"Why? Dammit! Why can't I help her?" Shuuhei asked aloud.
Once again, he witnessed the beautiful girl with sapphire blue hair get slammed into the concrete by an enormous monster, he heard her bones snap again.
Tears slipped out of her emerald green eyes, the girl's once shapely legs were twisted away from her kneecaps in a grotesque form. She cried out in agony and tried in desperation to crawl away from the monster's grasp on her shattered knees. One of her bloody hands dug into the concrete whilst the other clasped onto the shaft of the huge, black scythe and tried to pull herself upward using her scythe as a crutch.
Shuuhei swallowed the lump in his throat, he wanted nothing more than to reach out to her, to help her, to pick her up in his arms and pull her away from the disgusting monster that ravaged her body. From his sitting up position he feebly stretched his arm out towards the girl. He was only a few yards away from her, but he could plainly see the pain etched into the girl's lovely face.
Those lovely, tear stained emerald-like eyes locked with his hazel ones, fear was etched deeply into her every feature.
"Please let me help y-"
"No, mortal lad stay away from this one, no matter what thine eyes see do not approach this one. This one implores of thee," she ordered.
To Shuuhei ears her voice still sounded so calming, so soothing even whilst being viciously attacked; they didn't match her screams of pain, which had made a return. His whole body trembled with rage, he clenched and grit his teeth. The only other emotion aside from his rage, was pity for the girl in front of him.
"Why?" The question rumbled out of his throat again.
The early morning light filtered into the kitchen through a dingy window. Shuuhei glanced into a nearly empty fridge the only thing that met his eyes were bright, cotton candy pink bags of his least favorite food in the world; strawberry bread. Upon closer inspection of the bags a sticker was slapped on the plastic packaging, labeled '80 percent off!'. He let out an audible groan and narrowed his eyes at the other contents of the fridge. A tupperware container was growing a patch of fluffy green-grey mold on top of it's red lid; a small, orange box of baking soda sat in a lonely corner.
Hmm I'm feeling healthy this morning so I'll skip the penicillin delight... is baking soda edible?
Shuuhei pondered his choices and sighed as he picked up a few of the cold, squishy bags.
I suppose it's better than starving... just by a little.
The thump of loud footsteps coming from above the kitchen shook some dust from the rafters. Shuuhei closed the refrigerator door, which let out a banshee like shriek. The thumping from upstairs advanced to the staircase. A dark haired and sharply dressed young man bolted down the stairs and over to Shuuhei.
"Hey Shuu, you seen my good tie anywhere? One of my friends set up a blind date for me tonight and I wanna look nice," Goro said.
Shuuhei shook his head and slapped a package of strawberry bread into Goro's palm. His elder brother shot him a blank stare.
"What's this? Strawberry bread? I thought you hated this stuff?" Goro asked curiously.
"Which one's the good tie, the red one or the striped one?" He replied with a raised eyebrow.
"That's all we got, aside from moldy mystery meat and baking soda. The end of the month sucks," Shuuhei groaned.
Goro fixed up the collar on his button up shirt with one hand, the other held the bag of strawberry bread up to his mouth. He promptly bit on the packaging, tore open the bag and a piece of plastic still clung to his mouth. He spat the offending strip onto the floor.
"Oh that was attractive," Shuuhei said sarcastically.
Goro chomped on the sweet, red jelly seeped out of the roll and his younger brother nearly gagged at the sight. Goro rolled his hazel eyes and swallowed the rest of the bread.
"You're such a child sometimes I swear," He commented.
Shuuhei stormed to the front door, pulled his school shoes on and left promptly. He squeezed his so-called breakfast in agitation as he walked on the sidewalk. The air was crisp and warm the trees above him still had mainly green leaves, a few red ones shyly peaked out.
I'M childish and yet he still enjoys junk like this? Pfft whatever.
He walked up to a bridge that spanned a small stream and stopped in the middle of it and waited. Shuuhei glanced back over his shoulder at the road which stretched on for awhile. He casually leaned against the short stone wall which was slightly warm. Shuuhei dug his smartphone, which lay cozily next to his wallet, out and checked the time. He shut his eyes a bit and leaned more against the wall peacefully.
She's gonna be late again if she doesn't hurry. Might as well savor this nice weather.
"SHUU-KUN!" A feminine voice shouted.
His hazel eyes shot open and he looked down the road once more. A petite, brunette girl ran as fast as she could down the sidewalk. Her suitcase-like book bag swung to and fro at her side. She ran right up to where Shuuhei stood. The girl panted heavily and put her hands on her knees.
"S-Sorry I'm late, S-Shuu-kun," The girl heaved between breaths.
She looked up at Shuuhei. Her large glasses had fallen down her button-like nose and dark brown eyes gazed up at him. One of her pigtails was braided and neat the other was frizzy and unbraided. Her blue plaid tie was loose, her matching skirt looked like it went unironed and one of her socks was rolled up to her knee, the other lay haphazardly around her ankle. In her other hand was a large, black aluminum can, steam wafted from it temptingly.
"Running late again, Chie-chan or are you going for an asymmetrical cosplay look?" Shuuhei asked teasingly.
Chie finally stood up straight her chest still thumping from her run.
"Haha, very funny. We've got a test this morning and I was up til two in the morning studying. I need a jolt so I had to run down to vending machines to get coffee before meeting you. And whaddya mean asymmetric?" Chie blurted out at supersonic speeds.
Shuuhei held up his phone and showed Chie her reflection; the brunette's eyes widened and her shoulders slumped.
"I look like hell!" She whined.
"I demand compensation for this information," Shuuhei ordered.
He immediately pointed at the black can within her hands. Chie growled but begrudgingly shoved the can into Shuuhei's hand. She huffed in agitation and fixed her appearance with amazing speed.
Shuuhei grinned, "A pleasure doing business with you and for being so generous, one bag of strawberry bread!"
He gently handed her the vibrant pink bag as she finished adjusting her tie. Shuuhei pulled the tab and took a long sip of the black coffee.
Chie examined the packaging on the sweet closely and her brow furrowed.
"A package of cold, squished, nearly expired and discounted strawberry bread. Shuu-kun, you're my hero," Chie remarked sarcastically.
"Even when you're late for school you still have time to call me that annoying nickname, that's almost admirable," Shuuhei commented.
She opened the bag with a loud pop and bit into the bread gently. The pair walked forward towards the school as they enjoyed their food.
"Well calling you Shuuhei-kun is too formal, too not me," Chie replied between bites of food.
The two departed from the small bridge and began the uphill walk towards the school. They soon entered a residential part of the neighborhood, western looking townhomes were on either side of the road. The two slowed as they approached a certain townhouse. A scrawny raven haired boy leaned next to the door, two nearly identical book bags were slung over his shoulder.
"Takumi, g'morning. Did my notes help you study at all?" Shuuhei asked.
Takumi handed one of the bags over to Shuuhei. "Excellent notes as always, class rep."
Takumi beamed a large grin that betrayed the dark looking circles beneath his grey eyes. Shuuhei adjusted his school bag on his shoulder a little bit and walked forward.
"So you two we're a little late, what's up with that?" Takumi asked.
"Chie-chan was running late this morning, thankfully she's a good runner so we should still get to school on time," Shuuhei replied.
Chie stood quietly she folded her arms over her chest and her fingers drummed against her arm.
"True for a girl with such short legs she can run surprisingly fast maybe her flat chest reduces wind resistance or something," Takumi laughed.
To this she huffed then turned, her nose pointed upwards toward the sky and her lips pursed. Shuuhei looked over at her.
"Hey c'mon now we're just teasing you, no need to be so sensitive," Shuuhei reassured.
A nefarious smirk danced across Chie's lips as she turned to Shuuhei.
"You should have Takumi give you your bag, Shuu-kun unless you want caught with the crap he brought."
Chie snatched the book bag off Shuuhei's shoulder, rifled through it's contents and dug out a magazine. Displayed upon it was a voluptuous blonde wearing nothing more than pair of white cat ears and a matching fur bikini. The blue eyes glanced up at the would-be reader enticingly. Chie also dug out a game box which displayed the blonde but also had a more petite brunette cat-girl on the cover.
Shuuhei glared at the two obscene items. Then over to Takumi who appeared to be sweating bullets.
"H-Hey why's my stuff being invaded?! It's not like my stuff is contraband or anything!" Takumi shouted protectively.
"Geez why do you bring this crap to school? You know it'll get you in trouble," Shuuhei asked.
"I'm not bringing it for school, dumb-ass! It's for my after school club." Takumi explained. "I mean as tempting as rubbing one out in a doorless men's room stall or even better the library, with the sixty-seven year old librarian sounds I think I'll pass," Sarcasm dripped from his every word.
Shuuhei tried to choke back his laughter at his friends smart-assed answer and wiped a tear of mirth from his eyes.
"I had almost forgotten why we were friends. That is why we're friends," Shuuhei said between chuckles.
Shuuhei had his back turned as he laughed at his friend's antics. Due to that he didn't hear something Chie said and something had slammed into his back. He turned round fast and looked at what had hit him. His eyes met a pair of tear stained, grey eyes belonging to a sweet looking brunette.
"I-I'm terribly sorry!" The brunette apologized.
She bowed in Shuuhei's general direction and resumed her run up the hill.
"Damn that hurt, for such a petite looking girl she packed quite the hit," Shuuhei groaned and rubbed his back.
"I told you to watch out Shuu-kun I swear if you don-,"
"Skip the lecture Mom, or we're gonna be late," Takumi interrupted.
After a few minutes of walking uphill the trio had arrived at school. They walked upstairs to their classroom. Chie and Takumi took their seats while Shuuhei stood by the teacher's desk.
"Takeda-san, you're slightly late this morning everything alright?" The male teacher asked.
"Just fine," Shuuhei replied dismissively.
The teacher straightened some papers around on his desk and fixed up his tie. The morning bell tolled and Shuuhei cleared his throat.
"Stand. Bow. Be seated," Shuuhei ordered and took his own seat.
"Good morning, students as you should all know we're having a test this morning. I hope you're all prepared some of these questions will be on your finals," The teacher spoke in a gruff voice.
He was met with mostly a choir of groans and complaints as he passed out the tests. Shuuhei filled out the test to the best of his ability. Occasionally his brow would furrow and he would glare at a particularly difficult problem. He soon finished and turned his test in.
The rest of Shuuhei's morning went by without event and soon enough lunch time had rolled teacher stood up and cleared his throat.
"Students. Lunch will be a free period. If anyone has any concerns please voice them to the class representative," the teacher announced.
The teacher calmly left the room, some students left the room while others pushed desks together creating little make-shift tables. Shuuhei walked over to where Chie and Takumi were sitting at an aforementioned make-shift table. He pulled up a chair and sat with them. Chie placed a lovely looking boxed lunch on a desk, while Takumi pulled a few vending machine sandwiches on a table. Shuuhei's stomach growled as he looked at the appetizing food. His gaze was drawn to Chie's food first.
"Don't even think of asking Shuu-kun, you already swindled me out of my coffee this morning," The brunette growled.
In spite Chie plopped a plump piece of fried chicken in her mouth.
"Ooh looks like the wife shot ya down," Takumi jeered.
"How's your rip-off Nekopa-"
"It is not a rip-off of that visual novel! For one the blonde actually has tits and isn't the brunette's twin! Further mor-"
"Quiet down! People are gonna start staring!" Chie snarled in a hushed tone.
Takumi folded his arms. "I was thinking of sparing you a sandwich but you blew that chance," he growled.
Shuuhei sat as his friends ate their lunches for a few minutes all was peaceful. From across the room someone flung open the classroom door and rushed in, in a panic.
"Teacher!" A mousy looking girl shouted.
She frantically looked around the classroom and fidgeted where she stood. Shuuhei stood up and approached the girl.
"I'm class representative for this class. Can I help you?" Shuuhei asked calmly.
"I-I need a teacher! Two boys in our class are gonna get in a fight! O-Our teacher stepped out for lunch! Where's yours?!" The girl shouted in a panic.
"The same. I'll see if I can't get them to stop," Shuuhei offered.
"No offense but what're you gonna do? One of these guys was from the Judo team and the other is in the boxing club!" The trembling girl asked.
Shuuhei smiled at the girl and her pat on the shoulder reassuringly.
"Don't worry I can be quite persuasive," He assured.
Takumi and Chie got up, followed Shuuhei and the girl over to the neighboring classroom. Before Shuuhei could even open the classroom door a lean looking, male student was shoved into the hallway. Another heavier boy stormed out of the door.
"Hey both of you! What's going on here?" Shuuhei asked.
"This piece of crap was bothering a friend of mine and I decided to intervene," The lean looking student explained.
"I was just trying to get an explanation about what happened this morning, all I was gonna do was talk to her!" The heavier student shouted.
"She said she didn't wanna talk to you!" The other barked back.
The two backed away from each other and took separate fighting stances. Shuuhei shook his head and pushed his friends behind him to a safe distance. He loosened up his tie and ran his fingers back through his hair.
The leaner looking student ran at the opposing student with his fist cocked back. The heavier student's eyes narrowed and he pulled one of his legs back for a kick. The boxer neared his opponent and swung his fist at his face. The judo practitioner aimed his heel for the boxers legs. Before either blow could connect Shuuhei darted between the two. He first caught the boxers punch with his right hand. Due to this he barely caught the judo user's leg. He let out a small grunt from exerting himself; the veins on his hands had become more pronounced.
"Both of you calm down. Fighting on school premises is strictly forbidden," Shuuhei growled out.
"Stay outta this, asshole!" The fatter student shouted.
"You're lucky this punk got in the way or I'd have dropped your fat-ass!" The lean boy barked.
To this Shuuhei forcefully pushed his fingertips down hard onto the boxer's knuckles. The boxer winced in pain and swore a little. Shuuhei also dug his fingers into the judo student's fat coated, yet strong, leg.
"Watch your language," Shuuhei warned.
With no warning Shuuhei shoved the lean boy's leg back. He watched the judo practitioner spin and lose balance. With one temporarily dealt with Shuuhei yanked on the boxer's arm. Using the momentum Shuuhei slammed his fist into the lean boy's stomach. The boxer gasped and wheezed hard. Shuuhei grabbed the boxer's shoulder and tossed him into the still reeling judo practitioner. The added weight from the boxer knocked them both to the floor.
"Why you son of a bi-,"
Shuuhei stomped onto the hand of the boxer he ground his foot back and forth.
"Language," Shuuhei growled.
The boxer winced in pain and bit down hard on his lip. Shuuhei shot a glance at the mousy girl; she finched a little at his gaze.
"Please go find your teacher," Shuuhei stated.
"Y-Yes! Right away!" She sputtered.
She quickly bolted down the hall and Shuuhei let out a deep breath. After a few moments of waiting the classroom door was opened softly. A brunette girl stepped out shyly and performed a short bow in front of Shuuhei. He found himself looking into a familiar pair of grey eyes.
"I-I'm terribly sorry about this," She apologized.
"Huh? What're you talking about?" Shuuhei asked.
The girl rubbed at the her slightly red tinged eyes. "Forgive me I'm being terribly rude. My name is Hashimoto Madoka, those boys you fought one is my boyf- m-my ex-boyfriend that is," Her eyes darted to the heavier male. "The other is my childhood friend. All of a sudden during class I started crying and Junp- I mean Hayashi-san tried to calm me down apparently and Sakamoto-san got upset," Madoka explained.
Shuuhei ran his hand through his hair. "Upset is putting it mildly. So you were sad over the fact that your ex-boyfriend here," He kicked at the judo practitioner softly. "Dumped you, you got upset, then your childhood friend tried talking to you and your ex got jealous enough to fight over you? That right?" He asked.
Madoka paused and bit down on her lower lip. "A-Almost right. I-I broke u-up with Sakamoto-san this morning," She explained.
"Huh? Then why're you the one who's crying?" He inquired.
She looked down to the tiled floor. "Whenever I look at S-Sakamoto-san it's like I-I'm looking at an entirely d-different person. He's not been acting like himself ever since the judo team cut him. All he ever does is e-eat and d-drink in excess. He hasn't taken me on a date or even bothered to call me in weeks. I-I just c-couldn't bare it s-seeing him like that," Madoka sniffled out.
"I-I see," Shuuhei replied.
The click-clack of shoes against the tiled floor made him look down the hall. A male teacher was walking at a fairly fast pace towards him. His foot was still pressed into the boxer's hand.
"Takeda-san! What's going on here?" The teacher asked.
Shuuhei quickly retracted his foot and stepped away from the other boys.
"Sorry about this, these two were about to start a fight on school premises. I had to get a little rough with them. I believe one is a boxer and one formerly practiced judo," Shuuhei explained.
The teacher folded his arms. "A likely story, I would expect better behavior from a class representative," He lectured.
"This guy's a class rep? Heh yeah and I'm the emperor's long lost grandson," Hayashi snarled.
"Wait no, this guy T-Takeda was it?" The mousy girl glanced at Shuuhei. "He volunteered to intervene after I went to his class," She piped up protectively.
The teacher turned his stern glance over to the mousy girl. "Why didn't you get his teacher then?"
"Their teacher was out or I would've gotten him," The mousy girl squeaked.
The teacher pulled his glasses off. He rubbed his hand against his wrinkled forehead and sighed.
"I'm getting too old for this job," he complained. "Listen up, Takeda-san I will let you off with a warning only once! If I hear from any of your other teachers that you've put a toe out of line, you'll be given a week's worth of detention. Do you understand me?" The teacher growled.
"Yessir!" Shuuhei replied.
"Chikafuji-san, escort these boys to the infirmary and the rest of you get back to your classrooms," He ordered.
"Ugh what?! Why do I have to?" Chie whined and turned to Takumi. "Hey make sure Shuu-kun doesn't eat my lunch while I'm gone," she ordered.
Chie groaned and crouched down near the two guys. Shuuhei and Takumi had retreated back to their classroom. She eyed her choices and pulled on the boxer's arm first.
"Up we go," Chie called in a sing-song voice.
With a little effort she pulled Hayashi up to his feet and he stood up shakily.
"Thanks," He grumbled.
"Don't sweat it," She replied.
Chie took a deep breath and pushed the shirt sleeves up on her uniform. She gave a tremendous tug on Sakamoto's arm. With some effort she had him back on his feet.
"There we go," Chie sighed. "Alrighty you two let's get you to the nurse's office fast."
Chie quickly guided the pair of roughed up boys to the nurse's station on the first floor. Once they were at the door she knocked upon it. She turned on her heel and began to walk away. In mid-stride she paused.
"Oh before I forget, have some parting advice. Try not to get in a fight with Shuu-kun. Despite his looks he's actually an ex-delinquent," Chie flashed a cheeky smile at both boys.
She giggled at the boy's awestruck expressions. Chie hurriedly returned to class with Takumi and Shuuhei before the bell rang. For the trio the rest of the day went by uneventfully. As they walked out of the classroom they began to chat.
"So, Takumi, Chie-chan, you got any plans for the evening?" Shuuhei inquired.
"I told you this morning I've got club activities tonight, maybe next time," Takumi replied.
"Sorry Shuu-kun, I gotta help Mom and Dad with the store tonight. Why do you ask, got someone you wanna avoid?" Chie asked cheekily.
Shuuhei thought back to the fridge at home devoid of food and sighed. "Nah, just didn't feel like heading straight home," He explained.
"Ok see you on Monday," Chie chirped chipperly.
Shuuhei walked down the stairs with his two friends. Once at the bottom of the stairs Takumi departed. As he and Chie walked out the front doors of the school. Chie took off running, paused mid-step turned to Shuuhei and waved. He returned her kind wave and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
So now what? I am not going home on an empty stomach to a fridge full of strawberry-bread.
He wandered aimlessly over from the school over to the train station and a thought occurred to him.
It's been awhile since I've hit the outdoor shopping mall they've got pretty good cheap food. The weather's pretty good too. Gotta enjoy it while it lasts.
Shuuhei had boarded an express train to the station closest to the outdoor mall. Shuuhei avoided the tempting looking station shops, which offered a variety of over-priced food. He exited the station and walked for a few minutes until he arrived at the outdoor mall.
A long row of stalls which offered a variety of things from books, CDs, games and even a few restaurants for hungry shoppers. Shuuhei walked through the wide row and would peek into a stall every once in a while. A long white banner displaying 700 yen ramen waved peacefully. It was next to a little Ma and Pa noodle stand. Shuuhei pushed through the cloths designed to keep heat in. A comforting warmth immediately embraced him and the scent of salted meats lingered in the air. An old, balding male flashed him a semi-toothless smile.
"Welcome!" His greeting was as warm as the atmosphere.
Shuuhei walked up to a wooden stool by the counter and took a seat.
"What'll it be, sonny?" The old man asked.
"The 700 yen pork ramen, please," He ordered.
Shuuhei gently placed the bill on the hardwood counter. This act earned him another semi-toothed smile from the elderly man. Soon the faint sound of chopping could be heard. A small glass of, fresh smelling, green tea was placed in front of him. He took a sip and sighed pleasantly.
Nice. It's such a shame places like these are such a rarity nowadays.
After a few minutes of waiting a nice sized, steaming bowl of ramen was presented to him. He broke his chopsticks and eyed a fatty looking piece of pork. Shuuhei ate slowly and savored his meal.
A small amount of time passed before his peace was interrupted. The cloth was opened up loudly by a familiar boy his age. Innumerable stains dotted his shirt and pants, crumbs still clung to his his hands was a large yet greasy looking paper bag. The old man greeted him warmly too.
That's that Sakamoto guy isn't it?! Shit… did he follow me to get revenge?
He ambled over to the counter and sat harshly upon the wooden stool.
"What'll it be?" The elderly man asked.
"Food," Sakamoto groaned.
"Be a little more specific, junior," The old man grumbled.
Sakamoto's narrowed eyes drifted up to the old man.
"Ramen," The two syllables rumbled out of his mouth; as though forcing them out was like solving a rubik's cube.
The old man waited patiently for a minute. "I don't offer free ramen kiddo," He said.
Sakamoto crudely shoved his greasy hand into his pocket. He dug some crumb coated coins and dropped them lazily on the counter. The old man begrudgingly sighed and scooped the coins into his liver-spotted hands.
Shuuhei tried carefully to keep his gaze from meeting Sakamoto's. He slurped on the still savory noodles. A rustling sound invaded his ears. He peered at Sakamoto from the corner of his eye. A pork-bun was shoved haphazardly into his mouth. Sakamoto munched loudly spewing crumbs all over the clean counter. He slurped down tea greedily uncaring of the fact that most of it landed on his shirt.
The old man returned and dropped the bowl of ramen hard in front of him. Some of the broth splashed on the counter. Sakamoto's tongue slowly dragged over his lips in a daze. He hardly had the coordination to break the chopsticks but, seemed eager to get all the noodles. The rate at which he ate was incredible, in a way, that made Shuuhei's skin crawl. In under two minutes the bowl had been eaten and drained of broth.
"More," Sakamoto could barely utter out.
The old man frowned and made a gesture with his hand. "Pony up," He said.
Sakamoto's shaky hand barely dove into the right pocket and yanked up more filthy coins; which hardly made it onto the counter. The old man made a displeased face but picked up the coins. Another couple of minutes went by, and the old man nested one ramen bowl inside the now empty one. This time Sakamoto simply lifted the bowl to his mouth and drank. Half way through guzzling it down he stopped immediately. He backed away from the counter clumsily.
Despite his feelings of disgust Shuuhei piped up. "You ok, man?"
Sakamoto bolted out of the ramen stall at a surprisingly fast pace.
God I'm an idiot for doing this, but he is human…
Shuuhei exited out of the stall into the night after the other boy. Due to the dark he pulled out his smartphone. He quickly tapped on on a flashlight app.
"Hey Sakamoto? A-Are you alright?" Shuuhei called.
He swayed his phone to and fro searching. Shuuhei didn't see anything so he advanced a little farther. A loud retching like noise drew his attention further. He didn't even notice that he wandered into an abandoned plaza. A pretty fountain with, a maiden statue atop it, spewed water merrily. His flashlight had shone on the statue's face, at first, he slowly pulled it downwards. The light fell upon a figure lying face down in the water of the fountain. Most of his body however remained unseen within the shadows.
Oh shit! He'll drown!
Shuuhei raced over to Sakamoto and shook his shoulder violently.
"You ok?" Shuuhei asked in concern.
Shuuhei quickly turned him over by pulling his shoulder. What met Shuuhei's eyes could no longer be classified as 'human'.
Sakamoto's eyes were no longer present, an obscenely huge nose that stretched into its forehead. The only other thing present, on its face, was a gargantuan mouth lined with jagged teeth. The creature apparently couldn't see Shuuhei and leaned over the fountain. He watched it's mouth tremble and then it vomited profusely into the fountain. It got onto all fours seemingly by instinct and clutched on its bulbous stomach. His hand had morphed into a thicker one with three digits. Its skin had changed to a dark orange in color. Its limbs became slightly longer and exceptionally thicker. It had become almost the size of an SUV. His clothes had shredded into scraps that barely kept it covered.
Shuuhei gagged at the sight and backed far away. Yet he kept the light trained on the abominable thing. The enormous nose crinkled violently and the eyeless head turned in his direction.
"Food… hungry…," It slobbered.
Did I wander on to some sort of horror movie set?! Maybe one of those god-awful prank shows?! Or please...God… let this just be an awful nightmare...
Shuuhei continued backing away in terror and he tried to keep his breathing steady. It advanced towards him, the huge nose crinkling away. The long tongue licked over its gaping mouth. It moved closer and closer to Shuuhei. The aforementioned boys legs were frozen in fear and his eyes were wide. The creature raised one of it large limbs high over it's head. Shuuhei instinctively crossed his arms in the shape of an 'X' and braced himself. It softly swung its arm downward and hit Shuuhei. The impact from strike sent Shuuhei flying a short distance away.
HOLY SHIT! G-God damn! Did a friggin' truck hit me?!
Shuuhei landed hard on his side and wheezed in pure agony. His sore arm clutched at his chest in pain and his eyes watered in immense pain. Dark spots invaded his vision. He blinked once, twice and willed himself not to fall unconscious. The creature's nose still wriggled, it still hunted for him.
I… I don't wanna die here! N-Not like this!
He closed his eyes and slammed a fist into the concrete.
"O pitiful abomination, wallowing in the darkest dredges of sin. Thy soul hath been forever corrupted, thy humanity is cast away. For thine soul there shall be no salvation. Face thine punisher. Face this one. Face the scythe of this one. For thy end is come," A feminine, yet commanding voice spoke.
Shuuhei's heavy eyes glanced over to where the voice had come from.
From nowhere a shapely, white sock covered, leg stepped into existence. This was followed by the other equally shapely leg appearing. He couldn't help but keep glancing. The next thing he saw was a rather shapely, feminine backside, covered by a pure black kimono. From the angle where he lay he finally saw a head of otherworldly sapphire colored hair; which was wore up in a high ponytail. A pin depicting a black cherry blossom had been daintily struck through it. A swarm of pure black cherry blossoms swirled about the girl. This only added to her enchanting looks.
The girl appeared to be looking in the general direction of the creature. The sapphire ponytail shook to and fro. Finally she turned her gaze over to Shuuhei. A pair of sweet looking emerald eyes looked into his.
"Despair not, mortal lad. This one is here to protect thee," The enchanting girl proclaimed.
"W-What?" Shuuhei asked, taken aback by her archaic speech.
My savior is… a cosplay girl?! And a cosplay girl who talks like she's stuck in the past?!
"Listen, that thing it's not human get out of here!" Shuuhei pleaded.
"This one knows precisely what that abomination is. That abomination is a Sin. To be even more clairvoyant, tis a Gluttony. Fret not this one can not fail," The girl spoke soothingly.
She turned away from Shuuhei and rose her extended hand to the heavens. An absolutely enormous, pure black scythe appeared in a flutter of black cherry blossoms. The kimono clad girl twirled the scythe high over head elegantly, as if she were demonstrating.
This cannot be real! This is all just some kind of dream or a hallucination!
She toted the scythe over her shoulder casually and strolled right up to the Gluttony. She raised up the pole end of her scythe and slammed it hard into the ground. The loud noise made the creature cock it's head in her direction.
"I...smell...flesh…," The gluttony uttered.
It ambled slowly over to the scythe toting girl. She almost seemed unphased by the Gluttony as if she hadn't even seen it.
Shuuhei jerked himself up from his position and ignored his crying muscles. He watched the Gluttony raise it's hand in a fist. His eyes narrowed and he ran as quickly as his sore legs would allow. Shuuhei was close and outstretched his hand to the girl's back, reaching, praying he'd reach her in time. He glanced up in time to catch the mysterious girl take an enormous arm through her chest. Blood spurt from the wound and some droplets land on Shuuhei's face. Shuuhei's eyes grew wide in horror yet:
The girl's shoulders didn't slump, her head didn't drop, the scythe remained still in her grasp. She seemed to be staring forward.
"Impalement through the heart?" She gripped hard onto the Gluttony's arm. "Is that the epitome of thine might? Dissatisfying," The girl practically snarled.
She raised up one of her oh-so shapely legs and kicked it hard in the stomach. The force from the kick sent the Gluttony flying to the far edge of the plaza. Through the gaping hole where her heart should have been he could clearly see the monster. It took all his will power not to puke up his precious ramen and tea. Before his eyes the wound had already started to shrink. Within seconds the wound had disappeared, even her kimono repaired itself.
"Wh-What are you?" Shuuhei asked in dumbfounded awe.
The girl turned to him. "This one is a shinigami. The given name of this one is Misaki of the clan Yoshida," Misaki introduced herself eloquently.
A god of death…? She's screwing with me right? Although… she did take an… arm through her… heart.
The thought of what he had witnessed made his stomach churn. Misaki looked over at Shuuhei with concern. She turned her gaze back to the Gluttony and approached it slowly. The shinigami pushed her foot down hard into it's fat stomach. The creature let out pained sounding noise and snarled viciously at her.
She punctuated this with another punishing kick to its gullet. Shuuhei couldn't help but approach her from behind. Misaki glanced back over her shoulder at him.
"Mortal lad, why doest thou follow this one? Tis not safe to be around this abomination, thy life is in peril," She scolded.
"Are you gonna kill it, the Sin, I mean?" Shuuhei asked.
"Aye, once a soul surrenders to Sin, this one shall eradicate it. For this creature there is no redemption," Misaki answered.
The large creature's tri-fingered hand appeared around Misaki's waist and squeezed her hard. An ear-piercing and sickening crunch rang out through the night. Yet the girl didn't even flinch as her bones snapped. It tossed her high up into the air and snatched her back up by one of her legs. The Gluttony gave a sharp pull on her legs and waved her in the air. Another choir of snaps pierced the night and it threw her hard. Her body skipped across the asphalt like a rock would do on a lake.
Shuuhei chased after her as fast as his legs would carry him and knelt down beside the girl. Her pale neck had been broken and her hands were bloody. At an almost casual pace she cracked her neck into a proper position. He then tugged on one of her bloody hands he cradled her back and tried to lift her. Despite her kimono she seemed to be awfully light.
"Art thou attempting to protect this one?" Misaki asked in confusion.
"Yes I'm gonna protect you! If that's what you asked!" Shuuhei answered.
She flashed a very sweet, comforting smile at Shuuhei. In a few seconds her sweet smile disappeared and she clutched hard onto her chest. She let out an absolutely tortured sounding scream. Tears forced their way from her eyes and she feebly held her legs. They too had been snapped back into place by force. All of her once broken bones were being mended instantly. Through all of this she shrieked and cried.
"What's wrong?!" Shuuhei asked.
Despite her agonizing condition she stood up on wobbling legs. Misaki faced the Gluttony which had already started advancing upon her. It had raised up one of it's almost club like hands. Before it could strike her Shuuhei tackled her out of the way. He just barely dodged its fist.
"What art thou doing?!" Misaki yelled in panic.
"I'm not gonna sit there and watch that thing kill you again!" Shuuhei shouted back.
The girl gently stroked Shuuhei's hair soothingly. She stood up again and held onto her scythe.
"If it comforts thee, this one shall slay the Sin without taking too much damage. Despair not for this one believe in this one. If thee believes in this one then she can not fail," Misaki said.
Misaki gently pushed Shuuhei back and the Gluttony had tackled monster grabbed onto her ankle and slammed her into the concrete hard.
"Why? Dammit all! Why can't I help her?" Shuuhei swore at himself.
Shuuhei rose up and eyed the monster with a look of a hatred. He grit his teeth and clenched his fist until his knuckles turned white. He watched the ensuing fight.
Misaki quickly rolled on her side and gripped her scythe. She swung her scythe so the blade end was curved around its ankle. Misaki pulled hard and sliced its foot off. Blood gushed forth and it nearly toppled. As the Gluttony fell towards Misaki she punched its nose hard. A popping noise was heard and the bulbous nose was turned sharply to the right. She followed this up by slamming her palm up into its gullet. The force from her strike sent it flying into the air. She twirled her scythe gracefully over her head. When the monster descended she swung the pole end of her scythe into its body. The punishing strike sent the Gluttony flying back away from her.
"This one did not wish to waste her weapon upon thine lowly form. Alas, this one does not wish to gaze upon thine hideous form any longer, so this one shall end thee," She sneered.
Misaki tossed her sapphire locks behind her shoulder almost arrogantly. Her limbs had finally been fully restored to their former glory. She took off full sprint for the Sin, her scythe held high over head. The Gluttony raised up its arms as if it were going to strike her again. Misaki ducked under the arm with ease and hooked her scythe's blade underneath its armpit. She glanced back at it once she was behind it and cruelly yanked her scythe. More dark rusty blood spurt forth from the wound; some of which coated Misaki's kimono. The Gluttony let forth a pain bellow and howled.
The shinigami made a disgusted face and sneered.
"Oh, I pray thee be silent, this one has hardly begun to punish thee," Misaki growled.
She twirled her scythe high over her head again and struck its face with the pole. Misaki continued to spin her weapon and dealt another strike this time to it's back. The shinigami delivered an onslaught of these punishing blows. Every once in a while it would groan or howl in pain.
Misaki suddenly stopped twirling the scythe about her and backed away from it. The Gluttony let out a roar that would make most grown men piss themselves in fear. It swung its other arm at her. Misaki braced her legs and took the brunt of the hit. More loud cracking filled the air. The creature fell forward with its maw still wide and gaping. It had up to Misaki's shoulders in its mouth.
It's gonna eat her!
Shuuhei's eyes were wide with horror. He stared awestruck at the creature. Before Shuuhei could even blink a curved blade was driven through the top of its skull. It let out the loudest howl yet tonight. The curved blade wiggled to and fro for a few seconds. Then it's face was slashed viciously open through the middle. Misaki was splattered in waterfall of blood and gray matter.
"Asinine abomination, how disgusting," Misaki remarked.
Once again a disgusted look had etched itself onto her lovely features. She prodded the body with her scythe. It still twitched. She shook her head and raised her scythe over head. Misaki drove the blade deep into the Gluttony's chest.
"Now thou art damned to Hell!"
A large shadowy circle appeared around the Gluttony's body. Rows of small scythe blades burst forth and encircled it. The blades grew longer and wrapped themselves around the body. The blades grew to look like hands once they had dug into its flesh they all yanked down at once. The circular shadow disappeared once the Gluttony's body had been absorbed.
Misaki stumbled forward again and almost fell face first into the asphalt. Shuuhei ran towards and caught her before she could collide with the ground. She visibly winced, probably from the last strike she took and clutched upon her side.
"Hey it's alright, you can rest easy now," Shuuhei tried to console her.
"Mortal lad, earlier thou made an attempt to protect this one. Pray tell what possessed ye to do something like that?" Misaki inquired softly.
"I told you. I wasn't gonna sit around and let that thing hurt you more. Listen to me and listen, well. I don't ever want to see anyone go through the torture you went through tonight. You understand? No person deserves that," He answered.
"Alas this one is not a person, she is a shinigam-"
"I don't give a shit what you are! You look human to me! A-A bit of a peculiar looking one, but still human. Even if you are a God you don't deserve to go through what I saw," Shuuhei growled out.
Misaki's expression was that of a humbled look. "Very few mortals say what thou hath said, it had been a long time since this one heard similar words," Misaki proclaimed.
Out of the blue she winced and held onto her side hard. Shuuhei held her up by the shoulders so she didn't fall. He crouched beside her until he recovered. After a few minutes Misaki stood up but Shuuhei still crouched.
"Mortal lad what art th-"
"Shut up and get on my back, I'll give you a piggyback ride to my place. For at least one night you deserve proper rest," Shuuhei interrupted.
The blue haired girl crossed her arms defiantly over her chest and huffed.
"T-This one refuses to be carried like a mortal chi- Kyaa!"
Before she could protest further Shuuhei lifted her up, and awkwardly placed her on his back.
"You comfy back there?" Shuuhei asked and walked forward.
Her cheeks had puffed up poutily. "Mortal lad, this is demeaning," Misaki sulked.
Shuuhei merely ignored her and carried her back to his home. He was careful to avoid public places and transportation. Two blood coated teenagers walking around in the dark would raise far too much suspicion. He finally arrived home and took a deep breath of relief. Shuuhei let her off his back and glanced around the apartment.
Safe at last.
"I'll take you to my room and let you sleep on my bed, I'll sleep on the couch," Shuuhei offered.
"That is most un-"
"Would you shut up already? Just let me do this for you," Shuuhei barked.
Misaki donned a resigned look and unfolded her arms. He guided her up the steps to his room and he sat at his desk chair. The Shinigami fidgeted it a little and stood around his room.
"Sit where eve-"
"Mortal lad, do not mistake this one, but she has a proposition for thee indeed she does," Misaki offered.
"Shoot," One of Misaki's eyebrows raised up and she tilted her head. Shuuhei groaned and smacked his forehead. "Go ahead and ask," He explained irritably.
"Ah," Misaki cleared her throat. "Mortal lad, thy bravery, thy kind words and thine even kinder actions depict you as a mortal this one can trust. For a long time this one has despised the shackles of immortality and wishes to be freed from them. In order for this to happen this one must stay in the mortal realm for one year. So this one would like to stay under thine stead. Anything you ask of this one shall be heeded. Finally, should thee except, this one shall demonstrate proof of her godliness," She explained.
"Proof of your godliness?" Shuuhei parroted back, confused.
She apparently took this to mean confirmation and pulled at the obi sash on her kimono and yanked one the sleeves down. Shuuhei sputtered and his cheeks did their best impression of a cherry tomato. Misaki turned so her back faced him and pulled down the other half of her kimono. Finally her whole naked back was exposed to him; taking up most of her back was a scar. The scar was shaped like the kanji for death.
"How doest thou like it, mortal lad? Does this proof satisfy thine eyes?" Misaki asked.
Before Shuuhei could reply he heard the thump of angry footsteps and something getting tossed hard against a wall. His bedroom door was rudely banged open by a deeply inebriated looking Goro.
"Shuu! My date was a total bust! A friggin' bowser man! Last blind date I'm ever goin' on!" Goro drunkenly blurted out.
Goro blinked twice then seemed to process the situation.
"S'cuse me," He slurred.
He pulled Shuuhei's bedroom door closed.
_End Chapter 1_
(A/N): Whew! Feels good to FINALLY post something and this is one of my favorite stories that needed a desperate reboot! So what'd you think? Has my writing grown up more than you remember or has it retained my old style? I also would like to request constructive criticism on my battle scenes. Oh and if something really struck you as noteworthy (good or bad) please comment on it I always appreciate it. Thanks for reading everyone!