-Chapter 5-

Five weeks had passed; the casts were finally taken off and her wounds had almost healed entirely. Her eye's damage was permanent; it would never heal. Without her knowledge, Chiaki and Access had been on high alert, guarding the hospital Jeanne stayed at. But today was different, today she was to be set free. But first she had to take back her rosary and Kaitou garments. It would be better if she could go back to Maron instead of staying Jeanne forever. She would have alot of explaining to do once she got back in school...

Jeanne prepared to go outside for the first time in quite awhile. She tied her hair up the way it usually was when she transformed, two pigtails and one ponytail. She dressed in her now clean outfit. It was still ripped up here and there, but that would change once she was back to Maron. Then she took her rosary, waited until she got outside and out of view, and let her transformation fade away. Jeanne wasn't needed yet, but Maron would have to come up with an excuse for her incredibly long absence from school.

She stretched and took a deep breath, happy just to finally be out of that hospital.

"Maron!" a voice called to her once she was outside. It was Miyako.

"Hi, Miyako. What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I heard Kaitou Jeanne was being released from this hospital today. But it looks like I got here too late..."

"I heard the same thing, that's why I'm here." Maron smiled and tried to look as innocent as possible.

It was then the unofficial detective noticed her friend's eye. "Woah... Maron, your eye..."

Instinctively, Maron looked to her left, as if looking in that direction would let her see her blind eye. "Oh, this... I fell into barbed wire and it cut my eye."

Ah, being a Kaitou had its advantages... One of them being making up believable excuses.

Miyako flinched in sympathy. "Sounds painful. You should probably get that looked at."

"Already did. They told me I was blind in this eye. They did all they could, but..." Maron allowed her voice to trail off, in hopes of dropping the subject. After all, the less she revealed, the better her secret would be kept hidden.

Miyako got closer to inspect her friend's eye. "Why is it all greyish? I mean, the scar I could understand, but why is the color different?"

"I don't know. I guess they put chemicals into it or something when they were trying to do surgery. It must've changed its color." Truth be told, she had no idea what made her eye turn grey, but they probably did put chemicals in to try to help it heal. Those chemicals might have destroyed her natural brown eye color in that one eye.

"That eye could be really useful in a haunted house," Miyako said, smiling.

Maron laughed. So long as she had one useable eye, she would be fine. It wasn't like she was completely blind. Now, if her other eye went, then it was panick time.

Before any more pointless chatter could continue, the ground shook violently. The girls tried their hardest to maintain their balance. It wasn't easy, and Maron fell down to all fours. Miyako would've helped her up if not for the task of keeping herself up. Though it would probably be a better idea if she had just gotten on all fours like her friend did...seemed much more easier to not fall that way.

Before either of the two knew what was going on, a very recognizable, very distinguished form rose from he ground, patting off bits of dirt from its body.

"Hello, Kaitou Jeanne. Did you enjoy your stay?" a voice asked.

Miyako could not see Yanuzui, but heard his voice. She turned to see nothing. "Who's there?"

However, Maron could see him perfectly fine, as he only ever seemed to reveal himself to her. It tortured her to know what was to come, and that was why he did it. That was his reason, his source of joy.

"Miyako, run!" Maron commanded.

The girl hardly had the time to move before Maron pushed her forward. Miyako ran, just as her friend instructed. She didn't know where she was going, nor why she was running, but something had freaked Maron out. Anything that could freak her out was meant to be dangerous.

Maron hid behind a tree to transform. Miyako was gone; she was safe. Now Maron had her own issues to attend. It was hard to see what Yanuzui was doing with her blind eye not allowing proper vision, but nonetheless she needed to fight. She transformed quickly and noticed that the demon hadn't seen her go behind the tree. He didn't know where she was; she had the element of surprise...

Jeanne slowly rose from her former crouching position, and moved closer to the edge of the tee. She couldn't afford the luxury of jumping into the branches for cover. With a blind eye and a demon nearby to hear the noise, she would lose her chances of evasiveness.

Slowly, Jeanne raised up her ribbon. Yanuzui turned around and she stood stiff. But...it wasn't her he was looking at...

"Kaitou Sinbad has arrived." It was Sinbad, along with Access.

Great...now Yanuzui had a better chance of finding her since Sinbad had chosen to appear behind her, on top of the hospital's rooftop! WHY? WHAT THE HECK, SINBAD?

Jeanne searched carefully for a new hiding place. Being stealthy could mean the difference between life or death in this situation.

"You... Where is Kaitou Jeanne?" Yanuzui asked flatly.

"How would I know something like that?" he replied. He grabbed a knife from somewhere inside his overcoat and threw it at the demon. Naturally, it was unfazed. Only Jeanne could properly seal these kinds of demons... Sinbad no longer had that ability.

The demon struck out quickly, knocking Sinbad off the roof and quite a few meters away.

Jeanne finally realized that the demon had been bluffing about his inability to find her. One of his tentacles wrapped around her leg. Her eyes widened greatly, and he teleported, taking her with him.

Now at Minazuki Park, Jeanne was terrified when she saw he had brought her back to the same place he'd beaten her last time. She was standing right in the middle of the spot where she had been smashed into the ground. She knew this because under her feet was a reddish-brown stain. Her blood.

The tentacle that had been around her leg now pulled her up to eye level with Yanuzui. The evil being laughed, sending shivers down the Kaitou's spine.

"I didn't think the great Kaitou Jeanne would be so easy to beat! Now it seems you've been blinded in one eye. How inconvenient for you..." Yanuzui smirked and threw her high up into the air.

He didn't let her hit the ground. This action was intended only to scare her, to show her he held her life in his hands. He caught her by the same leg. The girl was shaking from fright. He moved her closer to his face, still grinning. Jeanne yelped in fear.

"It's good to fear me. You're smarter than I thought."

"Let me go!" she demanded.

Yanuzui laughed heartily, as if she was trying to tell a joke.

"Please; do you really think you'll survive? I let you survive, you didn't live on your own. You are weak, Jeanne. It amazes me that you have gained such an admirable title as a Kaitou," he teased.

Blood was starting to rush to her head, and the demon seemed to know this. He didn't want her to pass out and miss what he would put her through. She would suffer greatly, and she knew it. And he would make sure of it.

He flung her effortlessly into the fountain, the center of the park. Nobody seemed to be in the park; nobody could help her. "This is pathetic. I expected so much more out of you."

Clutching her upper arm, the part of her that had been dealt the most damage, she stood up and lifted her ribbon.

Yanuzui used a tentacle to knock it out of her hand and fling it somewhere out of sight. She was defenseless, just as it had been last time. Thankfully she wasn't one to easily give up.

When he lashed out with two more tentacles, she jumped to avoid them...jumped right into a trap. Three tentacles above her slammed her hard onto the bottom of the fountain, which broke under the pressure put on it.

She couldn't win this fight without her ribbon; would it be better to run away for now? No...she couldn't. If she did, she might never find this demon again.

The water that poured out of the fountain was dyed dark pink. Already there was bloodshed. Jeanne could feel herself fading, almost as if she was in a video game as taking massive damage.

The Kaitou stayed still, thinking if he thought she was dead he would lose interest in her. But she failed to take into account that he was a demon, and demons could see a person's life force. Surely hers was draining.

A slim tentacle wrapped itself around her waist and stood her upright.

"Now, Jeanne, fight!" Yanuzui commanded.

Oh, she would fight alright. She had no other choice.

Yanuzui touched her and transported, forcing both of them at an old but huge barn at the far side of town. If she got hurt here...then the nearest hospital, and the only one with her medical records, was dead in the center of the city, and that had to be miles away.

"Jeanne, I issue a challenge. As you can see, you have the perfect setup in this barn. There are so many places you can jump on and hide from me. Try to kill me, Jeanne," the demon said.

With pleasure... But...with this arm, and with her whole front in severe pain, plus a blind eye...it might be impossible.

In short, this fight ended badly for Jeanne.

Throwing, screaming, panicking, slashing, slamming, exhaustion, and no breaks took place in that barn.

After it was all over, the demon left, laughing. All that was to show for Jeanne's desperate fight was blood smeared on the walls. Red painted the ceiling. Her body was unconsciously dangling from a broken board on the side of the barn. Her shirt was the only thing holding her up, and it ripped.

The police were all over that barn in a matter of minutes, as was an ambulance. And as an added bonus, Sinbad was there, watching her being lifted carefully onto a stretcher. She looked even worse than she did before.

Sirens screamed as the ambulance and police made their way to Nagoya hospital. It was clear to even the most dense person that Jeanne was running out of time, and fast.

At the hospital, everyone, including the police, waited patiently for the nurses and the doctors to run her through an MRI of her whole body and then to rush her into a room to get her fixed up to two handfuls of different machines.

When they were finally allowed in, they saw just how serious this was. Jeanne wasn't in any clothing, she lay naked under the blankets. A tube was not in her mouth. The doctors had bored a hole into her throat, right under her voicebox, and pushed a tube into it so the machine could get oxygen in more easily. Her eyes were closed and she wasn't responding to any noise or touch. She was literally out cold, but for some miraculous reason, she wasn't in a coma. She was covered head to toe in bandages. Thankfully there wasn't a bandage on her good eye. But under probably most of those bandages were stitches.

Yanuzui had really outdone himself this time.