喰 霊 － 零－
Will you kill someone you love, because of love?
Disclaimer: Segawa Hajime, the creator of Ga-Rei and Kadokawa Shoten, the company that serialises it, own all copyrighted material this fanfiction may include such as characters, events, dialogue, et cetera. However, some of the titles are mine, as are most of the events so hah!
Or, another way of saying this would be:
Which is funnerer, no? FYI, yes, this is what they say at the opening of this anime series as well as most other series. Just sub out Kadokawa Shoten.
A/N: Welcome to my rendition of Ga-Rei Zero. What this fiction will actually be is a rewrite of the anime series. After watching it, though I did fall in love with it, I felt a few events could have played out better and notably a few characters could definitely have had better roles than they did. Therefore, I am giving it a redo. Naturally, that makes it only a half AU fiction and also means a few key/moments in the Anime I liked very much were squished in among all the new bits. Also, I'm only rewriting from episodes 4 to 9 as the rest of it, I think doesn't need to be changed. Enjoy!
Oh, and this first episode is also mostly taken from the Anime so you could consider it a novelisation, but more original scenes will present themselves later. Also, the plot has changed drastically despite starting and ending on the same note.
Last, all translations, including titles, will be at the bottom of each chapter.
GAREI -ZERO- episode 04
"Hey, Mikuru! Let me see your English homework!" One of the girls chirped just as the bell run for class to start.
"Eh? We had English homework yesterday?" Mikuru replied, stirring uncomfortably in her wooden seat.
"I wish you could have told me sooner. I had a cold yesterday and didn't come to class." She continued, much to her classmate's dismay.
Planting her head down on her friend's desk, the outspoken girl cried out her doomed fate, "What am I going to do? I was only counting on Mikuru for that assignment!"
Suddenly, an idea popped into her head as she turned to her right in sync with her friend. There was a new girl in class that day, a very strange and quiet type that just didn't seem right for their current grade. Confidence emanating from all corners of her being, she proudly stood and waved for Mikuru to follow suit.
"Hey, Tsuchimiya!" She chirped again, plopping herself down in the seat before the girl, "Did you do the English homework?"
"Huh? Oh yeah…" The girl simply replied, shaken out of her daze.
"Really? Can I borrow it?!"
Tsuchimiya consented to which the girl immediately beamed, even mouthing a very poorly pronounced "thank you" in her excitement. Mikuru took the opportunity to ask for the homework, as well, her tone of voice much calmer and respectful compared to her overzealous classmate. After nodding okay to her, as well, Tsuchimiya's phone began to vibrate. It was the Ministry again. Immediately, almost as if on reflex, Tsuchimiya turned to her classmates and told her that her mother had fallen ill again and she needed to go to the hospital right away, prompting the outspoken one to complain that it seemed the girl's mother was always getting sick. Mikuru helped fill in some tact for her friend by apologising on account of bothering Tsuchimiya for homework when she obviously had much on her mind, but the girl merely gave a slight touch of reassurance and went about her way, making note to her classmates that they could hand in her homework in her stead.
"Sorry for always taking time away from school, Kagura." Iwahata apologised, opening the backseat door.
With a small groan, Kagura replied, "Every time I have to lie to the teacher. I'm getting nervous about i-"
"Were you sleeping?" Yomi said, cutting her off.
When Kagura turned her attention to her, she followed with, "You've got drool coming down your mouth."
With a slight gasp, the girl quickly put up a hand to wipe away the saliva only to be surprised again when she heard the click on the woman's cell phone. Turning the cell phone around with a light-hearted chuckle, Yomi revealed a newly acquired image of Kagura's previous action much to the girl's chagrin.
"My Kagura face shots collection just got a new edition!" Yomi giggled excitedly as the vehicle pulled out with all on board.
"Delete that! Blasted collection!" Came Kagura's annoyed reply.
In the car, Yomi and the other two members of the ministry discussed the new situation with Kagura, the latter having taken out a box of Pocky to snack on during the trip. Eventually, as she was sharing it with Yomi, they reached the last stick, which Yomi advantaged immediately from a distracted Kagura. Unbeknownst to the young girl, Yomi had done so as a distraction in itself, since the discussion had spilled into a mention of events from three years ago, during which time Kagura's mother had been killed by an as yet unnamed villain.
"Hey, that was sneaky!" The girl complained.
Yomi only waved the Pocky stick in front of her friend's face with a mischievous grin, saying, "First to act, wins the lot."
Kagura, not taking that lying down, quickly bit down on the end, returning Yomi with her own sly words. Surprised, but not willing to accept defeat, Yomi took to biting down on her end of the stick and began nibbling away at it, alerting Kagura who, too, began racing to finish the snack faster. Within moments, they were close enough to touch noses, a proximity that embarrassed the younger girl. Yomi, sensing this of her friend, seized the opportunity and moved in for a kiss, planting her full lips right against the younger girl's, even going so far as to flirt with her about loosening up and not be so tense.
"You have me, you have me!" Yomi continued while Kagura protested, "You can whine and complain, but it's all no use!"
"Yomi's such a pervert!" Kagura cried.
Of course, this act had not gone by unnoticed and had caught the attention of male Ministry member, Kazuki, who couldn't help but watch the scene before his eyes. Being a very well-trained slayer, Yomi was alerted to their audience and sent a gracious boot straight into Kazuki's face, warning him not to spy again if the pervert knew what was good for him.
"Seriously, sorry for today. Both of you still had classes to attend." Iwahata interrupted, changing the subject.
"Don't think too much about it." Yomi replied.
"This is also part of our lives." Kagura added.
"You guys don't tell him not to look this way!" Kazuki suddenly spat, having recovered from the kick to the face.
"Oh, that's because Iwahata's on 'that side.'" Yomi responded with a grin.
Kagura agreed, but Kazuki didn't seem to understand just what the significance of "that side" meant, thinking it only pertained to his seating in the vehicle. Well, until…
"Hey, Sakuraba! You… have a pretty cute ass." Iwahata stated with a blush.
Kazuki stiffened, backing to the furthest part of his seat he could push himself to as he shakily retorted, "D-d-don't look at me like that!"
The rest of the ride went smoothly and, before long, they had arrived at their destination: a small forest outside the city. The sun had just set and, as they pulled up, the group noticed a unit stationed with Izuna Noriyuki, another veteran member of the Ministry. Yomi exited first, going to Nori's side to ascertain the details of the target. His Kuda-gitsune Ga-rei was already scouting the area, waiting on stronger reinforcements to point out the exact location of the creature.
Lending their sight to Nori, he relayed the information to Yomi and the others, "Category B: Tsuchigumo."
Yomi acknowledged the classification, noting it to be a giant daddy longlegs spider born to the forest from the lingering vengeful spirits of the Yatsukuhagi people. Instructing Nori to pull back his Ga-rei and the others to watch her back, she unleashed her own Ga-rei, Ranguren, from her sword and sped off to face the creature.
Passing through the dense foliage at high-speed, she eventually noticed movement among the brush and changed her swift dash to a careful stalk, watching the spider carefully from afar as Ranguren moved into a desirable position. The multi-eyed lion chimera pounced the Tsuchigumo, taking a large chunk out of its main body before Yomi erupted from her spot, commanding her beast to use its strongest ability of Houkoha, a piercing roar of sonic energy. The strike sent the spider spinning, right and ready for Yomi's downward slash, slicing it cleanly in two. However, as both halves fell to the ground, one of them was headed for a nearby bridge, just where a wayward bystander happened to be standing. Yomi gasped, knowing she'd never make it in time.
"I got it!" Kagura shouted, reaching the girl in time to dispatch the shattered remains of the Tsuchigumo.
With a sigh of relief, Yomi landed and proceeded to rendezvous with the others at that bridge. They'd have some explaining to do.
When Yomi arrived, Iwahata and Kazuki were already talking to the woman, though it was evident she wasn't only flustered over the large chunk of spirit monster that nearly smashed her into jam. The seasoned slayer strolled briskly over, taking her from the two men to speak to her aside. Kagura took note of this, inching her way close enough to overhear some choice words. Yomi took hold of something the woman had in her purse, to which the woman gasped and withdrew herself, returning abruptly back to her former company.
Kagura approached the veteran slayer, asking her, "How did you know she wanted to kill herself?"
"Experience." Was Yomi's quick reply, "The more you take to the field, the more it'll become apparent for you."
Light shone upon the entire Isayama estate the following day, a joyous sign that had Yomi in high spirits as she walked through the halls and outdoor passes. She had heard from an attendant that her adoptive father and head of the household, Isayama Naraku, requested her presence. As she arrived at his office, perhaps the only room left not bathed in sun, he told her to review a large package on the floor. Opening it, Yomi found a beautiful violet yukata with a white kimono adorned in golden camellias on lavender sleeves. The expression on her face made it quite clear how much she adored the garment.
"It used to be my wife's. If you like it, you can try it on." Naraku told her.
"Of course. It should be a good fit for you now."
While Yomi looked over the outfit, checking it on herself, Naraku began asking the usually questions about her studies and work as a slayer, all of which were answered with a "Same as always. Nothing to worry about" from Yomi.
"How are things between you and our opposite house's Noriyuki?" He suddenly asked, surprising the young slayer, "Yomi, I must speak to you about something."
Taking a breath, he pressed on, "It's about the marriage arrangement between the Izuna clan and our own. I know you and Noriyuki don't have much interest in these things and, as such, it wouldn't be the best to make the decision without first considering the opinions of those involved, so I'd like to ask you about it again."
Understanding what her father meant perfectly, she took a small breath before standing, saying, "Father, Father took me in, a homeless and abandoned kid, and cared for me as I grew up. I know this marriage arrangement would strengthen the ties between our families. Therefore, I have no reason to refuse. As such, I would happily accept this arrangement."
Meanwhile, at the family dojo, Tsuchimiya Kagura had just finished a round of training and was ready to call it a day. Unsheathing Michael 12, she carefully patted it down with a powder brush and took a handkerchief to it, polishing it clean. Once it held the desired lustre, she examined it meticulously before reaching for the can of 5-57 to maintain her work on it. Spraying the edge of her blade first, she would be caught off guard when…
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" A loud voice shrieked from behind, "That just won't do!"
As Kagura turned, her eyes grew wide at the sight before her. Standing just outside the dojo, clad in a white… loincloth, was a very large and muscular Caucasian man, his hair worn as an afro by the looks of it. The strange man also sported a mustache and beard fairly reminiscent of Iwahata though a bit longer, but there was no chance even her buff homosexual colleague would be out dressed in such a manner and speaking with such poor Japanese.
"A katana needs to be maintained with camellia or Eugenia oil." He continued, opting to make a mad dash straight to Kagura before making his next statement, "This is most important to a Japanese person."
Of course, as any normal woman would respond to a near naked man charging you in an empty and enclosed area, Kagura responded with a high-pitched squeak and retaliated with some 5-57 to the eyes. The large man grabbed his eyes in pain, grunting and squealing as Kagura kept up her spraying, loosing a few squeaks in the process. The commotion became loud enough to alert Naraku and Yomi, who had just finished putting away her new kimono and, together with her father, wanted to know why the normally tranquil dojo suddenly produced a disruptive din.
"What's the matter, Kagura?" Yomi asked before she even looked inside.
"Yomi, a weirdo just came into the house!" The young girl pointed.
As soon as Yomi's eyes focused on said "weirdo" they lit up, "Oh, Master Michael! You've decided to visit!"
Forgetting all the pain the spray had caused his eyes only moments ago, the large man, bounded for Yomi, clasping both her hands in his, "Oh Yomi-san, it's been such a looong time."
Kagura hid herself behind Naraku who only chuckled at the overeager swordsmith, telling Kagura not to worry, that Master Michael was an old friend and the creator of her own precious sword, the Michael 12 she had been cleaning just before.
"Hey, hurry up and give him a proper greeting." Yomi instructed.
"Oh! My name is Tsuchimiya Kagura."
"Ooh! You are Tsuchimiya-dono's daughter, right?" Michael inquired, "It is so nice to meet you! I am Michael Kohara."
Turning to Yomi, Master Michael asked, "Could I see the Shishio, Yomi-san?"
Shishio was the sword Yomi excelled at, the family treasure of the Isayama residence, and also the enchanted item that housed Yomi's Ga-rei of Ranguren. Handing the weapon over wasn't a fun task, but she had grown used to the swordsmith requesting this from her.
Examining the blade, Michael beamed with excitement, "This is still a superb sword. No matter when you gaze at it, its brilliant lustre and remarkable spiritual energies are a splendid marvel to behold. However…"
"However?" Yomi asked, worried.
"The spiritual energies seem to have been taxed to their limits. I think it'd be best if the sword was given some work."
This came a quite a shock to Yomi who had never been comfortable with another handling her precious weapon, let alone taking it away from her, even if it was to help make it stronger. Still, she was left without any real option. Master Michael was a highly respected smith and the experience he had in his craft was a major asset to all slayers. Finally, with her father's reassuring hand placed upon her shoulder, she nodded her consent, making note to hand it in the following day.
After Master Michael departed, Naraku decided to return to his study, leaving Yomi and Kagura to clean up since Kagura was done using the dojo for the day. As they were leaving, Yomi abruptly turned to Kagura, surprising the girl. For a few moments, the only movement throughout the entire dojo seemed to come from the blood rushing to Kagura's cheeks, but neither of the two made a sound.
Finally breaking the silence, Kagura whined, "What are you doing, Yomi?"
Shaken from her private thoughts, the older girl's formerly blank expression twisted into a mischievous grin and then a demure smirk, eyes cast astray before she turned back around to face the door to say a drawn-out "nothing" before she took off, sauntering back to her room.
"Really now, it doesn't matter how old she gets. She still acts like a little kid!" Kagura whined, crossing her arms in frustration.
Letting loose a heavy sigh, the younger girl started her own walk, lazily dragging her feet toward Yomi's room. She had done so for the intended purposes of showing her elder that she was still irritated by her antics, but she did want to speak to her. Yomi, having been utilising her honed senses on her friend, knew the girl's intentions and took to readying her gaming system for the same purpose. The two could relax, converse, and discuss whatever was on the younger one's mind.
"Yomi… If Shishio is taken to be worked on, that means you can't rely on your spiritual powers in battle."
Yomi was quite taken aback by the statement, having the notion resurge in her mind, one of the many reasons she hadn't wholeheartedly agreed to having it taken from her in the first place. Calming herself, she answered with a casual statement that all items needed to be properly cared for so she really had no choice in the matter.
"If I was capable of spiritual control, it would be better." Kagura suddenly blurted, once again surprising Yomi who gasped slightly, "Then, in times like these, you could count on me!"
Smiling to hide her true thoughts from the younger girl, Yomi replied, "Uh, have you seen your father lately?"
"No, not once." Came the reply, effectively playing into Yomi's desire to change the subject.
"If you don't, at least, check up on him, your father'll be lonely."
"It'll be fine. Besides, it's not like he'd even be home if I were to visit." Kagura responded with some melancholy in her voice, "Unless it would be better if I went home. Would it be that much trouble if I stayed?"
Those words changed Yomi's earlier uncertainty at being a slayer to joy at being the welcoming older sister as she pushed herself into the younger girl for a hug, "Aw, Kagura! You're so cute! Let's just count you as one of my family then!"
For the rest of the day, they played together and at night, Kagura hadn't even wanted to return to her own room, opting instead to spend the night with Yomi. As they lay in Yomi's bed, the older gazing up at the ceiling, she finally told Kagura about her engagement to Nori.
"I wonder what married life is like." She said, her eyes unblinking.
"I think it will be wonderful! Nori-chan is really fun to be around!"
With that, Kagura fell fast asleep, her thoughts drifting to her future "brother-in-law" and life together, just the three of them. Meanwhile, Yomi would be unable to rest, her thoughts lingering on the what ifs of any bride to be. Would everything be alright?
The next day, Yomi and Kagura arrived early at headquarters. Kagura entered their team's office first, shouting a happy "good morning" to everyone before seeing a new package that the Nabuu twins were currently unpacking. Just as she was about to get a closer look, Yomi arrived jumping the girl from behind with her own variety of "good mornings" that nearly sent both girls tumbling to the ground.
Kagura stood back straight, turning to her "sister" to scold her when a fragrant aroma entered her nose, "What smells so good? Yomi, what did you use?"
"Huh? I'm not wearing anything." Yomi tried to say, but both Nabuu brothers immediately confirmed Kagura's words, prompting the younger girl to confront her older sibling about it.
Giving up, Yomi revealed a small pink bottle of the brand name aroma she had recently purchased. Sadly, the interrogations wouldn't end there as, upon closer observation, unintended as she was merely inspecting the perfume bottle, Kagura deduced that Yomi's eyelashes were also longer than usual. At last, Yomi confessed, though indignantly, saying that even she liked fixing herself up now and then.
"I got it!" Kagura suddenly blurted, "Today, you're trying to get Nori-chan on a date!"
Yomi was visibly shaken, turning immediately to her younger sibling to growl a "That was totally not what I was doing!"
Just then, Nori arrived, announcing himself with a simple "ahoy" before moving to get himself a cup of coffee until he, too, sensed the change amidst the office, "Does anyone else smell that odor?"
To say Yomi took it hard was an understatement. In fact, the entire office seemed to take on a droll aura and one needn't be a slayer to sense what would eventually follow. Kagura took it upon herself to say it was coming from her, holding out the bottle Yomi had shown her moments ago.
"What gives, Kagura? You know, this is a place of work. Don't bring these things here." Nori scolded the girl, as Yomi practically limped to the coffee station, "My family all has a strong sense of smell. Besides, you don't even know what perfume is used for right? You'll come off as a overzealous kid f you spray yourself with too much. Very embarrassing."
Kagura's nervous smile widened as her eyes glanced over at Yomi in the distance, beads of sweat lacing her brow. Her older sister looked ready to explode within a moment's notice, stunted only by the swiftly weakening restraint she had.
Unfortunately, Nori wasn't done with his speech just yet, "Just a slight sprits is enough. Too much and you'll come off as a desperate and lonely old woman." And then he proceeded to laugh…
Yomi stalked over to Nori, a freshly brewed pot of coffee in her steady hand. As Kagura watched on, her older sister's expression seemingly improved and her hands calm and controlled, Yomi promptly lifted said hand, with pot, and loosed the entirety of its contents right onto Nori's face. From his self-induced reverie to screaming on the floor in pain, Yomi's only reaction would only be to apologise for "letting her hand slip on the pot and spilling some coffee on him", spoken in a soft and vacant tone.
"Liar! What's your problem?!" He screamed as soon as he recovered.
"Nothing." Came her emotionless reply.
"You have no problem with me, but go and dump a pot of burning hot coffee on my face? What the hell is wrong with you?!" Nori roared, but suddenly realised the truth, "Oh, so it was really your smell, eh? You apply that foul odor to yourself then let poor Kagura here take the blame?"
"I did no such thing!" Yomi yelled back.
"But the awful smell is coming from you, no?"
With that, Yomi hurled a creamer container at him, which he easily caught, not noticing that Yomi had partially opened it. The contents, much like the coffee beforehand, sprayed onto his face and covered his hand in the milky fluid. Further enraged, he stood to face Yomi, mouthing his anger.
"Okay, now I'm pissed!"
"What if you're pissed?" Yomi coldly replied, releasing Ranguren from her sword.
"Eh?" Nori sneered at the girl, releasing his own Ga-rei, the Kuda-gitsune, "What do you think?"
As the two and their Ga-rei readied for all-out war, the rest of the team cowered at the far-side of the office waiting with both dread and a morbid sense of curiosity for an outcome. Luckily, that outcome would come in the form of an arriving Master Michael, together with their chief, Jinguuji Ayame, and her assistant, Nikaido Kiri. It was time to hand in Shishio and claim her temporary substitute for battle.
Seeing the selection, both Yomi and Kagura frowned. Lying on the table, in that package the Nabuu brothers had been unpacking, were random pieces of… could it even be called weaponry?
"Let's see." Iwahata began, taking a small piece of shining silver from the pile, "This should fit for girls to use."
"Is that an iron?" Kagura asked him.
"This is a discontinued model knuckle, the Douglas 28! It uses spiritual steam stored within to expel dark forces." Iwahata explained, surprisingly with sincere enthusiasm and no trace of sarcasm at all.
Upon seeing the weary expressions of both Kagura and Yomi, he nodded their disapproval and moved on, "Apart from that, we have discontinued model chainsaw, Pare 11!", which was likewise disapproved, "discontinued model jackhammer, Jackson 33!", disapproved, "discontinued model boiler, J. Fox 55!", obviously disapproved especially considering…
"This thing's too heavy to even operate." Kagura noted, patting the J. Fox thing.
"This'll be fine." Yomi said with a sigh, taking up the Douglass 28.
Later that day, with no threats needed to be dealt with, Kagura was able to attend school again. During their recess, along with her two friends from the other day, Kagura began discussing the situation between her older sibling and Nori.
"Arranged marriage?" They both asked.
"Yup, arranged marriage. It's already been set. Their parents already finalised the decision." Kagura replied.
"Aw, how romantic!" Mikuru cried.
"Really now, it's like a Shoujo" Yacchi added, though less enthused.
Kagura pondered the thought of their romance budding like those dramas that show at nine on Mondays, but worried that their recent argument could ruin that future. She began contemplating a possible plan of action to get them back together, but couldn't think of anything until her friends…
"Okay everyone! Now, I'll explain the details of our plan of attack!" Kagura announced back in the office at the Ministry.
Yes, following the suggestion of her schoolmates, Kagura was scheming a fantastically awful "make the boy jealous so he'll erupt in a display of undying romantic affection for the girl, thus solidifying and immortalising their unbreakable love" fool-proof plan. Part one of said plan involved Kazuki as the rival for Yomi's affection. He would have to flirt and seduce Yomi enough so that Nori would be overcome with jealous rage and retrieve his woman from Kazuki's filthy clutches, which would have been the plan had Kazuki not calculated that Yomi would just have her Ga-rei eat him for trying his hand at seducing her. A kick to the face had been his reward for simply being a man and taking interest in her and Kagura's lip-lock the other day. Just what would her reaction be if he went full-out on her? Shaking tremendously at the thought, he fervently refused such participation, forcing Kagura to move onto the next vict- er, candidates, the Nabuu twins. The twins could flirt and seduce her together! Except, of course, after seeing Kazuki's point, both brothers noted they, too, would be cannon fodder for the mighty Ga-rei and each declined the offer to basically become worm food. Moving on, Kagura's eyes pleaded in Iwahata's direction, hoping he'd accept the mission at hand despite his sexual preference. With a simple yet distinct no, Iwahata went on to explain that, should Yomi and Nori break it off, Nori might eventually find his way to him, a good outcome.
As all hope seemed lost, the chief abruptly interrupted their discussion, asking them what they were doing. This, of course, brought a wide grin to Kagura's face and hope flushed back into her eyes.
Elsewhere, Yomi launched her weapon's chain at a can in her yard, having gone home to train with her new weapon. Successfully hitting it, she retrieved the chain, content with her progress. Just then, a small breeze picked up, blowing a few strands of her hair into her face. Brushing them aside, her eyes suddenly widen, "I sense a great disturbance."
Likewise, outside a video store, as Nori made his way to it, one hand finding itself on the door, his head abruptly shot up in time to see a group of pigeons take flight from the roof above. Looking to the side, he mumbled, "I've got a bad feeling."
"So, that's it." The chief finally stated, having heard Kagura's tale of woe.
"If they keep up like this, it could escalate into a big problem. There could be casualties if not injuries." Kiri added.
"There's nothing we can do. No single action is going to solve this situation. First, we'll need to get Yomi to fall for Nori again."
Kiri was taken aback, asking, "Do you have a plan?"
"Of course! I've just been waiting for the right moment." A response that didn't thrill her assistant.
Everybody in position, they discovered Nori sitting by himself on the edge of a guardrail in the local park reading. The players all confirmed their stations and waited at their marks, reporting all movement. At the stage area, Kagura and Kazuki lay in surveillance, spying on Nori in the distance. From her central office back at headquarters, the chief initiates the "attack."
"Kiri-chan, are you ready?" She asked via open com.
"Affirmative. Ready to begin." Kiri replied, nodding on her end.
Seeing her target, she swiftly approached, her mission "gear" not exactly the most suitable for a professional woman such as herself, though for the chief, she would bear any and all embarrassment.
Tugging at her skirt to make sure it wasn't too revealing, even for what she was to do, she made her presence known and was received by Nori with a "Oh, Miss Nikaido, it's you."
"G-g-g-g-g-good a-a-aftern-n-noon. I-I-Izuna-san, a-a-are you PATROLING t-today?" She responded in as calm a voice she could… which failed… miserably.
From their location, Kazuki grunted, "Too stiff, that's way too stiff!"
Kagura alerted Kiri, "Nikaido-san, you have to be more natural!"
Back in the active site, Nori was ready to progress their plot, "Well, this is a sight. It's so unusual it is to see you wearing a dress, Miss Nikaido."
Not skipping a beat… or keeping in context with the conversation at hand, Kiri proceeded to her next obviously scripted line, saying, "I have a personal matter to discuss with you."
"Really, you're very attractive in that." Then again, Nori seemed none the wiser. "If you came to the Ministry dressed like that once in a while, it'd make it a lot brighter of a place."
"I think we just hit a red flag." Kazuki noted back at his perch.
"Nori-chan's quite the playboy." Kagura added, continuing to scope out the situation.
"Our first objective is a success with Noriyuki's anticipated reaction." Kazuki continued, "Now all we need is for Yomi to arrive and react accordingly, too."
"Everyone at attention! The second objective is about to commence!" The chief's voice alerted over the coms.
As the group looked on, their second target, Isayama Yomi had arrived and was drawing nearer to the active site. When she arrived, Kiri had taken a seat beside him while Nori continued with his flirting. Upon noticing Yomi's arrival, he casually waved to her and triggered the start of their "plan of attack."
"Phase one, understood." Kiri quietly uttered to herself, moving as close to Nori as she could.
Yomi showed no adverse reaction to this, which prompted Kazuki to report no effect. The chief affirmed their attack was too weak and ordered Kiri to initiate phase two! And what was phase two? Kiri suddenly grabbed Nori in a hug, knocking them both onto the grass behind them. Their entwined bodies lay there, Kiri's tiny form melting perfectly into Nori's embrace… if being sprawled on the grass with his mouth agape could constitute an embrace. Unfortunately, as Kazuki would report, Yomi still showed no reaction, prompting the chief to activate phase three in desperation!
Leaning over him, her tight outfit accentuating every curve, she breathed heavy breaths, her eyes gazing seductively at the man under her, "Noriyuki, let's not keep our relationship a secret any longer."
Nori was completely baffled by Kiri's bizarre act, highly unusual for her considering her normally stoic appearance. Yomi, upon witnessing this shocking turn of events, turned and began to take her leave. A worried Kazuki immediately reported the attack's failure until, upon further observation, rescinded the alert. Further on, Yomi had gone to purchase a drink from a nearby vending machine instead of departing as previously believed. Selecting her beverage, she took it and walked a few steps into more open space. Winding back, she pitched the bottle at an incredible speed, where, following its trajectory, led it straight into collision with Nori's skull, the formerly grassbound pair having recollected themselves.
"Attack successful!" Cried an eager Kazuki, "Things look to be taking a turn!"
"Yes, but do you think it might be taking a turn for the worse?" Kagura asked, waking the former from his celebration, "No matter how you look at it, Yomi seems angrier than she was before."
Returning to post, the two looked on as Yomi confronted Nori. "Care to explain just what that was all about?" Yomi growled.
"What are you talking about?" Nori returned, matching her fury.
"What else? And in front of your betrothed at that! Just what were you doing?!"
"What? You're jealous?"
"Jealousy? Are you sure you're not mistaken about some things?"
"I'm not the least bit attracted to you. I only agreed to this whole thing because my father requested it." Yomi said, pushing Nori back a bit, "Don't be so smug."
Not taking this lying down, Nori marched right back into Yomi, offering cold retort, "The same goes for me, too! It's only because I couldn't get the old man off my back that I agreed to this!"
That having struck a chord, Yomi responded to Nori's words with a furious slap across the face. This provoked Nori to return the favour, followed by another volley, but as Nori went for his next wave, Yomi blocked and launched a powerful body blow to send him sprawling to the floor.
"Lifting a hand on a girl is despicable!" Yomi roared.
Clutching his gut in agony, Nori grunted back, "Hitting me like this, that's not offensive?" Though, his volume seemed to have been cut back a bit.
Standing straight, the slayer's voice took on a serious tone as he began, "It's hard to say if this is what we're always going to be like to each other."
Yomi, taken aback at first, eventually decided he was right given their track record, "That's true… We never seem to be able to get along, do we? It's almost definite that we'll be like this forever."
"We'll always be at each other's throats." Nori agreed.
"Could you accept that kind of life?"
"Could you accept it?"
"Well, I can take it for now."
"You've only got now to back out."
"Oh. So it's like that then…" Yomi muttered, contemplating her final decision, "Noriyuki, I-"
"Wait!" An arriving Kagura screamed, "I'm sorry! This was all my doing! It's all my fault! That's why I'm begging you, please stop fighting! Yomi's like a big sister to me and I thought if you two were married, Nori-chan would become like a big brother, too. Now I realise that building a family depends on building an intimate relationship first so I'm so sorry!"
Yomi turned to Nori and the two instantly calmed, having heard such a juvenile revelation from the girl. The former could only grin at her little sister for going through so much trouble to fix their relationship. Meanwhile, Nori rolled his eyes and curled his lips into a smirk.
"It's okay, Kagura." Yomi reassured the young girl, crouching down to her side.
Likewise, Nori patted the girl on her head, reaffirming, "Yea, we'll be nice from now on."
Kagura wiped the tears from her eyes, confirming their guarantees. After attaining their mutual affirmations, mischievous ideas sprouted in her mind and she decided to use this opportune moment, having received promises from both to play nice.
"Prove it." She voiced, her expression twisting to a demure smirk of her own.
"Proof? How?" Asked Yomi.
Yomi shrunk back at that, allowing Kagura to explain that "I want to see your 'we'll be nice from now on' kiss."
While Yomi continued to shrink back, Nori, realising the opportunity and seizing it as any virile man would, accepted Kagura's terms by saying, "Very well, if it'll please Kagura" and proceeded to take hold of Yomi by the small of her waist, inching close for his prize.
Just when it seemed as though Yomi's protests and her fighting resolve had succumbed to Nori's advancement, she managed to regain enough of herself and pulled, slamming her betrothed flat on his back and once again sprawled across the floor.
Luckily, before another argument could ensue, the chief alerted the group to an actual case. Unusual activity had been discovered coming from one of the metro stations. Together, they ventured into its darkened tunnels and separated into smaller groups once they reached a fork. Kagura stuck with Yomi, asserting that her Michael 12 would provide good backup for Yomi while she only had the use of her Douglas 28.
Further down the smaller tunnel, the two sensed an oncoming swarm and braced themselves. In the darkness, several giant strawberry creatures with eyes lurched forth, their form of assault that of a slimey tentacle released from the tip of the main body. Releasing her own chain, Yomi ensnared a few of the creatures, going for a catch and destroy pattern to her attack. The Douglas 28 performed surprisingly well for its form. Unfortunately, this would only last until the water reservoir within the device was exhausted, which meant no more "spiritual steam" and effectively made it useless. Taking note of this, the remainder of the creatures surrounded the slayer, using their tentacles to try and tear her apart. Kagura noticed this after clearing a large group on her end and came to her sister's aid. Using the chains from both her and Yomi's weapons, she connected them and launched the sword from its sheath to ensnare each of the tentacles, forcing them off Yomi. As the sword planted itself into the ground ahead, Kagura raced forward, retrieving it just before the creatures managed to crush it and, having effectively lured them all into one space, she sliced through the entire lot with one clean swipe.
Sheathing the Michael 12, Kagura went to check up on Yomi when she heard a distinct groan from behind. Checking, she noticed a woman, the same woman she had protected from the Tsuchigumo just the other day and went to check on her. As Yomi recollected herself, she noticed the girl, as well, and called out to warn her younger sibling. As the girl turned, Kagura saw that most of her face was gone, parts of it dangling from her skull. Jumping back, she gasped in shock at what hopefully was only a creature in disguise.
"Category D: Akureikashidan Ningen no Shiryo." Yomi identified.
"Does that mean they're already…" Kagura cringed.
As more arrived, Yomi quickly ordered Kagura to slay them, but the young girl couldn't bring herself to consciously harm a human, even if they were already dead. No matter what they were now, they had been human beings once.
"The moment their souls are warped into these creatures, the only thing you can do is exorcise them." Yomi maintained.
However, Kagura still couldn't bring herself to harm them, her mind only focusing on the fact that these mindless drones were once living, a fact that only brought bad memories of losing her mother to similar circumstances. Yomi, having seen the hesitation in her companion, began attacking with the Douglas 28 in an attempt to buy time for Kagura to steady herself, but it was clear that wasn't happening.
"As slayers, it is our job to eliminate those who spread the taint of death to the human world." She stated, hoping their mantra would help her sister understand her purpose and execute them.
However, Kagura, "I know that already! But…"
As the situation grew dire, more and more of the Akureika being attracted by their struggle, it seemed as though this was it for them until a loud roar erupted in the distance. From the shadows, a large white-furred dragon appeared, devouring every one of the Akureikadan as it passed. Tsuchimiya Garaku, Kagura's father had arrived on the scene, using his Ga-rei, Byakuei, to aid his daughter and her friend.
"The Tsuchimiya clan's ultimate guardian beast." Yomi gasped.
"Ga-rei, Byakuei." Kagura uttered.
After eliminating all of them, Garaku proceeded to check if his daughter was alright, though the expression on his face clearly showed his disappointment in her at not dealing with the threat herself.
That night, Kagura would head straight to bed and Yomi knew better than to go to her. She would need time to accept the full scope of her duties as a slayer, but at such a young age, this would be no easy task. Besides, Yomi had other obligations to attend to, noticing a lone Kuda-gitsune outside her window sill. Smiling slightly at her tiny voyeur, she decided to change into the kimono she had received earlier in the day. The fabrics slipped smoothly on her skin, the colours and shape of the garment accenting her best features. Accessorising with black velvet gloves and an umbrella, she allowed herself to be led by the small creature and arrived before a waiting Nori, who was captivated by the vision in front of him.
"Don't tell me you're hooked now." Yomi joked.
Smiling, Nori walked over to her and pulled her in for a kiss, this time a successful one.
GAREI -ZERO- episode 05
Translations: (Names I'm obviously not going to do.)
Kono bangumi wa Kadokawa Shoten to goran no suponsaa no teikyou de ookuritashimasu!
This program was brought to you by Kadokawa Shoten and the main sponser. (In this anime, it was Lantis)
頑固務 － がんこよりつとめ －
Kanko yori tsutome
Duty before Obstination (Yes, I took it off a play on the phrase Death before Dishonour)
Tsuchigumo – Ground spider
Akureikashidan Ningen no Shiryo – Evil Spirit Horde Human Undead
次回、喰霊-零-: 羨望選択 － せんぼうのせんたく －
Jikai, Ga-Rei -Zero-: Senbou no sentaku
Next time on Ga-Rei Zero: Envious of the Chosen (And yes, this is what they say at the end of each episode to announce the next one)