"Keep running, you idiot!" Lin yelled.
"I'm running as fast as I can!" Ian yelled back.
"Well, run faster!"
Hordes of various insects chased after the two men. They ran through the prison hallways while insects covered every inch of the walls behind them. In the middle of the horde, there was a human-shaped creature with the exoskeleton and wings of a insect. The buzzing of this man's wings echoed louder than the rest of the insect's. Every few seconds, a slimy sac of eggs came out of the insect man's mouth and plopped onto the ground with a squishy sound. Another few seconds and the sac exploded, releasing newly-born insects that reached maturity in less than a minute.
"It feels so great to use my Free again," the insect man laughed while he continued to chase after Ian and Lin. "And it's even better that my babies will have something to eat after they're born…"
"I vote we kill this guy as fast as possible," Lin said turning his head to Ian.
"It's hard not to agree with you," Ian said. "But Senji said don't kill anyone if you have the-"
Without warning, a human-shaped blur whipped past the two men. The blur struck both Ian and Lin and sent them spiraling into the cement floor. The two men laid moaning on the floor, wondering what had just hit them.
"This isn't fast enough!" A girl's voice laughed. "I got to go faster! Faster than the speed of sound!"
Lin looked up to see a teenage girl wearing a skin-tight rubber suit with goggles over her eyes and a skiing cap on her head. She grinned at the two men she knocked down.
"Too slow! Too slow!" she cackled sticking her tongue out at them. "You got to move faster if you don't want to be eaten!"
The girl released a far louder laugh as she became a blur and disappeared from sight. Ian and Lin hurried back to their feet before the insects could swarm over them. The girl, however, knocked them back down, moving so fast that she was only a blur. Every time the two men tried to get up, the same girl struck them back down.
"I'm getting tired of this!" Lin yelled swinging his fist at the floor below him.
The force of Lin's punch smashed through the concrete, letting the two men fall through the hole into the prison cell below.
"Hey! That's no fair!" The girl yelled looking down the hole Lin made. She pointed down at the two men. "Chase after them, Haga!"
The insect man Haga obeyed and his insects swarmed down the hole. The two men didn't waste anytime to run out of the cell but almost stopped when they noticed that they had ran into a vast spiral staircase instead of a hallway. If it were not for the hordes of insects chasing them up the stairs, they might have wondered how the hallways had turned into a spiral staircase.
"Don't stop running!" The two men yelled at the other.
"I don't get why you ran," Harima said. "You were winning."
The three guards, Harima, and the prisoner Kin were all resting in one of the prison's shower rooms. Sayaka bandaged Tohru's wounds while Douki sat silently in the corner. Despite being a prisoner, Kin didn't make any move to escape, choosing to stay with the guards out of some chance of survival.
Sayaka tapped on one of Tohru's many black bruises, causing the man to moan. "I don't want to waste anymore energy," she told him. "Tohru and Douki are both injured. I would have been injured too if I fought with that fire guy. We can't waste any energy on small fry, we have to save it for when the big fight comes."
"I can still fight," Tohru coughed.
Sayaka punched his rib, causing Tohru to cry out in pain. "Yeah, right," Sayaka said. "That surprise attack shattered several of your bones. You can't get hit like that again and still live."
A few chuckles escaped from Tohru before he laid his head on the tile floor. He understood the severity of his injuries and knew that he couldn't continue fighting. Not without dying, that is.
"Just how the hell did these Fears get such an advantage against us?" Tohru coughed. "We have over two hundred powerful Free users from all over the world and yet, we're the ones losing. It's only a matter of time before one of them reaches those three's cells."
"We still have five hours before anyone gets to those cells," Sayaka reminded Tohru.
"Five hours? Why would it take that long?" Harima asked.
"Dozens of traps are waiting down the path to each of those three's cells and each one would kill a normal Free User," Sayaka answered. "Even without the traps, it would take a few hours just to reach the bottom of Neo Alcatraz."
"And yes, this prison really is that big," Tohru added with a chuckle.
Sayaka slapped the last bit of bandages onto Tohru's arm, finishing her treatment of his injuries. "I'm all done," she said checking her first aid. She snapped her fingers at Harima. "Get me some water for us. Doing all this treating has left me parched."
Harima nodded and hurried to the nearest sink. The young man turned the facet and cold water poured out. While he took out an empty bottle from his backpack, Harima noticed something weird about the spray of water coming out of the facet. Leaning down, He took a closer look at the water. His eyes stared at the spraying water…
And another different pair of eyes looked back.
A hand made up entirely of water exploded out of the water and smashed Harima's body against the wall. The three guards and Kin turned their heads and saw the hand of water pinning Harima's body against the wall. Sayaka immediately jumped at the hand of water, striking it with her spinning baton. Her baton struck the hand, causing it to explode into thousands of water droplets. Harima fell to the ground, gasping for air and coughing at the same time.
Sayaka and the others turned their attention to the pair of eyes staring at them from within the sink water. Sayaka cringed as they watched a human's mouth pop out underneath the eyes.
"No hard feelings," the mouth said with a man's deep voice. "I'm only doing this because I don't want to stay in this prison anymore…"
Water sprayed out of each showerhead and facet in the room, creating a thin mist around the five. Their sight wasn't blocked by the mist but they were still at a disadvantage.
A hand of water formed in the mist and punched Sayaka in the side. Sayaka instantly struck the hand of water with baton, dispersing the water and turning it back into mist.
A man's head had formed where the eyes and mouth were. The man's drenched greyish black hair covered most of his sullen face but his eyes still pierced through with burning determination.
"You've got to die for our freedom," the man said as his head rose into the air, the rest of his body forming itself from the water.
"Ours?" Harima noticed.
A bone-thin finger tapped against Harima's shoulder. Harima slowly turned his head to see the skeleton-like hand on his shoulder. Looking closer, he noticed that the hand on his shoulder wasn't extremely thin for a human's hand. In fact, he saw that the hand had no skin or muscles covering.
"Yes, our freedom…" The half-rotting skeleton coming out of the tile wall behind Harima whispered.
Hiding in the shadows, Kira looked down from a pillar sticking out of the wall on the group of prisoners and Fears gathering at the bottom floor in the circular staircase. Prisoners and Fears have been leaving every few minutes and were replaced with a different person. Kira tried to see what they were doing for over thirty minutes but each time, one of the prisoners or Fears got in the way. It was important enough that over five people had to attend to it but Kira couldn't find out what it was.
"What are you hiding?" Kira whispered taking a closer look with his binoculars.
Surprisingly, Kira managed to get a look at what they were doing. He saw a man sitting down on a iron chair, three inch steel chains holding him down to it. He could still move his arms and hands but only enough to eat. Despite being chained to the chair, the man still had many other high-tech securities over his prison clothes. The most noticeable security on the man was the thick white ring around his throat. Someone definitely didn't want this man to escape his bindings and yet the prisoners and Fears were trying their best to remove them.
Kira, however, knew exactly who the man the prisoners and Fears were trying to release.
"That's Arthur Rysier," Kira whispered seeing the man's shoulder-length golden hair and eyes through his binoculars. "But he shouldn't be here. It's just not possible to get him out this quickly. What's going on here?"
Kira took another look to confirm that the chained man was indeed Arthur Rysier. Once he confirmed it, he took out his knife and gun.
"Damn it," he whispered. "This changes things."
"I'm all alone," Yuki said to herself as she walked down the prison hallway. She tilted her head to the side. "I'm being lucky enough not to encounter any prisoners or Fears but this is starting to get boring…"
Her arms flew up into the air and Yuki began to wave them around. "Somebody get over here and fight me! I'm bored!"
Yuki's voice echoed throughout the hallway and yet nobody responded. Silence came around after her voice stopped echoing. Yuki stood in the silent hallway, her expression showing the annoyance she felt.
"I wonder what Harima is doing?" Yuki wondered making a smile. "He looked so strong after his training with Senji. He actually has muscles now…"
Thinking about Harima's muscles, Yuki twisted her body and squealed.
"I just want to hug his muscular arms so much…"
"That's so funny, Yuki, I remember the time you used to talk about me like that."
Yuki froze the moment she heard that man's voice. No matter how much effort she used, she could not move any part of her body. She remained frozen, breaking into a cold sweat, as she listened to the voice of the man behind her.
"What happened to the Yuki I knew? The Yuki who didn't want to leave my side?" Hiroto chuckled.
"Ah… ah…" Yuki tried to speak but no words managed to form. The sheer bloodlust Hiroto emitted was enough to paralyze her. If he wanted to, she would already be dead. Yuki, however, continued breathing while Hiroto continued talking.
Hiroto's finger moved along the scar over his right eye. "Don't worry about any other Fear appearing," he said smiling. "They're smart enough not to come near me when I'm like this."
The young woman tried to speak but still nothing came out.
Hiroto walked into Yuki's sight and sighed. "You never reacted like this whenever I was around," he sighed. "What did I do to get this kind of reaction from you? Did I break something you own or did I insult you somehow? Tell me, Yuki, what did I do?"
This time, Yuki managed to let out a few words. "You tried… to kill my friends," she answered.
Her answer only made the young man laugh. Yuki gritted her teeth while Hiroto continued to laugh at her.
"You're alive, aren't you?" Hiroto chuckled. "Sure, I was trying to kill you five at the start but my heart is much too good to let me kill friends. If anyone should be holding a grudge, it has to be me."
Hiroto traced the scar over his closed right eye with his finger, humming while he felt it.
Yuki mustered all the strength she had to speak. "Why would you have a grudge?" she asked.
Her question got the same reaction from him as before. Hiroto's laughing stopped when he decided to answer her question. He pointed at his scar.
"Do you know how I got this scar?" He asked continuing to point at his scar.
Yuki shook her head, getting another laugh from Hiroto as a result.
"I'll tell you," he said smiling. "I'll only tell you, Yuki, since you are the only person I can trust…"
Hiroto swung his hand forward and pointed at the young lady in front of him. He raised his voice until it was almost a scream.
"Senji couldn't save me! It's all his fault for not saving me when I needed him!"