Chapter 8: Vs. The Corset Family!
"So…nothing's wrong with her besides that?" Ria's mother asked, standing next to Don Corset himself, and another man dressed in a lab coat.
"We've been to every doctor, and they had no answer, but you're telling me that she's okay?"
The man in the coat nodded, turning his sights to the little girl running around next to a slightly older boy with brown hair and eyes. Running around with them, was a small brown dog, barking joyously. The three of them could be seen throwing a disc back and forth as they enjoyed their time outside. "In a way." He responded.
"Just don't allow her to use that technique."
"I'm still not getting it." Don spoke, crossing his arms over his chest as he too joined the scientist and the woman at the window they stood in front of. "So when she brought that little mutt back to life, she aged? Or is she still a toddler's age, but her body is maturing faster than normal?"
"It's a rare occurrence.." The scientist began. "Life element users, they're a phenomenon, and Ria seems to be this generation's only one…recorded that is. From the little data we have on them, it seems that they have the power to revive once living beings. But, if they do, depending on the being they revive, an amount of their life is taken as well. It's as if she skipped right over her toddler years after she revived that dog. Her mindset, due to the years she skipped, may be the little four year old Ria Corset you know and love, but her body, her organs, muscles, bones…she's completely seven; give or take a few months. Her other techniques should be harmless, but reviving the dead has its consequences."
A right hand clasped against her own mouth, Ria's mother watching her smiling daughter as a tear rolled down both her eyes. Don on the other hand, simply stared at the young girl, before finally turning back to the other male in the room.
"How much for her?"
Immediately, she turned around in the utmost shock, yet unable to speak as the scientist spoke before her.
"We'd pay a good hundred thousand a month until we have all the information we can receive. My estimate would probably be about five years worth of information we could seep from Ria."
Smacked! A loud slap resonated within the room, a red handprint left across Don's right cheek. The married couple now staring at each other with heavy tension, Ria's mother spoke without turning to the scientist.
"Thank you, Doctor Makato, but we're not giving OUR daughter up for science. But again, thank you for the analysis."
"I see." Doctor Makato responded with a nod. "I'll see myself out. Thank you for your time, and call me if anything else happens with Ria. Indigo Labs is a safe and friendly place for kids like Ria, Mrs. Corset. Look into us if you change your minds."
Outside, the two kids and dog continued running around, flinging the disc to each other in the yard. With the disc in hand, laughing, Ria came to a stop as Makato walked out the door and began down the long stone path to the end of the yard. Both the little girl, and the scientist exchanged stares, Ria an innocent curiosity as to who the male was, while Makato — he gave the young girl a subtle smirk before turning his visage back forward.
"Ria!" The older boy yelled, grabbing her attention away from Makato. Ria turned to see the boy hopping up and down, arms flailing as he did. "Throw it!"
"Okay! Here it comes, brother!"
As commanded, Ria tossed the disc forward, but as she did, a powerful gust of wind caught the flying object, sending it high into the air, and into a tree top.
The small dog was first to give chase, the two kids appearing behind it as they stared up into the enormously tall tree.
"Sorry…" Ria whimpered, turning visage to the ground feeling guilty. A palm then pressed against the top of her head, causing her to look back towards him as he smiled.
"It wasn't you, it was the wind. And besides, your big brother Donny will get it!" Pointing to himself, Donny then turned back to the tree, jumping up and down with arms stretched out as if he was going to reach the top, even though he didn't even get more than a foot off the ground. His actions caused Ria to laugh.
"You're not gonna reach it, brother." Ria said while laughing. Donny then faked a hurt expression. "Aw come on, Ria. Believe in your brother, and then I'll be able to get it! That's why I can't reach it, so slap my back for encouragement, and tell your brother he's the best."
She stopped laughing, now holding a small smile on her features as she nodded. "Okay, I believe in you, Donny!"
As she raised her right hand, without her knowing, white rings appeared around her fingertips. Then, just as asked, she slapped her brother's back. Once impact was made, something happened to Donny. His eyes lit up, a few veins now visible in his limbs as a white aura coated around him. Without questioning, the young boy crouched, and then took off into the air, zooming past branch after branch until his ascension stopped halfway up the tree.
A gasp left Ria, wide eyed with her dress just now done swaying from Donny's powerful launch into the tree. Donny himself looked down, noticing the now ant sized Ria from his perspective. He then checked his hands, noticing the white coated around his frame. Donny turned his sights back to the top of the tree, and then leaped again, this time reaching the top where the disc laid. Grabbing it, the young boy dropped down, landing on his feet with a powerful impact that caused Ria to fall to her seat in amazement. Donny then held up the disc in victory, smiling from ear to ear as he panted softly, something neither of them really noticed was a problem. "See! We got it!"
"But how!?" Ria asked. Even she knew that what her brother did wasn't normal, and as she noticed the white aura around him, Ria turned back to her own hands, coming to the conclusion that it was her element that gave him the ability to do what he did. Donny knew it too, but was all smiles as he tried to catch his breath as the aura disappeared.
"That was amazing. Ria…..! Do it again…!"
"Oh- Okay!" She responded to the short winded boy before hopping back to her feet.
"The last user deemed it the Adrenaline Rush." Makato spoke to himself, watching from the front yard's fence with an evil grin. "The user has the ability to amplify a person's physical strengths beyond what they're capable of. Our data says it's thanks to the Life Element coating around the heart, causing it to beat faster than normal. A lot faster. But if you don't give that person time to cool down before using it again.."
That twisted smile remained on his face as he walked through the gate, not looking back as he eventually slid into his car to drive off.
"I'm ready now!" Donny yelled, turning away from Ria to show her his back. "Just like before! I'm going to run around the entire house in less than a minute!"
Laughing, she ran up to her older brother, and just like before, white rings appeared around her fingers as her right hand smacked against his back. A coating of Life Element appeared around Donny once more, and once he felt the adrenaline push through him, the young male was off like a rocket, beginning his lap around the giant mansion.
"Go brother, go!" The seven year old cheered, jumping up and down as Donny appeared out of sight. Ria then turned the opposite way, waiting for Donny to return.
A dust cloud behind him thanks to his incredible speed, Donny was already half way around the mansion within seconds. "This is amazing! Ria really…is….something…" He started to slow, and as he did, he noticed something as he looked down. His heart, it was beating so hard that it could be seen from the outside. Donny clutched his chest, the pain quickly became unbearable, and before he could call out for help, a small splatter could be heard, though nothing visible exploded. Donny then fell to the ground face first. From his mouth, a spool of blood leaked, and Donny laid there for a while with no one around, no longer breathing.
Minutes passing by, Ria waited for her brother to come back around, her face growing more and more concerned the longer he took to show up.
"Brother..?" She called out once, waiting alone as Donny never appeared before her again.
The two found themselves in a large office, Remi pressed against the only door as she caught her breath. Rylo however, began looking around — Oran's hammer safely strapped against his back as he explored the office. "This must be the Don's office." He spoke as he began opening random drawers at the main desk.
"Yeah, so what? Now we're trapped! Doesn't that concern you?!" Remi asked him, a bit annoyed at Rylo's comfort. Rylo then turned back to Remi with a wide smile. "Nope! Because I have you with me! Together, we can take on anyone in this house, right!?"
Taken back by his statement at first, Remi looked away from the thief, pretending to look around herself. "How'd you come up with that..? We're not a team.." She murmured just loud enough. Still, Rylo continued to smile until something caught his eye. A silver urn was sitting on a shelf to his right. Walking over, he picked it up. "Huh, an urn. Must of been someone important to him.."
He popped open the top of it, causing Remi to freak.
"What!? What are you doing!? You can't just open someone's urn!"
"I'm a thief, Remi. I usually do what I want." Rylo replied, causing the blonde to childishly pout. "Besides, it's made of pure silver, so I bet it would sell for a good amount."
"You're not selling someone's urn!" Remi yelled again, but as she scolded, she didn't even notice Rylo strapping the silver urn to her back, causing her to freak once more as she tried to reach for the piece. "Rylo stop! I'm not taking this!"
He began laughing as he watched her try her best to reach for it, but to no avail. That laughing then ceased as the door to the office quickly swung open thanks to a hard kick. It was Quincy, the blue suited member who walked in, cocky grin on his features as he stared down the two. "Well look what I found! Some fuckin' rats in the boss's office. Now you know ya gotta pay for your crimes against the Corset family!"
"Rylo!" Remi yelled as she ran to him to hide behind the thief, but as she did, her back showed the urn, causing Quincy to turn to a state of shock. "H-hey! What are you doing with the young boss! Put him down!"
"Young boss?" Rylo and Remi both questioned. Looking at each other, and then Rylo turning to the urn and grinning once he realized it was that Quincy spoke of. "Eh? You want this silver urn, yeah?"
Quincy now found himself in a compromising position as Rylo removed the urn from Remi's back, now tossing it in his right.
"Stop doing that!" The mafia member yelled. Rylo then chuckled as he continued for a bit more.
"Well, if you insist." He stated cheekily. Rylo then tossed it in the air once more, this time giving a shrug to signify that he wasn't going to catch the falling urn. The piece falling to the floor, Quincy watched in horror as it all happened in a slow motion. All attention on the urn, Quincy reached out helplessly, only to notice Rylo catching it once again, this time with his foot. A wash of relief came over Quincy once Rylo halted the urn's fall, only to realize one thing. The blonde haired girl was now missing. "Huh-"
Before he could find her—
"Tactics Sixteen!" She shouted, lunging from Quincy's right side. The mafia member turned right into it, Remi slamming a lightning charged right elbow into Quincy's opposing rib cage. Sparks flying wildly from the impact point, Quincy let out a cry of pain as he hunched over to the side he was struck. From there, Remi finished off her combination by grabbing the blue suit's arm for a judo styled toss. Halfway through that toss, Remi raised her charged right hand, and slammed it against Quincy's face — the male's head slamming against the floor, creating a small crater with sparks of lighting once again flying from the point of impact. He was out cold, Remi now standing back up with a confident grin, dusting her hands off as if they were dirty.
"Sixteen. Out of fifty right?" Rylo asked, grinning himself as he headed for the door with Remi right behind him.
"You've seen two." She responded as the two began running down the hallway once again. "And I got forty eight more for you and your brothers."
With Ria hiding behind a wall, peeking out to watch, the fight between Sidney and Don Corset was on. The spectral user charged first, but was quickly on the defensive — the second he was in melee range he was forced to flip out the way as Don aimed a powerful ice coated fist for Sidney's skull in a downward motion. Slamming into the ground, he created a small hole within the floorboards, pieces of wood flying everywhere thanks to Sidney evading the icy blow. Leaping up from his hands after the side-flip away from Don, Sidney ascended to the older male's eye level and then swung a hard right kick for his head. Simply blocked by his left arm, that wasn't all that occurred. A grin appeared on Corset's face as ice not only reformed around his defending arm, but Sidney's attacking leg as well. "Now you're stuck, you runt." Upon speaking, Don swung his arm back to the ground, slamming Sidney into the floor face first violently. He raised his arm to repeat the process, but as he did, Sidney fell from his grasp, his right leg taking on a transparent look before becoming completely visible once more.
"Heh…" He snickered and then spoke while descending back to the ground. "Transparency doesn't work on elements being conjured, but once your ice becomes its own physical being, it's unfair game, my advantage!"
"Means nothing to me!" Don yelled as Sidney charged him once more. This time, before Sidney could reach him, Don slammed a right foot into the floor. From directly below Sidney, a large glacier appeared and shot up in a hurry, catching Sidney off guard and sending him towards the ceiling. Sidney caught himself, feet planting on the ceiling, but had no time to react at the glacier slammed into the spectral user and through the ceiling, only to retract back into the ground right after. Sidney then began falling back to the ground, already covered in bruises as he held his blurry vision towards the Don.
"You're years behind, kid. Ria may leave this mansion, but she won't be alive when she does it!"
At the end of Don's exclamation, ice covered his left fist, and he slammed it against the falling Sidney; directly into the abdomen. Eyes widening, crimson flying out from his mouth, Sidney Castle went flying back, crashing into the wall next to the peeping Ria. "Sidney…." She whimpered out. As she watched on, with Don Corset stalking towards them, Sidney struggled to his feet, wobbling as he glared towards the ice user. Ria then called out to him.
"Sidney, it's no use! I'll just take my punishment…you should run!"
"Huh? What's that?" Sidney asked, keeping his eyes on Don who was closing in. Sidney then pointed to his back as a grinned formed on his pained features. "Hey, how about some faith in me, okay? I've officially decided that you're our new comrade, and comrades push each other forward, no matter how hard the challenge. As long as I'm here, he'll never lay another hand on you again. So come on, comrade, where's my motivation?! Slap me on the back and tell me I'm the greatest!"
It was mere coincidental, but Sidney's near identical words sparked something inside of Ria. Now, for the few seconds she had remaining before Don arrived, she was conflicted — staring at the ground as she tried to decipher what repressed memory was running through her head. Finally, she turned back to Sidney, ran to him and with a raised right hand, fingers accompanied by white rings, she slapped Sidney on the back. "Take him down, Sidney!" She yelled at the top of her lungs, and upon impact from the slap, Sidney's heart began pumping much faster than before as a white aura coated around him. He could feel it, examining his hands as he felt the physical increase happen. Sidney then turned back to Don who was now only feet away from them both. Ria ran back to her hiding place, Sidney however—
He was gone in a blur, reappearing at the same spot where he tried his first kick attempt against the ice user. Don raised his arm once again. "That didn't work last time!"
But, instead of swinging his leg forward, Sidney vanished again, Don stunned from the sudden disappearance. Eyes shifting around, Corset was caught completely off guard as Sidney appeared directly under him, slamming a rising uppercut to the bottom of his jaw. Complete impact, the resilient mafia leader stumbled back though a few trickles of blood left his mouth. As he turned back to Sidney however, the powered up spectral user was already missing once more. Once again, with no way to track Sidney's movements, the older male then took a hard hammer-fist to the top of his skull; Sidney appearing just above him prior to the violent blow. The second Don's head hit the floor, Sidney was standing over him with a sadistic grin as purple rings appeared around both his hands that were now clenched into fists. "Akuma no Ken." (Demon Fists) He spoke softly yet dangerously. From his triceps, two strands of purple exuded, taking the shape of arms that ended with a well sized fist on each limb. Sidney then cocked his right fist back first, and began pummeling Don in the back of his head with rapid punches from not only his now powered up fists, but the ones he created with his element as well. Seconds that felt like a full minute went by before Sidney finally let up, leaping away from the unmoving Don before landing feet away, panting heavily.
"Shit…I'm strong right now, but I'm exhausted. Is this a backlash from Ria's technique or something?" He thought to himself as he noticed the aura wear off. "And now it's gone." He spoke aloud. His eyes then turned back, widening in disbelief as Don easily stood up from the beating he took, wiping his bloodied face with his arm as he bared his teeth angrily towards Sidney. Even Ria was in awe. "No way.."
"I'm going to kill you now, you little shit." Corset spoke, now at a full stance. Sidney was stunned, unable to move from the shock factor as Don charged him with one more icy fist.
"Sidney!" Ria yelled, but it was no use. Sidney was stuck. "He took that beating like it was nothing…"
"Die! Both of you!" Don yelled, and as he swung forward….
A large, rocky fist slammed directly into his nose, sending the mafia leader flying through the far wall from its follow through. Ria and Sidney now stood behind the tall, wide figure known as Tracey who appeared what seemed like out of nowhere.
"Miss Tracey!" Ria shouted with glee.
"Aye, the old bat is here.." Sidney remarked, smiling playfully though still heavily panting.
"Get out of here, and take Ria with you." Tracey spoke in a stern voice. Her demands took them both off guard. Just a minute back, she was trying to keep Ria in her room, but now..
"Was planning to anyways, but I gotta kick this guy's ass first and then I'll—"
"NOW!" She yelled, cutting Sidney off. He gulped, frowning as he Ria ran over towards them both.
"I want her to be safe, and since the boss wants her dead…." She paused, throat hitching at her next sentence. "This is no longer the place for her. I can't protect you here anymore. That's why I didn't want her to leave her room."
She turned to Ria with an endearing smile, the maid's eyes glistening from build up of tears she was holding back. "Don't blame yourself, this was going to happen sooner or later. Now, run. Anywhere is safer than here."
Sidney crouched down, picking Ria up as he nodded to Tracey before heading to the stairway. As he did, Don was just now making his way out of the rubble.
"Don't worry, I'll hold him off until you're away from here.."
"But Miss Tracey.." Ria whined, looking back at her caretaker with teary eyes.
"Don't worry now, child. Your Miss Tracey will be just fine. Do as I say, and I'll see you again someday."
Ria simply looked away as a few tears fell, burying her head into Sidney's back as he leapt over the railing to get a head start down the stairs. At this time, Don stepped out of the hole in the wall, giving Tracey a calm, but low glare.
"I should of killed you when your daughter died." He said aloud, causing Tracey to let out a "Tch," hoping that Ria didn't hear. Sidney did, but kept running like he was instructed.
"You mean when you killed her?" She responded.
"Either way… They're not escaping. I'm killing them both, and now…"
Ice began exuding from his feet, and within a matter of seconds, it covered the entire floor, already making its way down to the first floor as well. Don Corset ran a hand through his hair, pushing it back as he reached into his pocket to pull out a cigar that he quickly lit with a lighter. With the Reitō Jigoku (Frozen Hell) now setting the mansion completely, he turned his sights back to Tracey once more.
"You've made the list, mother in law. I'll bury you right next to your daughter and those rotting crops of hers."