Feb 2, 2016

Black Stained Winter: Chapter 15 - "The Black Hunt Begins"

The sun is high in the sky, but the air is still cold. It’s winter after all. Even with the cold air, the city is bustling with life. People fill the road unhindered with the cold. It is not unusual though. The people in this city are busy and a simple cold weather is not enough to stop them from doing their activity.

Among them are Rick, Ren, and Tama making their way amidst the sea of people. Their heads are looking around uneasy, looking for something. Since arriving at the city, they’ve been looking for signs. Signs that there’ve been disturbance in the normally peaceful day. Scream, whispers, gossips, running people; any signs will do. Signs that can direct them to the position of any uninvited guest from other realms.

“Ah!” A young woman who walked pass Tama startles. She looks down and around, looking for something.

“What’s wrong?” Her friend asks her as they stop moving.

“No, it’s just… Something seems like brushing my leg.”

“You’re dreaming in the middle of the day? There’s nothing there!”

“But, I’m sure!” The two girls then continue walking into the crowds and soon out from view.

Ren grabs Tama’s arm and speaks to her ear, “Was that you?”

“Ah, yeah. My tail brushed her leg I guess.”

“We need to avoid that kind of thing. Can’t you do anything about it?”

“I don’t think I can. I can only put illusion on it to make it invisible, but I can’t make it truly disappear.”

“Hmm, then we can’t stay in the crowds like this. We need to avoid commotions.”

“I guess so. Mr hobo!” Tama waves to Rick who’s walking ahead of them. He looks back and see Tama and Ren gesture to him to follow them. The three of them get away from the crowded street into a deserted alley.

“What’s wrong?” Rick asks as they enter the alley. He looks around and thinks of how quiet it is in here compared to the street even when only several meters away from it.

“We need to stay away from the crowds,” Ren looks around the alley and looks up.

“My tail keeps brushing on passing people,” Tama adds.

“Tail? What tail? Aren’t you already hid it?”

“It’s only invisible. My tail is still here,” Tama spins in front of Rick and he can feel something soft brushes him.

“So, what’s wrong with that?” Rick seems to not having a problem with it.

“Why can’t you understand something so simple, Mr Hobo?” Tama looks a little bit annoyed. “We need to not attracting people's attention. If people keep bumping with my invisible tail, sooner or later they will be suspicious.”

“Well, I guess you’re right,” Rick scratches his head.

“How high can you all jump?” Ren asks without letting his sight away from the sky.

“Quite high. Why?” Rick asks.

“We’ll go up,” without any warning, Ren leaps high to the sky. There’s no one in the alley so he’s not afraid to be witnessed. With several time kicking the wall on the way up, soon enough he already reach the rooftop.

“Man, he’s always like that, huh.”

“C’mon, Mr Hobo!” Tama smiles at Rick before jumps up. She’s moving upward in a slower pace than Ren, yet she’s moving gracefully upward befitting her beautiful appearance. Rick momentarily stunned as he sees Tama beautifully getting to the rooftop. When she’s already gone from the view, Rick follow to the rooftop via jumping.

“You still can’t smell them?” Ren asks on top of the roof of one of the buildings amongst dozens of buildings on the sprawling city.

“No. There’s still nothing other than the smell of humans here. They are so overwhelming,” Tama frowns.

“This is hard, Ren. This city is so huge. Finding those, um, trespasser without any help is next to impossible,” Rick scratches his head as he approaches Ren and Tama.

“But, it is bad if one of them turns out to be a dangerous being,” Tama looks worried.

“Yeah,” Ren nods as he looks around.

“We should just wait for any clue or hint to help us here,” suggests Rick.

“If that happens, then it’s already too late!” Tama pouts cutely. “We need to continue searching!”

Ren lower his head and thinks for a while. “You guys have a phone?” Ren asks as he raises his head.

“What, are you mocking me?” Rick grumbles.

“A phone is that rectangle blocky thing to talk with each other right?” Tama moves her fingers in front of her to imitate the shape of a phone.

“That’s a no, I presume,” Ren’s not amused.

“I’m guessing you want to suggest us to spread out, right?” Rick asks. “I think we can spread out even without means to communicate. I mean, I’m sure we can handle most of demons or whatever dangerous thing that has come to earth especially if they hasn’t make commotion yet.”

“You think so?” Ren doesn’t seems sure about this.

“Mr Hobo is right. You two are strong enough to handle most of them. Well, at least I think so.”

“Okay then, we’ll spread out. But, Tama, you go with Rick. You’re not too familiar with this city, right?”

“Well, that’s true. Okay, I’ll go with mr Hobo.”

“I’ll try to check the north area. We’ll meet at the north entrance of Great Green Park one hour from now,” Ren nods at Rick and Tama.

Rick replies with a nods, “Then we’ll check south, and maybe west after that if we have time.”

“Okay, see you all in one hour then,” Ren turns and dash towards north. He jumps building to building and soon is gone from the view.

“Well, I guess it’s time for us to go too. Can you keep up, Tama?”

“Tee-hee, do not underestimate me, mr Hobo!”

***

There it is!

Ren is running with full speed, jumping from building to building.

Finally I found it!

Not too long after splitting up with Rick and Tama, Ren caught a sniff of something not human. A trespasser from another realm. He doesn’t know how long has it been on earth, but he must be quick. If this thing is dangerous, the longer it stays unwatched, the bigger chances of it hurting people.

It’s near. I’m almost there!

But, what awaits him is not expected by Ren. On top one of the building, a huge white tiger-like being with jagged single horn on its head lays dead. Standing on top of it is a woman with shoulder-length blonde hair in a black lounge suit. Her hand is holding a European-style double bladed sword which still stucks on the beast’s lifeless body.

“What took you so long?” The woman pulls her sword out of the beast’s body and whips it to clean it from blood. She turns to face Ren and steps down from the beasts body, “There’re still more running around.”

“You know me?” Ren frowns since this woman speaks as if she know him.

“One of the Raven’s guy, am I correct? That old man really needs to have better recruitment system if you’re this slow.”

“Raven? Who are talking about?”

“Shush! Stop talking and get going. We need to prevent any commotions.”

“Just who are-”

Ren stops mid-sentence. He looks around and stops at one direction. He inhales several times at the direction to make sure, “There’s another one.”

The woman eyes widen, “You can smell them?”

“Sort of,” Ren takes off toward the direction the beast’s scent come. “Are you coming or not?”

“Wait!” The woman follows Ren. She doesn’t show any difficulty in matching Ren’s fast speed.

“Kyaaaaaa!” Shortly after,  a scream is heard from down below. The woman increases her speed and overtakes Ren. She quickly heads to the source of the scream in a small alley. Down there she sees another white beast growling at a scared lone woman. Its body emits black mist just like the demons Ren fought several days ago.

“Hyaaaaa!” The blonde swordswoman jumps down from the roof. Her hands are holding his sword in a ready position. When her distance is right, she swings her sword hard toward the white beast. Noticing the hostile woman approaching, the beast jumps out of the way and dodge the attack.

“Run!” The swordswoman stands between the beast and the woman and shouts at the shivering woman as soon as she saw her unharmed. The scared lady stunned for a bit before finally turns in a hurry and run away from the alley.

She grips her sword in a ready stance, prepared to strike down the beast. Ren is waiting on the roof just in case the beast try to escape that way. He believes that the swordswoman has enough speed to catch the beast if it escape the other way thus he choose to wait up there.

With a strong kick to the ground, the swordswoman dashes forward to the beast. She swings her sword upward with great force. The beast tries to step back but too late, the sword slices its face and destroy one of its eyes. Red blood bursts from its eye, splatters around the damp alley.

The beast suddenly turns around and tries to escape from the small alley. The swordswoman instantly dashes to catch the beast, “I won’t let you get away!” Ren follows them from the roof trying to figure out the best way to stop the beast.

Feeling too cramped in the small alley, the beast suddenly leaps toward the sky. It needs to makes extra steps on the building wall which crumbles under its feet. Down below in the alley, the swordswoman stands with sword on her hand gripped tightly. She flows her energy to her sword for a while. Her sword starts to emits yellowish glow. “Haaah!” The swordswoman swings her sword in the direction of the white beast which is already near the top. From her sword, a bright golden light flies toward the white beast and engulfed it. It growls in pain combined with the sound of yellow light of energy echoes in the small alley.

Not long after the blinding light subsides, the white beast falls from above to the nearby rooftop. It’s dead. There’s a big gauging wound wide open on the beast stomach. Other than the obvious wound, its body also covered in bruises and small cuts.

Ren is examining the beast when the swordswoman arrives at the rooftops. “That was reckless,” remarks Ren as she approaches him.

“I’m forced to. Otherwise, it might escape. Who knows what chaos it could make if I don’t stop it right there.”

“If you don’t know, I was staying up here for a reason.”

“Oh, I know. I just don’t believe you could handle it.”

Ren can’t take those word lightly. He narrows his eyes in annoyance, “Just who are you anyway?”

“My name is Lyon,” she answers with a clear sense of pride in her voice.

Seeing the nature of the woman in front of her, Ren feels that it is best to give his name as a reply, “And my name is Ren.”

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, there are perhaps still more trespasser around,” Lyon walks away from Ren.

“Wait, I still have some-” Ren looks up mid-sentence. It’s clear that something caught his attention and made him left his sentence unfinished. Lyon turns her head as she realizes Ren stopped mid-sentence. When she sees Ren’s looking up, she raise her head to look what’s above them.

Way up ahead in the sky, there’s a big winged beast flying. It looks like a giant bird from down there but the details are not clear. But it is sure to have feathered wings and claws. It flies in an unorganized way and simply going around and around. Upon closer inspection, there’s a person holding on to the beast. The two is fighting mid-air. It is not clear but it seems like the beast is having a hard time.

It’s not long before the beast let out a shriek. The beast struggles around fiercely to no avail when its opponent stabs a sword on its chest. The person grabs his sword which is still stuck on the beast and pushes it downward with a force enough to slice the beast open. The force of that last slice sends the person down head first. Just several meters above the rooftops, the person does several spins and lands safely on one knee, sword on one hand. The beast falls to his death to the ground shortly after.

The person seems to be a man. He’s wearing a black full-body suit. His chest area covered with an arrangement of some kind of armor. His joints and most of moving parts are lightly covered by armor. He holds a straight single-bladed sword reinforced with metal frame on its blunt-side. His face is hidden inside a full-face helmet with simple design that invokes the image of a wolf. On his neck circles a long red scarf which fluttering wildly in the wind.

The man stands and turns to Ren, “Who’s the girl?”

Ren eyes widen as he heard his voice. He knows the voice, “Ignis?”

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