The land of Nippon was a place where the past and present coexisted in an uneasy balance. The old and new live side by side in close proximity, and in some places they were one and the same, unchanged for centuries. Of course, it wasn't uncommon to have a few skirmishes between the mundane and supernatural forces every now and then. Despite this, the people of Nippon have learned to live with their unseen yet always present neighbors for centuries, and it showed in their culture. But Nippon's entry into the modern age did not make the country any less dangerous than the old days of the feudal era. If anything, Nippon's modernization has only made the nonhuman forces residing among human kind all the more dangerous.
This became all the more present with a recent rise in monster attacks across the country. New reports of people being attacked and brutally murdered in gruesome ways appeared on every major news channel and when night fell, people cautiously looked over their shoulders for fear of being another target. Though some people weren't very concerned about the danger.
"Why is it so foggy out here?" Kori asked, tightly hugging her boyfriend's arm. "Doesn't it only get this foggy when it rains or something?"
"Who knows? The weather's always shit this time of year." Taichi said, trying not to let the unsettling atmosphere get to him.
He had planned for this to be a simple date for them on a Friday night. The park was empty, and there was no on around to ruin their time alone together. Taichi just wanted to have a little walk through Konohana Park with his girl and maybe get lucky later on, but then this fog came out of nowhere and made it near impossible to see anything. He knew the weather sometimes got a bit crazy with the changing of the seasons, but it was the middle of Fall for heaven's sake.
We can't even see two feet in front of us." Kori groaned. "I really wanted to see the stars!"
"Don't worry, Kori, we can still have a good time." He reassured her. "We can head over to the botanical gardens and-"
A low growl made the couple freeze in place. Kori gripped Taishi's arm in a hold that threatened to cut off circulation to the limb. Taishi gulped and looked around, noticing that the fog was definitely getting thicker around them. All he could see was a path they were standing on. Everything else was obscured, even the trees around them.
"Taishi, we need to get out of here!" Kori whimpered.
"Totally agree with you on that one, babe." Taishi said and started walking forward. "Just follow the path and we'll reach the exit in no-"
Another roar broke the silence, only this time it sounded closer. Taishi and Kori spun around and saw a hulking beast lumbering out of the fog. It looked like a giant tiger, with gray fur and powerful limbs, but its face looked hauntingly human in appearance, especially in the way it grinned hungrily at them.
"W-What the hell is that?!" Taishi screamed.
"Who cares, just run!" Kori shouted.
They turned tail and ran as fast as they could down the cobblestone path, and the human-faced tiger beast let them get some distance before chasing after them. Its legs helped it move faster than its size would suggest, and it quickly started gaining speed on the couple. When the creature lunged at them, claws out and mouth wide open. Kori grabbed Taishi's arm and pulled him aside, letting the monster slam headfirst into a tree.
The monster stood up and shook its head, a bit dazed but quickly regained its bearings. It spotted the fleeing humans and growled, turning to chase after them again.
The monster blinked as it suddenly sensed another human close by, one with a stronger aura. It turned back the way it came and saw another human walking toward it. This human was shorter, younger, clearly a child. But his aura…he was different. A much better meal than the two adults.
"I see you've noticed me. That's good." The boy said, adjusting the gloves on his hand. "I've heard that it's a pain finding a manticore in the jungle. Good thing this is the urban jungle, eh?"
The manticore growled, its human-like face etched in a sneer that revealed three rows of needle-like teeth. The boy grinned and got into a stance.
"Yeah, that was definitely a bad joke." He said. "What are you going to do about it?"
The manticore shot forward and sprinted toward the boy, intending on ripping his chest apart with its claws and tearing off his face with his teeth. But as it got within jumping distance of the boy, his prey lifted his hand and clenched his fist.
The mist around the manticore condensed into a bubble of water that almost engulfed its body had it not had the foresight to twist its body out of the way. It landed on the ground and tried to attack again from a different angle, but the boy jumped back and waved his arms, summoning more water from the air. This time, the water was denser and sharper. One of the water whips grazed it's right foreleg and pain erupted along its right side.
The manticore landed back on its feet and attempted to run, knowing that this boy was no easy prey. But the boy wasn't having it.
"None of that now!"
The boy performed three hand gestures and the water he summoned turned into a spinning saw, grinding against the ground as it chased the manticore. The beast zigzagged through the trees in an attempt to outrun the water saw chasing it, but it didn't notice the boy performing another hand gesture that caused water to burst from the two trees on both sides of the manticore. The water blades sharpened into fine points and swiftly came at the manticore from the right and the left. The beast had no idea what happened before the blades cut into its neck and severed its head in a spray of red sparkles in place of blood.
The boy watched the manticore's head roll across the ground before dissolving into strands of red energy. The headless body also fell over and dissolved, the corpse turning to red dust in the wind that soon scattered into nothingness. The boy breathed a sigh of relief and relinquished his control over the water, letting it splash to the ground without another thought before walking back through the park, noticing how the fog was starting to dissipate.
"A manticore in Edo." He muttered. "What's next? Elves in Nilo?"
He joked a lot about these things, but the situation was quite serious. Manticores were definitely not native to Nippon, and such monsters were only present because they were smuggled into the country. This, along with the growing unrest of Nippon's native monster population, made for a bad concoction that was just itching to explode into a massive problem. The boy sighed and began to call in a team to scout the area. Knowing his luck, it was only going to get worse from here.
Even as the sun slowly shone its light down upon Makura, the place was always awake and coming to life. Men and women left their homes early to catch a train to work, children groggily woke up and got ready for school, buses and trains were already ferrying passengers to their destinations. There was a common saying that the people of Nippon always rose with the sun, and it wasn't a stretch to say that was true…mostly.
Only two people were not known for waking up with the sun. One such person was a 13 year old boy who was still asleep in his bed, his body still snuggled up in a cocoon of sheets leaving only his short black hair open. Sunlight poured directly through his window and directly onto him, but he only groaned and buried himself deeper into his covers. He didn't notice the sunlight slowly getting strongest until he actually began to feel the heat on his hair.
"Leave me alone, sun. I've still got ten…" The boy yawned. "Ten minutes."
He turned away from the window, but the sunlight was still focused intently on his covered form. He groaned in discomfort and pulled the sheets down a bit, cracking his tired eyes open in agitation.
"All right, all right, I'm up." Kira Asakura sighed and sat up in his bed, running a hand through his slightly unkempt hair. His eyes were still closed, so he didn't notice the sunlight dim slightly and return to normal. "Honestly, this happens every morning."
He kicked back his covers and sluggishly slid off the bed to gather his clothes for the day while switching on his tv. Nothing wrong with catching a few early morning cartoons to start the morning off.
"Sweet, just managed to catch Kamen Rider." Kira smiled and hopped back onto his bed to enjoy his last few minutes of privacy before breakfast.
"KIRA!" A girl shrieked.
"Damnit." He groaned.
A few seconds later the door to his room was kicked open and a girl his age walked in like she owned the place. She was wearing a school uniform, a white button up shirt and a black skirt with black socks. This extremely loud girl was Saya Asakura, Kira's twin sister.
"If you're awake, get your clothes on and get to the kitchen. Dad's already done with breakfast." Saya said, looking down at her brother with a scolding expression. "Wow, you look like shit."
"And you have a potty mouth." Kira said. "Stop screaming so early in the morning, you freaking harpy. We have an hour until we head out."
"I'll stop screaming when you start waking up on time." Saya replied.
This was, sadly, a typical morning for the twins. They never wake up at the same time, and the twin unfortunate enough to wake up after the other will have their door kicked down and get a scream in the ear as a wakeup call. This terrible fate alternated between the two of them, and this time it was Kira.
Like all fraternal twins, Kira and Saya shared the same traits, but also had their differences. They both had bright green eyes and black hair, though Saya's hair was longer and reached down her back while Kira's only reached past his ears to his shoulders. Kira had a slender, almost skinny frame while Saya's body was a bit toned thanks to her martial arts training, adding a bit more to her looks.
Kira was the quiet type who preferred to remain in the background while Saya was the loudmouth with a mean streak and quite the temper. He liked to read, she liked to listen to loud music. They were polar opposites, but they loved each other very much…most of the time. This was not one of those times.
"What's dad making today?" Kira asked.
"Fried fish with rice. Lots of rice." Saya answered. "It's the kind of fish that he cooks really quickly."
"I wonder how he can cook fish so fast. Our stove's good, but not that good." He wondered.
"You can ask him when you get dressed and move your ass."
Kira sighed as Saya spun around and walked out of his room, slamming the door behind her. How the hell did he end up with such a loud sister?
Kira quickly got dressed and went to wash up before heading to the kitchen, where his dad was already putting food on the table. Saya was in the midst of munching down her rice when he reached the table.
"Good morning, Kira!" Takeo, Kira and Saya's father, greeted him with a bright smile. He was a handsome middle-aged man with a bulky form that made him look a bit imposing, though he was actually a softy at heart. He had dark brown hair and green eyes that the twins inherited, along with a clean-shaven beard.
"Morning, dad." Kira said and sat at the table. He frowned a bit at how much food was still left on the table despite Saya's eating binge. "Dad, what did I say about making too much for breakfast?"
"Sorry, Kira, you know how I get a little carried away." Takeo smiled, rubbing his son's hair and messing it up further.
"I'm not complaining." Saya said through a mouthful of rice.
Kira rolled his eyes and switched the TV onto the morning news, mainly for his father's benefit, since he liked to catch up on what's new before heading to work. As per usual about the news these days, it was about as depressing as you can expect it to be.
"…In recent news, the bodies of three high school girls were found in an alleyway near the Makura Metropolitan train station. Little is exactly known at this time, but the common opinion is that this is a yokai attack, one of many within the past two months in Edo. What type of yokai is undetermined, but law enforcement officials warn citizens to be wary of any mysterious activity or people, and to notify the police of any strange…"
"That's the third attack this month." Saya said. "And now they're going after high school students?"
"I thought the first victims were college students." Kira frowned.
"Yeah, in the next town over. Lately most of the attacks were happening in Makura, though." She said. "I think some parents were worried that it might start happening to middle school students if the attacks keep going on."
"Speaking of these attacks," Takeo said, giving the twins a look. "I want you two to come straight home after school, okay? No one's reported any attacks on middle school children yet, but I'm not taking chances. Watch each other's backs."
"Tell that to Saya. She's the one getting into trouble." Kira remarked.
"Bite me." She spat.
"Be nice to your sister, Kira. I'm sure Saya knows better than to go off hunting for yokai." Takeo gave his daughter a look. "Right, Saya?"
"Yes, dad, I'll be careful." Saya sighed, rolling her eyes.
Father and son shared a glance, which didn't go unnoticed by Saya.
"What's with the look? I said I'll stay out of trouble!"
"You said that last month…two days before pissing off a Tanuki by saying he has shrinkage." Kira smirked. "Does your wallet still feel light?"
Saya shot out of her seat and grabbed Kira in a headlock and started rubbing her knuckles in his hair. He struggled to escape, but she was too strong, so he called out to his dad.
"Not my problem." Takeo shrugged.
"She's your daughter!" He screamed.
"She's your sister." Takeo replied. "Don't worry, at least you don't have an older sister like me."
"Quit whining and take it like a man!" Saya cackled.
"I'm just a boy!" He cried out. "My nubile body bruises easily. Mercy!"
This was, sadly, a typical morning for the Asakura family. Never a dull moment in this house.
"The Age of Wonders is a time that we humans know next to nothing about, aside from comments given by monsters old enough to remember. Most concrete information about this era came from monsters who were willing to talk to historians and archaeologists that have lived for thousands of years, as few monster species like to be in the presence of humans, let alone talk to them." Nozomi Wakahisa, the Makura Middle School history teacher, said to her class. She was giving a lecture on one of the oldest recorded time periods in world history, the Age of Wonders. "While not much is known about the Age of Wonders, recent discoveries made have led historians to believe that not only were monsters the dominant race in this era, but magic may have also found its origins in this time as well."
Nozomi looked around at her class to make sure that the children were paying attention and not dozing off. She always tried to make her lessons fun and engaging, but sometimes that wasn't possible, and it was easy to lose their attention if something dragged on too long. She spotted one of her best students, Kira, watching her intently as she talked about one of his favorite topics, but his sister, Saya was trying hard not to doze off.
'Poor girl. For an energetic girl like her, this must be torture.' She thought and continued her lecture. "Humans once lived under the rule of powerful monsters during this time period, and they formed a massive empire that possibly spanned the entire world. At the heart of this global empire was a city that has many names. Can anybody tell me what that city was called?" A couple of hands went up and she pointed to one. "Yes, Kira?"
"Danu Talis?" Kira said.
"Correct. The city's name was Danu Talis, and scholars believe that it was once the heart of the ancient world. How long this empire lasted and exactly who was in control is still a mystery, but you can find many relics and sites in remote locations around the world that are related to Danu Talis, such as the ancient Vimana vehicles and Gigas mechanoids." When the bell rang, she wrapped up her lesson. "We'll continue this lesson tomorrow. Be sure to read chapters 17-18 in your textbooks, because they're going to be a quiz on what you know tomorrow."
Once Nozomi left the room, Saya was the first out of her seat, lunchbox in hand.
"What's the rush?" Kira asked, retrieving his lunch from his own bag.
"Just feel like eating in the lunchroom today." She answered. "Maybe stretch my legs. Wanna come?"
They left the classroom and walked down the hall, passing by other students who were roaming the halls.
"So I noticed that you were nodding off in class back there." Kira said. "What's up with that?"
"Just tired. I had a rough night." Saya gave a big yawn. "Had this crazy dream."
"Was it that dream about being Alpha Ranger again?" Kira teased, getting a punch to the shoulder for that.
"No, dummy, it was something else. In the dream, I think I was standing in a field of flowers in the middle of a forest. It was bright and sunny, the air was warm but also a little cool. Kind of like a nice spring day."
"Huh. You know, I had a dream like that two days ago." Kira said.
"Yeah, it was like yours, but I was sitting under a tree with orange leaves. The air was cold and windy. I think it was around autumn." Kira tapped his chin. "I just started having those dreams too."
"Surrounded by trees with orange and red leaves in the middle of autumn. That sounds loads better than standing in the middle of a freaking flower field." Saya grumbled.
"Kira, Saya!" Someone called out to them. Saya turned and smiled when she saw who it was.
"Yukino! Hey, girl!" Saya smiled and hugged her friend. "How was Osaka?"
"Refreshing and relaxing." Yukino said with a small smile. She was a tall, lithe third year student at Makura Middle School, with well-cared for fair skin and lovely black hair that fell down her back. Her uniform did little to really hide her toned arms and legs, a result of her daily training in her family's dojo.
Yukino and Saya were complete opposites; Yukiko had the appearance of that elegant and proper young woman who was skilled with a bokken and rarely raised her voice, while Saya acted like a mad brawler who would shout in people's faces just to piss them off. Kira wasn't sure how they became such fast friends, aside from the cliché trope, that opposites attract.
"It's good to see that you're just as lively as ever, Saya." Yukino smiled and nodded to Kira. "Hello, Kira."
"Morning, Yukino." He said.
"So where are you two heading off to?" She asked.
"Lunch. You want to join us?" Saya asked.
"Sorry, but I'm heading to the gym to practice." Yukino said politely.
"Again? You're really aiming for that spot in the championships, huh?" Saya said impressed. "Wish Kira had half as much dedication as you."
"You're one to talk. What happened to those guitar classes you were pestering dad about for two weeks straight?" Kira smirked. Saya punched his shoulder in retaliation, but he was still smiling.
"Do either of you have afterschool clubs today?" Yukino asked.
"No, I'm free." Kira said.
"Same here." Saya replied.
"Good, because the school might let us out early in response to the recent yokai attacks in the area."
Kira and Saya immediately tensed up at that. For a few blissful hours they had forgotten that there was a bunch of gruesome murders going on right in their backyard. Yukino's father was a member of the police force and more often than not she knew things that weren't publically known. It was part of why Saya liked her so much.
"How bad is it?" Saya asked, trying not to show her worry.
Yukino looked around to make sure no one was close by before leaning in to whisper to them. "This hasn't been made known to the public yet, but they have found some middle school students among the victims. My dad is really high strung about letting me go off on my own these days and I wanted to tell you two to be careful afterschool. It's…not looking good for any kind of school student these days."
"T-Thanks, Yukino, we'll be careful." Kira said.
"That's good. If you stay near crowded places, you should be safe, but I can't tell you for sure why these yokai are attacking people. Just watch yourselves and don't go near any strange people."
"We'll be fine, Yukino. Thanks a bunch."
Yukino nodded and walked away, leaving the twins to silently fret over her warnings in private. They continued heading toward the stairs, still thinking about the unsettling things they were told, and Saya finally said something to break the silence.
"I'm not going to lie, that bad news killed my buzz." She said.
"You're not the only one, Saya." Kira sighed.
The rest of the school day went by in a flash, and before the twins knew it, they were already exiting their last class. With there being no clubs today, the students were allowed to run free and wild, some headed home, but most of the children either went to get something to eat, headed to arcade or just hung out. Kira and Saya would've just gone straight home as well, had they not have some errands to run.
"Man that was a good burger." Saya smiled, rubbing her full tummy that just engulfed almost a third of her weight in cheeseburgers and fries. "Thanks to giving me your fries, bro. It really hit the spot."
"You were poaching them every five minutes, Saya. I didn't give you crap." Kira grumbled.
"Meh, it's the thought that counts." She said. Saya took a look around and noticed that they were walking down one of the side streets that branched off the downtown area. "Hey, I thought we were going home."
"I told you earlier, I needed to head to the bookstore to get my order." Kira said.
"You didn't tell me that." Saya huffed.
"Yes, I did. You just tuned me out the minute I started talking about it." He replied. "And when I reminded you back at the restaurant, you were too busy stuffing your face to listen."
The twins passed by a couple of shops along the street, which was a lot quieter and had less people than the main street that led to downtown. They stopped in front of an old-looking bookstore, which was significantly smaller than the major bookstores that could be found dominating an entire corner downtown or inside a mall. Old books of various genres were in the window display, many as recent as last year, while others were decades old and barely touched.
"I don't know why you even shop here. There's a bigger bookstore in the mall, you know." Saya sniffed.
"This place is cheaper and has a lot of books you won't find in Barnes and Noble." Kira said. "Feel free to wait outside, so you don't set the books on fire or something."
"Whatever." Saya crossed her arms and leaned against the window as Kira entered the bookstore.
It was a moderately small place, though not small enough to make you feel claustrophobic. Kira didn't mind the cramped isles and the stacks of books cluttering the corners. He loved this place, he loved the collection of books it had and the general peacefulness that he felt coming here. That and the low prices were a major plus.
"Ms. Aoi?" Kira called out at the counter. "Ms. Aoi, are you there?"
"Ah!" Kira jumped when someone spoke up behind him and spun around to find an old woman wearing a green silk dress and a yellow headband holding her silverfish-gray hair back. For a woman in her eighties, she actually didn't look very old. "Ms. Aoi, you scared me."
"I didn't scare you. You were just not paying attention to your surroundings." Keiko Aoi said, walking around Kira and get behind the counter. "What are you doing around here so late in the day? Shouldn't you be home by now?"
"I was in the neighborhood and I wanted to get my book order." Kira said sheepishly. "Is it in yet?"
"Yes, it is." Keiko said, giving her a stern look, which was pretty intimidating given how bright her amber eyes were.
Keiko had lived in Makura running her bookstore since before Kira was born, back when his grandmother Kaede was still alive. Kaede, who had fostered his love for books, brought him to Keiko's bookstore whenever they had the time, and the old woman would just spoil him rotten with all the books he'd find interesting. Even after his grandmother's death, she still accommodated him whenever he stopped by.
Keiko quickly got the book Kira ordered and handed it to him, but when he reached for it, she snatched his wrists and pulled him in close to stare into his eyes.
"Is your sister with you?" She asked.
"Y-Yes, she's right outside." He answered.
"Good, with all the murders happening in town it'd be foolish for children to walk around alone." She said. "I want you to go straight home after this, do you understand? Yokai are nothing to fool around with, and they show even less mercy to children."
"I understand Ms. Aoi." Kira nodded. He had no plans after this, so getting home was no problem. "But what about you? I doubt some yokai are that merciful towards old women."
"I've been around the block a couple of times, young man." She grinned. "I can take care of myself. No run along, and keep that sister of yours out of trouble. Girls like her are walking danger magnets."
"I will, Ms. Aoi, thank you." He bowed his head and left the store, shoving his book into his bag. He tapped Saya on the shoulder. "Okay, Saya, let's go…what's going on here?"
Kira was referring to the large groups of cats that were sitting and purring at Saya's feet. He looked at his sister, who could only shrug at his question.
"Don't look at me. I don't know why they're crowing around me, they just came out of nowhere." She said.
Kira sighed and took her hand. "Come on, I know a shortcut that can get us home faster. And you better hope that these cats don't have fleas or I'm shaving your head."
The day before, Kira had discovered a short cut through the backyard of another apartment complex on the way home that got them back to their building faster. He had assured Saya that it was a perfectly safe area to go through, even though one of the buildings was slated for demolition.
"And we can just walk through the front yard?" Saya asked.
"Yeah, they haven't roped off the area yet." Kira said. "Just don't expect to use this route all the time. It's only until we don't have to worry about getting attacked by rabid kappa or something." He looked behind them and made an annoyed sigh. "Saya, do something about your cats."
"My cats?" She glared at him.
"Yes, your cats. They're freaky and they're still following us."
There were a little over a dozen cats trailing behind them, all sporting different color fur, but they all looked to be the same breed. They all had bright amber gold eyes and were still following Saya as if she had catnip in her pocket.
"Just ignore them, you big baby." She huffed, though she did look a bit unsettled by them.
Any more discussion on the topic was cut short when they suddenly felt a pressure fall over them. It wasn't anything physical that they felt, rather it was a strong tugging at the back of their necks. A primal danger sense that flared up in the face of a predator. The twins looked at each other before looking around nervously, suddenly feeling like they were being watched.
"Kira," Saya whispered. "I'm not liking this place anymore."
"Same here." Kira said, looking around. The sun was already starting to set, and the courtyard in front of the building looked eerily darker. The only sound that could be heard was that of the wind, but other than that, nothing. Not even animals. "All right, let's make a run for-"
The ground in front of them suddenly burst open in a shower of dust and rock and a large form sprang at them. Kira and Saya jumped apart as the large form descended on them, crashing right into the spot they were just standing in and leaving a crater in the ground. The twins stared in shock at the giant beast that slowly rose above them on a long, massive insectoid body, and as the smoke cleared, they got a good look at it.
It was a yokai, as evidenced by its obviously semi-human appearance. The upper body was that of a beautiful naked human woman, but below her waist, her body expanded into a long centipede body with hundreds of coiling legs that moved along the ground in a sort of mechanical cohesion that was mind-boggling to look at. She was an oomukade, a centipede woman and a yokai that wasn't normally seen in urban areas, let alone places dense with humans.
"Darn, I almost had you." The oomukade grumbled, her face like a geisha's mask, but her eyes were blank and wide. Black hair framed her face as she sat back on her lower body and looked at the two humans in front of her. "Just a couple of steps and I would've been eating like a queen."
"Holy shit." Saya gasped. "Bro, you suck at picking shortcuts!"
"Now's not the time, Saya!" Kira yelled back.
The yokai looked down at them and her thin red lips smiled humorously. "So lively, so pure. It's so rare to find humans with auras as pure as yours. Just thinking of how delicious your flesh will taste really makes my mouth water." She moaned sensually, her hands running up her bare torso and brush against her breasts.
"W-Wait, please, don't hurt us!" Kira got to his feet and held his hands out as if to placate her. "We're…um, we're too skinny for you! See these noodly arms? Not edible in any way!"
He squeaked when the oomukade shot down to his level in the blink of an eye, her pale face in front of his and staring into his eyes with her inhumanly wide orbs. It was like staring into a mask, and her lack of facial movements really creeped him out.
"Such beautiful eyes." Kira gagged a bit when he smelled her breath; it smelled like blood and rotten flesh. "Yes, you may not be as meaty as the others, but your energy is so pure and full of vitality. And you, little boy, you look so…juicy. I can only imagine how you'll grow up in a few years." She smiled, and Kira could see the pointed tips of her teeth behind her lips. "Maybe I should just eat the girl and keep you all to myself."
"Hey, bitch!" A rock was thrown at the oomukade's head by Saya. "No girl is coming onto my brother without getting through me!"
The oomukade hissed and glared at Saya. "Then let me oblige you!"
She spun her body around and lunged at Saya, who was already jumping to the side to avoid the oomukade's large body. She stumbled a bit and ran as fast as she could, planning to lead the yokai away from Kira. She didn't get far though, as the oomukade had both speed and length on her.
With a bestial hiss, the oomukade thrashed her segmented body and slammed it into the ground beside Saya, throwing the girl off her feet and crashing onto a bench. The oomukade coiled back onto her body and glared down at the girl under her.
"Saya!" Kira ran forward to retrieve his sister.
"Stand aside, boy." The oomukade spun her body and lightly smacked Kira in the chest with her other end, knocking him back onto a patch of grass. "We'll have our fun after I'm done with her."
Glaring down at Saya, the oomukade's human-like face split apart at the mouth. Her lips pulled back and her jaw seemed to split open to reveal a mouth full of sharp teeth, dominated by large fangs. Opening her mouth wide, she shot down at Saya, intending to cut the girl in two in a single bite. Saya jumped to her feet, but she knew that the yokai was moving too fast to dodge without getting hurt. It was all happening too fast!
Kira, dazed and winded from the blow he took, watched in horror as his sister was about to be devoured by the accursed beast. "Saya!"
Saya didn't know what else to do other than throw a punch at the yokai's face. It was on instinct, her body moved on its own and her heart was racing. She didn't really expect anything to happen other than have the giant monster slam into her and crush her body. And she certainly didn't expect to have a bright beam of light suddenly shoot out of her first right into the oomukade's face.
"Rah!" The oomukade howled as the beam hit her in the middle of the face, blinding and burning her at the same time and she pulled back, holding her hands to her face. Kira and Saya stared at the thrashing yokai for a moment, before Saya looked at her fist, which was actually smoking.
"What the hell did I just do?" Saya wondered.
"You little whore!" The oomukade growled, snarling angrily as she took her hands from her scorched and burnt face. The skin on her face was red and blistering, but she was mostly unharmed. Still, it hurt really bad, and now she was angry. "I'll take my time disemboweling you!"
The oomukade shot at Saya even faster than before and opened her mouth again to take Saya's head off in a single bite. This time, Saya knew she couldn't count on a miracle this time…or so she thought.
A girlish battle cry completely ripped through the tension of the almost-tragic moment and before the oomukade's jaws reached Saya, a lithe form leapt into the air and slammed into the side of her upper body. Saya, who was close enough to see everything, spotted a colorfully dressed girl with light pink hair leap in front of her and slash her sharp nails into the oomukade's face, forcing the yokai's head to turn to the side and crashed into the spot right next to Saya.
Before Saya could react, the girl who swooped in out of nowhere grabbed her wrist and actually pulled her off her feet, leaping away from the oomukade and depositing her over by a tree.
"Whoa," Saya gasped, looking at the mysterious girl. "T-Thanks, but who are you?"
"Name's Ayane." The girl chirped happily, licking the blood off her nails, which looked more like claws up close. "Looks like you got into some trouble."
"I'll say." Saya panted. She looked over at the oomukade, who was pulling her head out of the hole she made in the ground. The yokai growled angrily and glared over at them, pulling her lower body towards herself in preparation to lunge at them. "Um, she's gonna come at us again!"
"Don't worry, Saya-chan, I got this!" Ayane grinned, showing off a pair of small fangs before pushing off the ground and leaping at the oomukade.
Not knowing what else to do, Saya just stood back and watched the strange girl with the cat eyes fight a creature twice her size with little effort. She wasn't expecting to see this when she woke up this morning, but despite her terror, she thought this was a pretty cool sight to see.
"Wait," Saya realized something. "How does she know my name?"
"Saya!" Kira ran over to her, clutching his aching chest, and grabbed her arm. "Saya, are you alright?"
"Y-Yeah, thanks to her." She said. "What about you? You look like you got hit by a truck."
"I'm just winded." He assured her, coughing a bit. Nothing was broken, but he had a feeling he was going to bruise tomorrow morning. "Come on, let's get out of here."
"Now? But Ayane-"
"Is doing a good job holding that thing off." He said, looking at the girl who was slashing away at the oomukade's body while skillfully avoiding the yokai's arms and elongated body. "We can't stay here, Saya. It's too dangerous."
Saya bit her lip, not really wanting to leave their savior alone, but also knowing that they're just in the way. She gave her brother a slight nod and he took her hand, pulling her out of the yard and away from the danger. Saya hoped that the girl would be alright if they left the battle alone.
As it turns out, her fears were unfounded, for she should've been more worried about the yokai instead.
"You have some nerve coming here, half-blood!" The oomukade hissed, face etched in a demonic scowl as she slithered about the yard on her thousand legs. "This land belongs to me!"
"I give zero shits, lady!" Ayane grinned and bared her fangs as her claws grew from her fingers. Her facial features became more cat-like, her golden eyes sporting slitted pupils.
The oomukade opened her mouth wide and shot at Ayane like a bullet, moving a speeds a normal human wouldn't have been able to dodge, but Ayane jumped to the side and grabbed her arm, digging her claws into her flesh and snapping her head down to sink her fangs into the oomukade's arm. The yokai howled and reared back to throw Ayane off, but the girl had already taken a big chunk out of her arm, nearly severing the arm. A well-placed slash of her claws into the wound, however, did just that.
Ayane pulled the oomukade's arm off and jumped onto her back, stabbing her claws into the back of her shoulder blade and pulled with all her might. The oomukade, not used to fighting such a fast opponent, merely thrashed and struggled, going so far as to slam herself into the ground to throw the rabid girl off, but it only made Ayane more sadistic in dealing with her.
"What's with all the screaming? Where's that bravado from earlier?" Ayane grinned savagely, her claws ripping through the oomukade's remaining arm and ripping it free. "You yokai are all talk and no bite! It's so fucking sad!"
Ayane snagged some of the oomukade's hair in her hands and pulled back, yanking her head back. She then reached forward and grabbed both the yokai's top and bottom jaws, and began to pull with all her might. The oomukade howled, whined and struggled to break free, but couldn't do much but struggle in place like a dying snake. She felt her jaw begin to stretch to its limits, felt her ones begin to crack from the strain. There was no mercy in Ayane's eyes, merely sick pleasure at making this supposedly apex predator scream in pain and beg for mercy.
Ayane showed no mercy or hesitation as she brutally tore the oomukade's head in two, ripping its lower jaw off and started tearing away at her head. The oomukade's head was ripped in two, flesh and blood spewing everywhere in a shower of gore that most horror movies would be hardpressed to replicate. Blood spewed from the yokai's wounds and into Ayane's face, but the girl didn't stop until she had ripped the oomukade's head completely off her shoulders.
When the body stopped thrashing, Ayane jumped off and landed right on her feet like a cat. The headless body of the oomukade crashed to the ground in front of her, blood still spurting from the bloody stump where the monster's head used to be.
"That was fun." Ayane smiled, smoothing out the wrinkles in her shirt and skirt. "Hey, sorry about that, Saya-chan. Are you…"
She trailed off as she saw no sign of the girl or her brother. They must have ran off while she was finishing off the oomukade. Ayane pouted and kicked at the dirt.
"Darn, I must've missed them. Stupid yokai." Ayane put her hands behind her head and strolled out of the empty yard. "What a shame. That girl was pretty cute."
And so the strange girl left without another thought about the monster she just killed, leaving behind a ravaged yard and the fading corpse of a yokai. It was only one of a myriad of strange occurrences in the town of Makura.