Wow, been a while since I updated, huh? This chapter took a lot of time to get through even though not much happens but it's also rife with fan-service of all kinds so hopefully everyone has fun with it. Some plot relevant stuff does happen as well, it's just got more jokes than usual. Usual disclaimer about Shadow Hearts, feedback is appreciated too. And I didn't get round to doing a Fusion Monsters bonus, but there is a monster encyclopedia one instead.
Shadow Hearts: Resurrection
Chapter 7: Shanghai Heaven
They'd been travelling almost a week now since they left Yokohama. They'd reached Tokyo the day before last but the exact district they needed seemed to be in great disarray and to Charlie's immense annoyance, they had to take extremely convoluted routes to avoid the American military.
Firstly because Dawn may well be wanted now if their enemies had control over the American Military and secondly because Yuri 'the high and mighty' refused to stop carrying around his katana. A keepsake from his father, but one that meant the Americans were on shoot first, ask questions later orders.
Once they'd finally reached the city, Charlie had taken Jack and Kaede to find some more weapons leaving Yuri to guard Dawn in their hotel room since neither one could move about freely. As they followed the trainlines into Akihabara, Charlie began to wonder if Yuri's information would be any use.
He claimed that he had a contact in Europe who would be in Akihabara, which Charlie didn't consider overly useful since as far as he was aware everywhere in Europe had extradition treaties with America, but he could get them out of Japan and evade their enemies clutches.
Akihabara was filled with row upon row of dazzling lights in various multi-colors, it lived up to it's nickname of Electric town and most importantly, seemed to keep it's nature as a black market since the end of the war. Slipping down a narrow concrete alleyway, Charlie followed Kaede as she lead them through a meandering series of alleys and shop-floors to reach the secluded black market dealing in high-end electronics.
The shop itself was a small boxy room, red tape hanging from the ceiling and stray wires and other such gadgets lay strewn about the place complete with one particularly astounding looking radio which Jack looked longingly at for a while as if to think if it would be possible to fit it over his head.
The old man who owned the store coughed and grinned at them, his fat belly dropping over his bent knees while Kyle hunched awkwardly in the other corner of the shop and looked thoroughly miserable. Charlie could guess why from the rank odeur filling the shop, and he could also guess the source of the smell.
"Hey Kyle," Charlie said through a pinched nose "Any chance of some new toys?"
"I've got some stuff" Kyle said doubtfully "But I'm not sure I can sell you it. There's a lot of pressure on the black market here, I don't want to get busted"
"Busted? Kyle, we aren't moles" Charlie sighed "Just gimme the weapons, anything good?"
Kyle reluctantly produced the new weapons he had in stock, a bottle of crimson ink which was made from the blood of a martyred priest and certain holy herbs, a radish carved with a frowny face (which was so baffling Charlie refused to acknowledge it existed) and a rather heavy looking sledge-hammer.
"I'm more a fan of bats than hammers" Charlie pointed out, feeling the much greater weight of the weapon. His use of clubs over sharp objects was a point of ridicule with other exorcists but he tried to ignore them. And when he couldn't he showed them exactly why he liked clubs.
"I do have a bat, but the hammers much stronger" Kyle shrugged as Kaede pocketed her ink and Jack took some time staring at the new radish with his current one. "Oh, I've also got a browning pistol if Dawn would like an upgrade"
"Uhhh..." Charlie took a moment to remember exactly how many people had been shot by Dawn with her BB gun and then imagined what would happen were they realbullets "think we'll pass, mate, thanks" Charlie concluded as he handed over the money.
Kaede seemed to take this as a sign she could focus on the task at hand and turned to face the fat old man who owned the shop. He seemed to be staring rather intently at areas of her body she was not entirely comfortable with. Staring him down with an icy glare she decided to proceed as calmly as she could through his lecherous chuckles
"Mr Osugi, we are here to ask if you know the location of a man called Bacon?" Kaede's gritted teeth distorted her words slightly as she tried to ignore how Osugi seemed unaware her eyes were a little further up than where he was currently looking.
Charlie looked over to Jack as he heard the name and looked slightly curious. Jack had mentioned that name before, did he know the same guy as Yuri? It was possible, but at the same time he was currently trying to make two radishes kiss so take anything he says with a pinch of salt. And probably some salad dressing.
"I don't know if I can help you, love" Osugi snorted "I mean what's in it for me?"
"We can pay you money" Kaede offered, her whole body quivering with rage and prompting Charlie to very quietly guide Jack and Kyle to the back of the room and hushing them to keep quiet.
"I've got money" Osugi grinned through yellowed teeth, "Maybe you can do something else for me?"
"Exorcise a demon?" Kaede offered, her fingers flexing in a way that either meant she was preparing charms or someone was about to lose an eye. For the love of god, Charlie thought, why can he not see the warning signs! He could hear the warning siren in his mind now. Run Osugi! Run!
"I believe they do call it that in some circles" Osugi gaffawed, "What do you say, sweet cheeks?"
"Kyle, cover your eyes" Charlie said immediately "You're too young to see this"
-\ -o- /-
"I have never seen a human's arm DO that" Jack said in bewilderment as Kaede lead them to the destination given by Osugi (after he'd suffered a fairly severe beating). Charlie grabbed Jack by the shoulders and pulled the taller man down so he could whisper in his ear (well, Pumpkin).
"She may not act it, but Kaede's really funny about... y'know, love-love"
"Do you mean intercourse?" Jack asked, at far too great a volume
"Yes, that!" Charlie blushed "Look, she just doesn't like being perved on, it really gets her angry."
"Oh. Then we should probably not take her in here" Jack nodded his head at the cafe they'd arrived at. Charlie's jaw dropped open and he stared in mute horror at the location Osugi had given them.
The area seemed to be on the second floor of the building and was surrounded by neon pink signs pointing in and some very clear signs saying what was to be inside. Standing by the entrance were excessively pretty girls in bathing suits or frilly french maid uniforms handing out flyers and through the window slow jazz music could be heard.
"Bacon's in here?" Charlie asked, his voice ringing hollow. "What do we do?"
"We go in and find him" Kaede said, grim determination in her voice. Only slightly off set by her face being bright red and the fact she was reflexively covering herself. Charlie could almost see her SP lowering by looking at the place.
"We can't Kaede, any American soldiers in there might think your a member of staff. The last thing we need is the military asking why a platoon got wiped out. You should stay here."
"Oh? So you and Jack can enjoy yourself?" Kaede asked, relief at not having to enter seemed to have made her want to devolve into teasing. Charlie's face flushed immediately as he mumbled something about how he hoped she wouldn't tell Dawn where they were going but Kaede silenced him with a hand-wave.
"I was joking. Look, we need to find this Bacon character, you and Jack do your best, I'll go and see how Dawn and Yuri are holding up. And Charlie... do be careful, wouldn't want you breaking Dawn's heart"
"Oh, whatever!" Charlie shouted back, "How about you be careful you don't, uhh, be a jerk! Or... something"
"Well played" Kaede rolled her eyes as she walked back to the hotel, leaving Charlie and Jack alone to deal with the perils of... Shanghai Heaven.
-\ -o- /-
Gaining entrance was fine, it only cost about 200 in cash, but as they ascended the staircase Charlie felt a strange sensation in the air. He took a few paces forward and reflexively checked his wallet
"Huh! I just lost $10! How am I losing cash." Charlie glanced around, there was no sign of the money, did he just drop it?
He took one more step forward and heard a jangle of coins before quickly glancing into his wallet again.
"Another 5 just went! Hang on... every step we take costs us money!" Charlie glanced up at Jack who was quite non-chalently strolling towards a rack full of stuffed pink bunny rabbits and other assortments of girly costumes.
"Jack! Stop! You just cost me 75 bucks!" Charlie wailed, watching as money evaporated from his wallet.
Was this some kind of curse? They had quite a lot of money saved up from odd jobs they'd done on the way here, but nowhere near enough to last if they explored every inch of the building.
"Charlie..." Jack mumbled from his position on the far side of the room, "this outfit"
Charlie looked to see what Jack was talking about and nearly choked on his own air. The outift was a tiny white nurse's uniform, complete with latex gloves and a stethoscope, it looked appalling, Charlie felt just a teeny bit ashamed just looking at it. With a fierce glowering stare, his eyes seemed to ask Jack just why the hell he'd pointed this out to him
"It's defence rating is triple Kaede's normal clothes"
There was absolutely no words. After a few moments horrified silence, Charlie mutely shook his head and started very slowly moving through the shop to try and find this Bacon character.
Slipping past the rows of pink items on display, Charlie glanced down to see two pink kitten like creatures glancing up at him with blood-red eyes and sharply bared fangs. He blinked, wondered what he'd done to deserve this, and quickly drew his hammer as the cat monsters attacked.
-\ -o- /-
Kaede knocked on the plain wooden door of their room and calmly took a step back to lie flat against the wall besides it. She watched as the barrel of Dawn's gun leaned out quickly and snatched it from her with alarming speed and a small squeak from Dawn.
"You should be more careful with this, Dawn" Kaede reprimanded mildly "It draws attention if you inadvertently shoot someone"
Dawn looked slightly hurt and rubbed her arm as Kaede passed her back the weapon, their new room was significantly better than the one's chosen in Yokohama, the ceiling was high and vaulted and they had four beds strewn about the room (since Jack had now chosen to sleep standing up).
The pale green wallpaper was soothing enough, and though Yuri had complained it was in too western a style, it made Dawn less anxious and she took main priority.
As soon as she entered, Kaede noticed that Yuri looked troubled, staring out of the room's window and into the streets. He'd lain his sword and jacket casually across his chosen bed and was sitting in a short vest and his trousers, staring at the crowd outside.
"What's the matter? You seem troubled" Kaede took a seat on the window sill to try and meet Yuri's eyes.
"All my life I've been alone. My father died when I was young, too young to remember. My mother tried to help me, but she didn't understand Fusion. I had to teach myself everything and I-" Yuri went quiet suddenly "I don't know how to feel that there's another like me now."
He glanced over to Dawn, seeing her sitting on her bed, knees drawn up to her chest and face perched on her knees. This was the first time she'd really had a chance to just sit down and think about her situation. It looked like the army itself was after her for reasons they didn't even understand, her grandmother had died to protect her.
Kaede sighed, it was one of those things you got used to being an exorcist. Everyone had a story to tell and in her circles, everyone had a story to tell flled with bloodshed and tragedy. She'd met men who'd seen horrible things, the war had unleashed untold levels of malice across the country.
She still operated in Japan because the sheer levels of malice in the areas near Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unbelievably, oni and demons had begun to walk the earth visible to even the most normal of mortals. And now, only a few years after the insanity, Dawn was being chased down for something important.
Throw in Yuri and now Charlie and she was beginning to wonder if there weren't more stories behind this war than she'd believed. She'd heard tales of places in Europe so filled with malice that psychics couldn't even approach and that somewhere in America a font filled with Will had been blocked.
Something was happening and right at the core was this ordinary human girl.
"We can keep her safe, right?" Kaede asked, glancing to Yuri to try and gauge his reaction
"Much as I dislike your friend, Anjou, he'd do anything to save her. It reminds me of a story my mother told me."
"Oh? Did it have a happy ending?"
"Not so much" Yuri sighed "The boy died and the girl vanished." getting up from the window, he went over to his jacket and reached into the pocket. Rummaging around for a while, he produced a strange pendant, a clear jewel of dark blue wrapped in a rock like substance hung from it.
"What's that?" Kaede asked, approaching him cautiously, the item had an odd aura to it and made her nervous.
"It's a memento... but one I think Anjou needs more. Dawn, make sure he gets it." Yuri tossed the jewel to the girl who caught it with an awkward squeak. The pendant may be important but somehow he felt it made more sense for Charlie to wear it.
Taking his seat by the window again, Yuri watched the crowds with the detached air of a man who could burn this whole town to the ground if he had the mind. He wondered idly how his newfound rival in fusion was doing.
-\ -o- /-
4 floors and 3,450 bucks later, Charlie and Jack had reached the actual cafe of Shanghai Heaven. The two of them had fought through a disconcerting amount of feral pink cats and zombies dressed in sailor uniforms but they'd finally reached the goal.
Walking past the thin crowd of waiting patrons, Charlie approached a girl in what looked like a stereotypical french-maid outfit and coughed briefly to get her attention. She immediately sprang to attention and smiled broadly,
"Hiiiiii~, welcome to Shanghai Heaven, where we push pleasure to eleven! My name's Lemon, how can I help?"
"Um, Hi Lemon, we're looking for someone"
"Ohhhhh, that's adorable! We'll just go and find you a girl 3"
"No! We're looking for a man"
"Oh" Lemon's face suddenly dropped "I'm sorry sir, this isn't that kind of establishment. Please-"
"Not like that" Charlie groaned "We're looking for Roger Bacon, is he here? Please tell me he is, I don't have enough money to walk out of here without him"
"Ohhh, you're friends with Rodgie? We'll take you right to him, right this way~" Lemon was suddenly all smiles again as she lead them away. Jack leant in close to Charlie's ear as the two followed her
"You're very good with women"
"Shutit, Pumpkin head" Charlie growled, lamenting his poor choice of insult as they were lead through the cafe.
The black and white checkered floor was practically sparkling as soft music filtered through from a large arced radio sat on the bar as various maids cheerily poured tea for enthusiastic men of all ages complete with cute smiles and hand gestures.
It made Charlie pretty awkward as he kept thinking about Dawn's face.
Finally, they were guided to the table of an elderly gentleman, his marigold coloured suit and oddly flat hate did nothing to dilute his clearly ancient appearance as the old man sipped tea from a cup and made no show of hiding the oggling of the nurses. His skull looked oddly pronounced with a tiny goatee beard adorning his chin.
Next to him was another old man, also oggling the girls, but with a thick pair of glasses on his face. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the glasses had spiralling patterns on them. This old man had a spiky white beard and a slightly toothless grin as well as a pair of dirty oil stained overalls.
"Hee hee, what did I tell you, Roger? This is much better than the magazines" the bearded one chuckled to the other old man as he turned his head to follow a waitress walking somewhere with a tray.
"It's always good to get your mind off things and just enjoy the world" the man who was presumably Bacon sighed "Hmm? Did you order two weirdoes, Jerry?"
"Not that I know of" Jerry replied, his eyebrows furrowing in anger "Oi lads, you weren't sent here by Whitcomb were ya? Tell him I'll come back when I can, NACA will have to wait."
"Err, actually we were sent here by a man called Yuri? We need to get out of Japan and we were told you could help us" Charlie sounded doubtful
"Ehh? Yuri?" Roger suddenly hopped up "Yuri Inugami? How do you know him?"
"Well, he's... I'm sort of a Harmonixer like him so he-"
"Whaaaaaaat?" Roger practically fell out of his chair and was caught by a particularly agile maid. Thanking her excessively as she returned him to his seat and he adjusted his bow-tie.
"Can you help us?" Charlie asked, feeling decidedly unprepared to be dealing with this right now. Jack was being quiet at least, which was always something.
"Sorry boys, we're otherwise engaged" Jerry chuckled but was silenced by a wave from Roger
"If Yuri's asking for my help, we'll do it. Something serious must have happened." Roger suddenly looked serious, his age old face no longer creased in laughter and perversion, it was suddenly the face of a sad old man who was being reminded too strongly of what he'd lost.
"Huh, you mean I'll do it" grumbled Jerry "Your ships still broken after all" hopping down from the seat Jerry spat into his palm and extended the gloved hand to Charlie with a broad, disfigured grin
"My name's Jerry Bernstein, I make people fly! I'm 82 years old and one of these days I'm going to send a man to the moon! In a ship" he said, pointedly looking at Roger one last time, "Pleased to meet you! There any girls in your group?"
"Oh god, Kaede's going to kill him" Charlie whimpered to himself.
He didn't think about it but Jack was being uncharacteristically quiet. All he did throughout the entire conversation was stare at Roger Bacon, as if somewhere in his damaged mind he was trying to remember where he'd seen him.
The Party so Far
Weapon: Broken Aluminum Bat
Role: Pumpkin King
Weapon: Frowny face Radish
Role: Air Wizard/Engineer
(At the Hotel)
Weapon: Holy Ink (Navy)
Weapon: BB Beretta
Empowered by the world's malice, these creatures now roam above the surface. The plate on their head is their weak-point.
The fusion form of Sgt Frank Harris, Harris is of greek descent and so his fusion beast adopts this unlikely form.
Smuggled from Manmariana island, these adorable kittens are actually quite deadly. They're docile around young women though.
Risen through dark power, this fan will always seek to admire his idol even through the veil of death. While raised for an unusual reason, the zombies are lethal like any other.