Chapter 13A: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Alicia Versus Vincent (Perspective: Alicia)
*BOOOOM!* - An explosion?
I quickly open up the blind and look out the window. The science block is on fire. What on earth happened? Did Ren do that? Or was it...
I have to investigate.
"Nii-san!" Sakura quickly runs to the window, this is the first time she left Yuichi's side. She's looking out of the window with a concerned face, not that I can blame her. Yuna walks up to Sakura and wraps her arms around her trembling friend. Wolfy and Lilicia are looking at the girls with gloomy expressions.
"Wolfy, Lilicia, look after Yuna and Sakura." I order, "I'm going to go see what happened. Take the girls and flee if it comes to it."
"But Onee-sa..." Lilicia begins.
"NO BUTS! DO AS YOU'RE TOLD!" My frustration surfaces at the worst possible time. "I'm sorry, please, just do as I say."
They're all looking at me with shocked expressions, Lilicia gives me a weak nod, then hangs her head down.
I break into a sprint the instant I step outside the room. I'm heading towards the burning science block. Ren...I should have stopped him. I knew he was no match for the opponent. Yet, I let him go and face him so easily. As soon as I reach the science block, I notice a silhouette of a man staggering towards me. Eventually the moon light beams him into full view.
It's Muramasa-Masamune's wielder. Blood is flowing out of him, and his flesh and clothes are burnt and dirty. He must have been caught in the explosion. So that means Ren caused it.
"Where's Ren!?" I ask, I fear that I already know the answer. Yet, I can only pray that I'm wrong.
"You mean that imposter boy? I killed him. Serves him right for causing that inferno." He coldly answers, my wish didn't come true. I cannot apologise enough to Sakura for what's happened.
"Where is the Anomaly!?" The man asks me with a glare. Muramasa-Masamune is already drawn.
"How long have you had that sword out for?" I answer his question with another question, I have no intention of telling him anything after all.
"Oh~ so, you know about Muramasa-Masamune's weakness. But I ain't telling, why don't you guess, Miss Reaper?" He answers with a haughty voice. It looks like he managed to figure out my identity, not that it matters.
"The Muramasa-Masamune is a cursed Soul Slayer. It has the ability to sever through anything. However, once Muramasa-Masamune is drawn out of its sheath, it cannot be placed back in it, until it severs at least one soul. And, if it doesn't sever a soul within a certain amount of time, it devours the soul of its wielder, in this case, you." I explain the weakness of the Soul Slayer to its wielder. Considering he still has it drawn, it means he didn't sever Ren's soul with it.
"You truly are well informed, I guess it's to be expected of a Reaper. Well shall we get started then. Muramasa-Masamune is demanding me to sever you." The man pulls a sadistic grin and starts weaving Muramasa-Masamune in random motions.
"Just one thing before we begin, why do you all refuse to see Human Anomalies and Reapers as people?" I ask.
"Hoh~ have you had dealings with us in the past, Miss Reaper!?" I feel my anger rising from his deduction.
"Human Anomalies, are still Anomalies, they are things that should not exist in this world. We're just putting everything right. And as for Reapers, it's because you can almost say they are the mother of Human Anomalies. They return certain individuals to life, turning them into Human Anomalies in the process. If all Anomalies are my enemy, isn't it obvious that Reapers would be as well." He answers me in a matter of fact way. This resentment, it's the same as back then. No, this one doesn't even have a cause. It's simply prejudice.
A certain girl's face flashes into my mind. No, now is not the time. I must focus on the enemy in front of me.
"It appears that talking any more would just be a waste of time." He says as he points his Soul Slayer at me.
"I suppose so. I could try and keep you talking so you reach your time limit. However. My anger will not be quelled unless I slice you up personally!" I declare as I materialise my scythe. It's payback time.
We both charge head on towards each other. Even though he has already taken damage from that explosion, it doesn't even hinder him.
As our distance shortens, I create several balls of lightning and launch them at the Slayer.
"That won't even slow me down!" He shouts as he brandishes his sword at my lightning balls. He cuts through them all, even as he continues towards me. He takes a vertical slice at me. I quickly dodge to one side, and jump backwards to create some distance.
I shoot out a lightning bolt from my left hand. The man uses Muramasa-Masamune as a shield, and continues running towards me.
"What's wrong? Is that it, Reaper!?" He mocks.
I continue using the lightning bolt with my left hand. I then stab my scythe into the floor. I gather a ball of water using my now free right hand and launch it. The ball of water goes through my lightning bolt, conducting some of the electricity before it breaks apart and splashes onto the man.
"ARGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!" He screams in agony.
There's no way he could sever such a wide area with just his sword. It may be capable of severing anything it hits, but if it doesn't hit it he obviously can't sever it. Your weakness is multiple attacks that cover a wide range. The fact you weren't able to escape that explosion, gave me this hypothesis. Ren, your actions, although careless, has given me the vital information that will lead to this guy's defeat.
"DAMN YOU!" He shouts as he staggers to his feet. He's tenacious.
I grab my scythe and charge at him, I'm not going to give him chance to recover.
The man jumps into the air and weaves his sword below his feet. I continue to rush at him, I swing my scythe horizontally, planning to cleave him in half. However, I feel no resistance, I missed. Just before my scythe reached him, he flew into the air. So that's what he did just now. He severed the gravity acting on him, and flew into the sky. Muramasa-Masamune is living up to its name. Wait, why on earth am I admiring him?
"DIE!" He shouts as he slashes randomly with his sword.
"ARGGHHH!" A heavy blow hits my body. The recoil pushes me onto the floor and rolling backwards several metres. A shock wave?
"Gahh~!" I feel blood trickle down my face as I get back onto my feet.
"HA HA HA! Let me hear you scream more. Or else my sweet taste of revenge will turn sour." He screams at me. The look on his face, has he gone completely mad? Wanting to hear me scream? What a sick fetish.
"Here's some more!" He slashes his sword randomly again. My body can't do any nimble movement in this state. I can't dodge it. Knowing this, I use my arms as a shield, and brace myself.
"URGHH!" I try to keep my voice in. I refuse to give this sick bastard what he wants. Because I braced myself this time, even though I was pushed back I was able to remain on my feet. If I fall to the ground in this state, I won't be able to stand up again.
"This glorious pain you gave to me, let me return it to you several times over!" He screams. Yes, he's definitely lost his mind. Or is this his true colours?
"How about an encore!? I'll give you an even bigger serving than the last two! So feel free to get torn to shreds, please I insist!" He weaves his sword along with his sarcastic remark.
Even if I try to guard against this one. I will still lose. Is my desire to kill this bastard so little!?
Droplets of water escape my eyes. I see the air pressure of the shock wave disturbing the surroundings. It's heading straight for me.
The face of the boy who became my fiancé comes to my mind. It's only at a time like this that I can say it. Even if he doesn't hear it. I know, if I don't say it, I will only have regrets. I force a smile, as I speak to the boy who isn't even here.
Chapter 13B: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Soul Searching
"One who acknowledges their soul gains power."
"What is your nature?"
"How do you see yourself?"
"Do you have to ask? I'm the most beautiful person alive."
"Acknowledge your identity, and your soul will answer you."
"Just who are you anyway?"
"I am a fragment of yourself."
"Remember, let your words acknowledge your soul."
"Okay, I've got it."
"Urgh..." I slowly open my eyes.
"Sempai!" Sakura yells, her body is shaking.
"Onii-chan, you've finally woke up." Yuna looks at me with tears in her eyes, sorry to worry you.
I slowly recall what happened. Oh, right. That guy, Vincent, stabbed me with his sword.
"Why am I still alive?" I ask, Vincent stabbed me with his Soul Slayer, I thought I was a goner. My injury has also disappeared without a trace. That's good, leaving a scar on this beautiful body would be a tragedy on the scale of genocide.
"You barely survived, Master. You were brought here to recover within that capsule by Alicia-sama."
Capsule? This thing I'm lying in?
"Wait, Alicia, where is she!?" I ask whilst looking left and right, if she brought me here, shouldn't she be nearby?
"Onee-sama is..." Huh? Lilicia-chan, you're also here? "Fighting the man with the Soul Slayer. I've been feeling her Reaper spells for a while now."
What did you say!?
"Also Onii-chan, Ren-sempai hasn't returned. He went to face that guy by himself." Yuna explains with a gloomy expression.
I get out of the capsule and onto my feet at lightning speed.
"What do you mean? What happened to Ren!?" I shout. Everyone averts their gaze, their eyes look like they could burst into tears any second.
No, it can't be. Ren, he can't be.
No, I won't believe that. He won't be done in so easily.
With my newly found resolve, I face my friends.
"I'm going to help Alicia. You all find somewhere to hide until this is all over."
"Onii-chan..." Yuna tries to raise an objection.
"Rest assured, Yuna. I'm not the same Yuichi Shiro I once was. I promise you all, I will get Alicia and come back safely." I strongly declare.
"Okay, Onii-chan, go." Yuna agrees.
"Yuna..." Sakura looks questioningly at Yuna.
"There's no way to stop Onii-chan when he's like this. The only thing we can do is pray for his safety." Yuna explains solemnly.
"Okay...I...got it." Sakura also agrees.
"Please help Onee-sama, Yuichi-niisama." Lilicia-chan pleads.
I pat her head and give her a thumbs up.
"Wolfy, protect these girls." I order.
"Yes, Master, even if it costs me my life. I swear on my pride, I will keep them safe." Wolfy replies with determined eyes. Such a great pet, you take after your master so much.
"That's not a compliment, Onii-chan." Yuna states with a sigh, as usual she can read me like an open book. She's gotta teach me that technique someday.
"I'm off." I state as I leave the room waving to my friends with the back of my hand. I've always wanted to do such a cool exit scene.
And now, the beautiful hero Yuichi Shiro, shall re-enter the battle.
Chapter 13C: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Yuichi Shiro Present (Perspective: Alicia)
"Yuichi...I...lo..." I begin to confess my feelings.
"Alicia!" A nostalgic voice calls my name. Its owner runs in between me and the incoming shock wave.
"GHHH!" He turns himself into a shield and defends me from the shock wave.
"Yuichi?" I question my eyes.
He turns around and smiles at me, blood is rolling down his face.
"Yep, the one and only. The beautiful Yuichi Shiro, who has unparalleled beauty and is so beautiful even the gods are jealous." Yuichi announces. How many times do you have to emphasise your self proclaimed beauty in one sentence? He'll never change.
My legs finally give out. The sense of relief seeing Yuichi causes my exhaustion to catch up with me.
"Hm? What is it?" I ask.
"What was it you were trying to say just a second ago? You know, the Yuichi I lo..." My face instantly feels hot. He heard me just now.
Yuichi stares at me curiously.
"I was about to say Yuichi I loath you!" I scream at the top of my lungs.
"EHH!? What's with that? How can anyone loath someone as beautiful as me?" Yuichi asks in shock. You'll be surprised just how easy it actually is Yuichi. He bought my lie though, I'm glad he's an idiot.
"Oi oiiii~Anomaly boy and Miss Reaper! Have you forgotten about me!?" The Muramasa-Masamune wielder asks with a sadistic smile still plastered on his face.
Actually, truth be told, just for a second, I did.
Chapter 13D: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Yuichi Versus Vincent
"Don't worry, I haven't forgotten." I answer the git floating in the sky. Your new make over suits your sparkling personality.
"The main dish has finally come onto the plate! This time I'll slay you properly! Miracles don't happen twice!" Vincent screams at me.
"I have many debts to repay you. For myself, for Ren, and for Alicia."
"Ha! What can you do? You stupid Human Anomaly. Just let Muramasa-Masamune cleave you in half."
"Words that identify my nature." I whisper to myself.
I feel something welling up inside of me. It's a strange feeling. The words naturally leave my mouth. I say them, almost as if by intuition.
"My soul is one that is of self confidence." I recite the words almost like a song. My mind enters a trance like state almost like I'm meditating.
"Beautiful, intelligent and kind."
"Absolute belief in myself and those that surround me."
"And a will that never dulls, bends or breaks."
After I finish the words, I feel light illuminating from the depths of my soul, and eventually to my body.
"Soul ID lyrics." I barely catch Alicia's voice.
"What the hell did you just do!?" Vincent asks me with a shocked face.
"I acknowledged myself." I reply.
I can feel my new power. Not only feel, I also understand it. Like it has always been a part of me.
"Silver Manifestation!" I call. In response a certain metal materialises out of nowhere. The power I gained, allows me to create silver at will.
I make the silver condense into the shape of a sword and take it into my hand.
"It doesn't matter! Muramasa-Masamune can sever anything, including your sword!" Vincent declares as he swiftly charges at me through the air.
*Ching!* - I stop his Soul Slayer dead with my silver sword. I can't explain it, I just had a feeling, that my sword could block his Soul Slayer.
"This can't be real!?" He shouts in shock.
"Oh, it's real, as is this!" I shout as I push his Soul Slayer to one side and slash him.
"GAHHHHH!" Vincent screams in agony. Did it hurt? Good, it was meant to.
As soon as I'm confident of my victory I Suddenly feel another presence. This is? A Soul Anomaly.
Vincent staggers backwards as he holds the wound I gave him with his free hand.
"I'll definitely kill you someday!" He declares as he slashes his sword at the ground.
A cloud of dirt blocks my view. As soon as it clears. Vincent is no longer there.
Damn it! He escaped.
Chapter 13E: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – The End (Perspective: Vincent)
Damn that was close. If I had delayed any longer Muramasa-Masamune would have consumed me.
I just killed a regular Soul Anomaly that coincidentally appeared. So I've met the requirements to sheath Muramasa-Masamune.
"That damn Anomaly! I swear I'll get him for this." I declare.
"You should give up on the idea of beating him." A voice calls to me.
I turn around to find someone wearing a mask and a crimson robe standing there. The robe has an embroidery of blue flames rising up to its centre from the hem and sleeves, and another embroidery of six crosses forming the shape of a cross.
I never felt his presence, just when did he get there? The man slowly paces towards me. This feeling?
"You're a Human Anomaly, aren't you!?" I question.
"That is correct." He answers in a monotone voice.
I resist the urge to kill him, something he said is bothering me.
"What do you mean I should give up on the idea of beating him!?" I ask, are you making fun of me!?
"Muramasa-Masamune is capable of severing everything, yet you failed to sever through Yuichi Shiro's sword. And before, even though you impaled right through him, he survived. Do you know why that is?" The masked man asks, still in a monotonous voice.
"Are you saying Muramasa-Masamune is weakening?" I reply.
"In a sense, but the fault does not lie with Muramasa-Masamune."
"What do you mean!?" I'm starting to lose my patience with this guy.
"Muramasa-Masamune's potential power output has always remained constant. However, the variable that affects the actual outcome of power is the wielder, you. That is why what happened, happened."
"Are you implying that I'm an inferior wielder, that lowered the specs of my Soul Slayer!?" Don't kid with me you damn monster.
"That is correct." The same monotone voice. "During your last battle, why did you not use Muramasa-Masamune's Soul Corroding Rain?"
He knows of Muramasa-Masamune's other ability!? Of course I didn't use it. The rain covers a wide area. In close quarter combat, it would corrode my soul as well as my enemies.
"I believe the answer would be fear. It's not something I understand from an emotional point of view, I have never experienced anything that could be called an emotion after all." The masked man explains.
"What are you talking about!?" I shout.
"You fear your own Soul Slayer, that is what weakened Muramasa-Masamune's power output." He concludes.
I draw Muramasa-Masamune out of its sheath. I've had enough of this Anomaly speaking like it knows everything. Even if I'm already wounded, I can still cut him up.
"Never experienced fear? I'll let you do so right now." I rush at him. I'll kill you, damn it!
"Unfortunately, my emotions cannot be drawn out so easily." Can I take those as your last words?
I swing Muramasa-Masamune, aiming to cut off his head.
"What!?" How can this be!? He blocks Muramasa-Masamune, with his bare hand.
"With this output, your chances of victory is zero." That unemotional voice is pissing me off!
"I'll kill you! I'll kill you! I'll kill you!" I can't contain my anger, so I let it out. I force Muramasa-Masamune out of his grip.
"I have no real use for Muramasa-Masamune. However, if I kill you, and take it into my possession, then the chances of Voynich-Caduceus coming into this town increases."
This bastard! He wants to kill me to lure a different Soul Slayer out. In his eyes, I'm little more than the bait to catch the fish! Why the hell is he interested in Voynich-Caduceus anyway!? Oh well, I'll just kill him here and it'll no longer matter. I tighten my grip on Muramasa-Masamune.
"Why do you not flee? You can't win." The monotonous voice asks.
"Like hell my pride will allow me to run after all your insults!" I shout back.
"Pride? Another emotion. I guess in order for someone to be called complete, they need to have a balance made up of both emotions and logic. For me who currently only has logic, I will continue to be incomplete. However, I want to see what I become when I am complete. So I will draw them out."
"What the hell are you talking to yourself about!?" I yell as I swing my Soul Slayer at the disgusting creature before me. Damn, he blocked it bare handed again.
"Sacrifices have to be made for the sake of completeness."
"What on earth are you talking about!?" This is one creepy bastard.
"Letting you time out and being devoured by Muramasa-Masamune would work. But I will grant you a more honourable death for your pride's sake. Even though I cannot understand the feeling or the difference behind one way or the other."
My anger increases further at his last comment. I increase the strength I'm putting into Muramasa-Masamune but it doesn't budge an inch.
"My soul is one that is of the unknown." Wait, the words are different. But, is he doing the same thing as that other Anomaly? I feel a heavy sweat come down my face.
Chapter 13F: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Happy Ending
We're all gathered around the person who was my best friend, Ren Kirei. His face looks peaceful.
"Nii-san..." Sakura cries, Yuna hugs her whilst trying to hold in her own tears.
Everyone looks on with grief ridden faces.
"Ren...I'm sorry." It's my fault you ended up like this.
"What for?" What? A voice I thought I'd never hear again, just entered into my ear.
"Re...n." You're alive.
"Nii-san~~!" Sakura runs up to and hugs Ren, whom simply strokes her head with a brotherly smile. What's going on?
"Ren, you've become a Human Anomaly." Alicia states with a shocked expression.
"I beat this Reaper girl, who had this annoying laugh, at a game of strip heads or tails." Ren confesses as he gets back onto his feet.
"A game of strip heads or tails? Ren, what kind of pervert are you?" I ask in disgust, a gentleman should learn to keep their perverted desires under control. You should learn a thing or two from me.
"This coming from a guy who chose strip rock-paper-scissors." Alicia harshly retorts.
Oh right, I did, didn't I?
I get a double glare attack from my sister and kouhai.
"Ren Kirei-sama." Another voice enters the conversation. Wait, isn't she?
"Elizabeth!?" Alicia exclaims.
"Girl who wanted a threesome with me and Alicia." I call out.
"I never wanted any such thing!" She declares.
"What are you doing here, Elizabeth?" Alicia asks. Yes, I want to know too. She didn't even do her signature laugh, this must be serious.
"I am...here...to..." Elizabeth stutters, "I'm here as I am to be engaged to Ren Kirei-sama!" She declares the latter half loudly. For some reason, I'm getting a feeling of deja vu. Ren barely knows this girl and yet she's talking about marriage. If I was in Ren's shoes, there is only one possible answer I could give.
"I'm counting on you to be my best man, Yuichi." Ren says at the drop of a hat. As expected of my best friend, you chose the only correct possible answer. I give Ren a thumbs up in agreement.
I then hold my hand above my head.
*Pacha!* - We give each other a high five.
"Wait, you're okay with it?" Elizabeth asks. Ren simply gives a nod.
"Those two are so much alike it's scary." Alicia states. Really? I don't think we're all that similar.
"I guess we both cheated death in more ways than one, huh?" I say to Ren.
"So you did as well?" Ren replies.
"Yeah, I used my quick reflexes to change between scissors and paper. That way the best Alicia could get was a draw against me. I'm guessing you used a trick coin right."
"That's right, I'm surprised she never noticed." Ren confesses.
"Wait, Yuichi, are you saying?" Alicia looks at me with a bewildered face.
"Ren-sama, does that mean?" Elizabeth has a similar expression.
Ren and myself turn to our respective significant other.
""We cheated."" We say together in sync along with cheesy smiles.
Wait, you two. Why are you bringing your scythes out!?
""DIE!"" The two Reapers say together.
"Leg it!" I scream as I run as fast as my legs can carry me.
Chapter 13G: Team Yuichi Versus Vincent – Situation Report
Vincent Redfern's body has been discovered. The whereabouts of Muramasa-Masamune are currently unknown. We will prepare a team to locate the missing Soul Slayer. The recovery of Muramasa-Masamune will be given priority, in comparison to investigating the increase of Soul Anomalies.
I haven't written too many fight scenes, so I don't know what you all will think of it. I finally gave Vincent the death I promised myself (Although he was as tenacious as a cockroach). I'm sorry if you all were hoping that Ren would stay dead, I need Yuichi to have a character at his side, who is the same type of existence as him (Plus I'm not too keen on tragedies).