Author: Tenshi no Yami PM
Jayden concluded that nothing was worse than being struck by a car. Ha, how wrong was he? Runihura isn't too keen on answering questions while Omega is just psychotic lil brat. And it's just his luck how everything is basically set on trying to seduce, maim, or just kill him... Central is a mystery and if he thought training to be a reaper was hard, field work is going to suck.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Hurt/Comfort - Chapters: 25 - Words: 69,957 - Reviews: 26 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 04-23-13 - Published: 03-17-12 - id: 3005883
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 16: Whistle
'Dammit, dammit, dammit.'
I wiggled around, stopping when the vine tightened. I forgot how long I was at this though, when I looked over at Runihura, it had to be awhile now. He looked pale. Extremely pale. Not death pale but I don't think he was really far off. His breathing had been strained. Then they were pants. Now, I wasn't too sure if he was really breathing.
Assurance came when the vine wrapped around him seemed to squeeze tighter, making him wince and crack one glassy eye open. I wasn't sure if he was going to get past his pants, but he did manage a small whistle. It sounded like it was suppose to be part of the song but it kept coming out choppy. The note died off soon after as a green bind wrapped along his neck. Thin, dark red trails then began to run.
"Runi?" I called, wiggling around. "Hey." His eye slowly closed. "Hey! Wake up!" I felt the vine tighten but I really couldn't bring myself to care at the time. "Runihura! Hey, you can't die yet, dammit!" Nothing. "Runihura!"
"What?" he grumbled quietly, cracking both eyes open.
I hate the guy. I really do but I couldn't help the wave of relief I felt as he responded. I didn't want to see the guy die in front of me. Hell, he could do that on his own time.
"You're not going to die, right?"
He looked over at me. Well, at least I think he did.
"What do you c-"
I watched the muscle in his jaw clench as he was moved towards the center of that…thing. His eyes were squeezed shut and I heard a pained gasp. Glazed, brown eyes then opened as he was flipped right-side up. Lucky him. Being upside down for this long was starting to give me a headache.
"R-repeat after me," he stammered.
Second time he's tripped over his own tongue.
"Repeat what?" I asked.
"Just…" He shuddered noticeably. "…whistle, alright?"
He stopped talking as the vine around his neck tightened. Any life that seemed to be left in his eyes appeared to vanish before he hung his head.
'Not good,' I told myself, wiggling around, finally hearing the jacket rip slightly along the collar. 'No, no, no, no, no!'
I stopped squirming when I was flipped right-side up. The feeling of being disoriented made it kind of hard to do any moving.
I stared at the dark blue petals that appeared to be turning purple. I felt just hanging there. Runi hadn't said anything either. He…was just being suspended though the vine along his neck never seemed to relinquish its hold.
"Runi!" I shouted. Nothing. "Runihura!" Still nothing. "You lousy reaper, wake the hell up! It's not nap time!" I wiggled around again. "Wake. Up. Wake the hell up!"
He didn't reply and me moving about like this wasn't doing much. I think it even irritated the plant since it released me. And falling from ten, eleven feet up to the hard ground below does not feel like a mattress filled with down feathers. That shit hurt but I was on the ground. I was away from that thing. Taking that into consideration, I scrambled to my feet before feeling a pull on my ankle.
That guy was actually alive!
I could've been pissed. I mean, him dying would get me out of being partners. It'd free me too. But, no matter how much I can't stand him, I really couldn't wish death on someone; not even that uppity, raven-haired reaper.
He couldn't have been serious. What the heck was a whistle going to do? I looked around before staring up at him. His head was still down. I was sure his eyes were closed from beneath his hair and I wasn't sure if he was breathing until I heard a faint tone get carried away on the breeze. It went up in pitch before cutting into three shorter notes.
I heard that much after a sharp inhale. The guy was really trying to cling to life…afterlife?
"Hey!" I shouted. I hate that name! "My name-"
His voice sounded strained, hurt, weak.
"What am I suppose to-" He groaned quietly. "Runi!"
"W-whistle." He raised his head. His face was so pale. "R-repeat."
I took a step back as he hung his head. I had to whistle. Problem was that I wasn't really good at it. I've tried in the past but it wasn't good by any means. So, now that I actually had to, I didn't think I could.
"Yeah, I know," I said, cutting him off.
Licking my lips, I took a deep breath before giving it a try. Nothing came out the first time. I expected that much. I wasn't good at it! Looking up at the reaper, I watched the slowing streams of red fall from his person and into the ghastly plant beneath him. Even more, its petals were opening wider while Runi seemed to get lower.
That thing was really going to eat him! And if he wasn't dead when that happened, good chances were that I'd get pulled in. I don't want to be eaten by a Soul eater and I definitely don't want to be eaten by a damn plant.
'Focus!' I yelled at myself before taking another deep breath.
I blew and something actually came out.
It was soft. But, hey, it was something.
When I looked up at Runi, he hadn't seemed to acknowledge it. It wasn't like I did it for him. I mean, he just kept calling me runner; never by my name unless something bad was about to happen. I guess that was nice… But, dammit, he could call me by my name in general too! It didn't just have to be for something bad.
It came from him and I took that as a cue to try again.
'C'mon, c'mon, c'mon,' I told myself as I parted my lips. 'It's not a hard thing to do.' Nothing. 'Why is this so hard?'
I closed my eyes and tried.
I even surprised myself.
The note was carried off before dropping into its staccato end. It was odd but, nevertheless, I managed to do it.
'I wish Aiden could've heard.' He had been trying to teach me for-well, I forgot how long.
I looked up at Runi again. He had to have dropped maybe three, four more feet? When he raised his head by about an inch, I nodded.
But before I could even whistle, or at least attempt to, a different whistle came along. It was higher in pitch while its notes came out smoothly.
Taking a breath, I let out a whistle, much louder than my first one.
Ha, I was proud.
I even felt myself smiling but I had to gloat later.
Another whistle floated on the air, much closer, before disappearing altogether. I looked around, seeing the still leaves that covered the area. Where the whistle came was beyond me.
I looked around, not seeing anyone.
"Hello?" I called.
"Ah, Omega, you're here too."
I looked around, expecting a white head of hair. None was seen.
"Runi?" I looked up to see most of his body already disappearing behind the petals. "Runihura!" He didn't say anything. He didn't move even as the purple-colored objects started closing around him. "Runi!"
I looked up to see a blur drop down from a high branch before disappearing into the now closed plant. I felt the chain around my ankle shake. It pulled, even loosened slightly. And I say slightly. Another pull had me fall flat on my ass, still sore from falling eleven or so feet, and land right up on the shut flower.
It wiggled around.
Something inside definitely wanted out.
Couldn't blame it, though the tug on my ankle was starting to hurt. That and I didn't want to be pulled any closer to that thing. A final yank of the chain had me rigid before the bond linking me to the reaper stilled altogether.
The vaporous gas that seemed to make up the chain lightened from black to almost transparent though I could still feel the oppressive thing on me.
'This is good, right?' I baffled myself at such a question but it was the only one I had as I stared at the link.
My gaze went towards the plant when I heard something being ripped. It grew silent again, with the exception of some exotic bird in the background, before seeing something jut from the side of a large, bluish-purple petal.
Whatever was holding it must have had a powerful arm because those petals were thick though I was now staring at the point of a blade, inches from my face. Even more, a liquid, I prayed it to be nectar, splattered from my eye down to my chin.
"R-Runi?" I didn't care that I stammered. I don't like having a scythe pointed in my face! "Ru-"
A downward strike and a makeshift door appeared as the severed petals fell, revealing a woman. She stood on top of a slightly raised petal, obviously ignoring the red liquid pooling under her feet as she swung her weapon over her shoulder.
Like any normal person with sense, I scooted back as she stepped down, kneeling before me.
"Sir, are you alright?"
I raised an eyebrow. 'What?'
I looked around for said runt. Still didn't see him anywhere.
"Not…him," Runi whispered.
I leaned to the side to see the brown-eyed reaper lying on his back. He looked close to death. His skin had lost a lot of color and still seemed to be as his chest rose and fell in shallow breaths. The puncture wounds on his neck squirted blood, allowing some to trickle down his skin and where he lay.
"What do you mean, 'not him'?" she asked, furrowing her brow as she looked back at the reaper.
"It's…not him," he gurgled, slowly tilting his head in our direction. "You…ok?"
"I'm fine," the woman said, brushing stray sandy-brown hair from her face.
She huffed before looking over at me. "You ok?"
"Uh, y-yeah," I said, staring at the wilting flower, then her, then the reaper.
I watched his eyes close before hearing a breathy exhale.
"Runi?" I called, shifting to be on my knees as I stared at the barely visible chain.
"Ruru?" I looked back at the newcomer as she jumped to her feet, hurrying over to the downed man. "Ruru?" she called. Nothing. "Damn."
I looked up as I heard a shrill whistle. Hearing the leaves ahead rustle, my eyes scanned the area to see one of the reaper's weapons on the ground from when he had dropped it. Since I had none, I hurried and picked it up before glaring at the woman.
Was she trying to cause something to come and get us? Eat us?
I had no clue.
"What are you doing?" I spat as she gave another whistle. "And stop doing that!"
She eyed me curiously as I pointed the small scythe at her.
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Who are you?" I countered, diverting my gaze to the moving leaves. Then back to her. "What did you call?" I then looked at the dying-dead plant. "And what the fuck was that!" I pointed at the flower before pointing the weapon at her once more. "Answer me!"
That was what she said prior to moving the scythe she had resting along her bare shoulder. A blade was no longer present though I did notice the bright gold bulb that rest along the top of the staff. It was closed and I took a step back as its petals began to peel back, revealing a white middle trailing off to the tips.
When she removed the weapon from her shoulder, she gave it a swing, a blade sliding out into place immediately. Its edge almost resembled that of the runt's; just not as jagged.
I swallowed down a lump in my throat as she directed the thing at me. Between her weapon and my temporary one, who'd you think would win?
"Now, who are you?" she asked, eyes narrowed. "And if you're not him, why are you in his clothes?"
"I'm J-Jayden," I replied, angry how I was letting this lady scare me. "And what's it to you if I wear his clothes?"
She snorted before turning her attention to something behind me. I really hoped that whatever it was did not want to kill me.
I looked over my shoulder to see a horse. I mean, it looked like one. Well, save the height of it. The thing was tall. I mean, really, really tall. How someone was supposed to mount that thing was beyond me. Even the color was off. The body was brown and spotted white here and there. Ok, that's normal enough. Then came the mane and its tail. I walked up on it because, you know, I didn't really believe it at first.
They were green and…leafy-looking.
Leafy like the door.
I looked back at the woman as she walked over, staring up at the creature. She then gave a curt whistle, the beast dropping down to be at height. It was then on the ground braying quietly.
"You're in the way," she said, adjusting her hold on the scythe. "Move."
I glared at her, tightening my own hand on the weapon I was holding.
"I told you to move." A white blade was pointed at me. "Now, move."
Big blade. Little blade. Big blade…wins.
I backed away, eyeing her carefully as she pulled her weapon to her side, the lethal point disappearing back into that tropical-looking flower.
When she glanced at it, she turned the staff upside down so that the bloom was pointed towards the ground.
"What are you doing?" I asked. She looked at me then back at the ground. "Hello, I asked a question!"
"That doesn't mean I'm obligated to answer."
I opened my mouth then snapped it shut.
I didn't like her already.
My eyes then went towards a small, green root coming down from the flower. It hung above the ground before having a root from there spring up to meet it.
"What are you doing?" Good chances were that she wouldn't answer me but still. "Hey! Are we forgetting someone?" I pointed at Runi. "Hello?"
She looked at me, eyes glazed over in a distant, perhaps sad, manner. Huffing, I folded my arms as she let her weapon go. It stood on its own, guessing the roots were an anchor, before the pole was pulled into the ground; only the gold bloom remained behind.
A sharp whistle and I glanced over at the horse as it stood up, following her over to the wilted, blue flower. The animal was in my way but I managed to catch a glimpse of small, green roots pushing up through the surface. Taking a few steps to the side, I watched as more came up and around Runi.
Each of the smaller ones interlocked until it formed several medium-sized ones. Then each one began to wrap slowly around him.
"Wait a minute!" I shouted. She looked at me from over her shoulder while the roots went on with their business. "What are you going to do to him?"
"Why are you frantic?"
'Why am I frantic?' I stared at her. Couldn't do much else. "You can't just move him!"
"Can't just leave him here either."
That was true.
"What are you here?" she asked.
"I…is that really important?"
She raised an eyebrow then dropped her gaze to my feet. "You're new, aren't you?"
It was more of a statement than a question.
I looked towards one of the purple trees when she went back to looking at the reaper. Adjusting my view, I watched as each root wrapped along one of Runi's limbs before hoisting him up. The horse was already lowered and he was draped along its back. Walking past the animal, she even went by me with a word and plucked the yellow bloom from the ground before placing it in her hair.
She whistled and I looked back at the horse as it rose to its feet, following behind her.
"Come along." My hand tightened along the weapon. "It'll be dark soon."
"Since you're new-" She looked back at me, brown eyes vacant for a brief moment. "- you definitely don't want to be left here by yourself. That being said, don't talk, listen and stay close. Got it?" I looked elsewhere. "Got it?" she pressed.
"I don't know how you expected me to answer." One of her eyebrows went up. "You told me not to talk."
She threw me a 'don't make me slap the hell out of you' look before turning and walking alongside the horse, looking up at the man placed there. When she disappeared from sight, I uncrossed my arms and looked down at the little scythe Runihura had dropped.
It was the same one he had used in Rift. At least, I think it was. The blades were maybe no longer that thirteen inches and were slightly nicked but still sharp looking. They were covered in red. I had a feeling I knew why though I didn't let myself linger on that thought for much longer.
How he managed to fight things like Soul eaters with such a small weapon was beyond me. He must've been hurt a lot…
Heh, what do I care? I just need him alive long enough for me to get my body back. Nothing more. Nothing less….
A rustle behind me made me look over my shoulder to see a something green snaking along the ground. It wasn't like the roots that had hoisted Runi up.
It looked similar to the one that cut into the reaper not too long ago. That couldn't have been possible though. That monster plant was cut up. I saw that much but there it was and its thorns made the other's look like toothpicks.
At that thought, I backed away slowly, eyeing the thing as it continued to creep along the ground. I stepped on twig and heard it snap prior to going rigid. The thing stopped itself. Then it began moving again…towards me…much faster.
'Run!' My mind told me that but my legs didn't seem to listen at the time. 'Move!'
"It'll be dark soon."
I braced myself. Yeah, couldn't do much really when a vine o' death wanted to strangle me. My foot stepped back when the thing made a swipe at me.
I was sweating bullets.
It made another grab.
Ok, so, this wasn't too bad.
A second vine wrapped around my waistline and squeezed.
"It'll be dark soon.
I felt the sharp points though they weren't actually cutting into me like they had done Runihura. I was grateful for that. Hell, I was really grateful for that but I wasn't sure for how long I would be safe; safe being used lightly.
"Hey, lady!" I shouted. She never mentioned it. "Lady!"
I even gave whistling a try.
Karma, why do you hate me so much?
I winced, not from hurt, as the vine tightened. I then looked at the scythe I was still holding.
Movement had me looking up to see the first creeping plant lunging. With blade in hand, I swung it and got a good hit. The end dropped to the ground as the rest retreated. The one on my waist tightened and jabbed the end of the sharp edge into it. It took a moment but it let go.
Landing on my feet, I stared at the thing moving spastically before turning on my heels.
I could pat myself down later.
I ran in the direction I saw the strange woman disappear awhile ago, looking over my shoulder to see if that thing was following. All I saw was the dying yellow glows from the plants I brushed against before crashing into a tree.
I rubbed my face as I stood.
Rustling leaves caught my attention and looked back to see the edge of one of those things creeping forward.
"You have got to be kidding!" I shouted, backing into the tree.
I had the weapon at my side, looking at the other two vines that had crept into view.
I looked down at my ankle. I couldn't see the bond anymore but I still could feel traces of it. Even more, it wasn't pulling so Runi had to be close, right? He was ok, sort of', since the cuff was still there though unseen.
I wanted to go home. Oh, how I wanted to go home! Safe in bed with Aiden, waking to find this was all a dream.
I cut one of the vines that lunged at me.
I tried and failed.
'Why is such a simple thing so hard?'
I cut another vine as two others came into view.
I tried again.
Success though it wasn't nearly as loud as I wanted it to be.
Cutting another vine, I tried again.
I looked around but didn't see anyone. I didn't hear anyone.
"Since you're new, you definitely don't want to be left here by yourself."
I cut one of the vines before pressing back into the tree. I was alone in this place and didn't know how to get back to Central or how to find that woman that took Runi away.
I was as good as dead.
Two vines came at the same time and I guess I was ready though I was sure I couldn't keep this up after nightfall. Didn't matter I guess. I'd probably be eaten and forgotten.
One vine pulled back as the blade cut the other.
This was starting to become tiring.
'One more time,' I told myself as I gave a whistle.
It was cut short as I swung the blade, cutting the previous vine that had retreated.
A thicker one came into view and its thorns appeared to be dipped in blood. Picture a syringe just three times bigger. I cringed.
How was I going to sever that?
The other creepers withdrew as that one advanced.
'It's going to eat me.' A bitter thought but that's how it seemed. 'I'm going to be eaten by a plant.'
I sighed, too depressed to be mad, as I hung the weapon at my side.
Looking up, I stared at the sky before feeling something snake around my waist. When I looked down, it was a thinner vine though it wasn't laced in those deadly thorns. Diverting my gaze to the killer vine making its way over, I yelped at a forceful tug upward.
Going up, I watched as a blur dropped down, a splash of yellow catching my eye before I lost sight of it through the leaves.
When I stopped moving up, I felt myself being set down on floor before the green rope pulled away and disappeared amongst the leaves.
I ran my hand the boards.
Yeah, it was a floor.
I've never been so happy being on a floor before.
It felt good; it felt great; it felt relieving; it made me feel relaxed; it made me feel exhausted.
'I need a nap.'
Falling onto my back, I stared up at the darkening sky prior to closing my eyes with a sigh.