3.2. Samurai Momotaro

A short time later they seemed to reach another village, but something seemed terribly off about it.

'Where is everyone?' Lenalee whispered in a low voice while glancing about the empty street. Lillian strolled cautiously ahead and examined a board that seemed to have been smashed away from the wall of a nearby building. When she dropped the board she simply turned to her companions and shook her head.

'Gone…'

'The village seems to have been empty for a while,' Lavi observed. Lillian walked back over to him and raised the Queen's scepter and whacked Lavi across the head for disrupting her. The sound echoed and Kanda just rolled his eyes.

'State the obvious idiots!' Kanda snarled at him as he began wondering over to one of the buildings and examined the room past the beaten doorframe.

'We can't drop our guard, maybe the oni raided this place before the previous town,' Komui spoke before shaking his body to loosen his muscles from being carried too long.

'That is a possibility with all this destruction,' Lenalee exclaimed wistfully before a shadow darted out in front of her causing her to shriek in surprise. The other's whipped their heads towards Lenalee and Komui started barking loudly.

'Aw, Lenalee it was just a cat,' Lillian pointed out as the shadow jumped up some boxes to escape from the canine Komui.

'Komui, stop scaring the poor thing,' Lenalee said as she rushed over to stop Komui. Lillian giggled as she watched as Lenalee tried her best to pull the agitated human-turned dog away from the boxes.

'Shut that mutt up!' Kanda shouted in fury.

'Ah Yuu, I think Komui's just doing what any dog does when it sees a cat,' Lavi spoke but still ended up with a blade pressed against his throat. Lavi cringed and was quick to dart behind Lillian.

'He's so cruel…'

'Well you did ask for it,' Lillian said bluntly.

'Even you're mean!' Lavi wailed aloud as Lenalee finally came back to them with Komui in her arms.

'That was tedious,' Lenalee groaned as Lavi and Lillian laughed while Kanda just scoffed at the whole thing.

'Let's go,' Kanda stated as he turned on his foot and began walking to the other side of the village. They other's looked back at each other and shrugged before following close behind him.

….

Soon the forests thinned out to a land of rusty orange rock. There was nothing there and everything seemed frightfully dead.

'Where are we?' Lillian spoke softly as she shielded her eyes from the glaring sun with her hand. Kanda grumbled something inaudible and no one could be bothered to try and clarify it.

'It looks like some sort of chasm,' Lavi noted as they walked further and the path began to slope down. A brisk wind rushed past them as Lillian shivered and clasped at her bare arms.

'Something's down there waiting for us…' she whispered as Kanda drew his sword and stalked forward, his expression as cold as the wind that blew by. It would seem to the others that he had sensed something as well.

'We have to be careful, it could be the oni,' Komui barked cautiously to Kanda whom was either to far ahead or too stubborn to listen. Lavi just sighed and followed behind the samurai with his hammer firmly in his hand.

Suddenly something whizzed past Lillian and caught her on the arm. Lenalee and Lavi whipped their heads towards Lillian who just held her arm but there was no missing the red seeping through her fingers.

'We're being attack already?' Lavi was by her side in an instant and checking the room as Lenalee scanned the rocky cliff face for any signs of movement.

'There!' She exclaimed before activating her dark boots and leapt to the rocks above. Lenalee spun around and her heel cleaved a large crevice in the rock as something quickly scampered away.

Lavi instantly recognized the blue masked oni that had been in the village. It's slim figure seemed to allow it to easily moved about the cliff face with little to no difficulty.

'Wait Lenalee, I'll help…' but a hand stopped Lavi from moving towards Lenalee as he stared at Lillian.

'She knows what she's doing; we have to hurry and get to Kanda,' Lillian pleaded with Lavi as Komui bounced a few metres ahead.

'But…'

'Lillian has a point Lavi, we still have the midget and the unknown oni,' Komui added quickly as Lillian picked herself up and the two hurried after Komui.

The three soon saw Kanda standing impatiently in front of large cave and his stoic glare was on them when they finally caught up to him.

'Took you idiots long enough,' Kanda grunted as Lillian pouted and whacked him across the head with the Queen's scepter.

'Lenalee's fighting one of the oni alone,' she spoke sternly as he continued to glare at her while rubbing his head. Lavi had to hold back the laughter for now as something darted out of the cave and he had to raise his innocence to avoid it.

A spear tip clashed with the bulk of the hammer and scrapped downwards as the smallest of the oni sneered at him. Lavi shifted his stance holding his hammer in front of him.

'Yuu go ahead and take care of the last one, I got this oni,' Lavi called as Lillian heard Kanda scoff about the stupid rabbit using his first name again and getting him back later.

'Come on,' Kanda said as he bounded into the cave as Lillian followed close behind with Komui.

….

Lenalee flipped back and landed swiftly against the cliff face as daggers were continuously sent her way. The oni quick and deadly accurate with its throws as Lenalee ducked behind a rock just avoid another shower of blades.

It was hard to get close but Lenalee had to think quick and she leapt out of her hiding place. She whizzed about the chasm with the oni not so far behind as Lenalee kicked away the next batch of daggers.

Suddenly Lenalee dropped towards the ground at frightening speeds. The blue masked oni followed, its weapon out and ready for another assault. Lenalee glanced up and smiled to herself as she landed on the ground, the rock around her creating a large crater.

She launched herself back into the air just as the oni was about to throw its daggers and slammed her foot right into its gut. The oni spiraled into the nearby cliff face and Lenalee twisted around.

'Waltz Misty Wind!' She summoned the strong gust of wind with several kicks of her legs and buried the oni further into the cliff. Large hunks of rock showering down as the part of the cliff gave way and created an avalanche.

Lenalee landed back onto the path and stared down at the rocky pile below, hoping that the oni was truly gone before rushing ahead hoping to catch up with the others.

….

Spear and hammer clashed again, the collision was strong enough to knock Lavi back. The midget had gotten better over the short period of time since their last battle. Lavi could feel it with each blow they exchanged.

The midget keep on jittering as if finding something amusing while Lavi just gripped the handle of his hammer tighter. He took a hasty step back as the smallest of the oni leapt forward and held the tip of the spear in front of it. If Lavi didn't know any better, the midget was aiming for his heart.

Lavi knocked the tip away and went to try and land a blow on his opponent but the midget wasn't going to fall easily. It merely dug the spear's blade into the ground and the whole thing went vertically straight. So now it was standing almost twice as high as Lavi, which was beginning to get annoying.

He jumped back again as the midget came at him once more wielding the spear with sharp precision. Lavi blocked again but had to surprisingly duck as the spear almost beheaded him.

Lavi stumbled back and fell onto the ground again as he swept his red bangs out of his eyes before standing up. The midget was hopping about with its spear ready for another attack.

Lavi stared at it before raising his hammer above his head.

'Innocence level two unleashed, Hell's Fire!' Lavi stamped his hammer down and the flames began flickering out of the stone hard rock. Soon enough the large flame snake rose and the midget was soon engulfed and flung into the cliff face.

Lavi could hear its screams but it was soon halted at the rocks tumbled down and buried whatever was left of it. He sighed in relief and slung the hammer over his shoulder.

'Lavi!' Lavi turned to the sound of his name and was happy to see Lenalee running towards him.

'Lenalee, didn't you get the blue masked oni?' Lenalee nodded and glanced at the pile of rocks standing meters away.

'Did you get another?'

'Yep, but we better hurry to the others,' Lavi said as they ran into the cave where Kanda, Lillian and Komui went.

….

It had gotten quiet ever since Kanda, Lillian and Komui had entered the cave. Though gaining some source of light had been rather easy with a lit torch lying on the cave floor.

Besides that, it was surprisingly damp and had a heavy musky scent that made Lillian gag and Komui sneeze. Kanda didn't say or show any sign that it was bothering him as they continued to go deeper into the cave.

'We should be getting close,' Komui said as he sneezed again, Lillian only mildly agreeing with him with a slight nod of her head. Kanda smirked in amusement as they stepped into a rather large and well-lit cavern.

The walls were decked in treasures of gold, silver and semi-precious gems. All seemed to glitter in the presents of the flickering flames of several pits of fire. A deep-throated chuckle drew their attention from the treasures and onto the figure lazily sitting in a chair across the cavern.

'It's quite rare to get visitors of your sorts?' The voice was deep and slightly echoed off the cavern walls.

'That must be the leader…' Lillian murmured softly as she stayed where she stood with Komui as Kanda slowly moved forward. The oni stood up as well, the orange light of the flames catching the gold and black markings on its mask. Long straight horns adorned the top of the mask as it drew a rather large sword from beside the chair.

'Nothing more than business and you're in my way,' Kanda sneered as he drew mugen from its sheath and took up a fighting stance. The oni laughed aloud but complied nonetheless as it rushed forward with the force of a cannon.

Swords clashed and sparks flew as the two were blown back from the blow. Both were unharmed now but Lillian knew well than to judge a book by its cover, literally!

Kanda made the next move as he lunged forward and made several consecutive strikes at the Leader. The oni however blocked all the blows effortlessly with the flat of its blade before knocking Kanda backwards.

Kanda flew back into the wall but seemed barely fazed by it as he pulled himself from the rocks that almost buried him alive.

'Be careful Kanda!' Lillian called to him.

'I know already!' Kanda growled back making Lillian frown in anguish from having been slightly offended by Kanda's words.

The Leader barreled forward and Kanda ducked under the wide sweeping blow and made several small cuts to the oni's legs. The Leader hissed in pain as knocking Kanda back again who used his katana to block most of the blow.

The oni stumbled for a bit as Kanda took the opening by performing several more slashes jumped back. Unfortunately the Leader managed to grab Kanda's leg and swung him into the ground before lifting up its sword to finish him off.

Lillian rushed forward then quickly knocked the sword to the side as it came down. Then before the oni could react she landed a strong kick straight into the Leader's face. Its mask was knocked off its face and clattered onto the nearby pile of treasure.

'How dare you!' the Leader roared as Lillian froze when she caught a glimpse of the oni's true face. It was flat and void of any normal features found on a human face. The Leader, boiling with rage, lunged at Lillian but Kanda quickly intervened and sliced the head from the oni's body.

The body flailed around before falling back while the head rolled into a pit of fire and began smoldering. Kanda briefly took the sight in before turning to Lillian.

'Why'd the fuck did you intervene?' Lillian opened her mouth to reply when a voice interrupted her.

'Yuu? Lillian? Komui? Are you guys alright?' Kanda's grip on mugen made his knuckles go white as the blade went straight to the throat of the idiot who uttered his first name.

'Yeah we're fine,' Lillian answered instead almost mentally thanking Lavi for his intrusion. Lenalee looked at the beheaded body before she smiled and picked up her canine brother.

Lillian walked past Lavi and Kanda, not even bothering to break the two up and picked up the Leader's mask.

'I think this is what we're looking for,' Lillian spoke as the others looked at her.

'Why's that?' Komui asked as he cocked his furry head to one side.

'It came off easily than the other oni,' Lillian answered before walking back over to Kanda and handing it to him.

'Might as well try…' was his grumbled response as the others placed their hands on the mask and instantly a blinding white light enveloped them.

….

They were spontaneously flung across what seemed to be a dirt road when they came out of the light. The road seemed to be in the middle of a forest as Kanda was the first to recover and stood up.

'Where are we now baka usagi?' Lavi groaned but looked about him either way wondering the exact same thing.

'No idea,' was his dull response as Lillian wondered onto the road and glanced both ways.

'How many stories have a castle in them?' she called to them as they came over and stared at the towering structure peaking over the trees. Lenalee seemed to think as well as Lavi.

'Countless, I suppose,' Lavi said but he wasn't so sure what the problem was.

'Then which one are we in?' Kanda growled.

'How about we ask?' Lenalee spoke as they all began to hear the sound of hoof beats rapidly approaching them.

….

Yay! I'm done this chapter… I knew this part was going to be the shortest but oh well on to the next part now!

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