Hello and welcome to Reclaiming the Throne. My humble attempt at giving this show the sequel it deserved, yet never got. Should you decide to stick around, you will be in for quite a ride as you will experience a story of love, war, friendship, betrayal and the burden of kingship. Follow Shu and Inori as they struggle to balance their desire to be together with their obligation to rule over their kingdom as the line between a just rule and utter tyranny becomes finer with every passing day. When their days of relentless warfare finally end, will there be happiness or tragedy that will wait for them eventually? Find out if you are curious, though be aware that no happy ending was ever achieved without some sacrifices along the way...
This story was started back in 2013. I would like to think I have grown a lot by now, so the quality of the first chapters is likely lower compared to the latest ones. If you are willing to bear with me until Chapter 5, I promise you will not regret it. Give this story a chance and you might get pleasantly surprised in the end.
I should probably get around to rewrite the older chapters one day...
Reclaiming the Throne
Of heroes and villains
It was getting cold in Tokyo. Winter was coming and with it the days started to grow shorter, engulfing the city in darkness even though it couldn't have been any later than 6 pm. Not that Shu could tell with his broken vision. Brown eyes being completely intact, yet having ceased to grant their owner the blessing of sight so long ago. The young man wondered how many years it had already been since his battle had ended. Four? Five? It couldn't have been more than that, not that it really mattered anymore. He had soon started to stop thinking about the past too much. Of the good times he once had and of the things that were now lost forever.
The harsh wind of December brought him back to reality and he quickly tried to hide his face deeper into his long, red scarf, seeking some warmth from the thick piece of cloth. His eyes may have failed him with providing pictures of his surroundings, but the rest of his body sure as hell never stopped to inform him of the biting cold which embraced him.
Next to him, he could hear the familiar sound of a little robot which followed him everywhere. It was one of Funell's "kids" Tsugumi had created in her free time. At first, she had made them very little so they could appear like Funell really had kids, but she soon made them bigger and gave one of them to Shu as well as all her other new friends. It had been her Christmas present to everyone in the first year after the battle. And a nice one at that, since Shu really appreciated the help of that little device.
His one had been especially programmed for him so it could help him in his everyday life by becoming a substitute for a guide dog. The small robot would use its GPS to navigate its owner through the city and was completely operated by voice. And only Shu's voice at that, so no one could steal the little one. You would be surprised by how many people actually would shamelessly try to snatch such a handy gadget from a blind man. At least Shu was. Escaping the apocalypse apparently didn't change people. Some of them were still the same scumbags they had always been.
Well, not that Shu had expected any big changes in behaviour.
The robot suddenly stopped and made a sound so that the brunette man could know they had reached their destination.
"Oh, are we there already? Thanks a lot, Funezo." He smiled at the small robot, which in return gave an approving sound before vanishing through the door of the supermarket they were standing in front of. The blind man soon entered as well, following the sound the little robot made.
A satisfied sigh escaped his lips as the doors closed behind him and he could feel the warmth of the store replacing the outside cold.
"Oh, it's you, Shu!" he was greeted by the happy voice of the female shop clerk, who couldn't be much older than he was. She had beautiful, long, brown hair and matching eyes to boot. He knew that since she told him that they shared the same hair and eye colour, though he actually had no idea how long her hair really was. He caught himself sometimes thinking that it was actually Hare who was talking to him instead of the clerk, especially in the early years, though he had never mentioned that to her. He often wondered why he did so in the first place and came to the conclusion that it was probably because Hare and that girl where very much alike in terms of personality. Maybe his mind liked the idea of imagining what would have become of Hare if she had never died. Or it was just the fact that he missed her so bad.
"Good evening! I have already prepared your usual bag of groceries. Want me to put anything else in there for you?" She lifted a small bag of groceries from behind the counter and put them on it so Shu could take them.
"No thanks, Harune, the usual stuff will do." He replied smiling while taking out his wallet to pay. "Thanks a lot, really. It would be such a pain to go and find the stuff every time."
"Don't mention it. After all, my dad and I owe a lot to you for the things you did 5 years ago."
Ah, so it really had been 5 years…time sure flies.
"I didn't do that much. And it's not like I didn't have a personal interest to take part in the fight."
'Though it didn't matter, since I had failed to rescue Inori anyway…' he thought bitterly, but dismissed it quickly.
"That doesn't change the fact that you saved my dad's life. He was already at the last stage of the apocalypse virus and I was sitting next to his bed, crying. I was so afraid he would die but then the cancer simply vanished! It was like a miracle! When I saw you in the news a week later, I finally understood that it was thanks to you that I didn't lose my father. I will never forget that. You are a hero!" She told him excitedly and even bowed in respect after she was done. Shu didn't know what to do so he just smiled and waved it off.
"Come on, you are embarrassing me. I am not that great, really. Just your average blind guy, buying some instant-food, tea-bags, some bottled drinks, and…" he seemed to have forgotten what else he just purchased, but the girl in front of him simply rose her finger and answered in an all-knowing manner:
"3 small packages of batteries and a whooole lot of toilet paper." She grinned at the last part, Shu could tell by the way she sounded.
"Thanks a BUNCH for reminding me, jeez…" he scratched the back of his head and tried to hide his embarrassment.
She just giggled at his reaction. "What are you so embarrassed for? The stuff runs out fast, no big deal."
"It's more the fact that you know my weekly purchases better than I do…I actually think you do know them by heart…maybe I should start using a different store for a change…"
The girl in front of him pouted. "What? Even though I gather all the stuff you need beforehand and hand them to you when you visit this shop? You are so mean. Don't you know I do that just for you?"
The man just laughed. "Relax, I was kidding! Why would I ever want to go to a different store when I know that there is someone like you around to look out for me? I am truly grateful for that. Plus, I would kind of miss to hear your voice every time I come in here. You don't get greeted by such a friendly voice just anywhere."
Though he was just being honest, he had no idea that his words actually made her blush pretty bad. That's why he was confused when she didn't reply immediately.
"Is something wrong?"
"N-no, e-e-everything is f-fine."
Good for Shu, the awkward moment was interrupted by Harune's father stepping out from behind the store to see who her daughter was talking to so excitedly. "Ooooh, if it isn't Shu! Good to see you, my boy! How's it goin'?"
The man was in his late 40s but still had a grip like he could go outside and pull out some trees off the ground. At least that's what Shu thought every time he got a bear hug from that guy. He didn't mind, though. He seemed like a good person who is happy to be alive. He sometimes envied this man for being in such high spirits all the time, but was happy for him nonetheless.
"Hello there, Mr. Kanzaki."
"Aww, come on, son. I told ya you could call me Kaito." He told him while laughing and patting him on the back.
"Sorry about that."
"No worries, kiddo. Did you come to pick up one of Harune's packages for you? Man, I am so jealous. She wouldn't even make her old man a bento, but here she is, making sure you get your stuff every time you come by. She always seems so happy when she does, too." Mr. Kanzaki sighed with folded arms.
"Daaaaad!" his daughter cried out in embarrassment, resulting in both men to laugh.
"I just told her how grateful I am for all her support as well. I would like to thank both of you for your continuous efforts in looking out for me. You are too kind." Shu said while bowing in respect.
"Don't say that, Shu. It is no big deal to us, really." Harune told him with a smile.
"It's like Harune said. In fact, you are pretty much like a son to me, so come by whenever you like." Her father added with a huge grin.
Shu nodded. "I will. Well, I guess I will be going now."
"Just a moment, Shu. Let me put some extra meat in your bag. You are looking kind of skinny to me, so you better make good use of the extra proteins to grow some muscles, ya hear me?" The older man went off to grab some meat from the store and put it into Shu's bag before he could protest. "There you go."
"You really didn't have to…" Shu's attempt at declining his offer was interrupted by Harune.
"Don't worry about it. Just accept it." She told him, still smiling.
"No buts, kiddo. Just take the stuff and make sure you make it home safely."
The blind man didn't know what else to say, so he gave up and with a smile he bowed in gratitude and waved them both good-bye.
"I will be off then."
And with that he finally left the store, only to be embraced by the coldness of winter again.
"Let's go home, Funezo."
The small robot next to him gave off some mechanical noises as if to voice his agreement and lead the way. Shu followed suit.
They didn't come far, though, before someone heavily barged against Shu's shoulder. Shu could tell it hadn't been by accident at all, so he got his guard up.
"Well, well, well, look at that. If it isn't the famous Ouma Shu. Still buying his stuff in that little store, I see. Just like they told us he would." He could hear a man say. Shu also heard another one snicker at that comment, so he could tell the man wasn't alone.
He wasn't scared in the least, though. In an annoyed voice he asked them: "What do you want…?"
"He wants to know what we want…can you believe that?" The stranger seemed to be talking to his companion. As far as Shu could tell, there were only these two men blocking his path.
"Did he seriously forget who we are?" Now the second one was talking mockingly, Shu was really starting to get very annoyed with these guys.
"Maybe it would help if we told him our names? That should fix his memory, right? President Ouma?" The last bit was obviously directed back at him, while emphasizing the word 'President' in an disgusted manner. It was then when Shu understood who these guys where.
His eyes widened for a second in realization, but reverted back into his serious look almost immediately. "You guys are from
Both of the former students laughed approvingly. "That's right, guess you didn't forget after all."
Shu grimaced. "How could I ever…you tried to kill me. I bear a constant reminder to that day with me…" He looked down at his replacement arm.
"Tch…look at that high-tech stuff he got for his 'heroic deeds'…they would never give something this fancy to normal people like us." One of them said while sounding pretty annoyed. Shu just narrowed his eyes on him. It was true. This arm was special. The technology behind it was brand new and still experimental. Only few people in the world got to actually use it, most of them being people with much influence or money. It would still be a while before stuff like that could get into mass production for everyone to use. Still, the way this guy talked just pissed him off.
"So what of it? Are you saying I don't deserve it? You've got quite some nerve to tell me that right into my face when it was because of you that I lost my arm in the first place!"
"Oh, cry me a river. You lost an arm…know what I lost? My best buddies when we were playing foot soldiers for your little 'exodus mission'" The strangers now sounded angry.
"That's unfortunate and you got my utmost sympathy for that, but you honestly couldn't expect me to get ALL of you out of loop 7 without any casualties."
That only made them angrier. The first of them seized Shu by his collar and spat: "Easy for you to say, when all your buddies where in your little S-rank council!"
Shu easily broke loose with a swift move of his Arm and put some steps worth of distance between them.
"For your information, I had one of my friends put into F-rank, so don't you go around accusing me of unfairness. I made the same rules for everyone and I bet you didn't even mind at all at first since you probably were rank B or higher who was always being treated better than the rest of the students. You are just a hypocrite who chooses the side you think is more lucrative, like you did when you betrayed me in the end." He told him all that with a look cold as ice.
"You bastard…!" The guy wanted to take a step forward towards Shu, but his friend worriedly put an arm on his shoulder.
"Wait…what if he draws our voids out?"
"Don't worry, he can't do that anymore. He used to have to look at someone's eyes to do that, but now he is blind, so he's pretty much powerless." He grinned while saying that. "Isn't that right, OUMA SHU!?"For the first time in a long while Shu actually was happy that he didn't have to see what's in front of him, for he could pretty much imagine the maniacal expression of the guy before him…and who in his right mind would actually want to see something this stupid?
"Oh, so he really is just a blind cripple now…good!" The second one seemed to have found new resolve and took out a knife from his pocket while his friend readied a baseball bat. "Prepare yourself, president, for we have come to finish what we have started 5 years ago!"
"Tch!" Shu angrily took a step back and got ready for the worst. Luckily, Funezo was also armed with the same weapons Funell was, so he quickly analyzed the situation and when he deemed it as a threat to Shu, he aimed at the first thug and shot a cable at him, which wrapped itself around his legs and caused the guy to lose his balance, making his face come in contact with the hard concrete which called itself the ground. When Funezo registered, that his prey was still resisting, he zapped him with some serious electricity, knocking him out for good.
"Kazuma!" the ex-student with the bat looked around to his fallen comrade and then eyed the robot with pure anger. "How dare you!" He proved to be unexpectedly fast, which resulted in him getting to Funezo before Shu could react, and smashed at the little robot with all his might. All the blind man heard was the hissing sound of broken mechanics and the electrical sound of sparks coming out of destroyed circuits.
"Serves you right, you little fucker!" the thug laughed while he stepped on the remains of Funezo before taking his focus back to Shu. "Now you have nothing left who can protect you. Time to die, void prince."
Shu, however, didn't even think about backing down. Rather than that, he put on a devilish glare while taking a small stick out of pockets of his coat. He pressed a button and the small stick grew in size, revealing itself to be the blindman's stick Shu used whenever Funezo wasn't available.
"You will pay for that!" he threatened his enemy.
"Stop shitting me!" while yelling, the ex-student charged forward.
Shu on the other hand remained calm. His enemy was tall and came directly at him like a fool. He could hear every step and when he realized the man coming in hitting range, Shu simply sidestepped, making the thug miss and almost fall over because he put too much force into his strike.
"What's the matter? Slipped?"
"You little…!" He regained his stance and took his bat with both hand, planning to slam it into the brown haired man's head.
But, again, Shu was able to hear the move and ducked just in time, so that the attack almost grazed him, but left him unharmed nonetheless. While his attacker was still off-balance from his missed attempt of hitting him, Shu took the opportunity to uppercut him as he pinpointed the location of his head by the voices the enemy made in frustration.
"Argh…how the fuck is this even possible!" yelled the man. "You were supposed to be blind!"
"The how the hell are you dodging?!"
Shu sighed in an annoyed manner and shrugged. "You are so noisy…"
"I will fucking kill you!" the man lunged forward again.
"So you have said already…" mumbled Shu and waited patiently for the attack. When it came, He focused on where he thought his enemy would be and abruptly pointed his blind man's stick in that direction, so fast that his attacker had only time to mumble a confused "huh?" before he ran right into the tip of the stick. When they touched, Shu pressed a hidden button on it and the tip immediately shot out a painful looking spark, electro shocking his opponent. He did so for a couple of seconds before he let go of him and the poor guy fell to the ground because his numb muscles failed to comply.
"Damnit!...Are you for real? I just lost to a blind man!" Shu could hear him mutter while lying on the ground and desperately trying to get his aching body to get up and DO something. The brown haired man simply walked over to him and kneeled down, grinning proudly.
"As you can see, I don't even need voids to take people like you down."
"Don't look down on me, damnit!" The defeated man tried to smack him, but all his paralyzed body managed to do was some half-hearted and slow move with his hand, which didn't even reach it's target in the slightest, let alone would have hurt if it actually had.
"Shu! Is everything okay? Want me to call the cops?" Shu turned around to Harune's voice who seemed to have caught a glimpse of the trouble, he had just had, from inside the store. She stepped out and yelled in Shu's direction albeit keeping her distance to be sure.
Answering her with a smile, Shu just shook his head. "That won't be necessary, these gentlemen were about to leave anyway." He turned around again and looked down on the fallen man, replacing his smile with a cold look. "Right?"
The thug actually seemed like he was about to protest, yet was instantly silenced upon seeing the look in Shu's eyes. Instead he just mumbled a barely audible"Y-Yeah…"
Satisfied with his answer, Shu held out his right hand for the ex-student to grab. He seemed reluctant at first but took it anyway when he saw the coldness in Shu's eyes leave and being yet again replaced by a kind smile, albeit looking slightly fake.
When the blind man finally felt the still slightly shaking hand in his own, he pulled strong enough to heave the grown man up immediately. In fact, he pulled a bit too hard, almost resulting in the guy to bump into him and knocking both over. Shu never really got used to the mechanical strength in his fake arm, even after all these years, yet was still thankful for it as it proved to be quite handy at times.
The ex-student somehow managed to keep his balance, although still on wobbly legs which made him appear like a drunk to people who had no idea he had just been stunned by some nasty electro shocks. Before he could turn around and try to leave, though, Shu grabbed his collar, making it look like he was fixing it for him, while he was actually just making sure the guy was still looking at him.
"I am sure I don't need to tell you this, but the next time you guys are trying to pull such a stunt on me, you WILL be sorry, get it?"The man winced when Shu used just a bit too much force on readjusting the collar but nodded nonetheless and immediately turned around the moment he was released of Shu's grip.
"Come on, Kaz, wake up." Shu heard him walking over to his friend and pulling the groaning man up. "Let's get outta here…this guy's a freakin' monster…" He made sure they were left and when he couldn't hear them anymore, he walked over to the spot he could still make out some faint whirring noise and knelt down, trying to feel the damage they did to Funezo, sighing when he only felt unrecognizable shapes and many pieces of metal.
"Oh, Funezo…what have they done to you…?"
He noticed someone walking up to him and figured it was Harune, who wanted to check on him.
"Is it really okay to not call the police? Those guys seemed dangerous…"
"Don't worry about it…I made sure they won't come again." He tried to reassure her. That was the whole point of him acting all cold towards his attackers in the first place. It was not like he actually planned to hurt these guys too bad…he just wanted to scare them off so they would leave him alone in the future.
"I kinda saw that…that one guy couldn't even touch you…that was pretty impressing. It was the first time I got to see you fight!" she sounded amazed.
He couldn't help but give her a small laugh. "If that got you all amazed, you should have seen me 5 years ago. I still can't believe some of the stuff I did back then. It just felt so unreal."
"I would love to hear about that. Would you tell me when you got the time?"
Shu fell silent for a moment and went back to inspecting Funezo. He really wasn't too keen on remembering the past, but she really seemed like she was looking forward to it, so he agreed for her sake. "Yea…next time I will."
She cheered happily and Shu smiled at her antics. She then knelt besides him and helped him collecting all the parts of Funezo that got scattered around the street..
"How bad is it?" he decided to ask her after taking a nervous gulp.
"To be honest…pretty bad…I am sorry, Shu. That little robot of yours is totally smashed…" She gave him a pitiful look when she saw him looking down with sadness.
"As I thought…" They silently picked up the rest of Funezo and Harune was kind enough to put all of his remains in another bag so Shu could take them with him.
"Hey, Harune. Can I ask you a favor?"
"Do you mind calling a taxi for me? I will have to visit a friend to look at Funezo. If he can be fixed at all, she is the only one who would be up to it."
"Right away!" And with that she went off to do the task. Shu on the other hand remembered that he had dropped his bag of groceries somewhere during the fight and had now to find it. What a pain.
While searching the ground with his stick, he couldn't help but wonder how different some people viewed him now. For some of them, like in Harune's case, he looked like a hero who had saved them, but there were also those who resented him, like most of the Tennouzu High students from earlier, or people who had lost their job due to the disbanding of GHQ and all the companies who had worked together with them, like Sephirah Genomics for example. There were also those who hated him for being too late, having lost dear family members to the virus only days or weeks before he had cleansed the world from it. It's not like he couldn't relate to them, though, since he had often wished he would have arrived sooner himself. If he had arrived earlier back then, he could have saved Inori…
Harune returned, breaking his line of thoughts. "The taxi will be here in a couple of minutes. You can wait inside the shop if you want, it's pretty cold out here." She also noticed his search for his lost bag of groceries and handed it to him. "There you go. The goods seem to be fine, too. Lucky you!"
"Thanks, Harune." He took the bag with his usual kind smile. "I will gladly accept your offer to wait inside your store, too. Anything to get away from the cold." He laughed. That's when she took his hand and dragged him through the door of the store.
"Then what are you waiting for? Come on in already!"
They spent ten minutes in her store, chatting about this and that, when the taxi finally arrived and Shu waved her good-bye for the second time of the day. The driver got out, put Shu's bags into the trunk and then opened the door for him to get in the car. The brown haired man then told him their destination and without further ado, the vehicle drove off into the night.
He couldn't help but sigh mentally, though.
'Tsugumi certainly won't be happy about this…'