Chapter eight: City sweep

Chapter eight: City sweep

A Chapter by Thatonedawg
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Hope that someone is enjoying this. Please comment if you do! Edited to the best of my abilities!

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Chapter 8: City sweep

 

 

Sitting up I groaned and rubbed my head then began examining my surroundings. My neck was stiff, but a pleasent yawn escaped me as I remembered where I was. Something was wrong though as I was entirely alone, sitting on Maxwell's couch. Not another soul could be seen in the once full room. Standing up I stretched and groaned again, before heading toward the stairs. Max appeared at the top and I smiled at him. His weary eyes and messed up hair told me he also woke up recently. Knowing that I had overstayed my welcome, even if he would never tell me so, I was prepared to leave.


"Morning!" I waved happily up to him.

"Good morning." Max repeated. "Everyone went home to get some real sleep." He explained, looking at the handrail of the stairs.


"Imma take off, see ya man. Thanks for letting us stay the night Max!" I headed for the door and he followed.


"No problem. Bye Vyon." Maxwell nodded as he shut the door behind me.


It was early and the cold was biting, but a warmth in my heart was keeping me cozy, though my skin stiffened by the second. After about a block I began flying and headed toward home. It was the weekend so the fake folks would be home, but that hasn't been a problem lately. Only problem is if they catch me asleep I have no way to escape the violence they’ll surely dispense. If only my door had a lock! Slowing to a stop I slid a few inches passed my window and had to realign. With little effort, I vanished from my current location and moved about six feet forward, through the wall and into the apartment. The familiar atmosphere and the recognizeable pleasantries made me smile, as I lie on my bed, desperately trying to avoid any noise that would make. If I can just not get caught till morning, I’ll just duck out before they know it. I was nodding off though, it was impossible to stay lucid for long. I’ve been really missing out on sleep lately...

 

The worry faded, as I began drifting away toward a powerful slumber. In my mind, I replayed my favorite moments of last night. Seeing Lyra scantily dressed, holding her body close to me, the excitement of sneaking into school... another good friday! An explosion of noise filled my head as the door was kicked open and my fake father stormed in.

 

"Where the hell were you last night?" His shouting was ear splitting and the solid grasp he had around my throat was threatening. "How the hell did you get in here!?"


"Look I'm tired... can we do this another time?" My sleepy sarcasm was ill placed as all it earned me was a backhand across the mouth.

 

"The school called and said you were caught BREAKING IN?" He took a more pleading tone as he released my neck for a moment. "What the f**k is wrong with you?" My fake fathers words became clenched within his teeth and my throat within his fist.

 

Endless plumes of blood colored mist poured out of him only to vanish a few seconds later. It was distracting to see it this close, as being near the virulent substance actually made it harder to breath! Like it was going into an invisible chimney, the red air flew upward and vanish once it funneled together. As I began to speak, he reared back and punched me directly in the chest. Coughing out loudly, I felt all the air escape me, as I grimaced and shut my eyes. Another punch hit me in the lower stomach, but I didn't move my hands just coughed in pain. He seems to favor histting the stomach so he can talk without interruptions... He’s done that all six years...

 

My words didn't mean anything, only the facts he knew and had been told. Menacing listings of what I had done last night ruined the whole memory. He was acting like he was going to slap me again, but I just covered my head and face, trying to pry his hand from my neck. The ranting went on and he swatted my hands, trying for my face, his lack of aim pertaining to his drinking. With one parting blow, he struck me across my defensive arms and released me, the impact sending me to the ground.


"If you so much as step foot out of this room, I will drag you back personally!" His crackling voice attested to the limitless rage he was feeling.

 

Slamming the door heavily the walls of the apartment shook from one side to the other. Once alone, I groaned in pain a few times, rolling onto my back. Dabbing my bloodied nose and my bruised eye socket, I tried to ignore the pain it brought me. Taking off my damp clothing, I threw them aside and flared up my aura. Almost instantly the pain began to melt away and I was left within a shell of good feelings. Soon however, I felt the pain creeping in emotionally and I fell to my knees fighting tears.

 

The light died off and the pain came back in a stampede, as I leaned against the bed releasing silent tears. Nothing about me is perfect, but I never claimed to be. What I did was wrong, I understand, but is this the only way they know how to solve problems? Wiping my eyes and nose, I crawled into bed and continued weeping under the covers. Nothing holds hope, life is meant to be suffering... Life was never supposed to be good, not for me! What good is having powers, when no one knows or appreciates it? What reason do I have to protect people, when most of them hate me? What  What hope is there for being alive ? After maybe ten minutes, I was asleep in a small pool of tears of pain and fears of inadequacy...

 

A distant sound caught my weary minds attention. Slowly emerging from my deep sleep, I sat up and tried to focus on this noise. As my head cleared, I began hearing this strange clicking more and more. Gentle tapping echoed into my room and as I searched for its origin, nothing seemed to be the culprit. This clinking noise quickly got on my damn nerves! I got up and began searching every corner, wall, and object. Gasping with shock I found the source... Hiromasa and Hina floated outside my window trying to get my attention by tapping gently. Hina waved to me as I stared at the two of them stunned. Two unearthly flares of color formed outward only to die a few seconds later leaving them behind.

 

"What the hell are you two doing?" I asked angrily, but trying to avoid raising my voice.


"You didn't show up yesterday, so we came looking for you!" Hina's response was stated while she fixed her shoulder length hair back into a bun. “Also we’ve been out since nine last night!” She stated proudly, nudging Hiro and pointing to her watch.

 

"What happened to you?" Hiromasa asked as he examined my battered face closely.

 

"Yeah, you ok Vyon?" Hina's sudden concern was touching, but I feared telling the truth.


"Nothing. I'm fine!" I laughed it off to silence further questioning. "Just got into a little scrap at school." Lying felt wrong, but I would rather not admit being abused regularly.

 

"Bet the other guy looks way worse, huh?" Hina chuckled brightly, thumping her hand against Hiromasa's chest.


"You were supposed to come over yesterday." Hiromasa stated firmly as he continued to stare into me.

 

"I know, I know, and I'm sorry..." My response was cut short as footsteps moved through the house toward my room. "S**t, come on! We have to get out of here!" I demanded, waving at the window.


"How come?" Hina asked tilting her head curiously.

 

"Why is that Vyon?" Hiro followed her with his own question.

 

"If the people I live with came in here and found two strangers, then I would get in a lot of trouble!" Saying this wasn't easy, I’ve always kept my home life under the tightest posible wraps.


"Vyon, I'm sorry. We didn't know..." Hina replied sympathetically looking at the floor.

 

"Meet us outside... when you can." Hiromasa turned away as he said this over his shoulder.


Without another word they both vanished from the room and appeared hovering a few feet outside my window. My fake father entered and scoffed, as I refused to look up at him. He demanded my cellphone and I tossed it carelessly to him, much to his displeasure. Pretending to stare out the window, I watched as Hina and Hiro conversed, probably about me... After spitting another warning my way, he slammed the door and I hung my head in shame. Utter humiliation swept over me, as I tried to imagine what Hina and Hiro were saying. I doubt they were judging me in any way, but something about this whole situation hurt my pride. Sighing softly, I put on my best fake smile and left the room in a blaze of golden fire.


"Sorry about that..." I muttered as I appeared and they turned to me.


"You alright?" Hina asked her voice holding both compassion and curiosity. "Anything you wanna talk about?"

 

"No, nothings wrong." To assure her I was truthful, I paired this statement with a strong smile.

 

"Vyon..." Hiromasa's strong gaze saw right through my mask. "This place causes you a lot of pain, doesn't it? Fuzen are able to track you because of the negativity." His voice was dead serious and upon hearing this I gasped softly.

 

"Then let em' find me!" I replied arrogantly with a small laugh, but he simply frowned.


"That's the spirit!" Hina patted my shoulder as she floated by.

 

"We will talk about this later." His saddened voice was hard to hear over the three rampant fires. "Come on kid." Hiro nodded in the direction of his house.

 

Fuzen can track me because I’m sad or angry? I know they feed on that s**t, but they can actively follow me using it? A shiver ran through me as I thought of Fuzen following me to a free meal... If a Fuzen manages to stay hidden, it could easily stalk me and make anyone I come across a victim. Fighting to ignore that thought, I focused harder on the joy of soaring across the sky! Flying over the city, which slowly came to life below, I watched as street lights began turning off in small clusters. People began to appear in greater numbers, like little specks of motion in a sea of stillness. A tall building whooshed by below and I saw Hina kick off of it to get a bit more speed. The maneuver was similar to a swimmer using the wall of a pool to propel themselves through the water. Cars became more prevalent as we passed the downtown area and began flying over the field linking the school and the forested area to the north.

 

Passing over a highway I watched as the tiny vehicles sped toward the horizon, which I could have reached in minutes! Even a bus, was but a line amongst dots. Laughing to myself, I tried to calculate just how long it would take to walk this distance. From the suburbs, where I lived, to the woods would probably take a normal person close to three hours, maybe more. Soon trees were all I could see and after a few minutes, the sea of green parted just enough for us to land. They both slowed toward the ground, then dropped from the sky with only an inch of fall distance. Slamming both feet into the ground a loud boom echoed outward as I rose from a crouched position, trying to look badass. Hina wasn't even looking and Hiromasa just raised an eyebrow my way. It isn’t as easy or graceful, but I can land gently, like they do. It just takes a much higher deal of concentration and mental acuity, which I already use to achieve flight!

 

"Hina. Why don't you go make us some breakfast." Hiromasa asked, but her face scrunched with confusion.

 

"But Hiro, we already had..." Hina began, but then she just nodded and ran inside.

 

Once she was gone Hiro put a hand on my shoulder, jarring me slightly. "I'm sorry kid..." He said somberly after a moment of awkward silence.


"Wait why? You have nothing to apologize for!" Playfully swatting his hand away, I tried to convince him everything was fine.

 

"Vyon..." He sighed my name. "You're incredibly brave..." Hiromasa's voice was strong, but I could still hear a hint of sadness within.

 

I was speechless, but I managed to force a few words out. "Thank you sir, I try!" My wide smile forced his serious face to broaden into a grin.

 

"Today we are going to learn about fuzen and how to fight them." Hiromasa began instructing without missing a beat. "We were going to practice creating the split soul yesterday, but since you're so eager to kill Fuzen..." Hiromasa waved his hand outward forming the spear in a cross shaped flash. "We can start combat training today instead!"

 

"We're going to fight... with weapons? Now I know your tough for an old guy, but you gotta be kidding..." Allowing my astonished voice to fade off, I awaited him to speak.


"Draw your sword, Vyon." Hiromasa commanded, taking up a fighting stance and a stony expression.


Gulping hard, I could see he was serious and that I would be going home with many new wounds. Oh god what a life... With minimal effort on my part the mystic fire blast forth and surrounded me in seconds. After a few tries, I managed to conjure my weapon, its fuzzy ears twitching in the slight breeze. Like it was designed to do so, the tail on the pommel curled around my wrist and held tightly. Gripping with both hands, I lifted the blade in front of me and awaited his attack. Remembering being blindsided yesterday, I shuddered as my eyes ran over the fatally sharp spearhead. Hiromasa shuffled forward with his weapon pointed directly at me. The thick blade of his spear was intimidating and the length of his weapon put me at a distinct disadvantage. Hiro fake lunged and I cowered, with the sword flailing and my eyes clenching closed. An uproar of laughter spat from him as he balanced the spear on the tip of the handle.


"What were you expecting? I haven't ever held a weapon in my life!" Shouting back defensively, my sword gently resting on my shoulder.


"I thought all you kids were armed nowadays?" Hiro chuckled as he leaned on the spear. "Where did all that confidence go?" His taunting got to me and I smirked readying the sword.

 

Kicking the base of his spear caused spin like a propeller in his palm, before he caught it perfectly. He swayed the pole to distract me and constantly shifted his grip pattern to prepare different strikes. Lancing forward, I swatted the blade away with a loud clang. Growing a grin suddenly, Hiro stared into me, as he realigned the shovel wide spearhead with my face. With a swift swiping motion, he brought the blade outward in a horizontal line, then swung inward aiming with the hammerhead. The first strike hit my sword and I stumbled back desperately avoiding the blade. With a heavy whoosh the weapon swung inches over head, the flat head of the hammer perfectly aligned with my face. Staggering back further, I clutched the sword in terror pointing it straight toward him. Casually carrying the weapon on his shoulder, he approached until he was a fair distance away. He let the spear fall forward, causing its collide with the ground causing intense impact! I jumped in unison with the rumbling boom it produced.


"Relax Vyon! You have to loosen up!" He flung his spare hand as he said this.

 

"What the hell do you mean relax? One hit and I'm dead!" I pointed at his spear as I shouted.

 

"Calm down, you'll be fine!" He replied with comedy to his voice. "Your aura will protect you if you do get hit, but your a quick one!" Hiromasa wagged a finger my way tauntingly.

 

This is insane! He's crazy! What the hell do I do, kill him? Ignoring the supernatural forces at work here, this is still a f*****g sword! If I hit him, his arm is coming off... right? Regardless of being "protected" by a spiritual shield, I’m about to get pummeled with a freakish Viking hammer-spear thing! That blade could decapitate me and keep going, if he aimed it just right. One solid hit from the mallet and nothing would be left inside my skull! Clenching my blade tighter, I gulped heavily and began moving forward.

 

Lifting his spear back into both hands, I watched as the tree scattered sunlight like powder sugar across the weapon. He stared unblinking as the raging purple inferno moved with him, but left a thin trail of vanishing fire. The flames I produced had become almost unnoticeable to me now, except for when I flew. Yet it was a constant symbol of my power! An ethereal torch, which I carried inside my heart! The fires burned brighter as I filled myself with confidence and prepared to attack! Raising the blade I released a war cry and began running forward!

 

"Breakfast is ready Vyon!" Hina called out from one of the windows.

 

Stumbling to a stop, I gasped with delight and looked toward the house. Hiromasa pressed the spear blade to my throat, the second my head turned. Gasping again, this time with fear, I dropped the sword and it clattered on the ground before vanishing into a miniature bonfire. Hiromasa stared with a very powerful set of eyes, unmoved and unwavering. Like a hawk about to kill a striking snake, colder than empty. He looked away for a second and he released the spear from his grasp. It fell a few inches and I watched as the purple flames scattered away into nothing. His arm dropped as his gaze returned to me, but the gravity of his stare had shifted toward understanding.

 

"There are going to be many distractions when you are out there..." Hiromasa began in a lethally serious tone. "You absolutely must stay focused."


"Right, that was dumb of me..." I nodded, which gave me the chance to avert my eyes.


"Look at me Vyon." I did immediately. "No matter what happens. No matter how badly you are hurt. No matter who is at stake..." The third sentence seemed to put a bit of emotional strain on his intensity. "Do not stop fighting."

 

"Life lesson number one." My reply brought a large smile to his face.


"Atta boy!" He sarcastically pat my head so my collar would jangle. "Go on Vyon, I bet your starving."

 

"Thank you!" I rushed up toward the steps half embarrassed and half motivated, but I stopped at the top step and turned back. "Thank you for everything Hiromasa. You're a good friend." I felt my face getting warmed up to blush, so I didn't wait for a response.

 

"Heya, sorry I screwed up your mantra! Hiro got ta stick the lance at ya." She barely even spoke words during the end half of her apology, all I saw was a fork poking my way.

 

"Oh don't you worry! Food takes precedence over most things for me!" I replied unable to keep from laughing. "Thank you so much!"

 

Hina had made waffles! Not frozen, store bot, or boxed, she actually made batter and... Holy hell there heavenly! She had actually made chicken and waffles, which was something I had only heard of... Fried chicken though! How does she know how to do all of this? It dawned on me as I ate, that she isn't technically human... Neither am I. Strange that up until now I never really fully grasped this concept... I don't know just something about that moment as I stared at the counter felt odd. I'm not human. At least all those people who made fun of me for being a freak, were on target! This thought made me chuckle, as I listened to Hina hum a tune and pour out the spare grease. Hiromasa entered a short while afterward and declined food as he passed the kitchen swiftly. As I finished the second waffle, I looked up at Hina who shrugged and set the plate down in front of me.


"Aren't you hungry?" I asked knowing that she probably put a lot of effort into this meal.

 

"Nope! Guess your gonna have to eat it, darn!" Hina snapped her fingers as a smirk developed across her face.

 

Thanking her, as seriously as I could without being weird, I pulled the other plate closer and refilled my glass with orange juice. As I ripped into the chicken breast the savory juices and perfectly crusted breading, mixed in perfect harmony. This combined with the already sweet taste of syrup in my mouth made it all the more delicious! Devouring the second helping of chicken, I quickly began enjoying the fluffy yet lightly crisp waffles! Families I had lived with before have made many meals... but I feel the love! Not joking either like... I felt my aura react to this food... and toward the house. This archaic, run down house was so inviting despite the shabby condition of the outside. Within it had a fairly basic appeal, old television, a single couch and arm chair. The corner had a small hutch, which held a radio, some knick-knacks, and several books. The fridge and oven were from like the 50's or something... Sort of unbelievable, this epic meal came from that avocado colored monster. The once canary wallpaper was peeling and had faded to a sickly brown. One wall had no paper at all and the solid wood walls beneath looked incredibly sturdy. The kitchen window was just a thin slat about the size of a chessboard, which had to be cranked open and closed. Finishing quickly, I offered to do the dishes, but Hina wouldn't back down.

 

"Please it is the least I can do!" I asked her with an honest desperation in my voice. "You made me all that food. Just relax or something..." I trailed off as I tried to move between her and the sink, but she slipped passed to put the plates in.

 

"Vyon, you need to go learn to use a broadsword properly. Plus, if you do them, what will I have to do while Hiro is beating...you… up." Her voice shuddered and she took note of the words she used.


There was a pause and I quickly tightened my face to a scrunched, comical sneer. "What makes you think Hiromasa will win?" My emotions were barely contained behind this flimsy question.

 

"I did hear someone say, "I've never held a weapon in my life"... didn't I?" She replied trying to mimic my voice.


"Well I, uh..." Bowing my head I rubbed the back of my neck and this made her laugh. "I shot one of my dads revolvers once!"


"Interesting indeed, firearms are seldom seen as a split soul." She replied with a certain intrigue on the word "revolver". "What is it like?" Hina asked turning on the sink faucet.

"Like a little explosion in your hands! I was really young..." Admitting my emotional state, made her turn away.


"You never knew your parents?" She asked in a serious, but still casual tone.


"I have vague memories..." Feelings of emptiness encased me as I fought to keep it together.


"I never knew my family either." Hina muttered hanging her head over the running sink of soaking dishes.


These words hit me like a freight train. "I'm so sorry." None of my friends shared in my pain, though they all knew.

 

"They died when I was really young. I can’t ever remember their faces..." She turned to me, her emerald eyes flashing with the motion.

 

I stepped forward and hugged her. I do not know where that came from, but I locked my arms around her and she did the same after a few seconds. I didn't have the heart to tell her I was abandoned without breaking into helpless tears. So I simply hugged her until it felt right to let go. Hina smiled up at me and I saw she was also emotional. To have someone who’s not only fighting beside you, but who shares your pain... Our friendship grew stronger after that semi-awkward hug. Hiromasa's footsteps sounded and Hina pat my shoulder as she returned to her dishes.


"Hey Vyon, here!" Hiro thrust a large, leather book toward me. "Read that when you have some spare time. It's pretty old, so it may be missing a few pages, but you should learn something."


It was a dark brown color and the leather work had become tattered, age thinning the leather into eased flexing. The cover had no words just a symbol pressed into the center. It was a large ornate shield, decorated with a lion, and two swords crossed behind it of differing types. Opening the dust ridden tome, I moved me eyes over the faded ink title on the brittle yellow page. It read, “Manual of swordplay and battle craft”. The font was beyond antique and half of the page had been faded into nothing but broken lines. Where the hell did he get this? When was this made? Nodding in response, I thumbed through the book, examining a few of the images and paragraphs. Absorbing what little knowledge I could in the allotted time, I soon shut the book and followed Hiromasa outside. My full belly would slow me down, but it also ward against fatigue. Shaking out, I bounced in place for a moment, then summoned my aura with a thrust of my arms. Hiromasa created a pinwheel vortex of flame in his palm and as the spear formed, so did his purple corona of fire.


"Remember Vyon, life lesson one." Hiromasa pointed the weapon toward me.


Trying my hardest, I finally called the weapon into my hands the first try. "Do not stop fighting!"

 

Summoning the weapon was a bit easier, I focused the energy into my hand, expecting weight, waiting for solidity, seeing the somewhat familiar image in my mind. Lifting the sword like I saw in the book, my eyes locked on him and I prepared for the attack. Raising the spear, he moved toward me at an even pace. His bent knees kept him lower, yet his spear was above me. The hammer piece was distracting since, technically, it was another weapon in itself. Spinning it randomly, he was either taunting me or actively trying to distract me.

 

As he neared I shot forward off my feet and swung downward, sparks shooting off of the handle where he blocked. As I recoiled, he brought the spear around and I ducked away as it cut the air above me. Not stopping he thrust forward from the after attack position. He lanced the spear forward twice, each one narrowly missing, enormous buffeting thooms split the air with dangerous speed! The third I deflected, seeing it coming before he had extended his arm at all. Hiromasa seemed impressed, but didn't linger. Spinning away from me, he brought the weapon out in a wide unwinding arch that I narrowly avoided. Feeling displaced debris, twigs, dirt, hit my face, I stepped toward him and then swiped twice diagonally. This "X" shaped pattern was deflected and avoided with ease. He vanished from place and I froze in fear. Hearing the grass crunch, I spun in place and with one arm locking outward, blocked his spear! No freaking way, it was like... My senses feel sharper than before, that was awesome! I heard him and sensed danger, then it was nothing!

 

The flat side of my blade was firmly locked on his spears crosspiece! Quickly drawing back, he attempted to guide my movements, but I just used the momentum to duck away. Recentering myself, I gripped the sword tighter and rushed forward! Slashing straight down twice my arms shook with the impact of hitting his weapon handle. As I brought a third one down, Hiromasa tapped the blade aside with the knob on the end of the handle. As I was guided by deflection, Hiro thumped me in the stomach, with the hammerhead. I flipped up and over it, then fell flat as he gently continued his pendulum swing. Coughing from the hammer blow and the impact with the grass, I vanished from getting up and appeared a few feet away. It was enough however, as the hammer made a small hole where I just was! Hiromasa pulled it back and flipped it around decoratively, before taking up a fighting stance.

 

Hopping up, I was becoming proud of my performance, regardless of the hit I just took! Hiromasa was probably going very easy, but learning is necessary. Rushing forward, I swiped the blade three times, using my upper body and my arms as one. As each strike landed against his weapon, I watched to see if he was going to parry me again. On my fourth strike he attempted to deflect the attack, but I relaxed my strength at the right time and managed to move with the force, instead of being staggered. Hiromasa smirked with intrigue, as we circled one another in tight confines, however large the arena sized backyard was. He jabbed at me, but missed. I swung a few times... only to cut air. At one point we hit weapons so fiercely, the resulting impact caused a colored shower of sparks to shoot in both directions. He didn't even flinch and instead tried to kick me, but I had moved too far back.

 

"You learn fast kid!" Hiromasa said in a satisfied way.

 

"It's easy when your heads on the line!" I replied short of breath, panicked slightly, but he was pleased.


Hiro laughed at this, however. "Remember that your aura is a shield, it will protect you! Imagine invisible armor!" My growing expression caused him to pause. “No, we don't get armor!” Hiro laughed harder, as my face dropped into disappointment.

 

He vanished and appeared above me, hanging in the air. Leaping backward, I watched the hammer impact the ground, but as Hiromasa landed he used the momentum to drive the spear upward, into my shoulder. Momentary, intensifying pain gripped me, as I flew backward through the air. Hitting the ground in a toppling crash, I rolled to a stop and groaned loudly. Sitting up I gripped my shoulder, but found I wasn’t cut! How the hell does a stabbing spear not cut you? Jumping to my feet, I felt pain... a lot of pain, yet I had no wound! Looking up at Hiro, he placed the spear on his shoulder and approached slowly.

 

Astonishment took hold of my face and a sense of awe encircled me! Bravery of mythological proportions filled my muscles, as I stood and took a deep breath. Lifting both arms to test the injuries hold on me, ambivalent laughter forced itself out, for I really couldn't feel a thing! Being undamaged gave me the courage to rush forward, swiping the sword recklessly! Each move of my arms was paired with surges of thrashing fire. Chaining together multiple strikes, I didn't land a single one, but could’ve cared less! This is unfathomable, truly the stuff of legends! Yeah I feel pain, but my body cannot be injured! Seriously? I’m like Hercules! I’m part god! I’m unstoppable! I-... I’m gonna get hit in the face! Ducking backward, I narrowly avoided the mass of moving stone, as the hammer hurtled overhead.

 

He deflected many strikes and managed to parry me toward the end, but I only stumbled a little. Blocking his counter attack, I slid on the grass and swiped outward as wide as I could, but missed. He swung the spear back and forth quickly taking aim, then dashed forward with outstretching arms. I was unprepared for the hammer portion hitting my sword. The impact on my guard was far more than I expected and It knocked me flat on my a*s... Sitting there still gripping the sword, I looked up at him and waved the sword wildly from my sitting position. He laughed at me then offered to help me up.


"Vyon listen. You better go home so you don't get in trouble." Hiromasa stated once I was on my feet. "Read the book. Practice with your split soul and get ready for tonight." Hiro dusted my shoulder off as he spoke.

"What's happening tonight?" I asked instantly curious.


"Your first city sweep. You're going to hunt and kill Fuzen!" Hiromasa said nodding triumphantly.


"Finally, a little bit of payback!" I shouted throwing a fist in the air.


"They wont know what hit em. Go on! We'll be at your house later tonight." Hiromasa confidnece meant the world to me just then.

 

Running to get my book, I said goodbye to Hina who waved from the sink. "See ya tonight Vyon!"

 

"Hey Vyon, here!" Hiromasa handed a fist toward me as I came out on the porch. "In case you get hungry, err, yeah..." Hiro had dropped twenty dollars in my hand!

 

"No please you don't gotta! I can't pay you back. Just don't worry about me!" Heavy guilt hit me as I stared at the currency, laughing away other words.

"I don't want you to pay me back. Just take it Vyon." Hiro replied pushing my hand toward my chest.


"Thank you." Was all I could say in a low mumble. "Thank you so much Hiromasa." My voice was wavering as I accepted his caring token.

 

"We'll be by your house later tonight. Get some rest kid!" Hiromasa replied waving slightly as he headed into his house.


"Thank you! Thanks for breakfast Hina!" I called into the house.

 

Running out into the warm sun, I kicked off the damp grass and sailed upward toward the heavens. Speeding across the sky I kept a firm grasp on the sword manual. The tattered pages and torn paper could have easily fluttered apart if I was not careful. Not that I'm a slacker or anything, but I was going to sleep when I got home. If I am going to be fighting for my life and other peoples lives, then I want to be well rested, damn it! Scanning the distant buildings, I decided to try something. Focusing on furthering and furthering points I tried to teleport to those locations instead of flying. It worked at first and I jumped ahead four or five times. As I went for my sixth, which would have put me near Shio's house, I damn near fell out of the sky.

 

I was exhausted and every ounce of energy was used to focus on staying aloft. Landing atop a building, I panted for a second and fell to a seat. The thud on the roof shingles made me wonder, if the people home were alerted to my presence? How many times has that happenend already? Wary of being discovered, I quickly flew home after a few moments of rest. Once inside my room I moved my pillows apart so it didn't look like I was in bed anymore. Now that I occupied the bed, I was out like a light in minutes. I desperately needed this rest to be honest. My body hasn't been properly taken care of lately... Lack of sleep, malnutrition (as usual), and overall physical harm has made things pretty tough. My dreams were full of, flying, sword fights, magic, and monsters. When I awoke it was roughly five hours later. The sun was higher in the sky and I sat up sweating from the heat. A knock at my door is what awoke me, but the door opened without me answering. My fake mother entered and handed a bag my way.


"You're dad went out for food. Here." She stated plainly as I looked up at her bleary eyed. "Can you possibly clean up in here, even once?" The sarcasm was heavy and I smirked comically.


"Mmm hmm." Half awake and half nodding, I saw the red mist stopped quicker than normal! "Thank you!" Seeing this woke me up a bit more.

 

What I just saw sort of alerted me in a way. These people are producing some form of supernatural energy, but I think I stopped it... Wierd... The burger was not as I liked it, but I simply disposed of the produce then dug in. It was nice! Two meals in a day! Most of the time I am limited to snacks or minor meals... Tonight has to go well! Enjoying the burger and fries, I drank from my sink in fear of leaving the room. Not like there would be much in the refrigerator anyway. Slurping water from my hands I went back and finished my food. The pain of being full felt nice, as I crumpled the papers and threw them away. After a short moment to just wake up, I cracked open the manual of battlecraft.

 

Studying the images I could find and reading what text still existed, I was soon bored of this and wanted to actually practice. Without fail I summoned my aura and sword with ease! It basically was a matter of wanting it now, like the desire to hold it is enough! My next hurdle to jump was finding room to practice... Ah, I know! Teleporting outside I stood as firmly as I could in the air then spread my legs like I saw in the book. Without fear of being judged I began practicing strikes, guards, control, and balance. I found it was harder to remain balanced as I attacked because my focus shifted toward my arms. Soon it became apparent that the manual will not help me with everything. Learning to compensate my power was challenging at first, but quickly became a second nature to me. Swiping combos in the air I soon found a way to attack and lose pretty much no altitude!

 

Hearing a slam inside the building, I looked over to see my fake father storming across the apartment toward my room. Teleporting back in, I pretended to be reading as he entered, only to insult me with his distrust. Tonight I am going to willingly put myself in danger, but he thinks I just want to sneak out. If only he knew what I have done and what I was going to do. Would he be proud of me? Would anything change? Shaking my head, I returned to the book and began learning about cleaving and clashing. Skipping ahead a little, the book began speaking defensively and the phantom pain of my now healed wounds, led me to read intently. Most of the books instructions required a shield and sword to follow. My sword was far to large to accurately use one handed and I have no actual shield. A’ww how cool would that be though? Pondering what could be used as a shield, I decided to just skip that part for now. How is this book in modern english? When the hell was this made and for who?

 

I continued this pattern of read, practice, and avoid detection for a few hours. As the sun became low in the sky, I found it hard to teleport or even maintain my aura. A long groan of fatigue burst from me once I was back in bed and staring at the ceiling. If I am meant to fight evil and my soul purpose is to kill Fuzen, why does using my powers make me so damn tired? I’ll need to learn how to levy this unearthly daily energy. Setting my alarm for a few hours, I decided to get more sleep, I would need it later.

 

Awaking in the darkness, I swatted my alarm as quick as I could to silence it. Instantly awake, I began trying to mentally prepare myself for what tonight meant. Opening my curtains, I kept a constant vigil for the arrival of my comrades. I felt good now that I had slept a large portion of my day. I wasn't hungry and I had a decent amount of  energy as well. Seeing the fog banks drifting outside, I put on my winter jacket and got out my old beanie. Putting my hair back, I felt it strain the hair tie with only two loops. My power reacted suddenly and I turned around to find Hiromasa at the window. Hina appeared shortly after, waving in on me. Flashing outside to meet them, I was greeted with a can of lemon flavored creature energy drink.

 

"Thanks!" I replied taking it from Hina.


"No problem! Gotta stay sharp!" She nodded happily as I cracked it open.

 

"Hi Hiromasa!" I greeted him after a long drink.


"Good evening Vyon. Do you think you are prepared for this?" Hiromasa's straight forward attitude caught me off guard.


"Of course!" This reply lacked my absolute confidence, but he didn't seem to notice. "I can summon my weapon now, no problem!"


"Very good!" Hiro praised grandly, but then returned to the same stone cold attitude. "Tonight we are all going to be together, but that will not be the case most times to follow."

 

"Alright. Did you wanna split up tonight and keep things routine?" Saying this was sort of sad, I wanted to go with them.


"No Vyon, I need to see how you handle yourself. Then we can turn you loose, killer!" He had an heir of humor about him.

 

"Do you want a scarf Vyon? I have an extra." Hina offered, but I declined.

 

Just then I noticed Hina was dressed differently than normal. Like Hiromasa, Hina was wearing a type of trench coat, though hers was more feminine and folded across the front. It was also black faux leather and had thin green flames stitched into the lapel, sleeve ends, and bottom trim. Her legs were covered by army fatigues and she wore thick work books. Around her neck were two or three scarves, which obscurred her face a bit. Man... I know it sounds silly, but I want a team jacket too! The colored fire looks cool...

 

"So what's on the agenda tonight?" I asked enjoying the tart drink.

"There has been a large amount of negative force in the city. We are going to patrol and eliminate any Fuzen in the area." Hiromasa spoke casually, but he was still serious.

 

"We're gonna go kick some a*s!" Hina's spunky attitude was more uplifting.

 

"Alright! Let's head out!" A powerful excitement shone through my voice.


"Follow me, stick close, and keep your eyes open." Hiromasa instructed as he bolted through the night, leaving only a trail of fire to follow.

 

Hina was gone in seconds leaving me to follow the two lines alone. After a few seconds of following wispy embers, I saw them both. Darting up and down to avoid street signs and traffic lights, I followed them as best I could. They flew closer to the ground than I am used to. Hina turned over in the air, so she was flying backward and waved me to catch up. Focusing harder, I managed to pick up speed and join them. Hiromasa slowed to a stop and arched around a corner hitting full speed again in seconds. Hina did the same, but this corner caused me to fall behind. Hiro had stopped about halfway up this street between a hardware store and a strip club. As I approached I saw him scanning the ground below. His eyes darted around and then tightened on a bus stop. Something lumbered out into the night then darted back toward the shadows. The three of us lowered toward the ground, but never touched it. A grotesque crunching could be heard nearby and when I found the source, I gagged.

 

This Fuzen was devouring a corpse, or what was left of one. It turned and peered at us, the whited over eyes now sunken pits in the skull. The lower jaw had been severed in half and it now acted as a pair of mandibles. These two elongated fragments of bone seemed to have been stretched or warped slightly, and they both ended in jagged points. Each of the hands had grown elongated finger bones, which pierced through the flesh at the thumb, middle, and pinkey finger. These claws were jagged, sharp, and soaked in blood, bits of fleshy matter dripping from a few. Looking our way it took a few steps, then roared revealing a wicked tongue, which resembled a Venus fly trap. Many humanoid teeth lined the inside of this dripping, slobbering, hand sized tongue mutation. Gurgling and growling this figure stumbled around attempting to avoid us, but eventually just returned to eating the corpse.

"Vyon..." Hiromasa said firmly yet I had to force myself to look away. "Go get em boy!" The funny remark caught me just right and I chuckled.

Landing the figure instantly shot its gaze my way with a guttural snarl. It rose and roared once more, then charged me. Like I did before, I simply vanished and appeared behind the creature attempting to strike as I did. As the sword fell it met the creatures hand, which contorted around to block itself. The edge cut deep into the necrotic flesh, but the fuzen only gripped the blade, each bony claw clinking off the surface. Swiping in an arch, it tried to impale me on the other claw!

 

Kicking backward I sailed away, yanking my sword with all my might. It tore free, cutting through bone like butter... God what a horrific feeling, knowing bone can break and gnash as easily as an apple can be split... Instantly the Fuzen slung both claws in a wild flurry, but I managed to simply keep out of range. As it launched a particularly hard swing I retaliated, when the opportunity presented itself. Sliding forward quickly, I brought the swords weight down, using my own strength to guide and add force.

 

With a loud metal bang, my blade hit the concrete below and the arm fell free, with a waterfall of blood following in splatters. It staggered a moment, but only stopped a few seconds before continuing its wreckless assault. Leaping at me it brought the remaining claw down hard into the concrete and as I stumbled it lifted its head, snapping the pincers and tongue my way! The lashing tongue ripped a piece of my jacket free and the beast eagerly attempted to eat it. Not satisfied however, it ran at me again within seconds. I froze with fear, until it got within range and I teleported. Turning in place the creature roared again like it was getting angry, but this only served to focus my own ire. Stupid b*****d is probably going to rush me again...

 

As the creature lifted the one claw and began stomping toward me, I prepared the sword at my side. Focusing all my thought into my timing and all of my power into the swing, I attacked. Narrowly avoiding a lancing claw, I took three steps and watched the horror pass me. Once I saw it begin to turn, I swung with all my might and clipped the nightmares head off below the eyes. It staggered as the tongue whipped around with diminished vigor. Moving away with my sword raised, I watched mortified as the Fuzen adapted to this new bodily damage! The tongue like trap extended outward a few inches, so it was independent of the destroyed head. Flailing around randomly the beast began producing another eye from the twitching bloody tongue! Nightmares will spawn around this image, I just know it... This fuzen was trying to inflate the eyeball like a balloon, but it only achieved lesser form, a hanging bulb at best. The arm was regrowing now, stalks springing from bone and curling about to fuse into lesser fingers... How do you kill them? They don't... they don't die either!

 

Flipping my blade around, I decided this was enough! Holding the sword like a javelin, I took a running start and threw my weapon as hard as I could! With a loud splattering sound, the creature spun in place as my sword went straight through and knocked it to the ground. Cheers from above reminded me of Hiromasa and Hina's presence, but I simply gave a quick wave. Approaching cautiously the creature twitched and writhed, kicking about furiously. Lifting my blade quickly, I backed away as the Fuzen flailed in agony. It swung at me and bit the tongue forward, but each effort was weaker than the last. Lifting the sword with two hands, I ended the frantic suffering of this evil being with a solid stab. Staring in the electric light of night time, I watched as the demon seemed to disappear into a type of liquid. Once destroyed this creature melted into a mass of blood red goop. This sludge spread outward slowly then seemed to seep into the concrete and slowly vanish...


"Nice throw Vyon!" Hina cried as she landed with a light thud.


"Great work kid! Now, what did you learn?" Hiromasa asked simply hovering down, not landing.


"What do you mean? I killed one, isn't that the point?" My upset voice was still a bit winded.


"Of course, but you should also try to learn about the enemy." Hiromasa took on an instructing tone. "Come on there is another nearby."

 

Watching the violet flames begin to fade instantly, I took a moment to catch my breath. Hina made a funny face before flying off. She took on a type of pleased mob boss appearance, as she held up an O.K. sign with her fingers. Laughing slightly, she burst through the night leaving an vibrant, electric green tail of flame. Following her, I watched as we caught up to the purple fire. Hiromasa was on the roof of a building, peering into the alley way below. As we approached, he took the sky and waved us toward the end of the block. We were between two huge skyscrapers and this strip of road only had a single street light. Hiro seemed intently focused on a small cluster of dumpsters and trashcans. Pointing to it he leaned toward me and spoke softly.

 

"There is a Fuzen somewhere down there." His first words were whispered. "Destroy it and be prepared for an evaluation of your performance." This was said louder, but still not full voiced.

 

"Got it!" Nodding to him, I dropped to the ground.

 

Once on the ground I wondered why I keep landing? It would be easy to hit and run as I flew by, but that wouldn't help me practice. As I approached the alley way I was assailed by a series of horrific squeaks and screeches. From the shadows a figure rose upward and darted toward me. As I prepared to fight, the creature took to the air! It swiped by Hina and Hiro, but they vanished away before it even got close. This freak of nature flew like a bat, but was nothing but a torso. As it swung around in the air, it landed on the street light. With another shriek it split the near silence and dove toward me from atop the light!

 

Sweeping over head, I took a swing at the horrid creature, but missed. Leaping into the sky, I flew toward the monster and summoned the sword. Attacking twice I found this fiend was incredibly adept at maneuvering in the air. It ducked, juked, and pitched itself around to dodge me and stay away. This creature resembled a torso, but the head and arms were horrifically mangled. Both arms had been skinned down to just bones, but the flesh had been fused to the back and sides just right, to form wings. Elongated bones had been shifted about to support a large wing span. The head was torn in half, down the middle and it remained constantly open, only to snap around violently as it flew. The empty stare of the victim was haunting, his eyes like still water and his mouth set in a silent scream of terror. Where the skull would have held the brain had been mutated to be full of vile black teeth. This bat like Fuzen had a bit of spinal chord hanging, but it was not being used as a weapon and instead the creature seemed to hang from objects with it.

 

The fiend flew again over to the lamp and hung from it a moment using this method. With another split of the head it released a vicious scream and thick black sludge spattered forward. I clutched the sword and prepared for this creature to attack, but it dropped to the ground and I saw it crawling after a pedestrian! Intense rage took hold of me and I prepared to defend this obviously homeless man. Letting myself fall from the sky I positioned the blade beneath me and landed in a stabbing motion. Hearing the horrible screams was, in a way, satisfying, but I was buffeted by a thrash of the beasts body. Falling on my a*s, I rolled over my back shoulder realizing I lost my sword. The creature lashed around and attempted to hit me with the its free wing. My blade had pierced through the right wing and into the cement below, this thing wont be flying anymore.

 

Wailing in supreme fury the Fuzen tore itself free and began meekly pursuing me! Unable to retrieve my sword I did the only thing I could think. As the furious monster lashed forward with its uncrippled wing I hopped back and then propelled toward the demon. Once I had forward momentum, I drew my foot back and kicked the monstrosity in the under side of its torn head. Discharging a great deal of power, I watched at the fiend sailed through the misty night and landed with a wet slap on the pavement. Grabbing my sword I prepared for it, as the wings seemed to still work! It took to the sky and then dive bombed me, but I teleported backward and rushed it with several slashes. A few threw me off balance, but I used the momentum to spin in the air and deliver more attacks that way. Three of my five strikes hit there mark and I watched trails of blood sling into the air around me. With a fading scream this creature fell from the sky and splattered into negative filth on the concrete below. Even though this one was easier, I was still panting and aching.


"Good work kid. You haven't even got hurt yet!" Hiromasa had a short laugh. "Tell me, what did that Fuzen show you?"

 

"They can fly..." I basically asked this with my tone of voice. "They’re all different!" I blurted out with more confidence. What did he want from me?


"Good enough..." Hina chuckled, but Hiromasa looked a bit cross at us both.

 

"Alright listen up Vyon. When negativity fills a host and creates a fuzen, the soul will most times fight back. If this happens the growing monster will have less power to mutate with. Sometimes you will find Fuzen that barely even have form and some are almost the same person. Some Fuzen even speak modern languages!" Though disturbing in thought, Hiro's words were incredibly informative.

 

"Creepy..." A chill danced up and down my spine as I whispered this.

 

"Fuzen all develop differently and almost all of them use biological weaponry or brute strength, developed from their host body." Hina added floating a bit closer to us both. "Many will try to use inflicted wounds as mutation points, which can be... disturbing..."

 

"That's another thing, when you fight a Fuzen never assume it is dead! You will know when it dies." Hiro said turning my attention back to him.

 

"Teleporting drains a lot of energy also! So it would be better to just block or dodge an attack on your own." Hina's advice seemed more useful.

"Is that why I get so tired so quickly?" I asked still a little winded.


"You're still new to this. It will get easier over time." Hiromasa patted my shoulder as he said this.

"But yeah, teleporting serious eats up your power." Hina added, actually answering my question.


"Good to know, thanks. Where's the next one?" Eagerness flooded through my voice.


"Try to find it yourself Vyon. Focus all of your senses on the negativity around us. See if you can find the source." Hiromasa invited eagerly, but I was skeptical.


Most of the time Fuzen either ambush me or I just spot them. How do you go about sensing them? Sometimes I get a shiver or a headache when they are near, but I always thought that was survival instincts kicking in. Trying to concentrate my mind, I was suddenly made aware of a terrible odor! Death, that is the only way I can describe it... One of the apartments I lived at had rats dying in the walls, it was similar to this smell. The putresence of decaying... Is this what negativity smells like?

 

When I focused harder and inhaled deeper, my mind quickly honed in on the source. It was on a building somewhere, as the scent was coming from above me. Hiromasa and Hina laughed as I tried to use the powers they had already mastered. Or maybe it was because I was sniffing the air like a bloodhound... Soon though I led them toward a rooftop with my body now reacting to negative presence.

 

Quickly the Fuzen tried to flee. Both of them noticed this as they moved to intercept and prevent its escape. Scurrying along, this small creature hid in the shadow of a air conditioning unit. Two bright orange eyes peered through the darkness and I saw flutters of jarring movement. Lighting the area with my aura, I watched the monster dart to another dark corner, hissing as it moved.

 

"This is a weak one. Get rid of it quick." Hiromasa stared hard into the darkness where the little figure had ran.

The silence afterward was cut by a low growl. As I approached, this growl was repeated a few times. Once near enough to the Fuzen it attacked, but I simply pushed the tiny cretin away. This particular demon, was just a head. It was severed at the lower jaw and the tongue was now used to achieve basic locomotion. This fuzen had split its tongue into a dozen or so tendrils, giving it a morbid shellfish appearance. A large portion of skull was missing from the back of the head and brain matter was pulled free to form a set of tentacles. The remaining eyes glowed in the night and the remaining upper teeth had sharpened and looked shark like. Lifting on the tendrils of brain and the stretched tongue, it launched itself at me again, only traveling a pathetic amount of distance. Swatting it from the air like a baseball, I sent it flying across the rooftop and off the edge. The splattering of its falling blood preceded a loud variety of clattering as it crashed below. Turning back they both seemed happy with my progress.

 

"And it's outta here!" Hina used a sports announcer voice as she cried this.

"I'm fairly certain it's dead, but Hina go check. Vyon follow me." Hiromasa instantly snaps from praise to demand.

"Alright, lead the way!" I flew upward shouting this.


I managed to keep up with Hiro as best I could. Never in front or next to him, but still I wasn't far behind. He sailed for a long time then stopped suddenly and looked about. Taking a deep whiff of the air I smelled imense foulness from several locations. The stench of decay and death was on the wind, but from many places it seemed. We were between a huge skyscraper and a run down motel, which was flanked by two older brick high-rises. The enormous structure at our back cast a looming shadow over all the smaller buildings. Many of the rooms still projected light from within, causing a scattered amount of illumination.

 

In the parking lot below, Hiro and I watched several figures engaged in a violent dance. Three Fuzen were tearing someone to pieces, but from up here I could hardly make out any details. I was grateful for that fact this graphic display of violence was beyond my range of clarity. Hiromasa however, stared coldly at this act of ruthlessness undeterred. Turning his piercing purple eyes to me, I could see the pain in his face. Plumes of disappointment spread like mushroom clouds across his scowling gaze. Lowering without a word, I silently followed, listening to the roar of moving fire.


"You are out numbered, be careful Vyon." Hiromasa warned as he scanned the gruesome scene. "I will assist you, if you're in danger, but... I wont always be there." The strength in his voice gave way to worry.


"Hey, relax!" I floated forward into his line of sight. "Remember what I said? You wont have to save me again!" My chuckle caused him to smile.

"Stay alert, watch your surroundings, don't get cornered!" He listed these off quickly as I flew lowered to the ground.

Once near the ground I let myself free fall to the concrete below. It was a mess down here... Body parts and innards had been strewn from one end of the parking lot to the other. Piles of flesh, blood, and skin were all that remained of the once whole victim. The overwhelming stench of bodily fluids and decaying flesh surrounded the hotel like a thick fog. Two of the three Fuzen were out in the open, too distracted with their meal to notice my approach. The third however, emerged from the darkness and slung the arm it was ingesting aside, with a wet splat. This brutish figure moved like a gorilla, but had the least amount of physical mutation from what I could see. The arms had become horribly bulky and over muscled. From the back of the distorted form several long stout spikes had grown in clustered outcrops. Overall he was bigger than a human should be, and bloated with unnatural muscle. Growling furiously from his tiny face, the blood soaked skin and hair slung crimson droplets to the ground.

 

Roars of pain spat forth, as this beast reached up and ripped a horn free from its back! Hurling it at me, I rolled to the side and felt the wind it brought, as the spine flew by. The fuzen pounded the ground a few times as it saw me stand up. The other two fuzen had taken notice and they were headed toward me, but I had bigger problems. The enormous mitt slammed flat where I was just standing, then the other swiped in a grabbing motion. Teleporting upward, I fell with my slash, leaving a deep gash in the oversized arm. Swatting the wounded limb outward, it backhanded me across the parking lot and into the street. Two long spears of bone, which were similar to porcupine quills, shattered on the cement around me before I could even recover. The Fuzen had another ready, but I quickly dodged behind a car and watched it skip off the hood.

 

Leaping up and over the car, I used my powers to propel myself much further than a typical jump would carry me. One of the spinal spikes sailed by, but my bodyweight carried me below it and I aimed for the fuzen’s disfigured head. Instead the beast reared back and punched me out of the air! My body wrapped around the desk sized fist and all air was removed from me in a single second. The impact dazed me terribly, but the bludgeoning impact with solid stone was sobering.

 

Coughing blood, I rolled over just in time to see another blow crack the parking lot asphalt. The fuzen battered the concrete with an carnal, uncoordinated, frenzied assortment of savage strikes, then seemed to notice I wasn't there. Scrambling up off the ground, the tremors of the beasts pursuing steps shook my already uneasy ankles. Throwing myself into a desperate dodge roll, I managed to clear the beasts swiping fist and land in a defensive stance with my sword tight against my body. Without mercy the massive muscled arms slammed the sword into my chest. Sliding backward from the impact, my arms and legs felt weak and I struggled to stand. This relentless fuzen was on me again, but its blind charge left it vulnerable! With both fists raised, poised to crush me, I flew straight at it, sword fist and collided with the wall of muscle.

 

The impact of my blade hitting the beast threw me forward and my feet landed against the monsters torso! Watching the sword skewer through the brute, I was overtaken by the sound and feeling of stabbing flesh again. The wet cutting and dripping sounds, when paired with the semi-tough matter I carved through, made my skin crawl. It was like cutting up a turkey filled with whole carrots you have to break through... The unholy billowing of the fiend caught my attention and as it recovered, I kicked off with both feet to escape. Focusing energy into my legs as I did this, the burst of fire that emerged from my departure knocked the monster to the ground. My sword had been pulled from my grasp however and I watched the tail bob about as the creature returned to its feet. One of the other Fuzen attacked then, but I managed to barely avoid it then retaliate.

 

As the mutated torso landed near me, I took a step back then punt kicked it with all my energy and strength. My foot burst into flames as it collided with the fuzen, which had no way of blocking, given its mutations. This headless fuzen had shifted its rear legs to resembled a large felines and the front two limbs were slender, talons made of solid bone. It was as if someone ran this poor souls arms through a pencil sharpener, leaving only shredded, frayed curves on the tips of obliterated fleshy matter. These looked to be the sharpest and most dangerous part of the forearms, though the entire length was jagged. This Fuzen moved on all fours and it attacked quickly, so it is a miracle I evaded it at all!

 

Once the creature was thrown by my kick, it flew through the air, then collided against the side of the hotel office. Being charged again by the gorilla Fuzen, I leapt straight up and over the beast landing unevenly. Juking a few more punches, I leapt forward and tried to grab my sword. Successfully clutching the handle only led to being punched and I was sent flying. Glass scattered to the ground, as I made impact with a car and my back broke the drivers side window. Blood poured from my hair, my head was ringing, and it was hard to stand, but I fought to. I couldn't see straight, as I peered around and staggered forward feeling my sword dangling from my arm. Once it sword was in my grasp, the third Fuzen showed itself while the apish beast threw a volley of spikes.

 

Feeling bone shrapnel hit me in various places, I felt relieved I had not been struck directly! The third Fuzen was joined by his recently kicked companion and my focus was partially realigned. This new Fuzen was just a set of legs, severed at the belly button. From within the carnage, four long thin, veiny tendrils had arose, each tipped with a three prong claw. Though the slowest of the three, the storm of lashing tentacles would be hard to avoid. It leaned forward and each little claw snapped forward individually.

 

 Scooting back I swung the blade, but only managed to cut one of them. Recovering my stance, I barely managed to deflect the quadruped torso and it took me to the ground. Fighting with all my strength meant nothing as this creature was by far stronger. Having no choice but to allow myself to be stabbed, I guided it as best I could toward my upper shoulder. Each spike hit at different times and I cried out terribly, but had a plan of attack.

 

Sliding my sword down, I positioned it across the stomach and slashed outward as hard as I could. Leaping back from me the hideous figure dislodged both claws and I yelped as it lifted me from the concrete momentarily. This Fuzen was done for! It kicked the rear lion legs meekly as the two bloody hooks twitched toward the wound on the belly. Getting up again I found it was really hard to lift my sword, but I had to keep fighting! Oh crap, this... All this half is my blood! F**k!

 

Shouting out in pain, I batted away a spinal spear and then another. As the tentacle bearing Fuzen approached, I swung downward in desperation, not caring about stances or form. The blade made contact where the tendrils emerged and cut a wide gash into the necrotic flesh. Turning with sudden awareness, the huge brute of a Fuzen already had both fists raised. Gasping with fright, I felt my entire body tense up, but I also managed to charge power at the same time. The effect was a motionless soul sprint! Teleporting without moving at all!

 

I appeared several feet above the gorilla Fuzen and watched it smash the tendril waving beast into paste. The wet squish was gross, but seeing both legs fly apart forcefully was humorous. Falling from lack of power I landed atop the damaged car so it didn't hurt as bad. The roar of this Fuzen echoed across the city, but I simply hopped off the car and strenuously lifted my sword, snatching at the bobbing handle. After another roar and a few pounds of its fist, the beast charged me. Unable to summon enough power, I had to shoulder roll and land hard on the concrete. Surprisingly this didn't hurt as much as I would have believed!

 

Hearing the clinking of my collar tags each time, I took a few swings at the Fuzen as it circled me slowly. Knowing the attack pattern of this creature, I stood up as it did and hacked a wicked gash across it’s exposed chest. Not stopping I attacked again and hit the shoulder with a chopping motion. The Fuzen punched, but I dodged it and rolled to the side. Landing another slash on the already wounded shoulder, I was struck in the stomach and lifted into the air. This strike hurt like hell and being thrown upward was disorienting. Using a little flight to achieve extra hang time, I took aim and fell like a dropped bomb. Landing in a cutting motion I finally achieved my goal! As my blade fell, it sunk deep into the monsters shoulder and cut the muscle bloated limb clean off! It fell backward and so did I, but it thrashed in a violent agony, I just shuffled away in panic. I simply panted, holding my sword with one hand and holding my wounded shoulder with the other. The Fuzen flailed furiously, but did not seem to be recovering. Staggering, balancing, and rolling around was all this creature could do to try and attack me. Soon the motions dulled and each roar became weaker. With one long breathy groan the creature began to liquify and was soon nothing but an ooze pile. This putrid substance evaporated, but my pain remained a constant reminder of the creatures I just slew. Blood had soaked into my hand and through my jacket, causing thin trails to be seen on the surface. Small cuts, scrapes, and bruises littered my body, but my soul was currently made of steel. Trying to stand only crushed my body beneath an endless weight of tense pain.

 

"Great work Vyon!" Hiromasa called in an impressed voice.

 

"Way to go!" Hina dropped to the ground. "You alright?" She examined me closely.

 

It was hard to find words and use them. No, that immediately came to mind! I had just been in several kill or be killed situations... no, I am not alright. My heart was still racing and every inch of muscle felt as stiff as stone. Emotionally, this was heavy and my heart sank like an anchored feather. Those poor souls... Each of the Fuzen I killed tonight could have been someone’s brother, mother, or best friend. Struggling to ignore this dreadful thought, I opened my mind to the good of these battles. People are safer because of me, even if they are unaware. Trying to stand up again, I shouted in pain before I even moved. Hina's hand locked onto my shoulder and she commanded me to be still.

 

Both my arms felt like they were going to tear off if I moved to fast. Hina knelt over me and placed her hands together, so both thumbs crossed, but no other fingers touched. Her hands became encased in a field of white light, which was trimmed with green fire. Watching this display of magic light took my mind off the pain, but not for long. The heavenly power lining her hands was filled with tiny green sparkles and it gave off strands of silvery light. Once enough of this power had been gathered, Hina gently touched my chest. Every inch of my body locked up and I couldn't even scream from the amount of tension inside of me. Fighting meekly I struggled to remove myself from her oppressive grasp. All at once, the pain dissolved into memory and a long sigh of relief flowed from my lips. This feeling was so soothing that I was having trouble staying awake and it was damn near impossible to keep my eyes open. Her magic gave off a gentle hum that surged in volume every few seconds. This rhythmic sound added to the relaxation that her enchanted touch brought me. These waves of recovery became more and more frequent, until I was practically numb. My eyes slowly opened and I peered up at them both, oblivious to the now distant pain. It had stopped and I felt... awesome!

 

"All better?" She asked as my eyes drifted to her lazily.


"Yeah... wow..." My voice was a little slurred, but I sat up effortlessly. "What happened?"


"Hina used a common spell that restores biological and spiritual harmony." Hiromasa explained as he helped me stand up. "Essentially, Hina used a great deal of power to mend your wounds."


"Think of it like magic medicine!" Hina quipped, apparently out of breath.

 

"Thank you! I feel great!" Shouting this made me put both fists up.

 

"No problem!" She folded her arms with pride. "You needed help! I love helping!”

 

"Pretty risky decision, letting yourself get stabbed." Hiromasa shook his head, running a finger along the bloodstain.

 

"Yeah that was stupid, but-." They cut me off quickly.

 

"No way! That was badass!" Hina exclaimed with Hiro nodding slightly as well.


"Quick thinking, slicing it open like that." Hiromasa spoke with specks of admiration shining through.

"Thanks! That was... intense..." The words came to mind, but it wasn't what I had planned to say.


"Hunting Fuzen always is." Hina sighed.

 

"If you survive, it gets a little easier." Hiromasa smirked and I couldn't help laughing.

 

"Thanks again, both of you." Was all I could say through my grin.


"Let's go. There are a few more around here. We'll handle them together." Hiromasa declared with a small smile of his own.


What an interesting way to spend Saturday night! Don't get me wrong... I am much more the stay in and smoke type, but this is important. This means something... People are on the line here! If I fail, not only will I die, but countless others may! Each night my strength would be tested and I absolutely could not fail! Soaring behind Hiro I was proud to be ahead of Hina. She was probably tired from having to heal me or she was just being nice. Regardless we were heading back toward the suburbs now and the buildings were shrinking as a result. Once near a gas station, Hiromasa stopped to look around a bit. Taking a seat on the spinning sign, Hina relaxed for a moment while Hiro surveyed the area. He pointed toward a hardware store and then waved us to follow. Now on the roof of said building, the three of us scouted around, but I was quickly drawn in by the stench of death. In the back lot, where the lumber was stored, two figures scrambled to avoid view. For being such menacing monsters they sure do seem to fear us. Perhaps that is because of our numbers! Earlier I was fighting alone and they didn't hesitate to attack! Don't like a fair fight? Not so easy when you're outnumbered, is it?

 

"Vyon block the gate!" Hiromasa pointed at a slightly opened chain link gate. "Hina, flush em out." His voice has a hint of comedy to it.

 

Once in place at the gate, I looked up to find Hina holding both chakrams at the side. "Wayward waterfall!" She cried bringing them both together so the tips touched.


As the two blades pinged off the surface of one another, it caused the foggy air to shift toward her. Loud gurgling rose in volume, as water began gathering from the air around her. As if caught in a vortex, I watched the mist stop its natural drifting and shoot toward her now basketball sized orb of water. Within seconds it was a sloshing torrent that could have filled a home pool! Flicking the weapons apart the orb drifted forward at a slow pace, but picked up a small amount of speed. This huge sphere of liquid rolled through the air, dampening everything it drifted over or near. It reached the other end of the open lot and stopped. Suddenly it burst forth a single jet of water like a fire hose! The slapping sound of water on stone filled the lumber lot, as this this orb emptied itself onto a fuzen! Watching with restrained laughter, I saw the impish fiend stumbling about as it was drowned by the miniature floating ocean. This "wayward waterfall", as Hina called it, moved away from the first Fuzen once it had halved itself in size. The other Fuzen, who began fleeing, desperately tried to avoid the pursuing water shots. Eventually it was struck and pummeled into a corner by the pounding spray. Again it was hard not to laugh! Seeing these menacing creatures completely helpless to not only water, but a young girl, was hysterical!


"Vyon, get that one!" Hiromasa called to me, pointing to the recovering fuzen.

 

"On it!" I called running toward the creature who flailed and screamed in response.

 

Running toward the foe, I found that it was not as humanoid as the other Fuzen I faced tonight. This creature had a scale coated body and a serpent like head. It moved using two clawed hands and a long tail, which replaced the legs. Glowing red eyes softly pierced through the darkness, as I approached and dodged a whip of the tail. Growling and hacking up water it prepared to attack again. Once it lunged forward, I swiped the sword across my body and felt an immense impact. Horrific hissing filled the area, as I watched two scales sail through the air, along with a sideways arch of blood. Wriggling around in pain the fiend threw a claw my way, but it did little.

 

Capitalizing on the opportunity was easy, as the fiend was more concerned with its bleeding tail. Striking out again, I felt the blade make contact with the side of the creatures head, but it failed to cut through. A tremor of shock rode through my arms and I stumbled back, my blade humming with vibration. Though I didn't cut the foe, it still screeched in pain and it uneasily slunk toward the corner. Delivering another strike to the head, I collapsed it to the ground with battering force. Weaker hissing and thrashes of the tail were all it could produce now. Swinging the sword backward and around I used the momentum to slam it down. Smashing straight through a scales, I felt my blade dig in deep until it met tough and rubbery tension. Wailing with unearthly echoes the Fuzen fought to claw me, but it seemed to have lost use of its tail. Pushing the blade with all my might in an attempt to pin the creature, I felt a sort of tension break. Instantly the monster was reduced to a meek twitching pile of flesh and I realize I had broken its back. A spinal chord feels like breaking a solid, but wet tree limb... That flexing snap reminded me of a bungie chord pulled to destructive limits.

 

Stepping back my blade was pulled free with a long wet slurp. My wrists and forearms were still tense, but as drops of blood fell to the pavement a few hit my wrists. This broke my focus and I turned away as the foe began melting into goop. Flicking the blood aside, I wiped the sword on a nearby tarp. That feeling was sort of burned in my head... It was unpleasant knowing what it felt like to cut a spinal chord in two...


"He's a natural!" Hina's laughter helped return me to the moment.


"Good shot Vyon. You're a lot better at this than I would have imagined." Hiromasa's smile made me feel like a champion just then.


"Must be all those video games!" I replied resting the sword on my shoulder and hanging my other arm on the blade.


Hina laughed, but Hiromasa appeared puzzled. "How could that have possibly... never mind. You did great tonight kid." He replied after a moment of thought.

"Thanks! Same time tomorrow?" I asked getting continual laughter from Hina.


"No, tomorrow I want to teach you some new tricks." Hiro joined the jovial side of the conversation with his comment.

 

"Sit, stay, roll over... sick em!" Hina added in, her laughter stopping her words for a moment.


"Never play dead, that's for sure!" I called passed Hiro to her, but my focus quickly returned to him.


"Sleep in tomorrow Vyon, you'll need the rest. Again, you did outstanding tonight." Hiromasa pat my shoulder as he said this.


"Thank you, that means a lot..." I looked away because I felt the heat of blushing grip my face.


"You hurt Vyon? I can patch you up before ya went home, if you are." Hina offered hopping off the pile of boards.


"Nope, I feel fine. A little shaken up, but that’s unavoidable..." Again the feeling of cutting through skin, blistering bone, and butchering dead matter.. was replayed in my mind and I cringed.


"That will fade with time. Just focus on staying alive that long." Hiromasa's hopeful taunt was inspiring. "Go on kid, see ya tomorrow." Hiro waved me toward the suburbs.


"Bye-bye Vyon! Four stars tonight, great work!" Hina was still peppy despite seeming tired.

 

"Thanks Hina, and thank you again for the help earlier." My words held the utmost sincerity, but she waved it off with a smile.

 

"Don't mention it!" Her smile was flashy in the cities low light. "Just don't ever be afraid to ask if you get hurt!" Hina wagged a finger my way.


"I wont, trust me!" The memories of my previous pain led me to say this in a big voice.


"Sleep well Vyon. We'll see you tomorrow." Hiromasa began flying off and Hina followed with a short wave.


Once they were gone I let the blade vanish into fire. A long sigh escaped me then, as my eyes darted over the bloody holes in my jacket. Though I was told I did good, it felt like tonight went worse than I had envisioned. Maybe I was naive, but my mental movie of tonight didn't involve being stabbed in the shoulders. There was still a tiny amount of invisible pain, but I was able to shake it off and head home. Flying felt good, it freed my mind from the recent dark thoughts, which plagued me. It was hard to crumple under mental anguish, when you are soaring closer to the stars than you could’ve ever dreamed!

 

This enjoyment was cut short as I was now acutely aware of what evil smelled like. The scent of death, of pure evil, was seizing my nostrils every few seconds and the harder I tried to avoid it, the more intense it would be upon next breath. It boiled my blood, knowing they were able to hide and continue the vile lives they lead. Scoffing under my breath, I soul sprinted home, and appeared on my roof in a flash! Hopping off the ledge, I caught myself mid fall and swum through the air like I was underwater. Focusing caused my room to materialize into being and I was suddenly inside. This is getting really easy! Summoning the split soul is a snap now and pretty soon I will use my powers fatigue free! Hopefully... Time for some much deserved sleep! City sweep is something I may never look forward to. Scratch that, killing Fuzen is a priority! I may not be excited, but I have to give it every ounce of my spirit.



© 2017 Thatonedawg


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so this chapter is great but hard to read and focus on the massive paragraphs :) anyways I do liver the sorry as it is and can't wait to read more.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Thatonedawg

3 Years Ago

Up coming chapters have been monitored for this! Thank you and I totally understand what you mean! H.. read more
Brittanie Bardwell

3 Years Ago

Oh man my auto type on my phone is awful. I hope you understood what I wrote lol

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Added on June 16, 2016
Last Updated on August 24, 2017
Tags: fantasy, action, adventure, fun, good, bad, split, eternity, love, hate, fire, sin, please, for, the, of, god, read, this, it, isn't, that bad


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Thatonedawg
Thatonedawg

Sacramento, CA



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I have been writing for a long time. My father was a writer and he always encouraged me to do so as well. Sadly he never read any of my work or even cared for that matter. I just need to know that som.. more..

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