arrogance in its voice conceited enough to make even a Saudi proud.
I wonder if anyone caught my little joke?
Final Chapter Preview:
Fifteen minutes later, she heard some shuffling. Oh crap, Haruka thought as the girls burst into the tea house.
"Is it really true?!"
"Is Sempai really coming back?"
Remember, click the 'Go' button on your way out. (Flames are still understandable and especially welcome if critical)