Thank you to the two reviewers I got, and to everyone who took the time to read! Y'all are awesome - thanks for humoring me! Notice that the whole "first person" thing is now over. I've given up on it, it's not my favorite. With that said...now on to chapter 2!
As soon as the lights cut out, Kella knew she was in trouble. The silence was absolutely deafening, but she could practically feel others in the room. She briefly wondered if this was what people who saw ghosts felt like all the time, the fleeting thought quickly interrupted as the dim room seemed to explode with movement. Kella had no idea what was going on, but she could hear the strikes as steel glinted off steel, as well as the sickening squelch that body parts made as they were sliced into. She could feel the blood splatter over her, and tried not to gag as she curled into a ball and tried to make as small a target as she could. Clearly someone in here was on her side, because everyone else was dying instead of her.
This is what Kella didn't-slash-couldn't see. Raizo, knowing that assassin would be waiting for their target, had hidden himself in her room as soon as he realized she wasn't going to believe him. There was only one ninja stationed in the room - apparently they didn't consider a young woman a difficult target. His worry, however, wasn't the one ninja in the room. It was the three on the roof, waiting for their brother. He was surprised when Kella had actually listened to him and turned the lights on, but of course this only lasted for a moment. He heard the tell-tale crackling that came right before a light bulb was surged and busted, immediately taking that moment to leap into action.
The other assassin hadn't been expecting him, but assassins were trained to adapt to surprises. Before Raizo could even make his first attack, three shuriken were whistling through the air, aimed right for his chest. They were easily disposed of with a quick swing of his kusarigama, but the man coming at him with two short swords blazing would be a bit more of a challenge. The other ninja made a downward swing with his right hand, the blade singing as it cut through the air. Raizo blocked it with the chain, quickly wrapping it around the sword to disable it. He quickly adjusted as the man slashed horizontally with his left hand, also catching the sword in the chain. The other ninja pulled his swords free of their hold just as Raizo landed a strong kick on his chest. The man quickly regained his composure, ducking out of the way as the knife on the chain flew past his ear. However, he was not fast enough when Raizo suddenly jerked it back like a fishing rod, the knife slashing the man above the shoulder. A brief cry of pain was cut off midway as the knife was sent out again, this time aiming for the jugular. He ducked underneath it, sending one sword up and allowing the chain to wrap around it before plunging the sword into the old wooden floor. He dodged a thrown shuriken, leaping towards Raizo with expert speed. He slashed horizontally again, and while Raizo was able to catch most of the blow with the chain, he still had to allow the blade to bite into his forearm. Blood spurted forth, but Raizo ignored it, reaching and grabbing the arm holding the sword, breaking the wrist with a quick twist. The other man promptly pulled it back, lashing out with his other hand, which was now brandishing a knife. Raizo dodged the stab, landing a punch in the man's side and trying not to smirk as he heard a couple of ribs crack. He went for another attack, but the man flipped to the other side of the room, giving a meaningful glance towards Kella, who was crouched low and covering her head. Without a second thought, he shot himself forward, grabbing the end of his chain as he passed it. Using his momentum, he was able to pull it free of its hold, giving him his best weapon again. He pushed Kella out of the way just as the assassin sent the knife toward her exposed neck, biting back pain as the blade sank into his arm. Blood gushed over the girl, but he could care less, choosing to swing his blade out toward the assassin. His torso was slashed open, but that wouldn't kill him. Two shuriken to the heart would, though.
It wasn't until the man's body slid to the ground and toppled to the side that Raizo even moved. Kella was staring at him with wide eyes, and he could almost feel her heart rattling it was beating so hard and fast. He reached for the knife embedded in his arm.
"No, don't pull it-" Kella began just as he freed it from his appendage in one smooth motion. "-out."
"We must go." Raizo said, grabbing her by the wrist and hauling her to her feet. She was slow moving, distracted by the dead body in the corner. Raizo gave a more forceful tug, bringing her attention back to him as he wrenched the door open, pulling her through the hallway and into the stairwell. That's when those lights went out too.
Raizo shoved Kella to the side as two men dropped in front of him, immediately barraging him with knife attacks. These men were skilled as well, though not as good as the first. He deflected the attacks with his chain, looking for an opening whilst trying to keep himself in between the girl and the ninjas. One sent a flying roundhouse towards his head, which Raizo easily ducked under, sending his knife into the man's stomach. He jerked it back, causing the man's stomach to rip open. Raizo then turned his attention to the knife that was now being stabbed toward his neck. He was able to catch the man's forearm enough to redirect it, the knife simply slicing open the muscle of his back instead of delivering a death blow. He brought his chain and knife around with a mighty swing, sending the knife inbetween two of the man's ribs with lightening speed. It slid through his lung like butter, finally stopping halfway through the sternum - and the man's heart. It was then that Raizo could see Kella trying to make a run for it down the stairs. It was then the third man, freshly emerged from the shadows, caught her wrist, pulling her back. She swayed uncertainly, the only thing keeping her from tumbling down the stairs being the man's hold on her wrist. The problem was, his other hand quickly pulled out a knife, raising it and aiming for her heart. Raizo flung his chain out, liking the way it swirled around the man's wrist as it effectively grabbed hold. The other end was then wrapped around his neck, tightly. If the girl could see as well in the dark as well as Raizo could, she would have seen him holding the chain tightly as if it was a set of reins, making him seem like some perverse, macabre horseman as he crushed the life out of the man. In the assassin's last moment, he allowed himself a smirk, suddenly jerking the girl towards him before sending a blow into her chest, pushing her down the stairs. Kella attempted to turn and brace herself with an arm, but instead just landed awkwardly on the part of her arm just above the elbow. She let out a cry of pain as her shoulder joint ripped apart, but then tried to train her focus on sliding down the stairs and not breaking her neck. She ended up sliding down at an odd diagonal, trying to bend her body to be shaped like the mattresses her and her brothers used to ride down the stairs on. The stairs were carpeted, but that didn't mean she didn't feel every single bump as the corners slammed into her spine. She finally found the landing as she slammed her head into it, using every ounce of abdominal strength she had to allow her to land on her good shoulder blade instead of her neck.
When her motion finally stopped, she thought she would be able to catch her breath and take inventory of her various injuries. However, she soon sensed a presence standing above her, and then felt a hand on her arm. Without thinking the idea through, she pulled her leg back (not caring if she flashed the world) and sent her three and a half inch stiletto into the thigh of whoever was standing over her. The situation was far from amusing, but she couldn't help but smile and think that for once a tactic she learned from a movie actually worked.
"It's. Me." Raizo said gruffly, grabbing her heel and pulling the offensive piece out of his leg. "We must go." He reached for her (bad) arm to pull her up, the slightest movement causing stars to explode in front of her eyes and a loud curse to slip from her mouth. Raizo, not one to really ask questions, simply wrapped his hands around her ribs, hauling her to her feet as if she were just a toddler that had taken a tumble. He took her other hand, giving the arm an experimental tug and, after finding no more foul words, latched on and began to pull her down the stairs again. Kella was in a good deal of pain, but was too shocked at the turn of events to do anything but follow the mysterious guy. Her bad arm hung uselessly at her side, every swing it made from momentum making the joint scream out in pain. Before she knew it, he had pulled her into the cool French night, a slight breeze whispering through the trees. She idly wished that it had been this nice for Marissa's wedding.
"You can drive?" Raizo turned to her. He had phrased it like a question, but seemed to imply that she better know how to drive.
"Yes." she said, her voice very raspy and dry. She cleared her throat, noticing how out of breath she was. He pulled her over to a nearby black sedan, making quick work of the driver's side door. He was reaching for the engine cords underneath the steering wheel before Kella found her voice again.
"Wait!" she said, a little more helplessly than she would have liked. "I need you to reset my shoulder."
"What?" he said, looking thoroughly confused.
"Look, I'm not some freaky ninja guy, ok? I'm not tough enough to pop my shoulder back into socket and continue to kill people like it's nothing. I need you to reset it." she said, trying to put a little more confidence into her voice so that she didn't sound like a whiny little girl.
"No time." Raizo said, turning back to the engine.
"Oh, we're making time." she retorted, ignoring the pain her shoulder was feeling as she roughly pulled him by his forearm. He grudgingly obliged, getting out of the car and following her to the front of the sedan. She sat on the hood, cradling her bad arm with her good one. She positioned him right in front of her before laying back on the hood. Raizo gave her a pointed look, quirking one eyebrow ever so slightly.
"Oh for the love, don't look at me like this is some bad romantic comedy moment. I know it's awkward, ok? I don't care. Now, put one hand on my elbow and one at my wrist." she said, directing him. He grabbed them quickly, trying to get this done. This motion jarred her shoulder, making her squeak in pain again. "Gentle. Now, pull my forearm up so it's at a ninety degree angle, then slowly rotate it in. After it can't rotate any further, slowly rotate it back outward until it pops back in. Go slowly, and do not let my upper arm move, ok?"
He nodded his understanding, placing firm holds on her upper arm and forearm. He followed her instructions dutifully, rolling the arm inward, then slowly back out. He felt the muscles moving awkwardly, then tightening as he reached the end of the rotation. Kella tried her best to hold in any sound of pain, but couldn't help but let out a loud swear just as the humeral head rolled back into the joint. She immediately sat up, taking a few deep breaths as the last of the pain ebbed away. Raizo counted to ten in his head.
"Ready?" he asked, trying not to show his exasperation. She gave him a dark look.
"Yes." she said shortly, pushing off the car and following Raizo to the driver's side of the car. He quickly hotwired the vehicle before sliding over to the passenger's seat. She buckled up her seat belt, turning on the lights and checking over her shoulder for oncoming traffic.
"Caution is not our priority right now. Speed is." he said, his patience clearly waning. She shot him another dark look before pulling out on the street. She could feel how antsy he was, but would still only allow herself five over the speed limit. "Speed up."
"Sorry if I don't want to get pulled over in a foreign country." she snapped.
"That would be the least of your worries." Raizo responded. She let out a dry, humorless laugh.
"Thanks for the happy tidbit there, Skippy." she said, voice dripping in sarcasm. "Where am I even going?"
"Away." he responded, checking the sideview mirror. No one was on the street behind them.
"Please, be a little less specific with me. I might actually figure something out if you give me more details." she said lowly.
"You don't need to be concerned." he said, eyes not moving from the mirror.
"Oh yea, cause it's not like my life is in danger or anything." she said incredulously.
"Your attitude sucks. Turn right here." he said. She let out a sound of indignance, but followed his order subconsciously.
"Sorry if being attacked by effing ninjas and almost effing dying and teaming up with some random guy who is also apparently some mysterious ninja warrior isn't exactly a daily occurence for me!" she said, letting her voice rise in anger. She didn't normally like to give into her emotions, but today was something of a special occasion. Raizo didn't respond, but gestured to turn left. She saw a little bit of a grin on the man's face, though.
"Don't smirk at me like this is amusing!" she said, her voice at a lower volume but just as scathing in tone. "Do you know whose blood is on my dress? Cause I don't! I just know it isn't mine! That's disgusting." she follwed his directions, hoping he knew where they were going because she sure didn't.
"Done?" he asked, turning to face her for the first time since they had pulled away from the hotel.
"No! I-" she paused, realizing that she was, in fact, finished. Instead of giving him any satisfaction, however, she only let out a sigh of frustration and pounded the stearing wheel, ignoring the jolt of pain that shot through her shoulder.
"Good. Pull in here." he said, gesturing towards a line of clothing boutiques.
"Why are we stopping here?" she asked, following directions nonetheless.
"Get you new clothes." Raizo said, as if it were obvious. "Stay here, don't move. I'll be back momentarily."
"Don't you need my sizes?" she asked. He just quirked his eyebrow again, exiting the car without answering her. She rolled the window down. "Get me different shoes, please!" she whisper yelled at his retreating back. For some reason, she found herself a bit disappointed that he wasn't limping in the slightest.
As soon as the silence settled in, Kella immediately wished her random companion back. The full weight of the situation slipped into her heart, and she suddenly felt heavy with fear. She pressed her back against the car seat with as much force as she could muster, gripping the stearing wheel until her knuckles turned white. Her heart rate slowly increased as her anxiety arose. When Raizo opened his door a few minutes later, she let out a small squeal.
"You ok?" he asked, looking at her oddly as he put the new clothes in the back seat of the sedan.
"Not really, no." she said, but without the desired fire behind her tone.
"Just drive." he said, and while the order was unsympathetic, he said it in a slightly more gentle manner than he had been speaking to her with before. She nodded, turning back to the road. Take one thing at a time, she thought to herself. Step one, drive to safety.
They drove for a long time, long enough for the sun to eventually come peaking up over the horizon. Raizo directed her to the road that led out of the city, encouraging her until she was speeding down the highway. The French country side, which at any other time of her life would have been enjoyable, was only dark and terrifying outside her window as it rolled by. Somewhere around four in the morning, they crossed the French-German border. Kella thought for a moment that they might stop soon, but Raizo made no such gesture. He made her drive through the morning, finally pulling into Frankfurt somewhere around eleven in the morning. He directed her through the winding streets, and she followed his directions like a robot, taking no notice of where they were. They finally stopped at a tall townhouse positioned somewhere amongst the twisting back streets. Kella was able to open her door and place her feet on the concrete, but her body was so heavy with fatigue that she didn't believe that she could move. She stared at her heels - one of which was covered with blood - and faintly thought that, above all things right now, she would really like the offensive shoes to be off her feet. Raizo seemed to read her mind, pulling a knife out of no where and cutting them off, tossing them into his bag. He pulled her to her feet in the same manner as he had in the stairwell, half leading her and half carrying her up the stairs to the townhouse. Now that the adrenaline had fully worn off, Kella was able to feel every single pain in her body. Every part of her felt broken - she couldn't even think of how Raizo felt at the moment with his knife wounds. Raizo lifted a hand, quickly knocking on the green door in front of them. A silver haired man answered, his eyes going wide as he took in the two people in front of him.
"Raizo, what a - erm - pleasant surprise." he said in such a way that everyone there could tell that this surprise was far from pleasant. "I wasn't aware that you knew where I lived."
"Maslow, we need your help." Raizo responded.
Whew! That was exhausting! I do hope the fight scene went alright - it's my first time writing something as intense and artistic as a ninja fight, so I hope it was at least decent.
Drop me a line and let me know how you liked it! Also, if you want the soundtrack for this chapter, let me know!