And here is Chapter 5! To all you ladies and gents who has been waiting, sorry for the long wait and thank you for your patience!

I've recently been hooked up to Touhou and started writing a fanfic story about it, so I ended neglecting COTM. I feel so ashamed… T_T Besides that, I've been having a VERY serious block trying to write this.

Honestly, I think… No, I'm sure my Touhou story needs improvement, so if any of you are Touhou fans, please read Boundaries of Fantasy and Illusion after this and tell me what I should improve.

But that's enough chit chat. Let's roll!

Chapter 5: Battle in the Snow

It has been a week since the… unfortunate incident that had befallen Kazu Hayashi. Fortunately, he was able to make a miraculous recovery from the… punishment Shina Tsukuyomi had dealt with that would otherwise leave a normal human… permanently crippled to say the least. Needless to say, Kazu learnt his lesson and never said anything that would invoke Shina's fury… at least not in her presence.

And at the end of that week, both Kazu Hayashi and Kota Fujiki were cleared to take missions from then on.

The two would often meet Shina from time to time, whose anger at Kazu had completely deflated. Again needless to say, she was still cold and distant to those around her, even Kazu and Kota.

….

Three Days later…

"So what's today's mission?" Kota asked his fellow God Eater as they stood in the elevator, waiting for it to arrive at the entrance. Kazu shrugged, "I'm not sure, really. We'll have to wait until Tsubaki debriefs us." Ping signaled that they had arrived at their destination.

Both of them left the elevator, only to freeze when they saw Shina sitting the couch while waiting. Kazu was the first to recover, "Hey Shina! Are you waiting for Tsubaki? So you're coming with us on today's mission?"

Shina glanced at Kazu and Kota for a while… before nodding her head.

'Wow, wasn't expecting that kind of answer.' Kazu thought to himself. Kota soon noticed the central elevator was rising.

"Get ready. Tsubaki's coming!"

Both boys stood up on attention while Shina got up as the elevator doors opened, revealing their superior officer.

"I see that you are all here, good. I have a new mission for you, all of you. A new enemy, a Kongou to be precise was last seen at the Tranquil Temple area. You are to locate the target and eliminate as soon as possible. Understood?" All three recruits nodded their heads.

"This will be the first mission the three of you will be working together, so stay on your toes. Dismissed!"

"So what's a Kongou?" Kota asked as soon as Tsubaki had left.

Kazu raised an eyebrow, "Dude, it's that new Aragami that looks like a gorilla. Haven't you been checking the terminals?"

Kota gave a nervous chuckle while Kazu connected his forehead with his palm.

"Don't waste time, let's go." Shina said as she went into the elevator.

'As cold as always.' Kazu and Kota thought as they look at each other.

...

Mission: Kongou Giant, Location: Tranquil Temple

"Brr… It's quite cold here. But why aren't we freezing?" Kota asked as he watched the snow-covered temple.

"It's probably due to the Bias-Factor that lined in our clothes." Kazu answered.

"WHAT! You mean that while we were attending the aptitude test, they placed Bias Factor in our belongings!"

"Hey, calm down! It's just our clothes. And besides, it's not like you'll be wearing the uniforms Fenrir provides. They might as well put in the clothes we bring."

Shina on the other hand was looking towards the sky, watching the snowflakes slowly begin their descent to the ground.

A sudden roar in the distance got all of their attention.

Kazu shouldered his God Arc, "Let's split up. We can cover more ground that way and locate our targets."

Shina jumped down and headed towards the left while Kazu and Kota went towards the right. A few minutes later, the sounds of gun-shooting and sword-slashing could be heard all around.

Shina took down a lone Ogretail with little to no problem and headed straight towards the temple shrine. The sound of crunching and chewing confirmed that there was another Aragami nearby. Walking slowly as to not alert it of her presence, she located and indentified the Kongou. As Kazu had described it, it was an Aragami that looks like a gorilla… only gorillas don't have tails or capes.

Just as she was about to intercept it, Kazu stopped her before placing his index finger on his lips. Creeping silently towards the Kongou, Kazu took out a Venom trap and laid it just behind the Aragami's back

Kazu then crept back, changed his sword arc into a gun and fired. As expected, the Kongou reacted and turned around… only to get poisoned by Kazu's trap.

"That was low." Shina said as she shot the Kongou a few times. Even Kota felt inclined to agree. Kazu grinned, "Maybe. But don't forget that humans have been taking chances and opportunities for as long as anyone can remember as long as it's beneficial towards them. Besides, out here it is survival at all costs."

Shina changed to sword form and began attacking the Kongou's face, dodging from time to time avoiding its arms. Kazu on the other hand was hitting its tail, one of the places where its Oracle cells are weakest. Kota supported them with covering fire, causing the Kongou to send balls of vacuum his way every so often.

"Gotcha!" Kazu shouted triumphantly when he succeeded in destroying the tail's Oracle Cells. The Kongou responded by beating it's chest with its arms, indicating that it is enraged. It really does look like a gorilla that way. It then curved into a ball and rolled straight for Kazu.

"Whoa, hey!"

Kazu managed to dodge to the side, only to see it coming again from behind. Shina pushed him out of the way and brought up her shield. While the shield had taken the full brunt of the blow, the impact was too much for her to bear and sent her sprawling on the ground.

"Shina!"

Kota immediately fired bullet after bullet, hoping to distract the Kongou from Shina. Kazu prepared another trap, this time a snare and placed just behind the Kongou yet again. He then attacked the tail, causing the Kongou to turn around and get itself snared.

While Aragami have become powerful life-forms; their intelligence, thankfully, hasn't changed at all.

Getting back on her feet, Shina jumped up and dealt the decisive blow, causing the Kongou to roar in pain and fell to the ground, dead.

Grinning, Kazu used his Predator mode and extracted the core while Kota was concerned for Shina's well-being. "That attack looked pretty rough. You okay?"

Shina merely nodded her head, with no intention to speak unless necessary. She then gazed up into the sky, her face once again a mask of emptiness. But Kota for a moment had seen something within that emptiness.

A longing.

…..

While Kota and Kazu went attend Sakaki's lecture, Shina went to have her lunch. Along the way, she saw Nancy and Licca talking to two other girls whom recognized from the shower room. Nancy then spotted her and waved for her to come over. Deciding not have anything to do with them, Shina ignored her… until she felt someone pulling her arm.

"Don't be shy! Come and eat with us!"

"Let me go!"

No matter how hard she tried to pull lose; Nancy maintained a firm grip on her arm, making escape impossible. Left with no choice, Shina reluctantly joined the group of girls for lunch. It was then the two girls introduced themselves as Kanon Daiba, a member of the 2nd Unit and Gina Dickinson, a member of the 3rd Unit.

However, everybody soon sweat dropped at Shina's lack of participation in their conversations. Gina said casually, "Now I can see why you compare her with Soma. She really does act like him."

The mere mention of Soma had set of a nerve in Shina and the comparison made it worse. She then got up and shouted, "Don't compare me to that bean sprout!"

"My name is Soma, damn you!"

Everybody looked at Soma, who had shouted the moment he heard Shina call him bean sprout. It was then one of the weirdest things to ever happen in the Den, had occurred.

Shina said rather casually, "Oh~ so, you were here, bean sprout?"

"My name is Soma!" Soma replied, "I'm leaving, the fact I'm breathing the same air as you suffocates me."

"You talk pretty big for someone who is all by his lonesome. I'm surprised that they let you stay as God Eater with that attitude."

"Hmph. At least I have the skills to back it up, unlike a certain doll that would shatter merely by touching."

"This 'doll' managed to save a fellow God Eater, someone you would have failed to save and watch them get killed."

"WHAT DID YOU SAY!"

"WHAT ABOUT IT!"

As Shina and Soma glared daggers at each other, everybody had evacuated to the far corners of the room, terrified at what is about to come. Fortunately, salvation came in the form of Tsubaki Amamiya, who promptly smacked both of them on the head with her clipboard.

"That's enough, both of you!" The officer said while glaring at the two God Eaters in front of her, "You are here to do battle with Aragami, not with each other! If you want to continue to stay alive, then suggest you put aside your petty grudges for one another!" Both sides started to protest, but the huge glare from Tsubaki changed their minds.

"Yes Ma'am."

Shina decided to return to her room, but not before whispering something to Soma as she passed him by.

"I'm sorry."

Soma looked at Shina in surprise as she went into the elevator without looking back. This action puzzled Soma even more towards Shina. One moment, she was so fierce they were at each other's throats. The next moment, she became meek.

Even so, Soma could not help the feeling of nostalgia whenever he saw her, as if something in his memories were stirring…

…..

And done!

A bit shorter than I would have liked, but meh. Hope you enjoyed it!