A/N: Continuing me updates on Sacrifice, this one came quickly because I had some extra time on my hands. It's nice to get back into the story that really made me popular on Fictionpress. I still have yet to go over this story and truly edit it. When I get the time, I will do so. Until then, please enjoy my newest chapter!
Chapter 91: Take Me Away
By: Melissa Norvell
"Do we go after her?" Keiji asked. The Phantom Blade was gone, and now Soel had one over them. It was a powerful weapon that belonged in Zameln. Who knew the other ways it would be used against them now.
"Where did she go?" Zangetsu figured that was a more important question. A location is the best thing to know in order to determine if they are able to go after the girl.
"She fled to Chikyahana." Vespa informed.
"What?" Ko couldn't believe this.
"What's wrong with that place?" The green-haired boy questioned.
"Isn't that your home world, Ko?" Hiroshima was pretty sure it was, unless he'd been in too much pain from his recent attack and messed up that information.
"It is but…I really didn't intend on going back." It was a place full of nothing but bad memories, a place that she had tried hard to avoid above all costs. In fact, it was her worst nightmare that she was going back.
Fife placed a hand on her shoulder and closed his eyes with a peaceful smile. "Don't worry. Remember, nightmares are never as bad as they seem. Everyone has to face a problem they don't like. It was the same for me when I went to Sumeria. Also, whatever you're doing hiding will come to light. It always does."
"Oh, that's assuring." Chichiri frowned. What kind of comforting message was that?
"It's the truth, or at least from what I know and have experienced myself. Well, shall we go?" Hard or not for Ko, it was something that they had to do. The best step was to get it over with so the situation didn't manifest itself by putting more dread on the white-haired girl.
Hiroshima looked to Ko, who was in deep contemplation before sighing in defeat. "I guess. Fife is right; I might as well face the music." She then looked to Vespa. "Send us to Chikyahana." Zangetsu blinked, looking to the girl in question. "It's time to face the past."
"As you wish." The Red Witch complied and pointed her staff at the group. Flames erupted from the ground and swirled around them in bold streams, consuming their forms as they were transported to a hillside that overlooked an olden-style Japanese village.
When the flames cleared they all looked around at their surroundings. It was almost as if they were in feudal Japan. The cherry blossom trees were in full bloom, and petals fell from the trees, fluttering gently to the ground. Keiji took a step forward as the gentle wind rustled his hair. "Is this it?"
Ko nodded. "This is where Fable went. This is my home town."
"It's really old-fashioned." Chichiri stated the obvious.
"Everyone here believes in a simple way of living. They trade and make everything themselves. We're pretty peaceful since there are few clans in this area." Ko explained. As much as she dreaded coming here, she could say that much about it. The people came from a simpler time and retained their old traditions.
"It's just like being in Feudal Japan." Fife glanced around at the falling petals around him.
"Do they have any technology here?" Keiji questioned.
"That's the only thing they will use, but it's not very often. They'd do things the modest way if they possibly can." Ko explained. Her people were not too dependent on the complex things in life. If they had a situation where they had to use modern conveniences, they would. Only then, however.
"Is there a place we can stay? Do you have a house here?" Hiroshima decided to ask, since they would more than likely be here for quite a while. Tracking down Fable would be no easy task.
"No…I left everything when I went with Sub-72. I gave up my home and my other belongings." Now she wished she hadn't made up her mind back then. However, she didn't think that she'd even come back to this place.
"Okay, so we're screwed." The angel crossed his arms over his chest.
"Looks like we'll need another inn stay." Tsurugi noted.
"Shouldn't we be going after Fable?" Keiji thought that was the reason they had come there in the first place. They were talking about taking temporary residence and he felt as if he was the only one who was concentrated on the mission at hand.
"I think it would be best to wash up and change so we don't stick out so much." He looked to Hiroshima, who was still clad in his recovery robe. "You're the only one who looks as if they fit in."
The angel's eyes narrowed. "Shut the hell up, Fife."
"Your robes match what the others are wearing. It was just an observation." There he went again, being all defensive about nothing. What a silly angel.
"Why don't you go observe something important?" Hiroshima sardonically remarked.
"Okay!" The vampire said happily. "I'll look for hotel prices!" He grabbed his donor's arm, earning a 'Whoa! Hey!' in response as he urged the boy to come with him. Blushing, Keiji was tugged to his side as the two walked down the hill to the village, followed by Ko.
"I'll go with you. I know where some nice but cheap hotels are." She turned and looked back at the angel. "Hiroshima."
"Yeah?" He arched an eyebrow.
"Go and find some clothes for everyone." Ko instructed.
"Why do I have to do this?" The angel frowned with an annoyed expression. This was not his cup of tea and it seemed so unimportant that it wasn't even funny. What a ridiculous mission.
"Because we're looking for a hotel."
"I'll help you." Zangetsu offered.
"Yeah, even though it's weird for a bunch of guys to go shopping." When Chichiri thought about it, the whole group of them shopping for clothes was more than ridiculous in theory.
"I still think we should be looking for Fable." The angel grumbled. That was a real mission, not finding some shitty clothes that were probably going to get shredded to bits in battle.
"We should rest. We just got out of a fight with Ceres." Chichiri replied as Tsurugi looked over his shoulder with an impish smile.
"You two were resting the whole time."
"Hey! I wasn't resting because I wanted to!" Hiroshima barked. He wanted to fight; it was their idea that he stay back and watch.
His partner took his arm gently. "Come on, you silly, angry man."
"Hmpf!" The angel spat as they traveled down the hill and into the village to find some suitable attire for their group to wear.
Ko, Fife and Keiji walked along the dirt paths, past the market stands and into the more populated area of town. Everything was familiar to her, and her senses were filled with the various smell of food being prepared and the crisp air, combined with the smell of the most nostalgic scent of all for her- cherry blossoms.
She paused, looking up at one of the old sakura trees as its petals fluttered around her form. 'I'm back in this place. A place I never wanted to return to…This place holds a lot of memories, both wanted and unwanted.'
A flashback crept into her mind, tearing at her mental structure as it raided her brain with haunting imagery. She was nude lying on her back with her wrists pinned to either side against the ground. She struggled, thrashing against the mysterious figure that forced her down, but try as she might; the girl could not get away from him or break free of his hold. Above her, a darkened figure smiled in a creepy fashion as the cherry blossoms fell around her form on a beautiful, clear day.
"The cherry blossoms." She uttered, and Keiji caught wind of her words.
"What?" He turned to face her.
Fife stopped, placing his hands in his pockets as he looked up at the tree, in bloom in a cloud of pink. "They're pretty. Aren't they?"
"Beautiful things don't last forever." Her words were dark and her form solemn as the vampire gave her a look of silent sympathy and wonder. What did she mean by that?
While the two stood in silence, something caught Keiji's eye. There was a girl in a waloli, floral print, purple, white and black outfit. She was talking to one of the vendors, who held a vivid bouquet of wildflowers. "Hey, it's Fable."
Fife turned his head to see the purple-haired girl. "Well, what do you know? Should we go and attack her?"
"She has the Phantom Blade. We have to get it back before she can get to Soel." Now was an appropriate time, at least, Keiji had thought so.
From behind them, Ko performed replacement. She appeared before Fable, catching her by surprise as she grabbed the blade from her hands. Fable grabbed her staff, whirling around and casting kamaitachi on her. The attack blew Ko back and the winds cut into her skin and ripped her clothes. She clutched the blade close to her, not letting the fox-eared girl get her hands on it.
"Bind!" Fife called as he held out his hand. A magic circle, glowing in a green neon light appeared under the girl's feet, shooting up from the ground and binding her tightly in energy. The girl struggled against it.
"Ugh! I won't allow you to interfere with Soel's plans!" She shouted as she attempted to bust free from the spell.
Ko held up the Phantom Blade. "Now, Vespa!" As her sentence ended, a powerful vortex appeared and ripped the weapon from her hand, flinging it into another dimension.
Fable growled under her breath. "So, you work for the Red Witch of Zameln."
"You could say that." Keiji replied. It wasn't exactly that, but he supposed it was close enough.
"I assume you followed me here." She should have paid attention to that fact, but she was too busy doing other things. Fable had miscalculated her factors, and that was something that resulted in failure. Soel was going to be disappointed in her.
"Well, yes but there are other reasons for us being here." Fife replied as he put his hands on his hips.
"Let me guess, you want to find Undine." Fable replied.
"What? How do you know that?" Something was up. Keiji thought it now more than ever. She knew something about Undine's whereabouts. She had to.
"You won't be getting Undine back." Her words caused a weight to be felt by the small group.
"What did you do to her?" Ko asked defensively. This bitch had better tell her what she did with her friend RIGHT NOW.
"She's unharmed…for the moment. What happens to her is strictly up to Soel." Honestly, they took things out of context. It was not as if the girl was dead. No, they needed her for more than that. This girl was simply detained for the time being.
"You won't get away with this! I'll get her back." Ko shouted.
"Even if you defeat me, you still have to get to Soel." Fable closed her eyes as her staff glowed, exterminating the binding attack. Ko flung shurikens at her as the purple-haired girl held out her staff and summoned her Valor of Protection, which prevented them from hitting her. The weapons merely bounced off. She then pointed her staff, and called out for her Sound Blast. Waves were emitted and headed towards the trio.
"Demon Sword, hear my call! Protect us from her attack!" Fife commanded as the sword glowed, encasing them in a bubble.
"Illumination!" A bright flash blinded everyone inside of the bubble. Fife hissed and clenched his eyes shit.
"Damn it!" Keiji cursed, covering his face.
"Ugh!" Ko did the same using both arms to make an x shaped block over her face.
Fable gathered a white ball of energy at the end of her staff and pointed it at the ground." Turbo Canon!" She called out as she launched the ball at them.
"Hidden Art: Sakura Illusion!" Ko released her sakura petals and Fife summoned Reverse as Fable's canon was directed at her. The girl placed up her Valor of Protection as the attack made contact with her form, exploding but leaving her unharmed beneath the light of her valor.
"You won't be able to fool me that easily!" Fable shouted and rushed at them.
Azmy stared blankly ahead, dressed in a pink kimono that had three layers of purple and white fabric underneath of it. Her hair was pinned up in a bun with decorative chopsticks. Worry crossed her face as she looked around at the darkened room with the lone figure of the woman in it. "Why? Why am I back here?"
"I summoned you and found your body in Sumeria. If you want to rest in peace then you will grant me one wish as long as you exist on this plain." Soel told her of her predicament.
"What is that?" The girl looked to the taller female in question.
"Listen to me well, I will bestow this power upon you and with it, I want you to do one thing."
"What is it?" Azmy asked, not knowing what will come next.
"Sweeping Winds!" Fable called out, blasting the group back. Their bodies landed in the dirt a considerable distance away.
Keiji caught himself and ran up to the odd girl, drawing his fist to punch but before it could make contact, she vanished. "Huh?" His face lit up in shock before he was blasted in the back. Flipping, he caught himself. Fable was quickly on him, appearing on his left. The boy attempted to spin kick her but she disappeared again, reappearing on his other side. He kicked at her again and she disappeared, and reappeared once more, grabbing his arm and throwing him into the air. He caught himself again and landed feet first in the dirt.
"This is most disappointing. It seems that I'll be going back empty-handed." With that being her final words, the girl sucked herself into a vortex, which later spit her out in front of Azmy and Soel, who looked at her upon arrival. "Sorry if I was butting in on something, but I have some important news to bring."
"Go ahead." Soel's voice was casual.
"Ceres is dead. She was slain by the group of children. They also recovered her Phantom Blade. It's now in the care of the Red Witch of Zameln." Fable reported with a frown. It was her loss that caused that incident to happen.
"Vespa, huh? I should have known it would be her. She is my true enemy. She probably employed those children to guard the legend." The long-haired woman smiled. "This makes things interesting. We'll just have to see who can accomplish their goal first." No doubt about it, this was truly a race of two sorceresses. Nothing like a little competition to make things interesting. However, she was not worried about it. Even if Vespa had the legend, right now, she had the upper hand.
Fable glanced over to Azmy, who stood before her mistress. "That girl…I thought she died in Sumeria."
"She has a very special purpose. She'll prove to be valuable in our cause." More so than anyone could ever hope.
The group was dressed in traditional attire. Hiroshima wore a kimono, and chest armor underneath with an arm exposed from only having the top of the kimono half way on. Around his head was a long, white headband that was tied to the left, the long pieces of fabric hung from the side and dangled over his shoulder. Ko wore armor, typical of a female samurai with bloods and piece of fabrics on her arms that hung down like wizard's sleeves. Keiji wore a kimono type shirt with matching, light blue pants and sandals. He looked down at his attire, feeling less than comfortable in these clothes. For him, it really was awkward.
"I feel weird." Hiroshima spoke up.
"This definitely isn't like the things I normally wear." Keiji agreed.
"You're Japanese, aren't you?" Fife questioned, clad in a white and blue kimono.
"Yeah, but the only thing I've worn that were even close to this was a kendo uniform or a ceremonial kimono. This stuff is like real feudal era clothing." Nothing compared to the real deal, not even mock feudal outfits.
Hiroshima glanced over towards the three. "What took you so long anyway? We were done looking for clothes way before you even came back. Was it that hard to find a hotel room?" It was suspicious to say the least. He wondered if something happened between them, or if they met Fable in town. It was worrisome, even more so that no one was talking about it.
"We ran into Fable in town." Fife confirmed his suspicions.
"You did? What happened?" Zangetsu turned his attention to the blue-haired vampire.
"We were looking for a hotel or an inn and we saw her standing around, talking to a man who sold flowers in the market place." Ko explained.
"We fought her and she knows that we work for Vespa now, so no doubt she'll tell Soel." Keiji continued.
"Even so, Vespa and Soel know each other anyway." Tsurugi pointed out.
"That makes sense in a way. I just wonder what their relationship is." Keiji was certain that if they knew that determining factor, their mission would become clearer.
"I can't tell you that. It's something you have to find out on your own." Tsurugi stepped into the conversation, literally. He had just come back from changing into his black and white gi.
"I just hope that we're on the right side." That was more of his main worry anyway. There were two sides of every story, and Keiji could only hope that Vespa's was truly the right side to be on. If not, this made them all fools and it made everything they fought for, everything they accomplished until this point worth nothing.
Tsurugi stuck a finger into the air, as if stating an important fact. "Define what 'right' is."
"That's what Xanadu said. There is no right or wrong, just everyone trying to obtain their goals and dreams. Just like us, Soel has her own dreams as well." The angel continued his speech. The giant creature had many points and he had always believed in his teachings.
"We do have a bit of bad news…Well, bad news and good news." Fife mentioned.
"Great…Get it over with." Hiroshima groaned.
"First, the good news. We found out where Undine is." The vampire stated.
"What?" Zangetsu was stunned. After all this time, they were finally able to locate Undine.
Chichiri pumped his fists. "Really? Awesome! Where is she?"
Fife's expression became serious. "That's the bad news, I'm afraid. Undine has been abducted by Soel."
"We don't even know where Soel is, so there's no way in hell we're getting Undine back any time soon." Hiroshima only added to the bad news.
"I wonder what kind of person Soel is. Do you think she'll hurt Undine?" Keiji was worried.
"No, she won't." Tsurugi chided his worries.
"Is she trying to lure us there by using Undine as bait?" Zangetsu asked.
"That seems logical." Hiroshima replied. That would be a reason why she would not lay a finger on the girl.
"That's one of the things that she's using Undine for. Undine was specifically targeted by Soel. She's a vital part of her plans." The blonde angel divulged more information. Since they had discovered this fact, he could let a few things he knew slip out into the open.
"This is bad. We have to get her back." Keiji's voice was dire. Now, more than ever, her rescue was important.
"Yeah, I just hope she'll be alright." Ko commented, worried for the girl's state. Who knew what she had been dealing with all this time.
"So, I'm guessing Fable told you herself?" Hiroshima inquired on how they obtained that information.
"She told us a lot that we didn't know before." The green-haired donor added.
"We have to wait it out then. When we get to Soel, we'll find Undine, unless she shows up prior, which I kind of doubt." According to his visions, if everything stayed on track then Undine and Soel would only show up in the decisive battle. That was Hiroshima's best bet, but fate had a way of throwing them curve balls, as they all knew.
"What could Soel possibly need Undine for?" Zangetsu questioned. After all, from what he knew, Undine was just a small girl who possessed superb magical ability. She didn't seem much different than any of them.
"She's very powerful, even if no one realizes it. There's more to her than meets the eye." Fife's words were cryptic. It seemed he knew more about Undine than he first let off. Then again, he was the girl's best friend. Out of anyone, he would know extensive details about the girl.
…To Be Continued
A/N: Here is another update for Sacrifice! Sorry that updates are coming slowly, but I wanted to let everyone know that this story is not dead. I have just been working on stuff on my other account, Revamp. Please come and check out my stories on there! I would appreciate it!
Until next time! Please R&R!