|Tragic Play: X
Author: Melissa Norvell PM
HETERO SHOUNENAI. We are all puppets, dancing to the strings of fate and quite literally in the tragic land of X. Can one captive stop the puppetry of it’s people? Or will she do nothing more then purge them further into despair? HIATUSRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Horror - Chapters: 7 - Words: 29,189 - Reviews: 87 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-28-08 - Published: 11-14-07 - id: 2438589
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Here I am on this Christmas Eve, typing up stories and trying to stay warm. It's damned cold outside but we don't have all of that snow like Washington, Kansas, Illinois and other states have. I have a five day weekend! Lol, all the more time I can use to catch up on typing. Hopefully, I'll have a lot of updates for everyone since I plan on getting as far as I can on stories.
My planned updates are:
TornFamily Portrait(on SilverIsamu's Profile, we write this together)
Alice in Chains
Abumi Must Die!
To Wish Upon the Sea - Done
That ought to keep me busy for a while.
Tragic Play X
By: Melissa Norvell
Act VII: Forgive Me
"How could you do that? I don't understand why you're doing this. What do you want with Chokichi?" Jing shouted up to the silent and stoic King Arkas, who remained perched in the darkness.
"I've already told you what I want with him and that's all you need to know." Arkas replied simply and calmly. He would say no more and nothing less to the girl. Every inch of his plan needed to be kept secret. Nothing would escape that was not supposed to, even to his most trusted servants and loyal followers with the exception of one man.
"Yeah, because that was real clear. Why do they call you Mosquito King anyway?" Jing Mei asked, as she attempted to hide her fear with a mask of false bravery. There was no way that she was going to let that king see the weak side of her, not after she had been so strong all of this time.
"Those are the reasons that are between Chokichi and me." The darkened figure explained monotonely.
"You're nothing but a coward! You hide behind that shroud of darkness! Why don't you show everyone your true face?" The thief called the mysterious Mosquito King out. What good was a man who was so cowardly that he would not even show his true face to her? This was the mastermind behind the disappearances in X? This was the man who struck fear into the hearts of those who inhabited this mysterious land? What a joke!
"Soon, you will know my true features." The king had been surprisingly patient with such a rude woman.
"I want to see it now." The stubborn girl replied as she walked forward and began to come up the stairs and towards the mysterious man, threatening to reveal his identity with every step. The thief began to advance up the stairs and when she was half-way up, the Mosquito King spoke to her.
"Are you sure that you wish to take this one step forward?" His voice was generally monotone and calm. It was as if it made no difference to him whether or not she saw his features and to be honest and truthful, it really didn't.
"I couldn't be surer." Jing's voice was determined. "I'm going to see your real face, Mosquito King or whatever you are." The enslaved girl glared into the darkness before her as she continued up the stairs towards the man. Nothing he had to say would even steer her back now. She came all of this way to discover wonders of X and she didn't forget her mission, even though the girl was now a puppet.
If anything, she would go out knowing what she had come there to know.
"I will allow you to see my face, but if I do then you will not get out of X alive, so it's your choice." His words shot fear and uncertainty into Jing Mei's body as she froze from advancing any further.
'What? You've got to be kidding me! If I see his face, then I'll die? Does it have to come tothat? Is it reallythatbig of a deal?' Green eyes were wide with fright and all that could escape her mouth was a single 'well' in response to what the king had advised her on. 'Should I? I mean, it's so dark that I can't see. What if he kills me if I get over there? I've still got to try. Now is my perfect opportunity if I don't do it now then I may not get another chance...'
Determination lit up her face once more, urging her to continue forward. "Alright Jing Mei," she coaxed herself, "you can do this." she gave herself positive reinforcement as she advanced once again, stepping to the edge of the darkness.
"Foolish girl, do what you wish. You seal your own fate by your choice."
"Does it really matter when I've lived in captivity this long? The only worse thing you can do is kill me, right? You've already given me to your sick-minded puppet master, so what else is there?" Jing Mei asked with a harsh expression. She had been through hell and the only worse thing was death? What did it matter? The least it could do would be to make her exploits worth something.
"Is that what you think?" Arkas asked.
"No, I'm telling you think because I'm lying. What do you think?" The girl spat sarcastically. She didn't care if she disrespected him at all. After all, she was the one being held captive by him.
Arkas then stood with his back facing her, the only way one could tell that he was in this position was judged the silhouette of his body from what little light hit him. 'This one has more of a mind of her own than my past puppets. This will be very interesting.' The king took amusement in all that he witnessed over the years from his plans. So far, everything was legit and he was on top and as long as things stayed that way then he was guaranteed a victory, however, he was always on the lookout for the slightest infraction.
"Huh?" The king turned to see the Queen of Diamonds walking towards him.
Suddenly, he felt a small hand tug on his cape. The high collar of his cape was pulled down to reveal his true face to the girl. Her eyes went wide with mixed emotion- most of which rode on horror.
"You're..." Jing's voice trailed in utter disbelief.
She couldn't believe that this was the true identity of the famed Mosquito King. This very thing was the sole reason he was named as such and it absolutely floored her that she was staring into the red eyes of the answer to all of her questions regarding the man.
A tall man with short, black hair, dressed in a shoulder-length black cape with a black Victorian suit and long, black slacks neared the edge of the land of X. His narrow, beady black eyes scanned over the desolate landscape as the gentle, dry winds caused shit short bangs to flutter.
"So this is X, the land of mystery. The only question is- what's so mysterious about it?" The man spoke to himself, his voice was mature like that of an eighteen year old except it was refined and cool. He was not going to take X lightly as those before him did, for he had been there before and he knew what awaited him from beyond that demonic-looking castle.
Aside from all of that, he was there on a mission. "I don't really see anything here but some old, stone buildings." He commented as he glanced around and caught sight of a high hill a short distance away. 'That hill looks like the tallest point in this land so far. If I get on top of it, I can probably see more of X so I can figure out what move to make from here.'
As soon as the dark-haired man got to the base of the cliff, he began to slowly climb up, digging his heels and fingers tightly into the harsh rock as fond memories of the land he was currently in resurfaced in his mind. 'How did I get back here...after all these years? It's been a long time since I've returned to this land...and I didn't even think I'd be coming this way. Something just isn't right about this.'
The young man finally pulled himself up over the top of the cliff's edge and stood to see more of the geography of X. Over the horizon lay the large, grim, black, castle with the windmill of rotating blades. "There's Lord Arkas' castle. It looks abandon." He commented to himself and not moments after that, he was blasted back by multi-colored flowers in a burst of magic. This caused the darkly-clad man to fling his arms over his eyes in protection and let out a yell of both pain and surprise.
Before him stood Jari, straight as a board, his mask was pulled over the right side of his face once more, covering up his soft, beautiful features. "Chokichi..." His words were formal and humble for someone who stood as an enemy.
"Puppet Master Jari." Beady black eyes narrowed at the blue-haired man before him.
"I have come to deliver a message to you, Chokichi. You may find it very interesting." The other male smiled and told him with a calm happiness. No matter what Jari's emotions never seemed to change for anyone, except one man. He handed out a small scroll to Chokichi, who too it cautiously, looking into the puppet master's eyes the entire time. He knew how Jari could be and he would let nothing slip past him this time.
"It's been over ten years." Chokichi spoke flatly.
"That it has," Jari agreed.
"Tell me, is Arkas still alive?"
"The letter should explain it." The puppet master replied.
Chokichi unrolled the scroll as it read:
How have you been over the past ten years? I take it well considering out last run-in. You may have weakened me but I have been plotting your defeat, even in this cursed form you have put me in.
Ending up in X is not a coincidence; it's all a part of a grand scheme. The letter you received prior to coming here had given you specific directions so that you would have no choice but to return to X.
You see, I have something that you might be interested in. A girl thief who calls herself the Queen of Diamonds.'
"What?!" Chokichi's face lit up with worry, shock and even a little anger at reading that scroll. 'Jing Mei!'
"So that's his game?" The short-haired man asked as he glanced to Jari. "He wants me to go to the castle to get Jing Mei back. What does he have planned?" His voice was grave and his look hardened at the light-hearted and care-free man.
"Now, if I told you that would it be any fun?" Jari teased.
"Don't screw with me, puppet master." Chokichi remarked. How dare he mock something this serious?
"If you're worried, then don't be. Jing Mei is fine."
"What have you done to her?" The black-haired man was beginning to get irritated with the other male's constant happy tone. It seemed as if he was taunting him, even though he knew that Jari's true nature in itself was to be friendly, curious and light-hearted about most things. That facade gave him good tactics as a puppet master to never let anyone see his true face or feelings.
Even in his own opinion, the man before him was a genius in every way.
"Nothing really, she's fine."
"She's with him, isn't she?" The man leveled the genius puppet master with a glare.
"How intelligent of you to figure that out." Jari replied in his usual care-free voice.
"Go screw yourself."
"That isn't very kind."
"I'm getting her back." Chokichi told him with fierce determination. There was no way that he'd let them win and just as last time, he would defeat the likes of people like Jari and the corrupt King, Arkas.
"She came here on her own, you know. Lord Arkas didn't plan that." The puppet master informed. It was because of that girl's foolishness that Arkas' plans were even initiated in the first place. If anyone were to blame then it was the Queen of Diamonds and not Arkas himself.
"I don't believe you." There was no way that Jing Mei started everything. There couldn't be.
"That can't be helped, can it?" The blue-haired man replied. He didn't care if he was believed or not because the truth would eventually come to light. Chokichi would find out whether he wanted to or not what was and was not the truth. It was only a matter of time.
Chokichi shot forward at the puppet master, sword in hand as he tried to stab the other man. He was sure that he would make contact with him, since the odd genius had not moved but he couldn't have been more wrong. His sword went straight through the smiling, transparent image and his eyes widened in shock. Then and only then did he figure out that Jari was merely an illusion.
What a foolish mistake!
The dark-haired man tried to stop but that was hard to do when he was in mid-air and his feet could not touch the ground no matter how hard he tried to make them. Chokichi went tumbling back down the cliff that he had spent two hours climbing up. Head over heels he went as he desperately tried to dig his feet and fingers into the harsh rock but to no avail. His hands were bloody and beaten but he did not give up.
Soon, he hit the ground with a harsh thud and laid there, the breath was beaten out of him and his body hurt from being slammed against the rocks.
He had to get Jing Mei out of the castle but right now, the pain was far too great to even move.
"You're..." The Queen of Diamonds threw a hand over her mouth in shock as she stood face-to-face with a mosquito-like being with red eyes and long lashes. His skin was a pale, mint green and his head resembled a mosquito's with long, dark green hair, long eyelashes and red pupils. His arms were long and bony and he possessed black, claw-like fingernails that could easily rip someone apart. This strange king was clad in a long, black cape and elaborate royal-clothing that resembled a military suit of sorts.
"Did you ever wonder why I was called the Mosquito King, dear?" As much as Arkas felt shame for his cursed form, he was now faced with having this girl see it for herself. This was what Chokichi had done to him the last time they had battled. Jing Mei had sealed her own fate by even laying eyes upon him.
"Do you really look like that? I mean, it's not a curse or anything?"The red-head asked. Even though her voice seemed concerned, she was secretly appalled by something that looked so ugly and strange. How could any normal person look like that?
The Mosquito-like being walked over to a small stand and picked up a picture then slowly walked back over to the thief and showed her a picture of a prestigious, beautiful man with long, dark-green hair that cascaded to the floor. His skin was ivory and free of blemishes and he had the most beautiful blue eyes, framed with long lashes. This was the Mosquito King Arkas before he was cast into his current abominable form. The man in the picture seemed very peaceful.
"This is the real me...Many years ago..."
"Then how did you get that way?" The girl slowly looked up from the picture and even now it was hard to look at him in a normal sense.
"You're about to find out how I got this way." Arkas informed.
"Does this have anything to do with Chokichi?"
"It has everything to do with him." The Mosquito King replied flatly.
"Is he the one...Who did this to you?" Jing asked her voice a little trembly. She couldn't believe that something like this had happened. Why didn't Chokichi ever tell her?
Before the conversation could go any further, Jari appeared in his usual puff of smoke and flowers. Jing Mei and Arkas turned their heads in unison and looked at him.
"Lord Arkas..." Jari seemed a little surprised that Lord Arkas showed Jing Mei his true form. He was the only one that Arkas had ever felt comfortable around as far as coming into the light was concerned. Usually, the king was so ashamed with himself that he would hide in the dark from everyone.
"Precede, Puppet Master," Arkas told him after a moment of silence.
"You let her see your face?" The blue-haired man's voice was soft and slightly surprised.
"She would see it eventually."
"Wait a minute." Jing had just made a connection with that sentence and something that had he told her only moments ago.
'I will allow you to see my face, but if you do, you will not get out of X alive. It's your choice.' The Mosquito King had warned her before he left.
"Does that mean that I was meant to die either way? Am I just a sacrifice?" The Queen of Diamonds asked in a shaken tone of realization. A part of her was glad that she took the dare to see Arkas' true form. Things would never be that easy. There was no way that they were simply going to allow her to leave if they lost whatever vendetta they had against Chokichi. She was doomed to an ill fate and she knew it. The only thing that Jing Mei could really do would be to wait and watch as their plans unfolded and hope that Chokichi could save her in time. Due to her possession, nothing else would prove effective.
If she tried to go against them that demented puppet master was sure to render her helpless and even turn her against him. She could only begin to imagine how things would unfold from there. There were many possibilities and all of which, she didn't want to think of.
"Well, we can't have you live, can we?" Jari smiled kindly. It was sickening that someone could take the subject of one's life and smile it away as if they had no care in the world!
"What do you plan on doing with Chokichi?" The girl spoke up out of anger and balled a fist in front of herself.
"Now, why would we tell you, my dear?" Jari replied simply.
'Please be okay, Chokichi...'Jing Mei prayed for her friend's success.
"Perhaps we should take her to see her beloved. What do you think, dear puppet master?" Arkas asked in an intimate voice as he cast a look towards the intelligent man, who placed a hand under his chin and commented about how the idea sounded interesting.
"Wait a minute...Something isn't right about this..." The red-head's body went rigid with concern for her well-being. The two of them definitely had something planned but what was it? She felt a strange, dark presence and now she felt completely helpless against the two strange men. Jing Mei knew that there was no use in trying to run. She dreaded what would come next and much to her dismay, she found out when the puppet master pulled out his marionette and told her 'let's get to work'.
Suddenly, her body stood straight and a look of misery and dread crossed her face. 'Oh no! What's happening?'
"We'll see if Chokichi can get past you." Jari seemed amused in his new plan. The Queen of Diamonds, on the other hand, hated it. If Jari had a plan, it was never good for her welfare.
"You're going to make me fight against him?" The girl glared before her body was rushed down the hall in a sprint. She had given up on fighting what was going on; for she knew that there was no way that she could even stop herself if she wanted to. Jing Mei was frustrated and she felt nearly like crying. The thief really didn't want to do any of this!
'No! Don't! Stop running! Why won't my body listen to me?'After a small struggle, she found that she could slow down her movements a little. 'Hey, I can kind of control it.'Jing Mei thought victoriously to herself as her body came to a stop, then faced a large sword hanging on the wall and her arms began to reach out to the weapon. Her movements were slow and jerky because she was trying to fight the possession. The girl groaned and grunted as the desperately tried to keep from touching the weapon.
"Your hands are trembling, Jari." Arkas commented as he observed the Puppet Master's shaken grasp on his marionette.
"She's resisting my possession." Jari replied.
"You know what you're doing." The king did not question his friend's position. He believed that Jari could pull through and with good reason, for the Puppet Master was the strongest figure in X aside from himself. If anyone had the ingenuity and prowess to get back in rhythm, it would be him.
A small smile adorned the Puppet Master's face as his hair shaded his eyes and small, blue magical streams flowed around him. This caused the thief to be flung forward and grasp the sword in her hands firmly. After obtaining the weapon, the girl ran down the hall with a blank expression in her dull green eyes.
'Now, go and find Chokichi.'
The dark-haired man slowly opened his eyes and propped himself up on his forearms. His body still ached from his fall and his beaten form could feel the stings of pain as he sat up and stared up at the tall cliff. 'So, Lord Arkas wants his revenge. I should have known that he'd try something like this.'
Chokichi's face was grave as he pulled himself up and began to walk towards the castle. 'I'm guessing that the job for a professional thief in the note I received was bogus. How did he know that I'd be the one to answer it? Maybe it was planned in that letter. I wonder if Arkas wrote it himself. This really doesn't make much sense. I defeated him, so why is he trying to fight me again and what does he want with Jing Mei? Maybe he's using her to lure me into X again.'
"I've got to stay on my guard." The dark-haired man said to himself as cards with sharp edges flew at him at an alarming speed. Thinking quickly, the man jumped out of the way as their fine blades dug into the hard earth where he once stood.
Chokichi stared at the cards, each resembled poker cards with diamonds on them. "Those cards..."
The possessed Queen of Diamonds landed a few feet away, on top of a large rock. The blank-faced woman held some cards over her shoulder, ready to strike Chokichi down if he dared to make one move. In her other hand, she clutched the sword that had been hanging on the castle wall.
"Jing Mei!" Chokichi shouted to his possessed friend but she gave no response.
Then, she suddenly uttered the word 'die' as she crouched down and shot forward, attempting to slice him with the sharpened blade of her sword. The man managed to lean back and barely avoid the blade as it grazed his chest. He turned to the girl with a shocked look etched on his face.
"What's the meaning of this?"
"Ha!" The determined red-head threw a few of the card-like knives that she had in her hand. Chokichi managed to barely dodge them. It was hard to get around the girl's stunning accuracy.
"Why is she attacking me? This isn't like her."
Jing Mei charged once again at him, swinging the sword, stuck on only one thing- killing Chokichi. Thinking quickly, the man pulled out his own sword and managed to block some of her strikes and dodged others. He had no idea what was going on! Everything happened so fast and it seemed like a blur, but when he caught glimpse of her void eyes, everything became clear.
'That hollow look in her eyes. It's like she's possessed...That's it! That Puppet Master! I remember now. The Puppet Master of X, Sumiyashi Jari. He's Arkas' right hand man...But he's unlike anyone else in X. He's a master of puppetry but it's not just any kind...'Chokichi thought to himself as the possessed girl brought down his sword to make contact with his. The sound of clashing metal rang in their ears.
The girl then jumped into the air and tried to pin him to the ground but he managed to roll out of the way and popped up on his feet a few feet away as the sword tore up the barred ground, sending of it flying past the red-head's face.
'If I remember correctly, he controls them with a type of voo-doo puppet and can either control just the body movements or it can be a full possession of the mind. The only question is, how do I break his spell? Last time, he just possessed dead bodies and made them come to life but when I killed them, they stayed down. I can't kill Jing Mei so I have to find another way to snap her out of it. No doubt Jari is hiding somewhere. To break the spell, I have to get past Jing Mei.' The man contemplated as the thief ran at him. Their swords clashed again. This time, Jing Mei didn't back down, she continued to push on her blade, trying to get past his with all of her might. Then and only then could she strike him in the face or chest and be rid of him successfully.
'I couldn't beat Jari last time, which is why I could only curse Arkas. No doubt they've been gaining power since last we met. That means I definitely have no chance in beating Jari...'Chokichi knew that this would be no easy task. He was up against a criminal mastermind and someone who sorely beat him out as far as knowledge of the human psyche was concerned. "What should I do now?" He asked as he struggled against the girl's onslaught and shoved forward by the force of her drive. This caused Chokichi to fall to the ground. He attempted to dig the blade of his sword into the ground to try and cushion his fall but the ground was uneven, which caused him to tumble back. A sword blade was stabbed into the ground mere inches from his face and he found himself staring into the possessed eyes of his friend. The girl towered over him with both feet on either side of him.
"Give up?" She asked simply. No emotion. Just simple speech.
Chokichi closed his eyes. "Sorry, Jing-Jing." He said ruefully as he swung his sword around and bashed the girl in the side of the face, causing her form to be flung backwards. This gave him enough time to get to his feet.
"Oh no you don't!" The Queen of Diamonds jumped into the air and spun around as a lime-green, fluorescent line of magic spiraled towards him. "Jade Chaos!"
"Golden Spiral!" Chokichi shouted in turn and mimicked her attack, except in a golden color. The two spiraling beams clashed and exploded, knocking the two thieves backwards and blowing up dust everywhere, creating a thick blanket of debris.
The dark-haired man attempted to block some of the debris from getting into his eyes by holding up his forearm. 'This is dangerous. I can't see her.'
Then, he felt a sharp, searing pain in his back between his shoulder blades. He looked behind himself to see the girl standing with cards in her hand. She smiled a dark smile as he made the connection that she had nailed him with one of the cards.
Cursing, he placed a hand on top of his shoulder and winced. The card was stuck under his right shoulder blade and he could feel the warm blood rise to the surface of the wound. Holding out his sword he shouted the word 'gale' and caused the dust to stir back up and attempted to blow his adversary backwards but she was already gone.
Jing Mei was above him, ready to pull out the many tricks that she had residing under her sleeve. She held out her black top-hat and began her normal sequence of sayings.
"Nothing up my sleeve!" The girl then held the hat out as numerous white doves flew at Chokichi as the girl shouted 'go' at the top of her lungs. As the birds flew by, those who made contact with his skin caused several cuts.
Cursing once more, he managed to block some of them by slicing them up, he then blocked her hidden sword attack from behind the shroud of birds. As he blocked her, she pushed off of his sword and flipped above him and landed on the other side. Jing Mei attempted to perform a spin-kick but it was blocked with his forearm. Then she decided to duck down and try to hit him below with a leg sweep but he jumped over it, then quickly got down to his hands and knees and stuck out his leg in an upward kick. The attack made contact with the thief's chin and sent her flying up and landing on her back on the ground a few feet away.
'She's fast and wiry. She can turn any part of her body on a dime and I can tell that the puppet master is enhancing her skills.'Fighting the infamous Queen of Diamonds was challenging but it was nothing like this!
And still, the girl arose stubbornly to her feet, refusing to fall. She put her wrist to her mouth and wiped the stay saliva that had flown from her mouth from the force of the kick. "That's it...This time...There will be no playing around!"
-In chess, sometimes you can use your own enemies against your opponent-
...To Be Continued...
A/N: That took a while to write out. I think my writing skills have gotten better. I can tell that it actually takes more time to write out a chapter because I placed more description in it than usual. I'm glad of that and I hope everyone can tell that I'm improving!
Please review and tell me what you think!