Chapter nine: Spell broken

Chapter nine: Spell broken

A Chapter by Thatonedawg
"

Haven't posted in a while. Thanks to anyone who reads this! Thank you even more if you enjoy it! Updated!

"

Chapter 9: Spell broken

 

 

Sleep was suddenly thrown off of me, as I became aware of a presence near me. Flailing a moment, my instincts led me to cover my face. When I realized I wasn't being harmed, wakefulness began tugging my thoughts toward reality. Wearily opening my eyes, I yelped to find Hiro and Hina casually hanging out in my room! Hiromasa leaned against my desk, while enjoying a cup of microwave noodles and Hina was rummaging through my closet! After staring for a moment, Hiro waved to me with a mouthful of rice and Hina leaned out to join him.

 

"Hey Vyon, don't you have any other clothes? I see the same outfit in here..." Hina taunted as she returned to my closet.

 

"Get outta there!" I shouted at her as I stood up, but my foot snared the blanket causing me to fall.


Hiromasa stared at me with an expanding smirk as I realized, I was only in boxers! Yelping again, I covered myself and tried to wrap up in the blanket. Hina laughed as she watched me scramble around in embarrassment. Hiromasa just shook his head slightly and closed his eyes.

 

"Vyon, I'm fifty-three. I know what everything looks like..." Hiromasa chuckled as he threw the plastic cup away.

 

"Hey Vyon, what's in this metal box?" Hina asked from within my closet and I frantically fought to stop her. "Is this... pornography?" She stated in an appalled and yet comedic voice.


“St-stop, just put that dow-.” I was cut off by laughter on both ends.


"Now Hina, all males Vyon's age have some form of pornography." Hiromasa responded and I groaned in humiliation.

 

“Get out of my closet!” I cried to her, but again I got taunting giggles.

 

"Hey Vyon..." Hina appeared at the closet door. "Who are these people?" She held up "the photograph" and an endless rage flew through me.


Snatching the picture from her hand, I went into my bathroom and slammed the door closed. Once alone, I tossed the photo carelessly on the counter, but knew it wouldn't remain there long. I kept this picture hidden away because of what seeing it does to me... Staring at the happy faces depicted in the picture, made me sick with fury and sorrow. A radiant pair of parents stared happily at the camera, as they held their child up by his hands. Glaring at the joyous boy, my vision slowly lifted to the mirror, where he stood as a damaged young man. Gritting my teeth, I fought back tears and crumpled the picture in anger. Touching my collar softly, I cringed and felt my spine tense up with morbid concern.

 

 I wasn't completely honest when I explained why I wear this collar. True, I do not want to forget, but the real reason I wear it, is to cover a scar... When I was abandoned and trying to survive on my own, I attempted to kill myself... Nothing about my life mattered... I didn't want to go on alone... I tried to slit my throat at age five, but failed. It was all I knew... The only way my young mind had seen and perceived assured death. I saw it in a western movie once, the swift sliding of steel brought a thin trickle of crimson, then death moments later. Dying, the end of life... I recognized it thoroughly, even as a youth... My shard of glass wasn't as smooth as the knife I remember on camera, but it cut my hand upon being picked up... My memories are so foggy now, but the main feeling I remember was panic. Blood flew so freely and chaotically, unmanicured like in the Hollywood movie that drove me to such an act...

 

Rolling my hand over, I saw the fading scar on my palm, where I had clutched the glass all those years ago. Since that night, I have had a permanent reminder of what happened to me and what I had done... This disturbingly jagged and horrifically wide scar will forever haunt me, even if it is concealed. The dog collar is thick enough to cover it, so few people have ever seen my shameful secret, but I know and remember everything... Normally I can keep all of this bottled up inside, but when I see the picture or my scar, I cannot control myself. Seeing the happy person I could have been, stabbed my heart like a thousand knives. Knowing the faces of my traitorous family cuts straight to the bone and leaves me broken. I heard a knock at the door and I lost it.

 

"GO AWAY!" I shouted, causing my aura to flare up and the doorframe to crack.

 

"Vyon?" Hiromasa asked calmly after a few seconds.

"What do you want?" My voice was tense and I couldn't stop shaking.

 

"Can I come in?" He inquired after a short while longer.

 

"I don't care what you do..." Though I was angered inside, I wanted to talk with someone.

 

"Heya kid... Quite the explosion there." Hiro said, referencing the damaged door.

 

"Is that all you wanted to say?" I asked, angrily glaring up at him.

 

"I was going to ask what that was all about..." Hiro moved into the room and leaned against the sink. "Think I figured it out though."

 

"What... what do you mean?" I asked firmly to avoid shedding tears.

 

"Well..." Hiromasa folded his arms, as he began thinking. "You do not have the same life force as the people you live with. So I've known you’re adopted." Hearing the word “adopted”, caused me to claw both hands into fists. "I just figured something terrible happened to your family..." Hiromasa faded out and I felt his eyes upon me.

I desperately wanted to say something and yet I could not find the words. Each breath was shaky and it felt like tears were unavoidable. Slowly bringing my vision up, I wasn't met by his gaze. Hiromasa stared at the floor in deep thought, but then slowly looked up to me. A small encouraging smile appeared, but I couldn't smile. His stare slowly shifted to my neck and I saw my dogtags sparkling within his eyes.


"What?" My voice was lethal as I said this demandingly.

 

"I used to wonder why you wore that..." Hiromasa stated scanning the band around my neck. "Think I understand now though..." His words caused my heart to race like a drowning man fighting toward the surface.

 

Tears began to flow from my eyes and I found it was impossible to look at him any longer. "I... I don't..." Trying to speak only brought heavier tears. "I've never told anyone before..." Bawling now, I buried my face in my hands.


"You don't have to explain it Vyon. I just don't want you to get another..." His worried tone helped lift me from this oppressive pain, not many people worry about me. “All you need is support, someone to be there for you.” He added with growing emotional strain.

 

"Always stay positive right?" My voice barely managed to speak, as I sniffled tears into submission.

 

"Vyon..." Hiromasa's voice sounded crippled by thoughts and uneasy feelings. "I'm here if you need to talk."

 

"Thanks..." My whisper was pitiful, but I nodded to show my response.

 

It was awkward for a moment, but Hiromasa simply stood up and pat my shoulder. When paired with his smile, this gesture felt somewhat calming. Just sharing that, my darkest moment in life, it feels a bit brighter... Hiromasa went to open the door, but stopped a moment and looked back at me. I took this time to calm myself and focus on the day ahead. As it opened I was tackled by hugging Hina, who was shouting a flurry of sorry, forgive me, and I didn't know, jumbling from her mouth. Pushing her off of me, she stumbled to a stop and stared with concern. A small tremble hit her lips and being shoved upset her I think. Oh dear god...


"You couldn't have known..." Was all I could say.


"I'm sorry Vyon..." Her voice was wavering, but I gently shook her out of it.


"Don't be. We're all good!" Though internally I was still near tears, a cheery voice shone through.

 

She peered deep into my eyes with a probing gaze that I wanted to avoid. Unfortunately she was adamant about apologizing, making amends, and hugging it out. As I awaited her to release me, Hiromasa awkwardly joined in. His arms and height allowed him to just sort of lean over us, extending his arms. Though I found the whole practice to be silly... it still felt nice. They cared about me and it was incredibly apparent... Damn, what an simple, yet special appology. The fact that I was practically naked really escalated how weird this was though...

 

"Let's get going we have a lot to do today." Hiromasa released me first, but Hina followed suit quickly.


"Sorry again Vyon." She repeated once more, but I assured her it was fine.


I was starting to feel better as they both vanished from the room. The privacy was appreciated and I took the time to have a cigarette, then get dressed. Appearing above the parking lot put a smile on my face. Flying felt incredibly empowering and reminded me of how unique I truly am! Even if my real mother and father didn't want me... I have found my own family. My close knit group has grown recently and will eventually, grow further. But for now, I appreciate what I have... They were waiting atop the car port and I thanked them for giving me a moment alone.

 

"You good kid?" Hiromasa asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Yeah... I'm alright..." The sideways half smile was still enough to satisfy him.


"Come on, I owe you breakfast after that!" Hina laughed to herself as she flew off.


Hiromasa chuckled at the minor excitement spreading across my face, then followed her toward their house. It was the middle of the day and I wished that I had my cellphone. The fact I haven't had free communication for a whole day makes me appreciate it much more. My fake folks only gave it to me as a means to monitor me, but the token gift was still my only means of reaching my freinds. I do not have a computer and my fake father doesn't allow me to use his, so email is unavailable. That out of date piece of metal is the only way I can contact my friends!

 

Later though I had already planned on visiting them. Sucks not getting to see your friends on the weekend! Not that Hina and Hiromasa aren't friends! It’s just miss and I’m a little worried about the guys... They think I’m being kept away by my fake family, yet, I’m far more free than I’ve ever felt in my life!

 

It’s amazing how fast I can fly now! With enough focus and manipulation, I could catch up to Hiro! I never wanted to start a debate, but I have often wondered who is faster? Hiromasa is obviously stronger, being a fully grown adult, but Hina could easily rival him in speed. Parting the trees as I landed, Hiromasa greeted me with a bottle of water. It felt nice after flying in the direct, baking sunlight.

 

"I want to teach you a few new powers today, but I'm not one hundred percent certain it wont backfire..." Hiro began explaining as I was guzzling the ice cold liquid.

 

"Backfire... how?" My response was skeptical, but I trusted him enough now to not be afraid.

 

"Explosions are typical, but I have a feeling you can control it." He folded his arms with a coy smirk.

 

"I'm sure I ca-... wait, explode? Are you serious?" My eyes widened as his words registered in my brain.

 

"Again, I have confidence that you can handle it." A small laugh followed this, but shreds of worry still existed. "First we are going to try an attack known as a sin strike, also known as the sin slayer." Hiromasa formed his spear from a flick of his fire spewing fingers.


Hiromasa took several steps back, then lifted the heavy pole arm overhead. Fire roared from all around him, engulfing his lower legs and flaring outward at his torso. A dull humming came into being as the thick blade began giving off a faint light. Straining his arm and mind, Hiro began filling the weapon with power. The humming intensified until it was all that could be heard. The tip of the spear gave off a brilliant radiance now, as he fought to maintain a solid grip. My eyes had to squint to see the actual weapon itself, but as Hiromasa began speaking, the light dulled slightly.


"Aside from being an excellent light source, charging the split soul will devastate the struck Fuzen! Your power will actively seek out evil when using this attack." He explained, his voice under obvious pressure.

 

Hiromasa swung the spear and even though it didn't hit the ground, the earth beneath it cracked apart and was displaced. As he approached, I summoned my split soul and held it ready. He flinched and raised both hands defensively, but then laughed.

"Just kidding! Now don't go overboard and try to focus evenly." Hiro explained with a small chuckle. “Fill the weapon with latent power, you’ll feel a reaction.”

 

"Alright... I'll try." Lifting the blade with both hands, I aligned the moon with my face and began focusing.

 

Charging energy into my weapon was easier than I had anticipated. It absorbed with little effort and soon I found myself becoming tired. Hiromasa appeared a bit drained after he demonstrated, but now it was hard to stand straight. My shimmering blade gave off a translucent sheath of illumination, as I struggled to hold it. Sharp jerks of motion pulled the weapon around randomly, but I managed to keep it within my grasp. The sword began practically screaming, as it fought to contain the power. Suddenly and without any warning, the hilt cracked! My attention was drawn to this, but it was to late... The blade burst apart with an echoing blast and unearthly ringing! I felt myself leave the ground and I sailed through the air a short distance. A loud cough escaped me upon contact with the ground, but my real concern was my split soul! Lifting the mangled half sword, my insides twisted up and I wanted to cry... My wide eyes landed on Hiro, as I felt my lip beginning to quiver.

 

Hiromasa had both arms wrapped around his head, but he peeked up at me shortly. "So... that is what happens when you overpower a split soul." He chuckled as I glared into my destroyed sword. "Don't worry kid! It'll repair itself! A split soul is practically indestructible." His words were a god send and I couldn't contain my laughter.

 

"That's really good to know!" I replied dusting the shards of spiritual metal from my body.

 

"You alright?" Hiro asked as he approached my shaken form.


"Yeah... just didn't expect that!" I responded, allowing the broken sword to vanish.

 

"Did it detonate?" Hina asked from the window. "Yeah that'll happen sometimes!" She declared as she swiped back inside.


Jumping to my feet, I dusted myself off and removed a few splinters of steel from my skin. Summoning the sword took a little longer this time, but I assumed it simply had to reform. A huge grin spread across my face as my weapon appeared in perfect condition, save the random claw and bite marks. Knowing that this weapon could never be permanently broken, filled me with new confidence! Even disarmed I am still a force to be reckoned with! My unnatural strength was a powerful weapon, even without a sword to channel it through.

 

"Try it again. But once you feel it start to fight you, just let it loose!" Hiro explained as I prepared the sword again.

 

Focusing once more, I kept my breathing steady and shut my eyes to enhance my concentration. Soon the sword was brimming with power and it began shaking furiously. Allowing it to fly free, my arms snapped around in a perfect arch, as if a rubber band had held them back previously. The air was displaced by a trail of brilliant gold energy! Each second it passed through the air produced a metallic, slicing, echo. As if the blade was cutting through ghostly tinfoil! This faded into nothing and I felt my body fill with energy rapidly. Even though it winded me a bit, using that amount of power didn't effect me that badly. It was as if the used energy didn't actually leave my body and I simply redirected it through the weapon.


"That is commonly called a sin strike. Land that on a fuzen and they are history!" Hiromasa congratulated me with an explanation of what I just did.

 

"Is that it... Did I do it right?" I asked a little shocked at how simple this attack was.

 

"Yeah, easy right?" Hiro responded with a nod. "It's an attack that all sin splitters can use, even bare handed." Hiromasa clenched a fist closed and the fire concentrated around it. "Next, I want to teach you a technique called severance. It is a bit more difficult to control."

 

"Vyon, breakfast is ready!" Hina called from the door.


Looking over to Hiro, I took on a pouting face and he waved me away with a smile. Though I was very eager to learn... whatever "severence" is, hunger has been biting at me the whole morning. Sitting eagerly at the kitchen counter, I awaited Hina to place a plate before me. When she did, my instant reaction was to dig in, but something stopped me... Vegetables, my arch nemesis through ought most of life! Hina took notice to my reaction, but simply laughed.


"Eat your greens Vyon." She stated simply as she was placing pans in the sink.


"They aren't even green!" I replied poking at the red and yellow portions.

 

With blazing eyes, she looked over at me. "Eat your breakfast!" Was all she said and I instantly picked up the fork.

 

Alright, I have to admit they weren't bad. She had made oatmeal with them and that was my favorite part, but still... not awful. Hina wasn't actually angry, but I understood that I had been a little rude. She went out of her way to make me breakfast and I complained... shame on me... As I finished the flavorless lumps of matter, a wave of relief swept over me. Now I can enjoy the rest of my oatmeal without guilt! I was feeling full though... Damn you veggies! You win again! Handing Hina my cleaned out dishes, I offered again to wash them. Without a word, she turned me around and walked me toward the door. I didn't actually begin moving on my own, until she swatted me on the rear! Did that really just...? O..k... Hiromasa was meditating in the yard, his body levitating inches from the ground. I decided to use this time to have a cigarette, but that was not going to happen...

 

 "What the hell are you doing?" Hiromasa was on me the second I lit it.

 

"Are you freaking kidding Vyon?" Hina leaned out of the window with a stunned face.


"Oh come on, really?" I asked looking back and forth between them. "My job is to kill human beings who have become demons... and I can't even have a smoke?" Hiro laughed, but Hina didn't.

 

"No! You can't!" She tried to snatch it, but I slipped away in time.

 

"Leave him alone... Vyon, please don't smoke." Hiromasa stated this seriously, but a sharp wink explained everything.

 

"Vyon, we don't want to lose you..." Hina was emotional, but I wanted to tease her.


"Oh alright... I'll go back to my normal life then! Good luck guys!" I waved to them both, as I pretended to walk away. "Relax Hina, please..." I had to say this when I saw her true sadness.

 

"Oh boy..." She said softly, putting her face in one hand. "Just take care of yourself Vyon!" Hina commanded and I saluted with the cigarette in my mouth, which made her laugh.

 

"Do not make it a common habit." Hiromasa's voice was toxic.


"Oh... yeah... of course..." Saying this led me to put it out earlier than I normally would’ve.


"Alright, this attack is far more useful, but it releases energy. So you will get tired quickly." Hiromasa began as he formed the spear with a swipe of his hand.


Hiromasa charged his weapon just like before. It screeched with power and I saw the glowing metal vibrating in place. He clutched the handle with both hands and held tightly as it reached a peak. A loud ringing sound came from the head of the spear as it was raised high above him. Upon swiping down, the screaming sound exploded forward and a thin wave of energy was launched! An airborne arch of purple fire traveled at remarkable speed only to slash a tree and dissipate. Left behind was a thick, even, and deep cut into the trunk. My amazed stared caused Hiromasa to laugh and lift the spear to his shoulder.

 

"Now you try! Focus energy the same as before, but this time try to cast it out of yourself. Let it free of the weapon." Hiromasa's simple example left something to be desired.

 

Considering the sword exploded in my grasp a little while ago, it is understandable why I would be hesitant. Still, I have to try! That was awesome and it would be useful against most fuzen. It was easy to summon the power required to charge the blade. What I didn't expect, was the near instant outward reaction. A steady hum grew from the edge, engulfing the blade entirely, until simply holding it up caused a celestial ringing. With a swipe of the sword, a pitifully small dart of energy was launched. Not very far I might add...

 

"Alright, good start." Hiromasa encouraged my failure. "Now give it a little bit of resistance. Try to hold the power in the sword, then let it go. Don't over do it though!" Again, I wish he had more to tell me...

 

Reluctantly I tried again. My soul was centered and I concentrated on the entire weapon. From handle to point, I felt my energy filling the blade, like water in a glass. Once it reached the overflow point, I began wrestling with the jarring weapon. The tip seemed to buck in one direction, while the lower half would thrash back and forth uncontrollably. Raising the feisty sword up, I let it fall freely. The result was awesome! My weapon struck downward and the path it followed burst into flame. This curve of spiritual force shot forth at a wicked speed and when it collided with the tree, a deep cut marked the wood. Cheering myself on, I leapt upward and punched my free hand into the air.

 

"It's that simple! Unleashing power in this way will expell a lot of spirit, so use it wisely.” Hiromasa praised, my eyes examined the damage on the distant tree. "Practice it a few times, try different angles and what have you."

 

Nodding to him seemed to dismiss his currently directed focus. Hiromasa went to the porch and began reading a heavy looking book. This was so much easier than summoning the split soul! With almost no effort I released a severence strike and watched it collide with the tree. How was this not the first thing he taught me? It would have come in a lot of handy! I would rather avoid going near a fuzen and this power is the key! Like Hiro mentioned though, this attack was very tiring. Practicing became a game of how strong and how far I could throw this projectile. Each time I launched a slash of energy, I was left chasing my breath, panting frantically. Sin strike and severence will make hunting fuzen easy, but if I’m not careful this will make flying home harder! I’m already pretty tired.

 

"You're doing great kid!" Hiromasa looked up from his book. "Care to spar?" He asked as he slipped the thin glasses from his face.

 

"I... you... alright. Just don't kill me, k?" It was hard to admit I was afraid, but I needed to become stronger.

 

"Got it!" He called cheerfully as he walked down the steps.

 

Once at the bottom he flashed from view and appeared in the middle on the lawn. His spear was already in his grasp and he was looking at the sun ominously. Turning his attention to me he pointed the spear and dropped into a combat stance. My strikes were met with a wall of aggression, as he forced me back each time. The whirlwind of strikes he could unleash was devastating in both speed and strength. Spinning around with his kick, he brought the hammer straight down, but I leapt back in time. Swiping twice only led to being deflected, then being rammed in the face with the spear handle. Stumbling backward in a daze gave him time to jab me in the gut. I yelped with fear and leapt backward, clutching the tiny wound. Even though it was nothing more than a poke, I was still freaked out to have a cut!

 

His laughter was not appreciated and I became angry against my will. My aura raging around me, I shot at him, whirling around in a corkscrew pattern. The edge met his guard, the solidity of his strength tossed me backward without effort! From this position, I leapt upward and knee him in the chest. As Hiromasa stumbled backward my falling strike missed, but he seemed impressed. Standing up, I spun away and blindly clashed with the thrust of his spear. Teleporting backward gave me enough time to try severence! Launching the arch of energy looked so awesome, but Hiro swatted it aside. The curved spire of yellow light broke up and scattered into nothing as I recentered myself.

 

"Now you're getting it!" He yelled, adding a small laugh.

 

“Trying... my hardest!” I responded out of breath, wiping sweat away swiftly.

 

“I know-.” Mild laughter cut him off, as he massaged where I hit him. “I can feel it!”

 

I just smirke back, then watched him kic off the ground, sailing forward with ludicrous speed! Appearing overhead, he slammed a hole in the dirt, my guard shattered like a cheap wine glass. Leaping upward, he spun with the hammer fully extended! It started slow, but within seconds he was cutting the air in rhythmic time, approaching like a hurricane! The whooshing sound of the stampeding hammer was so threatening, I soul sprinted away, taking to the skies.

 

He darted into the sky and threw a straight kick, but I slipped away just enough to avoid it. Bringing his leg down moved him forward and he used the momentum to perform a front flip slash. Unfortunately I blocked it and the impact sent me toward the ground like a meteor! Flipping over in the air, I caught myself, cleared my head, and then flew upward with the sword ready! Slashing twice didn't go far, but my third landed against his weapon. Lunging forward allowed me to almost land a strike, but his hair was barely even sliced.

 

It didn't deter him what so ever. He charged forward leaving a violet trail of supernatural distortion in his wake. The side kick Hiro threw collided with my chest and flung me through the air, but I recovered in seconds. The point spun, spiraled, and danced around, as he floated closer, then lashed out without warning! It was difficult, but I barely managed to deflect the heavy spear!

 

My head was ringing as he drove his foot into my gut and doubled me over. Coughing out all my air at once, I gasped and gagged, but was kneed in the face mercilessly! The impact was so great, I lifted slightly higher, then began falling freely. Catching myself just before I hit the ground, I floated, but couldn't continue fighting any longer. Falling flat on the grass, I collapsed into a comfortable position and tried to maintain my breathing. Upon opening them I saw a purple bonfire lower with Hiromasa in the middle. His feet touched down and instantly the aura was dimming away.


Hiromasa fell into a thudding seat, then drew a long breath. Releasing a heavy, steady sigh seemed to calm him down. His deep violet eyes fixated upon me again and I sat up with a big grin. It felt nice in a way... getting  beaten up and knowing it was just for practice. Understanding this was not out of malice made it into a type of game, though I’d never say that aloud. Never did I think being hit would feel good, let alone be fun! Hiromasa got up and offered to help me stand, but I politely refused. Rising off the ground, I was amazed at how quickly I recovered from being tired! Hiromasa was pleased with my enthusiasm and rewarded me with a pat on the shoulder.

 

"We are going to do another city sweep tonight. Get some rest and be ready at around eight." Hiro explained as he peered through the trees at the sky.

 

"Got it, I'll be waiting!" I replied with both excitement and worry in my tone. "Hey Hina? Thanks for breakfast! See ya later!" I called into the house.

 

"Good bye Vyon! Fly safe, rest up, and stop smoking!" Hina stepped into the living room as she waved to me.

 

After a few parting words with Hiro and Hina, I took off toward home. I did not plan to go back yet, but my friends were probably somewhere nearby. Searching all our usual hang outs yielded nothing, but I got an idea of where they may be considering it is the weekend. Stopping at an arcade near downtown, I appeared in the back alley to avoid detection. Strolling in, I was greeted with the limitless sounds and sights, that only hundreds of video games could create. Quickly scanning the room, I saw Lyra and Zen playing a dance game, which they both seemed to be enjoying. Joining the small cluster of onlookers, I began cheering them on.

 

"Yo Vyon!" Zen cried as he spun in place for a second.

 

"Hey man, good to see ya!" Lyra glanced back several times, as she tried to keep up with the game.


The song finished and they both took a moment to enter their initials. Though not the highest Zen had taken third place on the games leaderboard! Lyra leapt from the platform and landed in a hug with me. Zen followed suit, but I had moved so he landed normally.

 

"Wassup?" I greeted them both eagerly.

 

"Good to see ya!" Lyra smiled brightly. "You've been hard to reach lately!" She added taking on a cute frown.


"Got busted?" Zenex leaned toward me, as he shoved his hands in his pockets.


"Yeah... Got my phone taken." They seemed to find it funny.


"C'mon... Shio and Max are around here somewhere!" Zen called as he moved through the loose crowd.

 

"Let's go!" Lyra grabbed my hand and began parting the people with friendly words.


We rushed through the crowd, following the tips of Zen's hair, which darted and dodged around. Eventually Zen seemed to settle and when we caught up, I saw Shio and Max. Shio was in a race, but he looked up and muttered a quick "hey". Max was killing zombies with a bright blue plastic pistol and he greeted me without looking.


"Hello Vyon. Glad you could make it out today." Maxwell's greeting was somewhat strained by his focus.


"Heya guys!" I replied eagerly.


Zen popped a few quarters into the machine and drew the neon red pistol from its slot next to Max. Shio came in first place, then turned to watch the two of them fight off hoardes of zombies. It suddenly became overwhelmingly apparent that Lyra hadn't let go of my hand! I felt myself blush, as I looked down to confirm it! What do I do? Just, ignore it, yeah! That's the best thing to do, be cool... Watching Zen join Max’s game, I shared what advice and alerts that came to mind and felt worth mentioning. They made it pretty far, but they both died at the train station, much to Zen's dismay.


"Man, only two more levels!" He exclaimed dropping the plastic gun into place.


"Eh, was still pretty fun." Maxwell shrugged as he wiped his hands on his pants.

"Let's get going. I'm outta quarters." Shio stated in a glum way.

 

"Imma hit the pinball machine. Catch you guys in a sec!" Zen shouted holding out fifty cents.


"Meet us at the Burger queen down the street!" Lyra called through the crowd as he rushed off.

 

It felt good knowing that, for once, I can buy myself food! If I wanted, I could buy everyone something! This money had to last me though and so I would only offer if they didn't get anything. Lyra released my hand, much to my misfortune, as she ran up the street a small distance. Max, Shio, and I walked slower, but caught up soon enough.


"I'm gonna get an icecream!" Lyra said with a restrained excitement.

 

"Add on some fries. We can share em!" I handed her the twenty and her face lit up.


"Alright!" She rushed to get in line and we occupied a booth.


Maxwell and Shio were almost instantly on their phones. My cellphone was a freaking antique, so I wouldn't be able to do much anyway... Still it was odd being the only one there just sitting here. Lyra returned shortly and handed me the change as well as the receipt. It was distracting to me, seeing her eat the frozen treat. Watching her lick the ice cream and her lips... Damn, I'm being a pervert! Inside it felt good that I got to buy her something... They called my number and I retrieved the greasy box of french fries. The salty slices of potato were still delicious! Zen joined us after a little while and helped himself, as he saw the others were doing so. I liked having money to spend! Though... this set me back a whole six dollars! Thanks economy...

 

"Thank you Vyon!" Lyra gave me a small hug after she finished her icecream.

"Yeah thanks man!" Zen added, which led to more thanks being give my way.


"Don't worry guys, seriously!" My laugh put them at ease.

 

We allowed Shio to finish them off and I think he felt a bit shameful. We would never judge him and hopefully he knows that. It was difficult to enjoy myself, since I know what fuzen smell like now... The only reason this was bothering me, is because I realized that they are everywhere! It wasn't easy to keep the fact I was disturbed under wraps, but I did my very best. If they aren’t supposed to know, so be it.

 

"Why didn't you go to Dairy king if you wanted icecream? It's way better!" Zen asked with a slight laugh toward Lyra.


"It's also hella expensive. And who needs all those toppings?" Zen and I stared with open mouths at this statement.

 

"You crazy woman!" Zenex cried as he playfully pushed her.


"Gotta agree with Zen on this one." Shio chimed in.

 

"With all the current politics revolving around the world... We discuss icecream toppings..." Maxwell laughed to himself, but it was halfhearted.

 

"I hear about that crap every time I am home! Forgive me for being childish!" Lyra laughed with a hint of mocking in her voice.

 

"We can talk about all that stuff... I'm just not very informed." Shio sounded ashamed.

 

"I appreciate the offer.” Max scoff-laughed.

 

I have never been well acquainted with politics, but Max was one of those people who enjoyed the subject. Sure I have indulged him with what little information I know, but Maxwell usually ends up on a rant, which he disguises as a conversation. Not that I blame him, but it can get irritating... We all have things we feel strongly about though, so I don't hold it against him. The five of us headed down the block, but really didn't seem to be heading anywhere specific.

 

"You guys wanna go to the park? I gotta head home in a few hours." I asked, catching a glimpse of the time on Lyra's phone.

"Damn your curfew sucks!" Zen exclaimed as he checked his cellphones clock.

 

"Why don't you have a key?" Shio asked, but I simply shrugged it off.

 

"Let's go! I wanna get a soda on the way though." Lyra started off from the corner, not caring that the light was going to change soon.

 

Max told us to wait, but Zen and I simply jaywalked after Lyra. Turning back, I watched as Zen mockingly waved to the two of them. It seemed to annoy Max, but Shio waved back with a tiny smile curling on his face. Lyra was waiting by a telephone pole up the street and as we approached, she snapped her phone closed.

 

"Bought time!" She snickered as we continued to follow her.

 

Within the hour we were at the park and I was enjoying spare sips of Lyra's soda. Now that I have my "job", moments like these will become less frequent. If I am to become as strong as Hiromasa, I may have to sacrifice my position in their lives. That thought hurt me more than any wound thus far... Even if we drift apart, I will secretly be protecting them. Never will they actually be without me, even if they ever wanted it. Even if they all somehow ended up hating me, I would still protect them. What am I thinking? My friends are the most caring people in the world!

 

It began getting dark and I asked the time. Getting the same hour with an array of minutes, I smiled knowing it would be best to go home. The fake folks are probably upset I didn't come home right away... Hearing laughter and jokes in the growing darkness, I was awash with guilt over not getting to see them home. Man life has become complicated...


"I don't want to, but I better head home." My words fell out like weights and they all booed my decision.

 

"See ya tomorrow Vyon!" Lyra hugged me as she stood up. "You better come to school young man!" A short laugh came from the both of us.


"Have a good one Vyon." Maxwell responded as he looked up from his phone.

"Bye for now." Shio stated simply, returning his eyes to Max's phone screen.


"Yeah, whatever! Get outta here!" Zen taunted with a big grin, offering a bro hug.


"See y'all later!" I replied in a southern accent as I waved to them.

 

It was strange walking away with them watching me. I knew at least one of them would notice if I suddenly vanished, probably all of them. This inclined me to go down the street a short ways and round the corner. A few people were in front of their homes, but were to busy with various tasks. I had to test it sooner or later... Summoning my aura right there didn't seem to draw any attention, but a homeless man did steal a second glance toward me. Upon his return to the trashcan he had been digging through, I took flight and headed home. Even though these people are violent, abusive, and just plain mean... they keep a roof over my head. Even though it's not what many would expect, there is food here occasionally. Falling from a slight hover to the ground made a bit of noise, but the rest of house didn't stir. Given it is sunday, they are probably not here, drunk, or working on it.


"Wish I could drink..." Muttering this made me smile a little, as I envisioned Hina's response to that.


Folding my arms under my pillow, I tried to get comfortable and rest. I only had about two hours to sleep, but that will not stop me from enjoying it. With the new skills I’ve learned, tonight oughta be less painful... Hopefully Hiro and Hina will help this time, but I understand that I need practice. I could always just ask for help! Not that my pride would allow that, but it is always an option. It wasn't easy to sleep, but even off and on rest was worth it.

 

Three sharp knocks rattled my window and I shot up, fully awake. Opening the curtains I waved to the two of them, but Hiromasa tapped his imaginary wristwatch. Rushing to dress myself, I was outside in a flash for a brief greeting. Their faces held a intense worry, but I didn't see them long.


"Let's go, hurry." Hiromasa vanished toward downtown.

 

"Someone's in danger!" Hina's alerted voice echoed back as she followed him.

 

Racing toward them, my heart began pounding with fear and anticipation. Quick images of my friend’s shot through my worried brain. What if they are in trouble? Did I fail them already? This terrible thought pushed me to go faster. Even if it wasn't someone I know, they need my help! When I caught up, the situation was not as dire as I would have expected. Hiromasa, Hina, and I hovered over an alley, where a young girl was sitting in silence. I had never seen this child before, but her blonde pigtails gave me the impression she was someone’s daughter. Why was she out here all alone? Her limp body was barely even breathing, yet she wasn't wounded at all...

 

"Look away Vyon... You do not want to see this." Hiromasa stated with a grim look on his face.

 

This young girl slowly rose to her feet and groaned meekly. Lifting her head to view us, I could see something was severely wrong. Both eyes produced an unearthly red glow and no longer showed any white. As if suddenly stabbed in the back, the small figure jerked forward, stomach first. She screamed loud and sharp enough to shatter glass, but it quickly faded into muffled cries of pain. The young girl clutched her stomach and staggered about as she continued to scream. I felt my eyes widen and my concern quickly turned to confused fear. Letting out another horrifying scream, the tiny figure clutched her left cheek. With an elongated squelch, she tore a huge mass of flesh free and slung it to the pavement below. A downpour of blood followed her removed face to the ground and my eyes widened with horror, but my voice fell flat. The skeletal structure beneath was mortifying, muscle and tissue sloppily clapped together or hung in shreds. The bit of flesh she had torn free twitched with it’s final life, spasming a half blink over the unsocketed eyeball. Her frail hands clawed at the exposed bone causing a morbid rasping sound to be heard. Once the child managed to dislodge her other eye, she released another louder and less human screech.

 

My body shook and quivered as the tiny figure began to change shape into a large malformed being. Her arms snapped, popped, and twitched, as they extended forward, dislocating near instantly. Her skin stretched till it tore with a very audible ripping sound, like someone tearing duct tape. Blood sprayed like a water from a kinked hose as scrapped flesh fell free and began hanging. Her exposed eye socket began producing less and less blood, until I saw disfigured teeth had begun growing within. The skull warped dramatically to accommodate and form this misplaced set of jaws. Her legs grew longer until, like most of her body, the skin couldn't take the strain and broke. Once she was about three feet taller, both of her knees snapped outward and around, becoming reverse bipedal in an instance.

 

Now wheezing from the morphed eye socket, the elongated monstrosity shambled forward, blood falling in stagnant showers. Tearing small bits of flesh away, the fuzen cast them at us, but the throw was weak. Most of her arms and legs were now bare, bloodied bone. The fuzen's limbs had extended further than a humans ever should and the finger bones were scraped free of the flesh that once encased them. With a quick hiss, the fuzen launched into the air and clung to the brick wall to her left. It leapt upward onto the building, then shot straight toward us! Hiro deflected it and the bloody creature sailed over the alley only to land on the opposite roof top. Staring horrified, I was unable to move or even blink... What the f**k was that? I... I knew fuzen were humans, but... Oh my god... Holy f*****g s**t, no, just... no...

 

"Vyon, forget your fear!" Hiromasa shook me by the shoulder.


"Wh-what the f-f**k was that?" I asked unable to control my breathing properly.

 

"A fuzen taking control of a human body." Hiromasa began, looking directly into my eyes. "That is what it looks like when a fuzen is created..." His voice and eyes trailed off toward the vicious living corpse.

 

It leapt at us again and Hina caught it on her crossed weapons, then shoved it back. The bony monster slammed the rooftop on its back and flipped over into a crouched position. Another wail of both pain and rage cut through the night, before the fuzen charged. Hina was ready though and she threw an edged ring with a flick of her arm. As it passed by the fuzen, both skinned, bony hands clacked to the floor still twitching. It gave the creature a moments pause, but only to formulate a new method of destruction. The two jagged, marrow spewing portions of bone extended outward and sharpened into wicked stabbing points.

 

Crackling rasps sounded, as the horrific demon ground each projected bone to a finer point. Without hesitating I landed and approached the creature. There was a riot in my mind, a justified chaos over the death of that little girl. Relentless as ever it ran straight at me with one claw drawn back. The strikes pinged off my sword, as the fiend attempted to impale me with everything it had. Slamming both claws broadside down, I held the sword by the handle and the blade to balance the incoming force. With a snapping motion the fuzen folded a leg to its chest, then kicked my leg out from under me! Stumbling backward, I saw Hiromasa's spear whip overhead and clobber the monster right in the neck!

 

"Fatal fire!" Hina shouted pointing both chakrams forward.

The green flames moved around her arms in a spiral pattern. Once they reached her hands, it was now orange and red, like norma heat would produce. It lashed forward and engulfed the fuzen as it rose. Once the inferno passed over and ignited it, the creature had been crippled. The now horribly burned fuzen took small creaking steps, as the charred bones were not fit for movement. Stepping up, I took a small running start and swung my sword like a baseball bat. The fuzen fell in two, the force of my strike was enough to send the top half sailing off the roof. It flailed, screamed,and hissed the whole way down. A gross sounding splat let me know that it was over. The pair of legs fell to its knees, then forward bursting into a slimy red puddle. Every inch of me was twitching, shaking like a tuning fork in full motion. One hand came to my face, averting tears with its grasp, as my heart cried out for the loss I had witnessed tonight...

 

"You alright Vyon?" Hina asked and I jumped, as she touched my shoulder almost attacking her.

 

"No, yeah, well... just... s**t..." I spoke softer and softer, before letting out a long sigh.


“Damn, you really shouldn't have seen that...” She responded appologeticaly.


"I know that was hard to watch Vyon, but that is our job. To prevent it from happening..." Hiromasa's voice was trying to inspire confidence, but I was shaken badly.


"Just another reason to kill these b******s..." My strong façade was pierced with concerned stares.


Who was she? A girl that young, she was someones baby, the whole world to them... I wonder if I’ll see her on the news or in the missing persons column? Looking up into the night sky, I was able to make out small clusters of stars through the dense clouds. A frigid rain drop caressed my face and sharpening my attention to its presence. Put in a momentary coma by the feeling of freezing water on my skin, I felt my anguish dripping away, little by little, leaving only sorrow. In my mind the horrific transformation of that child was replaying over and over. It was unavoidable... A body wracking shudder crawled from one side of me to the other, clenching my muscles sporadically.


"You need a hug?" Hina offered, but I simply shook my head softly.

 

"I'll be fine. I just, I need a minute..." A smile was given to her, but it was so fake it hurt my face.

 

"Catch up when you clear your head." Hiromasa had a thread of sympathy in his voice.

"Alright, thank you." I watched them fly off into the darkness.

 

It took a few minutes to stop shaking. I have seen fuzen react to damage before, but never had I seen... that... God, the screams are still echoing in my thoughts. She was so young, only six or seven maybe... Why did this have to happen? Was it my fault? Did I take too long to get dressed? My heart ached with terrible pain, as I wrestled with this idea... I couldn't have known. Damn it, why didn't they just go save her without me?

 

The rest of the night was rough, but I did my best to keep up with Hiro and Hina. Only a few stray fuzen were found, not many groups. It was nice knowing I, sort of, didn't have to prove myself. Fuzen seem to range from human like, to utter abominations... I have faced more humanoid type fuzen tonight. That makes my skin crawl...

 

"Hey..." Hina nudged me.

 

"Yeah, wassup?" I asked turning to her, as Hiro approached behind her.

"Everything alright Vyon? You still seem a bit upset." Hiromasa stated loudly, though I knew no one could hear us.

 

"No... I'm... good." Mumbling these words, I looked away. "Is that, just, common? Can that be... stopped?"

 

"Once it has been set... There is little time to fix it..." Hina replied, I was surprised she would speak before Hiro.


"Vyon, that’s something you’ll see often. That does not mean we aren't helping!" Hiromasa slid through the air over to me.

 

"I guess... but..." My throat tightened up on me.


"What we do isn't easy. You may never be the same person again." It hurt hearing this, as Hina nodded to confirm his conviction.

 

"I understand entirely. Do I wait for them to turn?" I asked lifting the sword, which felt... barbaric now.


"No... you should slay them the second it happens." Hina exclaimed, but not loudly, just forcefully.

 

"You'll known when they have become possessed..." Hiro added.


"Right... " Bowing my head, I "sheathed" my sword.


Something tells me they wanted me to see that... If it’s standard procedure to kill them before they transform, then that’s the only thing that makes sense. It was a grim glimpse into the reality of what I’ve been treating with levity. I followed them out of downtown, once Hiromasa had killed the last one in the area. It felt wrong now... This had always felt wrong, but now I... it’s just to much. If I am against a force so powerful, I do not want to be responsible for peoples lives! No... wait... I do, just... Certain people matter to me, but that is such a cold thing to say, in light of what happened. I cant just “do my best” and hope everythings alright... Not when lives are in my jeopardy and I’m in charge of saving them!

 

"Go home, Vyon. We'll talk tomorrow." Hiromasa said sternly as he slowed to a stop ahead of me.


"Thanks..." I tried to smile, but it was just for show.


"Hey champ... Thanks for being with us tonight." Hina walked over to me, her fire forming tiny footprints, then smiled.


Nothing came out of my mouth, but I did fake another smile. How am I supposed to keep myself positive when this is what I do? The evil I face is beyond nightmares and it can turn life into death... in an instant... How do I fight this with any bravery? My friends are in so much danger that I don't think I can go home... Hiro and Hina tried to encourage me a little more, but this had been too scarring.


"Bye guys..." I said in a half whisper.

 

Watching the two colored torches fade in the distant, I whisked over the rooftops swiftly. It meant more than anything else to me... I had to see if they were alright! In my mind it felt wrong peeking through windows or teleporting into rooms. Everyone was fine, much to my relief, and Zen was even awake! He was on his computer, but he looked ready for bed. I knew I couldn't just talk to him... At least he's alright... On the fly home, I had to keep my mind working and have something good to focus on. Everytime I let it go blank the image of that girl mutilated into reality. In the darkness, the emptiness of closed eyes, I saw her... The memory haunted my nightmares and stirred my thoughts when I awoke in terror. This job had more than a physical toll to pay, the emotional scars will never go away. That image will be with me forever...    


© 2017 Thatonedawg


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Oh this chapter is great! I love how they are made (in a I love horror movies and books kind of way), and it makes total sense that Hiro would want Vyon to witness that in order to hit home exactly what it was that needed to be done. I also enjoy that Vyon is still connected with his friends and trying to live a normal life. The grammar is also much better now then before as I can tell you are improving as you write. Can't wait to read more!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Thatonedawg

3 Years Ago

Thank you! I have been focusing heavily on the advice that was given. It brings new confidence into .. read more

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Added on July 8, 2016
Last Updated on August 30, 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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