I admit, I'm supposed to be doing some studies…and finish my holiday homework…but (sighs sheepishly) the luring abilities of Recca no Honou (specifically Kurei and his Jyushinshuu) are just too powerful. In other words, I thought about the series, and then came across something that might be interesting to write about. Oops.
Heh, anyway, this is based on the manga, where we are told about Mori Tsukino, the lady who adopted Kurei and who Mori Koran imprisoned in a placed called the Moon-Palace, along with having a bomb implanted inside her. This centers around the time when Kurei (unfortunately) loses to Recca in the final of the Urabutousatsujin.
Well, that's about it from me; read on! Oh, and before I forget;
Disclaimer: I own nothing from Flame of Recca…except for the all-too flexible cardboard 'Fuujin' that I tried making a few years ago. (And that too, didn't last for too long).
Rescue from the Moon-Palace:
The middle-aged lady seated on the ground sighed heavily as she looked around the painfully familiar room; the painfully familiar room that she had taken up residence in for the past ten years. She could tell that it was early in the afternoon, from the strength of the sun's rays that were entering the room through the windows. If she had been younger…and perhaps foolish, she would have made an attempt to escape through the windows. Fortunately, she was intelligent enough to understand that the armed gentlemen in black-suits, who surrounded the entire house that she was in, weren't just there for decorative purposes. They would probably shoot her down the moment she set foot outside the house, or outside the rooms that she was allowed into.
Glancing at the small calendar that she had requested from the man in charge of the armed gentlemen (and that she had thankfully received) her brown eyes widened as she saw what the date was. She hadn't written anything on the calendar, but she remembered things well. She remembered the last visit that her son had paid her…and what he had told her about the Urabutousatsujin. Today…should be the final round of the tournament…
Her eyes downcast, she turned her gaze from the calendar, and on to her lap. Simply thinking about the tournament called the Urabutousatsujin made her shiver. She couldn't believe that her husband was…inhuman enough to organize such a tournament. Yes, her son had said that the purpose of the tournament was to gather as many of the Hokage madougu that they could…but still, it wasn't right. Fighting until your opponent was dead…that wasn't right at all.
"I wonder…how he is…" she said aloud, to no-one in particular. Even though she was proud of her son, for the simple reason that he was still alive and hanging on to life…she was saddened, and continued to be saddened, about what he had become. When she had taken him in after finding him helplessly wandering around Tokyo, she had wanted to give him a better life; a life where he would grow up comfortably, with a family. She had wanted him to be happy…and to enjoy what other normal children enjoyed.
But taking him in might have been the worst thing that happened in his life. Why? Because of what she had introduced him to. She could still remember the disdainful expression on her husband's face when she had taken the four year old child with her, to his office. She had looked hopefully at him, hoping that he would allow her to keep the boy.
"Koran-san…I hope I'm not disturbing you…" The dark-haired man seated at the large, wooden desk, looked up, seeing his brown haired wife standing in front of him with a small smile on her face.
"Hnn…" he said, shaking his head, before turning back to his work – which consisted of looking through some documents of some sort.
"I…I want to ask a favour of you, Koran-san…" said his wife, hesitantly, as she pushed the little boy in front of her, forcing him to stop hiding behind her.
"How much?" asked her husband, not looking up from the documents he was reading.
"How much? If it's clothes or jewelry or anything else that you would like to buy, tell me, how much do you want?" explained her husband, distractedly. He didn't see the frown that formed on his wife's face before it disappeared.
"It's…not money that I want, Koran-san," said his wife, quietly. She watched as her husband nodded, still not looking up at her.
"You want to go and visit your parents and your sister then?" he asked, "It's fine, Tsukino, you can go ahead. I've never stopped you from going to see them, just as long as you mention nothing about – "
" – It's nothing like that Koran-san," interrupted Tsukino, "It's about…a child." Her husband snorted.
"You women are all the same…the only things that you want in life are money, expensive clothes, jewelry and then, children," he said, looking amused. "I've given you a list of all the adoption agencies that I approve of, but you're the one who hasn't selected a kid from them."
"I found someone, Koran-san…someone that I would like to keep here…with us…" said Tsukino, ignoring her husband's comments like she always did whenever he said something that she didn't like. "And I brought him along to show you…" This time, her husband did look up at her, taking notice of the boy who was standing in front of his wife.
"What the – " The boy staring at him was rather pale…probably due to a lack of nutrition, as his lose robes suggested. His black hair was messy and a number of un-trimmed bangs fell into his eyes; deep blue orbs that stared at him, not showing any emotion…except for a sense of haughtiness. "Who the hell is he?"
"Kurei," said Tsukino, smiling warmly at the boy as he turned to look at her, "His name is Kurei…and…I would like to keep him here…and raise him as my – our – son…"
"And pray, tell me, where did you find this…this kid?" asked Koran, looking disdainfully down at the boy, "Look at him – he's malnourished and unclean…" He turned to his wife, "Do you really think that I will allow – "
"Koran-san, please, if it's the appearance that you are worried about, give me a week and I'll make sure that he looks tidy and that he's eaten well," intervened Tsukino, pleadingly.
"Tsukino – "
" – Koran-san, I have never asked you for anything much in all the years that we've been married," continued Tsukino, tightening her grip on the little boy's shoulder, "Just…please, let me raise him as my son…" Her husband stared hard at her before turning his attention to the boy who was now staring at him again, his deep blue eyes just…staring. Something about the little four year old bothered him…there was just something about him that…appeared strange…and powerful…
He shook his head mentally. How could a four year old look powerful? Looking disdainfully once more at him, he shrugged casually. "Do whatever you want, Tsukino," he said, "But make sure he's trained well – I want to have someone presentable to society as my son, understood?"
"H – Hai," said Tsukino, sounding extremely relieved, "Arigato, Koran-san…" With a small bow of the head to him, she turned around and walked out of the office, taking the little boy with her.
She smiled. From that day onwards, she had devoted her whole life to looking after the little boy; she had taught him everything that she knew, and had sent him to school, wanting to give him a good education. He had stopped going to school, however, when her husband had said that he didn't want any son of his associating with 'ordinary' people…and he had had tutors helping him with his work at home. She had argued with her husband, telling him that their son should go to school…but it had been of no use.
At first, despite the small arguments she had with her husband, she had been pleased to see him take an interest in the boy, and had been even more pleased when he had told her that he was his son too, and that he wanted to take care of him along with her. She had actually thought that her husband was…changing.
She smiled bitterly. If only I had known why he had taken a sudden interest in looking after our son…if I had known, I would have given Kurei away…immediately…
She looked up when she saw the light-haired man enter the room she was in, with a tray of some sort in his hands. He put it down in front of her. "Your food," he said, curtly. She nodded.
"Thank-you," she said, bowing her head slightly. The guard nodded, before turning around. He stopped by the door for a mere second.
"Your dear son's fighting today, isn't he?" he asked. She stared at him. "Don't expect him to pay you any more visits…" He shot her an evil grin. "He won't be alive for much longer…"
"…I will bear that in mind," was all that Tsukino said, as she stared expressionlessly at the guard, until he left, sliding the door shut behind him. The moment he left, however, the expressionless mask on her face crumbled, and was replaced by one of worry. She knew she shouldn't listen to the guard; this was what they usually did – doing their best to ruin her day by telling her something or the other about her son. But…she knew that her son's opponents at the Urabutousatsujin weren't like his opponents before. He had told her that they were strong…
The foreboding feeling that she had had in her gut since early in the morning grew even more as she thought about her son and his opponent. She bit her lip anxiously, as she stared hard at the tray of food in front of her.
Kurei…please, be careful…
The guards surrounding the whole house had gathered together, to have a late lunch. Spirits were high – as they usually were – but this time, they were higher than usual. As they ate and drank, the conversation was casually cheerful.
"Oy, Nakamura, what do you think you'll be doing after today?" asked one of the guards, as he fingered the gun he had in his hands. The dark-haired Nakamura shrugged.
"I have no idea…we'll all probably be transferred elsewhere, knowing Mori-sama," he said.
"That's true," said one of the younger guards, "But it sure is a relief to know that we won't have to be staying in this godforsaken place any longer…" There were a series of murmurs, agreeing with him. Ten years ago, their lives had drastically changed when they were forced to go from living in a bustling, eventful city, to a laid-back, isolated country-house, somewhere in the mountains. They had never gotten used to the isolation they felt, even though they had been there for ten years.
"And it's a bigger relief to know that we won't have any more visits from Kurei-sama," said another guard, "That kid…is just freaky. Were you there when he…killed Tsujimoto and his men? A couple of months ago?"
"Yeah! And that guy who comes with him…Raiha…he's freaky too!"
"I wonder what kind of power he has…" muttered Nakamura, "I mean…he's always with Kurei-sama…and yet, all that I know of him is that he uses that katana that he has, strapped to his back…" he frowned. "Surely, there must be some other power that he has…?"
"Ah, who cares, Nakamura?" asked the light-haired guard, "Mori-sama and his Ura Uruha will probably kill Raiha and the rest of those other idiots today…and then Mori-sama will be able to carry on with his work in peace…"
"Are you sure that we shouldn't have poisoned her food though?" questioned another young guard, nodding in the direction of the house. Everyone turned around to face him, different expressions on their faces.
"What?" The young guard flushed.
"I mean…I've never experienced it, or seen it happen before…but I'm pretty sure that dying by…by having a bomb explode inside you is…painful," he said, stammering, "Poisoning her food…would have been less painful for her, wouldn't it?"
"Are you out of her bloody mind, Yamamoto!" exclaimed one of the guards, looking incredulously at him.
"You want us to poison her and then go against Mori-sama's orders!"
"N-No!" exclaimed Yamamoto, running a hand through his dark-brown hair, "I…I just…well…it won't matter how Mori Tsukino-san dies, will it, as long as she does end up dead?"
"You know what I think, Yamamoto?" asked an older guard, "I think you're growing soft…" He gripped his gun tightly, "And do you know what Mori-sama has told us to do about soft people…?"
"K – Kurogawa-san…I – I didn't – I don't – "
"Put that gun away, Kurogawa," said a dark-haired, particularly big-made guard, as he rubbed his moustache thoughtfully, "The kid's right…poison would definitely be less painful than the bomb…" He glared at a number of his comrades as they started whispering things to each other. "Were any of you there when Kurenai was killed? With the bomb implanted inside her?" The guards shook their heads, "The expression on her face was enough to tell you how painful it must've been, to have a bomb inside you explode."
"So you're saying that we should go against Mori-sama's orders, then?" asked Kurogawa. The big-made man shook his head.
"Of course not," he said, looking warily at Yamamoto, "I'm just saying that Yamamoto was right…" He shook his head again, "It's too late for anything, anyway. All we can do now is to wait until Mori-sama detonates the bomb."
"What do we do with the body? Should we leave it here, to rot?" Yamamoto opened his mouth, looking like he was going to argue, when he stopped, frightened of the look that Kurogawa was giving him. The big-made guard shook his head.
"Why don't we act like humans for a change and bury the lady? And thus end things on a good note?" He looked at Yamamoto. "What do you think, kid?"
"I – I think you're right…"
"Good. Then that's what we'll do; once we find her dead, we'll bury her quickly and then wait for our transport out of this gloomy place."
Tsukino was lying down, facing the door. The tray of food that had been left in front of her lay where it was; untouched. She hadn't felt like eating, especially not when the guard had hinted that her son was in danger. She sighed, unable to be at ease enough to fall asleep. She hadn't slept much last night or the night before…and she didn't think that she would be able to sleep that night either. Or maybe she wouldn't be able to sleep until her son came to visit her again; that way, she would know that he was alive and well.
She was snapped out of her thoughts once more, when the door opened again, this time revealing a younger guard who had a small, tentative smile on his face. She sat up and waited patiently for an insult or a snide comment to be hurled at her, wondering unconsciously why the guard was fidgeting.
"Yes?" she asked, at last. The guard bowed his head.
"I…was wondering whether you'd…like anything else…" he said. If she was surprised, Tsukino hid it well.
"No," she said, "thank you," she added, as an afterthought. The guard nodded.
"Er…shall I take the tray away?" he asked, nodding at the tray of food. Tsukino glanced at it as well, before nodding. She didn't think she was going to feel hungry any time soon.
"Yes, please," she said, keeping the expressionless mask on her face as she always did when talking to anyone other than her son or Raiha, who often came with him and poked his head into the room to greet her, before standing outside, respecting the time she and her son had together.
The guard moved forward and picked the tray up, frowning slightly when he realized that it hadn't been touched. He turned to her, seeming to want to ask her something, but then changed his mind and walked outside, closing the door behind him. Tsukino stared at the closed door, wondering whether it was just her, or whether the guards were acting rather strange today – especially the one who had just left. She frowned slightly.
What's going on?
An hour or so later, Tsukino stared at the group of men that had walked into the room, a mixture of serious and sadistic expressions on their faces. She sat with her legs folded beneath her, trying to keep her composure and not show her fear.
"Mori-san, do you have any famous last words that you wish to say before you die?" She glanced, startled, at the guard who had spoken.
"Any last words before you die?" repeated the guard, grinning when he saw fear flash across her face. "To tell you the truth, we thought that you'd just be killed while we waited outside…but we've got new orders; to watch and see whether you do die. Not that there's any chance of you surviving anyway…"
"I – " Tsukino stopped as her stomach squirmed. So this was it…she had finally lost whatever value she – her eyes widened as a thought struck her. She had always been the person that was used to threaten Kurei…if he didn't do everything that was expected of him, she would be…killed. "What…what has been the outcome of the…Urabutousatsujin?" she asked, slowly, not really sure whether she wanted to know or not. The guards seemed surprised.
"How did you know about that?"
"Oh…Kurei must've told you about it…" said Nakamura, understanding dawning on him. He grinned. "Your son…lost. Hokage has emerged victorious, defeating the mighty Uruha Kurenai." Tsukino stared down at her lap. So…he had lost. Concern gnawed inside her; was he…alive?
"If you're wondering about your son's condition, let me fill you in," said the guard who had first spoken, as he twirled the gun in his hands, "Mori-sama's goal has finally been achieved. The purpose of this Urabutousatsujin was not for any victory…it was held to destroy Kurei!" Tsukino's brown eyes widened. "Surprised? Well, that's not all. Mori-sama's about to confront your dear son now…he's about to taunt him and tell him how worthless he really is…" Tsukino clenched her hands into fists as she started trembling.
"That's not all," said Nakamura, grinning, "Do you know what Mori-sama's going to do? He's going to detonate the bomb inside of you…right in front of Kurei…" He chuckled, "Imagine what that'll do to his already messed up mind. What the - !" He took a step back as the brown-haired lady who they had always thought timid, stood up and ran up to him in a flash, pounding her fists against his chest.
"How could you?" she exclaimed, her eyes filled with tears, "Are you even human! Why? What did he do to – to deserve this?" She continued to pound on his chest, "If Koran-san has anything against me, he can say it to my face…but – but what has Kurei ever done to him? What has – " she screamed when she was slapped harshly across the face. She fell backwards, clutching the side of her face as tears streaked down her face.
"Watch it, woman," hissed Nakamura, yanking her up by her shoulder length brown hair that had come out of its' usual bun. "Don't you dare lay your filthy paws on me again, understood?" He drew his fist back and punched her in the gut, before letting go of her. She crumpled in a heap on the ground, clutching her stomach.
"Oy…are you sure it's OK to do this?" questioned another guard, as Nakamura moved forward and repeatedly kicked the trembling figure on the ground.
"Of course," said Kurogawa, grinning, "Whatever we do, the bomb will still go off…" His grin widened, "And she won't be alive to tell Kurei – who won't be alive either – about what we've done…" He and the other guards split and stood on either side of the room, giving their companion enough space to carry out his beating.
"Mori-sama was right…you people are all weak. It's the strong who should survive…not people as weak as you!" exclaimed Kurogawa, reaching down and grabbing the now almost unconscious woman by her hair. "Let me teach you what I – " he stopped suddenly.
"Oy, Nakamura, what's – " Kurogawa stopped in mid-sentence, his eyes widening when he saw the glistening blade of a katana sticking through his friend's throat. "It – it can't be - " Nakamura dropped to the ground dead at the same time that Tsukino fell, being released from his grasp. She lay on the ground; her eyes squeezed shut and a hand around her stomach.
"It's like you said…" said the dark-haired ninja, his katana in his hand again as he spoke, his voice eerily low, "It's the strong who survive…not weak people like you…" He moved forward in a blur, striking down the other seven men effortlessly before they could sound the alarm. Lowering his katana, he looked coldly at their dead bodies, his usually warm eyes blazing.
Remembering why he was there in the first place, the dark-haired ninja dropped his katana on the ground and hurried over to the figure that was curled in a ball, lying on the ground. Kneeling down beside her, he could see that she was trembling. He put his arm on her shoulder, gently. "Tsukino-sama?" She stirred, but did not turn around. A frown flashed across his face, before he replaced it with a small, hopeful smile. "Tsukino-sama, please…look at me…" She still didn't move. "It's me, Raiha…"
Tsukino snapped her eyes opened. She had thought that it was him, having recognized his voice…but she hadn't wanted to get her hopes up for no reason. With a little difficulty, she turned around to see the familiar dark-haired ninja looking at her with a smile on his face. "R – Rai…ha?"
"Hai, Tsukino-sama," said Raiha, helping her sit up and noticing her wince and clutch her stomach. "Tsukino-sama, I know that you're injured now, but – "
" – Raiha – K…Kurei…he l-lost…" whispered Tsukino, remembering what the guards had told her. Speaking of the guards…she snapped her eyes shut when she saw the corpses around her. Raiha nodded, sadly. He had figured that that was how the match would end…
"I thought as much…" he said, bowing his head, "But, Kurei-sama fought the best that he could. I know he did…" Tsukino clutched at him, her eyes wide and a terrified expression on her face.
"No – you don't…understand…" she gasped, "They're – the whole point of the…Urabutousatsujin was…was to destroy Kurei! He's…going to – to confront him and – " a tear trailed down her cheek, " – and…detonate the bomb inside me…" Raiha nodded.
"I know that, Tsukino-sama…" he said, keeping the small smile on his face, "And that's why I came here, instead of staying with Kurei-sama." He looked pained for a moment, before he shook his head. "We don't have any time to waste; Tsukino-sama, can you stay seated for a while? I know that you're injured and that I shouldn't be asking you to do this…but, please, do you think that you can?"
"I – I can…try…" said Tsukino, noting the urgency in the younger man's voice. Raiha nodded, looking pleased, before he put his hand inside his robes and drew out a…strange object. Tsukino stared at it, as did Raiha. She noticed the hesitant expression on his face, before he shook his head and put it on his hand, where it seemed to fit perfectly. "Raiha…?"
"I don't know what the after-effects of this will be, Tsukino-sama, so, please, bear with me…" said the ninja, almost apologetically, before he stared at the accessory he had put on his right arm. "Raijin."
Tsukino stared as a light glowed from within the object she now recognized as a madougu. She watched as Raiha muttered something under his breath, before turning to her, holding his right arm out. The light grew bigger, and sizzled, as it surrounded Tsukino, before it seemed to concentrate on a region in her chest. Her eyes widened as she felt something…heavy…in her chest. She gasped as whatever it was seemed to get heavier and heavier, making it difficult for her to breathe.
Raiha reduced the intensity of the electricity that was being concentrated on the area where the bomb was, not sure how long he would have to keep the stream of electricity steady. He frowned; how would he know if the bomb was disarmed or not? He turned back to the middle-aged lady as she gasped in surprise. "…Tsukino-sama…?" he asked, slowly.
"That – I feel…light…" said Tsukino, faintly.
"What do you mean?" asked Raiha, frowning.
"Before – that light…something inside me felt…heavy, but now…it's like…like it's not there…" Raiha looked relieved. It looked as though he had disarmed the bomb. He moved his arm away from her as the light that sizzled around the madougu started to fade. A minute later, he pulled the madougu off his arm and stored it inside his robe again, breathing faster than normal. It was the first time he had used the Raijin for many years now.
"Well, Tsukino-sama, you don't have anything to worry about now. The bomb inside you has been disarmed…and I think, completely destroyed," he said, turning to her with the usual big smile on his face. He saw the stunned expression on her face.
"What…?" she asked, hoarsely, "But – but…how - ?"
"My madougu, the Raijin, used its' power to cancel out the energy stored inside the bomb. With the energy gone from the bomb, an explosion won't happen," explained Raiha, "And we can be assured that this has worked, for I'm sure that the bomb would have been detonated by now; and you're still alive!"
"…I don't…believe this…" said Tsukino, the pain surging through her whole body coming back to her, after being momentarily forgotten. Raiha smiled.
"I would have done this before, Tsukino-sama," he said, scratching the back of his head sheepishly, "But…I didn't figure out that this could work and disarm the bomb. Gomen – " He caught the older lady as she slumped forward, limp, and clearly unconscious. She had been beaten up by the guards before he had arrived…and she must have been exhausted; it was natural that she had fainted. Wiping away the trickle of blood that trailed from the corner of her mouth, he gathered her in his arms and stood up.
Even though he had saved her from an otherwise inevitable death, Raiha did not feel too relieved. Yes, he had managed to keep alive the only remaining person that Kurei-sama cared about – his mother – but…at what cost? As he walked outside the room and headed around the back of the premises so as to leave unnoticed, the saddened expression on his face was prominent.
Forgive me for not being by your side when you needed me. I ran away, leaving you at their mercy…and yet, you do not have to worry, Kurei-sama, your mother is safe; Mori Koran's men will not harm her again. But…what about you…?
Uh-huh…I didn't really know how exactly Raiha managed to disarm the bomb inside Tsukino; all I know was that he used the Raijin. I'm sorry if the explanation I've given sounds a little…strange!
Heh…that's about it for this one-shot. Reviews will be warmly welcomed!