Project M.I.S.T.: Chikyuu

Disclaimer: As I stated before, this story is totally original. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email or leave a review with the question and your email and I'll write back. Now we know how Yuuku and Kainashi met, what of dear Makura? How did she cross paths with these two?

Episode Twenty-Four: Part Two
What a Strange New World to See! The Origins of Kuroi-Sakaime!

The celebrations of the Winter Festival continued to echo downward toward the docks, carried on the shivering winds. Above in the sky, the moons intensified within their own blue waxing despite the rogue cloud rolling by and robbing traces of light. Yuuku and Kainashi looked up toward the skies, watching the clouds and the stars before looking back down to the seas stretching out before them. Yuuku pulled her hood back and shook her head a bit, feeling relieved to feel the breeze through her hair. Kainashi studied her for a moment which made the female samurai a little nervous at first, but she giggled in such a manner to both express it and show she was somewhat amused by the child-like fascination he displayed.

"What's so fascinating?" she asked.

"You really are from Ivohina?"

"You doubt that I am?"

"I was there once with the mercenaries . . .your people look very different from the rest of the Ten-syahe clan, especially in the shape of your eyes but . . ."

"You were there before the tragedy weren't you?"

"Yes, so . . .they said there were no survivors. How were you . . ."

"You're right in the fact that the village was wiped out and as were all of the people. The un-dead did it. As far as I know I'm the only remaining member of that village . . .though I'm still looking around, maybe to see if anyone had left the village around the time of the destruction."

"Any luck?"

"No . . ." She frowned and looked out to the ocean. "Until I find anyone, I'll just keep wandering."

"And in the meantime?"

"I'll find ways to be useful until then."

She nodded in response to her own statement, and Kainashi nodded in return. They had been talking for the past little while since their brief confrontation ended peacefully. Kainashi himself found he was starting to feel more comfortable around the female samurai, especially knowing she too was young and on her own in the world as well. While he was at the age where he started becoming attracted to females and though he felt little of such toward Yuuku, he sensed a kindred spirit in her that seemed to calm him. He felt less tense about his own situation in escaping to Fennikusu.

But suddenly the sounds of loud conversation caught the attention of the two, and Kainashi began feeling uneasy once more. They looked around, tracing the source to the stairs in the distance that Yuuku herself had been heading towards before their fight. The two ducked behind the large boxes to the side of them and Yuuku peeped out in between. She noticed two soldiers descending the stairs amidst their chatter and motioned for Kainashi to look as well. He gasped at the sight, and grabbed at the amplifier embedded into his weapon.

"Those are members of Zabuto's group!" he said telepathically. "They found me!"

"Don't be sure . . .they look too casual. But we should still hide."

"Where though?"

"It will have to be under the docks. It's the only place we can go without them seeing us."

"But I can't swim!"

"We have no choice!"

Despite the reluctant defiance, Yuuku managed to grab Kainashi by the arms and pull him over the side of the docks and into the icy waters before. Before they fell in however, she managed to enchant a spell around the two to provide extra heat against the cold temperatures. A few moments after diving in the two surfaced, though Yuuku had more ease in doing so than her new comrade. He struggled for a few moments before his female ally came to his aid and helped him to hold onto one of the docks support beams. As she motioned for him to try to remain as quiet as possible, she looked up and saw two sets of boots toward them on the surface. Kainashi trembled at the sight but Yuuku pressed her hand against his mouth and gestured for him to remain quiet once more.

"Aye . . .stop for a moment there friend."

Coming to a halt, one of the two soldiers turned around to face the other as he found himself looking out onto the seemingly endless oceanic scenery. The second soldier looked over and down the pier toward the ships docked in port. He studied the workers and the passengers disembarking before turning back to his comrade and shaking his head. They remained oblivious to the two young warriors hiding below their very positions.

"Think she may be over there? Doubt it but who knows . . ."

"Shes still a child, I doubt she would attempt escape by sea . . .if she is escaping . . ."

"Did they even say why the ex-ambassadors daughter disappeared?"

"No . . ."

"Wait a minute!"

Rei rushed around and grabbed the front of the grocery cart, causing Akkei to stop abruptly and look at her with a look of confusion. The three had long finished their meal in the food court, but as they had prepared to explore the mall further they received a call from Ranmyaku with a request for groceries immediately to cook the evening meal. Their trip cut short as a result, they opted to get the grocery shopping finished as soon as possible while still trying to have fun with the situation. Rei giggled and hopped onto the cart and continued to stare at her beloved, who decided to keep pushing the cart with her on it and act casual.

"So you two had JUST arrived in Yvitka that night? And you just went and fought each other?"

"Pretty much . . ." Akkei chuckled. "I still can't believe at times she pulled me into the water . . ."

"But more seriously what did the-"


The interruption in Rei's question prompted her and Akkei to turn their combined attention toward their orange haired companion Sora, as she appeared out of no where from one of the grocery aisles. She walked over to the two in a bit of a huffed up like state and made her way to Rei. She wrapped her arms around the waist of the petite female and began her wailing.

"All of the food here is processed and has evil unhealthy things inside! How am I supposed to survive on Earth without proper nutrition!?"

"Sora . . .quiet down about the Earth things okay? Remember our place!" Rei hissed quietly. "You're so vocal sometimes it's going to land us trouble!"

"I'm sorry but it's annoying me." Sora whined. "I'm tempted to being food from back home."

"Try to tolerate the food here for now . . .please?" Akkei asked.

"Oh fine . . ."

Sora puffed out her cheeks in disapproval which only prompted more giggles from Rei and Akkei. They continued down the aisle and the orange haired female wandered over to the meat produce and began reading over the various packaged goods. Rei gigged and continued to stand on the front of the cart as Akkei slowly pushed it along toward their mutual friends. They received a few odd glances from various patrons, and while they were aware the three knew it was with reason. After all, they were acting strange in a world that was generally familiar to those around them.

"Anyways . . .as I was saying . . ." Rei grasped the sides of the cart and leaned backwards slightly. "What were the guards saying while you guys were hiding?"

"Shh . . ." Yuuku held a finger to her lips as she noticed Kainashi struggling again despite her best efforts to support his form. She continued to speak telepathically. "Let us listen."

Above them, the soldiers remained where they stood upon the docks leading to both the shipyards and the stairs to the port city behind them. They had yet to notice the adolescent warriors hiding below them, and while Kainashi was fearful he was still a target by the mercenary group he had fled from, Yuuku suspected that there was another target. When a female was mentioned in their words, she motioned to the boy that he was safe for now, though to remain quiet. Above, the two soldiers continued their conversation.

"Her grandfather has assumed temporary authority over the ambassador position for Kasai . . .until a suitable replacement is found, correct?" the taller soldier inquired.

"Rumor has it, that it would have gone to the traitors daughter until he was executed. Now it is uncertain. They feel she may carry his renegade blood as well."

"That escaped lamb huh? She looks so innocent though."

"Have you seen her eyes? Blood red like those Rosuto demons despite her being Ten-syahe . . .then there are her powers . . .she is a spawn of Aku they say."

"Do you think she will try to flee to the royal city then? To finish what her father attempted?"

"Who knows . . .but maybe we should check the shipyards. Let us go."

The two soldiers nodded to each other in approval and flapped their wings rapidly, hoisting their bodies into the air until they found themselves elevated enough to glide away toward the various docked ships by the marina. Yuuku watched them fly off, having swam out from under the pier just enough to observe the soldiers while still keeping herself hidden. When she knew the coast was safe, she reached up to grab the wooden planks so she was able to pull herself up and out of the water. Upon doing so she reached back down and helped Kainashi out of the icy conditions and onto the platform. They sat there for a few moments, shivering from the frigid temperatures.

"That was c-c-c-close . . ." Yuuku said, hissing through her teeth."T-t-t-t-too close . . .Good job staying quiet though . . .s-s-s-sorry about the water but there was no other p-p-p-p-place."

"Yeah . . ." Kainashi coughed and attempted to run his hands together for warmth. "W-w-w-what do we do now?"

"I have a r-r-r-r-room at an inn up in the c-c-c-city . . .we can g-g-g-go there and recov-v-v-ver."

"S-s-s-sure . . ."

Though the freezing waters that clung to their clothes and skin were slowly sapping their strength away from their bodies, both Yuuku and Kainashi managed to pull themselves up off of the ground and force themselves to move across the docks toward the stairs leading up to the city above. Before they made their way forward however, they removed and discarded their drenched cloaks into the vast ocean waters. They crouched along the concrete banisters to stay out of sight. As they disappeared into the building clusters, the only traces they left behind of their short stay on the docks were tiny puddles of Senkyouden seawater leaving a trail to the stairs.

"And that's how you two met each other?"

"That's right!"

Sora nodded energetically and stood up temporarily, sticking her head outside of the bus shelter and looking down the street before breathing a sigh of frustration. She returned to her seat and looked over to her two companions and found that she couldn't help but giggle a bit to herself. She saw Rei sitting in Akkei's lap and snuggling as close as she possibly could to him. What amused her more was the fact that Akkei has opened his oversized jacket and had wrapped it around her. Given the size of the garment and her already small frame, he had been able to fasten the jacket up completely with her inside. While Sora found it amusing, at the same time she found it impressive.

"Warm enough Rei?" she asked jokingly.

"More so than earlier . . ." she replied, rubbing an eye with her gloved hands. "Getting a little tired though . . ."

"You haven't eaten enough today love, its understandable." Akkei kissed her forehead and gave her a small squeeze. "Just worry about staying warm."

"Yeah . . .but back to the story though, I still can't believe that we were all in the city at the same time."

"I know," answered Sora. "The fact you were there too was amazing in itself."

"What were you doing anyway? To have us all meet the way we initially did?"

"Let's see . . ." Rei took a few moments to think it over before resting her head against Akkei's shoulder. "Grandpa was escorting me at the time because I semi-inherited my father's position as ambassador . . .though he had the final say because I was not quite the age of consent. He had forbade me from going out on my own, as he was very strict, but being alone was what I wanted. I was still dealing with Papa's death even after the time that had passed since it occured. . .so I ran off to the festival by myself . . ."

A lone feminine figure sat at the edge of the circular stone structure, looking up at the carved figure of a large and elegant serpent like creature with blood colored eyes. Normally the magnificent looking statue would release water into the air and fall into the sunken area surrounding the statue and enclosed by the stone barrier. However the water was now frozen and no fresh liquid emitted from the holes throughout the statue because of the winter months.

Makura turned her attention to the festivities all around her and watched as families traveled together to various vendors and performers. She saw small children laughing and running around their parents with glee in the snowy streets and she felt her heart getting heavy with sadness. She knew she could never have again what she was seeing before her and it depressed her. Her frown was well hidden away however by the thick black scarf she had wrapped around her mouth and nose, revealing only her red eyes as they darted around the area.

Her thoughts returned to earlier that evening when she had first arrived to the city of Yvtika. It was certainly not her first time visiting the port city in general, but it was her visit not only during the Luhnas ka Syk'elle Festival but it was her first visit as acting Ambassador of her homeland. She knew though that it was only by title and that all decisions a normal ambassador would make were handled by her grandfather. She knew that he would rather not deal with such important manners but he also knew his duty to the family. It had been this way since the previous ambassador, his son and the father of Makura, was executed for the crime of high treason a year before.

While she found herself alone, she knew it was not by anyone's wishes. She recalled to earlier that evening when her grandfather had forbade her from wandering off on her own without any supervision or protection from the soldiers that accompanied the two. She knew he only wanted her to be safe, but that evening she felt the need to be alone to grieve for her lost father. She knew she was not completely over his loss, and having no one closer to her age to share her views on the matter with, made coping with his death harder on her than anyone. It didn't help either that she didn't even have a mother to turn to in such difficult times, never knowing the woman who gave her life. Her father had told her that she passed away when she was very small. She knew that because of those reasons that she found herself sneaking out of the inn they had taken up occupancy in to wander alone at the festival.

Her thoughts were scattered about as a soft object suddenly struck the side of her arm, and she found herself returning to reality. She looked around briefly and managed to spot a pigtailed little girl, wearing a dress made for the cold and snowy weather. She had a bundle of snow in her hands and was slowly shaping it into a round sphere. She giggled as she went on with her mischievous ways and Makura couldn't help but smile at her antics, despite the facial gesture being hidden away. The small child smiled and slowly trotted over to the young female, offering the snowball to her with her tiny hands.

"Wanna play?" she asked, frowning as the pre-teen shook her head in disagreement. "Aww . . .please?"

The little girl reached out and tugged at Makura's cloak, accidentally disturbing it and causing the hood to fall back slightly to reveal what was visible of her face. The child looked up to see the pair of blood red eyes staring back at her and immediately her little legs began to shake in fear. She stumbled backwards and turned around as quickly as possible to run away from the young female, who only watched in shock. However, that feeling soon turned to depression as she heard the little girl's pleas to her parents.

"There's a demon eyed lady at the fountain!"

Makura turned away immediately and lifted her legs over so she was sitting facing the inside of the fountain. She looked up at the frozen statue and further still until she was gazing up at the clear and star filled sky. After some contemplation, she spins around again and steps up to her feet. Her hands pulled the warm cloak tighter and she began walking in the opposite direction of that which the small child had fled toward previously. She still felt the need to be alone with her thoughts and it resulted in her still not wanting to return to the inn where her grandfather awaited her.

She attempted to make her way to the marketplace, unaware she was going in the complete opposite direction. As she entered the alleyway and its darkened surroundings, she was also oblivious to the fact that she was soon followed by a trio of winged men wearing clothing that concealed their faces as well in various ways. Decorated in pouches and daggers lining their pant legs, it was clear to anyone that they were bandits. She continued wandering forth until she felt something was amiss, and upon turning around she met the three face to faces. One of them stepped forward, arms crossed over his broad chest. His eyes reflected a sinister gleam.

"Hey little girl, where are you going alone?" he inquired.

"It is not a good idea for children to wander the city alone." one of his accomplices added.

"Why not come with us? We will take good care of you." The third commented, chuckling quietly to himself.

Makura simply stared at the three and found herself slowly stepping backwards to distance herself from the three bandits. To her dismay, she saw that as she stepped backwards the three continued to approach her and keep the gap the same between the two parties. She felt herself beginning to panic, knowing very well she had immediately regretted one choice she had made in wandering off by herself. It wasnt so much her being alone or wandering around an unfamiliar area; it was leaving her scythe back at the inn. She knew that within the city she could not raise any un-dead because of the laws in place within the borders on the Terraia she found herself in.

"What are you waiting for, you bitch?! Do as I say if you know what's good for you!"

With no other options available to her, Makura turned on her heels to beginning running away from the bandits in the opposite direction of their location. She cried out as she dashed off, but looked to see that the three chasing after her without hesitation. She was not sure what she could do. A foreign city enveloped all around her with no clue to what routes were safe and which lead to more potential strife, she know that all she could do was keep ahead of her pursuers until she was able to recognize the inn where both her belongings and mode of defense rested.

"That feels better . . ."

Pulling off his shirt and tossing it into a pile that contained the rest of his soaked clothing, he fell backwards to lie on the bed where there was a towel resting near the pillow. He picked it up and lifted his head slightly to slide it underneath. He enveloped his damp hair within the towel before rubbing it vigorously in hopes of drying it out sooner. Yuuku had already changed into a dryer outfit and was in the process of brushing the wild knots out of her locks nearby. Kainashi paused for a moment and sat up, realizing he was not only shirtless, but it was in front of a female he barely knew. He looked away from her and blushed slightly.

"Aren't you embarrassed?" he asked, continuing to avert his gaze.

"About what?" she replied.

"I mean . . .I am male and you barely know me. Do most females not feel ashamed looking at the exposed body of a man they know nothing about?"

"Not really, at least with me . . ." She smiled and looked toward Kainashi. "Ivohinian's are taught that shame clouds the senses when everything is natural in life. There's no dishonor in intentionally or unintentionally looking upon the bare form of another Senkyouden."

"I wish I could believe that . . ."

Feeling better about her level of comfort around himself, Kainashi shifted around and laid back down across the bed he had claimed as his own. He was thankful Yuuku had already booked a room before arriving to the city, and that she was willing to pay the extra funds to obtain a room with a second cot. As he rested calmly for the first time in as long as he could remember, he allowed his palms to be completely exposed. Yuuku watched his actions, but the attention of her gaze was drawn toward the blood red insignia on the left palm and its unfamiliarity to her. Kainashi felt her stare and looking over, tracing it to his hand which he promptly pulled away. She frowned at the sudden action.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't like people looking at that . . ."

"Why is that?" Yuuku blinked out of confusion. "Were you a traded slave? A work slave?"

"You really don't know what it means?"

"Not specifically, no. It's nothing I've ever gazed upon of that particular pattern."

"Well . . ." Kainashi signed deeply and revealed the markings to Yuuku once more. "It's a slave brand of the Vicious specifically, the mercenary group that Zabuto leads."

"The man you spoke of earlier?"

"Yes." He nodded slightly. "They prefer to use their own brand so as not to lose their slaves . . ."

"That makes sense." Yuuku leaned forward toward him. "What sort of slave were you . . ."

"I . . .they did with me as they pleased . . .to satisfy their . . .urges . . .as they desired . . ."

Yuuku was not sure at first what he meant until he spoke of urges, and it hit her like a slab of rock to the head. She did not want to outright say exactly what he was implying; Kainashi was a sex slave and on the run from the Vicious. She finally understood the true depth of his fears she was she he felt during their initial meeting and his pleas in their battle. While she was trained not to feel shame, Yuuku felt a pang of guilt and wondered to herself if she had forced the subject and thus, forced his revelation. She decided to leave the subject of his past slavery experience with the intention of furthering her efforts to get to know the new person.

"So . . ." she began to ask.


"Do you remember anything before . . ."

"Not really . . .I have amnesia since before they found me then . . .I just remember waking up on a beach alone . . .and I was captured not too long after . . ."

"Oh . . ." Yuuku coughed and frowned, fidgeting slightly. "Sorry . . .I guess I'm not sure how one would follow up after the whole taboo in general . . ."

"I've never mentioned that subject to anyone so I wouldn't know either. I didn't mean for the atmosphere to become awkward . . ."

"It's not your fault . . ."

Before another word could be spoken, both Yuuku and Kainashis attentions were grabbed forcefully by a loud and shrill scream. They looked toward each other, uncertain of what to think at first. Another shrill cry of distress rang through the air followed by maniacal laughter. The two rushed to the window toward where the sounds originated from, to not only see a cloaked figure running fearfully through the alleyways between the households and shops in the distance. Not too far behind her was the source of the ill-willed amusement of three men wielding weapons and giving pursuit of the figure at the forefront. They continued to give chase toward the location of the inn with no sign of giving up on capturing their prey.

"Someone help me!" the cloaked figure, revealed to be Makura, cried out as she hurried onward.

"Kainashi!" Yuuku turned toward and ran past her new male companion. There was a look of distress on her face as she went for her weapon. "I'm going to help her. If you want to stay back, feel free to do so."

"You cant stand up to three burly-looking bandits like those!" He rushed back toward his cot and pulled on a dry set of clothing. "I'm coming to help! I still owe you from the trouble I caused you earlier!"

"Are you sure you can handle them? You admitted yourself you aren't the best fighter."

""I won't leave a woman to her own devices when I am more than able to help. It's my sense of chivalry."

"All right, so long as it is your choice you do your best to protect the girl. We go through the window!"

Unsheathing her blade, Yuuku raced back to the window with Kainashi right behind her .She wasted little time in kicking the panes open and propelling herself into the cold environment outside toward the chase in pursuit below. Just as Makura, the cloaked figure, ran past the location of the opened window Yuuku lashed out and attacked the head bandit with a swift drive with the foot to his head. She drew out her blade before landing on the snowy ground and held it forward in defense as the other two bandits stopped to assist their companion.

Makura had stumbled upon turning around to see what the sudden commotion was and as a result she had tripped over herself. She cried out from her falter as she began falling to the snow-covered soil before her. However, before she could hit the ground however, she felt a pair of arms catch her form. Her hood fell away to reveal her full face and green hair. She looked up to see the face of Kainashi, her savior, looking down to her before her helped her onto her feet.

"Are you okay, Miss?"

"Yes . . .thank you." She stepped back from Kainashi put of politeness. "I am grateful!"

"You need not worry . . ." Kainashis attention returned to where Yuuku was facing off against their enemies. "We heard you and we'll both make sure you are safe until they retreat."

Yuuku continued to keep a close eyes on the three bandits before her, as the two left standing assisted their ally to his feet. Her stance was strong and tense like a coiled spring, ready to strike forth and attack. Some more swears and grumbled anger escaped their mouths before the three charged onward, weapons poised and aimed at the orange haired samurai woman. Yuuku leapt up into the air and threw her arms to her sides, conjuring her lightning abilities. Upon its peak she lashed out and threw bolts of electricity toward her enemies as they turned around to look above toward her location. While one bandit was struck down with ease, the other two managed to evade her strikes with mediocre ability. She landed on the ground just as one came at her with a trident style lance, and she reacted quickly by flipping backwards to dodge. The tips of the weapon flew over her, just within mere inches of striking her form before she returned to stand upon her feet.

She was suddenly cut off as the bandit with the trident lashed out his weapon, causing Yuuku to trip and collide hard with the earth below. Kainashi witnessed the act and suddenly panicked at what else he happened to gaze upon in the scene before him. He looked to the sheath of the fallen brigand to find it decorated with traces of gold and sapphire, forming numerous Gothic style patterns similar to the slave brand embedded into his own palm. He became fearful and paranoid; it was the mark of the mercenaries that belonged to Vicious. Before he could react further he suddenly felt a strike to his back, sending him downward as well. He groaned and rolled over onto his back, hearing a sudden cry of shock as he did so and he looked up only to have a foot come down on his stomach to hold him in place. A hiss of pain escaped Kainashi's lips as he looked at the bandit, seeing that one of the large arms he possessed was wrapped around the upper body of Makura. Her screams and cries to be released echoed through the alley, though no one else was around to hear them.

"Kainashi eh? The little sex toy that escaped us last month? I gotta say, fancy meetin' you in this city." He chuckled and pressed his foot down tighter upon his chest. "Zabuto really misses those wonderful little tricks you know how to do, if you didn't know."

"Hey Boss," The now identified leader looked to his two comrades. The trident wielder now had Yuuku held hostage by her arms in such a way that she could not break free. She continued to squirm nonetheless. "What do we do 'ere with 'dis lightning girl?"

"Hmm . . .suppose well bring her too. Zabuto wanted this 'ere pretty lady for the bounty on her head. Seems she's the daughter of the traitorous, now dead ambassador who tried to kill the missing princess. Im sure he'd love to have his pet back and a new toy to play with too. He'll decide what to do."

"Right on, Boss. Shall we use the powder?"

"Be my guest."

All three of them chuckled in eerie unison, as the unoccupied mercenary pulled out a small pouch from within his belongings. He opened it up and reached inside, pulling out a handful of sparkling, silver powder. Proceeding first toward the captive Yuuku, the powder was sprinkled onto her face as she struggled but it managed to land around her eyes and nostrils. She flailed further but suddenly and without warning, her eyes widened in bewilderment. Not too long after that they began to close and her body relaxed more and more until her entire form fell limp in her captor's arms. Kainashi cried out to her as the mercenary walked toward him with the same powder, urging the orange haired samurai to awaken. His pleas were to no avail, as the same powder was sprinkled onto his face. He too became fatigued and his vision became more faded and darker with each passing moment. Before he blacked out completely, he witnessed the unknown female also being laced with the substance before he finally succumbed.

Slowly coming to, Yuuku groaned and slowly reached up to rub her now throbbing head. However to her dismay, her wrist stopped short of its intended path and a loud clattering sound followed after that. She looked up to the source and found that both her limps were locked in place by shackles connected to short chains, resulting in her arms being suspended vertically. A groan came out representing both disorientation and frustration, and she allowed her body to fall limp once more. She was unsure as to where she was or where being held prisoner, but upon looking around her surroundings she discovered that she was alone. Nearby her location, she could hear faint sounds of conversation which she assumed to either be guards or possibly more mercenaries affiliated with Vicious. She had no evidence of the latter but her conclusion made the most sense based on the earlier events that had occurred.

"Hey!" She called out, rattling her chains on purpose. "Who's out there?! Where the hell am I?!"

"Shut yer trap woman!" Yuuku growled as one of the three mercenaries from earlier came into view. "You'll get your turn when Zabuto is done with his business."

"You'll be sorry if you lay a damn hand on me!"

"We'll see then, won't we girlie?"

Yuuku grumbled to herself and relaxed her form once more, as the mercenary she rudely bantered with wandered off to his own devices. She looked around at her surroundings again in hopes it would give her even a vague idea as to the nature of her prison. To her knowledge, the environment seemed to be that of a run-of-the-mill basement of a large home turned into a holding pen of sorts. She saw other sets of chains and bindings lining other walls to indicate that the area was able to house a small number of prisoners beyond her own self. The conversations she could vaguely hear before had slowly disappeared from her range of hearing, followed by the sound of a door slamming shut.

"Damn bastards . . ."

Finding herself within the midst of solitude once more, Yuuku found herself worrying about her new ally and his current condition. Given his past with the group that had captured them, she was especially concerned with what fate awaited Kainashi at the hands of those who had put him through all of the molestation and filthy deeds that a sex slave would be put through in his past. She also, for reasons unknown to her, began to worry about the girl they had attempted to save from those who pursued her. Yuuku recalled that the mercenaries spoke of the girl being the daughter of the ambassador that tried to kill the Twilight when she was little. As a result, she also remembered that it led into the royal figurehead being put into secretive hiding until she was of age. The samurai wondered what plans were in store for the girl, herself and Kainashi as everything around her became quiet.

"It's been a while. . ."

Rei looked around as she, Akkei and Sora stood at the corner of the street waiting for the next bus to arrive. Nearby and out of the corner of her peripheral vision, she glanced occasionally at a group of tow trucker operators. They were working to get the bus they three had previously been riding on ready to be taken away to the repair garage after an engine breakdown mid-route. They had nothing left to do, as Rei had already called Ranmyaku to indicate the reasons for their late arrival. They also noticed that they were the only three left on the bus when it had broke down, giving them that sense of freedom in their ensuing recollection of their memories.

"Guess we have to wait a little longer . . ." said Rei, looking up at the cloudy sky above.

"Yeah . . .but we could keep reminiscing if you both want." Akkei crossed his arms across his chest. "It's actually nice looking back on a memory that shaped our little trio . . ."

"One thing I can't remember too well . . ." Sora rubbed the left side of her neck. "Rei, what happened when you were being held captive by Zabuto?"

"Well . . .you were there too . . ."

"Yeah, well . . .I have a hard time remembering that part cause they had me captive separately. And Kainashi was with you too, right?"

"Yes . . ." Akkei frowned and looked downward toward the sidewalk. "It was certainly an unpleasant experience. . ."

"What do you want with me?!" Makura struggled within her metal restrains aggressively. "Let me go, now!"

The sounds of someone taking pity echoed through the room Makura found herself captive in, dangling in mid-air and wrapped completely in tight and restrictive chains. Eventually fatigue washed over her body and she went limp against her will, panting loudly from her earlier attempts to free herself within her confinement. Slowly swinging back and forth like a living pendulum, the lime haired female could only look around at her surroundings once more as she light spun around. As she involuntarily turned about she looked to see a middle aged man draped in a tattered tunic, sitting upon a collective pile of finely crafted cushions. His mohawk-esque style of hair was that of a wisteria shade of purple, though faint traces of silver could be seen to signify his age. Dark, cobalt colored eyes looked toward her with amusement as he cleaned the blade of a knife held in his hand. She had been introduced to the man before her, discovering he was the Zabuto that led the Vicious.

Makura continued to ever so slowly rotate, her attention now shifted toward the other individual in the room she recognized who was chained to a nearby wall; Kainashi. He had been silent for the longest time and his face gazed toward the ground without any sign of change since being placed there. It made her wonder if he was still slumbering from before. Though neither had been touched or disturbed since their incarceration, she wondered what was to become of them. She also found herself wondering as to the fate of the girl who had attempted to fight the minions of Zabuto earlier in the alley, and hoped that nothing terrible had become of her. She herself, still felt a little groggy after only awakening from her forced slumber not too long ago.

"Do not worry little Makura . . ." Zabuto climbed to his feet and chuckled, tossing his dagger into the air and catching it. "Not a little hair will be harmed on your head, if all goes well."

"How do you know my name?" She glared at the man before her with her angry, blood red eyes. "And if what goes well? Tell me what you plan on doing!"

"Oh my, you are very demanding . . .do not ambassadors and their kin know that demands do not make peace?" He smiled and proceeded to walk toward her. "It is why I am glad I was not raised in such a manner. The life of a mercenary is beautiful. I work for and provide to the highest bidder and I feel no guilt for my actions, be they for good or to do harm. And of course, it never hurts to have a few side hobbies."

Zabuto continued to chuckle as he stopped in front of Makura's dangling form and brought the tip of his dagger to his lips. Sounds of contemplative thought escaped his mouth as he continued to keep his eye of the petite figure, which only made her more nervous as to what he had said before about things going well. Without warning he brought the blade up and slashed the air right in front of her face. Makura cried out and flinched, closing her eyes tightly in hopes she had not been struck by the weapon. To her fulfilled hopes she soon realized that she had not been hit or harmed by any means, and she opened her eyes again to face her captor.

"Jumpy little lady, aren't you?" He chuckled again which only prompted a low growl of disgust from Makura. "I know your name because you are the daughter of the traitorous Hossuru, the man who led the treasonous band of Senkyoudens to attempt and kill Princess Hinote all those years ago. Do you have any idea how many people would love to lay their hands on his body and just do unspeakable things out of the hatred they have for him, if he were alive? Imagine . . .if they had a similar opportunity."

"Don't talk about my father . . ."

"What if those same people, full of disgust for the man mind you . . .had the rarest opportunity to take that rage out on his next of kin? It would be very similar to that of taking revenge on him directly. The same blood flows does it not? And you were his only offspring . . ."

"You have no right to that proposition . . ."

"I am but a mercenary. I live for money, and this is how I make it. And of course . . .there are those other two . . ."

Taking his dagger, Zabuto sheathed it within a leather case attached to a belt that looped his chest from one shoulder to the opposite waist side. He brought a hand to Makura's faced and caressed her cheeks with his fingertips before walking away. She watched as he approached and knelt down in front of the unconscious form of Kainashi. He reached out and lifted his chin upward, revealing the young man's face as he slowly began to awaken from his dormant state. Zabuto chuckled and leaned in closer to the maroon-haired lad to start forcefully kissing at the nape of his neck. Kainashi flinched and gasped at the action. He pulled away, leaving a mark where he performed the lust-like activity.

"This boy here was always my favorite toy since we took him into our ranks." He licked at Kainashi's ear before grabbed his cheeks in his hand. "But he has attempted escape too many times now that I grow tired of him. He too will be sold for his . . .abilities. I think I'll move on to that Ivohinian woman. I'm sure she will be a wonderful little treat, and if I grow tired of her in the future I can also sell her off. There surely will be a hefty price fetched to learn she is the last of those noble samurai, when that times comes."

Kainashi's face was then released, though thrown to the side aggressively and thus caused his head to lightly bounce toward the original position before resting. Zabuto stood up right once more and proceeded over to the entrance of the room, walking past Makura but paying no heed to her. She watched as he arrived to the doors and opened them before sticking his out into the neighboring room they connected to. Unsure at first of what words he was speaking to those on the other side, she could have sworn he said something similar to that of demanding the presence of the "Ivohinian woman" immediately. After watching Zabuto step outside of the room with the doors being closed behind him, Makura turned her attention to Kainashi.

"He always does that to you, doesn't he?" She asked. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah . . ." He looked over to the lime haired female and smiled slightly. "I've gotten used to that aspect of my life . . ."

"So what makes you scared of him then, if not that?"

"I just become fearful when I have my freedom and I'm caught . . .they punish severely."

"I see . . .I'm sorry for your suffering . . ."

"No need . . .are you okay?"

"I think so but . . ." Makura frowned and looked down at the ground. "Will he really try to sell us?"

"Yes . . .If he sees it as the most beneficial means then he will take it. That's how he's become as infamous as he currently is."

"And he'll do to the other girl what he's done to you?"

"Again . . .if that's his desire than nothing will stop him . . ."

The previous statement brought concern to Makura as she continued to dangle in her captive state. She looked away from Kainashi and to the door leading out of their room in fear of his return and his actions to come. Kainashi also looked toward the door, and to Makura as well. He couldn't quite put his finger on it but he felt strong feelings toward the matter of her safety that almost wanted to draw him closer to her, if the situation allowed for it. Nonetheless, all the two could do it seemed was wait for Zabuto's inevitable return.

To Be Continued . . .