"Ouch! You bastard! What the fuck is your problem?"
"Huh?" gasped Genkage, thinking the metal he punched was talking to him. He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion and looked down. When he saw what it was, he quickly fell backwards from his crouching position in shock, "Keiji?"
"Yeah, it's me," Keiji replied, looking up angrily from inside the hole in the ground, "And you're lucky I'm here."
"What the hell's that supposed to mean?" Genkage snapped back.
"You really had my back when we were fighting that psycho back there," Keiji said, keeping a calm and cool tone despite his obvious anger over being left behind, "I mean, when you want to help someone, the best way is obviously to run away and leave them to die, right?"
"Quityerbitchin'," said Genkage, ignoring Keiji's displeasure. He felt terrible for what he had done, but he wouldn't let Keiji see that. It would make him look and feel weak, and this was not the time for that.
"My parents would tell me to pray to God to save you from your stupidity and ignorance, but I have more respect for myself than that," said Keiji in a feeble attempt to end their argument. He was done talking, but his angry glare said more than enough words to get his point across.
"I don't understand it when you talk like that, so screw you and let's get to work. No point in saying shit if I don't get it and besides, there's more important things to fight over," said Genkage, quickly changing the topic.
Keiji nodded, ending his rare moment of actually voicing his opinions.
"Before I was so rudely interrupted," His hand brushed over his short, bristly brown hair in an attempt to soothe his recently acquired headache. He had paused slightly during his sentence so Genkage could get the point. Then, just as Genkage was about to reply angrily to the subtle insult, Keiji continued, "I was hiding in this ventilation shaft or whatever this thing is. All I know is that it's a pipe system for something underground here."
"So all we gotta do is look around for where No-Name is, right?"
"Right, this is assuming there's an opening in the vent in the room where No-Name's being held," asserted Keiji.
The boys nodded silently to each other, signaling that they both understood and agreed on what to do.
After Keiji moved out of the way, Genkage hopped into the small opening he had created.
The shaft was expansive; it stretched on into total darkness. It's sides were round and ribbed with a small notch marking each separate section that was welded to the next. The round tunnel's radius was a claustrophobic's worst nightmare, it's radius merely about one foot. Whatever purpose it served, it was certain that it was not for human travel.
The boys proceeded to sneak around inside of the pipe, looking for an opening in the vent.
Once they had gone far enough away from the hole Genkage created, the hole was almost pitch black- an opening would be easy to see. Suddenly, a loud buzzing sound rang through the air and the pipe shook violently, throwing the boys against the narrow walls.
"What was that?" asked Genkage, quickly regaining his composure.
Keiji assumed it was a rhetorical question and didn't reply. However, he wondered the same thing himself.
After some more crawling, the unfortunate teens discovered that they, in fact, were in a heating vent. And heating vents get hot. The metal began to burn their knees and hands and the air was so stuffy and hot it was unbearable. The darkness was the cherry on top of the cake, giving them no conception of distance traveled or distance left to travel. The boys decided to crawl on in spite of the heat until they found an exit.
Genkage ripped off his white wife beater and whispered, "I think we're above where they're keeping No-Name."
"What makes you think that?" asked Keiji, slightly irritable from the heat.
"I dunno, I can just feel it," he said, "plus I think I'm gonna fuckin' explode because of the heat if I don't get out of here soon, anyways."
"I don't think that's a good enough reason or even a remotely good ide-"
Genkage prepared an Ichigeki miracle, temporarily illuminating the vent with a sky blue hue. He then opened his palm and spread his fingers wide, jamming them through the relatively thin metal in the bottom of the vent. He then clamped his fingers down and ripped out a large sheet of metal. He sighed in relief as the cool air rushed in. Mortified, Keiji backed further into the tunnel.
"You idiot! What if there're people down there?" he whisper-shouted.
Genkage shrugged his shoulders and jumped through the hole, landing on a pure white, balmy, tiled floor. Squatting a little from the impact, he regained his balance and gave Keiji a "thumbs up" signal. Keiji shook his head in disapproval and crawled away through the vent as quietly as possible. Genkage snickered to himself at Keiji's reaction before whispering to himself, "Five Star Miracle."
Getting his important goal back in mind, Genkage tiptoed forward softly. Before his foot could even touch the ground, an alarm sounded and several men, who were apparently guards, sealed off the exits of the room. Their movements were synchronized and their stances were professional looking, leading Genkage to believe that they were well trained. They wore white suits reminiscent of nuclear power plant workers and their faces were covered with gas masks. The men also carried an unknown type of gun.
"Goddammit," muttered the foul-mouthed Genkage, slapping his forhead in embarrassment.
The evil eye began to spin wildly, sending information directly to Genkage's brain.
"Chameleon Skin Miracle," announced the eye, "render yourself invisible for a short amount of time."
Genkage smiled to himself as the eye showed him not only what the miracle did and what it was called, but how to do it, as well. He couldn't help but let out a small chuckle as he vanished in front of the guard's eyes.
"Now, which way to go?" he thought to himself. He spotted the door with the largest amount of guards in front of it and waited for them to leave their post to investigate his mysterious disappearance. He scurried over to it and hopped through the crack in the slightly open door, hoping he didn't alert the powerful looking men pursuing him. He closed the door behind him quietly and prayed to several deities, including made up ones, for his safety.
When he entered, he saw a large, spherical glass structure suspended in mid-air with a female figure inside. He inched closer until he was near enough to confirm his suspicions. Shocked by his discovery, he tapped lightly on the glass- he was still unsure if he was really seeing what he thought he was and he hoped that he was wrong.
"Who's there?" panicked No-Name, startled in her glass prison, "What else do you want from me?"
"It's me, Genkage," whispered the boy before explaining, "I'm invisible. I came to get you."
"Oh God," she started, "Listen, I've been tricking you guys all along. Just leave, okay? Maybe we'll see each other again and I can explain then, but just go for now."
"What are you talking about?" he responded, puzzled by her rude response. He was expecting her to be excited and jump into his arms or something.
"If I told you, you wouldn't have stayed with me all that time," she said, letting a weak smile form on her lips, "I had a really good time with you guys."
"Seriously, start making sense or I really will leave you," threatened Genkage, half joking. Her serious tone scared him and he was hoping she would lighten up if he joked around himself.
"I don't know what happened, but the pink haired guy got me when I was little. I was at the beach with my parents and I wandered into the woods," she said, looking down at the ground to break eye contact with Genkage.
"So you're one of those-," he accused innocently.
"No!" she protested, "At least I don't think so. I'm different… aren't I?"
"Yeah, don't worry about it," he said, closing his eyes in frustration and emotion.
"No, I can't help it," she quickly answered, a stern look appearing on her face, "Please, do me a favor and kill me now."
"What?" accidentally shouted a stunned Genkage. As if No-Name couldn't hear him before, he repeated himself, this time whispering, "What?"
"I've thought about this for a long time, you won't understand now, but it's better in the long run. Now do it," she demanded.
"No," refused the boy, clenching his fists and grinding his teeth. He trusted his friend's decision, but he couldn't put himself up to the challenge.
"Do it now or I'll scream," she warned. She softly added, "I'm sorry."
"I'm not doing it, I don't care what happens," he persisted.
"Look, I'm convinced this body isn't real. Like those machines from before," she explained, "If you kill me, it'll release my soul and I can find a real body."
"So I'll see you again?" asked Genkage, defeated.
"Yeah," she answered, with an all too false sense of security. Unable to keep her poise, she gave in and began to cry, "I hope so at least."
Genkage, still invisible, drew his arm back away from the glass and tensed his muscles. He thrust his fist forward toward the girl, who closed her eyes and grimaced. Genkage, himself, was fighting back tears as he moved to end his new friend's life.
"No!" he roared, stopping his attack a fraction of a second soon enough to avoid serious damage to No-Name from flying glass, "I CAN'T!"
His invisibility abruptly disappeared, and the once intimidating teen was revealed to be on his knees, punching the ground in frustration. He buried his face in his hands, looking up only when No-Name began to speak.
"It's hard for me to say goodbye, too," she admitted, "I don't really want this, but it's for the better. Because if he ge-"
Genkage's mouth dropped in horror as blood splashed onto his face through where there was once glass. A pink, mane-like object surrounded a pale man's neck as he emerged from behind the dead girl. The man began to giggle, "Don't worry, I'm sure she didn't have time to feel it."
Without speaking or moving a muscle, Genkage lifted his body to his feet with pressure from his now dark blue, pulsating miracle aura. His arms trembled with rage as he clenched his fists together even more tightly than before.
"Enemy Analysis: Physical Class 'C-' Spiritual Class: 'X'. Overall Class: 'AA' Advisory: 'Stay Away At All Costs. Certain Death Nearly Guaranteed If Encountered' "
Genkage violently shook his head to the side once to clear it of the annoying robotic female voice. He didn't care about the obvious danger. He decided to go all out before whatever little analytical skills he had began to manifest themselves and keep him from jumping into a dangerous situation.
He leapt into the air towards the strange man and let out a flurry of high-powered blows aimed at his face and upper body. As he released his anger, he surrounded his pummeling fists with glowing blue energy, turning the attack into a Hyaku-Geki Miracle. Each of his one hundred punches had enough power to virtually vaporize a hole into a brick wall. This time, instead of all over, he punched him only in the chest, rapidly connecting vicious blows to the same two spots, concentrating the damage.
After the hundredth blow of the hundred shot miracle, the Dr. Seuss-esque creature slid back several feet without lifting his feet from the ground. Looking like he was ready to give a final blow as well, he lunged forward and aimed a punch at Genkage's head.
The punch was easily avoided when Genkage ducked under his arm. He quickly followed this dodge with an uppercut to the bottom of the elbow, snapping the man's arm in two from below with an Ichigeki Miracle. Without hesitation, Genkage knelt down and swung his leg 360 degrees, tripping his victim and then letting out another volley of energy charged blows before the body could even reach the ground.
After the obviously dead man hit the ground, Genkage mounted him and continued to batter the corpse until it was quite literally a bloody mess. If it weren't for the huffing and puffing from his mindless physical exertion, he would have continued to pulverize what used to resemble a human until there was nothing left.
Just as he was about the wipe the sweat form his brow, the same man he just exacted his revenge upon tapped him on the shoulder. His eyes had no whites- they were completely black, as was his glossy lipstick. He nodded his head in the bloody mess's direction and put his hands behind his back to prove that he was not going to hurt Genkage while he wasn't looking.
The remains were actually No-Name's. The man had created an illusion, causing Genkage to believe that he was fighting him when he was only destroying what he came all this way to save.
Chuckling, the man swayed his index finger from side to side, mocking Genkage by treating him like a child.
Suddenly, he appeared in front of Genkage, an open palm held inches from his face. Genkage was blown backwards by an attack that he was sure hadn't connected. This unsettling new scenario was starting to shake his confidence, ruining the blind rage that had given him so much power.
Looking up, Genkage could see that his enemy, for the first time since he had been seen, was not smiling. The now angry mute lifted his hand in a flowing motion, flicked his wrist back and snapped his fingers, instantly splitting himself into eight very different looking bodies, seven of which merged back together and disappeared in a black flash.
"Not amused, daddy-o," snickered the new challenger, "I'm only going to need one eighth of my abilities to defeat you."
Genkage's eye registered this new, more talkative form as an overall C- class with a suggestion of 'Avoid'.
Tired and scared, Genkage was reluctant to throw the first blow and assumed a defensive position. The clone launched himself into the air directly above Genkage, who naturally looked upwards right in time for a shower of iron filings to fall into his eyes from a pouch.
"You bastard!" screamed Genkage, clutching his eyes and rolling on the floor in pain. His body twitched slightly as his opponent mercilessly kicked his blinded form.
"I don't really have 1/8th of his strength, you know," he said, "I'm just the Cunning aspect of his personality."
Genkage didn't respond.
"To prove I'm not such a bad guy as my brothers or… him," he announced grandly, "I will tell you ahead of time that Fear is the most powerful of all of us."
Forcing his eyes open, Genkage emitted a slight bit of his aura from his eyes, expelling enough of the sharp metal to be able to see again. At the exact moment he was able to make out basic shapes through the blur, he saw four objects that appeared to be knives slicing through the air toward his hands and legs. In his impaired state, it was impossible for him to dodge them. They pierced his two hands and his shins, simultaneously lifting him in the air and pinning him to a wall from the sheer force of the throw. The knives, long, curved, and durable, held him fast to the wall with no hope of escape.
"These knives can't break, ya know," he bragged, with a swagger reminiscent of a silver-tongued 20's era vagabond, "They're a physical manifestation of my aura."
Genkage rubbed his eyes some more until he could see somewhat clearly enough to know what his opponent looked like. He had messy, short blonde hair that was covered by a tall black and white checkered top hat. The hat was accompanied by a matching suit and walking stick. To Genkage's dismay, the bottom of the walking stick fell to the ground with a loud clack that reverberated through the open room. What was now in Cunning's hand was a screw-like javelin, and he was prepared to release it at full force.
"I don't know why, but I kind of like you," said Cunning, winking at the frightened boy, "I'll explain how you will die before I kill you."
No-Name's and his blood dripped down Genkage's face, ran down the bridge of his nose, then dripped into his mouth. He spat it on the floor.
"I call this the Cunning Screwjob, my boy," he explained, "This here dagger is made of my aura, and I can expand and contract it as I please. That means that I can make it small when it goes in and big when it comes out. And in case you're too stupid to know, it means you die."
"Shut up, I don't care," interrupted Genkage, attempting to pull himself free from the wall. He was mad again, and the adrenaline was what was keeping him going.
Cunning, visibly offended, whipped his arm forward a jettisoned the Screw towards Genkage's head.