"If nothing else, I see you at least remember the most important lessons…"
These were the words that echoed through Ryuji's mind as he awoke from his dream. "Another one of those dreams again. Tch! Old Man…"
Ryuji was a third year at Fujimi High and like all the students wore the typical school uniform which consisted of an all-black jacket and jeans combo with a white t-shirt to balance it out. He had spiky white hair, red eyes, and wore chains on his left arm which were covered in bandages which to say the least made him stand out from his peers. He was taking his usual afternoon nap on the highest spot on the roof of Fujimi High.
"The hell was that? It sounded like moaning."
Upon hearing it again, Ryuji walked to the edge of the roof. What he saw would'. People were eating people, in other words… real life zombies. "Well now, you don't see that every day. "Clearly I'm still dreaming. I'm going back to sleep, I need to catch some more Z's." He walked back to his usual resting spot and was about to do just that when suddenly he heard voices from somewhere nearby.
"If I didn't do it, you would have been eaten."
"I didn't want you to save me. I didn't want to see Hisashi like this. If this is how I'm going to live, I'd rather have him bite me!"
"Hisashi wouldn't have wanted that."
"What the fuck do you know? I see… that's how it is. You never liked him, right? Because he was my boyfriend, right!?"
"The hell is it this time? Its 2:30pm in the afternoon and people are trying to sleep." Ryuji reluctantly opened his eyes, rolled over onto his stomach, and quietly crawled towards the source of the noise which turned out to be a pair of students. One of them was a boy of average build with spiky black hair and brown eyes while the other was a girl with orange-brown hair and golden brown eyes.
"Hey, where are you going?" The girl asked.
"I don't think you want me here. So I'm going to beat the fuck out of them." The boy responded.
"What the hell are you saying? You can't do anything alone. Hey, Takashi… No! Stop! I'm sorry! I was kidding! I didn't mean what I said! Please…! I beg you! Stay with me!"
Ryuji looked down at the pair as they embraced each other. They were on a lower part of the roof. "Ok, first it was the undead and now a soap opera? What the hell is going on here? I guess this is no time to be sleeping." Ryuji jumped down to their level startling them both. He let out another yawn as he recovered from the jump. Turning towards the pair and completely ignoring the world around him. "Morning… maybe I should say afternoon?"
"What's with that nonchalant greeting!? Haven't you seen what's been happening!?" The girl shouted.
"Give me a break alright. I just got up, so I'm still half asleep. All I know is that I went up on the roof to take my usual nap, only to wake up and find the whole school decided to reenact Dawn of the Dead."
The students turned their attention to the make-shift barricade of desks and chairs which constantly kept shaking. "Seems like they're trying to break through. Since we have some time, how bout we introduce ourselves. The name's Ryuji Arisawa, third year." He stated.
"My name is Takashi Komuro, second year and her name is Rei Miyamoto." Takashi replied.
"It's nice to meet you." Rei said with a bow.
"So, I take it the both of you are just as clueless as I am?" Ryuji asked.
The younger students nodded their heads.
Ryuji sighed before scanning his surroundings, spotting the body of a dead student. "Guess he wasn't as lucky as you two." He solemnly said.
"His name was Hisashi, my best friend and her boyfriend." Takashi replied with a pained look.
Ryuji as he propped himself against the wall and sat down. "Sorry."
The other two students followed suit and the three of them sat in silence.
A few moments passed and it seemed like Takashi was deep thought.
"What's the matter?" Rei asked.
"Nothing. I'm just wondering what's going on."
Rei narrowed her eyes. "Well, you're honest."
"Why would I lie?" He scratched his head wondering what the point of this conversation was when he noticed Ryuji hadn't said a word since they sat down. "Hey, Senpai…" Takashi looked more closely at the third year student and realized he was resting peacefully with his eyes closed. He turned back to Rei with a look of complete disbelief. "He's sleeping. How can someone be so calm in a situation like this?"
Rei stood up and extended her hand. "At any rate, I think I'm going to try and call my dad. May I use your phone?"
Takashi handed her the phone and watched her dial the number. "I know your dad's a cop, but the emergency line's got to be jammed."
"There's a secret number I can only call in an emergency." She replied as the phone began ringing and then connected. "It got through." Takashi came close to her and listened in. "Daddy?"
"Hello? This number… is it Takashi-kun?"
"Daddy? Daddy, we're at school and…"
"Is it Takashi? Did Rei give you this number? Is Rei okay? The signal's too…"
"Daddy! Can't you hear me!?" Rei raised her voice, beginning to panic.
"Listen… your family… the city is…"
"Daddy! Daddy!" Rei shouted panicking even more when she heard a gunshot at the other end of the line.
"Got it? The city is in complete chaos… Get out of-" *Beep* *Beep* *Beep*
"No signal? But he just picked up! Why? Why!?" she yelled as she re-dialed the number.
"You need to calm down Rei. I can't afford to have you freaking out on me." Takashi stated.
"Takashi…" She looked at him with tears in her eyes. "My dad… didn't even realize… it was me."
"The whole city…" Ryuji interrupted.
Takashi looked perplexed. "I thought you were asleep."
Ryuji sounded annoyed. "I was, until you two decided raising your voices was a good idea."
"I'm sorry…" Rei mumbled.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to direct that at you." Just then the barricade made a loud noise as it shifted a few inches forward. "I think it's about time we made our exit." Ryuji walked towards the pile of desks and chairs with the undead relentlessly pounding on it from the other side.
"What do you plan on doing?" Rei asked.
The third year placed his hands on the desks that supported the haphazardly built structure. "I'm going to push back."
"That's impossible, there's no way you'll be able to push the barricade with so many of 'them' on the other side!" Takashi shouted.
The moment he said that, Ryuji proved him wrong. He not only pushed them back, he did so with such force that the desks and chairs which were piled high crushed any undead who were in the way as it came crashing down the stairs.
Takashi and Rei could only look on in shock as they witnessed something extraordinary.
"This is no time to be gawking. There's still more of 'them' coming." Ryuji walked down the steps and the chains that bound his left arm rattled with each step he took.
Takashi took notice of the sound and for the first time took a good look at the 3rd year student. "Wait a minute. What's with those chains?"
Rei came down the steps holding a broom stick with a sharpened end in one hand and Takashi's bat from earlier in the other. "I've wondered about that as well. Why are you wearing those chains? They look heavy."
"That's a long story. I'll tell you about it sometime, but for now let's focus on surviving." He turned his attention to them and charged the horde taking out most of them in his wake while Rei and Takashi followed his lead bashing and stabbing the stragglers that came within range. The pair looked on in amazement as one by one, Ryuji manhandled and tossed them off the roof. After clearing the area, he turned to the pair and said, "I'm going to go on ahead and look for more survivors."
"Wait, Senpai…" Before Rei could finish, he was already gone.
Ryuji raced down the steps and within minutes he was back on the third floor of the school. Surprisingly, none of 'them' were around the area. "I finally got away from those two. Any more displays of strength and they would've figured out who I really am. I seriously don't want to deal with that right now."
"Is someone crying? I swear it better not be one of those female zombies that knock you down with one hit when you startle her." He walked through the hallway searching for the source of the crying until he came upon the girl's restroom. "It's coming from inside here." He opened the door to find none of 'them' had made it inside which was probably due to the fact that the door was pretty sturdy. On top of that, one had to pull the door to open it rather than push it.
The crying was coming from one of the stalls. "Is someone in here?"
"Who's there?" A girl's voice responded. She was clearly freaked out.
"My name is Ryuji Arisawa. I'm currently a third year not that it matters in this situation."
"Ryuji-senpai…?" The door to the stall was opened and a girl almost half his size appeared before him. She wore the typical girl's uniform consisting of a white blouse with a green skirt. She was still nervous, but had visibly calmed down somewhat. "My name is Chihiro Mihoshi. I'm a first year student…" It only took a moment for her to realize who the person standing before him really was. "It's really you…"
Ryuji was confused. "Have we met before?"
"Well…" She was about to respond when.
An earth-shattering scream echoed throughout the halls of Fujimi High.
"Let's go!" He grabbed the first year before she could respond and ran towards the source of the screaming. When he arrived at the scene, he saw six other survivors. Takashi and Rei whom he just met; Shizuka Marikawa, a school nurse whom he became acquainted with at beginning of his third year, she had long blonde hair extending down to her waist and hazelnut eyes, but her most prominent features were her ridiculous curves and her tall buxom physique pronounced by her humongous chest; Saeko Busujima, a fellow classmate with dark violet hair, bright blue eyes, and was quite tall in comparison to the rest of the students; and two other students he didn't know. Among them was a pink-haired twin-tailed girl who was sitting on the ground and a pudgy boy wearing glasses that was checking to see if she was ok. It appeared they had just defeated a group of 'them' and the pink-haired girl was in complete shock over what happened. "Looks like you guys had fun without me."
"Fun? You think this is fun? This is fun for you!?" The pink-haired girl glared at Ryuji. "People are eating each other, the whole city is in complete chaos and you say you're having fun!? Just who the fuck do you think you are Demon Knight!?" The pink-haired girl yelled.
Ryuji was stunned at how quickly she figured out his identity. "How did you…?"
His surprise only served to make her angrier. "Did you think I wouldn't know who you were!? Don't treat me like I'm fucking stupid! I'm a genius! Those chains around your left arm are a dead giveaway!"
She stood up and walked towards the third year. "Sorry…? Is that all you have say for yourself? I don't want your fucking half-assed apology!" She screamed as she slapped him across the face.
Saeko walked up to the pink-haired girl and placed her hand on her shoulder. "All right, that's enough."
The pink-haired girl broke down and cried into Saeko's chest.
"You know…" Ryuji sighed.
Everyone looked up to him giving them his attention. Ryuji looked at the pink-haired girl who was still in tears. One thing he hated more than anything was making a girl cry.
"It's not like I wanted to be known as the infamous demon knight. It just sort of happened. I'm sure you know the rumor, about how I beat up a gang of thugs at the beginning of my first year here. Well, it's true. I kicked their asses just because they pissed me off. However, what I didn't know was that they all were third year students at Fujimi High so the news spread fast around the school. It didn't help that these chains I wore around my left arm since I was seven years old made me stick out like a sore thumb. Everyone around the school including the school faculty was afraid of me so of course everyone kept their distance from me…"
Shizuka-sensei was genuinely concerned for the third year as he talked about himself. "Ryuji-kun…"
Ryuji was uncomfortable to say the least as this was the first time he had ever talked about his problems with someone other than his sister. "After school was even worse, every day it was one fight after another. Gangs challenged me because they wanted the fame for defeating the legendary demon knight, but every day it was the same result. I would kick their asses and get on with my life. It ended up becoming a vicious cycle, beat up one gang two more take their place. It only made my social life at school even worse as I never made a single friend throughout my entire high school career. The only person who I ever talked to was my older sister, Reo who graduated last year. I never really learned how to converse with other students besides my sis so I tend to say insensitive things without considering the situation I'm in or the consequences of what my words reap. So, I'll say it again. I'm sorry. I'm truly sorry."
"It's my fault." A voice said.
The group looked around for the source of the mysterious voice.
"I'm sorry Ryuji-senpai. It's all my fault." A crying girl just barely over half the third year's size appeared from behind him.
"Chihiro…? Were you hiding behind me the entire time?" He leaned in closer and noticed tears streaming down her cheeks. "Why are you crying?"
"Those thugs were harassing a young middle school girl weren't they?"
"Yeah, that's true, but how do you know this? I never told anyone that part of the story."
"It's because I was that girl. When you fought off those thugs, it was the most incredible thing I've seen. You saved me and not only that, but you carried me home when I passed out to make sure I was safe. I really wanted to meet you again so I could thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my life. However, I didn't know saving me caused you so much trouble. You suffered so much because of me. I'm sorry, Senpai." Chihiro explained as more tears fell from her eyes.
Ryuji knelt down and hugged her. "Look Chihiro, at the time I was just doing what I wanted. Even if I knew fighting those thugs was going to cause me to end up without any friends, I still would've protected you."
Rei smiled at the touching scene. "Awww… how sweet…"
"Well what do you know, looks like the big bad demon knight is nothing, but a big softy." Takashi joked.
Ryuji sighed. "I can't believe it. My reputation as demon knight has been torn to shreds in a matter of seconds by a first year high school girl."
More tears streamed down Chihiro's face, but this time they were tears of happiness. "You know, this is the second time you saved me. Since they came and invaded the school I ran up here and holed myself up in the restroom hoping you'd find me. And now here you are my knight and shining armor."
Ryuji blushed as he pulled away from the first year and wiped away her tears. "All right, I get it. You're happy to see me, but please Chihiro do me a favor and stop crying. I think enough tears have been shed for one day."
He turned his attention back to the group. "We should find somewhere to rest. I think we could all use a break after all the crap that happened today." With that the group decided the teacher's office would be a safe place to stay.
Second year, Saya Takagi washed her face while the rest of the group contemplated their situation.
Kohta Hirano, another second year student checked on her. "Takagi-san, are you okay?" He asked trying to get her attention.
The pink-haired girl lifted her head to look at him after drying her face with a towel.
"Glasses…" He shouted in a state of shock.
She threw the towel at him. "Got a problem? My contacts keep falling out!" Annoyed at his reaction, she walked back to the group.
Kohta stood there as the towel fell off him with a happy expression on his face. "Glasses…"
As the group made plans to escape and check on the safety of their families, Ryuji had something else on his mind. He honestly didn't know what he was going to do with the first year girl who seemed to have gotten very attached to him. The first year student must've been really fatigued as she fell asleep on his lap as soon as they entered the office.
"Senpai…" Chihiro mumbled in her sleep.
"What exactly are you dreaming about?" He sighed before softly smiling at the sleeping 1st year.
Saya tapped Ryuji's shoulder getting his attention. "Sorry about what happened back there. I shouldn't have lashed out at you."
Ryuji looked up at her. "You wear glasses?"
"What? You want to say something too!?" She shouted.
Ryuji stayed calm. "They look cute on you."
She blushed and became flustered at his statement. "Cute! Are you mocking me?"
Chihiro yawned and sleepily looked up at Ryuji. "Senpai…?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did we wake you up?" Saya asked in a nicer tone of voice.
Ryuji was a little irritated that she woke up the first year. "What do you mean 'we'?"
That comment really got Saya riled up as she was at a loss for words. "Shut up!"
"Well, excuse me Princess!"
"What did you just say!?"
"There's no need to get so angry Takagi-san." Kohta intervened in attempt to calm her down.
"Who asked you fatass!?" She yelled as she walked away.
Once she calmed herself down, she noticed Rei was glued to the TV. "What's wrong?"
"What is this…?" Rei asked in a complete state of shock.
Ryuji and Chihiro gathered around the television screen with rest of the students. Saeko grabbed the remote and turned up the volume so everyone could hear.
"Outbreaks are happening everywhere and our government has begun to take emergency defensive measures." A news woman said as she read the report. "However, we are unsure of the state of the SDF's defensive…"
"Outbreaks? What do they mean by outbreaks?" Takeshi asked panicking at which point Saeko changed the channel.
This time it was live coverage at scene where police officers and fire fighters were putting body bags on stretchers. "The number of deaths in the Saitama prefecture already exceeds 10,000. The prefectural governor has already declared a state of emergency-"
"A gunshot! The police have opened fire! But what are they shooting at?" The camera turned to a pair of body bags on stretchers next to the ambulance. The bags rose, but were immediately gunned down by police. However, it wasn't long before they were surrounded. "No! Stay away! Help!" The camera then fell to the floor, the last piece of footage being shot before it was cut off the bleeding leg of one of 'them.'
After a brief Please Stand By message, the news came back on the air. "There's been some sort of problem. From now on, we'll be broadcasting from the studio here. As you can tell, the situation outside has become grave. We advise you please stay in your home. Once it's safer outside, we'll bring you information about the on-going situation." The anchorwoman calmly stated.
Takashi punched the desk in frustration. "That's all? Why aren't they saying more?" He asked.
"Because they're afraid of causing panic." Saya answered.
"Even now?" Rei asked.
"Because of what happened just now! Fear leads to chaos, chaos leads to anarchy. How would you expect the government to deal with the living dead in a time of anarchy?"
The news report continues showing that the outbreak isn't just limited to Japan. "This unusual phenomenon has spread throughout America and has yet to be brought under control. The government authorities have evacuated the White House and will relocate to a command center on-board an aircraft carrier. There are reports that this transfer is in preparation for the possible use of tactical warheads. We have currently lost contact with Moscow. Beijing has been set ablaze. London has maintained order, but in Paris and Rome there are reports of looting. Government officials have declared…" The signal has been cut off.
"So they're all over the world…" Takashi said.
"But how… When I was surfing the web this morning, it was business as usual…" Kohta chimed in.
"I can't believe it only took a few hours for the world to come to this." Rei said in complete shock as she backed up and grasped Takashi's sleeve. "Don't you feel the same? But there must be some place safe, right? And soon, things will be back to normal." She said trying desperately to hold on to hope.
Saya glared at her. "Keep dreaming."
Takashi defended Rei. "Do you really have to say it like that?"
"How else should I have said it?"
"Live and Learn! Hanging on the edge of tomorrow…"
Everybody stopped talking and looked at Ryuji as he pulled his cellphone. The name that was on the caller ID as he flipped it open read, Reo. "I'm sorry guys, it's my sister." He announced to everyone before answering. "Yeah, it's me Sis. Took you long enough to call."
"Sorry about that Ryu, I was busy taking care of some things." His sister said apologizing.
"Speaking of that, can you explain to me why you, mom, and the old man just vanished without a trace about a week ago?" Ryuji asked.
"What are you talking about? You were there when dad told us at dinner that night. Dad said he could sense something big was coming and we needed to prepare for what's to come? Does any of that ring a bell?" She explained trying to jog his memory.
Ryuji was legitimately shocked for the first time today. "You're telling me that he knew the whole world was going to shit! I thought it was just another one of his cryptic lessons."
"Ahem! Do you mind explaining to the rest of the class?" Saya chimed in.
"Are there other survivors with you Ryu?"
"Yeah, hang on Sis. I'm going to put you on speaker." He pressed a button on his cell. "All set. Go ahead Sis."
"As all of you can probably guess, I'm Ryu's older sister. The name's Reo Arisawa, nice to meet you all. As all of you already know, outbreaks have been happening worldwide. In other words, it's a pandemic." Reo stated.
"Pandemic…?" Shizuka-sensei said with a confused look on her face.
"It's when an epidemic of an infectious disease spreads. So the same disease that's infected people here is spreading throughout the world." Saya explained.
"Wow, that's exactly right. I'm impressed. Sounds like you got a sharp one down there Ryu." Reo said complimenting her.
"Don't remind me." Ryuji grumbled.
"However, this isn't an ordinary pandemic." She continued. "Unlike the previous diseases of the past that would die out by us simply outlasting it; in this case, the dead are moving around and attacking people making the disease spread at an alarmingly fast rate. To put it bluntly, this pandemic has the potential to make the human race go extinct."
Everyone stood in silence as they let Reo's words sink in. It was the end of the world as they knew it and the beginning of a terrifying nightmare. Only Ryuji seemed completely unfazed by the news.
Chihiro tugged at Ryuji's shirt. "Senpai…"
Ryuji turned his attention to the first year. She was on the verge of tears again and a complete look of despair had washed over her. "Don't worry Chihiro, I'm here." Ryuji said as he knelt down and softly pat her head.
"That's not it. It's my little sister… With everything that's happened I completely forgot. I pick her up from the nearby elementary school every day after school, but with those things out there… What am I going to do? She needs me…" She trailed off as she started to cry again.
"What if I help you save her?"
Chihiro wiped away her tears and looked into Ryuji's eyes. "You would do that for me?"
"I can't just leave you alone. The only thing you seem to be good at is crying. I'll protect you and I'll save your sister, that's a promise."
"You haven't changed one bit little brother. You've always been a sucker for crying girls." Reo teased.
Ryuji's eyebrow twitched at the comment. "I assume you didn't call me just to tell me the world was ending. Or did you want to have some fun at my expense?"
"Actually I called to tell you I'm almost at your school. I'm only here to drop off a care package for you."
"Care package? Wait a minute are you airborne?!" Saya asked.
"It should be arriving right about now!" Reo exclaimed.
The group was startled by the loud crash they heard, some more than others. Saya in particular screamed and inadvertently jumped into Kohta's arms. He was in a state of complete euphoria.
"By the way that elementary school you mentioned hasn't been taken over by 'them' yet, but it's only a matter of time. If you're going to do something, you better do it now." Reo warned.
"Thanks for the heads up." Ryuji responded.
"One more thing, if you let something as small as the end of the world kill you, I swear I will kick your ass. Later."
"That goes both ways Sis." The signal was cut off and he put away his phone. He turned his attention towards the group. "It seems we're at a crossroads."
"Are you planning on going off on your own? Just what do you think you can accomplish by yourself? These aren't the punks you're used to fighting, they're the living dead!" Saya exclaimed.
Ryuji shrugged. "Thugs, the undead. Meh. Same crap, different day."
"What was that!?"
"Besides, I made a promise and I can't afford to waste any more time here."
"Wait a minute Senpai. Ever since we first met, you've been way too calm about this whole situation never showing even the slightest bit of fear. Then something struck me as odd when we were fighting on the rooftop. Those things possess almost super human strength. Yet, you were literally overpowering 'them' to the point where you picked them up and one after another tossed them off the roof with ease. Just what are you anyway?" Takashi boldly asked.
Ryuji sighed. "Now you see why people call me the Demon Knight. Tell you what, the next time we meet I'll tell you all about it. For now though… Let's Survive!"
Everyone readied themselves for battle. Ryuji took Chihiro's hand and opened the door. He bulldozed through 'them' making a beeline for the roof. Meanwhile the rest of the group stuck together and slowly made their way to the mini buses. Each group had their share of challenges and difficulties, but they overcame them and made it to their prospective destinations.
The roof itself was still clear of 'them' from the last time he was up there. Ryuji and Chihiro had made it to the care package Reo left for him. He opened it to reveal a weapon he knows all too well, a single-edged zanbato and a sword belt. He picked up the blade with his right hand and after swinging it around for a short time, he was overcome with a wave of nostalgia.
"Senpai, there is a note attached here." Chihiro said handing him the note.
Ryuji put the sword down beside him and read the note.
The note reads as follows:
Is that zanbato familiar to you? It should be. It's only the sword you've been training with for the past eight years. It's been re-forged and upgraded using the most advanced technology to date. Think of it as an early birthday gift.
Ryuji let the note get carried off with the wind. He then proceeded to put on the sword belt, wearing it over his right shoulder and picked up his weapon. The pair looked on as they see the group they were with made it to a mini bus and escaped unscathed.
"It's time we made our own escape. Let's go save your sister."
AN: The idea for this first spawned when I noticed that in almost all the media concerning zombie survival, humans were always depicted as weak helpless. I wondered why there never was one about zombie killing bad asses. I wanted the premise that the Blood series had. Except apply that premise to a zombie survival setup. The only reason I chose HOTD was because it's the only zombie survival anime I know of. Then I chose DFO because I find myself constantly playing that game to begin with that most of my ideas spawn from that. The story is based off my OC Ryuji Arisawa who awakens to his powers as a Berserker / Hell Bringer during the zombie apocalypse.