"I can't believe I was kidnapped by a bunch of kids," complained Shugo, in his imp form. He was sitting in the back seat of car that the group had acquired. "What would the other youkai think of me? Let me guess, you're going to sell me off since I'm a shapeshifter, aren't you?"
"Relax, we're not going to sell you," said Reidou. "Karin just wants to use you as a scapegoat in case we get captured by anybody."
"What a bitch!"
"I know right!?"
"Great, now there's two of them," thought Karin. "Kami-sama, kill me now!"
"By the way, Karin, how close are we to the third Shinseimonshouseki?" asked Reidou.
"According to my calculations, it should be somewhere in that town over there," Karin answered, pointing to a town in the grassland. It was much larger than Reidou's village, which housed one or two hundred people. This town could easily be ten times larger.
"That's Ishigawa Town, the town I used to hang out in," said Shugo. "Good times."
"By 'hang out' you mean terrorize, right?" asked Reidou. "What stopped you?"
"I was paid by the mayor," Shugo answered. "He paid me to stop targeting this town and instead terrorize the village nearby. He's pretty rich, I guess that's how he got his hands on that thing made by the Ancients."
"Thing made by the Ancients?" asked Karin. "What does it look like?"
"Well it looks like a broken rock, with Ancient text on it. Why?"
"That's what we're looking for!" said Reidou. "Karin, we found another one! Are we lucky or what?"
"I don't think it'll be that easy," said Karin, pulling up to a gate at the entrance to the town. "Remember, nothing is ever easy when you're searching for the Shinseimonshouseki."
As soon as Karin had finished her sentence, several men dressed in black suits popped up from behind the gate. The men grabbed the three travelers and threw them out of the vehicle. They then got in the car and drove into the village.
"What the hell was that?" asked Karin, totally in shock.
"I think we just go robbed by suits," answered Reidou, equally shocked.
"Did I mention that the mayor has all kinds of paranoia problems?" asked Shugo. "Any car that pulls up to the front gate is automatically impounded at city hall so that he can investigate it. Those guys were some of his security. We're going to have to go to his office and explain to him that we… WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS GOING?"
Reidou and Karin had taken off into the town, bee lining straight for the center of the town, screaming "GIVE BACK OUR CAR YOU JACKASSES!"
Shugo gave chase, thinking, "How did I manage to get caught by these guys?"
* * *
"Hey Shugo, how do we get to city hall?" asked Reidou. The group was eating lunch at a street side café.
"Something tells me, you don't plan on making an appointment do you?" asked Shugo.
"No way," answered Karin. "We don't have time to do that. It's July 26 right now, and we have a little over a month to get eight more tablets, before school starts for me again."
"Okay, then we're going to have to sneak in," said Shugo. "There are four six-hour shifts for security. This means that security is at its weakest between those shifts. The shift changes take place at 8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 2:00 a.m. So our best opportunity to attack will be at the 8 p.m. shift change."
"Why 8 p.m. instead of 2 a.m.?" asked Reidou.
"Because for those that take the 2 a.m. shift, they'll have been used to sleeping all day and being awake at night. However, we'll be trying to sleep through day and stay awake at night, something that we're not used to. We'll be at a disadvantage. However, for the 8 p.m. shift, they have to sleep through the busiest part of day: something that would usually be impossible. You'd want to hang out with your friends during the day, right? Meaning that the guys at the 8 p.m. shift have the least amount of sleep. That's when we'll head out."
"That is a very… unconventional method of deduction," commented Karin. "But it does make sense. So we attack at eight tonight. What's the entry plan?"
* * *
"Where the hell is Reidou?" asked Shugo. He and Karin were hiding behind some bushes near the front door of town hall. "We told him that we were supposed to meet here at 7:45."
Town hall was a large building. It was shaped like a large medieval castle, one main cylindrical edifice surrounded by a few more. The separate buildings were connected via tunnels. It was surrounded by a round stone wall.
"This seems familiar somehow," said Karin. "We were both lost when I first met him, but we were on the mountain that he lived on."
"You don't think that Mr. Survival…"
"Has no sense of direction…"
* * *
Reidou was standing in the town plaza, halfway across the town from where his comrades were. "Which way was I supposed to go?"
* * *
"We're going to have to do this without him, then," said Shugo. "You remember the plan, right?"
"Yeah, in through the ventilation shaft, then into the surveillance room. We disable the cameras, then head straight to impound lot," Karin recited. "I still have one problem with your plan, how do we get that tablet?"
"We'll find it on the security cameras, then get it before getting into the car," answered Shugo. "Any other questions?"
"No, let's go," Karin said. The two waited for one of the security guards to make his way around their target, then they snuck over to a ventilation shaft in the wall. "You go first."
"Why does it matter who goes first?" asked Shugo.
"Because you're a massive pervert!" snapped Karin. "You'll stare at my ass if I go first!"
"Can't say I wouldn't," mumbled Shugo, entering the ventilation shaft. "You know I could just turn into something small and get behind you, and you couldn't do anything about it right?" he asked when Karin got in behind him.
"Yeah, but you like living, I assume," countered the blond. "Let's just head to the security room. And don't say anything, I don't want the to hear the echo from us talking in here."
The duo navigated their way to the surveillance room, managing to be quiet enough to not be spotted by the man watching the monitors. Shugo transformed into an insect and crawled up the man's shirt. He then transformed, positioning himself to put the monitor-man in a headlock.
"Alright, Karin, work your magic," said the imp once the surveillance man lost consciousness.
Karin got to work shutting down the surveillance cameras, and finished it in no time flat. "I found the tablet, on the top floor. And the impound lot is on this floor."
"Top floor… that's the Mayor's office!" realized Shugo.
* * *
"Damn this sense of direction," cursed Reidou, standing by the front door of town hall. "I finally found this place."
"Who are you?" asked one suited security guard, walking up to the black haired teenager. "What do you want?"
"Damn, it looks like Karin and Shugo went ahead without me," thought Reidou. "I'd like to have a word with Mr. Mayor."
"Sorry, but we're closed kid," called another guard from his post. "Come back tomorrow."
"Sorry, no time," smirked Reidou, grabbing his staff and jabbing the closer security guard in the sternum. He then twirled the staff around and hit the guard in the face. As the guard fell unconscious, the second guard pulled out a remote and sounded the siren.
* * *
Karin and Shugo had made it to the top floor when they heard the siren sound off.
"Crap," cursed Shugo. "We have to get that rock and the car before anyone comes here. But where's the tablet?"
"I think that ought to be a good place to look," said Karin, pointing to a display case with the Shinseimonshouseki inside it.
"Well, looks like we've got a couple ants here," said a deep voice.
Karin and Shugo turned around to find a behemoth of a creature. It must have stood at least eight feet tall. Its grey, scaly skin was mismatched with the black business suit it wore. The clothes were obviously custom-made because a whip-like tail lashed behind the beast. A column of black spikes jutted from the creature's skull.
"Can I help you guys find something?" the creature grinned, revealing a pair of vampire-like fangs.
"What the hell is that thing?" asked Karin, terrified.
"Th-that's a Kaijin," stuttered Shugo. "One of the most dangerous kinds of Youkai out there!"
"What's a high-class Youkai doing in Jinkai?" asked Karin, not taking her eyes off the terror in front of her.
"My name is Len," answered the Kaijin. "I was a mercenary during the last war, and I fought for Jinkai. They let me stay here in Jinkai because of that."
"And now you're a bodyguard for a corrupt politician?" asked Karin, rhetorically. "How the mighty have fallen."
"Don't piss off the eight-foot-tall handsome gentleman!" warned Shugo.
"Too late, kids," said Len with a snide grin on his face.
* * *
Reidou was standing in one of the hallways inside the building. Halting his progress were two security guards.
The first was a thin man, apparently in his mid-thirties. The lights from the ceiling reflected off his bald scalp. On his hands were gauntlets with two-foot long claws protruding from the knuckles.
The other man was short, barely over five feet tall. He had removed his shirt and jacket, revealing his bronzed, oddly buff body. His slick, black hair had been disheveled on his rush here. Strapped to his back was a large zhanmadao.
"You've caused a big uproar, brat," said the short man.
"More of you guys?" sighed Reidou. "You just don't know when to quit."
"Don't mistake us for the small fry you've been fighting since you got here," interjected the thin one. "We're the heads of security here."
"It must suck being in charge of such incapable employees," taunted the teen.
"Not as much as it sucks for you to have to face us!" called the shorty, drawing his blade and attacking Reidou.
The black haired teen jumped back to avoid the massive blade. The thin security guard sprung off his colleague's back in an attempt to catch Reidou between his claws.
"Amateur mistake," thought Reidou, with a confident smirk. "You can't move in mid-air, leaving you wide open to counters." "Hissastu: Pachinko Ranmyaku!" Reidou unleashed a barrage of jabs with his staff, repeatedly hitting the thin security guard.
Reidou was nearly caught off guard by the short security guard when he made a swipe with his long sword. The teen positioned his staff to block the attack, but had to use his other arm to reinforce his defense. However, this would be a massive mistake on his part.
"When in a two against one fight," started the thin one, having recovered from Reidou's assault surprisingly fast, "always leave on hand open!" He finished, charging at Reidou.
Reidou was defenseless to the thin guard's incoming attack so all he could do was stare wide-eyed and think, "Oh shit!"
TO BE CONTINUED…
* * *
Don't you just love cliffhangers?
How about some stats for our main characters? HERE YA GO!!!
-Height: 166.1 cm
-Weight: 55.4 kg
-Height: 166.4 cm
-Weight: 50 kg
-Height: 90 cm
-Weight: 18 kg