"Only this many people?" Demon Eyes Kyo looked around, his crimson eyes piercing each bandit. He cocked his head. "I guess this is alright for a warm up. But you all better give me a good fight." His demonic smile spread across his face.
Noriko just stared. How did the cowardly Kyoshiro become Demon Eyes Kyo? They couldn't be the same person! Though the situation would explain no one being able to find him, it just didn't make sense! How could Mibu Kyoshiro be Demon Eyes Kyo!
"What is that supposed to mean? You think you can take us all on?" The bandits, after regaining their composure, became infuriated. One single man, who only moments ago was being beaten to death on the ground, was challenging them as if they were mere bugs! As if they were dirt beneath his feet!
"Don't worry," Kyo cooed. "I'll kill you all quickly!" Enraged, the followers charged, all except the one that held his blade against Noriko's neck. They raised their katanas, screaming as the lunged at their target.
But their efforts were useless.
In one fluid motion, Kyo seemed to glide between the men, slowly walking through the crowd. He was unfazed, showing no signs of distress. He only showed pleasure. The smile from before was still plastered across his face. The bandits fell one by one to the floor, blood spurting from the wounds he inflicted.
Noriko couldn't believe a human was capable of such skill. Not only was he avoiding the mob of attackers, but it was impossible to see his movements. There was no sign of him swinging his sword. He just walked forward as the bodies fell around him. Her inhuman senses were the only reason she could faintly see his swings.
Noticing their mistake, the remaining men backed off, cursing at him and vowing vengeance. As the last victim fell, some of his blood flew towards Kyo, landing on his hand. Without blinking, Kyo raised his hand and began to lick the blood. "Next," he said, as the blood trickled down his chin.
"He has a long sword!" one bandit cried. "If we can get close enough, he won't be able to move freely!" Once again, the men charged.
Idiots! Fools! You will only be cut down! Someone of that skill has surely found a way around that disadvantage! Noriko sighed. Though she wanted to scream out there idiocy, she held back. She wanted to kill these bandits herself, but her body would never allow it. Kyo, however, could.
The men ran for him, swinging their swords wildly. Before even reaching their goal, Kyo began to slash away, causing bodies to drop like flies. Some men were split in half while others lost limbs before finally being decapitated. Noriko only watched. The blade at her neck began to shake, revealing her captor's fear. He would be the last follower when Kyo finished his slaughter.
Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, Noriko noticed Banji's hammer heading towards Kyo. "Jump!" she screamed. Hearing her warning, Kyo avoided the hammer, pushing of the ground. He landed a few yards away, slightly less amused, but his smile never disappeared.
"Attacking from behind is little dishonorable." Kyo stared at Banji, anticipating his next move. But Banji just stood there, hammer still stuck in the ground. "At a loss of what to do?"
"There's no need for honor in a fight." Toji suddenly appeared behind Kyo, his working arm ready to claw at Kyo's head. "Victory is all that matters! The end result is all that means anything!" He swiped, but there was no contact. Before he could recover, Kyo seemed to materialize behind Toji.
"You're too slow." Terror spread across Toji's face. Before he could defend himself, Kyo swung his sword, splitting Toji's body in half. Only his head remained untouched. He fell near Banji, screaming in pain, cursing the man for his pain. "How could you possibly have been nicknamed "Toji the Wind" with this pathetic speed?"
"Banji! Save me!" Toji crawled towards his brother, his body trailing blood behind him. "Banji! Help me!"
"I'm going to kill you now." Kyo raised his sword, ready to deal the killing strike.
Banji picked up his hammer. However, instead of swinging towards Kyo, he only placed the hammer on his shoulder. Kyo struck Toji, finishing the cut that ran along his body. The two halves dropped to the floor, creating a pool of blood that began to trickle towards Banji. The giant only stood, staring at Kyo.
"You let your brother die?" Noriko asked. She was in shock. Kyo's slaughter of the bandits was one thing, but Banji's actions was the same as killing Toji himself. "How could you let your own brother die!"
Banji just continued to stare at Kyo. "The strong . . .only the strong deserve to live. Toji . . .was weak. But you are strong. I will . . .kill you!"
Kyo just smiled in anticipation, eager to topple the giant. "And why do you think you can kill me? You'd think you would have learned something from your brother's death."
"Your sword is now covered in blood." His eyes drifted towards the katana in Kyo's hand. The blade was now dripping with the blood of Toji and the brothers' followers. "You will not be able to cut as well now!"
"I see you can use your head. How about we test that theory of yours?"
Banji raised his hammer and began to run at Kyo, swinging the hammer downward as he closed the distance between himself and Kyo. Although Banji wasn't as fast as Toji, he still moved with a very fast speed for someone of his size.
Kyo didn't move. As soon as Banji was close enough, he slammed the hammer down on Kyo. The force of the hammer sent vibrations through the earth, causing Noriko to shake. The ground cracked as the weapon sunk into the ground.
"I win! I—" Before Banji could celebrate, he noticed that only the hammer was embedded in the ground. There was no body.
"Where are you looking? You're just as slow as your brother." Banji looked up. There was Kyo, standing on top of the one building that created the border of the village. He looked down on the giant, grinning in delight and amusement. "You really expected to hit me with your slow movement?" Kyo raised his sword so that the sun reflected off the blade just below his eyes. "Now, it's my move. It's been a while since I've used the Mizuchi style, but I find it fitting."
Kyo jumped off the building, sword raised overhead. As he landed, Noriko could see his movements, the many swings he took at Banji. Though she was certain that Banji had not seen anything, only a falling man, she was concerned about Banji not even bothering to defend himself. Was he that confident Kyo's sword couldn't cut him?
As Kyo regained his composure, Banji began to laugh. He was still in one piece. "See! That sword cannot cut anymore! I win! I'm the strongest!" He turned to Kyo and began to run towards him, hammer in hand. "I have won!"
Though the giant was racing towards him, Kyo didn't flinch. With only a few feet separating him from his target, Banji swung his hammer. Noriko almost cried out. There was no way Demon Eyes Kyo could lose so easily! She was stopped by the realization that Kyo was still standing there, unharmed.
Banji, shocked, also noticed his enemy still standing. Looking at his arm, Banji began to scream. His arm was gone, sitting on the ground. He cried out in rage and reached to hold his arm. But that was also impossible. His other arm fell, rolling next to the other extremity.
"I wouldn't move anymore if I were you." Kyo's voice was taunting, his cruel smile appearing once again. Banji cursed and tried to run towards Kyo, only to have both his legs give out. Suddenly, Banji's head began to spurt blood. Banji was finished. "I win." With one last scream, Banji fell apart into multiple pieces.
The bandit that still held Noriko whimpered, pushed Noriko forward, and began to run. Unfortunately, the escape path that didn't lead him to Demon Eyes Kyo was through the villagers. Now that the tables had turned, they were not afraid of the lone bandit. But they no longer had any interest in their oppressor. They were completely fixated on the demon that had just finished slaughter. He pushed through the villagers and left, never looking back.
"Now," Kyo slowly turned towards the villagers and Noriko. "Who's next?"
The villagers began to scream, running into each other as they tried to run back to their homes. The Bantouji brothers were one thing. Demon Eyes Kyo was another level of terror. As they cleared out, Noriko stayed where she was. She knew it was useless to run. She couldn't kill him, and fighting while wounded was just suicide. She could put up a good fight, but without the ability to kill, Kyo would kill her.
He walked up to her as she sat up. "Either you're stupid or brave, girl." He placed his sword on his shoulder. "Did you want to die?"
"Where is Kyoshiro?" Noriko stared up at him, directly into his red eyes. She would show him no fear. She didn't have any to give him. "You're not him."
"He's inside here." Kyo pointed at his chest. "He was in control for a long time. Never letting me out." His smile disappeared. "Don't think I saved you because I didn't!" He lowered his katana, placing it near her neck. "Maybe if you beg me, I might think about sparing your life!" Without thinking, Noriko burst out laughing. Though Kyo was indeed terrifying, the fact that a human was threatening her, a god, humored her. This man had no idea what she could do to him if only she was allowed to kill. "What's so funny?"
She stopped, locking her eyes with his. "I will never beg anyone for my life, least of all you!" Her comment shocked him more than her laughing. She had to know how Kyoshiro turned into Kyo. Though she hated what she was about to do, Noriko knew that solving this mystery would make staying alive that much easier. Using her own aura, Noriko sent it towards Kyo, feeling his own killing intent.
"I see. So that's not your body," she whispered.
Now Kyo pressed the sword even harder on her neck, slightly puncturing her skin. "Who are you?"
"I'm just a wandering bounty hunter." Kyo stared at her, obviously not believing a word she was saying. Noriko sighed. "Fine. I'm hunting down two . . .people. One of which I need to determine if he's worth the trouble and poses a threat to my village. The other I must kill at any cost! Satisfied?"
Noriko didn't lie. It was her main duty to fight another god, if he could even be considered one, for all of eternity. They were forever meant to kill each other. Every lifetime was devoted to finding and destroying one another.
But the one she had to decide was a problem was Kyo. He probably knew it, too. The reputation of Demon Eyes Kyo among the nonhumans was great. The sheer power the man had could supposedly even harm the inhuman. If that was possible, she had to keep an eye on him. It was the reason she became a bounty hunter.
Kyo snickered. "You think you can kill someone? When I woke up, you were on the floor from a small wound surrounded by weak bandits. And you want to kill?" Suddenly, his face became serious. "Anyone can say stuff like that." He pulled back his sword, ready to swing. Noriko just stared at the blade coming down onto her.
But nothing happened. Noriko was about to yell at him for teasing her when she looked down. Her kimono was cut down the front, exposing her linen wrappings underneath. Cursing, she kicked at his feet, which he easily dodged. The pain in her back grew stronger, the only reason she couldn't continue her vengeance.
Kyo began to laugh. "No one has ever tried to do that before! You're funny, girl!" Noriko wanted to hurt him. She would expose her powers right here and kill him! Screw the rules! Before she could snap, Kyo suddenly grabbed his head. "Shut up! You stay in there!"
Kyo looked at her, his eyes now showing pain. Noriko almost felt bad for him. Almost. "I don't know why he cares for you so much," he started as he began to sheathe his sword, "but remember this girl. I'll be watching. I want to see you kill!" Noriko smiled. Oh, he would. She would kill him.
As soon as the katana was completely in the sheathe, Kyo fell to the ground. Noriko watched as he lay on the floor. Kyoshiro's soul had not taken over yet. She sighed as she looked up at the sky.
One thing was for certain. Demon Eyes Kyo and Mibu Kyoshiro would be no easy collection.