Author: Thundy PM
By 2050, the presence and discovery of magic had already changed the face of the Earth into something unrecognizable. The typical tools in society were replaced with new facilities, new technology, and above all, new violence. Through the influences of those around her, it is the decisions of bounty hunter Aven Rostek that will ultimately make the changes: for good or for worse.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Humor - Chapters: 20 - Words: 57,126 - Reviews: 45 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 05-25-13 - Published: 11-08-12 - id: 3072693
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Good aftern-" The nurse at the front table froze upon looking up at the tall man standing before her. She was intimidated by his extraordinary size, his buff muscles, and his rigid armor. "C-C-Commander Cyrus! I-It's so good to see you!"
Cyrus scratched his head, oblivious to how surprised the nurse was. "Good afternoon to you as well," he responded with a calm smirk. He reached into his pocket and revealed his identification card to the woman. "I heard Elite Lightland had awoken earlier today. If you would give me permission, I would like to ask a few questions concerning the previous day's incident."
Without even looking at the card to verify Cyrus's identity, she nodded her head and led Cyrus towards the elevator. "Of course, Commander. This way."
By now, the commander could already sense the uneasiness emitting from the nurse's body. When Cyrus entered the elevator, he motioned for the nurse to stay out. "I can already sense how uncomfortable you feel. You don't have to follow me," he bluntly spoke.
The nurse smiled weakly. She took a step backwards away from the elevator. "Th-Thank you...You really are as great and wise as they say you are, Commander...Elite Lightland is on the sixth floor to the right. His room is labeled with his name."
Cyrus smiled. "Thank you for guiding me," he spoke, right before the metal elevator doors split them apart. The commander pressed the button labeled with the number six. Soon enough, the elevator itself slowly rose up. After a short moment of waiting, Cyrus had arrived on the sixth floor. He did as the nurse instructed him and took a right turn after exiting the elevator. Conveniently, the first room that Cyrus came upon was actually Vance's room.
The commander gave the white, wooden door a gentle knock. "Lightland, are you in there?" Cyrus asked. There was no response. He knocked harder and louder. "Lightland, answer me!" Concerned that something had happened to his fellow Elite member, Cyrus twisted the doorknob in an attempt to enter the room, but he found that the door wouldn't budge. After stepping back, Cyrus braced himself and tackled the door open with ease. The wooden door snapped in half, and much to Cyrus's surprise, he had also knocked over a closet that had been used to barricade the door. Further escalating his shock was the fact that Vance's bed was empty.
Cyrus looked over towards the window and found that it was left open with a long vine of blankets hanging from it. The commander quickly rushed towards the window and took a look outside. There was no trace of the Elite anywhere. "What in the world is he thinking?..."
"Attention all citizens of Goldhart. This is an important announcement," the speakers suddenly announced. "After a meeting with the council of the United Government, they have decided that the execution of Yamazaki Zenkatsu, the lone survivor of the invaders, has now been pushed forward. The public execution will now occur tomorrow at noon. I repeat, the execution of Yamazaki Zenkatsu will now occur tomorrow at noon."
Aven, who was currently sitting outside the Hunter's Core with her friend Katalina, was surprised by the sudden news. She took her soft lips off of her soda can and glanced up at the sky. "Tomorrow's Sunday...Almost everyone who's mature enough is going to be there to witness the public execution..."
Katalina looked on ahead and finished the rest of her own bottle of soda. After gulping the flavorful liquid down, she shifted her dark blue eyes onto Aven. "Well...every action has a consequence. He should feel lucky. Instead of an incredibly long sentence in the asylum, he gets an easy pass to the afterlife...It's so stupid."
"I know he deserves this gruesome fate but..." Aven sighed and took another sip from her soda. "It's just that the United Government chose to execute him tomorrow on a Sunday..."
"It doesn't matter, Aven. Everyone's going to forget about him anyways. So what if he's gutted in front of millions of people either watching from the television or in person...he'll be forgotten from everyone's minds in a couple of days." Katalina focused on a trash can on the opposite end of the street. "Check this out, Aven." She shot her empty soda can straight towards the trash can with perfect precision. The can seemed to be on course in landing inside the trash can. That was...until a fist knocked it out of its itinerary.
"Blocked!" Yushan spoke, appearing out of almost nowhere. "Hey girls, how's it going?" he asked, while approaching the dropped soda can in order to toss it into the recycling bin.
"Ugh...It's your stupid brother...Can I leave?" Katalina whispered to Aven. Without even waiting for a response, the Elite stood up from the bench and attempted to leave. However, as she was stepping away, a gentle hand grabbed her shoulder and led the woman back towards her seat.
"Now now, Kat...That was kind of rude, wasn't it?" Yushan spoke with a mischievous grin. The surprised look on both Aven and Katalina's faces were priceless in Yushan's eyes.
Katalina felt a sudden chill run up her spine as she set her eyes once again on Yushan. "H-How did he do that?" she thought to herself. "He was across the street...How did he maneuver behind me so quickly?"
Despite having known her adoptive brother for so long, Aven still remained clueless when it came to Yushan's abilities. "He moved from there to here in a flash...Darn Yu never tells me anything about his powers whenever I ask..."
Yushan smiled as if he heard their thoughts. He walked around the bench in circles as he spoke. "So I heard you two brought the criminal down. According to your written report, Aven, it looks like this man possessed some sort of power that allowed him to instantaneously destroy substances with nuclear radiation...and also...your final note in your report...about Joseph Crawford..."
Aven turned her head towards her older brother. "...Was it really him?" she asked.
Yushan nodded his head. "I took a look at him at the medical office in the Exile Asylum. Some of the staff members there took a blood sample from him and confirmed his identity. That man was Joseph Crawford, a head scientist in Goldhart's nuclear activity department." Yushan finally came to a stop when he walked to Aven's side. "What surprised me the most was the fact that his appearance was nothing like the descriptions both the original file and your report gave me. He didn't seem to possess those dangerous powers he was said to possess..."
Aven clenched her fists. "Kat was going to die...One touch from him could have quickly killed either of us. I had no choice!" she retorted.
Yushan shook his head. "Steer clear from using Magebane, Aven. A thin layer of it is fine, but...a bullet of Magebane is just too much," he scolded his sister. Every single word he said added to Aven's sudden frustration. She too wished that she hadn't used the legendary metal. "Joseph Crawford will never again use magic in the rest of his life. If he lives, then he will once again be nothing in the Exile. If the high-ranked officials of the United Government realize this, you too will be seen as a threat and abandoned."
Unable to listen to Yushan's admonishing any longer, she jumped out of her seat and prepared to punch her older brother right in the face. "Just like you abandoned me and mom?! Just like how you threw our family name away in order to protect your own name?!" She let her fist go, and ran off. She didn't know where she was going, but anywhere was better than around her brother.
Katalina, who witnessed the entire event, watched Yushan's morose face and shook her head in disappointment. "Damn bastard...There's too many people like you in the United Government that it makes me absolutely sick. You did nothing to earn an Elite position. You were just recognized for your stupid abilities..." Katalina ridiculed in her sternest tone. She stood up and glared into Yushan's eyes with her own pair. "Not many people gain my respect...and the ones that do...they're true and inspirational...Something I doubt you'll ever be." With that, Katalina turned away and began her search for Aven.
A foul stench drifted in the air inside the dark, narrow corridors of the hallway. A lone middle-aged man, grasping onto his chest, took small strides towards a destination with the help of the wall. He wore hospital clothes and on a label pinned onto the torso was the name 'Vance Lightland.' With every step he took, he felt that his large wound was going to burst.
"Damn it..." Vance mumbled to himself. "Those men on the first floor better not have been joking about keeping him in the negative third floor..." Just taking deep breaths inside the hallway gave the man an overwhelmingly strong urge to regurgitate.
However, despite all of the terrible conditions Vance was going through, he persevered and moved on. "Yamazaki Zenkatsu...Where is he?..." Exhausted by his wounds and a long period of walking, he walked past another cell without even looking inside. "Could those fools have given me the wrong floor number? Now that I think about it...they seemed to have been much busier treating some man than dealing with me..."
"I knew you would come, Lightland," a cold, sinister voice intervened. Just the sound of his voice, shook Vance's bones. "Vance Lightland...Hero of the Battle of South Gate..."
Vance slowly turned his head around and was incredibly disturbed to see that Zenkatsu himself was staring at him with his single, revealed eye. He still wore his band-aids that covered nearly all of his upper body, but it was clear, even in the dark, that they were slowly wearing out.
The Elite's hand began to glow bright yellow. "You were expecting me?"
Zenkatsu chuckled. "You've come to kill me, am I right?" he responded, narrowing his eye on the Elite. He sat down and calmly closed his eyelid. "Go ahead. Kill me."
Vance was surprised at the prisoner's command, but he refused to finish him just yet. "I'll kill you alright...I'll take your life with my own hands! You who disgraced this capital!...But first...I need you to clear some subjects up..What did you do to Aven?!" Vance roared, trying to intimidate the man into giving him a truthful answer. "The things she's doing...The things she's saying. This is not the Aven I knew! One agent told me that she spoke with you yesterday...What did you tell her?! Speak!"
Zenkatsu grinned underneath his thick white bandages. He opened his sharp eyes again and set them upon Vance's quavering body. "I did not tell her anything of importance...Whatever strange actions she had done or words she had spoken are of her own will. Nothing more..."
Vance approached the calm murderer, ready to kill him with his own magic. "Why did you spare me?...You could have easily finished me off...but you chose not to." This time, Zenkatsu remained speechless. He simply stood up and continued his constant glare into Vance's eyes. "Speak! I can kill you right now if I wanted to! You should have been killed immediately after you were captured. You're incredibly lucky to even be talking right now! Out with it!"
Zenkatsu chuckled. "You really don't know yet..." The criminal grabbed onto the bandages covering his left eye. One by one, he tore the bandages off. As each white strand dropped to the ground, the more Vance had come to recognize his face.
The Elite's eyes expanded in shock. "No way...You're that man...That man I killed at the Battle of the South Gate..." he muttered slowly. No other words came out of his mouth. He remembered so clearly the day he scorched the man's face at the deadly fight. But now, that very man was standing before him.
"As expected..." Zenkatsu spoke. He removed the final piece of tape that covered his left eye. A wrinkled, molten lump of red flesh lay underneath the bandages. His skin and eye were so deformed that it was difficult to distinguish the eyeball from the area around it. "You can finish what you've failed to accomplish before...Kill me."
The bright light around Vance's hand suddenly took the form of a bright dual-bladed spinning axe created through photons of light. "Very well...As you please..." Vance spun the dual-bladed axe in circles, preparing the launch it straight through the bars and into the murderer.
Zenkatsu was not frightened by Vance's dangerous powers. He simply turned his back to the Elite and took a look at his cell. There was nothing but a worn-out toilet seat and a broken bed. Water was dripping down the ceiling from the upper floor's toilet. "I spared you...because simple death just is not enough for you, Lightland...or should I say..."
Vance's eyes widened in shock. "Do not say another word! If someone hears..." he crudely interrupted, unable to even hear if Zenkatsu had continued or not. "You know about it..."
Zenkatsu chuckled. He turned his head back around and faced Vance once again. "It's not just me...Lightland. I've told others as well," Zenkatsu mentioned. Before the furious Vance could respond, the murderer held his hand up, motioning for the Elite to pause for another moment. "Do not panic just yet...I've given them strict orders to keep it a secret...that is...until I am dead."
Vance's body shook in fear. His thoughts were overrun by the terrible future that would come for him if that small amount of information were to be spread. "What...What do you want?!"
Zenkatsu stepped away from the cell bars and took a seat on his stiff mattress. "Right now...I do not wish for anything, Lightland." He watched Vance approach the bars and grasped two of them with all his might. The look on the Elite's face was incredibly threatening, but it did not move Zenkatsu. "Today is just the beginning of your demise. I stepped into Goldhart in order to accomplish two things...exact my revenge on Goldhart...and to exact my revenge on you. One day...your soul will be mine for the taking...Ah...I remembered...it looks like my execution is tomorrow."
Vance was alarmed at the news. He remembered the news that Zenkatsu's execution had been pushed up a day. Struck with mixed feelings, he let go of the bars and slumped back on them. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. "...Damn it..."
Brisk rainfall pelted down from the skies onto the hard wooden planks of the enormous vessel. Lightning crackled from the sky, briefly lighting up the dim region. The black clouds blocked out the sun, preventing every single particle of sunlight from passing through. The harsh waves collided with the massive boat, but the incredible piece of work did not shudder. Beside the large vessel was a much smaller boat, a trading ship.
From the larger ship, countless amounts of long ropes tipped with metal hooks latched onto the smaller boat. Suddenly, the sound of many dozens of men chanted loudly. The sound of their uproar was so loud that it seemed to have even bested the vicious storm in volume. "Charge!" They were pirates. Endless amounts of them glided down from the thick rope and onto the smaller ship. There was no sign of resistance. The pirates immediately flooded into the smaller ship's storage room and sacked it of all its trading goods, supplies, and food.
Up on the highest point of the largest ship stood a fairly pretty woman with a well-toned build. She seemed to be in her late twenties. Her medium-length hair was a dark sepia shade, almost black if observed from afar. She wore tight black pants ornamented with valuable silver badges and a platinum belt. She also sported a small black jacket as well as a short black corset under it that revealed her navel and the red tattoo on her belly. Her brownish-red eyes looked down upon the pitiful merchants of the smaller ship. She could not help but slip a satisfying grin. "How enjoyable...to once again watch people of the United Government taste the agony of the Exile," she muttered to herself. She snapped her fingers, and immediately, a young man of about the same age stepped forward. "What is it, Ieyasu? You've been waiting for a good amount of time..."
If one were to guess his nationality just by his name, the answer would be correct. His Japanese origins were evident from his thin eyes and his vanilla skin tone. On his neat black hair were streaks of orange. Despite the pouring rain, he wore his usual outfit consisting of a sleeveless black shirt, a large orange scarf, and tight black jeans. "Scarlette-"
The woman backhanded the man in the stomach, forcing him to flinch in pain. "That's Captain Bridgewater to you," she scolded in a strong English accent.
Her subordinate grumbled. The pirates were beginning to climb back onboard the enormous ship when the man began to speak once again. "Captain Bridgewater...Goldhart is about two days away from our current location. Should we stop by in order to renew our resources?"
Scarlette giggled sinisterly. "...It's been a while since we pissed them off...Eh, why not? Hahaha!" she spoke loudly. Suddenly, the pirate captain jumped down from the platform attached to the main mast and landed on both feet. "Scavenge every single piece of food! Every single trading good! Let not anything by wasted! Take from the rich!" The pirates cheered along in a frenzy. One by one, each of them made their way back to the ship with supplies, leaving the merchant ship with nothing except the traders and the ship itself.