A/N Hello everyone. If you are reading this then that means i am re-booting the series right now. Chapters will be cleaned up and refreshed to help maintain the structure of the fic and it's plot. If you see chapter 27 posted, that means i have completed my clean up, for now you may notice some inconsistencies throught the fic while this is happening. If there is a chapter 27 please disregard this message. Thanks and enjoy.
Third Person View, Zaphias, Lower Quarter
It has been around six months since the events of the Adephagos' defeat. Karol is in Dahngrest taking care of the guild Brave Vesperia. Brave Vesperia has expanded on a larger scale, so there are so many members that Karol is swamped with managing it all.
Flynn is the commandant of the imperial knights; taking care of all the duties that comes with the position. Rita is staying at Halure now since the city of Aspio was destroyed. Estelle is doing fine in the castle, always taking the time to go to Halure to tell her fairy-tales as usual. Judith is traveling with Baul around the world. In essence, the excitement is slowly dying away.
For Raven's position, even though the Blastia is running off of his own life, it's just a matter of time before he runs out of fumes. It's been apparent time and again during their adventures that he constantly clenches his chest as if he was in pain. The only one who noticed and showed concern was Judith and Yuri; constantly worrying that one day he will croak.
As for Yuri, he goes through the days in Zaphias with nothing to do. Ever since the Blastia of this world was disposed of; a lot of his fighting capabilities were downgraded. It doesn't mean he's weak; Yuri just cant fight the way he used to now. But even as useless as it is; Yuri made sure to keep the the bohdi blastia. Even if it doesn't work anymore it's still a memento of his former Captain from the knights, Fedrock, whom he misses even today.
Right now the moon hangs high in the sky while Yuri is siting upon the window of his apartment while Repede lays in his bed perfectly awake. Yuri spends his time in watching people pass by. Yuri took it upon himself after the Adephagos' defeat to become the neighborhood watch of the area; under Flynn's supervision to Yuri's dismay.
Feeling bored and the need to move around to patrol the area; Yuri leapt out of his window the the grounds below. Even though it is a three-story drop Yuri manages to land on his feet as always with Repede following down the stairs quickly from behind. I just felt like a walk, it's nighttime so it gave off a calm atmosphere in the town. Trouble usually doesn't brew very easily anymore now that FLynn has the knights spread to keep things in check more than before. This fact helps Yuri relax a bit around town.
Lately though their has been a number of dissapearences accourding to Flynn these days. Very few people know of this, but Yuri hears all of it from Flynn when the Commandant needs someone to talk to. They keep well connected and it helps both of them get work done.
Yuri strolls around the vicinity, pass the center fountain of the lower quarter, and towards the lower quarter exit of zaphias. This is the usual starting stroll of Yuri's night to check the traffic of peoiple and who's hanging about. To Yuri's surprise, he sees Raven up and about doing back flips next to a bench near the entrance as people pass by without losing a beat. Yuri holds back his laugh, but it escapes somewhat into a snicker.
"Yep. Raven sure hasn't changed much after all this time." Yuri spoke his thoughts outloud as if expecting someone to hear. Repede gives a bark back as a response; surprising Yuri a bit due to the humor he felt for a moment. "Better check out what he's up to though. Him outside of Dahngrest just means serious buisness of total goofing off." Repede gives a solid woof in response and they both approach Raven from the side.
Yuri appraoches Raven from the side and grabs the old man's attention. "Hey there Raven, what are you scheming this time?" He asks with a large grin.
"Scheming?" Raven spins around with energy and salutes. "Why do you have to be so heartless as to accuse me of something so devilish as that?" Raven replies sarcastically.
"Knowing you, I have to be careful about having you around. Who knows what you can do in such a short amount of time." Yuri notes while placing his free hand on his hip.
"Oh give this old man a break." Raven whined.
"Nope." Yuri and raven continues to berate each other with a slew of witty comments until both sides decide to get to the main point. "Anyway, how is that Blastia in your chest holding up?" Raven's usual playful aura disappears along with his smile thanks to my question. That was all Yuri needed as a response to see that nothing good is coming his way. "Not very well i see."
"I'll be blunt, I don't have much more to go off of. With the amount of time that I had to fight I'm finally burning out." Raven began to explain his condition more thoroughly for a bit. "Using my life force rather than aer makes me more powerful, but now I probably don't have anymore than a few months." He says; now sounding depressed.
"Can't you see if Rita would probably help you out at least?" Yuri suggested to the old soldier.
Raven couldn't help but laugh. "What are you talking about boy, that girl can't wait for the day that I die so she can dance on my grave." Raven said sarcastically, smile now back on his face. The smile died softly later and he sloutches a bit when he spoke again. "Not to mention that I don't want anyone to know about this. Keep this hush-hush from everyone so no one worries their head off. You're the only one that i can tell this too."
"Well at least you can keep yourself positive until the end. You're not the one who would just lie down and let death take you...wait." Yuri realizes the oddity of his comment that he didn't notice before and tries to take it back.
A bit too late since Raven responds first. "Cold." Raven pouts, but oddly enough laughs. "Ah well, That just means that as soon as I die Brave Vesperia doesn't own me anymore." Raven stood back up straight and pats the back of his head. "Since you're here though I can tell you some information. There has been more than just dissapearences happening. It's a manhunt for a psychopath who has been killing a good number of people.
"What?" Yuri exclaims in shock. He knew that people were vanishing, but to think that it is developing into manslaughter is not something Yuri is comfortable about hearing. Yuri regains himself before talking though. "That's just great, after all our effort in stopping the end of humanity we start going at each others throats like nothing happened for unity."
"Sad, but true." Raven says.
"That just means that I'm going to go hunting now. Flynn is going to need all the help he can get at this point."
"The knights are going crazy trying to find out who, why, or how. The victims are completely unrelated to each other so that just makes Flynn's job even harder to find. This guy is indiscriminate. We already have over a couple dozen victims; men, women and children." Raven elaborates the current situation to Yuri with as much detail as possible. "Don't get too caught up Yuri. No one wants you diving into your old tendencies." Raven warns considering how Yuri can get with any type of development like this one.
"I won't. Take care Raven." Yuri assures as he turns and walks away.
"Yeah, take care of yourself…Yuri Lowell."
Later that Night
Yuri walks around the royal quarter with not a single sound made to avoid attention to himself by anyone he may find a threat. The area he is in is pretty narrow though; more like a service passage than a walkway and the walls rise up to the ground only a good 10 feet. Yuri had already scouted the other areas and none of them had any clues as to what he is dealing with
Everything changes when Repede starts to growl; he only does that when annoyed or if he senses danger. Right now the latter would be the case here. Yuri immediately draws his sword and stands at a ready position for a fight. They scan the area around them, but there is nothing out the ordinary. Yuri knew it couldn't have been their imagination because Repede's nose is never wrong and Yuri always knew to trust Repede's senses. It turns out moments later that they were right when an explosive sound is heard not too far from their position.
Both Yuri and Repede storm out of the service road and around a building to discover a large section of it in ruins. A large spider-like humanoid monster is standing in the wreckage with a young woman, no older than seventeen, dressed in a warriors Hakama kneeling on the ground with blood dripping from her wounds. She has a katana in her hand, giving Yuri the incentive that she is in combat with the beast. Without much thought in what Yuri and Repede should do; the two of them rush forward to the woman's aid.
Yuri charges to try and slash at the creatures leg to get him down. He manages to make a small cut, but nothing that woiuld otherwise be harmful to the beast. An ineffective attack. Repede dashes over and leaps onto the creatures back to reach it's neck. Repede stabs his to the creatures back, but the blade breaks on impact and Repede starts bleeding from his mouth. The two fighters jumps back and regroups at the kneeling woman.
"Y-You can see us!" The girl askes with a shocked expression face.
"Well I sure wouldn't notice you if i couldn't see you. Much less talk to you." Yuri replies with a sarcastic grin. "What is this thing we're up against anyway? I've never seen anything like that." Yuri notices that the monster is about to lunge his three large right arms at him, so he reflexively grabs the lady and leaps away to the left while Repede leaps left.
"I'll explain later, right now that thing is still angry!" She says says to Yuri. The rouge swordsman knew one thing for sure, he can't beat it.
"Repede, evade and escape, regroup later." Yuri shouts as he turns around and bolts the opposite direction of the monster. He can't handle a fight like this with the strength he has right now. Too much of a disadvantage is present and Yuri's chance of winning is critically low.
He looks down to the woman he is holding to examine her. She has a pretty bad cut across he abdominal area. It's not fatal, but it's enough to keep her from making any more struggles against the monster they are dealing with. "H-hey." The woman spoke. Her voice sounds weak and tired; showing signs that she has been fighting for a while. "How did you find me?"
"Repede, my canine companion, has a really good nose. There's nothing he can't find with it." Yuri asnwered softly so he doesn't make her feel uncomfortable.
"I see...the hollow isn't chasing us though."
"Hollow?" Yuri stops to turn around. Yuri assumes that the term Hollow is referring to the beast they were fighting. The hollow is no where to be found behind him and he relax's a bit. "Give me a sec." Yuri places the girl down next to the wall and leans her into a sitting position.
"Thanks." The girl spoke her appreciation to Yuri with half opened eyes. Her tiredness slowly kicking in. "Got to...stay awake."
"Take it easy. We're going to get you a doctor." Yuri assures as he examines her wounds more closely. She grunts a bit and tilts her head to the side. "What is it?"
"It's coming back." She said with a sterner voice than before. The wall a few yards to the right of them suddenly got reduced to rubble. A giant dust cloud appears, obscurring the view of the area for the meantime, but Yuri knew their is more than just the Hollow in there.
After the smoke clears; Repede jumps through with injuries all of his body while covered in his own blood. He collapses moments later on his side as the giant creature drew closer moves into view across the debris.
Yuri dashes across the path and towards the hollow that stretches its arms out to claim its victim. Yuri didn't let him by slashing downward at the hollows arms. It didn't do much damage like before, but it distracted the creature long enough for Yuri to roll around to Repede's side and grab him. Yuri dashes around the hollow in circles while it is still confused to Yuri can make it over to the woman.
He places Repede's wounded body down next to the girl and takes the moment to examine him. His body is covered in gashes and cuts; his fur is all frazzled which shows that he has been fighting the Hollow for a while now. "Take it easy buddy. I got this." Repede only replies back with a soft whine; which tells just how much strength he has left.
Yuri looks over to the girl next to him and speaks. "Hey you know a way to beat this thing?" Her face grew grim while the creature grew closer. "I'll take that as a yes, but there is a BIG but in that."
"Listen." The girl's first word got Yuri's undivided attention. "That thing is called a hollow as you probably already know now. You can't fight that with conventional means. Only-" She makes a small gulp before continuing. "Soul Reapers, like myself, can fight against it. I can give you some of my power so you can fight it in my place. But in order to do that-" She takes out her sword and points it at Yuri's stomach. "You need to stab yourself with this. Once then a portion of my power should transfer to you and you can fight."
Yuri simply stares at her blankly in complete disbelief at what he just heard. A part of him wanted to slap himself to see if he is actually awake, but the look in the girls eyes told him a different story. The girls eyes were stern and confident; she is dead serious right now.
Yuri took the moment to look to him right to see the oncoming Hollow. He looks to be approaching slowly; as if allowing Yuri and company the time they want knowing that it made no difference to it. The hollow must believe that the end result will be the same regardless. To Yuri, if he doesn't step up, the Hollow would be right.
Yuri looks back to the girl and gives her a sly smirk. Her next expression is that of confusion while still keeping the serious outlook. "Well, I see it this way, I can't fight it with what I have now. If this really will allow me to fight it great. Otherwise if I die from stabbing myself...at least it's better than getting eaten alive." The girl knew that Yuri was in disbelief earlier, but watching him accept it so easily now is a bit nerve-racking to her. Any other person would simply run for the hills, but Yuri is not like other guys.
"Quite the hand i got from a scrappy deck." Instantly, Yuri reaches for the blade and drove it into himself; hoping that this chance would actually work. "Time to
In that moment, a surge of energy bursts from Yuri's body and the Hollow is blown back with a powerful gush of spiritual energy. The energy itself envelops Yuri out of view and a twister of that same energy forms itself. It only took a good ten seconds before the twister dissapates and reveals Yuri kneelling down on one knee in the same attire that the girl is wearing. Spiritual energy can be physically seen leaking from Yuri's body as he rises from the ground to stand.
The girl felt groggy and her eyes were shut, but she had the energy to look up and see what is happening. Her eyes couldn't get any wider in shock than they did now. "N-No way. I just meant to give him a portion of strength, but instead he sucked out every last drop of mine!" The girl exclaimed while Yuri stood completely straight.
The Hollow wastes no more time and starts charging forward. It attempts to slash across Yuri's midsection with one of it's huge arms. Yuri smriks quickly and simply raises his blade vertically to block the strike just as fast as his smile. The Hollow impacts the blade and a burst of energy explodes from the collision. The Hollow falls back with a bleeding hand and the ground they stood on cracks apart, but Yuri still stood completly unfazed by the attack.
"Unreal!" Yuri exclaims rather softly in amazement.
The Hollow got back up and charges again in rage by throwing it's entire weight at Yuri. Yuri moves at speeds he thought impossible around the hollow to evade the charge at him and slashes off the hollow's arms effortlessly. The Hollow fliew over where Rukia and Repede are lying and falls face first into the pavement. The Creature gurgles and roars in pain as it fumbles around to stand again.
"Save your breath you poor excuse of a monster. I'll end you now!" Yuri proclaims as he dashes quickly to the Hollow's location.
Yuri leaps into the air once he drew close enough and falls towards the hollow's neckline with his blade. All it took is two quick swips in a cross formation and not only did the creature lose it's head, but it also got cut vertically in half. The body of the hollow begins to dissapate once Yuri's feat meet the ground and the hollow's head vanishes last.
Once then Yuri stabs his sword in the ground and lifts his hand to see his palm. He clenches it and re-opens it to get a feel of his new power flowing in his body. "Wow, this is amazing! I haven't felt like this ever before!" Yuri turns to the face the girl and walk up to her; feeling proud of his accomplishment and the satisfaction of going all out like he used to back in the old days.
Alas, this a celebration that got cut short. Yuri starts to feel a swelling in his sternum. Yuri fumbles around on his feet to keep himself from falling down; not understanding what exactly is causing his affliction. He eventually succumbs to it and falls on his knees while clcnching the location of his pain with his hand. It didn't take long after for Yuri to fall on his side and lose himself into sub-conciousness.
The Next Morning, Yuri's Apartment
The sun rose the next morning and light begins to fill Yuri's room; giving a warm shine to all the objects inside. Yuri himself is lying in his bed dressed in his usual garments. The sun's beam slowly creep over to Yuri's face; warming it with more color and energy. Thhe moment the sun reaches it's eyes Yuri felt the beckoning call to wake up.
Yuri's eyes slowly open with a refreshing feeling rushing over his body. He feels re-energized from a good nights sleep and stretches himself out a bit in his bed. "Was that a dream?" Yuri questions what occured during the night, or rather what he believes to be last night. Yuri sits up and looks around him. Everything is still in place just as he left him; until he looks to his side to see something out of place.
Yuri discovers the girl he met before, now garbed in a one piece white silk dress cut right at the knees, sleeping next to him cuddling with Yuri's pillow. Yuri took a moment to register everything in the few seconds that pass until he finally let out a laugh.
"Well. That sure clears things up quite nicely." Yuri cheerfully says to himself. He rises from his bed and looks to his right where Repede's bed would be. The poor canine is bandaged up pretty good that covers a good deal of his body. Yuri knew for that what occured in that night really happened.
The raven-haired swordsman strolls over to Repede and kneels beside him. He gently runs his fingers across the dogs brow to examine his health. His fur is a bit frazzled, but his companion is in good health now with his fever gone and injuries taken care of.
With his worries aside now that he knows both the girl and Repede are safe, Yuri rises from where his is kneeling and strolls outside his apartment. He sits himself down on the top steps of the two story building and looks forward to the river that runs down the Lower quarter. The fountain would be a quaint place to sit and relax a bit, but the river will do just fine for him. Yuri didn't want to stray too far from the individuals that reside in his home.
Yuri leans back and lies flat on the ground at the top of the steps; looking up to the clear sky above. A peaceful moment after a strange hardship he endured. The peace was subtly ended when Yuri heard a click from his door; telling him that it is bieng opened. "Well it seems that sleeping beauty has awoken from her slumber. Had a nice nap?" Yuri asked knowing for a fact that it is the girl from earlier.
"Very funny." The gril replies back with a tone that reminded Yuri of Rita, which gives him a nostalgic feeling of worry; even though he knows no fire balls will fly around. She strolls over to Yuri's side and plots herself down next to him. "You sure are taking things easy considering what you've been through."
"I'm alive aren't I? Why shouldn't I be happy about it?" Yuri said. The girls eyes give off a blank stare before turning away and facing forward.
"Thank you, I'm Rukia Kuchiki." The girl said to Yuri and reaches out to him with her hand; expecting a hand-shake.
"Pleasure, my name's Yuri Lowell." Yuri replied back, sits up, and accepts the hand in front of him. He releases his grip soon after and got up from where he is sitting. "So what now? Do I stab you with your sword to give back your power or-"
"Sorry, but your going to take responsibility. You sucked out every ounce of my power so I can't get it back now." Rukia notified Yuri of the details about what kind of development.
Yuri is partially confused, but also happy. This power he has now is nothing like he ever felt before; even when using a bohdi blastia. The refreshing feeling of having his old strength back and more makes the veteren swordsman overjoyed to fight like he used to again.
"Wait, what you mean by take responsibility?" Yuri just registered the first part of Rukia's statement.
"As a Soul reaper it was my duty to slay hollows and depart lost souls back to Soul Society. I will explain the rest later but right now because of what happened…you have to take my place." Rukia can tell from Yuri's black expression that he has no idea what she just said to him and is downright lost. RUkia took the time now instead of late to explain a bit more in detail on what Rukia does and what is expected of Yuri now that he has her power.
"So…basically you guide the souls of the dead and deal with the hollows to keep things in check. That's it in a nut shell right?" Yuri summerized everything that Rukia had told him. Which surprised Rukai a bit because she didn't think he would so quickly.
"Well there is more to it then that, but yeah that sum's it up pretty much." She replies. Rukia gets up from her seat and walks in Yuri's apartment; beckoning him to follow.
Yuri enters as well and speaks. "So how do I get back into those clothes you were in before?"
Rukia pulls out a red glove with a skull on it from a pouch she has strapped to her side and slips it on. Without warning she slams her palm upon Yuri's face and shouts, "Like this!" The next thing that occurs is Yuri feeling like he is bieng torn away from something as Rukia pushes Yuri back. When she backs away from him he sees himself wearing the hakama she wore before, but his own body was laying in front of him on the ground. Yuri staggers back a bit in shock. "Now get back into it."
"Pardon?" Yuri asked; not understanding exactly what's going on.
"You're in Soul Form right now, that's your body in front of you. Right now if you went walking around only people with a strong connection to the supernatural would be able to see you."
"So basically with the way I am now, I'm almost like a ghost." Yuri theorized.
"That's a crude way of putting it, but it fits," She responded.
"So how exactly do I get back into my body?" Yuri asked while pointing to his limp body on the ground. He has no clue as to what is going on anymore and needs to be guided through this
She sighs; figuring that she is bieng too general with Yuri and forgetting this is all new to him. "It's like fitting into a costume really, just put your feet on your body's shoulders and your body will do the rest for you."
"All right, that doesn't seem too complicated," Yuri said. It is easier than it sounded. In a few moments after Yuri stepson his body, Yuri found himself sinking into his body. He blacks out for a moment and a cold feeling flows through his head and he regains vision from his actual body. Yuri rises and stretches out a bit. To feel the transition from his soul to his body. "Beauitiful."
"Great," Rukia said as she walks out the door and strools down the hall. Yuri chases after her. "Be right back."
"Where are you going to go now?" I asked her.
"I have some errands I need to run," she looked around the hallway, "Are any of these rooms vacant?" she asked.
"Some of them should be," I said. "You can ask the owner in the pub downstairs. Tell her I sent you."
"Good. I'll see you in the afternoon Yuri," she waved and headed down the hallway.
"Yeah see ya," Yuri mutters in displeasure in how she dismissed herself. The swordsman turns around, enter his apartment, and closes the door behind him. He makes his way to his bed and sits down again. This is totally nuts, Yuri is telling myself, This whole guiding souls of the dead thing seems like it'll be a huge pain in the rear, it's not like I got anything better to do with my life at the moment though but still. Yuri thought about things for a moment and then continues, Tomorrow I should probably learn some more about Rukia and this whole responsibility I'm undertaking, there's too much I don't know and probably quite a bit that I should...Maybe i should ask her how she knew where my house was in the first place as well.